Category: Romance, NC-21, Chaptered
Cast: Cha Eungi, Choi Siwon, Cho Kyuhyun
Kyuhyun has been busy citing references from all the books he could borrow before the Christmas holiday comes and now he’s trying to create a new thesis proposal worthy of Professor Van Wijk approval. Obviously Eungi had fired herself from being his assistant and she refuses to help Kyuhyun with his proposal since she’s avoiding the term ‘nepotism’ regarding her professor’s class.
While he’s burying his face in his books, Eungi’s preparing some salads for the Christmas party in the professor’s house tonight. It’s not too often for her to have people around her to celebrate Christmas and she’s too excited to pass this one—especially since Professor Van Wijk promised her a present under his tree for this year.
“You’re not even going to help me with this cucumber?” Eungi raises her voice from the kitchen.
“No can do, noona. When I said I gotta impress, I gotta impress.” He replies without taking his sight off the book.
She puts down the cucumber in her hands and joins to sit with him. “It’s so weird to see you being like this.”
“You mean studying?”
She nods, “You used to rely on the internet so much.”
“That’s not too reliable these days, for the plagiarism reason.” He finally gives up on trying to concentrate on his book. “You won’t let me finish this book, do you?”
She smiles playfully, “You can read them before you go to bed, what’s the point of spending times with me if you’re busy reading?” Eungi pouts her mouth as her effort to be cute in front of him.
“Noona, cut it out, cute doesn’t suit your personality.” He pinches her cheek, “And we’re spending our times together the way we used to, the difference is, you were the one that usually holds the book while I’m the one busy played games in my laptop.”
“I know.” she looks down to the table, “But I miss you.”
Kyuhyun laughs, ever since they got back together, he’s been seeing a lot of changes in her and he can’t really determine whether she’s changing for the better or for the worse—what he knows is that she becomes very needy. He can’t blame her for that, he understands and he also misses her so much that he’s dying to spend every waking hour with her. But he’s a changed person also, he can’t be careless about his time and his life anymore. His study relies on his shoulders and so does his father’s business, Kyuhyun still thinks that he should divide himself into two people to be able to finish all of his tasks perfectly. And here comes Eungi with her innocent demand to constantly be with him.
“Why are you laughing? Is my yearning towards you a joke?” The playfulness in her tone is gone and replace with a real annoyance.
“No, it’s not a joke to me.” He reaches out his hand and hold hers on the table. “What I laugh about is how much we’ve changed now and it’s funny because we switch place now. I used to be the one that determined for more time with you.”
“Why are you sorry? It’s okay. I miss you too noona, I miss you a lot and that’s why I spend every second of my waking and sleeping hour with you..”
“But you’re busy. I understand.” She nods, “But it’s holiday and It’s our first Christmas together, it might not be important to you, but it’s very important to me. Can we please do it right?”
“Tell me.” He gets up from his seat and walks to the back of her chair to give her a hug from behind, “What’s your idea of a perfect Christmas?”
Eungi leans her head on his body and holds his hands that’s around her shoulder. “Just like the ones in movies, preparing the food together, exchanging gifts, staying late in front of the fire place with eggnogs in our hands.”
“Wow, you watch too many Christmas movies.” He kisses her head, “Fine, I’ll close all of my books for two days and dedicate the whole two days’ time for you.”
“Really?” She grins with excitement in her eyes. “So you’ll help me julienne the cucumber?”
“No, I’ll help you with anything other than cooking. Why are we preparing the salad anyway? We’re having diner in Professor Van Wijk’s house.”
“They love my twist on the huzaren sla that I combined with some Korean spices, that’s why they asked me to prepare it.”
“I’ll clean up then,” He moves back to his chair and begins tidying up his books. “Noona, I know you refuses to help me, but can you at least check before I hand it out to your professor?”
“Only if you behave nicely.” She grins then gets up to continues preparing her salad ingredients.
The Cristmas party in Professor Van Wijk’s house turns out to be a small family gathering for him. None of his three sons could make up time to be with him and Eungi has been the only one that’s cheering him up with her presence. When they arrived, Mrs. Van Wijk—Poek, immediately takes Eungi to the kitchen to help her prepares the roast beef she’s been making, leaving Kyuhyun and the professor alone. They met a few times in class and during one-on-one revision time, but this is actually the first time they spend their time together without trying to discuss a thesis.
To release the tension, the old man takes out one of his whiskey collection and offers Kyuhyun to have a drink together in the sunroom at the back of his house. He proudly shoes off the rare whiskey he got as a gift from Eungi when she returned from Edinburgh before he took two glasses for them to drink.
“So, you made me lose my best assistant.” He pours the whiskey into two glasses and gives one to Kyuhyun.
“I’m sorry about that, I didn’t know it’ll lead into that.” He turns away while sipping his drink, no matter how much he tries to adapt to western formality, Kyuhyun still can’t leave behind some Korean norm in his everyday life.
“I hope you’re planning to stay this time around.” He clears his throat, “I’m sorry if I sound too nosey, it’s just that I really consider her as my daughter.”
Kyuhyun nods, “I understand. And I never planned to leave her in the first place, but things went wrong and a lot of misunderstanding happened.”
“Hmm, she told me.” Professor Van Wijk lifts the bottle to pour more Whiskey into Kyuhyun’s glass. “I’m so glad you two finally figured it out.”
Professor Van Wijk raises his glass and Kyuhyun politely clings his glass into his and takes another gulp of the whiskey.
“Do you have any special plan for her anytime soon?” He chuckles, “Ah, I’m being too straightforward again, forgive me for being too Dutch. It’s just that I’m not getting any younger and she once asked me—when she was graduated—that one day if she’d ever find the right man, I should be the one that’s walking her down the aisle.”
Kyuhyun chokes on his whiskey but quickly recovers from the discomfort he feels in his throat.
“Is that a ‘no’?” Professor Van Wijk continues.
Kyuhyun clears his throat before he speaks again, “Wow, I really need to adjust myself to the bluntness of the Dutch.” He chuckles awkwardly, “And ‘yes’ is my answer. I do picture myself to have that kind of future with her—I mean she’s everything I could ask for and she’s a real gift for me. But not in a short term.”
“Because you’re not done studying?”
“That, and because some other things too.” He moves uncomfortable in his seat. “As we know, she’s an amazing person, right?”
Van Wijk nods and pours himself another shot of whiskey for himself.
“I need to be at least half as good if I want to ask her to be my bride.” Kyuhyun looks down to his feet, feeling his face gets hotter once he talks about a marriage—something he never pictured he’d get involve in his life. “I can’t just come to her today and ask her to marry me in instant.”
“Why not? Don’t girls like that?”
“I have to be able to provide her with all the good food she wants to eat, I need to be able to buy her comfortable clothes and I have to put a roof on her head—those are the least thing I have to give her.” He bites his lips, slightly wondering why is he telling all these to the professor, “I can’t even provide her with enough luxury I used to get, how impudent would it be for me to ask her hand in marriage, while she’s making so much more than I do.”
“Ah! Now I see your concern.” The old man nods and offers Kyuhyun another shot of whiskey which he refuses.
“It’s a big deal, sir. I don’t want her to downgrade her lifestyle just because she’s living with me yet at the same time I don’t want her to provide me either.”
“The pride of a man.”
Professor Van Wijk nods along but then slide his chair closer to Kyuhyun, he lowers his head and whisper, “Do you really think you’re all that nothing in her eyes?”
“I have my reason.”
“She’s amazing on her own but she also had an amazing lover before me. That’s a big competition right there.” Kyuhyun freely tells his worry. “I’m like this small” He pinches his thumb and forefinger together, “compare to that man.”
“You know what? I met that guy a few times and from several point of view, I have to agree with you.” Professor Van Wijk smirks, “He wasn’t as smart as you to be honest, he’s charming and polite, yes but it’s something we learn as we grow up so it doesn’t really count. He only won in two aspects compare to you: He’s confident for what he has and he died for her—so that kinda gives an illusion of an unreplaceable love affair.”
Kyuhyun grabs the whiskey bottle on the round table and pours himself a shot, gulp it down in instant and takes a deep breath. Professor Van Wijk is exactly like Eungi at some point, he knows how to manipulate the ego in Kyuhyun and use it a weapon against himself—did Eungi learned it from this old man?
“Look, seems like you’re finally into this conversation as much as I do.” Professor Van Wijk pours Kyuhyun another shot for them, “What I’m saying is, you’re important for her. She ruined herself using you as her excuse, that showed her effort to make you feel guilty over what you’ve done whilst at the same time wished you to come and safe her from herself—I know her, and she never crossed the line when it comes to consuming drugs and stuff—but she did, she’s that hopelessly in love with you.”
The thought of Eungi ruining herself disturbs Kyuhyun one more time, he hates the fact the she’s doing that just to prove a point.
Professor Van Wijk gets up from his seat and asks Kyuhyun to seat still while he grabs something. Minutes later the old man takes his seat back next to Kyuhyun and he gives Kyuhyun a rectangular shaped thing that Kyuhyun recognizes as her book.
“I can’t, sir.”
“Just read the last chapter, will you?” He helps to turns the pages to the chapter he means, “Cha was never good with speech, she sucks at it. Her writing in the other hand is meticulous and she puts her heart into her words. So don’t expect her to confess or tell you that she loves you, because she’s not used with opening up verbally. Read it, you’ll see how much you mean to her once you do.”
Kyuhyun hesitantly takes the book, his eyes scan the pages quickly just to make sure he won’t read something he doesn’t want to and he finally takes his moment to read her ‘letter’ to him.
I will stop writing in a formal manner for this last chapter, since it’s supposed to be my dedication to someone that finally freed me from my stiff mindset over life itself.
Throughout this book I constantly describe how indebted I am towards the man that saved my life, I still am and will forever be like that. Our life created in a concept of past, present, and future and it’s time for me to see the present and future while letting my past stays behind as a lesson to learn.
For some of you that managed to turn the pages one-by-one until you reach this chapter will probably think “how could she cope up with that? how could she made it seemed so easy to move on and write the story down as detail and painful as possible?” my answer is, I have a guardian angel that disguised in the devil clothing.
It all begin when I started teaching again. I was so desperate for an activity that’s able to distract my head from that tragedy so I accepted the first job offer that came to me, I was assigned to teach one class and it happened to be the place where I met him. The first time I met him, he was the most arrogant boy I’ve ever met—his only equivalence would be Draco Malfoy created by J.K. Rowling—and I thought that kind of character only existed in fiction, this boy proved me wrong. He was only four years younger than me but he was so left behind in his class, so I thought he must’ve stalled because he couldn’t keep up with the education system—in other words: he must be dumb.
He stole my attention in the first second he came into my class and apparently, I stole his too. He was so mad at me that he planned something really bad with his friends to frame me, but he was too careless with his plan, I was walking in the hall next to their table when the conversation took place and I just swallowed down my sentiment deep down and prepared myself for whatever bad plan he’d do to me.
To my surprise, this boy was indeed one of the smartest kid I’ve taught in class—believe me, I taught a lot of classes before this. I always have a weak spot for a bright brain so I carelessly let myself fell into his charm and I began to find excuses to be around him. At the time I thought maybe being around this guy would help me to pass my time. Instead of sinking myself in sadness, I spent a lot of time with him with various reasons: revision, test drawing, international seminar, and so on.
That’s the beginning of our love story and if you haven’t figured it out already, yes, I had a huge crush over my student.
One night, I had my first meltdown over the Paris tragedy during my first “date” with him, he was flustered to see me hiding beneath the table so he took me out of the place immediately. He tried to awkwardly comforted me and he took care of me until I stopped shaking from my tremor. I hurt his pride that night when I intentionally called him ‘boy’ as my way to challenge him, because I know there’s a great man hidden underneath the brat and it’s the perfect way to drew the ‘man’ in him out. He then continues to try to impress me with his cold manner that combined perfectly with his brilliance.
I got to the point where I felt so comfortable around him that I begin telling him my deep thoughts and one of the night we were hanging out, I used him as a stand-in of my deceased fiancé. Thinking back now, it’s one of the cruelest thing I did to him, this guy stood by my side no matter what kind of emotion I threw at him and he let himself fulfilled my need of closure by lending his body and soul as the replacement. Lucky for me, I only remembered this event long after it happened, I was too wasted and honestly it had saved what’s left of my dignity intact. When I remembered everything that happened between us that night, I felt so apologetic towards him but he impressed me one more time. Instead of being mad, he told me he loved me and that it’s one of the crazy thing he’d do for someone he loved.
What seemed like an immature boy in my eyes had slowly evolve into a man, the way he made me feel restless when I didn’t see his face for a day, how he coolly smiles to me when we accidentally cross path in the campus hall, the way he stared at me whenever I stand in front of the class—oh boy, that’s hard to keep looking professional while being stared at like that. He’s all that to me yet I couldn’t let my guard down, that time I tried to stay professional and I tried to honor my fiancé’s death by avoiding any contact with another man.
But who am I kidding? My fortress fell down once he swung by my house to helped me took care of some mess that I explained in the previous chapter. He used his body to covered me from the sharp glass that was ready to broke my skull apart and he stayed around for more, only to confessed to me the next day.
I felt like I was lifted up to cloud nine when he gently caressed me in his arms, I was constantly scared my whole life for some reason I still not discover yet, but in his embrace I always felt safe, it’s like I’m ready to take any bad news the worlds would throw at me. As long as he’s beside me I know I can conquer the world, and that’s one of the most amazing feeling.
Later on he found out why I was distanced as he figured out about the tragedy that happened to me in November 2015—and the real quest of our story begins.
We shared our hopes and dreams, we shared some fears, and we shared our deepest thoughts to each other. He said I changed into this clingy girl whenever I’m around him and I had to admit that I was, he made it so easy for me to relied on him so I had no hesitation to be. One of these days I spent with him, I said I’d write a book about the tragedy that affected me and he was supporting any decision I had so we booked a ticket to Paris and re-live the tragedy to really give myself a closure.
I regret that.
I’d rather live without my closure, I’d rather live without this book being published, I’d rather stayed in our safe place in Seoul than living a day without his presence.
In the most chaotic day in we had in Paris, he finally had enough of me and took off and I couldn’t blame him completely for that, I know it was too much to witness and I was too much for him to handle also. Until this book is published, I haven’t heard any news from him and I’m dying to. I went on a desperate loop where I hate him in the morning and fell into finding some excuses to forgive him as the days went darker. He made that much impact in my life that I began losing my pride—my pride that I used to held up high, he touched me in my soft spot and he made himself my drug that I’ve became addicted to.
He made it so easy for me to fell in love with him and extremely hard to move forward without him.
Our quick summer romance was short but it was the best one I had.
From him, I learned to let go some things that are beyond my reach, I learned to accept my flaws, I learned to chin up no matter how miserable my life was, I learned to open my heart, and the most important is I learned to love unconditionally.
My pain had become his and so does my heartache. He selflessly stood by my side, supporting me and dedicated his time and effort to helped he fought back from my hardship. He was my number one supporter and my number one fan—it’s a real blessing to have someone that looks up to me the way he did.
He only has one flaw, and that is the fact that he constantly compares himself to his main contender.
So this is why I dedicate this chapter for him, I hope one day this book will steal his attention from one of the bookstore wherever he’s at and he’ll look into the pages to read my last letter for him:
Dear Cho Kyuhyun,
If you read this, that means you’re the greatest man with the biggest heart, why? Because you allowed yourself to fall one more time into the most hurtful memories we have.
First of all, thank you. Thank you for being who you are towards me, thank you for being by my side, thank you for those late night talks, thank you for the drinks we shared so carelessly, Thank you for the childish talks we sometimes had, thank you for the comfort you showered me with, but most of all thank you for your presence.
Your presence didn’t just help me to conquer my fear but it also helped me to be a happier version of myself. I always felt so carefree and young whenever you’re around—to the point I almost called you ‘oppa’ sometimes since you always acted older than your age. The way you positioned yourself in my perspective has taught me of selflessness and the value of sacrifice.
You always put me first, think about my feelings and taking my opinion into your consideration in every decision you made. In some way it made me felt like a queen in your world and I became too greedy. I was too comfortable being treated like that, I forgot that you also need to be taken care of. I let myself swayed in the protective barrier you built around me and I didn’t think much of your effort while you’re trying so hard to provide me with my needs.
Only after you left I knew how much your smiles matter to me, how your touch was necessary to get me through the days, and how your calming words are a staple ingredient to get through my nights. I was lost before I met you, then I let you guided me through the darkest time—and now I’m lost again without you and it’s for the worst.
Whenever I think of you, I always feels this wrath in my heart. It’s the emotion I get from my regrets towards you—regrets of the thing I should’ve done to you, things I could’ve done to be a better lover to you and things I would’ve done to keep you around. I let this regret as my daily drive to get through my days and honestly I haven’t feel any good result from this—but then again, I’m not the wisest person when it comes to encrypting my own feeling.
I close my eyes and pray every day for a chance to meet you again one day. I’m not sure what I’m about to tell you when the day comes but I know that I need to look into your eyes, to find out if my great comfort still lays within.
If you read this, please know that I regret the night I lost you.
You’re so important to me and the only thing I could describe it, is this: if I’m offered a chance to turn back the time only to return to one specific moment in my life, I wouldn’t think twice or reconsider my decision, I won’t be the noble that turn the time before the world war to prevent it, I won’t return to my childhood in order to meet my father nor to the time the massacre happened. I will turn it back to the moment you first confessed to me.
If I get the privilege to redo my time, I’d go to that time you gently kissed me with much hesitation and confidence that delivered beautifully into the best kiss I ever received in my life. I would cling my arms around you and I wouldn’t wait for the semester to end to start loving you. Because every seconds with you counts as the best time of my life. I was too late to realize this and now I’m drenched in my own tears of regret for always hesitating to say the words I know you wanted to hear from me.
Your love has lifted me to the point where I lost my ground, I felt it was too good to be true at some point and this made me overthink my feeling. Now I learned the hard way that the brain and the heart works in a different pattern, I learned now that I should only use my brain to deal with research matter, I learned that I should let my heart guided me whenever you involved in the matter. I learned at last that I was the selfish bitch (I hope my editor won’t edit this word) that demanded so much from you yet still managed to blame you for your abandonment.
In the end I learned that I should’ve told you how I feel about you before it’s too late.
So please forgive me for my constant ignorance, forgive me for being that bitch that demanded so much, forgive me for the pain I caused you, forgive me for being too slow to reach out to you.
Forgive me, for loving you without ever letting you know about it.
I promise I’ll slowly learn to forgive myself for my fatal mistake over you, but in this last letter for you, I shouldn’t hesitate at all, right? For all I know, this might be the ticket back into your heart or this could be an artefact that sits for years in the bookstore without you ever trying to open it up.
But if you do read this, please come back.
If you already moved on, please still return to me. Because I’m helplessly in love with you and I’m dying to say it to your face, please let me be selfish for one last time to say what I fell to you in person.
But if my fortune has run out, then please know that I love you.
Kyuhyun swallows the lumps he feels in his throat and closes the book, he needs some time to calm himself down and also to lower his heartrate. He heard her beautiful confession more than a month ago but he hates to admit that his professor was right—Cha Eungi is a better writer than she is a speaker.
“How was it? doesn’t make you feel so small anymore I suppose?” The old man next to him chuckles then taps his hand on Kyuhyun’s shoulder.
“I’m speechless.” He really is.
“This will be my last interruption regarding your love life for this night,” Professor Van Wijk clears his throat, “She will wait patiently for you until you’re ready, I know she’s dedicated and she loves you unconditionally. But if your reason of hesitation to ask her to move forward is because you still compare yourself to him, you really need to get a slap on the face with that book. She never compared you to him and she never expected you to be his replacement. If you want to be a successful person for her, then go bust your ass to be a valedictorian—they tend to get more scholarship and offers later, look at Cha, she was a valedictorian in her year. If you want to provide a good life for her, then figure out a way to fulfil the life that she needs, not the life you want her to have.”
“Are we this close to really talk about this?” Kyuhyun finally finds his sarcasm back.
“Oh yeah.” He gets up to walk behind Kyuhyun’s chair to taps his shoulder with both hands. “Like it or not, you’ll need my blessing and I’ll be the one that walks her down the aisle.”
“Is that your demand then? A valedictorian?” Kyuhyun gets up and looks straight into his professor’s eyes, it’s been a long time since he feels challenged like this.
Van Wijk lifts his shoulders nonchalantly and chuckles, “I just gave you an example, but if you’re intrigued with the idea, why not?”
“Make sure to stay healthy to take that steps for two more years then, Professor Van Wijk.” He smirks coyly before he leaves the professor in the sunroom alone.
Kyuhyun has a bigger thing to take care right now rather than completing a challenge from the professor that placed himself as Eungi’s godfather. He has to tell her how touched he was with her letter and he should really give her a really good Christmas present later tonight.