Category: Chapter, Angst, NC-21
Main Cast: Kang Seulri & Cho Kyuhyun
Supporting Cast: Ok Taecyeon
His face lightens up once he noticed her droopy face has returned back to normal and the tremor in her hand reduced. His sunbae is mumbling some medical terms correlated to brain function from where he stands and Kyuhyun understands that he’s currently trying to work on her verbal nerves.
“Seul, not long from now, I might ask you to speak up. My sunbae is working on your verbal nerve right now, can you do that for me?” Kyuhyun whispers next to her.
Seulri nods. She gains her muscle control back in her hand and she uses that moment to caress his face tenderly.
It cheers up a little bit seeing how the worries on his face slowly lift up just by her little response, maybe her chance to survive has increase in his eyes, maybe she has a chance to say what she wanted to say to him soon enough.
She closes her eyes to reminisce the moment in her mind, tying to pick which words she’d say to him first once she gets the chance. Should she deliver her apologies first? Or should she explain her regrets? But she’s also grateful for the fact that Kyuhyun still stayed beside her even after she disappointed him repeatedly, should she tell him her gratitude first? Maybe she should use her chance to beg him to stay one more time. She feels like she’d only get a little chance to say it all and she wants the words that comes out of her to be something meaningful and not just stupid unclear mumbles.
When she opens her eyes back, Kyuhyun’s face has been so close to hers, he was just checking the works of her face muscle that she just regained but his simple deed has once again messed up her heartbeat.
It felt like a long time ago since she was able to see him this close, she can clearly see the remaining tears in his eyes, his runny nose, and some facial hair that managed to grow back since he last shaved this morning. She missed him, she missed having him this close, she missed those tender looking eyes, she missed observing him from this distance, it’s almost like he’s within her reach one more time.
“You’re doing great,” He tells her as he pinches her chin softly, “He fixed the functions of your right body parts, just wait a little bit, ne? you’ll be out of your misery very soon.”
Seulri tries to lift the corners of her lips to form a smile.
“Make her speak, Kyuhyun-ssi.” The neurosurgeon gives his command.
Kyuhyun nods and takes a deep breath before he reveals the moment of truth. “Okay Seulri-ya, now is the time. Can you try to speak?”
Seulri moves her lips as she tries to mouth something but nothing comes out of her just yet.
“It’s okay, take it slowly.” Kyuhyun encourages her, “Try to say simple word first.”
She keeps on trying, her lips are now shaking while her tongue still aren’t able to move to create a word. Seulri closes her eyes one more time, trying her best to calm herself. She has to try to do this, the man in front of her counting on her for any kind of progress she could take, Seulri has to ease his mind at some point because she doesn’t like seeing the curls on his brows, she hates seeing the fear he failed to hide in his eyes and Seulri just wants to give her best to please him if that’s still possible.
She tries to open her mouth one more time, pouts her lips to try to create a sound.
“You can do it, Seul.” He keeps on encouraging her.
“O—oppa.” Her voice sounds very weak but she manages to let out a word.
His face lights up and he almost jumps in excitement. “She utters a word, doctor.” Kyuhyun reports back to his sunbae.
“Keep her talking, I’m monitoring the impulses from here.” The neurosurgeon replies.
“Seul, you did it. You did great..”
“Mi—mianhae.” She utters her next word.
“Don’t apologize, I forgive you. You know I can’t stay mad at you for too long.” Kyuhyun fells like she just squeezes his heart with her words. Is that what she was trying to say to him from the moment she saw him in the E.R tonight?
“I— am sorry.” She continues as she tries to control the overwhelming emotion she feels inside, “for what— I have— become.” Her tears fall one more time.
And her words do the same effect on him. Kyuhyun begins to cry again, he’s speechless, he’s guilty and he currently has tons of regret in his heart.
He knows Seulri best and he understands that the love of his life had struggled all night not just from the pain she feels throughout her body but also from the words she has left unsaid.
“Please Seulri-ya, I told you I forgive you. Please stop apologizing.” He takes her right hand and kisses it repeatedly. “You hear me right Seul? I’m not mad at you anymore. I’m sorry—“ He can’t continue his words for his cry has dominated his sentence.
Seulri takes her left hand with all the strength she has, bring it towards his face to wipe the tears under his eyes.
“Ul-jima.. oppa. Nan gwenchana.” She tries to convince Kyuhyun that she’s fine despite all the piercing pain all over her body.
“I’m sorry Seulri-ya.” He shakes his head and gasps for more air, “If I wasn’t so stubborn none of this would happened. If I didn’t put my pride above anything else, if I didn’t try so hard to tear your heart the way I did lately. I’m sorry.”
She smiles weakly. “I’m.. not.. mad..” She whispered.
“You should. You should be angry with me.” He wipes his own tears on his face, “Once you recover from this, you can yell at me all you want, you can throw your fist at me if you want and you can treat me like a jerk. I deserve that Seul.”
Seulri scoffs soundly. “Shiroe.”
“Forgive me Seulri-ya. You’ve been trying your best to fix your mess and I was the one who couldn’t move on from the mishaps. I’m sorry I let you suffered like this.”
“I’m sorry, oppa.” She speaks more fluent, “I let you down.”
Kyuhyun sniffs his nose while he also busy to wipe the tears on his face. Blaming himself over something that’s already done probably the most useless thing he could do at the moment, but he really has tons of regrets toward her. He knew he was that mean to her lately and the way she continuously apologizes to him confirmed his thoughts.
“I’m sorry Seulri-ya, I should’ve been the bigger person.” He sobs for some more. “I can’t believe I did all that to you, I’m so sorry.”
“Don’t cry.” She wipes his tears, “I don’t.. deserve.. your tears..”
He takes her hand to places it on his cheek as if he wants her to caresses him to calm him down. “I’m sorry Seul. I love you so much and I ended up hurting you like this.”
She runs her thumb that’s on his face to wipe his tears away then put on the biggest smile she can pulls out, and whispered. “I.. told you.. I love you.. more.”
Kyuhyun was driving his car with his mouth pouted and his eyes still annoyed from the drama Seulri pulled earlier. He was informed that Seulri had fallen from the stairs in their building and sprained her ankle earlier today by his own sister. Kyuhyun went home immediately after his shift ended, he didn’t try to change his clothes nor washed his face after his long night shift and he drove like crazy towards her home—only to find out it was her trick to give a surprise birthday party for him.
Kang Seulri and Cho Ahra welcomed him with the ridiculous cone hats on their heads and some paper whistles on their mouth, Seulri’s rooftop house had been decorated with some banners and balloons completed with a cake with Kyuhyun’s name on it. They both were so cheerful when they shouted to surprise him and Kyuhyun was startled to see his girl was actually doing fine—and annoyed because he worried so much he didn’t get a chance to tidy up a little bit for her.
The surprise party didn’t last long because Ahra had to return to her campus for an evening class and Seulri had nag Kyuhyun to go out of the city for the night to celebrate his birthday. Seulri even convinced Kyuhyun that she didn’t skip any class—in her imaginary campus—and that she already checked his shift schedule that were empty for tomorrow. Kyuhyun was still annoyed with his own stupidity but he followed her suggestion and packed his overnight bag for another short gateway with her.
“Oppa, are you still mad? Come on, we tried our best trick to surprise you.” Seulri giggled from the passenger seat next to him.
He rolled his eyes but his frown slowly turned into a smile, “Don’t scare me that way next time. Try to find another reason, I was worried sick Seul.”
“Arraseo, I’m sorry. I’ll find better urgent reason next time.” She leaned on his shoulder, “But it won’t be a surprise anymore if you know.”
Kyuhyun chuckled, “Aish, it’s been a long time since somebody surprised me on my birthday like this, you clearly caught me off-guard.”
She grinned proudly for her silly achievement, “Now let’s just enjoy the little vacation I prepared for us.”
He scoffed, “You know what? If this is my present, aren’t I supposed to just lay back and relax instead of driving three hours to Chungcheon?”
“You want me to drive?” She lifted her head from his shoulder, “pull over then, I can do that for the birthday boy.”
“Dweso.” He shrugged, “I don’t trust you behind the wheels.”
“Stop whining then,” She pointed to the green sign system ahead of them, “It’s only ten kilometers away according to that sign.”
His annoyance quickly erased after they arrived in the little villa she already arranged for both of them, Kang Seulri really put all her best effort into making this day special for him and judging by the shine in his eyes, Seulri knew she did a great job.
This might be her last chance to ever do this for her man and she didn’t want to waste her only chance to make him happy during his birthday. Maybe next year, Oh Jinae would be the one that does this kind of preparation for him and maybe Seulri had to deliver her prayer in silent the way she’s been doing all these time once the rightful woman of his returned.
She treated him like a king that day, she baked him a birthday cake, she even tried her attempt in cooking his favorite food and she prepared a little gift for him. She spent several months to think of a perfect gift for him and she honestly almost give up to came up with a good present. She couldn’t afford to buy him expensive stuff and she knew Kyuhyun would hate any kind of excessive gifts, only in the last minute she finally knew what she should give him—something she’s been holding onto for the last couple of years, something she knew would be able to deliver her unsaid words for him one day.
Kyuhyun smiled his puzzled smile when Seulri handed him three books—used books. She told him that it’s his ultimate birthday present and that she wished one day he’ll find some time to finish those books she gave him. She stopped him when he tried to open up some pages, said he should read them without her being near him because it might make her feel uncomfortable.
“I mark some that are important for me.” She cringed in embarrassment, “Just read it later when I’m not around you, ne? It’s embarrassing if you read it with me. I know it’s not a medical book but promise me you’ll find some time to read it, please?”
Kyuhyun nodded and put the books back in its box. “Is there any specific order I should follow when reading it?”
“Just begin from the red one, then the blue one and lastly the brown one. I arranged them in order, you just have to read it slowly.” She smiled and relieved because Kyuhyun obeyed her request.
“Fine, I’ll read them in my spare time.” He pulled her hand towards her couch in the living room.
Seulri followed him and made herself sitting comfortable next to Kyuhyun, she leaned on his shoulder not long after, enjoying the warmth he offered during the winter night.
“You’re the only one that initiate to go see the beach during winter Seul.” He wrapped his arm on her shoulder, took the blanket available next to him to cover their feet.
“You know I always love the scenery.” She chuckled, “Happy birthday oppa. It’s almost midnight and your birthday almost over, this is all I could do for your birthday this year.”
Kyuhyun kissed the top of her head, “Thank you for your effort, I really appreciate it.”
“Do you like the gift? You can say your honest answer.”
“I love it.” He hugs her tighter, “You are the gift, Seul. I spent the last six birthdays on my own and no one—not even Ahra—tried to do anything special during the day. That’s why I didn’t have any suspicion that you planned to surprise me today, I get used to get nothing during this day.”
Seulri lifted her head and give him a kiss on his cheek, “You make yourself sound so pathetic now.”
“In some ways, I am.” He agreed. “Many things changed to me when you vanished from my life.”
“Should I apologize again for leaving?” Seulri placed her hand on top of his chest, “I left a deep scar for you, didn’t I?”
“A little.” He scoffed, “But it doesn’t matter to me anymore. You’re here now, nothing has changed between us, we love each other the way we did before and now that you’re here—nothing else matters anymore.”
“Really?” She parted her body away from him, “Is that really all that matters for you?”
Kyuhyun nods, “Why? You don’t believe me?”
“I believe you.” She smiled and leaned back into him, “But I still have my worries somehow.”
“Once she returns, I’ll break up with her.” He replies with his own conclusion.
Truthfully, that’s now her biggest concern at the moment. She’s more worried about the lies kept on piled up into her list, she worried about her rotten past that she managed to hide until now, she worried that one day Kyuhyun will really know how she’s been living without him and she worried that he’d find out about her father’s conditions—nothing about her could make him proud and she’s afraid one wrong move and one secret out could really take him away from her.
But Seulri was always smart enough to manipulate her own feeling, that night she chose to take his bait and use it to drive her attention away from her real problems.
“Are you sure you want to break up with her?” She mumbled on his chest, “She seemed like a much better person than me, she’s a doctor too oppa, and your parents approve her to be your life partner.”
“I’m sure Seulri-ya.” He pressed his tone, “I might hurt her when I do that, but I think I’ll hurt her even more if I continue to pretend to like her.”
“So you never really like her?”
“Why are we talking about her now?” He sounded more annoyed than he should.
Seulri lifted her shoulders, “Just wondering. I mean, out of all the girls you’ve been with, why she’s the one that you chose to introduce to your parents—“
“All the girls I’ve been with?” He laughed out of the sudden, “Ya, how many girls did you think I have?”
Seulri pulled herself away from him to look into his annoyed face, “Mwo? Don’t tell me she’s the only one after me?”
He nodded. “And we went out only because our parents suggested it and I got tired of their whining.”
Her jaw dropped in surprise, so Cho Kyuhyun really had been faithful to her.
“I should ask you this.” Kyuhyun suddenly got an idea in his head, “How many men have you been with after me?”
She’s taken aback by his question that has backfired. She’s been with countless men after him, she let them touched her, she even let one of them explored her body the way Kyuhyun did. But none of them own her heart, none of them mattered to her, so it didn’t count, right?
“Obseo.” She answered shortly.
“Bullshit.” He laughed out loud. “Seulri-ya, did you know how many of my friends in high school were waiting for us to break up? I bet there so many men waiting in line to be with you. I mean you’re beautiful and interesting, but above it all, you’re someone with the kindest heart. I bet everyone wanted to be with you, don’t tell me no men ever tried to make a move on you.” He teased her for some more.
True. It all true, they all lined up for me and waited to make a move on me.
“Well, yeah they did.” She nodded, “But none of them won my heart.”
Kyuhyun smiled coyly to her silly statement. Seulri was never a romantic girl to begin with, but she’s the honest one when it comes to delivering what she feels. He knew she was just telling the truth to him.
He swift his seat to comfortably look into her as he gently caressed her face, “Thank you, Seul. Thanks for loving me this much.”
She replies with a smile that slowly turned into a big grin, her cheek gradually turned scarlet from the mix feeling she has inside. “Thank you oppa, for giving me a second chance.”
He leans into her to land a kiss on her lips, “Can I ask you something?”
“Sure.” She whispered in between their kiss.
“Do you still have that dream you told me more than nine years ago?”
Seulri curls her eyebrow in confusion, which dream that he meant? She had long forgotten any hopeful dream she had for herself ever since she had to take responsibilities over her life and her father’ life.
“Do you still dream to be my wife?” He made himself clear.
Seulri bit her lips, confused with her own heart that was clenching in pain instead of joy.
“I do.” She replied shortly.
He smiled and kissed her again, “Then we have to rearranged the plan now.”
“I used to promise you that I’ll marry you after I finished med school, didn’t I?” He began to explain.
Seulri nodded, still dumfounded with the sudden topic.
“Well, we planned something back then but apparently life happened to us and our fate took a little detour.” He continued, “But that doesn’t mean I want to give up that dream we had.”
Seulri blinked several times, tried to process his words.
“However, we need a new plan now.” He cleared his throat, “I will break up with Jinae once she returns, I will tell my parents that it happens because I don’t have the heart to fool her into the marriage I don’t want, I will take my time to slowly bring you back into my family and I hope we can proceed with our plan after you finish your school.”
“You’re in the verge of your academic term, next semester you’ll begin with your final project right?” He reconfirmed her statement she gave him months ago.
Seulri’s jaw dropped, not because she’s surprised with his subtle proposal but because she felt like his words just slap her into her reality.
“So you have to finish your school first, after you graduate I will meet with your father to ask for his blessing for us, then I will take you to my parents and we can begin the marriage talk with them afterwards.” He took her hand and placed them on his chest, “I’m sorry for this condition, it’s the only way to win their hearts.”
“To have a scholar daughter-in-law?” She gained her sarcasm back.
“I’m sorry.” He nodded.
Seulri bit her lips harder but then she forced a big smile on her face. She wasn’t sure on how to react to his words, she knew in her deepest heart that no matter how strong their love for each other, they won’t ever end up together. She realized this a long time ago when her life began to crumbled underneath her feet. But why it hurt more that day when he planned out their whole future in front of her, with such confidence in his eyes and his trust over her that slowly torn her apart.
She leaned into him, lifted her arms then round them around his neck. She chose to hug him close instead of giving him some honest answer.
“I can’t..” She stuttered while she considering to reveal the truth.
“Mwo?” His question was short but Seulri caught disappointment in his voice.
She closed her eyes, maybe she should just be selfish for some more. She didn’t want to ruin his birthday by revealing her misery anyway, she had to kept him happy—even if it’s just a temporary illusion for him.
“I can’t.. wait.” She continued.
Kyuhyun rounded his arms around her waist to pulled her closer to him. He lifted one hand to caressed her hair and kissed her temple. “I love you Seul, you’re the only one I want to spent the rest of my life and beyond with.” He whispered in her ears.
She took her hand towards his shoulder to squeeze it three times, “I love you more than love allowed.”