(040) ♡ baby pink guitars and brothers
Dazzling bright stars. Over our heads, birds fly. The streetlamps are lit, even though it's early sunset. The dim lights illuminate on her perfect face. Nana looks at me with a smile. A smile that made everything else in comparison look empty. She lies down on my lap, her hair tickling my arms, and closes her eyes. It's a peaceful night in the Han River. Shops are beginning to close, and our picnic is over.
Next to us, her baby pink guitar lays sprawled on the blanket. Her birthday present that cost me over a hundred dollars, just sitting there, lifelessy. I can already imagine her playing it, perfect like a puzzle.
"Thanks for the present," she mumbles, lids opening. "And the picnic. It was perfect!" Suddenly, her brows furrow, as if she's deep in thought. "Present, picnic, perfect. It's an alliteration," Nana chuckles.
"You need to stop being so nerdy," I laugh, protruding her gently on her forehead. I brush a piece of hair away from her face, watching as if springs back into it's original curl. "Pretty," I mumble, playing with the strand. Suddenly, she sits up, pushing my hands away. "Can I ask you a silly question?"
I lean back, but nod. "Sure."
"Do you think I'm pretty?"
I study her face--the inevitable seriousness makes me laugh. I'm appalled by her lack of confidence; didn't I tell her she was beautiful enough? "That is a silly question," I chuckle, tucking the loose strand behind her ear. Nana looks down to the ground. "Give me an answer."
"Did you not hear the word I just called you? I'm quite sure I said 'pretty'."
But still, her eyes are trailing along the ground. Nana lies down lazily, stretching over our picnic blanket, like a cat. "Still not convinced?"
She shakes her head, making her hair bounce.
I lay on my stomach on the opposite side of her, resting on my elbows. From this view, I can clearly see her face. It's clean and neat, her cute little glasses propped up on her nose, but other than that, nothing special. If I were someone else, a random passerby, I wouldn't have glanced at her. "You tell me then, what do you think is so 'unpretty' about you?"
"Well, to start, I'm way too thin. My ribs stick out and my thighs are the size of a normal person's arm. My hair frizzes, and after I shower it goes crazy. My clothes are weird. I wear glasses. Um...my eyes are too big for my face, so I look like Keroppi. Oh, and, my hands sweat alot. Not to mention that I stink like cat fur everyday, I mean, sometimes I even--"
Before she can continue, I place my hand over her mouth. She blinks up at me with her puppy eyes. "You snore too. And you salivate alot. You read books more than you socialize and you have absolutely no boobs."
Nana looks down blushing, beginning to rise. I do too, but I lift her chin up so she can see my eyes. "But that's why I like you."
"Because I have no boobs?"
"No silly," I laugh. "For some reason all you see are the unattractive sides of yourself. Why don't you look deeper and see that your personality--"
"I know about my personality," she says in a quiet voice. "But what I'm asking is if you honestly think I'm pretty. If I'm compared to girls like Yunji or Haneul, I look like a demented lamp post."
"If you're compared to girls like them you look real," I say, giving her a little wink. "Physically you're not crazy beautiful. But I don't want a Barbie doll. I want you, you who looks like Keroppi, who smells like roses and cat fur and has no boobs." Nana laughs.
The tension has cooled down slightly, leaving us both feeling flustered and embarrassed. "I can't believe you asked me for a pep talk," I say, laughing.
"I can't believe you commented on my boobs," she says in the same mocking tone. I can feel my cheeks turning red by her statement.
"It's getting late," I sigh, leaning down onto her lap. She pets my head lightly as if I were a dog, and giggles. "Woof, woof," I say in a tired voice.
"No, you're my cat! Sungyeol's my puppy--" Nana's mouth hangs open, probably wishing she could take back her words. "Sorry," she says apologetically.
"No, it's all good. I know you hate dogs anyway," I mumble, shrugging it off.
"Not that much..."
"Don't try to make me jealous. If he's the dog and I'm a cat what are you? The mouse in between?" I joke.
"Dogs don't even like mice. And cats hate mice, too. Mice are pretty unloved creatures," she says with a sigh.
"Well, this cat loves Nana the mouse." I watch as her cheeks inflame. "What?" I say blankly.
"You said the l word," she says, blushing.
"What? Love? I always tell you I love you," I say, rethinking old memories.
"Yeah but it still makes me all fuzzy inside," she confesses. I hug her waist from my laying position, making her squeal and giggle. "I love Oh Nana!" I scream out loud. Random strangers pause to shake their heads and stare at the two crazy kids. Two crazy kids in love. For some reason, the statement sounds too immature and casual for our standing. What a cliche word. 'Love'. Too bad I fell right into it's trap.
As the stars are bright and blooming in the night sky, I park the Pikachu van outside my house. Nana breaths in, straightening her uniform from inside her seat. "Come on, don't be scared," I laugh, holding onto her extremely sweaty hand. "He's not even that bad."
"He's the closest thing we have to in-laws. I'm hyperventilating." She sucks in air dramatically, fanning herself with her free hand. I laugh, and squeeze her hand. "In-laws? So you want to marry me, huh?"
"Let's just get this over and done with," she says, removing her seatbelt. She opens the door and runs over to my side. I grasp her hand tightly as we walk towards the front door. Nana being afraid of my brother shocks me. He's like a rowdy tiger cub--completely harmless. Once we get her guitar out of the back, she skip/runs.
He pulls the door open before I can even knock. Naturally, he has his wild hair messed up, as if a chicken laid an egg in his hair. He's wearing a dirty green t-shirt and board shorts. "Hyung. It's late! I was worried, I was eating ramyun and then.."
"Brother, girlfriend. Girlfriend, brother," I say in a bored tone. Instantly he shuts up, and eyes Nana up and down as if she's a piece of meat. I can already imagine what's going on in his mind, creepy things like 'he's dating a twelve year old' or something.
"Well, hi," he says, in an overly-friendly tone. "I'm Myungsoo's younger brother, Jungwoo."
"It's nice to meet you," she says, breathless.
"Nervous? Don't be. You won't be meeting the parentals for a long time," he mumbles, rolling his eyes.
We step inside together, Nana taking off her school shoes hurriedly. She clambers inside, and almost trips. Luckily, I catch her with one arm, tutting as she slides inside. "Yeah, I know. But it's important to meet siblings too. I've met Hoon and Minkyung."
"Really?" He jumps onto a couch, legs sprawled around the arms. Nana sits down daintily on the other chair, me seated beside her like an over-protective knight. "You're basically family. What about you? Siblings, 'rents?"
"I'm an only child, and I live with my grandparents," she says, crosses her legs.
"So what happened to your parents?" he says, picking up his ramyun cup and taking a bite with his chopsticks. I smack his arm, and he flinches. "Ow--I was just asking!"
"My dad passed away and I'm not really sure where my mum is," Nana confesses. I rest my arm around her shoulders. Stupid Jungwoo.
"It's cool, I know the feeling," he says, shrugging. The atmosphere has turned awkwardly serious, and Jungwoo realises it the same time that I do. "Well, who's up for Scrabble?"
"Actually, I was just taking Nana back to her house. She lives next door," I say, strangely formally.
"Oh, you're that chick who called, huh?"
"Yeah," she admits, sheepishly. "Nice to meet you." Nana bows at a formal ninety degree angle, and together we walk out.
Once our shoes are on, Jungwoo calls out, "Bye Nana!"
She breathes out a sigh of relief once we are outside. "That was nerve-wracking!"
"You did really well. And sorry about earlier, Jungwoo's a bit stupid sometimes." I rub the back of my neck.
"No he's very sweet. And he looks just like you. Remember when you said you wanted me as a sister?" she laughs. Nana's strangely so good natured about all of this. Reminicsing the times when I only looked at her as a friend, she seems oddly comfortable. "And me being all stalker-ish and finding Yunji's photos in your wallet." Nana smiles up at me, but it seems forced.
I reach into my back pocket, and pull out a black leather wallet. Flipping it open, I show her the large frame where Yunji's smiling face was, now replaced with an awkward princess looking at the sky. Nana's eyes are wide open, staring at the picture. "You kept that?"
"Of course I did. Ever since that day we went ice-skating. Do you still have the one of me kissing your cheek? I say, cheekily. She giggles, while nodding. "Yeah. It's under my pillow."
"It's nice to know we both still think of each other." I tug on her hand, as we walk towards her house. Walking along the pavement, I press my hands gently onto her hand. "Goodnight. And Happy birthday."
Nana throws her arms around me, then pecks me on the cheek. "'Night, MyungBear." Hearing her call me that makes me blush, so I wave back to her as she walks up to her house. "Love you!" I scream, so loudly that the birds on railings fly away.
She gives me one of her mind-blowing eyesmiles, and looks down, before screaming back, "I love Kim Myungsoo!" Then she's flying through the door in an embarrassed stance. I chuckle, and start walking back. Before I turn around, the corner of my eye catches a glimsp of a lifeless, small furry body that is dripping with blood. A dead cat.
sorry, didn't talk about them going to the Han River that much, I wanted Nana to meet Jungwoo too!
If you're confused about the ending, I'll explain more in the next chapter!
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