"Yeon. I think.. I think I want to meet your parents."
Jooyeon blinked in surprise. It had been exactly three days after the accidental kissing incident and around a week since Taemin and Jooyeon had gotten together. They were comfortable with each other, much more than other awkward couples around and about, which Jooyeon assumed had to do with the fact that they were soulmates or something.
"What?" Jooyeon blurted in surprise.
Taemin looked at her with his large doe eyes seriously. "I want to meet your parents." he repeated. "I think I want to see them. You know, you're my girlfriend and all."
Jooyeon scratched her head. "But don't you think it's too early, Taemin oppa?" she asked uncertaintly. "I mean, we're only together for a week. I thought people met their girlfriend's parents only when they're getting married or something."
Taemin bit her lip and focused on the ground. "But I'm not anyone, Yeon." he pointed out. He tugged on her hand and caressed her palm. "Please Yeon? I want to meet the people who brought you to this earth. To made it possible for me to meet you." he pleaded.
Jooyeon puffed her cheeks. "Arraso." she finally agreed. "Don't blame me if my parents fuss over you too much and scare me away. " she warned. "They probably think I'm pregnant or something, bringing you to meet them so quickly. I haven't even told them about us." she murmured.
She looked at Taemin and he didn't seem to be listening anymore, deeply involved in his own thoughts like he had been frequently for the past few days. He finally lifted his gaze and looked at her, and she was surprised to see the sorrow in them.
Why was he sad?
It passed in a blink of an eye when Taemin smiled and all that sadness was gone. He played with her fingers under the table and pretended to look in front to listen to the lesson, making Jooyeon blush.
*I'll find out what's bothering him somehow.* Jooyeon thought determinedly.
"Yeon come on!" Taemin tugged on Jooyeon's hand. "We're only steps away from your house! You can't just regret the decision now!"
Jooyeon and Taemin had already arrived in front of Jooyeon's house and were steps away from the door when Jooyeon suddenly shrank back in fear. She was totally not ready to see what kind of reaction her parents had to her new boyfriend. He would be better received than Himchan, no doubt, but she wasn't worried that they wouldn't like her.
In fact, she was actually terrified that they might actually love him too much.
"Oppa..." She whispered and looked at him. "Are you sure you want to do this? I mean...parents! Aren't boyfriends scared of responsibility and parents?"
"Not me." Taemin responded confidently. "Let's go. I can't wait to get in!" He pulled, or rather, dragged her to her front door and knocked.
Within a fraction of a second, the door burst opened and two very eager people appeared at the doorway. "WELCOME!" they chorused.
Jooyeon mentally face palmed herself. *Appa umma! I shouldn't have told them I was bringing my new boyfriend over.* she thought desperately.
Taemin didn't seem to be bothered by Mr and Mrs Oh's overwhelming enthusiasm. He smiled back brightly and held out his hand. "Annyeonghaseyo Mr and Mrs Oh. I'm Lee Taemin, Jooyeon's boyfriend. Nice to meet you!" he greeted politely.
The approval could be seen rather evidently on Mr and Mrs Oh's faces as they shook Taemin's hand and ushered them both inside. "Sehun! Your sister's back with her boyfriend!" Mrs Oh hollered once they were inside.
A thump could be heard from upstairs and soon frantic foot steps. Sehun appeared, flushed and confused when he saw Taemin. He frowned and rubbed his eyes and looked at Taemin again, and his jaw dropped opened. "Taemin hyung?" he echoed. "Wow. Okay. Wow. You're here. For Dinner. At our house. One week into your relationship." he stated robotically.
"I told you it was too soon!" Jooyeon whispered, blushing.
Sehun thumped his hyung's chest in approval. "That's the way man! I expect you two to be married next year!" he grinned. "Aww man I don't even dare to send Sunmi noona home because I'm afraid of seeing her parents! You're the boyfriend role model Taemin hyung!"
Taemin just smiled and shook his head. "I can be so much better." he whispered.
The Oh family ushered their guest to the dining table where a whole array of delicacies had been prepared in advance after knowing of Taemin's arrival for dinner. They sat down and kept putting food on Taemin's plate, wanting him to eat more.
"Umma! You're embarrassing oppa!" Jooyeon hissed as her mother piled food on Taemin's plate.
Mrs Oh didn't look bothered at all. "Oh look at him, he's so skinny like you! He should eat more!" she fussed. Jooyeon pouted and blew a raspberry. "I don't see you saying that to me and Sehun." she murmured under her breath.
Taemin chuckled amusedly and pinched her cheek. "It's fine Yeon. I don't have a mother to fuss over me so I don't mind yours doing so."
All eyes turned to Taemin. "You don't?" Mr Oh blurted in surprise. Mrs Oh elbowed her husband hard for being so insensitive and smiled awkwardly at Taemin. "You don't have to explain."
Taemin shook his head. "It's fine. It happened a long time ago." he assured. "But my parents passed away when I was young. I only have my younger brother Kai as my sole family member now. But I'm happy." he smiled down at Jooyeon who beamed at him.
Mr Oh scratched his head. "Kai?" he asked. "Wait. Why does that sound familiar?" he scratched his head. His eyes widened and he stared at Jooyeon in surprise. "Wait Jooyeon. Isn't Kai the guy who was courting you madly just weeks ago? Roses and chocolates and everything in the dating book." he turned to Taemin in surprise. "He's your brother?"
Taemin nodded. "Yep." he squeezed Jooyeon's hand under the table. "But I'm lucky to be the one with your daughter instead." he smiled.
Mrs Oh melted. "Aww you're so sweet, I can see why Jooyeon chose you instead." she cooed. "But that Kai really had some tricks up his sleeve you know! What did you do to make our Jooyeon choose you?"
Jooyeon turned to Taemin, expecting him to talk about them being soulmates or whatever. He never missed a chance to tell people that they were soulmates and bonded for life. It was amusing but at the same time sweet. It seemed like he was thoroughly elated at that fact and he wanted everyone to know of the news.
"I..." Taemin swallowed. "I love her a lot I guess." he answered. "And that touched her heart..." his voice was uncertain and soft.
"You forgot about the part where you two are soulmates, hyung!" Sehun added cheerfully, not sensing anything wrong. He turned to his parents. "You know this guy, he tells every single one that he and noona are soulmates! I don't think there's anyone in school that doesn't know of it right now!" he snorted.
"That's so cute!" Mrs Oh cooed. "Jooyeon's lucky to have you!"
Taemin just smiled awkwardly and bit his lip, staring at his food. Jooyeon frowned worriedly, wondering if her parents said anything wrong that made him upset. She nudged him gently. "Anything wrong, oppa?" she whispered. "Why aren't you eating?"
Taemin turned to her and shook his head. "I'm fine." he assured again. He seemed to be doing that a lot these days, and Jooyeon didn't really believe him now when he said he was alright. "The food's delicious. I'm just scared that if I eat my fill, you guys won't have anything left to eat."
Jooyeon giggled. "You can try, oppa." she laughed.
Taemin chuckled. "Aigoo."
The parents smiled as they watched the two interact. It reminded them of how they behaved in the past when they were young. Loving and smitten like they were in the past.
"I'm glad Jooyeon has you right now Taemin." Mr Oh suddenly said. "I believe you'll bring her happiness for the rest of her life."
Jooyeon turned to look at Taemin and for once she saw how he looked like hesitating. "Uh...yeah." Taemin murmured distractedly.
Jooyeon frowned. *Something is really wrong. Really really wrong. And I have to find out.*