Suspicion

The Marriage Life of Mr. Byun
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SUSPICION

 

 

“Baekhyun’s been avoiding me.”

 

It’s the beginning of July, when the sun burns so hot in the air, building up unnecessary anger and uncontrollable emotions in your chest. You don’t even realize the fact that you’ve reached this level of irritation until your mouth form the words out loud. You don’t want to feel like this but if you keep saying things are all right, then you’ll be lying to yourself.

 

Because the truth is, things have not been all right with your husband. And even though at the time it seems almost inconceivable to attain, you need to close the distance that’s been separating you with him no matter what. If only you know how. If only you know what to fix. For all you know, it’s been going on for so long.

 

“Sorry?” Chanyeol asks, pouring another drink for the female guest sitting on the other side of his bartender bar. She’s been here for an hour and a half and this is her second glass of wine, while you, on the other hand, have gulped down one glass of orange juice and two glasses of chocolate milk (because Chanyeol won’t give you the slightest amount of alcohol, even if you start begging on your knees) for the whole twenty minutes you’ve been here in his bar.

 

“Baekhyun,” you sigh, folding your arms on the table and lie your head on them. Your eight months old baby bump becomes a slight hindrance from doing so, which is why on the next ten seconds, you sit back up again and complain, “Man, I’m bloated and fat and my husband is avoiding me. My life !”

 

“Avoiding you?” Chanyeol almost laughs. “When you said ‘avoiding’, did you mean ‘constantly wanting to make sure that your s don’t hurt during your pregnancy even though you know he’s only looking for a way to touch them in public’?”

 

You flatly stare at him. “Thanks. I definitely need a reminder of that.”

 

“You’re most welcome,” he says. Chanyeol looks sharp and handsome in his usual button up white shirt with rolled up sleeves not because he wants to attract attention, but because it’s a must for him to look that way. Nobody wants to come into a bar with their bartender looking like a homeless person. His dark brown hair is getting longer, looking a bit untrimmed as it falls over his eyes. And though he still smiles, it never reaches his eyes. Of course he can fool anyone else, but after being his friend for almost eight years in total, it’s impossible to ignore this mask he’s constantly wearing in public.

 

A couple of months ago, he officially divorced his wife. You haven’t seen Jung Sera since that night when she was in town to see Chanyeol for the last time. She said she was staying with her parents and although she still occasionally calls you to know about your babies, it’s still not much. You never discuss about her relationship with Chanyeol now that they’re separated. You don’t even dare to mention his name. You miss her badly.

 

Chanyeol, though he seemed unstable on the first couple of nights ever since he saw her wife settling her feet in his bar, has found someway to get his life back on again. Before Baekhyun went on his first trip to Japan two months ago, he’d stayed with Chanyeol almost every day and took him out to see Kyungsoo and do charities for the old people in the nursing house. Sometimes, Kyungsoo even took them to a foster home to make Baekhyun feel more natural around kids and Chanyeol always loves kids. Your husband has been doing his best to keep up, and that seems to help Chanyeol as well.

 

“But that’s the thing, you know?” you continue with your nagging. “Baekhyun used to be the one who offered me the Massage. He even gave me coupons for free! Well, of course, in return of me giving him a blow jo—”

 

“Finish that line and I’m gonna blow my head off.”

 

“Chanyeol, you’re not listening to me!” You whine, pouting as you move forward and try to land your chin on the bartender table once again. It’s becoming one of your habits actually—lying your face down on an empty surface whenever you stressed out (whether it’s a table, the edge of your bed, or Baekhyun’s broad shoulder), but your pregnant stomach won’t allow you to do so. “Baekhyun is blowing me off—and I wasn’t talking about oral if that’s what you’re thinking.”

 

“Nope, not thinking about that at all. In fact, I’m trying my best not to even go there.”

 

“He’s like, literally ignoring me these days.”

 

“Honestly, you expect me to believe that?” Chanyeol scoffs, raising an eyebrow. “He can’t even keep his hands off your thighs whenever you two are here together. And now you’re telling me that he’s been ignoring you?”

 

“That’s not true.”

 

“You guys had in my bathroom at least once every two weeks. Don’t you dare lie about him not touching your thighs in public.”

 

“But that was back when we tried to get me pregnant,” you mutter quietly, eyes dropping down. “He never really does anything to me anymore... All we do lately is fight and fight and fight. I feel like I don’t know him anymore.”

 

With that, Chanyeol finally places his whole attention on you. “Okay, what happened?” he asks, amusement vanished from his eyes in exchange of sincerity to offer comfort. “You want to talk about it?”

 

Of course you want to talk about it. That’s the whole reason why you came here to his bar at two in the afternoon when you were supposed to have your healthy nap for your babies. You just couldn’t sleep and Lu Han was unreachable—he said he was going to spend the whole day at court dealing with something that was too complicated for him to tell you. It wasn’t like you wanted to know anyway. You just really needed someone to talk to and Chanyeol was the closest person available.

 

So without any further ado, you begin to tell everything from the beginning.

 

“You know when Baekhyun left to Japan again a week ago?” you start, placing your elbow on the table and rub a palm over your forehead where you feel a headache starts to appear.

 

Chanyeol smiles in a somewhat motherly way. “You mean when you said you were too busy crying in your apartment so you couldn’t see him off at the airport? Do you know how hard it was for me to take ByunBaek there without you coming with us? He was in a cranky mood the entire time! He even snatched away my sandwich and threw it outside the car for no reason at all! My. Innocent. Sandwich!

 

“I wasn’t actually crying,” you confessed and Chanyeol made a face.

 

“Wait,” he protests, “Don’t tell me you were too enjoying your afternoon nap so you told me to drive him off by myself. How could you? I thought we were friends!”

 

“Well, I didn’t have a choice!” you defend yourself, scowling at him. “Baekhyun and I had been fighting the whole night before that! We still weren’t speaking when he took off. How could I just jump in into your car and wave him goodbye normally after that?!”

 

Chanyeol seems lost for a moment. “Wait. What exactly happened between you two?”

 

“So many things. I don’t even know where to start.”

 

“I own the bar. I think I can loan some of my time to hear you rant and no one would be pissed. Try me.”

 

Now that you think about it, your problem started to rise since months ago.  It started as a small suspicion and perhaps child-like jealousy, but that was the root of the problem. You can’t remember the exact time when it first started, but you remember the triggering incident well—the one that started everything. It was when Baekhyun just got home from a two-days trip to Japan to check out the venue that would be used for the next stage of his summer tour.

 

“Baekgu,” you whispered teasingly, lips smiling dangerously close to his earlobe as you wrapped a hand around his waist from behind. “Honey, wake up.”

 

Baekhyun groaned softly in his sleep, slowly turning away from his side to lay his back on the bed. You quickly snuggled closer, planting soft kisses to his jaw to stir him awake. “Ba-ek-gu~ It’s already morning~”

 

Baekhyun spread out his left arm, placing it on the bed so you could use it as a pillow like you always did. Your husband only grunted lazily to let you know that he heard you but didn’t want to wake up just yet. You sighed, rolling your eyes because his flight was in several hours, and you did not want to spend your last hours together just by watching him drool on your sheet.

 

“Baekhyun, wake up. There’s a pain in my stomach.”

 

Baekhyun jolted awake, his eyes snapped open almost immediately at your words and he hastily sat up to check on you as if there was fire creeping up on your clothes. With his bed hair still standing up in every direction, he quickly placed his hands around your belly, moving from one place to another. “What is it? Are you okay?” Panic was written all over his face. “What’s happening? Oh God, the babies are still in there, right?!” And before you could answer, he was already halfway jumping out of the bed. “Doctor—I need to go call a doctor—”

 

“I’m kidding, geez!” You laughed, pulling on his hand with enough strength to lead him back to bed. You tangled your arms around his neck and pulled him down as you lied down on the sheet. “Baekhyun, I’m okay,” you said again, giggling when he still had his panic face on as he hovered above you. “I swear, there’s no pain whatsoever. I just wanted to get your attention.”

 

“You what?” he asked, his eyebrows knitting together in a frown. “You just lied about that? I am this close to having a heart attack, Sweetheart, you cannot just—”

 

You silenced him with a kiss, mouth closed but vivid affection. “But I’m fine,” you said, smiling at him through your long eyelashes and Baekhyun’s scowl turned into a childish pout. “Good morning, Baekgu.”

 

Baekhyun continued glaring at you but slowly, the irritation in his eyes began to seep away. “Morning,” he grumbled quietly in his most adorable way. “You’re a terrible human being, playing with my feelings like that. Apologize to me.”

 

You bit your bottom lip to contain yourself from laughing out loud. He’s so cute! “I’m sorry.”

 

“Not enough.”

 

You curled your fingers into tiny balls of fists and placed them on your cheeks. Faking a pout and doing your best ‘bbuing bbuing’ expression, you repeated, “I’m chowry?”

 

Baekhyun bit the tip of your nose in response. “Now you’re gross. Stop it.”

 

You giggled again when he continued pouting and grousing about how it wasn’t funny to joke around like that and you listened to him because you just loved to hear him talk. There was something about that husky voice of his whenever he just woke up like this that made you happy because you knew, there was no girl in this world that would know how he’d sound in the morning except you. Baekhyun never had a serious relationship before, and he never stayed in the morning with his series of one night stands. It’s weird, but that somehow made you feel special.

 

“Are you listening to me?” Baekhyun asked, actually puffing his cheeks when you didn’t respond for a while.

 

“I am listening to you.” Your voice, though. Not your words.

 

“Then tell me the last three words I just said.”

 

You grinned awkwardly. “I love you?” you guessed and Baekhyun narrowed his eyes. Before he got upset again, you pinched his cheek, saying, “And yes, yes, Baekgu, I love you too.” Had it been a few days before, he would have complained about it and said, “That’s not what I was saying! You really didn’t listen to me at all, did you?!” But that day, he only sighed and flicked you on the temple and asked, “I’m awake now so what do you want?”

 

“Nothing much. Just talking, maybe,” you said, snuggling closer when Baekhyun lazed down on the bed again and let you use his arm as an arm pillow. “I can’t believe you’re leaving to Japan again today.”

 

“Mmm.”

 

“This is the third time, right?”

 

“I guess.”

 

“You already left me for a month, and we only got to be together for two weeks after that. And even then, you had to go there again last weekend.”

 

Baekhyun swiped the bangs out of your eyes with one hand. “You’re right, I’m sorry.”

 

“Do you think Lu Han can get us free from jail if we murder your boss?”

 

Baekhyun barked out a soft laugh. His fingers were in your hair, twirling around the strands and making you feel sleepy. “I’d rather sell him in a black market and live happily from the money we get.”

 

“Mmm, that’s a great idea.”

 

“Did you miss me when I was gone?”

 

“Baekhyun, I am used to hearing you sing Gee in the shower every morning, and I didn’t get to hear it at all last month. What do you think?”

 

“I’m thinking that you missed me so badly, you ended up touching yourself in your sleep.”

 

“Nah, I just rubbed myself all over Hippie the Hippo.”

 

“Sweetheart, I buried my face in its stomach last night. That’s so gross.” And Baekhyun watched you with an adoring smile when you laughed.

 

“I wish I didn’t have to go,” he replied, closing his eyes once you calmed down and let his lips graze your forehead as he spoke. “I wish I could just stay here like this with you.”

 

“Liar,” you said, poking his chest once with your index finger. “I know you’re excited about the concert. Last month’s show was a big success, right?” Baekhyun had already stayed in Japan last June to direct his first concert and it went so well that the company that hired him begged him to direct three more concerts for the following weeks. Of course your husband wanted to decline at first, but you forced him to go. In return, you allowed him to spoil you more with the paychecks he’d gotten. Though you were happy with the cash flowing in, the reason why you wanted him to go was because Baekhyun never looked so alive. Doing these projects was a total joy for him. You wanted nothing more other than seeing your husband happy.

 

You knew that Baekhyun just smiled at your words because you felt his lips curving up on your skin. “Let me fix that, then,” he said, “I wish I could bring you there with me.”

 

You grinned, a little more satisfied this time. “That’s better.”

 

“What time is it now?”

 

“Time-to-make-out-as-much-as-you-can-with-your-wife-before-you-have-to-hop-on-the-damn-airplane a.m.”

 

Baekhyun chuckled, rolling you over so he hovered above you once more. “You’re cute,” he said.

 

“I know,” and you closed your eyes before you felt his lips pressing against yours.

 

In the middle of the kiss, he smiled and parted his lips. “The joke’s not funny though.”

 

“Shut up.” You opened your mouth as well to deepen the kiss.

 

With a swipe of a tongue over your bottom lip, he chuckled, “Can we do something about your morning breath first?”

 

“I’ve brushed my teeth actually,” you said, clutching a hand to the back of his neck and slipped your fingers between the strands of his hair. “So that’s your morning breath.”

 

“Damn, I stink.” Baekhyun broke away the kiss only to trail his lips down your chin and your neck. “Why do you still love me despite of this?”

 

“It’s because of the money, of course,” you joked and breathed heavily when Baekhyun ran his tongue down the valley of your s.

 

“Daddy’s gotta work harder then,” he laughed, ing your (Baekhyun’s, actually) shirt completely to expose your skin and your eight months old baby bump. Baekhyun had that soft gleam of sheer bliss in his eyes when he your stomach and presses his lips around your navel. “You’re beautiful.”

 

“Shut up. I’m fat.”

 

“But beautiful.”

 

“I hate it when you’re sugarcoating things. Just tell me I’m fat.”

 

“I’m not denying that you’re fat. I’m saying you’re fat and beautiful.”

 

“Wow, you’re seriously calling me fat. Can I kick your ?”

 

Baekhyun snorted out a laugh, climbing back your body to kiss you again and at that time, it was no longer a gentle good morning kiss. It was the passionate one, the kind that made your toes tingle behind the blanket and your hands itching to bring him much, much closer to your body.

 

“Do you think we have—ah,you gasped when Baekhyun moved between your thighs and brought his hands to your chest. “—t-time to do this?”

 

“There’s always time,” was Baekhyun only response before he gnawed at your lips again and brought your lower one between his teeth.

 

Then a phone suddenly rang, breaking the tension and the passion that once overwhelmed you. Baekhyun stopped, pulling away with wide eyes and when you tried to pull him and kiss his mouth to gain back his attention, he tilted his head away, looking distracted.

 

“Baekhyun, just ignore it,” you said, grinding against him again to gain attention. “Baek, look at me—”

 

“I’m sorry, I—” He didn’t even finish his line. He just took off.

 

After leaping out from the bed and wearing his boxer back in haste, Baekhyun scrambled to his suitcase where he once stored his phone. The second he got it in his hand, he checked the caller’s id and he rushed out of the room. The last thing you saw and heard before Baekhyun closed the door behind him, leaving you feeling ually frustrated with a constant glare on your face, was his eager smile and the words, “I thought you wouldn’t call.”

 

You didn’t hear anything after that not because you didn’t want to, but because he wouldn’t let you. Every time you asked who it was, Baekhyun would only say, “Just this guy who wants to buy my songs,” and nothing more but you could tell it wasn’t the case. You could tell that it was not a guy. You never heard Baekhyun speaking to anyone—especially to some guy—like that. Anyone, except you—which made your skin crawl in jealousy even more.

 

That was the first time he acted like that and though it had stopped—at least in front of you—you were still confused. Two months later, it started again. Right then, the call didn’t just come once. His phone rang almost every night and you could tell it was from the same person because Baekhyun always did this weird flinch when it rang at the same time you were in the room.

 

“I think that’s my boss calling—I should probably get it,” Baekhyun said, smiling hesitantly as he stood up to leave the small dinner date you strenuously made to bring the old romance spark back between the two of you.

 

“Baek,” you sighed. “We’re having dinner…”

 

“I’ll be quick, I promise.”

 

“Then just take it right here,” you said, just realizing how angry you sounded when you heard your own voice.

 

Baekhyun stared, stopping halfway when he was about to stand up and leave to catch his cellphone from his room. “It’s nothing,” he said, chuckling once and placed his palm over your hand to soothe you down. “You can keep eating your dinner without me. I’ll just be over there and take care of my business—”

 

“Baek, just stay in this table and take that call.”

 

“Sweetheart, I don’t want to bother you—”

 

“Just take the damn call!” You suddenly shout without being intentional. Your plate and fork clattered on the surface and you finally noticed that you just slammed your hands down to the dining table.

 

Baekhyun went silent, his lips slightly parted in surprise. The phone rang two more times, invading the dreadful silence that fell between the two of you before it finally went away. Baekhyun never spoke. He just stared at you. His expression wasn’t something you could understand right away. It was like a mix of surprise and concerned, but ultimately, you saw a hint of anger in his eyes. And there was one other look: a painful one of not being trusted by the person you love.

 

When he finally opened his mouth to speak, you quickly stood up and walked away to your shared room without waiting for a word to come through his lips. You shut the door behind you and covered your mouth with your fingers. They were trembling when the tears started to flood your eyes.

 

What on earth just happened?

 

You had expected him to follow you back into the room, but instead, you heard the front door being opened and closed with a slam. You stopped breathing for two seconds when you noticed that he left. He actually left without saying anything. And in the quietness of the room, you could hear yourself sobbing and gritting your teeth to keep you away from screaming.

 

“Okay, listen to me,” Chanyeol says, placing a hand on your head when you’re too busy biting your lip to contain hot tears falling from your eyes. “Baekhyun is not cheating on you.”

 

“I know, I—” Your tongue feels heavy inside your mouth. Your stomach feels insanely uncomfortable and you know it doesn’t have anything to do with the babies. “Chanyeol, I don’t think he’s cheating on me either. I don’t even want to think about it. There’s just no way that he’d do that to me and I really trust him. He’s not that kind of a person.”

 

But Chanyeol seems to hear the hesitation in your voice. “But…?”

 

But on the last day before he went to Japan…

 

“Baekhyun, for God’s sake!” You said, finding yourself strolling to the front door to greet your husband who just came home from a final briefing with his team before they departed to another country. “I’ve been trying to call you for an hour by now. Where were you? It’s almost midnight and there’s a pile of a week-worth dishes in the kitchen—which you promised to clean yesterday, by the way, and yet you—” You abruptly stopped complaining when you saw the state Baekhyun was in. His eyes were red, his hair was a mess and he reeked of alcohol. “Have you been drinking?!”

 

“Shut up,” he said, taking off his shoes and threw them away just like that on the floor, making you annoyed even more. “I’m tired. Go get me some water.”

 

You gaped, startled with his behavior. You were carrying two eight-months old babies inside your body and it was already hard enough for you to get out of your bed by yourself and yet Baekhyun had done literally nothing for you in the last week. You asked him to clean the dishes. He didn’t. You asked him to do the laundry. He didn’t. And he also didn’t, for the hundredth time since you two were married, close the toilet seat! Just how hard could it be? It seemed ridiculous, yes, but if there was one thing that could irk you so much, it’s that. And he’d been doing that all the time.

 

And now he’s ordering me around like I’m his slave when he’s been out there drinking?! You thought. Who the hell does he think he is?!

 

You tried to let it go, though. You really did. After Baekhyun settled himself on the couch, you brought him a glass of water like he asked you to, which he ignored completely.

 

“What happened?” You asked, trying to keep your anger in check. “You’re leaving to Japan tomorrow, Baekhyun. You’re supposed to finish packing your stuff, not drinking like a moron.”

 

“Watch your words,” he said, almost snarling and you nearly took a step back. You rarely saw that side of him and it reminded you at the time when he was thoroughly angry with you after the incident with Kim Jongin, your dancing partner who tried to kiss you by force when Baekhyun was away.

 

“Baekhyun,” you tried again, softer this time. “Come on, let’s just get to bed.”

 

But when you reached out a hand to his hair and comfort him, Baekhyun literally slapped it away. “Just ing leave me alone.”

 

That made you snap.

 

“Enough already!” You shouted, curling your fingers into fists. “I have been worrying about you all night, Byun Baekhyun, and for what exactly?! You were out drinking, you didn’t reply my texts and rejected all my calls—”

 

Baekhyun looked away, his forehead creasing in pain over his headache. “Shut up.”

 

“No, listen to me!” You said, and you knew you should’ve stepped back and shrugged it off but you couldn’t. “You’ve been driving me crazy these last few days! We rarely talk, you keep coming home late doing God knows what, and I even had to go to the doctor with Chanyeol because my husband was too busy doing stuff that he won’t even tell me about! I’ve been spending hours today just walking back and forth thinking where you could have gone or what might have happened to you. And to think that you’re coming home looking like an absolute when you could’ve done much better things to do instead of drinking is beyond belief!”

 

“I said, shut up.”

 

“I cleaned the floor and did the laundry for you even though you promised me, like you did a hundred times before, that you’d do all of that today. And where were you, Baek?! Where were you when—”

 

“SHUT THE UP!” And there was a sound of glass meeting the floor. You yelped, taking a few steps back in surprise and accidently bumping your head to the wall behind you. The glass of water you had served him was now shattered in pieces, scattered all over the floor. Your breathing tattered and even though Baekhyun was nowhere standing near you, it felt like he was strangling you.

 

“Who do you think you’re talking to?” Baekhyun asked, his voice shaking in anger. “Just because you’re carrying my children, doesn’t mean you can order me around. Know your place.

 

You felt so small under his words. “B-Baek…?”

 

“You sure act like you’re the most important person in the world, don’t you? Telling me to do this and that when you’ve been contributing practically nothing to our family.”

 

Though your heart was screaming for you to leave, you stood in your place and stuttered out, “W-what…?”

 

“Do you think teaching kids how to dance offers that much money for us to live on?” he asked, tearing your heart apart with knife-like words. “And now that you’re on your maternal leave, you’re leaving me no choice but to support our family entirely from what I do for living. Do you think it costs me nothing to buy your baby needs? ‘Baekhyun, let’s buy this. Baekhyun, let’s buy that.’ I am sick of your greedy requests! Do our kids really need fifteen pairs of different socks?! Do our babies really need a dozen of stupid ugly looking dolls to accompany them in bed?!”

 

“But you said it was okay for me to buy—”

 

“That’s because you won’t shut your goddamn mouth if I didn’t say so! And now you’re complaining to me about the dishes I didn’t do because I was too busy running around the town trying to get enough money for you to live off—just how ing selfish can you be?!”

 

You pressed your lips together, realizing that maybe you had been asking for too much. “You’re right,” you said, being the mature one for the moment. “I may have been asking you to buy unnecessary things lately and I know I haven’t made any money to help you ever since I got pregnant. And I am feeling guilty about it which is why I made you dinner when I should’ve known that you had probably eaten outside with that woman you’ve been calling—”

 

“What?!” Baekhyun barked, making you flinch with the tone of his voice. “What the hell are you talking about?!”

 

“You know exactly what I’m talking about.”

 

“You’re out of your mind!”

 

“Well then, tell me!” You said, shouting back at him with a glare much more intense than you ever sent him. “Tell me who is it you’ve been calling.”

 

“Whoever it is, it’s none of your business!” Baekhyun threw his hands in the air. “Don’t change the subject—we’re talking about—”

 

“Oh it’s not my business?!” You snapped, taking a step forward with a bolder tone. “What would you do if you found out I’ve been meeting Kris behind your back. Is it not gonna be your business, then?!”

 

Baekhyun froze still when you mentioned your past lover’s name but you were not stopping. “And at least with Kris, I wouldn’t have to worry about the money nor be blamed for buying more clothes for our babies.” The second the words left your mouth, you already regretted it with your life. “I wouldn’t have to be in this position. I wouldn’t have to cry from the anxiety I feel whenever my husband is not home.” Shut up, shut up, shut up. “And I wouldn’t have to wonder who he’s dreaming about at night because I know he’s not thinking about anyone else but me!”

 

And that was when you finally stopped. You stopped and breathed and realized just how wrong you were. How badly you hurt him.

 

“B-Baekhyun..?”

 

Baekhyun was there, standing in the same position but he never opened his mouth to speak. You thought that he was too surprised to say a word and you began to choke up on your own tears. Oh God, what have I done, you questioned loudly, painfully and regretfully in your mind. “Baekhyun, I’m sor—”

 

Baekhyun had his eyes on you. They were deadly and his glare was consuming. It was like fire, swallowing you inch by inch but you weren’t even brave enough to scream.

 

“Then go,” Baekhyun said, quietly but terrifyingly. There was a shiver in his voice, sending another one to your own spine. “My job is falling apart. And with you not trusting me because of a damn phone call it’s probably best that our family breaks apart as well. I don’t need this. I don’t need you. I’m done.”

 

“Baek—”

 

“LEAVE!” He suddenly roared and your knees almost fell out under you. “If you want to go, JUST LEAVE!”

 

You were so scared, you could feel your fingers trembling. “Baekhyun, I…” you said, hearing how your voice broke at the edge. “Tell me you don’t mean what you said…”

 

But Baekhyun was staring at you with cold, merciless eyes. “I’m the only one who’s been holding our family together,” he added. “You should’ve been grateful that I’ve been responsible enough to take care of you. If you’re already sick of me as much as I’m sick of you right now, then leave.”

 

But you didn’t move a muscle. You just stood there with tears brimming in your eyes. “No,” you said, gritting your teeth to hold back your sob. “I’m staying with you. I know you’re not being yourself right now. You won’t be saying any of this if you were sober.”

 

“Believe what you want, I’m leaving,” Baekhyun said, taking back his coat from the couch and walked straight to the front door, though he fumbled a little in his steps from the alcohol in his system. “Don’t call me anymore.”

 

“And that was it,” you say, huffing. “I know that he doesn’t mean it. He’s probably just under a lot of stressed. I found out a few days after Baekhyun took off to Japan that his band was falling apart. A few guys suddenly resigned from the project on the very last moment before their big day came. Baekhyun must have known about that way before and as the project director, it was also his responsibility to fix the situation even though it wasn’t his fault. He was under a lot of stress, which I guess, was the reason why he drowned himself in alcohol that night. Maybe he didn’t want to discuss it with me so I wouldn’t worry about him. But you know how blatantly honest he is when he’s drunk… I don’t think he wanted to hurt me like that. He did it without thinking.”

 

“Wow…” Chanyeol stares straightly without blinking. “I can’t believe Baekhyun actually said those things to you. Even if he didn’t mean it, it doesn’t seem that his words are based on nothing.”

 

“I know…” you nibble on your lower lip worriedly. “I think that… I might have been pushing him to his limit. Baekhyun has been nothing but nice, spoiling me and buying me all the things I want even when we both know we don’t need them. I guess I’ve been taking advantage of him lately. I’ve apologized to him, you know? Several times by texts.”

 

“Why didn’t you just call him directly?”

 

“He won’t pick up his phone.”

 

“For a week?”

 

You bury your face in hands. “Almost two, even.”

 

Chanyeol gapes, his eyes nearly popping out of their sockets. “Holy . This must have been your longest fight with him ever since you’ve been married. How do—”

 

You’re a bit confused when you see Chanyeol stopping in the middle of his sentence but then you feel tears start to stream down your face and you begin sobbing like a child. “I miss him,” you cried, your shoulders shaking violently and Chanyeol panics from your sudden burst. “Chanyeol, I miss him! I don’t want him to hate me! What should I do—oh my God—what am I supposed to do if he really leaves me—”

 

And when you begin to have trouble breathing, Chanyeol immediately runs to your seat and collects you in his arms. “I’m going to take her home,” he says to one of his staffs before he walks you to his office to grab his car’s key. Chanyeol places his dark coat over your body and drags you forward by hugging your shoulders with one arm. “Come on, I’ll walk you back.”

 

Your vision is still hazy with your hot, frustrated tears and it hurts to open your mouth to thank him. Like a puppet, you let him steer you around and send you back to your apartment.

 

***

 

“H-having Baekhyun yelling at me because of how much I spent his money on useless stuffs is one thing,” you sob to your hand, sitting alone on your couch as Chanyeol stands up to grab you a glass of water. “But he went to Japan on the next day without explaining anything to me. He didn’t bother to clarify who was that girl he’d been calling and I was too afraid to ask…”

 

Chanyeol pours a glass of water for himself as well before he moves away from the kitchen to sit next to you. “I know my words don’t have any ground to stand on,” he says, no longer smiling in a comforting way for your sake. “But don’t you think you’re seeing too much into this?”

 

You fall silent, nibbling on your bottom lip to mute your sobbing. “B-but he hates me now… I’m being such a burden to him… It’s normal if he’s…”

 

“He’s what? Looking for comfort from somebody else?” Chanyeol taunts, giving you a look. “Now, now, don’t say that. It sounds like you’re accusing him of cheating on you.”

 

“I—o-of course not!” You say and yet the hesitation is clear in your voice. Your tense shoulders start to slump forward and you bring your head down to hide your eyes behind your bangs. “I mean… I don’t want to think about him that way—it’s not like I don’t trust him but…”

 

“But you can’t help it,” Chanyeol nods his head, finishing your sentence.

 

You exhale, suddenly feeling sore and tired. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, Yeol…” You confess. “Have you ever get this feeling, like… Like you’re there, being in the same room with that person you love, but you feel so small—neglected, even. And you keep talking to him, smiling at him, and he smiles back but it feels, I don’t know, different? Weird? Like he’s not really looking at you anymore.”

 

“Like being forgotten?” Chanyeol asks, his lips turn into a soft smile but the rest of his body screams sadness. He picks up a wine glass, carrying it in one hand and wipes it clean with a bar towel. “Yeah, I think I know how it feels.”

 

“Oh crap…” You mumble out, realization finally comes hitting you like a wave. “C-Chanyeol, I’m sorry—I didn’t mean—”

 

“Hey, relax,” Chanyeol replies, laughing airily when he looks just a second away from breaking apart to pieces. “Come on, I’m over my problems already. I’m here to listen to yours.”

 

But you still feel awful and that’s why you keep yourself quiet. Chanyeol seems to sense that which is why he leans closer and places his wide palm over your head. “You’re okay,” he says, softly ruffling your hair to comfort you. “It’s all right to be jealous. I would’ve been more surprised if you didn’t, actually. You two are both the aggressive type in the relationship. You guys get offended easily and back in college, I noticed how often you were acting lovey-dovey with him in one second and screaming how much you wanted to kill him on the next one. Your entire relationship is like a roller coaster ride.”

 

“Well, it’s not a fun ride anymore,” you sigh, resting your chin on the table and feeling your baby’s kick once. You rub your stomach and pout even more. “I know, Kids. I miss Daddy too.”

 

Chanyeol only stares with a tender smile for a few seconds before he sighs and says, “Well, how about this. Let’s make a bet. If it’s true that Baekhyun is cheating behind your back—”

 

“Chanyeol—”

 

“I said, if,” Chanyeol emphasizes, noticing how even the thought of it already makes you feel terrified. “If he is cheating on you, then I will sell my bar and my apartment, and give all of my money to you.”

 

“That’s a bit extreme, don’t you think?” you reply but it makes you smile knowing how much Chanyeol trusts your husband.

 

“Don’t worry, if I end up losing, I know Baek will take care of me. Even if it means I’ll be his personal slave, I’ll do it.”

 

“He’s going to ask you to massage his feet.”

 

“That’s fine.”

 

“And kiss them.”

 

“W-what?”

 

“And his thumbs like an obedient dog you are.”

 

“That’s crazy! And SCARY!”

 

You laugh, propping your chin with one hand. “And if he isn’t cheating on me, which is 99.99% correct, what do I have to do for you, Handsome?”

 

Chanyeol smirks, one side of his lips is lifted higher than the other. “Then I’ll get to name one of your kids—”

 

 “No.” You have never declined something this fast in your entire life.

 

“But—”

 

No.

 

“You have two babies!”

 

“Yes, and one is already going to be named Poong Poongie by Baek, okay? I won’t let my other girl be named something even weirder by you.”

 

“Hey, I have great naming sense!”

 

“Chanyeol, you wanted to name your niece Diego.

 

Chanyeol actually looks even more offended than before. “What’s wrong with Diego?”

 

That’s not even a girl’s name!”

 

“It’s a uni name!”

 

“It’s not!”

 

“Okay, fine. Can I at least name your dog?”

 

“We’re not gonna have a dog.”

 

“If we’re going to make this bet, you’re gonna.”

 

“Jesus Christ, you’re annoying. Fine. You’ll get to name our dog. I’ll buy an old, sickly dog, which probably won’t last for a week just for you.”

 

“You are so, terribly mean.”

 

“You are so, terribly annoying. But your ears are adorable so I forgive you.”

 

And with that Chanyeol let your teasing slip away just like that. The man ends up staying a few hours after that, making you something healthy with extra broccoli (ew, yuck!) for dinner and a chocolate milkshake to help you sleep better.

 

“What am I gonna do without you, Yeollie?” you ask, caressing your own tummy as you him out of your apartment. Chanyeol only chuckles, something to indicate that he’s being polite rather than feeling amused. There aren’t many things that can serve as his amusement these days.

 

“Remember to lock the door after I go,” he orders, putting back his leather jacket on his upper body and fixes the collar. “And no staying late at night. Think about the babies.”

 

“Yes, Mommy,” you snort, rolling your eyes. “And hey, you’re wearing a leather jacket. It’s been a while since I last saw you in one.”

 

Chanyeol blinks confusedly before he takes a look of his own clothes and realizes. “Oh… Right,” he clears his throat. “Well, Baekhyun wanted me to move on and get a life or something.”

 

“And his advice is to get yourself a leather jacket?” you raise an eyebrow. “So typical of him.” And it makes you sad because everything around you screams Baekhyun’s name but you can’t even text him good night without having to worry whether he would reply or not.

 

“Baek just wants me to take a good care of myself and look good in front of people,” Chanyeol explains, tucking his right foot back into his shoe. “And since I’m single, I think it’s a good advice. I can start hanging out with other people and—”

 

“Chanyeol.”

 

“—and go out on dates, maybe even go out of town this summer with that girl I met—”

 

“Chanyeol, stop.” And this time he does retract himself from talking. He brings his eyes away from his shoes to gaze into yours. You don’t say a word.

 

The tall man smiles, his eyes seem lonelier when he’s doing so. “Am I still as bad of a liar as I think I am?”

 

“Not nearly half bad as your wife, though.” You reach out and hug him, running your hands up and down his back like a mother would calm her distressed son. “Sera misses you. She never says so, but I know she does. She won’t hang up the phone unless I share a story about you. She tries to act like she hates it when I talk about you but she won’t say goodbye until she hears your name.”

 

Chanyeol doesn’t embrace you back. “What’s the point of telling me this?”

 

You pull away, shrugging and gently smiling at him. “Just thought you should know. Good night, Yeol.”

 

And when he walks away and you close the door behind him, you catch a glimpse of his ears going red and his hand covering his lips that are about to curve up.

 

***

 

Later that night, you find yourself staring at the ceiling again. Alone in the dark, and thinking about how your husband is an ocean away from you, also alone and probably still angry at your previous fight. And as the clock ticks away, your thoughts get even scarier. This time you’re imagining Baekhyun, not alone in his bed, with his lips pressed against another lips smeared in red lipstick. Your name’s long forgotten, buried underneath the exchange of breathy moans and scorching passion of the affair.

 

You shake your head, even slapping your own cheeks to make you realize how stupid and God awful you just sounded in your head. There’s no way Baekhyun would do that. He will never cheat on you, right? There’s just no way…

 

“I thought you wouldn’t call.”

 

Unless…

 

“It’s nothing, just this guy who wants to buy my songs.”

 

Unless the possibility of him seeing someone behind your back is true.

 

“Then go. I don’t need you.”

 

You hate yourself from how powerless you are against your thoughts. How weak you are that you can’t even trust your own husband. But you can’t keep ignoring the signs. You can’t pretend like you don’t care when you know that Baekhyun’s kisses don’t feel the same these days, even before that one stupid fight. He rarely calls you. He used to go out at nights, saying that he’s going to meet Chanyeol and his friends, but just how much can you trust his words? Should you start asking Chanyeol the truth? Won’t that make him worry? What if Chanyeol tells Baekhyun that you’ve been acting suspicious of him? Won’t that make your husband angry even more?

 

“Oh, for God’s sake!” You sat up, reaching the phone you set on the table near the bed and start punching his numbers. As you wait for him to answer, your heart is beating louder and louder every time you hear a beep but not your husband’s voice. “Come on, Baek. Pick up, pick up, pick up.”

 

And the line is connected, but only for a second before it gets cut off again.

 

Baekhyun just rejected the call.

 

You stare at your phone, speechless. How could he just do that? Is he busy? But it’s in the middle of the night—what’s he’s too busy doing in the middle of the night like this?

 

That thought of him being with another woman enters your mind again and you want to scream in order to make it stop but you know it won’t do you any good other than making your throat hurts.

 

Just call him again!

 

You slide your finger across your phone screen, finding the strings of numbers you have already remembered by heart, and press the call button.

 

You wait. Your breathing tatters as you do.

 

A click can be heard, then, “The number you are calling is—”

 

“Damn it!” You nearly throw your phone to the bed, but before it slips off your fingers, you decide to send him a text message.

 

Baekhyun, please, answer me. Whatever I did, I’m sorry! I just want to make sure that you’re okay.

 

You want to end your text with the words ‘I love you’ like how you used to when you exchanged texts with him last month, but tonight you can only end it with ‘please’ because you’re afraid Baekhyun won’t say it back. You stay awake for the next minutes, wondering whether there are hands, with slender fingers, being wrapped around your husband’s waist that night.

 

Then your phone rings.

 

With tears brimming in your eyes, you take a look at your phone screen and nearly leap out the bed. It’s Baekhyun.

 

“Hello?!” You greet, too loud and nearly too forceful. You just can’t contain the amount of relief knowing that he’s calling back. “Baekgu, oh God, I’ve missed you—”

 

“Yeah, can you stop calling me?” he asks, coldly with boredom in his voice and your heart sinks.

 

“W-what?”

 

“It’s annoying, really,” Baekhyun adds, as if that last one wasn’t painful enough for you to take. It seems like he knows that as well when he doesn’t hear you reply back. “Sorry, guess I was too harsh with my words, I’m just… I’m tired, okay? And you keep calling me in the middle of the night like this. Why aren’t you sleeping yet?”

 

It’s annoying, really. Those words keep ringing in your ears and you can only stutters, “I… I, umm…” No matter how hard you try to speak something, your tongue lays limp in your mouth. Your mind has gone blank.

 

Why don’t you ever call me? Are you still angry? Why don’t you reply my texts? Where are you? Are you alone? Why did you say I was bothering you? Don’t you miss me?

 

Come on, just say something! Anything will do!

 

Baekhyun sighs again. “Just go to sleep. I have to wake up early anyway.” And he waits a little bit in case you’ll say something but you’re still as frozen as before. “Well then… Bye, I guess—”

 

“B-Baekhyun!”

 

Baekhyun hasn’t ended the call yet but it shows vividly that he isn’t in the mood to speak. “What?”

 

You parted your lips, breathing rather heavily. “I… About our fight, I… I mean—” You trip over your words, one after another, and you’re so frustrated for not being able to convey your feelings properly. “Baek, I’m sorry for everything… For the things I’ve done—I never m-meant to upset you, I swear… I’d never want you to hate me… I… I love you…” A few seconds of silence, and somehow it feels like the clock in the background is screaming for you to notice it. “P-please say something…”

 

Baekhyun finally speaks in that soulless voice of his. “Yeah, whatever, I mean... It’s already over anyway.”

 

“N-no, wait, you don’t understand—”

 

“I understand everything.” His tone is final and you know the rest of the words he left unsaid.

 

“But…” You nip your bottom lip. “You just don’t care anymore…?”

 

Baekhyun sighs your name. Not Sweetheart or any of those nicknames he usually called you, but your actual name and somehow it hurts you more. “Listen, it’s already late and I really need to get some sleep now. I have to work hard tomorrow so… Good night.”

 

And he turns off the call without waiting for you to reply him.

 

But I told him I love him, you tell yourself over and over as tears begin to fall down to your cheeks, I told him I love him and yet… He…!

 

“Baekhyun…” you cry out softly, half-burying your face to the pillow and feeling your chest tighten until it gets hard to breathe. It hurts, you miss him so badly and the room smells just like him but there’s no word of affection flowing out from his lips tonight. You twist your fingers against the pillow, clutching at it as you cry and cry and cry until it feels like a little weight has been taken off your shoulders, even if only for a moment. After you tire yourself out, you begin to wipe the tears away from your eyes and re-arrange the pillows so they won’t scatter all over the places. That’s when you see it.

 

There, on the sheet—right on the part that was previously hidden by the pillows, is a stain. A smudged red, perhaps a bit pink, and a bit washed out as if someone was in hurry to wipe it up with their hands but don’t have enough time to clean it completely. When you move closer, you can see that it’s a lipstick stain. You’re sure of it. And there’s also another thing you’re sure about.

 

It’s not your color.

***

 

*falls down to the ground*

*smacks my head against the dirt and bows down to you*

I AM SORRY FOR LEAVING YOU ALL FOR SO LONG! I DO NOT DESERVE YOUR LOVE BUT HERE'S AN UPDATE AND I HOPE YOU'LL FORGIVE AND STILL LOVE ME AND FORGIVE BAEKHYUN AS WELL FOR BEING SUCH A PIECE OF IN THIS CHAPTER I AM SO SORRY!

Hi, sundaysundaes here! It's been 123712893719 years. I'm glad you're still alive and reading this story. I hope you'll like the new chapter and your comments would be VERY MUCH APPRECIATED (it's the only reason why I keep writing this actually, since I don't have any feelings toward Baek anymore like he's still cute but I don't have the time to fangirl over him so yeah your comment is all that matters, even when you think i don't read it because i don't reply them but YOU'RE WRONG I DO READ IT AND I LOVE EVERY ONE OF THEM). Gah my life is now an empty shell filled with nothing but boredom and work and wow I need to stop complaining, I HOPE YOU GUYS ARE FINE AND HAPPY BECAUSE YOU ARE ALL SO PRECIOUS)

I'll see you again in 982738197 years. Ciao!

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yeolin
#1
Chapter 34: ahhh this fic is life. rereading it always lifts my mood up :))))
ShinHaRin
#2
Chapter 1: Re-reading this fanfic because I actually missed this story!! I've been away for like a year and I still long for this story. One for the books!
HappyVirus_26 #3
Chapter 34: i miss you :(
LeyaOrgana #4
Chapter 34: Please update :(
cocoabutterslug
#5
:'( Updaaate
loyal-ExosSpirit #6
Chapter 34: Author-nim, I want you to know that ever since I read this story I wasn't expected that it will have a lot of plot twist here and there. I mean like its kinda weird (in my perspective) for a girl or a guy to fall in love with someone that annoyed the hell out of him/her. But this story is just so unique like anything could happen! The chapter was so detail and I totally feel everything that the OC felt which is cool I mean like i never felt that way reading other stories tho hahahaha. You're my new fav author! The story flow were totatlly a freaking hella awesome roller coaster ride, a big fight here and there and make-up again no matter how big the problem is. There's one thing I've notice about Baekhyun here... I mean like how can you be so cool when your wife tease you about their ex(s) like its a joke? Because if I were him, i would totally sulk for who knows how long Lol. And I wanted to know more about how Yeol and Sera relationship suddenly off.. Well I know there's a part where you explained that Sera can't get pregnant and Yeol badly want a child with her but it didn't make sense much for such a small problem (well according to me it wasnt a big problem because there's more alternative way to get pregnant eh), i hope you will explain more how they end up like that. I absolutely enjoy the whole ride until this latest chapter you updated. I hope you will update more in the future, I will wait no matter how long you will take to update this! Say... Do you like print out this fic and make it a book? Because it was so awesome I even told my friends about this story! If you do make a book... I just wonder if I can buy it idk care thr price because this story is totally worth every penny. Guess I type so long hahahaha. Hope you're doing fine. :)

Thanks for making such an awesome story! I actually kinda addicted to it that I read like most of the time even during the day (because I only read ff at night before I sleep, this story is an exception). Good work!!
chogiwhyehet #7
Chapter 34: author please update, dont keep me hanging forever. I miss youuuu
cannotbeblnk1201
#8
Chapter 34: Author-nim please update ♥♥♥♥
hun_minkai #9
Chapter 34: Author nim please update soon. No hard feeling ❤️ Saranghae !