Baekhyun sat on the couch in his office in battered old track pants and a tank, trainer-clad feet on the coffee table, head resting on the back of the couch. His yoga mat remained curled up in the cupboard, along with his free weights, while the sun set over Seoul, sending long shadows across the room and turning his blue-and-white office a dreamy pinkish-gold.
Baekhyun nudged his shoes off by the heels and slowly lowered his feet to the carpet. It was even softer than it looked. No wonder it had cost a mint. Hitching his pants, he curled his toes into the pile and closed his eyes.
And not for the first time in the past few days, behind his closed lids he saw Haerim.
This time it was barefoot, not five metres from where he sat, the sun shining through her unassuming clothes, revealing a figure you’d never guess would be hidden underneath that eccentric exterior.
Then he saw her lying back in his bed, dark tousled hair splayed out on his pillow, eyes sleepy and sensual as she looked up at him, hooked a hand behind his neck and pulled him down closer to her.
He saw Haerim, her eyes fierce as she told him to loosen up, to open up, accept ruffling, to be a human being.
He saw Haerim, her face mottled with tears as she told him it was over.
“Here you are.”
Baekhyun looked up to see Kris, laptop bag over his shoulder as he prepped to head home for the day.
“Where else would I be?” It was meant to be a joke, but in the beat of silence both were all too aware it was the blatant truth of Baekhyun’s life.
“Beer?” Baekhyun asked.
“Don’t have to ask me twice.” Kris dropped his bag and liberated two bottles from the bar below Baekhyun’s bookshelves. He snapped the tops off the bottles, sank down on the other end of the couch and said, “So, out with it.”
Baekhyun finished a mighty swig, then said, “With what?”
“The reason you’re sitting here pouting like a little girl.”
No point denying it. “Haerim and I broke up.” Knowing it was one thing. Saying it out loud made it feel real. Right behind his ribs. He took another swig.
“She with whom you were never actually going out?”
“Seems we were in the end.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“Gut told me. And Mari confirmed it. According to her, you’re seriously cute when you’re in lurve.”
“I’m not in…anything. As evidenced by the fact that I am no longer seeing her.”
Baekhyun thought back to their conversation a few nights before. Okay, so he’d thought it over a lot. Over and over. The twists and turns, the moments when he’d felt as if it was about to fall the other way before it flipped again, leaving his chest tight. He’d thought clinching an impossible investment deal was a rush, but being with Haerim was that times a thousand.