Chapter 1. Yuri : Patience.
I watched Jessica walking back and forth in front of our bathroom door, feeling every bit of amusement as I witnessed the crease on her forehead multiplies by each step.
“You might end up burning our expensive carpet, dear. We shipped it from Turk, remember?”
My laughter broke free as I leaned deeper into the plush pillows to avoid her almighty glare. “Sit with me. Let's wait together.”
My dear wife heaved a sigh, stomping her way to the bed then unceremoniously flopped by my side.
My hand instinctively went to caress her hair as she buried her face into the pillow. “Be patient, dear.”
“You be patient.”
I laughed again, pulling her into my arms. It was barely six in the morning but my wife already smelled like flowers and lemongrass. Her hair heavenly layers of dark brown, so soft to my touch.
“How long we have to wait?” I asked, staring into her eyes while pushing tendrils of hair out of her face.
She glanced at the clock on the bedside table and held up her index finger. “One more minute.”
“Let's spend it nicely.” I dove for a deep kiss, treasuring her luscious lips. They tasted like the sweetest strawberry bubble gum, reminding me of both innocence happiness and sinful lust.
I sighed. She sighed. And I let go of my hold, letting her rise to reach the bathroom again. She stopped right under the threshold though, turning back to flop on my side again.
“You take a look. I can't bear another failure.”
“Hey...” I patted her head, rising from my comfortable spot. “Be optimist.”
“It's hard to do so after five negative tests.”
It was easy to see why she was so skeptical. We had been trying to conceive for two years now. Even had made innumerable visits to the experts of this field and got as many therapy as possible. I couldn't even remember the last time we had impromptu for everything had to be timed to Jessica's ovulation. Even my underwear and pants weren't supposed to be too tight these days.
I entered the bathroom cautiously, eyes on the pregnancy test lying on the edge of the sink. I lifted the stick up. It wasn't hard to see the single red line across the test.
My hand went to rub my face almost instinctively. I wanted a baby. I wanted a strong son to continue my name or a pretty daughter to spoil to. But this process of getting my wife pregnant started to get too stressful and unnaturally tiring now we were on our sixth rows of non-achievement.
I could bear with it. It was easy to drown the stress in work and hobby. But Jessica, she put her all in this.
She was the kind of woman who always gave 110%. Whenever she had her mind set on a goal she would pursue it to the end of the world, often burning herself in the process. Being her wing man, I got used of standing on the side, watching her run and run and run until it was time for me to catch her fall.
But this was different. This was not another new path in her career or another store for her fashion brand. This quest had emotional baggage to heavy to be carried on daily basis.
I entered the bedroom again, tossing the test pack into the bin before climbing onto the bed.
“So?” Her eyes. I couldn't help her pleading eyes.
“Let's try harder next time.” I wrapped her in my embrace once again.
“B... but... I'm two weeks late.”
“I'm sorry, baby. I'm sorry.”
Inside, I begged her not to cry. I begged her not to crumble. But after a few moment, I felt her tears soaked my shirt as her body shook in my arms. “Jess... don't do this to yourself.”
She cried harder and I felt so helpless.
Had I been a failure of a husband to her?
--- 0 ---
“You know.” Choi Minho dabbed a napkin to his lips like a man of manner he was, then moved his fingers to take his glass of wine. “My cousin, Victoria. She conceived after five years of trying. Twins. It's about timing man. About being patient.”
“I can be patient. I am patient. But Jessica?” I shook my head. The salt-baked leg of lamb in front of me now looked not so enticing anymore. “I'm afraid five years of waiting will consume her whole.”
“I thought medical world has technology for this. In Vitro fertilization? ” Lee Seunggi chimed in between his bite of roast duck. “Isn't it the method that guarantee up to 40% pregnancy rate rate?”
“The complications coming from the procedure kind of drive us away from it, for now.” I chugged my Chardonnay, not even cared if I end up tipsy and lose another round of golf to my friends after this lunch.
“Well. Maybe you should start considering the procedure for quick result. You look so miserable lately.” Gary, the renowned executive producer of one giant broadcasting station in Korea, gave my back a pat. “You are too easy to beat these days. Even in basketball.”
“We missed the old Kwon Yuri. We missed seeing you trample Gary in a one-on-one game, bro.” Minho laughed, his glass was completely empty now.
“I suggest you both try to take it easy.” The ever wise Lee Seunggi looked up from his plane. “It won't do you well if you take it as a burden instead of a goal.”
“Yeah. Taking it easy might work too. Our little Areum was born exactly 38 weeks after our second honeymoon to Bahama.” Minho grinned. “Take Jessica on a vacation. Have another honeymoon. Loosen up that sore muscles and let the ocean wash your stress away.”
I nodded, thinking that vacation was indeed a very good idea.
The only problem was if my wife would agree.
--- 0 ---
“It's so unfair.” Jessica sat by my side on the couch, handing Jinki to me. I kissed the toddler on his chubby cheek before tossing him to the air, blowing raspberry when he landed safely in my arms. The boy giggled, demanding me to do it again.
“Soojung and Sehun have Jinki after a one night stand. Us? We try for two years with zero result.”
“Hey... don't be so negative. We'll get one too. Just be patient.”
“We're both healthy, Yul. Doctors confirm that so many times but why? Why am I not pregnant yet?”
The boy's body flew to the air again as I stood on my feet and tossed him for the second time. When I caught him, I made airplane sound and spun Jinki's little body around. His giggle of delight warmed my heart.
I chose to ignore Jessica's question for the answer to it was also a mystery to me. Did God think we are not good enough to be parents? Was this some bad karma for whatever wrong doing I had done in the past?
I dropped Jinki on his aunt's lap, messing at his jet black hair as I gave my wife a hug. “How about we take it slow next time? Let's let it flow and see if we can conceive naturally.”
“Let's get off all the drugs and vitamins and shots. Let's stop scheduling our love making. Let's eat whatever we want to eat anytime we want to eat it.”
“Eat! Food!” Jinki yelled, bouncing on Jessica's lap. “Auntie, Jinki want cookies. Eat cookies!”
“Arasseo. Stay still Jinki-yah.” Jessica leaned to the coffee table, opening one of the many colorful containers on it. “Tadaaa! Chocochips cookies!”
Jinki grabbed the treat with both hands and bounced again. “Milk! Auntie, milk! Dunk! Cookie dunk!”
I laughed, walking to the kitchen to ask my mother-in-law for a glass of milk. When I brought the beverage to the living area, Oh Jinki already had chocolate smeared on his fingers and around his rosy lips.
“Is it too late to ask mom for a napkin now?”
“Way too late.” My wife tugged at Jinki's shirt who was also tainted. “And milk will only turn this mess into a complete disaster.” She grimaced, setting Jinki on the couch on my right side and moved to sit on my left side.
At my wriggled eyebrows she pouted. “Don't give me that look. I'm saving my new Prada shirt here.”
“Look Jinki-yah. Your auntie put the cleanness of her shirt before your happiness.” I laughed, holding the glass of milk out so Jinki could dunk his cookie in. “So? Natural conceiving. What says you, Mrs. Kwon?”
“If we couldn't even come through with the help of experts, what are the chance we can conceive just by accident?”
“I don't know. But I think it will worth the try. Don't you think we deserve a little rest after two years? A week or two, even a whole month without the pressure of reproducing.”
“You make it sounds so awfully technical.”
“It is technical when you exclude love and passion from it.”
“I'm sorry I drag you into this.” She pouted, looking away.
“Don't be like that. I love you. I want you to have my baby. I initiated this, remember?” I freed one hand from glass-holding duty to squeeze my wife's hand. “I just want us to de-stress a little. Enjoying the loving part of this process, make it... less emotionally draining.”
When she didn't say anything, I pushed forward with my plan. “Maybe we can book a flight to some place beautiful after I'm done with merger stuffs at the office. Honeymoon part deux?”
She was lost in deep thought. I could tell from the pout of her lips and the crease formed on her forehead. She needed time to make decision so I gave her a kiss before hauling Jinki into the kitchen, handing the ball of mess to the expert care of his grandmother.
When I came back for the second time to the living area, my wife was already perusing on her phone.
“Italy. I want to go to Italy.” She showed me a picture of Amphitheatrum Flavium on her phone.
I laughed, throwing myself on her side, peppering her face with kisses while squeezing her bum.
“I was about to suggest Jeju. Cheap and easy vacation. But when the wife says Italy. Italy it is.” I tickled her ribs. “Just wish me luck on the merger, okay?”
“Okay.” She stopped my hands from assaulting her any further, wrapping them around her waist. “I love you Kwon Yuri.”
“I love you too, Jung Sooyeon.”
--- tbc ---
Author's note : Thank you for taking time to read. I hope you find this beginning of what I have planned as a rather lengthy story interesting enough. Comment, please? Pretty please. :)