Birthday Gift (Youngjae/Youngjun)

Chronicles of DAD!7

“Yes, I’ll bring it tomorrow, hyung. Hopefully it gets included in the album,” Youngjae says over the phone while closing the door behind him. It’s the deadline of passing their songs tomorrow, and he’s glad to finish his entry last night after weeks of getting stuck on the melody for the refrain. “Yes, I’ll treat you guys out for drinks after the recording.”

“Daddy!” a tiny voice greets him.

Youngjae finds his son running towards him. It instantly brings a smile to his face. “Hyung, I’ll hang up now. See you tomorrow.”

Youngjae hurries to get his shoes off and put on his slippers. Youngjun has a wide smile as he stands to wait for his father to pick him up.

“Youngjun-ah!” Youngjae immediately carries his four-year-old and showers him with kisses. “Daddy is home! Did you wait for me? Where’s Mommy?”

“Daddy! This…” Youngjun shows him the paper he’s been holding.

“What is this?” Youngjae asks, taking the paper before sitting on the sofa and putting Youngjun on his lap. He looks out for his wife, but figures she’s in the kitchen making dinner.

“Gift!” Youngjun exclaims excitedly.

Youngjae turns back to his son with a chuckle. He looks at the paper Youngjun is insisting to show, and recognises it. “What do you mean this is a gift, Youngjun-ah? This is Daddy’s music sheet. Where did you get—”

“Happy birthday!”

Youngjae’s blinks. On top of the lyrics he finished last night is a drawing made with crayons. He remembers the paper being with his unfinished compositions, so the thought that Youngjun possibly also ruined them…

“You don’t like it, Daddy?”

Youngjae turns to his disappointed son. As much as he wants to be thankful for the scribble, he’s in a verge of a mental breakdown.

“Youngjae, what’s wrong?”

Youngjae looks up and find his wife approaching. Her eyes lands on the paper, and she gets what’s happening.

Taking Youngjun from his devastated father, Youngjae’s wife sits on the other sofa and holds their son gently on the shoulders. “Youngjun-ah, where did you get the paper?”

Youngjun’s smile fades. He feels like he did something bad to upset his Daddy. “Coco… Coco had it, so I took it before she rips it.”

“Youngjun-ah, I told you to ask me for papers if you want to draw, right? Daddy has important papers, so he won’t like it if you draw on one of them,” the mother explains carefully.

Youngjun interprets it as his father being angry at him. With tears, he turns and bows to his father. “I’m sorry, Daddy. I won’t do it again.”

Youngjae softens. Come to think of it, the paper would have been in shreds now if Youngjun didn’t take it from Coco. He can easily rewrite the lyrics, emotionally scarring his son for telling the truth isn’t worth it. “No, baby, it’s okay. It’s okay.” He holds his son’s face and wipe his tears. “You can use Daddy’s papers, just ask first next time. Look at this drawing, wow! You even included Coco! I like it! Thank you so much for making it for me!”

“You’re welcome,” Youngjun answers, although full-on sobbing now. He’s still not over the thought that his Daddy is mad.

“Don’t worry, tomorrow, after work, I’ll buy you a sketch pad and colored pencils! It’s Daddy’s birthday, so I want Youngjun to be happy for me, okay? Can you do that?”

“Yes,” Youngjun sniffs.

“Good. Now, Mommy made dinner, so we have to eat a lot and be ready for tomorrow. Come on, I’ll give you my share of tofu if you can race me to the table.”

“Okay!” Youngjun exclaims, wiping the last of his tears and running to the dining room immediately.

Youngjae turns to his wife and they share a smile. It’s a relief they bring each other peace, so they don’t lash out on their son easily.

“I think Coco deserves a scolding later though,” his wife says.

Youngjae nods in agreement.

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