8

Ready To Run
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"Hey."

He held her back, his voice cracking as he called her by her name. She shook her head with her back to him. "You just came," he spoke, the wind carrying most of his words away. Sarang sighed, closing her eyes. She couldn't stay. She didn't want to be in deeper trouble. But it was tempting, He was making her think twice. "You can stay," he said, slowly, pulling her back.

"I have to go," she whispered, hands falling on her sides as he wrapped his own around her. "Don't. Stop," Sarang was near to tears as he squeezed her in his arms. She heard him sigh, felt it on her shoulder.

And then he let go, stepping back. "Fine. Go," he said in a rather stern voice. Sarang looked up at him in the dark, blinking. His face gave nothing away. He refused to look at her; or even to turn to her. Sarang sighed inaudibly. Dropping her purse on the floor, she wrapped both her arms around him, hugging him from the back, finally letting her tears flow.

"Just go," He mumbled, looking down at her fingers on his waist, holding the urge to to touch them. The nails were primly done now, not like what they were when she was at his house, forgetting all about herself and only thinking of his daughters. "Stop being so indecisive, Sarang. What do you actually want?"

"I..." Sarang gulped, "I don't know."

Sehun looked down at his shoes, holding her hands, caressing her skin. "Yeah, it's difficult." Her lanky arms were almost frozen, Sehun basked in her warmth, turning around, hoping she'd let him kiss her now. He dabbed his fingertips on her skin, wiping the tears away, making her look at him. "But I was trying to forgot you over these two weeks. Don't get me wrong, I still love you the same."

"It's fine...even if you don't want me now," She looked down, a flush of disappointment shone in her eyes. Sehun immediately regretted what he said, quickly wrapping her in his arms, pressing a kiss on her nape. "You should forget me...and I should forget you too."

"That's not what I meant," He stated. "Forget as in try to spend a second without thinking about you. You think I'll ever forget you?"

"You...can. I mean, it will be hard since I always screw up and somehow appear in the TV all the time but still...you should forget me. Perhaps you're too good for this world that you never get a girl or maybe you're searching in the wrong place, Sehun." Sehun scoffed, loosening his arms around her. Sarang wrapped him back in her arms, squeezing him one last time, patting his arm, telling him that was goodbye.

"No..." Sehun held her back but she shook her head. "Look, I do understand your position but...what about me? Do I mean nothing to you? How about Minji and Minhye? They're still waiting for you at home."

"You promised you'll make them understand," Sarang looked up at him, baffled.

"And how the do you think Minji will understand?" Her eyes widened as she realized she was ticking him off, something she didn't really want to do. She arched her brows, dropping her arms from his sides but he kept her locked in his. "Sorry," he mumbled like a little boy apologizing for cursing.

"She'll...get used to it," Sarang sighed. She let out a groan, her head hitting his chest. "H-How are they?"

"Not fine," Sehun grumbled. "None of us are. Minhye hates me, not you, Sarang. Minji started blaming me, accusing me that I've done something to you. T-That is not right," Sehun replied, "Just come back. This is a request, Sarang."

Sarang resisted the warmth of his arms, the comfort, the safety as she pulled away from him, making him frown deeper in disappointment that she chose her parents' dreams over his two daughters and him. After all, Minji and Minhye weren't her daughters. It might not hurt as much on her part, he thought. But going back home to a Where is Mommy? was the most difficult. He almost wanted to stay and sleep on his office desk instead.

He caught her wrist again, making her sigh one more time. Sarang looked back at him with an expression he couldn't really fathom. "Are you really leaving? It hasn't even been half an hour, Wendy will be upset. Don't leave because of me. I'll only ever stay here."

"And what will you be doing here?" She quirked her eyebrows at him. Sehun gulped, arching his own brows. Sarang took two steps towards him, looking straight into his wavering eyes as she reached down to the pocket of his slacks. Her expression hardened as she brought out the packet of cigarette. Her touch lingered, Sehun caught another whiff of the scent of her shampoo. It was strawberry yet he liked it. "Smoking?" Sarang examined the packet, shaking her head.

"N-No...you know--"

"No, I don't. This doesn't make sense. Cigarette doesn't help at all when you're in stress. It deteriorates your health and that's it." Sehun watched her toss the packet into the cold air. He couldn't even stop her as the packet was thrown away. His shoulders slumped. "You will not touch those again, Oh Sehun."

"You're being unfair," he gulped, closing in on her again, resting his chin on her shoulder.

"I used to call you twelve but maybe you're just three." Sarang exhaled deeply, slightly pushing him away. He frowned, getting out of his blazer and ing it to her hands. "Sehun, it's fine--"

"Don't catch a cold," he cut in with his gruff voice. Sarang stayed on her spot, looking down at the warm material, before looking up at him again. He sighed, taking it back before draping it on her shoulders. Sehun placed his palms on her arms, going through an inner conflict between his brain and his heart. "Go," he sternly stated, moving away.

Sarang looking up at him with longing in her eyes. He could see it that she didn't want to leave just yet. Her eyes spoke. It was too early, they had been there  for only a little more than fifteens minutes."Now. Or else I'll kiss you," he said, pushing her shoulder. "Just go."

Sarang took one step away from him. Her eyes watered. She would only cry for a few days before he'd become a memory for her, just like her parents. She will be in a new life and the past two months were better off forgotten. Sehun watched as she finally turned around, ready to leave. He looked away, gulping as he held onto the railings of the rooftop. He heard her heels clack, the sharp sound deafening little by little until he heard the elevator ding. He turned around, caught her looking right at him with his blazer held so tightly in her fists. The elevator doors started towards each other. He stared back at her, hands in his pocket.

And that was how when the elevator door closed completely, it seemed as if the chapter of Sarang in his life had closed too. He looked down at his shoes, sighing. Something in the back of his head said it wasn't the end. That they'll meet again and next time, maybe he'll be able to take her back home. Wishful thinking, he thought with a sad smile. She'll never go back home with him.

"Done?"

Wendy gulped, putting up a smile for the girl who tapped her shoulder. "Did you two talk?"

"So, that was the plan or something?" Sarang sighed. She observed the fading smile on Wendy's lips and made a face at her. "Yeah, we did talk. Just so you know, Wendy, I'm not going back. Don't try to do this again. It will only...only hold me back."

Wendy frowned, placing the pearl necklace on her worker's palms before taking Sarang arm, leading her away. Wendy looked beautiful today, with her hair trimmed to her jawline, hugging her face so gracefully, a bangs lightly lining her eyebrows. The large earrings dangled from either of her ears, sparkling in the golden lights. Her dress was studded with little stones, the green sequins lightly touching the ground. Sarang remembered sketching quite the same dress just with a different color.

"I-I just realized...this dress," Sarang started. Wendy stopped by the trial rooms, bringing her in.

"Yes. You drew it." Wendy completed her line. "It was supposed to be a great idea. I made the original version of what you drew and this one," she motioned at her dress, raising her shoulders, "You were supposed to wear that and attend this opening. I had planned everything but then you disappeared."

"I'm so sorry," Sarang held both her hands. "For everything."

"You don't have to be. It's not your fault," Wendy mumbled. "Nothing is your fault Sarang. Falling in love is never a fault."

"You think so?" Sarang chuckled, bitterly, "I wish I could too. Because every second I feel buried in guilt. I want to go back but I can't."

Wendy stayed silent. Just looking down at the ground. Sarang relaxed her shoulders, watched Wendy's eyes get fixated on Sehun's blazer. She blushed, once again, without her own notice. Instinctively, Sarang brought it closer to her, afraid Wendy will come up with a reason to take that away from her. Wendy only ever smiled though. "Do you really love him?"

Sarang was taken aback. But she nodded anyway. Because she knew what love was; she was brought up in a family where everything was just perfect, every member satisfied, joy in every corner of the house. Love had thrived in that place, Sarang remembered. "Are you sure?" Wendy asked again.

Sarang didn't hesitate. "I am, Wendy. That might just be the only thing I'm sure of at the moment."

"Then, come back. It's easy, Sarang," Wendy patted her hand, leaning against the mirror. Sarang could see her red face just fine.

"I...I'm...Wendy it's n-not easy at all," Sarang stumbled on her words. "They'll never take it in a good way. They'll never leave him alone if I go back. I don't want that happening to him. He deserves to be happy, Wendy, for once. I'm doing all this just so he can live in peace with his daughters."

"They?" Wendy raised a brow. "They, Sarang? They'll never be able to do anything to you if you two are strong enough. They only ever want to make lives hell. But they'll get tired, Sarang. Eventually." She paused before continuing. "And Sehun...he doesn't care about these bugs. He'll make you happy, Sarang. You know that better than I do. So don't hesitate. Go back."

Sarang shook her head. "I can't do that. There are so many looking up to me back at my home. My uncles wait for a chance to shove me down and take everything to themselves again. I cannot go back to Sehun, or his daughters, no matter how much I miss them."

Wendy went forward to wrap her arms around Sarang's frail figure, shivering now under the air conditioner. Sarang buried her face between Wendy's neck and chin, searching for a little comfort, a little reassurance. "Aphrodite belongs to my parents and I have to...I have to guard it for them. Even if I don't want to, I have to. That's how it is for me." Sarang loved her parents, she couldn't toss away Aphrodite just like that. 

"Sarang, there should be another way." Wendy mumbled, rubbing the girl's back, patting whenever necessary. Sarang shook her head sideways. "No, listen to me. Why don't you two keep it a secret," she pulled away from the hug, looking into Sarang's eyes. "Yeah. You could keep it a secret and everything would be fine. No more tears, Sarang. You could definitely do that."

"No. Wendy, think about when people would get to know about it. It will be a disaster."

"Not at all, little girl. Leave it to me."

Sehun crouched low to pick up the glowing device. He arched his brows at the slight cracks that were highlighted by the lights all around. He remembered this phone. He picked up the purse along with it, deciding to keep them safe for her. Until she came back to take them. The purse and the phone could be a nice excuse to go see her, he thought.

But the name of the caller troubled him. He knew it shouldn't. But it still bugged him.

Jaehyun.

With two hearts after the name.

He wanted to check how she saved his contact. Did it have more than two hearts after his name too? Or maybe she had a nickname for him. He would like that very much. Cutting the call, he felt the vibration die down. He hoped she was having a good time with Wendy. No matter what, Wendy would always understand their reasons, what held them back and yet what tied them back together.

And no matter what, she'd always want to set them together. Just lik

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