In Another Life
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“Where shall we go for lunch today?” Se-chan asked after they got out of the lift. Dong-hoon started suggesting a few places, including a new place few minutes from here. 

He was checking out his phone -searching for any notifications from her (none, by the way) when Se-chan turned to him. “Where do you wanna go, hyung?”


“Eh?” He hid his phone from them, startled as he didn’t really pay attention to what were they saying.




“Ah, right! I’ll pass for today.” 


Dong-hoon squinted his already small eyes at him. “Why?”


He didn’t answer right away, glancing at the phone screen again. He sighed. “I—“


“You’re out yesterday and you wanna bail today too?” Dong-hoon continued hastily. “It’s because it’s your turn to pay, isn’t it? Ah, hyung! You earn more now, don’t be so thrifty—“


“Don’t be so loud, you rascal!” He looked around the lobby as he hit Dong-hoon’s head before that man could finish his sentence or protect himself, earning a laugh from Se-chan while Dong-hoon winced loudly.


“What’s wrong with you today, hyung? You weren't concentrating in the meeting either! Ms. Jin Young was so pretty today—she even sat in front of you, but you ignored her!” Dong-hoon ranted, still holding the place that got hit earlier.


“Ah, Ms. Jin Young... what wouldn’t I do to go out with her...” Se-chan sighed.


“Yah! Be careful! That’s Jong-kook hyung’s girl!” Dong-hoon pushed their junior playfully. Se-chan played along, apologised quickly and then they both giggled like the bunch of kids they weren't.


“Do you wanna die-“ he glared at Dong-hoon, raising his hand again. Dong-hoon hid behind Se-chan, using the kid who hadn’t stop laughing as a shield. 

Dong-hoon wasn’t lying, though. He couldn’t focus throughout the meeting earlier, fidgeting the whole time. He looked at the screen and saw nothing but a blur image. He looked at the other side of the table but couldn’t make up their client names at the top of his head to start up a small talk. He even stuttered when answering questions from their client. Luckily, Se-chan came to the rescue and managed to explain it more smoothly. 


When he said nothing more, Dong-hoon asked again. “Something bothering you, hyung?”


Yes. He wished he could say that out loud. 


“No. Nothing. I was just, um, tired.” He cleared his throat, afraid they could hear the truth behind his weak lie.


That rascal Dong-hoon sighed dramatically. “First, Ji-hyo’s sick. Now, you. If I didn’t know you guys any better, I’d say you two spent the night together.”

It’s a miracle that he didn’t actually choke on air due to Dong-hoon’s almost spot-on remark. He only laughed, a little too weakly for his own liking and became anxious again because Dong-hoon mentioned her name. 


Is she gone? Is she still there? Is she mad? Is she confused? Did she remember what happened last night? What if she didn’t remember what happened last night? What if she didn’t realise she was at his home and thought that she got kidnapped and called the police? What if she did realise it but she thought he did something bad to her and then call the police?


“You’re really not going, hyung?” Se-chan asked, pulling him back to reality after he got lost in his own thoughts.


He nodded slowly. “Yeah, sorry. Maybe next time.” Before they could protest again, he pat Se-chan’s back. “Good work today. You too, Dong-hoon.” 


Dong-hoon sighed but said nothing more. Se-chan wished him a good weekend and he bid his farewell. 



He closed the door behind him and winced when the auto-lock door made a sound. Taking off his shoes and jacket, he heard no signs of movement from inside the house. He tip-toed to his bedroom door and instantly became disappointed after looking inside when she wasn’t there. His bed was tidy now -even the pillow and blanket that he used last night was neatly placed at the end of his bed.

She’s gone. He checked his phone again. Nothing. She left and said nothing. That’s kinda rude. To think that he actually refused to have lunch with Se-chan and Dong-hoon even though he was starving, just to get home early to check up on her, he felt pathetic. 


Maybe it’s not too late to call Dong-hoon now—


“Oppa?” A small voice came from behind him made he jumped a little. “You’re home?”


“Jeez.” He exhaled, trying to calm his heart but seeing her in front of him, peaking from the kitchen, he knew it would be impossible. She’s still here. He wanted to smile but instead he cleared his throat. “Where did you come from?”


She remained quiet as she watched him walked to the living room, placing his bag on the couch. He turned to her again, only then realising that she’s actually leaving. Her bag was already on her shoulder and she was hugging her jacket.


“You—you’re leaving?” 


She bit her lower lip.


He closed the gap between them. “You’re leaving? Without thanking me?”



She was about to say something but he gasped first when he noticed a bowl covered with aluminium foil on the dining table -clearly meant to be stored in the fridge. He removed the cover and squealed, “you made japchae-bap?!”




His stomach grumbled. Without saying anything nor offering any to her, he grabbed a spoon and started eating. It’s so tasty. It’s not until the third spoon full of food, that he realised she’s still standing beside the fridge, watching him. “Yah! Sit down. Why are you standing there like a freak?”


She sat down in front of him reluctantly but not before getting him a glass of water.


“I can’t believe you’re actually leaving without saying thank you,” he complained with mouth full. 


She sneered at his words. “What exactly am I supposed to thank you for?”


His small eyes widen in surprise. “You ungrateful brat. If it wasn’t for me, you would be sleeping on the street.”


“I have a home—“


He scoffed, dangerously close to accidentally spitting out his meal. “You can’t even stand last night, you know, let alone going home.”


She looked surprise, clearly couldn’t remember what happened last night. He couldn’t decide whether it’s a good thing or not, yet. 






“Why did you bring me to your home?”


He almost choked. He replied after chugging down some water, “I didn’t know where your new home is...” 

“You could’ve ask!”


“You were unconscious! I tried to wake you up so many times but you didn’t even budge! How am I supposed to ask you anything—“


“Put me in a hotel, then!”


Upset that she kept complaining, he snapped. “You think after seeing you got drunk alone at night would make me willingly want to leave you at a hotel?! Who knew what would happened if I leave you alone again?! Wouldn’t you be more confused if you woke up in unfamiliar room-“


“Your room was unfamiliar to me too!”


“You’re the one who didn’t want to go home! You begged me to not take you home! You!”


It’s true. Last night, she pleaded for him to not to take her home. 


“Oppa—can you not take me home? Please don’t send me home.” She whispered to his chest. “Please.”


“Where should I take you then?”


“Anywhere.” She replied between her sniffles. “I just don’t want to be alone tonight.”


He breathed out, pulling her even closer to his already drenched shirt. She didn’t say anything else, remained there while burying her face in his neck.


He gobbled up the rest of his food when she didn’t reply. He finished his drink and after saying thank you for the food out of habit, he slumped into his chair feeling relieved, thankful and full at the same time. Now, he could shift his focus entirely on her. 


She looked vacant. He almost waved his hand in her face when she suddenly asked, “why won’t you wake me up this morning, then?”


“I told you. You were sleeping like you’re dead.” 


A little lie wouldn’t hurt now, would it? To be honest, he didn’t even try to wake her up. She fell asleep in his car last night and she looked so tired that he didn’t have the heart to wake her up then. She looked barely alive and fragile that he’s actually afraid to carry her to his house, afraid that he’ll crush her on their way. But he did anyway, surprising the guard as he never really brought anyone -especially anyone unconscious- home before. 


This morning, he left in a rush. He couldn’t sleep last night, kept turning and tossing on the couch. Then, he woke up late, decided it was too late to wake her up so he sneaked around to use the bathroom and suit up just to avoid waking her up. It was proven useless, anyway, as she didn’t even wake up when her loud alarm was ringing. He turned it off, a little scared that she slept through that but after checking that she’s actually breathing, he left and told both Dong-hoon and Se-chan she told him she’s sick. She was sick, in his defence, just not from a regular sickness.


Or maybe, he actually didn’t want her to wake up. If she wakes up, she’ll leave and he kinda love the idea that she’s here, in his lonely, lonely home. He loves the idea that she’s in his house, waiting for him. Oh, boy, he couldn’t sound more like a creep. 


She stared out of the window while he stared at her. What happened last night flashed before him, made him dizzy, so he folded his arm on the table, leaning to her. 






They spoke at the same time. 


“What?” He asked, not taking his eyes off her.


“No, oppa, you talk first.”


He took a deep breath. “Were you really leaving without saying thank you or goodbye?” He asked, even though his actual question was were you leaving me? 


She rolled her eyes. “I cooked for you. Isn’t that enough as a thank you for you?”


“No,” he retorted back, making her shot him a venomous glare. “It’s common sense. When someone help you, you say thank you to their faces.”


“I was about to leave you a thank you note when I heard you came in—what’s the big deal anyway? I could say thank you

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This story was a journey to me. Thank you for enjoying it :’D
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