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In Another Life
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She exhaled delightfully as she munched on the well-done meat, overwhelmed by the taste of it on her tongue. 

 

“Is it good?” He asked with a smile, amused by her reaction.

 

She nodded, taking another piece of meat to wrap it in a lettuce leaf, along with some rice and kimchi. then opened wide to stuff them in. It must’ve been so good as she did a little dance while she chewed.

 

“That dance,” he commented, “is that attitude leaving your body?”

 

She shot him a glare while chewing intensely, probably imagining that she’s chewing on him.

 

“Oh, come on! You can’t still be mad at me!”

 

“I can’t believe you lied to me!” She pointed at him with her chopsticks, her accusing tone was obvious.

 

He giggled. “Can’t believe you actually believed me.”

 

“How am I supposed to know that—“

 

“I don’t think there’s ever a door that advanced anywhere.” He titled his head, smiling cutely to taunt her. On their away here, she realised that he was actually lying about his door needing pin number to go out, a lie he told to stop her from leaving earlier. It’s an auto-lock door, but it can be easily opened from the inside. “Jeez, Ji-hyo, our company is in deep trouble if you’re this stupid.”

 

She rolled her eyes. “You know how bad I am with technology. Last time I went to your house, you could change the colour of your lights with just your phone. I won’t be surprised if you have that kind of door, since you’re living a fancy life now that you got promoted, in a fancy house, with that big windows of yours-“

 

“What are you talking about?” He chuckled. “I live in the same house for more than 10 years. It’s the same house before I got promoted!”

 

She took the turn to let out a giggle. “Why would you need that kind of door anyway? Just use regular door like a regular person, you nerd.”

 

He shrugged, didn’t want to admit that he used to forget to lock his door so often that he couldn’t count how many times he slept with his front door unlocked. He was lucky that no one barged in, but he pretty sure he’ll ran out of luck if he just ignored it. That auto-lock door was the best thing about his house, hands down.

 

“Just admit that you actually wanted to go hiking with me, Ji-hyo.” Her eyes widened in shock at his sudden remark. He laughed, covering the fact that he himself was surprised with his brazen conclusion. He continued, raising his eyebrows at her, “you could’ve check the door while I change but you didn’t. Clearly-“

 

“Yeah, okay, keep telling yourself that, Kim Jong-kook. If it’ll help you to sleep at night, I won’t mind. Don’t hold back.” 

 

Her snarky reply made him actually howled. He made another remark about how she really should’ve keep up with technology and not continue living as a cavewoman. She pouted at him (and he almost leaped out of his chair to pinch her cheeks), saying that she’d rather actually living in a cave than learning about complicated things. 

 

The back and forth banter between them continued until they finished their food. She was the first to put her chopsticks on the table, thanking for her food while exhaling loudly. 

 

“Isn’t life wonderful?” He asked, grinning widely at her as he finished his meal too, earning another scoff from her.

 

Instead of answering, she blurted out a suggestion. “Oppa. Let’s order some beer.” 

 

“No, no, no-“

 

“Why not?” She pouted again. It’s rather fortunate that he got a will of steel, or he’d already lost the argument by then.

 

“You already drank beer last night-“

 

“Okay! Soju, then!” She tapped her hand on table as if they already decided and then quickly raised her hand to call on the waiter.

 

“Ji-hyo! No!” He half-shouted as he grabbed her wrist to take her hand down. “No alcohol!”

 

She pulled her hand away almost as fast. “I thought you wanted to me to move on?!”

 

“Not by destroying your liver!”

 

“Oh, give me a break already!” She whined. “I was supposed to be on my way to my honeymoon now, making out with my husband on the plane or something, but here I am, eating bulgogi with the most annoying man on earth—and I can’t even drink to forget all of this!”

 

He clenched his jaw, deciding whether he should take offence of her words. There were so many points that triggered him, from honeymoon to making out to the most annoying man on earth (him? Well, he knows that too, but how could she said it out loud so casually? He even paid for their food—), but he decided not too, eventually, as he knew that she said it from the place of anger and he really shouldn’t fight fire with more fire to win. 

 

He’s actually glad that he didn’t reply maliciously because her next tone was different and he got scared for a second that she’s gonna start crying again.

 

“I just want to forget...” She looked exhausted as she said it, slumping deeper into her chair.

 

“I know, Ji-hyo.” He rubbed his neck, echoing her weariness in his voice. “But alcohol is not the answer. Let’s not drink to forget. At least, not two nights in a row.”

 

“Other people drink every single day-“

 

“Well, other people don’t have me by their side, don’t they?!”

 

She snorted loudly this time, looking at him up and down, showing her disapproval clearly. “What, you’re my life coach or something now?”

 

“I’m your good companion, Ji-hyo!” He extended his arms and stomped his foot under the table just to prove his point.

 

She actually laughed out loud this time, and he wasn’t sure if she was laughing at the sheer ridiculousness of his words or in disbelief of how persistent he could be or if she thought that whatever conversation they’re having currently was actually funny, but at least she was laughing and it’s a good thing.

 

“Well, my good companion-“ she played along, “do you have any other suggestions?” 

 

He stood up as an answer, startling her. “Besides drinking? I have plenty.” 

 

When she only blinked confusedly at him, he took her hand and dragged her out while muttering, “trust me, Ji-hyo.”

 

*****

 

“An arcade?!” She sounded pissed as he parked his car in front of their destination. “Might as well just take me home, oppa. Jeez.”

 

“Hey, what’s wrong with an arcade?!” He unfastened his seatbelt and when she refused to even move, he unfastened hers as well. 

 

“We’re not in our 20s anymore. You’re 40 something now, and I’m nearly 40!” She whined. Still, she got out the car, following him. 

 

“What’s that have to do with us going to arcade?! Fun has no age limit!” 

 

He led the way, as always, taking her hand again when crossing the road. She pulled it away so fast that he nearly suffered from a mental breakdown because he was sure that she had enough of him holding her hands, but as he felt she linked her arm with his, he could breath again.

 

“Ah, oppa—let’s just go gambling instead.” She protested again by trying to drag him away from their actual direction. “I’m sure we’ll find something around here—“

 

She failed, of course, and gave up immediately as it felt like she was dragging a mountain.

 

“No, Ji-hyo-“ he put his free hand on her hand that were still grabbing onto his arm, patting it, “you’ll love this place, I promise.”

 

She responded with a sigh. But, he didn’t lie. Oh, no, he wasn’t lying at all. Soon after they entered the basement arcade, she gasped. “They have archery?! I have always wanted to try archery!"

 

“Not just archery, Ji-hyo,” he put his hand around her shoulder and pointed to one area, “they have shooting range.”

 

She gasped again. Her eyes sparkled with excitement. She turned towards him, still in his arm, looking at him with puppy eyes. “Oppa..”

 

“Of course we gonna try the shooting range first!” He grinned wide and proud, knowing that his plan was a success even before they start. She bounced around with a wide smile before taking his hand, leading the way this time. 

 

Entering the shooting range felt surreal to them. As they walked into the waiting room from which they could see the shooting booths, their mouths were wide opened, looking at the sight in from of them in awe. 

 

After being asked about their age, health problems and consent, they were given a brief explanation on their shooting sessions. They were shown the variety of guns that they could choose from and she kept grabbing his arm to mention trivial things that got her all exhilarated. “Those are actual guns!” She squealed and then when the trainer brought up a box of bullets, she gasped loudly, saying, “those are actual bullets! Oh my god!” 

 

It was every bit of reaction that he expected from her and he found himself enjoying it a little too much- looking at her, listening to her, givin

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