| CHAPTER THIRTEEN |
The Denial and Denial-er
Was it Déjà vu? Nope, probably not. His father had just been visiting his house without notice for the past month or so. What was with him and his unnecessary surprise visits? Baekhyun never understood why he wouldn’t just move in permanently, he didn’t mind. He could easily stop hooking up and bringing home girls randomly—actually, he hadn’t done that in a while.
Had it been a month? Two months? Three?
Ah, since the Kim Jiwon appeared for complete disruption of his entirety.
“Hey there, old man.” Baekhyun threw his keys down the entryway table before sliding his feet off the soaked shoes. He shook his head lightly, fine mist of rainwater flying off his still damp hair. “Woah, someone forgot an umbrella—oh, you have one.” His father laughed while pointing at the wet umbrella he was holding, droplets of water on the floor trailing his tracks. He opened the umbrella and opened the balcony to leave it there to dry. It had already stopped raining, thank God—but also, blame Him for ever raining in the first place and almost killing him.
At least it felt like suffocating to death, having to deal with Kim Jiwon and the disgustingly close proximity he had to share with her for a moment there.
“Appa, please please please.” He slid the glass door of the balcony closed before turning to face the man. “Tell me before you come here so that I could at least bring home food or something. I don’t cook, I don’t have in that fridge to offer you.” His voice was sharp, frustration filled the gap between them. An obvious dark smile stretched across his father’s lips. “I’ve been here since twelve. We agreed to go visit your mom together and then go to church and eventually have dinner out, right?”
Baekhyun groaned, glancing down his watch. It was already four in the afternoon. “Well for the record, I agreed to dinner. Nothing else.” He walked to his room while ing his damp cold shirt. “So, I thought you’d be here much later. I’m sorry.”
Mr. Byun followed him into his room. “She could have been fifty today, Baekhyun. Fifty is a special age and we should—”
Baekhyun looked back from his closet. A hard expression covered his now non-existent smile. “Fifty, sixty, seventy—a hundred, for all I care. I’m not going there. Appa, please … I beg you to stop doing this to me. This is literally the only thing that’s keeping us from having a perfect relationship, you know that? You need to wake up and see only me for once. Just me, as your son. Not just the son of the woman you revolved and still revolve your world around.” He harshly grabbed a fresh set of clothes before walking past him to go out and into his bathroom.
He was about to get in when his father sighed heavily. “Yes, she was unfaithful, a lot of times. She had a lot of bad days with you and me. She chose the wrong path of substance use to cope. She made a lot of bad decisions. She hurt me, she hurt you—believe it or not, I hated her for that too, because she hurt you but … she was mentally ill, Baekhyun. I couldn’t condemn her for something she didn’t choose to have. I had to see past those things because I made a vow to her, with or without the papers. She had gone through a lot which caused her to be—”
“Oh, so she went through as a kid so that excuses her for being such a ing horrible human being but I’m not allowed to be the same? You’re too biased, Appa. A lot of people have mental illness but are good people, she can’t use that excuse. If she wanted to be better for you and I, therapy and meds were the answer—not drugs and alcohol. She did that to herself and she did what she did, period.” He looked over his shoulders.
Tears were forming in his father’s eyes and he felt bad. He wanted to take it back but he knew it would have been a lie if he did. He meant every word. He meant every feeling attached to what he said. “Tell me, son. Don’t you want to have someone who can love you past all your imperfections, even after death? Someone who can still see all the good in you and love you even if it’s not easy to love you? Someone who chooses you no matter what?”
Baekhyun laughed. His heart ached from the questions but his body reacted with a laugh. “I can’t do this right now. I’m going to take a shower and we’re going to dinner.” He stepped into the bathroom and shut the door. He leaned his bare back on it and closed his eyes. “Forget it, your aunt is in town here with me anyway. She just went out to shop in the mall while waiting. I’m going.”
A gasp of air escaped his lips as he swung the door open again to go out. He couldn’t take it. He stopped his father from going out and crashed into him for a tight apologetic hug. “Sorry—Appa, I’m just … I’m sorry, okay? That was rude of me, I hate being rude to you. I’m sorry, I’m such an .” He patted his back strongly. Finally, a light-hearted chuckle came out of the older man. “Aigoo, you’re always going to be my cuddly boy, no matter what age you’re at. It’s almost embarrassing to be tackled like a teddy bear by my grown-up son.” He briefly hugged back before pulling away. He tapped Baekhyun’s cheeks with both hands and smiled wider. “You’re not the same as her, Baekhyun. Don’t ever think that. And yes, you’re my son. I always come here to bother you because you’re my son, you’re my only son so I don’t have a choice but make you my favorite person.”
A brief pout formed on Baekhyun’s lips which was quickly erased by a grin. “Okay, awesome! Now I need to take a shower because I am shivering. Stay here, Appa. We’ll go out for sushi. Tell Aunt Jooyoung to come back here now.” He skipped back to the bathroom. “What happened by the way? You had an umbrella but you’re soaked.”
Kim Jiwon was the answer. Kim Jiwon, her warmth—
“Okay, we ain’t going there if you want sushi.” Baekhyun brushed away any feeling creeping back up into his system. He slammed the bathroom door closed and held his breath for a moment or two—specifically a good ten seconds before letting go of a deeply collected sigh.
Later on that night—two in the morning to be exact—, Baekhyun was awaken by a loud thud. He sat up quickly grasped that his arm just swung hard to the side and knocked off his lamp. Wait, wasn’t he just about to hug his wife, Jiwon, and—
“What the .” He clutched his fingers tightly on his hair, rubbing his scalp harshly. He unconsciously looked to the empty side of his bed, as if checking for reality one more time. Yup, he really did knock off the lamp instead of hugging an actual wife. He dreamt about her. He dreamt about Kim Jiwon and their three kids—apparently, she likes a lot of kids in his dream—and it was Valentine’s day. The kids woke them up with their silly but cute valentine’s day artworks and gave them as gifts to the two of them … they are parents. Him and Kim Jiwon; married and were parents to three wonderful kids, two boys and a girl. The room was all white with a touch of yellow, as bright as his wife’s eyes and—
“Nope. No wife, no wife, no goddamn ing wife—stop.” He bent all the way down until his head was down his lap which didn’t last very long when he felt his hard on almost touching his forehead. Welp, there it goes, as stiff as a bamboo. It was a normal guy thing especially at this time of the night but the dream definitely did not help to ease him up. He sat up straight again and stared in space to calm himself down—literally. That dream was way too vivid for his liking. He eventually left his room to get himself a big glass of water. He needed some serious hydration after that. After all, that dream alone made him sweat buckets.
Why of all things, a wife and three kids?
Why of all people, freaking Kim Jiwon?
Why not Lee Hyori or Kim Taehee or even some random stripper he met in a club one night, but not Kim Jiwon!
He had had a lot of dreams, the weirdest of the weirdest he could possibly imagine but this one jerked his heart in a very different way. A life with someone. A family. A future. Oh goddamn, what a beautiful future that was. What the hell was that for? He never fantasized about such things, he never wanted one. He never wanted to get married nor have kids. He never wanted … anyone enough to make him want anything close to what he had just dreamt of.
“It must be the sushi. ing Unagi sushi.” He grumbled in the water before putting the glass down. He removed his top and hung it over his shoulder, feeling the heat of his empty home against his now bare chest. He walked to the balcony and slid the doors open. Breeze, nice breeze hit his face as soon as he stepped out.
Kim Jiwon was indeed one tough nut to break. He just couldn’t figure it out. He didn’t know what he was doing so wrong. It infuriated him every time he thought of her effortless rebuffs, her confident demeanor, her tough exterior, her strong appeal—everything that is attached to her individuality. His chest made the most uncomfortable pounding