024

Push & Pull
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| CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR |

Panic Is A

 

 

“Okay, let’s make a toast with our … smoothies.”

Baekhyun lazily shared a toast with his date, Haneul. Not that kind of date, of course. Apparently, Hara and Kyungsoo wanted the table for themselves and now Baekhyun was stuck with an eleven-year old on another table behind them. “Uncle, don’t be too sad. We’re having sushi!” Haneul grinned while clapping her hands. “Aigoo, you’re too young to love sushi.” Baekhyun couldn’t help but to laugh along. “Would be nice if Seojun could stay this late and eat sushi, right?” he added making the girl giggle hard. “He would throw up, like this!” Haneul acted out a gagging gesture, in the most childish exaggerated way. Baekhyun forced a laugh just to make the kid happy. “That’s so funny—oh my god, you’re so funny, Haneul.” He mumbled before taking three big sips of his smoothie.

He wasn’t good with kids, good lord.

“Uncle, Naeun unni likes you. She told me the other day. She said you have a handsome smile and you’re good in taking pictures. She wants to be a model, you know? Like Eomma.” Haneul then brought up the nanny topic again. Baekhyun did not have the energy to play gossip with a young girl tonight, literally. He took another sip of his drink before taking a piece of sushi that was just served for them. “Tell me again why your Appa brought me here? To babysit you, sweetie?” He asked.

Haneul pouted, making at face at him. “Sweetie is only for Eomma and Appa, you can’t use that on me, uncle. Also, you’re too old for me.” She lectured like an adult before laughing hysterically again. “E-he-he.” Baekhyun faked a laugh again before looking away, leaning on his chair and folding his arms across his chest.

He grabbed the tablet used for ordering and ordered a bunch more sushi. “Uncle, me too. I want to look.” Haneul tried to grab it from him. “No, wait. Stop ordering cream cheese dumplings. You can’t finish them and then I have to eat all of them or else we’re gunna have to pay extra if we don’t finish, do you know that? Of course not, cause you don’t pay.” Baekhyun fought with the kid.

“Hey hey hey, you two. Baekhyun, don’t be such a baby and share the menu with her.” Hara called from the other table.

Haneul stopped fighting and folded her arms, a sulky look growing on her face. “Don’t give me that look, young lady. Sit up straight and eat, I will give you the menu in one condition, no more cream cheese dumplings, understood? Try something else.” Baekhyun pointed at her with authority making the kid nod and do what he said. “Good.” He sighed before looking at the menu again.

“Uncle, I bet you also like Naeun unni. That’s why you’re too shy to talk about it, aren’t you?” Haneul then started again.

Baekhyun looked at her and put the tablet down. “Look, I don’t know or don’t remember how it worked at your age but that’s not how it works with mine, okay? I don’t want to talk about it because I don’t want to talk about it, clear? If your nanny likes me, that’s not my problem. Stop being cupid, okay?” He argued once and for all, as if he wasn’t talking to a kid at all. “But uncle, what do you think about her though? Do you think she’s pretty? She’s very tall, isn’t she?” Haneul insisted.

Baekhyun placed his elbows on the edge of the table, rested his temples against his palms and groaned. “Oh my god, my blood pressure.” He muffled in irritation. “Do Kyungsoo.” He lifted his head and looked at the other table. “Okay okay, uncle. Don’t get me in trouble, please. I’ll behave. I promise.” Haneul yelped and covered , finally.

More orders came and Haneul danced in celebration. “Hm, looks so good. Thank you.” Baekhyun moaned and grabbed a piece with his chopsticks right away. He looked up at the server and smiled to thank her. “You’re welcome, sir.” She smiled shyly while biting her lips. She bowed her head before walking away with her tray. Haneul giggled while peeking at his face as he ate. “Uncle, I think she likes you—”

“Oh my god.” Baekhyun put his hands up in surrender. “Oh my god, Do Haneul. I want to ground you so badly but I don’t have any legal right to.”

Hara and Kyungsoo on the other table both hid their faces while shaking their heads. This was something that happened on a daily. Baekhyun could never stand kids at her age, especially Haneul who had always been a silly prankster who liked to . He liked Seojun because, well, he didn’t talk yet and he was sweet to everyone. Haneul, on the other hand … “Okay okay—” Kyungsoo finally stood up, going to their table. “Angel, look.” He held Haneul on the shoulders. “Uncle Baekhyun plans to stay single forever and ever, he’s going to be a monk. So, stop forcing girls on him.” He mumbled.

Unfortunately, Baekhyun heard it pretty clearly.

“Funny. Now I know where she got the humor.” Baekhyun faked a smile before frowning again. He then looked towards Hara who was watching with a big smile. “Stop letting her watch K-drama’s. Look at what’s happening to her mind, she basically thinks I’m a leading man in a K-drama every single time she sees me.” He added. Haneul giggled. “But it’s because all girls like you, uncle, and then you don’t like them back because you’re handsome and cold but later on you will like them back. Just like in the K-drama.” She added bravely.

“Tsk, ssh. Haneul, please?” Kyungsoo tapped the kid’s mouth gently before walking back to their table.

Haneul continued giggling faintly but didn’t say anything anymore. Baekhyun widened his eyes at her once last time before continuing with his food. “Uncle.” She called again, although very quietly this time. “Hm.” Baekhyun groaned softly while chewing. “What does it feel like to fall in love?” She then asked innocently, a shy smile forming in her lips.

Baekhyun’s chews slowed down, his eyes darting slowly at his plate. “Haneul, you’re too young to know or understand. You’re eleven, don’t do those stuff yet.” He shook his head, declining to answer that. “Why? How long do I have to wait? How old were you when you first fell in love, uncle?” Haneul asked, much louder this time. Kyungsoo coughed on the other table. “Ehem—twenty—eight—ehem”

Baekhyun shot a glare at him and next to Hara who was now giggling along her husband. Haneul turned with a big frown, hearing what her father muttered. “That long? I don’t want to wait that long, that’s like—” She counted with her fingers, a big frown on her face. “—seventeen years to go?” She pouted hard.

Baekhyun sighed and took a few pieces of sushi and placed it on the kid’s plate. “Yes, that’s why just eat first. It’s going to take you a while before that happens.” He muttered just to end the conversation once and for all.

Falling in love, wow. It had been a looooong time since he last thought of that.

Somehow, the phrase gave an unimaginable discomfort on his chest.

Later on that night, Baekhyun drove home to Daegu instead to spend the weekend there. Ever since he had opened up his own studio, he had more time to actually stay with his father. Especially now that he’s completely bound to a wheelchair and Baekhyun had to officially hire a nurse for him—luckily, his aunt knew a good friend who was close to their age and was a nurse but needed an easier job after permanently leaving the hospital, her name was Haesun and she lived close by so it all worked out for everyone.

A year ago, his father’s hip eventually deteriorated and he had to go through another series of surgery until experts have decided it would be better to have him on wheelchair for the mean time.

And the mean time turned into a whole year.

Baekhyun opened the door and peeked in. “Appa, I’ll be staying home for this weekend and we’ll—oh my god, what the !” He shrieked in terror and quickly closed the front door in front of him again.

He panted hard, still horrified by what he just saw. The old nurse, Haesun was leaning down to his father, almost sitting on his lap and they were kissing. Baekhyun heard his father’s faint calls from inside. “What the , Appa? Why are you—you two?!” He grunted from outside. Slowly, he opened the door again and met eyes with his father whose now in front of the door. Haesun stood behind the wheelchair having a very embarrassed expression plastered on her face.

“Baekhyun, I’m so sorry—I know, it looked weird. I’m sorry. It’s so unprofessional of me to be involved with your father.” Haesun started. Baekhyun put his hand up. “Invo—when you say involved, how far are you guys involved?” He asked bluntly, still clearly freaking out.

Mr. Byun chuckled while looking away. “Son.” He called before turning to him again. “Do we have to specify? I mean we can, if you’re ready for it. Good news, it still works, son.”

Baekhyun closed his eyes and put a hand on his temples. “Oh god—the picture in my head, just stop it, I beg you.” He yelped in disgust. Eventually, he calmed down and was finally able to face both of them with a soother expression. He watched as his father held Haesun’s arms behind, being openly affectionate. “When did this … start?” He asked, an awkward smile forming on his lips.

His father grinned before speaking

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