Push & Pull
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Too Soon, Too Bad



Baekhyun scanned the isle of shelves from left to right, brushing his fingertips along the ends of every book lined chronologically. “What to expect when you’re expe—I don’t need that, there’s nothing to expect, they’re two and I have Jiwon to tell me what to expect.” He shook his head and grabbed the fifth book he had chosen. He looked down to the stack of parenthood and baby milestone books in his arms. “This should be good for now.” He nodded with determination before rushing to the cashier to pay.

Some women in line shyly peered at him as he joined, their eyes obviously glued down to the books he was holding. Two of them who seemed to be together in line were even whispering to each other while giggling. He rolled his eyes away and just impatiently tapped his feet on the ground as he waited.

Once it was his turn, he placed the books down the counter. The cashier, a female, chuckled in amusement as she took the books to scan them. “New dad?” She asked with a shy smile.

Baekhyun gently bowed his head and smiled. He didn’t answer and just waited—he had been very good with turning down potential flirting suitors, that was what he called them at least. Fine, he couldn’t blame these women swooning over him right now. He was a thirty-one-year-old hot male—whom they may or may not have seen featured in some magazines a couple times as a successful photographer, if they do ever check those kinds of magazines—buying parenthood books at eight in the evening. It’s ing adorable. Baekhyun paid in cash and took the paper bag with him, brisking his way out of the store.

As soon as he had gotten home, he went to his room and placed the books on his desk.

He began ing his shirt and a smile creeped up to his lips. She said yes, Kim Jiwon said yes to a date with him. He felt ecstatic when she did—it was a real dream come true. He removed his shirt leaving him topless and he made his way towards the bathroom, grabbing his towel along. He went in and looked at himself in the mirror. “You’re a dad—what the ?” He self and even punched the mirror lightly, as if punching himself.

He looked around the bathroom—his quite unorderly bathroom. Then his head peered out of the door, looking around his also unorderly living room. The couch had some stuff on them, tv controllers, video game controllers and some work load he was yet to finish. On the coffee table was a few days old empty mugs and a can of beer which he had last night.

“.” He dropped the towel right on the sink and stepped out.

He looked around his place, from the living room to the kitchen and even to the balcony. “Oh my god, I am a child.” He palmed his forehead in panic. “And I have children!” He collapsed down his couch and started bawling his eyes out with his non-existent tears, but he continued sobbing anyway. He stood up and ran into the kitchen, he grabbed himself a big glass of water and gulped it in a few seconds. He poured himself two more glasses before finally getting satisfied with it.

His eyes landed on his sink, his full sink. “Okay, let’s—” He sighed heavily before collecting all the dirty dishes into the dishwasher. He got it ready and turned it on. “Ah, ! I forgot those.” He ran out and back to the living room, grabbing the mugs and can of beer. He placed it down the sink and threw the can on the garbage. He looked around and his eyes found their way towards his vacuum this time. “Okay, I need to do this. Yes, maybe I should.” He grabbed it, set it up and turned it on.

Byun Baekhyun then began to vacuum his whole condo at nine in the evening, topless and dry-sobbing.

“I’m a dad, what am I gunna do.” He sobbed as he lifted his carpet to vacuum under it. He rubbed his nose with the back of his hand as he pushed the cleaning device back and forth. “I’m a pig—I don’t deserve those little beautiful angels—they’re so beautiful. What the ?!” He pushed the vacuum towards the dining room this time and did under the table and chairs.

His dining table was empty, not even a center piece on it. As he continued, his head turned back to the kitchen, looking at his kitchen counter and his cupboards that had a glass detail on them so you could see inside—inside that was pretty much empty. “I don’t even have anything in here—how can I be a parent?” He shrieked and pushed the vacuum back into the kitchen, with one hand proceeding with the work, his other hand grabbed the fridge handle to open it.

He had some containers of food that his father had given him, a big container of kimchi, a case of beer and chips—“Why the is this in the fridge, who puts chips in the fridge—god damn it, it’s even empty! Why am I stupid? I drank one beer. One beer.” He exclaimed in disbelief to himself and took the bag of chips out to throw it down the garbage.

Just then, his phone vibrated in his pocket. Without stopping the vacuum, he took it out with one hand. Oh, it’s Kim Jiwon. Speaking of which, he just found out that she was the scam caller this afternoon, when they officially exchanged numbers before he left her place earlier.

He turned the vacuum off and answered the call. “Hello?” He spoke in between pants. He was sweating buckets. “Oh, are you working out? I can call later.” Jiwon hesitantly replied on the other end, hearing his heavy breathings. Baekhyun dropped the vacuum on the floor and leaned on the counter. “No, I was just vacuuming my place and cleaning and stuff.” He assured her.

A soft chuckle was heard from her. “Isn’t it very late to clean? I’d do that tomorrow or just any time earlier than nine in the evening.” There was a brief silence after her statement and then she gasped. “Oh , is this your nervous breakdown? Baekhyun, you okay? Do you clean when you’re freaking out? That’s so cute. Now I know how to make you help in the house in the future.” She asked and started laughing. Baekhyun closed his eyes in defeat. “I’m just … realizing how unfit I am to be a parent. My house is a mess.”

A loud awwww coming from Jiwon made him pull away from the phone. “Don’t say that, you’re overthinking. You saw my apartment, it’s a mess too. With all these toys and stuff.”

Baekhyun rolled his eyes. “Okay, first off … you just moved there—literally from across the continent. You have a lot of stuff, of course. Second, you have two small minions in there making the whole place messy. You have valid excuses. Me? I’m a pig, period.” He argued back. Again, he managed to make her laugh. “Anyway, what’s up?”

Again, they remained silent for a good ten seconds before Baekhyun chuckled. “Do you miss me already?” As much as he wanted to stay mature, he just couldn’t. it, he loved teasing her so much. Always and forever. “Oh shut up.” Jiwon hissed on the other line. “I was just curious and we really haven’t had much time to actually talk about ourselves. I’m sure lots have changed. Like, how I am now working with Hara for my shop, Free People.”

Baekhyun walked to the living room, completely abandoning the vacuum. “Yeah, I’ve heard. Kyungsoo told me actually but don’t tell Hara—he’d freak out on me. If Mama’s boy exists, Kyungsoo’s on a different level. He’s a wifey’s boy. Just don’t say anything.” The two of them shared a laugh. “Anyway, yeah. I’m so happy for you. How is it in Canada? Is it doing well?” He collapsed down the couch and lazily lied down, even throwing one leg up to the head of the couch.

Jiwon giggled. “Thank you. Yes, it did pretty well. I mean we’re in a busy area so it was pretty easy to sell there, although there’s a lot of competition around us but it was better. People walk there to shop so it was the best place to open up a business.” Baekhyun sighed in contentment. They were simply chatting but he had always craved this, dreamt of this, wondered if it was ever going to be a possibility. “That’s why we’re expanding our brand. Jihwan’s going to manage the one in Yorkville and me, here in Korea. Completely different consumers but it’s going to help a lot. Fashion here in South Korea is very big so I’m quite excited.” She added.

Baekhyun threw one arm under his head as a pillow. “That’s good, I already know it will do great. You know how crazy Koreans are with fashion.” He made her laugh. “What about you? How’s Park & Co. been?” She finally asked. He’d been dying to update her about that. “Actually, I’ve parted ways with them like a year ago and worked on opening my own studio and building my own crew. I opened about six months ago, it’s doing pretty great since I’ve always established my name in the industry.”

A delightful gasp was heard from the other end. “Wow, CEO huh? How’d that go? I bet you’re feeling more powerful than ever. Hired a you

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