Push & Pull
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Joy & Sorrow


“We’re here.”

The moment Baekhyun spoke, Jiwon automatically turned her head to the side facing the window to pretend asleep. Maybe it was too late but it didn’t matter, all she wanted to do was to hide at the moment. What was she thinking ever agreeing to this? It didn’t matter, it shouldn’t have mattered. “Jiwon, wake up. We’re here at the clinic.” She felt a tap on her arm followed by a gentle kiss on her head. She kept still, letting out a fake heavy breath. “Oh come on. It’s not working, Kim Jiwon. Let’s go.” Baekhyun stepped out of the vehicle first and walked around to her side of the door. Jiwon inevitably felt the gaze that he was giving her through the window, despite that she had her eyes fully closed. “You know me, Jiwon. I will carry you in my arms and get you in there myself if I have to.”

That last resort was enough to finally make her open her eyes, straight up glaring at him. She pressed the button on the side of the door to pull the window down open. “Okay look.” She sighed heavily. “I don’t know what to say Baekhyun—I just … does this really matter? We might just be a bother anyway. I don’t want to make this all a big deal, it’s nothing.”

Baekhyun leaned his forearms on the window frame of the car and moved his head closer in. “For once, don’t listen to your head. You’re not bothering anyone and this is a big deal. He was the one who’s apparently been looking for you. You’re not causing any trouble or whatsoever your brain is telling you right now.” He then opened the door for her and waited for her to take his hand. “And also, we’re not here for a medical appointment. It may seem like it but … we’re here to face him.” Jiwon’s gaze travelled to the signage of the clinic.

He was a psychotherapist or a psychiatrist – she wasn’t even sure what kind of doctor he was.

And as if Baekhyun read her mind, he spoke. “I think he does therapies or counselling for addiction, depression and relationships—something around those things, I don’t remember everything. I did a little bit of a research this morning.” He then grabbed her hand himself and lead her out of the car.  

Jiwon hugged his arm in fear. “Tell me again, this isn’t trying to cause drama, right? I’m not overstepping or anything.” She chuckled nervously while waiting for him to look back. Once he did, he tapped the tip of her nose. “No drama and also … what overstepping—overstep all you want. You’re the one who got abandoned, not him.” He walked ahead without further ado making her follow.

Once they were inside, Baekhyun did the initiative to speak to the receptionist looking for the name Kim Jihyeok—the name on the business card. He even showed the card that was given to them by him. “I’m sorry, sir. It’s just that, you don’t have any appointment with him. So, I’m afraid you might have to make one first on another day because today might be—”

Baekhyun chuckled coolly before leaning more on the desk, glancing down the name tag of the receptionist. “Okay—uhm, Hana is it? You have the same name as my little daughter. Anyway, Hana … is there anyway you could make us an appointment today? The same day? It’s really important. I would really appreciate it, Hana. Hm?” His charismatic daddy voice filled the small waiting room. Jiwon stared at him in a mixture of disbelief and awe. The receptionist shyly looked down to her name tag that was pinned right on her left chest, feeling very conscious about her chest now since he was staring at it—or seemed like he was.

“Uh, sir … wo—would you like to hand me your identification card first and if you have any sort of insurance or benefits?” She asked back. “Sure, no problem. We’re here for a couple’s therapy or whatever you call it. I wanna break up with this woman but she wouldn’t let me go easily. She wanted to do this or whatever—I still don’t think it’s going to work but anyway.” Out of nowhere, Baekhyun started making up stories while taking out his cards. Jiwon stared at him in complete shock. She wanted to laugh so badly but she held it in. “Here you go, Hana—oh, you have pretty hands, sorry I got distracted.” He smiled as their hands brush against each other when she took the cards. Jiwon cleared and pinched him on the side. He looked back at her and eyed her meaningfully as if telling her to trust him.

And to Jiwon’s surprise, a miracle happened.

“Oh, we actually have a spot today in an hour, an appointment wasn’t confirmed and it got cancelled the last minute. We have a policy here that if you don’t confirm your appointment it gets cancelled to make way for emergency appointments like yours. So, I can give you that spot instead but it may have to begin as a consultation first since you are new clients, then Dr. Kim will move on to make another appointment for the real session next time. Is it okay to wait for an hour, sir?” She asked with a smile. “Oh, thank you. You’re amazing, Hana. Thank you for considering our situation an emergency, it really is. I really want out.” He took back his identification card from her and gave her one quick wink before dragging Jiwon to the waiting chairs.

“What the was that?” Jiwon muffled as soon as they were far enough.

Baekhyun sat down and she did the same, taking the chair beside him. “We’re technically new clients, like strangers. They wouldn’t give emergency spots like that to us easily, it’s more for regular clients—let alone consider our situation an emergency. I had to use my charisma and it obviously worked, that girl wants me single and available and get this over with. Also, it’s better that way. You don’t want any drama hence you don’t want to just get in here and say you’re his abandoned daughter so you need to talk to him. Right? It’s either that … or this.” He asked. Jiwon stared at him in awe, completely speechless of his tactics.

“Exactly.” Baekhyun added knowing that she had nothing bad to say about his decisions.

An hour, surprisingly, felt like a flash. There was more nervousness than excitement, more anxiety than bliss. Jiwon was starting to chicken out again—it was just a never-ending cycle. Her heart clashed with her brain and neither was winning.

I’m already happy, I don’t need this, I don’t need him.

There’s always going to be this void in my soul that is left hollow—until I meet him.

Around those words, in those two contradicting sentences replayed in her mind over and over again for the span of sixty minutes and so. It would have lasted longer if the receptionist hadn’t called for their names. It was their time. It was their turn. Today, she was going to meet her biological father. Her body froze as she stood, her hand getting wrapped around Baekhyun’s strong ones. “Just breathe. Slowly, breathe.” He muttered as they followed the receptionist into a hallway. Jiwon blinked tightly as if clearing her vision. “I can’t, I feel like I’m gunna throw up if I inhale too deeply. I’m so nervous—.” She muffled, her lips almost touching his shoulder just to keep her words intact and mellow.

The receptionist turned to look at them and Baekhyun suddenly yanked her hand away. “Okay, space please? I beg you, babe. Just this once.” He asked firmly. Jiwon widened her eyes at him again until she remembered that they were supposed to be a struggling couple going through a borderline break-up—which she quickly wondered if was an actual thing. Personally, for her, once one party wants out it was done. She scrunched her nose at him, glaring at him from head to toe. “Yah, you told

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