“Mommy,” A girl, probably an early teen sighed at the older woman as they sat down somewhere with drinks on their table. “I think I did something wrong.”
The mother raises her eyebrow at that, putting down her drink. They were out shopping judging from the way they had bags of things in the empty seats. “What did you do?”
“I mean… I don’t think I did anything wrong… but I am always feeling guilty… like I left the gas stove on or something… Or I promised to meet someone and failed?”
The older woman takes a moment to consider what her daughter was saying until she is chuckling heartily.
“Don’t worry too much…” She tells her. “Everyone feels like that sometimes.”
The daughter opens to say something else but she is cut off when their buzzer began buzzing indicating that their order was ready.
“The cake and ice cream must be ready. Let mommy go get them, okay?” The girl nods her head but sighs when the older woman goes away, her countenance suddenly falling, and her eyes dimming.
She looks out into the street, her eyes wandering everywhere as though looking for someone in particular.
“But I feel this way every moment…” She mumbles as her eyes stray to the peach tea and to the bags of things they had bought today. “And I feel like I don’t deserve any of this…”
“Especially…” She mutters again as she sighted her mother carrying her ice cream and cake their way. “Especially ice cream.”
She sighs and puts a smile on her face.
“They look amazing, mommy. Thank you for this.”
“Aw…” Her mother comes to kiss her forehead and winks at her, “Anything for my baby. Just don’t tell Minseok.”
* * *
There is a hum in the air, a peaceful hum almost like the soft buzzing of the bee, as the two of us shared our childhood stories about how these dreams or feelings or emotions had made us into what we were today.
I told him about the guilt that had resided in me my whole life and the want or needs to just get… out there. The frustration of needing to do something but not knowing what and he as well tells me about how he had to stop every now and then thinking he was not where he should be, that he was in the wrong place.
“It’s… simply… out of this world, isn’t it?” He murmured tracing a finger at the back of my hand, concentrating on it as though he were creating a masterpiece there. “We’ve both been through a lot because of it… But I think it’s all worth it.”
I nod with a hum, relaxed and happy.
After pouring out our hearts as we can never with another person, the two of us seem to have melted into a pot of warm bath after dragging ourselves on a stormy, icy path forever.
As he said… it was out of this world. The feeling of warmth, of understanding… of finding, and of being found really buzzed around us making both sighed dreamily at it. For both of us, it was like a heavyweight off our shoulders, like we’ve finally reached the end of the tunnel where light is, where great promises are.
We were both still on the couch, both our tea cold, the fruits abandoned but our hearts warmed and our souls singing. His hands were either firmly latched with mine or tracing it or playing with it as though it were a reminder that the end of a long-fought war has finally dawned.
The doorbell rang making us both jump a little, surprised at the noise that had come from the world outside our bubble.
The only problem when the two of us comes together is that we forget there’s a world out there, that there are people living alongside us… it always feels as though we were both on an island, surrounded by nothing but waves and waves of happiness.
That’ll be the paradise for me.
“I think the food is here,” Baekhyun tells me but with a little pout looking at the way his hands were still playing with mine. Did he not want to let it go?
“Go get it,” I chuckle pulling my hand back making him sigh dramatically before lightly patting my cheek.
“Alright,” He tells me with a little grumble as I giggle again. Gosh. He was just so cute.
He almost dashes out making him nearly trip. I shook my head and judged him silently before calmly taking the cold teacups and fruit to the kitchen.
His kitchen was not a completely separate room, as was the usual style of the university quarters and I can see it from the living room itself but entering it is always a little different.
It was small but well kept. There were some dishes to be done in the sink and the stove needed some cleaning. It made me smile a little that finally there was a human side to him. There was a small window just above the sink making me look out of it.
It was bright outside, almost replicating how bright I felt inside. There were several chirpings of birds singing their last chorus before night approaches, thanks to the good amount of trees on our campus.
He appears in the living room, successfully taking back my attention. He frowns as soon as he sees the spot that I was in empty. He looked around frantically as though I might have disappeared into thin air looking almost… stressed? That was until he spots me by the kitchen and a smile automatically graces his lips, his eyes softening a hundred times.
He shakes his head a little as though saying, ‘I don’t know why but I got scared for a second there.’
I suppose waiting for a lifetime really takes a toll on you.
I bit my lips, there… there’s that jab of guilt. I had been the one to make him wait.
“Let’s eat. I ordered us some Jjampong*. I hope that’s okay?” He tells me as he walked to the kitchen with the package.
(*Jjampong is a Korean noodle dish with red-spicy seafood soup)
I nodded, excited to have some seafood. There’s never a wrong time for seafood after all.
He laid out the plastic containers with deep concentration, carefully placing them on the small counter that separated the kitchen and living room. There were two stools there, almost like it was meant for us.
As he laid out the food, I went through his kitchen to prepare the cutleries and the needed utensils making him gaze affectionately at me as though he loved that I was helping him around.
I too loved it. It gave me the cozy, cottage vibes shared between two old lovers who’ve spent their entire lives together.
“Let’s eat~,” He tells me cheerily, his tone almost singing making me wish to just grab his cheeks and squish them.
But I refrained from doing so and laid out the chopsticks and spoons. “You must really like seafood,” I tell him with an amused smile making him turn to look at me.
“Hmm?” He hums tilting his head adorably. “Maybe...”
He takes a seat first and pats the empty one urgently as though he couldn’t wait for me to take a seat.
I take a seat but he frowns, making me turn to him a little worried. Did I sit wrong? But the next moment, my heart is all but a drum when he drags my stool close to him… but do you know what was making my heart turn into a drum instead of being a normal organ in my body?
Well, he had his legs spread as he sat on the stool and when he pulled me, I was trapped neatly between his legs which probably made me turn red. I was certain he could hear my heartbeat when our stools touched each other with a soft thud and he looked down a little at me with the most satisfied smile I’ve seen on him.
“Much better,” he expresses with a childlike joy that has my heart fluttering like a delicate butterfly trying to fly amidst a stormy wind.
“Oh!” He suddenly expresses as he turns to look at the Jjampong and then at me, “I totally forgot to ask you if you like spicy food. Would it be okay?”
He his lips, an action he seems to do a lot whenever he was nervous or just… not in his most comfortable presence.
“I like them,” I swallowed my own nervousness and assured him. “I can eat it if it is not too much.”
He gives a tiny sigh of relief as though he was trying to hide it but when he’s just… some inches away from me… that seemed impossible.
The food looked incredible. It was piping hot, red, and full of those delicious shrimps and prawns and clams that I loved. But I was simply not in the mood to eat. They looked incredible but I was… already full.
I squinted my eyes suspiciously at the delicious waft that greeted my nose. It was not like I had a huge lunch… in fact, it was only a sandwich, so why on earth do I not want to eat? I already feel full!
“What’s wrong?” I turn to him and I immediately looked away because his puppy eyes were all out… in all its glory making me just… paralyzed. He was simply an inch away and- wait a minute… isn’t he uncomfortable at this position? I mean his whole chest was looking in my direction. How was he even going to eat like this?
“Um… I think,” I begin pulling away from his seat a little. “You’ll… get food stains on…” I nearly said me because the past incidences really make me think that there was a huge chance that those piping hot food could land entirely on me.
But he simply pouts and pulls me back again. “I’ll be careful, I promise.” He tells me solemnly making me gulp at how serious but cute he looked.
Um… the audacity?
“If-if you’re un-uncomfortable,” He begins