Chapter 2

Chenle & Mark: Not a Love Story

Chenle woke up the following day with his head throbbing in pain. He's lying on his bed in the dorm. Jisung walked towards him holding a tray with a bowl of soup, glass of water, and medicines.


"What on earth happened, Jisung?"


"Oh I don't know Chenle. YOU tell me what happened," Chenle can clearly hear his best friend's sarcasm.


Before Chenle could answer back, Jisung added. “I cooked some hangover soup. Eat that first then drink the medicines I left on the tray. I’ll just go out and get some groceries for the week.”


“Since when did you cook and get groceries on your own?” Chenle retorted.


“Since today. I’ll be back soon,” with that, Jisung went out of the door and left Chenle alone.




Year 2022 @ a hospital in Canada


“There you go. Very good Ms. Lee. Just one more push.”


After that one push, a newborn baby emerged from Lesa’s body. His skin is covered in blood and his voice echoed throughout the delivery room.


“Can I hold him?” The newborn was now in Lesa’s arms. Tears started falling from her face as she looked at the small infant that she once carried in her womb for 9 months.


“My baby boy. My Mark Lee.”



Year 2027 @ Mark’s kindergarten school in Canada


“Mom!” It was dismissal time and the five-year-old Mark ran excitedly to her waiting mother and gave her a kiss.


“How was school baby?” She asked while patting her boy’s hair.


“Mom, I am not a baby anymore.” He retorted which made Lesa smile whenever she sees her baby boy get embarrassed from being called a ‘baby’.


“You will always be my baby no matter what,” she planted kisses all over her son’s cute face while tickling his body. Little Mark was laughing while telling his mom to stop. “I wonder if your father is as ticklish as you. Whoever he is.” She thought.



Year 2027 @ NCT’s main office in China


“Thank you for everyone’s hard work and dedication. The meeting is adjourned,” one by one the people inside the conference room stood to bid goodbye to each other and continue to head to the company party.




“Yeah Jisung. Why?”


“Things seem to be moving faster than planned, huh.”


“I know right. With the fierce competition in our industry, I was projecting that we’ll reach the Top 5 status in our 10th year. But lo and behold, we are already the Top 5 best tech company in China and it’s just our 6th year.”


“In no time, we’ll be number 1.”


“Yeah. I am excited Jisung!” Chenle’s face suddenly lit up and Jisung can feel his best friend’s overflowing emotions at the thought of finally reaching one of his goals.


“Are you excited to reach the Top 1 or are you excited to finally have the chance to look for Lesa?”


“Jisung” Chenle’s smile disappeared when he saw his best friend’s concerned look after asking the question.


“Sorry. I just remembered. Forget about what I said. Let’s just get you some ice cream and celebrate your success.” Jisung smiled while holding out his hand towards the door.


“Our success, Jisung. I couldn’t have done this without you.” Chenle’s smile reappeared.


“Oh I know about that. I just didn’t want to brag. Let’s go. The party’s starting!” The two head out to join the rest of their employees.





Year 2038 @ Shanghai Pudong Airport


“Hello China.” Mark told himself right after his airplane landed in Shanghai, China.


He and his mom had planned for him to study in China for college. It wasn’t just any university, however. It was the best technology university in the whole of Asia - KAIST University.


Mark was so nervous as this was his first time stepping into a foreign country. Add the fact that he was also on his own.


“Mark Lee! Over here, Mark Lee!” He saw an eager hand waving at him while holding a placard bearing his name on the other. “That must be him.” Mark plastered a smile on his face before walking towards the guy that kept calling his name.

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