Chapter 3

Chenle & Mark: Not a Love Story

“So Mark. How was your flight? How was it riding an airplane? I haven’t been on an airplane before. Was it scary? How was the food? I heard they taste bland. Is the bathroom really small? Like is it really possible to pee inside? How was -” The guy paused talking when he saw Mark looking at him smiling.


“S-stop looking at me Mark. I was just asking questions. If you don’t want to answer them then just tell me. I am driving, can’t you see? You are distracting me when you look my way so stop doing it.”


“I would like to answer you but you kept on talking so….”


“Fine. I will shut up starting now,” the guy pouted and just focused his eyes on the road. Not taking a glance on the person sitting in the passenger seat.


“Jeno, that’s not what I meant.” Mark waited for him to answer but when he didn’t he just continued, “The flight was okay. Riding an airplane was pretty exciting for me since I like the skies. Scary at first but not long after. They are right, the food tastes bland. I barely touched what I ordered. And the bathroom was kinda small but it is possible to pee and poop too if I may say.”


From there, Mark and Jeno’s conversation continued until they arrived at KAIST University.


Mark and Jeno are cousins from both their mother’s sides. It was their first time seeing each other in person. And they only started knowing about each other’s existence the year before and have been communicating online since then.


Both Mark and Jeno are first-year students at KAIST University. They get to know more about each other as they arrange their things inside their dorm room.


“Hey Mark. I hope you don’t mind me asking but have you ever thought of searching for your father?”


“How would I search for someone I don’t know a single piece of information about?”


“You never asked Aunt Lesa about him?”



Year 2032 @ Lesa’s house in Canada


“Happy birthday darling,” Lesa was holding ten-year-old Mark’s cake waiting for her son to blow it.


“So, what did my most handsome son wish for?”


“Mom, it’s a secret.” Lesa placed the cake on the table before tickling Mark. “Come on. You never keep secrets from me. Tell me what you wished for.” Mark kept on giggling while rolling on the floor because of his mom’s tickles. Lesa only stopped when Mark started talking.


“Mom, stop it tickles so much. Okay okay I’ll tell you my wish.” Lesa’s face was plastered with a huge smile as she looks adoringly at her son. “I’m listening darling.”


“I wished for you to always be healthy.” Lesa smiled widely while her eyes started forming tears before Mark continued, “and I also wished to know who my father is.”


It was as if a huge boulder crashed on Lesa’s whole body when he heard his son’s second wish.


When Mark was younger, it was natural for him to wonder where his father is and who could he be. Mark has been seeing his other classmates bringing their father along during PTA meetings and other school events. He kind of felt envious of them especially when they see the fathers with their sons play together. But each time he brings up the question to his mother, she only answers, “your father is a very busy man who is working far far away," to which Mark believed.


Lesa never mentioned his name, where he works, where he lives, what he looks like, nothing. Lesa wanted to avoid the question forever but she knows Mark will not stop asking until she gives him a proper answer.


“I am sorry darling. I know you have been asking me this for so long and I kept on answering the same thing but I guess it's time that I'll be honest. Son, I am afraid I don’t know the answer to your question. I don’t remember anything, Mark. I am sorry.” Lesa hugged her son tightly. Tears started streaming down her face like waterfalls. Mark returned the hug even though he doesn’t understand what his mother meant.


“I’m sorry for asking mom. Please stop crying. I don’t want to see you cry.” and just like that Mark started crying also while wrapping his thin arms ever more tightly around his mother.


“I don’t want you to cry mom. Never. And if bringing up my father or your past causes your tears, I promise I will never bring him up again.” Mark thought.


Since then, Mark never asked again about his father. He lived the rest of his life as if the other half that created him never existed.


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