Hyukjae stumbled down the stairs drunkenly, almost tripping on his feet by the last step but was lucky enough to hold tightly onto the railing. He steadied himself, blinking blearily before heading to their living room where the tall, beautifully decorated Christmas tree stood proudly. The fairy lights blinked merrily, the only light source in the room.
He took in a shaky breath, tears started to sting his eyes but he willed it back along with the bile that threatened to rise in his throat.
He knew he should not have drunk too much, not when he knew his family would see how hungover he was the next morning. But he cannot help it. Not when his heart was hurting too much since he woke up today, hearing his Noona tell him that they would be decorating their Christmas tree all together.
The whole family.
But one person was missing.
Sighing dejectedly, Hyukjae plopped down unceremoniously on the tiled floor right in front of the brightly-lit tree, thankful that the floor was well-heated. He pulled his phone out of his pants—ah, right. Hyukjae chuckled absentmindedly, staring down at his clothes. He still hasn't changed into his pajamas, opting to head straight into drinking as soon as his family went to sleep.
Hyukjae shook his head and finally pulled the device out. He clumsily unlocked his phone and dialed a number. It was easy. It was still on his speed dial, after all.
Calling '내꺼 ☀️❤️'.
"Ya," Hyukjae slurred, chuckling lightly, "Where are you? When will you come home?"
He received no response, if it weren't for the breathing he could clearly hear on the other line, Hyukjae would have thought he already got hung up on.
"You promised we'll decorate our tree together."
"You even helped me choose the motif this year but you weren't here."
"I had to decorate it with Noona and Appa. Why aren't you here?"
"Where are you? Are you okay?"
"Hyukjae, we already broke up. Are you drunk?"
Well, he is. He was. But Donghae's words shocked him into soberness, like cold water carelessly poured over him.
He swallowed audibly, the lump forming in his throat making it painful.
"Oh," he sighed softly, pressing his face against his palm as he chuckled breathily, "Right. Sorry."
Hyukjae heard some shuffling on the other side but no answer came.
"Merry Christmas, Hae," he muttered, tears pooling in his eyes until they fell down his cheeks. He abruptly wiped them away.
"Hyukjae..." Donghae sighed, then a pause, as though he was mulling over what to say next. Something that wouldn't hurt too much.
But really, it doesn't matter.