point of turning ❦
He wasn’t supposed to be here at this ungodly hour, but bottom line, she could already see Luhan from the other side of the glass door and sporting eyes that make her wonder what has been on his mind lately. Whether it’s a filthy obsession or a petty crush, she shrugs it off confidently whispering to herself that no, I think Luhan just has his days when he needs someone to talk to. And then maybe an occasional no, he already has a girlfriend. She knows what she wants and it’s definitely not him.
A little past bedtime (if you call 12:38 some time frame where you could go on knocking some girl’s door), Luhan has this box relentlessly pushed in his left armpit, stars a little bit too twinkly and gay. And she knows, she knows well that Chen might not say anything too vocal about it if ever he knows what Luhan is doing, but nevertheless, it’ll break the guy’s heart. And then it’ll break hers.
She didn’t take the time to contemplate how she should blow this cute little thing off her doorstep, careful not to wake her parents from the upstairs. “Well, you can come in. It’s cold.” She feels stupid for still inviting him over for a midnight snack but that’s the way she is.
Luhan starts the conversation with a monotonous voice, fingers fidgeting from her point of view, “So I heard you were moving out. To where? Maybe we can still see each other.”
“Don’t count on it though,” She replies bluntly, two glasses of coffee neatly prepared in front of them by the veranda near the garden outside. “Chen and I will move back to China.”
“That’s…great!” Luhan managed to choke out in the middle of gulping hot caffeine, shaking his head to make sure what he had just heard was a lie. But it’s not, so the frown he makes effectively makes her frown as well. “So when?”
She finishes the cup of coffee first and looks at him in the eye, saying, “Maybe in two or so weeks.”
Malfunctioned heaters, booming stereos, super fast internet speed, cups of Chinese lemongrass tea and novel-long random stories; whatever made those memories with Luhan into something irrelevant to her eyes, that was Chen, definitely.
“Luhan, we’ll meet again.”
She couldn’t remember so much about how Luhan’s tears stained his own pretty face. She couldn’t recall all the time she wanted to embrace him but anything she’d do might not be what Luhan needs. The boy needs someone better, someone who would understand him the way she understands Chen. And yes, there were no regrets because Luhan left with a smile. Even though it was painful to watch him turn around and call for a cab, in two weeks she’d have a new life, one without him in it. Or that bastard Baekhyun, whatever his name is, because stealing from Chen isn’t nice at all.
It took her about half an hour trying to get Luhan off her mind.
And then another half hour to get Baekhyun out and the sensation of his lips on hers. Just the other day, he barged in her house and came looking for Chen; honestly, what was wrong with their relationship? She asks herself this every time either Baekhyun or Luhan acts like peek-a-boo toys.
It is short and sweet and momentous, just like any other girl’s dream first kiss, and countless times Baekhyun tried to get second, but Chen is doing a pretty good job being a fiancé. That’s why she’s moving in the first place. That’s why she’s leaving home for a new one.
A small kind of perfection enamours her into deep sleep; in days of just forgetting Baekhyun and Luhan altogether because they did ruin her life in a way. Chen is a train ride away and in two weeks, they will meet.
It’s as if they won’t be meeting tomorrow for lunch after his part-time job. As long as they have what they have, right?
Xiumin would be joining them, the only guy Chen allows her to talk to freely (he’s usually very open but she knows her limits and Xiumin is always an exception for her and Chen). All the happiness their small Chinese restaurant escapades brought to her and to Chen’s ears, excited to hear how his girl is doing. Xiumin would carry all the shopping bags and all the plastic containers from Chinese take-outs, almost a hundred siopaos stuffed into them and into their mouths. She’s always so happy with anyone accompanying her, but always, Xiumin is always a step ahead of…maybe Luhan and Baekhyun. But they must be irrelevant by now. Yet she still couldn’t sleep. All these sudden rush of memories, all in one night just because of Luhan.
2:48 in the morning, she finally convinces herself to sleep.
The next day, Chen picks her up for lunch and as planned, Xiumin is there. Dragging his cheerful personality along with him, they talk about moving to China and all the glitter that comes with it. “There are amazing museums in the north of Nanjing,” he starts with a tone, eyeing Chen’s food. “If you guys are interested in war memorials then that place would be great for you.”
They also chatted about all the attention Luhan has been putting on her but they quickly move the topic and talk about Chinese landmarks once again. Chen’s hand is reassuring and albeit being rough, covers her hands in a lovely shell.
The sound of the airplane is frightening so Chen wraps her up in his tight hug, scarf slightly brushing her cheeks and it makes her itch a bit. All the memories she made in Korea are gone. She’ll start anew in 2-hour-away China.
And she smiles ever-so-sneakily, that same satisfaction overcoming her. The smile that knows there would be a happy ending.
Chen has a lot of dreams and she’s in it.