“Yes, thank you for attending the ceremony.” Yoochun bowed politely.
That was the last guest that went home after the wedding reception had ended. Now there was only Ae Rin, Yoochun, and a few family members and close friends in the empty hall of an exclusive hotel. Many balloons and flowers scattered around, making the place a bit messy. They cleaned up, and then it was time for both of the wedding couple to be alone in their room.
Yoochun closed the door silently behind him. The hotel suite was extravagant as always, with a hint of lavender scent. The scent should have calmed the atmosphere between the two, but its magic did not work. Ae Rin turned around while her hands crossed over her chest.
“Where do you want to sleep?” She asked.
Yoochun looked around. There were two rooms in the suite. One master bedroom with all the comforting facilities, while the other was an ordinary one, specially made in case they were bringing along a maid. Yoochun walked lazily towards the latter and said,
“I’ll take this one.”
“We’ll continue our discussion tomorrow, over breakfast.” Ae Rin suggested.
Yoochun quickly closed the door to his room, while Ae Rin’s gaze followed him until he disappeared behind the door. She sighed and went to her own room. Before changing, she looked at her reflection in the mirror. She smiled weakly at herself in the white dress. Congratulations, Ae Rin… A single tear escaped her eyes and flowed to her chin, before it fell to the ground.
Ae Rin looked at the clock. 6 a.m. She got up and stretched her sore limbs. She had only slept for 2 hours. Her body was still tired, not to say her mind that was working heavily last night, trying to come up towards a solution of this problem. She rubbed her temples for a while before going into the bathroom to clean herself.
Once she got out of the room, she went to the living room. It’s still too early to wake him up. Even though she dislike him as he was one of the cause of her current problem, she didn’t want to torture him further. She knew that he was feeling the exact as she was feeling too. Trapped. Trapped in this pitiful marriage.
She turned the news on and watched it without digesting anything. She stared at the screen and blinked. Suddenly, her cell phone vibrated. She read the message and smiled.
How was last night?
Don’t worry. If he does anything inappropriate to you
I’ll come there myself and smack him down!!(ò_ó)
Well, the message from Eun Ah really made her day better. She knew that despite all her hardships, she got someone to lean herself to. She had been best friends with Eun Ah since elementary school. They knew each other’s secrets. And now, she really needed her best friend’s support to go through this unplanned marriage. At least, the bride and groom did not plan it…
After a while, she stole a glance at the clock again. 8 a.m. Okay. Let us go and wake that sleepy head up.
“Yoochun… Yoochun… Wake up…” She tried, softly.
“Yoochun! Wake up! It’s already 8 a.m.!” This time, she pulled hard the wedding suit that Yoochun did not get himself out of yet.
Still, even though there was a little movement and a grunt, he did not wake up.
Okay, let us see if you will still stay asleep after this…
Ae Rin pulled off the blanket that was covering his lower half and let it crumble up on the floor. She got on the bed, with a snicker on her face. Without any warning, she started jumping up and down of the bed, making Yoochun’s body move along with the sudden ‘earthquake’. This is kind of fun… She determined to continue jumping until the almost dead body in front of her wakes up.
An invisible hand had pulled her forward, and now she was situated directly on top of Yoochun. Blood rushed into her face as she struggled to get away from his grip, and his intense, if not mad, gaze.
“What are you trying to do?” Yoochun asked. He never lifted his gaze as he spoke those words.
“Hm? What? I didn’t hear you…”
He moved his face closer towards her. Her heart picked up its pace while she continued stuttering.
“I… You… Don’t get too close….”
“What?? We are married after all…” He leaned over and planted a kiss on her forehead. She glared at him. He ignored it, and continued to smile at her playfully.
“What time is it?” He asked.
“Eight.” Answered Ae Rin, short.
He got up and released Ae Rin before walking towards the bathroom. Ae Rin sat still on the bed bewildered. Before entering, he turned and said,
“What? You want to bathe with me?”
Blood almost rushed out of her cheeks when he said that. She picked up a pillow and threw it at him.
“You wish!!! Don’t forget, our discussion over breakfast!”
After that, Ae Rin stormed out of the room. Holding the pillow with his left hand, Yoochun sighed.
“I know, Ae Rin… I know…” He said, slow.
It’s almost a month after their marriage. They are now living together with the other members as Yoochun still had his obligation towards the group. Of course, they were given a room to share, a room, which now had been divided equally for their own uses separately.
“So, hyung, how did it go?” Asked Changmin. That time Yoochun had only just finished unpacking into his new ‘couple room’. He breathed hard and crashed into the sofa in the living room while his hands grabbed a bottle of cold juice from his dongsaeng. He took a large gulp before answering.
“How did what go?”
“Um… You know, the marriage… With Ae Rin noona…”
“Hm… What do you expect?”
“Well… Um… Are we expecting any little hyungs??”
Yoochun laughed a little. He took another gulp and wiped his sweat with the end of his t-shirt’s sleeve.
“Well, that’s up to her…”
“I know that we don’t love each other and we still have the chance to find it later. So, it’s better if we don’t do anything that ties us down to this marriage, if you know what I mean…”
“You mean… No… children??”
“Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. So that it’s easier for us to… separate… later…”
“Why don’t we try first? Without us knowing, this marriage might just work…”
Ae Rin looked blankly towards Yoochun. She played with her food a little, trying to find a way to answer. It’s not that she didn’t want to, but she didn’t want to hold Yoochun back. She knew that his job brings him to meet a lot of people, and among those people might be someone that he loves. And what about her? She deserve to search her own true love too. Not to be tied to this marriage bond unwillingly like this…
“Never mind, just forget what I said. I will restrain myself, in one condition that you will never try anything that might provoke me…” Ae Rin’s expression turned sour. Yoochun smiled cheekily before continuing, “But I must tell you now, that if you ever changed your mind, I’ll be right here.”
End of flashback
“Was that jealousy that I sense from the beautiful woman in front of me?”
“You wish.” Ae Rin didn’t bother to look at Yoochun’s face while she answered him. For what? He’s better off with that previous woman, who without shame sat on his lap. Hmph!
Yoochun continued smiling while he exchanged his seat to sit beside his wife. They are now in a private room in a club, where DBSK should have entertained a certain superior. Now that the superior had other agenda to attend to, they were free to hang out and relax in the club after a very tiring week. Their schedule was full of rehearsals, recordings and also interviews. Tonight was the only night in that particular week that Yoochun had the opportunity to spend some time with Ae Rin. He missed her so much.
“She’s nothing compared to you, my queen. If only you give me the chance to show it to you.”
“Yoochun! Our deal…”
“I have already found her, and it’s you. Come on… It had been a year since we married. Isn’t it about time that you give up? I really do love you, Ae Rin. Not because of the marriage. Not because of our fathers’ promise. It’s because of you. You… are so interesting… I have no boring days in my life with you…”
“Yeah right. You can sweet talk me all night and I will never surrender. Be it 10 more years, I believe that we can still find our soul mates later…”
“Enough. You should get some rest. Here, let me pour you a drink.”
Yoochun kept silent after that. He just watched as his wife swallowed down glasses after glasses of wine. The other members just watched the quarrel between the husband and wife, without any power to help any of them. Changmin just gave Yoochun a supportive smile. It’s all that he could do to help his hyung.
Ae Rin went to the bathroom for the thousandth time that night. She was still dizzy after drinking almost a bottle of wine at the club before. Yoochun supported her as she went back to her side of the bed.
“Are you sure you’re okay? Is there anything that I can help?”
“No, thanks…” She rejected his offer. They went back under their blankets while trying to drift back to sleep.
“Hm???” She answered weakly. Meanwhile, Yoochun’s hands had already reached her forehead. She did not have enough strength to push him away that night, so she just let him touch her. It’s okay, as long as it doesn’t bring us to…
“You’re as hot as a fresh baked potato!!”
Huh? What kind of idiom that he used? As a fresh baked potato?? She chuckled softly.
“We better bring you to a doctor or something…”
“No, I’m fine… Just go get a towel and a basin of water…”
Without any hesitation, Yoochun went and got all of the stuff that Ae Rin wanted. Without waiting for any instructions, he wet the towel and put it on his wife’s forehead. He could see that she was sweating a lot too, but if she changed her clothes now, it will be the fifth time tonight. She won’t have enough clothing later…
He looked at her face intently. Was it the wine, or that his heart really longed for her? In her drunken state, she looked very vulnerable. He leaned forward slowly and planted a kiss on her forehead. Without any reaction from her, he became more daring. This time he attacked her lips. She moaned a little but still, no other reaction. What happened afterwards was all in God’s power.
The door opened and a very angry face flashed past through Changmin towards Yoochun’s and Ae Rin’s room. Inside, Ae Rin was still crying on the bed while Yoochun sulked beside the window panes.
The little woman made her way towards Yoochun.
“What have you done to her??!!”
Yoochun did not answer. He continued to stare out of the window as if no one had asked him anything.
“Hmph!” After getting no response from him, she turned towards Ae Rin.
“Eun Ah…” Ae Rin called out weakly. Her voice hadn’t changed from the voice that Eun Ah had heard over the telephone about an hour ago.
“I’m here now… Don’t cry anymore…”
“Eun Ah… We… did it…” Another tear escaped her eyes. The two best friends hugged each other. Mean while, the other DBSK members were eavesdropping from the keyhole on the door.
“What?!! Didn’t you guys have a contract or something? A deal??” Raged Eun Ah.
Yoochun buried his head in his hands. “It’s all my fault. I’m sorry, Ae Rin…”
“You can be charged of rape!! You hear me??? From today onwards, she will stay with me. Just wait for our lawyer’s letter!!!”
“Wait!! Please don’t bring this to court…” Yoochun pleaded. “The group…”
“Oh… You care about the group more, don’t you??!!! How about the baby???”
“Come on… It was just one time… Baby???”
“Don’t play with this matter, mister!! You have to take responsibility!!!”
“Fine. Don’t come searching for them afterwards. You made the choice yourself, live with it. Come on, Ae Rin. Let us leave this horrid place to my home.”
Without anymore said, Ae Rin left the apartment building. She left Yoochun.
“Argh!!! Eun Ah!!! It hurts!!!”
“Just a little bit more, Ae Rin… A bit more. Hang in there!!”
Ae Rin cried. Her tears of pain, tears of regret and tears of hope streamed down her cheeks. How she longed for Yoochun right now. She knew it at last, that she was wrong. Her soul mate was beside her all along; it was only her that was blind not to notice. She felt guilty towards Yoochun, towards her heart and towards her baby. She wanted him by her side now, to apologize…
“Yes Ae Rin, I’m here… Hang in there!”
“Eun Ah, where is Yoochun?? Yoochun… Yoochun… Argh!!!”
“Mrs Park, push!!!” The doctor instructed.
She was sweating all over. Her face was white, as she had lost too much blood. Even the doctor, with a worried face, whispered something to the nurse beside him. Ae Rin knew something was wrong.
“Eun Ah… You’re my best friend… right?”
“Please, for one last time, do me a favour?”
“No! Don’t say it like that! You’re going to go through this just fine!”
“Eun Ah! Please, one last favour?” Her tone soften.
Eun Ah nodded slowly while her hands were still holding Ae Rin’s tightly.
“I want Yoochun… Tell him… I have something for him… Tell him… I want to see him… Tell him… I’ll be waiting…”
Then, she passed out. The nurse pushed Eun Ah out of the delivery room while the doctor prepared a table for surgery. Eun Ah hesitated for a while. Her fingers played on the keypad of her cell phone, thinking whether to call Yoochun or not. At last, she gave up to their friendship, and dialed his number.
Yoochun searched high and low for the little woman who called him earlier. He saw her sitting outside the delivery room and joined her. There was a moment of silence before…
“How long had she been… in there?” Yoochun asked.
“… nearly 6 hours…”
“Damn!” Yoochun punched the wall beside him. His knuckles became swollen, but he didn’t care. “Why didn’t you call me earlier??!”
“You were the one who neglected her!! And now you want to be a part of her life??! So sorry, mister! I don’t think I will allow you to do that!! Besides, it was her, calling out for you. If it was me, there’s no way would I ever call you in my free will, be it a thousand years from now on. What you did was unforgivable!”
“Me?? It was you who took her away from me!! I never said that I didn’t want her. I was just objecting to the idea to bring this to court!”
“That’s the same as neglecting her! Why did you disobey the deal?? And did you plead so that she won’t be taken away?? No!!!”
Yoochun was taken aback. Eun Ah was right. He didn’t. He cooled down a bit.
“Enough. What’s done is done. She called for you. She said that she had something for you and asked you to wait for her. So… we’ll just have to wait after this operation…”
Another hour passed, but the operation still hadn’t ended. Suddenly, a nurse came out and she was chased by Yoochun and Eun Ah who hungered for an explanation. Any explanation.
“Don’t worry. We’re trying our best. In the mean time, please remain calm. You can wait for her in her room, as we will be bringing her straight there after the surgery. Please, excuse me.” The nurse excused herself. Both Eun Ah and Yoochun walked weakly to Ae Rin’s private ward.
The room was empty. Eun Ah sat on the nearby chair while Yoochun went to the bed. Sitting on it, he looked around. His eyes caught a glimpse of a corner of a folded paper that was hastily put inside the bedside drawer. He reached out and read.
I’m fine. The baby’s fine too. He’s been kicking hard lately. He must’ve wanted to see the world badly. No… he wanted to see you… I know, because I’ve been telling him so much about you. Every day, every night… He knows a lot about you… He wanted to meet his great papa…
How are you now? I saw you the other day, in television… You looked horrible. Did you take your meals? Your exercises? Your sleep??? You must take care of yourself. If not, how can Jae Ha see you later? He won’t recognize you as his hero anymore if you continue to go on like this. Maybe he’ll be picky like me?? Hihi…
The most important thing that I want to say is that… I won’t blame you anymore. I… I think that our mistake… No, it wasn’t a mistake… It was… a blessing… I’m glad that it happened. The baby in my womb taught me that I must not be blinded by my selfishness, by my ego… He taught that there was something present inside me, which longed for you… No, not just the baby, but my heart… I think I have fallen for you… I’ve been missing you…
The letter stopped there. There were stains of tears on the half-crunched paper. Before Ae Rin could finish writing it, she had already been in labour pain. She immediately hid the paper inside the drawer before Eun Ah and the doctor came rushing into the room. And now, the paper was in Yoochun’s trembling hands.
Please, God… Save my wife and our baby…
The weather was nice with a soft wind blew the grass to and fro. The grave yard was empty, except for the two figures that was standing silently in front of a tablet. A bouquet of roses lay on the ground in front of it. The man started the conversation.
“It’s a pity I didn’t get to see her, even for the last time…”
The woman squatted, and put another bouquet of roses beside the one that was already there.
“Yes… She must’ve wanted to see you badly…”
Suddenly, a little boy came running towards them.
“Jae Ha! Don’t run in here. Have respect for the dead.”
“Yes, papa.” The obedient child answered. Then, his father reached for him and put him on his shoulders.
“Do you know who she is?” Yoochun asked, pointing to the name that was engraved to the tablet. The little boy shook his head.
The woman smiled and pinched the boy’s cheeks.
“You know her, mama?”
Yoochun looked at the woman beside him. They exchanged smiles before she answered.
“That’s your grandmother, Jae Ha. My mother. She passed away even before I knew you father.”
“Oh…” The boy understood. The three of them stood there silently for another five minutes.
“Come on. Let’s go home.”
“Yes, dear.” Ae Rin answered, and took a last glance towards her mother’s grave.
I’ve found my soul mate, mother. My happiness is with them, my family. Rest in peace, mother… Till we meet again, in another life…
They walked away from the grave, with soft winds followed behind them, as if Ae Rin’s mother was giving her blessings towards the happy family…
This is still not the perfect end, it is the perfect beginning….