CHAPTER 6: The Beginning
“Tell me again, why do we have to be here now?” Changmin asked with frustrated face. Together with Seulong and Taecyeon, he was left by the petite couple who decided to have their own date.
“To have meals, of course.” Seulong, who sat next to him, answered oh so innocently.
“But who have porridge for their lunch?” Changmin irritated. “More specifically, why must this porridge shop?” Changmin’s eyes wandered around, hoping to not find a particular one, exactly.
“Because this is Jea Nuna’s porridge shop?” Seulong continued his innocent act.
Taecyeon laughed. “Come on Hyung, bear with it. You know there is no chance we don’t visit Jea Nuna’s porridge shop today.”
Changmin growled. “Of all kind of food, she has to open a porridge shop. Hah. Great.” He pushed his bowl away. “It will be better if I went with Kwon and Gain.” He pouted.
“And be the third wheel? Oh, I don’t know you enjoy being third wheel, Hyung.” Seulong mocked.
“Still better than coming here.” Changmin leaned back to the chair.
“As if Kwon and Jea Nuna will let you, Hyung.” Taecyeon commented.
“Hey guys, you are here! Long time no see you all! Where have you been?” Loudly and in ungracious way, a grown up woman joined their table and sat between Changmin and Taecyeon. “Oh wait. Where is the rest of the pack? Jo Kwon, Gain, and Seulin? Why are there only three of you?” she complained.
“Wow, you are prettier than last time I saw you, Nuna.” Taecyeon extolled.
Jea rolled her eyes. “Cutie bunny, keep your sweet talks to flirt with other girls. It will never work for me.”
Taecyeon pretended to be hurt. Jea ignored him and repeated her question. “Where are my little girls? Why don’t they visit me?”
“They are having date.” Seulong answered.
“A DATE? Gain dates Seulin? They are… not straight?” Jea gasped, her eyes rounded.
The three single men lowered their heads and covered their faces with their hands.
“Your imagination is too much, Nuna! You should control it.” Changmin hissed. ‘You are past thirty, for God’s sake!’
Jea grimaced. “I know, Lee Changmin, it was supposed to be a joke! You have no sense of humor at all!” she ticked him off.
Seulong and Taecyeon burst into laugh while Changmin glared at her. ‘This woman is really getting my nerves!’
“So tell me, since my little Gain is having her I-bet-it’s-boring date with Kwonnie, what is my little sweetie doing?” she asked when their laughter died.
“She is having a date, Nuna, I’ve told you.” Seulong answered.
“REALLY?” Jea almost screamed. She was surprised. Well, the Seulong she knew would never let Seulin dated alone. He wouldn’t disturb her date, no, he’s not that kind of overprotective brother who doesn’t let his little sister to enjoy her love life, however, he would watch over her date from far away—just in case he hurt her or they did something he thought inappropriate. “It is you that changed or the guy is really something?” she asked curiously. “You used to tag her along on her dates.”
“That was also my question, Hyung.” Taecyeon blunted. “You dragged me to spy her at the gathering with her high school friends and pushed me into the scene when you thought some boys were checking on her, while they were only looking at her. But now you seem don’t care even if he does something to her. What is so special from that Jinwoon?”
“Jinwoon?” Jea raised her brows. “Jung Jinwoon?” she confirmed as she tried to recall her memory. “That Jung Jinwoon, my cutie pie?” her eyes widened as she exclaimed loudly. Seulong nodded. Jea squealed. “How can—I thought he’s gone for good!”
Taecyeon frowned.‘This Jinwoon must really have something… Everyone seems to have good impression on him and trust him very much.’
“It turned out he goes to the same university as us. I bumped into him about a month ago.”
Jea grabbed Seulong’s hands. “You are really, really the coolest man alive!” She said with shining eyes. Seulong chuckled and patted his chest proudly.
“Yah, Nuna, how can you say that? I am the coolest man living on Earth!” Taecyeon protested.
“But you flirt too much cutie bunny, and that makes you’re not cool because God knows how many girls have their hearts broken for you.” She stuck out her tongue, earning a hurtful face of Taecyeon. She turned to Seulong and fooled around again. “Ah, I want to have you around me, too, Ong! You make the sweetest brother for Seulin, and you should make one for me too—or better, let’s get married!” she brought his hands closer to her heart, mischievous was all over her face.
“Sure, Nuna, where do you want to spend our honeymoon?” Seulong played along.
Changmin couldn’t stand it anymore. “Enough, enough—this is too much, really!” he showed a disgusted face. The other three broke into laughter.
“Just admit it, Hyung, you’re upset because you’re still single, aren’t you? That’s why you don’t like seeing Nuna and me together.” Seulong teased him.
Changmin groaned. This was one of the reasons why he hated visiting Jea’s porridge shop. Seulong and Jea would make a great fooling team. Though they had never done anything crossed moral values, it still irritated him that they, especially her, acted very unlikely their ages should act.
Suddenly, Taecyeon’s hand phone rang and stopped their laughter. “Whoa, Chansung?” he raised his brows when he saw his display. “Yo Chans, what’s up?”
“Is Seulong Hyung around you now?” his voice sounded worried.
Taecyeon heard Chansung sighed. “Can you put him on the line? He didn’t answer my calls.”
“Wait a sec.” Taecyeon handed his phone to Seulong. “Chansung want to talk to you. He said you didn’t answer his calls.”
“Oh, really?” Seulong checked his phone. The display showed 36 missed calls. “Chansung-ah, sorry!” that was his greeting.
“Never mind, Hyung.” Chansung mumbled. “The most important thing is can you come over here, now?”
Seulong furrowed. “Why? Something happened?”
“The Chocoball is looking for you.”
“What do they want?”
“Race, of course, what else?”
“You know I don’t race today. It’s Seulin’s birthday.”
“I know, I told Hongki, but he insisted Chocoball wants to race against us.”
“Well, you can race, but I won’t be there to play with. Take Taecyeon if you wish.” Seulong said nonchalantly.
“They want One Day as full team. Hongki said Heechul Hyung especially wants you to be there, he wants you to race against him.”
“I’ll hang up now.” Seulong said lazily.
“He will come to fetch you and make you race with him.” Chansung said quickly.
“Ugh!” Seulong groaned. “Those guys can be a real pain at times! And why do you sound like their man?” he asked irritated.
“I’m not, Hyung!”
“Then I’ll hang this call. Goodbye Changsung-ah.” Seulong said coldly, and then turned off then phone took out battery.
“Yah, Hyung! It’s my phone, not yours!” Taecyeon snatched his phone and turned it on again.
Seulong realized his mistake as his phone was still lying peacefully near his glass. “Sorry, Taec.” He made a V sign with his fingers.
“What does Chansung want?” Changmin asked.
“Chocoball wants to race against full-team One Day. Heechul Hyung specifically wants to race against me. I told him I am not going to come.”
“You jerk, Im Seulong.” Jea blunted, made Seulong’s hand which was in process of pulling out the battery stopped. The three looked at her with wide eyes.
“You called me the coolest man earlier and even said you wanted to marry me, now you called me jerk?”Seulong asked in disbelief.
“Yeah, indeed, you are a total jerk!” she raised her voice.
Seulong flustered. He thought she was joking earlier, but Jea seemed to be serious.
“You still do that stupid race! You know it’s dangerous and very risky and you may get hurt. You know you make all people who love and care about you worried every time you race, thinking you may get into accident! Why can’t you understand our feeling? Else, have you ever thought about our feeling?” Jea blew up.
Seulong felt his blood boiled as she spilled those words. “That race is not stupid, Nuna, and I know very well the consequences of things I do. Thank you for worrying.” He said slowly and lowly, his voice was shaky from controlling his emotion.
“It is stupid, Seulong! What are you looking for in racing? Satisfaction? Adrenaline? Acknowledgement? And see what you got? Bruises, cuts, wounds, fractures, thank God He still saves your life!”
Seulong glared at her furiously. “I respect you as a Nuna, but you are too much.” He tried to control his uneven breath. “Just quit this topic.”
“Yeah, yeah, you’re right Hyung.” Taecyeon quickly butted in. “Hmm, the porridge is especially more delicious today, isn’t it Changmin Hyung?” He asked to Changmin after scooping a spoon. ‘The topic needed to be changed immediately before the war broke.’
Changmin was baffled for a while, but he quickly played along. “Oh yeah, yeah, today’s porridge is more delicious! Do you change recipe, Nuna?”
However, the Jea sitting with them was an absolute stubborn woman who didn’t mind war. “Have you ever thought how much Seulin worried she may lost you? Do you even know how fear of losing someone feels? Stop being selfish, Im Seulong, grow up!”
‘This is it.’“You think who you are to talk things to me? You may be my friend and much older than me, but it doesn’t give you the right to lecture me! I don’t need your advice! Keep your advice for yourself!” Seulong stood up and took his helmet. “If you have too much time in your hand, you should use them to find the right man instead of worrying me.” He said cynically and went.
Jea was stunned by his words, so were Changmin and Taecyeon. “YAH! IM SEULONG THAT’S NOT HOW YOU TALK TO ELDERS!” she yelled and was about to chase him. Changmin and Taecyeon grabbed her just in time to prevent her. “DON’T HOLD ME!” she yelled at them.
Jinwoon didn’t let go of her hand ever since they got off of the balloon ride. He made sure they clutched tightly. Whenever he felt it’s getting loose, he would hold onto it even more firmly. Seulin couldn’t stop her cheeks from turning into crimson every time she accidentally saw how their hands were laced together.
People continued to flood the amusement park even though it was dark already. Jinwoon glanced at his phone display. It’s almost 7 p.m.
“I think we’ll arrive at your house before nine if we go for dinner now. What do you think about that?”
Seulin nodded quickly. “Okay.” She didn’t even think about what he said. She was too overwhelmed with his hold.
Jinwoon finally let go of her hand when they reached his car. He was about to start the engine when Seulin’s phone rang.
‘Mom,' her display stated. Seulin frowned. Why on earth her mommy called her?