Welcome to Little Steps

This is nizzyool, finally creating a blog for my fictions. You may find me at Asianfanfics, AsianFanFiction, or Winglin with the same username. I'm Indonesian, currently going to University of Indonesia, majoring in Korean Language and Culture.

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-because every steps started with one little step.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Birthday Presents chapter 3

Birthday Present#3

As no one expected, rain poured down out of blue just five minutes before Jinwoon’s practice was dismissed. It should be spring since it was still early May, so a rainy afternoon was strange. However, due to the big issue almost all countries were talking about—global warming—summer seemed to come faster.
Jinwoon ran a little along the stone path. His right hand tried to make a shield for his face. When he reached the green house, he wiped water dripping through his face from his hair and squeezed the edge of his shirt, which was no use. He pushed the door slowly and stepped in.
“Seulin?” his eyes wandered around, searching for the girl.
“Oh, you come!” Seulin’s head appeared between the pots of Carnations. She put off her gloves and approached Jinwoon. “Wow, you’re wet.” She pointed. “You ran through the rain?”
“Kind of.” Jinwoon grinned. He looked around, searching for a place to put his bag down but found nothing so he just carelessly put it down next to some pots. He rolled his sleeves. “What do I do now?”
“I have taken weeds out of the pots. We only have to water them, then sort out which are the best and going to be used for the event.” She walked to a corner and left his bag there, next to hers. “But before that, you need to dry yourself.” She handed him a towel.
“You did all these by yourself?” Jinwoon followed Seulin to where she was before he came. His hands were busy drying his hair.
“What? Taking care of the flowers? No, I suppose to work with that irritating friend of yours, but since he loves escaping his job so much, I’m so going to make President kick him out of Student Council.” She turned the tap and started watering the nearest pots. “Sometimes the others from Student Council would help me when Jooyeong escaped, but they all apparently are busy today.”
Both of them dealt with the pots for a long hour full of sweats. After an hour, the pots had been arranged and the Carnations section looked pleasantly neat. Seulin stared at their work in satisfaction.
“You really love flowers so much, don’t you?” Jinwoon said as he stretched his body. Seulin turned to look at his face. “Since we were young, you liked to help out at your mother’s florist.”
She chuckled. “It is my mother’s florist, how can I not help her?”
“But you are the only girl I ever know who has that much of interest in flowers.” Jinwoon turned around and looked outside. “Ah, the rain is getting harder. I don’t think we can even get out of here without getting drenched.” He sighed.
“Let’s wait for the rain to stop. You absolutely can’t run through the rain again or you will really catch a cold tomorrow.”
Jinwoon sighed again. “But there’s nothing we can do here.”
“Who says?” Seulin’s eyes sparkled. “We can celebrate your birthday here.”
He chuckled in instant. “You want to celebrate it again? Aren’t you bored?”
She signed him a ‘no, no’ finger. “I’m gonna celebrate it in a way the other had never done before.” She said confidently.
He got excited. “That sounds very promising.”
She took his arm and made him sat on the floor and leaned on the glass wall.
“Hey, the floor is—“
“It’s not like your clothes are clean, Jinwoon. Besides there is no chair here, so bare with it, okay?”
Seulin went to another corner. Jinwoon couldn’t see what she was doing because it’s already dark. She took quite a long time preparing things. He didn’t want to disturb her by asking things because he knew she hates being questioned while working with something she likes.
The atmosphere was very peaceful. The sound of rain dropping somehow calmed Jinwoon. Right in front of him was the white Carnations pots. He closed his eyes, enjoying the atmosphere. Unconsciously, his mind drifted to his childhood.
His mother often took him to the florist belonged to Seulin’s mother. She liked flowers so much—more than Seulin. She regularly bought flowers for decorations. She bought various flowers, but she bought pink Carnation the most often. He guessed it’s her favorite flower.
During their visits, he always saw Seulin taking care of the flowers. Either cutting or arranging them in a bouquet. Or sometimes watering those they planted at their backyard. ‘She was too diligent doing those works.’
“Happy birthday to you,” Jinwoon heard Seulin’s voice and a guitar being played. He opened his eyes.

Seulin walked slowly towards him. “Happy birthday to you,” she played the guitar again.
“Happy birthday dear Jinwoon,” she took another step forward.
“Happy birthday to you.” She stopped right in front of him. She squatted so their eyes were on the same level. “Happy birthday, Jinwoon.”
‘But she is very sweet and lovely.’“Thanks, Seulin.”
“You like my performance?” she sat down and hugged the guitar.
“It’s nice and sweet.”
“Ah, glad you like it.”
“Wait. Was that all?”
She blinked a few times. “What do you mean?”
“You said you wanted to celebrate my birthday, how can you celebrate it only by singing Happy Birthday song?”
“You play the guitar and I’ll sing along.” She suddenly put the guitar on his lap.
“H-hey Seulin, you know I h-haven’t played guitar again f-for years.” He stuttered.
“Yes, and I know you’re still able to play it. Come on, play a song you like and I’ll sing along—as long as I know the song.” She grinned cheekily.
“But I don’t know the chords.” He put it back to her lap.
“Then play a song we learned together.” She pushed the guitar to his arms.
“Which one?” He furrowed.
Try to Remember. You remember that song?”
He shook his head and handed over the guitar again. “Play it first, I’ll play if I remember the song.”
She glared at him, but still took the guitar and played the song.
Try to remember the kind of September
When life was slow and so mellow
Try to remember the kind of September
When grass was green and the grain was yellow
Try to remember the kind of September
When you were young and the callow fallow
Try to remember and if you remember
Then follow, follow…
Seulin stopped playing. “You remember the song? The chords are all the same. It’s not difficult. Come on, give it a try.”
Jinwoon took the pick. He looked at her hesitantly.
“Come on, Jinwoon.” She gave him an encouraging look.
He finally started to play it slowly and began singing the next part. She sang along.
Try to remember when life was so tender
When no one worked except the willow
Try to remember when life was so tender
When dreams were kept beside your pillow…”
Seulin shifted and sat next to him. She swayed her body following the melody.
“Try to remember when life was so tender
When love was an ember about to billow
Try to remember and if you remember
Then follow, follow…”
A smile crept on Jinwoon’s face. He had been more relaxed and seemed enjoy playing the guitar. Occasionally he closed his eyes, taking in the moment to his heart.
“Deep in December, it’s nice to remember
Although you know the snow will follow
Deep in December, it’s nice to remember
Without the hurt the heart will follow
Deep in December, it’s nice to remember
The fire of September that made you mellow
Deep in December our hearts should remember
Then follow, follow…
Jinwoon stared at Seulin as he finished the song. She clapped her hands and praised him. “That was good, Jinwoon!”
He flashed his signature smile. “Thank you, Seulin-ah. This is the first time I play guitar again after a long time. It feels really good.”
“Yeah. Even though the song is kind of unmatched the month now.” Both of them chuckled. “But singing a sweet song like that in this kind of situation—a wet, rainy, dark evening… It feels romantic.” She hugged her feet.
He nudged her on her shoulder. “You watch too many romance dramas.” He snickered.
She grunted. “So what if I like romance dramas? As an ordinary girl—“ She was cut by a very loud sound from his stomach.
 “The correct one is, singing that a sweet song like that in this sort of situation makes you feel hungry.” He scratched his head in embarrassment. She chuckled again then stood up.
“Hey, where are you going?”
“Get us some food.” She walked to the corner where she got the guitar earlier.
“Is this a green house or what? Why can you get everything here? You got guitar, now you have food.”
She returned with a plastic bag on her hand. She threw it to his lap. “Well, just because.”
“What is—wow, cheesecake?” He took out two slices of cheesecake wrapped in plastic.
She took a slice. “It will not full you but it should be good enough for now.” She unwrapped the plastic it.
Jinwoon leaned to the glass wall. “You know Seulin, I always received typical things as birthday presents every year. Basically, if they are not sweets or any other form of confections, they will be basketball-related things.” He took another bite. “Most of people in school will give me tons of sweets. Minyoung always gives her brother’s new product. Jinyoung will give any kind of confections we had never eaten before. Nicole and the girls from cheerleader team will surely give basketball clothes or headbands or hand bands. Yunho Hyung will give me stationary things because he thinks that’s what students need the most. Dad will give me either a journal or any new gadget he thinks cool.” He used his fingers to count. “It doesn’t mean I’m not happy receiving their presents and cares; however, they’re always the same that sometimes I feel bored. I don’t feel any surprise receiving their presents.”
Seulin listened to him quietly. She looked at him in full attention.
“But you always give me different presents every year. Strangely, it’s always the thing I want or I need that time.” He collected the plastic wrappings, put them in the plastic bag and put it away. “How do you that? How do you know what I want or need?” He turned to her.
“Well, I guess I watch over you very well?” she answered awkwardly. “But isn’t it good that you can’t predict my presents?”
Jinwoon clicked his tongue. “Back then when we were young, you too always gave me the same thing for my birthdays. Every year, it would be no other than a white Carnation.”
Seulin giggled. “You still remember that?”
“Of course! How can I forget it? I felt like I had children already because I received white Carnation in early May. Why did you do that, actually? I’m still curious.”
“Actually… I tended to forget your birthday when it’s coming.” She grinned. His eyes bulged. “It’s my mother who always reminded me that it’s your birthday. She never forgets it because the day before is my grandfather’s birthday. Then after she reminded me, I’d run to her florist to get a white Carnation since there are always lots of white Carnations on early Mays—you know, for Parents Day on May 8.” She explained. “She wouldn’t know if I took one, hehehe.”
“So, those white Carnations were stolen from your mother’s florist?” Jinwoon’s eyes widened. He acted hurt. “Im Seulin, I don’t know you are that kind of girl.”
“Hey, I didn’t steal them! My mother knew I took them so technically it’s not stealing, you know!” she pushed him lightly.
He sighed. “I expected to hear a fabulous reason behind those white Carnations, but…” he pretended to be disappointed. “But wait, why you suddenly stopped giving me white Carnation when we were in junior high?” He looked at her face.
Seulin startled. “Oh, that’s because…” ‘I found out that white Carnation also means pure love. How am I supposed to give it to you while my heart beats like crazy? I’m not a type of girl who can boldly tell her feelings.’ “… That’s because I finally remembered to prepare presents for you a month before your birthday. So when my mother reminded me, the presents were ready.”
“Woah, Seulin, you are really a thing!” Jinwoon exclaimed. “I’m amazed, for real.” He said. She giggled again and leaned to the glass wall as well.
“Jinwoon-ah, have you ever think that maybe they always give you those things because they think they’re things you like so much?”
“You mean?”
“You always hang around with sweets and confections on your hands or mouth so people will easily think you love sweets so much. Truthfully speaking, Jinwoon, do you really love sweets that much? Because I did remember, you told me chocolate is too sweet for you. And cheesecake is the best thing in the world. Have they changed?” She turned and examined his face. “I don’t think so. You looked happy to death when you took out the cheesecake from that plastic bag.”
Jinwoon hung his head low. He silenced for a while. “Twins like similar foods. That’s the least thing I can do for Jinyoung.” He took a deep breath.
“You know, our family adopted Jinyoung after his parents passed away. Since Jinyoung and I born in the same year, Mommy insisted that we are twins.” He chuckled. “That’s nonsense, of course, and people can tell from our birthdates, but I know she did that so Jinyoung would feel accepted. I know it’s ridiculous, but because I didn’t have any better way, I decided to play along.” He paused. “My family—Dad, Mom, Yunho Hyung, and Jinyoung—they are everything to me.”
Seulin shifted closer to him that their shoulders touched. She put her hand on his.
“I guess you also sensed why I suddenly did basketball seriously.” He smiled bitterly. “Dad was very proud of me when I made it to final that time—that time when Yunho Hyung got his first MVP award. I have never seen him that proud of me and he even did things to support me so I couldn’t disappoint him. No, I can’t.” He bit his bottom lip.
“I just want to make my family happy and proud of me, moreover Mom has gone now. I have done well up to this time, but why do I wish for a chance to quit these all now?” He looked into her eyes. “Have I done something wrong?”
She squeezed his hand gently. “You’ve done great in suppressing your feelings, Jinwoon-ah. It’s not bad if at times you want to follow your feelings because in fact people around you can act as they wish, so why can’t you?” She stared back at him.
“Maybe the problem is on the way you make your family happy and proud of you. No, I’m not saying you’re wrong all these time. But sure there must be another way to do that without losing yourself too, right?” she tilted her head, asking for agreement.
Jinwoon shrugged. “I don’t know.” He looked outside. “Oh, the rain has stopped. We better go home now, it’s going late.” he stretched his body and stood. He offered his hand to help her stood.
She took his hand. “Until you find a better way, when you feel tired or fed up, you can quit doing those things in front of me. You don’t have to be the gracious Jung Jinwoon around me, just be the Jinwoon you want to be.” She took the guitar with her. “I’ll get my things; you can wait for me outside.”
The air after raining was very fresh. Jinwoon inhaled deeply, let the oxygen filled his lungs to the maximum capacity. He checked his mobile phone. His father texted him earlier telling him that he’s sorry he couldn’t eat dinner together with him and his brothers because he’s going home past midnight due to some meetings. Secretly Jinwoon felt relieved because his father wouldn’t know he’d walked Seulin home (because he wouldn’t stop teasing him for falling for Seulin but also too afraid to acknowledge it—and then he would have his brothers joined his father teased him for the same thing too for the rest of the night).
Seulin walked out with two bags on both her shoulders. She locked the green house and approached Jinwoon. “Come on, let’s go.”
“Here, give me the guitar bag. I’ll bring it.” Jinwoon took it from her shoulder. “By the way, whose guitar is it?”
“I don’t know. It was in Student Council room.” She shrugged.
“So you stole again, Seulin-ah?” He raised his voice in mocking tone.
“No I didn’t, I left a note!” she pushed his shoulder.
He chuckled. “You know, you are cute at times.”
“Shut up.” She muttered, walked more quickly.
“Hey, wait!”
For five minutes or so, they walked in peaceful silence. Neither of them said a thing, until Seulin decided to break the silence.
“You know, I haven’t given your birthday present yet.”
Jinwoon raised his brow. “Ah, right. Give it to me now.” he extended his hand.
Seulin opened her bag and took a white Carnation in pretty plastic wrapping out. “Happy birthday, Jung Jinwoon.”
He was stunned. ‘Why a white Carnation again, after years…?’
She stopped her tracks realizing he didn’t move. “Hey, Jinwoon, you don’t want to go home?”
He didn’t take his eyes off her as he approached. “Seulin-ah, do you know what white Carnation means?” He stopped right in front of her face. They’re standing extremely close that Seulin stepped back to make some proper spaces. “People say white Carnation means innocence.”
Seulin’s body stiffened. She started averting his eyes.
“But there’s also another meaning. Pure love.”
Seulin panicked. She didn’t like this situation. ‘It must be growing to an awkward one when he asks why I gave him that.’ She crossed her fingers.
“Seulin, you told me to be the Jinwoon I want when I’m around you, so—“ He was cut by a very loud growl from his own stomach. Seulin used the opportunity to change the topic.
“Are you still hungry? I told you cheesecake won’t make you full. Should we eat somewhere before going home? But since I paid for the flowers, now you pay for the food, I’m not going to—“
Jinwoon grabbed her shoulders and pulled her so their faces were only centimeters apart. “Im Seulin, stop talking gibberish. You told me to be the Jinwoon I want, so I’m showing you how the Jinwoon I want is.” He closed the gap by touching his lips on hers. His kiss was soft and tender at the beginning, but soon changed into a hungry and passionate kiss. She really didn’t expect this—it was something that would likely never happened—Jinwoon and her were merely friends from their childhood—but at that very moment, she could feel him being honest with her and most importantly, his feelings. Being enveloped tightly in his arms, she felt him showing her that he had the same feelings as her all these times, that she wasn’t the only one whose heart thumped like crazy when seeing him smiled.
As Jinwoon broke the kiss, he saw her blushing madly and averting her gaze everywhere but his face. He touched her chin, made her looked at his eyes. “Do you like the Jinwoon you saw just now?” he asked.
She avoided his eyes again. Instead of answering, she pulled his arms and started walking. “Come on, we’ve got to hurry if we want to eat first, it’s late already.”
He chuckled seeing her acting awkwardly. He put his arm around her shoulder and walked side by side. “I don’t bring any money to eat outside, so what about eating at my house? The maids surely have cooked a lot of foods to celebrate my birthday. I’ll call your parents telling them you’re celebrating my birthday at my house.” He took out his mobile phone and dialed some numbers. He waited for the call to be connected.
“Jinwoon.” she called.
He turned to her—only to be greeted by her lips pressed on his, roughly and quickly. It took him a couple seconds to take in what happened while she ran right a second after their lips met.
He hung the call and ran for her.
“Yah, Im Seulin! I wasn’t ready! Do it once again!”


PS. The song Seulin sang is Try to Remember, which is originally sang by many people. I came to like this song because of a Taiwanese drama, Silence, which is starred by Vic Zhou and Park Eunhye.

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