They have been friends since they were born. They played together, went to the same school; they practically grew up together. And they were set up to be together forever.
Both Yoohee and Myungsoo have learned that they were supposed to be each other’s spouse one day. Their parents told them about the matchmaking agreement even before they entered elementary school. The cheerful little Yoohee accepted her destiny joyfully, because little Myungsoo was the coolest boy she ever known and he always gave her a ride on his black bicycle to everywhere she wanted to go. She lived her teenager life learning the things Myungsoo likes and dislikes, how to handle his emotionless self, and practicing jokes he always laughed dryly at. She prepared herself to be his wife.
Over the Words
Words are needed to ease worries or pain—but at times, a bold action will create better (and greater) impact.
Both Yoohee and Myungsoo had learned that they were supposed to be each other’s spouse one day. Their parents told them about the matchmaking agreement even before they entered elementary school. The cheerful little Yoohee accepted her destiny joyfully, because little Myungsoo was the coolest boy she ever known and he always gave her a ride on his black bicycle to everywhere she wanted to go. She lived her teenager life learning the things Myungsoo likes and dislikes, how to handle his emotionless self, and practicing jokes he always laughed dryly at. She prepared herself to be his wife.
Yoohee had always openly showed her affections toward Myungsoo. People judged, of course. Some praised them as the sweetest match made heaven; some prayed for their blissful future family. There were also some who envied them, then tried to ruin their ideal state by hitting on either Myungsoo or Yoohee, but mostly on Myungsoo since he grew up to a good-looking man with fair ability on music. There were some who regarded Yoohee’s care as pitiful effort since Myungsoo seemed unaffected and had never showed the equal care back to her. No matter what, Yoohee remained unaltered, and kept her eyes set only to him. ‘He should have rejected the idea from the first time if he really doesn’t want to marry me,’ she thought, ‘because he never blindly obeys anything.’ So she continued preparing herself to be the mother of his children.
As she grew older, she witnessed her cousin, who married with someone her parents set her up with, sent divorce paper after being married for almost two years. It was quite a shock for her as it’s the first divorce ever in her big family. She believed the divorce happened because the two weren’t in love originally and they couldn’t make themselves in love with each other till the end. It had nothing to do with the fact they were married because they were set up. It’s different with her and Myungsoo’s case. ‘Though we’re set up, we do love each other,’ she convinced herself.
Then someday in her mid 20s, Yoohee received other shocking news. Her old best friend Nicole who got married with her long-time boyfriend right after graduated from college, divorced. They had been dating since high school and Yoohee knew very well that they really loved each other. She even had to admit that there were times she wished Myungsoo would reciprocate her care, claim his love publicly like Kibum did. She couldn’t understand their reason at all. Nicole said she still loved him so much and he did too as well, but it was the best. It was the best for her, for him, and for their one year old Yoogeun. ‘Loving someone sometimes means you have to let them go,’ she said. Yoohee didn’t want to believe it.
The long awaited wedding preparation was started since two weeks ago. Myungsoo had already worked at a fine major label company as a composer-slash-director while Yoohee worked as a secretary in a trading company, so their parents decided it was finally the time to make their dream comes true. Almost all preparation was held by the mothers. Myungsoo and Yoohee only needed to fit their wedding attire and pick the ring they wanted. Myungsoo fetched Yoohee from her work to the bridal shop and let her spent hours choosing design over design. He didn’t complain on her taking too much time, being too picky on the design. With smile kept on his face, he encouraged her to choose “the one you feel attracted to and comfortable with”. He didn’t give any suggestion even once; he just waited for her patiently by her side.
After days going to bridal shops around their place, she started to get frustrated. She still hadn’t found the perfect ring. What made her even more frustrated was Myungsoo didn’t seem to be bothered by that fact and continued his life as if nothing big was going to change in his life. He fetched her here and there, still with his stoic face and no complains (even no sigh) at all. Then suddenly, it came to her realization that he was always stoic—from the very first time she got to know him.
Myungsoo was never good at expressing his feelings, in fact, he mostly didn’t show them. He kept them for himself. He only let the corner of his lips to be slightly curled to indicate he’s happy or he found something funny. Over the past twenty years, Yoohee had been guessing his feelings toward everything. She tried to read his gesture, his mimics, his body language, everything to understand his mind, but she couldn’t get much. He was too difficult to read—‘or it was because I’m so stupid that I can’t read him,’ she thought sadly. She reluctantly admitted despite being grown up together, she knew very little about her cool fiancée. ‘Then… how can I be so sure he loves me as much as I love him?’
Little Myungsoo didn’t show any significant reaction when their parents first told them they were engaged. He just looked at her eyes, and then asked “I have to marry Yoohee when we grow up later?” in a flat tone, and nodded slightly a few times after his mother answered yes in firm tone. He didn’t seem upset or mad upon knowing the truth, but he didn’t seem happy either. Because he didn’t try to protest their parents’ one-sided decision, Yoohee thought he wanted to marry her as well—just like her.
Every time she displayed her affection, he had never refused it. He let her clung to him as he walked her home from school. He wasn’t bothered by the boys taunting him when she fed him lunch at school cafeteria. If she recalled memories from older days, Myungsoo had acted as an ideal boyfriend every girl dreamt of. He treated her nicely. His only minus point was his lack of romance. Though he had never pushed her away when she tried to be lovey-dovey, he was never the one initiated the act. All these time, he had never once stated his love to her. Yoohee would defend it was because Myungsoo’s nature, unable to express his feelings. Men are usually not able to express their feelings very well. But then again, how could she be so sure he loves her as much as she loves him?
She wondered why that question popped up and filled her mind at such time, just a few weeks before her marriage. Why didn’t she realize it sooner? Why hadn’t she asked his feelings to her? All these time, why did she jump into such conclusion without confirming anything?
Though she knew Myungsoo would never blindly obey something unless he had no objection at all, now that she had thought over about it again and again, she felt guilty for forcing Myungsoo involved into this whole arranged marriage thing. It might be not her decision at the beginning, but since she accepted it gladly, it was hard for Myungsoo to refuse their parents’ saying. ‘Maybe he accepted it just because he tried to not complicate things.’ She couldn’t help but keep doubting things she’d believed all this time. ‘Does he really love me?’
She wasn’t afraid to get married with someone who didn’t love her back. What she feared the most was Myungsoo had to get married with someone he didn’t love. She feared he would be unhappy.
If there’s a thing she would desperately do everything for, it would be Myungsoo’s happiness. She would take any risk. Even if it meant to lose her own. She would be glad if she’s the one who could make Myungsoo happy, of course, but she’s contented if Myungsoo was happy because of thing she did. So tonight, Yoohee decided to make him happy. At their usual family dinner, when the mothers were busy advising her to pick a certain design of ring, she abruptly stood up.
With her widest smile plastered on, she spoke calmly. “I think we should stop the wedding preparation. I don’t think I want to carry this on.” Her tone wasn’t firm, but it was stable. “I’m sorry, Mom, Dad, Aunty, Uncle. But we should stop now before it’s too late.” She bowed deeply. “I’m sorry for not telling you sooner. I want to cancel this wedding.”
Her words brought everyone sitting in the table to utter shock. Her father tried to take it as a joke, but when she convinced them it’s not a joke, the mothers insisted she couldn’t be serious about that. “You have always been loving Myungsoo”, “Though it’s an arranged marriage, it’s also what you’ve always been dreaming about”, “You two love each other, isn’t this what a couple in love always want to do?” they listed out endless reasons, trying to shake the idea to cancel the marriage off of Yoohee’s head.
Myungsoo’s father, in the equal calm tone as she spoke earlier, asked her the reason why she wanted to cancel the marriage. If it was because she couldn’t bear the idea of spending the rest of her life with his son who had never treated her well, he would respect her decision and cancel it. Yoohee straightened her body upon hearing his words. With glistening eyes, she did her best to keep the smile plastered on her face and shook her head lightly. She could never stand hearing anyone said Myungsoo didn’t treat her well. “Myungsoo was the finest gentleman I ever known,” she defended, “he takes care of me very well. It’s just… I don’t think the marriage will work out.” When Myungsoo’s father elaborated his question (“Then is it because you don’t love Myungsoo anymore?”), she instantly shook her head. “Myungsoo is the only one I ever love, and I love him very much. I have never seen the others; my eyes were fixed on Myungsoo only.” Anyone could tell she was telling the truth—her love was clearly emitted from her eyes, and it didn’t escape Myungsoo. She loved him so much, too much to the point she started to feel its hurting.
Myungsoo was stoic, that’s a fact, but that didn’t make him an insensitive man. He knew Yoohee loved him with all her heart. It was her genuine love warming his heart, giving secure feeling every time he started wary or uncertain. Knowing there would be Yoohee by his side in any condition, made him able to carry on these 27 years.
Myungsoo was just stoic. He didn’t know how to express his feeling, moreover expressing it with words.
Back then when they were in senior high, there were boys teasing him from time to time because he always ate lunch Yoohee brought for him. The boys (and some girls) said Myungsoo and Yoohee seemed like a couple who were in debt, so in order to save up, Myungsoo ended up eating Yoohee’s cooking every day. She responded to them quite wittily. She said everyone that Myungsoo just couldn’t live without eating her cooking, so as the good future wife you cooked for him every day. That time, Myungsoo couldn’t think of any reaction, so he just smiled, letting his lips to be curled a bit.
All he knew was whatever path he chose, he would go through it with Yoohee constantly cheering and made him his favorite blueberry pancake whenever he had through a hard day. All he knew was she’s part of his life already. All he knew was Yoohee loved him unconditionally, and she had been forever waiting for the day she officially became the wife of his. So he couldn’t understand why she wanted to hinder her biggest desire from coming true.
‘I want to cancel this wedding,’ hearing those words coming from her mouth, he felt like the whole world stopped. When their parents were busy interrogating his supposed-to-be wife, he was busy comprehending her statement. Did it mean she didn’t want to stand by his side anymore? Did it mean she had enough of him? Did it mean she want to withdraw from his life? Did it mean… she didn’t love him anymore?
Myungsoo knew better than anyone else that there’s nothing to doubt on Yoohee’s love for him. She was never a complicated one, he would always be able to read her easily—‘so what the heck is she implying?’ It irked him thinking that there’s a chance she might have a change of feeling—‘No way!’, a part of his mind shouted—or she might be tired. Her glistening eyes somehow led him to believe the second possibility more.
She had been trying her best to make his life comfortable. She had been showering him with love. Had she become tired of doing things for him? Suddenly he found it hard to breath. ‘Yoohee… is tired of me?’
“However, I don’t want my love become burden to anyone…” her words snapped him. He looked at her who was looking back at him (with eyes in the verge of crying, and a very forced smile plastered on). It suddenly clicked him.
“How can your love become a burden?” her mother’s words soon got some backups from his parents. Ignoring their words, Myungsoo stood up, without breaking his eye contact with her, and squeezed her hands gently. He stared at her confused and sad eyes for some moments. Abruptly, he leaned in and locked her lips with his. Slowly his right hand went to her nape, pulling her closer and deepened the kiss.
Her eyes widened once his lips touched hers. Never in her lifetime had she thought about Myungsoo kissing her, moreover, in front of their parents. Why would the stoic Myungsoo do such a bold act? Of course she had been hoping Myungsoo to express his feelings to her—to state he loves her as much as she loves her—but she had stopped her usual way of thinking to jump on conclusion without confirming anything. All she wanted was him to be happy…
Her occupied mind went blank when she felt he nibbled her lips. Myungsoo’s kiss was tender, gentle, but it conveyed the feelings he has been hold back for a long time; it was full of emotions. It was so caring, so loving, yet full of passion. Her worries were washed away as he slipped his tongue and explored her mouth hungrily. She closed her eyes and smiled. She had got his message. Running her hands on his back, she brought their bodies closer so that they’re pressed to each other.
After some minutes full of longing, Myungsoo pulled back. She saw his lips curled a bit, and she knew she’d been busted. Myungsoo had always been able to read her no matter what. ‘Silly girl, you’ve been worrying over nothing,’ his eyes said. He pulled her into his arms and whispered softly in her ear, “I love you. I’m sorry for never saying it out loud before.” Hearing that, Yoohee couldn’t help but crying her heart out on his chest. Startled by her reaction, he tried to calm her down by continuously saying ‘I love you’ and planting kisses all over her face.
Aware that the two were unaware of their existence, Yoohee’s father raised from his seat. “It seems like we should check on the wedding preparation’s progress now.” He dragged her wife who was gaping at the oblivious lovers, followed by the chuckling Myungsoo’s parents. Before disappeared behind the door, Yoohee’s father shouted to the two, “Oh and I don’t want a grandchild—yet!”
THE ENDFirst attempt on Myungsoo :)