Yong Ha was about to leave when his best friend handed him an umbrella. “It’s raining.” Yeong told him.
Yong Ha looked at his friend for a moment, tempted to ask what happened for him to have such a solemn look on his face, but decided against it since it didn’t look like he would answer it. He gratefully accepted the umbrella. Yong Ha smiled at him. “Do you have an umbrella of your own?” Yong Ha asked, a question asked out of courtesy. Yeong smiled and nodded. “Will you be walking with me then?” He asked.
“Are you passing by the park?” Yeong asked. Yong Ha nodded again. “I have errands to run, I’ll join you next time.” They heard people yelling Yong Ha’s name, making the young man sigh heavily. Yeong looked over his shoulder and smirked. “Shall I give you a head start then?”
“Why are you so good to me?” Yong Ha leaned over and pressed a kiss on his friend’s cheek, earning him a surprised chuckle. “Later!”
He stumbled out of the hospital, opening the umbrella as he did. Rain fell hard and he wondered what caused this sudden rain shower. The weather report that morning didn’t advise them of this sudden downpour. Yong Ha wondered if it was caused by something mystical. It wasn’t the only explanation, of course, but it would be interesting if there are such things as deities and whatnot who can control nature. “You have such a vivid imagination, Gu Yong Ha.” Yeong once told him. “How come you didn’t become a writer? I’d definitely be one buyer of your books.”
Yong Ha snorted and shook his head. “I fix people better than I write stories.” Yong Ha told him. That was the end of that conversation.
Yong Ha entered the park and wondered how long he had before he would be fetched from his leisurely walk. He’d guess around half an hour, 45 minutes if Yeong did a good job at keeping his personal assistant occupied. Either way, he’d make the most of this walk.
He walked towards the gazebo that he frequented and found a man standing in the middle of the trail. He had no umbrella, his ragged clothes were already soaked. “You’ll get sick if you keep standing in the rain like that.” Yong Ha found himself saying instead of turning on his heel and leaving him alone. The man looked at him, Yong Ha couldn’t look away and he noticed there was a flash of recognition in his eyes. His eyes grew a fraction, his mouth opened slightly before he composed himself again. Yong Ha tilted his head curiously. “Wanna share an umbrella?”
The man tore his gaze away from Yong Ha before shaking his head. “Keep moving, kid.” The man told him.
Yong Ha hummed and rocked his weight from his toes to the balls of his feet. “I can’t, in good conscience, let someone fend for themselves in this downpour.” The man didn’t respond, he only gave Yong Ha a look. Yong Ha sighed heavily, his bottom lip jutting out slightly. He wasn’t sure why he was so adamant on speaking the man. “Fine, fine.” He relented, reaching in his bag. He walked over to the man, holding the umbrella with the use of his shoulder and cheek. “If you don’t wanna share the umbrella… then just take this.” Yong Ha handed him his hoodie.
“Do I look like some charity case to you?” The man glowered.
Yong Ha pursed his lips, looking at him from head to toe. “Do you want an honest answer or a polite one?” Yong Ha asked, tilting his head. The man’s eyes widened threateningly and Yong Ha snorted, raising his hands in mock surrender. “Look, I don’t mind staying here a little while but if you plan on standing here until the rain stops, you have to wait a long, long while cause I think this will last the whole night.”
The man’s eyebrow quirked up. “Why do you think that?”
Yong Ha paused and thought back to earlier that evening. “Just a thought.” He looked up at the sky. “I think the Rain God is sad.”
“You don’t look the type to believe in those things.” The man said, “Why is the Rain God sad?”
“There’s a lot of things that can’t be explained in this world.” Yong Ha shrugged. “Believing in things like that never hurt and it’s not a bad icebreaker.” Yong Ha took the man’s hand and placed the hoodie on it. “Anyway, I have to go. I hope we don’t see each other soon.”
The man frowned at him, his eyebrow quirking up. “Was meeting me unpleasant for you?” He asked.
Yong Ha chuckled, his eyes smiling. The man was still looking at him, a frown on his face. He pursed his lips and shook his head. “Of course not, I think this chance meeting is interesting, memorable.” Yong Ha told him honestly. “You’ll understand when you see it.” Yong Ha winked before stepping away and leaving the man alone in the rain. He looked back and saw a small smile on the man’s face. It made his heart flutter.
“Did you make it rain for them to meet?” Yoon Sung asked Yeong, who was perched on the tree just a few feet away from where the pair was.
Yeong looked at his fellow deity and smiled sadly. “I made it rain because I did not want them to meet. I thought it would stop him from going to the park.” Yeong told him honestly. “But destiny has far greater powers than I do, I suppose a mere god can’t interfere between fated ones.”
“Why’d you give him your umbrella then?” Yoon Sung asked. Yeong remembered Yong Ha looking back at Jae Shin with a curious expression on his face. Yeong knew Yong Ha recognized him but he also knew that Yong Ha didn’t know who he was, not in this lifetime, anyway.
“He wouldn’t have a reason to talk to him if he didn’t have one.” Yeong snapped his fingers and the rain fell harder, snapping the man out of his daze and went running off in a different direction before disappearing into the night. “Destiny has a funny way of making us work for her.”
“I don’t like that you’re dwelling over my death so much.” Jae Shin opened his eyes and found Yong Ha looking down at him with a smirk on his face. Jae Shin sat up, almost knocking their heads together if it wasn’t for Yong Ha moving away at the right moment. He wasn’t given an opportunity to move too far though, Jae Shin’s hand shot out to grasp his arm and pull him closer. “Geol Oh, this isn’t healthy.”
“I miss you.” Was all he could manage to say. He didn’t know how long it’s been since he last dreamt of Yong Ha.
Yong Ha smiled, cupping his face. “And I miss you.” Yong Ha told him. “Don’t miss me so much that you’d follow after me so soon though."
Jae Shin looked at Yong Ha, taking him in. He was in his yellow hanbok, one that Jae Shin personally liked on him. There was something about it that made Yong Ha look more enthralling to anyone who sees him. “Why are you here again?” Jae Shin asked after a few moments.
“There should be a reason why I decide to visit my best friend?” Yong Ha asked him. He shifted slightly and Jae Shin loosened his grip on his arm. Yong Ha slipped his hand in Jae Shin’s hand and grinned happily at him. Jae Shin wished he could capture it and keep it in his heart forever, so he won’t forget and he can look at it if his memory fails him. “It wasn’t your fault, you know.”
“What?” Jae Shin asked, looking at their hands.
“Me dying.” Yong Ha answered, he squeezed his hand. Jae Shin met his eyes, “It was my fault. I should have done something sooner.”
Jae Shin shook his head. “I should have protected you.” Jae Shin recalled that day perfectly. If he hadn’t been such a grump, if he stayed by Yong Ha’s side… it wouldn’t have turned out this way. The sun would be a welcomed sight, the moon would shine brighter in the sky, the stars twinkling beautifully in the sky like diamonds, and most importantly, Yong Ha would still be there with him, by his side. “I should have…”
“It breaks my heart that you’re blaming yourself for my death.” Yong Ha told him. “You should be happy when you remember me, Geol Oh, not miserable.” Yong Ha wiped his tears away. “We’ve made a lot of happy memories, didn’t we?”
‘I think I lost the piece of me that felt happiness when I lost you’. Jae Shin wanted to say but he couldn’t bring himself to say it. “Whenever I feel miserable, I imagine hearing you laugh, laughing with me.” Jae Shin started. “My heart starts to flutter and I look around and you’re not there.” He hiccupped, feeling his heart ache again. “I remember that you’re not here anymore.” Jae Shin closed his eyes. “I miss hearing you laugh, I miss seeing you smile, I miss seeing your stupid wink and your stupid face. You promised you’ll always be by my side but you’re gone.”
Yong Ha smiled sadly at his best friend. “I’m sorry I broke my promise.” Yong Ha told him. “I never meant to break it.”
“I know.” Jae Shin whispered. “I know.”
There were so many things he wanted to Jae Shin but now wasn’t the time. Yong Ha knew that it was never gonna be the time. He didn’t have any opportunities when he was alive, what more now that he was dead? He lifted his hand, gently caressing his cheek. Jae Shin opened his eyes. “You look so tired, Shin.” Yong Ha touched the bags under his eyes.
Jae Shin leaned in to the touch. “I’m afraid to close my eyes right now.” Jae Shin told him honestly. “I’m afraid I won’t see you again.”
“If it’s the last time we saw each other, what would you do?” Yong Ha asked, cocking his head to the side.
Jae Shin’s grip tightened on his hand. “I’ll look for a way to keep you here.”
“You already know how though.” Yong Ha told him. Jae Shin’s eyebrow quirked up. “If you keep me in your heart, like you did with your brother, I’ll always be with you.” Yong Ha slipped his hand out of his grip, making Jae Shin frown. “I should have given this to you before.” Yong Ha told him. “Ever since I found out that you were the Red Messenger.” He reached around his neck, unclasping a necklace Jae Shin had only seen once before. “But I didn’t think you’d take it.” He leaned forward and clasped the necklace around Jae Shin’s neck. “You still don’t have to.”
Jae Shin reached up to touch the pendant. “This is your mother’s necklace.” Jae Shin stared at him, a little wide eyed. “Why…”
“Because my mom said that it’s a protection charm.” Yong Ha told him. He covered Jae Shin’s hand with his, smiling. “It’s also something to remember me by.” Yong Ha sat back, watching Jae Shin hold necklace. “It’s a reminder that you will always have my heart with you.”