Jungkook was only three when he noticed that his parents are not like other parents. Sure, they doted on him, spoiled him with toys and surprises, cook for him when he’s hungry, and scolded him when he did something wrong.
But, he can tell something is different.
“Why do your parents kiss?” he asked his friend, Taehyung, after he told him what he did last weekend. His Papa always tells him to listen to others first before asking questions.
Taehyung was still focused coloring the picture of a dog on his book as he answered, “Parents kiss and hug everytime.”
“Because they love each other.”
Jungkook was confused. His Daddy and Appa never kiss or hug once. Jungkook is the only one receiving hugs and kisses from his Daddy and Appa. Why does Taehyung have parents kissing and hugging everytime? Why does his parents don’t do that?
By the time he got home with Heeyeon nana, he was quiet, still wondering why his parents don’t kiss and hug like Taehyung’s parents. It doesn’t help that he felt jealous with Taehyung. His Halnana was worried with his sudden behavior and his loss of appetite. She phoned his parents in worry and told them that Jungkook is not feeling well.
His Appa was the first to rush home, his eyes frantic. When he saw Jungkook amidst the sea of food, surrounded with his nannies, Mr. Kang and the head chef coaxing the little boy to eat, he rushed towards his seat and kneeled to at Jungkook’s eye level. He took his son’s face between his hands.
“Oh my god. Are you fine, baby?” His Appa Seokjin asked, turning his head gently to see if he got hurt.
Jungkook only nods before bowing his head. He saw his Appa turning to his Halnana inquiringly, asking with his eyes which are still in worry.
“I came to the daycare to pick him up and the young master has been like this,” Heeyeon nana stuttered before bowing to his Appa. “I’m sorry, Sir Seokjin.”
His Appa just smiled politely at her. “It’s okay, Heeyeon. And please, I told you to just call me Seokjin.”
His Appa then turned to him, a worried frown on his face. He then smiles at him, patting his knee, and asks, “Are you sure you don’t want to eat, Kookie? The meat looks delicious.”
Jungkook only shook his head. His Appa proceeded to take a seat beside him and started to place food on his plate. He ate deliciously that soon enough, he has Jungkook on his lap and fed him with the food on his plate. The maids and Mr. Kang sighed in relief while the head chef smiled at the sight of Jungkook eating. He was playing with his toy bunny as he chews on his food when he heard the main door closing.
Jungkook watched in curiousity as the maids scuffled to look presentable. Mr. Kang rushed outside the dining area. The head chef returned back to the kitchen. Then, his Daddy emerged from the hall with a big smile on his face and Jungkook jumped from his Appa’s lap and ran to his Daddy’s open arms.
“Daddy!” he shrieked excitedly.
His Daddy took him in his arms, peppering Jungkook’s face with kisses, eliciting giggles from the little boy. Jungkook can hear the maids chuckle lightly at the sight.
“Alright, alright. Daddy will stop now.” His Daddy said. “I got a present made for you, Kook. Do you want to see it?”
With the word present, Jungkook’s eyes shone bright like stars as he nodded eagerly. His Daddy Yoongi only laughed at him.
“Okay. Salute.” His Daddy commanded, standing straight.
At once, Jungkook did a salute to his Daddy, exclaiming the words, “Victory!”
His Daddy smiled proudly at him before ruffling Jungkook’s hair. “Okay. Close your eyes. Hands together.”
Jungkook felt something soft on his hands and when his Daddy allowed him to open his eyes, he saw a plush toy shaped like a cookie with a very funny face. Jungkook giggled before hugging his new plush toy.
“Daddy drew this and made this into a toy. You can call him Shooky. Do you like it?” His Daddy Yoongi asked.
“Yes!” Jungkook answered, eyes still on the plush toy.
He turned to his Appa, wanting to show his new toy. But, his Appa was not watching the scene. Instead, he was looking at his plate, a bored expression on his face as he twirls the fork around his fingers.
Jungkook ran back to his Appa and patted his knee to get his attention. When his Appa looked at him inquiringly as he brushed the fringe from Jungkook’s forehead, he showed his new toy.
“Daddy gave me this!” he said, shoving the plush toy on his Appa’s face, in which his Appa responded with a smile. “Shooky looks upset, Appa. It needs your kiss.”
His Appa Seokjin tilted his head amusingly at his son before leaning down to place a kiss on the plush toy. “There, Appa just gave Shooky a kiss.” He said amusedly.
Jungkook looked back to his Daddy who was looking at the garden from the huge window. His Daddy has this look that he wants to go elsewhere and Jungkook knows what to do. He can brag this to Taehyung tomorrow.
“Appa! Daddy looks tired. Kiss him, too.”
All of a sudden, the room was enveloped with stunned silence. The grown-ups stood still at Jungkook’s request. His Appa has his eyes wide open, stunned, even his Daddy Yoongi, who he knows never got shocked, was taken aback by his request.
“Young master, let’s go play with Shooky.” His Nana said with a smile on her face.
Jungkook threw her an upset frown before reaching for his Appa, not liking his surprised expression.
“Appa, please kiss Daddy.”
His Appa Seokjin blinked at him before smiling gently at him. He patted Jungkook’s head and said, “Let’s finish dinner first.”
Jungkook knew the meaning of that sentence. It means end of conversation. It means his Appa wants him to forget his request. It means his Appa will not kiss his Daddy. Just the thought of it made Jungkook’s lips wobble. Tears started to form in his eyes as he stomped his little feet on the floor.
“Appa, please kiss Daddy!” he said, not wanting to cry infront of his Daddy. He promised him that he is a big boy now.
His Appa lifted and placed him on his lap. He swept Jungkook’s bangs from his eyes and explained, “I’m sure Daddy wants to sleep now.”
“But, Appa told me that his kisses can make people better,” Jungkook whispered in a pout, bowing his head in defeat.
His Appa didn’t answer. He just hugged Jungkook tighter and Jungkook can feel the tears in his eyes.
“Young master, how abou—“
Jungkook looked up, wondering why his Nana stopped talking. He was confused why the maids are all staring at them with wide eyes. Mr. Kang has his mouth opened from the scene. Even the head chef is peering from the kitchen, watching the scene with delight.
A shadow loomed over his head and when he looked up, he saw his Daddy bending down to his eye level.
“Where do you want Daddy to kiss Appa?” his Daddy Yoongi asked. His eyes staring at Jungkook’s tear filled eyes.
Jungkook rubbed his eyes with his little fist before smiling toothily at his Daddy. “Here,” he answered as he points to his lips.
His Appa looked like he wants to chastise Jungkook but his Daddy leaned forward and placed a kiss on Appa’s lips. Jungkook heard someone gasped but he is too focused on the sight. His smile grew before his Appa leaned away and looked elsewhere. Jungkook noticed his Appa’s cheeks, ears and neck growing red like the color Taehyung used for apples and he wondered if his Appa is turning into an apple.
But, princes kiss their princesses and they don’t turn into an apple.
His Daddy then turned to him and asked, “Are you happy now, Jungkook?”
His Daddy ruffled his hair affectionately. He coughed awkwardly as he straightened back. Jungkook failed to notice that his Daddy and Appa are avoiding to look at each other.
“Prepare my study room, Mr. Kang. I’ll spend the night there.” He commanded in which the old butler obeyed.
Once his Daddy is gone, his Heeyeon nana scampered to his Appa, clutching on his shoulders. Her eyes are wide with worry and Jungkook feels sad that he is the reason why his Appa is turning red.
“Appa, are you alright?” he squeaked, clutching the toy to his chest. He reached out a hand and places it on his Appa’s cheeks. “You looked sick, Appa.”
His Appa smiled at him, ignoring Heeyeon nana’s worry. “I remember Kookie’s kiss can make me feel better. Can you give me one?”
Jungkook snickered at his Appa’s pouty face before placing a kiss on his cheeks. His Appa pouted at him before nuzzling his face.
“I want a kiss on the lips. Gimme one. Gimme one,” his Appa exclaimed, pressing kisses on Jungkook’s face for every end of the sentence.
Jungkook’s giggles filled the dining area. “Daddy already kissed you on the lips. I don’t want to erase it.”
His Appa stopped kissing him and Jungkook peeked in curiousity, finding the maids watching them amusedly. His Appa gave him a sad smile before kissing his forehead.
“You’re too smart, Kook,” he said.
After that day, he bragged to Taehyung his new toy from his Daddy and that he just saw his parents kiss. His friend pulled a disgusted face and said, “That’s eewie.”
“No. I like it.” Jungkook said, smiling in delight as he hugged Shooky tightly.
Jungkook was only three when he first learned of his Daddy’s mistress’ name. He was playing alone with his toys when he felt hungry. There were cookies stored in the cabinet and he could have two if he asks his Halnana nicely. Taking his Shooky, he bounced his way to the kitchen and only stopped when he hears his Daddy whispering on the phone.
“I’ll see you tonight, Jisoo. Let’s meet at our usual place,”
Jungkook was confused. He doesn’t know anyone with a name Jisoo. He was mad to his Daddy because he is talking to strangers. Didn’t he teach Jungkook not to talk to strangers? Of all the emotions he felt, sadness consumes his little body. The thought of his Daddy leaving at night made him sobbed loudly without him knowing.
His Daddy quickly hanged up the call and rushed to him. There is a frown on his mouth and worry in his eyes but Jungkook only hugged him and sobbed pitifully on his shoulders.
“What is the matter, little man?” his Daddy asked in a worried tone.
Jungkook rubbed his head on his Daddy’s neck and whispered in a tiny voice, “Please don’t leave tonight, Daddy.”
If Jungkook tells him the real reason why he doesn’t want his Daddy to leave, he will be scolded. His Appa always tell him to never eavesdrop with someone else’s conversation. So, he opted for a lie.
“I’m scared of monsters, Daddy. Please stay with me.”
When his Daddy stayed silent for too long, Jungkook wails louder, stomping his little feet on the floor and hugging his Daddy more tightly. His Daddy soon stood up, carrying him and patting his back to calm him.
“Alright, Kookie, Daddy is not going anywhere.”
Jungkook peers at his Daddy, a frown on his face. His Daddy laughed at it as he wipes his hands over Jungkook’s tears.
“Promise me.” He demanded.
His Daddy smiled at his command before taking his little hands and entwining their pinkies together. “There, a promise.”
Jungkook throws him a look and his Daddy smiled at him.
“This is how you do a promise, Kook.” His Daddy explained.
Later that night, when his Daddy thought he was asleep, he tiptoes out of his bed and peeks at the opening of his door. Just like earlier, his Daddy is whispering on his phone.
“I’m sorry, Jisoo, but I can’t tonight.” A pause. “My son needs me.”
Jungkook can see his Daddy getting angry over the phone. He ran back to his bed when he saw his Daddy hanging up the call. Soon, he felt his bed dip with the added weight and a firm kiss on his head.
“Daddy loves you, Jungkook. Daddy will do anything for you.”
He never heard the name Jisoo again.
Jungkook was nearing four when he learned the meaning of arranged marriage. His Daddy informed him that he will be spending his two weeks in a country named Philippines. Jungkook remembered crying until his Daddy promised to bring Jungkook with him when he visits the country next time. Jungkook was subsided but still cried his heart out, seeing his Daddy entering the airport.
His Appa installed a calendar in his room and taught Jungkook to place red crosses every night so he would know when will his Daddy get back. With the nightly video calls and the calendar, Jungkook never cried and stuck with his Appa for the two weeks.
It was eight crosses on the calendar and Jungkook was helping his Halnana pull weeds from the garden. His Appa tried to convince him to water the plants instead but he was adamant to pull the ‘evil’ plants from the garden.
“But, you’ll get dirty, Kook.” His Appa said, handing him his yellow gloves.
“It’s okay. I saw Halnana pull the evil plants and I want to help her.”
His Appa allowed him in the end not before giving him the biggest kiss on his cheeks, making Jungkook giggle. He immediately ran to his Halnana and obeyed every instruction the older woman said. When his Halnana noticed that he was distracted playing dirt rather than pulling the weeds, she changed Jungkook’s duty and asked him to help her harvest the vegetables in the garden.
Jungkook was learning the different names of vegetables. His eyes got bigger when he pulled a big carrot from the ground that Halnana laughed so hard and sent him to show it to his Appa.
He was running excitedly back to his Appa with a huge carrot in hand when he saw his Appa and Heeyeon nana talking seriously.
“Oppa, I think Master Yoongi is changing for the better,” Heeyeon said as she pours juice on the glass.
“Really? How?” His Appa asked indifferently, his eyes still on the laptop.
Heeyeon nana twisted her apron uneasily, “I heard that Master Yoongi left Jisoo.”
“Jisoo?” His Appa tilted his head as if trying to remember the name. “But, the name of his lover now is Nayeon.”
His nana stared at his Appa before bowing her head in realization. Jungkook knows that feeling. Taehyung once fell off from the monkey bars and cried loudly. There were no wounds on his legs and Jungkook was positive that his friend is okay. Turns out, Taehyung broke a bone and was forced to wear a mummy leg. Jungkook was so embarrassed for assuring him he was fine.
His Appa Seokjin looked up from his laptop and heaved a sigh, “Heeyeon, I’ve spent ten years of my life with Yoongi. I put up with his cheating and anger for that long. I guess, I already figured him out,”
Heeyeon lifted her head and stammered, “But, you can help hi—“
“This is not a drama series, Heeyeon.” His Appa said in clear, dismissive tone. “This is real life. This is an agreement by two families in need of alliance. This is a marriage between two people who hated and blamed each other. This is how it is and nothing is going to change it.”
Heeyeon bowed her head like a chastised child.
“I was just worried for the young master,” Heeyeon whispered. His Appa stopped typing on his laptop and looked up, wondering. “I watched him grow, Oppa. Took good care of him when he was still a baby. He is smart and attentive. That little one notices everything. And, he is starting to question everything.”
His Appa was silent about that. From that distance, Jungkook can see his Appa’s breathing shuddered. There was a moment that his Appa didn’t speak at all, just staring at the plate of scones.
In fear that his Appa will start to cry, Jungkook ran to their direction, carrot still in his hands. He placed the orange vegetable on his Appa’s lap and hugged him around his waist. He rubbed his dirty face on his Appa’s shirt and grinned at him.
“I brought Appa a carrot,” he exclaimed, wanting nothing in the world but to see the smile on his Appa’s face.
His Appa swallowed a sob before chuckling at the size of the carrot that his son harvested.
“You’re the sweetest, my love,” his Appa said, placing another kiss on his head. “Let’s make a carrot cake.”
Jungkook’s first day as a four-year old started with his Halnana waking him up by patting his butt. He scrunched at the disruption of his sleep and burrowed further in his blankets. Halnana laughed at him, commenting that he is like his Daddy when he was still a kid.
When he sat up on his bed, he found Mr. Kang standing from the door with a tray of his favorite breakfast. Jungkook was confused. He always took his breakfast with his Appa or Daddy in the dining area. Even during his birthdays, his Appa forced him downstairs, telling him it is not nice to eat alone when he has other people waiting for him.
Halnana noticed his confused expression and she all rushed to Jungkook’s side.
“I’m sorry, love, but your Daddy and Appa have to attend a press conference,” his Halnana explained. “But, they promised me that they will be here to spend your birthday with them.”
“They’re together?” Jungkook exclaimed, delight on his tone. When his Halnana nodded, Jungkook tells her, “It’s alright. Daddy and Appa will still be here. Can I have some waffles, please?”
Mr. Kang and his Halnana shared a worried look before complying to Jungkook’s request. Since it is his day, Jungkook invited Taehyung over and they played all day until Taehyung’s mother came to pick him up.
It was already Jungkook’s dinner when his Appa and Daddy arrived. His eyes widened in delight when he saw them walked in the dining area together. His parents didn’t even notice that they were too close to each other, too worried and sorry for their child to spend his birthday alone.
He got down from his seat with Heeyeon nana’s help before running to his parents. His Appa Seokjin hugged him tightly, whispering apologies on his ears and promising that he would not do that again. His Daddy then placed a firm kiss on his head, held his hand and told him how sorry he was.
“It’s alright,” Jungkook reassured his parents. “You and Daddy still came back for me.”
“Is there something you want to do?” his Appa Seokjin asked, kissing his little hand as if he is his dear prince. “It is your birthday. You can wish anything.”
Jungkook’s eyes dilated at that. He turned to his Daddy and found him, nodding encouragingly at him.
“Do you want to go to Lotte World?” His Daddy asked. “Or, do you want to see Disneyland?”
“I don’t want that,” Jungkook shook his head, an excited smile still on his face.
“Then, what do you want, baby?”
“Can you and Appa sleep with me tonight?” he asked giddily.
His parents’ smiles were erased from their faces. They were silent for a moment and seem can’t look at Jungkook’s eyes. With those reactions, Jungkook sighed in disappointment. Not wanting to make his parents sad, Jungkook then patted his Daddy.
“It’s okay. Can I have a telescope, instead, Daddy?” he asked in a feeble voice.
Jungkook tried his best not to cry. He is a big boy now and Appa told him big boys don’t cry anymore. He rubbed his eyes with his sleeves, trying to wipe away the tears on his eyes. When he looked up to his parents, he was shocked to see them staring at each other as if talking with their eyes.
After a moment, his Appa turned to him, a smile on his face. “Okay. We will sleep with you.”
Jungkook looked at his Daddy and his Daddy chuckled in amusement. His Daddy nodded at his inquiring eyes. Jungkook jumped in joy, finally getting a chance to sleep with his parents.
“Do me a favor, baby,” his Appa Seokjin asked as he fixed Jungkook’s jumper. “Finish your dinner first. Daddy and I will just …. just going to talk.”
Jungkook nodded eagerly at his request. His Appa then motioned for Heeyeon and his nanny took him by the hand, ushering him back to his seat. Jungkook turned his head back to his parents and watched them walked upstairs.
When he was seated on his seat, Jungkook then turned to his Halnana and squealed, “Appa and Daddy will sleep with me.”
Halnana laughed boisterously at his excitement before patting his head, “Yes, I saw it, young master.”
Heeyeon smiled at him as she helped Jungkook with his chopsticks but the boy was too distracted and excited to eat.
“Mr. Kang,” Jungkook called out. “I’m going to sleep with Appa and Daddy.”
Mr. Kang nodded to him with a smile.
“Can you please put stars on my roof like last time? I want to show it to Appa and Daddy,”
“Why, yes, young master.” Mr. Kang was about to leave to do what he was told when Jungkook stopped him.
“Mr. Kang, wait! Dinosaur books, too!”
Mr. Kang nodded at him again but the young master stopped him again.
“Teacher Wendy showed us how to build a fort. Can you please build a fort, too? Pretty please,” Jungkook asked, clasping his hands together and inclining his head in a cute manner just like what his Appa taught him. The maids and Mr. Kang erupted in laughter.
After Heeyeon nana washed and clothed him with his favorite pajamas, Jungkook waited for his parents in the fort. He was hugging Shooky in his arms, telling him that he will be having a sleepover with his Appa and Daddy.
A knock was heard from his door and Jungkook ran to open it. He was still small to reach the knob but he managed to do it by standing on his tiptoes. His Appa greeted him with a smile before gasping at his room. His Daddy came in, following his Appa, and chuckled at the sight.
“Mr. Kang overdid it,” he whispered under his breath.
Jungkook took a polaroid camera that his Grandpapa sent for him as a gift from his cabinet and gave it to his Daddy.
“I want pictures, Daddy!” he said before running inside the fort, giggling when he was inside.
His Daddy smiled endearingly at him before snapping a picture of Jungkook inside the fort with the polaroid. After taking a shot, his Daddy crawled inside the fort before tickling him in his sides. Jungkook squirmed in laughter before remembering his Appa.
“Appa! Help me!” Jungkook shouted.
His Appa woke up from his trance before smiling at his son. The fort was not meant for two adults but Jungkook didn’t mind the limited space and was grinning like it was the best present in the world.
“Is there anything you want to do, my baby?” his Appa asked, nuzzling his nose against Jungkook’s little one.
“Let’s watch the stars,” Jungkook said, pointing at the stars Mr. Kang stuck on the walls and the ceiling. His Appa and Daddy chuckled as they listened to their son ramble about the names of the stars.
His Daddy hugged him when Jungkook finished naming the stars, “Do you want to go to the observatory tomorrow, Kook? We can see more stars there.”
“Yes. We can even buy a star and named it ‘Kookie’,”
Jungkook giggled at that. He then turned to his Appa who was watching him with a smile before he returned his gaze back to his Daddy.
“Can we go with Appa?” Jungkook asked quietly.
There was a pause. “Yes, we can go with Appa.” Jungkook cheered at that.
His parents complied to his every request. They have a contest of the most beautiful drawing of Shooky and asked Halnana to name the winner when the older woman visited with a warm platter of cookies and glasses of milk. Jungkook won and was rewarded with a star that his Daddy jokingly took from the ceiling.
Next, he asked his Appa to tell a joke and the first one to laugh will be drawn on the face. Jungkook laughed at the sight of his Daddy’s face. His Appa brought his dinosaur books and his parents quizzed him about their names. When Jungkook managed to name all the dinosaurs, both his Appa and Daddy leaned and kissed him both on his cheeks. His Halnana, who came back to retrieve the empty glasses and platter, took a picture of that with a smile on her face before leaving them alone.
It was Jungkook’s past bedtime and he was getting sleepy. His Appa noticed him trying to keep himself awake as his Daddy told them a bedtime story.
“Do you want to sleep now, baby?” he asked, brushing away the fringe from his eyes. Jungkook shook his head, urging his Daddy to go on.
He felt himself falling asleep before forcing himself to wake up, only to find his parents watching him amusingly. His Daddy closed the book and placed it on his bookshelves.
“We have to sleep now, Kook,” his Daddy said.
Jungkook whined. He didn’t get an afternoon nap since Halnana let him play all afternoon with Taehyung. He was sleepy and cranky and when his Daddy told him to go to sleep, he cried. Soon, he felt his Appa embracing him, patting his back and hushing his sobs. He laid his head on his Appa’s shoulders. He felt sad and so tired.
“We have to sleep now, baby, or you’ll never grow up.” His Appa said.
“I don’t want to sleep.” Jungkook wailed, rubbing his eyes with his fists. “I want to play with Appa and Daddy more.”
“Daddy and Appa will still play with you tomorrow.” His Daddy reassured him, placing a kiss on his forehead.
“Don’t go, please.” Jungkook said through his dazedness. Sleep is slowly casting a spell on him. He can’t help it. He’s still a kid and sleep is too powerful to fight with.
“We will not go anywhere, baby.” His Appa promised, laying him down on the soft duvet in their fort.
“Promise,” his Daddy said, kissing his pinky.
Jungkook drifted to sleep with his Appa patting his tummy gently while his Daddy hums a tone under his breath.
Jungkook was four when his breakfast routine was ruined. He first noticed it when they were having breakfast downstairs. Before, his Daddy and Jungkook will eat breakfast together before his Daddy goes to work. When the time his Appa has woken up, Daddy Yoongi will press a kiss on his head, tell him to be a good boy and order Mr. Kang to ready his car. When his Daddy’s car has zoomed away and his Daddy’s plates were cleared, his Appa will then come to the dining area and sit beside Jungkook, urging him to eat the veggies and beans on his plate.
It was their routine.
It suddenly changed a week after his birthday.
Jungkook was telling his Daddy about Iron Man and the Hulk saving unicorns in his dreams. He was in the middle of animating the fight with big movements when they heard the tattle-tales of footstep descending the stairs. His Daddy freezes and Jungkook stopped from talking, already expecting a goodbye kiss from his Daddy.
It’s okay. He can just tell Daddy later.
His Daddy coughed on his fist, “Continue your story, Jungkook.”
Jungkook just stared at him. His Daddy’s smile wavered under his stare but Jungkook quickly looked away from him when his Halnana emerged from the kitchen, humming under her breath. Halnana was still humming as she cleared his Daddy’s plates, making his Daddy flustered.
“Nana, I-I was still eating that.” His Daddy stammered, taking the plate from the tray.
It was then Halnana’s turn to stare at his Daddy. His Daddy looked like he wants to say something when Mr. Kang walked inside the dining area and bowed to his Daddy.
“Master Yoongi, the chauffeur is ready.”
Jungkook felt his lips smile in amusement as he watched his Daddy got flustered from the attention.
“Tell Mr. Song that I can drive myself to work later,” he said with a huff. Taking Jungkook’s cup, he then turned to Jungkook with a gentle smile on his face. “Continue your story, Kookie.”
Jungkook can’t anymore. His Daddy was acting weird. Halnana and Mr. Kang were both staring at him as if there is something odd happening to his Daddy.
Maybe, something happened to Daddy.
Jungkook frowned at that.
“Did the aliens do something to you, Daddy?”
“W-What?” His Daddy stammered.
“Heeyeon, can you please serve me an English breakfast? I’ve been craving for that.”
All turned to his Appa who just arrived in the dining area. He was still rubbing the sleep from his eyes. His voice is still rough from sleep. When he opened his eyes, his Appa stopped on his tracks, staring at Halnana and Mr. Kang and dropping his gaze to his Daddy then to Jungkook. Jungkook noticed that his Appa’s stare linger at his Daddy.
“Is Jungkook sick?” his Appa asked in a worried tone, hand already on his chest.
For a moment, no one dared to speak. Jungkook knew that Halnana and Mr. Kang were surprised with his Daddy’s sudden change of routine. He turned to look at his Appa and his Appa looked so worried that he decided to answer the question.
“No, Appa! I’m strong like Shooky here,” Jungkook chirped, lifting his stuffed toy at his Appa.
His Daddy nudges his lips with another spoonful of oatmeal and Jungkook obliged before smiling with his Appa with his mouth closed. Shooky looked like he needed breakfast.
“Halnana, can I get a cookie for Shooky?” he asked in a lisp, nuzzling his face on the stuffed toy.
That seemed to break the stupor in the household. Halnana gave him a smile and left for the kitchen but not before glancing at his Daddy and Appa. Mr. Kang, feeling awkward, bowed to his Daddy and walked away from the dining area.
His Heeyeon nana who Jungkook noticed lingering in the side walked towards his Appa with an unsure smile.
“Sir Seokjin, please take a seat. I’ll have the head chef prepare it for you.” she said before leaving the dining area too.
His Appa just stood though, staring openly at his Daddy as if he is trying to solve a question. Jungkook noticed his Daddy feeling uneasy with the stare. His Daddy took the newspaper from the side and opened it, hiding his face.
“You should take a seat,” his Daddy said to the newspaper.
Jungkook turned to his Appa who is now frowning at the newspaper. Jungkook was confused. Is his Appa angry that he didn’t get to see his Daddy’s face?
With a sigh, his Appa walked towards Jungkook. Jungkook beamed in glee. He loves his Appa very much. When his Appa is close enough, Jungkook opened his arms, asking to be hug. His Appa lifted him from his high chair, kissed his cheeks and nuzzled his nose on Jungkook’s neck, making him giggle.
“Good morning, my baby,” his Appa greeted with a smile. “Did you sleep well?”
“Yes,” Jungkook answered, hugging his Appa with his free arm since Shooky is still in his other arm.
Jungkook was extremely happy at that time. The breakfast passed by as awkward with his parents, taking turns feeding him when he forgot to feed himself. He thought it will happen for one day, like his birthday wish.
But, it happened again in the next day and the day after that until he got used to it.
Jungkook was still four when he learned the whole story. His Uncle Namjoon was away for two months and unfortunately, his birthday was between those months. Uncle Namjoon was his favorite uncle. He was a famous author and always brought Jungkook a book to read whenever he visited.
If he will be honest, his Uncle Namjoon’s gifts were the highlight of his birthday. Don’t tell his Appa or Daddy that he said that.
Every Jungkook’s birthday, his Uncle Namjoon wrote books just for him. It will not be sold in stores. Just for Jungkook. And, the best part was Jungkook can request the color, the theme, the characters and the drawings. His Uncle Namjoon will do the rest of the work and Jungkook only has to wait for that present.
So, when his Uncle Namjoon returned to Korea after months of book signing, Jungkook already made up his mind for this year’s theme.
“Write a story about Appa and Daddy.” Jungkook whispered to his uncle’s ears.
His Uncle Namjoon choked on his coffee. His Daddy looked up from his papers and gave his uncle a look.
“You’re even choking all by yourself,” his Daddy slurs. “Kook, come here. Your Uncle Namjoon is dangerous.”
Uncle Namjoon shot his Daddy the same dirty look before thanking Heeyeon who passed him a napkin.
“Go back to your papers, hyung.”
His Daddy shook his head at him before returning to his papers once again. When the coast was clear, Jungkook turned to his Uncle Namjoon, grinning at him cheekily.
“It’s a secret, okay?” Jungkook whispered, placing a finger on his lips.
His Uncle Namjoon took a glance at his Daddy before leaning to him. “But why, Jungkook? Why do you want a story about your Appa and Daddy?”
“I want to know how they met,” Jungkook answered before taking a cookie from the plate.
Five months after that, Jungkook was in the middle of telling his Appa about Taehyung eating the red crayon when his Uncle Namjoon showed up in their house. His Appa put him down and Jungkook ran to his uncle, hugging his long legs.
“Namjoon-ah,” his Appa greeted happily. “We were not expecting you. Do you want to have some drinks?”
“Sure,” Uncle Namjoon said. He took Jungkook’s hand and both of them followed his Appa in the veranda.
Jungkook nudged his Uncle Namjoon and his uncle laughed at him before telling him to wait once they’re alone. Jungkook was patient. He was busy playing with dirt when his Appa was called.
“Sir Seokjin,” Heeyeon nana said, urgency in her voice. His Appa and Uncle Namjoon stopped talking. “Master Yoongi’s mother called.”
Jungkook stood up from his place. A smile on his face upon hearing his Grandmama’s voice but the call was not meant for him.
“She wished to talk to you, Sir.” Heeyeon said.
Jungkook watched as his Appa’s smile vanished on his face. His Appa stood up from his seat, his posture straight and stiff, before excusing himself to Namjoon. Heeyeon ushered him inside and Jungkook was left alone with his Uncle Namjoon.
“Kookie,” his Uncle Namjoon called, gesturing him to come to him.
Jungkook gladly left the pile of dirt and ran to the table. Uncle Namjoon took out a bundle behind his back and unwrapped it, revealing a sky blue book with a drawing of an alpaca, bunny and a cat.
“Ooh, a sour cat.” Jungkook said in recognition.
“Do you want me to read the story?”
Jungkook nodded at that. His Uncle Namjoon placed him on his lap and opened the book. Jungkook was delighted with the drawing of the characters. Uncle Namjoon started to read the words, pulling Jungkook to a world of animated characters.
“A long time ago, a cat named Prince Suga lived in the heart of the Daegu Kingdom. He was a bad prince. He always leaves the palace at night to party with his other friends, drinks sour milk there and dances with feline cats.
The king and queen were furious with the little prince’s behavior. They are getting old and they want Prince Suga to be the king. But, Prince Suga needs to learn how to be a good prince first. Going to party and kissing feline cats are not the signs of a good prince.
So, the solution?
“You’ll be marrying Prince RJ from the Alpaca Land,” King Cat said during breakfast.
“WHAT?” Prince Suga shouted.
Queen Cat calmly explains the situation. “You’re now in the age of marriage, my prince.”
“But, I don’t want to marry.”
Queen Cat shoots him a look, “Do you want to be a king?”
Prince Suga nodded. Of course, he wants that. Being a king means doing whatever he wants.
“Then, you have to learn how to be a good prince first,” his mother said. “Prince RJ is known to be a good prince. Perhaps, you can learn two or three things from him.”
Prince Suga has nothing more to say. His parents already closed their ears from his whines. If he doesn’t listen, King Cat might pass the crown to other cats. And, he doesn’t like that.
He agreed to meet this Prince RJ. He doesn’t want to marry but he has no choice. If Prince RJ sees him in his baddest behavior, maybe Prince RJ will call the marriage off and he can live like what he wanted.
But, Prince RJ is smart. He sees through Prince Suga’s actions.
“If I have the choice, I will not marry you,” Prince RJ said as he wiped the milk on his shirt. Prince Suga ‘accidentally’ dropped his glass.
“Then, call off the wedding. Tell your parents that you don’t like me.” Prince Suga said.
Prince RJ raises a brow at him. “I will not. My country needs milk and only your kingdom can supply it for us.”
Prince Suga was angry at that. He rose from his seat and said, “Are you telling me that you’ll use our kingdom as suppliers?”
Prince RJ just stared at him. “Yes, I will. Just like how your parents will use me to tame you.”
It was disastrous after that. Prince Suga and Prince RJ got into a fight that even other animals in the forest pull them away from each other. They hated each other so much that they dare not be close to each other.
But, the marriage must continue. Or else, Prince Suga will never be a king. Or else, Alpaca Land will never taste milk again.
In the end, they got married. The marriage was grand. There were birds singing songs about love, elephants drenching the guests with rose water, turtles spinning on the dance floor with the rabbits, butterflies decorating the place with their wings and fireflies lighting up the place when the moon starts to visit.
It was a beautiful wedding and both princes were not happy with it.
The king and queen thought Prince Suga will change to be a good prince. But, it just worsened. Prince Suga fight with Prince RJ all day, shouting at him and saying mean things about him. He goes to party all night and much worse, he doesn’t go home for long periods and other animals see him with other feline cats.
The king and queen were angry at Prince RJ. They were sending bottles of milk in his kingdom so that Prince RJ can teach Prince Suga to be a good prince. They told Prince RJ that they will cut down the supply of milk if he doesn’t change for good. Prince RJ doesn’t want that. His subjects need to drink milk.
He tries his best to teach Prince Suga but the cat prince was a menace. He ignores Prince RJ and breaks his heart in every way possible.
One day, a story spread throughout the Daegu kingdom that Prince RJ has a lover behind his back. The animals in Daegu kingdom were not happy about that. They don’t want their prince to marry a liar. They called Prince RJ mean things and asked a petition for him to return to his country.
The king and queen didn’t believe the story but the marriage was tarnished. Feeling sad that nothing can help Prince Suga to change, they decided to cut the ties of their son and Prince RJ’s marriage. To their shock, Prince RJ visited them and kneeled before them, asking them not to cut off the ties since his kingdom needs milk.
Feeling pity, the king and queen did not end the marriage. They reprimanded Prince Suga of his behavior and told him that if the prince continues his behavior, they will have to pass the crown to Prince RJ instead. Prince Suga doesn’t want that. He has no choice but to act civil with his husband and to do that, he decided to ignore him. Prince RJ is okay with that. His image was not tarnished anymore and he will not hear mean words from the other prince.
After five years of that cold marriage, the king and queen invited Prince Suga and Prince RJ to a dinner. Halfway through the dinner, the king asked for the plates to be cleared and the queen placed a basket infront of the two princes. The basket was not filled with fruits for the couple, instead a baby bunny is lying on it, wriggling as he tries to put his feet on his mouth.
“This is Kookie,” she said brushing Kookie’s fur. “He will be your son now.”
Prince RJ was astounded. He was not expecting another addition to this family. He can’t even control Prince Suga and now, a wriggling baby comes in.
Prince Suga’s reaction is different. He slammed both his hands on the table in anger, making Kookie surprised before he erupted in a crying feat, and glared at his parents.
“I already agreed to marry against my will,” he gritted. “I’m not going to father someone else’s baby.”
“You want to be a king. Then, be a good king.” His father challenges. “Take care of this little bunny and we will see if you are fit to be a king.”
“You will use a child to change me?” Prince Suga said in anger. “Watch me. I will not be tamed like this.” He left the dining area with angry steps, leaving his parents and Prince RJ with the cries of the newborn.
The king and queen sigh in defeat. They raised an ill-fitting prince. Their eyes landed on Prince RJ who is still staring at the squalling bunny, his eyes soft with wonder. They watched him took the bunny from the basket and raised their brows in amusement when the newborn stopped crying. Seeing a new face, Kookie giggled at it, patting the prince’s face gently.
The king smiled at the sight, “Will you take good care of him?”
Prince RJ didn’t answer, unsure of the future. But, one look at the prince, the king and queen knew the answer.
Prince RJ brought the baby in their place. He took good care of him. His miserable life changed with this bunny. Prince Suga was mad that Prince RJ decided to bring the bunny in his home without permission. When he confronted the other prince about it, Prince RJ defended the little bunny and told Prince Suga that he will not control himself if Prince Suga harmed Kookie. That seems made Prince Suga to avoid the bunny.
When Prince RJ left Kookie behind to get some berries, Prince Suga sauntered in the room, hoping to see the fuss about the babe. What he sees melts his cold demeanor away. Kookie is six-month old now. He no longer looks like a tiny squalling bunny. Instead, he looks cute. His nose scrunches in a way when he sneezes. His eyes shine bright like stars in the sky when his hands manage to find his foot. His little giggles were like music to Prince Suga’s ears when Kookie play with his foot. When he placed his claw on the crib, the bunny latched into it, closing his paws on it and smiling at Prince Suga.
He fell in love with him.
After that day, Prince Suga took it in his heart to take good care of Kookie when his husband is gone. He fed him, changed his diaper and sang him to his sleep. Prince RJ didn’t say anything. They still don’t like each other. But, for little Kookie, they will do everything even if it means to live in the same room.”
The story ended like that. Uncle Namjoon closed the book and found Jungkook staring at it with a serious expression. Placing the boy on the floor, he put his hands on the boy’s shoulders.
“It is okay if you don’t like the story, Kook. You can tell me.” His uncle said in reassurance.
Jungkook shook his head. “I like it, Uncle Namjoon.”
“Then, why are you frowning?” Uncle Namjoon asked as he tapped the knot between Jungkook’s eyebrows.
“Can two people live together even if they hate each other?” Jungkook asked the one thing bugging his mind.
Uncle Namjoon pretended to think before settling to a good answer, “Sometimes, people can overcome hate for the person they love. Life has unlimited possibilities. Feelings for each other can still change.”
Jungkook was nearing five when he first witnessed his parents fighting. It was during his Grandmama’s birthday. Although his parents seldom take him to his grandparents, Jungkook can remember that they were all awesome but his Grandmama, Daddy’s mother, is the coolest.
His Grandmama looks young, younger than Halnana even though Halnana always tell him his Grandmama is older than she is. She gave Jungkook wonderful toys and taught him how to play the piano. But, out of all of those, he remembered the memories of how tough his Grandmama was.
Once when Jungkook was a little boy, he ran too fast inside their house and he got a bruise from the fall. His Grandmama was so angry with the maids. She ordered the floor to be carpeted and bought Jungkook a new collection of shoes with this rubber under it. There was one scary incident where he and Taehyung were playing in the park and this big boy took the ball in their hands. Jungkook told Taehyung to let it go but little Taehyung still insisted for the ball. The boy pushed him and Jungkook was smacked on his head. His Grandmama saw that, took a golf club from his Grandpapa’s bag and waved it around, chasing the boy. The ball was given back to them and Taehyung told Jungkook that he has a scary Grandmama.
He loves his Grandmama so much. So, when he learned that his Grandmama is hosting a party, he promised himself that he will come.
“How did you know about that?” his Appa asked, chopsticks freezing infront of Jungkook’s mouth. His Daddy turned to Jungkook, curious as to why he knew about the party.
Jungkook shook his head at the green peas his Appa is urging him to eat. He doesn’t like beans. Bleh. His Appa gave up and instead, fed Jungkook with ham that he willingly ate.
“I found the invitation on Daddy’s table,” Jungkook answered, putting his sippy cup in his lips so that he won’t eat the green peas.
His Daddy narrowed his eyes at him. “Since when do you snoop in my study room?”
Jungkook shrugged, “I need scissors.”
His Appa sighed at his answer before leaning on him. “Jungkook, baby, it is not nice to take things without permission. You could have asked Heeyeon nana for it.”
“Heeyeon nana was sleeping. I don’t want to wake her up.”
“It’s alright. I’ll let you go this time,” his Appa said. “But, ask for permission first. Are you careful with the scissors?”
Jungkook nodded. “I cut a square for Taehyung.”
“Good. Now, open up,” His Appa said, beans in the chopsticks this time and coaxing Jungkook to eat it. “You have to eat peas and beans, my Kook. So, you can be strong.” Jungkook whined, squirming on his high chair. His Appa sighed once more and ate the beans for himself as he watches Jungkook took his sippy cup and drank all the contents.
His Daddy was watching the scene and was frowning at Jungkook’s behavior. He put his fork down and called for Mr. Kang.
“Mr. Kang,” he called. The butler walked towards his Daddy. “Please call my mother and tell her that we will not be attending her birthday because Jungkook doesn’t eat his beans.”
At that, Jungkook stared at his Daddy in shock. He found his Daddy staring back at him with a serious expression on his face. He started to cry.
“I want to see Grandmama!” he cried.
“You will, only if you eat your beans,” his Daddy said sternly, taking his chopsticks and picking the beans from his plate. When he coaxed Jungkook to open his mouth, he obliged, eating the beans and frowning at the taste.
His Daddy chuckled at his expression, knocking his head gently. Jungkook took a broccoli from his plate and was about to show his Daddy that he eats his vegetables too when he saw his Daddy and Appa staring at each other.
His Daddy, feeling awkward with the shared eye contact, diverted his gaze and opted to eat. Jungkook returned his gaze back to his Appa and found that his Appa is looking elsewhere and has turned into an apple once again.
They did attend the party. Unlike Jungkook’s birthday party, his Grandmama’s didn’t have colorful balloons, clowns or even a birthday cake. It was just a big room surrounded with bright lights with too many people sitting on too many tables. Jungkook frowned at that.
He turned to his Daddy and leaned on his Daddy’s ears, “Why are there no balloons?”
His Daddy smiled at him, adjusting Jungkook in his arms, “Because your Grandmama is sophisticated and according to her, balloons are not sophisticated.”
Jungkook sniffled at that. He got a cold yesterday. His parents want to leave him behind his Halnana but he persisted, even hugging his arms around his Appa’s legs so they will not leave without him. Feeling stuffy, Jungkook used his arm to wipe off the mucus on his nose.
His Appa turned to him in horror, “Oh my god, Kook! We do not do that,”
His Appa took a napkin from his coat and instructed Jungkook to blow on the napkin. Jungkook was squirming, uncomfortable of blowing his nose, but his Daddy turned him to his Appa and Jungkook has no choice but let his Appa wiped his nose.
Suddenly, there was a flash of light on them. His Daddy and Appa froze on their spot as if they were caught doing something wrong.
“What a beautiful picture. Don’t you think, Hun?”
Jungkook turned to look and found his Grandpapa and Grandmama, smiling at them. He asked to be let down and his Daddy obliged, putting him down. Jungkook ran to his grandparents, nuzzling his face on his Grandmama’s velvet gown.
“I miss you,” he said to both of his parents.
His Grandmama lifted him in her arms and placed a kiss on his cheeks. “Oh, look at you, my love. Wearing this little suit is making me want to squeeze you.” She then turned to Grandpapa and patted his chest, “Show these lovely couple to their tables, Hun.”
Jungkook saw his Daddy rolled his eyes at her. His Appa just coughed and looked elsewhere. His Grandmama then took him away from his parents and showed him the cake he asked for. The cake is so big. It almost touched the ceiling and Jungkook laughed in delight just seeing it.
“Do you like it?” Jungkook nodded. “I’ll give you a bite. But, first, tell me how is your Daddy and Appa. Are they. . . talking to each other now?”
Jungkook was salivating with the sight of the cake but he remembered to answer. “No,” his Grandmama frowned at his answer. “But, we ate breakfast and dinner together now.”
His Grandmama’s eyes got bigger. “Really?”
Jungkook nodded. “Daddy got angry to me yesterday because I didn’t eat Appa’s beans. I don’t like beans.” He said that, hoping his grandmama could make his parents stop feeding him beans and peas.
His Grandmama laughed in delight, kissing Jungkook’s cheeks multiple times. “Oh, you’re so precious, Jungkookie! You’re a god-sent! But, you really have to eat beans and peas so you could grow.”
Jungkook has his first bite of the cake. It was chocolate and he remembered that his Grandmama was so happy with him that she gave Jungkook a whole slice all for himself. She was still asking questions when his Daddy found them. Upon seeing his face soiled with chocolate, he took the plate out of his hands and lifted him from the table.
Jungkook whined, reaching for the cake.
“Ma, you’re not supposed to feed him too much chocolate,” his Daddy said, pulling Jungkook away from the cake. Jungkook cried.
“He was a good boy. And, besides, it’s my birthday. I want to spoil my grandchild.” His Grandmama said but she was not reaching for the plate anymore. Instead, she asked a wet towel from a waiter.
Jungkook squirmed harder. He was squirming in his Daddy’s arms. He just wanted the chocolate. When his Daddy didn’t budge, he sought in crying harder.
“Told you that was a bad idea,” his Daddy said to his Grandmama. He then turned to Jungkook and told him in a stern voice, “Kook, stop crying now.”
Jungkook didn’t stop. He even put his dirty hands on his face, wiping the snot and tears. “Oh no. We’re not supposed to do that. Your Appa will get mad when he sees you.” his Daddy grimaced.
His Grandmama gave his Daddy the hot towel and leaned away from them, watching the scene amusedly. His Daddy put him on the windowsill and wiped the remnants of chocolate on his hands as he calmed Jungkook down.
“Chocolate is good, Jungkook. But, eating chocolate while you have a cold is not good,” his Daddy said, wiping now his face with the hot towel. “It will just make you sick and bring bugs in your teeth.”
Jungkook has calmed down now but he was still sniffling as his Daddy wiped the tears and snot on his face. His Grandmama is smiling proudly at hi—no, at his Daddy. His Daddy swept back the fringe on his face and Jungkook asked to be lifted. His Daddy obliged, placing a kiss on his forehead before turning to his Grandmama.
“What are you smiling about?”
His Grandmama shook her head. “Nothing. It amuses me that you’ve changed a lot.”
His Daddy didn’t say anything but just kissed Jungkook’s head and patted his back. A man came to his Grandmama, telling her that the party was about to start and he needed his Grandmama there. They both reemerged from the room and his Daddy stopped on his tracks, making Grandmama stop as well.
“Yoongi—“ she said in alarm. Jungkook turned to her, puzzled.
“What is that man doing?” Yoongi said through his clenched teeth. Jungkook looked at where his Daddy is staring and found a big man, hugging his Appa. Jungkook can see his Appa squirming from his hold.
His grandmama took his Daddy’s arm harshly and whispered to him, “Yoongi, don’t make a scene. I’ll send that man away.”
“What do you mean by that?” his Daddy said, still staring at his Appa and the man. Jungkook is getting scared. His Daddy rarely gets angry but when he does, he was very scary. “That man is fondling my husband. Am I supposed to keep quiet?”
“You’re not supposed to make a scene infront of your son,” his Grandmama whispered.
His Daddy widened his eyes at that and stared at Jungkook as if remembering he was holding him. Suddenly, his cold eyes turned soft and Jungkook felt his Daddy kissed his forehead.
“You’re right,” his Daddy said. “Here, hold Jungkook.”
Jungkook was passed rapidly in his Grandmama’s arms.
“Yoongi, wait!” his Grandmama shouts. She then turned around, trying to find someone who could stop his son.
Jungkook just watched. Watched how his Daddy sauntered to his Appa and the man. Watched how his Daddy turned that man rudely and said something. Watched his Daddy landed a punch on the man. Watched his Appa screaming and pulling his Daddy away from that man.
There was a commotion and screaming after that. Guards pried the two men away from each other and Jungkook saw his Daddy with an angry look and blood on the side of his lips. His Appa pulling him by his coat and holding him back. Something squeezed his heart and Jungkook started to cry, reaching for his Daddy.
His Grandmama cursed under her breath and called someone. Jungkook was taken away from his Grandmama and was ushered away from the scene. He cried so hard that night, asking for his Daddy and Appa. Even the maid showing him pictures and balloons can’t calm him down.
After a long time, the room opened with a bang and his Daddy and Appa entered, shouting at each other.
“Why did you do that, Yoongi?” his Appa shouted. His Daddy didn’t answer but walked to where Jungkook was and lifted him in his arms.
“We’re leaving,” his Daddy said, already on his way to the door.
His Appa grabbed his Daddy by the arm, anger on his voice. “We’re not leaving. Don’t you understand? This is a huge mess.”
“Then, stay here!” his Daddy shouted back.
Jungkook cried. It was his first time to hear his Daddy shout that loud. As if he remembered that their son is with them, his Appa stared at him before reaching for him. His Daddy evaded him.
“You’re not leaving with my son like this,” His Appa said through Jungkook’s cries. “I will not let you.”
“Then, we’re all leaving.” His Daddy said, grabbing his Appa’s wrist and striding away from the room.
His Appa was still talking at his Daddy, asking him to stop. They stopped when they entered the huge room. Everyone was looking at them. His Appa tried to look elsewhere before settling to stare at his feet, his hand now entwined with his Daddy’s hands. Jungkook hid his face in his Daddy’s neck, feeling ashamed at how people is seeing him cry.
“I wanted to tell you all this,” his Daddy exclaimed. “This man is my husband. This kid is our child. Whoever decide to harm them or whoever I heard spreading rumors will be kissing their careers goodbye.”
With that, his Daddy started walking again and everything is a blur. He remembered his parents shouting at each other when they got in the car. Jungkook doesn’t remember if he was crying or not, all he knows is that his parents were very upset but there was no hatred lingering in the air. Just fear and concern.
“Stop this car!” his Appa shouted. “You’ll be killing all of us with the way you’re driving.”
His Daddy stopped the car and Jungkook watched the silence crawl inside their car. He saw his Daddy leaning on his car seat, his eyes closed, while his Appa was just staring at his Daddy with question in his eyes. Jungkook can see that his parents are tired.
“Why do you have to do that?” his Appa said, tears forming in his eyes. “Why now? When I’ve been handling that by myself for years.”
His Daddy didn’t answer but Jungkook saw his hands gripping the wheel tighter.
“You always make a mess.” His Appa said. “You always do and you left me to fix it. Why now?”
His Daddy was still not talking.
“You should not care. You should just stay like before.”
Jungkook flinched when his Daddy shouted, “Well, I care!” His Appa was staring at him with a surprised look. “I can’t help but care. I don’t know how or why. I just know that I have to protect you.”
His Appa started to cry. Jungkook doesn’t know if he can cry or not but when his Daddy moved to pull his Appa’s hands from his face, he decided to save his tears for later. Jungkook watched with round eyes as his Daddy brushed the tears on his Appa’s face before leaning on him and kissing his Appa’s lips.
They kissed without Jungkook’s persuasion or his Grandmama’s request.
They kissed on their own. In their car. With Jungkook in his booster seat.
They kissed for a long time. They seemed to forget that Jungkook is with them. Jungkook tried to be quiet. He didn’t want to break the spell. But, he needs to pee and his Appa told him that he should tell them that.
Jungkook can’t take it no longer.
“I want to pee,” he whispered.
His Daddy and Appa stopped kissing. They pulled away from each other and just stared at each other’s eyes. Maybe, they didn’t hear him.
“I really want to pee, Appa.” Jungkook whined.
At once, his Daddy took his seatbelt out and rushed to Jungkook’s side as his Appa tries to find a water bottle so their son could pee.
Jungkook was nearing five when he saw his parents kissing again. After the events from his Grandmama’s party, his parents returned to ignoring each other. Or, maybe, his Appa was ignoring his Daddy. He doesn’t remember clearly but he remembered that breakfast together was broken once more and they all returned to their routine.
Jungkook pouted at that but he remained silent. He doesn’t want to bring more burden to his parents.
One morning, Jungkook was busy shoving dried laver in his mouth while Heeyeon nana showed him how to put rice on it. It was delicious. His Daddy came downstairs late, stopping in his tracks, when he noticed Jungkook was alone. Heeyeon nana went to the kitchen and returned with a tray of breakfast for Daddy. Still, his Daddy just stood by the doorway.
Jungkook noticed he was staring at his Appa’s seat.
Suddenly, his Daddy frowned at that before ruffling his hair in frustration.
“This is ridiculous,” his Daddy muttered before walking back upstairs. His footsteps heavy and with purpose.
Jungkook and Heeyeon nana shared a look. Jungkook’s lips started to wobble. He was sad that none of his parents eat breakfast with him. Heeyeon nana was alarmed and called his Halnana.
“Halnana, Master Yoo—“
Halnana tsked loudly before calmly patting Jungkook’s head, “Take Jungkook to the daycare now,”
“Now, Heeyeon,” his Halnana commanded.
Jungkook started to whine as he was taken away from his breakfast. Heeyeon was still smiling at him as she put his backpack on her back. Jungkook frowned. He doesn’t want to go to the daycare when his parents didn’t kiss him a good morning kiss.
So, when his Heeyeon nana turned to get Jungkook’s snacks from the cabinet, Jungkook made a run for it. He ran away from the kitchen and hid behind pillars when maids sauntered around. He went upstairs, climbing the stairs one at a time but with urgency.
He went to his Daddy’s room first but he didn’t find his Daddy there. Perhaps, he is in his study room. His Daddy was not there, too. Since Jungkook can’t find his Daddy, he decided that he will go to his Appa first. Appa gives him kisses willingly. He started to walk to his Appa’s room.
When he got there, he found both his Appa and Daddy there. He grinned because this means he can get two kisses from them. But, they were fighting again and Jungkook can’t go in with his parents like that. He will be scolded.
“I don’t get you. Isn’t this what you wanted? For me to change?” his Daddy said.
His Appa ignored him, arranging the papers on his desk. Jungkook can see that his hands were shaking and his Appa’s face is the color of apple.
“Last night was a mistake. There were too much alcohol and--” his Appa muttered. Jungkook saw his Daddy clenching his fists in anger. “I’ll eat my breakfast now,”
Jungkook flinched when his Daddy grabbed his Appa’s arm. He turned his Appa around and gripped his shoulders.
“It was not a mistake in my part,” his Daddy said. Then, to Jungkook’s surprise, he pressed his lips on his Appa’s. His Appa was shocked by that since he dropped the papers he was holding on the floor. He thought his Appa will push his Daddy away but to Jungkook’s glee, his Appa closed his eyes in the kiss and pulled his Daddy.
The door closed and Jungkook looked up in shock. It was Mr. Kang, his face has turned red and was coughing awkwardly.
“I want to see!” Jungkook said.
Mr. Kang didn’t reply but instead, lifted him and walked away from the door with a speed that Jungkook can’t even cry loud for his parents to hear. Mr. Kang deposited him in his Heeyeon nana’s arms and Jungkook was still crying, still squirming, as Mr. Kang explained something to the maids.
Jungkook can’t hear it well because he was already crying in frustration when his Heeyeon nana didn’t let him go. But, he did notice his Halnana gasping at what Mr. Kang was saying and all the maids were squealing in glee. Even his Heeyeon nana dropped her jaw and her eyes are wide.
No one was taking him seriously and Jungkook was upset that he screamed at the top of his lungs, trying to pull himself from Heeyeon’s arms. At once, all the adults noticed him and they were brought back to reality. Halnana turned to Heeyeon.
“Take him to the daycare now, Heeyeon.” His Halnana said then patted Jungkook’s head. “Don’t cry, Kook. Your parents are . . . busy now so they can’t kiss you good morning.”
Jungkook rubbed his eyes. “No, they were not. They were just kissing each other.”
All of them were surprised. Mr. Kang stammered at his response. But, Halnana was adamant to send Jungkook to the daycare and chastised him for running around like that.
Heeyeon dropped him there and all the events in the morning was easily forgotten when Taehyung shoved an Iron Man toy on his hands. Jungkook played hard with Taehyung and watched Teacher Wendy cooked cookies for them. By the time Heeyeon took him from the daycare, he remembered his Daddy and Appa.
“Is Daddy and Appa okay now?” he asked when he saw that they are nearing the house. Heeyeon hesitated to answer and Jungkook pouted at that. “Are they fighting?”
“W-what?” Jungkook noticed that his Heeyeon nana is turning into an apple, stammering with her answer. Jungkook frowned at that.
When the chauffeur stopped the car infront of the house, Jungkook noticed that Halnana, Mr. Kang and all the maids are busting around, not bothering to go inside. Heeyeon took him out from his booster seat and walked with him.
Jungkook saw his Heeyeon raising a brow at his Halnana and his older nanny walked towards them.
“Halnana, are they sti—“
Halnana nodded but Jungkook noticed her cheeks turning red. Why is everyone turning into apple?
Heeyeon nana gasped, “What are they? Rabbits?”
Jungkook looked up at his nana. Halnana was not pleased with her and she pinched Heeyeon nana’s waist, making his younger nana winced. His Halnana bent so that she can look straight to his eyes.
“Young Master Jungkook, you’ll be staying with your Grandmama for now,” she informed, brushing away the hair from Jungkook’s eyes.
Jungkook slumped at that. He knew his lips are trembling and his eyes are tearing up.
“Why?” he croaked out.
Are his parents angry at him?
Halnana didn’t answer. Heeyeon nana was staring at their house with disgust and Mr. Kang was pulling his collar as if he was uncomfortable with it. The maids didn’t have the time to answer.
A car skidded to a stop behind them and all of them bowed to it. Jungkook turned and saw his Grandmama coming out of the car, taking her aviator shades and staring at the house with glee. Jungkook didn’t run to her. He stayed on his place. He wanted to see his parents, not go home with his Grandmama.
His Grandmama saw him and she all squealed, lifting him easily and spinning him around with their cheeks pressed. Jungkook complained. She then proceeded to kiss Jungkook’s cheek.
“You’re the most precious gift, Jungkookie,” she exclaimed, hugging him more that Jungkook started to whine. “Because you’ve been a good and adorable boy, Grandmama will give you anything you want!”
Jungkook frowned at that. He didn’t want anything. He just wanted to see his Appa and Daddy and perhaps, get a kiss from them.
“I want to see Appa and Daddy!” Jungkook wailed, kicking his legs around that his Grandmama placed him back to the ground.
He flopped on the ground and started to kick his legs, crying out loud for his Appa and Daddy. His Grandmama was flustered. No one can pacify his tears. He didn’t get to see his parents and he was worried that they are sending him away.
Jungkook stopped crying. The elders turned their heads to the mansion. His Appa was standing at the doorway, his eyes large from worry. He was wearing a robe and his hair was in dishevel. His Daddy came following behind. He was tying his robe too in urgency and like his Appa, his hair is in tousled.
Jungkook stood up and ran to his Appa. He hugged his legs and cried loud at it. He felt himself being pick up and Jungkook sobbed on his Appa’s neck.
“What is going on?” he heard his Daddy asking in demand. “Why are you all outside? And, what are you doing here, Ma?”
“I came to take Jungkook with me,” his Grandmama scoffed.
His Appa patted his back and murmured comforting words to his ears. Jungkook stopped crying and he was about to tell his Appa that he missed them when he noticed a huge, red mark on his Appa’s neck.
“What is this?” Jungkook asked in a high-pitched voice, poking the red mark in seriousness.
It was silent after that. His Appa was shocked and covered the mark with his free hand. Jungkook scowled at him.
“That’s why,” his Grandmama said as she rolled her eyes at them.
“I-I think you should sleep with Grandmama tonight,” his Daddy stammered, taking Jungkook’s finger that he used to poke his Appa’s neck and placing a kiss on that chubby finger.
“Why?” Jungkook whined, hugging his Appa’s neck tighter and sniffling.
“Daddy and Appa need to talk,” his Appa answered, swaying Jungkook’s body like he used to do when Jungkook was still a baby.
“About adult stuff,” his Daddy answered when his Appa didn’t answer. Jungkook heard his Grandmama snorted at that.
Jungkook leaned away from his Appa and just stared at his parents. They looked different from before. They don’t look tired and unhappy. They looked fresh and happy. Jungkook can see the glow in their skin and their smiles real.
“Okay,” he whispered, playing around with his shirt’s buttons. “But, I want a kiss. You didn’t give me a good morning kiss and didn’t tell me you love me.”
His Appa smiled at him while his Daddy chuckled at his pout. Both of them shared a look and to Jungkook’s awe, they smiled at each other. Then, they placed a kiss on both Jungkook’s cheeks that he giggled at the ticklish kiss.
“We love you so much, Kook,” his Appa and Daddy whispered.
Jungkook always hears his parents say that to him but this was the first time that they used ‘we’ rather than ‘I’. He felt shy at that and when he gazed back to the others, he found them smiling or crying in glee. His Grandmama was nodding at the scene before giving Jungkook a thumbs-up.
Jungkook will be turning five next month and he felt what true happiness is that stuffed toys and robots didn’t give him.
Jungkook is now seven and he asked Mr. Kang to replace their family picture on the wall. He is staring at the grand picture displayed between the staircase. It is so big that it almost takes up the whole wall. His Halnana told him that it was taken during Jungkook’s first birthday. He was wearing a hanbok and was sitting at a velvet chair. On both sides of the chair, his parents stood, smiling at the camera.
It looks perfect. A picture of a perfect family.
Jungkook dislikes it.
The smiles were fake and Jungkook can notice the stiffness on his Appa’s shoulders and the blank stare of his Daddy’s eyes.
There is only one picture he likes and Jungkook raced to his room, digging his camera from his cabinet. He searches for his Heeyeon nana and whispers his wish to his noona’s ears. His Heeyeon nana smiles proudly at him, brushing her fingers in Jungkook’s hair.
“That’s an amazing idea, Kook.”
Jungkook then finds Mr. Kang in his Daddy’s study room. He is arranging the papers on the table.
“Mr. Kang,” the old man turns and smiles at his young master. “I have a request.”
Jungkook watches with a smile as the picture from his first birthday is being taken down by the workers. His smile gets bigger when a new picture was hanged in replace of the old one. His Halnana appears in the place, a frown etched on her face when she notices the old picture being taken away. But, the frown is easily replaced with a gasp then a smile upon sighting the replacement.
“Whose idea is this?” she asks, eyes still on the picture and a smile present on his lips.
“Mine,” Jungkook answered proudly.
His Halnana gives him a proud look before kissing his head. “Your parents are lucky to have you,”
Jungkook smiles at that. He stares at the new picture, properly placed in this big house. It is the picture Halnana took during his fourth birthday. His Appa and Daddy was kissing both of his cheeks and Jungkook was smiling in glee at the camera.
It is a perfect gift for his parents’ anniversary.
Jungkook stares at the picture longer. Back then, his Appa and Daddy were not in good terms. They can’t stand looking each other’s eyes or being near each other. But, something changed that night. Jungkook doesn’t know what happened after he slept.
Perhaps, his parents talked. Or maybe, they just slept together in silence with Jungkook between them.
But, he is sure of one thing.
They both love Jungkook so much that they overcome the hate for each other. Jungkook thinks Halnana is wrong. His parents are not lucky for having him as a child. He is the lucky one because he has parents like them, so ready to face hate for their only son.
“Sometimes, people can overcome hate for the person they love. Life has unlimited possibilities. Feelings for each other can still change.”
He remembers his Uncle Namjoon saying that and Jungkook can’t help but agree.
Jungkook thinks Halnana is wrong. His parents are not lucky for having him as a child. He is the lucky one because he has parents like them, so ready to face hate for their only son.
Jungkook is still staring at the huge picture when the main door opens. A grin breaks out of his face when he hears the familiar laugh of his Appa. He turns around and his parents stop at the door, gasping at the huge picture.
He is happy. He is loved.
Life, indeed, has unlimited possibilities.