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Love Stuck

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When Wonwoo says he wants to be a writer, he pictures himself trading rough drafts off to his editor for another hour of rewriting another page, topping the best-selling books in the local newspaper--and if his luck plays him to the extreme, the nation. He wants to sit with his desk facing out the window of soulless cities as he paints the vicinity with his words, to write the story of the world without visiting every country. He wants to, someday, be able to write his stories based off of cities he sees with his own eyes. He knows he set his bars a little too high to reach, though, with dreams staying as they are and never fleshing out into the realities he always dreamed of.

He starts out in his university's online newspaper, sometimes exchanging his intern time to head to the city's newspaper because his professors urge him to. His hours behind the laptop as news coverage change like whiplash keeps him up at night and his roommate, Mingyu, worries about the bright pixel screen blinding the older at the lowest setting.

 

 

Spring time passes like the blossom petals brushing at his dorm window--slow, gentle, picks up speed when the wind wishes to. His articles churn out in set steps--write this hour, send to editor in another hour, post when the time comes. 

But the wind rushes at him today, to an accident just a couple of blocks from his university. A car ramming into another, sending both cars at the wall under an overpass. The two cars blocked the road and left one driver trying to speed pass the accident in hopes of dodging it, only to be part of it instead. In the middle of it all, the driver of the first car finds his phone and calls only one person: his wife.

Hours after the accident, hours after last words breathed through the married couple before realizing they were the last words, the phone company released the final messages in the phone call. Wonwoo is informed that the same last words were said years ago, the first words that were said when the two bloomed into the life of marriage.

Wonwoo takes hold of the wedding vows, wonders why someone would want to repeat words from years ago. He wonders how much power the words of promises hold.

 

A month later, his boss offers him a chance to interview the woman at the end of the phone that one morning, granted her permission to let Wonwoo enter her house. She invites him to his home and he takes a thermos of tea into his arms.

He asks, "Why the wedding vows?"

She answers that "it's better to think about good memories of the past than the dread of the future."

 

Wonwoo sits at his dorm, staring at the last words of the couple, the vows of staying together through the storm and staying in the center of it all.

For the rest of the year, Wonwoo writes about the couples repeating words from years ago, maybe decades before.

----

Six years after he graduated university, Wonwoo finds himself sitting at Mingyu's bed in his shared apartment. He doesn't share the spaces with Wonwoo anymore; he actually shares his home with his girlfriend, Jihye. There's something warm and familiar about this room that he never stepped foot in--maybe it's the way Mingyu welcomes him in like he's part of his home, the same posters of blueprints from their dorm perpetually stuck above his one desk, the picture frames of Wonwoo and Mingyu's graduations on the walls, the scratched laptop perched on his cushioned chair no matter how many times Wonwoo warned him not to put it there.

There's something warm and familiar when Mingyu asks Wonwoo if he can read any new wedding vows he wrote. When Wonwoo passes his notebook over the mattress, Mingyu smiles all the same: soft and less lonely with the corners of his eyes tracing every letter down to memory. It's the same look that never falters when Wonwoo lets him read from his loosened notebook with frayed pages or dusty tablet, low-dimmed laptop screen or scraps of sticky notes he managed to scavenge in his pile of other scrap paper.

A long silence sits between them like homebody and Wonwoo almost asks what's wrong, if there's something bad about his vows compared to years ago. It's the first time that Mingyu lets an even longer silence lie between them after reading the vows Wonwoo wrote, and his mind tries to piece things together and pinpoint why. Wonwoo shifts over the covers to shuffle the mute, to have something heard between them, even if it isn't words. But the silence snaps at Mingyu's voice, low and hesitant, "Can you...can you help me write my wedding vows?"

Wonwoo blinks once, twice, three times, and a hand swipes at the air in front of him and another plants on his shoulder, pushes him backwards a slight. "Uh--"

"Wonwoo? Did you hear me?"

"Yeah, yeah," he breathes and tries to remember when Mingyu ever mentioned about proposing. The room spins, but he swears it’s just his head, "I did. I can try."

Mingyu waves off his apprehension with a smile, "Why are you nervous? You wrote so many of them since that one article years ago. You're a natural at these."

Wonwoo says he guesses so, but he never mentions that this would be the first time he helps someone write wedding vows.

 

Months later, Wonwoo adjusts the silver tie on Mingyu's neck so he won't choke as a woman fixes stray strands with her comb. Mingyu stands tall in his dark blue suit jacket and pants. Wonwoo takes one scan down, ensures that not a single string pokes a millimeter out of Mingyu’s lean frame, and grins at the forgotten button at the bottom of his vest and pops it right through.

"Wonwoo," is faint, somewhat unsteady at two meager syllables, and he looks up to Mingyu biting his bottom lip. "What if I mess up? What if I stutter? What if she'll want a divorce when I forget the easiest words?"

Wonwoo scoffs, "If anything, I think she'll want to stay with you longer than forever if you show you're nervous."

Mingyu rolls his eyes. "I hate that you can put the right words together."

"You asked me to help you write your wedding vows. Words are my thing." Wonwoo drops his hands when he thinks the tie won't fly off the younger's neck at a bare whistle of a broken note. "Just recite it right here, right now. You don't have to memorize it, but it's good to be familiar with it."

"They say no one really cares about the wedding vows," Mingyu mutters, "but I want today to be special, not just for Jihye and me."

"Just recite it, Kim Mingyu."

----

Two years later, Mingyu remains as the only one married in his group of friends, but he's not the only one who sought advice for writing wedding vows. Out of all of his friends, Soonyoung never asks him for help with wedding vows because "The wedding vows you write are so serious, I think they can be more lighthearted, even if you write them with all of your heart." Wonwoo strikes it as a challenge, but Soonyoung gives in and lets Wonwoo read his vows.

Soonyoung slumps into his seat at the kitchen table, a couple mugs of coffee nearing the edge of porcelain carnage. "Save me, I really do need help," Soonyoung sighs, dragging his hands over his face, "I can't-it's so cheesy in my mind."

"Tell me," Wonwoo grins. He taps the pen against the table at each syllable, "I'll make it cheesier."

"You're fired from helping me write my proposal," Soonyoung deadpans.

"I never asked for payment in the first place."

"Fine, that's true.” Soonyoung sits straight back up and plants his palms on the table, lets his thoughts spit a train. “Remember when everyone watched my performance three years ago, and everyone left when it was all over? Yeah, including you, Wonwoo. Well, Seokmin was the only one who stayed back and I was so happy that out of anyone who was left in the audience, it was him. It just-I felt that at that moment, it was him, you know?"

The last two words slash the entire memory as foreign because Wonwoo, in fact, does not know from personal experience. But he nods along, mutters something around the concept that he gets it. "So you want to mention that in your wedding vows? Is that the only thing you want to talk about?"

Soonyoung shrugs and slumps back into the backrest. His head leans back and he stares at the ceiling. "I don't know, there's just so much to say about Seokmin, I might as well start where it all started."

"That was so cheesy and typical." Wonwoo tosses his capped pen at Soonyoung, a scrape jabbing right at his jaw. "I love it."

Wonwoo grabs another pen and notes down *make it super cheesy that everyone cringes* at the top of his notebook. Soonyoung's eyes glance down and he almost grabs for the notebook. "I want to get rid of this cheesiness, okay? Please, Wonwoo, I loved Mingyu's vows so much, but I don't want to take his. I can't ."

Wonwoo blinks up. "You-you did?"

Soonyoung nods and folds his hands over Wonwoo's fingers gripping the pen tight. "I really do. The next day, I asked if he wrote those vows himself and he said that you helped him out a lot. You can really write."

----

Even though the sign hanging on his window says he opens at eleven in the morning, he walks into his dark office at nine, flips the light switch on, and settles at the wooden desk in the middle of the floor. He scoots the two arm chairs together and tries to backtrack what happened at the last session that brought them almost at the ends of the table. He glances at the towering bookshelf at his right and the waterfall of pictures thumb-tacked, taped, framed at his left. His laptop and planner in one hand and a thick envelope in another, he places everything down on his desk and turns to the wall of snapshot memories.

He slips every glossy print out of the white envelope, watches the lives of two people tie at each shot. After at least a dozen pictures of couples he helped write wedding vows and proposals for, the next stack of newly prints traveled all the way from home, of his friends and family, of his friends' family. He tapes a shot of Paris at night, dated and signed by Minghao at the bottom corner. Another picture from the same night holds Junhui at the heart of the Eiffel Tower’s view, above the city of love. Thumb-tacks a portrait of Jihoon meeting his favorite artist at a concert a month ago. His thumb runs over clear tape at the corners multiple times as he straightens a picture of Mingyu with his daughter, Seoyeon, sitting at his lap and the father-daughter pair smiling up at the camera. Her long pigtails disappear behind her and her skintone is starting to match her father's. She inherits her father's glints at his eyes and there are a couple gaps at her bottom teeth. He frames his brother's graduation picture with a bouquet of blue flowers and places it on his desk, right under the lamp.

He wishes the life at home comes here to his new home, but he knows that they're across the globe, everyone is too far out of reach, and home is truly too far away.

He grabs the sign from the window, a faux-cursive announcing in a pale blue, Having trouble with wedding vows? Inquire inside! Drop-ins & appointments welcome with Wonwoo's name and contact information right under. He dusts it off with the back of his hand and figures it's been a while since he blew the age off the board.

His first client today is a drop-in from last week, who paid for another three sessions in the first one to make sure that she would have more than enough time to revise the vows before her wedding. The calendar circles the date three months away, but she insists that it's good to get it done early and with no rush.

Wonwoo nods at that remark, mentions that most of his clients ask for his assistance a week or two before their weddings. Her laugh tips her head back, and Wonwoo thinks her vows can actually stand on their own as herself.

Her name is Rose and she suggests that her wedding will not have the actual flowers in it, sticking to carnations or something less traditional and formal. She met her husband during her senior year of high school and when he asked her to prom, she said no and turned around to leave. But years later, once they reconciled and stayed, when he asked her to marry him, she said yes and let him slip a ring on her finger.

She sits down at the table, denim knee scraping Wonwoo's in the process. She tells him that she wants to include that anecdote about senior prom in her wedding vows, but she doesn't know how to do so. She doesn't want to be blunt about it, but she also doesn't want to purple-prose the entire thing.

Wonwoo nods, stands up, and grabs two cups of green tea from the fridge at the other side of his office. He places them down, perks his ears at a curt thank you, and picks up a pen.

----

It's been a while since the thought of his very first client ever crossed his mind before switching on the open sign. His coworkers at the dress and suit departments never bring it up, but he always does--at least, to himself.

His very first client when he started the business nearly discouraged him into quitting, the harsh, "How did you write these words without even knowing what love is?"

He remembers the man's blue eyes rolling, the screech of the chair as the man stood up, frills of white notecards and sheets of paper swinging into the air before floating down to the floor, and slammed the door. Wonwoo picked up the scattered papers and read the wedding vows he posted online, the ones he did for fun and without anyone to write it to or for. Some words were circled and other phrases asterisked, dotted with comments of good metaphor, nice details, how did he come up with this imagery?

He remembers walking out of his office and a coworker stopped in the middle of her path with wide eyes, pointing a shy finger at the man stomping out. Wonwoo shook his head, went up the flight of stairs and to the dresses.

Today, Wonwoo goes up to the dresses because his break seems to stretch longer than usual. He takes the left flight of white marble stairs and walls racked with white dresses never touching the floor greet him, bright lights sending him to blink hard.

He walks around, notices a woman twirling in one of the dresses with tears in her eyes. Wonwoo takes silent steps up behind the couch with a couple sets of shoulders yearning side-by-side. He crosses his hands behind his back, smiles at the mirror reflecting the bride-to-be.

"I love it," he hears her say, shaking and cracked, before smiling wider, "so, so much."

His eyes land on another bride-to-be but she grasps juxtapositions of a smile. As she flattens the train on her side, heavy exhales seep into her chest that weigh like a burden. Wonwoo looks at the couch behind her, finds no one there except for Sam with the same wide eyes as years ago. He slips into the seat besides her, only offers a small flat-smile as he glances at the back of the dress closed by clips.

"It's not my size, oh my," stings at his ears. "I'm going to rip the dress I can't afford to like."

Before Sam plants a hand on the couch, Wonwoo gets up. "They can make alterations to it," Wonwoo says, taking her hands in his after asking if it's okay to hold her hands. "If this is the dress, then this is the dress."

"I have never seen you before," she giggles, letting his hand go to wipe the tears from the corner of her eyes. He explains, smile mirroring hers better than the mirror itself, that he actually helps write wedding vows on the first floor. "Oh, you must be very romantic, then," she squeezes his hands, "your wife must be very happy to have a sweet husband."

Wonwoo shakes his head and almost corrects her that he does not have a wife, nor a girlfriend. But he lets it go, steals a glimpse of Sam's mouth hang open at the couch. He excuses himself that he is actually on break and it's nearing time for his next appointment. The woman thanks Wonwoo before he leaves down.

----

Wonwoo's hand barely grazes for the door when he flinches at his boss' voice behind him. "Wonwoo," after troubled steps on marble, white dress shirt rolled up to view more wrinkle on the back of his hand, "would you like to take your break with me? Let's go out somewhere."

 

 

He seats himself in an Italian restaurant tucked somewhere between buildings he didn't know existed until his boss dragged him out here. He places the tablecloth across his lap and asks for a cup of water before his boss requests to make it two.

"How has writing been lately?" his boss asks between spoons of gnocchi soup.

Wonwoo sighs and keeps his palms on his knees instead of on the table. "September hits me hard every year and this year is the same, but I'm enjoying it."

"Oh, that's good to hear," his boss nods, but his voice lays flat and never matches the sentiment, "because I've been told by a few customers that they feel weird knowing that the person helping them write their vows has never been married himself. Some of them even say that you've never been in love." Wonwoo shrugs, twists the tablecloth at his thighs. "I think it's time to start looking for someone."

"Why?" is a little loud over the silverware, too harsh for the muffled chatter. He lowers his voice so that only his boss, his ears, and the plates and food in between can hear. "Do I have to be married to work like this? It's not like the people coming in are married themselves."

His boss nods once, "You don't have to," after a heavy pause, "but maybe your vows will be more genuine if you have something you can base them on."

----

The next day, Wonwoo considers about calling in sick for the day, since his only appointments are all through emails, but he thinks he should extend the request for a vacation. Winter months don't offer a lot of wedding vows for him to assist and get into paper and he would rather spend his time with the people he miss, rather than lying at his apartment.

He tells this to his boss that day, that December and January are his drought months of wedding vows, the slowest of the year, and he's lucky if he gets a handful of emails with a single drafted fragment to start wedding vows instead of booking appointments for the following few months after the season drifts. His boss agrees and hopes that he meets someone there.

"I can't guarantee that, but I'd be happy to bring back some souvenirs," Wonwoo scoffs.

 

 

When he gets home, changes out of his beige trench coat and jeans and squints his glasses off. He walks up the short flight of stairs to his loft bed at the corner and falls back in the middle of the mattress. He picks up his phone and sends a quick message in the group chat that he would be visiting sometime in the winter. Between finalizing the dates he would be gone and checking in on the time in Korea, he accepts a request for an over-the-phone appointment that is originally scheduled for tomorrow. He flips through his planner shut and replaces the book with a fresh section of his notebook for the new client.

In the middle of the call, right when Jackson is about to delve into his shyness towards his wife, at the fact that he had to borrow his cousin to give her chocolates, his phone vibrates across the bedside table. It shocks a "Oh, what was that?" from Jackson and Wonwoo apologizes that his phone just got a message. He dives back intothe story after chuckling from his own reaction. After another vibration, Wonwoo cuts off the internet from his phone and abandons his friends talk to each other without him.

When he finishes with the client two hours later, he scrolls through the messages and picks at the pattern of subjects. From souvenirs and gifts from America, Junhui's request for American beer. To who Wonwoo will stay with because booking a hotel for a month is useless and pricey, with Jihoon's offer for a room as long as he doesn't bother him. To the possibility that this is all a joke because Soonyoung suggests that since Wonwoo isn't talking anymore it's just us planning his vacation for him. He laughs at the screen and the pixel jokes and types that he just finished with a client.

The most recent message in the chat belongs to Mingyu, almost an hour after the proposition that Wonwoo isn't coming to visit after all.

22:06

Mingyu

My home is always open as long as you don't mind a little one running around

The first message from Mingyu erupts a string of others.

Minghao

I don’t have a baby

Jihoon

Neither do I.

Soonyoung

Same, so if you go with me, you don’t have to worry about a little one!!

It's a great idea, Wonwoo believes at first. Except he concludes he can't go with Soonyoung because Soonyoung rarely sleeps and the duo would probably find unhealthy eating habits in less than a night. He doesn't exactly want to stay with Jihoon because he doesn't sleep, either, and Wonwoo doesn't want to run the risk bothering him. He and Junhui get along, but he predicts things to turn out awkward with his boyfriend, Minghao, living with him.

With Mingyu, though he shares his roof with his daughter, Wonwoo thinks he won't mind. He remembers back in their university years when he shared a dorm with Mingyu for the entire three years they were on campus together and notes how organized his side of the dorm was, how Mingyu got up at the sound of the alarm, the quaking of the mattress when Wonwoo didn't follow suit.

23:23

Wonwoo

Is that offer still open?

Mingyu

Of course

Always

Are you sure??

Because my daughter is loud sometimes and you might get annoyed

Wonwoo

I don’t mind

I think her energy will help me after living alone for a while

Mingyu

Okay! I’ll start getting things ready

Wonwoo

Me too

What’s she into? I want to get her a gift

Mingyu

I actually don’t buy her toys

But she likes books lately

Right now she likes disney princesses, so i guess that would be good

Wait

But you don’t really have to

She has plenty of books here

Wonwoo

Too late

And it’s fine, I’m getting something for everyone, anyway

Mingyu

Are you sure?

Wonwoo

Yes, I’m sure. Since you’re the only one with a child, I’m going to spoil her :)

Seoyeon

Kim Seoyeon

My favorite niece

Mingyu

Your only niece

Wonwoo

Shut up

Mingyu

You know i’m right

Now get some sleep

----

New York City in the junction of fall and winter transcends slowly at his eyes; the world is just too fast to realize the differences between seasons until a snowflake hits the tip of his nose. He sets up a deadline for drop-ins and appointments, highlights the dead middle of December on his planner and calendars as the last day he'll be seeing and responding to people before he starts gift-shopping and packing for his vacation. The schedule on his website says he would be back at the first week of February, leaving some time after in case he runs severe jet lag at his veins and brains.

He stops his organizing to get ready for his first client of the day and he relaxes in his seat when he notices the same surname on the schedule as is own. There's a knock at his door and he gets up, greets the man hunching over before he fully opens the door. He greets a shy hello, and "Sorry for being a little early." Wonwoo shakes his head and tells the man to sit down, get comfortable.

The man's name is Jeon Sunghoon and he slips a moleskine notebook on Wonwoo's desk, never puts his entire voice into vocalizing his wish to make his messages flow more clear, more smooth in a language he's still dipping his toes into. "I feel like all of my words are a little-how do you say it? Cliche? And I really don't want that." The man rubs his eyes and he notices the pinks at his knuckles.

Wonwoo points at the notebook and asks, "Can I?" Sunghoon nods, hands him the notebook. A smile perches on Wonwoo's lips for the Korean at the previous pages, crossed out and streaming in imagery and details far more complicated than the vows drafted in English. "Are you trying to translate them from Korean?"

"Oh, you know Korean?" Sunghoon asks, eyes widening.

Wonwoo plucks a business card from his table and realizes then that he really needs to refill the stack sometime soon. The slip he picks up is almost at the end of the pile, close to reaching the display stand part instead of the actual cards. He runs his thumb under the Jeon of his name. "I don't know if you realized this when you made an appointment, but we have the same last name."

Sunghoon sighs in relief, hand at his chest. "How did I not notice it before?" His voice lowers when he switches languages, "I was probably too nervous about the appointment to notice it." He takes the notebook from Wonwoo's hand and flips it to a different page near the start of the book. "I've been trying to translate this to English because all of our guests are good in English, but I'm still nervous that my words won't match the original thoughts. Like it's lost in translation."

Wonwoo smiles at the man's ease with opening up to him in a split second. "Just a second," he excuses himself, standing up and walking over to the fridge. He pulls out plastic containers of rice, meat, side dishes, and unwraps them to microwave. "I spend around two hours with a client. Did you eat before coming? Usually, people are too nervous to eat. Or they eat too much."

Sunghoon shakes his head, jaws slacking open. "I didn't eat before this. I thought it would take around thirty minutes."

Wonwoo smiles again and offers a bowl of rice before placing the rest on the table around notebooks and pens. "Eat some while we write." When Sunghoon parts his lips to decline, "Don't worry about paying for the food. I was hoping I wouldn't have a lonely lunch today."

----

December throws Wonwoo under a few appointments and after that, he sticks a sign that he will no longer be accepting appointments, just drop-ins until a few days before his flight. He posts the announcement on his website, on his window, at his desk that he apologizes for any inconveniences this may cause, but leaves no hints about his desires to escape the walls of his office, the desolate stares of his boss when Wonwoo dismisses any suggestions of dating and marriage. Appointments dwindle down like sunlight through winter skyscrapers and drop-ins start to invade sign-in sheets like snowstorms streets. He doesn't mind; he knows that he has to limit the number of clients he can see while he gets ready for vacation, but he feels bad cutting everyone off completely.

After closing up his shop around twenty minutes earlier than usual hours, he maps himself out to the mall. Everyone bustles out with shopping lists at their tight grips, bags swinging at their sides, chatter of how expensive this gift is but "it's for my husband, so it's okay."

Wonwoo nearly trips as he squeezes through people half his size to slip through the Disney store and find something related to the princesses. Except Wonwoo forgot to ask which Disney princess is Seoyeon's favorite, so he resorts to getting something with every princess on it.

When Wonwoo steps up to the register with a basket of Disney princesses book-set, three coloring books, and a pink tin box of fifty colored pencils, an endearing smile falls for Wonwoo after eyes fall on the items at the counter.

"Are these for your daughter?" the cashier asks, scanning the barcodes. With her curly hair rippling over her shoulders and a couple droplets of pink at her cheeks, Wonwoo thinks she's well into college and he could have asked her for advice about what to get for Seoyeon if he bumped into her at the middle of the store, rather than at the register.

Wonwoo shakes his head and it takes him a while too long to get the right word out. "These are for my niece I'm visiting," he says flatly.

The cashier bubbles out an airy, “Ooh,” and after paying with his card, she offers to wrap the presents for free because Wonwoo is probably the best uncle she's seen during her recent shifts.

 

 

Buying Christmas presents for everyone else includes less overthinking and more overspending. Beats headphones for Jihoon, champagne bottle of M&M's and a new pair of Converse for Soonyoung, a better lens for Minghao's scratched camera, and more Polaroid films for Junhui. 

Wonwoo deflates at the thought of Mingyu's gift. He doesn't know what to buy; he's pretty sure Mingyu has enough notebooks to design the next buildings in Seoul for the century and he has enough pairs of shoes to last him until Seoyeon's high school graduation. So he buys Mingyu a leather jacket because why not? He throws in a sketchbook, anyway, and makes note that he reserves this for his work.

----

A week before he's set for the sky, Wonwoo shoots a message to Mingyu to make sure that he's still okay with letting Wonwoo stay at his apartment.

Barely a minute ticks at the clock between the question and Mingyu's Always.

----

Wonwoo takes in seven drop-ins at his office and he offers to keep his last client long after he turned off his open sign. He declines the extra pay that the client coaxes for him to take, to make the time with him worthwhile.

"Sorry again for keeping you in," he slurs. Gabriel clutches the papers tight in his hands, sets wrinkles deep into the pages.

Wonwoo shrugs with a lopsided smile. "We're not leaving until you're satisfied of our progress, okay? Don't feel bad, we're both staying, anyway." His last words send a laugh between the two and they pick up the pens again. Wonwoo lifts his clipboard back on his lap and Gabriel flips through the pieces one more time.

"So we're getting married in two months," he starts again.

"Yeah, I remember that part."

"And I started dating him five years ago." Wonwoo mouths out a Wow through a couple of hard blinks and it sends another laugh through Gabriel's lips and into his office. "Yeah, you can say he's stuck with me."

"After a couple of months, he'll be stuck with you for the rest of your life."

"And I'll love every single moment."

----

Gabriel remains as his very last client before Wonwoo posts up a sign that he'll be gone during the entire month of January, stacked with quick steals of the last few days of December and first few of February. He puts up the sign at his window that says everything he needs to say. He writes a final message, Stay warm during these cold winters!

On his last day in his office before the New Year, he tells everyone that he hopes the flu won't chase after any of them and that they stay healthy and safe. He reminds his boss that he will bring souvenirs for everyone and pushes any other words back in his throat, never lets himself correct to "almost everyone" when his boss tells him to bring back a girlfriend.

He rolls his eyes, pretends that the smirk on his lips isn't shaking. "I'll try my best."

----

Wonwoo waves for a taxi to the airport. He drops his luggage in the backseat and cradles his backpack between his legs at the passenger's seat. When he asks for the airport, the driver eases into light conversation.

"Where are you heading to?"

"Seoul. I'm visiting friends and family."

"Been a long time since you were last there?" Wonwoo nods, stares at the white lights and dark blues of New York City blurring out his window. "How long?"

"Maybe seven years?" Wonwoo shrugs. "It's been too long."

This time, the driver nods, pokes his thoughts about how it's nice to go back home after a few years. "Reuniting with your lover, perhaps?" Wonwoo shakes his head, denies having a lover. The driver tsks at that, "What a shame for a handsome man like you."

After Wonwoo pays for his fare and tips extra for dealing with a seat-shifting, lip-biting silence and a never-ending staring contest out the window, the driver wishes Wonwoo a happy trip.

 

 

Two hours after he checks in, he sits in front of boarding and opens his phone, only to discover six emails asking about revising wedding vows. Half of them include a separate text document and Wonwoo sighs. 

Once the plane takes flight and the wifi symbol on his laptop flashes once and settles to white, he replies to every email, tries to ignore the wandering eyes of the passenger right beside him. He bought a window seat in hopes that only the eyes of the moon would read these wedding vows, but maybe he should have bought a better seat.