It is the first day of February, the start of the season of hearts. Everything is red and pink, and heart-shaped. Roses are famous. Everyone talks about love, and having dates. But Jisung is still all about work. He’s in a coffeeshop, busily typing on his laptop, when his coffee arrives. There’s a pink, heart-shaped post-it note attached to it.
Post-it note: Black coffee instead of the usual vanilla latte. Are you trying to have a heart attack?
Jisung grabs a table napkin and writes a response.
Table napkin: Can black coffee really cause heart attack? But I need to keep awake for the night.
Jisung continues in his work. He orders a slice of pastry, and goes back to his own world. His pastry arrives with another post-it note.
Post-it note: Oh, I see. Well, maybe one venti-sized black coffee won’t hurt that much. Good luck on your work, Sir!
Jisung doesn’t reply this time, but he keeps the post-it notes. He leaves the coffeeshop around two in the morning of the second day of February.
Table napkin: I am never having black coffee again! It feels like my heart’s gonna jump off my chest any moment.
Jisung goes back to the coffeeshop on the fifth of February.
“What do you mean you cannot send in the article today? I gave you a two-day extention already!”
“Good day, Sir. Your usual vanilla latte?”
Jisung smiles at the cashier and mouths a ‘yes, please’ and proceeds back to talking over his phone.
“No, I want your article today. No article for today, no article for the next six months,” he finishes the call and grunts. He turns to the cashier again to pay for his order. He goes straight to his usual spot that is always empty whenever he comes. He turns his laptop on and immediately starts reading one of the articles submitted to him for editing. His order arrives not long after. It is, not surprisingly, accompanied with a post-it note, blue in color this time, but still heart-shaped.
Post-it note: Tough day, huh? Learned your lesson on black coffee? Vanilla latte suits you better, anyway.
Jisung takes the note and keeps it. He continues his work. He’s into editting another article when a plate of a pastry-slice arrives in his table. There’s a post-it note on the side of the plate.
Post-it note: This is a new cake made by my sister. One of her experiments. I tasted it already, and I’m still pretty much alive. It’s safe. It’s on the house by the way. Enjoy!
He takes a bite from the pastry. It tastes of mango and cream. He finishes the cake in time he finishes going through over all the articles submitted today. He leaves a note in a table napkin before leaving the coffeeshop.
Table napkin: Thank you for the cake. I’m still pretty much alive as well. I hope your sister does more if it means it’s always on the house.
Five days after, he goes to the coffeeshop to unwind for a little. The February articles are giving him so much stress as most of them deals with the same topic. Nothing new, nothing original.
How to Have a Perfect Date this Valentine’s Day
Top 5 Places Perfect for a Valentine Date
Seven Signs You Are In Love
Ten Movies Perfect For Valentine’s Day
How to Impress Your Crush for a Date
And a lot more overrated topics other magazines have already published. Really, can’t their contributors think of other unique topics to write? They can write about the best ideal relationships ever existed according to couples. Or they can tackle about a deeper, more contrevesial topic such as same-sex relationships, ‘cause love knows no gender, hashtag Love Wins.
Jisung shakes his head and sighs. He gets a book from his bag. Reading a good novel with his favorite vanilla latte, with a yellow, heart-shaped post-it note, is his best way of destressing.
Post-it note: The sun shines brightly this afternoon. I hope you do, too. A frown is out-of-place in your face.
A little while later, he is silently crying over the novel, he reaches out for an unused table napkin that seems to appear when he thinks he’s used up what is given to him. But he has no time to think about that. This novel has so much depressing plot twists his soft heart cannot handle. When he finishes the book, he sees a post-it note pasted on his table.
Post-it note: Here are additional fresh table napkins. Seems like you’re reading a good book. It’s okay to cry, a good-cry novel means it’s a good novel.
Jisung finishes his coffee after pulling the note and slipping it between the pages of his book. He reminds himself not to take book suggestions from a certain someone again.
Table napkin: They reunited, fell in love all over again, built a family, grew old together. The heroine forgot about him, remembered him for a while only to foget him again. And then she died! What’s good about that?
A certain cashier walks towards the spot where the crying customer has just vacated. He gets the table napkin with a note written on it. He has a soft smile as he folds the napkin neatly, and goes back behind the counter. He mentally notes to find a new book book to recommend.
February 14, D-Day, Valentine’s Day, and jisung is at the coffeeshop at six in the morning to finish all his editting deadlines before the day ends. Why do their contributors send so much overrated articles?
The coffeeshop starts to fill in customers, mostly of couples, and Jisung doesn’t care. But he cares about his growling stomach, so as much as he doesn’t want to stop working, he stands up and walks towards the counter. The familiar cashier smiles automatically upon seeing him. He orders a pasta, a goes back to his spot after paying. It will take a while for his order anyway.
He plugs his earphone back in his ears, the soft voice from a certain member of Nue’st welcomes him. Jisung finds the voice relaxing his agitated mind. He’s thankful for the person with the same name as the owner of the soft voice for recommending him the group.
His pasta arrives, but instead of getting the fork beside the plate, he grabs the pink, heart-shaped post-it note instead.
Post-it note: Hey, it’s Valentine’s day and you’re still working? You’re too beautiful to be dating your laptop. I’ll take you out tonight. Let’s watch a romantic movie.
Jisung has an amused smile after reading the note. There’s something achingly familiar with this. His mind takes a short travel at a not-so-distant memory. He puts it down and grabs the fork to have a bite of the pasta because the aroma is making his intestines excited. He’s still eyeing the note, though. His eyes flickers. He grabs the table napkin and starts scribbling.
Table napkin: If you’ll ask me personally, maybe I’ll think about it. And I still don’t know you’re name, Sir.
He calls for a staff and gives him the note. He masks the starting grin on his face by having another bite of the pasta. He remembers that one time a certain someone walks towards him and introduce himself, saying he’s an owner of a certain café, and that he has the same name as that one Korean singer, then asks him for a date. He’s about to laugh when a figure walks in front of him. He has the table napkin in his hand. There’s a glint in the man’s eyes as he looks down at him.
“Hi, I’m Hwang Minhyun. So, can I take you out for a movie date tonight?”
JIsung grins. The lines are different compare to the one he remembers. “There’s something wrong about your script, Minhyun-ssi.”
Minhyun rolls his eyes. “Come on, hyung. I just want to take you out tonight.”
Jisung laughs this time. Minhyun takes the seat opposite to him, and lifts the fork to take a bite of the pasta.
“Hey, that’s my pasta! And my fork!” Jisung exclaims but makes no attempt to take his food and fork back from Minhyun who’s about to finish the pasta. “Are the staffs here allowed to share from the customers?”
Minhyun swallows the last bite of the pasta. “Hyung, we’ve shared more than just food and utensils.”
Jisung throws a cramples table napkin at the man when he sees a different look from him. Minhyun laughs this time.
“What? I’m just talking about memories, hyung! We’ve shared a lot of memories in this café.”
Jisung knows the man is teasing him, but what he says is true, nonetheless. The post-it notes and table napkins are examples of those memories.
“So, will you go out on a date with me tonight?” Minhyun asks again. Jisung just looks at him.
“I’m sorry, but it’s still a no.”
“When you said movie date, I thought it would be in a cinema,” Jisung comments in hoarse voice as the credits of the movie rolls.
“I never thought you would just take us home to watch The Notebook, in my laptop, with homemade popcorn, in our pyjamas.” He wipes the corners of his eyes. “You’re really cheap, Hwang Minhyun.”
Minhyun just chuckles and helps him wipes his tears. “Shut up, hyung. You enjoyed the movie.”
Jisung gives him an incredulous look. “Enjoy? You know how much I shed tears, Mr. Hwang! Why do you always like to make me read and watch tear-jerking stories?”
“Because you’re cute when you cry. It makes me fall in love with you all over again.” There’s a glint in Minhyun’s eyes.
Jisung, despite the red painting his face, slaps his arm. “Very smooth, Hwang Minhyun, very smooth.”
Minhyun just laughs and circles his arms around him. He tucks his chin on his shoulder. “If that happens to us, I’m gonna make you remember me through post-it notes.”
“Just like what you keep on doing even after two years of dating. Seriously, you have an addiction to post-it notes.” Jisung leans in and succumbs to Minhyun’s embrace.
“Old habits are hard to break, hyung. Besides, they always remind me of the how we met, and fall in love.”
Minhyun is snuggling his neck. “I love you, hyung, did I tell you that?”
Jisung chuckles softly. “Always, Minhyun. Always.”
He looks lovingly at Minhyun. “I love you, too, you know?”
They just look at each other like two lovestruck puppies, until Minhyun lifts him up in a bridal style. He starts walking towards their room.
“Yah, what are you planning to do?” Jisung asks alarmingly.
“Sleep,” Minhyun’s sparkling eyes are suggesting more than sleeping.
“Minhyun, I need to be early in the office tomorrow!” Jisung’s eyes are widening as Minhyun puts him down on their bed and climbs on top of him.
“I know. That’s why we’re going to sleep early,” but Minhyun’s lifting his shirt off.
“Happy Valentine’s, hyung,” he says then he devours his mouth in an open-mouthed kiss.
They literally sleep around two in the morning.
Jisung is running to his office in the morning, holding a cup of hot coffee with Minhyun’s signature pink, heart-shaped post-it note.
Post-it note: Sorry for making you late. I love you.