“Hey. Minhyun-ah!” Seongwu whisper shouts outside Minhyun’s house, just below his best friend’s room. It’s night, probably around eight in the evening. “Hwang Minhyun!” Deciding that Minhyun probably cannot hear him, Seongwu starts looking for small pebbles and throws it towards Minhyun’s window.
It’s probably his tenth pebble to throw out when Minhyun’s window suddenly bursts open. “What the hell are you doing, Seongwu? Can’t you use the doorbell like a normal person?”
“No, I can’t. ‘Cause we’re sneaking out.” The younger of the two answers. “Meet me at the treehouse in ten minutes.”
“Well, can’t you just text or call me like a normal person to say that?”
“Oh, come on. I know you won’t come if I do that because you always turn off your phone when you’re studying!” Seongwu reasons back, hands resting on his hips.
“Exactly why we can’t sneak out!” Minhyun also whisper-shouts. “We have pop quiz on Science tomorrow! You know how hard Mr. Park’s quizzes are!”
“Minhyunnie, you only live once!” Seongwu whines, still whispering. “Just, meet me there in ten.”
Minhyun scoffs, “Don’t expect me to be there. I have to study.” He rolls his eyes, annoyed, and shuts his window.
Having known each other since their kindergarten days, it is impossible to see one without the other around.
They played together when they were still in kindergarten, both joined the same club on their first grade of primary school, they ate lunch together when they got into separate classes on their second grade. They’ve had sleepovers over each other’s houses ever since they were allowed to do so (since third grade), and their parents can’t get enough sleep during their sleepovers because of how noisy and talkative both of them are, even if they just went home from school together.
So when both Seongwu and Minhyun’s parents had enough of their noisy chatters every sleepover, their fathers had built a small treehouse, and their mothers and older sisters decorated it with furnitures and other stuffs boys could use, and gifted it to them when they were in fourth grade, on the celebration of their eleventh birthdays.
Ever since then, it had become their own sanctuary. Seongwu and Minhyun’s own little bubble.
The treehouse is where they’ve learned how to play board games like snakes and ladders and monopoly, where they have first watched the meteor shower together, where they have planned their mischievous ways of pulling a prank on someone, where they cried about their first failing grade, and where they jumped in joy about their first perfect score in a test.
It is also where they had told each other their secrets, passion, and dreams.
Their treehouse holds something so much more than just being a treehouse.
“Tsk. I knew you would turn up.” Seongwu says in greeting as Minhyun enters their treehouse, assembling something on the ground, under the TV.
“What are we doing?” Minhyun asks, ignoring Seongwu’s statement as he plops himself on one of the bean bags his older sister had gifted them from one of their joint birthday parties.
“Duh, isn’t it obvious?” Seongwu rolls his eyes and stands up, sitting on the bean bag beside Minhyun and throws the cover of the dvd towards his best friend. “We’re watching a movie.”
The tallest of the two observes the horrendous dvd cover (Insidious, it says), and puts it beside him as he asks, “And we can’t watch this in your house because?”
“Because what is the use of having a treehouse in between our houses if we’re not going to use it?” Seongwu reasons.
“Look, Seongwu, we’re in seventh grade now. We have to take studying seriou--”
“Shut up. The movie is starting.”
Minhyun just sighs, and sees Seongwu pull out two cans of soda and a huge bag of popcorn, which he places in the middle of them to share.
They watch the horror movie in silence.
Well, maybe not in total silence.
Both of them jump and whimper at every single jumpscare, although they still focus on watching the movie. Eventually, the movie ends, and both of them were unable to move as they think that there is a demon lurking on the walls, and their ears were sensitive with the nature of sounds that they hear around the treehouse.
Minhyun breaks the silence by clearing his throat, and Seongwu falls from the bean bag in shock. “What the hell, Minhyun!”
The taller would’ve laughed at Seongwu if this is on another situation, but he himself is also shaken in fear. “Why the hell did you decide to watch this with me?”
“Because we watch movies together?” Seongwu answers, in a matter-of-fact tone. “Sungwoon hyung told me this movie was boring so I got naturally curious and watched it together with you.”
“Then why me?”
“Because we’re best friends? And best friends stick together in good times and bad times?” Seongwu retaliates as he raises an eyebrow, “Why do you ask very obvious questions?”
Minhyun just sighs, unable to answer Seongwu back. “Anyways, it’s already late. We should probably go home.” He stands up and cleans up their mess. Minhyun looks back to Seongwu after throwing their trash at the bin, only to find him hugging his legs at the corner. “I don’t want to go home.” He whispers, “I’m scared to walk back home, Minhyunnie.”
Minhyun runs his hair in between his fingers in resignation, “I’ll just text our parents that we’re going to sleep here.”
Seongwu jumps and raises his hands in joy, “Yes! I’ll go get our pillows and comforters from the cupboard.”
Minhyun only shakes his head as he texts their parents about the sudden sleepover, “So much for sneaking out.”
“Minhyun, are you still awake?” Seongwu calls out.
It hasn’t been five minutes since they got settled on the sheets they always keep inside the treehouse. Minhyun just hums, telling Seongwu that he is indeed, still awake.
Both of them were facing the walls, so Seongwu moves to face Minhyun (more accurately, his back). “Minhyun-ah.” The said person hums again. “Do you think we’d still be doing sleepovers like this when we’re older, like when we’re in university perhaps.”
Minhyun moves to face Seongwu, and places his hands underneath his head, looking at him in the eye. “Maybe. We might get busy once we’re in university, though.” The youngest of the two just sighs, and the older lifts his hand to move Seongwu’s bangs away from his eyes. “Don’t think about the future yet. Let’s just enjoy middle school for a while.” He smiles, and retracts his hand once he deemed that Seongwu’s hair is not a mess.
“Okay.” Seongwu concedes. “Hug me?” He whispers.
Minhyun rolls his eyes. “Why the fuck would I hug you?”
“Hey, I don’t have my army of seal plushies with me! I’m still scared from the movie, you know.” Seongwu huffs and turns around to face the wall. “It’s fine if you don’t want to. You don’t have to show a violent reaction.” He says as he crosses his arms and closes his eyes in an attempt to sleep.
It gets silent for a while, and Seongwu could feel himself slowly falling asleep from the silence when he feels an arm snake around his waist, making him warmer than the comforter around him could, making him feel safer from the movie that he had seen.
“Good night, Seongwu” He hears Minhyun say, and he swears he smiles because his best friend’s puff of air is tickling his neck.
Seongwu un-crosses his arms and places his hand on top of Minhyun’s.
“Good night, Minhyun.”