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Serenity 15-3919

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The pedestrian light turns red just as Jeongguk pulls up to it. He sighs and dismounts his bike, awkwardly manoeuvring his leg so his foot doesn’t hit the young girl bouncing on her toes by the side of the road, clutching her mothers index and middle finger with her whole fist. This intersection is always stupidly busy so Jeongguk takes the opportunity to check the contents of his messenger bag. There are only two envelopes left and it’s not even twelve o’clock yet, so he’ll be able to go back to the office for lunch instead of awkwardly riding through the crowds of people that spill out at midday.

 

He throws up a prayer of thanks that ends up looking like some strange gang sign and the girl’s mother catches his eye, squinting and tugging her daughter closer. Jeongguk grins at her like he’s just swallowed a really big potato chip and it’s not going down right. Thankfully the light  turns green at the same moment and Jeongguk leaps off the curb, power-walking across the road like his life depends on it and picking up into a jog to mount his bike again when he reaches the other side. The next address is only one building from the intersection, so really, Jeongguk could’ve just pushed his bike the rest of the way, but that woman kind of scared him and he’s nothing if not a man of self-preservation.

 

When he reaches the entrance to the tall, grey apartment complex he ditches his bike by the steps and walks through to the front desk. He’s been here seven times in the past month, delivering letters from an admirably persistent high school kid, so the concierge - Jisung, he remembers - recognises him.

 

“Hey Jeongguk. Back again?” Jisung asks, not bothering to hide the fact that he’s playing Candy Crush on his phone. Jeongguk reaches the desk just as the game brightly announces that time has run out and Jisung swears under his breath.

 

“Yeah, doubt it’s the last time. What level are you on?”

 

“Forty-five.” Jisung runs a hand through his hair and starts a new game.

 

“Cool.”

 

Jeongguk walks around the desk to the wall of mailboxes, looking for number 52. He has to violently shove the person’s junk mail further in to make space, and he’s just about to slide the pink envelope (“ Rose Quartz, Guk. Don’t insult me like that,” Jimin’s pouting voice drifts across his conscience) into the slot when he feels someone standing to his right.

 

He glances up to see a girl who doesn’t look much older than himself holding keys and a duffel bag with a question in her eyes. Her gazes moves to his hand just as the envelope leaves Jeongguk’s fingers and hits the back of the box with a soft noise. The girl’s confusion melts into this huge smile and she stands up a bit straighter.

 

“Was that another letter?” she asks, flicking her long hair over one shoulder.

 

“Uh, yeah. Sorry I didn’t - I would have just handed it to you if I knew it was yours.” Jeongguk steps away from the mailboxes and scratches the back of his neck. She’s looking so closely at him, still smiling, and suddenly it registers.

 

Jeongguk knows that look. It’s not the first time he’s seen it --

 

The first had been a woman that lived in a small weatherboard cottage on the edge of town. She had been weeding her garden when he delivered the fourth letter in a week. The guy who wrote it was in the shop every single day and although Jimin believed in the power of love letters with his whole soul he was starting to get antsy that this man was using up his supply of Winter Grass envelopes before the cold season had even begun. But business is business, and yearning hearts are prime currency - and this man was yearning. Some days it takes all of Jeongguk’s strength not to yell at some customers to just go to the damn person themselves and do something about it! but that would make him, crush-holder-supreme, a hypocrite. And Seokjin would delight in that. So he holds his tongue and just watches on as people spill their hearts onto painted paper before entrusting them to him.

 

That woman had seen the envelope in Jeongguk’s hands and immediately flung her garden tools down, running at Jeongguk like she hadn’t seen another human in 10 years. His brain was yelling at him to get on that bike and pedal to the metal but his whole body just tensed up in shock.

 

“It is you!” shrieked the woman as she reached the small fence. “I knew it, I knew I saw you on Tuesday. The first two were so beautiful, oh my God, I’ve read them a million times each.”

 

Unlikely , Jeongguk’s brain supplied.

 

“I’ve never had a secret admirer. Honey you’re just gorgeous, but how do you know where I live? Do you work in Finance? I walk through there a lot, I suppose it makes sense. How long have you felt this way? I mean you are a bit young but I’m flattered--”

 

Jeongguk’s body finally caught up to his brain and spat a desperate “No!” out his mouth, cutting the woman off mid-rant and blessedly ceasing the flecks of potting soil that were flying off her gesticulating hands and onto Jeongguk’s yellow sweater.

 

“N-no sorry, ma’am I’m just--” Jeongguk hastily swung his messenger bag to the front to reveal the company logo: a white envelope sealed with a heart and the words Sealed With Love printed underneath.

 

The woman deflated instantly.

 

“Delivery boy.” Jeongguk pointed to himself, belatedly realising he still had the envelope in his hand. There was an excruciating moment where he went to put it in the mailbox as the woman reached out for it, so he just... dropped it.

 

“Sorry I thought--”

 

“It’s okay I’ll get it.”

 

“Cool,” Jeongguk said. He was blushing to his toes and didn’t wait for a response before getting on his bike and trying to pedal off in fifth gear for an agonising few seconds before the gears spluttered and his legs sped up comically to take him away from the woman who watched on, dumbfounded, soil all over her Winter Grass envelope.

 

The second and third time someone mistook Jeongguk for the author of their secret love letters - not all of them are anonymous, but it makes up the majority - he got through it mostly unscathed, if not furiously humiliated and then haunted by it for at least two weeks after Seokjin found out. Jeongguk doesn’t know how he finds out because he certainly doesn’t tell anyone; Seokjin is terrifying, but in a good way.

 

So, this being the fourth time, and the first time with someone his age (seriously, what vibe does he give off to middle-aged women), Jeongguk has a sort of protocol:

 

He grips the strap of his bag and sprints out of the building without looking back.

 

***

 

The bite of winter has started to melt into soft kisses of spring, visible in faint waves of children’s laughter and bursts of colour in and around the park; Jeongguk pedals leisurely under the oak trees, sandy path crunching under his tires as he manoeuvres around a man walking his dog. It’s a tiny white thing, fluffy and bursting with energy despite the slow gait of its owner. Jeongguk throws it a smile over his shoulder and is rewarded with an enthusiastic tail wag. He really wants to stop and give this cloud of a dog the love it deserves but his growling stomach says otherwise. He reaches into his pocket to change the song and continues on.

 

The final delivery is two blocks away from the park. He glides through one of the exits and turns left towards the apartment buildings down the street. This part of town is a little more lively, a quaint pedestrian strip dotted with shops and restaurants. People are starting to emerge from their offices to stretch their spines and try convincing themselves they can get through the next few hours of work after some time in the sun. There’s a kindergarten somewhere close by and the shrieking sounds of lunch break drifts across the lull of traffic.

 

Jeongguk passes a small bakery and is hit with the heavenly smell of coffee and fresh cookies. It’s like a bullet to his pleading stomach and he groans, pedalling faster. In his haste he doesn’t notice a woman coming out of the convenience store and has to swerve, gripping his (really worn, in need of a replacement) brakes for dear life. The woman grips her handbag and stumbles back, but luckily Jeongguk misses her, toppling sideways and barely managing to catch himself as the contents of his bag spill out onto the pavement. His bike kicks forward and Jeongguk hops away from it to save his ankles from the flailing pedals.

 

Perfect. This is so perfect. Two of his paintbrushes are rolling towards the street, his sketchbook kind of splattered onto the concrete, bending some of the pages, and the cord from his headphones ripped out the jack and now Britney Spears is playing full volume for everyone to hear. And not classic Britney, the new stuff. The stuff that Yoongi refuses to listen to.

 

Any time Jeongguk’s meticulously curated Pop n Lock playlist is playing while Yoongi is at the shop, he will instantly screw his face up as if someone just requested he launch himself into the sun. He will then waddle over to the aux cord, rip it out and plug in his own phone or aggressively change it over to the local radio station. Jeongguk always complains and Yoongi never apologises. It’s become a kind of game for Jeongguk - he gets bored really easily at the shop and Yoongi is too easy to rile up.

 

Jeongguk stands by his taste in music: an eclectic mix of top 40, aggressively fast classical music and a whole lot of artists and albums with no discernible connection to each other. For his birthday last year, Jimin, Taehyung and Seokjin gave him a box filled with albums which they had chosen by walking through the music store, blindfolded. It might have been a good plan if they hadn’t all been blindfolded at the same time. Jimin can barely speak through his giggles every time he tells the story of Seokjin desperately patting an old woman’s face while yelling: Taehyung is that you? Are we still in the Country section?!

 

Jimin always skips the part where he crashed into a sale display and littered the shop floor with Kidz Bop albums, six of which he was forced to buy because they cracked.

 

“I wish they’d all broken,” he’d grumbled when Seokjin indignantly yelled this part of the story from the shop entrance, startling a group of high school students at the main table.

 

Taehyung hummed. “Yeah but then you’d have twenty Kidz Bop albums in the bathroom cupboard instead of just six.”

 

“Fair.”

 

Hoseok had almost choked on his coffee. “You put them where?!”

 

The stint got the trio banned from the shop for six months, and it’s a confusing and strange mix of music, but Jeongguk thinks it’s his favourite birthday present ever.

 

Britney is telling him and everyone sitting outside the bakery to work, bitch! from the pocket of his hoodie but Jeongguk ignores it as he scrambles to gather all his belongings. The woman he almost hit hands over his paintbrushes with an apologetic smile and he mumbles a thank you, eyes on the pavement and ears burning red. Arms full, Jeongguk tries to nudge his bike closer to the small alley between the bakery and convenience store so he’s out of the way. Luckily his sketchbook is mostly unscathed, just a bit scraped and bent on the empty pages towards the back. When Jeongguk spots the pale blue envelope under the spokes of his back wheel his chest caving in with relief because it looks like nobody has trodden on his last delivery of the day. Still on his knees, he leans forward to grab it - only to find it open with a cream coloured letter spilling out.

 

“Shit,” groans Jeongguk. Does he take it back to the shop and reseal it? But he’s right here - he can literally see the cluster of mailboxes on the other side of the convenience store entrance. Well, he reasons, this wouldn’t be the first time he’s delivered an unsealed letter. When your job is to deliver love letters you’re going to get curious after a while, okay? Call it a screening process. Sometimes they’re really funny, or super cute and cringe-worthy if they’re from somebody too young to understand why anyone needs the affirmation of a love letter in the first place.

 

But there have been a few that Jeongguk has almost kept for himself: some words have been written with such obvious care, such open infatuation that Jeongguk could feel his heart constricting when he read them. He’s never kept a letter that wasn’t his. But as he tips the pale blue envelope upside down and the thick paper - the expensive kind - settles in his palm like a caress, he knows. This is one of the good ones, and he has no choice but to read it.

 

Jeongguk leans his bike against the wall and steps into the alley, facing away from the road, right side pressed against the cool bricks. For some reason he checks over his shoulder as though Jimin is going to come bursting out of the bakery, hand open and ready to connect with the back of Jeongguk’s head. He shakes it off.

 

With delicate fingers he slots the envelope behind the letter and unfolds it. It’s not addressed to anyone. There’s no date on it either, just a random number in the top left corner and the words clumped in the centre.

 

***

 

#12

 

What if I go?

If I go, would you be sad?

If I wasn't me, what would I be?

Do you think you'll leave me after all?

 

Wind blowing by

(I just hope not)

People that will pass by

(I just hope not)

My mood is blue

(In my head, it's blue from top to bottom)

How much I love you

How much, much, much

 

***

 

Jeongguk turns the paper over, desperate. Surely there’s more? There has to be. People always fill at least one whole page and it’s not uncommon to have an envelope filled to bursting. Where is the name of the person who sent it? Jeongguk pulls out the envelope again and checks - no name on there either, only an address and apartment number.

 

His chest feels tight. He reads it again. And again. Twice more.

 

The bottom two lines, then the middle; the whole thing start to finish; shakes the envelope upside down in case there’s something else --

 

Nothing.

 

Jeongguk doesn’t know why he’s so affected. The letter isn’t for him. It’s just another anonymous letter like the handful he delivered this morning, like he will in another few days. All those other letters he has read, none of them made him feel like this - like the midday city noises buzzing behind him have been dipped underwater, like everything is suddenly tinged blue, but somehow still so warm. Like he could make five paintings from just one phrase, like he would make it all the same colour but it would be layered on so thick you could spend hours up close and never understand which brushstroke was the first and which was the last.

 

Jeongguk feels fuzzy. He feels the cold of the bricks seeping through his hoodie. He feels his breathing pick up a little. He’s having some weird out of body experience because of a poem. Is it 1865? What the hell is happening?

 

Like the snap-back of a rubber band the world suddenly jerks back into focus.

 

Jeongguk straightens up, shaking his head a little as he carefully slides the letter back inside the envelope. Belatedly he realises his phone is blasting a Shakira song out of his pocket and fumbles to turn it off. Then, actively avoiding any and all eye contact, he takes his bike and walks alongside it to the mailboxes for the apartment block stacked six or so storeys above the convenience store. He quickly finds number 13 and pushes the envelope past what looks like his university’s monthly magazine, trying not to think about the possibility of this person studying at the same place as he does, and trying even harder to ignore the hope that maybe the sender does too.

 

Jeongguk shakes his head again as if it will make the bizarre thoughts fall out of his ears.

 

“Get a grip,” he mutters through a pout, kicking up the bike stand with his heel and heading back to the shop for lunch.

 

***

 

Less than five minutes later, Jeongguk is dismounting his bike and pushing it through the wooden side gate of the shop building. Jimin painted it white on the weekend to match the building facade and it kind of hurts Jeongguk’s eyes, but a happy Jimin is a good Jimin, so his public opinion is that no other gate will ever match it in beauty, style or function.

 

Sealed With Love is set up in a quaint yet sleek two-story terrace house, white and narrow with tall french windows, a wide front door, and a porch big enough for a few chairs which often come out for post-work drinks. The house belonged to Jimin’s parents before they moved to be closer to the beach, two years ago. Jimin, having just completed a business degree and itching to put it to use, chose to stay behind at the house which he immediately began transforming into his dream shop: a workshop-slash-cafe where people could sit and write love letters or request special in-person messages, all in good faith that their feelings would be cherished enough to pass on with care.

 

What else would you expect from Park Jimin?

 

It was a pet project all through his university years and with the generous (financial and emotional) encouragement from Kim Seokjin, a PhD student and close friend, Sealed With Love was made a reality and has flourished since day one. The concept is popular with people of all ages, and having the cafe is enough to keep things afloat when the love letters dry up (as they tend to do every now and again). Winter is usually the quietest time, where Spring is erratic and Summer is blissfully overwhelming.

 

Having moved in with Jimin a year prior, Jeongguk had no choice but to become involved in the business. He wasn’t great at socialising or making coffee so Seokjin bought him a yellow push-bike and a messenger bag stamped with the cartoon logo Jeongguk had designed not one week ago. Seokjin pulled off his baseball cap and tugged it over Jeongguk’s bedhead.

 

“Hellooooo Mister Mailman,” he’d crooned, leaning against the doorframe and pretending to swoon. Jeongguk had rolled his eyes and tried not to smile because he wasn’t awake enough yet to pretend he didn’t find everything Seokjin did tragically hilarious. He accepted the position with no complaint - it meant he could finally quit his dumb job at the bowling alley and literally work from home.

 

Once you moved past the main shop with its high ceiling and bright furniture, the back of the building was still being used as a house. The archway behind the coffee counter and ‘post box’ led to a small kitchen on the right and living room on the left. The space then stretched further back into a wide corridor, leading to a repurposed two-bedroom apartment of sorts where Jimin and Jeongguk lived together. Jimin had the upstairs bedroom with an ensuite, taking up the whole second floor in an open floor plan-style. His bedroom windows faced the small backyard, looking out over the streets behind them.

 

Jeongguk had taken the room at the back of the house, across the hall from the office, adjacent to the laundry and downstairs bathroom. His windows are more modest, but they let good light in and give him a view of Seokjin’s sprawling herb garden which occupies the entire left side of the backyard. Seokjin doesn’t live with them - he says their garden gets more even sunlight than his tenth-storey apartment downtown. Considering he’s a co-owner of the shop, Jeongguk thinks it’s a reasonable compromise to occasionally wake up to the older man squatting outside his window looking stressed and holding giant scissors. It frightened Jeongguk enough once to make him scream, and Seokjin will never, ever let it go: “I’m keeping that memory in mint condition for the rest of your life, Gukkie.”

 

The house creaks like nothing else, and it feels a little crowded at times, with Taehyung staying over after his shift more often than not 'to avoid the long bus ride home', but Jeongguk loves it.

 

Everything is light and Jimin has dressed it all in soft yellows and creams, books stacked on every surface and a few pot plants scattered around for extra life, courtesy of Yoongi. The living room gets amazing afternoon sun and Jimin lets Jeongguk use the space for his university work whenever he pleases, so long as he comes out into the shop whenever anyone needs extra help, which is fine because fine arts projects aren’t particularly stressful (most of the time).

 

Jeongguk likes to think he did something pretty great in a past life for things to have fallen into place as well as they have. He unceremoniously dumps his bike on the grass before backing out the side gate and locking it again. Jimin will probably get pissed at him for leaving his bike there again but he’s too hungry to care right now.

 

The bright red shop door opens and an old woman exits, waving over her shoulder and sending Jeongguk a gentle smile, which he returns, offering to help her down the stairs.

 

“Thank you, young man,” she coos, patting his arm. “You look like you write very sweet letters. I hope they are well received.”

 

Before Jeongguk can respond, the woman hobbles off down the street. The door is still ajar and he can hear the coffee machine going, the noise of the grinder competing with Hoseok’s screeching laughter. With a toothy grin, Jeongguk jogs up the stairs and into the soft warmth of the shop.

 

Seokjin went to Stockholm on exchange for three months in his senior year and henceforth decided that Scandinavian design was the only valid choice for any space, so the shop kind of looks like it’s been lifted straight out of an IKEA catalogue. Yoongi always finds a way to complain about the complexity of their similarly furnished apartment, which is reasonable considering Seokjin refused to help assemble anything.

 

Jeongguk won’t admit that he loves it because Seokjin will inevitably start up again with the weird jokes using the names IKEA gives its chairs and lightbulbs and damn vanilla candles. Even he has a threshold for Seokjin’s jokes.

 

There is nobody sitting at the welcome desk, just a small sign in Jimin’s sweet cursive telling customers to ‘call out or come and find us at the coffee counter’. The desk is made of pale timber, shaped like an oval and pressed against the left wall. Usually Jimin or Seokjin sits there, welcoming customers, helping them choose paper and an envelope from the many Pantone colours hanging up on the wall. Once you’ve chosen your stationery and paid for it you’re free to sit at the wide table in the centre of the room or some of the smaller ones tucked against the right wall, or if you’re lucky, one of the armchairs by the window. There are pens, pencils and stickers on every table.

 

The large yellow chair in the far corner - “Her name is Strandmon, Jeongguk, don’t insult the Swedes like that” - is Jeongguk’s favourite; he loves to sit there with his headphones on and people watch both inside and out the shop window. He has done some of his favourite sketches in that armchair. It’s currently occupied by a young mother, a toddler playing contentedly at her feet while she scribbles on some pale pink paper.

 

Hoseok is the first to spot him.

 

“Hey buttercup,” he calls, smiling wide as he dusts chocolate atop an iced coffee. Jeongguk ducks his head at the nickname - Hoseok noticed him using the warm yellow envelope one time and okay, maybe he wears the colour at least three times a week, but Hoseok is just over-perceptive about these things because he designs clothes for a living, only making coffee at the shop to fill up his spare time. The nickname immediately stuck because Jeongguk had just blushed and blinked rapidly instead of protesting.  Everyone else thinks it’s very cute, but Hoseok is the only one who’s allowed to use it.

 

“Hey Hobi.” Jeongguk drops onto one of the stools at the coffee counter.

 

“Don’t get comfortable - take this up to table nine.”

 

Jeongguk rolls his eyes but picks up the drink and walks up the stairs to their right. The cafe seating is on an open mezzanine above the coffee and food service counter. There are a few small tables with a random mix of chairs and two small couches, and if you sit by the balcony edge you can look down over the whole shop; it’s popular with students because the sound doesn’t travel up here as much. Jeongguk hands the iced coffee to a girl around his age and she thanks him distractedly, frantically copying notes from a textbook.

 

“Lots of letters today?” Hoseok asks once Jeongguk is behind the counter with him. He looks soft today, in a knitted grey turtleneck with his new Gucci glasses perched on his delicate nose. His apron, black with the shop logo stitched over his heart, is tied tightly around his slim waist.

 

“Only four. I just started late,” Jeongguk replies, brushing coffee grounds out of Hoseok’s similarly coloured curls before walking over to the pastry display.

 

“Don’t even think about it! Proper food is out back.” Hoseok slaps the younger’s hand away from the fresh chocolate muffins, causing him to whine and scrunch his face up. Hoseok is not affected. “I think Jimin is still on his break with Tae.”

 

“Might not be any food left, then,” Jeongguk grumbles, walking up to the speaker system. “Is Yoongi around?”

 

Hoseok shakes his head. “He’s coming by in an hour or so - needs to drop off an outfit for Seokjin.”

 

Jeongguk claps his hands together, cackling softly as he puts his Lucky Dip playlist on shuffle. Hoseok’s smile widens when the first notes of Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You echo through the shop, a few people lifting their heads in confusion. It’s barely April, after all.

 

“Go on, buttercup, get yourself something to eat,” Hoseok says fondly, jerking his head in the direction of the apartment. Jeongguk salutes him and heads to the back. As soon as he slides the door open he’s hit with the smell of fresh pizza, and lots of it. His mouth starts watering immediately.

 

“Hey man,” Taehyung calls from the smaller couch, eyes glued on the TV and fingers frantically smashing the buttons of his Xbox controller. Something explodes on the screen and Taehyung slumps back into the cushions, pausing the game.

 

“Hey,” Jeongguk returns, walking around the beanbag to get at the food on the coffee table. He shoves a huge slice of pepperoni pizza into his mouth and he might not be able to breathe properly, but it tastes so good. He manages to swallow it after a few frantic chews, grabs another slice and sinks into the couch adjacent to Taehyung, facing the TV.

 

His eyes are closed in bliss as he finishes off his second piece. So when he opens them again and finally looks over to ask Taehyung about his morning, Jeongguk has to fight really hard not to choke on his last bite.

 

The older boy looks like he just stepped out of a Shakespearean play - his dark brown hair is covered by one of those strange feathered caps and - are those pantaloons?

 

“Taehyung. What the fuck are you wearing?” Jeongguk laughs.

 

“Oh this?” Taehyung says, gesturing at his puffy sleeves and grinning as though they were a cool thrift store find. “It’s for a delivery this afternoon - they asked for Romeo and Juliet vibes and Seokjin lost at scissors, paper, rock so he has to wear the dress.”

 

While Jeongguk delivers letters, Taehyung and Seokjin perform them. The shop started to advertise ‘in-person deliveries’ last Summer and with Taehyung being a drama major, and Seokjin being Seokjin, they were an immediate hit. The requests vary dramatically: some come with extensive instructions and specific costumes, while others are just simple requests to read a letter out loud. They get a crazy influx of requests around prom season and in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day.

 

Taehyung takes it very seriously. Unfortunately for him, Seokjin enjoys going off script to ‘keep it fresh’ which has set Taehyung off on multiple occasions. So Jeongguk should be used to seeing his friends walk around in ridiculous costumes - especially since most of them are stored in his own home, in Jimin’s wardrobe - but sue him for being confused by a man playing Xbox while dressed as a 17th century nobleman.

 

“Oh Guk, you’re back!” Jimin bounces down the last few steps from his bedroom, draping himself over the back of the couch and wrapping his arms around Jeongguk’s shoulders, nose buried in his hair. He sways them back and forth a little. “All good?”

 

Jeongguk’s traitorous mind immediately thinks of the last letter and his heart rate picks up a little. But there’s no way for Jimin to know he’s read it. He just kind of wants to know if the older boy has any idea who wrote it. The shop may be popular, but they’re not that busy these days and Jimin is excellent at remembering the customers, and which colour envelope they buy. It says a lot about a person, Jimin believes, which colour you choose to wrap your bleeding heart in.

 

How can Jeongguk ask who bought that blue envelope without making Jimin too nosey?

 

“Yeah, yeah, all cool,” he shrugs, turning around as Jimin releases him and pad over to the kitchen. “I, um, one of them used a really nice envelope. It was a pale blue -”

 

“Serenity?” Jimin asks, reaching on his toes to get the herbal tea.

 

“What?”

 

“That’s the Pantone name. Kind of like a soft dawn sky-blue, or like, the colour they always put on ‘fresh linen’ scented candles.”

 

“Oh, yeah that’s - that’s it.” Jeongguk blinks. He’s supposed to be the one in tune with his colour descriptors. He is majoring in painting, after all.

 

Jimin smiles. “It’s popular with one of our regulars. I think I saw him on the weekend.”

 

Who is he , Jeongguk wants to ask, what’s his name, what does he look like, who does he write those letters to. The words are all caught in his throat, but he thinks it’s for the best. If he says anything more then Jimin will start poking his cute nose where it doesn’t belong and Jeongguk doesn’t have the energy for that right now. So he just hums a cool and lets Jimin go back to making his tea.

 

Taehyung fails the level again and swears loudly, but it comes out in a butchered British accent; he’s starting to get into character for the delivery; this is Jeongguk’s cue to leave.

 

He puts the leftover pizza in the fridge, tosses the empty boxes in the recycling bin and takes his bag down the hall to his bedroom where he flops face first onto the blue covers. Of course they’re blue, he groans internally, rolling onto his back. Jeongguk isn’t sure why his brain is still clinging onto that love poem and deciding to associate it with every shade of blue he now sees. Maybe if he finds out who is writing the letters - Jimin said he was a regular, after all - his brain will shut up. He makes a note to hang around in the shop after class tomorrow, and maybe a few days after that, just in case the mystery author decides to write another letter so soon after the one from today.

 

If anyone (read: Seokjin) asks why he is lingering in the shop he’ll make up something about a class project. He has enough homework this week for it to be convincing. Speaking of which, Jeongguk knows he has an essay on pointillism sitting half finished on his computer, and that it’s due tomorrow morning, but he’s ridiculously comfortable and has always worked better under pressure so he’ll leave it until 10pm at the earliest. Before his stupid brain can conjure any more thoughts about the letter, Jeongguk rolls over and falls into a blissful nap, legs draped in early afternoon sun and yellow jumper bunched around his chest.