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the worst kind of people to attend a wedding

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“I knew it was true love the moment I heard Bobby hyung said this exact line: Hanbin, do you know where can I buy a costume that resembles that old man – Santa Claus – nearby? It was three days before our college semestral break. All of us are itching to go home, of course, who wouldn’t be? Been far away from home for months, we just want to be with our families to celebrate the holidays… and yet Bobby hyung,” Hanbin laughs as he continued, “he wanted to attend the college Christmas party the day before the break in which only about ¼ of the class ever shows up. It turns out Junhoe was there and blurted out something about the existence of Santa Claus.”

Yunhyeong stares at his glass, half-filled with white wine he used trying to choke down his jitters, whatever kind of jitters they may be. He laughed with everybody while listening to the best man as he delivered his speech. Well isn’t it really funny, this day?

Of all people, the universe decided to play him well. He anticipated this would happen. After all, he remained friends with both Junhoe and Bobby. Both of the couple remained friends with Hanbin too. It’s not like he can wish for the now newly weds to cut off their ties with either of them, he can’t make them choose sides. And most definitely, he cannot break apart the two. Somehow, he knew Hanbin and him will cross paths again. It’s just funny that the first time they meet again after three years is during their friends’ wedding.

“So, may I request for all of us to raise our glasses, not only to Bobby hyung but also to Junhoe – to this couple now bonded by marriage,” Hanbin raised his glass again, he tries to hold the mic through his left hand and balances the glass through the other, careful not to stain his khaki pants. “May their love flourish like water running in a river – continuous, always finds a way to break an obstacle, and adapting to the ever-changing course. May they always choose love, as I believe love will always choose them.”

Yunhyeong raised his glass along with everyone and decided to gulp down everything all at once. Well, that’s the purpose of raising glasses and speeches, might as well stick along with it. He heard claps from each side of the hall. Right, that’s Kim Hanbin, he sweeps people with his words even without trying. Yunhyeong tapped both of his fingers on the table, mimicking someone who just touched an organ for the first time – like treading the keys. It was Jinhwan’s turn to deliver his speech, he was chosen to be Junhoe’s best man, he wished the older good luck as Jinhwan vacated the seat beside him. Hanbin is walking back towards his seat when someone near their table called for his name. It was an old man, Junhoe’s relative. Yunhyeong was actually thankful for the couple, they did not make it awkward for the both of them – at least for him? Hanbin seems pretty comfortable with anything. So, it’s only me. Right, that’s my problem. I always overthink.

“Sit, sit here for a while. Wait, there! There’s a chair beside that young handsome man wearing the light blue suit,” he heard the old man let a chuckle. It was too late before he realized Hanbin was coming to his table, aiming for the seat beside him. Yunhyeong stood up, he cannot deal with enough bullshit for tonight. He feels uncomfortable and he knows it. He needs a breather. "Sir, do you want to move here?" he motioned towards the near table offering his seat. "It's fine with me, I'm just about to go outside too." I'm sorry, Jinhwan hyung. In his defense, he already heard of the speech because the elder rehearsed his lines with him last night. They were hotel roommates for two nights, that's the benefit of it. Hanbin stared at him for quite a long while before deciding to bring the old man on the other table. It seems that they're going to talk privately anyway.

Yunhyeong made his way to exit the hall.

 





Yunhyeong took the lighter out of his pocket. He's facing the sunset, standing in front of the villa. Here outside, the beauty of the countryside calms him. The lights aren't in their full brightness yet as they allowed the sunset to take all the pleasure of mesmerizing everyone. He attempts to flicker the lighter a couple of times, letting the fire to stay for a couple of seconds before turning it off again.

"I didn't know you smoke now," Yunhyeong instantly clipped the cap to lock. Sighing, he turned towards the owner of the voice. His hold of the lighter resembles of clutching something, like his heart. "I don't, well I mean I do, but not very often."

Hanbin stood beside him, leaving an ample space enough for his sanity. Yunhyeong did not notice it earlier but the younger was actually holding a bottle of wine and two champagne glasses. The wine was tucked between Hanbin's hip and arm, while the glasses find themselves in the spaces between the younger's fingers. He watched as Hanbin put them down. Later on, he removed his coat only to lay it down on the grass beneath them. He turns toward Yunhyeong, and in return, Yunhyeong just looked at him blankly.

"What?" the older asked, dumbfounded.

"Well, I stole this from Junhoe and Bobby hyung's wedding," gesturing his hands towards the glasses and the bottle of wine. "Will you have the pleasure to join me in this some sort of rendezvous?" both of them laughed.

Yunhyeong guessed maybe he just have too much inhibitions overpowering him that he forgot he have the power to strip them away too. "This is a crime," he jokingly said as he allows himself to be a little vulnerable tonight. He assured himself he's still guarded, though. Maybe.

"Sit there, I know you'd hate to see your pants ruined," Hanbin pointed at his own coat, now spread across the grass.

"People change you know," but Yunhyeong sits anyway.

“How is life treating you, hyung?” Hanbin asked while opening the bottle, quite struggling, and handed Yunhyeong his own glass.

The older sighed, he traced the lines on his shoes. “Same old, same old. Generally, perhaps it’s getting better,” he looked at the younger whose hands are now busy picking on the grass once he was done with the wine, “how about you, Bin?” He softened on his own voice, it's been long since he called him that.

"Same old, same old," he smiled plainly at the older.

No conversation followed after that, just two glasses clinking, seeming to pick up the sentences where they have been left off.

Hanbin took a cigarette out of his pocket after a long silence took over the both of them. "May I?" he was asking for the lighter, Yunhyeong handed it to him halfheartedly. Yunhyeong watched as Hanbin brought the roll to his lips. The younger turns away from him, he exhales the smoke on the other side so the older won't catch even just a whiff of it. That's crazy, Yunhyeong thought, in this proximity... it's the same as secondhand smoking. It was one of the heavy topics in their relationship, breaking Hanbin's bad ways to cope with stress which later turned as his habits.

"May I?" Yunhyeong throws back the question. He was asking for a cigarette, and the lighter to be returned in his possession. Hanbin laughed. He was letting out small coughs while laughing. "You have your lighter with you the whole time  and yet you do not have any cigarette? Not even one?" Hanbin gave the whole pack to him, when he was finally holding it, Hanbin was too reluctant to let it go.

"Let go, I'm an adult. My lungs can manage," Yunhyeong tapped the younger's hand away. Maybe it's true how you always run in circles, because the same heavy topic in their relationship eases the tension between them now.

Yunhyeong lighted one and took it to his mouth. Hanbin watched as Yunhyeong's lips took everything of the small and narrow cylinder. The older's slender fingers remove it from the same lips.

Absentmindedly, he looked at his own hand, like a mirror to the older's -- also holding a cigarette. Damn, Yunhyeong's fingers used to intertwine with his own and his fingers with Yunhyeong's.

The only thing connecting their hands right now -- with the absence of physical contact -- are cigarettes. He doesn't know what to feel about it.

 


 

"What made you smoke?" Hanbin asked later after both of them tried to put their cigs away even without an ash tray.

"I'd say you, but that's just dumb. It was my choice, and I did it, so... me. I made myself smoke, a way to release my frustrations I can't even name."

"I messed up that bad, huh?" Hanbin looked away. The sun has fully set now, yellow and orange lights finally made themselves visible. Hanbin pulls out some grass.

"Don't say that. Stop blaming yourself. It's my own decision," Yunhyeong looked at Hanbin. How can he say that he messed up? Compared to what he looks like three years ago, he's healthier. The younger's hair is pushed back, making his forehead glitter in the small light of the night. Somehow, it revealed the younger's eyes too. He can still vividly remember Hanbin's gaze three years ago. Intense and full of emotions, it seemed tamer now -- like strength being replaced by wisdom, but not necessarily weak. Just careful.

"And for the record, I am okay. Me smoking doesn't conclude to the fact that I am in a miserable state," he assured Hanbin. Well, shit. He's not prepared of revealing emotions tonight. When will you ever be, anyway? The coherency in their conversations since their first word at each other was long gone. They were just trying to keep the talking alive.

When another wave of silence has gone by, wishing it will cross the night itself, Yunhyeong decided it's time to go back. It's been almost an hour. He was about to stand up when a familiar song started playing. He knows that song, he looked towards the hall and saw the lights have gone dim. When he focused back his gaze to collect himself, he realized Hanbin has been staring at him since the song started playing too.

 


 

Tell me
Tell me that you want me
And I’ll be yours completely 
For better or for worse

 

He can hear Bobby singing the first verse inside the hall. Yunhyeong can't believe he's actually hearing this song today of all places and of all occasions.

"They stole our fucking song," Hanbin cursed as he got up to his knees, brushing bits of grass on his pants. Yunhyeong wanted to ask Hanbin to repeat what he just said seconds ago, but he knows better than that. Our song, he called it our song. He still thinks it's our song. Yunhyeong was about to get up on his own too when Hanbin offered his hand, he was already standing in front of him. "We stole their wine, they stole our song, might as well sneak a dance, right?"

Yunhyeong doesn't understand what's happening. In fact, he's been oblivious ever since this wedding weekend had started. He just went with the flow, and so with the flow he goes. He took Hanbin's hand, and he watched the younger carefully guided it to his shoulder.

Hanbin looked how the elder’s fingers filled the empty space on his hand. Finally, they were no longer holding cigarettes but the hands of one another. He slightly grabbed Yunhyeong by his waist, just to pull him close enough, resting his free hand on the small of his back.

“Do you ever wonder where did we go wrong, Hanbin-ah?”

It was the question they have been avoiding from the very first start, and Yunhyeong finally had the courage to ask. The elder fixed his gaze on a tree, it’s easier to ask questions like that sometimes.

“All the damn time,” he sighed. They started out fine, not in a sense that it was the perfect relationship, but it was good. Light. The kind that makes your heart flutter, and it evolved to something. Soon it was the warm fuzzies — little did they know it was a precaution to the intense burning. It consumed them.

 

I know
We’ll have our disagreements
Be fighting for no reason
I wouldn’t change it for the world

 

It wasn’t all easy. They fought over the littlest things, like choosing the flavor of Hanbin’s ice cream in a convenience store, or debating over why Yunhyeong needs to stop by a bakery before going home. The best thing about it, however, is they would never end a single day dwelling on one fight. Both of them will always try to resolve it before midnight. That’s why everyone around them couldn’t believe the fate of their relationship. Yunhyeong and Hanbin were no different, they were more surprised themselves.

 

Cause I know
The first day that I met you
I was never gonna let you
Let you slip away

 

Hanbin hated the concept of love at first sight. He doesn’t buy it, not even a bit of it. He has always been a firm believer of conscious loving, the love where you get to decide, the love you get to choose. Everyday, he had to ask himself if he still feels it.

Yunhyeong is just as the same. It’s just that he’s committed to always choose love no matter what.

See, that’s the difference.

And I
Still remember feeling nervous
Trying to find the words to
Get you here today

 

Three years of finding reasons — most, self-inflicted — why the two of them fell apart, Hanbin thinks he has now an answer. They should define the reasons themselves.

“But how about you, hyung, what do you think happened to us?” it was just a faint whisper, enough for Yunhyeong to hear him. Maybe he had just been scared all along.

“I think we failed to choose love,” Yunhyeong smiled at him bitterly. He was right.

“Right, we chose ourselves?” Hanbin asked himself too.

“No, I chose you,” Yunhyeong looked at him intently for the first time that day. His gaze finally meeting Hanbin’s. “I chose you, Bin,” and Hanbin did not comprehend it fully well at all.

 

You make my heart feel like it’s summer
When the rain is pouring down
You make my whole world feel so right when it’s wrong
Cause I know you are the one
That’s why I know you are the one

 

Yunhyeong was never the panicky type of person, he was a careful planner — as planning is the most important thing in everything. The past few days have been rough though. There were far too many demands in work. He was planning to stay on the office overnight just so he could finish the paperwork when his phone rang.

“Bobby?” he put his phone between his arm and ear, trying to get hold of the files.

“Yunhyeong, I know you’re busy, but Hanbin... I think he’s sick. He passed out in the studio today. We tried calling a doctor but he refused,” and that was more than enough for Yunhyeong to drop everything he’s holding. He was half-walking, half-running after he got off the bus — rushing to their small apartment. His hands were kind of sweating.

“Hyu-hyung! Why are you here? You have a deadline to chase,” Hanbin said weakly. He had slept on the living room, probably too tired to settle himself on the bedroom.

“Close your eyes and rest,” Yunhyeong folded his sleeves as he walked into the kitchen. He emerged on the living room with a bowl of soup and a glass of water afterwards. He was careful in waking the younger.

“Hyung—I can take care of myself. Go,” Hanbin tried to sway away the spoon but the older just glared at him.

How come he forgot? He's right. Yunhyeong chose Hanbin. Always.

“I’m sorry,” it was his fault. For all he know, they could have been like Junhoe and Bobby. Singing The One by Kodaline in their own wedding, and not stealing a bottle of wine nor a dance -- not even their own song.

“I’m sorry, hyung.” He bursted into tears, he’s been holding this much. Strangely enough, their positions had shifted. Yunhyeong was now carrying the dance, the younger rests his head on his shoulder as he continues to sob. Yunhyeong rubbed the younger’s back whispering,

“Don’t be.”

For a couple of seconds, they were just swaying, circling around. No signs nor any plans of going back inside.

“Hey, it’s my favorite line,” Yunhyeong tapped Hanbin by his shoulder and started singing the bridge along with Junhoe.

 

When we are together you make me feel like my mind is free and my dreams are reachable
Woah

 

Yunhyeong belted with all of his emotions, channeling whatever he was feeling there. Hanbin looked up only to find Yunhyeong was already crying too. God, they were a mess. “How come what follows is my favorite line too?” he smiled at Yunhyeong.

 

You know I never ever believed in love or believed one day that you would come along

 

Yunhyeong decided to twirl him as he sings along. The couple inside the hall were exchanging lines as they sing. Might as well dance to it, too. Yunhyeong caught him after, steadying him. Hanbin decided to twirl the older too. When Junhoe reached for the high note, he let him go.

 

Free me

 

Freedom and closure. Freedom in closure. Maybe that’s what they’ve been chasing all along, after the reasons.

 

You make my heart feel like it’s summer
When the rain is pouring down
You make my whole world feel so right when it’s wrong
Cause I know you are the one

 

They tried to continue dancing through swaying bit by bit, step by step, taking it all in.

 

That’s why I know you are the one

 

Hanbin can perfectly hear how Bobby’s voice differs on the outro. He’s probably crying. Damn, what kind of best man is he? Trying to find comfort for himself when his best friend needs it inside.

The truth is, Bobby doesn’t need the comforting as much as he does.

 

That’s why I know you are the one

 

Yunhyeong rested his chin on Hanbin’s shoulder. They were hugging while they were making small steps, trying to call it dancing. Christ, they are the worst kind of people to attend a wedding.

 

That’s why I know you are the one

 

Both of them realized Junhoe and Bobby’s voices complement each other well. “This is their wedding. Kim Hanbin, what are we doing?”

“They suit each other well, eh? Blends the differences?” Hanbin placed a kiss on the older’s forehead as he swayed him along, “Dancing, we’re dancing.”

 

That’s how I know you are the one

 

The newlyweds ended the song with the faint outro but it left powerful marks.

Marks like how you can tell Junhoe and Bobby are suited for each other.

Like how they deserve to own the song, probably even more than Yunhyeong and Hanbin.

Like how Yunhyeong and Hanbin just knew they could let go of the one.