Kim Seokjin never thought of death, sure he went to funerals when a close one passed on and went to church in the hopes God deemed him worthy that he’d take him up to heaven when the day came.
But the thought never really struck him. He didn’t waste time on something that was bound to happen, rather he lived in the moment. Because how could one not? Especially being in love with a woman as great as his girlfriend.
They met in college, one fateful day that brought them together by porridge of all things. It wasn’t exactly love at first sight as one could already tell. But it’s a funny story to remember, or explain when telling others how they met.
Like any college student, Seokjin was tired and stressed about school. Having stayed up late the night prior, had the male in a rush to get to class in a hurried and uncaring state. That when he turned the corner rather abruptly, he had bumped into a small petite woman full on. Making the girl spill her breakfast on them both. As you can guess, Jin went to class with a porridge stained shirt.
He had never seen the woman before, too many faces in the crowd to know this one existed. But how can he forget her now? Jin knew the woman as ‘porridge girl’ of course she didn’t like that when they saw each other in the cafeteria and Seokjin called out to her. She glared, and told him it wasn’t her name followed by ‘clumsy ass.’ Jin laughed and soon got her number.
Her name was Bora Lim, a unique name for an extraordinary woman. Her physical appearance was small and petite, but her attitude on life and mind were loud and outgoing. Seokjin never knew such things and possibilities in life could possibly exist until she came along and showed him that, life was pretty amazing. Especially with her in it.
She majored in becoming a doctor, so already Jin knew she was a smart woman if he didn’t care to learn for the rest. But he did care, her mind was absolutely brimming with knowledge that he couldn’t get enough. Whether it was fact, fiction, or clearly stating that the popcorn at the movies on the east side was better than the West. Kim Seokjin took note of it all.
Bora loved him too of course, he saw it in the way she stared when he would make the most awful puns. And how he sang in the shower when he would wash her hair, especially when they both graduated and she had said ‘Yes’ when he asked her to marry him.
The marriage was quite lovely, and like every newlyweds, they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. Which resulted in a beautiful baby girl, and Seokjin knew this must be what heaven felt like when carrying his baby and having his wife by his side.
Life was pretty great for the small family, the occasional picnics, going sightseeing and having family get togethers. Teaching their daughter about the world, well Jin would tell his small baby how wonderful her mom was. Bora would smile and say, ‘don’t forget to praise her dad.’ Which Jin would say, ‘who?’
An ongoing joke clearly.
When their daughter grew old enough to go to school, they realized parenting got a lot harder. It wasn’t the school necessarily or the classes they put her in, no, it was the play dates. Jin was just glad he had met a wonderful woman like Bora, how great she was. Because honestly, every other adult was just plain boring.
“I don’t think I can go to one more of those god forsaken play dates!” Bora exclaimed. “If I have to sit with Mina and her husband one more time talking about the damn snow on the mountains I’m going to crack!”
Jin laughed, going over to Bora. “Why don’t we go see it instead, then we’ll have something in common with them?” He suggested.
When it came down to their planned holiday, they did exactly that. Taking their daughter to a expansive mountain getaway, where they saw the snow on the mountains Mina and her husband saw. And honestly both Jin and Bora came to the conclusion, it wasn’t that amazing. But what was, was what came nine months later, another baby girl.
Jin couldn’t be happier, he didn’t even care about the play dates after that. Because his family is what made everything so thrilling. To the holidays; waking up on Christmas mornings, taking their two precious daughters trick or treating on Halloween, and birthdays. Wow, did they go big on birthdays.
But of course, with each passing year, seeing Bora grow Jin swore he fell more in love with his wife. And on their twentieth anniversary, he asked if they could renew their vows. And just like the time he asked her to marry him, she had said ‘yes.’
So life was pretty grand, sure there was ups and downs, with money and with their daughters experiencing life. It was like any other family, and crazy as it might be, Seokjin loved it all. He was an content old man, that when he did eventually retire from his job at the college, he and Bora went on an extravagant trip to Hawaii. Where they slow danced in the middle of the restaurant.
It was also in Hawaii that he met a rather strange man. He was small and stout but gave him a letter, when he asked who was it from, the man simply walked away.
On the letter, it revealed a message. He didn’t understand it, so he didn’t pay attention to the letter, so when he got back to the hotel with Bora she looked at the letter and read it out loud.
“This looks like an anagram,” she mentioned casually. Setting the paper down to take off her shoes and then got ready for bed.
“I don’t know what that is..” Jin spoke, not really caring for it. It must be a prank the townspeople do to the foreigners. He spoke like an old man, proud to be of course.
When they returned home, life return to its usual routine. Jin going out to get the paper, Helping Bora make breakfast, the occasional call from one of their daughters, and well, the natural life of two loving old couple.
One day in particular, he went to get the mail and when he saw it. It was familiar, he didn’t know where he had seen it, but he took it inside and looked at it. The strangest thing, each page was the same. It read;
:Just about any man can do horrible things, but a Justified and Knoble man will do the right thing.
It takes a while for him to remember where he had seen it, in Hawaii, the random note he had gotten. Not wasting a moment on it, and not wanting to frighten his wife that they might be stalked, Jin crumbles the paper and installs a security camera outside his home while buying a few extra locks for the house.
Years go by, and the letter is long forgotten.
Then the day comes where Seokjin is too old to move, his precious little wife isn’t able to help him either. So they go to the hospital where he spends the rest of his days, his wife by his side reading to him. She’s in good health, and it makes Jin happy to see how beautiful she is, how the sun hit her in the evening from where she sat in the room next to his bed. And he can’t help think, ‘what a wonderful woman.’
Seemingly, he knows it’s his time when the doctors are more frequent, his daughters come with their husbands and grandchildren. He knows. But he’s not afraid, he’s lived a rather amazing life, sure a few regrets here and there but overall, Kim Seokjin was a happy man with it.
Looking to Bora, he smiled softly, “I love you.. porridge girl.” He didn’t know that would be his last joke. That when his eyes fell closed and the bumping monitor of his heartbeat came to a straight line, he believed heaven would be his next journey.
Oh was he wrong.
Kim Seokjin woke up, blinking a few times. Maybe it wasn’t his time yet?
“Bora?” He called out, quick to notice his voice wasn’t as deep and husky, he sat up. Which surprised him, that he was even able to do so.
His heart began to beat fast, looking down to his hands, they weren’t old. The faint gray specks were gone, revealing a rather young man's arms. Jumping out the bed, he runs around the unfamiliar apartment and to a bathroom where he stops.
He’s young, he’s young again.
What was happening? Was- was this heaven? Could Jin be in heaven? Hands touching his now young face, he looks around the apartment. And how close it looks to crumbling down, sure he’s imagined what heaven might be like but would never have pictured heaven to be this.
Then there’s knocking at the door. Slowly creeping to it, Jin looks through the peephole and sees an old man he’s never met before. “I know you’re in there Kim!” The man calls out, “don’t pretend you can’t hear me!” Stepping back, Jin falls flat on his butt. His heart now picking up faster than before. “You said the twentieth is when you can pay me! And your rents way past due!”
Surely in heaven, one doesn’t have to pay for rent.