‘Jaemin where are you going weren’t we supposed to just grab the booze from your fridge and get back to the guys so we can go to the playground soon?’ Renjun closed the front door behind him and called Jaemin who was already on the third step of stairs which obviously didn’t lead to the kitchen that was on the ground floor.
‘Don’t worry they can wait for a little while. Just follow me.’
‘If this has something to do with your cactus collection then sorry, but I’m not interested.’ He said from the bottom of the stairs.
Jaemin let out a sigh. ‘Just get your ass upstairs.’
Renjun made his way up, step by step, holding onto the railing just like the first time he had been here years ago. ‘Jaemin where’d you…’ Jaemin’s head popped through a door frame on the other side of the corridor.
‘Isn’t that your parents’ bedroom though?’ Renjuned questioned his friend’s intentions.
‘They are out with their friends, they won’t be home until like midnight.’ Jaemin gestured for Renjun to join him.
He entered the room unsurely. He had lost access to this room years back when they got too old to play hide and seek anymore. It hasn’t changed much since then. Still the same tapestry, still the same bed and wardrobe. Maybe a few more decorations popped in here and there and they got themselves a new TV but that was it.
And still the same roof window above a dark chestnut chest of drawers that Jaemin was currently sitting on.
When he saw Renjun looking at him he kneeled up and opened the window. ‘Come here.’ He gestured for Renjun to join him. ‘You have to see the sky right now.’
‘Are you sure it won’t break under both of us?’ Despite his question Renjun climbed on top of the piece of furniture. He mimicked Jaemin whose upper body was sticking through the open window with his elbows supported on the frame. Jaemin was right, the sunset was exceptionally beautiful that day.
‘It won’t have a reason to.’ Jaemin said and in one smooth motion climbed out the window.
‘You’re crazy.’ Renjun leaned out to check where the hell Jaemin went since he clearly hadn’t fallen off the roof. Turns out the window from his parents’ bedroom gave an easy access to a top of a flat roofed dormer.
‘You scared, Huang?’
‘Have you ever seen me scared?’
‘Do you really want me to answer this question?’
Renjun took a breath and calculated his chances of getting there in one piece. It was really close and Jaemin managed to do it without killing himself but he was guessing he probably had at least some practice. Jaemin patted a spot next to him which translated to one word only - ‘faster.’
He put his legs out of the window one by one and sat on the frame supporting his palms on it. He lowered himself and turned around to face the roof. He just had to move up a bit and he would be there. Jaemin noticed his struggle and crouched near the edge of the dormer and stretched out both of his arms to drag Renjun up.
When he finally sat there, safe and sound, he closed his eyes and laid on the rooftop, heat from the tiles warming up his arms he had rested beneath his head.
‘I’m really liking this.’ Renjun said after a couple of beats of silence, opening one eye to take a peek at Jaemin.
‘You’re not even watching the sunset.’ Jaemin scolded him. ‘I didn’t drag you all the way here for you to miss the best phase when we have the best spot.’
‘Gee. Okay. Fine.’ He sat up and stretched his arms. ‘See? Now I’m watching.’ He leaned back and supported his body placing his palms behind him. He fixed his eyes on the sky and even though the sun was now too low to blind him he still found it hard to keep his eyes open.
The colors danced alluringly over the sky. Dark blues transitioned into lighter tinges that mixed with pinks, oranges and purples below the middle of the horizon. That specific kaleidoscope of hues made you forget that you get to witness this phenomenon every single day.
He could sense that Jaemin wasn’t as immersed in the view displaying in front of them as he was. The hole Jaemin was drilling in Renjun’s temple with his eyes got bigger and bigger with every passing second. The sheer awareness made him feel uneasy in the least negative meaning of the word.
The time slowed down and Renjun knew it was his cue to take action. But all of his usual courage when it came to dealing with Jaemin was nowhere to be found. Every second dragged on and his thoughts weren’t calm and focused on the sunset anymore. His mind was racing and chanting one name over and over again.
Time stopped. He turned around to face Jaemin. Renjun had suspected he would halt looking at him once caught red handed but his eyes now were locked with Renjun’s.
‘Told you the guys can wait.’ He lifted up the corners of his mouth a bit and turned his face to so that Renjun had a nice view of his side profile.
Renjun had lost a track of time. They could’ve been sitting there for as well barely a few minutes as half an hour. The silence was neither comfortable nor awkward. It was urging.
He glanced at Jaemin and their eyes met for a split second. ‘Why aren’t you watching the sunset though?’
‘I have this view basically everyday.’
‘We also see each other basically everyday.’
‘It’s almost the blue hour now’ Jaemin pulled his legs to his chest, laid his head on his knees and looked Renjun in the eye. ‘It’s not about the sky anymore. It’s about the beauty around you that the light enhances.’
Renjun scooted closer to Jaemin and mimicked his position, their shoulders touching.
‘Was it ever about the sky though?’
If you were to ask Renjun the answer wouldn’t be simple but it would be clear: it wasn’t. He couldn’t pinpoint exactly when seeking out to Jaemin went from simply craving company to craving his presence specifically. But at this point it was all obvious even though his thoughts were all over the place.
‘No, I suppose it wasn’t.’
Renjun leaned in and laid a butterfly kiss on Jaemin’s lips and waited for his reaction. The moment Jaemin’s brain started registering what was going on he captured Renjun’s lips with his own. Both had no idea what exactly they were doing so they just rolled with it. Jaemin cupped the back of Renjun’s head with one of his hands.
They separated but remained close and kept their eyes closed, breathing in and out to slow the beating of their hearts down. Jaemin was the first one to open his eyes, left one first to check if it was actually Renjun’s face right in front of his, and then the other one when he got the confirmation that it wasn’t just his imagination. He detangled his hand from Renjun’s hair and moved away.
Renjun looked straight at him and started giggling which confused Jaemin but soon enough the giddiness of the moment got the better of him and he was laughing as well.
‘We’re still friends, right?’ Jaemin asked when the laughter died down.
‘I will throw you off the roof’ Renjun replied dead serious. He lunged forward and tickled Jaemin on the belly knowing damn well it would end with him kicking and desperately trying to keep his hands off his body.
‘We should get going.’ Jaemin said holding Renjun by his wrists.
‘Oh really?’ He raised his eyebrow. ‘What time is it even?’ He let Jaemin go and checked it on his phone. ‘Shit it’s nearing 10.’
‘I mean it’s almost twilight now.’ Jaemin gestured to the window ‘After you.’
‘Don’t forget to grab the vodka from the fridge’. Renjun sneered and made his way down.
‘Oh, right, the vodka!’ Jaemin couldn’t see Renjun anymore but he could imagine the smirk he had on his face. He took one last look around to take in the view of the neighbourhood and went back inside. He heard Renjun bustling in his kitchen. He closed the window and left the room closing the door behind him smiling to himself. A clunk of glass and sound of closing the fridge were followed by a shout: ‘You coming or what?’
He didn’t reply. Just skipped downstairs, stole the bottle from Renjun who was already waiting in the hall and made the run towards Jeno’s house.
‘Aren’t you gonna lock the door?’ He stopped abruptly, turned on his heel and jogged back to his front door. When he was feeling his pockets for keys Renjun pulled the bottle from between his arm and chest where he was holding it and ran just like Jaemin had done just seconds ago. He shook his head while locking the door and chased after him.