“Hey, pops?” the child called out for his father. “Yes, my child?” the father laughed as the child scrunched up their nose. They never wanted their father to call them ‘my child’ since they think it has an ancient spooky ring to it. “Do you believe in fate? Like, do you believe that whatever occurrence two people may have, they’ll still end up together because of their strong affection for each other?” the father looked at his child and asked, “Do you have time for storytelling? After you listen, I’ll answer your question for me.” when the child nodded, the father took this as a signal to start.
“Well, let me tell you about a story about how two people who met at a train station,”
“So, what brings you here on this trip to Daejeon?” Yukhei had asked Mark after they have sat and gotten their snacks out. “Well, honestly, I don’t know man. I just woke up and had a feeling to go here to this station.” Mark shrugged. Yukhei got surprised and told him, “Dude, I also got that feeling! I don’t remember if I dreamt about going to Daejeon, but throughout this morning, the only thought that I had was to go to this station and have a trip going to Daejeon.” Mark was glad that he met someone who also just had a spontaneous trip.
As they were eating their snacks silently, Mark felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. He got a message from Taeyong.
morkles where’d u go
i thought u were too tired to go out today lol
i’m on a train going to Daejeon
don’t ask idk too
why r u going there tho
there are a lot of diff places to go to
do u know someone from there?
no i don’t
i just dreamt of going there
n my gut feeling kept telling me to go there
so now im here
met someone tho
who is it?
r they cute
r they treating u nicely?
his name is yukhei
n yes they’re treating me nicely
his trip to Daejeon is also last minute lmao can u believe it
yukhei u say?
thats inch resting
do u know him?
i’ll tell u when u get home
enjoy ur day with ~yukhei~ ;)
u used the winky face
should i be scared?
don’t keep yukhei waiting
also invite yukhei later
i think the two of u should listen to my story
he might enjoy it
“Who was that you’re texting?” Yukhei asked Mark when he put down his phone. “Just my roommate. He asked me where I’ve gone to.” Yukhei responded, “Same. My roommates aren’t surprised that I didn’t plan this through, though.”
“Did you had a day like this before as well?” Mark asked him. “Yes, sometimes when I have bad days, I just go to wherever my feet led me to, I guess.” Yukhei then showed Mark some pictures during his unplanned trips. Some pictures captured only the sky, while the others are selfies. “You change your hair color a lot. Do they have meanings?” He nodded at Mark and explained every hair color. When he finished explaining, he told him, “The first time I dyed my hair into blue, I didn’t have any reason to, I just felt like dying my hair into a different color because I was getting tired of the color black. Then, at some point, I just changed it into different colors depending on what I felt at that time.”
Mark wished to be like him. He was never a fan of change, he just wanted to be out of people’s vision and never wanted to be the center of attention. But, he just wished to be as confident as Yukhei, hoped to be as carefree as him. They both proceeded to do their own thing, Mark painting Yukhei and Yukhei reading a book while waiting for the train to approach their destination.
When they’ve arrived and got off the train, Yukhei asked Mark where he wanted to go. “Well, I kind of want to chill for a while, and I haven’t been to this place so, let’s go to the Ppuri park? We can also have a picnic there.” Yukhei agreed to his decision, so Mark pulled Yukhei to a grocery store to buy food and drinks for their picnic. Mark unconsciously held Yukhei’s hand to his surprise, but Yukhei didn’t mind, as long as Mark didn’t see his blushing cheeks.
After they’ve finished buying everything they needed, they walked towards the park and found a spot for themselves.
“So, Mark,” Yukhei looked at the said man, for him to see that Mark was already staring at him. He cleared his throat and continued on to what he was going to ask, “Since we’re about to be stuck with each other until 5 in the noon, and that’s four hours from now, why don’t we introduce ourselves formally? Like, let’s talk about our family and friends and all that stuff.” Mark nodded at Yukhei’s suggestion. He thought to himself, 'If they’re going to be with each other for a while, they might as well know each other.' Mark asked him, “So, who’s going to start?” Yukhei signaled for him to talk first.
“Alright, well, as you already know, my name’s Mark Lee. I’m 23 years old and I work at a Kindergarten. I also teach painting whenever I get the time. I grew up in New Zealand but I came back here in Korea when I was 19 years old. My family still lives there, though. And all of my friends have their beloved partners. My roommates, Johnny and Taeyong, are a couple. My other roommate, Jeno, met someone named Chenle in his university. They started dating 2 years ago, but they just got official last year. My best friend, Jaehyun has a boyfriend named Sicheng. And then there’s me. Well, at least I have the children that I teach for.” Mark chuckled at himself. Yukhei was confused, “Wait, do we know the same Lee Jeno and Zhong Chenle? And the other couple, Jung Jaehyun and Dong Sicheng?” he asked Mark.
Mark tilted his head, he was confused as well. “Wait, I’ll show a picture of the two couples. I third-wheel a lot, sadly.” When Mark showed the pictures, Yukhei exclaimed and pointed it out, “Yeah, we know the same people! Chenle is my little cousin, while Sicheng is my best friend! Sicheng is my roommate alongside with Kun, my other best friend. We’re a whole package.” Mark smiled fondly at how Yukhei talked about Kun and Sicheng. “It’s strange how we know the same people, but we’ve never met!” Yukhei agreed at his statement.
The time flew by quickly, as they talked more about each other and capturing some photos from time to time. They were walking towards the train station when Mark remembered something that Taeyong had texted him earlier. “Hey, Yukhei? I just remembered that Taeyong told me earlier to invite you to our apartment. Is it okay for you to do that? You can also eat dinner with us.” Mark scratched the back of his neck as he was embarrassed. Even though it was Taeyong who requested it, he can’t help but feel that he was asking someone out. It was the first time that he ever asked someone to eat dinner with him and his roommates. Mark was relieved when Yukhei told him that it was okay. “My roommates wouldn’t miss me too much if I’ll be out until 9 in the evening, so it’s okay! I’ll just text them.”
The train approached and they found their seats. Mark proceeded to pull out his phone and text his roommate,
i hope im not too late to say this
yukhei’ll be having dinner with us
no u ain’t too late morkie
ure just in time i was about to cook lol
n im glad u got the confidence to ask yukhei
have a safe trip hehe :>
i asked him for u
don’t burn urself while cooking
Mark and Yukhei slept throughout the ride back home while sharing Mark’s earphones with each other. (“You listen to Berhana, too?” Yukhei asked, surprised at Mark. “Yeah, I was just looking for new songs to listen to, then I came across his song ‘Janet’. I thought, ‘Wow, this shit’s good!’, so I started listening to him ever since that day.”)
Yukhei was the first one to wake up between the two, he had this sensing ability whenever he felt like they were close to their destination. As much as he didn’t want to wake up Mark since he looked peaceful (the latter part was he found sleeping Mark cute, but he didn’t want to admit that to himself), he still shook him up. “Mark, we’re near our stop.” Mark rubbed his eyes, adjusting to the light.
They eventually reached their stop and got out of the train. They walked towards Mark’s apartment while they were still listening and exploring his playlist. When the intro of the next song played, Yukhei immediately asked Mark, “Isn’t it too early to get in the Frank Ocean vibes?” Mark shook his head, “It’s never too early. Once you see the sun approaching, it’s a new day to start the Frank Ocean sad boy movement. It doesn’t matter if you’re sad, he has his whole discography for every emotion that we’re feeling during that day.” Yukhei laughed at Mark’s devotion for Frank Ocean, he was happy to meet someone as passionate as him when it comes to talking about music.
They approached the door at Mark’s apartment, both of them breathing heavily as they danced to the tunes of Mark’s playlist while walking. As Mark opened the door to his apartment, they were immediately hit with the scent of Taeyong’s cooking. “Johnny-hyung, Taeyong-hyung! They’re here!” Jeno approached the two. Yukhei greeted Jeno while he was removing his shoes. “Hello, Yukhei-hyung! Long-time, no see!” Jeno gave him his famous eye-smile. They walked towards the living room and sat there while waiting for Taeyong to finish cooking. “Hey, Jeno! How are you? Is uni treating you good? Is Chenle also treating you good?” with the mention of Chenle, Jeno immediately blushed. “I’m doing fine. I’m currently on a break from uni, and yes, Chenle’s treating me well. I’m thinking of where to treat him for his birthday tomorrow.” Yukhei smiled upon hearing that.
“Dinner’s ready!” the three stopped talking to each other when they heard Taeyong called from the kitchen. Johnny set up the table while the three sat down. Mark and Yukhei sat beside each other, across them were Jeno and Johnny. Taeyong placed down the food and sat at the end of the table. “Good evening, Yukhei! I’m Taeyong and this is Johnny, we’re Mark’s roommates! I hope we aren’t disturbing your night.” Yukhei shook his head, “No, it’s okay! I’ve been eating my roommate’s cooking for so long, it’s nice for some change.” They ate quietly, with Johnny giving out jokes once in a while and Taeyong complaining about his work. When they’ve finished eating and cleaning up, they all sat down in the living room.
“So, I don’t know how to start this but, we’re going to listen to a tape right now. This tape is mainly the reason why I asked Mark to invite you to our apartment, Yukhei. I’m not supposed to play this for others, but both of you deserve to know this. I hope by the end of this, you two will figure it out.” Taeyong nervously gave Johnny the tape. The three anticipated on what the tape will contain when Johnny inserted it and pressed the play button.
“Mark, are you ready to go?” Dr. Nakamoto had asked me. “Yes, I’m ready.” Xiaojun proceeded to adjust the mic for me while Jungwoo gave me water. They all waited for me to start talking and open up about you. “Hello, I’m Mark Lee. It’s currently the 19thof November, a day before I erase Wong Yukhei in my life.” I took a deep breath. Dr. Nakamoto told me something before I proceeded to talk about you, “If it’s alright with you, can you first talk about how you describe Wong Yukhei, then you can proceed to talk about him one last time? Like the day you saw him last?” I nodded, “Yeah, it’s alright.” Jungwoo signaled for me to continue. “Wong Yukhei was, or is, for me, is the sun to my world. He balances out the negative things in my life with his positivity, like how the sun balances the planets that orbit around it. He’s the one that gives me confidence whenever I feel insecure about myself. I hold him and comfort him whenever he feels down. As cliché as it sounds, we complete each other. We grew attached to each other that when we’re alone, we feel like something is missing. Is that the reason why it’s hard for me to move on by myself? Why can’t I stay alone just by myself? I wish that we didn’t get too attached to each other so I’d be comfortable with by myself, but I find myself keep on needing you.” I feel my tears fall down, I chuckled to myself and wiped it away.
“I was deeply hurt when I saw you on our favorite book café, I thought you were only joking when you asked me for my name. Sicheng saw me, then proceeded to tell me that you have completely erased me from your memories. At first, I didn’t understand why you did it. But then, I think about my situation, so I guess it makes sense why you would erase me from your memories. I hate having another day, thinking about what I would do if I just had the courage to tell you that we should talk it out. Instead, I just agreed that it was better for us to part ways. I’m sorry if I didn’t fight for us. I’m sorry if I wasn’t able to gain the courage to tell you that we can get through it. I’m sorry if I’ll erase you from my memories. Maybe in another lifetime, we’ll be in each other’s arms again. I hope in whatever timeline that is, I hope they’ll stay with each other, despite the hardships that life would give them. For one last time, I love you, Wong Yukhei.” I didn’t even know that I was crying until Xiaojun had given me some tissues. Dr. Nakamoto stopped the recording and gave me a comforting hug. Jungwoo joined the hug as well, telling me that it’ll be okay soon.
For once, I felt the comfort that I only felt with you before. I hope that this decision will be best for us two.
As the tape recording stopped, everyone was silent. Mark and Yukhei were deep in their thoughts. The two were startled when Yukhei’s phone rang. “Well, my roommates are looking for me now. Thank you, Taeyong-hyung for dinner. It was nice meeting you, Johnny-hyung. I’ll see you soon, Jeno! I’ll be going now!” Yukhei smiled at Mark, got up and wore his shoes. As he was going out, Mark had called out to him, “Yukhei! I’ll lead you downstairs!”
The elevator trip going downstairs was silent. Neither of the two wanted to start talking about what they have heard. Mark started to talk when they were outside the apartment complex. “Yukhei, I’m sorry, but I don’t want this to end anymore. Even if we had erased each other from our memories, I feel like fate is giving us another chance to start over again. I don’t want for us to end up like before. I promise that I won’t do the same as last time, I’ll promise you that I’ll get better when I grow old. I won’t give up on us anymore.” Yukhei wiped the tears on Mark’s face. “I’m sorry too, Mark. I want for us to start over again, even if it takes time. This time, I won’t break up with you, instead, I’ll talk to you whenever I feel like we have a problem.” He kissed Mark’s forehead.
For once, the two felt like they were home again. Maybe this time, their love for each other won’t end.
“To answer your question, yes, I do believe in fate. If it weren’t for it, I wouldn’t have met your father again. Fate will bring you to where you belong if your love for each other is that strong.” Yukhei answered his child, Amanda. “I’m asking you now because I believe in fate, too. If it weren’t for fate, I wouldn’t be marrying the love of my life today.” Mark kissed Amanda’s forehead. “We love you, child. And we trust Felix that he would treat you right.” The bells have rung, which signals the beginning of the wedding.
Mark and Yukhei accompanied their child towards the aisle. They saw their friends, alongside with Dr. Nakamoto, Jungwoo, and Xiaojun sitting and smiling at them. They approached the end of the aisle, giving Felix the hand of their child. “Felix, take care of Amanda for us, okay?” Felix smiled at them and promised that he would always protect them.
Mark and Yukhei proceeded to sit down on their perspective seats. As they looked at each other, they smiled to themselves. Yukhei kissed Mark’s cheeks while he held their hands together. Love failed them the first time, but this time, it held on for them.