Under The Tree
Word Count: 1609
The early morning sky was cloudy and grey, filled with foggy gloom and drizzling droplets of ice cold rainwater. You rubbed your eyes again, unable to even believe that it was possible to be awake at such an hour. But, as you turned to look next to you, you saw that Minghao was completely unaffected. The smile on his face was brighter and bigger than any other you’d seen him wear.
His eagerness rubbed off on you a bit, slouching down in the backseat of the cab, you tried your best to relax too. Minghao looked to be at ease, yet he sat on the edge of his seat, clearly also brimming with anticipation.
“Are you excited?” You asked, already having known the answer.
“Of course,” He replied, “It’s my first time going back in so long.”
You chuckled at his cute hopefulness, “Well, I’m glad I get to go with you. I get a free tour guide.”
The both of you chuckled, before the atmosphere became quiet again. Along with the fact that both of you were too tired to function, things in general with Minghao had gotten rather awkward. Maybe it was simply because of the massive crush you had brewing on your best friend, but you couldn’t help but get nervous whenever you were alone with him. And considering that was quite often, you worried that he might pick up on your feelings, which wouldn’t have been a bad thing if you’d known whether or not he liked you back. And you didn’t.
So for the time being, you were stuck in a very high-stakes game of push and pull, one that Minghao might not have even noticed he was a part of.
All he knew, or that he needed to know, was that YouTube was funding vacations for some of its content creators, and you were among the lucky few. It hadn’t been long since you started your career on YouTube, but the fans were as supportive as you could ever dream. But even more than the fame, fortune, or fans, you were thankful to YouTube because it allowed you to meet Minghao. He was the first YouTuber you ever collabed with, and before the camera even turned on, the both of you just felt something click. Ever since, you’ve been best friends.
And so it just felt right to bring Minghao along with you as your plus one. You didn’t really have any destinations in mind anyway, so you thought why not help Minghao go back to his hometown in China?
“Wow, (Y/N),” He began, snatching you out from your thoughts, “Everything about this is so perfect. I mean, except for the fact that I’m awake at 4am right now. But, since you’re taking me to Liaoning, I’ll forgive you.”
“Oh, you’re forgiving me? I didn’t know the evil I committed was so great.” You joked.
“Well, you know I need my beauty sleep. You should try getting some too… You look like you need it more than I do.”
As the both of you started getting your usual playful spirits back, the rest of the cab ride to the airport was filled with giggles. Then, the both of you finally arrived at the airport, hastily went through security, and got on the plane smoothly.
The plane ride wasn’t supposed to be very long, but that didn’t stop you or Minghao from completely knocking out in your seats. In your unconsciousness, you definitely felt something against your temple, but you chose to ignore it and sleep on. What you didn’t realize, was that this strange sensation was actually Minghao’s shoulder under your head. Your head had totally fallen over as you slept, landing onto Minghao’s shoulder.
The feeling of the weight on his shoulder was enough to stir him out of his sleep, and the adorable look on your sleeping face was enough to make him quietly squeal. Minghao tried not to squirm too much, in efforts to preserve the moment hopefully forever, but more realistically until the plane landed.
Suddenly, the was some turbulence, which caused you to wake up as well. Minghao sighed, something you mistook for a sigh of relief.
“Sorry.” You said gingerly.
Minghao blushed, “It’s fine. You look cute when you sleep anyway.”
These words leaving his lips came as an icy shock to you, but as the plane was about to land, you didn’t have much more time to think about it.
After clearing customs, the first order of business was to check into the hotel, which the old and bitter-looking manager told you was impossible to do before 3pm.
“Hmm, so we have 4 hours to kill,” Said Minghao, “Oh! I know something we can do.”
He then proceeded to ask the hotel manager if it was alright to leave your suitcases behind the counter until you could check in. The man reluctantly obliged, and Minghao began dragging you to his undisclosed location.
“Where are you taking me?” You asked with a chuckle, as Minghao led you down the streets of his hometown, pulling you with a light grip on your hand.
“It’s a very special place, and it’s close by.” He explained.
The two of you continued on walking quickly through the crowds of people, until finally, you reached what seemed to be a park. There was a beat-up, old jungle gym and some park benches near an algae-filled pond. It was relatively empty, which was odd considering the sheer amount of people in the city. But, the atmosphere was nice, so you didn’t mind it.
The afternoon sky was bright blue with freckles of white clouds. Minghao gestured to a shady spot beneath a weeping willow tree, motioning for you to sit as he did so too.
“What is this place?” You asked.
“This place used to be a playground. That abandoned building we passed was my old kindergarten, and this is where the kids used to play. I had a lot of good memories here. I learned how to ride a bike, I made new friends, I even had my first kiss here.”
“Yeah, right under this tree.”
The both of you became silent. You wondered if Minghao telling you the story of him having his first kiss under the tree meant anything. After all, he had also called you cute on the plane. What could this mean? Did he like you back?
You fidgeted with your fingers, still thinking about what to do and how to go about the situation. Everything about being with Minghao, from talking with him to learning about his past, felt right to you. You felt more comfortable with him than you ever had with anyone else. It felt like the right time to let him know, and where else would be a more appropriate place to have your first kiss with him than the place he had his first kiss?
You became noticeably still, sneaking the occasional glance at Minghao’s handsome face. He noticed that you stopped rustling and turned his head to face you. The both of you sat directly next to each other, your thighs brushing up against one another’s and your backs against the trunk of the tree. You took one last look into Minghao’s eyes, before leaning in.
“(Y/N)!” Minghao startled you.
“I’m a little cold, maybe we should go inside somewhere.” He suggested, not even acknowledging the fact that you’d just tried to kiss him.
He helped you up from the ground and sped away from the playground hastily, though not being awkward around you. He led you out of the park by your wrist again, as if nothing had even happened.
As you walked down the sidewalks you felt your cheeks perpetually burning. You’d basically just been outright rejected, though Minghao refused to even address the fact that he’d rejected you. You felt beyond embarrassed, but still you couldn’t bear to run away from Minghao. You wanted to feel as comfortable as you just did moments ago, although that wouldn’t be achieved easily.
As soon as the two of you got back to what seemed to be downtown, Minghao took a sharp turn into the first building he saw. It was a quaint, little cafe. The lights were dim and the walls a medium brown to match the coffee. He led you to a booth in the back corner of the cafe, plopping himself down on the same side as you.
“Now what is this place?” You asked, thinking the cafe would be of similar importance to the playground.
You were quickly cut off by Minghao’s lips on yours, kissing you sweetly yet quickly. He pulled away after a short while to look back at your rosy red blush that extended even to your ears.
“I like you too, (Y/N).”
He paused his thoughts for a second to allow you your reaction. Your surprised smile and airy chuckle of disbelief spread a grin across his face.
“I’m sorry I kind of ruined the moment at the playground, but I didn’t want you to get the idea that our first kiss should happen at the same place as my first kiss that I had in elementary school. I just couldn’t kiss you there because… I want to make all new memories with you. You’re way too special to waste a single moment on.”
Touched by his confession, you wrapped your arms around Minghao’s shoulders to pull him in for a brief yet meaningful hug.
“So,” He started as he pulled away, “How would you like to film a China vlog with your boyfriend?”
-Written by Admin Cali