A familiar ringtone causes you to stir in your sleep as you lazily feel for your phone, getting slightly agitated that you can’t seem to find it. Opening your eyes by a fraction, you try to spot your phone when you realise that you’re actually lying on it. Groaning, you grab your phone and pick up the call without looking at the caller ID.
“Who are you and why are you calling me early in the morning?” You say, unsure if your words came out clear or if you were simply mumbling, but in that moment, you don’t actually care.
“It’s your mother and unless you consider 12 noon early, get up.” You jolt upright with wide eyes, your heart speeding up. Suddenly, you don’t feel so tired anymore.
“Umma? Why are you calling?” You ask, stuttering in the process.
“What? A mother can’t call her daughter whom she hasn’t seen for three years?”
“Umma, you know that’s not what I meant.”
“I know, I’m just pulling your leg. Geez, my daughter is so groggy. Anyway, I’m calling you to inform you that Appa and I will be coming to visit you today. We should be there by 7pm. Oh, I have to go now, I’m boarding the plane.” You haven’t exactly been paying attention to whatever your mother is saying and your eyes ar starting to close again but as she goes on, your eyes shoot open. Your mouth opens and closes and even after your mother hangs up, you’re still looking like a fish. For at least a minute, you remain on that very spot, staring at nothing in particular as you register your mother’s words into your head. Once your brain is finally done computing, you go into a frenzy.
“Jin. Yah! Kim Seok Jin! Wake up!” You shriek, shaking the life out of him. The two of you were having your usual ‘Midnight Movie Marathon’ last night and he had decided to sleepover at your house. Of course, you had no issues with that since you’re used to having your best friend over more often than you being alone at home. The two of you had fallen asleep later than you usually do, last night so it’s no wonder that Jin is harder to wake up right then.
“Yah! Wake up!” You yell, plummeting him with your pillow. Jin takes his time to respond, opening one eye before closing it and opening the other eye before closing it as well. Seeing this, you continue to hit him with the pillow and finally you’re getting the response you’ve been wanting.
“Okay okay! I’m up!” He lets out a groan as he props himself up and turns to look at you.
“I have three questions for you. One, why did you ruin my beauty sleep? Two, why did you hit my face with that pillow? Lastly, where on earth are your manners?” You roll your eyes as he acts like the drama queen he is.
“We don’t have time for this, you idiot. My parents are on the way here.” you state, heaving a sigh.
“Pfft, your parents. Big deal.” He waves it off, not fully registering your words. That’s when he realises what you just said, his eyes bulging out.
“Your parents?!” He says in disbelief as he looks about the dump you refer to as your home. Popcorn strewn everywhere, drink spills on the floor, wrappers piling the table. Not to mention your house has already looked like a dump before last night.
“Now you see my crisis?” you say, flailing your arms around. He nods and stares at you for a moment. The two of you have the same thing on your mind as you return his stare.
“I’ll grab the cleaning equipment.” You say.
“I’ll grab the vacuum and the rubbish bin.” Jin replies to which you acknowledge. Immediately, he stands up and heads towards the hallway but after a few steps, he turns back to look at you.
“Can we at least get breakfast first or nah?” Jin sheepishly smiles only to gain a look from you who is not amused.
“Sure, would you like to have a pillow with a side of my fist?” You reply, almost daring him to reply. Getting the message, he turns his back on you.
“Vacuum! Rubbish bin! Where you guys at?” he hollers, scurrying away.
The two of you are putting up new curtains since your previous one is stained thanks to Jin who couldn’t seem to have a sense of balance last night. Jin finishes attaching his side of the curtains and climbs down the ladder, heading to you and offering his help.
“It’s okay,I’m already done any-” Apparently, you were stretching out your hand a little too far, causing you to lose yor balance and fall off the ladder. Being quick to react, Jin manages to catch you before any harm comes your way. Looking down at you, he asks if you’re okay to which you nod a few times. The two of you stare at each other as he continues to hold you in his arms, not in a romantic way but more of in a ‘what do we do now’ way. Before any of you have the chance to react, your house door opens, revealing your parents.
“We have arri-” Before you mother manages to finsh her sentence, both she and your father spot the sigt before them. Realising that he still hs you in his arms, he panics and immediately drops you which then causes you to fall to the floor.
“Yah!” you yell, making him realise what he has just done. Squatting down, he apologizes and checks on you, asking if you’re alright only to receive a slap on the shoulder.
“My wish has been granted.” Your mum beams as she approaches Jin. Seeing this, Jin stands up, feeling completely lost. Once she’s standing in front of him, she grabs onto his shoulders and says, “I don’t know which heaven you fell from but thank goodness you did because I was beginning to think that this problematic child of mine would be single her whole life.”
Before Jin has the chance to reply, your father eyes him up and down. He then says, “Hmm, I can’t seem to find a reason to hate you but just in case, let’s play twenty questions. First question, why are you in her house?”
Jin is left speechless as he struggles to find the right words to say. Turning to meet your eyes, he gives you the ‘help me out here, I’m dying’ look to which you quickly respond to. Standing up, you turn to your parents.
“Okay, first of all, Umma! I’m not problematic. Secondly, he’s here to help me clean the house. Lastly, we’re not dating. I was in his arms because I fell from the ladder and he caught me. We’re just friends.” You say, emphasizing your last sentence. Jin nods along. Your parents eye the two of you for a while, remaining completely silent.“
After a while, your mother speaks. “Hmm, no I don’t believe it.”
“Okay okay, we get it. Youre just friends.” Your mother says after your continuous denial and explanations.
“Finally! Ugh, I’m going to go send him off now.” You say, pulling Jin along. As you both leave the house, you hear your mother call out, “Jin-ah, if you want to date my child, I approve of you!”
“Aish, Umma!” You reply, shutting the door behind you. Next to you, Jin is left laughing. You turn to him as the two of you head to the bus stop, telling him that it’s not funny to which he replies by saying that it is. This earns a light punch from you on his shoulder.
“You know, your parents aren’t the first to think that we’re actually dating. Remember the number of times peope approach us, asking if we’re a couple?” Jin asks to which you nod.
“Maybe it’s a sign.” Jin says, earning a questioning look from you.
“A sign for what?” You ask.
“A sign…” Jin stops in his tracks and turns to you. “For us to actually start dating?”