this handmade grilling table listing is a multipurpose cooking station that fits a big green egg or other style grills — it’s made from cedar and can be customized with coolers, drawers, cutting surfaces and more. this outdoor accessory would be ideal for your labor day BBQs!
Today is Memorial Day. In lieu of traditional BBQ and outdoor activities, I’m staying in with my six year old on this rainy day to play Monopoly and assemble his first 1000 piece puzzle. Yay! Love being a mom❤
Also at the top of my list today is leaning into the impermanence of life. Situations change, people change and “this too shall pass” (as I keep hearing). Grateful for impermanence.
Bussana Vecchia: An artist’s paradise in
a ghost town.
Bussana Vecchia is certainly a
great place to be welcomed into Italy. An ancient medieval village that
became a ghost town when all of its residents abandoned it is now
inhabited by artists from all over the world. Their studios, all open to the
public, are mixed into the overgrown windows and broken shutters of the old
town, tucked away in between narrow cobble streets with crumbling stone arches
overhead. There’s even a restaurant where visitors can dine alfresco with wine
and outdoor BBQ-cooked steaks and take in the coastal views. The town is an
artist’s paradise, completely autonomous, where creativity flows through the
streets in the form of brightly painted postboxes, quirkily decorated front doors and murals hung on
Follow the hashtag #Fromrusttoroadtrip to follow our van conversion project and our travels around Europe! 🌍
- It’s not all honey and sunshine in the world where soulmates are something of God given will. Will the boys be strong enough to get through the day with their better half or will the relationship will tarnish with the tick of the clock.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man (or woman) in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a mate. Just in this universe, this time and space, that truth is a bit more complicated than most. It seems as though everyone around you were raised on the rigid schedule of school, career, marriage. People stumbling and bumbling around like fools waiting for that special someone to drop on their laps and be merry as if their sole purpose in life is to find a mate. Sure lots of time it works out for the better but more often than not, it entails a string of heartbreak and tears that perhaps is nobody’s fault but the outdated belief that your soulmate gets assigned to you for a reason so just accept it and let it be. The ridiculous belief that the meaning of life is to get a fortune, or as close to one as you could in the modern days meaning a good career, then getting hitched off to some stranger for the rest of your life and be merry for all eternity.
That’s right. This is one of those world that soulmate comes to you neatly wrap in a bow by some sort of higher divine, cosmic bullshit. You had always wonder had it been any other way, in some other universe where soulmate is what you decided or the idea of soulmate is altogether preposterous, would it be any better. The idea of stumbling through life searching for the connection to the person you’re suppose to spend your life with is curious yet intriguing. How many times, trials and errors would you have to go through before ending up with that person. Whatever it is, seems better than having someone popping up out of nowhere like a flower in spring and just “Tah dah, I’m your soulmate, love me.” Where’s the romance, where’s the passion. Sure this was efficient when the human race was on the brink of extinction but now with it thriving like a horde of unstoppable cockroach taking over Earth and moving onto outer space, why was looking for your own love so radical.
You had heard the story thousand, no, millions of times of course. When you meet the one that was meant for you, your heart will just know. How could it be any more cryptic than that. Come on, couldn’t the ancestors had asked the Gods for something more obvious like a sign,their names appearing on your skin as a tattoo, the sound of their voice, the world bursting out with colors, anything. Nope! All you got to go on is heart palpitation or something like that. You scoffed at the girls huddling together excitingly sharing the tale on the playground at age 6, cafeteria at age 11, again at the gym locker at age 16. Some girls are so hellbent on “saving themselves heart and soul” for their soulmate that they would turn down completely good men and happiness times again. You sigh as the fleeting giggle as a group of girls murmur amongst each other, something about the girl named Hani finally felt that heart clenching moment.
Maybe you’ll never feel it, maybe it’ll be tomorrow but who knows… Whatever it may be, you’re in no rush to find out.
The Boy in the Red Flannel.
Admittedly, you’ve never bought into the whole soulmate idea nor were you ever a romantic… but sitting here in this boring beige room on your own, braving the pity eyes and that strange scent of hospital, this has got to be the lowest of low.
The road that lead to this point unraveled faster than anyone could’ve expected. You sure didn’t even know how it got to this point in a mere four months since the first time you felt that soul crushing, heart clenching moment. You sure didn’t at all.
It was just another busy night at your uncle’s small bbq joint. His wife out of commission courtesy of a brand spanking new baby and the 4 hours of sleep combined between the both of them, also thanks the the brand spanking new baby. Sleepless yet on cloud 9, they both had somehow guilted you into helping out on your spare time, just until they could figure out a better solution. A slight curve tugs at the corner of your lips at the distant memory of the night you met him… Kim Hanbin.
There used to be something so sweet, so deeply satisfied about the way his name rolled off your tongue. Just the fact that you knew you could utter his name and he’d turn around, be at attention to whatever it is you had to say. Used to. Lately, the utterance of his name just brings on tears and irresolute within your heart. The discomfort in your chest brings you back to the sound of the clerk at the front desk calling for your name.
On your feet immediately, you near trip on the way to him, hands clutching a yellow manila folder that quite possibly will change your entire life.
“Before I enter your application, I am require by law to ask, Are you one hundred percent certain you want to go through with this.” He speaks up, a bit more wary this time unlike the bright smile he had given when your name was being called.
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“Is there anyone you’d like for me to call?” The vagueness in his question just goes out the window the second you caught onto the glance he passes at the place where Hanbin’s name would be.
“Alright, miss Y/n. I will now processed your request of dissolving your soulmate title application. If you can go ahead and go through door number one please. The doctor will be with you shortly.”
He smiles politely but you could see underneath that facade, a hint of sadness of a man watching a few too many times the breaking of soulmate. How or why someone would want this fucked up job, you honestly can’t understand. With one last glance and a small thankful smile for not prying at your sadness, you shut the door to room number one.
Now you know why the whole damn place smells of disinfectant. The room white, blindingly white from top to bottom, a black leathered medical bed sits neatly in the middle of it all, typical of a doctor office. A few monitors dark and silent, cabinets with locks and identical bottles inside lined the wall. The sanitary paper crinkle with the weight of your body sinking down onto the black leathered bed. Laying back, your eyes flutter shut from the impossible brightness of the room, seriously, how could a room be brighter than the sun outside.
Perhaps out of the sheer exhaustion of spending the last three nights staying up crying while pushing yourself to go through with this god forbid procedure that has your tired mind running back to that night.
You had heard a commotion, something about someone famous but at the time, the Queen of England herself could be sitting in front of you and your brain wouldn’t connect the dot even if she was wearing the crown and totting her corgi herd. No preparation would be enough to get you ready for food service job. Prop to all the food service worker, or any service worker out there really, ya’ll amazing. One second you were running dishes to table 3 then all of the sudden you were taking order at table 8. You felt like a rag doll being thrown in the tornado of hungry mouths, too impatient to be polite enough to be in public let alone a dining establishment. Your hands holding onto a tray full of those blue plastic cup filled to the rim with water, struggling a bit because who knew this job required you to have the physique of the Rock. You were struggling of course, all the way up until the tightening of your heartstring had you stop dead in your track.
There it was.
The rate your heart were accelerating had you mistaken it for a race car engine then Boom. One strong hammer left you paralyzed as noise blurred into distorted mumble. Your chest felt like it was ripping itself open to release all the pressure built up from what you had no idea. For a moment, you thought this was it, this is where your short life will end, heart attack at a tender age with no legacy to leave behind, no asset to your name. Then Boom. A second hammer had the tray of water tumbling out of your grip and you clutched your chest, eyes searching the crowd for something you didn’t know yet.
There he stood.
Kim Hanbin. So handsome even with just grey sweat, black worn out Converse, a red flannel that compliment him like a dream, a bit of blond hair peeking out from underneath a black beanie to play. He stared at you, right through you and into your soul. His hand too, was clutching his chest… you wondered, was he nervous too? Did his palm grimy with sweat like yours were? At that moment you could feel the second heartbeat steading fast in your ribcage and everyone else disappeared. All you could see was those doe eyes, pale skin lit under the moonlight, glowing from the dirty yellowed light bulbs from countless night spent mingling with the scent of meat and smoke. Even with the open atmosphere of the outdoor bbq restaurant, your lungs felt like there was no oxygen left in the room as he parted the crowd toward you.
“Hi.” was all he said as he stared you down, eyes almost scrutinizing against every part of your body and soul.
“Hello.” You had replied.
The door creaking open reeling you back to the drab reality of the white room. A lady, can’t be much older than your sister saunters in with her Louboutin heels and a pristine white lab coat. She introduces herself as Janice, the state doctor before taking a seat next to where you’re laying. She rambles on about what you had no fucking clue as your mind tries its best to recall every sweet, albeit rare moments you had with Hanbin. Judging from the twenty signatures you signed before this and the ominous warning of every worker you dealt with so far, something tells you Hanbin won’t mean much after Janice is done.
“You’re certain you want to go through with this? No harm in backing out now, Y/n. I’d understand if you need to reschedule… Maybe speak to someone first about your decision?” She speaks with care dripping from her voice and for a split second you doubted yourself. The memories of those warm, loving brown eyes and the adorably shy smile drown your senses, forcing a smile on your lips. They were so excruciatingly loving that you wish with all your might it was you at the receiving end of them. You wish so hard that the first time those eyes laid upon you there was love but they were just blank, void of any emotion beside shock. Shock that you found out all too soon why… Sohee. He was so head over heels for the model with those elegant long legs, figure of a goddess, skin whiter than feather of swans, and giggle like sunshine. So much so that even the thought of meeting his soulmate was fearsome, then to actually finally meet you… Well, make sense why you’re sitting here in this room with some woman named Janice that was about to shove a giant needle into your heart from what you’ve read on the pamphlet in the waiting room.
“I wish everyone would stop asking me that…” You timidly speak up, chuckling slightly to lighten the mood, afraid of hurting the good doctor feeling but judging from the regret twisting up her soft features, it didn’t work.
“We just want to make absolute certain you’re okay with everything because once you started, even just one dose, everything could be altered.” You nod again and a silver box is now being pull out from one of those cabinet with lock. Janice opens it up, revealing 5 small glass vial and a syringe you now wish you didn’t have to befriend with. Explanation of details ensue but Hanbin fading smile is now permeating all your senses.
It was the awkward smile he had given you the 3rd time you had met up. He hadn’t intended for it to gone down this way, his soulmate in the same room as his crush. You knew that first night that something was wrong when his heartbeat failed to match up to yours but you chose to ignore it. From the grand story your best friend had told then retold then reiterate for safety the night she met Chanwoo, you knew that was a sign and it was nothing good. Big mistake on your part as you watch him followed her around like a lost puppy. Great shiny curls bounced as she waltzed around the party in that skin tight red dress. Her makeup glimmered in all the right spot under the soft light of the grand chandelier. They talked, they danced, they laughed while you sat, then grew green with envy, before walking home alone.
Hanbin was always nice. But that was it, he was just nice… a little bit guilty, feel sorry for you even. Unlike Chanwoo and your best friend, they were head over heels in love with each other, so much so that he cried for a whole hour straight the first time he had to tour and she was too busy to come with.They went on dates and he made the best effort to get to know her and cater to her needs. He camped out at her house, spent time with her family, and honestly, they might as well be married. Hanbin, he’s just nice. Who could blame him though, between a hot model crush and you, the girl who met him in tattered boyfriend jeans, an oversized t-shirt, hair in a giant messy bun that couldn’t save itself from embarrassment. You would honestly chose the other girl if given the choice. You felt, still feel guilty for tearing him apart. The idea of dissolving the relationship officially had been toying on your mind for awhile now but you couldn’t bring yourself to do it… After all, that was the only red string tying you to him, even if it’s unwanted, the only connection you got to still see his face once or twice a week.
Your resolve was true and clear until you overheard him talking to Jinhwan. You believe his precise words were “I couldn’t have met Y/n at a wronger time, truthfully. I mean, it’s so messed up, this whole thing.” You weren’t dumb. You knew something was wrong that night you met, as his eyes weren’t glossed over with hope and dream like yours did but again, stupidly, you couldn’t bring yourself to accept, too stubborn too prideful to admit that you’re just holding onto a hopeless reality.
Well, jokes on you now as your brain made a big long way back to Janice as she finished filling the syringe with the drug and was now rubbing a pad of alcohol over the skin above your heart.
“Are we ready? If you want to stop, say it now. This can leave permanent damage. Even just one dose, it could leave irreversible damage.” You nod again and a rush of pain worse than anything in this world rained down upon your already aching heart and you black out.
Somewhere in the same city, Hanbin collapses mid practice from a pain so great he could only has time to utter your name before he too being carry away to the bench at the corner of the practice room by Chanwoo and Junhoe. The pain feels so much like the first moment he had seen you, so similar yet why is there an ominous, almost morbid souring rising inside his chest. Hand over his chest, cold sweat breaking all over his body, Hanbin stares blankly at the rest of the concern plague boys with the utmost confusion on his face. The doctor had cleared him with a perfect health at last month check up so what the hell is this throbbing in his chest that feel awfully close to a heart attack.
Then it hits him… “Y/n!” Cold sweat breaking, he screams before tearing out of the room faster than rocket straight to your house. He didn’t know how many times he had pressed the redial button on the short 20 minutes drive to your house. He just remember pestering his manager to step on it despite the poor man pushing the speed limit to the max without risking any life. Hanbin spends the rest of the short walk to your front step praying to God you’d open up the door and complains about being too busy with work as always. If the 3 calls and 6 texts he had sent you this morning wasn’t alarming enough, this jolt to the heart is church bell apocalypse alarm going off. He had thought you were just busy even if it is a bit weird you had ignored him for that long. If there was anything hanbin could count on, it’d be that you’ll always answer his texts and calls no matter the hour. Before he could tap on the doorbell, the red wooden door to tour humble abode had already swung open but to his disappointment it was your mother behind it.
“Hanbin! What are you doing here?” Your mom has more glee in her eyes at the sight of her could be son in law visiting than she had when you came home from a month long trip.
“Uhm, hello Mrs. Y/l/n. Is y/n home?“ He feels the wind being knocks out of his chest from running, and from not knowing.
"She didn’t tell you? Oh my goodness this girl will give me a heart attack someday. I told her so many times to tell you before she leaves.” Hanbin will get a heart attack right now of your mom didn’t tell him where you were soon. If he didn’t find you in the next second, it’ll be a second too late.
“I’m sorry Mrs. Y/l/n. I’m kind of in a hurry and she’s not picking up her phone.” He smiles guilty for interrupting your mom but right now is not time for chit chat.
“I’m sorry. Old lady trait, we just talk till oh gosh, we don’t stop talking now do we. I don’t know where she is but her best friend should know. They said they were going away together for awhile seeing how it’s summer and all. You should ask your brother, what was his name chankyung, chansung?” She muses, you would’ve call her petty if you had heard because she knows his name but refuses to remember it on the account that somehow your best friend had gotten herself a soulmate before you.
“Chanwoo. Thank you so much. I’m sorry I have to rush out. I promise I’ll stay next time for dinner.” Hanbin runs off all the while bowing to your waving mom mom. His steps heavy with each passing second… Your mom had always been so lovely, reminding Hanbin so much of his own. He could see she loves you very much and you do her despite the constant bickering like cat and dog not even a second into a conversation. More than once he had found himself smiling like a fool watching the small quarrel you’d have with your mom as the the red door closing, before you squeezed in one last wave goodbye and a smile as a thank you for dropping you home. Yet never once did he let himself accept the dinner invitation to a home cooked meal despite the way your eyes sparked with hope and happiness every time your mom asked. Slowly, you stopped bother to wait for his answer and just head straight inside. Now, now he might never get that chance anymore if he surmises correctly.
“Jung Chanwoo, put your girlfriend on the phone.” He yelled, no sense nor patient left to be nice even though he knows the maknae had done nothing wrong except for being in love with the one person you confide your deepest secret in. Judging from the noise, the poor boy scrambles to give his love the phone without questioning.
“What do you want, Hanbin?” Your best friend sasses back, never was one to be gentle when it comes to Hanbin. She heard you cried too many times over not being the soulmate he asked for.
“Y/n, where is she?”
“Oh, not even a hello? wow, I’m hurt. I-”
“GODDAMN IT, WOMAN. WHERE’S MY SOULMATE?” Hanbin had always been a gentle soul. He never had the gut to hurt your feeling so never once did he admit to having a humongous crush the size of mount Everest on someone that wasn’t his soulmate. He kept you around with the small nice gestures and his kind words yet little did he knows, it hurt you way more to have false hope then only to watch him delicately wrapped the sweater warmed with his body heat around her dainty shoulders.
“S-She’s at the airport… her flight is in an hour and a half, go to terminal 3 right now if you wanna catch her.” Your dear best friend feels chill running down her spine from the low grunt of his voice rather than the usual sweet tone.
If he has any mind for mundane thought right now, Hanbin would be in utter shock at the ability of his spent legs to tear through the airport with such speed, all in hope of finding you on time. He’d also thanks heaven that you chose the slowest day and time to fly out of the smallest airport in the city, though at the moment, he couldn’t care less if either fan or pester reporter see him. He can’t be late, not now, he can’t let you down again.
Terminal 3 burst into view, bright from the glass panes lining the wall. His eyes frantically searches for the familiar tousles of hair and the figure he had come to memorize, never mind the worsening pain in his chest and the aching that has beginning to settle in his legs.
He screams and you feel yourself frozen in a pocket of time. Sure you had dreamt that he’d run to you, stop you from leaving like those iconic romcom scenes but realistically, how could he when you had left without a word. You chuckle to yourself before continuing your heavy steps toward the gate, in complete disbelief that you could still imagining such thing even with the shot of medicine to the heart. Even when you feel your shoulder being tug back, tumbling backward surely to hit the ground hard, the thought of Hanbin was stopping you were still preposterous. You had prepared to attack whoever it was but then how could it be… How could his voice still sound so realistic next to your ears… How.
“Y/n, stop, please… Please…”
Your body was being hold on tight yet you weren’t scare, why aren’t you scare? Fearful, your eyes avert the stranger’s gaze yet they’re also drinking in the sight of that familiar fabric and that comforting scent.
“H-Hanbin?” There he is, panic fills his eyes as they searches for any sort of emotion on your blank face… “Huh… so this is where this old thing had been.” Your eyes soften after a good minute of just staring at the face that was slowly losing meaning in your mind, listening to his pants as your heart tingles rather than the full blown palpitation you were used to whenever he faces you. Your fingers tracing out the edge of old red checkered flannel he had worn the first time you saw his handsome self. “I’ve been looking for it you know…”
“I, you left it at the dorm last time you were over.” He sighs, forehead resting against yours, hot breath fanning your face from the endless time of running.
“Ah… I thought I lost it.”
“I thought you didn’t want it anymore… Seeing how you’re leaving me and all.”
“How could I not want it… It’s the only thing left I have of you.” Your voice barely there, eyes relearning the lines of his features one last time before they lose all meaning. “So,you come to this neck of the wood often?” You ponder, wondering why is he being so affectionate with the way his left arm wrapping tight around your waist, right hand rubbing gentle circles on your back. Honestly, if anyone see now, they might really mistaken a boy seeing his girlfriend off, unwilling to let go of his love.
“How could you still joke right now… Why, Y/n?” His voice pained and truthfully, your heart feel at peace. No pain, no clenching, nothing. Wow, this drug really is miracle.
“It’s alright, Hanbin. I’m fine…” A dejected grin blooms on your lips as your fingers continue to trace out the seams and buttons of the endearing worn flannel. “I know you don’t like me so-”
“Don’t go and decide who I like and don’t like. Doing something this crazy, and on your own? You really are insane.” Before you could even finish formulating your thought, Hanbin stabs you in the heart once more.
“I- You don’t have to lie, Hanbin. I know you love Sohee… Wait, how did you-”
“Know you went through with the procedure?” He stole the words off your tongue before pulling down the collar of the white tee he had been wearing down just enough for you to catch a glimpse of the sharp red lines etched deep onto his skin where his own fingers had clawed in desperation to alleviate the pain . Blooming dark on his perfectly milky skin a deep bruise mirroring the same one you have over your own heart, although his lacks the scab where the needle of the syringe once was. Your eyes widen in shock, fingers gently caress his silky soft skin with the utmost care, wincing as he flinches slightly from no doubt pain. “Y/n, how could you do something like that without telling first? Are you crazy? Did it hurt a lot? I can’t imagine how much it hurt for you… Must be ten, hundred times compare to mine.”
“Hanbin, stop it.” Your voice wavering, breathy. How could he destroys all the resolve you had for the past 2 weeks with just a few sentences and one hug. You could feel your legs giving out even if your heart stilled and calmed under the affect of the drug.
“Does it still hurt? Let me see.” His words caring, accompany by the hand that was now pressing tight over the one you have atop your heart. “Can I see? I just want to make sure you’re okay.”
“I’m serious, Hanbin. Stop it.” Your words like ghost to his ears as he continues whatever it is he had planned.
“Please? How are you feeling?”
“What’s wrong? Are you hurting again?”
“STOP. STOP. I SAID STOP. What do you think you’re doing.” Against everything you had ever wanted, you push him off with all your might, ripping the comfort and serenity he’s providing away. “You don’t love me. You’ve never love me. Please… Just let me go. I don’t want to be hurt anymore.” You exasperate and Hanbin feels his heart creaks wide open, bleeding raw yet at the same time he’s angry, angry you’re so blind as to not see it.
“Where is it?” He grumbles suddenly, tone changing faster than you could even comprehend. “Y/n, where’s the rest of the drug. I know there’re more doses.” Before you could even realize what he was asking for, his hands already digging deep into your duffle bag, pulling out the silver box Janice had so carefully packed for your long trip. He opens it in haste without a care in the world and before you could act, hanbin’s already dropping it on the floor and with all the pent up anger and sadness, he smashes them to pieces with each stomp of his feet.
“No, no, no, no, Hanbin. No stop.” You lunges at the bleeding vials, wanting, needing to salvage whatever that was left but he holds you back, with all his strength and love, he holds you in his arms.
“How could you be so fucking blind, Y/n? I fucking love you. How could you not see it, for months now, I fucking love you.” Rather than the reaction he had hoped for, his words only enraged you further, adding fuel to your already raging flames. You punch him hard in the chest before diving onto the useless pile of broken glass and stained box. You mutter words of incredulity that this was happening, that all the pity you endured, the hours of pain, the time you spent blacked out on that stupid hospital chair bed after shot, and most of all the effort it took to ignore all his attempts at reaching you. It was all a waste, spilling out like the medicine running free of its confinement, soaking through the box.
“Did you know how hard it was for me to get these? Kim Hanbin you crazy person.” You shot a glare his way but instead of guilt, anger upon fury was what evident on his face. “Calling me blind? what the fuck do you know about blindness… It’s not like you’ve ever seen me.”
“I don’t- Wow, honestly?” Frustration taut on his forehead as a grunt passes those lips that you thought only could whisper honey drip voice and sunshine. “You want to know about blindness? I’ll tell you. Blindness is when you’re so fucking obsess with staring at Sohee you completely missed out on all the things that’s wonderful about yourself. Blindness is when you could work toward love yet instead you chose to pity yourself while staring at Chanwoo and his girl. Blindness… Blindness is when you’re so hellbent on me not loving you that you’d go do something this fucked up without letting me know first.” His body drops onto the floor, hands reaching to stop your still frantic hands searching for any remnant of the medicine that could be salvage. Hanbin knows the tale all too well, after all, he was always a romantic unlike what you’ve come to believe about him. He’s all for the notion of meeting that someone he’s fated to be with for the rest of his life, to get to know them, learn to love the good and the bad. So it was natural that he decided to learn about, what he considers to be one of the most heartbroken act in the world, to rid yourself of your soulmate. He knows how the medicine would affect the host body, the pain, the aching, or at least to the extent the witness accounts explained in the many books he read. He also knows that each time a heart is subjects to the medicine, it loses a bit of its capability to love and that is the last thing he wants for you. He wants you all to himself, to have all the love your heart can produce and the thought of you going through that archaic torture all on your own shatters his soul. Even if it’s it’s not him that has your heart, Hanbin needs for you to be able to love with all your heart, to be happy. His voice soften as he pulls you to rest on his chest, pressing a soft kiss to the top of your head. Elated that he got a chance to kiss you even if it’s not to your lips, sadden that this might be the last time he’s able to. “You know what fucking blindness is? It’s when you’re so busy staring at everyone else that you missed all the glances I stole when you’re around. It’s when you chalked all the small things I do for you, all the love gestures I planned out because I’m so fucking infatuated with you, as me pitying you. It’s when you’re so blind to your own feeling that you dismissed mine because you think it’s somehow impossible for me to love you.” He sighs, this time gently onto your lips where he had just placed his own for a delicate kiss.
“I-I just thought you felt bad because…” You mutter back against his lips, not quite yet returning the kiss but in no way rejecting his touch.
“I fucking love you. Nobody is pitying you, Y/n. I. Love. You. How many time do you want me to say it?” He pulls away, slightly ashamed that he had forced himself onto you even if it was in the smallest way he knows how. His eyes blown from being so close to you, he could still detect the floral perfume you had put on so many hours ago, and the slight hint of rose scented lip balm that always made your lips look so delectable. There wasn’t a hint of doubt nor that this was all an elaborate joke. His gaze, his voice, even the way he breathes are all so sincere.
“For the rest of your life…?” You whisper back, putting what little left your heart could still feel left for him on the statement, betting it all away for another chance. Hanbin couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Moments ago you were pushing him away, hours before you were turning him down in the most hurtful way you could but now…
‘For… the rest…of our lives?” Your voice loses its confidence as the boy still holding onto your limp body begins to retreat at the bombshell statement.
“This… you can still joke right now? Okay. I love you. I love you.” His embrace constricting, pressing your heart close to his and there it was again. The tiniest clench, like a baby being born into the world, so vulnerable yet so magnificent. Eyes wide, Hanbin pushes you away just enough to study your expression that was mirroring his, complete and utter shock. “I love you.” He said again, once more pressing your chest to his, bursting out in the heartiest of laugh when the kitten like jolt resonates through his heart again. He laughs, then cries, then something that sounds awfully lot like “I did it, I fixed your heart” ushers out of his lips as he pulls you onto your feet, hand clasping tight in yours. Yet when he begins to walk, a dead weight holding him back in place, wiping that smile off his face.
“I’m not leaving with you, Hanbin. I got a flight to catch.” A sudden rush of memories swirls in the air, stopping your happy reunion short.
“What? But, Y/n… I, we, our hearts synced… How could you still deny that I love you.” Appalls by your stubborness, he croaks out for the umpteenth time today, words of disbelief and shock.
“Just because my heart malfunctioned doesn’t mean anything changes…. Or anything you said to Jinhwan that one night” Your hand retreats from his loosening grasp, no doubt your words struck a nerve.
“How much did you hear?”
“Enough… enough to know this is all a lie.” His mouth closing then opening like fish out of water, trying his best to tie it all together but you interrupt his thought once again. “Save it, Hanbin. Just admit to yourself that what you feel for me is pity. Go back to Sohee, I’m sure in time she’ll becomes your soulmate.”
“Shut up for one second, will you?” He retaliates. “This, this is exactly why I called you blind. You see- You hear one part of the whole then fill in the rest with your messed up view of everyone. You wanna know the rest of that story? or are you going to run away and sulk, risking a lifetime of happiness over a misunderstanding.” Fingers carding through his soft blond hair frustratingly, he stands his ground, awaiting your answer. When none came, he sighs in relief. “Good. I told hyung you couldn’t come at a worse time because yes, I didn’t love you when I first saw you. Because I was so occupied with trying to get over Sohee. She had found her life long partner and I was just a little boy crushing on her helplessly from the shadow. I said that because I knew I didn’t give you all that I could, all that you deserve from a soulmate. I know I neglected you but I was scared of messing up. I wanted things to be perfect and I guess I waited too long to tell you. ” He chuckles but his expression conveys perfectly how much pain he’s in, how messed up this whole situation is, and how much he blames himself. “I just want everything to be perfect for my perfect girl. If you had picked up your phone today, we would be on our first date right now. I had this whole big plan, take you to the zoo, then maybe a bit of shopping before we go to dinner. Then we’ll go to the pier at night, they’ve been having that food festival there. Have some food, a drink or two, maybe then I’ll have enough courage to kiss you…. Not breaking up in an airport. Now it’s too late.” Hands shoving deep in his pockets, his gaze averting yours onto the boring white tiles, scuffed up with endless stream of passenger. A small sniffle reaches your ears and before you know what was happening, your heart had overridden your brain as you lean forward to pull the shivering boy into your arms.
“It’s not too late…” Was all you could say before he already captures your lips in another kiss. His hands rough against your body, like a kid desperately clinging onto the thin restraint of his favorite balloon that could float away at any second but you didn’t mind it one bit. It feels so good to be hold, to be needed after months of standing on the sideline. Hanbin didn’t really care that he might come off as desperate with the way his lips hastily catching yours the second you pull away. His kisses like blows to your heart and head as your mind dizzy with the weight of everything that had just happened. Your hands found purchase around his tear stained cheeks, holding him back just enough to search for his eyes.
“Hanbin… Stop for a second.” You whine when he crashes his lips against yours once more, not caring that your hands were doing their best to hold him back.
“No, Y/n. You’re gonna overthink again if I stop. Just a little bit more, baby.” You almost hated when he use that whiny voice of his, almost.
“Baby? Where did that name come from?” You quip, a small smirk tugging at your lips as your fingers work their best to wipe of the few lingering tears raining from those beautiful eyes, well more like struggling to wipe his cheeks as he resists, wanting nothing more to continue his show of affection.
“I- uh… I… Shhh.”
“Let’s go, lover boy. People are beginning to stare…” You eyes the passerby warily, acutely aware of the fact that you two had just put on a very public and dramatic show. “I’ll come home with you if I can have the red flannel back, deal?”
Glancing around, his face suddenly light up brighter than a red Christmas light at the small giggle and whispers of an older couple something about “puppy love”. Suddenly your resistant was being fully accepted as he pulls you up in his arm, hoisting the heavy duffle bag onto his shoulder. Arm holding you close, Hanbin insisting on pressing kisses to your forehead and hair as you both step toward a future radiant with hope and love. “Deal! deal! You can have this one, and my whole closet. Whatever you want, baby. Just, come home. We’ll figure it out together, okay?” Shedding quickly the old worn thing he had never think twice about throwing onto the ground after a sweaty game with Chanwoo, or stuffing it in the corner of his room till it takes on a strange scent, Hanbin is just glad you’re finally listening to him, finally looking at him. If he can’t get the damn thing over your body in the next second, it’d be too late. “Are you sure this is the only thing you want, babe? I can get you new one, better one…” Taking a moment for yourself, you silently bask in the overflowing warmth as Hanbin wraps the red flannel with the slight scent of sweat around your body, happily chatting away.
“I just want this one.You know, I didn’t think you would be this cheesy…” You quip, feigning disgust at the embolden wet kiss he just landed on your lips, deep down overjoy that your heart has begun to learn the rhythm of that foreign beat of his heart.
“Did you think the boys were kidding when they complain that I’m too clingy, or into skinship way too much?” Cheeky with a smirk on his lips and playful glint in his eyes, he pulls you close once again, pressing your face into his chest as you both awaits the arrival of his manager.
“I mean, I didn’t think it’s this bad…”
“Well, get used to it missy. From the look of things, you’re not leaving my side for the next couple years, just for safe measure, in case you do something crazy again.”