Archive for July, 2011

8- Ya!

“Ya,” Hongki said, looking at his friend who was lying on her side on her hospital bed. He had passed by her house before coming to the hospital. They said she’ll just be at the hospital for two nights and will be checking out soon after, going right back to work, but he still got and brought it for Shin Hye. He placed her blue body pillow in front of her, moved her arms ever slowly around it then moved the chair closer as he sat beside the bed. Well more like part sitting and part lying, for the upper part of his body was leaning on the hospital bed and, with his arm folded under, his head was about a foot right in front of  Shin Hye’s face, partly lying on her much contested, favorite, soft blue pillow. He probably would have lain on the bed if Shin Hye were awake even if the bed was barely enough to accommodate the two of them but he didn’t want to wake her up, also confident that its just her mom in the room for now, an assistant dispatched outside while he’s visiting to avoid talks. He had been looking at her for a few minutes when he noticed a tear falling from his dear friend’s face. He had to stifle his grunt seeing her cry even in her sleep, though what kind of sleep it must have been he cannot imagine cause she’s been sleeping listlessly. Then she furrowed her brows, shook her head slightly and suddenly opened her eyes. Her eyes were now filling with tears.

“Ya!” he repeated to fully wake her friend up from her nightmare. “I’m just lying on it for awhile you know, you don’t have to cry like am going to bring it to the dorm with me!” smiling all the while teasing his friend. Always good technique to confuse somebody to make them stop crying, he’s always thought. It’s working now. Shin Hye gave him a weak smile, her eyes bright with tears.

“I think we need to ask Ahjumoni for a change of this pillowcase Shin Hye-ya its starting to smell of your saliva!” Shin Hye’s smile widen a little but it was enough to reach her eyes so in squinting the big tears fell and Hongki promptly wiped them off with his hand, matter-of-factly doing it as if it was an everyday thing and continued talking. “Now its going to smell salty from your tears too. Maybe it’s best if you loan this to me till after you’re through crying huh? Maybe a month?” Shin Hye shook her head, no. “Two weeks? I promise I won’t let the other boys touch it! I’ll keep it inside my locker!” She shook her head again, more slowly this time. “One week! Come on Shin Hye! You wouldn’t want to soak it with tears right?” Shin Hye mouthed “Aniyo!” though not a sound came out of her mouth. It was around 3am and its only been about three hours that she’s been lying in bed after the  lab tests have been done, standard protocol for vehicular accident survivors.

“How about…?” Hongki was starting to say.

“Ya! If you’re going to make me shake my head again I am going to hit you!” Shin Hye was able to say finally.

“Three days? Still no?” Hongki squeaked but happy Shin Hye’s tears has stopped falling, soon after the initial drops.

“Aniyo!” Shin Hye hugged the pillow tighter but didn’t move it away from Hongki.  “And your locker do not even have a lock so quit it! Did Omma contact you?”

“Yeah she did! Why didn’t you?”

“I knew you had rehearsals the whole day. Aish! Babo, so why would I disturb you? What time is it?”

“Ye we had. But these are special cases. I could stand to adopt Blue here for a few days and I wouldn’t miss that! I just needed to fix some things for tomorrow, took a bath… didn’t you notice my new shampoo and cologne?” Moving his head towards Shin Hye, Hongki added, ” I hear it’s an old brand for baby toiletries called “Denenes. Smells nice huh?… then I got Blue, then, tada, am here! Ahjumoni said I can’t bring food yet as you’re still under observation. Right Ahjumoni?” Hongki turned a bit towards the direction of Shin Hye’s ma but didn’t budge from his position in front of Shin Hye talking like long separated girlfriends catching up on their latest ‘lovelife’.

“Ye! You smell nice! And don’t think you can trick me into forgetting. An-dae/No way are you getting Blue.” (If you must know, this is the first time they’ve given the pillow a name which suits it perfectly really as most, if not all, of its pillowcases were in one or another shade of blue. So the pillow became Blue.) Shin Hye said this earnestly, though she knows that Hongki was just baiting her to make her forget her nightmare and to stop her from crying. He’s always said he can’t stand seeing people cry.

“Does hyung know?”

“He’s probably busier than you.” Shin Hye retorted. So she didn’t tell him, he assumed. He wanted to ask more but was hesitant to, not wanting Shin Hye to think of other matters aside from getting well.

“Were you scared?” Hongki asked her.

“Yeah!” Then they talked on about the accident till Shin Hye’s eyes were starting to get heavy. In the course of their talk Hongki managed to get on the bed, lean towards Shin Hye to reach behind her back and pull the guard rail up behind her so she won’t fall off if she fell asleep, squeezed himself into the cramped bed, lie down sideways facing her and listened. He didn’t pull the railings behind him intending to get off as soon as Shin Hye slept, so he’d just hold on to the railings behind Shin Hye every once in awhile when he feels like shifting his position so he won’t fall off himself, as she talked with matching hand gestures about what had happened. He could feel her trembling every once in awhile but didn’t let her see that he knows. Looking at her dopey eyes but still moving hands he figured she must be fighting off sleep.

“Shin Hye-ya stop!” Hongki held down Shin Hye’s hands onto Blue and said, “You can sleep now. Blue’s here! It’s going to be alright! Ok?” Then he saw that the rim of his friend’s closed eyelids were wet. “Ya! It’s going to be okay! Okay?” Groggy Shin Hye nodded. Then he brushed her eyes dry with his hand, candidly kissed her on the forehead, and gave her a short but gentle hug, Blue still between them. Hongki was thinking “I hope Ahjumoni didn’t see me or else she’d have clobbered me. I’ve never kissed Shin Hye, not even on the cheeks, in front of her Omma. Shin Hye is my best friend. Female, ye, and I have never kissed her any differently or maliciously! But who will believe me?” Only Shin Hye would. And, yes maybe that’s what matters most, but still, he does not want to be in trouble with Shin Hye’s mom. He respects her too much to make her doubt him.

He fell asleep soon after, as did Shin Hye- who dozed first is up for debate on their next meeting but in what little time was left of that night Hongki was beside his friend and though Shin Hye would have sudden starts as if startled her sleep seemed more restful than before Hongki came. Shin Hye’s mom moved to sit on the chair where Hongki had sat after pulling up the guard rails behind Hongki. Then whispered, more to herself than to anyone, “You take a nap Hongki. I’ll wake you in awhile. Poor boy! You must be very tired too.”

He smiled in his sleep and left before daybreak came.


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7 – Blue Moon

Hongki was lying on his right side hugging a light blue body pillow, his back turned towards Shin Hye who, when her groping hands could not find her favorite pillow but can only make out the floor and Hongki’s back, sat up slowly and groggily. Her eyes half closed and heavy with sleep, she turned to look at the sides wondering where it was. Seeing it on Hongki’s arms his face buried in the soft fresh smelling pillow, Shin Hye twisted and tried to pull the pillow out of his arms, but she only succeeded in getting Hongki to lie on his back. His head and body leaning a bit towards his left to Shin Hye’s side, his face nuzzling still the sought after pillow which is now lying diagonally on top of his body from the left side of his face to his bent right leg but it looks very unlikely he’ll be letting go of it any time soon what with both his arms firmly clasping the squished pillow. Fully awake she might have fought with Hongki for the use of the pillow but she was too tired to wrestle it away from him so she laid on her side, now facing Hongki, her chin near her friend’s upper arm, her face now nestled on the pillow- its familiar softness and scent lulling her to sleep, then hugged the pillow and, inadvertently, Hongki as well- her left arm over the pillow near his chest and her left leg, which couldn’t reach the other end of the pillow, was resting over his left leg.

Their schedules have been very hectic and the two good friends haven’t talked with each other for more than a week, the longest since they’ve gotten close working on ‘You’re Beautiful’ almost two years ago. The last time they’ve seen each other was when Shin Hye brought the kimchi pancake Hongki has been hankering for and tweeting does not count as talking for these two. So it was a treat for the two when Hongki was dropped off soon after lunch at Shin Hye’s house. The two have been talking continuously until Hongki, who was sitting on the floor his back on the sofa played with Shin Hye’s iPad. Shin Hye who at first was lying on her side on the sofa behind Hongki, her arm propping up her head as she watched him play, giving side comments, moved beside Hongki to show him certain maneuvers that she’s learned. So from sitting to slouching to eventually lying down on the floor while playing to dozing the two were mostly on each other’s side, or back or front…

Hongki stretched out his free arm overhead where he remembers a wool throw was scrunched up and finding it flung and, single legged, kicked it open to cover his and Shin Hye’s now cold legs and feet. The gray blue throw wasn’t big enough though and he was too lazy and too sleepy to get up and look for a bigger covering so he slithered his foot underneath the thick cloth. He was about to roll towards Shin Hye but changed his mind when he realized that he’d have to move Shin Hye’s leg off him and disturb his, now deeply sleeping, friend and went right back to sleep.

They’ve been napping for about half an hour when Shin Hye’s mother came by the two. Shin Hye and Hongki were curled up on the living room floor. Hongki has always preferred the two of them hanging out at the living room or the kitchen when they’re in Shin Hye’s house, thinking of her own good and of her mom and dad’s feelings, and in so doing have become like one of the family, except when there’s something private or secret that they need to talk about and then they go huddle in her room or the garage.

Looking at the two of them you’d think they were having a contest on who can get the body pillow all to themselves their arms and legs all in tangles hugging the pillow, their faces resting on the pillow but Hongki’s, which was above Shin Hye’s, had part of his face buried in her hair. Shin Hye’s mom knows she should have reprimanded them at the start when they were still playing and she was on the other side of the sofa channel surfing, but she finds the two kids’ closeness amusing and she hasn’t seen any malice in Hongki’s actions even from the start, her constant defense whenever Shin Hye’s father comments on their unusual closeness, besides there’s just the three of them that afternoon and the two were within her view all the time so she didn’t. She also knows that the two are the best-est of friends if it’s at all possible for a boy and a girl to be such. In her thoughts she said, “Times certainly has changed!”

Now, however, is the time to wake the two up for they only have an hour or so to go before they should be off to their respective activities, plus she just prepared their snacks, bungeoppang, a fish shaped pastry filled with red bean paste and its now piping hot, so kneeling beside her daughter she tapped her arm and Hongki’s as well. Hongki stirred and sat up, looked at his cellphone as he rubbed the sleep off his eyes and shook Shin Hye who didn’t want to get up. “Hey Shin Hye-ya! I thought am the one who’s very tired!” he shook her some more while checking his messages and when she still didn’t move he put down his cellphone, pulled her arm till she was in a sitting position but the sleepy girl just swayed and tipped toward Hongki.

“Oi! Ahjumoni’s got food for us and you have to be ready and leave in an hour!”

He pushed her off him but his hand remained on her shoulder trying to steady her, texting all the while. When Shin Hye started to sway backwards, he hurriedly put his phone in his pocket caught Shin Hye before she lies down again. He held her under her armpits and he pulled her to about standing position when her knees started to give way.

“Wait! Wait! Wait!” He almost hugged her to keep her sliding down then thinking a much better way he suddenly turned, caught Shin Hye with his back and said, “Okay Shin Hye-ya! Am going to give you a piggyback ride but if you’re going to break my back you have to answer to my manager you hear? And you better hold on or you’re going to fall. If you fall it’s your fault too!” So he adjusted Shin Hye’s arms to go above his shoulders to anchor her, leaned down to hold or hook her legs to his sides then stood up.

“Hey Shin Hye-ya I thought you’re going to be very heavy seeing the way Keun Suk hyung almost dropped you during the BTS of You’re Beautiful. Have you lost a lot of weight? You seem to look the same to me though. Ahhh I forgot I am much stronger now. I did tell you I continued my workout, didn’t I?”

Midway between the living room and the kitchen, this is not really that far away Shin Hye sluggishly clasped her hands, shifted her head so she was lying on Hongki’s shoulder, her face towards his neck and smiled, mischievously, her eyes still closed. Hongki thought she was settling in for a better sleep but her Omma saw her, who grinned and thought, “Ahh Shin Hye-ya! You naughty girl!” Then while Hongki was slowly walking, lecturing her on the advantages of working out, Shin Hye would give soft steady blows of her breath onto Hongki’s ear till he’d flick his head to the side, she’d stop but resume again after a step or two then the same thing happened till they reached the table where he saw Shin Hye’s ma’s knowing smile and raised eyebrow and he knew Shin Hye has tricked him.

“Ahjumoni, Shin Hye is deeply asleep maybe its better I take her to her room and let her sleep some more! She’s been very tired you know! And, don’t worry I’ll eat her share of the snacks for her. Am sure she won’t be awake till dinner time!” Then he turned to walk out of the kitchen.

“No! No! No!” Shin Hye whimpered. “I’m awake! I’m awake! Hongki-ya put me down!”

“Ahjumoni did you hear anything? Its getting late and I think it’s better if I eat Shin Hye’s share now and bring my share to the studio with me. Is that okay with you Ahjumoni?”

“Omma! Hongki-ya won’t put me down!” Her mother just laughed.

Hongki did put her down on the big breakfast chair when she said please but he sat on it as well, intending to sit on her lap to punish her but she scooted backward and folded her legs so Hongki ended up sitting on the front half of the seat, covering her access to the table with the food, pinning her onto the chair. The three proceeded to talk while Hongki handed Shin Hye behind him pieces of the hot pastry whenever she poked him on his side.

It’s just one of those once in a blue moon things.

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