He met the same man yesterday. He had become used to greeting him with an awkward smile on his face.
He spat out a breath of white air before breathing in deeply again. The cold air that raised his hair made him wake up completely. Feeling the cold air cooling down his vocal cords, Maru shook his body slightly.
Maru thought that the snow had piled up quite a lot as he looked down at the apartment complex from the mountain. The cars had become blocks of white under the snow. It would take quite a lot of effort for people to go to work tomorrow.
He returned home as he walked on the sticky ground. Bada, who was usually asleep at this time, was heading to the bathroom while scratching her head.
“You have something to do today?”
He took off his coat and turned the stove on. When the soup was just about to boil, Bada came out of the bathroom, and his mother came out of her bedroom as well.
“Mrs. Lee, have you woken up?”
His mother stood next to him while sniffing.
“You have a cold?”
“I’m not sure. I did feel slightly cold yesterday, and then this happened.”
“You don’t have any work today, so just go back and rest some more. I’ll call you once the rice is ready.”
“I’m not fine.”
After taking his mother, who was adamant on making side dishes, to her bed again, Maru cooked the rice. He put down the spoons and chopsticks around the table while listening to the blow dryer sounds.
“Let’s eat breakfast.”
His mother came wearing thick clothes, while Bada came with her bangs rolled in a hair roll.
“Where are you going?” His mother asked Bada.
Bada scooped a big spoonful of rice and spoke gibberish as she put it in her mouth.
“Don’t go anywhere strange, and don’t come back too late,” his mother didn’t pry any further.
“And how about you, son? You staying at home today?”
“I’m leaving as well.”
Bada finished eating quickly and rushed back into her room. His mother asked if she got a boyfriend in a small voice.
“It wouldn’t be strange if she did.”
“Sheesh, kids these days are too fast. I hope they don’t cross the line too early.”
“Don’t worry, your daughter isn’t that stupid. She should be able to take care of herself. Rather than that, you keep coughing. Are you sure it’s not serious?”
“Colds are things that get cured with a bit of rest.”
His mother returned to her bedroom while coughing. After washing the dishes, Maru had a look at the clock. It was slightly past 9. He put his jacket on again and went to the pharmacy near his house.
“Please give me something for a cough. As well as two ssanghwa-tangs.”
When he returned home with the medicine, Bada was getting ready to leave. She was wearing a beige coat and a new-looking t-shirt. She had even put some makeup on.
“Play healthily, okay?”
“Don’t worry. Dowook-oppa is actually pretty pure.”
“Like hell he’s pure.”
“Oh, I’m going to use the card a bit today.”
“Don’t spend too much.”
Bada left saying ‘thanks’.
Maru opened the door to the main bedroom and peeked inside. His mother, who was sitting on the bed, was coughing dryly.
“You should lie down a little.”
“The fridge is totally empty. I have to go grocery shopping.”
“I’ll go in your stead so get some rest. This is some cough medicine so take it and get some sleep. There’s nothing better than sleep when it comes to colds.”
His mother refused him, but he boiled her the ssanghwa-tang he bought anyways. She didn’t seem to like medicine but she seemed to be okay with ssanghwa-tang as she drank it without making a fuss.
“I’ll ruin my body if I take medicine just because of a cold.”
“I get it already so lie down.”
Maru stood next to his mother for a while.
“I thought you were leaving? Why are you still here?”
“Why don’t you stop working? Working at the supermarket isn’t that easy, is it? You have to be standing all day, and facing customers should be stressful, too.”
“I should do it so that I can do something when you and Bada get married.”
“Don’t you know that kids grow up even without you having to do anything? You did everything when you gave birth to us. I heard you saying that the ahjummas are going travelling together.”
His mother was part of a housewives group that had formed between people that went to the same barbershop, and Maru had overheard his mother say that they were going to Jeju island together. She was saying how Jeju island during winter had a different charm than the other seasons.
“Why don’t you go?”
“Sheesh, forget it. Don’t say anything strange and get going.”
His mother kept coughing as she said those words. Maru left and returned with a cup of hot water.
“I’m not saying this out for nothing. I have a fixed amount of income now, and I think I will keep having one in the future. I understand that you want to keep working, but your complexion looks really pale these days. If you really want to do it, do it after getting plenty of rest.”
“I told you I’m fine.”
“Listen to your son. If you get ill while earning money, it will only harm you. Dad seems worried, too. He’s not saying anything because you’re adamant on working, but he probably wants you to stop as well.”
His mother made a complicated expression.
“I’m not going to ask you to send me to college, and I’m not going to ask you to buy me a house either. Mom, you actually don’t need to spend any money on me anymore. It’s not like Bada is asking you to send her to cram schools either. You kept working even after getting married, didn’t you? No one will blame you if you take a bit of a rest. There’s no one to say that to you either. Go travelling with your friends and get plenty of rest. If you still want to work after you become healthy, you can do that at that time.”
Maru sat down on the chair in front of the makeup table and continued speaking,
“Also, I don’t think I can keep up with cooking and washing the dishes every morning. We need a full-time housewife. Mrs. Lee, let me rest for a bit as well,” Maru said with a smile.
His mother stared at his face for a while before letting out a breath. Maru didn’t know whether it was a laugh or a sigh.
“Looks like my son has grown up after earning money from elsewhere.”
“Your son was mature from the beginning.”
“Fine. However, you have to contribute my monthly wage’s worth of money to the family account. If you can’t do that, this conversation never happened.”
“As expected, Mrs. Lee. You’re really meticulous when it comes to calculations.”
“It’s been twenty years since I lived with your immature father. This much is nothing.”
“Don’t worry. I can do that no problem.”
His mother, who hugged her knees with a smile on her face, spoke,
“You’re giving pocket money to Bada too, aren’t you?”
“Did she tell you that?”
“She never asked me for money even though she’s going out. It’s not like your father is quick-witted enough to give her money before me. So, there’s only one option left.”
“I’m earning enough, so you don’t have to worry and can get plenty of rest. You should go on that Jeju island trip as well. You should also boast to your friends about it as well; about how your son let you go.”
“I already told them that you’re on TV. But no one seemed to know you though. You really should appear in daily dramas. The ladies like that kind of stuff.”
“Mom, the competition for that is really high. It’s not something a beginner like me can try.”
“You are still a beginner?”
“I am. Also, there’s another pack of ssanghwa-tang, so take it when you feel like you need to. If you really feel strange, you should go to the hospital.”
He told her to rest before standing up. He closed the door and sighed in relief. He was worried that she would be adamant on working, but thankfully, she listened to him.
“It’s cold out there. Make sure you wear enough clothing.”
Maru put his jacket on before leaving. He was putting his scarf on as he was walking towards the bus stop when he received a message.
-You know mom really appreciates you right?
“Sheesh, you’re making me feel embarrassed.”
Maru faintly smiled before replying that she should go to sleep already.
* * *
She blew a breath of warm air into her hands. She didn’t realize that it was cold since she was so absorbed in watching the snow when she left, but now that she was staying still, she was shivering.
“Is he not here yet?”
She looked at the mirror she attached on the back of her phone. She thought that she had tidied her bangs in the morning, but now that she looked at it, they were a mess. She pouted and quickly started tidying it with her hands.
“You’re pretty even without doing that.”
She quickly put her phone inside her bag and turned around when she heard the voice.
“Why are you so late?”
“There’s still ten minutes until the appointed time. I’m still early, you know?”
“So, you’re proud of that?”
“No, of course not. It’s my fault, why of course.”
Maru grinned from ear to ear. She also chuckled.
“But why did you wear so little?”
Maru untied the scarf around his neck and stepped closer to her. She widened her eyes before pushing her neck outwards.
“You’re such a hard girl to handle.”
“Give it to me quickly. I feel cold.”
Maru wrapped the scarf around her neck for a while before making an evil smirk and wrapped her face with it as well. She shouted ‘hey’ in annoyance and punched out when she felt her vision darken.
“Don’t go around punching anyone. I think you might knock someone out with it,” Maru said as he put the scarf on her properly this time.
“I’m not such a violent girl, you know?”
“Hey, Mr. Han Maru, you keep getting on my nerves recently. Do you want a beating?”
Maru reached out his hand. She shrugged before grabbing it. She felt warmth from their locked hands.
“Hey, let’s get your hair done,” she said as she pressed on Maru’s hair.
His hair had grown out quite considerably behind his head.
“Doesn’t your agency care about that?”
“They do, but only if I do anything. There haven't been any shoots lately.”
“You should still get your hair cut frequently. You give off a scary impression so you really need to care about your hair. Why don’t you try glasses today? I think it will make your impression look a lot smoother. Wait, let’s get everything done today since we’re at it,” she said as she locked her arms around his.
Maru flinched and tried to distance himself, but she quickly grabbed him and did not let go.
“I thought we were going to Daehak-ro to watch a play today.”
“We can do that next time.”
“Why don’t we go watch one today? We can go to your favorite pork cutlet restaurant. Oh, the curry on the next block over is good too.”
She narrowed her eyes and looked at Maru. Maru shook his head.
“I’ve decided. Let’s go over to Yoojin’s right now.”
“Huh? Why there?”
“Because her mother runs a hair shop. I went there last time and it was really good.”
“No, but there’s no need to go today, is there?”
“Then we’ll go shopping for clothes together. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but your clothing style is really bad. That vest and padded jacket you wore when we went fishing last time especially!”
Maru looked down at the clothes he was wearing.
“This is warm and good. It only costs 20 thousand won, but the durability and heat retention is really….”
“It totally makes you look like an old man though!”
She pointed at the shirt and cardigan that he was wearing underneath his padded jacket. A white and grey match. It looked clean and neat.
“You really care about the inside, so why not care about your jacket too?”
“Warm clothes are the best clothes.”
“You’re saying the same thing as my mom. Alright, I’m done with this. I got some money recently from the TV station, okay? Let’s go buy a good jacket for you with that. Also, one for my mom while we’re at it. Though, I won’t be able to get anything too expensive.”
“No. Let me spend some as well. Also, we’re going to get you a pair of glasses. Your eyes are good so let’s get one that doesn’t have any strength. Since your face is really angular, you’ll look cute with round glasses.”
She smiled and pulled Maru forward. Maru struggled because he didn’t want to go, but when she pinched his waist, he started walking slowly.
“We’re going to keep the window shopping short, right?”
She smiled as she listened to Maru’s sigh.
It was going to be a fun shopping time.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Both siblings are going on a date huh.
Looks at self and cries
Bunbun fluffy time~~