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Independent music doesn't pay very well but his fans are loyal and Huening is happiest playing for people who love his songs.

 

Pedestrians drop coins or bills in his open guitar case and Goguma, the gigantic puppy Huening took in on a rainy day, wags his tail in thanks. Street performances help Huening meet ends but more importantly, they are incredibly fun. Sometimes business men with darkness in their eyes and disheveled ties will slow down at Huening's corner in the street and walk away with a small smile. Sometimes, blushing new couples will stand side by side and grasp hands as if they'll never let go. Sometimes a grandma carrying her shopping basket would stop by and look at him with this look in the eye he can’t really read. But he loves them all the same.

 

Huening loves his audience just as much as he loves his music. Well, he does love all of his audience equally but sometimes his gaze flickers to tall boy standing in the back, always admiring from afar and never taking a step close. Mr. Stranger, as he calls him, always comes every noon to watch his performances and without realizing it Huening keeps looking for his purple hair, his dimpled smile, and his squishy nose.

 

Today he does the same, too.

 

The blue sky is stretched endlessly above him and he leans against the wall that smells like bitter smoke and strangely, berries. The weather is dry and a bit stifling, but this is to be expected because he’s literally busking at one of the busiest streets of Seoul. He closes his eyes and listens to the comforting buzz from around him as he plays; the people on this street are fun to be with and he wishes he doesn't ever have to leave. But dawn is approaching and just a few minutes before the sun sets, Huening puts his earnings away and pats Goguma on the head. The brown puppy, who always settles beside Huening's guitar case, lets out a whine.

 

"Not today," Huening agrees. He isn't sure exactly what, but he scans through the unfamiliar faces in the street for one last time. "Yeah… he’s not coming today."

 

Before he can pack his guitar and leave, a shadow comes over him. The boy pauses, his heart beating a thousand miles away.

 

“H-Hi—”

 

When Huening looks up he sees messy lavender hair and nervous dimpled smile and suddenly his day is a thousand time better.

 

“—I know this may sound weird but…. w-would you like to grab some coffee with me?”

 

Huening smiles, bright and lovely.

 

“Well, show me the way, Mr. Stranger.”