With a long winded sigh that depletes her diaphragm she musters up the strength to catapult herself from her chair, sweeping her disheveled hair behind her ears once more before giving up and letting the strands do as they will. The sense of powerlessness lingers as she recalls her frantic phone calls and pleads for assistance, her heart had lodged itself deep in her throat each time she was turned down, although sympathetic no one was willing to drop what they were doing to help her.
It hardly came as a surprise especially for someone like her who learned early that the world would knock you down and there were very few people who would offer you a hand when you were down. She chose to get up on her own and fight against the current of life but today’s fiasco only served to remind her that in the blink of an eye everything she carefully planned and created could come crashing down like an avalanche.
Hearing his voice again had been just as overwhelming, the deep timbre just as soothing has it had been three years ago. Hearing it in that video did nothing to prepare her for the real thing, she tried to put up a strong front but she knew that she needed him and his brilliant mind; those capable hands. She didn’t deserve his help she knew that, her vicious words replaying in her mind all those years ago on what should have been a joyous day. Yet, just like all those years ago when he had no obligation to help her and it would not benefit him in any way he still showed up. Looking every bit as devastating as she’d seen him at the networking event. No, even more because this was the real Dosan showing up. Slipping in her computer chair easily as he threw out orders to the other members of his team, in all the important ways he seemed like the same Dosan but the air that surrounded him was no longer wavering, it was certain. He’d found his voice.
She sighs rubbing her hand across her face again, hesitating before deciding. She picks up the forgotten jacket, the crisp scent of his cologne wafting up her nose and temporarily immobilizing her.
Shaking herself free from her mental prison she grabs her purse and rushes to the door, phone already in her hand as she presses his name in her contacts. She doesn’t know where any of this is going but she has a reason to see him, she won’t let this opportunity go to waste.
Closing the door behind her, she props the phone against her ear using her shoulder before she hears the tell-tale sound of a phone ringing echoing down the hallway. With a gasps she sprints down the narrow hall before turning a corner and seeing him, his back is turned to her and his shoulders are slumped she watches with bated breath as he pulls his phone from the crevice of his pocket. He stares at it and after a moment’s pause he silences it and walks away.
He straightens to his full height before shoving the phone into his pocket, swiftly exiting the building.
“Dosan-ah.” She whispers to this retreating back but he moves further and further away until he reaches the door and she loses sight of him completely. More than anything she wishes she could apologize to him for those callous words she said all those years ago, if he’d felt a fraction of what she’s feeling right now she regrets her decision that day. She’s never regretted anything more.
“Oh, Ms. Seo I didn’t know you were still here. You must have worked late. Please let me drive you home.”
Sniffling and willing her tears not to fall she turns around, plastic smile spread across her lips as she greets Mr. Han. His dimpled grin does nothing to soothe the aching in her chest, but she pushes that aside and gently nods at his offer.
On autopilot she walks to his car and opens her door before sliding into his car briefly she considers that her own car is parked in the garage close by but she’s too exhausted to drive right now. Her heart and her head equally throbbing.
The ride home is relatively silent, Mr. Han attempts to engage her in conversation but her head is too filled with Dosan to offer anything more than one word answers and eventually he stops, turning up the radio instead.
She misses his longing stares across the console, his own eyes wavering as she stares longingly at her phone for a call that won’t come.
Maybe I should go back to San Francisco.
The thought plagues him as he lays restless in his old bed, he’d entertained the idea of staying in a hotel until his mother had knocked him upside the head and dragged his suitcase inside the house before he’d even recovered from the blow. His smile had been blinding as she struggled up the stairs before he rushed to help her, easily lifting the luggage and wrapping his empty arm around her shoulder. He’d missed her like crazy, San Francisco had some much to offer but some things were irreplaceable.
Now he’s having second guesses once more, he’d thought he was ready to be back in Korea, ready to see her again but he was wrong. There was something about his place that shook his confidence, made him the same bumbling idiot that he’d thought he left behind when he took off on that plane. It feels like he’s been wearing new shoes and now he’s back in the old ones, he hates it. He truly did not plan on seeing her again, she had made herself very clear all those years ago, he was not the Dosan from the letter and he would never be.
He wasn’t smooth or thoughtful, he was just Dosan and though he wished that was enough it wasn’t. He thought he had accepted that, in San Francisco he did everything to forgot her. He never spoke about her or sent her the paragraphs he would write, he threw himself into coding with a painstaking fervor and he worked until he was successful and waited for happiness to find him.
But happiness didn’t appear after he was named the most valuable developer of the year.
It made no appearance when he bought a new car that he would have only dreamed about driving before.
Still remained missing when he was offered another contract from one of the top companies in the world.
But then he got that call and despite everything he said to his mother, trying to convince himself as much as her, his decision was simple. He had the ability to help her, so he did.
The adrenaline made time slow down and simultaneously speed up, it wasn’t lost on him that every member of Samsan Tech was in the room all to help Dalmi, despite everything they’d been through she was still one of them. The strangest part had been the addition of Injae honestly, she’d spent so much time as Dalmi’s antagonist it was hard to reconcile that they were working together, that for once she would not be rooting against Dalmi.
Everything had been going better than he ever imagined, she was as pretty as ever, gorgeous even while panicking and almost fainting it was a feat only possible by Seo Dalmi. But he had pushed that thought to the back of his mind, the black box cauterizing any hope he had of rekindling their romance.
Their moment had passed. He wasn’t the one she wanted. What did he expect when the person who had actually written the letter was right there?
It shouldn’t hurt this much but it did, It ached like a reopened wound.
He’d only wanted to get his jacket back, the added bonus was seeing Dalmi but he wasn’t delusional enough to think that she had be waiting for him while he was gone.
His blood still boils both from the phantom hand on his chest and the words that cut him like a knife.
Stop showing up. You’re making us both uncomfortable.
There had been more but those words stuck with him.
They were an “us”, close enough for jewelry that came in black boxes. It was time for him to stop fooling himself.
The three years without Dalmi had been torture for him but evidently that was not the case for Dalmi.
He was going to accept that.
It takes him days to finally reply to her message and she tries her best to stay calm but her heart has missed the memo and instead triples its beats and almost pounds out her chest when his name flashes on her phone.
Inhaling deep gulps of oxygen, she opens his message after ignoring for as long as she can- a measly ten seconds. Her pride has flown out the window it seems and she’s not particularly fond of relocating it.
Don't’ worry about it. I have any jackets like that now. You can throw it out.
She gapes at the words on the screen, not at all the response she expected and she clutches the discarded jacket tightly in her hands as if to promise the object that she will do no such thing. Scooping her hair into a ponytail she responds.
No. It’s a nice jacket you should get it back. Where are you? I can bring it to you.
She stares at the message long and hard, scrutinizing each word painstakingly. It might appear overzealous, too eager and the image of him ignoring her call still plays on repeat in her mind. Maybe he simply doesn’t want to see her, that is his right after the way she ended things. But logic alone is not enough to stop her fingers from pressing send, she doesn’t want to have anymore regrets.
Minutes tick by with no response and she worries her bottom lip between her teeth as she glares at the phone willing Dosan to answer.
Please. Please. Please. Please.
Despite her silent prayers, her phone is still and she contemplates sending another message although she has nothing else to say, terrified that this will be the end of their conversation.
Then a message vibrates her phone, two messages actually. Mr. Han’s name also flashes on her phone but her fingers instantly open Dosan’s instead and a tentative smile makes its way across her face as she reads the message.
I’ll be near Sandbox tomorrow. I will pick it up.
Unable to control her emotions anymore, she squeals as she falls backwards on her bed, legs happily kicking as she hugs the phone close to her chest rolling side to side before she loses her balance and crashes to the ground. Her pained shout fills her room and her grandmother's voice rings out, “Dalmi, what was that? Are you okay?”
Embarrassed but bursting with energy she shouts back, “Yes! I’m okay. I fell off the bed.”
There is no response and she giggles as she imagines the exasperated look that will run across her grandmother’s face. She may have lost her sight but her attitude and snark are still very much there.
She knows that this changes nothing and she shouldn’t get her hopes up but still her feet drag her to her closet to find the perfect outfit for tomorrow, she will make sure to knock him off his feet this time.
Dosan knows that he should have been more adamant about not needing the jacket, if only to avoid seeing her again. But he was weak and one rejection was all he could muster, he glances at his watch she should be arriving in a few minutes.
Being back in the coffee shop they would often to go together is tugging on his heart strings but he fortifies himself, that was years ago. There is no use clinging to the past now, especially when he’s the only one doing so. He takes a hearty gulp of his iced Americano, desperately needing a distraction from his thoughts. When suddenly someone sits in the empty chair in front of him. Blinking he looks up and meets a face that does not belong to Dalmi. The woman now occupying the seat is pretty for all intensive purposes of the word with rosy red lips and long dark lashes.
But he feels nothing but confusion by her sudden appearance and he voices that after his shock wears off, “I’m sorry that seat is reserved. I’m waiting for someone.”
Lifting a thin curved brow, the woman seems amused and no closer to leaving, “Oh? Is this person a girlfriend?”
Dosan feels his cheeks burn at the blatant flirtations, over the years his ability to understand women has marginally improved with a success rate of 53% instead of the 12% before he left Korea. He has had many offers to date, none of which he has accepted. There was someone that hadn’t left his heart yet and it was impossible to make space for another with her so deeply wedged in there.
At his silence she smirks now, “I’ll take that as a no. I’m not usually this forthright but you are probably the cutest guy I’ve ever seen.”
He made the mistake of sipping right at the moment and he chokes on the liquid as it lamely spills out of his mouth.
Her giggles are light and melodic as she eyes him, “See? I even found that cute. What’s your name?”
He’s at a lost for words and that’s when the door chimes, and when he looks up he locks eyes with Dalmi.
She is a vision in a plum colored business suit and her hair cascading over one shoulder. He almost forgets to breath.
She walks to him immediately, his jacket folded over her arm.
As she comes closer her eyes finally lock on the person occupying her seat, he watches them widen before narrowing into two thin lines. Then like a switch she stands taller and smiles facing him, “Dosan-ah, I didn’t know you were expecting company.”
His eyes dart back to the mysterious woman who is smiling but for some reason he remembers an episode of Animal Planet he watched while in the U.S about snakes that lulled you into a sense of comfort before striking.
He begins to speak but his comment is interrupted, “I was just leaving. It was a pleasure meeting you Dosan-ah. Don’t be a stranger huh?” And true to her word she collects her belongings before opening a tiny emerald purse and extracting something thin.
A business card.
it is slick and modern with gold lines and her name printed in bold letter, Han Ji Yoon.
Reaching across the table she deposits the card into his slack hand, her fingers lingering minutely before she draws away with one final dazzling smile she is gone, as suddenly as she arrived.
The silence is deafening in her departure before Dosan hears the scratch of metal on wood as Dalmi reclaims her stolen seat. When he peers up from the business card he meets her smiling face, her eyes however are dull lacking the joy that her face is presenting. He wonders vaguely if something happens.
“Who was that?” He shifts in his seat, shame curling in his belly before he realizes that he has no reason to feel shame. Dalmi does not care if other women are interested in him, it probably made her elated to see him with someone else. Proof that he was moving on and he would not be intruding on her life and her relationship. He would no longer be an inconvenience in her otherwise ideal life.
So he answers honestly, “Just someone I met. She seemed interested in me and came over to talk.”
Dalmi turns to look out the window as he sips on his Americano before he can offer to get her one she is speaking again, her lips barely open but the words are clear nonetheless.
“How about you?”
He tilts his head, not quite following along with the direction of this conversation. He was unaware that they were on a level where they could discuss his potential relationships. More evidence that she is completely over him, the mere thought of her with Mr. Han is enough to sour his day but she is comfortable asking him about other women.
“Well I am.....-”
He never gets to finish his sentence because suddenly Dalmi’s phone vibrates, buzzing on the table and instinctively he glances down at it and feels his heart pang.
She makes no move to answer it and he feels nauseous, she must know about his feelings and this is an attempt to spare him.
He makes things easier for her standing up and nodding to her phone, “You should get that. I have to be somewhere soon. Thank you for bringing this.” With a slight bow he takes his jacket from its spot over the back of her chair and takes one step away.
Her hand shoots out and captures his wrist and it feels like she thrust into his chest and squeezed his heart.
“Dosan-ah you don’t have to go. I can call him back later.”
He shakes his head, “No. Take it.” And with that he picks up his coat and with a moment’s hesitation he also picks up the business card.
He misses Dalmi’s jaw clenching as she watches him walk away, again. The vibrations of her phone falling on deaf ears.
“Hello?” She blinks away tears and she tries her best not to sound like she is on the verge of falling apart.
“Oh, Ms. Seo it’s me. I wanted to know if you wanted to get lunch together.” Mr. Han’s voice rattles through her speaker as she watches Dosan through the window.
She spent all morning finding the right outfit and then perfecting her no make up makeup look, eager to see him despite her head reminding her that this wasn’t a date she was simply meeting him to return his jacket. Nothing more and nothing less.
Then she’d seen him with someone else. A pretty woman, looking at him like he was an item on the menu and she was very thirsty. And the rush of jealous and irrational anger that consumed her made it clear that it was not possible to just be friends with Dosan. She couldn’t paint on a happy smile if he decided to date someone else, she wanted to be that someone. She wanted to hold on to those huge hands and never let go.
She shakes herself from the memory, hurt still bubbling under the surface. She hadn’t gotten a chance to hear Dosan’s answer to her frankly invasive question but his actions were loud enough. She wanted to rip that card into pieces and stomp on the papery bodies.
“Sorry, I was distracted. I can’t do lunch today. I have a lot of work to catch up on. Are you still coming over for dinner on Friday? Grandmother wants to know, you know she always makes your favorites.”
At his agreement, she stands up and leaves. Maybe it’s time to move on, Dosan clearly has already. Once again leaving her in the dust.
He goes on a few dates with Ji Yoon, and they have a good enough time together. She laughs at his jokes even though there are times her laughter is delayed and he wonders how genuine it is. She’s impressed by his car and the restaurant that Chul-san recommended, hmming at the perfect medium rare steak on her plate.
But he feels nothing, no fireworks not even a spark but his friends convince him that it will come. These things take time, so he can’t just give up after a few dates. He pointedly ignores the voice in his head that states that his feelings didn’t need time to grow for a certain someone, they had hit him like a freight train and he just hung on for the ride. He doesn’t voice that out loud because that would be counterproductive in his journey to eradicate his feelings for her.
So he goes through the motions and comes home each night with a sour taste on his tongue and a different face in his dreams.
Then Friday arrives and he decides to stop wallowing in his own self-pity, ignoring his mother’s insistent statement that “he should just call her”, that is the absolute last thing he should do. He doesn’t want to be the person who stops her happiness, not again.
But there is something he has to do and he needs to take a risk to do it.
He called Saha earlier in the morning, pretending not to hear Chul-san’s voice in the background despite the fact that it was 7:00am in the morning and they had no reason to be together, now was not the time for teasing.
He would make time later.
She’d seemed suspicious when he asked about Dalmi’s schedule but ultimately told him the information he needed to know so with a heavy heart he rolled out of bed and hopped into the shower, he needed to see someone very special.
Picking up the scarf and table mats he had knitted the night before he runs down the stairs, squeezing his mother in a one shouldered hug before bolting out the door.
A woman he doesn’t know answers the door and he stands nervously, wringing his hands his head tilted toward the ground.
“Yes? Are you here to see Dalmi? She is at work right now.” She apologizes and something about her feels familiar and he looks up and her eyes immediately inform him of who he is speaking to.
Stuttering he stumbles over his words before finally getting out, “No. I am here to see...”
But a new voice joins them and instantly tears pool in his eyes when Dalmi’s grandmother comes into view, she stares straight ahead but there is no reaction to his presence. She can’t see him. Her world is shrouded in darkness.
He gazes at her and wonders why these things only seem to happen to good people? Where is the justice in the world?
“Hi, I don’t know if you remember me but-”
“Nam Dosan!” She shouts his name and his heart swells from her obvious glee, she steps forward and makes grasping hands in the direction of his voice and without pause he steps into her hold, allowing her to surround him in a warm embrace.
“How could I forget you?” She squeezes him tighter and he doesn’t fight her hold. He’s been cracking apart at the seams her hold is putting him back together.
Dalmi turns off her computer, stretching her arms high above her head. Her sister is still on her computer clicking away but she can’t stay another minute her brain has turned to mush.
Another message from Saha flashes on her phone, once again asking her if she’s left for the day yet and telling her not to work overtime.
Go home quickly. They don’t pay you enough for this.
Their relationship has blossomed from where it started with Dalmi on her knees begging the designer to work with her. Their friendship had amounted in a fairly similar fashion, Dalmi bulldozed her way into the girl’s life after the boys left and after a new coffee dates they were inseparable. The sassy designer the only one who knew about Dalmi’s true feelings and how she had pushed Dosan away for his own good.
“You did the right thing. But you’re an idiot. Why break up with him if it was going to hurt you so much?”
That specific piece of wisdom had been regaled when Dalmi showed up drunk at the other girl’s house, banging on the door and crying until she was granted entrance. If looks could kill Dalmi would have been buried six foot under instantly but alas mental homicide was impossible so she lived to see another day. Their bond had been cemented in that moment, she woke up the next day with mascara lines on her face and a thick blanket thrown across her on the couch.
“Here have some coffee and then get out of my house. “
Dalmi took the coffee but she didn’t get out, they spent the day together talking about boys and heartbreak and she pretended not to know who Saha was talking about when she mentioned missing someone, “a little bit, really just a smidge.”
So she listens to her friend, probably her best friend not that she’ll share that moniker with the girl, she would like to keep some of her pride thank you very much.
“I’m heading home. Today is family dinner, do you want to come over?” She inquires already knowing the answer based on her previous attempts but she is nothing if not resilient.
Injae doesn’t even look away from her computer before answering, “No. I have a lot to do here. You go ahead.”
With a shrug she nods, collecting her belongings before walking out the door.
When she pulls up to her house, she sees an unknown car and she wonders if someone came to visit her mother. Then bright lights fill her side mirrors and she sees the familiar sight of Mr. Han’s car pulling up behind her.
Hopping out her car, she waves at him. Eying the bag in his hand, he always brings something despite protests from her and her grandmother.
Before she can properly greet him, he asks “Whose car is that?”
She looks at the car again but nothing comes to mind, “I don’t know I was wondering the same thing. Let’s go inside and find out.”
And so, they both walk to the door, Dalmi taking out her keys and prying open the door. She is greeted by boisterous laughter and slipping off her heels she enters her home, unprepared for the beautiful scene that welcomes her.
Dosan is sandwiched between her mother and her grandmother, the latter holding his hand as he hangs on her every word.
“What are you doing here?”
She twists caught off guard by the vicious tone of Mr. Han’s voice, his eyes are glossy and hard as he watches the same scene.
instantly Dosan gently pulls his hand out her grandmother’s hand and she greets them as well, “Oh Dalmi, Good Boy you’re both home. Dosan stopped by, why don’t we all have a meal together?”
The tension in the room is thick and Dalmi is lost as she watches Mr. Han glare at Dosan as if he has committed the greatest crime.
With a voice barely above a whisper Dosan speaks, “No that isn’t necessary. I don’t want to intrude. Thank you for talking to me. I’ll fix all the bugs you mentioned.”
Dosan simply stares at her grandmother for a pregnant moment before he makes his decision and he wraps her in his strong arms. Her grandmother immediately responds, hugging him back and whispering something only he can hear.
Bowing to them all Dosan walks past her, never meeting her eyes regardless of her hard stare penetrating through his face.
Before she can bolster up the courage he is already walking out the door.
“I’ll see him out.” Mr. Han offers, following Dosan out the door and she watches breathless.
“What were you thinking coming here?” He shouts at the developer’s retreating back, anger simmering in his blood. He had a family now and he wasn’t going to let anyone take that away from him. Dosan could have anyone in the world, why did he have to come back and ruin everything he had been building?
He was finally to ready to tell Dalmi how he felt, no more cryptic messages and codes that needed deciphering, he was going to lay his heart on the table. Show her that he could be the Dosan from the letters, he could be her safe haven.
“I just wanted to see her grandmother, I didn’t meant to run into her. I asked Saha she told me that--”
But he’s too angry to listen to reason, he just wants Dosan to go away, for good.
“I thought I made myself clear in the elevator. You need to move on. I am the one she calls now when she’s in trouble. I am the one who comes to dinner with her family, that person is me. You are just a piece of her past. A past she has forgotten, stop coming around and making us uncomfortable. Don’t come here again.”
He realizes a second too late that Dosan eyes are shifted over his shoulder and when he turns around Dalmi’s angry tear streaked face fills his vision.
“What are you saying Mr. Han? What is happening?” Her voice quivers, breaking on the last words and guilt rises as he looks at the clear betrayal on her face.
“I’m leaving. I won’t come here again. You made yourself very clear.” Dalmi makes to follow Dosan but he steps into her path, needing to explain himself. He just needed a chance to bat.
“Let him go.” He pleads with her but she snatches her hand out of her reach and stares at him with wet eyes.
“Why would you say those things to him? What did you say to him in the elevator, are you the reason he’s avoiding me?!” He has never heard Dalmi raise her voice before, even when he was giving her harsh but honest feedback she was calm and accepting of his feedback. The woman before him is someone new, someone he’s never witnessed before.
“Answer me!” He’s reminded of her screaming those same words at Dosan.
Swallowing he finally answers her, “I like you. I like you so much it aches Dalmi, I was watching for three years. I thought you would start to notice me but... I don’t understand. Why can’t it be me? Why does it have to be him? I’m the one who wrote the letters, I was the one who comforted you.”
“You lied to me! You and my grandmother. You both lied to me and you created someone who doesn’t exist. You only wrote to me because you owed her a favor, it wasn’t real.”
“That’s not true. Maybe at first, but I grew to enjoy writing them. You comforted me too. I can be the person that you want, just give me a chance. I want to be with you.”
Then impulsively he pulls the ring box from his pocket, flipping it open and thrusting the box at her. It shines brilliantly from its satin pillow, diamonds twinkling in the moonlight. It was almost as beautiful as the receiver.
He get his answer when she barely looks at the ring and instead looks out into the street as if Dosan will materialize again.
So this is heartbreak.
“I’m sorry. I should have given you an answer a long time ago. Thank you for those letters, you did comfort me during one of the hardest times of my life. I wish I could repay you somehow. But I can’t repay you with my heart. I’m sorry I really am.”
He closes the box, putting his bat away. It seemed that even after getting a chance to bat he just wasn’t what Dalmi wanted. He’s never struck out before, the pain is crippling.
Before he can reply to her rejection she is already bursting through the gate. The engine of her car loud in the dead of the night.
“Yeong sil-ah what’s in front of me?”
“A man in his 30s possibly, holding a black square box and crying.”
He wipes at his face, his fingers come back wet. He didn’t realize when the traitorous tears escaped and he wants nothing more than to suck them back up. He feels pathethic.
“Oh Good Boy, come here.”
And he falls apart in the warmth of the first person to ever treat him like something worthwhile, his only family in this world. He clings to her as sobs ravish his body.
He’s such an idiot, he knew better than going to her house but he still went and he was immediately punished. Of course, they had family dinners together. They were dating after all, it was natural that Mr. Han would be a welcome guest in their home. While he was the outsider. This was the way it was meant to be from the beginning after all, he had taken credit for someone else’s good deed. He deserved all the pain and suffering he was receiving now.
Thankfully, his house is empty when he pushes open the door and he makes it to the couch before breaking down, hot tears leaking from his eyes as he recalls how comfortably they had come into the house together. It wasn’t the first time that much was certain. Three years was a long time.
But it had been worth it, hearing how useful the app had been for her as she lost her sight, how grounding it was to have a program to help her during the transition after losing her vision. He wanted to cry for her loss but she was fighting so hard and finding the good in her situation, she had praised him until his cheeks hurt and he knew that nothing he ever made would make him as proud as Noongil.
The ringing of his doorbell knocks him free from his thoughts and he presses himself away from the couch, expecting to see his father’s embarrassed face explaining how he forgot his keys and why have a son if not to open doors for him? He sighs in preparation for the conversation before choking on nothing when Dalmi’s red-eyed face appears behind the door.
They speak at the same time and then they are both still, gazing at each other in silence.
He has the urge to pinch himself to make sure he didn’t fall asleep on the couch but before he can she speaks, “Dosan-ah, can I come in?”
Honestly he has no idea why she’s here. She had no reason to follow him. Maybe she’s here to second Mr. Han’s word. He can’t stomach that conversation a third time.
But then she blinks and a stray tear escapes.
So he can do nothing but step aside and let her in. She has always been his kryptonite.
She toes her shoes off before stepping into his house, looking around before her eyes land back on him.
“I think we need to talk.”
It seems he was right. He tenses at the ominous words and lets out a deep breath, “No. I understand. Your....he was very clear. I understand now. I promise.”
He can’t’ bring himself to finish his sentence, to name exactly what Mr. Han is to Dalmi, he would much rather not think about it and avoid them both until his heart admits defeat.
Dalmi steps into his space, her hands pausing by his face before she softly holds his cheeks. He freezes, completely lost in her gaze as more tears stream down her face. She looks heartbroken and he almost feels angry, shouldn’t that be his expression?
“Dosan-ah, I missed you so much.”
Punch to the gut.
“I thought about you everyday. Every minute of every day. Every second of every minute. I was so happy you were doing well Dosan but .....I missed you so much. I wanted to be by your side.”
He pulls his face out of her distractingly warm hands, his own clenched in tight fists on the side of his body. What is she saying? She has...someone. Why is she trying to confuse him, is this a game?
“What are you talking about? You broke up with me because I wasn’t him. You want him, he’s the one that you’ve loved since you were a little girl. I wasn’t enough. You told me I wasn’t enough!”
He’s crying too now, all the pain he’s been containing exploding out as he shatters before her eyes. He can barely see her through the sheen of his tears and he rubs at his eyes, storming away from her in shame. He doesn’t want her to see the affect she still has on him, he should be stronger than this.
“I lied about everything. I just wanted to spend your birthday with you but you kept talking about the lawsuit and I knew you wouldn’t leave, you would think it was your fault and you didn’t deserve to live your dream. I pushed you away so you could have a chance at success. I never wanted the Dosan from the letter, that was a fairy tale. It wasn’t real. I know that now Dosan-ah, I want you. I thought I was strong enough to let you go, but it’s my one regret. I.... I love you.”
During her speech Dalmi has been making her way over to him, climbing the stair he froze on before meeting him eye to eye.
“Dosan-ah, I love you. I mean it. There’s no one else. Just you.”
There is no one else. Mr. Han doesn’t have her heart, he glances at her hands finding all fingers empty. As if she feels his gaze on her hand, she grabs hold of his trembling appendages.
“Please say something.”
“Dalmi-ah, I love you too.” His voice cracks, bursting with emotion.
A smile brighter than the sun stuns him as Dalmi falls into his waiting arms. He holds her tightly, never wanting to let her go ever again. If time stopped now he would die happier than he’s ever been.
She nuzzles deep into his neck and he rubs his head against her soft sweet smelling hair, before he feels something plush land on his Adam’s apple.
He stiffens in their embrace and when she pulls back, her eyes are fixated on his lips.
He missed her so much.
“Can we go to your room?” Her voice is deeper and raspier than he’s ever heard it, the tone immediately going to his groin as he imagines her hoarse from something else entirely.
He nods in acquiesce, taking her hand before they ascend the stairs together. Anticipation thick in the air.
He doesn’t get a chance to be embarrassed about the state of his room because once they breach the doorway, he is bodily shoved into the door slamming it shut. Dalmi peers up into his eyes, searching his face before standing on the tips of her toes and catching his shoulder to yank him down and smashing their lips together. He stands still at first, lost in the wet sensation of Dalmi’s tongue swiping at his lips until she pries them open.
She moans prettily as she licks into his mouth, sucking on his tongue as she slides her fingers into his hair moving his head to better fit their mouths together.
He feels lightheaded as Dalmi steals his breath, he breaks their connection gasping for air only to be assaulted again, her lips suctioning the thin skin of his throat and there’s no denying his arousal now as his hard length presses into the zipper of his dress pants. When Dalmi accidentally bumps into the rigid line he jolts, twisting his hips away in shame and he waits for Dalmi to step away and slow them down. Things are moving astronomically quick, faster than the speed of light.
His brain spasms when he feels a small hand molding around the length protruding from his pants.
“Dosan-ah, can I?”
He doesn’t know exactly what she’s asking for but he’s too turned on to say anything but yes, yes, God yes. This has been the focus of one too many dreams that ended with disappointment and sticky sheets, if this is a dream he prays he falls in a coma and never wakes up.
“Yes. Anything, yes.”
Her eyes glint dangerously at his words and then she’s slithering down his body, until her knees meet the floor. His tongue is heavy in his mouth as he watches Dalmi on her knees, she’s so beautiful it’s unfair. Her lips are disastrously red and sore and perfect.
“I thought about this a lot.” She whispers, wrecking him with her slow intentional movement.
He gasps loudly as she drags the metal of his zipper down, unbuttoning his pants and tugging them down his waist. He closes his eyes at the sight of his desire tenting the front of his tight boxer brief, leaving very little to the imagination.
“Dosan-ah. Open your eyes.”
His body listens to her command easily, eyes opened wide as he takes in the view of Dalmi so close to where he needs her the most.
Then as if worried she’ll scare him away, she gently removes his boxers. Inquisitively looking at the length that springs free, before a hand wraps around the wide circumference near the base. He groans almost collapsing from the immense pleasure that wrecks his over sensitized body.
Without any warning she strokes from the base to tip, gathering the viscous liquid that has pooled and using it to smooth her motion, up, up, down, up.
“Dalmi-ah, you don’t have to do this.” He moans out, he has to let her know that this isn’t necessary he’s just happy to be able to kiss her again and be the one who she turns to. This is more than he ever expected and honestly more than he can currently handle.
She tightens her grip, tongue poking out the side of her wide lips as she closes the gap between them. She pops the moist head of his cock into her mouth and this time he does crumble to the ground and Dalmi climbs into this lap chasing him, then swallowing him further and he thinks of coding strings and the sequence of pi, as his balls tighten up and his end draws closer- embarrassingly fast.
Emboldened by his gasps and whimpers she bobs her head, licking at his tip as she strokes the base with a corkscrew move that has his toes curling.
“Dalmi-ah, I think I’m gonna....please stop. I’m too close.”
Humiliation battles with desire, as he feels his release rushing over him. Dalmi ignores his warning, sliding him further into the wet plush cavern of her mouth and he sputters open, overloading into her mouth as she struggles to swallow around the length in her mouth.
Nobody has ever touched him before, he’d been offered countless times seen as an exotic treat in the California sun but none of them were tempting enough to make him forget the woman who was currently sprawled in his lap lapping at his spent cock.
Dalmi sits up, wiping at the white droplets that escaped the seams of her lips and it’s a vision erotic enough to have his member jumping, ready for round 2.
“Dosan, I need you to listen okay?”
He’s unprepared for the business-like tone of her voice especially as she pushes his now flaccid cock back into his boxers. He blushes hard fumbling to do that himself but she smacks his hand away, “I got it. I did this, so I should take responsibility.”
He blinks at the statement, before pinching himself. Hard.
She smirks at his pained cry, “Not a dream.”
He blushes looking away with squinted eyes.
“Dosan-ah. Your parents are home. I heard the door open when I first started.” She motions to his crotch and he is in too much shock to react to her words, instead he continues to lay on the ground with his legs spread.
She heard his parents arrive home and continued.
Who is this she-demon?
“They haven’t called for you yet. But I’m sure they will soon. We’re going to go down and act normal okay?”
Act normal. Like Dalmi hasn’t just sucked his brain out through his dick. Right. Sure. He can do that.
“Dosan, my son? Are you home?” His mother’s voice travels up the stairs and he jumps up, haphazardly tugging his pants back up his waist and tucking his shirt back inside.
Turning to Dalmi he asks, “How do I look? Does it look like we’ve been doing...things.”
She raises an eyebrow at his word choice, before stepping closer and combing through his hair with her fingers.
“You look....distracting.” At his confused stare, she licks her lips and tries again, “You look disheveled. Straighten your shirt and untuck your shirt. You’ll look more relaxed. Actually change those pants completely, they have stuff on them.”
He looks down at himself and sees the sticky spot on the waist of his pants, dammit. Red-faced he walks to his closet, pulling an identical pair of pants from a wooden hanger. He starts to take off the soiled pants before remembering that Dalmi is still in the room. When he looks over his shoulder, her eyes are already on him as she unabashedly watches him undress.
“I need to change.”
“Okay, go ahead.”
They stare at each other, unblinkingly.
Then there is a sharp knock on the door.
“Dosan-ah, your mother and I heard talking in here. Are you home?”
Throwing caution to the wind, Dosan rips off the pants and hops into the fresh pair. Leaving the shirt untucked as suggested by Dalmi and running a final hand through his hair. With a nod at Dalmi, whose eyes are shining too brightly while he’s on the verge of a heart attack.
Finally pulling the door open, Dosan rubs his neck sheepishly as he greets the expectant faces of his parents.
“Oh Dosan-ah, doesn’t the car outside belong to the pretty CEO? The one you wanted to date? What was her name again, Danmi? Dalni?”
Before he can correct his mother, who he knows for a fact is aware of Dalmi’s name as she had mentioned the girl just days ago. If he was brave (stupid) enough he would glare at her, but as it is all he can muster up is a pleading stare.
Brazenly Dalmi presses the slightly ajarred door all the way open now coming into view. His dad’s eyes widen in shock and then pride, the last time he saw that look was when he told his parents he would be going to San Francisco.
His dad looks even prouder now.
While his mother looks....smug.
“Hello, my name is Dalmi. It’s a pleasure to meet you both.” She bows low at the waist and he looks away from his parent’s stare, not ready to answer any of the questions in their eyes.
“You are here very late. I imagine you both were working on something very important.”
His mother throws them a life preserve and he grabs on to it.
“Yes! Yes, Dalmi-ah had some questions about her business that couldn’t wait. She’s heading out now. I will walk her out.” Dosan is still a coward, he is man enough to admit that.
Dalmi easily goes along with his lie, “Yes. My company is working on a self-driving car. I had some questions about the coding. I apologize for coming over so late.”
Both his parents perk up at the mention of her project, his mother quipping that if Dalmi’s project is a success then she will no longer need to take her driving lessons.
They finally allow Dosan to escort Dalmi out the door only after they have set up plans for dinner the following day, his mother adamant that they formally have a meal with the CEO that Dosan is helping. He almost groans at her lack of subtlety.
Once they are safely outside, Dosan breathes a sigh of relief.
“I’m sorry about my parents. They can be.... excitable. If you would rather not come to dinner tomorrow, I can come up with an excuse for you.” He offers, not wanting to scare the girl off before they can fully restart their relationship.
“What are you talking about? I’m looking forward to dinner with my future in-laws. I want to hear more about the pretty CEO you want to date too.”
He hangs his head, groaning as Dalmi giggles dragging him into another kiss, he lifts her up holding her tightly.
This time, he’s never letting go.
“So, do you believe them?”
Her husband smirks, almost clapping in glee. “Not a chance.”
There shy little boy wasn’t so shy or little anymore.
Chapter 2: Come On Over Baby
Dosan gets a new apartment and everyone has mixed reactions.
Author's note: I have so many ideas about this fake world I created and I'm just going to live here for a while 🤷🏽♀️ I want these things to happen but the show just keeps waking up and choosing violence when they could choose hugs and kisses, it's a damn shame. Anyway if you wanna live in ignorance with me here you gooooooo. 💞💃🏾 Am I back to naming my stories after cheesy songs? Hmmm nobody can prove it *Hums Christina Aguilera*
P.s. I really enjoy writing stories but writing these sometimes takes all day or I have to squeeze it in between work or give up sleep to write it and that's totally my choice I don't need applause for that or anything. But your comments do encourage me and give me energy and I appreciate them all but please refrain from comments that just say write more or update soon. I've spent so much time to give you a story for a pairing that has none, you can find something in the story you enjoyed and share that with me. I try my best to make these stories funny I'd love to know if something made you laugh. That's a more effective way to help me write. Thank you.
It's not a easy decision, no chance at that when his mother stares at him like he admitted to killing puppies but he knows that he needs his own place. His phone calls with Dalmi are getting progressively more heated with them not able to get a moment alone since the event that must not be named.
The first time she asks him what he's wearing he looks down at his cable knit sweater and tells hers, "It's one hundred percent cotton. My mom bought it for me last week. It's very warm." Her silence and subsequent laughter makes him feel as if he's missed something important despite answering her question. With a giggle she replied, "You are really sweet Dosan. You're too good for this world." And he blushes immensely feeling hot under the collar at her excessive praise.
The next time, she simply sends him a message that causes his brain to go offline.
I miss your taste.
There's no way to misconstrue that statement and his brain supplies vivid images of what they did in this very room.
He hurries to lock his door before letting his hands stray, her wet mouth filling his thoughts. Embarrassment isn't enough to deter him and her messages following make it clear she knows exactly the affect her seemingly innocuous message yielded.
So he starts looking for an apartment with Dalmi's help, she will be over a lot and it only makes sense that she should have some input. Her smile is honey sweet when he asks for her help, grinning at him with glee as she sips her iced Americano.
"I would love to help Dosan-ah."
The ordeal takes longer than expected but within weeks he finds a place, a mere twenty minute drive from his parents house and thirty minutes from Dalmi. They share identical sunny smiles as he signs the lease and buys
their his new apartment. He has to repeatedly remind himself that he can afford this place regardless of the exorbitant amount of zero's. He's come a long way indeed.
Telling his parents about his move is uncomfortable to put it lightly, his mom is nonchalant and sulking in equal terms. Wailing that her only son is abandoning her for a pretty young thing, he's just thankful that Dalmi isn't around to hear her new nickname. His father on the other hand is over the moon, slapping him on the back and shouting about the strong will of Nam men. He fears he'll suffer from chronic back pain as a result of the thunderous pounds.
"Don't skip meals. Call if you need anything. You're always welcome to come back. " His mom promises, reaching out to smack his father as breezes by boasting on the phone that he has a free room in the house now and promises that they can use it for gatherings.
"Yes, yes! Bring the soju we should have a drink!"
But when it's time to bring all his belongings to the moving van, manned by Chul-san and Yong-san both parents are eying him with wet eyes from the doorway. He tries to keep his tears at bay but they all end up weeping in front of the gate, Chul-san screaming "They grow up too quickly!" Patting his mother compassionately on the back. He tries the same with his father but the dead glare stops him in his spot.
After a long day unpacking boxes, mostly his computer and tech supplies he collapses on the floor exhausted. With a dopey grin Chul-san is the first to leave, after Saha sends him a message complaining that she's bored and if he wants to hang him he better be there in ten minutes. Chul-san smiles like she sent him a love letter, he shakes his head but he's done trying to understand their relationship.
He waves goodbye to his friend, thanking him for his help and with then it's just him and Yong-san, who immediately starts to interrogate him about Dalmi and their relationship.
"How are things going?" Yong-san asks laying on the wooden floor with him as they both stare out the giant windows, the sunset is a majestic spill of colors.
His lips slide into an instantaneous grin, "I'm happy. Happier than I was in San Francisco."
Yong-san doesn't reply but he reaches across to squeeze his hand and wrap an arm around his shoulder.
They sit like that for a quiet moment.
Until his phone disrupts the gentle silence, the woman in question appearing on his phone. After a nod from his friend he answers the call.
"Dosan-ah! Did you finish moving? I'm sorry I couldn't help you. Are you hungry? I can bring you food." Dalmi's voice is music to his ears, the rumbling of her engine vibrating in his ears.
He answers honestly, "Yes we finished, Chul-san and Yong-san helped me. It's okay I know you had to work today. I am a little hungry, fried chicken?" He knows now that he doesn't need to pretend to want fancy food, they both love fried chicken and its delicious simplicity.
She groaned knowingly, "I had a feeling you'd want chicken on a day like this. I already got some from that place you like. I'll be there in fifteen minutes."
He smiles, nuzzling into Yong-san's shoulder contentlybefore answering, "Okay. I'll see you soon."
He begins to lower the phone but then her voice rings out stopping him "Dosan-ah one more thing!" He immediately brings the phone back to his face humming to show his presence.
"I miss you. I love you."
His heart flutters never tiring of hearing those three words. If he could bottle it up and listen to it daily he would. He's addicted to her love.
"You too. I love you too."
Then they finally hang up cheesy smile etched in his handsome face.
"Wow. I see it now. You really are cockroaches in love. Gross but captivating." Yong-san teases pushing Dosan's head off his shoulder as he gathers his things. He temporarily feels a tinge of guilt, Yong-san is the only one in the group who doesn't have someone. He doesn't want his friend to feel like the fifth wheel.
His thoughts must play on his face because Yong-san mushes his face before sticking out his tongue, "Don't look at me like that. I'm fine we can't all be gross and in loveeee. I'll be stuffing my face with premium beef instead."
They both chuckle as he walks his friend it the door, saying their goodbyes with a quick embrace.
His nerves overtake him when he's alone. He checks his phone but there is nothing there to keep his attention so he starts at the spot where you would have a TV, then he realizes he has nothing here. What will he do with Dalmi? He contemplates texting her to let her know she should probably just go home. In the end his desire to see his girlfriend overwhelms his selflessness. They can be bored together.
Minutes pass and he buzzes her in, body twitching now from her nearing proximity. When she knocks at the door he all but races to answer the door, unshamed.
They stare at each other starry eyed before he moves out of the way and lets her in. Placing a pair of pink house slippers at her feet, at her curious look he explains with a shy shrug, "I bought them for you."
She smiles widely, thrusting the fried chicken at his broad chest.
"I come bearing gifts too."
The enticing aroma of the fried delicacy fills his senses and he takes the proffered bag, thankful that she thought to bring plastic plates and little plastic cups.
"I don't have anything to drink." He apologizes holding up the cups.
Pulling a bottle out of nowhere she then offers him a bottle of wine, deep red with a golden label. He is no connoisseur but it looks expensive.
"You didn't need to bring me wine."
She shrugs, "I wanted to. You're pretty cute when you're drunk."
He reddens remember that embarrassing night so many years ago, his first time sleeping at her house.
"Maybe we shouldn't drink that much."
She laughs loudly at his warning, pulling a bottle opener from her purse. He absently wonders what else is in there.
She pours the liquid into the plastic cups, handing it to him first and instinctively he leans in to smell the beverage. His nose dangerously close to the liquid before he realizes what he's doing and he hurriedly pulls away.
"Is that what you're supposed to do?" She asks before leaning in and sniffing her own wine loudly and without any grace. If he wasn't already in love, he would be falling right now.
They both sniff their wine gracelessly and munch on the crispy sweet meat, the dissonance of the meal doing nothing to stop their consumption.
Dalmi hums sweetly as she sits on the floor looking gorgeous with chicken grease on her lips.
"What?" She questions, licking her fingers clean.
He feels his throat tightening. Parched.
He looks at the ground, avoiding her eye as he downs his wine.
"Nothing. Just thinking. How was your day?"
And he listens as Dalmi tells him all about her long day complaining about her sister and how demanding she is, Dosan pointedly does not mention the fact that she's smiling or the fact that all of Injae's "annoying" habits sound like things that Dalmi herself does all the time. It didn't take him long to realize just how similar the sisters are but god forbid anyone mention that.
He smiles when she starts playing with her hair, thankful to be the one she shares her days with.
When he stands up to collect their garbage, walking into the spacious kitchen. She suddenly stops speaking droning off at the end of an incomplete sentence.
After throwing the garbage in the bin he washes his hands and wonders back over to his silent girlfriend, who is glaring at...the ground?
He calls her name again recapturing her attention.
Peering down he notices that she's staring at his phone. Which has a message notification.
Twisting his lips in thought he crouched down again rejoining Dalmi on the smooth glossy floor.
"I didn't mean to look. It was just right there." She's bites out taking a big gulp from her cup.
He has no idea what could possibly have her so worked up and he picks up his phone to see the answer.
I miss you stranger. Call me soon.
He gasps as soon as he sees those words on the screen: Han Ji Yoon.
He knew it wasn't mature but he'd never actually cut things off with her, he'd just slowly stopped calling her and answering her messages. Some might of considered it ghosting but he called it awkwardly disappearing, he'd never broken up with someone before so he just didn't know how. So he'd hoped she would get tired of him and stop trying to see him, it had been working until this message.
"Dalmi-ah I can explain."
He expects more of a fight but she looks at him, waiting. Expectant and glowering. Fire in her eyes.
"Okay. Go ahead."
He blinks at her stare and gulps when she scoots closer to him, invading his personal space. Not knowing how her proximity renders him useless at the best of times.
So he stutters out how he was too pathetic to tell the girl the truth and instead he'd ignored her and thought she got the memo.
Dalmi doesn't say anything at first and when she finally speaks her words make no sense and he wonders if he's drunker than he thought.
"Does she follow you on social media?"
He nods yes and before he knows what exactly is happening Dalmi is dragging him by his arm to the window and mashing their faces together to take a selfie on his phone.
"Stop looking nervous. Look natural. Smile. Dosan-ah."
She snaps away until she's satisfied and he watches in amazement as she posts the picture to his story with the caption, "New apartment with my love." She puts a little red heart and then decides against it.
"There you go. Now everyone will know that you're taken."
His chest is brimming with emotions and he finds his hands curled around her little chin, she leans into his touch easily swaying as if hypnotized.
Her lips pull into a sneer but something in his eyes kills her denial, her face breaking as she wraps her thin arms around his waist.
"Don't look so proud. I have people texting me too you know?"
And immediately he squints at her words, staring hard at the indent of her phone in her pocket as if to read said messages.
"Let's post that picture on your social media too." He demands feeling the fiery blaze of jealous lick at his heart.
Her eyes widen before she erupts into laughter, dragging him the rest of the distance between them pressing her joy into his mouth.
He sinks his fingers into her thick hair, swallowing the rest of her laughter allowing Dalmi to back her into the cool glass of the window. All his shyness melts away as he kisses her, emboldened by her moans and buckling of her knees. He catches her before she can fall, hoisting her up his long torso until he feels her legs latch around his waist. They kiss until his lips are sore, his tongue deep in her mouth as she nibbles at his mouth. The flavor of chicken and wine explode on his tongue as he licks deeper, intoxicated on Dalmi and her addicting lips.
She teases the rim of his ears, breaking their kiss with a wet smack as they gaze into each other's eyes.
She looks as dazed as he feels. Eyes blown wide as she pants in his arms, almost boneless in his hold as she lets him take the full weight of her body. he barely notices, he has carried her too many times to count. It has become something of a habit. He’ll never recover from the spark in her eyes everything he lifts her, the faint blush on her cheeks. One of the only times that he can make her shy.
He hums fighting to pay attention with Dalmi looking so breathtaking in his arms stroking his hot ears.
"We need to get you a bed. Very soon hmmm?"
This time he knows exactly what she means and he groans hiding in her shoulder as she rubs his head.
Bed. Yes. Getting that immediately. Maybe stores are open. He should go get it.