Laying back on the long sofa which couldn't provide enough space for his long limbs, Kris stared up at the ceiling of his family house’s living room. It was still dark and almost silent outside the house, with only the lamp in the kitchen as his only source of light and the ticking sound accompanying him. But he didn't pay any attention to any of it. Instead, his gaze traced the simple line carving of the plafond above him, following the endless line of square which made the living room ceiling until he sighed out tiredly.
‘Why am I still awake at this time?’ He asked himself, glancing at the analog clock hanging above the entrance of the room to know that the dawn was still far before adding. ‘Why did I come here instead of staying in my room?’
Letting out another sigh, the tall man sat up slowly, ignoring his feet which were still hanging on thin air beyond the sofa armchair. “Marriage.” He muttered softly.
Several months ago, he accepted the proposal of marriage from his long time boyfriend, Minseok. He happily agreed that making it official for them was a very good idea as they were in love with each other and he was -Minseok too- happy when their parents gave their blessing for the marriage of the two.
Soon after that, their parents met and talked about the wedding. Agreement had been reached and everyone had set off to prepare the wedding. And now, it was already a week before the Day. Yifan should be excited for it just like any groom should be, yet a nightmare had started to haunt him which left him with nothing but worry and panic.
Turning on his seat until his feet were off from the armchair and not hanging in the air anymore, Yifan sent his gaze to the photo of him and his mother. He was still so young in that photo, about to start his first day in elementary school back in China, and his mom looked really happy, albeit the tiredness she felt at that time which hung obviously under her eyes.
He couldn't really remember what he felt at that time. Maybe excitement? Or maybe worries? Or scared of new school? He didn't remembered about that day clearly. Yet he still could clearly remember how hard those past days for both of them. He had no father to guide him through his childhood, and even though his mom didn't show it to him, it was clandestinely obvious that she had hard time for the sake of the two of them.
Yifan rarely gave it much thought, he thought he was fine with his mother and they would be alright. But, if he said that he never once thought about it, he would be the biggest liar.
He often wondered; how it would be like if he still had his father, what would happen if he had his father, and what he would do if he had his father. Those thought, even though had been pushed away, still lingered throughout his life, under the pile of memories, watching over him. And when he thought that he had completely forgotten about it, they pushed him down and chained him to his spot.
His fatherless memory became the ghost of his marriage, haunting him with the possibility of it ended badly, and it scared him so much that it kept him awake in his nightmare of future.
“Fan?” A soft voice called sleepily into the darkness of the living room. Yifan turned, standing to greet the sight of his mother at the entryway of the living room, the white light from the kitchen showed bronze hue of her lightly tanned skin yet hid her expression from his vision.
Walking toward her, the son responded, finally able to see her worried expression. “What’s up, ma?”
Placing her hands on her son’s elbows, she looked up at him. “I just want to get some drink. What are you doing here?”
Leading her to the kitchen where he got what she wanted, Yifan offered the glass of water before answering. “Nothing.”
“Nothing?” She echoed in questioning tone before gulping down the water.
Not meeting her eyes, Yifan leaned his hip against the counter, arms crossing loosely in front of him. “Well.. Just something..”
His mother eyed him knowingly, placing down the half empty glass, she asked while taking a seat. “About the wedding?”
Yifan, still not meeting her gaze, nodded dumbly. “Yeah..”
“You know that it's been prepared carefully. It will be alright.”
“Yeah, I know.” Yifan bit his lips, doing his best to not show his mother about how worried he was, not about the wedding but something else beyond it. Yet it had always been his mom who knew him the best.
“You're worried about your marriage with Minseok.” She said, not asking but stating as she took in how Yifan’s finger had been tapping his elbow until she said that.
Yifan didn't say anything. It proved her right and it deliberately worried her when the strong facade his only son always put up started to crumble in front of her. Before, it always worried her when his son put it up, rarely showing his weak side to her, yet to really see it, it pained her more than ever. “Fan.” She called sadly, her hand patting the space beside her.
Following her gesture, Yifan left the kitchen counter and took the seat and sat there, his gaze down on his own lap and his hands. When he felt the calming weight of her hand on his shoulder, he whispered. “What if we're not meant to be together? What if our marriage falls apart? What if this marriage is a…”
Mistake , she knew what Yifan was going to say. The head of Wu family stared sadly at her sole son, her tall prideful son who always stood high against people now looked small and fragile. “Fan.” She called again to gather his attention. “You and Minseok are meant to be together. I believe in that.”
“I have watched you interacting with Minseok much enough to know that.” Reaching out her other hand to hold Yifan’s bigger hand, she said. “Don't look back at the past to find your future. Your future doesn't lay there.”
Marriage life was hard, and keeping it going on was an even harder task. There were going to be lot of problems to face and it should be the couple who had to solve it, together as one family. She had failed one badly, but her marriage wasn't a mistake, not when she got a good man as her son whom she could be proud of.
“You will be alright. Marriage life is hard, but it is never going to be a mistake. If you can hold onto each other, you can tackle down any problems.” Rubbing circles on the back of her son’s hand, she continued, smiling down as she looked at the simple ring on his hand. She wanted to tell him more, yet this was what Yifan had to solve by himself, with Minseok. This was only the start and much more to come. “If you're still afraid, why don't you talk with Minseok?”
When she saw Yifan nodding, she stood emptying the glass of water before placing it on the sink. “I love you.” With that, she left him alone in the kitchen.
After what seems like hours, Yifan looked at the time again. Wondering if calling Minseok during his work was alright, he felt his heartbeat was almost two times faster than the clock as he waited his soon to be husband to pick up the call.
“Hello?” Minseok’s cheerful voice of familiar Korean word reached Yifan’s ear as soon as he answered it, yet it didn't conceal the surprise and worry the speaker had. “Fan? I thought your last message told me that you went to bed?”
Hearing it, Yifan couldn't stop the smile which exploded on his face. “It did.. But I can't sleep.” he muttered, trying to not sound like disturbed.
“You can't sleep?” Minseok echoed the word with a soft hum, behind his boyfriend’s voice, Yifan thought that he heard someone -probably Jongdae, Minseok’s junior at work- tried to make his voice heard by Yifan.
“The bride must be excited for the wedding day!” followed by sound of whistle. Definitely Jongdae, and also Chanyeol. Yifan almost rolled his eyes at the obviousness. Who else?
Yifan heard Minseok shushing the other and from the little rattle and some whine from the other side, the Chinese-Canadian man knew that Minseok was leaving his table, staying away from his work colleague slash friend's prying ears. Even though Yifan didn't say it, Minseok seemed to know the right thing to do. He had always been like that.
Obediently Yifan waited, letting the call to be filled with nothing but shared time until the other said again. “Is there something bothering you?” He asked, knowing that Yifan wouldn't call him in his bedtime unless necessary.
It was really relieving for Yifan to know that Minseok understood almost everything about him and how Minseok fitted with him and filled in what he lacked.
“Fan. You know that I love you.” Minseok said, minutes after Yifan’s silence. Stating. Not questioning. And that's prompted Yifan to tell him.
“I'm scared.” He started and he didn't wait for Minseok to ask him ‘of what’ to continue. “I'm scared that our marriage will fall apart.”
Minseok was obviously stunned at his words, there was small confused ‘huh’, but he didn't say anything. Biting his lip, Yifan added. “What if something happened? What if we can't be together? What if we don't…. Love each other anymore?”
The thought of not able to love Minseok hurted Yifan much that tears started pricking his eyes, and Minseok not answering him, didn't help him to stop it from falling.
Yifan sobbed once or twice before Minseok found his voice again, his voice was as soft as ever. “Yifan? Do you love me?”
“Do you think you will stop loving me?”
“I.. I don't know..”
“Do you want to?”
“No! I don't want to stop loving you. I.. I love you.” Yifan said almost muttered.
“That's good. I love you, too.” the smile was obvious in Minseok’s voice and it was very contagious to Yifan’s uneasiness.
Melting under the soft happiness the Korean man provided him with, Yifan nodded, uncaring if Minseok couldn't see it. He believed that the other would know it.
“If you happen to fall out of love, I will get you to fall back in love with me.” Minseok said jokingly and it succeed in its attempt to draw out Yifan’s laugh. “I love you so much that I won't let you go even though you ask for it.”
“Same. I won't let you go too.”
In the silence of Wu’s house, Yifan let Minseok to fill in the emptiness he felt for several minutes before he had to go back to his work. “I will call you back later.”
“Okay.” Yifan said, mumbling as his eyelids getting heavier.
“I can't wait for you to come to Korea.”
“I'm going there the day after tomorrow.”
“I know. I'm going to pick you and your mother up.”
“Talk to you later, Fan.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too.” Ending the call, Yifan walked upstairs to his room. He smiled softly when he looked at the door of his mother's bedroom, muttering soft thanks, he then moved to his own bedroom. Slipping under the blanket and let his love to Minseok be the lullaby to his much needed sleep.
Long after the marriage, Yifan and Minseok, like any other couples, have several disrupt. They fight, argue back and forth, pointing fingers at each other, yet once they are calm enough, they hold onto each other and let their love to lead them together through each problems.
Their marriage may not going happily ever after, yet that marriage is never a mistake. They love each other and they need each other, the marriage is the completion which brings them even more closer than ever.