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The absence of tomorrow

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He was riding his rattling bicycle along a dusty country road. Maple trees, big and green, with branches hanging over the road, were giving him a little shelter from the afternoon sun. Daesung was tired, his legs felt like they soon would fail him. The road would go uphill after the next bend in the road and the mere thought made his muscles lose strength. Not that he was in a hurry, not really, he was just impatient. He had missed the bus. Just a few seconds faster and the bus driver would have seen him. There wouldn't be another one for at least two hours and his mother had told him to use the bicycle. Probably to prevent him from loitering around the house and being in the way. Today was cleaning day and his mothers working mood was not something to be tampered with. He had readily accepted her idea, which hardly had been a suggestion, anyway.

He decided to walk up the hill. His clothes were clean and he didn't want to ruin them by sweating to much. Late yesterday evening, he had begged his mother to iron his best black trousers and a white shirt. For an occasion like this, he hadn't dared to do it himself.

His shoes had became dusty and he stopped briefly to brush over the black leather with his hand. By now, Seunghyun had probably noticed that he wasn't on the bus. When he got there, he would probably be grumpy and complaining about Daesung being too slow and making him having to wait. The dance wouldn't start for yet a few hours, but Seunghyun was probably just as impatient as him. Not that the dancing was the most important thing this evening, they both knew that.

He was right about Seunghyun's mood. He found him waiting at the bus stop, his hands in his pockets, kicking stones with the tip of his shoe. With already prepared apologies and a few jokes it didn't take long, however, until the older young man was giving him his best smile, everything forgotten.

"Well, at least now we won't have to walk the last way", Seunghyun said and straddled the bicycle to sit behind him. Daesung got them moving and familiar arms slung around his waist, hands on his belly. After a few minutes he felt Seunghyun lean his forehead against him. Soon his whole chest was pressed against his back.

"Slow down a little, will you", he heard him say, voice filled with content and maybe something more. They weren't in a hurry anymore.

The road now winded trough yellow fields and the sun was getting closer to the distant treeline. In their drawn out shadow, Daesung looked like an hunchback, a pair of extra legs just for the sake of it. Seunghyun's breath was warm, almost hot, against his shoulderblade. With one hand, Daesung let go of the handlebars to let it hover in front of Seunghyun's intertwined fingers, his fingertips slightly brushing knuckles of hands already rough from too much work. A sudden bump in the road almost caused them to fall and Daesung's both hands became occupied with keeping them on the road. Seunghyun chuckled but said nothing, arms holding him tighter.

Seunghyun, being the older one, was going to join up for his military service in a few weeks. He himself had gotten a job at one of the bigger farms closer to the town. His mother had already begun packing his belongings. Tonight they would dance with the girls from the neighbor villages while stealing glances at each other across the floor and maybe, maybe, in the early morning hours, if drunk enough, Seunghyun would take his hand and walk him all the long way home and, hidden by the bends of the road, cover his face with fluttering kisses for Daesung to wrap around his heart.

This was today, the sun was setting but the future wasn't there just yet.