You like to think things have changed ever since that night. For one, Minjoo has been more smiley towards you. Not that she wasn't before, but it's even more so these days. It's tinted with something too. You don't dare to hope that it's love. But you can't help to when you see the twinkle in her eyes, the slight yet noticeable change in her behavior, the closer distance between you two, the soft touches of her hands.
You've changed how you act towards her too. You touch her more often. A slight touch on the shoulders. A soft grasp on her hand. When you're feeling especially brave, you would hug her. You ask about her days now. Well, you tried to, but she beats you to it by talking about it even before you ask about it. You like hearing her talk. It's a slight change. You think she notices regardless.
There's also the fact that you sleep together now. Ever since that night, you could never sleep as peacefully without Minjoo in your arms. At first, you tried to ignore it. She had been sleeping in her room too. It makes you think that it might've been a one-night thing. But as the days go by, good sleep becomes harder to attain, and the fact that Minjoo is just on the other side of the wall slowly drives you into insanity.
You couldn't take it anymore one night and just decided to ask her. Albeit, the way you asked was a bit... rough to say the least. Thank god, Minjoo is a literal angel.
It was a rough day. As you lay there in bed at—you glance at the clock beside you—two am in the morning, you can't help but to mentally think of the possibilities of burning that damned office down. Would you be able to escape prison? Maybe if you plan hard enough, the police might not even catch you as the culprit. Yeah, you could probably get away with arson. You might have to frame someone though. Jinyoung is high on the list of people you want to go to hell. Might as well make him useful.
You blink. Never mind. Minjoo would get sad if she finds out. You sigh and turn to your side.
The window curtains are open. You can see the city clearly. The window is floor to ceiling. Which also means a lot of light is spilling into your room. It's soft though. Your room glows serenely. It's pretty you think. Both your room and the city. If you listen closely enough, you can hear the faint sound of cars in the distance. It's tranquil.
Most days, this would lull you to sleep. Gazing onto the stars on earth and thinking of her in the meanwhile. But it doesn't work. It hasn't been working well for the last few days. You wait and wait for sleep to come, and it comes slowly like a snail that's a hundred meters away.
You sigh for the nth time that night. Turning around again, you gaze at the wall. The solution to all of these torturous nights. No, not the wall. But the person on the other side of it.
You want to ask her. You really do. But you're afraid to push your boundaries. Stepping out of line. That night was an exception. Emotions were high. Both of you had a long day and probably needed the company. You don't really know about now though. But as you lay here at almost three am in the morning gazing into the wall, you're getting a bit delirious, and really, you're starting to not care about the line.
You can't take it anymore. You quickly get out of bed and out of your room. You're about to just open her door before stopping yourself. You may be desperate, but you're not about to forget your manners. You knock softly on the door. It takes a few more knocks before you hear sheets shuffling and the soft pitter patter of feet.
The door opens and the sight of a sleepy Minjoo greets you. You feel your heart going up to the clouds just from how soft she looks right now. She looks at you confused and there's a cute frown on her face. You keep your face as straight as possible.
"Chaewon? What—" she doesn't finish her sentence. Mostly because you don't let her. You pick her up from the floor and she lets out a scream. It hurts your ear a bit, but you suppose it's fine since it's Minjoo. You just carry her back to your room. "W-What are you doing?"
There's a stutter in her voice. It's cute you think. You just grunt as a response. Thank god you left your door open earlier. If not, getting inside your room would've been more difficult than this. You shut the door close with your foot. She still looks very much confused at what's happening. You don't blame her. If you were woken up only to be carried off somewhere, you would be too.
Setting her down on your bed—on her preferred side of course—you quickly climb to your side. You put blankets on both of you and pull her in closer by the waist. Her back against your front. You snuggle into her hair. Minjoo is warm and everything smells like her now. You feel every muscle in your body relax. It's at this moment that you promise to yourself to never sleep without Minjoo again.
You feel her chuckle and her hands intertwining with yours.
"You could've asked instead of kidnapping me, you know?"
You just grunt again in response. She chuckles again. You feel her snuggling closer and you pull her even closer.
"Good night, Chaewon."
Nowadays, you've even started to finish work as early as possible. It's so that you can go home earlier. Minjoo works as a model. Most of the time, she's outside doing photo shoots. But she always goes home before you. She once said that it was boring without you there. So, it's only natural for you to fulfill her wish. She didn't say anything out loud, but you could guess.
You would do anything to make her happy.
And so, today too, you try to finish up your work as soon as possible. But it's not going as well as you had hoped.
The sound of you writing on the keyboard resounds throughout the empty and silent room. The only other sound being the ticking of the clock. It's around ten or maybe eleven. You don't really know. You haven't glanced at the clock since you got the phone call from your secretary. A misunderstanding had occurred between the two companies while the merger was happening. And no one thought to tell you this until now.
One of the representatives had apparently withheld some curial information. Deeming it unnecessary and not important enough. Clearly, he was wrong. The worst part of it is that the representative who fucked up was from your company. Was. You quickly demoted him from the position. You don't need an incompetent subordinate. Now, you've been stuck in this office for hours on end trying to fix his mistake. Contracts and agreements to rewrite. Making more proposals. Fixing reports. You've even skipped dinner for this. Sighing, you lean back on to your chair and look up to the ceiling. You still need to write at least a few more emails before you can go home.
Normally, your secretary, Hitomi, would send these emails for you. The Japanese woman would often do her work quickly and with almost no mistake. Almost because we are still human. A perfect secretary so to say. But the woman had an emergency today. Somewhat. Her parents had come to visit her, and you're not cruel enough to hold her back from her family.
Speaking of family, you think of Minjoo. You sent her a text that you would be coming home late today around—you glance at the clock—five hours ago. You sigh through your nose and sit up straight again. Your hands massage your temple. Peaking at your laptop, you see the empty email waiting to be written. You rake your hair back and sigh. Maybe a small break is needed.
Picking up your phone, you look through your notifications. Nothing much. A few texts from your cousin—your better cousin. Some spam texts. An alarm from that game you've been playing. And some from your social media that you never open.
You can't help but be disappointed a little bit. You were kind of hoping Minjoo would text you back. Not that she has to text you back. Whether she texts you back or not is none of your business. She has her own life and you're not going to control every single part of it. You don't have the right to anyway. You may have gained some rights, but she's still her own person. She's a grown-up woman who can decide whether she wants to text her wife or not, and continue to ignore—Ding!
‘Are you still in the office? :( It's almost twelve‘
You had almost dropped your phone from surprise. It doesn't last long though as you're soon scrambling to reply to her.
‘I am. I still have emails and files to send.'
‘Did you at least eat dinner there?‘
‘I'll pick something up on the way home. It's fine.'
‘It is NOT‘
‘I'm coming over there >:( with FOOD and you WILL eat while you work!‘
You frown at that. It's late. She should be sleeping and resting. Not going to your office and bringing food. You tell her so. That she should just rest at home. That you'll be done in an hour or so anyway. But none of your messages is read and you suppose that's that. You know how stubborn she can get with these types of things. She once practically chained you to bed when you were sick and still tried to go to the office. You know when to back off. You send her one last text before going back to writing up all the emails.
It's half an hour later when she comes knocking on your office door. You were in the middle of writing the third email when you heard the sound of footsteps coming closer in the empty office building. You look up to see her with a bag of take-out on one hand and a smile on her lips, and suddenly, this dim office becomes a bit brighter. You smile back at her. Quickly coming over to your side, she puts the brown bag on your desk. You pull away from your laptop and you notice that she had brought food from your—their favorite Chinese place.
"I don't understand how you do it. It's like a haunted house here. It's so creepy.” She says while looking out your glass walls and into the empty hallways. You can hear the hint of fright in her voice. You chuckle and move your chair further from your desk. You pull her in closer. She gets what you mean and sits on your lap. Snuggling into your neck. You hug her tight to make her feel safer. Inhaling her scent, you feel your muscles relaxing. It feels like you're back home and not in your office building. She's warm and soft and it really feels like you're hugging the sun. You'll protect the sun from whatever she's afraid of.
You're not feeling especially brave right now, but you are feeling very tired right now. All you want to do is just have her in your arms. Preferably in bed and away from the world. She doesn't seem to mind anyway from the way she's circled her arms around your neck. Pulling you closer even though there's already no more distance between them.
"Were you scared?" You ask her with a teasing smile. She can't really see it though. Not when her head is literally squished onto your shoulder and neck.
"No, I wasn't. Just a bit creeped out," she mumbles out. Her voice muffled. With her big sweater and current behavior, you really think she might be the biggest baby. It's cute and you want to keep giving your attention to her.
If nothing matters and you should be doing whatever you think is important, you would've ditched this hours ago and gone home to her. But unfortunately, this is also important and the emails are also important. Not as important as her, but you know this will only end up biting you in the ass if you don't finish this now. You sigh. Such is the life of an heiress. You are so getting a vacation after the merger is done.
"Hmmm, you should go home now. Sleep. Rest. I'll eat the take-out and go home in half an hour if I write the emails fast enough."
"No, I wanna stay here," she whines. Before adding in a softer tone. "With you."
"But aren't you tired?"
"I'm fine." You feel her pout rather than see it. Her lips grazing the skin of your neck. You feel your ears getting hot. Thank god they're covered by your hair right now. She tightens her hold on your neck. You sigh and give up quickly. And if you're being honest, you don't want her to leave too.
Taking out the food from the brown bag, you simultaneously try to eat and write emails while having her sitting on your lap. A bit difficult but you manage to do it. You had brought this on yourself anyway. Not the email. Definitely not the emails. But her sitting on your lap. There are exactly two couches in this office. Both big enough to have a grown man lying down on it and still have some extra space left. Like you said earlier though, you have the sun in your arms and you're not about to let her go so soon.
Minjoo's perfectly comfortable anyway. She's playing with her phone. A game with chickens and farms of some sorts. She does, however, get sleepy from waiting for you. Yawning every five minutes or so. You remember the photo shoot she had earlier today. Starting from seven am and ending at eight pm. A full thirteen-hour shoot and she still chose to come here and give you food instead of resting at home. It's not her longest shoot by far, but enough to give you concern. You want to urge her to go home again. You don't because you know she'll say she's fine. Instead, you try to hurry it up. Plus, there are only two emails left.
When you do finally finish up the emails, she's already asleep. Breathing softly against your neck. You smile at the sight. She looks so peaceful right now. You can't help but to want to protect her with all you have. You move her bangs to the side and kiss her forehead. You can't count the amount of times you've done this. Yet being only brave enough to do so when she's asleep.
It wasn't your plan really. Any of this. Getting attached to her. Caring for her. Protecting her. Falling in love with her. Get married, keep your distance, and respect each other's boundaries. You wouldn't get attached. You wouldn't be her friend nor lover. That was the plan. After all, it was a political marriage. You thought you shouldn't get close to your so-called wife. It'll only make things way too complicated. But you still did anyway.
somewhere along the lines, her constant need to be a good wife brings you feelings of endearment instead of bringing questions to your head about why she would do that. Although, you still don't understand why she would do that. You're grateful she did though. You don't think you would feel this way if she didn't. Your marriage would've been full of emptiness, isolation, and lies. Acting in front of the press. Only for cold stares, the moment the eyes of the public are away. You think it'll be like a lonely star, trillions of light years away from any of its siblings. Drifting aimlessly in the coldness of space. You would still have your friends—the few that you have. But you know it won't be the same.
Nothing would be the same if you couldn't feel the warmth she gives.
You try to think back to when you first fell in love. You think it was last year. At a family gathering between the two Kim families. Both of your parents thought it would be a great opportunity to build up the relationship for both families. Everyone had to attend. So, naturally, you and Minjoo were there for the shit show that is a family gathering. Safe to say, you're not the biggest fan of those. But she makes it better you suppose.
It was a sunny day. Blue skies all around and few clouds here and there. You feel the cool breeze on your skin. Your hair flying and scattering. The scent of trees and dirt. The earth filled your senses. You could see only green for miles and miles. The trees in the distance and the grass under your feet. You hear the sound of her voice a distant away from you.
The gathering was done at a farm in the middle of nowhere. Something about connecting with nature and good Feng Shui or whatever your mom said. You're just glad to be away from the city for once. Away from tall office buildings and concrete walls. You were starting to feel a bit caved in. This is a good escape from all of that. Even if it's with your dysfunctional family. You don't necessarily hate them though. Well, at least not all of them.
The sound of children's laughter tears your eyes away from the scenery in front of you. Looking back at the barn, you see a bunch of kids running around and chasing each other. You had pulled yourself away from the party a while back. Opting to go to the edge of the house to be alone. Resting on a bench underneath a tree and looking out into the view. Crowds were never your thing. Always preferring to be alone. Besides you think you saw Jinyoung grabbing a chicken before you left and you do not want to stay for what happens next.
You were about to look back out to the view when your eyes catch something. Or more precisely, the person chasing after the kids. There in all her glory, your wife of a few months runs around the yard. A carefree smile on her face. You think of the sun. In the few months you've been married to her, you've never quite seen her smile like that. Always a shy or wry smile. Maybe it's because they're directed at you. Maybe it's because she's still uncomfortable. Regardless, this is new, and for some reason, you really want to save it in your mind. It's beautiful and you want to keep seeing it.
You take a deep breath. You keep watching them play.
She manages to catch one child. You recognize her as one of your nieces. Yeojin. An annoying little demon in your opinion. But a loveable kid nonetheless. You love that kid to bits. Always so eager to ask you about the stars and their stories. Most of the time though, she'll be talking her mouth off about her adventures with her closest friend Yerim. You remember everything she told you.
Minjoo picks her up and twirls her around. Yeojin laughs loudly and your wife pretends to be a monster. Roaring and making menacing faces all the while. You don't find any of it scary. Neither does Yeojin apparently when she giggles and pulls on her cheek. She whines and put the little menace down. That's when all the children start to gang up on her. Trying to slay the 'monster'. Their tiny hands slapping and punching your wife. You doubt they hurt in any capacity. They're all around four to seven in age. What can they do? But Minjoo falls down dramatically anyway. Not caring one bit for her white sundress.
"What are you smiling for?"
You turn your head towards the voice. Reluctantly ripping your eyes away from the scene in front of you. Hyewon looks at you with amusement in her face. You roll your eyes and humph. You don't bother answering her. The grin on her face says everything anyway. You just go back to watching your wife and the kids. You hear her chuckling lightly. She sits next to you and bumps on your shoulder. You side glance at her, but otherwise, say nothing.
"Already so whipped, huh?"
You glare at her.
"Oh, come on. Don't give me that look," she smirks at you. "I see the way that you look at her."
You scoff at that.
"What are we? Five?" You look at her unimpressed. Her smile widens.
"No, but I don't see you denying it either."
You look back at her and the children. They've stopped attacking her now and you notice how 'children' became 'child' instead. Yeojin is sitting next to her underneath a tree. You guess the others had gone to play somewhere else or gone back to their parents. You see Yeojin blabbering away to her. A shine in her eyes. Minjoo listening with all of her attention. A soft smile on her face as she listens on. Thoughts of having your own child pass through your mind. A kid with her. You think of a sunny day just like this. A picnic between just you, her, and your kid. You shake the thoughts as quickly as they come. But you can't shake off the warm feeling in your chest.
“Shut up," you tell her. Hyewon laughs softly before telling you of a reminder. You don't remember. You were only half listening. Too busy still watching them. You wave her off and she walks away with a chuckle.
As you look at her and Yeojin laughing, you can't help but think that maybe having a family wouldn't be so bad. Not as bad as you think at least. Definitely not if she's the mother. It's then when you come to a realization. It comes to you like a soft and warm wave to your chest. Like a warm cup of coffee on a cold day. Like the soft blankets of your bed in your childhood home. Like a sunny day in spring. There was no thunder. No lighting. Just a simple realization.
Oh, you love her.
(It was never your plan to fall in love with her. But you would do it over and over again.)
While staring at her sleeping face is relaxing and all, you both still need to get home. You look at the clock and it's already around one o'clock. You try to wake her up.
"Minjoo," you call out to her softly. She stirs lightly and you call out to her again. "We can go home now."
"Finally," she yawns out and stretches. You chuckle at the sight.
"Come." You pat her lightly on her hip and she gets off from your lap.
You quickly clean up the papers on your desk and turn off your laptop. While she cleans up the take-out you had finished up. A bit haphazardly in your opinion. But you suppose it's fine. You don't need your office to be pristinely clean. Moreover, you can just clean your desk again in the morning. Wait, tomorrow is a Saturday. Then you'll clean it on Monday if the janitors or your secretary hadn't gotten to it first.
Picking up your bag and blazer, you walk over to your door. She waits for you out in the hallways as you turn off the lights. She clings on to your arm. You think it's part from fear and part from the fact that she still can't walk properly from how sleepy she is. You press the button to call the elevator up and wait.
"Did you drive here?"
"Nope," she says simply and offers no other explanation besides that. She probably just took a taxi or maybe one of the drivers drove her here. A good idea. You don't want your wife in an accident because she fell asleep while driving.
The elevator dings, signaling its arrival. The doors open and you both step in. When the door closes again, she rests her head on your shoulders and yawns yet again. You lean your head against hers too. You debate giving her another kiss on the head. At this point, you know she won't mind, but you haven't really gone into that territory yet. So, you're still a bit skeptical. Although, you suppose now is a good time as ever to start doing it while she's awake. It seems like you become more daring the more tired you are.
You kiss her head and wait for a response. You think your palms are a bit clammy now. She moves her head and you pull back your head too. She kisses your jaw, and yeah, that wasn't as bad as you think it was going to be. Rationally, you know her response wouldn't be bad at all. But you have the tendency to overthink. You untangle your arm from hers and opt to hold her waist instead. She leans on your shoulder again.
"Thanks," you softly tell her. The elevator dings again and both of you step out into the basement.
"For what?” She asks back. Her voice filled sleep.
"Everything I suppose. Bringing me food. Being here with me." You take out your car keys and open the passenger door for her.
"A pleasure.” She kisses your cheek before going in. You feel your ears becoming hot again, and she's really taking this new development quickly, isn't she?
You go around to the driver's seat and start the car. You drive both of you back home. The car ride is quiet. None of you bother turning on the radio. You have half a mind to think she's sleeping again. But when you glance to her on a red light, she's still awake. Looking out to the passing scenery. Sometimes, you figure, silence like this is nice too.
Once you've arrived back into your apartment, she excitedly celebrates. Well, as excited as one can get when they're on the brink of sleep.
"We're finally home!” She exclaims groggily.
And something in that sentence puts a stop in your steps. You freeze in the middle of the living room and watch her stupidly.
Home. You don't know when you started using that word. You don't know when this apartment became something more than just a house for both of you. But it has. You realize that she never sleeps in her own room anymore. You realize that you always have your meals together now. You realize that you're not separated in separate rooms anymore. You're in the same room now. You have been for a while, and you think you've known this too. If not, then why would you use the word home? Why would you call it our home? But you haven't been conscious about it. Not until now at least.
"Chaewon?" You blink and snap out of your reverie. She looks at you a bit concerned. "You okay there?"
"Yeah, I'm—" You feel so much more than okay. You wonder a bit why you've only noticed this now. Your chest is so warm and full it feels like the sun is in it. And honestly, you feel like crying a bit. "I'm fine."
"Really?” She walks over to you.
"Yeah," you tell her again. You give her a smile to try and reassure her. You take her hand and bring her upstairs. "Come on, let's go to sleep."
That night, when you embrace her in your arms, you hug her especially tight. She gives you a goodnight kiss and you kiss her back. The only thoughts running through your mind is that you're home. You're home. You're home. You think of the proverb 'home is where the heart is' and you think that they might be on to something. Because Minjoo is certainly where you feel the warmest and loved.
She's you're home. She's your sun.
The next morning, you wake up to the smell of pancakes, maple syrup, and coffee. You search your covers to find her gone. Of course, she's in the kitchen you think. Dragging your body from your bed and into your bathroom, you quickly brush your teeth. Distinctively remembering how she doesn't like morning breath. You go down the stairs, and you see her sitting on of the barstools at the island counter. Sipping a cup of tea and looking at her phone. You come up to her from behind and hug her.
"Good morning, sleepyhead.” She grins as she looks back at you. The sunlight hits her face so beautifully you can feel your breath being taken away. Maybe it's because you're still a bit delirious, but you think she really is the sun personified. Or at least, the goddess of the sun.
And maybe it's because you're still delirious, you kiss her. Not on the cheek. Not on the jaw. Not anywhere on her face but her lips. And yeah, it's just like you expected. Everything is warm and soft, and it's like kissing the sun. The best part, you think, is the fact that the sun is kissing you back. You pull her in by the waist and she pulls you in by the neck. You're about almost sure you're in the heavens amongst the stars right now.
"Good morning," you softly say against her lips.
You've always loved the stars since you were a little. Always searching up on constellations and their stories. The same ones that you have memorized and told Yeojin many times. As a kid, you've wanted your own star. One to call it yours. You have one now, and it's your favorite star. The sun and she's called Kim Minjoo.
You might get burned, but you're never going to let her go. For you have loved the sun too greatly to be burned.
I may be your sun, Chaewon. But you're my moon and I don't think I can ever let you go either. The world can't exist without us together.
I love you too.