Saturday, March 21, 2020
It takes a few days (weeks, actually) for Yoo Joonghyuk to realize a few things.
First, that he doesn't need to be a perfect babysitter and a housekeeper at the same time. And a brother as well. Simply because being perfectionist really drives him crazy at this moment. As long as he does the best that he can, it's enough.
Second, for the sake of his sanity, he needs to lower his standards. It's okay if the house isn't always clean, or the house clothes are not ironed, or the dirty dishes are piled up (Yoo Mia never complains about it anyway).
And third, just like Han Sooyoung has said, he needs to trust people more. Well actually, this is the first thing he realized, since he has trusted Han Sooyoung to babysit Kim Dokja for awhile.
So with that things in mind, in his half-concious half-asleep state, he takes his phone and presses a contact to call the first person he trusts at most.
It's five in the morning when his phone rings. Groans in irritation, after a quick glance at the caller's name, SP picks up his phone with closed eyes.
He nearly has a heart attack. Almost instantly, he gains his full conciousness and opens his eyes wide. After rechecks the caller's name, he answers the phone suspiciously. "Joonghyuk? Did you hit your head?"
True that he is Joonghyuk's older brother. But in 33 years of his life, never once Joonghyuk called him 'hyung'. Sooo, this is an anomaly.
"Hyung, I need help." SP has a second heart attack. Because Joonghyuk and asking for help is almost an impossible combination. He still remembers their conversation a long time ago--
("Asking for help is for the weak." "Joonghyuk, no, it's not. You're just being a tsundere. Just tell me if you need anything, will you?" "No." "...")
Before SP can manage an answer, Joonghyuk already gives his command. "Just come here. ASAP." And hangs up the phone.
SP doesn't realize that his mouth is gaping after five minutes.
When Yoo Joonghyuk opens his front door, SP takes a couple of steps back and looks at him in horror.
"What the fuck?!"
In his defense, Yoo Joonghyuk rarily looks like this--messy hair, dark circles and bags under his eyes, and what is that suspicious spot on his shirt?.
His tired face immediately turns into an annoyed one. "Bastard, you don't have to be that dramatic."
He makes a gesture for SP to follow him.
Although curious, SP doesn't rush him with question and follows him obediently. "Why don't you call me 'hyung' anymore?" He says teasingly.
Yoo Joonghyuk turns his head to him and makes a face. "I will never do that."
"But you just did this morning." SP glances at him in confusion.
"No, I didn't?" But Yoo Joonghyuk looks more confused. "Do you want to be called 'hyung' that bad until you hallucinate?"
SP looks at him, narrows his eyes, then sighs. "Forget it." 'Is he originally this forgetful?'
Yoo Joonghyuk scowls deeply, but he doesn't say anything else and opens his bedroom door, revealing a desk with gaming tools (normal), floor with scattered dirty clothes (not normal), and a bed where a baby is lying (DEFINITELY not normal).
"Joonghyuk, I won't help you in this. Kidnapping is illegal!" SP is getting ready to nag him.
Annoyed, Yoo Joonghyuk smacks the back of his head ("Ow!") and scolds him. "I didn't kidnap him, idiot."
After he has listened the story, SP hums in understanding. "So... You're a father now? Should I say congratulation?"
It takes all of his self-control for Yoo Joonghyuk to not throttle him.
"Oppa? Why are you here so early?" Yoo Mia peeks to the bedroom while rubbing her eyes sleepily.
"Mia-ya." SP extends his arms and Yoo Mia hugs him happily.
Her eldest brother rarily visits her, but when he does, he spoils her so much. She doesn't even understand, why does he bother to rent an apartment? This house is big enough for three of them!
"Mia-ya, how have you been?"
"Oppa, I can't sleep well this days, Kim Dokja is always crying at night." Yoo Mia complains.
"Kim Dokja?" SP furrows his eyebrows.
"Ah.." SP suddenly remembers why he is summoned here. He has a hunch that it's related with the baby.
"So what do you need me for? Please don't ask me to do the baby laundry..."
"No. I need you to do the cooking, since I'm too tired to cook three times a day."
It takes a minute for SP to process the words. "Did you just hire me as a chef?"
"You can say it like that."
"...Fine." SP takes a deep breath. It's fine, no problem, he will do anything for his dearest brother.
"Cooking for two more people is not a big deal."
"...Actually, there are another children."
"There are another children."
SP raises his eyebrows high. "I didn't know that you open a daycare now." He says. "Who are they, by the way?"
"Two neighbors who live next door, they are Mia's friends." A pause. "Don't ask me where do their parents go."
"Oh, there is one more."
SP raises one of his eyebrow questioningly.
Yoo Joonghyuk thinks for a moment. "Excluding me, there are four people. Mia, Yoosung, Gilyoung... and Han Sooyoung."
SP fights the urge to jaw drop.
"Han Sooyoung? Your friend in college who tried to fight a tree when she was drunk that one time?"
"She isn't a child."
"Oh, she is."
That's how SP joins the babysitting crew.
From now on, he can breath in relief. SP will be a huge help since it means that he doesn't have to cook three times a day anymore.
"Oppa! Doesn't it mean that you will stay here from now on?"
"Looks like it."
Yoo Mia is jumping up and down excitedly. Seems like the happiest one among them is not Yoo Joonghyuk, but Yoo Mia.
"Yay! Joonghyuk-oppa is always busy lately, I feel kinda lonely."
Yoo Joonghyuk can't help feeling guilty.
"No, It's okay! I understand, Oppa. I'm just happy that we can gather again like this." Yoo Mia has a nostalgic smile. "Just like the old days."
They remember the past when it was just two of them, and then became three after Mia came. It was a difficult time, but it didn't mean that they wasn't happy as they had each other. It was far better with only three of them, than with their unresponsible parents.
All of those time made her understand, that no matter how busy her brothers were, they are always here for her.
And SP, as the eldest, always says the same thing, "Yes, it's okay. I'm here."
("So the rumour is half-true, then."
"You don't know? I'm not following your activity so I don't know where did it come from, but I think it appeared last month? Your manager had clarified about it though."
"...What is this rumour exactly?"
"Well, rumour has it that you impregnated your girlfriend, and then she dumped you and her baby, so you had to raise it alone."
But it seems like it's too early to breathe a sigh of relief. What Yoo Joonghyuk doesn't realize is, he just creates another chaos in the house.
Sunday, March 22, 2020
He just arrives home after groceries shopping and he hears Han Sooyoung's voice the moment he opens the door.
Han Sooyoung sprints towards him and wraps her arms around his waist from behind as if she's hiding.
"What now?" Yoo Joonghyuk frowns.
She points at her coming direction. Yoo Joonghyuk looks up and sees SP, standing furiously, hands in his hip.
"HE HATES ME!" Han Sooyoung is sobbing. "He is such an evil stepmother."
SP looks strangely offended.
"No, I'm not! The children love me." He only denies the evil part. He doesn't deny being a stepmother. "You're the one who were being a little shit!"
Yoo Joonghyuk facepalms.
Saturday, March 28, 2020
SP takes out the newly-baked brownies from the oven.
It's four in the afternoon. As usual, they are having a snack, because of course the children can't make it through to the dinner without a snack.
"Oppa! It smells so good!" Yoo Mia and friends sit in the dining table and wait impatiently.
SP forms a faint smile. "Of course."
He puts it in a plate, then cuts it into bite-sized pieces. After that, he serves it to the children.
"Be careful, it's still hot."
The children don't look like they care though. They eat it happily and sometimes even fighting over a bigger size.
Then Han Sooyoung appears.
"What is this?"
"What do you think." SP, as always, is being a kind of bitch.
"Tsk." Looks like he's still mad about the last incident she made.
It's not like she was doing it on purpose, okay?! She was trying to cook since Yoo Joonghyuk was in his groceries shopping and SP was nowhere to be found.
Thus, that made her as the only target of the starving children's whines.
So if she burned down the kitchen at the same moment as SP came, she's not the only one to blame, okay!
Han Sooyoung observes the brownies in the table. "Why does it have green colour?"
"It's green tea mint."
"Hm. Fascinating." Han Sooyoung tastes a bite and immediately crinkles her face in disgust.
"It tastes like mint toothpaste."
"Don't eat it if you're only going to insult it." SP shots back. "It's perfectly delicious."
"You have a weird taste bud."
"If I'm weird, then you're weirder."
"No, I'm completely normal."
"Normal is relative, it depends on which standard. If we're using the majority standard, apparently you are the only one here who have a different opinion about this. So, your claim of being normal is invalid."
"Having a different opinion doesn't make me wrong."
"If that's the case, then your argument that I'm weird is not right either."
"You are an exception, of course."
SP glares at her. Han Sooyoung grabs his collar, and SP pushes her shoulder to shove her away.
Their heads turn towards the voice direction simultaneously.
Yoo Joonghyuk forms a hideous smile.
"Shut the fuck up. Your voices are so fucking loud. My sweet child can't fucking sleep."
Han Sooyoung and SP release their hold, both feel the cold creeping down their spines.
"If I hear your voices again, I'll send you to hell. Do you understand?"
"I understand." "It won't happen again." They answer spontaneously.
"Good." Yoo Joonghyuk turns around while carrying Kim Dokja in his arms.
After he left, they throw a glare at each other with the same ferocity.
'This isn't over yet.' Is what the unsaid.
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Kim Dokja is lying down in his new bouncer and eyeing the toys above him with interest. Yoo Joonghyuk is washing the dishes while watching over him.
When he's done, he takes Kim Dokja out of his bouncer and then positions him in M-shape carry using a sling wrap. Perfectly burries him in the warm of his chest.
He learns this carrying position a few days ago. And it has been a game-changer in his life, since now he can carry him anywhere while doing his household works.
Evenmore, he can nuzzle Kim Dokja's hair everytime he wants to sniffs an unique scent of a baby.
Unfortunately, they're not alone in this house.
Yoo Joonghyuk raises his head at the same time with Han Sooyoung launches herself at SP's back, wraps her legs on his waist and performs a headlock, effectively chokes him out.
"Keuk?! What the fu--"
"This is for that one time you put a fucking cockroach in my food!"
"No?! I never did--"
"No, I did not!! Lee Gilyoung did!"
Lee Gilyoung laughs hysterically and breaks into a sprint, escapes from the house.
Han Sooyoung gapes and looks betrayed.
"See?! Now just let me breath--"
Yoo Joonghyuk begins to wonder what kind of a person Kim Dokja will be if he's raised in this family.
Monday, March 30, 2020
"--powerfull earthquake that struck Indonesia's Sulawesi Island last week has killed--"
"--to be evacuated after their houses were destoyed by Cyclone Eloise--"
"--commited suicide. It has been identified as 32-year-old woman with initial name LS--
"I'm bored. Let's play a game."
"Sorry, I'm already playing with Dokja, you see."
"Tsk." Han Sooyoung pouts, stares at both Yoo Joonghyuk and Kim Dokja who are lying on a playmat.
Yoo Joonghyuk is in his stomach while observing Kim Dokja doing his tummy time.
He sways a toy in front of Dokja, who looks interested and tries to lift his head.
After a minute, he rolls Dokja over. Now lying in his back, Kim Dokja moves his arms and legs eagerly.
'Who knows the infamous Supreme King is surprisingly good at babysitting.' Han Sooyoung thinks. 'Damn this multitalented bastard.'
She gets up from her seat, then walks towards the kitchen.
"Where do you think you're going?" Suddenly, SP raises his head from his laptop and glares at her suspiciously.
"Kitchen. I'm hungry."
"Didn't I say that you're banned from it?"
"So basically you're saying that you will let me die from hunger?"
"No matter how much I want you to die, unfortunately you need at least 30 days to die from starvation."
Han Sooyoung curls her fist in his collar and snarls, "What the hell is your problem."
"Oh now you're asking it as if you don't know--"
"It's not my fault that--"
"So you're saying that it's my fault--"
"Yes! Who else--"
Yoo Joonghyuk sighs and puts his head in his hands, muttering, "Not again."
Thankfully, before they wreak a havoc and break maybe a chair or two, someone is knocking the front door.
Yoo Joonghyuk quietly sighs in relief, then after he takes Kim Dokja to his arms, he goes to the door and opens it.
He sees the smiling face of Lee Hyunsung.
"Good afternoon, Joonghyuk-ssi. I believe I have something important to tell you. Could you spare a few moment?"
"Of course, Hyunsung-ssi. Please come in."
Lee Hyunsung enters the house and makes an eye contact with Han Sooyoung.
"Sooyoung-ssi." Lee Hyunsung nods at her. Then he sees SP.
"Ah, you are..."
"Joonghyuk's brother. Nice to meet you."
"Ah, I see. Nice to meet you." 'They are really look alike.' Lee Hyunsung thinks. 'Except that he looks more ferocious.'
After they sat down on the couch, Lee Hyunsung starts talking.
"We had checked all of hospitals in Seoul to know where was Kim Dokja born. After we grasped his mother's name, we began the investigation and achieved a few information."
Lee Hyunsung slides a folder to Yoo Joonghyuk. Yoo Joonghyuk opens it and sees a picture of a woman, pinned to a paper full of paragraphs.
"Her name is Lee Sookyung. She gave birth to Kim Dokja on February 15. Her husband is..." Lee Hyunsung clears his throat. "I must say... He is the worst husband you can ever have. Abusive, alcoholic, gambler. He left Lee Sookyung when she was 6-month pregnant. We haven't found him yet."
Lee Hyunsung falls silent for a moment to construct the next words. Han Sooyoung misinterprets him, and gives him a cup of water.
Lee Hyunsung stares at her with confusion, but takes her kindness anyway. "That's very kind of you, Sooyoung-ssi."
"Don't mention it."
Lee Hyunsung clears his throat for the second time. "Now where am I... Oh right. As for Lee Sookyung..." A pause. "She was missing for a month after she gave birth. And... Two days ago, we found her body in the riverside of Han River. Although the autopsy report haven't come out yet, we suspected that she committed suicide..."
Silence decends on the room. Slowly, each head turns towards Yoo Joonghyuk one by one.
"Yoo Joonghyuk-ssi." Lee Hyunsung calls him. "It's now impossible to return him to his parents, including his father, since I don't think he's responsible enough to take care of his own child."
Yoo Joonghyuk's still silent.
"I will give you some time to think, Joonghyuk-ssi. I can help you to make his birth certificate with his biological parents' name. And after you have decided... You can always find me to help you either for register him to orphanage or make the adoption paper."
"...Yes, thank you so much, Hyunsung-ssi. I'm sorry for bothering you."
"Not at all. Then, please excuse me." Lee Hyunsung smiles and leaves.
Silence decends on the room once again.
"Yoo Joonghyuk." Han Sooyoung breaks the silence. "Take your time, no need to rush. I'll handle Kim Dokja for now, if you need some time alone."
"Thank you, Han Sooyoung."
After he handed Kim Dokja to Han Sooyoung, he leaves for his room.
His head suddenly feels heavy like a new big burden just fell upon him.
He lays himself in the bed, closes his eyes, and thinks, 'Now, what should I do?'