Five

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"What did the letter say anyway?" I queried to my husband, following behind him as he walked through the grocery store. I looked up to his full height, watching him carefully for any reaction.

Jae-won laughed lightly. "It was nothing important, Lilla. She was just having fun in her youth."

I curled up my lip, turning my head away from him as I mumbled incoherent words under my breath. "I'm going to kill her, I swear."

A hand dropped on the top of my head, startling me. "Don't be so hard on her, there was no harm done," Jae-won reasons. His dark eyes lowered down to mine, sparkling slightly. "I was the same way."

I frowned, moving away from his hand. "What's that suppose to mean?"

He changed the subject, pulling the cart to a stop and reaching for something on the shelf. "What kind of rice do you want?"

"I'm allergic," I responded quickly, not looking his way.

Jae-won seemed puzzled, stopping his hand from grabbing the food. "Really? Then what do you eat?"

I sighed. Quickly, I took the white rice bag off the shelf and put it in the cart. I started to walk away from him, ignoring his intense stare. "There is more to food then rice, Jae. It's America: We eat hamburgers."

"With rice."

I rolled my eyes. "I don't eat rice that often. You might in Korea, but I don't."

We continued to walk around, taking any and everything we presumed was useful for our new house. As I piled in chips or soda, he gradually took them out of the cart and replaced it with fruit. If I bought candy, he would change it for a cleaning supply. In the end, we only bought one thing of junk food and fifty things of windex.

"Hold the cart, Lilla. Traffic here is terrible."

I made a face. "No, I'm not a little kid anymore."

Despite my argument, I still placed my hand on the cart and followed him to his car. He popped open the trunk, allowing me to help. "I know you aren't a little girl anymore, Lilla. You have grown into a young woman."

Surprised, I looked over to him. He didn't meet my eyes, but the smile on his face did drop. I opened my mouth to say something, but the tension seemed to thick to speak. We stayed silent for the drive to our new apartment, where our parents waited.

The moment we arrived, my mother ran from the building to greet us. "How did it go?" She looked to me with a suspicious expression. "Did you buy sweets?"

I smiled. "Yes we did," I replied happily, holding up my only sugar snack. She glared at the box of chocolates. 

"Did you at least buy something healthy?" She dug into the grocery bags. After seeing that sugar wasn't the case, she sighed. "Oh thank goodness, you didn't buy junk." Her hand reached out and hit my shoulder. "You evil child."

I shrugged, grabbing a few bags before taking them into the apartment. Jae-won liked the interaction between my mom and I, for he started to grin widely again. He followed me into the building, hands full of food.

"Finally," Chang-Seong grumbled. He lifted his head from his phone to glare at me. "Mom, can I go home now?"

Mother did not seem pleased. "Go home before I get mad. Take your father with you, he can't stop complaining too!" She hurriedly entered the kitchen area to the far left of the front door. "Lilla! Jae-won! In here, please!"

I walked behind Jae, watching his feet move and waiting for the stop. His mom scrambled into the small doorway as well, immediately placing the food where it belongs.

"Jae, hon, take this too the bathroom." Mom handed him the bag full of cleansing supplies. "Lilla, follow him so you know where he places things."

We crossed the apartment, heading straight for the bathroom. "Why are you so clean?" I questioned, pushing myself up on the sink.

Jae-won shrugged. "I'm not. Just for now, for our mothers, I am." He looked to me with a smirk. "We won't have to buy this stuff later when we have to do emergency cleaning."

My mouth opened from shock. "You! You are a different person!"

He smiled and nodded, putting away clorox wipes under the sink. "I will tell you now, Lilla, but I am professional at school and with my mom." His eyes met mine for a second. "If I am the same with you, I can never relax."

My cheeks rose. "I feel special."

A laughed escaped his lips. "You should feel very special." After finishing putting away the last cleaner, he reached out to pull me down from the sink. "Let's go back now."

He took my hand within his. I had to bite my lip from saying or reacting to it, knowing the result would not end very well. "Is that all, mom?" I entered the small kitchen, letting go of his hand to scout around for bags.

"What is for dinner?"

What are you making so you two children won't starve?

I dismissed her worry. "We are going to be fine, mother. Besides, we don't live here officially for another few days." Taking a few steps, I walked into her arms and hugged her tightly. Briefly, I peeked open my eyes to look through the kitchen slot to see Jae-won in the living room.

He lifted up his thumb.

"Lilla, of course I'm worried," mom countered. "My only daughter is moving away and getting married right before my eyes."

I could hear the sobs stuck in her throat, causing me to pull back in panic. "No mama, it's alright! I'm still here; nothing is changing-just my living area. Pretend it is just like a little extended walk to my bedroom at home."

My head slightly turned and I caught a glimpse of Jae-won. His eyebrows were crinkled together and a frown was starting to form on his lips. I almost believed he was truly upset about the situation, but then I lowered my eyes.

He turned the thumb downwards.

My jaw dropped open. I had to force myself not to say anything and settled with an mid-air punch threat. He laughed off my anger and jogged from the window slot, heading straight for the couch. Bitterly, I continued to calm mother.

"Alright, alright. Let's go home now, kids. We have a lot to prepare for the wedding."

I listened to Jae's mother and followed out the door, but I realized then that I was not going to be as obedient for her son.

Professional?

Relaxed?

What a joke. Jae-won is a total child in a man's body! This marriage is for two kids who are just avoiding the hardships of finding love and growing up. It's not real.

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가슴은 뛰고 있어
여전히 널 보고 있어
자꾸만 숨이 막혀서

아직은 멀리에서
너를 지켜보고 싶어
내가 또 왜 이러는지

My heart is racing
I’m still looking at you
Because I keep running out of breath

I’m still watching over you
From far away
Why am I being like this?

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