Chapter 28: Festivities
I haven't been home in ages, and I'm sure my family calls me the unfaithful, thoughtless daughter. Luckily, because I'm bringing home a boyfriend, my family can't complain much. Since I'm the only child, my parents and grandparents have been avidly waiting for me to show them a man. I'm sure after my mom discovered Sehun at my place, she has been gossiping with my father about him. I have a feeling that my dad won't like Sehun much since Sehun's job isn't exactly professional. My dad is the traditional sort that only values those that are either doctors, lawyers, accountants, professors, teachers, nurses, business managers, and etc. Just wait till I tell him that Sehun was a dance choreographer. Oh Lord. My dad will start lecturing me about how I threw all my tuition to waste, met a bad guy, and all that. 

Thankfully, there's my mother to balance my stoic dad out. She's really out there, sort of like Sehun's mother, except in a different way. My mom still acts like an immature teenager at times, and I remember those instances when she'd forget to pick me up from school all because she had to either chase after a movie star or was too indulged in her Korean dramas. Sometimes I wonder why my parents are together, and from what I know, my father claims that my mom had tricked him. She had pretended to be a normal, studious girl, but after he married her, she turned out to be a complete klutz. He thinks I get my silliness from her; I'm pretty sure I agree with him.
"Leia! You're finally home!" My mom greets me now with an affectionate hug. "Ah! Sehun!" she immediately casts me aside and goes for the dive towards Sehun who is carrying their presents. "You're here!"
"Nice to see you again, Mrs. Nam," he utters.
"Oh! Nice to see you too. And hehe . . ." I know what my mom is thinking. She is probably imagining him without any clothes on, especially that time when he met her with just a towel on. Oh dear.
Fortunately, my grumpy dad comes to the entrance and with his arms folded together, he grumbles, "Mm . . ."
"Mm what?" my mom snaps at him. "You have nothing nice to say about your daughter coming home for Christmas?"
"She should be home for Christmas anyways," he retorts. "In fact, she should be visiting more often like a filial daughter would do. If you look at Uncle Won's daughters, they always drop by to visit him every weekend, and--" 
"Oh!" my mom, who ignores my dad, exclaims. "Why look what we have here! They're presents for us! That's really sweet of you two."
"They probably got us something on sale at the mall," my father remarks, "or something that we already have like a decoration." 
Normally, people would get mad if someone else said that to them, but then, I know my dad well. He's just annoyed that I haven't been visiting and the fact that he can't brag to his own brother, Uncle Won, about how much of a sweetheart I am. I swear that my dad is just jealous of Uncle Won. My dad is the type that always wants to be the best in a group. He's so competitive that when I was taking swimming lessons as a kid, he would always ask me how fast I swam and how quickly the other students finished their laps. Then, there's the fact that he is banned from one of the sports clubs in Seoul since he got into a huge fight for a basketball tournament over referee's decision to give him a foul. I guess you can say that he's a sore loser, but at least, he's not the type to cheat to win. In fact, he despises cheaters.
"Now, honey," my mom tries to make the situation better by saying, "you can't make those type of guesses and whatever gift that someone gives you, you should be happy about it! At least they thought of you!"
"Right. Right." My dad makes his escape to the kitchen, while my mom just sighs and shakes her head. 
"Sometimes I wonder why I'm even married to him." She exhales a deep breath before smiling again. "Oh! Come in! Come in and take off your shoes! I Just wear some of the slippers I put out over there." She points to the rack of slippers next to the wall and then instructs, "Set your presents under the tree."
"Oh? We have a tree this year?" I wonder. It's totally unlike my dad to even consider having a tree. 
"Well," my mom mumbles as we follow her to the dining room, "it . . . is a tree, but . . ."
Right.
Across from the dining table, I see our living room, and there is indeed a tree, a very plastic one that is really, really short and small. There isn't even a star on top of the tree. "I'm not sure . . . if our gifts would even fit under that tree," I murmur to myself.
Amazingly, Sehun hears me and comments, "Well, at least that's a cute tree?"
"I'm pretty sure this is my father's doing. He's . . .uh . . . the frugal type," I look back at Sehun and explain.
I don't blame my dad for being . . . a cheap as.s. He was born in a very poor family where he had to work and study at the same time. Often, he wouldn't have enough to eat and would have to eat people's leftovers. To get into university, he was on a full term scholarship and even when he was studying, he would take on odd jobs here and there. Whenever there was a chance to make or save money, he'd take it. As a result, he grew up believing that anything that was not necessary to survive was a luxury, and luxury was something that was definitely not needed.
"Ah, I see," Sehun answers. "It's no wonder that you said to buy him something that's of use."
"Yeah . . . which is why I decided that we'd get him a massage device. He is always complaining about his back anyways."
"Good idea."
Yes, hopefully, my dad thinks it's a good idea too and doesn't want us to return the gift and just hand him cash. For now, I'm just praying that he'll be nice to Sehun. He won't ask rude questions or demand Sehun to do things for him. But . . .
When we get all settled at the dinner table with our turkey and mashed potatoes, my father already starts his interrogation. "You say your name is Sehun?"
"Yes," Sehun replies.
"Okay, Sehun, what do you do for a living?"
"Dad!" I roar. "Don't just ask him like that! That's so rude!"
"What?" he hollers at me. "I'm just getting straight to the point. Sehun, your answer?"
"I'm currently working at Will's Entertainment as a producer and a choreographer."
"Mm . . ."
I know that sound very well. Sehun has already lost around ten percent based on my father's books. Shoot.
“Are you planning on marrying my daughter?” My dad now questions.
“Dad!”
“What? I need to know before you waste your time in this—“
“I want to marry her, but it’s up to her if she wants to marry me.”
“Leia?" My dad now stares me down without even a hint of a smile. He even cuts through his turkey breast smoothly as he asks, "Are you in this relationship for the long run? If you are not, then I do not see why you are wasting this gentleman’s time.”
“Dad!" I argue. "Why are you all of a sudden siding with him now?”
“What? I am just being reasonable here. If you do not think you can commit with Sehun here, then why are you even with him?”
“Well you don’t say these things aloud in front of other people!” I retort.
“But you should be able to answer this easily,” he counters.
“Honey, let’s not press these two further, okay?" My mom swoops in for the rescue. Thank goodness. "It’s only Christmas Eve. Don’t spoil the fun!”
“But this is very important,” my dad argues.
Out of the blue, Sehun places his utensils to the side and announces, "I know . . . that it will probably take time for Leia to have the intention of marrying me, but I am willing to wait.”
My dad snickers, “You are one stupid man.”
“Dad! Don’t call—“ 
“But I like your attitude,” he interrupts me and for once, there's a slanted grin coming out of his mouth. I guess . . . that won my dad over. Phew.
For the rest of the dinner, there is actually just normal topics being used aside from my mom's crazy fan questions. She is even begging for some artists' autographs and maybe a moment where she can meet some of them and shake their hands. I'm not sure what's more embarrassing: my father's interrogation or my mother's fan girl moments? Really, they're both equally mortifying. No wonder they match. Oops.
Although I'm pleased with the outcome of this dinner, I'm not really sure how Sehun feels. After all, on the way home, he doesn’t really talk to me. He just smiles rather weakly. I'm guessing that he is disappointed in me for not answering my father immediately, but I am really bad at lying. I don’t want to lie either. I just haven’t pictured myself marrying Sehun at all. I want to take things slow first before settling down, and I assumed that Sehun was with me there. However, he seems to be much more committed than me in this relationship. 
“I’m sorry,” I tell him while gently grabbing onto his sleeve when we reach my apartment door.
“Please . . .” he extends a long sigh. “Please . . . stop apologizing. You shouldn’t feel sorry for being with me. You shouldn’t even have to feel guilty at all.”
“I’m . . . It’s hard, you know?” I try to explain. “It’s hard to sort of just see you differently.”
“I understand,” he replies. “I told myself that I’d be fine with you acting this way, but . . . Aha . . . I didn’t know it’d affect me so much.”
“Just give me some more time.”
“I know. I know you’re trying your best. I’m not blaming you either. It’s just me. I need to have more patience.”
I tip toe and give him a peck on the cheeks. “Merry Christmas, Sehun,” I utter.
He stares at me in a way that makes my heart sore. I know he’s trying to resist the urge to kiss me or even touch me because he is scared that he’ll chase me away. He is holding back for me, and I appreciate his efforts. I really am thankful that he was there at my weakest, and I know I need to let him know that. So, I approach him again and press my lips this time on his.
He backs away to ask me, “Are you sure about this?”
As soon as I nod, he almost lunges at me like a hungry wolf. He kisses me so passionately that I’m surprised at how deeply he feels for me. How long has he been restraining himself? How long has he had feelings for me?
All of a sudden, he lets me go and says, “I’ll . . . stop now or else . . . I’d want to go further.”
Shyly, he pulls out the key and proceeds to unlock the door. He makes an excuse that he needs to take a shower, but I know that he just needs to cool down. As I hang my coat in one of my closets, I check my phone and realize that Howon has sent me a text, wishing me a Merry Christmas Eve. Responsible as usual, I think. I'm pretty sure he bcced everyone else and just gave a generic sentence. I return his text and then decide to give one out to the other boys. Myungsoo doesn't answer me, but Eunhyuk does. He even gives me a few winks and hopes that I'm going to get sore. Oh God . . .Eunhyuk . . .  
I type the last one out to Yeonjun, and as expected, I don't get a reply. I guess he's too busy working. I haven't seen him in ages. I wonder how he's even doing. 
Take care of him, okay?  
My fingers punch out a more personalized message: Don't work too hard that you'll get sick, okay? You better knock Suho's pants off with your products.
A few minutes later, I receive a reply from him.
Trying. Thanks. Enjoy your holidays too. 
I scoff and think, typical. Typical Yeonjun. Short and snappy. Cold. Very cold. Reminds me of winter. My eyes venture to the snowy scene outside of my window, and I really believe that this weather suits him well. 
“Here’s your hot chocolate with marshmallows, Leia.”
I see Sehun approaching me from behind through the glass window. He has a bathrobe on, and there's a small towel hanging around his neck. I guess he decided to make me something before blow drying his own hair. How sweet. 
“Ah, thank you,” I grab the mug from him and answer.
Sehun takes a seat beside me, wondering, “What’s so interesting outside?”
“Ah, nothing, really. I was just thinking.”
“Thinking about what?”
“How different you are from winter.”
“Meaning?”
“If I had to pick a season for you, then it’d be summer.”
“Mm . . . and I suppose there’s an autumn for you?”
“Are you trying to reference 500 Days of Summer?”
“Yes.”
“I’m not expecting an autumn.”
“So . . . greater than 500 days then?”
“M-m-maybe. Ha ha.”
I think I'm starting to want an eternal summer with the warm sun shining in my face and the light breeze cooling my skin. The winter, I’m starting to think, is just too cold for me to bear.
 -----

If I were to pick a creature that most represented my current situation, then I'd be a bee. Yes, I feel like a little worker bee zooming around the household from the kitchen to the living room and even to the washroom. I can't believe how tiring it is to hold a Christmas party. I shouldn't have offered my place this year. We should have just crashed at Howon's like every year, but since Howon texted us saying that he had just broken up with his girlfriend, he wasn't in the right mood to decorate anything. He still said he was up for celebrating with us since this was a tradition. As a result, being the nice person I was, I volunteered to host the Christmas party. Hosting meant making most of the food, though the guys would chip in. 

With Sehun being a horrible cook , needing loads of instructions, my life right now is going down the drain. "Why don't we just buy stuff instead?" Sehun sighs while mashing the boiled potatoes and mixing them with cheese, garlic, and butter in a bowl.

"It's too late," I inform him as I check on the turkey that is still being baked in the oven. "We already got all the supplies, and we only told them to buy dessert and alcohol."

"No!" he purposely makes his scream fade away like an echo.

"As long as we don't burn this turkey, then everything should be okay," I utter.

"Worst off, we can just drink more soju, and we'll forget all about--"

"No," I interrupt and slam the oven door shut. "I am not going to be deemed a failure. Got it?"

Sehun sighs, "F-f-fine . . ."
 
I sort of want to argue that he has the easier task of smoothing potatoes with a spoon, while I'm here struggling with a dead bird. This turkey has been in the oven for at least four hours now, and it should be done soon. Now, it's time to cook some vegetables, which should be okay compared to the fact that I had to get up early just to stuff its a.ss with stuffing and some fruit. I also had to research recipes beforehand to make sure that this turkey will not turn out to be raw meat. So . . . Sehun better zip it! My stress level is soaring, and I cannot stand anymore complaints. Roar! Roar! Roar! Godzilla is here! Leia the Godzilla is towering skyscrapers . . .

"Leia . . ." I hear Sehun note out of the blue.

"What?" I snap.

"You don't have to stir fry those beans so hard . . ." he mumbles quietly beside me. "Oh, and can you see if this is okay?" I shift my attention towards his bowl and before I can say anything, there is some knocking coming from my front door. "I'll get it," Sehun instantly comments without me asking. Smart guy. 

As I taste the mashed potatoes, I hear Eunhyuk shout, "Heyo! What's cooking right now? Haha. Got my joke? Haha."

"Real funny," I overhear Myungsoo's depressing tone. 

"Myungsoo, lighten up," Howon suggests. "It's Christmas anyways."

"And what if I told you that I was Jewish?" Myungsoo grumbles.

"Since when were you Jewish?" Eunhyuk chirps. "I've never seen you spin a dreidel or wear that little black hat."

Myungsoo now walks towards the living room, mumbling to himself, "Oh God. How stupid can you be?" He glances at me and nods. "Hi, Leia," he says.

"Hey, Myungsoo," I greet back. "How's life going?"

"It's going."

"Oh . . . so same old, same old?" I wonder. My question prompts Mysungsoo to give me a malicious stare, channeling that I just asked a stupid question. Honestly, when it's just Myungsoo and me, I have no idea what to say. "Umm . . . so . . . I met your . . . uh . . . nemesis?" I blurt.

"Oh?" He blinks at me twice.

"Sehun's sister? Suzume?" I tell him.

"Oh . . . her . . ." He rolls his eyes before sighing.

"She's a cute girl!" I inform him.

"More like a good actress." He takes a seat on one of the couches and leans his chin on his hand.

"Wait! Wait!" Eunhyuk comes sprinting towards us. "Who is this . . . Suzume? Huh? Wait . . . Suzume . . . you mean . . . that super, super cute and pretty actress that's playing right now on one of the hottest dramas?"

"Yes," Myungsoo responds rather casually.

"Ah! Ah! Ah!" Eunhyuk starts shrieking with his hands clinging onto his cheeks. "Oh my god! Oh my god! Leia! You met Suzu? Ah! I'm so jealous!"

"Ha!" Myungsoo cackles once. "Jealous? You must be out of your mind. She's the last person that I'd ever want to see in my life. Even if she were the only woman on Earth left, I wouldn't even want to have any interaction with her. At all."

"Hey!" Sehun calls him out on his point. "That's my little sister you're talking about! She's not bad. She's just--"

"Two faced," Myungsoo interrupts, "arrogant, selfish, b.itchy, mean, rude, way too competitive . . . mm . . . what else am I missing?"

"What?" Eunhyuk shakes his head in great denial. "There's no way that my little angel, Suzu, could be like that! She's always volunteering at charities."

"To make sure that her popularity is high."

"Always smiling."

"To hide what she is secretly thinking."

"Always being gentle."

"To trick men into helping her out."

"Always trying her best regardless of any of the hardships."

"To ensure that she will never lose to anyone," Myungsoo corrects Eunhyuk's words.

"Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!" Eunhyuk throws his hands over his ears and jumps up and down.

"You're probably only noticing her negative points," Howon chimes in with his kind words.

"I'm pretty sure that's why your ex dumped you, Howon . . . because you're too . . . nice," Myungsoo unexpectedly retorts. "Stop hiding who you actually are, Howon."

"Myungsoo!" I screech.

"What?" He eyes me viciously again.

"Stop . . . screwing up the Christmas mood!" I demand. "And . . . and . . . help me set the table!" 

"All right. All right." He exhales a deep breath. "Just don't bring up that name again in front of me."

"I can't believe you hate my sister that much," Sehun mumbles as he helps Howon carry some of the alcohol to the dining table. "You know that she probably just has a crush on you?"

"Oh fu.ck . . . is that what it is?" Myungsoo tries to calm down by closing his eyes and placing his index finger on his forehead. "So how do you get her to stop?"

"Stop what?" Sehun ponders.

"Stop harassing me? Coming over to my place for no reason?"

"Well . . . she is your neighbour . . ."

"What?" Eunhyuk bursts out screaming. "Suzu is your neighbour? How in the world did I never see her go home? Huh? Why?"

Ignoring Eunhyuk's comments, Myungsoo continues to argue, "That doesn't mean that she can just knock on my door and stuff."

"Honestly . . . if you want Suzume to stop bothering you, then just let her win."

"Win?" 

"She still hates you for what you said about . . . you know? Plus . . . I think it's the fact that you don't fall for her act, so she becomes even more persistent . . ."

"So you are saying . . ."

"I am saying that you should pretend that you like her at first. Then, she'll let you go."

Myungsoo almost trips on his own feet. In fact, he even seems lightheaded like an anemic. "I . . . I need to lie down," he says, scurrying to the couch again.

"How can you not even like her?" Eunhyuk still continues to bellow. "She has 32Ds, a 24 waist, and a 34 hip. She is 167 cm and weighs like 50 kg maximum. She also--"

"Please . . ." Myungsoo urges with his hand in the air. "Please . . . just . . . let me take some time to recover. I think I need a lot of booze tonight."

With Myungsoo knocked down, Howon decides to take his spot. He helps bring the cutlery out, but on his way, he notifies me, "Oh, and Yeonjun sent me a text saying that he'd be late and that we should get started without him."

"What a busy guy," Sehun comments.

"Yeah . . . he said he had to go to some company event first."

"Always work first eh?" Eunhyuk takes a bottle of beer and cracks the lid open with his bare hands.

"You shouldn't drink on an empty stomach," Howon lectures.

"Then . . . let me have some of this!" Eunhyuk snatches the finished bowl of mashed potatoes and grabs a spoon off of the counter.

"No! Don't infect this dish with your saliva!" I yell with a spatula in my hand, waiting to fling it right at him like a boomerang.

Still, Eunhyuk disregards my threat and dashes down the hall. I decide to chase after him, and I make my move. I toss that spatula right at him, but . . .

Bang.

"Uh . . ." 

I hear groaning coming from beside me. Actually, I'm the one that needs to moan more, okay? I'm the one that fell right onto my knees and plummeted right to the hardwood floor. I'm pretty sure I also hit something else, or rather, someone, but it's not Eunhyuk. He is free of any harm at all. Then . . .

I shift my head to the right and notice Yeonjun grimacing and rubbing his arm and then chest. "Did I . . ." I wonder slowly.

"Fu.ck yes you did," he vents at me. 

"With this?" I raise my hand that is still hanging onto the spatula.

"Yes . . . with that," he grumbles. "You know, you should be apologizing and be getting me some ice at least."

"Oh!" I chuckle nervously. "Right . . . Ice."

Without a word, Howon already has some ice wrapped in a paper towel for Yeonjun. "You okay?" Howon asks while helping Yeonjun up.

"We'll see . . ." I see Yeonjun peering down at me evilly. "Worst off, you'll just not get your Christmas gift."

"Hey! That's so mean!" I counter and puff my cheeks.

"Ah!" Eunhyuk shrieks like a girl getting hunted by a killer in a horror film and almost drops the bowl of mashed potatoes. "I forgot your Christmas presents in Howon's car!"

"Oh . . ." Myungsoo, who is still resting on the couch, at last remarks. "I seem to have left them there as well."

"I guess I'll head down and pick them up," Howon responds. 

"Oh shoot! We forgot to bring the champagne and the wine up too," Eunhyuk announces before placing the mashed potatoes onto the kitchen counter. "Oh, and that extra case of soju. Ah . . . Sehun? Mind coming down with us then?"

"Sure," Sehun mumbles.

"I guess I'll go down for a walk to refresh my mind." Myungsoo sits up from the couch and follows Eunhyuk and the others out. 

Now, here is the awkward part. There's just Yeonjun and me at this place. I'm not even sure where to start, but I guess I should apologize. "Sorry," I murmur. "Sorry for crashing into you."

"That's right," he grumbles while icing his arm. "Indeed you should be sorry. It's Christmas too. Arg."

Feeling kind of guilty, I grab a clean spoon from one of the drawers and use it to scoop a spoonful of potatoes. "You get the first try?" I lift the spoon up in the air and offer it to Yeonjun, who is now sitting on one of the stools across the kitchen counter.

"What?" He gawks at me with much suspicion. "You trying to bribe me with food now? Sadly, I'm not a pig like you."

"Hey!"

"But I guess I'm still hungry." He grabs my hand that is clinging onto the spoon and feeds himself with it. "Not bad," he comments after giving it a try. "Not bad at all."

"Of course it's not bad." I place my hands on my waist and co.ck my neck upwards proudly. "I'm the one that made it."

"Nice bracelet," Yeonjun compliments out of the blue. "Sehun got it for you?"

"Oh wow!" I exclaim. "I didn't think anyone would notice, and yes, he did get it for me for Christmas!"

Yeonjun jeers, "He really did splurge on you huh?"

"What?" I make a face at Yeonjun. "You jealous?"

"Jealous of a guy giving you a gift?" He scratches the side of his head and snickers. "Why would I be? I'm straight."

"And if you keep being so annoying then I won't give you your Christmas gift!" I threaten him. "And trust me, you'll want it . . . badly, so be good!"

"Since when was I not good?"

I can't believe that Yeonjun has the audacity to even say something like that. Even if he is joking, I'm still very irritated at him. I end up shouting, "You're the one that told me that that moron, Suho, was a good catch! He almost wanted to kill me that night!" 

"So I guess you weren't exaggerating when you said he was being creepy," he mutters way too indifferently. He even now gets up to pour himself a glass of water. How can . . . he be so level headed about this? How can he not even be mad at all?

"You thought I was exaggerating?"

"Well," he gives me a dubious stare, "you like to be dramatic, so it's hard to say."

Watching him gulp down his water, I state, "I . . . can't believe you . . ."

"Don't worry so much," he reassures me. "Suho is not the type to do anything that'll hurt his reputation, so it's not like he'll actually kill you. He's just going to intimidate you that's all."

"You still said that he was a good catch . . . back then . . ."

"He is a good catch if you want to live the good life," he informs me. Swinging the glass of water in his side, he continues to inform me, "You know, Leia, you're not going to get someone that's perfect, someone that's rich, hot, smart, loyal, and nice."

"So you assumed that I'd be the type that'd just go for a guy because I want to live a good life?"

"Aren't all girls like that?" he sneers.

"No."

"Let me tell you, even if you choose a guy based on his personality, that doesn't prove that he won't change. It's smarter to choose based on his family background and his status," he reasons. "Good thing you had Sehun as a backup. Sehun's family is loaded too, and sure, he might not be the smartest guy out there, but at least he has that kindness factor that you value so much." Slap I go with my hand. I hit Yeonjun's cheek hard, and he glares at me. "What was that for?" 

"He's not a backup," I declare, "and I didn't pick him because of how rich his family is. I picked him because . . ."

"You can't even say that you love him?" I hear Yeonjun cackle. "Sad."

"You're the sad one!" I shrill. "You're the one that can't even admit your true feelings! You can't even be upfront about what's bothering you! You're pissed off. I know, but that doesn't mean that you're allowed to purposely make someone else mad!"
 
"I'm not trying to make you mad," he corrects me. "I'm just stating the truth. You're the one that's still lying to yourself. You don't feel anything for Sehun right?"

"What do you want from me, Yeonjun?" I sigh out of frustration. "You wanted me to be your affair. Then, you said that it was right for me to date Sehun. Now, you're not happy with me being with Sehun. Really, I don't get you . . . at all."

"I never said anything about wanting you to be the affair."

"Then what was that about how you could date me but we could never marry? What's that called besides an affair?" 

"Haneul and I aren't marrying out of love anyways," he tries to justify.

"That doesn't mean that you can betray her."

"She doesn't love me romantically. We see each other as brother and sister."

"That might be the case, but have you ever thought about what people would say about me then? Oh, she stole someone's husband. That wh.ore. That slut. How dare she!" I imitate one of those dramatic news reporters.

Yeonjun breathes in once before answering, "Let's just give this a rest, okay? You're already in a relationship with Sehun. What happened before doesn't matter anymore."

"Then act like you actually support us being together!"

"I was never acting like I didn't support you guys. You've misinterpreted me completely."

I shake my head back and forth. "It feels like every time we see each other now, we always end up fighting," I mumble. "I wish . . . that we could go back to before,  but that's impossible, right?"

Before Yeonjun can even say anything, the boys come back with tons of bags and alcohol. "We're back!" Eunhyuk shouts so loudly that my ear drums hurt slightly. "Time to nom, nom, nom!"

"Uh . . . finally. I'm famished," Myungsoo whines.

"Oh, Leia, we also swung by my place to grab some of the desserts. We forgot those too! Silly us huh?" Howon hands me a few bags of what appear to be cake and other delicacies.

"That's great!" I grin happily. "Let me go check the turkey now! It should be--"

Open . . .

Shoot . . .

It's burnt.

The guys all look like it's the end of the world. Eunhyuk is shrieking like a donkey and rolling on the ground. Sehun almost faints. Myungsoo sighs and mutters very quietly something bad, probably. Howon is checking his phone, probably seeing if we can order take out. Then, there's Yeonjun who wears my mittens and takes the turkey out of the oven. He grabs a sharp knife and try to peel the skin off. He even starts to cut open the breast of the turkey. I see the meat, and I already know it's dry and very burnt.

"Let's try to eat the most of it for now," Yeonjun remarks.

"I guess we can go to one of the convenience stores right now and grab some food from there," Howon suggests. "The nearest . . . convenience store from here is about five minutes away, according to this map?"

"Okay! Let's go! Let's go! Let's go!" Eunhyuk chants and scurries right to the entrance.

"Someone mind buying me something, and I'll just stay here?" Myungsoo asks.

"No!" Eunhyuk drags Myungsoo by the collar. "We're all going together! Christmas means all of us together! Got it?"

"Uh . . . so annoying," Myungsoo mutters under his breath.

I agree with Myungsoo that it's bothersome for all of us to go out together, but somehow, it's good this way too. I have missed spending time with all the guys like this. Somehow, it's starting to feel just like before. However, when I think about what I just asked Yeonjun, I get this feeling that I know his answer already. We can't go back to those days because too much has happened already. We missed our chance to be together back then, and we should accept that. If that's the case, then . . . we shouldn't be arguing at all. We shouldn't . . .

I unexpectedly feel Sehun hold my hand as all of us walk down the corridor of the building as a group. "You all right?" he wonders. "Don't feel bad that you burnt the turkey."

"Thanks," I answer. "I should have paid more attention to the time. It's just that . . ."

"What happened?" he interrogates.

"Nothing really."

"Really? You look kind of out of it."

"I'm . . . just tired," I say.

It's true. I am really tired when it comes to facing Yeonjun nowadays, especially when we're constantly arguing. I don't want to fight anymore. I don't want to see his enraged face and try to figure out why that is so. Why can't he be more direct with his emotions? Why does he always have to hide them and put on that cold mask of his? Why does he have to be so selfish too?

"Aww," Sehun replies gently. "We'll try to get the guys home earlier then or you can sleep first?"

"Nah. I'll be fine. I'll suck it up."

"Yes, Leia," Yeonjun shifts his attention to us, "You better suck it up and be prepared to pull an all nighter, especially after what you did to the turkey. And I don't think you're getting a Christmas gift from me this year."

"Hey! That's absolutely uncalled for!" I holler.

"Maybe I'll be nice later and get you something after Boxing Day." Yeonjun starts to walk faster on purpose.

I let go of Sehun's hand and chase after Yeonjun, yelling, "You cheapa.ss! Give me my Christmas gift!" 

"Jesus!" A lady opens her door and barks. "Can you guys quiet down? We're trying to have a family dinner here."

"Sorry," I apologize.

All of us erupt into laughter, and I can't help but think that I'm kind of glad that we're not having turkey. That's too typical for us huh?

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