Title: Summer Mistake
Jun Hyosung (SECRET)
Park Bo Gum
Hyosung knew how dangerous and delicious summer could be. Even the word ‘summer’ had always sent her tingling sensation all over her body. And, mostly, all over her heart. Maybe it was the weather. Maybe it was the vibe that the sun carried around. Or maybe, summer’s air had too much love inside. But, whatever it was, Hyosung knew summer was when her heart had adventures.
She knew she wasn’t alone. There were people out there who loved summer and thought of summer highly. But, she wasn’t sure if any of them had the same curse like she did. Or, the same mistakes she kept doing.
For Hyosung, summer was equal to love and heart-break. If not worse, summer was the time for Hyosung to unleash the side she thought she didn’t have.
She had lost count on how many times she met guys and got her heart broken in summer. All she knew was, summer was the time when her heart would be stupidly excited over holidays before suddenly get thrown over reality.
This year, she didn’t miss the chance to make the same mistake. She hadn’t planned for another heartbreak. And yet, here she was, sobbing her eyes out when summer was over.
Hyosung had no idea when did things go wrong. All she knew was, she was all alone. Again. With her heart scattered around her.
It was the beginning of summer. Hyosung was excited. No, she hadn’t thought of love for the first time in years when summer had finally arrived in front of her. She was excited for the fun summer brought. A family outing. A vacation!
That was all she cared about. This year had been hard on her and she deserved a break from all of the fuss. Even if her parents said she didn’t deserve anything, she wanted to deserve one thing. And, it was a summer peace.
This year wasn’t quite different with the years before. Her mom’s big family would have a gathering. It wasn’t unusual. What unusual was that Hyosung’s family had decided to join the gathering. Her family rarely joined a family gathering, even if the family gathering happened because of funerals and weddings. Her mom always said something about ‘not interested to mingle with all of the hysterias and complications they cause’.
So, now, when her family had decided to join the entire family in the countryside, Hyosung was more than ready. She couldn’t sleep at nights, planning things out. This vacation had to be memorable.
The gathering was held in one of her aunts’ hometown. Her aunt’s hometown was very close to some famous beaches and sea—well, her aunt’s place was right in front of one of the beaches but that won’t be counted to her dictionary of beach visit. What would summer be without sea and beaches? The aunt was preparing for his youngest son’s wedding and everyone had waited for a long time for his wedding. He was the eldest grandson—his two sisters had married way before him— in the big family and yet, he hadn’t got married. Everyone basically pushed him for a marriage every time they met him. Hyosung believed that he eventually got sick of it and decided to get himself a wife so everyone could shut their mouths.
He was Hyosung’s favorite cousin, so it was quite a letdown to see him off. However, he made her able to visit the small town. That was enough reason for her to thank him about.
Hyosung hadn’t been able to stop herself from browsing places she wanted to visit once she was there. Her browsers were full with the name of the town and images, also with people’s testimonies for the place’s attractions. Just a week after her mom purchased tickets to the town, Hyosung was ready with her own plan for holiday.
There would be nothing to ruin her holiday this time. She promised herself. Nothing would get on her way.
Hyosung looked outside the car window. It had just been three hours since she was away from home, and yet, she already felt sick. She hadn’t been able to sleep last night due to the excitement and now, she had a bad headache and growling stomach due the lack of sleep she had got.
The fact that the car couldn’t go against the heat didn’t help either. They had rolled the windows down and still; the heat was way too much to handle without the help of air conditioners or fans.
Her back was wet with sweat and it got worse as her back now would stick to the leather seat. The green scenery outside the car tried to console her, but she wasn’t interested. Her eyes roamed around the place, looking for a sign of a river or a stream. And, when she didn’t see any, she sighed.
Disappointed, Hyosung pulled out her cellphone—looking for something interesting to read. As she was reading a boring conspiracy theory about the death of a country’s president, her mom’s hoarse voice broke her concentration.
“What about going to that beach you have been talking about after a short rest in aunt’s place?”
Hyosung glanced to her dad who was sitting in the front row, unmoving—extremely obvious that he didn’t want to waste any energies to get involved in the conversation. Her younger sisters busily fanned themselves at the back, trying to get some wind that passed through the wide-open windows. There was no way she could escape from answering her mom’s question.
“If we have enough energy by then, let’s go,” Hyosung told her mom—she wasn’t even sure she wanted to go but mothers always won, she guessed?
A satisfied nod from her mom ended the torture of wasting her energy and Hyosung could get back to concentrate on the boring article she was reading earlier. However, it was a lot harder than she thought. Her eyes were probably tired from reading the lines on her phone, not to mention that was what happened to her head too. A pang of dizziness swallowed her, making her unable to continue reading without feeling nauseous. She sighed, feeling frustrated with the fact that she wasn’t able to handle the short trip to her aunt’s place. What about later? She thought to herself.
Hyosung tried to close her eyes, in no time, she was already gone to the dream land.
It was one of the nosiest greeting she ever encountered in her family’s gathering welcoming. There were twenty people who came out to the yard right after their car drove into the house’s yard. Each of them seemed so excited to welcome her family, making her throwing a questioned look at her mother who was just as mesmerized as her—although her mother was smarter in hiding her emotion.
Apparently, their family was one out of two of the last groups coming. Almost everyone was already there except for her family and the famous family from Japan. Hyosung smiled bitterly when she heard the short explanation she caught from the noisy chattering.
The Japan family was one of the known family between the relatives. Hyosung’s mom and grandparents always favored the Japan family due to fact that they had helped her grandparents to meet each other—which made Hyosung exist now, obviously. And the fact that they had been the relatives her family always turned to when there was a problem, didn’t help either. However, Hyosung had never really been fond with the family. It was not like they had done any mistakes to her. It was more like a ridiculous reason that she had. She had a crush on their eldest son, and it was clear that he was the ideal man she had been looking for. Things wouldn’t be this complicated if they were not relatives, and yet here she was, wondering if there was any hope that she could get into his heart.
The small crowd noisily moved inside and she stayed behind, watching as they left her alone. Her eyes roamed to absorb the view around her. Her aunt’s house was built of two floors—a typical big house in a countryside that would fit at least 25 people, and that hadn’t included people who would be scattered in the living room.
The walls blushed in a soft pink color under the burning sun—signaling that even the house was shy to be observed intensely by Hyosung. Her aunt had decided that the soft colors of green and brown would only decorate the front side of the house—which meant only the plants that would save the house from the pink color. To reach the house they had to drive a little bit far from the gate—going through a little forest that her aunt had built. It was literally only a small forest as there were only a few trees on the main road’s both sides. Hyosung had been told that her aunt was the person who loved to ignore people’s guide in decorating house and just did what she wanted to do with the house—resulting in a strange combination of brownish colors and sudden bright colors. However, the spacious yard around the house had given out enough spaces for the relatives’ cars to park—and Hyosung knew well that her aunt’s yard had always been used as a party place by their family members. If Hyosung moved a little further to the back, she would find the barbeque equipment were stuffed in a garage at the back of the house.
Hyosung liked the fact that the house wasn’t only a big building but it was built on a big yard as well. The house was placed right on the middle of the land—making it surrounded by spacious grass fields. On the left side of the house, to accommodate the spacious land, her aunt had built a small gazebo that could fit a four-chairs dinner table. It was painted in white—a contrast on how bright the house was. She had once asked her parents why this aunt was able to own a big house and land, the answer she got was both unexpected and expected at the same time.
“She has quite some money although she always wears those ‘I’m from countryside so please spare this pitiful person’ expression whenever she comes by to the city,” Her mother explained as she chuckled just by imagining this aunt’s expression whenever she came by to their place in Seoul. “Besides, the price of lands at countryside is much cheaper than in cities,” Her mother later added.
Now that Hyosung remembered their conversation earlier, everything Yongguk—the soon going to be married cousin—bought her was not just some ordinary gifts everyone could find in grocery stores. They were rare to find and Hyosung had to acknowledge this.
Her steps had to be stopped when one of the aunties suddenly came out to the yard to pick up something from her car. Her eyes had caught Hyosung’s figure and threw a questioning look on her existence outside of the house.
She was probably in the same age with her mother—Hyosung could never really guess. For a woman in her age, she was incredibly skinny and tall with long black hair to frame her figure. For sure, Hyosung could easily tell that she was one of the prettiest women in her family. Amazingly, she didn’t have a husband until now which made her to be the only aunt who hadn’t been married—Hyosung was sure she had been the family discussion for a long time due to her unmarried status.
“Hello, aunty Ji Hyo!” Hyosung cheerfully greeted the older woman.
“Hi, dear. Why don’t you go inside? Everyone is having a glass of water there,” Ji Hyo said as she pulled out a pack of clothes from inside the car.
Hyosung didn’t even bother to approach Ji Hyo as Ji Hyo is really stubborn on the word “independent” and helping herself—Hyosung’s help would be dismissed before she even said the word “Can”. Besides, Hyosung knew well when Ji Hyo said something about “a glass of water” then it means some cold beer before stronger alcohol can be served later in the night and days after this—and she was not up for being tipsy in the middle of the afternoon.
“I will pass,” Hyosung told her as she watched Ji Hyo closed the car door with a kick.
“Well, don’t get tanned before the official visit to the beach tonight,” Ji Hyo said—a sweet smile showed on her face.
Hyosung nodded as she walked to the gazebo. The sound of waves chasing each other was both calming and exciting at the same time. She could hear the voices of her cousins in the back yard, shouting about having a running competition from the house to the beach. Hyosung could even hear her sisters’ girly squeals from her place—which means they were agreeing on that competition.
Her stream of thoughts had to be stopped when a sound of car engines got closer to her place. She hadn’t heard a car that noisy ever since her last visit to Japan—which made her to suspect that the Japan family was finally here.
And she was right. Everyone had flooded out of the house to greet the last family coming. She watched as the door opened and a family consisted of 6 people came out—they all had the same excited face with each other that Hyosung suspected if they had trained themselves to make the same expression in the car to make sure they could turn back the excitement to greet them.
Hyosung could see her crush walked confidently to the crowd, he was smiling so wide that Hyosung’s face hurt by just looking at him. His sister followed right behind him, she had grown prettier since the last time Hyosung saw her. And of course, she was quickly pulled by Hyosung’s sisters. She almost forgot that the parents and the grandma were behind the two siblings when the father’s voice startled her and almost everyone else when he gave a short greeting of “I haven’t seen you all for a long time!”. Everyone chuckled to his sense of humor as they urged them to get in and get a taste of water.
That was when Hyosung’s eyes moved to the last person in the group. He stood far behind and he was also looking right at her. He was looking straight to Hyosung’s eyes—which made her to blush instantly. She quickly looked away—shifting her eyes to look at the crowd that had decided to move.
“Stupid,” She cursed herself when she realized how hot her cheeks were.
“I didn’t know that you are interested in a family gathering,” His voice was thick with Japanese accent and Hyosung knew she was doomed—because she had been attracted to him instantly.
He had stood right in front of Hyosung and his figure had allowed less sunlight to shine on her. His smile was too bright for her that she had to look away—again. He was four years younger than her yet he was towering her. His hair was cut short—making him to look even more attractive as his look screamed something Hyosung hadn’t really paid attention to for years. Hyosung gulped down his visual as much as she could from the short distance.
“It’s Yongguk’s oppa wedding,” Hyosung calmly replied.
He chuckled on her reply—as if he knew that wasn’t the only reason she was there.
“Said someone who is been in university for a year and constantly updating about wanting to have a boyfriend. I would understand if you say another reason.”
It was just a short statement that could mean nothing but Hyosung saw more than that. Had he been watching all of the updates she had done in all her social medias? All of the things only her and her dormmates know the meanings of? How embarrassing!
“Park Bogum, that just makes you sound creepy to me,” Hyosung –as calm as she could—told the tall boy.
And he just laughed it off. He said nothing as he suddenly grabbed her hand and led her into the house.
“Don’t get tanned before the opening party tonight,” Bogum told her—his smile was still as wide as before.
Hyosung scoffed. Never did she expect everything would go downhill from that one afternoon.
–To Be Continued–