Jiyong’s mother decided that night Dara’s and her family should have dinner together at her house. Having dinner together between the two family was a habit since Dara’s father was still alive. With Dara’s help, Jiyong’s mother cooked everyone’s favorite foods.
“It’s been a while since we have dinner together like this. You grow up so much taller, Sanghyun.” Uncle Jinhee commented.
“Yes, I think he’s taller than Jiyong. And do you notice that he’s getting more handsome?” Aunty Hyunmi added.
Sanghyun blushed upon their comments. “Not really… where’s Jiyong hyung, anyway? Why haven’t he arrived yet?” he shifted topic.
“Aww, our Sanghyunnie is blushing…” Sanghyun’s face reddened on his mother’s teased.
“He’ll be late for dinner; he said he had some business to take care.” Dara answered.
The conversation went about each other’s recent activities. The dinner was fun and warm. Dara missed this atmosphere as she was buried by the hakwon and private tutoring she did.
“Whoa, Dara, you can make a good wife in the future! Your cook is delicious!” Uncle Jinhee commenting on the pasta Dara made.
“Talking about wife, have you ever thought of getting married, my dear?” Aunty Hyunmi suddenly brought up the topic Dara had never wanted to discuss about.
“N-n-not yet… I haven’t thought about it. I still want to focus on my work.” Dara stuttered. She didn’t like this topic.
“Don’t you have boyfriend, Dara?” Uncle Jinhee asked out of blue.
“I’m home!” Jiyong sang from the front door. Thank God, everyone’s attentions were shifted to him.
“Hyung!” Sanghyun stood and hugged him.
“Jiyong dear, why are you late for dinner?” Aunty Hyunmi whined as he hugged her.
“Sorry mom, there were few things need to be settled. Besides, this dinner together was suddenly decided by you, wasn’t it?” Jiyong hugged his father. “Whoa, pasta!” his eyes widened cheerfully.
“So Dara, don’t you have a boyfriend?” Uncle Jinhee repeated his question.
Dara flustered. He must be the one who inherited big curiosity and hard to surrender characters to Jiyong. “No, I don’t have any.”
“Really? I thought girl at your age must have had a boyfriend… You’re 27, right?” Uncle Jinhee’s eyes went big.
“I haven’t met the right one yet.” Dara tried to smile.
“You should find a good man and get married soon, Dara.” Her mother said.
Jiyong choked. Sanghyun handed him the water and hit his back several times.
“Why rushing her to get married? She’s still young; her future is still long way to go.” Aunty Hyunmi spoke up.
“She is, but I’m not. I’m getting older and who knows when I will die.” Dara’s mother replied.
“Mommy!” Sanghyun howled.
“I’m talking the truth Sanghyun. You can’t be with her forever since you yourself will make your own family. She needs someone to take care of her.” Dara’s mother held Dara’s hand. “I know you’ve always thought about Sanghyun and me, but it’s the time for you to think about yourself, your future. Go find a husband. Should I set you up? Ah, what about Uncle Seungwoo’s son, Seunghyun? I heard he has just flown back from Japan.”
“Oh really, that Seunghyun? I haven’t seen Seungwoo’s family for a while, so I wonder how Seunghyun is like now.” Aunty Hyunmi responded enthusiastically.
Jiyong growled. “I need to go to bathroom.” He mumbled and went. Dara’s eyes automatically shifted to his face. His expression was blank.
“Oh, Dara, if you don’t like all men your mother set you up with, don’t worry. You still have Jiyong.” Uncle Jinhee blurted.
This time it’s Dara and Sanghyun who choked.
“Your jokes are funny indeed, Uncle.” Dara tried to sound normal. Do his parents know about his feelings to me too?
“I’m not joking, my dear. Don’t you think Jiyong is a good man?” Uncle Jinhee blurted.
“W-w-well, he is a good boy—“
“But isn’t Jiyong too young to marry?” Dara’s mother furrowed.
“Not really… He’s 23, and he’ll finish his study this year. Seungwoo was 23 too when he’s married.” Uncle Jinhee recalled things. “I want to know how it feels to have Dara as our daughter.” He smiled at his wife.
Aunty Hyunmi smiled back at him. “How come you think the same thing as I think?”
“I guess we’re really fated to be a couple.” Uncle Jinhee and Aunty Hyunmi giggled.
Dara sighed. Jiyong’s parents had always wanted to have a daughter, but when Jiyong was 5 Aunty Hyunmi suffered from tumor that enabled her to have children anymore.
“But I have always seen Jiyong as younger brother, nothing more.” Dara tried to say it casually.
Right after she said those words, Jiyong returned to his seat. Dara felt her heart stopped to see his face. He stared back at her with sad and painful look. Suddenly her chest tightened and it was hard for her to breath.
Do I really always see him as nothing more than younger brother?