Days went by without Dara realizing the next day would be Christmas. She had just realized when she heard the news on television talking about people preparing their Christmas. Sanghyun was enjoying his coffee while watching the news. Dara looked around to find her mother, but she was nowhere to be seen.
“Hyunnie, where’s Mom?” Dara asked rubbing her eyes. She woke up late this morning.
“She went to the market. She said she missed something for her special food’s ingredients.” Sanghyun said without taking his eyes off the TV.
“What’s her special food this year?” Dara poured water to her glass and drank it. Their mother likes cooking, but since she doesn’t have enough time to elaborate her cooking in weekdays, she decides to cook ‘special food’—food she had never cooked before—every Christmas or other holiday.
“Don’t know, but it has octopus in it.”
Dara was fully awakened hearing the word octopus. “Really?”
Sanghyun nodded. “I saw octopus in the refrigerator.”
“Wow, I wonder what has gotten into Mom. She cooked octopus quite often these days, don’t you realize it?” she said as she fit herself next to her brother on the sofa.
“Of course, and I thank you for that.”
“Me? Why?” she asked in confusion.
Sanghyun turned to face his sister. “Oh, you don’t recognize it? She is luring you so you’ll agree to get married with someone from those set ups.”
Dara felt dumbfounded. “Dang, Mom.”
Her brother chuckled at her. “Hey, I’m curious too. Why don’t you just get married? Some men from those set ups are good, to be honest. I like that Taeyang guy.” He confessed.
“I haven’t met someone matches my preference yet.” Dara shrugged.
“Oh, really?” he asked in mocking tone. She looked at him questioningly.
“Come on sis, you haven’t met ‘someone matches your preference’?” Sanghyun made quotation mark with his fingers.
She tilted her head. She still didn’t get what her brother meant. He laughed at her dumbfounded expression.
“You like him, don’t you?” he shot her.
“Who?” she furrowed her brows.
“Jiyong hyung. You like him since we were kids. When he declared he likes you, you had liked him back.”
“Don’t talk nonsense.” Dara shifted her eyes to TV.
Sanghyun sighed. “You’re the one who should stop talk nonsense, Nuna. Stop denying your feelings. Do you think I can’t sense you enjoy all caring and attention he gave to you? Do you think I don’t know how your face slightly changes every time he said ‘I love you’ and other cheesy lines?”
Dara blushed at all facts her brother shoving her. So baby Sanghyun knows.
Sanghyun spoke up again seeing her kept silent. “I know he can make you happy. Hyung has never looked at other girl beside you. He will make a good rich husband.”
Dara laughed at his last line. “How can a jobless man be a rich husband?”
“Don’t underestimate him, Nuna. Hyung is one of top composers at YG Entertainment. He has been working there since he graduated from high school without anyone knowing. He is paid very well, better than regular composers.” Sanghyun explained.
Dara astonished. “H-h-how could he keep it secret? Uncle and Aunty… they don’t know?”
“No, they don’t. Well, composer doesn’t need to go to the office from 9 to 5. He doesn’t need to go to YG Building to send his composed songs; he can email it thanks to internet. He usually doesn’t engage with the recording either, but he told me his boss promoted him to be a junior producer, so later on he will need to go to YG Building quite often.” He explained further.
“How do you know that much of him?” Dara puzzled by his explanation.
“I was by his side when he was called by his boss, telling him he is promoted.” He said. “Ah, and if you ever wondered how could he got money to buy you flowers every Monday and give you that beautiful fluffy expensive coat on your last birthday, they were all from his salary. And my cool basketball shoes too.” He added.
Dara didn’t know what to say. “I don’t know.” She mumbled. “He’s too young …”
Sanghyun groaned. “Not that, please, Nuna! That is so lame! Age is nothing but number.”
“Oh, well…” She rolled her eyes.
“Come on Nuna, don’t let silly things hold you from your happiness.” He sighed. “I’ll appreciate it more if you said you don’t know how to confess to Jiyong hyung that you like him, or you don’t know how to face him after your confession, or you don’t know how to tell Mom and Aunty and Uncle that you love Jiyong hyung.” he shot series of options he could think about.
Dara blushed upon his sayings. “Yah, Hyunnie, stop teasing me…”
This time it’s Sanghyun who rolled his eyes. “Just quit pretending and hiding, Nuna. Hyung loves you for everything you are and he waits for the word ‘I love you’ come out of your mouth to him for years.”
Her face reddened. “Hyunnie, I’m really blessed to have a brother like you.” Dara said it in mocking tone. She couldn’t think of any other way to cover her shyness.
Sanghyun grunted at her mock, but he still pulled her into his embrace. “Be happy, Nuna.”
“Thank you, baby Sanghyun.” She said as ruffled his hair.
Their peaceful sibling moment was interrupted by the phone and the bell ringing at the same time.
“I’ll go get the phone, you open the door.” Dara said as she walked to the phone.
Sanghyun opened the door and saw Jiyong with his Santa hat and beard. He chuckled at the sight. “Hyung, it doesn’t suit you.”
“Who cares?” Jiyong replied calmly. “What is your mother’s special food this year?” he asked as he followed Sanghyun in.
Sanghyun shook his head. “Don’t know yet, but I think it will contain octopus. Mom went to the market to buy some missing ingredients a few hours ago, but she still hasn’t come back yet.”
Sanghyun stopped when he saw Dara sat down on the floor with blank expression and phone in her hand. He kneeled in front of her. “What’s wrong, Nuna?”
Dara didn’t answer. She kept blank. Sanghyun took the phone from her.
“Hello?” Sanghyun prepared himself for anything bad he would hear. Jiyong, on the other hand, sat next to Dara and tried to talk to her.
It didn’t take Sanghyun too long to know what made her shock to that state. “Hyung…” he called Jiyong weakly.
“What is it, Hyun?” Jiyong asked with worry all over his face. Dara didn’t even bug a bit by his shakes earlier.
“Mommy… They said Mom was hit in an accident… she’s in emergency room now.” Sanghyun said almost whispering. Tears rolled down his cheeks and he’s trembling.
Jiyong looked at the two siblings. He stung to see them this shaken. Well, it’s not like he wasn’t shaken either…
“Let’s go to the hospital now.” Dara commanded in whisper.