Ｐａｒｔ ｏｆ Ｍｅ - 𝟐 -
𝗧𝗮𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗻 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗳𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝘀𝗽𝗶𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗱. 𝗪𝗮𝘆 𝘁𝗼𝗼 𝗺𝘂𝗰𝗵 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗳𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴. 𝗛𝗲 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗱 𝗻𝗼 𝗷𝗼𝗯, 𝗻𝗼 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘂𝗽. 𝗛𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝗕𝗼𝗵𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝘀𝘁 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗵𝗶𝗺𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳.
𝗛𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝘀𝗻’𝘁 𝘀𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗳𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝗶𝗻 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀. 𝗜𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗼𝗹𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝗯𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗧𝗮𝗲𝗷𝗶𝗻, 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝗮 𝗳𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗧𝗮𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗻 𝗵𝗮𝘀𝗻’𝘁 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗺𝗲𝘁 𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗲.
𝗡𝗼𝘄 𝗳𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝗺𝗮𝗱𝗲 𝗮 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗴𝗶𝗰 𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗟𝗲𝗲 𝗳𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗧𝗮𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗻 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗻𝗼 𝗹𝗼𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗿 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘆 𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗱. 𝗛𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗱𝘂𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿’𝘀 𝗮𝗯𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲, 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗰𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗺𝗲𝗲𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂…
⁂ 𝗣𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿!𝗔𝗨 / 𝗔𝗿𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗱 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗴𝗲!𝗔𝗨
⁂ 𝗣𝗮𝗶𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴: 𝗟𝗲𝗲 𝗧𝗮𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗻 𝘅 𝗙𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗹𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝘅 𝗟𝗲𝗲 𝗧𝗮𝗲𝗷𝗶𝗻 (𝗧𝗮𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗻’𝘀 𝗵𝘆𝘂𝗻𝗴)
⁂ 𝗚𝗲𝗻𝗿𝗲: 𝗔𝗻𝗴𝘀𝘁 / 𝗦𝗲𝘅𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺𝗲𝘀
Ｐａｒｔ ｏｆ Ｍｅ ⁂ 𝐌𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐭
< Ｐａｒｔ ⁂ 𝟏
"𝕷𝖎𝖛𝖎𝖓𝖌 𝖎𝖘 𝖆 𝖈𝖔𝖓𝖘𝖙𝖆𝖓𝖙 𝖕𝖗𝖔𝖈𝖊𝖘𝖘 𝖔𝖋 𝖉𝖊𝖈𝖎𝖉𝖎𝖓𝖌 𝖜𝖍𝖆𝖙 𝖜𝖊 𝖆𝖗𝖊 𝖌𝖔𝖎𝖓𝖌 𝖙𝖔 𝖉𝖔."
- 𝕵𝖔𝖘é 𝕺𝖗𝖙𝖊𝖌𝖆 𝖞 𝕲𝖆𝖘𝖘𝖊𝖙
Right. Not many items in the list you sent Taemin, but very specific things. Lactose free yogurt. Soy powder. Was Taesung allergic to dairy? All the things hinted that he was, and Taemin took it very seriously.
Goat milk. He knew it was good for dairy allergic people, right? He was getting everything he found good for dairy intolerant, he even asked for help to make sure he was doing it right.
Diapers age 9-12 months. Were there differences between girls and boys ones? Why were there yellow coloured? And those ones that looked like you could just pull them up? Oh! And there were diapers for swimming too.
Again Taemin got all the possible 9-12 months ones, including a toilet training seat to put over the toilet. Just then he saw a little miniature baby blue plastic toilet that he couldn’t not get.
It was addicting. As he walked by and found toys and all kinds of teething gadgets for babies. Was Taesung teething? At what age did babies teeth?
It was no harm to get a few. A few of this and that. Suddenly the trolley was almost full finding escalators to the second floor where they sold clothes and even furniture. Taemin couldn’t resist.
He got a few blanquests, a nice little mattress with the matching sheets. He was going overboard, maybe?
He had to get going, but then his eyes fell on this little tiny black jumper with a fluorescent skull. Taemin covered his mouth gasping. He couldn’t not buy it for his beloved Taesung..
“Is it for your son?” A shop attendant asked.
“My nephew.” He smiled proudly.
“We have this matching in adult size as well.” She showed him the bigger version.
“OH MY GOD! I want one for me in size small and this in size 9-12 months.”
Taemin was losing it. He kept buying and getting every single cute thing he thought Taesung might need until he had to get help as he had filled 2 whole trolleys. You saw him approach the car and you had to slap your forehead. What had he bought?
Taemin opened the trunk of the car helping the shop assistants to get everything inside thanking them for their hard work. He got in the car looking at you and how Taesung slept.
“What are all those things you got?”
“Well, I thought Taesung might need some extra things. I got some clothes as well.” He giggled.
“He doesn't need clothes.”
Taemin nodded disappointed. “I also wasn’t sure of what kind of things you wanted so I bought a few options, as well as some groceries, because my fridge is empty.”
“It was quite simple. I told you what we need. You didn’t have to do this to show off!” You roared back.
“Well then burn the things! Alright?”
“I’m not wasting my time burning anything.” You looked away so he could start driving.
You hated this situation. You knew Taemin was doing this to buy your empathy, but that way didn’t work with you, even if he was being nice you were just irritated, and therefore the ride to his apartment was in silence, save for the babbling of Taesung.
As Taemin parked in the building garage he tried looking at you. He wanted to say something that sounded welcoming, but you were not really giving him the chance. You got out of the car watching Taemin run to get Taesung for you, he even stopped for a second to nudge him before placing his chair on the stroller.
“You can head inside first. I’ll need help getting these things upstairs. My apartment is on the 5th floor 508. The passcode is 8893.”
You headed towards the elevators' door thinking about that passcode. Taejin was born in 1988. Was Taemin born in 1993? If he was, it was cute of him.
You took the elevator hearing your heartbeats in your ears. What if you met a neighbour? What would you say to them? Would you reveal who you were? If not, wouldn’t it be strange to visit Taemin with a baby? It sure was a problem, and you regretted coming alone instead of with Taemin so he could talk to them.
You opened the door of the elevator and sprinted looking for apartment 508. You entered the passcode and breathed pressing your back on the door once inside.
The apartment was nothing like you expected. It was actually immaculate. No wonder your mother-in-law always said you were not of their same social level. This was a super extra modern apartment with all the luxury. It was a little bit on the dark side. The walls of the living room were navy and all the furniture’s wood was mahogany, the couches navy with red and black cushions. It was kind of scary, as if it were the house of a vampire. You had to laugh with that last thought.
You picked Taesung up smelling something. “It’s that time, right Tae?” You tickled him on his neck. “Let’s find out where the bathroom is in this luxury monster apartment, shall we? I just hope that no zombies are roaming the place.”
You opened a door that looked like the door of the corridor. It was even darker inside, luckily the smart lightening lit as you walked along. There was a big room full of canvases on the walls and on the floor arranged by sizes. All of them were nude women. It took you by surprise seeing so many boobs and other things, you had to laugh again.
“So this is the type of person you are, Lee Taemin.” You commented touching the unfinished canvas that was on the canvas holder.
There was a desk that had piles of books. Most of them were artistic and painting books. A lot of oil paint tubes and even a chaiselong, for his muses most probably. Taemin the type to paint naked women live.
Could he make a living out of this? His family’s wealth was more than enough to feed him and live this life doing what he loved. After all, you did live quite a posh life with Taejin yourself, and deep down inside you knew it couldn’t be just due to his electric engineering job. His job couldn’t pay for the life he gave you and Taesung.
You pushed away the thought and remembered that you needed to change Taesung as soon as possible. When you turned around, Taemin was leaning on the doorframe with his arms crossed over his chest.
“It’s the way I live. I guess I’ll have to lock the door of the room so as not to bother you with my way of life.”
“Do whatever you want. I don’t judge.” You walked towards him forcing him to move away from the door to get out. “Where’s your bathroom?”
“You didn’t judge me? But actually you did! The bathroom is on the first left.”
You walked ignoring him, not even bothering to acknowledge what he said, feeling how his arm went in front of you to open the door for you.
“I need a towel to put Taesung on.”
Taemin brought you a shower towel folding it so it felt comfortable for Taesung. You placed Taesung on it unclasping the buttons of his overall opening the diaper.
“Maybe he needs a bath instead? I got him a little bath and baby soap and sponges.” Taemin offered pointing with his thumb at the door wanting to get them for you.
“That would be great.” You lifted Taesung, giving him to him instead. “I’ll go get the stuff. Thank you.”
Taemin was left with his nephew who was completely soiled. He was holding him from his armpits trying to ignore how bad he smelled. However they did share a moment. Taemin scanned his nephew’s face smiling to himself. He wanted to make him laugh and he did succeed. It was strange how this little person that he just met meant the whole world to him.
“Do you know how much I love you, little man??”
You could hear Taemin speak as you looked through the pile of things Taemin had gotten.
“I’m going to be the best uncle anyone can have. I’ll teach you to paint, I’ll be there forever. Unfortunately I know I can’t be as good as Taejin hyung, but you being his son means that you’re the best boy. We’ll get along and I’ll love you forever.”
The scene was very touching, save for Taesung’s pee that was pointed right at Taemin’s chest. You had to laugh loudly watching how Taemin looked from the waterjet to you as he moved his legs apart avoiding the pee going on his slippers. Because of both your laughs Taesung started giggling too which only made you laugh louder as well.
“What a bad boy you are, Tae.” You took him from Taemin’s hands holding him to wipe the big mess. “Can you please warm the water and place the little bath inside?”
Once you removed all Taesung’s clothes you went on your knees cleaning him with the shower head before sitting him inside the bath. You exhaled standing.
“What do I do?” Taemin asked.
“Please just sit next to him so I can clean the mess on the floor.”
“No! I’ll do it!”
“Just sit with your nephew, and thank you for being so helpful.” You finally relaxed.
You cleaned away hearing how Taemin made dumb noises playing with Taesung. Not everything was terrible today. You were disappointed for most of the day, but you had to admit that Taemin made it better. You really didn’t expect him to turn this good and willing.
After the bath and Taemin helping you all along the way asking all sorts of questions on how things were made for Taesung. He took a shower himself, the fastest shower he’s ever taken, as he didn’t want to miss a single moment with Taesung. He sprinted outside to find you feeding him his bottle signing him a lullaby. Taemin removed the towel off his head sitting in front of you indulging in how beautiful it looked. It was awkward having someone else other than Taejin watching you, but your baby would not sleep if not this way.
“Is he asleep?” Taemin whispered as little droplets falling off his hair wetting his shoulders.
“Yes, where should I put him?”
“On my bed, until I put together his own.” Taemin pointed and the boxes.
You followed Taemin to his bedroom. This one was dark grey with white splashes of paint. It smelled like manly perfume. Again it was impeccable, not a speck of dust on the black furniture.
You crawled on the mattress placing Taesung in the middle gathering pillows around him, covering him with the duvet and placing his pacifier dummy on his mouth. Taemin kissed his forehead following you outside.
“I also got him a sound monitor. If you’d like the one with the camera ins-”
“Thank you, Taemin.” You hugged him again feeling his wet hair on your cheek. “I’m sorry for doubting you. I’m very thankful that you are in Taesung’s life, because I truly don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Taemin was stiff for a moment, but then he thought that this hug was needed from both parties.
“Don’t thank me. Anything I own is Taesung’s from now on. He’s a part of my hyung. He’s the most precious thing to me right now. I’m so lucky to have him in my life.”
You detached yourself. “The normal monitor is perfect.” You smiled.
“How about you take a shower while I put up all the things I got for Sung-ah?”
“Sounds good.” You pushed your luggage through the corridor. “Which room…?”
“Mine of course! You’re 2, I cannot have you in the smaller room, maybe when Taesung is older he can take the other room for himself.”
“We-we cannot stay that long until Taesung grows older. Besides, the neighbours.”
Taemin exhaled nodding. “We will figure it out later.”
You smiled heading to the room which luckily had an en-suite bathroom. Finally a shower after this long day.
You were finished with that shower realising that you were in Taemin’s bathroom. Suddenly the realisation hitting you hard. There were men's products all over the counter that was again, spotless.
You remembered Taejin’s toiletries. Everything that you had to dispose of when he passed away. He was taken from you so suddenly that really, just thinking about it made you feel that it was a lie. When you received that call from the police officer advising you that there was a big accident and you needed to come for his already lifeless body. Abroad, alone and in charge of a baby. How were you going to cope with all this? After you thought you’d never be alone again, fate decided that you will.
Was it his mother’s disapproval? They say when a mother is not happy with her children, they’ll never see a good day. You were starting to believe in those things.
A mother, You were now one, and you’ve always wanted one yourself, but it was an ill fated life that made you never have one, not even your husband’s was on your side.
You heard the knocking on the door, but it felt far and faint. You couldn’t really hear anything but your sobs as you crouched on the floor.
“Are you hurt? At least answer me and I’ll leave you if you’re alright.” Taemin tried again knocking some more. “Please just tell me to leave and I’ll understand that you’re not hurt!”
It was the first time since it happened that you could cry freely. Having Taesung around all the time didn’t let you cry the loss of your beloved husband. You just wanted to let it all out and it happened to be now in these circumstances at this extra all white marble bathroom that almost made your eyes hurt while crying and the bright lightening blindening you.
“I miss him too, you know. I’d give anything to just at least try to apologise to him.” Taemin rested his forehead on the door while calmly talking. “I’m sorry, ___. All I have is memories, but we can help each other. Hyung will forever live in our hearts.” Taemin now suppressed his own tears. “He’s the type of human being that cannot be forgotten. I wish I was in his place. No one would feel my absence. I wish I could rewind and be in his place.”
You slowly opened the door, your wet hair covered your face as well as your hands. You stopped crying for a second to make Taemin stop talking nonsense. He wasn’t making you feel better. He was just destroying himself, and that was the last thing you wanted for you and him. Suddenly you felt his arms wrapping around you and his chin over your shoulder. It was strange but welcomed. Your sorrow was one, so sharing it could lessen the pain.
“Please Taemin-ssi. Don’t speak like that.”
“Want to have some Ramyeon? I’ll make us some while you dry your hair, hm?”
“I’d like that.” You detached yourself sitting on the bed. “Thank you for taking care of Taesung while I showered. It’s been a while since I experienced that.”
Taemin smiled closing the door behind him for you to get properly changed and ready.
You kissed Taesung heading outside. Taemin had already set the cot ripping the plastic of the mattress messily. He did look funny, like trying too hard.
“Oh my god! What are all these things?” You gasped looking around you finding all the boxes emptied.
“Ah well.” Taemin rubbed the back of his head. “I’ll clean the mess.”
“It’s too much, Taemin! We’ll not stay this long.”
“Just in case you come visit. I want to be prepared for Sung-ah.” He spoke shyly gathering all the boxes and plastic wrappings. “I’ll wash the cot sheets now. So we could use some of mine.”
You lifted the cot with him heading to the room. He bumped a few times as you weren’t really guiding him.
“Well tell me.” Taemin demanded watching you laugh.
It was a genuine laugh after all that crying. Your eyes still quite puffy. He appreciated that you were making an effort to get along until you figured things out.
“Thank you for all this. I truly appreciate it, Taemin.”
“Thanks for calling me Taemin. We’re not strangers, and I’ve done nothing more than what I have to do. Taesung is my responsibility too.”
You smiled. It sounded really good. It sounded comforting and less lonely. Your fears slowly diminishing. Taemin couldn’t be lying. He wouldn’t have done all this in less than a few hours from meeting each other if he was lying. Hearing from him that Taesung was his responsibility, even though realistically, he could just give you his back and go back to his way of life being distant doing whatever the hell he wanted. Taesung was only his nephew, nothing more or nothing less. You actually were expecting at least your father-in-law to be the one being more supportive. Instead he came up with that ridiculous idea of marrying Taemin..
“I’ll do the sheets. Don’t worry.” You tried taking them from Taemin’s hands.
“Absolutely not. Go have the Ramyeon before it gets soggy. I’ll finish up here so you teach me how to lift Taesung while he’s asleep.”
You nodded feeling good. Taemin not only was taking care of Taesung, but also you. Not that you needed any man to take care of you, but at the moment it was really needed due to your heartbreak and unfortunate circumstances. It felt good being taken care of.
You headed to the kitchen finding a nice bowl of Ramyeon with an egg on top. He took the time to even cut some vegetables and sausages. For the first time in a while you truly wanted to eat. Not just fill your stomach to be able to keep going for Taesung. This was prepared with care, a simple pack of Ramyeon done for you with care.
You sat on the tall stool overlooking the living room. You ate making your taste buds come to life again. It was warm and hearty and it just came in the perfect timing. It was all perfect… too perfect as you heard someone entering the passcode on the door’s keypad while your mouth was full. The door opened expecting your in-laws, but your surprise was great.
“And who the fuck are you? Unbelievable.” A girl asked, shaking her head.
Her hair was dyed electric blue sporting a leather jacket and very short shorts with ripped at her knees fishnet tights that complimented her military boots. Her makeup, smokey and her lipstick almost as dark as Taemin’s wall colour. You didn’t know what to do or say. You couldn’t swallow nor spit what was in your mouth. You were there in shock thinking about running to protect Taesung even though you knew it was wrong to stereotype.
“Where is that fucker?” She opened her pack of cigarettes aiming to light one.
“Yara! I forgot! I’m so sorry. Can we reschedule?” Taemin asked, removing the cigarette off her lips. “I told you not to smoke here.”
You finally swallowed getting off the stool trying to go to the bedroom.
“Reschedule for that? Does she speak Korean? Who is she? Not the style you’re used to Taemin-ah.”
“None of your business because last time I checked you were nothing but a model I pay.”
A model… this is one of those women Taemin painted naked…
Of course this wasn’t a good place for Taesung to even stay a single day. What were you thinking? You even saw the painting room. You were just in denial and wanting to see everything with hopeful eyes.
“She can stay, I’ll be taking my leave. It will be a minute for me to get ready.”
“What!? You’re going nowhere! I won’t allow you to go at this hour with Tasung anywhere!” Taemin forgot his place raising his voice
“Excuse me? And who are you to order me around?” You squinted your eyes enraged.
“Oh, drama. I should stay and watch.” Yara invited herself to sit on the couch crossing her legs getting another cigarette.
“Yara! Get out! You’re fired!” Taemin exclaimed, throwing her a few notes while still looking at you.
“Fuck you!” Yara yelled, pointing her middle finger before opening the door slamming it behind her.
“I’m leaving too! I’m not staying in this atmosphere!” You threw your hands in the air.
“Aren’t you being a little bit judgemental here? It’s my job, I selll erotic paintings.” Taemin walked behind you trying to explain.
“As if you needed to work. Aren’t you a spoiled chaebol? Have you forgotten I was married to your brother and I know everything and how you just spent and never worked in your life?”
Taemin exhaled, grabbing your wrist. “I’ll rent a studio. I’ll have that room emptied. I’ll quit doing those things, but don’t leave.”
You did shiver hearing what he was proposing. Was Lee Taemin willing to do all that for you and your son after you really hurt his pride just now?
You entered the bedroom locking it behind you seeing Teasung all comfortable in his new cot. You got closer and saw a little black jumper with a neon skull as well as a bigger version that would only fit Taemin…
What was this man doing?