Your Warmth

Arranged marriages, company dinners, school trips and dances. The factors of complicated romances. Four best friends, moving onto their fourth and final year of high school with low expectations, are dragged into chaos over and over again by the same people every time. What’s gonna happen to them? Will they make it through these difficulties and find their happy endings? Or will they fail to push past the troubles?

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1. One

Min Yu's P.O.V.

"Oppa, don't go!"

"Let go of me you annoying brat!" he shouted as he harshly pulled his arm out of my grip then pushed me down to the cold marble floor. 

"Don't leave, please!" I cried helplessly as I watched his figure walk away.

"Oppa!"

I woke up breathing heavily with a damp forehead. It was just another nightmare. Just another nightmare. I closed my eyes as I sat up straight, trying to calm myself down. I glanced at the digital clock on my nightstand. It's only 4:30. I laid back down and pulled the blanket up to my neck, suddenly feeling cold. I closed my eyes, wanting to get some more sleep but my eyes shot open when I heard a sudden crash coming from the kitchen. I slipped on my pastel blue slippers before going outside to see what happened.

"Eomma? What are you doing? What happened?" I asked when I saw her crouched down in the kitchen. 

"Oh, you're awake already? I needed some pain relieving cream for my wrist but I dropped some stuff while getting it down from the cabinet. It's okay, go back to sleep," answered Eomma, chasing me back to my room afterward. 

"Well, good morning to you too," I mumbled before crawling back into bed. I closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep again but every time I closed my eyes, the scene of oppa leaving would replay. I sighed before sitting up again. It's still too early to do anything. Everyone else is still asleep. I guess I'll just go for an early morning jog. Very early morning jog. I rubbed my tired eyes before getting out of bed and washing my face. After that, I changed into my athletic wear and grabbed my phone, earbuds, and keys then headed out. 

Jin Hyun's P.O.V.

Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!

I groaned before slamming my hand on the snooze button on my digital clock. I rubbed my eyes before slowly opening them fully to look at the time. It's way too early. Who the hell set the alarm last night? Why the hell would I want to wake up at 4:45 during summer?

"Mr. Kim, are you awake yet?" called Ms. Gong, the oldest of all the maids working here. She's been working here for as long as I can remember. I always thought of her as my second mom. And then she became the only mother-figure in my life. I sat up straight and ruffled my hair before getting out of bed. I walked towards the door to unlock it, picking up a shirt and putting it on as I was walking. What? Don't judge me. It gets really hot during summer. 

"Who set my alarm last night? I was sure I set it to 8:00," I asked while opening the door for Ms. Gong. 

"Your father must have changed it from his office. He said there was something important going on today and that you needed to wake up early," answered Ms. Gong, walking in with a tray filled with food.

"I'm not very hungry," I said before Ms. Gong could say anything about it. She sighed as she put the tray down on my desk. 

"Please eat Jin Hyun-ah. Every year, near the anniversary, you starve yourself and barely sleep. It's not healthy for you," pleaded Ms. Gong. I felt guilty so I agreed to eat just a little bit. I couldn't let all her efforts to take care of me go to waste. I sighed before picking up the banana and peeling it. 

Back to the important thing: Why did Father want me to wake up so early? For God's sake, it's only 5:00! I sat down on the edge of my bed while eating the banana. I picked up my phone from my nightstand and pulled out the charger before checking all of my notifications and social media. I checked the calendar app to see if there was something important going on today. Nothing. So why the hell did I have to wake up so early? I sighed and turned off my phone before putting it back down on my nightstand. I went to the bathroom and threw away the banana peel before washing up. Should I go for a jog? Actually, I should go talk to Father and ask why he made me wake up so freaking early. After a quick shower, I went to my walk-in-closet to change into a casual outfit but I found a set of casual-formal clothes folded neatly on one of the cushioned seats. 

"What is this?" I mumbled to myself, walking towards it. I picked up the note placed on top. 

'Wear this then come meet me in my office. - Mr. Ok'

What the hell? Why do I have to wear something that's so... not my style? What's going on today? I crumbled the note and chucked it somewhere before changing. This is... Oh, my God. It looks like the school uniform. I'm not wearing this. Standing in front of the mirror, I fixed the light blue button up shirt that was tucked into my black pants before putting on the black blazer. Why am I wearing this? I straightened the blazer and dried my hair before going to Father's study. I knocked on the door three times then waited for his reply.

"Come in," he called. I ran my hand through my hair before entering. I opened my mouth to speak as I started walking towards his desk where he was seated but he stopped me before I could say anything.

"I assume you want to talk to me about why you had to wake up so early," said Father. I stopped right in front of his desk and nodded. 

"Today, you are going to spending time with my friend's daughter and your future fiance."

...

What.

Did.

He.

Just.

Say.

"What?!" I shouted. 

"Lower your tone," he instructed. I sighed and ran my hand through my hair again in frustration. 

"My future fiance? What the hell?" I objected. 

"Watch your language," he added calmly. "You are going to spend the day with her whether you want to or not. Now get out. Mr. Ok will call you when it's time for you to go pick her up."

Knowing I had no choice in this, I quietly left. Why the hell do I have to get married? I mean, hyung and I are just gonna work in the company after high school. Why do we have to get married? Well, hyung got to marry someone he loved but I'm stuck in a stupid arranged marriage. And why was I only informed about this today? I mean, I never even heard anything about this from anyone and the maids here gossip a lot. 

I made my way back to my room and saw that my sheets were straightened and the food Ms. Gong had left for me earlier was also gone. I guess they cleaned up while I was in Father's study. 

"So stupid...," I mumbled to myself. I ruffled my hair before sitting down on a red sofa chair and picking up the bass that was carefully placed next to it on its stand. Just as I was about to play a cord, my phone started ringing on my nightstand. I sighed before putting the bass back on its stand and answering the call from hyung. 

Yeoboseyo?

Jin Hyun-ah! When are you going to visit your dear brother huh?

Ah, I forgot. Mian. Do you think I could stop by tomorrow? 

I'm not sure. I'm quite busy with a project right now. Today was my only free day.

Mian hyung. I can't come today. Father is making me spend the day with my future fiance.

Future fiance?

Yeah. Mianhaeyo hyung.

Gwaenchanha. I'll try to find some more free time. When I do I'll contact you. Ah, by the way, Sul Li said next time you better come back with a girlfriend. I hope you really do come back with a girl next time. Just not this future fiance of yours. Unless you end up loving her then, by all means, bring her.

No promises hyung. 

I understand. I hope the best for you nae dongsaeng.

Gomabda. You better get back to your family. Let's talk again later.

Hyung hummed in reply before ending the call. Stupid future fiance. If I didn't have to spend the day with her, I could've gone and spent the day in Busan with hyung and his family. I ruffled my hair again with a sigh before just sitting there on my bed, spaced out, as I stared at the wall in front of me. The sound of my phone ringing brought me back to reality. It was a text from hyung. 

< Ji Hoon hyung > 

Looks like I'm free tomorrow so make sure to come before lunch alright? Your nephew is super excited to see you again.

Arasseo. 

I turned off my phone and tossed it onto my bed. What do I do now? It's only 6:00 am. This is why I don't wake up so early during summer. Might as well play some overwatch or something. But it's not fun to play alone. I guess I'll ask one of the others. But then again, it's 6:00 am and none of them would be awake this early. Whatever I guess I'll play alone. I sat down in one of the red cushioned sofas in front of my TV and turned on my XBox One.

Min Yu's P.O.V.

When I came back from my jog, I saw someone pacing in front of the front gate to the complex. Who the heck is he? Should I help him? Maybe he's looking for someone? But then what if he's dangerous? Ah, I think too much. I'll just avoid him to something. I walked towards the gate and quietly took my keys out of my pocket. I snuck a glance at the guy that was pacing. He was so lost in his own thoughts he didn't even notice me. Good. Quickly and quietly, I unlocked the gate and got inside. I heard the familiar sound of the lock's buzzer behind me, meaning that the gate was now closed and locked. 

"Hey! Miss, could you open the gate for me?" Oh no. Should I just pretend I didn't hear him? But I can't he already knows that I heard him since I stopped when he called out. I cleared my throat before turning around to face him.

Oh my gosh. My eyes.

"J-Jae Yeol?" I asked. His eyes widened before a playful smile appeared on his lips. 

"It's been a while," he replied. 

--------

"How have you been?" asked Jae Yeol as he sat down at the small, circular, glass dining table surrounded by 4 dining chairs. 

I sat down across from him, holding a warm cup of tea. "Good. And you?"

"Honestly, I would've been much happier if you were in Daegu with me," he answered. I felt my cheeks warming up slightly at his comment. 

"Well, you were there with the others weren't you?" I asked. 

"Yeah and we spent a lot of time together but being with you brightens my day in a way they can't," he answered. 

"Ah... You haven't changed at all," I said, covering my cheeks with the sleeves of my t-shirt while leaning my elbows on the table. 

"You have. You're much more beautiful now." Um. What? My cheeks felt even warmer while my eyes were getting rounder and wider. "I mean, you were always beautiful but um you just look more mature now." I laughed awkwardly and rubbed the back of my neck. This is so awkward. What do I say now?

"How's the company?" I asked, removing my hands from my face and holding the cup of tea again. 

"Good. We've improved a lot in the past 5 years and our stocks are higher than ever," he answered. "And the guys and I got a lot of experience. My dad said when I start working for real after high school, he'll probably hand over one of his branches to me."

"A whole branch?" I asked, surprised. You have to be really good and experienced to be given a whole branch.

"Yup," answered Jae Yeol. Wow. 

"Ah, I have some good news for you," said Jae Yeol after it got silent again. 

"Oh, really? What is it?" I asked, taking a sip of my tea. 

"I've transferred to your high school," he answered. 

"Wait. Doesn't that mean-"

"That I'm staying? Yup. And after high school, I'm taking the Seoul branch," said Jae Yeol, interrupting me.

"That's great!" I replied. "And are the others-"

"They're staying too," said Jae Yeol interrupting me again. I swear this guy always has a habit of interrupting me. I nodded my head in reply and it got silent again. I don't know what to say. 

"Well, thank you for the tea and all but I have to get back to my apartment. I need to start prepping for school and work," said Jae Yeol, standing up from his seat. I stood up and asked him to wait for me while I cleaned up our cups. We both put on our shoes, well I put on my slippers, and started walking to the front gate.

"Wait, you're staying at an apartment?" I asked.

"Yeah. I'm gonna be staying here alone. My parents are still in Daegu since that's where Grandfather started his business. They'll only be coming back here for banquets and meetings but other than that, they're staying in Daegu," answered Jae Yeol. 

"Oh, isn't that kind of lonely?" I asked. 

"Are you offering to let me stay with you and your mom?" replied Jae Yeol. I looked up and saw him playfully smirking at me. 

"What? No! I mean, I would but-"

"So you're saying you would offer to let me stay with you and your mom?"

"Well, yes. Wait, no! I meant-"

"You meant that you don't want me to stay? Alright, I guess I could just go back to Daegu."

"Let me finish my sentences!" I shouted. Jae Yeol started laughing before he suddenly pulled me into a hug. 

"I missed you. So, so much," he whispered, his chin was resting on my shoulder while his arms wrapped around my form. I returned the hug, my arms reaching up to his upper back. 

"I missed you too," I replied. After our hug, he went home to his apartment and I went back to mine. As soon as I stepped inside, I got a call from Eomma asking me to go to the grocery store so I put on my sneakers and a windbreaker before grabbing my keys and wallet. I put my phone in my back pocket and made sure all of the lights were off and the windows were closed before going out to a grocery store that was about 10 minutes away in walking distance. On my way back, I walked past the cafe the others and I would usually go to every Friday, after school. I should get something for Eomma. She's been working hard lately and she deserves a break but since I'm only a student, this is all I can do for her. I entered the cafe and ordered Eomma's favorite drink and a small cake. 

"Thank you," I said as I took the bag from the cashier. When I turned around to leave, I saw two very familiar faces passing by the cafe. Kim Jin Hyun, the fighter, and Kim Young Han, the annoying try-hard. A match made in heaven. Looks like they're a couple now. They'll probably be the most popular couple for the first quarter before Jin Hyun dumps her over Thanksgiving Break. I mean, that's what always happens every year.

"Oppa, let's go in here!" I heard Young Han's annoying voice as she entered the cafe, dragging Jin Hyun behind her. "Oppa! Buy me a drink!" 

Heol. Gold digger. 

"Oppa! Buy me that!" I can't stand being here anymore. Why am I still here anyway? I started walking towards the exit, passing them on my way there. I suddenly felt someone grip my wrist very tightly. 

"Ah, mian but my girlfriend needs some help getting her things home. See ya." Wait. That voice. That sounded so familiar. The grocery bags I was holding in my left hand were suddenly gone, leaving me with just the bag I got for Eomma. Someone suddenly held my hand, intertwining our fingers, as they pulled me out of the cafe. When the shock finally left my body I looked up and saw the one and only Kim Jin Hyun. 

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