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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3. Three

Nae Jin's P.O.V.

"Stop it! Jun Hee, come back here!" I shouted. I sighed before sitting down on the carpet floor in the living room to catch my breath. I heard a crash and turned to look in the kitchen. "Jin Ah, don't touch the broken pieces!"

I groaned before standing up and rushing over to the kitchen where Jin Ah, my 5-year-old niece, was crying while holding her bleeding finger.

"Auntie, it hurts!" she sobbed.

"Shh. It's okay," I said while hugging her and stroking her hair comfortingly. After a while, she started to calm down. "Does it still hurt?"

Jin Ah nodded while sniffling a little bit. I sighed before walking her to the living room and telling her to sit down on the couch. I went back to the kitchen and grabbed the first-aid kit from one of the cabinets before going back to her and cleaning the cut on her finger. Afterward, I told her to stay there while I put away the kit and cleaned the kitchen. As I was picking up the pieces of glass, I realized how silent it had been. I quickly finished cleaning up before going back to the living room to look for Jun Hee, my 2-year-old nephew. 

"Jin Ah, where's your brother?" I asked Jin Ah who was comfortably sitting on the couch while watching a cartoon on the TV. 

"I don't know," she answered with a shrug, her attention was still focused on the cartoon. I sighed and started thinking where he might've gone.

"AHHHH! NOONA!"

Oh. That's where he went.

I sighed before rushing up the stairs to my 14-year-old brother's room. I pushed open the door and found Jun Hee sitting on the floor, laughing, and still holding onto my blanket. 

"He came in here while I was changing!" shouted Seung Kwan who had a towel wrapped around his waist and damp hair. I sighed before leaning down and picking up Jun Hee and my blanket.

"Your fault for not locking the door," I said before leaving.

"How was I supposed to know he would come in?" shouted Seung Kwan. I ignored him and went back downstairs where Jin Ah was. I swear I'm going to make Chan Sung oppa pay for making me watch his kids. Again. I swear he's such a worthless cousin. I'm younger so I should be the one asking for favors and such but nope, he's the one always asking me to watch his kids.

When I got downstairs, I put Jun Hee down in a small fenced area in the living room that we set up just for him to play in. I looked at the time and realized it was almost time for lunch so I went to the kitchen to start making lunch. I opened the fridge and sadly, it was empty. Well, almost empty. Except, you can't make a meal out of milk and ice. I sighed and went up to Seung Kwan's room again. 

"YAH! DON'T YOU KNOW HOW TO KNOCK?" shouted Seung Kwan when I barged into his room only to regret it right after. 

"Why are you still undressed?" I shouted back from the other side of the door after I hurried out.

"NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!" I groaned then leaned against the wall next to the door while waiting for Seung Kwan to finally put on his clothes.

"Are you done yet?" I asked impatiently.

"Wait," answered Seung Kwan. After like 20 more minutes, he finally finished and opened the door. "What do you want?"

"I need to go to the supermarket so you need to go downstairs and watch Jun Hee and Jin Ah," I answered as I stepped into his room. "Also, clean your room. It looks like a trash can threw up in here."

"No, it doesn't! And I'm not watching those annoying brats. They're so annoying. I won't be able to play my games with them around," said Seung Kwan while playing his game on his laptop. I rolled my eyes before walking towards him and closing the laptop. "Are you fucking kidding me? Why the hell did you do that?"

I stood calmly on the side as he continued to curse at me. Honestly, is this guy really related to me? I mean, we're so different. I'm calm while he's just... plain annoying. I started thinking about what I should buy later at the supermarket while he continued to curse, rant, and complain. Hm, what should I make? But, then again, one of them is 5 and the other is 2. Do I really need to think about this? Well, Jin Ah is super picky and Jun Hee is still a baby. Oh, I almost forgot. I have to make lunch for Seung Kwan too. 

"Noona! Are you even listening to me?" I snapped out of my thoughts and looked at Seung Kwan whose face was slightly red. Probably from screaming and ranting. 

"Huh? What?" I asked. Seung Kwan scoffed before mumbling something. I didn't hear but I don't care either. 

"Just get out! And I'm not watching those brats!" shouted Seung Kwan before he pushed me out of his room and slammed the door behind me. 

"Yah!" I shouted before reaching for the doorknob. But, of course, it was locked. "I'll call Mom and tell her you cursed and called Chan Sung oppa's kids brats if you don't open this door and go downstairs and watch Jin Ah and Jun Hee while I'm out."

I smiled in victory when I heard Seung Kwan shouting again. I heard something crash but I don't really care. He's gonna get in trouble later anyway. I leaned against the wall across from his door and waited for him to come stomping out of his room. 

"I hate you. Why did you have to be my older sister?," said Seung Kwan before stomping his way down to the living room. I sighed and shook my head.

"Who said I wanted to be your older sister?," I whispered to myself after he was gone. I went to my room to change and get my phone, wallet, and keys then I went downstairs and took a glance at the living room to make sure Seung Kwan was actually doing what I told him to. Jin Ah was still watching TV, Jun Hee was taking a nap on my blanket in his little area, and Seung Kwan was playing a video game on his laptop. 

"Call me if anything goes wrong," I said as I went to put on my shoes. 

"Yeah, yeah. I hope you get kidnapped," said Seung Kwan.

"Uncle, that's mean! Auntie, be careful on your way there!" said Jin Ah. I smiled proudly as she hit Seung Kwan's head. She probably learned that from Chan Sung oppa. 

"Hey, you brat! You can't hit me!" shouted Seung Kwan as he raised his hand like he was about to hit her.

"Hong Seung Kwan. Do not lay a hand on them, do you understand?" I asked with a stern tone. It always scares him into listening to me. 

"Whatever, b*tch," said Seung Kwan. I rolled my eyes before going back to the living room. 

"If the mean uncle does anything, get the phone and call your parents. You remember their phone numbers right?" I whispered to Jin Ah who nodded cutely. I gave her a quick hug before leaving. I went to the supermarket that's close to Min Yu's house since that's the closest one. It was about a block and half away. I grabbed a cart before walking through the aisles. I was looking for some fruits and vegetables when I bumped into someone and dropped my bag. 

"Oh, I'm so sorry," he said as we both leaned down to gather my belongings that spilled out when my bag dropped.

"No, it's alright," I said. I was focused on getting all of my things back so I didn't even look up at the person I bumped into. "It was my fault too."

"Wait. Nae Jin?" I looked up when he said my name and my eyes widened in shock when I recognized him. 

"Min Hyuk?"

Seung Wook's P.O.V.

"Wait, so Jae Yeol is back from Daegu?" asked Cheol An hyung while speedily typing up a report. Cheol An hyung had been interning in his family's company for the summer so that he'll be more prepared when he starts working for real after high school. 

"Yup. Seok Min too. I saw him yesterday after meeting my fiance and her family," said Soon Jae who was also busy with his laptop. He and Cheol An hyung were both sitting on my bed with their backs against the wall and their laptops on their laps. They looked the same, both were moving their fingers rapidly and their eyes were glued to their screens. The only difference was that one of them was working and the other was playing a game.

"If they're back, the others are probably here too," I said from my seat at my desk with a sigh. 

"Great. With our luck they'll probably transfer to our school," said Cheol An hyung as he finished up his report and checked it for mistakes. 

"Oh, by the way, remember Lee Min Yu? I think Jae Yeol likes her," said Soon Jae. "Oh, and he's willing to fight Jin Hyun for her."

Cheol An hyung stopped working and we both looked over at Jin Hyun who was sitting in between my pillows on my bed with his back against the headboard and his laptop on his lap. He was also playing a game. Actually, I'm pretty sure he was playing with Soon Jae right now. I stood up from my seat and approached Jin Hyun with a smirk. I sat down next to him and gripped his shoulder. 

"Yah, Kim Jin Hyun, you never told us about any of this," I teased. Jin Hyun's fingers froze for a second which caused him to die in the game. 

"Sh... Hyung! You made me lose!" complained Jin Hyun as he ruffled his hair. He sighed and leaned his head back onto the headboard.

"Yah, Jin Hyun, what do you have to do with Jae Yeol and Min Yu? What did you do?" asked Cheol An hyung with an amused expression. I could tell that he was hopeful. Hopeful that Jin Hyun was finally able to open his heart again. And I'll admit, I'm hopeful too. Jin Hyun scoffed and looked at Cheol An hyung with a 'Really?' face. 

"Do you really think I would be interested in some girl I barely know and then try to get in between her and that jerk-ass?" replied Jin Hyun with an arrogant smirk. I shook my head in disappointment and pat his shoulder. "I have nothing to do with them."

"Pft. Lies," said Soon Jae with a smirk. "I was there. I saw everything Jin Hyun-ah. There's no use in lying to them."

My eyes lit up in excitement and turned back to Jin Hyun. Cheol An hyung who was now done with his report closed his laptop and leaned forward.

"What does he mean?" asked Cheol An hyung. Jin Hyun groaned and also closed his laptop. He sighed before agreeing to explain.

"My father engaged me to that annoying girl I date every year, Kim Young Han. Yesterday, I had to spend the day with her and she wanted to go to the cafe near the school, our usual one, so I took her. But, she kept talking the whole entire time. It was so annoying! She talked about the most stupid and random things ever and of course, she always included her opinions. Anyway, when we got to the cafe, she asked me to buy something for her and then talked about going to the mall. She was just being the gold digger she is. Then, I saw Min Yu there and thought I could pretend she was my girlfriend so I could get out of the date and maybe even get out of the engagement," answered Jin Hyun nonchalantly with a shrug as if we were talking about the weather. 

"He told Young Han that Min Yu was his girlfriend but she wouldn't believe him so he called me down to help out. When I got there, Jae Yeol was already there and he was all protective of Min Yu. He was acting like he was her boyfriend," said Soon Jae who was also now done playing on his laptop. He closed it and set it down next to him then grabbed one of my pillows and hugged it while shifting his legs to cross them. 

"Did Min Yu look like she was uncomfortable with it?" asked Cheol An hyung. 

"Not really, why?" replied Soon Jae. 

"Then, maybe they really are dating," suggested Cheol An hyung with a shrug.

"Holy shit. Dude, Jin Hyun, if they really are dating then Jae Yeol is definitely not going to forget about this," I said. Jin Hyun looked slightly worried but, I couldn't tell because his face is always emotionless and cold now. Jin Hyun sighed and opened his mouth to say something but his phone interrupted him. He picked it up from under one of my pillows and answered the call with an annoyed expression after he saw the caller ID.

"Yeoboseyo?.... And why do I have to be there?.... She's not my mom..... I don't care..... No, I'm not going. Besides, I already have plans. I'm visiting hyung's family today..... What?!.... *scoff* Of course, you always get your way. Don't you, Father?" Jin Hyun ended the call and tossed his phone onto my bed with so much force that it almost rolled off.

"What happened?" I asked, a little worried since he seems quite... irritated and irritation leads to anger and Jin Hyun is scary when he's mad. Jin Hyun ran his fingers through his hair and heavily exhaled. 

"I have to go to some stupid gala for my father's wife," answered Jin Hyun. "Apparently, she's hosting some kind of charity event."

"Oh, when?" asked Soon Jae. Jin Hyun looked down at his watch at his watch to check the time then sighed.

"Right now actually. I'll see you guys tomorrow. The first day of school. Fun," said Jin Hyun sarcastically as he got off the bed and started putting all of his things in his backpack.

"Bye!" the three of us shouted as he finished up and left.

"Well, I guess I better get home too. I have a dinner with my fiancee and her family tonight," said Soon Jae before he stood up and started to gather his things too. 

"Are you really gonna go through with the arranged marriage?" asked Cheol An hyung. 

"I don't know. I mean, she seems like a nice girl but I'm pretty sure she doesn't like me," answered Soon Jae with a short chuckle before he stood up. "Plus, when I saw Seok Min yesterday, he was talking with Ti Hyun and I don't wanna get in between them like Jin Hyun with Min Yu and Jae Yeol."

"Why do you think she doesn't like you?" I asked. "Not to sound arrogant but, literally all of the girls at school like us."

"She's friends with Lee Min Yu and since Min Yu didn't seem to enjoy my presence yesterday, I highly doubt Ti Hyun will enjoy it," answered Soon Jae as he started packing up his things. "Also, our reputation isn't exactly the best. Oh, and the most important reason: We're being set up in an arranged marriage. Why would she like me?"

Cheol An hyung and I chuckled softly at Soon Jae's answer. "Well, I'm gonna go now. If I'm not home early, Father might do something again. See you tomorrow." 

"Bye," I mumbled as Soon Jae left, leaving me and Cheol An hyung.

"Hey hyung, do you think we'll get stuck in arranged marriages too?" I asked. "I mean, both Soon Jae and Jin Hyun are being arranged."

Cheol An hyung thought about it for a second then shrugged. 

"It's possible. I mean, we're both gonna have to work in our families' companies after high school and then we'll end up becoming the CEO's and then the chairmen," answered Cheol An hyung. "We probably won't have time to date so our parents will probably find wives for us."

"I'm pretty sure I'm gonna end up in an arranged marriage and you're gonna be single until you find a girl you like," I said with a long sigh.

"What? Why?" asked Cheol An hyung with a confused expression.

"Because you have amazing parents that don't want you to suffer while I'm stuck with parents that are determined to get me married by the time I start working in the company. Did you know they've already set up a bunch of blind dates for me once the school year starts?" I replied. Cheol An hyung looked slightly surprised about the blind dates. 

"Already? Wouldn't you be going on blind dates with noonas then?" asked Cheol An hyung with a smirk. I rolled my eyes at his question and glared at him. 

"Yes, and I will turn down every single one of them. And if I can't turn them down, I'll just act like an arrogant playboy like I do at school. Besides, I doubt they'll want to marry a high school student," I answered confidently. 

"Hm, don't be so sure. I bet you most of them will be gold diggers and will put up with you just so they can get money," said Cheol An hyung.

"True," I said, agreeing with what he said. 

"Well, I gotta go. I have to coach a swim class today and my coach wants me to get in some extra practice for the next swim meet," said Cheol An hyung. I nodded and stayed on my bed while he started packing up.

"Well, I don't wanna stay in here alone and bored so I'm gonna go to the park and play some basketball," I said as I stood up and grabbed anything I would need while I'm at the park. 

"Aren't you forgetting something?" asked Cheol An hyung when we were about to leave. I checked my pockets and my bag then looked around my room to see if there was something I forgot. Cheol An hyung sighed. "Your basketball."

"Ohhhhhh. Right, I knew that," I said before picking up the orange ball from the corner of my room. "I was just testing you."

Cheol An hyung scoffed and shook his head. "Sure you were."

I smiled innocently and we both started walking downstairs then to the park which was literally right in between our houses. We talked about random things on the way there and joked about how we would act when school starts again tomorrow. We also made a bet on who would get confessed to first. 

"I bet it's gonna be Jin Hyun," I said as I thought back about the last three years. Every year, Jin Hyun would get at least a dozen confession letters in his locker by the third day. I still remember helping him get rid of them.

"Nah, it's gonna be you. Don't forget, you're the one who's known as the 'arrogant flirt'," fought Cheol An hyung, making me laugh awkwardly. 

"I don't know how they came up with that. I mean, I don't even talk to the girls," I said as we got closer. 

"It's probably because of how you look and how you wear your uniform. You always have the top two buttons unbuttoned and you have your tie super loose," said Cheol An hyung. I realized he was right.

"It's called being lazy," I argued. Cheol An hyung sighed and shook his head in disappointment. "Alright, I'll see you later."

"See you," I waved as Cheol An hyung continued walking down the street, straight to his house, while I turned left to get to the park. I put down my bag on a bench next to one of the open basketball courts and started warming up. While I was shooting around, I heard the sound of a camera shutter and turned around to see two girls behind me with their phones. When they saw me looking, they immediately put their phones away and ran off, embarrassed. I chuckled softly and shook my head before continuing to shoot around.

"Can I join you?" I turned around to see who just asked and when I did, I almost dropped the ball.

"What are you doing here, Min Hyuk?" 

Nae Jin's P.O.V.

"Auntie! Can we go to the park?" asked Jin Ah after they ate their lunch. I sighed and looked around the living room while thinking. Should I take them? Hm, why not?

"Sure. Go get ready and ask Uncle Seung Kwan if he wants to come too," I answered. Jin Ah jumped up and down in excitement and hugged me while shouting 'Thank you' before she ran up the stairs to ask Seung Kwan. I went over to the fenced area where Jun Hee was now napping on my blanket. I picked him carefully without waking him up and placed him in the stroller that was sitting near the door where Chan Sung oppa left it when he dropped them off. I buckled the straps before getting everything I would need for Jun Hee and Jin Ah. I never want to have kids when I grow up. When I finished, I went upstairs to check on Jin Ah and Seung Kwan since she's been up there for a while. 

"Uncle doesn't want to come and he told me to get the fuck out," said Jin Ah. My eyes almost popped right out of their sockets. 

"Jin Ah, you shouldn't be saying that word, okay? Don't be bad like your uncle," I scolded in a light tone so that she wouldn't get too upset. Jin Ah nodded before going downstairs to wait for me. I opened the door to Seung Kwan's room and found him sitting at his desk, playing on his laptop. Again.

"I'm taking Jin Ah and Jun Hee to the park. Stay inside and make sure all the doors are locked. Don't open the door for anyone unless it's Chan Sung oppa or Mom or Dad," I instructed. Seung Kwan responded with a hum and I knew he probably didn't listen to me so I'm gonna have to make sure all the doors are locked myself. I sighed before going back outside and closing his door behind me. I went downstairs to find Jin Ah struggling to tie her shoes and her coat on inside-out. 

"Jin Ah, let Auntie help you," I said before getting down on my knees so that I matched her height. I took off her coat and helped her put it on correctly then helped her with her shoes before putting my own coat and shoes. Afterward, I told her to wait for a minute while I locked all the doors. "Okay, let's go. Remember, to stay right next to me until we get to the park."

"Ne!" I smiled down at Jin Ah and pat her head before we started walking to the park. When we got there, Jun Hee was still sleeping peacefully in his stroller while Jin Ah ran to the playground to play. I sat down at a bench close to the playground and let Jun Hee sleep. I watched Jin Ah playing for a while to make sure she was okay but I got bored so I went on my phone for a while. Occasionally, I would look up to make sure Jin Ah was still there. 

"Nae Jin?" I looked up from my phone and turned around to find Min Hyuk with Choi Seung Wook, the arrogant flirt from my high school. I didn't know they were friends. 

"Oh, Min Hyuk. What are you doing here?" I asked as he walked around the stroller to sit down next to me on the bench while Seung Wook continued to stand behind us awkwardly. 

"I was actually playing some basketball with an old friend. This is Seung Wook. I think you guys go to the same school," answered Min Hyuk. 

"Yeah, we do," Seung Wook and I both answered at the same time. I didn't know they were friends. 

"What about you? Why are you here?" asked Min Hyuk. 

"Oh, I'm watching my niece and nephew today and my niece wanted to go to the park," I answered. 

"Oh, I don't think I've met them before," said Min Hyuk. 

"Well, Jin Ah was born a couple months after you left and Jun Hee is only 2," I clarified. Min Hyuk nodded showing he understood. 

"Well, can you introduce me to Jin Ah?" asked Min Hyuk. 

"Um, sure. I'll go get her. Can you watch Jun Hee for me? He's sleeping right now but if he wakes up or starts crying, just give him his pacifier or one of the toys in the bag," I answered. Min Hyuk nodded again before I stood up and went to go get Jin Ah. When I found her, she was playing on the monkey bars. 

"Jin Ah! Auntie has a friend that would like to meet you," I said, bending down a little. Jin Ah had a slightly worried expression and I knew she was scared to meet him. Jin Ah was always a bit shy. I remember when she was a baby she would cry whenever someone carried her unless it was her parents. "Don't worry. He's not dangerous or mean like Uncle Seung Kwan."

Jin Ah thought about it for a bit before nodding her little head slowly. As we were walking back, Jin Ah grabbed my hand and held it very tightly. I chuckled at her reaction but when I looked up at where Jun Hee was, I saw Min Hyuk on his phone, walking away, while Seung Wook was sitting there playing with Jun Hee who had woken up. I jaw unexpectedly dropped when I saw Seung Wook sincerely smiling while playing with Jun Hee. 

"Auntie? What is it?" asked Jin Ah, tugging on my hand. I snapped out of my trance and realized that I started to smile. I cleared my throat before continuing to walk towards Jun Hee and Seung Wook with Jin Ah next to me. 

"Um, where did Min Hyuk go?" I asked when we got to the bench. Seung Wook awkwardly put Jun Hee on his leg and held him carefully. He seriously looks husband material right now. 

...

Did I just think that?

No, I didn't. Let's pretend I didn't.

"He went to answer a call from his dad," answered Seung Wook. I nodded in response and awkwardly stood there, not knowing what to do.

"Auntie? Is he your boyfriend?" asked Jin Ah, making me freeze. This is not gonna end well...

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