“Why,” Jinha asked me.
I shrugged my shoulders, “Na it just seems like it.”
“Well if it seems like it then it must be,” Jinha said with an amused smile on his face. I nudged him in the ribs and he faked a pained expression.
Jin Hee laughed and bid us goodbye. Jinha returned to his desk and worked on whatever he was busy with. I sat in his office and stared at him while eating. He had a few people walking in and out of his office to have him sign papers and speak about things I don’t understand.
Time passed slowly and I watched as his workers packed up and left. Chanwoo came in and said goodbye to both of us while winking at me then he left too.
Jinha switched off his computer and packed documents into a box. Picking it up he asked me, “Are you ready to leave love?”
I watched as he shrugged on his jacket and walk towards me. I got up handing him the empty box. He placed on his desk and we walked out of his office hand in hand.
Walking towards the parking lot, I spot the car from the other night and almost squealed at its beauty. It was a grey-silver Audi A7 2018. Jinha shoved the box of papers in the trunk of his car and slammed it closed. He walked up to the passenger seat side and opened the door.
I sat down and he locked the seat belt in place. He kissed me on the lips and closed the door. He walked over to his side, opened the door and sat down. Closing the door he buckled his seatbelt in and the engine roared to life smoothly.
Jinha drove off and the ride was quite relaxing. We stopped in a parking lot of an upscale restaurant. He opened my door and helped me out of the car. His hand dropped to the small of my back and we were off.
We entered the restaurant and the attendant smiled at both of us. She leads us to a private room in the back. We passed many people who looked at us and smiled.
Seated at the table in the private room, she handed us each a menu then left. A waiter walked in and handed us each a glass of wine and left a jug of juice and water on the side with the bottle of wine too.
I opened the menu and my eyes widened in surprise, the dishes on the menu were so expensive, ridiculously expensive.
“Don’t be afraid to order,” Jinha reminds me. I look up at him from the menu and see that he didn’t even open it. He had his eyes trained on me.
I closed the menu and placed it down, “Jinha, why don’t you order for us instead. If you bring me next time, then I’ll know what not to order,” I say making him nod.
He gets up and knocks on the door. It opens and the waiter who brought us the drinks comes into view. Jinha whispers something to him and he nods.
When Jinha sits down he says, “Well I hope you’re okay with seafood and crayfish.”
I nod my head, “I’m not allergic to anything.”
“So Dae Ryeon, you basically know everything about me and to hear Jae Hyun’s story, you need to hear it from him. Why don’t you tell me about yourself,” he says to me.
I take a sip of the wine then gaze into it from outside the glass, “So I’ve been gay always and I have homophobic parents. I wasn’t allowed to have my hair long and one specific memory that terrified me was when I was sitting in the living room with my siblings and my father, I ran my hands up my hairy legs and said, “Dad, I don’t like having hair on my legs.” He joked saying, “Oh no, don’t tell me you’re gay because only men who are lady-like like their legs hairless.” I was silent after that and continued to watch t.v but my body was trembling. My father’s brother is gay and they aren’t speaking because of it… I loved my parents but I wasn’t sure if I should come out so one day after school I visited my uncle at his home and told him about. He suggested to me that I remained silent about it until I was working and maybe living on my own. And I took his advice. I dressed in normal guy clothes even though I fancied dressing in tight clothes not the girly type but more of the fit my body properly so I can show off what I have clothes,” I say with a wink and he smiles at me.
I roll my eyes continuing, “I somewhat enjoyed life but never to the fullest. I reached college and I went to a gay club one weekend with a friend and met my first boyfriend there. He was so handsome and I literally fell in love at first sight. He approached me we exchanged numbers. I wasn’t sure of it because I was still a closet gay even though I was staying in the dormitory so I made sure that I was careful and all. But then we started dating and by my second year, I move in with him in this apartment that we went looking at together. He specifically picked that apartment because it had an extra room that I could use as my art room. We were happy or well I was and he seemed happy. I was really attached to him, I needed him always and I loved him so much. My painting became him, I was seeing nothing but him so when he asked me to have sex with him I jumped at it. We seemed so close after that.”
“Hong Joong one day came home drunk and forced himself on me. I forgave him but the sex became rape and then he tied me up one night. He invited his friends over and sat on a chair while his friends raped me. The more I screamed and asked for them to stop the angrier he got. He would smack me and punch me and rape with my body tied up. When I wanted to run away and leave him I couldn’t. I was scared, I loved him, forgave him – he was my everything. I eventually had to stop being friends with people and had to stop visiting my family because he threatened me. One day I stayed late at college finishing a painting and forgot to go home back to him. I ignored my phone calls and everything. When I finally did remember I needed to be home, I saw all the missed calls and messages from him and panicked.”
“I ran home and when I got there he was completely calm while I explained why I returned so late and it’s like he didn’t care. He even made dinner for us, we slept in peace but the next day when I went to visit my parents they wouldn’t even let me in and told me I’m a disgrace to the Cha family. They never raised me to be gay and I was so confused, I didn’t want to leave because I wanted to know why they were doing this to me. My sister left with me, or walked me to the bus stop and told my that Hong Joong came over last night and told them that we were dating and that I was cheating on him with other guys and wanted my parents to stop speaking to me so that I would stop. I couldn’t believe that he did it but then I remembered that he threatened me many times saying that if I never obeyed him, he’d tell my parents and I guess he did.”
“I went back to him and he laughed his head off. He looked so evil and I hated him for it. He ruined me and I let him get away with it, he also said that no one will ever love me and only he did. I asked if he loved me why did he let his friends rape me and why did he hit me. His reply, “Because I can.” Hearing his words broke me and I couldn’t leave him. I had nowhere to go and I just gave up. He started making up these rules about me reporting where I was, I had a certain time to be home and he’d fetch me from college and in our third year together, Won Il and Hyung Jung came over. They came over and drugged me. When I woke up I was in Won Il’s sister house. After they drugged me, Hyung Jung pack me a bag of clothes and they kidnapped me. I was so angry at them and afraid that I was going to die when Hong Joong finally found me. I needed to phone him and let him know where I was but I couldn’t find my phone and no one would lend me theirs. Won Il’s sister didn’t own one and her husband locked his phone in the safe every night making sure that I wouldn’t get hold of it.”
“I screamed, kicked, clawed and bit them and finally they couldn’t take it anymore and admitted me into the hospital. I beat the nurses and the doctors and I ended up chained to the bed. I was depressed, stressed and a mess. Hyung Jung told me that Hong Joong reported me missing and came looking for me by them but they played innocent. The police were aware that I was in hospital but never told him because both Hyung Jung and Won Il reported that I was being abused. I had to be drugged to fall asleep and when all the tests were done, I was told that I was schizophrenic, anaemic, I had a deep case of depression and I was undernourished.”
“A psychiatrist was called in and then I found out that I was a victim of Stockholm syndrome. My parents and siblings came to visit me and I blamed them for believing that asshole if I still visited them I wouldn’t be in this mess, I wouldn’t have relied on him, I wouldn’t have been scared of coming out if they weren’t homophobic and I wouldn’t have ended like this. I told them to fuck off and never show their faces in front of me again,” I say as I wipe the tears away.
“But, as I was receiving treatment, I was placed in a psychiatric ward and found out that my dad was paying the medical bills. I was grateful, still am but I can’t forgive them, not for myself and not for anyone, to be honest, I still hate them.”
“You are right,” Jinha says snapping me out of my traumatic trance. I look up at him and watch as he snaps the lobster in half and places it on a plate and hands it to me. I take it from him but don’t ask him why he says so.
As I eat he answers my wandering question, “You didn’t ask to be born. They made you. You didn’t ask to be gay but they made you and unfortunately, they made what they didn’t want. You loved them and they didn’t love you enough to accept you. They chose to believe a stranger over their son and judge you unjustly to the point where they cut ties with you. The only reason why your parents paid you a visit in the hospital was that your friend went and told them that you were sick. They didn’t even have the guts to stick by your side and walk with you through the difficult path you face and look at you now, you’re having dinner with a multi-millionaire that’s your boyfriend. Dae Ryeon, you don’t need negativity in your life.”
I look at him and feel the tears running down my cheeks. He gets up and cleans his hand before cupping my left cheek which I allow him to caress. He wipes away my tears with his thumbs and kisses my lips. “I’m willing to accept any of your demands, do as you command and love you. I want you to trust me with your heart, your mind, your body and your everything. I will make you angry, I will make you cry but I will make you love me never the less. I won’t hurt you in the way your ex did but I will still hurt you by making you feel lonely when I am travelling. I will be by your side when you need me, I will jump in a fire if you want me to. I will protect you. If we fight, we fight together. I will keep you warm through every single storm you have to walk through and I will walk before you. I will be there whenever you need someone to talk to and if you need advice, I will give. I will be harsh towards you but only because I’m protecting you and Dae Ryeon, I beg you please, never doubt me.”
Ah, his words and touch feel like a drug. I nod my head slowly and open my eyes to look at him. He has a worried look on his face. Looking into his eyes, “Yes, I’ll trust you.”
He smiles that beautiful smile of his and my eyes widen as I spot the tear falling from his inner left corner. I wipe it away with my thumb and lean in and kiss his eyes. I rest my forehead against his and realize that I never felt so calm and so right with someone, not even with Hong Joong.