After waking up, I go through my morning routine then stop in front of my closet. I like fashion and order my clothes online because I don’t want to go shopping with Tarryin. Last time I went with her, she made me try on clothes that other people also tried on – dirty clothes.
I pull a plain white tee-shirt over my head and pulled on white jeans ripped at the knees. I put on white socks and step into my white All-Stars. Shrugging on my white pullover, covered in black feathers, I walk to my dresser and comb my hair out.
Looking in the mirror, I make sure nothing is out of place then put on a silver ring on my left hands pinky and a silver bracelet on my wrist.
Knocking on my door, mama comes in, “Taytay, your boyfriend is here,” she says and I nod with a smile.
After what happened two days ago I forgave my parents like I always do. I can’t help it that I’m afraid of noise but it’s worse when I don’t expect it. I spent that night with Dae and he took me home with him. I never got a chance to meet his mother and father because it was late at night and they were asleep along with his brother and sister.
He said that I could meet them next time because I also didn’t see them yesterday morning after we woke up. Dae asked me if I wanted to come back home since we had school and I said yes.
Although he didn’t sleep over by my house, I got to sleep over by his house. I still got what I wanted but Dae said I shouldn’t want him to come over all the time after I told him why papa reacted like that. Dae said papa might not like it because I’m their child and having boyfriends sleepover wasn’t the proper way to do things, especially since Dae and I just got together.
I walk out of my room after saying goodbye to Finley and close my door behind me. Walking down the steps, I count them like I always do. Reaching the living room, I see that Dae is seated on the couch while looking around the room.
“Dae,” I call him and he stands up. He walks over to me and kisses my forehead while hugging me. “Are you ready to go Angel?” he asks and I nod.
He hums and says, “Okay, Mrs Rayleigh, we’re leaving.”
“Okay, have fun you two and bring my son home with not a single hair missing from his head, you hear me?” mama says making Dae laugh but I don’t understand why he is laughing.
His hand slides into mine he leads me out the house. “Bye-bye mama,” I say while we walk out and she greets back.
As we walk out I look at Dae’s back. He’s wearing a khaki coloured pants and jacket with a white shirt underneath it. His necklace is around his neck and on his feet white vans, “You look nice today Dae,” I say as he opens the door to his car for me.
After making sure I’m seated and buckled in, he kisses my cheek, “Thank you Angel, you’re looking sexy today,” he says making me blush. He chuckles and kisses my forehead then closes the door. I watch him jog around the car while holding my hands on my cheeks – I feel so warm.
Dae climbs into the car and buckles his seat belt. Starting the engine we drive off. “So where to Angel?” he asks and I reach into my pocket for the list that Tarryin gave me.
“Here list Dae,” I say and he shakes his head.
“I’m driving so I can’t have a look, did you have breakfast this morning? It’s only eight-thirty so we can go have breakfast,” he says and I shake my head.
“I no have breakfast,” I say and he hums.
“Then where shall we have breakfast,” he asks and I look at the list.
“Tarryin put Mila’s Café on, we go there?” I say and he nods.
Dae slows the car down and takes out his phone. I see him google search Mila’s café and he puts his phone on the stand on the dashboard. He follows the directions google map shows us. The car is quiet and I’m fine with that. I can hear Dae breath in and out and it’s very relaxing for me – I love it.
“Dae?” I call him and he looks over before looking back at the road.
“Yes Angel?” he answers.
“I like you accent, you no from here?” I say while pressing down the button for the window to open.
“Thank you Angel, yes I’m not from America, I’m from South Korea,” he says while I stick my hand out the window and spread my fingers so that the wind glides through it.
“You take me there?” I ask and I hear him chuckle.
“Do you want to travel?” he asks me and I nod.
“If with you, mn k,” I say and he hums.
“Well I can take you anywhere you want to go Angel,” he says making me smile.
“I want go wall China too.”
“Well, we can go to all the countries except those that have wars going on and disasters,” he says while parking the car across the road from the café.
He takes the list from me and holds my hand while we cross the road. We enter the café and walk to the counter.
I look around and see that there are only two tables occupied making it pretty empty.
“Good morning, can I take your order please?” the lady behind the counter says.
“What are you having Angel,” Dae asks and I shrug. He pulls me to stand in front of him and lifts my head. I see the screens in front of us and read what’s written. After a moment he asks, “So what will you be having Angel?”
“Chicken fingers, omelette, one blueberry muffin and Jasmine tea,” I say. My eyes drift down and I shake my head making Dae let go. He wraps his arms around my waist and places his chin on my head.
“Well you heard him, I’ll have an omelette and French toast with strawberry syrup with black German coffee and no sugar, also two glasses of water with no ice and a slice of lemon,” he says while she taps away at the screen in front of her.
“Okay sirs’, please have a seat and your breakfast will be served when it’s done,” she says and we nod. I quickly grab Dae’s hands and drag him to the corner table near the window. When we sit down, he smiles at me but doesn’t say anything and looks down at the list in his hands.
After strumming his fingers on the table he says, “There’s so much to do, we won’t be able to do everything since I need to be home at five.”
“Why you be home at five?” I ask him feeling sad, I thought we’d be together the whole day.
He looks at me with a saddened smile, “I help my father out with his job and it has me up and down always. Today I need to go to Calabasas to do a delivery on his behalf.”
I not my head slowly as our stuff, my Jasmine tea and his coffee and the two glasses of water get put down on the table. When the waitress leaves I look back at him. He’s fiddling with the glass of water while putting one in front of me.
“I no order this,” I say and he hums.
“But you still need it, you ordered so much, I don’t think the tea will be enough, if you want, you can order juice too, later,” he says while taking a sip of the water.
I don’t comment and take a sip of water while waiting for my Jasmine tea to cool off. “Dae?” I call while looking at him.
“Yes Angel?” he answers and I reach over to grab his hand in mine.
“When you birthday?” I ask and he smiles at me.
“My birthday passed Angel, it’s on the 12th of January,” he says making me sigh.
“We celebrate no?” I ask making him smile. The waitress brings over our muffins and omelettes, “Your chicken fingers will be out soon and so will the French toast,” she says then walks away.
“Yes we can if you want Angel, when’s your birthday?” he asks and I smile.
“Birthday in three weeks,” I say making him grin.
“What do you want for your birthday Angel,” he asks while putting butter on his blueberry muffin.
“Sex,” I say while drinking the water and hear him cough. I look over to see him wipe his mouth with the serviette and looking at me with wide eyes.
“Are you serious?” he asks me while I take the muffin into my mouth.
I nod my head, “I serious.”
“But why that, shouldn’t you wait rather for marriage?” he says making me frown.
“I have Dae, no need wait,” I say looking over at him and see him nodding slowly. I smile because I see his face turning red.
We eat our omelettes in comfortable silence while I sneak glances at Dae. He’s still pink in the face but not as much as before. The French toast and chicken fingers come halfway through our omelettes.
Picking up my fork I reach over to the French toast but it suddenly disappears. Frowning I look up at Dae’s amused grin.
“It’s not yours,” he says.
“I want taste,” I grumble while going for it again and he pulls it away again.
“No be selfish Dae!” I say and he laughs. He pushes the plate in front of me and I cut a piece off then dip it into the syrup. Taking it into my mouth, my mouth begins to water as I start eating between the three plates and make sure to leave chicken fingers and the French toast.
We start talking about random things and where we’ll go next and the flush on his face slowly disappears.
“Are you done,” he asks as I wipe my mouth with a napkin. Nodding my head, he smiles and gets up, “Let’s use the toilet first before we head out,” he says as he waves at the waitress.
I get up and follow him to the toilet after we talk to the waitress. After finishing up in the toilet, we stop at the counter and I look around to see some looking at me and Dae. They’re oogling my man and I don’t like it.
I wrap my arm around Dae’s waist and cuddle him. He looks down at me and kisses my forehead making me smile. He places his hand on the small of my back and rubs circles soothing me, while he pays our bills.
We head out and back to the car. After buckling in he says, “So… we’ll head to the carnival then and after that we can have lunch or we could just eat the shitty food the carnival provides,” he ends with a sigh.
I shake my head, “We no eat junk, we eat good, k?” I say my head and he smiles as we pull into traffic.
“Dae, where we go?” I ask and he hums.
Switching on the indicator, we turn into the next street and says, “Well I did say I was taking you to the carnival so that’s where we are heading, do you think you’ll be able to go on the rides?” he asks.
I frown thinking of the one time we went and the terrible fit I had that put me in hospital for two weeks. Shaking my head, I decide to tell him, “No, we go, family together. I go on kids cup ride and almost die from heart failure. I no allowed going again,” I say and hear him take in a deep breath.
He strums his fingers on the steering wheel and looks ahead at the road, “Okay, well… I’ll buy us many tickets or a bracelet if they have it here then we can play all the games and win a lot of toys. Taylum, I want a big teddy and you have to win me one for my birthday okay?” he says and I start squealing.
He looks over at me and I can’t help but smile from ear to ear, “I try k Dae?” I say and he reaches over to grab hold of my hand. Holding my hand in his, he pulls it to his lips and kisses the back of my hand. He lowers our hands till it’s over his heart and says, “You know, you have me feeling jittery right here, thank you Taylum.”
“Welcome,” I say and pat his chest. He chuckles and nods his head.
We arrive at the carnival and its packet. Dae pulls into the first parking space we see and I let go of his hand. I take the black rubber band off my left wrist after ringing it around my wrist and tie up my hair into a messy bun with a few strands hanging loose around my face. I shrug off my pullover and pull it out from under me as Dae gets out of the car. He tells me to wait for him to open the door and I nod my head while folding it.
I place it on the back seat and look at myself in the mirror. I place the loose strands on my right side behind my ear and nod at my reflection. The door opens and Dae bows dramatically after throwing his jacket over me onto his seat. He holds his hand out and I grab it while getting out of the car.
He looks down at me and nods and I can see a proud glint in his eyes. He closes the door behind me and locks his beautiful car with the remote control. He pushes me against the car, “Hold on, I want to take a picture of you,” he says at my questioning gaze.
He takes out his phone from his pocket and holds it up in front of him and I hear a click but don’t see the flash go off. “Now smile,” he commands and I can’t help but smile since he’s smiling too. He takes the picture and wraps his arm around my waist pulling himself behind me. I stand in front of him and look up at the phone in his hand and I can see us on the screen. He takes the selfie and kisses me on the cheek taking another one.
Putting his phone back into his right side pocket, he holds out his hand and I put mine in his. We start walking and I can already feel gazes on us. I walk closer to him and wrap my arms around his left arm. He looks down at me and smiles.
We reach the booth and the young man behind it looks at us both. We’ve been standing in a line with five people ahead of us and it’s finally our turn. “How many tickets would you fags like?” he says and my eyes widen.
I hear a gasp behind us but don’t turn to look who it is. My body starts unconsciously trembling and Dae’s arm slips out from between my arms. I look up at him and see him smiling down at me. He looks back at the man and says, “I’d like two bracelets please.” I can’t believe he can still smile after being called a fag.
“That will be fifty dollars and that’s without the fag discount,” he rudely adds. Dae hums and fishes for his wallet out of his pocket. He pulls out two twenties and two five dollars and steps up to the booth. He holds out the money to the man and the man frowns while reaching out to get the money after he slips the bracelets on the counter.
Dae thanks him and turns to me after taking the bracelets. He puts one around my wrist and after he is done he hands me the other to tie around his wrist. “Leave, the sight of you two is disgusting,” the man says and I stop my movements.
I raise my head to look at Dae and he’s smiling down at me. I swallow the saliva pooling in my mouth and quickly tie the bracelet around his wrist with my trembling hands. Once I’m done Dae thanks me and pulls me to his side. I look at him with a frown and feel his body jerk forcefully and hear a scream then a loud thud.
I turn around and see the man from the booth lying down at our feet. Dae lifts his foot up and presses it down on the man’s chest and presses his weight down on him making the man yell. I close my ears and can still hear the noise of his scream and the gasping bystanders.
“The next time you see a gay couple you better shut your motherfucking homophobic trap. Just because you’re homophobic doesn’t mean you get to call out everyone just because you feel like it, your comments might end up killing someone and you’ll go down for being a homophobic murder,” Dae says and I bring my hands down to look at him.
Dae lifts his foot then stamps it down again making the man scream as I wince back. “And you better make sure who you choose to show your disgust towards because I’m a faggot that can kick your homophobic ass with a smile on my face.” He says and lifts his legs.
“Kick his homophobic ass, don’t let him go,” I hear someone scream and look in the direction to see a redheaded boy from my school. I don’t know his name but he’s part of the cheer squad and really loud. He looks at me and his eyes widen. His lips tug a smirk and he folds his arms and sways his hips while walking over to us.
Dae scoffs and pulls me into a hug, “You need a different job since this is a spot for dates and many gays will come here.” He ends and we walk off. The security guards run over about to stop us and the redheaded boy runs over. I notice now that it’s been dyed and almost crimson, it suits him.
He tells them what happens and the security guards let us through. Besides this incident, I enjoy the rest of my day with my boyfriend. We stop at every game and Dae K.O’s every one of them. I end up walking around with many huge, stuffed animals that he won and we have to make trips to the car to put them down and head to the next games.
The owners of the stalls have a fearful look in their eyes and frown when we reach them. We have an all free pass and that means we can go many times at one stall so that’s what we do. I only realise after two pm that I’m hungry and Dae and I leave the carnival after making sure that we have a toy from each stall.
What impressed me about him was that by the guns and throwing games, including the hammer game, he hit them perfectly and scored high. My man’s strong, not to mention he can lift up another human!
We make it back to the car and pass by a few of the students from the school. I keep my eyes to myself and look down at the ground as we walk. I get into the car after Dae opens the door and I climb into the car. He shuts the door after I get in and opens the back door to put the other stuffed animals on the back seat while I buckle my seatbelt.
He shuts the door and makes it to his side and sits down after opening and shutting the door. Buckling himself, he peels out of the parking space. We hit the traffic that’s not so bad and he asks, “How do you feel about seafood? I’ve been craving for it this whole week, are you allergic to crayfish?”
I shake my head, “No allergic. Dae like fish?” I ask and he beams.
“I love it! I mostly love the seafood platters and I can eat ten peoples worth just on my own, but don’t worry baby, I’ll share mine with you,” he says and I smile.
“What’s your favourite food Angel?” he asks me.
I look over at him and smile, “Food.” I hear him grumble, ‘That was no help’ and continue to smile. I love all types of food, I’m not biased.
“Where we eat?” I ask and he starts bobbing his head.
“We’re heading to Ocean Cape,” he says and I nod. I haven’t been there before and since he hasn’t put in the address for google I’ll assume that he knows where it is.
I look out of the window at the passing cars and the building we pass. Winding down the window, I rest my head against the frame and close my eyes. The wind against my face is refreshing and I suddenly feel my eyelids get heavy.
“Angel wake up,” I hear Dae’s voice and open my eyes. Running my tongue against my teeth, I feel the slight build of plaque against my teeth and frown. When did I fall asleep?
I look over at Dae and see him smiling at me knowingly which makes me frown deeper. He gets out of the car and jogs over to my side then opens my door. I get out while stumbling and he catches me. He closes my door and hugs me to his side while we walk over a wooden bridge.
I rub my eyes as we walk and suddenly hear a woman’s voice, “Good afternoon, table for two?” and we start walking again. We stop at a table and he pulls a chair open for me so I sit down and he pushes the chair in. he sits down on his end and the waitress asks, “Do the two of you know what you’d like or do you need a few minutes?”
“Can you bring us two glasses of water and a coke for myself. Taylum will have a glass of passion fruit lemonade and can we have the family special, the two of us worked up an appetite,” Dae orders as she writes everything down.
After she leaves, I reach for the slices of rye bread in the basket in the middle of the table. “I hope you don’t mind me ordering your drink, they don’t have much to offer here just the cans of soda and the drink I ordered for you.” He says and I nod my head.
Shoving the bread in my mouth, I look around with droopy eyes. I yawn and hear Dae laugh. “No laugh at me,” I say and he continues to laugh. My head drops and I hit against the table.
“Okay okay okay, I won’t laugh so don’t hurt yourself, Angel,” he says and I look at him with a glare.
Our food arrives and my mouth waters at the tray of seafood. I look up at Dae and he has a grin on his face. Rolling my eyes at him, I watch as he picks up his plate and dishes in two big spoons of the yellow rice with square carrots and green peas. He picks up three muscles and puts them in the plate and spoons over some of the yellow sauce over it. He then puts three big prawns on the plate and a few fried baby crabs.
He reaches over the table and takes my plate away and puts the plate full of the seafood down in front of me, “Eat up Angel, if you want more, just tell me and I’ll dish it up for you,” he says and I nod my head.
Lifting up my fork, I take apart everything and taste it all individually. Nodding my head, I put a spoon full of the rice in my mouth and feel myself ready to cry, this is so delicious. I look over at Dae and see him smiling at me, “Delicious Dae,” I say and he nods.
We start eating and we talk about today’s event. My mind suddenly wanders off to the homophobic butthead from this morning. Looking at Dae I ask him, “You know how fight?”
His fork pauses in mid-air and he looks at me with a strange look in his eyes. After a moment he nods his head and smiles and I no longer can see that strange look.
“Yes Angel, I’ve always known how to fight,” he says but isn’t looking at me.
“Why?” I ask feeling slightly off.
I hear him hum before he answers me, “Mn, my mother wasn’t happy with me and my father so after she left, she took me with her and forced me into the army without my father’s permission. So I’ve been trapped in the army for sixteen years and finally managed to get away after my father found me through the government, I was released and my mandatory service and came to live with my father in America,” he says and I can hear the slight pain in his voice.
I look into his eyes and can see the sadness in his eyes and the self-mocking smile just makes it all look worse. I reach my hand over the table and place my hand on his, looking into his eyes I say, “No be sad Dae, I here for you now.”
He looks down at our hands and smiles slightly, “I know, I’m glad I met you Angel, you actually gave me hope after all this shit I’ve been through in this dark life. If we get the chance, I hope we can stay together forever,” he says making me smile but frown inside. What does he mean by that?
We continue eating and the sun is slowly setting in the west. His phone suddenly rings. He looks down at it and smiles, answering the phone, “Hello?”
I see him smiling at me while I continue eating slowly, “Yes, I’m still currently with Taylum, do you need anything?”
“Alright bye,” he says and ends the call. He looks at me and taps the table.
“Angel, I have to be back at five, my father wants me to go with him somewhere so we’ll have to have dinner some other time.”
“You go now Dae?” I ask and he shakes his head, “We still have an hour left Angel,” I nod my head and we continue talking.
He calls over the waitress and asks her for the bill. He pulls out his bank card and swipes it against the machine and thanks the lady. She thanks us too and he grabs my hand as we walk out. He kisses my forehead before I climb into the car and closes my door behind me.
We drive off and there’s light traffic which makes the ride all the way home long and I can feel the exhaustion press me down. My eyes closed as I listen to the sound of the car’s engine.
“I guess he was worn out, when we had lunch too he looked very exhausted and he fell asleep after lunch,” I hear Dae talk. I open my eyes slightly and see the familiar navy colour walls of my bedroom. The black dots take over and the corners of my eyes turn dark. I feel the buzz through my body and my eyes close. The voices become murmurs then a tingle until it disappears.