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Picked Up In Winter - Chapter 16

Published at 22nd of August 2018 01:53:57 PM

Chapter 16

Picked Up in Winter <16>

‘The Christmas tree in a fancy place’ that Jun Hyung talked about was near a department store . The large tree was adorned with various decorations and lights, it was magnificently standing in front of the department store . Around it were people who looked like lovers . Of course, there were some people who came with their family, and same-aged friends of the same sex .

Jun Hyung stopped for a moment and looked up at the tree . His eyes were filled with wonder . He looked so similar to a child happily looking at the tree, it was so like him, I thought . And I ended up staring at him, having forgotten about the tree .


“It’s beautiful, Happy . Isn’t it?”

“…… . Yeah?”


When he turned around with an excited look, we made eye contact, only then did I realize that I was staring at him . Jun Hyung upon looking back at me with his sparkling eyes, made a sour face when he realized that I was looking at him .


“Oh…… ah . Pretty . ”

“…… . ”


I got so flustered that I hurriedly shifted my attention to the tree . This time it was Jun Hyung who was staring at me, but I tried to ignore him, and instead looked at the tree . Come to think of it, wasn’t this the first time I came out on Christmas…… .


“Hm-mm . ”


…… Why were you still staring? Come on, shift your attention to the tree like you were doing before . Because Jun Hyung let out a suspicious sound and continued staring, I couldn’t help but turn to face him .


“…… What?”


My voice was unexpectedly confident . Maybe he was thinking of teasing me, but upon meeting my eyes, he made a somewhat flustered expression and quickly turned back .


“Oh, what…… Nothing . By the way Happy, shall we go somewhere warm for a while?”

“Somewhere warm?”

“Yep . I’ll buy you a Christmas gift . ”

“…… . ”


Christmas present…… .
Words that had no connection to me . It was the same Christmas, but the concept of ‘giving gifts’ was new to me till that day . Or was it? Due to this Christmas gift giving tradition, I was at my wits’ end . Turning around I walked after him . It felt a bit funny like I was a child waiting for Santa to give presents after having done a lot of good deeds . The street echoed with Christmas carols . Jingle bell, jingle bell…… I could also hear the loud voice of a child singing along somewhere .

Jun Hyung entered the department store . I walked diligently after him with my heavy heart . Shortly afterward, he stopped before a section which was lined with colorful scarves .


“Welcome . ”


As we walked in, the sales girl greeted us . Ignoring her, Jun Hyung went ahead, he looked around with a pretty serious face for a while, then picked up a white scarf .


“Come here, Happy . ”


Then called me . Feeling awkward and embarrassed, I hesitantly approached him . Jun Hyung held the scarf in his hand, and when I came to stand before him, he put it slightly around my neck .


“Hmm, not bad . ”


He murmured and started to wrap the scarf around my neck a few times . My body stiffened a bit, my sight locked on his arms which were in front of my eyes .


“It’s done . ”


After looping the scarf around my neck he mumbled with his arms still around my shoulder as he stared down at me . I also looked up at him . As our eyes met, he smiled .


“Like I thought, white color suits Happy . ”

“…… . ”


…… Is that so?
I gawked at his back while he went to pay for it at the counter, then I turned to look at the full-length mirror beside me . The white scarf that Jun Hyung just bought was wrapped around the thick beige coloured duffle coat I wore when we left home .

─Like I thought, white color suits Happy .

The compliment he gave me . And the first Christmas present I ever received .

I felt really good . No, it would be more accurate to say, happy . I lifted my hand and carefully grasped the end of the scarf he bought . I felt the texture of the soft fur in my palm .
Happy…… .
Yes, I was certainly happy now .



I also wanted to give him a present . Unfortunately, I didn’t bring any money with me .

Obviously, when I left home I took some spare money with me, but since coming to Jun Hyung’s house I didn’t have any special need for them, therefore the wallet was still in my bag .

If I knew this would happen, I would have brought my wallet…… .

It was because I did not care about Christmas gifts that I couldn’t give him any present now, I haven’t even thought about it . For some reason, I felt sorry for him . Although Jun Hyung was a very caring person, he didn’t care much about himself . He had been walking around the streets, smiling and laughing at everything .


“…… . ”


But why are we walking around the streets so aimlessly…? I want to go to a café or something .

Then it hit me, maybe he had spent all of his money… . I didn’t know the exact price, but I knew that the items sold at the department store were quite expensive than the ones sold elsewhere . It would have been obviously quite pricey for Jun Hyung, who was still a high schooler .


“…… . ”


That thought made me even sorrier . I should have brought money with me . No, this scarf, it would have been okay to not buy it for me…… .


“Hey, tha……”

I was about to thank him when suddenly his phone’s ringtone rang loudly . Jun Hyung’s cell phone had the current trendy ringtone .


“Hello . ”


Just as we left the department store, he held my hand as if it was natural and picked the phone with his free hand .


『Where are you now?』


Ah… It’s Seon Hyung-nuna .
I could hear her voice from the phone .


“Outside . ”

『Outside? Where?』

“The place with the fancy tree . ”

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『…… . Are there only one or two places with a fancy tree? Don’t simply say, yes . Anyway, is it far away from home? Did you go far?』

“It’s not close . ”

『Answer properly . How long do you think it’ll take to get home?』

“Uhm… About an hour and a half?”

『Really? Are you with Happy now? Then quickly come back home . Everyone has already gathered . Since we wanted to spend the Christmas with Happy, we returned early, don’t hog Happy all to yourself and come quickly~~』

“Ah . . ”


─Click .

When Jun Hyung was about to say something, the phone got cut off . I felt like she said everything she had to say before ending the call . Jun Hyung looked at the phone dumbfounded for a while before putting it in his pocket and clicked his tongue .


“Tsk . ”

“…… . ”


He seemed to be contemplating on whether to rebel or obey it sincerely .


“I can’t, Happy . Let’s go home . ”

“Okay… . ”


As expected, Jun Hyung was weak towards Seon Hyung-nuna . Perhaps it was because he knew in his mind how much worried she was, and also tacitly felt it .




Only after riding again in the packed train for an hour did we arrive at the Bupyeong Station . After getting off the subway, the streets here were full of Christmas spirit as well .

The weather was cold as ever, and the wind equally chilly yet my neck and hands were particularly warm . Honestly, today we might have only walked around aimlessly, but even so, I felt myself enjoying that . Yes, it was really a pleasant Christmas .

Suddenly I remembered that I had stopped in the middle of thanking him earlier before his phone rang . I wanted to tell him when it’s just us two . It would be a little embarrassing in front of his family…… .


“That time……”


When we arrived in front of his house, I lightly called out to Jun Hyung . And Jun Hyung, who until then seemed to be pondering about something, abruptly turned around to look at me .


“Happy . ”


“Merry Christmas!”

“Ah…… y-yeah…… . ”


…… Ah, no! That’s not it . I didn’t mean to answer like that .
Jun Hyung’s back was in front of me as he opened the door and was about to enter . Clutching the scarf tightly, I called him again .


“Jun Hyung . ”


“The gift, thank you . ”

“Ah…… . ”

“Sorry . But I haven’t prepared anything… . ”

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“…… . ”

“Still…… Still, first of all, Merry… Christmas…um . ”


In a really awkward voice, I spoke while he kept looking at me . These were words I never once spoke aloud, so it was truly awkward .

He paused halfway through entering the door and turned to look at me . Jun Hyung stared at me for a while, then without saying anything, walked in front of me .


“Thank you?”

“Ah…… . ”


He asked me with a playful look on his face .


“Oh…… y-yeah . ”


I still answered in an awkward voice .


“There’s nothing to be sorry about……”


“But if you say so, then instead . ”


“Give me that too . Reward . ”



I couldn’t believe what I just heard so I ended up staring at him with wide eyes . But Jun Hyung was looking at me with such serious eyes .


“U-Uh…… . ”


I let out a subdued cry .
What should I do? You think of it as something trivial, it may be nothing to you, but it’s better to think of it seriously, it’s a serious matter . Above all, my feelings for him are sincere . This wasn’t right .

That day when his lips touched mine playfully .
I didn’t get any sleep in the confusion .


“…… . ”


A conflict arose . Even if I want to say no, I couldn’t decide how to say it . And saying that no, I don’t want to give you a reward…… . The contents are so ridiculous it makes me laugh .


“…… . ”

“…… . ”


In front of me, who was unable to make a quick decision, he stood like a child waiting for his reward . His eyes glued on me .

…… Fine, I could .

I suddenly began to think like that . I had done many things before not knowing whether it was a kiss or a peck, but this time it was different . This time I was the one initiating it . Only for a moment, I just had to quickly put my lips on his lips and then lean back . Yes, that’s all . I might be too embarrassed to do it, but once I close my eyes then there was no turning back .


“…… Okay . ”


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I answered with a slightly trembling voice .

However, Jun Hyung who I thought would be delighted like a child, didn’t seem to have much of a reaction . He just stared at me with those serious eyes that I had seen before, but it seemed to shine even more . I was a little taken aback . He continued to stare at me for such a long time that it got so uncomfortable that I couldn’t bear it, yet I couldn’t approach him that easily .

Why was he… staring like that…… .

I blamed him inwardly and my body stiffened in tension . Then I slowly reached towards his face . My stiff hand was shaking slightly .


“…… . ”


I didn’t have the nerve to face his eyes . I couldn’t help but close my eyes slightly . And the moment my hand touched his cheek, my lips did too .


“…… . ”

“…… . ”


Cold…… .

The cold winter had left those lips feeling cool . After I awkwardly put my lips on his, I quickly tried to back off .




But at that moment he suddenly pulled at my arm . Flustered, I quickly opened my eyes, but what I saw were his eyelashes . And at the same time, the lips that had been parted touched again .




Jun Hyung?!!

I was so surprised that I wanted to call his name, but no sound came out . He grabbed my shoulders and slowly backed me against the wall . And before I knew it, I was leaning against the wall . My eyes widened in surprise once again as he closed his .


“…… . ”


He repeatedly bit my lips lightly . I was absolutely frozen . I couldn’t figure out why he was doing this . His warm tongue brushed several times over my stiffened lips . It felt really nice and warm, unlike his cold lips .

Intoxicated with the feeling, I unconsciously opened my mouth and as if he had been waiting, his tongue entered . The hands that were grabbing my shoulder at some point had gently wrapped around my hair .

I felt an unbearable confusion . This was clearly a kiss . An action that can’t be excused . Despite being embarrassed by his gentle tongue activity, I couldn’t shake him off .


Only this word kept circling my mind .

Kissing me, you……? Why…… Why me…… .


“…… . ”


Something cold touched my cheek all of a sudden .
I must have been crying, I felt so numb . After what felt like an eternity, he slowly removed his lips .

And when I opened my eyes, I immediately knew what that cold feeling was .


It was <snow> .


The weather forecast was wrong .

It was a White Christmas .

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