76 Happy One Day Pt.1

    "Is it really necessary that I come?" Taehyung asked for the third time. "I mean, Cousin Namjoon did not mention anything about needing me to go to the sanatorium."

    Gyuri frowned. "I already told you, Master Namjoon passed the message onto me. He says that it's important."

    Taehyung glanced at her dubiously.

    Many weeks had passed since Taehyung had ventured out into town with Gyuri. While he walked alongside her, his crescent eyes inspected his surroundings closely, subtly taking note of the dark green-uniformed guards that were tailing them from a good distance.

    It is not surprising, Taehyung internally spoke. Cousin must have ordered them to guard my every move.

    With a mindful step, he continued walking, somewhat reassured that help was nearby if ever he needed it. Since when have I become so cowardly? Taehyung asked himself while wryly smiling. Even to him, he found his sudden softness laughable.

    Not so long ago, I abhorred the prospect of them following me. Now, I rely on their protection...

    "So, what have you been up to nowadays?"

    Taehyung turned his attention to Gyuri, who was peering at him. He replied, "Nothing much." With a quizzical stare, he continued, "Why do you ask?"

    "It's because I haven't seen you around lately."

    He grinned. "It sounds like you miss me."

    "Hah! You wish!"

    But in truth, she kind of did. Lately, Taehyung had been disappearing off by himself and hardly calls for her as a maid anymore. While Gyuri had been longing for this to happen, the sudden change had surprised her, making her feel uneasy as the distance continued to grow between them. Did Taehyung not find her company agreeable anymore?

    She looked at him now. "But seriously, what have you been up to?"

    "Like I said," Taehyung replied offhandedly, "nothing much."

    Gyuri frowned at his answer.


    "Nothing" she snapped, evidently annoyed by his secretiveness. "Forget it." Gyuri walked further ahead, eventually outpacing him.

    "Gyuri! Wait up!" Taehyung broke into a light jog to catch up to her. Once they were in step, he let out a long sigh. "Why are you angry at me?"

    "I'm not" she responded sharply.

    But Taehyung thought otherwise. From the way Gyuri refused to meet his eye and the way her lips pursed into a thin line, Taehyung knew that Gyuri was anything but pleased.

    He tried a different approach. "Have you... noticed anything different about me?"

    Still refusing to look at his direction, Taehyung tugged at her sleeve until she gave in.

    "What?" Gyuri hissed. She gave him a once-over and returned to facing forward. "No. I don't see anything different."

    "Nothing?" Taehyung sounded disappointed.

    Hearing the hint of discouragement in his voice, Gyuri peeked at his direction again but still noticed nothing of significance. "Did you grow taller?" she guessed.

    Taehyung shook his head. "I did but that is not what I am referring to."

    Gyuri continued to roam her eyes over his profile but still couldn't see what it was that Taehyung wanted her to see. "Erm, did you... gain weight?"

    "No!" Taehyung scoffed. "Do you not see how much stronger I have gotten?" Taehyung showcased his right arm and flexed his muscles. "Touch it!" he commanded. "Feel it right here."

    Reluctantly, Gyuri obeyed and poked the small bump of flesh underneath his sleeve. It was still a little soft but Gyuri knew better than to hurt Taehyung's sensitive feelings. "Wow!" she exclaimed awkwardly. "Have you been bulking up?"

    Taehyung grinned at her proudly.

    "Is this what you've been up to?"

    At this, Taehyung's cheeks grew rosy. He nodded. "I-I wanted it to be a surprise but..." he glanced up at her shyly, "it is not worth it if you are going to be angry at me for keeping it from you."

    A pang of guilt hit Gyuri hard in the chest. This kid, honestly... "I'm sorry for snapping at you" Gyuri murmured. "It's just that, we haven't been talking lately and I was starting to think that you found me boring."

    "I can never find you boring!" Taehyung quickly responded with zeal. "Why, Gyuri, you are the least boring person I have ever met."

    Gyuri smirked. "And you're the most obnoxious brat I've ever met."

    Taehyung was aghast.

    "I'm kidding" she quickly added. "But why have you been trying to bulk up? Is this part of your duties as a young master?"

    "Do you not remember?" Taehyung questioned expectantly. "It is part of our promise."

    Gyuri was at a loss for words. "Our-our promise?" She cast her memory back to the night of the attack and how she had carelessly sworn that she will consider him as a man in ten years' time. Her cheeks burned at the realisation. "You mean, you're bulking up... for me?"

    Taehyung nodded.

    "Wow." Gyuri was speechless.

    Taehyung huffed, "I am disappointed in you for forgetting."

    "I didn't forget" Gyuri denied. "But I'm surprised that you're taking it so seriously."

    "Of course, I would take it seriously! A promise is a promise."

    Gyuri nervously smiled. Well, at least I only promised to consider him as a man. It's not like I promised to marry him...

    Eager to erase the discomfort she was feeling, Gyuri lightly pushed him. "Aren't you a cutie?" she cooed. "Get you trying to tug at my heartstrings."

    Taehyung arched his brow at her.

    "You're a natural player, aren't you?" she continued to chatter. "I bet you'll be an absolute heartthrob when you're all grown up." Gyuri gazed at the sky as she wondered aloud, "I can already imagine it. You'll have all the girls eating at the palm of your hand with how gentlemanly you are."

    Still confused by her utterances, Taehyung asked, "Gyuri, what are you talking about?"

    "Oh," she stopped at her tracks and giggled. "Right, I-er forgot. Erm... I mean..." She searched the sky as she attempted to re-word her earlier ramblings. "I guess what I'm trying to say is, you'll make some lucky girl really happy one day."

    With a steady gaze, Taehyung sincerely asked, "Can it be you?"

    Gyuri immediately froze on the spot.

    Taehyung's dark eyes searched hers intensely, making the surroundings blur all around them.

    "Ge- geez Taehyung, you're- you're such a flirt!" Gyuri managed to stutter once she had recovered. She looked away momentarily as she tried to calm the rapid palpitations of her heart. This kid is gonna end up giving me a heart attack one day.

    With a slight scowl, Taehyung continued to gaze at her. "Gyuri, I-"

    "Oh, look!" she suddenly exclaimed. "We're here!"

    Gyuri raced ahead before Taehyung had the chance to complete his utterance. He sighed. Ten years is too long... he thought as he watched Gyuri jog even further away. It was like every step she took symbolised the distance it will take for his feelings to reach her heart. He balled his palm into a fist as he silently confessed, I wish I can be worthy of you now.
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