153 A Good Match Pt.1

    The sanatorium was far from peaceful.

    Alongside the groans of patients and Mr Feng's incessant calls, the sanatorium was as busy as the morning street market. Gyuri stood on her tiptoes as she peered through the foggy windows. Even after Mr Feng called her for the third time, her eyes remained transfixed on the street. She frowned.

    Five days had passed since she last saw Jimin, but to Gyuri, it felt like weeks. Ever since their last encounter, Gyuri had struggled to stop thinking about him. Like an anxious online shopper anticipating the arrival of her parcel, Gyuri had waited eagerly for Jimin.

    She searched the pedestrians again and sighed.

    Without phones or instant messaging, time flowed slowly, drawing out the minutes which then stretched into days. However, having grown accustomed to this primitive way of living, it bothered Gyuri less how almost everything took at least three days to be accomplished: nothing was instantaneous. Up until now, Gyuri had been patient: it was a virtue she thought she had.

    "I am in love with you."

    But not anymore.

    Gyuri's face reddened as Jimin's heartfelt words echoed in her mind. She remembered the way his brown eyes, puppy-like and vulnerable, stared at her pleadingly; how his hand had quivered as he touched her cheek; how his voice grew husky as that dangerous four-letter word tumbled from his lips. How could she remain calm after Jimin's unexpected confession?

    Stupid Chim Chim. Why did you have to complicate things?


    Upon hearing a familiar voice call her, Gyuri turned around.

    "Is everything all right?"

    Gyuri was surprised to find Namjoon standing directly behind her. He tilted his head questioningly, an adorable view likened to that of a quizzical child immediately coming to mind. All thoughts of Jimin evaporated in an instant.

    "Of- of course," Gyuri answered while stumbling to create distance between them. "Why do you ask?" She hurriedly averted her gaze when she caught sight of his lips, awakening memories of what transpired when they were last alone.

    "No reason," Namjoon said, unaware of the turmoil he caused. "It is just that you seem... distracted."

    "I do?"

    "Well, you have barely left the window's side ever since we arrived," Namjoon jokingly pointed out, "and Mr Feng has yet to succeed in catching your attention."

    Gyuri peered over Namjoon's shoulder to where a grumpy Mr Feng sat. Currently, Yujin was trying his best to examine the elder's eye but with great difficulty. "I- I'm so sorry. I must've zoned out."

    Namjoon's brows furrowed in concern.

    "It won't happen again, Master Namjoon. I'll do my job properly now." Just as Gyuri stepped away, Namjoon stopped her.

    "If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know."

    If only I can tell you...

    Gyuri pursed her lips. "Thank you, Master Namjoon," was what Gyuri said instead. She resumed staring at the floor, her heart heavy with unease. For some reason, thinking about Jimin in Namjoon's presence seemed wrong.

    "I do not think I have thanked you yet for taking care of me that day," Namjoon mentioned, interrupting Gyuri's reverie. "I heard from Mayu and Taehyung that you were the one who brought me back to the household when I collapsed."

    "Yeah, you scared me. I thought you had caught the plague!"

    "Thankfully, it was just fatigue-."

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    Namjoon's eyes rounded in surprise at Gyuri's sharp tone.

    "You should take better care of yourself, Master Namjoon," Gyuri reprimanded. "You're always helping others and putting their needs before your own but don't do it at the expense of your health. There's a thin line between selflessness and selfishness. Giving your all to strangers without considering the feelings of those that care about you is just as bad as not helping anyone."

    "He dedicated all his life helping others when he should have been helping himself..."

    Namjoon blinked as he heard a silvery voice echo in his mind. It was only brief, but he thought he also saw his first love standing before him.


    "Master Namjoon?"

    As quickly as it materialised, Hanae's apparition vanished. Dazed, Namjoon slowly replied, "So this is what it feels like to be chastised by you." He eyed Gyuri intently, confused as to why he had mistaken her for his first love.

    "I- I didn't mean to-"

    "Do not fret," Namjoon reassured when he recognised the alarm on Gyuri's face. "I know you only mean well." He chuckled. "Now that I think about it, I asked you to take care of my troublesome cousin, but it seems I am no better."

    "It must run in the family," Gyuri boldly agreed, relieved by Namjoon's reaction. She shuffled on her feet before tentatively asking, "How is he? The young master, that is."

    "He has seen better days."

    "Yeah," Gyuri murmured, "I haven't seen him recently, so I was starting to worry."

    "Taehyung just needs time," Namjoon said, his voice mellow. "We grieve in different ways, but the problem lies in the fact that he has never experienced losing anyone." He glanced out the window, a mournful expression marring his princely features. "As the youngest, Taehyung is much more vulnerable than the rest of us."

    Poor Tae...

    "But his mood might improve now that his older brother has returned."

    As Gyuri opened her mouth to answer, a flash of turquoise suddenly caught her eye. Namjoon jolted when Gyuri pressed her face against the foggy window.

    "Gyuri? What is it?" Alarmed, Namjoon joined her and searched the street for signs of trouble. Could more Waekugin have arrived? When he found nothing amiss, he turned to her just in time to witness the slumping of her shoulders accompanied by a disappointed sigh.

    "Sorry, I thought I saw..." Her voice trailed off and she sighed again. "No," she shook her head, "never mind." Dejected, Gyuri managed a half-hearted smile. "It's nothing."

    Namjoon was perplexed.

    "I will return to my duties now," Gyuri added before turning away without another word.

    Baffled by her conduct, Namjoon searched the street again. It didn't take him long to deduce that Gyuri had been looking for someone. The question was... who?
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