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1 A Last Coffee in the Snow

    "I can't do this anymore. I'm leaving."

    Seojoon looked up from his papers and stared at his girlfriend in confusion. "Excuse me-"

    "I can't stay with you. I'm done. I want to break up."

    Seojoon let out a dry laugh as he placed his papers down and slowly stood up. "Is this some sort of joke? Are you angry that I forgot about our anniversary? I promise you that I would make it up-"

    *Paak*

    Seojoon flinched as a sharp pain appeared on his cheek. He had been slapped.

    Holding his burning face, he slowly faced his girlfriend once more with a dumbfounded expression.

    "Dear-"

    "SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP!"

    Seojoon watched his girlfriend with a blank look and saw many things he hadn't seen before. The dark circles under her eyes, puffy eyes from many nights of crying, her trembling lips, and her tearing eyes. A scarlet gem glittered sadly on her chest, a necklace he had bought her for her birthday many years ago.

    How long had it been since he had last celebrated it?

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    Seojoon took a deep breath before lowering his hands. ".... how can I make it up?"

    She shook her head before taking off the necklace around her neck. She stared at the glittering red gem in her hand for a moment before placing it on his desk. "You've done enough. All I want you to do is for this to end. We never spend time together and you love this job more than me."

    "It's not that I don't love you, it's that I need to work-"

    "I DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOUR WORK!" She screamed, causing Seojoon to flinch.

    "I CAN HANDLE THE FACT THAT WE DON'T HAVE MONEY! WE CAN JUST WORK TOGETHER TO EARN A LIVING! I CAN UNDERSTAND IT IF YOU GET ANGRY WITH ME OR FIGHT WITH ME! ITS HOW WE GET CLOSER! BUT YOU DONT DO ANYTHING! YOU DONT EVEN TRY TO SPEND TIME WITH ME! YOU ARE ALWAYS WORKING OVERTIME FOR WEEKS AND MONTHS!  YOU NEVER SHOW UP AT OUR HOUSE!"

    She burst into a torrent of tears as she stood screaming at Seojoon.

    "I LOVED YOU! I STILL DO! BUT IF YOU ARE GOING TO TREAT ME LIKE I NEVER EXISTED! THEN I'M GOING TO LEAVE!"

    Seojoon watched her with a blank emotion. His head whirred at a high speed as he tried to formulate a plan, just as he would do when he was trying to help his student with a question. However this time he didn't have an answer.

    All he could do was stand and stare at his girlfriend.

    ".... is this your answer?" She said, biting her lips. "After all this, you still have nothing to say to me?"

    At her burning gaze, Seojoon couldn't help but avert his eyes. He had no response, nothing at all.

    ".... fine. I didn't expect much anyways. Good bye.... Mr. Kim, I hope you find success rotting area in your run down academy. It's the only thing you cared about anyways."

    She grabbed her stuff that was over the chair and marched towards the door. Just as she was about to exit the doorframe, she gave one last look at Seojoon.

    The light behind the door illuminated her tears, painting the scene in a much sadder tone. Her face was akin to a weeping angel, more beautiful than sad.

    "What is the point of becoming a teacher to help kids, when you aren't even determined enough to take care of yourself? Stop being so selfless and live for yourself more. If you can do that.... maybe we can give this another try."

    Seojoon watched as the last of his girlfriend disappeared on the other side of the door. He slowly sat back down in his seat and took out a cigarette pack out of his pocket and lit one up.

    He glanced up to the ceiling and let out a sigh.

    Just where did he go wrong? At what point did his life turn into a mess? Was it when one of his students committed suicide? When both of his parents died of cancer? When he had focused on studying instead of making friends? Just where did he go wrong?

    Seojoon took in a deep of the smoke, letting it fester in his lungs for a while before breathing out.

    Letting out a wry smile, he gave himself a self derisive laugh. "Maybe I should leave for home early for once."

    He packed up his materials and placed his work bag over his shoulder before leaving through the same door his now ex girlfriend came out of. He made his way down the stairs and outside of the building.

    The night sky was dark with only a few stars peeking out here and there that were mostly overshadowed by huge glowing broadcasts that featuring a battle scene from a game.

    It was a game that came out when he was still in high school and had become interestingly popular over the years. However, he never had the time to play as he was to focused on studying. He thought that studying would bring him happiness.... look where he was now.

    Seojoon flinched as he felt something cold touch his nose. He flicked his eyes upwards and saw that it was beginning to snow. How beautiful it was, the first snow of the season.

    Seojoon stared at the sky for a moment before resuming his walk towards his house. Along the way, he saw a coffee shop and couldn't resist but go in and few minutes later, the fresh voice of a female waitress said goodbye to him as he exited back into the cold frosty air with a cup of steaming coffee in his hand.

    Taking his time with the cup, he stopped at a nearby park and sat at one of the benches to drink. Snow was falling at a faster pace and Seojoon was starting to get colder, his only source of warmth being the slowly disappearing coffee in between his hands.

    His hair and clothes soon became covered in white snow but Seojoon didn't mind it. Instead, he sat there on the bench and closed his eyes. The cold provided him a decent distraction him which he fully welcomed.

    His breaths drew a foggy painting in the air in front of him, as each successive intake and outtake took longer and longer. He felt oddly peaceful and calm, any earlier thoughts of pain and regret gone from his mind.

    Now, all he wanted to do was take a short nap in the snow. He would go home after he woke up but for now, it was time for a short sleep.

    Just as he was about to fall asleep, his eyes caught one of the glowing broadcast that featured the game from earlier and Seojoon couldn't help but entertain a simple and brand new desire he never had until then.

    "Tomorrow...." Seojoon said, his voice becoming thick and heavy. "Tomorrow.... I'll give the game a try."

    Seojoon closed his eyes as his breaths took longer and the snow had almost painted the entirety of his black hair white. Eventually, his breaths came to a stop and the still warm coffee cup in his hands fell to the ground.
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