The cool morning breeze tousled Hoseok’s hair as he tried to figure out exactly where he was on the app “maps."
His finger ice skated on his phone screen as he examined all the stores near Jimin’s home. As he tried to prepare himself, Jimin’s sweet voice seeped through the door.
Hoseok’s heart raced as Jimin’s angelic voice echoed through his head. Suddenly, a mustard dot appeared on the map. He quickly zoomed in on the dot. “Found it!” Hoseok sang.
On his various walks to the bus stop, Hoseok had passed by a small little liquor store named, “Mama’s Liquor Store."
It looked like any ordinary liquor store, except for the giant plush bear that sat on a chair outside the store.
Hoseok would always giggle as they read the bear’s sign that was always filled with funny jokes.
At first he was confused as to why the store wasn’t popping up on the map, but it seemed all he had to do was zoom in.
With a smile on his face, Hoseok pressed the bright green button that read, “Go.”
Hoseok couldn’t contain his excitement. The app claimed that it would be a ten minute walk to the store, but he wanted to be back with Jimin sooner.
Without realizing it, Hoseok began to increase his walking speed. That walk then turned into a light jog. Before he knew it, Hoseok was sprinting towards the liquor store.
He began to follow the map on his own, ignoring the instructions. There was no time for him to wait for the automated voice to tell him what to do.
The ten minute walk had been cut down to a five minute sprint. By the time he had reached the liquor store his cheeks were a blinding shade of red.
He wiped his face with the bottom of his shirt as he walked towards the entrance. Before opening the door, Hoseok snapped a picture of the giant plush bear.
Today the bear was wearing a birthday hat. Its hands were filled with balloons and a decorated sign. “Tell Mama happy birthday!” the sign read.
As he opened the door, the sound of a bell ringing echoed throughout the shop. There was calming classical music seeping through the speakers. However, the store seemed to be empty.
Hoseok slowly walked through the store and kept glancing around to see if anyone else was in here.
Suddenly, a small elderly woman popped up from behind the counter. Hoseok nearly shrieked, but managed to contain himself. However, his heart was beating rapidly.
“Welcome, welcome,” the woman chirped as her eyes smiled. Her gray hair was pinned up into a bun and wrapped with a green ribbon.
The woman was wearing a satin green button up shirt that paired nicely with her long white skirt. “Happy birthday, ma’am!” Hoseok smiled.
As soon as those words hit her ears, the woman’s face brightened as she placed her hand over her beaming smile.
“You’re the first person to tell me that today,” the elder revealed as her voice cracked. As tears welled up in her eyes, she motioned for Hoseok to come to her.
Knowing what he had to do, Hoseok rushed to the old woman and wrapped his arms around her. “Thank you,” the woman smiled as she patted Hoseok’s back. Hoseok’s heart reached out to the elder.
Just the thought of having no one tell him happy birthday made his heart strain. Once they let go of each other, the woman began to fan her eyes.
“Call me Mama,” the woman insisted after her tears had vanished. “Okay, Mama,” Hoseok grinned.
“So, tell me what you’re looking for,” Mama stated as she leaned over the counter. “I was wondering if you had any eggs or bacon. I need anything to make breakfast,” Hoseok revealed.
Mama opened the barrier that separated her from Hoseok and stood next to him. With a smile on her face, she motioned for Hoseok to follow her. She led him to the back of the liquor store.
Even though there wasn’t much, there was just enough to make a breakfast for two There was a refrigerator that was filled with eggs, bacon, and milk.
Directly across from the fridge was a cabinet that held pancake mix and biscuits.
“Wow,” Hoseok murmured as he stared at all the food. Mama smiled as she watched Hoseok take out eggs and bacon.
As soon as he balanced the eggs and bacon in one hand, Hoseok used his free hand to grab a carton of milk.
With a smile on his face, Hoseok turned around and extended his arm out to the pancake mix.
Quickly, his beaming face held a confused expression once he realized that he didn’t have any free hands. Shyly, Hoseok looked over his shoulder and glanced at Mama.
Before he could ask for help, Mama grabbed the pancake mix. “Do you want me to carry the eggs?” Mama offered.
“I’m fine! Thank you, though,” Hoseok chirped as he followed Mama to the front of the store.
As Mama rang up his items, Hoseok’s heart began to flutter like a butterfly’s wings as he began to imagine Jimin’s surprised face.
Just imagining Jimin saying, “Thank you, Hoseok,” made his cheeks warm up. He wanted to fill Jimin’s life with many happy memories, no matter how small.
Jimin had already done so much for him, so he wanted to return the favor. “Are you making your girlfriend breakfast?” Mama asked as she revealed her pearly whites.
Hoseok’s trance was broken by Mama’s question. “Such a handsome young man like you must have one,” Mama giggled as she began to bag Hoseok’s item.
“Actually, I’m making breakfast for my boyfriend,” Hoseok revealed as he stared deeply into Mama’s eyes. She stopped what she was doing and froze.
Her eyes widened and her jaw dropped as she stared at Hoseok. Hoseok tightened his lips as he prepared for Mama’s response.
He was already kicked out of his dance studio for having a boyfriend, so he wasn’t sure how this elderly woman would react. However, he expected the worst.
“I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to assume!” Mama sputtered as her face turned as red as a tomato. Hoseok’s eyebrows lifted as his eyes doubled in size.
“Well, your boyfriend is one lucky man,” Mama smiled as she knotted Hoseok’s bags. He didn’t understand this overwhelming feeling that was growing in his chest.
Although Mama seemed like a nice person, he never expected her to be so understanding. It wasn’t because he was a pessimistic person, but it was because he also thought the same about Chanwoo.
Suddenly, his lips formed the shape of a heart as he revealed his pearly whites. “Actually, I’m the lucky one,” Hoseok sang. The cash register beeped as the total appeared.
“Your total is $18.20,” Mama revealed. Immediately, Hoseok took out his wallet and took out a twenty dollar bill.
He handed her the money and she inputted the amount he gave her into the cash register. After she handed him his change and receipt, Hoseok grabbed his bags of groceries.
“Thank you!” Hoseok chirped as he waved at Mama.
As he was about to exit the liquor store, Mama called out his name. Quickly, Hoseok turned around and faced the delicate elderly woman.
“Tell your lovely boyfriend that I said hi,” Mama beamed as she waved her hand. Hoseok couldn’t contain his happiness as rays of sunlight began to seep through his smile.
“I will! Goodbye!” Hoseok squealed as he exited the store. The sound of the bell ringing echoed through his head as he walked down the street. Mama was truly an angel.
The birds sang as Hoseok danced through the street. Swaying trees seemed to dance along with him. Leaves floating in the wind circled him almost as if they were protecting him.
Everything seemed perfect. It truly was a wonderful day. Jimin, the love of his life, was at home waiting for him to return with their breakfast.
What more could he ask for? He basked in the sun’s warming rays as his heart rate and speed began to accelerate.
Suddenly, Jimin’s home was just a couple feet away. The restless Hoseok sprinted towards the front door. Once he was on the porch, he took a quick break in order to stabilize his breathing.
After a couple of seconds, Hoseok pushed through the front door. “Jimin!” Hoseok sang as he closed the door behind him. There was no response.
He stood in the silent house expecting to hear Jimin’s voice. However, the only thing that the silence brought was a feeling of uneasiness.
Hoseok began to hear the faint sound of the shower running. Immediately, he scrunched his eyebrows as he listened to the shower.
He was sure that Jimin would be finished with his shower by now. Slowly, Hoseok walked to the kitchen.
Carefully, Hoseok untied the plastic bags and began to place all the groceries on the counter. Once everything was set up, Hoseok opened the bottom cabinets.
However, they were completely empty. Hesitantly, Hoseok began to open up the other cabinets. Just like before, they were all empty.
“Where are the pans?” Hoseok asked himself as he rubbed the back of his neck.
He didn’t want to bother Jimin, but he had no idea where anything was. Before leaving the kitchen, Hoseok placed the milk in the fridge.
Once Hoseok was in front of the bathroom door, he politely knocked on the door and chirped, “Jimin!” Hoseok pressed his ear to the door as he waited for a response.
However, all he heard was the sound of the water running. “Jimin?” Hoseok repeated. The silence was driving him insane. “Are you okay?” Hoseok questioned. Still, nothing but silence.
Frantically, Hoseok twisted the doorknob. It was locked. He began to hear his heart beat in his head. “Jimin!” Hoseok shouted as he continued to twist the knob. Silence.
His labored breathing began to echo throughout the house. Without thinking, Hoseok began to push against the door. It wouldn’t budge.
Quickly, Hoseok distanced himself from the door and ran shoulder first into it. That did no good. He fell to the floor. The throbbing pain in his shoulder spread. “Jimin!” Hoseok cried.
Immediately, Hoseok picked himself up. Trying to ignore the pain that was devouring him, Hoseok lifted his right leg up. His foot came crashing down.
He strategically landed his foot next to the doorknob. There was a huge hole next to the knob which made it sink into the door. Desperately, Hoseok pushed the door open.
Steam from the shower blurred his vision as it began to escape from the room. Hoseok squinted his eyes as he ran to the shower.
Quickly, Hoseok pulled the shower curtain back. His heart dropped.