The La-Iin Series
“Stories of Families–Part 1”
“Dad, you know…”
“You didn’t need to take a day off from work because I’m suspended!”
“Well, I thought it would be nice to spend time with you and Del-Kyuus. You know, I need a break from work sometimes too. I’ve accumulated a ton of vacation days. Figured I’d use one.”
“And I’m glad you did!” Del-Kyuus cooed. “When was the last time we all went out as a family?”
“Just yesterday,” San-Kyung sighed. “I love going out with you two and all, but can you stop acting like newlyweds?”
“I’m sorry, San-Kyung. I know you’re at that age…”
“Don’t listen to him. If he doesn’t want to go anywhere with us, we can go somewhere alone.”
“Salsh-Era….do you really mean it?”
“I mean it, Kyuusie.”
Their moment was ruined by the sound of something slamming against the floor. San-Kyung was covering his mouth, seeds pouring out of it.
“San-Kyung, are you alright?” Salsh-Era asked.
“Oh gosh….did you make yourself vomit again?”
“The next time I hear you call Mom Kyuusie,” San-Kyung breathed, glaring at his parents with a look he normally only gave strangers, “I’m going to pretend you don’t exist!”
“You take an affectionate nickname awfully seriously, San-Kyung…” Salsh-Era said. “What if Dosa-Mina started calling you Kyungie or something like that? Would you be as upset with him as you are with me?”
“No, because I know Dosa-Mina would never do something like that. Unlike you! Why do you call her Kyuusie anyway? Ugh!”
“Because it’s cute? Your Mom is cute too. She deserves a cute nickname.”
“Oh, Salsh-Era!” Del-Kyuus giggled.
“You guys disgust me sometimes,” he sighed. “All the people in my life are too affectionate…..”
“Aren’t you happy that we love each other?” Del-Kyuus asked.
“Yeah, I am, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to let crappy nicknames and this sort of behavior slide!”
“You let Dosa-Mina show you love that we’d never show each other in front of you. Why is this so bad?”
San-Kyung grit his teeth. Both Salsh-Era and Del-Kyuus noticed him start to blush. “You two said you wanted to go somewhere, right? Then why aren’t you going anywhere?”
“We will soon. Then you can have the whole house to yourself.” Salsh-Era said.
“Oh, no I won’t. I’m going with you two. If you think for one moment I’m letting you two go off on your own–”
“We were going to leave on our own so you wouldn’t have to see our affection. You didn’t seem interested in going anywhere today anyway,” Del-Kyuus said.
“Well, now I am. I mean, with how you two are acting, how do I know I’m not going to end up an older brother!?”
‘He thought we were going to do that!?’ Both of them thought.
“Besides, I like being levitated around, and any excuse for me to get levitated is an excuse I’m going to take.”
“So you just want to infringe on our date…” Salsh-Era sighed. “Well, I guess I was planning another family day when I took the day off. All right, San-Kyung. You can come with us. But don’t complain about our affection. If it bothers you, just go off on your own!”
“Trust me, I will.”
“I’m pretty sure we’re some of the only people who can trust you….” Del-Kyuus sighed. “Let me get dressed and then we can go.” She levitated off in the direction of her bedroom.
“If she’s going to get dressed, then I’m going to tidy up.”
“Why? You look tidy enough already.”
“Just because I feel like it.” He walked off towards his bedroom.
“Where you got that trait I’ll never know….geez, I should ask someone in the family if they like being clean like that.”
“So, where do you think we should stop?”
“I think anywhere would be good!”
“As long as it’s not too crowded…”
“It shouldn’t be. A lot of people are busy with work or school around this time…” Del-Kyuus said.
“Are you mocking us?”
“Look, there’s the stall plaza! That seems like a good place to start. Come on, let’s land.”
Salsh-Era maneuvered his way to the ground, Del-Kyuus following close behind with San-Kyung at her side. The family soon landed and Salsh-Era took a look around.
“You just love simple things like this, don’t you?” Del-Kyuus giggled.
“I could look around a stall plaza all day.”
“What kinda stuff do they have here? Maybe I could get Dosa-Mina a present….”
“Oh, you’re with us right now, San-Kyung! Stop thinking about him so much.”
“I didn’t talk about him at all yesterday….”
“Yes, but I get jealous of him sometimes, you know? I mean, I’m glad you have a friend and all, but some of the days we got to spend with you before you spend with him now….” Del-Kyuus’ tail started to give light twitches. San-Kyung sighed. “Look, let’s….just look around the stall plaza, all right? If none of us go with Dad, he’s going to waste all our vuyong…”
“You have a point there! Although at least these things are cheap…”
“But what could he possibly want from here?” He sighed.
“I don’t know. Something to eat?”
“Eating is so pointless.” San-Kyung started to walk away from Del-Kyuus. “I’m going to look elsewhere. Make sure you find him before I come back.”
“Don’t go too far, San-Kyung!” Del-Kyuus called. San-Kyung lifted up his hand in a backwards wave. As soon as he was little more than a speck in the distance, she focused her attention on finding her husband.
It was easy enough to find Salsh-Era, who was admiring a set of item keychains at a nearby stall.
“Huh? Oh? Del-Kyuus? Argh, sorry, got carried away there…hey, where’s San-Kyung?”
“He said he wanted to look at something else. He didn’t say what though….but I’m wondering if he maybe did it for us.”
“Oh….heh. Even our boy can be sweet sometimes….”
“Let’s take advantage of this, then! I saw some sweet drinks at one of the stalls. And for less than 100.000 vuyong per drink!”
“Sounds good…so long as it isn’t peppermint stocthe.”
“Would that even be sweet?”
“No, not really.”
Del-Kyuus glared. “Sweetie, when you took San-Kyung out for drinks the other day, you didn’t let him drink stocthe, did you?”
“No. He drank waterwhip. ….that stuff is so flavorless. Why did he pick it?”
“Well, to each his own…”
A Birdmix man examined drinks at the sweet drink stall before noticing the couple. He turned to them with a grin and a happy flap of his wings.
“Welcome! What would you like?”
“Do you have pear plum?”
“Why, yes, I do! And for you, ma’am?”
“Do you have sweet stocthe?”
“Kyuusie, I thought you didn’t like stocthe!”
“Why, yes, I do!”
“Then I’d like that.”
“Is that it for you two?” The man asked.
“Should we get something for San-Kyung?” She asked.
“You’re dodging the subject of the stocthe!”
“Ugh. Could we get another pear plum to go with that?”
The man nodded and got to work making the drinks. While he was busy, Salsh-Era glared at Del-Kyuus.
“Is this about the stocthe? You’re mistaking that for wine, Salsh-Era. I don’t like wine. Imitation wine’s plenty fine, but actual wine….anyway, I’ve never had stocthe before, so I don’t know! You made me curious.”
“If it’s no good, we can just trade drinks. I like pear plum.”
“But I’m not in the mood for stocthe…..”
The man set down three cups. “Here you go!”
“Thank you so much!” Del-Kyuus said. She walked off with all the drinks except San-Kyung’s. Salsh-Era let her walk out of earshot before asking, “Do you have any straws?”
The man nodded, went to the back of his stall, and handed Salsh-Era straws. He thanked the man one more time before going to join Del-Kyuus.
“Hello, Salsh-Era! Oh? You got straws?”
“I figured, maybe we could…share the drinks? Like old times? You know, with San-Kyung being away, we don’t really have to worry about him complaining about us showing affection….we could use two straws or something.”
“Oh yes….that is an option, isn’t it?” Del-Kyuus sighed. “I guess a decade or so of your son complaining might instill that ‘don’t be affectionate’ mindset.”
“Well, he always lets Dosa-Mina hang all over him! I say we take this chance while we can.”
Salsh-Era and Del-Kyuus both stuck straws into the pear plum drink. Salsh-Era grabbed Del-Kyuus’ hand and the two began to drink. Del-Kyuus rest her head on Salsh-Era’s and the two sat there in silence, relishing the moment.
‘I almost wish this moment would never end….’ Salsh-Era found himself thinking. But the pear plum drink was soon finished. Del-Kyuus put her sweet stocthe in front of the two.
“We do have another drink, if you’d like to share.”
“You know, drinking it with you might just put me back in the mood for it, Kyuusie.”
The two resumed their former position. The flavor hardly registered to Salsh-Era as much as his wife did.
Just as he felt Del-Kyuus’ tail brush up against his, San-Kyung came into sight, glancing around and holding items in his arms.
Del-Kyuus stopped drinking. “San-Kyung?”
“Oh, there you are! I thought you guys would’ve left here by now. You know, you had the chance to do your stupid overly-romantic date.”
“We were getting it started,” Salsh-Era said. “Then you came back…”
“If you want me to leave again, I can,” San-Kyung growled.
“No, no, honey, only leave again if you want to. So, do you mind if I ask what the items are for?”
“They’re for you and Dad.”
The couple blinked up at him in surprise.
“I figured I’d get you a little something with my saved-up money….I hardly ever use it on anything anyway.”
“This is for you, Dad, and this is for Mom. This other thing….well, I think you know who it’s for. Sorry if you don’t like it. I know it’s cheap, but…”
Instinct spurred both Salsh-Era and Del-Kyuus to hug San-Kyung.
“Thank you, San-Kyung!” Del-Kyuus said.
“That’s very thoughtful of you. Now I’m glad we took you along. Even if it meant sacrificing a date, I’m glad to see this side of you.”
San-Kyung was silent for a while during the hug, but he soon smiled and relaxed into it. “You’re welcome. Anything that makes you two happy is something I can’t regret doing.”
‘And it made you forgive me for ruining your date,’ he almost added.
“So? What did you call for?”
“I wanted to stop by tomorrow to give you something. Just for a quick visit after school.”
“Ooh, a present?”
“Guess you could call it that.”
“I’m flattered. You can definitely come by tomorrow….”Kyungie”.”
Before San-Kyung could exclaim, Del-Kyuus and Salsh-Era broke out in laughter behind him. He slammed down the phone and glared. “You two did this!”