The La-Iin Series
“A Cahongyun New Year Part 2:A Ghneckdo New Year”
The living room of the Cahongyun house had fallen silent after Asul-Zenza’s sudden intrusion. Asul-Zenza blinked for a few moments before closing the door behind him.
“Do pardon the intrusion,” he said. “But I was talking to my Darseen and Floma, and they were telling me all about how they adored La-Iin and how excited they were to finally talk to their granddaughter. And after all that, the urge to see you just grew stronger…”
He smiled at them. “At least I can say I’ve gotten to see you once in 2015!”
“I thought I locked the door!” Was the first thing Mit-Sun said.
“I thought that would be the case too. But then I noticed the door was unlocked. And I heard you and La-Iin doing the countdown….so I figured, why not surprise them? And it seems I certainly did surprise you. I hope I didn’t scare you too much.”
‘You didn’t scare me that much,’ La-Iin wanted to say, but before she could open her mouth, Mit-Sun dashed over to Asul-Zenza and slammed her knee into his crotch. Asul-Zenza gave a gasp of pain and fell to the ground.
“Coming over randomly is one thing! Intruding like that is another!”
“Gah…” Asul-Zenza’s reply was only a pained groan.
La-Iin walked over to Asul-Zenza. Mit-Sun backed away, her expression a scowl.
“Dami, are you alright?” La-Iin asked.
“I’m…fine….seeing you makes the pain….a lot less sharp,” he breathed. His gaze then shifted back to Mit-Sun. “Actually…now that you’ve gotten the….attack out of the way….I figure it might be safe to tell you my other reason for coming here.”
“Always an excuse with you,” she sighed.
“It’s not an excuse….actually, a plea…I don’t have many connections within…Bledger proper….and recently, I was offered a job for a few days nearby. It would be much easier to reach said job if….if perhaps I could stay with you?”
Mit-Sun’s glare became cold, and Asul-Zenza shivered.
“You want to stay with us? For how long?” La-Iin asked.
“Just a few days,” he said. “Wouldn’t even be seven days, you have my word. It’s just for ease of access…and I could always give you a fair share of the vuyong I make, Mit-Sun….”
Mit-Sun sighed. “Look, I know a lot happened last year and our relationship now isn’t as bad as it used to be. That doesn’t mean that my feelings changed any. I still don’t like you. So you expect for me to just let you stay here after you burst in here and freaked me out!?”
“I wasn’t expecting anything…” Asul-Zenza got to his feet, though he was shaking as if still in pain. “I only wanted to try.”
“I get no benefits out of you staying. Only annoyances. You on the other hand…”
“I do a lot of flying, Mit-Sun. Even I feel like staying grounded sometimes,” he said. “I could do a lot for you. Anything you don’t want to do, I can!”
“Can you work at Eteibreit Data Storage?” Mit-Sun asked.
“Well, I’m not a Siren. I can’t change myself to look like you…”
Mit-Sun turned away from him.
“I would make a lot of vuyong off this job! I would gladly give you a share.”
“I’m making enough at Eteibreit Data Storage.”
“I could help you around the house. Cook, clean, do things with La-Iin you wouldn’t want to do…”
“And you think that makes it better?” Mit-Sun turned back to him. “You’re trying to impose yourself. Your resolution for 2015 is to make yourself a daily part of La-Iin’s life, isn’t it? I remember last year, when you said you wouldn’t impose after the migration. What a lie that was. Look, I just wanted to enjoy the new year alone with my daughter! I don’t want my ex intruding for some dumbass reason he probably came up with on the spot! You admitted it yourself, you came over here because your parents made you want to see La-Iin. So don’t try and say it’s because of some temporary job!”
Asul-Zenza’s expression became one of hurt. La-Iin stood in the middle, feeling conflicted about the situation.
“…I understand, Mit-Sun,” Asul-Zenza said. His tone was quiet and neutral even as he continued on. “Understand that it was a mistake to think we could be friends after all that happened last year. I suppose there’s such a thing as getting your hopes up, and I also suppose I forgot that. My parents may have had a point. It was immature of me to enter in a relationship so early in life. Sorry for the intrusion.”
He ducked down and pat La-Iin on the head. “Hopefully we’ll talk again soon.”
Mit-Sun grit her teeth. Asul-Zenza’s attitude was only a play to make her feel sympathetic towards him, she felt it. His calm tone did nothing to hide the sarcasm behind his words.
Yet seeing the look on La-Iin’s face at that moment made her think. ‘She likes Asul-Zenza. I’m sure she’d enjoy having him around the house for a few days. Last year her birthday was a nightmare, too….I could do something special for her if I got extra vuyong from Asul-Zenza.’
As Asul-Zenza turned to leave, Mit-Sun watched La-Iin’s eyes widen in surprise. ‘What the hell am I doing…’
Asul-Zenza glanced at her over his shoulder, his expression a mixture of confusion and irritation. “Stop what?”
“I was thinking about something–”
“Oh, Mit-Sun, really?” Asul-Zenza’s tone became one of excitement. Mit-Sun rolled my eyes. “At least let me finish before you interrupt….but fine, you can stay here! I guess the extra vuyong would be a good thing.”
Asul-Zenza smiled. “Thank you, Mit-Sun! I suppose even someone as grouchy as you are can show some charity at the holidays.”
“Technically, the holidays are almost over…” She said, tapping her foot. “Just don’t be too intrusive or you leave early, no exceptions. You can sleep in the miscellaneous room.”
“Is there even a bed in there?” La-Iin asked.
“He’ll be able to find it if he looks hard enough.” Mit-Sun sighed, and her shoulders relaxed. “I guess you’ll be able to see what it’s like living with your father, La-Iin…”
La-Iin broke out in a smile. Asul-Zenza hugged her close. Choungetsu ran up to the two and began to yip and prance around them as if he wanted a hug too.
‘These days are going to be some of the worst of my life. What a way to start the new year!’
She focused on La-Iin, her smile wide as Asul-Zenza held her close. ‘I guess if it makes La-Iin happy though, it’s not all bad….’
Mit-Sun was exhausted as she made breakfast. Keeping her eyes open wasn’t much of a struggle, but she felt fatigued. ‘I stayed up too late last night…usually I get to bed earlier because of La-Iin…but…’
“One place I’ve never been is Grougyp. I’ve got no ear for the language whatsoever and, personally, deserts aren’t my idea of a good time.”
“Have you ever been to an Animated Pumpkin society!?”
“No, but I should try one sometime! I barely ever go to single-species societies, they can be rather territorial sometimes…”
Asul-Zenza and La-Iin sat at the table, Bes-Isa flopped nearby them. Both were holding glasses of blood orange juice. Mit-Sun grit her teeth.
‘To think this is the kind of life I wanted once….’ She could only wonder why she had wanted this sort of life when she was younger.
“Breakfast’s done,” she said seconds later, bringing two plates to the table. Turning to Asul-Zenza, she said, “You can get yours yourself.”
“That’s fair enough,” he said, and went to get his food. Mit-Sun sighed once she felt he was out of earshot.
“Let me guess, you’re enjoying this.”
“Usually when the new year starts I have to be stuck home with you and Bes-Isa and Choungetsu, but this time I have Dami! 2015 started great. I think this year is going to be good. And think of all that’s continuing from last year! My friendship with San-Kyung will soon topple rival-boy’s unknown chances, ha ha!”
Mit-Sun rolled her eyes. “I’m surprised you enjoy his attention when he’s more of a ‘goody-goody’ than I am and barely believes you’re evil.”
“He gives me better attention,” La-Iin said indignantly. “He can teach me all about Vampire stuff. What can you teach me about Normals that I don’t already know?”
Mit-Sun didn’t respond.
“And he believes me. He just doesn’t think I’ll take any action on my ideals because I’m lazy. I’ll show him there. He’ll see. But since he’s been nicer to me, he won’t be in as much trouble as you’ll be.”
“What’s this conversation about?” Asul-Zenza asked as he walked over to the table.
“I asked you to. This is my house, always has been.”
“I suppose you have a point there….”
“Dami, did you sleep alright last night?”
“Oh, I was just fine. Thank you for asking. Say, La-Iin, would you like to go for a fly later on?”
“You can bring Bes-Isa too, if you’d like.”
“Maybe I will….hey, Dami, I want to go somewhere in particular.”
“We can go there so long as it’s not too far for you.”
“It won’t be.”
“And we must make sure to do it early. I have to work later on today. It’s a shame you don’t have school. I assume with the similar schedules of Mit-Sun’s job and school there are occasional times where you end up home alone…”
“I don’t care much. But it would be nice for something else….”
Watching the two, Mit-Sun couldn’t help but feel jealous. Just as she had always noticed, La-Iin talked more easily and more openly with Asul-Zenza, and not once did she hear her insult him or take a tone with him. ‘Maybe all along Asul-Zenza should have raised La-Iin. I’m sure that wouldn’t have changed her any. If he was raising her, would she even want to see me? Or would she be perfectly content with just Asul-Zenza…?’
“Mit-Sun, are you crying?” Asul-Zenza asked.
“No, I’m not crying!” She snapped, though she noticed her voice waver. Curious, she touched her cheek. Her fingers came back damp.
“Is something wrong? Your father’s okay, right? Job stable? No health issues?”
“I’m sorry, I was just worried…”
“Why should you be? I’m the woman who keeps you from seeing your daughter. I don’t even like you and I treat you like crap. So who cares if I’m crying?”
“I do! Whenever did I say I don’t like you, Mit-Sun? I only ever recall my parents saying that after we broke up, and I swear that some of that is only because they’re bitter that you’re La-Iin’s primary caretaker…I said I still want to be friends. Not in a relationship, mind you! Friends.”
“Yeah, well, that’s not happening,” she said. “But I guess you’re going to end up getting more time with La-Iin this year than I want, seeing as she likes you so much better than me….”
“Is that what this is? You’re jealous because we have a good relationship?” Asul-Zenza turned to La-Iin. “You don’t hate your mother, do you?”
“No, I don’t. She’s just annoying and she doesn’t pay enough attention to me. And she doesn’t take me seriously when I say I’m going to rule the world.”
“Mit-Sun…” Asul-Zenza sighed. “Don’t be jealous because of that. Why, I’m sure if I were the one raising La-Iin, she might be desperate to spend time with you since she didn’t live with you. We do have a good relationship, but I’m sure a lot of the reason why she’s always all over me is because she doesn’t get to see me often.”
“I don’t know about that, Dami.”
“Perhaps I’m wrong, but whatever the reason, try and cheer up, alright, Mit-Sun? It’s the start of the new year! And anything you didn’t care for last year, you make the resolutions to fix up this year. Take matters into your own hands and make this year yours!”
“Don’t even bother trying to comfort me. It won’t work.”
Asul-Zenza rolled his eyes. “I’m willing to lend an ear if you need one, though. I just want to tell you that.”
“Dami, can I show you something upstairs after I finish this?” La-Iin asked.
Mit-Sun kept her eyes on the two as they finished breakfast.
‘He says I should try, but how’s that going to help? La-Iin’s maturing faster than I expected. Depending on how she ends up, her opinions could end up being similar to what they are now in the future….and how can I improve our relationship without making it worse?’
Jealousy was starting to eat away at her, but this time, she didn’t let it show as she took the dishes off the table and went to wash them.
‘I wish I had work today. It’d at least take my mind off of everything. I hate feeling like a housewife….’
That night, Mit-Sun walked into the miscellaneous room. Asul-Zenza was sleeping peacefully, and Mit-Sun quickly noticed La-Iin curled up next to him.
‘Why?’ She couldn’t help but think. ‘I don’t know if this bodes well for 2015 at all….’