The La-Iin Series
“When Visiting a Family–Part 3”
“You know, I’ve come over to your house before, but you’ve never come over to mine,” Dosa-Mina said.
“Yeah? Is this an invitation?”
Dosa-Mina nodded. “If my parents say it’s okay, and your parents say it’s okay, I’d like for you to come over. Maybe we could have a sleepover! Or maybe not. Whatever you prefer.”
“What brought this on?”
“I was thinking, you seem like you need more things to do. A visit to your best friend’s house seems like just the thing to break up the monotony of everyday life! Also, I felt like it. Hanging out with you is fun. So, is it a yes or a no?”
“Sure, I guess,” San-Kyung said. “But I’m not gonna have to talk to your parents, am I?”
“Maybe a little bit, but probably not much. Don’t worry, they shouldn’t ask you many questions. Unlike your parents.”
“Anyway, if you get permission, I’d love for you to come over. And whether or not you get permission, I’m still looking forward to your visit!”
Dosa-Mina wasn’t surprised when his parents told him that San-Kyung had gotten permission to come over. ‘I’m surprised he asked them at all. I guess he really does care about his parents.’
“Excited for the visit, Dosa-Mina?” Orlin-Aesth asked. “When was the last time you had a friend over?”
“I don’t remember. Probably when I was little.”
Orlin-Aesth grinned. “Geez, that reminds me, you’re almost thirteen. Where does the time go? Although I can at least take solace in the fact that if you take after us, you’ll never be old.”
“Oh, Dad,” Dosa-Mina sighed. “Anyway, I hope he gets here soon.”
“Me too. I think it’s gonna rain tonight. Isn’t it bad for Animated Pumpkins to be out in the rain?”
“See, that’s something you taught me,” Orlin-Aesth said. “You’re gonna go places, kid.”
“Thanks, Dad, but you don’t have to compliment me like that. I’m just happy to be doing species study at all!”
Someone knocked at the door. “That must be him!”
“Or maybe it’s Elai-Riya?”
Both Dosa-Mina and Orlin-Aesth head for the door. Standing there was San-Kyung, holding something tight to his chest, with Elai-Riya behind him.
“I found this little runt waiting outside,” Elai-Riya said playfully. “He was getting frustrated about nobody answering.”
“Hey, Dosa-Mina,” he said.
“Hi! And hi, Mom. Hey, San-Kyung, mind telling me what that is?”
“Yes,” he said as he walked inside. “You’ll figure it out later.”
“If you say so!”
“Welcome to the Dslellular house, San-Kyung!” Orlin-Aesth said.
“Now that you’re here, the options for what we can do are almost unlimited! So, what do you want to do?”
“I don’t know. What’s in your room?”
Dosa-Mina beckoned to him and head off. San-Kyung followed after him, but not before catching Orlin-Aesth and Elai-Riya waving out the corner of his eye. He nodded, then followed after Dosa-Mina.
“I don’t want to spend all day in my bedroom, so try not to drag things out, okay?”
“If you say so.”
Dosa-Mina’s bedroom was laid out much differently than his own, something San-Kyung immediately noticed. He had a tall bookshelf in his room filled with many books, though the higher shelves were empty.
“What kind of books do you have?”
“Species study books, some novels, and that’s about it,” he said. “Do you like to read, San-Kyung? What sort of stuff do you read?”
“I don’t read much.” He said. “Unless you count studying as reading.”
“Maybe I should loan you some books sometimes. You really could use something else to do with your time. Actually, I wanted to talk to you about that today. How can I help you figure something out that you want to do on your spare time?”
“You don’t have to.”
“But I want to, so–” Dosa-Mina blinked, then walked up close to San-Kyung. “Am I taller than you?”
“I’m pretty sure I am. Here, let me see.” He compared their heights with his hand. “Yep, I’m pretty sure I’m taller!”
“You won’t be for long.”
“We’ll see about that! Oh, but you’re an Animated Pumpkin. You’re probably right.” Dosa-Mina sat on the floor.
“Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I want to have fun with you that’s not just me taking the lead. And I want you to go home with something that you like to do.”
“You keep bringing this up.”
“Because I want you to have something fun to do with your time, San-Kyung. Doing nothing but study and play with me? Aren’t you bored a lot?”
“Yeah, I am sometimes. But all that time with nothing to do gives me a lot of time to think. And I value that time. I have a lot of things I need to plan out. The better my plans are, the better my execution will be. Don’t you think?”
Dosa-Mina blinked. “I guess so. That is fairly sound logic.”
“Besides, I like doing the things you want to do, most of the time. It’s just, I’m not interested in all that much. Does it bore you?”
“No, I was actually just worried about you being bored. Like I said, you’re broody and you always let me take the lead.”
“Well, stop worrying about it. That’s annoying. Sooner or later I’m sure we’ll get to do the things I like.”
“If you say so. Well, if you’re letting me take the lead again, I’ve got something I wanna do.”
“Find out what’s in that package of yours.”
San-Kyung hid the package.
“I’m kidding, San-Kyung. Come on, let’s play!”
Dosa-Mina grabbed San-Kyung’s hand and brought him to his feet, then ran away and hid under his bed.
“Reporting to database, reporting to database. No signs of the marauder yet. He has to be around somewhere, though. I hear the crackling of his flames…”
San-Kyung looked confused, and Dosa-Mina wondered if he had made the wrong move by suddenly jumping into a game. But soon, San-Kyung began to smirk, and struck both hands. Flames spurt forth from both.
“Hey, no actual flames!”
San-Kyung killed the flames. Then, he stomped over to Dosa-Mina and tried to drag him out from under the bed.
“Resistance–is–futile!” He said.
“What are you, a policeman?”
San-Kyung tugged harder, but Dosa-Mina was able to keep a firm grasp on the floor. San-Kyung’s expression became one of frustration, and he let go of Dosa-Mina, who scrambled back under the bed. He glanced around for San-Kyung, but found no sign of him.
But he was pretty sure he knew where he was when someone started to jump on the bed.
“Your only option after this is a smoking!” San-Kyung said. His tone sounded much more cheerful. Dosa-Mina smiled to himself.
“And how do you intend on doing that?”
“You’ll see, because I’ll make you watch every single moment of it,” San-Kyung said. “Every single moment of your own death as you choke on fumes!”
‘He sure is violent sometimes,’ Dosa-Mina thought.
“Nothing you do will ever stop me! I’m more powerful than you!”
“So you say!”
Dosa-Mina began to feel uncomfortable under the bed, so he started to crawl out. At that moment, his door opened.
“Enjoying yourselves?” Orlin-Aesth said with a grin. San-Kyung gasped and sat down on the bed.
“Hey, no need to stop on my account. I did much more silly things when I was your age. I still do!” He chuckled.
“Dad, you could at least knock first,” Dosa-Mina said. Orlin-Aesth rubbed the back of his neck. “Yeah, I guess so. I just wanted to say hi. Everything going alright?”
“Yes,” San-Kyung said.
“Good to hear it. Alright, you two keep having fun. I’ll come get you boys around dinner time!” He slammed the door behind him.
“That totally ruined the momentum of the game,” Dosa-Mina sighed, pulling himself out from underneath the bed. San-Kyung got off his bed and sat on the floor.
“I’m sure we could still do something about it,” San-Kyung said.
“Do you like acting out violent scenarios, San-Kyung?”
“I dunno, maybe. I was getting pretty into that game.”
“Well, if you ever feel like it, you’re welcome to do that, so long as they don’t get too violent.”
San-Kyung began to look more excited. “That reminds me, there’s something I’d been wanting to try lately. But there’s no way I could do that actually. I wouldn’t mind acting that out with you.”
“Well, so long as you don’t strike your hands like you did just there.”
Seeing San-Kyung now, Dosa-Mina couldn’t even begin to imagine why he had had that nightmare. San-Kyung now looked nothing like the man in his dreams. He looked full of excitement at the idea of acting out violent fantasies with his best friend.
Even knowing that, the memory of the dream still made Dosa-Mina uncomfortable.
“What are you doing?” San-Kyung asked.
“It doesn’t really matter if I sit next to you, right?” He said.
“I didn’t expect you to…”
Dosa-Mina laid his head on San-Kyung’s shoulder and sighed. “It’s nice to see you happy about something, San-Kyung.”
“You act like I’m unhappy around you.”
“You should be happy more often.”
“Why are you being so clingy?”
“I…didn’t notice,” he said.
Lost in his thoughts, it took Dosa-Mina a while to notice San-Kyung had thrust something into his face. “Here.”
“What’s this for?”
“The other day there was this guy who kept dropping his vuyong all over the place. I thought he was being clumsy, but it gave me an idea.”
“You took the guy’s vuyong?”
“Only when he stopped paying attention. He left it on the ground. It’s not like I stole it. …I so would have, though.”
“What is this?”
“A little gift.”
Dosa-Mina unwrapped the present. Inside was a locker diary.
“You mentioned how you have a lot of species study books. I wanted to get you one of those, but they’re expensive and big. So I got you this instead. I figured you could use it to keep notes on species study things.”
“Thank you, San-Kyung. You know, I feel kind of spoiled.”
“It’s not going to happen often. I don’t make any vuyong myself. And I don’t have the courage to shoplift, either.”
Dosa-Mina chuckled. “Thanks again, San-Kyung.”
San-Kyung was pleased that at dinner time, Orlin-Aesth and Elai-Riya stayed fairly quiet. The couple mostly talked to each other, while both San-Kyung and Dosa-Mina remained silent.
Even the questions that they did ask him weren’t too painful.
“Do you like species study too, San-Kyung?” Orlin-Aesth said.
“Would you like to go to the same Junior High as Dosa-Mina? We’d be glad to discuss it with your parents.”
“Yeah, I’d like to.”
‘Such a polite boy,’ they thought.
“Not used to actually eating, San-Kyung?” Dosa-Mina asked.
“I can eat. It’s just not my preference.”
“Do you like dinner? Orlin-Aesth made it.”
Glancing up at Elai-Riya, he couldn’t help but be reminded of the wasabi cake. Despite his temptation to say something, he decided to bite his tongue for now and keep silent.
“Th-thank you for the dinner,” he said.
“Not a problem. If you feel like coming over again, you’re welcome here anytime. Well, of course, unless we say no,” Orlin-Aesth chuckled.
“I’ll take you up on that offer,” San-Kyung said. Dosa-Mina was surprised to notice him crack a small smile.
“You know, it feels like we’ve known each other for longer than we actually have sometimes. I feel like I missed out on your early childhood.”
“Well, there’s always the future.”
“Of course there is. And speaking of the future, hopefully in the near one…”