“Just make sure you don’t miss your medicine.” That was the last advice his therapist could give to him when their session finally ended. Seungho slipped his arms into his jacket, tidying up the buttons as he got off the stiff couch. He took a glance at the clock above the desk and noticed that he had spent hours there more than usual. He would be late coming home that day. “And good luck for the concerto. You’re going to send the tickets for me?”
“Of course. Bring someone with you. I’ll get the front rows for you,” Seungho smiled and shook his hand.
“How’s Soonhee, by the way?”
“She’s been alright. She’s excited about school, that makes me feel lonely a little. Her uncle with her to babysit today. Although I’m sure the house will be in total chaos,” he nodded, leading himself to the door. “At least I’m glad that I haven’t received any emergency calls.” Seungho unknowingly held his hands together. His therapist seemed noticing it, so he left a gentle pat on his shoulder.
“They’ll be alright. Your brother seems reckless, but I believe he won’t put your daughter in danger,” he comforted–still, Seungho knew his younger brother more than anyone else. He needed to hurry before someone potentially burnt his kitchen. “Go home now and give yourself a rest. Good luck on the concerto!”
The traffic was not a big help on weekend, and Seungho had been trapped on the street for at least an hour. The pizza he brought and placed on the passenger’s side might have turned cold. He tapped on the steering wheel impatiently, somehow feeling anxious about not hearing anything from Seunghoon all day. Even when everything seemed going well, Seungho couldn’t feel at ease because it involved his younger brother. He had no other choice to pick a detour because the traffic drove him insane. Soonhee might be crying if he didn’t get home on time.
A quick run from the basement and the elevator lobby when he finally arrived at the apartment complex was enough to exhaust him. The change of the floor buttons made him feeling giddy, as if he wasted time for having a scheduled meeting with his therapist. The lack of information of Soonhee well being caused him to panic. He wanted to get out of the suffocating metal box quickly. When it finally stopped, Seungho swiftly picked up his remaining energy to sprint toward his door. But the moment he stood there, there was no wailing coming from the inside. It was strange, even though he should’ve taken it as a good sign that Seunghoon could be trustable for once. He punched the code word and stepped in, calling out for his daughter.
“Soonhee, I’m home!”
There was only silence welcoming him.
This isn’t good.
He slipped his heels off the shoes and stopped at a pair of Converse he didn’t see when he left the house that morning. Seungho ground his teeth, getting sullen by the fact that his brother dared to invite his friend home without asking his permision. He stomped his feet into the messy living room–just like his prediction–but nobody replied to his call out yet. The kitchen was empty and there were only empty bottles of juices in the trashbin. If Seunghoon starved his daughter, Seungho would make sure his brother wouldn’t let him leave his apartment that night. He took off his jacket and placed it on the couch, the cold pizza box on the table as he cleaned up the toys and crumbs from the floor.
When he was distracted enough by the housework, there was a thud sound coming from Soonhee’s room. Seungho turned his head toward the source and made his way in to the bedroom. It was dark when he stood on the door way, but his sight clearly captured a figure of Soonhee–and someone who was not Seunghoon.
His fingers blindly looked for the light switch on the wall, while his mind was wandering wildly of the body in long hair resting on his baby’s bed. He blinked as the light’s barged in, and caught the familiar bright blue hair lying down next to his daughter, sleeping soundly. He didn’t know a lot of people with blue hair, and it had not been that long since he met Haeri in that restaurant. Seungho frowned and wondered how she ended up in his house, instead of his irresponsible younger brother whose existence was zero in that hour.