the one-worded inquiry makes him blink, pulling him out of the trance he seemed to be in. the round of his eyes meet yours in the mirror, crinkling at the edges in a smile upon seeing one on your lips as well.
your smile turns playful as you give him a light slap on the shoulder. “didn’t know that’s an emotion you’re capable of feeling.”
he chuckles, but doesn’t deny it. maybe he can’t believe it himself, because throughout the years you’ve known him, he’s never got nervous.
he’s always confident, diving head first into whatever he’s got his attention on at the time and trusting that everything will work out in the end. no second thoughts, no self-doubt, no what-if’s.
this time, though, you think he has every right to be nervous.
“you’ll do great, don’t be nervous,” you reassure him when you see the cloud of doubt still present in his eyes. “you’ll be okay.”
“will i, though?” the smile he gives you is sad, and although he only said three words, you heard a thousand.
you pretend to take his words at face value, stare unwavering even when his own starts shaking. after one minute of silence that feels like forever, he lets out a whisper that breaks your heart into a million pieces.
“is there really no other chance?”
the two words he purposefully left out ring loud in your ears, and it takes everything in you not to wrap your arms around him like you used to.
“there was no chance to begin with, j/eongguk.”
if he notices the way your voice quiver, he doesn’t say it.
instead, he reaches for your hand, eyes silently pleading as he intertwines his fingers with yours. they fit perfectly like he’s meant to be yours, and you wonder what had you done in your past life to receive such a cruel fate from the universe.
there’s a knock on the door and you both rip your hands away from each other’s, alarmed eyes falling on the person who just knocked. it’s a staff who tells j/eongguk he has five minutes until it’s time to go before disappearing behind the door, leaving you alone once again.
he breathes out a huge sigh, standing up to fetch his suit jacket from the hanger. you beat him to it, holding the jacket in your hand, ready to help him put it on.
he doesn’t say anything as you go behind him to do so, pretending to be busy fixing the way the jacket sits on his shoulders.
only when you put your hands on said shoulders gently that he looks up, eyes meeting yours in the mirror once again.
“smile, j/eongguk,” you say through a smile as well, one you fight so hard to be genuinely happy and not stained with tears. “you’re supposed to be happy today.”
he stares at you like he can see past your facade.
you clear your throat before stepping away from him, hands falling from his shoulders to your side.
“well, i better go now. don’t want to keep everyone waiting.”
“can i get one last hug?”
it’s rushed, words tumbling over one another, like he’s afraid you’ll be gone before he can finish the request. but it’s hopeful, tinged with a bit of longing, and you can’t find it in you to deny him of his simple request.
you put your arms around his neck while his go around your waist, his body warmth familiar and welcomed. you let out a breath you didn’t know you were holding and it comes out shaky, tears pricking the back of your eyes. you close your eyes to will the tears to go away.
the hug lasts four seconds too long as you both try to collect your thoughts. you pull away only to see his eyes coated with unshed tears, yours no doubt not much different.
“i should go,” you whisper.
“you should,” he agrees.
you open the door to go, yet can’t help glancing back at the man you just had in your arms mere seconds ago. he gives you a smile, and a lone tear rolls down his cheek.
“good bye, bub.”
the old nickname makes you smile as well, but you think it’s his way of telling you it’s time to part ways.
“good bye, j/eongguk.”
thursday, september 1st 2022. 11:33 pm.
a/n: happy birthday jk!
other writings on moments.