6 Starry Starry Nigh
The troublemaker pair decided to sneak out at night. They wanted to be alone while viewing the stars.
Minhyun's room was on the third floor of the house. To get to the bottom, he had to sneakily tiptoe his way down the halls, avoiding the security guards on each floor. There were precious antiques in the house worth millions, the extra security had to be placed in case of robbers.
This made Minhyun's mission all the more hard.
Nonetheless, after years of living in the mansion, he knew the ins and outs of the household. The schedules and patterns of the guards were ingrained in his mind.
As the heir, although he could technically walk out and tell the security guards to let him outside, he didn't want to have them watch his every move. From a distance or the cameras, they would be on guard to make sure he was safe.
For just a few hours, he wanted to be free. No watchful eyes. No other company. Just him and her.
Was it too much to ask for?
The shadows rose up from their graves, taunting him as they battled against the moonlight. His breathe was hushed, heart beating rapidly, as he pinned his back against the wall. He couldn't get caught. In the corner of his eye, he saw a single security guard walking down the halls with a flashlight. He was whistling while taking large strides forward.
They were only a few steps apart.
The security guard was at the intersection, debating on turning left or right. If he were to turn left, Minhyun would be caught. That would be disastrous. Minhyun's breath hitched at the back of his throat as he waited for his fate to unfold. Luckily, the guard turned the other way, oblivious to the small child hiding among the shadows. Close call.
It took him a while to get downstairs.
He was worried that Yoona would be waiting for too long.
The place of meeting was the willow tree. In his estate's courtyard, after the garden, there was a large field. In the middle of the field was a single tree. He wasn't sure why it was there, or who planted it, but it was a great spot to rest at.
Quickly. He must get there quickly.
Minhyun ran outside, his legs running faster than they've ever moved. Since he was out in the open, there was no need to be quiet. His breathes were heavy as the impact of his feet against the pavement echoed through the cold air.
Finally, in front of him, against the shining stars, was a single figure waiting by the willow tree. Without him knowing, a grand smile entered his face.
When he arrived by her side, he breathed a single world. "Yoona."
She turned around. Her eyes twinkled brighter than all the other stars. "Hi Mini."
They embraced. Her warmth comforted him underneath the blanket of the night sky.
"Did you wait long?" He asked.
Yoona shook her head. "Nope. I thought I would be late. It took a while for mommy to go back to sleep. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to come."
He let out a sigh of relief. His biggest worry was making Yoona wait out in the darkness alone. Thankfully, everything went according to how they planned earlier.
Yoona plopped on the ground and laid on the grass. She patted the spot beside of her. "Let's lie down on the grass and observe the stars!"
Minhyun nodded and followed. The grass prickled his skin as he looked up to nature's canvas.
Constellations filled up the sky; each with their own stories to tell. Due to the knowledge Minhyun obtained from the library, he recognized many of them. He pointed to a set of stars. "There's the big dipper."
He traced the stars to help Yoona visualize. Her mouth opened in a small 'o' and she excitedly clapped her hands. "Wow."
"And that's the Leo right beside of it." He gently grabbed her hand, molding his fingers around hers, before moving her index to point to the specific constellation.
Without looking, Minhyun could already feel her excitement.
"Do you know any constellations?" He asked. To his surprise, a sad smile washed her face. Had he said something wrong? Why did she look like she was about to cry? This was the first time he'd ever seen such negative emotions on her face.
She pointed to a single star. It was the brightest one in the night sky.
"I only know one type of star," she admitted. Her body was shaking. "Mommy said that one is father's star."
Minhyun knew that a human couldn't possibly own a star. Unless they legally bought it of course. Nonetheless, he shook his head in agreement and played along with her words. "You're father's star? How did he get it?"
Yoona gulped. Though there was a smile on her face, he could see tears well up in her eyes. He was exposed to a new side of her. One that was vulnerable, mournful, and dark.
"Mommy said Dad went to live in heaven. She said that anyone who goes to meet God is gifted a star as a welcome gift. The brightest one is my father's."
He stayed silent. He didn't know to reply to Yoona's sudden confession.
A single tear feel from her eyes, racing down her pink cheeks. It glistened like a diamond against the moonlight. Minhyun used his thumb to gently wipe it away.
He hated seeing her tears. His heart pained to see her so broken.
The two laid in silence, drowning in their own thoughts. Minhyun thought back to the first time he met her. How he was drawn to her happiness. Never would he have expected for Yoona to be hiding such emotions beneath her smile.
Minhyun realized that he viewed Yoona as an escape from his loneliness. To him, she was his savior, the one that freed him from his bitter routine. The reason to why he smiled again was due to her presence.
But perhaps, just perhaps, the feeling was reciprocated on her side. He smiled for her, while she smiled for him. They both brought happiness to each other.
He looked over. "Yeah?"
Yoona bit her lip. Her eyes didn't leave the bright star. "I never told anyone this but I know mommy was lying. Daddy doesn't have a star. She thinks i'm easy to fool."
Her tears were uncontrollable. Minhyun's heart was in pain as he watched the girl explode.
"I miss him so much Mini."
It was his first time encountering a sad person; he didn't know how to help them. Minhyun stopped for a moment to think. When he was in his darkest moments, what did he want the most?
His arms wrapped around her tiny frame. Her head leaned against his chest as her tears began to flow like a waterfall. The affection between them started to heal them both. Slowly, but surely.
When she was finished, Minhyun used his sleeve to wipe the rest of her tears.
"Yoona," he began.
He pointed up to another star. One that was right beside her father's. A sad smile filled his face. "That's my mother's star."
Although young, Yoona immediately understood the meaning behind his words.
The two shared the same pain.
He cleared his throat. "Unlike you though, I never met my mother. I don't even know how she looks like. Not a single photo of her is in the house."
Father never talked about mother. In fact, sometimes Minhyun doubted she existed. There was no sign of his mother ever living in his house. The only reason to why he knew she existed was because biologically, he could only be born between a male and a female. Once, when he tried to ask about his mother, father lashed out and hit his cheek. For hours, the markings of his hands lasted on his face.
For the first time, he saw emotions in his father's eyes. Regret. Agony. Anger.
There was no point in pondering about the subject further.
"Does your heart hurt too, thinking about her?" Yoona asked. She wrapped her arms around him.
Minhyun closed his eyes. Did he feel pain? In his mind, there was no memories of the older woman at all.
"No," he said. "I don't even know who she is. I think more than my mother as a person, i'm sad about the fact that I don't have one in my life."
To his surprise, he felt a pair of lips on his cheek. It was a small peck, but the tips of his ears couldn't help but flush red.
"I'm sure she is watching you from the star like my dad is."
Both of them didn't believe in the bogus the adults fed them but for that single moment, a spark of hope flickered in their hearts. They wanted to believe in the lies.
Minhyun chuckled. "I hope she's proud of me."
"I'm sure she is," Yoona said. "Minhyun you're one of the nicest people I've ever met. Any parent would be happy to have you as their kid."
His heart felt warm. His eyes didn't leave the shining star.
Intentionally or not, the two children were constantly hurt by adults in different ways. Constantly slashed with cruel truths, creating scars in their hearts.
Minhyun was the victim of neglect. His father or the caretakers never showered him with love. Only coldness.
Not only was he ripped from affection, he was expected to mature quickly due to his path as the heir. The stress on his shoulders was something no child should go through.
On the other hand, Yoona lived with her separate parents. While her other friends happily lived with two, she was tossed between her mother and father. When her father passed away, she was only left with one. She could sense that her mother did not have the means to take care of her.
However, with each other as company, the two were able to heal. The laughter making them forget about the bad memories lingering in their minds.
"I love you Yoona."
The words automatically came out of Minhyun's mouth. It was not his mind speaking but his heart.
"I love you too Mini."