“So this is the bedroom that I’m renting out and over there is the kitchen and I’ve shown you the bathroom haven’t I?” The landlady; Mrs. Lee said.
Narsha just nodded her head in acknowledgement.
“Everything is nice here Mrs. Lee but that room over there. Is it vacant too? If it is can I see it?” She pointed towards the room closer to Mrs. Lee’s room.
“Oh no sweetheart. That’s my son’s room. It’s not for rent. Only this room is.” Mrs. Lee smiled apologetically at her.
“It’s okay Mrs. Lee. I was just asking. Anyway I like this room. I think I would like to stay here.” She flashed the older lady a smile.
“Really? That’s great Miss Hyo Jin. I’ll arrange for you to move in as soon as possible.”
“Thank you Mrs. Lee. By the way, you can just call me Narsha comfortably.” She said politely; keeping a smile on her face.
“Okay Narsha. Since we are going to speak comfortably then just call me omma. I’ll treat you like my own daughter.” She smiled warmly at Narsha.
“Thank you omma.”
Six months later…
“Omma..I’ve lived here for so long but I’ve never met your son before. When is he coming back?” Narsha asked Mrs. Lee as she fed herself with another mouthful of cereal.
“Changmin will be back next month.” Mrs. Lee told her.
“Why? Are you interested in him?” She smiled slyly at Narsha.
“Aish omma! I was just asking.” She asked; flustered by Mrs. Lee’s sudden question.
“Omma…” Narsha gently woke Mrs. Lee up.
“I made you some porridge. You should eat something so that you can take your medicine and rest.”
“Ah..thank you Nar…you shouldn’t have troubled yourself. You must be tired from work.”
“Omma, you already take such good care of me. I should atleast do this much for you right?” Narsha smiled kindly to her and started feeding her some of the porridge.
She watched Mrs. Lee sleep after eating and taking her medicine. Somehow she felt sad seeing her sick. She had quickly gotten close to Mrs. Lee and she had somehow become the mother Narsha never had.
“Excuse me..?” She heard a man’s voice behind her.
She turned around and saw a tall, handsome man standing with a big luggage by his side at Mrs. Lee’s bedroom door.
She had seen many photos of him that Mrs. Lee had shown her before so she instantly recognized his face.
“Who are you?” Changmin asked her hostilely.
“I’m Narsha. I’m a tenant here.” She introduced herself.
“Oh. So you’re the girl she talked about. I’m Changmin; her son.” He introduced himself briefly.
“What’s wrong with omma?” He asked as he approached her who was sitting by his mum’s bed.
“She got a fever and caught a cold. I just fed her some porridge and medicine.” She informed him.
Changmin kissed his mum’s forehead and said nothing to Narsha.
“I’ll go clean this up.” She said quietly and walked away with the tray carrying the dirty bowl, dirty cup and medicine.
“Thank you..” She heard him said softly.
She turned around and saw that his back was still facing her and so she said a quick “you’re welcome” and walked out of the bedroom.
A few days past with them barely having any conversation. The little conversation that they had was all centered on Mrs. Lee’s improving condition. She felt a strong vibe from him but couldn’t quite figure out what was his character.
Is he acting hostile and cold? Or is he simply someone who doesn’t talk much on a regular basis?
“He’s a warm person. He just needs some getting used to.” Mrs. Lee had told her the other day when Narsha fed her dinner.
“Yeah. I can tell that.” She lied.
Narsha came home to an empty house that evening. Since Mrs. Lee was feeling better, she had decided to go to the old folks club she frequent to meet her friends and Changmin..well, she never knew what he’s up to.
She washed up and cooked some ramyun for herself. Since she was famished, she decided to cook servings for two.
Just as she was about to eat her ramyun, she heard the door opened and heavy footsteps entering the house.
Changmin appeared in the kitchen moments later looking tired and disheveled. He opened the fridge, grabbed a can of beer, opened it and instantly gulped down its content.
“Are you hungry?” Narsha asked him out of politeness.
“Do you want some ramyun? I have plenty here.” She pointed to her pot of ramyun.
“Is it okay with you?” He eyed the pot of ramyun with hungry eyes.
“Of course. Grab a pair of chopsticks.” She smiled and adjusted the pot on the table so that they can eat together.
“Thank you.” He said and started eating the ramyun.
“It’s nothing. So you worked in Japan huh?” She tried to start a conversation.
“Yeah. I’m in the advertising field and I was sent there to work with our company’s Japan branch.”
“You’re a publicist right?” Changmin asked; his eyes still fixated on the ramyun.
“How did you know?” She was shocked by his correct guessing of her job.
“Omma told me some time back.” He chuckled at her funny facial expression.
“That’s a first.” She muttered.
“What?” He raised his eyebrow.
“Nothing. That was just the first time I’ve actually seen you laugh since we met.” She told him; taking another mouthful of ramyun.
“Is it such an interesting sight for you?”
“Pretty much. I’m easily amused by people like you.”
“People like me??”
“Yeah. People who are more confusing than a rubix cube.”
“A rubix cube aye? That’s an interesting comparison.” He smiled.
They finished their meal and Changmin excused himself to wash up. Narsha went into her room and sat on her bed; amazed at what just happened.
Did I just have a decent conversation with Lee Changmin?
A few months later…
“So how do you find her? She’s a nice girl isn’t she?” Mrs. Lee asked him.
“Yeah she is.”
“Do you like her? If you do then ask her out.”
“Wh..omma!” Changmin was flustered by his mother’s boldness.
“Before she got herself a boyfriend, you better make a move. You guys match well together.” She told him.
Changmin just chuckled at his mum’s eagerness.
The truth is he had long been interested in her; way before they met. From his constant conversations with his mother and the way she often talked about Narsha and “how nice, pretty and caring” she is; Changmin was already smitten by the idea of this mysterious girl that his mother is so fond of and now that he’s back and have met her for himself, he finally understood what Mrs. Lee was talking about.
How can a girl have such a crazy effect on me?
“Hey..morning..” She smiled at him as he settled himself at the kitchen table.
He looks great even when he just got out of bed.
“You want some coffee son?” Mrs. Lee asked him.
“Urmm yeah omma.” He snapped out of his little trance.
Damn. I hope Narsha didn’t realize that I was staring at her.
Mrs. Lee poured him a cup of coffee and settled down beside Narsha.
“So what are your plans for today kids?” Mrs. Lee bites into her toast.
“Nothing..” Both of them said at the same time and chuckled at their sameness.
“Well..I’ve invited some friends over for lunch so unless you two want to have lunch with a couple of ahjummas then I suggest you guys go somewhere.” Mrs. Lee told them.
“Urmm..” Narsha turned to Changmin.
“I guess we could go somewhere…” He said.
“She talked about you the other day when you weren’t home.” Changmin told her as they took a walk around their neighborhood.
“Who? Omma?” Narsha turned to him.
What did she say?”
“She was talking about how I should ask you out.” He laughed at the thought of it.
What’s so funny about that? Is asking me out really that laughable?
“And what did you say?” She asked; pretending not to care.
“What do you want me to say?” He questioned her back.
“Whatever you want.”
“What if I say I do want to ask you out? What will you say?” He raised an eyebrow and flashed her a sly smile.
She smiled and continued walking. He caught up with her, grabbed her wrist and turned her around to face him.
“You haven’t answered my question.” He said; this time more serious.
“Ask me properly.” She demanded.
“Will you go out with me Narsha?” He smiled warmly at her.
“Yes I will.” A smile formed on her lips.