While waiting for the subs I couldn’t resist writing this little piece. Not great fic by any standard, but I hope you get a kick out of reading it. Rated PG (minor language) for everyone.
More evidence of Karma–20 years from now:
HS and RI are in the driveway of the villa on a sunny Saturday afternoon–
“Dad, why do you keep that old black van around? It’s so huge, it’s nearly impossible to park if we take it to Seoul, and the last time you filled it up with gas it was over 300,000 won. ($250 USD) It just sits here in the driveway… Don’t you think it’s time to let go of it?”
HS looks at the black van. True, the paint has faded a bit, but the chrome flame grill insert shines just as it did the on the day he ordered it from Pep Boys and had his manager DG install it. He thought of how utterly badass that looked back in the day. In fact, it still looks pretty good. “No, my son, it has a lot of memories for me and your mom. We went a lot of places in this van, and now that we are older, we still, yunno, like to travel in comfort.”
“Where did you and mom ever go in the van? I mean, I remember you taking off once in a while when I was in junior high for the weekend while I stayed over at Auntie’s house, but where did you actually go?”
HS ruffles the hair of his toddler grandson now squirming in his daddy’s arms. “Ra Il, we went plenty of places. In fact, judging by this guy and your next one who will show up here in a few months, I think you and my lovely daughter-in-law have been to those places too.” HS smiles and takes the wriggling child from his son. “Here, let’s take this guy up to his Grandma..”
RI rolls his eyes. “Dad, sometimes you make no sense at all!”
ED walks over from the villa with her daughter-in-law. She bounces the little boy in her arms as they all walk toward the house. Just then, HS’s 19 year old daughter comes running toward them. “Dad, Dad!” She stumbles and trips, as HS reaches out to catch her.
“How many times have I told you to not run and be careful? You trip and fall just like your mom; I always had to have a first-aid kit around when we were dating. And now I need one for you too!”
“Sorry Dad.” she says breathlessly. “I wanted to ask you….can I please, pretty pretty please, borrow the black van for tonight?”
“Why? Are you and your friends all going bowling or up to the movie theater?”
“Uh…no, not really. You know that guy I’ve been seeing? Well, he doesn’t have a car right now because he’s broke, and we wanted to go have a sunset picnic dinner at the dunes by the beach, so…”
HS’s eyes widen in shock. He barks, “No! No way! And why are you even seeing that guy? He’s a loser–he doesn’t even have a real job, and he’s been out of school for a couple of years now!”
“Dad, he’s trying…Give him a break. He’s had a couple of small parts in TV dramas, and he even got a speaking part in the last one. He goes on auditions all the time…”
“Speaking part, my butt! Being a delivery boy for fried chicken in a TV show and saying, “Thanks!” when he gets a tip hardly counts….”
ED walks up and puts her arm around her husband. She chuckles to herself, then says, “Yeobo, don’t you remember? You were like that too.”
HS sputters, “How can you take his side? And this is our precious daughter we’re talking about!”
“It’s Karma.” she whispers in his ear with a smile.
HS looks at ED and knows he’s done. He may win the battle today, but he will lose eventually. ED will see to that. She has him wrapped around her little finger, and he knows it. He wouldn’t have it any other way. Still, he needs to look like he’s in control here.
HS turns to his daughter–who looks so much like her mother did the day she fell on her bike in front of him in the rain. Was that really thirty years ago? “I’ll think about it. I have to have a sit-down chat with this guy. I need to know his intentions…”
They are interrupted by the sound of a motorcycle entering the driveway. HS’s 17 year old son pulls off his helmet with a huge grin on his face. “Hi Dad! Hi Mom! Whaddya think? Pretty cool, huh?”
HS’s day is not getting any better. “What the heck! Where did you get this from?”
“Your buddy HB’s son. He lost, so now it’s mine. We raced for pinks (pink slips aka registration of ownership) That guy just can’t keep his mouth shut. He thought he had the faster bike, but I’m the better driver. Great bike, huh? Look–it’s a Ninja by Kawasaki, it’s so cool. It’s only got 10,000 km on it. Top speed is over 170 km/hr. And it’s got green and black—”
“I can’t believe this! You took this off him in a street race? How could you do that? That’s totally illegal!” Outwardly, HS had to put on a Daesang-worthy performance as a properly outraged parent. But inwardly HS was grinning from ear to ear. That’s my boy, he thought. And he didn’t even get caught by the cops! Dayum, he’s good! Better than I was back then…
“I won fair and square Dad! Just like you always taught me! Anyways, the motorcycle is great for getting back and forth to school, but I was hoping I could borrow the black van for tonight. Uh, there’s this girl I met…I was helping her carry some groceries home the other day, and she’s really cute. I–”
HS turns to ED. “I don’t believe this…why do all our kids want to borrow our van? What is up with that?” He looks back at his son, as a memory of the past floats through his mind. HS asks his young son the question he probably doesn’t want to know the answer to. “And how old is this young lady you met the other day?”
HS’s son looks down at his sneakers. The sheepish look on his son’s face tells HS the answer even before the words come out of his mouth. “Well, uh, you see Dad, she’s umm…I think she’s almost 14. But she’s very grown up for her age, and I wanted to take her to the 7-11 for some ice cream. And I was thinking we could sit over at the playground swings for a while and talk, just until it gets dark. Then I’ll drive her home, ’cause I don’t want her walking home in the dark–that’s why I wanted to borrow the van. You always said that’s what a man should do–to watch out for his girl. That’s all, Dad. Honest.”
HS looks into the earnest eyes of his youngest son and sighs. His son is such an straightforward and honest kid–he can’t even lie. It’s his mother’s influence for sure. HS knows it’s time for an executive decision. “Your mom and I are gonna take the van tonight. Your sis and her boyfriend can take your mom’s Hyundai sedan on their date, drop you and your little friend off at the 7-11, and take you guys home later after their dinner.”
“Daaaad!” they both whine.
ED folds her arms across her chest. “It’s either what your Dad says, or I’ll have Mrs. T drive you!”
That shuts the kids down in a hurry. “Sarge will make our night into a nightmare! She’ll tattle on us for sure.” HS’s daughter says under her breath to her little brother.
“I know, right? She may be a halmoni now, but I’m scared of her. She still wants us to salute!” he whispers back. They agree–backing down here is the best decision.
“Okay…thanks Mom, thanks Dad…”
As their youngest two kids go inside to get ready for their evening. HS puts his arms around ED, and nuzzles her neck. ED laughs softly and says, “So….what is our destination tonight, my dear?”
“We could go look at the stars. The kids won’t be home till late…there’s this little place we can park the van overlooking the ocean so it will be nice and dark, no city lights to worry about.”
“I wouldn’t mind just seeing the top of the van tonight…if you know what I mean.”
HS knows he’s about to revisit the place closest to heaven tonight with his ED. Even after 20 years together, every day, every night with her is a priceless gift to him. No wonder he’s kept that van around all these years. It’s still as useful as ever.
“We can arrange that too. Shall we go pack a midnight snack for later on?”
“Sounds good to me..”