“So, wanna talk about it?”
Yohan raised an eyebrow at his sister, baffled at her question. What did she want to talk about out of the blue?
“Uh… about what?”
“Our fight from Saturday…” May mumbled, looking away from her brother, her cheeks flushing a soft pink from embarrassment.
Yohan smiled, so that’s why she was acting all shy. He nudged her with his elbow as she glanced up at him. The moment the two siblings looked at one another, they busted out laughing, unable to contain their amusement at their childishness. She was nearly 40 and Yohan, 30… How were they still so immature?
“How’d you know where to find me?”
“Where else would you go? You have no friends to hang out with and the farthest you would go is here.” May said nonchalantly, with a cheeky smile directed at her brother, who rolled his eyes at her not-so-subtle diss at his social life.
“Wow, that’s harsh…” Yohan muttered. He wasn’t a loner, he had friends; well, just one, but still, at least he had one!
“Hey, Yohan… I’m sorry but… Can we please talk about your love life? I also want to apologize for… you know…” May mumbled, hanging her head down low as she avoided his eye contact.
Yohan sighed; he really didn’t want to talk about it but… “Oh, all right. Wanna sit? I didn’t bring a mat or anything though… Here, use my jacket.” The author pulled off his bomber jacket, laying it on the grass for his sister to sit down on.
“Awwe, my baby brother is all grown up!” she exclaimed, sitting lightly over his jacket as Yohan grunted about being treated like a child. It was always fun to tease him~
“Sooo…. What about my… my… dating life do you want to talk about?” he asked, grimacing, reluctant to even talk about it.
“First off, I want to apologize… I’m sorry for forcing you to go on that blind date. I shouldn’t have done that, but she’s a really nice person so I wanted you to meet her at least once…”
“… You could have just told me, then I would have—”
“Oh? Would you have gone if I told you it was a blind date?” May raised her eyebrows at her younger brother, knowing fully well he wouldn’t have.
“Well, probably not, but I would have thought about it…”
“Mhm. Sureee.” May responded sarcastically as she huffed a small breath, making her bangs fly upwards. “I’ve decided on something.”
May turned to look at her brother, ruffling his blond hair. “I’ve decided to stop being all up in your business about dating. Just promise me one thing, will you?” she asked, turning to face the baffled and surprised author.
“… Promise me you’ll at least try to get to know someone if they catch your eye?”
“Urgh… I thought— Ha… Fine. I promise… though, I doubt it’ll ever happen.”
“You never know where life takes you…” May said with a smug smile while shrugging her shoulders.
“Uh-huh… What made you suddenly decide on this?”
May paused, her mind flashing back to the mysterious shop from a few days ago on Sunday….
~~Few Days Ago, Sunday~~
May had been wandering the streets of Koreatown, trying to clear her mind from her argument with Yohan the day before. She sighed, continuing down towards Wilshire Boulevard, when she noticed a small fortune teller’s shop, tucked away in the corner of a huge building. Was there always a mudang shop in this area?
May ignored the quaint shop, marching past it. A split second later, she came back, curiously peeking through the window. She wanted to leave but her feet didn’t budge from the spot— it was like the shop was beckoning her to come in. May fell into a trance as she inched closer to the shop’s entrance.
Before she could stop herself and process what she was doing, May opened the glass door, walking inside. She ogled at the wooden interior, wondering when such a place had opened. May was sure she had never seen this shop before. Slowly, she made her way further inside, gasping when she saw the open space beyond the silk red curtains.
There were no Buddha statues or any other decorations that were typical of Korean mudang shops; instead, there was a single painting of an ethereal goddess/ fairy (she couldn’t tell which) in a pink silk hanbok*— reminiscent of clothes from the Silla dynasty*– and by her side was a tiger. As May marveled at the beautiful painting, she didn’t notice that someone was approaching her from behind.
“May I help you?” a soft, gentle voice sang out.
Surprised, May glanced behind her, gawking at the beautiful woman before her. The woman had on a white and light yellow hanbok with her long, black hair in a half updo. Her pale skin seemed to radiate and shimmer under the soft lights of the shop. May blinked as she stared at the lady. Slowly, she looked at the painting and back at the woman before her; were they the same person?!
“… Are you here for a reading?”
“Huh? Uh… no. Sorry. I think I came to the wrong shop! Sorry for the intrusion!” May said hurriedly, feeling a bit unnerved by her presence. As much as this mysterious woman was beautiful, May felt agitated to be near her.
The lawyer turned to run out of the unusual shop when the mysterious woman spoke.
“He needs to find his lucky charm, you know.”
May flinched as Yohan shook her shoulder, concerned at her trance-like state. May shook her head, trying to forget that encounter in the shop as she smiled up at her brother, who looked at her dubiously. She waved him off, telling him that she was okay, plopping her head onto his thighs, using her brother’s legs like a pillow. Yohan raised an eyebrow. What’s up with her?
“You never answered my question… What made you decide to lay low on my dating life?”
“Hmm? Oh… Well…” May trailed off, contemplating if she should tell her brother about her weird encounter at the fortune teller’s shop.
Nope, he’s going to go all ballistic on me for even believing such a reading… She glanced up at her brother who was staring down at her, waiting for her to finish her sentence. Yep, no way am I telling him. I’ll just have to hope what she said was true…
“Get off if you ain’t gonna respond!” Yohan nudged her with his knee.
“Oww! I’ll tell you, geez, so impatient.” May grumbled, glaring at her younger brother.
“Well, I’ve been trying to get you to date for the past nine years… And I’ve failed time and time again. I don’t want to keep pressuring you any longer; you’re turning thirty in ten months anyway… I can’t keep babying you forever.”
Scrunching his face in confusion he glanced over at his sister, “You make it sound like I want you to baby me!”
“Do you want me to?”
“Hell no!” Yohan said, getting up from his seat and taking off down the path as his sister laughed behind him.
“Oh, come on~ Let me baby you some more my little mochi rabbit! Hey~!” May giggled, running after her younger brother.
Their mother’s burial tree swayed in the wind as the two siblings’ laughter echoed with the light autumn breeze.
*Hanbok: Korean traditional clothing; consisting of a top and a skirt made out of silk
*Silla Dynasty: One of the Three Kingdoms of South Korea from 57 BC- 935 AD
*Noona: Korean term for older sister (used by males)
**NOTE: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.**