"Get out! Once you leave that door you'll never see me or your children again!"
A familiar, yet unfamiliar mocking feminine laugh rang through the living room in response, reaching the staircase where four young boys stood.
The four brothers were on a mission; they were going to sneak downstairs and steal some ice cream without their parents noticing… That was the mission before they heard the fight, and they collectively came to a stop.
At the front of the boys was a stunning six-year-old boy with beautiful platinum blonde hair and honey-like peach blossom eyes. He stood silently, grasping at the staircase railing to steady himself.
Behind him were three ten-year-old boys, just a step behind their youngest, Shin Jun. They were triplets, almost identical in faces.
The eldest of the brothers, Shin Yeong, looked the most like their father with black hair and phoenix icy blue eyes, he reached his hand to the youngest's shoulder to keep him from going forward or falling.
The second eldest, Shin Dae, had the same platinum blonde hair as their mother and Shin Jun, while also sporting their father's blue eyes.
The third eldest, Shin Hye, had black hair and honey eyes, he held the arm of Shin Dae to keep himself from tumbling down the stairs.
The triplets glanced at each other as if speaking with their eyes, whilst Shin Jun stared confused down the staircase.
He knew they weren't meant to hear the fight, nor were they meant to hear those words spoken in anger by his father, but he really wanted ice cream and begged his brothers to come with him.
They were already there, though. Eavesdropping like bad kids. Shin Jun knew they should turn back, but who could stop his curiosity?
He could hear shuffling, but he couldn't see what was happening down the stairs so he silently moved down the steps. One by one, the tips of his toes reached for the stairs below him until he could just barely see his parents in the living room.
Shin Yeong nodded at the other two and they also quietly followed behind Shin Jun.
Despite the harsh words spoken in anger, their father looked absolutely ruined. His dark brown hair was still wet from the rain outside, the water dripping from his bangs and dripping down his face. His deep blue suit that he wore from work was absolutely drenched, too.
Unlike their father, their mothers looked completely composed. Happy, even. Her long blonde hair was curled neatly, her makeup done perfectly as if the couple had just gone on a date, and she wore a beautiful light pink dress that he somehow knew his family couldn't afford.
In Shin Jun's eyes, she looked like an angel… if it weren't for the smirk adorning her face.
His eyes fell on her slender hands wrapped around the suitcase, her nails were a beautifully painted light blue and he gripped the railing again, recoiling back into Shin Yeong's chest slightly.
This time, not because he was in a rush and had to stop quickly… No, he knew this wasn't an ordinary fight anymore. All the brothers knew.
Their mother's smirk turned into a sneer as she paused to look at his father, her husband up and down before turning away to walk towards their front door: "So what? What can you offer me in this small house? I've already signed the divorce and the custody - you can have it all. After all, he can give me both another child and money."
The door slammed shut just a moment later and the house was shrouded in complete silence for a few moments until another door, belonging to a car presumably, slammed and the family was left absolutely ruined.
Their father knelt, sobbing on the living room floor, seemingly losing his strength the moment his wife walked out of the door.
The four siblings stood, clenching one another silently. Shin Jun hugged his eldest brother, trying to make sense of what happened, before also allowing a few tears to silently slide down his face, unlike his father's meltdown.
He found himself being picked up and carried back to the room that the four of them shared together.
Without ice cream, and without a mother.
Shin Jun would always remember this night when he thought of love. He was only six years old when his mother abandoned the family to be off on their own, completely shattering his image of love.
He watched his father's pain as he healed from the heartbreak of his mother leaving for another man. He watched as he threw himself into work, only to come home when it was time to eat with the family. For a few months, he hadn't even remembered to go to his school events.
He watched as his brothers picked up the slack for the family despite their own pains. His eldest brother busied himself in cleaning the house, helping him study, and making sure the siblings were up for their online school.
His second eldest brother would choose outfits for him for the day, something his mother had previously done, and take him to the doctors for checkups if he felt sick. Shin Jun was born prematurely, so he was sickly during the first few years of life and Shin Dae worried the most.
His third eldest would read books to him at night, decide on the meal they'd eat, and do the grocery shopping.
One thing they all had in common - all four siblings threw themselves into school, and later on, they would throw themselves into work. Despite how distant they may be, they always made time for one another.
Those heartbreaking days solidified in his mind that he would never fall in love.