Sunday, December 6, 2009

Chapter 30 - THE END

"I think it'll be a great idea to get married here but the problem will be getting all your friends here," I said to Jenny, one of Ji Tae's cousins, and a bridesmaid, in what I hoped was English.

After about a minute, she slowly nodded and said, "I understand, but go out so happily different. My husband interesting to guest Korea first time."

I pasted a smile on my face and tried to figure out what the hell she'd just said. We were at the tail end of our rehearsal dinner i.e. all the speeches had long since been over and all that was left was eating leftovers and mingling with the guests. In addition to the bridal party and groomsmen, we also had millions of Ji Tae's family members who'd flown in from the United States.

Seeing them had weirded me out a bit because I'd always thought of him as an only child and as someone who didn't really have a lot family but apparently, there was something in American water because his family appeared to have procreated like rabbits. There were so many cousins that my head started spinning anytime I tried to remember all their names.

"Since you've been wrapped up in the wedding, it's a good thing you haven't really gotten to see Seoul so you can see it fresh with your fiancé."

She shook her head. "I sorry. Say again? I don't understand."

"When your husband comes, you can show him Seoul."

"You do realize that you're both speaking gibberish, right?" I heard Ji Tae say.

I turned around to see Ji Tae and one of his cousins behind us. And what a cousin he was. He was so hot that'd he'd probably beat Kwon Sang Woo in a hotness contest which was why I already knew that I'd never remember his name. Because once I laid my eyes on him, all I could do was think about the sheer injustice that he wasn't a model in America. But according to Jenny, he wasn't even considered hot back there. But how could such a beautiful male specimen be ignored? Were they blind?

"Why don't you both speak the language you understand?" Ji Tae asked.

"And how would we be able to improve ourselves if we did that? Besides," I said, I rolling my eyes, "I did spend a year in Australia, you know? I am sure my English is pretty great."

"I bet you no one in Australia understood you either."

"Piss off! You're just jealous that I'm a polyglot. I know for a fact that my English is pretty great. Don't you think so, Jennifer?"

She nodded. "Yes. I speak Korean too well," his cousin said. "And lessons worked well before I come."

I began to fight back my laughter when something suddenly dawned on me and all the humor drained from my face. Surely, my English wasn't as bad as her Korean, right? I didn't sound dyslexic when I spoke Korean, right?

"Well, you're both driving me insane," Ji Tae said, holding his head dramatically. "Anyway," he said, changing the tone of his voice, "we're about to leave. Do you mind if I stole my fiancé for just one minute?" he asked, taking me hand and not bothering to wait for a response before pulling me along with him.

"What do you want to talk about?" I asked as soon as we were in the hallway.

He turned to me, tilted his head and smiled. "I just wanted to look at my fiancée for one last time. This is the last time I'll ever look at you as a bachelor."

I narrowed my eyes. "It's also your last chance to escape," I teased.

"Escape? Of course not. You?"

I shook my head. In the past two years we'd been together, we'd definitely had our ups and downs and there were times I just wanted to stab him but there was a constant ease and confidence I always felt, even at the most trying times, because I knew he'd always be there for me – even when he was the cause of the stress. So did I want that for the rest of my life? Heck yeah! Did I want to start a life with him as my permanent partner-in-crime? You betcha!

"Hyung, are you ready?" Cuter-than-Kwon Sang Woo asked from the other end of the hallway.

Ji Tae glanced at him and nodded. He gave me a quick peck on the lips then said, "See you tomorrow, then."

What the hell? Was that supposed to be our last kiss as single people? Not if I had anything to do with it! I pulled his face to mine and gave him a soft kiss that grew more intense with every movement of our lips. It certainly didn't help that we'd decided to abstain from sex for a month to make our wedding night special. When his hand began to slide down my thigh, I picked his hand off me and gently pushed him away. "Oppa," I said breathlessly. I looked into his eyes. "See you tomorrow." And tomorrow night.


The hairstylist picked up the veil and placed it on my head. For the first time in my life, I had an updo with tendrils framing my face. I'd fought against the hairstyle, especially as my soon-to-be husband preferred my hair down, but after the lady had promised that it would look best with my veil and beaded princess gown, I decided to give it a go. And boy did I look beautiful! I smiled at my reflection. Hair up or not, there was no way Ji Tae wasn't going to go crazy when he saw me walking down the aisle. My make-up was a little thicker than I would have liked but judging from how the photographs we'd previously taken had turned out, I knew that it was necessary to make the subsequent photographs look great.

From the reflection in the mirror, I could see Yun Ah walking over to me. I thought she looked awesome in the baby blue gown I'd chosen for her, but I knew that if I mentioned it, she'd just make a comment about how I only liked it because I'd picked it. She stopped behind my chair then covered her mouth with her hand and gazed at me. "You look so beautiful! Oh my God, you! Where have you been hiding all this beauty?"

I smirked. "Don't be a bi.tch to me on my wedding day or you'll regret it on yours."

"Whatever," she said, scowling. "If you're getting married before me, I'm quite sure that means I'm going to die an old maid."

I rolled my eyes. "If you stop this on and off crap you keep doing with Han Bi Oppa, I'm quite sure you won't have to wait long for a ring. You know you love him so stop breaking up with him every time he does something wrong. How will your relationship work if you can't get through your fights?"

"Thanks for your advice, Your Sageness," she said with a very exaggerated bow. "Oh, now that you're getting married you think you have all the answers?" Then she covered her mouth again before yelling, "You're getting married, you're getting married! I can't believe you're getting married!"


"I, Kim Hee Soo, take you, Park Ji Tae," I repeated.

"To be my lawfully wedded husband."

"To be my lawfully wedded husband." I looked into his eyes and smiled. Wow, we were really doing it! I glanced at our guests and saw my Halmonis smiling back at us.

"To have and to hold from this day forward."

"To have and to hold from this day forward."

"For better or for worse."

Ji Tae winked. Was he trying his best to make me roll my eyes? "For better or for worse."

"For richer, for poorer."

The idiot across from me mouthed the words along with the priest then smiled.

I flared my nostrils. "For richer, for poorer."

"In sickness and in health."

"In sickness and in health."

"To love and to cherish."

"To love and to cherish."

"And I promise to be faithful to you until death do us part."

Before I could repeat it, Ji Tae whispered to the priest. When the priest shook his head in response he looked so bummed.

"What?" I mouthed at him.

He took a quick glance at the crowd then leaned towards me. "What happened to the 'obey' part?" he whispered.

I giggled. "Are you kidding me? They've taken that crap out. Don't you know that it's the 21st century?"

He frowned. "So there's no 'obey?'"

I shook my head.

He groaned. "I've been looking forward to it for months! No obey?!?!?""

What the I would have laughed if I wasn't a little scared by his reaction. "Are you saying that you don't want to get married anymore?"

A slow smile crept on his face then it turned into a wide grin. "I'm not crazy."

"How about this? I promise to obey you once a decade... but I'll choose when. Happy now?"

"No, but I'll take it."

The priest coughed to get our attention. "May we continue with our ceremony?"

Ji Tae and I giggled and got back to our places.

"And I promise to be faithful to you until death do us part."

"And I promise to be faithful to you until death do us part."

After we exchanged our matching platinum rings, the preacher informed Ji Tae that he could kiss his bride.

We'd already practiced the kiss at rehearsal, so when I moved my face forward to receive a light kiss, I was surprised that instead of acting like a gentleman, he was smooshing my lips like some character from a stupid romantic comedy. Dude, our parents are watching! Then he broke away from me and laughed. And so did our audience.

As we walked down the aisle for the first time as woman and husband, I couldn't help but think of how happy I was. The owner of the arm linked with mine was the man I'd never even bothered to dream of. And even though he'd laughed at my shaved head and annoyed me so much as a kid, I couldn't help but think of how lucky I was to have met him when I did. And as people stood and waved at us as we walked by them, I only wished that my mother could have been around to see me. But what the heck? I knew she was watching us from wherever she was.

Umma, your daughter is a married woman now!


"Yuhbo, you do realize that you're on the wrong team, right?" Ji Tae asked with folded arms.

I smirked. "That's my brother," I said, pointing at Jin Soo who was standing next to me, "and that's my father." I rolled my eyes. "It looks like I'm on the right team. It's the Parks vs. the Kims, right?"

"So what? A name is just a name. What does that ring on your finger say?"

Before I could reply, Mi Soo screamed to catch our attention. "Can you guys stop bickering?" she asked impatiently as she bounced the basketball in her hand. "Can we just get on with this? I want to go back to my seat."

We'd just finished having our monthly Sunday brunch and it was one of those rare occasions where everyone could make it. So other than Ji Tae, and my team, we also had Ji Tae's father, who was his only teammate, Mi Soo (our referee) plus Ji Tae's stepmom and Mi Soo's boyfriend who were our spectators.

A few moments later, Mi Soo threw the ball and the game began.

"Hyungnim, catch!" Jin Soo said right before he threw the ball to Ji Tae.

What the...? I called time-out. We were about 5 minutes into our game and we were evenly matched at 3 baskets each. "What the hell is your problem, Jin Soo? You do realize that he's on the other team, right?"

He shrugged. "So what? The game isn't fair. How come we have three players and they have two?"

I glared at him. "Do you want to quit so that we'd be even?"

"Why can't you just let me go to their team? Our team sucks!"

"Are you a Kim or a Park? Wouldn't it be better for me to go to that team? Would it be fairer that way?"

I laughed at his frown because I knew that his little tantrum had nothing to do with unfairness and everything to do with being on the same side as his precious hyung. What the hell was his problem? Didn't he realize that blood was thicker than water?

Shortly after, the game resumed and we were back to fighting for our honor. After some good defense by my father, I lifted the ball, aimed and threw it at the basket. It was my fourth attempt at a 3-pointer and when it fell through the hoop, I jumped and screamed for joy! Korean National Team, here I come!

I was still basking in my glow of success when my husband grabbed me from behind and kissed my cheek. "Good job."

I smiled. Amidst hearing my father-in-law call him a traitor, groans of disgust from Jin Soo, and hearing Mi Soo yell for the game to resume, I looked at my family then turned around and hugged him. Even though all we'd done was fall in love and try to care for each other and all the people around us, I couldn't help but feel like we'd done something special.

Ji Tae laughed at my response and hugged me back. When the game resumed, and he was back to playing for the other team, as always, it felt good to know that he was the one person I could count on for the rest of my life. And hopefully well into the next. I smiled when he made a basket. Yep, we'd definitely done a good thing.


Anonymous said...

whoa....a happy ending. i enjoyed your story very much...keep on writing.=)

Wrong Foot First said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!


Anonymous said...

fantastic story! i am getting married and this story was such a motivation from my 'fear'....thank you!

Wrong Foot First said...

Hi anonymous.

I'm glad you liked and I wish you a happy married life.

Anonymous said...

Wow.... I would say "I'm speechless" but the fact that I'm typing contradicts that, doesn't it? I read through both stories in one day and my eyes feel sore... I loved it how you told quite a simple story really, of two rather ordinary people and their not so amazing yet heartfelt and touching lives. It felt real, not like a fairytale or a drama, but something that you can relate to. In other words, I think that these two stories were utterly mind-blowing. Amazing. Okay, maybe I can't quite describe how I feel, but sitting in front of my computer at 11p.m, typing this, I am definitely feeling a wonderful emotion...

Wrong Foot First said...

anon3, what can I say? Your comment really made my week.

Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it and thanks so much for telling me. Comments like this definitely inspire me to keep writing.

Joa said...

Wahaha! I loved this story! Can you believe it? I finished BOTH in a day? I think my eyes are going to fall out. Haha. Congratulations on writing such a successful story. Weeeee! They can be happy now!

Anonymous said...

You're a great writer. You really are.
I just spent my whole afternoon reading this story. Your Kim Hee Soon got hooked and chained to my laptop, I only went away once to pick up the phone. There are some many things to compliment, rave, gush, adore about this story. Well, except for the cat & mouse game the lead characters were playing right from the start until the end of the story.
Hope to see more from you. I really enjoyed reading this one. Cheers!

Wrong Foot First said...

Whoa! Comments!

Thanks for your kind words, joa and bitterkoekjes. Where did you guys find this story? Soompi?

And lol@their cat and mouse games. Yeah, I know they were rather frustrating at times... lol.

Anyway, thanks for reading and I am glad you enjoyed it and left comments. Thanks, again.

Anonymous said...

I have read this story 3x and have enjoyed it every single time. Thanks for sharing your writing with all of us.