Updated: May 18
“You know, Taiwanese?”
Lin Xun was astonished. Korean Oppa’s Taiwanese wasn’t too bad, or lack fluency. Why he chose to speak in only Korean was either due to stubbornness or pride. Or maybe both. A proud one obviously, because he didn’t bother to respond to any of flattery thrown his way. Could it be because these compliments were too common in his life, or he doesn’t care?
“I told you I could speak it, didn’t I?” the arrogant tone continued, reminding Lin Xun of the spoiled rich sons of influential men from high society.
Through his various service jobs, he had met quite a few. But not many caught his attention like this unique man. Is it because he’s a foreigner? But this wasn’t the first Korean man he had met.
Still, Lin Xun couldn’t help but ask again, “What’s your name?”
He should know this Oppa’s name. He can’t keep calling him Korean Oppa forever.
“Why do you keep asking?” Korean Oppa frowned. “Do you want a reward?”
“No…,” Lin Xun shook, puzzled by the question, “Why would I need a reward?”
“You did save me, but you also brought me to your home, instead of the cop first,” Korean Oppa stated his suspicion, “Posing a danger to yourself if they do catch up. Give me a number. I don’t like owing people.”
“You don’t owe me anything,” Lin Xun chuckled, hiding his slight irritation by Oppa’s continued doubt of his intention, “Are there no good people in your life?”
“No one I know is nice without ulterior motives,” Korean Oppa scuffed.
Lin Xun regarded him for a minute and felt a bit sad for someone who harbors mistrust towards the world. Unconsciously, he muttered, “Pity.”
“Me? You pity me?” the short-tempered Oppa was shocked, who probably never had anyone regard him as such.
“It must be lonely for you. Not trusting anyone,” Lin Xun answered honestly. Are all Korean like this? He wondered.
Thanks to his mother’s love of Korean Dramas, Lin Xun grew up watching countless Korean films and dramas. He didn’t want to admit that he first learned Korean after years of watching them every evening after his studies, and right before bed. A quick learner when it comes to languages, understanding more than speaking, and through years of regular Korean cinemas, Lin Xun was able to learn Korean without schooling. The unintended Korean Wave obsession from his beloved mother had also helped him find jobs that did require a few Korean communication skills, but that was only a short time gig from the past.
So technically, he did not lie in the matter.
“Trust is something others have to earn,” Korean Oppa asserted.
Aaaahhh... This man is the walking Korean Oppa cliche. Is Lin Xun drawn to him for that reason, or is there more?
Gathering the first aid, Lin Xun put them away, then turned back to remind the other man a critical fact, “I think I already earn it. I save you, didn’t I?”
The cat finally got the Korean’s tongue, because Oppa didn’t dispute.
But it didn’t stop him from deflecting, “If it’s not for money, then what is that you need? Everyone has a price.”
“Not everyone. You know, there are things in this world that could never be bought, once they’re gone, they’re gone,” Lin Xun answered, only half realizing he was repeating his mother’s words.
Health for one thing. Lin Xun would want his mother to be better, but that is no longer possible. He could only spend as much time with her as possible. He is cherishing each moment, because they don’t know when it would be their last. No money or power in the world could prevent her from leaving him.
He’ll be all alone, without family or friends.
And now he’s spending time with a paranoid Korean Oppa, although handsome -- with exceptional features which surely have many women swoon, had regarded Lin Xun as a ‘nutjob’ for playing hero to his rescue after crashing into him.
Crashing? Lin Xun suddenly remembered there was a phone call...Right before the Korean Oppa... He was too busy getting involved; Lin Xun forgot all about it.
“I have to go back,” Lin Xun grabbed his jacket and rushed to the door, as a feeling of panic was starting to rise.
“Why?” Oppa grabbed his upper arm, a bit tight. This man doesn’t seem to know his strengths, or is he always like this aggressive with everyone?
“My phone. I dropped it earlier when we met,” Lin Xun explained, already feeling unease that his mother could be waiting for him. “I need to find it, my mother could be calling. She needs me to be with her.”
At first, Xun Lin was expecting the other to downplay his urgency because not many grown men are this close to their mother. For that reason, he doesn’t have many friends left. All those who had known him had left after years Lin Xun devoted his time to care of his mother’s diminishing health. He was used to people forgetting him as time passes.
But surprisingly, Korean Oppa did not mock him.
“I’ll go with you,” he volunteered, Korean Oppa’s face softened for the first time since they met, even the grip on his arm was no longer painful.
“You don’t have to,” Lin Xun declined, a habit of his. Never had he wants to bother others with his business. It’s better to do things on his own, as he was taught since he was a child. Growing up without a father, he learned to be dependable, so his mother would not be worried.
This time, it was Korean Oppa who drag him out, “Stop wasting time. Let’s go.”
“I’m not the one they were after,” Lin Xun reminded, “What if those kidnappers are still there waiting for you?”
“So be it,” Korean Oppa shrugged, his expression changed again, followed by profound words of wisdom, “A good son never keeps his mother waiting.”
Lin Xun was stunned. Who knew this Oppa was also a devoted son.
As he was pondering their mutual affection towards their mothers, Lin Xun had come to realize; it felt unusual because pulling on others and being pulled is an entirely different feeling. For a reason unknown, there was comfort in having someone else lead the way.
An indescribable warmth, unforeseen, because Lin Xun didn’t want Korean Oppa to let go, at least...not just yet.
Author's Note: Since each episode of 2020 Because of You is less than 12 minutes, with only 10 episodes shared between three Yuan brothers -- Their limited screentime felt more like we're just watching clips rather than the full scene. Thus why in my spare time, or when the inspiration strike, I decided to add more to reflect their relationship development.