Chapter 109 - Love Letter
Heerak told Doseon he did well. He affirmed his decision by telling Doseon several times that he made an excellent decision. Words couldn’t express how meaningful this event would be to Heerak, and he loathed the thought that he would need to share that special moment with other people. He didn’t want anyone other than Doseon—not even his family—to see his crying face. He also hated the thought of trying to keep a straight face just because he was conscious of other people’s impressions of him. Heerak told Doseon his honest thoughts. Doseon looked pleased that his judgement was correct.
Heerak was a sweaty mess, but since it was a special occasion, both Heerak and Doseon took out their phones and captured their image. They promised each other to never show other people the photos. Heerak’s photo captured his puffy eyes and foolish grin with a bouquet of flowers in his arms. Doseon looked at that photo several times that day, eyes gleaming. Heerak felt quite bashful about it, but he could tell that Doseon was extremely happy, so Heerak could only grin.
After they washed, Doseon handed the bouquet back to Heerak. Heerak received the other’s letter then. The letter was just like Doseon. There were no passionate phrases or sweet words. The letter described Doseon’s thankfulness and gratefulness that Heerak was by his side, his hope that they would be together for a very long time, and although he was lacking, Doseon’s determination to do better.
When he received that envelope, his cleanly washed face became a mess of tears again. It became worse while he was reading the letter. Doseon said he was sorry to keep making him cry, and Heerak couldn’t even reply to that. Heerak thought that he felt like his tear ducts malfunctioned that day.
As he read over the letter for the 10th time, he then noticed an oddity which allowed him to finally smile instead of sob.
“Doseon, your writing… Haha. It reminds me of back in the day. It reminds me of my writing in elementary school.”
Doseon’s face became very visibly red. Doseon was cute as he said shyly that this was the result of his best efforts. Heerak thought Doseon’s handwriting was very cute as well. If Doseon was any less tense, his writing turned into chicken scratch, so bad that needed an interpreter, and Heerak could tell that each letter was slowly and meticulously shaped and written.
“I was just like that. No, I was worse. You could even say that my current handwriting was made from the bottom up. You know how kids write letters on Parents’ Day? When I was younger, my father praised my handwriting even though it was squiggly and illegible, but eventually… Phew, he reached his limit at some point.”
At both his parents’ suggestions, Heerak’s siblings learned how to play instruments or how to draw. However, Heerak, who wasn’t skilled at any of those, chose calligraphy. After a lengthy period of having his writing adjusted, Heerak discovered how fun it was to handwrite, which led to calligraphy. Even while attending university, Heerak wrote his notes, journals, and other miscellaneous things by hand. Although, recently, the only thing he did was sign documents.
Doseon was curious about Heerak’s writing and wanted to see. Heerak gladly obliged and took the other to his study.
Heerak asked what he should write, and as expected, Doseon answered non-committedly. Heerak snickered and wrote “Sartago” and “Hodie” with his brush pen. As soon as he saw, Doseon gasped. The typography he saw daily was right before his eyes. Heerak confirmed that the Sartago logo and Hodie signs were all his handwriting, and Doseon mumbled sheepishly, “So I didn’t need to say that I wanted to see it. They were things I saw every day after all.
Doseon sounded fascinated, and Heerak picked up his brush pen once more. He wrote “Doseon Yoon” and “Heerak Cho.” Doseon complimented Heerak that his writing was pretty and excellent, just like the writer, and Heerak puffed his chest out in pride. Today’s date, Doseon’s home address, Heerak’s address—he scribbled down everything he could think of and slowly wrote, “Doseon, I love you.” And at that moment, he heard noises that he never heard from Doseon before. Warrgh, Whoaaagh. Heerak burst out laughing, but Doseon looked like his soul escaped his body as he stared at the letters.
“Could I keep this sheet of paper?!” Doseon requested gravely, as if he was bringing up a really heavy topic. Heerak laughed again and said okay, then added that he would write it on a prettier piece of paper next time.
Doseon’s face was flushed, and he said, “Heerak, you said you were going to propose to me.”
Heerak nodded and playfully replied, “Of course I will. But it’ll be a surprise, sometime this month.”
Doseon’s eyes gleamed as he asked, “Then we’ll send around wedding invitations, right?”
Heerak had a feel for what Doseon wanted to say next. Heerak said teasingly, “Then I’ll have to pour in my heart and soul in those letters.” He then added, “But since it’ll be an occasion for the both of us, you need to write too.”
Doseon said, looking very sincere, “I’ll practice hard from now on.”
Heerak replied, “I’ll do my best to help.”
Thus, for the next few days, Heerak started to help Doseon practice his handwriting. Heerak bought the pencils used for adjusting handwriting, shaved the pencils himself, then fixed the other’s gripping method and posture. Heerak felt happy while holding Doseon’s hand as Heerak showed the other how to hold the pencil as an excuse. Even though they could hold hands any time they wanted to, this was also fun in itself. Somehow, there was a difference between just holding hands and holding them with an ulterior motive.
Yesterday, Heerak was staring blankly at Doseon writing when it occurred to him—he didn’t send a response letter yet.
Of course, Doseon didn’t write the letter expecting a reply, but Heerak felt that it was a shame to just end the chain with receiving the letter. He opened his drawer containing Doseon’s letter, which he took out to read when he thought of it. He felt relieved that the letter was still there, and he reread the letter that he had already memorized the contents of. Each time he read it, his head was in the clouds, so he didn’t think to reply until now.
Today, Heerak was going to write the first love letter in his life.
For starters, he was going to apologize for his thoughtless actions and words at the beginning of their relationship. He probably already said it out loud hundreds of times, but thinking about writing it on paper, his embarrassment and awkwardness snowballed. After asking for forgiveness, he was going to sing a long romantic ballad, befitting a love letter. He decided to write about his happiness that was nearly endless, so much so that it would never fit into a single letter.
‘I’ll write about how much I love you, about how happy I am every day to think that you are mine.’
Heerak smiled as he picked up his fountain pen.