TILL DEATH DO WE APART
“Oppa, I’m thirsty,” you clung onto Bobby. He raised an eyebrow. You normally wasn’t prone to giving anyone aegyo, nor were you particularly keen on calling him “oppa.”
“Is there something you want from me?” His eyes narrowed and he glared at you suspiciously.
You laughed and tapped his nose. “So suspicious. It’s our six months, Oppa. Least you can do is surprise me with something.”
The look on his face was priceless. His entire countenance froze and his mouth dropped open. Almost as if remembering, he shut his eyes and let out a groan. His head rolled back and he grimaced. “Shoot, I knew I was forgetting something. Ugh, I was just thinking about this last week. Damn it. I had everything all planned and ugh, I’m sorry, baby.” Bobby stuck out his lower lip and blinked up at you. “Give me until this evening to plan something?”
You shook your head. “It’s okay. Just being with you is celebration enough.”
Bobby winced. “You’re so corny.”
You slipped your hand into his. “It’s why you love me.”
The two of you walked to your favorite café. It was pretty empty and Bobby ordered a strawberry banana smoothie for you and then pondered whether to play it safe or try the new flavor. “Raspberry tomato? Sounds dangerous to me.”
You linked your arm through his. “Sounds interesting. Try it!”
“You want me to die?” he joked. “What if I keel over right now because the combination is too toxic for my stomach to take?”
“Your stomach is already a mine of toxic substances, dear. You can’t really do much to add to it. With all the eating you do, I’m surprised you’re not one hundred percent immune.”
Bobby poked your ribs. “Alright. You’re just confident because I was kind enough to order you a normal flavor. Miss, can I have a raspberry tomato smoothie along with the strawberry banana I just ordered?”
When the order came, the two of you slid into a fairly private booth. “This way nobody can watch me throw up everything I just drank,” he winked at you. He plunged the straw in and took a deep breath. “Here goes nothing.” Then he spoke in a mock deep voice. “Here marks the day when my beloved girlfriend of six months, my crush of a million years, my best friend since forever, tried to kill me with her evilness. Choice of weapon, a raspberry tomato smoothie. Victim, more than willing.” You kicked his shin.
“Shut up with the dramatics and drink.”
“Oh so bossy. What a dominatrix,” he teased.
You turned bright red and gestured at his drink. He took a deep breath and took a long sip. He kept his expression blank until he swallowed. Then his eyes bulged and his hands came up to his neck. He pretended to strangle himself and popped out his tongue. “Bluerkk!!" He flopped his head to the side and was still for a moment.
You nudged his leg. “Stop it, it can’t be that bad. I’ll try some.” Almost on cue, Bobby came alive and grabbed his drink.
“My smoothie! You already have your own. Don’t be a glutton now. I like it. It’s really exotic. I think it’s great for the stomach. It’s a combination of sour and a little basic. I don’t know, try some?”
You shook your head. “After that dramatic death, I don’t wish to suffer the same.”
He grabbed your hand and kissed it. “Never. I will never kill my beloved. You may not be as merciful, but at least I have a heart. Drink a little bit though. Your taste buds may not take it. You’re quite sensitive. It’s a bit spicy.”
You took a small sip and grimaced. “Tastes like tomato juice and lemon juice.”
He scoffed and took the drink back. “You’re not a connoisseur like me, okay? Let me do the tasting.” He proceeded to take yet another long sip and looked at you with a cute expression.
You took out your camera. “Hold on! You look cute.” You snapped the picture and giggled. “Oppa looks good.”
Bobby grinned at you. “You’re so adorable.” He leaned over and kissed you on the cheek. “Get dressed tonight okay? We’re going someplace special. I have it all planned.”
You got up to leave and handed him the camera. “Do me a favor though, please? Get this developed for me? I want to have it for our scrapbook when we work on it tonight.”
He took your camera. “Anything for you.”
You walked out of the café and he swung your arms between the two of you. You leaned into him and he asked you, “So, it’s been six months? What do you want to happen in our next six months?”
“I just want things to be like this. Remember that time when we were fighting and you thought I was going to break up with you? I don’t want that. I know happy forever is not realistic, but let’s try to never think of breaking up. Fighting maybe, but never breaking up okay?”
“Till death do we part? I like that.” He kissed the top of your head and you bumped his hip.
“You’re silly. That’s for another six years.”
“We can’t start that now.” He smiled cheesily and you tiptoed to kiss him. “I’ll see you in a bit okay? I’ll be waiting for my prince okay?” He laughed and waved, sending you off with a wide smile.
You dropped the photo from your fingers and it slid off the table, landing on the ground. Tears fell from your eyes. Your prince never came. You waited for three hours. Bobby had called you, telling you that he got the picture and was currently walking over to pick you up. “I love you, see you in a few.”
He never came. You waited and waited. It wasn’t until your mother came home, crying that you knew something was wrong. “You didn’t hear?” she asked. Her eyes were wide with a panic and a grief you couldn’t understand. What had happened? Why wasn’t Bobby picking up?
“Bobby.” Your mom said. Your whole world came to a stop. Ice washed through you and you asked her for more. “The poor boy was crossing that intersection and he didn’t even see it coming. He had stopped by a flower shop. There was a picture that he had said was for you. He didn’t even know what was coming.”
The story came out in pieces and puzzles. You didn’t understand. What coming? Crossing an intersection? Was it a car crash? What flowers?
“He was hit by a drunk driver. They took him in and it was my shift. I took care of him. He told me that he loved you and that the picture was for you. He said you had wanted to remember the day, but now he’d rather you remembered him for him instead.”
All the death jokes the two of you had made earlier didn’t seem so funny now. Your heart froze. Six months together, and six months more. Now you’d have to live all those years out alone, without Bobby by your side.
You bent to pick up the picture. Bobby’s face and his eyes. His lips and everything about him was so etched in your memory. How could he expect you to forget him ever? Tears blurred the black of his snapback together and soon you couldn’t see. You walked out of your room and walked into the same café, and ordered a raspberry tomato and a strawberry banana.
Placing the raspberry tomato one in front of you, you whispered, “Here Bobby, maybe I can join you today.”