Happy Birthday Jin!
It's happy after all...
"Another day another dollar right Jin?"
"Yeah... Hehe... Right."
More like another year another birthday, he thought.
This was the time of year that he did not look forward to because no matter what he always had bad luck. Nothing had ever gone right on his birthday-- even when he was a kid.
His mother called him once a year just to verify that he was still alive. She wasn't the easiest woman to get along with but he tried his best.
Jin had dreams of becoming a millionaire. He would say every birthday, "By this time next year, I'll be rolling in doh!"
Well, this year he's in the same spot he was in last year-- working at a dead end job as a dish washer for a high profile restaurant.
"Are you going out tonight Jin? You don't plan to spend the night alone do you? It's your birthday bro!" His coworker asked.
"Meh. It's just another day to me."
"Dude, don't say that! Birthdays are blessings. Thank God that you made it to see another year because the alternative isn't an option."
Jin rolled his eyes. He wasn't in the mood for religious mumbo jumbo. He just wanted to finish his job and go home.
"Nah, I'm gonna just get some sleep."
"You're so boring!" Yelled another coworker.
"Well 'boring' keeps me out of trouble trust me!"
He continued to stack the dirty dishes in the steam cleaner and wipe down the ones that were done to put them away.
After clocking out, Jin put on his jacket and started his long trek home.
"Hey Jin! Do you need a ride?"
"No! I'm good thanks Minho! Have a good night!"
"You too-- and happy birthday again!"
Jin throws up his hand to wave then continues his walk.
The stars were shining bright and the air was crisp and cool.
Jin enjoyed these nightly walks home. It gave him time to really take in the city atmosphere and allowed him to clear his head.
He stopped by the 7/11 to grab a bowl of Ramyeon, instant rice and a sausage. That was his dinner every night but he loved it.
He rang up his meal then headed to the microwave area to heat everything up.
Once it was ready he moved over to the window near the entrance to eat. As he was slurping the Ramyeon, a young woman walked into the store. He kept his focus on her, following her every move.
She grabbed a can of beer and a pack of cigarettes. The cashier checked her ID, she paid for her items then left.
Jin, now anxious as to who that girl was, quickly finished his Ramyeon and took his sausage to go.
He rushed out the door, looking both ways trying to figure out where the mysterious girl went.
"Damn, I've lost her! Like I always say, my birthday is bad luck."
He started his walk again this time in more of a hurry.
As he walked past a dark alley near his apartment he heard a low feminine voice.
Jin turned around trying to find who said that.
"Hey, over here."
She lit a match which set off a nice glow on her face.
Whoa, it's the girl from the store. She's beautiful. He thought.
"H-Hi." He stuttered.
"You're Jin right?"
How does she know my name? He wondered.
"Uh, yeah. Do we know each other?" He asked.
"We work together. I'm a waitress at the restaurant. I understand why you wouldn't recognize me since you're always in the back doing the dishes. I'd seen you a few times out back during your break."
"Yeah, we keep pretty busy in there."
She steps out of the dark alley toward him with her hand extended. "I'm Lynn, nice to formally meet you finally." She smiled with the lit cigarette hanging from her tightly pressed lips.
"Nice to meet you as well. I'm-- well, you know who I am." He said nervously.
"Yeah. So listen Jin, I heard from a little birdie that today is your birthday. Wanna hang out?"
She believed in getting straight to the point. Also, she secretly had a crush on him so this was a perfect opportunity to get close without being too obvious.
"Uh! Um, well..."
"Come on. What else do you have to do that's more important? It'll be fun."
Jin looks into her big brown eyes--
She seems sincere. He thought.
"Okay. Sure. What the heck, let's do it!"
"Alright! That's the spirit! Let's go!"
She tossed her cigarette and grabbed Jin's hand leading the way.
"Wh-Where are we going?"
"You'll see Jin."
After what seemed like a long walk, they made it to the location.
"Han River? This is where you wanted to take me?"
"Yeah. They have an amazing light show this time of night coming off the Banpo Bridge over there! Just wait a minute... It's gonna start soon."
Jin looks down at his hand noticing that she's still holding it.
Lynn looks at him and he drew attention to their hands.
"We-- We're still holding hands." He said.
"So? Does it make you uncomfortable? I can let go..."
"No!" He quickly grabbed her hand back.
"It's-- It's nice. I just didn't know if you wanted to let go or not."
She smirked, "No, I'm good. Besides, I like your hands. They're soft and firm."
"Oh! It's about to start! Look Jin!"
He turned his attention to the bridge and gazed in awe of all the beautiful lights and colors.
A smile appeared on his face.
For that brief moment in time, he completely forgot how horrible his day was and embraced the magic happening in front of him.
He looked at Lynn with a continued smile at how excited she was by the display.
"Isn't it beautiful Jin?" She asked still in amazement.
"Yes it is." He said while looking at her.
She turned her attention to him once she realized he was staring.
"Happy birthday Jin!" She gave him a hug which surprised him. He slowly returned the hug, closing his eyes to make a wish.
She backed away from him and they locked eyes again.
Jin was starting to lean in for a kiss but Lynn shied away and laid her head on his shoulder.
"I'm sorry this isn't much for your birthday. But I hope you enjoyed it anyway." She said.
He wrapped his arm around her shoulder. "It means more than you know Lynn. Thank you for this and thank you for hanging with me."
She smiled as he laid his head on top of hers and continued watching the light show.
Katrina Lippolis (author) from Mayfield on December 05, 2018:
Haha. Yes, let your imagination take control :-) And I thank you for the compliment.
Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on December 05, 2018:
A magnificent story although you left us hanging but I suppose you had to let us conjure up whatever kind of ending we want.
Thanks for sharing it.