Dong Hoon waited a little longer, then glanced out to the street to make sure his brother had driven away. Only then did he open the bedroom door. Ji An stood by the window, and at the sound of the door, she turned around, a hint of anxiety in her movements.

„I don’t know what your car looks like, ahjussi,” she smiled, „I was watching to see if your brother had left, but I wasn’t sure.”

„I’ve got myself a blue KIA Sportage,” he announced from the doorway, „come, I invite you for some morning coffee.”

„I don’t have much time left, but I’d really enjoy a coffee. May I use the bathroom first?” she asked.

„Of course! Just wait, I’ll give you a clean towel since Gi Hoon probably soaked the ones that were there,” Dong Hoon reached into a drawer and handed her a sapphire towel— „and do you need a toothbrush?”

„I do,” Ji An was impressed by Dong Hoon’s presence of mind and the calm he maintained despite the rather unusual situation.

The toothbrush too was a beautiful shade of blue.

„Do you always buy everything in blue shades, ahjussi?” she looked around and only now noticed that the bedroom walls were light blue, and the living room was painted in a slightly darker shade of blue.

„It just so happened that this color has stuck with me for some time,” he admitted, „it puts me in a good mood…” He looked at her a bit uncertainly, „it reminded me of the sea you had in abundance in Busan…” His gaze lingered on Ji An longer than intended.

She returned his look, holding his gaze steadfastly. As you remember, she never had a problem with that. It was usually Dong Hoon who shied away from her emotion-laden stares, but now he was the one initiating them. It wasn’t easy for him, but since he had decided to slowly draw Ji An closer and allow himself to more clearly express his feelings, his words about the sea in Busan were no accident.

Suddenly, he felt as if a small, invisible barrier in his heart had cracked, from which warmth spread throughout his body. They stood for a moment in silence. She with a blue towel and toothbrush, he in a blue pajama, and around them burst delicate vibrations of hidden longing, forgotten hopes, past closeness, and a new wave of emotion. Suddenly those mutual looks, filled with deep connection and unspoken words yet, paused them in a safe and quiet moment, somewhere between the sea breeze of Ji An’s love and the cracking shell of Dong Hoon’s suppressed feelings.

„I’ll go to the bathroom now,” Ji An finally broke the silence, though her heart pounded so loudly she feared he might hear it. With the last bit of her sanity, she tried not to throw herself at him, though everything, everything drew her towards him.

„The door on the right,” Dong Hoon managed to say, then headed towards the kitchenette.

The vibrations shattered into several centers and continued to pulse with emotions within Dong Hoon’s small, blue apartment. Even the rich brown aroma of coffee blended harmoniously with them and lingered like a legato over the new melody that he had so timidly released from his heart moments ago.

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