Wednesday, April 25, 2012 @ 1:03 PM

Food Language

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I Do Adore by Mindy Gledhill


“She is feeling remorseful.”
“He made this with a nervous heart because he is still waiting for your reply.”
“Please don’t vent your frustrations on food. You should prepare food with a sincere heart.”

“Junsu-ah, you should finish your food before going out to play.”
“But umma, Yolkchunnie says he has a new toy to show me!” Junsu pursed his lips to a pout with his cheeks puffed out.
“Food is made with a lot of thought and emotions. You might not understand now, but you should learn to appreciate them.” The woman Junsu referred to as his mother picked him up and sat him on her thighs. Scooping up a spoonful of soup, she blew at it gently before bringing it to Junsu’s lips. “Is it tasty?”
Junsu nodded his head and stuck his thumb up. “Umma always makes the most delicious food in the world!”
“That’s because umma poured in a lot of love into my cooking for you.” She tenderly placed a kiss on his temple and fed him another spoonful of rice. “Remember child; don’t just taste your food. Appreciate it.”

“Yolkchunnie!” the scent of a pizza baking and spaghetti sauce cooking made its way over to Junsu who was at the entrance, putting him in high spirits. Smiling contentedly as he inhaled deeply to take in the aroma of the spices, Junsu grinned and made his way familiarly into the kitchen where ‘Yolkchunnie’ was busy preparing lunch for a table of five. “Where’s my lunch, Yolkchunnie?”
“If you consider calling me properly by my name, I will consider preparing your lunch. Aish, you’re always eating here for free just because you’re my best buddy!” ‘Yolkchunnie’ glanced briefly at his longtime friend. Growing up together, Junsu had always called him Yolkchunnie. It was fine when they were younger, but now that they’re both adults, it’s embarrassing, especially if the customers hear his nickname.
“Fine, happy mood, Yoochun! Happy mood! If you’re grumpy when you cook, the food will taste horrible!” Junsu wagged a finger in front of Yoochun. “Your customers can choose to dine elsewhere that serves them food made with sincerity!”
Yoochun rolled his eyes and counted to three. “All right! I will prepare your lunch sincerely while you bring this to table seven.”
“Mmmm… heavenly!” Junsu took big bites of his favourite pasta. “The chef has put in a lot of effort! He hopes that everyone will enjoy his cooking and feel energized from the food!” he signaled a thumbs up to the table of regulars sitting next to him. They always found Junsu a joy with his signature laughter and frequent smiles, but they can never understand why he knows exactly how the chef feels when cooking. That aside, he’s like a light bulb that brightens up the area around him wherever he goes – in a good way, of course.

“Are you sure you don’t want to work here? You can help me out and I will provide you with three meals for free!” Patting his buddy on the back repeatedly, Junsu waved his hand animatedly and declined. “I want to deliver more food messages and help more people!” Junsu made his way to the door and waved his hand higher in the air. “Bye Yolkchunnie, see you tomorrow for lunch!” with his back still facing the pavement, Junsu walked backwards waving. Finally too far for Yoochun to still see him, Junsu swerved around too sharply to control his body and crashed into someone in his direction.

Junsu groaned as he pulled himself up from the cold, hard cement. Moving his arms and feet, it didn’t seem like he injured himself anywhere. Lying opposite him was a lady whose long locks muffled her whimpers of pain. Getting to his knees immediately, he gently got her into sitting position. Cupping her cheeks, Junsu looked anxiously into her warm hazelnut eyes that were misty with tears threatening to spill. “Are you all right, Miss? I’m terribly sorry! Where are you hurt?”
“好痛!(It hurts!)” Her wavy locks that had framed her face fell forward following her movement to check on her ankle that seemed to be sprained. Junsu caught a whiff of lotus that stopped him in his tracks momentarily. Like the lotus, there was a purity and beauty so strikingly strong about her. “Do you think you can help me up?” the lady turned to him for help, speaking in Korean this time. Unable to break out fully from his trance, he nodded only briefly and sprang up to carry her.

“I’m really sorry for the accident.” Junsu repeated, unable to get over his guilt for causing Li Yin – as he learned later was her name – to have her leg in a cast. Li Yin merely smiled the same sweet and gentle smile that she has been wearing since they arrived at the hospital. “It’s okay, I’m such a klutz to always get into accidents.” She twisted a lock of her hair in embarrassment, avoiding Junsu’s gaze as she recalled umpteen other times she ended up with cuts or bruises.
‘Is it normal for my heart to be accelerating?’ Junsu gulped down his saliva nervously. “Do allow me to take care of you at least until the cast is off.”


“Good morning! How are you feeling today?” Junsu chirped as he entered Li Yin’s apartment with bags of grocery. Staring wide-eyed at what Junsu brought, Li Yin struggled to find her voice. “You didn’t have to trouble yourself… I’m sorry…”
“Huh?” Junsu placed the bags on the kitchen counter and looked at her. “You mean these? Don’t worry, I’m a great cook!” he beamed and started loading everything into the refrigerator.
“这么能让客人。。。(How can I let a guest…)” Li Yin looked on helplessly as Junsu familiarized himself with her kitchen, delighted to discover that her kitchen is well-equipped with everything he will need.
“Yolkchunnie, we’re here for lunch!” Junsu carefully pushed Li Yin’s wheelchair as he shouted for his friend. Yoochun stopped halfway clearing the plates as he watched Junsu enter with a lady that he has never seen before. Yoochun cleared his throat and waited for the introductions to come. “This is Li Yin. I bumped into her yesterday while I was leaving and caused her to sprain her leg.” Yoochun stared at Junsu in disbelief. “Li Yin, this is Yoochun. We grew up together. You can call him Yolkchunnie for fun!” Junsu chuckled his signature eunkyangkyang laughter as he made himself at home.
“Yah! No lunch for you, Kim Junsu!”

Lying in bed as she ran through the day’s events in her mind, Li Yin found herself blushing slightly. Junsu is so jovial that everything he does or says is fun and interesting. And he didn’t lie about being a great cook. He did surprise her during dinner when he managed to recreate Chinese homemade dishes to the likeness of her mother’s standards. She occasionally gets homesick and regardless how she tried; she could not find food that was on par with her hometown’s. Lunch was also cheery with the bickering between Junsu and Yoochun. The witticism towards each other just displayed their close friendship. “如果在这里我也有个知心的朋友就好了。(If only I have a close friend here too.)”

Sprawled across the floor, Junsu leafed through the cookbooks and noted recipes to foods that Li Yin might like. “Do you like her a lot?” Junsu’s umma kept her eyes shut as she rocked back and forth in her rocking chair. Junsu dropped his highlighter in shock and looked up. “W-what?”
“I might be old but I can still see, Junsu-ah.”
“It’s too early to tell…” Junsu sat up cross-legged and rubbed his nape. “But she’s a really nice lady…”
“You know what umma always tell you, Junsu. Food is made with your sincerity and people who consume your food will feel it. She will be able to feel your heart.” The rocking chair stopped in its tracks as Junsu’s umma placed a foot on the ground. Rushing over to help her, Junsu carefully helped his umma to her room and tucked her into bed with a kiss on her forehead. “Good night, umma.”


“Congrats for getting the cast off!” Junsu popped open the bottle of champagne.
“Thanks for taking care of me for all these months!” Li Yin smiled. “If it wasn’t because of my injury, I wouldn’t have the fortune to meet you or eat all those tasty food!”
“But that doesn’t mean that now that you’re recovered, I won’t cook for you or meet you again… right?” Junsu looked at her nervously. Li Yin nodded as she tucked into her noodles. Junsu held his breath unknowingly as he waited for Li Yin to taste something more in his cooking. He has always been the one conveying for others, but now it is his turn to convey with his cooking. Could Li Yin tell his message?
“Will you be my girlfriend?” Junsu finally couldn’t take his curiosity. Li Yin’s chopsticks stopped midair as her gaze met his. The corner of her lips tugged into a playful grin, before she burst out giggling. “Why don’t you wait for me to cook you my reply tomorrow?”

This one shot was conceptualized under really hungry conditions – or mad cravings. At about 5am in the morning. Just a couple of days ago I was in hospital treated for food poisoning so right now my appetite hasn’t been the best and I crave for all the unhealthy food to return to my tummy. I guess I must’ve gone mad thinking about food? HAHA!

But this one shot is really something to read and enjoy. No love triangle, no unknown fiancée from nowhere, no revenge, what have you. It revolves a lot around ‘hidden meaning’ and in this case, the heart of the person who cooks. And it touches a little on relationships too. But it’s nothing too deep or dark as you can see. Fluff or comedy or basically anything that’s more laidback, casual, relaxed type of plot is never my forte but I had fun typing this one shot. It might seem a little rushed at the end but if I went too many days in, it’s not gonna be a one shot anymore and it probably will end up with a lot of twists and turns which defeats what I originally planned. I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I did writing!


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