“This… always feels so weird . ”
Jemma grinned as soon as the plane slowly took off . Minjoon smiled . He understood exactly how the girl felt . He felt the same when he first got on a plane .
Things have changed a bit now, of course . He’s had to ride a plane multiple times during the filming of the Hunger Trip . It would be odd if he still felt wonderment when he rode planes . The same went for Kaya . In fact, the woman was closing her eyes with a slight frown on her face .
“I hate planes . I ride them too much . ”
“Kaya, don’t try to downplay Jemma’s moment here . ”
“I’m not doing that, I’m…”
Kaya pouted, and closed her mouth with an annoyed look . Minjoon looked back . He, Kaya and Jemma were taking the three seats on the right side of the plane . Behind them were Grace and Bruce . Surprisingly, there was no one sitting on the third seat for them . Minjoon turned to look at Jemma . It was nice watching her smile like a kid . He opened his mouth .
He put a bit of strength behind his voice, but the girl didn’t hear him . Minjoon stretched out his hand and tapped at the window she was looking out of . The girl turned to look at him with wide eyes . Minjoon smiled .
“It’s your first time traveling outside the country, right?”
“Yeah . ”
“How does it feel?”
“Good . Why are you asking her something so obvious?”
Kaya responded annoyedly . As Minjoon glared at Kaya, Jemma stuttered out her response .
“It’s all good . Being… with my family… and…”
Jemma shrugged with an awkward smile . The girl didn’t really like to speak long sentences because it accentuated her bad pronunciation . She didn’t show it, but it was obvious that she had very painful memories of this . Minjoon could also tell that Jemma felt a little awkward when she talked about family . It wasn’t hard to find out why .
‘Probably dealing with Bruce . ’
Kaya and Jemma were put in two different situations here . Kaya and Bruce were blood related, but that wasn’t the case for Jemma . Kaya found her blood related father, and Grace found her old husband . But Jemma wasn’t even able to figure out what to call this new person in her family . As a matter of fact, Minjoon’s never seen Jemma call Bruce ‘dad’ ever so far .
Bruce probably felt similarly . He didn’t even know what Jemma felt about all of this either . Not only that, he was still working things out with Kaya and Grace . It wasn’t strange that the man didn’t have time to establish a relationship with Jemma .
‘What can I do about this?’
The thought actually lasted for quite some time . Kaya eventually fell asleep, and Jemma was busy looking out the window . Their little time of relaxation ended when the stewardice arrived with their meal .
“Today’s meal is a choice between mushroom risotto and chicken steak . What would you like?”
“I’ll take risotto . What do you want, Jemma?”
“Uhm… . Chiken, please . ”
“I’ll skip, thank you . “
Minjoon turned to look at Kaya, who muttered quietly to him .
“Plane food doesn’t taste good . I don’t want it . ”
“…Well, I guess you ate plenty of it in the past . ”
“And still eating them . Every time I go out of the country . ”
Kaya shook her head dejectedly . Plane food must taste horrible to people with sensitive tongues like her . She might have a better time eating roasted onions instead . Minjoon could understand how Kaya felt when his food came .
“How’s that risotto?” Kaya asked .
“This isn’t a risotto… it’s just porridge . ”
“…It’s been a while since you asked me that . 5 . ”
Minjoon answered calmly . He remembered getting touched the first time he ate jambalaya on a plane . He was touched that plane food could be so good .
‘I wonder if I’d feel that amount of happiness if I eat that jambalaya again?’
Probably not . The Minjoon then and the Minjoon now were two completely different people . He’s tried too many good foods at this point . He was able to make them, even . His standards for food were way too high .
‘To think I can’t enjoy food because I know too much about it…’
How odd . Minjoon turned to look at Jemma . The girl probably felt similarly . Despite the fact that Kaya succeeded and she got out of poverty, that didn’t necessarily mean that she was happy . Grace met her past husband, and Kaya was fulfilling her dreams . But Jemma hasn’t done anything . She hasn’t even overcome her disabilities . Minjoon couldn’t even begin to imagine how the girl felt . The only thing he could do was to try to be kind to her .
“How is it, Jemma? Tasty?”
“Yeah . Really soft, not tough . I like it . ”
“That’s good . ”
“No thanks . I’m happy with this . ”
Minjoon smiled . Jemma cut the chicken with some effort and looked out the window . She looked at the clear blue sky in front of her as she opened her mouth .
“I didn’t think I’d be able to see something like this . ”
“Wel… New York was my world . I thought I would just die there . ”
Minjoon turned to look at Kaya . He sighed . She was sleeping . If she heard what Jemma said right now, she would’ve gotten really mad . Minjoon looked at Jemma with an angry look .
“Don’t say something like that . No life ends so pointlessly as long as you don’t give up . ”
“How ar you so sure?”
“I’ve given up, and I’ve gotten back up again from that state before . ”
“…But I’m diferent . I can’t even speek English that well . ”
There was an incredible amount of self-hate he could hear in that voice . Minjoon looked at the girl calmly . But the girl didn’t look back . She just looked out the window depressedly .
“Jemma, I can’t understand all the hardships you went through . I can’t even imagine the amount of pain you had to endure . But I can say this . I gave up on my dreams once . I’ve made up countless excuses to justify it . How do you think I felt about my excuses when I got a dream again?”
“…I dun know . ”
“That all of those excuses were bullshit . The moment I decided to follow my dream, I learned that what seemed like walls were actually just stairs . ”
“But… I dun even know what I want to do . ”
“That’s why we’re here . ”
Minjoon extended his hand . He smiled when the girl grabbed his hand .
“We’ll be there for you no matter what you want to do . We’ll be your support if you feel like you can’t walk forward . But you need to do the walking yourself . ”
“…Can I do it?”
“You’re much more powerful than you think, Jemma . I don’t like you because you’re Kaya’s sister . It’s because you’re a good person . So stop hating yourself, Jemma . Only bad people hate people . Even if the one they hate is themselves . ”
Jemma didn’t respond for a while . She seemed to be thinking about a lot of things . The girl ended up just closing her mouth after saying thank you . By the time her breathing started slowing down, someone spoke to Minjoon .
“Thanks for putting it that way . ”
“…You were awake?”
Minjoon turned to look at Kaya . The woman frowned before responding quietly .
“I couldn’t make it obvious that I was awake . Jemma would’ve hated it if she learned I heard that . ”
“Don’t worry about her too much . She can do it . She’s a good kid . ”
“Yeah, I know that . But I can’t tell her myself . I can’t be a person who lectures Jemma, but someone who always supports her . ”
Minjoon didn’t correct her . He sort of knew what she was trying to imply . Jemma was being pained practically every day, so Kaya probably didn’t want to be the one to lecture the poor girl . Kaya looked at Jemma for a second before leaning on Minjoon’s shoulder .
“Thanks for being there for us . ”
“Why would you be? You’re there for me too . ”
“You must also feel that much thankful though . ”
“Yeah, that’s true . ”
Minjoon nodded with a smile .
“Jemma was always like homework to me . Someone who I always needed to take care of . I’ve never disliked her though . Because I loved her . ”
“It’s amazing . It’s hard to be that responsible at such a young age . ”
“But I’ve never actually given the girl a chance to walk by herself . I just kept putting the girl on my back and… I’m so sorry that I did that . ”
“Don’t be . You’re a very nice sister . A very nice daughter, and a perfect girlfriend . ”
Kaya let out a small laugh . She looked around before continuing .
“Thank goodness the cameraman isn’t here . We wouldn’t be able to talk about this if he was here . ”
“This is exactly why I told him not to follow us to Korea . We need our own time . It’s stressful knowing that we’re always being watched . ”
“Definitely . ”
Kaya smiled . She shrugged playfully .
“It does feel appreciative that someone’s recording my life though . All of our memories are being preserved through the television . ”
“Fair enough . You did like rewatching Grand Chef a few times . Don’t worry though . A few people will try to talk to us in Korea whether you like it or not . ”
“Are we that famous in Korea?”
“More than you might think . ”
Kaya looked confused . She had no idea how popular they were . But her curiosity didn’t last long . After just a few hours in the airport… They were greeted with countless camera flashes .
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