THE LEE TRIPLETS – Part 1
Written by Lolita Choi (@lolita309)
Starring: Lee Sungmin, Lee Hyukjae, Lee Donghae
“Mwo?? Sooman ahjussi and Youngshin ahjumma got car accident on the way to my wedding?? Eomona, eottokhae? How are they now, eomma?” my sister, Ryeoru, demanded. It was only three days after her marriage to Teuki oppa, and we were wondering why didn’t our favorite uncle and aunt come to her wedding, but what we got was only a sad news regarding their absence.
My mother, Sooman ahjussi’s elder sister, only shook her head, unable to even continue speaking because of her cries. My father tightened his grasp on my mother’s hand, and answered for her, “Unfortunately, they couldn’t make it. Your ahjussi and ahjumma were past away yesterday.”
“Eomona, oppa, oppa.” Ryeoru eonni search for her husband. Teuki oppa quickly hugged her, feeling the same guilty she felt. Only because they insisted not to miss their oldest niece’s wedding, they came along from Japan were they lived, but it only brought them tragedy…
I could only cover my mouth with my palm. I didn’t remember much of ahjussi and ahjumma because they left for Japan when I’d been still so little, but every from small amount of memories I had about them—as long as I could remember—were good memories… When they were still in this country, they often came and brought the little me and my sister to the fun park, or any other fun places for kids, things my father couldn’t do because he was too busy with his work as a doctor.
“And… Yora.” My father referred to me. I raised my head. “Sorry, in order to respect this sorrow of our big family, the elders intend to postpone your wedding day to at least next year… We’re sorry, Yora.”
I was surprised at first, but then I shook my head and smiled, “Animnida, appa. I’ll tell Siwon about this, I’m sure he and his family will understand. Our invitations haven’t been spread, though. Fortunately.”
“One more thing,” my father started again. “Your mother insists to have your cousins live here with us since their parents were gone. So the triplets, if according to plan, will come tonight. Jungsoo-ya, Ryeoru-ya, we urge you to stay here the night to welcome them, is that alright?”
Teuki oppa shook his head, “No problem at all, abeonim”
I got nothing from this conversation. Cousins? Did I even have one from Sooman ahjussi?
Ryeoru eonni seemed to understand my expression, “Ah, you must have forgotten, Yora. You were still so small back then. Yes, we have triplet cousins from Sooman ahjussi and Youngshin ahjumma, they’re one year older than you. We used to play together before they moved to Japan.”
Eh? Was it? I couldn’t even remember a thing about them from my childhood memories…
“Eunjyo ahjumma!” two guys greeted my mother at the same time. Well, I guessed that was the only thing made them twins since I didn’t see any more similarities in their appearance. Moreover, while one looked really calm, the other really looked that he had a lot of energy in excess! Hey, my family said they were triplets, where was the other one?
“Sungmin-ah, Hyukjae-ya!” my mother straightly hugged them. “We’re really sorry about you guys’ loss… Stay strong, okay?” she tapped their backs motherly. They shook their heads together with a bit sad face.
My mother caressed their hairs, “Aigoo~ you’ve grown really well, ahjumma almost didn’t recognize you! Ryeoru, Jungsoo, Yora-ya, these are your cousins, Sungmin and Hyukjae. Min, Hyuk, Jungsoo is your Ryeoru noona’s husband.”
“Annyeong!” they said at the same time (again, but this time, one dominated the other. I think I could guess who it is *glance to the one who has lots of energy in excess*). “Lee Hyukjae here, call me Eunhyuk!” the energetic one said.
“Lee Sungmin imnida.” The calm one spoke calmly. “Jungsoo niisan, nice too know you.”
Teuki oppa nodded while giggling. Looked like he was very happy surrounded by a big family like this.
“Ya, just call him ‘hyung’, Sungmin-ah. And never even think to call me neesan, it’s ‘noona’, NOO-NA.” My sister who knew a bit Japanese language—due to her hobby reading manga—interrupted friendly. Aah~ it must be so fun to be an easy going type of person like her… “By the way, one, two… where’s Donghae?” she continued after realizing that there were only two Lee guys in front of her.
“He’ll be late, Ryeoru-ya, working. Donghae has been a cop in Seoul since about six months ago. I think you guys have met… he visited here several times.” My mother answered.
Ryeoru eonni nodded, “I know about that, eomma. You better explain that to Yora, look how clueless she is. Hohoho~” she said while grabbed Sungmin and Hyukjae’s arms, each with one of her hand. “Come on, you guys haven’t eaten, right? Yeobo, you too. Kaja!”
I stared at my mother who was still smiling while looking to her leaving kids, “Eomma~” I called her. She looked at me. “Eomma~ why haven’t I met my cousin if he already lived here for half a year?” was it only me who not knowing anything? Huuuhh~!
“That time, you were still busy as a new intern doctor that you almost never home, honey…”
“Ah, it must be Donghae!” my mother straightly ran toward the door again. “Donghae-ya!”
“Eunjyo ahjumma!” that guy quickly put down his luggage and hugged my mother. Hey, I thought I had ever seen him… but where?? Ah, must be because I’d met the other two triplets. Eventhough the three of them weren’t even looked alike, but they were triplets, right? There must be something similar in them.
“Aigoo~ Donghae-ya, ahjumma really sorry about your loss…” she touched his cheeks compassionately.
Donghae shook his head, “Gamsahaeyo, ahjumma. You’ve said that yesterday when we met at the hospital.” He smiled bitterly.
My mother nodded, but suddenly she raised her head and looked at me, maybe just realized that I was still there too, “Ah, Donghae-ya, this is Yora. You guys haven’t met, right?”
“Annyeonghaseyo… I’m sorry about your loss.” I bowed.
“Annyeong, Yora-ya. Gwaenchanayo, gomawo.” He replied sweetly. “Ah, ahjumma, Sungmin and Eunhyuk—I mean Hyukjae—have arrived, haven’t they?” he looked at my mother.
“Yes, darling. They are eating right now. Come on, you haven’t eaten dinner, right? Yora, you too.”
We then headed to the dining room, where the others already having their main course while chatting noisily, as always whenever Teuki oppa was around and King-of-Manner appa wasn’t around.
“Sungmin-ah, Eunhyuk-ah!” Donghae called as soon as he entered the dining room. His triplets turned their faces at the same time.
“Donghae-ya!” Eunhyuk—I’d told you that they were really different, so it was easy to distinguish which one was who—straightly got up from his seat and hugged him.
Sungmin followed Eunhyuk and hugged his two brothers, tapping their backs brotherly. I could see that he tried so hard holding his tears, unlike his brothers who were already crying now, though silently. My mother couldn’t stand shedding her tears too looking at them. My sister grasped Teuki oppa’s hand tighter, holding her tears.
“Gwaenchana, gwaenchana…” Sungmin said slowly to his triplets. Eunhyuk and Donghae quickly wiped their tears. Sungmin smiled, “Hae-ya, let’s eating together. Look, Eunjyo ahjumma and Ga-eul imo (aunt, same with ahjumma, but ‘imo’ here refer to Park family’s housekeeper) cooked your favorite steamed ribs.”
My mother stared at Sungmin surprised. Ryeoru eonni took the job in explaining, “Yes, eomma. Sungminnie even still remembers Ga-eul imo! Aigo, cutie Sungmin…” she got up from her chair and pulled Sungmin’s cheek.
“Aaang~ Ryeoru neesan~” Sungmin protested.
“Park Ryeoru, come here.” Teuki oppa pulled her back to her seat. We all laughed at the newlyweds and started the dinner again.
“By the way, minna-san (everybody), where’s Gildong ahjussi?” Donghae still hard to put down his Japanese too, I guessed.
My mother touched his hand while answered, “Sudden surgery, dear. You know, your ahjussi’s a cardio specialist now.” She forced a smile. Ah, I knew how it felt to be always left all in a sudden like eomma…
“Um.” Donghae nodded. “Ah, Yora-ya, I heard you’re a doctor too. Are you in the same hospital as ahjussi?”
“Aniyo.” I shook my head. “I serve at the Korea University Hospital.”
“Hontou—ani—jinjja??” Donghae shouted. “I was nursed there six month ago! I was so careless that time that I’d been shot on my first day of work. Hahaha~”
While my family quickly attacked him with lots of question like how could he been shot, why hadn’t he talk about this before, etc., my memory of him straightly back. Of course I felt that I ever saw him, he was the police that got shot together with Siwon in that Dambi girl case, the one I should taken care of!
“Lee Donghae, 24, shot wound on the right shoulder…” I murmured. Once I got my memory back, I would remember everything!
“Eh?” the triplets spoke together noisily. Teuki oppa tried so hard holding his laughter of happiness hearing so much noise in his family life. Poor hungry-of-family-togetherness guy. Note from me: Teuki oppa was the only child in his family and had been living alone since graduated from college because his parents had to manage the branch of their family business in Canada.
“That’s how a doctor tells a patient’s condition. I think she was the one who took care of you when you were nursed at her hospital, Donghae-ya.” Ryeoru eonni (again) took the job of explaining. She was our family’s public relation staff.
“Um.” I nodded. “How’s Dambi-ssi, oppa?” I smiled widely. I’d witnessed their hot kissing scene at the hospital, so they must be a couple. Kekeke~
“Hm? Who’s Dambi-ssi?” Donghae asked me back. Ehh?? “By the way, I’m done.”
“Um, me too.” Sungmin and Eunhyuk said together.
“Okay, I think everybody’s done.” My mother closed our dinner. “Sungmin, Hyukjae, Donghae, your rooms are set already, but mianhada, there are only two rooms left… So I’ll leave to you what formation you would do for the room, okay? I hope that doesn’t affect your comfort living here.”
Donghae and Eunhyuk shook their heads, “Animnida, ahjumma. Formations easily set. It’s Sungmin who’ll sleep alone,” they grinned. “…we, EunHae, are going to sleep together.”
1st born: LEE SUNGMIN
“EunHae—Eunhyuk and Donghae, they made the name themselves—are very close to each other rather than to me indeed. Maybe it’s because they were born within short interval, Eunhyuk the 2nd born, then 2-3 minutes later Donghae the youngest was born. While me, I was born 15-20 minutes before Hyukie, a pretty long interval for twins. That’s the reason behind these formations.” Sungmin answered my question about why they could easily make these room-sharing formations on our way upstairs to their rooms.
“So you’re the first born? I’ve thought about it. You really look like a ‘big brother’, oppa. Very caring.” I praised him. Aigoo~ he was really mature, I could see it from the way he talked. But his calmness… he was too calm that sometimes we just couldn’t guess what was on his mind.
“Haha, gomawo. But have you really forgotten about us? Really, really nothing left about our childhood together?”
I shook my head innocently. He messed my hair caringly, “I heard your wedding is being postponed because of this tragedy, Yora-ya? Mianhae.” I shook my head again on his sorry-making. “But really, 18 years went this extremely fast since we left for Japan. And when I didn’t realize, my 5 years old tearful cousin Yora, has turn into such a girl and will be married soon. Amazing.” He teased.
I pinched his arm playfully, “Meanie!” both of us laughed. “By the way, what do you do in Japan, oppa?”
“I teach musical instruments at one quite big music school in Tokyo.” He answered.
“Jeongmal?” Teuki oppa suddenly popped out from nowhere, he looked excited. “What do you play?”
“I teach guitar, piano, and drum, but I do a bit violin too.” He answered. “Doushite—ani—wae? Do you play instrument as well, niisan?”
“Yeah, I do piano or organ, and Siwon, Yora’s fiancé, can do drum too. Right, Yora?” Teuki oppa made sure. I nodded.
“Whoa~ then let’s have a jam together, someday!” Sungmin said excitedly.
Teuki oppa nodded, “We really should. Ah, by the way, what would you do here in Korea? Are you gonna be teaching again?”
“Yeah, my school has a branch here in Seoul, so I just transferred from Tokyo—“
I left Teuki oppa chatting with my cousin. Music really was the language of the world, poor me who didn’t possess any musical talent. But finally we arrived in front of their rooms.
“Here, there are the pink room and the yellow room, one used to be our playground when we were still kids, do you guys still remember? But after that, for long both used to be Yora’s walk-in-closets—now you know why they have these colors—before appa decided to have these rooms as guests’ rooms…” My sister explained like a museum guide.
“Ah, that two years ago tragedy of Yora, right?” Teuki oppa interrupted, chuckling.
My elder sister nodded, “Hm. The story, I’ll just tell you guys when Yora’s not around. Hahaha~” she glanced to me behind her. I looked at her with a don’t-even-think-about-telling-them-it look. Ryeoru eonni quickly back to the triplets, “We’re sorry again that we haven’t had the time to change their colors like the guys’ rooms. But the paints are still good, right?”
“No problem, noona.” Eunhyuk and Donghae answered together (again). “They’re good. Minnie definitely has the pink room, he really—I mean, REALLY—loves pink. He gotta love it so much.”
The newlyweds and I straightly looked at Sungmin who surprisingly already entered the pink room. Eomona, he really chose it. A very calm, mature, cool guy like him loved pink?