The dates continued. They would meet every Sunday and it had become a routine. Once they were sitting in a cafe. Zeng was twirling a spoon in his Latte when he spoke, "You know, you should give your eyes some rest."
"Hm?" Yul blinked in confusion.
"You keep looking at me," said Zeng without looking up, his chin resting on his palm and an elbow on the table. His eyes twinkled in a mischievous glint.
Yul flushed red as Zeng glanced at him, "Ah, that . . . sorry. I can't help it," he said, rubbing the back of his neck.
Zeng rolled his eyes before going back to his Latte, "Don't act so cute or I'll publically pinch your cheeks, you piggy."
Yul subconsciously leaned back and covered both his cheeks, hiding them from the threatening person. Zeng stifled his laughter that would have otherwise startled the whole cafe and also held his hands in place that so badly wanted to squish those mochi baby cheeks.
They had progressed a bit more over days. Now they could hold hands. It happened one Sunday when they were walking down the park. There were not many people. Yul's fingers accidentally brushed against Zeng's. He immediately retracted so as to not look creepy or come in a bad view of the doctor.
However, Zeng seemed to not mind as he continued walking just like before. The next time their fingers brushed, Yul didn't retract but kept clinging onto Zeng's pinky finger with his own and soon their fingertips grazed on each other's palm, reaching across in a light grip and they were holding hands. From then onwards, they would hold hands whenever nobody was in sight. It was like a little secret they both shared and enjoyed.
Days went by. They would meet on all Sundays, except when Yul's parents visited once a month on the last Sunday. Then they had to wait for two weeks in order to meet again.
The trainees weren't allowed to keep any gadgets so Yul couldn't even call Zeng. Yul would transition from cold to gloomy during those two weeks. Nobody could make out the change, not even his best buddy as Yul had masked it well under that expressionless face of his. However, his mom did notice the change and even asked him about it. Upon confrontation, Yul would just dismiss it as nothing serious or little tiredness from training. The gloominess would continue for the rest of the week till the next Sunday in line.
The long-awaited auspicious day arrived and a smiling Yul was all ready in a nice outfit, all thanks to stylist-nim Subin.
When their names were called from the announcer's cabin, they started climbing down the stairs but Yul stopped Subin from taking a step further as he suddenly remembered something.
"You go through the canteen way," he said, gripping his best friend's arm and pushing him in that particular direction.
Subin frowned, "Why? That's a long cut."
Yul knew it was, that's why he had suggested it. The canteen path was a bypass to the announcer's cabin where most of the relatives including a certain intern would be waiting.
"Just do it," Yul glared, reminiscing Zeng's words of his ideal type. There was no way he was letting Zeng and Subin meet again. Absolutely not!
Subin knew it was useless to try and break through Yul's stubbornness and hence trainee number 86 pouted and left in the opposite direction towards the canteen. Well, problem solved for now!
After reaching the area of the announcer's cabin, when Yul saw Zeng after that long period, he so desperately wanted to engulf him in a bone-crushing hug and whisper sweet words of how he longed to see him those two weeks. But he couldn't do that. Holding hands was all they had reached up till then and that was the limit.
They drove to Zeng's apartment. Both would usually spend half of the day in Zeng's apartment and the other half outside, in the city.
This morning, Zeng had baked some chocolate cupcakes for Yul. As soon as they entered the cozy apartment, Yul was immediately hit by the sugary sweet smell that lingered in the air.
He settled down on the sofa after washing hands as the intern was very cautious about hygiene. Zeng went to the kitchen and came back with two plates of pastries. The baked goodies were dark brown in colour, topped with strawberry; half dipped in chocolate and a bit of dusting of castor sugar.
In their previous visits, Zeng had made sure to ask for any allergies that Yul had. Of course, he didn't want to feed something to the younger guy that would cause a runny nose, itching or even worse, anaphylaxis. Much to his relief, Yul didn't have any.
Extremely delighted at the sight of those cupcakes, Yul's eyes lit up in excitement and delight. Zeng could compare the look on his face with that of a child's.
"Here you go," he said, handing over the plate containing more pastries to Yul, who accepted it with awe and wonder on his face.
"Dig in," Zeng ushered him and Yul took a bite. As soon as the soft pastry touched his tongue, he closed his eyes, savouring the taste, texture and flavour. "Deeleshesh," he complimented through puffed cheeks and a babyish grin. Zeng smiled at that. 'So cute,' he thought.
Yul finished the rest, a total of eight before Zeng could finish his first one. Contented, he slumped back on the sofa and turned to look at Zeng, "Thank you, Zeng ge. They were delicious!"
Zeng picked up the plates, "I am glad that you liked them." He went to the sink and washed the plates. When he came back, he found Yul sleeping with his arms around his folded legs, in an effort to adjust into the small area, his cheek resting on the headrest and a small contented smile on his face. He looked so adorable.
At times like this, Zeng would think why he's not already in a relationship with Yul? What was holding him back? What happened in the past wouldn't be repeated again, right? Yul looked like he would never hurt Zeng and the doctor just hoped it would remain true.