”This is bad,” Chanyeol mutters under his breath, glancing from a lonely crooked bus stop sign to the bus that is quickly receding down the road. About five minutes ago, Chanyeol had still been on the bus, awoken suddenly on the backseat and panicking when he had realized he’d missed his intended stop at Yanggu town. Chanyeol had quickly stumbled to the driver asking him to drop him off at the nearest bus stop, but now, surrounded by nothing but rice fields and wooded mountains, Chanyeol thinks maybe he should’ve just sat on the bus until the next bigger town.
Right now he is quite literally in the middle of nowhere all alone. Some people might have freaked out in the similar situation but Chanyeol had been backpacking around Korea for a month already and had learned to deal with surprising situations quite well during that time. So he only shrugs, shoulders his backpack, picks up his guitar case and starts walking to the opposite direction the bus had gone. He thinks he’s seen them passing some sort of village before the bus had dropped him off. There have to be some people living in this godforsaken place, too.
This particular godforsaken place is really beautiful. Chanyeol lets his gaze wander around the mountains and fields spreading around him. The sun is already starting to sink behind the mountains, which Chanyeol is thankful of since the weather is cooling down.
After walking a couple of minutes he starts spotting farms and houses among the fields, and couple of minutes more takes him to a crossing. A sign to left reads Songuri 1 and that sounds like the best bet in his situation. There has to be someone in Songuri that will let him sleep on their couch, Chanyeol thinks.
Songuri turns out to be a very small and sleepy rural municipality and Chanyeol can feel his endless optimism crumble a bit when he walks through what he assumes to be the center of the village. Most of the stores and restaurants have actually closed already, even though it’s only around 8pm, and there are almost no people around. Countryside…
Chanyeol slouches forward and then his heart jumps at the sight of a convenience store sign at the nearest street corner. He hurries to the store, only to find it dim and very much closed. Incredulous, Chanyeol reads the A4 paper taped on the glass door. We close at 8PM tonight, sorry for the inconvenience.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Chanyeol huffs. Momentarily at a loss of what to do, he drops down on a bench in front of the store. Now it’s really starting to get dark, the sun down behind the mountains and the neighborhood so quiet it’s almost disturbing. Chanyeol is starting to wonder whether he needs to spend his night on the very bench. It wouldn’t be the first time for him to sleep outside but he would still like to avoid it if he could.
Fighting with the growing uneasiness, Chanyeol reaches out for his guitar case and picks up his guitar on a whim. He plucks the strings softly, and instantly feels better when the darkening night is filled with the tunes. He plays bits and pieces of his favourite songs, humming lowly along here and there. Playing fills him with determination again. This is part of the adventure, Chanyeol tells himself. Spending the night in front of a convenience store in a mountain village.
Chanyeol is just starting with some Red Hot Chili Peppers, when he lifts his gaze and sees a boy with a bicycle standing nearby, watching him. Chanyeol feels himself jumps and stops playing at once. The stranger also seems a bit taken aback by Chanyeol noticing him, and he hurries to bow.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. I just got curious when I heard the guitar.”
Unable to find his voice, Chanyeol just sheepishly shakes his head. When the first jolt is gone, it’s replaced with curiosity and a tiny bit of hope. The boy seems around his age and Chanyeol sees him eyeing the backpack and guitar case.
“Are you... coming or going?”
“Both, I guess,” Chanyeol says and chuckles at the confused look on the boy’s face. “I’m backpacking around and slept past my actual stop on a bus earlier, and now I’m preparing to spend my night on this bench because everything’s closed and there’s no one around here.”
The boy’s eyebrows shoot up. “Wow.”
Chanyeol gives the boy a quick once-over: knee-length jean shorts, white t-shirt, light brown hair that fell on the eyes. He’s very cute. And apparently there to save Chanyeol’s night, because he says:
“If you’d like, you can come and spend the night at my grandparents’ house. They live about a kilometer that way,” the boy points.
“That would be amazing,” Chanyeol says weakly, and the boy smiles at him. He has a very nice smile, too.
Chanyeol can’t quite believe his amazing luck when packing his guitar, picking up his things and following the boy along the empty road. Angels are real after all.
mousapelli, you're up!