Instead of blue napkins, the clerk handed him yellow. Minseok breathed in, counted to ten, and breathed out. He distinctly remembered ordering blue napkins over the phone. He never would have ordered yellow, of course. Yellow matched nothing in their house, let alone the French colonial themed dining room. Pale yellow tended to show stains too easily, besides.
“But it says on the order form you ordered yellow,” the clerk insisted, scoring the relevant line on the print out with his thumbnail. Minseok blinked. It did indeed say yellow, and there was his name printed in the top left corner along with the date he had placed the order via phone call.
Note to self to order everything online from now on, Minseok thought. He frowned, reaching for his wallet with reluctant fingers. “Fine, I’ll pay for these. But I need you to place an order for the same linen set but in blue, please. Express shipping.”
Even with two day shipping it was going to be a gamble whether or not the proper color would arrive in time, but Minseok sucked in his breath when the clerk quoted some ridiculously steep price for the expedited delivery, then nodded. It was worth it. Surprising Lu Han with the most perfectly planned graduation party was worth it. It wasn’t everyday a member of the family graduated with a Ph.D., after all.
Minseok sucked in another sharp breath when his phone began to ring just as the clerk was swiping his card. He cringed a bit at the chirpy sound. His last phone call hadn’t gone so successfully. “Hello?”
“Minseokkie?” The sound of Lu Han’s voice, still rough around the edges with sleep but somehow perkier than Minseok had ever felt before noon on a Saturday, softened the tension in Minseok’s shoulders. He stuffed the receipt in the bag the clerk handed him and nodded in thanks as he headed for the parking lot. “Where are you?”
“Uh, out. Just running a few errands. Did you want anything from Kroger?” Minseok unlocked the trunk with one hand and chucked the bag of unwanted napkins inside. Then he thought better of it and grabbed a spare Walmart sack floating in the back to envelope the Party City bag. Just in case Lu Han got nosy and started poking around in Minseok’s car.
He usually had a sixth sense about these things, sniffing it out whenever Minseok had something special up his sleeve. But Minseok had been counting on Lu Han being too preoccupied with prepping for his upcoming defense to be suspicious.
“Uh, no, that’s okay. Oh wait!”
Minseok paused, key already in the ignition of his Camry. “Yes?” he hummed, smiling in anticipation for Lu Han’s request. It was usually always green tea ice cream bars from Lucky Market, or the tooth rotting jelly beans from the Kroger candy aisle. Minseok wasn’t a fan of either sweet but Lu Han’s tastes had been growing on him the longer they lived together and shared everything from toothpaste to tea bags.
“Coffee grounds? From Figaro’s, pretty please? We’re almost out of the regular stuff anyway, and I’ve got some late nights coming up.”
“No problem,” Minseok said as he started the car.
“Really?” Lu Han’s voice brightened in relief, as if he could sound any perkier than he already did, regardless of his already sleep deprived state.
“Anything for you,” Minseok said and winked at himself in the rear view mirror. He meant it. If he could shell out for special delivery napkins just to match the disposable plates he’d ordered for the surprise party, he could drive a few minutes out of the way to restock Lu Han’s favorite artisan roasted grounds. “See you when I get home.”
“See you! Thanks, bye!”
Minseok smiled all the way home. Totally worth it, for Lu Han.
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