They say that time heals all.
Three years has passed now. Slowly but surely, the old Soo-won was back in her life. He still comes to visit Yona sometimes, spending time with her. He still treasured their friendship, after all. "I hope nothing will change much between us, Yona," he told her one day. "If you ever need me, I'll always come to you."
Their parents accepted their decision over the years, as they were no longer children to decide for themselves. It had been especially hard for Yona, but after years of defiance, her parents finally realized that they couldn't force their daughter in the path they wanted.
Hak does his best to catch the favor of her parents' eyes, even as Yona kept on telling him that she will run away with him should her parents refuse their future marriage.
Lili was devastated about the news. Nevertheless, she befriended Hak after a lot of suspicious glares she threw after him. "If you ever hurt Yona, I'll punch you in the face," she had told him one day.
That summer, Hak took Yona out to the sea. They were welcomed with the cries of the seagulls, and the wind blowing warmly on their merry faces. Standing at the edge of the cliff, they watched the far horizon as the waves crashed on the shore far below.
"Yona, are you happy with me?" Hak asked her.
Yona giggled at his question. "What kind of question was that? Of course, I am!"
Taking both her hands in his, he turned to face her. Yona watched as he kneeled on one of his knees. "What are you doing Hak? Stand up."
He let go of her right hand and pulled a small box from his pocket. He opened it and watched her face solemnly, waiting for her reaction.
Seated on the box was a ring – a beautiful golden one with a ruby on top, shimmering like a scorching flame.
"It's beautiful!" Yona blurted as she tried to touch the ring, but Hak immediately pulled it away from her reach.
"You do realize that the moment you accept this, there's no turning back?" he said.
"What do you mean?" Yona's brows wrinkled.
Hak steeled himself, mustering his courage. "Yona…will you marry me?"
"What?" Yona gasped then covered her mouth. She stared at him for a long time, which made Hak drop a sweat from his temple. "I'll think about it," she finally said.
"I'm kidding!" Yona exclaimed as she jumped at him in a tight embrace, making Hak almost lose his balance.
"Y-you mean yes?" he whispered as he wrapped his arms around her. "Final answer?"
In his joy, Hak stood up and spun her around, just like the first moment when he first saw her with her father. With Yona still hazy, he caught her lips and kissed her passionately, as a flock of seagulls flew overhead, cheering for the two lovers.
He took the ring out of the box then kissed it, whispering something before he placed it in her finger.
"What was that?" Yona asked as she eyed the ring.
"It's a spell," he said.
"A spell? What for?"
"A blessing for the wearer," he said. "So that we may live in joy and peace all our lives."
"You sound like a priest," Yona told him. "Thank you for this, Hak! I will treasure it forever."
And they spent the whole day running through the shore, the summer sun smiling down at them. Her ring glinted in her finger, the spell casted upon it now taking effect.
"I hate autumm."
Yona turned her eyes on her son - a boy of five, with hair as black as raven, and eyes the color of the deep ocean. He looked so much like his father. They had named him Natsu, which means Summer. "Why so?"
"I don't know, Mommy. Are we there yet?"
Yona giggled softly as they walked through the courtyard, hand in hand. "Not yet, but we'll be there soon."
After a time, they arrived beside the pond. The plum tree smiled at them, its red and orange leaves very pleasant to the eyes of passersby.
"This is the place where your Daddy and I used to meet before." How many years has it been, since she had last come to this place? Yet it looked the same as before.
She sat down on the soft grass, gathering her son on her lap. "Your Daddy and I met during Autumn."
Natsu stared at the plum tree curiously. "The tree's smiling down on us, Mommy."
Yona gazed at the tree, then to the heavens. Somehow, she smiled.
"May I join you two?" a man spoke behind them.
Yona peered over her shoulder and smiled. "Sure, Soo-Won. Come sit with us."
Soo-Won smiled back and sat down beside them. "Come here, Natsu." Natsu climbed off his mother and sat on Soo-Won's lap. "You've grown heavier," he said as he stroked his hair.
"Mommy makes me eat lots of food."
Soo-Won chuckled. "Your Mommy used to complain the same thing when she was younger."
"What!" Yona blurted. "Well, whatever."
"I missed you, Uncle Soo-Won," Natsu said, staring up at him.
"How sweet." Soo-Won hugged him. "I missed you, too."
"You should visit us more often, Soo-Won," Yona said. "And bring lots of candies for Natsu too."
"Sure, I will."
"Am I late to the party?" another voice joined them.
"Daddy!" Natsu ran to his father. Hak welcomed his son with arms so wide and lifted him off the ground.
"You were late, Daddy," Yona commented. "We've been waiting for you."
Hak sat down on Yona's other side, with Natsu in his arms, clinging to his neck. "Sorry, Daddy's late."
"The weather is nice today," Yona said. "Perfect for a picnic." Then an idea came to her, and she stood up all of a sudden. "We'll have a picnic right here! Wait for me, I'll just go and get some food." And Yona stormed off.
"Mommy's so hyper, isn't she?" Hak told his son. "By the way, Lord Soo-Won, I hope we're not disturbing you."
"Oh no," Soo-Won replied, smiling. "It's fine. I wanted to join you."
Yona came back minutes later, carrying baskets of cloth, apples and cakes, and all sorts of food.
"There we go," Yona said as she eyed the picnic set up. "I just hope Lili would hurry up! I met her on my way to the kitchen and invited her."
As if Lili has heard Yona, they heard a woman's voice call from afar. Running towards them was Lili herself, panting and sweating. "Sorry, I'm late."
And they had their picnic there under the plum tree, talking and laughing about many things.
Natsu watched amused at the way the adults talk to each other. Mommy and Auntie Lili were laughing heavily until their bellies ached, while Daddy and Uncle Soo-Won sat listening to the women's stories, nodding their heads here and then, and sometimes commenting, but smiling all the same.
Yona savored the moments, for times like these were precious, and should not be wasted, but must be kept in a tightly-sealed jar, locked heavily inside the deepest chamber in her heart.
She turned her gaze to the sky and smiled, smiling back at the gods, who have given her so much favor.
Oh so you made it this far!
Yes I know, it seemed as if the ending was a bit rushed, but I will go back and edit this story some other time.