And so it happened. An hour later Onew and Renee were ready. Onew breathed as he realized he was taking one step forward, one step closer to helping her get out of this whole she had fallen in. He smirked at the thought that he would see her smile, for real this time. He hadn't seen her wide happy smile in a while. And also at the thought that he was coming closer to her. From simple smalltalk to trying to help her...
Renee had a window open. She breathed in some fresh air, like she was somehow trying to take in some sort of freedom. She kept thinking how in just a few seconds of Onew standing in front of her she had decided to give herself a chance to have a little fun. And deep inside she knew that she would never leave that floor if anyone else asked her to. What was it with this guy? She grabbed her bag and opened the door. Onew was standing there with his hand in mid air, ready to knock on the door.
His lips broke into a small smile she hadn't really seen before. Onew looked at her as her hair was falling on her shoulders.
"Hi!... You look nice." he said still with that different but charming smile on his face.
"Thanks... You look really nice too" Renee replied trying not to blush.
"My friends will meet us at the entrance..." he said and pointed down.
"Let's go then..." she replied.
Renee had much more fun than she expected that night. She had seen Onew's friends once or twice in the building and they were always polite and smiley. That night she found out how truly amazing they were. Kind and smart, funny and discreet. She also saw a side of Onew she hadn't seen up to that night. She observed the interaction with his friends, and that was the best part for her. Because as they were all having fun with each other, she was having fun too.
She saw that Key laughs a lot, he seems like a really happy person, and Taemin definitely is into dancing. The beats coming from stores or cafés nearby always seem to make him wanna dance. Jonghyun also smiles a lot and hums songs a lot. He knows and sings along to almost every song he hears. Minho at first looks serious but his eyes are enough of a smile when he says hello, and he's always hugging his friends. Like they're brothers. First Key or Onew, then Jonghyun and of course the youngest Taemin. And every few minutes starts all over again.
Onew was always walking besides her. His head high and his smile wide. His laugh loud but his eyes always watching over his friends like an older brother. At times he was all funny and giggly but at times she would see a serious face she hadn't seen before. He didn't look mad, or sad. It was a face she could not really describe but it felt like she could see the real him. Kind, mannered, composed... with a heart made of gold. Just like an angel would be.
They all went by the guys' favorite café where they stayed for a while and talked. Then hour passed quickly as they walked a bit around the city, window shopping and talking. Feeling a little hungry they went to a pizza place Renee knew, and after they left they decided to pass by a street market. It's one of the busiest in town. They started walking through it. It was a really crowded place. A man who seemed to be in a real hurry bumped with force right into Renee when passing her by, making her spin two times. He didn't even stop to say he's sorry.
Renee took a few steps back and nearly got lost as she couldn't find the right direction. She looked for Onew and his friends but she couldn't see them anywhere. But then someone behind her took her hand. It was Onew. He smiled and lead her though the crowd towards the rest of his friends. They were all standing next to a toy claw machine. Taemin wanted to try and win something, he was still young anyway so his hyungs didn't really resist.
Three ties later, and even though the crane was quite big, Taemin had nothing in his hands. Seeing the disappointment on the younger boy's face, the others decided to give it a try. First Minho and then Jonghyun, who both failed. Then Key who almost got a Spongebob plushie but it fell back to the pile.
"You should try doing it hyung!" Jonghyun said.
"Yeah, you're pretty much the best at this!" Minho added.
"Please?" Taemin said pouting cutely almost like a little kid.
Onew just made his way to the machine, dropped in the coins and tried. He failed once and then again.
"See? I'm not good at this at all!" he said laughing as he tried for the third time.
"You can do it!" Renee encouraged him standing right next to him, and that looks like it worked because right then Onew managed to grab not one, but two small plushies with the crane.
"Yaaaaay! You made it!" Taemin said raising his hands in mid air. "Panda is mine!" he said right when Onew dropped the plushies in the drop hatch. The younger grabbed both plushies, keeping the panda to himself and giving the other one, a bunny plushie, to Onew.
"Can we go home now that you got your toy?" Key nagged playfully and Taemin slightly pushed him in the same playful way, as they all once again started walking away and out of the street market.
"Ya! What am I supposed to do with that?!" Onew asked. Taemin shrugged in response with a childlike smile.
Onew kept looking at the plushie in his hand. He looked once at Renee who's eyes were wandering around the stores. She looked content, maybe a bit happy. He hadn't seen that in a while and he smiled as he realized he made it. He actually managed to put a real smile on her beautiful face.
After a few minutes of walking, Onew's friends started leaving one by one. First Minho and then Jonghyun said their goodnights and headed home. Then Key and Taemin left together since they actually live close to each other. So Onew was left alone with Renee. They were now walking by a small park that's close to their apartment building.
"Would you like to walk through the park?" Onew asked politely.
"Okay." Renee replied.
Silence fell between them as they were walking through the park. Only sound made was the one of their shoes on the pavement. Onew's head was now low, which made Renee wonder.
"Onew... what are you thinking?" she asked softly.
"You." Onew answered with no second thought. "and Daesuk..." he added almost like he didn't want to say that guy's name.
Renee didn't reply but truth was that Daesuk was in her mind too.
"When is it going to stop Renee?" Onew said stopping under a light post. "I can't even stand the idea that he's gonna hurt you again. Because he's gonna do it. We both know he is."
"It's gonna be alright Onew." she tried to reassure him moving in close. "I'm still here right? I'm a survivor. I'll be okay. And Daesuk is gonna come to his senses, I know. Please stop worrying about me."
"How far will things have to go?" he asked as he saw her starting to walk again. "You should have left him... or at least reported him!". He paused. Renee was not moving, just staring at the pavement.
"Please promise me that next time you'll fight back." he said.
She just turned and looked at him.
"Promise me that the next time he tries to lay one hand on you... you'll fight back. Please don't let him hurt you again because I swear I'm gonna..." Onew said but was stopped by Renee's hand gently touching his cheek.
"Onew... I promise... I will." Renee said looking straight into his small brown eyes. His face instantly softened, turning again to the calm Onew she knew. "Let's go home..." she said.
"Wait... I think you should keep this..." he said extending his arm and giving her the bunny plushie he was holding up to that moment. "Something to always remind you of tonight..."
"Like I was ever going to forget..." she said smiling and took the plushie. "Thank you..." she said. She then arm hugged him and started walking. Onew breathed, having already forgotten about his anger towards Daesuk.
They got home a few minutes later. Onew stopped at his door and Renee walked towards hers.
"Thanks for everything Onew..." she said smiling at him. "I had a really great time tonight... and your friends are really great too." she added now taking a couple of steps towards him. "And thank you for caring so much about me... even though you really don't have to..."
"Don't even mention it. I mean, I live next to you... If I don't care about you who will?" he replied putting on his friendly face.
"Have I told you you're an angel?" she said right before reaching and planting a soft kiss on his left cheek. She then walked back to her door. "Goodnight." she said and entered her apartment waving the little bunny at him.
Onew managed to look at her and smile at her ''goodnight'' just so he wouldn't seem impolite. He then managed to get his heart back to it's normal pace and to unfreeze his body from where it was. ''Have I told you you're an angel?'' her question ringed in his head.
"Yes Renee... yes you have..."