Chapter Three: The Mom Learns of Hate and the Hidden Devil Lives in his Kingdom of Worshippers


            “Wake up, Jaejoong.” A woman kept yanking his arm.


            Stretching his other arm, Jaejoong murmured, “N-no, let me go. I don’t want to cook today, Changmin.” Then, he screamed once he felt like a boulder had squished his back. “What the—“


            He turned to find Ami choking on her giggles while rolling off of the bed to dress. “You should really move out some time if the guys are still causing you grief.” She started to button the blouse that she had retrieved from the floor.


            Jaejoong rubbed his eyes with his palms and groaned, “Stop saying that. You know that none of us will move out any time soon.”


            Slipping on her stockings, she laughed. “Well, you can’t keep sleeping over at my place . . . when you want. It’s been . . . what? Seven years and you’re still there because of some silly promise you—“


            “It’s not a silly promise.”




            “It is. I mean, you guys made this pact in what . . . elementary school and now none of you can move out until all of you guys are settled down?” 


            He sighed. How many times had they gone through this argument? Maybe, it was unfair for him to always stay over at Ami’s place, but it wasn’t suitable to bring a girl home to his household. The other boys would all know what Ami and he had done the night before. 


“Oh Jaejoong,” Ami was now neatly dressed for work and with a coffee mug in her hand, she reminded him, “I’ll be busy coordinating a photo shoot these days, so I’ll call you when I’m free.”


“Sure.” He sat up, scratching his bedridden hair.


“Yeah, don’t forget to lock the door this time,” she uttered before leaving.


That phrase didn’t seem right to his ears. He had always remembered to lock the door and in fact, double checked to see if it had been locked. Then, he scoffed. It must have been her new fling. 


Typical Ami


Actually, he wouldn’t have been surprised anymore. Since the start of their relationship, they had agreed to casually date, meaning that they could see other people as well. Why? Well, they were never believers in love; they preferred believing that there were suitable mates in the world. Worst off, they could just end up being together, get married some day, and eventually age together. Of course, none of the boys knew this casual component of their relationship. They had all assumed that Ami and Jaejoong were built to last and had even admired how fortunate Jaejoong was to find such a lovely girl.


“Oh, fuck!” Jaejoong had glimpsed at the blood red digits flashing from Ami’s clock. He was already thirty minutes late to a conference. 

Great, what a wonderful way to start the morning.

“I’m sorry!” Jaejoong was panting down the hallway when he spotted his manager with a girl that he had never seen before. When he looked closer, however, he pointed his finger at her and hollered, “You! You . . .”


He would have used all those synonyms associated with disgust, yet he managed to stop himself from blurting them by almost hyperventilating.


The woman furrowed her eyebrows. “You know . . . me?”


“You!” 


He clenched his fists in fury. He couldn’t believe it. This lady had forgotten about everything that happened at the club. Vomit had flown from her fat mouth and onto his most prized suit. Even if she had suffered from memory loss, he would never forgive her. She never even apologized in the first place. All she did was vomit more on him even after he had furiously shouted at her. He already considered her lucky that he hadn’t thrown a punch at her. Actually, he should have. Men and women were extremely equal on his terms. 


This lady . . . was purely annoying.


He had already harbored a deep hatred for this woman. He remembered every single detail about her, from her approximate weight to the dimple that rested to the left side of her lower lip. He remembered telling Yoochun that if he were ever to see her again, he would torture her . . . literally. While describing all the methods of pain Jaejoong would inflict on her, Yoochun ogled at his glass of wine thinking that he was fortunate that Jaejoong didn’t hate him. Who knew a male’s repugnance could become as wicked as the green-eyed monster, jealousy?


The more Jaejoong stared at her, the more he treated her as a nuisance. She did not have luscious hair that could entice any viewer. She did not have large, doe-like eyes that could capture the attention of an impatient male suitor. She did not have skin that resembled Snow White. Instead, she was blessed with healthy-looking, tanned skin. She did not have any moles that could be regarded as beauty moles; they were merely flat freckles dispersed sporadically on her cheeks and nose. She did not possess soft lips or smooth hands. The only noticeable trait of hers was her high-bridged, pointed nose. Besides that point, she could have been known as Plain Jane. 


At least that rhymed.


“Did I . . . do something to you?” she muttered nervously. 


            He almost succumbed to temptation, the temptation of shrieking at her face, but his mind had already connected with the word, torture. Yes, he smiled deviously. There was going to be torment, pain and suffering.


Yes, he would rip her apart with his power. He would take advantage of the legend claiming that he guaranteed fame for his celebrity clients with his spectacular make-up artistry to destroy her. This lady would become his client and everything would fall accordingly to his plans.


 “No.” Jaejoong then beamed his most genuine grin. “Not at all. In fact, you enchant me. Your beauty can challenge that of Aphrodite’s.”


Work for Changmin was anything, but difficult. He just needed to smile at a few jokes and all the ladies’ knees would become frail and shaky. Shim Changmin was born lucky, blessed with charming features and a sharp mind. His face was immaculately chiseled, defining his Greek nose, and uneven set eyes. His eyes were particularly unusual for one had a double-eyelid crease, whereas the other did not. They were, however, disproportionately charming and somehow balanced out his flat lips, which seemed to form a straight line whenever he refused to smile. 


Unfortunately, perfection stopped short when it came to his attitude for work. He was never ambitious, so he hadn’t accepted a position at their family’s highly ranked academy. He enjoyed the simple life, so he loved being a high school teacher. He never had to complete much administrative work, which was what his parents urged him to do. He, instead, taught his favourite subject, math. Plus, he wasn’t just a teacher; he was a teacher at an all girls’ school. 


That made his life even better. Girls were easier to satisfy than boys because females adored his face, meaning that they never caused trouble in front of him. They practically worshipped the land on which he graced. They brought offerings to him in the form of sweets, which were hard to resist. Occasionally, the students would even act as sacrifices, which he definitely refuted and even had to escape at times. He wasn’t evil in that sense.


As he headed to the staff room, he spotted a crowd hovering over something, or rather someone. 


“New teacher,” the biology teacher, Nishio Ken, explained. He was the only one to greet Changmin, which was normal for they were the only teachers around each other’s age. 


“Must be young then,” Changmin muttered before making his way to the snack bar. 


Ken placed his arm around Changmin and leaned in to ask, “You’re not curious at all? You don’t even want to see her face?”


Reaching for a banana in a fruit bowl, Changmin remarked, “I’d rather eat this than waste my time seeing someone.” 


“Aren’t you a sour lemon?” a voice chirped from behind Changmin. He turned to find a tall, attractive lady pursing her lips at him, taunting him. 


He recognized this stranger. Well, he had to have recognized her. During their staff meeting, she was the only new teacher who happened to be young . . . and female. “Where’s your troop?” he asked in demeaning manner.


“I left them for you, just so I can see who’s being a sour lemon.” She grinned widely and extended her hand forward. 


Changmin, who had already peeled his banana, took a bite before asking, “Is this your way of saying hello?”


“No, it’s actually most people’s way.” Again, she flashed a smile, making Changmin feel uneasy. 


“Well, from what I’ve learned, when people say hello to an elder, they bow slightly,” he responded and licked the remnants of his banana off of his fingers before checking his watch. It was exactly 4:05 pm, which meant that it was time for him to depart. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a ride to catch.”


He strolled too carelessly without ever contemplating. There wasn’t much to think about, except for the new teacher that he had met. She had an attractive figure, but she reminded him too much of a vase: observable, but untouchable. If ever a hand were laid on such a vase, it would shatter to pieces and he would have to be the one sweeping the mess off of the ground.


He was about to cross the school’s front gate when he felt a girl’s body roughly brush against his arm. In fact, she was stumbling and shuffling her feet just to carry her body’s weight forward. From one look, he had noted that this girl was of average height, an inch above his shoulders, with long, straight pigtails that rested on her shoulders. 


He was tempted to ask if she was okay, but he was surrounded by a hoard of hormone-loaded teenage girls, who kept shrilling, “Sensei! Sensei!” 


Their hands were prowling and clawing his blazer. One even hooked her arm with his. He wasn’t sure what to do until Yoochun shouted from his silver Porsche sports car, “Yeah, are you coming or not?”


Changmin chuckled upon seeing the frowns of the teenage girls from the corner of his eye. He could guess what they were pondering. A few were probably glad to see Yoochun since he wasn’t that bad looking. Those who hadn’t seen Yoochun probably questioned his identity, whereas those that had seen Yoochun wanted to know what his status was in Changmin’s life. Why was Yoochun picking up Changmin from school every day? That was the option that made Changmin smirk as he strolled towards the black car. 


“Thanks, Yoochun.” He slammed the car door.


“Be gentle with my baby,” Yoochun snarled, “and, what was that devious smile for? Your smiles are always up to no good.”


“Oh, nothing.” Changmin buckled his seatbelt. “I just love to make those little birds ponder.”
“What little birds?” a voice from the back inquired.


Changmin almost jumped up when he heard that voice. “Fuck, Junsu!” Changmin grumbled. “Don’t freak me out like that!”


“Sorry. I just came with Yoochun because I needed a ride.”


“What happened to your ride?” Changmin asked. 


Junsu had a car, unlike Changmin, who chose to vouch off of others. His philosophy was to be an advocate for the environment, and so carpooling proved to be an environmentally friendly idea. His reasoning only caused the boys to sigh, who knew the true purpose behind his philosophy. They could have argued that taking the subway was even better for the environment, but . . . it was Changmin. No one could put up with Changmin. 


Yoochun interrupted while flicking the signal sign on, “Wes, here, is letting his girlfriend use his car while she maintains her own car. Apparently the maintenance company wouldn’t lend her a car.”


“Wow,” Changmin noted. “What a bad company.”


“No,” Yoochun explained, “she couldn’t afford it.”


Changmin’s mouth formed a sly ‘O’. “That’s too bad.” He placed one hand on his chin to muffle his laughter and the other patted Junsu’s back. “But, Junsu, you’re not so cheap anymore!”


“Since when was I cheap? Shouldn’t you say that Rhett is the cheap one?” Junsu argued. 


He hated when anyone complained of his pettiness. He wasn’t that stingy; he just felt that some items didn’t need to be purchased. Jaejoong would have disagreed however.


“True,” the other two boys said in unison, thinking of the number of times Rhett swindled them by first doing a small favour, like throwing out the garbage, and then asking for a fee in the end. Rhett claimed that this was to help their household save money, but everyone knew where he hoarded those coins. They were stored in a colossal, plastic jug of water in his bedroom beside his bed. 


Changmin remembered trying to steal a dollar, only to be caught by Rhett, who stood by the doorway, saying, “I see you, Shim Changmin.” 


Yoochun, on the other hand, remembered Jaejoong complaining about how ugly that piece of artwork was, and how it ruined the family’s feng shui. In fact, Jaejoong was so infuriated that he almost bought Rhett a pink piggy bank, only to be criticized by Rhett. 


“That’s just bad investment on your part when you could save it here.” Rhett had a condescending stare, a stare that could prove one to be a fool as he pointed his long, slender finger at the half-filled water jug.  


The car ride was then filled with silence, until out of the blue, Junsu asked, “So what were the little birds?”


Obviously, Yoochun and Changmin ignored Junsu’s question. No one really felt like explaining to him the whole situation. It would not only take the whole night for his mind to comprehend, but also involve all of the members acting out the scenario. 


It was too bad that Junsu was a visual person.
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