01 The Start of a Storm

I think curiosity killed me instead of the cat. Every time, I can’t stand the suspense or the mystery, and so I seek trouble when I know it’s best to avoid these situations completely. If a friend that I don’t really talk to ends up texting me, I still respond. I know he or she probably just wants something from me, yet my undying inquisitiveness can’t be stopped. I’m just irked by not knowing in general, and this is exactly why I am stuck in this horrible circumstance.
“Please,” Sungyeol has his head low and his hands pressed together as he begs, “please with tons of dark chocolate truffles on top, please help me pick out my fiancee’s wedding dress?”

But before I delve to what happens next, I have to rewind to the morning. I receive a text from Sungyeol, a long-time friend of mine from university, asking to meet up. My gut tells me to ignore him, and I do initially until . . . I do this bad habit of mine.

You know that heart skipping feeling that you’re supposed to experience when you’re facing the one you love? Well, if I see a hot guy, I’d feel my heart pumping. I’d get that doki-doki feeling, and what’s worse is that I’d want to find out all about him. I’m pretty sure that’s why I’m still single and why I’ve never been kissed nor have I even held another guy’s hand before. I’m a player at heart. I can’t help that I’m curious and that I’m easily attracted to hot guys. If I could have a pen full of hot guys, I’d be elated. I could go on dates with each one and switch it up. Okay, so maybe I have commitment issues, but that doesn’t mean that I have cheated on someone. I haven’t even had a boyfriend yet.

“Leia! You’re doing it again!” Yeonjun shrieks.

“D-d-d-doing what?” I stumble past my words.

“You’re stalking that guy with your eyes!”

“Wh-wh-what? It’s not my fault that he’s like a work of art. You know how it is with me and hot guys . . .” I place my palms on my cheeks and let out a long sigh. I’m envisioning my own pasture of sexy guys; I’m sure that would be my garden of Eden. So forbidden . . . indeed.

“Leia!”

“What?” I grumble at Yeonjun for interrupting my hot guy moment. I like to observe a beautiful guy's features and take in this masterpiece. I'm pretty sure that is why I like beautiful men so much. I think they're like art.

Yeonjun is staring at me like the first time we met. He is cursing me with a set of glowing, amber eyes. Yeonjun is probably one of the best looking guys I have met. He has milky, white skin along with long, double eyelids, a straight nose, a sharp chin and a soft, oval face. He has a rather androgynous vibe, which is completely different from his older brother, Junghoon. Junghoon is the hottest guy I have ever met. It’s too bad he is already set to marry his lovely fiancée, Jikyung. They’re really perfect for each other, and they make me squeal like a fan girl. Yeonjun knows how much I worship the two. After all, after the last time we bumped into the couple, I kept asking Yeonjun for photos of them. They were super, super cute and mature for a couple. I would want to watch movies of them and become their fan girl. It’d be like We Got Married, except they’re really going to get married. Yeonjun thinks I’m crazy though. He always thinks I’m out of my mind.

“You’re drooling,” Yeonjun states coldly.

“Oh,” I use my sleeve to wipe off my saliva from the edge of my mouth, “Sorry—“

“At least use a napkin, Leia,” Yeonjun rolls his eyes to say and hands me a tissue from his blazer pocket.

“Thanks, Yeonjun! You’re the best!” I smile at him warmly and use his Kleenex to clean what’s left on my mouth.

Yeonjun relieves a hefty sigh, muttering, “If only you could be so affectionate towards guys . . .”

It’s sad really, if you think about it. I, for some reason, can be cute in front of all my girl friends, yet in front of guys, I’m the standard Ice Queen. I’m cool and collected. I barely show any emotions and only care about work. With my masculine attitude, I fit right in with the boys. I really have to thank my irresponsible father. He dumped my mother and me after falling in love with his own secretary, so I decided then that I would be just as good as the males. I could be better than them too, and 96% of the time, I am. I usually just lose because of my short height of 155 centimetres.

Now, Lee Yeonjun is a guy, but honestly, I treat him like a girl, and he only sees me like a guy. We’ve seen the worst out of each other. After all, we’ve known each other ever since that day I decided to go to my first group blind date in my last year of university. Yes, I have been a late bloomer in so many ways, but I thought I would go to one after overhearing a few girls in my lecture chatting about it. They were missing a girl, so I thought . . . why not suggest myself?

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I managed to drink the wrong beverage. Usually I’m pretty good with alcohol, but I’m no good with anything related to champagne. I have no idea someone would order a glass of champagne at karaoke. The point is that I was too nervous that I snatched that glass thinking that it was my cocktail and gulped it all down. Before I knew it, I was swaying back and forth while spitting out my feelings to everywhere. I think I told a few guys how ugly they were, and I also said to a girl that she was really bitchy. Needless to say, they wanted me out of their blind date, so just as I was being dragged to the door, Yeonjun came in late.

At that time, Yeonjun had long, bleached hair to his shoulders unlike his preppy, short hair that he sports these days. He even had some of his hair bunched in a little pony tail, while he let the other parts sway along his shoulders. He was in a loose, black tank top and black skinny jeans. To this day, I still remembered how I grabbed both of his hands and shouted, “Oh my god! You’re so pretty! You’re the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen! Can you be my friend?”

I had accidentally spilled out my secret dream of befriending every pretty person in the world. That was the most embarrassing thing that I had even done; however, I really do think that things do happen for a reason. Because his friends were keen on dragging him away from the ladies, they forced him to take care of me. It worked out perfectly for them, and horribly for him. Surprisingly, Yeonjun took me to a hotel room to let me sleep. I was feeling drowsy by then, and according to him, I was still being noisy and telling him how pretty he was. Apparently, I was describing to him all his features and how he looked the best at a certain angle. I also commented how unfortunate it was for him to be so flat chested and skinny. Yeonjun told me that I said that was his only weakness.

The worst part was that I wouldn’t let Yeonjun leave. I was muttering how he was a bad friend if he left, and due to my persistence, Yeonjun stayed behind. When I woke up, I had a slight headache and had no idea how I was in a hotel room. I sincerely thought I had been raped, but luckily, I lifted the sheets to find that I was still fully dressed. Sadly, I also woke up to a very, very stern handsome guy standing in front of me with his arms crossed together. Needless to say, Yeonjun was pissed, and I was shocked to discover that the “girl” that I met was actually a guy. It wasn’t after I explained to Yeonjun my situation with guys did we actually become friends. My situation being that it was really easy for me to become obsessed with handsome guys. The rest then was pretty much history.

“Oh,” Yeonjun looks at his black, metallic watch while announcing, “I’ve got to get back to work.”

“Wh-what? You’ve only been here for twenty minutes though,” I mutter upon seeing his half-finished sandwich.

“Unlike you,” He wipes the crumbs from his lips with a tablecloth and says, “I’m rather preoccupied with work.”

“What do you even do?” I eye him sternly. Yeonjun never likes to discuss about his career. In fact, even till this day, I am unsure what this man does. I know he has income though; he can wear fancy suits and brand-named jewellery. He even has a BMW 5 series at this age.

Yeonjun answers with a bold smirk, “Why I kill people with guns and deal drugs and also run a brothel as a side job.”

“That’s not funny,” I argue. “Seriously, what do you do? Do you sell yourself to an old lady?”

“Oh!” He chuckles evilly and reveals his set of straight teeth. “How I wish I could just use my body like that. Life would be so much easier and filled with tons of pleasure.”

“More like STDs.”

“Haha, very funny, Leia.” Yeonjun now uncrosses his legs and stands up to put on his beige pea coat. And this is why I will not be able to see him as a guy, I think to myself. He dresses way too well that sometimes, I feel overshadowed by him. He even comments on my outfits and suggests I try other pieces. Really, he’s like a best girl friend, except . . . meaner. “You know, Leia,” Yeonjun unexpectedly announces.

“Yeah?”

“I think you need a new foundation. It’s caking around your nose,” he utters. “Actually, I think you need a more hydrating moisturizer. Have you even switched to your winter moisturizer that I recommended for you?”

“No,” I shake my head and say. “Am I supposed to?”

“Yes!” Yeonjun shouts. “It is getting drier too. Seriously, sometimes I wonder if you’re really a girl.” He is now shaking his head and doing that thing with his lips where they’re pressed together and slanting all the way to the left side of his face. Disdain, he means.

“Well I have these.” I cover my hands on my breasts. “And that.” I point to the middle of my skirt.

“Yeah, well, you could have had a sex change for all I know,” Yeonjun argues.

“Then you would have seen me in the hospital somewhere or taking some hormone pills.”

“Really, Leia.” Yeonjun lets out a pitiful sigh and places a hand on my shoulder. “Just get laid.”

“Yeonjun!” I stand up and roar.

“What?”

I suddenly remember that we’re in public, so I don’t really want to argue about my virginity. So, I sit back down and pretend that nothing has happened. “Nothing,” I mutter quietly and proceed to sip my tea.

Unfortunately, Yeonjun adds, “I’m glad you agree that your V card needs to be taken away. At the ripe age of 26, you’d think that you’d at least have experienced a kiss. Leia, sometimes, I really—“

“Don’t say it, Yeonjun,” I stress. “I am drinking tea like a fine lady.”

“And living in the Victorian period.”

“Funny, Yeonjun. Funny.”

“Anyhow, I really have to get to work now,” Yeonjun informs me like a matter of fact. “If I’m late, then it’s all your fault.”

“What?” I slam my tea cup on my table. “How is it all my—“

Yeonjun leans forward to cut me off, “A fine lady you are, Leia. A fine lady you—“ I grab onto his tie, forcing him to be closer to me. “What?” he demands.

“What are you going to do now?”

“I’m going to . . .”

Think, Leia, think. How can I win Yeonjun for good? He’s always bugging me about how I’m single. I need to show him that I can be a femme fatale.

“Yeah?”

“I’m going to get married,” I conclude with my best poker face.

“Hahahaha!” Yeonjun bursts out laughing even when I’m still clinging onto the end of his tie.

“In fact, I have a date tonight,” I utter.

“Oh really?”

“Yes. I have a hot date.”

“With whom?”

“My friend is setting me up with someone,” I sort of lie.

“What? Howon is helping you? Or is it Sehun? Or Eunhyuk? Or Myungsoo?”

“None of the guys,” I say.

“Then?”

“You’ll see, Yeonjun. You’ll hear all about my hot date, and you will want to turn gay for him,” I announce to him very clearly and loudly.

Yeonjun removes my hand from his tie and tucks it properly into his blazer. “All right, we’ll see about that.”

And that is why I texted Sungyeol back, agreeing to meet him for dinner tonight. This is how curiosity killed the lady, Nam Leia.

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