Chapter 10: Dooms Day

I was only on planning to work out once a week with Suho, but I completely forgot that I had agreed to work out with the other boys too. At five in the morning, I get a harsh phone call from Yeonjun who is literally screaming in my ear, “Yeah! Nam Leia! Get your ass up!”
“What? What? What? Did someone die?” I holler. Honestly, unless you are some doctor, nurse, pilot, flight attendant or banker, you don’t normally get calls early in the morning or get woken up out of a blue moon.

Yeonjun threatens in a menacing voice, “You will if you don’t get up soon. You’ll have Eunhyuk, Sehun and Howon beating you to pulp. Wait . . . Howon would probably save you so you’re ready for the next work out session.”

“No! You guys can’t do this to me! You guys can’t determine my fate like that! You just can’t—“

“Do you honestly want me to come up to your place?” Yeonjun breaks my rants in half.

“Huh? You’re at my apartment? What?”

“If I weren’t, then you’d lie to me and still be in bed. Say something like you suddenly have your period and—“

“But I do have my period!”

“Oh fu.ck! You really didn’t need to tell me that.”

“Sorry. Sorry. I keep forgetting guys can’t deal with talking about periods, tampons, pads, pubic hair, underarm hair—“

“Cut it out. All right?” Yeonjun grumbles rather harshly. “Stop ruining my image of women.”

“Serves you right for waking me up this early.” 

“And serves me right for being thoughtful and nice by bringing you breakfast?” Yeonjun poses , knowing that I’ll lose. That bast.ard.

“What . . . sort of breakfast?” My voice quietens. The thought of not having to cook for myself always delights me. Sure, I am edging twenty-seven years old with my annoying birthday in March. It makes almost 93% of the guys I meet call me noona. Do I really want to be a noona? Every time I think of noona now, I think of Shinee’s song: Noona, you’re so pretty. It’s too bad I don’t have a group of cute boys chanting that to me every time someone called me noona. If that were the case, I’d be a noona any time.

“French toast and some eggs?”

Since I’m on my period, I’m a fan of sweets, so French toast sounds just fine. Usually, I’d prefer something lighter like congee. “All right,” I agree. “That is nice of you. Thanks. Give me ten to fifteen minutes then and I’ll be down?”

“Sure, but if you’re late . . . you’re going to the park by yourself.”

“Hey!”

“I’m looking at my watch right now . . .”

I hang up, roll of my bed and land on my knees. Ouch. Ignore the bruises now. I shall act like some super hero changing at the speed of light. I put on whatever sweatpants and hoodie I have buried in my closet. It takes me around five minutes to find gym appropriate attire, and that is after throwing a ton of clothes onto my bed. Then, I rush to the washroom to splash some water on my face and brush my teeth. I do the whole skincare routine plus sunscreen. Finally, I grab my sunglasses, keys, and MP3 player. I think I’m good to go. Oh wait . . . I didn’t brush my hair. Whatever. If Little Mermaid can comb her hair with a fork, then I can comb it with my fingers, I think to myself during the elevator ride. Plus, I can do anything I want with my disguise because no one will really know me with these oversized sunglasses of mine.

Once I jog down the hallway of the lobby, I find Yeonjun’s Honda jeep already parked at the entrance. Now this is more like Yeonjun: frugal. That Aston Martin sports car was a huge surprise, and somehow, I get that feeling that Yeonjun is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I’m wondering which one I’m facing. Mr. Hyde? As I open the car door and settle in the passenger seat, I notice Yeonjun in a bright blue Adidas tracksuit and sunglasses. I could just throw a gold chain over him, and he’d be the next biggest rapper. Still, I feel more comfortable being with him in this attire compared to that sombre suit. This, I confirm again, is more like Yeonjun. 

I watch him reach for a plastic bag in the backseat. Then, he passes it to me, saying, “Here’s your breakfast. There’s a knife and a fork inside. And I'm not going to comment on how ugly you look, but I think you made the right choice by wearing sunglasses. This is the worst look I've seen of you.”

“Thanks,” I mutter and untie the knot of the plastic bag for my food. I ignore his other comments because I’m kind of starving. I try my best to stop myself from pigging out. I need to eat slowly to lose weight. Apparently, your brain only knows that the stomach is full after 20 minutes pass, so it is imperative that I chew a lot to slow down my eating rate.

Sadly, Yeonjun reminds me, “Eat faster or else you won’t have time to digest before we start running.”

“Running?”

“Yeah. It’s not like you can do weights or you have the right bathing suit. Doubt anyone would want to see you in swimwear. Yuck.”

“Thanks,” I roll my eyes, grumbling. “Just you wait till I get my sexy body, then you’ll be begging to take me to the beach.”

“There’s no point in taking you to the beach. You don’t even swim or tan or do anything beach related,” Yeonjun adds. “All you do is walk, take photos or make sand castles or even worse, you get hungry and then start wanting to hunt for crabs or shrimp.”

“Hey! Sand castles are adorable!”

“Yeah, but you suck at making them,” Yeonjun argues.

“They’re still fun,” I remark.

It’s true. I really suck at making sandcastles. There was one time during university where the guys and I decided to have a short vacation after midterms. We thought since it was our last round of exams for the first semester, we would go to the beach for fun. It seemed like a swell idea until we actually got there. Not only was the hotel claimed to be haunted, but it almost rained every day. The only day that it didn’t rain was when we visited the beach. I did exactly what Yeonjun had listed already, and unfortunately, my sandcastle looked more like an ant hole. My palace didn’t even have windows or columns. Yeonjun’s, on the other hand, even had living quarters. Damn him.

“Anyhow, enough about that,” Yeonjun tells me. “What I really want to know is how the date went with Suho. You never called me to tell me how it went. Some friend you are.”

“Sorry. I forgot.”

“So? Did you get any info or manage to seduce him?”

“About that . . .”

Ugh . . . okay, I did neither, but we became friends? I think? Not wanting to lie to Yeonjun, I explain all that occurred that night to Yeonjun. Yes, that even includes the tampon incident. Yeonjun is cracking up so hard that he has trouble realizing when the lights are changing. Heck, I feel safer if I’m the one driving. At least we won’t get honked at every two minutes or have to step on the brakes to stop us from crashing into the car ahead. The only time that Yeonjun doesn’t laugh is when I begin to divulge my experiment with Suho. In fact, Yeonjun’s facial muscles all tense up and he even glares at me just prior to backing into a parking seat.

“You realize what you’re getting yourself into?” Yeonjun warns in a deep voice.

“Umm . . . no?”

“Well, first of all, there is no fu.cking way that Suho is a virgin. Number one. He is not religious. Number two. He is not overweight or fu.cking ugly. Number three. He goes to a lot of clubs and has a reputation for being the life of the party,” Yeonjun explains in great detail. 

“But . . . he blushed when I held his hands!”

“That’s quite normal if you do that out of the blue.”

“But . . . I already said we’d be each other’s firsts.”

“Well, cancel it.” As Yeonjun lifts up the handbrake, he inquires, “And is that even the right mentality for the first time?”

“Wh-wh-what do you mean?”

Shaking his head, Yeonjun sighs, “Usually girls pop their cherries with the guy they love.”

“Then, I’ll learn to love him!” I chant.

Yeonjun flicks my forehead, making me groan. “And what if that doesn’t happen?” he barks.

“Well it’s not like doing it with the guy you love will take away the pain you experience from breaking your hymn, so it really doesn’t—“

“It does matter!” Yeonjun screams with his hands in the air. He even slides his palm through his hair in frustration. “Argh! Why don’t you cherish your own body more?”

“It’s not like he is paying me for sex. We are both consenting.”

“You don’t even love him!” Yeonjun states.

“Are you the girl or am I?” I fold my arms and look quizzically at him. “Guys can do it with people they don’t love, so I think it’s fair that I—“

“It’s not right.”

I glower at him like Cat woman would to her enemy. “Okay,” I declare. “Have you ever slept with a woman you didn’t love?” Since Yeonjun can’t answer my question, I reply for him, “See? It’s the same thing. And you said so too that I’m not supposed to keep this PG-13.”

“But, it’s not right,” he tries to debate with me.

I open the car door now, and inform him, “From the start, your plan wasn’t morally right. I’m just taking advantage of the situation and helping you at the same time.”

“So even if it’d break your relationship with him, you’d still leak the information to me?” he questions while following my move.

“You know how it is with me, Yeonjun. Bros over hoes.”

I’m on my way to the sidewalk when Yeonjun notes, “I’ll take your word for it, but . . . you know . . . if you really wanted to do it with someone, you could have just asked me. Girls are all the same to us guys anyways.”

I turn around to say, “But . . . that’s weird, isn’t it? I mean . . . if you . . . and I . . . do it? That’d . . . ruin our friendship.”

“I think we kind of already ruined it with the crazy mess you got us into,” Yeonjun points out to me. “You seem to have forgotten that you’re carrying my baby.”
“It’s not like I’m actually carrying your baby though, so I don’t think we really ruined anything.”

Yeonjun prompts me, “Well, I don’t think you’d kiss a friend.”

“Honestly, are you the girl or am I?” I repeat that question. “And . . . you did that out of practice to prepare me for Suho.”

“And what if I said that I wanted to kiss you now? Not out of practice.” 

Yeonjun is staring at me rather seriously. I know that men can do lustful things with women, but why would Yeonjun wait for so long to do those acts with me? That’s why I’m rather nervous about his question. What made him start to have feelings for me? Is this part of the mentality that men have about the chase? The more sought after a woman is, the more men would want her? So now that I’m taking Suho seriously, Yeonjun is seeing me in a different light? That seems so silly and so immature. I suddenly feel like a popular toy demanded by kids for their Christmas presents.

I brush his statement off by saying, “You’re just scared that I’ll ignore you or forget about you when I’m dating someone.”

I walk away from him once I spot the other guys waiting for me. They’re waving at me at the centre of the park square with that huge fountain filled with pennies at the bottom of the pool. Yeonjun, though, unexpectedly seizes my arm and utters, “Maybe I am a little concerned that you’re getting yourself into a relationship too quickly. You seem too desperate that you’re not seeing things clearly.”

I pull my arm away from him, blurting, “If you were in the same situation as me, then you’d be desperate too. You’re also the one that told me he was a good guy, so don’t start acting like a little boy who is unhappy that his toy is running away.”

I start to walk a bit faster, but Yeonjun easily catches up. “You’re not a toy,” Yeonjun stresses. “I never saw you as a toy.”

“Then what am I to you, Yeonjun?” I shift my gaze towards him and holler. 

Yeonjun hesitates for a few seconds, so I keep marching forward. Again, he chases after me and answers, “You’re important to me. You’re more than a friend.”

I add, “But less than a girlfriend. I get it, Yeonjun. You don’t have to explain your selfish behaviour to me. You want a girlfriend and then you want me beside you as well.” I abruptly stop at my heel and shout at him, “This isn’t how it works okay? I’m only a friend, a girlfriend or a fling. We’ve never been sex partners, and I don’t expect us to be. If you really wanted to date me, then you would have pursued me earlier. So, that only leaves us with one situation: a friend. So, don’t complicate things, okay?”

Yeonjun scoffs while rocking his head side to side. “Complicating things. Funny how you put it, Leia. Who’s the one that lied to Sohee about our relationship?”

“I didn’t want Sohee to misunderstand you, thinking that you didn’t move on, and okay, I’m sorry, but I’m not the only one at fault,” I clarify. I’m not sure why I’m becoming so uptight and angry about the whole situation. My voice just keeps getting louder with every statement I make. I’m worried that I’ll explode in fury in any time. I’m worried that I’ll do or say something that’ll break our friendship apart forever. That’s why I sprint towards the guys now. I can’t afraid to lose my sanity, but Yeonjun yanks me by the arm and catches me in the process to stop me from falling backwards. “What are you doing? The guys are going to misunderstand—“

“Then let them think whatever. I don’t care,” Yeonjun interrupts. “You’ve always been there for me. The thought of . . . you disappearing is . . .”

I reassure him and pat his hand a few times, “I’m not going to leave you. Okay? No matter what people say or think, we’re always going to be friends, okay? And if Suho ever becomes my boyfriend and doesn’t like the two of us hanging out, then I won’t listen to him. Bros before hoes right?”

Yeonjun lightly chuckles before finally releasing me. Then, he squishes my head, making a jump towards the guys. He sticks out his tongue and taunts, “Right . . . if he ever becomes your boyfriend . . . Haha! Like that’ll ever happen with your small bowls.”

“Small . . .” I ponder for a while, but as soon as Yeonjun points to my chest, I run after him while yelling simultaneously, “Lee Yeonjun! You are so dead! I’m going to beat you up and then throw you to the dogs!”

And it turns out that I’m the one that is about to become beat up by Yeonjun, Eunhyuk, and Sehun. Howon is just a witness to my death. He’ll testify that these boys were abusive and took advantage of my unfit body. So, why is it that the tables have turned? 

The thing is that as soon as Yeonjun and I settle our argument, Yeonjun heads back to his car and retrieves three baseball bats and a pale green bike. He hops on the bike and delivers two baseball bats to Eunhyuk and Sehun. Even with Howon’s constant worrying, the three guys don’t give a damn about what he says. They’re just into fun, and what fun means is torturing mean. Eunhyuk and Sehun go off to rent two bikes for themselves at the local shop. Now, I’m running for my life as I’m being hunted by three guys on bikes. Howon is the only one joining me in this run, except he has immunity. He is also much faster than me, so he avoids all the dangerous actions that are occurring. This is seriously man hunt. If I run a bit slower, Yeonjun swings the bat in my direction, sputtering some crazy remarks like “If you still want to live, then run faster!”

Eunhyuk likes to shout, “Who’s going to fu.ck you if you’re still so fat?”

Sehun just adds, “This is rather fun. It’s not every day that you get to chase after someone like this. If this keeps up, I think I’m going to quit working out at the gym and just chase after Leia.”

“Yo man! That’s a fu.cking awesome idea!” I remember Eunhyuk cheering. 

Oh, what's worse is my MP3 player's list of songs. The songs that are being shuffled are all related to running or evading some enemy. There's Run Devil Run by SNSD, The Chaser by Infinite, Everybody go by kis-myft-2, Run by CN-Blue, Run by Epik High, Run by m-flo and more. I feel like I'm in some action film with suitable background music playing. Yes, life is just so darn ironic. 

Now, I’m considering taking back that statement about bros before hoes. I don’t think my boyfriend would exploit me like this.

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