Chapter 11: The Day After

Stairs, chairs, heels, hills and slopes are all my enemies. What do they all have in common? They all challenge my legs way too much. I’m hobbling and wobbling whenever I encounter the obstacles I listed above. Stairs are the worst though. I literally have to grab onto both sides of the railings or use some wall to support myself. I have to extend my legs wide open while lifting my butt up to go up a flight of stairs. Coming down from them is even worse. The pain is excruciating, and I just keep moaning.


 Now, Sohee has to be a jerk and do cake testing with me. I’m on a diet okay? I think people are trying to make me fat unintentionally. Fate wants me to be chubby. I’m going to have to pass on devouring sweets unless I want the boys to swing bats at me again. What’s even more excerabating is that every other restaurant seems to be located on the second floor, and for some reason, Sohee wants to be healthy and take the stairs. She doesn’t even realize how much pain I am going through nor does she notice my awkward walking. She is always in front of me anyways.

By the time we are on our way to the fifth restaurant, Sohee asks for the nth time, “Unnie . . . are you sure you’re not going to eat any of the samples? I’m just worried if my taste buds will be okay.”

“Your taste buds are just fine,” I tell her.

“Still . . . you are my maid of honour,” Sohee utters. “I want to respect your opinions too.”
Maybe I am just jealous of her goddess body because I don’t want to tell her that I’m on a diet. Judging by her character, she would feel extremely guilty and may burst into tears. She might even purposely put on weight to make me feel better. I think every bride’s worst nightmare is to gain a few pounds after having their dress fitted. So, to stop that from ever happening, I decide that from now on, I’ll just have one tiny slice of cake each time.

Once more, I climb up these stairs of Hell, and when I finally reach the top of the restaurant, I notice someone looking at me. Oh God. It’s Suho and another man. A business partner? I don’t know, but it’s Han Suho! No! Did he see me act this way? From the way his eyes pop at me, I realize that it’s confirmed; he has recognized me and has seen me extend my legs widely to go up these steps in a horizontal manner. Yes, instead of walking straight up, I’m walking like a crab—side to side. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to wave at him, but I slightly nod. Suho ignores me because he is too busy talking to the other man. I don’t really mind because I think work is work. Now, the two of them are dressed in black suits and dress shoes. They have a set of documents on hand as well as glasses of wine set out. Wine in the afternoon? That’s a bit . . . extreme?   

Sohee tugs at me, mumbling, “Unnie? You okay?”

“Y-y-yeah. Of course,” I answer rapidly. Then, I follow her to the table, which is located on a higher level than the bar area. Sohee takes the first seat, so I am left with one that gives me a nice diagonal view of Suho’s profile. Sure, I can stalk without being labelled a stalker. Life seems good.

The waiter comes along and sets our plates. It seems that Sohee’s wedding planner has everything covered. It’s rather funny how Sohee doesn’t want her wedding planner here. I asked her about that, and she could only say that that was her mother’s idea. I still remember Sohee’s disgruntled tone upon mentioning her mother: “She’s always like this . . . controlling and treating me like a baby. She doesn’t even like Sungyeol either. Says he’s too underprivileged and that he just wants my money.”

I remember asking, “And what does your father think?”

“He doesn’t care about me. It’s not like I’m the heir of the family, so who I marry doesn’t matter.”

Heir of the family . . . Yeonjun is the heir of the family then? Junghoon, from what I know, is older than Yeonjun, but Junghoon is already a surgeon. There’s no way that he would take over the company. So that leaves Yeonjun or Minjun to guard the company. Yeonjun supposedly has a fiancée already; thus, his fate is sealed. He can’t marry who he loves? That sounds so . . . harsh, yet I remember Yeonjun saying that this marriage wouldn’t affect business. That’s why I can lie for him. However, I still don’t think it’s that easy to get away from his family’s control when Yeonjun is most likely the heir.

“Unnie?” Sohee asks. “Are you okay? You haven’t touched your cake at all. I mean, I understand that you said that you trust my—“

My fork makes a thundering cling against the plate as I try to create the thinnest slice possible. Suho even turns his head towards my direction, and I sort of want to hide under the table. I attempt to play it cool, so I tell her, “I’m fine. I was just thinking.”

“Thinking about?” Sohee ponders curiously.

“Yeonjun and his fiancée,” I accidentally confess. It is way too easy for me to admit to anything. I probably have the worst poker face ever, but I look like a truthful person, and I’m already terribly weird, according to Eunhyuk, so people generally believe in what I say.

“Oh . . . you mean Haneul?” Sohee confirms.

“Yeah.”

“Yeonjun would never fall for Haneul,” Sohee declares with much confidence.

“Why not? Isn’t she his childhood friend?” I ask. 

I remember Yeonjun briefly mentioning Haneul a long time ago because Howon had asked Yeonjun about her once. Howon asked something like "Hey, didn't you have a childhood friend? I remember seeing you guys before in high school." Howon went to Yeonjun's rival school during high school, and apparently, Yeonjun and Howon would occasionally bump into each other at track meets. Yeonjun would only tell us her name, but that was all. He wouldn't let her join us, saying that Haneul was really uptight and snobby.

Sohee leans forward and whispers, “Because they dated before and it didn’t work out at all.”

“But he could always get back with his ex?”

“Not when Haneul cheated on Minjun with Yeonjun.”

“Wait . . . what?” I blurt out too loudly. I finally process the whole conversation in my head. So . . . Yeonjun actually dated her. Why would he date someone he clearly expressed disgust for? Hang on. Let me think . . . Yeonjun never told me about dating her. Actually, he never expanded on his past relationships. Yeonjun just had a few flings here and there. Nothing too serious. No one important enough to be called a girlfriend.

“Well, the three of them were always childhood friends, and it’s natural that two guys would fall for one girl? Right?” Sohee confirms.

I’m thinking about the whole scenario in my head. I like to think in terms of pictures. I’m picturing a lovely, young lady and those twins. She’s in the middle while the other two are sitting beside her. They’re in some secret garden, and she is making headdresses with flowers. She puts one on each of them and promises that the three of them will be together forever. Then, they all grow up and sometime during their teenage days, Minjun and Haneul become a couple. Yeonjun begins to feel jealous and grumpy, and whenever the couple fights, he is there to comfort Haneul. In the end, he can’t take it anymore, so he kisses Haneul. Haneul’s heart starts to waver, so she can’t say no to dating Yeonjun. The two secretly date until . . . poof! Minjun discovers their affair. Haneul feels guilty, and so she breaks up with Yeonjun. Yeonjun goes to university and has now changed into a player. Several years later, his father wants him to marry Haneul, but wait . . . how does Yeonjun liking Sohee ever come in? Do I put her during the university years? It would make sense if Sohee had secretly liked Yeonjun all this time and used his weakest time to seduce him. However, she’s getting married to Sungyeol now and from what I remember, Sungyeol told me that he and Sohee started dating on and off during university. So that leads me to conclude that Yeonjun and Sohee never had a thing. Wait . . . then why the hell am I doing my friend a favour? What . . . the . . . heck?

“You okay, unnie?” Sohee stares at me concernedly. 

“Yeah,” I mumble and cut through another slice of cake. I slip it in my mouth and pretend that everything is okay. “So . . . are Minjun and Haneul still together?” I try my best to continue the conversation.

“Nope.”

“And . . . why wouldn’t Yeonjun be with Haneul then, and why would he ever hurt Minjun?”

“Minjun oppa has always been more popular than Yeonjun. Even at school, Minjun was well-loved. Father also favours Minjun oppa than Yeonjun. Minjun oppa just has that . .  . likeable aura, while Yeonjun . . . is always serious, quiet and rigid.”

“What?” If I can drop my jaw, I think I would. In this case, I probably just look like someone opening his or her mouth for the dentist. The extreme sort of “Ah”.  “That’s not the . . . Yeonjun I know,” I mutter.

Sohee looks at me, puzzled. She has those large, puppy eyes as she wonders, “Then . . . what sort of Yeonjun do you know?”

I spend a while telling her all about Yeonjun and me, such as how we met, how we became friends, what Yeonjun is like, what he wears and likes to do, and more. All this time, Sohee is absorbing this information as if I’m lecturing about how to become a millionaire. I feel like I’m doing my own job, except the lesson, this time, is about Yeonjun. He becomes a subject by itself. Honestly, I have no idea how I can blab about him for so long. I seriously know way too much about him that I stop mid-way to mutter, “I really need to hang out with someone else.”

Sohee, catching my phrase, questions, “Why? I think you two are perfect for each other. Yeonjun never shows this side in front of us. I never knew my own brother could be like this. You’re lucky, you know?”

“Huh? Why?”

“Because it means he’s comfortable enough to let his true nature show,” Sohee explains to me.

“But . . . what is his real side?” I scratch my head a few times. “I mean . . . I’ve never seen him serious but according to you, he’s always like that.”

Sohee stretches her arms out and beams a forgetful smile. “I don’t know. I guess they’re both his real sides?” We sort of let an awkward pause sustain, and so I take this time to stretch my sore legs. Unfortunately, I stretch too far that I’m squatting like a man and I groan in pain. Sohee immediately asks, “Are you okay? What happened?”

I murmur rather quickly, hoping that my voice won’t be so loud, “It’s just that the day after working out that I feel particularly sore. I’m so sore that I have trouble walking.”

Sohee’s face is blossoming in redness as she stammers, “Th-th-th-that’s s-s-s-s-so intense. I mean, S-S-S-Sungyeol and I never . . . umm . . . have such . . . e-e-e-extreme—“

“Huh?” I cut her off. “No! That’s not what I—“

“It’s okay,” Sohee silences me. “I understand. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s very normal between couples, unnie. I just . . .” Sohee glances away, almost too ashamed to look at me properly.

I shake my head and sigh. “It’s really not like that. I was running like crazy because I was being chased after Yeonjun and his friends. They had baseball bats, and—“

Sohee places a hand on my shoulder before uttering, “Honestly, unnie, it’s fine. Your secret is safe with me. Hehe. I never knew oppa had such a wild side.”

“Can you . . . just excuse me for a moment?” I ask her. “I need to visit the washroom.”

“Sure.”

On my way to the restroom, I get pulled to the side by no one other than Suho. I’m in heels, so I don’t have to lift my eyes so much higher to be polite to him. Heels also mean more pain for my legs. Beauty equates to pain, I remind myself. No pain. No gain. No pain. No gain. This works with plastic surgery too. That . . . is way too much pain for me to bear. As a child, I have always cried whenever I had to get shots. When I had my wisdom teeth extracted, I was screaming like crazy. I screamed so loudly that the other dentists purposely came over to see me. They wanted to put a face to the screamer. Now, imagine bearing a kid. That’s probably the one reason that’s stopping me from wanting kids. Child birth. Why can’t babies be delivered from cranes? From a stupid picture book that my mother bought for me, I believed that this was how adults had children. It wasn’t until watching a nature show did I realize how reproduction worked. Now, all of these thoughts happen within seconds because Suho, at last, opens his mouth to ask, “How do you know . . . Sohee? Are you close with the Lee family?”

“Huh?” I look at him with much wonder. “What does that have to do with you? I don’t think there are any restrictions for who I hang out with? Unless you are like my mother . . . she’s always so picky about my friends, but then again, I kind of ignore her. But go on.”

“Ugh . . .” Before he can reply me, his cell phone starts ringing. The ringtone is undeniably obvious. I have been hearing this song play all over the stores, and it is one of those songs that you hate at first, but after a few more tries, you have it in your head completely. Now, Suho has the chorus playing: “What music would you listen to? What music would you listen to?”

And the stupid me who has been brainwashed by this song and has been chanting this saying for a while now, blurts, “Xia Junsu!” Each time the rapper asks that question, I call out his name. I think that it’s the perfect fan chant, but honestly, this isn’t the situation to be acting like a fan girl. Sometimes, I really wish I had the ability to go back in time. Prince of Persia would be particularly good for me, but the desert doesn’t really suit me. I’d get sunburnt so easily, and the thought of sandstorms like the one from Mission Impossible 4 freaks me out. I don’t want to be swallowing sand. 

“Sorry about that,” Suho mutters.

“Oh no. It’s fine,” I tell him. “I’m just surprised you liked that song.”

“Oh . . . that . . . just umm . . . a friend’s prank.”

I tilt my head to the side and tease, “Well, I’m willing to wager 1000 won* that it’s your girlfriend’s prank.”

Suho corrects me, “Then you owe me that amount because you’re wrong. It’s just a friend that is a girl.”

“Well, I meant a girl space friend.”

“It’s okay. You don’t really have to pay me anything,” Suho says.

“Oh. That’s good then!” I smile joyously. Even 1000 won is important to me. I can save up and buy some snacks for myself in this case. Wait . . . I’m on diet. What am I doing? 

Before I can regain my senses, an old woman shouts at us, “Are you going to the washroom or not? There are people that actually need to use it. You know?”

Suho and I look at each other, and once that woman disappears, we laugh aloud. After a bit of laughing, I finally state, “Suho . . . I think you should probably change your ring tone.”

“That’s a bit . . . random?”

“I mean, sure, it’s a prank, but if you let it keep going, then people would think you like that song?”

“I hate to admit it, but . . . it is rather catchy,” Suho murmurs.

“You think so too?” As soon as Suho nods, I hold onto his hands and shake them up and down. “Oh my God! Finally! A victim like me! What’s worse is that I always want to scream ‘Xia Junsu’ whenever that rapper asks me what music would you listen to!”

“Yeah . . . I heard that.”

I slam my palm on my forehead. “Darn. I was hoping you didn’t.”

“That was . . . pretty funny though.” Suho reveals a gentle grin. “Although . . . I don’t think anything can really top that tampon—“

I place my hand over his mouth but that only works for a second since I had to hop up to reach that area of his face. Unfortunately, Sohee catches me when I land on my two feet. In a thoroughly puzzled look, she asks, “Unnie . . . you know . . . Suho-sshi?”

Cue in the music: “It’s A Small World”. 

It’s a small world after all. It’s a small world after all. It’s a small world after all. It’s a small, small world.

Let me just change it a bit. It’s a small, small world to me. La la la. Super high notes here along with dancers in elaborate feathers and body suits lifting their legs up and down. I’m thinking Vegas meets Disney, and then there is me. I’m doing the jazz hands right at centre stage. All the people I know are lifting me up in the air as we end the song with an extended note. 

Now, the director screams, “Cut! Cut! Cut!”

Yup. I’m heading back to reality.


Author's Replies:

To paradicez:

Hello!

This is really complicated, but they are definitely more than friends. Haha. Yes, exercise has never been crazier, and her songs are intense too. ;)

Oh really? I'm really happy to heart that! :D I'm glad it's relieving your stressful days! You're welcome, and thanks for commenting! 

To Liinax3:

Hey!

Oh nice! That's really cute of you to say. Hahaha. You're very welcome! I hope you'll like this chapter too! Thanks for commenting! 

To roben73:

Hello!

Mmm... so another LeiJun shipper? (I'm hoping someone will come up with a better combination for their name. Haha.) 

Thanks for commenting!

To asmiera:

Hey!

Yes, Leia takes her bros over her hoes any day. ;) I like your lalalas. Haha. Mmm . . . I think Leia is serious about everything she does? Ohhh! It's totally fine to imagine whoever you want for these characters. I just picked Jessica's name out of the blue. 

Yes, I do know Kismyft2. Haha. I like Sing for you and She Her Her the most. I don't have any favourites because I don't follow any groups closely anymore. No more time to fan girl and I'm sort of grown out of it? (Now, I feel like an old soul. Haha.)

I actually know quite a bit of Jpop. I think my favourite Japanese bands/singers are flumpool, L'Arc en Ciel, Shizumu Shota, Azu, Thelma Aoyama, Crystal Kay, Utada, Namie Amuro, m-flo, seamo, monkey majik, Ken Hirai, and aqua timez. I'm pretty sure I can list more, but off of the top of my head, those are the ones that I really like. I'm more familar with Japanese culture than with Korean stuff, so my stories are usually set in Tokyo. Haha. 

Thanks for commenting!

To yuki238:

Hi! 

I'm glad you find this story funny. :) I actually considered using Kris as Yeonjun before, but then after seeing one of his interviews, I think Kris is too nice. Haha. ;) I felt bad for saying that I'd use Suho for Yeonjun's face, but then I didn't. So, I decided to name one of the characters after him. So, yes, feel free to imagine him as the Suho from Exo K.

Haha! That's cute that you squealed. :P 

Leia does have this offbeat vibe that's pretty engaging. She's very daring in an innocent way since most of the time she has no idea that some things can be misinterpreted so badly. Mmm . . . I like writing about hot guys too. Hehehe. 
Hope you'll like this chapter too!

Thanks for commenting!
Reactions: