Curiosity 2: The Challenge

You see when Sungyeol asked me to dinner, I thought fate had it all planned out. I just didn’t want to respond before because I wanted to defy fate. Sungyeol was going to confess to me and tell me that after all these years, he realized that I was the one for him. And why would he ever confess to me? Well, back in elementary school and until the middle of junior high, Sungyeol and I were best buddies. We would dig up worms together. We would be on the same dodgeball team and even played pranks with other classmates. We were inseparable until people started making rumours that we were dating. Things got super awkward throughout the eighth grade, and finally, Sungyeol moved away to Busan because of his dad’s work. We sort of lost contact until in university where we bumped into each other on campus. He was visiting his girlfriend and wanted to buy some coffee to waste some time. So, we ended up chatting to one another, and before you knew it, we were kind of like before until the last year of university. We lost contact again, and at that time, I started hanging out with Yeonjun’s crew. It wasn’t until I started working as an assistant professor did I realize that Sungyeol was also on the same career path as me. He was at the department of Economics, while I stayed with Urban Development. So, it was natural for me to think that Sungyeol would confess to me. 
Now, the original plan was that after his confession, I would agree too that Sungyeol was the guy for me. He understood me well, almost knew everything about me. Maybe, not as much as Yeonjun. Yeonjun is the only guy that has seen me in sweat pants paired with an oversized Mickey t-shirt that I’ve had since I was fifteen while wearing no makeup. He does claim, though, that I look horrible even with makeup because I do such a minimal job at it. Apparently, I need eye shadow and eyelash primers for my eyes not to look like those of a panda after a few hours. I never bother though. I just tough it out and wipe away my mascara trails after a few hours. It’s just Yeonjun and my coworkers, and it’s not like I’m going to meet some dream boat. Tonight, however, I did make sure to wear that winter moisturizer Yeonjun gave me and also put on the set of fake eyelashes that Yeonjun had given me. And don’t ask me how Yeonjun knows so much about female products. Sometimes, I question his sexuality, but I’ve never seen him date a guy and from so many years of hanging out with him, he doesn’t even put on eyeliner so . . . 

“So, Sungyeol, what was it that you wanted to ask me?” I snapped back to reality and asked a few minutes ago.

And there you go. We are at where we started. 

“Please,” Sungyol 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?”

Fiancée? Wedding dress? Please? What? Since . . . when? And how? I’ve never seen a ring on his finger! And . . . he treated me to . . . just to ask me . . . for a . . . favour?

I have a knife in one hand and a fork in the other. I want to slam both of my fists on the table and let the dishes pop up in the air before dropping to the ground with a loud clang. Sadly, Sungyeol now reaches forward to touch my hand. With puppy-like eyes, he begs again, “Please, Leia, don’t you want to experience what it’s like to be a maid of honour?”

“Yes,” I accidentally blurt. “I’ve always wanted to—“

“Then it’s a deal! You’ll help Sohee pick out her dress and be her maid of honour!”

“Wh-wh-what?” I stutter and almost bite my tongue. I mean, I have always dreamed of being someone’s maid of honour, but not like this. Not for a girl that I don’t even know! And Sungyeol is supposed to be professing his suppressed feelings for me and not asking me for a favour!

“You’re really the best, Leia!” Sungyeol continues to stress. “I knew I could count on you!”

I am crying and laughing at the same time in my head. Ahahaha . . . I am the best? Ugh, I have been placed smack right into the friend zone, and there I was daydreaming that he’d confess his love to me. Really, why do I do this to myself? My gut feeling was telling me that going to dinner with him was a bad idea and that reacquainting myself to him was even riskier. So why . . . why do I do this?

I really, really blame my curiosity and . . . Yeonjun.

What am I going to say to him about my adventures now? He’s going to be laughing his head off and mocking me for the rest of my life. I’m supposed to be using this situation to smite him, yet it’s coming back to bite me.

Oh please, just kill me. Someone just throw a big, yellow bus at me. I don’t want to wake up to Yeonjun’s condescending laughter. I don’t want to hear his “Muhaha”. Oh god. Oh god. Someone just shake me and tell me that this is all a bad dream. I’m just daydreaming. I’m just . . .

“Leia, you don’t know how much this means to me,” Sungyeol keeps straining with his grateful voice.

Yup. This is totally not a dream, and now the waiter comes over with our desserts. I’m so glad I ordered a crepe suzette with raspberries, and I also make sure that I order a few more glasses of champagne. I need to get wasted as soon as possible.

------

It’s officially Saturday, the day where we spend the night gaming away. This time, we’re at Howon’s apartment working at Halo 3 because Eunhyuk gets to pick this weekend. To be honest, our group is rather nerdy. Sure, we do go to the clubs from time to time, but we’d rather just drink at a lounge or at home. The guys don’t really want to go hunting for ladies when I’m around. It’s just awkward, and the last time they tried incorporating me, the girls got annoyed at me for stealing the guys’ attention because I spilled my drink on myself. So, now, we just meet up every Saturday. This weekend, Yeonjun is too busy working overtime; therefore, he is skipping our gaming session. Thank goodness for that. In fact, thinking about Yeonjun just makes me want to explode and choke that guy to death. Argh. I’m screwed. After getting drunk that night, I’m still not feeling any better. In fact, now that I’ve recovered from my hangover, I realize just how screwed I am. No, I’m fu.cked. Really fu.cked. Let me just kill this boss and pretend that that’s Yeonjun. Stupid . . . stupid . . . stupid . . .

I hear a cough and then feel a tap on my shoulder. “Leia . . . I know you like to button smash, but . . .”

“But what?” I turn my head to snap at Hwang Howon, who is part of our group. He’s the one that used to settle down the bickering between Yeonjun and me. Actually, Howon still does that. I guess after all these years, Yeonjun and I still haven’t changed much.

“But . . . this is a bit too much,” Howon quietly notes. He has always been the calm one; he never wavers and never yells. He just takes everything in, so for him to comment about my gaming methods is rather extreme.

Now, Eunhyuk sings in a teasing way, “You know if you break his controller, you’re going to have to pay him . . . How much?”

“115, 745 won including tax,” Myungsoo answers while adjusting his black-rimmed Ray-Ban glasses with his ring finger. Myungsoo is the guy with few words, and sometimes, we forget about him. However, he manages to butt in for the very, very important matters or just the stuff that intrigues him so he can be an as.shole. Cough. Well, he isn’t exactly an as.shole. He just comes off like that, which is really, really different from Yeonjun, who is born to be a pain in the as.s. Often, Myungsoo chooses to observe. It’s not a surprise that he’s a software designer; I don’t mean to be clichéd or anything, but his mind just works logically and efficiently. Plus, he never had to study much in college. Damn him.

“Oh come on, guys, don’t be mean to our cutie virgin, Leia!” Sehun pokes my cheek, and I turn to bite his finger. “Oh, Leia, still so feisty! So cute! So cute!” Sehun continually chants.

Myungsoo, on the other hand, instructs in a steady tone, “Leia, if you want to have healthy children, then you have to take advantage of your ovaries when you are young. Women aren’t like men, you know?”

“I know, I know, but it’s not like good men can show up anywhere,” I mope.

“Well, at least freeze some of your eggs before you are thirty,” Myungsoo carries on saying.

If it were Yeonjun telling me this, I would have smacked him in the face. Since it’s Myungsoo, I know that he is being genuinely caring. He just doesn’t know how to word his sentences in a way that is less offensive. 

“B-b-b-but, I heard from Yeonjun that you had a hot date!” Sehun shrieks like an estrogen filled teenager.

“What?” Eunhyuk’s monkey, spiked hair almost swings by my left cheek. He nearly tosses his controller on the ground too but instead, chooses to shoot an enemy right in the head. “Since when did you get a hot date?” he asks after executing his move.

Even Howon, who is sitting on my right, shifts his gaze at me. In a firm voice, he asks, “Leia . . . is that true? That you were on a date?”

“Umm . . .”

Okay, either lie or have Yeonjun make fun of me till eternity. I think the former is better. Yeonjun would never find out about my misfortune right? Right . . .

“Yeah, Nam Leia!” Eunhyuk chucks his controller onto the floor and seizes my arm. Luckily, Myungsoo is smart enough to hit pause or else we’d be game over. Eunhyuk again barks, “You better fess up soon or else I’m going to—“

“Okay, okay,” I admit hurriedly before Eunhyuk can tickle my ribs. No one can handle the “Eunhyuk Rib Jab”. He literally probes at your ribs and then somehow, his fingers graze along them like soft feathers. I don’t know how many times he has forced a secret out of me or from anyone else like that. I’d rather not endure that torturous session, so I settle on lying, “I did go on a hot date.”

“Oh my god!” Sehun shrieks and immediately leaps in front of me to block my view of the plasma screen. I had just hit the resume button and now, I think I just got shot at by some enemy commander. Jesus, Sehun. Quick. Pause. “Spill!” Sehun urges, “Spill everything!”

Sometimes, I wonder too if Sehun is gay. Whenever we have gaming sessions, he is the one that suggests Cooking Mama, Gardening Mama or any of the Mama series. He even forces us to try out those styling games; we honestly dread the days that it’s his turn to select the game of the night. Whenever we play more violent games, like God of War, Sehun is always squealing when the enemy’s head is chopped off or if there are very graphic scenes. Then, I remember that he probably plays the most girls out of all these guys. Why? 

He understands women way better than these guys. Plus, he likes to hide at my office in university from the girls he picks up at my university. Sure, I may have a key to lock my place, but each of the boys somehow made a duplicate of my key. I just never figured out who actually borrowed my key in the first place to do that. Never mind about that though. The point is that Sehun is quite the ladies’ man.

“I think it is better for you to tell us unless you want Sehun and Eunhyuk bugging you at bed time with crazy phone calls and texts,” Myungsoo, who decides to continues the game, comments nonchalantly. 

Agreed. Myungsoo is right. I have to weasel my way through this somehow. It’s okay. I’ll just lie once more. “Umm . . . a friend introduced us,” I mumble. “He was a nice guy.”

“What?” Sehun squeals in my ear and almost spits in my eye. I’m fast enough to back away so that his saliva just lands on my lap. “That’s all you have to say about him?” Sehun seizes my shoulders and shakes me back and forth. 

Eunhyuk progresses to complain with a scornful frown, “Leia, are you shi.tting us or—“

“No, I am not shi.tting you,” I turn to glare back at him and interrupt. “He was also sweet and polite. He had a cute smile too, and he asked me out a second time.”

A second time . . . meaning bride gown shopping with his fiancée and company during the week. I forgot to mention that I got a text from him after I became sober. Sungyeol told me that I had agreed to go shopping with Sohee next week for her dress. Her family would be there too, and he also apologized that he wouldn’t be there. He didn’t want to see the dress to lay some curse on their wedding. I remembered reading that long text message and thinking that I must have had too much champagne at that time. That was why I agreed to shopping without much thought. Great. I suddenly recognize that I’m going to be fitted in some hideous bridesmaid wear because the couple doesn’t want to spend extra money on the other people. Plus, I can’t look better than the bride. The bridesmaid is always supposed to be uglier than the bride.

“Oh my god!” Sehun throws his arms around me to embrace me, almost suffocating me in the process. “I’m so excited for you! Our little virgin is growing up!”
“Finally,” Eunhyuk lets out a sigh, “Finally, you’re going to stop being a nun.”

“Hey!” I bark at him as I try to push Sehun away. “Just because I respect my own body and choose to abstain from sex, doesn’t mean that I’m a nun, okay?”

“Yeah, but who hasn’t even kissed a guy?” Eunhyuk scowls at me with a slanted smirk. “Huh? Leia, are you . . .”

“No! I’m straight! Okay?”

“Oh,” Eunhyuk breathes out loudly, “I thought we’d be able to see some girl-on-girl one day. That’s kind of hot, you know?”

I’m about to scream once more at this annoying monkey when Howon utters calmly, “Eunhyuk, don’t be so harsh on Leia. Leia just has a tough time finding the right guy. Right, Leia?”

“Exactly, Howon.” I nod my head up and down and up and down. “Exactly.”

“I think Leia should try to expand her opportunities,” Myungsoo suddenly suggests.

“What do you mean?” Sehun wonders by pouting his lips together and placing an index finger over them.

“If she wants to increase her probabilities of finding the proper mate, then she should stop hanging out with us on Saturdays,” Myungsoo clarifies in a very, very robotic tone. I swear he is that tin man from the Wizard of Oz, the one that lost his heart?

Sehun instantly scoffs like a diva, “Oh! That is absolutely outrageous! Myungsoo, how dare you even—“

“Oh my god!” I release the controller that has been resting in my now sweaty hands and slam my fist on my palm. “That’s a brilliant idea, Myungsoo!”

“What?” Eunhyuk growls at me. “You’re not really . . . putting hoes before bros right? I mean, that goes against the rules of friendship. It’s always bros before—“

“I’m not a bro, okay? I don’t have a pe—“

“Language, Leia,” Howon reminds me.

“Well, you get the point, and penis is a biologically acceptable word. In fact, I can remember in my senior year of high school, we were taught sexual reproduction and we had to label the penis as penis.” Accidentally, I digress and before you know it, I have to cough a few times to get back on track. Then, I state, “The point is that I think I’ve been hanging out with you guys so much that I’ve lost my femininity. I think . . . I think . . . that’s why I am single!”

“Leia . . .”

“Yes, Park Myungsoo?”

“I do have to make a point.” Myungsoo adjusts his glasses again and stares at me sternly with his cat-like mono-lids. “Before you met us, you were already single. So, I think there is more to this than just us.”

“Mmm? Th-th-then . . . what’s wrong?” I stammer. “What’s wrong with me?”

“You don’t do cute stuff, and you don’t care much about your face or body,” Eunhyuk gladly announces to the world. Luckily, it’s just the five of us and it’s not like I’m going to be dating any of these dudes. Can you imagine that? Incest. I shrug my shoulders in my head. Pure incest. Yuck.

“O-o-okay . . .” I slur.

“You’re like one of us.” I hear Yeonjun’s crisp, clear voice. We all turn to find Yeonjun standing at the doorway. He has a few plastic bags that are presumably filled with takeout food. Suddenly, I feel my stomach growl a few times. I guess we have been gaming too hard that we have forgotten about dinner again. Oops.
Sehun skips from my side to Yeonjun’s to give him a grand hug. “You’re here, Yeonjunnie!” Sehun screeches like a puppy waiting for its master after a week of starvation. “And with food! Since when did you become such a gentleman?”

“He probably felt bad for ditching us,” Myungsoo remarks.

“Lucky for you, we stay up late,” Eunhyuk chirps.

“Oh, Leia, what happened just now also shows how you’re not umm . . .”

“What do you mean, Howon?” I tilt my head to the side in awe.

Yeonjun enunciates unmistakably as Eunhyuk snatches the bags of food, “Howon means that you should have been the one hugging me and not Sehun. In fact, you should take lessons from Sehun. He does ageyo much better than you.”

“B-b-but, Yeonjun . . . that’s unfair! I can do aegyo too!”

“Oh really?” Yeonjun scoffs and cocks his head to his right. “Show us right now.”

“Right now?”

“Ohh! This sounds fun!” Eunhyuk giggles while clapping his hands fiercely. “Show us, Leia! Show us!”

I feel like I’m at a club being fed tons and tons of alcohol, and the guys and gals are chanting for me to chug it all down. Do it! Do it! Do it! And obviously, being the stupid, easily peer-pressured and severely competitive fool I am, I obey their order. So, here goes nothing. I am going to do my best aegyo. I think last time on Music Bank, I saw some idol cup his face with his hands and then plaster a bright smile. I’ll do that. I’m sure I can rock that move. Now, one, two, three . . . Cheese!

I’m expecting Sehun to squeal or some of the guys to blush. Instead, Yeonjun is raising one of his eyebrows and even folding his arms together. “Leia . . .” he utters. 

“Yeah, Yeonjun?” I hold my pose and try to smile even wider.

“You look . . .”

“Yes, Yeonjun?”

“You look . . . constipated.”

“Hahahahahaha!” Eunhyuk is pounding his fist on the ground while clutching his stomach. “Oh my god, Leia! Hahaha! You should see yourself! Ha!”

“Choi Eunhyuk! I’m going to ki—“

“Leia, I know you tried your best, but maybe it’s better for you to be yourself,” Howon naturally chimes in.

God. I fling my hands towards my cheeks. I want to bury myself now. It was that bad? Did I honestly look constipated? How do I even look when I’m constipated? God, what am I even—

“Okay,” Sehun interrupts my thoughts to recommend. “Why don’t you try this? Why don’t you say ‘Oppa, Saranghae’?” Sehun unveils a million dollar grin that reminds me of Kim Hyunjoong. Sehun even does a hair flick with a nicely timed wink. Man, this guy is good. If only I could . . .

“Wait . . . Huh?” I ponder aloud.

“Oh my god. Leia saying that? That’s hilarious!” Eunhyuk cracks up even harder. He is clapping his hands like crazy; it’s really a bad habit of Eunhyuk’s. Whenever he supports something dearly, he’ll end up like a seal applauding at some aquarium. What’s worse is that in this case, even Myungsoo is smirking and bobbing his head. For Myungsoo to show emotion . . . gosh, I am brilliant at times.

“That . . . would be interesting to witness,” Howon adds with his hand pressed on his chin—a look of approval indeed.

“So? Go on, Leia! Show us!” Sehun urges.

“No, I bet Leia can’t do it,” Yeonjun proclaims and is about to leave to place the food in the kitchen. Thinking of leaving? Mhm, I think not!

“What?” I shout and stand on both of my feet to face this six-feet-tall guy. “You think I can’t do aegyo?”

“I am almost a hundred percent certain that you will look constipated again.” Yeonjun stops at his tracks to glower at me like a nobleman would to a peasant. That degrading bas.tard.

“We’ll see about that,” I challenge. Now, I concentrate hard and think of the cutest dog I have ever witnessed. That’s my oppa. Now, here I go with my fingers curled together to form cheering fists and my lips parted to create a sweet smile: “Oppa! Saranghaeyo!” I even make a small heart sign with my fingers. All the guys have now stopped chattering and are looking at me in utter shock. “What? What? What’s wrong?” I question rather nervously. Am I really that unladylike? Do I look constipated again? Was stupid Yeonjun right?

Then, Sehun pounces at me and envelops his arms around me. “Oh my god! You’re even cuter when you’re doing aegyo! Kyah! I love you more than those idols I have to deal with!” 

I failed to comment that Sehun is in charge of choreographing catchy dances for idol groups. Sehun is the grandson of some famous dance master. It’s sort of natural for Sehun to take on dance. I think he has been doing ballet, jazz, waltz and traditional dance ever since he was five. Sehun is also of an interesting mix—being half-British, a quarter Japanese and a quarter Korean. I’m not sure if it’s because he has been exposed to so many cultures that has made him so open minded and overly touchy. He thinks actions are greater than words, and I think Sehun isn’t teasing me like Yeonjun. Sehun genuinely thinks I am cute, and for what reason, I don’t know. Sehun truly treats me like one of his sisters; in fact, he is the oldest and the only male out of his five sisters. 

“Wait . . .” I shove Sehun away from me. “So I passed?”

Myungsoo gives me a thumbs-up. Howon flashes a sunny smile at me. Eunhyuk nods his head frivolously as well. Only Yeonjun is expressionless; he looks angry in fact with his eyebrows pressed close together. 

“Yeah, Yeonjun, you should say something,” Howon states.

Yeonjun sticks out his tongue and even puts his finger in his mouth, showing me that he wants to vomit. “Yuck. That was really, really gross,” Yeonjun notes and even shivers. “Hope I never see it again.” 

Then, he advances towards the kitchen to set the food on the table. Right now, I’m too angered by him that I chase after him without thinking. I even holler, “What’s wrong with you, Yeonjun? Why are you always such a party pooper?”

“Nothing,” Yeonjun places the bags on the granite counter and utters. “Nothing is wrong.”

“To tell you the truth, Yeonjun,” I inform, “sometimes, I really don’t get what you’re doing. Was I that . . . bad?”

He shifts his gaze towards me and with a set of critical eyes, grumbles, “Yeah . . . so gross.”

“Well, he likes me very much,” I gloat to save my face. “He thinks I’m elegant and pretty.”

“Oh god . . .” Yeonjun almost gasps. “Did he say that after you did him or gave him a blow job?”

“No!”

“Then, you’re lying.”

“That is so not true,” I proclaim. “Since when do I lie?”

“Because whenever you lie, you like to squint your eyes together and tense your cheeks like a goldfish.”

Yeonjun’s leather satchel is lying on one of Howon’s bar chairs. Unbuckling one of the flaps, Yeonjun retrieves a mirror from his bag and sticks it in front of my face. “Okay,” he instructs, “now tell me how much you like to eat green peppers.”

“No! That’s stupid! You know how much I hate—“

“You wanted to see if that’s what you do when you lie right?”

“Well . . . I am curious . . .”

“Uh huh, and therefore, to satisfy your curiosity, you should—“

“All right! All right!” I snatch the mirror from him and shout with all my might, “I love green peppers! john tesh!” I realize within an instant that Yeonjun is right. My expression reveals my lies. Crap. It’s no wonder I can never be an actress. It’s no wonder that I have always been cast as a pumpkin or some inanimate object for my school plays in elementary school. 

“See?”

“Okay, so it might not have went that well, but he did think I was pretty and that there’d be a second meeting,” I correct.

“R-r-r-right.”

“Moon Sungyeol also thinks—“

“Wait . . . what’d you say his name was?” Yeonjun cuts me off abruptly.

“Moon Sungyeol. Why? You know him?”

“Not really, but I just feel . . . like I’ve heard of him.”

“I doubt it.” I wave my hand at him and chuckle. “Haha! He didn’t even go to the same university as us. There’s no way that you’d know Moon Sungyeol.”

Really . . . how small can this world be? Yeonjun knowing Sungyeol . . . Ha. Joke of the century!

“But I pretty much know all of your friends,” Yeonjun notes.

“Right. Name them.”

Counting with his fingers, Yeonjun lists, “Eunhyuk, Howon, Sehun, Myungsoo . . .”

“I have more than you guys, you know that?”

“Fine. You’re also kind of close with Seohyun, Ara, Hyori, Minwoo and Edward.”

“Well, what about my colleagues? Huh? Those are my—“

“Oh cut the crap, Leia!” Yeonjun rolls his eyes at me. “You hate your colleagues. Plus, they’re like twice your age and sometimes like to make sexist jokes at you.”

True. Very true. I pretty much half-hate my job as an assistant professor. Sure, I am super lucky to even have a job in the first place, but I swear . . . that the working environment is awful. I also hate my students and teaching in general. I don’t even know why I’m in this job in the first place. Oh right . . . stability and prestige. And supposedly to snag or wow a man with my position. Right. . . probably would be easier for me to be some professor’s mistress. Ugh, yuck. 

“All right,” I try my best to debate, “then what about—“

“Trust me, I know all your friends,” Yeonjun sighs.

“Yeah, well, you missed Sungyeol. I just never bothered to introduce you to him or the other guys. He’s my secret hot candy okay?”

“Hot candy?” Yeonjun does his signature look that really just says: “I don’t know what you are saying because you sound really, really stupid. So stop shi.tting me and redeem yourself by explaining your stupidity.”

“Whatever,” I tell him. “You get the point, and I have high school and elementary school friends too!”

“That you don’t even hang out with anymore . . .”

“Well you don’t know my texting capabilities!” I argue. “I can maintain many friendships!”

“The point is . . . is that you’re lying.”

“I’m not, and I’ll prove it to you guys.”

“How?” Yeonjun inquires. “How?”

“I’m going to take a picture of Sungyeol the next time we meet.”

“Sure, sure,” he scoffs once more.

“You’ll see, Yeonjun,” I urge. “You’ll wish that you had never challenged me!” Then, I quickly direct myself to Howon’s room only to find that all the other boys are crouching around the corridor leading to the kitchen to eavesdrop. “Yeah! If you heard everything, then at least say something!” I shout at them, who instantly dash for the food and ignore me.

Eunhyuk pretends to act dumb and adds, “Well, I can’t read lips. You, Sehun? Can you read lips?”

Sehun shakes his head, agreeing, “No, I most definitely can’t.”

“And I have no interest in retaining whatever information that was given,” Myungsoo emphasizes while passing by me.

As for Howon, he gives me a gentle smile and pats me on the head. “Good luck, Leia,” he hums.

So, there I am . . . alone to go back to game. It seems too embarrassing to join the boys for a late dinner, but now, my stomach is crying out loud for food. My stomach is urging me to eat or else I will rage and be the second Hulk. Okay, for the sake of living, I head back to the kitchen. Eunhyuk is already eating without using cutlery. What a monkey. Howon is scolding Eunhyuk while handing him some chopsticks and a bowl. Myungsoo is already collecting food in his plate. Yeonjun is pouring drinks for the other boys. Only Sehun greets me with a cute, cheerful wave. “Leia, Leia! Sit here!” He points to the tiny spot he has left on his chair. Yeah, Sehun has a duck butt. Still, I think it’s sweet, so I listen to him and squeeze in a chair with him. “Here! Open up!” Sehun uses his chopsticks to snatch a piece of squid and tosses it in my mouth. As I’m chewing, he asks, “Good, right?”

Ah, I’m in food heaven. I’m floating already with tiny wings. Yup . . . this is love. Mmm, I think, I think I’m about to experience a foodgasm, and I'm about to--

“Of course it’s good.” I open my eyes to find Yeonjun sporting a dreadful grimace. “I bought the food.”

And that’s when I realize that I really have to win this challenge. I can’t let Yeonjun ruin my life forever.
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