Chapter 7: Before the Suho War


My arms are about to fall off at this rate. No, I am not bench pressing 110 pounds. I am catching and holding onto every dress that Yeonjun tosses into my arms. I feel like I’m in an old school video game where I have to bounce Yoshi up and down from this trampoline. While all this exercising happens, Yeonjun will comment something like this: “Yeah, I think this will work. Mustard should capture someone’s eyes. It’s popular today, but then again, burgundy seems sexier. Whatever, you’ll try out both.” Then, he’ll fling the item into the air, and I’m expected to run in that direction and make a perfect catch, which I do 97% of the time. By the time, I can’t even see what is ahead of me, I mutter while panting, “Y-Y-Y-Yeonjun . . . I-I-I can’t t-t-take it anymore. I-i-it’s too much.”


Yeonjun grabs half of the pile from me and points out, “Y-y-y-you know, th-th-that s-s-sounds t-t-t-terribly wrong. Sounds like you’re about to climax but you want more.” Straightaway, the clothes that I am holding plummet to the floor. I am sure the lady in the luxurious department store has gasped because all of these outfits added together can mean thousands and thousands of dollars. As I kneel down to quickly pick up what I have dropped, Yeonjun follows my move but remembers to whisper, “So you do want more?”

“N-n-n-no . . .”

Yeonjun cackles as he steals more dresses from my hands. “I meant more clothes, silly goose,” he teases. “What were you even thinking, Leia? Tsk tsk. What a perverted mind you have. Maybe we need another porn session to help you get rid of your repressed sexual urges.”

Okay, let me explain the porn session. After I graduated from university, Yeonjun and I were drinking to celebrate our graduation. Somehow, we were on the topic of porn. I think it was because he told me that blu-ray was popularized by porn and from there, I confessed to Yeonjun that I had never seen porn before. Yeonjun, bewildered by my statement, keenly suggested that we go to his place to watch some porn online. He even disclosed that most males watched porn to relieve their sexual urges, and when I asked him what he meant by that. He looked me quizzically while explaining, “You know . . . masturbate?”
That word, I remembered, made me blush very, very hard, and after that revelation, the porn film started to roll. Midway through, I told Yeonjun the truth, “You know . . . I thought porn was for education.”

Yeonjun, if I remembered correctly, laughed until his stomach grew very sore or until he had to go to the washroom to throw up. We were quite drunk that night, but I still recalled Yeonjun muttering, “You . . . are one funny girl.” Then, he collapsed, and I was left unsure what to do about the film. I believed I fell asleep to porn playing in the background—the sound of moans, groans, pants and dirty words. What a night to graduate. At least I understand how porn works too, and I can’t believe I viewed porn critically. I was trying to educate myself about the filming techniques and the sorts of actors they casted. I’m sure that’s not how normal people see porn.

Now that the porn story has been revealed, I can carry on with what happens right now. Yeonjun leads me to a changing room and is waiting for me on one of the couches. I have tons of clothes to try on, and one by one, I attempt all of them. I feel like I’m a little girl playing dress up once again. Barbie? Yeah, I think so.

When I come out of the changing room, I see that Yeonjun somehow finds a magazine and is flipping through it like crazy. He looks up and publicizes, “Nope. You look like a white, layered wedding cake. Next.” 

He continues this whole process of criticizing everything I wear that I’m getting rather impatient. He too is becoming more bothered that he suddenly decides to slide the curtains to my room wide open. 

Swoosh.

“Ah!” I shriek and cover my breasts.

Yeonjun frowns deeply, grumbling, “It’s not like you’re naked. You have bras and panties on, okay? No big deal. Now, let’s see what else you still have left to try on . . .” He scans the row of hangers and after a few minutes, he snatches a few and passed them to me. “All right. Try these on and just these.” Before he leaves, he turns around to inform me, “Oh Leia, you better watch what you’re eating and you should go work out with us. You have a tummy.”

Swoosh the curtains go again to close. Now that I look at the mirror, I realize that he is right. This is bad. Even Yeonjun notices this fat that I am pinching at the moment. Sigh. Let me just put on this next dress on and hope that it’ll cover my stomach. As I open the curtains, I am anticipating Yeonjun to judge me harshly. Instead, I see his eyes lighten up and his eyebrows rise upwards. Suddenly, there is life in him. He even leans more of his weight on one leg as he utters, “This is it. We’re wrapping this one up for sure.”

“W-w-w-wait . . . are you sure?” I stammer. “I mean have you even looked at the—“

“Don’t worry,” Yeonjun interrupts. “Money isn’t an issue, and I consider this an investment. Plus, we just need you to look good, and right now, Leia, you look good . . . very good.”

“Really? Are you really—“

Yeonjun pulls me towards a set of body length mirrors. “Look,” he instructs. “That’s you right there.”

I stare at the girl in front of me. Amazingly, I can’t see any flabs around my waist. My breasts even look larger than normal. My hips don’t look too small either. It’s all thanks to this black, V neckline, sequined dress. I look like a mix of sexy and cute because of the ribbon tied along my waist. I don’t look too short as well since the dress hovers above my knees. With the right set of heels, I have a killer look that’s not too out of my element. I feel confident enough to seduce.

“Wow,” I find myself uttering in disbelief. “That’s . . . really me.”

Still standing behind me and with his hands pressed on the sides of my arms, Yeonjun notes, “Yup. It’s all you, Leia. With this dress, some good makeup, heels, and a nice hairdo, you’ll have heads turning for you at the wedding.”

“You know,” I look back at him, “that kind of sounds . . . fun.”

Yeonjun scoffs before walking away, “Thought so. Now, change back and we’re going to go shoe shopping.” 

“What?” I sulk my way back to the changing room. “You can’t be serious?”

“You should be happy about shopping,” Yeonjun reminds me. “Girls love shopping.”

“Well I’m not like your average girl.”

“Whatever. Just go change and hurry up.”

So, off we go to find shoes. To be serious, the whole process is rather similar to the one I described before, except this time, I don’t have a changing room and Yeonjun is just staring at my feet. In the end, I don’t remember which shoes he selected. I just recall how hard it was to walk in them. I started to feel sorry for models that had to wear ridiculous heels to walk down a runway. Must really suck. I know too well now, but Yeonjun finds this to be perfect. He says I can pretend to stumble and fall on Suho. I tell Yeonjun that he has seen too many romantic comedies for his own good. Even I don’t think that way.
Meh. At least I have all my battle gear. I’m ready to fight this war. I have all the right weapons. I just need the right moves now. If only there were combos that I can memorize, then I will succeed for sure. I guess I’ll button smash for now, meaning that I’ll do whatever I can to win over this man. I really need Suho’s help anyways to save myself from supreme embarrassment. 

I think I can understand how great military leaders felt before the greatest battles of their lives. I’m sure, though, they’re not as nervous as me. The night before I can’t sleep, so I end up having a Disney marathon. I go through all the fairy tales once to experience that Disney magic. Maybe, it’ll rub off on me, and my fairy godmother will appear to rescue me at this banquet. I wish . . .

“Ah!” I shriek at the bathroom mirror upon seeing my face. I have a huge pimple on my forehead making me look like Buddha. Okay, I don’t mean to be politically incorrect, but this is awful. Is it because of all the chocolate I snacked on while watching my movies? Wait . . . I’m not supposed to eat chocolate! I’m on a diet. What am I doing? Just what in the world am I thinking?

Immediately, I try on the dress Yeonjun purchased for me. I’m having trouble zipping it up completely from the back. Jesus. This is ridiculous! What am I going to do now? Suck in, Leia. Suck all your fat in and pull up. Come on now . . . Argh . . . I give up and run back to my bed and collapse on top of it. 

Sigh . . . 

Doraemon’s theme song beings to ring from my cell phone, and so I roll over to my dresser beside my bed. Then, I grab my phone and groan, “Hello?”

“I’m downstairs already,” Yeonjun informs me.

mini cooper. I do a slow and forced sit up. Man am I unfit these days. I’m so unfit that I have to go to my side to slide off the bed. Then, I look at the clock on my dresser. It is 6:00 pm. I’m late, and I’m not even dressed or made up yet! This is so unlike me. This is just . . . disastrous, and that’s why I stammer, “C-c-c-can you give me five minutes? I’ll be down in—“

“No,” Yeonjun interrupts. “If that’s the case, then come down and open up the gates to the underground parking for me. I bet you’re still in your cartoon PJs and that you haven’t even taken a shower.”

I stare down at myself and ruffle my own hair. Okay, it’s far too oily that I can’t even do a proper hair flip; gravity is slowly dragging my hair down. As for my outfit, it’s a mess. Definitely not a hot one. Not wanting to admit defeat, I lie, “You’re half right. I forgot my shower, but I have sweat pants on.”

“Even worse. Now hurry down so I can help you.”

“All right. All right.”

Before I head down, I hurry to change into my grey sweat pants that I casually tossed on the ground. I have a bad habit of piling dirty clothes and my sleeping wear there. It’s way easier to get clothes from the floor than from the closet, and I don’t have all the time in the world to fold clothes. At least that’s what I think.

“Oh God,” Yeonjun complains as soon as he sees me. “At least put on some sunglasses so no one can recognize you!”

“What? It’s that bad? I even changed into sweats for you!”

“Oh so you were lying about being in sweats already.”

“Well, about that . . .”

“You seriously don’t have to lie to me to save your face, Leia. I’ve already seen your worst sides. You can’t hide them from me anyways.” He breezes through his explanation as he enters the elevator. Giving me another glance, he scoffs, “I really can’t take this anymore.” Then, he snatches his sunglasses from his blazer pocket and puts them on me. “Much better,” he relieves a sigh. “Much . . . much better.” I’m wearing his Armani aviators, and somehow, I feel like a celebrity hiding from her fans. Maybe, I should start wearing sunglasses more often. They’re definitely a confidence booster, but as soon as I unlock the door to my apartment, he reclaims his sunglasses from me and sighs, “Got to disinfect the nose area now.”

“Hey!” I howl at him. “I’m not a disease okay?”

“Think about it this way. Isn’t it gross to be sharing ear buds with someone? Their ear mini cooper on your ear bud? Same with sharing pens? You don’t know what they have touched,” Yeonjun explains while rushing to my room. I chase after him trying to understand what he is trying to find and because of that, I have no time to argue with him about the sunglasses. Right now, I have to go save my property, and by property, I mean in this case, my . . . lingerie?

“Wh-wh-what are you doing, Yeonjun?” I glare at him in the dark. He hasn’t even bothered to turn on the lights, and this makes him seem like a lingerie kidnapper? Is there even a term for that?

“What?” Yeonjun grumbles. “I’m trying to find your push-up bra. I completely forgot about that that day. I must have been too tired. Argh, honestly, how could I forget such an important piece of—“

“But I’m wearing it already,” I mutter quietly.

“What?” Yeonjun storms towards me like a fierce soldier and before I can comprehend what is happening, I feel two squeezes on my chest. My squeal is overwhelmed by Yeonjun’s complaints: “Holy mini cooper . . . you’re right . . .” Yeonjun’s voice fades away with a supposed, arctic wind. “This is horrible! Fu.ck!” 
Yeonjun tugs the side of his head and looks like he is about to faint. Shouldn’t I be the one fainting? It’s my body? Plus, is my chest size that distressing? I frown upon pondering that question in my head. I didn’t choose to have smaller assets. I wanted Katy Perry’s breasts too. Okay . . . that sounds a bit wrong now, but you get what I mean. “What are we going to do?” Yeonjun paces back and forth, almost suffering from a panic attack. Honestly, I have no idea how my breasts can induce such troubles. It is rather funny, now that I think of it, and because I chuckle, Yeonjun barks, “What are you laughing at? This isn’t supposed to be funny.”

“You.” I try my best to suppress the urge to roll on the ground to laugh. “You’re f-f-funny. Hehe.”

“Don’t ‘hehe’ me,” Yeonjun scolds while reaching for my dress that I carelessly flung on my bed. “Let’s just get you changed for now before you ruin anymore of my plans.”

“Sheesh, Yeonjun. Lighten up a bit, and it’s not like I’m not trying to have bigger boobs or that I don’t want them,” I tell him. “They’re just . . . small.”

Yeonjun’s facial expression relaxes as he mutters, “Sorry. I didn’t know it’d bother you.”

“Nah, it’s okay.”

Then, we kind of stand there for a minute, unsure of what to do. Yeonjun and I are particularly bad at dealing with apologies. I’m sure he and I have complained about how awkward it feels whenever someone apologizes or one of us does it. Since we have known each other for a while now, we barely have any serious fights that result to either of us saying sorry. We just bicker and squabble like two old aunties battling to buy the last discounted fish at the supermarket. Then, the manager, which in this case would be Howon or Sehun, would have to step in to break us apart. Now, that’s normal, but this . . . this deserves someone going: “That awkward moment when . . .”

Before I go off and daydream, I, all of a sudden, realize that Yeonjun is unbuttoning my pajama top. Seeing me glance down at my almost exposed chest, Yeonjun comments, “We need to get you changed right?”

“I-I-I can d-d-d-do that myself!” I shield my body with my arms, stopping him from stripping me completely.

Yeonjun rolls his eyes and retorts, “I bet you couldn’t zip up that dress, so you just left it on your bed.”

Damn. Why does Yeonjun have to know me so well? And it’s not like I can lie because I will need his help with the zipper later? Geez, why is it that those drama scenes where the girl can’t reach her zipper so she gets her boyfriend to help her with it so romantic? Why is my zipper scene so . . . lame? Done out of necessity?

“Okay,” I admit. “You’re right. I couldn’t zip it, but let me wear half of the dress before asking for your help okay?” Yeonjun still stands there gawking at me, and so I have to push him from his back to force him out the door. “Now, wait outside and come in when I tell you that I’m done. Okay?”

“F-f-f-fine. So stop pushing me and I’ll walk out by myself!” 

Slam.

The door closes, and I exhale an overdue sigh. Time to try on this dress again. Maybe with this much stress Yeonjun is putting on me, I’ll manage to shed a few pounds within the week. As I undress, I realize that I’m just thinking wishfully. I really . . . really need to hit the gym. There’s this love handle sticking from my waist and then my arm flab. I should have been a penguin for Halloween, and it wouldn’t even be one of those cartoon characters twisted with sexiness. Nope. Just very kid friendly and National Geographic in style. As for this dress that I am pushing up my body, I am thankful that clothes can hide everything temporarily. Now that I am stuck, I call Yeonjun to rescue me, “You can come in now!”

Yeonjun pushes open the door, whinging, “About time.” He marches over to me with his eyes glued on my back. Then, he demands, “Suck in your stomach! Hurry!” Out of fright, I obey his command, and before I know it, I hear that zipping noise. “Now don’t breathe hard!” Yeonjun interrupts me just as I am about to exhale. “Breathe very slowly and womanly, okay? You don’t want the whole dress to explode.” When I turn around to thank him, I, instead, find him shaking his head, muttering, “In just a few days . . . you manage to . . . gain.”

“Oh shut up, Yeonjun,” I utter. “I just had too much chocolate yesterday.”

“What? You’re on your period?”

“No!”

“Then what? Someone broke your heart?”

“No . . . I just felt like eating chocolate okay?”

“Well, thankfully, you aren’t going to be sleeping with him tonight,” Yeonjun utters while dragging me to my makeup table.

Along the way, I argue, “Wh-wh-what? Since when did I ever say I’d sleep with him?”

Plopping me into my seat, Yeonjun gazes at me intently from the mirror and notes, “Since you agreed that you’d seduce him. Did you honestly believe that seduction was kept PG-13 or lower?”

“Maybe,” I soundlessly mouth. I kind of want to slap myself in my head for believing that femme fatales never sleep with their targets. Just because movies don’t show the sex scenes doesn’t mean that they never happen. It ought to be the Disney films that have brainwashed me to the world of Princes and gentlemen-like behaviour.

“Sit still, Leia!” Yeonjun disciplines me and twists my jaw in his direction. 

I take a glimpse to my left. There is a box of makeup goodies, which causes me to question, “Yeonjun! Where’d you get that? And how in the world do you know how to—“

“Close your eyes.” Since I obey him, Yeonjun explains, “I work in a cosmetics company, so of course, I know the basics and more.”

“True, but this so crazy!” I nearly spring from my stool only to be shoved downwards by Yeonjun.

“You’re just stereotyping males now,” he reminds me. 

With that one statement, I zip my mouth and let him do his magic. In a bizarre sense, I feel like Yeonjun is my fairy godmother. I might as well get him to jokingly say that I’ll lose all my clothes and makeup at midnight. It’s too bad he isn’t a woman, plump, and dressed in blue. Rather, Yeonjun is wearing a dull metallic grey suit paired with a black, silk tie. He seems too harsh dressed like this; I kind of want to suggest that he wear his typical colourful ties or strikingly bold suits. This man once wore a royal blue pinstripe suit, and there was that other time that we were eating at a French restaurant and he had a bright orange suit. So, I really can’t relate to Yeonjun in grey or black. He’s not a man of sombre shades, and that leads me to blurt, “You look like you’re going to a funeral.”

“Thanks, pal,” he sarcastically remarks. “And you look like you are going to a funeral too but in a rebellious way.”

“Thank you too, Yeonjun. That’s very, very sweet of you to say.”

“Any time, Leia. Any time . . . and . . .voila, we are done!” he announces proudly. “Go on,” he prompts. “Go check yourself out.”

I virtually attack the mirror and almost wobble it from its place. “Oh my god! You’re a genius, Yeonjun!” I squeal at Yeonjun and pounce into his arms. I forget that all this time, Yeonjun has been kneeling or bending over to paint my face with makeup. Because I jump with too much force, Yeonjun is caught off guard and as a result, he lands his back on the ground, whereas my face presses against his chest. “Ouch,” I mumble. 

“I think I should be the one saying that . . .”

Instantly, I back off from his body and apologize, “I’m so sorry! Are you okay?” 

I even extend my hand out towards him, hoping that he’ll accept it so I can pull him up. Instead of receiving a nice thank you from him, Yeonjun chirps, “You know . . . it’s usually the guy that gives the girl a hand and not the other way around . . .”

“Oh right! I’m so . . .”

“Stupid?” Yeonjun helps me finish my sentence in a bad way.

“Hey!”

Finally cracking a smile, Yeonjun accepts my hand and taunts, “You know I’m right.” Yeonjun takes advantage of me by using all my body strength to pull himself up. Halfway through this painful process, he unexpectedly stops to say, “I think we need a practice run.”

“Huh? What?” I bat my eyelashes a few times in confusion.

“Try to seduce me . . . like you would to Suho,” Yeonjun urges.

“Say that again?”

“You heard me. Seduce me like you would to Suho,” Yeonjun repeats. I let go of his hand completely and this time, it’s reversed. He topples me on my back, but again, my face is buried in his chest. Yeonjun crawls a bit backwards so that we are on the same eye level. “Is this part of your routine?” he sneers. “Or is this part of your failure?”

In a fit of fury, I seize his collar and force my lips onto his. I do my best to imitate how he kissed me that time. Gently press . . . okay never mind. I think I bit his lower lip, and now I taste his blood. I also feel his tongue lick my bottom lip, and as I am shocked by his act, he miraculously manages to slither his tongue into my half-opened mouth. Here we go again, I think. French kiss. La la la la. I’m sure this isn’t exactly how most people think through their kisses, but I can’t exactly get lost in the moment. I’d be losing right? But then when I think about it . . . I already sort of lost when he successfully convinces me to appeal to him. Why is it that he . . .

“Ahem . . .” I see Yeonjun back away from my lips as he addresses me, “Am I the one trying to hook you or are you doing your job?”

“Oh . . . oops.” I cover my mouth with my palm in a heap of embarrassment. I guess I’m pretty bad at this bewitching task. Perhaps, it’ll be better for me to use a sign that says that I want to get with someone. Faster and way more efficient than whatever I will be doing.

Yeonjun scratches the back of his head, mumbling, “I wonder why I’m even getting you to do this. I think I’m too nice to you . . . giving you a good opportunity to snag a good guy too.”

I scuttle over to Yeonjun, who is still sitting on my hardwood floor. Then, I pat his head a few times. “Good boy,” I declare.

“Yeah! I’m not a dog okay?”

“You know . . .”

“Yeah?”

“I think I’d rather you be in a pink suit than in this,” I at last confess.

Yeonjun, now with his legs bent, scoffs, “What? Pink is the new black?”

“No,” I explain. “It’s more like . . . it’s weird . . . seeing you . . . so serious?”

“Ha!” Yeonjun, whose eyes are focused on the ground, snickers at me. “That’s probably the last thing anyone would say to me,” he whispers in a very soft voice. “Come on,” he now eyes me and changes his tone. “We’re going to be late at this stage. So, let’s go!”

This time, Yeonjun is the one that grasps my hand to compel me to stand on my feet. He is about to run forward, so it’s like we’re in a movie where the two characters are running away from family or bad people and through fields of long grass happily. Here’s where the record disc scratches, and I remember to say, “Wait . . . I need my purse.”

“Oh.”

I admit . . . I’m pretty good at spoiling lovely moments. Wait. Was that a lovely moment? That was just Yeonjun touching my hand. What am I even thinking? Running away with him? A scene from a drama? Yeonjun and me? I’m going crazy. I must be. It must be the lack of sleep that is making me think so irrationally. There’s no way Yeonjun will fit that male lead who will dazzle me and earn my heart. I guess it’ll be Suho then that will make my eyes pop out, my drool spew from my mouth and my heart feel like it has wings. Yes . . . that’s love . . . indeed.

“Yeah, Leia, are you going to hurry up or what?” Yeonjun yaps at me near the front door.

Insert another disc scratching noise now.

Yeah, that’s not love.
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