Chapter 8: A Bloody War


Since Yeonjun believes in arriving just a smidge late, which really equates to being ten to seventeen minutes tardy, he drives at quite a fast speed. You see, the wedding reception is supposed to start at 7:00 pm, and by the time Yeonjun began to work on my makeup, it was already 6:20 pm, give or take. I know for sure that when we left my place, it was 7:00 pm; after all, the radio Yeonjun turns on announces the time just as we get into the car. The wedding reception is at some high class hotel at the mountaintop of some place in the outskirts of Seoul. It’s supposed to be the latest fad to have your wedding take place at somewhere exotic yet close to civilization. In any case, going to that hotel normally takes at least 30 minutes. Because we’re kind of behind on schedule and Yeonjun is anal enough to have a specific arrival time in mind, Yeonjun has to race against cars. Really, he just keeps changing lanes, and I keep praying with my eyes closed that there will be no cops or drunk drivers around us. Please . . . just let us arrive safely. Dear God, it doesn’t have to be on time like Yeonjun wishes.
“7:16 pm,” Yeonjun announces as he steps on the brakes. “Not bad.”

Regaining my breath and opening my eyes, I unbuckle my seat belt and push open the door. “Yeah . . . it doesn’t really make a difference if we’re 30 minutes late,” I tell him.

Yeonjun stays in his seat to argue, “Thirty really is too slow. There’s a difference between disgustingly late and elegantly late.”

“You know,” I stick my head in the car while explaining, “the real term is ‘fashionably late’.”

“Right . . . right . . .”

“Anyhow, I’ll give you a call when I’m done?” 

Yeonjun shakes his head, arguing, “Your goal is to get a ride home and not free load off of me.”

“Whatever. I’m going now! Bye!” I wave at him and skip my way to the reception table.

To my dismay, Jessica is there greeting all the guests. She spots me easily and squeals, “Oh hi, Leia! Where’s your boyfriend then?” We pretend to do that whole “you-are-really my-best-friend” move, you know, the type where you hug and squeal all at the same time. I mean, if she wants to act fake, then I’ll play along with her too. 

“Oh . . . umm . . . he’s at the restroom right now,” I reply.

“Oh . . . well, make sure you introduce him to me!”

“By the way, here’s your gift.”

“Oh, just place it on the table.”

It’s really just a gift card to Ikea. Sounds better than wine glasses huh? Stupid Eunhyuk ruining my plans. The thought of those annoying boys proves to be a death sentence for Eunhyuk spots me among the crowd and approaches me. Waving energetically at me, Eunhyuk hollers so loudly that sevrela heads turn to see me, “Yo! Nam Leia! Over here! Over here!”

Embarrassed about the whole situation, I try to cover my face with my palm as I make my way towards Eunhyuk and the toher boys. All of them are dressed rather formally, which is quite an unusual sight. Eunhyuk manages to dig up one of his plaid shirts and mixes this with a dark, cotton blazer. Sehun, on the other hand, looks like an editorial model; with his smooth, silk blazer and slick pants, he is on his game. Myungsoo just wears a black Polo golf shirt, grey trousers, and a pair of white Lacoste shoes. He, I have to say, is unintentionally preppy. I know Myungsoo too well that he just picks whatever he feels most comfortable in. Howon, in contrast, selects a formidable, proper suit that allows him to camouflage with all the other guests. 

“Wow,” Howon takes note as his eyes wiwden. “You look nice, Leia!”

“Why, thank you, Howon,” I acknowledge with a slight nod. 

“Yeah . . . you look . . . different,” Eunhyuk manages to compliment. “Are you honestly here for a wedding or are you here to snag some guy, but then that wouldn’t make sense because you’re supposed to introduce your date to us?”

Sehun purposely adds and nudges my arm, “Yeah, Leia. Where is that guy?”

“Oh . . . he’s at the rest room,” I lie.

“I was just at the washroom. I don’t think I saw any other guys there,” Myungsoo declares. Damn that Myungsoo. Why does he have to be so honest? Can’t he just take a hint?

“Well, he probably went after you then,” I reason.

“Sure, sure,” Eunhyuk snorts. “I bet, Leia, that you . . .” Oh no, I think. Eunhyuk is going to expose my lies. He’s going to tell the whole world about my tragedy. What shall I do? What shall I— “Just hired a guy to act as your date!” he exclaims and gives a high-five to Sehun. 

Let my sweat drops drip down my forehead, and there I sigh. Eunhyuk is too stupid at times to figure out the truth that is staring him in the face. Now before Myungsoo or Howon can make any logical deductions, I shall make my move and escape. This is why I lie once more: “Oh no! I forgot to place my gift at the table! I’ll be right back!”

I scurry to the buffet table, hoping that food will disguise me. Along the way to my escape, I keep drinking glasses of champagne in one gulp. Gulp. There goes one. Toss it on some tray. Gulp. I finish another. Place it on some table. Gulp. I see a guy in a white suit holding a tray of champagne. Instantly, I grab one and chug it down my throat. “Thanks,” I tell him. “I really need a drink. You know, I bet you hear a lot of complaints from people but let me tell you . . . my life really sucks right now.”

“O-o-okay?” The man stammers and places his tray on a table.

The back of my mind tells me that this guy looks super familiar, but I think it’s impossible that I know him. Ignoring my brain, I continue to complain, “My colleague and my friends expect me to show my boyfriend or date to them when really, I have no date. I mean, you can’t exactly hire some escort to be your date right? Like th-th-that’s not right, right?”

“R-r-right.” I grab another drink and then suddenly feel a familiar warmness and a sharp pain in my abdomen. Oh no! It can be! Ugh . . . my stomach . . . I feel a steady arm on my shoulder as the waiter asks, “Are you okay? Do you need any help?”

What am I supposed to tell a guy now? I need my Kotex pad? I am on my period? I need to go to the girls’ washroom to buy a pad from their vending machine? Do I even have coins in my purse? I think I used up all my change to buy convenience store snacks, and it’s no wonder that I went on a chocolate rampage last night. This is just awful. Just bloody awful. Bloody? How smart of me. And now, having too much champagne to drink in one go, I feel particularly dizzy. My head is swirling, and I can still think critically but everything is in slow motion. “Umm . . .”

“Yes?” I feel another firm hold from his other arm steadying me. I guess I really am losing balance and doing a bit of a limbo when there’s obviously no stick to go under. I better not bend my back too far that I sprain it. I’d be the laughing stock among the guys if that happens.

I think it is because I am drunk, but I reveal the truth, “I just realized that I have my period, and I don’t have any pads with me. As a waiter, could you still help me out? I mean, I know it’s not really part of your expertise to be assisting females with their, err, problems, but this is an emergency, and it’d be great if the gentleman in you could—“

“Ah! There you are!” I see one guy waving at him. It seems like he is in the same outfit as him. Oh no! I can’t get his coworker to drag him back to work. Okay, time to take matters into my own hands, and so I drag this poor man by the wrist. I force him to run with me towards the girls’ washroom.
“W-w-w-wait!” I hear my waiter bellow, but still, I ignore him. 

My bloody situation needs to be hindered immediately. I don’t care if his co-worker needs him or not. I’m the one with blood flowing out of me. I deserve to be helped first! When we finally reach the restroom, I let him go and stick out my hand towards him. “Do you have any change on you?” I ask. There’s a vending machine ahead, so there should be the pad that I need right now. Besides that, there are a few squealing women. Let us just ignore those gals.

“Ugh . . .” The waiter digs through his black trousers and manages to find the exact change.

“Thanks!” I accept his coins and head towards the machine. “Oh no!” I shriek after experiencing an epiphany.

“Wh-wh-what?” he stammers nervously.

This vending machine only sell tampons. I have never used a tampon in my life. What do you even do with those? Shucks. What am I supposed to do now? I flip through my purse to check if my cell phone is there. Oh shoot! It’s out of battery. Great. I can’t even Google or use Naver to determine how to insert a tampon. Then, I see that waiter’s petrified look, and quickly, I suggest, “Can you do me a huge favour?”

“Ugh . . .”

“The thing is,” I clarify, “I don’t know how to use a tampon, but that’s the only thing they have here. So . . . could you . . . search online for me the instructions and tell me while I try to use this thing? Please?” 

I try to pull off my most innocent look by batting my eyelashes and interlocking my fingers together to form some sort of prayer. Fortunately, the waiter is very friendly, and so he pulls out his I-phone 4GS. He starts searching online. Flicking his finger downwards on his screen, he utters, “Okay, I’m on the Tampax website.”

“Wait!” I shriek and slip the coins in the machine. “Let me get the tampon first!” Finally, retrieving my tampon, I rush to a stall. I slam the door behind me and lock it firmly. I place a paper toilet seat cover on top of the toilet and sit on it. I lift my skirt up and slide my underwear down to my knees. “Okay!” I shout. “I’m ready! Read away!”

He coughs once before reading aloud, “So . . . there’s a plastic applicator consisting of two tubes. Apparently, one fits inside the other. What you have to do is to pull the inner tube out until you hear this clicking noise at the bottom of the tube outside.”

I rip open the plastic wrap of this tampon, and I ogle at it with much confusion. My head can’t really follow instructions well at this rate, and I was never good at obeying them anyways. So, I wear my underwear again; I unlock the door and push it open. Begging dearly at him, I request, “Please . . . can you just . . . do that part for me?”

His whole face reminds me of a cherry tomato. As I hand him the device, his ears turn a darker shade of red. I giggle at his shyness, and he tries his best to be cool and collected. After finishing the deed, he gives me back the tampon. I hurriedly rush back to my stall and repeat what I did before. “You ready now?” his voice sort of echoes.

“Yes!” I tell him.

“Okay. So now hold onto the applicator on the outer insertion tube at the area where you grip it, and—“

“Can you try another website?” I plead. “I really can’t understand what you mean by that.”

“Fine . . .” he sighs. I wait for a minute before he bawls again, “Okay, so this is from About.com. It takes around five minutes and number one, try to relax and don’t worry about putting a tampon—“

“Can you skip the words of encouragement please?” I shout out. “I really just need the main instructions.”

“Okay. Okay. Let me skim then.”

“Okay.”

“All right,” he informs me after a few minutes. “Hold the tampon applicator with your right hand if you’re right handed. Use your thumb and middle finger to support the bottom part of the bigger tube. Point the device—“

“Wait!” I cut him off once more. “Say one sentence at a time and then when I say ‘Go’ then continue please.”

“All right,” he mumbles.

After following his first set of instructions, I announce, “Go!”

“Point the device to your vagina, so that it angles towards your back just a bit. Make sure that the smaller tube is away from your body.”

He pauses for a while, and so I try that position out. “Okay! Go!” I chant.

“Now, use your other hand to stretch your vagina. Stick the tip of the applicator at the opening of your vagina.” Again, he waits once more. This time, he becomes more impatient by asking, “Did you get it in yet?”

“Yeah. I think so. I think I found my vagina and stuck the tip-ish in, but go on!”

“Gently push the slimmer end of the applicator in till it is fully inside the bigger outer tube. This is supposed to slide your tampon into your vagina and out of the tube.” I try my best to follow his instructions, but it hurts. I’ve never used a tampon before because I have always been scared that it’d break my hymn. I mean, I know it doesn’t, but who knew a tampon insertion would hurt so much? I accidentally let out a whimper, which causes him to ask, “Are you all right? Did it work?”

I mope, “It hurts. It hurts.”

“Well, you got to get it in, right?” he reminds me. “I mean . . . d-d-d-do I really have to come in . . . to—“

“No!” I interrupt hastily. “I can do this! A penis is supposed to be fatter than a tampon, so if a vagina can fit a penis, then a tampon should fit! Right?”

The poor guy mumbles very quietly, “Y-y-y-yeah . . . I mean . . . this sh-sh-shouldn’t hurt right?”

“The problem is,” I become outstandingly bold by explaining, “I’ve never had a penis in me before.”

The waiter chokes on his own saliva. I know I probably should have worded my sentence better, but my head is still swinging back and forth. I just want to sleep or take a nap. Let me just stop this bloodshed and then take refuge somewhere. Screw seducing Suho. 

Push.

“Ow!” I grumble. “But I think I got it in completely!”

“O-okay,” he murmurs. “Now . . . Keep your thumb and middle finger on that outer tube and let go of the smaller tube so the strings can dangly freely. After that, carefully pull those two tubes out and you’re done.”

After a while, I at last finish my first tampon insertion. I come out of the bathroom stall feeling like I’ve gone through a whole fight. As I wash my hands, I thank the guy, “Thanks so much. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

“It’s okay,” he responds. “I mean . . . it was kind of weird, but—“

Out of the blue, a woman enters the washroom and yelps like a little pampered Chihuahua, “Oh my God! Oh my God! There’s a guy in here! Oh my God! You pervert!” 

She is about to whack my waiter with her Chanel bag, but I jump out to defend him. “What?” I lecture in my best mean voice. “You’ve never seen a guy? Huh? So what if he’s at a woman’s restroom? I asked him to be here! Okay?”

“Well, get a room then!” the woman huffs and storms into one of the stalls. 

The waiter and I look at each other and bust out laughing in unison. I’m sure both of us have a story to tell. I’m pretty certain that the guys would roll of the ground laughing till their stomachs implode. I mean, what happened was pretty hilarious. It’s not every day that you get a stranger to help you to insert a tampon.

As we walk out together, I extend my hand, uttering, “Thanks! I’m Nam Leia, by the way. You?”

At last, I manage to get a good look at his face, and as he opens his mouth to speak, I realize how fu.cked I am. Confirming my messed up life, he answers with a gentle smile, “Oh, I’m Han Suho.”

Fu.ck! You fu.cking serious? Instead of seducing this man, I mistaken him for a waiter and even have him help me get a tampon inside of me? Fu.ck! I even told him that I’m a virgin in a crude way! I don’t want to live now. I want to jump off of a cliff. No, actually, I want someone to push me off some cliff, so I can blame my death on someone.

The guy with lightly curled, short hair comes back to interrupt us, “Jessica has been looking for you! They’re going to start feasting and toasting soon!”

“Oh. I’ll be right there,” Suho utters.

The other guy scoffs and jokes, “Too busy with the woman huh?” Suho shoots a glare at him, and the guy immediately adds, “All right. All right. Still can’t take jokes huh?”

“Sorry about that,” Suho apologizes like a true gentleman.

“No . . . I’m sorry. I thought you were a waiter,” I whisper like a shy, little puppy with its head down. “I’m so sorry.”

Surprisingly, Suho tells me, “No, it’s fine. It was kind of unexpected though, and about your . . . situation . . .”

“Can I just repay you somehow, so we can put that behind us? Yeah?” I force myself to widen my lips to form some smile. I’m sure Yeonjun would say that I’m constipated right now. Before Suho can reply to me, Jessica pops up in her flowy, Princess gown. She looks at Suho and then at me. One glance at Suho tells me everything. This man loves Jessica. For what reason, I do not know, but a woman’s instinct is rarely wrong. I understand completely, Suho. Your pain. I will be nice now and lend you a hand. This is pretty much why I walk towards Suho and put my hand behind his back. “Jessica? This is who I was talking about! Suho is my sweetheart!”

“What?” Jessica yells. “Suho? When did you get a girlfriend? I thought the last time we talked, you said you still had someone you liked . . .”

I quickly jump in to state, “Well I’m not sure what you and Suho talked about, and honestly, I don’t really care. What I know is that Suho is mine right now and that you are married.”

“Suho?” Jessica’s eyebrows points together to form this weird angle. “Is . . .”

“Come on, Suho.” I tug his wrist and force him to walk with me. “Let’s go. I feel really tired right now.” The confused Suho turns his head towards Jessica. I think everything is happening too quickly that he doesn’t know what to do, so I use all my might to drag him to the hotel entrance. “You have a car?” I ask. Suho nods, and I utter, “Then, let’s go for a drive? You look like you need one?” Suho sort of stands there like a tree. I’m about to ask him where he parked, yet his mouth is gaping. “You all right, Suho?” I ask nicely.

Finally, he focuses on me, asking, “H-h-how’d you . . . know?”

I chuckle lightly. “I may not know how to put in a tampon, but I can tell when someone needs help. You looked like you needed my help. Am I right?”
Suho reveals a weak smile while nodding away. “About repaying me . . .”

“Yeah?”

“You feel like going out for some dessert?”

I unintentionally confess, “I’m actually on a diet.”

He cackles with his head tilting backwards. “You’re a funny girl, Leia,” he notes.

“I think I get that a lot. Thank you though.”

“You’re welcome.”

“But I mean . . . if you want to have dessert, I can treat you to it and I’ll just . . . watch you eat?” I suggest. 

“Let’s just go to my car, and we’ll figure everything out later.”

I suppose I’m saying goodbye to my diet and seduction plan. I mean when a guy calls a girl funny, that doesn’t seem like a good sign. I have a feeling I’m already in the friend zone. After all that has happened, I’m pretty sure he has boxed me in there. So much for cleavage and Marilyn Monroe. I’m really no pin-up girl or sex diva. I should have gone into stand-up comedy. My whole life is like a little funny blurb, and that’s okay. Suho seems like a good friend, but . . . I promised Yeonjun that I’d help him. Argh. Why can’t we all be friends? Sharing is caring right? I don’t think . . . guys believe in Care Bears though. Guys probably live more like polar bears or may be the world does. Either way, one thing is for sure. Suho and I are off to a weird start.
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