Chapter 9: Peace Treaty

Credit and thanks goes to urstruly for the poster!

Suho drives us back to Seoul in his black BMW 7 series, which he handles with much care. The interior is super clean unlike Eunhyuk’s car that has tons of junk and leftover snacks inside. Suho is just as clean as Yeonjun, making me wonder if Suho will be just as anal as Yeonjun. As we head closer to civilization, Suho notes, “There’s this nice ice-cream shop I know called La Dolce Vita. Want to try?”
“Umm . . . I’m on a diet?” I remind him in a squeak.

“Oh right . . .” he despondently answers.

I know this is bad. He probably thinks I’m arrogant, but he doesn’t understand that this is the fattest I have ever been in my life. I don’t want him to misunderstand me, so I explain, “I love to eat. I love to eat too much in fact. It’s just that . . . I split my pants a few days ago!”

Upon hearing that, Suho starts chuckling, or at least, trying to mask his laughing fit. “Sorry,” he mumbles. “I guess it makes sense . . . that you can’t have sweets. You really don’t mind watching me eat then?” Although I nod away, I regret simply watching when I actually am faced with his two scoops of gelato: lemon and passion fruit. I’m trying my best to suck in my drool, but I feel like a Basset Hound on a warm sunny day. My tongue is out and saliva just wants to drip down the corner of my mouth. Suho, noticing my exaggerated expression, asks politely, “You sure . . . you don’t want any?” His round, silver spoon is toppled with fresh, icy gelato, and he is directing it towards me. If this were Yeonjun, he’d tell me to get my own spoon so our germs won’t spread. He’d probably also ask if I’m sick. If I somehow have a cold, I am going to have to order my own ice cream. As I let my thoughts run away, I notice that the gelato is slowly melting with the temperature of the spoon, so I shake my head. Just as the spoon is about to land on his tongue, I reach forward and grab onto his wrist. Then, I force the spoon in my mouth. All of this happens within seconds, and I feel like I’m in ice cream heaven as the gelato melts on my tongue.

“Yum,” I mutter and lick my lips.

Suho scoops some more gelato from his glass cup. Lifting it in my direction, he asks nicely, “You want another bite?” 

Embarrassed about my desperation and greediness, I tell him, “It’s okay and sorry about back then. It was just . . . too tempting. I promise it won’t happen again. I’m not normally like this.”

Suho slips the spoon into his mouth before asking, “So what are you normally like then?”

Suddenly, I remember what I have to say, “Oh . . . and I have to apologize for saying that you were my boyfriend in front of Jessica. I thought you needed help, and I was sort of desperate. You see, Jessica and I work at the same university, but she and I have . . . err . . .”

“Wait . . .” Suho unexpectedly utters. “You and Jessica are colleagues? So you’re an assistant professor too?” Once I nod, Suho adds, “Oh, I’ve heard a bit about you. No wonder I thought your name was familiar.”

Heard a bit about me? What did this bi.tch say? Damn it. I already have one of the worst first impressions ever, and now gossip about me? I think Yeonjun should have hired a professional prostitute or escort to seduce this guy. I’m way too lame for this job.

“Really? What did Jessica say about me?” I inquire.

He takes another bite of his dessert, and then he clarifies, “She said you hated your job and are kind of lazy. You really do the bare minimum, and she doesn’t understand why you’d be a professor if you hate teaching so much.” 

Can I just melt on the spot like the witch from the Wizard of Oz? The way Suho recounts Jessica’s words makes me feel extremely guilty. He states them like a series of court laws, motivating me to even consider becoming a better professor. I’m sure I’m rated pretty poorly on that website where students rate their professors. Maybe, I can clear up some of this ugliness, and so I admit, “Okay, I do hate my job, but I appreciate having it with this bad economy. I mean, they won’t fire me unless I sexually harass someone and get discovered, like I’m going to creep on my students that way. Anyhow, I only went on this path to ease my parents. They wanted me to do something stable, and so this was it. It was either be a professor, a doctor, engineer or accountant. I chose letter A for professor.”

I’m anticipating Suho to berate me for not dreaming far enough. Sehun sometimes scorns me for not being brave enough to pursue what I wanted to do, but I’m not even sure what my dream was. My parents want me to marry rich, while I think that’s impossible so I need to make money to support myself. Honestly, I don’t think I’m convincing enough to be a gold digger. Lack of breasts as Yeonjun likes to comment so frequently. Lack of my feminine side like Eunhyuk constantly reminds me. Lack of sex appeal as Sehun concludes. Lack of the appropriate voice like Myungsoo stresses. Myungsoo always hones in on the voice because he quite likes to chat online to strangers. He says some seiyuu’s voices are heavenly; I’m pretty sure his wife needs to be a seiyuu. Then, Howon likes to try to sugar coat the situation and tell me that love is more important than money. I’m pretty sure Sehun has added that Howon can suck his Richard if that were true. Subsequently, there’ll be an entire debate about Sehun’s use of language, which will eventually be settled with beer and meat. 

Now, I hear Suho chuckling quietly. I know he is trying to be a gentleman and not judge me, but ultimately, he fails. “You’re rather . . . blunt,” Suho comments. Suho sort of reminds me of Howon who doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Maybe, they’re the same type, but I shouldn’t group them together so quickly. 

“I just gave up with lying in front of you . . .” I plant my chin on the table and sigh. After that whole tampon fiasco, I really don’t need to save face. For some reason, I think I can tell Suho the truth really easily. I guess it is because Suho doesn’t challenge me like Yeonjun or any of the other people around me does. Suho is calm like James Bond saying that line: “Shaken, not stirred.”

“So that’s how you normally are? A liar?” Suho ponders aloud.

I sit upright immediately and utter, “No. Well . . . I try not to be, but then, like I honestly didn’t think I’d need a fake boyfriend for this wedding. However, after Jessica kept bothering me about her wedding, I felt . . . like I needed to prove her wrong.”

“Interesting,” Suho remarks while leaning back in his chair. “So if I have this right, you lie because you want to be better than the other people around you?”

Tilting my head to the side, I mumble, “Well . . . not exactly. It’s more like they keep pressing my buttons that I want to shut them up or . . . a friend needs my help so I play along.”

“Again,” Suho notes and digs into his gelato once more, “that is rather interesting. So in this case, you first told Jessica that you had a boyfriend and then later, you felt that I needed your help and so you lied so I didn’t need to go through with the reception?”

I listen carefully to his every word, and after processing his sentence, I agree, “Yes. That sounds about right.” Because Suho doesn’t respond, I feel worried that I have said something or done something wrong. “I mean . . . you did need help right? You do . . . like Jessica right?”

Suho places his spoon on the table, and with his eyes fixated on his half-eaten dessert, he tells me, “Jessica and I were middle school classmates. We weren’t very close then, and even when we got into the same high school, we rarely talked. It wasn’t until she started dating one of my friends and got dumped soon after did we become close. At first, it was pretty normal. We consulted each other for love problems or anything else. Then, she kissed me one day when she was drunk, saying that she loved me.”

“Then . . . why aren’t you guys together?” I accidentally ask.

“Because I told her I saw her as a sister. Back then, I really thought of her like that, but the day after, she started to date my best friend.”

“And you slowly realized that you had feelings for her?”

Suho now grips onto his spoon and says, “Yes. I got jealous, and I realized that I loved her.”

“Do you . . . regret rejecting her then?”

Suho shrugs his shoulders, letting out a weak grin. “I honestly can’t say,” he confesses. “I guess . . . some things aren’t meant to be.”

I instinctively reply, “You’re . . . rather honest too.”

Surprisingly, Suho glances at me with his cute eyes. I’m pretty much becoming giddy because of his cuteness. I never knew a guy could make me want to scream, “Kyah”. I try to resist my urge of doing that while Suho jokes, “I just thought I’d quit lying in front of you too.”

“Hehe. Trying to imitate me now?” I taunt.

Suho scoffs lightly, “Mhm . . . you’re the one that started it.”

“True. True. By the way . . . do you still need me to pretend that we’re together? I mean . . . after the honeymoon, I’m pretty sure Jessica will force me to talk to her.”

“That sounds quite like her.” Suho bobs his head up and down and purses his lips together. “I thought you were going to stop lying in front of me now.”

“Well . . . technically,” I correct him, “that’s not in front of you. Plus, I’m already telling you what I’m doing so I’m not exactly lying.”

Suho reveals a billion dollar smile that can make any girl swoon. Okay, I think my heart might have leapt once. “So this is the sort of lying where you’re helping out a friend in need?” Suho verifies. 

“Yes . . . that sounds right. So . . .”

“Mm . . . you consider me a friend then?” Suho wonders.

“Umm . . . yeah? You’re pretty nice, and you kind of told me a bit of your life story when you didn’t need to at all.”

Suho releases an unintentional smirk prior to adding, “Honestly, Leia, you’re pretty funny.”

“Is that a good thing?” I blabber. “I mean, funny doesn’t equate to dateable material? And that is really my primary concern. All these years, guys have been telling me how interesting, amusing or funny I am, but in the end, do they ever choose me? No! They pick that hot bimbo or that gentle housewife. I mean, it makes sense in a way right? Dating a girl that’s like a guy is like being gay when you’re not.”

“But if you change yourself, then you wouldn’t be happy either,” Suho reminds me.

“Exactly.” I snap my fingers at him. “So, I’m stuck in this vicious cycle where I am always landing in some male’s friend zone.” Again, I rest my chin on the edge of the table and sulk like a lonely puppy. “I mean . . . I don’t mean to be desperate, but you know my situation . . .”

“The part where you blurted that you have not had a—“

I jump up to cover his mouth, but my arms are too short to reach him. Instead, I just cut him off, “Yes, that. And if I don’t even get a date or a kiss, then I might as well rot away by myself or be an old lady that takes in stray llamas.”

“Stray llamas? Is that even possible?” Suho looks at me curiously.

Maybe I’m still a bit lightheaded because I’m brave enough to say, “Whatever. You get the point, and am I really ugly?”

“No, you’re not,” Suho utters. “You . . . are . . . quite pretty.”

“Really?” I sit up once more. “You really think so?”

“Y-y-yeah.”

“Can I work out with you then?”

“Huh?”

I point at his arm muscles and clarify, “You look like the type to exercise, so if I copy your fitness plan, then I should be looking pretty awesome.”

“So you think . . . I look good?”

I jeer at him, “Well yeah. You look good. I’m pretty sure you’re the guy with girls by his side at all times in photos. You’re the pimp.”

“Actually . . . that’s only half true.” Suho adjusts my statement: “At first, the girls gather around me, but when they know more about me, they don’t like me anymore.”

“Huh? Why?”

“I put work over love. I’m not sweet at all, and well . . .” He leans in closer to me to whisper, “I think we are kind of . . . similar. . .”

Ding! Ding! Ding! An alarm sounds in my head. I think he’s the one! I think he’s the one I can do it with! “Oh my God!” I grab onto his hands immediately. I almost feel like crying out in joy. “You understand me! You understand my pain as an inexperienced person! Oh my God!”

“L-L-L-Lei—“

I realize how red Suho’s face is. I guess he really can’t stand girls touching him, which makes me want to bully him pretty badly. I like teasing weaker people for some reason. It’s fun, and in this case, I hold onto his hands tighter and crack a smile. “I think I have a plan,” I utter. “Want to hear it?” Suho sort of sways his head to the side, but ignoring him, I continue to explain, “Let’s be each other’s firsts!”

“What? Leia, there’s something that I have to clarify here—“

I let go of his hands to explain, “I mean, think about it. You haven’t had a proper kiss. I haven’t either. We haven’t gone on dates as well. It’s kind of gross to hire prostitutes for our first times, so . . . why not just help out each other like that?”

“Are you suggesting friends . . . with benefits?”

“Umm no, because . . . after one session, we’ll be done?”

“Can I say something?” Suho chirps almost silently.

“Yes.”

“I think . . . you weren’t kidding about how dating you is like dating a guy.”

“Didn’t I say that I wasn’t going to lie in front of you?” I hark at him.

“Yeah, but . . .”

“Trust me. I’m straight, and I was born a girl.”

“No, but, what if I can’t feel . . .”

“Sexually attracted to me?” I finish off his sentence.

“Yeah. That.”

“It’s okay,” I nod exaggeratedly while reassuring. “I’ll educate myself by reading some books on love and also sex books. I’ll also watch some porn with you.”

Suho chokes on his own saliva and after his coughing attack, he mumbles, “I . . . don’t know what to say or how to react.”

“Well, I think before we master the sex, we should figure out how to actually date,” I inform him. “I think we should exchange numbers. We should also try to meet once a week and go do something couple-like. I’ll wear a mini skirt. Don’t worry. I’m also going to lose a few pounds. Oh! I know! Let’s go on a workout date every week to start!”

“Okay? But really, Leia, I think I need to tell you—“

“Okay, great! Get out your phone. I’m going to input my number, and then I’ll schedule our workout day!”

All this time, Suho listens to my every demand. I think he is too stunned to realize what is happening. I just can’t believe such a hot guy is a virgin. Something must be wrong. I’m wondering if he was abused as a kid and forgot about it. Maybe, he has some phobia with bodily fluids or perhaps, he is secretly gay. The possibilities are endless, but I have a feeling that he’s like me. He just hasn’t had the time yet to actually date, and unlike most guys around me, he wants a serious girl. I’m a bit worried that he hasn’t explored his sexual side enough to want to settle down. I’ve heard of that saying where the good guys turn out wildly bad because they have been suppressed or have never played around before. Whatever. Whatever. I just need some practice in love, and it’s not bad having a pretty boy as your practice buddy. 

Pretty boy kind of reminds me of . . . Yeonjun. I thought he was the prettiest girl I had ever witnessed when I first met him. Now that I think of it, he did take away my first kiss, but that doesn’t really count when I never consented. Plus, I didn’t even get tons of heartbeats going or felt like I was experiencing some sort of heaven. Sure, I might have thought it felt nice and wanted the kiss to last longer, but pfft . . . Yeonjun? Me and Yeonjun honestly together? No! No way. That’d be full on incest, and who wants incest? I mean, sure I don’t call him oppa. That’s kind of too intimate, and I never liked calling any guy oppa. I always thought hyung sounded much, much cooler. That’s when Eunhyuk will remind me that my dick has not grown yet, and I’ll holler at him that my vagina is here to stay.

Because I’m a girl and I’m straight, I think it’s not bad trying to go for Suho. He and I seem to get along fine, and I really don’t have to lie in front of him. Okay, maybe that request Yeonjun asked me to do, but that’s no big deal. Friendship is more important than love, I think. So, I’ll still fulfill Yeonjun’s wish. Consider it his birthday gift, which will be coming up in January. It’s only early December right now. No big deal.

Oh sh.it. 

If this is his birthday gift, then I only have almost a month to become close to Suho to acquire information from him?

I can see the title of my movie already—Mission Impossible I: The Mole.
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