insecurities

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
kim so eun is a korean high school student who is struggling with life when she moved to korea after the tragic death of her brother. there she meets ji seong joon, the person who completes her but seong joon's history finally came up and so eun can't decide on her family or love.

Submitted: August 26, 2016

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Submitted: August 26, 2016

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Prologue

“You are going to be fine. I swear.” Tae Hyun comforted. “What if everything goes wrong? After all, it’s a new city with everybody new.” I sighed. “Things also goes wrong wherever we go.” I could here Tae Hyun’s breath. My sentence took her speechless. My best friend didn’t know what to say. “Look So Eun, I know things were rough with what happened here but try to make yourself happy for a change, okay?” Tae Hyun sincerely asked. “Okay I will try. Thank you, Tae Hyun.” I said and smiled. “Anytime, babe. Call me when you need me” she said and hanged up.

Chapter 1

It has been a year ever since Gary’s death, my older brother. An unexpected accident that happened in a blink of an eye. I never thought something horrific would happen to my family. After all, we were a warm family. Gary was the one putting everyone back together whenever any of us fought. Now that he’s gone, how would we manage? How would I manage without my older brother? It was a couple of months later when my parents decided to move to Seoul, Korea, which is basically my home country for a fresh start. We decided it was best for us. 

The car parked in front of a huge building. I looked at my new home and groaned. Why it is an apartment? I thought. I came out of the car and brought my suitcase. “Well, this is it. How do you like it, honey?” Dad asked Mom. “It’s pretty good but I think it’s perfect for the three of us.” I heard my mom. They laughed and hugged at each other. I could see them at the corner of my eyes. I was happy to see her parents like that.

We decided to check out our new apartment. Mom clicked onto 20th floor and Dad & I were struggling with our suitcases. We arrived to our apartment which was really a tight space. There were two bedrooms and a tiny kitchen, connected to the living room. The bathroom was quite small. It was all different from New York. “Is this how all Koreans live?” I asked my mom. She actually laughed instead of getting mad. “I know it’s a tight space and all but you might as well get used to it. After all, you are part Korean.” But I wasn’t confident whether I could get so used to it. My mom moved to New York for her studies when she met my dad and they got married. Then, they had me and Gary. So technically, I can say I’m part Korean and I do like Asian like with brown hair. Expect, my eyes are blue and people asks me if I’m wearing contacts. So I would always pretend to pluck out my eyes, just to prove they were real blue eyes. The main issue was I had received two names since birth and they are Gracie Kim and Kim So Eun. And I’ve been debating all the way to Seoul whether I should tell people I’m Gracie or So Eun but it’s pretty obvious that since I’m going to live in Seoul, I might as well use my so called Korean name.

I took my suitcase into my room-to-be and sighed. I missed Gary. I put down my stuffs and started organizing my desk and clothes. The moving truck with our stuffs came later that day so I organized as much as I could and took out my bed sheets to sleep for the night. The time difference is 13 hours plus Seoul is earlier so I had a hard time adjusting. I get hungry suddenly in the middle of the night or I wanted to sleep more during the day. My dad had already made a decision on my new school and he had promised me that it would be the same like New York. At least, that was what I hoping for.

I awkwardly hold my bag and got to the front desk of Deaton High School (Seoul). “Hi um… I’m Kim So Eun. I’m here for my new timetable.” I stuttered. “Oh honey, welcome to Seoul. We are so glad to have you. What was your name again? So Eun?” the lady in huge, adorable glasses said. I silently nodded. I waited as the lady shuffled through a bunch of papers in her files and let me signed a few papers. Then I received her timetable. “Thank you.” I whispered. “You’re welcome, honey. Have a great first day!” the lady said cheerfully and smiled. I wasn’t so sure about a great day. I looked at my timetable to find my first class was Biology. I easily found my locker and put my heavy, new books inside and carefully took out my Biology books. I chuckled to myself a little bit and realized that my dad was right.

And I saw a glimpse to heaven.

Chapter 2

Unaware of what’s happening, I closed the door of my locker to find big brown eyes and nerdy glasses. There he was, the most beautiful guy I have ever seen in my life. His smiling eyes and his naturally red lips was so attractive. His brown hair and his shirt was tight, showing his very worked out body. He was so beautiful as if an angel had send me a miracle.

“Hey there. You must be new here.” He said, and I realized I have been staring for far too long. “Yeah, I’m new here.” I awkwardly replied. “I’m Seong Joon.” he said as he took out his hand and I shook it, saying “So Eun” “So what’s your first class? I can show you the way if you want me to.” Have I see him before? I asked myself. This glimpse of heaven was tiny bit familiar to me. Seong Joon said and again with his unbearable smile. He was practically a twin of a hot celebrity. I realized I had Josh waiting for my answer. “OH, yes, my first class is Biology.” I said. Seong Joon laughed. “Ha-ha, my first class is also Biology. Come on, let me take you there.” Seong Joon said and pointed to the left direction of where all the classes were. Seong Joon asked me where I was from and all the basics questions a person is supposed to ask to someone new and he answered some of my questions, too. All of the sudden, he told me something weird. “Some say you can never go back to the place where you left behind. Would you go back there if you had the chance?” Seong Joon asked. The question was pretty odd that I hesitated once again. “No. I don’t know yet. I don’t know what this city will do to me. So I guess I will just have to wait and see.” I said and smiled as we stood in front of the class. Seong Joon smiled and chuckled a little bit. “I guess we will just have to see what happens.” he said until a tall guy called him to come sit over. I quickly followed behind and chose a sit as near to Seong Joon as possible since he was the only one I knew in this class.

Mrs. Park, our biology teacher called me up front and asked me to introduce. As usual, I told them my name: Kim So Eun, Age: 17, moved from New York and all the basics. Out of the blue, a girl from the back asked me what I wanted to be. I hesitated. I still haven’t quite figure out what I wanted to be so I just blurted out something. “Journalist. I’m passionate for writing.” I said. There were a few kids laughing but I could’ve careless. I wasn’t living up to their expectation. I went back to my seat and a couple of kids introduced just like I did. I looked back to Seong Joon once and he smiled at me. It was heavenly that it warmed my heart.

 The class quickly ended and the girl back in biology whom asked me the awkward question stopped me on my way out. “Hey! I’m Baek Jung Hee. Sorry for asking you a stupid question.” She said. Her dyed blonde hair fall to her back and she was such a beauty. She had a natural makeup on with a pinkish lip color. I wasn’t sure it was the magic of the lip tint or it was just naturally pink. I would be surprised if it was natural. Wow, I never thought I would meet someone as pretty as her, I said to myself. “Hey…?” she asked. Again, with the hesitations. I was being stupid again. “Yes, umm… nice to meet you.” I said and smiled. “Yeah, I guess I will see you around.” She said and left with a confused look on her face.

 My first impressions were always like that. Now there were two person in the city who they think I’m weird. Seong Joon came to me after Jung Hee. “Wow, I’m very impressed.” He said. I wondered why. “Eh?” I questioned. “Question asked by Jung Hee is very rare. We don’t have all the queen bee crap but Jung Hee is a person some people stupidly look up to. Just because of her appearance.” I admit, he was right. I looked up to her a little bit since she was so pretty. I must say I stupidly was honored for it. “So…? Should I be aware of what’s going on?” I asked. “It’s just Jung Hee never approached someone just like that. If it does, we can never guarantee and what could happen.” Seong Joon said with a serious tone on his voice. Gary would totally hit on that girl, I said to myself. I was curious if I had seen Seong Joon before so I asked. “Have I ever met you before? You are so familiar to me.” Seong Joon face fell. He avoided my eye contact. “I don’t think we have. I’m sorry, my face is pretty common.” He said. I was quite suspicious with his actions but I let it go since we just met today and I don’t want to pressure him.

Seong Joon later invited me to get some coffee with him. I did since I was on my way home and I might as well know the roads better. Seong Joon bought me my favorite drink, Matcha Frappuccino and I didn’t know how he knew what I liked. But I didn’t asked, not trying to ruin the vibe. I liked him and I was trying so hard not to ruin the first impressions like I did earlier at school. He brought our drinks and I slurped in. “So have you ever been to Korea before?” he asked. “Not quite. My family moved to back to New York when I was six months old.” I answered. “Family? Do you have any siblings?” he asked curiously.

“I did” I replied in quiet voice.

Seong Joon must have realized what he did there so he didn’t ask any further. He changed the subject immediately. “So tell me more about you. I want to know.” He asked me, with a big smile. “I find the sky peaceful, I like to drink Matcha Frappuccino, I love to listen to music that makes me high without drugs, I make my own food and I like to write short stories.” I said then I added, “I hesitate a lot.” Seong Joon laughed so hard that he almost spilled his drink. “I think I have seen the hesitation!” he said and smiled again. Stop making me fall for you every time you smile, I told him but my voice didn’t came out.  “Now, it’s your turn!” I said and waited. Seong Joon thought for a while. “I like girls who hesitate and dreams a lot. I love to read nice stories. I flinch whenever I see cockroaches-“before he could finish his sentence, I laughed until my lungs were about to burst. “I can’t believe you are scared of cockroaches. Just wait till you come to New York, it’s like a city of cockroaches.” I said then added, “You’re not a true new Yorker until you killed one with your barehands!” “Is that so? Then I must find one here and do it too.” He said and laughed. Then he continued, “I like to make people I love laugh so hard that they could spill out their coffee.” It took me pretty speechless. Was he talking to me? Or am I just imagining as usual? It just fell awkward between us. To kill the silence, I looked at my watch on my wrist. “I should go, Seong Joon. Thank you for a great time.” I said. “No worries. I hope we can do this again and again, So Eun.” He said to me. I smiled at him, telling him I would see him tomorrow and left for the day.

Side effects of meeting new people in a new place is that It felt great to talk to someone new as if you knew them long time ago. We shared interest in each other, learning new things and making new friends wasn’t so bad. Maybe I didn’t get out of the shell back in New York with Tae Hyun but here, at Seoul, I was about to see a whole new different world. 

Chapter 3

It had been 2 weeks of school and Seong Joon and I got closer to each other. Jung Hee approached once in a while and just before a class, she came to ask for a pencil. I was a bit shocked since she came to me just for a pencil. I mean she could’ve asked anyone else but why me? I didn’t mind so I gave her my pencils which she never returned. Also I’m pretty much out of pencils, and pathetically asking others for a pencil now people look at me like I’m such an unorganized person. At least I do better scrapbooks then them. “I’ve never seen Jung Hee do something like that. It’s so unlike her.” Seong Joon had told me. I wondered why. Did I make a mistake or trigger something in her mind? I couldn’t figure out what. Seong Joon also introduced to him scruffy hair friend, Jung Ki Joon. He was a nice guy with same interest in music with me. Ki Joon and I had already vowed to go to music festivals together and Seong Joon sulked because we didn’t include him. I came to school to make friends and I suppose since I’m a girl, I should at least have a female friend. I still didn’t have one. Ki Joon and Seong Joon were the only ones I knew.

Late night that day, Jung Hee called me and I was pretty surprised on how she found out my number. “Hello? Is this Kim So Eun’s number?” she asked sweetly.

“OH, yes. Who is this?” I asked to check if it was prank call.

“It’s me! Jung Hee.” She said and continued “I would like to talk to you. Can you come Starbucks?”

So I went to meet Jung Hee. I secretly wondered what kind of questions she would ask or anything weird she would come up with. I just calmed myself down and said it was okay. I could just answer them coolly. I waited for Jung Hee and she came after a couple of minutes later. Unlike me, Jung Hee was pretty dressed up with a light pink short skirt and a cute white sweater whereas I was wearing a plain sweater and jeans. Korea was cold for sure so I added my old and grey cardigan. Jung Hee smiled at me and sat down. She was happy that I already bought coffee for her. That was the least I could do. She started sipping them a little bit as I waited for her to start.

“Ji Seong Joon is mine.” Jung Hee said, now her grin was gone and spoke in serious tone.

“Huh?” I said, confused with what was happening. “I’m just telling you to stay away from him.” Jung Hee said. “I dated him for a while last year so our connection isn’t still over yet.” I felt a pang in my heart. My heart broke into million pieces. Did Seong Joon lied to me? I thought. Who am I supposed to believe? “Sure. Nothing is happening between us so don’t worry. He is just a friend.” I said, killing the awkwardness between us. I shouldn’t have said that. He wasn’t just a friend to me. He was so much more. I couldn’t take back what I said. Maybe he was just a friend to me currently to me but I was supposed to wait and see on what could happen in the future.

I walked back home and was invited inside the apartment with a sharp smell of red chili pepper paste. Mom had made bulgogi, a Korean traditional grilled beef dish. Mom’s bulgogi was the best! I love to eat every single bite. I shoved in everything in my mouth and dad stared at me in surprised. “So Eun, slow down! You will choke if you keep eating like that.” He said. “Dad, I’m okay. I just find it very delicious so I’m eating crazily.” I said and smiled as big as I could. The only reason was I needed to talk to Seong Joon. I needed to ask him if it was real or not.

Later, I texted Seong Joon.

You dated Jung Hee?

He replied:

Yes. How did you know?

I texted him back:

Jung Hee called me and we talked a little while ago.

He replied:

Really? Tell me what she said about you.

I didn’t text him back and slept afterwards. It had been only three months and I was already having a hard time. Seoul was now angry at me for no reasons. Was I behaving so badly to be treated that way?  

 

Chapter 4

I ignored any calls and text from Seong Joon as much as possible. I also avoided and ran away whenever Seong Joon tried to talk to me. He looked worried and frustrated. I’m scared that this could cut out the tiny connection we have as a friend. I would love to go further but I can’t since I have Jung Hee’s eyes always watching me. Why was I so important to her? It’s not like Seong Joon likes me. It was more of a one sided love. I was just the one who was dreaming about fantasies.

It was Biology class and the class where I have to face Seong Joon. I hurriedly came in and saw that he wasn’t still there. I sat down and covered my face with my rubbish- looking hoodie. I realized that I seriously needed new clothes. Seong Joon came in with Ki Joon. And Seong Joon sat beside since I was his lab partner when Mrs. Park assigned as last week. “So Eun, please stop this! Whatever Jung Hee said wasn’t true. Please give me chance to explain.” He said, his voice seemed so nervous. I was sorry. I wanted to apologize for my stupid actions but I didn’t look up.

Mrs. Park finally came and told us to pay attention. And one of the worst moments of my life was about to begin.

“Today, we are going to do an expert where you have to test your heartbeat’s rate by touching each other’s chest. And you are supposed to talk and your partner will count your heart rate.” Mrs. Park said. There were a couple of gasping and shocked face and we knew what could happen. “I’m not responsible for after feelings or such afterwards so if something had happened, just keep it quiet, okay?” she said and smiled so cheesy. Mrs. Park instructed us on how we should do it. And my conversation with Seong Joon began.

“Why are you avoiding me all week?” he asked. My heart started beating like crazy. “Wow, I’m going gonna lose count!” Seong Joon was laughing so much. I turned to Jung Hee and I could see her face, flashing with jealousy. I didn’t care anymore. I wanted something to myself. I wanted Seong Joon. “Jung Hee warned me not to go near you.” I answered weakly. “I’m sorry. I was too busy trying get people like me.” The grin from Seong Joon’s face disappeared. “You don’t have to work so hard for that. You are new to this city. It happens. You have me and I like you.” He said and I felt his heart skipped a beat. “I mean as-uh-friend.” I smiled at him. “Why didn’t you tell me you dated Jung Hee?” I asked, curiously. He hesitated. “I thought we weren’t that close yet.” Seong Joon said

 It hurted.

 

There was a hole in my mind.

 

 It felt so hollow.

 

Seong Joon knew.

 

That my heart beat suddenly stopped.

 

 “Oh.” was all I could say.

 

 That was exactly what I did. Seong Joon made plans with me to watch a movie next Saturday, later after class and I agreed to go with him. The day was finally over and everything was back to normal now but something was missing.

As I walked out of school, Ki Joon popped out of nowhere and stopped me. He asked me if I had time to talk to him.

“I saw you guys made up. I’m so glad!” Ki Joon exclaimed. He seemed more excited than me. I had no more energy to speak. Instead I laughed. Looking at his, scruffy brown hair, he didn’t look human. More of a dog. A golden retriever perhaps. “What are you laughing at?” he asked with his face already pouting. “It’s just that...you remind me of a dog.” I answered. “A golden retriever I had when my brother was still here.” “Oh! Where is your brother now?” Ki Joon asked. “He…uh…died…a…years…ago…” I stammered the words. I could see in the corner of my eyes that Ki Joon’s face fell. “Oh, I’m so sorry…” he had said but how could he know what I feel? He didn’t lose anyone else. I pretended to be optimistic and smiled widely. “It’s okay. He was my older brother but we didn’t look much alike though.” I said cheerfully and showed him Gary’s picture. Ki Joon laughed and nodded in agreement. “Not to seem nosy or anything, but what happened to him?” he asked. “Car accident. The car ran over the bridge. His friend was drunk and driving carelessly. Two survived and five died.” I said. Ki Joon put his arms around but I glared at him suddenly and he removed it. I chuckled over that as Ki Joon pouted.

“I actually came to tell you something different.” Ki Joon said calmly. “It’s about Seong Joon.” I panicked. What will Ki Joon tell me this time? I thought. Another lie like Jung Hee? I don’t know anymore. “I wanted to tell you that Jung Hee’s warning is something you shouldn’t care of.” He said, “Seong Joon never really liked her and they dated for 4 weeks only. Jung Hee can’t claim over him like that!” Once again, “Oh” was all I could say. “Plus, Seong Joon really cares about you. I have never seen him so worried about a girl he had just known for short time. Seong Joon suddenly became so different.” Ki Joon had told me everything. The reality behind Seong Joon’s “just friends” mask. “My advice is don’t keep pushing him away into the friend zone. Grab the opportunity while you can! If you don’t want to do it so suddenly, maybe get to know him a little more instead of avoiding him.” Ki Joon said and glared at me, expect it looked like I was the one to be blame at. “Hey! It only happened because I was teeny tiny bit scared of Jung Hee.” I said scornfully. Ki Joon snorted “Well, you don’t have to be “scared” of Jung Hee.” He said, “I’m sure everything will be okay.” Ki Joon cheered me up well.

Later when I got home, I got a text from Jung Hee.

She sent:

Didn’t I tell you to STAY AWAY!?

I started texting:

I’m sorry-

Then Ki Joon’s words echoed in my ears again.

“Don’t keep pushing him away into the friend zone. Grab the opportunity while you can!”

I deleted the text and instead I replied:

Yes, I do.

She replied instantly:

Then why aren’t you staying away?

I didn’t think much and wrote back:

Because I don’t choose to.

Jung Hee didn’t replied and I knew she would be going crazy over it. I screenshotted the texts and sent them to Ki Joon. He sent me a wow emoji and told me I did a good job. I wasn’t sure what he meant by the emoji though.

That night, I realized sometimes you have to take the initiative.

That sometimes, you are the one who should approach first.

And sometimes, you have to look at things differently so you can look through masks that aren’t supposed to be there.

And sometimes, you have to understand the people you love thoroughly.

 

 

 

Chapter 5

Seong Joon picked me up with his car at five pm. The movie we decided to watch was an action movie which I don’t really like but Seong joon said he had been waiting for this for months so I didn’t complain.

It was already around Six when we arrived and the movie start in 30 minutes. We hurriedly buy popcorn with cream sugar, just the way I like it and bought a milkshake for me and a smoothie for Seong Joon. He had told me once he liked healthy food so no surprise on what he chose to drink. We got in the theater and the trailers were already starting. Seong Joon lead us to our seats and we waited for the movie to begin.

Right before the movie started, I was overwhelmed with curiosity on what this was. So I didn’t hesitate like I used to and had the courage ask him.

“So what is this? A date or just a typical hangout between two friends?” I asked, blinking my eyes so many times that my eyelashes could fly.

Seong Joon chuckled instead. He smiled and his face came near my ears.

Thud-thud-thud-thud-thud

What was this feeling? I couldn’t quite figure it out.

“A date.” He whispered and his voice took my breath away. He smelt of the rain and sugar at the same time. An indescribable feeling I felt and something I didn’t understand.

It was silent between us during the whole movie and I munched in popcorns nonstop since I wasn’t so interested in the movie. Seong Joon looked over me a few times. Sometimes we caught looking at each other. That feeling you get when you sneak a peek at him and he is already looking. It was exactly the same. Suddenly, Seong Joon put his arms around me and I looked at him shockingly. I knew I looked at him in horror. He realized what he had done and pulled his arms away immediately. I mean we weren’t at that stage. We haven’t even kiss or anything. It had only been two months and we are close like long lost friends but sometimes people have to know the limit! Although I was secretly wishing that he would kiss me tonight.

 

 

Seong Joon was hungry so we head over this hut on the streets where they sold dbeokbokki (rice cake dipped in spicy sauce) or sundae( sausage made out of meat’s intestines or lungs, I know it sounds disgusting but it’s really delicious). Seong Joon bought us drinks from the vending machine since we can’t have soju. We sat down in front of the convenience store and had our so-so dinner. After finishing my food, I listened to the sound of the honks and the car rushing around the city. Seoul was a very busy city. Probably not as busy as New York but it could be considered one. Then something hit me. I had found out that I didn’t miss New York so much. Seoul made me see things differently in general.

“What are you thinking about?” Seong Joon asked me. “Oh, nothing much. Just this and that.” I said and realized it sounded boring. “Am I boring you?” he asked. “No! No! Absolutely not!” I exclaimed. “So Eun, I have to tell you something. Please listen to me carefully.” Seong Joon said, now sounding serious.

“I don’t want to be just friends with you anymore.” he said.

????  was the first thing that came up in my mind. Did I hear it wrong? I thought. ??????

“Me too.” I said.

WHAT HAVE I DONE? WHY DID I SAY “ME TOO”? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU SO EUN? I asked myself these questions after realizing what I said.

“You feel the same way?” he asked. I didn’t deny it anymore. I didn’t want to. “Yes.” I replied and it was the truth.

Seong Joon drove me home and even came out of the car. “Before you leave, tell me why you like me.” he demanded. I smiled. “You know the hesitations, yes? They are mostly the reaction when I feel insecure. I hesitate a lot. I dream about things that can’t really happen.” I said, then added, “But you! Ji Seong Joon doesn’t make me feel insecure. I feel safe and happy with you. I don’t even deny the truth anymore. I always mustered up my courage and asked you different questions. You make me feel confident again, Seong Joon. You cheer me up.” I laughed on what I said and looked at Seong Joon’s reaction. Then he pulled me closer.

Seong Joon grabbed my waist and pulled me closer. He smelt of after shave and I could see thin hairs of his chin up close. The moment our lips touched, I was overwhelmed in shock that I couldn’t close my eyes. He kissed me and pulled away. He looked at me, smiling now and I looked like an idiot. Not again! I said to myself. I closed my eyes and we kissed again. This time, it felt more real. Goosebumps all over my body but I managed to keep it covered so Seong Joon wouldn’t know.

“I really like you and I have no intention on losing you.” Seong Joon said. I smiled and gave him a small kiss on his cheek. “See you tomorrow, So Eun.” He said and drove away into the city lights.

That night, I couldn’t sleep. I just moved around on my bed, thinking about the moment over and over again. I was nervous yet excited on what could happen tomorrow. I came up with so many thoughts that I can’t even remember what homework I had for the day. I was glad that tomorrow was a Saturday so never mind with the Homework!

Seoul had granted my wish and it was my turn to keep the promise well so that I don’t betray the city. If I did, who knows what the punishment could be?

Chapter 6

My phone rang and I woke up by the sound of the ringing. 5 missed calls – Tae Hyun was on the screen of my phone. I knew she would keep calling until I picked up. And as expected, she did and I picked up.

“Tae Hyun, it’s so late at night! Why are you calling me?” I asked.

“Sorry, it is day here. Anyways, I have got to tell something.” She said.

I snorted.

“Go on, tell me what’s up.” I said in a weak voice. I was so tired.

“Okay, tell me if there is a guy name Ji Seong Joon at your school.” Tae Hyun asked.

“Yeah, what about him?” I asked willingly.

“Well, from what I found out, he was one of the survivors from Gary’s car accident.” Tae Hyun had said.

…………….was it really happening.....................

AHHHHH I couldn’t think anymore.

It was all too much in the moment.

“What did you say just now?” I asked, uncertain of the answer.

“I mean there is this guy name Seong Joon and he was also involved in the car accident. He is one of the survivors” Tae Hyun explained again.

After a long pause, Tae Hyun suspected my silence.

“Do you know him…by chance?” Tae Hyun asked with nervousness in her voice.

“Yeah, I do.” I said and hanged up. I didn’t like hanging up on people like that because I let them do it first. But this time, I needed to.

I texted Seong Joon:

I need to talk to you. Meet me in Starbucks in 10 minutes.

He replied a minute later:

Okay! See you.

I needed confront him on whether what Tae Hyun said was right or not. Tae Hyun sent me a photo soon and there was the answers. There were 7 guys in the picture. Five guys and there was Gary and Seong Joon. They were even hugging each other, arms to arms with beers on their hands. Seong Joon was my age. How did he know Gary when he was a senior? I wondered what actually happened that night. Was it really an accident? Or did something more happened?

I waited for Seong Joon and I heard the doorbell chimed. Looking back, I saw him wearing a long coat over his pajamas. Seong Joon looked over his phone and sat down. “It’s pretty late, babe. Why did you call me?” he asked and smiled. Not tonight, I told myself. I restrained myself from wanting hug him. It was the worst feeling you would ever feel. When you are needing the attention from someone special most but you can’t do anything because he/she is the center of something. Instead, I showed him the picture.

Seong Joon’s face fell. Not a blank expression but the one you do when you are busted. “What is the meaning of this?” I asked and my voice was shaking. He looked at the picture. He handed me back the phone. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier about this. I’m really sorry. But I can’t tell you. Really.” He told me and my hands were trembling. I pushed back my tears…clenched my teeth. I was angry and disappointed at the same time. “Why can’t you tell me? He was my brother! I have a right to know! You knew he was my brother!” I shouted and added, “Were you only dating me because you pitied me? Were you only trying to make me feel better because you knew!?”

“It’s not like that, So Eun! I really like you, okay? I can’t tell you under a few circumstances. You will find out soon everything but not now. Okay? I like you, So Eun. More than myself.” Seong Joon said.

“I’m sorry. I have to leave. I should leave.” I said and left. I wanted to go back and ask him more but I couldn’t. It was too much in the moment.

Before I could break off the promise with the city, Seoul had already betrayed.

 

Epilogue

I stayed up late for most of the nights. I kept thinking of what Seong Joon told me. What did he meant by him not being able to tell me right now?  But I have the right! I needed to know so I called Tae Hyun instead.

“Hey…can you do me a favor?” I said in a very small voice. “Of course…until you tell me what is wrong with you.” Tae Hyun replied. That’s what I like about her. She always know when something is up with me. So I told her everything. How Ji Seong Joon and I were dating, how I confronted him, how he was connected with Gary and how he couldn’t tell me the reason right away. “Wow, it must be hard, So Eun. I can’t believe you are going through this much.” Tae Hyun sighed. “So I need your help. Can you use your connections to find out whether Seong Joon was in New York around the time of the accident?” I asked. Tae Hyun agreed on helping me and asked me to hold on for three days. Maybe after that, I could find out the reasons why.

School had been hard these days. Seong Joon wasn’t around and Ki Joon was busy with his own stuff. Jung Hee’s attitude wasn’t helping. I found myself leaving school right away, trying to avoid all the people and commotion. I also found myself hanging out at Tapgol Park more and more. I didn’t want to do anything. “What is wrong with you, So Eun?” Mom had asked. I tried myself to be as happy I can in front of my parents. Not letting them know about what I was feeling these days. It was hard to pretend in front of them. I wanted to tell them about Gary. But I couldn’t. Not until I have confirmed everything.

Tae Hyun called. “So I found out what happened. Seong Joon was in our school too and he was same grade with us. We even had Chemistry together, I think. We just didn’t know who he was back then.” She said. “But why was he in the picture then?” asked, unsure of what the answer could be. “Well. He was adopted and his unbiological brother was one of the decease. The guy in a purple jacket.” Tae Hyun answered.

I made a huge mistake. He told me he would tell me soon. But I didn’t hear what he have to say and now I realized what I’ve done.

I hanged up on Tae Hyun and put on my coat. I dialed Seong Joon’s number but it was busy so I tried calling Ki Joon. “Ki Joon oppa, where do you think Seong Joon is right now?” I said as I started running to the bus stop. “I could say at Starbucks He always do his homework there.” Ki Joon answered. “Okay, thank you very much!” I said and hanged up. I caught the first bus I saw and went to the café. I ran to see where he was. I looked around and finally found the café.

I stopped.

 

I looked at what was happening.

 

Jung Hee sat across Seong Joon.

 

They were talking.

 

About what? I have no idea.

 

But I was scared of what could happen ask.

 

I texted Seong Joon and checked on him.

 

He looked at his phone and ignored my text.

 

We were nothing after all.

 

Once again, the city had stabbed me in the back.

 

 

“Let’s move back to New York.” I said to my parents. They looked at me in shock. “What nonsense are you talking about?!” Mom screamed. “It’s just really sucks here. I want to leave.” I said. “So Eun, are you okay? It has only eight months since we moved. Did something happened at school?” Dad asked. He looked like he really wanted to help me. I finished eating my dinner and just went to my room to cry like every night.

 

I mustered up all my courage and texted him:

Can we talk? Meet at the lobby in 10 minutes.

He replied 10 seconds later:

Already here.

I took the elevator down and ran to the lobby. And there he was. Waiting for me. He looked like a panda with the black color under his eyes. I stepped closer to him.

We faced each other and I didn’t know where to start. “I found out what happened back then at the accident.” I said quietly. “I’m sorry I blamed you. I didn’t know your brother was…” my voice trailed off, hoping it wouldn’t make him feel sad. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier. You didn’t let me explain. I hate you for that!” Seong Joon exclaimed. “Well! I hate you too! For not telling me earlier!” I challenged again. Then he kissed me. I was laughing in my mind. We hate each other so much that we had to kiss. I like this guy so much. I have no intention on losing him again. He pulled away and kissed me again on the forehead. He came near my ears afterwards. “I love you, So Eun. I’m sorry for telling you so late.” He whispered and it…literally…made…me…stop…breathing. This was his first time to mention love. I love him, too.

But I had to asked.

“What about Jung Hee?” I asked, curiously.

“What about her?” he asked me, as if he didn’t know what I was saying. “I saw you guys last night. I was looking for you but I couldn’t because you were talking to her.” I said, nervously. “It was nothing. While I was studying, Jung Hee just came to me. I told her to keep distance since I have someone in my heart.” He said and looked at me, sincerely. “And who is this girl in your heart?” I asked, even though I knew the answer. “You” he said and kissed me again. I wished that these moment would go on forever.

 

“Did you know?” he asked as we walked around the park nearby. “Know what?” I asked, unsure of what he meant. “That I was always waiting at your apartment lobby every night after my homework hours.” He said happily. Oh My God! I couldn’t believe he actually did it. “Wow! You, Ji Seong Joon has completely fall for me.” I shrieked happily and hugged him. His embrace was so warm and tight. We got dbeokbokki afterwards and drank our favorite milkshakes and smoothies. It wasn’t the best date but it was perfect for me.

Maybe moving to Seoul wasn’t so bad after all.

I thought after all those miserable times in New York, maybe I couldn’t survive in Seoul.

 There were good memories but I am going to make more memories in Seoul.

With him

By my side.

“I love you, are you listening? Only you.” I told him.

Seong Joon and I held hands and walked into the city lights. 


© Copyright 2017 Carol Allen. All rights reserved.