hersideofstory

unspoken words of that stubborn soul…

4* Missed… Almost

“Eodisseo?” Geun Suk called her phone the moment he freed himself from some commitments. He was dying to see her, after all the side activities he had these past few days. The girl has been busy as well. He might be free at times but that doesn’t mean he can barge in any time he wants. The girl has her life. Her activities were quite full, juggling studies, variety shows, dramas, red carpets, advertisements, her family and him all at once. He sometimes feel quite guilty; Shin Hye cancelling anything she has the moment he gave her a call, telling her he wanted to see her.

It’s been years, but it’s always been like that. He is always her priority. He’s too busy to make her his and she’s not complaining. Even if there is any pre-agreed meet ups with her friends, the moment he had that call, she will drop anything, and will make time with him no matter what.

He was smiling at the other line, ready to drive towards her location, knowing she is smiling by now, happy to spend some time with him as well. He was already drawing some plans when that girl gave him an answer he didn’t even imagine possible.

“I’m quite busy, Oppa.”, was Shin Hye’s blunt answer.

Geun Suk paused for a while, waiting for a punchline. And when he did not say a word after five seconds or ten, he heard her say, “Oppa, I’m hanging up? I need to do something”

Lost for words, Geun Suk rattled the moment he heard her next words. Afraid that he would be hearing that busy tone if he would not say any word, he managed to called for her name “Shin Hye-ya…”

“Hm?”, was her next word.

“Is there a problem?”, he asked worriedly.

“I need to hang up. If there is anything important, just give me a call”

“Is this not important?”, he asked, not sure where he get those words.

“Oppa, I’m busy. I don’t have time to play with you. If there is anything urgent, just give me a call. I’m not always free, just like how you expect me to be”, she managed to say in one breath. Her words were too précised, but her tone was too controlled. It’s like she’s about to explode, but still restraining herself not to.

“Park Shin Hye!”, he said, a bit irritated, confused where this thing is heading to.

“Call me if there is anything urgent. I don’t think we have something to talk about at this point”, then, beep beep beep.

Geun Suk looked at his phone, dumbfounded. What was that?

This was the first time that he received such answer from her. There might be some misunderstanding, but never did he feel taken for granted before. It’s as if she’s leading a different life, and he’s not included in there. It’s as if, she’s drawing another plan, and he’s afraid he’s not in it.

Geun Suk felt weak the moment it hits him. Is she giving up on me?

Two hours after that call, he tried to get her again. An hour after that, and then an hour after again, still he could not hear anything except for her voicemail box which keep on telling him that the girl is busy and she doesn’t have any time for him.

Geun Suk is getting scared by the minute. Something is not right. He might be too busy not to notice it, but in all honesty, he couldn’t remember anything that he did against that girl. His life has been revolving in Japan, in Seoul, Berlin…. Too many places, too many things to do, that he could not keep track of all the happenings. He might be in more than two places at once, but he’s certain of one thing, and only one thing. Never did he forget about that girl and never did it skip his mind that he better not do anything which will hurt her. Every inch of his body knows exactly how he loves her, and the moment he hurt her, he knows it will hurt him much double the pain that he would cause her.

If the girl would not answer his call, he better find a way to find her. He’s been trying to reach Jun Hyung and the other staffs as well, but something seems really odd. All of them are not answering his call, nor replying to any of his messages. He was getting crazy, driving along the stretch of Seoul, sanity has left him alone, looking at every corners of this side of the globe, hoping to find that soul.

When slowly darkness has enveloped that side of Seoul, and still, he could not reach that girl, he decided to take refuge to his second home… her home.

—–
“Jangmonim, do you know what time Shin Hye will be coming home tonight?”, he asked the elder, the moment he settled himself at the living room, Bongji and Nori rubbing their furs at his feet.

“Why don’t you call him Geun Suk-a”, her Mother answered, smiling at him.

“Jangmonim, i….. I just want to surprise her”, he answered, knowing that it would not be a good idea to involve her in this misunderstanding.

Mrs Park paused for a while, then after a second or two, looked at him, then said, “is there a problem, Geun Suk-a?”

Geun Suk looked at the elder, smiled weakly and then said, “I just want to talk to her. I don’t know what’s happening, Eomma. I think I need to talk to her”

“Alice is not answering your call?”

“I think she’s quite busy”

The elder looked at him once more, and then took her phone, dialling one number.

“What time are you coming home?… Alice…. Alice, is there a problem? Arasseo… arasseo”

The moment she hangs up, Geun Suk stood up, bowed his head then smiled, “She knows I’m here, right, Jangmonim? I better go home. I guess she’s been driving around for hours, but would not come home because she knows I’m still here.”

“Geun Suk…”

“Can you tell her, I just needed to talk to her… I really don’t know what’s happening”

Then, Geun Suk bid his goodbye and proceeded to his car.

—-
An hour or two after, her car arrived, and as she was making her way down her car, she heard his voice.

“How’s the filming?”

He saw her flinched upon hearing his words. He’s been standing at that side, his presence hidden by the bushes.

“I’m tired, Oppa”, she answered, without looking at him, then with a slouch shoulder, she dragged herself away from him.

“I’ve been waiting for you for long. Can you at least spare me that joy of seeing your face?”

“Did I ask you to wait for me?’, she said, her voice a bit loud; still she’s not looking back.

“Shin Hye, is there a problem?”, he asked, his voice soft.

“Mianhae… Oppa, I’m just tired”, she answered, still not looking at him.

“Arasseo.. just go in first. Mianhae…”, Geun Suk smiled weakly, looking at her back.

Shin Hye hesitated at first, but slowly, she turned around, and slowly, she lifted her face, looking at him.

Geun Suk smiled upon seeing her face. “Go in now. Have enough rest, Princess. I love you”, he said, quite hesitant on whether to walk near her, hug her or just stand there still.

Shin Hye just tilted her face, bit her lower lip, as if restraining herself not to say more. She heaved a sigh, closed her eyes, then smiled bitterly at him. She did not dare say a word. She did not dare close their distance.

Seeing that look, those eyes, Geun Suk’s chest did a drumroll. What is happening?

And before that girl could go inside, he ran towards her, and hugged her from the back. Tears started to roll down his cheeks, as he held her still, afraid of what, he did not know.

Shin Hye did not move an inch. She stood there still, waiting for what, she’s not sure.

And before any of them could figure out what was happening, Geun Suk whispered in her ears, “I don’t know what’s happening, but I’m getting scared. I don’t know if I want to ask you, but you do know that something’s not right, right? Shin Hye, mianhae… mianhae… I might have done something wrong again…. Mianhae… your Oppa was quite stupid. I know I did something wrong, but really I cannot figure it out. I’m getting insane here, squeezing my head for something I did or did not do. But I cannot understand. Help me, please. Don’t do this.”

Shin Hye’s tears were having a race on her cheeks, and then slowly, she freed herself from him, then said in a scary-calm voice, “I want to go in. I’m really tired, Oppa. Can we talk tomorrow?”, she said, her head hanging low.

Upon hearing those words, Geun Suk closed his eyes, afraid to hear anything more. Slowly, he let go of her, but his face confused, scared.

He chuckled a bit, then smiled and said, “I’ll see you tomorrow, then”

Shin Hye stopped for a while, while Geun Suk was just standing there, looking at her. And then, as if taunting him, when he thought the girl would turn around and run to him, hugging him, he felt numb as he saw her walking away, their distance becoming bigger.

—-
The following morning, Geun Suk woke up earlier than usual, hoping to wake up from the nightmare the day before. He has dark circles underneath his eyes, but smile is still plastered on his face. The girl might have just been tired.

He sent her one message.

“Good morning, Princess”

One minute, thirty minutes… no reply.

Geun Suk was having a staring content with his phone, waiting for an answer.

“Care for some Americano”

Thirty minutes. One hour. No reply.

This is not good. Definitely not good.

“Can I see you today?”

“Café Analog. Will be done by 11”

Geun Suk faked a smile upon seeing that reply.

He immediately readied his self then flew to that side.

The moment he parked the car, he still hasn’t called her, but the girl went out, not a little more than two minutes after.

Shin Hye slowly walked towards the car, with Americano on one hand, she opened the car, smiling, waving at the persons inside the café.

“I didn’t know you have company today”, he asked, playing the part of the jealous boyfriend.

“Oh… did I forget to tell you?”, she said, not sure whether she’s intentionally mocking him.

Geun Suk swallowed, closed his eyes, trying to control his emotions.
“I might have forgotten”, he smiled at her, then took the Americano from her.

“That’s mine”, she instinctively said, her voice fierce, which was betrayed by the fear in her eyes.

Geun Suk looked at her, trying to read her. Shin Hye averted her eyes, trying really hard not to break in front of that guy.

After 5, 10 minutes of silence, her phone rang. Without looking at the guy at the driver’s seat, Shin Hye answered the call, her voice perky as ever.

“Seung ri-a… Ani…Busy.. me? No, I’m not… 3.00? ok.. I’ll meet you there… take care.. annyeong”

Then she hanged up, a smile on her lips.

Geun Suk waited for 15 minutes or twenty, pleading that girl to at least inform her of what he just heard.

Then, when he felt that the girl would not really budge, he held the steering wheel tightly, trying very hard not to get angry.

“Are you really trying to piss me off? Because if you are, you can stop now. You definitely know how to play with me”

The girl looked at him, then he heard her smirked. “tch! I don’t have time to play with you”

Geun Suk automatically hits the break, then losing all sanity in him, he looked at that girl, his eyes with daggers. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“Drinking Americano?”, she said, not batting her eyes.

“Park Shin Hye!”

“Wae? You tell me what you want to know, and I’ll answer every single of it”

Geuk Suk closed his eyes, heaved a sigh. “what was that call?”

“Seung Ri? He invited me for a short catching ups. He said he knows of a certain resto at downtown Seoul, so might as well try the food there”

“And you simply say yes?”

“Is there something wrong with that?”

“You tell me”

“YOU tell me”

Geun Suk looked at her, reading her, pleading her to spare him some time to understand what’s happening.

Shin Hye simply looked at him, and then, when still he could not figure out what, the girl smiled, then averted her eyes. She was looking outside the window of his car, then after a second or two, said, “For as long as I could remember, I’ve been following unwritten rules, respecting the us in this relationship.” Shin Hye closed her eyes. Geun Suk waited, trying to make any sense out of those words that she’s saying. “I’m always playing the role of that good girlfriend, trying to understand everything. Oppa, I’m getting tired of it. Can I be that bitchy girlfriend who would throw tantrums anytime she wants?”, she asked, looking at him.

Geun Suk, still puzzled, has that confused smile on his lips. That guy grinned and then answered, “No matter how hard you try, you know you cannot be that person you’re planning to be. You can act the role, but you know that’s not you”

“What if I can?”

Geun Suk smirked, shaking his head.

Shin Hye looked at him, and with poker face, she said, “I want out”

Geun Suk upon hearing what she just said, looked at her with widened eyes. “mworago?”

“I want out”, she repeated, without batting her eyes.

“That’s bitchy”, he said, looking away.

“I am”

Geun Suk looked back at her, opened his mouth, and then without any word, looked at that girl again.

Shin Hye just smiled and then looked away. After a second or two, without looking at him, she continued, “You can date her now. You both can come out in the open. Ah, cham, me being bitchy and me wanting out in here has nothing to do with it. No one knew anyway”

“Park Shin Hye!”

“Wae? I told you I’m good with it. At least it’s not that embarrassing. It’s her”

“Her? Who? I have never went out with anyone”

“Tch! Agree. You never went out with anyone… anyone”, she smirked, still her emotions cannot be figured out.

“You do know that I hate this game”

“and you clearly know that I am not playing”

“Damn, Shin Hye!”

Shin Hye just smiled at him. “Are you done? I still have to go somewhere”

Geun Suk closed his eyes, trying to calm his nerves. “Princess, please….”

“I hate it when you cannot figure out what I’m trying to say. It seems like I’m accusing you of something you really did not do”, she said in a mocking tone.

Geun Suk, just sat there, waiting for her.

The girl smiled, then said, “Cola Mercato. Private Room. Girl Group. Does any of it ring a bell?”

Geun Suk looked at her, with wrinkled forehead.

“Aisssh! Im Yoon Ah? Does it sound familiar?”

Geun Suk looked at her, and then after a second or two, grinned, and then laughed uncontrollably, “Are you jealous?”

“I was. Pathetic, right? Yeah, I was.” She said, laughing.

“Yoon Ah and I are…”

“I don’t care. I don’t want to know,” she answered, covering her ears.

“You’re making me laugh”

“And you always make me cry”, she answered, on the verge of crying, but she held it still.

Geun Suk looked at her, his face ran out of color. “It was during Love Rain. I brought her there”, he stated nervously, somehow having an idea where this thing is going.

“I’m not asking anything”

“We went there, remember? We went there a thousand of times. You even helped out in the kitchen. “

“I guess I went there. But there was never a “we”, was there?”

“Park Shin Hye…”

“I look too delusional, Oppa. I look too cheap. I look like that little girl who had this huge crush on you, following your every move”

“Shin Hye….”

“Who is Geun Suk’s girl?”

“You clearly know who she is”

“Do i? I am Geun Suk’s girl. Do you think someone would believe it when I say it? I don’t have a witness, Oppa. Ah cham, I forgot. I have me. I know I am your girlfriend”

“You still have me”

“Can you tell them?”

Geun Suk looked at her, really getting lost at this conversation. “I thought…”

“You thought, but it’s not always like that”

“You said…”

“But it doesn’t always mean that I mean what I said”

Geun Suk looked at her, then after a second or two, took his handphone and dialled a number,”Keunsama, call for a press conference. I need to announce something”

Shin Hye’s eyes widened, then before Geun SUk could finish his words, she grabbed his phone and threw it at the backseat of the car, “Michin?”

“I am… I am getting crazy of this conversation, Shin Hye. What do you want me to do?”

“I don’t know… I don’t know…I want to get mad, but I feel too weak to do it.

Silence….

“How long have you known it?”

“Known what?”, he asked, her words really getting to his nerves.

“That you love her”,she asked too casually, that it pained him.

“Do you really think…”

“What I am thinking doesn’t have any bearing on this”

“yes, it does. It means a lot to me. Do you really think I would do that? Do you really think I could do that?”

“I’m not blaming you. It happens. It does. You fall in love and you fall out of love.”

“Don’t give me that bull”

Silence….

“If things are meant to happen, it will happen no matter how hard you try to avoid it, right?

“Shin Hye….”

“Don’t make this too difficult, Oppa. I’m tired. I’m too tired of this. I thought I can handle it. I was wrong.”

Geun Suk closed his eyes, not wanting to see any of this.

Not a single tear has drop from her eyes. She’s meeting his gaze, without batting her eyes. She’s too calm, too calm that it scares him. It’s as if she has already decided, and there’s nothing he can say to make her change her mind.

Is this it? Just like that?

It never did occur to him that stories like theirs do come to an end.

Is it really the end? What did just happen?

Geun Suk was looking at nothing in particular. He could not process a thing.

Just because of that, she wanted out.

That guy would want to scream, to curse that girl in front of her, who by now, was just looking blankly outside of her window, her face calm. She seemed not to have a clue of the havoc that she sets him in.

Just because of that….

“Bitchy, right? Mianhae… It’s not that I can’t… I just don’t want to understand it anymore. Let’s stop it here. I know we’re both tired.”

Geun Suk looked at her.

He knows it’s not about the interview. It’s not about that most famous girl group member. It’s not that she’s doubting.

She’s in pain. She’s hurting. And just like before, there is nothing that he can do to ease her pain.

He and his fame.
She and her pride.
He and those girls.
She and those names.

“The moment I go down of this car, we’ll try to find our separate ways… we’ll see later… we’ll see how long it will take us to find each other again; that is, given that we will be seeing each other later”

Then, Shin Hye leaned at him, then gave her one quick kiss on the lips. “You do know that I love you, right?”

Geun Suk just looked at her, bit his lips then pulled her to a tight embrace.

After a few seconds, Shin Hye pulled away, smiled and said, “See you”

Geun Suk held her face, memorizing every inch of it, and then that stubborn girl suddenly pulled away and immediately went out of his car. She went down without looking back. She walked the opposite way, without looking at him.

Geun Suk started the engine, drove at the opposite direction, looking at the girl from his rear view mirror.

An hour or two has passed, as that girl was walking near the pedestrian lane, the light turned red, then, suddenly a car stopped in front of her.

The guy unlocked that door, without lifting his gaze.

The girl went inside without looking at him.

“Did you wait too long?”, he asked as she buckled her seatbelt.

“Did you look too far?”, she answered as he maneuvered the car.

He smiled without looking at her.
He held her hand as he maneuvered that car.

The girl looked at their hands, shook her head then smiled.
“They won’t let us go”

“I know… and i won’t, even if they do”

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3* Missing Piece

As she was taking a sip from her cup of Americano, Shin Hye squinted her eyes as she looked at that guy whose head was resting on the table, his eyes fixed on her.

“Wae?”, Geun Suk asked, smiling at her.

“Why are you smiling?”

Geun Suk just grinned, did some stretching and took his Americano as well. As he sat there properly, his hood went down, startling Shin Hye, who immediately stood, pulled him, arranging his cover.

The guy just smiled, shaking his head.

Shin Hye just pouted and took her notes, studying for her exam.
After five minutes or ten, she looked back at that guy, who’s busy playing with his phone.

“Oppa…”

“Hm?”

“Are you not busy?”, she asked, her eyes not lifting from her notes.

“Hm?”, Geun Suk asked, wanting to hear what it is really that she’s wanting to hear.

“What are you doing here? Are you not supposed to do some planning for the remaining Cri Shows, or any endorsement project?”, she said, putting down her notes, looking at him.

“Am I not allowed to spend some time with my girlfriend?”, he asked back, his forehead wrinkled.

“Oppa!”, she answered, objecting on whatever it is that is playing in that guys’ head.

“Don’t mind me. Just continue with what you’re doing”, he said, looking around.

“Oppa, if you really don’t have anything to do today, why don’t you just go back home and sleep a wink. After this week, there will be plenty of commitments again. It would be better if you could at least recharge while having this break”.

“Is this not part off my commitments? This one is the priority”, he said, smiling.

“Oppa, don’t take me as a responsibility. I’m not a kid who would throw a tantrums if her boyfriend would not show his face. And we haven’t just dated. I understand this one”

“Tch!”, Geun Suk smirked, shaking his head. Then as after a second or two, he took her hand, then whispered without looking at her face,

“This is not my responsibility, Princess. This is yours”

“Eh?”, she asked, puzzled why it was her responsibility to spend time with him.

“This is my right. I am your boyfriend, so it is my right to spend time with you”, he said, giggling at his words.

“jjang! “ they said in unison. Which is followed by an “eeww” from Shin Hye, starting a never ending laugh from that corner of Analog Café.

Shin Hye took her phone ,and before she could take that photo, the guy snap a shot, framing Shin Hye and her Americano.

“Yah! Don’t post that on twitter”, she said, glaring at him.

“Wae-yo?”

“Don’t make a scandal, Oppa!:”

“Shin Hye drinking a coffee? Where is the scandal in there?”

“Ani. Don’t! You don’t know when the netizens would find my reflection and yours in the picture, or your name being translated to Park Shin Hye. Aisssh!”

Geun Suk laughed, remembering how Shin Hye called him in the middle of the night, blabbering things about her reflection on his tweet or that glitch in Weibo.

“Yah!”

“Wae!” he said, smiling. “This one is clear. Jinja?”

“Aisssh! Do you know what the next question would be once I posted that one?”

“Hm?”, he asked, knowing exactly what is in her head.

“Who took that picture? I wonder who Shin Hye-ssi is with in that café?”

“And do you know what would be the next question once you post that photo of 2cups of Americano?”

“Hm?”, she smiled, seeing the green monster sitting beside Geun Suk.

“Who is with Shin Hye? Ah, cham. Her chingu likes Americano, right?”

“You also like Americano, Oppa”, she said, pointing out that fact.

“Yah! So you also know that the other camp would react like that?”, he asked, his eyes cold.

“Boices love me Oppa. They love me as much as your eels hate me”, she said, teasing him, but then, realizing the sensitivity of that topic, she swallowed, and before she could say another word, she saw that guy smiled weakly and then added, “Mian”

“Mian. I didn’t mean to”, she said, biting her lips.

Geun Suk smiled, then said, “some of the eels, I guess, know the real score.”

Silence…..

‘Yah!”, he hissed, startling that girl from her seat.

“Wae?”

“If you post that photo, they will definitely think that some other guy is with you. I’m endorsing Café Benne, remember?”

“Oh? Is it?”, she said, trying to act innocent.

“Aisssh!”, he said, rumpling his hair.

“Yah! Am I not allowed to go with other guys?”, she said and before she could continue, she saw that guy boring hole on her face. She smiled, then said, “Oppa, I mean, I can also go out with Hong Ki, with Seung Gi Oppa…”. Shin Hye bowed her head, seeing that the guy is now glaring at her. Then she added in a whisper, “I mean, I also have other friends, Oppa. Do i really need to drink a cup of coffee with guys. I mean….”

“Ara.. ara… Ah, cham, I heard that you will be going out with the girls”

“Hm”, she said nodding her head.

“When?”, he said, pretending to ask that thing casually.

“Oppa, don’t!

“What? I didn’t say anything”, he said, smiling.

“Don’t! That’s girls’ outing”

“Wae? Why am I not supposed to?”

“Yah!”

“Arasseo.. arasseo”

Shin Hye smiled, having his word on it.

“Oppa..”

“Hm?”

“Kurt Oppa said that you’ll be meeting with Team H?”

“They want to see you”, he said, his eyes bright.

“I would love to see them as well. But, you must spend time with them, Oppa. You and your boys, just like me and my girls”

“Something feels not right. It seems that something is missing. Should I just cancel it?”

“Yah! Why would you think of cancelling it? You haven’t seen each other for a while”

“We haven’t spent time in awhile. You’ll be spending time with the girls, and me spending time with those freaks would mean another day off from us being together”

“Tch! You miss me that much?”,she asked, her eyes smiling.

“Ani”, he answered, his eyes giving him away.

“Guilty of not spending time with the ever understanding girlfriend?”

“Tch! Just want to spend some time with the girlfriend who would not demand of anything, making the boyfriend feel… insecure?”, he asked, his last word, he kept hanging.

“Yah!”, Shin Hye hissed, nudging him on the chest.

Geun Suk laughed heartily. “Guilty for being far too understanding, making the boyfriend feel not missed?”

“You are missed. You know you are?”

Geun Suk pouted, looked at her, then said, “Jinja? How much?”, he asked like a kid.

“This much”, Shin Hye said, stretching her arms.

“Hm?”, he asked, not quite convinced.

Shin Hye pulled her chair nearer to him, then hugged him tightly, then pulled away, before that guy could hug him back. She smiled then said, “Nomu nomu nomu”, she said, as she held his face, pecking his lips for who knows how many.

And before she could pull away, after her final peck, the guy held her face as well, grinned. Shin Hye’s eyes widened, knowing exactly what that guy would do. Her eyeballs scanned the room and before she could protest, the guy met her lips, kissing her for who knows how long.

“Nomu nomu nomu saranghae”

—-

That afternoon of their BBQ party, as Shin Hye was driving her car, she received a call from that guy.

“Wae-yo?”

“I can do the bbq while you’re chatting with your friends”

“Yah! Oppa! Don’t! We can handle that”

“That would be difficult”, he asked, pushing his luck.

“Oppa, I’m hanging up. You know you cannot”

“Arasseo.. arasseo… I love you”

“I love you too”

All through that afternoon, Shin Hye’s phone kept on ringing, that guy asking some random things, such as..

“Do you have enough ice?”

“Oppa, we can manage”

“Drinks? Do you want me to bring some drinks?”

“Oppa, we still have one cooler of sodas”

“Pizza? Anyone who want to have some pizza?”

“Oppa! Aisssh! Jinja!”, Shin Hye is getting irritated by a minute.

“Shin Hye, why didn’t you invite Geun Suk”, one of her friends asked.

“Aisssh!”, Shin Hye mumbled, glaring at her friend.

“Yah, Shin Hye-ssi, why didn’t you invite me?”

“Oppa, I’m hanging up. One more call and I’m telling you, I will turn off this phone, and you cannot call me this entire day”

“Yah! Park Shin Hye”

“Don’t push me, Oppa!”

“Arasseo.. arasseo… call me when you’re done. Love you”

“Hm”

“I love you”

“Aisssh!”

“I love you”

“I love you too”, she said in a whisper, which earned her a never teasing from her friends.

—-
“I wonder how it is to have the Asia Prince as a boyfriend”,one of her friends asked.

“He’s not the Asia Prince when he’s with Shin Hye”, the other answered.

“We haven’t seen him in a while. Why didn’t you bring him here?”

“Did anyone bring a boyfriend? Boyfriend not allowed, right?”

“Oh, was there an agreement?”

“Eh”, Shin Hye would want to scold her friends, but before she did, two of her girl friend’s boyfriends already arrived.

“Mian… we didn’t know”, her friends apologized as she glared at them.
And then, 15 minutes later, the respective boyfriends of the other girl friends arrived, making her the “extra” wheel, feeling out of place of the sweetness of her surroundings.

Irritated, Shin Hye dialled that number. The first ring has not finished yet, the guy has already answered the call.

“Hm?”, he asked, she could see his smile amidst their distance.

“Nothing”,she said, pride preventing her from asking him to come over.

“Miss me?”

“Hm?” she answered blandly.

“Are you going to say something?”

“Hm… Oppa, I need to hang up. They’re already calling me. Love you”

—–

Since the arrival of those unexpected guests (at least, unexpected for her), Shin Hye has exiled herself to that BBQ corner, irritated of her friends.

She was fanning those squids and fish, when out of the blue, she heard that familiar voice. “Would you want to take revenge on eels? How about grilled eel?”

Shin Hye’s eyes widened, hoping but not expecting that soul to come in flesh at that moment.

“Oppa, how did you….”

Geun Suk just tilted his head, smiled and said, “I was thinking of you… I can hear your words even before you could think about it. Is that something new?”, he answered, making it appear that what they have is as normal as having the sun rises in the east,or it setting in the west.

—–

Boys night out…

“You’ve been playing with that bottle for quite a while”, Seong Bin said, as he took a gulp from his.

“Tch! Don’t mind me. I’m just thinking of something. Where are we on the album?”

“Something? Tch! Is Shin Hye a thing now?”, Jeong Seong answered, teasing him.

“Yah! Geun Suk, don’t you have any other word aside from, “where are we on the album?” I guess you’ve asked that for five times now, and we have discussed that for six times?”, he continued, earning a series of laughter from the guys.

“Love sick? Yah! Punk, you have just met with her before you arrived here, right?”, Kurt added, shaking his head.

Geun Suk shook his head, smiling. “We haven’t spent that much of time during this break…”

“Let me guess. You didn’t actually plan of meeting us today, right?”

Geun Suk grinned, guilty as charged.

“Yah! If I will ask you now, would you really choose Shin Hye over us?”, Rok asked, shaking his head.

“You know I love you dude” he answered in a tone dead serious, then he smiled mischievously and continued, “I don’t want to hurt you, but do you really need to hear the answer?”

“Aisssh!”

They were laughing like crazy, then thirty minutes later, before the clock strikes twelve, Geun Suk was already yawning, feeling uncomfortable of the number of girls invited in their table.

He was tempted to call that girl, when his eyes met that someone who just entered the shop, her clothes tight fitting, their eyes glued on her body. Geun Suk swallowed as he saw that figure, forgetting in an instant why he took that phone.

The girl smiled flirtatiously and together with her girl friends, she asked if it’s ok to join them, and when she had the approval, she sat beside Geun Suk, her body leaning against his.

They were all laughing, flirting with one another, the eyes of the other guys glued at Geun Suk, worried of his next move. The guy has already down some bottles and they were worried whether he could still remember that girl who they once met at a group date like this.
Geun Suk was laughing like crazy, the façade was too convincing, making any outsider, especially to those girls, appear that he will be taking home that girl.

Ten minutes or so, Geun Suk excused himself, then dialled a number.

“Hm?”

“Hi….”, he said, not sure why he made that call.

“Hm?”, she asked back.

“Are you home already?”

“Wae?”

“Nothing… I love you.”, then he hangs up.

Twenty minutes later, as he’s killing time, burning his lungs, the girl from their table, went out as well, thinking that Geun Suk was waiting for her.

“You have light?”, she asked, as she approached him, her body almost an inch from his.

Geun Suk shook his head, laughed at the bold move, but gave her light as requested.

The girl was obviously flirting with him, once in a while moving too close, pressing her body against his.

Geun Suk distanced his self, remembering his girl. He’s still playing along, but he knows his limit.

Probably getting bored of the conversation, “My place or yours?”, the girl asked, as she had a final hit from her cigarette.

Geun Suk shook his head, with litted cigarette in between his fingers, he scratched his forehead, expecting those words.

And before he could say a word, he heard that voice he’s longing to hear, “How about mine?”, she asked, as she walked near them, her arms crossed on her chest.

The girl instinctively looked at the owner of the voice, smirked as she eyed that girl from head to toe, laughing at her sweat pants and jacket-attire, probably not recognizing that face because of her hood covering her head.

Shin Hye gave her a head-to-toe scan as well, swallowed as she realized that she was a bit out of place, and then, before Geun Suk could come to her rescue, she smirked as well, removed her hood, revealing a white tank top, accentuating her asset, which she seldom shows off.

The girl did not need to scan her body, for as soon as she recognized her face, she smiled, nodded and said, “I guess this means I need to take my leave.”

Shin Hye smiled, nodded her head as well, respecting that girl for the respect given to her.

Then remembering the reason she was there, Shin Hye looked at Geun Suk whose eyes are now taking a feast on her chest.

“Should I take off more?”, she asked sarcastically.

“Aisssh!”, he said as he took her jacket, wrapping that girl before someone else take a notice of her. “What are you doing here?”, he asked, smiling.

“I was just passing by..”, she said with a smirk.

“Tch! What are you doing here?”

“I think I heard you asking me to come, didn’t you?”

Geun Suk shook his head, “This is getting scary. I can read you in as much as you can read me, amidst our distance”, he said his forehead on hers, and then in an instant, he pushed her to the wall, pinning her. “I have downed some bottle”, he said as his face is an inch from hers, his hand on her waist. “Are you not scared?”

“Should i?”, she said as she moved her face nearing him, their lips almost touching each other.

Geun Suk stared at her lips, then looked directly to her eyes. “Better be”

“I can read you, in as much as you can read me”, she answered with a smirk.

Geun Suk closed his eyes, then smiled.”As I was saying, I better bring you home, before you can read something not so good in my eyes”

Shin Hye smiled, then before that guy moved away, she held his face, then gave him one quick kiss on the lips. “This is why I love you the most, Oppa”

Geun Suk smiled, then pulled away, “something is odd. Something seems missing…”

“Hm?”

“My missing piece. Now I’m complete”

“Jjang!” they exclaimed in unison, shaking their head of the cheesiness.

Geun Suk placed his arm around her shoulder, while the girl has wrapped hers on his waist.

They walked side by side, their words only they can understand.
With those smiles on their faces, it was them, and only them can hear the beating of their hearts.
His heart beating for her and hers for his…
This story is theirs and theirs alone…

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2* Missing [Us]

One of those few mornings, those not so frequent times that he could wake up in this side of Seoul, Geun Suk got up early, a smile plastered on his face as he took his running shoes, running-singing while giving his Mom a peck on her cheek.

No need to say a word. As he opened his car, Mrs. Jang shouted from the living room before her only son flew to that side of Seoul, “Kiss me to my daughter-in-law”.

Geun Suk smiled, and before he entered his car, he looked back to his Mom and said, “Should I bring her home, Eomma?”

“Tch! You know I would love that, Suk-di”, his Mom answered with a smirk, disappointed-frustrated that upto this point, he could not still get that girl to agree for a marriage.

“Eomma!”, Geun Suk squinted his eyes, frustrated as well that the girl would not budge on her timelines, and would not agree to skip any pre-agreed prerequisites.

“Arasseo.. arasseo”, his Mom nodded her head, knowing how stubborn, strong headed that girl is.

And before he completely settle his self inside his car, Geun Suk, with a mischievous smile, looked at his Mom again and said, “Should I drag her,Eomma and bring her to a very far secluded place, make a scandal, so she would be left with no choice but to marry me?”

Geun Suk Eomma grinned and with a sarcastic tone, said, “Should I just disown you, Geun Suk? Aisssh! You go and meet my Shin Hye before someone else’s makes an appointment with her again. Aigoo! You are the boyfriend, and yet you could barely see each other. The Asia Prince has no time to meet my Princess. I wonder until when can Shin Hye put up with this set up”

Geun Suk’s face has changed from bright to dark. He closed his eyes knowing the truth behind his Eomma’s teasing. He smiled weakly, and before he could make his way inside his car, he heard his Mom, probably sensing his change of mood, said, “You know she loves you so much, Suk-di”

Geun Suk heaved a sigh, not wanting to make his Mom feel guilty about it, he smiled and said, “She won’t find anyone like me, Eomma. There is only one Jang Geun Suk.”

—-
As he parked his car at that side of Han, while waiting for that girl to arrive, his words kept on ringing in his ears… she won’t find anyone like me…. She won’t find anyone like me… she won’t find anyone like me…. But…BUT, she can find someone better than me.. far better than me… someone more deserving of that soul… more deserving of that heart.

Geun Suk closed his eyes, his heart enveloped by that fear again.

Every now and then, he would have that insecurity.. that fear… that worry…

What if one day Shin Hye suddenly realizes that he’s not the one for her… what if one day, Shin Hye finds someone far better than him..more deserving of her… what if the stars play their trick again…

Aisssh! Call him narrow-minded, worrywart, but really, his chest tightens, his eyes tearing whenever those thoughts would pass his mind. He loves her…. Loves her so much….

And as he tried to wipe away those tears that are threatening to fall, he saw that girl in tights and tee, with a white pullover and her New Balance shoes, driving Pixie along the Han, her headphone on, oblivious of her surrounding again.

Geun Suk smiled upon seeing that innocent face.. and those blank stares. She was riding Pixie, a sweet smile on her face, probably remembering something.. someone, and then a pout was formed on her lips after a second or two.

As that girl made a U-turn, she accidentally bumped into someone which made that someone fell down, hitting the ground. Surprised, Shin Hye immediately went down of Pixie, without looking at the face of that someone, she kept on mumbling, “Gwaenchanayo? Gwaenchanayo?”.

Tears brimming in her eyes, as she tried to inspect the damage that she has made. Shin Hye knelt down, trying to take a peek at that face covered by his arm, and before a tear fell down from her eyes, she felt a hand grabbing her, hugging her in the process.

Startled, Shin Hye would want to fight back if not for that familiar touch and that familiar voice, “Saranghae…”

With widened eyes, Shin Hye pinched that guy in the torso and whispered, “I hate you”, as her impending tears finally roll down her cheeks.

They stayed in that position, Geun Suk on the ground, his arm wrapped around that girl on top of him, when suddenly, the girl whispered in his ears, “Oppa, people are staring at us”

“Tch! Let them stare! I miss my Shin Hye”

“Oppa!”, Shin Hye said, trying to break free from his embrace.

Geun Suk smiled, slowly loosened his arms around her. The girl immediately stood up, lowered her cap, avoiding the stares of the passersby.

Geun Suk grinned as he saw that girl, trying very hard to avoid the eyes of everyone.

As he stood up, he walked beside Pixie, pushing it away from that area.

“You didn’t bring your bike?”, she asked, as they walked side by side away from those eyes.

Geun Suk simply shook his head, his eyes focused on the road.

Shin Hye tilted her head, trying to see his face. “What are you doing here?”, she asked, her heart beating a thousand.

“Why were you smiling earlier and then pouted?”, he asked back.

Shin Hye’s face flushed upon hearing his words. She swallowed and then with poker face,said, “Did i? I did not notice”

Geun Suk smirked, then eyed that girl dangerously, “You’re really bad at lying”, he said shaking his head.

“Yah!”, Shin Hye said, stomping her foot.

“Wae?”, he asked back, his eyes smiling.

“Aisssh! Oppa!”

“I miss you”

“Eh?”, Shin Hye’s eyes widened upon hearing those words.

“I miss you.. I miss myself.. I miss us…”

Shin Hye looked at him, her eyes asking what those words were.

“You asked me what I was doing here, right? I want to see you..i want to see me… I want to see us…”, he said, his eyes not leaving her face.

Shin Hye smiled shyly and then whispered, “I remembered you.. I remembered us, and then I remembered I was alone”

“Hm?”, it was then his turn to be puzzled.

“You were asking why I was smiling, then suddenly pouted, right? I miss us”,then she smiled shyly, as that guy held her hand, his smile from ear to ear.

As they reached that lone tree in the middle of that park, Geun Suk stopped, parked Pixie at one corner, then stood there with eyes closed, his back leaning against the tree trunk.

Shin Hye stopped beside where Pixie was parked, and then looked at that guy who seemed to be lost in his trail of thoughts.

Shin Hye slowly walked near him, leaned her back against the trunk as well, settling herself beside Geun Suk.

“Oppa…” she asked, her eyes closed as well.

“Hm?”

“What were you thinking?”

“Us”

“Eh! Why? Is there a problem with us?”

She felt him smiled and then said, “Ani.. I’m having a problem with myself”

“Eh”,Shin Hye’s eyes were forced open, as she heard those words. “Did I hurt you Oppa? Where did I hit you?”,she asked one after the other, worry evident in her voice.

“You hit me here”, he said, pointing to his heart.

“Yah! Funny”, she said, hitting him on the chest.

But the guy was fast. He might have expected it, for before her fist landed on his chest, he held them tightly, pushed her, such that the girl was trapped between him and that tree.

Shin Hye looked at his face, her eyes searching for his. “Is there a problem, Oppa?”, she asked, as her hand was playing with his.

Geun Suk shook his head,smiled, then slowly looked at her. “I love you…”

“Ara.. Nado”, she said, smiling at him.

Geun Suk tucked some of her loose hair behind her ears then continued, “I don’t know what I will do if you leave me, Shin Hye”

“Oppa…”, she whispered, reading the sadness in his eyes.

“Mianhae… we don’t see each other that much. “

“I understand, Oppa. No need to worry. I understand. Follow your heart. Follow your dreams. Shin Hye will stay. I told you, right. I will stay”

“My heart is in here”, he said as he’s trailing his finger on her palm, and as he looked at her eyes, he continued, “my dream is looking directly into my eyes”

Shin Hye held his face, smiled, then said, “What has gotten into my Geun Suk? Why the sudden heavy mood?”

Geun Suk averted his eyes, but held her hand which was on his face.

“Oppa… wae-yo? What happened?”

“I can’t lose you. Call me selfish, but I don’t think I can lose you. If, in any chance, you get tired of me, can you at least spare me a chance or two before you totally leave me?”, he asked, his eyes pleading like a kid.

“I always believe in you, Oppa. You may give me the lamest excuse possible, the weirdest justification available, but I will always choose to believe you. When you told me before that the stars have agreed for us to be together, I thought you mean that agreement is until our ever after ends. Do you think ever after would end that fast?”

“Can we not allow that ever after to end?”

“I thought I heard someone said the he will not allow it to end”

“You and me, until forever”

“if the stars won’t believe in us.. we will not give up without a fight”

“Ani.. we will not give up.” He smiled rubbing his nose on hers.

Shin Hye smiled back, loving the warmth in his eyes.

“Ah,cham. Eomma asked me to give you something”

“Hm?” and before she could say a word, Geun Suk gave her a quick peck on the cheeks. “Eh?”

“A kiss for her daughter-in-law”, and then, he held her face, a smile on his lips, he planted a kiss on her forehead, and whispered, “ a kiss on my heart.. on my dream… on my girl… the better me.. “

Then Shin Hye placed her arms on his shoulder, then added “ for the US through forever” then she tiptoed, giving him a soft kiss on the lips.

The guy hugged her tightly, “I love you”

The girl hugged him back,” I love you too”

And there, just like before, just like those early mornings and late night meet ups, the Han has once again became the sole witness of those tears… those laughters… their longings… their sweet nothings… And as they held each other, though they may not be aware of it, their silent witness has whispered a prayer, just like what it always does on those mornings and nights..

let those hearts hold unto each other… their souls not leaving the other.

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Chapter 32: Counterplan

The moment he met those eyes, Geun Suk’s eyes would not leave those orbs. He wanted to run to her and not let her go. When he saw her bowed her head, Geun Suk’s heart had a race.

She’s not thinking of running away, right? She’s not thinking of leaving me here, is she?

As he made his way towards her, prepared to run after her the moment that stubborn self channeled in her again, he was taken aback when she lifted her head, her face bright, looking back at him.

Something’s odd. Something’s not right.

He saw her smiled and he heard her call unto him.

Geun Suk Oppa.

Geun Suk tilted his head, wanting to read her. He expected her to look away, to hide just like what she did on those times she wanted to escape from him. He was looking intently at her, waiting for her to look away, when as he tried to lock gaze with those eyes, the girl simply looked back at him without batting those orbs.

Chukahae

That guy squinted his eyes, trying to find that girl beneath that pretense.

You cannot lose me Shin Hye. You know, you cannot.

He was riding along, playing along, waiting for that girl to finally get lost in this maze that she’s trying to make.

You cannot hide from me. I can find you. I told you, right? I know you. I simply know you.

He was asking some random questions, trying to lose her control in this game. The girl tried to skirt her way, trying very hard to hide herself.

“Gwaenchana?”, he asked, not interested to hear her lie.

“Good. You?”, she asked back, smiling at him.

You’re doing good, doing good in this act.

“Never better”, he answered without removing his eyes from hers.

The moment he said those words, he saw that girl flinched a little, probably not expecting those words from him.

“Good”, she nodded her head, as if convincing herself of that lie.

He saw her stopped at one corner, pretending to be interested on those bags and stuffs, probably intentionally making him bored of this conversation.

Geun Suk shook his head, looking at that girl, admiring her effort to brush him off of this act.

We need to talk. I need to talk to that girl.

That guy looked around, instantly drawing a plan on how to drag that girl away from this make-believe world. His eyes lit the moment he saw that room.

Mianhae. I just want to talk to you.

Call him cruel, but the moment he saw that stubborn self, he knew he won’t hear any truth from this girl in front of him. As he saw that painting, that wall with stars and moon, he grabbed her hand and dragged her to that corner. He felt her wiggled her arm, trying to break free from him, but he simply pretended he did not feel anything, just like how she’s pretending to be whole.

Before that girl finally removed her hand, he pointed those stars and that moon painted on the wall. And as he expected, no need to drag her, the girl, that kid automatically smiled, and floated towards those stars.

Still a puzzle for him, Geun Suk did not know why but that kid is too obsessed of stars and moon.

As she made her way near that painting, Geun Suk followed closely. Lost in the trail of stars, Shin Hye ran her fingers on the wall, having a feel of its warmth.

He saw her followed the trails of stars, just like how Dorothy followed that yellow brick road. No matter how much she tried to hide herself, she cannot do a thing the moment something too close to her heart is presented before her eyes. For the first time, since that night prior to that D day, he saw her smiled genuinely. He missed that girl. He missed that girl badly.

Mianhae. Don’t hate me on this.

As that girl followed those stars, she unconsciously entered that room, unaware of the trap that the cruel guy has planned.

Geun Suk slowly followed behind her, making sure that no other soul would dare interfere.

Probably sensing the trap, he saw his prey slowly took a step forward then stopped. Shin Hye slowly turned around, facing him.

He knew when sanity came back , when senses pulled her back to this world.

He saw her looked around, probably planning an escape. He followed her gaze, not wanting to lose her this time.

And when it finally dawned to her that escape is not an option, he saw her tilted her head, meeting his gaze. She looked back at him, a counter attack he knew she has planned.

Geun Suk did not move his eyes from her. His gaze boring hole on that girl. His eyes have fire. His angry, mad, getting crazy of her act.

Stubborn. Stubborn indeed.

“Tch! Are you having fun?”,he heard her asked, sarcastically.

“Are you?”, he asked, his eyes not leaving hers.

“What do you want?”, she asked, trying to break free from him.

He saw her trying to escape, ducking down, moving away from him, but before she bent down, he placed his arm against the wall, trapping that kid between his body and the unwavering wall. He saw her swallowed, probably slowly accepting her defeat.

“What do you think you’re doing?”, he asked, his face an inch from hers. He’s trying really hard to catch her eyes, afraid to leave that face. He’s afraid, scared of her breaking free from him… afraid of himself, realizing their proximity, realizing how he badly misses her.

“Don’t think you can scare me, Geun Suk”, he heard her said, her eyes locking with his, challenging his anger.

“Don’t play with me, Shin Hye”, he hissed, his face blank, trying his very best to calm his nerves.

“Look who’s talking”, she answered in gritted teeth. He felt her trying to push him away, her hands on his chest, but he held his ground, did not move an inch.

“Don’t give me that act that everything is ok…”, he said, his eyes looking for hers.

Two minutes… One minute… please let go. Tell me you’re hurting as well. Tell me, you’re not letting me go.

Geun Suk looked at her. He saw tears started to well in her eyes. He can see that girl… that girl she’s trying really hard to hide.

“I allowed you to play your part… can we stop pretending that everything is ok”, he said, his eyes not moving from hers.

“What do you want me to do? Break down? Cry my eyes out? Geun Suk, don’t. Let’s stop it here”, she said, pleading him.

“Mianhae…” he whispered silently. He saw her pain. He can feel she’s trying really hard to get a hold of herself.

Call me cruel, but I really want to know that you’re not letting me go… that you’re hurting as well. Call me selfish, but I cannot let you go.

He took one more step closer, removing any space between them. He needs to feel her presence. He needs to know that she’s real.. that she’s here. As he felt that familiar warmth, he did not know why, but he placed his forehead on top of hers. He closed his eyes, trying to savour this peace… all the longing, all the pain, all his heartaches vanished. He can feel his heart calming down, his head finally at peace.

And out of nowhere, he heard his lips uttered those words that his heart has been pleading him to say, “Saranghae”

He did not dare open his eyes. The girl did not budge, did not move an inch. Her breathing slowed down, probably trying to calm her heart.

“Saranghae”, he repeated those words, as if by saying so, he could at least remove some burden from his heavy heart.

Geun Suk closed his eyes tightly, not wanting to wake up from this dream.

That girl is here, and she is real. She is here and I am with her.

After saying those words, after finally knowing that she heard what he longed to tell her, he felt warm liquid having a race on his cheeks.

Relieved that girl is here..
Thankful that the girl is here…
Worried that she would leave
Afraid that she would leave him

Geun Suk did not know why, but her presence gave him mixed emotions and just like those nights when he chose to leave her, he felt fear creeping down his spine.

He cannot lose her. He cannot lose her this time.

“Saranghae”, he uttered those words again, and before that girl had her protest, he didn’t know why but unable to restrain his self, he felt his lips touching her closed eyes. It’s as if asking her to believe, to trust in him again. It’s as if pleading her to stay.. to not fight back.

I care for you…
I am for you…
I will never forget you…

A simple gesture to let her know that he cares… above the absolute definition of that word.
A declaration of love… of his heart that he is for her and for her alone.
A silent, painful act of letting her go…

He knew she’s in pain.
He’s certain she’s the one for her.
But he doesn’t have the heart to ask her to stay, and break her heart again.

He might be selfish, cruel, but he’d rather have this pain alone, than hold her here, trapped inside the hand of that coward boy.

Mianhae… I am not worthy of you, yet….
I’m letting you go, setting you free.
I will not ask you to stay.
Fly.. Run away.. stay far away…
On second thought, can you not make that distance too far?
I will find you.
Somewhere down that road, I know I can find you.
Make it difficult for me, but please, when that day comes, please, stay..

“Oppa…”, Shin Hye said, trying to keep her act. “Don’t make this too difficult”

Upon hearing that voice, her words, he shook his head, trying to hush that girl. And as he opened her eyes, he saw tears welling in those orbs.

He knew, she knew what he meant. She reads his plan, just like how he’s reading her…

Confused whether to ask him to stay….
To run until he finds her…
Or to run far, then wait for him at that road.

“Oppa…”

Geun Suk smiled upon reading her silent scream. He held her gaze, not wanting to let her go yet. And as his eyes were fixed on her face, trying to memorize every inch of it, his eyes met those lips.
As if being asked for, he slowly moved his hand to her face, the other on her side, placed against the wall, then slowly, he lowered his face, aiming for her lips.

Geun Suk closed his eyes, let his passion leads its way. He felt the girl trembled beneath his touch. He felt her closed her eyes, and as he heard the drumrolls of their heart, as he felt her heavy breathing touching his nearing lips, the door suddenly opened, revealing Manager Jun, Manager Kim and the company President.

He felt her turned around, probably embarrassed of the scene that the intruders have seen. Though their backs are facing each other, he held her hand, and hid her behind his back, ready, prepared to let go of everything, except for that hand.

He looked at the intruders, his eyes with fire. He saw Manager Kim shook his head, probably knowing what is running in his head. He saw Manage Jun trying to take a peek of that girl, worried that the little girl is crying her eyes out again. Then before his eyes landed on that guy, that guy who ruined his life, he heard him said those words which he tried so hard to forget…

“Jang Geun Suk, who is that girl? Do you have a girlfriend? I told you that’s the last thing that you would need at this moment”,

Geun Suk closed his eyes, gathering all his patience, trying really hard to control his fist. His hand balled into a fist, his knuckles white of the control his putting on them. His lips closed, his teeth gritted, and before he could say one word, he felt her hand on his. He looked back at her, and what he saw next make and break his heart.

He saw her smiled, shook her head, then whispered, “let’s make this more difficult , Oppa”.

He heard her introduced herself, starting another chapter of her act. He was still contemplating whether to play along, weighing his options, gauging which way to take, when he heard silence, everyone waiting for his decision.

Geun Suk smiled, shook his head, placed his arm around her shoulder, then said, “ This is that girl… that dongsaeng that I never had.”

The guy closed his eyes, remembering fully where those words came from, knowing exactly what she meant by those.

She will stay…
She will not run away..
She will stay, but not the way he wants her to be…
She will stay.. he will stay…
But they will never be the way they want them to be…

Geun Suk smiled, knowing her plan.
He shook his head, an evil grin on his face.

Call me cruel, but I’d rather have you here with me.
We’ll stay…
We’ll watch each other suffer.
We’ll see how this act would change our script.
We’ll stay, with the greater challenge of restraining ourselves to be together.
We’ll stay.. without being the way we want us to be… yet

Geun Suk smirked, his counter attack instantly laid down.

Not yet.. at least not at this point yet…
But you know.. we both know what is waiting for us down that road.

24 Comments »

Chapter 31: Crossroads and Choices

2008. Two years after the drastic downfall of her star, at the age of 19, Shin Hye found it too difficult to go back to the mainstream. It’s either roles are too young for her age, or way too old. At times, she would look at the night sky, wondering what has happened.

In 2003, she starred in Stairway to Heaven which launched her career. Offers came one after the other, making her name known in this industry. In 2006, she led Tree of Heaven opposite Lee Wan. They predicted.. they hoped that the said project would bridge her way from child star to a mature actress. No one knew what happened. The reviews were great. She was considered an actress to watch for…. To watch for, but no one mentioned that she has to wait big time for the audience to watch her. It’s simply not that time, yet… yeah, the timing was not just right.

Shin Hye looked at the water in the Han, with earphone on, a bittersweet smile on her face, as she repeated those words.

The timing was not just right.
As simple as that.

She closed her eyes and heaved a sigh. She still remembered that night, when she sat here that day. Shin Hye shook her head, as memories came drizzling one after the other.

It isn’t just right… maybe not yet.. or maybe, it’s really not meant to be.

She still remembered how she cried her heart out.. she cried too hard that night, and the nights after that, until one day, as she watched herself with tears having a race on her cheeks, her chest heaving in disappointment, hurt, pained for whatever reason, she saw herself smiled at her and, then just like that, she saw her lips curved into a smile, as that self shook her head, finally realizations getting a better hold of herself.

Everyone knows she tried her best to be rational.. logical about this. She doesn’t want to fall. If only she could make a choice, she’d rather not. Ha. But her heart was quite stubborn. It took her all her willpower to finally admit that she indeed liked the guy. Ani… she did not simply like him. She loves him, loves him too much, that it feels like the world was slowly breaking before her, swallowing her wholly when she heard him say he is sorry.

She cried.. she cried really hard. She did not know how she managed to say those words, how she simply let him go, how she was able to hold everything inside, until her knees betrayed her, until her eyes could not take it anymore. She knew, he saw her. And she was thankful that Geun Suk allowed her to act her part.

Ha! Shin Hye remembered clearly how she dragged herself away from the Han that night. She was walking without a soul, her chest empty without a heart.

The feeling was too surreal. It’s too animated. It seems that you are being swallowed by a black hole. You keep on falling, sinking, without really touching the ground. How she hoped she would hit solid ground and dropped with a loud thud.. maybe by then, she would wake up from this make believe story.. from that nightmare.

Shin Hye smiled as she remembered how she hoped that Geun Suk would call her that night, probably telling her that he’s just practicing a script.. or maybe, Geun Suk would appear in front of their house, and tell her that April’s Fools Day was moved to that day.

Ha! Pathetic, indeed.

She was crying, laughing, in random. She might have became twisted, crazy…but the pain was just too excruciating that she remembered, she could not breathe.

She could still recall how she blamed that guy in her dreams, how she would wake up in the middle of the night, hearing his voice, pleading for her to stay. She saw herself standing at that alley, the ends were too dark, she could not see a thing. She heard his voice, asking her to follow. At first she just stood there still, not moving. She saw him coming out of the dark, proving that he was real. She saw him offered his hand and when she was about to grab it, he slowly walked away with his hands still there, offered for her to grab. She tried to reach out, but his steps were quite bigger, she could not cope up. She walked quite slowly at first, her eyes fixed on him, afraid to lose him in the dark. At times she would look back, afraid to fully surrender, her eyes would at times fly to the exit door, tempted to get out of that maze. But that guy was quite cruel. When she was about to flee away, he would grab her hand, pulling her to walk with him. When she finally got the courage to hold his hand, she felt him slowly letting go, his hand slowly sliding away. His foot steps became bigger, his pace became faster. Shin Hye saw confusion in her eyes, she tried to grab him, but he disappeared too fast, he was swallowed by darkness. Scared, she tried to look around, hoping to find any trace of that guy.

He would come back, right? He would come back for me.

She saw herself standing there still, waiting for someone to save her. Waiting for him to save her. She was standing there, her head looking left and right, her heart beating too fast. Then, when hope for someone to come is slowly being consumed by her fear, she would hear his voice, calling for her, asking for her to follow that voice.
She tried. She did try to follow amidst the uncertainty, amidst the darkness.

And then, as she was walking blindly, she hit one corner, and there two roads showed themselves. Though he seems too far, she heard his voice , loud and clear, pulling her to that road.

She was at that crossroads, her heart and her head are having a battle. Her pride and her dream are in a war, cutting her in two. Right there and then, she would wake up. Beads of sweat running in her forehead, her palm cold, her throat dry. Tears would start running down her cheeks, her head start to ache, her other self starting to put the blame on him.. on her again.

Just like before, those previous nights, she would cry her heart out, angered by that guy, frustrated on herself.

Nights seem to have that routine, until her tears dried up, until even in her dreams, she would already know in which part she would wake up. The dream keep on repeating itself, the familiarity made her smarter night after night, that before the guy would offer his hand, before that guy showed himself from the darkness, she would bend her knees, ready to run to the exit door.

Shin Hye shook her head as she remembered that dream.

She tried really hard to run away from him. But how? No matter how much she tried to change the script, no matter how hard she run away, the exit door keeps on moving too far behind, until the door itself was swallowed by darkness. Shin Hye did not have an idea how it happened, but no matter how far back she run, the guy would always appear in front of her, grabbing her hand. And no matter how much she reminded herself not to listen, not to follow, she would always end up walking with him, her hand clasped with his.

That night, when realizations finally hit her, when she was at that point waiting for someone.. for that guy to save her… she looked back at the exit door, confirming with her own eyes that there is really no turning back. And when she accepted that fate, she looked at the crossroads again, contemplated which way to go. She heard his voice, calling for her. Shin Hye remembered how she tried to stay there, taking a peek on what’s waiting at the end, waiting for him to appear. When as she was about to take a step towards that voice, she was surprised when she saw herself smiling at her, her face bright. Then, she did not know how or why it happened, she saw her body turning to the other direction, her feet having a race , running to the opposite road.

I stayed. I waited, but you did not come back.
I’m not blaming you.
I’m not holding you responsible.
I am not expecting anything.
But, can you really find me?
Will you choose to find me?

Days passed by. Days turned into weeks. Then weeks into months.

She remembered she saw him with Geun Young. Even before she saw his face, she knew he was there. It’s as if there is that imaginary circle, a radar that beeps whenever they are within each other’s space. Would anyone believe her if she would say that she did not feel a tinge of jealousy when she saw them together? Nah, maybe no one would dare to believe.

Shin smiled upon remembering that time. She might have been jealous, maybe.. but the feeling was swallowed by her fear to face him. She did not know why, but it seems that she’s afraid to see him.
She’s been convincing herself for who knows how long that she is doing good. She is indeed doing good. She’s not sure, but maybe, she was afraid to see him, afraid to find out that she still hasn’t gotten over him.

She is doing good, doing good until she saw him. Right there and then, she saw herself breaking in front of her eyes. Her knees weakened, her heart starting to play that familiar beat. She was doing good, pretending to be good, until she saw that guy, and the cracks that she tried too hard to hide started to show themselves, her wounds that are already healing suddenly bled.. the pain started to kill her slowly.

Pretend to be whole, while deep down inside, you’re being torn into pieces.

She remembered the battle within herself flared up again. She knew she was slowly being defeated, until she saw that smile, her smile.

The game is on. Play it cool. Let’s play pretend, shall we?

Ha. She might have matured a little. She might have learned how to skirt her way out of that incident. The pain, the tears, those sleepless night finally had a better use.

Do not show you are weak.
Do not show your tears.
You’re not fighting with anyone but yourself.
Hold yourself together.
Teach her to be tough.
Do not fall in his trap, again.
Better learn your lesson, Shin Hye.
Don’t ask whether he will catch you.
He may have his trap, again.
But it’s still your choice whether you will be trapped in there.
Don’t hold anyone responsible.
No one is responsible for yourself but yourself.
Don’t hate him.
The game is on.
Are you in?

She remembered she excused herself and started walking away. She knew he was watching her, his eyes fixed on her. She wanted to hate him.. she wanted to shout at him, and let him know how much pain he has inflicted on her, how much she has to endure after he made her believe in him…but how, the moment she saw his eyes, she knew he’s in pain as well.

Aniya, she’s not expecting anything….she knew he ‘s sorry. She honestly believed that he didn’t mean to hurt her. Maybe it’s not yet meant to happen… or better yet, they are really not meant to be…

The night after that day, the roster for 44th Baeksang nominees was announced. Shin Hye was surprised when she received a call from their company, asking her to fit some gowns. Surprised, Shin Hye did not know why she was summoned for gown fitting, but she followed anyway. This will be her first time attending the Baeksang and she knew how important that night is for every soul in this industry. Ha. She’s definitely going there. She’s no longer a child star. She’s now being invited to walk down the red carpet.

Shin Hye felt her hands trembled , icy sweat going down her forehead as she entered that shop. Is it really this nerve wracking everytime one would need to walk down that red carpet?

Shin Hye smiled as she saw Manager Jun waiting for her at the entrance. Her heart beating a thousand as she stepped inside; the feeling was quite familiar.. Shin Hye closed her eyes.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

The awards night is still two months after, and here she was, crazy-nervous of that what would be ‘s at the Baeksang.

“Oppa, am I really invited? How did they find out about me?”, Shin Hye asked, excitement evident in her voice.

How did they find about her? It’s as if her name… her presence was too ordinary to be ignored.

Manager Jun looked at her in disbelief. “Invited?”

Shin Hye’s bright eyes turned dim, preparing to hear that she has heard it wrongly.

“Am I not invited?”, she asked dryly.

Manager Jun smiled, hugged her tightly, then whispered, “Saya, you are nominated for Best New Coming Actress.”

“Mwo?”, Shin Hye’s eyes widened, tears started to form in her eyes. “Jinja, Oppa? Am i?”

Jun shook his head, seeing how oblivious the girl is with her talent. He handed her the list, as he made his way inside one of the rooms.
Shin Hye followed closely behind him, her eyes fixed on the list, when as she was scanning the list of nominees, her eyes suddenly landed on that name.

Jang Geun Suk… The Happy Life
Movie Category. Best New Coming Actor

Shin Hye looked at the list again, and smiled upon seeing that name.

You deserved it. You risked a lot for this.

As she said those words, something pinched her heart.

You risked a lot for this.
Your heart and mine on the line.

As she was smiling, shaking her head, a familiar voice echoed inside the room.

“Hyung, did you see the list? Shin Hye… Shin Hye is …”

As she heard her name, as she heard that voice, Shin Hye’s eyes flew to that corner. Both of their gazes locked with each other. Her eyes cold, blank…. against his.. warm, full of emotions.

She saw him motioned to run towards her. She was thinking to run away, when she found herself rooted on the ground, as she saw him striding towards her direction.

Shin Hye bowed her head, contemplated on what to do next. Three step, two steps away, she raised her head and smiled at him.

“Geun Suk, Oppa…” she uttered, smiling at him.

Geun Suk tilted his head, puzzled, trying to read her.

Shin Hye knew what he was doing, and she would not allow him to do so.

But unlike before, before when she would choose to run away, hiding her eyes to hide her heart, this time, it was different.

Shin Hye tilted her head as well, as if challenging him to read her. She mastered this craft. She’s in one with her other self. That guy won’t know the difference of pretense and real… of make believe and reality… of her and her pretending self.

Even before he took the final step, Shin Hye took one step forward, closing their gap.

Surprised of her bold action, Geun Suk stood there still, did not expect for her to stay.

“Chukahae!”, she said, when that guy did not say a word.

“a.. Chukahae”, he answered back, still trying to read her.

Shin Hye smirked, pushed herself further down inside, down there where that guy will not be able to see her.

“Are you going to fit some tux?”, she asked, looking at him, then started checking the ties on display.

She felt him following behind her, checking whatever it is that she’s looking at. “Are you going to fit some gowns?”, he asked back.

Shin Hye nodded her head, without lifting her gaze from the display.

They were walking in comfort, asking…answering some random questions, when as she started to feel uneasy of his randomness, it was already too late. She did not know how it happened, but Geun Suk managed to lose her control somewhere within those randomness. When consciousness came back to her, she found herself trapped inside that room with no one but Geun Suk.

As she saw him walking near her, the wall that she tried hard to build started to crumble. Her eyes began moving left and right, aware that it’s only a matter of seconds before Geun Suk will find that girl again.

She tried to smile, walked backwards, trying to break free from his trap.

Cruel.. cruel indeed.

Shin Hye closed her eyes, planning for another escape.

Think, Shin Hye. Think. Do not allow him to catch you.

She was still drawing her plan, when as she opened her eyes, she saw him one foot away from him, and one more step back, she felt solid wall against her back.

Great! Just great!

She said, mocking herself.

Shin Hye lifted her face, meeting his gaze. She was trying to pull together her act, but what she sees next caught her off guard.

Geun Suk was walking closely to her, his eyes with fire.

Is he mad? What is he mad at?

Shin Hye closed her eyes as she saw him took that final step. She was now officially trap between that unwavering wall, and this cruel guy.

Hold your ground. Do not show him you’re scared.

“Tch! Are you having fun?”, she asked, sarcastically.

“Are you?”, he asked, his eyes not leaving hers.

“What do you want?”, she asked, as she tried to break free from him.

But that guy was cruel. As she tried to escape from him, he placed his hand beside her face, officially trapping her in there.

“What do you think you’re doing?”, he asked, his face an inch from hers.

“Don’t think you can scare me, Geun Suk”, she said, her eyes locking with his.

“Don’t play with me, Shin Hye”, he said, his face black.

“Look who’s talking”, she answered in gritted teeth. She tried to push him away, but the guy did not move an inch.

“Don’t give me that act that everything is ok…”, he said, his eyes looking for hers.

Shin Hye felt her eyes started to feel warm.

Aniya.. don’t Shin Hye. Don’t.

“I allowed you to play your part… can we stop pretending that everything is ok”, he said, his eyes not moving from hers.

“What do you want me to do? Break down? Cry my eyes out? Geun Suk, don’t. Let’s stop it here”, she said, pleading him.

“Mianhae…” he whispered silently.

Shin Hye closed her eyes, not wanting to see nor hear anything from that guy. She was trying to shut him off from her world, when she felt him walked closer to her, his forehead rested on hers.

“Saranghae….”

Shin Hye stood there, not wanting to open her eyes.

“Saranghae…”, he whispered again.

As she was about to open her eyes, she felt a warm liquid trailing down her cheeks.

Shin Hye, don’t.

Ani.. she’s not crying. She has already cried a lifetime-worth of tears during those nights.

As she opened her eyes, she saw Geun Suk, with eyes closed, tears running down his cheeks.

“Saranghae”, he repeated, then a kiss landed on her closed eyes.

“Oppa…”, Shin Hye said, trying to keep her act. “Don’t make this too difficult”

She felt him shook his head, asking her not to say a word.

“Oppa…”

As he was about to come closer to her lips, the door opened, revealing, Manager Jun, Manager Kim and Geun Suk’s company President.

Shin Hye automatically turned around, hiding her face.

Geun Suk faced the intruders, his hand balled into a fist.

“Jang Geun Suk, who is that girl? Do you have a girlfriend? I told you that’s the last thing that you would need at this moment”, she heard that familiar voice, those familiar words.

Shin Hye smiled, remembering exactly that time when she first heard that voice, those words.

She was still reminiscing that day, when she felt Geun Suk tensed up, his breathing heavy as if trying to tame himself. Shin Hye looked back at him, and before he was able to say one word, she held his hand, smiled, and whispered, “let’s make this more difficult , Oppa”, and upon saying that, she turned around, faced those visitors. Shin Hye bowed her head, smiled then said, “Annyeong haseyo. Park Shin Hye-imnida. Animida. I am not Geun Suk Oppa’s girlfriend. I’m too young, too childish for his taste”

The President just looked at her squarely, waiting for Geun Suk to say a word.

Geun Suk smiled, shook his head, placed his arm around her shoulder, then said, “ She is that girl… that dongsaeng that I never had.”

9 Comments »

missrickless

A Napkin dreams..

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this is me

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booksandrumblings

let me read and rumble. :)

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