“What’s going on?” Ki Won asked, visibly annoyed.
I stood up and pulled his chair out. “Please sit down,” I beckoned.
Since I couldn’t take Yun Ah’s nagging any longer, I decided to get off my a.ss and try to do something about the Ki Won-Kyung Moron situation.
My first step was to get in touch with Hye Jin and explain everything to her. The second step was to get her to agree to meet with Ki Won and surprisingly enough, it didn’t involve that much begging. In fact, she gave in way too easily.
I glanced at her sitting beside me and hoped that she wasn’t going to use the meeting as an opportunity to embarrass Ki Won for dropping her like that and end up creating a huge scene where she’d throw her drink in his face, or even worse, pull out a knife and stab him. Hey, if soap operas were to be believed, pretty girls were particularly vindictive so I’d brought my umbrella with me just in case.
“Ki Won ah, please sit.”
He shook his head. “Why should I?”
I almost laughed. What was with all the fronting? The guy was talking to me but his eyes kept darting at the person next to me. In addition, it seemed like there was some kind of centripetal force pulling him towards the chair so I knew that he wanted to stay. But as a friend, I had to humor him. “Ki Won, please sit,” I repeated.
He obliged me. “Now what?”
Back in my seat, I cleared my throat then explained everything to him. I told him how I loved him as a friend and I hoped we would remain so; how I allowed my jealousy to control me; how I was sorry for coming in between them and how I hoped that we could all be friends again.
I put my hand on his and looked in his eyes. “Ki Won, I’m really sorry and I hope you can forgive me.” I paused. “I really do because I miss my friend,” I said, smiling warily.
All the sounds around me seemed to get louder as I waited for him to respond.
After what must have been a whole minute, he nodded and said, “Is that it?”
Even though he was trying to put on the whole tough guy act, I could already tell that forgiveness was in the near future. “Yes, there’s something else,” I said, getting up. “I already gave the waiter some money so you guys should have dinner on me. Oh… and by the way, I only gave the guy 40,000 won so if your bill ends up being higher than that, you’re going to have to pay the difference. Enjoy your meal!”
“What is this?” Ji Tae asked, lifting his head.
“I believe that’s alexandrite,” I replied smugly. “I hope it doesn’t give me an infection seeing that they are not diamonds.”
He laughed. “It won’t. And what do you need a diamond for anyway?” he said, running his finger along the necklace. “I must say that I’m glad to see that you’re finally wearing it.” He put his head back down and went back to work on me.
As he softly kissed my neck, I shut my eyes and moaned as I enjoyed the sensation of his gentle nibbles. When I started playing with his hair, he slowly traveled down to my collarbone.
So another thing I learned about relationships was that once you started making out, you just couldn’t stop. Maybe it was that we'd gotten a lot of the talking out of the way when we were 'just friends' but lately, we reserved most of the talking to when we were apart and when we weren’t, it was on! Why am I such a whore sometimes?
When he slid his hand down my belly, I quickly sucked it in and was about to giggle till I felt his fingers slide towards….
“Dude,” I said, pushing him off. “What are you doing?” I sat up on the bed and buttoned my shirt up.
“Argh!” he exclaimed. He was lying with his back to the bed, looking at the ceiling. “Not again.”
“What do you mean by ‘not again’?” I readjusted myself so that I was sitting with my back on the bed board and pulled my knees to my chest. “Your hand has no business going there!” My hand still had to get permission before going down there. What did he think he was doing?
He propped his head on a pillow and turned to me. “If you won’t let me put my fingers there, how can anything else go there?”
“Anything else? What else? Nothing else needs to go there!”
“Come on, Hee Soo yah. It’s a normal part of life – it’s a way couples express the way they feel about each other.”
“Whatever! You don’t need to do that,” I scrunched my nose, “to express how you feel. Have you ever heard of emails, letters, IM, telegrams or just plain talking? How about that?”
He hissed. “You know that’s not what I mean.”
“And what about the girl in Jeju Island? What exactly were you expressing to her?”
He groaned. “Am I going to regret telling you about that?”
Apparently, the previous summer, just before he’d gone to The States on vacation, he and his friends had gone to Jeju Island where he met the random girl he lost his virginity to. Stupid ass. He should be grateful that I didn’t make him take an AIDS test before letting him kiss me.
“All I’m saying is,” I got off the bed and started putting my shoes on, “you dated Lee Tae Ran for almost two years and you guys never had sex but you met some chick while you were partying with your friends and you had sex with her. Now you want to have sex with me after like… how long? And I’m supposed to believe that it’s something special? Spare me!”
He sat up in the bed. “Why are you twisting everything?”
“There’s nothing to twist. What did I twist?” I rolled my eyes.
He got off the bed and walked to me. “As I’ve told you a million times, it’s different with us and I want to have my real first time with you,” he said, reaching out to touch me.
But I moved my arm to avoid his touch. “Whatever, Oppa. Tell that to someone born yesterday. The simple fact is that you don’t care enough about to me to stay here and wait till I’m ready. I’m not going to rush myself just because you're leaving. I’m not the one leaving. You’re leaving. If you really care, maybe you’ll stay.”
“What did you do?” I whispered to Mi Soo.
“I didn’t do anything! You’re probably the one in trouble!”
During lunch, The Suckers had been told to get ready for a family meeting. Family meeting?!!? Why did we need a special family meeting when all members of the family were present at the dinning table? Why couldn’t they just tell us then? Why did parents just love to torture their kids by having them stew in fear thinking up the dreariest situations?
“Just know that if you’re the reason I’m in trouble, you’re dead!” I said to her through ventriloquist lips.
At that moment, my parents walked into the room and sat across from us.
My throat suddenly got tight and I could feel my heart beating out of control. What the hell were they going to say? Was I adopted?
“Well,” my father started. He linked his hand with my mother’s and smiled at her. “Well, we’ve got some big news....”
News? Good news? Did someone win the lottery? Hmm... well, there's a plane I've got my eye on.
“…you’re going to have a new brother or sister.”
What? “Me? Or her?” I asked, pointing at Mi Soo.
“What?” they all asked in unison.
Oh. Sh.it. What? I-I’m going to…. “I’m sorry, Umma, you’re pregnant?”
My mother smiled and nodded. “Yes, about three months.”
Eww. I could already feel the bile crawling up my throat. My parents were still having sex? My parents were having sex? In my house? My father still put his… UGH. I stood up to get some water. “Does anyone want anything to drink?”
A few moments later, after I’d calmed down, my father said, “That’s not all.”
My sister and I glanced at one another. Not all?
“Hee Soo, with the new baby, everything will be tighter and we don’t think we’ll be able to afford your current school fees.”
Ji Tae walked in and slammed the door behind him. The sound was so unexpected that I jumped off his bed.
I didn’t really know what was going on but shortly after I’d come over to whine about changing schools, his father arrived and for about twenty minutes since, there’d been non-stop screaming in the living room.
“I can’t believe that man!” Ji Tae said, pacing around his room. “I can’t believe him!”
I tugged at his shirt to get him to stop. I was already getting dizzy watching him. “What happened?”
“He doesn’t want me to leave so he’s frozen all my accounts. Can you believe that? He’s frozen my accounts? How am I going to pay my college tuition now? And he knows how expensive American universities are.”
I had to bend my head to hide my face. Was I a bi.tch for being slightly pleased by that? Not about his father freezing his accounts but that now he might have to consider something other than an American university? Did that make me the worst kind of girlfriend? “I’m sure you’ll think of something else,” I said, reassuringly rubbing his shoulder.
“Whatever. He must think that he can use money to control me. No way! Cut me off, okay? I’m not going to die. Now, I definitely don’t have anything holding me back here.”
Hearing that, my legs gave way and I fell on his bed with such force that the bed bounced me up.
“What’s the big deal?” he continued ranting. “I’ll leave now. What the hell? He’s threatening legal action? How’s he going to do that when I’m gone?” He pulled a suitcase from his closet and started throwing things in it. “Fuc.k him! I’ll leave today!”
I watched the scene with increasing horror. He had nothing holding him back? He wanted to leave immediately? I tried my hardest to fight back the tears that were threatening to fall from my eyes. “Your father doesn’t want you to leave, that’s all. He’s only doing this because he loves you.”
“F.uck that! If he loved me, he’d never have left us! I’m leaving and there’s nothing he can do about it. I’m going to forget him and this place the minute I leave,” he said, looking around his room. "I can’t believe him!”
The minute he leaves he’s going to forget everything? Including me? Why am I such an idiot? How the hell did I get involved in this mess? Did he even care about how everything was affecting me? Why was I still with him? I sat up straight. “Ji Tae, let’s break up.”
There was absolutely no reaction from him so I couldn’t tell if he’d heard me. He shut his suitcase and walked over to his computer desk.
“Ji Tae, did you hear me? Let’s break up.”
When he didn’t say anything, I got off the bed and headed for the door. When I reached for the doorknob, he quickly ran over, locked the door and put the key in his pocket. Then he went back to his computer desk and sat down on the chair.
I fiddled with the doorknob to see if I could open the door but it obviously didn’t work. “Oppa, let me out.”
He completely ignored me and started typing.
“Oppa,” I screamed. “Let me out!”
“No,” he said, without turning around.
“Listen, Park Ji Tae, don’t let me scream this house down. I am no longer your girlfriend so I have no reason to be in your room. Let me out!”
He stood up and cleared the distance between us in a second. “What bullsh.it are you saying?”
“So now you hear me? Finally you see me? I said, let’s b-r-e-a-k up!”
“Are you deranged?”
His face was so close to mine that I had to move to avoid talking to his chin. “Am I deranged? You’re the one going on and on, talking about how you have nothing keeping you in Korea. Talking about how you have to leave now! I have to be deranged to prolong this crap when I know you’re leaving me! When I know you don’t even care enough to give me a second thought! Why would I want to make things worse for myself?”
He dragged me and sat me down on the bed then sat next to me. “You have to know that that was just my anger talking. I was mad about Appa – it had nothing to do with you.”
“Yes, because I’m nothing to you.”
He lifted my chin with his finger and made me look at him. “You know that’s a lie.”
“Then why can’t you stay?” The tears were no longer threatening me – no, they’d begun to fall freely down my cheeks. There was no way I was ready to watch him leave me. “Just stay.”
“You know I can’t.”
“But why? You’re still going to college when you get to America so it’s not like you’ll be seeing your mother everyday. How’s that different from being here in Seoul?”
“Because my mother needs to know that I’m on her side. I know I shouldn’t be taking sides but she needs it more than Appa. My father took all their friends with the divorce – I can’t let her feel like he’s taken me too.”
How could I argue with that? How could I try to fight that?
He pulled me to him and hugged me. I breathed in this scent and wrapped my arms tightly around him. How was that fair? Not only was I going to lose my best friends, I was also losing my boyfriend. Yep. Sucks to be me.
"So should we just break up now? Won't it be easier that way?"
I felt his body stiffen. "How would that be easier? Shouldn't we try to make the best of the time we've got?"
But the more time I spent with him, the harder I knew it would be to let go. But not being with him when he was still around made even less sense. "I guess you're right."
“Of course I am." I felt the tension leave his body. "Oh, and do you remember that you owe me?” he whispered into my ear.
I pulled back and looked at him. “Why are you bringing that sh.it up again?”
“Because I have to collect.”
I shook my head. “I don’t owe you jack. But… what exactly do you want from me?” I asked curiously. Hey, sometimes a girl just needed to know.
He exhaled. “Well, you have to promise me that you won’t cry when I’m leaving.”
The fu.ck? My eyes had begun to sting again.
“No. Let me rephrase that. You can’t cry anymore.”
“That’s your wish? That’s what you’ve wanted the whole time?” Had he had some kind of master plan? “Did you always know you were leaving?”
He shook his head vehemently. “No. I already got my other wish,” he said, smiling secretively. “So this is my new one: you can’t cry anymore.”