Hey," Ms. Roger Rabbit said as disentangled herself from Ji Tae and walked over to me. "How are you doing?" She stretched her arms out to hug me.
I instantly stepped aside to avoid her. I was thoroughly confused. Who was she trying to hug or was I the Carrie to her Miranda and I'd somehow forgotten that she was my best friend?
"What's up?" I said when I was safely away from her.
She put her right fist on her hip. "I'm doing great," she said so cheerfully that I wondered if she exhaled Helium. "My God, you look so different without all your make-up," she said with seemingly bright-eyed innocence.
I was fake smiling at her till what she said sunk in. WHAT DA…? I instinctively touched my face. The one and only time we'd met had been at my mother's funeral and I seriously doubted that I'd had that much make-up on. What she said had been so unexpected that "Really" was all I could come up with.
She nodded enthusiastically. "Of course. I was all confused," she said, moving her head dramatically, "wondering if I was in the wrong house." She chuckled. "I almost didn't recognize you – you look so normal. Make-up really makes you look so different."
I laughed boisterously. "Really? It must make you look very different too, otherwise, why would you have so much on?"
Instead of coloring or at least looking slightly ashamed of being called on her cheap shots, she laughed and went over to Ji Tae then linked arms with him. "But he likes it," she said looking at him all googly-eyed. "That's all that matters."
I glared at Ji Tae. What the hell was going on and why did he bring that thing to my house?
I was still willing my eyes to shoot balls of fire at Ji Tae when she said, "So, yeah, Hee Soo Unnie," she said, emphasizing the last word like I was so much older than she was that she really should be calling me 'Halmoni,' "you know my cousin?"
I tore my eyes away from him and shifted them to her. "Yes, we went to high school together. We were also in the same after-school club." I pointed at Ji Tae. "He was with us too."
She smiled brightly. "The three of you were in the same club? That's so cute."
I smirked at her. I couldn't believe that the same girl who'd scurried away from me at my mother's funeral could sound so condescending.
"Who's her cousin?" Ji Tae asked, joining our conversation. Then he looked to his side. "Who's your cousin? You didn't tell me that your cousin knew me."
She hit her forehead. "Did I really forget to tell you?"
I rolled my eyes. It looked like she would have done herself a favor by joining her high school drama club.
I sighed. "Ji Tae, do you remember Joo Eun Jung? She was in your year."
He creased his forehead and rubbed his temple as he tried to remember. "Describe her."
Tae Hee put her hands about a foot away from her hips. "She was fat and," she said, grazing her collarbone with her fingers, "I think her hair was around here back then."
"She was like the Drama Club mother hen," I volunteered.
"Oh, Eun Jung," Ji Tae said nodding. "Yeah, yeah. I've seen her a few times recently. She's your cousin?"
"Yeah. She told me some interesting things about the both of you," she said, moving her eyebrows up and down. "Something about Hee Soo dumping the hottest guy in school for you?"
I rolled my eyes and groaned. So that was what it was all about? Unnie had told her about our former relationship?
She laughed. "I didn't know you guys used to be couple. Oppa, why didn't you tell me about that?"
It was funny how she was supposedly talking to him but looking at only me. I smiled very sweetly. "Maybe he forgot. You know how guys are. If it's not important to them...." I glanced at Ji Tae and saw his jaw clench.
"Yeah, I know how they are." Her smile broadened so much I was scared that her tiger-sized teeth would actually climb out of her mouth and run out of the room. "Especially this one," she said, turning to him and poking his arm. "I knew that he was hanging out with your little brother but all this time, I didn't even know that you were going to be here too." She widened her eyes and if she'd been more human, I'd have told her never to do it again because the alien look just wasn't in. "Isn't he something?"
I nodded sympathetically. "Yeah, he really should have told you. But I only just moved back."
She sighed. "Lucky you. Eun Jung Unnie told me that you got like a month off from work. I am so jealous. There's no way I could take that time off – the place would probably fall apart if I'm not there to make sure everything runs smoothly."
"Yeah, I guess I'm lucky." So now she was implying that I was expendable? But from the way she was bragging about her clout at work, there was no way she wasn't working at The Gap. I gave her the thumbs up. "I'm sure you'll soon graduate to folding."
Ji Tae glanced at me then frowned at the Rabi.tch by this side. "Tae Hee yah, didn't you say that you wanted to use the bathroom?"
She giggled. "You're right. I'm so sorry. I got so excited about talking to your old friend that I completely forgot about the call of nature – you know how I can be. Hee Soo ssi, do you mind if I use your restroom? I only need to pee."
Pee my ass. The bi.tch was probably just going there so that she could rub glue on the toilet seat. I wanted to tell her to get out of my house but damn that home training! I looked down at Ji Soo who was sitting quietly on the couch and told him to lead her to the restroom.
When she left, I turned to Ji Tae. Before I could open my mouth, he quickly said, "I'm so sorry about this. She had the day off so she spent it with me. She's going to visit a friend who lives close by but she just wanted to say hello and use the restroom. I would have called first but it was last minute."
I shook my head. What did having to pee have to do with telling me I looked so natural without make-up? I picked Jin Soo's bag up and took it to his room. It would have been nice to say that I was being a good big sister but the truth was that I didn't want to be around when she returned. Not because I couldn't handle her but because I really wasn't in the mood – I could already feel a headache setting in.
A few minutes later, after waiting till Jin Soo changed out of his school uniform, we walked back to the living room together. But instead of finding an empty room, I found Rabi.tch waiting for me. I sent Jin Soo off to do his homework.
"Ah, so you finally came out. I couldn't just leave without saying goodbye." She looked around the room. "You really do have a lovely home. Anyway, I was just wondering… Oppa told me that he usually finishes up on his work while Jin Soo does his homework. Where does he do it?"
This was a question she couldn't ask her wonderful oppa? I pointed at the study.
I'd hoped that a goodbye would follow and end the madness but since it was a sh.itty day, it didn't.
Tae Hee smiled in the direction of the study. "Do you mind if I looked at it? He's been hiding so much from me that now I'm just so curious." She was trying to sound pleasant but every single word she spoke dripped in bi.tchiness. "Oppa, will you show it to me?"
Her oppa didn't move. "I thought you were going to hang out with your friend?" His voice had deepened by a few octaves so I knew that he was pissed.
She turned to him and shrugged. "Yeah, but I think she's probably still at work. I'll text her and tell her to pick me up from here when she gets back." She pulled out her phone from her pocket and looked at me. "What's the address here?"
My address? I looked up at the ceiling. Okay, where the hell was the Candid Camera?
Unimpressed, Ji Tae picked up his bag and grabbed her wrist. "I'll drop you off – let's go."
She shook her head and pulled her hand back. "There's no point because I'm sure she's not home."
"No." His face darkened to a rather unattractive shade of red. If he was the same person he used to be, she was pretty much about three-quarters way to getting the silent treatment from him.
I giggled to myself. There was no way that annoying wench wouldn't kill herself if she no longer got the chance to hear herself speak so I hoped she'd anger him even more so that she could receive a nice dose of the Ji Tae Treatment.
He pulled her. "I'll drop you off at your own house. Let's go." He looked at me. "We'll be leaving now, Hee Soo. I'll see you tomorrow."
"So where's your girlfriend?" I asked Ji Tae as soon as Jin Soo went to his room to change. "Yesterday was truly interesting."
He put his bag on the couch. "Yeah… I'm really sorry about that."
I shook my head. "There really is no reason someone should come into my house and insult me. It's not like I even knew her or something. I'd only met her once in my life and she just came over and started being so rude. That was so uncalled for."
He nodded and bit his lip. "I know. It was my fault – I guess I just never expected that."
"Really?" You bring your girlfriend in front of the not-too-ugly, okay, hot-with-plenty-of-make-up ex-girlfriend you've been spending time with and don't expect anything to happen? "Are you really that naïve?"
"Naïve?" He narrowed his eyes. "That, I am not."
"So you knew she was going to come into my own house and insult me?"
The expression on his face remained unchanged. "She didn't insult you."
I laughed. "What? 'Oh, you look so different without make-up.' What do you think that was?"
"That's an insult?"
His sudden nonchalance had begun to rub me the wrong way. "You and that bi.tch deserve each other."
"Look, I know she wasn't pleasant to you but that's no reason to call her a bi.tch."
I started at him with my mouth agape. "Are you honestly going to stand there and defend her?" Yes, she was his girlfriend but that was still no excuse to have blinders on. "You were here yesterday or did I just dream it?"
"Yes I was here but watch what you say about her"
I placed my hands on my chest in disbelief. "Oh, but she can do what she did? All over some kiddie relationship I had over 8 years ago? Was I the one that hid it from her? No, I don't even know her from Adam. B-but that bi.tch," I said, emphasizing the word, "is obviously insecure for whatever reason and decided to take it out on me. So just keep her the hell away from me, okay? There's no freaking reason I should get insulted because of something that happened 8 years ago. EIGHT BLOODY YEARS AGO!? Jin Soo hadn't even been born by then!"
My chest was heaving and I could barely see straight. I'd planned on having a civil conversation but that he could just stand there and defend her despite what she'd done was making all my brain cells explode. Did he really love her so much that he'd suddenly become so freaking blind?
I hissed. "All this over ancient history. High school has come to bite me in the ass." I looked up at him. "Is this a joke or something?"
I waited for an answer but he didn't say anything. He just kept looking at me.
"Ji Tae, I guess I'm just surprised at you. I wouldn't have expected you to end up with such a psycho." I laughed bitterly. "Does she go around stalking all your exes? I wonder if she could ask the NOW president where she gets her eyebrows done." I laughed some more then plopped on my couch. "But I bet she won't though – bi.tches are never that useful."
He folded his arms and regarded me. "Are you done now?
I shrugged as I rubbed my big toe. My toe had healed but dang, I was beginning to look like the dragon lady. I desperately needed a pedicure.
"Have you finally had your say?"
"Whatever, Ji Tae. I don't give a sh.it," I said as I crossed my legs and tried to hide my feet. "Just make it clear to her that I'm not living in the past then maybe she can get a life."
He chuckled. "The funniest thing about this isn't that you're not living in the past but that you're in so much denial. It's really pathetic, you know."
I slowly tilted my head up. "What the fu.ck is that supposed to mean?"
"What do you think it means?"
I rolled my eyes. Gosh. Not again.
"And you don't have to worry about Tae Hee," he continued. "I've told her everything. It wasn't 8 years ago for me and you know it. So she knows that and every other thing."
Ah, freak! So he must have told her about the kiss at Ki Won's party. I hung my head and cradled it in my hands. Why did this guy want to put my life in danger? That girl conned her way into my house because of a high school relationship. Now that she knew about the kiss, did I have to hire myself a team of bodyguards?
"So don't worry about her," he continued, "it was my fault for not telling her about it sooner – I guess I didn't think it was important but everything is fine now. And she understands what's been going on the last few weeks and that since you will always be Kim Hee Soo…."
"…That there'll never be anything between us again. So I hope you'll be courteous to her when she calls you later tonight to apologize and proves that she's really not a bi.tch."
I rolled my eyes and glared at him. Judging from all that crap he'd just spewed, it appeared that I'd been using the word on the wrong person.