Chapter Seven: The Leader Encounters the Queen of Spontaneity

Rhett had arrived at the coffee shop fifteen minutes earlier than scheduled. His purpose was to observe the way his date entered the café and perhaps, the manner in which she carried herself. Already, he was surprised that she was fifteen minutes late, and now, he was 88.9 percent positive that he would not get along with her. 

Taking a sip of his cappuccino, he stared at the front door only to notice a petite girl running from afar. The girl was sprinting madly, but once she was a few paces from the door, she braked at her heels, almost slipping in the process. After regaining her breath, she took a long look at the door’s handle. Rhett was confused at first as to what she was doing, but then, noticed that she was staring at the tiny tag beside the door. Then, he understood. 

Was this a door needing a push or a pull? 



She smiled once she had found her answer, and it would have been expected for her to proceed and to meet whoever it was she needed to see. However, she had pushed the door open in such a way that all of the customers gawked at her. She had caused the loudest creak ever known to Rhett and this was not even a wooden door. Biting onto her lower lip, she croaked, “Oops, hahaha.” 

Although Rhett had nothing to do with her, he still wanted to shrink to a corner. 

Whoever that had to meet her was going to be one unlucky sucker.
 
He couldn’t stop himself from smirking at her folly, but his smile had morphed to a frown once he saw her scanning the room. 

You can’t be serious. No . . . this isn’t happening. I’m not that . . .

Yes, Rhett was just that ill-fated. She was heading towards him . . . with a glare? She looked like she was on a military march, about to annihilate any enemy of hers. She, he gulped, looked like she was going to rip him apart with a dagger. 

What exacerbated the situation was the location of his table. He was seated smack in the centre of the café. This would have been the perfect setting for a drama, yet he never wanted to be on some soap opera. He now wished he had chosen a corner seat, away from everyone’s gazes. Rhett, thus, shrunk in his chair and even adjusted his chair further away from the table. 

The only good thing was that he could see her face clearly now. Being a critic of anything, he noted that she was pale with rosy cheeks, probably incurred from all the running and that she had straight, raven-black hair, which was too short for his liking. He couldn’t help comparing her with his beloved actress, whose hair was silky, smooth, and long. He was now debating whether to arise from his chair to greet her or to pretend that he was someone else, but she had already opened her mouth to . . . apologize?

“I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry! I’m not good with streets. I was following the numbers and then I thought I found a pattern . . .”

Rhett had tuned out completely. He had no idea what she was blabbing about and frankly, he didn’t care. He was just relieved that she wasn’t going to kill him. He was actually going to lie if she had first asked who he was. He really didn’t want to become that man on the news, who had received some fatal blow to his chest. Being part of some spontaneous killing wasn’t his plan for death.

He shriveled again once he felt someone grab onto his hand and even shake it. Oh wait. It was her with her dry, cold hands that would have undoubtedly failed Jaejoong’s hand test. 

 “Anyhow, I’m Jamie Jihyun Lee, but—“

“Jihyun? You said your name was Jihyun?” 

What were the odds of someone having the same name as his favourite actress?

“Yes,” she chuckled while taking a seat across from him, “but my Japanese name is Kannei.”

“Is it okay if I call you Kannei instead?” 

He would have also been so confused with the Jaejoong and the Jamie and then the Jihyun. If he didn’t enunciate the second part of her name, he might have been misinterpreted. No, he didn’t want to cause more trouble for himself. Meeting her was already a nuisance.

“I guess . . . since I’m in Japan . . . that’s okay? So, should I call you by your Japanese name?” she had asked. “What’s your name anyways? My mom only said you were a very tall guy with a really small face.”

He almost choked on his coffee. “I’m Rhett Jung, and my Japanese name is Yunho.”

“You know?”

“No, Yunho,” he sighed.

“So, Yunho—“

“Just call me Rhett.” He was tired of his business clients mispronouncing his name or people cracking an English joke every now and then with his name.

“But, that’s not fair. How come you can call me Kannei?” She furrowed her eyebrows, and again, threw him his death sentence with that glare of hers. “You know how awful my Chinese name translates to Japanese, don’t you?”

That was true. Her Japanese name was extremely masculine, a discordant slip from the tongue. Plus, she had the same name as a video game character and a historical figure, which happened to be male and militaristic. That did, however, match her unapproachable aura. He chuckled upon that thought

 “Fine,” he grumbled, “go ahead and call me Yunho. I don’t really care.”

“Okay . . . but . . . just out of curiosity, your name doesn’t sound very Japanese either, so where—“ 

“My mom is Korean, but she was raised in Tokyo,” he explained. “She wanted to give me a Korean name.”

“That’s nice of her, and well, at least your name sounds fine in Japanese too . . . unlike mine.”

“Yours isn’t that bad as well. At least it’s not generic.”

She, amazingly, grinned in a way that would have allowed her to receive a high grade from that cuteness scale that Jaejoong had invented. She now reminded Rhett of candied apples, gingerbread houses, and fuzzy peaches. It must have been the way her eyes crinkled with her button nose that made him think that way. It was only her visage sans smile that disproved her cuteness. That horrendous look of a killer. Appearances, he muttered in his head, could be deceiving.  

There was quite a long pause between the two until Kannei asked, “Can I ask you a question?”

“What is it?” Rhett stared at her. He now realized that she had moderate sized eyes that were still considered to be large for single eyelids. Staring right into them, he felt a bit uneasy. It was as if she had the ability to read his mind and he didn’t feel like being invaded in such a way. Mind rape? 

I think not.

“How tall are you?” Kannei lunged forward, leaning her cheek on her hand.

Rhett blinked a few times before answering in a shaky voice, “6’1?”

She grinned. “No wonder your feet are pressing onto mine. Your legs are pretty long so I was guessing your height. Too bad I got it wrong.”

 “Sorry.” He had no idea that he was stepping on her shoes. He kept thinking that he was resting his feet on the table’s legs.

“No worries,” she cheerfully commented. “I always bump into people or trip on flat ground so I get these accidents! Actually . . .”

“Mhm?” He had gripped onto the handle of the coffee mug.

Kannei smirked. “I’m jealous of your height. If I had legs that long, I could wear all these jeans without hemming! I could wear those long, flowing dresses with gladiators! I could . . . Sorry, I’m getting carried away again.” 

She scratched her head with embarrassment and briefly stuck out her tongue. Rhett could tell that she was the type that liked to share her world with others, except he had trouble understanding what her world as all about. She was a bit like Jaejoong in that sense.

Again, she tried to revive the conversation. “So, why don’t we tell each other a bit of ourselves?”

“Okay,” he reluctantly replied. “So . . . what do you want to know?”

“Your age.” She giggled foolishly.

He shrugged his shoulders. “Twenty-five and you?”

“Guess,” she chuckled.

She must be bored.

He wiped a bit of liquid from the corners of his mouth. “Well, my parents said that you’re in high school so—“

“High school?” She burst out laughing. “I’m in third-year university. I’m just here for an exchange from Canada.”

“Oh,” he answered quietly, “you look young . . . very young.” 

So, she’s a foreigner here. Explained the English name. I wonder how she can speak Korean so fluently. Was she half Korean too? Doubt it. 

Kannei beamed a smile and responded, “That’s what everyone says. Anyhow, most people think I’m still a high school student, so I always ask people to guess my age. It seems fun in some sense. Now, when’s your birthday?” 

“February 6.”

“March 12. Favourite colour?”

“Green.”

“Me too!” she cheered. “Finally, I’ve found a supporter of green! Okay, okay, what about . . . your favourite food?” 

Motsunabe.”

“And your favourite . . . how about you ask a question this time?” she decided to say. “I’m sort of tired of being the one that’s coming up with the questions. Actually, I take that back. I’m thirstier. Excuse me!” 

She waved her hand gently when a waitress passed by. 

Rhett couldn’t believe this. This was the girl that his parents adored. What magic did she conjure to entice them? What plans did she have in mind? Was she always like this, sporadic and unpredictable? He then scratched his head in frustration. The question that ultimately needed to be answered was: what was he going to do?
Reactions: