Chapter 11: The Leader Has an Unexpected Guest and the Free Spirit Receives Some Unexpected News

It was supposed to be a simple day, another day, another time of a mundane weekend, but . . . there was someone at the door. The first to respond was Junsu, who dove for the screen of their security camera. 

“It’s a girl! Anyone here know this girl?” he shouted. 

His voice triggered all the boys to push past one another. Their animal spirits had turned this question into a race, a race to see who could identify the lady even though they were pretty sure that she was looking for Yoochun. However, when Rhett managed to see the screen, he knew they were all were wrong. It was for him. 

How did she even know where I lived? I don’t remember putting my address on Facebook or anything like that.
Rhett trembled at the thought of a stalker and grumbled, “It’s for me.” Pressing the button to allow the gates to open, he ordered, “Guys, get into your positions now!”

“Fine!” they chanted together.           

When Rhett’s hand hovered over the doorknob, he turned around to check that no one was hiding behind him. Usually, Changmin would be the rascal, trying his best to interfere with matters. This time, they were all in their set positions. They had rehearsed this formation so many times. 

Yoochun was to be behind the piano, pretending to work on his new piece. Yoochun rarely had to play that role though for the ladies were all looking for him. Jaejoong was to be wiping the dust off of a vase with a white cloth. Changmin would be on the black leather armrest as he read a classic. Rhett usually put his earplugs on and listened to music on his Ipod with a volume of two. Finally, Junsu just needed to sit in a sofa and pretend to sleep. Of course, he always kept his head facing the way of the door so he could occasionally get a view of the action. 

Once the door opened, there stood Kannei, stretching her neck to look at Rhett. 

“I thought I’d drop by!” she chirped.

“Oh?” Rhett asked.

“Just kidding.” A crooked smile slipped from her lips before she informed, “Don’t worry! Gosh, you look like you just saw a ghost! Honestly, I’m not a stalker! I just thought you’d probably need this.” 

In her hands was a black cell phone with a teddy bear keychain. He was almost stunned. He had no idea that that was missing. 

“Where’d you find my phone?” he asked before grabbing the item from her.

“The place where we met.”

No wonder no one was calling him these days. He simply lost it. He felt like smacking his head on a wall. How could he have been so silly? 

“How’d you . . . know where I lived?” He now bit his bottom lip.

Releasing another smirk, Kannei suggested, “Guess. I’ll let you have three guesses and then I’ll tell you the answer.”

 “No, I’m not guessing.” He glowered, folding his arms in the process.

 “Well, since you’re so obedient, I’ll tell you. I called your parents for your address.”

“And how’d you get their phone number?” Rhett continued his investigation.

“Correction, they had my phone number,” she heavily emphasized. “That meant that it was on my cell, so don’t make any assumptions, okay? That’s one of my pet peeves.” 

Then, I’ll make some more assumptions.

 She raised an eyebrow, tapping her right foot. “So, you’re not even thanking me?”

Although Rhett didn’t want to admit defeat, he still kept his courtesy. “T-thanks.”

“If you really want to thank me, then you owe me something.”

Before Rhett could respond, Jaejoong rushed to the front and screamed, “Wait!”

Kannei tilted her head to the side. “Yes?”

Jaejoong shifted his gaze towards Rhett and slightly bobbed his head the other way. Knowing what Jaejoong meant, Rhett immediately left the two alone. Then, Jaejoong, double-checking that Rhett had disappeared, directed his attention to Kannei and gave a chuckle. “I’ve heard all about you from Rhett.”

“Oh,” she mumbled, “and?”

“I’m Kim Jaejoong,” he greeted her with a handshake, which she inevitably accepted. “Apparently, you and I are alike, so would you like to come to a party that I’m hosting next Saturday?”

Kannei laughed, almost to the point where her lips couldn’t stretch apart. “You’re willing to invite a stranger just because you think that person is like you?”

“Sure. If Rhett says that we’re similar then why not? I’ve always wondered what the female me would be like,” he explained.

Kannei let out a smirk from the corners of her mouth as she answered, “Sure. I also want to know the male version of me. Where will the party be and what time will it start?”

Jaejoong’s hands rubbed his moustache-less face. “I’m not very sure. I haven’t planned that far. How about this, I’ll phone you. What’s your number?”

“Is this also how you usually make friends, by hosting a party and then asking someone for his or her number?” she inquired. 

She loved to blatantly sticking people into uncomfortable corners while watching them fend themselves. Jaejoong, however, showed no sign of hesitation. He bluntly replied, “Nope. This is actually my first time asking for someone’s number this way. Usually people ask for my number.”

“All right. Since I feel like you’re being honest, I’ll give you my number. I do have a condition though.”

“That is?” Jaejoong pondered for typically only people like Changmin had conditions, evil ones.

“You can’t save it in your address book.”

“Why not?” Jaejoong shrugged his shoulders. Even he had difficulty guessing what she had in mind.

Kannei readily giggled. “Because I’ll only give you my number if you let me write it on your hand.”

“Why is that?” 

“You seem to like tattoos. I can see a large one on your back, so I should give you a tattoo.” 

Her finger tapped her own back.

 “With what?” 

She reached from her purse and fetched her sharpie. She hastily uncapped her weapon with a daring smile before announcing, “My favourite permanent marker.” 

Jaejoong couldn’t help grinning as he watched her write her number on his skin, making sure that the ink never spilled over. He realized then that Rhett was right. She did resemble him at times; she was odd in her own way, but still enjoyable. When he walked back into the house, he couldn’t help wondering why Rhett wasn’t fond of her.

For a long time, Yoochun didn’t dare open the envelope. He had kept it in his pant pocket since the morning. This was his way of forgetting her, yet somehow, the constant rubbing of paper against the fabric of his leg served as a reminder, her reminder. Without even reading the letter, Yoochun already knew its contents. He did not, however, have the courage to study her writing and nor did he have the brutality to discard that paper completely. It was from her. How could he ever throw away her gifts?

Even now, he kept a box that contained all of their memories: photographs, key chains, stuffed animals, writing, and a burned CD full of love songs. She used to say that when they aged together, they could listen to this CD to cherish their memories. Yet another reminder, he sighed.

Before he slept, Yoochun finally sat in his chair and placed the crinkled envelope on his desk. 

Oh what the hell.
Swish went the piece and out fell a card. And he was right. It was exactly what he had thought, a wedding invitation. The cover was graced with a sweet, pink cake in the centre with the phrase, “we are pleased to announce to you the wedding of . . .” 

Examining the inside, Yoochun recalled how she had described to him her dream wedding. The card already was made to her descriptions. What other goals would she fulfill without him? Taking a deep breath, he stared at the unexpected, handwritten message.  

Dear Yoochun,

How are you? I’m doing well. I was going to phone you about my wedding, but you already changed your phone number. Sometimes, I wonder what you’re up to. I know this may seem crazy, but I really hope that you can attend my wedding. We’ve known each other for so long, so I would love it you could come. RSVP. You know the number.

May you find happiness,

So, only he had stalled. She had surpassed him; he no longer needed to look back for her. He was supposed to walk faster and faster. He was supposed to replace their memories with fresh ones. He was supposed to be able to say her name freely and to attend this wedding without awkward feelings. He understood what was expected of him, but he could not commit to any of these actions. He didn’t want to progress. He wanted to go back so he would never meet her.

However, he refused to live a life of regret. He wished to be freed from this ordeal, yet he felt fate linking him closer and closer to the core of his problem. Perhaps, diving towards the issue would eradicate all frustration, but what would be his first step?

Heaving a weighty sigh, Yoochun staggered to his bed, collapsing his body on the mattress.

Let me just sleep.
Sleep, he believed, was his remedy for his heart, mind, and soul.