Chapter 20: The Hidden Devil Makes a Discovery and the Innocent Boy Becomes a Chauffeur
Changmin came to Ken’s classroom to know whether Ken would skip the staff meeting after school. Changmin only went to those types of meetings if Ken were there. At least, the two could occasionally talk to each other. “I’m surprised you don’t have an ulcer by now,” Changmin taunted when entering the room after school.
Ken, with his mouth half full, retorted, “You’re just jealous that I have something to eat right now.”
“You read my mind, psychic,” Changmin muttered.

He enviously watched Ken devour a small octopus and then his eyes trailed to examine the other parts of the meal: fried eggs, rice balls, sausages. They were all positioned in the same way as the ones in Shiori’s lunch box.
“D-did you make these yourself?” Changmin pryingly wondered.
Ken shook his head and scoffed, “No! I only made the eggs.”
“Then, who made all the other stuff?” Changmin persisted and marched to the piece of evidence.
“Does it really matter?” Ken asked back and used his chopsticks to pick up the eggs.
 “Of course, it matters. I want Jaejoong to learn these tricks.”
“Then, he’ll have to learn from my sister,” Ken replied before stuffing his mouth with food.
“Since when did you have a sister?” Changmin’s eyebrows creased together.
Ken answered in between his munches, “For a while now.”
Changmin found it odd for Ken to have a sister. Ken was the sort that loved sharing his family’s stories, but he never mentioned having a sister. “She’s a nice sister then, cooking for you,” Changmin finally mustered a compliment.
“She’s a good kid,” Ken assertively remarked and then wiped his mouth with a napkin.    
 “Now, let me try the goods.”
Without Ken’s agreement, Changmin had already snatched the chopsticks that Ken had placed on top of his food and picked at some of the egg. Changmin’s impeccable speed made Ken dumbfounded, and the by the time, Ken could think, Changmin was already gulping down the chewed food.
“They’re hell good, Ken! I never knew you had talent in that area,” Changmin stridently announced. “Now, let me try the sausage.”
Again, Ken could only watch the carnivorous-like friend devour his lunch. No one could stop a hungry Changmin.
With one taste, Changmin knew who the chef was. The distinctive use of mozzarella cheese and a spicy paste of jalapeno sauce lightly smothered on the sausage revealed the chef’s identity. What a small world, Changmin thought. Then, he understood why Ken never bothered bringing up the topic of siblings. It would have been extremely awkward for Ken, especially with his occupation.
“Changmin,” Ken had interrupted Changmin’s thoughts, “if you like my lunches so much, then you can always have them every day, starting from tomorrow.”
 “Since when were you this generous?”
Ken chuckled, knowing exactly what Changmin’s worries were. “Don’t worry. I’m not asking you for a favour.”
“Then, why are you giving me good food all of a sudden?” Changmin probed.
“It’s better this way,” Ken carefully explained. “It’s . . . the least I could do.”
Changmin knew that this was not a message for him. It was rather a message for her and for Ken. That hopeless pause and the careful phrasing of Ken’s sentence had allowed Changmin to form this conclusion.
Junsu had been waiting in his car at the teacher’s parking lot for at least fifteen minutes. He had managed to convince Naomi to let him drive her back home from work every day. To persuade her, of course, he had used his ultimate move: puppy eyes. No one could resist what he deemed, the Junsu Puppy Eyes. All he needed to do was to open his eyes widely and then jut his bottom lip out in a pouty manner. His signature move had a 90% accuracy rate and he was sure of that number for he had kept track of all statistics related to games and sports.      
Now, he was only concerned with time. He had planned everything, from the time he would arrive at her classroom to what he would wear. Every minute or so, he would glimpse at his cell phone for the time. When it was six minutes away from 3:15, he casually opened the car door, closed it, and beeped the remote to lock the car. He felt particularly confident in his white suit, despite Changmin’s constant reminder of how Junsu resembled a ghost or a wannabe groom. Thus, Junsu walked at a steady face, ignoring anything to his left or right. All that mattered was his destination: her classroom.    
With his impeccable timing, he had arrived with a minute to spare till the bell. He stood at the side of the door and waited. He kept rehearsing his lines in his mind. Hello, hello, hello. Ready to go? Ready to go? Ready to go? You look good today. Argh, no, no, no! Naomi looked good every day, so he had to change that statement to . . .
The doors had opened, unleashing a bunch of school girls, who pushed and shoved to run off to their lockers. So, everyone still hated school, Junsu thought. Unfortunately for him, a few girls had stayed behind to ask Naomi questions about homework. Ironically, they were the ones that had noticed his presence. One feisty girl even chirped in a ghastly tune, “Sensei! Who’s that? Is that your boyfriend?”
Junsu blushed, but still proudly confirmed, “Yes, I’m her boyfriend.”
He then walked towards her and calmly put his arm around her shoulder. She, however, shrugged her shoulder and suggested, “Why don’t you girls run along now? My friend and I need to talk.”
“Okay, Nishio sensei!” a bubbly girl chimed.
Finally, a quiet-looking girl wearing pig-tails handed a pen to her. “Sensei, could you please sign my note of absence?”
“Ah, yes.” Naomi used the pen offered to her and scribbled her initials on the paper. “There you go.”
“Thank you.” The student bowed and ran off.
When the room was at last empty, except for Junsu and Naomi, Naomi harked, “Babe, I don’t mean to hurt you or anything, but I thought . . . I thought I told you that I wanted this relationship to be kept as low-key as possible.”
Now, she was the one that had an innocent, doe-like look, which made Junsu’s heart shrivel. Why was he always making her upset? Why wasn’t anything working the way he had planned?  
His hoarse voice croaked. “I . . . I forgot. I d-didn’t . . . mean to hurt you.”
Junsu loathed the sound of his own voice; it was as if someone had harshly scratched a violin’s strings, creating a screechy racket. Sensing Junsu’s disheartened state, Naomi gave him an affectionate hug and pressed her head against his shoulder.
“You . . . didn’t hurt me,” she softly whispered. “Just come a bit later next time to pick me up.”
Junsu felt his whole body tensing, eternally frozen. Only his thoughts were free to wander. He wondered why she didn’t want the world to know about their relationship? Was he embarrassing as a boyfriend? Was it his white suit? Was it . . .
He gave up thinking, letting all sense of emotion dissipate. At least, she still let him pick her up from school. The only thing that mattered was that she was there, hugging him. He should only focus on this intimacy, yet he couldn’t. He could only focus on her words, mainly the tone of her voice. Words were deceptive, but vocal pitches were not.
In the end, he had disappointed her again and again.   

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