Chapter 36: The Double Date
This double date was truly the test to pass for Kannei and Rhett. This would prove that they were supposedly a couple. Moreover, they felt obliged to help Junsu. Junsu was such a perfect boyfriend that Kannei believed that she had to support his cause, while Rhett believed that friends were supposed to support each other. The two of them had arrived in front of the entrance of the amusement park before the other couple. This was perhaps their only moment of rest.
“Are you ready?” Rhett confirmed while looking downwards at Kannei.
“No, I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for this,” she muttered.
Rhett noticed how she was jiggling her hands and legs. He knew this was only out of anxiety, yet he still found her habit weird and rather embarrassing. Already, by passers were gawking at her and sometimes, even pointing at her with their annoying index fingers. Why couldn’t she just keep her hands in her pockets like him? Why couldn’t she . . . Still, he couldn’t stay bothered by her for long after seeing her puffy, red cheeks. When Rhett noticed Junsu and his girlfriend approaching, he quickly held onto her hand and said gently, “Just act with me, okay?”
With a somewhat disgusted face, Kannei muttered, “Fine. I’ll switch my tone right now to suit your needs, darling.”
Rhett rolled his eyes and dragged her along to greet the other couple. “Hey,” he greeted. “Naomi, this is my g-girlfriend, Kannei.”
With just one look at Naomi, Rhett already noticed how different she was compared to Kannei. The way Naomi dressed was somewhat provocative with a deep, low-cut shirt and a denim mini-skirt, whereas Kannei wore a rose romper to complement her long, grey cardigan. Kannei also wore black tights with pale pink ballet flats and charcoal rimmed Chanel glasses. Naomi, on the other hand, wore onyx stilettos. There was cute on one hand, and sexiness on another. Now, normally, he would have preferred the sexy look, but today, he was just glad that Kannei was dressed like herself. He couldn’t even imagine her in a skimpy dress.
Kannei slightly bowed and extended her hand for a handshake. “Hi, nice to meet you, Naomi.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you too.” Naomi grinned and shook Kannei’s hand.
“So,” Rhett quickly continued to say, “now that we’re done with introductions, what would you guys want to do first?”
Junsu suggested, “Why don’t we go to the haunted house?”
“Sure,” Naomi and Yunho both agreed.
Only Kannei seemed to be appalled by their decision. She had to somehow convince them to go somewhere else. There was a list of pet peeves and also a list of fears for her. Haunted houses were fatefully ranked on her list of fears, and so she asked, “Ahaha, Yunho . . . could I speak to you for a moment?”
Then, she pulled him away to a corner where the others couldn’t possibly hear their conversation. Rhett’s eyebrows wrinkled together, asking, “What’s up?”
Kannei took a gulp of air before jabbering, “I-I’m not a fan of ghosts and zombies. In fact, I’m quite scared of them, so is there some way that we can get out of this?”
Although Rhett wanted to laugh at her frightened look, he knew he probably would earn a set of slaps from Kannei. Hence, he bit his lip, trying to cease his urge to laugh. He would have comforted her if they were alone. Truthfully, he had always been afraid of ghosts, but he had to maintain his masculinity in front of others. How could tough guys be horrified of spirits?
He settled on arguing, “If we say no, Junsu will suspect that something is up. I mean, I don’t really like his idea, but . . .”
Kannei moped, “All right, if you say so.”
As soon as she agreed, Rhett haled her towards the waiting couple. She almost tripped along the way; luckily, he noticed that he was exerting too much force, so he decreased his strength to its minimum. He was so careful about all the details that even on the way to the haunted house, he forced Kannei to walk slower than the other couple. He didn’t want them to focus on him and Kannei. It was already hard enough acting as a pair while holding onto a set of unfamiliar hands. So, he chose to watch the affectionate couple, who intertwined their fingers together. Kannei though believed that Junsu and Naomi were creating a sweaty mess.
In response to her bizarre belief, Rhett simply uttered, “They’re in love, all right?”
Kannei, as a result, handed him a pout, followed by a scoff. Rhett shook his head, knowing that Kannei’s princess syndrome was acting up. Thank goodness that the lovebirds ahead of them hadn’t seen anything, Rhett thought. He and Kannei must have been more like enemies than actual lovers. They were two conflicting elements that would fight each other, and they would have continued to bicker if Junsu and Naomi hadn’t suddenly stopped at the entrance of the haunted house.   
To Junsu’s surprise, they didn’t have to line up for this activity. He was readily smiling at Naomi, thinking that this day was going to be perfect. Kannei, on the other hand, had wished for an extensive waiting period, so strenuous that they would have to bail this plan. She could only complain to herself how this day was going to be miserable. She could already imagine all the screaming she would do. She might even have had a sore throat afterwards; her throat was always sensitive and weak.
The two couples now entered in contrasting ways. Naomi and Junsu cheerfully gazed at each other and then after Junsu kissed Naomi’s forehead, they were off. Rhett and Kannei nervously looked at each other and then after Kannei warned of how much Rhett was going to suffer after this, they were vigorously pushed into the haunted house by the staff.
For Junsu, there was nothing that scared him. He had killed many zombies and demons in video games that he felt nothing when seeing their figurines. For Naomi, she was slightly worried, but she was happy to have Junsu by her side to protect her. She knew that all she had to do was to hold his hand and he would be there for her. For Kannei, it started with a scream and it ended with a scream. What was in between? More screaming. There was also a movement that came with the screams and that was running. She ran all the way from the start to the exit, completely forgetting about Rhett. For Rhett, he was uneasy and apprehensive with all of the horrific sights, but he tried his utmost to remain calm. He kept saying to himself that all of the things he saw were not real. Instead of screaming, he bit his bottom lip and instead of running, he only quickened his walking speed. He too had forgotten about his partner until he saw her already out, waiting for Naomi, Junsu, and him.
“I take it that you hated it,” Kannei stated after a breath of fresh air.
She rolled her eyes, groaning, “I knew I’d hate it. Gosh, I’m so thirsty now all because of that stupid haunted house.”
Junsu probed, “So you were the one that kept screaming?”
Junsu and Naomi had popped out of nowhere, startling Rhett and Kannei. The two were already stunned by the haunted house trip, and so Kannei unhappily answered, “Yeah and so?”
“Oh, that was hilarious!” Junsu began to chuckle. “Were you also the one that ran past us?”
Naomi gently hit Junsu’s arm. “Oh, don’t be mean now, babe. She’s just a little kid.”
Then, the two departed, forcing the other two to obediently trail behind. Kannei only mumbled under her breath after the other couple was paces ahead of them, “Who happens to be in her third year of university.” Only Rhett heard her remark and so only he laughed. “Quit it, Yunho. I’m not in a good mood so don’t make things worse!” she threatened. “You can redeem yourself by buying me a drink. Sounds good? Yes, it sounds excellent!”
Rhett’s laughter grew louder as he explained, “I think . . . that you’re the only one that can have a one-person conversation.”
“Mm,” she announced, “so you will be buying me lemonade! Gosh, you’re wonderful, Yunho. Absolutely wonderful.”
Before Rhett could continue taunting Kannei, Naomi had turned to kindly ask, “Are you guys ready for the next event?”
Kannei answered, “Oh I sure am! In fact, I can’t wait! Tell me now, what’s next!”
“You better tone it down,” Rhett coarsely whispered in her ear. “I don’t think some people can tolerate you that well.”
Kannei gasped by placing her hands to her cheeks, uttering, “That’s preposterous! I am the most lovable, the gentlest girl on earth. How could anyone hate me?”
Shaking his head, he scoffed, “Oh man.”
Kannei gave him a glare and then dashed to Junsu and Naomi’s side. Like a sweet kitten, she purred, “How about we go on that?”
She pointed to the largest roller coaster she could see. This was the reason that amusement parks were created. By this, she meant wild thrills, and not foolish haunted houses. This time, it was Naomi, who immediately opposed Kannei’s suggestion. Even when Junsu tried to encourage Naomi, Naomi’s answer was always the same: “No”. Junsu, thus, stayed behind with Naomi and wished the two the best of luck. Kannei just snickered in her mind that they were missing out.
Indeed, Junsu and Naomi lacked the fear, anticipation, and excitement. Kannei and Rhett, who were seated in the front row, felt all of those within minutes and seconds ahead of the other riders. At first, they were excited; Rhett even teased Kannei for her anxiety, while she disregarded his comments. As they felt and saw themselves go higher and higher until the peak, they could sense anticipation, but once that anticipation plummeted into fear. Rhett gritted his teeth and gripped the arm rests. Kannei, conversely, flaunted her fear by again screaming every time she felt she was going to die. At the end of the ride, the only thing they shared was their alarmed look.
“T-t-that was pretty good?” Rhett stuttered as they walked away from the ride.
Kannei slapped his back hard, straightening it completely. “Stop acting like you weren’t nervous. I saw you holding onto that thing.”
“Well what about you?” Rhett argued. “You were screaming as if someone were raping you!”
She started to cackle. “Hahahaha! You serious? Was it that bad?”
“Yes.”
Skipping a few steps ahead, she turned to make a face and to stick out her tongue. “Well, too bad. That’s how I am.”
Then, she ran to Junsu and Naomi, who were coincidently in plain sight. They were such a happy couple, holding hands while smiling at each other. That, Kannei thought, was a couple in love. She sighed, placing her hand over her sore chest. She had to remind herself that there was no way that this would ever happen to her. She was never the type to have a normal life; she was never normal either.
“I know, I know,” Rhett told himself.
He shuffled towards them with his hands tucked in his pockets. He knew all too well what she was like. She was a funny, silly girl, who sometimes liked to complain too much. Still, he couldn’t stop himself from occasionally chuckling inside his head.
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