Credits to FESHA for the poster!
We’re sitting in a café for brunch. Why am I even sitting here across from him? I don’t even know how I managed to go through the morning. Oh wait, I remember as my hand accidentally touches my wrist still wet from the coffee spillage. I was reading over some reports when I suddenly hear my ringtone sound. Without thinking, I picked up, and there he was reminding me of our “date”. My hand lost hold of the coffee cup, and there all the remaining liquid splashed on my sleeve.

“What?” he asks me, peering over the menu with his cold, large eyes. “Something on my face?”

Bad body language, I tell myself as I remove my hand from my wrist. Then, I glare at him before adding, “Why are you even here?”

“What? You don’t even miss me?” A smug grin leaks out from his lips. “No wonder he’ll never fall for you. You’re still so—“

“Why are you even mentioning him?” 

I roll my eyes, and finally decide to open the menu. He’ll be treating me this meal for sure. He never, in the past, has asked me to pay. Part of his egotistical side, I’d say. So, he hasn’t changed much. He signals the waitress, who clearly has wanted to hit on him since we arrived. She keeps winking at him, and coming over to refill our already filled glasses of water. I kind of want to tell her to go away or to tell her that he’d sleep with her, but he wouldn’t consider marrying or dating her. She’s not his type, especially with her disoriented teeth. He always has a thing for nice teeth, and nice smiles. Now, she’s grinning at us with her rabbit-like fangs.

“What would you two like to get?” she tries to warm us up with her sweetest, shakiest voice. 

“I’ll have the blueberry waffles, and she’ll have the steak, and mushroom omelette with cheese,” he orders without consulting me at all.

“And any drinks?”

“No, I think we’re—“

“Actually,” I cough up, “I think I’d like a raspberry milkshake, and I’d also like to add cinnamon waffles with apple-flavoured ice cream to the side. Oh, and he’d like a beer.”

“We don’t serve beer here,” the waitress corrects me.

“Funny, that’s part of his taste though,” I purposely note. “I guess you guys don’t have things that are suited for him. That’s too bad.” 

I eye her and she immediately blushes before running off to the kitchen. I’m sure she gets what I’m saying. I was purposely blunt for a reason.

“Haha.”

He’s chuckling like a fool. He’s gripping his stomach, and with his other hand, he’s covering his mouth. There are creases along the edge of his half-closed eyes. I know he’s genuinely laughing . . . at me. Typical. Too typical of him. 

“What?” I hurl at him in a demanding tone. “What’s so funny?”

Once he wipes his eye, he widens his smile, and leans forward to answer, “So you do miss me.”

“You still haven’t answered my question,” I snap back. “Why are you here?”

“I miss Seoul,” he rambles. “I miss my family, my friends, and . . . you.” I spit out the water that I’m about to gulp down onto his face. I’m still coughing away, choking at my saliva, and breath. I need a napkin or some water or something to save me. I feel a soft cloth in between my fingers, and then there the pats on my back. 

“It’s okay,” he gently says. “Just cough it out.”

I use the napkin to spit out the remaining liquid gagging my throat. Then, I glance at him. He’s looking at me with that concerned look, the same one he had used that time . . .

You love him, don’t you? You’ll never forget about him, right? Am I right? 

“I’m sorry, Junghoon.”

“Sorry for what?” Junghoon gives me a puzzled look.

Goddamn it, say something. Will you? At least lie to me.

I . . . don’t know, Junghoon. I. . .

“I do miss you.”

When you tell me that you miss me, I think . . . and in the end, I just think, “Oh, she misses me.”

That’s it?

Yeah, that’s all.

“Jikyung . . .”

“What?”

He’s gawking at me like I’m some endangered species or never-before-seen specimen on display. I know he’s surprised. I didn’t think he’d be in shock. I let out a sigh. Junghoon is probably like him too. I guess I am really bad at showing my feelings. I’m about to stand up to excuse myself to the washroom when I feel him pull me down to my seat. He’s gripping so hard that I realize that his fingers have gotten skinnier. They never used to be so bony. What happened to him over these years?

Slowly, but surely, he carefully releases his grip. There’s that sheepish look to him now as if this is his first time touching a girl’s skin. His cheeks even blush and I can’t help but let out a relaxed grin. He’s still cute in . . . some ways. Still has that immature side. Some things, I guess, never change.

“I wished . . .” his voice almost cracks as it trails upwards. “I wish . . . you’d say that more often.” His eyes now dodge mine as he continues to explain, “I’d never know what you were thinking then. I mean, you were sharp with your words, and often rambled too much for your own good, but I just never knew how you felt.”

“Junghoon . . .”

“Don’t apologize,” he cuts me off. “I was at fault then.”

Indeed, there were the flings that he’d have. It wasn’t really his fault. He had the face of a movie star: chiseled facial structure, large double eye-lids, tall, straight nose, and kissable lips. He had one of those reputable occupations: head surgeon of cardiology. Women would throw themselves on him, and sometimes, it was too hard to resist temptation. I knew then that Junghoon meant trouble, yet I accepted this troublemaker. Why?

I place my hand under his chin, and force him to look at me. He has that surprised look, not like that time, but that other time when I caught him with another woman.

Jikyung, I can explain!

What is there to explain? It’s clear.

“And you’ll never change your womanizing patterns,” I clarify. “This is why we didn’t work, and won’t work.”

I let go, and he answers, “You know me too well, Jikyung. In fact, you probably know me the best out of everyone I know. I came back just for you because I want you back in my life.”

“I already—“

“Raewon broke up with you,” Junghoon interrupts me once more. “And I know because your sister told me.”

“What? Since when have you been maintaining contact with my sister?”

“She supports me more than Raewon.”

“She hates cheaters.” 

“She agrees that I’d treat you better than him. He never even loved you.”

“Don’t throw him in the subject!” I yell. “He and I were just friends! Heck, we’re not even friends anymore!”

I reach for my bag, and for my jacket. The plates of food have arrived, but I don’t care. I stand up and rush past him, and past the other people entering. I’m sprinting, and I hear him catching up. Sooner or later, he’ll . . .

“Jikyung,” Junghoon snatches my wrist, declaring, “I’m sorry, but . . . at least take this with you.” I feel that annoying gift in my hands now, and he continues to say, “Open it up when you get home.” He sees my menacing frown, and immediately adds, “It’s very important.”

“Important for you or for me?” I hark back.

He doesn’t answer at all, and gives that hopeless smile, that particular one he uses whenever he doesn’t know how to respond to me without angering me. I try not to be mad. He’s not even related to me at all, yet I’m still bothered at the fact that he can’t even tell me the truth. I’m tempted to shout: “Why can’t you just be like . . .”

But, it’s not fair to Junghoon, to Raewon or to any other guy I’ve met. I shouldn’t be comparing anyone to him. He shouldn’t even matter in my life anymore. Why is it that I keep thinking about him these days? Because it’s getting close to Christmas?

“I j-just . . . want what’s best for you,” Junghoon finally states.

“And you think you know what’s best for me?” I question.

“I don’t know what may be best for you, but . . . I think this would help you decide in the end,” he solemnly answers me.

“Decide what?”

Junghoon is almost alarmed by what I just asked, but he knows me better than that. Unlike him, Junghoon would never be afraid to confront me about my feelings or thoughts. Like him, Junghoon would never sugarcoat the truth, which was precisely why they were close in university. However, unlike him, Junghoon would never purposely be ignorant. Junghoon was not the nice guy, and will never be one.

“To figure out what you want to do about love,” Junghoon is close to scoffing, but covers it with a cough.  “You have been pushing it off for too long.”

“That’s not true,” I fold my arms to argue. “I’ve dated other guys, but—“

“But did you ever love them?” Junghoon’s eyebrows furrow together. “No, you didn’t right?”

“That’s not true! Raewon and I were thinking of getting married!”

“I’m pretty sure I know why he broke off with you in the end,” Junghoon proclaims. 

“And what is that, Mr. Wise?”

He’s pointing his finger straight at me, right at my heart. “Because you could never love him,” he loudly announces. “You’re a coward, Jikyung. That’s what you are, or rather, what you’ve always been!”

I’m walking away from him, and he’s not stopping me this time. There’s that box from Junghoon being clawed by my finger tips. I kind of want to throw it in his face, but I know I’d just be making a scene. I don’t want to be dramatic anymore.

You blow up the littlest things to the biggest tragedies of your life. That’s why I can’t fall for you.

Still, I can’t listen to him. I have never been good at following his advice. Then, after my failure, I end up telling him that he’s right. But, I don’t care anymore. If he’s right or wrong, I simply don’t care. He doesn’t even care about me either. So, I chase after that vanishing figure in my heels. I grab him by the elbow, forcing him to face me. 

Junghoon is stuttering, “Wh-wh—“

I throw his gift at him, and it bounces off of his chest. My aim is off, way off. It should have landed on his face. Yes, his right cheek. I’m marching towards him, and he’s confused. I don’t blame him. What I’m about to do is completely unacceptable, unladylike, and most importantly, unreasonable, but that’s how I am: a weirdo.

Slap.

“I’ve always wanted to do that!” I yell proudly. "You fucking cheater!"

And if this were a drama, Junghoon would be falling for me all over again. It isn’t though, and knowing Junghoon, he’ll find some way to get back at me. It’s Junghoon. He doesn’t forgive or give up easily. And, Junghoon is not like him . .  . at all.

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