Attempt 5: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I think it’s safe to say that Kai will never walk home with me even though we live in the same building. He didn’t even say good-bye to me. Instead, he disappears, and runs off to ask the professor a question at the front of the class. He even beat the front row people to question the professor. Seriously, that’s how fast he is. Stupid Mr. Ninja. Is he purposely avoiding me? Is that how it is? I mean, I’ve never seen him go ask the professor anything! Before, he’d just leave class as soon as possible. What is this? I don’t get it.


Whatever, I think. I am not waiting for you. I have a life, and my legs are shorter than his by a ton, so obviously, I need some time to get ahead first. Then, he’ll catch up, and we’ll have a nice chat. R-r-r-right . . .
 
He isn’t behind me. He isn’t behind me at all! What is the meaning of this?

When I head into a building for the shortcut that I always take, I decide to treat myself to a donut. I think I deserve something for having the courage to greet him and to ask for his name. I did what I said I would do, so here goes some donut ordering. I really can’t believe how pathetic I am to order a donut just so I can stall some time. Maybe, he’s just taking a longer time asking those questions. What kind of questions could he have anyways? Ugh, I want to know. Maybe, it’ll help me with the exam. Still, I don’t think it’d be good to ask.

Hey, so I saw you asking the professor the other day something. What’d you—

“Excuse me Miss, but . . . you haven’t paid yet,” the cashier lady proclaims.

In a heap of embarrassment, I snatch out my student card and let her swipe it across the machine. Our student card is like a credit card but just for food. So, now that I have my donut, he’s nowhere to be seen. I thought he’d appear and see that I have bits of sugar scattered around my lips. You know, I thought I’d try out being accidentally sexy like those actresses in dramas. I guess fate doesn’t want me to show off my potential to be sexy. So, I rub off the crumbs off of the edge of my lips. I guess . . . I have to move on, and so I continue this path alone. This time, there’s no Jihwan to greet me or anyone else I know to surprise me. I think this is the case. When you expect someone to show up that someone will not appear. When you least expect it, you’ll get some pleasant surprise.

Oh yes, I have a surprise that’s not pleasant at all. 

I happen to see my phone flashing, telling me that there’s a new email in my inbox. It’s from the charity that we’re donating to, and the woman says that the donation forms were, indeed, mailed to me, and should have arrived. I end up going to the office to ask what has happened, and the receptionist tells me that he has only received a parcel, not two. This is crazy, I think. How can this be? According to the representative from the charity, someone named Jungmo has signed off for the parcel, meaning that he picked it up from the post office. This is so stupid. Who would want to steal donation forms? Honestly?

I’m going a bit crazy now as I bug an executive from the Korean Students Club, Hyukjae, to ask if he has any extra donations to spare for our club. He doesn’t reply me though. He hasn’t replied me on three methods of communication: Facebook, text, and phone. I’m pretty sure he thinks this is nothing. I don’t want to order another 100 forms that we will probably not need. From the charity worker, she says that she sent Hyukjae 100 forms, and another executive, Gahee, 60 sheets. I don’t think I need another 100 when our goal is just to have 100 people to attend the event.

I can’t do anything because of this delayed response, but at least, I can work this to my advantage. I can get Kai’s phone number faster. I’ll just tell him that once the donation forms arrive, I can deliver one to him. I can warn him ahead through text, and then go, “Oops, do I even have your number?” Genius, I think to myself. I am a fucking genius. What’s more? I can know which unit he lives in because I’ll be doing the delivery! Yes! That’s what I call a brilliant plan!

Now, I just have to wait till we have class again. Patience is the key to success. Yes, I am a little grasshopper in this case. Now if only I had a narrator with a deep, solemn voice to tell my story. He’d probably say, “Patience, young grasshopper. Patience.”

---
It’s battle day, and I’m almost too pumped to sleep. I’m so energized that I’m not even tired at two in the morning. I’m still researching for my geography project, but then again, when I start researching, I get obsessive. If I’m passionate about the topic or genuinely want to solve a problem, I can focus on the situation so well that I can even miss eating meals. And I, Park Haera, do not, I repeat, do not miss meals! Normally, if anyone told me to starve, I’d feel dizzy, grumpy, and to top it off, I’d become incredibly stupid. Seriously, ask me to think critically then, and you’d think that I’m a dumb blonde. Don’t worry, I warn people ahead of time when I’m famished and about to get stupid.

Now, the issue is not food now. It’s sleep. I have to sleep to be in good shape to face Mr. Ninja. I can’t be groggy and grumpy! At around three, I force myself to bed, and I start hoping for good dreams. I try to imagine what it’s like to be with Mr. Ninja. What would happen if we kissed? For some reason, I keep imagining sitting on his lap and then kissing him. Is it because he’s so tall? Maybe, I’m skipping a few steps. I haven’t even pictured us dating, and I’m already thinking about kissing him! Could my stupid little sister be right? That I’m sexually unsatisfied? Is that why I’m obsessing over Kai? Oh god. Let me just . . . close my eyes here.

My eyes open because of what? My phone is singing away like it’s supposed to right? I set it for 10:30 am, but the melody is wrong. Quickly, I reach for my phone on my table, and see the caller ID. It’s  Sung Saeryun. Honestly? God damn it. Why does it have to be him and at this time? It’s only nine in the morning! You don’t call people this early in the morning!

Still, I pick up because I know that I have to answer. Why? He’s part of my group for my business project, and I need to know if he finished his part. I seriously doubt it though. That guy is full of empty promises. To be honest, that’s why I stopped trying to be his friend or totally gave up any hopes of liking him. It’s like what Yura has said to me, “I think he’s the one!”

And you know what? Every time, I get tricked into thinking that “he’s the one” when in reality, I already know that she’s wrong. From the moment, Saeryun and I met in person, I didn’t feel that spark. Okay, so people say that sparks can develop over time, but I didn’t get the sense that we clicked. Still, I thought he could be the one. I even sent his profile picture to Yura, so she could give him the okay. She did, and said that he was cute. I never thought he was that cute, but after she commented that, I felt like I had to agree. I really did start to focus on him.

Because this was a project, I already had his number. I tried my best to be friendly to get to know him properly. At first, it seemed to go well. After our first meeting, he walked the same way as me even though the closest bus stop was at another place. He didn’t send me home, but he did walk much further than he would have just so that we could chat. Then, I occasionally texted him, and he’d respond. Maybe, not the fastest response but he did. Since he was part of the Korean Student’s Club, he had to change his profile picture to an event, a clubbing one. Once I told Yura this, she told me that I should try to go. I managed to guide the conversation over text to make him reveal that he was hosting this event, and he even asked if I wanted to go.

Right there, and then, I knew I was faced with a dreadful decision. I had never been clubbing! I had no idea what to wear, what to do and how to act. Still, I felt that Saeryun had invited me, and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. After consulting with Yura, she told me that I could ask him to take me there so we could bus together. She said it was better being honest than to pretend to be someone that I wasn’t. For once, I agreed with her, and that’s what I did. I told Saeryun the truth over text. 

I think it was from that point on that our whole relationship started to crumble. I don’t think I was who he thought I was. He probably thought from the way I dressed that I was into partying, drinking, and having fun just like a typical university student would. It’s not that I dress provocatively. I’m just in tune with the latest trends I read from fashion magazines, and I pick the styles that would fit me. Heck, I even have a folder of clothes that I like saved on my laptop. Then, in the morning, I would open up that folder, figure out which style to wear, and imitate it with what I have in my closet. Nowadays, I’m too lazy to use that folder; I’m too busy and sleep deprived. I still don’t wear sweat pants to school though. That’s a big no-no.

Needless to say, Saeryun and I are too different. His personality doesn’t suit me at all. He’s irresponsible to the bones. We agreed to survey stores together in downtown for our project, and he stood me up. No, he slept through his alarm, and although he claimed that he was very sorry and promised to buy donuts for me, he did not keep his promise at all. I thought that I’d hint him one day; before our group meeting, I texted him to ask if he could pick up a donut for me. I was honestly getting from my geography class to the library, and was starving. After fifteen minutes, he answers me saying that he was already at the library. Okay, it was clear to me that he didn’t even remember his promise. Since I don’t like begging or demanding someone to give me something, I don’t get mad at him. He and I just don’t click.

Saeryun likes to watch these American dramas, and I have no interest in them. I like to watch nature shows, especially this one about dissecting great animals to understand their bodies more. I also like to watch this Japanese comedy show called No Laughing. I believe it’s the greatest show ever created; he tried to watch it and hated it. Still, I have to thank him for making me realize that you can’t force love to happen.  You can’t make yourself fall for someone. Sure, you’re supposed to accept your mate’s flaws, but there are times when those faults are completely unacceptable that they defy your beliefs . . . like now, how he’s calling me at this time and asking me . . .

“Did you call last night?” I’m still groggy to the point where I feel like vomiting. This is exactly what happens when my body is woken up when it’s not supposed to be. His question is even more bothersome. I fu.cking did call, and not to mention, I even texted him to call back. He’s retarded. He really is. So thankful that there’s Kai, who’s not even mine but I think could be mine. Kai better not have a girlfriend. I’m not sure what I’d do at that point. “Haera?” Saeryun repeats. “You there?”

“Yeah, yeah,” I grumble in a croaky voice, “I’m there, and yes, I did call. I wanted to tell you about our business project. Are you done your part yet?” 

There’s that moment of silence, and normally, I’d finish his sentence but I want to hear what sort of excuse he can come up with this time. Funnily, he utters, “Kind of. Well, I don’t have the introduction done yet.”

“Can you post the costs up online then?”

“By when?”

“Before our meeting today.”

Seriously, he was the one that suggested we cancel our weekly meeting and work on this by ourselves. He was also the one that told me that we should have our parts done before the meeting. Now, look at him. What a pest. I just want to throw a polar bear at him . . . but that would probably kill him. And I’d be doing jail time. No, thank you.

“I . . . can’t do that.”

I’m tempted to ask why not? Still, I utter, “Well, can you get it done by midnight of today?”

“Yeah, sure, I’ll do it later tonight,” he answers rather quickly.

“Okay, well we really need your info,” I carry on explaining. “We can’t make our budget, cash flow, income statements without knowing the costs.”

“Okay.”

“Ugh . . .” 

Oops, I accidentally grunt aloud. I’ve blurted out my misery, and I’m sure he has heard because he asks, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I inform him. “It’s just that you woke me up.”

“Oh, I just woke up too.”

Oh really? Don’t lie to me pal. Your voice sounds fine. You’ve definitely opened your mouth today or dressed up for class. “Wow,” I comment, “I can’t believe you can be . . . sane.”

“What? What did you say?”

I shout in the phone, “Sane!”

“Oh . . .”

“Anyways, I’m pretty out of it right now. If I remember what else I need to tell you about, then I’ll text you. I’m going back to bed now.”

“O-o-okay . . .”

“Oh, by the way, are you even coming to the meeting today?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay, good. Bye.”

Then, I hang up. I honestly don’t care how I am in front of Saeryun. If he makes me mad, then, of course, I’m going to show that I’m mad. I don’t care if he thinks I’m a bitch. He’s useless anyways. He’s extremely incompetent, dishonest, and lazy. Those qualities are ones that I cannot accept. 

Ugh, I still feel horrible. Great, this is a great start to my day. I have a feeling that something is going to go wrong. Saeryun is just a precursor of problems to come, and because of him, I end up having a nightmare. Generally, I have more nightmares than pleasant dreams. This one happens to be really creepy. I’m going for an interview, and then, the interviewer supposedly has raped a candidate and now wants to kill me. Mind you, the setting is at the airport. So, he’s chasing after me, and I, for some reason, have this huge pizza slicer. It’s gigantic, larger than the size of my head. I swing it at him several times, causing us to have an epic battle. In the end, I win and my alarm goes off.

Stupid Saeryun . . . was making me have a nightmare. Whatever, I think. I’m going to see Kai today, and get his number. I’m kind of worried that I won’t be able to catch him in time. I received an email yesterday night from my geography TA that I should drop by her office to talk about my project. I know that’s more important because I haven’t narrowed down my topic yet for my essay.  So, I agree, but I can only stay for thirty minutes or forty-five minutes or else I can’t get to class. Forty-five minutes would definitely mean that I won’t find Kai.

This is exactly why it’s a battle day for me. I’m working against time. Time to sing to an upbeat song to power up my spirits. Click. There goes “Love you like a love song”. Oh, Selena Gomez, why do you have to be so catchy for this song? 

I-I-I love you like a love song baby. I-I-I love you like a love song baby. And I keep hitting re-pe-pe-pe-peat.

One day, I’ll sing it to Kai for fun and see him blush. Hopefully, that day comes. For now, I must go prepare for my battle, and take a nice bath. I need to wear nice clothing too and spray on a light perfume that will make him go crazy. I read online that every female should stick with one scent and wear it every time they’re in front of a guy. That way, the guy will remember that scent subconsciously and associate that smell with the girl.

 --------

Trust me. If I could fill a whole page with ellipses, swear words and nonsensical letters from keyboard slamming, I would. I repeat: I fu.cking would.

You’d think everything would fall according to my plan, but no, nothing is to my script. After my meeting with the teaching assistant, I realize that I’m way early for geography class. So, I end up buying a chocolate glazed donut to pass some time and to feed myself. I do get hungry rather easily. Now, what happens?
I’m in the building that I’m supposed to be in, and he’s there waiting for coffee. Yay, I think, but I’m too happy with my donut that I want to savour it at a safe spot. I head upstairs to my favourite bench and finish it off. Then, I head to the washroom to see if I look fine and to get rid of any excess anxiousness. Okay, I think, this is it!

I head downstairs and . . . he is not there. I stress that he is not there! What is up with this ninja? I scan around hoping to see him, and he’s not there! Where could he go with his coffee huh? I’m going crazy. I really am, but still, I’m acting really calm on the outside. No one knows that I’m freaking out, and I make sure that no one knows by taking a seat on a couch. I open up one of my textbooks and start reading. Reading is elegant. One day, someone will be watching me thinking that I am a very elegant lady. One day . . .
Now, class is about to start. I think, okay, this time I will meet him there. Do I? No. I don’t. I don’t see him there! I’m already in the hall, and I’ve found the best seat. I’ve even saved one for him just in case he comes into the room. Does he come in? Does he? I’m skimming the whole class like a crazy robot would, and then when I make my second round of scanning, I see him . . . and her.

That girl that he has sat with occasionally in the year. She’s with him this time. What the heck? How come we don’t walk into the class together like that? How come he doesn’t ask me where I’d want to sit? Seriously, not to be mean or anything, she can’t compete with me in the looks department! She has horrible teeth; she doesn’t dress well at all. She’s very boyish. Okay, I don’t mind tomboys but honestly, I can’t lose to her!

Still, I act cool and sit still in my seat. Throughout the class, I can’t help but think about what they’re doing. Finally, someone from Kai’s side is answering the professor’s question so I can take a look and see the situation. Phew, there’s an empty spot between the two of them. Good. He put up a barrier, but she’s a seat away from him. This sucks when I’m three rows ahead of him. I can’t even observe their interaction from behind. 

At the end of class, I give up all thoughts on getting his number this time. The woman is beside him. He’s even getting out of class really slowly! What is this? Since when did Mr. Ninja become a sloth? What in the world? Jesus, just chase after me, man. Please?

I don’t dare look behind me as I climb up the long set of stairs. I’m thinking, okay, any time now, he will be close. He will surpass me. I am sure of it. Nope, he doesn’t. In fact, after I cross the street and turn around the corner, I hear his voice? I can’t tell what he’s saying though. All of a sudden, a woman is speeding by me to the left. From her back, I recognize her as that lady that sat beside him this time. Before I can react properly, she stops at her heel, turns to look at me and gives me a devious smirk. Then, she walks back to Kai, who hasn’t caught up to her. I hear more whispering from Kai, yet I can’t make out what he’s saying. Eventually, I get the courage to look back. I see the two of them stopping outside to chat. I don’t get it.
I really don’t get this. Why did that woman, or better yet, rival, do that to me? What did that smile mean? She and I don’t even know each other! For heaven’s sake, did Kai tell her about me or did she find out herself? What is the relationship between these two? 

Seriously, this sucks. This really sucks, and to think it all started with a stupid phone call.

What am I going to do now? The famine is on Saturday, and I still don’t have a form to give to him. Honestly, what should I do?

Reactions: