Attempt 8: Disappointment  
Credits and thanks goes to dodici!

After consulting with Yura as to what to text, I settle on copying her sentences word per word.

Hi! This is Haera. How are you doing? Thought I’d let you know my number too. :)

I stare at my phone too often that I don’t know what to think. Sooner or later, I’m going to see my phone flash and that means that he replied right? Minutes go by and nothing happens. I sort of give up and go to the washroom to wash my face. I need to snap out of it. He isn’t obligated to reply. That’s right. I shouldn’t expect so much from people, as Sunghoon would like to say. Sunghoon and I were super close as childhood friends. We’d tell each other everything, but after he stayed in the States to study, we grew apart. The distance was too much to keep in contact. No, it was more like he realized that I had fallen in love with him. That’s why he avoided me. Yura now says he’s stupid, but before, she’d tease the two of us, telling us to get together and to have babies soon. Of course, we all treated her like a silly young girl. There was no way something would happen between us, we both agreed for a while until . . .

I slap my own cheeks, reminding myself not to think of the past and of him. This time, there’s someone new, someone better than that asshole. Exactly, I think as I walk back to my room. This time, there’s . . .

Oh my god! It’s flashing! My phone is flashing! 

I rush to check, and there’s a new text! Sadly, it turns out to be one of my close friends, Jiyeon, studying in Seoul. She’s apologizing for not responding to my text for two weeks. I understand that she’s not the sort to text frequently and that it’s midterm season for everyone. Sigh, I let out to myself. He’s not going to text back. I let out another sigh. Honestly, I probably would have stayed in Seoul if my business program hadn’t been well-known like this. Really . . . this sucks.

I kind of give up and start browsing on the net for new manga. I’m an avid manga reader, but that doesn’t make me an otaku. I don’t just stick with the shoujo genre either. I read shounen as well. Not a lot of people, though, know that I read manga. It’s a huge turn-off in a way. People get this misconception about people who read manga. Most people don’t seem to understand the beauty of manga; there’s depth within many works. Even if some plots can be shallow, they serve their purpose of entertaining the reader. Sometimes, you just need a lighthearted piece or you might need comedy. Plus, I improved my Korean through reading translated manga.

Now, out of the corner of my eye, I see that red LED light pouncing from my cell. My heart is leaping to a crazy rhythm, but I’m brave enough this time to check. And it is him! It’s Kai! Lovely!

Hi. I’m doing well—thanks for letting me know Haera.

I feel a winter breeze blow past me and tons of snow pile on top of me. I think penguins can join me too in this scene. That’s it? That’s all he has to say? What is this? I want to chuck my phone to the ground, but I just shrug my shoulders. He’s not even my boyfriend. I can’t expect much out of him. He answered, and that’s good enough. 

Immediately, I message Yura online.

Me: So, what should I send next?

Yura: Ask if he’s eating?

Me: Okay, okay.

I end up typing: Eating? Or is it too early for you?

It’s 5:30 pm. Shouldn’t be that early for dinner, I hope. I honestly don’t think Kai will answer, and just as I expected, he doesn’t. Can I just bang my head on the table? Yes, indeed I should. Even Yura agrees with me over MSN that he won’t text back. Oh well . . .

That’s the end of a fruitful day. Let me just be nerdy and study for my courses. That’ll get my mind off of him.

---  

I have finally come to the conclusion that this is how it works between Kai and me. We’re pretty much hot and cold, up and down, or whatever you’d want to call it; I’m sure you get the gist. I miss out on him for the next class. I get out of my apartment around the same time as last time, and I don’t bump into him. I guess he went to class earlier while I’m running a bit late. Suddenly, just so suddenly, I think of an ingenious plan! Why not text him to get him to safe a spot for me? Brilliant? To check my brilliancy, I text Yura about my idea. For once, she agrees with me, so I send out my message. To my dismay, he doesn’t reply even when I’m at class in a seat very, very far away from him. Why? I purposely don’t wear my glasses so that they don’t fog up because of the icy air. Because I’m semi-blind, I can’t see him clearly. I just wander to a spot. By the time, I settle down and can see things clearly. He’s sitting in a very peculiar spot to the right side of the room. He never sits there. Well, he never used to . . .

Is he avoiding me? I doubt he’d waste so much energy to do that. Why is he not responding to my text then? To be honest, I’m getting a bit annoyed. From where I sit, I can turn my head to the right and see him perfectly even when he’s metres away. He is, at least, by himself with his backpack. No other girl. That’s just a relief, but even then, I’m annoyed. I feel like I’m trying so hard for nothing. Am I that unlovable? Could Sunghoon have been right about me? That I was just a very good friend? That I didn’t have that girlfriend factor?

I’m even wearing a plaid, mini skirt today with black boots. That’s pretty feminine. Actually, I’ve always dressed like a girl. I like wearing cute heels. I wear makeup and do smoky eyes because of my single eyelids. Don’t worry, I’m proud of my eyes. I like putting on shorts or skirts and pairing them with leggings or tights. I love girly dresses and maxi skirts. Call me shallow, but I don’t think there’s anything lacking with my appearance. You know how those typical romantic comedies go, where the nerd becomes a swan after an extreme makeover. So what happens when you’re already made over, and nothing is happening?

I guess that leaves me with my personality. I know Yura always likes to remind me not to be pessimistic, not to complain so much, but it’s hard. I’m not the type of girl that’s like Yura, who’s bubbly, approachable and sweet like candy. My aura just screams f.uck off. I’m in deep thought most of the time that I don’t smile. Even when I smile, people say I’m not smiling. Still, I keep trying. I have to make more of an effort because if I don’t, people will keep having the wrong impression of me. I get so many comments from my high school friends that I’m very different when they know me more. You might think that this is a shy girl’s problem, but I’m not a shy girl. I don’t mind making presentations in front of people. Heck, I have run for student council in high school and won several. People tell me that I’m a good speaker. I’m always striving to lead in a group. So, no, I’m not shy. 

I just don’t know what’s wrong with me and why I still don’t have a boyfriend till this age.

Pinch.

I remind myself to snap out of these depressive thoughts. There goes some cheek pinching by yours truly. Then, I think of that silly, stupid moment where I’m semi-blind, and I see Kai walking back home. We’re both using the park lot as a shortcut. He has a white plastic bag in his hand, and a backpack swung across his arm. He’s still in that leather jacket. Boy, I hope he owns a lot of leather jackets or washes that. It’ll turn out to be smelly if he wears it every day. Sadly, all of these observations were made after he passed by me. 

Well, we were still around a meter apart from each other so it wasn’t like he brushed by my body. I really blame myself for not wearing glasses. I don’t have them on hand because I’m just going to school to buy some paper, lunch and groceries. Even with my blurry eyes, though, I could sense from his figure that it was Kai. I’m not really sure if we exchanged looks but I think we did. When I could actually see him clearly, he was evidently looking away from me. Books say that men have a narrower vision so they can’t really see side-to-side as well as women. That’s why when women check out men, they don’t get caught that often. Regardless of that, I think he was sucking in his cheeks since they were even more protruding than before. He kind of reminds me of a fish. Fish Ninja! 

Oh, he has an amazing bone structure, I have to say. I think he was blushing too, maybe. The point is that we end up not saying hi to each other! Well, to be fair, I had my earphones on. Wait . . . I was singing pretty loudly before I spotted him too. Hopefully, he didn’t hear me singing to Jay Chou. . . Oh, he wouldn’t understand it either.

See? That’s why I say we are hot and cold! He gives me good answers in person after I confront him but he will never approach me first! I don’t get it. Is he purposely avoiding me or is he too shy to greet me? I don’t know!

Oh, I think I’m hopeless. Really . . . I think I should give up, but part of me won’t. Why?  I guess it’s because it’s really hard for me to find someone that actually makes my heart skip too many steps. I mean I have a hard time falling in love with celebrities too. According to Yura, I’m too picky that I’ll either date a hot guy who treats me like crap or fall in love with a best friend after five years plus of knowing him. The latter happened to me before, and it seems like the former is happening now. 

Bad! This is bad, I say!  Mr. Ninja an asshole? Is he? I’m not very sure.  I guess I’d rather him be this way than actively pursue me with tactics and then get bored of me afterwards or assume that I had to pay back for all the time he had invested in me.  Still, it has been about a week since we have last talked. I happened to pass by him today, and he had earphones on. I needed notes after missing out on a lecture to write a crazy group report, so I thought I’d use this chance to give him a call. No, make that three calls in total split in different times. Two were made in a day while the other was made just when I passed by him. We were walking in opposite directions again; I needed to go home and he needed to go to school. It’s not like we exactly brushed by each other. It was just like that other time, except this time, I was walking on the parking lot and he was on the sidewalk. Anyhow, I was going to chase after him but after seeing his headphones, I knew that he wouldn’t hear me. Plus, he walks so quickly. There’s really no point.

So, here’s what I did. I decided to call him on the spot to see if he’d pick up. See this will prove if he’s actually avoiding me. As I suspected, he does not pick up. I then thought, okay, maybe he had his phone on silent. I got Yura to call me while my phone was on silent and playing music with my earphones plugged in. The result? My music stopped playing. 

See? From experience, I know that walking along that sidewalk has a lot of noise from the car traffic. I usually have my earphones in my ears, so I know that from time to time, I can’t really hear my music. However . . . what if his phone isn’t on silent? I know for a fact that in that case, the phone will ring.
It’s a shame that I didn’t get to see him check his phone. Damn it. Why was I so stupid?

Honestly, I want those notes if he has them, and if he is avoiding me, then why did he give out his number to me so easily? Why is he so frustrating? Am I overanalyzing things? Maybe, he doesn’t have caller ID so he can’t return calls. I think I’m just making up excuses for him when I know that he’s not interested in me in any way.

He doesn’t even want to be my friend and worst off, this happens on Sunghoon’s birthday, a day after Valentine’s Day. Now, don’t get me started on Valentine’s Day and on Sunghoon. Actually, let’s talk about my horrible Valentine’s Day. Where to start? Really?

Oh, I know . . . let’s start with Saeryun, the missing group member of my insane project.

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