Attempt 9: Craziness
 
Saeryun drives me insane in a really, really bad way. You see, there are several different ways of driving someone crazy. Now, Mr. Ninja makes me swoon in a crazy but happy way. Being with him, however short that may be, brightens my day so much that I end up doing laundry when I get home. Okay, I do laundry when I’m mad too, so I guess you can say that I do laundry whenever I’m experiencing some great emotion known to humans. Either way, Saeryun just means trouble. 


Why?  

Saeryun agrees that he’ll go to class and afterwards, we, as a group, will work on the project together.  Does he? No. He does not come to class. He does not text us to tell us where he is. In fact, he isn’t answering our texts, our Facebook messages, our tweets and our calls. It’s a day before our report is due, and he still hasn’t sent us his part yet! We all want to sink into a deep hole and pretend that everything will be okay when it’s not. He’s really missing, and there’s no way we can find him. Well . . . that’s not entirely true. 

With my skills, there’s always a way to find someone. Somehow, I know who his roommate is. I’m guessing that it was from reading one of his tweets a while ago that he said his roommate, Youngjae, cooked him food. Plus, Youngjae tagged Saeryun to a Facebook photo; Youngjae was wishing everyone a Merry Christmas from Room 2B. I have confidence in my deduction, but I would rather not try to reach out to a complete stranger. Instead, I text Saeryun’s best buddy, Chansung, who is like Saeryun. The two are nice guys, really, but they’re not for me. Anyways, I explain to Chansung the situation. I also beg him to tell Saeryun to give me a call. Another group member, Suji, is getting more and more stressed out. She hints that I should contact Saeryun’s roommate since I finally suggested that I think I might know who that is.

I text Chansung asking who Saeryun lives with, and you know what? I was right. Younjae is Saeryun’s roommate. I’m too good. Really. I should have become a detective or a police officer instead. Before I dream off about how skilled I am, I continue to ask Chansung if he knows Saeryun’s number. Unfortunately, Chansung has no idea. Still, I thank Chansung a lot because he didn’t have to help me. I bet he thought I was ridiculous and pitiful. I have Saeryun to blame for that.

Just when I think all hope is lost, I remember that a close friend of mine, Ken, knows Youngjae. They are mutual friends on Facebook because Youngjae happens to be in the same banking club as Ken. Ken is a year older than me. How I know him is a random story that can be left for another day. Valentine’s Day is all about Saeryun in a horrid way. Luckily, Ken gives me Youngjae’s number from Facebook and off I text Youngjae.

I ask Youngjae if Saeryun is at home. Youngjae says he, himself, is out so he doesn’t know. He suspects that Saeryun is sleeping at this time. I can’t believe my eyes. Sleeping? Even when our project is due tomorrow? That . . . dick! I result to asking Youngjae for their address. Sigh, I have to go to Saeryun’s place to wake him up just so he can give me his section of the report? I can’t help but think that this is ridiculous. How irresponsible can Saeryun be? 

I end up complaining to the cab driver, who’s sending me to Saeryun’s place. The cab driver did ask me how I was doing. I decided to tell him the truth, “Horrible. Absolutely horrible.” That’s how the cab driver ends up pitying me and giving me more than a 10% discount. He lets me save an extra 50 cents. Now that I am in front of Saeryun’s home, I follow Youngjae’s instructions to room 2B. I purposely knock as loudly as I can; Youngjae told me that Saeryun is a deep sleeper. Not good.

Just when I hear footsteps and am expecting Saeryun to open the door, it turns out to be . . . their third roommate? I’m a bit shocked because I was anticipating an Asian to answer the door, yet there is a white guy standing in front of me. Okay, I don’t mean to be racist here, but . . . you get what I mean. 

Stuttering horribly, I utter, “C-c-c-can . . . I-I-I’m looking for someone called S-S-Saeryun.”

“Oh,” he answers and tells me, “hold on. Let me get him. He’s sleeping.”

“Thanks.”

Then, the door closes while I wait for several minutes. At last, Saeryun opens the door, dressed in sweatpants and slippers. He’s extremely groggy because I see him rubbing his eyes. How dare you sleep, I scream in my mind. I’m so frustrated at him that I can’t even be angry at him. 

I end up stammering, “J-j-j-just send me your stuff. Now. Okay?”

“Oh . . .okay,” he croaks weakly.

“No seriously  . . . just send it to me,” I murmur in a stern but soft voice. “We’ve been looking all over for you. Where were you?” I’m really not the type to scream or shout when I’m really irritated. 

There he is holding onto the door while leaning to the side to try to support his sleepy self. I can’t believe he had the nerve to do this. He’s acting like nothing is wrong with his behavior. How can someone be so . . .

Argh!

“Yeah . . . about that . . . I was feeling sick and my phone won’t turn on anymore,” he almost whispers.

What the fuck, I think. What the fuck is wrong with him? His phone won’t turn on? What a great excuse? Whatever, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Still . . . how can he be sleeping at a time like this?

“Just send me your part,” I ramble. “I don’t care if you’re not done. Just email it to Suji and me. That’s all.”
 
“Okay.”

Then, the door closes, and I’m off to call the cab again. This is so sad, I think to myself.  Before I can sulk in my bubble of unhappiness, his roommate now comes out of the house. He looks at me, asking, “So . . . d-d-did you get it all sorted out? Do you still need me to call him or . . .”

“Oh, it’s fine,” I tell him with a grin. “Thanks for your help!”

“No problem.”

That is exactly when I’m left alone . . . or so I think. My phone starts ringing, and I pick up answering, “Hello?”

“Did you tell him to send it?” Suji inquires with an exasperated pant.

“I told him to send it as soon as possible.”

“As soon as possible isn’t good enough!” Suji roars over the phone, causing me to boil in fury. “We need it now! Go back and tell him to send it to us now!”

“Geez, I did tell him to email us now,” I utter. “I just told you the wrong thing.”

“Just, just hand the phone to him, okay?”

So, I knock on his stupid door again. Luckily, I hear his footsteps, and once he opens the door, I hand him the phone, instructing, “It’s Suji. She wants to talk to you.”

“Yeah . . . I know . . . Mhm . . . okay.”

That’s pretty much the end of their conversation, and once I have my phone in my hands, Suji grumbles, “Anyways, I told him to send it to us now. Thanks for doing this.”

“Yeah, okay.”

This is pretty much how I spend my Valentine’s Day. Lonely and overworked. Heck, I don’t even have time to buy a sweet donut for myself. I was thinking of getting the heart-shaped donut again just to make myself feel better. You know, even though I’m alone, at least I’m eating a heart? That doesn’t really make sense, but at this rate, my head is going crazy that I don’t care.

I just want this report to be finished. That’s all, and I just want to be able to curl into my bed to sleep. Eventually, I do get to do that after editing and re-editing everyone’s work. I hate that when you’re editing something, another member goes in to edit again but instead of making things better, the whole paragraph has to be adjusted again. What a waste of time. I want to tell them not to touch my shit and don’t make my good shit into bad shit. Yup, so after all this chaos, I decide to phone Kai to ask if he has notes. I pretty much explained what happened there already, so there’s no need for me to be redundant.

What’s bad, though, is that our reading week is coming up. In a way, I love that I get a week to catch up on work and that I’m going back to civilization, also known as Seoul, yet Kai will be leaving too. I forget if I ever mentioned this, but I think from one of our few conversations, Kai told me that he was from California. I’m guessing, he will fly back there for a week. One week without Kai? A little sob there. I think I’ll miss his lovely face. I feel like I’m watching a moving portrait every time I see him. He’s just a work of art, really. I kind of want to tell him how good looking he is, but I’m sure that will creep him out. So, I’ll keep that to myself.

Now, because I won’t be seeing him for a week, I decide that for the next class, I have to speak to him. I go to class earlier this time because last time, he was there before me. Unfortunately, he isn’t there waiting outside the hall. There is, though, Jihwan sitting on a bench. I decide to greet Jihwan, who starts complaining about how irresponsible Heechul is. Heechul is in charge of our volunteer committee, and although he has promised to give us our assignments, he has yet to reply to either of us. We’re sort of left here, hanging, not sure what to do. 

“Yeah, I know what you’re saying,” I agree to Jihwan’s statement. “Heechul should be able to have time to give us some work. It has been more than two weeks.”

“Exactly!” Jihwan furrows his eyebrows, shaking his head in dismay. “I honestly, like, don’t get why Heechul would do this. It’s so stupid and very . . .”

I sort of tune out when I realize who I see! It’s Kai! It’s Kai! Ah, do I say hi, but Jihwan is still talking. It’s rude to just go off to someone else, so it’s settled. I’m staying here with Jihwan until the beginning of class. Actually, we go to class together and sit beside each other. I purposely leave a spot for Kai, in case he wants to join us, but he is already sitting far away from me. He’s by himself again to the right of the hall.

Oh well, I think. I’ll just stay with Jihwan. Jihwan’s friends eventually come. They are two girls, who are pretty nice. We shake hands, and they continue to talk to Jihwan. Once class starts, I can’t help but look in Kai’s direction. From my angle, I can see him really clearly, and he won’t be able to know that I’m watching him. He’s still the usual Kai who never takes off his leather jacket. The odd thing is that during class, he doesn’t turn around to see who is speaking. Usually, he does look to see who is talking. Maybe I’m overanalyzing but I think it’s because I’m in the direction of the speakers. They’re all to the left of him.

“This class is so boring,” Jihwan mutters to me. “Really shouldn’t have come.”

Actually, Jihwan has made this remark several times during this hour. I wonder if he is just staying because he feels bad if he leaves me here. I tell him, “You can go, you know. It’s okay.”

“Nah,” he whispers, “I’m kind of trapped here.”

It is true. He has to get past his two friends who have their laptops blocking the way. Fortunately for him, the two also want to leave. So, in the end, I’m left alone, which I like. I needed to get rid of those three just so I can race to find Kai after class. Knowing him, he’ll be out of the door within seconds. That crazy ninja . . . Making me prepare to leave class by packing up a few minutes earlier. The professor gives the cue that this will be the last problem he will discuss. That’s my cue to throw in my notebook and pen, to place my glasses into its case and to wear my winter jacket. I’m ready, Mr. Ninja. I’m ready to race you!
Sure enough, as soon as class officially ends, Kai hops from his seat and makes his way to the exit. I intercept him almost at the doors, uttering, “Hey, you know . . . Excuse me, but –“

He finally turns around and looks at me. “Oh hey,” he answers.

“Hey,” I greet him as we walk down the path together, “did you go to class on Tuesday?”

“Ugh, no,” he mumbles rather hastily, “I’ve been missing a few classes for feasibility.”

“Oh, it’s okay. No worries. I’ll give them from someone else then.” I walk through the door that he is holding on for me. “So, how was your project?”

“I pulled a few all-nighters,” he answers. 

“And wow, you actually pulled all nighters? I didn’t think you’d need to do that,” I explain.

He lets out a tiny chuckle. “My group is horrible at writing,” he stresses in a stern voice.

Inevitably, I smile along with him. “So, I take it you were formatting too?”

“Yeah, I had to do that as well,” he informs me as we start to ascend that long set of stairs. 

“Luckily, I didn’t have to do that.” I reveal another bold smile. “I had to edit and re-edit, so I understand your pain. My group member did the formatting instead. Did you guys manage to hand it in on time?”

He replies, “Yup.”

“That’s good! I saw one group that handed it in late because the guy thought that the office was at the fourth floor. Felt really bad for them.”

“Yeah, that sucks.”

“Definitely.”

I don’t ask a question because we’re crossing a street. This street is rather dangerous because there’s a major bus stop and there are cars that go down this hill. The two of us look left to right, and we cross at slightly different angles. He’s a bit further away from me, to my left. I don’t know how this happened, but I think I touched his inner thigh. I swear I felt something . . . like jeans? I’m not very sure, but I’m certain I touched some body part of his. Somehow, he’s almost crossing into my path, and we almost bump into each other. 

“Are you done your midterms then?” Kai suddenly pops me this question.

“Yes!” My face lights up, remembering that I’m finally free like a little fledgling. “I just finished one this morning.”
 
“Oh, what was it on?”

“Urban development,” I explain while panting. He’s walking so quickly that I can barely keep up. Actually all throughout this conversation, I’ve been taking short whiffs of air just to keep my heart pumping. I think I sound like I’m hyperventilating. Even then, I carry on saying, “It’s about . . . understanding how cities are formed, and there’s . . . some history too. It’s interesting, but the material can be kind of dry.”

“I think my friend is in that course.”

“Oh really? What’s his name?”

“I don’t think you’ll know him, but it’s Tom.”

Tom . . . Nope. No idea who in the world that is. “Yeah, you’re right,” I sigh. “I don’t know him. Mhm, I didn’t do that well on the exam either.”

“Oh, that’s not good,” he murmurs. 

“Oh well, at least it’s reading week soon! Are you going back then?” I ask while following him to cut across this small green path. Looking down, I realize that it’s quite muddy. I really don’t want my rain boots to get dirty. They’re nice black ones with heels. There’s even a ribbon tied behind each boot. Still, he has moved on so I can’t stop here. I end up squirming, “Ahh no . . . Mhm . . . muddy. Muddy!”

I look up, and there he has stopped for me for a few seconds. Kai is smiling with his mouth wide open. I’m not sure if he thinks I’m funny or really weird. Either way, at least he looks amused. That means he doesn’t dislike being with me right? 

Still wearing his cute smile, he replies, “Yes, I’m going back tomorrow morning.”

“Nice!” I exclaim. “I’m going back to Seoul on Saturday. I have to meet a professor tomorrow morning. But you know, I’ll actually be reading this reading week. Rather ironic.”

“Well, there is that presentation we have to do for business.”

“Oh right!” I can’t believe that I’ve forgotten completely about that. “Thanks for reminding me! Are you presenting then?”

“Yeah.”

I tease him, “I bet your group threw the financial part at you again.”

There he goes grinning so handsomely. I really like his teeth that kind of remind me of a baby vampire. “Yeah, they did.”

“But are they willing to present though?”

“Yeah, they put it in a lot of time for this, so I guess they’d want to show that they did their work.”

“Wow! I really like your group!” I end up cheering. “I wish mine was like that. We have one guy who doesn’t want to present at all, and the others, I’m not very sure. Another guy isn’t that fluent in Korean, so he said he’d rather not. He doesn’t want us to lose marks, but you know, if he wanted to present, we’d be fine with that too.”

Now, we are going into this centre, where there are classrooms, cafes and fast-food. Just when I think we are here to cut through the building to go home, he announces, “Hey . . . I’m going to go get food.”

“Food? For dinner?”

“No, for lunch . . .” 

I accidentally blurt, “Lunch? That’s so late!”

“I-I-I . . . woke up late today,” he stammers and disappears into one of the stores.

Meanwhile, I line up at the local café that sells donuts and other food. Somehow, I pretend that I’m going to get dinner when I already have food in my fridge. It’s too bad that there are four people in front of me. At this rate, Kai is going to leave without me, and . . . he does.
Kai walks past me with two pizzas in his hand. Boy does he eat little, I think. Shockingly, he shows off his signature smile that’s just as cute as a lion cub. Then, he points to the line and says something.

I don’t really hear what he says, but I still smile at him and say, “Bye!”

In the end, I order a sweet valentine donut. It’s the last one left in this store anyways. I think it’s a good day for this. Gobbling something sweet makes this day even more satisfying. When I walk away from the counter with my goodie, I instantly realize what Kai was saying.

Good timing, he joked then.

Why? Why was it good timing? 

Well, there were around 20 people in this line now. So, yes, I think this was good timing. And . . .Kai joked with me! Yay! 

I’ll wish him a good flight tomorrow. I doubt he’ll respond, but oh well. I think I have a plan. I think Kai is just the sort that’s better in person. He can’t do technology, but I’ll try to ask for his Facebook or email the next time I see him. I know what I have to do now though. I just need to keep sitting beside him! Maybe, I’ll try to touch his hand. Time to practice dropping a pen. Now, which pen to drop?

Oh, and I’m pretty sure I did touch his thigh or maybe his crotch. Who knows? It was kind of . . .

Whatever. Let me not think about it, but the more I think, the more I feel . . . Sigh. The first body part I touch of his happens to be so intimate. Why can’t things be normal for me for once? 
 
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