Yoomi and Hoya were sitting alone at the cafeteria.
Woohyun refused to sit with Yoomi no matter what, saying that it was a disgrace being seen with a nerd. He brought his new girlfriend Jina to sit with Infinite and they couldn't chase Jina away no matter how sarcastic Sungyeol tried to be, and how mean and intolerable Sunggyu tried to act.
Hoya couldn't bear seeing his best friend without friends to sit with during lunch, so he left the group to sit with her.
Woohyun was really displeased about it. Hoya was one of Infinite, the Kingkas. People were starting to talk about Hoya and Yoomi. Why was the kingka so close to that dork? He doesn't seem as cool, as suave, as lengendary if he hangs out with people like that.
Woohyun was afraid that if Hoya's reputation was ruined by Yoomi, Infinite's own reputation will also get affected. Nothing was more important to him now, than how others saw him. He wanted to be worshipped.
Yoomi was still caught up with the fact that Woohyun didn't turn up for movie night the previous day. Truth be told, she didn't really hold much hopes, but she couldn't help herself from just clinging on to that glimmer of hope, no matter how dim.
Now that she thought it over, she seemed to agree a little. *I can see why Woohyun oppa doesn't want to be associated with me any more.* she bit her lip as she peeked at Woohyun from the corner of her eye, laughing with Jina.
*He's supposed to be with girls like that. Ideal girls of size zero, face perfect like a Barbie doll, figures that are as curvy as an hour glass.* she looked down at herself. *Not like me... not like me at all.*
She sighed softly. "But at least I have Hoya oppa." she whispered, thinking on the bright side.
Hoya looked up at her from his bowl of noodles. "You said, something, Yoomi?" he blinked, soup dribbling from his mouth.
Yoomi giggled and used a tissue to wipe it away. Her eyes widened when the tissue not only wiped off the soup, but also the concealer. She found herself staring at an ugly bruise at the side of his mouth, looking horrendous, like someone punched him.
"Hoya oppa!" she gasped. "What happened to you here?" she pointed.
Hoya felt his raw bruise and cursed inwardly. *Damn. She saw.* he frowned. *Can't let her know that Woohyun hyung and I fought. She'll be so devastated.*
"Oh this?" he pretended to laugh. "It's just something I got as a reward for being clumsy and falling on my face."
Yoomi gave him a look. "It looks serious oppa. Next time be careful." she made a face. "You're being coming more like Jinki oppa. Maybe you caught his disease!" she joked.
Hoya laughed and poked her forehead. "Get real."
Yoomi was bored at home. Hoya (and Woohyun) were at Woollim for practice till 9pm that day. SHINee was out going for some science competition. Her mother had overtime at work.
It was only four in the afternoon and Yoomi was beginning to feel more bored than ever.
She strolled out of her house and found herself knocking on the Nam house's door. It's been a long time since she went to Woohyun's house. She missed the smell of his house, the smell of his room, because it smelt entirely of him. Since Middle school, she hasn't gone to his house often because of his engagement with girls.
The door opened to reveal a surprised Mrs Nam. "Oh Yoomi ah!" she smiled warmly. "It's nice to see you! You never come over anymore!" she ushered her in.
Yoomi bit her lips. *Because your son doesn't want to see my anymore.*
"What brings you here?" Mrs Nam asked, pouring Yoomi a glass of fruit juice. "Don't you have homework?"
"I finished those." Yoomi pouted. "I'm kinda bored now, Mrs Nam, so pardon me for coming over to seek company." Mrs Nam laughed. "Do you have any chores I can help with?" Yoomi offered.
Mrs Nam smiled, her eyes shining with approval. "If you're kind enough to help, yes there are." she admitted. "I must say Yoomi, you make the best daughter-in-law any mother can find." she chuckled.
Yoomi giggled and got out of the seat, following Mrs Nam to get the laundry done. Mrs Nam used her powerful arms to scrub the clothes, while Yoomi was responsible for drying it. They were chatting easily as they got work done.
Mrs Nam gazed at Yoomi fondly. *I don't understand why Woohyun doesn't like her anymore. She's such a great girl, and they had been such great friends. I really don't like how my son's becoming.*
They were suddenly interrupted when the front door opened. "Umma! I'm home!" came Woohyun's voice.
Yoomi and Mrs Nam looked at each other in surprise. "Isn't there practice today till 9pm?" Mrs Nam asked, confused. 'Why is he back so early?" She got up to ask him. Yoomi was curious to know as well, and she tried her best to rinse the last piece of clothing in her hand before going out to the kitchen where Woohyun was.
She hung the shirt up and walked excitedly to the kitchen where she could hear Woohyun and his mother talking. *I wonder if Woohyun oppa will be happy seeing me help out in his house?* she thought.
"-was sent home by the CEO." Woohyun said in a low voice.
Yoomi froze. Did she hear wrongly. Sent home? By CEO? What had happened? She tip toed near the kitchen and tried to hear what they were talking about.
"What?" Mrs Nam exclaimed in horror. "Why? Something happened? What happened to your face? Those bruises are even more serious than yesterday's! I think my concealer won't do the job anymore."
Woohyun let out a snort. "It's because of that stubborn Hoya." he spat. "We fought the second time today, first being yesterday. The CEO was really angry, and he warned us that this should be the last time. If not, he'll disband Infinite because we're not going to work out without teamwork."
Mrs Nam frowned. "Then why did you fight with him! He's your best friend isn't he?" she asked the question that was roaring in Yoomi's mind.
"He's too stubborn." Woohyun muttered. "I told him to stop befriending Yoomi. She's going to be a disgrace to us if we admit that we know her. Hoya's bringing Infinite shame by hanging out with her. I'm thinking for his good, but he doesn't want to listen. That's why we fought."
A pain seared through Yoomi's heart. *Because of me? They fought because of me. Because Woohyun oppa doesn't want Hoya oppa to be friends with me anymore.* She bit her lip tearfully and slipped out of the backdoor without Woohyun knowing.
She ran back to her house, crying, only to see Hoya just coming out from his house holding an ice pack to his bruise on his face. He froze when he saw her and blinked. "Yoomi!" he gasped. "Why are you crying? Shit. What happened?" he came closer to her, but Yoomi took a step back.
"Don't." she whispered. Confusion flashed in Hoya's eyes.
"Don't talk to me anymore." she pleaded. "Don't. Just don't. Pretend I don't exist, let's not be best friends anymore, Hoya oppa. It's ruining your life."
Hoya took a step nearer to her and held her shoulders. "What shit are you talking about, Yoomi?" he demanded.
"You and Woohyun oppa fought because of me, didn't you?" she asked, searching his eyes. He gulped. *Damn.* Yoomi sighed and lowered her gaze. "I don't belong with the two of you anymore, Hoya oppa. Our friendship has been beautiful while it lasted, but we can't keep it anymore. You belong with Infinite, I belong where the losers are. If you continue befriending me, you and Woohyun oppa are going to get into more fights and what about Infinite? You can't possibly give up that dream."
"Just pretend we aren't friends, alright?" Yoomi wiped her tears and turned around. "I'll pretend I don't know you as well."
With that, she walked back into the house.
Hoya watched her painfully. He knew what she said was right in an odd sense. Because Infinite wasn't his dream, only. It was all seven of theirs. If Woohyun and his fights caused more trouble for the group and dashed their dreams, it wasn't fair for the rest.
"But I don't care if you pretend not to know me, Yoomi." Hoya muttered. "In my heart you'll always be my number one Bestie."
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