The next few days, during rehearsals, Kris dropped by even more often; again with the excuse of wanting to see how Siwon was doing in his role. The Prince could only shake his head at how Kris was still denying his real intention of coming to the rehearsals.
“Do you like her, Kris?”
“Huh? Like who?”
“I think you know who I’m talking about.”
“Oh no, I think you do. Deep down, you know who I’m meaning.”
“But hyung, I really don’t.”
Siwon could see the flash of lie across his eyes when Kris denied knowing who Siwon had meant the other day. Once again today, he kept a close watch on Kris who was seated at the front row below the stage. By now, they have mastered Act 1 and Act 2, leaving only the last two Acts to be perfected. It was really tough and challenging, but manageable.
Act 2 was the act where Prince Seigfried and Odette would meet. At first, Siwon concentrated fully on the scene, and everything went well for the first half of Act 2. It was the second half when Siwon couldn’t help but tried to sneak a few peeks at Kris’ expressions and reactions whenever it was Sooyoung’s turn to act.
Indeed, there came the look on the younger boy’s face again; an expression of affection and concentration as he focuses on Sooyoung’s acting. Trying not to make it obvious that Siwon was paying more attention to Kris than to the Act; he looks at Kris from the corner of his eyes as he says out his lines.
As he had expected, the expression Kris had given out when Siwon was saying out his line was different. The Prince couldn’t comprehend why Kris couldn’t just admit his liking for Sooyoung.
When Act 2 ended, BoA along with a few others clapped their hands loudly happily. “Bravo!” She remarked. “I can’t wait to see the whole play now that you guys have perfected Act 1 and 2. Act 3 and Act 4 will definitely be something worth anticipating as it is the climax of the whole play! Good job guys!”
The two leads smiled at BoA before turning to each other to congratulate the job well done so far before Sooyoung excused herself to the backstage. Taking the opportunity, Siwon walked down to the audience seat, particularly the one Kris was still sitting at the moment. Once again, Kris had his eyes on Sooyoung who crossed the stage to get to the backstage. It was only when she disappeared around the corner that Kris faced in front to look at the….stage.
“You’re too obvious, Kris.” Siwon said as he plops down beside the empty seat, alarming Kris for his sudden appearance.
“Obvious of what?”
Siwon chuckled. “Why not just tell her you like her?”
Kris gulped. “Tell….who?”
“The girl who just went into the backstage.” Siwon teased and Kris tensed up.
“What, Sooyoung? Nah.”
“See!” Siwon took this opportunity to ‘attack’ Kris. The younger boy stared back wide eyed. “Sooyoung wasn’t the only one who went backstage but you only said her name!”
When Kris couldn’t find anything to reply back, Siwon mentally punches his fist into the air in victory. “No more denying, Kris. Just tell the truth.”
Kris paused. Then he sighed.
“Okay, fine.” He admits after a kazillion years. “I do have a teeny weeny tiny mild crush on…her.”
“Hah!” Siwon couldn’t help himself but to poke Kris in the chest. “I knew it!”
Embarrassed, Kris tried shielding his face from the Prince.
“Come on, it’s not wrong to like someone. You don’t have to be shy.” Siwon said, still grinning, although, somehow, there was this tiny bit of tight pull inside his heart…
“What do you think I should do, hyung?” Kris sighed.
“Tell her, obviously!” The Prince enthusiastically replied. (The tiny bit of tight pull still existing in his heart)
“What if she doesn’t like me the same way I like her? What if she just thinks of me as her best friend?” Kris mumbled in conflict.
“But,” Siwon tried to reason out. “What if she too likes you more than just friends? You’ll never know unless you find out yourself.”
Kris kept mum.
“There’s no harm in confessing, right?” Siwon softly said.
“I don’t want our relationship to be awkward then, if she rejects me or something.” Kris replied back, the fear he had kept for quite a long time in his heart without telling anyone.
Siwon nodded his head slowly to show that he understood what he meant. Things will not be the same anymore between two individuals who are best friends, if one of them confesses while the other rejects. So this was why Kris kept his feelings to himself without telling anyone else.
“If you don’t want to confess, then it’s fine. But ask yourself this, Kris. Do you want to look back ten years from now on and regret because you did not tell her your true feelings?”
“Or do you want to look back ten years from now on and still be happy because you told her what you felt, even if you were rejected?”
“Isn’t it better,” Siwon preached. “To be satisfied knowing that she knows your true feelings, rather than being discontented because she’ll never know and you’ll never have the chance of being with her in the future?
Kris looked at Siwon.
“Just think about it.”
Kris meets up with Sooyoung later for lunch outside the campus. It was their usual lunch ‘date’ every Wednesday, and usually Tiffany, Yoona and Baekhyun would follow as well but it was such a coincidence that the three of them were busy with their extra curricular (Tiffany for Orchestra, Yoona for Dancing and Baekhyun for designing backdrops for the Play) hence it was only the two of them.
At first Sooyoung had invited the Prince to join them too, but Siwon had politely declined, saying that he had an event to attend back at the Palace. Before leaving however, he gave a look at Kris which confused Sooyoung.
Since when did the both of them become best friends?
It was true that both of them had bonded through the Play, but Sooyoung found it hard to believe that the narcissistic comments of Siwon by Kris had turned into compliments and admiration over the span of a week. And now, they’re giving sign languages to each other!
“What’s up with you and the Prince?” Sooyoung asked, unable to contain her curiosity.
“Nothing, why?” Kris replied nonchalantly.
“I mean, you two seem like you bonded a lot from the Play.”
“Uh, Yeah. Had to make sure BoA didn’t pick the wrong guy for Seigfried.”
Sooyoung tilted her head in confusion. “Really?”
“Really.” Kris replied without hesitation.
“Remember when two weeks back, you were saying how Siwon wanted to kill me and such?” The teasing now came and Sooyoung could see a hint of red appearing across Kris’ face.
“What happened to that? You went from ‘I hate the Prince!’ to ‘Oh my god, the Prince is such a nice dudeee!’.” Sooyoung said in a dramatic tone with her hands clasped together.
Kris coughed, trying to hide his embarrassment. “Okay, for the record, I did not say that I hated the Prince.” He defended himself and Sooyoung scoffed loudly. “And second, Siwon hyung is a nice person. I was just stupid not to notice that.”
Sooyoung gasped. “See what I mean?” She jabbed his shoulder accusingly. “You’re praising him again and from not calling his name, you’re now calling him hyung!”
Kris rolled his eyes and looked away. “You have no idea how I longed to say that the Prince is some bastard but I can’t because he isn’t!”
When their food arrived, they ate in silence. Sooyoung tried figuring out what could have possible triggered their friendship and secret sign languages, but couldn’t come into a conclusion.
If only she knew that she was the one who triggered all that.
Kris ate his spaghetti slowly, rethinking what Siwon had preached yesterday during rehearsal. He had thought about it the whole night, but has yet to reach a decision. Deep down, beneath all the cowardly and fear layers of losing a friend, Kris had to admit that Siwon had a point there. He definitely wouldn’t want to look at Sooyoung in ten years time, at the altar, with some unknown guy and him sitting in the congregation with regrets that Sooyoung would never know how he truly felt about her.
“Oh yeah, have you heard?” Sooyoung suddenly spoke, and Kris looks at her. “There’s a rumor going around that Yoona is dating Donghae.”
Kris’ eyes widen. “Mwo? Really?”
Nodding, Sooyoung continues. “I tried asking Yoona but she laughed it off.”
Kris couldn’t help but smiled. “That must mean that it is true then!”
“I know right, that was precisely what I was thinking too! It’s really awesome though.”
“For two initially childhood friends to finally be together after all these years.” Sooyoung said dreamily, and Kris gulped.
“You mean…you like that?”
“Why not? It’s really sweet, don’t you think?” Sooyoung smiled.
Kris felt air being pushed out his lungs. What? Was this like a hint from God? Should…Should he…?
“Uh…Soo…Sooyoung…” Kris sputtered out nervously and his best friend looked at him.
“What is it, Kris?”
“Promise me not to freak out but…I…I…”
Sooyoung raised an eyebrow in confusion. “You what?”
“Oh My Goodness! It’s BoA and Yunho sunbae!” The sudden outburst from Sooyoung caused Kris to stop talking. He turned around at the direction of where Sooyoung was looking in reflex and spoted the two individuals entering the café (SM Café) and choosing a seat by the corner. Kris turned back around to continue what he wanted to say, but realized that Sooyoung no longer had her attention on him. She was curiously looking at both BoA and Yunho.
She lets out a soft shriek as she covered her mouth when she saw Yunho reaching for BoA’s hand on the table. Sooyoung couldn’t contain her excitement (Kris being more astonished than excited) and quickly ducked her face down to avoid them spotting her.
“I knew they had something going on! I just knew it!” Sooyoung stressed on the word as she continued whispering excitedly to Kris.
“Last week, I spotted them at the backstage alone. I came back to get my jacket and unintentionally saw them. I thought it was just a random Director and Co-Director meeting but then I saw them being so—no, more like too—chummy with each other—“
“Chummy?” Kris asked in disbelief.
“—I had to interject! I just had to!” Sooyoung smacked her hand over her forehead this time while Kris groaned.
“You disturbed them while they were having a personal talk? Oh that is just so you, Choi Sooyoung!”
“I was curious okay!” Sooyoung defended herself. “So I asked them—“
“Ohmygosh you actually asked them—“
“—Shut up Kris! Let me finish!”
Kris gave a disbelief look at the excited friend of his. “Okay fine continue.”
“So I asked them,” Sooyoung lowered her voice. “Are you two dating?”
Kris facepalmed himself.
“And BoA unnie was so shocked she actually jumped away from the spot she was sitting beside Yunho oppa and she gave me an awkward laugh and denied it straight away. Like how suspicious is that? Yunho oppa was just cool though, he didn’t say anything. I swear, BoA unnie had been sputtering while trying to explain that they were not together!”
Kris was now amused. Amused at how interested Sooyoung was at BoA and Yunho’s personal lives.
“And see! See!” Sooyoung pointed at BoA and Yunho at the far corner. “They’re holding hands and looking into each others’ eyes like there’s nobody else…”
Sooyoung sighed dreamily again. “Why are they so romantic?”
Why are you so curious in their personal romance, Kris fought the urge to ask. “Remember our first year here when we joined Performing Arts and they were like enemies with each other?” He reminisced and Sooyoung nodded.
“I remembered BoA said she couldn’t stand being alone with Yunho even for a few seconds.”
“Look at how far they have gotten now.” Kris had to admit that it was pretty cool to learn about BoA and Yunho’s progress. From enemies to a couple.
And then it struck him. Even though they had a rough beginning, they did become a couple in the end. So why couldn’t he, when his relationship with Sooyoung had always been so good?
“Sooyoung.” He said in a sudden serious tone that Sooyoung snaps out from her day dream and glanced at Kris. “If I were to tell you something, would you promise me you’ll not freak out?”
Sooyoung stared weirdly at Kris. “Tell me what?”
“Promise me first you won’t freak out!”
Sooyoung nodded her head in slight hesitation. “I won’t, I promise.”
Kris took in a deep breath. “Sooyoung, I…” Staring into her bright chocolate eyes, Kris could feel himself losing air again.
“I just want to say that I---“
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