After showering, Block B and Jungah planned to meet in the back for a private barbeque party.
Jungah was the last to show up.
“Jungah, over here!” Kyung waved. She spotted them on wooden picnic tables next to a grill.
A cold breeze passed by. Jungah shivered and slipped her hood over her head. With her arms crossed, she approached the party.
Kyung scooted over and made room for her.
Zico and Jaehyo were cooking the meat. “Hungry?” Zico smiled at her.
Jungah shook her head. “No wonder you’re as light as a feather.” He snorted.
“Jungah? Light as a feather?” U-Kwon blinked. “Can I test?” Kyung held out his arms.
“Touch me and die.” Jungah sneered.
“Grouchy grouchy poo.” He made a face. She rolled her eyes and held out her hand, “P.O. Diet coke.” He tossed it at her.
“You on a diet?” B-Bomb made a face. “Why? Do I look like I need one?” Jungah retorted.
“Maybe.” He said. She almost chucked her can of soda at him.
B-Bomb ducked. Jungah rolled her eyes, opened the can, and took a sip.
“The meat is ready~” Zico came over. He cut the juicy meat into small pieces on Jungah’s place.
“Hey! What about us?!” U-Kwon complained. “Hyung is making yours.” Zico nodded at Jaehyo.
“What the hell are you talking about? I’m making mine.” He snapped.
“Hyungs, don’t be so mean!” P.O. pouted.
Zico and Jaehyo finished cooking rest of the meat and came over. It was a scrumptious feast full of laughter and talk. Zico wrapped meat into lettuce and held it out, “Ahh~” Jungah flushed red, “No way.”
“Jungah, did you know that U-Kwon is bunking with you tonight?” Zico asked.
U-Kwon choked on his meat. “MUH?!” fell wide open.
Zico took the opportunity and slipped the wrap into , “Gotcha!”
Jungah scowled. *He tricked me.*
“Don’t’ do that, Woo Jiho! I almost in my pants just now!” U-Kwon coughed.
“As if I would let you sleep in the same room as her. Who knows what danger she will impose on you? I don’t want to be in charge of your funeral.” Zico chortled.
Jungah rolled her eyes and gave him a sidelong look. He gave her a wink and downed his soju.
“Let’s all cheer!” Taeil put his glass of beer in the middle. “For business. For fun. For Block B!” He smiled. Everyone put their glasses in the middle.
“Come on, Jungah.” Kyung nodded. “Hurry up. My arm is about to fall off.” Jaehyo growled.
Jungah glanced around, grabbed her soda can, and placed it next to Zico’s glass. He gave her a warm, sweet smile that melted her insides. “CHEERS!” Everyone hollered and laughed. Jungah softly smiled. *I hate to admit it, but these guys really are my friends. They act like they despise me, but I know they are the first ones to come to my defense.* She shifted her gaze to the grumpy elder. *Even Jaehyo.*
Soon, the plates were spotless, and Block B was drunk. Taeil was singing while U-Kwon, P.O., and Kyung swayed side-to-side. Jaehyo was drinking his 7thbeer while B-Bomb clanged his spoon on the table. Jungah couldn’t help but chuckle at their silliness. *Not a bad voice, Taeil…* She looked around and noticed that someone was missing. She perked up in alarm. *Zico.* Jungah slipped out of sight to find him. *Where did he go?!* She started to run towards the lake.
Finally, she spotted Zico. He was on the most left pier.
Zico tilted his head towards the shiny, white moon and exhaled. She could see his foggy breath in the air. Her heart flip-flopped inside her chest. She couldn’t look away from the mesmerizing sight. *He’s beautiful.*
Zico began to walk across the bridge. His hands were locked behind his back, and his gait was a steady rhythm.
Before Jungah knew it, she was following him also. Not wanting to disturb him, she slowly treaded behind him on the second pier that was just a few yards from the one that Zico was walking on. Jungah kept her eyes focused on him. *He must be distracted since he can’t notice that my presence. A lot must be on his mind. I wonder what he’s thinking about…* She felt content just being able to be near him and watch out for him.
A third figure emerged from the third pier.
Jungah was too consumed in her own admiration for Zico, that she didn’t see her secret admirer watching her.
Kris steadily walked along the third pier. He lingered behind so that she wouldn’t catch him. His eyes were focused on every bit of her reaction.
Her quiet steps. Her tender expression. Her admiring eyes.
Everything about her at that moment told him how much she was in love with the man she was staring at.
*Han Jungah, I have never seen this side of you before. I have never even expected you to act this way. You act completely different around this guy. You genuinely smile. You give in so easily. You look at him in a way that I look at you.*
Finally, Zico stopped. In turn, Jungah halted, which made Kris stop also.
Zico turned and faced the moon. *Am I doing things right? Am I doing the best I can for Jungah? Please tell me I am. I want to be with her so badly, but I know you would be displeased. So all I can do for now is watch over her. Please give me the strength to be able to protect her.* He closed his eyes as the breeze blew by.
Jungah wrapped her arms around her thin, delicate frame. Kris stepped forward with a look of concern. He wanted to walk right up to her and provide her with the warmth that this other male foolishly would not give her. Even though it was getting colder, Jungah didn’t leave. She continued to gaze at Zico. *Woo Jiho, you . Do you not see me? Are you always so oblivious? I love you, you idiot. Can’t you turn around and see me once? Not as a friend, not as a dongsaeng, but as a girl. I don’t know why you still won’t let me be with you…*
For once, Jungah looked vulnerable. This side of her was foreign to Kris. He couldn’t get used to the soft weariness on her face, and the way her shoulders were hunched in dejection. Suddenly, he had an overwhelming urge to protect her. He wanted to shield her from everything, including her unrequited love that pained her so much. *You see the man in front of you, Han Jungah. But how come you can’t see the man by your side? I try to make you laugh. I try to save you from harm. I even gave up one of my drug deals in order to do a stupid high school project that is worthless to me.* Kris gazed at the peaceful, dark lake as a wave of sadness washed over him. *I don’t even know why I’m like this. Why on earth I’m obsessing over a mere high school girl with a bad attitude whose heart is already given to another man. I’m going to be in so much once my boss founds out. My gang is relying on me. By loving you, I let them down. And still…* He shifted his gaze back up to her. *I can’t seem to let you go.*
The three unrequited lovers stood on the lonely piers gazing at each other for a long time while trying to figure out the best paths for their lives.
In the end, none of them could give the other up. And yet, none of them had the courage to take action and confess their true feelings.
*Coward. I’m such a coward.* All three of them thought desolately.
It was past 2 in the morning. Yet, Jungah couldn’t sleep.
She tossed and turned in her bed. With a sigh of frustration, she sat up and punched her pillow. *What’s wrong with me?! Why can’t my mind turn off and just go to sleep? Is it because I’m in a new place?*
But she knew all too well that that was just an excuse. She couldn’t sleep because she was thinking of the man in her heart.
With a sigh, Jungah changed out of her pajamas and into something warm and casual.
The night air in the city was different from the night air in the mountains.
Jungah stepped outside and was nipped with frosty air. It was dark. An eerie silence blanketed the atmosphere. With a quiet sigh, Jungah walked across the bridge. The light of the lanterns led the pathway to her unknown destination. Jungah slipped her hand into her pocket and pulled out the Polaroid picture of her and Zico that P.O. had taken earlier. She gazed at the way his hand was gently set on her chin. His tender eyes melted her heart and shot sparks of warmth through her veins. *Don’t make those eyes, Woo Jiho. To other people, it seems as if you’re in love with me. But you can’t fool my eyes. I know you can never be because I’m not in your heart. You don’t, and probably will never, accept me that way.*
The thought that he would never reciprocate her feelings made her slightly more depressed.
Jungah exhaled deeply, looked up, and froze.
A familiar figure was standing on the other side of the bridge, gazing just as intently at her.
She didn’t say a word. He didn’t either.
There wasn’t even a flicker of surprise on her face. It was as if she had expected him to be there all along. Neither of them broke the gaze. They just stood there staring at each other. The silence was strangely comforting. Both felt satisfied just gazing at each other from afar.
Zico, who couldn’t sleep either, stepped out onto his balcony. He shut the door patio door behind him and looked out at the dark scenery. Zico stretched his arms and rotated his neck. *I wonder what Jungah is doing. Is she sleeping well? Is she dreaming?* He looked up, and his gaze fixated on someone that looked exactly like Jungah.
*No, wait.* Zico took a step closer and squinted his eyes to get a better look. *That is Jungah. What is she doing there in the middle of the night?* His eyes followed her soft, stunned gaze to the male on the other side of the bridge. His eyebrows furrowed slightly in concern. *Who is that man? Does she know him? Is he dangerous?* He grew tense at the thought. *If he does, I can’t be there fast enough. Crap.*
Zico swallowed hard and watched the two figures, desperately hoping that the male did nothing to harm his Jungah.
The wind picked up the photo from Jungah’s weakened fingertips. Finally, the staring contest was broken.
*Our photo.* Jungah thought as the Polaroid picture landed at his feet.
Kris bent down and picked up the picture. He glanced at it, and his heart contracted at the sight of her with the same man from the pier. Kris looked up and fixed his gaze on Jungah once again. Slowly, he walked towards her. Kris stopped a couple feet away and held the photo out.
Jungah hesitated for a few heart beats before taking the precious memory back, “Thanks.” She tucked the photo into her pocket and looked up at him. “What are you doing here?” Jungah finally asked.
Kris searched her eyes for two seconds then smoothly answered, “Weekend trip with friends.”
It was such a normal answer that she didn’t further question him. “What about you?” He asked.
“Same.” She whispered.
*Lie. You came with the man you’re in love with.* His heart hurt that she didn’t tell him. It hurt him more because he could see the pain in her eyes. *Whoever you love is a fool to not see the love you have for him.* Kris thought.
“How come you’re not sleeping?” Jungah interrogated.
“I couldn’t sleep.” It wasn’t a lie. “You?”
She lowered her eyes, “Same.”
It was quiet. The awkwardness between them was coming back.
“I should go back.” Jungah stepped back, turned around, and walked away without a proper goodbye.
Kris didn’t hold her back. He just watched her leave. It was strange how he could see her feelings so clearly now. *You’re not so tough, are you, Han Jungah?* Slightly amused, Kris disappeared into the shadows.
Zico, who had seen the short exchange of words, sighed in relief. *Good. He didn’t hurt her. But who is he? A random stranger? A friend? But Jungah rarely speaks to anyone besides Block B and me. Who can he be?* Baffled, Zico slipped back into his room.