The blissful weekend was over, and Jungah was back at school on Monday morning.
Kris entered the room, and she suddenly grew nervous and rigid. His eyes landed on her.
She didn’t move. She didn’t even dare breathe.
A small smirk curved his lips upwards, and he began to walk towards her.
*Shoot.* She thought.
Kris sat at his desk. He looked her way. “Hey.”
“…Hey.” Jungah felt her blood rush through her body as a billion questions filled her mind. *Why is he acting so normal? He’s acting as if he didn’t see me this weekend. Was I hallucinating? But it was him at the resort. Why isn’t he asking more questions? What was he doing there in the first place? Was it really because of vacation? Why didn’t I bother to question him more? And why the he staring at me like that?* Slowly, she turned her head and locked eyes with him. “W-what?” Jungah tried to appear cool and calm although she was confused and unfocused.
“Nothing.” Kris faced the board. Her eyebrows pinched together in bafflement. *What the hell is his problem? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t ‘nothing’.*
Mr. Kim came in and another lackluster lecture began.
Halfway through the lecture, Jungah received a message. She assumed it was from Zico, but surprisingly it was from her desk partner. Jungah glanced at him. Kris’s eyes were focused on the board, but they were too slyly shiny to be paying attention to the boring mathematics. Jungah glanced down at her message. ‘Coffee after school.’
She raised an eyebrow and texted back. Kris checked his vibrating phone.
‘Go by yourself.’
‘Did you forget? You promised to buy me coffee for the pizza last time.’
‘I didn’t promise . You forced it on me.’ She wrote back. He smirked. *Stubborn.*
The bell rang, and it was time for the next class. Mr. Kim left, and there were three minutes left until the language teacher came in.
Kris immediately turned to Jungah, “Where do you want to go for coffee?”
She blinked at her phone a few times and scrolled through me, “Oh, my bad. I thought I rejected your . Oh, look. There’s the evidence.” She pointed the sent message at him.
Kris smirked. Jungah shot him a look and stood up. He grabbed her wrist. She glared down at him.
“Coffee. After school. Across the street at Espresso House.” Kris said.
Jungah tried to twist away, “I told you. I don’t like coffee-“
“I’m pretty sure they sell something else besides coffee there.” Kris said, amused.
Jungah narrowed her eyes, “Mocking me won’t make me go with you.”
Kris stared right at her, “If I stop mocking you, you’ll come?”
She scowled. *It was a damn ambush. What an . He always does this to me.*
The teacher stepped in. “All right, folks. Turn the page to 271.” She began to erase the chalkboard.
Jungah plunked down back in her seat and sullenly crossed her arms. “Because of you, I couldn’t piss. Thanks.”
“They have a toilet at Espresso House.” Kris said.
“I’m not waiting until after school.” She glowered in annoyance. He smirked, “So I take that as a yes?”
Jungah grabbed her book, yanked the page open, and buried her nose in it. Kris smiled in satisfaction. *She said yes.*
The dismissal bell rang.
*Now!* Jungah quickly picked up her backpack and darted out of the room.
Kris smirked. *You can run, but you can’t hide.*
Jungah left the school and glanced back. Kris was nowhere in sight. She sighed in relief. *Thank God. Damn, that jerk is annoying as hell. So freaking stubborn.* Jungah shook her head and turned the corner only to shriek out loud.
Kris raised an eyebrow, “Does my face stun you that much?”
“How the hell did you get here so fast?!” She sneered. “There are ways.” He glanced at the wall.
*Screw you.* Jungah walked past him. “Espresso House is that way.” Kris pointed.
“Have fun by yourself.” She growled. He caught up with her, “Was there another coffee house you had in mind?”
Jungah halted and glared at him, “What’s your problem? I said no. No means no, you douchebag. So get the hell out of my way.”
“Who was that guy in your picture?” Kris swiftly changed topics.
“What picture?” She growled. “You know. The Polaroid picture up in the mountain this weekend.” He stated.
Jungah froze. She stared at him wide-eyed. *So I hadn’t imagined seeing him.*
“You two look close. Who is he to you?” Kris asked. He was mostly serious. A part of him- a big, burning part- wanted to know. *Tell me I was mistaken at the lake. Tell me you’re not in love with him.*
Jungah looked away, “Someone.” “Elaborate.” Kris crossed his arms.
She swallowed hard. “Is he someone that important? Or…is there something you can’t mention to him about me…or anyone else?” He asked.
Jungah’s startled eyes flashed at him. Kris stared right back.
For a moment, she was speechless. Then she grew defensive, “Why are you asking anyways? It’s not any of your business!”
“You made it my business,” *When you came into my heart.* “When I picked up the photo.” Kris stated.
Jungah uncomfortably diverted her gaze somewhere else. Kris stepped closer, “How about we make a deal? You come with me to get coffee or whatever damn drink you want…and I won’t ask you about the guy in your photo. Agree?” Jungah shifted her gaze up at him. Then after a few seconds, she nodded, “…Agree.”
Kris gave her a small smile, “Good. This way.” They headed to Espresso House.
Some of their classmates were there. They gasped when they saw Kris and Jungah together at a coffee shop. She rolled her eyes. *Great. Another round of rumors coming up. I can’t wait to hear what stories they come up with this time.*
“Hello. What would you like?” The female employee asked.
“Americano.” Kris replied then glanced at Jungah. She scanned the menu board then answered, “Peach iced tea.” Jungah pulled out her wallet from her backpack. She was about to pay but Kris already took out his credit card. “Credit or debit?” The employee asked. “Debit.” Kris replied. Jungah gaped at him as she charged his card. “Here you go. Thank you. Your drinks will be right out.” The employee left.
Kris put his card back in his wallet. Jungah followed him away from the counter, “What the hell! I thought you said I had to pay!”
“You can pay next time.” Kris said. “What next time?” Jungah gritted her teeth.
Kris looked at her. “The next time we go for coffee.” He smirked and walked away. Jungah clenched her fists together. *What the hell! I only agreed to come because I wanted to finish my debt! Damn him and his sly ways!* Shaking her head, she approached him.
The drinks came out. Kris placed the straws into the drinks. He held the peace iced tea to her. “Thanks.” Jungah grumbled and took the fresh drink. She took a sip, and it tasted sweet and cold in . They left the café together. “Are you sure you don’t want coffee?” Kris held out his drink.
Jungah made a face, “I’m sure.”
He raised an eyebrow in fascination, “You’re really still a kid, aren’t you?” “Muh?!” She sneered.
“You don’t drink. You don’t smoke. You don’t do drugs. You don’t like nightclubs. You don’t even like coffee. You have a long way to go before you become an adult.” Kris sipped his coffee.
“Oh like you’re any older. We’re in the same ing grade, Sherlock.” Jungah snapped.
*Not really. I’ve been long done with high school. I’m at least three years older than you.* Kris thought.
“Besides, I never knew the requirement to be an adult was to party hard, get high, and ruin your liver. Wow. If that’s true, I would never want to be one.” Jungah snorted.
Kris chuckled. *Smart girl.* He looked at her with devoting eyes. The more he spent time with her, the more she was starting to grow on him. *How did someone like me fall for someone like you? We’re so different and yet so alike.* He sipped his drink in wonder.
Jungah glanced at her half-empty drink and smacked her lips together.
“Is it good?” Kris asked. Jungah shrugged, “I’ve had better.”
“Then give that back to me. I paid for it.” Kris reached out. Jungah dodged his arm and stuck out her tongue, “No take-backs. I put my spit in it already.” He gave her a queer look then broke into a chuckle. Her lips started to curl upwards. She spun around and froze in her tracks. Her eyes grew wide and round, and her lips parted in disbelief. “Zi…co…” She whispered.
*Who?* Kris followed her gaze and stopped.
Standing just a couple meters away was Block B. They were staring at Jungah in shock. Some of their gazes shifted towards Kris. He could feel their questioning gazes on him. *Who the hell is he?*
Zico blinked in shock for a couple seconds. Then he quickly fixed his expression and walked over. “Hey, Jungah.”
“Z-Zico, w-what are you doing here?” Jungah stammered.
Kris had never seen her stutter before. He watched her interact with Zico. Her expression had immediately turned tender. She wasn’t stiff and uneasy anymore. Her eyes were eager and alert.
“We were nearby doing business and now we were going out to eat.” Zico replied.
“We were going to invite you, too, but…” Kyung curiously glanced at Kris, “I guess you were busy…” An uneasy chuckle slipped from his lips.
The asinine twins were suddenly serious. U-Kwon was sizing Kris up and down in contempt. B-Bomb was suspiciously eyeing him. Jaehyo’s eyes grew curious, and he wondered what this male’s relationship was with you. “Who is he?”
Finally, Zico turned his attention to Kris, who was tensely lingering back, “Your friend?”
Jungah shook her head, “No-“ “Yeah.” Kris replied. She gave him a look as if to say ‘you-stay-out-of-this.’ But he ignored her and looked straight at Zico with his charismatic, cool eyes, “I am. My name is…Wu Fan.”
Zico stared at him. Kyung gasped. “Wait! He’s the guy that got into that rumor with Jungah! The one that is going out with her!”
“We are NOT going out.” Jungah shot him a scornful look.
*He’s the transfer from China. He was the one that also bumped into her at the nightclub. And he’s the one from the mountains this weekend. Everyone supposedly assumes that he is together with Jungah. Are they really?* Zico’s gaze drifted towards her. She bit her lip with hot, red ears. *This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Damn it. I didn’t want him to catch me with any guy, or he’ll get the wrong idea.*
Zico cleared his throat and gave him an amiable smile as he held his hand out, “Nice to meet you. I’m Woo Jiho…” He glanced at Jungah then plastered a brighter smile on his face, “…Jungah’s brother.”
Jungah stiffened. Her expression fell flat instantly.
U-Kwon and B-Bomb stared at Zico in surprise. P.O. and Taeil worriedly glanced at each other. Even Jaehyo seemed concerned. Kyung’s eyes widened. He glanced at Jungah to gauge her reaction. *Not good.* Kyung elbowed Zico, “Y-yah.”
Kris stared from Zico to Jungah in bewilderment. “B-brother?!”
Zico smiled and nodded, “Mmhmm. I’m her brother-“
“Stop it.” Jungah said in a low, dark voice. Everyone looked at her. Her eyes were glued onto the dirty street. “You don’t have to say it.”
Kris furrowed his eyebrows. *What is going on?*
Zico cleared his throat as he put his hand down, “But Jungah, I’m just introducing who I am to your friend. It’s true that I’m-“
“I ING GOT IT! YOU DON’T HAVE TO REMIND ME!” Jungah screamed. Taeil and P.O. stepped back in shock. Her eyes were filled with tears as she resentfully glared at Zico, “He is not my friend…and you aren’t my brother…anymore.” Then Jungah stormed off. Zico stared at the ground with guilt-ridden expression. It had pained him to call her his brother also. But he had no choice. The truth was the truth.
“What are you doing?! Go after her!” Kyung hissed.
Zico whirled around and pursued Jungah.
Kris started to go after her, too, but U-Kwon stopped him. His eyes were hard. “Maybe you should leave today. Your friend isn’t feeling so well right now.” Kris glanced at Block B. Their expressions were grave and threatening. It was clear they weren’t going to let him through.
Without a choice, he left the alley. His mind was muddled in confusion. *What’s going on? Wasn’t that Jiho guy the guy she loved? But he called herself her brother? What the hell is this complicated drama?*
“Jungah!” Zico called. She didn’t stop running. *Get away from me. I can’t see you right now.*
“Jungah, wait!” He finally caught up with her and grabbed her wrist.
Jungah spun around and yanked away with spiteful tears running down her face. “Are you satisfied now, Woo Jiho? Are you ing satisfied calling me your damn sister in front of my classmate?! The one you wanted me to hook up with despite you not knowing anything about him?! Is that how you treat your ing precious sister?!”
Zico sighed in exasperation and shame, “Jungah, listen to me-“
“How could you say that, Woo Jiho? How can you just say that like it’s nothing?” She choked on her sob. His heart pained at her tears. He hadn’t seen her cry since her mother had died. “Jungah, please-“
“I’m not your ing sister anymore, so I don’t know why you keep calling yourself my brother and bearing the burden of my family. We’re not blood-related. The only tie that made us siblings in the first place is gone! So why do you keep pretending with this ?!” She yelled.
*Because your mother made me promise. She made me promise not to act on my feelings for you.* He silently thought.
“ you. I’m not your sister. I hate you, Woo Jiho. I never want to see you again!” Jungah ran away.
Zico grieved alone in the alley. He clenched his fists and closed his eyes in remorse as he rebuked himself. *Woo Jiho, you bastard.*