The next late morning, another visitor came to Jungah’s door.
Jungah curiously poked her head out of the kitchen and stared at her front door. *Who can it be so early in the morning? Perhaps Zico?* She walked over, and without checking first, she swung open the door. Her eyes widened at the unexpected guest. Her heart did an unanticipated flip-flop in her chest.
Kris gazed down at her with shiny eyes. He had missed her a lot while he was away on business.
“Something tells me you weren’t expecting me.”
Jungah wore her poker-face again, “What are you doing here? You didn’t even call.”
“And if I called, I could come?” Kris asked.
Jungah scowled, “You and your mind games. What the heck do you want? The project is done and over with.”
“I can come in, right?” Without hearing her answer, Kris slipped inside.
“What the hell!” She charged after him.
Kris looked around the small, cramped apartment. It was neat but disorganized. Several dishes were piled in the sink, and some of her sweaters were lounging on the couch.
“Get out! You can’t just intrude into people’s houses like this! Didn’t your mother teach you common courtesy?!” Jungah hissed as she pointed towards the door.
Kris turned towards her with a straight face. “I don’t have a mother.”
Jungah waited for him to say “Gotcha!”or“Just pulling your leg.” Maybe even give her an annoyingly reassuring smirk. But his expression didn’t change. Either he was a good actor, or he was serious. And from his dim eyes, she realized it was the latter. *Shoot. Low blow, Han Jungah.* “I…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you like that.” She grumbled.
Kris shrugged, “Doesn’t matter. It’s just a fact. There’s nothing you or I can change about it.”
Jungah gave him a curious once-over. *Does he really not care that he does not have a mother? Or is he secretly yearning for her? I mean, everyone wants a mother. Even I think about mine sometimes…*
Kris turned around and met eyes with her. Jungah quickly diverted her gaze and coughed to cover up the fact that she had been blatantly staring at him.
“What were you doing?” He questioned. “Nothing of your concern.” She replied.
“So in other words, nothing.” Kris stated.
Jungah scowled. She hated how he could read her like a book.
Kris smirked, “I was right?” Jungah opened the front door, “Leave.”
“Go get dressed first.” Kris nodded. “Why should I?” She growled. “Because we’re going out.” He said.
“Oh for goodness sakes!” Jungah hissed and slammed the door shut. She whirled around and crossed her arms with an unhappy frown, “Why the hell would I go out with you?”
“Did you forget already? You owe me coffee.” Kris stated.
“Bull. I don’t owe you anything.” Jungah snapped.
Kris held out his hand, “Then pay me for the pizza.”
“Gladly.” Jungah sneered. She strode over to her backpack, yanked out her wallet, and ripped it open. She parted the pocket to find only a wrinkly five-dollar bill. *Crap. Did he know I didn’t have enough money?* Jungah wondered. Her eyes darted up at Kris. He crossed his arms with a raised eyebrow, “You don’t have money, do you?” “I do!” Jungah hissed. She held out the five-dollar bill and slapped it on his chest. Kris checked the bill and smirked in amusement, “I’m sure that pizza cost more than five dollars…”
“Shut up. I’ll pay you the rest tomorrow. Now leave.” Jungah demanded.
“I don’t know why you’re making things more complicated than it has to be.” Kris lounged on the arm of her sofa. “All you have to do is buy me coffee, which is what…three bucks? Maybe 5?”
“Then go buy your own damn coffee with the five-dollar bill I gave you.” Jungah snapped.
Kris crossed his arms with a lazy shrug, “Forget it. I actually like it here. Maybe you can make me coffee then.”
“I don’t have coffee, genius. I told you. I don’t like coffee.” Jungah snarled.
Kris fluidly stood up and was in front of her. Her eyes narrowed in the middle. “Either you come get coffee with me, or I will stay at your house until you make me coffee. Your choice.” He mildly threatened. “Muh?!” She asked in outrage.
Kris straightened up with his hands in his pockets and shrugged, “What have you got to lose by spending the afternoon with me?”
“My sanity.” Jungah retorted.
Kris couldn’t help but laugh at her comment. He slipped her hood over her head and spun her around. “What the- hey!” She yelped as he pushed her into her bedroom. “Change. I’ll wait.” Kris shut the bedroom door and smiled with a shake of his head. His smile softened, and he adoringly gazed at the door. *I missed you a lot, Han Jungah. Your snarky comments. Your short temper. Your black hair. I missed every single thing about you. It drove me insane not to be able to see you this entire week. I’m getting too attached to you. I don’t know if this is good or not. Only time will tell, I guess.*
Jungah scowled at the door. *What’s his big deal? Does he think he can order me around?! Well I, Han Jungah, will not be controlled by anyone!*
Fifteen minutes later, Jungah came out of the room.
Kris checked his watch, “Took you long enough-“ He abruptly stopped and stared at her. His eyes grazed over her mini blue dress and navy blue hoodie. His eyes swept over her long, bare legs and down to her tattered blue wedge sneakers. Kris drifted his gaze back to her face. Her lips shined more than usual. *Is that lip gloss? For me?* His lips curved upwards.
Jungah cleared while slightly flushing, “What? You told me to change.”
“I never told you to wear a dress.” Kris chuckled.
“I wouldn’t have listened to you anyways!” She snapped. “You know what? this.” Jungah took her bag off, “I’m not going-“
Kris grabbed her bag. Jungah looked at him.
“I never said you look bag. You look…different.” Kris slung the bag over her shoulder and gave her a small, soft smile, “Good different.” Her heart reacted strangely to those two simple words. *What the hell is wrong with me?! Snap out of it, Han Jungah!*
“Let’s go.” Kris headed to the door. Jungah locked the door and followed him to the parking lot.
He opened the door to his orange sportscar. After a brief hesitation period, she entered the car.
Kris shut the door, jogged to the other side, and entered. He turned the engine on and sped out of the lot. “Why do we need to go in a car? The coffee shop is over there-“ Jungah pointed. The car swept right past it. “Er, you passed it-“
“We’re not going to that one. We’re going to a different one.” Kris said, without even glancing out the window. He swiftly switched lanes and sped up. They entered the freeway, and Jungah grew uneasy. *Where the hell is he taking me?! He better not be kidnapping me, or I’ll kick his before I hand him over to the cops!* Kris drove up a curvy pathway up to a forest. Jungah looked out and saw the beach ahead. Her eyes glistened. She hadn’t seen the beach in a while. Jungah touched the glass and softly gazed out at the beautiful ocean. She remembered when she last came here. Of course, it had been with Zico.
“CAN’T CATCH ME JUNGIE JUNGIE~” Zico stuck out his tongue. “Shut up. I wouldn’t want to anyways.” Jungah snatched sand off the ground and threw it at him. “Meanie! You deserve punishment!” Zico shoved her straight into the waters. “YAH! WOO JIHO!” Jungah screamed at the top of her lungs. “You’re supposed to call me OPPA. MEHRONG~” Zico ran away. “Aish! That brat! Come here!” Jungah chased after him. But his legs were too long, and eventually, she never caught up with him.
Jungah softly smiled at the memory. *Silly Zico. He always had the mentality of a five-year-old.* Kris glanced at her. He saw the smile playing on her lips and grew curious of what she was thinking about. Finally, they arrived at their destination. Jungah curiously watched Kris get out of the car. She looked up at the pretty wooden cabin that was actually a café. *I never knew such a place existed.* Kris glanced back and motioned for her to get out.
Curiosity got the best of her. Jungah stepped out of the car and walked towards him. She shifted her gaze back up to the cabin, “Where are we?”
“To get coffee, remember?” Kris reminded.
“Yeah, I know. But why the hell did we come so far?” Jungah asked.
Kris innocently shrugged as he looked around.
Jungah followed his gaze. She immediately scowled after finding out his motive. “You purposely came all the way here so that I couldn’t run away, huh? I don’t have any means of transportation, and I’m all out of cash. On top of that, there is no reception up here.” Kris smirked, “You’re pretty quick.”
“You devious bastard!” Jungah hissed. “I’m going home!”
“With what transportation, cash, and means of communication?” Kris asked.
*. I forgot.* Jungah inhaled deeply. The scent of pine trees and sea salt calmed her down. She flashed her eyes at him, “Fine. But after you get coffee, we’re out of here.”
Kris nodded, “Agreed.” He swung open the door. She gave him a distrustful look then entered the café.
Surprisingly, there was a good amount of people in there. *Must be popular.* Jungah thought.
“Hello! Welcome to Sea of Tea! How many people?” The friendly owner asked.
“Two.” Kris replied.
“This way, please~” She motioned to one of the cute, cushiony seats in the back. “What a cute couple~” The owner cooed as she placed the menus on the table. Kris and Jungah stared at each other. He didn’t mind, but she immediately corrected, “We’re not together. We’re not even friends.”
“Oh?” The owner stared at her in surprise.
Kris smirked. *Two can play this game.* He leaned towards her, “Jagiya, don’t be mad. I apologized for what happened earlier, right?” Jungah gawked at him. *He’s doing this again?!* Kris charmingly smiled at the owner, “She’s pretending she doesn’t love me because of our fight earlier.” He lowered his voice but said loud enough so that Jungah could hear, “My girlfriend holds grudges too easily.”
Jungah glowered at him and hissed through her gritted teeth, “Yah.”
“Aww, don’t do that. You’re such a pretty girl, so you must have a pretty heart.” The owner clucked her tongue. Kris chortled, “Pretty heart?” Jungah squeezed the cushion by her side. In three seconds, she would smother him with it.
“Don’t hold petty grudges. Life is too short.” The owner patted her shoulder.
Jungah stiffened. She didn’t like strangers touching her.
The owner didn’t notice and turned to Kris, “What would you like?”
“Americano.” He replied.
“And what about you, honey?” The owner asked Jungah.
“Nothing.” She flatly replied.
“Nothing?!” The owner skeptically asked. Kris chuckled, “She’ll have peach iced tea.” Jungah stared at him. *How did he memorize what I got last time?!* “Of course.” The owner radiantly beamed and left. Jungah heard Kris laughing. She immediately hurled the pillow at him. He caught it before it could hit his face, and she scowled in disappointment. *Darn his lightning reflexes.*
“I only have money enough for your coffee.” Jungah stated.
Kris shrugged, “Then run away after you pay the five dollars.”
She rolled her eyes, “Too bad I don’t have a fancy car like someone.” “You have legs. That’s enough.” He checked his phone.
The leader of one of the local drug dealers asked to meet him tonight. However, Kris rescheduled it, making up an excuse about an ‘important meeting that cannot be postponed’. *Bull. I just want to spend more time with this intriguing girl in front of me.* He tucked his phone away and gave her his undivided attention.
Jungah looked out the window at the breathtaking scenery. “How did you know about it?” She turned her head and blinked at him, “Aren’t you an exchange student? How could you know more about such places than I do?”
“I don’t live under a rock. There’s something called the internet. I looked up this café last night.” Kris stated. Jungah rolled her eyes. *Thanks for making me feel incredibly dumb. Now I feel like the one who lived under the rock all along.* The owner came back with the drinks and placed a slice of raspberry cheesecake on the table. Jungah stared at her, “We didn’t order-“
“Service. For you two to make up.” The owner gave her a wink and disappeared.
Jungah frowned, “Thanks, Kris. You made me look like some bitter .”
“You aren’t?” He sipped his coffee. She shot him the finger.
“Wow. Uncivilized action in such a glamorous place.” Kris smirked. “If you’re looking for a civilized girl to be with, you’re obviously with the wrong person.” Jungah snorted. “You have luck because I’m not.” His eyes bore into hers. *The girl I’m looking for is already right in front of me.* Jungah felt the heat of his gaze and looked away. There was something about his eyes that made her blush. She felt uncomfortable with the new feelings growing on her.
Jungah quickly averted her gaze. She sipped her iced tea and looked around the cabin. It was filled with lovey-dovey couples with hearts spilling from their eyes. *We’re definitely in the wrong place.* She thought. *Maybe I can come with Zico next time. Forget it. He’s not the type to come to such a cutesy place. I’m not the type, so what am I doing here?* Jungah gazed at Kris. *How does he influence me to do the darnest things?*
After they finished their drinks, they went to the counter to pay. “Give me the five-dollars.” Jungah held out her palm. Curious, Kris handed it to her. “When I tell you to run…run, okay?” She grumbled. He stared at her. *She’s really going to pay and run?*
The owner came up, “Did you enjoy your drinks?!” “Er, yes.” Jungah felt bad about what she was going to do, but she had no choice! Five dollars was all she had at that moment! The owner told them the cost of their drinks. It was well over ten dollars. Jungah slipped the five-dollar bill onto the counter, but a long hand pulled it back. “Here you go.” Kris handed the owner his credit card. She gawked at him. *What the hell?! What is he doing?!*
The owner accepted his card, and he signed the receipt. “Come again! I hope you two will be a happy couple when you return!” She waved while giving them a thousand-watt smile. Kris nodded back with a small smile. He placed his hands on Jungah’s shoulders and led her out of the café.
Once they were outside, she spun around, “What the hell?! I was supposed to pay for this coffee!” “But you didn’t have enough money on you.” He shrugged.
“That’s why I said only you should order! ARGH! I STILL OWE YOU COFFEE!” Jungah grabbed her hair in frustration.
Kris shrugged, “ happens.”
She glowered at him. “Next time, don’t you DARE pay for the coffee!” He smirked, “Deal. Then I take it we’re going out again?”
Jungah groaned and squeezed her face together. Kris couldn’t help but laugh. *I never laughed so much before. I’m not a laughing person, but for some reason, I laugh and smile when I’m around her.. She made me into a different person. Sometimes, I can’t even recognize myself. I wonder if I’m even allowed to be this happy…*
Jungah yanked on the handle of his car, “Open the damn door! Take me home now!” A hand slipped out from behind her and wrapped around her own hand. She stopped struggling and looked up in surprise.
Kris softly gazed at her, “Want to take a hike?” He subtly nodded at the clear pathway in the woods.
*You have GOT to be kidding me! A hike?! Right now?! After what he pulled on me?! This guy is ing dense!* Jungah opened to tell him off but froze. She saw the hope in his eyes. It felt cruel to just reject him now. It would be like telling a little child that he wouldn’t be receiving any presents on Christmas morning.
Jungah surrendered with a sigh. She gazed up at him and slowly nodded. “I guess so…”