At promptly 11 on Saturday morning, Jungah received a call from Kris and came downstairs. She looked around and spotted his orange sports car nearby. *Is he still in the car?* Jungah walked towards the car.
Suddenly, the driver side opened and a long leg stepped out. Jungah stopped.
Kris lithely stepped out of the car in dark denim jeans and a plain, thin white t-shirt.
*How can he make something so simple look so damn attractive? What the hell? Did I just call him attractive? I must be crazy.* Jungah shook her head.
“Why are you shaking your head? I came right on time like you told me to.” He said. “Nothing.” She growled.
Kris couldn’t help but check her up and down. Her thin cardigan hugged her slender body, and her long, bare legs stole his attention. *Damn. Why does she always wear something so short whenever we meet? Is she doing this on purpose? To seduce me and drive me insane? If she is, it’s working.* His eyes stayed on her legs for a little too long.
Jungh cleared . Kris shifted his gaze back up to her face. She gave him a pointed look. *You are so busted.* His ears turned pink. Kris cleared his throat and opened the passenger door for her. “Get in.” Jungah walked over, gave him a long, suspicious look, and then stepped inside. He shut the door, went into the other side, and clipped his seatbelt on.
“Where to?” Kris asked.
“Wherever. I just have to be back by-“
“Six. I know.” He looked at her, “Is there anywhere special you want to go?”
“Surprise me.” Jungah settled back into her seat with crossed arms.
Kris glanced around the vicinity for a while. A place lit up in his mind, and he snapped his fingers. *I know where we can go.*
“Figured out where to go yet?” Jungah asked.
“Yeah, I have the perfect place in mind.” Kris pressed on the gas pedal and sped out of the parking lot.
Jungah looked out at the busy, sparkling view in front of her. Ferries floated on the beautiful river. People were sitting on the grass with picnic baskets. Other visitors were rollerblading or jogging by. She looked up at Kris, “Seriously? The Hankang River is the perfect place for you?”
He shrugged, “I surprised you though, didn’t I?”
“Have you ever been here before?” Jungah inquired.
“Occasionally for jogging.” *Or drug dealing.* Kris thought. “What about you? Do you come here often?”
Jungah remembered learning how to ride her bike here. Her teacher, of course, was Zico. Her eyes softened. “Yeah…a few times.” She shook her head to shake the flashback away and looked up at Kris. “So what do we do now?”
“Whatever you want to.” He said.
“Great. You brought us here, and there’s nothing we can ing do.” Jungah growled as she crossed her arms.
Ding- ding! “Incoming!” A voice hollered.
Kris pulled Jungah back. They watched as a couple passed by on a tandem bicycle.
Jungah felt Kris’s gaze on her. She looked up at him, and her eyes rounded. She shook her head, “Oh no. I am NOT riding a tandem bike with you!”
Minutes later, Jungah and Kris were cruising down by the river on separate bicycles. He gave her a look, “Are you sure you don’t want to ride on a tandem bike?” She made an ‘OK’ sign. “ing sure.” Kris chuckled, “You have a foul mouth.” “Don’t point your dirty fingers at me. I’ve heard you cursed once or twice.” Jungah gave him a look.
“I reckon you heard more than that.” He smiled. She shook her head and looked away.
Her gaze drifted over the peaceful river. She reminisced about the time Zico taught her how to ride a bike.
“Don’t you dare let go, Woo Jiho!” Fourteen-year-old Jungah screamed as she wobbled on the bicycle. “I won’t, so look forward! You can’t pedal while staring at gorgeous me!” Zico, who had been seventeen at that time, warned.
“Gorgeous, my . More like a bastard! Why did you want me to learn how to ride a bicycle anyways?! I hate this stupid- WHOA!” Jungah lost her balance.
Zico quickly caught her arm and steadied the bike. He exhaled in relief and gazed at her.
“What?” She growled defensively. He gave her a small, entertained smile, “That was the most I’ve heard you talk. You usually grunt a one or two word response to me, unless you’re insulting me.”
“Oh, shut up.” Jungah got off the bike.
“Whoa,” Zico caught her wrist, “Where are you going?”
“HOME!” She shouted. “No way. Not until you’ve learned how to ride this.” He set her back on top of the bike. Jungah blew an exasperated raspberry. “Hold onto the handle.” Zico instructed. Grouchily, she did as told. “Now, the important thing is learn how to balance. If you go to slow, you won’t be able to find it. Pedal slowly.” “You’ll hold on, right?” She nervously asked.
“Yeah, Jungah.” Zico reminded. She put her trust in him. With a deep breath, she pedaled forwards. It was a shaky start, but at least she wasn’t falling anymore. A smile lit up his face, “I think you’re getting the hang of it, Jungie Jungie~ Go a little faster. There you go. You’re doing great!”
Jungah kept checking to make sure Zico was there.
“Now…I’ll let go-“
“NO! DON’T! YOU LET GO OF ME, AND I’LL KILL YOU!” Jungah hissed.
Zico chuckled, “I can’t hold onto you forever.” Slowly, he released her. Her eyes widened in shock. She was about to cuss at him for letting go but paused. She was actually riding a bicycle by herself. Her heart soared, and she felt elated. *I’m riding a bike on my own!*
However, before long, she had lost her balance and had collapsed onto the ground. Jungah slowly opened her eyes. Zico gazed down at her with a sweet smile. “But I’ll always be by your side.” Gently, he helped her up and looked at her bleeding elbow. “Come on. Let’s go get this treated.” Zico placed the bicycle upright. With one hand, he guided the bicycle, and with the other hand, he held Jungah’s hand.
Jungah looked up at Zico with admiring eyes. She forgot all about the searing pain in her elbow. *I hope you’ll always be with me, Zico. Never let me go because I won’t let you go.*
*I’ve always been holding so tightly onto Zico. He kept his word by staying by my side, but sometimes, I feel like we’re far apart from each other.* Jungah was lost in her own thoughts.
“Move it! Watch out!” Kris saw a skateboarder heading straight towards Jungah. Before he could sweep her out of the way, he crashed into her, and they landed as a heap on the floor. Kris forgot all about his bicycle. The color drained from his face at once. “Jungah…JUNGAH!” He jumped off, and the bicycle tumbled onto the floor.
Jungah opened her eyes to find Kris hovering over her. A vexed expression was on his face. “Are you all right?!”
“I’m…fine.” Jungah slowly sat up.
Kris grasped her arm and pulled her up. He looked down and saw blood stained on her white skirt. His face fell when he saw the scratch on her leg. “Are you all right?” The skateboarder asked. “Does it look like she is?” Kris sneered. “I told you. I’m fine.” Jungah looked at the stunned male, “I’m fine, so you can leave.” He didn’t need to be told twice. He took his skateboard and dashed off before he could be beaten up by Kris.
“You’re not fine. You’re bleeding.” Kris flatly stated.
“Yes, I have eyes. Thank you very much.” Jungah sarcastically bit. She wrenched away from him and limped towards the bench. Jungah sat down and glanced at the gash on her knee.
“You should get that checked. I’ll take you to the hospital.” Kris said.
“I’m not sick. It’s just a stupid cut. It’ll heal.” Jungah waved him off.
“You can’t just leave it like this!” He impatiently snapped. She looked up at him in surprise.
The tranquil mood had disappeared. His body was tense with anxiety. “I’m really okay.” Jungah assured.
“I’m not. You’re bleeding.” Kris pointed out.
“Exactly. Me. Not you.” She stated. *That’s why I’m not okay, you fool!* “I’ll be back.” He left.
*Where is that idiot off to now?* Jungah shook her head.
Kris ran down the street. *Where’s the goddamn pharmacy?!* He finally found one across the street. Kris jogged across to the pharmacy and breathlessly entered. “May I help you?” The gray-haired pharmacist asked. After he got the medicine, and band-aids, Kris made his way back to the bench. He received a message and checked it.
‘Business at 3. You in?’
Kris checked his watch. *. It’s almost 2.* He looked at the medicine in his hand. Kris didn’t hesitate to message back. ‘Busy today. Tomorrow instead.’
His business would have to wait. Right now, the most important thing was Jungah.
Kris came back to the bench. Jungah looked up, “Where did you go?“ Her eyes rounded when he bent down on one knee in front of her. “What are you-“ She watched him take the band-aid and medicine out of the bag. Her eyes softened, and she slowly gazed at his intent face. *He went to buy medicine for me?* She was moved by his thoughtful action.
Kris took the Q-tip and began to apply medicine on her wound. Her knee stung and jolted up on impulse. He looked up at her, “Does it hurt that much?”
“No.” Jungah casually shrugged, “It doesn’t hurt at all.”
*Liar.* Kris continued to apply medicine on her injury. She winced at the burning sensation.
Kris pulled the layer off the band-aid and stuck it over her knee. He leaned back and cocked his head in inspection. When he was satisfied, he got up and tossed the trash away.
Jungah stood up. Her knee felt better already. She looked up and met eyes with Kris.
Jungah awkwardly looked away as she rubbed her elbow, “Um, thanks…for the medicine.” She wasn’t good at thanking people and grimaced at her own awkwardness. “Don’t apologize. Just pay attention, and quit spacing out. That’s dangerous when you’re driving or riding on a bike.” Kris gave her a look.
Jungah rolled her eyes, “Yes, mother.” Kris shook his head, “We can’t continue staying here when you’re like this.”
*Is this day over already?* Jungah wondered, slightly dismayed.
Kris checked his watch, “Let’s go get lunch somewhere.”
“Lunch…?” She stared at him, dumbfounded. His lips hitched up into an amused smile, “Yeah, you know…the meal you eat between breakfast and dinner?” “I know what it is!” She snapped.
“Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go.” Kris started towards the parking lot. He glanced back to see Jungah hobbling behind him. Kris held out his hand.
Jungah halted and looked up at him.
“Come on. You’re slowing us down.” He reached for her hand. “Use your eyes.” She pointed at her leg.
Kris stared, much too longer for observation. “I did long ago.” He murmured. Kris shifted his gaze back up to her face, “Hold my hand, unless you want me to carry you again.”
Jungah flushed, “No!” “Then come on.” Kris sighed impatiently.
Jungah glanced around then finally slipped her hand into his.
Kris gripped onto her hand tightly and led her towards the car.