It was Friday late afternoon.
Jungah finally came back from Jeju. Zico carried her suitcase back up to her apartment. He set it in her bedroom and came back out.
“Do you want something to drink?” Jungah opened the refrigerator with her left hand.
Zico came behind her to see that the refrigerator was rather empty. “Tsk, tsk. How can you call this a refrigerator? There’s hardly any food in here.”
“It’s a refrigerator because it keeps food cold, you dimwit, not because it automatically makes food.” Jungah rolled her eyes.
“I’m glad to see that the painkillers wore off. I swear I heard you snore in the car.” Zico pretended to imitate her snoring in the car.
“Shut up! I do not snore!” Jungah slapped his arm. He snored obnoxiously loudly for her benefit. She rolled her eyes and placed her hand on her hip, “Don’t you have someplace to be?”
Zico stopped acting and straightened up, “Why yes, I do. Thank you, Secretary Jungie Jungie.”
Jungah shook her head with a little smile as she followed him to the door.
“Get a good rest. You must be tired from the flight.” Zico said.
Jungah shrugged, “It was only an hour flight.”
Zico gave her an affectionate smile as he ruffled her head, “That’s my Han Jungah. Always so strong and reliable.”
Jungah lightly pushed his hand off her head, “Go, or you’ll be late.”
“Araso. Fill your stomach with something before you take your medicine again. I’m out.” Zico saluted.
Jungah watched him jog to the elevator then shut the door. She turned around and let out a sigh. She didn’t know what she was feeling at that moment.
It wasn’t sadness. It wasn’t joy either.
Rather…it was a sense of emptiness.
*Something is missing but what?* She shook her head and went to unpack her belongings.
Zico entered his car and looked up at Jungah’s apartment. A soft smile lit up his face. *I should bring back some food for her. She can’t go grocery shopping in her condition.* Zico buckled up and drove off to his meeting.
Ding Dong. Ding Dong. Ding Dong.
Jungah poked her head out of her room. *What the hell?*
Ding Dong. Ding Dong. BAM! BAM! BAM!
Jungah rolled her eyes as she strode towards the front door, “Goddamit, Woo Jiho! You have the ing key-“ She whipped open the door and froze.
Standing in front of her wasn’t Zico but Kris.
At the unexpected guest, her eyes widened.
Kris lifted up his chin and gazed solemnly at her.
Again, time stopped. It felt like they were in their own space and time. They just stood there, staring at each other.
Suddenly, Jungah didn’t feel empty anymore. Rather, she was feeling the exact opposite. She was overwhelmed with so many emotions at once. She recognized one emotion, and that was relief. Her eyes drifted all over his face. It felt like she hadn’t seen him in forever. *It’s him.*
Kris didn’t know what to feel. He was relieved to see that she was back. He was pissed at her that she had left without telling him anything. He was ecstatic to see her again. He hadn’t realized how much he had missed her until she was right in front of him. He had a strong urge to just grab her into a tight hug, and never let her out of his sight again.
“What are you doing here?” Jungah calmly asked.
*That’s right. I came to check on her.* Automatically, his eyes dropped down to her arms. He spotted the cast around her right arm. At once, his heart twisted in pain, and a deep ache formed in the pit of his stomach. *So they weren’t making it up. She really did hurt herself.*
Jungah noticed where he was staring. She quickly hid her bad arm. “Um, was there a reason why you came? I have a lot of things to do-“
“Why didn’t you answer my calls?” Kris questioned.
Jungah was stunned by the sudden question. *Because I’m a coward.* She inwardly thought. “I was busy-“
“Do you have any ing idea how worried I was about you?” Kris lowly growled.
Jungah stared at him. *Worried…about me?* She quickly shook her head and cleared , “See? I’m fine now. So-“
“THE HELL YOU ARE! WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THEN?!” Kris pointed at her broken arm.
Jungah furrowed her eyebrows, “This is none of your concern-“
He zoomed into her face with a snarl, “You broke your arm because you tried to protect me, so yeah, I’d say it is my concern.” Her eyes widened, “H-how’d you know…?”
“Your school isn’t exactly a secretive place. The entire school population knows. They all knew…except me.” Kris muttered.
The next door swung open, and the same male neighbor came out, “Can you two please argue somewhere else?”
Kris and Jungah fell silent. Then without permission, he went past her and entered her house. With a silent sigh, she went back inside and shut the door behind her.
Kris stopped short in her living room and turned around to face her. “How bad is your arm?”
Jungah shrugged nonchalantly, “It’s not bad at all. Really. It’s nothing-”
“Han Jungah.” His dark, dry tone sliced the air. “You broke your arm. That’s not exactly ‘nothing’.” She stared at the floor as she bit the inside of her cheek.
Kris walked towards her. With great care, he picked up her broken arm. The cast felt heavy in his large palm. It was like a cumbersome anchor that dragged down his heart into the sea of pain and guilt. *I hate Park Wonsuk. But most of all, I hate myself. Damn. I should have trusted my instincts. I knew I heard her name last Friday.*
Jungah felt awkward as he stared at her arm with intense guilt and shame. She pulled her arm away from him, and he snapped out of his trance. “Do you….want something to drink? I only have water actually.” Jungah walked past him.
Kris spun around and grabbed her waist. Her entire body became stiff, and her eyes bulged out. Her heart began to hammer madly in her ribcage. *What is going on?*
Kris pressed his jaw against her temple and whispered, “I’m sorry.”
Her heart dropped like a rock. His apology hurt more than her broken arm.
Kris tightened his grip on her waist and regrettably whispered, “It’s all my fault. I should have been there for you. I should have protected you. I should have saved you-“
Jungah stepped away from him and slowly spun around to face him Kris’s eyes shifted up to meet her face. Jungah studied his face for a moment then spoke, “Did you forget? I’m a fighter. I’m not up for playing damsel in distress. I can protect myself. If you were there, I probably would have suffered worse injuries. It’s because I’m THE Han Jungah that I was able to get away with just this.”
Kris opened his mouth to refute but stopped when he saw the twinkle in her eyes. Her lips were slightly tugging upwards into a joking smile. Kris relaxed and gazed down at the female in front of him with admiration swelling in his heart.
They stood there, just staring and softly smiling at each other.