The next morning, Jungah was surprised to wake up in Zico’s bed. Sluggishly, she sat up in bed and looked around the empty room. Jungah looked down to see her clothes from last night still on her. He hadn’t even taken her shoes off. *I can’t believe he let me sleep over. He never let me stay late at his house, nevertheless, spend the night.*
Jungah stood up, straightened her clothes, and headed to the door. She stepped out of the room with a wary expression and closed the door behind her. “Zico?” Jungah carefully called. “Zico? Are you here?” She walked into the unoccupied living room then entered the kitchen. It was vacant as well.
*Where did he go? He didn’t sleep at someone else’s house last night because of me, did he?*
At that moment, the front door opened, and a whistling Zico stepped into the house. He shut the door, turned forward, and stopped at the sight of Jungah. A bright smile lit up his face. “Good morning, Jungie Jungie!”
“Where did you go?” She carefully asked.
“To get breakfast.” He held out the paper bag filled with bagels and paper tray with two fruit smoothies in them. “I know you don’t like coffee, so I got smoothis instead. I hope you don’t mind the fast breakfast, but as you know, I don’t cook. You don’t either, so I thought it was better to go buy something.” Zico brought the food into the kitchen and began to set the table as he happily hummed a tune.
Jungah inspected him cynically. “Did you sleep somewhere else last night?”
Zico stopped opening the cupboard midway and blinked at her with ingenuousness. “This is my house. Where else would I sleep?”
*So he didn’t avoid me. Yet, he still let me stay with him last night.* Jungah pondered the fact.
“Sit down. We should eat while the bagels are warm.” Zico pulled out the chairs.
Jungah sat in front of him. She watchd Zico cheerfully spread cream cheese onto his bagel like he hadn’t seen her break down last night. *How can he still act so normal after he saw how psycho I went last night?* Jungah wondered.
“Here.” Zico held out the bagel. Jungah snapped out of her daze and shook her head. “I can make one for myself.” “Suit yourself.” Zico shrugged and took a rather large bite of his bagel. Jungah took a blueberry bagel and spread cream cheese on it. She nibbled on the edges and sipped her blueberry mango smoothie.
“So…” Zico nonchalantly began a conversation, “Are you feeling better?”
Jungah stopped chewing and looked up at him. *So he does remember be becoming a basket case last night.*
Zico locked eyes with her. “I don’t know what you’re going through right now, but I want you to know that everything passes. In the end, everything becomes okay. We all live through . That’s life. You suffer, you fight, and you move on.”
Jungah swallowed hard and dropped her gaze downwards. She felt a warm hand over hers and looked up to meet his eyes again.
“But I also want you to know that you’re not alone. Whatever you’re struggling with, you don’t have to go through it alone. You have me, Jungah. I can share your burden with you. You can always rely on me. You know that, don’t you?”
Jungah softened. She nodded with a grateful whisper, “I do. Thank you.”
Zico gave her a genial smile that radiated like sunshine. The warmth permeated throughout her body, and she began to feel more at ease. There was a loud knock on the door. “Speaking of reliable…I can always rely on these guys to break the mood.” Zico scooted his chair back and walked over to the door.
Instantly, the voices of Block B filled the room.
U-Kwon sniffed the air, “Are those bagels I smell?” “Bagels?! I’m hungry!” P.O. roared.
Laughing and chatting, Block B entered the kitchen. They stopped when they saw Jungah. She stood up and stared back. “Whoa…what are you doing here this early in the morning?” U-Kwon blinked. “You didn’t sleep over, did you?” Taeil accused. Jungah coughed as her cheeks reddened. Jaehyo narrowed his eyes and raised one eyebrow. *Interesting. So Zico actually let her sleep over.* When he took a closer look at her face, he realized her eyes were swollen and red. At once, worry creased his face. *What happened to her? Why did she cry?*
Before he could ask, Zico called everyone over to eat.
“Ooo! Blueberry mango smoothie! My favorite!” P.O. reached for the drink, but his hand was slapped away by Zico. “That is Jungie Jungie’s and Jungie Jungie’s only! Hmpf!” P.O. pursed his lips into an unhappy pout, “But I like smoothies, too…”
Kyung laughed, “Come over here, you fool. Have a bagel instead.”
The kitchen became noisier as Block B joined breakfast.
Jungah stood up. Zico stared up at her, “Are you leaving already?”
She nodded, “I should go wash and get ready. I have someplace to go.”
“Oh. Okay. Wait here. Let me get your phone.” He rushed past her.
Jungah watched Block B feast on her breakfast. *Wait, how come I count only 5. Where is B-Bomb?*
“Hey, Jungah, if you’re not going to take your smoothie, can I have it?” P.O. asked with his deep voice.
“Go ahead.” She held it out. His face lit up like a Christmas tree, “All right! Thanks! You’re the best!”
“Aigoo!” Kyung shook his head as P.O. took a long slurp of her smoothie.
At that moment, B-Bomb came inside, “Man I couldn’t find parking-“ He froze when he saw Jungah.
Guilt crossed her face. “B-Bomb…”
He crossed his arms in a huffy manner, “Thanks for ditching me the day before. You really let me down, you know that? Now Hyojin won’t look twice at me because she thinks I wasted her time by lying about you!” She lowered her gaze in shame, “I’m…sorry…”
The kitchen turned silent. B-Bomb gawped at her as if she had suddenly sprouted three heads. The entire Block B gang was staring at her the same way. Even P.O. had stopped eating, and nothing could distract him once food ws in front of him. Jungah lifted her gaze and looked apologetically at B-Bomb. “I’m sorry I bailed out on you. If you set up another meeting, I promise I’ll be there this time. I’m sorry, Minhyuk oppa.”
Loud gasps emitted from Kyung’s mouth. He pointed accusingly at her with a shaking finger, “Y-you-“
B-Bomb cupped his hands over his mouth and stepped back with wide eyes. In disbelief, he lowered his hands and stared at her. “D-did you just call me…oppa?”
Her eyes were soft and sincere. “I didn’t mean to let you down. Mianhae, oppa.”
Instantly, Block B dropped their food and walked over to her. U-Kwon placed his hand on her forehead and touched his own forehead. Kyung held out her wrist and took her pulse. Taeil took out his phone. “Should I call 119 or not?!” “SOMEBODY HELP! JUNGAH IS HAVING A MENTAL BREAKDOWN!” U-Kwon shouted.
Jungah socked him in the stomach. “OOF!” He doubled over and gagged in pain, “Or…maybe…not…urgh.” She rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Kim Yukwon, you never learn.” “How come you call him oppa, and not me?!” U-Kwon complained.
Jungah raised her hand. He cringed back, “Okay! Just don’t hit me!”
Jungah gave him a puzzeled look as she accepted her phone from Zico.
Zico blinked at U-Kwon as if he was the one who was having a mental breakdown. “You okay, U-Kwon?”
U-Kwon gave Jungah a flabbgergasted look, scowled, and marched back to the table.
“Acting pissed now won’t make her call you oppa.” Kyung chuckled.
“Shut your mouth, and eat your damn bagel.” U-Kwon growled.
Jungah shook her head. She turned and faced Zico, “I’ll be leaving now. I’m sorry for imposing on you last night.” He gave her a sweet, gentle smile and ruffled her hair, “Don’t apologize to me. You know who to call if you need comfort.” She nodded appreciatively. With a wave at Block B, Jungah left the apartment.
“I’ll be right back.” Jaehyo fled past Block B and pursued Jungah.
Jungah stopped in front of the elevator and pressed the button.
“Jungah!” Someone called. She recognized the voice and looked up.
Her eyes rounded in surprise. *Jaehyo? What would he possibly come running to me for?*
Jaehyo skidded to a stop in front of her. He looked down at her with worried eyes. “Are you all right?”
Jungah stared at him in surprise.
“Your eyes…” His gaze softened, “I could tell you’ve been crying.”
Jungah averted her eyes to the floor.
“Who made you cry? I highly doubt it was Zico since he is adamantly against upsetting you in any way.” Jaehyo pinched his thick, brown eyebrows together and scrutinized her face with his lips pressed firmly in a disapproving line. “Did your boyfriend hurt you?”
Jungah shook her head. “No,” She whispered in remorse, “I hurt him.” He paused then asked, “What do you mean?”
Jungah sighed tiredly, “It’s a long story.” *And one I’m not entirely sure I’m ready for.*
“Does it have to do with you being near Zico?” Jaehyo pressed. “Sort of.” She mumbled.
Jaehyo studied her for a long time then said, “I’m going to be straightforward with you. I don’t like your boyfriend. But then again, I haven’t spent time with him to know him well enough to like him or not. Yet…you spending the night here is unfair to your boyfriend.” Jungah blinked in surprise. *Is something wrong with Jaehyo today? First, he asks how I am, and now he’s taking Kris’s side?*
“If I had a girlfriend, I would feel uneasy knowing she spent the night at another man’s house. You said so yourself that Zico isn’t your stepbrother anymore. That means he’s just another man, and you shouldn’t do that to Kris. Think of how bad he would feel if he knew about this situation.” Jaehyo wisely spoke.
Jungah sighed, “I know…I’m just...” “Trying to please both at the same time.” He finished for her. She gazed up at him. *How does he know what I’m thinking without me revealing everything to him?*
“Tell me one thing. Are you in love with Wu Fan…or Zico?” Jaehyo asked.
Jungah flushed red. *How did he know I was in love with Zico at one point?!*
“Tell me. Who are you in love with now at this very moment? Who is the man in your heart?” He questioned.
“Both are in my heart. But…” Jungah lowered her head, “I love Kris.”
“See? The answer has always been right in front of you all along, Jungah. He loves you, and you love him. You can’t please everyone at the same time. Zico is practically a saint. He’ll always be with you, and he understands you more than anyone on this earth. You can’t choose one over the other. You love both but in different ways. Don’t think that you can handle everything at once. Take everything one step at a time. In the end, both will be by your side.” Jaehyo advised.
Jungah felt the heavy burden lift her heart. *He’s right. I love both, but I’m in love with Kris. I can’t leave him hanging like that anymore than I can leave Zico unprotected. I just have to talk everything out with Kris and make sure neither get hurt. Maybe he’ll be willing to compromise with Zico.* She looked up at him with a grateful spark in her eyes, “Thanks, Jaehyo…oppa.” His eyes gleamed at the last word.
“I’ll think about your words.” She promised
. The elevator doors opened with a soft ping.
“Later.” Jungah turned to leave.
“Jungah.” Jaehyo grasped her shoulder. She turned around.
He squeezed her shoulder softly and nodded, “I know I’m not the warmest person on earth, but if you need a third party to talk to…I’m right here.”
Jungah nodded with a small, sincere smile. She stepped into the elevator and waved.
Jaehyo waved back until the elevator doors shut. With a sigh of satisfaction that he could somehow help her out, he stepped back and put his hands into the pockets of his jacket. With one last look at the elevators, he walked back to Zico’s apartment.