THREE CHEERS FOR REALITY
In every relationship—according to some sources you found on the Internet—there are always three phases in love relationship: The Honeymoon Phase, The Power Struggle Phase, and The Conscious Relationship Phase. For the first four or five months, you and your boyfriend, Mr. Byun Baekhyun, were absolutely lovey-dovey (and lusty-dusty, if you may) with each other. It was clear you were both in The Honeymoon Phase. Everything seemed even more beautiful whenever he was around, your heart was constantly filled with love and joy, and there was always a happy bounce on every step you took. Baekhyun was charming, and lovely, and cute, and basically, he was everything you wanted him to be at the moment.
But then, surely the Honeymoon Phase had to end one way or another. When the next phase started, so did the fights. You were struggling to keep up with his stubborn and childlike personality. While Baekhyun, on the other hand, were trying so hard to deal with your constant mood swings. The fights were randomly categorized into some levels: from a simple bickering (the kind that didn’t need any apologizing to do), to the more serious kind (fights that made you start avoiding each other) and lastly, the heavy fights (ones that always ended up with you screaming “GET THE OUT OF MY ROOM!” and Baekhyun slamming your door on your face with a “FINE, I DON’T NEED YOU OR YOUR TY ROOM ANYWAY!”).
Yes, you fought with each other, every now and then, but they were just meaningless fights—ones that would be easily forgotten on the next day no matter how much screaming you did. And yes, the make-up would always manage to pay you back for the time you just lost. That kind of was so good, that sometimes, you and Baekhyun tried to pick up a pointless fight so you two could have a reason to have a hot, rough, steamy afterwards. It was a pleasant change of scenery after having so many vanilla since the day you got together.
A fight with Byun Baekhyun would always seem ridiculous. And it felt ridiculous, to be honest. Just like now, for example.
It was a Sunday morning. Baekhyun, like what he did in any other nights, managed to sneak up to your room (yes, you’d given him your spare key back), only in his oversized shirt and pajama pants. He always greeted you by grinning greasily at you whenever he just opened the room, frequently followed by a cheesy, cringe-inducing line, such as: “Your night visitor has come, Milady~”. Sometimes, he even put on a dramatic act (like quoting Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: "Did my heart love till now? For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night!"), which always ended up with you burying your face on the pillow, feeling the secondhand embarrassment. But most of the times, Baekhyun would just come in and crawl under your bed cover so he could lie beside you and asked, “I can’t sleep in my own bed. Can we cuddle?” That version of him was your favorite.
So, on a Sunday morning, you and Baekhyun were sitting together on the couch. Well, actually you were sitting; Baekhyun was lying on his side with his head on your lap. He was dressed in these adorable plaid shorts with a simple white tee, and just like you, he hadn’t taken his shower yet. He’d brushed his teeth, though.
You were reading another poetry book in one hand, while the other hand was on his head, stroking at the fluffy hair. Baekhyun had his hands busy trying to break his record on Temple Run (there wasn’t much of a record, really, since he at it). His character died for the approximately thirty-second time that time, and he grunted loudly in frustration. “DAMN IT!”
“Baekhyun,” you called, soothing him. You kept running your hand on his hair while your eyes ran through the poetic words.
You didn’t see Baekhyun’s pout but you felt his head turn on your lap, so now he was facing you.
“I have a question,” he said.
“No, I don’t know the cheat codes for that game,” you replied without waiting for his question. “And no, I am not gonna google that either. Do it yourself.”
Baekhyun huffed. “You used to be so nice.”
“I am nice,” you said, “I just don’t want to do it because it’s cheating.”
“You just don’t want to do it because it requires you to actually do something other than spending your time reading chick flick on your couch.”
“First of all, it’s not a chick flick. Second of all, your head is on my lap, so don’t act like I’m the lazy one around here.”
Baekhyun snickered and took away your book.
“Hey!” you protested.
“Kiss me and maybe I’ll give it back~” He did a teasing smile before he puckered his lips. You rolled your eyes but gave in anyway because kissing Baekhyun was still much better than reading any kind of book in the world.
You bent your head down and pressed your lips slightly against his. He breathed softly against your mouth and placed a hand on the side of your face, trailing his fingers on the skin. When you pulled away, he didn’t smile greasily like he always did. This time, he looked like he was sinking deep in his own thoughts.
“That wasn’t the question you wanted to ask me, was it?” you asked. Your face was still about two inches away from his.
“No,” he murmured.
You sat up straight, looking at him with an expectant gaze. “What is it then?”
“Well, I was just wondering, you know...” he started, looking like he was actually not pleased of the topic he was going to say but he felt like it needed to be asked. “Why don’t you ever talk about Kris with me?”
That question startled you a bit, but you kept your composure. “I never talked about Kris with anyone.” It was true. Well, sort of.
“You talked about him with Lu Han,” Baekhyun murmured, looking a bit irked.
“Yes, of course I do. He, Kris and I had been friends since we were kids,” you said, trying to reason with him. “And it’s Lu Han-Hyung to you.”
“You told everything to him,” Baekhyun grumbled, protruding his lower lip. “You tell Lu Han everything, but you don’t tell me.”
You went quiet for a second or two. “Are you jealous, Baekhyun?”
“No,” he quickly stated, looking away. “I just don’t like it when there’s something I don’t know about you but he knows. I want to know you.” His voice went down into a whisper when he said, “I want to be the only one who knows everything about you.”
“You know more things about me than Lu Han does, though,” you said, smiling seductively as you leaned closer to whisper in his ear, “Just like how you know about my most sensitive spots—”
“No,” Baekhyun interrupted, voice sounding stern. He dragged his head away from your lap, and sat properly beside you. “Why are you trying to change the topic? Why won’t you tell me things?”
You sighed and ran a hand through your hair. “I tell you things too, Baekhyun. I just don’t find it important enough for me to talk about my past boyfriends with you. I mean, what’s the point?”
Baekhyun grew still in silence. His eyes were hard when he gazed at you, but he eventually broke your eye contact and grabbed his phone back, starting to restart his game. “Whatever,” he muttered, as if that explained everything.
You stared helplessly at him, feeling quite aggravated of how childish he was being.
“Fine,” you grumbled, folding your arms against your chest. “You want to know about Kris? Do you want to know how brilliantly awesome you are compared to him? Do you?”
Baekhyun looked at you and his lips parted in surprise at your harsh tone. “I didn’t mean it like—”
“Kris is perfect,” you said, not wanting to hear his excuses. “Kris is smart. He’s brave, he’s honest, he’s charismatic and handsome. He tends to be too serious over small problems and you, on the other hand, like to ignore them—even if they’re as huge as the world—and just run away whenever you have one too big for your hands.”
Baekhyun’s eyes grew cold and sharp with anger as he listened more and more to your words. “Well, congrats. You got a y replacement for him. I hope your next one will be better.”
“God, this is why I don’t want to talk to you about him,” you said, glaring back at him. “Yes, I mean, he’s perfect. But he left me, Baekhyun. He left me for a goddamn scholarship and he hasn’t even contacted me for two years by now. And I hate him for that. Maybe he’s perfect but he’s not the perfect one for me.” You wanted to add ‘you’re not perfect either, but maybe you’re perfect enough for me’ but only the thought of saying that already made you want to grimace, and you didn’t want to boost up his ego so high like that, so you just stopped speaking.
Baekhyun stood up, put his phone back to his pocket, and balled his fists. “If Kris had never left you—If Kris is standing here like I am right now. Which one would you choose, me or him?”
You shook your head in exasperation. “Baekhyun, you’re being dramatic—”
“No.” He gritted his teeth. “I’m being real, and I know you would choose him over me, and—” He breathed in and out, taking sharp gasps between his words. “And you know what? I don’t care. I don’t need this. I’m not gonna be somebody’s replacement, Sweetheart.”
You remained seated, although there was a part of you that wanted to stand up and just slap him across the face for thinking that low of your feelings—for thinking that you agreed to be him just so you could forget about Kris. He was wrong, of course, oh so terribly wrong.
But Baekhyun was being irrational and childlike as always. And there was no way of stopping him when he was being like this.
“You come talk to me,” you said, voice low and serious, “when you’re mature enough to have this kind of conversation with me.”
Baekhyun scoffed loudly. “Or maybe I’m just not gonna talk to you. Ever.” And he stormed out the door, slamming it in the process.
You exhaled heavily, wanting to scream and smack your fist into something. You stood up, figuring out that maybe taking a warm shower would do you good. You were about to walk into the bathroom, trying to relieve your stress, when constant knocking sounds come from the other side of the door.
You left the towel you just picked around hanging around your shoulders, and you took slow steps to the door, not really in the mood to open it and to socialize with people—
—or your boyfriend at the moment.
But Byun Baekhyun was there, standing on your door with a faint blush smeared on his cheeks, and murmuring low, “I left my key to your room in here so I had to knock.”
You folded your hands and placed them firmly on your chest, waiting for his next words patiently but still with judging looks on your eyes. “Go on.”
“I know I was being immature,” he quietly admitted.
“And?” you urged, raising an eyebrow at him.
Baekhyun’s blush went darker. “And jealous.”
Baekhyun looked up with an obvious pout. “And what? I don’t have anything else to say!”
“And you’re sorry,” you told him, smiling a little. At least, he knew his mistake. You opened your arms but not yet giving him a permission to hug you. “Say it, and I’ll forgive you with a teddy bear hug.”
Baekhyun looked absolutely tempted, but he had too much of an ego to actually apologize. But after ten seconds of glaring duel, he gave up and just harshly muttered, “I’m sorry.”
“Say it nicely,” you added, teasing him with a grin.
“Don’t push it, Sweetheart.” Baekhyun gave a half smile and pulled you into his arms. “Can we proceed to our make-up now?”
“No, I was just about to take a shower.”
“Fine, shower then.”
S.M University’s cafeteria was always loud and crowded, filled with students talking with their mouths full of prisoner’s food (it wasn’t, but you imagined it to be similar from the taste). It took a lot of effort to get comfy and have some peace in your mind, because the room was always deafening.
But somehow, today it felt so cold and quiet—figuratively speaking, at least.
The awful tension came from the couple that was sitting right across you and your boyfriend. Your lunch table was supposed to be all happy and fun, and perhaps overly grossed because Chanyeol and your friend were always there to spread the joy and put on PDA non-stop. But today, none of that happened.
Chanyeol, who gave the impression like he hadn’t gotten enough sleep for days—years even, from the way he looked—was sitting at the right end of your table. He had his chin on his hand as he propped his face up with an elbow. His lower lip jutted out in the way that almost similar to Baekhyun’s, but the taller one made it look even more childish. His other hand was placed lazily on the table, right beside his long forgotten lunch food and its tray. He tapped his fingers impatiently on the table, sighing so loudly every now and then, which made everyone on the table turned their heads in annoyance at him. The word ‘everyone’ here consisted only of you and Baekhyun, actually. Lu Han wasn’t there yet, and Minseok was busy leaving on his field trip to do some research for his final thesis.
Chanyeol’s girlfriend, on the other hand, just didn’t give a crap about him anymore. She kept her silence, lips turning a bit bluish from how hard she pressed her lips so tightly together, and she just continued clanking her fork on the plate irritatingly.
Why? That was what you wanted to know.
“As much as I enjoy having you two to stop acting like a low-budget version of Twilight,” Baekhyun said, sighing at the sight, “This starting to piss me off a bit. What the hell is happening between you two?”
The two suspects kept their mouth shut, only giving a sharp “Huh!” after both of them exchanged sneaky glances at each other.
You exhaled deeply, suddenly feeling like you were mentally drained even though you weren’t the one who was fighting. You had never expected that there would be a day where Chanyeol and his girlfriend would stop making-out in front of the whole school to see and bicker with each other. But well, surprise, surprise!
“Hello, hello, my lovelies~” Lu Han suddenly cooed in, clearly not reading the heavy tension surrounding your table. The Chinese man just reached over with a little happy jump on his steps and his bag slung over his shoulder. He casually dropped it to the table and sat on the unoccupied seat beside you.
“Good afternoon, beautiful,” he said, tilting his head to give you a small peck on your cheek but with an exaggerated “MWAAAAH!” sound.
“Do that one more time, Lu Han,” Baekhyun growled from your other side. “And I’ll make you regret it.”
“What are you going to do, put some eyeliners on me?” Lu Han said, grinning. “And how many times should I remind you? It’s Lu Han-Hyung!”
Ever since Lu Han knew about your official dating status, he kept on trying to pull jokes on Baekhyun to see the younger boy’s reaction. The Chinese gege placed more affection on you—holding your hand under Baekhyun’s nose; muttering flirty, cheesy things about how beautiful you looked with a voice so loud so Baekhyun could hear it; and sometimes, just like this, Lu Han would sneak around and place a sloppy kiss on your cheek. You were a bit irritated to be used as a tool for him to play a joke on Baekhyun, but you didn’t put up much of a fight because seeing Baekhyun’s face grew red from jealousy was always entertaining to watch.
Today though, you didn’t keep quiet because you wanted to see Baekhyun jealous. You were speechless and gaping in awe at the sight of Lu Han’s new hair color. His hair was no longer bronze; it was pink. Like, really pink.
“Let me guess,” you said, narrowing your eyes and furrowed your eyebrows in disbelief. “The Algebra Girl’s favorite animals in the world are flamingos, and so you’re trying to dress up as one.” Then you shook your head. “No, wait, that’s not quite right. I don’t see you standing on one leg. If you want to impress a girl, you better go all the way and do it right, Oppa.”
“Here’s another guess,” Baekhyun joined in. “She rejected you for the billionth time, and you got frustrated, so you decided to make-out with a cotton candy on your way here.”
“Reaaaaaaally funny, you two,” Lu Han said, rolling his eyes. “The thing is, she likes unique guys.”
You blinked. “So you dyed your hair pink?” It was more like a statement than a question.
“Exactly,” Lu Han replied, winking greasily at you.
“Of course,” you muttered, “because nothing screams ‘I’m ing unique!’ Like dying your hair pink.”
“Hey, now you’re talking,” Lu Han chuckled, ruffling your hair playfully. “We’re like two people with one mind, Sweetheart.” Lu Han received another one of Baekhyun’s glare for his mockery.
“Sometimes, Hyung,” Baekhyun commented, “I wonder how your brain works.”
“Well, definitely much better than how your works. HA BUUUUUURN!” Lu Han shouted back before he laughed hysterically by himself.
It was an inappropriate joke in an inappropriate time, and you shouldn’t have laughed, really—because nobody else was laughing—but you just couldn’t hold yourself back from snorting loudly. Thankfully, you had quickly covered your mouth with your hands before you could burst out laughing.
Baekhyun glared viciously at you. “Why the hell are you laughing? My works just fine, you know that.”
You bit your lower lip to contain your laughter as you nodded in agreement.
“Hey, if the lady wants to laugh, you let her laugh,” Lu Han playfully scolded the other boy and Baekhyun just sent ice daggers to his direction.
“Shut up, Oppa, that’s not funny,” you said, getting away from Baekhyun’s wrath by blaming and punching Lu Han in the arm.
“Why did you laugh then?” Lu Han leered. “Let me guess, you’re not satisfied with his junior? Already losing stamina after the first round? Poor baby...”
“You’re not one to talk, Hyung,” Baekhyun spat back cruelly, “You’re hiding a bottle of in your desk, so just shut up.”
Lu Han gaped, looking absolutely shocked and humiliated. “That was only for an emergency situation!”
“Goodness,” you muttered, wanting to burry yourself in a hole for having a friend like him.
“Ah, so you do have it, Hyung.” Baekhyun smirked. “I was only stating out a random guess, but well, since you confirmed it...”
Lu Han almost leaped out to grab him by the collar. “Baekhyun, you e—”
“Okay, cut it off, you two,” you retorted, pulling the oldest boy back to his seat and scowled at him as he whined. “Stop joking around. We’re in a serious situation right now.”
Lu Han pouted but he took a detailed look at his surroundings and after a while, he abruptly sighed and folded his arms on his chest.
“Okay, what the hell is happening around here?” Lu Han asked, glancing from one person to another. “Why do you all look so gloomy? I haven’t had for three days, and I don’t even look that sad.”
“I don’t know.” Baekhyun shrugged and pointed his hand to Chanyeol and his girlfriend. “Ask these two idiots.”
Lu Han had his eyebrows knitted together before he turned his head and sat up straight, facing the troubled couple. “Okay, you two. Your Master is back. Spill.”
The two of them ignored him completely.
You knew that there was nothing irritating for Lu Han more than the fact he was being ignored, so it was only a matter of time until the oldest boy grew upset.
“I’m gonna ask you one more time,” Lu Han said, breathing in deeply to calm himself. “If none of you answer me, I’m gonna flip this ing table at you.”
Still, they kept themselves in silence.
Lu Han stood up and literally tried to flip the freaking table, but it didn’t budge. Not even a bit. So, he cleared his throat, smoothened down his shirt, and sat back down, pretending as if nothing just happened.
“Too heavy?” Baekhyun blurted out, blatantly mocking him with his tone.
“This table is drilled to the ground, I swear!” Lu Han whined again and you sighed before you elbowed him on the side of his stomach.
“Lu Han, be quite,” you scolded, dropping the ‘oppa’ title because he was being extremely childish and he deserved it.
The Chinese man threw his hands in the air. “Does age difference mean nothing to you people? I swear, kids these days are just mannerless!”
Baekhyun swooped in. “At least, we don’t have pink hair.”
“Hey!” You shouted at the two boys, raising your voice with a scowl on your face. “Will you two just shut up?!”
“Now,” you said after the situation went under your control, “I want to know what happened between you two, okay?” You focused your eyes to your best friend and she looked at you back when you reached her hand. “Talk to me.” You smiled, assuring her that you didn’t ask because you were curious or you couldn’t stand her being like this anymore, but because you cared about her. And you did. Genuinely.
The moment you placed your hand on top of her, her lips quivered and her eyes grew red and watery in not more than five seconds. She cried and you panicked, not knowing what to do. You knew she was a bit of a crybaby, but it had been so long since the last time she cried, so you had forgotten what to do.
“W-whoa, what happened?” Lu Han questioned, sounding a bit surprised also.
“A jackass just turned his hair pink,” Baekhyun said, scoffing. He was never the one who cared about his surroundings. “And I’m pretty sure he’s almost in his thirties by now.”
“Hey, screw you, Baek,” Lu Han spat back, easily tempted back to their bickering. “The pink hair is the new bomb and excuse you, I’m barely twenty-four—”
“SHUT UP!” Lu Han’s words were cut off by the booming voice you just made. The moment the two boys sat down on their own seats with their hands folded on their chests and small pouts displaying on their lips, you softly patted your friend’s hand, and said, “Hey, hey, stop crying. Please.”
You took a glance at Chanyeol, who had been sitting with a safe distance from her and been nothing but quiet. He looked like he was just as hurt as she was, and even you could tell how much he wanted to hurry back and bring her right into his arms. But Chanyeol hesitated. Either it was because he was too afraid that she might still be mad and push him back, or just because he didn’t want to admit he was wrong. You weren’t sure what to guess.
“Honey, what happened?” Lu Han asked this time, and your friend started choking on her tears. Perhaps it was because she suddenly got reminded of a bad memory of her early fight with Chanyeol. You felt sorry for whatever she had gone through so you held her hand, rubbing your thumb on the back of her hand in comforting circles.
After what felt like ten seconds of ugly sobbing, she finally confessed, “Chanyeol took me from the back!”
Time seemed to pause at that moment.
You thought your ears just played tricks on you, but when Lu Han repeated her words with a clear question mark behind his sentence, you knew you heard her right.
“Okay, hold up,” Baekhyun said, “You’re crying because,” he made an air quote with his fingers, “’Chanyeol took you from the back’. So I’m guessing, Chanyeol tried to you right on the , but you didn’t like it. Is that correct?”
She nodded her head, still sobbing violently.
“Do you really need to clarify it like that?” you said, hissing at your boyfriend.
He just shrugged in response. “I just wanted to make sure of my interpretation.”
“But you like me anyway.”
That earned him an intentional smile from you and Lu Han groaned loudly, “God, you two are disgusting! Let me take this over.” His voice was heavy with charisma when he focused back on the clear suspect: Chanyeol. There was nothing but seriousness and determination written on his face when Lu Han asked in his judging voice, “Park Chanyeol, did you try and take this woman from the back?”
“W-well...” Chanyeol was looking utterly flushed and guilty. “I guess.”
“You guess?” you repeated, squinting your eyes intimidatingly and made him gulped anxiously.
“I—I mean, I did. Yes,” he immediately clarified.
“Dude,” Baekhyun called, shaking his head in disapprove. “Not cool.”
“Why, Chanyeol?” you asked, gripping your friend’s hand tightly when your eyes still on him. “Why did you do it?”
“Because I was trying to keep our relationship dynamic so we wouldn’t break up!” Chanyeol explained. His face was as pale as a white board, having no one on his side.
You scoffed. “So you think ing her from the back would be a freaking good idea?”
“I—” He sighed and ruffled his curly hair frustratingly. “Look, I read it on the book and it said that or doing it doggy style would make your life hotter. It was just an experiment, I swear.”
“What book?” Baekhyun asked.
Chanyeol actually had the decency to blush when he quietly answered, “Kamasutra.”
“Dude, seriously?” Baekhyun was laughing. “You actually bought that ?”
“I wasn’t the one who bought it!” Chanyeol looked aghast. “Somebody lent it to me!”
The poor boy didn’t need to state out the person’s name. It was now as clear as crystal to figure out who was the brain behind this incident.
Four heads turned to a particular gege who had been nothing but quiet in his seat since he uttered his last question.
“What?” Lu Han asked, eyes moving from one person to another. “Yeah, sure, blame it to the Chinese guy, you racist.”
You and the rest of the group kept being in silence, only sending him judging looks.
“I wasn’t the one who lent it to him, okay?” Lu Han defended himself. “Jesus, I never even had the book!”
You raised an eyebrow suspiciously at him.
The oldest boy groaned, throwing his hands up in the air. “Okay fine, it was me. But only because that derp needed some guidance!”
“You could have told him to take her on a surprise date or something,” you said, making a face at him. “You didn’t need to shove Kamasutra down his throat.”
“Why is this about me?” Lu Han whined loudly, not mirroring his actual age. “Aaaah where’s Baozi when I need his support?”
“Actually, be glad he’s not here,” Baekhyun said, “He’d whack your back to China if he were.”
Lu Han stuck his tongue at him. “Still, this is supposed to be about him!” he pointed his finger to where Chanyeol was sitting. “He was the one who forced his girlfriend to do it doggy style!”
Chanyeol’s jaw dropped to the floor from the sudden accusation. “I didn’t force it on her!”
“Is it true?” Lu Han asked the victim: your friend a.k.a Chanyeol’s girlfriend. “Did he, or did he not, force his to enter your—”
“Stop!” you immediately cut him off and hissed at him, “We’re not alone in here! The rest of the students could hear us!”
“It’s a bit too late for that, Sweetheart,” Baekhyun added in, noticing how there were already some students snickering when they passed your table.
Your friend shook her head at Lu Han’s unfinished question. “No, he didn’t force it on me.”
“Thank you!” Chanyeol said, sighing in relief for her honesty and Baekhyun mouthed, “Dude, no.” at him, so he went back being stiff.
“Then what’s the problem?” you asked. “Did he hurt you?”
“No,” she said again. “I mean, yes, but he’d stopped whenever it got too, you know...” she tried to find a decent word to describe it and finally settled down with, “overwhelming.”
“Nice choice of word,” Baekhyun commented, and he tapped his chin after he rested his elbows on the table. “Let me guess, you’re feeling sad right now not because of...” Baekhyun struggled to pick up his words. “...err, what he did to you, but because of why he was doing this to you.”
She looked up to meet his eyes, and she nodded softly. “Y-yes.”
“Wait, what?” you asked, frowning. “What does that mean?”
“Chanyeol didn’t hurt her physically,” Baekhyun explained, and Chanyeol brought his gaze down, fiddling with his own fingers. “But he hurt her feelings.”
“Why?” you questioned again.
“Because, you know,” Baekhyun shrugged. “Most girls just don’t like doing it—there’s no better word to say this than—on the . Not only it will feel uncomfortable, and hurt like a if she isn’t prepped properly; it will also feel like there’s no feeling involved in—I’m sorry if I’m being too gross—your love-making.”
“And you would know this how?” you asked skeptically.
“Through experience, Sweetheart,” Baekhyun replied casually. “Who do you think you’re talking to? Of course I’ve had my chances on doing this with girls.”
You smiled sarcastically. “I’m so proud of you, I feel like I want to show you to my parents and beg for their permission so I can marry you right away.”
“Patience is a virtue, my queen.” He chuckled and pecked your cheek. “You’re just jealous because we haven’t done it yet.”
“You’re an .”
“Hmm, interesting,” Lu Han joined in, tapping his chin, “But funny thing here, Baekhyun-ah. I don’t think that’s ever happened to me. My girls are pretty much satisfied whenever I’m done with them.”
Baekhyun blatantly rolled his eyes. “They would have screamed and kicked you right on the nuts if their mouths weren’t stuffed with something and they weren’t being handcuffed to the headboard.”
“Ah, yes,” Lu Han nodded, “I guess, you’re right.”
“Can we go back to the problem here?” you asked impatiently before you looked back to your friend. “Is it true?”
She nodded again. “It felt like we were animals. Having with no eye contact like that is just...” She sheepishly stole a glance at Chanyeol. “I feel like there’s no love in it.”
“Love?” you and Baekhyun asked on the same time, and when you two exchanged glances, both of you immediately looked away, feeling a little flushed.
“Oh my God,” Chanyeol breathed out, looking like he just lost his soul. “I’m so, so sorry if I made you feel like that.” He quickly reached closer and gathered her in his arms without even waiting for her permission. “I didn’t know—I didn’t realize that I was—I’m sorry!” He rambled with shaky voice. “God, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” He kissed her cheek, her temple, and the top of her head every time he apologized and he hugged her so tight, you thought she was going to burst.
Your friend sniffled and wrapped her tiny arms around his broad back, sobbing to his chest. “You’re so insensitive, Park Chanyeol.”
“I’m sorry,” he said again with so much urgency and sincerity. “You know I didn’t mean it to be like that. I love you. I love you, okay. You hear me? I don’t expect you to forgive me. I just want you to know that I love you so, so much.”
You could see her smiling, even though tears were still streaming down her face. “I forgive you.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too, Yeollie.”
“Aaaaaaand now you’re back to being gross,” Lu Han said, clicking his tongue in annoyance. “When will I get to be with the one I love?”
That kind of sentence should have gotten some reaction out of you and Baekhyun, but none of you actually responded. You were lost in your own thoughts, while he was drowning in his. You didn’t know what Baekhyun was thinking, but you wondered if he was questioning the same thing like you did in your head:
When will we say those words to each other?
The two of you were strolling down the hallway to go back to your room (Baekhyun liked to stay and hang together with you after both of your class schedules were over). Baekhyun never held your hand in public unless you took initiative first, and you often did that, lacing his fingers with yours shyly. But today, you just walked beside him with your lips pressed tightly together and you kept your hands to yourself. Baekhyun didn’t say much either. Actually, he hadn’t spoken anything other than, “Your dance seems much better now,” when he picked you up at the dance studio earlier this evening.
Chanyeol’s love declaration to your friend seriously bugged you out. It wasn’t that you were afraid of the word—that one word which contains more serious feeling and deeper commitment than just a simple ‘like’ or ‘care’. It was more like you didn’t know whether you should say it now or wait for a few more days—or years, if you must—to go and tell him that. You also didn’t want to be the one who said it first. Well, other than the fact you had too much ego for that, you also thought that guys should be the one who confessed their love first. The thing was, Baekhyun just didn’t always fit in the common guys category. You two had been together for almost ten months by now, was it still too fast for you two to actually exchange the words ‘I love you’? If so, what would be the right time then? Was he going to say it back if you told him first?
Those questions freaked you out.
The two of you had never spoken a word to each other until you both reached your room. You unlocked the door, feeling your hands tremble a little in the process, and asked him to come inside as always. Only this time, Baekhyun stood still and scratched his nape with his long fingers.
“I think I’ll just go back to my own room tonight,” Baekhyun said, not exactly looking at you in the eyes. “I, uhh...” He cleared his throat awkwardly. “I have... things to do.”
“Oh, umm...” You stuttered a bit too. “Okay then. I guess, I’ll see you tomorrow?”
Baekhyun gave a weak nod and he leaned closer to give you a small, simple kiss on the lips—just like what you two always did before you parted ways. But when he was just about an inch away from your lips, he stopped and aimed for your cheek instead.
“Good night,” he said, not more than a breathy whisper. You felt something tugged uncomfortably on your chest, but you decided to keep it to yourself and just repeated the same words he just said.
Baekhyun didn’t smile—he didn’t even looked at you, and just walked away, taking one hasty step at a time. You found your eyes following his presence and you shook your head to focus back on yourself and your own feelings.
“Actually, wait,” Baekhyun suddenly said, turning on his heels and hurried back to meet you right in front of your door again. You inhaled sharply, a bit startled, but stared at him back, grateful that he was now looking into your eyes. “We don’t have to say it, right?” he asked, and you were a little confused of what he meant by ‘it’, but then you realized he was talking about the same thing that had been penetrating your mind: the words ‘I love you’.
“I mean, those words are so old school anyway,” Baekhyun said, forcing a laugh. “Besides, we already know how we feel about each other. No need to describe it out loud.”
This was what you said in your mind: No, I don’t know how you feel about me. Do you care about me as much as I care about you? Do you like me as much as I like you? Do you love me just as much as I love you?
This was what you said out loud: “Sure, those words are lame anyway. I mean, what are we, Romeo and Juliet? Please.”
That was the first time you realized how much it hurt to fake a laugh when your heart was hurting.
“Yeah, you’re right,” Baekhyun replied and he was genuinely smiling this time. He looked like he was honestly relieved that you didn’t expect him to say those words. That fact pained you even more. “I’m glad you’re thinking in the same way like I do.”
No, I’m not. I want you to tell me you love me. I want you to convince me that, just like how you asked me to stay back then.
“Perfect for each other, aren’t we?” you said, continuously faking a smile until your cheekbones hurt.
Baekhyun grinned back and this time, he did kiss you properly on the mouth. You could actually feel how grateful he was for the way you behaved in every touch of his lips. You didn’t enjoy the kiss at all.
“Dream about me tonight,” he said, sending a wink after kissing the tip of your nose playfully.
You smiled again and waved your hand as he took a step back and went his way to his own room.
The smile didn’t hold for long but the pain in your chest stayed even when you were falling into a dreamless sleep.
Two days later, Lu Han came knocking into your room. It was kind of late in the evening, and Baekhyun wasn’t there because he still had to practice for his performance and he told you not to wait for him, so you did as he asked. You were just got back from your own dance practice and just reached your room when Lu Han tapped his knuckles on your door.
“Lu Han-oppa?” You raised an eyebrow as the pink haired boy stood weakly in front of you. His shoulders were slumped, and even though he was pulling a small smile on his lips, his eyes didn’t have any joy in them. Lu Han was always bright and easy-going. On some occasions, he did have severe mood swings, but basically Lu Han was just a cheerful, doesn’t-give-a--about-the-world kind of guy, so seeing him like his life just got out from his body was a bit startling and confusing.
“Can we talk?” he asked then he shook his head and gave another vulnerable smile. “Or more like, can you listen? I need to get this out of my chest and you’re the only person I could think about at the moment.”
“S-sure,” you answered, letting him into your room. He sat on the small, chocolate brown couch and you quietly sat beside him.
“What happened?” you asked, face concerned.
“Love , that’s what happened.” Lu Han sighed. “Why do I have to be in love with her when there’s like a ing thousand of girls out here that would be willing to sacrifice anything for me?”
You would have snorted at his words if he didn’t look as hurt as he was now. You knew your boundaries. “The Algebra Girl? Sorry to say this, but I don’t think you love her, oppa. You only have a huge crush on her. There’s a difference.”
He actually laughed, but it was filled with sarcasm and snarkiness. “You always thought I only had my eyes on her because I wanted her that way, huh? You think I’ll just forget her after I get my chance to sleep with her?”
“Am I wrong?” you asked, and he loudly exhaled, sounding as if he was just as mentally tired as he was physically.
“You tell me,” Lu Han said, closing his eyes and pressed his body to the backrest. “You know, when I’m alone, all I can think about is her. And probably, you think that what I’m really looking for is her body, but that’s not it. Because I just noticed that when I close my eyes like this, the first thing that pops in my mind is the way she laughs when her friend just told her a funny story. There are cute wrinkles on the corner of her eyes when she smiles, and I also notice how she likes to bites the cap on top of her pen when she thinks of something to write down on her book. And sometimes, when she writes on her notepad, she’ll frown until she realizes the thing she’s been missing and then compliments herself for it. Do you know that she likes to wear her hair up? Not everyday, though. Just on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and sometimes also on Fridays but only if she feels like she wants to wear her red sneakers.”
You blinked a couple of times in disbelief. Did he seriously just say all of that?
“I talked to her today. Properly this time,” Lu Han said, opening his eyes but let them stay half-lidded as he stared at the ceiling. “I asked her to go out with me. Just basically told her how she looked beautiful today—like in any other days—and that I wanted to take her out for dinner. I asked her normally—no tricky, cheesy, dramatic tricks this time. And she smiled when I explained to her about my hair: how I got my hair dyed pink so she would notice me. She told me I was an idiot.”
“You are an idiot,” you said, smiling jokingly although your eyes were more than being sympathetic on his words.
Lu Han didn’t put any kind of reaction. He just continued talking with a sad gleam on his eyes. “I told her I liked her, and for the first time, she actually didn’t look grossed out from my confession and said thank you instead. I was shocked, to be honest. And I thought I finally had the chance with her. But then she refused my invitation and told me that she couldn’t go out with me. I asked her to give me a chance and try, and I promised her I wouldn’t disappoint her, but she kept saying no. Do you know why?”
Even if Lu Han was expecting an answer, you remained to stay in silence. It felt wrong to speak at times like this. You were afraid of a chance that perhaps you would say something unintentional that would break and tear his heart to pieces. He already looked so broken at the moment.
And sure enough, Lu Han continued his words without waiting for an answer.
“She said she liked someone else,” he said, breathed out heavily at the end of his line. “She said there was someone else so it wouldn’t be right for her to give me hopes like that because she knew it wouldn’t work out in the end. I was pissed, that was for sure, but then the curiosity—and jealousy, perhaps—took over me and I asked for his name. She hesitated for a bit, but maybe she’d realized that I would just keep nagging on her for a name, so she gave up and said two words that felt too goddamn familiar in my ears.”
You had a guess, and you wished for it to not be true.
“Kim Minseok,” Lu Han confessed, jaw clenched slightly as he said it. “She’s in love with Minseok. With Baozi. My own best friend.”
You wanted to reach out and hold his hand just to comfort him, but you didn’t do it because Lu Han had his hands curled into fists. They were shaking a bit, possibly from the anger he tried to bottle up by himself.
“This is like a joke.” Lu Han gave a small, hard laugh with no spark of humor in it. “And it’s not even funny. It’s sad. Not because she’s in love with my best friend, but because he already has his girl and I know how much he loves his girlfriend, so there’s no chance for her, really. And even then, she still won’t give me a chance to fill the gap because she loves him that much. This is one horrible joke.”
You honestly didn’t know what to say. Maybe you really just didn’t have to say anything. Sometimes, what someone needs is just a friend to listen to his problem. So that was what you did at the moment: being a friend.
“Baozi and I are graduating in five months,” Lu Han stated, voice a bit shaky. “My graduation is drawing near and I don’t know of what I’m going to do after that. Baozi, though, had everything planned out. He said he was going to propose as soon as he got a proper job. He said he was ready to settle down. To be married and committed to one girl for the rest of his life. To have kids and teach them how to count and read. And I—” Lu Han suddenly kicked the coffee table that was placed right in front of your couch, and you jumped in your seat. The sound of your rapid heartbeat flew through your ears when Lu Han screamed to his hands. “I don’t ing get to have anything and neither does she!”
It was when Lu Han’s shoulders starting to shake in anger, sadness, and disappointment that you braced yourself to wrap your arms around his sides. You didn’t speak but you hugged him until his breathing got even.
“I really care about her, can you believe me?” Lu Han asked. His hands muffled his voice as he buried his face in them. “It hurts me to think that I can’t do anything for her. Everything’s out of my reach. What am I supposed to do?”
You couldn’t say that you weren’t surprised hearing him putting her needs in front of his. Lu Han was a bit self-centered most of times, although yes, he was the caring type but only to people who were close and important enough for him. Maybe he really did love this girl.
As Lu Han kept on pouring his heart out, you got trapped deep in your own thoughts. There was one thing you could pull out from this Lu Han – Algebra Girl incident:
Saying ‘I love you’ does not always mean you will get to receive them back.
And as you thought more and more about Baekhyun, you became to wonder whether he would ever say it back.
Baekhyun visited your room just twenty minutes later after Lu Han left. He looked physically drained, but his eyes were bright with glee and excitement. The moment he unlocked your door with his own key, he shouted the words “Guess who just nailed the rehearsal today?” with high spirit.
“You?” you said, smiling weakly as Baekhyun pulled you into his arms and kissed the top of your head.
“Yep,” he said, grinning from ear-to-ear. “You’ll come to my concert this Sunday, right? Promise me you’ll come! Promise, promise, promise me you’ll come!”
This time, when you let your lips curved upwards, it didn’t really take much of an effort because seeing Baekhyun jumped excitedly on his own feet like a five-year-old child was really adorable. “Of course, I’ll come.”
“Pinkie promise?” he asked, raising his little finger.
You intertwined it with yours. “Pinkie promise.”
The way Baekhyun beamed at you was almost literally too dazzling to see. He never looked as happy as today, so something really good must have happened at his rehearsal. Seeing how he was in such a good mood, you just couldn’t contain your feelings anymore and just blurted out the questions that had been nagging on you since Lu Han came to your room.
“Baekhyun,” you started, a bit hesitant but still tried to carry on. “Can we... talk for a moment?”
“Sure~” Baekhyun replied, taking off his jacket and placed it on the couch, just beside his bag. “What’s up?”
“I want—” Your throat suddenly felt like burning. “I want to talk about us.”
Baekhyun raised an eyebrow in his curiosity, but wiggled it at the end, smirking. “Is this about my present for nailing my rehearsal today? I vote for shower again, because the last time we did it, it was amazing and—”
“No,” you cut him off, looking dead serious until Baekhyun frowned at you. “No, it’s not that. I want to talk about us. About our relationship.”
“Err... Okay,” Baekhyun muttered. One of his eyebrows raised a bit higher than the other. “What about it?”
Your breath caught in your throat and you braced yourself. This was now-or-never kind of situation. If he were worth your time, he would stay. He wouldn’t run away. If he were the one, this would make everything much clearer and easier.
But if not, then...
“Sweetheart?” Baekhyun called and you blinked your eyes twice, realizing that you just got lost in your own thought. “Hey, are you okay?”
“I’m... I’m fine, it’s just...” You laughed shakily out of nerves. “This is a bit tricky to ask.”
Baekhyun’s forehead creased. “Did I do something wrong?”
“No,” you answered, shaking your head immediately. “It’s not that, it’s... This is just a question based on curiosity, all right, Baekhyun? I’m not trying to start a fight, nor am I trying to scare you off with what I’m going to say, it’s just...”
“What are you trying to say?”
“Okay, here it goes...” You took a deep breath for a couple of times. “Baekhyun, you know we’re not in high school anymore, right?”
“Err...” Baekhyun stared at you awkwardly. “Yeah, sure.”
“We’re already adults. This—our relationship, I mean—isn’t just a game for me. I’m not dating you just for fun, or for , o-or just so I can have a date to the homecoming party.” You tried so hard not to stutter or to blush under the intense gaze of his eyes. “I just want to know whether you’re as serious as I am in our relationship.”
Baekhyun slightly went rigid as the realization came falling down on him. “Commitment,” he breathed out, “You want to talk about commitment.”
“Yes,” you confirmed, staring back at his hooded eyes. “I know, you’re scared of—”
“Scared?” Baekhyun repeated, scoffing loudly in the way that made you flinch. “I’m not scared, I just don’t think it’s necessary to talk about it. If you want to ask me to be committed to you, don’t you think it’s a little too late for that? We’ve been dating for almost, I don’t know, a year by now, and through all these times, did you ever see me cheat on you? Did you ever see me look at any other girls?”
“No.” You shook your head softly. “And I’m thankful for that, but—”
“What else do you want?” Baekhyun’s tone was sharp and a bit callous. “We’re dating and I’m not cheating on you, isn’t that the most important part here?” He was irritated with this topic, you understood that, but you just couldn’t drop this down. Not now, not when you’ve gone this far.
“Do you think that’s it?” you asked, putting a similar tone. “Do you think that because none of us are cheating, our relationship is okay?”
He huffed, looking utterly displeased with this conversation. “That’s your point, isn’t it?”
“You’re saying it as if there’s no feeling in it.”
“Of course there are feelings in it,” he said, dared to roll his eyes at you. “Obviously, I’m not cheating on you because I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Oh? So, if I give you permission to cheat, you’ll do that for me? If I convince you that I’m not going to be hurt whether you’re cheating on me or not, you’ll just say ‘okay, great, now we can sleep with other people and date each other’. Is that what you’re trying to say?”
Baekhyun’s eyes glimmered in resentment. Baekhyun never wanted to lose an argument, so when he shrugged and calmly said, “Sure,” you weren’t surprised, although it still did hurt you a lot.
So you snapped.
“Look around you, Baek!” You almost stomped your foot to the ground in fury. “Your belongings are everywhere in my room. I go to the bathroom, I see your toothbrush next to mine. I open my closet, I see your clothes. I sit on the couch, I see your music sheets spread on the table. And I can smell your scent in every corner of my bed from how often you spend the night here and not in your own room. If our relationship is that shallow, why do you think all of this is happening?”
Baekhyun had his eyes running from one side of your room to another, scanning over his things to prove what you just said. He looked stiff and a bit startled when he noticed that you were right, but most of all, he looked like he was panicking.
But you didn’t stop talking. “Why do you take care of me when I’m sick, Baekhyun? Why do you keep asking questions about me? Why do you like to sneak into my room just to see me sleep? If you think our relationship doesn’t mean anything to you other than what you just said, then go try and explain that.”
Baekhyun looked like he had a little trouble breathing. His eyes were moving rapidly, from searching yours to watching his surroundings. His lips were slightly parted and if the room weren’t this cold that night, there would’ve been beads of sweat forming on his temple.
Baekhyun tended to have slight panic attacks whenever he had too much heavy thoughts swirling in his mind. You felt sorry because you knew how much he wasn’t prepared to hear any of this, and it wasn’t your intention to hurt him like that.
“Hey, hey,” you said, reaching for his hand. It was already frozen cold and sweaty, not to mention trembling slightly. “Baekhyun, I’m not trying to scare you off, okay? I love you.”
There. You said it.
“I love you,” you repeated again, making sure that he heard those words well. Baekhyun placed his eyes on you. They were wide, filled with shock and perhaps, confusion. “Baekhyun, I love you so much, that’s why I’m talking about this with you. You’re not just someone I date for fun. I care about you, I want to be with you, and I just want to make sure that you’re feeling the same way. I know that you do, otherwise you wouldn’t tell me secrets, and you wouldn’t do all of those things I just mentioned. I just want you to realize that you do.”
His lips were shut tightly until they were a bit bluish. You rose slightly on your toes to cup his cheeks with your hands and brought his face closer to yours. “I’m not asking you to marry me or anything,” you said, trying to ease the tension with a small, forced laugh. But all it did was making you cringe and made him panic even more. “I’m not asking you to do anything, really. I just want you to assure me that you’re not going to leave me when you’re done with this. I just want to know that you’re going to stay, no matter how hard our problems are gonna be. That you won’t run away.”
Baekhyun closed his eyes when you pressed your temple with his, and he tried to breathe properly.
“Baekhyun,” you whispered when you felt him calming down. Your lips were only an inch away from his. “I love you, and I want you to feel the same way too.”
Your heart thumped so loudly, it made your chest feel uncomfortable. You wetted your lower lip and tried to have hopes when you whispered, “Please, say something.”
Baekhyun took another sharp breath, staying quiet for a moment. You thought he was going to kiss you and say those three little words back to you. But all he did was releasing his face from the touch of your hands and leaned away. His eyes never met yours.
“I have to go,” was the last thing you heard from him before he walked out the door.
You didn’t see him for days after that.
Hey look, it's the annoying author notes again! haha
EXO COMEBACK TEASERS I CAN'T BREATHE YOU GUYS THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING AND THOSE CECI PHOTOS WHAT WHAT WHAAAAAAAAT MY BAEKHYUN LOOKS SO GOOD WITH THAT FLOWER IN HIS HANDS AND I DON'T EVEN LIKE GUYS HOLDING FLOWERS BUT HE JUST LOOKS ASDFGHJKLKJHGF WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME
Anyway, remember when I said I couldn't post a new chapter because I got my final exams to worry over? Well what do you know, I decided to just don't give a about them AND WRITE A NEW CHAPTER FOR YOU ALL INSTEAD BECAUSE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU ARE SO GODDAMN AMAZING AS ALWAYS AND THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR 'GOOD LUCK's AND LOVELY COMMENTS LET ME MARRY YOU ALL
I hope this chapter doesn't dissappoint you. I'm not trying to give any excuses but I'm writing this in one night and didn't actually have the chance to read it again from the beginning, because really, I have to study *cries and stabs myself with my pen* but I hope you'll enjoy this!
Oh, and good news! For those who asked me to write about Lu Han and his algebra girl, you finally got your wish, girls! I just got this great idea of what I'm going to write for his story, and also, Chanyeol's side story will be posted next week (I hope so). Yeol's chapter is going to be all fluff and games, so if you're enjoying my previous chapter starring fluffy!Baek maybe you'll like this one too :)
Don't forget to leave comments below. Don't be a silent reader, guys, come talk to me. I want to be friends with you all! I'll be sure to read and reply to each of your comments. Tell me what you think about this chapter and also, tell me which side story should I post first? Luhan's or Chanyeol's? :)
If you enjoy reading my story, would you please give me some support and click here ? Just one click, I promise! :D