RECOUNTING THE TIME
Have you ever had a day where everything just goes so wrong in your eyes and everyone just seems too aggravating that you can’t even look at them properly anymore?
This day was a lot, much worse than that.
After the Baekhyun-sleeping-with-a-random--in-my-room incident, you decided to set off to an empty dance studio to release the tension you had in your mind. Dancing had always been a way for you to channel your anger or sadness, or in some rare occasions, to express your joyful feelings—which didn't happen quite a lot anymore due to several reasons. Besides, you had to train more often to prepare yourself for your spring’s show so it really was a wise decision; killing two birds with one stone, they say.
But then, you just couldn’t stop thinking of Baekhyun. Of his smirk. Of his words. Of everything he just did to you. Your mind just couldn’t concentrate so you always messed up your own dance steps—a routine which you should've remembered by heart by now.
“Damn it!” You grunted when you failed to do the chasse movement—that one of the most basic dance moves where you were supposed to stand with your weight on one foot and then shifted the weight while still in a plie stance, before you finally jumped so both of your feet were vertical together in the air. You twisted your right ankle in the process and it hurt so badly. You felt tears started to sting on the corner of your eyes, but you struggled to prevent them from falling. You threw your body down to the floor, lying down on the hard surface so you could stare at the studio’s ceiling, and slammed your fists multiple times to the hard wooden floor. “Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!” It hurt like a , but you didn’t care. The pain didn’t feel half as bad as what you felt in your ankle, and you didn’t even try to compare it to the wounded feelings you had in your heart because the winner was obvious.
At some point, you felt like you wanted to cry over everything that happened today. But everytime you were about to do so, you remembered that it was not worth it. He was not worth it. You kept repeating it to yourself that you were stronger than this.
You knew Baekhyun was playing a joke on you, like always. Even if this one seemed a lot horrible than every joke he ever pulled before, it was still his way of having fun. Or so you thought because honestly, you didn’t have any single clue why Baekhyun was doing that kind of thing to you.
You clenched your jaw in annoyance when you heard Baekhyun’s voice coming into your hearing zone in a playful manner. Why the are you here, you wanted to shout so loudly in his ears until they bleed, but on the outside, you just decided to ignore him and tried to bottle down your feelings.
He's not worth it.
But you were confused; not only because of his sudden appearance, but also because of the true reasons why you were so angry with him. Yes, you had the right to be furious of what he did, because honestly, he used your bed to have with some random in the middle of the afternoon, without your permission. You said you trusted him, and then he just threw all of that away by letting her in. He didn’t even seem to be ashamed right now, as he approached your spot with his usual smirk. That was more than a reason to be infuriated by him.
But the more illogical reason of why you were so upset at the moment was because you didn’t think you would be hurting so much like this. You had boundaries. You weren’t supposed to like him more than his physical appearance. You didn’t have any special relationship with him to begin with, so it shouldn’t have mattered what he did with other girls because he was nothing to you. He should be nothing to you and you knew that. Byun Baekhyun wasn’t even your friend, although yes, you two had been spending a lot of time together, but both of you still claimed that you hated each other, right? You despised each other. You only used each other for , and that was it. That was how it supposed to be. Nothing more.
So why, then?
Why am I feeling like this?
You didn’t realize it before because you were too filled with anger, but now that you already had time to figure it out for a bit, it finally sank in. This feeling, this kind of pain you felt when you saw him sleeping with another girl right in front of your eyes and smirked at you as if it was something to be proud of, reminded you of how you felt when Kris decided to leave town without you on his side. You also had a glimpse of your father abandoning you for another woman. Of your mother’s death, leaving you alone in the world. It was similar to the feeling when a bride got left alone in the altar, just a second before saying ‘I do’.
It hurt so, so damn much.
“I’ve never seen you dance before,” Baekhyun said, hands casually tucked inside his pockets, as he got closer to your side and leaned down to look at your pathetic figure sprawling on the floor. “But seeing how unprofessional you are right now, slacking off in the middle of the practice like this? I say you’re a horrible dancer.”
You literally had to hold your breath down, so you wouldn’t try to skin him alive right there, right then.
You tried to bear and ignore the pain on your ankle for a moment as you stood up from the ground. Without looking at him, you walked—putting a lot of effort not to limp your way out—to the nearest wall. You didn’t say a word, and kept up your attempt in trying to hold yourself up by your own strength.
Beads of sweat starting to form on your temple and you bit your bottom lip to keep yourself from groaning in pain. When you had your hand to the wall to steady yourself, you crawled slowly to your belongings that you set on the corner of the dance studio.
Baekhyun, of course, noticed what you were trying to hide.
“Sweetheart,” he called, voice unbelievably soft, “are you okay? You look weird.”
Silence. You didn’t even let your eyes answer him.
“Hey,” Baekhyun called, voice getting a bit louder and demanding as he followed your steps. “I’m talking to you.”
Keep moving, just... keep moving.
“Yah!” Baekhyun suddenly took you by the wrist and turned you to look at him by force. “Look at me when I’m—”
You didn’t know what he saw in your eyes, but the second he did, he stopped talking and just looked at you with searching eyes and parted lips. “You...” he started, sounding unsure and confused as he analyzed your expression. “You're upset.”
Oh, am I? You clenched your jaw.
“Do I want to know why you’re so pissed-off right now?” he asked again, slowly letting you go, and this time his eyes seemed a little bit worried. But looks could be deceiving, you learned. His whole existence could be deceiving.
You didn’t reply anything back. You didn’t even throw a glance at him. Because after pulling a lot of thought, you realized that you just... Well, you just didn’t care anymore.
You were done.
You were done with all of this.
You were done with him.
“Give me back my key,” you said, voice cold and stern but not enough to give yourself away. You silently praised yourself for not stuttering halfway through your sentence.
Baekhyun rummaged one of his jeans’ pockets with one hand and pulled out your room’s key. “Here,” he said, letting the key rest on his palm so you could take it yourself. When you reached out to grab it, he pulled it away from your reach and just grinned at you, “Oops, too fast for you, Slowpoke!”
You finally landed your stare at him. “Baekhyun.”
“Yes~?” Baekhyun swirled the key around his fingers.
“Give me back my key.”
“Beg for it.” He did that one infuriating godforsaken smirk and you almost punched him on the face, but you successfully held yourself back at the last moment. He didn’t seem to catch how angry you were with him—or at least, he didn’t care. Instead of doing what you told him to do or apologizing for what he did, he placed a hand on your right cheek and leaned his face closer until his lips were moving against the side of your throat when he purred, “You know how I love it when you beg for me, don’t you, Sweetheart?"
You thought your palms were about to bleed from how hard you were pressing your nails to them. You tried to ease your breath when you coldly stated, “Baek, I’m not in the mood.”
“Oh, really?” Baekhyun pulled back away just to give you a seductive look from his eyes and he his lower lip as he said, “Then let’s change that, shall we?”
Before you knew it, you were shoved back to the wall and he pressed his body closer to you in every way possible. He tilted your face up and kissed you with so much force. If that incident didn’t happen, this would have been an effective way for him to sweep you off your feet, but that wasn’t the case right now.
You just simply didn’t kiss back.
Baekhyun, being the stubborn brat he was, was not willing to just give up and ask you what was wrong. He tried to do everything he could: swiping his tongue on your lower lip, tangling his right hand on your hair, grinding his hips to yours. But you were still in control and stayed immobile.
Frustrated, he pulled away with a scowl on his face. “Take off your shirt,” he demanded.
You stared fiercely back at him. “No.”
Baekhyun threw an intense look before he gripped the hem of your shirt and started lifting it off without permission.
“If you keep doing this,” you said with an unwavering voice, even though you were a bit scared of the possibilities of him forcing himself on you. “You’ll be considered as a , Baek.”
“A ? Me?” He actually laughed, but his hands stopped when the hem just reached above your waistline. “Do enlighten me, Sweetheart, how is this considered as ? You know you want this just as much as I do.”
You almost snapped and slapped him on the face. Almost. “No, I don’t.”
He just chuckled mockingly. “Yes,” he whispered, kissing your ear before he continued, “you do.”
Couldn’t stand it any longer, you threw him back with a hard shove on his chest; you nearly sent him falling to the floor.
That seemed to slap him awake. “So is this how you wanna play?” he asked, eyes growing hard and frightening.
“I just want my key back,” you answered lightly. “Now.”
Baekhyun glowered like he wanted to drown you alive before he finally let out an exasperated sigh and just dropped your key back to your hand. After placing it back to your pocket, you gathered your belongings and put them inside your sports bag. You threw a towel around your neck and hung your bag on one of your shoulders before proceeding to walk away.
“Hey!” Baekhyun called again, voice sounding pretty desperate and upset. “What the is going on? Where are you going?!”
You closed your eyes for a second to settle your breath. You put on a smile on your face as you turned back on your heels to face him straight up. “Baekhyun,” you said, smiling with your lips but not with your eyes. “I’m done with you.”
Then you walked your way out through the door, leaving Baekhyun all confused, frustrated and angry as hell.
That actually went better than you thought it would be.
When you said you were done with him, you actually meant it. You couldn’t even believe it yourself at first: that you could just go on without having to look and drool all over him like you used to. That you could just see him on the lunch table or walk past him in the hallway without giving a damn about his existence. Yes, you still felt hurt from what he did and actually, it suffered you to not be able to talk to him easily, or to share secret mischievous glances, or to talk about how gross Chanyeol and his girlfriend were and about how Lu Han wouldn’t be able to have with the Algebra Girl even after a thousand years passed by.
Sometimes, you just missed Baekhyun so much, you wanted to cry yourself to sleep.
But then you remembered his words—Have I treated you right?—and it always felt like a slap on your face, making you realize that Baekhyun just didn’t care about your feelings. Or about you in general. He just took you for granted like any other girls in this damn campus. He’d never thought about you in the way you had thought about him. He never felt the same way. He used you and that was it.
So the last thing you could do to repay him was just by acting that you didn’t care about him just as much as he didn’t care about you.
It wasn’t easy, though, considering how Baekhyun kept on trying to gain your attention back to him.
One time, when you were just doing some research on the library to help you finish your two thousand words of English paper, Baekhyun sneaked behind you and pressed you against a dusty bookshelf.
“Hey, Sweetheart,” Baekhyun said, eyes twinkling in seduction. “This place is so boring, want to do something fun together?”
You just smiled back and gave out a simple “no” as an answer before you pushed him away. You heard Baekhyun cursing under his breath when you walked away to search for more poetry books to read. There were two kinds of action Baekhyun usually did at that kind of situation: groaning in protest but leaving you alone for the day, or trying harder until he could achieve what he wanted. He never did though, so at the end of the day he just gave up and left you alone.
Whenever he went away to leave you alone, you always placed your gaze on his back until he disappeared from your sight. It was hard for you to hold back your voice from calling him back before he leave, but you managed to do it.
The two of you kept on seeing each other during lunch, because well, you didn’t want the rest of your friends to notice something was going on between you and Baekhyun. It was already tiring enough for you when your best friend found out that you and Baekhyun were buddies and yet she still kept on shipping you with the eyeliner douchebag. You weren’t interested in telling her what your situation with him now.
You thanked God more than often for creating two obnoxious, insensitive guys named Park Chanyeol and Lu Han, because without those two es, you wouldn’t have beem able to go through the day easily. Lu Han, being the bastard he was, always thought that talking about the Algebra Girl was entertaining for everyone, so everytime your group sat together to grab some lunch, Lu Han always babbled about his effort in trying to get the said girl’s attention—which always ended up in vain, of course, but that’s not the point—and it made the situation between you and Baekhyun less suffocating.
“Guys, guys, listen up,” Chanyeol suddenly said, cutting Lu Han off from explaining how, quote, “her new skirt makes her look so delicious, I think I want to bang her in front of everyone, and I know I said to you all es that you have to treat your women right, but DAMN, that girl is SO hot, I don’t think I’ll be able to hold myself back,” end quote.
“Right at the best part of the story, Yeol, fantastic,” Lu Han muttered, glaring at his ramen-haired dongsaeng.
“Hyung, I’m sorry, but this is a serious matter,” Chanyeol said, face dead serious.
“Yes, please, do listen to him,” Minseok joined in, silently sipping his coffee. “Otherwise, I have to deal with that myself tonight and I don’t want to. Not for the billionth time, thank you very much.”
“Aren’t you majoring in psychology?” Baekhyun, who was sitting right across you, asked, while slowly taking his eyes off you and altered them to Minseok.
Minseok nodded lightly. “Yeah, so?”
“Aren’t you supposed to, I don't know like, listen to people’s problems and try to solve them?”
Minseok slowly shook his head. His eyes were ghastly. “Not this one, no.”
“Why? What’s so hard about listening to people?” Baekhyun said. “I mean, I don’t do that, but...”
Minseok just shrugged. “Just wait and see. Chanyeol is a bit different.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Chanyeol threw a pout at Minseok but decided to just let it go. “I have something I want to ask all of you people,” he said after he took a hold of his girlfriend’s hand in his. “The two of us...” He spared a long, sorrowful look to his girlfriend and finally broke their eye contacts after she gave a similar sad look and said, “It’s okay, baby. You can say it.”
Lu Han was clearly still upset from what Chanyeol said before. “Stop acting like you’re in a cheap Justin Bieber’s MV and get to the point!” he barked.
“We think that...” Chanyeol took a deep, utterly heavy sigh. “We feel that we’re in the brink of our happiness as a couple.”
“What?” you asked, a little bit surprised since this was the first time you'd ever heard something like this happened to them. “I thought you two were happy. I mean, you still make me want to gauge my eyes out everytime I see you two, being all clingy and gross like rabbits in a farm.”
“What even...” Lu Han frowned at your random words.
“Oh, we’re happy, all right?” Chanyeol stated, kissing the back of his girlfriend’s hand once—and made the rest of your group groan in unison—before he continued, “That’s actually the problem. We’re too happy.”
“I’m sorry,” Lu Han interrupted, raising a hand in the air and said, “I didn’t sign up for this bull.”
“Lu Han,” Minseok said, voice low and threatening. “Be quite and listen.”
Lu Han, who was about to stand up and leave, settled himself back on the seat and pouted. “Baozi, you meanie,” he grumbled softly.
“So then what the hell is the problem?” you asked, bringing all the attention back to the topic.
“We are...” Chanyeol hesitated but his girlfriend nodded encouragingly. “We are bored with our situation. Our relationship lacks that dynamic thing, you know?”
“What, like ?” Lu Han suddenly looking all interested.
“No, Hyung, it’s like...” Chanyeol tapped his chin, thinking carefully. “Like, other couples always fight over something, right? See, we don’t do that. We don’t fight with each other.”
“I’m sorry,” Baekhyun chimed in. “Are you asking us that you two want to fight?”
“I don’t know.” Chanyeol looked to his girlfriend and asked, “Do we want to fight?” She shook her head. “No, we don’t want to fight,” Chanyeol clarified.
Lu Han was screaming at that point. “Then what the do you want?!”
“See?” Minseok spoke to Baekhyun, referring to their earlier arguments. “Different.” Baekhyun nodded sympathetically and patted Minseok's back for being so patient about this before.
“We don’t know! That’s why we’re asking you!” Chanyeol threw his hands in the air. “We need something to spice up our love life a little bit.”
Then something flashed in Lu Han’s eyes and he suddenly stood up from his seat with a wide grin on his face. “Ah, if that’s the case, Park Chanyeol. You have come to the right person!” He fixed his eyeglasses—yes, people, the Chinese dork was currently wearing a fake eyeglasses so he could look a lot smarter in intention to impress the Algebra Girl, but clearly she wasn’t impressed by it—and said, “Okay, let’s start our lesson on how to spice up your life—”
You corrected, “Love life.”
“—love life before it gets so boring; it makes you two want to kill yourselves. Or worse,” Lu Han stopped to put a more dramatic tone, “sleep with other people.”
Baekhyun commented, “How is sleeping with other people worse than killing yourself, I don’t even know.”
Chanyeol locked his gaze with his girlfriend’s. “I’d rather kill myself than sleeping with other woman, you know that, right? I only want you.”
Her eyes were starting to tear a bit at that point. “I only want you too, Park Chanyeol. Forever.”
“And ever,” Chanyeol finished it, pressing a kiss on her temple.
Minseok suddenly stood up. “Okay, I didn’t sign up for this bull.” He grabbed his bag and left.
“Minseok-hyung, you can’t just—!” Baekhyun protested when the said boy hurriedly went through the cafeteria’s door.
“Lucky bastard,” you murmured.
“Students, attention please!” Lu Han said, clapping his hands together. His eyes were gleaming with fiery passion. He stepped away from his seat and clasped his hands together behind his back as he walked slowly, circling the table. He didn’t seem to care that there were a lot of scholars watching him with judging eyes and what-the--is-he-doing looks on their faces. Lu Han was in his moment. His posture reminded you to the hairy teacher—that white rodent who frighteningly walked with his two back legs—in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle: The Series.
“I have been through this problem before, and let me assure you, my sons and daughters,” Lu Han wisely said, “even though the road to get there is hard and long and windy—”
“Cut the crap, Lu Han,” Baekhyun snapped.
“—the end will be worth it,” Lu Han finished. “Be patient, and your life—”
You coughed. “Love life!”
“—love life, goddamn it!” Then he cleared his throat and closed his eyes for a moment to calm himself down. When he opened his eyes, they were full of wisdom (or crap, if you want to think it differently). “Your love life,” he stopped to give you a soft smile and you raised your thumb for him. “would be as amazing as it used to be.”
“Lu Han-seonsaengnim!” Chanyeol said, grabbing Lu Han’s hand as he begged, “I need your guidance! Teach me your ways!”
“Park Chanyeol!” Lu Han shouted, voice booming through the cafeteria. “The first thing you two should do is make a tape!”
A moment of silence.
“Chanyeol, honey,” you said, as if Lu Han didn’t just say something so outrageously crazy. “Let me lend you my Cosmo magazine, okay? It has more reasonable answers than this ed-up Chinese dude just said.”
“How rude!” Lu Han gasped loudly, slamming a hand to his heart. “And racist!”
“Actually,” Baekhyun responded, “I quite agree with what Lu Han just said.”
You secretly rolled your eyes. This was so typical of him. Baekhyun always tried to contradict your words to get your attention and you ignored him everytime and just thought of how childish he was.
“Please continue,” your friend said, and you were so surprised that she was actually considering this kind of advice.
“Baekhyun, my best apprentice! Explain it to the peasants!” Lu Han shouted proudly, only to get a secondhand embarrassment glare from his so-called student.
“See, maybe the reason you two are getting bored with your relationship,” Baekhyun explained, “is because your life is too... I don’t know, normal? Lack of surprise? Always use the same position over and over again?”
“Positions...” Chanyeol tapped his chin, looking deep in thoughts. “How many positions are there? Because I only know one.”
“Oh, poor baby!” Lu Han exclaimed loudly, hugging Chanyeol by the shoulders and cradled his head on his arms. “There, there, everything will be all right. Lulu will teach you everything you want to know, okay, Yeollie?”
“Seonsaengnim!” Chanyeol hugged him back, circling his long limbs around Lu Han’s stomach.
Your face contorted with disgust at that point.
“In any case,” Baekhyun continued. “Your life is getting too boring.”
Your friend blushed. “We... well...”
“I’m willing to learn!” Chanyeol chirped in excitedly and you wanted to face palm.
Baekhyun leaned back to his seat. “Great, then you can start by filming.”
“Filming...” Chanyeol hesitated. “As in filming us having ?”
“No, filming you two making birthday cakes together,” Lu Han said impatiently—so much for being a teacher. “Duh! Of course!”
“H-how?” Your friend asked.
“You’re seriously considering it?” You gaped. “Honestly! That’s the worst advice ev—”
“THAT’S THE BEST ADVICE EVER!” Chanyeol jumped giddily. “Because by watching it, we can see our mistakes and learn through them, and do the positions we haven’t done before and see how they look—oh wow, I can feel myself getting excited already!”
“By ‘excited’,” you grimaced. “I hope you’re not talking about that thing in your pants.”
“Lu Han-seonsaengnim, Baekhyun-seonsaengnim!” Chanyeol called loudly, congratulating them one by one by shaking their hands. “I will make you proud!”
“Oh, Chanyeol!” Lu Han hugged him by the shoulders. “You have grown up so much!”
“WHY AM I FRIENDS WITH YOU GUYS!” You wanted to yank your hair out in that moment. Your friend just shyly laughed and obediently followed Chanyeol’s steps to wherever-place-they’re-going-to-use-to-film-their-new--positions and you were honestly worried about her.
“Have a great time, my lovelies~” Lu Han grinned widely as he waved the two naive people goodbye. “Now, that those two dorks are gone,” he sat down back to his seat just beside yours and laced his fingers together on the table. “I want to know what the happened between you two.”
You were just drinking when he suddenly said that and you almost choked on your own orange juice. “I'm sorry, what?”
“Stop lying, you . Do you think I don’t know about this?” Lu Han asked, squinting his eyes in a cute I’m-mad-at-you way. “Of course, I know! Who do you think I am?”
“A bastard?” Baekhyun tried.
You joined in. “A two-timing ?”
“A selfish, insolent punk?”
“The son of Satan?”
“A third-class gigolo?” Baekhyun said, and as much as you hated it, you thought that was a great one and you almost failed to contain your laughter.
Lu Han waited until the two of you had nothing left to say. “Finished?” he asked, folding his arms on his chest.
Baekhyun opened his mouth. “I still have one more—”
“That was a rhetorical question, you .” Lu Han glared.
Baekhyun held up his hands as if he was surrendering. “Whatever, .”
The older boy sighed and shifted his gaze away from him so now he was looking at you. “Look, we’ve been friends since forever, okay? I know something is not right and I know it has something to do with this—” Lu Han pointed his finger rudely to Baekhyun. “—bastard.”
“The last time I checked, I’m a legal child. And for your information, I didn’t do anything wrong,” Baekhyun claimed and you just stared at him.
“Shut up for a sec, will you?” Lu Han barked at him.
“There’s nothing to be said, really,” you said, lying for a better cause. “We’re okay. Aren’t we, Baekhyun?” You gave him a smile and the other man fell into silence.
Lu Han shifted his eyes back and forth between the two of you and sighed. “Look, okay, maybe this is not my place to just in into your problems. But I know something’s wrong. So whatever it is, I want you two to work it out, okay?”
You just smiled back to Lu Han, and he ruffled your hair softly before he brought you into a hug. You were sure you were the only one who could hear his next words, “Don’t smile like that if you don’t mean it. It hurts me.”
After he let you go, leaving you quiet and frozen, Lu Han stood up and grabbed his bag from the lunch table. “Baekhyun,” Lu Han called, “If you hurt her, you’re gonna have to answer to me.”
Baekhyun raised his face up to look at him. “Oh shut up, Hyung, you can’t even throw a punch—”
Baekhyun couldn’t finish his words because Lu Han suddenly grabbed him by the collar and pulled him up from his seat until they were facing each other right on the eyes. You gasped and felt your heart starting to thump faster because Lu Han had never acted like this before. He was never a big fan of violence, you remembered, but now...
“I swear, Baekhyun,” Lu Han said in the most frightening voice you had ever heard coming out from his mouth. “If you hurt her, I’m going to hurt you back.”
“Hey, you two—” You immediately tried to push them away from each other because people were starting to place their attentions on the two boys. You swore that you just heard someone chanting “Fight, fight, fight!” in the background. “Stop it, okay? Not in here. Please.”
“You understand me?” Lu Han asked and Baekhyun just glared back but not answering anything until finally the slightly taller boy pushed him away with a hard shove and walked his way out of the cafeteria.
At that moment, you didn’t think what Lu Han said to him would pull any kind of reaction from the eyeliner boy. Your theory was proven wrong shortly after.
On the following day, at about three hours away to midnight, the loud knocking sounds on your door startled you, breaking the silence you were once in. Getting up from the couch, you threw your English poetry book back to your desk before you strolled away to open the door.
You opened it and you saw Baekhyun, standing in an empty hallway because everybody was either back to their own rooms or went out clubbing or something because today was a Saturday night. You didn’t think Baekhyun would be here, to be honest.
“Good night, Baekhyun,” you quickly said and almost successfully closed your door again, but Baekhyun swung one of his arms inside just at the last second and you didn’t actually have the heart to slam the door and clamp his arm in the process.
“We need to talk,” Baekhyun said, pushing the door open.
“No.” You pushed back but you were too weak to hold up against his strength. “Go away, Baekhyun, I don’t want to talk!”
“Just listen to me for a sec!” Baekhyun shoved himself against the door and you yelped when you couldn’t hold it down any longer and just backed away so the door hit the sidewall, welcoming Baekhyun to your sight.
“What?!” You demanded, staring at him with bulging eyes. “What do you want?!”
He pressed his lips tightly and just looked at you, searching what you were hiding behind your eyes as he walked closer to you.
“Stay away from me,” you begged, taking a step back every time he took a step forward.
Baekhyun flinched at the tone you were using and he stopped on his tracks. You sounded like you were afraid of him. Like you were so disgusted of him.
He exhaled softly and asked brokenly, “Do you hate me that much now?”
You shivered at the sudden softness in his voice. “What?”
Baekhyun swallowed his breath and ran a hand through his hair desperately. “Look,” he said, “I don’t know what I’ve done wrong, okay? I honestly don’t know why you’re so angry at me.”
Today was not a good day for you. You were tired and restless. You got scolded for so, almost too many times today for being late to classes, for not doing any homework you were supposed to, for not remembering your dance steps at rehearsals. Everything, everything just went so wrong and you were not in the mood to argue over anything—let alone about this one.
So you couldn’t put your calm, tranquil mask on as usual.
You just snapped.
“You don’t know what’s wrong?!” You repeated so loudly and so sudden, you made him wince from your tone. “Baekhyun! You had on my bed with some I don’t know without my permission. Do you understand what’s wrong now? Do you?!”
“I had my reasons, okay?” He blurted back. “After I woke up, I read your note, and I wanted to go back to my own room but it was locked and Lu Han wasn’t there, and I didn’t bring my key, so—”
“So you just brought back a girl to my room and slept with her here, is that what you’re trying to say?” You threw your hands in the air furiously. “God, Baekhyun! I can’t ing believe you! Do you know that I’ve been sleeping on my own couch because of you? Do you know how disgusting my bed feels to me right now? DO YOU?”
“You can just change the sheets—”
“That’s not the ing point!”
“FINE! I didn’t mean to, all right?” Baekhyun yelled back, sounding even more frustrated. “She and I were just talking and then she just suddenly—”
“SHUT UP!” You threw something at him and hit him on the chest—a book, probably, but you just didn’t care at the moment. “Do I look like I want to know what happened between you and that —honestly, Baekhyun!” Your eyes starting to grow hot and wet from all the fury you had in you. You were so mad, and hurt, but at the same time you just missed him so badly. You didn’t know which feeling was stronger at the moment.
“Look, I’m sorry,” Baekhyun said, calming you down. “If that’s what you want to hear.”
“If that’s what I want—” You gasped. “OH, YOU!”
“HEY!” Baekhyun shouted. “I don’t know why the heck are you so pissed-off about this! I said I’m sorry for using your room to sleep with that girl, but that’s it, right? I didn’t do anything wrong other than that and you know it!”
You opened your mouth but nothing came out, because he was right. You were supposed to be angry for that reason only. You didn’t have the right to be upset from the fact that he was sleeping with another girl. You didn’t have the right to feel hurt and betrayed because you weren’t in any kind of relationship with him. He was free to sleep with anyone, but you just couldn’t make the pain stop.
You wanted to yell, to scream, to cry, and to slap him until he got bruises all over his face, and to kiss and hug him all in the same time and it didn’t make sense. You weren’t making any sense, not even to yourself.
When you felt tears starting to threaten to fall down, you glanced away from him and quietly said, “Just go, Baek.”
“But—” Baekhyun protested and then you finally looked him in the eyes again, and you didn’t care if you were crying; you didn’t care if all of your emotions started to show on your face because damn it, you wanted him to know what he had done to you. For some reasons, you wanted him to know because he gave you hope, and he made you feel something about him in the way friends—let alone, enemies—shouldn’t have.
You wanted him to know that that night meant something to you.
That when he said ‘let me treat you right’, you actually believed him and gave in to your feelings.
And that you wanted him to know how he just threw all of that in your face. With a smirk, and a girl writhing underneath him.
Even thinking about that image wrecked your heart once again.
“Please,” you begged, voice breaking and caught in your throat. “Just go, Baekhyun.”
After spending maximum five seconds staring at you with a confused but concerned look on his face, he moved his feet back to the door.
A second before you shut your door, you heard a small, soft whisper of, “Please, don’t cry.”
Your fight with Baekhyun lasted for days—weeks, even. It was getting worse to the point where you two couldn’t actually bear to stay in the same room with each other. Take those lunch hours, for example. When Baekhyun was there first before you come in, you suddenly turned and went to the opposite direction, not wanting to see him and have to deal with all the drama again. You were somewhat in shame because you were sure Baekhyun noticed why you were so upset and couldn’t look at him in the eyes ever again. You were certain that he now knew perfectly how you felt about him.
You sighed as you plopped down on an empty bench on the corner of the campus’ backyard. “I wonder if this is why he made those ‘boundaries’?” you asked to no one in particular. “So we wouldn’t feel like this?” Then you actually chuckled to yourself. “Who am I kidding? It’s probably only me who feels like this.”
“Feels like what?” Chanyeol suddenly popped up in your line of vision.
“Chanyeol!” You slapped his shoulder when he laughed at your expression. “You scared me! What are you doing here?”
Chanyeol took a seat beside you. “Waiting for my girl. She’s still in class.”
“Your girl happened to be my best friend and you stole her away from me.” You playfully pouted and he grinned while mouthing ‘Sorry’.
“What are you doing here?” Chanyeol asked, taking a lunch box from his bag. “Why aren’t you with the rest of the gang, eating lunch at the cafeteria?”
“Eew stop saying the word ‘gang’, I feel like I’m one of those street drug dealers.” You made a face.
“You’re too pretty to be a drug dealer, if you ask me.”
You threw a small smile at that. “And that’s why I like you, Yeollie.”
“But my girl’s prettier.” He actually winked.
“Aaaand we’re back,” you sighed loudly, poking his stomach until he started cackling. “Anyway, I just don’t feel like eating, so I went here. You know, to sort my mind out or whatever.”
“Hmm...” Chanyeol unwrapped a nice homemade sandwich and said, “Want to take a bite? Your best friend made it for me.” Then he grinned widely. “It’s filled with love, so I know it’s going to taste good.”
“You know, Yeollie,” you said, narrowing your eyes at him. “Whenever you talk, you always make me either want to slap you with a hammer, or vomit my insides until my kidney gets stuck in my throat.”
“Woah, that’s not a pretty image,” Chanyeol said good-naturedly, faking a wince but then he laughed. His laughter turned into silence when he realized that you weren’t mirroring his action. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong.” Answering like that was starting to be kind of a habit for you since the day you and Baekhyun got into a fight.
Chanyeol stopped munching on his sandwich and sighed as if he was the one with the problem. “Hey, I know I seem stupid—”
“You’re not stupid.”
“I know, that’s why I said ‘seem’.”
“But hey,” Chanyeol said again, making you turn and look at him in the eyes. “I know that you and Baekhyun are in some kind of a fight right now.”
You didn’t realize that you were putting a tired smile on your face. “Too obvious, huh?”
“Well, kind of.” He shrugged. “Actually, everybody knows from how you behave around each other, but since I’m so insensitive, I didn’t know about it at first. I only know now because Baekhyun came to me last night.”
Hearing Baekhyun’s name over and over again was a bit too hard for you to handle for a moment, but you decided to deal with it. “Did he?” you asked, didn’t actually care, but for the sake of the conversation, you just kept it up.
“Yeah.” Chanyeol took another bite of his sandwich and he moaned when he tasted it in his mouth. “God, this tastes so good. I’m totally gonna ask her to marry me one day.”
“Whoa, easy there, Tiger,” you said, unconsciously smiling at his behavior.
“I’m serious, this tastes like heaven!” He swallowed and continued on his previous topic. “Anyway, he came to me last night, looking all stressed out and depressed, and even though, I was, uhh....” He cleared his throat awkwardly before he settled down with “...busy at the moment, I let him in and listened to what he wanted to say.”
You just hummed lightly, not taking any of that information into heart.
“Do you want to know what he said?” Chanyeol asked and he had to ask it twice until you blinked and looked at him with half-aware eyes.
“I’m sorry?” you asked, didn’t catch his words quite clearly.
“Between you and me,” Chanyeol said in a whisper. His well-rounded eyes moving back and forth to observe his surroundings, making sure that you two were alone. “I don’t think I’m supposed to tell you this, but I think you should know.” He rummaged his bags for a minute, trying to find something. He muttered something impatiently before finally shouting, “Aha! Here it is!” and pulled out a digital camera from his bag. “Here you go.”
You took it from his large hands. “What is this?”
“A camera,” Chanyeol answered matter-of-factly.
“I know it’s a camera, Park Chanyeol.” You rolled your eyes. “What I want to know is why are you giving this to me?”
“Then you should’ve asked ‘why are you giving this to me, Yeollie?’ instead of that.” Chanyeol imitated your previous action, before he grinned and bumped your shoulder with his.
“You hang out with Lu Han way too much, Yeol,” you muttered back, smiling a bit.
Chanyeol was back on casually eating his sandwich. “Just turn it on and press play.”
You searched the camera for the power button and did as he said. “Like this?” You pressed ‘play’ and a video started playing in a small screen at the backside of the camera.
The screen showed a close-up shot of Chanyeol as he tried to place the camera at a table. When he backed away from it a little, you noticed that he was only wearing his boxers and the camera was facing the bed. This room seemed quite familiar to you before it finally hit you on the head that you had been there once when you were told to apologize to Chanyeol. It was Minseok and Chanyeol’s room.
Minseok wasn’t there. An empty bed. And a half- Chanyeol.
“YAH!” You almost threw away the camera when the realization fell upon you. “Is this your video?! Why are you showing this to me?!”
“Relax, it’s not my video,” Chanyeol chuckled. “At least not the complete version of it.”
“Hello, uhh... I’m Park Chanyeol,” the on screen Chanyeol said awkwardly as he kneeled on the ground, facing the camera, and you tried, really tried to ignore how broad Chanyeol’s shoulders were, but it was a nearly impossible thing to do. “So... err... The thing is, we’re—I’m supposed to, uhh, what am I saying? What do you even say when you’re making a tape?” he continued hastily with an awkward laugh.
You frowned; feeling a bit horrified to continue. “Why am I watching this, Yeol?”
“So, yeah, I’m waiting for my girlfriend now. She’s, uh, she’s getting ready,” on screen Chanyeol said, blushing a little and you thought he was rather cute at that moment. “I don’t even know why she needs to ‘get ready’,” he made an air quote with his fingers, “I mean, she’s already so beautiful and perfect, and God, I’m sorry I’m rambling, I just love her so—” He was being cut off with a knocking sound on the door. On screen Chanyeol furrowed his eyebrows and muttered something inaudible before he walked to the direction of the door and he was out of the sight. The camera only showed an empty bed with some flowers—are those roses? Ouch—scattered everywhere on top of it. There were voices in the background and you couldn’t hear them well, until Chanyeol appeared on the screen again with somebody following right behind him.
“God, how many times do I have to tell you?” Chanyeol scolded quite loudly, and although you couldn’t see his face because he was standing too close to the camera, you could picture his expression well in your head—his face colored with exasperation, one eye wider than the other as he knitted his eyebrows together. “I told you not to get into fights! Jesus, we’re not in high school anymore, okay?”
“Well, they started it!”
You recognized his voice as easy as seeing the stars in the clear sky after the storm. You felt something uncomfortable swirling inside your chest and you wanted to throw the camera away. At some point, maybe you actually did, because you were sure Chanyeol was shouting, “DON’T BREAK THE CAMERA, MY LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!”, but you calmed yourself down and continued staring down at the screen.
The screen showed Baekhyun sitting on Chanyeol’s bed, but since Chanyeol, being the amateur he was, placed the camera in a table way too low than it should’ve been, you could only see Baekhyun’s lips when he talked, but not his eyes. The camera didn’t record half upper part of his face, but it still managed to give a clue about the expression he was wearing on his face by the gestures of his hand and the rest of his body. For now, Baekhyun was holding his palm against his left jaw, rubbing the pain off slowly after, you assumed, someone had landed some mean hook on it.
Chanyeol sighed and rummaged his mini fridge—you noticed by the sounds—and went to sit down beside Baekhyun after giving him an ice pack. Baekhyun’s shoulders slumped forward in weariness, but the rest of his body was still tense and restless. He grabbed the ice pack and placed it to his bruised jaw, hissing when his skin met the cold.
“Are you okay?” Chanyeol asked, sounding just as drained as he was.
“Maybe,” Baekhyun said nonchalantly, “after you explain to me why the holy are you half in your room with roses on your bed.”
“D-don’t worry about it.” Chanyeol waved his hands, trying to be all cool and laid back but his nervous chuckle gave him away. “T-this is just how I like to spoil myself sometimes.”
“Of course,” the other boy replied, clearly didn’t believe anything Chanyeol just said. You thought Baekhyun was going to mutter something else about that topic but the boy just grew silent, holding an ice pack in one hand, and tapping a spot on his thigh worriedly with his fingers on the other hand.
“Do you want to tell me what happened?” Chanyeol asked again, maybe noticing there was something weird with the other boy too. “Why did you get into a fight, Baek?”
Baekhyun stayed quite for a couple of seconds until he uttered, “You know how people like to talk about me behind my back, right?”
Chanyeol didn’t answer, but you could imagine him being all sympathetic to him right now.
“And I don’t care. Yeol, I seriously don’t give a single about any of those things they say about me,” he continued, voice sinking in vexation. “But I just can’t help it when they say bad things about my friends. And this time, they said it straight to my face, Yeol! Like hell, I would just stay calm and pretend that I didn’t just hear anything!”
“They’re just screwing with you, Baek.” Chanyeol breathed out heavily, trying to be patience. “Who is it about this time? Lu Han-Hyung again? Baek, he doesn’t even care about it, so—”
“It’s not about him,” Baekhyun murmured under his breath. It was clear he was still trying to hold back his rage.
“Who, then?” Chanyeol tempted. “Baek, if you got into a fight for defending my pride, I’m honestly flattered but it’s not worth—”
“It’s not about you!” Baekhyun yelled, throwing a pillow to Chanyeol’s face. “It’s not about any of you, so just—” He let the sentence hung on the air but both of you and Chanyeol knew what he meant.
“It’s about her, isn’t it?” Chanyeol guessed and your heart jerked a bit, even though in some way, you had expected it coming.
Baekhyun didn’t acknowledge that but he didn’t reject it either. After a while, he just added, “They called her a .” You could see how his fingers curled into a ball of fist. “They didn’t even know who she was, but they called her a because they’ve seen her hanging around with me, and I just... I snapped. There were three guys, and I wasn’t even thinking, Yeol. I just felt so mad.”
Chanyeol didn’t say anything in return.
And you released the breath you had been unconsciously holding.
“I think I ed up, Yeol,” Baekhyun whispered. Somehow, his voice sounded tired, but you tried to ignore that fact and just believed that Baekhyun was acting, trying to gain some sympathy from his best friend so Chanyeol would take his side when you two decided to fight in public. But at this point, you didn’t think you could. Everything just seemed too real to be an act.
And then Baekhyun told Chanyeol what you two had been through in his perspective. You heard his point of view and no matter how hard you tried not to believe in what he was saying, you just couldn’t.
It turned out, Baekhyun was almost the exact opposite of how you thought he was.
“I screwed up, Yeol. God, I screwed up so bad, I don’t even know what to do this time!” Baekhyun said, and since you could only see his lips from the side, you couldn’t really tell what kind of expression he was putting on his face. “I shouldn’t have done this. I shouldn’t have asked her to do this with me. I should’ve controlled myself and just left her alone.”
“Then why didn’t you?” On screen Chanyeol, who was still only in his boxers, carefully asked, “Why didn’t you just leave her alone?”
Baekhyun’s lips stopped moving for a second or two, until he said in a whisper, almost inaudible, but you read his lips. “Because I couldn’t.” A tiny sigh, and, “Because I like her. Yeol, I like her.”
You didn’t remember that you were supposed to breathe to live at the moment.
“You know how she’s always being a pain in the , right? She’s so stubborn, and obnoxious, and selfish, and I’m supposed to hate all of that but—” When he exhaled, it sounded like he was trembling. “—she’s just so different, you know? She’s brave enough to stand up for herself, to talk back to me, or even scream at me when I do something she doesn’t like. I hated her at first, of course. Or so I thought, because...” His breath hitched a little when he carried on, “I mean, you know how selfish I am, right? How I don’t like to be ordered around? Yeah, I hated her so much at first, but then I realized that I was only trying to hate her. Like, I know deep down I don’t hate her anymore—maybe I never really did—but I try so hard to hate her because—”
“Because you’re afraid?” Chanyeol asked, shuddering a bit when the cold air hit his back. “Because you’re afraid that you might like her too much? Because you’re afraid she might like you back?”
Baekhyun fell into a pregnant silence. He parted his lips slowly and finally answered, “Yes.”
You let out a shaky breath.
Baekhyun scratched the back of his neck when he continued, “And then so many things happened, Yeol, and I was being stupid when I asked her to sleep with me. I thought that because she wasn’t into relationship and commitment and stuff, we would be okay. We could just fool around without having to talk about feelings and it was going to be just all fun and games, but I was wrong!”
He took a deep breath and exhaled. His body seemed tense and rigid, while his hands kept on moving in motion.
“After a while, I started to realize that I actually enjoy arguing with her. Can you believe that?” Baekhyun laughed a little but it was so soft, you wondered whether you missheard it. “I don’t know, Yeol, I think I just like it whenever she loses an argument or the way she would puff her cheeks and pout at me like—oh God, why am I saying this—I...” He stopped to regain his breath. “All I’m saying is, I just miss her when she’s not around, you know? As cliché as it sounds. And I just realized it now. And I’m regretting every second passing by without hearing her voice. Do you know that I’ve never even called her by her real name? I lost the chance, Chanyeol, and I don’t think I can ever get a second chance.” He bent his head down so his face was suddenly on the camera, and even though you could only see his side profile, you were grateful because you could catch a glimpse of his expression for those few seconds.
It was a kind of expression that seemed so familiar to you, because you had seen it often in the mirror, on your own reflection that was staring back at you with these sad, hurtful, longing eyes whenever you were thinking about the eyeliner boy and how much you missed him.
To see Baekhyun putting that kind of expression was heartbreaking, and it made you believe his words completely. Made you hope that he was being honest to the bones, because that kind of expression couldn’t be faked.
“I lost her, Chanyeol,” Baekhyun whispered, “and I want to get her back but I just don’t know how.”
“Why don’t you just tell her you like her?” on screen Chanyeol asked slowly after passing another awkward silence.
“Are you kidding me?” Baekhyun let out a small laugh with no humor in it. “After what I did to her, she deserves someone so much better than me. I always feel that we could have the chance to be together, you know? That we could've ended up like—well not as gross as you and your girl, but at least in some way—we could've been like that if we tried. But I was a coward—you know how afraid I am of commitment and s like that. It’s just not me.”
“Then just change,” Chanyeol commented, “you know, for her.”
“I can’t,” Baekhyun said, voice hurt and disappointed with himself. “It’s not as easy as that. Look, even if I do change, I’m already so ed-up, okay? My image is already ruined. I sleep with girls and don’t even care to remember their names. I talk without thinking. I run away from my problems. My family is wrecked. I’m famous for all of those things and—”
Chanyeol cut in, “If she likes you, she’s not going to care in any of those things you just said.”
“Don’t give me that crap, Yeol.” Baekhyun’s voice suddenly dropped ten times lower. “Don’t you see what just happened? Some guys just called her just because they saw her talking to me. They didn’t know anything about her, about our relationship, and they called her a !”
“They didn’t mean it, Baek. They just wanted to get some reaction out of you.”
“That’s not the point!” Baekhyun shouted in frustration. “Don’t you care about how she’s going to feel later? Let’s say that we’re dating right now, don’t you think she’s going to be hurt when some girls tell her the truth about me? How easy I am, sleeping with random people without too much consideration other than their looks? What if she thinks I’m going to cheat on her, Yeol? What if she doesn’t trust me? How do you think our relationship’s gonna work after that?”
“You’re thinking way too much on this, Baek.”
“Oh, am I?” Baekhyun snapped. “Look, I care about her so much, Chanyeol, but I just don’t want to take the risk and end up hurting her. That’s why I told her to obey the rules; to have boundaries; to let it be just , , and , without involving feelings. But I ed up!” Baekhyun yanked his own hair in frustration. “I messed it all up when I went to her room that night! I wasn’t being rational. I let my feelings overtook me. I was upset and I just really needed someone to talk to, and I was drunk so I couldn’t think straight, but somehow I ended up visiting her in her room. And...” He stopped to take a deep breath from talking way too fast and too long. His voice was breathy and shaky when he said, “And I didn’t know why, but she let me in. She wasn’t supposed to do that. No, she shouldn’t have done that. But she did and I—”
“Baek...” Chanyeol reached out his hand trying to calm him down, but the shorter boy shifted away.
Baekhyun swallowed and his dry lip. “I couldn’t really remember anything after that, but I guess we did some talking, and maybe slept together in the end, but when I woke up on the next morning, she was gone and there was a note and—”
Baekhyun stopped with a hand on his heaving chest. He inhaled and exhaled many times, as if he was having a panic attack, before he finally calmed down and said, “She wrote ‘I trust you’.”
“I trust you?” Chanyeol asked.
“Yeah, that among many things she shouldn’t have said,” he replied. “I think I said something to her—I mean, you know how I am when I’m drunk. I say everything that comes to mind.”
“I like drunk Baekhyun.” Chanyeol chuckled lightly. “He’s honest.”
“She said she saw another side of me,” Baekhyun said, “She said it was okay for me to stop putting on a mask to hide who I really am. She said she liked the real me. She knows, Yeol. She knows that part of me I’ve been trying to hide and that time, I realized that maybe I already liked her so much. And I was afraid that she was going to feel the same way for me. I tried to remember what happened the night before, and I remembered what I said to her. I remembered how I stupidly opened my mind to her, how I told her that she should be treated better. That I wanted to treat her right. And I did. I really, really did want to. And it hasn’t changed—it will never change, not now, not ever. But on that next morning, I was afraid to let her in and say those words again. And that was when I ed everything up.”
You felt a twinge in your heart as you remembered the first part you saw after you opened your door that day.
“I tried to hurt her, Yeol,” Baekhyun admitted in a soft whisper. “I tried to warn her that she shouldn’t have feelings for me by doing that thing to her. I tried to make her realize, by mockingly imitating the words I said to her on the previous night, so she would think that those words meant nothing. Even though I truly did mean them, I wanted her to think like that. That it was just me being drunk and stupid. That it wasn’t me being real, because I don’t want her to like me just as much as I like her. I’m not right for her, Yeol. She deserves better.”
The on-screen Chanyeol said nothing. He just waited and waited.
“I thought after that we would be back to normal,” Baekhyun said, almost sounding like a pleading whimper. “I didn’t think she would be so upset about it—I was an idiot. And I didn’t think much of her feelings until... Until I saw her crying.”
After that, the screen went quite and the only sound you could hear was Baekhyun’s heavy breathing.
“I miss her, Yeol.” Baekhyun burried his face in his hands, so his voice came out muffled but you could still hear him. “I miss her so much. I know this is what I want, for her to hate me so she could just get away from me and be with someone who treats her better. But I just...” Another exasperated sigh. “I’m too selfish to let her go.”
“Then just go,” Chanyeol said encouragingly. “Go get her back.”
Baekhyun opened his mouth to speak but then the camera got turned off. You were dazed for a moment, trying to process what you just saw and heard.
“Oh, the battery’s dead,” Chanyeol said, taking the camera off your hands. “Wait, I have another—”
“No, it’s okay,” you said, gently pushing the camera back to his hands and wrapped it with his long fingers. “I think I’ve heard enough.”
Chanyeol stayed quiet until he couldn’t hold himself back. “Can you forgive him now?”
You didn’t know. You honestly didn’t know the answer to that question.
OMG YOU GUUUUUUYSSSSS!!! I can't believe I got so many comments for that last chapter, YOU GUYS ARE TOO AMAZING LET ME SHOWER YOU WITH KISSES *gives you virtual smooch* because I wanted to thank you all for leaving some amazing comments down there, I decided to post a new chapter faster than I intended to! So yaaay for all of us! I hope this one isn't going to bore you to death will all the ty drama. I'm so sorry for my crappy writing :'((
Btw, I know how Baekhyun pissed you off so much on the last chapter but I hope after reading this one, you'll realize that he's not all bad haha :D
Please leave another comment for this chapter and tell me what you think :) your comments really encourage me to write faster!
I LOVE YOU ALL IN THE WAY CHANYEOL LOVES HIS GIRL *minus the ual feelings ofc*