Jaebum never thought that he would face this situation; he managed to live fine from his first year in college until now. Though he totally disagreed with the idea, it’s the best for him, at least according to Jackson. He’s going to give up living in his studio type apartment and live in the university dormitory; possibly sharing a small room and a bathroom with a stranger. It’s not like Jaebum is anti-social, he’s actually pretty extroverted, but he likes having his own space at the end of the day.
“It’s not that bad, Jaebum hyung. Mark and I managed to live fine so far, I’m sure you will too.” Jackson said, helping him haul his stuff inside the elevator, up to his dorm room. According to the data in the University Dormitories, he’d rooming with a guy named Park Jinyoung, a second-year literature student, a junior. He has never heard of the guy, but at least his roommate is younger, it somehow gives him the upper hand. Somehow.
“I hope so.” Jaebum replied, he’ll be living on the seventh floor while Jackson and Mark have been on the tenth ever since they were in their first years. Mark is an Engineering major while Jackson and Jaebum are Film majors, Mark is a year older than them, but they have been friends ever since they were in elementary. For some reasons, Jaebum’s parents sent him to an international school where he met the two.
When the elevator door opened on the seventh floor, Jackson’s phone rang, it was Mark, judging from the ring tone. And by the way his friend halted from pulling two of his baggage, perhaps it is an emergency. Jaebum too stopped walking and turned to his friend, waiting for Jackson to look at him. “Is his fever still high? It is fine, Jackson, you can go and check on him. I’m already here anyway, thank you.” Mark was supposed to help him as well, but the older called him earlier and told him that he’s down with fever.
“At least let me help you reach the door so you won’t have to go on two trips,” Jackson said anxiously as he passed by Jaebum, “room seventy-seven, right?” Jaebum shouted yes, catching up with his friend. Once they reached the door, Jackson patted his back and ran immediately back to the elevator. Jaebum couldn’t help but smile at his friend; sure the three of them have been best friends for a very long time, but Jackson has always been extra caring and loving when it comes to Mark.
He fished the key from his pocket and opened the door and he saw two beds, in the middle of the other bed was a guy who is probably Park Jinyoung. The guy smiled at him, “Come in.” he said, opening the door wider and when he saw that Jaebum has four pieces of luggage, he went out and urged Jaebum to move inside. “Oh, thanks,” Jaebum could only say as the guy, albeit having difficulties in doing so, pulled the two big bags. “but you don’t have to.” Jaebum said immediately taking the bags away from his roommate who insisted on pulling them himself. “It’s okay, I’m not weak” he replied, and winked at Jaebum.
He was left with no choice but to close the door instead. When the guy had finally managed to haul the bags near Jaebum’s bed, he went to the small fridge at the back end of the room, then he poured water onto a glass and hurriedly handed it to Jaebum. “There, you’re sweating hard, replenish all the water you lost.” Jaebum mumbled a quick ‘thank you, you really don’t have to do it’ as his roommate dismissed him by walking towards his cabinet, pulling a small white cloth he could identify as a towel.
He then went back in front of Jaebum and wiped the latter’s sweat, “Take your sweater off, don’t let your perspiration dry off on your back.” Though bedazzled at highest, Jaebum complied, as he placed the glass of water on the nearest nightstand. And as soon as he got rid of his first garment, his roommate ordered him to turn his back on him so he could wipe the sweat, “Hey, you don’t have to do this. Hey.” Jaebum said, trying not to be harsh with his roommate, “It’s okay, really.” The guy eagerly replied; Jaebum thought he was done when he went away, but he only took another towel. “There.” His roommate said, smiling as he flattened the cloth he placed on Jaebum’s back.
“By the way, I’m Park Jinyoung, your roommate!” the guy said way too excitedly, offering his hand to the puzzled Jaebum, “Uh” the latter started, he has only been here for few minutes and he’s starting to regret his decision already, “I’m Im Jaebum. Nice to meet you.” He said even if it wasn’t really that nice, and then he took his roommate's hand, briefly shaking it. Jinyoung then took the glass from the nightstand and gave it to Jaebum, “finish it” He said. Jaebum isn’t really a fan of tasteless beverages, but to avoid arguments, he took the water in one gulp to which he earned a very pleased smile.
Jinyoung took the glass from him and went to the sink, immediately washing it. Jaebum, on the other hand, took his phone from his backpack and sent Jackson a quick message, ‘I’m doomed’. Before his roommate finished washing, Jaebum brought his luggage closer to his cabinet. Just as he thought he could finally be in peace, he noticed his roommate standing beside him, grinning. “What?” Jaebum asked, opening one of the bags, which has his clothes. “I know you’re tired so I’ll help you.” He said and out of impulse, it made Jaebum lock his bag, “You don’t have to.” He said, pulling the other luggage closer to him.
“Why are you so shy? I said it’s okay.” Jinyoung then smiled, subtle wrinkles appearing on his cheeks, “You are not going to stop until I let you, aren’t you?” his roommate nodded meekly, still smiling, Jaebum then sighed and nodded. He quietly wished that the guy was only like this because he’s being hospitable for a newly moved in roommate, he really wished that he isn’t like this every day. “Can I open this?” Jinyoung pointed to one of his bags, the one with his beddings. He nodded again before turning back to the one with his clothes, upon finding out that what was inside the bag was blankets and beddings, Jinyoung proceeded to place it on Jaebum’s bed. If Jaebum wasn’t really surprised for the younger’s attitude, he would have complimented him with how he does the job, he was pretty efficient and he looked like he really knows what he’s doing.
“You’re from the Film and Photography department, right?” Jinyoung said from the bed, clothing the pillows with Jaebum’s Bart Simpsons pillow cases. Jaebum uttered a quiet yes, placing his clothes inside the cabinet extra fast so he could hang out in his friend’s room, partly because he’s worried about Mark and partly because he doesn’t want to deal with his new roommate. When Jinyoung continued to talk about his favorite films and directors, Jaebum knew the latter is not sensitive enough to know that he wasn’t really interested in conversing.
“Am I too talkative?” his roommate said after a while of hearing only yes, no, maybe from his new roommate. Though Jaebum really wanted to say a loud ‘yes’, he just answered with a smile, and for whatever reason, it made his roommate giggle. When they were done unpacking, Jinyoung sighed contently, smoothing the area on the bed he had sat on, as Jaebum took his phone from his pocket only to see that Jackson did not reply.
“Thanks.” Jaebum said, of course, he was slightly grateful, “You’re welcome.” Jinyoung replied way too happily again. Jaebum then turned his back and proceeded to the leave but before he could open the door he heard Jinyoung’s voice again, “Are you going somewhere?” he asked. He doesn’t really see any reason to ask for permission from his roommate, they are not friends, they just happen to share a room with each other. He nodded and saw a disappointed look on his roommate, but it immediately brightened and he smiled, “okay, take care!” Jaebum nodded and did not turn to look anymore as he ran towards the elevator.
“So, how was your new roommate?” Jackson asked as soon as he opened the door for Jaebum, Mark was on his bed covered in thick layers of blankets. “You wouldn’t believe it, Jackson!” Jaebum replied, moving towards Jackson’s bed. “It has only been a few minutes and I’m already starting to regret this!” he then lied on his friend’s bed as the latter went to sit on the edge of Mark’s bed. “The moment he saw me, he helped me pulled my bags in–”
“I don’t see a bad thing in it.” Jackson cut him as he checked Mark’s temperature with the back of his hand. “I’m not done yet! And then, he gave me a cold glass of water–” “still not bad.” “No, you don’t understand! And then he wiped my face and my back with his towel!” Jackson shot him an unbelieving look, “And then he offered to help me to unpack my stuff!”
“Jackson’s right, that’s actually nice. Why are you regretting it?” Mark said quietly, turning his body to face Jaebum, so Jackson threw him a slipper whilst saying ‘You’re so noisy! You woke him up!’ Jaebum then uttered countless sorry to the sick hyung, “It’s– He’s not even a friend! This is the first time I saw him, this is our first meeting! And he already acts like my mom! He even asked me if I’m going somewhere before I went here!” Jaebum’s fuming while the two were quietly laughing, enjoying how distressed Jaebum is for having a nice roommate.
“You’ve only spent a few minutes with him, give him a chance.” Mark said, sighing after Jackson made him lie sideways as he rubbed the older’s back. “You know I hate it when people I barely know stay in my personal bubble uninvited.” Jaebum stated, watching how Jackson attends to Mark’s needs. “Then turn that uninvited to invited!” Jackson casually stated, moving towards the sink to rinse the towel which Mark used as a cold compress.
“It’s not that’s not easy.” Jaebum replied, Jackson then went back to Mark’s side, placing the towel back on the older’s forehead.
Jaebum ended up staying until dinner in Jackson and Mark’s dorm room, they ordered fried chicken and Jackson cooked a ramen for Mark. Fortunately, the latter’s fever has slightly gotten down, and by ten thirty he bid them goodbye and headed back to his own room. When he opened the door, he was welcomed by a faint smell of bulgogi and bibimbap, and Jinyoung was sitting in their small dining area. The food looked untouched and it made Jaebum gulp. “Hey! You’re finally here! Let’s eat together as a celebration for your moving in!” Jinyoung cheerfully said though he looked a little sleepy already.
“Hey,” was the only word he managed to reply, he moved closer to the small dining table and sat on the chair. He had eaten already and he’s also quite full, but he doesn’t have the heart to decline with his roommate's offer, one because it isn’t even an offer and two because that would be so mean. “It’s a little bit cold now, but don’t worry it’s still good,” he said, placing food on Jaebum’s plate, “When I got a call from the headmaster of the dormitory yesterday saying that I’ll be getting a roommate, I ordered this from the restaurant nearby and asked it to be delivered by eight in the evening the next day.” Now that makes Jaebum sad, but he didn’t know that his roommate was planning something like this.
“I’m sorry,” Jaebum said and Jinyoung stopped his tracks and exhaled quietly, “You’ve eaten already? Right?” he looked towards the clock near his cabinet, “It’s already ten thirty, of course, you’ve eaten already.” He then smiled to himself, “No, I mean, yes, I already had my dinner but I’m still hungry.” Jaebum lied and served himself food and then served Jinyoung too. “Thank you, by the way.” His roommate turned to look at him and smiled. Jaebum thought his roommate was probably hurt, he did not strike any conversation once they started eating.
Jinyoung was already half asleep when he was done eating, he chewed his food with his eyes closed and Jaebum couldn’t help but feel bad at it. “Go on, brush your teeth, I’ll wash the dishes.” Jaebum said as he gathered their plates and bowls, “No, I’ll do it.” Jinyoung sleepily said, standing up from the chair as he tries to take the utensils from Jaebum. “No. You’re half asleep already.” The latter replied sternly and made his way to the sink. “Okay, I’m sorry” Jinyoung said, walking towards the bathroom. Back in Jaebum’s apartment, he does his dishes when it's the only choice left for him to do.
When Jaebum was about to go to bed, he saw his roommate, lying on the bed, sleeping like a baby. He had his hands tucked under his cheeks and he was lying sideways, facing Jaebum’s bed. Somehow knowing that his roommate sleeps early makes him happy, at least he will get a quiet time for himself before he goes to bed. But he was wrong, Jinyoung wasn’t an early sleeper; he was just too excited the night before he barely slept. He never had a roommate before and a close friend too, knowing that he could finally get a chance to have it, it thrills him.
Jaebum woke up from a soft shake and a voice, he got scared for a moment, did someone break into his apartment? “Jaebum, what time is your class? You should wake up now.” Of course not, he move into the dormitory yesterday and of course, Jinyoung will wake him up, he checked his phone and saw that he’s still got fifteen minutes before his alarm. “I’m awake now, I’m awake now.” He said as he wiped the sleep off his eyes, Jinyoung’s already dressed in fresh clothes, “Go, take a bath and let’s grab our breakfast before we go to our classes.” Jaebum immediately woke up from what he heard, he shot Jinyoung a look, but he remembered what he did last night; he still feels guilty about it. His roommate was smiling brightly at him; he wondered for a brief moment if he brings Jinyoung in a dark room, will his smile light up the whole room? Realizing the train of his thought he shook his head, “No? You don’t want to?” Jinyoung said and his smile quickly went away, “No, I mean. Yes, I’m just gonna take a bath.”
Jinyoung pulled him into the café near their university; he ordered pancakes and Coffee milk while Jaebum only ordered a coffee. Jinyoung turned to look at him incredulously and told the café staff to add another order of pancakes. “Are you gonna skip breakfast? That’s bad.” Jinyoung said as they made their way onto the table near the window. “I don’t usually eat breakfast.” Jaebum replied, which made Jinyoung scrunch his face, “That’s not good for your health! Are you trying to kill yourself?” he said and he had gone on and on about why it’s bad and why he should change the habit until their order came.
Firstly, the reason why coffee is his only order is because he’s not a fan of western food. Secondly, well, yeah, he doesn’t usually eat breakfast because he eats a lot during lunch. “Ahhh~” Jinyoung said, with a piece of pancake stabbed by his fork. Jaebum looked at him weirdly he also glanced around, looking if he knows anyone in the café. He took the pancake and drank his coffee, and it repeated and for three more times, “Jinyoung, it’s okay, stop feeding me.” Jaebum said quietly since a lot of people are coming inside now, “No, two more.” And to stop any further embarrassment, Jaebum took the plate from Jinyoung and ate everything left.
When they were walking towards the school, Jinyoung kept looking at him but every time he looks back at him, he looks away. “What? Is there something on my face?” Jaebum asked, wiping his face with the handkerchief Jinyoung gave him before they left their dorm. “No.” Jinyoung giggled, “then what?” his roommate bit his lip and giggled more, “Can you walk me to my classroom?” Jaebum couldn’t believe what he had just heard; Jinyoung’s way too different from anyone he knows. Just when he’s about to reply, he heard his name, it was Jackson, and when he turned back, Jinyoung’s already walking away from him, waving at him and mouthing a ‘see you later’.
“Who is that? Was that your roommate?” Jackson asked, “How’s Mark?” Jaebum had to ask since he isn’t seeing the other. “Mark is fine, but I told him to rest more. Who is that guy?” Jackson asked intently, glancing towards Jinyoung’s direction. “Yes, he’s Park Jinyoung.” Jaebum replied, now that he looks at him from afar, Jinyoung’s head were down and he wasn’t greeting anyone, just walking straight towards wherever he was heading to. “Park Jinyoung?” Jackson asked again, “yeah, do you know him?” “No, it sounds familiar, though. I think I heard it from the kids.” The kids, meaning, Yugyeom and Bambam, the two freshmen who hang out with them.
Surprisingly, Jaebum was able to tolerate Jinyoung’s attitude; it has been months already. He’d be lying if he would say that it has been smooth sailing, but it wasn’t that bad. No, scratch that, it was really bad; he was left with no time for himself as his roommate tried to hog him up whenever he's home. He was growing more and more frustrated as days go by. But he’s also nice though he usually takes Jaebum’s me-time, it isn’t like he totally hates it, Jinyoung’s a sensible guy. His me-time usually ends up with them watching movies or discussing about books, specifically Haruki Murakami’s. Sometimes Jinyoung would make him read Young Adult novels which he isn’t really a fan of; as an exchange he would make Jinyoung read Action and Adventure ones.
Jinyoung’s just a little up on Jaebum’s business; for how it happened, Jaebum doesn’t know how, but Jinyoung has his number and he would always text him if he’s not yet home by ten. He also urges Jaebum to study a week before exam week, it was nice, but it was all new for him. He remembered a week after he moved into the dorm room, instead of going back there, he went to Jackson and Mark’s room, “I think I got another mother.” He said as soon as he got in. “Jackson! He probably thinks like he’s my mom or something! What should I do?” he only earned an arsenal of laughs from the two. And when he came back to his own room, he was