Joohyun had yet to understand about anyone getting over someone they were deeply and infatuatedly in love with.
It was nearly impossible at this point, especially for Joohyun. She and Seungwan did not exactly end their relationship on bad terms—it was still vague, still open in the air, still a chance for them to rekindle what was there. There was not a day where she did not think about Seungwan. With the way they left each other on a mutual note, there was not going to be a problem messaging Seungwan, but this was from an outsider’s perspective. If she had initiated a conversation, if Seungwan decided to instead, then there was no telling whether or not Joohyun would be able to stop her yearning for the latter.
Their affection towards each other was that kind of relationship directly from the big screen.
However, Seungwan was most likely situated in a dorm at one of Canada’s top universities, and so was she in her own dorm.
Joohyun was gradually pacing down the main pathway on campus, taking her time to head to her first class of the day. It was a massive lecture hall when she found her classroom, and although she would usually take the opportunity to sit in the front and remain to be as studious as she was, she decided to take a seat three rows from the last. Students were filing into the classroom relatively soon, and they all decided to sit in the front or the middle, until two rowdy boys decided to sit next to Joohyun.
Joohyun ignored it at first and did not want to think too much about it. However, they decided to be boisterous and caused a ruckus in the back, laughing and hitting each other for God knows why. They were fitting the stereotype of college jocks, and as much as Joohyun did not want to portray them as so, it was becoming difficult.
Just about five more minutes until class started and maybe they would be respectful and quiet—that was the thought until she felt a paper ball smack her on the side of her head.
She immediately glared at them and was met with a boy whose face looked as if he had seen horror as well as another boy who was snickering behind his hand.
The scared boy next to her finally mustered up the courage to apologize.
“S-Sorry, we didn’t mean to hit you,” he said.
Joohyun gave him one last look before turning back to the front without a verbal response. There was no point in engaging with these mindless boys anyway.
“Um…” she felt a tap on her shoulder. “If you don’t mind, can I ask what your name is?”
Joohyun side glanced the boy.
“Joohyun,” she replied with a voice so firm, so steady.
“Oh, that’s a pretty name!” the boy exclaimed, probably attempting to mask the fact that he embarrassed himself in front of one of the prettiest girls he had ever seen. “My name is Minho. This is my friend, Jackson.”
Joohyun could have cared less for their names.
But Minho was one to remember.
Song Minho, in fact.
Assigned seating was a rarity in college, but it was an unspoken rule that if you see someone sit in the same spot for weeks, then it was basically their unofficial assigned seat. It was always Joohyun, Minho, and Jackson in the back and in that exact order. When the time came around to do a group project, Minho jumped the gun to ask Joohyun first and Jackson second. Joohyun did not have a choice but to accept his offer, considering the fact that she practically knew nobody else in the lecture hall.
It was a research project in their world geography class and they had to come up with several countries that had an abnormal amount of deaths of anyone under the age of 5. The research was not difficult when they were provided resources, but when working with jokesters like Minho and Jackson, Joohyun was taking longer than necessary to complete the project.
Just working with them granted Joohyun the chance to know the two a tad bit better, though. Jackson was all about working out late at night and dating any girls within his standards. Minho was slightly the opposite—he was all about producing music late at night and not having any time to date girls. But despite these two differences, Minho and Jackson were still the best of friends with some similar interests.
Although Jackson expressed his desire to date Joohyun, she would not think twice to date a man like him. He was sleazy with the way he approached girls, he was the type of guy to check himself out in the mirror at the gym, and he was the one to ignore all other girls not within his standards—almost being rude to them—just to get in one girl’s pants. Joohyun did not exactly experience all of this first hand, but it was still something to consider should she get bonked up in the head and decided to date Jackson.
Minho, on the other hand, did attempt his hardest to impress Joohyun, and she was not going to lie, it was adorable seeing the boy try to excel in sports in front of her (when Jackson was usually the one to score the goals) or anything else of the like. But there was one thing that Joohyun was definitely impressed with and she was surprised that Minho did not believe producing music was amazing to her or anyone else who was not pursuing that career. Whenever he was deep into thought with what beat went with which, Joohyun could see how focused he was and how passionate he could be whenever he talked about it with her.
He was one of the only friends here at college, so it was not unusual to other people to see the two together with or without Jackson. It may appear strange to anyone else that Joohyun was still bothering with these two after receiving a paper ball to the head. But they were straight out of high school like she was; she just happened to be more mature.
Maybe the strange thing here was how someone as massively tall and broodingly handsome as Song Minho was able to constantly be around someone as adorably short and beautifully elegant as Bae Joohyun.
Or how Minho thought he would bring Joohyun with him to their local beach for one of their seasonal events and ask her out on a date.
Or how he actually succeeded.
Joohyun was still hung over Seungwan at this point. She was still thinking about her, still scrolling through their pictures together, still bitterly smiling over their memories. Seungwan was perfect and Joohyun actually thought about doing anything to be together with her again, but then she thought once more—if she was the one who broke it off first, then it would be pathetic for her to come running back, would it not? It was a bit of a pride situation here, but it was also reality. They broke it off for a reason and they will remain so for a reason.
It was just that Joohyun could not seem to fully wrap this around her head.
So, she believed trying to be with someone else who was not Seungwan would help.
Someone who was completely different; someone who may not actually be able to play acoustic, but was still able to produce music; someone with a raspy voice and a dark, y appearance; someone who was not Seungwan.
Someone who was Minho.
It was terrifying and amazing, but it actually worked.
On certain days, Joohyun would find herself sitting at the library diligently doing her work when a pair of hands would cover her eyes. She would naturally smile when it was Minho, who was the playful one in the relationship. She gradually stopped thinking about Seungwan without having to act depressed in front of everyone and forging up an excuse by mumbling that was she “tired” or that she had a “long day.” She was glad for that because there were days where Minho would just gaze at her and say, “You look happier lately. It’s nice.”
Minho and Joohyun went on two more dates since the time he brought her to the seasonal event at the beach. They went to an amusement park for their third date, and although the roller coasters look terrifying to be on and the snack stands look fattening to stomach, Joohyun was ecstatic to be here for the first time since she was a child.
For their first ride, Minho thought it would be great to get on the most monstrous roller coaster Joohyun had ever seen. She heard the piercing screams from the passengers of the ride, how they were spinning through loops and hanging upside down at some parts of the tracks. She looked over with a horrified expression at Minho, but the latter was in awe and he was almost laughing at this point. He looked like a little boy, more so when he turned to her with a finger pointed at the roller coaster, and it was cute for Joohyun to witness.
Too cute to the point where Joohyun failed to reject his offer to get on that darn scary roller coaster, and now here she was, knuckles turning white from clutching onto the safety bar securely in front of her.
“I’m so excited!” Minho exclaimed and clapped a little bit. Even his feet were stomping. He glanced over at his date. “Aren’t you excited?”
Joohyun was terrified.
And off they went.
Joohyun was propelled back and forth and tossed side-to-side; she actually thought that her neck might snap in two. But this roller coaster was ridiculously fast, as fast as the beats of her heart, probably, and she accidentally released the safety latch on her body but managed to grab something else instead, something soft and rough at the same time. It did not matter at this point what it was as long as it would be able to grasp her tightly until the ride was over.
It felt like years when Joohyun was finally able to normally breathe again. She pushed her messy hair strands back and wearily hurled a glance at Minho, who had a wide grin donning his face and a strong, firm grip on her hand. Her eyes darted down to what her hand had been holding onto this whole time and she had not realized she was able to grab onto Minho’s hand in the middle of the ride.
“Wasn’t that fun?” he asked, not minding the fact that they were still holding hands.
“God, that was terrifying…. Let’s not go on this ride ever again, please,” pleaded Joohyun.
As soon as one of the coordinators lifted up the bars, Minho led the way toward the exit to engage in activities more suitable for Joohyun. They played carnival-esque games to calm themselves from the roller coaster before waiting in line for one of the more major rides in the amusement park, but Joohyun was glad that Minho decided to not take her on more scary roller coasters after that.
Night fall soon hung over their heads and they sat on one of the patchy, green grass in this make-believe world to view the fireworks that were going to start in a moment. Minho was definitely prepared for this date with his knowledge of the amusement park, such as the use of fast pass tickets and which areas patrons tend to not frequent as much anymore. He laid out a blanket onto the grass for them to sit on and he was sprawled on one side, leaving the other side for Joohyun.
“I hope you’re hungry,” he said, and whipped out a basket of nourishments from chips to fruits he got from multiple of vendors nearby.
Now that he said so, Joohyun did feel famished. She ransacked the basket for something light to start first, but felt an oddly sharp corner pricking her fingertips. Eyebrows furrowed, she picked up the object that she was sure did not belong in a food basket, and was met with a square-shaped, decorated envelope that had its flap loosely tucked.
“What’s this?” she asked and turned to Minho.
The boy in question was leaning back on his hands with a small smirk gracing his face. He nodded to the envelope.
“Open it,” he said.
Joohyun did, albeit quite hesitantly, and gasped at the jewels sparkling in the night. She delicately picked up the necklaces from its confinements, gently placing the envelope to the side to gaze at the pendants, one with an M and the other with a J.
Minho was chuckling. “Cheesy, I know, but I actually thought these look pretty nice.”
“T-They are….” Joohyun whipped her head around to Minho. “H-How? W-Why did you get these?”
Minho properly positioned himself next to Joohyun and grabbed the necklace with his initial.
“Joohyun, we’ve been on a few dates already and I’ve grown to like you so much for who you are….” He unclasped the necklace and glanced up to see Joohyun gazing at him so tenderly. “If you will let me put this necklace around you, then it will mean the world to me to be able to call you my girlfriend.”
Joohyun did not give it much thought to accept the request. She turned her back to Minho, gathering her hair into one hand to lift it for the latter to clasp the necklace around her. As soon as she felt the cool piece of jewelry against her skin, she turned back to Minho and pulled him into a sweet kiss.
The fireworks decorated the night sky shortly after, but they became too engrossed in the fact that they finally became official that night to view the scenery.
Jackson was not surprised to see the two come back as a desired item. He already felt it in his bones, he said, and that Minho would be the one to snatch Joohyun and not him. It was a given, and he did not seem too bothered about it anyway. It only would mean that Minho would spend even less time with him now.
They were at the honeymoon stage where they did not really know any better, especially Joohyun. They were making long-term commitments without foreseeing the future, they were deeply attracted to each other and could really care less about the others around them, and they believed they would last a very long time—maybe their whole lifetime.
But when there was happiness, there was also unhappiness.
Despite their initial, strong attraction toward each other, there were also fights ranging from small, petty ones to massive ones, which separated the two for weeks, maybe even months, without speaking.
Joohyun did not recognize at which moment they entered the stage of confusion and depression during their relationship. She assumed being with Minho was her main source of contentment, and it was for that great six months at the beginning, until they started fighting and yelling for no good purpose. It led her to believe that Minho became gravely unattractive during all the times he was shouting at her and throwing things around her. It was almost like she did not understand him anymore.
Evidently there were times where they did make up from their fights. Minho apologized and said he was in the wrong, stumbling forward to plant kisses on her lips. It worked for a while because Joohyun wanted nothing more than to return to that time where it was all laughter and kisses and cuddling and loving. She wanted nothing more than to just be in Minho’s strong arms, watching their favorite genre of movies in his dorm with a bowl of buttered popcorn in hand. She wanted nothing more than to just lay down next to Minho and listen to his rapid yet soothing heart beat after an exhilarating night of making love.
And it all came down and dawned on her to grasp the actuality that all she had been trying to do during their fights was making an effort to fix it.
She kept trying to fix what was wrong without comprehending the fact that after fixing something once, it would never be the same again.
She came to realize that in her high school, straight-out-of-the-book relationship with Seungwan, it did not help her with love fights. It only helped her realize what made her satisfied, and it began the search of her identity.
She was lost in this relationship with Minho. She was new, a cute puppy compared to a ravage dog, a love novice who was trying to resolve the fights because she believed that all her relationships was supposed to be like the one she had with Seungwan.
She was trying to pit Minho against Seungwan in her mind, and she was only starting to realize it only after Minho decided that it was best to part ways.
It was silent when they met up at the beach where they had their first date.
Minho started slouching, cheeks were sunken in, and eyes were droopy. His physical and mental state of health were not in the best shape, and it did not help that he was working on one of the biggest music productions at the time, causing him to stay up for endless of nights to produce the best beats imaginable on top of his general academics.
Joohyun did not look great herself either, what with her frail body covered by the largest of sweaters and her used-to-be silky hair a mess on her head. She was not eating as much ever since she noticed that her nights with Minho did not end up with her being ecstatic anymore.
It was that night when Minho decided to take things into his own hands and break their ties. Although tamed and quiet compared to their back and forth fighting, it was the ugliest that Joohyun had ever felt. She reached up to the necklace prettily hanging over her neck and yanked on the M initial so tough the clasp broke. She harshly threw it onto the ground, but dropped down next to it not that long after, hands covered by her sweater sleeves to wipe away the endless stream of tears pooling from her eyes.
They might have ended it all where it first began and they might have been facing each other with strained necks and harsh voices the last few months, but Joohyun knew that after a good while, she would be able to reflect back onto this and actually appreciate Minho.
As peculiar as it sounded, Joohyun actually did learn a lot from this relationship.
She learned to no longer attempt to place an individual to a standard set by another. Everyone was different and did things differently; they were their own person, which was why no relationship could be the same as the other.
She learned to stay strong against someone who would try to belittle her. People tend to say the most horrible things when they were not in their right state of mind, and that was the case for Minho. He was livid and his emotions got the better of him, but Joohyun would always remember that time so as to not replicate his actions.
And she learned more about her own identity.
As uncharacteristically terrible this relationship took a turn, Joohyun would not regret it one bit. She was the one who made her own decisions and she was glad that she did. She grown to love the pompous jerk (to others) who was Song Minho, who indirectly helped her cope, and she saw new sides of her come to light.
Minho loved her for who she presented herself as, led her the pathway to find who she truly was, and made her realize that you could fix things so many times in your life before it became something that it was not initially.
Minho was her second.
And Minho was greatly treasured.
Two was Song Minho.