CHAPTER 2

Indeed, Strawberry Is The Sweetest
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Hyukjae sighed for the nth time, it's just Tuesday but he feels drained of energy already. 

First, he was worried about the kiss. If it is really Kim Kibum, the latter might conclude that he likes him... or the guy might even think that he's a flirt who likes kissing people whenever he's drunk. That was hella embarrassing.

Second, the teacher told them that they'll be baking at Home Economics class on Thursday and Friday, he was among the first batch to bake so he will do it on Thursday. It was an individual practical test and swear—he doesn't know a damn thing about baking! Although, of course the teacher would give them instructions but it's still hard.

“Hey! C’mon! You look so worried~ you’ve been like that since the morning and I ain’t happy with that face!” 

Hyukjae avoided Sungmin’s attempt to pinch his cheeks. “I’m okay, Minnie…”

The older pouted at his short reply. “C’mon, c’mon tell me sweetie!” he poked his cheeks like he was a kid. “Recess will end in a few and I need to know what happened. Remember, we can't talk about this later since I'm working my shift in the cafe today. I need more allowance so, I could enjoy shopping spree on Saturday."

They are having their afternoon break right now and Hyukjae was down since this morning – oh erase that – he was down since yesterday when he saw Kim Kibum wearing that Strawberry outfit. He’s still contemplating how to tell Sungmin about this.

“Hyukkie!” the older whined after a while, it was deafening. “What happened? Are you sick? Not feeling well? Headache? Toothache? Or… buttache?”

Sungmin ogled at him innocently but Hyukjae knows so well that his friend is fcking with him.

“Yah!” he exclaimed. “How the hell would I get a ache?!” just saying those words made him blush like a teenage girl. “Y-You’re talking nonsense!”

“You are naughty, Lee Hyukjae! I’m not thinking about anything like that…” The older hit him on the shoulder and eyebrows were wriggling on him. 

Whatever Hyukjae, just tell him before he says something more embarrassing! He nodded at the thought.

“I remembered that I got the kiss in front of your family’s café and the man was wearing a Strawberry outfit a-and… and Kibum wore it yesterday.” He sighed, downhearted. “I was just thinking if that guy was Kibum.”

“Oh ! Really?!” Sungmin shouted, he looks more excited than shocked. “Are you very sure of this, Hyukie? I’m soooo devoted to Cho Cutie but I admit that Kibum is cute too a-and if he kissed you… oh my gosh! You were kissed by a handsome guy, Hyukjae! I told you! You are attracti—vmpshdassfmek”

Hyukjae quickly covered his best friend’s mouth with a hand. “Stop it, Sungmin!” he whisper-shouted before retrieving his hand. “What if someone passed by and heard you?!”

His friend’s laugh echoed throughout the whole classroom and he is thankful that all their classmates are on the canteen because Sungmin is making a fuss.

“I don’t know if it was him but I’m sure that it was in front of Haru & OneDay. What should I do Min?!”

“I will ask him this instant!”

The older was fast to get his phone but Hyukjae immediately stopped him.

“No… you can’t just ask him something like that. It was a kiss for goodness’ sake!”

“Uh-oh! Okay! I can’t” Sungmin wiggled his index finger in front of him. “But don’t worry, I’ll help you find out.”

“How?”

“We’ll see, Hyukkie.”

He couldn’t do anything but to get nervous on whatever the other has in mind, with that cheeky smile on his friend’s lips, it could mean a whole lot of mess. Sungmin might look innocent but his ideas are out of this world.

 

After class, on the way going home, Sungmin and Hyukjae came across Shindong but the guy didn't see them. He has a bruise on the corner of his lips.

"Did you see that? It's Shin Donghee." Hyukjae asked his friend after Shindong was out of the vicinity. "Just yesterday, I bumped onto him and he threatened me, I was nervous for a while but then nothing happened. Then today, he has a bruise, I wonder what happened to his face."

Sungmin gave him a cheeky smile. "He got it yesterday."

"Where?"

"Someone's acting like a knight, I guess."

The answer puzzled him. "You talk in riddles." 

"What? It's fun, it's thrilling."

Hyukjae shook his head. Sometimes, it's hard to guess whatever Sungmin has in mind, his friend is peculiar after all. 

"Really, Ming, you are my bestfriend but I don't get you at times."

Sungmin patted his shoulder. "You will, someday."

Hyukjae decided to let it pass, after all Shindong's bruise got nothing to do with him.

***

“HYUKIE~!”

Hyukjae clutched his chest, eyes too wide with shock when after opening the door to their house, he came face to face with his parents shouting his name. The both of them are smiling widely with hands thrown up in the air.

“Uwaahh~ugh… mom, I can’t breathe.” He complained when he was pulled into a very tight hug by his mom.

“We missed you son!” his dad ruffled his hair like a baby.

It’s been 3 days when he last saw them since his parents had a highschool reunion. Their highschool batch went to Jeju Island. That's the reason why he couldn't ask anyone who brought him home on Sunday night because there are no other people in the house except for him.

“You didn’t tell me that you’ll be going home today.” Hyukjae explored his eyes around their house.

Thank God it wasn’t too messy or his mom would start nagging at him to no end. 

"How's the reunion?" he asked.

“I'll tell you later but first, go on and change clothes—you smell like a sweating baby.” His mom hit his like she was urging him to oblige.
Hyukjae pouted lips at what his mom said before complying.

 

Hyukjae was eating pancakes and waffles that his mom made as snacks while listening to her happily telling stories about what happened on their three-day reunion. While his dad was reading a book, joining the discussion every once in a while.

"We have this dancing party on the last night and when the music stop, we shoud switch partners before the music gets back again. Then your dad danced with his first love." his mom said before giggling. "They look cute but of course, we're a lot cuter together."

"F-First love?!" he asked, wide-eyed in which his mom nodded.

His father coughed and closed the book. "Your mom's just jealous."

"I'm not! Gosh, Kanghun! It's been ages already, we aren't kids anymore."

Hyukjae laughed when his father started teasing his mother and telling him a story when they were still in highschool and his mother confessed to him. He said that he rejected her but she was strong-willed and said that if she could top the exam, he would have to give him a chance.

"Aigoo! Mom!" he laughed. "I don't know you are that persistent."

"Yeah, she was small but confident. She even beat 2 guys who were making fun of me."

"Y-YAH!" his mom shouted and pointed the fork she was holding to his father. "How could you make fun of me?" She smirked before turning to look at his son with a devious grin. "Y'know son, there was this time when a rumor came up that your father is gay."

"GAY?!"

"Yah! Don't go there!" Kanghun told his wife but the latter only brushed him off.

"Yes, there was a picture of him kissing his friend that spread the campus. But it was all an accident. He just slipped. That's why 2 guys were making fun of him, accusing him of being gay..." she scratched his head and smiled at his son. "That's why I beat them up."

"Oh God! Mom! You are scary!"

Hyukjae eyed his father and he was just leaning his temple onto his palm looking embarrassed.

"Many people in the campus laughed at me thinking I was really gay. I only regained my reputation back 2 months before graduation.

"That's why your father used to be allergic to the word 'gay'" his mother said, completely unaware that it broke his son's heart.

Allergic to gay? Hyukjae thought. He doesn't know if he's gay since he wasn't really into girls stuffs but if liking a boy makes him one then that means he is very gay for Donghae.

"Son? Are you okay?" Her mom's words wake him up from his trance.

"I-I... it's just—" Hyukjae sighed, shook head and just ate quietly. His parents didn't know about his uality for he was afraid to tell them. Should he tell him now? Is it okay to tell them this instant? 

He fears for their reaction. He's the only son, is it okay to be a homoual?

"Hyukie, I said, he used to be allergic to the word 'gay' not to gays themselves. I also said 'used to be', not the present time. You are gay, right?"

WHAT?!

Hyukjae's jaw dropped and looked at his mother with eyes as huge as saucers.

"I heard you and Sungmin talking about his brother once." His father chimed in that immediately drew his attention. "You like that guy named Donghae."

Sh*t! Hyukjae doesn't know how to react so, he kept his best to remain poker face.

"D-Dad, I'm sorry. It shocked me too! I never thought I could like a—"

"Hyukjae. Really, stop saying sorry."

His face brightened up, a smile threatening to get bigger. "It's okay to be gay?" he asked.

"It's okay to be what you are." His mom answered with an assuring smile.

"As long as you're not being a jerk to someone, it's okay to be what you are." his father added and Hyukjae couldn't help himself but to run to them and hug them so tight while saying thank you.

***

After getting his mysterious ‘ration’ of Strawberry Milk above his locker, Hyukjae went on the way to the classroom when he saw Sungmin on the hallway, leaning onto the wall while watching the students pass by. His friend looks like he was waiting for someone.

"Ming!" He called.

His friend immediately glanced at his direction and a smile automatically formed the guy's lips. "Hyukie!" he waved a hand, ushering for him to come. 

"What are you doing here?" he asked. "Are you waiting for someone?"

"For Kibum."

The answer confused him. "This isn't about the... kiss, right?"

Sungmin's suspicious smirk almost made him curse. Hyukjae scratched the back of his neck and leaned onto the wall just like his friend.

"S-Sungmin, you can't just ask him like it was nothing." 

"Who told you I'll ask him?" his friend replied and poked his cheek. "I have other plans, he always comes with Choi Siwon, you know?"

"And?"

"I'm about to test my theory, and if I'm right? That means Kim Kibum will never kiss your plump lips no matter how tempting it is." Sungmin get back on watching the students with crossed arms, his foot tapping the floor like he was getting impatient.

"You're confus—there he is!" 

Hyukjae pointed at Kim Kibum who was walking beside Choi Siwon. At the sight of the two campus heartthrobs, it's like there was a sudden commotion, some students - mostly girls - went outside their rooms just to witness a glimpse of them. 

Some people who were walking the hallway even stopped to admire the two hotties. Almost everyone was greeting them. This is how popular they are... Sungmin gets that kind of treatment too whenever he arrives from school and when it's Lee Donghae? Students would really pause whatever they are doing to watch him as he walks but only few people greet him since they are afraid that they might get ignored. For a fact, the soccer ace looks really cold and intimadating.

"They're nearing, what are you gonna do?" 

Hyukjae's question remain unanswered, Sungmin just pat his shoulder before running to Kibum.

"WAAAHHH! KIBUMMIE!" Sungmin greet excitedly, he jumped onto the poor guy, and made himself heavier than he should so the guy could lose balance and he low-key pushed him to Siwon's side.

"OMO!"

"AIGOOOOO~!"

"Ohmygosh!"

Hyukjae's jaw literally dropped while the students gasped in shock. You may ask why? It's because Sungmin's impact was too much that Kibum and Siwon was pushed to the ground... eyes wide... lips accidentally touching.

He doesn't know whether his best friend intendedly do it or not because the older looks shocked of the outcome too.

"Oh !" Sungmin covered his mouth with a hand. "! Really, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to push you..."

"I—I..." Kibum was fast to stand up, he kept mumbling incoherent words, finger touching his lips as if he couldn't believe what happened and cheeks were blushing furiously. "comfort room... e-excuse meee..." 

The poor guy suddenly ran to the opposite direction and Siwon who was speechless called for the guy but the poor boy was too mortified to stop running away from that place. Kibum didn't answer and Siwon followed him, cheeks and ears hella red too.

The students were left in awe, it was suddenly silent and Hyukjae quickly pulled his friend to get inside their classroom.

"That was terrible, Mingming. What did you just do?" he asked in disbelief.

Sungmin sheepishly smiled, there's a hint of guilt on his face. "I was just planning to see whether I'm right that Kibum has a crush on Siwon if he became too embarrassed just because he was pushed to him too close. I was even doubting if it will work out but it worked out better than I expected. I didn't intend to make them kiss, though..." 

Hyukjae sighed.

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OMG I'm sorry if this might not reach what you expect. I mean, I like the prologue too but Chapter 1 was hard to write. As someone who isn't a natural English speaker, I do forgot a lot of English words so, sometimes I write with lack of details. I'll try harder next time.
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