Chapter 9

EXILE

Kanika knocked on her brother’s door as he was waiting for an update from Yugyeom.

“Bro, did you know that Jinni flew to London?” Kanika enquired with a puzzled look.

“Did you talk to Yeojin?” Bambam answered Nikki with a question.

“Yes, she called me a moment ago, the conversation was very brief. She is boarding her flight to Zurich as we speak,” Kanika’s conversation is interrupted by the ringing of Bambam’s cell phone.

“Yugi is calling give me a minute,” Bambam stated before answering the phone.

“Hey Yugi, what is going on?” Bambam enquired.

“Hey Bamie, I dropped Yeojin at the airport, she maybe boarding her flight now,” Yugyeom replied.

“Yeah Jinni called Nikki a minute earlier and told her she is about to board her flight. Nikki was telling me about the call and you called me,” Bambam updated Yugyeom.

“Bamie,” Yugyeom called, and there is a pause, Yugyeom din’t utter a word for a minute and he proceeded “I admitted to Yeojin, that I love her,” Yugyeom stated with an emotion in his tone.

It was quiet for a moment, Bambam din’t reply he gazed at his sister who is watching him, she gave him a knowing smile. Bambam understood that Yeojin may have shared the news with Nikki in their brief conversation.

“Are you sure about this Yugi?” Bambam enquired with a thoughtful expression playing on his face.

“I lament not reciprocating her feelings earlier, I have put her through a great deal of agony. You know how sure I am about my feelings towards her,” Yugyeom replied.

“I am happy for both of you. I believe you are good for each other and you deserve each other,” Bambam stated with a calmness in his demeanour.

“Let’s stay quiet about this, none in the family needs to know that my little sister Jinni has a boyfriend now,” Bambam added.

“Things will get ugly once her family gets a wind of us, isn’t it?” Yugyeom stated as a matter-of-factly. “I am worried for Yeojin, I don’t want her to suffer just to have me in her life Bamie,” Yugyeom stated with pain evident in his voice.

“Yugi, you denied Jinni and yourself the happiness for so long for the same reason and both of you were miserable. Now that you finally allowed yourself and Jinni to be happy, I want you to know that no matter how ugly things get between you and our family, you and Jinni will always have me on your side,” Bambam stated.

“You and Jinni deserve to be happy. I agree that it will not be easy for you both, but I also believe that you both are strong enough to stand your ground and fight for each other,” Bambam added.

“It means a lot Bamie, thank you for trusting me with your sister. I will cherish her for life,” Yugyeom replied emotionally.

“I know you will Gyeomie, when I am back let’s celebrate for the big decisions we made in our lives,” Bambam stated cheerfully.

“See you soon,” replied Yugyeom and the call ended.

“So Yugi is officially family now,” Kanika enquired with a smile on her face.

“He has been for a long time Nikki, whether or not he is with Yeojin makes no effect. He is as much a family as you and Yeojin are to me,” Bambam replied.

“I would feel jealous but I will let it pass as it’s Yugi we are talking about, after all how can I compete with your husband?” Kanika mocked Bambam.

“I guess I have to divorce Yugi as he is technically cheating on me with my sister, Oh this is scandalous,” Bambam faked a shocked expression.

Kanika and Bambam laughed at each-others antiques. There was never a dull moment when the siblings were together. They were rooting for Yugyeom and Yeojin. Kanika couldn’t wait to talk to Yeojin, she wanted to share her happiness on the latest developments. Kanika knew how much Yeojin wished Yugyeom to reciprocate her feelings. She only prayed for happiness for the young couple.

 

While Kanika was appealing to god for the young couple’s bliss, Jaebeom at the other end of the world is praying for someone to make it alive. He received a call from his friend Lennox few minutes earlier; it was not for a happy reason. He is rushing to his friend’s apartment to be a support in the distressing time. It din’t take too long to reach his destination and when Jaebeom knocked on his friend’s door his friend Lennox greeted him with red puffy eyes and an expression that showed distress.

Jaebeom gave him a comforting hug and lead him to the couch in the living room. He is not sure how to make his friend feel better; he isn't sure how often Lennox had been in a comparative circumstance. Jaebeom himself is on edge and is tormented due to the current situation, he din’t know how to hold back his tears and comfort his friend. All Jaebeom could do was hold his friend Lenny’s hand and sit there in silence, hoping his friend would know that he is not alone in the distressing time. Jaebeom din’t know how long they sat in silence when the silence is broken by the ring tone of Lennox’s cellphone.

Lennox looked at Jaebeom for assurance, knowing that this call has the potential to make them both devastated or give them the news that they are frantically praying for. Jaebeom gave him a assuring nod to answer the call.

“Yes, it’s Lennox Blair speaking,” his voice was strained with anxiety and after the initial phrase Lennox held his breath tuning in to the individual on the other end of the call, tears ran down his cheeks as he finished the call.

Jaebeom felt extreme agony, he felt his heart may quit any pretense of pulsating all together, the grief he is enduring is over whelming. He din’t know the outcome of the call and his friend’s tears made his mind reach the worst plausible outcome. Lennox slumped into Jaebeom with a relieved cry as he disconnected the call.

“Jae, Ale made it alive, my sis is out of danger,” Lennox stated with emotions overwhelming him.

Jaebeom is past alleviated. Never has he encountered such a circumstance in his life. Never had he been in a situation where his beloved is battling for life. It is a sobering experience for him. He couldn’t comprehend what Lennox went thorough every time he received such phone calls.

Lennox is in the same masters program in M.I.T as Jaebeom. He is a dear friend of Jaebeom for nearly two years. He is perhaps the kindest souls Jaebeom has come across. Despite the fact that Lennox and Jaebeom were in a similar class, that isn't the manner by which he became more acquainted with Lennox. His cousin Jinyoung is the one who introduced Lennox to Jaebeom.

Jinyoung can be a knight in shining armour when it came to his potential conquests till he gets into their pants. Sadly Lennox succumbed to the deceiving charm, however Lennox didn’t do one-night stands and Jinyoung quickly realized that in their first meeting. Lennox was a beautiful guy and Jinyoung loved a challenge, he couldn’t pass the opportunity to devour Lennox so he started courting Lennox. That was how he got introduced to Jaebeom and rest of the group.

It peaked Jaebeom’s curiosity about Lennox, who seemed to have Jinyoung’s attention on him for quite a while. Jaebeom got to know more about Lennox as days went by and he realized that Lennox is a beautiful person inside and out.

Jaebeom warned Jinyoung not to hurt Lennox and quit playing with his emotions, he also cautioned Lennox about Jinyoung and his Casanova image. Tragically Lennox was so blinded by the façade that Jinyoung upheld, it came as a shock to Lennox when Jinyoung dumped him after getting what he wanted all along. This incident brought Lennox and Jaebeom together more than they have imagined. Jaebeom grew protective of his naïve friend.

Lennox came from an American working class family, his mother passed away shortly after giving birth to Lennox. Lennox grew up with his elder sister Alexis and their father. His father served as a doctor in the US army. His elder sister is serving in the armed forces. Their father met with a tragic accident when Lennox was 14-year-old. From then on, it was just him and his elder sister Ale.

Jaebeom met Lennox's elder sister when Lennox was nursing his heart break. To say that she is intimidating is an understatement. She is 3 years older to Lennox and Jaebeom; she had an aura of extreme confidence and a piercing gaze that few can withstand without cowering.

She was pissed with Jaebeom as she assumed that Jaebeom played a part in whatever went down between her brother and Jaebeom’s cousin Jinyoung. Lennox persuaded her that it is not the case and Jaebeom had cautioned him on Jinyoung and he failed to see the true face of Jinyoung.

Despite the fact that Jaebeom was intimidated by Alexis at the time he also admired her for her fierce attitude to protect her sibling. The admiration he had for her slowly turned into friendship and as he got to know her deeper he couldn’t help but get smitten by her charm and courage.

Jaebeom made an effort to get to know her better, Alexis din’t make it easy for Jaebeom as she was testing his intentions. Lennox was happy that Jaebeom was interested in his sister and he advised Jaebeom that his sister can be hard headed but she has a heart of gold. Lennox tried persuading his sister that Jaebeom is truly a gentleman and she should give him a chance rather than push him away.

Jaebeom and Alexis have been together for almost an year and half now. Jaebeom is not sure if what they have can be termed as being together, as Alexis is away serving her country most of the time and Jaebeom has no clue where she is or when she may return. They do see eachother maybe once in 3 – 4 months for a day or two. They don’t talk regularly and Jaebeom for the most part is not aware of where Alexis is and what she is upto.

Jaebeom understood that she worked in the armed forces and there is certain degree of confidentiality that is involved with her line of work, so he could never press her to justify her disapperence for months at a time with absolutely no form of contact. He was not sure if Alexis has Jaebeom in her planned future, this is one of the reason he kept his relationship from all his cousins as he is not sure where he is standing in the relationship. He wanted to talk to Alexis regarding their future for a while now as he is about to finish his post grad and move back to Seoul, sadly he is not able to get in touch with her for the past 3 months. Tonight he was shocked to receive a call from Lennox stating that Ale is in a critical condition battling for life.

Jaebeom realized a few things tonight. He doesn’t want to let go of Alexis, the doubts he had on their relationship status are gone. All he needed is to ensure that Alexis remains in his life forever as he is madly in love with her, even if it means he has to persuade her or wait for her to say yes to him or regardless of whether he needs to shuffle between South Korea and America he is eager to do all that for her.

He concluded that Alexis severely down played the risks in her profession and there is consistently a likelihood that these situations will rehash in the future. He is not sure if he could live with the fact that his beloved is constantly facing danger in her line of work. Even with all the uncertainty regarding how his relationship would work if they are going to live in two different continents, he wanted to commit to it. He wanted Alexis to be up and about so he could see her again and promise her; he is happy to cross the oceans countless times just to be with her if she permits.

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