12: Not Real

Yooji: Love is War


               I was so stupid.

               That’s the only word to describe myself after the madness that I pulled Iast night. Never had I imagined I would be doing something so bold, let alone with someone I considered my nemesis.


               Why did I even do that?

               Why did I ask that?

               I probably had gone mad.

               Yes, I had gone mad.

               That was the only plausible reason why I did what I did. I would never ever do that if I was in my right state of mind. Such a thing was so ridiculous I refused to believe it really happened.

               But damn...

               Her a-abs were so toned and so perfectly sculptured. My mind could remember vividly how every single muscle felt under my palm even if there was a thin fabric in the way.

               Minjeong had always been y.

               But she became even ier in my eyes after finding out that she was hiding something like that beneath her clothes.

               ...hold on.

               Did I really say that...

               Oh my god.

               She was certainly doing some dark magic on me. Otherwise, praising her wouldn’t even cross my mind.

               I needed to get myself together.

               Whatever was happening right now was bad.

               Really bad.

               I was allowing her to affect me in a way I was beginning to question if I made the right decision of accepting the deal because I knew I was slowly falling into a trap that she meticulously made and that’s the one thing that must never happen.

               Remember why you were in this situation in the first place, Jimin.

               You were doing all of this for Ryujin.


               For Ryujin Kim.

               This was the game that the devil had started that I would win with everything that I had.

               Jimin Yoo of Class 3-A. Please report to the office of the student council.”

               “Jimin Yoo of Class 3-A. Please report to the office of the student council.”

               “Jimin Yoo of Class 3-A. Please report to the office of the student council.”

               I glanced over the PA speaker placed on the corner of the room with raised brows as soon as I heard my name being blasted in our room.

               Since we were in the middle of a discussion, everyone including our prof turned their heads toward my way wearing the same look of curiosity on their faces.

               “What did you do?” I heard Aeri queried in a hushed whisper.

               What did I do?

               Did I even do anything?

               “I don’t know...”

               “What’s the reason for the announcement then?” Her brows were furrowed now, concern laced in her voice.

               “I honestly have no idea.” I lifted myself off my chair as I gave her a reassuring gaze. “I’ll update you.”

               I briefly asked our professor for their permission which they had given immediately without any further probing before I walked out of the room.

               As I made my way to the fourth floor, questions began to swarm my mind. This was the first time my presence was being asked by the council so I had no idea what to expect at all.

               Was I going to be punished?

               ...or worse, expelled?!

               No, calm down.

               That was stupid.

               They don’t have the power to eject students out of school.

               I don’t remember the name nor the face of the president. I hope they weren’t the high and mighty kind of person just because they held the highest position of the council. I wouldn’t want to deal with that early in the morning.

               After less than five minutes, I found myself standing in front of Room 411. The words Student Council was engraved on the silver metallic sign. I took a deep breath before I knocked and swung the door open.

               It was evident how large the room was. If I were to estimate, I’d say it was comparable to the size of two regular classrooms joined together. It was big enough to accommodate a large crowd of students.

               A long, rectangular table was set at the center of the room with six swivel chairs enclosing it. There was a small sectional sofa on the left side, several large metal file cabinets that were probably housing important documents on the left, and a few decorations on the walls and every corner in an attempt to probably make the area appear lively.

               I was expecting to be greeted by at least two to three members upon entering. That was how it was in the movies, after all. However, I saw no one but a single woman sitting on one of the swivel chairs with her back facing me.

               Wait a second.

               She seemed familiar.

               “Excuse me?” I slowly approached her. “For what reason was I summoned here?”

               “To be with me, what else?”

               My eyes almost popped out when she spoke. There was no way I could mistake her for someone else. That annoying, flirty voice could only be owned by that person.

               Her usual playful smirk was the first thing that I unconsciously focused on when she finally turned around to reveal herself. There was a gleam of perspicuous mischief twinkling in her eyes.

               “Hey, babe.”


               She was a member of the council.

               Of course, she’d be here.

               How could I forget that?

               “What are you doing?” I said as calmly as possible. If only I knew it was her I would come upon here, I should’ve just ignored the announcement. She was the last person I wanted to see today. Especially now that I was experiencing an internal crisis.

               “Using all the privilege that I have to make you come to me,” she answered in a matter-of-fact tone. I could see how her smirk widened. “Since you’ve been ignoring my messages.”


               There was no way I would know how to act normal around her after what happened between us last night. Just seeing her messages on the screen of my phone was enough to jog my memory of how dumb I acted during that particular moment and now I had to see her face?

               God, spare me.

               “You are abusing your power!”

               “And?” She was so nonchalant about it as if she hadn’t done something she shouldn’t have. “If ‘abusing’ my power means I get to be with you, then so be it.”

               I scraped my scalp in frustration.

               “You are insufferable.”

               She rose to her feet and sauntered toward me with her pale arms were folded over her chest.

               I took a step backward as she approached me.

               “Do you mean to say, irresistible?” She wriggled her eyebrows as she gave me a look.

               “Yuck! Never!”

               “Oh, don’t you lie.” She moved nearer, almost crossing my personal space. “I still remember the eagerness in your eyes as you touched me. Admit it, babe. You find me attractive.”

               I dropped my gaze on my feet.

               God, did she really have to bring that up?

               I was doing my best to erase the memories here!

               “I’m leaving.” I tried to push her away in order for me to walk past her, but she grabbed my hands firmly, effectively stopping me from moving.

               “No, you’re not.” She brought her tongue out to moisten her lower lip. ”There’s a reason why I called you here.”

               The sigh that I released was a mixture of defeat and irritation. Dealing with her surely would make me grow old at a fast rate.

               “What do you want?”

               “I want you to ditch your classes and go somewhere with me.”

               My mouth hung open in a ludicrous way.


               We exchanged gazes.

               Mine was full of incredulity while hers were as calm as an undisturbed ocean. She really had the nerve to look at me with a straight face!

               “Don’t make me repeat myself, babe.” She then flashed a wide grin to me that spelled doom. “It’ll be fun, I promise.”

               “What do you mean fun?!” I retaliated as I regarded her with disdainful eyes. “Is this one of your schemes to make sure I will never outrank you? Ditch my classes so I will learn nothing?”

               She frowned at my accusations.

               “No. I will never do that.”

               “And what makes you think I’m going to believe you?”

               I didn’t know anymore.

               I was just saying anything at this point.

               “Do you really think I would do that to you?” She stared at me directly in the eyes and paused for a few seconds. “Really, Karina?”

               I looked away.

               I knew she wouldn’t do that.

               She didn’t need to.

               She was way more intelligent than me.

               However, I didn’t want myself to say what she wanted to hear. I wouldn’t give her that satisfaction. I didn’t want her to think that my view of her was slowly changing into something positive.


               That would never happen.

               “You play dirty, Minjeong.”

               She laughed humorlessly as she turned her back on me. Her shoulders were moving up and down slowly as her breathing audibly became heavier.

               A familiar awkward silence descended on us.

               I fidgeted uneasily, too antsy to stay still when she was being like this.

               “I see.” When she faced me again, her expression was blank. ”But you have no choice. You will come with me whether you like it or not.”

               “Don’t you dare—”

               “This is an official student council business,” she said, cutting me off. “Which means you can’t refuse.”

               I pulled on my hair.

               Why did she always have the upper hand in everything?

               So unfair!

               I wasn’t able to say anything and just glared at her instead. An annoying smirk crawled its way on her lips as she knew she had won again this time around.

               “So, why can’t we use your car?”

               We were currently on our way to the bus stop. I had to wear a bucket hat and a disposable face mask in order not to be recognized easily. I couldn’t be too careful even if it was still school hours.

               “My members are familiar with its appearance. They’d know that I am outside the school premises if they don’t see a black GTR on the parking lot if they look for me.”

               I rolled my eyes.

               So, she was aware that what we were doing was against the rules, but she didn’t care and proceeded to go on with it anyway.

               What a good role model.

               I tilted my head upward.

               The weather was really good today.

               The expanse of the clear blue sky, the warm ray of the sun that was caressing my skin, the sound of birds chirping and the distant sound of the wind blowing the trees had my nerves calming down.

               It was a shame I had to spend it with this person.

               We reached the stop in no time and sat on the bench to wait for the arrival of the next bus. Based on the schedule, it’d be here after five minutes.

               “Where are we going?”

               “Somewhere where we can blow off steam.” She pushed her hair back before wearing a lop-sided grin. “As I’ve said, it’ll be fun.”


               Now, that’s suspicious.

               This devil had a twisted meaning of fun.

               Should I be scared...

               After a few minutes, the bus finally arrived. She let me get inside first before herself. There weren’t many passengers on board so I was free to choose wherever to settle down and of course, it was the one next to the window.

               Minjeong dropped herself on the seat beside me with a loud thud, earning the attention of the nearby people. She couldn’t be bothered, though, and acted as if nothing happened.

               She was so embarrassing.

               I put my earphones on and blasted a song using my iPod. I didn’t know how long would it take until we reached our destination. What I knew, however, was that I wouldn’t want to talk to her while we were on our way.

               My head started moving once I heard the familiar sound of the electric guitar.

               Danny ran into some complications
               He falls asleep during conversations
               He’s gotta search the street when he’s on vacation
               The worst thing is that I’m in the same situation

               I wasn’t aware of the existence of this song until Minjeong gave me her playlist and the moment I heard it, it instantly became one of my favorites.

               The melody, instrumentals, the vocals, and everything was just so good. It was a shame I hadn’t known this sooner.

               I heard a faint mumbling over the music followed by a gentle tap on my shoulder which had me scowling before pausing the music.


               She reached for the right earphone and put it on her right ear.

               “I want to listen to my playlist as well,” she said, emphasizing the possessive pronoun.

               I opted to just ignore her and pressed the play button again.

               And all I do is sit and think about you
               If I knew what you’d do
               Collapse my veins, wearing beautiful shoes
               It’s not living, if it’s not with you

               Minjeong was faintly singing along to the song. Her voice was almost inaudible, but since we were seated close with each other, I could hear her loud clear.

               And Danny says we’re living in a simulation
               But he works in a petrol station (Selling petrol)
               He says it all began with his operation
               And I know you think you’re sly but you need some imagination

               She had a nice voice.

               ...heavenly, even.

               It was the kind of vocal tone that was far from her annoying personality.

               So warm, so soothing, so pleasing in the ears.

               Just hearing her sing could calm a storm brewing inside a person’s mind and leave them at peace.

              ...it was beautiful to say the least.

               “Do you know where they got the name of their band?”

               With furrowed brows, I glanced over her and asked curiously, “No. Where?”

               “They got it from deranged and “mental” scribblings found on the back page of a book, and it was dated at the bottom ‘1 June, The 1975’.” She rested her head on my shoulder and grabbed my hand to fiddle with my fingers. “The use of the word ‘The’ really struck with Matty and he thought it was the perfect band name. Interesting, isn’t it?”

               I see.

               That was a unique way of coming up with a name of a band, indeed. I would’ve never thought it had some sort of a dark story behind it. I wasn’t sure if I should find it cool or creepy.

               “It is interesting,” I replied curtly. “I can’t help but be curious about the scribblings.”

               “Well, I guess you’d really be curious.” She drew circles on my palm. “I was too until I thought it was probably disturbing.”

               She had a point.

               It was “mental” scribblings, after all.


               Minjeong suddenly stood up, pulling me together with her.

               “We’re here.” She looked around outside the bus. “Let’s go.”

               Unlike earlier, I was the one trailing behind her as she carefully lead the way outside the vehicle, her hand holding mine securely. Minjeong was a couple of inches shorter than me, but from how she was behaving, you’d think she was at least six feet tall.

               I tore my gaze away from her to take in my surroundings.

               It was an area that was wide enough to stroll around or relax as people went about their day. There were the sky towers in the center and some shopping malls. Street food vendors occupied the sidewalks, passersby lining up to buy their food that was probably amazing.

               In front of me stood an old building that stretched quite long. There were trees on each side and benches scattered around the area.

               “Uh, what is this?”

               “An indoor batting cage.” She began to drag me along with her toward the entrance. “Hitting a baseball with a bat is good for releasing stress.”

               Oh, no.

               I had no idea how to play baseball.

               How do you even hit a ball that was fast approaching you...

               I was about to protest, but she was already paying for the fee before I could even speak. She seemed to be really excited about this as she was now acting like a child with how she kept on smiling widely.

               She looked really happy.

               ...whatever, I guess.

               I was in utter awe while watching Minjeong hit those baseballs consecutively in an effortless manner. The way she was twisting her body as she swing the bat and hit the baseball with great precision as if she was a professional player that had been playing for years. I knew she liked the sport, but I never thought she knew how to play as well.

               “Your turn.”

               I snapped out of my daze when I heard her fingers snapping before my face.

               “I don’t know how...”

               “Don’t worry, I’ll teach you.” She grabbed my arm to bring me inside, not giving me any chance to back out. “It’s not that difficult once you get the hang of it.”

               I remained silent, nervous because what if I get hit by the ball in the face?

               That wasn’t a hardball, right...?

               Minjeong made me hold the bat before positioning herself behind me. “Get your hands in the right position.” She reached for my hands to show me how exactly it was done, causing it to look like she was back-hugging me. I could feel her front pressing against my back, and when I said my body temperature went up, it went up really high.

               “Let the bat hover over your shoulder.” At this point, I wasn’t sure what I was doing anymore. I hope I did as she instructed.

               “Initiate the swing with your hips.” When her palms laid on my hips, I couldn’t stifle the gasp that escaped my lips. “And keep your eyes on the ball.”

               “O-Okay,” I stammered.

               “Are you nervous?” she asked in amusement, her head inclining forward to have a look of my face which resulted in her cheek touching mine. “You are nervous.”

               Oh my god.

               “I-I’m not!”

               “You can’t even look me in the eye.” She held my shoulders to turn my body around, granting me a view of the smirk on her lips. “You weren’t like this last night.”

               I refused to meet her intense gaze.

               My hands began to tremble.

               It was happening again.

               This body of mine was reacting to her even without my permission.

               “You were so bold.” Her fingers caressed my face in the gentlest way possible before going down on my chin to force me to look up to her. “How does it feel?”


               “...what do you mean?”

               “To touch me?” She leaned even closer that I could now feel her hot breath against my lips, her arms enclosing themselves around my waist.


               I couldn’t answer.

               My mind was in a state of mayhem.

               All the rationality was beginning to leave my head as it was now being clouded by something else.

               Something unfamiliar.

               “I’m trying so hard not to kiss you right now.” Her hold on me tightened which made me trail my eyes up and see how hooded her eyes were right now. It wasn’t just me. She was feeling bothered too. “Please, tell me to stop.”


               After setting my body on fire and caused a riot inside my stomach, you were asking me to tell you to stop...?

               You were really so unfair, Minjeong.

               “Don’t stop.”

               Her eyes widened.


               I knew I wasn’t thinking straight, but I didn’t care anymore.

               Whatever the consequences that I would face after this could just go to hell.

               This feeling, this sensation, this desire that only she could give was driving me crazy.

               I didn’t want this to stop.

               I want her.

               I want Minjeong.

               I raised my arms and locked it around her neck, pulling her down that our lips were almost touching. “Kiss me, Minjeong.”

               She didn’t waste any second.

               As soon as she got my consent, she dove in and claimed my lips.

               It was as if the beast in her that she was restraining so hard ever since we had started dating had broken free. Finally, she just allowed her body to do whatever her mind had been wanting to do.

               She kissed me senseless.

               My heart pounded in my chest as my knees wobbled. I could only focus on how soft her lips felt against my mouth, how addictively she invaded all my senses, how good she was making me feel.


               I didn’t know I was capable of feeling this good.

               She was making me feel amazing.

               My fingers curled on her nape before pulling her even closer to feel more of her. Her body, her warmth, everything that was her.

               I felt her tongue pushing against my lips, asking for an entrance which I immediately gave. I parted my lips and felt her exploring every inch of my mouth, shutting down all my senses as the taste of her silenced all my thoughts.

               Her hands were pressed firmly on my hips, unmoving.

               I see.

               She was still restraining herself.

               A soft whimper made its way out of my lips.

               Then, she pulled away and placed her forehead against mine, panting really hard. We were both trying to compose ourselves and regain our breathing. Her half-closed eyes were now wide open as she bore her dark eyes into my own pair.

               “I love you, Jimin.”

               I froze.

               Did she really just say the l-word...

               “And I know it’s not real.” She pursed her lips. “But even if it isn’t, I still want to hear it.”

               “H-Hear what?”

               “That you love me too.”


               I swallowed the lump in my throat.

               Could I really say those words to someone I had no feelings for?

               “Please,” she said breathlessly, sounding really desperate that I found myself heeding her request.

               “I-I love you too, Minjeong.”

               She inhaled sharply, her face now buried into the crook of my neck. “One more,” she mumbled against my skin. “Let me memorize your voice. Every intonation, every stress in the syllables. I want to memorize it.”

               “I love you too, Minjeong.”

               She took a deep breath again before she raised her head, a lazy smile etched on her lips.

               “Thank you, Jimin.”

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Won't be able to update for a while. PH election is draining tf out of me. Not really in the right state of mind to write anything. Thank you :)
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