Chapter 9

Love Contract
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The next week was radio silence for the two.

Jungkook and Jihyun didn’t appear for the group outings, and even when they did, they made sure that the other wasn’t there. It was the longest they had gone without talking ever since they had started their fake relationship, and the silence was killing them - but they were both too prideful to initiate a conversation.

The group had noticed the tense atmosphere between the two whenever they were together, and the boys were stepping on eggshells whenever they were around them since they never seemed to be in a good mood.

“Okay, what is going on? It’s been a week, Ji. You have to tell me what’s going on.” Jimin asked as he sat at the rooftop with Jihyun during lunch. She had opted to have her lunch upstairs since it was too suffocating to be in the same room as Jungkook, and Jimin decided to accompany her.

“Nothing.” She muttered as she continued placing rice into .

“It’s not nothing if you and Jungkook are avoiding each other like a plague.” Jimin said with raised eyebrows, and Jihyun sighed in defeat.

She had avoided talking about it with anyone who asked her. Jimin, her brothers, Hoseok, Yoongi, and even Taehyung. Everyone was concerned, but she didn’t want to say anything about it, and she reckoned Jungkook did the same because they were still confused.

But now she realised that it had been affecting the group’s friendship, and maybe, just maybe, Jimin could finally understand the turmoil and confusion in her heart. She wouldn’t talk to Taehyung because the whole thing had started because of him, and it wasn’t that she didn’t trust Yoongi and Hoseok, but she needed advice, and the two were more of energy pills than advice givers.

Her brothers were a far worse choice, because they knew that Jungkook was not going to live till tomorrow if they found out everything that had been going on.

“Fine, but you have to swear not to tell anyone else.” Jihyun said with a sigh before Jimin nodded his head eagerly.

Even though it was one of the rules in the love contract, she felt that it was time for someone apart from Jungkook and her to know.

The doubt and feelings in her heart were starting to eat away at her, and with every day that passed, she was getting more depressed and upset. She hated it, and she wanted to solve it. She also knew the only way to do that was to talk to Jungkook - but her pride was stopping her.

She started from the very beginning, where the love contract had only begun to spite Taehyung and for Jungkook to show Hyorin that he was over her. Jimin looked surprised, but let her continue nevertheless.

She went on to talk about her confusing feelings for Jungkook, and the possibility that he might feel the same with the actions that he had been doing - be it for Valentines, after the dance competition and prom, Jihyun thinks that he might have gotten over Hyorin. Jimin merely stayed silent, nodding his head at appropriate times as he listened intently.

She continued to talk about the real reason for their quarrel - because Jungkook had misunderstood the situation after he caught them hugging when Taehyung broke up with Chaeyoung, something that the younger was still unaware of because he hadn’t been joining the group recently.

Jimin stayed silent for a moment, then gaped and widened his eyes at the revelation. Jihyun bit her lips nervously as she waited for him to digest everything - she knew the information was definitely too overwhelming for him.

“This is such a mess.” Jimin shook his head after he finally recomposed himself. “This whole fake relationship thing is crazy!” He shrieked, and Jihyun couldn’t help but agree. If they hadn’t started the whole thing in the first place, then things wouldn’t have escalated to this point.

“First things first, you have to talk to Jungkook about this.” Jimin said firmly, and Jihyun shook her head vigorously, “No way, he was the one who misunderstood the situation.”

“Really, Ji? You’re going to be that petty?” He asked with a sneer, and Jihyun pouted angrily. “He made me angry first!”

“That’s because he cares, Ji. He was so frantic when you didn’t show up at the photography studio, and he kept saying that you must have been taken away by some girls in school, or even Hyorin.” Jimin explained as he recalled the time when Jungkook had looked like he almost lost it when Jihyun didn’t appear.

Jihyun was surprised at the news - she didn’t know he had cared so greatly about her, and even more so that he actually knew about her encounter with Hyorin.

“I know for a fact that he is as much affected as you are because I see him looking for you whenever he comes into the cafeteria, and the disappointed look that appears when he doesn’t find you.” Jimin said encouragingly

“Fine.” She huffed as Jimin’s eyes sparkled. “Great! I heard him saying that he’ll be at the photography studio after lunch, he’s usually there these days.” Jimin said as Jihyun stood up and brushed the dirt off her jeans.

“Thanks Chim, I’ll see you later.” She said before Jimin ruffled her hair, “I hope you guys sort it out. Whether it was real or not, you guys look happy together.” He gave his sweetest smile while she blushed lightly and headed towards the door.

The walk to the photography studio was arduously quick. It seemed like the more you dreaded something, the faster it would come.

Strolling down the hallway, she could see from afar that the door was slightly ajar, and two individuals seemed to be talking inside. She was about to raise her hands to knock, before she heard a familiar voice speaking.

“You’re still in love with me, Jungkook, why wouldn’t you admit that?” Hyorin taunted, and Jungkook stayed silent.

Say something, anything just to deny that.

“It’s because of Kim Jihyun, isn’t it?” Hyorin asked again, and Jihyun’s heart quickened when she heard her name.

She could vaguely make out Jungkook’s expression, and the boy seemed deep in thought as he pursed his lips, training his gaze on the wooden floor.

“Just break up with her and get together with me. That solves everything.” Hyorin proposed, and Jihyun could feel her heart sinking at the possibility of Jungkook breaking up with her.

“It’s not that simple, Hyorin.” Jungkook sighed, and Jihyun swallowed hard, eyes watering with the thought that the thought of breaking up had crossed Jungkook’s mind.

“What’s so hard about this? Do you like her?” Hyorin asked, and Jihyun could feel her heart in as she waited anxiously for his answer.

He didn’t deny nor agree, and merely continued, “It was just a deal between both of us, it didn’t really mean anything.”

Her breath hitched and she could feel a lump in as she bit her lip.

It was just a deal, it didn’t mean anything to him at all, Kim Jihyun.

She felt as if she was about to throw up.

With the little strength that she had left, she ran towards the hallway that she came from. She couldn’t bear to be anywhere near him.

--

She didn’t know where to go, so she ran wherever

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