"All Your Petals..."
It was ing 3 a.m. in the morning and this son of a holy cow was calling me. I only went to bed a couple of hours back and I sure as heck was not well-rested.
I swallow back a scream and winced at the bright light my phone was illuminating.
Somewhere my sister groans at my loud ringing tone making me unconsciously swipe to answer. Great. Now I have to listen to him. Again.
“What!” I hissed, keeping my voice as low as possible.
“You’ve got to listen to this one. I promise it’ll be worth it.” A loud voice began talking in his usual enthusiastic manner making me rub my forehead. Nothing is worth more than my sleep, you little tweep.
I grunt in reply hoping this goes faster so that I can return to my blissful sleep where Baekhyun cannot interrupt with his pick-up lines or puns.
He clears his throat dramatically and lowers his voice.
“Did you just fart?” I frown and turn to look at my door pretending it was a camera to give a deadpan look. “Because you blew me away.”
I pursed my lips and closed my eyes, just letting out the air from my nose. What on good holy-
But I was laughing out loud, suddenly on my knees and banging my bed with my free hand.
I had ONE weakness when it came to humor and it was the lamest pick-up lines and puns. Oh goodness. Just kill me already. I don’t deserve to live on this wonderful earth when I laugh at such lame lines.
Baekhyun laughs with me with his usual ‘see? I told you that you’ll like it!’
“JANGMI!” My sister screams from her bed and I zipped my mouth shut. Good lord, help me stop laughing. With a hand on my mouth, I whispered shout at Baekhyun.
“You’re going to get me in trouble.”
“All in day’s work, love.” He sighs sounding proud. “By the way, I’m at a party right now and I heard some guy use that on a girl and I ran to the bathroom because I just had to tell you.”
I rolled my eyes and felt bad for the girl who actually heard that. “That poor girl.”
“I know and she did not like it. In fact, she splashed her drink on his face and that’s when I knew you’ll like it.”
I chuckled softly at that and shook my head baffled by this man I call one of my best friends. “I’m sleeping. Don’t disturb me again.”
But he was having none of it and when he replied, I could clearly see his grin. “What you gonna do? Prick me with your thorn… You’ve got loads after all.”
Right. His favorite puns were always about roses, aka my name. I always thought I was lucky to be named after such a beautiful flower. I’m slowly changing my mind after meeting Baekhyun.
At this I did not wait further and tapped the red button, throwing my phone as far as it could go without being damaged and huddled into my blanket, angry that my rest was disturbed but glad that I had laughed so hard after a really long- day.
* * *
Byun Baekhyun wasn’t the best man out there but he was a good one. He was a great friend and an even better Pun buddy. Usually clad in leather jacket ‘because it’s cool’ and hair bleached blonde, one would say he was a good-looking man as well.
He had a face that many girls envied, smiles many fell for but what they did not know was the man that he really was.
And sometimes, like now… it gets to my head.
“You know what? Yesterday our family needed to get to our Aunt’s place for her birthday and we were actually searching for some flower shops to buy her flowers since she loved them,” Baekhyun narrated his story seriously making me take a break from chewing my toast to listen well. “But we really did not get any.”
I frown getting into the story. Baekhyun had an extremely interesting family and they always seem to have some adventure of sorts.
“So what happened?” I asked, putting down my toast.
“Well… I rose to the occasion and found one.” The whole table groaned at that with me legitimately standing up and walking away, lunch still half-eaten.
The chortling guy comes after me of course, pulling both my arms to bring me back to the table while singing, “Roses are red, violets are blue. You’re simply stuck with me.”
Ah, yes. This blonde-haired boy with the lamest puns just happened to be who he truly was. Many times a day though, like right now, I question why we were still friends and in fact, we're the closest ones in my college group of friends.
I met this crazy boy on the first day of college and we have stuck together ever since. Somehow we clicked because I made a pun on my first day. Damn. That was how all of this nonsense started and I am to blame for it.
I thought he said his name was Bacon because he said it really fast after I had introduced myself.
“Bacon? Grilled to meet you.”
When I tell you his eyes shone like literally shone when I said that, I mean every word. He gave a huge grin and automatically went.
“It’s actually Baekhyun but that’s okay. I’m not thorny, Miss Jangmi.”
It was a laugh at first meet and the two of us began our first year by constantly greeting each other with puns along that line. Man. Those were the days or in Baekhyun’s words ‘Rose were the days’.
I blinked and three years had passed and we were in our final year already, the two of us close enough to become a family but I still refrain from calling him my best friend because my original best friend would kill me. We all know how it goes. She is already jealous of Baekhyun as it is.
Chomping down my toast, I throw him an evil look as he laughs even more. Unfortunately, three years of constant punning is enough to make you sick of it. That was not the case for our boy, in fact, the final year seems to motivate him even more, to bring out the best puns his tiny mind could conjure.
“I’m so tired and sleepy,” He suddenly whines, dragging his chair towards me and leaning down on me heavily, his long blonde hair flopping all over my face.
“Oh my good lord,” I grunted as I fall over to the other side. Sehun thankfully supports me and pushes me up. “How is it that you weigh so much when you’re this short?”
He’s not short. I’m just being salty.
“I’m tired,” He continued singing into my ears making me question this friendship all over again. Is it really worth it anymore? But it’s already the final year and everyone’s got a friend. I can’t simply join another group in the last year.
On the other side of the table, Yixing yawns loudly making Baekhyun yawn loudly, stretching his hand all over my face. At this point, I had already given up and continued with my work i.e. trying to finish my toast.
Ask me why on earth was I having a toast for lunch? Well, thank you for asking. I bought lunch like I usually do but when I was in class, Baekhyun stole it and ate everything except the toasts ‘because I don’t like bread. I’m a bacon kinda guy’.
It was supposed to be a lovely Japanese sandwich that I wanted everyone to try but of course… where was fairness in this world of pain and sorrow?
Sehun laughs a little looking at Baekhyun and then at Yixing. “How long did you two stayed at the party last night? How did you even manage to wake up on time?”
They were roommates from the first day of the class till now and also they were party mates. Every single party that happened in college, they were the first one to come and the last one to leave. People loved them and hosts hate them.
Sehun steadied me again as Baekhyun slumps down even more and I continued munching my poor plain toasts while being manhandled from both sides. This, my friends, was the everyday routine.
“Ohhh…” Yixing began in a lazy drawl. “Last night was lit! It was lit! Man, it was lit!”
Sehun and I looked at each other and sighed. In our tiny circle of four, Zhang Yixing was the cloud-headed stoner, Byun Baekhyun was the crazy gamer who had a thing for pick-up lines and puns, Sehun was the congeniality queen and I was the person who laughed over cheesy pick-up lines.
“OH! ! What was that?” Baekhyun suddenly shouts, clutching his chest while looking around madly. The three of us looked at him worriedly.
“What’s wrong?” Sehun asks as I narrowed my eyes at him. Oh no. I think I know what’s wrong.
“Is there an airport nearby?” He asks as I facepalmed.
“I don’t think so but if there was, it would be lit!” Yixing replies diligently ending with a dreamy laugh.
“Then it was probably my heart taking off seeing you.” He ends with finger guns to me and a wink.
“Oh god,” Both Sehun and I groaned but I couldn’t stop the laughter that was erupting from my throat. Ah. I just don’t know why but cheesy lines like this just tickle my funny bones to the core.
I laughed out loud, unable to hold back anymore as Sehun shakes his head disappointedly at me while Baekhyun beamed at me.
“I hate you,” I patted Beakhyun’s soft hair and laughed away.
“Mm… Love you too.” He grinned, his round cheeks balling up adorably.
I hated him but also… there is no one like Byun Baekhyun.
* * *
“I have a date,” Baekhyun announces as he drags his chair loudly towards me making the people around hiss at us.
“Baekhyun we’re in the library!” I whisper shout to him, the usual voice I have when I am around him. He looks up at that and turns around as though surprised to see himself here.
“Anyway, I have a date.” He shrugs coming back to his conversation, his eyes pouring out to me as though awaiting my response.
“Alright. Good luck.” His eyes sparkle at that and he beams.
“HERE IT IS!” He shouts stretching out his hand which had a couple of dry dates in it.
If it weren’t for the angry hissings of the people around us, I just might have used the book in my hand to smack the out of him but instead, I glare at him while he simply laughed with the other hand on his mouth.
Nevertheless, I took the dates and popped one into my mouth relishing the sweetness. At least, he brings props for his food buns. Pfft! I’m hilarious.
He calms down and sits properly looking around, his legs playing around with mine. He looks around as though it was his first time here even though he always comes whenever I am in here, never to study but always to tell me a pun.
“I really do have a date, by the way.” He finally whispers, coming to sit at the edge of his seat and whispering to me. Thank goodness he got the concept of his surroundings. “She’s really pretty!”
I nod and continued with my work. You see, though he may be the most annoying creature on earth, he was a fairly attractive man who girls want to take dates.
I turn to look at him and assessed him from head to toe. He also had a good sense of style and can carry himself around well. And the fact that he was a total hypocrite as in front of others, he is this absolute sweetheart and a badass at the same time.
“Are you going to drive her around on your bike?”
Ah. He was also an infamous biker in our college. His bike wasn’t anything expensive or fancy since he bought it with his own money but he makes it look cool. He literally takes care of it like it was his baby, but that was where he got his bad boy image.
“No,” He rolls his eyes at me. “I’ll just drive her crazy.”
He giggles, hand finding its way to his mouth again as I roll my eyes.
“Of course, I’ll take her around Bambi. That’s what most girls want anyway.”
That’s right. He’s one of those lunatics that name their means of transportation. Apparently, his Bike had wide eyes like the Bambi, and the fact that the night he bought it was rainy, so a wordplay happened and it was christened Bambi with a bottle of cheap wine and unwilling participants aka me and Sehun and a hammered Yixing.
Also aside from all those, Baekhyun had the knack to go on various dates with an array of ladies. The most serious he had been with a girl this past three years was for a month. This boy has issues and I am not here for it.
Wait… Does that make him a playboy?
“I met her at the party yesterday night. Remember that girl who splashed water on that guy? Yup. That’s the one I snatched.”
He smirked, showing off his adorable smile making me shake my head in disbelief.
Here’s the catch about this boy. People are usually of the opinion that Byun Baekhyun is this untouchable man who wears black leather jackets and smolders all the dang time BUT with me, he is a literal puppy who only likes wearing comfortable hoodies and loves lame puns to dead.
Aside from that, ‘Baekhyun doesn’t even smile. It makes him so mysterious!’ Mysterious, my . He’s literally someone who calls me up at 2 am in the morning because he got a nightmare and he can’t fall asleep.
Basically, he got two faces, the cool and the puppy. Fortunate or unfortunate, only me and the three others know the real him but thank goodness because ‘Baekhyun is a . He literally dumped me in the middle of a date.’
Um… wait. About that… that was my fault. I was at a club and some guy decided to be handsy so I called Baekhyun and he came over. I’m the here. Sorry.
But well, that was the reputation he has in the college.
Hilarious, if you asked me.
“Good luck. I hope she’s the one.” I cheer him on as he pouts at me, sits down for some more time just playing with my legs, hands me the bag of dates, and walks out.
“Also, you got to pick up the phone call, okay? I need to know which outfit is the best.”
More finger guns and winks and he’s officially out making me sigh in relief. That boy is going to kill me someday.
He was a great friend but I wouldn’t say the same about him as a romantic partner. He’s way too damn to focus on a single partner and perhaps spend time with her.
Hundreds of girls and I mean hundreds of them have approached me in one way or another to get his attention but I am always more worried for them than for him because they gonna be rejected so bad or taken out on a date and there’s that. I swear he’s got issues.
I waved at Sehun a little later at a café, my stomach growling. He smiles and waves back to welcome me.
“What am I going to do without you?” I say dumping my stuff into the empty chair and pulling the food towards me. Eating those measly bread for lunch had made me way more famished than I usually am and he had already ordered my faves.
Now this dashing, extremely handsome, and tall man was another close friend of mine, right after Baekhyun. When I say he is the congeniality queen, I do mean every word. He’s the mom of the group, the one who looks after all three of us all the while maintaining his run as the top scorer in his department. Basically, he’s the one who explains everything in ten minutes before every test and exam.
Also, he eats like a vacuum. It all just goes to his height, I swear.
I eyed the three empty plates neatly stacked up on the side and then at him who only shrugs as he stole more food from mine.
“Hands off my food, you glutton! You ate a colossal amount during lunch as well,” I hiss, protecting my single plate as Sehun stares at me in betrayal.
Now Sehun and Baekhyun were polar opposites so yes, opposites do attract. I’m somewhere in between them and in fact, it was me who bridged them together.
It was almost hilarious how the college’s delinquent and the scholar were in one group. Thankfully unlike the two-faced , the only thing Sehun that is not popularly known as was his food habits.
But that’s that. Nothing more. He just eats a lot.
He huffs and places his chopsticks down with a roll of his eyes. I ain’t sharing.
As the polar opposite of Baekhyun, Sehun has a steady girlfriend from his high-school days and was soft and caring putting her first above everyone else. It was unfortunate that they were in a long-distance relationship since she was studying outside of the country.
I practically inhaled the food and sighed happily, no longer feeling the pangs of hunger.
“That was a good meal.”
The two of us had a great friendship. I met him probably six or seven months into the college when we were paired up for an assignment. We just instantly clicked, much like me and Baekhyun.
Baekhyun was thrilled, of course, and he bought in Yixing as well. Since then, our group has been one strong one.
We settled down peacefully, the two of us as we cleared our table and pulled up our laptops and pads. Sehun and I shared about three classes and I was eternally grateful for that. He was always helping me out with things and I try to help him out as much.
A moment into my assignment, I jumped when my laptop began ringing loudly indicating a video call from Byun ing Baekhyun. Jumping a little, I put on my headphones and accepted his call.
“Okay. These two. Which one?” He was already standing there with two outfits held up in both his hands. “Oh. You’re still on campus? Where are you? Isn’t that Rain Café? Are you alone?”
By now, his nose was in the camera as he came closer to see where I was, making me sigh in disbelief.
“I can’t really judge if you hold it up like that. You have to wear them. You could have just sent me photos of you in it.”
“Are you alone? Do you want me to come over?”
“Dude. You have a date to go to.”
“Oh… Right. Which outfit?”
“Baekhyun! You. Have. To. Wear. It. to make me see it!” I gritted my teeth as I explained.
“Fine. Fine.” He in turn rolls his eyes like he’s the one offended. “I’ll be back in two. Don’t go anywhere. Don’t go anywhere!”
Where on earth am I supposed to go?
But I nod and he scampers off camera. I can’t believe this person is the official bad boy of the campus. It’s seriously hilarious.
But honestly, if you see him strutting around the college campus, you’ll never think he’s this kind of guy. He tries so hard, I swear to be all cool and mysterious when in reality… Just look at him, man.
By the way, just to maintain this image, he even began wearing eyeliner which he stole from me. That was the eyeliner phase that lasted about a year at least. To think that he does it better than me still infuriates me. Ah. It was also during this time that his popularity surged, so success… I guess.
“He’s going on another date?” Sehun raised his eyebrow at me, sipping his coffee. Since when did he order coffee?
“Bro. Where’s my coffee?”
“No sharing of food. No coffee.”
“You’re with Sehun?” A shout comes from somewhere in the room as Baekhyun hopped over on one foot, still adjusting his pants.
I smacked my whole palm on my face and waited for him to properly get dressed.
“You’re with Sehun?” His nose was back again, his puppy eyes right on the camera. “Where’s he? I can’t see him.”
Sighing a little, I turn the laptop towards Sehun who waves.
“Satisfied?” I grunts once I bought the laptop back to me. “Now twirl. I have to see the clothes to choose.”
But that seemed to have escaped his mind as he frowned. “You guys made plans without me?”
“No, Baekhyun. This is not a ‘plan’, we are simply sitting and eating because you ate all my food.”
“But I bought you dates.” He frowns even more, a pout forming on his face.
“You know what? Just… twirl. Let’s get this done with. I have to go home and cook.”
He obeys this time, albeit begrudgingly and I assessed his clothes.
“Too much leather. Let me see the next one.”
He obeys quickly and soon he’s twirling in the next outfit.
“Hmm… this is much better,” I say eyeing his black shirt with a leather jacket and blue jeans. “But are you hiding something?”
A brief look of surprise takes over his face, checks his clothes, and turns to look at me in confusion. “Wh-what do you mean?”
“Well… Just that leathers are made from hide so…” I shrug biting back my growing smile while Sehun groans.
But Baekhyun was already on the floor laughing. “That was a good one. That’s a good one.”
It wasn’t but according to Baekhyun, every single pun is a good one.
“Off you go already. You shouldn’t make the lady wait and also,” I say when Baekhyun came closer, “Did it hurt when you fell down the vending machine? Because you looking like a snack.”
I winked at him and turned off our video chat because I know he’ll be laughing his off.
A moment passes and my phone buzzes making me chuckle.
“Now THAT was good.” It said.
* * *
“Jangmi! Baekhyun is here!” I rolled my eyes as mom shouts, scrubbing the dishes even harder than before.
“KITCHEN!” I shouted back hearing the steps of an excited puppy coming.
“Roses are red, Violets are blue. And you’re one heck of a cute-tea!” He singsongs as he waltzes into the kitchen with a boba drink in a plastic bag.
I roll my eyes as he puts it down on the table and started rummaging through the fridge. At this point, I’ve already stopped asking him if he bought a certain thing just for a pun because yes. Yes, he does.
“Yes! Mac and cheese! Perfect!” He grins taking out the designated tub assigned just for him and walks to the dining table, pulling out a chair.
My younger sister, the one with who I share my room, walks into the kitchen, takes the Boba drink, and walks out all in a span of 3 seconds but the two of us continued with our . That’s Jung for you.
“I have a joke on Mac and cheese,” Baekhyun began as he puts a handful of Mac and Cheese into his mouth, which was still warm by the way because I’ve just transferred it to the tub. I pause in my scrubbing and turns around to look at him. He smiles widely at my attention but sighs dramatically. “Nevermind, it’s too cheesy.”
I roll my eyes wishing so hard to just dump some soap water into him but my shoulders were already shaking with laughter. God. I hate him.
He puts more in his mouth giving me a wink, “This is so good!”
“How was your date?” I asked as I rinsed out the last dish and dried my hands.
“Eh…” He shrugged his shoulders. “Boring.”
“YAH! You find every girl boring. How on earth are you even going to settle down if you’re like this?” I slam the table, very annoyed.
“Like you’re any better,” My younger sister mutters as she walks past us to check the fridge. She just finished her meal!
Baekhyun laughs at that and sends a thumbs up at my younger sister who only rolled her eyes at him and shuffles out.
“Damn. Three years and she’s still as cold as ice.”
“Get over it,” I stand up taking off my apron. “Not every girl will fawn over you.”
“Not like I was ever under it.” He replies as a matter of factly, as he puts another spoonful inside his mouth.
“I’m going to take a shower and go to bed. You better clean up after your mess and do the dishes or I’ll mug you.”
I smile, proud at my own cleverness, and walk out as Baekhyun shakes with laughter trying not to choke on his food.
Twenty minutes pass by and I come out to find Baekhyun watching TV with dad.
You see, despite the fact that a guy was over at our house at this time of the day did not mean our parents weren’t strict. In fact, they were strict as .
I grew up without knowing a single swear word until I met Baekhyun. And clubbing? That was o