Chapter 21

They Woke Up Married
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That day on the rooftop was the icebreaker. They became friends.

 

Not lovers.

Not enemies.

 

 

Friends.

 

 

Mr. and Mrs. Kim Jong Kook are now friends.

 

 

 

Surprising, yes… but they are friends now. After what they been through, they have become friends. Jong Kook and Ji Hyo are no longer awkward with each other. If ever they bicker or argue, it’s how normal friends fight over common stuff. They no longer bring up past issues and both have very well moved on.

 

 

 

Their respective partners have accepted their current set-up as well, because in the first place, they have no choice. Ji Hoon, despite his earlier resistance and now his developing jealousy towards Jong Kook, had no other choice but accept the fact that his girl is still married. As much as Ji Hoon hates it, Ji Hyo must still live under one roof with Jong Kook or else the Judge will not grant them divorce. If they disobey, they’ll stay married longer.

 

 

 

Soo Ae’s cool about it. Unlike Jong Kook’s ex-girlfriend, Hana, the current girlfriend’s dealing with the situation pretty well. She thinks it’s neither Jong Kook nor Ji Hyo’s fault, so they don’t have any choice but to live with each other. And she trusts Jong Kook, and not to mention the fact that she had fallen head over heals in love with him too.

 

 

 

Well, who wouldn’t?

Even this Author-nim is madly in love with him.

Coz he’s amazing… just the way he is! Hah! Corny.

 

 

 

So far everything was going smoothly.

 

 

The husband and the wife have become friends.

The girlfriend of the husband is cool. The boyfriend of the wife had been slowly accepting the situation; there had been a few occasions of jealousy but nothing major.

 

 

 

So far, so good.

 

 

 

“I am sorry… I know it’s late.” Ji Hyo apologized. “I wanted to call Ji Hoon to pick me up, but he has a presentation tomorrow at work… it’s going to be a big day for him… and…”

 

 

 

“And I am your husband…” Jong Kook yawned. “I should be doing these things for you.”

 

 

 

“I am sorry, Jong Kookieee.” Ji Hyo tried to sound cute.

 

 

 

“That isn’t working for me, Ji Hyo.” Another yawn from the sleepy husband. “You owe me a meal.”

 

 

“Yes, Sir!”

 

 

“At a very expensive restaurant…” He laughed.

 

 

“Your place of choice. I am loaded.” She nodded while she got inside the car. “Anywhere you want.”

 

 

Ji Hyo filmed late again but since she doesn’t want to ride with her staff, she asked Jong Kook to pick her up. It was past midnight and he was already fast asleep when his phone rang. Jong Kook didn’t have much of a choice because he doesn’t want Ji Hyo to be taking a cab going home too.

 

 

Inside the car, Ji Hyo was talking nonstop on how the filming didn’t go so well. The director was late. And he and the assistant director argued too many times. There were too many problems with the sound system. In the end, the filming took many hours to finish, thus they ended up late.

 

 

When they reached home, Ji Hyo was having problems getting inside her room. She can’t open the door.

 

 

“What’s wrong with this thing?” She tried opening it, but she can’t. She can’t remember locking it when she left that morning.

 

 

She got her keys from her bag and tried opening it with them. The keys just got stuck in the keyhole, and still, her door won’t open.

 

 

 

Then, she had to bother (again) her handsome and overly y husband next door.

 

 

 

“Jong Kook…” She knocked at his door. “Jong Kookieee…”

 

 

After five knocks, and two “Jong Kook’s”, a semi- Jong Kook opened his door, looking very, very, sleepy. (And very, very, yummy.) As if the door of heaven opened and she wanted to just walk in paradise.

 

 

 

“I am dreaming already.” He said, with his eyes half-opened.

 

 

 

“My door’s busted. It won’t open.” Ji Hyo explained. She too, looking and feeling sleepy.

 

 

 

Jong Kook step aside, as if telling her to come in. But Ji Hyo didn’t move. So Jong Kook gestured that she should come inside his room.

 

 

 

Ji Hyo shook her head. Jong Kook reached for the door and was about to close it.

 

 

 

“Wait!” Ji Hyo panicked a little bit.

 

 

Jong Kook waited for her to speak.

 

 

“Can you sleep in the living room instead?” Ji Hyo bit her lip.

 

 

 

Jong Kook reached for the door again.

 

 

 

No, Ji Hyo.

This is his room.

Take it or leave it.

 

 

“Fine.” Ji Hyo surrendered. “We keep the boundaries. Just like the old times. I am going to take a shower first.”

 

 

 

“It’s late.” He told her. “But suit yourself, I am going back to sleep.”

 

 

 

Ji Hyo climbed to his bed after she went out of the bathroom. She was so stressed that she had to get clothes from the laundry room and go back to Jong Kook’s room before finally she can go to sleep. Ji Hyo arranged the ‘boundaries’ before she can drift to dreamland though. Three big pillows separate her and Jong Kook. It doesn’t matter if she gets to hug no pillow anymore, at least there’s something separating them.

 

 

 

Three pillows.

It should still be there when the sun’s up few hours later.

 

 

If it’s not…

Then it’s not.

 

 

 

Three pillows.

Those three white fluffy pillows.

 

 

 

One is on the edge of the bed, on Jong Kook’s side. The other, on the floor, on Ji Hyo’s side. The last one, Ji Hyo is still figuring out where it went exactly.

 

 

 

That’s where they are the next morning.

 

 

 

She was thinking if Jong Kook slept originally with three pillows under his head (that’s too many, Ji Hyo) or there was one on the floor on his side of the bed. She was thinking too fast, a bit panicky to a certain extent.

 

 

 

It was wrong to spend the night in his room, obviously. She could’ve just slept in the living room if Jong Kook didn’t want to sleep there himself. But there shouldn’t be Jong Kook and Ji Hyo in one room, and definitely not in one bed.

 

 

 

If her mind and heart were racing, her body couldn’t do a single movement. Ji Hyo was so scared that even few, calculated and gentle movements were enough to wake the sleeping Tiger.

 

 

 

This has already happened in the past. With Ji Hyo waking up in Jong Kook’s arms. She was not exactly unfamiliar with this set-up. This was not new to her.

 

 

 

This room.

This kind of morning.

This man.

 

 

His scent.

His embrace.

 

 

 

But this time it’s supposed to be different. There are no feelings involved. They are just friends now.

 

 

 

Ji Hyo closed her eyes; and she held on to him closer.

Mong Ji Hyo went back to sleep.

 

 

While Jong Kook pretended to be still asleep.

 

 

 

Ji Hyo shook her head. “Is this the first time you’re wearing a suit?”

 

 

 

She looked very disappointed fixing Jong Kook’s suit, particularly his tie because it seemed that he didn’t pay much attention to it. And he was leaving in a hurry because he was already running late. It was his girlfriend’s birthday, and they’re having a formal party, hence the suit.

 

 

 

“You sure you don’t want to come with me?” He asked Ji Hyo for the nth time.

 

 

“The boyfriend comes with ex-girlfriend who happens to be his legal wife too… are you kidding, Kim Jong Kook?” Ji Hyo chuckled. “Can you just give it some thought a little bit before you speak? It’s your girlfriend’s birthday. It’s a miracle I am even invited.”

 

 

 

“I am serious.” Jong Kook told her.

 

 

“I am too.” Ji Hyo told him straight. “Go have fun. I don’t expect you to come home tonight.”

 

 

“Liar.” Jong Kook smiled.

 

 

“Shut up, Kim Jong Kook.” Ji Hyo playfully slapped him in the arm.

 

 

“I am going home tonight.” His voice reassuring.

 

 

“Want to bet?” Ji Hyo dared. “Nah, forget it. Go spend the night with her. It’s her day. Make it more special by being with her all night.”

 

 

“You’re right.” Jong Kook nodded. He looked at himself at the mirror. “Thanks Ji Hyo. It’s great being married. There’s someone looking after these kinds of things.”

 

 

 

“Oh, you Jong Kookie!” Ji Hyo had to hit him playfully again.

 

 

 

“Don’t forget to feed the cat.” He told her smiling. Their cat. The invisible cat.

 

 

“I will.” She nodded.

 

 

“Ahhh. This feels like being married for real.” He spoke seriously as if reality had only hit him now.

 

 

“We’re married… for real.” Ji Hyo told him and bent down to pick up his handkerchief which fell to the floor.

 

 

 

Jong Kook wanted to continue with his ‘realization’ and decided to add a joke to it. He leaned to pretend to kiss Ji Hyo who was just about to come up from picking up the hanky from the floor.

 

 

 

But Jong Kook accidentally kissed her.

He really did kiss her.

On the LIPS.

 

 

Ooops.

 

 

Ten seconds have passed before someone spoke.

And those ten seconds lag were not spent in vain- they stared at each other.

 

 

 

“Aigoo.” Ji Hyo pushed him. “You’re late and you’re still playing around.”

 

 

 

Dugeun. Dugeun.

 

 

 

Ji Hyo felt her cheeks became hotter after Jong Kook left. Her heart started beating a little faster too.

 

 

No way.

No, no, no.

 

 

While she was contemplating why she was blushing and had suddenly gotten nervous; someone went to his girlfriend’s party wearing house slippers.

 

 

 

He didn’t even notice that he was not wearing his shoes. Not even when he stayed in his car for thirty minutes before leaving for the party.

 

 

 

He just stayed inside his car, feeling very uneasy, staring at his house, as if wanting to go back inside.

 

 

Oh dear.

 

 

 

“Ji Hyo?” He knocked at her door.

 

 

Jong Kook might be drop-dead handsome (and yummy and y and cute…) but he is a stubborn man. He was told by at least more than a dozen friends, including Ji Hyo, to spend the night with Soo Ae because it was her birthday, but he didn’t listen to anyone of them.

 

 

 

“Jong Kook?” Ji Hyo opened the door.

 

 

“Can we talk?”

 

 

 

“Wh-What are we going to talk about?” She asked, playing innocent.

 

 

 

“You know what.” He sighed.

 

 

 

“Fine.” Ji Hyo can’t lie. “We can’t do that anymore, right?”

 

 

 

“I know. Don’t think about it.” Jong Kook nodded. “I just had to let it out. I didn’t do that on purpose.”

 

 

 

Oh, the kiss.

 

 

 

“I know.” She smiled. “Goodnight, Jong Kook.”

 

 

 

Mr. and Mrs. Kim Jong Kook don’t want the night to pass with any tension between them now. They want ‘certain’ things cleared as soon as possible.

 

 

He felt something and asking her to talk about it meant he clearly doesn’t want to fall in love with her again.

 

 

 

Weird.

 

 

 

It’s mind over heart for Jong Kook this time. If he keeps quiet, he will just nurture his feelings and who knows, sooner or later he’ll find himself falling in love with Ji Hyo again. Same case with Ji Hyo if Jong Kook didn’t come and talked to her, she would’ve gone to him instead.

 

 

 

There’s no room for those awkward moments anymore.

There’s Ji Hoon, there’s Soo Ae.

 

 

 

“Good night, Ji Hyo.”

 

 

 

When Ji Hyo closed the door, Jong Kook stood there for about thirty minutes contemplating whether to knock again. He was uneasy the whole evening. At his girlfriend’s party, he chose to stay alone, or just spoke with few chosen people. He left earlier than the rest, leaving the birthday girl with most of her guests.

 

 

 

Jong Kook didn’t know if he just wanted to clear any misunderstanding with that simple kiss or anything more than that.

 

 

He doesn’t know.

All he knows is that he doesn’t need more of Ji Hyo and he doesn’t feel anything towards her anymore.

 

 

 

It’s just friendship and nothing else.

He can’t ruin any of his relationships now.

His relationship with Soo Ae or with Ji Hyo.

 

 

So, he stood there in front of her door thinking and thinking… and thinking.

 

 

 

While Ji Hyo stood leaning on the opposite side of the door, thinking, thinking, and thinking too.

 

 

Jong Kook and Ji Hyo’s Villa

Hannam-dong, Seoul

8 pm

 

 

“You’re going out?” Jong Kook had put down the magazine he’s reading.

 

 

“Mmmm.” Ji Hyo nodded, looking very much in a hurry. “McDonald’s.”

 

 

“You’re not even asking if I want to come.” Jong Kook got his car keys. “I’ll drive you.”

 

 

“I’m surprising Ji Hoon. That’s his favorite.” Ji Hyo smiled. “He’s working overnight.”

 

 

“Oh…” Jong Kook looked dejected.

 

 

“Sorry… but can I get you anything?” Ji Hyo looked apologetic.

 

 

He shook his head.

 

 

“I’ll go ahead.” Ji Hyo rushed to the door.

 

 

McDonald’s Drive Thru

8:30 pm

 

 

The McDonald’s crew taking the order had to rush to her co-worker excitedly on the next window. She can’t be wrong. She knew that voice.

 

 

“I swear, I am cutting my fingers if that’s not Running Man’s Kim Jong Kook getting that Big MAC on that next window.” The crew told her friend.

 

 

“Are you sure?” The other crew’s eyes widened.

 

 

They rushed to that window where they release the food just to get the surprise of their lives. Yes, it’s KJK with someone t

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