The meeting concluded, and Block B split up with plans to meet back at Zico’s home.
Zico drove Jaehyo and Kyung in his beat-up car.
“Man, this thing is old, Zico. You should get a new car. Where’s all that dough you make? You could get a new hot ride with that.” Kyung wiggled his eyebrows.
“What ‘dough’?” Jaehyo snorted from the back with his feet propped up on the back of Kyung’s seat. “All the damn cash he makes go straight to that self-indulgent princess.”
“Damn, right, hyung. My Jungie Jungie is the princess of all princesses. No Disney princess can top her. She’s badass and beautiful. She is above Mulan on the princess list.” Zico grinned good-naturedly.
“You idiot! Mulan isn’t a princess!” Kyung laughed.
“You should know.” Zico chuckled. When Kyung was little, he had been obsessed with that movie and would force Zico to watch it with him at least once a day. Zico swerved his car into the right lane.
“Uh, Zico. Your house is that way.” Kyung pointed. “I know that.” Zico chuckled. “Where the hell are we going?” Jaehyo asked.
Without an answer, Zico pulled to a stop. Kyung looked up, “Super market? You run out of food?”
“Not me. Jungah did.” Zico got out.
“Of course.” Jaehyo rolled his eyes. He unbuckled his seatbelt and got out of the seat rather grumpily.
Jaehyo and Kyung followed Zico into the market. Zico grabbed a cart and pushed it towards Kyung, “Follow me.”
“Yes, sir.” Kyung saluted. Jaehyo sulked while crossing his arms. *I don’t understand why he does all these things for the ungrateful brat.*
Zico put everything in sight that he thought Jungah would need into the cart. He grabbed an armful of ramen and tossed it into the cart. “Damn. You’re going to make her face swell up like a hot air balloon.” Kyung chuckled. “Why the hell are you buying all those?! She doesn’t need that much food!” Jaehyo snapped.
Zico blinked a couple times and snapped his fingers in epiphany, “You’re right, hyung.” Jaehyo crossed his arms and nodded in satisfaction. “Jungah broke her arm, so she can’t cook! What was I thinking?!” Zico slapped his forehead, and put most of the ramen back on the shelf. Jaehyo smacked his own face. *That’s now what I meant! Woo Jiho, you’re impossible!*
Zico placed a bunch of microwavable dinners into the cart. “These are unhealthy, but it’ll have to do until she heals.” “You should just ask her to move in with you for the time being.” Kyung casually suggested. Zico acted like he hadn’t heard Kyung’s idea.
“Okay, all done. Let’s go to the front.” He paid for all the groceries.
Kyung helped him put them into the trunk. Everyone went back into the car.
“To Jungie Jungie’s!” Zico drove off.
Twenty minutes later, he stopped in front of her apartment building.
“Need help?” Kyung asked. “I got it!” Zico called from the trunk. He shut it, clutched onto the bags of groceries, and headed inside.
“Isn’t that sweet?” Kyung chuckled. “Sweet, my .” Jaehyo spat.
Zico arrived on Jungah’s floor. Humming, he walked towards her door. Suddenly, it opened. His eyes rounded in surprise. *Where is Jungah going at this time?* He opened his mouth to call her name but froze when he saw the tall, recognizable male stepping out of her apartment. *What is he doing here?*
Kris carefully shut Jungah’s front door and made sure it was locked. He looked up and gazed at the door. *Sweet dreams.* Kris turned to go.
Zico moved fast. He darted into the staircase and flattened himself against the wall with a thumping heart. *What is going on? Why is he coming out of her home? He didn’t hurt her, did he?!* Zico heard Kris approaching. He held his breath until he heard the soft ping of the elevator doors.
When Zico was sure Kris was gone, he came out of the staircase. He glanced at the elevators in bafflement. Then he ran to Jungah’s house and darted inside. He dropped the groceries and shouted in alarm, “Jungah! Han Jungah!” Zico raced into her bedroom and stopped. Jungah was peacefully asleep on her bed. *He didn’t hurt her.* Relief filled him at first then hollowness. *What was he doing at her home? Is that how close they’ve gotten? He comes and goes here as he pleases?*
The thought made him numb inside.
Zico stepped back with a blank, stunned expression. He wanted to run but stopped when he saw the pile of groceries by the door. With a dejected, tired sigh, he picked them up and sorted the food in their proper places.
Kyung and Jaehyo were waiting outside in the car.
“Why isn’t he coming out yet?!” Jaehyo sneered impatiently. “Chill, hyung. Patience is virtue.” Kyung placed his fingers to his temples and made an irritating humming noise. “Shut up!” Jaehyo hissed, and Kyung laughed. Abruptly, he stopped laughing, “What the hell? Isn’t that the transfer student?” Jaehyo sat up in his seat.
Both of them watched Kris walk across to his car.
“Whoa.” Kyung’s eyes widened at the ostentatious car. Even Jaehyo was speechless. Kris drove off, leaving the two males to gawk over the fancy sportscar. *Where did he get money for such a car?!* They wondered.
Kyung realized something. “Wait…did he just come from Jungah’s apartment?! That means…ZICO!”
Jaehyo’s eyes widened. *. That fool probably saw him.*
“Should I go check on him?” Kyung uneasily wondered. He was about to unbuckle his seatbelt, but Jaehyo grasped his arm, “No, wait.” His eyes were on a figure approaching the car. Kyung followed his gaze.
Zico was lumbering towards the car. He entered the car without a smile on his usual cheerful face. He wasn’t even attempting to put on a happy façade.
“Zico…are you okay?” Kyung worriedly asked. Jaehyo’s eyebrows pinched in concern.
Zico didn’t reply as he turned the engine on. The ride home was dead silent. Kyung and Jaehyo kept glancing at each other. None of them dared say a word. Jaehyo reclined in his seat and shook his head. *I told you, Woo Jiho. You wasted your time with Jungah.*
They arrived at Zico’s apartment. “Finally, you all came.” B-Bomb made a face.
“We thought you all got lost.” P.O. snickered. Taeil noticed that the somber atmosphere surrounding Zico, Kyung, and Jaehyo. He stood up with a curious expression, “Did something happen on the way back?”
Kyung cast a furtive glance at Zico then shook his head, “Nah.”
“Beer?” U-Kwon held out a can. “No, thanks.” Zico went into his room and shut the door.
“Seriously, what happened?” Taeil whispered. “Did I say something wrong?” P.O. asked in alarm.
Kyung shook his head, “It’s not you. Zico just isn’t feeling well.”
“That !” A caustic voice hissed. Kyung jumped in shock. He saw Jaehyo storming towards Zico’s room. *Not good!* “Hyung, no-“
It was too late. Jaehyo burst inside Zico’s room.
Zico turned around. Jaehyo garbbed his collar, “Is that all you are, Woo Jiho?! Huh?!”
The rest of Block B rushed inside. “Hyung!” U-Kwon’s eyes widened.
“Ahn Jaehyo, stop it right now!” Taeil hissed.
Jaehyo glared angrily at Zico, “You disgust me. Being depressed over a girl that doesn’t give about you!” Zico finally looked at his friend with resentful eyes. “What?! Now you’re pissed at me for talking crap about the ?” Jaehyo laughed harshly.
*Oh . He crossed the line.* B-Bomb thought.
“Hyung, that’s enough.” Kyung warned.
“What did you call her?” Zico lowly growled.
“I’m not afraid to repeat myself.” Jaehyo stepped up to him and sneered, “.”
Zico shoved him hard. Jaehyo went sailing back into Taeil. *He dare shove me over her?!* Jaehyo tried to swing his fist, but Taeil held him back. “What the hell is wrong with you, Jaehyo?! Stop it!” P.O. whimpered with an ashen face, “Hyungs, please…”
“I told you, hyung. I told you to stop calling her such inappropriate names. She doesn’t deserve to be called such worthless things by you or anyone else.” Zico defended.
“She deserves to be call that because she is worthless!” Jaehyo snapped.
“Hyung, enough!” Kyung called out, exasperated.
Zico narrowed his eyes, “What?”
“She’s not worth your time, Woo Jiho. You think she even cares you do all this for? All this unnecessary grocery shopping just for her…” Jaehyo shook his head, “You are out of your ing mind. You know that? You could spend your time and money doing other things. Things that you want. Instead, you’re investing everything that you own for the ungrateful !
” Zico lunged for him. “Hold him!” Kyung shouted. P.O., the only one who could match Zico’s size, grabbed him back.
“Tell me, Woo Jiho. What’s in it for you? Huh? You think she even appreciates half the things you do for her?” Jaehyo snarled. This time, B-Bomb grabbed his arm, “Jaehyo, that’s enough. We all know Jungah has an attitude, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about Jiho-“
Jaehyo yanked away, “If she did, she wouldn’t have another ing male at her apartment that he got her!”
Everyone’s eyes rounded in shock, “What?!” B-Bomb shifted his gaze to Zico, “Woo Jiho, is that true?”
“…Get out.” Zico whispered. Jaehyo him, “It’s about time you face reality, Woo Jiho. You think you’ll ever be anything to Jungah besides her stepbrother? Are you hoping for some happy ending love story ? I’d hate to break your fantasy, but none of that is about to happen between you two. She’s too oblivious about your feelings, and you’re too much of a coward to act on them!”
Zico balled his fists. Then he snapped. “GET OUT! GET THE OUT OF MY HOUSE!”
“. Come on, Jaehyo.” B-Bomb muttered. Jaehyo stood firmly where he was. “I said come on!” B-Bomb hissed.
“LEAVE, OR I SWEAR, AHN JAEHYO, I’LL MURDER YOU! GET OUT!” Zico grabbed his lamp and chucked it. It broke into the wall next to Jaehyo and shattered into unfixable pieces.
“!” U-Kwon hissed in alarm. “You heard him! Go!” Kyung ordered.
B-Bomb and Taeil dragged Jaehyo away. U-Kwon and P.O. darted away right after him. Kyung glanced at Zico with a dismal expression then left with a shake of his head.
“He’s freaking psycho.” Jaehyo shook his head. Kyung pointedly stared at him, “Don’t bring this on Woo Jiho, hyung. You’re the one that brought up unnecessary crap. If you hadn’t just said those harsh words to him, he wouldn’t have gone ape on you.” Jaehyo was silent. Kyung shook his head and headed to the door, “Let’s go. Give Jiho some time to recuperate.” They left.
Zico sank onto his bed and clutched onto his hair. Hot tears sprang out of his eyes. *. Everything hurts. I know I promised you. I know I’m not good enough for her. But I can’t help it. Jungah is my everything. She’s the reason why I’m able to keep my head up high.*
He opened his eyes.
He remembered the night he had had his feelings caught by his stepmother and the day he had promised not to fall in love with Jungah.