The taxi pulled over in front of Trance, a posh, trendy nightclub in the middle of Hongdae.
Jungah paid the driver and stepped out. She took a wobbly step in her new black wedges. Jungah looked down at her new black dress with lacy straps. Her stomach sank. *This isn’t me.*
But when Zico had invited her to a nightclub, she knew she couldn’t just go in jeans and a black sweater, like usual.
She didn’t want to disappoint him. She wanted to make him proud of her.
So she took some of the money he had given her and went shopping for a dress, like he had wanted her to.
Jungah put her phone to her ear, “Zico. I’m here. Araso.” She hung up. With a deep breath to give herself a boost of confidence, she strode towards the entrance. The bouncer held his arm out, “There’s a line, and you need an ID.”
Jungah looked into his eyes and spoke a name. His eyes widened, and he quickly opened the door.
The people in line complained at the cut.
“Go in.” The bouncer ushered.
Jungah went inside and glanced back as the door shut behind her. *What on earth did Zico do that brings so much fear to his name?* Shaking her head, she descended down the marble staircase.
The pumping music became louder. Bright lights flashed into view. The club was packed with people drinking, dancing, and having a good time. Jungah looked around and saw that she wasn’t the only one dressed up. She felt less out of place, but still, she felt as if she wasn’t in her own skin. *I should have declined. I shouldn’t have come here. This isn’t my scene.*
Before Jungah could change her mind and leave, a hand grabbed her arm. She spun around to see Zico smiling at her, “Leaving so soon?! The party just started though!”
“This really isn’t somewhere that I belong.” Jungah argued.
His eyes softened, “Why such a low self-esteem? You’ll fit in anywhere. Just look at you. You’re gorgeous.” He took her hand and gently twirled her around. Her cheeks flushed, “Zico-“
“You listened to me and bought a dress. It fits you.” Zico gazed at her with such tenderness that it made her heart speed up. To his eyes, she looked so achingly beautiful that it hurt him. It was even worse because she was unattainable.
Jungah softened. *Whatever. Who cares if this isn’t my place? I belong next to Zico, and he’s here, so that’s all that matters.*
“Come on. I’ll introduce you to some friends.” Zico led her through the crowd and into a secluded room.
“Oh! Bull! Whoa…look at you.” Kyung looked her up and down.
“Damn, Jungah. I didn’t recognize you.” U-Kwon raised an eyebrow in interest.
“Rock on, Jungah.” P.O. nodded in approval.
“You should dress like that more often.” B-Bomb complimented. Taeil nodded in agreement while Jaehyo rolled his eyes and sipped his vodka. Zico grinned and squeezed her hand, “Told you.”
Jungah turned red and muttered in embarrassment, “Shut up.” He laughed and pulled her over, “Jungah, meet my new friends.” He began to name them one by one. To her dismay, there were girls included in the crowd as well. They wore shorter dresses than her that revealed their voluptuous and slender curves. Jungah felt like an eyesore next to them.
A girl with cropped, brown hair blew a smoke ring her way and raised an eyebrow, “And who is this?”
“You didn’t tell us you had a girlfriend.” A girl with long, black hair and thick red lips pouted, making Jungah inwardly gag.
Zico slung his arm around Jungah, “She’s not. She’s my dongsaeng.”
Her cheeks flamed up as she clenched her fists. *Do you really have to introduce me like that, especially to other girls?*
“Ohhh…” The girls burst into laughter.
*Shut up before I smack a or two.* Jungah frowned. She didn’t find anything funny about this situation at all.
“All right! Let’s get this party started! Woo!” Zico turned the music on and bounced his hands in the air.
He saw Jungah stiffly standing beside him and nudged her side, “Come on, Jungah. Have some fun. I called you out of your cocoon for a reason. Go. Make friends. Dance. Enjoy life.” Zico gave her a wink and walked away, leaving her to awkwardly stand there alone with crossed arms.
One of the new boys came over and held out a glass of beer, “Here.” She stiffly shook her head, “I don’t drink.”
“You serious?” He gawked at her. “Our Jungah is a nun.” Kyung winked, causing Jungah to shoot him a death glare.
“Then you want some of this?” The male held out something that looked like .
Jungah scowled even more, “Bug off. I don’t any of your .”
“Damn.” The male held his hands out, “All right. Chill.” He left.
Jungah sighed and her glossy lips. She could taste the bitterness of the lip gloss and grew agitated. *What am I doing here? Did I really think Zico would be paying attention to me the entire night? Damn, I’m stupid.*
“Come here, Jungah.” Kyung waved her over. *Better than being a loner here.* With a sigh, she trudged over and sat next to him. He held out a glass of clear liquid. She eyed him suspiciously.
“Relax. It’s just water. I’m not drinking tonight either since I have to drive these ers home.” Kyung said.
Jungah took a sip. It really was plain water.
“See?” Kyung grinned.
U-Kwon chewed on his gum, “Man, I want to dance.” “Do it.” B-Bomb said.
“Not in here. I’d look stupid. I want to go out there.” U-Kwon nodded. “Let’s go then.” B-Bomb stood up.
U-Kwon stood up as well and nodded at Jungah, “Wanna come?”
“I don’t dance.” She replied. “Suit yourself.” He shrugged and left with B-Bomb.
Soon, Kyung also went to chat with someone else, and she was left alone on the velvet booth.
Jungah looked up to see Zico laughing and talking with his friends. One of the girls tapped his arm and wiggled her finger. He leaned down towards her and lent her his ear. She began to whisper, too closely to him.
Jungah swallowed the growing lump in . It pained her to see other girls all over him. *I came here asking for heartbreak.*
Jungah couldn’t take it anymore. She stood up and left the room without even telling Zico.