Chapter 13

I Is For Irony

“Oppa....” she paused, “I may be annoying.  I may be insecure.  But I can tell when things aren’t right.”

 

 

He held his breath.  Did she know?

 

 

“You like someone.”

 

And everything came crashing upon him.

 

 

“I’ll stop bothering you now.  I’ve depended on you way too much.  It’s time I let you spend time with her instead of fixing my problems.”  She turned her head as she left his room, glancing at him one last time.  “You love her a lot, don’t you?”

 

 

If only you knew Tae Hee, if only you knew.  Yoochun fell prostrate onto his bed, feeling useless.  He had had so many “perfect” chances.  Chances to confess.  Chances to be happy.  But he’d given it all up.  Because of a friend.

 

Yoochun had been there first.  Seen her for who she was.  But he hadn’t spoken up then.  Just like now.

 

He angrily pounded his fist on the bed.  Another chance lost.

 

*****

 

Jaejoong sprinted towards the café.  Who cared about the horde of fangirls following him?  Tae Hee’s relationship with him was at risk.  And that was what mattered.

 

Yoochun had called him right after he finished filming for the day.  Tae Hee had visited and realized Jaejoong had forgotten to include some important details.  She was breaking down.  She was scared.

 

“TAE HEE!” he panted, out of breath.  He scanned the customers’ faces.  Where was she?  It wasn’t like her to keep him waiting.

 

 

“Um, mister... are you looking for a girl about this tall?” A waiter gestured an approximate height. 

 

“Who’s almost always here, waiting for someone who never shows up?”

 

 

Jaejoong flinched.  The waiter had put it so bluntly.  Had he really blown off that many dates?  He nodded.

 

“She’s over there.  It’s like, her corner.”  He waved over to a dimly lit area.  Squinting, Jaejoong could slightly distinguish a figure in the dark. 

 

 

“Tae Hee...” Jaejoong whispered, heading towards her.  As he got closer, his pace slowed.  Instead of approaching her, he veered left, turning towards the Yamaha grand piano.  He whispered a few words to the pianist.  The musician nodded, lending Jaejoong the piano.

 

 

 

He started off with a few chords, developing it into a melody.  And then, his voice accompanied the music.

 

After the after glow sets,
I’m going towards you,
Following the lights which turn on one by one

I love you,
The foolish you,
You’re so precious to me

I hope that my wishes of smiling next to you every new morning,
Will be able to come true

I’ll wait for you,
I’ll never let go of your hands,
Even if it’s only tears,
I’ll wipe them away for you

Although we are not able to see the end,
No matter how bumpy our road is,
I’ll promise you, please be mine

 ‘I love you’ ‘You’re the only one’,
I want to yell those words out into the sky
I love you, my heart which feels like bursting is calling out to you

No matter how many times they find us,
No matter if we can’t breathe,

Like those invisible flower-like smiles,
Which shine just like the stars,
I’ll keep you safe beautifully

As much as the sun that rises above you,
I’ll keep you safe as much as you’ve waited for me, with this glaring heart,
I love you, I love you,
You’re the most beautiful in this world,
This dream-like heart,
More than the air I breathe.

DBSK: Picture of You

 

 

She looked up in surprise, recognizing the voice.  She was almost certain she was going to get stood up again today.

 

“Tae Hee ah!” Jaejoong shouted.  “How’s it feel to be serenaded by a guy who’s head-over-heels in love with you?”

 

 

She could feel her cheeks heating up.  This was better than she could ever imagine.

 

 

He got up from the piano bench and headed towards her.  Holding her in his arms, he whispered, “Frankly, I don’t even care if fans see us together anymore.  We can’t keep hiding this.  It’s killing you, isn’t it?  The press conference and everything.  The things I didn’t say.  I had always intended to make us official.  And then Hye Gyo was fired because of us.  I had to do something.  Getting her job back was just an added plus to announcing our relationship.

 

 

“I’m sorry if I didn’t tell you before.  I just didn’t think it was all that important of a detail...”

 

 

Tae Hee shook her head.  “Don’t apologize.  I was going crazy because I didn’t trust you.  I should be apologizing.”

 

 

 

Easy acceptance, once again.

 

 

But she wasn't as uneasy as before.

 

*****

 

Yoochun watched from his side of the table as the reporters flashed their cameras and gathered around the “couples”.  Yunho and Seul Gi.  (She had flown back immediately from California just to attend the conference.)  Junsu and Seung Yeon.  Changmin and Younha.  And then there was Tae Hee and Jaejoong, basking in each other’s presence.  But of course, you couldn’t forget Yoochun’s picture.  After all, he was the only one without a girlfriend.  The only one still single, still available for the fans.

 

“Aren’t you afraid of breaking your fans’ hearts?” a reporter asked, directing her question to Jaejoong.

 

He sat up straighter and cleared his voice.  “You see, if the fans truly love me, then they’ll want what’s best for me.  And well...” He grabbed hold of Tae Hee’s hand and held it up.  “She’s the best thing in my life.”

 

 

Aww’s, ooh’s, and nods issued throughout the audience.

 

After all, it was a reasonable answer.

 

 

 

But the fans did not agree.  Or most of them didn’t.

 

Having a hidden romance was already pushing it, but there was still hope.  Hope that, one day, Yunho (and/or another member) would be theirs.

 

 

After the press conference was published, fans of all sorts expressed their disagreement through letters, online, physically --- stalking the girls and literally attempting to beat them.  And Tae Hee was hit the hardest.  They claimed her relationship with the boys would be the weakest.  Hers was a long distance relationship; she lived in the States for goodness sake.  How hard could it be to tear them apart?  So they tormented her the most.

 

 

 

“HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU NOT TO READ THE FORUMS?” Jaejoong demanded; his heart broke whenever he saw Tae Hee cry---especially when she was crying because of him.

 

“I couldn’t help it...  I didn’t mean to...”

He knelt down and pulled her into an embrace.  “Tae Hee... you really can’t do this anymore.  You have to learn to ignore this...”

 

“How can I?” she sobbed.  “Everywhere I go, they’re there too.  Even a small trip to the market, they’re at my heels, taunting me, yelling at me...  When I have a handful of angry fans stalking me like that, I can’t help but wonder what the other, what?, 800,000 fans think of me too...”

 

 

Jaejoong let go of her and stood up.  “Come on.  We’re going on a date.”

 

Tae Hee panicked.  “Wha—what?  Into the crowd of fans outside?  I don’t think that’s a good idea...”

 

He held out his hand and smiled.  “Don’t worry, I’m here.”

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