Chapter 14

I Is For Irony

Tae Hee could already hear the fangirls muttering nasty things as she stepped out of the apartment building.  She wanted to turn away, run back into her home to avoid all the animosity.  But Jaejoong blocked her way.

 

 

“Come on, let’s go,” he motioned to his girlfriend.  He almost glared at a fan; but instead, he smiled politely and continued towards his car.  The fan melted to the ground with glee.  He rolled his eyes.  It was amazing how easily he could change a fan’s composure.  From angry to pleased, in seconds.

 

 

“Jaejoong... this isn’t a really wise move,” Tae Hee insisted as Jaejoong started his convertible’s engine.  “Like seriously?  And with the hood down!”

 

 

Jaejoong sighed.  “Tae Hee...”  He touched her cheek and pulled her in for a quick kiss.  Fangirls in the background shrieked with disbelief.  “You need to stop worrying about how the fans will handle this.  It’s not their relationship---it’s ours.  And so long as I’m here, nothing’s going to happen.”

 

 

Her heart skipped a beat.  It had been so long since she last felt this way…  Falling in love---all over again.

 

 

 

He pulled in front of Café Bijou and Tae Hee gasped.

 

Hearing her surprise, Jaejoong smiled at her.

 

“Why this one?” she asked.

 

 

“You thought I forgot, right?”  He ran over to her side of the car and opened the door for her.  “On the very first day we met, you wanted to have dinner with me at this café…And then I stood you up that night, not realizing that you’d be the most special person in my life.”

 

 

“Don’t say that!” Tae Hee blushed.  Any more of this sweetness and she’d melt.

 

 

 

They walked into the café, hand in hand, as Jaejoong couldn’t help but chuckle.  For an attempt at a first date, Tae Hee was certainly sneaky.  Dimly lit lights.  A string quartet playing in the background.  Thank goodness he had dressed up today.

 

 

“Like it?” Tae Hee asked.

 

“You liked me from the start, didn’t you?”

 

She rolled her eyes and smiled.  “Don’t be so cocky.  I was just grateful that I didn’t get hit by that car.”

 

“And of course, the best way to thank me was invite me to an upscale restaurant with tables with only two seats.”

 

She laughed.  “Exactly.”

 

 

She looked down shyly at her bread.  Maybe she really had liked him since the very beginning.  Love at first sight didn’t seem so outrageous anymore.

 

 

“I’m glad we’re together,” she whispered.

 

*****

 

Tae Hee sat on the couch, staring at the back of Jaejoong’s head.  She only had a little more than a month before she had to go back.  But it didn’t seem to matter anymore.  Everything was how it was supposed to be now.

 

“According to a recent poll on Cyworld, the DBSK couples have an 83% approval rate,” Yoochun read from his computer.                               

 

 

Junsu cheered, turning to Seung Yeon.  “Now I don’t need to worry about you being mauled by the fangirls!”

 

 

“What about you, Yoochun?  It’s time you find one too!” Tae Hee teased.

 

 

He didn’t reply.  How could he?  Shout “I ALREADY FOUND ONE, TAE HEE.  AND SHE’S YOU!” out loud?  It would be the same as suicide.

 

 

Younha nodded enthusiastically.  “Yeah, if you need help… I’m sure I have several friends that’d be interested!”

 

 

Jaejoong wrapped his arm around Tae Hee’s shoulder.  “C’mon you guys.  Don’t push him.  But if you really want to, there’s always Lina.  And she’s 100% approved by me.”

 

 

“OHHHHH.  Who’s Lina?” Changmin questioned with a grin.  “She couldn’t be that Los Angeles girl, could she?”

 

 

Jaejoong nodded proudly.  “She’s a wonderful girl.”

 

 

“YAH.  Kim Jaejoong.  I think I’m your girlfriend!  You better not be cheating on me!” Tae Hee pouted playfully.  But she really did mean it.  He couldn’t be slipping now.

 

 

“Of course I know and I’m surely not.  She may be wonderful; but you’re amazing.”

 

“Awww…” Tae Hee bit her lip shyly.

 

 

And everybody rolled their eyes.  This was way too cheesy for their liking.

 

*****

 

Lina drew in a deep breath.  This was her first time in Korea---let alone, her first time out of the States.  She clutched tighter onto the slip of paper in her hand.  This was the reason why she was here.  If she lost it… well then, there went all her hopes.

 

Laura had told her not to.  It wasn’t worth it.  Don’t go chasing after a man who can break your heart so easily.  He’ll just break it again and again.

 

But that was the whole point.  He could only have broken her heart if she’d fallen in love with him. 

 

She knew it now.  Lina Choi had fallen deeply in love with Kim Jaejoong, a man she had only known for a month.  And nothing could change it.  Not blind dates with rich men.  Not overworking herself.  Nothing

 

And now she was halfway across the world in search for him.  Was Tae Hee like this too?  So in love with him that she was willing to travel the globe, looking for him?  She shook her head.  Tae Hee had made Jaejoong look for her, neglecting his job for her.   And that was the only thing she had in favor for her instead of Tae Hee.  

 

It’s unbelievable sometimes… what one does for love.

 

 

 

She raised the phone to her ear and sat on the hotel bed nervously.  Would he pick up?  Or was he too busy being famous?  What if the Jaejoong she knew was only a temporary phase?  What if he was stuck up, like all the other celebrities on TV?  What if…he forgot about her?

 

 

10 rings, and finally, an answer.

 

“Hello?” he responded suspiciously.

 

“Hello…is this Kim Jaejoong?” Lina asked slowly.  What if it wasn’t him?  What if he had given her the wrong number?

 

 

“Well, no duh.”

 

“Um…”  She heard lots of chatter in the background.  Where was he?

 

“Can you please not call me again?  Thanks,” he added, sounding very annoyed.  So this was how he treated all the people around him?

 

 

“This is Lina.”

 

His voice softened considerably; in fact, he sounded rather happy.  “Are you serious?  Where are you?”

 

“In Korea.”

 

 

“You’re kidding right?”

 

Lina smiled and shook her head.  “Nope.”

 

“Who is it?”  Lina’s heart dropped.  It was Tae Hee, wasn’t it?

 

 

*****

 

“Who is it?” Tae Hee asked, peering into the phone.

 

If he said Lina, she’d certainly burst.  “Ah, just an old friend.”

 

“Do I know him?” she smiled, placing her head on his shoulder.

 

 

Jaejoong frowned.  She had said “him”---automatically assuming Lina was a male.  Tae Hee trusted him, so why was he feeling so guilty?

 

 

“Actually Tae Hee…”

 

She laughed. “I know, I know.  Don’t worry, I’m not that nosy.  I’m not going to be a clingy girlfriend.  Go ahead and hang out with him.  I’m not stopping you.”

 

 

Jaejoong nodded gratefully.  She had given him permission.  He spoke into the phone, “Hello?  Where are you?  I’ll come pick you up.”  Turning back to Tae Hee, he continued, “I might be late.  Don’t wait up.”

 

He kissed her on the forehead.

 

 

 

Tae Hee watched him leave the apartment.  Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea, letting him go like that.  But relationships were all about trust.  And if there wasn’t trust, well, what was there?  Maybe she’d regret this…in the future.  But as of now, she was loved.

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