Chapter 21

I Is For Irony

She shook her head.  It had taken her so much willpower to finally come and face Lina.  But it turned out, she wasn’t needed at all.  Jaejoong had rushed over as quickly as he could.  She wanted to run away from the room, but something attracted her back.

 

Tae Hee opened the door cautiously, peering in.  Intravenous liquid was dripping ominously from a plastic bag, connected to Lina’s arms by wires.  She had an oxygen mask on; so she wasn’t breathing that well.  Though she was already heavily bandaged, Tae Hee could make out traces of the blood seeping through.  Lina was in a horrible state.

 

She took a breath and stepped into the room, casting a shadow upon the floor.

 

 

Jaejoong looked up.

 

“Oh, you came?” he asked, rubbing his eyes tiredly.

 

“Hm…”

 

“The doctor says she might not be the same as before.  He says the concussion could do something to her senses… it’s all my fault.  How could my fans do this to her?  I mean, I know they can get unruly sometimes, but…this is just sickening.”  He gazed apologetically.  “I’m glad you’re fine, though.  Thanks for coming.  I know it must’ve been hard for you.”

 

 

 

If he wasn’t already devastated with Lina’s condition, Tae Hee would’ve slapped him.  He couldn’t be any more inconsiderate.  He didn’t understand how hard it really was for her to muster up this willpower, to overcome her biasness.  No words could possibly describe her feelings.  Nobody would understand.  Nobody.

 

 

*****

 

She finally left the hospital, after promising that she’d come visit Lina every day.  Perhaps it was a lie, but it was what Jaejoong needed at the moment.  She sighed.  What was she doing to herself?

 

 

Tae Hee’s phone began ringing.

 

“Hello?”

 

“Ah Tae Hee!”  It was Yoochun; how did she know?  ‘I missed you’ she was about to say.

 

“How’s Lina?”

 

Her jaw fell open.  He was supposed to be in love with her.  So, why, why was he acting like Jaejoong?  Why was he so worried about Lina too?

 

 

“…She’s fine…  She’s on a breathing machine, but her heart rate on the EKG seemed stable.  She’ll be fine.”      

 

 

“That’s good to hear.”

 

Tae Hee nodded slowly.  She was so selfish, wasn’t she?

 

“So, how are you holding up?” he asked after a long pause.

 

“Hm?”

 

“Helping Lina…you’re okay with that, right?”

 

She smiled bitterly.  “I’m a doctor, that’s what I’m supposed to do.”

 

 

 

 

So she went to visit Lina every day, just like Jaejoong did.  She didn’t know if she really wanted to see Lina recover, or if it was just an excuse to talk to Jaejoong.

 

“You know…” he spoke up.  Tae Hee stopped peeling her apple.  “I don’t know Lina that well.  It’s funny, even though I hardly know anything about her, I’m still so crazy about her.”

 

So why do you love her, she wanted to ask.

 

“I don’t know what her favorite color is.  I don’t know what her favorite food is.  I don’t even know her birthday.”

 

Tae Hee bit her lip and lowered her head.  “So, why…”

 

“I think I love her because she was there for me.  When I was going on that lovesick rampage, she brought me back.  She stopped me from imploding even more than I already was.”

 

She peeled the apple harder, focusing all her frustration on the fruit.  Her knife slipped, cleanly slicing her finger.  But she didn’t say anything.

 

“You know Tae Hee, I’m really glad that you said you could live without me.  If it weren’t for those words, I don’t know what I’d be feeling.”  He looked up at her with a smile.  “You’re bleeding!”

 

 

He reached out for her finger, but Tae Hee retracted.

 

“Tae Hee, go bandage it.  Stop fighting me.  Let me see it,” he ordered.  He stood up, ready to drag her to the restroom.

 

 

The hospital bed creaked.  Jaejoong looked at Tae Hee and then at the bed with disbelief.

 

Lina was awake.

 

 

 

“I’ll go get the doctor,” Tae Hee muttered.  She wrapped a tissue around her finger and ran out of the room.

 

Once Lina had awoken, Tae Hee was automatically forgotten.  But she was beginning to understand; her place in Jaejoong’s heart was no longer what it was before.

 

 

The doctor flashed a light into her eyes.  “Hm…everything seems normal.  Miss Choi, you’re one very lucky girl.”

 

Jaejoong breathed a sigh of relief.

 

“Alright, I just want you to stay one or two more nights so we can get a complete body check on you and make sure you’ve recovered fully.”  He scribbled some notes on a clipboard before exiting the room.

 

 

“Jaejoong…” Lina whispered.

 

He rushed over and sat on her bedside.

 

“Sorry for not making it.”

 

He shook his head.  “Sorry for not protecting you.  I’m sorry, they were my fans.  I didn’t know they’d be so crazy…”

 

She shook her head.  “It’s the price I pay for loving a celebrity.”

 

 

 

Tae Hee stood outside the room once again.  She would come back another day.

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