Note: Everything written here is a work of fiction and does not reflect any of the character's opinions in real life.
“If you can finish drinking this bottle of beer before me, I’ll wear a woman’s tank top and snap a picture that you can use as your phone’s wallpaper,” he challenged. BoA’s face lit up and looked more determined to win against him despite all odds. What she would give for that mental image…
She toyed with the bottle of beer she was holding as she contemplated how she would use this chance to her advantage. Surely, she can win this bet this time. She’s not nearly as drunk as he was. This should be easy especially when Yunho’s eyes were already fluttering, a sign that he’s almost near his limit. Which was weird. Yunho never outdrinks her because of his sense of responsibility as an ‘oppa‘. But she decided not to dwell on that topic too much and brought her attention back to his early proposal.
They’ve been playing this game for a long, long time now that it has become a habit whenever an opportunity arises. (Usually those instances where it would surely pose such embarrassment for the loser.)
It wasn’t her favorite game to play though.
She always ends up losing against Yunho and performing a lot of ridiculous punishments for him such as wearing clothes upside down when going to practice, plastering a sign on her back that says ‘Insoles is my first love’ (that he himself have even prepared), draw whiskers on her actual face during photoshoots and even to the point of having her dress a high school student’s uniform in one of their company dinner parties!
The horror of each events that she was prepared to take with her to the grave, leaving no traces behind…
“Hmm… You must want something so desperately for you to be betting on some public humiliation,” she crooned, after a few minutes of musing to show that she was aware of his ulterior motives (if Yunho ever had one).
“That’s not true!” He shot back defensively, slurring the last word by just a bit.
“Don’t lie! After all, you’re still the one who tricked me into using your picture as my phone wallpaper for a month after losing to a bet! Everybody thought you were my boyfriend! Ugh!” She fumed while breathing heavily, turning her head away from him dramatically.
She wouldn’t forget it. It happened a little before her press conference to announce her US debut. She remembered that during that time, he told her multiple times not to overexert herself during practice. To take breaks and get a breather. She was just so stubborn to listen to him at the time.
“Fine, continue what you’re doing,” he snarled as Yunho crossed his arms over his chest, obviously upset.
“I’m good! Stop acting like a grandpa,” she snapped, rolling her eyes, while doing a lot of quicksteps. She was already panting so hard and she could feel her legs losing its strength. Still, she pushed herself further, acting on mere instincts after practicing her choreography over a hundred times that day.
“Oh really?” He retorted, raising an eyebrow. “Wanna make a bet?” BoA ignored him and continued dancing in front of the mirror. “If you survive tonight without hurting yourself, I’ll go ahead and shave my eyebrows,” he went on earning a small laugh from the little giant, who still chose to ignore him altogether. “But if you lose, you’re going to have my handsome face as your phone’s wallpaper background for a week… No, make that for a whole month!”
“Whatever Yundol, just leave. I’m busy.”
Already passed his limit, he grunted out of frustration as he stomped his feet towards the exit. He slammed the door so hard behind his back that it made her jerk from her place in shock.
BoA sighed, feeling a bit sorry for her best friend.
It was another two hours when she finally decided to end her practice session. She grabbed her bag and pulled out her tumbler. She took a huge gulp and finished her drink in no time. Still feeling a bit dehydrated, she decided to drop by the lounge before heading home.
Holding her bag in one hand and her cellphone at the other one, she proceeded for the the stairs. Maybe it was because of exhaustion or carelessness (probably both) but when she took her third step down, her foot took a misstep and she tumbled down the stairs helplessly, injuring her arm.
The loud thud echoed in the hallway and despite her wish to hold it in, BoA couldn’t help but let out a scream. The fall twisted her joint and she was writhing in pain. Her stuff sprawled on the floor as she cradled her arm protectively, hoping it would stop her physical suffering.
People who saw the incident dashed towards her side and helped her get to the nearest hospital right away.
It was another four days after the accident when Yunho appeared at her hospital door, his face drained of color and his lips pressed into a thin line. She noticed that he had his hands clenched tightly as well and all of a sudden, she just couldn’t look at him out of guilt.
He made his way towards her quietly, not speaking a single word.
“Yunho I’m sorry! I know I should’ve–” she blurted out only to be hushed when Yunho raised his hand.
“Where’s your phone?” He asked quietly but the sharpness in his voice wasn’t amiss. It also didn’t escape her attention how his eyes looked at her tersely.
“M-m-my phone?” She echoed in puzzlement, however. She slowly turned her head towards the bedside desk to address it’s confinements. “It’s inside the drawer…”
Without another word, Yunho walked towards the bedside desk and took out her phone from the first drawer. He examined it a little bit.
“Wow, this phone seems sturdier than your arm.”
BoA looked at him crossly, but he wasn’t paying attention to her right now, to see.
“I suppose you’re right. I broke my arm while my phone was left unscathed, thankyouverymuch.”
Yunho ignored her sarcasm as he was too busy figuring out BoA’s password. He typed in her birthday, her debut date both in Korea and Japan (yes, he knew both of them by heart), he even took his chance and typed in his birthday just out of frustration.
“You wanted to know my passcode, right?” she barked, wishing that this meeting would end soon. She wasn’t too happy about the fact that he seemed more interested with her phone rather than to ask about her pathetic condition after the accident. She fought hard not to yell at him and ask him to look at her. For him to show that he cares.
This wasn’t anything close to what she have imagined the next time they were going to see each other after the incident.
He merely shrugged his shoulders and then proceeded typing in the numbers that unlocked her phone. It felt strange that they both have the same code.
He then drove his attention back to her phone and started browsing her apps until he found what he was looking for.
“Why 2000? Not something as specific as your debut date or something,” he blurted out so suddenly, unable to keep his curiosity to himself.
When she didn’t answer, Yunho lifted his eyes to look at BoA’s direction. He watched her play with her hair as she tried to suppress a smile. She can’t believe such a simple question could changed her mood in a snap of a finger.
“It… It’s because something better happened that year besides that…”
“Yeah, like me entering the company as a trainee,” Yunho said without thinking, turning his attention back to her phone, in an attempt to hide his face before she read what was on his mind after the unintentional slip.
Just like her, that year was special to him because of a fateful meeting that happened.
He was desperate to hide his thoughts, that he wasn’t able to see BoA glance his way in surprise when he should’ve. She was beginning to feel suspicious and Yunho had to do something to divert her attention. She continued watching his every move with careful eyes. Her round orbs lingered on him however as he began to lift his arm, pointing the phone camera directly to his face.
You can’t be serious…
The clicking sound of snap shots went on for a whole minute. In that short span of time, Yunho probably took more than 30 pictures of himself in one go. He was pleased that he was successful at diverting her attention, when it was just getting too dangerous. But of course, she wouldn’t know about that.
BoA was instead left in utter shock as she further saw him browse through her camera roll, and then deliberately changing her phone settings.
“Yes, way…” He replied, taunting her mercilessly. At that point, Yunho was confident that he was successful giving BoA the wrong idea. He wanted to be more open given the chance, but it’s too risky. At least not now. “I believe somebody lost the bet and she’s just complying with her punishment.”
“Are you serious?” She heard herself mutter this time, in disbelief. “You’re thinking about that the whole time while I lay here helpless and in pain?!”
BoA felt herself shaking with anger. She at least expected him to show some sort of concern over her current state but for some reason, he came into her room adamant of her feelings. She could feel tears b at the corner of her eyes but she forced herself to hold it in. She won’t let him see this side of her.
The painful disappointment overruling her heart made her feel dizzy.
Without thinking, she bit her lower lip too hard that she could taste the metallic tinge of her own blood. BoA was too busy controlling her own emotions that when Yunho finally reached for her for a hug, it totally surprised her. She stiffened and her mind went blank. At this point, her arm should be aching from the sudden impact of their pressed bodies but she couldn’t feel anything but the warmth of his touch. She took a quick peek of him and saw how his eyes softened as he looked at her. The genuine concern that always resonated from his body was so clear.
“Silly… of course I’ve been thinking about you.”
Was she too blind not to see it before? Because a sudden realization just dawned on her after he said those words.
He may show it in different ways but this man will always, always be there for her. It was wrong to ever doubt him.
It’s interesting because she felt just as strongly when it comes to him. And the funny thing was that she knows, he knows…
Yunho’s eyes glistened and she was sure that just like her, he was also reminiscing the same memories from the past.
“It was a blessing in disguise that I was in the US that time when I had your stupid face as my wallpaper. Somehow that prevented me from having a scandal with you!”
Yunho smiled weakly at her statement then sighed. BoA was a little confused by his reactions and wondered if it was a response illicited to mean disappointment or merely a melancholic recollection of a playful memory.
And then a thousand thoughts entered her mind.
Of some, seemed so ridiculous for words and then some, an unspoken wish she kept hidden deep within her heart.
Toying with those ideas, she managed to steal a glance at him. She noticed how he looked strained as he finally forced a brighter smile. It was so painful to look at.
Maybe because she really can’t say no, and it was Yunho after all, but BoA tried to relax her shoulders and lean back on her seat in attempt to lighten the mood. She grabbed her beer bottle firmly in her grasp and showed him she was accepting the challenge he proposed earlier.
“The thing at stake is too tempting to have it slip by,” she continued and she swore she saw Yunho blinked his tears away in an effort to cover up a certain harrowing thought off his mind.
BoA tried not to think too much into it. Dismissing those ideas almost simultaneously, she instead lifted her arm, the beer bottle inches away from . She hoped that it would show him that she was ready to take on the bet when she unexpectedly heard him speak
“But if you lose,” he began, his voice now trembling slightly with every word, but with full seriousness that somehow stabbed her, “you need to promise me you will never leave my side…”
Of course BoA was puzzled at the unexpected request (not that it ever crossed her mind that she’s going to leave him behind and wasn’t this supposed to be a public humiliation at stake for this bet?) but above all, she was shocked to see tears freely falling down his cheeks. She knew he was holding it in but for him to show her such a vulnerable side of him made her feel heartbroken. She could only imagine the next words that would come out from his mouth.
“They’re leaving –“
Barely done with his explanation, BoA dropped the bottle of beer she was holding to the ground (having it crash into a hundred pieces at the same time), as she flung her arms across his neck into a tight embrace. She was afraid that it would come to this and she would’ve done anything and everything to stop it. But they both knew the situation was already out of hand… When she felt Yunho’s arm cling to her waist, she held him even closer. The both shaking from overwhelming feelings not even words can describe.
Yunho was completely devastated by the whole mess with his group’s impending disbandment for months now. BoA saw how he lived each day enduring the whole fiasco as if it’s not crippling him deep within. How he stood in front of people with a level head despite all the scary thoughts rampant in his mind. She wished to stop it and perhaps Yunho wished for her to be the answer to heal his pain.
In the end, she actually did for a reason.
He was very thankful that BoA would willingly lose a bet for his sake. It was a selfish act on his side, to have to trick her into doing this, but he was truly grateful for her kindness.
That somehow, she promised that unlike them, she will never ever leave his side. She will always be there.
That they’ll always be together.
And he’s not as broken.
SM officially announced TVXQ’s disbandment.