Welcome to the third chapter of this fan fiction. To catch up on the story, you might want to read the previous chapters below.
Things to note before reading: Word count – 2,816. John’s words are in bold and blue text. Actions are in bold and black text. JunSeok’s words are in bold and red text. All thoughts are in bold and italics. Words from other characters are in bold and orange text. We hope you enjoy this work of fiction.
I feel so restless, I don’t think I can wait any more minutes without seeing him. Is this even normal? Why do I feel this way? I think to myself. I know we have just met twice and spent not more than 2 hours together but I just want to be around him all the time. Do I really like him that much? Does he even like me as well? Argh! This is so difficult! But I am super excited to meet him tomorrow.
“Argh! We never actually agreed on the time or place! Oh no! And I don’t have his number. Maybe I should ask Kang. No, that would be weird. What kind of excuse would I give?“
* Looks at the time. It reads 11:05pm
“Maybe I should rush over there. They looked very busy before we left and that was barely an hour ago. Maybe they would still be attending to customers.“
“Argh! Should I take the risk? It is not far from here and I can take a cab too.“
“Yep, I am going.“
Trying to leave the apartment quickly but without making a sound. As I get to the door, I am startled by a voice.
“Where are you going to? ” Hwi calls out from behind me. Hwi is the same age as me and we have been friends the longest.
We started training together and we have shared many experiences together as well. Going through various audition trials and evaluations, facing criticisms, and even to the point were we taught to give up, he always said “just one more, let’s try one more.” And that eventually worked as we got into the same company and debuted in the same group too. Frankly, I might not tell him ever so often and we might bicker a lot but he is my one true friend and I am always grateful for him.
“Oh, you startled me!“
He looks at me inquisitively. “Are you going back to that bar?” He says after a second. I am too stunned to speak and my face simply cannot hide the truth. “You’re going back to meet him, right?” He asks again. I still cannot form a sentence as I look at him in awe. After a couple of seconds, I shyly respond “How did you know?“
To which he chuckles and responds “how couldn’t I? Anyone watching the two of you would know that you like each other. The googly eyes alone are a dead giveaway.” He ends with a smile. Then turns serious all of a sudden. “Look, I will always, support you and whatever you want to do. But be careful. Going to the bar as a group is safe but alone at the time of the night, people might wonder and talk about it.“
“I need to do this.” I softly respond.
After a minute of silence, Hwi responds with a deep sigh and says “Okay then, be safe and careful too.“
I respond with a quick smile as I dashed out the door.
It feels like a race against time. I am taking a risk here. I might end up being disappointed but I know I would be kicking myself all night long if I didn’t at least try.
It’s been 5 minutes now and not a cab in sight. Maybe I should just make a run for it.
I am getting close. I still see the lights are on but no one seems to be around. I hope there is at least someone around.
Ah! There he is. How does he look so cute even from behind and while arranging chairs?
“Sorry, we are closed for the night.” John says as he turns to face me.
He looks so shocked and also happy I think.
“How are you here right now?” “It is quite late, shouldn’t you be resting?” He says. Is that a hint of concern I hear in his voice? I don’t know why but that makes me so happy I couldn’t help but smile.
“I realized we didn’t set a time and place for us to meet and I don’t have your number, so I thought I would try my luck and see if you were still here.“
Gosh, I sound so weird. Thinking about it now, perhaps I shouldn’t have run all the way here like a crazed man. Well, if I am crazy, let me go all the way, at least I am here.
With a jolt of courage, I start walking toward and before I knew it, we were less than 5 meters away from each other and I could see every freckle on his face. He is even more stunning up close.
“Plus, we made plans to meet on Sunday, and checking the time, it is Sunday now.” I continue. I am not usually this bold and frankly, I wasn’t then this bold when I was demanding better treatment for my group 2 years ago. However, this feels even more important.
He bursts out laughing. I guess he finds this cute and funny.
“But it is quite early and it looks like everyone has closed, what can we do by this time?” He asks.
“Well, I did spot a 24 hours cafe on my run here. Perhaps we can have a super early breakfast. I am hungry.” I respond softly while rubbing my stomach.
“Gosh! You are so cute.” He says. I am startled by his comment and it seems he didn’t mean to say it too as he looks embarrassed now. I can’t help but feel even more emboldened. I haven’t felt this comfortable chatting with anyone before. I think the only people I can be this free with are my members.
“My fans think I am more sexy than cute though. But I will like cute too.“
His head is bowed down in shyness. Gently placing my hands under his chin, I slowly raise his head so I could look into his eyes. “You are adorable too.” I say softly to him.
I don’t think I have ever felt this way before and I somehow can’t get a grip on my emotions. Everything just feels like it’s pouring out with full force. I really hope I don’t scare him off.
Whatever scared feeling I had immediately dispersed as right now, all I could do was be lost in those eyes. Slowly, I couldn’t control myself as our faces slowly came together. At this point, I could feel the heat generated from his body and just as we are about to kiss.
*RING RING RING RING
Interrupting a precious moment, I slowly cursed whoever was calling at this time.
“Hello.” He answers the call. “Yes, but I am about to close up.” He ends the call a second later.
It feels a bit awkward now. A couple of seconds ago, we were both staring into each other’s eyes about to kiss and now we can’t even look at each other. Trying to ease the awkwardness I asked in my most gentlemanly tone, “Shall we?” While gesturing at the door. Taking that as his cue, he hurriedly packs his things. I can’t help but smile as I find his reactions so cute. Soon, we are both heading out the door.
Walking side by side in silence, as the cool breeze of the night blew strongly, our shoulders brush ever so often and I suddenly feel the courage to hold his hands. There is no one on the road at this point and I am still in my hat and hoodie so no one would recognize me. He must have been surprised by my gesture as he looks at me inquisitively. But he soon returns the action and we are now walking hand in hand down the road, heading to our first date.
The cafe is empty, just the part-timer typing away on his phone. He looks up as we come closer to the counter.
“Hello, welcome, would you like to place an order?” He asks in a flat tone. He must be tired.
“Yes please.” John says in a cheerful voice that makes the part-timer feel smile. “I would like a cup of tea and some strawberry cakes too“. Looking at me, he asks what I wanted too. “I’ll have the same.” I replied.
Sitting down in a booth far from the site of the part-timer and cameras, I feel a bit comfortable and take off my hats. John has been munching on his cake since it arrived. He must have been starving. I feel a bit sad now. I probably shouldn’t have suggested we go on a date today. I should’ve just gotten his number and made plans to meet up during the day. I guess I was too selfish and didn’t consider that he must be tired. It is the opening week of his restaurant after all.
I must have been deep in thought for a long time as when I can back to reality, I see John staring at me intently. He has a concerned look on his face, almost like he was about to ask me what was wrong at any minute now. Not to add to his worries, I smile warmly at him.
“You must be tired, right?” “Sorry for not making this a bit easier. I am sure you would have been resting by now. I should’ve made sure to have collected your number first but it skipped my mind.”
His words were filled with so much sincerity and his expressions were so soft, I felt so bad. I felt like I had hurt him and for some reason, I also felt like I needed to protect him as well. Reaching out, I gently place my hands above his. He must have been shocked by my action but I didn’t mind as I needed to make him feel better and more comfortable.
“I am the one who should be apologizing. I was too excited to meet you again and I felt like I had this one opportunity and I shouldn’t miss it. I should’ve just gotten your number and we could have met up during the daytime. I should have been more considerate. I am sorry.”
The words fell out of my mouth without restraint and reacting with a smile, he wraps his fingers around mine. This action no doubt made me feel so good and I couldn’t help but turn blush pink.
At this point, we have been chatting for a while and our conversations might have been about the most random things but it still felt nice and wholesome. He is smart and witty too. I am the kind of person that no doubt is attracted to the beauty but what makes me fall fully is the personality. And I must say, even though I am seated right now, I find myself weak in the knees and falling for him. His smile is so adorable and the way his eyes light up every time he laughs, just makes me want to keep him laughing just to keep seeing him this way.
* RING RING RING RING
This time it is my phone. Looking at the caller ID, I see it is Hwi. Perhaps he is worried as I haven’t gotten back to him since I left the house. “I should take this.” I say to John, excusing myself.
“Hello.” “Where are you? Did you meet him? It is so late are you not coming home?” “You need to be careful. You know there are always reporters lurking around by this time of the night.” “When are you coming home?”
I swear he might have said all this in one breath as even though he was asking several questions, he didn’t give me a chance to answer.
I understand the fear in his voice. We have seen countless idols having their careers canceled because of “mistakes”, “rumors” or “accusations”, things that might have not been their fault or even true. And now that we are fully in the limelight, we have to be extra careful not to draw the wrong kind of attention.
“I am with John. We came to a cafe to grab a cup of coffee. I will be home soon.“ I respond slowly so as to calm his fears and worries.
“Okay.” He simply replies and ends the call.
“Hi, sorry about that. My bandmate was a bit worried as it is super late and I hadn’t gone home yet.“ At this statement, John’s expression became somber. “Maybe we should call it a night? It is super late and we both need to rest.“ He says.
I know he means well but I suddenly feel sad as I do not want this date to end. I am having a great time and if I could, I would love to spend all day with him. But somehow, I have to be more mature about this and act accordingly. He paid for the meal and we both ended out the door. As we got to the bus stop, it suddenly dawned on me that our date was truly over.
I clear my throat to draw his attention.
“Would you like to meet up sometime soon? Maybe not tomorrow, so you can rest -properly. But sometime soon.“ I ask with a hint of separation in my voice.
My words must have charmed him as he couldn’t help but smile. Asking for my phone, he puts his number and as he dials his number, says “I would love that.“
Seeing as we have 2 weeks of cleared schedule, I suddenly started planning different types of dates and fun activities in my head. After standing for a couple of minutes, a taxi cab pulls out in front of us and he beckons on me to enter.
“You go first. I can get the next one and I don’t stay that far away.“ I say to him.
“You are a celebrity. I can’t imagine what would happen if someone sees you standing here in the middle of the night. I will be fine but I will feel better when you are home, safe and sound.“ He says as he gently pushes me into the cab.
His words leave me motionless as this level of thoughtfulness is something I might be feeling for the first time ever. I mentioned I wanted to protect him earlier but being treated like this, especially by him, felt so good.
All through the ride home, I couldn’t get him out of my head. I just kept replaying our night together, from the moment I met him arranging the chairs till to moment I got into the cab. Our every word and action replayed in my mind like I was watching the same movie on repeat.
Getting home, I see Hwi is on the couch. Perhaps he fell asleep waiting for me. He might not show it often, but he is the biggest teddy bear, a true softie. Our fans think he is the coolest one in the group because of his chic visuals, if only they can see him now. I gently tap him awake.
“You are back.“ He says grumpily as he sits up. “How was it?” “Did you have fun?“
“Come on, let’s head to bed. We will talk about it tomorrow.“ I respond as I help him stand up and we both head to the room.
It has been a little bit over 30 mins since I saw John. I hope he got home safe. I begin to wonder if it would be appropriate to text him by this time. I do not want to come off as clingy but I feel like I should. As I ponder on if I should text him, I suddenly get a notification chime and this message pops up.
“Hi, did you get home safe? You are probably resting by now right. Have a good night’s sleep. I had a great time with you today.“
I couldn’t help but smile. It is just a simple message but it was powerful enough to make me feel giddy inside. As I type back my response, I suddenly feel a sensational rush. It is overwhelming and a bit scary but undeniably exciting too. It is a feeling I have never felt before. And I couldn’t help but wonder, “is this love?“