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[ONGOING/JAEMIN] I Still Want To Love You

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DATE STARTED: 20/07/2010
STATUS: On-Going
LAST UPDATED: 08/12/2010



You came back
At last…
After all these years of waiting
And yet
You appeared to have forgotten me…

***

I came back for her
But has she forgotten?
After all
I’ve made no promises
She’s already attached to another guy.

***

Fate doesn’t exist
That’s a fact that I’ve got used to all along
But I refuse to believe
Because I still want to love her…
Fate, let me love her.


_________________

credits:♥️MELODY@SOUFII
Always Keep The Faith!
View user profile http://minukkie.blogspot.com
o1: we meet again


“Miss, step this way please.” One of many the black-suited men bowed in front of her with one of his arms stretched to his left. “The car is ready for you.”

Clutching on the strap of her sling-bag hard, YeonHee inhaled an amount of air and nodded towards him once. “Thank you,” she voiced.

Her eyes then darted side-ways where she could see some people whispering and pointing at her direction. She sighed softly and began to drag her feet towards the direction pointed by the man. The whispering crowd began to grow as she walked pass even more groups of people on her way towards the VIP exit. It suddenly occurred to her; don’t these people have their own businesses to mind?

“Your return to the country has been reported in all the major tabloids. I assumed that some of them came to witness if the rumour was true.”

YeonHee briefly looked at the young man that was walking beside her. He was supposed to act as her personal bodyguard, not her advisor. She has certainly not asked for his opinion, nor was she interested to hear any.

She didn’t even bother to reply him and kept on walking towards the car with a blank look on her face.

“My number is on your #1 speed dial. Give me a call if you need anything. I’ll be escorting your car in a distance,” the young man informed as he held the passenger door open for her. All the other black-suited men were scattered around the area, their eyes were overlooking a distance to make sure that the surrounding was safe. It doesn’t look like they’re going to follow her though, except for the young man that has now walked away after making sure that she was safely seated inside the car.

The young man patted the back of the car as a sign for them to take off and the car immediately pulled out of the waiting area.

Thus, her new life in Korea begins.

***

The journey from the airport to her new apartment took more than an hour. She had originally planned on taking a short nap while in the car, but the view that greeted her eyes as soon as they drove through the city occupied most of her interest. This place has really changed. Over the ten years of her absence, it looked like Korea has developed to become a much better place.

A tiny smile appeared at the corner of her lips as she could feel the delight of surprise building up inside of her. Soon, the car started to slow down and stopped in front of a tall building.

“Miss Lee,” the driver called as he held her door open. She didn’t even notice when the driver had actually got out of the car and all the way to her side. “We have arrived,” he announced politely.

With the little smile still on her lips, she looked pass the driver to observe the entrance to her new apartment. Suddenly, all the good feelings that she had crashed as anger started to rise. “Are you sure?” she asked while trying to suppress her disappointment after looking at the grand entrance to a five-star hotel.

“Yes, Miss. The President handed this address to me personally,” he presented a piece of paper with her father’s perfect calligraphy on it. “He--”.

“I don’t want this place,” she cut the man before he could utter another word. Her word was firm and her tone was fierce, making the old man feel very much agitated.

“Wh-- But…”

“Find me another place that is less troublesome. I want it to be normal, not this!” she added angrily.

The driver frowned at her behaviour as he was now torn between two instructions. And no matter which party he decides to turn down, he knew he would still get into trouble.

“Miss, I’m sorry. I can’t do that for you,” the driver apologized as he bowed slightly, hoping that she might reconsider. But to his despair, she pulled an even longer face in front of him.

“What seems to be the problem here?” a familiar voice suddenly appeared from behind them.

“Shim ChangMin-sshi,” the driver immediately greeted the approaching young man with a bow. But instead of explaining the situation to him on her behalf, the driver decided to back away from the door to give way for the young man to speak to her directly.

“What’s wrong?” he asked as soon as he faced her. He had to bend down a lot due to his height.

“I don’t want to live at this fancy place. I want somewhere else that is a bit simpler,” YeonHee muttered with her arms now crossed. “I told him to give me my normal life back. Why is he doing this to me?”

The young man then nodded in comprehension. “I understand. Don’t worry. We’ll get a new place for you right away.”

With that, he closed the door and went to speak with the driver. YeonHee could see objection from the driver’s face once her personal bodyguard had finished explaining some things to him. But after a moment, the driver seemed assured by the young man and finally nodded in agreement.

“I apologise for what happened earlier, Miss Lee,” the driver said when he re-entered the car. YeonHee just shook her head with a smile signalling that it wasn’t his fault. Carefully releasing the hand-break and giving the signal to the right, they were now once again on the road towards another place that YeonHee has no idea where.

***

“These are the set of keys you’ll need. This one is for the apartment’s main door, this one if for the garage, this is for the post-box and the smallest one is for the additional safety lock you’ve paid for,” the lady at the reception desk explained to her. “Please sign here and here. And if you happen to have any more questions later, you can come back to me or leave a note in post-box 1. The reception desk will only be attended from nine to five every day.”

YeonHee nodded briefly and dropped her signature at the said places. She then returned the few pieces of paper back to the lady who was also the manager in charge of the building.

“Thank you and have a pleasant stay at Visage Apartments, Ms Lee YeonHee,” the lady bid with a smile before YeonHee turned to walk back towards where her personal bodyguard was waiting. The keys to her new apartment are now safely clutched between her fingers.

“Everything’s done?” he asked when she was within ears’ reach.

A content smile can’t seem to disappear from her lips when she realised that she finally had things the way she wanted it. “Yes,” she replied as she got closer. “Where’s uncle JaeHwa, by the way?” she asked pertaining the driver that has sent her there. She looked around but there was no sign of him anywhere.

“Oh, his task is over for the day. So I told him to rest at home after fetching his son at school,” he explained with a smile.

YeonHee nodded a few times. Then, she brushed the few strands of her hair that was out of place before looking up to meet her bodyguard’s eyes. “Thank you, Shim Changmin-sshi, for complying with my childish wants,” she voiced sincerely. “I didn’t expect you to actually disobey by the President’s instructions.”

He chuckled and swiftly inserted his hands inside his pockets. “There’s no one around now, YeonHee-ah. You don’t need to be so formal anymore. And besides, your wish has always been my command.” He made a playful bow in front of her.

YeonHee’s good mood suddenly turned upside down as she frowned at her bodyguard’s sudden bold behaviour. “What do you mean?”

“What do I mean what?” he questioned back. His bowing gesture stopped mid-way as he lifted his head in uncertainty.

“How dare you address me so casually,” YeonHee added. “I don’t even know you that well.”

A frown appeared on his forehead. He immediately fixed his posture and looked at her in disbelief. Somehow, hurt and surprise were evident at one corner of his eyes. “You seriously don’t know who I am?”

“Of course I don’t know who you are. We’ve just met this morning at the airport! All I know is that your name is Shim Changmin and you’re my personal bodyguard sent by my over-protective father. What other nonsense are you talking about?”

Changmin cleared his throat and looked away from her. “Haven’t you at least thought of why your father approved of me being you personal bodyguard in the first place?”

“I don’t know, maybe because you’re smart and strong?” YeonHee made a wild guess.

“Well, I am smart and strong, thank you. But you’ve totally missed the point.”

“What point?”

Changmin paused as he carefully examined YeonHee through her eyes.

“Hmm… Nevermind,” he said at last and ran his fingers through his hair as a sigh left his lips. “Anyways, I apologise for being too casual earlier and also for causing this confusion.”

“…”

“Though, I do think it’s better if we at least appear to be friends from here on. Or else, it will be very awkward for you to have me around all the time on campus. You wouldn’t want people to know that you have a bodyguard tailing you everywhere now, would you?”

“Wait,” YeonHee’s face appeared to be in shock. “Are we attending the same university?”

“I’d have to even if I don’t want to…”

YeonHee pursed her lips momentarily. She had thought that she might have at least her university life totally undisturbed. But now it seemed that she will still have one of her father’s messengers watching over her every move even in classes.

“Fine. Let’s be friends then.” She extended out an arm to offer him a 'friendly' handshake.

Changmin could see that she hadn’t sincerely accepted the idea yet. But for him, it was good enough for now.

“Hello, nice to meet you. I’m Changmin,” Changmin greeted as he accepted her handshake, pretending that he was delighted.

“Hello Changmin. I’m YeonHee…”

A wide smile appeared on his lips as he heard her pronounce his name without formality. “Now that’s much better.”

YeonHee quickly pulled away her hand that was being firmly gripped by the young man. Her gaze scattered in awkwardness.

“How old are you anyway?”

Changmin flinched when he heard the question. But then he remembered that YeonHee didn’t remember who he was.

“I thought it was already stated on my profile?” he spoke instead. He wore a frown as he leaned against the wall with his arms crossed.

“Your profile?”

He nodded a few times. “You haven’t seen my profile?

“No. My father must’ve kept it away from me on purpose,” YeonHee grunted at the fact. “Just tell me.”

“We’re born in the same year,” he told her. “But I’m older than you by four months and fourteen days.”

Unconscious to him, a proud smile lingered at the corner of Changmin’s lips. He had remembered the dates perfectly even though they’ve been separated for more than ten years. But as soon as he caught the uncomfortable look on YeonHee’s face, the smile immediately disappeared. He fake coughed and deliberately looked elsewhere.

“Don’t ignore me,” YeonHee said with her hands on her hips. “Tell me. What’s that point that I’ve missed earlier?” she demanded.

Changmin cleared his throat and diverted his gaze towards his black leather shoes. He was trying to not have to answer that particular question. “It’s nothing, really. You should really forget about it.” He tried to insist. But he also knew that he can never hide anything from this girl. Not now, not even ten years ago.

But it’s not the time yet.

“How could I leave this if you keep on appearing as if you know everything about me and yet I don’t know anything about you?” she claimed in frustration. “I don’t like this feeling of not knowing.”

With a consoling look on his face, he looked deep into YeonHee’s eyes and said, “You do know everything about me, YeonHee-ah. You’ve just forgotten all about it…”


_________________

credits:♥️MELODY@SOUFII
Always Keep The Faith!
View user profile http://minukkie.blogspot.com
o2: a new start


YeonHee woke up having a bright ray of sunlight shine onto her eyes, making it move randomly under her eye-lids. She was tired and she could tell she was still not recovered from the jetlag. Or maybe she was stubbornly trying to make herself believe so, so that she wouldn’t have to get up and start her first day in this foreign place. Well, it shouldn’t be foreign to her to begin with, but ten absolute years was enough to make her feel like she was a newborn who had just faced the world. She admitted; Korea was different.

Groaning slightly, her hands roamed around the mattress to find her missing quilt without opening her eyes. The sun was starting to battle with her patience and her arms weren’t enough to save her from her annoyance. She needed something larger to cover her eyes. And her marvellous sleeping habit had successfully kicked the quilt off the bed, now lying helplessly alone on the carpeted floor.

Her groans were now replaced by heavy grunts, but her lazy bum still refused to get up to pick up the quilt or even to shut the curtains and her eyes still refused to open.

“The curtains!”

Her body immediately shot upwards and her eyes bulged as if she had just woken up from a terrible nightmare. She turned her head harshly to the side and saw that her originally closed curtains were now wide opened.

“Ow...” she cried right after, finally registering the pain. She picked up her left arm to nurse her neck that had just cracked due to her sudden movement. But that was her least trouble at the moment. Who had opened her curtains?

Frowning, YeonHee crawled lazily to the edge of the bed were she had left her bedroom slippers. Her mind was furiously playing the scenes from last night when she was about to go to bed. She was sure that she closed everything before going to sleep. Everything, just like what Changmin had instructed. She walked over to the window and realised that it was still securely locked. She never had the habit of leaving the curtains open because she absolutely hates it when the morning sunshine decides to disturb her sleep. And that could only mean one thing.

Someone has been in this room...

Suddenly her heart started to race and her conscious mind began to worry. Out of reflex, she stormed towards her dressing table to fetch her sling bag and she rummaged it in search of her cell phone. She needed to tell Changmin about this. That was what her father had instructed her to do. If anything out of the ordinary happens, Changmin should be the first to know and quick. And if he’s not there, only God knows what her father will do to him.

For once, she was taking her father's advice seriously.

“Changmin-sshi!” she cried as soon as the line was connected. “I think someone came into my apartment when I was asleep!”

There was a continuous silence at the other end of the line.

“Changmin? Are you there? Hello? Who’s this?”

“It’s me, you pabo,” came his voice at last. “What makes you think someone came into your apartment. Was anything missing? Are you hurt?”

YeonHee had her lips pursed. She wasn’t hurt, and nothing was missing. At least she hoped so. She took a moment to go through her stuff on the dressing table before she turned around to have a look around her room. Everything was exactly how it was when she left them before going to sleep last night. The only weird thing was the curtain. Would it be silly of her to tell her personal bodyguard that she assumed someone has broke into her apartment just because she found out that her curtain was opened?

“YeonHee?”

“Oh. UM. I think... I think it’s nothing. I was just startled. You know, since I woke up on a different bed, facing a different room. Maybe I need time to adjust to all these.” YeonHee started pacing in her room. Her expression wrinkled and her palm began to hit her forehead repeatedly. Her lips mumbled something that was inaudible.

“Are you sure? Do you need me to come over?”

“Er... I don’t think so. It’s fine. It’s nothing.”

“If you say so... I don’t think there should be anything wrong either. I’ve already made a special arrangement with the landlord and the manager. That apartment should be safe for you.”

“Thank you, Changmin-sshi. Sorry to disturb you so early in the morning,” she spoke softly as she sat herself on the edge of the bed.

“It’s already past noon, you sleepyhead.”

Pabo. Sleepyhead... Changmin was starting to get on her nerves. “Hey, can you stop calling me like that. I should be Ms YeonHee to you, you know.”

A light snort was heard. “Why? I thought we’ve already agreed to befriend each other. This is very normal for friends. Or do you not mind other people seeing you as the lady heir who has a bodyguard tailing her everywhere? If that’s the case, then it’s fine with me too.”

“Alright, alright! I’m sorry. Just... don’t get too comfortable. It’s annoying.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

And with that, she ended the call without saying goodbye.

***

YeonHee packed her umbrella and slipped on her shoes. She was hungry and she intended to head to the supermarket to get some ingredients. Or it's more like she will be looking for some instant food that she could heat up and eat. She locked the door to her apartment securely before turning and made her way towards the elevator. She pressed the down button and waited.

It has been a couple of hours since she had called Changmin. Even so, that duration wasn’t quite enough to able her to ignore the fact that her bedroom curtains has been magically opened. She was still a tiny bit worried. After all, she’s indeed the lady heir to her father’s business empire. People have all the reasons to stalk her, invade her privacy and even hurt her. That was why Changmin needed to step into the picture.

Once she was outside, she put on her shades and began walking down the street towards where she had seen a mall. Her steps were small and lazy. She had nothing to rush for and it had been a while since she had this opportunity to walk like this on her own. She might as well enjoy it before anyone decides to authorise the rule of never to go out alone anymore.

“Where do you think you’re going, Ms YeonHee?”

At the sudden call of her name, she yelped and jumped away from where she thought the voice had come from. Lucky her, there was no one around to witness the pathetic side of her and she was saved from having to compensate any further accidents that could be caused by that sudden move backwards.

“Where are you going?” the voice asked again. This time YeonHee saw him leaning his shoulders against the wall and she immediately recognised the figure as none other than Shim Changmin. She couldn’t see his face though since he covered it well with his baseball cap, and he hid himself within the shadows of the tall buildings.

“What are you doing here?” she asked instead, joining him in the shadows and taking off her shades. Her face wore suspicion.

“This is a part of my job description. I’m paid to stand around the alleys and staring at the sky for hours. Well, that, and of course looking out for this stupid girl in case she does something idiotic that could jeopardise her life. But I think that’s no more my top priority since she’s gotten so smart and brave that she dares to wander the streets alone without even informing me. It looks like she doesn’t need my protection anymore,” he ranted sarcastically.

“What? Why should I report all my movements to you? I have my rights to my own privacy.”

“Sadly that’s not applicable to Lee YeonHee ever since she was born. She should know this, but of course, being the rebellious girl in her twenties, she will tend to play oblivious of this fact. Quite typical.”

“Shim Changmin. Stop playing smart ass with me. What are you doing here?”

“I told you. I was looking out for your safety. What else would there be to it for a paid personal bodyguard like me? So where were you going?”

She had her lips pursed and her arms crossed. She clicked her tongue in annoyance as her eyes roamed the windows of the nearby buildings. It was true that she wasn’t safe no matter where she stands. She had all the possibilities of being kidnapped or murdered. No matter how hard she tries to deny it, she admits that she needed the presence of a fighter very close to her. A fighter that was willing to put his life on the line in exchange of hers. But still... She’s only 20 and she still wants to keep the privilege of being able to enjoy her youth just like any normal young adults do. Is that so wrong?

“YeonHee-ah. You are the target of 17 large corporations worldwide who would love it to have your head served on a silver platter. 284 other organisations are constantly keeping themselves updated with your latest positions and they are just waiting for the right time to take you away and blackmail your father for money and who knows what else. Only four big figures are on your side right now, and trust me, there won’t be enough hands to correct what should be right once those bad people get their hands on you. So don’t you think that it’s about time that you make use of my presence and let me know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it at all times? It really gives me that little peace of mind.”

Her grip on herself loosened and she let her eyes look into his.

“You made it sound so bad,” she pouted.

“Well, I’m sorry. But it is. From now on you must let me know whenever you’re going out of that apartment. Arasseo?”

She hissed. “But I hate being followed. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!”

“Would you rather it being me, or those bad guys? And besides, be grateful that your father didn’t assign a whole troop of bodyguards for you. You had no idea what the president made me go through. Even now, he’s still wasn’t as confident that I would be capable enough to protect you by myself.”

“Ah! Arasseo! I was on my way to the supermarket. I’m hungry!” She immediately put her shades back on and began to exit the alley. “I’m assuming you’re coming with me.”

A triumphant grin illuminated his features. He fixed the position of his baseball cap so that he will be able to see his surroundings better and quickly followed her. All the while he was debating if he should walk along-side her, or if he should allow her some space and just keep his distance.

It was one tough decision to make. And in the end, he decided to just watch her from afar, keeping a close eye on her as well as those people around her. It was weird, but he was actually calculating the movements of each person who was within 50 metres radius around her. The statistics of decisions and the workings of human’s subconscious mind were never the easiest to calculate, but he can surely detect planned movements. The movements of a predator...

YeonHee on the other hand, had a great time shopping using the credit card that her father had given her. She was glad that Changmin decided not to cling onto her. It would be a bit of a turn off if the people around her think that he’s her boyfriend. It would be awesome to have a strong man with a nicely built body and a handsome face like Changmin’s to brag for being hers. But no thanks, not Changmin.

Though, it wasn’t so bad after all having Changmin tailing her around like this. He didn’t have to be by her side, and yet she’s feeling a little safer to roam the streets of Seoul on her own. She should thank him for being so smart and considerate.

“Are you done yet?” he asked after he picked up his cell phone. “I thought you were hungry.”

“I am! But you can’t blame me for being a girl. So what would you like to have for dinner? It’s on me.”

Changmin cleared his throat and looked around. “I don’t accept treats from a lady.” His eyes then landed back on her figure that was currently inside a gift shop, poking at plush toys and checking out the price tags once in a while. Her actions then stopped and her lips frowned.

“Why not? Just consider it as an apology for earlier, please?”

There was a momentary pause. He thought it over. It wasn’t right to accept a client’s money so carelessly like this. But it shouldn’t be too wrong to accept an apology treat, right? He wasn’t going against any of his principles or job agreements. He was just trying to bond with a friend, almost. “Alright, fine. But you pick the food. I can’t make up my mind.”

And once again, her genuine smile captivated him. And he shook his head clear. This shouldn’t be happening so fast.

That night, YeonHee went to bed after triple-checking that everything was securely closed and locked. Now she was sure that her curtains were closed. And right before she drifted off to sleep, the scenes from that evening replayed in her mind. Her lips smiled. This new life of hers wasn’t so bad after all. She could really live with it this time, even with having a bodyguard around her all the time.

No. He wasn’t just any bodyguard. He’s her bodyguard.

He’s Shim Changmin.


_________________

credits:♥️MELODY@SOUFII
Always Keep The Faith!
View user profile http://minukkie.blogspot.com
o3: oblivious


On the next morning, YeonHee woke up with a start. The first thing that came through her half-awake mind was to check the curtains of her bedroom. She was confident that this time everything was closed before she went to bed last night. To know that someone might have been in the room again is the least of things that she needs right now. She really can’t afford to have to go and find another place to stay. It has cost her enough share of trouble to disobey her father’s wishes and there simply won’t be another place as ideal as this one for her to stay at.

She also didn’t want to burden Changmin to have to keep up with her rebellious wants.

It was weird for a person to have a huge fuss over a dead curtain, but she has her own reasons. Similar things have happened in her past and she had taken them too lightly before. Ignoring the simplest difference in her life had brought her an inch closer to death once. She wasn’t going to make the same mistake again.

Her worries totally disappeared at the sight of the untouched curtains. She let out a thankful sigh and lay back in bed with her eyes closed and her lips curved up into a smile. She must’ve been too tired the night before that she was doing things under her sub-conscious mind. She couldn’t even remember her own actions.

YeonHee tried to fall asleep again. She was tired after her day-out yesterday. It has been a while since she was able to enjoy herself like a normal person. But even as exhausted as her muscles were, her thoughts were actively roaming around yesterday’s events without her wanting to. She was mentally wide awake.

Letting out another sigh, she rolled over her bed to get closer to her bed-side table. She picked up her watch to check on the time. It was still early. She had nothing planned for today, she might as well stay in bed all day, which happens to be yet another event she hasn’t done in the longest time.

With a wide smile on her face, she laid herself flat on the mattress and closed her eyes.

And out of nowhere, the handsome face of a smiling Shim Changmin appeared in her mind.

Her eyes immediately shot wide open. She shook her head a few times and closed her eyes again. Yet the image wouldn’t go away. She blinked and rubbed her eyes furiously. But as soon as she closed her eyes again, he was still there, as persistent as ever. She cursed.

“What the hell are you doing, Shim Changmin?” she mumbled angrily to herself and sat up straight, frustrated.

This shouldn’t be happening to her. It was true that she had a really good time with him yesterday. But that is not a good enough reason for her to start seeing images of him everywhere she goes! And besides, she couldn’t be sure that she’ll be allowed such freedom again after yesterday. Once this tiny detail leaks to her father, or if something really really bad is bound to happen because of this, she could practically kiss her life goodbye.

YeonHee pushed herself out of bed unwillingly and made her way towards the kitchen to make something to eat. She scanned through the contents of her fridge and contemplated whether she should have a heavy or just a light breakfast. While scratching the back of her neck, her other hand stretched out to grab the carton of milk. She didn’t even get to decide on a conclusion when her feet automatically dragged her away to one of the cupboards, obviously searching for the pair that would go well with it. YeonHee ended up eating a bowl for cereal.

While brushing her spoon over the floating grains, her mind started to wonder over countless issues; most of them being related to that bodyguard, no doubt. Was 10 years really that long? Was it really enough to make her forget about a very close friendship over that period? Or was he just trying to trick her by claiming such things so that he could use her to his benefits when the time is right? If that’s the case, couldn’t her father have noticed it? Her father wouldn’t have assessed someone as carelessly if he was to be the sole bodyguard protecting her, the treasure that her father has been keeping safe from any harm for the past 20 years, right?

The motion of her spoon stopped as her mind was focussed on fitting the pieces of the puzzle. She tried to remember herself being ten years younger. She tried to recall her childhood surroundings. But all that came back to her was a faint picture of herself going to school and back. There was some scenes in classrooms as well, but that’s about all the she managed to get a grip of. She bit her lower lip and started to poke her spoon randomly into the bowl, imagining that it was her helpless brain which wouldn’t cooperate with her.

She sighed and finished what was left on the bowl before cleaning everything up.

***

“And make sure that she never goes out of the house unaccompanied,” the man said through the phone.

“I understand that perfectly, sir. You don’t have to repeat those to me every single day. Her safety is my utmost priority. If she gets hurt, I’ll bear all the consequences. I get that, sir.”

“Good. If things go on well enough for the next few weeks, her stay at that filthy apartment can be made permanent. That is all.”

Changmin grunted annoyingly and closed his phone shut after the line went dead. He has had enough of that old man’s reminders. He is only the president’s secretary but he was lecturing him as if YeonHee was his daughter. But even as unsatisfied as he was at the way the management was treating him, they were still the ones deciding if he should get his salary for this month. It was a good pay, and he didn’t want to risk it over such tiny matters.

He picked up the binoculars that were left at his side and placed them back before his eyes. He never gets tired of observing her like this, although it does occur to him that this is an invasion of her privacy. He can’t possibly let her know that he’s spying on her, and he can’t possibly let her know that he lives only across from her balcony. But this is what he has to do to keep on a good lookout for her.

Her safety comes first, as what he had promised the President, and more to himself.

There wasn’t much to see. Once in a while, he adjusted the binoculars to see what was going on outside of the building. He surveyed all the people that used the side-walk and every car that stopped by down the road. He analysed every human characteristics that was present before him and continue to evaluate if she was indeed safe to live in this suburb’s community.

A yawn left his lips and he covered his mouth idly. Ever since his tasks started, he hasn’t had that much sleep. He decided that he shouldn’t sleep considering that danger could be lurking at every corner at this very moment. He was worried about her, and that helped him to stay awake. It may seem ridiculous, but until he has secured this territory, she was still under high risks of being assassinated. If only she hadn’t decline the hotel suite that her father has offered. But then again, he couldn’t bear to see her trapped still under her father’s influence. For old time’s sake, he was willing to help her attain that freedom even if it will only last for a while.

His gaze was directed back at her bedroom window, where he saw her just sitting on the bed, looking forward. He could see that she was bored. But there was nothing he could do at this point to entertain her. Until the university year starts, she will have to stay patient. He promised that things will change soon.

Suddenly, his cell phone rang and he rushed to pick it up. He hit the ‘answer’ button while his eyes studied her more closely.

“Hello?” her voice reached his ears after a moment of silence. It was one of his habits to not answer a call with his voice, but she couldn’t have been used to it yet, could she?

“Yes,” he replied warmly, hoping that she would feel less lonely.

“Changmin?” she asked, just to make sure.

“Yes, it’s me. Is there something wrong?”

There was another short silence. He could see from the binoculars that she has started to pace around the room. Her free arm was hugging herself and she maintained a downward gaze. He can’t seem to make out her facial expressions under those shadows.

“It’s nothing. I’m just bored. Am I bothering you?”

Changmin’s lips curled upwards. “No, not at all. I was just about to go out for dinner.”

She instantly lift up her face and he could see hope emerging from her eyes. She then turned the other way and started to pace around faster. He could guess what was playing inside her mind.

“Really? Erm... If that’s so, then... I guess... H-Have a great meal! I... Sorry. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Do you want to come with me?” Changmin quickly inserted before she could end the line. “I’m going to that noodle shop near your apartment. I could use some company, since you called.”

YeonHee stopped pacing. “Can I?”

“Well, you will have your bodyguard beside you, so why not?” Changmin’s heart lightened at the sight of her bright smile. “I’ll pick you up in a minute.”

“Okay.”

He let her gaze still upon her for a moment longer. After all these years, there were very little changes in her. She was still pretty much the same YeonHee he knew from ten years ago, minus the part where she has totally forgotten about him of course.

The binoculars were then left forgotten on the coffee table as Changmin made his way out of the room after grabbing his jacket. He was already standing at her doorsteps five minutes later, thanks to his long legs.

Knock. Knock.

The door flew open almost immediately and she came out. Without even voicing any greetings to each other, she worked on locking up the place and waited.

He let out a small chuckle. “Let’s go.”

She was silent during the whole walk to the noodle shop and he didn’t bother to break it either. He had a lot going on in his mind as well, and he could use moments like these to sort them out.

“Hey, can I ask you something?” she began suddenly as they were getting close to the shop. Changmin simply nodded. “Why did you accept this job?”

“I thought so you were having those weird thoughts in your head,” he replied instead. “It’s really weird to see you so timid and cautious like this.”

A pout appeared on her lips almost instantly. “Yah! I know I’ve been bossy around you. It’s habit. But seriously... Why?”

“Simple.” He stopped walking. “Because you’re my best friend.”

Her lips cracked open, but she couldn’t find anything to say. Perhaps the thought of him willingly sacrifice himself for her was too much for her to bear, especially since he knew everything about her, yet she knew nothing about him. She has been the bad friend. The bad best friend...

“And besides,” he added, “the President seems to agree that it’s better to allow someone who has been very close to you to keep an eye on you. Who else would fit this role other than me? If we trust each other enough, the task of keeping you safe will be much easier. But the only thing is that your father forgot to make sure that you still remembered who I am. So in the end, here we are. We have to start learning to trust each other all over again.”

YeonHee bit her lower lip in guilt. “I’m sorry. I’ve been trying to recall the days before we moved to the US this whole day. But it hasn’t been working out. I guess ten years is indeed a very long time.”

“Then I must have a very powerful memory, don’t you think?” he smiled at his own words and guided her into the shop.


_________________

credits:♥️MELODY@SOUFII
Always Keep The Faith!
View user profile http://minukkie.blogspot.com
o4: subtlety


The night went by pretty quickly for her. After bidding each other goodbye at her doorstep, Changmin left without any second glances. YeonHee sighed at the sight and quickly went inside. She made sure the door was locked and put away her bag before making her way to her bed and sat down.

How could she have forgotten all about such an important person in her life? She was sure that Changmin isn’t just any best friend. He’s the best friend that people rarely have. She released herself on the bed and worked herself to remembering events from years and years ago again. She should try harder. There must be something that she could remember...

Around ten years ago, she could pick up little events of her arguing with her father about their departure to the US. She was just a small child when she tip-toed and screamed her refusal of following her parents to the unknown place. When she was reminded of it, she knew now how useless it was for her to waste her breath. Her opinions and demands don’t matter when the adults have bigger plans ahead of her. It left her no options and she had to leave with them, with a very heavy heart.

That’s right, something was holding her back. It was a strong feeling. Her anger back then was accompanied by a small hope, a hope that she will be given a chance. But for what? It’s only logical to conclude that she had reasons to stay. She didn’t want to leave Korea because of that reason, a reason she can no longer remember.

Maybe she was too frustrated that she forced herself to forget about that reason, so that she won’t be reminded of the heartbreak over and over again. Yes... Maybe that’s why she has forgotten. What a pity.

YeonHee pushed herself from the bed and went to the bathroom to wash up. Maybe time will help her remember. And besides, she was sure Changmin too will work hard to return the memories to her. That guy seemed too keen to return to that previous state. Either it was because of work or something else, it was clear that the friendship that was lost was something that is very important to him. She could see it in his eyes.

***

It was a bright day and YeonHee looked outside her window with envy. She envied all those people who were freely walking about and had a chance to have fun under the sun. With a frown on her face, she stepped away from the window and sat on her couch, but her gaze remained at the blue sky.

She can’t wait for the school term to start. Her life here has been worse than boring so far. She had urged Changmin plenty of times already to let her live her life. But his replies were always the same: it’s not safe yet. She don’t understand how much longer she had to wait until the press stops talking about her, or until when he would be assured that no one is looking for her here. It has been a few weeks, and Changmin was still as protective as ever. Whenever she brought up the questions, he would say ‘Just wait a little while more. I want to be completely sure.’

Suddenly there was a knock on her door and she gasped out of surprise. She quickly fixed herself and went to the door to look into the peephole. She then unlocked and opened the door after realising who it was, her nervous appearance turned expressionless.

“Hey, I brought you lunch,” he spoke softly, handing her a package of food. She accepted it and walked away towards the kitchen. Changmin pulled off his beanie and took off his bag pack before walking towards the couch in the living room. He clumsily fixed his hair along the way, acting like all of this was part of his routine.

A moment later, YeonHee returned with two bowls in her hands. She handed one of the filled bowls to Changmin.

“It’s such a nice weather outside,” Changmin commented blindly while starting to munch on his food.

“Yeah, tell me about it.”

He looked up at her when he noticed the change of her tone. He frowned. “Ya, we’ve talked about this. I still need to wait for the approval from the President. Some decisions are not mine to make.”

“But Changmin-ah, it’s already been weeks and nothing has happened. Isn’t that enough to show that I’ll be alright?” she whined as she put down her food on the coffee table.

“Well, nothing bad happened because we’ve been fairly cautious. Otherwise you wo--”

“Fairly? This is not fairly at all, Shim Changmin. This is close to paranoid!” Her tone rose with each sentence.

“Hey, calm down.” Changmin too has put down his food.

“This is worse than being at the States. I might as well stay there.” She crossed her arms and leaned back in disappointment.

“Don’t be like that,” he started to console her. “Things will settle down very soon. I promise.”

YeonHee stared into space for a while before she sighed and stood up. “I’m not hungry anymore. Lock the door when you leave.”

Changmin stared at her back view as she disappeared into her room. He knew she was tired of waiting. But this was the best he could do for her. Her demands were sometimes a bit too hard to fulfil, especially when the people around them refused to cooperate.

He went back to his lunch and finished it in a matter of minutes. He re-packed YeonHee’s portion and put it in the refrigerator. He knew she was hungry but she just didn’t have the appetite. He was sure she will look for food again in a few hours.

It has become his new routine lately. Since YeonHee wasn’t allowed to go outside freely by him, he had the courtesy of bringing food to her every day instead. They had been having lunches together for a while now. The only difference today is that she won’t be seeing him off.

After he was done, he knocked on her bedroom door a few times. “Hey, I’m going. I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”

There was no reply. He pursed his lips and put his beanie back on. He picked up his bag-pack from the ground and left quietly. He knew then that he had to do something. He hated to see her like that all day long.

When she heard the front door clicked, she got up and opened her bedroom door. She peeked around. The apartment was silent once again. She scratched her head and went to the refrigerator to reclaim her food. Luckily, the food hadn’t turn cold yet and she ate it right away. She was indeed very hungry. She just wanted Changmin to see her act that way. For some reason, she knew that Changmin will do something to make her feel better.

As she ate her food, her mind wondered around matters randomly. Most of them were directed back to the way she behaves around Changmin lately. Time has passed, and as she had expected, things were changing. She had learned to depend on Changmin more and more each day, and she was comfortable with it. She loved to see Changmin caring for her well-being. It sparkled something from inside of her, and she intend on making sure of what it was. To do that, she needed to see more of his concerns over her matters. That was why she purposely exaggerated her disappointment over her lack of freedom. To be honest, it wasn’t so bad after all since Changmin had been keeping her company all the time. She just loved to see Changmin’s concerned expression, over and over again...

***

Changmin left the main entrance to the apartment and turned left at the side-walk. He fixed his bag-strap and bit on his lower lip. He was in deep thinking.

“Ufff--”

“Yah, watch where you’re going!”

“I’m sorry...” he apologised and glanced back at the pissed pedestrian who were stomping his feet and were brushing on his clean shoulders. Changmin fixed himself as well and shook his head to himself. “Where’s your focus, Shim Changmin?”

Just when he was about to return to his previous steps, something clicked in his mind and he looked back again in disbelief. He just caught something suspicious in that line of vision. He was pretty sure he saw that same man again walking aimlessly around the apartment building. He tried his best to think that the man was harmless, but something was showing him otherwise. And his own calculations are making him worry. This was the reason he still can’t let YeonHee wander off on her own even though it has been weeks. He doesn’t think there will ever be a time when YeonHee isn’t a target. The only safe place she’ll ever be is inside campus, which she won’t be in for the next two weeks.

Changmin lowered his beanie and pretended to walk off before he slipped back within the bushes. His tall figure isn’t helping him one bit, but at least his lean figure helped him to hide between the walls. Changmin maintained his gaze on the suspicious man who was looking around randomly, pretending to be waiting for someone. But he knew better. He had observed this man for days, and certainly no one was coming.

Changmin crawled closer and tried to imprint every detail of the man into his head. Fortunately, the man didn’t seem to be carrying any weapons, and he’s alone. It will make his task so much easier if they were one-on-one. Changmin continued to calculate in his head if he should pounce on and arrest the suspicious man for questioning right away. But then again, he’s not showing any extreme evidence that he’s a bad guy. He could be starting fire when YeonHee could’ve been perfectly safe.

He was in a dilemma.

“Ah, what the hell!” Changmin finally mumbled to himself and pulled the suspicious man into the bush after making sure that no one was paying attention. The man squirmed in Changmin’s grip and threw a few punches, but Changmin was stronger and he clasped his palm more tightly on the man’s mouth. “Shut up. I’ll let you talk when I’ll let you talk.”

“Hmmphh!” the man tried to shout but Changmin ignored him and continued to pull him deeper into the bushes. It was a bright sunny day, and there weren’t many bushes around. If the man chose to scream like a girl, Changmin could get busted right away.

“I only wanted to ask you a few questions. Don’t make a scene, will you?”

The man gave him an annoyed look and nodded. Changmin released him slowly. “Yah! Could you be friendlier!” the man immediately shouted once he was freed.

Changmin bulged his eyes as a warning and the man instantly quieted. “Who sent you?”

“Ya, I’m not the enemy okay. The President sent me.”

Shock washed over him and he grabbed onto the man’s collars. “Are you serious?”

The man nodded innocently. “I was waiting for you, Shim Changmin.”

Changmin looked at the man with question. “You’ve been waiting for me? But I walked passed there every day. Why didn’t you stop me?”

The man was silent for a while before he answered, “You’re lucky you passed the test, Mr Shim. The President was this close to eliminating you.”

He was shocked yet again. Is the President starting to question his loyalty? After all that he has sacrificed? Did that one action of allowing YeonHee to stay at the apartment waver the trust of his employer on his true capabilities?

“The President knew his daughter is safe here, but he just had to make sure you’re still in the same mind set as when he released you from training. If you hadn’t caught me just now, the President would’ve assumed you’ve been acting carelessly while on a job, since I was obviously suspicious and could’ve harmed Ms YeonHee any time. Just imagine if I was a real criminal.”

The sound of clenching teeth clearly came from Changmin’s direction. “If you were a real criminal, I would’ve noticed in a heartbeat!” Changmin hissed. “The only reason I hesitated was because you didn’t seem like a badass, and you looked polite enough not to be a messenger of a killer mastermind! Now scram! And tell the stupid President I can take care of my job well if he stops trying to butt in. If he agreed that this place is risk-free, just say yes to my proposal! He wouldn’t have tortured his daughter as much!”

Changmin harshly pushed the man one more time to make him run away.

He grabbed his bag from the ground and pondered for a while. “So he doesn’t believe in me anymore, huh?”


_________________

credits:♥️MELODY@SOUFII
Always Keep The Faith!
View user profile http://minukkie.blogspot.com
o5: for you

“Can I, really? Are you serious?”

YeonHee eyes twinkled as she stared back into Changmin’s. The smile on her lips was hopeful, and it widened at the sight of a nodding Changmin. She squealed and ran towards him to give him a hug. The breath left his lungs when he felt her jump onto him and held him tight.

Her actions surprised him, but he was glad nonetheless. Bit by bit, the barrier between them was disappearing. He never regretted his decision to agree being her personal bodyguard. In fact, he was thankful. Soon enough, he will be able to greet her like once before.

“I still can’t believe it. So I can leave this house as I please and return as I please from now on?” she asked again to make sure.

“Well, almost...”

“What do you mean ‘almost’?” she inquired as she loosened her grip on Changmin’s shoulders.

“It’s not a pretty scene when a girl comes home too late at night, especially when she’s drunk.”

“Ah, arasseo. That won’t be a problem at all. I’m not a fan of partying and clubbing, and I don’t really have friends close enough to enjoy those kind of stuff with.”

Changmin’s expression seemed affected by these innocent words.

“I mean, girl friends...”

He smiled, “Don’t worry about it, Ms Lee. I totally understand. So, the rules remain the same: you have to let me know where you are at all times. I don’t mind if it’s through text messages or whatever, as long as you let me know. If anything happens, I will know where to find you. And if you’re not there, at least I have a pretty good idea on where to start searching. Deal?”

“Deal!”

“That’s it then. I’m off. See you around!”

“Wait!” YeonHee called out before the front door could close between them. Changmin halted and acknowledged her, waiting for her to say her next words, “Thank you.”

He was silent at first, but his lips then broke into a handsome smile.

“I know the President is one hell of an annoying person. I’m not sure of how many rules you’ve actually broken, but thank you for doing so much for me,” she smiled of gratitude.

“It’s no big deal.” He threw her one last smile, closed the door and walked away. Though, in his heart, he prayed to God that his judgement is not wrong.



[FLASHBACK]

“Put the President on the line!” Changmin nearly screamed into his phone. He was enraged. He can’t believe the President could still doubt him after all the violent trainings he made him go through.

“Mr Shim. What do you think you’re doing?”

“Just put him on the fucking line!” he barked more dangerously.

There was a momentary silence before another voice came in. “Hello, who is this?” Changmin knew it didn’t belong to the President.

“It doesn’t matter who I am. Where’s Ms Lee YeonHee’s father?”

“He’s not here and won’t be here for the next few days. Would you like to leave a message?”

“Tch... Well, tell your boss to keep to his words. And tell him that I know what I’m doing. Since he doubted me once, decisions from now on will be made solely by me. I can’t afford any more interference. If he can’t live with that, I quit.”

Changmin didn’t wait for another second and cut the line. His boiling anger was slowly subsiding after he let some of them out. He knew the President couldn’t afford to lose him. The President can’t possibly hire a total stranger and gamble all his trusts in replacement of his daughter’s safety. There weren’t many people who had a really close connection with YeonHee in Korea because she left the country at a very young age. Other than him, YeonHee only had one other friend close enough that Changmin could remember. But even as close as they were, Changmin was the closest to YeonHee, and by far the best choice for the role.

Even if the President decides to find Kim Jaejoong and succeeds, Changmin could be sure that the rich brat won’t be able to endure all the intensive trainings.

Changmin chuckled to himself at the thought of his spoiled old buddy. He hasn’t seen Jaejoong in ages since he went to study overseas. He wondered how he would look like now. Would he still be as handsome?

[END FLASHBACK]



***

YeonHee stared at her grinning reflection in the mirror. It has been a few hours since Changmin left after telling her the good news. She was finally allowed to go out on her own! Of course, she was advised to take in the excitement slowly. She can’t just go out and scream to the whole world; for sure someone would come by her doorstep to snatch her away the next day. She will try her best to keep a low profile. She will prove to Changmin that she is capable of taking care of herself. It will also be another sign of her gratitude towards Changmin for all that he had done for her. He cared too much for her; she can see that all too clearly. She’s not going to destroy all of his hard work too easily.

She let out a happy sigh and cleared her dresser from all her make-up mess. She fished out her phone from her bag and began texting Changmin.

I’m going to the mall. I need to celebrate. :)

His reply arrived within seconds. ‘Be careful.

She left it at that and headed out. The sun felt too good on her skin as she walked down the side-walk. All the people around her didn’t pay the slightest attention towards her. Maybe it was because half of her face was covered by her flowing hair, and she chose to wear the most casual clothes she ever had. She was glad.

Her walk to the mall took a while, but she didn’t mind. She missed to exercise. When she finally arrived, the first thing that she searched for was the bubble tea shop.

While she was enjoying her tea in a corner, she let her eyes roam around the place, taking notice of all the other customers. She smiled each time she saw something amusing. She loved the freedom so far.

She didn’t wait for her bubble tea to finish. Since it was packed ready-to-go, YeonHee took it along to window-shop. She stopped by at almost all of the shops that were open. She browsed through handbags, shoes and dresses. She even stopped by at a bookshop to check out the magazines and mangas, which is something she hadn’t done in the longest while. There were a few that attracted her to buy them, but she reminded herself that she didn’t come here to spend money. She just wanted to have fun.

After almost an hour wandering around in the bookstore, she decided to go sit on one of the couches to rest her legs. She set her bag at her side and leaned back comfortably. Her eyes started to roam around, and she started to think.

Did Changmin really leave her alone? Is there really no one else who was keeping an eye on her right now except for herself? Will she be safe this way? Is this really what she wanted?

This was just too good to be true, she thought. She smiled to herself, but she knew it wasn’t all that convincing. She was still a tad bit worried.

YeonHee looked around her. Everything was as normal and peaceful as it could ever be. Maybe she just needed time to adjust to the freedom. And perhaps, the excitement was making her nervous. She giggled to herself.

While she was absorbing all the fun at the mall, Changmin was sitting at his home alone, trying to convince himself that she would be okay on her own. He was too used to being all protective over YeonHee. It might have only been a few weeks since he's been on the job, but this felt like something he has done practically his whole life. Perhaps it was because of their previous relationship. They were too close that people has mistook it as something more, even as young as they were. In fact, he still believes that there is something much much more between them.

After all, who could be surer of his own feelings other than himself? And it hasn’t changed one bit despite the time length of them being apart...

He kept his phone close to his side and waited anxiously for a text message from YeonHee, telling that she had arrived home safely.


_________________

credits:♥️MELODY@SOUFII
Always Keep The Faith!
View user profile http://minukkie.blogspot.com
o6: one step closer

Sigh after sigh left his lips as he constantly took note of the time. The sun was setting and there was still no sign of her returning to her apartment. It seems like she really is celebrating. Changmin continuously peeked through his binoculars. He needed to keep himself occupied while trying to shake the anxiety away. This time, if anything happens to her, it will entirely be his fault since he has broken the President’s only rule which is to not let her go out unaccompanied. But how could he not? She craves for the total freedom. He doesn’t think she’d enjoy having him cling around.

He took another look at the time. She is celebrating, right? As long as she comes in before 9pm, she should be fine, right? But why is this unfavourable feeling getting worse?

The grip he had on his phone tightened.

“Argh. Shim Changmin, you need to calm down. This was your decision. You’re granting her the freedom. She’s happy. You should be happy when she’s happy. Nothing bad is going to happen. No one has been tailing her other than you. There isn’t a single suspect around her for the past weeks. Well, except that idiot sent by the President...”

His monologue went on and on until he’s lacking ideas on what to say anymore.

“You’re fast. You’re smart. And you’re strong. You can get to her side in a blink of an eye if she calls for emergency,” he added to his self-confidence. “Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But what the hell...” he sighed. “She’ll be fine, Shim.”

He put aside his spying tools and made his way to the kitchen to get something to drink. He needed something to cool down his throat and nerves.

“Maybe I should try to live my life normally as well.”

After he was done cleaning up the small mess he had made on the kitchen counter, he went to his computer and decided to go online. The term is starting soon, and as a student in his public life, it might be a good idea to check the details for his and YeonHee’s upcoming classes. He knew everything was already set to go for both of them thanks to the cooperation of the university, but it doesn’t hurt to double check. He might as well use this time to go through some random student’s profiles just to get a glimpse of who might be around. Maybe he could meet some old friends from high school.

A lot of faces appeared on his screen as he read through. However, there was one particular that caught his attention. The beat of his heart picked up and his muscles tensed. He clicked on the link nervously and all the horror flushed all over him when he saw the name alone.

“Kim Jaejoong, what in the hell are you doing here?”

***

“See, I told you it’ll be fine. It’s been days and I’m still alive and whole. You should’ve listened to me sooner,” YeonHee rambled.

“I’ve always been listening, Ms Lee, to each and every word.”

She stopped what she was doing and stared at Changmin from across the room. “Yah, you need to stop calling me Ms Lee. It sounds old.”

“But you are Ms Lee, Ms Lee. You emphasized this numerous times to me before.”

YeonHee rested her hands on her hips and sighed. “Am I not your friend anymore, Mr Shim? Why are you being so cold today?”

As her voice started to drop, Changmin finally looked up from his book to return her gaze. “I’m not being cold,” he denied with a flat face.

“Yes, you are. And if you keep this up, I’m going to lose my mind and kill myself.”

Changmin was a bit surprised at the casual statement. He closed the book, put it away and simply looked at her with his arms crossed. “Are you trying to say that you can’t live without me?” he asked sceptically. A smirk was cleanly hidden behind his lips.

YeonHee’s mouth dropped open almost instantly and Changmin’s laugh erupted at the sight.

“I’m just kidding, Ms L--”

“YeonHee! Just YeonHee, please.”

“Fine. YeonHee. Are you done now? Can we go?”

“Yes. And don’t you ever say things like that again. It spooks the hell out of me.”

He just smiled and headed for the door. “You remember the plan, right. Act like you don’t know me until we meet again during the session with the faculty. No one must find out about our connection to each other, arasseo? Not until the time is right. If anyone tries to--”

“Yes, yes, Changmin. I know. Aren’t you being over-protective now, repeating the same thing over and over again?”

“It’s just...” he paused as he was holding the door for her. “I’ve been having a very bad feeling these past few days. I can’t let anything bad happen to you. I don’t want to lose you again.”

After she was done locking the door, she turned to face Changmin but didn’t look at him in the eye. “Changmin, I’ve wanted to ask this for a while now. Considering how well you’re taking care of me since I came back, and how much you’ve sacrificed for my sake," she stopped to take a breath, "Do you by any chance see me as more than your best friend?”

“Of course not!!” he answered almost too eagerly. She nodded.

“Well, that’s too bad...” YeonHee whispered to herself and looked away. Her heart sank a little.

Changmin escorted her to her car before making his way to his own. He is going to follow her from behind at a close proximity and pretending that it’s purely coincidence when they arrived at the school’s car park together. While in the car, Changmin can’t help from thinking about the question YeonHee had asked him so innocently. How could he not think of her as more than best friends? But even more than that, how could he admit it to her face? After all, the one that little YeonHee showed much interest in when they were younger wasn’t him, but the other boy who he had become friends with for the sake of YeonHee’s smile.

Kim Jaejoong.

Now, whether he’ll like it or not, the spoiled brat will appear in front of them again. Perhaps even more often that he would’ve preferred. It’s a clear sign that the President isn’t as confident in him as he was before. As a powerful business man, the President would love to have alternatives to secure his investments. The only problem is that Changmin couldn’t figure out what could be the President’s other plan to have brought the Kim Jaejoong back from overseas.

He couldn’t even be sure if Kim Jaejoong is as trustworthy as he was before. And he couldn’t be sure how much longer he can be by YeonHee’s side if the President’s decides for Jaejoong to take over the task.

A heavy sigh left his lips. Maybe he shouldn’t have been too keen on giving YeonHee what she wanted if it meant that he must break a rule and get on the President’s bad side. Keeping her close to his side is important at this point. Though, it’s still pretty pointless if he can’t even make her smile again either.

Why does it seem too impossible to have both for her?

When they arrived at the university, both of them proceeded on their own path and they kept on pretending as if they didn’t know one another. Changmin wondered how long they could keep this up if Jaejoong happens to appear out of nowhere and greet either one of them then and there. They were in fact best of friends from ten years ago anyways...


_________________

credits:♥️MELODY@SOUFII
Always Keep The Faith!
View user profile http://minukkie.blogspot.com
o7: i loved you too


Ever since she was born, she never had too many friends to share her childhood with. All the time, her father would butt in and he always ended up taking control of her social life, if she had any during that young age. She gave up on searching for new friends at the age of 6, which should’ve been the time for children like her to start gathering companions in school. She became the complete opposite of her kind but she never complained, because at least she knew she will always have Shim Changmin by her side. As long as this fact remains, she will never be as lonely.

It’s a wonder why her father didn’t mind having Changmin around. He wasn’t exactly one that could bring benefits to his business ambitions. Changmin was just a simple child with a relatively good family background, and YeonHee just happens to enjoy his company very much. And besides, since both parents happen to know each other in a non-professional way, the President had restrained himself from being too hard on him. Perhaps, there were old debts needing repayments that the children knew nothing about.

YeonHee has always been grateful of what she has. She realised of the wealth and responsibility that awaits her even at that young age. She was pressured, of course. To be the sole heir of an entire business empire as a woman wasn’t as much of a fortune in her eyes. It was a curse she was learning to bear with. She thought as long as she has him by her side she would be fine. But the problem is, the President wasn’t going to let him stay by her forever. The President was oblivious of the importance of Shim Changmin in Lee YeonHee’s life. These in turn, has turned YeonHee into who she is today. And still, Changmin wasn’t able to get her out of his mind.

Changmin sipped on his orange juice and looked outside the window of the cafe with a calm heart. The past had never failed to haunt him, but the present holds even more horror which sent chills down his spine every morning. However, nothing is going to stop him from getting what he wanted, for him and for her.

From a distance, he saw her walking down the pathway heading to the cafe while shielding her eyes from the heat of the sun. He knew then that she forgot her shades in her apartment. A smile formed at the corner of his lips as he observed her hair that was blown softly by the wind. He had to admit that the amount of time they’ve been spending together has made it more unbearable for him to hold in his feelings. But he didn’t want to scare her away. He will wait a little while longer.

The cafe door opened, revealing her beautiful features for all the naughty eyes to see. Their gazes met momentarily before she moved on, still pretending like they haven’t seen each other before.

She bought some food and went to sit at the other end of the cafe, facing him. He let out a small laugh and sipped the rest of his orange juice before standing up and walked away. He was going to give her the privacy and the chance to get to know other guys on campus, just for her amusement. He believed that nothing too bad would happen on campus considering the increased amount of security the university has provided specially for her.

However, his worst nightmare just happened to walk past him straight into the cafe.

“Kim--” he began and turned, but Jaejoong was already out of ear-shot. “Shit.”

Changmin wanted to get back inside and drag YeonHee away before Jaejoong could land his eyes on her. But it was clearly too late. In fact, Jaejoong is currently standing in front of her with his million-dollar-smile while YeonHee was shyly accepting his hand-shake. Changmin's face fell.

Did she remember him?

***

“Guess who I met when you left the cafe today,” YeonHee asked with a smile. She held onto her phone with her left hand while unpacking her take-away food using the other. “Come on, take a guess!”

Changmin sighed and replied half-heartedly, “I have no idea. Just tell me.”

“Aw, come on. You know him. He knows us too! Take a guess, please.”

He remained silent on the line, uninterested to let her know that he saw her with Jaejoong with his own eyes and she doesn’t have to worry about letting him know of Jaejoong’s existence. She pouted at his lack of response and wished that she could smack the back of his head right there.

“It’s Kim Jaejoong! Jeez, you’re no fun at all. And how could you not tell me that Kim Jaejoong goes to the same school as us?”

Changmin still kept quiet. He’s not favouring this conversation at all.

“Ya, don’t tell me you don’t remember him. It only took me a second to remember who he was. Tch, your brain really needs the exercise.” She climbed onto her stool, made herself comfortable and began eating.

“You remembered him?” the question left his lips all too easily. “I mean...”

“Yes, Shim Changmin. I remembered him, Kim Jaejoong, a good friend of me and you since we were kids. What’s the matter with you?”

Suddenly all the anger and frustration came bursting out of his systems all at once. “How the hell could you have remembered him but not me? I was friends with you longer than he was! I was closer to you than he ever was! How could you have forgotten everything about me, but recall everything about him? I thought it was because we were separated for too long. But this? This is... ugh!!”

YeonHee couldn’t continue eating at the sound of his rage and disappointment. She couldn’t find any words to say, because her mind was suddenly clouded by a certain scene from her past. This was definitely not the first time Changmin had let out his anger in front of her.

“YeonHee? YeonHee, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to yell at you,” Changmin heaved a sigh and calmed himself down after he was done shouting into the phone. “YeonHee? Are you still there? YeonHee??”

She tried, but she couldn’t remember what had made him so angry at her in that memory. It was from her childhood.

“YeonHee!!!”

“Huh. Yes!!!” she gasped as if she was spooked. “God, you don’t have to scream at me like that!”

Changmin grunted. “You are the one who needs to speak when being spoken to. I thought you fainted or something.”

“Fine, fine. Hey, I think that’s enough updates for today. I’ll see tomorrow?”

He finally agreed, bid his goodbye and ended the line. YeonHee continued on her dinner with much less enthusiasm. She was distracted. There wasn’t a single memory of Changmin in her mind previously, but evidence just happened to appear before her only a while ago. Is it really true that she had buried those memories because of pain? Then, what sort of pain could she have suffered from at such a young age?

And there’s also Kim Jaejoong, the boy she had grown fond of ever since they first met at the age of 8. How could she have remembered him, but not Changmin? She had even remembered most of her childhood now that she tried hard on recovering those memories. However it was exceptionally hard for her to find Changmin in any of them, which she can’t figure out why.

She recalled the tone of his voice just a few minutes ago. She was scared. But even more than that, she was sad. At that point, she knew she never wanted to make him angry ever again.

She wouldn’t want to lose her best friend now, would she?


_________________

credits:♥️MELODY@SOUFII
Always Keep The Faith!
View user profile http://minukkie.blogspot.com
o8: insecure

All formal classes started that day. Changmin and YeonHee have conveniently been put into the same schedule by the university. They have the same lectures, the same tutorials, and the exact same lunch hours. YeonHee thought that it was too much, but Changmin insisted that they just go on with it. After all, he will have every reason to be by her side this way. How could he refuse such generosity?

On the other hand, Changmin found out that Kim Jaejoong is currently on an exchange program with the university. Whether he applied to be there on purpose or he was randomly placed there by his previous institution was still a mystery to Changmin. Though, he believes that it was the President’s doings, because it doesn’t look like a coincidence at all. It just doesn’t make sense for a student to apply for, or agree on, an exchange program that will take place in their own home-country. It’s totally beyond the point of going overseas!

Is the President really going to discard him from this operation? Just because he went past one of his priority orders to not leave YeonHee by herself in any condition? Changmin scoffed. The President is going to turn his own daughter mental if he keeps on with this.

But no matter what happens to him, Changmin wasn’t going to let Kim Jaejoong take over in any of his lifetimes. Jaejoong isn’t a bad guy, but Changmin can’t allow things to change at this point. It’s just too suspicious. And besides, he had to admit that the greed to keep YeonHee to himself is slowly taking over. He knows it might be childish, but he wants her all to himself. He will make her remember all of their memories together and show her that he’s more worthy than the spoiled rich kid, Kim Jaejoong. He just can’t let go of his first love like that. Not to his own best friend...

“Shim Changmin!”

He gasped and knocked off a few stationeries from his table out of reflex. He had been too caught up with his thought to have heard his name being called by the tutor. He looked up to see the tutor’s eyes directly upon him. Luckily no one else in the class seemed to care. But a pair of eyes were stuck looking at the back of his head at the call of Changmin’s name just now. YeonHee wondered what have made him so distracted these past few days. It wasn’t like him at all when it comes to focus.

“Explain to the class the philosophy behind this theory,” the tutor pointed at a word written on the whiteboard. She wasn’t angry. She was concerned.

Changmin cleared his throat and began explaining. Not even a point was left out. Changmin was smart. The tutor smiled in contentment at his answer and let him off, not forgetting to add an ‘excellent!’ at the end of his conclusion.

Shim Changmin knew he can’t let these thoughts get to him anymore. He needed to speak to Kim Jaejoong, and he will bluntly ask him of his purpose to return from overseas in such a short notice. It is the only way to reduce his anxiety about the current situation. He needed to make sure that the President isn’t having side motives.

When the tutorial ended, YeonHee tried to confront Changmin and ask him what is up. But he walked away way too fast without even saying ‘See you later’. Given the level of concern she had for Changmin lately, she decided to follow him to where he was going to. She wouldn’t want Changmin to get into too much trouble because of her.

She followed him out of the School of Business and out into the sun. Changmin was crossing the car park to get to the building opposite. She wondered what business he’s having in the administration building. Did either of them have gotten into trouble with the university and he wasn’t telling her about it? Or is she in danger? Is someone targeting her here?

YeonHee saw him speak to one of the secretaries and left again. She looked at her watch. They won’t be having any classes during the next hour. It would usually be the time when both of them will spend in the library pretending to be nerds to avoid the hectic social of university life.

“Yah, YeonHee-sshi!” a voice called out her name from behind her. She turned around to see two of her course-mates making their way towards her with puzzled looks. “What are you doing behind here? Are you spying on someone?”

YeonHee looked back to the front and saw emptiness. She lost track of Changmin. She sighed. “Not really. Nevermind. I just thought I saw something. So, what’s up? Do you need anything from me?”

One of the girls shook her head. “We’re just on our way to the cafe, and since you’re alone we thought of asking you to come with us. It’s Wednesday and I bet the special menu will be just as awesome today,” she giggled.

“Yeah. Would you like to join us?” the other girl asked politely. “We could use this time to get to know each other. It’ll be easier to progress once all the group work starts,” she smiled meaningfully.

“I’m sorry but I think I’ll pass for today. We can have lunch together another time though. I’d be glad to join you girls.”

“Sweet! Tomorrow then,” the first girl cheered.

YeonHee just smiled and bowed, then walked towards where she thought Changmin might have gone to.

***

Changmin leaned on the wall just outside the room where Jaejoong was in. It seems like the tutor enjoyed the class too much and was reluctant let the students off. He had to wait for another five minutes before the door opened and students started to storm out. He elbowed himself off the wall and waited patiently for the guy. Once he saw the golden head floating within the crowd, he grabbed the arm and pulled him to the side.

Jaejoong was startled, no doubt. But after seeing the person who had pulled him, his face quickly turned into a pleasant smile.

“Changmin-ah!” he spread his arms to pull the taller man into a tight man-hug. “Man, I have no idea I would see you around here! I mean, I know we’re studying at the same school, but being the book person that you are... Well, I’m just glad to see you, man.” Jaejoong patted Changmin's shoulder a few times.

“Yeah, me too,” Changmin added with a smile. He wasn’t sure if it’s a fake or not. “Hey, are you busy? I thought we can spend some minutes to catch up on some things.”

“Sure! It’s nearly lunch time anyways. So, how have you been? We haven’t seen each other for a couple of years already.”

“I’m good. I’ve always been good,” Changmin replied. All the while he was observing Jaejoong’s eyes and body languages. Jaejoong isn’t one that could hide his intentions very well, or rather Changmin just happen to have the better skills to read him like an open book.

He knew then that Jaejoong was hiding something.

“How about you,” Changmin added. “I thought you went to study in London. Has it been five years already?”

“Nah, I missed Korea. So I thought of spending a year here before my final year in LSE. I need to recharge my batteries,” Jaejoong chuckled.

Changmin nodded at his words.

When they arrived at the cafe, they bought their food and chose a table by the window before they resumed on their conversations. Changmin’s eyes searched for hers at first, but YeonHee was nowhere to be seen. Maybe she already had her lunch and had already left.

“It was YeonHee who told me that you’re studying here too,” Jaejoong started while munching on his food lightly. “Don’t you think its fate, the three of us going to the same school and all?”

Changmin laughed. “I’d be surprised if you really do believe in fate. And besides, you’re not exactly a student here. There is a difference between an international student and an exchange student.”

“Fine, fine.”

“But honestly, did you really come back just because you missed Korea? Or was it because you knew that YeonHee has returned?” he asked casually.

Jaejoong nearly choked on his food at the last sentence. He gulped the remaining food in his mouth, drank some water and cleared his throat. He chuckled for a moment and looked at Changmin with amusement. “You are indeed my best friend, aren’t you? You caught me, buddy.”


_________________

credits:♥️MELODY@SOUFII
Always Keep The Faith!
View user profile http://minukkie.blogspot.com
o9: a girl's heart

“Where did you go after Mrs Park’s tutorial? I went to search for you. Did something happen?” YeonHee asked as soon as Changmin answered his phone that day. It has been an agreed routine between the both of them; either one of them will give a call to the other so as to inform about what happened to them that day. It was supposed to be just YeonHee reporting to him, but she claimed that it isn’t fair, so he ended up reporting to her as well.

“I went to see Jaejoong,” Changmin answered honestly. “We had a little chat over lunch. That’s all.”

“Oh. So what did you guys talk about?”

Changmin was silent for a moment. “Nothing much, just some catching ups. He told me that he came back because you came back.”

“Really?” her voice lightened up. “Did he say that? Aw, that is so sweet of him. He shouldn’t have, though. I wouldn’t mind. His studies over there in London are more important. Wait, where is he studying again?”

“LSE. What about you, where did you go after Mrs Park’s tutorial?” Changmin didn’t want to hear anymore about Jaejoong. His suspicion just grew stronger after their conversation during lunch. Even another mention of Jaejoong’s name could send him over the edge, and he didn’t want YeonHee to see him in that condition.

Jaejoong has something up his sleeve, and Changmin is determined to know what it is.

“I told you, I went to look for you. While I was at that, two girls from the class come to me and invited me to have lunch together. They want me in their group for our first project.”

“Which girls?”

“I don’t remember their names. But they aren’t one of those annoying ones who won’t get their eyes off of me. And since I declined their invitation just now, I’ve got myself a lunch date for tomorrow.”

He hummed in comprehension. “I’ll be around tomorrow, then.”

“Huh? What for? Yah, Changmin. Those two girls are merely trying to make friends with me. You said it yourself that it’s safe there on campus.”

“Well, unfortunately there’s been some change of plans. And, I need to see those girls with my own eyes.”

She couldn’t say anything more to convince Changmin that there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. YeonHee could see the honesty in the two girls’ eyes, but who is she to tell apart between lies and disguises. This is why she needed Changmin to be around. YeonHee sensed the tension in Changmin’s voice, and she dare not became childish again at a time like this. She shouldn’t add to the already-heavy load on Changmin’s shoulders.

YeonHee, too, had to restrain herself from asking for details about his meeting with Kim Jaejoong. She could guess that there was more to the meeting than what has been told. Changmin hadn’t been so keen on her own meeting with Jaejoong the other day, so why should he be now? And to think that they were childhood friends... If she didn’t know any better, she might’ve thought that Changmin is being jealous, but that won’t make any sense at all.

After the phone call ended, YeonHee took a quick shower and had her take-away dinner. She had given up on cooking since that time when Changmin started to buy food for her every single day. He says that it will be much easier than having to go on grocery shopping every other weekend. Not only will it reduce her time of having to appear in public, it will also save her a lot of time in general. While eating, she picked up a magazine which was lying around on her kitchen counter and began flipping the pages. She let her mind unwind and just enjoy the brilliant colours of the glossy pages as well as the gorgeous features of the fashion models.

Just before she arrived at the end of the magazine which she hadn't the first time she bought it, there was a special interview column featuring the latest most eligible ‘Bachelor With Style’. The title itself captivated her, so she stopped to read. The content was pretty amazing and YeonHee could swear that she’d give the person a chance right away if he asked her out. However, there was no picture of the actual person, which has been left out due to the interviewee’s request. She had no idea who he was, not until the mention of his name at the very end of the column: ‘-Kim Jaejoong, 22 years, Finance undergraduate of LSE, UK.

YeonHee gulped the remaining food in her mouth and stared at the name. “Wow, those are one hell of accomplishments at his disposal. And he seemed so normal. I can’t imagine the effect of this column if his picture had been there. Should I say that I’m proud to be his best friend?”

She started to laugh and put the magazine away. “Maybe I’m not his best friend at all since I know nothing of those. Gosh, if that’s the case, maybe I’m not anyone’s best friend...”

Her thoughts then went back and forth between Jaejoong, Changmin and the ten years they’ve been apart. In all her life, the only thing that she had desperately wanted is to get away from her father’s influence. The ten years that she had spent at the States was full of nothingness. She did everything that her father wanted her to do without even a single complaint. She let her father monitor her life like a hawk hovering its prey and let him force her to attend events and classes that bore her to death. But she had to put on a smile every time so that her father will have no reasons to refuse what they’ve bargained for.

At the age of 12, YeonHee demanded for her rights to reconnect with her two best-friends back in Korea. She missed them so badly. She tried this for the past years, but her father rejected the idea each time. He told her that those kinds of connections can be traced, and if she wants everyone to be safe, she should forget about them from then on. Of course, she rebelled with her heart’s content. It took months to finally get her father to sit down and discuss options that could mutually benefit both of them. This is how she got the chance to convince her father to let her to return to Korea at the age of 20, at the cost of a miserable life during the remaining 8 years she had to live at the States.

She had no one else at her side back then. She had been missing both of her best friends so much and it broke her lonely heart even more as time went on. She had absolutely no ways of getting news about them, and that has left her a clueless person that she is today. And as time passed, she had no other choice but to let go of the sweet memories of her companions. She needed to stop the bleeding heart in order to live through the day. She promised to herself that she will find them when she gets back. But the only problem is, it’s not an easy task to recover a memory of years and years ago after such heartbreak, especially the ones that has been purposely forgotten. Thus the promise disappeared, along with her feelings for that special someone.

She gasped loudly when realisation hit her. “Did I just admit, with a long elaborated proof, that Shim Changmin is my best friend?” she squealed happily. “I remember him. I remember him now! Oh my God...”

YeonHee couldn’t hold back her joy and started to jump around in her apartment. She didn’t expect such innocent thoughts could end up in this. She wasn’t even trying to recover her memories of Changmin. She was just looking back at her pitiful past and the details just happen to fall into place. She couldn’t be more glad, especially when she was convinced once again that her heart had always belonged to that special someone.

That night, YeonHee went to bed with a happy grin and a little bit of anxiety. She was nervous to face the day of tomorrow, which is when she will get to see him again in a whole new light.


_________________

credits:♥️MELODY@SOUFII
Always Keep The Faith!
View user profile http://minukkie.blogspot.com
1o: taken, or not


Changmin arrived at the car park earlier than usual that day. He had no particular reason. He just happened to wake up even before his alarm clock went off. Maybe something was bugging him subconsciously, and he would guess that it was Jaejoong. But who knows? There are just too much things playing inside his mind lately.

He stayed in his car for a while after he arrived. That is, until he can catch a glimpse of YeonHee’s car entering the area. By now, both of them were no longer driving to university together. Changmin wanted to let them get used to this new arrangement, and be open to all sorts of possibilities. And so far, nothing had gone wrong. However, Changmin had strictly lined out that she should arrive at least half an hour before their class starts. A minute later, and he would immediately search high and low for her and make sure that she is once again safe and sound.

He checked his watch and glanced at the back-view mirror. She should arrive any minute now. And truly, there she was, turning the corner and entering her usual parking space. She caught him looking at her trough his mirror. She smiled, wide.

Changmin waited for her to leave the area before he himself stepped out of his car and walked towards his destination. Another day has arrived, as well as another opportunity for him to investigate his own best friend: Kim Jaejoong. Changmin didn’t pay attention to his surroundings at all as he made his way to his lecture theatre using the longest route he could come up with. The whispers of his fan-girls went past him like a blowing wind, and the stares from admirers appeared to him like cold statues. His only aim was Kim Jaejoong. And his only life was Lee YeonHee. He cared about nothing else.

He entered the back door of the theatre and sat at the very end of the row. The class was huge, and he had to keep an eye on absolutely everyone in the room. The first thing that he searched for was YeonHee, and he found her sitting at the very middle of the theatre which is also her favourite spot. Just as he was about to divert his gaze, her own eyes fell upon his. She just smiled and turned back. Changmin stared blankly, and the class commenced.

When the lecturer grants a five minute’s break, she glanced at the back once again to find Changmin already sleeping on his own palm. She giggled and fished out her phone to disturb him.

Mr Genius, let me borrow your brain for a while if you’re not going to use it.

She saw his face flinched with annoyance as he grabbed his phone from inside his pockets. He read the message through squinted eyes and then glared at her.

What are you doing? We’re in class. Go study and leave me alone, will you?

She pouted, but it changed into a smile within seconds and she left it at that. She tried to find him with her eyes again, but this time he gave her a really mean glare and mouthed another ‘what in the hell are you doing?!’ Chills ran up her spine and she gave up. She turned forward and the class resumed.

She knew it well that she wasn’t supposed to make such contacts with him in class. It is enough that other people know them as students who had classes together. It was dangerous if they found out what connection he actually had with YeonHee. Not only some might come running after her, but her social life would never be the same again too. Who would want to be friends with a girl who has a personal bodyguard tailing her around all the time? Surely she isn’t a normal person to have such an asset.

When the class ended, YeonHee decided that she should meet up with Changmin at the door and walk to their next class together. But before she could take another step, two girls pulled her arm and stopped her in her tracks.

“Hey, YeonHee-sshi,” said one of the girls. It was the same pair that greeted her yesterday.

“Hi.”

“So we’re having lunch together right? Do you have class after this?”

YeonHee cleared her throat and looked momentarily at the door where all the other students were leaving through. She saw Changmin amongst them, looking back at her in question. He did a gesture to confirm the identity of the two girls. YeonHee simply nodded. He understood and left. But YeonHee knew best, Changmin is now within the shadows, keeping an eye on her and her new friends.

“Yes, I have a tutorial with Mr Moon. Maybe I’ll see you guys at the cafe in two hours? Oh! I’m really sorry but I didn’t get your names. I’m really bad with them, sorry.”

The other girl laughed. “It’s fine. I’m Mayu and this is ChaeRin. We’ll see you later then. Have fun in your tutorial with Shim Changmin!” they cheered and took off. YeonHee stood there, blank.

YeonHee didn’t let the confusion took over her and left as well. Changmin was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps he had already arrived at Mr Moon’s tutorial room. Her left hand lifted and touched her burning cheeks. Somehow Mayu’s last words seemed a bit wrong. Did her feelings for him really showed? Or were the girls just teasing her with the hottest guy in school?

She arrived at her next class a few minutes later, welcomed by a sceptical look from Changmin who sat near the window on the other side. She smiled nervously and quickly sat down. Her heart just couldn’t stop beating hard!

***

“Are you really going to spy on them?” YeonHee asked him again.

“Of course. It’s part of my job description and I get paid for it. I better make it all worth the money,” he replied.

Both of them were walking side by side on the way to the cafe, looking exactly like two classmates who just happened to have ended a class together. They kept their conversations limited, and maintained a distance from each other.

“Can you at least--”

“Shim Changmin!!” a voice suddenly echoed from behind them, making them turn to face the owner. The girl caught up with them and showed a pen up to Changmin’s face. “You left this on your table.”

YeonHee looked at the girl’s face with irritation. She was the girl who wouldn’t give her a break and kept on annoying her with odd stares all day long. And now, she’s grinning sheepishly at Changmin and totally ignored her existence just a few feet away.

“You’ve mistaken. I don’t think that’s mine,” Changmin declined politely and pushed the pen away. The girl’s eyes sparkled at the point where their skins touched.

“It isn’t?” the girl pretended to be confused.

Changmin shook his head to the sides in assurance and turned to walk away. He, too, didn’t seem to favour the conversation with the girl. YeonHee followed him from behind.

“That was the third time today. Why did they suddenly come up with such lame ways to start a conversation with me? This is so annoying.”

YeonHee heard Changmin mutter and pursed her own lips. “They’ve been coming to you?”

“The girls are there. You better go,” Changmin pushed her away before she could demand for further explanation. He didn’t feel like it’s an important issue to go through with her. If it gets serious either ways, this isn’t the place to talk about it. He then found himself a comfortable seat facing the girls and sat down. YeonHee too took a seat that was facing him.

“How was class with Shim Changmin?” ChaeRin asked as soon as YeonHee was seated. Her tone was normal, but her eyes were eager.

The question caught YeonHee off-guard of course. Her heart was making those weird flutters again. “Er... The usual?”

“Really?” Mayu grinned.

“So what are you having for lunch?” ChaeRin quickly cut in with a wide, meaningful smile.

YeonHee just stared at them oddly. She will make sure that they will speak about it over lunch.


_________________

credits:♥️MELODY@SOUFII
Always Keep The Faith!
View user profile http://minukkie.blogspot.com
11: closer to you

The weekend arrived at last, and YeonHee was stuck at home once again. She was grinning to herself as she let her eyes examine Mr Shim who was sitting in front of her from head to toe, or at least any view that wasn’t blocked by the coffee table. She sat on the sofa with her knees up and her arms wrapped around it. Changmin was lecturing her about something again, but all she could see was those sinful lips that kept on moving sensuously.

Changmin began to touch his own face when he realised that she was staring. “Is there something on my face?”

“Huh? Oh. Nope. Why?” She released her knees a little too awkwardly and shuffled in her spot.

“You’re staring. I thought you were listening to me very tentatively, but your eyes never blinked,” he began to lean forward and looked at her deep in the eye. His expressions were quizzical.

She gaped at him. “What are you talking about? I blinked!” Then she began pressing her eyes shut a few times.

A few giggles left his chest. “You know, you can just tell me if you want to look. I’d be more than happy to show you more.” His giggles then turned into hearty laughter. YeonHee’s face had burned bright red by now.

“I didn’t stare!” she kept on denying. “Even if I did, it’s not what you think!”

“Oh, really?"

“Really!”

“Right. Anyways, as I was saying...”

But before he could continue, his cell phone rang. He grunted and fished out his phone from inside his pockets. “Hello?”

YeonHee began to relax in her seat and examined Changmin who was listening into his phone. His blank expression slowly turned annoyed, but he stayed on the line. Once in a while, his gaze innocently met hers, causing her heart to best faster each time.

“I’m sorry, I really can’t. I’m seeing someone else,” was his final words before he quickly ended the call. He pressed on a few more buttons on his phone. “I’m never going to answer your calls ever again.” Then he threw the phone to the side.

“What was that all about?” YeonHee asked in slight concern.

“It’s nothing. Don’t worry about it,” Changmin brushed the matter off. “So, as I was saying about those girls. Remember to be careful around Mayu. She’s Jaejoong’s second cousin.”

At the mention of Jaejoong’s name, YeonHee’s attention fully returned to the conversation and she straightened up on the sofa. “Mayu? Why?”

“Just do as I say for now,” he said while starting to pack up the lunch mess he made on the coffee table.

“What does Jaejoong has to do with this? Changmin, talk to me,” she demanded softly, stopping him from cleaning any further. “What’s wrong with Jaejoong?”

“I’ll let you know when I find out,” he replied just as softly and pulled his arm away from her grasp. “I’d better go now. I’ll see you in a few hours.”

“Changmin!” YeonHee called out before he could leave. “Before you go, I have something to ask you.” He paused and waited for her question.

“Jaejoong asked to meet me at the coffee shop at four. Can I go?” she asked with hope in her eyes. “Actually, I’ve already gave him my word considering that he’s our friend. But since you seemed to doubt him for whatever reasons, I thought I’d ask you again.”

However, the look in Changmin’s eyes that followed scared her. “And you’re only asking me now?! After you gave him your word? When did you plan on letting me know in the first place? An hour before? Or just before you leave the house? Who am I to you, Lee YeonHee?! You know what, next time don’t bother mentioning it at all, and see if I care!!”

Silent tears started to accumulate in her eyes as Changmin’s tone increased by each sentence. “I... I thought...” Changmin was angry at her again, and she couldn’t accept it. She was shaken.

She watched as Changmin left through the front door and banged it shut.

***

“Hey, I thought you wouldn’t come,” Jaejoong greeted when she neared the table he sat at. He had waited for nearly an hour in that coffee shop. He was about to give up and leave when he caught the sight of her across the road, looking hesitant. It made him smile nonetheless.

“I’m sorry, something came up at home,” she lied. In truth, she was torn between her two best friends and she had the hardest time making a simple decision whether to go out or not. Well, maybe it won’t be as simple in her case, but Jaejoong is a friend. She shouldn’t have hesitated.

“Anything I can help you with?” Jaejoong offered kindly while pulling a chair for her.

She declined politely. “So, what’s up?” she asked nervously and shifted in her seat a few times. Jaejoong sensed her discomfort, but decided to let it pass. Maybe it was just because of the length of time that they had been apart. They needed time to get used to each other again.

“Nothing much. I just wanted to make up for the lost time,” Jaejoong took a small sip of his black coffee when he had returned to his own seat. “Oh, I hope you don’t mind, I've already ordered something for you.”

A waitress arrived at YeonHee’s side and placed a cup of English Breakfast tea.

“Although it’s far away from breakfast, I remembered that you’ve always liked that type of tea,” he stated. “I hope your preferences haven’t changed.”

YeonHee smiled as she continued to let herself be drowned in Jaejoong’s charms. “Yes, I’m still in love with it. Thank you.”

Jaejoong’s stare upon her was soft and considerate, which made her feel even more uncomfortable. Somehow, it wasn’t quite like how Jaejoong used to behave around her ten years ago. Did Jaejoong mature to become a heartbreaker with that charming smile and sexy eyes that screamed romance to any girl who sees them? Right now, the only one who could see them was YeonHee. And indeed, she was starting to melt.

Just when she was about to open her mouth to speak, her phone vibrated inside her bag.

‘I’ll be around. Behave yourself.’

YeonHee’s eyes lit up when she saw the name of the sender. It seemed that Changmin isn’t very angry at her after all. But still, she knew she needed to apologise for acting so carelessly. She trusted Changmin and she needed him to be by her side. She can’t imagine her life without him now.

“Was that Changmin?” Jaejoong asked offhandedly. YeonHee nodded. She lifted up her face and saw that the sweet charm that was on Jaejoong’s face was gone momentarily. She saw something bitter instead, but it disappeared just as quickly. At this point, she was convinced that something was up. But she kept quiet.

“Didn’t you ask him to meet up too?” she questioned.

Jaejoong looked at her for a moment before shaking his head to the sides. “He’s a busy man. He has too many girls chasing after him. And besides, I’ve seen him plenty of times before. It’s you whom I’ve missed.

He started to lean in closer to her and he placed his palms near at the center of the small table. His eyes wore an emotion that YeonHee didn’t dare to interprete. She looked away. “Will you be here for the whole year?”

He didn’t move a muscle. “Yes. Isn’t that great? Exchange programs are usually set for a semester, but I guess I got lucky. I’ll get to be with you longer.”

YeonHee’s palm started to get sweaty. As much as she was looking forward to meeting an old friend, the situation at hand was giving her the goosebumps.

She didn’t understand the relationship between Changmin and Jaejoong now. Perhaps something happened in between that she didn’t know about. Or did something happen right under her nose, she just didn’t realise them? One thing that she was sure about is that something has changed...


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