"Wait—you're telling me you know him—like personally?" JiHyo looks at me in shock as she stands next to her kitchen sink.
"Yeah, I guess I kinda do." I shrug as I stare down at the folded napkin JiSung gave me at the coffee shop. He told me he wrote something inside, but I don't want to ruin it.
"How? When? Why am I just now finding out?" JiHyo pouts as she sets a bowl in front of me.
"Not that long ago actually. I was having a rough night so I went out for a walk—he ran into me. I feel and hurt my knee. I found out they lived across the hall. They were all really concerned about my knee, so I just kinda ended up being around them a lot. Honestly, it hasn't even been that long, but it kinda feels like it's been a lifetime." I explain as I rest my head on my folded arms.
"Probably because you literally know everything there is to know about them. You could probably tell them their childhood story better than they can recall it." JiHyo chuckles as she begins throwing together a salad.
"I mean—mainly just JiSung's—I could recite some about the others, but I know most of JiSung's story." I give in and let her in on something I've been doing my best to keep hidden. The last thing JiSung needs to know is just how much I know about him.
"You like him, don't you? Not like idol and fan like—you really like him." JiHyo asks as she spins around to wash her hands.
"I mean—I'd be lying if I said no. He's exactly like I expected him to be. He warmed up a bit quicker than I expected, but he was as shy as I imagined." I smile as I recall our awkward first encounter.
"Do you think he likes you? I mean—he seemed pretty intrigued earlier." JiHyo circles around the counter to sit beside me.
"I don't know. He seemed worried about me, but he was the one who ran into me—he's probably just worried because he's the one who hurt me. I told him it wasn't that bad, but he was still upset." I turn to face her as she smiles brightly.
"He seems like a really nice guy. A nice guy you could definitely bring over when I'm not home if you happen to decide to move in." JiHyo gives me a subtle nudge to agree to her proposal.
She isn't wrong. If she's not here, I really could have JiSung over. There would be no one to bother us. I wouldn't necessarily do what most people would, but I'm always a fan of peace and quiet.
"I'll do it." I state calmly as I decide that it's time to let go. It's time for me to start my own journey.
"I could set you up with snacks for a movie night—wait—what? Did you say yes? Please tell me I'm not hearing things. You said you'd move in, didn't you?" JiHyo hops up onto her feet and takes my hands in hers.
"Yes, I'll move in with you." I smile as she forces me to spin around with her.
"Oh my god! This is going to be so much fun! We can have girls nights and do makeovers. I mean—I'm out of town most of the month, but the time I am home we can have a blast." JiHyo wraps her arms around me and squeezes tightly.
I close my eyes and try to let her enjoy the moment despite my discomfort. I can guarantee that I'll feel it later, but for her, I'll deal with it.
"We have to go get your stuff. No one is home, right? Your house is empty—it doesn't matter. Go get your shoes on, we're going." JiHyo drags me toward the door, her face full of excitement.
"I do have to be there at ten though. They're performing tonight and I have to get something from them when they get home." I mumble as I'm forced outside and toward her car.
"Get what? What in the world do they have that you need? Are you not telling me something?" JiHyo tugs the passenger door open and stands there staring at me.
"I may have fell asleep at their place last night. I also may have left my stuffed animal with JiSung because he was upset about some things I told him." I rub at the back of my neck as I try to be as subtle about it as possible.
"What did you tell him? You better not have put down a deal breaker. He better still have the willingness to date you or I'm going to have to quit my job to find you a worthy man." JiHyo threatens as she forces me into the car.
"It was just about my scars. You've seen them before." I sigh as I grip tightly onto the edge of the seat. I know I need to buckle up, but the idea of willingly trapping myself within a tiny vehicle is something I'd rather not do.
"That's not even something you bring up on the first date—you definitely shouldn't have brought it up before the first date." JiHyo shakes her head in disappointment before reaching over to buckle me.
Honestly, she knows me all too well. She's more than well aware of my hatred for cars. She's also well aware that I know they happen to be a necessity most of the time. So, she's typically happy to step up and force me into difficult and uncomfortable situations.
"I kind of had to. I wasn't paying attention when I got changed and put on my spandex. I was too excited to really care—until I realized he saw them. At first, he played it off as nothing. He told me he wouldn't say a word to the others and even tried his best to hide them for me. However, it didn't necessarily work out and I had to tell them all." I shrug. At the time, it had seemed so intimidating and I wanted to just curl up in a ball and die, but honestly it was kind of liberating.
It didn't change the way they viewed me—well they became a little worried, but they haven't outright treated me any different. I can't really blame them for being worried. I would be, too.
"He wasn't bad upset, right? Like he wasn't disgusted or anything. He was sad—please tell me he was just sad." JiHyo practically pleads as she begins heading toward the apartment building.
"He was disappointed—in himself for some reason. There wasn't anything he could've done. Hell—I was what, fifteen when I did it—he would've only been fourteen. What can a fourteen year old boy do about that kind of thing—especially when he has no idea who I am?" I shake my head—slightly amused by his outrageous disappointment, but also confused. Why does he care so much? I'm just another fan. I'm just someone who helps pay for him to achieve his dreams—nothing more.
"Because he is an amazing human being who is very sympathetic and understanding—which is exactly the time of person someone like you needs." JiHyo insists as she places her hand on my knee.
"I don't see us being an actual couple, but you can keep dreaming. Honestly, I don't see us being friends for long either. You know better than anyone else that friendships just aren't my thing. I don't know how to feel. I lack emotions—especially when it comes to other people." I sigh as I close my eyes and rest my head against the headrest.
"With the exception of him. You can't deny the fact that you've been head over heels for him since you found out he existed. I don't care if you don't like anyone else, but you like him. You like him a lot." JiHyo glances over at me before looking back at the road.