Characters: Henry, OC
Genre: Romance, Friendship
Author's Note: This is especially for Kath! She requested for a Henry/OC fic from me with no specific prompts and this happened. I didn't actually think I could write a Henry fic since I've never written him before, but it was surprisingly easy. I hope you like it, dear. I did my best and there's a surprise. :)
Another thing, I really don't know Henry's favorite color or anything much about him. Forgive me for any mistakes. :)
Another note: This is a UniversityAU. So ignore real life ages. :)
Someone Like You
“There’s my favorite girl!”
Kyung Mi turned around, a big smile on her face, just as she saw him walking out of the arrivals gate at the airport.
“Here you are,” Kyung Mi squealed, practically jumping up and down at seeing him again.
Henry had been her best friend for as long as she could remember, which was right about when they were just toddlers. Their parents had been friends when they were in university and when they’d all gotten out into the real world; they decided to build their lives together. They stayed and worked in the same city, even putting up houses right next to each other.
“Look at you, all grown up,” Henry commented as he got a good look at her.
Henry had been away for two years to study music in Berkelee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. She really missed him. They’d been in touch through email and some phone calls, but it just wasn’t the same. She had grown afraid that he was starting to live life without her, which was selfish because they didn’t have to do as their parents did, which was do everything together. Even so, she was just really happy that he was finally back.
“Look at you, all hip hop,” she teased in return, grabbing his red cap. “Jungsoo oppa mentioned something about this. Since when do you wear caps?”
He kind of looked embarrassed, but glowered a bit, as he grabbed it back and stuck it back on his head. “They all wear caps there,” he told her. “Besides, it looks good on me.”
She rolled her eyes. “If you say so.” She then grabbed his luggage. “C’mon, everyone’s waiting for you at home.”
“Hey, Kyungie, wait,” Henry suddenly called out to her as she started walking away.
“What?” Kyung Mi asked, looking confused as she stopped and turned towards him. It was weird, seeing Henry look at her so seriously. “What?” she repeated, ignoring the thudding of her heart in her chest. She wasn’t going to deny that him looking at her like that made her a bit nervous, not to mention that he called her by the nickname that only he used.
He gave her a soft smile before wrapping his arms around her small frame. He breathed deeply, as if breathing her in. And suddenly, all the things she’d kept in the backburner, all those feelings she’d tried to ignore, came rushing back out, almost making themselves known as she clutched back onto him.
“I missed you,” he whispered through her hair.
Kyung Mi squeezed her eyes shut. She was in big trouble.
Kyung Mi forced herself to continuously swallow the feelings that she had thought she’d thrown away long ago. But every time she saw Henry, which was all the time, since he was always over at her house or she was over at his’ or they were always just out together, her heart just started beating so fast and so hard that she had seriously started to think that she had to do something about it.
She had been 16 when she first realized that maybe Henry wasn’t just a best friend to her. They were at the amusement park, one of those school events, and Henry wanted to prove to her how manly he was (why, she never really figured out), by winning her a huge stuffed bunny. It just endeared her to him even more, seeing him working so hard for something that she didn’t even really ask for.
He did win it for her in the end.
Her heart was far gone by then.
“Are you okay?” Henry lightly nudged her, giving her a curious look.
“Yeah,” Kyung Mi immediately answered, shifting the stack of books she was carrying on her other arm. “Care to explain to me again why you’re here?”
They were in her university, walking in campus towards her first class.
“If you actually paid any attention to me, you would know that I’m taking a couple of classes that I missed when I left,” he patiently explained.
“But you’ve finished university in Boston already,” she pointed out. She wanted to tell him just how much she paid attention to him, but didn’t want him to think that she was a freak. “Why should you have to take classes again?”
“I just want to,” he answered. “There’s a lot more to learn.”
“You’re such a nerd,” she stated. “I can’t believe you came back to Seoul just to study again. I actually thought you were going to stay there to pursue your music or at least go to New York or LA. That’s where pop was born after all.”
“Well, there are some things I want to do before I pursue my music,” he answered with a half shrug.
“Like what?” she curiously wanted to know.
“Like annoy you,” he declared, putting an arm around her, half choking her. “It’s my life’s mission, you know.”
She pushed him away, scowling.
“This is me,” she announced as they reached her classroom. “Lunch later?”
“Yeah sure—oh shoot,” he exclaimed. “I just remembered that I agreed to have lunch with Yoona.”
“Yoona?” Kyung Mi repeated, facing him completely. “Why?”
Im Yoona was one of the most popular and prettiest girls in school. She was also one of Henry’s closest friends. Despite all the stereotypes that came with being a popular and pretty girl, Yoona was actually smart and talented. She shared Henry’s love for music. They were in the music club together. Kyung Mi’s always thought that he had a crush on her.
Henry smiled, almost shyly. “Just to catch up,” was his vague answer. “I’ll pick you up in your last class, okay?” He grinned at her and reached up to ruffle her hair. “See you later.”
She smiled back at him, hoping the blush on her cheeks wasn’t obvious, and nodded.
“Where’s your BF?” Bora asked. Amber, who was seated beside her, chuckled into her Coke.
“Whom are you referring to?” Kyung Mi wanted to know. She stirred her soup in circles and ignored her sandwich in the process.
Her mind was still on Henry (when was it ever not?). She couldn’t help but feel worried about the whole thing with Yoona. It was only the first week back into university and they were already meeting up. She was pretty sure that Yoona was the first person he contacted to meet. After herself, of course.
Bora snapped her fingers in front of Kyung Mi’s face to grab her attention. “Hello! Earth to Kyung Mi!”
Kyung Mi snapped out of her daydream and lifted her eyes to her friends. “What?”
“Your boyfriend’s over there,” Amber nodded to a table behind her.
Kyung Mi turned around and saw Henry and Yoona laughing as they had lunch together. She frowned as she turned back around. It wasn’t fair that Yoona was pretty no matter what she did. She was always going to be perfect. No wonder Henry liked her.
“He’s not my boyfriend,” Kyung Mi corrected her.
“So what’s he doing with her?” Amber asked.
“They’re catching up,” Kyung Mi told her friends with a smile on her face. “You know how close they are.”
“Too close,” Bora declared. “Like what I always tell you.”
Kyung Mi shrugged. “She’s Yoona. She’s pretty and Henry’s practically in love with her. This is a known fact in this school.”
“And you’re his best friend,” Amber reminded her, giving her a pointed look.
“And…?” Kyung Mi wanted to know. It wasn’t like she could change Henry’s feelings about people. It wasn’t something you could turn on and off like a switch. She knew about that more than anyone else.
“You can do something about it,” Amber emphasized, rolling her eyes. “He listens to you so you can tell him what you think about her.”
“I can’t do that,” Kyung Mi shook her head. “I can’t tell him not to have feelings for her or whom he should have feelings for. Yoona’s pretty nice, too, you know. It’s kind of hard to say bad things about her.”
“Except, she’s dated practically the entire school,” Bora scoffed. “You’re too nice and too much of a martyr.”
Kyung Mi’s answer to this is just to make a face at her.
“So what are your plans for Valentine’s Day?” Amber wanted to know, steering the topic in a less hostile topic.
“Gee, way to rub it in that I don’t have a boyfriend,” Kyung Mi glared at her.
“Who doesn’t have a boyfriend?”
The three girls looked up and found Henry hovering over them with a big grin on his face. He immediately took a seat beside Kyung Mi, making her scoot over. He slung an arm around his best friend and gave another one of his cheeky grins.
“So who doesn’t have a boyfriend?” He looked at Kyung Mi. “It’s you, right? Or did you go and start dating someone when I was away?” There was a flash of uncertainty in his eyes that Kyung Mi imagined she saw.
“What if she’s dating?” Amber challenged, smirking a little.
“Why are you here?” Kyung Mi interrupted, glaring at Amber and smiling at Henry. “What happened to Yoona?”
“A friend needed her for something, so I’m here,” he answered. “Do you want me to leave?” He pouted and Kyung Mi found she just couldn’t resist him. Bora made a face, while Amber rolled her eyes.
“Fine,” Kyung Mi answered resignedly.
“I knew you wouldn’t turn me away,” he sniggered. He pointed at Kyung Mi’s sandwich. “May I have a bite?” Before she could answer, it was already halfway to his mouth.
“Help yourself,” Kyung Mi muttered, rolling his eyes.
“So, Henry,” Bora began, smiling almost evilly at Kyung Mi. “What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?”
Henry shrugged. “Why?” He turned to Kyung Mi. “Do you have plans?”
“Do you?” Kyung Mi shot back.
“You two should just go out on a date then,” Bora arranged, clapping her hands in finality.
“She’s my best friend,” Henry snorted. “Besides, Kyungie here would be hard to please. She’s pretty picky with guys and dates.”
“Isn’t that perfect then? You already know her so well,” Amber pushed further.
Henry merely chuckled. “I already have plans for that day,” he shared. “Yoona offered—.”
“That’s great!” Kyung Mi exclaimed in an effort to shut Bora and Amber up. “What do you have planned?”
“Something special,” Henry answered, giving her a weird look. “I haven’t really done anything special on Valentine’s day before.”
“Yeah, because you were always stuck with me,” Kyung Mi joked. “Watching dramas and just pigging out.”
“Hey, it wasn’t so bad,” Henry chuckled. “But we’re all grown up now, right? It’s time to be serious about things like love.”
Kyung Mi smiled back at his best friend. They had spent each Valentine’s Day together ever since they were old enough to understand what it meant. Both being focused on studies and not much about the opposite sex, they figured that it would be fun to treat it like any other day and just spend it together.
But, like Henry said, they were all grown up. No more childish so-called dates. It was time she accepted that fact.
Almost 10 years of Valentine’s Days down the drain.
She kicked the sand under her feet as she swung herself to and fro on the swing. She was at the park, wanting to get away from schoolwork and the phone, where her friends kept on calling her, nagging her about Henry. And Henry. She wanted to get away from him, too. Even just for a while. Because she knew there was only so much time she could manage to be away from him, especially when he’s only gotten back from a two-year absence.
All of a sudden, she had so many feelings about Henry, feelings that she’d thought she’d gotten over when he left.
She cried so much at the airport when he was about to depart for Boston. She was so afraid that he was leaving her for good, that he was going to change, that he was going to forget her. He promised her so many things that day. He promised her that he was going to come back for her, that he wasn’t going to change for her and that he wasn’t going to forget her. For her. Her. And it seemed that he had kept his promises. He really hadn’t seemed to change, except for how he’d grown to be more handsome and charming. But then it also meant that he hadn’t changed how he felt about the other people he left behind.
She sighed loudly. Oh how she wanted to scream her frustrations away.
“Penny for your thoughts?” a voice startled her out of her head.
Kyung Mi looked up and a big smile broke on her face. “Jungsoo oppa!” she happily greeted him. “What are you doing here?”
“Was walking around when I saw you,” Jungsoo explained. He sat down on the swing beside hers. “What are you doing here by yourself?”
“Just thinking,” she softly replied, rocking her swing back and forth.
“It’s my brother, isn’t it?” he guest with a light chuckle. “What did he do this time? He’s only just gotten back and already he’s making you sad.”
She shook her head rather adamantly. “He’s not all I think about.”
Jungsoo bowed his head, hiding the smile on his face. “Of course he is. I’ve known you for too long, Kyung Mi. Don’t start lying to me now,” he said knowingly.
She let out a deep sigh. “He’s going out with Yoona,” she admitted.
“Really?” he asked, truly surprised. “I didn’t see that one coming.”
“I did,” she muttered, playing with her hands. She was quiet for a second then she looked up at him and shrugged. “That’s that. I’ve always thought it would happen sooner or later. Henry’s a good guy and he deserves someone who is smart, talented and pretty.”
“Are you fishing for compliments?” he lightly teased.
“That’s the last thing I’m trying to do,” she laughed, reaching out in an attempt to shove him.
Jungsoo was older than Henry by a year. Their families being so close to each other, she wasn’t just close to Henry. She was close to Jungsoo, too. While Henry was someone who was a constant thorn (albeit, lovable) to her side, Jungsoo was someone who was a constant comfort to her. When they were younger and she would scrape her knees, Henry would stand on the side and laugh endlessly at her, even if she was already in tears. What Jungsoo did—and he never failed throughout the years—was pick her up, gently dust her knees off, blow the pain away and wipe her tears. Of course Henry would come apologizing right after and hug her tight then everything would be right in the world again.
“Well, if it means anything,” Jungsoo spoke, a small smile on his face, his eyes trained on the sand. “I think you’re all of those things. You know, smart, talented and pretty.”
Kyung Mi met Jungsoo’s eyes in surprise. She smiled in appreciation. He always knew the right things to tell her, even though they were completely indulgent.
“Oppa, when did you become so cheesy?” she teased. He didn’t say anything and just shrugged. She giggled, her laughter fading into a sigh shortly after. “I’m nothing compared to Yoona, though.”
He shook his head. “You shouldn’t put yourself down and you shouldn’t compare yourself to her,” he interjected. He took a silent deep breath. “If you really want to catch his attention, maybe you should doll up a bit or something. You know how Henry likes girls in dresses and all that.”
“It wouldn’t matter,” she told him. “I’m his best friend. Best friends don’t suddenly end up as girlfriends. I mean, it happens. It just won’t happen to me. Besides, I’m not going to change who I am just for him to fall in love with me.”
“Is that what you are?” he asked, looking at her again. “Are you in love with Henry?”
The way Jungsoo looked at her made her a bit taken aback. There was something in those eyes that she’d never really seen before. It made her wonder what he was thinking, made her wonder what he meant.
“What ever this is, it’s definitely something serious,” she lightheartedly responded, deciding to ignore her earlier train of thought. “Maybe some sort of disease. You know what they say, love is a disease.”
“You know,” he went on. “You can have any guy that you want. Henry’s isn’t the only guy in the world. Don’t you think you’re limiting yourself? You’ve been into him in years.” He paused for a bit then snickered. “I’m not saying this to down Henry—he is my brother, after all—but it doesn’t seem like he deserves all the attention you give him.”
“Maybe, maybe not,” she qualified. “But other guys liking me?” She gave out a loud laugh. “Why would that happen? I’m so…me,” she lamely finished.
“Exactly,” he encouraged. “You’re you. You’re smart, talented, fun, really nice and sweet and very pretty.” He blushed at such declarations of adoration.
“Oppa,” she giggled. “You keep on telling me these things. I’m going to start thinking that you have a crush on me.”
Jungsoo laughed in such a high-pitched manner that Kyung Mi ended up laughing herself. “Believe whatever you want to believe,” he mysteriously replied.
Kyung Mi laughed again as she got her buzzing phone out of her pocket. She read the message she’d received then gave an apologetic look at Jungsoo.
“I have to go,” she told him, standing up. “Mom’s calling for me.” She leaned towards him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “Thank you for everything, Jungsoo oppa.” She straightened up and grinned at him. “See you.”
Jungsoo watched her walk away and let out a very long breath. He looked up at the sky. “Yeah. See you,” he murmured.
“This one’s pretty!” Bora declared, holding up a dark red tube dress. Amber, who was seated on one of the sofas, nodded indifferently. Bora turned to Kyung Mi, a questioning look on her face.
“Very pretty,” Kyung Mi echoed absently.
Bora looked at the mirror, obviously imagining herself in the dress and looked thoughtful. Amber merely played with her phone. Meanwhile, Kyung Mi silently slipped away to the other side of the store just so no more opinions of dresses for their Valentine’s Day dates could be asked from her.
She was enjoying and taking her sweet time, just looking around and admiring dresses (she still was a girl who liked pretty things, after all) when the last person in the world she wanted to see and talk to (not because there was hate or anything like that) was suddenly there.
“Kyung Mi!” Yoona greeted her enthusiastically. “Hi!”
And when Yoona smiled so happily like that, it was hard to ignore her. “Hey,” she greeted back. “What are you doing here?”
“Probably the same thing as you,” Yoona mused. She bit her lip as she held onto one of the dresses. “Can I be honest with you? I know you’re Henry’s best friend and everything.”
“Sure. Why not,” Kyung Mi agreed, seeing as she didn’t really have a choice.
“I’m actually looking for something to wear for my date with Henry,” Yoona confessed sheepishly, a pretty pink blush forming on her cheeks.
“Oh, well,” Kyung Mi stammered. “I’m sure you already know what Henry likes. He’s not that particular about anything much. He likes girls with long hair, pretty eyes and someone who loves music. You like wearing dresses, too, so I think you’ve pretty much got everything on his list.”
“But a dress is everything,” Yoona insisted. “Will you help me pick one?”
Kyung Mi had half a mind to just start sprinting in the other direction and run away forever. There was something wrong with this picture, where the girlfriend asks the best friend for advice. She wondered why girlfriends would ever do such a thing, torturing the best friends. Even if the best friend weren’t in love with the guy, it would still be agony.
She moved around the store, randomly looking at dresses. She was never one to take dress shopping seriously. But, she supposed, she wanted Henry to feel happy when he saw Yoona so she figured she should be more earnest about the whole thing.
A navy blue, haltered dress caught her eye. She got it off the rack and looked at it at arm’s length. It fell mid-thigh and showed a girl’s collarbones and shoulders perfectly. She smiled and handed it to Yoona.
“Henry likes blue, so,” Kyung Mi told her, a small smile on her face.
“Oh this is gorgeous!” Yoona exclaimed ecstatically. “I’m going to go and try it on.” She beamed at her. “Thank you for your help, Kyung Mi! I know we haven’t really talked before, but I really hope we can be friends after all of this.”
Kyung Mi wanted so much to disappear right then and there. But she was a wonderful best friend so she smiled and nodded like it was the most exciting offer she’d ever gotten.
“Of course,” Kyung Mi granted. “Why shouldn’t we be?”
Yoona smiled so joyfully that Kyung Mi had no choice but to smile back with equal fervor. Maybe she should pursue a career in acting.
“What’s going on?” Jungsoo looked from Kyung Mi, whose head was bent, Bora, whose eyebrows were raised in annoyance, to Amber, who was laughing quietly.
“This girl,” Bora began spitefully. “Ugh. I can’t even begin to say it. You tell him,” she told Kyung Mi. Then she pulled Amber up and stalked away.
“That girl sure has a temper,” Jungsoo commented.
“Only when it comes to me,” Kyung Mi muttered.
Jungsoo sat down beside Kyung Mi, wondering how he should deal with the sad state of his friend. “Did you know that you use 26 more muscles when you frown as compared to when you smile?” he casually stated, leaning back on the bench.
She lifted her head and gave him a look. “Oppa,” she responded, a smile lifting her lips. “You’re such a nerd.”
“That’s better,” he replied, grinning.
“I helped Yoona pick out a dress for her date with Henry,” she suddenly said. He looked at her, surprised at her sudden disclosure. “That’s why Bora’s upset with me. She thinks…she thinks it was a mistake for me to help her out.”
“And you don’t think that it is?” he slowly asked.
“Yoona’s not exactly easy to say no to,” she elaborated. “Besides, the end goal here is to make Henry happy and I know Henry will be happy seeing her in that dress. Is it so wrong to make someone else happy?”
“Of course it isn’t,” he answered gently. “But there’s also a line that you shouldn’t cross.”
“What line is that?” she inquired.
“The line where you hurt yourself in result of making someone else happy,” he explained. “There’s a point where you have to stop thinking some much of other people’s happiness and think of yours instead.”
“What if making someone happy makes you happy in turn?” she deliberated.
Jungsoo smiled and shook his head. “You should really stop lying to yourself about this whole thing, Kyung Mi.”
“I’m not lying about anything,” she stubbornly crossed her arms across her chest.
“The heart is a strong muscle, Kyung Mi,” he persisted. “But it can only take so much. When the heart has had enough, it won’t work as well as before. It won’t be able to love as much as it could, because it gets hurt, too, and it gets tired. Sometimes, it just stops beating.” He paused for a second, watching her as she bit her lip. “And this, what you’re doing to it, is not healthy. You can’t keep on hurting yourself.”
“I don’t know what else to do,” she mumbled.
And she sounded so hopeless that he just wanted to hug her and keep her. But he knew he couldn’t do that. He took a deep breath and took a quick glance to the sky.
“There is something you can do,” he offered.
“What?” There was a hopeful glint in her eyes.
“Tell him how you feel about him,” he suggested.
She was shaking her head before he could even finish speaking. “No,” she declared with a tone of finality. “No. That’s not an option.”
“It’ll end your misery,” he elaborated. “And it’s just fair to him, too. Don’t you think he deserves to know that your feelings for him are more than just a friend’s?”
“And kill myself with the rejection I know I’ll be getting?” she scoffed. “No thanks.”
“You don’t know that he’ll reject you,” he started to say.
“Yeah,” she interrupted him in sarcasm. “He’ll probably just take pity on me and date me. Which is worse!”
“Kyung Mi,” he began, touching her arm.
“No,” she pushed his hand away and stood up. “I’m done talking about this.”
Jungsoo ran a hand through his hair, frustrated. Maybe he should just follow his own advice and tell her how he felt about her.
Kyung Mi let out a dreamy sigh. Henry, who was seated beside her, chuckled. They were watching another one of those Korean dramas that she loved so much.
“What’s got you sighing like a lovesick puppy now?” Henry demanded teasingly.
“Why is it that it’s only in dramas where the girl gets the guy?” Kyung Mi voiced out her thoughts. “I mean, seriously. In every drama, it’s always like this. No matter what happens, in the end, she always gets him. Happily ever after.”
Henry chuckled once more and pulled her close. “Come here,” he wrapped his arms around her. “I was waiting for this since this morning.”
“Waiting for what?” she asked, pulling away for a bit to look at him.
“For this, you being all sappy and such a hopeless romantic,” he translated. “You’re always like this on Valentine’s Day.”
“Hmph,” was all she said and returned to her earlier position, which was leaning her head on his chest, and continued to watch. “You know I’m right, though.”
“Of course you’re right,” he acquiesced. “It’s a drama, a TV show. They show nothing of the truth in those things.” She merely hummed in response. He pulled her even closer to him and gave her a kiss on the head. “You shouldn’t base true happiness from those things.”
“Well then where should I base true happiness from then, Mr. Know-It-All?” she teased, not bothering to look at him as she snickered.
He said it so quietly that she almost didn’t hear it. But she did. She pulled away and met his eyes. Hope bloomed in her chest and she wondered when she would ever stop hoping and hurting herself like this.
A smirk sneaked onto his face and she rolled her eyes at him.
Of course it was a joke. Everything was a joke between them when it came to Henry. Granted that he was the best person she knew and that he did take care of her well, but he just wasn’t someone who took feelings or talking about them seriously with her. She wasn’t that person for him.
“You jerk,” she sneered, slapping his arm.
“What!” he laughed. “I’m your best friend. I should be the only one who makes you happy.”
“Shut up,” she poked her tongue out at him. “My world doesn’t revolve around you, thankyouverymuch.”
His laughter softened into a smile. “That’s just too bad for me then,” he said, glancing at the clock.
She followed his eyes and stood up at once. “You’re going to be late for your date!” She pulled him up from the couch and dragged him to the door, throwing his coat and shoes at him.
“You’re even more nervous for my date than I am,” he snickered as he put on his shoes and his coat.
“I’m not,” she rolled her eyes at him again. “I just don’t want you to be late. It’s a special day. You shouldn’t have come over and should’ve just spent time getting ready.”
“Hey,” Henry suddenly said, a small frown on his face. “This date with Yoona won’t change things between the two of us. I promise.”
“I don’t believe you, but okay,” Kyung Mi said, chuckling. The relationship between best friends always changes when one starts dating. It’s just how the world worked. It’s the circle of life.
He shook his head adamantly. “I’m serious, Kyungie,” he insisted. “You’ll always be my favorite girl.” He pulled her to a tight hug and breathed through her hair. “No matter what.”
Kyung Mi squeezed her eyes shut in order to stop herself from crying. The thought of losing Henry just suddenly felt so real to her. It was so scary and her heart hurt so much just thinking about it.
“Stop being such a cheese ball,” she pretended to be revolted and pushed him away. “Just go.”
He stepped out of the house and turned back to her. “You should go out or something, call Bora or Amber. You can even call Jungsoo hyung. He’s dateless tonight as well.” He smirked.
“You’re so mean to oppa, I swear,” she replied. “But I might call him.” She really needed to anyway. She needed to apologize for how she acted the last time they talked.
“Okay, good,” he said. Before he walked away, he suddenly turned back to her and cupped her face. Her eyes widened but she found she couldn’t say anything. Then he, very gently, kissed her right cheek. “My favorite girl,” he whispered so softly. He smiled and lightly ruffled her hair before finally leaving. “Wish me luck.”
Kyung Mi watched him leave with dazed eyes. “Good luck,” she murmured.
There was nothing more for her to do but wait. And go insane in the process. She hated that she was so involved in her best friend’s love life. She really wished she could detach herself from it so that she wouldn’t feel all these feelings of jealousy and hopelessness, on top of her actual feelings for him.
She buried her face in one of the sofa pillows and screamed. When she was done with purging herself of her feelings (or trying), she stood up, grabbed her phone, keys and coat. It was time she started moving on. Valentine’s Day wasn’t their day anymore and Henry wasn’t really hers anymore. Not that he was ever hers to begin with. It was time she started putting herself out there and, maybe, just maybe, she would find someone else like him.
She opened her front door and stopped in her tracks.
“Oppa,” she greeted Jungsoo, who was about to knock on the door. “I was just about to leave to go to your house.”
“You were?” Jungsoo asked, clearly taken aback.
She smiled sheepishly. “I wanted to apologize for the way I acted and for the things I said. I was out of line and—.”
“Stop,” he interrupted her as he shook his head. “You don’t need to apologize for anything. At all.”
“But oppa,” she began again. She really felt terrible. Jungsoo had been nothing but nice to her all her life and for her to act that way… It just made her seem ungrateful.
“Look,” he cut her off. “I came here to ask if you wanted to go somewhere with me.”
“Sure,” she immediately agreed, moving to step out of the house. “Of course.”
“I need you to change into something more formal first,” he requested, smiling a little.
For the first time, Kyung Mi noticed that Jungsoo was wearing a polo shirt and slacks underneath his thick, dark coat. She watched as she jogged back towards his car and returned with a box.
“What’s this?” she asked as he handed it to her.
“Something you should wear for tonight,” he presented. “Just because I’m not your first choice, doesn’t mean this night has to be anything less than special.”
“Oppa,” she frowned. “Please don’t say that.”
He merely smiled and nodded towards the house. “You should go and change.”
Kyung Mi walked back to her room as Jungsoo waited in the living room. She sat on the edge of the bed and stared at the box. She knew a dress was inside, but she wondered why he would ever go through all the effort of getting her one. It was just Valentine’s Day, after all.
Slowly, she lifted the lid of the box and tore all the wrappings. Once she saw the dress, however, she took a step back as if she had been burned. She shook her head and closed the box. She wasn’t wearing that.
Jungsoo looked up and stood up when he heard Kyung Mi’s door open. She stepped into the living room, looking every inch of the beautiful lady that she was.
He looked her up and down, confused. “You’re not wearing the dress,” he pointed out.
“I like this one better,” she apologetically told him. “I’ll give it back tomorrow.”
He smiled and shook his head. “It doesn’t matter,” he stated. “It’s yours.” He gave her a sad smile. He knew what the dress she was wearing signified. “Let’s go?” he asked as he held out his arm to her.
Just when Kyung Mi thought she knew a lot of the most romantic places ever, Jungsoo just happened to bring her somewhere perfect, somewhere she didn’t know existed in Seoul.
They were in a garden; one that looked like it existed only in fairy tales. And she wasn’t even exaggerating. There was greenery everywhere, and lots and lots of flowers. There were fountains and waterfalls. There were pretty lights and a soothing forest-like music. There seemed to be a violin playing somewhere, too.
They walked for a while and she reveled in everything that she saw. And Jungsoo reveled in her. He smiled because she was happy. That was what he wanted for her more than anything.
“What is this place?” Kyung Mi asked when they’d seemingly reached the center of the place. There she found a table for two, littered with food, wine and some candles.
“A small hole for hopeless romantics like you,” Jungsoo casually teased her.
“This is amazing,” she breathed, still unable to believe that such a place existed. She looked around then gazed at him. “I can’t believe you brought me here.”
“You should have nothing short of the best,” he told her sincerely as he moved closer to her until they were face-to-face. He placed his hands on her tiny waist. “You shall have the best, Kyung Mi.”
“Why are you so nice to me, oppa?” she questioned, almost bitterly. “I don’t deserve it.”
“Maybe, maybe not,” he threw her words back at her, smiling. “But I’m being nice to you anyway.”
Kyung Mi flung her arms around his neck and hugged him. Jungsoo chuckled, almost an automatic response for him whenever his feelings for her overwhelmed him, but he closed her eyes and hugged her back.
But before he got too comfortable with the idea of her in his arms, he pulled away. He tried to compose himself and gave her his best smile. “There’s something I forgot in the car,” he told her. “Just wait here.”
“Oppa, are you okay?” she asked, trying to meet his eyes.
“I’m fine,” he insisted, chuckling. Without another word, he hurried away.
She stood there, frowning after him, for a bit. She couldn’t pinpoint what it was, but there was something strange about how Jungsoo acted. But she shook it out of her head. He was coming back anyway. She could ask him then.
She smiled when she saw the table, laden with delicious food and wine. And the candles. It was all so romantic that she covered her mouth to muffle her giggle.
Unexpectedly, the violin music started playing a bit louder. She looked around, wondering where it was coming from. And as she listened, she realized that it was Henry’s favorite composition.
Henry had tried so hard in working on a piece that he was going to perform for the first time in front of everyone in school. They were freshmen then, 14 or 15 years old, and Henry already had dreams of making it big with his music, which at that time was classical violin. He had been playing all his life, but at that time, there was something he wanted to prove to people. And so he worked hard, composed everything himself and got pointers from his teacher.
He played it for her a couple of days before the actual performance. Just the two of them, in the grand theatre in school. She sat on the seventh row and he stood on stage, and played his heart for her. That was what it seemed like. When Henry did music, he put his heart and soul into it. When she had asked him what that piece of composition meant, he just shrugged and told her that it was special and close to his heart. She figured it was because it was his first.
She took a deep breath and shook her head. It wasn’t the right time to be thinking about Henry. She was on a date with his older brother for heaven’s sake. It wasn’t fair to Jungsoo.
There was some movement that caught the corner of her eye. She turned around and smiled, opening her mouth to berate Jungsoo for leaving her by herself for so long. That wasn’t the way to treat a date.
But it was Henry who stepped out of the shadows.
Kyung Mi stared at him. She wondered if she was losing her mind. Did this mean that she was thinking of Henry too much to the point that she was hallucinating him to reality?
She looked to her left and to her right, not knowing what to do or how to react.
“You look silly, you know that?” Henry spoke, laughter evident in his tone. She merely opened her mouth and closed it again, very much looking like a fish. He snickered. “Come here.”
Henry brought her to his arms, his hands on her waist, her hands on his arms.
“What are you doing here?” Kyung Mi blurted out.
“Just dancing with you,” he answered calmly, but there was a twinkle in his eyes.
Oh so that’s what the swaying was all about, her mind told her. She blinked and stared at him. When she finally took a hit from the earth, she pushed him away and took a step back.
“But what are you doing here?” she asked again. “Where’s Yoona? You’re supposed to be on a date with her. How did you know I was here?”
“So many questions,” he teasingly replied.
“Henry,” she warned him, a frown on her face.
He smiled and took a deep breath, lastly meeting her gaze. “I should’ve known you weren’t going to make things easy for me,” he finally talked.
“Make what easy for you?” she insisted. “Henry, what’s going on?”
“I’m not on a date with Yoona,” he started.
“Obviously,” she muttered.
He shot her a look and she closed her mouth. “I’m not on a date with Yoona. I never was going to go out with her. Ever,” he clarified. “And that means, ever. Not even when we were younger when you thought I had a crush on her.”
“But you did have a crush on her,” she reminded him. “You were always going to her, talking to her about things, smiling like a silly boy who looked like he just found out Christmas had come early.” His face slowly broke out into a big smile. “What! It’s true!”
“Yoona’s my only girl friend, you know,” he shared.
“Then what am I, a duck? Coz I’m certainly not a boy, no matter how much you think I am,” she interjected, the frown on her face deepening.
“Of course you’re not a boy,” he affirmed, frowning a bit as well. “I’ve never—.” He cleared his throat, a blush creeping to his cheeks. “Yoona was the only one I could talk to about things that I couldn’t with you.”
Kyung Mi felt so hurt with this that she took a sudden step back as if she actually got hit. Henry took a step towards her.
“Kyungie,” he began, but she shook her head.
“I understand,” she managed to get out.
“Kyung Mi, there were things that I didn’t tell you because I didn’t know if you would look at me the same way if I did,” he explained earnestly, seeing how much his words hurt her.
“What things?” she spat. “You’re my best friend, Henry. And I tell you everything.”
“Well, if you had feelings for your best friend, would you tell that best friend?” he shot back, running out of options.
“What?” Her eyes widened, her stance becoming rigid. She was pretty sure her face was red, too. How could he have known about her feelings for him? She thought of all the possible people who could… Of course. Jungsoo. Who else would be bold enough to tell Henry?
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she gulped, looking away and staring at the ground instead.
“Well I’m telling you now,” he maintained.
She shook her head, cutting him off. “I don’t want to talk about this.” She looked around. “Where is Jungsoo oppa? He should be back by now.”
“Kyung Mi,” he called her, reaching out to touch her arms. But she refused to look at him. “Kyung Mi,” he repeated, shaking her a bit. She lifted her eyes to his, albeit reluctantly. “This is why I didn’t want to tell you. I didn’t want you to ever change how you look at me.”
She felt very confused. How could he say those things? What was he talking about?
“But I didn’t—,” she started to say.
“I’m in love with you, Kyung Mi,” Henry declared.
Her eyes widened even further. She probably looked like her eyes were going to come out of their sockets.
This was a dream. Just a dream. She didn’t realize how much power her brain had. She didn’t realize that she could imagine Henry was here and then Henry telling her that he was in love with her. Because he wasn’t. How could he be?
“Did you hear me?” he prodded her, looking into her eyes. “I just told you that I’m in lo—.”
“I heard you,” she cut him off, swallowing hard. “I heard you,” she repeated, even softer.
He looked at her. She was in his arms, but it felt like she was pulling away. “Are you going to ask me to leave now?” he muttered sadly.
“What?” she asked, surprised that he would think such a thing. “Henry, no, I’m not going to ask you to leave.” She paused to quickly gather her thoughts. “I just… I don’t understand. Where is this coming from? I mean, are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure,” he sounded almost desperate. “I’ve never been surer of anything in my life.”
“That’s what you said about your music,” she told him, almost rolling her eyes.
“Kyung Mi, I’ve only ever pursued my music because you thought I was good enough,” he shared with her.
“What are you talking about?” she responded. “You’ve always wanted to pursue your music. Always.”
“When I was 13, I’ve had thoughts of quitting playing the violin, you know that,” he reminded her. She nodded. “I wanted to quit because it was the violin and not an electric guitar. Playing violin made me look gay.”
“But you’re not,” she murmured.
“That’s exactly what you told me then,” he confirmed. “You told me that playing the violin doesn’t make me gay and that if it made me happy I should pursue it. So I had to courage to because you believed in me.”
“Henry, what does that have to do with—?”
“When I composed my first piece,” he then continued. “You asked me what it meant. It was all about you.”
“Huh?” was the only thing Kyung Mi could say.
“It was all about you,” he repeated. He breathed deeply. “I didn’t want to study in Boston. I could care less about studying music there or here. It made no difference to me. There are good music schools here. But you told me that I would even be better if I did study there because I didn’t deserve any less. And I did it because I did want to be the best, but I also wanted to be the best for you.”
“I sound like such a nagger,” she remarked.
Henry laughed and he hugged her. “I love that you’re such a nagger,” he acknowledged.
“Hey,” she contradicted, pulling away. “You’re supposed to say that I’m not a nagger. That’s what you do when you’re in love with someone. You tell them otherwise.” She pursed her lips for a bit and Henry held his breath.
“So… all of this…” She gestured around the place. “Did you… plan it?”
He smiled shyly at her. “I told you I wanted to do something special and serious on Valentine’s Day for once,” he expressed. “For you. Yoona just helped me out with everything, picking out a place, getting you a dress,” he looked at what she was wearing, “which you aren’t wearing—Didn’t Jungsoo hyung give you the dress?” He frowned.
“I…” She giggled nervously. “I didn’t want to wear it because—.” She cleared her throat. “I wanted to wear this instead. This is what I wore on your first performance.”
His eyes widened and he smiled. “Wow… it still…fits you?”
She slapped his arm, hard. “I had it altered and I did not grow fat.” She pouted.
He laughed again then sobered up almost immediately. “So does this mean we’re still best friends?” he somberly asked.
“Do you want to be still best friends with me?” she asked confusedly. “I would think that you’d want me to be your girlfriend. Or something.” She blushed.
“I don’t want to push you into doing something you don’t want to,” he quietly said. “I want to keep whatever relationship I have with you, even if it meant not completely having you.”
Kyung Mi smiled and bit her lip. “You know, I actually thought you were confessing to me because Jungsoo oppa told you about my feelings for you.” She lifted her eyes to meet his.
“What? I would never take advantage of your feelings even if hyung didn’t tell me any—WHAT!” Henry stared at her. And he just stared and stared for a while, wondering if he heard right. “Kyung Mi, I hope you’re not just playing with me. Don’t.”
He looked so serious and so handsome being so that she wanted to just kiss him right then and there.
She slowly turned her head from side to side. “You…” She had to still her pounding heart. “You can have me completely, Henry.” She opened her mouth to say more, but she stopped. “Wait, that sounds wrong. You can’t have me completely. That’s just—we’re too young for that. I mean—.” Her face must be burning already.
“Kyungie,” he told her good-humoredly. “Shut up.”
“Make me,” she poked her tongue out at him.
“Come here,” he directed.
Henry pulled Kyung Mi towards him and pressed his lips against hers.
Their first kiss was all she imagined it to be. Wet and sloppy, as first kisses ought to be. And she loved every bit of it. Because it was her best friend she was kissing. Because it was Henry.
She still couldn’t believe it. Henry loved her. Henry was in love with her. She wanted to scream it to the rooftops.
“Stop thinking,” Henry murmured through her lips. “You should be kissing me.”
And she was only so very happy to oblige.