Cherries by: Julie

cherries.jpg

  • a Sechskies fanfic
  • completed

Part I

Jenny was so excited. Today was the day that JiYun was coming from Korea. Jenny never met her before, but she was to stay at Jenny’s house for a month. Jenny lived in LA and JiYun was coming to get used to America. If Jiyun likes it in LA, she will be moving there for yoo-hak.

Jiyun’s mother is an old childhood friend of Jenny’s mother. And to Jenny, JiYun will be the sister that she never had. Jenny always dreamed of having a sister whom she could talk to about her personal life. All Jenny had were three brothers: James, JaeJin, and Jerry.

She never knew what it was like to have another girl in the house so no wonder she was so excited. Jenny took a final look at JiYun’s future room. She spent the last two weeks decorating it. Jenny put a lot of time and effort, not to mention money, on that room so that JiYun will feel more welcome and comfortable. She painted the walls pink and bought floral bedsheets with pink rose prints. She used the same material for the curtains. She also put a flower wase full of white daisies on JiYun’s desk. She bought a bunch of cute teddy bears to decorate the room even more. She even put up a huge poster of Leonardo DiCaprio on the door because she heard from her mom that JiYun was a huge fan. And for the finishing touches, she put two pinkish-peach candles on the end table and sprayed the room with a floral air-freshener.

“Perfect,” she thought in satisfaction.
“You really are excited, aren’t you?” asked JaeJin, the second oldest of the Lee family, who was a year older than her. He had been observing his sister for some time and enjoyed seeing her so happy.
“Yeah,JaeJin oppa. It’s gonna be so fun with JiYun around. Now I’ll have a sister to talk to!”
“Hey! You always had me to talk to! Guess I’m not good enough for you, huh?” JaeJin joked.
“That’s right!” Jenny said as she stuck out her tongue.
Just then JaeDuc entered the room. JaeDuc had known JaeJin since middle school and they were bestfriends. And to Jenny, he was like a fourth brother.
“Uh-oh, they’re in the PINK ZONE again!” JaeDuc cried.
“Shyaddup!” Jenny yelled. “JiYun’s favorite color happens to be pink!”
Jenny heard her mom’s voice calling from downstairs that it was time to go the airport now to pick up JiYun.

Jenny looked at Jaejin. “Umm.. oppa, is it alright if I go by myself to pick Jiyun up?” She knew that if he goes with her, he’d bring JaeDucee along with him and she was scared that he might embarrass her in front of JiYun because he could be so obnoxious sometimes.
“Yeah, go ahead.” assured JaeJin. He understood her perfectly. “Here, why don’t you take her out to lunch too?” He took out $40 from his wallet and handed it to Jenny.
“Thanks oppa! You’re the best!” She gave him a big hug and kissed him on the cheek. JaeJin was her favorite brother. He treated her so well.
“Hey, don’t I get a kiss too??” demanded JaeDuc
“Yeah, but it’ll cost ya 40 bucks.” Jenny told him.
“Ok, hold on…” said JaeDuc and he burped four times.
“Eew!! Gross JaeDuc-Oppa!!” Jenny sprayed the room with some more air-freshener.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
At the airport…
Jenny took another look at the photo of JiYun that her mom gave her. Jenny had been waiting for a whole hour but there was still no sign of the girl in the picture and she was starting to get worried. She had to do SOMETHING. Then and idea popped into her head. She got out a piece of paper and wrote in bold-lettering the word “Ko Ji Yun” in Korean and held it up high over her head. Immediately, someone camed to her and greeted her. But it wasn’t the same girl in the picture that Jenny held. Instead, it was a tall guy.

“Hi, you must be Jenny Lee.” he said.
Jenny was confused. “Umm.. hi,” she said. “How does he know my name,” she thought.
“I’m Ko Ji Yong,” the tall guy said as he held out his hand. Jenny hesitated to shake it but did so reluctantly.
“I’m sorry, but who are you?” she asked.
“What? You don’t know who I am? Aren’t you here to pick me up?”
“Huh? No, I’m looking for a Ko Ji Yun.”
“Oh! My mom must’ve forgotten to tell you. No wonder you wrote my sister’s name on that piece of paper.” he said.
“Oh, you’re JiYun’s brother?” Duh, she thought. She couldn’t believe that she didn’t make that simple connection. Ko Ji Yong and Ko Ji Yun. They kind of looked alike too.
“So, where’s JiYun?” she asked him.
“Well, you see, my mom didn’t like the idea of her staying at a house filled with guys,” Ji Yong explained, “So there was a change in plans. I’m staying with your family and JiYun will be at someone else’s house that has two daughters.”

Jenny’s heart dropped at this news. She had been looking forward to have a sister for such a long time. Another brother was the last thing she needed. Jenny was silent all the was home. Even when JiYong asked her questions, she would only answer in brief, monosyllabic answers. If she said anything more than that, she was afraid she might start to cry. The more she thought of this situation, the more unfair it seemed. But he kept talking to her and she was just annoyed. She wished that he’d just shut up.

When they arrived home, Jenny ran upstairs. She couldn’t even look at JaeJin who asked her, “What? Back so soon?” She wanted to avoid everyone because she didn’t want anyone to see her crying. She hated it when she cried, but she couldn’t help it. She locked the door behind her and very silently poured her eyes out.

“Great. This is just wonderful!” she kept thinking, as she felt her heart burn from half rage and sadness. She really wanted a sister to talk about girl stuff with. She knew that she was acting like a selfish baby right then, but for some reason, she couldnt stop feeling sorry for herself. When someone has their heart set on something like Jenny did to having a new sister to love, it’s hard to let it go so easily.

She especially had been wanting to talk to JiYun about guys. She couldn’t talk about things like that with her brothers, not even JaeJin. She had been wanting to tell her of Jiwon. Jenny had been seeing this great guy named Eun Jiwon for two weeks now. He’s two years older than her and was already out of high school. All her friends envied Jenny for having such a foine boyfriend. And Jenny had to admit that she was proud of him too.

Jiwon was so sweet and Jenny wished she could play to someone some of the tapes that Jiwon gave her of his singing that he recorded for her. He had a great voice…he was just such a dreamy guy. The thought of him made Jenny feel a little better and decided to page him. And she did, put he didn’t call her back. Jiwon was really forgetful and he sometimes forgot to take his pager with him to places. Jenny understood why he wasn’t calling her back, but it made her sadder and lonlier than ever. The tears flowed from her cheeks and her pillow was starting to feel really soggy. But just then, there was a knock on the door.

“What?!” she yelled. She wished they’d just leave her alone.
It was Jerry, the youngest sibling.
“Nuna, it’s time for dinner.”
“I’m not hungry.”
“But dad sent me for you. He’ll be really mad if you don’t come.”
“I don’t care.”
“But nuna, mom made meh-oon-tang!”
At this, Jenny sat up. No matter how sad she was, she was weak when people bribed her with food. She skipped lunch so she was very hungry.
“Meh-oon-tahng?” she asked.
“Yup!”

At this the door flew open and before Jerry could say anything more, a big wind flew by him and down the stairs. It was so fast he couldnt see who or what it was. When he went back downstairs, there was Jenny sitting at her usual seat in the dining table.

Part II

Jenny silently ate her supper at the dinner table as the rest of the family couldn’t stop asking JiYong questions about his family, his parents, his plans for the future, etc. Jenny tried to eat as quickly as possible because she wanted toget out of there as soon as she could.

“So, JiYong,” Jenny’s mother asked him, “aren’t you excited about starting school in a foreign country?”
“Yeah. I hope I meet some really great friends at this new school. I’m looking forward to it.”
“Well I’ve already asked your counselor to have you enrolled in the same class as Jenny, since you two are the same age.”
Jenny couldn’t believe her mother. “Mom!”
“Well, I didn’t want JiYong to feel awkward there. And it’ll be great for both of you to be in the same class. It’ll give the two of you a chance to get to know each other better.”
“Great, just great!” Jenny mumbled sarcastically.
“Jenny! I thought you wanted a new brother!” her mom scolded.
“I never said I wanted another brother!! I asked for a sister. The LAST thing I’dever ask for is another brother.” Jenny blurted out.
“Now Jenny, that’s enough! Apologize to Jiyong right now!”
“No, that’s all right, ajoomma. I’m not offended or anything. I know that she was looking forward to having a sister. I’m just sorry that things turned out this way.”

Jiyong turned to Jenny and said, “I understand why you’re mad. But I’m sure that after we get to know each other better, we can become friends.”
Jenny thought, “Oh really? He thinks he’s all that, kissing up to my parents, not to mention me. He thinks he knows everything. Understand why I’m mad my @$$…”
“Jal muh-guh ssem-ni-da!” Jenny yelled and ran upstairs to her room.

Thirty minutes later, there was another knock on her door.
“Who is it?”
“Can I come in?” Jaejin asked from outside.
Jenny walked up to the door and unlocked it, letting him enter. Jenny went back to lie down on her bed and JaeJin followed her and sat next to her.
“Jenny, I know you’re upset about this whole mix up…” “Oppa, I know what you’re going to say. That I shouldn’t take my anger out on him and that it’s not his fault. And that he really is a nice guy once I open up my mind, right?”
“If you know it, then why are you acting this way?” “I don’t know. It’s ju>

Transfer interrupted!

angry for some reason. I know it’s not his fault, but I can’t seem to push down all those resentful feelings. I know I’m being really selfish right now… but I can’t help it.”
“Well, maybe when a little more time passes by, you’ll forget all aboutJi Yun and accept JiYong as the good guy that he is.” Jenny was silent as her brother said this.
“Good night then. And try to be more nice to JiYong tomorrow at school and introduce him to your friends, ok?”
“Good night, oppa.”

The next day, Jenny took JiYong to school like she was told to do. Her teacher made JiYong stand up in class and introduce himself. When he finished introducing himself, everyone in the class clapped for him and he went back to his seat. When lunch came, JiYong was the subject of all the girls’ conversation.

“Wow, he really is cute, isn’t he?”
“Yeah, and he dresses nice too.”
“He has the prettiest eyes!”
“Did you hear that he’s staying at Jenny Lee’s house right now?”
“He is??? Jenny is sooo lucky!”
“Jenny, what is it like having such a fine guy living in your own house?” one girl asked.
“Foine??” Jenny asked her. “You all think he’s foine?” She couldn’t help but laugh.
“I don’t know… he kind of looks a little gay to me. Doesn’t he kind of look like a girl?”
“What? Girl, you’re blind,” they told her.

Jenny laughed to herself. She never expected such a reaction to him by her friends at school. She looked at him at the other side of the room laughing and talking to the guys. He seemed to have hit it off with the two good-looking guys of her class, SungHoon and SuWon. They were cracking up about something and were making a lot of noise.
Jenny wondered what could be so funny. She decided to listen to what they were saying.

“She painted your walls PINK?” Suwon asked Jiyong.
“Yup! It’s like a fluff ball in there.”
“Hahahaha!”
“Wow, she must REALLY like meh-oon-tahng or something,” said SungHoon.
“I know, she scarfed everything down in like 3 minutes!”

Jenny realized that they were all laughing about her. Her face turned bright red and she was so hot that it seemed as if steam could come out of her ears.

One of Jenny’s friends noticed her tomato-like complexion and said, “Oh my gosh, Jenny! You look like a cherry! What’s wrong?”
Her friend said this so loudly that the guys heard her and turned around to take a look at Jenny. SungHoon and SuWon got one glimpse of her and burst out into even more laughter.

Jenny wanted to cry. “Damn you JiYong!” she thought, “Why are you making my life so miserable??”

When school ended, Jenny ran out of class. She had her mind set on ditching JiYong so that he’d have to walk home or something. But as she reached her car, there was a guy waiting there for her. It was JiWon and he was carrying a bouquet of roses. Jenny was surprised to see him. He always showed up out of the blue.
“Wow, he really likes to surprise me,” she thought as she approached him.
“Happy two-week anniversary,” JiWon said as he handed her the roses.
“What, two week anniversary?” Jenny frowned. She didn’t know there was such a thing and unfortunately had nothing to give to her boyfriend in return.
“Oh, I’m sorry, Jiwon. I don’t have anything ready to give you.”
Jiwon smiled. “You don’t have to give me anything! I just had this urge to buy you these pretty roses because they reminded me of you.”
Jenny blushed.
“See,” Jiwon said. “Look how the color of them match your cheeks. You’re so beautiful when you blush like that.”
“JiWon, you treat me as if I’m the most beautiful girl in the world or something!”
“Because you are, baby.”
Jenny’s heart was melting as he said this. She was so lucky to have such a wonderful boyfriend.

Suddenly, Jiwon stood upright and looked alarmed at something behind Jenny.
“Who’s that??” he asked.
Jenny looked behind her and saw JiYong standing there, staring at the two. Looking at him made Jenny remember her bad day again and she gave him a dirty look.
“It’s no one,” she told Jiwon.
But Jiyong, seeing that Jenny had finally noticed him there, said, “Umm.. Can you give me the directions to get home? I’ll walk but I’m still not familiar with this place so I might get lost.”
“Ask SungHoon or SuWon or something. I’m busy.”
“….ok. See you later then.”

When he finally left, Jenny looked at JiWon and saw that he didn’t look too happy. She realized it was because of JiYong so she tried to explain.
“He’s staying at our house for awhile because his mother is my mom’s friend..”
But JiWon still had a frown on his face. He didn’t like the idea of another guy living with Jenny.
“How long will he be staying at your house?”
“Only for a month.”
At this, JiWon sneered. He seemed really angry and said that he had to go now. Jenny nodded her head. She felt ashamed. She wished she had a better explanation to give JiWon about JiYong. She didn’t want him to get the wrong idea about them…
But he looked really mad and she wasn’t sure how to say it. She was a little scared. This was the first time she ever saw him so mad, so she let him go without setting things straight.

Jenny hoped JiWon wasn’t really mad at her or anything. If only JiYong wasn’t there, then this wouldn’t have happened. JiYong just ruined her date with JiWon for the day.
“Couldn’t he see that I was busy??” she thought, “Why couldn’t he ask for the directions from somebody else in the first place?” Jenny wanted to scream from frustration. She was so angry, that she drove home going very fast. A cop noticed her and she had to pull over as the cop gave her a speeding ticket.
“This is just great. Yeah, best day of my life!”
Jenny said aloud as she drove slowly the rest of the way home.

Part III

Jenny arrived home in a bad mood. JaeJin asked her what was wrong but she didn’t feel like telling him. She knew she was being silly anyway. Besides, she never told JaeJin about JiWon because JaeJin could be so over-protective sometimes and she was afraid of what he might think…

Jenny ran upstairs to her room and plopped down on her bed. She thought about what happened that day and she wished it wasn’t so fresh on her mind still. She was still thinking about it when the phone rang. She picked it up.

“Hello?”
“Hello, Jenny? It’s me, Yumi.”
Jenny sat up. It was Jenny’s good friend that she knew since she was in kindergarden. They were really close, but for a month or so, Yumi had been so distant and never bothered to call. Jenny was surprised to hear from her.

“Yumi?? Hi!! I’m so glad you finally called!”
“Yeah, I’m sorry for not calling you in such a long time..It’s just that I’ve been going through some problems lately.”
“Why, what’s wrong?”
“….” Jenny heard some soft sniffles from the other end of the line.
“Yumi, are you crying?”
“Jenny…I really needed to talk to you…”
“Tell me what’s wrong. Did anyone hurt you?”
“No, it’s not that…It’s just that these days, my family hasn’t been doing that well. My dad got fired from his job and my mom’s really sick right now because my dad won’t come home. I don’t know what to do…There’s absolutely no money in the house so none of us have eaten since so long..”
“Oh my gosh, Yumi. You should have told me before. I’m going over your house right now. You and your mom must be starving right now!”
“No, don’t! I mean…my mom doesn’t want anyone to know what we’re going through right now…She’ll be so mad if she found out that I told you.”
“Then at least let me meet you. I want to help.”
“I can’t leave my mom.” Yumi whispered.
“Please Yumi, let me help you.”

….”
“Yumi? Are you there?”
“Jenny, I have to go because I think my mom just woke up. I think I’ll have time on Wednesday, we can meet then, ok?”
“Ok, I’ll see you then.” Jenny looked at the Calendar. It was Monday.
“Bye.”

Jenny hung up the phone and opened her drawer. She took out her bank account book. She had been saving up money for a long time now. She had been wanting to buy JaeJin oppa a nice watch for his upcoming birthday, but that would have to wait. She now needed the money to help her friend, Yumi, at a time like this. She couldn’t stand to see her friend going through so much hardship. She HAD to help out.

Jenny felt awfully depressed so she decided to turn on some music. She looked for her ImChangJung cd so that she could listen to it. It always soothed her because he had such a nice voice. But for some reason, the cd wasn’t in the cd stand. She looked for it everywhere but there still wasn’t any sign of it. She thought, “Maybe Jerry borrowed it…”

She opened her door to go see if he did. Just as she opened her door, she could hear music coming from JiYong’s room. She recognized ImChangJung’s voice singing “Byulee Dweyuh.”
Jenny couldn’t believe it! JiYong had taken her cd! That made her so mad, she had to say something to him. She marched to his room and almost broke open his door.

“That’s my cd!!”
“Wha-?” JiYong turned around from his desk.
“What are you doing with my ImChangJung cd??”
“Oh, I was just gonna borrow it for…”
“What? When you borrow something, you have to ASK first you know.”
“Oh, sorry. I didn’t think you’d mind.”
“Well, you were wrong! That’s my favorite cd, so hand it over NOW.”
“Ok, fine.” JiYong marched to his radio and took out the cd hastily.
As he did so, the cd scraped on the side of the radio. He paused…They both looked at the cd in horror. Jenny snatched the cd from his hand and saw that there was a big scratch that streaked down the cd. Her mouth dropped open and her eye balls almost popped out in shock.

“OH MY GOSH!!”
JiYong ran to see the damage. “Oh, sh*t!”
JiYong felt so bad. He started apologizing right away. “I’m so sorry, I promise I’ll buy you a new one…Damn, I’m so clumsy. I’m SOOO sorry..”
Jenny sanpped out of her state of shock and blew up at JiYong. “YOU BETTER BE SORRY, YOU…”

Just then, James, Jenny’s oldest brother, interrupted then.
“Hey you two. Shuttup will ya?”
Jenny looked at her brother. “Oppa! When did you come home?”
James was a sophmore in college. He was a year older than JaeJin.
“I came home an hour ago for summer vacation.”
“Summer vacation already?”
“Yeah. Dinner’s ready so hurry up and come down.”
Jenny remembered JiYong’s earlier conversation with SuWon and SungHoon about her eating a lot. Suddenly, she wasn’t hungry anymore.
“I’m not hungry.” she told him.
“Alright then, come on, JiYong. You’re eating right?”
“Yeah…” JiYong was confused. “What?” he thought, “Jenny’s not eating??”
Jenny saw the confused look on JiYong’s face. She knew exactly what he was thinking and gave him a dirty look. She turned around, stormed into her room and slammed the door behind her.

She looked sadly at the scratched up cd. She tried playing it but the damage was too harsh and the cd was ruined. Jenny wouldn’t be able to buy one either. Her money was going elsewhere…
The truth was, Jenny’s family wasn’t all that rich either. She never received allowance. Instead, she had a job at McDonald’s. But she quit a week ago, after having raised enough money to pay for JaeJin’s watch. She quit because she was embarrassed about working at a hamburger store. She was afraid of what other people might think.

Jenny slowly placed the cd into the trash can. After she did this, the phone rang again.
“Hello?” she asked in a low tone.
“Hi baby. It’s me, JiWon.”
A big smile spread over Jenny’s face. She was so relieved that he called. She was afraid that he might be mad because of JiYong.
“JiWon! I’m so glad you called! I thought you might be mad at me.” “Mad? Why in the world would I be mad? And how could I ever be mad at an angel like you?”
Jenny blushed. “You know… about that one guy you saw at school today..”
“Oh, that! Well, I trust you too much to worry over something like that.”
“Thanks. You’re so good to me.”
“I can’t help it. I can’t stop thinking about you. Your pretty eyes won’t leave my mind.”
“I think about you a lot too.”
“You do? =)”
“Yeah…”
“Wow, thanks. Hey, I wrote a song for you. Do you want to hear it?”
“Ok.”
JiWon sang to her a really pretty song and Jenny melted. She was so lucky to have such a great guy like him. She felt like the most special girl in the world when she talked to him. He really cared for her, Jenny could feel it.

The next day, Jenny had another bad day at school. JiYong had packed her lunch that day and when lunch time came, she saw that he had packed a LOT of food. People started snickering and pointing at her when they saw all of it. Jenny was so embarrassed.
“He must think I’m a real pig,” she thought.

When school was over, Jenny waited for Jaejin to pick her up. She lent her car to him for the day because he needed to use it. She waited patiently. She saw JiYong walking towards her to wait with her. Jenny was still mad about the cd so she ignored him.

“Here.” JiYong said, handing her $10. “This is for that cd.”
“I don’t want your money,” she said, even though she really wished she could take the money.
“No, it’s alright. Just take it.”
“I said i don’t need it ok?”
“Come on, what’s wrong with you. I said I’ll pay for it so just take the money!”
“No! You keep your precious money, cuz I don’t need it, alright?”
“You know what? Fine then! Don’t say later that I didn’t try to make it up to you.”
“Dont worry, I won’t!” Jenny yelled.

Just then, someone honked behind them. Jenny turned around. It was JiWon with a big smile on his face, motioning her to get in his car. Jenny happily waved back at him.
But Jaejin at that moment, finally pulled up in front of Jenny and JiYong. JaeDuc was in the car too.
“Hi!” JaeDuc said. “Sorry we’re late. There was so much traffic, you know.” He had a bigger smile on his face. JaeDuc and Jaejin didn’t see Jiwon in the back.

“Hi oppa!” Jenny said. She wanted to go with JiWon because he seemed eager to talk to her.
“Umm, oppa. You guys can go ahead without me because I made plans to go out with my friend.”
JiYong gave her a look as she said this.
“Ok,” JaeJin said. “Just don’t come home too late, all right?”
“Ok, bye!” Jenny waited for them to drive off. Then she skipped happily to JiWon and got in his car.

“I have a surprise for you today,” he said.
“What is it?”
“JJa-JJan!” he said as he took out a roll of carnival tickets.
“There’s this one carnival I want to take you to. I thought it would be fun. You know, riding the ferris wheel, going through the house of mirrors…What d’ya say?”
“I’d love to!!” Jenny exclaimed. And they drove off, both so happy.

When Jenny came home some hours later, she found something pink lying outside of JiYong’s room. She went to take a closer look and saw that it was the floral bedsheets and curtains that she bought for JiYun’s (now JiYong’s) room. She spent a fortune on those things and he was about to throw it away??
She flung open the door. She saw JiYong in trousers, repainting the room green. Jenny’s mouth dropped open. She spent hours painting that room pink and couldn’t believe what he was doing.

“What are you doing??” she demanded to know.
“What does it look like?” he snapped at her.
“Do you have any idea about how much time I spent on that room? Geez, all that time and money…Now it’s all gone!”
“How was I supposed to stay in a PINK room so long? I’m a guy, you know!”
“You’re not going to stay here FOREVER, couldn’t you have waited?!”
“Well, I’m sorry for ruining your masterpiece, but if it’ll make you happy, I’ll paint it pink again before I go!”
“Forget it! Ugh!!” she marched into her room and she slammed her door shut simultaneously as JiYong slammed his.
“Who does he think he is…” she mumbled.

Jenny looked at the calendar. She was going to meet Yumi the next day and she was planning to give her the money. She saw JaeJin’s birthdate circled in bold black marker. She was sad that she had to spend the money that she had been planning to spend on him. But she had no choice.
“Maybe I should get another job…” she thought.

Just then, the phone rang. It was JiWon.
“Did you have fun today?” he asked.
“Yeah. Thank you for taking me there, it was great.”
“It was only fun because we were together.”
Jenny’s smiled.
“Can I tell you something really important?” JiWon asked. “Yeah, what is it?”
“I really like you a lot.”
Jenny’s heart started pounding fast.

“In fact, I think I’m falling in love.”
Jenny felt the same way. “Me too,” she said.
“Really? This is great! I have to see you again. Can we meet tomorrow?”
“Yeah, lets do that.”
“Ok, then I’ll see you tomorrow then. I love you,” he said.
“I love you too.”

Jenny hung up the phone. She bit her lips to try to stop smiling so hard. She never felt this way before. She was so excited, they were in love! Wow…She could hardly wait to see him again tomorrow. But she suddenly remembered her plans that she made with Yumi, it was tomorrow too! But she couldn’t cancel either of them.
“Oh well, I’ll just have to meet them both,” she thought as she dosed off to sleep.

The next day wasn’t so great at school either. Ever since JiYong appeared in her life, Jenny had been miserable in class. Something bad has been happening every single day.
That day, Jiyong accidentally took her notebook instead of his, and Jenny took his. When they both realized this, they exchanged them in class. But unfortunately, the teacher caught them and assumed that they had been copying each other’s homework and assigned them even more homework. Both JiYong and Jenny were bitter about this, convinced that it was each other’s fault.

After school, Jenny ditched JiYong again, partly because she wanted to. But mostly because she had plans to meet Yumi and JiWon. She ran out of class when he wasn’t looking.
Jenny walked into the restaurant. She saw Yumi waiting for her and she did look wretched. She looked so thin and weak from hunger. Jenny sat down at the table and examined her. “Poor Yumi,” she thought.

“I’m glad you showed up.” Jenny told her.
Yumi smiled weakly. “Thanks for wanting to help me,” she said.
Jenny smiled warmly. “Let’s order something to eat,” She opened the menu to order.
Jenny was also very hungry. She hadn’t been eating a lot these days because she didn’t like how JiYong thought she was such a pig. When the food came, the two girls scarfed it down like two wolves. When they were finished, they felt so much better. Yumi now had enough strength to laugh and joke with her good friend. Yumi was really pretty when she smiled.

Jenny took out an envelope after they were finished. She had previously taken out all her money from the bank so that she can give it to her needy friend. She passed Yumi the envelope. When she did this, Yumi’s eyes filled with happy tears.

“You didn’t have to…” Yumi managed to choke out.
“Yumi, you know I’ll always be there for you when you need help.”
“Thank you so much…”
Jenny gently patted her on her back.
“How will I ever repay you…” Yumi cried.
“Shh… forget it. You’re repaying me right now for showing me how much you appreciate it.”
“Oh Jenny! What would I have ever done without you?”
“It’s ok, don’t cry. Shh…”
Yumi wiped away her tears and smiled at her friend.

Just then, JiWon came into the restaurant. Jenny, seeing him, waved in his direction. He came to sit next to her, joining the two friends.
“Hi honey,” he said as he gave her a kiss on her cheek.
“Hi,” Jenny smiled and held his hand. “This is my friend Yumi,” she introduced. Turning to Yumi, “And this is JiWon.”
“Hi,” they both said.
They also said, “Nice to meet you,” simultaneously. Yumi flashed her pretty smile at this. JiWon smiled too.

“Did you eat already?” Jenny asked him.
“Umm.. no, in fact, I’m starving!”
“Then order something to eat because me and Yumi already ate.”
His order came and he ate it as the three talked and joked around. But in the middle of this, Jenny got a page. She went to use the phone to see who it was. It was JaeJin telling Jenny to come home right away, because it was really important. Jenny went back to their table and told the two that she had to go.

“So soon?” JiWon asked sadly.
“I’m so sorry about this…” she said as she waved goodbye.
“JiWon, can you take Yumi home?” Jenny asked.
“Sure, baby. I’ll call you.”
“Ok. Bye guys,” And she left.

Part IV

Jenny pulled up in her driveway. JaeJin said that there was something important that he had to tell her so she was rushing herself. She wondered what it could possibly be. She was worried that it might be something serious because her brother’s voice sounded urgent.

Jenny stepped out of her car and found that JaeJin and JaeDuc had been waiting for her outside. Now she knew it was something urgent. Her heart started pounding.

“Oppa, I came home as soon as I could. What’s wrong? Is anyone hurt??” she asked.
“Where have you been all this time?” asked JaeJin.
“What? Who cares?” Jenny was getting impatient. “Tell me what hapened!”
“Don’t try to hide it,” said JaeDuc. “We know what you’ve been up to these past few days.”
“What? What are you guys talking about? What was the emergency that you called me here for?” she asked.
“The emergency is you,” said JaeDuc. “What? What are you talking about?” demanded Jenny. “The two of you aren’t making any sense.”

JaeJin had a real sad expression on his face.
“Jenny, we know that you have been dating Eun JiWon these days,” he said.
“What? How did you know that?” she asked.
“Never mind that,” said JaeDuc. “Your brother and I don’t want you seeing him anymore.”
“WHAT??” Jenny couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “THIS is the emergency that you guys called me for?”
JaeJin looked at Jenny with pain. “Jenny, this guy, Eun JiWon, is not good for you. And besides, he’s too old..”
“Jiwon is only two years older than me!” shouted Jenny. “And how could you say that he isn’t good for me? Do you know him? Have you even ever met him?”
“No,” JaeJin admitted, “but I have a bad feeling about him.”

Jenny wanted to cry. She couldn’t believe how unfair he was being. He had absolutely no right to be saying any of this. She stared at her brother in disbelief.
“Jenny,” JaeDuc said, “promise us that you’ll never see this guy again.”
“What?? I’m not promising either of you anything!”
She couldn’t handle it anymore. This was making her sick. She ran inside.
“They have no right…” she kept repeating in her mind as she scrambled up the stairs to her room.

She wondered how in the world they could have possible found out that she was seeing JiWon. Who could have possibly told them? Then she remembered that JiYong knew about her relationship with JiWon. She wished she had been more careful around him too. She never imagined that he would go and tell her brother about it!

When she reached her room, she saw JiYong in there. As soon as she opened the door, he jumped in surprise. It looked as if he’d been snooping around. He looked incredibly embarrassed and tried to explain.
“I was just… um…”

Jenny didn’t want to hear any of it. She grabbed her pillow and threw it at him.
“GET OUT!” she shouted. She was sick of dealing with him. She locked the door behind her and kneeled at the side of her bed, sobbing. Her head felt like it would explode. She couldn’t believe her brother and JaeDuc and JiYong. No one understood how she felt. She was so frustrated.

The only person she could count on was JiWon. She wished she never left him at that restaurant. If only she was still there, she’d still be so happy right now…She wished he was by her side because she really needed someone to talk to. She grabbed the phone and dialed JiWon’s pager number. Just listening to his voicemail comforted her. She decided to leave him a message.

“JiWon, it’s me, Jenny. I’m home right now, but I wish I was with you. I miss you already and it’s only been 15 minutes since I saw you last. I guess I really do love you. And the best part is that I know that you love me back. Bye, call me back.”

She hung up the phone and went to sit on her desk. She wanted to write JiWon a love letter too. Now that everyone told her that she shouldn’t see JiWon without any real reason why not, she wanted to see him more. But on her desk, there was something there. It was an opened book, something that looked real familiar. She saw that it was her diary. Someone had been reading it!!

“Oh my gosh!” she thought. All her secrets were written in her diary and just the thought of someone else reading it gave her the chills.

Just then, she remembered that JiYong had been snooping around in her room a few minutes ago! Her mouth dropped open. “Of course! So it was him who read my diary!”
She couldn’t believe it. This made her soooo mad! She HAD to do something about it. She stormed into JiYong’s room and flung the door open. But when she did, she quickly shut the door again. Her face blushed red from embarrassment. JiYong had been dressing.

Jenny blushed as she repictured his surprised expression as he froze when he saw her. She bit her lip. She wanted to tell him off but she didn’t want to re-open his door because it would be too awkward. So she walked back to her own room.
“Oh well, she’ll just tell him off tomorrow.”

The next day, she went to school alone. She managed to ditch JiYong that morning so that he’d have to walk to school. She could not forgive him for reading her diary. That was just going way too far.
At school, she saw JiYong staring at her. He had a disappointed look on his face. “What is he so disappointed about?” Jenny thought. “Does he think that I was actually going to give him a ride to school after violating my privacy?” She gave him a dirty look back.
“Wait till we get home,” she thought, “then I’ll really show you how I feel..”

When school ended, Jenny was a little disappointed that JiWon wasn’t waiting for her today. But it was alright, since she needed to go home right away anyway, so that she could put JiYong straight and teach him a lesson.
Jenny got home and waited for JiYong to arrive. It would take him awhile since he was walking. She sat patiently in his room, looking around. She wondered whether or not he kept a diary. But she soon shook this thought out of her head. She was deteremined not to stoop to his level.

JiYong finally arrived home and was apparently surprised when he saw her waiting in his room. He looked like he wanted to say something so Jenny waited for him to spit it out.
“So, I guess you saw it, huh?” he looked really embarrassed.
“You bet I saw it!” Jenny yelled fiercely at him. JiYong was taken aback. This was not the reaction he had been expecting.
“How could you do something like that?” Jenny asked him.
“I didn’t know you’d be so offended by it..” he said.
“What?? How could I possibly be NOT offended? You violated my privacy!” she yelled.
Jiyong looked confused. “Wait, what are you talking about?”
“You know exactly what I’m talking about! And another thing, you had no right to tell my brother about my relationship with Jiwon.”
“What? I never…”
“Don’t even deny it!” she snapped.
JiYong started to get mad too. “Even if I did, which I didn’t, your brother would have found out about it sooner or later!” he yelled.
“How do you know that?”
“And besides, if you think he’s such a great guy, then what’s wrong with your brother knowing about him anyway?”
“Because…” she didn’t know how to explain why she didn’t want JaeJin to know about it.
“See, even you know, deep down, that Eun JiWon is not a good person!”
“Take that back! JiWon is the most caring guy I know and if anyone is not a good person, it’s you!”

Jiyong’s face color changed when she said this. He looked really mad.
“I wasn’t going to tell you this but now I really do want to hurt you,” he began. “Eun JiWon is the biggest player in town and everyone knows it!”
“WHAT? How could you accuse him of such a thing??”
“He’s known for lying to girls to get them. And he loses interest FAST.”
“How could you say that?? What proof do you have?”
“My friend SungHoon is a good friend of his and he knows JiWon well, much better than you do!”
“You know what? You are such an asshole and I can’t believe you’re telling me all this bull-sh*t!” Jenny screamed.
“Well, you are the biggest BIT*H I’ve ever met!” JiYong yelled back.
“What?? I can’t believe you just called me that!!”
“So it’s ok for you to call me an asshole but it’s so wrong for me to call you a bitch?? You’ve treated me like crap since the day I arrived here and you’ve made my stay here so miserable! Does it give you pleasure to hurt me???” he asked.
“What? You got things mixed up, YOU made MY life miserable ever since you arrived!”

JiYong puffed in disbelief. “You are the most selfish girl I’ve ever met! All you ever think about is how YOU feel. Don’t you ever stop to think that you might be hurting someone else??”
“You can’t say that about me, you don’t even know me!”
“You don’t know ME but that didn’t stop you from forming an opinion of me!”

Jenny had nothing to say. All she could do was glare at him. She could feel tears coming up on the corners of her eyes. The last thing she wanted was for JiYong to see her crying so she marched off to her own room before that could happen. She slammed her door as JiYong also slammed his.

Part V

The next day, after school, Jenny couldn’t stop thinking about the fight that she had with JiYong. She couldn’t believe he had the nerve to say those things to her! Not only did he insult her like crazy, but he also told her all those lies about JiWon. If there’s anything that Jenny can’t stand is when someone bad mouths a person that she cares about.
Jenny really liked JiWon…he was so good to her. All those things JiYong said about him made her really mad. Jenny was so frustrated that she had to talk to somebody.

But there was no one to talk to except for JiWon himself. So she decided to call him. She picked up the phone and started dialing his pager number…But she hung up the phone right away.
She didn’t know what she would say to him. She couldn’t tell him that everyone she knew doesn’t like him. No, he didn’t deserve that. So Jenny really didn’t anyone to talk to afterall. But she didn’t want to be alone so she went downstairs.
She found JaeJin cleaning up the house while JaeDuc was helping him with the dishes. Jenny went and sat on the couch and waited for JaeJin to finish vaccuming. When he did, he made four turkey sandwhiches for himself, JaeDuc, Jenny, and JiYong. When he finished making them, he told Jenny to go call JiYong down to join them.

“I don’t want to,” she said.
“Oh come on Jenny,” JaeJin said. “You aren’t still mad at me about what I said to you the other day, are ya?”
Jenny just gave him a playful dirty look. No matter what happened, she could never really be mad at him. She laughed when JaeJin gave her a playful-dirty look back.

“I’ll go call JiYong to come,” said JaeDuc as he got up to go.
“Wait, don’t!” Jenny stopped him.
“I don’t want him to be around…I got into an argument with him yesterday and I’m not on good terms with him right now.”
“What was it about?” JaeDuc asked.
“Oh, nothing. I’m just mad because he said that JiWon-” Jenny stopped short and bit her lip.
She forgot that they didn’t like JiWon either. JaeJin stood up.
“Don’t tell me you’re still seeing that guy!” he said.
“Oppa, but I-”
Didn’t we tell you to stay away from him?” JaeDuc interrupted.

Jenny was tired of this. She stood and shouted, “Now wait a minute, you two. You can’t make me break up with him because I really like him. Besides, neither of you met him before so you can’t assume that he’s a bad guy. In fact, he’s the sweetest guy I know. He treats me very well and he really cares about me…And I really care about him too.”
JaeJin and JaeDuc were silent. There was an awkward pause. But JaeJin soon broke the silence and told her, “Ok, I’ll leave it to you to choose what you want to do. But as soon as I hear that he’s hurt you in any way, I’m gonna kick his a*s!”
“Yeah, so you can tell this JiWon that he better watch out,” Jaeduc added.

Jenny smirked at them.
“Don’t worry, that will never happen,” She gave both of them a kiss their cheeks and ran up the stairs to her room. Jenny took out her calendar and stared at the date circled in dark bold marker. JaeJin’s birthday was coming soon and she really had to find a way to raise money again. She really didn’t want a job at McDonald’s again…She hated it there. She considered other possible jobs. She needed one fast. But sitting around just daydreaming about it would lead to nowhere, so she got up and took out her car keys. She needed to go start filling out some applications.

Jenny came home very tired. She applied to more than ten different places. She crossed her fingers and hoped that one will call soon.

The next day, Jenny took JiYong to school. It was really awkward and neither of them said a word the whole way. Both were still very mad at each other and could not forget about the other night’s little fight.
They were both so mad in fact, that even in class, they still sat quietly. People started wondering what was wrong. SungHoon and SuWon were especially confused. JiYong was usually a very outgoing guy, but today, he was being so yam-jun-heh. They wondered what could possibly be wrong.

“Hey JiYong,” SuWon asked, “what’s wrong, are you having a bad day today?”
“Yeah… sort of,” JiYong answered him.
“You can tell us your problems, you know,” SungHoon told him. “That’s what friends are there for.”
JiYong didn’t feel like saying anything, but they kept bothering him about it, so he said, “Why don’t you two go ask Jenny, she can tell you.” Sunghoon and Suwon went on to Jenny.

“JiYong said that you’d tell us what was wrong with the two of you,” said SuWon.
“Well, why doesn’t HE tell you himself?” Jenny shouted.
“I don’t think he feels like talking about it,” said SungHoon.
Jenny roled her eyes. She was about to send the two away, when she remembered what JiYong had said during their fight when she asked what his proof was for knowing what kind of guy JiWon really was.

“Um… Sunghoon,” Jenny started.
“Yeah?”
“JiYong tells me that you know Eun JiWon well, is this true?”
“Yeah, we used to go to the same school.”
“Oh…”

Ok, so far JiYong wasn’t lying. Jenny decided to ask him more. “Can you tell me what kind of guy he is?”
SungHoon thought about how to answer nicely, but he had to tell the truth in the end. “Jenny, I know that you’ve been seeing him these past few weeks. He told me.”
“He did?” Jenny was really curious now.
“Yeah. Well, he’s my friend and everything but I gotta say that I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to be seeing him.”
“Why not?”
“Well, you see, he’s kind of a player. I should know cuz I know about all his other relationships that he’s had before…I just don’t want you to get hurt like the others.”
“Oh…” Jenny nodded. “I see.”
‘So JiYong wasn’t lying afterall,’ she thought to herself. But she still wasn’t sure if she should believe them. JiWon seemed like such a great guy and she really liked him. He seemed like he really cared for her.

After school, Jenny went home and went into her room. She was thinking about what SungHoon had told her when she got a call. She answered it and found that it was Burger King. They wanted her to come for an interview for the job. Burger King wasn’t exactly the place she imagined herself working at, afterall it wasn’t THAT different from McDonald’s, but she really needed this job for the upcoming birthday, so she was happy they called her so fast.

Jenny drove down to Burger King and walked inside. She went up to one of the workers and said she was there for that job interview. She went inside and the manager asked her a few questions. After she waited awhile, they told her that she was hired and she’ll start working tomorrow.

“That was easy,” she thought as she got up to leave. Just then the door opened and a couple walked inside. Jenny looked and saw that it was JiWon and Yumi!! Jenny didn’t want them to see her and she quickly hid behind a wall. She watched as they ordered their food to go and walk out with JiWon’s arm around Yumi’s shoulder. Jenny went to get a closer look as the two got into his car. Right before they drove off, she saw JiWon giving Yumi a kiss as Yumi flashed him one of her beautiful smiles. Jenny watched all of this in horror. She couldn’t believe what she just saw. She just stared out the window, stupified, with her jaw locked open. Then, she felt the hot tears climbing their way up to her eyes. It felt like she couldn’t breathe and she tried gasping for air.

“No, this can’t be happening,” she said out loud. She burst through the door and ran, crying, to her car. She cried all the way home. She was still crying as she got home and managed to stumble her way up the stairs to her room. There, she wailed in grief. Soon, JaeJin, JaeDuc, and JiYong barged into her room and demanded to know what was the matter. Jenny didn’t want to tell them, but knew that they wouldn’t leave her alone until she told them.

“I..I saw…(gasp) JiWon with…Yumi….”
“What?!” Jaejin said.
“They were…they were…kissing.”
JaeJin almost exploded with anger as Jenny said this. “WHERE IS HE? I’M GONNA GET THIS MF! JENNY, GIVE ME HIS PHONE NUMBER!”
“Why, what are you gonna do?” she asked in terror.
“JUST GIVE ME HIS DAMN NUMBER!”
“I only have his pager number…”
“I can get his number,” JiYong said. JaeJin looked at JiYong and the two left the room. JaeDuc stayed behind to comfort Jenny. He didn’t want to leave her there alone. She was going through so much pain right now…He tried talking to her.

“What did we say about him? I told you to stay away from him…” JaeDuc couldn’t think of anything else to say.
“I know, I know,” Jenny said sadly. “I’m sorry for not listening. I just…I didn’t know…How could he…?”
“Shh…it’s ok now. Everything is gonna be all right.”

Jenny nodded.
“It’s a good thing I found out about you and JiWon so soon,” Jaeduc said. “And I know it was wrong of me to read your diary but…”
Jenny stood up. “You’re the one who read my diary??”
“Oh, yeah. That was me. I’m sorry about that…”
Jenny couldn’t believe it. All this time, she assumed that it was JiYong! Just then, JaeJin walked in. “JaeDuc, let’s go. We found him.”
“Ok.”
“Wait oppa!” Jenny shouted alarmed. “What are you going to do? I’m all right, really! Don’t do this!” She tugged on his JaeJin’s arm. JaeJin looked Jenny straight in the eye. He looked so determined that it frightened Jenny.
JaeJin turned around and said, “I have to.” With that, he and JaeDuc left.

Part VI

Jenny paced up and down her room, frantically wondering what was happening to Jiwon. She never dreamed that Jaejin would actually go and kick his ass. She thought that he was only kidding when he told her that he would. She desperately hoped that no one would get hurt from this. Even though JiWon went and cheated on her with Yumi, her best friend, she couldn’t bear the thought of him being hurt. She was so scared. She knew that Jaejin was really strong and she imagined the worst.

Jenny thought and thought about this mess that she was in. She was getting a little dizzy so she went to her desk chair and sat down. She didn’t know what to do. She felt so helpless just sitting there. So she began to look for something to do so that she can calm down a little.

Jenny opened her desk. To her surprise, there was something strange inside. It was a present which was labeled “To Jenny.”
“How did this get here?” she wondered as she tore the wrapping paper.
When she finished unwrapping it, she found that it was a brand new ImChangJung cd. There was a letter attached to it. It read:
Dear Jenny,
I hope you don’t mind that I bought you this new cd to replace the one I ruined. I’m really sorry about that. I should have been more careful with it. And I’m sorry that I didn’t ask permission to use it too. I was hoping that we could be good friends, but I went and made things worse. I hope you don’t get offended or anything that I bought you this cd, afterall, I owed it to you. I know that you and I haven’t been getting along and everything… But I really wish we could start over and pretend that we just met again so that we could be better friends. I’m hoping you feel the same way too… But it’s ok if you’re still mad at me. I understand. If you DO feel the same way, tell me so tomorrow at school, ok? Ok, then. Bye.

Part VII

A few hours later, as Jenny walked pass Jiyong’s room to get to her own, she saw his packed bags lying outside his door. The sight of the luggage gave her a weird feeling. But she didn’t know exactly what she was feeling. She just bit her lip as she stared at the lifeless things that were giving her such a curious affect. As she stood there staring, Jiyong came out of his room and looked surprised to see her there. For a split second, their eyes met. But Jenny quickly turned away and raced to her room. She wished she didn’t act so dumb around him. But something inside of her just couldn’t look into his eyes. She punched her pillow in frustration.

The next day, Jenny came back from her job at Burger King and was very tired. She almost crawled her way up the stairs to get to her room. She even had to hold on to the hallway walls to keep her balance as she slowly found her way to her room. But as she passed Jiyong’s room, a funky smell was coming out of it. It kind of smelled like paint. She saw that his door was wide open so she looked inside. Jiyong was standing there, in overalls, with a paint roller in his hand. He was painting the room back pink.

Jenny’s mouth opened in hurt surprise. She remembered that one day when they were fighting, Jiyong had promised that he would paint the room back to pink before he left. For some reason, it pained her to see him do it. She wanted to tell him that he didn’t have to do it… She opened her mouth but no words came out. She felt faint and fell down to her knees. She literally crawled the rest of the way to her room. She hated herself by this point. It was all her fault that Jiyong was going back to Korea. She never even gave him a chance because she was being so selfish. She wished she could tell him not to go back to Korea. She prayed to God to give her one more chance to get to know him better. She was finally letting herself admit that Jiyong really was a good guy.

As Jenny sat there on the floor of her room, she heard her mom’s voice calling her to come downstairs. Jenny gathered all her strength and stood. She examined herself in the mirror and staightened out her hair. Jenny knew that Jiyong’s mom would be there too.

Jenny carefully walked downstairs to find her mom and Jiyong’s mom waiting for her as expected. The two ladies motioned her to come sit with them.

“Wow, you really do take after your mother…” said Mrs. Ko. “Look at her big eyes! It feels like I’m looking at your mother 20 years ago!”
“She doesn’t look ALL that much like me,” Mrs. Lee said. “She’s got her father’s smile!”
The two ladies smiled and laughed in this manner for a few minutes.

“So, Jenny,” Mrs. Ko began, “how have you been getting along with my son?”
Jenny thought hard about this question and came to the conclusion that it would be more appropriate to lie. “Very well.”
Mrs. Ko smiled. “Good.” But her smile quickly turned into a frown. “But I can’t understand why he doesn’t like it here so much. I was sure that he’d love it here. His sister, Jiyun, just can’t get enough of America.”
“Well, maybe he found school here difficult…” Mrs. Lee suggested. She didn’t want it to seem like maybe her family didn’t treat him well enough.
“But he always did so well in English in his school back in Seoul. I just don’t understand.” Mrs. Ko sipped her coffee in dismay. “Maybe he found it hard to find new friends here. Jenny, you should know, right? Did Jiyong make any friends here?”
“Yes, in fact, he made two really good friends.” Jenny answered.
“Then what could it possibly be that is bothering him so much?”
Jenny bit her lip. She knew exactly what, it was herself.

“Well, whatever it is, I guess it doesn’t matter anymore,” Mrs. Ko said, “since he’ll be going back home with me… But I just wish he could have just one last look around so that he won’t leave with such a bad feeling about here.”
“I know! Jenny can give him a tour around LA tomorrow, before he goes,” Jenny’s mom said, “There are so many things he still hasn’t seen, I’m sure he’d love that.”
“That would be wonderful! If it isn’t too much trouble, Jenny. Will you do that for me?” asked Mrs. Ko.
Jenny opened her mouth to reject but stopped herself. She didn’t know why she was so quick to say no. It was such a harmless favor that she was asking her to do. “Of course I will. I’m sure he’d like that very much.”

Besides, she thought to herself, this is her chance to patch things up with him. And if she takes JaeJin oppa and JaeDuc oppa along too, it won’t be so awkward. Jenny excused herself and went up the stairs to her brother’s room to tell him to plan out where to go for tomorrow. He knew more about where everything was better than her.

The next day, the four of them drove around everywhere in LA, showing Jiyong the coolest places that they knew. As Jenny predicted, it wasn’t in the least bit awkward since JaeDuc kept fooling around and making everyone laugh. Jenny was glad that she was here with these three guys because she really was enjoying herself.

At noon, the four of them stopped at an ice cream shop because the day was getting a little hot. Each of them ordered a different flavor of ice cream. JaeDuc was the first one to finish his ice cream and soon went around trying to taste everyone else’s flavor. After having tasted everyone’s ice cream, he decided that he liked Jaejin’s the best. He took his spoon and took a big scoop of Jaejin’s ice cream. This meant more than half of his ice cream.

“Hey man!” Jae jin cried out as he looked at what was left of his ice cream. Jaeduc gulped down Jaejin’s ice cream and picked up his spoon for some more.
“What are you doing??” Jaejin demanded to know. “How come you don’t take anyone else’s ice cream, huh??”
“Cuz… you’re my bestest buddie.” JaeDuc gave Jaejin the biggest childish smile that he could manage.
“How come you only call me your ‘bestest buddie’ at times like this?” Jaejin asked.
“What are you talking about…. I always…….” Jaeduc tried to make excuses as he tried to sneek his spoon into Jaejin’s cup.
“Aish!!” Jaejin said as he pushed JaeDuc’s head away.

JaeDuc frowned, unhappily sucking on his spoon. But the frown quickly disappeared and a sly look came over his face. He got closer to Jaejin’s ice cream and ….
“AHH-CHOOO!!!” he sneezed directly into the cup.
JaeJin digustedly pulled away and handed his ice cream over to JaeDuc. “Here, all yours!” Jae jin said.

Jenny and Jiyong laughed at the two. JaeDuc could be so silly! As they were laughing, Jenny glanced at Jiyong as his laughing eyes sparkled in the sunlight. Jenny blushed. She never noticed before how beautiful his eyes were. And when Jenny blushes, she really turns red.

“WOW, Jenny! Look at your face, its as red as a cherry!!” JaeDuc observed. “Did you find me suddenly so handsome or something??” He playfully lifted his eyebrows twice.
“Oot gee go eet neh!” Jenny said as she quickly ate the rest of her ice cream to cool down.

Part VIII

When night time fell, the group went to eat at a nice restaurant. When they were finished, they went outside.
“Jiyong and Jenny wait here, me and Jaeduc will go get the car.” said Jaejin. The restaurant was very crowded so they had to park very far away.

As Jenny and Jiyong were waiting, it became kind of awkward again. Jiyong looked around the place. He was trying to find something to say.
“So, umm…. Today was fun, wasn’t it?….” Jiyong managed to say. But when he turned around to look at her, he found that she was no longer there. “What the~ Where did she go off to?” Jiyong started looking for Jenny.

Jenny was just in a building near by. It was a jewelry store. She was staring at the watch section. She gasped at the sparkling gold. One of the watches stood out from the rest. It was perfect for Jaejin!! She delicately touched the glass that was separating her from the watch with the tips of her fingers.

“Umm… excuse me,” Jenny asked the clerk, “How much is this watch over here?”
“That one’s $550. Would you like to see it?”
“No, that’s okay.” Jenny looked unhappily at the beautiful watch. JaeJin’s birthday was coming around soon but she only saved up $250. “A few weeks more…” Jenny counted with her fingers the days that it would take for her to save up the rest of the money. She sighed in frustration.

“Hehe..” someone laughed goofily behind Jenny as she stared at the watch. Jenny turned around to see who it was. To her surprise, it was a very tall and chubby guy smiling at her.
“Y-you like that watch, don’t you? Hehe…” the big guy asked shyly.
“Umm… yeah.”
“I was just wondering…” he began again, scratching his head, “W-what’s your name?”
“….Jenny.” she told him reluctantly.
“Hehe, that’s a pretty name! My name is Richard!” he held out his hand eagerly. Jenny slowly lifted her hand to shake it. But before she could, Richard said, “Wait hold on…” as he wiped off all the sweat from it, leaving a wet spot on his shirt.
This grossed out Jenny and she said, “Umm, I’m sorry but I have to go.” And she headed for the door.
“Wait!” cried out Richard and ran after her as fast as he could with all his blubber visibly jiggling under his thin shirt.

Jenny wasn’t running, so he quickly caught up to her.
“Did anyone ever tell you,” he panted from the short exercise, “that you have the prettiest eyes that I ever saw, I mean they ever saw?”
“I really do have to go…” Jenny said as she tried to get away from him.
“Wait, hold on! Umm, hehe….I was just wondering if you could be like my girlfriend or something…hehe…” Richard was sweating from all the excitement.

“No!…I mean, I gotta go now…” and once again, Jenny tried to rid herself of this guy.
“Wait! Jenny! Come back! I want to be your boyfriend!”
“I already have a boyfriend!!” Jenny yelled out.
Richard paused for a second. But he was familiar with this excuse and knew that she might be lying. He ran after her again and when he caught up to her, he said, “I don’t believe you.”

Jenny was now at the spot where she and Jiyong were formerly waiting for their ride. But she found that Jiyong was no longer waiting there as she had been expecting. She frantically looked about. She didn’t know what to do.

“I don’t believe you,” said Richard again. “I-I think your so pretty…” the big guy reached his hand out to hold Jenny’s small hand that seemed as if it was three times smaller. This scared Jenny and she took a step back. Richard thought that she might run away again so he quickly grabbed her wrist. Jenny screamed.

“Get your hands off of her!!” someone’s voice from behind called out.
Jenny and Richard turned their head towards the new comer. Jenny breathed out in relief when she saw who it was.

“Jiyong!! Help me!” she cried out. Jiyong walked up to them and snatched Jenny’s wrist away from Richard.
“Who are YOU??” Richard demanded to know.
“Me? I’m… I’m Jenny’s boyfriend.” Jiyong lied. Jenny looked at Jiyong in surprise and Jiyong winked at her to get her to play along with what he said. But Richard saw this wink that Jiyong tried to sneak at Jenny.
“Yeah, right! I know your not her boyfriend so leave us alone! I saw her first!!” Richard said.
“I’m not lying, I AM her boyfriend, alright?” Jiyong told him and nudged Jenny to confirm his claim.
“Yeah, he IS my boyfriend so please go away and leave us alone!!” said Jenny.

Jenny and Jiyong pretended to walk away to somewhere else, even though they were already at the spot that they were supposed to be. Jiyong pulled Jenny into an alley.

“Did we lose him?” asked Jenny anxiously. Jiyong looked fully alert around for the chubby guy. But Richard was still not convinced that they were telling the truth and he had followed them to the alley.

“Whew~ Thanks for saving me out there, Jiyo-..” Jenny began to say. But before she could finish, Jiyong suddenly pulled Jenny close to him and kissed her. Richard watched this in disappointment.
“Maybe they really were a couple…” He frowned and kicked an empty coke can as he walked away.

Jiyong pulled away from Jenny. “Haha! Yes!! That guy finally went away. I knew that would convince him!!” He laughed in delight at his small victory. Jenny was in a state of shock. She hadn’t expected Jiyong to kiss her so suddenly like that. She stared, dazed, at Jiyong’s face.

“Heehee, I think he’s really gone. That was a good idea,wasn’t……. it….” Jiyong stopped short from his blabbing. He realized that Jenny was staring at him. Jenny was looking straight into Jiyong’s eyes. And when Jiyong looked back at her, Jenny’s heart started to pound. She leaned a little closer to Jiyong. Seeing this, Jiyong also started leaning closer. Their lips met for the second time and they stood there, in that small alley, kissing.

When they were done, both of them were speachless. They just stood there, dumbfounded. Neither of them expected this to happen. It was a surprise for them both. Jiyong smiled, then Jenny giggled. Suddenly, everything seemed to be so funny. Jiyong burst into laughter, and Jenny joined him. This whole incident was hilarious. But not only the fact that they happened to run into a strange guy like Richard, but Jiyong and Jenny were laughin at all the times they argued and yelled at each other.

When they calmed down, Jiyong said, “Look, I’m sorry I called you a bitch that one day.”
“No, no! I’m the one who called you an ass-hole first. And I’m really sorry that I accused you of reading my diary. I found out it was JaeDuc oppa who did.” Jenny explained.
“Oh! Is that what you thought I did? Haha! I was wondering what that was all about,” Jiyong said. “Well, you probably thought that becuase i was snooping around in your room that one day. Hehe, sorry about that.”
“Your sorry?? I should be the one to apologize. I found the letter… and the cd. I never thanked you for it.” Jenny said, embarrassed.
It was Jiyong’s turn to be embarrassed. “No, I owed it to you…”
Jenny smiled at Jiyong because it was so cute to see him embarrassed. Jiyong, seeing Jenny smile at him, beamed right back at her.

“HEY! There you guys are!!” cried JaeJin’s voice from behind them. “Geez, we were looking EVERYWHERE for you!”
Jenny and Jiyong looked at Jaejin, and then at each other. “Oops,” they said together. They had totally forgotten about Jaejin and Jaeduc. “Sorry.”
“Hey, you found them?” asked Jaeduc as he caught up to Jaejin. “Good, let’s go!” And the four of them got into the car.

At their house, Jenny got ready for bed. But before she went to sleep, she went out into the hallway and headed for Jaejin’s room and knocked on the door.
“Come in.” Jaejin said.
Jenny opened the door and went inside. “I just came to say goodnight, oppa.” she whispered, seeing that the lights were already turned off.
Jaejin smiled at her, “Good night.”
Jenny leaned over to him and kissed his cheek.

Jenny closed Jaejin’s door behind her and walked back down the hallway. Right before she opened the door to her room, she saw Jiyong coming up the stairs. He had gone to the kitchen to get a glass of water. When they saw each other, both of them smiled.

“Good night, Jenny.” Jiyong said smoothly.
“Good night.” Jenny bit her lip to keep from smiling too hard as she watched Jiyong enter back into his room.
She couldn’t believe that she had only recently realized how foine he was. She turned her head to go back into her own room, but she caught a glimpse of something in the corner of her eyes. She turned around again to see what it was. She saw that it was Jiyong’s packed baggages. Her heart sunk as she remembered that tomorrow, Jiyong was leaving for Korea. She walked up to Jiyong’s door to knock and ask him if he would stay. But she stopped herself. It was Jiyong’s own choice to leave and besides, this must be her punishment for treating him so badly at first. She decided to let Jiyong do whatever he chooses. And she turned around, heavy-hearted, towards her own room.

The next morning, Jenny woke up from so much noise. She went to the bathroom to wash her face and went downstairs to find out whats going on.
When she reached the bottom step, she heard Mrs. Ko’s voice complaining loudly. “First he wants to do this, then he wants to do that! My goodness! He’s giving me such a headache. It’s so hard to know what he wants since he’s always changing his mind..”
“Oh, don’t worry. It’s because he’s still young. That’s how kids are.” Jenny’s mother assured her.
“Well, anyway, I must be leaving now so I won’t miss my flight.” said Mrs. Ko.
Jenny went to the two ladies.
“Would you like me to take you to the airport?” she offered.
“No, honey. That’s all right. I already called a cab.”
“Are you sure you don’t want Jenny to take you instead?” asked Mrs. Lee.
“No, I’ll be fine. Really. Besides, Jenny needs to stay here to help Jiyong unpack.”
Jenny started when she said this. “You mean he’s staying??”
“He sure is. What did you kids do yesterday? He seemed to have had so much fun. Or atleast enough to make him want to stay…” said Mrs. Ko.
Jenny blushed as she remembered their kiss.

“Well, there’s my cab. Goodbye then.” she said as she held on to her friend, Mrs. Lee’s hand.
“I hope you have a safe trip.” said Jenny’s mother. “Call me when you arrive.”
“Ahn-young-hee ga-seh-yo.” bowed Jenny.
“Okay, bye!!”
They waved good bye.

When she was no longer in sight, Jenny happily ran upstairs. She was headed straight to Jiyong’s room. She went and burst open his door. Jiyong, who had been unpacking, stood up when he saw Jenny smiling happily at him.

“You’re staying?!”
“How could I leave?” he said, smiling back warmly.
Jenny ran into his arms.

Epilogue

As Jenny and Jiyong were happily wrapped up in each other’s arms, someone opened he Lee family’s mailbox and slipped in an envelope. It was addressed to “JENNY LEE” and the envelope contained a love letter.
Jenny’s mother heard the mailbox open and close. She went to see who or what caused the noise. But no one could be seen. She opened the mailbox and found the letter for her daughter. She sighed. Even though it was none of her business, she wished she knew who it was that kept sending her daughter these letters. They have been dropped off mysteriously in the mailbox in this fashion for the last six years or so. But she shrugged it off because she knew from the day that Jenny was born that many boys will take interest in her. Afterall, her daughter was the most beautiful girl that she ever saw. And she didn’t feel this way just because she was her daughter…

Mrs. Lee went upstairs to her daughter’s room to place the letter on its owner’s desk. “Being beautiful is a sin, I tell you!” she mumbled and wished her daughter didn’t look so much like herself.

ChErRiEs II by: Julie
Part I

Mrs. Lee paced around the living room. Someone had not done the dishes as they were supposed to. She looked at the clock. It was getting a little late.
“Where did JaeJin go off to??” she asked out loud furiously. She looked around and found that the living room was a mess!

Just then, Jenny skipped her way down the stairs.
“Hi mom!” she said with so much liveliness.
“Oh, Jenny! How’s my favorite daughter doing?” she asked.
“I’m your ONLY daughter,” Jenny reminded her.
“Well, it doesn’t matter, your still my favorite,” Mrs. Lee went over to her and kissed Jenny on her forehead. Jenny smiled back at her mother. But she could see that something was bothering her.

“What’s the matter? Why do you look so worried?” she asked her mother.
“It’s your brother Jaejin. Do you know where he could be?? He left the house without doing the dishes and just look at the living room! It needs a vacuuming.”
“I’ll do it, mom,” offered Jenny as she started to walk towards the kitchen.
“No, no. You don’t lay a finger on the dish washer soap. It’ll just absolutely ruin your pretty hands!!” said Mrs. Lee, pulling her back to the living room.
“Oh, mom! You’ve got to stop babying me!” she cried.
“What are you talking about? I don’t baby you!” Mrs. Lee said, “Besides, you looked like you were going to go somewhere right now.”
“Oh yeah! I was going to go buy something. Jiyong is waiting outside for me,” remembered Jenny.
“Okay, you don’t want to keep him waiting now!”
“Bye, umma.” With that, Jenny left with Jiyong.

Mrs. Lee continued her pacing. She looked and looked again at the clock. “Where is that boy??” she mumbled.
Just then, Jaejin walked inside the house. As soon as he saw Mrs. Lee, his head drooped. He knew he was in for it now.

“Where have you been?!” yelled Mrs. Lee.
“Umm, JaeDuc and I were…” he began.
“You two were out practicing dancing again, weren’t you??” she asked, “How many times have I told you not to waste your time on something like that?”
“Jeh song hab nee da, um muh nee,” said Jaejin.
The truth was, Jaejin had come home late because his friends from his dance group, Quicksilver, had thrown him a party. And he couldn’t just leave his own party. It was July 13th that day.

“You didn’t even do the dishes!! And look at all the muhn jee in here. Now hurry up and clean this place up before Jenny and Jiyong get back. What is Jiyong going to think if he sees our family living like pigs? He’ll go right to his mother and tell her. Oh, this is such a disgrace. I can’t have his mother thinking badly of us, no! Do you know how rich she is??”
“Jal-mot heh sseum nee da,” JaeJin apologized again and went to the kitchen to do the dishes. He could hear his mother in the living room still complaining out loud.
“She is so lucky… She got to marry such a rich husband. And look at me. Living like this with a pennyless husband! Why am I so cursed, what did I ever do wrong to deserve this??”

After Jaejin finished his chores, he went upstairs to his room. He opened his backpack and started taking out his things. He first took out new socks and underwear that JaeDuc had given him. JaeJin chuckled to himself. JaeDuc, his best friend, can be so funny! Next, he took out a brand new art set. This will come in handy, Jaejin loved to draw. Finally, he took out brand new manhwa-cheks. He couldn’t wait to read these. He opened the first one and right away, it was so funny.

After reading a few of the comic books, he heard his mom from downstairs calling everyone to dinner. He closed his book and got up to go.
They were eating boolgogee for dinner. For some reason, Jenny was as red as a cherry again. But this time, it was because she was really mad.
“I wanted to eat mee-yuk-gook today,” she said.
“Really?” her mother said, “Then you should have told me. Oh well, we’ll just have to eat that tomorrow.”
“No, not tomorrow. Why can’t we have it today?” she demanded.
Jenny glanced at Jaejin. Jaejin just stared down into his rice bowl.
“Well, since we already started eating…” Mrs. Lee started to say.
But Jenny interrupted her, “Don’t you get it? Doesn’t anyone know?? It’s-” but Jenny was also interrupted.
“So, Jiyong,” said JaeJin, “Where did you take Jenny today?” “Oh… umm… We went to go buy some white paint. Jenny and I are going to paint my room white tomorrow,” Jiyong answered.
“That’s a good idea!” said Mrs. Lee, “But are you sure you don’t want to get it professionally done? I can hire a painter if you’d like.”
“That’s alright,” said Jiyong, “Jenny and I thought it might be fun to paint it together.”
Mrs. Lee smiled warmly, “Okay, then. If that’s what you want.” She loved to see him and Jenny get along so well. She hoped the best for the two.

Jenny was silent for the rest of the dinner, occasionally glancing at her brother, Jaejin. She tried her best to keep calm. At that moment, she resented her family. Even Jaejin for being so dumb.
“Why can’t he just tell them?” thought Jenny to herself.

After dinner, Jaejin went back up to his room. Jenny followed right behind him.
“Oppa…I don’t understand..Aren’t you mad at all?” she questioned.
“Mad? Of coure not,” reassured Jaejin with a smile on his face. “I’d rather have them not remember. I don’t like all the attention. I was trying to avoid it. Besides, I don’t even like mee-yuk-gook. I like boolgogee much better.”
This answer still didn’t satisfy Jenny and she eyed him with half anger and half sadness.
“I swear! I purposely didn’t remind them. You know how I hate getting fussed over about,” Jaejin tried again to convince his sister.

Jenny frowned in disbelief. But she shrugged her shoulders. There was nothing she could do about it if he was going to be that stubborn. She sighed and tried to let go her anger. Then she smiled again. All this time, she had been hiding something in back of her. She took it out then and placed it in Jaejin’s hands.
“Happy Birthday oppa!!” Jenny kissed Jaejin on the cheek and ran out of his room and closed the door.

Jaejin smirked. Jenny was so cute when she acted like such a little kid. He looked at the small box that she gave him and wondered what it could be. He happily tore the wrapping paper and opened the box. His mouth dropped open in surprise. Inside the box was a gold watch. He took it out of the box and placed it on his wrist.
“This must have cost her a fortune!” he thought to himself.

Jenny was now in her own room smiling to herself. She tried to imagine Jaejin’s face when he saw the watch. Jenny knew that he’d love it. She had borrowed Jiyong’s money to pay for some of it because she didn’t have enough money yet. But she was planning to pay Jiyong back because she wanted the watch to be entirely from her. She counted the days she had left for her to raise enough money. She cried out in joy to find that she only had a few more days to go. She hated working at Burger King. She couldn’t wait to quit.

She got up and went to her desk. There, she found an envelope addressed to “JENNY LEE.” She picked it up and examined it carefully. But she already knew exactly what was to be found inside the envelope. It was just another love letter from the same secret lover. She had been getting these same letters since she was in the sixth grade. She recognized the handwriting right away. She opened the envelope and took out the letter and read it.

Dear Jenny,
I write another letter to you in hope that one day, you will love me as much as I love you. I see your beautiful face always so cheerful and happy. And that makes me also very happy and cheerful. But when you are sad, it seems to me like the entire world is dark and gloomy. I tell you this because I want you to always smile your beautiful smile. And I wish to God that your heart will never hurt like mine when I realize that you are not mine. Instead, you belong to someone else. But that doesn’t stop me from loving you as much as I do. So always be smiling because I’ll always watch over you.
Love,
Your Secret Lover

Jenny folded back the paper and put it back into the envelope and put it away. She hoped that Jiyong will never find these letters that she always gets. Jiyong and Jenny were now a couple. So Jenny decided that she should hide these love letters just in case so that he would never find out about them. The last thing she wanted was for Jiyong to get mad or jealous over things like this.

Jenny sighed. She wondered who this mystery man could possibly be. She tried to picture him. She first pictured a tall, dark, and handsome guy. Then she imagined a short, fat, and ugly boy. She shook these thoughts out of her head.
“I shouldn’t daydream about this guy anymore…” she thought to herself, starting to feel a little guilty. She had Jiyong now…

Part II

“Would you like fries with that?” asked Jenny to the last customer of the evening.
“No, that’s alright.”
“Ok, that’ll be $3.89.”
He paid her and she gave the man his change, forcing a smile to form on her face. Even this was difficult for Jenny. Her body was aching from the day’s work. She still wore the forced smile on her face, as she watched the costumer walk out the door. When she saw that he was gone, she sighed of relief.<
“At last!” she cried out as she searched for somewhere that she might be able to sit and rest.
But one of her co-workers came to her and handed her a sponge. Now it was time to scrub the tables. She slowly lifted up her heavy body and reached for the dreaded sponge. As she got up, all the blood either rush into her brain or rushed out, she couldn’t tell which. But she felt so faint and dizzy.

“Are you all right?” asked one of the workers.
“Yeah, I’m okay,” replied Jenny, breathlessly.
Jenny gathered all her strength to do this one last job. As she was scrubbing the tables with her remaining strength, it started pouring outside. Jenny paused and closed her eyes to listen to the rain fall. It was so soothing to listen to. And she went right back to work.

When she was done, she said good-bye to all the workers and put on that fake smile that was so difficult, and walked out of Burger King. She took a deep breath of the wet air but immediately started coughing. She couldn’t stop coughing! She reached out to hold on to a pole and waited for the sudden fit to end. When it did, she squinted her eys to find her car in the parking lot. She looked and looked again, but she couldn’t find her car. Then she suddenly remembered that she had lent her car to her little brother, Jerry. He had told her that he wouldn’t be able to pick her up after work, and she had reassured him that it was okay. She figured she’d walk home or something.

She looked around in horror. The pouring rain seemed to have gotten worse. The loud beating of the rain drops on the ground seemed to have penetrated into Jenny’s brain, as it too started to pound loudly. She held her head in hopes of relieving the headache and took her first step out onto the rain. She had to face it, the only way home would be to walk through the violent storm.

Jenny walked on as the rain continued to pour. Jenny could hardly lift her eyelids, she was squinting so hard to try to keep the rain from getting into her eyes. And the ground was extremely slippery as she walked through the flooded sidewalk. Her headache didn’t let her be careful of where she stepped and she soon slipped. Her hand let go of her forehead to keep her balance. And she trudged on.

Her fingers were turning icy cold. She was afraid that they mind go numb in all this wetness. Even though her fingers were as cold as ice, and she knew very well that the day was absolutely freezing, but she herself wasn’t that cold. In fact, she was incredibly hot. She touched her face and found she had a fever. Then, her coughing fit came back and she paused in the middle of the street to rid of her coughs. It was so difficult for her to even breathe because her nose was stuffed. She coughed and coughed. It seemed to have no end.

When her coughing fit finally seemed to be over, she tried to regain her balance to walk on. But as soon as she took another step, the world seemed to spin around and around. Jenny could no longer keep her balance as her knees gave up. She tried with all her might to stay standing, but her knees kept wobbling and shaking. And she tried to take another step, but she slipped and fell into the water. She tried again, this time with all the strength that she could possibly gather, she stood up. But all the blood seemed to rush into or out of her brain again and she felt incredibly faint. The faintness gave way and Jenny fell unconscience into the rushing flood.

But as she fell, she vaguely realized that the fall didn’t hurt at all. In fact, it seemed something had caught her fall. Or was it someone? And right before she absolutely fainted, she thought that she felt herself in somebody’s arms. In fact, it seemed to her, even though it was blurry, that that someone had a navy blue head…?

Jenny was lying, still unconscience, in her bead as her mother watched over her in worry. She held her daughter’s hand and prayed to God that she’ll be all right. Tears of pain streamed down her face as she weaped for her daughter’s sake.

As Mrs. Lee sat there, weaping and whining, Jaejin silently walked in with a bowl of ice water and a wet towel. He wet the towel, strained the water back out, and placed it on Jenny’s forehead. She was burning from fever.

Now, the father of the house, Mr. Lee, came into Jenny’s bedroom. He watched, in sorrow, his daughter lying there so limp. He went over to his weaping wife and put his hands on her shoulders to try to comfort her. Then he gently led her away into their own bedroom.

Now, Jaejin pulled up a chair to Jenny’s bedside. He held her cold hand and tried to warm it with his own body warmth. As he did this, Jiyong walked inside. He looked at the two siblings, wishing there was something he could do to help.

“Will she be all right?” he helplessly asked Jaejin.
“Yeah, she’ll be okay,” said Jaejin with a reassuring smile, “Her body might be weak, but she’s got a strong spirit and she’ll never let go.”
He was saying this more to himself then to Jiyong.
“You should go to bed, Jiyong,” said Jaejin, “You must be tired from today. I know that you didn’t get any sleep the night before. You were studying, right?”
Jiyong nodded, and seeing that there was nothing he could do to help, retired to his own bed.

But only after a few minutes passed when Jiyong had left, JaeDuc burst into the room and quickly kneeled by Jenny’s side. He was dripping wet from the rain.
“I came here as fast as I could when I heard that she was unconscience,” he told Jaejin.
“How did this happen??” he desperately asked.
“She got caught in the rain when she was walking home,” explained Jaejin.
“She must’ve fainted out on the streets.”
“Then how did she come home?” asked Jaeduc.
“I don’t know. Some guy knocked on our door and ran away. When my mom opened the door to see who it was, she found Jenny lying on the doorstep, unconscience.”
“Thank God someone saved her!” Jaeduc said.
Jaejin nodded in agreement.

Jaeduc knelt next to Jenny’s body and watched her lie there, so lifeless. The thought of Jenny never being able to wake up again, gave such a spine-chilling terror to Jaeduc. He gulped and closed his eyes. He could feel the hot tears coming up into his eyes. He tried hard to repress these tears, but it was no use. He silently wept for Jenny.

The next morning, Jaejin went downstairs to get another wet towel for Jenny. When he entered her room, he was surprised to see Jenny’s eyes open. She looked really tired, but nevertheless she was awake and she gave her brother a weak smile.

“Your awake!” he cried out in joy.
Jenny nodded and tried to say something, but her throat was so dry.
“W-water…” she whispered.
“I’ll go get a glass,” said Jaeduc who was standing at the door. He had slept over for the night.

When everyone found out that Jenny was awake, the whole family tightly packed together into Jenny’s room. Her mother was ever so relieved that she was okay. She had imagined the worst. Now that Mrs. Lee’s worries were aside, she went to the next important question: who’s fault was it?

“Why were you walking home on a night like that??” she demanded to know from her daughter.
“I…lent the car….to Jerry….” Jenny said with her scratchy voice.
Mrs. Lee’s head turned toward her youngest son who scratched his head in guilt and tried to laugh innocently.
“Jerry!” the mother of the house began.
“Well, I needed the car, mom!” he tried to defend himself.
Mrs. Lee stared thoughtfully at him. “I’ve had enough! I think it’s time we bought you a car of your own,” she concluded.
“Yes!!!” Jerry exclaimed in joy.
“Wait!..But mom…. Jaejin oppa still.. doesn’t have a car….” Jenny pointed out.
“No, no!” Jaejin said right away, “It’s alright, I don’t really need a car anyway. Jerry needs one much more than me…He has to go to all those classes and things like that..”

Jenny panted in frustration. Why must Jaejin act so selfless all the time? Why couldn’t he for once demand something for his own personal gain? Why must he always put others before himself?

“Let’s let Jenny get some rest now,” said Mr. Lee as he got up.
“Yeah, let’s go,” agreed Jaejin.
Everyone, one by one, left Jenny to herself. Jenny sighed. She wished she could do something to change Jaejin’s attitude. She hated to see him get neglected all the time. But she shook these thoughts out of her head. She was afraid it might give her a headache.

Instead, she started to think of the small and blurry glimpse of the guy who saved her in the rain. He was wearing the same navy blue handkerchief over his face that she was so familiar with. The handkerchief covered most of his face, so Jenny never got to see who this guy really was. The truth was, ever since she was in the sixth grade, whenever she was in trouble, this same guy wearing the handkerchief on his head, saved her. He’d always seem to just show up at the right time. True, this is very strange. But Jenny thought nothing of it since it has been happening since so long ago that she had gotten used to being protected by this mysterious guy, even expecting it. Not that she wasn’t thankful. She thanked God as much as she could for sending her such a gaurdian. And she loved being carried by this guy. It always felt so safe in his arms…

Part III

Jaejin was at the dance studio (the little room where his dance group QuickSilver practiced). He was sweating from head to toe from dancing for hours on end. There was no music playing, but he kept dancing. He practiced all his moves and wanted to perfect all the dances that he was working on. This he did to relieve stress. When he was dancing, he didn’t have to think about the rest of the world. As far as he was concerned, his dancing was the only thing that existed during that time. He didn’t want to think of anything else. All he could do was dance and dance and dance….Even though his body was tired as hell, he wouldn’t stop. Even when JaeDuc walked into the studio, Jaejin took no notice of him. Or rather, he didn’t notice him there at all.

“Yah! Lee Jae Jin! Haven’t you had enough?” asked JaeDuc.
“Huh? What? Oh, when did you get here?” Jaejin asked, giving JaeDuc a quick glance as he continued his dancing.
Jaeduc knew that something must be bothering Jaejin because he always danced like this when there was something wrong. But he thought it would be best not to ask him. Instead, Jaeduc went to get a cup of water for his friend.

When JaeDuc gave it to him, Jaejin took it and drank it down fast, gulping for air when he was done. Jaejin sat down on the floor for a minute, trying to catch his breath. When his breathing became a little steady, he lied down on the floor and closed his eyes because it stung when the sweat reached them.

“Hey, hurry up and go take a shower… Gawd, you stink!” Jaeduc cried, plugging his nose.
“What are you talking about?” Jaejin asked, fanning himself by waving his shirt and wiping off the sweat off his forehead.
“BBallee ga, eema!” Jaeduc said, kicking Jaejin on his side for him to get up.
Jaejin lifted the collar of his shirt to his nose to smell it and coughed in suffocation.
“Ok, ok, I’ll go!” said Jaejin as he picked himself back up on his feet.

In the shower room, Jaejin turned on the water and got in. He just stood in there, as the steaming hot water splashed on his head. He looked at the watch that was fixed on his wrist. From the day he got it, he hadn’t ever taken it off for a second… not even in the shower. He couldn’t bring himself to stop staring at this watch that Jenny had given him…This thing seemed to be giving him so much pain. Jaejin had recently found out that Jenny had been working at Burger King. He couldn’t help but blame himself for Jenny’s sickness…He felt like it was all his fault that his sister had collapsed in the rain and was now lying sick in bed. He had a feeling that the only reason Jenny got this job at Burger King was because of this watch. This pained him because Jenny had always been so weak and and her body was unsuitable for working like that…

JaeDuc waited for Jaejin to finish showering. He turned the radio on and put it on a station that was playing a slow song. He listened to the song and chuckled to himself. He still remembered clearly the day that he met Jaejin. It was when the both of them were in the 7th grade…

Jaeduc was still at school, even though school had ended. He was playing soccer with a couple of his buddies. The ball was kicked to Jaeduc and seeing that no one was near him, he stopped the ball and placed his foot over it. He had been practicing his kick for a long time now. He felt confident about making the goal from where he was, even though he happened to be very far from the goal. He took a couple of steps back to give him room to run and charge at the ball. Then, he went forward and kicked it with all his might. Unfortunately, the ball didn’t go into the goal like he planned. Instead, it went out of bounds and his friends yelled at him to go fetch the it.

Jaeduc ran after the ball, embarrassed at his failure, with all the boys yelling behind him to hurry up. He had kicked the ball so far that it took him awhile to find it. When he realized it had landed in the bushes, he quickly went to pick it up.

Now, there happened to be an elementary school not far off from Jaeduc’s middle school. And at that moment, there were many kids who were walking home. Jaeduc picked up his ball and watched a few of the kids pass by him. He chuckled at the size of them, they seemed so much shorter than he was. JaeDuc started heading back to the soccer field where all his friends were, occasionally staring at the kids that walked by. But then, Jaeduc stopped. One of the kids stood out from the rest. It was a girl who didn’t look as young as the others. She walked past him, innocently unaware that someone was watching her. Jaeduc couldn’t keep his eyes off the girl. She was the prettiest thing that he ever saw. Jaeduc just stared at the girl, stupefied. But soon, she turned at a corner and was no longer in sight.

Jaeduc stood in awe. Then he remembered his soccer game and looked down at the ball in his hands. He took a step towards the soccer field to continue the game, but stopped himself. He couldn’t stop thinking of that pretty girl and wanted to see her again. He wanted to go after her and maybe ask for her name, at least. He looked towards the soccer field and thought of his game. But soon, Jaeduc decided. He didn’t care about the soccer game anymore. Besides, he would play it again tomorrow probably. And with the ball still in his hands, he set off towards the direction of where the girl had gone.

Jaeduc sooned spotted the girl again. He carefully followed maybe 15 paces behind her, making sure that she never layed an eye on him. He wanted to go to her and ask what her name was or something. But he couldn’t bring up enough courage to. He just stupidly followed behind her. Soon, the girl reached a house, which seemed like her own. She took out a key, unlocked the door and went in. Jaeduc waited near the house, still stupefied. He could still see her pretty little face even though she was no longer in sight. Then he suddenly got really mad at himself. Why hadn’t he even said ‘hi’ to her?? He felt like such a idiot, standing outside of the girls house, feeling like he was in love, without even knowing her name.

He was so frustrated with himself, in fact, that he took the ball and kicked it as hard as he could at a street lamp across the street. The ball hit the street lamp and bounced right back at him. When the ball reached him again, he hit it with his head and the ball went staight up and came back down, landing in his hands.

After Jaeduc did this, someone from behind started clapping. Jaeduc turned around to see who it was. It was a boy, looking around his age.
“That was pretty good,” said the newcomer, “Do you play soccer a lot?”
“Uh… yeah,” Jaeduc replied.
“Do you play any other sports?”
“Um, I play baseball and basketball too.”
“What grade are you in?”
“7th.”
“Hey, me too. I don’t think we go to the same school because I never saw you around. You must go to XXX Middle School.” “Yeah, I do,” said Jaeduc.
“Oh, cause I go to OOO Middle School,” smiled the boy.
“What’s your name?” asked Jaeduc.
“I’m Lee JaeJin. What’s yours?”
“Kim JaeDuc,”
“Have you ever tried dancing before?” asked Jaejin.
“No…Why?”
“Oh, because I bet you’d be good at it if you learned.”
“Really?”
“Yeah! I could teach you some moves, if you want.”
“Sure.”
“Ok, then come to my house.”
“All right, where do you live?” asked Jaeduc.
“Right here,” Jaejin said as he walked up to the house that they were standing in front of.
Jaeduc’s mouth dropped open, “You live HERE?!?” exclaimed Jaeduc looking at him in surprise.
This was the same house that the pretty girl had walked into. “Then they must be siblings…” he thought to himself.
“Yeah, c’mon.,” said Jaejin as he led Jaeduc inside.

Part IV

A few days later…

Jenny was tired of staying in her room all day like this. It was so boring…Her mother wouldn’t let her go outside. She looked out the window and desparately wished to be someplace other than her room. It was such a pretty day…

She didn’t feel all that sick anymore. Sure, she still coughed now and then. But her having to stay in the room like this was too much. Jiyong was gone to summer school and her little brother Jerry was out with his friends. And Jaejin… she didn’t know where he was, but he wasn’t home. She guessed that he was probably practicing dancing or something. That’s what he’s always doing. The only one home was her mother, making sure that she stays in bed no matter what.

Jenny sighed in boredom. She decided to call a friend so that she won’t be so bored. She picked up the phone and dialed…

“Hello?” the voice from the other end of the line asked.
“Christene? Hi, it’s me, Jenny.”
“Oh, hi Jenny!”
“Hi…I just called because I was bored.”
“I’m bored too. You wanna go out or something?” asked Christene.
“I can’t,” Jenny explained, “My mom won’t let me go out because I’ve got a cold.”
“Really? Is it serious?”
“No, not really…”
“Then you shouldn’t have to stay home!”
“I know…I REALLY want to go somewhere,” said Jenny.
“Then let’s go! Who cares what your mom says…You’re 18 now. You “hould make your own decisions.”
“You’re right. I don’t care what my mom says, I’ll just sneak out.”
“Ok, come to my house then, I’ll be waiting for you.”
“K, bye.”
“Bye.”

After she hung up the phone, Jenny went to the door and peered out. She could hear the shower running somewhere and figured that her mom was in the shower. ‘This is my chance,’ Jenny thought. And she tip toed her way through the hall and down the stairs. She opened and closed the front door as slightly as she could and bolted for Christene’s house. She had to walk there because if she turned on the engine of her car, her mom was bound to hear it.

Christene drove her and Jenny to a restaurant. Jenny had been eating jook for days and she was sick of it. She needed some real food. But as they were eating, Christene suddenly got a page. She took out her pager and looked at it.

“Oh, it’s my boyfriend,” she said. “He left a voice mail so I’ll be right back, ok?”
“Ok,” said Jenny as she happily ate her meal.
A few minutes later, Christene came back to there table but didn’t sit down. Instead, she grabbed her purse and put it on. “I gotta go, Jen,” said Christene. “My boyfriend needs me right now.”
“You’re going right now?!” Jenny asked.
“Yeah, I HAVE to..I’m sorry. I promise I’ll make it up to you next time,” Christene gave Jenny a hug and went to go pay for the food.

Jenny sat there, watching her friend leave. Suddenly she felt incredibly lonely. She thought about Jiyong and wished that he’d page her too. Then she remembered. In her haste to get out of her house, she had forgotten to take her pager with her. She wondered if she brought it, would she get a page from Jiyong? She frowned and wished he was with her now.

Jenny wasn’t hungry anymore so she got up to leave. She put a few bucks on the table for tip and she walked out the restaurant. When she was outside, she just remembered! Christene was her ride and she had left!! Jenny forgot this because she usually had the car with her. Christene must’ve forgotten too that Jenny hadn’t brought her car this time.

“Oh well,” Jenny shrugged her shoulders. She’ll just have to walk home again. She seemed to be doing a lot of that these days. And she set off.
After she had walked a few blocks, Jenny got this weird feeling that someone was following her. She stopped walking and turned around. But there was no one there, so she went right back on her way. But it still felt like someone was following her, so she checked again. There was no one. Jenny wondered if she was just imagining things. She continued walking.

But now, she could hear definite foot steps behind her. It seemed to be getting closer and closer. Jenny got scared. She kind of didn’t want to turn around this time, in fear of what she might see. She just hurried on her way. But soon, she couldn’t stand it anymore and looked back one more time. But this time, she saw a glimpse of someone quickly hide behind a wall.

Jenny turned pale. Her heart seemed to have skipped a beat. But afterwards, her heart was pounding from fear. She did next what her instincts told her to do, she ran for her life.
Jenny ran and ran, but she could hear the pounding of the man’s footsteps running after her. She looked back occasionally while she ran and saw that the man looked around 40 years old. He had such a scary look on his face that it made Jenny shake in fear from head to toe. But after running for awhile, Jenny soon tripped over a crack on the sidewalk and fell. As the man came closer and closer, the blood in Jenny’s face drained out and she froze. She couldn’t seem to pick herself back up. Now the man was only a split second away from her and Jenny didn’t know what else to do but cover her eyes and scream as loud as she could.

But as she did this, she heard a something that sounded like an object hitting another object. And after this noise came a groan of pain. Jenny peeped from her fingers to see what was going on and wondering why the man hadn’t reached her yet. She caught a glimpse of the man on the floor with his hands covering his face. But before she could see much, someone grabbed her hand and dragged her away. Jenny saw that it was the guy with the blue handkerchief covering his head and half his face as the two ran, hand in hand, or rather, hand on wrist. After running awhile, they stopped behind a building where they were hidden and at a safe distance. The two were panting for breath.

After they caught their breath, the guy carefully peeped out to check to see if the man was still there.
“He’s gone,” he said in a muffled voice.
Jenny exhaled in relief, and looked up at the guy to start thanking him. But before she said anything, he started talking first.
“What are you doing out like this??” he blurted out. “You’re supposed to be at home, or else your cold will get even worse. Don’t you see that??”
Jenny blushed in embarrassment. She knew that she shouldn’t be out like this too. “I know, I know, but……” Jenny stopped herself, “Wait a minute,” she eyed him suspiciously. “How did you know I was sick?”
“…Because…. of that day in the rain…” he said, realizing what big a mistake he had made.
“Who are you, anyway?” Jenny took a step towards him to get a closer look. But a car honk sounded behind them. Jenny turned around to see who it was.

“There you are Jenny!” Christene called out from her car. “I was looking everywhere for you! I’m so sorry! I totally forgot that you didn’t have a ride home.”
A big smile of relief came over Jenny’s face. She was so glad that Christene had come back for her. She was such a good friend. Jenny turned back to face the guy in the handkerchief, but he was no longer there. She looked around to try to see where he had gone.

“Hey, Jenny! What are you doing? Hurry up and get in the car girl!” said Christene.
Jenny relunctantly walked over to the car, “Where could he have gone off to?” she wondered.

Jenny got home and tip-toed her way back up the stairs up to her room. Her mom was in the kitchen, fixing her daughter some more jook. It seems that she hadn’t noticed her daughter was gone. Everything was back to normal and Jenny was glad that she didn’t get in trouble.
A little while later, Jenny’s mom knocked on her door.
“Come in,” said Jenny.
Her mom walked in, carrying a tray with the jook.
“I’m not hungry, mom,” Jenny said.
“That’s just too bad. You HAVE to eat something in order to get well again.”
Jenny wished she could tell her mother that she already ate, but she knew that she couldn’t. So she forced herself to swallow the food.

When she was halfway done, she was too full to take in any more.
“No more!” she said. “I’m sooo full!!”
“Ok, then. You don’t have to finish,” said her mom as she got up to leave with the tray.
“Oh, by the way, you got another letter,” her mother said, handing her a sealed envelope addressed to ‘JENNY LEE.’

When her mom left, Jenny opened the envelope and took out the letter. It read:

Dear Jenny,
I can’t get you out of my head so I had to write you another letter. I’m sorry, I hope you aren’t annoyed too much by me. I just can’t help it. I couldn’t sleep last night because the thought of you being sick makes me so sad. I wish there was something I could do, but I know that there is nothing. All I could do it pray that you can get well soon. I wish I could protect you from all harmful things, including viruses. But I can’t. I feel so helpless, sitting here, writing this letter. I just wish that I could do something to help…It pains me so much to know that you are in pain. I just hope that your sickness will go away soon.
Love,
Your Secret Lover

Jenny stared at the handwriting. “How does he know that I’m sick?” she wondered. She felt like the whole world knew or something. First, the guy in the handkerchief knows, and now, this guy knows too?!
And then a thought occurred to her. “Wait a minute…Could these two guys be the same person??…… Of course!”
She couldn’t believe she hadn’t made this connection before. She started to get these letters when she was in the sixth grade. And the the guy in the blue handkercheif started to save her from things since she was in the sixth grade…
She smiled at her discovery, “I can’t believe I didn’t figure it out till now!”

Part V

*NOTE* The guy in the handkerchief: I decided to add this note because I realized that this might be difficult for some people to visualize. When I say that he has a handkerchief over his head, covering most of his face, I mean that he has his handkerchief like that of how H.O.T had it on. Remember during their Wolf and Sheep stage, how Moon HeeJun and Jang WooHyuk came out w/the handkerchiefs covering preactically their whole head? That’s what I mean. And I’m sorry for jocking this off of H.O.T in a Jekki story, but I once saw Jekki do this also. So I hope you understand now. ^_^
A few days later

Jenny had walked to the near by liquor store to buy herself some slurpee on the hot day. She was all well again, so her mother was actually letting her do things like this. But she made her quit her job at Burger King when she found out. Mrs. Lee claimed that it was a “disgrace” to the family. But Jenny didn’t mind quitting because recently, her uncle had given her a lot of money for her graduation. Now she had enough to pay Jiyong back for her brother’s watch.

Jenny walked home with the slurpee in one hand and a hotdog in the other. The sun was directly over her head and the day seemed incredibly bright. Jenny started wishing she had brought her sunglasses out with her.

As her house soon came into view, Jenny decided to stop for a minute and take a bite out of her hotdog. She put as much chili that she could fit, so the delicious smell was beckoning her to taste it. It was so good that she took another bite. Then another, and another. Soon, she had finished the whole thing, right in the middle of the street.

She took a big and satisfying gulp of the slurpee, and looked up towards her house. To her pleasant surprise, she saw JaeDuc walking over to her house. She decided to wave and call to him that she was right behind him. But she stopped herself when she saw him acting a little strange.

Jaeduc tiptoed his way towards the house. He constantly looked to his right, then to his left, to make sure that no one was watching. When he saw that the coast was clear, or so he thought, he slyly took out something from his pocket and shoved it in the mailbox. Then he ran away as fast as he could, never looking back.

Jenny was confused. “What was that all about??” she wondered to herself. She quickly walked over to her mailbox and reached her hand inside. She took out a sealed white envelope. It was addressed to “JENNY LEE.”

Jenny turned pale. She couldn’t believe what she just saw. She clutched the envelope in a state of shock. For six years, she had been getting these love letters, and she had always daydreamed about who this “Secret Lover” could possibly be. Her lips trembled. Suddenly, she didn’t want to open the letter.
“This can’t be true!” she said aloud to herself. “I..I..How could this happen?!”

She opened the front door of her house and ran up the stairs. JaeJin saw her and tried to say hi. But she didn’t even look at him. Her face had turned bright red and she was trying to avoid eye contact with him. She just stared at the ground as the entered her room. Jenny put the sealed envelope on her desk. She didn’t want to open it because she knew exactly what was inside. Jaeduc was like a brother to Jenny and she never thought of him in any different way. This was too weird for her, she really didn’t know what to do!

Jaejin watched his sister slam the door in his face.
“I wonder what’s bothering her…?”
And then a thought occurred to him. “What if she’s getting bugged by guys again?!” He knew from experience that Jenny only got THAT embarrassed, enough not to be able to have eye contact, when there was a guy involved. This frustrated him a LOT. He went to Jenny’s door to knock on it. But he didn’t because he was afraid that she might get mad at him for butting in. “After all, I’m only her brother…” he thought to himself.

Jaejin headed downstairs to the living room and saw that the dishes were piled high.
“Ugh!” he grimaced. He hated doing the dishes, but he knew that he had to. “This is not right for a guy like myself to always be doing these things!” he thought helplessly to himself. But deep down, he knew that he shouldn’t complain so he picked up the gloves and put them on.

As he did the dishes, his mind kept wandering about Jenny. He was starting to get really curious about what or who made her act that way?? He wished that guys would stop bothering her like they did. All her life, guys had been all over his little sister, so he couldn’t help but be overprotective. And he knew well that Jenny was beautiful. Even if she didn’t try at all, her natural beauty was always excessively flowing. Especially from her beautiful eyes.

Jaejin started to remember all those times he had to save her from those guys that just refused to leave the poor girl alone. Even when she was very young, it was like that. He especially remembered this one time…

Jenny was walking home in tears. Jaejin saw her and quickly ran over to her.
“Whats wrong, Jenny??” he demanded to know.
“Nothing…” she said as she stared at the floor. Jaejin knew well what this meant.
“Is it that one kid who kept calling you ‘frog eyes’?” he asked. “I always suspected he had a crush on you!!”
“No, it’s not that..” Jenny trailed off. She walked away because she didn’t know how she would tell him such a thing like this….

The next day, after school, Jaejin walked towards Jenny’s elementary school to walk her home. He felt weird as he passed by all the little girls staring and pointing at him. They giggled and smiled and blushed at him. He frowned. He didn’t like all this attention, so he hurried on his way.

On his way, something caught his attention. He was overhearing a conversation.
“Hehe, hey pretty girl…” some boy’s voice said. “Won’t you tell us your name?”
“Yeah, c’mon! I swear, we don’t bite!” said another.
“Get away from me!” a girl’s voice said very meekly.

This alarmed Jaejin. He knew that voice well, it was Jenny! He tried to find where these voices were coming from.

“Awww, give us a chance…” said the boy again.
“Don’t touch me!” Jenny said passionately.
“Why, you little!” said the boy. This was followed by a slapping noise and Jenny’s cry of pain.

After desparately trying to locate this conversation, Jaejin finally found them. There was a group of three guys surrounding Jenny, who was now lying on the ground after they hit her. Jaejin recognized the guys from his own middle school. They were all older than he was, not to mention bigger in size. But Jaejin didn’t care. He was furious!!

Jaejin picked up a thick wooden stick from the ground and snuck up behind the three guys. He chose the biggest of them all and whacked him on the side with all his might. The big guy fell to his knees as he cried out in pain. The other two guys turned around in surprise. Jaejin had broken the stick so he threw the little stubb of what was left of it on the ground.

“Get him!!” cried the biggest one that was still kneeling and grabbing his side. The two other guys started closing up on Jaejin. Jaejin looked around for any more wooden sticks that he can use, but he found none. Soon, the two guys had cornered Jaejin. And one of the guys swung at him. But Jaejin ducked and his fist landed on the brick wall behind him.

“Owww!!” the guy cried out.
Jaejin took this chance to kick the other guy. After he did this, Jaejin swung and punched him too. When Jaejin saw that the guy who had punched the wall had recoverd from his pain, Jaejin quickly pushed him on the other guy and ran away. He ran towards Jenny, who was still lying on the ground. She had fainted after they hit her.

But now the biggest guy was up again. Jaejin hesitated. He started to feel scared and his heart began to pound. With all his might, Jaejin swung at the big guy and puched him in his stomach. But the guy didn’t move at all. It didn’t seem to have hurt him in the least bit.

The big guy grinned. This was the part he liked the best. He slowly brought his arm back to swing his mighty fist at Jaejin.

But before the big guy knew it, Jaejin had picked up another wooden board off the floor and slammed it into his knees.

“Aahhh!!!!” the big guy cried out.

Jaejin took this chance and quickly grabbed Jenny and picked her up. With her in his arms, he ran as fast as he could away from those guys. When he saw that they were no longer in sight, he laid Jenny down on the ground to catch his breath. He wiped his sweat off and sighed in relief. “WHEW!!!”

Jaejin stared at Jenny lying on the floor. She was always getting into trouble like this…Jaejin wished that he could always be there to protect her… The world was so dangerous for such a pretty and helpless girl to live in.

Jaejin vowed to himself that from that day on, he’ll always protect his sister from things like this. Even if it meant that he had to follow her around wherever she went…

Jaejin was in the 7th grade when this happened. And after this incident, he got into many fist fights with those three guys. And after awhile, Jaejin started getting good at fighting, much to Jenny’s dissapointment. She hated it when occasionally, Jaejin would come home with a black eye or a bloody nose. Once he even came home with his arm bleeding from what looked like a knife slash. Jenny always worried about the safety of her brother. She had no clue that it was because of her he’d get into fights. Jaejin never told Jenny of that incident that never seemed to leave his mind…

Part VI

The next day
Jenny couldn’t stop thinking about Jaeduc. All these years, he had been treating her like his own little sister. If he really was in love with her, then why did he never show it? Why has he kept this to himself all this time, she wondered.

She held the sealed envelope carrying the letter in her hand. For some reason, she didn’t want to open it. But her curiousity outweighed this feeling, so she carefully tore open the seal.

Dear Jenny,
I couldn’t stop thinking about you again… You are on my mind every hour of the day. I wish you knew how much I really care about you. To me, you are everything, since the first time I ever saw you. I sometimes wish that I was brave enough to tell you in person my feelings for you. But when I see you walk by, I get too nervous. I wish one day, though, you will love me as much as I love you.
Love,
Your Secret Lover

As Jenny finished up reading the letter, Jiyong walked into Jenny’s room. Seeing him, Jenny quickly shoved the letter back into the envelope and tried to hide it from him. Jiyong noticed this and eyed her suspiciously.

“What are you hiding under there?” he asked.
“Huh, what? Oh nothing… It’s just my….It’s a letter from a friend,” she tried to explain and smiled innocently.
“Then why are you hiding it from me?”
“I’m not- Uh… you see, it’s kind of private,” she said.
“Oh…”
“Hey, how come you never knock when you come in here??” Jenny tried to change the subject.
“What? But I’m your boyfriend, I don’t have to knock!!” said Jiyong.
“What??” Jenny couldn’t believe he just said that. “Yes you DO have to knock! What if I was changing or something??”
“So, you’ve seen ME changing before, why can’t I see YOU??” he asked.

Jiyong was joking around but Jenny didn’t find anything funny.
“I’m SERIOUS. Knock before you come in here next time, ok?” she told him.
“What do you have that’s so big of a secret, that you can’t tell me, anyway?” asked Jiyong.
“Nothing, ok?!”

There was an uncomfortable silence.
“You know, Jenny, I hate how you keep everything to yourself,” said Jiyong. “I’m your boyfriend now, but it still seems like we’re total strangers or something..”
Jenny stayed quiet.
“We never even talk to each other…” Jiyong continued. “I’m not even sure you still like me…”
Jenny didn’t know what to say. She wasn’t sure if she still liked him either. It seemed like they got together at a time when she wasn’t so sure of her feelings. She thought she loved him, but he was right… They acted like total strangers sometimes.
“… Do you still like ME?” asked Jenny meekly.
Now it was Jiyong’s turn to stay silent. He didn’t know how to answer either. He thought that he really liked her a lot. But sometimes, she could be so cold towards him that he’d get so confused.

Jenny understood why Jiyong was silent. And even though he didn’t answer her in words, she knew perfectly well what he meant.
“…I think that we shouldn’t be together anymore,” she said.
“Yeah, me too,” said Jiyong.
“In the beginning, I hated you. And later, when I started to see that you weren’t the horrible monster that I pictured you to be, I guess I mixed up my feelings and thought I was in love…” she said.
“Yeah, when I first saw you, I thought you were the prettiest girl I ever saw,” said Jiyong.
Jenny blushed.
“But later, I thought you were a total brat. And when you started changing and showing a little interest in me, I couldn’t resist, I guess..” he told her.
Jenny nodded. Now, everything seemed perfectly clear. She liked how they were being totally honest with each other.

“So we’re not together anymore, right?” asked Jenny.
“I guess not,” shrugged Jiyong with a smile. Jenny smiled back.
“NOW will you tell me what you’re hiding under there?” asked Jiyong.
“No! This is still very private. Meh-rong!” Jenny stuck out her tongue. “Besides, you didn’t knock before you came in so I’m mad at you,” she joked.
“Fine then!” Jiyong walked out and closed the door behind him. Then he knocked on the door.
“Who is it?” Jenny asked.
“It’s Jiyong, your ex,” said Jiyong. “Can I come in?”
“No! Don’t come in! I’m changing!!” Jenny joked.
Jiyong stuck his head in and made a funny face. Jenny laughed and threw a stuffed animal at him. To avoid getting hit, he closed the door.

Jenny chuckled. She liked him a lot better now that they weren’t together anymore. She felt a lot more comfortable now.

There was another knock on the door.
“Don’t come in! I’m still changing!” Jenny yelled out.
“Oh, ok,” said the person outside the door. But it wasn’t Jiyong like Jenny thought. It was Jaejin. Jenny quickly got up and opened the door and found him going back down the stairs.

“Wait! Oppa!! I was just kidding,” Jenny called out to him.
Jaejin frowned, “Nice scense of humor.”
Jenny laughed. “Shuttup! My dream is to become a comedian one day!”
Jaejin made a motion like he was skiing.
“What are you doing??” Jenny asked him.
“I’m skiing!”
“What? Why?” asked Jenny.
“Nuh moo sullung heh suh!!!” Jaejin answered.
Jenny laughed. He could be so silly sometimes.
“Here,” said Jaejin handing her an envelope. “It’s from Jaeduc.”
Jenny took it and saw that it was addressed to “JENNY LEE.”
“He told you to give this to me?!” asked Jenny alarmed.
“No, but he left it in the mailbox and I saw him running away,” said Jaejin. “I was like, ‘Dang, I guess that boy needs to pee or something!!’”
Jenny laughed nervously and slipped back into her room.

Jaejin curiously watched her go. He wondered why she was being so secretive lately..He didn’t want to butt in so he reluctantly left. “After all, I’m only her brother…” he kept thinking.

Jaejin stepped out of the airport and took a deep breath of the air. It seemed so much clearer than the air back at home in Pusan, Korea. He was seven years old.

The nice man next to him smiled and walked him over to the parking lot. He opened his car door and Jaejin climbed in.
“You’re gonna like it here in America,” said the man.
Jaejin nodded politely, but he doubted very much that he would like this place. He already missed his home so much already. He had to leave all his friends behind. He missed his mother too. He wished she never got into that car accident…He wished she were with him now.

The man noticed Jaejin was crying so he tried his best to comfort him.
“Your mother is in a better place now. And she’s watching over you now to make sure you’re safe.”
Jaejin didn’t reply. He heard this lecture more than 100 times already. Everyone acted like they cared so much. But he knew no one would ever understand. “Even if this man DID once know mom, it’s not as if he’s my dad or anything..”” he thought to himself.

They soon pulled up into the driveway. The man led him inside the two story home. He showed Jaejin where his new room was and Jaejin was delighted when he saw is big bed. (He didn’t have a bed back at home.) He went to go jump on the soft cushions of the bed. He was having so much fun, forgetting about how much he didn’t like coming to America.

But his fun didn’t last long. Someone grabbed him by the waist and picked him up off the bed. Jaejin was surprised by this and turned around to see who it was. It was a lady that looked very angry.

“It’s not polite to jump on beds, young man!” she scolded him.
“You’ll break the whole piece of furniture and not to mention create a lot of dust…”
“Honey, give the little guy a break,” said the man that brought Jaejin to the house.
“Why?” asked the woman. “Why should I give him a break. He’s about to live here for the rest of his life and WE who are perfect strangers to the little rascal has to take care of him!! WE who are always struggling because of financial difficulties. WE who already have three children of our own to take care of. I mean, I just don’t understand why he wasn’t sent to his relatives…I….” said the lady.

“He has no known relatives…” said the man.
“I know, you told me…” The lady looked like she was almost in tears.
Jaejin saw this and took a tissue from the tissue box and handed it to her. The woman snatched it from him and gave him a dirty look.
“Mommie!” cried a voice from outside his room. “I’m home from school!”
A little girl came skipping into Jaejin’s room. She had a cute little dress on and her hair was in neat braids. She had huge eyes and a little button nose.

Jaejin looked at the little girl in awe. She was the prettiest girl he ever saw. She looked so sweet too. When she saw the newcomer, she smiled warmly at him and asked, “Who are you?” in the sweetest voice Jaejin ever heard.

“I’m Jaejin,” he said shyly.
“Hi, Jaejin. I’m Jenny,” she said as she held out her hand for him to shake. Jaejin nervously took the hand and shook it.

The woman was watching this and got alarmed. She recently had been getting recurring nightmares about her daughter marrying an orphan when she grew up. Her daughter, Jenny was the most important person to this woman. And even though they weren’t so rich themselves, one thing she wanted for her daughter was for her to get married into a very rich family. She couldn’t stand the thought of her daughter and this little boy ever having those kinds of feelings for each other. She had to act quick.

“Jenny,” the woman said hastily, “This is your brother.”
“My brother?” asked Jenny in awe.
Jaejin and the man also were very surprised.
“Honey, what are you doing?” asked the man. The woman gave him a nudge in the stomach and whispered, “I’ll explain later.”

“This,” said the woman, bending down towards the two kids, “Is your brother, Lee JaeJin. He just came from Korea. He was living with your aunt, but he’ll be living with us from now on.”

Jaejin was confused. He couldn’t figure out what was going on. He was going to protest and tell Jenny that he really wasn’t her brother, but the woman interrupted him and gave him a stern look.

“Wow, you’re my brother?” asked Jenny.
Jaejin looked at the woman who looked nervously back at him.
“Yeah, I’m glad we finally met,” said Jaejin sadly. He vaguely understood why he had to lie to this beautiful angel.
br> “Oh well,” Jaejin thought to himself. “Atleast this way, I can always be close to her. And at least I know that she will love me, even though it’s not the same way that I love her…” 

Part VII

Jenny nervously opened the envelope containing the love letter. She never thought of JaeDuc as more than her brother before. He had always been so kind to her and was such a joker… She liked him so much…. But did she like him in that way? She couldn’t figure out her feelings.

All this time, she had been dreaming of this guy who sent her these love letters. She imagined them meeting one day and falling in love. What he wrote in the letters were always so sweet and caring. Jenny also thought of all the times that this guy saved her from danger. She felt like she owed him her life. But this isn’t some mysterious guy that she didn’t know anymore. “It was JaeDuc all this time…” she said to herself.

She unfolded the letter and read it.

Dear Jenny,
If you only loved me like I love you, then my heart wouldn’t ache like this. It feels like someone’s taking my heart and crumpling it up. I hate waking up everday, knowing that you’re not mine. And I don’t know why I’m so dumb…. I wish I had enough courage to just tell you that “I love you” in person. But I can’t. I keep thinking, “What if she doesn’t feel anything for me? What if she turns me down?” If that does happen, I don’t know what I’d do. My heart’s being crumpled now, but atleast it’s not being broken.
Love,
Your Secret Lover

Jenny didn’t know what to think anymore. She had no idea that JaeDuc loved her THAT much. Suddenly, an overwhelming feeling of guilt penetrated her body.
“For six years, JaeDuc had been writing these love letters and saving me from danger,” she thought out loud. “And I never ever showed any interest towards him in that way… No wonder he feels like his heart is being crumpled up.”
She became sad, as if she felt all of Jaeduc’s sorrow and frustration. She didn’t want to make him feel sad anymore….

The next day

Jenny got up in the morning and looked at the clock. It was already noon. She had been up late last night because she couldn’t stop thinking about Jaeduc. After she washed up, she went downstairs where she found the three guys (Jaejin, JiYong, and JaeDuc) eating some ramyun. At the sight of JaeDuc, Jenny’s heart suddenly started to pound.

“Jenny! You’re finally up,” said Jaejin.
“Yah, jahm-kkoo-ruhghee,” said Jiyong, “Come here and eat with us. JaeDuc hyung made us some ramyun.”
“But I wish I didn’t let him,” said Jaejin. “The ramyun is too bboo-ruh-ssuh.”
“If you don’t like it, I’ll eat it all,” said JaeDuc.

Jenny went and sat down at the table between Jiyong and Jaejin. She chose this seat because she was too nervous to be too close to Jaeduc. But she found herself face to face with him since he was directly across from her.

JaeDuc stood up and got a bowl and some chopsticks. He piled a heap full of ramyun and gave it to Jenny.
“Thanks,” she said and ate the ramyun slowly. Jaejin was right, it was boo-ruh-ssuh.
“Didn’t I make it good?” asked Jaeduc.
Jenny didn’t know how to answer.
“See!” said JaeJin. “It’s so gross that she’s speechless.”
“Muh?” Jaeduc asked.
“What?” said Jiyong. “I think it’s good. Better than your’s, hyung!” he told Jaejin.
“I know!” said JaeDuc. “As a punishment for insulting my cooking, you have to do the dishes.”
“Naw, man! I’m not doing the dishes! You do it,” said Jaejin.
At the mention of dishes, Jiyong said, “Oops, gotta run. Thanx for the meal.” And he ran up the stairs.
“Hey, wait for me!” said Jaejin. But Jaeduc blocked his way.

“I’ll do the dishes,” said Jenny. The two guys looked surprised at Jenny.
“No, it’s alright. I’ll do the dishes,” said Jaejin.
“No, no. I’ll do it,” said Jaeduc.
“Ok,” said Jaejin and he bolted for his room.
“Eesh,” said Jaeduc, “He’s supposed to say ‘No, I’ll do it.’”

“It’s all right,” said Jenny. “I can do the dishes.”
Jaeduc looked at her and said, “Then we’ll BOTH do the dishes. You can help me.”
Jenny couldn’t refuse.
“I’ll soap and you rinse,” he said.

After they were done with the dishes (which they did in complete silence), JaeDuc thanked Jenny.
“What? You don’t have to thank me, I should thank YOU,” she said. JaeDuc just stared back at Jenny. He couldn’t help but stare at her, because she had the most beautiful eyes. Jenny just stared back at him. It seemed to her like she could read his mind now. The look that he was giving her was so loving and caring…

Jenny’s hand reached out towards Jaeduc’s hand. She gently folded her fingers over his. JaeDuc’s heart started beating. “What is she doing??” he thought to himself.

Jenny wanted to tell JaeDuc that she knew who her secret lover was. She opened her mouth to say it. But just then, Jiyong came down the stairs.
“Hey, are you two done with the-” Jiyong stopped short when he saw that they were holding hands.
Jaeduc turned his head towards him. And as if he just remembered something, he quickly took his hand away from Jenny’s and tried to say something.
“I’m sorry, I was just….” But he didn’t know what to say. He just walked over to the door and opened it to leave.
“I… I’m sorry, I gotta go,” and he left.

“Wait!” she said, but it was too late. “Why is he leaving so quickly?” she said out loud.
“I think that he thinks we’re still together,” said Jiyong.
Jenny looked at Jiyong. He was right.
“Mind telling me what’s going on between you two?” he asked with a friendly voice. Jenny didn’t know how to explain. She just gave Jiyong a confused look.
“I don’t know, I just…….” she said.
Jiyong laughed, “It’s ok, just tell me later.” He went back up the stairs to his room.

The next day, more like…the next night

Jenny was walking to the parking lot of the mall. Suddenly, a big guy ran by her, knocking her down on accident as he did. He didn’t bother to give any apologies because he was in a big hurry.

Seeing her on the ground, the guy with the handkerchief ran over to her to helped her up.
“Are you ok?” he asked.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Nothing happened,” Jenny said.
“That’s good,” he said. He felt ridiculous. He saw that there was no need for him to come over to her. He was often very paranoid, so he acted on instinct to go over to Jenny, no matter how big, or small, the danger threatened to be.
“I guess I’ll be leaving now…” he said. “You brought your car, right?”
Jenny nodded and he began to leave.

“Wait!” she said calling out to him. “I never thanked you for all those times you’ve saved me. I owe you so much…”
“No. You owe me nothing,” he said and turned to leave again.
“Hold on!” Jenny grabbed his hand and made him face her. “Why are you always running away? Why did you run away like that yesterday?”
The guy in the handkerchief stayed silent.

“I….understand….I know who you are,” Jenny said.
The guy became alarmed. “You do??” he asked, “Since when??”
“I found out a few days ago.”
“I’m sorry Jenny, I guess I should have told you before, who I am…”
“It’s ok,” she said. “Shhhh…”
Jenny leaned closer to the guy. The guy froze. He didn’t know what to do. His conscience was telling him that he should run away right now. But his heart didn’t let him. He found himself gently leaning towards her too.

Jenny’s lips pressed softly against his. He kissed her back so tenderly and so lovingly. Jenny wanted to stay in his arms forever.

Jenny pulled away softly and reached for his handkerchief. She figured, “He doesn’t need this anymore.”
But the guy backed off firmly when he saw that she was reaching for his handkerchief.

“I…. I gotta go….” he said. He turned around and ran away as fast as he could.
“Wait!” Jenny called after him. “Don’t go!”
But he was out of her sight already.

Part VIII

A week passed and Jenny didn’t see a trace of JaeDuc. It seemed as if he was trying to avoid her or something. Jenny thought about the look on his face when she held his hand. And their kiss had been so tender… Jenny really wanted to see him again. But he hadn’t come over to her house since that day. And Jenny couldn’t bring herself to call him because she thought it would be best if she let him think or whatever it is that he’s doing right now.

Jiyong came into the kitchen where Jenny was.
“What are you doing?” he asked her.
“Just fixing myself a sandwich,” she answered. “Want one?”
“Yeah, I’m hungry,” he said. “Man! Good thing your mom goes to work everyday. She’d freak out if she saw her little gongju cooking!”
Jenny nodded. Her mom WOULD freak out. But Jenny really liked to cook sometimes. It was kind of fun, especially since she never got the chance to do it.

“Hey, where’s Jaejin hyung anyway?” asked Jiyong. “I haven’t seen him around in awhile. I miss his cooking. Yum.”
“He’s probably at his dance studio. He’s been practicing a lot lately.”
“Yeah, probably,” said Jiyong. “And I bet JaeDuc hyung is with him. I haven’t seen him around in a whole week.”
Jenny started at the mention of JaeDuc, “Yeah, he’s probably dancing too.”

Jiyong noticed Jenny’s face change color.
“JaeDuc hyung is sometimes so shy when it comes to girls,” he said. “I bet he’s avoiding you, isn’t he?”
“What? No, of course not! Why would he do that?” Jenny tried to act dumb.
“Oh come on, you can tell me! I know that you two have been… um.. interested in each other lately.”

Jenny eyed Jiyong. But Jiyong looked back at her with so much friendliness that Jenny felt that she could tell him what she was feeling.
“Well, I guess you could say that we’ve been ‘interested’ in each other,” she admitted.
“Now the truth comes out!” Jiyong sat upright to hear all the juicy details.
Jenny smirked at his eagerness.

“Well, you see…JaeDuc oppa has…uh…..has been giving me these love letters.”
“LOVE LETTERS??” Jiyong was about to crack up. “Never knew he was such a ladies man.”
“He’s been giving them to me since I was in sixth grade.”
“Woa! It’s even more serious than I thought.”
Jenny punched Jiyong on the arm. “Will you stop? I’m serious here!”
“Ouch! Ok, ok…Yeah, he was in love with you for six years, and?”
“Well, I only recently found out it was him who was sending me these letters. And not only did he send me love letters, but whenever I was in trouble…I know this is gonna sound strange, but-he would rescue me.”
Jiyong nodded in contemplation.
“He’d put himself in danger to save me everytime…”
“So he wrote you secret love letters AND he protected you from harm? Geez, he’s got it bad for you!!”
“Well, I thought he loved me too..”
“But?”
“But, you know how you said that he probably thinks that you and me are still together?”
“Yeah,”
“Well, I really think that’s true. You see, we kissed a few nights back…”
“Woa! now it’s starting to get good.”
Jenny gave him a look that seemed to be saying, “Kka bool jee ma.”
“ANYWAY, right after we kissed, he ran away. And he’s been avoiding me ever since.”
“You really like him too, don’t you?” asked Jiyong.
“Yeah. His letters are so sweet…And I feel like I owe him my life, he has saved me so many times…I want to repay him… with my love.” Jenny stared off into space thinking of all those times that he saved her. She remembered how he kissed her back that night. It was with all his heart.

JaeJin and JaeDuc were taking a break from their dance practice. Both of them were drenched in sweat. They sat on the floor, taking in big breaths of air, and gulping down the water from the water bottles.

One of the other Quicksilver members looked at the clock. It was 9:00 at night.
“I think I’m gonna go home. My mom’s been nagging at me for coming home so late this past week.”
“Yeah, me too,” said the other member. They both grabbed their stuff and left.

But Jaejin and Jaeduc didn’t move. They have been going home around one or two everyday and they were planning to do the same tonight. They both had so much on their minds. And their only way to cope with the stress was to dance.

But Jaejin was feeling a little guilty towards his bestfriend. They had known each other for six years now, but they still kept so much from each other.

“I have something that I gotta tell you,” said Jaejin.
“Yeah, I have to tell you something too,” replied Jaeduc.
“You first,” said Jaejin.
“No, you go first,” said JaeDuc, convinced that his news was the more shocking.
Jaejin shook his head, wiping off his sweat, “You.”

The two of them each grapped another water bottle and gulped it down. JaeDuc cleared his throat. “I’m in love with Jenny,” he said.
But at the same time, Jaejin blurted, “I’m not Jenny’s brother.”
The two looked at each other in shock. “WHAT?!” they shouted simultaneously.

“What do you mean your not Jenny’s brother??” Jaeduc asked.
“I mean, I’m not related to her in any way.”
Jaeduc was in complete shock. “Then how come you call each other brother and sister?”
“Jenny doesn’t know that I’m not her brother,” said Jaejin. “I’m the only one in the family that’s not related to the rest. The only people who know are her parents and myself.”
“How did this happen, I mean…Why are you living with total strangers then?? And why are you lying to Jenny that you’re her brother??”
“When my real mom died, I had nowhere else to go,” said Jaejin. “And for some reason, Jenny’s mom wanted everyone to think that I’m just a long lost son or something. I’m not really sure why.” Jaejin told him.

Jaeduc thought about it. It DID sometimes seem as if something was wrong in the Lee household. He noticed before how neglected Jaejin was. He was always the one to cook and do the chores. And Mrs. Lee never bought him a much needed car, even though she bought everyone else a car. No wonder Jaejin said, after they graduated from high school, that he didn’t want to college. It was probably because Mrs. Lee didn’t want to spend money on his education.

“So that’s my secret. You can’t tell anybody about this. Especially Jenny.”
“Ok, I won’t.” said JaeDuc.

“Now explain to me your secret. What? You’re in love with Jenny??” asked Jaejin.
“Yeah,” Jaeduc said. “Remember the first time we met?”
“Who, you and me??”
“Yeah. You know how I was in front of your house?”
“Yeah.”
“Well, it was because I followed Jenny home that day.” Jaeduc admitted.
“…So you had a crush on her since way back then?”
“Yeah. And I’ve been writing her these love letters. I think she recently found out that it was me who sent them to her.”
Jaejin remembered that day when he gave Jenny the letter saying that it was from Jaeduc.

“I think she likes me back.” said JaeDuc.
Jaejin’s lip twitched slightly.
“But I thought she was still with Jiyong.”
“…They broke up.” said Jaejin.
“They did??” asked Jaeduc happily. “Now all I need is your permission to date her. But since you’re really not her brother, I don’t need you’re permission.” He chuckled.
Jaejin stayed silent.

JaeDuc patted Jaijin’s back. “Let’s go home! I feel a lot better.”
“You go first. I think I’ll stay and practice some more.”
“Ok, see you tomorrow.” JaeDuc left and accidentally turned off the lights. He was so happy that he forgot little things such as that.
Jaejin sat alone in the darkness. The only light was the from the street lamp that shone through the window. The light beam gleamed through the dark room. At the end of the beam, Jaejin’s hand supported his heavy body as he sat on the floor. On his wrist, his watch twinkled from the light.

Part IX

Jenny opened her closet. There was absolutely nothing to wear!
“Hurry up Jenny!!” called Jiyong from the hallway. Jiyong had been wanting to introduce Jenny to his new girlfriend, YoungHi.
“Wait, hold on!” Jenny yelled back.
“What’s taking you so long?!” asked Jiyong, peering inside Jenny’s room.
“I don’t know what to wear,” said Jenny.
“Just wear anything!”
“But I really don’t have anything at all!”

Jiyong barged into her room in frustration. He looked in her closet to choose an outfit for her. ‘Girls can be so picky!’ he thought to himself.
But when he swung the closet door wide open, his eyes almost popped out. The closet was completely empty! From no where, a tumbleweed passed by.

“Heh, you’re right. You really don’t have anything to wear,” said Jiyong.
Jenny quickly closed the closet door in embarrassment, “I’ll just borrow something from Jaejin oppa.”

Jenny opened the door to Jaejin’s room. She walked over to his closet and took out one of his shirts and put it on. She went to her room where Jiyong was. At the sight of her, Jiyong burst into laughter. She looked absolutely ridiculous in JaeJin’s humongous shirt.

“You know what?” suggested Jiyong, trying to control his laughter, “Let’s go shopping real quick before we go.”
Jenny pouted unhappily as her face reddened, “I only have three bucks.”
“I’ll buy you something,” said Jiyong.
Jenny hesitated. Even though she wanted to accept his offer, she didn’t know if she should.
“Umm, it’s alright. I’ll just meet YoungHi another day,” she said sadly.
But Jiyong grabbed her wrist and dragged her out, “Come on!”

Jiyong tugged on many shopping bags that seemed to be overwhelmingly heavy. Jenny felt incredibly guilty. Jiyong had bought every single outfit that Jenny tried on.
“I swear, I’ll pay you back once I have some money, ok?” she told him.
“No, that’s all right. My mom recently sent me a grip of money. I’m loaded right now so tell me if you want anything else.”
Jenny frowned and looked at the outfit she had on that moment. It was the only one she was going to ask Jiyong to buy for her. But he went and practically bought the whole store. Jenny didn’t know how she was going to pay him back.

Jiyong’s pager started ringing.
“Oh. That must be YoungHi. Dang! It’s already 3:30! I told her we’d be there by 3:00!”
“Go call her, she must be worried right now,” said Jenny.
“Ok, I’ll be right back, ok?” Jiyong crossed the street to go find a pay phone. He took all the shopping bags with him.

Jenny stood alone on the street sidewalk. She turned around and faced the store window that was behind her. She looked at her reflection and thought to herself, ‘I wonder if Jaeduc oppa would like me in this outfit.’ She smiled at the thought of him and twirled herself in front her reflection. Suddenly, something inside the store caught her eye. She went inside.

She grabbed a navy blue handkerchief that was displayed on the counter. She saw the price sign that said it was $3.00. Jenny had to buy it. It reminded her of Jaeduc oppa so much. She slightly laughed to herself and took out her wallet.

Jenny walked out of the store happily. She played with the handkerchief, wrapping it around her head and around her arm. She decided to cross the street to find Jiyong, still playing with her new handkerchief.

As she was crossing the street, she heard a long honk of a car. Jenny looked up and saw a car speeding towards her. She froze at the sight of the car. Her legs seemed to be stuck in the asphalt. She couldn’t even manage to scream. She just stared, horrified, knowing that she was going to be hit.

But before she knew it, someone pushed her out of the way with so much force. She went tumbling on the ground, but she was safely out of the way. But everything wasn’t so safe as she hoped. Jenny heard a shrill scream.

Jenny picked herself up and rushed over to the crowd.
“Call the ambulence!!” someone shouted.
Jenny pushed her way through. When she saw who it was, lying unconscience on the ground, she screamed, “JAE DUC OPPA!!” She rushed to the side of the guy in the navy blue handkerchief. Tears streamed down her face.

“Wake up, oppa!” she shook his body helplessly.
Jiyong pushed his way through the crowd. When he saw who the center of the attention, he quickly kneeled next to Jenny and held her hand tight.
Jenny wailed, “OPPA!!”

When the ambulence came, the men pushed their way through and came to the spot where he was lying. Jiyong helped them put the body on the stretch bed. Jenny got up and followed them, still pouring out with tears.

One of the ambulence men reached for the handkerchief and pulled it off. At that moment, Jenny’s heart seemed to stop. All the blood rushed out of her face. She stared in shock at the uncovered face with her jaw locked open. Chills ran throughout her entire body as the tears stopped flowing on her tear-streaken face. She couldn’t breathe.

The face under the handkerchief wasn’t Jaeduc’s, as Jenny thought. It was JaeJin.

Part X

Jenny’s face was as still as stone as she stared off into space while waiting in the hospital lounge. The only motion that was made was the everflowing drops of tears that fell from her painful eyes.
“JaeJin oppa…” she repeated over and over to herself in her state of shock.

Jiyong came to sit next to her. He brought with him a cup of water and handed it to Jenny. But she didn’t seem to notice. She just stared blankly into space. Jiyong didn’t know what to do. He put the cup down and tucked Jenny’s hair behind her ears for her. Jiyong wished he could do something to comfort the poor girl.

At that moment, Jaeduc came to them. He had been talking to the doctor. When seeing him, Jiyong stood up.
“What did he tell you? Is Jaejin hyung all right??”
“Yeah, he’s still alive, thank God,” said Jaeduc. “His skull was a little fractured, but nothing serious. The doctor says he’ll be fine in no time. But he’s not sure when he’ll wake up from his coma.”
Jiyong nodded.
“Is Mr. and Mrs. Lee here?” asked Jaeduc.
“I called and Mr. Lee’s on his way here,” said Jiyong.

“…Jaejin oppa…” murmured Jenny.
The two guys looked at Jenny sadly.
“She’s been like that the whole time,” said Jiyong. “Hyung, see if you can snap her out of it. I’m gonna go call to see if Jerry’s home yet. Do you think I should call James hyung too?” (note: Jerry and James are Jenny’s siblings. Jerry = 1 year younger than Jenny, James = 1 yr older than Jaejin. James is in college so he’s not home much.)
“Yeah, try calling his apartment too,” answered Jaeduc.

After Jiyong left, Jaeduc tried to comfort Jenny.
“It’s all right, Jenny. Jaejin’s ok. He’s doing good and the doctor says he’ll be up in no time.”
Jenny turned around and faced Jaeduc. She gave a wild, almost hysterical, look and started vomiting on the floor of the hospital. Jaeduc jumped up and patted her back. Some janitors came and cleaned the mess up. Jenny was led to the bathroom by a nurse. When she came back, Jaeduc handed her a cup of water.

Jenny took it and drank it up.
“I kissed him,” Jenny managed to spit the words out.
“What??” asked Jaeduc. He didn’t know what Jenny was talking about.
“I kissed my own brother! I mean, we REALLY kissed. I thought it was you, but it wasn’t you at all. It was my own brother!!”
“Woah, slow down,” Jaeduc tried to understand what the heck she was saying. “You kissed him thinking it was me??”
“He had his face covered up, so I thought it was you!!” Jenny covered her face with her hands and started sobbing.

Jaeduc understood why Jenny was so shocked now. She still thought Jaejin was her brother. Jaeduc knew that he had to tell her. If he didn’t, she might go insane. =P

“There’s something that you don’t know, Jenny,” Jaeduc said.
Jenny still sat with her hands covering her face.
“Jaejin isn’t your brother.”

The whole world seem to stop at that instant as Jaeduc said those words. Jenny froze and chills ran throughout her whole body. She lifted her face and stared wide-eyed at Jaeduc.
“What?!!!” she exclaimed under her breath.
“He’s not related to you in any way. Your parents had three children, not four.”
Jenny stared at Jaeduc. Her eyelids never blinking.
His real mother died when he was young,” continued Jaeduc. “He had no where else to go, so he was sent here to your family. Ever since then, they’ve been lying to everyone that he was just a long lost son to your parents.”

Just then, Mr. Lee walked up to them.
“I came here as fast as I could,” he said. “What happened, is everything all right?”
Jenny stared at her dad wildly.

“Jae…Jaejin oppa is not my brother??” she asked him.
Mr. Lee looked at Jaeduc, knowing that he must have told her just then. He knew that Jaejin would tell someone about this some day or another. And he knew that the day would come when Jenny would find out the truth, despite his wife’s plans to keep everything hushed. There was no way to avoid it.

“Can I talk to her alone?” Mr. Lee asked Jaeduc.
“Yeah, of course,” said Jaeduc and he turned to leave them.

When he was gone, Mr. Lee began telling Jenny everything.
“When I was young, I had this girlfriend. Her name was Jo Soojin. We were high school sweet hearts, I guess you could say. Actually, we knew each other since we were 5 years old. She was living in the same neighborhood.
Well, we grew up together and eventually, we fell in love with each other. But her family was a mess. There were bad rumors going around about her mother. And her father died while he was drinking and driving. Some years later, Soojin’s mother committed suicide.
“I wanted to marry Soojin. But my parents were against it, knowing Soojin’s family background. When she found out that my parents wouldn’t consent to our marriage, she got… depressed I guess. She got drunk and found herself pregnant one night. She didn’t have one clue of who the the father of her baby was.
“Soojin ran away to Pusan with her baby. I looked for her everywhere, not knowing she left Seoul. I soon gave up and married your mother, whom my parents introduced me to. I never heard from Soojin again.
Years later, after I moved to America with my own family, I got a letter in the mail one day, telling me of Soojin’s death. She got in a car accident, just like her own father. Her son was seven years old back then. They didn’t know who else to contact, except for me. Soojin had been…” Mr. Lee voice started to get shaky. “She had been watching me all those years and keeping track of where I was and how I was living. She even had the address of our home in America. That’s all she had kept in her address book. So that was why the people contacted only me.”

“They didn’t know what to do with her son. They were about to send him to an orphanage, but I couldn’t let that happen. I had to do one last thing for Soojin. Her life was plagued by nothing but misfortune. I couldn’t let the same happen to her son. So I had him sent to live with us. Your mother was, of course, very against it. She worried that people might start talking…About how the illegitimate son of her husband’s old girlfriend was living with us. So your mother wanted everyone to think that Jaejin was really our son.”

Jenny listened to all of this in horror.
“Jenny,” said her father, taking her hand. “I want you to understand that your mother and I didn’t mean any harm by saying Jaejin was your brother. We want everything to go back to normal. I hope this won’t change anything…”

Jenny pulled her hand away from her father. Her heart felt like it was being crushed.
“It was all a lie then. Jaejin’s not my brother?” she broke out in tears. “You were lying to me all this time. Anything else you want to tell me? Are you sure I have no long lost twin around?? Or am I an illegitimate daughter of mom’s boyfriend?” Jenny was hysterical.

“Jenny, calm down–”
“No! I won’t calm down! I can’t! How can you expect me to?!?! Gawd,I can’t handle this! This…this is not happening,” tears streamed down her face as she ran out of the building.
“Jenny!” her father called after her.

Jenny ran to the parking lot, still bawling. She found her car and unlocked the doors. She got in and started the engine.
She drove home as fast as she could. She ran up the stairs to her room and took out a big suitcase. She quickly stuffed it with a few clothes and other belongings, and ran out of the house. She passed by her car and went to the end of the street and waited for the bus.
“I can’t stay here anymore,” she thought to herself. “I can’t handle this.”

The bus soon came. Jenny’s heart started pounding as she stepped inside. She had no idea where this bus would go.

Part XI

Mrs. Lee thrashed open the door to Jaejin’s hospital room. Everybody in there stared wide-eyed at the lady who looked as if she’d gone mad.

“Honey~ What is it? Is anything wrong?” asked her husband.
Mrs. Lee ran over to Jaejin’s unconscience body and took hold of his shirt.
“You!! Where is she??? Where did you hide her??!!!” she cried at Jaejin.
Mr. Lee pulled her away from him.
“What’s the matter? Why are you doing this??” he asked as Jaeduc and Jiyong helped hold her down.
“Let go of me!!” she sobbed. “My daughter… my poor daughter…. Where is she you bastard!!” Her cries could be heard throughout the whole building.
“Yuh bo, calm down…” Mr. Lee tried to hush her shrill screeches.
“She’s gone… (sob) She… she left.”

“Who, Jenny?” asked her husband.
At the sound of her name, the wretched mother sobbed even louder. Jiyong and Jaeduc stood up alarmed. They gave each other an apprehensive look and picked up their coats.
“We’ll be back.” Jiyong told the adults and they both left.

~~*~~

Jenny stepped out of the bus and walked towards the direction of a near by neighborhood. She soon came to a house and rang the door bell. Clearing her throat, she thought of what she should tell her “friend.” Should she tell her everything? Could she trust her to keep her secrets? Jenny wished she didn’t have to face this girl again. But there was no where else to go for her, and she knew that no one would ever find Jenny here. Atleast not for awhile.

“Who is it?” someone called from the inside.
“It’s me.” Jenny cleared her throat. “Jenny Lee.”
There was a pause. But after a few seconds, the door was opened. The girl eyed Jenny with a half worried, half confused look.
“Hey, Jenny…” she said. “Long time no see.”
“Hi Yumi.” said Jenny with a forced smile. “Well, aren’t you gonna invite me in?”
Yumi opened the door wider for Jenny and she walked inside.
(note: Yumi is a character from CHERRIES I.)

~~*~~
The next day, Jiyong and Jaeduc returned to thehospital. When they entered Jaejin’s hospital room again, they found no one there, except for Jaejin himself, who was still lying unconscience.
Just then, a nurse walked in.

“Nurse, can you tell us where the parents of this patient went?” asked Jaeduc.
“Well, Mrs. Lee had to be taken to another room and put to bed because she was so hysterical. She’s in room B103 if you’d like to go see her. Mr. Lee is also in there with her.” she answered.
“Thanks.” said Jaeduc.

“Hyung, do you think we should go tell them what we saw?” asked Jiyong.
“No, I think they already know.”

Just then, Jaejin stirred a little.
“Mm..mmm” he goaned.
“He’s awake!” shouted Jaeduc.

“Where am I?” he asked.
“You’re in the hospital, hyung.” said Jiyong. “You got hit by a car.”

Jaejin tried to sit up. “Ahh!” he suddenly held his head. His head was hurting like crazy. Jaejin felt something rough. He felt around it and found that there was a bandage wrapped around his head.

“Woa~ Did I crack my skull or something?? Cause that’s what it feels like..”
“Umm… kind of.” said Jaeduc. “It’s a little fractured.”

Jaejin lied back down in his bed.
“How long have I been asleep?”
“Only about two days.”
“…….” Jaejin looked around at all the tubing that was connected to him.

The nurse, who still happened to be there, said, “I’ll go tell the others that you’re awake.”
Jiyong and Jaeduc gave each other a worried look, but it was too late to stop her.

A few minutes later, Mrs. Lee sprung open the door again. She looked a lot more paler than before. Her eyes were bloodshot and it was gruesome to look at the wretched lady.

“Uh… A-a jooma,” said Jiyong. “Jaejin hyung’s not really feeling that well yet….”
Mrs. Lee turned to look at Jiyong. Her eyes watered and she gasped. “My daughter…”
she said in a shaky voice. Tears gushed out of her eyes and she ran out.

“What’s going on?” asked Jaejin. “Did anything happen to Jenny??”
“Do you think we should tell him?” Jiyong asked Jaeduc.
“Tell me what?? What is it???”
“No, I don’t think we should…” said Jaeduc.
“What!! You better… oww!!” Jaejin grabbed his pounding head as he tried to get up.
“Stay still!!” said Jiyong.
“You aren’t well enough yet.” said Jaeduc.

They both helped Jaejin back to a restful position.
Jaejin sighed in frustration. “If there’s anything wrong with Jenny…. I want to know.”
“…………………”
“I have a right to know… I’m her br~…..” Jaejin stopped himself. He just remembered how he got into the accident. He had his navy blue handkerchief on….
He sat upright, keeping all the pain to himself.

“She knows, doesn’t she?” he asked them sternly.
“I had to tell her…” said Jaeduc. “And Mr. Lee provided the rest of the details.”
Jaejin nodded. There was no avoiding it. After all, it was his own fault. He should have run away that night when he had the chance… That night of the kiss…..

“How is she? Is she sick in bed? Is she in the hospital too?” asked Jaejin sadly.
Jaeduc gave Jiyong a nervous look. “Not exactly.”
“Then…?”
“She…. she ran away.”
Jaejin looked sharply at them.

“We went to her room and found that she took one of the luggage bags, along with most of her clothes…. and other things…”
Jaejin pushed the blanket off of him and sat at the edge of his bed. He grabbed all the tubes and pulled them all off.
“What are you doing, hyung??”
“I need to… I need to find her.” He tried to stand up. But as soon as he did, he fell to the floor from his ailing body.

“You can’t leave! You’re too weak!!” said Jaeduc.
“Besides, we already looked everywhere for her. She’s nowhere to be found.” said Jiyong.
Jaejin’s eyes stung as he felt the tears slowly creeping up and threatening to spill over.
Trying to repress the tears, he looked up and took a deep breath. “I’ve got to find her….”

Part XII

“Umm… do you want anything to drink or something?” asked Yumi.
“No, that’s all right.” said Jenny.
Yumi began shifting uncomfortably around on the sofa. She’s strangely calm…she mused. Yumi had expected Jenny to be very angry with her if they ever did meet again. But Jenny just sat still without another word.
I know she wants SOMETHING…Yumi thought to herself. She looks kinda… disturbed.

“Yumi…” Jenny broke the silence.
Yumi jumped from the sudden change of mood. “Yes?”
Oh no, here it comes…
“Yumi, I know you’re probably wondering what I’m doing here so I’ll just tell you straight out.” said Jenny.
“Wait! I know what you want,” Yumi interrupted. “And I promise that I’ll pay you back as soon as possible.”
“What?~ No, that’s…”
“Don’t be mad, PLEASE!! I’m so sorry for lying to you!! I can pay you back, I swear.
In fact, I’ll go find the money right now!” Yumi got up and went to go fetch her telephone book.
“Wait! Yumi, I don’t think……”
“I promise to get the money back for you, ok?” she called out to her.

Jenny sat in confusion. She didn’t know what she was talking about. All she could do was sit there and listen to Yumi as she picked up the phone and started dialing.

“Hello?” asked Yumi with a much weaker voice.
“Annie? This is Yumi….. Yeah…. uh huh…. Well, I don’t want to talk about it…… Ok, but only cause I can trust you. You see, my family’s been doing a little bad lately…”
Yumi’s voice started shaking and tears streamed down her face. “I know….. My dad got fired, and my mom….. (sob) We haven’t eaten for days….. yeah……… I don’t know if I should br telling you this…… Ok, how about tomorrow then?….. uh huh…… Ok, I’ll see you there, Bye…. thank you so much…”
*click*

Jenny stared at Yumi, stupefied. She watched as Yumi’s eyes returned back to normal, without a trace of any tears left on them. She just came back happily and smiled at Jenny.
“I’ll have your money back by tomorrow.” she told Jenny.

“My money??” asked Jenny. Now she remembered how Yumi told her the same thing maybe a month ago, and how Jenny had given her nearly $500.

“Yeah…. Look, I’m REAL sorry I lied to you about that…”
“You mean, that was a lie??” asked Jenny.
Yumi stared wide-eyed at Jenny, realizing that this was not what she had come for.
“Wait, you didn’t know about that??”
Jenny huffed. This was more than she ever expected.
“Than why were you so mad at me all this time if you didn’t know about it??” asked Yumi.
“I was mad about Jiwon!!!” shouted Jenny. She couldn’t believe it. She had known Yumi all her life, but she never knew that this was the type of person she really was.
“Oh…. THAT.” Yumi looked embarrassed. “I had NO idea you found out about THAT.”

Jenny closed her eyes and pressed her lips tightly together.
“Look, all of that is in the past now…” She tried to stay calm. She had bigger concerns than this. “I came because I need a place to stay for a while.”
“Umm, ok.. Whatever you want.” Yumi was too scared to ask what was wrong. She felt that she had said enough wrong things for the day.
“And DON’T tell ANYONE that I’m staying here, ok?” begged Jenny.
“Yeah, of course not…” She didn’t want to question Jenny.

Yumi got up to leave the awkward mess that she made.
“Yumi, I’m serious. Even if police question you, even if my parents come… Even if my….oppa comes…” Jenny’s voice trailed off.
“I won’t.” said Yumi.

The next morning, Jenny woke up and looked at the clock. It was around 12:00 pm.
“Yumi~” she called out. But no one answered, so she figured that she wasn’t home.
Jenny just sat on the couch, wrapped in Yumi’s blankets. She stared off into space, just thinking of all the horrible things that had happened. Tears slowly slid down her cheeks, but she didn’t bother to wipe them off. Her father’s words were ringing in her head.
“They were about to send him to the orphanage…. I had him sent to us…”
Then Jaeduc’s voice started echoing too. “He’s not your brother…. He’s not related to you in any way….. Your parents had three children, not four.”
Then the haunting voices seemed to surround her.
“…not your brother… send him to the orphanage…. not related in anyway…orphanage….. not your brother….”

Jenny plugged her ears and screamed. “NOOOOOO!!!!!”
Just then, Yumi entered the house with an envelope. Seeing Jenny kneeling with her ears covered, she rushed over to Jenny.
“Jenny snap out of it!!!”
Jenny held on tightly to Yumi. “Oppa~” She sobbed. “Oppa, no!!” She whispered between her soft cries.

A little later, after Jenny somewhat calmed down, Yumi came into the living room, carrying a cup of warm milk.
“Here.” she said, handing it to her.
“Thanks.”

Yumi wondered what could have possibly happened to her friend. She looked so wretched and hopeless. But her guilt still didn’t let her ask Jenny what was wrong. Something told her that she didn’t deserve to hear Jenny’s secrets. She was not a person to be trusted.

Yumi picked up her envelope and handed it to Jenny.
“Here. There’s $500 in there. I think that’s just about enough to pay you back.”
“I don’t want it.” Jenny’s weak, scratchy voice made Yumi shake in an overwhelming sense of guilt.
“No, PLEASE take it. If you don’t, I.. I think I’ll just die!!!”
Jenny stayed silent.
“If this is the one last thing I could ever do for you, PLEASE accept it. I’ll go crazy if you don’t!!”
Jenny heart started pounding as she stared at the money. If I take that money…. Then I can…. I can…. Jenny’s shaking hand reached for the envelope….

~*~*~*~*~*~
A few days later, Jaejin was allowed to check out of the hospital. Jaeduc and Jiyong came to see him out. As they rode the taxi back home, Jaejin stared off into space in deep thought.

“Take me to the studio.” he said.
“The dance studio??” asked Jaeduc. “Why do you want to stay there??”
Jaejin stayed silent. He didn’t want to tell them that he couldn’t go to the house anymore. He didn’t belong there.

The three of them soon arrived at the studio. Jiyong went to the fridge and took out three water bottles for each of them. They sat on the floor, sipping the water.
Jiyong decided to break the silence.
“Hey, did you hear about Sunghoon and Jiwon? Some guy discovered them at a no-rae-bang and asked them if they wanted to be gasoos. Isn’t that strange? I think they already left to Korea to start. And Suwon’s gonna try out to become a gasoo too.”
“That’s not that strange,” said Jaeduc. “Someone asked me and Jaejin to become gasoos too.”
“Really?? When??” asked Jiyong.
“Once when we were backdancing for a group.” Jaeduc answered.
“So what happened?”
“We didn’t go, of course.” said Jaeduc.
“WHY NOT??” asked Jiyong. “If I had the chance to become a gasoo, I’d take it.”

“I didn’t want to leave America.” said Jaejin. I couldn’t leave Jenny. He thought to himself.

Silence penetrated the studio once again as each sipped their bottle of water. All three of them were thinking the same thing; they were thinking about Jenny. They still had no idea where she could be… or even if she was safe or not…..

Suddenly, Jaejin looked up. A thought occurred to him.

“Do you think Jenny might be staying with Jiwon??” he asked the two.
“Hyung, didn’t you here me?” said Jiyong. “Jiwon left for Korea long ago. He and Sunghoon are gonna become gasoos.”
“Oh…..”

This idea led each of their thoughts to the same direction.
“Yumi!!!” they all shouted in unison.

*
There was a knock on Yumi’s door. She opened it and saw Jiyong, Jaeduc, and Jaejin all standing at her doorstep, staring at her. Her heart started to pound because she knew exactly what they all came for.

“You’re too late.” she said. Even though she promised Jenny that she wouldn’t tell anyone where she went, she was worried about her safety, so she decided that it would be better to just tell them anyway. “She left to Korea two days ago with a one-way ticket.”
*

Jaejin and Jaeduc entered an office.
“We’re here for the try-outs.” said Jaeduc to the receptionist.
They didn’t have enough money to buy tickets to go to Korea so they decided to take a chance at going for free.
A man entered the office and instantly recognised the two young men.
“Hey! Aren’t you two from that backdancing group ‘Quicksilver’?”
“Yeah, that’s us.” said Jaejin.
“Well, I’m glad to see you decided to take up the offer!” said the man, patting each of them on the back. “I know Daesung needs three more guys for their new group, you two will be perfect for it!!”
“They need THREE more guys?” asked Jaeduc.
“Yup.”
Jaejin and Jaeduc looked at each other.

“Jiyong!!”

Part VIII

(one year later, in Korea)

“Jaejin!” called out Jiwon. “Come eat some chips.”

Jaejin wiped off the sweat that trickled down his forehead.
“No, I think I’ll dance some more…”

Jaejin didn’t feel like doing anything else but dancing. He seemed to just keep going, never stopping for a rest.

The manager hyung came into the 6kies dance studio. He was holding a box of fan mail. Jiwon, Sunghoon, Suwon, Jiyong, and Jaeduc surrounded the box and started rumaging around for their own mail.

“Yah, Lee Jaejin!” yelled the manager hyung. “Don’t you want to see some of your mail? You got TONS.”
Jaejin didn’t answer.

“What’s with him?” asked Suwon.
“Leave him alone. Everyone’s entitled to a little birthday blues.” said the manager.
The manager went out again to go get another box full of gifts for Jaejin. His birthday was tomorrow.

Jaeduc sadly looked at his bestfriend dancing away. Jaejin never had “birthday blues” before. He knew that his birthday never made him act like this… There was something else on both of their minds… It was Jenny.

Jaejin attempted to do a flip, but his balance was off and he slipped. To break his fall, he pushed forth his hands as he went crashing on the floor. Their was a cracking noise.

Jaejin stared in horror at his watch. The band had broken apart.
“SHIT!!”

The other Jekki members looked up from their mail.
“What’s wrong, hyung?” asked Sunghoon.
“…….”

The other five members gathered aroun Jaejin to see what was the matter. Jaejin was frantically trying to fix the damaged watch. Jiwon snatched the watch from him and tried to fix it too. Then Jaeduc took it and examined it.

“Oh well, it’s just a watch. You can buy another one.” he said.
Jaejin took the watch back in his hands. “I have to get it fixed…”
Jiyong recognized the watch. It was the one that Jenny bought for him last summer.
“Yeah…. That can should be easy to fix…” said Jiyong, trying to signal to Jaejin that he knew who gave him the watch.
“No, I think it would cost less to just buy another one.” said Sunghoon.
“Yeah, and I’ll bet manager hyung can buy a new one for your birthday if you ask.” said Suwon.
Jaejin just shook his head and headed towards the door.

The rest of the Jekki members watched Jaejin leave the yun-seub-shil. It was like watching a gray cloud go away, yet leaving a little bit of the dullness behind, leaving the other people feeling a little gray as well.
“I know what can cheer him up!” said Suwon with a big grin. “Let’s take him out to a night club to celebrate his birthday tomorrow night.”
“Yeah, that sounds fun,” the others chimed in.
“Ok, let’s make it a surprise then.” said Jiwon.

Jaejin opened the door to the room where he was staying. He didn’t bother turning on the lights. With a deep sigh, he lay down on the floor, facing the ceiling, and clutched his wrecked watch in his fist tightly. Tears started to fill his eyes. Shutting them abruptly, a loose tear drop slipped down his temple.

“Oppa…” an angel’s voice cried out to him.
Jaejin heart skipped a beat. He jumped up on his feet and looked around. There was no one there.
Suddenly, he could hear her giggles echo throughout the walls.

“Who’s there??” shouted Jaejin. “…….Jenny?”
“Behind you, silly.”
Jaejin turned his body around. Jaejin squinted his eyes, straining to see her. It was dark, but he could see the outlines of her body. He wanted to turn on the lights, but he couldn’t bring himself to move away from her, afraid that she might disappear.

“Jenny…….” he whispered when his eyes met hers. Her whole face seemed to light up the room.
“Oppa,” she murmered. “Why do you always run away?”
“What? What are you talking about?” asked Jaejin.
“You don’t need this any more.” Jenny said as she reached for Jaejin’s head, taking off the navy blue handkerchief.
“That’s funny,” Jaejin thought to himself. “I don’t remember putting that on…”

As Jenny took off the handkerchief, the world around Jaejin seemed to change. He suddenly found himself in the parking lot of a mall, facing Jenny.
“Jenny, where have you been?” asked Jaejin. “I’ve been looking all over for you!!”
“I know…” she said.
“I was so worried. Yumi told me you came to Korea, but I was beginning to think that maybe you didn’t. I couldn’t find you anywhere.”
“It’s ok… shhhh……”

Jaejin’s heart started to pound. He looked horrofied as Jenny started leaning closer to him again. Jaejin didn’t want to make the same mistake mistake as last time, so he tried with all his might to run away. But his feet were stuck in the asphalt. He could feel his body leaning closer to hers again too.

And their lips met, again. It was the same sensation as last time, the same tenderness and love…. Except, this time, it was longer. Time seemed to have ceased to matter. The only two people in the world were them two, as their souls touched each other in what seemed like not much less than magic. Nothing else mattered, nothing at all…. And, after a while, he felt Jenny pull softly away from him.
“You don’t need this anymore.” she said again, taking off his handkerchief for the 2nd time.

But then Jenny looked scared. “Wait!! DON’T GO!!” she screamed.
Jaejin was confused. It didn’t seem like he moved one step. Yet, he was so far away from her all of the sudden.
“DON’T GO!!” He could hear her voice calling him back.
“JAE DUC OPPA!!!!” Jenny’s voice screamed. Chills ran down Jaejin’s whole body. He was now lying down in the middle of the street, and a crowd of people were staring down at him, including Jenny and Jiyong.
“Oppa, wake up…” Jenny sobbed.
He tried to tell her that he WAS awake. But she kept telling him to wake up.
“Wake up…” she said.
Then, Jaejin felt someone taking off his handkerchief for the 3rd time. Chills ran throughout his body again when he saw the horrofied look on Jenny’s face.
“Wake up….”
Jaejin couldn’t stand to see her look at him like that.
“Wake up!”
Jaejin closed his eyes, trying to shut away the image of Jenny looking at him that way.
“Wake up Jaejin!!”
Jaejin opened his eyes again.

“Yah, Jaejin!! Wake up!” said Jaeduc.
Jaejin sat up. He was back in his room.
“You must have been dreaming.” said Jaeduc. “You’re sweating like crazy!”
“A dream…..of course….” Jaejin mumbled to himself. “Funny, I don’t remember falling asleep”
“Well, most people don’t.” said Jaeduc. “So, what were you dreaming about? Did you win the lottery? Did you find some gold? Was I in it? Were you flying? Or were you falling?”
“…………..I was falling.” said Jaejin as he wiped the sweat off his face with a towel.

Part XIV

(the next night)

“Hyung, hurry up!” yelped Suwon. “He’s coming.”
Jiwon put on his cap and cleared his voice, while sitting in the driver’s seat of his car. Jaeduc hid behind a wall as he watched intently, waiting for Jaejin and Sunghoon to pass by. Jiyong put on his shades and sat in the front seat.

As Jaejin and Sunghoon were passing by, Suwon shouted, “Now!!” and opened the door to the car. Jaeduc popped out from his hiding spot and shoved Jaejin into the car.
Sunghoon cried out, “Help! What are you doing??”
Jiwon cleared his throat again and started speaking in a faked voice.

“Just shuttup and get in the car if you don’t wanna die.”

=) Jiyong wanted to burst out in laughter when Jiwon said this. He tried to keep his face straight.
“Let’s get outta here before the police comes.” said Suwon who also talked with his voice very much deeper than normal. Jiyong let out a little giggle, “kmmk.”
Jaeduc had his faced covered up with a mask and had on a hat. He bowed before he opened the door of the car. “Hyung-neem,” he said with a fake voice. “Don’t you think it would be better to kill them off right now instead of waiting for later?” But no matter how much he tried to hide his voice, you could still detect that high pitched, little-boy sounding voice that was so much his trademark. It was so funny that Jiyong was having a difficult time trying to keep the laughter inside of him from escaping.

“I think so too. Let’s just kill the other one now and this one later.” said Jiwon.
“Who me??” asked Sunghoon. “No, no, please! Don’t you know who we are? We’re from that awesome group, SechsKies. We’re stars! You can’t kill us!”
“What Shekki?” asked Jiwon. “You’re from that group??” He shook his head in dismay.
“Kill him boys.” he said with a wave of his hand. Suwon pretended to stab him and Jaeduc helped Suwon carry the body into the trunk of the car.

“Now you,” Jiwon said, pointing at Jaejin, “If you keep you’re mouth shut, maybe I’ll let you live five minutes longer.”
“Any last words before you die??” asked Jiyong.
“………..”
“Puhahaha! I thought so.”

Jaejin’s head drooped onto Suwon’s shoulder.
“What the~”
Everbdy gathered around to examine him. They saw that Jaejin was fast asleep.

“Aww man! He was sleeping all this time!” said Jiyong.
“What? Aish, jjaa~shik…” said Jiwon taking off his cap.
“Chamna!” said Jaeduc. “We put on this show for nothing!!”
At this moment, Jaejin started snoring. Everybody burst out laughing.

“He must’ve been tired! He was tossing and turning all night yesterday.”
“Hyung!” Suwon shook Jaejin, “Wake up!!”

“Huh? Wha~?” Jaejin woke up and looked around.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!” They all shouted at him.
“Hope you’re not too sleepy cuz we’re taking you out drinking tonight.” said Suwon.
“Right now?” said Jaejin. He didn’t really feel up to it. All he cared for at the moment was some more sleep.
“Yes, now. Let’s go before the night’s over.”

They arrived at a bar and got out of the car. Jaejin stretched his limbs so that he wouldn’t feel so drowsy. After all, his friends were taking him out on his birthday so he should be a little more lively for them.

“Hey, where’s Sunghoon?” asked Jiyong.
“Oh shit!” Jiwon just remembered. “He’s still in the trunk!”
They quickly went over to the trunk and opened it. He too was fast asleep inside.
“Yah, wake up Kang Sunghoon.” said Suwon. “We’re here.”
“Five more minutes.” Sunghoon mumbled.
Jaejin laughed out loud. He stooped over Sunghoon and pulled him up by his shirt.
“Yah, it’s my birthday, wake up!” he said to him.
“Ah, hyung… Oh yeah. Let’s go then.”
“We’re already here.”

They entered the night club and a waittress led them to a table. Everybody inside started staring and pointing at them. “Look over there, that’s SechsKies,” they all whispered to each other. “Let’s go get an autograph.”

Jiwon ordered beer for the whole group. “Let’s all drink our hearts out tonight. All our stress is in the bottles.” He said as he poured the first bottle into a cup for Jaejin. Jaejin smiled and drank some of the beer. He felt like having some alcohol that night too. Too much has been on his mind lately. He wished he could just forget about everything~ if that were possible.

He put the cup down and listened to all of the other members talking.

From behind him, Jaejin heard a tray falling and the sound of glasses shattering to a million pieces. He turned his head slightly toward the commotion. He saw one of the waitresses kneeling on the floor, picking up her mess. Her face was covered by her hair that fell in front of it.
“What have you done??” someone asked the poor girl. “You clumsy girl! Can’t you do anything right?”
“Jeh song hab nee da.” the girl mumbled.
“Hurry up and clean this mess!” they shouted at her.

“Ey, Jaejin.” said Jaeduc. “Let’s show these people our dance floor skillz..”
Jaejin faced his table again. He saw that all of them were standing up, getting ready to go to the dance floor. Jaejin reluctantly got up too, as the rest dragged him out there. He felt the loud music pounding inside him. His body just moved along with the beat…

When the night was over, Jiwon drove everybody back home. Jaejin and Jaeduc were pooped as they entered their little room in the 3rd floor of the building. The two instantly fell asleep…

“Jenny…” Jaejin mumbled quietly in his sleep.

He was having another dream…….

“You don’t need this anymore.” Jenny smiled at him, taking off his handkerchief.

It was the same dream as last time. except, in the last part, he heard the sound of glass shattering to a million pieces on the floor.

“Jeh song hab nee da.” Jenny said.
Jenny looked up from picking up the pieces of glass.
“Oppa, I’m so clumsy, huh?”

Jaejin shook his head. He wanted to go help her pick the pieces up. But he couldn’t go to her for some reason. He ran on and on towards her direction. But he never seemed to reach her, even though she seemed to be right in front of him.

Th sound of the glasses shattering screamed in his ear.
“Jeh song hab nee da.” Jenny repeated.
“What have you done? You clumsy girl!!” someone was shouting at her.

“Jeh song hab nee da.” Jenny repeated again.

Jaejin woke up panting.
“THAT WAS HER!!” he yelled out, breaking the silence of the night.

“What the~…” Jaeduc rolled around in his blanket to take a look at Jaejin.
“Yah, can you shuttup? I’m trying to sleep here.”

Jaejin got up and dressed himself.

“Where are you going?” asked the sleepy Jaeduc.
Jaejin didn’t answer. His heart was racing…. “That was her, I know it!” he thought as he remembered the waitress at the night club. She had long hair, covering her face… She must’ve grown her hair, Jaejin thought. He walked out the door and accidentally slammed it shut from excitement.

“Damn it~!” whined Jaeduc, bothered by the loud bang of the door. But when Jaejin was definately out of sight, Jaeduc sat up and smiled sadly.
“That’s right, now go to her.” Jaeduc was doing a good deed, but damn, why did it have to hurt so much?? He took out a cigarrette and lit it. He had known that Jenny had been working there for some time now. And that’s why Jaeduc wanted to take him there for his birthday… All those nights Jaejin would mumble Jenny’s name… Jaeduc was in deep thought.
“I love Jenny too, but I you need her more…” Jaeduc huffed sadly. “Lucky bastard…”

It was early in the morning. Jaejin looked at his wrist, expecting to see a watch. But then, he remembered that he broke it. An overwhelming sense of guilt penetrated through his whole body. “What is she gonna say when she finds out I broke it?” he thought to himself.

Jaejin got into a taxi.
“* * * nightclub, please,” he said to the driver.

He arrived to the same place that the members of 6kies had taken him last night for his birthday. “Yup, this is the right place.” He got out of the cab and paid the driver.

His heart was pounding as he walked inside. The place was just getting ready to open as the waitresses and waitors unflipped the chairs that were placed on top of the tables. Jaejin desparately tried to look for that long-haired waitress. Every time a long-haired waitress passed him by, his heart started pounding. But never did he see her face. After awhile, dissappointment began to plague his heart, as he began to think that maybe that girl wasn’t Jenny….

By this time, many of the waitress started noticing him and realizing that he was Lee Jaejin from the famous group, SechsKies. One of them were even brave enough to come over to him and ask him if he needed anything.

“Uh… yeah, I’m looking for Lee Jenny. Do you know if she works here?”
“Lee Jenny? No, I don’t think there’s anyone named Lee Jenny that works here.” she said sweetly. “Oh, by the way, I know that it’s kind of late, but you’re Lee Jaejin from 6kies, aren’t you?”

Jaejin forced a smile out. “Yeah, that’s me.”
“Can I have an autograph?” she asked. “My name’s Yoo Sora.”
“Nice to meet you,” Jaejin said politely as he took the pen and paper.

When the deed was done, Jaejin decided to ask more questions. He wasn’t about to give up that easily.

“I was here last night, and there was a waitress with long hair who broke some glasses… Can I talk to her?”

“Oh, you know her??” the waitress asked. “Yah! SuHyun-ah! Kim SuHyun!” she called out.
Someone who was mopping the floor looked up. “Kim SuHyun? Didn’t you hear? She quit this morning.”
“WHAT? She did? Why?” asked Sora.
“I’m not sure, but she came this morning to tell the boss that she was quitting.”
“Do you know where she lives or where she went?” asked Jaejin.
“She didn’t say.”

Jaejin left the night club with a heavy heart. It probably wasn’t her anyway… He thought sadly.

Part XV

* Rewinding to the day of Jaejin’s birthday..*

Jenny walked into the cd store. She checked everyday to see if the next issue of MusicLife came out. To her pleasant surprise, there it was, sitting on the counter. She smiled happily and went to go purchase it.

She skipped home to her little dingy room that she was renting. She went inside and flipped through the magazine and went straight to the Jekki section. Her eyes filled with tears as she saw all their pictures, especially Jiyong’s and Jaeduc’s. And of course, her Jaejin oppa. It pained her to look at them, but it made her happy too. To see them doing so well and looking so happy. It was all she needed to know.

Jenny took out a pair of scissors and began to cut out the pictures of them. Then she went and also took out and album. She pasted the new pictures of her Jekkie and sighed in satisfaction when she was done. She flipped throught the pages of the album.. She had been collecting pictures of them ever since they first debuted. Tears of longing fell down her cheek. When she first ran away from home, she was so sad that she wouldn’t be able to ever see them again. But when she found out that they had become singers, she was so glad that she can watch them from afar.

Jenny turned on the television and flipped channels to see if any gayo shows were on. Inki Gayo 50 was on and she watched eagerly waiting for Jekki to come out. She knew they would because they almost always came on these days because they were competing for number one for their new song *RoadFighter*. When it was their turn to perform, Jenny squealed in joy, as her grin reached from ear to ear. She watched them dancing…. Yes, that’s what oppa loved to do…. she thought as the tears poured from her eyes. She was so proud of him…

Jenny reached into her pocket and took out her blue handkerchief that she had bought that day when she went shopping. That day of the car accident…. She stared at the navy blue cloth with pain. Jenny never failed to take this thing every where she went. She placed the handkerchief against her cheek…. “Happy birthday oppa..” she mumbled.

Jenny sighed… Looking at the clock, she realized it was time to go to work.

Night time fell and Jenny was still working. She didn’t get off till late because she worked at a nightclub. She had been working there for a couple of months now, but it still was kind of difficult for her.

That night, all the waitresses were so excited. Jenny wondered what was going on but she didn’t pay much attention to all the excitement. Her mind was elsewhere… She was wondering how her oppa was spending his birthday today.

“Yah, Kim SuHyun!” another waitress called her from behind. “Did you hear? That one group SechsKies is here.”

Jenny’s heart plunged. “HERE?!”
“Yeah! Can you believe it? Let’s go get autographs!”
Jenny was speechless.
“Look, they’re over there.” Jenny looked towards that direction, and sure enough, they were there, all six of them. Jenny started trembling, trying hard to repress her tears.

“Wow, you’re a bigger fan than I thought.” said the other waitress. “Then here,” she handed Jenny her tray that held a couple of beers. “You can take these to them.” She said, giving her a wink.
“No, no, I……”
“Not another word. =)” she said, giving her another wink.

Jenny looked nervously at the tray that she was holding. Trying hard not to tremble so roughly, she took a step towards their table. Her hands were all wet from sweat, and she gripped the tray tighter, afraid it might slip.

“Maybe they won’t recognise me…” She thought to herself. “After all, I-I changed a lot…(?) I grew out my hair…..” She was trying to encourage herself to go up to them.

But she gave up. “Who am I kidding, of COURSE they’d recognise me. I can’t go over there!”

Jenny’s boss was walking by and noticed Jenny just standing still with a tray of beer in her hands. “What the heck is she doing??” She walked up to Jenny and lightly tapped her on her shoulder. This surprised Jenny a great deal and the tray of beer slipped away from her sweaty hands. And the glass of the beer bottles shattered into a million pieces. The blood drained out of Jenny’s face as she realized what a commotion she had just caused and she quickly knelt down and hid her face with her hair, hoping that Jekki wouldn’t notice.

“What have you done??” Jenny’s boss exclaimed. “You clumsy girl! Can’t you do anything right?”
“Jeh song hab nee da.” said Jenny.
“Hurry up and clean this mess!” Her boss marched off with a huff.

Jenny stole a peep through her hair to look at Jekkie. She saw Jaejin’s head turned slightly toward her and Jenny stooped her head even further to make sure he didn’t see her.

After Jenny finished picking up all the broken pieces of glass, she hurriedly hid so that Jekki wouldn’t be able to spot her. But she saw that they weren’t at their table anymore. Instead, they were all dancing out on the dance floor. She watched Jaejin dance away. His body moving as if it were water. It flowed freely with the rythmn of the music… Tears slipped out of Jenny’s eyes as she watched him proudly.

“Yah, SuHyun- ah..” the same waitress as before came up to her. “Are you crying?”
Jenny quickly wiped the tears away. “No, there’s just something in my eye…”
“You’re sad that the boss yelled at you, huh?”
“…………………….”
“Don’t think about it so much. You know how that lady is….”
Jenny nodded unable to speak.
“Cheer up, ok?”
“Uh, huh…. Look,” Jenny stopped her. “Sora unnie…. thanx so much for everything…”
Sora smiled sweetly and patted Jenny’s head.
“Anytime, kid.”

Jenny went home after the long day’s work. She couldn’t stop thinking about what happened that day. “He was so close to me..” Jenny thought. “I-I mean they..” She bit her lip. Ever since the day that she found out the truth about Jaejin, she wasn’t able to think of anything else.

Reaching into her pocket, she once again took out her folded handkerchief and put it to her cheek. “Oppa…. You dance so well…”
She laughed inspite of herself… She knew that she couldn’t ever see him again. “Oppa… I can’t…….. I just can’t go back…”

She put the handkerchief away and wiped her tears. She got up and reached into the closet to take out some suitcases.

“I can’t stay here anymore… Today was a close call. This place is too close to….. them.”
She packed her clothes. “In the morning, I’ll leave…”
The next morning, Jenny took her suitcases and waited for the bus to her work. She had to tell them that she was quitting.

The bus finally arrived and Jenny got off. She walked heavy-heartedly toward that nightclub. “I have to do this..” she said to herself.

When the deed was done, Jenny walked out of the club and slowly headed toward the bus stop. She decided to take one last look at that nightclub, a place that she’ll never be able to see again.

Sighing heavily, she turned around again. But something caught her attention out of the corner of her eye. She saw Jaejin coming out of a taxi! Jenny quickly turned around and began to run…

Part XVI

Jenny was fast asleep on the train headed south. She awoke abruptly when she sensed the train stop.
“This is my stop.” She stretched her arms and yawned. “This is his homeland…”

Jenny always wanted to see how his homeland looked. Pusan…. she could almost smell the sea air already.

Jenny walked aimlessly through town, not knowing where exactly she was headed. She didn’t really know why she decided to come to this unfamiliar place. It just felt like the something she would like to do….

Arriving at the beach, she took a deep breath of the salty sea air. She looked off into the vast ocean.. It looked as if it reached to infinity… The beach.. it gave her such a warm feeling..

Jenny sat on the warm sand. She opened her suitcase and took out the album (the one with all the pictures of Jekki). She calmly flipped through the pages. When she came to a certain picture- of Jaejin- she stopped flipping. He had a deep grin on his face that made Jenny want to smile with him. She recognised that silly smile of his, he always used to get it whenever she would kiss him on the cheek.

“I can’t ever go back…” she said, as if she was talking to Jaejin. “I can’t….” she repeated as she touched his picture. “Oppa, you understand right?”

Jenny looked up at the horizon. A sudden urge to swim overwhelmed her.
“You wanna go for a swim?” she asked the handkerchief that was tied around her wrist, and smiled. “I thought you would…”

Jenny joyfully took off her shoes. She ran towards the water, leaving the open album and her luggage behind. The water was warm and it felt good all around her body. She laughed because she remembered a time when she swam in a beach as warm as this. It was back at home in California…. It’s strange how beaches make you feel as if nothing in the world matter anymore, isn’t it? You can almost see your whole life painted infront of you. And no matter how bad your life may have been, you still feel so satisfied.

All Jenny wanted to do at that moment was swim.. She was headed towards the horizon, never looking back.. But after awhile, her limbs got incredibly tired.. She thought of heading back. A sense of doom penetrated her when she saw how far away from the shore she had come. It suddenly became difficult for her to keep affloat. But since she came this far, going further wouldn’t hurt, she thought. At that moment, nothing mattered to her any longer. She just kept on swimming towards the horizon…….

SechsKies were getting ready for their trip to Pusan because they were scheduled to perform there. In the airplane, as Jiyong was reading the newspaper, he spotted an interesting article.

“Woa, look!” he exclaimed. “One of our fans tried to commit suicide in Pusan last week.”
“What?” asked Jiwon, amused.
“No kidding!”
They all gathered around Jiyong as he read the article aloud.

“A girl was found trying to commit suicide in the XXX beach. Luckily, she was saved by a local fisherman when he spotted her while on his boat. She was said to have been seen wandering aimlessly around town that afternoon, with a suitcase in hand. Officials believe that she was obsessed with the famous singing dance group, Sechskies. They found an album filled with pictures of them, as well as tapes of their performances in her bag. It is believed that she tried to commit suicide because of the teenage superstar’s latest movie called “Seventeen.’s” alledged kissing scenes by the lead singer KangSungHoon and the rapper/dancer KimJaeDuc because her collection of pictures contained many photos of clips of the movie. Townspeople are calling it the “Jekkie Syndrome” much like that of the “SeoTaji Syndrome” of 1996. The girl has still not been identified as she refuses to give her name.”

“Dang~ She tried to commit SUICIDE??” asked Suwon, amazed.

“Poor girl…” Jaejin shook his head in pity.

“Hey, I got an idea.” said Sunghoon. “Since we’re going to Pusan, why don’t we go visit the girl in the hospital.”
“Yeah, I think that would be cool.” said Jiwon. “I’ll go ask maager hyung if that’s aiight with him.”

After their performance, Jekki went to the hospital that the girl was staying at. Jiwon went to the counter and asked the nurse where the girl was. A camera was following them so that this good deed that they were doing could be publicized.

“She’s in room 201.” said the nurse.

All of them were carrying flowers and gifts for the poor girl.
“I’m sure she’d really love it that you came.” said the nurse, hoping to get filmed in the camera. “She refuses to talk to anyone around here. All she does is cry all day long and she barely eats anything at all.”

Jekki headed toward room 201. When they arrived, they knocked on the door. No one answered, but Jiwon opened the door anyway. They saw a girl covered up with blankets on the bed. It looked as if she was asleep.

“Should we wake her?” asked Jiyong.
“Maybe we should just let her sleep..” said Sunghoon.
The camera crew looked annoyed. They weren’t planning on waiting all day. Jiwon noticed their impatience and said, “Uh, I think we should just wake her up.”

Jaeduc nodded and kneeled by the side of the bed. He put his hand on the girls shoulder and said, “Wake up~ Me and Sunghoon are real sorry about the kissing scenes in the movie. It was only acting, it meant nothing at all.” he explained to the sleepy girl.

“Jaeduc oppa~?” the girl mumbled half asleep.
“Yeah, all of us Sechs kies are here. Surprise!”

“Oppa, just let me sleep for five more minutes.” said the girl in an all-too-familiar voice that sent ice cold chills down Jaejin’s spine.

Jaeduc’s face too turned stone white.
“J-Jenny….?” he asked under his breath.

Her face was still covered in the blankets, but her hands were showing. She was clutching a navy blue handkerchief in her hand….

“Jenny!” yelled Jaejin.

At this, Jenny woke up. It was weird, she wondered if she was dreaming. She thought she heard Jaeduc call her name. And now Jaejin was calling her?

“Jenny.” Jaejin said again.
Jenny now lay paralyzed in her bed. “It can’t be…” she thought. “No, this is a dream.”

Jaejin stormed over to Jenny’s bed and pulled back the covers. Jaejin’s eyes widened when he saw Jenny laying there, trembling like a frightened puppy.
Jaejin grabbed Jenny’s wrist and pulled her up in a sitting position.

Jiwon motioned for the camera people to stop filming and led everyone out. Jiyong, Jaeduc, and Jaejin remained.

“It was you then, wasn’t it? At the nightclub..” Jaejin stammered when he saw her long hair. “Y-You look good with long hair..” he choked out, not knowing what else to say.

Jenny was ashamed. Jaejin had lost a lot of weight and she could see it on his stressed face. She had caused so much worries.

“Jenny, we’re soo glad we’ve finally found you.” said Jaeduc.
“Yeah, we looked EVERYWHERE.” said Jiyong.

Jenny shook her head. “I’m not the same person anymore, I can’t go back- ever.” she said as boldly as she could manage.

“Why??” Jaejin asked as calmly as he could. “Why are you running away?”
“Because- Because…..” Jenny felt strange, as if she forgot the reason.
“Because all of you lied to me.” she said when she finally remembered. But she immediately regretted saying it. It sounded so childish, the way it came out. “I’m mad because of a lie?” she thought to herself in disbelief. She suddenly felt incredibly foolish.

Jaejin tried to understand her feelings.
“You’re right.” he said. “We should have never lied to you, I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.”

Jenny felt ashamed. It was like he was apologizing for her wrongs. She saw how immature she was. During her whole stay in Korea, she tried not to think about the pains of her past, so she didn’t really think about why she felt she had to stay away from everyone. So what if Jaejin wasn’t my real brother…… It’s not his fault.

“Just promise us that you’ll never try to do something that stupid again.” said Jaejin.
“What were thinking, trying to commit suicide? Don’t you know that if I ever found you dead, I’d kill myself??” Jaejin sounded almost angry.

Jenny’s face flushed as he said this.. “I-I’m sorry…” she stammered. Her heart was beating fast for some reason.
“Oppa…” Jenny felt strange calling him that now. “J-Jaejin oppa… I’m sorry.”

“Just promise me that you’ll never ever try anything like that again.”
“………………………..”
“Jenny, if you promise me this one thing, then…..” Jaejin didn’t want to say it, but, “then I’ll go. I’ll leave you alone. If that’s what it takes… if that’s what you want…..”

“…………………..I-I promise.” Jenny said.
Jaejin nodded. He got up to leave. Jaeduc and Jiyong were no longer in the room, like he thought. They left, who knows when. Neither of them noticed.

Jaejin headed towards the door. When he got to it, he grabbed the door knob, but he didn’t have enough strength to turn it.

In a rush, Jaejin turned around again. He ran over to Jenny’s bedside.
“No! I won’t leave. I’ll never leave you again. Never!” Jenny stared at him blankly.
“I can’t leave you… I… love you.”

Jenny continued to stare at him…
Jaejin realized he had just maken a mistake. He got up to leave again.
“No, I-I’ll leave… I’m sorry.”
Once again he headed slowly towards the door.

Jenny expected him to come back again, but Jaejin actually opened the door this time. And Jenny devastatingly watched him walk out. The room was suddenly so bare without him. Everything was gloomy. Jenny felt so doomed, all alone… without Jaejin.

“Come back…” she pleaded silently.. “Tears flowed down her cheeks and she wiped them with her handkerchief. “Come back Jaejin oppa… I can’t live without you… I love you too…..”

It was weird. It was the first time she ever said these words, even to herself, after she found out the truth…… “I love you.” she said again. “Don’t leave….”

Jenny got out of bed and ran to the door. She flung it open. All of Jekki turned around surprised. Jaejin was the most surprised of all.

“Jaejin oppa…” Jenny said, still standing in the doorway. “Don’t leave. Please, don’t leave. I’m sorry I ran away. I won’t ever run away again..”

Jaejin was too shocked to say anything.

“I promise I won’t ever try to do anything stupid again. But please, don’t leave me……… I love you.”

There was a pause as she said this.

Jaejin slowly walked up to her. His heart was bursting from happiness. He held out his arms for her to hug him.

Jenny ran to him, but instead of hugging him, she kissed him.

Everyone cheered around them.

“I love you.” Jenny repeated.

Jaejin was shocked. He never expected anything like this.
“Jenny….”
Jenny smiled. “Oppa, I love you.” she said again.

Jaejin looked into her eyes… He stayed silent for a long time. But he now understood. “I love you too.” he choked out. His voice shaked and tears threatened to spill.

He took out his watch. Since the band was broken, he had attached it to a chain to wear as a necklace. He put it around Jenny’s neck. Jenny swallowed gulps of air as he fastened the chain. Tears of joy streaked her face.
“Thankyou..” she whispered in his ears.

The two of them stood there in each other’s arms…………………

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