Volume II: JaeDuc’s Story: To You I Love By ClAiR

IMG_18972-jaeduk.jpg

  • a Ducky fanfic
  • Volume II of Sechs Kies Volume Stories
  • completed

January, 1998

“Okay, ready to go, six devils?” The manager of Sechs Kies, Mr. Kim, was getting ready to have them perform at MBC Best 50.

“Yes~ We are ready!!! Aren’t we up for #1 spot this week?” asked SungHoon.

“Uh-huh. Against Kim Kyung Ho and also Turbo,” replied Mr. Kim.

“Manager hyung, we are ready now. Let’s hurry up and get in the car!” said JiWon.

“Waaaaaiiiiiiittttttt!!!!” exclaimed the power dancer of 6Kies, in the name of KimJaeDuc. Always late, not getting ready on time as usual.

“Now what?!?!” snapped JaeJin, annoyed.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I just have to go get something. You guys can go ahead first,” said JaeDuc.

“Fine, fine. JaeDuc-ah, hurry up, will ya? Please… the last time you weren’t ready on time, we had to jump out of the backstage as soon as we got there!” Mr. Kim sighed.

“Oh, I remember that! SuWon couldn’t breath that time, you almost killed him, JaeDucee hyung!” JiYong joked around.

“Go, go right on! I’ll be out in a sec.” JaeDuc pushed the members away. He had to find something, a thing he couldn’t live without. He had lost it last night after he took a bath, but had not realized it until this morning.

“God, where is it?” He looked everywhere… under the bed, by the window, even in the trashcan! But it still wasn’t there. He sighed and gave up, deciding to come back later to look for it.

Part I

[In 1986—-]

“Whaaaaa!!!! Leave me alone!!! JaeJin oppa, help~!!!” There was a siren- like exclamation of a girl in the playground. Her -Pipi the longstocking- hair was being pulled by a naughty boy whom she feared the most, named KimJaeDuc.

“Duc~ah, leave the poor thing alone, will ya?” JaeJin tried to separate JaeDuc from the girl. But JaeDuc didn’t let go of his hands.

“Not until you call me ‘oppa’, then I’ll let you go!” screamed JaeDuc.

“Sil-uh, sil-uh!!!” the girl was refusing JaeDuc’s request, with all her strength.

“How come you call JaeJin ‘oppa’ and not me? I’m still a year older than you! Now, call me ‘ya’ one more time and I’m gonna pull all your hair out and make you bald!”

“KimJaeDuc, stop it! Okay?” JaeJin finally was able to get the girl’s hair out of monster JaeDuc’s hands.

“Hey! Who are you to tell me do this and do that?” JaeDuc pouted his lips out as he protested. The girl sat on the ground, sniffing.

“JaeJin oppa~ I… I… whaaaaa~~!!!!” The girl started crying. JaeJin patted her back, to stop her crying.

“It’s okay, it’s okay. Duc~ah, why are you so mean to her?” He gave JaeDuc a long and dirty stare.

“JaeDuc-ee doesn’t like me because I don’t call him ‘oppa.’ But he always beats me up and I don’t like him. JaeJin oppa is my favorite,” she gave JaeJin a cute smile, and at the same time, she gave an evil eye to JaeDuc and stuck her tongue out.

“Mo~ya?!! I’m gonna hit you if you keep on talking like that to me!” JaeDuc had his fists clenched, really getting in the position to hit her. The girl quickly hid behind JaeJin.

“Duc~ah, leave her alone. Look at her~ can’t you see all the bruises on her arms and legs? They are all there cuz you bit her up everyday. Haven’t you heard from your parents that you are not supposed to hit a girl?! Have some heart, man!”

“Oh, shut up. You always take her side, LeeJaeJin. And you call yourself my best friend? Ha!” JaeDuc snorted and left the play ground. He was mad, not at JaeJin, but at the girl. Why wouldn’t she call him ‘oppa’? She always says JaeJin oppa this and JaeJin oppa that…..

Part II

SeoEunJu was her name. JaeDuc loved teasing her, it was like the highlight of his day. If EunJu was swinging, he’d push her off. If she was playing go- moo-jool with her friends, he’d always appear like a monster and cut the strings. EunJu was always very afraid of JaeDuc and whenever she saw him nearby, she always turned around and hid somewhere.

On the other hand, LeeJaeJin was like her savior. When he found JaeDuc teasing her or hitting her, JaeJin always came and stopped the quarrel, or rather, the torture.

JaeJin and JaeDuc had been best friends since they were born. In 1984 when both of them turned 5, EunJu moved to Pusan from Seoul, next to JaeJin’s house. EunJu could still remember how she met JaeJin. She was sitting on her front porch, gazing at the sky.

“Hi. You seem lonely out here, do you have anyone to play with?”

“No. Not really.”

“Okay, then. I’ll play with you! What’s your name?”

“EunJu.”

“I’m JaeJinee. How old are you?”

“4.”

“Oh, I’m your oppa then. I’m 5. Call me oppa and I’ll play with you, k?”

“Okey. JaeJinee oppa~”

EunJu was quite lonely for a while because she was new. But when JaeJin came to play with her everyday, she was very content. Until one day…..

She heard the yelling outside her house. She looked out the window and there stood a boy she had never seen before. He was yelling his lungs out,

“JAE~JIN~AH!!!! Nol~ja!!”

JaeJin came out soon and EunJu’s face lit up. She sensed that he was going to come over.

“Hieee, JaeDuc!!!” A smile grew big on JaeJin’s face.

“Do you wanna go to the playground, JaeJin?”

“Oh, first, I need to show you someone.” Then EunJu saw JaeJin dragging the boy’s left arm and standing in front of the doorbell. She jumped out and ran to open the door.

“Hi, JaeJinee oppa!” EunJu greeted shyly.

“EunJu anyoung? I brought a friend along with me today.”
JaeDuc rolled his eyes and examined EunJu carefully.

“Duc~ah, this is EunJu. EunJu ya, JaeDuc is your oppa. He’s my best friend.”
EunJu’s face turned red. When she finally managed to say hi to JaeDuc, his words hit her to her surprise:

“Gosh, she is sooooooo ugly, JaeJin! I hate girls. Yuck!”
This statement was like the beginning of JaeDuc and EunJu’s relationship…. as enemies.

After that EunJu’s days of her happy childhood were just ruined by the presence of KimJaeDuc. He always teased her about how ugly she was and such.

She refused to call him ‘oppa’ for he did not deserve such respect she paid JaeJin. And that’s what really got on JaeDuc angry. For just once he wanted EunJu to call him ‘oppa’ just like she called JaeJin. But she never did.

As all 3 of them- JaeJin, JaeDuc, and EunJu- grew up, went to elementary, junior high, and finally got to high school. EunJu, after graduating from all-girls junior high school, came to KyungNam H.S., coed, where JaeJin and JaeDuc attended. She was very happy to see JaeJin again everyday at school, but obviously not JaeDuc. Argh, those nightmares, she thought, would start all over again and haunt her.

Part III

Sadly, high school wasn’t as great as EunJu thought it’d be. She was hoping to see more of JaeJin. Even though they were next-door neighbors, JaeJin had been so busy ever since he got into junior high. In the mornings and evenings he used to deliver newspapers to support his family. When he got to high school, he quit the evening shift and formed a dancing team called “Quicksilver” with JaeDuc and two of their friends. So EunJu hardly got a chance to see him anymore… in the mornings, he’d be gone… at school, she could only see him during the recess but he was always asleep… in the evenings he’d always be practicing at a friend’s house.

In contrary, JaeDuc must be some kind of a superman…. at every opportunity he came to EunJu’s class and bugged her. God, does he ever get tired from all those hours of practicing? It was official among her classmates now that JaeDuc was EunJu’s “suh-bang-nim.”

“EunJu~ya!!” JaeDuc had made a visit to EunJu’s class, like he always did. She was trying to study for a test but when she heard JaeDuc’s voice, she slammed her book on her desk and put her head down.

“Hey, EunJu! Here’s your boyfriend!” One of the classmates whistled.

“Haha! Funnie… now shut up.” She got up and walked to the door. “What do you want, KimJaeDuc?”

“You are not supposed to talk to your “sun-bae” like that, you know. You could get in trouble for that, yup, yup!!!” He had a huge grin on his face.

“Yeah, yeah. Okay, what can I do for you, your majesty?” EunJu said sarcastically.

“Buy me lunch!!!”

“No way, why would spend my money on you? Besides, you know that a cafeteria isn’t a cafeteria, it’s a battlefield!!! I ain’t risking my life for you to get your lunch, so buy it yourself!!”

“Fine, fine.” JaeDuc turned around and slowly started walking back. He murmured to himself but loud enough so EunJu could hear,

“I guess poor JaeJinee would have to starve then.” He smiled to himself. That caught EunJu’s attention at once. She stopped him immediately.

“What did you say? What about JaeJin oppa?”

“He didn’t eat anything for the past two days, he must be starving now. He asked me to get him something to eat but I didn’t have money so I came to ask you… but the way you are treating me…..”

“Okay!! No problem. I’ll go get it right now!” She went inside, grabbed her wallet quickly, and hurried downstairs to the “battlefield,” leaving JaeDuc stunned. That took her like 10 seconds!

After starring at the direction EunJu went for a while, JaeDuc started heading back to his classroom. He felt something inside him he couldn’t understand. It was like a sadness. It was a questionable sadness though, not a definite one. But he did know for sure that he never felt like that before. It was typical for him to feel jealous because EunJu always was up to her neck about JaeJin’s affairs and seldom paid attention to JaeDuc, but it really didn’t make him feel all that bad… until now.

JaeDuc had noticed a while ago that he was developing some kind of feelings for EunJu. But he wasn’t quite sure. He had sort of forgotten about her since they went to different junior high, but when he saw her again in high school, it all came back to him.

The memories… fun times for him, a torture for EunJu. He always felt sorry for teasing her and beating her up so much when they were little, but he couldn’t help it. Whenever he saw her caring about his best friend, he felt so jealous.
He couldn’t get angry at JaeJin, obviously, so he took it out all on EunJu.

But the time for that immature stuff had passed, JaeDuc thought to himself. He really needed to grow up and be more serious and treat her better. He was beginning to see her more as a girl, rather than his good ol’ “toy” or a playmate. She was pretty in a way; her hair was long and straight, JaeDuc’s favorite type. She was neither too short or too tall which was perfect for him since he was so short for a guy. 5’8″, geez. Even though she was very quiet and reserved, JaeDuc knew her better than most people so conversing with her was not a problem. She was intelligient, too, for she always fought for #1 spot in her entire class.

“It doesn’t matter.” JaeDuc quietly spoke to himself. “She’ll never like me anyway… her heart is set on JaeJin for 12 years now…..”

Part IV
“Hey, JaeDuc. Are you listening?” JaeJin patted JaeDuc’s shoulder lightly.

“Oh, sorry. What were you saying?” JaeDuc snapped out of his la-la land.

“What, you haven’t been paying attention this whole time? I said, how about lining up at the end of the song instead of finishing it off with the routine we planned before.”

“Oh, okay. Good idea,” replied JaeDuc.

“What, aren’t you gonna even try to see if it’d work?” JaeJin questioned with his eyes widened.

“I’m sure it’ll be fine that way, anyways, can I leave early? I’m very tired…”

“What?!?! But it’s only 5! You’ve only been here for an hour!”

“Mi an ta~ My mom wants me to come home early today. Bye!” JaeDuc packed his stuff without anyone’s approval and stepped out of the room.

He was practicing with his friends, JaeJin, JaeJu and TaeYong. But he just wasn’t in that mood today. He sighed and started walking back to his house.

He was passing by the park on his way home when he spotted EunJu from the other side of the park. Group of kids were playing soccer. He stopped for a sec and stared at her, gazed. That’s when the soccerball hit him square in the left of his face, without him knowing it.

“Ouch!!! Shit!!” JaeDuc collapsed on the ground, covering his face.

“Watch it you fool!! Don’t stand there like a moron!!” A guy came to pick up the ball and yelled at JaeDuc.

“Urrrrrrr….. it hurts!” He uncovered his face and looked at his palm. Blood!

EunJu must have seen him. She looked at his direction, surprised, then ran over to him.

“JaeDuc, are you okay?!!!!” EunJu panicked when she saw the blood on his face.

“Oh, my God! You are bleeding! Does it hurt a lot? Let me see…. ” She got her handkerchief out of her backpack and started wiping out the blood on his face.

JaeDuc felt so stupid. He was embarrassed, to get hit by a ball right on his face. The worst part was that EunJu saw the whole thing. Now she probably thinks he’s some kind of an idiot, to stand there and get hit like that. He felt so humiliated.

“Are you okay? You’re bleeding heavily…… you have to go wash your face.” EunJu was pressing down on his cheek with her handkerchief. She looked really worried. But all JaeDuc could think about was the embarrassment and humiliation. He started blushing, his face turning red.

“Maybe you should go to the doctor. Does it hurt a lot?”

His heart now began pounding quickly. For the first time in 12 years she was being kind to him. But he didn’t want her to see him like this!! Looking like an idiot….

“Go away, I’m fine now,” said JaeDuc coldly. Wait, no!!! He didn’t mean that!! Why the hell did he say that?!

“What?!” EunJu’s eyes grew wide. After all she’s done to help him out?!

“I’m okay now. I don’t need your help.” JaeDuc was trying to stop himself but the words kept on popping out, the words he didn’t even mean to say.

“Well, then! You ungrateful boy….keep that dirty handkerchief if you wish.” She picked up her backpack and started to walk.

JaeDuc continued to sit there, pressing down on his face with the handkerchief.

“Damn!” He said to himself. “I’m so stupid…..”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
That soccerball left a huge bruise on his face. He came to school the next day, all bummed out. Ahhhh!! People are gonna laugh, he thought. Indeed, JaeJin came up to him during lunch and started teasing.

“Duc-ah, what’s that bruise on your face? It looks pretty bad~”

“Oh, shut up. Leave me alone.”

“Hey, okay. But really, what did happen?”

“I got hit by a soccer….” JaeDuc was about to explain when he saw EunJu walking towards them two. She stopped, glanced at JaeDuc, then resumed her attention back to JaeJin.

“JaeJin oppa, here’s your lunch.” EunJu handed him a box of sandwich.

“Ohhhhh!!! Thanks, EunJu! I was starving to death…. you didn’t have to do that, though.” JaeJin felt good and bad at the same time.

“No problem. I best be going now, bye.” EunJu headed back to her class.

JaeDuc stared at her back for awhile. That feeling inside him again started to bother him. He had never felt that way before. When EunJu gave JaeJin something she didn’t give JaeDuc, the usual response was to hit her or to whine, “What about me?!” But this time, his heart was just saddened. It hurt too much.

“Ya! Snap out of it!!! What you thinkin’?” JaeJin waved his hand in front of JaeDuc’s face.

“Oh, oh. What did you say?”

“Gosh, you are weird nowadays. Anyways, don’t ditch the practice tonight, okay? If you do, you might as well be dead.”

“All right.”

It was late. JaeDuc was extremely tired from all the practicing.

“Quicksilver” was to perform at Kyung Nam H.S. festival the following week. He laid in his bed, staring at the ceiling. In his hand he held EunJu’s handkerchief. It was clean now, for his mom washed it. He was very confused. What happened to him? He was always so optimisitic and jolly, not worrying about anything. But this time, something just kept on bugging him. Perhaps….

“Oh, my God!” JaeDuc abruptly got up, silently being amazed. “I do like her. I really do like her!”

Part V

[Few days later….]

“EunJu, can I talk to you?” A classmate of EunJu, named KyungAh, approached her.

“Yeah, sure. What’s up?” EunJu was glad that someone actually came up to talk to her. She didn’t have very many friends since she got to high school because she was shy around strangers.

“Can… can you give this to…” KyungAh smiled shyly, handing EunJu an envelope with a pretty design.

“What is this?”

“Can you give this to JaeDuc sun-bae?”

“Whaaatttttt?!?!” EunJu almost had a heart attack when she heard KyungAh. Someone actually likes that idiot?!?!

“I hope it’s not too much trouble. I mean, even though people say you guys are going together, we all know that he doesn’t like you, and you don’t like him. So I asked him to be my partner at the festival this weekend.”

“But… why don’t you just give it to him yourself?”

“I can’t…. my head just spins when I see him. Don’t you see his smile? It’s the cutest I’ve ever seen! He’s so adorable and I just can’t stop but to….”

“Okay!!!” EunJu cut KyungAh off in the middle. She was getting sick! Adorable?! Cute?! KimJaeDuc?!

“Fine, I’ll give it to him,” promised EunJu.

EunJu tried to locate JaeDuc during the recess. The idea of seeing him didn’t amuse her at all, but maybe it’d be a good way to make KyungAh her friend. But where was he? Whenever she didn’t want him, he always came to bug her. Now it was the opposite. She needed to see him immediately since the recess was going to be over soon but she couldn’t find him.

At that moment, she discovered TaeYong, one of the Quicksilver members. She was introduced to him only once by JaeJin. She really needed to hurry back to her class. She had no choice but to hand him the letter.

“Um, excuse me. TaeYong sun-bae?”

TaeYong turned around, a bit surprised.

“Uh— hi. SeoEunJu, right?”

“Ah, yeah. We’ve met before once.”

“Yes. What can I do for you, EunJu?” TaeYong was very kind and helpful. EunJu felt a bit of relief.

“I really need to see JaeDuc-ee but I can’t seem to find him. I must go back to my class, so can you do me a favor and give him this when you see him?”

EunJu handed him the letter.

“Oh~kay…. sure.” TaeYong hesitated for a second and accepted the letter.

“Thank you very much.” EunJu bowed courteously and ran back to her class. TaeYong chuckled to himself. A love letter, eh?

“Hey, Duc-ah!!” TaeYong waved his hand at JaeDuc as he walked in to the classroom.

“Yeah. What’s up?” replied JaeDuc.

“Somebody must be falling in love with you,” teased TaeYong.

“Haha. That’s not really funny. What’s that thing in your hand?”

“Oh, this? SeoEunJu asked me to give this to you. A love letter! Yay, JaeDuc has a lover now!” TaeYong handed JaeDuc the letter. JaeDuc’s eyes grew big, his face full of surprise.

“EunJu? Reeeaaaalllllly?” JaeDuc was very excited now. “TaeYong, it better not be a joke.”

“What, you think I’d have time to play with stuff like this? No way. It was really EunJu,” assured TaeYong.

The teacher came in. TaeYong went back to his seat. JaeDuc carefully stored the letter in his backpack. He was going to read it later. He couldn’t believe it. EunJu wrote him a letter!!

JaeDuc opened the envelope and took out the letter and unfolded it. His heart was pounding hard. He silently began reading. It was a poem, a parodized sonnet of Shakespeare.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art so fine and delicate,
Thy smile melts my heart away.
———-shortened————-
*I’ll be looking forward to meet you by the pine tree at the south gate after school today if you agree to be my partner at the festival this weekend.

JaeDuc couldn’t help but to smile. It was so cute!! One thing he didn’t understand was that she ended in jon-dae-mal instead of just ending in bahn- mal like she normally would. But that did not matter. JaeDuc couldn’t think about anything else but meeting EunJu after school. God, the lecture seemed so long, he could hardly wait!!!

Part VI

As soon as the school was over, JaeDuc stormed out of his classroom. JaeJin met him on the way and yelled to his back,

“You better not ditch today!!!!!!”

JaeDuc ran as fast as he could. The path to the pine tree at the south gate seemed so long and tiring but he finally arrived. To his surprise, no one was there yet.

“Hmm, I think I’ll wait for a moment….” He tried to fix his hair but it was still all over the place. He was whistling, checking his watch, doing everything he can think of to kill some time. It only had been 5 minutes since the school was out, but to him, it seemed like 5 hours long.

Suddenly, someone tapped his shoulder. He turned around with a big smile on his face. She’s here!!!

“Hello, JaeDuc sun-bae….”

It was KyungAh standing there. JaeDuc’s smile faded away. He was kind of annoyed and disappointed because someone he was waiting for wasn’t there.

“Oh, yeah. Hel..hello. Do I know you?” JaeDuc tried to remember where he met her but he couldn’t think straight.

“Umm, I would assume so, ” replied KyungAh, “since you are out here which implies that you read my letter and agreed to be my partner at the festival this weekend….” she smiled shyly.

“Letter? What letter?” JaeDuc had no idea what she was talking about.

“You know… the letter EunJu gave you at school today….”

JaeDuc gasped. His head was spinning fast. Ahhh!!!! What had he done? He didn’t even see the name that was written on the letter. This has to be a misunderstanding…. there’s no way he’s gonna take this girl to the festival.

“So… you’ll be my partner, right?” KyungAh was unsure so she wanted to confirm it. JaeDuc was so sure that he wanted to turn her down, but he was too kind-hearted to do that. He didn’t want to make her all cry and stuff, so he agreed.

“Okay, I guess. But I won’t be able to spend a lot of time with you because I have to perform for the Quicksilver on stage.”

“Oh, that’s no problem. Thank you!” KyungAh was very excited now, she hopped away like a bunny.

JaeDuc was so disappointed now. He felt disheartened. A mixture of emotions came through his mind. He wanted to sit down and cry but he didn’t even have an energy to do so.

It was 4 o’clock already, when the practice would start. He knew JaeJin told him not to ditch the practice today, for the festival was only few days away. Yet he started heading back to his own home. Who cares, JaeJin can kill him later, he thought.

JaeJin, TaeYong, and JaeJu were really angry that JaeDuc ditched practice again. It was 4:30 and he still hadn’t showed up! They tried calling him but he wasn’t home.

“JaeJin-ah, are you sure you told him to come today?” asked TaeYong.

“What do you mean, am I sure? He knows that the practice starts at 4 every single freakin’ day! We get no dayoffs, if that idiot hasn’t realized yet!”

Annoyed, JaeJin snapped back.

“Forget it. You guys can stay here and practice, I’ll go look for him.”

JaeJin got up and put his jacket on.

“Alright. Just don’t kill him too much! He still needs to practice…” laughed TaeYong.

JaeJin stepped out of the room, trying to think of where JaeDuc might be at.

JaeDuc arrived home. He saw his dad’s shoes… he must be home. But JaeDuc wasn’t happy at all. His dad was away frequently, and he knew why. JaeDuc’s dad was planning a separation from the family. His parents didn’t get along very well.

He sighed and went upstairs to his room. Soon he could hear his parents arguing. He lied on his bed, with his ears covered with a pillow. He wished it’d stop; it was such a happy family, he didn’t know when it started to go wrong. He pretended to be goofy and happy at school but inside, he was crying. He needed someone right this moment, he couldn’t take it anymore. He couldn’t talk to JaeJin; JaeJin must be mad because he ditched practiced again. But he needed someone. All he could think of was EunJu. He picked up the phone and started dialing.

Ring~~~~~~~Ring~~~~~~~~

EunJu was about to start her homework when the phone rang. She picked it up.

“Hello?”

“Hi.” The voice on the other side sounded quite familiar but for a second she couldn’t recognize it.

“Uh… May I ask who this is?” questioned EunJu very carefully.

“Why, you don’t even know my voice? JaeDuc-ee.”

“Oh, okay. When il?” EunJu was a bit annoyed. Why was he calling her?

“Umm, I need to talk to you.”

“You are talking to me right now, aren’t you?” said EunJu coldly.

“No, I mean…… can I meet you outside? It’s kinda important….at the playground, if you can.”

EunJu was now curious. It must be pretty important and he sounded quite serious. Serious=JaeDuc: the two words usually didn’t go together so it must be something. So she agreed.

“All right. Sure.”  

Part VII

JaeDuc was leaning against the wall when EunJu spotted him. She went up to him.

“Okay, this better be good,” said EunJu.

JaeDuc looked up, right at her face. Gosh, she looks so pretty, he thought. Who would’ve known he’d ever fall in love with her? He was dazed. Why her, though? She liked his best friend….but right now, he really needed her. He was too hurt to be alone.

“Well, hello? Aren’t you gonna tell me why you wanted to talk to me?” She waved her hand in front of his face.

“Oh, yeah. Sorry,” JaeDuc finally snapped out into reality.

“If you aren’t gonna talk, I must leave now.” EunJu turned around and started walking.

“No, don’t leave!” JaeDuc exclaimed and ran to grab her wrist. Her eyes widened.

“Wha…”
“Please, don’t leave. Stay with me, EunJu.” JaeDuc twisted her wrist hard, for he feared that if he let it go, she’d leave.

“JaeDuc, you are hurting me. Let me go.” EunJu was starting to get scared. She had never seen him so grave before. What was wrong with him?!

JaeDuc gently pressed her against the wall. He had no idea what he was doing. All he could think about was how pretty she looked and how much he liked her. Maybe she could make him forget about his problems. In the midst of that thought, he started leaning towards her.

“JaeDuc, what are you doing? Get away from me!” EunJu was so shocked by his action that she stood still. Her heart was pounding hard, she was frightened now. She kept on repeating JaeJin’s name in her mind, asking for his help like she always did. But she couldn’t get the words out….. she closed her eyes hard, afraid of what JaeDuc was going to do to her.

Suddenly, she felt something pressing on her lips.

JaeDuc had kissed her. It was only for a second, but to her, it seemed like forever. This must be a nightmare, she thought. This can’t be happening!! What just happened here?

JaeDuc was surprised himself.

‘Shoot, what have I done? I just kissed her!! She must really hate me now…’

He slowly lifted his hands off her shoulder.

EunJu stood there for a moment, her head down. A tear started rolling down her cheek, falling onto the ground.

‘Damn, I made her cry!’ JaeDuc thought to himself. ‘What do I do now?’

JaeJin was still looking for JaeDuc. He stopped by every place he could ever think of, but he couldn’t find JaeDuc. He was on his way back to TaeYong’s house when he saw EunJu and JaeDuc at the playground.

“Yaaaahhhhh!!! What in the world are you doing here, KimJaeDuc?” JaeJin shouted, running towards them. An anger had reached to top of his head.

EunJu was so relieved when she saw JaeJin. She was crying uncontrollably now. JaeJin noticed that she was crying.

“EunJu? What’s wrong? Are you all right?” He turned to question JaeDuc,

“What the hell did you do to her, JaeDuc?”

JaeDuc couldn’t answer that question. Instead, he started running away. He felt so ashamed of himself. JaeJin wanted to go catch him but he couldn’t leave EunJu alone. He tried to comfort her but all she did was just crying.

“Here, I’ll walk you home. Come on.” He put his arm around her and they slowly started walking.

EunJu had stopped crying. She was much calm by the presence of JaeJin. Just like the old days, he came to save her once more.

“Why won’t you tell me what he did to you?” asked JaeJin.
“I’ll go beat the shit out of him for you.”

“It’s okay, oppa,” replied EunJu quietly, “he didn’t do anything. Really.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, I really am,” assured EunJu. There was no good to be done telling JaeJin what happened. JaeJin sensed that she wanted to drop the issue, so he decided to change the subject.

“So… are you coming to the festival this weekend?” asked JaeJin.

“Festival… what’s that? I heard people talking about it but I’m not sure what it is.”

“Oh, it’s just a festival. Every high school, I think, has it around sometime in May. They have food there, obviously, it’s more of an outdoor dance party, sort of. Seniors can go free, you guys can come but only with a partner,” explained JaeJin.

“I guess I’m not going then,” said EunJu, “since I don’t have a partner.”

“Ah, that’s too bad… you have to come see the Quicksilver performing! We were awesome last year!” JaeJin said with an excitement.

“I’m sorry, oppa. I really wanna go but I don’t have anyone to go with.”

“Hmm, here’s what, then. How about if I be your partner?” JaeJin quickly suggested a plan. He really wanted her to see him perform.

“For real?” EunJu’s eyes sparkled. JaeJin was going to take her to the festival! Of course she’d go if that was the case.

“Sure, why not? But don’t expect to spend too much time with me since I’ll be busy.”

“Okay!” EunJu was very happy. She could just well forget about what happened with JaeDuc earlier.

Part VIII

[5 pm, Saturday, at the festival.]

EunJu left her house, all dressed up. She didn’t know how to impress a guy so she just put some decent clothes that matched. But at least she tried…. she was feeling absolutely the best in the whole world that evening.

She arrived to school on time, right when it about to begin. She had no idea what Quicksilver was all about because she had never seen them dancing before.

They were onstage now, an opportunity for her to see what JaeJin was like when he danced.

But for some reason, her attention kept on shifting to JaeDuc who was on stage as well. It seemed like JaeDuc danced with all his soul put into it. EunJu was seeing a whole new side of naughty boy KimJaeDuc. But then again, she thought about what that bastard did to her few days ago. He stole her first kiss ever! She wanted to receive it from a handsome, fine, tall guy of her dream when she grew up. Not some short monster who used to beat her up all the time. She got angry all over again, and resumed her attention back to JaeJin and others, trying to ignore JaeDuc as much as possible.

After the Quicksilver was done, people cheered. EunJu herself was amazed as well. JaeJin came to look for her.

“EunJu-ya!” JaeJin shouted from a distance.

“Oh, hi!” EunJu waved her hand.

“So~ what do you think?” JaeJin scratched his head, asking shyly.

“Oppa, you guys were awesome! I had no idea…. I guess all that practice paid off, huh?”

“Nah, we still have a long way to go. This is a secret but…” JaeJin leaned closer to her and whispered, “we sent in a demo tape to LeeJuno from Taiji Boys.”

“Wow, for real?” EunJu was astonished.

“We haven’t got the results back yet, but I hope it all works out all right. Gosh, I’m so thirsty!” JaeJin was sweating like crazy.

At that moment, he finally noticed that EunJu was nicely dressed, with a blue flare skirt and a white shirt. It was simple but cute.

“Oh, I forgot to say this. You look… quite nice today.” JaeJin noticed that his heart was beating fast.

“Thank you. Did you say you were thirsty? I’ll go get something to drink if you want….” offered EunJu.

“Sure, I’ll be over there talking to the guys. Thanx!” JaeJin smiled and walked away. That heart-pounding moment disappeared. He knew inside that he shouldn’t feel like that.

Meanwhile, KyungAh and JaeDuc were standing in the line for tuk-bok-ki. JaeDuc was trying to find JaeJin and the others but they took off right away! Darn it, now I’m stuck with her alone, he thought.

“Sun-bae, you were so awesome up there,” complimented KyungAh.

“Oh, thank you,” replied JaeDuc.

“Can you excuse me for a sec? I must go talk to a friend of mine over there,” KyungAh requested.

“Oh, yeah. Sure, go right ahead. Take your time!” JaeDuc was now content that he got rid of her for a moment.

Just then, he saw EunJu standing in the line next to his, for the sodas.

She must have noticed him too, for she turned around and their eyes met. JaeDuc’s face turned bright red, not knowing what to say. They both felt very awkward. They haven’t talked to each other since that incident.

‘I have to apologize to her,’ he thought. EunJu was blushing as she saw JaeDuc but she tried not to make it noticeable. She turned away as the line moved up.

‘God, she must be really mad at me, I’m not surprised.’ JaeDuc was caught in a desperate desire to apologize but he didn’t know how. Too late, she had gotten out of the line with her drink already.

JaeJin and EunJu were talking about many things as JaeJin was trying to finish the drink. EunJu was glad that she came; it’s been quite some years since they had a “real” conversation. Right when he finished his drink, a ballad song came out, one by Solid.

“Perhaps you’d like to dance with me?” JaeJin offered her his hand.

“Sure.” EunJu held his hand and moved closer to him.

“Sun-bae, would you like to dance?” asked KyungAh.

‘No way,’ thought JaeDuc, but he dared not to say so.

“Sure, why not.”

JaeDuc pulled KyungAh towards him and got in a slow-dance position. He looked around, trying not to meet her in the eyes. He spotted EunJu dancing with JaeJin at that moment. He couldn’t help but to keep staring at them two. She looked so happy in JaeJin’s arms. He thought about how he could make EunJu as happy, but it seemed that everything he did to her was wrong and bad.

“Umm…. will you go out with me?” JaeDuc was thinking too hard that he didn’t even realize KyungAh was talking to him.

“Yeah… wha, what?” JaeDuc shifted his attention back to his own girl in his arms.

“I said, will you go out with me, sun-bae?” KyungAh felt uncomfortable about having to repeat the same line. JaeDuc knew that this was going too far, and that he had to turn her down then. He carefully thought out a line, and replied,

“No, I’m already taken.”

“By who?” Surprised, KyungAh inquired, “is it SeoEunJu?”

JaeDuc felt like saying yes, but he knew he shouldn’t.

“No, it’s not EunJu,” he said, “rather, it’s someone else. She’s very pretty and I see her everyday…. in my dreams. But I can’t touch her. She’s too far away. I only think about her. KyungAh, you are a very nice girl and I’m sure you can find someone else more compatible to you. You don’t deserve a loser like me.” JaeDuc was imaging EunJu in his mind.

“Okay, I guess,” said KyungAh, “well, the song’s over. I had a great day, sun-bae. Thanks for everything!” She bowed and walked away.

JaeDuc stared at her back for few seconds, then quietly murmured to himself

“Yes, it’s EunJu. She’s the angel in my dream.”

Part IX

[Few weeks later, in June, ’96]

EunJu’s 16th b-day was rapidly approaching. It was June the 19th. It was traditional for EunJu to do something fun with JaeJin on her birthday ever since they met 12 years ago, but that stopped when JaeJin entered junior high. So it’s been quite a while since EunJu just spent her birthday like one of her typically ordinary days. It was better that way anyhow, though, because JaeDuc always came to spoil the event for her anyways. Every single year, without an exception, JaeDuc appeared from nowhere and bugged her on her birthday. But this year, it’d be different. JaeJin invited her to a dinner for the night of her birthday. She somehow knew that JaeDuc wouldn’t be able to come and ruin it for her this year. Not after what he did to her.

JaeDuc was in his room, looking at EunJu’s handkerchief. He still hadn’t given it back to her. He was aware that her birthday was only in 2 days. He really wanted to give her something, both as a sign of apology and love.

Then he suddenly remembered that EunJu absolutely loved teddy bears. He only knew that because he was the one who’d always be stepping on her teddy bears, ripping out their arms and legs, leaving EunJu to cry hysterically.

This might be a time to make up for all those lives of teddy bears he killed. He lightly laughed to himself. A gift idea has just been formed.

—The evening of EunJu’s birthday, June 19th—–

“Thanks for taking me out to the dinner, oppa.”

EunJu thanked JaeJin. She had the most wonderful time and she was very happy. JaeJin walked her home and they were now standing outside her house.

“Oh, no prob,” JaeJin shrugged.

JaeDuc had his gift nicely wrapped, ready to deliver it for her. He also took the handkerchief with him so he could return it. He left his house, heading towards EunJu’s. He was whistling and humming, but also worrying inside. Would she accept his apology? He sure hoped so.

Just when he turned around the corner leading to EunJu’s house…..

“Good night, EunJu.” JaeJin gently kissed her forehead.

It was an innocent and sincere kiss, but apparently, to JaeDuc…. it was more than that. He gasped and leaned against the corner wall, trying to hide. He heard the door closing, and he sensed that JaeJin was walking away to the other direction. He wanted to cry, but it pained him that he couldn’t. No tears were coming out of his eyes. He headed back to his home.

EunJu went up to her bedroom and sat on it. She carefully rubbed her forehead, thinking of what JaeJin said.

“I like you so much, EunJu. So much that I wish you were my real sister.”

That was it, she thought. JaeJin oppa only thought of her as a sister, a dong-sang, but nothing more.

To her surprise, she wasn’t very hurt. Maybe she, too, only thought of him as an oppa and nothing more. Or maybe not. She was confused. Did she really like him?

[Next day—-]

Ring~~~~~~Ring~~~~~~~~

“God, who is it?” JaeDuc was trying to sleep in late that morning. It was a non-school day, for God’s sake! He glanced at the alarm clock. 7 am!!

“What?!” He picked up the phone, his face still in the pillow.

“Yaaa!!! Duc-ah, wake up, will ya? It’s a good news!!” Oh, it was JaeJu. He sounded so excited.

“JaeJu…. it’s you. Okay, it better be good.” JaeDuc was having a light headache… he thought too much about EunJu before he went to bed last night.

“LeeJuno from Taiji Boys called this morning… he saw our demo tape and he asked us to come to Seoul for an audition!!!!” JaeJu was practically screaming on the phone.

“Whaaaatttttttt??!!?!” JaeDuc jumped out of his bed at once. He couldn’t believe it. It was almost like a dream come true!!!

“I’m gonna call JaeJin now, come to TaeYong’s house, okay? See you soon!”

JaeJu abruptly hung up. JaeDuc still couldn’t believe it. He held the receiver in his hand, staring at it. Realizing what had just went on, he hung up the phone and started jumping on his bed.

“Ya-ho!! Yes!! Yes!! Yes!!”

Part X
Summer came and passed. All EunJu heard was that the Quicksilver went to Seoul. And she later heard from TaeYong and JaeJu that only JaeJin and JaeDuc were recruited. But TaeYong and JaeJu seemed pretty casual about it…. they said they didn’t want to leave Quicksilver anyway. EunJu was happy for JaeJin… and maybe for JaeDuc, slightly.

The days at KyungNam high school weren’t the same anymore for EunJu. She developed a tendency to stare at the classroom door everyday when the recess came, hoping that someone was standing there, ready to bug her.

“EunJu~ya!”

She hated to admit that she somehow missed JaeDuc. She was still angry at him for what he did; to him, it was probably a joke, just playing around with a poor girl who happens to be his favorite toy since childhood. But to her, it meant more than that. She could still remember how it felt when his lips gently brushed against hers that night. Now that she thought of it, she might have liked it…. perhaps, she thought, she liked him more than she knew. Maybe.

[May, 1997]

Months have gone by. EunJu became an upperclassmen now. She hardly saw JaeJin and JaeDuc anymore; they only came to Pusan to take their tests and went back to Seoul immediately. Did it matter, though? Sechs Kies was getting more popular each day; girls at school were crazy about them. They had fans all over the country, JaeJin and JaeDuc might as well just forget about a girl named EunJu. She no longer existed in their lives, she thought.

Ding~Dong~

EunJu quickly ran downstairs to answer the door. She opened it with not much thought….. to her surprise, JaeDuc was standing there. He had his baseball cap on to cover his face so no one could see him. EunJu was stunned for a while.

“Well, aren’t you gonna invite me in?” JaeDuc finally broke the silence.

“Oh, yeah. Sorry, come in.” EunJu led his way in.

They sat down on sofa, very awkwardly looking at each other. EunJu was happy to see him, but she didn’t know what to say.

“Umm, where’s JaeJin oppa?” asked EunJu.

“He’s still in Seoul. Only I’m here,” replied JaeDuc.

“Oh, okay. Well, so how are you?”

“Fine. How are you? Doing okay? Did you see our debut performance on Show Music Tank? How were we? Did you listen to our CD yet? It still needs work but aren’t we the bomb? You know, JaeJin and I planned all the dance routines. I know you don’t watch that stuff but you should sometime…. Sechs Kies is really cool and everyone is very nice to us. Why don’t you come to one of our concerts later? I’ll give you a backstage pass.”

“Whoa! Slow, there!” said EunJu.

“Oh, sorry,” laughed JaeDuc. Now everything seemed comfortable and back to normal. EunJu began laughing too.

“So what are you doing in Pusan anyway? We had no tests recently,” said EunJu.

“Family thing. And I also came to give you something,” replied JaeDuc. He searched his pocket and took out a handkerchief.

“Here.”

“Oh, this is…. you still had it?” EunJu’s eyes widened.

“Of course…. sorry I didn’t give it back sooner. I better leave now, EunJu. It was really nice seeing you.” JaeDuc stood up.

“Yeah. Wait! I have to give you something…” JaeDuc stood still, watching EunJu unlocking her necklace. She took his hand and put the necklace in it.

“Here…. this is a good luck from me. I hope Sechs Kies reaches #1 soon. Even though I have no idea what the song is all about….” EunJu smiled shyly.

JaeDuc was deeply touched. That necklace had been something she always treasured since she was little; he knew that better than anyone else. It was just plain and simple gold but it had its elegance.

“Thanks, EunJu,” said JaeDuc as he leaned towards her. He whispered in her ears.

“I still like you.”

Part XI

[Back to present, January of ’98]

Now that necklace was gone. JaeDuc searched everywhere…. but it wasn’t there!!!

“Shoot, what do I do?” JaeDuc realized that he was gonna be late for MBC Best 50 again… so he gave up the search and hurried out.

He always wore EunJu’s necklace 24/7. He took a long bath the night before and because he feared that the necklace might be ruined if too wet, he took it off and put it by the tub…. he searched for it but he couldn’t find it. He couldn’t stop thinking about the necklace even when he was dancing….. he messed up many times while singing “Kisado.”

[After the bang-song]

“Hey, what was wrong with you today, hyung?” Sung Hoon approached JaeDuc while they were getting ready to leave in the waiting room.

“Oh, I’m really sorry about that, ” replied JaeDuc, “my mind was just somewhere else today. Sorry I messed up.”

“That happens sometimes, really no problem,” said JiWon.

“Yeah, hyung. Just don’t do it next time,” added SuWon. But JaeJin gave JaeDuc a weird glare. JaeJin sensed something else, he knew JaeDuc so well.

He knew there had to be something really important that was bothering JaeDuc.

They reached their apartment. All 6 of them were living there, with their manager, Mr. Kim. It was quite a nice place and also well-hidden so fans wouldn’t find it so easily. JiYong and SungHoon stormed into the apartment, fighting for who’s gonna get the shower first. SungHoon won the debate after all.

“Hey, what is this?” thought SungHoon when he discovered a shining object stuck on the tile right by the tub in the bathroom. He picked it up, observing it carefully.

“A necklace, eh? Doesn’t look like the one JaeJinee hyung is wearing… oh wellz.” SungHoon decided to keep it to himself for a while. JaeDuc never wore his necklace so it’d be visible outside, so no one had a clue about whether he was even wearing one or not.

“Ya, Duc-ah, can I talk to you?” asked JaeJin while JaeDuc was making his bed.

“Alright, sure. What’s up?” replied JaeDuc.

“Well…. about…” JaeJin hesitated to speak.

“Yeah, what? About?”

“About…. EunJu….”

JaeDuc stood up, his eyes looking directly in JaeJin’s.

“EunJu?” said JaeDuc, “what about her?”

“I mean… just… have you talked to her lately?”

“Not really,” replied JaeDuc.

“Umm…. do you still… still like her though?” carefully asked JaeJin.

JaeDuc was trying to think for an answer. He undoubtedly wanted to say yes, but he couldn’t get that scene off his mind still… when JaeJin kissed EunJu’s forehead on her birthday. He had been wanting to question JaeJin about that incident but he was very unsure whether he should or not… he was silent for a moment, then finally gave his answer.

“Yes.”

“Have you told her how you feel about her?”

“Yes.”

“What did she say about that?”

JaeDuc now was reminded of that day again… the day when he visited her and gave back her handkerchief. He confessed then to her that he still liked her…..

“I still like you.”

“…………”

“If you thought what I did to you that day… at the playground… was a joke, well, it wasn’t. I did that because I like you. You might think it’s funny and ridiculous, how a boy who used to hit you and tease you all the time is now confessing his crush on you he had for a while, but it took me a lot of courage to say all this.”

“…………”

“I’m sorry, though. I do owe you an apology. But just know this for sure: I really do like you.”

JaeDuc then leaned forward and kissed her forehead. EunJu didn’t object. She was silent the whole time. Her face was expressionless, neither too sad nor too happy. Was it possible that she was beginning to like him, too? He wondered to himself. Now he started to think about her response again when JaeJin brought it up.

“So she didn’t exactly give you a definite answer as to whether she likes you or not?” asked JaeJin.

“Nope. But I still have a hope, don’t I?” smiled JaeDuc as he replied.

JaeJin stood silent for a moment. JaeDuc continued to make his bed, whistling. JaeJin finally spoke again.

“…. I don’t like what she’s doing to you, JaeDuc.”

JaeDuc stopped making his bed, turned around. He stared hard at JaeJin, wondering what he was talking about.

“What do you mean by that?” questioned JaeDuc.

“I mean, I don’t like the way she’s changing you,” answered JaeJin.

“What do you mean, she’s changing me?” JaeDuc now had a slight anger in his tone as he spoke, “it’s still the same old me. I don’t know what you mean by that. What, just because I like her? I haven’t changed a bit.”

“Yes, you have,” JaeJin talked back, “I don’t know when, but since you started liking her, you changed. I know you have a family thing going on but even then, you weren’t like this. You used to laugh all the time, always funny and joyful. But look at you now! You hardly smile if not in front of a camera; and think about what you did today during bang-song. You made whole bunch of noticeable mistakes; I bet you were probably thinking about her again! Why do you have to be so serious about her?”

“It’s really none of your business.” JaeDuc was now raising his voice.

He didn’t want to admit that JaeJin was right: EunJu was changing him.

“Yes, it is! If it’s going to affect just you, I could care less. But what if something like today happens again? It’s going to affect all of us, Sechs Kies. I better talk to her about what she’s doing.”

“Talk to her about what?!” JaeDuc was almost close to yelling but he tried to control himself.

“What did she ever do? It’s only me!”

“No, JaeDuc, it’s not only you. She might be the potential cause of what will happen; something like what happened today. I can’t believe you messed up like that. You are a gasoo now, you have to realize that. You have fans, too. You can’t disappoint them, you know.”

“Being a gasoo and liking her is entirely different,” said JaeDuc, in much more calm voice. “How can you talk about her like that? I know you like her too!”

“What?!?!” exclaimed JaeJin. “I what?!”

“Don’t try to hide it, LeeJaeJin. I know it all. I saw you kissing her in front of her house on her birthday.”

“Oh, my God!! You thought I….” JaeJin couldn’t finish his sentence.

“Well, I don’t know why you hadn’t told me about that but I probably like her more than you do, so what I do with her is none of your business. If you really like her, I don’t care if you go for her or not although it might arouse some competition…..” JaeDuc slightly laughed to himself.

“That was only an innocent kiss!!!” exclaimed JaeJin. “She’s nothing more than just a dong-sang to me. It’s been like that for the past…..I dunno how many years.”

“Oh, really?!” said JaeDuc, surprised. And the whole time he thought JaeJin liked her too!

“Oh, gee. I feel so stupid now. But anyhow, like I said, what I do w/ her is none of your concern. So end of the discussion, I’m freakin’ tired now. Why don’t you go to bed?” JaeDuc finished up making his bed.

JaeJin didn’t know what to say. Why was JaeDuc being so stubborn?

“Why are you so hung up on EunJu anyway, JaeDuc?” continued JaeJin.

“You beat her up all the time as we grew up. She would always come to me, crying, with bruises all over her. Now, just because you matured a teeny bit, you think she’ll like you back? After all you did to her? Snap out of your dreams, JaeDuc. You don’t stand a chance. She will never like you back, not in your lifetime!”

JaeDuc stopped, froze still.

‘…. She won’t like me back, I know that already. So don’t tell me!

Please!’ He was screaming inside.

‘Oh, shoot. I shouldn’t have said that!’ JaeJin desperately thought to himself. “Duc-ah….. I didn’t really mean that. I’m sorry. Forget I said that….” Suddenly, JaeJin felt something pounding his face. JaeDuc had turned around and punched him hard, right in his left cheek.

Part XII

“Oh, so why isn’t JaeJin-goon here today?” GoSoYoung on SuperSunday wondered why LeeJaeJin wasn’t among the special guest, Sechs Kies.

“Well, he’s kind of ill now,” EunJiWon, like a leader, stepped forward and answered her question.

“Yeah, like JiWonee hyung said, JaeJinee hyung is not feeling very well, so please pray for him everyone!” SungHoon finished answering.

[After the show]

“Whew!! That was nervewrecking, lemme tell you!” said SuWon.

“Tell me about it. JaeJin? Not feeling well? Yeah right!” also said JiWon.

“Yes, and I wonder who left a bruise on his face that even the makeup wouldn’t cover,” said JiYong sarcastically, glaring at JaeDuc. JaeDuc remained silent.

“I know. JaeDuc, why did you guys fight like that? I think as a leader, I have a right to know…” asked JiWon.

“I’m sorry, hyung… I’d rather not have all of you know…..” JaeDuc’s voice trailed off.

“I can understand that. Just don’t fight like that from now on. You guys are best friends. And us, too. All six of us have to be together, always.” Said JiWon, trying to drop the subject.

But everyone remembered what seemed to happen that day. After JaeDuc threwhis punch at JaeJin, JaeJin ran out of his room, covering the area he hit. SuWon discovered him first and asked him what was wrong, and the next thing he could hear was JaeDuc screaming in his room:

“Don’t ever mention her in front of me again!”

By then, everyone, except Mr. Kim who wasn’t home, came out of their rooms to see what was going on. Apparently, JaeDuc hit JaeJin in the face after some sort an argument they had. Everyone did hear what JaeDuc was screaming about.

That “her” must be someone he liked back in Pusan… but no one knew because neither JaeDuc nor JaeJin talked about her.

JaeDuc knew for himself that hitting his best friend was terribly wrong. He had lost his temper badly, for the first time ever. They fought a lot since they were little, but never a fist fight. JaeDuc apologized the day after and JaeJin did accept his apology, for he knew what he said hurt JaeDuc’s feelings greatly. But there still was some kind of a tension between them two. JaeJin’s face was so badly bruised that even the makeup couldn’t cover it. So he gave up going to the SuperSunday and stayed home.

‘God, what’s happening to me?’ JaeDuc thought to himself as they were on their way home. Ever since he started liking EunJu, everything changed. Even his own personality. He wanted to become a better guy, but all he ended up doing was kissing her against her will, messing up on bang-song, and hitting his best friend. His feelings were aggravated whenever he thought about the necklace he lost: he had no idea SungHoon had it.

[February]

JaeJin and JaeDuc went back to Pusan in time for their graduation.

They finished high school! Both of them got into college: JaeJin was going to major in industrial art design at KangNam University: JaeDuc got accepted into Seoul Art Univ.- acting.

Their graduation was boring and rather disappointing: JaeJin and JaeDuc struggled to avoid the fans from breaking in. Consequently, they had to hide in the classroom, not being able to attend the actual graduation. What a day!

But them and other Quicksilver members were eagerly anticipating something else: a PARTY!!! JaeDuc was throwing a celebration party at his house because his parents are going to be out for the next couple days.

“Hello, EunJu?”

“Oh, hi. When did you guys come back to Pusan?”

“Just yesterday… anyhow, me and the Quicksilver guys are gonna have a party at my house tomorrow night and I was wondering if you wanna come….”

“Hmm, a party… I could use some entertainment, I guess. But would I be the only girl there?”

“Yeah… don’t worry, we won’t bite. You have to cook for us, though.”

“Oh, be quiet. Okay, I’ll be there.”

[At the party]

“Hey, you want some beer?” TaeYong offered EunJu a drink. EunJu’s eyes grew huge.

“What?!?! But aren’t you only 18?”

“Stop it, TaeYong!” JaeJu interrupted, smiling at EunJu.

“It’s only a tea. Quit joking, you fool!”

“Okay, okay!! Geez…. oh, JaeJin has been awfully quiet this evening, aren’t you happy that you got out of high school?”

“Yeah….” replied JaeJin quietly.

“Oppa, are you okay? You don’t seem too good…..” EunJu felt his forehead.

“You don’t have a fever or anything….”

“I’m just a little bit tired. JaeDuc, thanks for the party. I betta leave now, though.” JaeJin stood up, putting his coat on.

“Oh, okay. Just get a lot of rest tonight. Here, I’ll walk you out.” JaeDuc got up as well. The two of them stepped out of the house.

“Are you still mad at me?” JaeDuc asked JaeJin as they were walking slowly in the yard.

“Not really. I hope you are not mad at me either.” JaeJin weakly smiled. He was awfully tired.

“That’s enough, you should go back in.”

“All right, then. Good night, JaeJin.”

“Yeah, you too. Oh, keep your hands off EunJu, k’?” laughed JaeJin.

“Oh, shut up.” replied JaeDuc and he went back in the house.

Part XIII

Around 9:30ish, everyone left except EunJu. She stayed to help JaeDuc clean up.

“Wow, that was fun. I wanna graduate soon, too!” She sat on the sofa and stretched.

“Well, you only have one more year, keep it up!” said JaeDuc as he sat next to her.

“I’m so tired, but I have to stay awake to study for the finals tomorrow…….. God, it’s not fair! You guys don’t have to come to school anymore….” EunJu rubbed her eyes.

“Do you want some coffee, then?”

“Oh, sure, why not?”

“Okay then.” JaeDuc got up and walked into the kitchen.

But when he got back with a cup of coffee in his hand, he found her sleeping already on the sofa. He put the cup down on a table and quietly sat next to her, fearing that he’d wake her up.

She looks so cute….’ He thought to himself as he stared hard at her face.

She was leaning against her arm, sitting in a very uncomfy position.

‘She must be very tired.’ He then noticed that her long bangs were coming down on her face. He stretched his hand to fix her hair, but stopped immediately.

No, you can’t touch her. KimJaeDuc, don’t even think about it! Urrr….’

He couldn’t help but to put her hair back in place, carefully tucking it behind her ear.

‘What a fool…. to fall asleep in the house with a guy alone…. EunJu-ya, don’t blame me for all this.’ He continued fixing her hair until it didn’t come down on her face anymore. Then he held a handful of her soft, long hair…. it was the softest thing he ever touched. He began rubbing it against his cheek.

‘I love you, EunJu. I really do.’

He then was tempted to kiss her, but he was fighting hard with his conscience not to.

‘Don’t do it, don’t do it! KimJaeDuc, you are the biggest bastard in this world, be ashamed of yourself! No…’ He could no longer control himself.

He began leaning towards her. Just then, he noticed that she was shuddering…….. He stopped and sat up straight, still looking at her.

‘She must be cold…’ He got up and went upstairs to get some blanket.

He put it on her and sat next to her. He was beginning to feel tired himself.

He started falling asleep not long after…..

“Oh, shoot!! What time is it?!” EunJu woke up in panick. She noticed that she was still at JaeDuc’s house.

“Oh, what time is it?” JaeDuc woke up as well, stretching his arms. They both glanced at a clock.

“6 AM!!” They exclaimed simultaneously, then looked at each other. Their faces turned red, in the thought that they slept on the same couch. EunJu got up and hurriedly put on her coat.

“I better leave now. My parents are going to kill me!”

“Hold on, I’ll walk you home. It’s still dark out there,” JaeDuc fixed his hair and put his coat on.

They both didn’t say anything as they were walking down the street. EunJu was thinking to herself, JaeDuc was wondering what she was thinking about.

“What are you thinking?”

“Oh, nothing much,” replied EunJu.

“I was just thinking about…. how you and JaeJin oppa never call me from Seoul and such,” EunJu sighed and stared at the sky.

“I’m sorry….. we are very busy, we don’t even have time to breathe.” JaeDuc scratched his head as he tried to justify himself. But he felt bad inside.

“Oh, it’s okay. You guys are stars now, so you probably won’t have time for someone like me anyway….. all the fans Sechs Kies have, it’s almost unbelievable!! I never thought you, of all the people, would become a gasoo now that I think of it…. and JaeJin oppa, too. You guys might as well just forget me now…. I miss you guys a lot, the old ones. ‘Monstrous KimJaeDuc’ who used to beat me up all the time… even him.” EunJu spoke quietly, in a monotone. JaeDuc could sense a disappointment in her voice.

“No, don’t say that!” said JaeDuc. “You mean very much more to us than that. Yeah, fans are great and all but you’ve been my quote-unquote friend for almost 14 years now, so please don’t say that.” EunJu looked at him, puzzled. JaeDuc continued.

“Besides….. I still….”

“Yes?” EunJu knew what he was going to say and she wanted him to say it. She had a line prepared for him.

“I still…..” JaeDuc started turning red. They both stopped walking when they reached her house.

“I gotta go in now….” EunJu took her keys out.

“I still like you!! There…” JaeDuc sighed. He was embarrassed now. EunJu secretly smiled to herself. ‘Now she’s gonna turn me down— it’s okay, JaeDuc. You are prepared for that…’ JaeDuc quickly thought to himself as he was taking a deep breath.

At that moment, she turned around, smiling. She asked him, “Are you gonna ever hit me again?”

“No!! Of course not!!” JaeDuc was surprised. ‘What kind of question is this?!’

“Are you gonna ever tease me about how ugly I am again?”

“No, not at all! In fact, you are the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen….”

EunJu laughed.

“Yeah, right. What a liar!”

“No, really. But more than that…… just looking at you makes me happy. You are the source of my happiness.”

EunJu was deeply touched. She couldn’t help but to step up to him and kiss his cheek.

‘What just happened here?’ JaeDuc thought to himself, stunned. She then whispered in his ears.

“I think I like you too, JaeDuc.”

JaeDuc couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Is this a dream or what?

“Bye!” EunJu inserted the key in the lock, trying to turn it open.

“Wait!!” JaeDuc stopped her, grabbing her arm and pulling her towards him. He then put his other arm around her waist.

“What the…” without even a chance to object, JaeDuc kissed her lips once again. It was the second time he ever did that. This time they kissed for a long while…… a sun slowly began to rise.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[One year later]

It was the Valentine’s Day. EunJu and JaeDuc were on a date, just walking on the street. JaeDuc covered his face with a hat so people wouldn’t notice him.

He didn’t want this happy moment to be interrupted by anyone.

He had his arm around her. Her head was leaning against his shoulder.

He could still remember the day everything happened… how she kissed him and how she told him that she liked him. It was all like a dream come true and he didn’t know what else could be better. Just having her in his arms….

“I’m so glad you got into Seoul University,” said JaeDuc as they were walking.

“Yeah… I studied so hard for the entrance exam. Day and night!” replied EunJu.

“No, that’s not what I meant. I’m glad because….”

“Because…?”

“Now that you moved to Seoul, I’ll get to see more of you from now on. I missed you so much in the past 3 months you were in Pusan. But now I can see you whenever I want! I…. like you so much that even when I see you, I still miss you.”

“Aww…. that is quite nice of you, I must say. I really missed you, too. More than you can ever imagine.”

EunJu always wondered how he turned out to love her so much. And how she turned out to love him so much. The days when he used to make fun of her were still clear in her memories; whenever she thought about those moments, she couldn’t help but to smile.

“I don’t think things can get any better than they are already~” said JaeDuc.

“I know… your parents finally got back together! And Sechs Kies finally reached #1 for more than 3 weeks, aren’t you happy about that?”

“Of course~ and one more thing, I now have you!”

They stopped walking. They were still in the middle of the crowded street.

“I feel bad because I lost that necklace you gave me. God, how can SungHoon accidentally flush it down the toilet?! What a dork…. I’m sorry.” Said JaeDuc.

“Oh, it’s okay. I have something better to give you anyway, so…”

“Something better?!”

“Yes. You have my heart now.”

“Hey, that’s my line!”

JaeDuc was so touched by her sweetness. He leaned over to kiss her.

‘What are you doing?! We are in the middle of the street!’ EunJu whispered, getting all embarrassed.

‘So what?! Can’t I not even kiss my girlfriend? I’m a guy too, you know…..’

Just when they were about to…..

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JaeDuc oppa!!!!!!!!”

‘Oh shoot!’ Some girl must have noticed him from a distance. She obviously caught other girls’ attention, making them go crazy.

“Oppa!!!! Sechs Kies————-!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Now the girls were chasing after him. JaeDuc quickly grabbed EunJu’s hand tightly, and yelled in panick: “RUN!!!!!!!”

And they were running like crazy. The girls were running like crazy. The whole street turned into some kind of a battlefield. JaeDuc and EunJu ran and ran, and turned the corner of the street. A white Avante pulled over by them.

JaeDuc shouted in relief, “JIWONEE HYUNG!!!! SAVE US!!!”

SungHoon was sitting in the front. He rolled down the window and yelled, “Hyung!!! Get in! Hurry!”

JaeDuc and EunJu literally jumped into the car. JiWon took off as fast as he could ever drive. He just loved moments like this.

“Haha!! You reeeaaallly need to develop some running skills, JaeDuc!” teased JiWon. This was going to cause some fuss over the fans, he thought.

But it was just too funny. “Oh, shut up!” cried JaeDuc, frowning. “What are you guys doing out?”

“Just shopping. Eye shopping, I meant. Today is not a good day to be out. You should’ve known that,” replied SungHoon, in a teasing manner.

“Thank you very much for saving us, JiWon oppa, and SungHoon,” said EunJu, still breathing hard.

“Oh, no prob. How about celebrating group Valentine? SuWon, JiYong, and JaeJin are having some kinda party at home,” said JiWon, still laughing.

“I guess they are smart. Staying home to be safe, eh?” commented JaeDuc. But he wanted to be alone with her…. it was the Valentine’s Day!!!

“Oh wellz… okay, home it is. But I’m not very happy!” whined JaeDuc. Then he leaned on EunJu’s shoulder…. he loved leaning against her. It brought him such comfort and pleasure…. especially when he felt down and depressed.

“KangSungHoon, I’m still mad at you for flushing my necklace down the toilet! How could you~ urrr!!”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry! Get over it already, will ya?! I knew I shouldn’t have said something about it,” apologized SungHoon, still laughing.

They arrived home. It was their new home, to be more specific. Their old place was revealed so they had to move. Still the nice place….

“EunJu~ya! You are here!” greeted JaeJin as he opened the door.

“Stupid Duc-ee must have dragged you around places, huh? We were just about to eat some la-myun.”

“Hey, who you callin’ stupid?!” objected JaeDuc.

“You are getting prettier everyday, EunJu,” complimented SuWon, “I wonder how JaeDuc-ee hyung could’ve ever teased you about being so ugly…. you are really quite attractive.” EunJu smiled lightly. JaeDuc gave him a quick dirty look and replied,

“Don’t start hitting on her like that, SuWon. I know you don’t like girls without any makeup. EunJu has a natural beauty so she doesn’t need to wear any makeup. Definitely not your type, eh? Though I really do feel a strong need for you to raise your standards….”

“Okay, okay! Geez… how would you stand him if he marries you, EunJu? He’s so possessive… tsk, tsk,” said JiYong.

“Hmm…. I really never thought about marring him, actually,” replied EunJu, still smiling. JaeDuc’s eyes grew wide.

“Whaatttt?! You don’t wanna marry me? I’m now hurt…” JaeDuc pretended to stab himself in his chest, to portray his fake pain.

“No, JaeDuc, I meant I’m too young to think about it… I’m only 18!”

JaeJin interrupted, “Yeah, besides, she can’t marry you without my permission first, KimJaeDuc. So keep on dreaming! Haha~”

“What?! What do you have to do with this?” questioned JaeDuc.

“You know, I’m her oppa,” replied JaeJin. JaeDuc continued, “But you are not even her real oppa!”

“Uh~ you are forgetting something important, JaeDuc. If I didn’t block you from mutilating and torturing her when we were little, she wouldn’t even be in one piece by now…”

Everyone started laughing. JaeDuc’s face crumpled up because he hated to admit that it was true. He quickly shifted the subject;

“What kind of party is this, JiWonee hyung! Huh, huh?!” complained JaeDuc. “La-myun party?! Today?! I hate you all~!!!”

“Stop complaining, will you? Just go to your room then if you don’t wanna eat, JaeDuc!” said JiWon.

“Fine!! Come on, EunJu-ya. Let’s go to my room!” JaeDuc grabbed her arm.

“Wait, I want some la-myun too…” without even a chance to object, JaeDuc dragged her and went into his room, slamming the door shut.

“Just don’t make any moves on her!” yelled SungHoon, giggling.

“SHUT UP!!!” shouted JaeDuc in his room.

“Uh, JaeJinee hyung, where are you going? No la-myun?!?! You are resisting food?!! My God!!!” JaeJin was putting his coat on, getting ready to go somewhere. JiYong’s jaws dropped open.

“Nowhere. Just to get some fresh air.” Then he went out quietly. He went outside their apartment, by the playground.

There he could see the window of JaeDuc’s room. He continued looking at it.

He then took out an object from his coat pocket. It was a ring. He sighed as he clenched the ring tightly. He silently spoke to himself.

“I guess I don’t need this anymore…”

Part XV

Epilogue

Today I had to let go of my princess. As I saw her happy in his arms, I knew it was time for me to give her up. They love each other and I just could sense it so well. It’s been a long time.

I don’t know when it all started. One day I just happened to see this girl…looking at the sky with such sad eyes. Since then, I knew that she just had to be my love. Whenever she came to me crying, I’d always hug her to comfort her… even though I was little, I realized what happiness meant. It was her.

I completely hid my feelings I had for her since many years ago. I pretended to like her only as a sister, even though she meant way more to me than that.

It wasn’t so easy trying to forget her and I thought if I oppressed my feelings, they’d go away. But instead, they grew stronger every year until I no longer could hide them.

I couldn’t hurt my best friend, though. They were both important to me. I chose him over her love. There were many times where I wanted to separate them, to keep her from getting to him. But she went to him anyway. I’m the only one left to be hurt. It’s okay, though. As long as she’s happy….. I should’ve given her up a long time ago.

But it really hurts. It hurts that I can’t reach her now. I will never have her, or even hope to make her mine. I wanted to give her my ring. It seems like I don’t need to anymore….. she’ll now wear his ring and be his……forever. But I will always love her, more than he can ever love her.

Goodbye, EunJu. My princess…..

JaeJin continued to stare at the sky, thinking about KimJaeDuc and SeoEunJu.

His two best friends since he was little. Now that they are together, their friendships will alter forever. He then looked at the ring in his hand. Now he’ll never have an opportunity to give it to her. It had an inscription on it:

To You I Love

He threw the ring over the sky as high as he could….. it was never to be seen again.

-The End-

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