Teaser Chapter – Emotions
Note: This one is a teaser chapter. The next chapter would be the real one. Since I’d have to put in a lot of conversational instances in the next chapter, I decided to do a teaser. You can guess what the next chapter would be about too, you’ll see..🙊🙊🙊 Next chapter will be up on Sunday since month ends are always killer days for me. Thank you for your patience chinggu-deul!! Saranghaeyo!!💛💛💛
June 1996 Honolulu Hawaii
We’re graduating! And then we’re going back to Korea! I’m excited, but I noticed something different with Jiwon-hyung lately. I don’t know if it was my fault, but it all started after we drank together. He’s been more… I don’t know… distant. Gosh, Kang Sunghoon! Why did you have to be so drunk?! I wonder if I did something wrong. But surely, Jiwon-hyung wouldn’t mind, he knew I was drunk after all. I must ask him one of these days. I don’t like this distance between us.
“Hoon-ah! What are you doing!? We’re going to be late!” shouted Jiwon from the front door.
Sunghoon snapped out of his musings and grabbed his things. “Coming hyung!”
He quickly made his way outside locking the door behind him. Jiwon was waiting in the car, already in his toga, tapping the steering wheel impatiently. Sunghoon made his way into the passenger seat and buckled his seatbelt.
“Kaja.” Sunghoon said.
“Ya, what took you so long?” Jiwon said as he backed out of the driveway into the main road towards their school. “You’re usually the one nagging about being late.”
“I’m sorry, I was thinking about something..”
“Mwonde? (What about?)” Jiwon asked, his eyes on the road.
“Things… I’ll tell you later..”
Jiwon slipped a glance Sunghoon’s way, noticing him more serious than usual. He didn’t seem sad though.
“Cheonsa-ya..” Jiwon said gently.
“We need to talk later..” Jiwon was already bracing himself for the follow-up question. Instead Sunghoon’s answer surprised him.
“Nae hyung, we do need to talk.” Sunghoon answered then quickly diverted his gaze outside the window.
Jiwon was used to Sunghoon overflowing with curiosity that he always had follow-up questions whenever they talked.
‘He’s matured somehow.’ Jiwon thought, as they arrived at the school’s parking lot.
The graduation ceremony passed by in a breeze. Everyone was in high spirits. Amazingly, Jiwon and Sunghoon both managed to grab academic awards to which everyone cheered loudly especially Jiwon. Their parents couldn’t make it, due to the high cost of plane tickets. Instead, both opted to use the budget for their flight back then celebrate with their parents back in Korea.
I shouldn’t have said that we needed to talk. Now I don’t know how to start.
Jiwon was apprehensive about the ceremony nearing its end. He was dreading talking to Sunghoon, in a weird way. They’ve always been honest with each other, they can even sometimes read each other’s minds. But after the “incident”, Jiwon purposely distanced himself from Sunghoon for fear of falling for him deeper. Also, his impulsive nature might make him mention it out of the blue and he dreaded how Sunghoon would react. He’d definitely feel embarassed, but what he feared the most is that Sunghoon might mean it in a different way, not really reciprocating his feelings.
On the other hand, Sunghoon wanted to know the truth. He had a vague memory of that night, that only of Jiwon kissing his forehead, but he always dismissed it as a dream. Surely Jiwon wouldn’t do that no matter how close they are. He also wanted to make sure he didn’t do anything stupid. He cursed himself for being so brazen, drinking even when he was inexperienced. But what he was curious about the most is why Jiwon would suddenly act that way with him. He wanted him to tell it straight, after all they promised no secrets.
They did, however, buy another set of drinks, to which Sunghoon was thoroughly against.
“We won’t get drunk Hoon-ah.” Jiwon assured him. “Besides I just need a little boost tonight.”
“I won’t let you drink if that’s what you’re worried about.”
Sunghoon grew quiet. So he did do something stupid while drunk. He felt nervous, but was relieved when Jiwon reached out to him and held his hand.
“There’s nothing to fret about Hoon-ah.”
Feeling reassured, Sunghoon smiled at him, giving Jiwon’s hand a gentle squeeze. Then he released his hand knowing he needed both for driving.
The drive back to their house was pretty quiet, as both were immersed in their thoughts.
How do I start? I honestly don’t know where to start. And why the hell am I nervous?! Ya Eun Jiwon! Jeongsin chalyeo bwa (Get a hold of yourself)!
Jiwon sat in the living room already on his first bottle. He was waiting for Sunghoon to finish bathing, knowing fully that he’s taking his time. He didn’t mind though. He needed these few moments to collect himself. He felt like someone who’ll confess his feelings, which he probably will later. He heaved a deep sigh. This is the first time this happened to him. To think that he’d fall in love with someone he treats like his own brother. He shook his head.
Sunghoon watched Jiwon from behind, gauging his mood. Jiwon only drank when he’s stressed but he didn’t seem too stressed. Sunghoon made his way towards him and sat beside him gently.
“You know hyung, we’re supposed to be celebrating.” Sunghoon said, still looking at Jiwon warily.
Jiwon didn’t answer. Instead, he took another swig of the bottle.
“Do you need a glass hyung?” Sunghoon asked, attempting to make conversation. He honestly didn’t like it when Jiwon grew quiet. He prefers his usual boisterous, talkative hyung. He’s been like this for the past 6 months, only talking when he felt like it. Sunghoon let out an exasperated sigh, which made Jiwon glance his way.
“I honestly feel like I’m talking to a wall.”
“I’m still building up my courage.”
Sunghoon looked at him questioningly. “Courage for what?”
“To talk to you.”
His short replies are really testing Sunghoon’s patience.
“Hyung, this is me you’re talking to. Since when did you need the courage to talk to me? What the hell?”
Jiwon sighed and put down his bottle, then he faced Sunghoon. “Exactly. Because it’s you I’m talking to, this is difficult.”
“Try to make some sense.” Sunghoon answered.
“Hoon-ah, tell me something first..” Jiwon said while Sunghoon arched an eyebrow. Jiwon’s unusual actions are stressing him out.
“What?” Sunghoon asked, his voice a bit tenser than before.
“Do you really not remember anything from 6 months ago?”
‘Isseo, but it must be a dream.’ Sunghoon thought. “Obseoyeo.” he answered half-truthfully.
“Then, can I ask you something?”
Sunghoon’s patience is getting thin from all of Jiwon’s suspenseful questions, and he was getting pissed, if it were not for the fact that Jiwon’s hand was shaking as he grabbed the beer bottle. His curiosity won over his anger. Jiwon never got nervous in front of him. To think that he’s apprehensive even with alcohol in his system, he must be really edgy.
“Ask away hyung.”
Jiwon looked at Sunghoon, his expression unreadable. He decided then to just ask him straight. It’s now or never.
His question totally caught Sunghoon off guard.
“How do you really feel about me?”
Sunghoon blinked in confusion. “Dae?”
“How do you feel about me? Tell me honestly. Am I just a friend or a brother or is there something else?” Jiwon asked in rapid succession, his words tumbling over each other.
Sunghoon sat stunned as Jiwon looked at him expectantly.
“H..hyung.. I… what…” he stuttered.
I can’t. I can’t tell him. My tongue won’t move at all.
Sunghoon couldn’t say another word. Jiwon smiled in understanding, after Sunghoon had been quiet for several minutes. He looked away from him, and downed the whole bottle in one go.
“Hyung!” Sunghoon snapped, grabbing the bottle from him.
“I shouldn’t have asked. Forget about it Hoon-ah. Mianhe, I guess I just have a lot on my mind.” Jiwon said sadly, standing up from the couch to go to his room. His footsteps felt heavy as he trudged towards it, closing his door gently.
Kang Sunghoon you idiot! Why can’t you tell him?! It was a simple question you fool!
Sunghoon cursed inwardly, finishing the bottle of beer Jiwon left behind. He hated unresolved conversations between them. They never went to bed without clearing any misunderstandings. They agreed on that, that’s why they’ve got along well all these years and Sunghoon wasn’t about to start now. Wanting to resolve everything, he gathered his courage and slowly made his way towards Jiwon’s room, knocking quietly.
He opened the door, even if Jiwon did not acknowledge him. He was accustomed to it, Jiwon said it was always enough to let his presence be known by just knocking.
He saw Jiwon lying on the bed, hands behind his head staring up at the ceiling. Sunghoon had to admit, he looked utterly handsome just lying there. This is why he likes him. Despite his rough appearance, moments like these tend to soften Jiwon’s features. And right now, his serene look captures the gentle soul behind the rough facade.
‘Can you ever get more handsome than this hyung?‘ he thought.
He quietly made his way towards the bed, sitting gently on Jiwon’s side. He held out his hand, knowing Jiwon would get what he want. He did, taking out one arm away from his head and held his outstretched hand. They were always like that. It was their form of silent communication. They held hands when any one of them needed assurance or comfort.
Sunghoon held Jiwon’s hand and squeezed lightly. “Why ask me that hyung?”
“I’m curious.” he said simply, looking at him in the eye.
“Does this have anything to do with what happened when I was drunk?”
“Partially.. I wanted to confirm something.”
Sunghoon looked up the ceiling, sighing. His chest felt constricted from all the emotions going through him. “I… I…” he expelled a deep breath. “Neol chuae hyung. (I like you hyung).”
“I already know that. What I wanna know is what stage of like are we talking about.” Jiwon didn’t mince his words. He’s always been the straight-forward type and he likes getting answers that way. He looked at Sunghoon, eyes full of wanting.
Please Hoon-ah. Just tell me the truth. The suspense is killing me right now. I may be holding your hand, but I really wanna hug you close. This is driving me crazy jinjja.
“Honestly I’m confused hyung. I’ve never felt like this before.” Sunghoon sighed, looking at Jiwon in the eye. He smiled. “I don’t know why I feel drawn to you. You are foremost my brother, and I do love you like one, there’s no question about that. There’s also no need to question how you’re my best friend. But there’s this strange feeling, it’s different. I can’t explain it.” Sunghoon now held Jiwon’s hand in both of his own.
Jiwon sat up from his bed, locking gazes with Sunghoon. “Just try. I won’t judge you for it.”
Taking a deep breath, Sunghoon went for it. “I really like you hyung, maybe more than a brother or a friend.” He took a deep breath again before plunging on. “I honestly think I’m in love with you hyung. I think I have been for some time. It’s crazy I know. And it’s weird. I don’t think I’m gay, not really. It’s just that… being with you makes me feel things I don’t get to feel with any other girl. I like being with you. I get butterflies when you call me your angel. I like it when I’m the one who makes you smile, or calm you down when you’re angry. I like it when you complement me everytime I cook for you. I like it when you put our arm around my shoulders whenever we’re outside. I like everything about you hyung! Michigeta jinjja (I’m seriously going crazy)! What’s strange is that I don’t get to feel this with anyone else, even a girl. I…”
Sunghoon stopped when Jiwon held a finger to his lips shushing him.
“There’s no need to say more, I understand.”
“Hyung.. you’re.. you’re not angry are you?” Sunghoon said tensely.
Jiwon smiled at him. “Aniyeo. I never get angry at you.”
“You must think I’m crazy feeling this way about you.” Sunghoon said wistfully, his eyes on the verge of tears.
“On the contrary Hoon-ah, I don’t think you’re crazy. And even if you were, I’d still gladly take everything you said.”
Jiwon pulled Sunghoon closer and hugged him tight. He’s been wanting to do this the whole time.
“I wanted to hear it from you sober, like now, not drunk as you were like six months ago.”
“You mean I confessed to you already!?” Sunghoon broke away from Jiwon’s embrace and held him by the shoulders. “Is that why you’ve been distant? Were you avoiding me?”
Jiwon took Sunghoon’s hands away from his shoulders and held them tightly. “I wasn’t avoiding you Hoon-ah. If I did, I wouldn’t even be in the same room with you. I was just wary. Your confession took me off guard, but the next day you couldn’t remember anything, which I expected of course. I kept my distance, knowing that if I stayed too close, you’ll notice my feelings for you and you might reject me.” He smiled wistfully. “I was a fool to think that way though.”
“You were afraid I’d reject you?” Sunghoon asked.
“Uh-huh. Nadeu chuae uri cheonsa-ya. Ani, sasil neoleul saranghae. (I like you too, my angel. No, I’m actually in love with you.) So yeah, I was scared you wouldn’t reciprocate how I felt. It drove me crazy literally. You were within arm’s reach, but I couldn’t hold you the way I wanted. I had to limit myself, so I kept my distance, knowing that having you too close, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself.”
“So that night…. did you really kiss me?”
Jiwon smiled mischievously. “Oh, that you remember.”
“I thought I was dreaming…” Sunghoon hung his head.
“Hoon-ah, urineun… let’s just take this slowly. We’re both going back to Korea in a week, and who knows what might happen then.”
“I’d still want to be with you.” Sunghoon automatically replied.
“I know.” Jiwon smiled, holding Sunghoon’s face in his hands. “And I do too. But Korea’s different, you know that. It’s not the same as here. We’d have to act accordingly there, especially since we’ll both be on stage. Do you get what I mean?”
“Nae hyung… Then what are we now?” Sunghoon asked, wanting to at least be clear about where they stand.
“What do you think?” Jiwon teased.
“Ya… I can’t believe you’re making light of this situation.” Sunghoon pouted.
Jiwon laughed at him. “I can’t help it, I’m happy.” He kissed Sunghoon on the forehead, wanting to kiss those full lips but restrained himself. ‘Not yet.’ he thought to himself. “One thing’s clear though, starting from now, you’re mine.”
Sunghoon smiled. “Neodo.. Neon nae kkeoya (you too… you’re mine.)”
“Aigoo, so possessive.” Jiwon said, hugging Sunghoon tightly again. His chest felt lighter now after confessing. And he couldn’t be more happy.
“Ya, look who’s talking. You’re the one who said it first.” But he hugged Jiwon just as tightly, feeling relieved. “Badadeulseo gomaweo hyung (Thank you for accepting me).” Sunghoon mumbled.
“I should be the one saying that.” Then breaking away from the hug (much to Sunghoon’s disappointment), “let’s go to sleep. We’re getting melodramatic.” Then noticing how Sunghoon was pouting like a little kid, “Ya, what’s wrong with you?”he asked.
“I wanted to hug you a bit longer…” Sunghoon mumbled.
Jiwon laughed, reaching out to ruffle Sunghoon’s hair. “You can hug me all you want starting tomorrow, I won’t complain at all. But we both need to sleep, we have a lot to pack.”
“Arasseo, hyung, jaljja (Ok hyung, good night.)”
Sunghoon got up to go to his room when Jiwon stopped him.
“Ya, eodiga? (Hey, where are you going?)”
Sunghoon looked at him confusedly. “To my room, where else.”
Jiwon tapped the space beside him, “You’re sleeping with me tonight. Illeuwa (come here).”
“You think I’d let you sleep in your bed after confessing like that? Micheoseo? Come here, Hoon-ah. Starting today we’ll sleep in the same space.”
“I’ll just go get my pillow.” Sunghoon said with a smile on his face.
Jiwon lay beside Sunghoon, unable to sleep. He turned to his side to face Sunghoon, noticing he was awake as well. He smiled.
“What are you thinking about?”
“Us… Hyung, do you think we’ll… do you think our feelings will stay the same?”
“Who knows.. Let’s both live in the present Hoon-ah. Let’s just enjoy what we have. And… manyagae, if we fall out of love with each other let’s still stay as brothers agreed?”
“Of course hyung. You’ll always be my brother and best friend. So for now, Carpe Diem.”
“What does that even mean?”
Sunghoon laughed softly. “It means live in the present hyung, just like what you said.”
“It’s in an alien language.” Jiwon mumbled.
Sunghoon smiled. This was the Jiwon he knew. He scooted closer to him, wrapping his arms around Jiwon’s waist and laying his head against his chest.
He felt Jiwon’s lips on his forehead again. “Good night my angel. Saranghae.”
Sunghoon smiled against Jiwon’s chest, and suddenly realized something.”You know hyung, since I’m doing this, I feel like I’m the girl in this relationship.”
“We can take turns if you feel uncomfortable. I can lay my head on your chest if you want.” he teased.
“Go to sleep hyung.” Sunghoon snapped, closing his eyes.
Jiwon smiled at Sunghoon and held him close. For once, he really feels like he was in heaven.
I did say Sunday but guess what I finished early!!!! Much to my surprise! This is for my friend kim_asia and LizzyEun and for everyone else of course. Request granted..😁😁😁 I woke up early (as in 2am in the morning till 7:30) just to finish this. Well, the inspiration kept flowing in so before I forgot everything I just had to type it down. Now I’m off to go work overtime. Please wait for the next chapter by next week, I’ll be a bit busy since it’s quarter-end, month-end, semi-annual…. Gosh, accountants don’t really have a social life😈😈😈. Anyways, thank you for waiting patiently. I’m actually over-stepping my limits here haha!
Next chapter: They’re back in Korea training to be a duo but H.O.T suddenly debuted, so, instead of the duo they will now become a group. Yes, you’ll meet Jaejin, Jiyong, Jaeduk and Suwon in the next chapter.
Yeorubeun gomawoyeo!!! Saranghae!