Yi Jung looked from Ga Eul's amused face to Yeon Neul's more amused one. Then he crossed arms and hoped that he looked more composed than what he was actually feeling. He was so embarrassed he didn't notice the waitress putting his tea on his side of the table.
"Sunbae, you're tea's going to get cold," Ga Eul told him as she sipped on her own cup.
Yi Jung touched the arm of the cup. He was still letting it all sink in: Chu Yeon Neul was Ga Eul's cousin. Nothing to worry about. Nothing to be jealous about.
"I didn't know your boyfriend was this quiet," Yeon Neul said, after finishing his tea. "I thought he was always making you buy things for him and he can't even remember your birthday."
What? Yi Jung suddenly spilled some of his tea. He quietly took some tissue from the center of the table and wiped the mess.
Ga Eul laughed nervously. "That was my other boyfriend."
"YOU WERE CHEATING ON HIM?" Yeon Neul asked suddenly, pointing his spoon towards Yi Jung's direction. Yi Jung could only stare at the two, who were obviously enjoying their time making fun of him.
Ga Eul lightly punched Yeon Neul on the shoulder. "Oppa!" she cried. "You're talking about Gong Sun-what's-his-name," she explained calmly. "Yi Jung-sunbae was my boyfriend after I broke up with that someone."
"Then, you broke up with him, too."
Yi Jung took some sugar and milk and poured them on his tea. He wanted to do anything to distract himself from the conversation of those two which was beginning to unnerve him.
"How many more boyfriends do you plan on having before you get married?"
"OPPA!" Ga Eul cried, sounding genuinely embarrassed. "How many girlfriends do you want to have, anyway?"
"Me?" Yeon Neul laughed heartily. Yi Jung took a sip on his tea. He cringed. It was too sweet. "As they say, there's a lot of fishes in the sea."
Yi Jung tried adding more milk.
"So you're saying you'd try getting a lot of girlfriends?"
It was beginning to look like a milk tea. Yi Jung hated milk teas.
"Why not? I mean, your friend here knows that, right?" Yeon Neul turned to Yi Jung.
Yi Jung gave up on reviving his tea. "No," he said, finally speaking up. He's tired of playing the game this two made up. And his tea was not tea anymore. It was all he could do from walking out. "I'm sorry but I only had only one girlfriend in the span of my still very short life."
Yi Jung looked up to see Yeon Neul raise one eyebrow at him. So he didn't expect Yi Jung to speak like that. Maybe he wasn't expecting him to talk at all. What did Ga Eul tell him? That he was a wimp that couldn't stand up for himself? Well, maybe he was. Was. Not now. Not with Ga Eul watching him closely.
"Uh-huh. But what about your reputation of bringing home girls you find pretty from a club?" Yeon Neul asked, obviously not backing down. Yi Jung wondered how precious Ga Eul was to Yeon Neul.
But he wasn't backing down himself. "Maybe you've mistaken me for my friend, Song Woo Bin. He's famous for that, you know. I'm sure you've heard of him, the Don Juan?"
Yeon Neul used his teaspoon to stir the very little remains of his tea, but he seemed to have changed a bit. There's something about his posture that told Yi Jung that he stroke a Yeon Neul's nerve somehow. "Oh, yes, your friend," he muttered. "But weren't you a what do you call it, Bossa Nova?"
"Oppa," Ga Eul laughed, oblivious of her cousin's sudden change of speech. "That's from the anime you were watching. The right term is a..."
"Casanova," Yi Jung said. "I was. I'm not proud. But I am proud that it's a thing of the past."
"A thing of the past. Ok. So what's this I heard about my cousin's birthday? About what's her name, Sheila?" Yeon Neul's tone of voice was so dangerous, Yi Jung shrank back in his sit.
"Oppa," Ga Eul called to him quietly.
Yi Jung gulped before forming the words that he was meaning to tell Ga Eul and Ga Eul alone. But with the situation at hand, he had to improvise. "I can't very well say I'm perfect. I'm not even close to being called a good 'boyfriend'."
"Good thing you know," Yeon Neul muttered.
Yi Jung ignored him. "But do believe me when I tell you this," he looked at Ga Eul, and she looked back at him. The world dissolved and faded in the background. Yeon Neul wasn't there anymore. It was just the two of them in their own private world. "I'm sorry, Ga Eul-yang.
"I know it would take a while for you to trust me again. It doesn't matter. I just want you to be happy. I don't want you spending your time with a lame guy like me if you don't want to. I just want you to know I'm sorry. About everything. About all the times I didn't trust you, about I broke your trust. I'm sorry. I really am."
Ga Eul just stared at him. Her expression didn't tell him anything. He wasn't sure if he said anything wrong. "Sunbae, I…"
"I'm still here," Yeon Neul announced.
"Of course, oppa," Ga Eul acknowledged him. "I didn't forget you."
"You did. For a second, nothing else existed besides you two," Yeon Neul pointed at them both. "You were so dazed you looked stupid."
Ga Eul just looked at him pointedly. "I guess we really are related, huh?"
"I'm still here, too," Yi Jung said.
Yeon Neul looked at him. "Yes, but we're about to leave, too." He called for the bill and paid without asking the two for their contribution. "It's almost closing time." He stood up and left the two on their own. Yi Jung guessed it won't be long, though. Ga Eul was already fixing her things.
Ga Eul didn't pay attention to him. Instead she called for a waitress. "Miss, can I get a tea to-go, please?"
The lady bowed and promised she'd be back in a minute.
"Ga Eul-yang," Yi Jung tried again.
"Yes, sunbae?" she called back.
He cleared his throat. "What were you going to say a while ago?"
Ga Eul smiled evilly. "Oh, nothing. Nothing at all."
The lady returned with the to-go cup and handed it to Ga Eul who expertly placed the right amount of sugar and milk Yi Jung failed to do a while back. Then, she wordlessly paid for the tea then handed the cup to Yi Jung.
"I knew you won't be able to drink your tea," she said.
"I knew you were playing around with me," he countered.
She shook her head. "You didn't. You didn't know Yeon Neul oppa was my cousin."
Yi Jung laughed. "Yeah, but I knew you were playing with me after that."
"Men," Ga Eul said exasperatedly.
"Women," Yi Jung said with the same expression.
"YAH! Eulie!" Yeon Neul called.
Yi Jung looked at Ga Eul in disbelief. "Eulie? He calls you Eulie?"
"Just a moment, oppa!" Ga Eul called back. Then she looked at Yi Jung with the most sincere expression in her face. "I told you to stop saying sorry, didn't I?"
Yi Jung was taken aback. He didn't expect Ga Eul to talk like this. "I-"
"You couldn't have forgotten. Because I did forgive you already, sunbae. I'm a bit tired of saying it all over again, too."
"Ga Eul-yang, I…"
They were standing so near each other. Yi Jung never dreamed he could stand this near to Ga Eul again. He could just reach out and he could touch her cheek. He could just take one average-sized step and he'd be looking directly down at her beautiful eyes. But he won't. He doesn't want to ruin the flow of their conversation. Besides, they were talking this way. It's progess.
"Do you remember the time when we went to Caledonia? When I pretended to be you and you pretended to be me?" she asked all of a sudden.
Of course he does remember. That was the time he confessed his love for her. "What about it?"
"What did I tell you then?"
She was looking at him with her doe eyes and a very sincere expression. Is she breaking up with him? They aren't even together! But it could happen. She was pushing him away, Yi Jung thought sadly. "To give you time to think."
The waitress appeared beside Ga Eul and said, "We're almost closing, miss."
"Yes, just a second," she told the waitress and waved her away impatiently. Then she turned her attention back to Yi Jung. "That's right," she nodded. "You remembered."
Yi Jung shuffled his feet uncertainly. "How could I forget?"
"That's good, I think," she told him. Then she took a step towards him and she was looking directly at his eyes. "Because I don't need time anymore," she whispered.
She took a step back and smiled at him.
"Ga Eul-yang," was the only thing he could say. It was the only thing he wanted to say. He wanted to say her name over and over again until it would be the only one to exist in his world.
"Do you want to get locked inside the store or something?" Yeon Neul called from outside.
Yi Jung shrugged. "It doesn't seem like a bad idea."
"Get locked in there yourself," Ga Eul said and ran outside the store.
Yi Jung stood there on his own, with Ga Eul's voice still lingering in his ears. Then he realized he was holding the tea Ga Eul made for him. He took a small sip. It was perfect.
"Sir, we're closing now," the waitress told him and held up the key to make a point.
"Yes, yes, of course," Yi Jung said, but he still stood there, glued to the spot.
A head poked in the crack of the door of the store. "Yi Jung-ah, come on, or we're leaving you." The head disappeared as quickly as it appeared.
Yi Jung realized it was Ga Eul. And she called him by his name. She did, didn't she? Yi Jung took a step forward.
"Sir, we really are closing now."
Yi Jung laughed to himself. Well, there really is hope after all. He hurried before Yeon Neul and Ga Eul, his Ga Eul-yang, left him.
(a/n: hi guys! did you miss me? :) hehe. I am really really sorry for the very very very very very very very very (times 100) long update. But I'm glad to say I am satisfied with this chapter. You don't know hard it is to continue the story from the last one. From drama to not really drama romance. Anyways, thanks for reading, and please flood me with PMs to remind me to update. I really really need reminders. I usually forget. I am so sorry. But thanks again! Hope you enjoyed.