Born In Fantasy Twisted By Reality: Lingering In REM.
A/N: Okay, so I know it's been forever since the last chapter. And I'm going to say sorry ahead of time. This isn't any where near where I wanted it to be. Well I mean the story is where I wanted it to be but the last scene in this update, is not quite right and a little…See I can't even explain it. But I really want to keep progressing with the story and this is where the characters need to head to, at least for me.
Ha Ni sat quietly in the passenger seat, throwing furtive glances to the driver. She desperately wished she was in the car in front of them with Yul and Sang Hee. She cleared her throat as another bubble of amusement rose through her and Seung Jo glared at her suspiciously. He raised one pink mitten covered hand to his cheek and rubbed at another itch. He glared at the too small mitt, glared at Ha Ni, then resumed his hunched position with two pink mitten hands on the wheel and glared at the road. They never did get around to that talk.
"Please tell me you took pictures?"
"Yah, what do you take me for?" Joon Gu slumped down in disappointment.
"I only took one and you cannot tell him about this!" She pulled out her phone and scrolled to the snapshot of him. The angle was weird because she had done it furtively, but a profile of Seung Jo could clearly be seen with angry red marks all over his face dotted with calamine lotion, one pink mitt rubbing at a mark on his nose furiously.
"Oh my god, please let me have this, pretty, pretty please." Tears of laughter formed in his eyes while he clutched at his sides.
"No way! He would kill me."
"I should have gone with him, this is priceless."
"Speaking of, how could you tell him where I was?" She playfully punched him on the shoulder.
"I don't care how mad at me you are, it was totally worth it." She smacked him again for good measure, but secretly, she couldn't help but agree.
He hadn't been able to face her for a week. He couldn't talk to her looking like he did. He had even rearranged his schedule and persuaded his professors to allow him to turn in work from home so he didn't have to be seen, then questioned, then mocked. This was his worst nightmare. But the bites were faded now and no longer itched like crazy. And he couldn't take being in limbo with her any longer.
Taking in a steadying deep breath, he knocked lightly on her door and pushed in without waiting for a response. She had music playing loudly while she was reading on her stomach stretched out on her bed, her legs kicking in the air to the beat. He turned the music down and she sat up surprised.
"I wanted to talk to you."
"Okay." She said carefully, tucking her legs underneath her and straightening up attentively.
He climbed onto the bed next her and sat across from her. She shifted her position and she looked a little alarmed but she didn't move away. He had thought about what to say even wrote it out so it would be perfect but now, the words didn't seem right. She had her hands clasped in her lap while she waited curiously but patiently for him to speak. Reaching over, he pulled one hand free and held on to it.
"Listen, I know…I think…" He trailed off pathetically, hating his own words.
"Seung Jo, what's wrong?" Concern entered her eyes and she squeezed his hand reassuringly. When did she get his confidence?
"It feels like I'm losing you. What do I do?" Did those words actually just come out of his mouth? He's mentally face palming himself, but he can't take it back. Every step he takes seems to be the wrong direction; he needs a little guidance.
She's startled by his words. She had been anticipating a lecture, or an accusation or perhaps a power point presentation diagramming his expectations for the relationship.
"Honestly, I don't know. I just know what we have isn't working. The way we are now…I don't want it to work like this. Maybe it's me; maybe everyone has been right all along? That Oh Ha Ni is just not a good match for Baek Seung Jo."
"That's ridiculous," Seung Jo scoffs, "you're the only match for me." He grabs her hand and holds it to his heart, willing her to believe his sincerity.
"How do you know?" She asks softly, tugging her hand away.
"How did you know that I was the only guy for you?" He counters.
"I didn't. I don't know that. I knew that I was infatuated with you. But the possibility of us was always a fantasy, it wasn't real." Impatiently he grabs her face and forces her to meet his gaze.
"But it is real, it's real now."
"Is it? I'm not so sure."
"If this isn't reality, what is it? Are we both dreaming?" He wants to tell her she's stupid and to think about this logically, but that won't really help win her over.
"Yul once told me a quote from his idol, 'Reality is clouded by the present, only upon reflection of the past can the truth be seen.'"
"That's not fair, don't judge me on past mistakes. It took me awhile to realize what I have with you."
"I'm not, I'm not judging you. I'm judging myself. Seung Jo, I really think I'm always going to feel a step behind you in some way. And the only way I'll feel comfortable is if we were equals…if we were friends." The second she says this, she realizes the inherent truth in it. And while the little girl in her wants to deny this and just stay in the safety of his capable arms, she knows that this is what she really needs. That if they were to ever have a chance, this is the way.
He collapses against her, for once at a loss for words. He never expected this. And he can't really fault her on it either. It makes sense, as much as he knows he needs her, there's a part of him that will always see her as less than him and take her for granted. He doesn't want to spend a lifetime taking her for granted, and making her feel that way. He winds his arms around her tiny shoulders and buries his face against her neck. After a few minutes she goes to pull away but he holds her still.
"Just let me stay like this. Just for a little while. Tomorrow, we can be friends." He whispers to her, swallowing the choking sensation. She reaches up and strokes his hair and lets him hold onto her because she's scared of letting go too. They are both clinging to the fantasy for just a little while longer.