You said something about wanting to lose control. And then you sort of-
Ga Eul pushed her food tray away, no longer feeling the urge to eat anything.
His words had haunted her ever since she heard him say them, not because they were his words exactly, but because they were borne of her actions that fateful night. And then that picture happened, and her secret shame was caught on film forever. And then, well...
Everything had been her fault. None of what had happened would have happened had she been good, responsible Chu Ga Eul.
...Then again good, responsible Chu Ga Eul was not enough to not make So Yi Jung leave her for Sweden, was she?
Nope. Still not going there.
She reached for the bag beside her, intent on texting Jan Di - then immediately disregarded the thought. Instead she took a sip from her drink while throwing a cursory look around her. The cafeteria was bustling with people taking their lunch like she was; to her immense relief, however, the person she was looking for was actually not around this time.
Not that he usually hanged around with the common populace or anything, making this place ideal if she planned on not seeing him.
Ga Eul was internally debating on whether or not she'd force her lunch down her throat when Jan Di slid on the seat opposite the one with her bag, the contents of her food tray almost sloshing out of their containers with how vehement she'd dumped it on the table.
"He thinks he's god's gift to earth, that-that jerk. Just because he's rich he thinks he owns everyone in this school? That weird-headed ass," Jan Di fumed, missing the alarmed look Ga Eul threw her way.
She had a faint idea who her friend was talking about, but still she asked, "Who?"
"Who else? Go Jun Pyo, that's who!" Jan Di dumped her rice in her viand and stirred vigorously. "You know, somehow he found a way to worm himself in my class this morning? And then that curly-haired bastard mocked me in front of everyone! Oh, I'm going to murder him, see if I don't." She then shoved a spoonful in her mouth and chewed noisily.
Poor Jan Di, Ga Eul thought, eyeing her friend with some pity. Truth be told almost the entire Shinhwa University knew of the legendary Shinhwa Heir's legendary crush on Geum Jan Di - except Geum Jan Di herself. Not that she could be blamed; Go Jun Pyo displayed his affections to the commoner in ways that could be deemed illogical and immature. It seemed like none of Jun Pyo's equally legendary friends thought it best to educate him how to act accordingly around a girl he actually liked.
Which in itself was surprising, considering how the other members of the F4 were also legends with the female population everywhere.
Jun Pyo is Jun Pyo, Yi Jung once said. You can sooner expect to change an apple to an orange than change him.
Easy for him to say, Ga Eul thought, grimacing. He's not the one suffering because of his friend's affections! Shaking her head to dismiss the idea, she said, "Murdering him would be a bit over-the-top, wouldn't it?"
"You're right," Jan Di said, pointing at her with her spoon. "I should just mutilate him first to make things more painful for him."
She couldn't help herself; Ga Eul giggled. "Like you could."
Jan Di grinned, specks of rice visible in between her teeth. "Watch me." She then glanced behind Ga Eul, cursed, then ducked -nearly planting her face in her food tray just to make herself disappear.
"What?" Ga Eul asked, already feeling the first stirrings of uneasiness in her stomach. "What is it?" Slowly, she turned to look-
-then wished she hadn't.
Because, predictably, Go Jun Pyo was making his jolly way towards their table.
Predictably, right behind him were Yoon Ji Hoo and-
Song Woo Bin.
The very man she was trying to avoid.
Normally, this scenario wouldn't be any cause for alarm - at least, not for her, anyway. Her existence was barely a noticeable dot in the lives of the F4 - except for So Yi Jung's. Partly. Probably.
And yet now, because of her actions...
Ga Eul actually had a choice here; she could slunk away from the table and leave her friend to fend for herself. Not like she couldn't, anyway; Jan Di was more than capable to handle anyone - including Go Jun Pyo.
Then she made the mistake of meeting Song Woo Bin's eyes, saw the way his mouth parted into an indolent smile that made her insides felt like pudding.
Great. Now she knew how a deer caught in the headlights actually felt.
She turned away from them and grabbed her food tray, already wishing she could bolt and disappear herself.
She really, really, really didn't want to see him again.
Well. Not after that.
Except Jun Pyo had gone and ruined any chances of her leaving by planting his foot on the chair beside hers, missing her bag by mere millimeters.
As if that wasn't enough, Woo Bin himself sat on the chair beside Jan Di's - which was, conveniently, directly opposite hers. He gave her a little wave, which Ga Eul obviously did not see because she was not, in any way, looking at him. No, thank you!
Ji Hoo took a cursory look around him, nodded at Jan Di, before leaving altogether.
Not that anyone noticed... except Jan Di.
Just like how they always did, Jun Pyo said something infuriating, causing her to snap up and respond to him in kind. Their verbal antics didn't interest Ga Eul, however, seeing as she was trying oh so very hard to concentrate on picking on her food.
That was until Woo Bin leaned closer to her and casually said, "You've been avoiding me."
She looked up at him then. Too quickly she responded, "No I'm not."
He shrugged and said, "Could've fooled me. Let's see... there was that time in the hallway-"
Thinking fast Ga Eul said, "I... forgot my phone in the classroom. Had to get back to it."
"And the one in the library-"
"My library card," she said, internally congratulating herself for sounding logical. "I mean... I realized I needed it in the library and I... um, didn't have it."
He leaned back, stared at her - but even she could see the tiny smile working at edges of his mouth. "How about that time you escaped through the fire exit? It happened... yesterday, didn't it?"
Her mouth hung open. How did he even get to remember all the instances she literally ran away from him? Remembering herself she said, "I... needed the exercise, that's all."
Woo Bin picked up something - a pea? - from her plate, popped it in his mouth. Casually he said, "I don't think that's why you did it."
Ga Eul tried not to squirm. Feeling like she had no other option than to be honest she said, "Fine. It's only because of... I mean-" She cleared her throat. "Well. You know."
Woo Bin glanced at Jun Pyo and Jan Di. Finding them otherwise occupied with each other he said, "I told you, didn't I? Your identity is safe. If the school hadn't it figured out while the issue was still hot, how would you expect them to do it when it's already died down?"
"That's not-" the only reason, she almost said out loud, fortunately catching herself before admitting it. How could she even say it to his face that the reason she didn't want to see him was because she was so... embarrassed? God, how could he even talk to her like this - like everything was so normal between them? Ga Eul shook her head a bit. "I mean- you don't know that."
"Will you stop worrying? I told you, I'll take care of it." Woo Bin grimaced. "It's just... taking me a bit of time to track down the uploader, that's all."
Ga Eul took a deep breath. Truth be told she didn't know why he was even bothering. Maybe he was just that nice of a person? He'd always seemed to be the most considerate out of the F4 - Yi Jung included.
"Maybe-" she ventured timidly, "Maybe whoever it was didn't want to be found."
Taking a piece of carrot from her plate he said, "If he's smart, he'd better make sure I don't find him." Meeting her eyes again he added, "No one crosses me or those I care about and gets away with it."
For a wild moment, Ga Eul swore she could hear her heart beating in her ears. He couldn't mean that... could he? Who was she to him? Did he consider her a friend- or something even remotely close to it?
She could remember vividly their conversation in the fire exit; how hard he'd tried to console and comfort her as best as he could.
It was a mistake, okay? Let's agree that it's a wrong move on both our parts. So let's just move on, forget it ever happened.
Perhaps it was because she was so distraught and pathetic that day. Perhaps it was because he was the other half involved in this fiasco. Whatever it was, she was almost glad she'd dragged him there. It made her feel less... alone, for lack of a better word.
Then, for some reason, he made the mistake of making it seem like he really wanted to kiss her.
And the funny thing about it was that, for an unhinged moment, she sort of really, really wanted him to do it, too.
And then you sort of... jumped at me. And then-
Ga Eul looked away, grimacing at the memory. God! As if her literally throwing herself at him in his car wasn't enough!
"So. Are we good? Are you going to stop running away from me, in the future?"
No, was her instinctual answer. They couldn't be good, particularly because she couldn't seem to control herself - or her reactions! - around him.
"I'll-" She took her drink, sipped from it. Her throat felt so dry; why was it so hot, anyway? "I'll think about it."
Woo Bin chuckled. "I'll hold you to it, then."
"Ya, just what are you two talking about?"
Jun Pyo voiced the question irritably, most likely because he'd received another verbal beatdown from Jan Di - who looked very smug about it, too.
"Nothing," Ga Eul was quick to reply.
Woo Bin smiled. "Yeah, bro," he said, giving her a quick glance. "It's nothing."
Later that day, Ga Eul found herself staring at the walls of her room, too distracted to even think about starting on her paper.
So let's just move on, forget it ever happened.
If only it were that easy.
But maybe such a thing was easy for Song Woo Bin, the F4's Don Juan. Maybe he was just the type to kiss girls, act like he cared about them, then forget about them whenever it was convenient.
The thought annoyed the hell out of her, for some reason.
Her phone beeped. Expecting the text message to be from Jan Di, Ga Eul opened her phone to read it quickly -
- only for her blood to run cold.
"I know it's you."