♥ Park Yoochun, Han Eun Mi (OC)
• Angst, Drama, Romance
-Inspired by Younha's 고백하기 좋은 날.
Past Chaps: [Forewords]
It was a slow day. The café seemed almost empty, save for the three baristas by the counter and the only two customers sitting at a far corner table. Eun Mi sighed as she glanced at the streets outside through the huge glass window. She could see only a handful of people passing by, all of them seemed to be rushing and none of them looked like they’re in the mood for some coffee or a slice of cake. Another breathy sigh escaped Eun Mi’s lips. She was getting bored. Beside her were her co-workers, Ri In and Onew, who were sharing a heart to heart talk. Or rather, Ri In was doing all the talking while Onew pretended to listen. Eun Mi stifled a chuckle. Once again, Jang Ri In was talking about relationships and dating. Eun Mi had lost all interest in it since the girl had opened her mouth about an hour ago. The former didn’t even try to pretend to listen as her mind drifted elsewhere.
“Yah, Eun Mi-yah!” Ri In interjected as she noticed her friend staring at nothing in particular again. The said girl slowly turned her head towards Ri In while Onew took this chance to sigh in relief as Ri In’s attention finally wasn’t towards him.
“What?” Eun Mi asked in a bored tone.
“Here you go again.” Ri In said, moving beside Eun Mi. “You know, you wouldn’t be spacing out this much if you had a guy with you.”
“Ri In-ah,” Eun Mi started, trying to make her tone sound calm and not annoyed. “Look, you’re a very good friend but, please, enough of this. Not another guy-dating talk.”
Ri In rolled her eyes and placed her hands on her hips. “And why not? Is it wrong to want a friend—a.k.a. you—to find happiness?”
“It’s wrong if you’re annoying the whole neighborhood in the process.” Onew butted in. Ri In glared at him for a moment before turning back to Eun Mi. “Eun Mi-yah, come on! You’re as innocent as the day you were born! You need to experience love, even just a little so that you wouldn’t be as clueless in this matter as you are now. Remember that line, ‘it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all’.”
Eun Mi exaggerated an annoyed sigh. “I’m not that clueless, you know.”
Ri In rolled her eyes again. “Oh, really? Then if a guy confesses to you right here, right now, at this second, what would you do?” she challenged.
“Let’s cross that bridge when we actually get there.” Eun Mi answered bluntly. Onew chuckled while Ri In raised an eyebrow and threw daggers at both of them. “Not funny. Aigoo! Han Eun Mi, you are really indifferent.”
“Ri In-ah,” Eun Mi said patiently. “I’m not being indifferent. It’s just that, talking about relationships even when it’s not here yet, you even setting me up on blind dates, I don’t see the point of them. I appreciate you doing this, really, I am, but… If love will come, then let it come. Why would I—or we—go look for it that soon?”
“I have to agree on that one.” Onew once again butted in.
Ri In looked like she couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She was about to argue when the double glass doors of the café opened and two more customers came in.
Park Yoochun leaned against the concrete wall of the apartment complex. He pushed the sleeve of his jacket slightly upward and glanced at his wristwatch. 2:15. His friend was fifteen minutes late. Yoochun pulled his sleeve down again then fished out a pack of cigarettes from his pocket. He took one of the cancer sticks before placing the pack back. He took out his lighter from the other pocket and lit the cigarette up.
Yoochun inhaled deeply, letting the smoke fill in his lungs and nose. The feeling of it was elating to him. Almost like a drug to a drug addict. Almost. Yoochun knew it was a bad addiction but he couldn’t help himself on times like these. The cigarette was a way to calm him down, to make him feel better.
“The cigarette again.”
Yoochun turned to see the smiling brown eyes of his mahogany-haired friend. “Can’t help it, Jaejoong-hyung.” He answered. “I told you on the phone earlier that I’m having a dilemma.”
“And you still haven’t told me what that dilemma is.” The guy named Jaejoong stated.
Yoochun inhaled once more before taking the piece of cancer stick out of his mouth. He turned towards Jaejoong and frowned. “Composer’s block sucks.”
As Jaejoong suggested, the two went to a nearby café to talk. The older man really knew something was up. Yoochun had taken at least three sticks of cigarette during their short walk towards the café. And Yoochun only finished his cancer sticks that quickly when something was deeply bothering him. Jaejoong was concerned.
Finishing his fourth cigarette, Yoochun threw its remains on the ground before following Jaejoong inside Café Paradise. Warm air greeted them as soon as they entered. Taking off their jackets, Jaejoong and Yoochun sat on a table near the counter. A moment later, one of the baristas bowed and greeted them before handing them their menus.
“A tall cup of French vanilla for me.” Jaejoong requested with a smile.
The female barista with long, wavy black hair took down notes before turning to Yoochun. “And what will you have, sir?”
“Just a cup of Espresso.” He answered rather irately.
The barista ignored his attitude and continued on smiling. “Would there be anything else, sirs?” She asked politely.
Jaejoong smiled politely back. “No, thank you.”
She bowed once again and walked back towards the counter.
“So what’s really your problem, Yoochun-ah?” Jaejoong asked concernedly as soon as the barista was gone.
A frustrated sigh escaped the said man’s lips. “A lot of things.” He answered.
“It’s my day off.” Jaejoong said. “We have all day.”
Yoochun buried his face in his hands before saying something. “I haven’t written a song in weeks.”
“I don’t know.” Yoochun bit his lip. “I… just can’t. I don’t know why. It’s a miracle that I haven’t been fired yet. But I have the feeling they’re just counting down the weeks. I’m not sure if I’m gonna last long.”
To this Jaejoong didn’t say anything and Yoochun was thankful for that.
“And hyung, I’m running low on cash.” The younger man continued. “My rent just increased and if this composer’s block keeps up I think my days in my apartment are numbered too.”
“You do know that I can always lend you money if you need it.” Jaejoong gave a reassuring smile.
Yoochun only sighed. “Hyung, you already saved my neck the last time I had this composer’s block. I owe you enough already.”
There was a moment of silence between them. Jaejoong was weighing his words carefully. He knew his friend was suffering. Maybe it was about time to end this feud with his parents and move back in with them.
“Yoochun-ah,” The older man started, rehearsing the words again in his head before letting them out of his mouth. He knew very well Yoochun was sensitive with the subject. “Don’t you think you should go back?”
A hard look crossed the younger man’s face and Jaejoong instantly regretted even bringing it up.
“I’m just suggesting.” The older man said apologetically. “If you really can’t handle things on your—”
“I can handle things on my own, just fine.” Yoochun spat. “I don’t need help from them. I don’t even need to be reminded of them.”
Jaejoong sighed. “Mianhe. I never should have brought it up.”
Yoochun didn’t answer. Instead, he took his packet of cigarettes out again. He took one stick and was about to light when the barista came back with their orders, placing the cups in front of them.
“Sir,” She started, seeing that one of the men had a cigarette in his hands. “I suggest you take that outside. It’s not permitted to smoke inside the café.”
Yoochun merely ignored her and went on to light his cancer stick.
“Sir?” She persisted.
“It’s a free country.” Yoochun shot with an attitude. “I can smoke wherever I want.”
“But sir, it may be a free country but your freedom is not absolute.” The barista argued. This particular customer was starting to get to her nerves. “The café’s policy doesn’t allow smokers inside. I politely suggest you take it outside.”
“Yoochun-ah, just go outside.” Jaejoong told him.
Groaning in frustration, Yoochun stood up. He glared at the barista before marching out, purposely hitting his shoulder against hers out of annoyance. Shock and anger crossed her face. How dare this guy? She was being polite and he replied with rudeness?
“Yah!” She yelled. “You didn’t need to do that!”
“Whatever.” Yoochun muttered, not even glancing back at her. He marched on and she called him again.
“Yah! Stop!” She yelled, not caring if the other two customers in the café were staring at her. “You need to apologize. That was rude of you!”
Yoochun stopped in his tracks for a moment. “I’m not going to apologize.” He stated. He then strutted out of the café, leaving her fuming at him.
Jaejoong immediately stood up from his seat. He walked in front of the barista and bowed at her. “Mianhe. Excuse my friend. He just had a lot of things on his mind right now.” He took his wallet from his pocket and took out a wad of cash. He placed it on the table and bowed at the barista again. “I hope this is enough.”
“Sir,” Another female barista came, bowing in apology. “We’re also sorry for Eun Mi-yah’s behavior. She easily gets irritated.”
“No, really. It’s our fault.” Jaejoong said. “We’re sorry if we caused trouble.” He bowed in apology once again before following Yoochun out of the café. Both of them had left their orders untouched.
“Eun Mi-yah, you shouldn’t have done that!” Ri In whined after she bid an apologetic goodbye to the other two customers who left in shock after Eun Mi’s outburst.
“I just had to. He was being rude for no reason.” Eun Mi reasoned. “I don’t care if he has problems, just as long as he doesn’t involve others in his misery.”
“Aigoo!” Ri In exclaimed. “Eun Mi-yah, that would work if you’re not on duty! He’s a customer. Like it or not, we have to put up with that kind of attitude one way or another.”
“Ri In-ah,” Onew said, coming out of the kitchen. “I suggest you drop it. What’s done is done. Besides, you know how Eun Mi is. They’re only a few people and I don’t think it will do much damage to the café’s reputation.”
“Ugh! But still…” Ri In still whined. “Why did you even do that, Han Eun Mi?”
The said girl scoffed as she took a seat on one of the chairs. “Simply because he was rude and obnoxious ever since he entered our café. Just one look at him, I could tell that he’s one of the people I would never want to meet again in my entire life. And I hope I never will.”
Eun Mi meant it. But she had no idea how fate would play on her and how she would eventually come to take her words back.