As I replied with a feeble voice, Eun Jiho, behind me, burst into giggles. The Kim twins then shared a conversation that made me feel even darker.
“Earlier, when Eun Jiho behaved like that, I thought Yoon Jung In was the problem, but I guess it’s not.”
Kim Hye Hill spoke calmly, then I heard Kim Hye Woo responding to her afterward.
“No, it isn’t…”
From that moment, I began to feel nervous. Yoon Jung In then drove a nail in the coffin.
“Ah, the cause of all the problems turns out to be Ham Donnie…”
“That ain’t true?” I retorted, lifting my head, then I said to myself, ‘I’m just an innocent victim! These boys are the main characters of the web novel!’
Yoo Chun Young stared at us while looking blanked out as if he didn’t know what conversation had continued among us. That was when someone covered my eyes as I tried to add a few more words to Yoon Jung In while gasping in fury.
As soon as my sight tinged with darkness, a cheerful girl’s voice echoed around my ears.
“Donnie, guess who I am?!”
“The clue is I’m Donnie’s most favorite person in the world…”
Almost pulling my neck into her arms, she spoke softly like a spring breeze. I heard Eun Jiho talking with a giggle afterward.
“She won’t guess who you are then.”
“Will you just shut up?” she blurted out brutally.
Should I just tap her hand and say I don’t know who she is? However, that would soon put this entire party into chaos, so I answered back with a smile.
“Ban Yeo Ryung.”
As soon as I said that, she quickly took off her hands from my eyes. Ban Yeo Ryung’s beautifully grinning face then came into view.
‘I knew it!’ She then hugged me tight while yelling those out.
“Donnie, I had such a hard time,” she said, hanging on my sleeve.
My eyes grew bigger.
“Eh? We met this afternoon. Did something happen in the meantime?”
Ban Yeo Ryung swept her long black hair back and continued while placing her hand on her chest.
“I mean, someone said to me, ‘Can I have a cup of coffee as hot as your heart?’ Argh, who cares? I just brought him an iced Americano.”
I let out an exclamation. She was, sadly, just a little slow, but when it came to guys flirting at her, she built an iron wall and cut those people out without mercy.
Putting her palm on her chest, she kept on her words seriously.
“And then, afterward, I wondered what if you order the same thing, so I tried to make the hottest coffee ever…”
‘What the heck is she doing in that café?’ I couldn’t help asking her.
‘Is she doing her job properly? Oh, I mean, of course, I won’t be concerned about her since Ban Yeo Ryung does everything perfectly, but…’
While I had those thoughts in mind, someone’s red hair appeared into my sight out of the blue. I waved my hand to say hi.
“Oh, hi, Eun Hyung.”
Eun Hyung replied with a smile while showing a bit of fright on his face. He looked unusually pale.
‘What’s going on with him?’ As soon as I thought that way, Eun Hyung spoke while touching his cheek.
“The hottest coffee ever that Yeo Ryung practiced making… guess who would’ve tested all those out?”
A moment of silence swept the spot. While every sympathetic gaze was bent on Eun Hyung, he naturally exchanged greetings with Yoon Jung In whom he got to be friends with during the courage test.
“Is your tongue okay?”
“Why not just say you don’t want to drink?”
When Yoon Jung In said that I flickered my eyes and thought, ‘Yeah, why not just run away?’ As I switched my gaze to Eun Hyung, I saw him showing a slightly twisted smile.
Eh? Did I just get it wrong?
With a blink of an eye, that mysterious grin disappeared from his face. Eun Hyung then turned his head toward us and answered back with his usual voice.
“She made them anyway, doing her best.”
“That’s true. Oh, hi, Ban Yeo Ryung. Long time no see.”
After replying to Eun Hyung apathetically, Yoon Jung In diverted his head onto Ban Yeo Ryung and said hi. She flinched for a second then responded to him, “Yeah…”
Nodding her head with a sour face, Ban Yeo Ryung quickly hid behind me.
“Eh? Did I do something wrong?” asked Yoon Jung In.
Ban Yeo Ryung then hunched her shoulders more with her eyes full of wariness.
She uttered, “Um, no, I didn’t mean that… but let’s get closer at a slow pace.”
“WHAT? I didn’t confess any affection toward you or so.”
Getting bewildered for a second, Yoon Jung In soon exchanged eye contact with Kwon Eun Hyung then murmured as if he had realized something.
“Oh, is it because I said to you last time let’s get close?”
Without making a response, Ban Yeo Ryung turned her stiffened face to the side. Standing between them, I lifted my hand to touch my forehead.
Geez, I knew what the look on her face meant. It was what she usually displayed to the guys who tried to hit on her such as Hwang Siwoo or Eun Kyum.
The mood turned awkward in a flash. Staring at Ban Yeo Ryung shrinking with fear, Kim Hye Woo and Kim Hye Hill made a curious face then tilted their heads while exchanging eye contact.
I was perplexed at the situation, thinking, ‘If this continues, they will get Yeo Ryung wrong.’
It looked as though Eun Jiho and Eun Hyung were also quite disconcerted.
That was when I tried to put my hands up and say, ‘Please don’t get her wrong. That’s not what she meant by her behavior.’ Unexpectedly, Yoon Jung In tossed a question brightly as if nothing had happened.
“Oh, I just wonder does getting close sound something like a love confession to you?”
Biting her lips tightly, Ban Yeo Ryung remained silent. Yoon Jung In then scratched the back of his head and replied with a forthright attitude.
“Oh, sorry. I wasn’t trying to be sarcastic. Anyway, if you had some trouble with this before, you could get anxious no matter what. If you feel uncomfortable, I’ll try not to talk to you. You’re Ham Donnie’s friend and we’ve met before, so I am just being who I am. What I want to say is that let’s just be friends as long as you don’t feel uncomfortable.”
“Huh? Um, yeah…”
While Ban Yeo Ryung, who always went by her own pace, was, unusually, at a loss of words now, Yoon Jung In soon turned his head to Kwon Eun Hyung and began a new conversation. Meanwhile, I fetched a sigh of relief and, on the other hand, was quite amazed at him.
I, again, raised my head to look in the direction of Yoon Jung In. He was grumbling something to Eun Jiho and was now getting scolded by Eun Hyung. Although Eun Hyung looked a bit rigid, I could tell that he was actually keeping a straight face while controlling his muscles.
“When did you two get so close?” asked Eun Hyung.
Tapping his chest, Yoon Jung In replied, “Aren’t you quite relieved now? They say friends resemble each other. If Eun Jiho starts to look like me, won’t you feel a little better to be friends with him?”
“What kind of bullshit is that? YOU should look like me. Who else are you gonna look like instead of a perfect person like me?”
It was surely Eun Jiho who could talk with such overconfidence. How astonishing to behave like that? Yoon Jung In seemed to have the same thought that I had in my head.
“Wow, you’re fearlessly self-assured, man.”
“Why? I’m just telling the truth.”
“I mean, it’s crazy to be able to speak so courageously like that.”
While they squabbled with each other, Eun Hyung flaunted a Buddha smile on his face and spoke to them.
“Um, I’m sorry to cut you guys in but… would you all unfriend me? I feel like it’ll get more exhausting now…”
Eun Hyung’s soft yet loud voice penetrated the noise filling the hall that I nearly burst out laughing. Next, I diverted my gaze back onto Yoon Jung In who bounced with anger that it was Eun Jiho’s fault for Eun Hyung to say such a thing.
Staring at Yoon Jung In’s manly face and dark eyebrows that gave an eloquent look, I fell into thought.
That boy looks seemingly not so thoughtful and just noticeably happy or optimistic, which is his greatest advantage; however, he has something better than that. I’d say it’s the tolerance he had. He seems to jump into what others feel sensitive about, but he soon soothes their strains as if nothing has happened and release what he has been holding from them.
I can’t deny that he is such a cool kid.