.

Would he ever know how many times I refused to stretch out my hands to him after that day? I clenched my fist.

That was… weird… a relationship that denied me from getting interested in him. I couldn’t cross the line, and I was only allowed to hover around him. How could I treat this as a problem between friends?

However, how could I dare to ask all these? It was what he said. I had no right to ask such questions. For me… I was afraid to ruin our relationship and to lose him. I was, to him, just a girl whom he accepted as his friend for being the least bothersome among all of his options.

It’s okay, I murmured the words inside my mouth. I did not like Yoo Chun Young, so it was fine. From the time, I repeated these words with my fist clenched. Some things were left unchanged.

Regardless of how long I was rolling around the couch, the way we could recover our relationship was still undefined. I stopped moving on the couch and helped myself up to go lie down on my bed. My phone was still abandoned on the bed since the morning phone call.

Gosh… I breathed a brief sigh when the message sign on the phone caught my attention. It would not be Yoo Chun Young since he preferred a phone call than a text message.

As I opened my phone, there were mostly messages I received like ‘What’s good’ as if most of them were doing nothing but just waiting to start our freshmen year in high school. Only one text had an actual message in it. It said, ‘Cheer up’ and it was sent by Eun Jiho.

What the hell? I knitted my brows looking at the screen. I had no idea why Eun Jiho sent this message. Since it was delivered less than 30 minutes ago, about two hours had passed after Yoo Chun Young left my house.

Gosh, did he already know that we fought? Not even Kwon Eun Hyung but Eun Jiho? Having that in mind, I stared at my phone for a while and got surprised when it suddenly vibrated.

When I had my eyes back at the phone in the middle of my chaotic mind, there appeared the name ‘Eun Jiho’ on the screen. I pressed the call button and place the phone on my ear.

“Hello?”

“Hey, Donnie.”

“…”

Since he was calling my name with such a sweet tone, which was gross, I could only guess that his father, other people from his family, or a guest around him.

Eun Jiho spoke and acted differently based on who he was with. When he was only with us, he laughed playfully and made practical jokes, but when there was someone else, he would use a different voice, tone, and behaviors like those from TV dramas. There was indeed a reason for me to tease him every day by calling him Jekyll and Hyde.

I, of course, was aware that he had to behave as the heir of a conglomerate; however, it was too cheesy for me to accept his different personas.

I put my phone down and thought for a second whether to smash this device or not; however, I realized it was only my loss to do so. Therefore, I refused from doing such a destructive action and asked him on the phone,

“What? Donnie? Donnnniiieee~? Oh god, I was about to cringe to death. Did you eat like ten jars of butter in a row for breakfast today?”

I responded with all my heart, but Eun Jiho laughed as if he heard a funny joke. Should I really hang up on him? As I felt my inner conflicts while listening to his tender voice, the sound of a teacup placed down on a saucer came through the phone. It was then followed with Eun Jiho bidding farewell to a person next to him.

“Yes, sir. I hope you have a good day.”

The person with him seemed to be his father. While I remained silent while rolling my eyeballs, Eun Jiho changed the way he spoke to his usual apathetic tone to indicate that his father had gone to work. Then he asked,

“Do you think I like to speak that way? Then should I say, ‘hey dude’ in front of my dad while I’m calling you?”

“Never mind. I did know that you’re Mr. Jekyll and Hyde but wow! How could your voice change that coquettishly?”

“Excuse me, dude, can’t you replace the word to ‘elegant’ or ‘smooth’ or something like that? Coquettishly? Jesus man!”

While I was hearing his grumbles without any responses, the message he sent popped back inside my head. I rolled myself on the bed and had my tummy up to the ceiling.

I asked, “Hey, what was that text you sent me? Cheer up? For what?”

“Oh, that one?”

He asked me back; I could feel him shrugging with his indifferent attitude. His response made me open my mouth wide while feeling the ridiculousness of the situation. Oh, I was such a moron to string my nerves.

“You’re broke right now. That’s what Ban Yeo Ryung told me. She said you’ll get annoyed if we want to hang out with you.”

“…”

I grasped my phone firmly in silence. Oh, holy mother of pearl. I burst out a burst of hollow laughter. When he asked me out of confusion what was wrong with me, I just laughed even more while looking up at the ceiling.

I thought Yoo Chun Young told him that I was planning to transfer to another school. Chun Young was not that type of guy, but I was concerned anyhow.

I felt guilty all of a sudden, but I suppressed that feeling and rolled myself again to straighten up my body.

I asked while cuddling the pillow, “Dude, I…”

“What?”

I heaved a sigh at the pillow. Then I made a long face.

“I fought again with… Chun Young.”

“Again? Didn’t you guys got back together already?”

“Nope, to be honest, you know that something happened after the fight. That’s why I just let myself off the hook. We were doing fine, but again… oh, I just don’t know anymore.”

I slammed my head on the pillow while slurring the end of my words. Eun Jiho kept silent as if he had fallen into a thought. I gazed at the phone with a gloomy face.

In any case, I was not expecting a solution from Eun Jiho. If it was Kwon Eun Hyung, who knew Yoo Chun Young since their childhood, there might have been a different reaction. Eun Jiho got to know Yoo Chun Young since freshman in middle school. The start of our relationship and the two boys’ relationship were likewise.

Eun Jiho, as expected, remained silent for a while. Then he broke the ice abruptly.

“Hey.”

“Why?”

[My father told me to not intervene in a couple’s fight…. But you guys are my friends, so I do like to give some advice. I can’t anyway though. I should at least know why you guys started all this mess in the first place.]

“…”

I was holding the phone still even without blinking my eyes.

Eun Jiho kept on his words over the phone. I could imagine him having cold black eyes under his long silver lashes and standing in front of a large window filling him with beams of sunlight.

“You couldn’t tell me why and even Yoo Chun Young didn’t say a word to me that he fought with you. That Yoo Chun Young would easily lose his temper when I brought up the topic, so it wouldn’t be something small like you stealing his chocolate powder or so, right?”

“Who picks a fight for something like that?”

“Last time, I snatched his chocolate milk, and he was about to take my life away with his eyes.”

“…”

I was at a loss of words, so I had my mouth shut for a moment and then thought about the tiramisu box inside the fridge.

I said, “Hey, he just came to my house and left a box of cake.”

“Oh, for real? What an ass! He’s treating us differently.”

His voice sounded as if he had just heard something unfair. I was, again, at loss of words and rolled my eyeballs.

Yoo Chun Young was almost about to whack him out just by taking his chocolate milk, but I received a whole cake from him… This brought a newfound curiosity within me.

“Dude, don’t you think Yoo Chun Young likes me a lot for real?”

“Wow, I didn’t know you have a strange sense of confidence.”

He made an immediate response with an aghast tone. I, however, asked him undauntedly.

“Hey, I’m mad serious right now. I mean, as a friend. Don’t you think Yoo Chun Young cares about me so much as a friend?”

As if he realized how serious I was, he remained silent for a while.

Soon he gave me a response. The voice that delivered his response was so serious, which I never experienced from him before, that I suddenly felt dumbfounded.

He replied, “Why are you so stupid? If you have eyes, you would definitely see that he cares about you so much. That cold-ass guy becomes that sweet all for you, don’t you get it?”

“…”

“Anyway, it soon will be the first day of high school. You guys should figure it out before then. Peace, man.”

“Wait, hold on!”

“What?”

I raised my upper body and sat cross-legged on my bed. I pouted my lips while holding the phone tight and finally found the perfect composure to speak out what was on my mind.

Oh, I really did not want to say this. I closed my eyes firmly and opened them again.

He waited with patience while I decided to make up my mind. Maybe he might have grasped with his smart brain that I was about to say something important.

I finally opened my lips. “Hey, you know….”

[Yeah.]

“You know, I… I mean, would you pretend like we’re strangers to each other when we’re in high school?”

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