“Are you insane???” Jan Di yelled at her best friend, stopping cleaning the table in the porridge shop. “Were you drunk yesterday? On drugs?”
“Please, stop yelling…” Ga Eul pleaded, raising a hand to her temple. “Tonight I barely slept, and now I have a terrible headache.”
“I bet I know why you didn’t sleep.” Jan Di snorted, then dropped the cloth on the table and looked at her, trying to calm down.
“Ga Eul… seriously. Didn’t you learn anything from my messing with the F4? Can you look at me now, and tell me it’s worth it? I don’t even have my house anymore!”
“I know, I know… I don’t know what I was thinking.” Ga Eul sighed sitting down. “He insulted me, treated me like a stupid child. And I just couldn’t let him get away with it.”
“Then I’ll make sure he apologizes to you, so you can call this ‘bet’ off. I don’t want to see you cry.”
“No.” Ga Eul looked firmly at Jan Di, a hint of steel in her eyes. “You will stay out of it. No threats, no spinning kicks, nothing.”
Jan Di stared at her, wide eyed. She knew that look in Ga Eul eyes, and usually it meant war for the people involved. It had been that way since kindergarten. Ga Eul was a nice, shy girl, who didn’t like to be in the frontline, except when her friends were involved: the swimming competition was an example, when she asked Yi Jeong to lose on purpose. Jan Di was still slightly angry for it, but she knew it was in Ga Eul’s character to do something like that.
But that look in her eyes, she hadn’t seen it more than three, maybe four times in her entire life, always when her friend was determined in doing something. She would never stop.
Ga Eul softened her features, smiling at her friend. She understood her worries, but this was something she had to do, for herself. She had to try her best, it was the only way she wouldn’t have any regret later.
“Yi Jeong sunbae isn’t a bad guy, you know that. Ok, he’s a playboy, but I think it’s just a mask. I don’t know why, but he’s scared to love and be loved. I want to show him there’s nothing to fear. And now, with his broken hand… he needs hope, Jan Di.”
“And since when you turned into a missionary nun? He wants to destroy you, Ga Eul. He will take what you are offering him and then he’ll throw you away. Never forget he’s a F4. They are not used to lose or admit they are wrong. Yi Jeong sunbae won’t put a red card in your locker, but that doesn’t mean he’s not dangerous.”
“Then I’ll just have to be careful on what I do, don’t you think?” She winked at Jan Di. “I’m sure he has a sweet side too. You saw us on our second date… he was so attentive, so nice to me, he even set up fireworks!”
Jan Di looked at her narrowing her eyes and sat down next to her. “How do you know I saw it? And… second date? Second? When was the first one? You never told me anything about it!”
Ga Eul turned to stone, mentally slapping herself. Great job. Now she would have to explain everything… and then she would have to call Woo Bin sunbae, the mastermind behind the ’emergency plan’, to tell him to start running for his life.
Yi Jeong was waiting for some kind of reaction from his three best friends and was starting to think that maybe it would have been better if he just kept his mouth shut. Well, not telling them he was going to date Ga Eul yang was not an option, since they would have found out soon enough. Maybe he shouldn’t have told them about their little bet. But then again, what was he supposed to answer when Ji Hoo asked him if he was serious about her? Of course he wasn’t, he could never be. He just needed to show her they were an impossible couple, so she would finally leave him alone.
“So you’re planning on breaking her.” Woo Bin statement broke the silence, and they waited for Yi Jeong answer.
“I just want her to understand some basic principles about life. The first one is she can’t change people.”
“That meaning you don’t want to change, I suppose.” Ji Hoo was looking at him, arms folded. His expression showed all his disapproval.
Jun Pyo shook his head, mentally preparing his friend’s funeral. “Jan Di will kill you as soon as you make Ga Eul cry. Maybe even before that, she will kick your ass as soon as you touch her friend.”
“That would just prove my point to her. If she needs Geum Jan Di to protect her, she will understand I’m out of her league.”
Woo Bin raised his eyebrow. “So you just want to be left alone? You don’t actually want to make her suffer?”
Yi Jeong stood up, leaning against the pool table. Yes she deserved to suffer, to cry. She had to pay for all her smiles, her cheerfulness, her courage. He never wanted someone to bow down to him like he did with her.
“She challenged me. I will do what it takes to win, to make her regret it.”
Jun Pyo laughed bitterly at that, taking a sip of wine. “That reminds me of a certain dry cleaner and how I vowed to make her surrender to me. Look where I am now and think again.”
“He’s right, you know.” Ji Hoo said. “You’re playing with fire. Are you sure you won’t end up burnt?”
Yi Jeong couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Had his friends lost their minds? They should go and warn Ga Eul yang, not him. She was the one who was going to suffer, the one who would be crying in the end.
Did they really think his little game could backfire? He was just going to do what he always did: flirt, conquer, bed her and then leave her. She would learn she couldn’t win against him.
“Oh come on, guys! We’re talking about Chu Ga Eul, the country bumpkin, the commoner! How can she compete against me? I’m So Yi Jeong, F4’s Casanova!”
Ok, that sounded weak, even on his own ears. But he didn’t need to persuade them, after all. Actions would prove his point.
“Just don’t take it too far, bro.” Woo Bin stared at him with a serious face. “Ga Eul yang is a sweet, kind girl. She doesn’t deserve any suffering.”
“Hey, are you my friend or hers?”
“Actually, I’m not worried about her, despite the little speech about love and pain you gave me.” Jun Pyo stood up, putting his coat on. “Commoners always survive, they are made of steel and fire. It’s their nature. Are you sure you’re tougher than her? Because I remember the fireworks at the ice rink, and how you never lifted your eyes from her face. You were smiling and I know from experience what that smile meant.”
Yi Jeong was about to reply, when Jun Pyo raised his hand, silencing him. “Just think about it ok? I have to go now. See you all later.”
“That was a pretence.” Yi Jeong muttered when Jun Pyo went away. “It wasn’t real.”
“I suggest that you carefully think if this is worth it.” Ji Hoo calmly poured himself a glass of wine. “F4 already destroyed one innocent girl’s life. Because of her friendship with us, Jan Di lost everything. Do you really want this to happen to Ga Eul as well? Who knows when your personal Ha Jae Kyung will show up to claim you?”
“This is ridiculous!” Yi Jeong snapped, his eyes now gleaming in anger. “Geum Jan Di and Jun Pyo were in love. They still are! This is the reason of this mess. My family can decide to marry me off tomorrow and it won’t affect me at all, because I’m not in love with Chu Ga Eul and never will be!”
“Whatever bro.” Woo Bin said after a long silence, exchanging a meaningful glance with Ji Hoo. Yi Jeong noticed that and grabbed his coat.
“I can’t believe it,” he said before storming out of the lounge.
Ji Hoo and Woo Bin sighed and leaned against the couch.
“I suppose it’s my turn now.” Woo Bin complained. “Or do you want the honor to play Knight to Ga Eul yang too?”
“Ah no, thank you. I’m already busy enough with Jan Di.” Ji Hoo smiled bitterly. “Ga Eul yang is all yours.”
“Why do we have such stubborn friends? First Jun Pyo, then Yi Jeong. If I ever start acting so stupid too, please punch some sense in me.”
“You can count on it, brother. You can count on it.”