After some much-needed socialization, it was finally time to head back home. As soon as I opened the door, I was greeted by a hungry puppy and a peculiar note on the desk in the living room. It was folded and sitting on top of a small object. As I drew closer to it, I could see it clearly. The note was underneath a cookie wrapped in plastic. My heart almost exploded. As soon as I saw the cookie, I immediately knew who the note was from. I unfolded the note and it read:
I've come to the realization of why you were so upset with me because of what I said to you earlier today. You don't want to give up something you just found out was real. When I told you that we shouldn't see one another anymore, I could see the emotion in your eyes. I don't blame you for the way you acted, because I would have done the same thing. I did not write this letter for you to feel guilty, I wrote it to tell you that I did not mean what I said, and I just need some time to think about where I stand with Hyoyeon. She called me without notice after you left. She told me that she was no longer upset with me. She said that she knew how I felt about you, and she was okay with it, so she broke it off with me. By the time you have read this, I've probably gone on the plane to Beijing. I can't help this feeling, Jojo. I missed it for too long. Before I go, there's something I've wanted to tell you for so long, but I was always afraid to say it."
To me, that looked like the end of the letter, but there was an arrow pointing to the back of it. I turned it over.
"I love you.
I thought my heart stopped beating the moment I read that. Wait a second. How did he get into my house when I was gone? I turned around when I heard footsteps. Standing there was my sister Lia.
"Lia unnie!!!" I shrieked and ran into her arms. "What are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be at the train station with Yesung?"
"Nah," She replied, shaking her head, "The entertainment company manager told me I had to stay in Seoul with you."
"Why?" I asked.
"We're going to start recruiting members for our new singing group!" She shouted, then she noticed me wipe a tear from my face. "Are you crying?"
"Just a little, unnie." I wiped another tear from my face. "That's great news, though."
"Oh yeah," She remembered, "I almost forgot to tell you that Eunhyuk stopped by. He told me to give you that letter and the cookie that went with it. I have no idea what it was all about. It was probably another plan to get you to go out with him or something. He's really weird."
"No, it's not that. I never told you what happened the past few days." I breathed deeply before telling her everything that happened. I told her about when I went to Eunhyuk's apartment and when I was at the concert, the phone messages, and then what happened the other night. Lastly, I told her what happened today.
"Ew," was all she muttered out. "Are you like in love with him or something?"
"No way!" I exclaimed, even though I probably doubted myself slightly.
"It kinda sounds like you are. I thought you were trying to get a date with Kyuhyun." She looked at me funny.
"Well, that's a different story. Anyway, none of it matters now, because Eunhyuk's on his way to Beijing right now."
Lia shrugged her shoulders. "Oh well. Maybe this time, you can finally clear your head of all this drama."
I sighed, and then all of a sudden, the doorbell rang. Areu barked at the door. It was Eunhyuk. I wanted to die right there on the spot. He must not have seen me, because he rang the doorbell again. Areu kept barking. I hesitated, but then I opened the door slowly. "What are you doing here?" I asked. "You're supposed to be at the airport."
"I know, but I had to see you before I left. Something deep inside told me to come back." He looked at me with a gentle and loving expression. It was hard to resist.
Lia jumped up when her phone got a message. "Jojo, I'm sorry to leave you like this, but Yesung's trip has been delayed so I have to pick him up from the station."
"Uh, okay." I replied.
She hugged me and then saw Eunhyuk. "Oh, hey." She said to him.
"Haseyo." He said back. Then she ran out the door and turned on her car.
When Lia left, it was just Eunhyuk and me. He just stood there, looking at me for a brief moment. It was very awkward, because none of us said anything as Lia drove off. "So," I began, and he looked up at me, "I got your letter and the uh, cookie."
"Oh, yeah, I could have guessed that." He said. "You read the whole thing?"
"Yes, even the back of it."
His color turned red immediately. "Good. I wanted you to." He gulped.
I smiled and touched his cheek. "You love me?" I asked.
"Yeah. I mean it this time. It's hard for me to go through every day without thinking about you. Even when I was with Hyoyeon, there were instances where something happened and it would remind me of you. I can't help it."
Areu kept trying to get outside so I closed the door behind me and stood outside with him. "I've never had this feeling before." I said, "I've always thought you had this creepy little crush on me, but I can see now that it's not just that, is it?"
He blinked. "Ever since I first met you, I wanted to be with you. I've been waiting around so long for you to finally see me. I feel like all this time, I've been hidden."
"It's not like I just completely ignored you."
"That's not what I mean." He said, and then he took my shoulders. "I wanted you to see me, not as an awkward friend, but as the real me. I want you to look deep down inside and see the real me. Can you see me?"
"I have." I said quietly and then I burst into tears. I embraced him. "How could I have been so blind?" I cried, "I could have been so happy."
He pulled me in close and said softly, "Life is too short to dwell on the past, noona. Always look ahead." Before I could think about what he said, he kissed me passionately. I could feel my tears still running down my face. I never wanted to let go. Something that I've been missing felt like it finally fell into place.
He pulled away from me after a good couple of seconds. "I've wanted to do that for so long." He smiled at me and wiped my tears away.
I smiled back. "Why did you do it?" I asked, with my heart beating out of my chest.
"It just seemed like you needed it." He replied, and then he brushed my hair away from my face.
I looked into his eyes again, and they reflected a strong emotion I was unable to comprehend. Something came over me, and I said, "Something's not right about this. I don't know why."
"You're right. This is a little weird, I guess." He looked like he was thinking about something.
"What are you thinking?" I asked him.
"I don't want things between us to get really awkward. Can't you see how we've been acting towards each other lately?"
"I guess so. It's been really stressful."
"We should just stick to being friends like we always were, even if it's a little different now. I don't want to ruin what we have already. You know what I mean?"
"I know what you mean. You don't want our friendship to be ruined. It's too good of a thing to have." I understood completely what he meant. We could never get too close like that, no matter how much he wanted it. He was smart in his decision, because he knew if this went further we would completely lose ourselves. "But," I interrupted the thought, "isn't this what you've always wanted; to be with me?"
He sighed, "Yes, but not if it means I have the chance to lose you. I'd rather not risk it. The only thing that I want more than anything is for you to be happy. That's it."
I nodded in approval. "I'm glad we finally understand each other now." Then I hugged him tightly. "I'm so lucky to have you always here for me. Thank you so much."
"There's no need to thank me. I'm the lucky one." He held my hand for a moment and then led me to his car. "We're having a big banquet tomorrow night for the announcement of Super Junior-M's new comeback. We start recording in a week. Did you want to join us in celebration?"
"Of course," I replied, letting go of his hand. "I can't wait. You and Sungmin helping the group get back on track since the loss of Hankyung is great. Henry and Zhou Mi must be really greatful."
"They are." He said. "We're opening up new doors for them in their careers. We'll all get together tomorrow night and talk about it."
I nodded and said, "Alright."
He got into his car and started it up. Then he rolled down the window. "I'll see you then. Today's been too weird for me."
"I know what you mean." I chuckled. "Good-bye, oppa!" I waved good-bye as he drove away.
"Annyeong!" He shouted back, and then he left.
I watched his car go down the road until it was out of my sight. "I love you too, Hyukjae." I said quietly to myself, and then walked back into the house.