Okay! Sorry it’s a bit of a rush, I’m writing this way past my sleepy time. LOL! Here is the 3rd part of my Gong Yoo short story: (Click here to read the previous part.)
She looked worried for a second, before attempting a small smile. “Okay, but it’s not really guy material. It’s a bit of a drama type of story.”
I just nodded, somehow fearing if I talked more, she might stop talking to me altogether.
She heaved a sigh and shook her head. “The main protagonist is this guy that escapes from his rich and controlling parents to try and make it on his own. He ends up getting mugged and he even got forced into joining a gang. The whole story revolves on how he manages to escape all that and in the process, know himself more and mature into this more cautious and wiser person. He eventually returns to his family but with a stronger sense of self.”
“Wow,” I managed. “That sounds like a very interesting story. I’m a guy and I like the plot so far. Would I be given the honour of getting to read it sometime?”
Her brows were knitted together. “Well, I don’t really know you, even if you are a movie star.” She chuckled a tad nervously.
I smiled my sweetest smile as I extended my hand to her. “I’m Gong Ji-chul, better known as Gong Yoo. It’s very nice to meet you, miss…?”
She laughed as she took my hand and shook it firmly. “Kaori Johnson. It’s nice to meet you too, Mr. Gong Ji-cheol.”
“Ji-cheol is fine. None of that polite stuff; we’re not in Korea. So you’re of Japanese descent? If you don’t mind me saying, you don’t look Japanese.”
“I get that a lot. My mother is Japanese and my dad is British.” She shyly pushed back a lock of hair behind her ear.
“Ah.” I nodded, noting her slightly blondish brown hair and her pale and slightly freckled complexion. “I want to meet them so I can tell them that they have very good genes.”
“That’s just ridiculous,” she said, as she burst out laughing. I could see a faint hint of blush creeping into her cheeks. “Compliments are not going to get you to read the story.”
“Would dinner do it then?” I don’t know why, but I was feeling confident for some reason.
She stopped laughing. “What if I was a serial killer?” She gave me a reprimanding look. “You shouldn’t just ask random people on a whim, you know.”
So she was a cautious person. Understandable at this day and age. I just had to back off a little bit. “Alright. But are you going to ignore me then if I happen to see you the next day?”
“I would be tempted to, but I won’t. I promise.” She was smiling again.
“Good enough for me,” I replied. I remembered I had ordered food, and took a bite out of my sandwich. “I’m guessing you’ll want some space so you can finish that, huh?”
Kaori nodded. “That would be very helpful, actually.”
I scooted off to my own table and munched on happily.
~~ 0 ~~
To my dismay, I didn’t see her at all at the cafe the next day, but she must live close by because exactly a week later, when I was going home from the airport where I had said goodbye to Jo In Sung, I saw her again at the cafe. I usually come to The Bean once a day to get a cookie or two. On my way home, I remembered her and that was why I went and actually had lunch at the cafe. Half an hour later, there she was, walking and then sitting a few tables from me, all alone, failing to see me. I wanted to call out to her but she was texting on her phone. I was thankful for the fact that the people sitting in between our tables weren’t blocking my view of her. I ate at a leisurely pace, watching her every move. She ordered from the menu after a waiter came to her table and she smiled politely as he left. She must have gotten a message on her phone because she looked at it and smiled widely. She had a very cute smile. I was just realizing how I was beginning to really like that smile. I noticed the way she dressed today was very different from before. She wore a classy outfit, donning a beige silk buttoned top with dark slacks and a pair of heels. She had her hair tied loosely behind her back and small curls were framing her face. The smile remained although she was trying hard to suppress it as she texted on the phone. Setting it aside, she looked up just in time as the waiter came with her order. She smiled again at him and said thanks, then set out to eating her green salad. Texting intermittently, the smile got wider and wider; I was sure she was trying really hard not to laugh and her expressions made me curious about what it was that was causing her to smile so happily.
My own phone vibrated on the glass table and brought me back from my thoughts. I looked at it; a little irritated with it’s bad timing.
“Ji Cheol.” It was my manager. “Ji Cheol? It’s me, Joon Kim. How are you doing over there, eh?”
“I was doing just fine, until you called.” I didn’t bother to hide the irritation in my voice.
“Oh? Are you busy? Out on a date or something?”
I shrugged. “Something like that.” I didn’t want him to think I was stalking someone, which wasn’t that far from the truth.
“Oh, I see, I see. Who’s your date? Anybody we know?”
“Nah. Not really,” I remarked in exasperation. I can hear his excitement through the phone. Was my life that sad, that my manager was like a parent when it came to my personal issues? I shook my head, unable to believe I was having this phone call with my manager.
“Wow, somebody unknown, huh. Okay, okay. Tell me more.”
“Hyung, listen. If I keep talking on the phone with you, I won’t have a date.”
“Oh, okay, okay. Tell me later, then.” He snickers excitedly. “Have fun!”
I turned off the ringer on my phone so nobody else could bother me. I looked up just in time to see her looking at me. I smiled and waved. Kaori smiled back, then looked down at her phone again. She didn’t have her paper and pen today. Must be meeting a friend, I thought. It better not be a guy, I suddenly thought. I frowned and took a sip from my coffee. Since when did I care who she was friends with? I tried to focus on my lunch and seem like a stalker, glancing her way every now and again. She was on the phone for a little bit, finished the rest of her salad and then she stood up. As she walked towards me, I almost choked trying to quickly swallow the food in my mouth as she got closer to my table.
“Hello, Ji Cheol. Nice to see you again. How have you been?” she asked.
Nodding, “I’ve been good. Nice to see you, too.” I offered a hand shake, which she took, just so I can touch her before she left. Suddenly, a divine plan came to me. “But you know what?” I put on my best puppy-dog eyes for effect.
“What?” She was looking at me a little suspiciously, but I ignored that.
“I’ve been trying to do some sight-seeing but I don’t really understand Japanese, so it’s hard for me.” That was mostly true.
“Aw, that’s too bad.” She looked at me for a few moments. The suspicious look faded and she looked more empathetic. “I can probably help you out with that, if you like. Nihongo ga wakarimasu,” she added, with confidence.
I was so happy that she offered to help. Although I had learned the basics of the language–mostly for work–I still wasn’t fluent in Japanese. “That would be awesome. I’m planning to see the famous Hachiko statue tomorrow.” I know that the statue was a famous meeting spot, so I wondered if she would get the hint.
She tilted her head to one side. “Really? The statue, huh.” Her eyes narrowed ever so slightly. I kept my face blank. “Well,” she eventually said, “I guess I can spare one day. We’ll be seeing Shibuya then.” She looked at her phone then back at me. “I’m sorry, I have to go. I’ll meet you here at ten in the morning, then?”
I grinned widely. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Author’s Note: I edited it and also added some details here and there. =)