Although it was only their second semester at T University, Han Ye Jun was already famous around campus. Firstly, he was tall, broad, and put simply, gorgeous. This alone made him unquestionably popular. To top it all off, he was also intelligent enough to be noticed by his professors and other classmates and his kind and gregarious nature made it so that no one could possibly dislike him. He was, according to those who attended the university, the perfect package.
Being so well known however, also meant that there was a lot of discussion around Han Ye Jun and the most notable gossip around the man was that he was simply incapable of getting jealous. Not once had any girl he dated successfully instilled that feeling within him. And being so popular meant that he was often approached by many, many women who sought to make him their partner. Some did so simply because it was a feat to have such a man be romantically tied to them but there were also those who genuinely liked him because of his easy going nature.
But soon, many learned that the easygoing personality was a result of his ultimately being uninterested in the actions and emotions of those he dated. Thus it became somewhat of a challenge among the many interested ladies to become the person who finally brought out the green eyed monster in Han Ye Jun.
For if she succeeded, it meant that the “Ice Prince” would officially be hers.
For that reason, there were many women who attempted the challenge. Some took the route of flirting with other guys, fearful that anything stronger would turn him away from them. These women tended to be less confident in their ability. Others, the bolder ones, would outright date or even sleep with other men, certain that such actions would give them the result that they so desired, not caring that even if they did succeed in their goals, it may lead to hurting the man they hoped to claim as their lover. However, despite the many girlfriends in both highschool and the first semester at university, not a single woman had succeeded in inciting the desired reaction from the man.
“Hey, Jong In!”
Jong In looked up from his book. He had been sitting on the bench in the campus park, finishing the reading that had been assigned by his professor. Despite himself, he let out a small smile. “Done with classes?” he asked his long time friend.
Ye Jun sat down next to him, tossing his bag onto the grass below their feet before turning and laying his back on the bench and laying his head on Jong In’s lap.
Jong In shook his head but couldn’t help the smile that formed on his lips. He then plopped the book atop his friend’s face and continued to read.
After a few minutes, Ye Jun reached out and closed the book, removing the obstacle that separated them. He set it aside and turned over until he faced Jong In’s stomach and closed his eyes.
Jong In sighed but didn’t say anything. This was a common occurrence between them. Ye Jun, who had never been a morning person, had always had trouble staying awake before noon.
“I don’t know why you even signed up for this class if you can’t even get up for it on your own,” Jong In said, “nor stay awake during or after it.”
Ye Jun mumbled an unintelligible response into his shirt. His eyes were still tightly closed and a short while later, he heard the soft breaths of Ye Jun’s slumber.
Jong In looked down at his friend’s face. He should be irritated but he couldn’t quite get himself to be annoyed when he felt so content.
Really, he really is too handsome.
His hand instinctively reached out to stroke his hair when it paused, inches away from his friend’s head. He had forgotten that they were on campus and anyone could witness them. He briefly wondered at what the bystanders saw when they viewed them. In their eyes, were they simply friends or perhaps, more? He looked up and around and immediately saw several female classmates eyeing them.
When he met the eyes of one, she gave him a disgusted look.
He didn’t understand it.
Jong In turned to look at a pretty sunbae he had seen around Ye Jun a few times. He couldn’t recall her name. Actually, he wasn’t sure if he had even been introduced to her before.
Jong In nodded, trying not to wake the sleeping Ye Jun on his lap.
“Is Ye Jun sleeping?” she asked, her voice lowering into a whisper.
“Yes.” He wasn’t sure what to do, was he supposed to smile at her?
But the sunbae seemed not to care. She laughed softly. “Oh how cute.” She took a seat on the bench that was separated from theirs by only a few centimeters. “I’m Ye Jun’s sunbae,” she began, “I was looking for him because he wasn’t answering my texts. I wanted to see if he wanted to grab lunch. But I had no idea he was going to be taking a nap in the park.”
“Ah.” He wasn’t sure how he was supposed to respond. She hadn’t even asked him his name or given him hers. Wasn’t that the normal way of acting? He wasn’t completely sure at that moment.
“Should I wake him?” She leaned over and Jong In tensed.
“No,” he said, suddenly jerking his body away from hers. She gave him a look. One of confusion or irritation– he wasn’t sure.
“S-Sorry,” he mumbled. “Ye Jun doesn’t like to be woken up like that.”
She arched her brow. “Aren’t you a little too close to know that?” her tone spoke volumes but Jong In wasn’t entirely sure what it was saying, only that she was obviously unhappy with him.
“Uh, sorry,” he said.
“Well then, how do I wake him?” she replied irritably. “You wake him.”
Jong In looked at her for a moment then looked down at Ye Jun’s sleeping face. He wasn’t certain how he was going to get around this but if he didn’t wake Ye Jun up this way, he knew that Ye Jun would be irritable all day.
He turned back to the sunbae he did not know and asked if she could just turn around for a moment. The look she gave him he knew was obviously one of disgust but she did as he said. Then giving a quick glance about him to ensure that no one else was watching, Jong In bent down and ran his hand over Ye Jun’s forehead in a soothing manner.
“Ye Jun-ah, wake up,” he said softly.
Ye Jun turned on his lap until his face was facing Jong In’s but his eyes did not open.
Again Jong In ran his hand over his forehead in a rubbing almost massage like manner and repeated the soft, almost cooing words.
Ye Jun moved slightly once again but did not wake up. Jong In sighed, annoyed, then slapped his friend gently on the forehead and whispered somewhat harshly, “Wake up, punk.”
Ye Jun’s eyes finally opened and Jong In watched as the sleepy haze began to disappear. He smiled up at him and Jong In felt his heart skip a beat. If only he didn’t like his face so much.
“Is it time for lunch already?” he asked, sleepily.
Jong In shook his head. “Your sunbae is here.” He turned his head and was surprised to see her watching them. He had assumed that she would keep her head turned until Jong In said it was okay to look. At least, that is what he would have done but people never acted the way he expected them to.
“Oh, Jiwon sunbae,” said Ye Jun, who turned his head to peer at the woman but did not vacate his spot on Jong In’s lap.
“Ye Jun-ah,” she said, her face breaking into a wide smile that she had evidently not thought worth giving to Jong In, as she leaned over towards them. “I sent you several messages to see if you wanted to have lunch.”
“Ah,” Ye Jun replied and he looked up to briefly meet Jong In’s eyes. Jong In tried to hide his disappointment. In the past, they had eaten lunch almost every day but lately that activity had been occurring a lot less frequently.
Ye Jun smiled and turned back to the sunbae, his head still on Jong In’s lap. “Sorry, sunbae,” he said, “but I promised Jong In that I would have lunch with him today.”
Jong In could tell that she was not pleased or rather he assumed that was how she felt for that was how he would have felt but she did not say anything. Instead she smiled as she stood, her face betraying nothing of the emotion Jong In thought she would be displaying. “It’s alright but your rejection today means you will eat with me next time, right?” she said, her voice soft and pleasant.
Ye Jun smiled at her. “Of course.”
“Then I’ll see you in class. You better sit next to me,” she said as she walked away from them.
Jong In watched Ye Jun gazing at her retreating form.
“You could have gone to eat with her,” Jong In said. Though he did not wish for that, he felt the need to say it.
“What? Don’t tell me you’re trying to get rid of me, Lee Jong In.” He grinned. “I know you’ve missed me.”
Jong In smacked his forehead and propelled him off his lap, trying to hide his expression from his friend as he stood quickly, picking up his bag in the process.
Ye Jun simply laughed as he followed him, still gripping Jong In’s book tightly in his hand.
Jong In idly wondered, as he felt his best friend tailing him, just how long they could possibly stay that way before he and others realized his secret.
But thankfully, all that the bystanders that day could see were two friends leaving the park on an unusually sunny and warm winter morning.