Category: Romance, NC-21, Chaptered
Cast: Cha Eungi, Choi Siwon, Cho Kyuhyun
To her surprise, Cho Kyuhyun is sitting quietly in the back of the class when she enters the studio the next day, seems like he really did considering Eungi’s offer to perform well in class. He waves and smiles at her once they lock eyes and Eungi replies with a simple nod and a look that Kyuhyun still doesn’t like.
“Okay, I’ll begin the class.” Eungi clears her throat then continues. “Last Monday we’re talking about the introduction to green design and each group has presented their rough ideas on how to save our planet without compromising the beauty in designs. Now can anyone of you tell me the basic fundamental ideas of sustainability? I explained about this last Monday.”
No one answered, not even the smart kids.
“I’ll give extra credits if you answer. I’ll write it down straight away in my score book.” She walks to her table and takes the little black notes she carries with her all the time.
A student from the backside of the class raises his hand, Eungi points her finger to his direction and the whole class turn their head to the kid.
“Yes, Kyuhyun-ssi?” it’s the second time Kyuhyun tries to prove his seriousness in this class.
“Ne.” He looks at her in the eyes, “Economic, Social and environmental.”
Eungi nods. “Why?”
“Because one can’t survive without the others, to save the earth you can’t just save the forest and forget about the economic an industry created—because obviously human need those to carry on with their life. You also can’t create an industry without thinking about the social value it carries through the human being that’s surrounded themselves in it since the aim of economic growth is to improve human life. Lastly, once the social value with safe economic production achieved under the sustainable regulation, our mother nature will begin to heal itself and soon human will be able to live in a greener earth.”
Eungi parts her lips, she can’t believe that the kid that just answered her question is the same whiny kid that threatened her yesterday. Her bad image of him almost—almost—gone once he gave her the complete answer that explains the main purpose of the class they’re taking.
“I can’t explain it better myself.” She nods and writes down something on her note. “Thank you for the beautiful illustration of what this class is meant to do.”
Kyuhyun smiles proudly feeling rather satisfied with himself. Of course he knows the answer to that question, he’s been in the same class for the last three semesters and he feels like he can tackle the basic principles already.
Eungi continues the class with some more basic theory for the next one hour before she finally gives out the group assignment to do in the class. Some students come forward to her table, wishing they could change partner since their partner don’t show up. Lee Junsu also comes forward to plead her to be allowed to work on his own instead of being stuck with the senior he doesn’t know. She can’t allow the kids to change partner, bus she decided to add Junsu into one of the group that he feels more comfortable with and grants his wish not to be paired up with Kyuhyun—since Kyuhyun also wished to work on his own.
Two hours later the kids have come up with some sketches and blue print of their early design. Eungi asks them come to her table one group at a time so she can examine their concepts closely and gives revision where it needed. Most of the concept are so basic and she feels like she really needs to lift up their spirit of inventing something new, because some students aren’t too inspired. It takes longer than she expected to proceed with this assisting technique and she’s running out of time once the buff student—which she now points as the head of the class—reminds her that it’s lunch time already.
“Fine, turns out I can’t assist all groups today so I’ll continue next week. I want you to collect your drawing and concept and put in here.” She points her desk. “Class dismissed.”
Moments later the students crowd her desk to put their drawings before they take their belongings and leave the class. Eungi quickly scans the pages from her student’s drawing and she stops on one particular page that interest her. The drawing, the concept, the innovation displayed on the paper is completely out of the box and she’s intrigued to look at it further. She flips the paper and gets the third surprise from Cho Kyuhyun.
“If he’s this good, why he hasn’t pass the class yet?” She mumbles to herself.
Kyuhyun was just about to leave the classroom when his professor calls his name and asks him to stay. He lets all of his classmates go out before he approaches her table.
“What honor do I have, noona? Do you miss me already?”
“Don’t call me that.” she shots him with her glare, “Not in class.”
“So we can be friendly outside the class?” He grins and steps even closer to her.
“Not friendly, just casual. I never mind my students calling me noona or oenni anyway since it also makes me feel better about my age.” She shrugs her shoulders. “I want to talk about this.” She lifts Kyuhyun’s drawing and gives the paper to him.
“What about it?” He takes his paper and looks at his own drawing.
“Did you come up with that idea yourself?”
“Is it really your drawing?”
He nods again.
Eungi tries to give him her intimidating stare. “Really?”
He slams his hand onto her desk and lowers himself so he can look at her in the same level. “You underestimated me.”
Eungi shakes her head, “I’m giving you the benefit of the doubts. I’m sorry if you’re offended but I just can’t see why you’d be like this” she runs her hands in the air in front of him, “If you have skills like this.” She points the paper with her finger.
“Shall I prove it to you?” The way she looks down on him has woken up the ego inside him.
She takes a quick look at her watch and nods, “I have time in the afternoon if you wish to proceed with it. Please amaze me.”
In the afternoon, Eungi and Kyuhyun are sitting in the café they met yesterday, only this time they pick a bigger table so Kyuhyun can draw the quiz Eungi gave him freely while she takes the silent moment to re-read her abstract for her next paper.
Once in a while she will take her attention from her laptop to the man in front of her that’s now pouring out his focus onto an A3 size piece of paper to draw a simple blue print from a building Eungi asked him to recreate. She needs to know if Kyuhyun really have the awesome on point drawing skills that he showed on his task earlier before she continues with his concept ideas.
Eungi runs her gaze slowly to Kyuhyun, she begins from his messy hair that she knows took time to be arranged like that, her gaze continues to his eyes that’s now focusing on the paper in front of him, to his sharp nose, then his lips that’s now shut close since he’s concentrating and her gaze ends at his masculine jawline that fames his handsome face perfectly.
“Careful, noona. If you stare longer at me, you might fall in love with me.” Kyuhyun notices that she’s been staring at him closely and he secretly enjoys the attention.
Eungi takes her gaze away from him and drink her second cup of black coffee instead.
Kyuhyun gets up from his chair and rounds the table to stand behind her chair before he bends his back and leans closer to his professor so his chest is brushing with her back.
“Here is it. My drawing.” His long arm frames Eungi from her right side and he almost whispering next to her ear when he talks.
She feels like her heart just stop beating for a few second until she gains back her conscience. She turns her head to her right and finds Kyuhyun’s face is only inches apart from hers.
“Do you mind?” She lifts her eyebrow and tries her best to look calm but Kyuhyun notices her blushing cheeks.
“Ey, Kyosu-nim, what are you thinking?” He pats her shoulder with his left hand, “I’m your student.” He chuckles as he continues teasing her. “You weren’t thinking that I’ll kiss you or something right?”
Eungi’s aware that he’s playing with her and she thinks it’s about time to show him who’s the boss here.
“You smell Kyuhyun-ssi, so please stay in the proper proximity.” She turns her attention back to the paper Kyuhyun just gave her.
As confident as he is, Kyuhyun fells a bit insecure with her words and he begins to smell himself. “Ya! I’m not smelly, I put on a great amount of good perfume on my jacket.”
“You smell like an ajjushi.” She replies without looking at him.
Kyuhyun can feel his own face heats up once she insulted him. He smells himself one more time and takes off his jacket—that he sprayed a lot of perfume on—and sits back to his place. For once he finally feels like he’s met his match in wittiness. Most girls that he dated are easily swayed and it makes him felt like he really didn’t need to fight that hard to get their attention. Cha Eungi is different though, she manages to let him stays near her without actually getting any closer into her personal area.
But Kyuhyun believes she’s acting like that only because they need a clear territorial landmark to limit their interaction, since she’s working in the university as a lecturer and he’s enrolling as the student—kind of forbidden by social law and campus rules—which really make this mission more thrilling for Kyuhyun. It’s been a while since he felt this excited to approach a girl, no not a girl, Cha Eungi is a woman. She’s a woman in his eyes nonetheless and the fact kinda makes him wants to man up a bit to balance themselves.
“Your lines are perfect and you can define materials clearly with your manual rendering skills.” Eungi’s eyes dances on the paper Kyuhyun just finished drawing. “Your understanding in spaces and proportion is also good. Woah Cho Kyuhyun!” She lifts her face enthusiastically.
Kyuhyun curls his brow, wondering if his professor is actually trying to build him up just to slams him hard to the ground. No one ever gives him compliment like that before. He knows he can draw and he’s sincerely has a great interest in architecture and design, he just doesn’t like the idea of doing his passion in a classroom.
“Stop it, just say it straight to my face noona. It sucks, right?” He slides his iced tea closer and pouts his mouth to slowly sips the drink with the straw.
The look in her eyes soften as she sees how insecure her student really is. So all those tough act is just a cover for his mushy ego inside.
“Did anyone ever tell you that you suck?” She tries the trick she learned a long time ago.
He lifts his shoulders and continues sipping his tea like a kid.
Eungi grabs his glass away from him so he can stop playing with his drink. “Cho Kyuhyun-ssi, answer me. Did anyone ever tell you that you suck?”
He takes a deep breath and chuckles cynically. He’s the one that supposed to dig into her life, not the other way around. Cha Eungi has proved him one more time that she’s above and beyond the women he used to date.
“Kyuhyun-ssi?” She asks one more time.
“They don’t say it to my face.” He gives up and talks, “But their judging look, how they took longer time to see my works, the way they ignore me in class—yeah I’m not an idiot not to notice that you and your colleagues only put up with me because I’m your boss’ son.”
Eungi cringes once she hears this. She’s one of those people that also gave him that look earlier and now she slightly regrets that.
“I’m sorry.” She says, “I let prejudice clouded my judgement.”
She just amazed him with the simple apology. He’s too used of being treated like a retarded person that happens to have an influential father by his other lecturers. Eungi is actually the first teacher that ever admits her wrong judgement and apologized to him. Honestly Kyuhyun begins to like her position as his professor, at least she wants to see what’s hidden beneath his ignorant surface.
Kyuhyun looks at her and smiles bitterly, “I’m used to it.”
“I’ll do my job better.” Eungi puts her palm beneath her chin, “And I’d like to personally apologized to you for being one of those people that judged you.”
He nods and gives a genuine smile, “Apology accepted only if you buy me something to eat, I’m hungry.”
“Go ahead order something, your dinner’s on me.” She lifts her hand to call a waiter to their table.
Out of the sudden a loud bang breaks into the air follows with a mild vibrating wave that shakes the ground. Seconds later a continuous blast starts not far from the café. As the blast continues, some people in the place are looking around for the source of the sound and Kyuhyun is one of those that approaches the window to see what’s really going on in the outside.
The colorful sparks in the sky tells them that the loud bang actually comes from a set of firecrackers and fireworks that’s lit up from the field across the café. Kyuhyun takes his moment to enjoy the colorful beauty that’s drawn into the night sky before he searches for Eungi.
He turns his head around the café when he can’t find her, stepping back from the big glass on the front part of the café and look around and he laughs once he notices Eungi’s hiding under their table. Kyuhyun walks back to their table and squats to take a peek to Eungi, he didn’t know she’s scared of firecrackers. He should write that down on his mental note, in case he needs to mess around with her later on.
The grin on his face vanishes once he sees the state she’s in.
Cha Eungi is pressing her knees closely to her body as both of her hands covering her ears. Her beautiful face now covers in tears, she shut close her eyes and bites her lips to fight her massive tremor. The way she looks now is not the sight of someone that’s afraid of a loud bang—it’s a sight of somebody in the state of a trauma.
“Noona? Are you okay?” Kyuhyun gets on his knees and slides himself underneath the table with her.
Eungi doesn’t answer and it looks like she can’t really hear him.
“Noona.” Kyuhyun leans closer and places his hands on top of her hands that’s covering her ears.
She doesn’t budge even after Kyuhyun tries to pulls her hands away from her.
He tries to talk to her one more time. Kyuhyun places his right palm on her left cheek and tries to pull her right hand away from her right ear, this time he succeeded, Cha Eungi slowly opens her eyes.
“Op- oppa.” She trembles in between her tears. Her gaze is distant and she hasn’t get over with her tremor yet.
Kyuhyun doesn’t understand what she’s saying but he really doesn’t like what he sees in front of him. The woman that looked tough few moments earlier has gone and replaced with the fragile one sitting helplessly in front of him.
“Cha Eungi-ssi, can you hear me?” Kyuhyun shakes her shoulder in the wish of waking her from her trance. “NOONA!!” He shakes her again until she makes eye contact with him.
Eungi blinks her eyes several times until the tears that’s clouding her sight disappear. Now she can see clearly the fact that the man in front of her is not her Choi Siwon that she thought she saw earlier. She swallows the bitter truth and after her senses are back she feels breathless. She pats her chest continuously to get rid the vague pains that brings back her tragic memories.
“Noona, can you hear me? It’s okay noona, it’s only firecrackers you can breathe now, right?” Kyuhyun frames her face with his palm and forces her to look at him. “Look at me noona! Are you okay?”
She takes several deep breaths and closes her eyes. The moment the darkness takes over is the moment her nightmare being replays in her mind. The smile on Siwon’s face moments before the attack, the lifeless bodies scattered on the floor, his bloody hands that still tries to reach out for her, his last words and her frantic screaming after she lost him. It’s too painful for her, she does her best to avoid remembering that horrible scene but the loud bang happened earlier managed to reminds her about the tragedy.
Eungi grabs Kyuhyun hand that frames her face and hold them tight as if she needs him to keep her on the ground. She’s parts her lips and begins gasping for more air as she lets herself cries in front of the student she barely knows.
Kyuhyun will forever remembers the look on her face, once Cha Eungi allows herself to cry in front of him. Girls cry in front of him all the time—especially when they beg him to stay by their side—but Kyuhyun never felt what he feels the time he saw her cry.
He’s forgotten his own evil plan to approach her, for the first time he feels like he should wrap his arms around her to shield her from the pain that attacks her, he wants to pull her closer and share whatever cause that’s weighing her heart, he wants her to trust him to handle her burdens, he wants to protect her.
Eungi quietly sits on the park bench, staring afar while forcing her mind to forget her bad memories as she lets the cold wind that winter offers to cool her head down. Kyuhyun took her far from the café, he figures taking her away from the firecracker fiasco will calm her down and stops her from trembling. He guided her into his car and quickly drove away from the place that scares her. Once he spots a quiet place, he took her out asked her to sit tight and wait until he returns and Eungi that doesn’t have any strength to do anything follow his order, letting him do whatever he wants.
After he returns from the pharmacy, he kneels in front of her to take care of Eungi’s bleeding lips. Due to her tremor, Eungi bit her lips too hard that it started to bleed out. He only notice this once they’re in the car and the fact that Eungi didn’t realize that she’s bleeding confused him.
He cleans his hand with the alcohol then dip the cotton swab in the bottle.
“Noona, this will sting a bit.” He says as he carefully dabs the cotton swab on her lower lip.
Eungi clenches her jaws once the burning alcohol does its effect of her, it’s more painful than she thought it will be.
“Aish, sit still please. It’ll be over before you know it.” Kyuhyun uses his other hand to hold her face so Eungi will stop turning away from the swab.
She glares at him and takes the cotton swab from his hand. “Let me do it myself.” She searches her bag and take out the little compact she carries with her, using the mirror to slowly treats her own wound as Kyuhyun kneeling still not knowing that to do.
He figures she must feel cold so he takes of his coat and wraps it around her back. “I know the smell of my jacket annoys you, but at least it’ll keep you warm.” He mumbles before he takes a seat on her right.
She closes her compact and put it back in her bag once she’s done rubbing the alcohol on her wound. Eungi takes a deep breath and hold it in for as long as she can before she releases it, wishes this will help to heal the real pain she feels deep inside. Her eyes start to water again the moment she let her mind drift away from the reality.
“Talk to me.” She finally talks.
“Talk about whatever, distract me.” She looks down at her feet, “Please talk to me.”
“What do you want to talk about?”
“Anything. Weather, food, school, hobbies, girlfriends, whatever just talk.” She raises her tone.
“Are you okay noona? You look shocked.”
“I’ll be fine once I’m distracted. Just talk about yourself.”
Kyuhyun feels like he’s been given a quick quiz and he thinks hard to come up with a topic that won’t sound stupid in her ears. He doesn’t want to sound like an idiot in front of her.
“I.. I don’t know what to talk about. You know my family is the one that owns the university. I’m not a smart kid and my professors like to point that on my face but they change their behavior once they see my dad..” He starts talking. “I sound stupid now, don’t I?”
Eungi sniffs her nose that’s begin to water due to the cold. “You’re not stupid, you’re lazy. It’s a different thing.” She pats his shoulder, “Look at me, people think I’m smart but the truth is I’m just a diligent student. Don’t let society define who you are as a person Kyuhyun-ssi. From what I see earlier, I’m sure you can be even better than me if you give more effort.”
He nods along, letting her to win their argument since he’s still afraid that she’ll have another melt down. Eungi turns her head away from him and begins to look around her surroundings. “By the way, where are we?”
“Near the city hall I guess.”
She looks at her watch and figures it’s too late for her to hang out with her student just the two of them, it can be a problem if any of her colleagues sees it.
“I have to go.” She stands up and takes his coat off her. “Thank you for taking me out of there.”
“I’ll take you hom..”
“Nope. You won’t. I can do that myself. Thanks to you, I feel much better already.” She lies and hands over his coat.
“Go home, kid. I’ll be fine.” She turns around and heads toward the nearest bus station.
Kyuhyun stands stupidly on his feet, looking back and forth between the coat on his hand and Eungi that’s now walking further from him.
“I’m not a kid!” He raises his tone because he feels offended.
He walks to her direction and stops right in front of her.
Eungi stop her steps also, she looks at the him from head to toe and give a subtle smirk, “well, you’re not a man either,” She takes another deep breath, “Not yet.”
She taps his shoulder twice then she continues to walk, leaving him alone to fight with his own ego inside.