Author’s note: I had to edit this entry and this is the second version.
Saeng il chuck ha hae, Shin Hye-ah! Shin Hye saw Hong Ki’s instant message pop up on her screen.
Kamsahmnida, Hong Ki-ah. She replied. You’re a day early.
I know. Where are you?
I’m at home. Wae?
Good. I’ll pick you up say…in 15 minutes. Let’s go somewhere on your birthday. My treat.
Cincha? Wow! Who could say no to such a wonderful offer?
Great! I’ll see you in a few minutes then. Annyeong!
Shin Hye appreciated her friend’s effort. Earlier that day, the other person who first greeted her in advance is her Balmae Jung through a text message.
Advance Happy Birthday to you, princess.
Thank you very much, Oppa. You busy today?
Ne. I’m taping for WGM. I wish I would have time later so I can drop by and see you since it’s been a long time, Shin Hye-ah. I’ll message you if I do.
She knows how busy Jung Yong Hwa is and it was nice of him to remember.
Shin Hye was thankful that her Minamishineyo friends remembered her special day. But her day is not complete yet. She is still waiting for one more greeting from someone…Jang Keun Suk. And she thought he was one of the early ones who would greet her.
Has he forgotten? Nah! She thought. Maybe he’ll surprise me tonight or even be the very first one to greet me tomorrow.
What Shin Hye doesn’t know is the surprise she’s gonna get later that day.
“Hong Ki-ah, what happened?” Keun Suk called Hong Ki to check if he has spoken with Shin Hye.
“Don’t be too worried Hyung. I’m on my way to pick her up now.” Hong Ki replied.
Keun Suk let out a loud sigh. “Great! Have you called Yong Hwa?”
“I’m about to when you called. Where are you by the way?” Hong Ki asked.
“I’m still at school. I’ve some things to finish for an event we’ll be having here. But don’t worry, I’ll be there right on time.” Keun Suk assured Hong Ki. I have to.
Uh-oh. Why do I smell disaster all of a sudden? “Hyung, we only have a few minutes left. You better hurry.”
“I will. I promise. Call Yong Hwa. That punk has a tendency not to show up at our gigs for some reason.” Keun Suk tried to perk up the conversation.
After dropping Keun Suk’s call, Hong Ki dialed CN Blue’s leader’s number. “Ya! Where are you?” He asked as soon as Yong Hwa picked up.
“We’re wrapping up here. I should be there on time.” Yong Hwa confirmed. “Have you called Shin Hye?”
“Ne. I’m on my way to get her. But Keun Suk Hyung is still at school. He says they’re trying to finish some things for an event.” Hong Ki told him like a kid complaining.
“Mwo? He’s gonna be late!” Yong Hwa sounded worried.
“I know.” Hong Ki replied. “I’m almost at Shin Hye’s, I’ll see you there dude.”
“Gotcha! I’ll text you when I get there. Annyeong.”
Keun Suk Hyung, you better be there on time… Hong Ki prayed so hard that Shin Hye won’t be crying again tonight.
“I’m going now, Omma. Don’t wait for me, okay.” Shin Hye shouted as soon as she heard Hong Ki’s car horn three times, signaling he’s arrived.
“Hello there blondie.” Shin Hye jumped into the passenger’s seat.
“You look nice, Shin Hye-ah.” Hong Ki gave his friend a complement seeing how beautiful she is tonight. Keun Suk-ah, you better come or you’ll miss half of your life. He shook his head forcefully trying to stir away his bad thoughts.
“Wae? Something wrong Hong Ki? Hey, bogoshipo.” Shin Hye said in her cutest voice.
“Ah, don’t mind me,” he told Shin Hye, while telling himself how ridiculous his thoughts were. Of course Hyung won’t miss this night. “I miss you too Park Shin Hye. It’s been a month.” Hong Ki pinched her cheeks.
Shin Hye snickered. “I know. So, where are you taking me tonight?”
Hong Ki gave her a teasing smile. “You’ll find out when we get there.”
“This sounds exciting. Kaja!” Shin Hye had a hint of what’s going on but brushed it aside to retain her excitement.
Yong Hwa read Hong Ki’s message that just came in. Roger that. I’m already inside but Keun Suk Hyung is not here yet though. I’ve already texted him but got no reply yet.
We’re dead was the last reply Yong Hwa got from Hong Ki.
Hyung, where are you? Yong Hwa texted Keun Suk again.
Yong Hwa saw his friends coming in. “Surprise!” Yong Hwa jumped in front of Shin Hye. “Happy Birthday Shin Hye-ah!”
Shin Hye was surprised to see Yong Hwa when they got in the bar. “Oppa! So that’s why you haven’t texted me back yet. And I was wondering why there aren’t too many a people here tonight.”
“Keun Suk hyung took care of that.” Hong Ki had to let her know that this was Keun Suk’s idea. “In fact, he was the one who planned this.”
“Yup!” Yong Hwa nodded, looking at Hong Ki.
“Huh? Keun Suk?” Shin Hye passed an eye over the room. “Then, where is he?” If he planned this, he should be here. She thought.
Before the two guys could answer, Hong Ki got a video call from Keun Suk. Right on time, hyung. “Hyung!” Hong Ki and Yong Hwa yelled in unison.
“Give your phone to Shin Hye.” Keun Suk demanded.
“Oppa?” Shin Hye saw Keun Suk smiling on the other end. “Where are you? These two punks are saying you planned all of this?”
“I did and I’m sorry if I’m not there on time.” Keun Suk apologized quickly. He was starting to see confusion and disappointment in Shin Hye’s eyes. “I’m still at school wrapping up some things but we’re almost done. Oh, and my manager called me and asked for me to drop by the office for a quick emergency meeting. That shouldn’t take long.”
“No worries Oppa.” Shin Hye was glad he called to inform her. “We can wait but we have to start the party without you, okay.” She smiled at him.
At last, she smiled. “Go ahead. I’ll be there in a few minutes anyway.” He smiled back. “I’ll see you in a while, Shin Hye-ah.”
“Ne.” Shin Hye replied.
“Oh, and saeng il chuck ha hae! Happy birthday Avant Hye.” Keun Suk greeted her at last.
Shin Hye’s knees weakened upon hearing him call her Avant Hye. And I thought you forgot. “Kamsamhnida Oppa. Hurry up okay.”
“I will.” Keun Suk assured her.
Hong Ki grabbed his phone from Shin Hye and walked a few inches away. “Ya! Hyung!” He whispered. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“Relax punk!” Keun Suk winked at Hong Ki. “I’ll be quick and be there in no time.”
“You better be or Yong Hwa and I will kill you.” Hong Ki dropped the call and turned to Shin Hye. “Let’s get the party started!”
“Shin Hye-ah. Why aren’t you eating your ice cream?” Yong Hwa noticed her change of mood. “That thing is gonna melt.”
It’s been three hours since Keun Suk last called. Shin Hye was just staring blankly and playing with her ice cream for minutes now. Yong Hwa’s phone beeped. It’s Keun Suk.
Is she upset now? Aish! I can’t leave here yet, I’m getting frustrated.
Yong Hwa handed over his phone to Hong Ki secretly. He bowed his head and mouthed “Aissh!”
Shin Hye’s phone beeped too. Avant Hye, mianhe. I tried to get out of this meeting but Keunsama said I can’t yet. I hope you understand.
I understand my foot. Shin Hye was getting upset by the minute. No, she was getting mad. “Hong Ki, take me home now.”
“But Shin Hye-ah, Hyung said…”
“I don’t care what he says. I have to get up early tomorrow for work. I can’t wait any longer.” Shin Hye grabbed her purse and stood up. “If you don’t want to then I’ll just take a cab.”
“I’ll take you home, Shin Hye-ah.” Yong Hwa volunteered. He let her walk a few steps past him so he can whisper to Hong Ki “You take care of Hyung.”
“Aissh! Jang Keun Suk, pabo-ya! Look what you did!” And you even said that you’ll tell her everything tonight. He screamed in his head while he dialed Keun Suk’s number.
“I’m dead…I’m totally dead.” Those words were the only ones Keun Suk can say after Hong Ki told him that Shin Hye left the bar fuming mad. He buried his head on the steering wheel.
“You better be ready hyung. I have a feeling she won’t talk to you ever.” Hong Ki warned him earlier.
I brought Shin Hye home and she was silent all throughout the trip. She’s really upset Hyung. You better find a way to make up to her big time. Yong Hwa texted him a while back.
“Aaargh!” He shouted really loud. Keun Suk thought of something to do. He has been trying to call Shin Hye but she is not answering his calls.
Ottokajo? Ottokajo? He tapped on the steering wheel endlessly. It’s not too late. I still have time. He drove off heading to where Shin Hye is at that very moment…home.
“Are you sure you’ll be fine, Shin Hye-ah.” Yong Hwa looked concerned when he reached out for his hand after opening the passenger’s door.
“I’ll be fine Oppa.” She lied. “You take care on your way home. And komawo.”
Yong Hwa gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Happy Birthday, Princess.” And she saw him drove off the street. I wish it was still happy, Oppa.
She hurriedly went into her room. I hate you Jang Keun Suk, I hate you! She jabbed at the face displayed on her entire desktop screen. Shin Hye lied on her bed face down and buried herself in her pillows. She was crying so hard, she didn’t realize that she was already drowning in her own tears. You shouldn’t have promised, you jerk!
She heard her phone ring and when she recognized the tone, she knew who was calling. In your dreams, Keun Suk! Call as much as you want but I won’t answer it. She heard her phone rang 10 times but she controlled herself. She decided to teach Keun Suk a lesson. Not this time, Jang Keun Suk. I won’t give in this time.
A text message came in. Shin Hye-ah. Please forgive me. Mianhe. I didn’t mean not to show up. I just couldn’t get out that meeting earlier. And you know it was snowing heavily too. I’m sorry, I’m really sorry.
You better be, you punk! Shin Hye heard her phone ring again. She still ignored it. Another message came in.
Please answer my call. I’m in front of your house.
No, Shin Hye, don’t go out. Have some pride this time. She told herself. The familiar tone of her phone sounded again. This time, she answered it, curious with what he was going to say. “You shouldn’t have promised Jang Keun Suk.” She said in a formal tone.
She is really mad. “I know Shin Hye-ah. I’m sorry. I really am. Please forgive me.” Keun Suk begged.
“If you didn’t promise and told me you might not be able to come. I wouldn’t have waited. You shouldn’t have prepared that surprise party in the first place if you knew you will be busy.” Hell yeah, I was really surprised. Shin Hye couldn’t help but let the tears fall. She made sure Keun Suk won’t tell. “And you can wait outside as long as you like but I won’t come out. I’m so sleepy, stressed out, and dead tired. Besides, I still have work tomorrow.” Shin Hye said firmly, still with a formal tone.
“Ahrasso. I understand Shin Hye.”
Pabo-ya! If you convinced me a little more, I would have given in. “Good. Good night then.”
Keun Suk leaned back at his seat after Shin Hye disconnected the call. She has never been this mad at me. Hell, this is the first time she’s been mad. He drove off, disappointed he failed to make up with Shin Hye tonight. You gotta wait in the morning Keun Suk. You gotta wait until she slept off her frustrations.
He thought of a plan. And this time, he promised himself that everything would fall into place.
Shin Hye was awakened by a knock on her door. “What?” She glanced at her clock, placed a pillow over her ears and said “It’s 5:30 in the morning. Can’t you give me a break…just 30 minutes more?” She stood up to open her door, walking like a zombie. Shin Hye scratched her eyes and yawned. “Omma? What’s up?”
“Happy Birthday Shin Hye.”
Couldn’t you wait until 6AM to greet me mother? “Kamsamhnida Omma.”
She was about to turn her back when her Omma said, “You have a visitor.”
Shin Hye’s eyes opened wide. “Eh? At this hour? Who would…?
“It’s Keun Suk.” Her mother interrupted. “He wouldn’t come in though. He said he’s gonna wait for you outside.” Her omma secretly grinned when she saw Shin Hye’s eyes twinkle upon hearing Keun Suk’s name. “That boy is really something huh. Go fix yourself and entertain your guest,” her Omma turned away, still smiling.
Shin Hye felt a tinge of excitement hearing Keun Suk was outside waiting for her. She reached for her phone and typed in I’ll be out in a few minutes.
Perhaps, it really is gonna be a happy birthday after all. And with a song in her head, she went to the bathroom to freshen up and change.
His familiar stance leaning at the passenger’s door of his car greeted Shin Hye when she went out. He caught him having a stick of cigarette.
“Don’t you know that smoking is very dangerous to your health?” She called out. “What can I do for you this morning Mr. Jang?”
He flipped the cigarette away the minute he saw Shin Hye. He was immediately smitten by her beauty. She was just the simple Shin Hye today, no frills, no make up, just wearing her trench coat over a white shirt and a pair of old jeans. And he knew right there and then that this is the girl he wants to spend the rest of his life with. “Happy Birthday, Avant Hye. I told you I was going to make up for my sin.” Keun Suk said wearing his most endearing smile.
Now, you got me with you smile, Keun Suk. “Kamsamhnida, Rennai-Jang.”
He opened the car and reached out for something. He handed an apple to Shin Hye. “I don’t have anything for you this morning except this.” Then he showed her his famous pout. “I’m broke after paying for that celebration last night.”
Shin Hye reached out for the apple and smiled. “Apology accepted.”
Keun Suk laced his hands onto hers. “Come.” He led her inside the car.
“Where are we going? We better make it fast because I’ve to go to a photo shoot in two hours.” Shin Hye was actually curious on what Keun Suk has in store for her.
“Don’t worry, it’s just a 5 minute ride to where we’re going…my house.” He buckled her seatbelt for her. “I bothered my Omma this early to make breakfast for you.” Keun Suk started the engine.
Shin Hye bowed her head in embarrassment then gently gave him a pat on his arms. “You shouldn’t have done that!”
He pinched her cheek. “Don’t be too nervous. She willingly obliged. She must really like you. If I told her that that was for me, I would have been shouted at knowing how early I requested for it.” He teased Shin Hye.
“We better hurry so I could thank her.” Shin Hye said sincerely.
Keun Suk maneuvered the steering wheel with one hand while the other reached for her hand resting in her lap.
“Thank you so much for the wonderful breakfast you made, Eumoni,” Shin Hye bowed at Keun Suk’s mom in appreciation.
“You’re welcome Shin Hye.” She held both Shin Hye’s hand. “And please, call me Omma.”
“Omma!” Keun Suk stared at her mother.
“Mwo, Keun Suk? She’s gonna be my daughter-in-law in time anyway.” Keun Suk’s mother teased the couple in front of her and she loved it.
Shin Hye felt red all over, bowed her head to hide it, and held Keun Suk’s arms.
“Mother! You’re embarrassing Shin Hye!” He said but the thought of it made him smile. “We’ll go ahead. Shin Hye has to work.”
“Oh dear, not on your birthday.” Omma Jang reached for Shin Hye and kissed her. “Happy Birthday again, darling.”
“Pardon my mother,” Keun Suk said as they headed outside his house.
“That’s okay, Rennai-Jang.” She replied holding his hands.
She called me Rennai-Jang. She’s not angry anymore. “I hope you’re not mad at me anymore, Shin Hye-ah.” He wanted to make sure. “I saw your message on your mini hompy last night before you took it down and I knew you were not okay.”
“Uh-uh,” Shin Hye shook her head. “You repented for your sin well enough, Keun Suk-ah.” She gave him the Go Mi Nam smile. “I’m alright now, jeongmal. ” She touched his elbows then clung to him.”I’m sorry too for acting a bit childish. You can’t blame me. I hope you understood where I was coming from.”
Keun Suk brushed her hair with his fingers. “Ahrasso. That was even clearer than the Han River.” He sat on the car hood and pulled her closer. “I want to tell you something Shin Hye-ah. You see, there’s this girl that I met a few months back…”
Shin Hye’s knees trembled. NO! Shin Hye’s heart shouted. “Cincha, Oppa?” She pretended not to be affected. I knew it. I knew that there was someone else he likes.
“She makes my heart flutter everytime I think of her, and my day won’t be complete without seeing her. ..” Keun Suk went on, loving how he makes her tremble because of the fear that’s brewing in her now.
Shin Hye felt like she is slowly dying because of what she’s hearing right now. She knows she can’t break down in front of him. “She’s that special to you then…”
“Ne. To make the story short, I like her…very much.” Keun Suk was looking at Shin Hye when he said the last two words and sensed the sadness in her eyes. She so naive. Keun Suk thought. She still doesn’t know it’s her I’m talking about. That is one of the reasons why he has fallen for her… the innocence in her eyes, her maturity beyond her age.
Shin Hye pretended to straighten her shirt to hide the pain written all over her eyes. Keun Suk lifted her chin up. Her eyes are misty now and it met his. “Shin Hye-ah, you know who that girl is? She is looking straight at me right now and I’m holding her hand. In fact, she’s trembling. Shin Hye, that girl is…YOU.” He kissed her on the forehead, then slowly went down to kiss her eyes, then her nose. Their eyes met again, and this time, Shin Hye did not hide her tears anymore. Keun Suk knows those tears were falling because of him. And yes, this time, he knows it was not because he caused her pain.”Johwah-heh, Shin Hye-ah.” Keun Suk whispered before he gave her a gentle kiss on the lips.
Shin Hye was still teary eyed after their lips parted. She stared blankly at him and threw her fists at his chest. “You…you…you’re one hell of a mean jerk! You always scare the nerve out of me.” She punched him endlessly and then buried herself on his chest. Keun Suk thought she never looked more beautiful than now. He let her pommel him with his cute punching and then gave her a tight hug when she laid her head on his chest.
Shin Hye wrapped her arms around him, and she has never felt more secured. I’m home at last. Shin Hye convinced herself. “Keun Suk-ah, this is the happiest birthday I’ve ever had. Thank you.” She said as she tightened her embrace. Keun Suk pushed her aside gently, turned her around, and cuddled her from the back. He laid his head on her shoulder and said under his breath, “My Avant Hye, please worry no more because these arms will always find you. And they will make sure they will never let you go… Happy Birthday, my princess.”
Shin Hye reached out to touch his face. “Komawo, Rennai Jang.” She turned to the morning star that’s smiling brightly at them and realized how fate played with her since she met Keun Suk. It let her experience the twists and turns life has to offer. And it was all worth it. She said in her head while feeling Keun Suk’s breath over her nape. The sun has risen. And for Shin Hye, it has never looked so bright other than today.