HIGH SCHOOL REUNION
Written by Lolita Choi
Starring: Park Jungsoo aka Super Junior Leeteuk
I checked my email today, as I always did everyday. As always too, I found some requests to hire the service from my event organizer company. I quickly replied several events I found interesting and promising to my company with a yes, and replied my apology to the rest. But… wait, there was a personal email I received other than request, what is it?
“GANGNAM HIGH REUNION
(Class of 1998-2003)
Sunday, September 12, 2010
7PM ‘till done
Ritz-Carlton Seoul Hotel Ballroom”
I picked up my cellphone with a smile, “Hm, jagi?”
“Oppa, have you received the email? The reunion.” The voice of Park Ryeoru, my beloved girlfriend greeted me cheerfully.
“Yes, shall we come?”
“Of course, of course we’ll come! Whoaa~ ten years went this extremely fast… Oh, and oppa, shall we spread our wedding invitations too? What a coincidence, so instead of mail it to our high school friends, we could gave them personally, right? Ooh~ I’m super-happy!”
I smiled to every of my girl’s sentence. Hearing her happy made me happy too, it’d been happen for almost ten years we’d been together. Yeah, we were a couple since high school, she was a hoobae of mine, two years gap. And next month, we would get married. But I didn’t know whether I could still be this sure about our wedding after the reunion…
“Teuki oppa, jamsiman-yo. Eonni will be very daebak! Daebak, oppa!” Ryeoru’s only little sis, Yora, ran up and down the stairs several times just to give me every hint about Ryeoru’s look tonight since I showed up in their house ten minutes ago. I could only shook my head on her actions, giggling on this déjà vu I felt from about nine years ago when I’d took Ryeoru to my graduation’s prom night. The eight grader Yora had acted exactly the same way like this. Oh, and Teuki—it was a short from Leeteuk—was a nickname Ryeoru gave me since we were in a relationship, Yora then followed her calling me so.
“This is it, this is it! Oppa, get ready. Hana, dul… tadaa~” Yora down the stairs with a goddess as much as I could recognize. No, it was my own girlfriend!
“This is jjang, dongsaengie. Jjang.” I couldn’t speak more. Yora grinned of proud, while Ryeoru pinched my arm of shyness. After had asked for her parents’ permission, we then straightly on the road to the reunion venue.
“Uwaaa~ Ryeoru-ya, yeppeuda (pretty)…!” a bunch of girls I recognized as Ryeoru’s friends greeted her as soon as we entered the ballroom.
“Saejin, Saehee, Yoona! Uwaa~” Ryeoru ran toward them and embraced them all at once. “Long time no see!”
“Um!” one of her friend responded, the ‘Saehee’, I guessed. “Jungsoo sunbae.” She greeted me too with a bow, which the others followed soon.
I nodded, smiling. Ryeoru then asked me to excuse her and mingle with her friends using her facial expression. I nodded again, giving my permission. She then straightly went with her friends, I could still hear her friend’s question, “You’re still with our deathly cool Jungsoo sunbae? Whoa~”
I chuckled, was I that adorable in high school? Haha, very cute hoobaes. Ah, maybe I better go found and mingle with my year’s friends too now. Kaja, kaja!
I just turned my body to look for any of my friends when somebody tapped my shoulder, “Jungsoo-ya.”
I turned around again, and found her. My lost precious pearl, my lost piece of heart, my lost… ex-girlfriend. Or… no, we never even broke up yet… “Hae… sung-ah?”
“Annyeong!” she smiled, both with her lips and eyes. The famous Haesung’s eyes-smile, part of her I really loved, which quickly brought me to the memories of our togetherness in high school…
We’d dated from our tenth grade together in high school, when we both started building our existence in school, me as part of the students’ council and her in her gymnastic club. At the eleventh grade, with no intention to brag, we’d already been the most popular couple of the school, president of the students’ council and gymnastic club’s star, also Miss Gangnam High at the time. Although both of us were busy with our own activities, our relationship flowed smoothly without any unimportant problems. We still spared time to do normal high schooler couple’s activities like went home from school together, watched movies, lunch at the near fastfood restaurant, or went to the theme park. As long as we were together, everything seemed to just do us happiness, smile never off of her face.
Jung Haesung had been well-known for her pretty eyes-smile I’d been very lucky for might enjoyed those everyday for one year and a half until she strangely transferred from our school to nowhere. No goodbyes, no break-up, but I couldn’t contact or find her no more. Nobody knew where she and her family went, even our school. I’d kept believed on what people said about everything isn’t over ‘till it’s over, and stay single until Ryeoru went to my high school as a freshman and healed my heart’s wound after six months I’d lost Haesung…
And now she showed up, right in front of me.
“Annyeong.” I greeted her back, forcing a smile from my lips. “You came.”
“Um-hum.” She nodded. “Somebody sent the invitation to my cyworld page, and here I am.”
Cyworld, yeah. Social networks, best way to find a person. Never crossed in my mind.
“Geureohji.” I nodded.
“Ah…” we were trying to speak at the same time.
She giggled, “Hey, you first.”
“No, it’s you first.” I refused.
“Okay.” She finally agreed. We were still very awkward. “How… are you doing now?”
“Fine.” I nodded. “I managed to survive after you’d left, that’s it. How about you?”
“I’m doing fine too.” She answered with an apology look, maybe for my statement before. Silence again. “Your turn.” She finally said.
“Where have you been?” I asked straightly. She seemed to be surprised of it.
But she finally answered, “Russia, gymnastic school. Sorry… for suddenly disappeared. That time, I just wanted to avoid the possibility I would cancel my plan if I saw your face… I’m really sorry, sorry for being selfish, sorry for made everything unfair to you…”
I, without realizing, hugged her tight. “I miss you.”
I didn’t know what I’d been thinking at the reunion after I’d met Haesung. All that I knew was I’d cancelled my plan to spread my wedding invitations to my high school mates, just because I didn’t want Haesung know that I am getting married. I hated to say it but I would have to admit that for now, I just didn’t want to lose Haesung anymore… whatever it would take.
“Jungsoo-ya.” we met again, this was the third time in a week after the reunion. It was workday, but I spared my lunch time just for her. I could see a bit disappointment in Ryeoru’s eyes when I once again refused her lunch offer back then in our office. Yeah, my event organizer company was built together by Ryeoru and me for almost four years ago.
“Hey.” I got up from the chair and gave her a gentle hug. “Have a seat.”
She had her seat decently. I stared at her for some while, she definitely had turn to a mature, independent woman, not to mention her pretty and well-manner behavior she already had since high school. Looking at her now, I realized that I really had a type for girls. Haesung was totally similar to Ryeoru, except the fact that maybe Ryeoru wasn’t as independent as her, she still depended on me sometimes. Or was that better? As a man, didn’t I want my girl depends on me sometimes?
“Wae?” she pulled me out from my thought.
“Eng?” I responded. “Ani. Just wondering whether you are married… or something. It’s impossible for woman like you to be single at this age, right?” I joked.
She chuckled, “Ya, you’re 27 too, Park Jungsoo. Don’t be so arrogant.”
“But you’re a woman, Jung Haesung.” I teased.
She was silent for a while. But then, “Well, yeah… I was married for 3 years, since I was 23. He’s a designer in Russia—haven’t I told you that I was a model too there?” DEG! I could feel my heart was beating harder.
“We divorced last year, because I caught him making out with my fellow model, a guy. Yeah, for 3 years of our marriage, I didn’t even know my husband’s gay. So silly yet pathetic.” She smiled bitterly.
Suddenly, I felt my heart was aching. Did it just break for knowing the fact that she had married? Or did it feel sorry for her ended marriage and want so badly to cure her pain? I didn’t know. I didn’t even know whether a taken guy like me was allowed to feel those feelings…
Jja-jjan~ Haesung and I were shopping on the Saturday afternoon at my favorite ranch market when Yora—with Choi Siwon, her fiancé, rolling on their trolley—caught us. I bet Seoul was totally small, or it had only limited supermarket for sure.
“Yora-ya, Siwon-ah.” I could only greeted them calmly (not because I didn’t feel guilty, it was my speaking ability took over myself). They didn’t answer—at least I swear I saw Siwon was trying to before Yora pulled him—and left us instead. Yora and her manner of not to mess in public places had save me, she only glared on me sharply while walking further.
“Who are they, Jungsoo-ya?” Haesung asked, maybe curious of what was happened.
“Um? Oh, cousins.” I answered, perfect lie.
I took my cellphone out from my pocket. Text message, Yora.
“Have dinner with us tonight at Siwon’s. I’ll cook, don’t even think of not to come.”
I sighed. Yora’s will was everyone’s command. Haaah~ if only I didn’t love her as my own little sister I never had…
“Haesung-ah, mianhae, we have to cancel our dinner plan tonight, sudden meeting.” Lie again. Was cheating always about lies? Hey, I didn’t even cheat, was what I did even counted on as cheating? ANDWAE! *self defense*
Haesung shook her head and smiled, “It’s okay.”
Dinner time, at Siwon’s place,
“Why are you staring at me that way?” I asked while continued eating, feeling annoyed of Yora’s stare since I’d sat in front of them—Yora and Siwon—in the dining room.
“You’re cheating.” She said, straight to the point. Gosh, this kid…
“Ya, jagi, you may never assume on suspects!” Siwon interrupted his fiancé. “Hyung, mian.”
Suspects? They thought me as suspect? What crime I did? Aarghh~ This couple was really…
“This isn’t your office’s investigating room, Mr. Policeman. So put down your official investigation steps.” Yora reminded him strictly. Siwon only raised his shoulders and continued eating, he definitely already immune of her spoiled-princess behavior.
“Oppa, you know I love you as much as I love eonni, even sometimes our bond is stronger than me to eonni, right?” Yora soften her tone, finally she was back to normal, the soft and girly Yora. “That’s why I could sense that something just isn’t right… Who is she, oppa? Please, just tell me everything. I’ll try to be fair, and I promise, we’ll keep this from eonni.”
I nodded to my two dearest dongsaengs, and words after words flowed smoothly from my tongue. My story with Haesung in high school, how broke I was when she left, the moment we met again at the last reunion, and how the relationship between me and Haesung went now.
I saw Yora grasping Siwon’s hand tighter after hearing my explanation. “Cheating… oppa. Positively.” She said hardly, like she didn’t want to say it, but she had to.
I suddenly burst in anger, I thought I heard she said that she’ll try to be fair?! “You’re biased, Yora. Haesung and I aren’t even in a relationship now! I never even asked her back to me again, we’re totally just friends!”
“If we didn’t meet you this afternoon, until when will you keep your ‘friendship’ with her going? I know I said that I’ll try to be fair, but how could I fair now, oppa? In just one meeting with her, you set aside your 10 years relationship with a girl, whom in two weeks you’ll marry!” she tried so hard to hold back her tears, but she failed.
“Sorry, maybe yeah, I’m biased. Girls.” She got up from her chair and smiled bitterly, still with her wet eyes. “You may have Siwonnie now, oppa. He won’t do side. And… jagi-ya, I’ll be in your room.” Yora left after tapped mine and Siwon’s shoulder warmly.
“It’s man-to-man now, hyung. Spit it out.” Siwon talked after witnessing Yora entered his bedroom just across where we were.
I hesitated. But except Siwon and Yora, I didn’t know whom I should talk about this to anymore…
“The closer it got to the D-day of my wedding, the less… I was sure about who I should choose between Ryeoru and Haesung.” I started unsurely, with a bent face. “I love Ryeoru, but I realized that there was still a small hole in my heart which only Haesung may fill… Ryeoru often said that I was lacking in making decision, I could feel now that maybe she was right.”
1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes…
“Hyung,” Siwon finally spoken after a long pause since I ended my sentence on our man-to-man conversation.
I raised my head, willing to hear his response.
“May I punch you?”
“Okay, forget it.” Siwon released his fist and looked at me straight in the eyes. Hey, with a cop sat right in front of me like this, I felt like the real suspect being investigated… MWOJI IGEON (What is this)??
“We both men, hyung, I kind of understand of what you feel.” He said. Really?? *sparkling eyes* “There are sometimes we feel like we want both, right?” Um-hum, um-hum. *nodding head*
“But I never said that it’s a right thing.” *sparkling eyes mode: off*, *nodding head mode: stop*
“As gentlemen, we should able to give all our hearts only for one specific person, room makings are prohibited—at least that what I believe, and do.”
“Are you telling me to choose? I thought I’ve told you that it is my problem.”
Siwon chuckled, “Actually, it’s very easy, hyung. You said that Haesung noona filled a small hole in your heart, right?” I nodded. “But who filled the rest?”
Lights! Lights! I saw lights everywhere! Suddenly, like got a revelation, my mind was opened wider. I could see everything clearer now. Really, Choi Siwon, your Bible-reading hobby really didn’t go to waste, I worshipped you now!
“Ryeoru.” I answered surely. Siwon only tapped my shoulder warmly and left toward his room, maybe to look after his fiancé.
It was my wedding day!
Before then, soon after I’d got the ‘revelation’ from my dearest considered-little-brother Siwon, I’d prepared myself to tell the truth to Haesung about my status.
She’d—of course—shocked and mad at first, “What a player, Jungsoo-ya. How come you can keep everything from me this long?” but being such a mature woman, she’d fully understood of it, and smiled instead, “You think I’ll let myself screw other people’s love life like my fellow model did to me? No, Jungsoo-ya. Have a happy marriage, saranghae.” She’d kissed my cheek gently, and that would be the last time I met her, if she decided not to come to my wedding.
Talking about inviting high school friends to my wedding, after ended everything with Haesung, I quickly mailed my un-given wedding invitations for my high school mates. I even added more guests by decided to invite every of my high school year’s friends. I planned to repeat the last high school reunion on my wedding, because that time, instead of being with Ryeoru, I’d been with Haesung all night, making a misunderstanding among my year’s friends. Today, I would like to tell the world that Ryeoru was my only girl.
I threw a look to the bridesmaid Yora with her hanbok and Siwon, my bestman, beside her with his suit thankfully. Yora realized it and waved to me cheerfully. Yeah, I granted Ryeoru’s choice to go traditional on our wedding, as a form of my apology to her. She, of course, didn’t know a thing, Siwon and Yora performed their best on keeping their lips sealed. What two wonderful dongsaengs.
“Jungsoo-ya, get ready.” My mother, who just back from Canada with my father—just to witness their only son’s wedding after leaving me alone all this time *sigh*—tidied my traditional groom clothes for the fifth times in less than half an hour. But I guessed this was really for the last time, because slowly, the door in our wedding venue was opened.
My beautiful bride had come. Along with it, my own repeated high school reunion was started as well.