And so begins Onew’s happenings in the Fools in Love universe. FINALLY. I have no idea why I had so much trouble with his story, I really don’t -____-
But things should start moving along faster now, and I have a surprise for you guys soon so don’t go wandering off today or possibly tomorrow!
Please excuse stereotypical Student Council President!Jinki. I swear there’s more to him than just that.
- He’s clumsy, cuddly, and cute. And your best friend.
“I can’t… find… the papers…” You hear Jinki mutter over and over like mantra under his breath, and instead of asking him what papers he’s lost and if you need to help him, again, you watch him out of the corner of your eye while you continue to fill out your own logs.
Jinki is an incredible president. He cares about all the students and the school, whether they like him or not, and is dedicated, intelligent, kind-hearted, and has a strong sense of justice. He does his best to listen to everyone and get their ideas out there, which he almost always does, and despite the crunch times for deadlines and random activities that the principals constantly throw at the council, he always takes each problem in stride.
There’s a thump and Jinki curses, and you smile softly to yourself as he shuffles around for his still misplaced papers while rubbing his forearm.
But one of Jinki’s greatest flaws is that he’s a bit of a klutz, and that’s you being nice about it.
A moment of silence ensues where you can only hear the scratching of your pen, a few murmurs here and there from the hall where students who haven’t gone home are still lingering around, and after a few minutes the air grows stale and you glance up to see Jinki staring at you from behind his desk, thick frames obscuring his slightly furrowed, almond eyes.
“The science department logs, right?”
Jinki nods bashfully and you don’t understand why, seeing as you’re always his first (and last) resort when it comes to doing something he can’t, and you glance down back to your work and, without looking away from the numbers in front of you, gesture to a stack of folders hidden beneath a blazer that an underclassman must have left behind.
There’s some shuffling, some paper flipping, and when you peer over to the corner Jinki has his face buried in the manila folder and you can’t help but smile.
Jinki’s a dork, but he’s your dork.
You don’t hold an office in student council, but everyone knows, including yourself, that you’re basically Jinki’s personal secretary. The boy is just too overwhelmed at times to deal with multiple scenarios at once, and sometimes he needs a bit of a push in the right direction, or a small nudge to guide him back to the proper placement. Occasionally a shove is thrown in, but for the most part your job is pretty straightforward.
It’s the beginning of your last year of high school, and even though you’re not a part of the committee you know more about how to deal with students, teachers, and parents than the administrators do. You how to sort papers by activity and club, which events take priority over others, and the perfect arrangement for chairs to get the most out of the space in the gym without squishing a thousand kids who more or less hate each other at times into one huge disaster area.
By now you know all of Jinki’s quirks, if you didn’t already know them before, and when his absentmindedness causes the council to fall into an uproar because the budget folder’s gone missing, or when his clumsiness causes something like your second year Christmas Tragedy (which is never mentioned by anyone, mind you) you’re the one who’s there to pick him up and sort things out.
It’s perfectly fine by you to trail along beside Jinki. The two of you have been friends for years, ever since you moved onto the same street as him back in elementary school, and you’ve grown to like, if not appreciate, Jinki’s slight ditziness and good-natured soul.
In fact, you like him a bit more than that.
“Do you know where the art supply listings went?” Jinki semi-whispers as he slips into the space beside you in the library, and you don’t even flinch at his unusually quiet entrance because in a way you were expecting him. It seems as if you can’t avoid Jinki for more than an hour at a time, and that includes the rare occasions when you’re both home because his parents work late and he gets lonely in his house.
Jinki’s flipping through a book now and hasn’t actually looked at you, but you know he’s listening.
“Kibum is reviewing them for the department advisor,” you supply him with, and you know what he’s going to ask next when he opens his mouth. “And the choirs are going to turn in their permission forms on Friday.”
“All the sports teams have turned in their physicals.”
“And all of the first years have taken their evaluation tests.”
Jinki’s eyes finally flicker over to yours and his smile is blinding as per usual.
You return his enthusiasm, ignore the lump in your throat that feel like it’s choking you, and you gather your things because you have to get to a tutoring session in the history hall. “Don’t worry, it’s my job.”
You love Jinki, but being in love with your best friend always carries with it repercussions you’d rather not think about.
Like the ending of said friendship.
It’s because of this fear that you stay quiet and work on the sidelines, a constant presence in his life who always watches over him to make sure he doesn’t trip down the stairs and knock out his teeth again, or walk into a door, or spill coffee all over his shirt, or fall in love with someone else.
You’re rather selfish, keeping Jinki all to yourself, and even though you care about his happiness and well-being, you care about your own as well. You’re in love, but you’re not love struck. You have a bit of self-perseveration, and you don’t think you could survive Jinki going out with a girl who isn’t you.
Which means, someday, you’re going to have to leave his side. Because he doesn’t look at you the way you look at him, and in the end he’s going to leave and you won’t be able to follow. You’ll just hold him back, for the rest of his life, and no matter how much it hurts to know you’re going to have to part one day, you happily focus on the present because it’s all you have to look forward to. The future is too sketchy and unpredictable, and you never known when your lives will be thrown out of sorts.
You just never expected that day to come so quickly.
You’re too tired for this, for everything, but you wave at Jinki and he doesn’t pick up on your mood right away because he’s filling out another paper for who knows what, and also because you’ve perfected lying to him. If you didn’t know how to lie he would have figured out your feelings months ago when they first surfaced, back then just a fleeting bout of butterflies, and that would be the end of things.
It comes in handy being able to hide whenever you want.
But sometimes things slip through.
“What’s wrong?” You peer over your clipboard and Jinki isn’t looking at you, too immersed in his work, but when you don’t respond his own eyes flicker to yours and he stares until you answer.
“Late night. Progress tests are coming up.”
The lies slip out easily, almost as easy as breathing because lately you’ve had trouble controlling even that when you’re heart decides to skip a beat, and Jinki nods in understanding. As second in the school, the first being some Choi kid who lives in the library, Jinki knows the pressure of studying and staying on top. However, late nights with the books is your reply to everything, and it’s starting to bother you that Jinki accepts it so readily, as if there really isn’t another reason for you to be so unhappy, so sad.
You’re tired of lying, but it’s all you know.
“There’s a new student I have to show around at lunch, so I won’t be able to join you,” he comments after a few minutes of comfortable silence, and you nod just as he did because Jinki’s always showing new kids around. You don’t understand why he doesn’t have one of the runners do it for him so he can focus on more important things.
It’s because Jinki cares too much, your mind sighs, and you exhale along with it because yeah, Jinki cares, but he cares about everything but what you want him to.
He doesn’t care about you.
You cough at the bitter thought and clear your throat, and when Jinki glances at you for reassurance that you’re okay you smile just as you always do and reach for another book, still upset by your reasoning.
Jinki does care about you, he just doesn’t love you. You can’t forget that, any of it. You’re probably the third most important person in his life, the first two being his parents, and you can’t be selfish with your feelings.
Your fingers linger on the spine of the books, arm as heavy as your heart, and when you peer across the table you find that Jinki’s risen and is strolling down the aisle in search of another novel, and you can only watch quietly as he slips further and further away.
His step is soft, just like the rest of him, and you lean against the back of your chair and gaze on with a wistful smile because there’s nothing else you can do but watch. Always watching, always waiting, never telling… Lately you’ve become so melancholy that you’re even annoying yourself, but there’s nothing you can do and that’s what’s so agonizing.
At least you’re aware of your feelings. You’re not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing anymore, though. If you were ignorant then it wouldn’t hurt so much right now, but in later years you’d probably die from the sorrow of knowing you loved someone who’s already moved on. But what difference does that make to the current time? You’re still in the same position, will continue to be in this position until those years have passed by and you’re telling yourself the same thing again and again.
You should have told him.
But you can’t.
Your scoff is quiet and stripped, just a smidge of the cynical feelings beginning to smother you, and when you here a sharp yelp and a series of apologies you’re already pushing yourself away from the table and towards the aisle that Jinki slipped down just moments before, the only thought in your head being an accusation.
You really are selfish
That girl… You don’t like her.
Jinki hands you a few documents to be placed in their respective folders, and as you stroll over to the filing cabinets you can’t help but notice the heavy tread of your feet and your ever present frown that hasn’t removed itself for the past hour, ever since that new girl left the council room.
It’s not that she’s a terrible person. It’s not that she’s mean or snarky, ignorant or shallow… Actually, it is that. It’s the fact that she’s none of those things, or anything else ill-mannered that would otherwise give you a reason to hate the girl.
But she’s nice.
She smiles too much, but it’s a smile that, instead of being able to pick it apart in a few seconds, keeps you shut out. You’re not sure if it’s because it’s a genuine show of kindness and there’s nothing to look into, or if it’s because she’s mastered how to secure her feelings and lock them away from the world so no one can see.
She’s like Jinki.
And that’s what scares you.
When you cut your finger on one of the folders you know that you’ve slipped into your mind too far without realizing it, and lately that’s becoming a frequent and dangerous thing. You have to remain aware, always ready to shove your feelings back when they rear their unwelcomed heads, and then return to Jinki’s side without letting him know that anything is out of sorts. But if you keep zoning out like this he’s going to start questioning you.
Or maybe he won’t.
You’re not sure which one you’re more afraid of.
“Sorry. I cut my finger.”
Jinki watches you as you slip out the first aid kit that no one’s bothered to put back in the cabinet because you use it so much. The latch is difficult to get open, though, ever since Jinki dropped it on the floor a couple months back; and with one hand cupped to catch the dripping blood it’s nearly impossible for you to get the box open on your own.
Which is why you don’t.
Before you can say you don’t need help Jinki’s already taking the kit from you and pushing you towards his desk. He nudges your shoulder, signaling for you to sit down, and you sigh in exasperation as you take a seat on top of the wood after moving a few papers out of the way.
“This isn’t necessary.”
Jinki doesn’t comment. He’s completely focused on dousing a cotton ball in antiseptic, careful not to get too much and spill the liquid everywhere, and you bite your lip when the pad touches your hand. Not because the alcohol is painful, but because the way Jinki holds your hand makes you wish you could rip out your heart. Even the idea of it sounds less excruciating than what you’re going through right now.
He’s soft and gentle, delicately holds your fingers and molds his palm against your wrist as he wipes the blood away. He has his hair pulled back right now with a clip you gave him on his last birthday. It’s yellow, his favorite color, and there’s a plastic bunny on the end that has big, beady eyes that reminded you of a character from a show you both loved to watch when you were younger and therefore just had to have when you saw it in a passing window of a shop. He has his glasses off too, a rare happening, from when he was going over documents earlier; but seeing as he’s near sighted (for about three feet) it’s not too unusual for him to take them off after several hours of paperwork.
However, the fact that Jinki’s made it so that there’s nothing obscuring his face for once makes you want to pull away, because you know that if he looks up just right…
“Are you okay?”
It’s evening and the sun outside is beginning its descent. Despite the lights on in the room the world outside is on fire, and there’s a golden glow coming in through the windows that makes Jinki’s hair glitter, and adds extra softness to his already flawless face.
But what gets to you this time isn’t his silky hair or smooth skin, or his lilting voice that’s the perfect pitch… It’s his eyes. His usual smiling eyes that keep everyone out without them realizing are open for once, and they’re seeing you.
That’s why you don’t like the girl.
She could see right through you…
And Jinki can, too.
More than ever, in this moment, you want to tell him everything. For a moment you don’t care if he wants to put distance between you both so that he doesn’t hurt you anymore, so that you can salvage what you can of your friendship that’s been tested by everything but love. For a moment you can picture a happy ending as well as a terrible ending, the one that you expect, but a moment isn’t long enough for you to act. It isn’t long enough for you to do anything but sit there with your hand in his while he stares at you with a look you’ve never seen before.
Instead of pushing Jinki away, and instead of pulling him closer, you smile just as you’ve always done when things are too hard for you to speak, and Jinki understands because he’s used to that and it’s all he knows. He doesn’t know your pain because you’ve never shown him it.
“Sorry,” he breathes when he finally notices that his grip on your fingers has slowly been tightening until your fingers have started to pale and the blood seeping from your wound has ceased. He grabs a bandage and quickly wraps your finger with a new found finesse that likes top pop up on rare occasions, and then he stands and reaches around you to grab something off the desk.
He slips the clip from his bangs and gives them a rigorous fluffing as he stands, and when he turns around to put the kit away you bite your lip and let one stray tear slip out, wipe it away before it even has a chance to get anywhere.
When Jinki returns to the desk you’re already across the room grabbing your things, not having to give a hasty excuse for your exit because it’s getting late and he knows you have a project to finish. Instead he waves goodbye, smile wide and endearing as ever; only instead of giving you butterflies when he tells you to be safe you can only crack out a grin because your chest physically hurts.
On your way down the steps you’re more careful than usual because your mind is wandering and you hate it. You hate it when your thoughts drift into unknown territory, when you have to teach yourself how to act normal.
Outside in the courtyard is when you finally look back. On the third floor there’s one lone classroom lit amongst a series of dark windows, and you know that’s where Jinki is and where he will be for the next couple hours as he continues to find things to do you didn’t even know existed.
Because that’s what Jinki does.
He likes to find solutions to problems, make things more efficient so that people can be happier.
He likes to fix things…
But he doesn’t seem to realize that every day he breaks your heart.