“Cupid sometimes runs out of arrows and shoots one person instead of two”
It was middle school. Sungjin and Wonpil were waiting at the edge of their seats for the tune of the school bell to ring during their last class on friday. Once the bell rang, the boys raised up to their feet as quickly as they could and competed to see who could reach the front door of the school first. Whoever won, had to buy each other ice cream by next week. It was their small tradition that they cherished.
Since Sungjin usually won, it was always a scramble to figure out how to ask his own parents to give him some money, but he usually managed to figure something out. However, after it happened continuously, his parents started getting suspicious. It was a sunday night and he was finishing up the homework he left for the last minute, when he heard a knock on his door. His parents came in.
“Son, hello. I know you’re busy but we need to talk. What do you need so much money for? You’re asking for it almost every week at this point” - His dad asked
“Did you manage to find a girlfriend and you’re getting her gifts?” - He chuckled
“Is that why you always tell us you’re at Sungjin’s house on fridays? You don’t have to lie to us dear. We can give you the money for your girlfriend. I remember how your dad used to get me ice cream when we were kids, almost every week.” - His mother chimed in, smiling fondly
At that moment, he twisted his head, looking at them with confusion. Not only is that the same thing he does with Sungjin but….
“Why would I need a girlfriend? That would mean less time hanging out with Sungjin” - He thought to himself
Suddenly the thought of his best friend having a girlfriend did not sit right in his stomach. He wanted to continue being around him.
Ignoring the feeling, he came up with a plan.
“Yes, actually. We started being together recently and I just want to make her happy, but was embarrassed to tell you both” - He said, grinning
His mother came to his side and hugged him
“Darling, you should not be ashamed. Young love is beautiful, enjoy it!” - She said rubbing his hair
“You should bring her over for dinner, I would love to know her” - His dad stated
“But.. Um…” - Wonpil’s mind went blank
“I agree! I have a business trip next week, but the week after that I am free on Saturday, how about you bring her over?” - Her mother said, with a warm voice and smile
“Yeah, okay. In two weeks from now. “ - He said, afraid of ever disappointing them
“Amazing !! Now son, don’t forget to finish up your homework “ - His dad said, waving his finger and leaving the room
“Goodnight sweetheart, I am so happy you have someone special in your life” - His mom kissed his forehead and left
Once the door closed, he started panicking. He didn’t have girl friends and specially not an actual girlfriend. After pacing around the room, he tried to distract himself from this and realized he truly needed to finish his homework. He had two weeks from now, he could figure something out tomorrow
After some time, he finished up his homework and went to sleep. In his dreams, a certain familiar smile appeared.
The next day, he woke up in a bad mood. He knew he dreamt last night, yet he doesn’t remember what occured in his dream. All he remembers is feeling a weird but good feeling all around his body. Not only that, but he sighed once he remembered last night, not knowing what to do.
When he went to school and met up with Sungjin, as usual, his best friend noticed his change in behavior.
“Dude, what’s wrong?” - Sungjin asked, which made him stop in his spot
“Nothing is, why do you ask?” - Wonpil stated, trying to lie as well as he did with his parents.
‘You’re all restless and you haven’t even started talking about the pokemon episode that came out last night” - Sungjin stated with a glint of concern in his eyes
Wonpil’s mind felt a mess once again. He was debating whether to tell him, since he didn’t want to make him worry over something he can’t fix yet it really hurt him to lie to him. They were always honest with each other. He decided to go with the latter and tell the truth.
“So.. you know how I buy you ice cream whenever I lose?” - He pouted
“So every week?” - Sungjin grinned and elbowed him
Wonpil rolled his eyes
“ANYWAYS, my parents were getting suspicious as to why I was asking them for money a lot, so they somehow came to the conclusion that I was asking them for money to give gifts to a my girlfriend” - Wonpil sighed
“Wait.. you have a girlfriend?” - Sungjin asked, with tense shoulders
“No you dummy, I don’t, yet they want my supposed girlfriend to come over in two weeks from now and I don’t know what to do because they looked so excited and I don’t have the heart in me to tell them no” - He said, finally letting the whole story out
Sungjin’s shoulders relaxed and he let out the breath he didn’t know he was holding
“Oh.. well don’t worry, I’m sure we can figure something out. We always do! Now, let’s hurry or we are going to be late” - Sungjin said, already running and looking back at him, smiling
“Hey, wait up!” - Wonpil said, running behind him, forgetting about his “girlfriend” worries
Once at lunch, they sat down together with their food on the tables. Wonpil was about to start eating, when he took a look at his friend. This time, Sungjin was the one being restless.
“Okay, I guess now it’s my turn. What's wrong?” Wonpil asked with that same concern in his eyes as Sungjin showed him that morning
“Well..” - He bit his lip, looking down at his food
“I just feel guilty. It was my fault. I was the one that started the ice cream thing in the first place. So, I want to help you out with your situation… and I know this is insane, but I think I can be that girlfriend. I know I’m not a girl, but my sister has some wigs from when she did theatre that are still in her room” - He said rising his head, with flushed cheeks
Wonpil blinked various times and had flushed cheeks as well. After a few moments, he finally came back to his senses and realized this was the only idea that had come up to fix this mess and he doubted they would be able to come up with something else. Either way, he’d rather crush his parents hearts than make Sungjin go through all of that
“Sungjin, you don’t have to do that. What if someone from school sees you? What if-” - He was interrupted by his friends index finger on his mouth
“I came up with the idea, didn't I? I know the risks, it’s....” - He said with his voice wavering, looking away
“Whatever” - He said, this time looking directly at him
“But-” - Sungjin interrupted him again
“You can just tell them the next week that It didn’t work out or something so then you don’t have to worry about that. We won’t do the ice cream thing either” - Sungjin said
“Okay.” - Wonpil said, convinced by his words, though in the back of his mind, he was still worried this stupid thing could backfire
After some moments of comfortable silence, the bell rang
“I’ll still race you on fridays though. And win, as always” - Sungjin said with a smirk
“Yeah, we’ll see about that” - Wonpil said, smiling back
Wonpil was walking over to his friend's house after school with him. Once they arrived, it really dawned on him this would not be like their usual weekly sleepover.
Two weeks had passed by so quickly.
But it was okay. Even though the dinner was tomorrow, they had everything. A story, the dress, the things they were going to say, the nicknames. All that was left were the nerve wracking things Wonpil wanted to ignore, but he needed to tell.
“Hey so, I have an idea.” - Wonpil told him, once they were in Sungjin’s bedroom
“Are you really smart enough to get those?” - Sungjin said, laughing
“Can we talk about anything with you being annoying?” - Sungjin stated back at him
“Okay, what was your idea, darling?” - Sungjin asked
Wonpil’s cheeks flushed
“I’m sorry, I’m just practising. I’ve never called you anything other than dude or bro so I don’t want to suddenly mess up while in the dinner” - Sungjin said, fidgeting and looking down
Wonpil’s heart started fluttering, realizing he really cares about leaving a good impression and not messing it up.
Wonpil then put his hand over his so he stopped fidgeting, which made Sungjin look directly at him
He took a deep breath in and out
“Look, I could do your makeup. I do my mom’s makeup sometimes” - He said the last part really quickly, but Sungjin caught up on it
“Yeah, okay. That would actually be great since I didn’t know where to start with any of my mom’s stuff. Does that mean you’re coming tomorrow in the afternoon ?” - Sungjin asked
Wonpil’s heart fluttered once again. He didn’t even miss a beat.
His smile went incredibly wide
“Yeah. Yes! Absolutely!!” - Wonpil said, barely being able to hold his excitement
The next afternoon, as he stated, he was there in his room, with a lot of makeup in a bag
“Hey!! We have to be quick because my mom usually takes a nap now and wakes up in an hour from now and I don’t want her noticing all her makeup gone” - Wonpil said, with a shaky voice
He then started putting everything in order, realizing he brought everything except the foundation. He didn’t mind though, since he thought Sungjin’s skin already looked beautiful.
“Okay, let’s do this. I’ll put you pink eyeshadow with the mascara first since the dress is pink and then i’ll put the blush and lipstick” - He said, while Sungjin didn’t understand most of what he said, but was nodding along nonetheless
With his skills, he managed to finish quickly. All that was left was the lipstick.
He decided to go with a red lipstick, since it was the first thing he found in the counter yet looked good enough with the rest of the makeup
While putting on the lipstick, Wonpil felt hypnotized by them. They were so beautiful…
He zoned out of that thought quickly, knowing he shouldn’t be thinking about a friend in that sort of way. Specially not Sungjin.
Sungjin on the other hand, had his heartbeat seem like it was about to explode, with Wonpil touching his face. He did not have time to even think about that, since Wonpil had told him to stand up.
“There, you’re done!! I did a really good job “ - Wonpil said smiling
Realizing they didn’t have that much time and Wonpil still had to put the makeup back, he quickly put on his wig
Sungjin looked at the mirror and flinched, feeling overwhelmed with emotions. While he didn’t like how itchy and annoying the wig was, he loved how the makeup looked on him.
“So.. I’ll see you in an hour?” - Wonpil said
“Yeah, at your house. You remember everything?” - Sungjin asked, noticing that his heart had still not quieted down since Wonpil was putting him makeup
“Yeah, I’m not forgetful, unlike you” - Wonpil said, teasing him
“Sure, like that time we were studying for history and I had to repeat to you the same fact over and over since you couldn’t remember” - Sungjin said, teasing him back
Wonpil rolled his eyes while hiding a smile, knowing he was right
“Okay, we got this” - He said smiling with a thumbs up while Sungjin was smiling at him back
He was able to put back the makeup with no issue and was now playing zelda in his DS in the living room. It always works to calm his nerves
“Hey sweetie !! Just letting you know there’s only a few minutes left.” - Her mom stated, making him get up his feet having his heart race again
When he arrived, they did just as planned.
“Hi darling” - Wonpil said, kissing his cheek
“H-Hey” - Sungjin said back without needing to pitch up his voice due to his nervousness. His heart fluttering as well, realizing this was the first time he ever stuttered
Wonpil had a random surgence of confidence and went off the plan, to hold his hand and take him to the table, pulling the chair out to let him sit.
“Mom, dad, this is Joy. We met this year and we got together a month ago” - Wonpil said as he sat down next to him
“Nice to meet you! We are his parents. We are so excited to get to know you!” - His mom said while his dad was squinting at him
“Is something the matter?” - Sungjin asked
“No nothing, you just look awfully a lot like Sungjin. Are you a family member of sungjin by any chance?” - He asked him back
Wonpil squeezed his hand when he realized he was getting more nervous to calm him down. They had prepared for this. He also realized they were still holding hands even though his parents couldn’t see this, which made his heart race.
“Yes, he’s a cousin of mine. We visit each other often” - He said, smiling, hoping he did not see through the facade
“Is that why you came here? I mean, there’s not much to look for here” - His dad said, laughing
“Yeah, my family was getting lonely so we came here to live. Plus, my dad got a better job offer here so.. I guess we got lucky” - Sungjin said, keeping his composure
Hours went by and they had been talking and eating as if it was nothing, little by little, losing his nervousness. He had become so relaxed that he had let go of Wonpil’s hands, which made him feel like there was something missing. However, he masked it up and continued with the dinner.
It was getting late, so he said his goodbyes to the parents, but not before holding Wonpil’s hands again and taking him outside, to say goodbye to him there, at first acting to seem as they needed privacy, but he realized, with what he wanted to say, some words did not make that an act.
“Hey, thanks for doing all of this. I’m glad there were no issues and now I can just bluff on it next week” - Wonpil said, looking at him like the whole world would break if he stopped doing so
“Yeah...yeah. No worries.” - Sungjin got closer to him and before he could react, Wonpil was being kissed in the cheek
“Bye” - Sungjin said, running away without looking back to see Wonpil’s reaction
Wonpil stayed in that spot, stunned, hand on the kissed cheek, until his parents called him over
It had been a few years since then. They were now in high school and while things were different, they hadn’t changed much either. They were taller and more mature, yet they still were joined at the hip.
However, what changed the most for Wonpil, was how he had realized his feelings for Sungjin. He now understood why he acted the way he did in the past. He knew he could never tell him though. His friendship with him is too precious to lose.
When they arrived at the class, it was just as usual. They sat together.
At least he thought it would be as usual. It wasn’t.
That day, right before class, they went to the library. There, he saw him looking at a girl and while it stung a bit, he didn’t think much of it, since he had grabbed his hand to pull him up from when he was sitting, making think about the delicacy of his hands.
And now, his whole world fell apart. He was looking at her. Looking at her just like he looked at him all those years ago, outside of his house. He didn’t have his attention and he never will. They were just friends.
This pain didn’t just last a day. It kept on happening every time he was looking at her, which was often.
“Hey Sungjin, you like her right?” - He asked, in one of those times
Sungjin turned his head towards him
“Yeah. She’s pretty” - He said back, as if it was nothing, while to him, those simple words pierced through his heart.
“Hm”- He replied, trying to hold back his tears
The next day, during lunch, Sungjin asked him if he thought the girl liked Young K, since he saw her looking at him fondly
“I don’t know” - he said in a numb voice
“Are you okay?” - He asked, looking at him with that special glint of concern in his eyes
A beat passed
“Yeah I’m good” - He said, lying straight through his teeth
Usually, when they were in silence, it was comfortable, but this time, it felt tense
“I think I should confess to her” - Sungjin said, suddenly
“Do what you want” - He said, with a shaky voice, getting up since he was not able to deal with it any longer
Sungjin let him go and stayed in his spot, hurt, not knowing what he did wrong.
That night, while in his bed, Wonpil did a lot of self reflection. He thought of the past, the present and the future.
It wasn’t his best friend’s fault he couldn’t reciprocate his feelings. He really didn’t want to lose him and if he kept acting this way, he might. The future is already uncertain enough, he couldn’t imagine how different it would be without Sungjin by his side. So even though it hurts, he should just want him to be happy. And that’s what he will try to be putting his energy into.
That’s why the next day, he sat down next to Sungjin, acting as if nothing had happened and Sungjin decided to do the same, which he really appreciated.
One day, while they were on the bus at night, the girl appeared. Sungjin hadn’t noticed, so he let him know. Once she left the bus, Sungjin left with her and Wonpil let him.
“I hope he’s happy” - He thought to himself while looking at the window
Right when they arrived at his destination he noticed that the girl had dropped a keychain on the floor. He picked it up with a sigh, knowing exactly what to do.
Meanwhile, Sungjin was running after the girl.
“Wait !” - He screamed
“I have feelings for you” - He said, once she was in front of him
She crossed her arms
“But we haven’t even talked once” - She said, confused
“Well, you’re pretty and I’d like to date you” - He said, casually
“That just means you have eyes. No shit you find me pretty, who wouldn’t? But that doesn’t mean you have feelings for me. Besides, I like someone else” - She said, very bluntly
His jaw dropped.
“She was right. He never had feelings for her. But then, why did his heart keep racing all the time at school? Why did it always feel so hard to breathe? Why did he feel he had so much love in his heart that it could burst? Aren’t all these symptoms of liking someone? It makes no sense, if it wasn’t by this new pretty girl then who could it be?” - He said this out loud, while she was still staring at him.
“I’m sorry, I have to go. Thank you for letting me talk” - He said, finding a bus to get into.
However, he still couldn’t make sense of the situation and his mind kept racing. He thought this would stop once he arrived home but it didn’t
On the weekend, he met up with Wonpil, to go to a music shop. They started playing around with the instruments and once he saw Wonpil smiling while playing the piano, the symptoms started to pick up.
“But it made no sense. He was a guy. There was no way.” - He thought to himself while not being able to look away from him
After getting out of the music shop, they went together to watch the sunset, at their favorite place. It might have just been a simple bridge, but to them, it was another world.
“Hey so, I have something to give you” - Wonpil stated, looking at him with a soft smile.
“Yeah? Are they pockys? Because if they are, I’ll thank you forever” - He stated, with a grin in his face
Wonpil laughed at that, with a sound that resonated into Sungjin’s heart
“They aren’t, but we can get some later if you’d like” - He said, giving another soft smile
“It’s actually something for your girlfriend. She dropped it on the bus. I thought she’d appreciate it if it came from you” - He said, putting his head down low
Wonpil was always so caring. He was always trying to help him do better in his life. He really doesn’t know where he would be now without him by his side.
“I hope I can stay by your side forever” - He thought, heart fluttering once more
It suddenly clicked.
“Fuck” - Sungjin said, walking backwards and almost falling in the process
“It’s been you. It’s always been you. Ever since middle school. What the fuck” - Sungjin said, in tears
“What are you talking about?” - Wonpil said, hoping he did not just discover his crush
Sungjin looked at him as if the world would break if he didn’t
“You know what I’m talking about” - Sungjin said, his voice breaking
Wonpil’s breath was taken away. He had been discovered.
“Look Sungjin, yes, I do have a crush on you and I have for a while but my feelings don’t matter okay? I promise. I’ll leave you alone. Just please don’t make this forever. I want to still be your best friend. You’re the best thing that’s happened to me and-” - Now it was Wonpil’s turn to start crying
He was about to walk away. He couldn’t handle the humiliation. But then, he was stopped by Sungjin
“I’m not letting you run away this time” - He said, firmly
Fear struck in Wonpil’s eyes. Thinking he was going to be hit, he shut his eyes, yet it never came. All that came was a soft voice.
“I get it now. I get everything. I get why you were mad that day. I get why my heart kept racing and my breath kept leaving my chest. I can’t believe I didn’t realize mine or your feelings sooner. I’m so sorry” - Sungjin confessed,all at once,never stopping to breathe
“Your own.. what?” - Wonpil asked, in disbelief
“If this is a joke, this isn’t funny” - Anger was fulling him once again
Sungjin ignored his comment
“I love you Wonpil. I always have. I don’t know what any of this means yet for myself, but I don’t care. All I want is you, now and forever. Everything else, I will figure out along the way”
A beat passed
“If...If you let me be yours, of course” - Wonpil said, stammering
Wonpil felt as if his whole world had been turned upside down. Once the shock left his body, he started laughing.
“You’re such a dumbass, you know that? And I am too. I was so worried I was going to lose you. That you were going to hate me forever.” - He said, this time, tears flowing instead once again
“Of course I'll let you be mine. That’s all I’ve ever wanted” - Wonpil said, starting to walk towards where he was
“Can I kiss you?” - Wonpil asked him, once they were next to each other
They both felt as if nothing else mattered
The future would come and while It’s scary and uncertain to think of how they would deal with everything that could come their way, it didn’t matter. They had each other.