Chapter 14 : Euphoria
"Where did he go?" Haneul powers off the Xbox and starts a conversation. I look up from my phone and shrug my shoulders.
"Jimin? He wouldn't tell me." I explain while recounting the fight that it caused, his secrecy.
Han just hums in response and sits next to me on the couch of their lounge. I'm currently in their studio, where they record or practice. I don't know anymore. I stopped paying attention around two years back.
We're just sitting in silence (more like he's just starring at me while I mindlessly scroll through my Twitter feed) and I finally speak up.
"Hannie, are you bored?"
He responds by putting his head in my lap like a child and looking up at me with wide eyes. "Play with my hair, Noona."
I can't help but comply with his wishes happily. I love Haneul for his childlike ways. The kid just started his fucking twenty's and I still treat him like a baby. He sighs softly as I run my fingertips gingerly against his scalp. "Noona, I have something to tell you but I don't want to hurt you. I know for sure that this will hurt you."
His hesitant words peak my interest here but I don't allow that to stop my movements in his fluffy brown hair. I want to coax the information out of him with ease.
"I appreciate that Hannie. You don't have to tell me if you don't want to." I whisper and continue to caress his chestnut brown locks with its highlights fading slowly. "So when did you find out this secret that could hurt me?"
I start off without actually asking him directly but more of details that surround it and could most likely get him to let it slip.
"After the very last Psycho Date performance. That's maybe," He makes a thinking face and sighs and my fingers still buried in his hair. "A month ago."
I don't reply. I'm not angry with him because he waited all of that time. It's not like I could be mad anyway without even knowing this secret for myself.
"Noona, if you want to know, I'll tell you."
Some part of me wants desperately to rip the information from him, but I know better. I know how Haneul works. I have to get him to tell me without him actually telling me. If he knows that he let it slip then he'll just go straight to the person and they'll know everything.
He's the type of person that you have to work around.
"No, I don't want to get hurt Hannie. Remember?" I speak to him in a patronizing voice as if he really was a child.
Haneul sits up into a position where he's meeting me at eye level while lying across me. "Can I ask you a question, Noona?" He stares into my eyes and cups my face, using his knees on either side of my legs to support himself.
I feel my eyes blow up a bit, because this is as close as I've ever been to Han in the entirety of my knowing him.
"Have you ever kissed anyone?" My eyes can't help but stay locked in his brighter ones. I slowly nod my head in response.
"I haven't." He continues.
I don't completely believe that but I won't press him. I'll take his word for it. "Will you kiss me, Noona?" His lips are pouting. They're inviting.
I've learned things about Haneul. Mostly from the older members of ADL and mostly from Yoonhyun and Sangwoo. Even Woosung once. Jimin never seems to talk about his relationship with Haneul.
They've taught me that Haneul acts innocent and sweet but he's devious and manipulative. There's always something more to him even if you can't see it in the beginning. "No."
He chuckles and looks down, his grip falling to wrap around my neck and starting to harshly tighten but not really squeeze. My hands move quickly to meet his but primarily to make sure he doesn't choke me to death.
"You're truly amazing. You know that Yeri-ah? You're fucking amazing." His voice darkens considerably.
I try to talk soothingly to him and not let him know that I'm starting to feel afraid of him at this moment. "Really? What about me-"
I'm cut off by a sick laugh, coated in serious anger. "You're just..." He trails off and moves his hands down to cup my face again, forcing me to look him in the eyes.
"It's the fact that you wouldn't cheat on Jimin," His eyes hold pure hatred for what he's about to say.
"But he's been cheating on you."
And then he just laughs... again and again.
•| intermission |•
Sometimes your perfect plans fall apart. You can't trust people, not the way you used to. You can't listen to them.
They're trying to sabotage you.
•| intermission |•
It's really not like I didn't know it but it's more like I didn't want to admit it.
I didn't want it to be true.
"I didn't want to hurt... you." Haneul begins to cry. I can feel his tears landing beautifully on me.
"I'm so happy that you did though." I reassure him. "So will you tell me what her name is?"
He begins to swell with laughter again. "Her? Haneul, come on. Don't be such a dumb ass." T
Today is the first time I've ever really heard him curse, it's uncharacteristic. "What do you mean?"
When his laughter dies down, he confesses before he can talk himself out of it. "Noona... hyung is getting fucked by a guy. He's gay." Han blurts out losing all ability to care it his words are breaking me.
"Who the hell didn't know that?" A deep voice enters the room, oblivious to the actual conversation.
Yoonhyun's face pales when he notices the two that are really speaking and the unshed tears in my eyes. "Shit! Haneul!" The younger scrambles off the chair and sprints past Yoonhyun to escape the yelling that will most certainly occur.
Before Yoonhyun can say anything to alleviate my pain I mimic the other's movements and storm past him as well. "Thanks for telling me. I know you don't like me but you didn't have to let me humiliate myself like this."
How many of them knew and didn't tell me?
I zip on my coat angrily, knowing exactly where I'm going.
The place I can normally go for comfort would by Hyeseong's, the other members of Royale... not so much. The debut has made us a bit shaky to one another.
I can't really go see one of my band mates. There's a matter of keeping my shit private.
I know exactly where I want to go and what I want to do.
He lives within walking distance.
The door is unlocked.
Never really a good sign but I'm already on the brink of a meltdown so I'll stay optimistic for the time being.
None of what I expected to find is there. Yes, there are clothes carelessly scattered across the floor. Yes, they look like the we're being ripped off in a way that suggests sex would ensue.
"Hello?" I call and get an answer sooner than I thought I would.
"Who's there?" I hear Sangwoo's voice raise from his bedroom in a way that suggests he's afraid but I know he'd be quicker to defend himself than to run away or hide, even call for help. He's too good at masking his voice like that, tricking people and never failing.
"It's Yerin." I respond hesitantly. He releases a breath of relief and continues. "Just wanted to talk if you have time. Do you?"
It's a long while before he answers me back and all I really hear as a response are shuffling and the sounds of drawers opening and closing, of jeans being hastily shimmied up one leg at a time, and ragged breathing.
"Come in." His husky voice assaults my ears.
"You weren't busy?" I ask in reference to his semi-clean but not really house. I think the only reason he bought his house smaller than every other member (despite being the richest) is because he'd never take care of it.
"Yeah, but you sounded urgent." He starts to button up his shirt. I'm guessing I might've woken him up. He crosses the room to flick on a lamp, illuminating his features slightly and turning his pale skin a pretty pastel orange color.
"I didn't mean to bother you."
He chuckles at the shyness he accidentally brings out of me. "You're not,"
His hands run through my hair one time before patting a spot on his hastily made comforter. "What's up?" Sangwoo asks me this so casually, I can't help but instantly want to spill all of my issues to him and completely fall into him. I know better.
"Haneul told me something today." I begin, certain that he's the person I want to talk to.
He gives me a knowing look before uttering a hushed, "Of, course he did." He rolls his eyes.
"What?" I flip my hair out of my eyes which must be like an invitation for him to start playing with it.
Our relationship slowly deteriorated back into what it was when we first met. I will admit that I found it strange to find him reentering my life by something that couldn't be written off as a coincidence, but I'll never act on this instinct to cut him off for my own good. I absolutely love being his friend again.
"It just seems like every time Ja Haneul opens his mouth that's when this stupid shit starts." He rolls his eyes yet continues to twirl loose strands of my hair between his fingers. "Anyway, what did he tell you? What was it about?"
"Jimin." I don't even add the normality of honorifics when I say his name, and Sangwoo only finds that off because I always add an "-ah" or an "-ie."
"What the fuck did he do?" He growls, giving his voice an 'I've had enough of this bullshit' vibe and sitting up to listen with earnest.
"It's just... Han said he was seeing someone else. He said Jimin cheating on me with a guy."
An emotion flashes through his eyes but I can't read it fast enough before it's gone, replaced by worry.
"I'm not going to lie. Jimin set off my gay-dar the minute I met him but I wrote it off. Do you think he's cheating?"
Sangwoo pulls me close to his chest and lets us fall back onto the pillows, cuddling with me on the brink of tears.
"I don't think I can trust Jimin anymore."
"I did exactly what you told me to do, hyung. Did I do a good job? Was Hannie a good boy?"
I pet his soft brown hair in assurance.
"Hannie was such a good boy for me."