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I’ve just left Jane with Mona.

Mona harbored a perplexed stare when she saw me, but I guess I was eying her oddly too. My brain still has a complicated time associating them as cousins; I’m not talking about physical resemblance but all the other things. They are different from one another; everything emanating from Mona screams healthy and balanced, whereas Jane’s aura yells danger.

Mona’s confidence makes her overly attractive she captures you right away and Jane. Well, Jane grows on you, she’s carpeted with flaws, yet you find yourself thinking of her.

I’ve seen the trio of friends a couple of times together, and I understand that Jane has the same effect on the Nixon boy. Mona is there flamboyant and beautiful, but he only has eyes for Jane.

What coach Gong said earlier irritated me. I’m not a kid; I know what I’m doing, and I’m conscious of my relationship with Jane. It’s a friendship which I believe is beneficial for both of us even if Jane is still a little doubtful. We’ve made some progress that she revealed to me about her health is proof of that.

We both have things we need to say, something we can’t reveal to our natural entourage. If I’m not mistaken, I’m sure, nor Mona or Jane’s family know what’s eating her and pushing her off the cliff just like Soo Ae or coach Gong are unaware of my internal conflicts.

No one knows about my failed suicide attempts, except for Jane now.

With today’s revelations, we’ve become accomplices.

To be honest, it feels good to connect with someone who’s not just listening but who has seen the dark and ugly.

It’s important to me, and the remedy I’ve found is better than therapy. I won’t let anyone take it. Yeah, Jane has that spot. I don’t know if she’s the cure, but her presence numbs the pain.

What did the coach say chemistry?

What chemistry?

Okay, there is a form of chemistry, but it’s related to the fact that we’re alike. There are no crush or love sparklers. We’re friends, keut [that’s it]. I mean, I’ve had female teammates nothing happened between us. We respected and helped one another; that was it. It’s the same with Jane; we’re colleagues, that’s all.

I don’t know how long she’ll stay in Korea and Seoul, but I’ll try to make her stay memorable in the sense that when she looks back on life here, only good memories come.

The confusion in people’s minds is comprehensible; I would think the same if I saw a man and a woman acting like us. We argue playfully, Jane isn’t the type to say yes and amen to everything, but she doesn’t throw tantrums. She just says no, or she gives her point of view.

I like the discord; I love winning over her opinion, which I don’t always understand because we’re from different backgrounds and cultures. She allows herself to say things that Korean women would think but never say out loud; there are things I allow myself to say or do with her, which I wouldn’t permit to do with a Korean woman.

It’s not intentional; it’s the way it is. I think I’m merely trying to adapt my behavior to her to make her comfortable. She doesn’t eat meat, drink; she’s not a smartypants with witty comments. Jane never smothers her wealth or status at me, which is surprising; she doesn’t even brag about the countries she has seen or the encounters she has made. It’s not that she’s secretive she just drifts along.

When Jane says she’s done terrible things, I can’t imagine I don’t believe her. Jane is just too sweet a person who dives in cold water without thinking and forgetting she can’t swim can’t be a horrid person, can they?

Certain things that bother me, though, like the fact Jane wants to pay all the time. I know she’s only thinking about my finance. I don’t have a lot of money, but I feel belittled by her actions. I’m a man, I’m not macho, but the guy always does more in my culture.

Many of my friends complain about the expenses women generate, but for me, even if a woman does her share, I have to do more. It’s stupid, but it’s my way of showing I care, it’s old-fashioned, and a respectable feminist wouldn’t take it, but that’s the way I am.

Even If I were with someone wealthier than me, I would act that way.

Gosh, with everything I’ve said, I make it sound as though there’s a romance between Jane and me; there’s none of that.

Finally home, I’ll be at L’Hexagone tonight, so I prefer to chill. I find a pretty package waiting at my doorstep, but judging by the face Soo Ae is pulling, I doubt I’ll be happy with the gift.

“What are you doing here?”

She advances towards me, “you could call?”

“I was busy?”

I dodge and start to compose my door code.

“Busy, with your Americain girl?”

The door unlocks, but I remain frozen by her question, “Soo Ae, I don’t want to argue.

“We’re not arguing. I just came all the way here to check what I’ve read on one of my club forums.”

Soo Ae has fan clubs on the internet, which she stalks to see if fans are badmouthing her. Seeing her face, I can imagine what made her come all this way.

“Jane is a friend.”

“Is that what her name is? Jane. All these weeks, I’ve been arguing with my mother, who wants me to meet this bank manager, and you are playing sweethearts with this. She’s not even pretty.”

“What? How do you know?

“Have you forgotten where we are? You are so disconnected that you don’t even notice you’re watched. People have taken pictures.”

Soo Ae takes out her phone, taps a few times, and stuffs the device under my nose. The photo shows Jane and I sitting at a Coffee Smith.

“Soo Ae you’re wrong, they’re wrong, Jane is a friend.”

“A friend you take around everywhere? All this time you were going through hell, I waited, you blocked me out when I begged you to let me in. I held while everyone told me you slept around, about your one nightstands. I closed my eyes to it. And now you are humiliating me, showing this girl to everyone, making me look cheap. How dare you Tae Won, waé, otoké WAE!”

“I don’t sleep around, not anymore.”

Soo Ae’s eyes become slits, and I realize my error. I know what she’s thinking: Why have I stopped playing one night lovers?

The answer is simple; it doesn’t fit my timetable anymore; I mean, I have my thesis, boxing, the bouncer job, and Jane. What seems logical to me surely won’t satisfy Soo Ae.

I proceed with pushing my door open.

“Why can she hold on to you in public? Why can she be with you, and I can’t?” Soo Ae continues as she follows me inside.

I yank off my shoes and throw my jacket on the couch, “you’ve got It wrong?”

“Beoga [what], what don’t I understand?”

“You don’t understand anything.”

The room is a mess. I start to pick up my clothes under Soo Ae’s glare and crossed arms.

“And Jane does? Your American girl gets you; you know how it works; you used to mock those who got attached to foreigners. Like all the others, she’ll get on a plane and leave the country. What will you have left? Nothing.”

“Is that your point?”

Soo Ae’s eyes dart. I guess she didn’t expect that one.

Women don’t know when to stop talking. They say meaningful things, and we listen, but they should stop speaking when their remark has the most impact, but they don’t, they carry on, and we sign off like I am now.

Somewhere inside of me, between coach Gong’s and Soo Ae’s remarks, the competitor within wants to prove them wrong. It’s like their words are pushing me to take up the challenge, seduce Jane, and fall madly in love with her in a relationship that conquers all, just to say, hey, you see you were wrong.

The idea starts to mute in my head, and I’m not listening to the rumblings. Soo Ae notices my focus is elsewhere and tries to fish me back, so she brings out an old vinyl.

“Don’t I mean nothing to you?”

Play another disc.

At that point, the magic which I thought will never wear off disappears. I love Soo Ae, but here I realize that love is classified, and it’s a file I won’t open anymore.

The buzzing that’s been haunting me for the last four years since we broke up finally stops,” throw me away.”

That was simple.

Soo Ae’s eyes grow big in stupefaction, “mwo?”

“I said, throw me away, abandon me, dump me, do whatever, just evict me from your mind and future projects.”

“You- you are a monster,” she says, beating on my chest, “I hate you, I hate you.”


“But I love you more.”

Someone, please help me, jaebal.

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