“Oh my god, he’s here! Hangyul’s here!”
“Where’s my cam?!”
“Move, you’re blocking my view!”
“Ouch! Stop shoving!”
Despite having just arrived at the entrance of his department building, he still clearly hears the incessant screaming and cheering of his fellow students coming from the third floor. That is literally how loud they are. Oh, how Wooseok wishes they would just shut the hell up. Do they really have to shout their lungs off every damn day?
The screams and cheers grow even louder as he takes the stairs to the third floor to where his classroom is. Wooseok rolls his eyes. It is always, always like this every morning. His weekday always starts so damn loud, with him always on the verge of having busted eardrums. It is always like this and he can never get used to it.
He has come to terms with the fact that he would not have chosen this campus at all had he known beforehand that his mornings would never be peaceful.
Another eruption of cheers follows right at the moment he reaches third floor, and he can’t help but flinch at the volume. He covers his ears with both hands as he makes his way past the crowded hallway, silently cursing his fate of being – unfortunately – in the same GE class with the center of attention of all of these loud creatures.
Lee Hangyul, for sure, is not some sort of TV celebrity, nor is he some infamous drama actor. He is simply a college student just like everyone else.
Well, except that he really stands out among the rest.
Captain of the basketball varsity team (they recently won the intercampus championships). Also part of the taekwondo team. Rich. Visuals through the roof. The type to always rank top in academics. How can someone, anyone, not notice him?
If you would ask Hangyul’s fans, they would even go so far as to describe him as perfect. Not to even mention that he is a really talented and amazing dancer. He has a good sense of humor, too, and he can even sing on top of it all; he has those honey-like vocals that are just so soothing to listen to.
If you would ask Wooseok though, he would definitely say that there is nothing really special about the said guy. They both breathe the same air; they both walk the same ground. So why in the world would he treat Hangyul any different?
“Wooseok, are you okay?” Speaking of the devil.
Wooseok flicks his gaze at the outstretched hand in front of him before looking up to see the worried and concerned expression Hangyul has plastered on his face.
Apparently, he has been shoved by one of the latter’s fans hard enough for him to fall butt first on the floor. Poor Wooseok. He is already at risk of being deaf, but now he is also at risk of breaking his bones.
“Seriously? Do I look okay?” Wooseok asks as Hangyul holds him by his elbow, helping him to stand up back to his feet. He stops himself from rolling his eyes at him; Hangyul could have stood on the hallway so his fans could swarm around him there instead. Not on the damn doorway.
“I’m sorry... I was just answering their questions,” Hangyul explains shyly, one of his hands even rubbing the back of his neck. If only Wooseok is not having a bad start of a day, maybe he would accept this as something adorable. If only.
Instead, he just sighs as he stops himself from asking how in the world Hangyul can even answer those damn questions without busting his own eardrums. “Yeah, yeah, whatever,” he says as he removes Hangyul’s hand on his arm. He starts walking past him toward his own seat inside the room.
Not to be bitching around or anything, but Wooseok just simply doesn’t like him. Not hating though, he just doesn’t “feel” him; it's not that deep. Sure enough, Hangyul is kind, polite, generous, respectful, even fun to be with, and the list of his good traits could go on and on. He has that kind of personality that anyone, be it a boy or a girl, would admire him for, and Wooseok knows that. So, just why?
Simple. It is because, even though Wooseok doesn’t know much of Hangyul personally, aside from what he sees and hears, it feels like Hangyul is just doing these nice things for his image, to maintain his popularity. It feels like he is wearing a mask, not showing much of his real self. It feels like he is afraid to commit even just a grain of mistake that might ruin his good reputation.
Wooseok settles on his seat and waits for their professor to arrive. He thought Hangyul would be scolded that morning because even their professor had a hard time entering the room with the massive crowd outside. But instead of getting mad at him, he just showered Hangyul of praises for leading the basketball team to a win. Wooseok sighs as he wonders if there is even a professor who has been angry at him before. Maybe frustrated at him, yes. Hangyul is too good of a student, after all.
Wooseok usually leaves after everyone else whenever his classes end, just going out when there is almost no one in the hallway. He barely experiences this kind of peace in this campus that is why he makes sure to always stay late. Today is no different, him being the only person left in the GE room as his schedule is vacant for the rest of the morning.
He finishes the book he had been reading before deciding to finally leave and buy something to eat for lunch. He is almost at the door when he notices a black hardbound notebook under one of the seats.
Wooseok just stands at where he is for a while, contemplating on whether leaving the notebook alone or picking it up to return to its owner. He is sure there would be classes in this room in the afternoon, and there is a high chance the owner can’t get his notebook back. Maybe, there might be really important notes inside, and maybe, it’s just his conscience pushing him to pick up the notebook and return it.
And so he does. He makes his way among the sea of chairs and tables to where the notebook is. He picks up the notebook but just as he stands up, he suddenly bumps his head under the desk, making him flinch and loosen his hold on the notebook and even on his own books he was hugging close earlier.
He is still clutching his head from the pain as he stares down the mess of books on the floor. He first picks up his own books on top of the notebook - the latter now apparently sprawled open, revealing its content. He moves his gaze on the words written on it.
Sometimes, it really gets tiring to do the same things every single day. It’s like, I go to school to excel and do well in my studies, so my professors will treat me better and my schoolmates will treat me better. My parents will be proud of me, and so I can feel happy and proud of myself, too.
But guess what, I am not really happy. I am not happy because no matter what I do, no matter what achievements I get, he doesn’t seem to be happy for me. I never, NEVER even saw him smile for, literally, all of the times the professor announced I got perfect scores in our exams… :(
Come to think of it… In fact, I never actually saw him smile at me before. Not even once. At all.
Wooseok’s eyes widen as he reads the last part. Is this some diary of Hangyul? THE Lee Hangyul? Isn’t this too private for him to read right now?
But then, nobody is around, and there’s nothing really wrong if he continues reading it, right? Maybe if he does, he will understand Hangyul more. And if all goes well in the end, he actually might not dislike him anymore.
Wooseok can’t deny, though, that he is clearly curious about who “he” is. He is almost frustrated that Hangyul didn’t name the guy in that entry. Almost.
Nosy little Wooseok flips the pages as he stands up to go back to his own seat. He decides not to eat lunch yet and just quietly read whatever in what really seems to be Hangyul’s diary. He can go have his lunch later in the day.
Most of what comes after that entry are just random anecdotes of what normally happens on the latter’s days. Wooseok pauses, though, at one particularly interesting entry.
Why are the girls and boys always screaming when they see me? They do this every single day, even when I’m literally in front of them, trying to talk to them. I can’t even approach someone to simply ask about something without them screaming at my face first.
I wonder if I would be irritated at all if he is one of them, though. Honestly, I think I wouldn’t. Well, if only he is, but I’m sure he isn’t.
Sometimes I feel like I am actually letting this people shout all they want because I want him to notice me. Maybe I am hoping (just a little bit, I swear!) that he’d get jealous(?) of them or something. Then he would try to talk to me, too. Funny, right? Because I am always looking at his way whenever he is around. It is almost automatic. I’d so easily find him even in a crowd of people.
And... sadly, I know that all of this does not have any effect on him. He barely even looks my way at all.
I keep saying this, too, but why is he so hard to read? I don’t really have any idea of what he thinks of me and I badly want to know :(
A small laughter escapes Wooseok’s mouth as he reads. He did not think there would actually be anyone who would not be affected by Hangyul’s entire existence.
He still wonders if Hangyul mentioned the name of this mysterious guy somewhere in his diary. Wooseok is intrigued as he continues to flip more pages, but he would rather, gladly, chalk it up to him getting a nice income if he ever sells the info of Hangyul’s interest to the latter’s fan club.
Wooseok smiles as he shakes his head at his own silly train of thoughts.
HE SMILED AT ME! Or so I think. I am not really sure if it was me or the person behind me. I wasn’t really able to turn my back and check, because, to be really honest, I was stunned in place.
Is that even possible? That the world around me suddenly didn’t move during that short while?
God, this seems really cringeworthy, but I swear I’d felt those butterflies or whatever in my stomach - you know, the ones I always read in books but never understood - when he smiled. I almost thought I had stop breathing.
What am I even saying…
Anyway, I hope that someday, I can see that beautiful smile of his again. And that when that happens, it is because of me :)
Now, Wooseok is not too sure if he considers this mysterious guy lucky or just plain unfortunate. Hangyul, in all his glory, who is attractive in more ways than one, and who is confident about almost anything, secretly likes someone and does not know how to approach the person he likes.
Wooseok actually finds him quite adorable right at this moment, somewhere in the back of his mind, and sure enough, he will never admit that to himself.
Still, if Wooseok will be really honest, he prefers this side of Hangyul way more than what Hangyul shows when he is with other people. Despite everything, Hangyul endures just watching the person he likes from afar, and Wooseok might have admired him for that.
But then, Wooseok thinks that Hangyul might actually be quite stupid to not make a gamble. If Hangyul even tries, there is surely a damn huge chance that he won’t be rejected by this mysterious person. It is, in fact, almost impossible not to like Hangyul, so why did he still choose to keep all these hidden feelings to himself?
Wooseok obviously knows that he won’t be getting the answers anytime sooner, so he decides to stop reading after a few more turns. But as he was about to close the notebook, he notices the only page that has a certain picture attached to it.
It is our Christmas party today, and for the first time, we finally had a picture together! Look, I was so happy I had it printed right away!
But yeah, it’s just his side profile. We didn’t really have a picture taken with both of us agreeing to it. It just happened that he was beside me when someone took a picture of me LOL.
Still, of all the gifts I have received from random students today, this picture is what I love the most. The most meaningful, and the most treasured. I’ve never felt any luckier.
See you next term, Kim Wooseok :)
Wooseok’s jaw drops the moment he lays his eyes on the picture of them together, his eyes growing even wider as he sees his own name written at the end of the entry.
He instantly closes the notebook with a loud thud, feeling his own heartbeat race as he stares at the closed bundle of paper. The reason of why his heart might just explode out of his chest, Wooseok himself does not have any idea.
“So, it’s me, right? I am the mysterious person,” Wooseok absentmindedly utters to himself. He does not know of anyone in the campus having the same name as him, and he is clearly the one beside Hangyul in that picture.
Which means he is also the person mentioned in all of those entries. And he is the person Hangyul likes.
He can’t help but wonder why it is him, out of all people.
He is pulled out of his thoughts when someone suddenly enters the room.
“D-Did you read it?” Hangyul asks, barely forming the words, breathing heavily as if he had just finished a marathon.
Wooseok puts on the calmest expression he can muster, despite being the complete opposite of it deep inside. He picks up the notebook, stands up and walks toward Hangyul. “I was about to, but I read your name on the first page,” he nonchalantly says as he hands him his notebook.
“So… you didn’t read anything? Nothing at all?” Hangyul asks again to be sure, accepting the notebook, and Wooseok realizes how hard it is to pretend like nothing happened. It must have been difficult for Hangyul to keep his feelings a secret too, and in all fairness, he had been good at it.
“I don’t really care,” Wooseok says. And he almost, almost, felt a pang of regret for some unknown reason. It is how he usually responds, so is this regret him feeling guilty? Or something else?
Hangyul breathes a sigh of relief, though, puzzling Wooseok, but the latter doesn’t push it any further. Instead, Wooseok starts walking towards the door and decides to continue his original plan before all of this happened.
“Do you want to have lunch?” Hangyul asks shyly, nervousness seeping out of his voice, and Wooseok might have laughed at him if not only for Wooseok not wanting to blow his own cover. He must not let him discover that he has read his diary. At least not now.
“That’s what I’m about to do,” Wooseok replies as he reaches the door, not bothering to turn around.
“With me!” Hangyul suddenly blurts out, stopping him in his tracks. He turns to face Hangyul, whose ears are now red and whose cheeks are burning a deep flush. “If it’s okay with you,” Hangyul softly continues, his hand coming up to rub the back of his own neck again as he slightly looks away. “My treat, um, because you found my dia- planner for me.”
“Oh, so that’s a planner?” Wooseok knows it isn’t, of course, but he can’t stop himself from teasing Hangyul upon noticing the latter’s almost slip-up and seeing the state that Hangyul is in.
“Y-yeah, it is a planner,” Hangyul chuckles nervously, still avoiding to look directly at his eyes as he shyly speaks up after a short pause, “so, uh, would you like to have lunch with me?”
Wooseok turns to his back and finally walks out of the door. “Alright, your treat,” he says loud enough for Hangyul to hear. He bits his own lip to stop himself from smiling, hearing Hangyul's excited footsteps running to catch up to him.
That night, Wooseok finds himself by his desk, answering his homework due tomorrow, when he notices the unopened pizza box sitting on top of his bed. He remembers a smiling Hangyul as the latter said “midnight snacks” when he gave it to him that afternoon.
He stands up, makes his way to his bed, and gets the pizza box, opening it as he returns to his desk.
He wonders if Hangyul has written about today on his diary as well. He surely has, right?
He quietly chews on his food as a thought comes to his mind. He hurriedly opens his desk, searching for that unused notebook he received from his sister last Christmas.
I don't really know how to explain this, except that I didn’t expect Hangyul to be like… that. I don’t know. Cute? Whatever. Maybe, he isn't so bad like I initially thought, after all. I never even would have guessed that he is one to keep a diary with him.
I wonder what he likes about me… Wait, how long has he been liking me?
And why in the world am I starting my own diary?!