It feels like it’s been decades since I’ve been to the gym. I guess it’s because I never had the time if I was working on a case; whether it was in New York or Korea. Something told me to come here and just plug in my headphones to my phone and relieve some stress. Ya, how are you stressed while being on vacation, Jaemin-ah?
I placed the weights back on the bench, catching my breath afterward. Yeah, you definitely are out of shape. I sit up and grab my bag for my water bottle. I look around the gym as I take a break.
“Just forget her! Let her go already!” Shawn yelled out. My face boiled in anger; I wanted nothing more to rip Shawn’s throat out of his mouth.
“Hyung!” Kevin tried to stop Shawn from talking by backing him away from me, but I saw it in Shawn’s eyes. He honestly didn’t think he was in the wrong. Maybe he wasn’t. I was the one that dragged him out with me because I was too much of a punk to face Grace alone.
As I exited the door, Shawn yelled some more. “She does nothing but gets your head all fucked up anyway!” I had no energy to fight anymore; I had just fought Kevin hours before about Grace and I didn’t want to do it again.
I can’t help but get mad at what Shawn said because I replayed my time with Grace repeatedly in my head. I don’t think I’ve laughed and enjoyed my time like that in a long time. It felt good to be around company–simple company–even if Grace and I are nowhere near being simple people. California is treating her well; her skin is covered in freckles from the sun, her body looks healthy, and she genuinely looks happy. Maybe me coming back into her life unexpectedly was a bad idea. What if she spirals? What if she’s reminded of all the bad memories after seeing me? I would hate to be the reason that she–
Ya, she’s not yours to care for anymore.
I get up from the bench and grabbed my bag and headed to the bathroom to wash up. The gym wasn’t helping me relax the way I hoped it would.
“Hi mom,” I greeted my mother over the phone in Korean as I walk towards the parking lot of the gym.
“Jaemin-ah,” she started. “How are you doing? Are you safe in America?”
“Yes, mom, I’m doing okay. How’s Mina and Minju noona?” I asked, placing my bag in the passenger seat of the car before walking to the driver’s side.
“Mina is about to have the baby any day now,” she began to say. “Lia is helping around the house while Mina is resting.”
“How about you? Are you okay? Do you need anything?” I asked. My mom laughs over the phone before responding.
“Honey, you won’t be able to help me with anything being so far away,” mom answered. I hated when she did that. She makes me feel guilty every time I leave the family home to go back to Seoul, let alone leave Korea for a country across the world.
“Mom, don’t say things like that,” I tell her. “You could always tell me if you need anything.”
“I’m okay,” she coldly stated. “Minju will help me.”
As I got into the car, I shut my eyes, not answering my mother.
“Jaemin-ah?” Mom called for me.
“Yes?” I answered back.
“You are coming back before Chuseok, right?”
“Of course, I am,” I answered. “I’m just on vacation here. I’ll be back home at the end of the summer.”
“Okay,” she simply said. Nothing else was said. It was like I was talking o a stranger at this point.
I opened the front door of the house and placed my keys on the table next to the door. I didn’t want to check and see if anyone was still downstairs; I immediately went straight upstairs toward my room. As I got to the top of the stairs, I see Kevin on the balcony looking out. I sighed and walked towards the balcony; I can’t stay mad at the two people that I’m on vacation with for another month and a half.
I walked outside and Kevin turned around. He was on the phone. I raised my hand, letting him finish his call.
“Okay babe, I will talk to you later. Have a good day; love you,” he said over the phone. Hearing Kevin talk to JooAh always makes me smile; he’s so in love with her. He hangs up the phone and faces me.
“Are we going ring shopping anytime soon? Or,” I teased. Kevin rolls his eyes and sits on one of the balcony seats. I do the same.
“Some day. She is the one,” Kevin smiles as he speaks about her. I can’t help but squeal to tease him some more.
“Daebak,” I said in Korean. “I’m excited for your future with her.” Kevin nodded his head and took a deep breath. There was an awkward silence. We seem to know what is causing such a dead silence all of a sudden.
“Where’s Shawn?” I asked.
“He went out,” Kevin nervously answered.
“By himself?” I was genuinely curious. “He doesn’t even know that much English to be getting around by himself.” Kevin nervously picks at his fingers, which I don’t understand why he is.
“He went out with Skylar,” Kevin admitted. I rolled my eyes at his answer.
“Aigoo, didn’t he just see her last night, you know, when he ditched me?” I sarcastically answered.
“Hyung,” Kevin started. “Shawn hyung has never said those things to you before. He’s never been that angry,” Kevin continued to explain.
“Shawn is just on a high because an actual woman is giving him attention,” I said, and I can tell it bothered Kevin.
“You mean how Grace gave you attention when you first got to New York?” Kevin spat back.
“Grace was different. She was my friend and was good company while we first were in New York–“
“Maybe that’s how he feels? Maybe he likes Skylar’s company,” Kevin debated.
“Yeah, he likes being in her pants,” I said, annoyed at the conversation.
“Hyung, I think you should go easy on him. I think you would be understanding about how he feels since… well, since you’ve been there before.
I began to get up from the balcony chair, regretting even coming back here in the first place.
“Hyung,” Kevin called out.
“Yeah?” I said, wanting to just go to my room.
“Talk to Shawn when he gets home, please,” Kevin pleaded. I sighed, not really in the mood to make up with Shawn after hearing he’s back out with Grace’s cousin.
“Okay,” I said, tired.
I turned back around and went towards my room. Is Kevin right? Is Shawn spending this time with Grace’s cousin because he feels the same way I first met Grace? I shake my head and scoff, walking towards the closet to change for the night.
“You’re just gonna get hurt, buddy,” I tell myself.