Chapter 15: You and Me?
JANS was breathing hard when they reached the entrance. There were a couple of cabs that were outside, waiting for regular bar-hoppers to ride them. Lucky.
“Where are we going?” she had to ask him.
“Somewhere where my dad can’t tell us what to do.” Sungmin knew that if he went back to Korea that would be news. And that was what his father would expect him to do.
“Where is that?” Jans didn’t know if this was technically eloping but it felt that way.
“Do you have your passport? We could go somewhere, anywhere but here.” Sungmin asked her.
“No, I don’t bring my passport everywhere. My living quarters are either my parent’s house or the sleeping area at the bar. My passport is at home.” she answered.
“Tell the driver where that is. We need to get that. We need options.” Sungmin was confused but determined to get away.
“Look. We can go to Boracay. Just like you told your friends we would do. You have a house there, right?” Jans was trying to help out. She didn’t want to go to Korea or out of the country out of the blue. It was way too drastic. And this was not a drama, they needed to keep their heads out of the clouds and think straight.
“MY FATHER would find us there.” Sungmin leaned back and sighed. There was nowhere they could go. If they came back now, she’d be registered into the family registry before they even knew it. He wanted to regain a semblance of control over his life. He needed to be sure that Jans was worth all the effort of keeping her. He barely had four weeks to do that. Then he had to go back to a crazy busy life. She was not going to be able to handle that. He can’t ask her to leave her family and her life here. But if she can’t go with him on a whim anywhere, can’t even make the leap of going to Korea with him, things were not going to work out in the long run.
“I have an idea.” Jans gave the name of the hotel to the driver then faced him. “You are staying in the hotel now, right? We can move your things at the other guy’s room, take just a few things that can fit in a backpack, then go somewhere that no one knows we would go to. After a couple of days, we can come back and talk to them about what we want to do.” she was beaming. He could see that she had a plan in her head.
“Where do you plan to take me?” Sungmin asked.
“I have this friend who lives in Batangas. That’s a couple of hours from the city. We can take the bus and go there. She told me that I can call in a favor she owes me any time. She lives near the beach so you would love it there. They have a farm near the ocean so we can stay with her. Don’t worry about it. I’ll give her a call now.” he listened to her talk to someone named Tasha. The latter sounded like a noona so Sungmin just relaxed.
When they arrived at the hotel, he paid for the cab and they got off. Jans was still on the phone with Tasha when she finally said, “Thanks, unni. You are an angel!” she finished the call then faced him.
“Put this on.” she removed the berret that she was wearing and made him wear it. It didn’t help much but since there were less people around that night, it was not too difficult for them to get in unharrassed.
When the got to his room, he called Donghae. “Where in God’s green Earth are you two? The parentals are freaking out here!” Donghae snarled at him.
“I am eloping.” he teased.
“What?!?” his hyung was cute when he was genuinely freaked out about something.
“Just for a couple of days. I won’t even check-out. Jans wanted to leave my things in your room. But I think my parents might kick me out completely when I tell them we can’t get married so I think I should keep this room. I’ll see you when I get back. Tell my mom that Jans has everything under control. Tell Jans’ mom that I won’t do anything to hurt her daughter. Don’t tell anything to my father. He’s intervined with my life for the last time.” he was really determined to come to some kind of decision about his father’s dictatorial ways. He sat down on the bed and sighed.
“Hey.” Jans rubbed his back and tried to soothe him.
He slowly looked up and faced her. “I have to ask you something.” she looked scared of what he might ask so he said it with a smile. “I want to know what you think is going on between us. Do you think we should really get married? We don’t have announce it to the world or anything. But I don’t know all of the consequences. There are going to be a lot of those.”
“I can’t marry you.” Jans said. He felt the stab in his chest but understood.
“I want you to go to Korea with me. To see my life. To find out if you can live there and be with me.” he was pushing it, he knew that. He knew that she was going to be backed up in a corner but this felt like an elopement. Might was well do it all the way.
“I can’t. My life is here.” Jans was determined too. “You can’t ask me this over a kiss, Sungmin.”
The truth hit him. They only met a few days ago. He just realized that he loved her. Loved but once again can’t have. She was being practical. He was the idiot who kept running off with her. It had to stop.
“So we don’t need to go anywhere. We can just call my parents over and tell them that they can’t expect anything from us. That we are not going to be able to get married ever since you want to live here and my life, my job, they are all in Korea.” he was waiting for her to say that she could move, that he had nothing to worry about. But she didn’t. She just nodded.
Sungmin took out his phone. “Hyung. Change of plans. Could you accompany my parents to my hotel? I need to talk to them about something.”
JANS didn’t like the look in Sungmin’s eyes. He was cold all of a sudden. Was it something I said? He can’t possibly be thinking that going to Korea would fix everything?
“Please be reasonable. I can tell them that the reason is me.” Jans said almost like a whisper.
“My parents would never go for it. They’d think that I did something stupid to make you reject me. They think you are perfect for me.” it sounded like that last sentence came out of his nose.
“Sarcasm?” Jans had to ask to break the silence.
“No. I think you are perfect too.” he said almost in a whisper. “But I can’t give you what you need.” he said in a normal voice.
“And what is this that you think that I need?” she was curious as to how arrogant Sungmin was to assume he knew what she wanted.
“A normal family. A normal guy.” she remembered the song they sang all of a sudden. She smiled.
“Wrong.” she smiled at him. “I have always prayed for someone extraordinary. Someone who was not like anyone else. Someone who had stories to tell me that no one else can tell me.”
“What do you mean by that?” he looked at her, hopeful.
“If it wasn’t for the whole long-distance relationship thing, I would think that you are perfect for me too.” Jans blushed when she said that.
“R-really?” Sungmin had to clear his throat to make sure that he didn’t sound like he was tearing up.
“Yeah. I don’t want anyone else right now.” Jans had to say it.
Sungmin felt the punch in the gut and the tightening in his chest again. She looked too sweet for words. He needed to stand up from the bed or he might not be able to keep his promise to Jans’ mom. He paced twice then looked at Jans again. He knelt near her and had to ask. “Does that mean we are going to go through with what my parents want?”
“Noooo. It means we don’t have to rush anything. If what I feel for you lasts and what you feel about me doesn’t change for the worse, then we can be together. I can go to Korea when the time comes. But not right now. I have things that I want to do here. Or maybe in a few years, you can move here. Filipinos love music, you can make a killing here.” Jans smiled. She knew that he would be in the music industry for as long as he could. And he was acting too. He can’t just leave all that for her.
Sungmin stuck out his pinky. “Promise me that you would find a way to go to Korea to be with me.” She hooked her pink finger with his and smiled.
ANXIOUS could not begin to describe just how scared Sungmin. But when his parents walked into his room with his hyungs, Jans took his left hand and squeezed it.
They ushured his parents to the dining area and made them sit. He knew that this was not going to be easy.
“I like Jans. She is a great girl. You were right.” he said to his father who looked confused then a little smug. “But she doesn’t want to go to Korea yet. It would take a few years for her to do all the things that she wants to do with her life. So we can’t get married, she can’t get registered anywhere without her consent, and we are going to keep trying to get to know each other so we can discover just how much we have in common.” Sungmin squeezed her hand then smiled at Jans.
“This is outrageous. If you want to be together, what is the point of staying apart? You will regret it later on, I assure you.” his father turned his attention to Jans. “I hired you to make him stay here. Why are you giving in to your feelings all of a sudden?”
Jans gasped and he looked at her. She was as pale as parchment. “He hired you?” that sentence came out as a snarl and he let her hand go almost immediately. “This was a set-up?”
“No, it isn’t! The engagement was, sort of. But we changed it. You changed it.” he became more confused.
“Explain.” Sungmin had looked at his brother who was sheepishly sitting beside his mother.
“Dad hired her to try to get you to quit your job.” was all Sungyins said. “He didn’t want you to continue in Super Junior. Their plan worked all the way to the part that you fell for her. But now, it turns out that even if you like her so much, you can’t get her to leave. Do you think someone who really loves you would not go to Korea to be with you?”
Jans knew that kid had it in for her. But she didn’t know that he knew everything. “Don’t be surprised, noona. I want to be a scientist. We are usually very good at getting information and analyzing things. And I knew in the beginning that the reasonn why dad wanted hyung to be here was because our father was desperate to have an heir who was old enough to handle the business.”
“You were paid to date me?” he wanted to snarl again, she crying and taking it all in. “I didn’t expect this. You lied to me.”
Jans was really crying now. She was saying through tears that she didn’t take any money. “Well, I don’t believe that you could do something like this at all. I can’t believe that even someone like you would be a liar.” He faced his parents and felt like crying too. “If you have to do this to try to make me happy. Stop concerning yourself with my happiness. If you want to disown me then go right ahead.” he looked at his brother, “ I am sorry if I can’t be a good brother to you. But I can’t help you run the business our father has done this horrible thing for. Be brave.” He picked up the bag that he had put together. He walked out of the hotel room and marched to his friends’ room. He made a mental note to ask the hotel to pack all of his things and send it to Korea. He wondered if that was at all possible.
“Do you guys want to go to Boracay now?” Donghae and Eunhyuk sat up and went up to him. They put their arms over his shoulder. He lost the strength on his legs and started to cry.
“Maybe a little sun wouldn’t hurt.” Eunhyuk let him cry and gestured to Donghae. “Pack his crap up. We are going to Cebu on the first flight there.”