Prompt: Jun Pyo didn’t manage to get to his best friend in time, and the car hit Ji Hoo. He’s the one to lose his memories, and Jan Di takes care of him.
It was still hard to believe how fast things could happen.
Jan Di found herself going to the emergency staircase to simply take her mind off things, but it was impossible most of the time.
Ji Hoo had gone to the fishing village looking for her; he had offered her his grandmother’s and mother’s ring, and he had practically confessed his love out loud-for the second time, if she counted the airport in Macau-and Jan Di had rejected him. She just couldn’t think about starting to love someone else when she had just broken up with Jun Pyo.
Two hours later, she got a text from Woo Bin that read: ‘He was run over by a car. Rushing to the clinic.’
Jan Di immediately ran out of her house. Why? She didn’t know. Perhaps to catch a bus to the city, perhaps to panic, but what she didn’t expect was to find Jun Pyo running towards her.
Hadn’t he been run over?
Her brain stopped. “Who..?” her voice trembled.
“I didn’t get to him in time. Ji Hoo, he…”
And then everything went black.
When she woke up, she was in a hospital bed with Jun Pyo seated in a chair by her side.
After they explained she had been in shock, Jan Di was taken to Ji Hoo’s room. He was in a coma, a tube coming out of his mouth and several cuts to his face and hands.
A bitter ex-employee from Shinwha had been aiming for Ji Hoo, thinking he was Jun Pyo. The latter told Jan Di he had also gone to the fishing village, thanks to Ji Hoo giving him the address, but when he tried to push Ji Hoo out of the way, he didn’t get there in time.
Woo Bin and Yi Jung could see how guilty their leader felt and how sad Jan Di was.
Actually, she was surprised at how hard the news hit her. Back in the village, when she thought Jun Pyo had been in an accident, Jan Di had felt so helpless…but the moment she realized Ji Hoo was the one in danger, she simply fainted.
Days dragged on. Ji Hoo’s grandfather’s visits had been limited to certain days for fear of his blood pressure and his heart.
“I’ll take care of him,” Jan Di had told Grandfather, and care for Ji Hoo she did.
First, she brought things she thought could help Ji Hoo feel better: his music CDs, along with a portable player and headphones, too, some poetry books, the cologne he used to wear. Then she had religiously been visiting Ji Hoo everyday. Thanks to F3, her parents were back in the city. If Ji Hoo hadn’t been so seriously injured, Jan Di would’ve probably objected to whatever trick they pulled to get her father back to their home safely, without thugs smashing down their door.
She had never been much for praying, but Jan Di found herself down on her knees more often these past few days, wholeheartedly asking for Ji Hoo to open his eyes and be well.
Jun Pyo and she hadn’t talked much; she had been afraid of his mother’s retaliation, but it never came, so she could only assume Jun Pyo had done something.
Jan Di had been surprised, though, to find out the man she had been reading to had been Jun Pyo’s father, more so that the man had woken up and was currently undergoing rehabilitation after so many years in bed. This fact seemed to be Jun Pyo’s rock at the moment, into which he poured all of his efforts.
After two agonizing weeks, Jan Di was running towards Ji Hoo’s room. He had woken up.
“Have you seen him?” She was breathless after so much running. Woo Bin, Yi Jung and Jun Pyo were at the door.
“Nope, we were waiting for you. Come on, let’s go inside.” Woo Bin nudged her a bit.
Jan Di’s excitement, hopes, and happiness plummeted to the floor when Ji Hoo’s hazel eyes fell on her, and in a cold voice, he asked, “Who are you?”
Selective amnesia. It could take from six months to several years for him to remember what he’d forgotten. Stress, loss…there were too many reasons why this could have happened to him, but Ji Hoo was lucky, the doctor said. He had no other major injuries, and she was calling it a miracle.
But what about the raven-haired girl who had burst into tears a second before she could disappear through the door?
His brothers told him Jan Di was a very good friend of his, actually, of all the F4, and that she had been the one to take care of him all that time. Because it was not good to overwhelm him with too much too fast, they decided to let him rest that day and come back.
“Wait…This man,” Ji Hoo pointed to one of the frames Jan Di had left in his room for when he woke up, “he’s my grandfather. I looked for him for years. How…?” He seemed unable to finish a coherent sentence.
“Jan Di found him by chance, and she managed to get you to talk to him. He’s currently living with you,” Woo Bin said before leaving the room.
“He is?” Ji Hoo was shocked. There was no way he would’ve forgiven that man after he abandoned him.
“Yes. But rest for now. I promise we’ll explain more tomorrow.” Yi Jung nodded at him and then left.
“You never should’ve gone there. Look at you all bruised up.” Jun Pyo was furious with himself for not being able to properly apologize to his best friend for not getting there in time. “Just rest, tomorrow we can talk.”
Jan Di was crying on a bench when she saw a can of soda stuck in her face.
“You shouldn’t get depressed. If you do, whoever is sick will get sad, too.” A girl of about her age kept the can up, and Jan Di took it.
Turned out she was a second-year medical student who had broken her leg, but she was only one or two days away from getting her cast off. Talking with her lifted Jan Di’s spirits, and she went back home, deciding that after a good night of rest, she would go back to the hospital.
Jan Di woke up early and thought that preparing a homemade breakfast could probably lift Ji Hoo’s spirits. So, after a quick visit to Ji Hoo’s house, she stood before the hospital bedroom door, armed with a simple dosirak and a thermos. Lightly knocking on the door, Jan Di let herself in, finding Ji Hoo asleep.
Not wanting to disturb him, she quietly left the items on the bedside table and looked at him.
“Please, sunbae, please come back.” Feeling a tear well up, she quickly wiped it and left the room.
Ji Hoo woke up a few minutes later with a somewhat sad feeling inside of him. When his vision cleared, he found a face he didn’t know, again.
She said her name was Yumi, and she was all smiles and talked non-stop.
“Oh! Look at this! Must be for breakfast, let me get this for you.” Yumi quickly set the things on the moving table used for meals and placed the breakfast in front of Ji Hoo.
He stared at pancakes with two small containers, one with jam and the other with maple syrup. On the side was his usual cup, the one he kept at home, and a thermos with the fragrance of his favorite tea.
Who brought this?
He knew none of his brothers could’ve; they would have sent a fancier delivery service. Perhaps his grandfather?
He was about to leave the food to get cold, but a sudden loud noise from his stomach made him reconsider.
The first bite of pancakes made his heart clench. He had tried this before, and these were not from any restaurant he knew, definitely homemade. Not that the presentation wasn’t proof enough, but still…there was something at the back of his mind. His head hurt.
“Are you okay, Oppa?” Oppa? “You shouldn’t try to force your mind to remember; you’ll get there in time.”
Ji Hoo ignored her, but she seemed unfazed by his coldness. He ate in silence, finishing every last bit and almost the whole thermos.
“You’ll probably feel better now that you’ve eaten.” Yumi promptly took care of the dishes. Ji Hoo couldn’t be sure, perhaps this girl had done this?
“Excuse me,” he was about to ask her when a tug in his heart told him that the person in front of him wasn’t responsible for this gesture.
“It’s nothing. And stop calling me ‘oppa.’ I don’t know you.”
“Oh, it’s just a friendly term.” She winked and left his room.
Ji Hoo sighed and rested his head against the pillow.
F3 and Jan Di went looking for Ji Hoo after classes but couldn’t find him in his room. Thinking of a place he might go, Jan Di considered perhaps the roof or a staircase, so to the roof they went first.
They found Ji Hoo sitting on a bench, crutches to his right and a chatty girl to his left. Uncomfortable wouldn’t cover the feeling on his face.
When he spotted his friends, his eyes lit up.
Woo Bin bumped fists with him. “Yo, bro, we were scared when we didn’t see you in your room.”
“I was feeling a bit suffocated. Wanted some fresh air.”
“I told him it’s very good to move but that he should take it easy.”
When the guys inquired about her, Yumi introduced herself and greeted Jan Di with a big smile.
After some conversation and realizing Ji Hoo still hadn’t recovered his memories, the group felt a bit sad. This wasn’t the friend they’d come to know and love these past few months, not that they didn’t love him before, but still…
“I was meaning to ask you something,” he told Jan Di.
Jan Di felt a bit apprehensive. She had been looked at with those eyes before; it was the time she had kneeled in front of Seo Hyun.
“You put those pictures in my room. Why am I next to my grand- to that man?”
“Um…well…You see…” He still held that steel stare, so she caved. “Could we talk someplace else?” Jan Di didn’t think Ji Hoo would appreciate her telling things about his grandfather in front of everyone, even if they were his best friends.
“Oppa shouldn’t move around so much; we should keep on talking like this,” Yumi said brightly.
Jun Pyo felt rage invading his stomach. “You, stand up and move right now; this is not a place for strangers to meddle.”
“But I’m not a stranger!” Most would’ve cowered under Jun Pyo’s glare and voice, but she held her ground. “I’m already friends with Oppa, right?” And she laced her arm with his.
Ji Hoo flinched and before he could say anything, a voice colder than Jun Pyo’s was heard.
“Don’t touch him.” Yumi pulled her arm back slowly, a bit flustered at Jan Di’s tone and the satisfied looks of the men behind her. “Ji Hoo sunbae highly values his personal space, so please stop touching him so freely.”
Ji Hoo was surprised by the vehemence in this girl’s voice. She seemed to know him…
“Mianhae, Oppa.” Jan Di could see Ji Hoo was loving that name.
He didn’t answer; he simply stood up, a bit slowly, and used his crutch to move toward a further place on the roof.
Woo Bin and Yi Jung told Yumi she should probably go down. They both knew Jan Di was Jun Pyo’s girl…or ex-girl, but they also knew that between Jan Di and Ji Hoo was a very strong connection, so they felt it best to let them talk. Jun Pyo felt the same thing, so against his better judgement, he let them be.
“…you just wanted a family, and your grandfather is family.”
Ji Hoo was still thinking on Jan Di’s words while he packed to go back home. Two days after their conversation on the roof, he was still having trouble accepting what she had told him, but he had confirmed twice with his brothers that everything she’d said was the truth.
“You don’t have to warm up to him immediately, but your parents aren’t here anymore; you should give him a chance…”
Right, a chance. Fifteen years couldn’t be erased with a simple apology.
“…will call you today. I contacted her, and she was very worried for you…”
That was another thing that greatly surprised him. He had gone after Seo Hyun to Paris.
Yoon Ji Hoo.
Had taken a chance and left after his first love.
Apparently, he found Seo Hyun but failed in getting her. Ji Hoo thought he should feel worse about this information, but all he found was a dull pain that didn’t even bother him that much. And how was it that this Jan Di girl had so much information about his life? She was Jun Pyo’s girlfriend…
“She broke up with me. The old witch meddled again, and…I don’t know if I can get her back this time…”
Okay, ex-girlfriend. So why was she so caring towards him? Ji Hoo thought Jun Pyo was going to threaten him, but he didn’t. Still, he could see his friend wasn’t on cloud nine over his and his ex-girlfriend’s friendship.
“…don’t…you should just…You’re friends, very good friends. There’s this…thing between you two, and I know she’s sad about you forgetting her, so just try to remember.”
A thing. And Yi Jung and Woo Bin had also said there was something between them that they no longer cared to figure out.
If he had been in Jun Pyo’s position, he definitely wouldn’t have liked his own girlfriend having such a thing with his best friend, so he decided it was best to simply ignore Geum Jan Di.
He thanked her for her care but kept her at an arm’s length. She noticed, he could tell, and even though she respected his wishes, she still found ways in his two-day stay in the hospital to help him without being overtly present. For some reason, he felt bad about it.
“Are you ready?” Yi Jung had been the one in charge of getting him home. Ji Hoo nodded. “I can’t imagine how difficult it must be, but your Grandfather will still be at your house. He is staying in a back room and says he will use the service entrance so as not to bother you, so please, try to bear with it for now.”
“Can’t he go back to where he used to live?”
“He…lived in the clinic where he works, and he…” Yi Jung was biting his tongue. He really wanted to tell Ji Hoo the truth but both Jan Di and Grandfather had sworn him to secrecy “…he just needs a good place to rest. I know it’s not my place, Ji Hoo, but you were really happy with your grandfather. It wasn’t all roses between you two when Jan D-when he went to your house, but you two finally came to an understanding.”
Ji Hoo nodded again. Apparently, there was nothing he could do to prevent this man from living in his house, so he would bear with it. He opened the bedside table drawer and found a small black velvet pouch; he turned it around, and a silver chain with an old-looking ring fell into his hand. He turned to Yi Jung with a question in his eyes.
“Is it Seo Hyun’s?”
“Not that I know of, no.” Yi Jung noticed his friend was still looking at him, and he really didn’t care anymore. “If you want to know more you need to ask either Jan Di or your grandfather.”
And again, Jan Di.
He said nothing, simply put the ring back in the pouch and put it inside his bag.
His house looked the same, but it wasn’t the same. Ji Hoo truly felt like a stranger in his own house, and he didn’t like that.
The picture of Seo Hyun that was in his living room had been replaced with one of a sunset. His violin case, the one that had the ai-ai gasa with his and Seo Hyun’s names, was nowhere to be seen. This case was new. The pictures in his living room had changed, and there were more now. He had one with F4, in which all of them were openly laughing, even him; there was another one with them, too, but only two of them and a girl, all using beautiful Venetian masks. There was a space on the table, which he figured must have been for the picture with his Grandfather, but he didn’t care to put it back, and then, a picture with Jan Di playing the piano.
He took the picture with the masks-he noticed by the girl’s body that it was Jan Di again-and the one with his best friend’s girlfriend, and he put them away, along with the one he had in his bag.
This was starting to get out of hand.
Thinking about taking a shower, he went to his drawers, and when he looked for clean socks, he found a pair of wool mittens with a small lamb on them.
No, he refused to even entertain the idea that those were Geum Jan Di’s.
Ji Hoo put them in his last drawer, at the very furthest part of it, and carried on.
After a very relaxing shower, he began to feel like himself again. Dressing in a clean shirt and some comfortable blue pants, he thought it best to try to see what the business had been up to. He couldn’t remember part of his life; he better try to determine how much.
As soon as he sat down in front of his desk, his eyes caught sight of another picture.
He was holding an ice cream, making a peace sign, and smiling happily…next to Geum Jan Di.
Ji Hoo was frustrated.
Why did he have so much proof of his best friend’s girlfriend’s presence in his own home? True, he had felt bad about avoiding her, and remembering her watery forced smile when she said she understood he no longer needed her help, made him feel as if he had received a punch to the gut, but that still didn’t explain why there was so much of her in his home.
Promptly standing up, he went to his bookcase to take out his favorite poetry book. He sat down and opened it, but all he saw were pictures falling to the floor. Upon closer inspection, he could see it was him, with Jan Di yet again, wearing wedding attire. She was kissing his cheek; they were making a heart with their hands, and he was smiling, happily, as he could only remember having done when he saw Seo Hyun.
Jun Pyo arrived an hour later, wondering what it was that Ji Hoo wanted to talk about, but he was definitely not expecting his direct question.
“Did I betray you? Did Jan Di cheat on you with me?”
And then Ji Hoo began ranting, talking fast and a lot, explaining all the things he had found at his house and the feelings he had over his girlfriend’s sadness.
“This is not normal. I shouldn’t be feeling…anything towards your girlfriend!”
Jun Pyo hadn’t seen Ji Hoo yell since the incident in Macau’s airport.
He hated it. He hated that his very best friend out of F4, that his brother had fallen for his girl. But he knew he had never betrayed him; that night in New Caledonia didn’t even count. Worst thing was, Jun Pyo knew that without Ji Hoo’s help, Jan Di and he would’ve never made it so far.
To hell with it.
“She liked you first.”
Two weeks had gone by since Ji Hoo and Jun Pyo’s conversation. What exactly were you supposed to say after knowing your best friend’s girlfriend liked you first? And even helped you in getting your first love? Apparently, Geum Jan Di was as selfless as they came.
Trying to heed his friend’s words, Ji Hoo had managed to maintain a semblance of a conversation with his Grandfather, and after he explained-again-why he hadn’t felt he should look for Ji Hoo after all those years, he felt he could forgive him. The ring found its place around his neck once more.
Ji Hoo’s life had returned to normal, or as normal as he could hope for after his accident.
He knew a lot more about Geum Jan Di now, not only from F4 but from his Grandfather, his secretary, and even Seo Hyun thought very highly of her.
“Don’t push her away. You two have been through so much.”
But even knowing all of that, he still couldn’t shake the feeling that he shouldn’t get close to her. If he did, he wasn’t sure what would happen. And even if Jun Pyo said she was his ex, he didn’t want to tempt fate. He knew he didn’t like her, but what about his previous self? Did the old Ji Hoo still harbor feelings for Jan Di?
Some days later, he went to the emergency staircase intent on taking a nap; however, as he climbed the stairs he heard a voice.
As I sing this song
I will go back to you
If only I could see the beautiful you again
I will listen to this song with you
And have a last dance
Remember this moment
Just one last dance
You became a faint light
In between the stars
You became a star
And you beckon me
Do I seem lonely because I am alone?
Why are tears coming?
When he reached the top of the stairs, he found Jan Di leaning against the balcony, her eyes closed, singing with so much emotion that it caught him completely by surprise.
And at that moment, the exact second that she turned around and locked her gaze on him, he felt as if the ground had disappeared from under his feet.
Do you know…where the pool is?
If Sunbae is sad, I’ll be sad too.
Sunbae, can you take me somewhere?
Grandfather and sunbae, you both need a family. All I did was help you find it.
I will smile, and all because you’ll be there, looking at me.
He fell to the floor, and Jan Di rushed to him, calling his name and his honorific, trying to see if he was alright.
“I’ll go get help.” She was about to leave when he caught her wrist and pulled her down to his eye-level. He just needed a second.
“You…I know you.”
“Y-Yes, you do.” Jan Di couldn’t help the tears and the bursting of her heart. He was starting to remember.
“And I…” He fought against his memories, watching himself as if from above when the penny dropped. “I love you…” It was more an affirmation than a question, and he saw the blush rushing to her cheeks when she heard that. Stammering and stuttering, Jan Di wasn’t able to give a direct answer.
His head throbbed, and Ji Hoo could feel the haze of darkness descending on him, so he had to act quickly. Leaning in, he captured Jan Di’s lips in a soft but searing kiss.
Jan Di didn’t pull away, but her eyes remained open at the shock of being kissed by Ji Hoo a second time.
When he pulled away, he smiled that bright, angelic smile of his at her.
“I do love you.” He said it with a chuckle before collapsing onto her lap.
“Ji Hoo…sunbae…” Jan Di pulled out her phone and called Woo Bin. Then she sent a text to the rest of the guys and waited.
Her hands pushed the strands of his hair back from his face. Her heart still racing, Jan Di found herself torn by the feelings that had surfaced so quickly and violently.