Coffee House (커피하우스 ) Prequel Fanfic

Disclaimer: I do not own Coffee House.

This is a fanfic I wrote to explain the unexplained parts about the Jin Soo/Eun Young history in the SBS drama Coffee House.

Coffee House is a drama about a writer Lee Jin Soo, his friend and publisher, Seo Eun Young and his secretary, Kang Seung Yeon.

While the drama is flawed--much like the characters--I also found it endearing and the OTP is my favorite kdrama couple in history. I just love their chemistry.

If you somehow find this fic and like it, feel free to leave a comment. Thanks!

Chapter One

Chapter 1

Seo Eun Young walked into her Creative Writing 101 class still fuming from the conversation she’d just had with her father. Instead of the old man spending his time thinking of ways to improve his business, he’d called her during her precious school hours to chide her about not being more receptive to the advances from his business associate’s sons. Shouldn't a responsible father be encouraging her to focus on her studies instead of trying to set her up with various sons of random chaebols? Sometimes, she just couldn’t understand that man.

Still angry, she quickly walked up the stairs and just as she was about to sit in the seat she’d had for the two weeks since the class had been in session, she saw someone else in it. She groaned. The last thing she needed was someone trying to steal her seat. She’d chosen it carefully – it was close enough to see everything going on in the class and far enough that if the class got boring, she could do something else without attracting the professor's attention. She looked at the bespectacled guy sitting in it and smiled to herself. It shouldn’t be hard to get rid of him.

She stood next to him and gave him her famous hard look - the one that was known to scare off grown men. “Excuse me.”

The guy looked up at her. “Yes?”

“You’re in my seat,” she said matter-of-factly.

He raised his eyebrow at her. “What?”

“You’re in my seat,” she repeated, looking directly into his eyes.

Looking slightly confused, the guy looked around the desk and on the chair. “How’s this your seat? I don’t see anyone’s name here.”

She shook her head in annoyance. “It’s still my seat. Please find another one.”

Jin Soo looked up at the pretty girl giving him attitude. What was her deal? Granted, it was his first day in the class after he’d finally decided to drop the computer class and give this one a go before the registration deadline passed. “There are no assigned seats in this class,” he reminded her. Because if there were, he’d have had one too.

“Are you for real? There are plenty of empty seats around so why don’t you go and take one of those instead of taking mine?”

Was she kidding him? He looked up at her. “You keep standing there and talking but class is about to start. You might want to go and get one of those empty seats before the professor starts talking.”

Eun Young looked at him in disbelief. “Are you really not moving?” Had he no home training?

Instead of replying, Lee Jin Soo opened up his notebook and began to doodle. If she had any sense, she'd take the hint, he thought.

After watching him in annoyance for about thirty seconds, Eun Young scanned the room and found another seat. “What an ass,” she said under her breath as she walked away from him.


Seeing as that idiot had stolen her seat, Eun Young was determined to reclaim it. So the minute her last class ended, she dashed out of it in the hopes of getting to her Creative Writing class before the idiot could. “What the hell?” she exclaimed as she ran into the class and saw him sitting proudly in her seat. The second he noticed her, he burst out laughing.

There was something about that girl that was utterly predictable. Even though he didn’t know her, he sensed that she’d try to take back her seemingly precious seat in the next class which was why Jin Soo had made sure she wouldn’t be able to. So for the whole time he’d been in the classroom, he’d kept his eyes trained at the door, waiting to see her walk in and when she finally did and he saw the reaction on her face, he knew that coming into the class thirty minutes early was entirely worth it. Okay, so he was being childish. But if that girl was going to go all crazy because of a seat, he was determined to make it really sting.

Seeing him laugh only made Eun Young more furious but as she was not willing to give him the satisfaction of knowing that he’d gotten to her, she walked past the seat with her head held high, grumbling all sorts of curses at him.


Having given up on ever getting her seat back, Eun Young strolled into the last class for the week fully expecting to be forced to sit at her new sucky seat at the back, right behind the tall guy with the huge, curly fro. But this time, instead of seeing that annoying guy in her seat, she found it empty with him sitting one spot away.

Eun Young looked at her empty seat then at the guy who was smirking away at her. Okay, so what should she do? Walk past him and act like she couldn't care any less about her seat anymore? Wouldn’t that be the best way to treat that stupid guy? But on the other hand, she really missed her seat!

She pondered the issue as she slowly walked into the class but by the time she got to his row, she decided that she wasn’t going to allow some annoying, geeky guy force her to sit in the back. Her seat was empty and that was all that mattered. Now she could go back to trying to enjoy the class like she had in the first weeks and pretend that none of this ever happened.

Seeing as she was his most recent torture victim, Jin Soo couldn’t help but pay attention to her in the previous class and somehow, he felt that she’d suffered enough. So he decided that it was time to let her have her seat back. In all honesty, it didn’t matter to him one way or the other so it wasn’t a hard decision to get it go.

“The least you can do is say thank you,” Jin Soo he whispered to her the minute she sat down. Okay, so he still enjoyed getting on her nerves.

Eun Young pretended not to hear him. You do not exist. You do not exist! she thought to herself.

“Wow, you’re really ungrateful, aren’t you?” he said after a few moments of silence.

Eun Young opened up her books and continued to ignore him till she noticed the girl who normally sat next to her walk into the classroom.

Instinctively, Eun Young glanced over at him and gave him one of her deadly looks and looked back at her notebook. This guy was just one hell of a thief, wasn't he?

Jin Soo must have noticed the girl walk in because Eun Young heard him mutter, “I wonder if she wants her seat back. She’s cute so maybe I shouldn’t sit here.” He stood up and began to pack his books up.

The implication wasn’t lost on Eun Young but she didn’t react. Instead, she watched as the girl’s eyes met with Jin Soo’s before she waved at him to keep the seat and pointed at another one behind them.

“Okay, thank you,” Jin Soo said before sitting back down. “Now, that is a girl with manners,” he said loudly. “If only all women were like that.”

Eun Young turned to him and laughed sarcastically. “Am I supposed to be offended?”

Jin Soo shrugged. “Feel however you wish.”

Eun Young rolled her eyes and scoffed. “Whatever. As if I want you of all people to find me cute.”


“You Rascal, I was just on my way to meet up with some friends when I saw you here. Why don’t you have a life? Why are you always here?” Ji Won yelled as he walked toward's Jin Soo's table.

Jin Soo scoffed but didn’t say anything.

Ji Won began to pick up Jin Soo’s books and started shutting them. “Study time is over. Come and hang out with us!”

Jin Soo grabbed back his books in annoyance. “Sunbae…” was all he could manage. Why couldn’t this guy just leave him alone? Jin Soo found that the best time for him to get homework done was right after class and before he went home. So he spent a lot of his late afternoons at one of the coffee shops, getting his work done.

Ji Won grabbed his arm and attempted to pull him up. “You must come with me. Come with me!”

Jin Soo tried his hardest to fight back and push Ji Won off him. “Sunbae, what is this? Leave me alone. I’m busy.”

Ji Won sat down next to him in exasperation. “Busy doing what? Is studying all you know how to do? College is about making great memories not sitting in your dorm room doing absolutely nothing. Do you know how much fun I was having when I was your age? Can’t you see how I’m a much better man for it?”

At that moment, the waitress approached their table. “Would you like a refill?” she asked Jin Soo with a big smile, holding the coffee pot up at him.

He smiled up at her and nodded. “Yeah. Yeah. Thank you.”

When the waitress left, Ji Won scooted closer to Jin Soo and whispered, “When are you going to introduce us?”


“Me and that waitress? Did you see how she looked at me? She totally wants me. Why do you think she came here?” He laughed. “Like she cares about refilling your cup.” He tapped Jin Soo's shoulder. “You have to introduce us.”

Jin Soo looked at Ji Won in irritation. “How can I introduce you when I don’t even know her?

But Ji Won wasn’t paying attention as his eyes were transfixed on her. “She’s quite pretty, you know. Not usually my type but since she’s interested, it’s only right that I oblige, don’t you think?”

Jin Soo rolled his eyes and focused his attention back on his book.

“Rascal,” Ji Won said, getting up. “I have to leave now but the next time I’m here, make sure you introduce us. And I won’t take no for an answer.”


After Eun Young was done with her classes, she walked over to the coffee shop her best friend, Hee Soo, worked part time at to get her so that they could walk to their apartment together.

Eun Young sat in the locker room as she watched Hee Soo change out of her uniform.

“… so, I really think I’m going to have to kill that annoying guy,” she said, finishing up the rant she’d begun the minute she’d met up with her friend.

“I just can’t believe you’re still mad about a stupid seat in your class.”

“It’s not that I’m mad – it’s the principle of the whole thing. That guy is very foolish. He’s what I would call full of crap. Compete Trash. A royal son of a b.itch.”

Hee Soo put on her t-shirt and laughed. “He must be cute.”

“Cute? You should see the guy’s glasses. It’s clear he’s got bad eyesight, otherwise he wouldn’t have picked such ugly frames.”

Hee Soo laughed again. “Unlike my cute guy, whose glasses totally frame his face so beautifully,” she said dreamily.

It was Eun Young’s turn to laugh. “You’re still on that, huh?”

“He’s totally cute. If you saw him, you’d understand.”

Eun Young chuckled again. “So have you tried to talk to him?”

“You mean outside of asking him if he’d like a refill? Then no.”

“Well, I’m already getting sick of hearing how cute he is so you’d better make a move before someone else gets to him first.”

Chapter Two

The former owner of Jin Soo’s seat waived at him as she passed by.

Okay, he thought. Does this make us friends now? Jin Soo looked around the class in slight irritation. “This class is full of freshmen,” he grumbled.

Eun Young gave him a sidelong glance. It had been two weeks since he had begun sitting next to her and they now had this routine where they’d chat briefly before class began. “You’re not a freshman?”

He twitched his nose in slight annoyance. “Do I look like one?”

She shrugged. “I just assumed you looked old for your age.”

He rolled his eyes. “Funny, I thought the same of you.”

“Ha ha,” she said dryly. “So what year are you in?”

He opened up his book then looked at her. “Fourth year. You?”

She looked away from him and towards the front of the class. “You don’t need to know. What’s your major?”


The response was surprising so she looked at him again, this time, catching his eye. “Medicine? What’s a medical student doing in this class?”

He inched his face a little closer to hers and smirked. “A medical student can’t take creative writing?”

She moved her head back instinctively and looked away again. What was that about? She shrugged again. “It just seems odd.”

“It’s not that odd. What about you? Are you a literature major? Korean major? Fine Arts major?”

“Why do you want to know?” She began to flip through the pages of her textbook to find the right chapter for that day’s lesson.

“You can’t even tell me that much? I thought we’d developed a rapport here.”

“A rapport? Between us?” She chuckled. “Is that what this is? Aren’t you just killing time?”

“Yeah, yeah, but still tell me. What’s your major?”

She gave up. “I’m a business major.”

“And what’s a business major doing in this class?”

She pursed her lips in pretended to be in deep thought. “I wonder why.”

“You love to write?” he offered.


He laughed. “You’re really stingy with your answers, aren’t you? I’m Lee Jin Soo, by the way,” he said stretching his hand out to her.

She hesitated for a second before taking it. “Nice to meet you.”

“And you are…?”

“And I am…?”

“...not going to tell me your name?”

She made a big show of thinking about it. “No," was all she said.

And this only intrigued him more. “Is it a matter of national security? Are you an undercover agent? Spy? Daughter of the president? Killer? Pop star? Princess? Por—”

“Class is about to start,” Eun Young said, cutting him off mid-sentence.


“So did you manage to talk to Cute Guy today?” Eun Young asked Hee Soo as they walked to their apartment together.

Hee Soo shook her head. “Very busy. Someone quit so I didn’t have time to think of him. What about you? Annoying Guy. Still annoying?”

“Yes, definitely,” Eun Young replied, nodding. “I think I’m going to have to sit next to him for the whole semester.”

“Oh – long enough for the love to bloom,” Hee Soo said half-seriously.

She laughed. “Everything is about romance with you, isn’t it? But no, I’m sure that’s not going to happen. But the thing is he’s very nosy and keeps trying to talk to me.” Although if she really admitted it to herself, she didn’t quite mind it. At least it made the beginning of class a little interesting.

“Maybe he likes you.”

She shook her head. “I somehow don’t think so. I think he’s just bored. Maybe he’s the talkative type?”


“Seo Eun Young,” she heard someone whisper from behind her. She turned around to find Jin Soo smirking at her. She'd gotten so used to his smirk that somehow it had begun to look cute. She shook her head to rid herself of that thought.

“What are you doing here?” she asked in an accusing tone.

“I came for the free boat ride.” Which was partly true. He’d been walking past the large group of people gathered and even though there was a sign indicating that the sailing club was giving free rides which he guessed was as a means of getting some exposure and donations, he would have kept walking if he hadn’t spotted Eun Young’s familiar body in line. Okay he knew he should have stayed away but was it wrong that bugging her amused him to no end? Seeing her rattled just cracked him up. “So what are you doing here?” he asked as he pretended not to hear the people behind complaining about him cutting the line.

Eun Young furrowed her eyebrows. “Clearly the same thing you’re doing here.”

“Then why did you ask such a redundant question, Miss Seo? Seo Eun Young ssi. Miss Eun Young Seo.”

A large group of people got on the boat so they moved up the line.

“I see you found out my name.”

“It wasn’t hard for someone with my skills to do.” Especially as he’d seen her name written in one of her books. And the rest of the information was simply a mouse click away. “You’re Seo Eun Young. Junior. Originally from Busan. Daughter of President Seo. Heir to a large publishing company – which would explain why you’re taking Creative Writing 101 even though you’re a business major.”

“Well congratulations on your discovery. I figured that I might as well learn a little bit about writing if I was going to work at a publishing firm. What about you? Why is a med student studying creative writing?”

He shrugged. “I enjoy writing but what are the chances I’m going to get published and make money doing it? Plus when I think about it, my parents sacrificed a lot for me so it only makes sense that as the only son, I study something worthwhile that will earn me a respectable income.”

Eun Young hissed and nodded knowingly. “You’re exactly as I thought. In fact, you even have less of an interesting personality than I imagined. You have a choice between being fun and being boring and you choose boring. What happened to doing what you loved and following your heart?”

He laughed sarcastically. “Look whose talking. Aren’t you in school just so you can join the family business?”

“And so?”

“How’s that different from what I’m doing? Since childhood, you’ve been groomed to join the family business,” he said pointing at her. “Since childhood, I've been groomed to be a doctor,” he said, this time, pointing at himself. “How are they different?”

“The difference is that I actually want to work at the publishing firm.”

“Did I say I didn’t want to be a doctor? Writing is just a hobby for me. I’m sure you have hobbies too. So get off your high horse – we are exactly the same. ”

“We are absolutely not,” she said firmly.

“Yes, we are.”

“No, we’re not.”

He chuckled. “Yes, we are. You’re in denial just because don’t want to have anything in common with me. Do I scare you that much?”

She scoffed. “Scare me? Dude, you’re clearly in love with yourself. You think everything is about you.”

“Everything is not about me?”

Something about the feigned look of shock on his face made her laugh.

Just as he was about to respond, her phone rang.

“Hey Eun Young, it’s Hee Soo,” the voice from the other end said.

Eun Young waved at Jin Soo to excuse herself as she took the call. “Where are you? I’m almost at the front of the line. You need to get here right now.”

“I’m so sorry but I can’t make it. Because that guy quit, my manager isn’t letting me leave early even though he promised me last week. It’s totally not fair! He’s such an as.shole.”

“This sucks. I’ve been standing in line for over forty minutes and now you’re telling me you can’t make it? Why didn’t you call earlier?”

“I’m so sorry, Eun Young ah. I only just found out when I was trying to leave. I’m sorry. But I have to get back to work now,” she said before hanging up
Eun Young hissed loudly before throwing her phone into her bag.

Jin Soo watched the exchange and when she rejoined him in the line, said, “Your friend isn’t coming?”

She shook her head. “No.”

“Your boyfriend?” Okay, why did he just ask that? But someone who looked like her had to have a boyfriend. It was one of those unwritten rules.

She laughed. “Huh? Why do you ask?”

He made sure he gave her his most nonchalant look. “I’m just curious.”

“Don’t be.”

“So are you going to stay for the ride?” And would it look weird if he also left the queue right after she did? And if so, would that mean he’d have to get on the stupid boat anyway even if she didn’t?

“I don’t know,” Eun Young replied as she tried to figure out what the next step would be. It would seem like a waste of time to just go home after all the time she’d spent in the queue. But on the other hand, if she’d realized she’d be alone, she’d never have shown up.

“You might as well stay,” she heard Jin Soo say. “You can still enjoy the ride.”

She turned around and looked at him curiously. “How come you’re here alone anyway?” Or was he the type who didn’t mind going to places like restaurants and the cinema by himself? Regarding him closely, he seemed the type. “You don’t have any friends, do you? Which would absolutely make sense, given your personality.”

He shook his head and laughed. “Get over it. I already gave you back your seat.”

She hissed. “I’m over it.”

“Although it cracked me up so much. I’ve never seen anyone so attached to a seat before. You almost broke down in tears.”

“Which is why you should have been a gentleman about it in the first place.”

”And miss out on all that fun? I don’t think so.”


A few minutes later, it was time for them to get on the boat.

When it was Eun Young’s turn to climb in, one of the sailing club members took her hand and helped her in while Jin Soo held her back to keep her steady.

“Is there a reason you’re touching me?”

“Can't you see that I’m helping you up?”

“Did I ask for your help?” she said once she was fully in the boat. “Don’t think I’m weak just because I’m a woman.”

“Sorry. I thought you wanted me to be gentleman.”

“Not when it involves you touching me.”

Jin Soo laughed as he got on the boat and sat next to her.

“Why are you sitting so close to me?” She tried to scoot away but there really was no place to scoot to.

“Can’t you see that we’re cramped in here? They are trying to fit as many people on here as possible.”

Eun Young looked at all the other passengers in the especially full boat. It comprised mainly of couples although there was also an irritating group of about five girls who kept giggling loudly. “I hope we don’t sink.” But if they did, she hoped those five would be the first to go.

“Don’t worry, I’ll save you,” Jin Soo yelled as the boat began to move and it got a little noisy.

Eun Young held on tight and despite herself, leaned on Jin Soo for some support. “You’ll save me? Are you a good swimmer?” she yelled back at him.

He shook his head. “No.”

“Then how will you save me?”

“Through prayer,” he said with a straight face.

She burst out laughing. Of all things to say.

Seeing her laugh made him do the same. Was it a little odd that he enjoyed making her laugh?


“So where are you off to now?” Jin Soo asked. After spending 15 minutes on what seemed like an exceptionally short ride, they were walking towards the main road.

“Why do you care? Do you want to follow me?”

“Is it a sin to make conversation?” After a short moment of silence he said, ”Are you going to meet your boyfriend now? Since he couldn’t make it and all?”

She laughed. “Why must you know who I was meeting? You really can’t let it go, can you?”

“Maybe I’m just like you – you can’t seem to let things go either. Do you remember that you almost killed me because of a seat?” When she didn’t respond he said, “So are you going to tell me?”


“Who you were supposed to meet today.”

“No!” Eun Young was truly enjoying playing coy. The less she told, the more interested this guy seemed to be and that only made her want to tell him even less. Perhaps she could consider this payback for how he’d treated her when they first met.

“Was it a boy or a girl?”

Instead of replying, Eun Young began to laugh.

“Just answer the question.”

“Why don’t you use your special skills to find out?” she said as she kept laughing.

When they arrived at the road, Jin Soo pointed towards campus. “I’m going this way.”

Eun Young pointed in the other direction. “I’m going this way.”

Jin Soo sighed and nodded. “So we must part now,” he said, lingering on the last word.

“Yes, we must part now.”

“And you’re still not going to tell me who you were meeting?”


“Forget it then. It’s not like I care either way.”

She laughed boisterously. She was enjoying it too much. “Exactly. Forget it because I’m never telling you. Anyway, I guess I’ll see you whenever.”

“Which would be in class tomorrow.”

“Oh, don’t remind me!” she said dramatically before laughing again.

He laughed too. “See you tomorrow.”



Since business had gotten a little lighter for a few minutes, Hee Soo decided to use the opportunity to speak to Cute Guy. Normally, she was into the bad boy type but there was something about this studious guy that attracted her. Maybe it was the way he seemed so focused and dedicated to his work. And to imagine him shifting all that focus and dedication to one woman excited her.

After taking a quick look at her reflection in one of the windows, she took a deep breath in and approached his table, coffee pot in hand. “Oh,” she said, peering into his cup. “You don’t need a refill yet.”

“Not yet,” Jin Soo said after a quick glance and smile at her. Of course he didn’t need a refill seeing as she’d topped him off about five minutes earlier.

“So,” Hee Soo began, “are you enjoying your coffee?”

Jin Soo gave her another tight smile. “Yes, thank you," he said before turning back to his book.

Hee Soo studied his table, hoping to find something to get the conversation rolling. “Biology major?” she guessed, based on the cellular biology and genetics books he had with him.

Jin Soo looked up from his book and smiled at her. She clearly wasn’t leaving, was she? “Sure.”

She smiled now that she could see that she had his full attention. “Sounds like fun.”

“Yes, it is. Thank you.”

“I’m a law major myself.”

“That’s nice.”

“I’m wondering why I’ve never seen you before. Are you new? Are you a grad student?”

He shook his head. “No. It’s my fourth year here. But I came here a lot last semester as well, though. Maybe you just don't recognize me.”

“Actually, I only started working here this semester.”


“So that would explain why I didn’t see you last semester,” she said, laughing at what she hoped sounded like a joke.

“Of course,” was all Jin Soo said, clearly not finding the humor in it.

“So, anyway,” she said, having had her fill of the awkwardness. Getting Cute Guy wasn't going to be easy. “If you need a refill don’t forget to raise your hand and I’ll be here in a jiffy.” Did I just say, “in a jiffy?” She hid her face to hide her dismay.

“Oh, definitely,” he said, nodding and then nodding again. “Yeah, yeah. Thank you.”

Chapter Three

“I’m heading out now. Would you like anything?” Hee Soo called from the living room.

“No, thanks,” Eun Young replied as she looked at the creative writing notebook that she hadn’t written a word in, in the last thirty minutes.

They’d been given one week to write 1000 words on an interesting day they’d spent in their lives. So why was it that as she tried to think of fun incidents, her mind kept drifting back to the sailing ride she’d had a few hours earlier?

She cupped her face in anguish. “Okay, this doesn’t make sense,” she said aloud to herself.

“It just doesn’t make sense. It wasn’t that interesting. It wasn’t that fun, was it? I’ve had a lot more fun experiences!" Which was true. Like when her ex-boyfriend had gone out of his way to contact all her close friends from middle school and surprise her on her birthday. That was both fun and exciting. Even though she didn’t like most of those people anymore. But it was still fun. Or when she’d gone camping with Hee Soo and some friends and woken up next to a snake. Fine, that wasn't fun but it sure was interesting. So how come with all these other things that she could write about, her brain wanted to focus on this damn sailing thing?

She groaned. "Gosh," she said as her mind drifting to him. What an annoying guy. Why was he always there- bugging her and making her laugh? As she pictured his image in her mind, she couldn't help but think that if she wanted to be honest with herself, he really wasn't that bad-looking. Even with those glasses. And that little dimple at the side of his mouth. And she wouldn't even talk about what he looked like when he smiled. Lee Jin Soo's smile...

She shook herself vigorously to get out of the zone her mind her taken her. “Pretty smile or not, he still sucks,” she reminded herself as she picked up her pen, prepared to write about something that didn’t have the word “sail” in it.

“So what can I write, what can I write?” Maybe she’ll write about how she got hit by a motorcycle on her father's birthday. That was fun and interesting, wasn't it?


“Hello,” she said the moment he sat down. It was one of the rare times she got to class before him. How odd was it that when she saw him walk into the room she’d begun to practice saying that one word to him? How many ways could one say 'Hello' anyway?


She gritted her teeth. After all that practice, that was all she got back? “I see you got home safely.”

“Did you expect me to get into an accident?”

She frowned. “This is what I get for trying to be nice.”

Seeing her reaction, he suddenly felt a little sheepish. It’s not like he wanted to talk back but it seemed to be the most natural way to communicate with her. “Sorry.”


They sat in awkward silence till the former owner of Jin Soo’s seat waved at him as she walked by.

Eun Young scrunched her nose. This again? “Jeez. Can she please make it a little more obvious that she likes you?”

Jin Soo was amused by her reaction because it matched his. “What? She can’t like me?”

“You steal her seat then she falls in love with you? This makes no sense.”

Jin Soo narrowed his eyes as a sudden thought crossed his mind. “Didn’t the same thing happen to you?”

“WHAT!” she said, her eyes growing to twice their size.

“Don’t look so shocked. Am I lying?”

“What da hell?” She gave him a questioning look then gave him the once over. “Did you eat something strange today?”

He wanted to continue with this line of discussion but he couldn’t help but burst out laughing - it was all so silly. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m channeling my sunbae, Han Ji Won. He’s completely out of touch with reality and thinks every guy wants to be his best friend and every girl wants to date him. I just wanted to know what it felt like to live in his world. So don’t panic.” He continued to laugh.

Eun Young sighed in relief. She was glad it was only a joke otherwise, she’d have begun to wonder if her actions had some how betrayed some of the thoughts she’d had about him. She gave him a lopsided smile of feigned contempt. “It does make sense that you’d have friends like that.”

Jin Soo shrugged. “You probably know him since all you rich people like to hang out together. He’s the son of Han Industries.”

“Han Industries?” The company was pretty well known. “I think our fathers know each other.”


Having no response to that, Eun Young turned to her book and they fell into another awkward moment.

It was one of those silent moments that seemed to get louder with every ticking second. After they parted the previous day, Jin Soo had spent his walk back to campus wondering the real reason he’d gone out of his way to bug her when he’d seen her in line. She was pretty and funny and most probably had a boyfriend, all of which shouldn’t make a difference at all since Jin Soo had decided he wasn’t going to be interested in women for a while. Because in the last few years, all relationships had brought him was unnecessary drama. He’d always treasured a simple, peaceful life but for some reason, he only seemed to attract psychos. He looked her over, from her dark blue jeans to her light purple top and wondered if she was crazy too. He nodded to himself. Yes, she was definitely crazy but in a good way, he thought, chuckling to himself. She wouldn't call his mom up and tell her he'd given her gonorrhea all because he'd stopped taking her calls, would she? His eyes traveled from her shoulder to her face which was when he noticed a foreign look on her face – she was also clearly uncomfortable with the silence.

He had to say something. He looked at his watch. “When is the professor getting here? He’s late today.” He waited for her response but when he got none, reached into his bag and brought out the reason he’d gotten to class a little later than he usually did. “This is for you,” he said, placing the drink in front of her book.

She picked up the can then looked at him. “What’s this for?”

Suddenly feeling shy, Jin Soo looked away. “Just before class, I was getting one for myself and thought I would get one for you too.” And it was kind of true. He’d bought himself one and just as he was about to walk into the classroom, somehow felt it would be ungentlemanly of him to drink in front of her without offering her one too. It was weird and stupid but it seemed to make sense at the time. “Is that okay?”

She nodded. She held onto the can and rolled it in her hand. It was Coca-Cola. She looked at him from the corner of her eye. Perhaps it wasn’t the best time to tell him that she preferred Pepsi? “It’s fine. It’s just a little unexpected.” And Annoying Guy acting all nice was weird. She put the can right where he’d left it.

“It’s a little strange, isn’t it?” he said, smiling uncertainly.

Eun Young nodded and replied, her expression matching his, “A little.”

“So maybe I should take it back?” he said, reaching for it.

But Eun Young also reached for it at the same time so their hands crashed together, knocking the can off the table.

Without skipping a beat, Eun Young quickly took her hand away then reached down and picked it up, all the while thinking that he’d really gone and made things even more awkward. Where the hell was the professor? Sitting back up, she held the can up to him and said, “Well, thank you for this.”

“No problem.”

Awkward. Awkward. So Awkward. What could she do to change the mood? A thought popped into her head as an impish look overtook her face. “You’re not trying to hit on me, are you?”


“I’m just wondering. You steal from me and now you give me things. There must be a reason behind this.”

Why would he hit on someone with a boyfriend? “I got you a drink and now you think I’m about to propose to you? You’re reading too much into it. Okay, give it back to me,” he said, reaching for the can.

She held it to him and laughed. “You can take it back if you want.” She waited for him to take it but he took his hand back and turned away. “See? How will you take it back when you want me to have something you gave me? You really want me to have something you bought, don’t you?”

“You’re delusional.”

“You wish.”

She laughed, hoping it sounded real. “You’ve fallen for me.”

His eyes narrowed as a thought came to him. “Are you Han Ji Won?”

She laughed again, but this time for real. So he finally got it! Before she could reply, the professor rushed into class, yelling a bunch of apologies.


“So what are you going to do now?” Jin Soo asked as they walked out of the classroom together.

“Why do you want to know?” She stopped in her tracks. “You’re not trying to follow me, are you?”

Jin Soo rolled his eyes and kept on walking. “How can a person follow someone from the front?”

“I’m sure you’ll find a way.”

Jin Soo slowed his walking pace a little so that she could catch up with him. They walked out of the classroom and began to walk on the corridor. “I’m going to the computer lab. You?”


“Now who’s following who?”

She laughed. “It’s still you following me. Uhm… by the way, I was waiting for my friend.”


“Yesterday. I was waiting for my friend. My roommate. A girl.”

Jin Soo chuckled despite himself. Then he quickly tried his best to make sure his face didn’t reveal the relief he suddenly felt. So she didn’t have a boyfriend? “Did I ask you anything about that?”

“Given your personality, I’m sure you hadn’t let it go.”

“I’d already forgotten about it. Why would I care?”

Eun Young chuckled as they turned the corner. “Says the guy who was so desperate to know yesterday,” she said in a sing-song voice.

“Whatever. I was just curious. It’s part of being a doctor.”

“Rubbish,” she said, chuckling. They kept walking together and after waving and saying hi to one of her old classmates, Eun Young asked, “What are you even going to do in the computer lab?”

“Check my email – one of my professors is sending out some notes today. You?”

“Same here.”

“Stop copying me! By the way, how are you doing on this week’s assignment?” He’d noticed was that she was finding the class a little difficult.

“Not well. Even though it’s a freshman class, one thing I’ve realized is that this writing crap is not for me.”

“Want to study together?” he blurted out before he could stop himself. He looked at Eun Young’s face with slight trepidation and registered her slightly surprised facial response to his question. But before he could hear her vocal response, he heard a loud voice yell, “Rascal.”

He groaned. He didn’t even have to look up to know who it was, but when he did, he found Ji Won a few feet away waving wildly at him. Of all times for him to show up.

“Lee Jin Soo, come here! Come here now, you rascal!”

Eun Young looked at the guy then back at Jin Soo who was clearly embarrassed as his friend had suddenly become a person of interest with a bunch of people openly staring at him.

“Why is he yelling like that? Plus,” Eun Young began, not bothering to stifle her laughter. “What’s that dance he’s doing? Or is that even a dance? Why is he acting like that? Is he on drugs?”

“I told you he was crazy,” he said in a small voice.

“You told me…? Oh,” she said as it finally dawned on her. “The Han Industries guy?”

“The one and only. I’d better go and talk to him. He won’t quit till I do. Catch you later.


“So who’s that girl you were with?” Ji Won said when Jin Soo got within earshot.


“Nobody? That is definitely somebody. Tall, slim, curvy and pretty.” How could this silly guy call her nobody? Now that girl was definitely his type. “She’s so hot!”

“You think everyone is hot.”

“No, she is definitely hot. And did you see the way she looked at me? I think she likes me.”

Jin Soo groaned. Not this again. “You must introduce me,” he mouthed at the same moment Ji Won said those words.

“Forget it. I’m not introducing you.” Jin Soo looked at Ji Won and sneered at him. He generally ignored his requests for an introduction but this time, the fact that Ji Won had the gall to ask him really annoyed him.

“Why? Why? Is it my fault that you’re practically gay and don’t notice all the pretty women around you? So why can’t you just let me show them a good time? Especially when she’s clearly interested. Did you see how she smiled when she saw me? It was like she’d finally found her prince. At least do it for her.”

Jin Soo hissed at him and began to walk away.

But Ji Won followed him. “What’s her name? Where is she from? Where does she live? Do you have her number?”

As Ji Won kept rattling out his numerous questions about Eun Young, Jin Soo looked at him and made a decision. “If you’re not too busy, why don’t you come with me to the coffee shop?”


Eun Young sat in the computer room, trying to do some homework. Her plan had been to print out the notes then head over to the drugstore and buy a few things before her next class began. But instead of leaving the lab the minute after printing out the notes, she’d found an excuse to stay sitting. First it was catching up on the news on Yahoo!. Then it was connecting with her relatives on ICQ. When she got tired of that, she decided that she might as well try to get some homework done. And the whole time, all she could think about was that he’d suggested they study together. And before she could leave the computer lab, she had to know what that meant. Did that mean he wanted to study right now? Or in the future? Or always? Would he ask for her number or not? She’d sat there for thirty minutes, hoping to get that answer and within that time, had looked at the door every time she’d heard it open. And each time, it had been someone else. So sat there as more minutes passed by, hoping that he’d show up and that they could finish their conversation. And when it was time for her next class and she shut the computer room door behind her, she couldn’t help but feel disappointed.


Hee Soo and Eun Young were sitting on the carpet eating popcorn and watching a movie. It had been over a day since she’d seen Jin Soo and Eun Young thought that maybe it would make sense to talk to her friend about it. She took a deep breath in and said, “So, Annoying Guy….”

“Yeah?” Hee Soo said, tearing her eyes from the television screen and looking at her.

Eun Young looked away shyly. “Don’t laugh but….”

“You like him?” Hee Soo yelled before bursting out laughing and clapping. “I knew it! I’ve never heard you talk about any guy this much! Not even when you were dating Goo Jae Hee and you were with him for almost a year.”

Eun Young frowned. This girl sure loved to exaggerate. “Come on, give me a break. It’s not like that. I just have some thoughts… and think that he might not be so annoying after all.”

Hee Soo shook her head and tapped her finger on her lips with an exaggerated serious look. “Not so annoying after all, huh? So no more Annoying Guy? What should his new name be? Sexy-mofo-I-want-to-screw?” She laughed at her own joke.

Eun Young rolled her eyes. Her friend sure knew how to be irritating at the wrong times. “He’s still annoying but maybe not in such a bad way.” She laughed. Okay, that didn’t make any sense at all. “Whatever. He’s kinda fun.” She shrugged. “I’m just saying that I might give him a chance.”

“Give him a chance? Is he interested?”

“Possibly. I kind of get that vibe. He did ask to study together. That must mean something, don’t you think?” And why did she suddenly feel like an 8th grader?

Hee Soo’s expression suddenly changed. “Of course he would like you, given your luck,” she said a bit more spitefully than she would have liked. It wasn’t that she resented her friend but sometimes it was just a bit too much.

“Gosh, not this again,” Eun Young whispered before sighing in surrender. Why did this always have to come up?

“I’m sorry but I can’t help it. Kill me because I’m jealous, alright? Seems like every guy you like likes you back. And even the hot ones you don’t like still like you. For me, the guys I like never like me. And only ugly guys I don’t like like me. I’m going to die alone!" She hit the carpet in anger. "I wish I had your luck!”

Eun Young watched her and finally understood. “Things are really not going well with Cute Guy?” she asked softly.

She shook her head. “Remember how I told you about the awkward conversation we had?”


“Well, he showed up at the coffee shop yesterday with a friend and unless I’m imagining things, I think he was trying to hook us up.”

Eun Young giggled at the absurdness of the situation.

“Why are you laughing? It’s not funny.”

“I’m laughing because it doesn’t make sense. Why would he try to set you up with some guy when he doesn’t even know you?” she asked dismissively. “Does that even make sense?”

“I don’t know,” Hee Soo said, looking down dejectedly. “It just felt that way.”

“You must have misunderstood the situation. Besides, the fact he was introducing you to someone sounds like a good thing to me.”

“How?” Hee Soo asked skeptically.

“Maybe he wanted to get that guy’s opinion of you. You know what? Enough of this! We are two sexy, grown women who shouldn’t be spending their evenings wondering if this or that guy likes them or whatever. If we want something, we should go after it,” she said, raising her fist up. When Hee Soo didn't follow her lead and imitate the gesture, she put her hand back down and said, “You know your birthday brunch on Saturday?”


“You must invite him. And I’ll also invite Annoying Guy.”

“For real?” Hee Soo said, her mood suddenly brightening. This might work. Then her face colored again. “What if he says no?”

“Don’t let him. You can’t accept no for an answer. Make him come here and I’ll make Annoying Guy come here too. And we'd charm their pants off." She chuckled at the idea of charming Jin Soo. Was that even possible? But maybe she could at least help Hee Soo with her cute guy. She looked at her friend. "Deal?” she said, stretching her hand out.

Hee Soo shook it. “Deal.”

Chapter Four

“What are you doing on Saturday? What are you doing on Saturday? What are you doing… Saturday? Are you free on Saturday?” Eun Young practiced as she walked towards her classroom.

It wasn’t a big deal to ask a guy out. Granted, she’d never done it before but she was a strong, confident woman who didn’t have any reason to feel insecure or apprehensive about asking a mere guy out. She was a go-getter. A woman of the new millennium. A modern woman who could do anything better than a man.

“Anything you can do, I can do better,” she sang.

It was no big deal. She could do it. It was in the bag.

She grimaced. Even if she gave herself all the pep talks in the world, how come the idea of going to ask him to a freaking brunch just seemed so difficult? And she wasn’t asking him out on a date. No. As a concerned citizen, she was merely trying to improve his social life as she was sure he had none. Yes. Asking him to brunch wasn’t because she wanted to hang out with him and get to know him better and study together and all that other stuff. No. It was because she pitied him and wanted to help him meet more people.

She sighed. Okay, even the most delusional part of her knew that was a big fat lie. She straightened her back and tried to feel more confident. If she could make Hee Soo ask out the guy she was checking out at work, the least she could do was do the same with someone who, in her opinion, had shown some interest. Even if he wasn’t interested in her romantically, it did seem like he wasn’t averse to pursuing a friendship with her. At worst, it’s a friendship date. A friendship date was what it was.

She walked into the room feeling a little better. She’d phrase it like it was just a bunch of friends hanging out – which in truth it was. Friends hanging out together to celebrate another friend’s birthday. She walked towards her seat and when she was sure she’d gotten the look of nonchalance down to a tee, she looked up at him. But instead of seeing his usual smirk, she saw a girl with a short crop furiously writing something down as she listened to someone on the phone.

Okay, what the heck had happened and where was he? After a quick survey of the room, she found him sitting a few seats back, next to the girl who’d previously sat in his seat. And not only were they sitting together, they had both their phones out and he was smiling at her as she said something that must have been very interesting. Otherwise, why smile like that?

She immediately felt dejected. She’d seen that girl wave at him but she didn’t think he was interested. Had she been blind all this time? He said she was cute. Should she have paid more attention to his words then? All this while, she thought that he might he have been interested in her but were those mainly misinterpreted signals meant for another girl?

She sighed as she took her seat. Was it really all in my head?


Jin Soo grumbled to himself after he walked into the classroom and found some random girl sitting in his seat. Why couldn’t he be more like Eun Young? If he were, he’d have walked over and scared her so badly that anytime she saw his seat, she’d break out in hives. He would have smiled at the thought if he wasn’t watching her clearly flirting on the phone, unknowingly ruining all his plans.

Ever since Ji Won had spotted him talking to Eun Young, he’d been acting like a dog in heat, constantly asking him to hook them up. Jin Soo’s attempt at diverting his attention elsewhere had proven futile as suddenly, he was no longer interested in dating the waitress at the coffee shop and even if he were, it looked like she wasn’t interested in him. So for two days, he had had to deal with calls and emails from Ji Won asking if he’d gotten Eun Young’s number yet. And no, he hadn’t gotten it and even if had, he was absolutely not giving it to him.

Eun Young’s seat was still empty but he knew she’d kill him if he sat there so as he looked around the room, trying to figure out where to sit, he noticed his previous seat owner waving violently at him. He caught her eye but at that moment, regretted not thinking fast enough and pretending not to see her.

She smiled and waved at him to seat next to her and when he got to the seat, he thanked her.

“You’re welcome,” she said, beaming. “I’m Wang So Jung, by the way.”

Jin Soo sent her a tight smile. “Nice to meet you. I’m Han Ji Won.”

“Nice name. I’m been meaning to talk to you since you stole my seat,” she said, giving him her most flirtatious smile.

“I’m sorry about that.” He put his bag on the table and pulled out his books. He turned his face away from her and frowned. Where the hell was he professor?

“It’s no big deal. So that pretty girl you usually sit next to… she isn’t your girlfriend, is she? I don’t think she is.”

Jin Soo thought for a moment. Should he lie or not?

Just as he was about to nod, she said, “I don’t think she is. Because I saw you guys fighting over that seat some weeks ago. It was so funny.”

“Oh,” was all he could say.

“Good.” She pulled out her phone. “What’s your major?”


She raised her brow. “Medicine? Perfect. So we should meet up from time to time to talk about our assignments and stuff. What’s your number?" She looked at his phone which was laying next to his textbook. "I’ll call your phone so you can store mine too. I’m really glad I finally got to speak to you today.”


“Ji Won ssi, what do you think of this professor?” Wang So Jung said as soon as class ended. “He’s pretty boring, don’t you think?”

It took a few seconds for Jin Soo to realize that she was speaking to him. “He’s okay,” he said as he quickly gathered his books. His attention was focused on Eun Young who he saw was already heading out of the room. “I have to run now. I’ll catch you later.” He picked up his bag and dashed after Eun Young.

Since the entire class was also leaving at the same time and blocking his way, he couldn’t quite catch up to her as quickly as he would have liked. But when he finally saw her in the hallway, and before he could call out her name, he saw some guy smile before wrapping his arm around her.


“Noona, what’s up?” Eun Young’s cousin, Do Woo said, giving her a side hug.

Eun Young scrunched her nose in irritation. After the disappointment she’d had to face only minutes earlier, the last person she wanted to see was him. She tried to shrug his arm off her but he wouldn’t let go. “What do you want?”

“Noona, is this how you greet your beloved cousin who’s been waiting for you?” Before enrolling, the thought of attending the same university as his cousin had irked him to no end but nowadays, he had to admit that there were some advantages to knowing a girl on campus who hung around hot girls.

When Eun Young simply knew Do Woo as the cousin she teased when they met a few times a year, she liked him a lot. Now that he was the cousin she went to school with… not so much. “How did you even know I’d be here?”

“I have my ways. So I heard you’re having a party.”

Of course he'd heard. “Which party and who told you?” she said as she walked towards the exit. Still holding her, her cousin walked with her.

“The one you’re having tomorrow. How can you have a party and not invite me?” He pouted and gave her his famous puppy dog look.

Eun Young ignored the look. “It’s for grown ups.”

He ignored her jab. “Hee Soo noona will be there, won’t she?”

“Yes. And no, I am not going to hook you guys up. How many times will I tell you you’re just too young for her?”

“But I’m only two years younger!” he protested. “How am I too young? It’s only two years!”

“Yes, when the guy is two years older than the girl, then they are pretty much agemates – two years means nothing. But when the girl is two years older, it’s almost like a fifteen-year age difference. So please, do yourself a favor and forget her.” She unwrapped his arm from her shoulder. “And face your studies or whatever.” She quickened her pace but he matched it and caught up with her.

“Whatever. I’m coming to the party. What time is it? Think about it, how can Hee Soo noona’s future husband not wish her a happy birthday?”

“It’s not a party. We’re just having brunch at our apartment and after that, we’re going to the amusement park.”


“Forget it. She has a boyfriend,” Jin Soo said on the phone as he walked into the coffee shop.

“Don’t lie. She hasn’t met me yet so how can she have a boyfriend?” Ji Won replied from the other end of the line.

“Look, I am not in the mood for this, okay? I just saw them holding each other so I know she has a boyfriend. Please stop bothering me about this!” Jin Soo hung up without waiting to hear anything else. Why was everything so frustrating?

He sat at his usual table and before he could take out his books, heard, “Black coffee and a slice of banana nut bread?” the waitress-whose-name-he-couldn’t-quite-remember-even-though-she’d-told-him-multiple-times said.

He nodded with a fatigued smile. “Yes. But today, make it two slices.”

“Hard day?” Hee Soo asked in an understanding tone.

“Yeah, you could say that.”

She felt a little bit relieved. He was smiling at her and not smiling through her and despite the fact that they’d only exchanged a few sentences, the conversation was already going better than it usually did. It was time to take the plunge. “I think I know something that can make you feel better.” As soon as she said that, she wondered if it sounded too corny.

He gave her a questioning look.

“What are you doing on Saturday? As in tomorrow?”

The expression on his face didn’t change. If anything, he looked a bit more confused.

“I’m kind of having a party… as in a birthday party—”

Jin Soo tried his best not to groan. “Oh, I don’t like parties—”

“… for my birthday.”

“Happy birthday.”

“Thank you. Actually, my birthday is today.” Which wasn’t true. Her birthday was the next day but it occurred to her that she might have to play a little dirty. He was clearly trying to decline the invitation but as she’d promised Eun Young, she wasn’t going to let him. “You won’t refuse a girl’s request on her birthday, would you? And it’s not really a party. It’s just brunch with some friends and my best friend makes the best coffee in the world.” She’d hoped that would at least pique his interest but there was no reaction from him. She continued. “Her grandfather played a huge role in establishing the current coffee culture in Korea and she’s even better than some baristas who’ve trained in Italy.”

“I’m sure that’s an exaggeration.”

“No, it’s not. You must come over and taste it. If you don’t, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.”

“I’m sure I’ll….” It wasn’t that he had somewhere better to be but the idea of attending a party hosted by people he didn’t even know didn’t sound too appealing. And why was she inviting him anyway? She couldn’t possibly be interested in him too, could she?

The expression on his face wasn’t too promising so Hee Soo decided to throw out her pride. She already knew that Eun Young would have no problem inviting Annoying Guy to her party so she had to succeed with this guy – her ego wouldn’t be able to survive it otherwise.

“You’re not going to say no, are you? The brunch starts at 10 and is only an hour long so you can just stop by for a few minutes. I just really want you to taste the coffee. If you don’t come I’ll be really upset and I’ll never wait on you again. And I’ll tell my co-workers what a mean guy you are and you won’t be able to show your face here again. Is you refusing to come by and taste the world’s greatest coffee worth having to find a new coffee shop because you can’t come here any more? Just come by for a few minutes. Between 10 and 11 tomorrow morning. Hold on. Let me give you my address and I’ll also put my number there so you can call me if you get lost.”


“It looks like he really isn’t coming.”

Eun Young looked at the wall clock – it was already 10:40. Yeah, he probable wasn’t going to show up. She shook her head. They were both rather pathetic, weren’t they? How could they call themselves strong women? They couldn’t even manage to get two guys to show up at their place.

“What a freaking disaster this turned out to be. You couldn’t get that assh.ole Annoying Guy to come because he prefers some ugly girl and Ugly Guy completely dissed me even though I pretty much embarrassed myself begging him to come. Eun Young ah, we need to develop better taste in men.”

“Forget about all that. You should be enjoying your birthday and not worrying about some stupid guy. Go and talk to your guests instead of worrying about that idiot.”

They’d invited about twenty close friends but if they counted those who’d simply shown up for food and left, had probably hosted almost eighty people. But it was expected anyway. Whenever there was news of free food, college students were expected to show up. Which was why Hee Soo had cooked up a storm that morning.

“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised he didn’t come. He’s clearly not interested in me. I don’t know, maybe he thinks I have cooties?” She put her hands up in defeat. “I should have read the signs instead of sinking further in my delusion.”

Normally, Eun Young would have provided some words of encouragement but even she couldn’t come up with something to say.

“I already told you to forget about this nonsense. Forget about men. Unless,” she said raising her eyebrows up and down teasingly, “you don’t mind Do Woo. He came here just for you.”

Hee Soo hissed and frowned. “I already told you that he’s cute and all but I don’t believe in cradle robbing.”

Eun Young laughed. “Well, if you ever change your mind, let me know.”

“I’m not that desperate.”

Eun Young’s laughter suddenly stopped when she noticed someone walk through the door. “What’s he doing here?” she whispered to herself. She blinked a few times to make sure she wasn’t imagining things. The hell? What was Lee Jin Soo doing at her place? In a matter of seconds, she went from being stunned to feeling pleasantly surprised. How in the world did he find her and instead of feeling flattered, should she be slightly worried that he had some stalking tendencies?

“Eun Young ah, what’s with that expression on your face?” Hee Soo asked. When she turned to see what her friend was looking at, she spotted Jin Soo. “OH MY GOD!”

Eun Young was immediately awoken from her daze. “What? What?”

“He’s here! Oh my God, he’s here!”

“Who’s here?”

“Him! Cute Guy. I can’t believe he came! I’m freaking out. He came! I knew he’d come! What do I look like? WHAT DO I LOOK LIKE?”

Eun Young was still confused. He really came? This late? “Where? Where? Which one?”

“That one over there. In the tan shirt. Wearing glasses.”

Eun Young look around the room. There were a couple of guys with tan shirts. There was also a couple of guys wearing glasses. But when she narrowed it down to one guy wearing both, in the direction Hee Soo was pointing at, her heart sank. No, that couldn’t be right. There was no way it was right. Jin Soo hadn’t come for her but for Hee Soo?

She looked over at Hee Soo and there was no mistaking it. The guy her eyes were transfixed on was Lee Jin Soo. The guy that was cluelessly walking around trying to find someone wasn't looking for her but for her very best friend. She shook her head at the absurdity of the entire thing. How ridiculous.

“Eun Young, I don’t think he can see us so I’m going over to him. I’ll bring him here and introduce you. He came! He really came!” She gave her a quick hug. “This was the best idea ever. I’m glad you made me invite him. I love you.”


“You don’t mind making a fresh pot for him, do you?” Hee Soo said with a wide smile as she held Jin Soo’s hand and followed Eun Young to the kitchen. Shortly after she’d met him and made the introductions, he’d reminded her of the coffee she’d spoken so highly about.

“Hee Soo, where did you put my purse? I can’t find it,” one of their friends said from the doorway.

Hee Soo hissed loudly. Of all times to be bothered. She hadn’t even spent up to five minutes with him and someone was already taking her away. She shyly looked at his face then quickly looked away before giggling to herself. Oh, he was just so cute.

“Hee Soo yah, please hurry up.”

“Jin Soo ssi, I have to go for a bit. Do you want to come with me?” I was weird to ask him to come to her bedroom to stand and watch as she tried to remember where she’d kept her friend’s purse but on the other hand, she really didn’t want to leave him with Eun Young. What if history repeated itself and he ended up falling for her? She glanced at Eun Young who looked a hundred percent focused on making the coffee. There was nothing about her demeanor that gave Hee Soo any cause for concern. If anything, she was being a bit standoffish. Hee Soo, have more confidence in yourself! And she really didn’t like herself when she became resentful of Eun Young’s ability to attract guys. She shook it off. Yes, it was okay for her to leave them alone for a few minutes – nothing bad could come out of it. No, she wouldn’t give in to her insecurities. “Or if you don’t mind waiting here, I’ll quickly attend to this and return.”

“No problem.” He smiled, glad that she’d finally let go of his hand. “I’ll wait here.”

“Eun Young, take care of him for me.”

Glad to be finally alone with her, Jin Soo watched as Eun Young poured some coffee in the coffee filter. He'd been shocked when Hee Soo had introduced them but when Eun Young had stretched out her hand to him, clearly pretending to have never met him, he'd replied in kind.

“You’re the last person I expected to see here.” But seeing her had made the entire trip worthwhile. He'd intentionally arrived late so that he could show his face without having to hang around for too long but now he wished he’d arrived on time.

“Yeah?” Even though Eun Young had made sure her eyes had stayed directly on the coffee, her senses were entirely on him. She still couldn’t believe that all this while, Hee Soo had been talking about Jin Soo. Seeing how happy she was, could she even tell her about the girl in their class? And was he some kind of player?

“You mean to say you’re the girl who’s better than baristas who’ve studied in Italy?”

“Hee Soo said that?”


“She exaggerates a lot.”

“I was looking forward to tasting this amazing coffee. Now that I see who’s making it, I am sure it will disappoint me,” he joked.

Eun Young knew that it was meant to be funny but she just wasn’t in the mood to laugh.

He waited for a retort and was disappointed when he got none. What was going on? He studied her face and even though she looked calm, he could tell that the mood between them was different from it had ever been. Plus, she’d barely looked at him that day.

He sat on a stool and watched as she brewed the coffee. He didn’t know a lot about the process of making coffee but as he watched her in action, he knew he was watching a professional.

“You’re not going to say anything?” he asked softly.


“Like how I must be stalking you or something?”

She smiled. “Why would I say that? I know Hee Soo invited you.”

“You know?”

“She’s my best friend. I met her at orientation and we’ve been close since then. You go to the coffee shop she works at, don’t you?”

“Yes.” Not liking where the conversation was going, Jin Soo decided to change the subject. “Friday’s class… we missed each other, didn’t we?”

She shrugged. “Did we? We don’t have to sit next to each other for every class, do we?”

At that moment, a guy walked into the kitchen and Jin Soo immediately recognized him as the person he’d seen with her the previous day. His body stiffened in response.

“Noona, what’s wrong with you? You’re supposed to be helping me with Hee Soo noona. It’ll soon be time for us to head to Everland. Can you make sure we sit together on the bus?”

“Please go away.”

Jin Soo smiled as the situation became clear. He felt the tension leave his body and he was suddenly in a good mood. He listened to their conversation as they kept bantering and after her cousin left, said, “Eun Young ssi, I was wondering… maybe after—”

“You know Hee Soo?” she said, interrupting him. “She’s my best friend.”

“You already mentioned that.”

She finally looked up at him and met his gaze. “She likes you a lot.”


“You look surprised. You didn’t know? Why do you think she invited you?”

“She wanted me to taste some great coffee?” It wasn’t that he was surprised about Hee Soo’s feelings but that he was surprised at how direct Eun Young had been.

“I’ve known her for almost three years now.”

“You already said that.”

“I’ve only known you for a few weeks…”


“From the little I know of you, I think you’ll be perfect together.”

He shook his head and looked down. Of course things would turn out this way. Things were never simple in his world – it was like he was cursed or something.

“Absolutely perfect,” she continued. “So I hope you’ll come to see that too and give it a chance. She's beautiful and kind and any man would be lucky to have her.” She placed a mug of steaming coffee right in front of him. “Enjoy.” She nodded towards the door. “I’ll go and get Hee Soo now.” As she walked out of the kitchen, sure that her words carried no weight with him, she wondered if it was possible for him to have a happy ending with Hee Soo. But if there was anything she knew, it was that there was no future for her and Annoying Guy. It was funny how life turned out sometimes.

Jin Soo watched as the tight smile she’d kept on her face disappeared as she went through the door. He turned back to look at the mug in front of him. It smelled great and was the only good thing left about the morning – not with that hint that she’d just dropped like an anvil. Even a blind man could see that she wanted him to be with her friend. Just like one could lie by omission, what is possible to reject by diversion?

He recounted the events of the last twenty four hours and was amazed at how quickly things could change. One minute he was thinking of asking her out. The next minute he was convinced she was already taken. And just when he discovered he was wrong and was going back to his original plan, she rejected him before he could even say a word.
He snorted. Was this really happening? He hung his head back in resignation. It was probably for the best anyway. After all, he’s sworn off crazy women. Maybe God had done him a favor.

“Jin Soo ssi, you’re here?” Hee Soo said as she walked into the kitchen approximately one minute later. “Why are you hiding? Everyone is getting ready to leave for the amusement park so we’ll be leaving soon. So,” she said, smiling at him. “What do you think of the coffee?”

Finally remembering the reason he was there in the first place, Jin Soo sat up straight. He smiled at her then took a sip of the now slightly cooler drink – it was perfect.




“Eun Young ah, can you please make sure he’s still there?”

Eun Young groaned. Not again. This was the third time Hee Soo was making her walk outside to make sure the groom was still standing there. “I don’t have to go out to make sure that he’s still there because he’s still there!”

“Please,” she said, putting her hands together in a begging pose. “Just one more time.”

Eun Young sighed, walked to the door and peeked outside. And just like she expected, Jin Soo was standing next to his uncle and aunt and greeting guests as they walked into the hall behind him.

She turned around and back to her friend. “He’s still there. And why wouldn’t he? Didn’t he propose to you? Aren’t you guys in love? Why would he choose to ditch you on your wedding day?” she spat out in exasperation. “Or is there something you’re not telling me?”

“Yes, he proposed to me. We are in love. I don’t know why he would choose to ditch me on our wedding day but when I think of the journey we’ve been on, I can’t believe it’s happening,” she said as tears welled up in her eyes. “Deep inside, I’m scared that he might be too good for me.”

On seeing that, Eun Young moved closer and carefully hugged her friend, making sure their make up didn’t smear on either of their dresses.

“He’s not too good for you. What’s so special about him? Aren’t you the newest lawyer at Kim, Park and Choi? What’s so great about him? He’s still an intern at a hospital.”

Hee Soo chuckled despite herself. “That’s not what I mean.”

“Then what could you possibly mean? There’s no reason for you to be insecure about this at all. Unless there’s something else.” She had a nagging feeling that her friend was hiding something. She knew about people having cold feet before their wedding but she’d never heard of a bride getting cold feet on behalf of her groom. “There’s nothing else, is there?”

She shook her head. “Of course there’s nothing else – I guess I’m just being silly.

Eun Young grabbed a tissue and very carefully wiped her tears. She reached over for some make up and carefully reapplied her concealer.

Hee Soo sat still and smiled. What would she do without her in her life? She was the best friend anyone could ask for – which made her feel worse every time she lied to her.

The truth was, she really was keeping something to her. When Hee Soo had announced eight months earlier that she and Jin Soo were engaged, she couldn’t help but register the shock on her friend’s face. And she had every reason to react that way because the last she’d heard, she and Jin Soo had ended their fifteen-month relationship. When asked to explain the turn of events, Hee Soo had made up a story of how a drunk Jin Soo had come over to her place, confessed that he couldn’t live without her and proposed.

What had really happened was that a month earlier, after gathering some liquid courage with the help of three bottles of soju, Hee Soo had gone over to his place to find an equally drunk Jin Soo. One thing led to another and they both woke up the next morning lying next to each other with Hee Soo only wearing a bra and the rest of their clothes scattered all over his living room.

Not long before she’d made the engagement announcement to Eun Young, she’d taken an e.p.t test that read positive. Panicked, she’d called Jin Soo and after he’d gotten over his initial shock, said that he didn’t think it was right for her to have an abortion. So he proposed that they get married as he didn’t want to disappoint his family and was sure she didn’t want to do the same.

However, even after Hee Soo had relayed to him that her doctor had informed her that the test had given a false positive reading and that the absence of her period was entirely stress related, he hadn’t said anything about calling off the wedding.

Love was selfish and Hee Soo wasn’t stupid. It had taken her six months of flirting to finally get him to ask her out and once they were in a relationship, she'd made sure she was good to him. And while he was also good to her, she often felt that he never really fell in love with her. But since he proposed, she was going to marry him. And as she picked out a hall and chose her flowers and wedding dress, she rationalized it by believing that she had enough love for both of them. Being with the man of her dreams was all that mattered, right? And maybe she was wrong about him and he really was in love with her. Otherwise, why would he continue with the wedding plans?

But as the day approached, she’d begun to feel more and more unsettled and knew that she wouldn’t fully breath easily till he said, “I do.”

“Perfect,” Eun Young declared as soon as she was done with Hee Soo’s make up. “You are absolutely gorgeous. Jin Soo is going to just die when he sees you.” And she meant every word of it. She couldn’t be happier for them.

Yes, she’d been disappointed when he turned out to be the guy Hee Soo was crushing on but she’d decided that it was no big deal. They’d remained Creative Writing 101 seatmates and still chatted before each class but it never went beyond that. It was one of those things where they got along when they were together but never followed it up by trying to meet each other at other times. Even though he and Hee Soo didn’t start dating for a while, Eun Young knew he was off-limits and treated him as such.

And after he and Hee Soo became a couple, they’d maintained their friendly but distant relationship throughout the years except for an entire week shortly after his mother died when he’d called her every night just to talk. On those nights, she’d generally just listened to him speak about a bunch of things, none of which was his mom, and offer input here and there. But the phone calls had ended abruptly - much like they'd begun.

She’d never told Hee Soo about the true identity of Annoying Guy nor about the late night phone calls Jin Soo had made shortly before they broke up. Sometimes, she felt like she’d been keeping secrets from her, but then at other times, she realized that telling her would just create unnecessary, unjustified drama. Hee Soo was happy with her cute guy and that was all that mattered.

And as for her, Jin Soo had introduced her to a different kind of annoying guy on one of the rare occasions that she’d tagged along on their date and although Han Ji Won was as odd as Jin Soo had described, he also made her laugh and was generally entertaining – even if he did go overboard from time to time. So in some way, both of them had gotten what they wanted. Hee Soo was with her cute guy and she was with her annoying guy.

“Hee Soo, it’s time!” her mother said from the doorway.

Hee Soo looked at her friend as tears threatened to escape her eyes. “It’s really happening!”

“Yes, it is,” Eun Young replied, matching her enthusiasm. She gave her one last quick hug. “Be happy.”

Some Coffee House Goodies I've found

Since I have this blog with just four chapters, I figured that I might as well post the other stuff I've found in the last few months. They've all been posted at soompi and my main blog.