Coffee Shop Love [Part 2]
Genre: Romance, Fluff, Angst
Characters: Park Jihoon x Reader (Y/N = Your Name)
Plot: This might sound like your typical Korean drama scenario
(cue coffee prince) where a barista finds himself falling heads over heels for a customer and vice versa, or at least that is what Y/N thought. Who knew that she might actually have met her first love in a place as simple as a quiet coffee shop off the streets of Hongdae?
A/N: And this is the second part of the fully written one shot from me as a gift of appreciation for all my readers, followers or people who have reblogged and liked my content. :’) Just wanted to say that I am super grateful for all the positive feedback so far ( @commedestae and @jihoonslattee ) and it really did make my day after a tiring day at school! Hence, here I am again with the second part and I hope that you guys would enjoy it as much as the first one! ^^ Once again, happy reading!
PART 1 | PART 2
Warning: Mentions of sexual harassment
From that day onwards, it turned out that we did see each other more often, apart from going to the cafe. When he was off work, we would find ourselves back in the cafe anyway, but this time, instead of being the one serving me, he became my study buddy. Despite the occasional coos from his co-workers, he would brush them off and shake his head. If I did have a problem, he would help me straight away and would explain the solution thoroughly and easily.
Apart from studying, there were days when we would casually hang out after school. He would pick me up and we would have lunch together, either at a traditional fast food restaurant or even a hearty meal of street food. During the weekends, we would decide to take a walk at the Hangang River, ordering fried chicken when we finally stopped to take a rest and sipping on icy cold cider to beat the heat of the up and coming summer.
From the time spent together, I started seeing him past his looks and realised that it was only a bonus that the Almighty had probably blessed him with. True enough, he was a very sweet and loving boy, putting his friends and family first before himself. He was not much of a talker, but his company was enough to make one feel comfort and ease, and one could easily talk to him about one’s problems. He would not interrupt and would simply stare at you and listen to what you would have to say before giving his input.
He was also caring, making sure that I was always okay whenever we went out. If I made a statement saying that I was hungry or thirsty to no one in particular, he would come back with food and drinks in hand, to my surprise. Also, he would tend to pick up my favourite foods when I was simply craving for them and occasionally treated me to almost everything. Of course, there were many days (after much protests) and we would go dutch, but we always shared with one another anyway, whether it was food, thoughts or simply casual conversation about everything and anything under the sun.
The months passed and despite the stresses of our CSATs, we had managed to pull through, encouraging one another to keep pressing on. We met each other more often during that period because his boss had given the final year high school students a month’s break to study and consolidate all the material that they possibly needed to sit for the “most important examination of our lives”. Jihoon was a little less confident than usual, but we became each other’s support system and hoped for the best. When I could not sleep, he would pull off all-nighters with me, or come to my place with energy bars and drinks (not like my parents minded since they love him so much).
Hence, there came the day when my friend had convinced me to confess to him. It was a gamble that I was taking, but she said that I was already “too far gone to be saved” and it was up to me now to decide what I wanted to do with my feelings.
“Go big or go home.” That was what she always told me.
Unfortunately, I got a call and ran late due to the fact that my part time job employer had arranged for an interview and there I was, not exactly showing up in the most proper attire for the interview but I had no choice. I mean, who would not want to be the photography intern for Cosmopolitan Korea? It was crazy if I wanted to give it up because this was not an opportunity to be missed and hence, I threw all caution to the wind and showed up in smart casual attire. The interviewers were not surprised, and said that I was probably the most simply dressed one for the day.
By the time I was done with my interview, changed and ready to go with my plans to confess, it was already sunset and the area was bound to bounce back to life at night time. It did not help that it was a weekend and it was nearing Winter soon, explaining the reason why most people found themselves frequenting bars more often due to the cold. I had arrived in the district and tried my best to put on a brave front, even though there was numerous catcalling from some clearly drunken men down the bars that I had walked past.
To my shock and horror, there was a sign outside Angelinus Coffee and it read,
“We are having a staff meeting today and hence, Angelinus Coffee House is closed earlier for the day. Do come back again tomorrow and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. If you have any enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact 82-445-354-92! If you happen to be looking for anyone (why would you?), he will be done by 10pm. Thank you very much!
Angelinus Coffee House team”
It was an adorable note and I had a feeling that it had to be written by one of the baristas, just by the tone of it. It was already 9pm, so it won’t hurt to wait another hour right?
Hence, I took refuge outside the door and watched the world go by. I saw a couple of cars come and go, with some of them blasting music so loud that one could clearly hear the bass and the beat of the music. There was no way that I would have walked back to the line of bars, even if it was more lively and less secluded.
Little did I know that I was actually being followed from the row of bars and I was soon confronted by 3 young men dressed in suits, looking like they were barely 25 and reeking of cigarette smoke and alcohol; it was revolting to say the least.
“Isn’t this the girl who played so terribly hard to get just now?” One man spoke (or more like slurred) and stepped even closer, looking down at me with clearly hazed eyes and a drunken mind that could not think straight, “What about you accompany us back tonight? We could have soooo much fun and you would never forget a night like this.”
“Thank you for the kind offer,” I replied sarcastically, “but I am waiting for a friend and he will be out soon. Leave me alone please.”
I tried to steel myself but I could feel the chills down my spine and my hands were starting to become clammy and uncomfortable as they started to sweat. At this point, I did not know whether my pupils were actually shaking because of the fear, but I definitely tried to hold my ground, standing firm. This was not a Korean drama, and I definitely did not believe there would be a knight in shining armour coming anytime soon.
Little did I expect a push to my head and a relatively light slap and I could tell that the man was livid with anger. His friends looked like they could not give two hoots about the situation and only laughed, before one of them said, “I suggest you come with us if you actually do want to see the sunrise tomorrow.”
And I soon found myself being gripped by the wrist and dragged away from the cafe. I tried, I really did, to break free from his grasp but he was way too strong for me.
“LET GO!” I shouted, but he only gripped my hand harder and I will definitely not be surprised if I found my wrist bruised tomorrow with the shape of a palm and 5 fingers.
“Hey!” A familiar voice shouted from across the road and I heard quick footsteps behind me, almost like the person was running, “What do you think you are doing?”
The men turned around, and they refused to let go of me still, but I turned around only to be faced with an angered and stern Jihoon. It was dark, but the streetlights did shine a little on his face, and he was found to be staring daggers into the souls of the men with his fists and jaw clenched tightly.
“Oh look who we have here. It’s a kid and a teenager too! Haven’t you learnt how to respect your elders, you young and insolent boy? She’s ours now and she’s gonna bring us so much entertainment tonight. Pity you can’t join because you would have to go home before momma scolds you.”
The rest of the guys were ready to go after Jihoon, but he clearly had enough backup to take down the 3 men when 10 other boys walked out curiously (looking confused and lost for some), but stared down at the men with the same intensity that Jihoon had initially, or perhaps some were even scarier and more intimidating after when they grasped the situation; one example being Seongwoo, known to be a charmer with the older ladies, but is not someone to be taken advantage of.
“Listen punk, in case you are wayyy too drunk to think,” He spoke with authority in his voice while grabbing the man’s collar, “We are definitely not appreciative of the fact that your lackey peed in front of our cafe. What did your parents teach you and how dare you waste your parents’ money? Also, how could you even have the audacity to touch a friend’s girl?”
I was a little surprised by the last question, but if I was smart, I would not complain and protest, standing quiet but ready to run when the situation allowed for it.
The men were clearly shaken by now as I felt the grip on my wrist loosen but he only gave a smug smile, before he attempted to use his leg and possibly attack him while his hands are not free. However, Seongwoo had quick reflexes and avoided the attack, before taking his wrist and pinning his arm on the man’s back. The man screamed in pain while his lackeys ran away and by then, he had already let go of me due to the pain that Seongwoo had just inflicted.
“I could break your arm if I wanted to, but I love this place a little too much to end up in jail for something that I did not do. Hence, I suggest you run along instead of being so stubborn and wanting to take us all down. I can warn you that there is absolutely no way in hell that you will be able to do that. If I see you again, God knows what I would do but I guess we would not want to find out, would we?”
And he ended off by pushing the man away with the latter running along, cursing under his breath as he turned his head occasionally to look at the team of baristas.
“Are you okay?? Did he hurt you? Did he do anything… you know… illegal?? I’m so sorry Y/N. You should have told me that you were coming and I would have come to see you straight away!” Jihoon asked with concern laced in his voice, dropping the facade of a fierce and angered teenager to the usual gentleness.
I chuckled sheepishly, still a little shaken from the entire incident before I found myself pulled into a hug. Jihoon’s grip was firm but secure, as his arms wrapped around my entire being with his head resting on my shoulder. I did not know what to do with my hands initially, but I wrapped my arms around him too, reciprocating the hug.
“I can’t believe that something dangerous almost happened to you, just like Kwonhyeop hyung. I’m glad you are still alive and well and you are not hurt. I cannot bear to lose you and what would I do if I did not come out of the meeting in time to notice a damsel in distress? What if—”
“Hey hey,” I responded, while patting his back, “I’m here now right? Stop worrying. I’m fine. I truly am, except with the fact that I might end up with a bruise on my wrist tomorrow from the jerk’s grip but I am okay, Jihoon. Thank you for coming out in time?”
“You don’t get it Y/N.” Jihoon said curtly, before letting me go and making eye contact with me this time around. His stare was a little intense but one knew that it was of no harmful intent. I looked at him in confusion, and raised my eyebrows, tilting my head to wonder why he would be so worked up all of a sudden.
“I like you Y/N. I really do. I’ve noticed you ever since you walked into the cafe for the first time and I made it a point to come every day at one point so that I could see you again and perhaps get the chance to know you a little better. You were a nice, gentle and sweet girl, and was equivalent to a ray of sunshine. You listened to me, tolerated my playful antics and accepted me for who I am, despite my difficult past. I did not plan to tell you this, but I was the one responsible for all the drinks you woke up to when you fell asleep at the cafe, except that I asked my co-workers to bring them to you so that you would not think I was a hopeless romantic or anything—”
With that, I mustered the courage to give him a quick kiss on the lips and he was stunned with his eyes open wide, while I was tempted to run as fast as I could from the embarrassment that came shortly after and I was grateful for the fact that it was in dimly lit alley so I could hide it well, but he pulled me back and kissed me again; longer this time. His lips were soft, a little chapped, but it was as if we fitted like a puzzle piece, like we were made for each other.
“WOAH. I didn’t come here to the back to see this. Congratulations kid, I’m so proud of you!” A voice was heard, and Jihoon broke away quickly, glaring at Jaehwan who pulled off a sheepish grin.
“Please continue and pretend that I’m not here. I don’t wanna be the cause of the anti-climax.”
“Hyung, you ARE the anti-climax.”
“Oh? Oops, didn’t mean to but I’m so glad this happened Y/N, he would not shut up talking about you. If he put all that description and sentiments in a book, it would be thicker than the entire Harry Potter series combined.”
Jihoon said nothing, but only stared at Jaehwan with the best death glare that he could muster, but Jaehwan only laughed a maniac-like laugh and walked back, saying, “Geez, calm down lover boy. I’m just confirming that the feelings are mutual.”
I laughed heartily at Jaehwan’s comment but proceeded to hug Jihoon tightly again and he did the same.
“I wanted to confess to you actually, and hence I brought these for you.” I said, and showed him the contents of the brown paper bag that I had been carrying for the longest time, consisting of my favourite soft baked chocolate chip cookies and my love letter that I had painstakingly written the night before.
“Awh Y/N, you shouldn’t have, but I do have something for you too. I was supposed to ask you out tomorrow actually, but the florist called and said that she would be closed tomorrow so I had no choice but to pick my bouquet and teddy bear up today. I hope they have not died yet.”
“They are still well and alive!! And by the way, it’s really pretty.” Another voice was heard, before laughter ensued and Jihoon slapped his forehead before looking back at his co-workers.
“Seriously guys, why do you have to ruin EVERYTHING for me?”
They only shrugged their shoulders, before getting excited all over again, as if they had never seen a couple get together before. In fact, they probably felt like they were watching a drama in real time and I only said, “Guys, we do feel a little bit uncomfortable so do you mind giving us a little time? We will join you, don’t worry!”
“See Jihoonie, all it needed was a little kindness. See you Y/N!”
“How did you even do that?” Jihoon asked and I shrugged my shoulders with a mischievous smile and all he did was laugh, ruffling my hair again for the nth time since I had met him. With that, he put his arm around me and walked me into the cafe, opening the door and trying his best to be a “gentleman”.
“Come on, get inside and I’ll prepare something warm to drink. Perhaps we can consider this our very first official date? I’ll prepare some hot chocolate or whatever you’d like for the both of us and we can go to the park to catch the stars, don’t you think?”