Lee Hongbin had never been the one to accept being thrown around by life. He always tries to the best of his ability to predict the world around him, to prepare himself, and be careful with every step that he takes. Because he never enjoys the feeling of getting laugh at, and he much prefer the position when he takes the last laugh.
That has been true since he was in middle school. He always try to be as perceptive as he can, predicting what his peers will say, trying to weigh consequences and place himself in the winning side. That instinct got stronger when he debuted with VIXX nearly 6 years ago, because then -more than ever- he know one wrong step can destroys everything. He has been the utmost careful, to a point where it feels constricting at times. And he fully realize that he is no Jaehwan, nor Wonshik, nor Hakyeon that will be able to push aside a small mistake and cover it with their abundant talent. Hongbin has been struggling to prove that he is more than just a pretty face, and he deserves his position next to his brothers with VIXX.
This habit shapes the person that he grew up to be. He is careful, very careful, and judges everything on his feet. He is very cautious with his youth, he tried dating here and there during their down time, and when you are Lee Hongbin, there are many of those compared to the older 4 members of the group. But he always got too caught up in his own head, he was being unfair to his partners. He is not like Sanghyuk that can have a lighter steps and take dating with a little more fun. Sometimes he envies the ability of his dongsaeng to be able to casually see people, take them to a date or two, stay out the night and came back to their shared living space close to dawn with a giddy smile on his face.
Thus when he received a call from his high school classmate in November of 2017 he was shocked. It’s not like he was not glad that one of his ex-classmates tried to contact him, but it was just unexpected. Especially when they just had a mini reunion a little over a month ago.
Her name was Choi Eunjung. He met her on the last year of high school, when his math grade pushed him through the list of student and landed him in the A class, the only co-ed class in his school. She was smart and pretty, with a cute laugh. But he never said anything because he was too busy training to get to where he eventually got. And because of the same reason he never tried to get closer to her. So when the class decided to meet up to catch up and she happened to be there, he strike a conversation.
It was late, nearing midnight. Hongbin was about to rebooth his computer to start his nightly gaming routine. The air was cold and so was the dorm. He picked up her call and was welcomed with a long pause.
“Yoboseyo? Eungjung-a? Are you alrigh?” he said into his phone. His brain started recapping the worst case scenario on why she would have called. His mind raced back to that night his class decided to meet for food and drinks on a casual Thursday.
It started off nice and warm with them catching up on what everybody had been up to, jobs and master degrees. Hongbin tried to push away the attention from himself to other people. Eunjung had showed up a little late, having to stay a little later with her research, she sat across from Hongbin. And she successfully became his escape, when asked about how she was doing and what she was up to. Eunjung jumped straight on explaining about her master’s degree research and potential of a fellowship with her professor.
The two get on talking, reminiscing the time when they were young and the only worry that haunts them are the prospect of getting into a good university. Something that Hongbin can only halfway share, since nearing his graduation he was already busy with training under Jellyfish, hoping to debut as a singer-songwriter. His worry was only to get into any music university to catch him if debuting was not an option for him. But it was refreshing to talk to someone that is not from the entertainment industry, because one knows how isolating it is when your life is under watch of hundreds and thousands of people. Eunjung still have the same bell like laugh that she had back in high school, when he would only look at her from across the classroom.
As the night drawn on, alcohol had piled up and poured. Being a strong drinker than he is, Hongbin was not worried about drinking too much, he just let the mood take him. The group then decided to hit a night club after dinner. A weird decision for it being a Thursday, but Hongbin played along and shuffle in the cold to a nearby night club. In there more drinking happened, and since the club was not packed the group were able to get a big sofa with no problem.
More bottles were opened and bodies got moving. Hongbin sat on the couch with a smile on his face as he was watching his former class president danced his booty off on the dance floor not too far away. Movement not as smooth not attractive, but at least he was having fun, unguarded. That was when he noticed Eunjung was also sitting on the sofa, not too far away from him.
“You’re not going to dance?” he started, sliding closer to her so that he doesn’t have to wreck his throat trying to speak over the blasting speakers.
“Not much of a dancer, I’d rather watch.” She said, her eyes away from him and on the dancing bodies of the dance floor. “Say, Hongbin, is it lonely where you are?” her words are a little slurred.
“What are you talking about?”
“Where you are, with the cameras and the work and the practice. Is it lonely??” she stared into him.
He was taken aback with her sudden interest in his life. Although he was a strong drinker, he already had quite some in his system that compelled him to just answer her. “Sometimes it gets lonely and repetitive, I don’t get to meet many people outside work, and you know members and staff. Why do you ask?”
“Because I’m lonely. In the last year all I see was that old twat professors and monkeys, sometimes hamsters. People, not so much. People our age, not at all!!” she yelled close to his ears, to be heard over the loud music. “This girl is DRY! Have not been with anyone in a long time. Too dry with many data, data of moisture but never moist.” To anyone sober enough it would be obvious that Eunjung is too far gone to be taken home on her own two feet, the amount of alcohol in her tiny frame could drown an elephant.
At this point of the conversation she was hardly making any sense. But Hongbin doesn’t care, he was staring at the way that her neck moved with every word she emphasize, and the way that her lips popped out in a silly way, signs of a hazy mind. It doesn’t help Hongbin either when her hands moved to grip on his own, moving them around as she wallow in her state of loneliness in the path of becoming a microbiologist- or neurologist- or something, one of those –ist that Hongbin cannot remember.
And soon she was laughing, bell like chimes that filled his ears. She was leaning into him and he found himself giggling along, silly to the stomach and he let her lean closer to his warm body as laughter bubbles around them.
When the laughter was gone, they no longer remember what they started for. And left with a silence a little less than comfortable. At that moment, nobody knew who started and nobody cared. Their faces leaned into each other and their lips met. The kiss hurriedly became urgent and temperature between the two risen.
In a hastle Hongbin pulled out his wallet and threw a couple hundred thousand won on the table and drag Eunjung along out of the club. Stumbling around with their coat in the cold November night, the two didn’t seem to care, as they were once again enveloped in a tight giggle gas. Hands clutching at each other and lips tugging up to show rows of white straight teeth.
Miraculously they find their way into the lobby of Hongbin’s hotel room. He has half a mind to book a hotel room to stay the night in case something exactly like this happen. That he got lucky and manage to bring someone with him for the night, he was never comfortable enough to bring a girl home to the dorm and there was a general unspoken agreement between the members that you don’t bring one night stands home. But he never planned on getting this drunk.
The elevator ride to his floor was quick but heir kisses escalated, as well as the volume of their laughter. He remembered his back sore because on the way that they stumbled to his room, his back was pushed against ornate walls one too many times.
He didn’t remember much after their heavy bodies hit the bed, at that point he can’t tell apart whose hands from the other. And he woke up to a cold bed and pounding head ache.
From his phone, he heard a deep sigh. Breaking his train of thoughts.
“Hongbinnie….” She quietly said. “Hongbin-a… I am pregnant.”