This was stupid , Yeonjun thought to himself as he looked at the two melting ice cream cones someone nearby had. He saw when the young man bought them and now, he saw them melt - he wondered how long he had been standing here beside his motorcycle.
It was the fourth time that Yeonjun checked his phone for a message he knew wouldn't be there. It was amazing how much rationalization the mind would create when the heart wanted to believe a lie. He should have left an hour ago but he made up excuse after excuse as to why his date would have been late ...the excuses should have stopped when twenty minutes passed and his phone didn't play that stupid notification jingle.
"Okay," Yeonjun muttered in annoyance. His fingers drummed against the motorcycle helmet in his hands; each beat gradually became more and more annoyed until he finally grew irritated at the sound. He reached for his phone once more. Hope fizzled out when there was no notification.
Now, it was official.
Choi Yeonjun had been stood up.
"What the hell?" Yeonjun asked no one in particular as he leaned against his motorcycle. Though he tried to convince himself that this hadn't happened, his expression betrayed him - his lips turned downward, tugged into an upset pout. He took a breath, sighed heavily as he hoped that no one else had noticed that he had been stood up.
With a final quick look, he realized that the boy with the two ice cream cones had also been here as long as he did. Yeonjun sighed as he unzipped his backpack; he quietly rummaged through it for whatever fast food napkins had been haphazardly jammed at the bottom of his bag - they were all from his favorite ramen place.
"Here," Yeonjun offered a fistful of napkins to the stranger.
The stranger looked up, eyes glassy with a hint of sadness. "Oh," he said as he was pulled out of a daze. He looked down at the melted ice cream cones in his hands, "Oh, damn."
Maybe Yeonjun hadn't been the only one waiting for someone.
The stranger quickly tossed the ice cream cones into the trash can as he grabbed the napkins from Yeonjun. The stranger's cheeks flushed with light pink as he bowed slightly. He let out a soft breath as he tried to wipe away the ice cream.
"You good?" Yeonjun asked politely.
The stranger pressed his lips together into a thin smile before he shook his head. His voice sounded nervous when he said, "I guess this is as good as I can be. Being stood up sucks."
Yeonjun blinked a few times before he let out a soft laugh. Incredible. The world worked in mysterious ways.
"You know what," Yeonjun nodded, "I feel that. I got stood up too."
"What? Mr. Hot Motorcycle Guy? You got stood up?"
Yeonjun shrugged, "I know, that's exactly what I was thinking. How could that happ--," he paused. As his eyes gently gazed over the stranger, he caught sight of the half-a-heart necklace the man wore. The jagged edges of the heart looked too familiar; the slightly worn-out etching of the word 'together' on the necklace was something Yeonjun had seen before. "Where did you get that necklace?"
The stranger's face lit up with cute confusion as he tilted his head to the side. His nimble fingers reached for the necklace, brushed over the pendant as he said, "The guy I was supposed to be meeting gave this to me. He had the other half of the heart, but on a bracelet."
That wasn't the first time that Yeonjun heard those words. He tilted his head to the side as he licked his bottom lip, frustrated that he knew those words.
"You know, the guy I was supposed to be meeting today gave me this," Yeonjun lifted his wrist up to show his bracelet, with the matching half of the stranger's heart pendant. He pressed his lips together in a frustrated sigh as he said, "I think we both got stood up by the same guy."
"Are you sure?" The stranger asked, "Do they even fit? What if they're different?"
Yeonjun shrugged as they brought their broken halves together and without much effort, the jagged edges of their hearts connected perfectly.
"Oh ...," the stranger said as he sat back down on the bench, defeated from that revelation. His eyes flickered left and right as he was trying to figure out an unknown puzzle. "I feel stupid now."
"You and me both," Yeonjun took the seat next to him. His eyes had sharpened, anger started to build up behind them. However, it seemed that for the stranger, it was more sadness than anger. Yeonjun shook his head and cleared his throat, "Looks like we're both members of the Broken Hearts Club, huh?"
"If we're going to be part of a club, we should at least pick a cooler name."
Yeonjun laughed, "Okay, you pick a name."
"You're the one who started it, you name it."
Yeonjun rolled his eyes and gently nudged his elbow into the stranger, "We're the founding members. We need to come up with the name together."
"How can I be a founding member when I don't even know your name?"
Yeonjun smiled at him and Beomgyu mirrored that same smile. While Yeonjun initially wanted to leave, he had also looked forward to enjoying tonight ..."Hey," he turned to Beomgyu, "You busy right now?"
"How are you so bad at this?" Yeonjun shouted as once again, Beomgyu's bowling ball rolled right into the gutter. He let out a scoff before he burst out into a fit of giggles. "How many gutters is that now, Beomgyu?"
"I've never gone bowling before!" Beomgyu shouted as he walked over to Yeonjun. He pouted before he playfully shoved Yeonjun, "Okay, Mister. You go bowl. Get a strike."
"And if I get a strike?"
"If you get a strike, I will buy you something to eat. If you don't get a strike, you buy me something to eat," Beomgyu bet as he folded his arms over his chest. He looked at Yeonjun with pure challenge in his eyes, "Oh, suddenly Mr. Pro-Bowler is all quiet?"
"You shut up," Yeonjun pointed at Beomgyu, "I'll get a strike so I can shut your pretty mouth up."
Yeonjun walked past Beomgyu with pure stride. He picked up the bowling ball, took his position on the bowling platform. Carefully, he lifted the bowling ball in hand - once, twice, three times before he took four strides and rolled the ball. Without even looking around, he knew that everyone thought he was cool - his form was perfect, after all.
Slowly, he looked up to see the bowling ball rolling down the lane. As it drew near, it veered to the right and kept going right until it went into the gutter.
From behind him, he could hear Beomgyu jump up and shout in excitement. Yeonjun closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "Shut up and go pick whatever food you want, Beomgyu."
"Oh my god," Beomgyu mocked, "How are you so bad at this?"
Yeonjun walked over to Beomgyu and poked at his sides. "Shut up," Yeonjun warned between pokes. Beomgyu was ticklish - the younger man fell into a fit of giggles as he tried to grab Yeonjun's hands to stop. When Yeonjun finally stopped, he nodded, "Come on. I owe you food. A bet is a bet."
"A man of his word," Beomgyu grinned, "How refreshing."
"Wait, wait," Beomgyu said as he walked alongside Yeonjun. He held a fresh ice cream cone as he looked over to the older man, "He told you he was a dance major?" Beomgyu shook his head, "He told me he was in music production. So, I thought we were in the same major the whole time." Beomgyu blinked a few times before he cutely ate his ice cream. "Wait, does he even go to my college?"
Yeonjun shrugged, "What if he wasn't even in his twenties this whole time?"
"I watched a documentary about someone like that," Beomgyu stared at Yeonjun in horror. He blinked a few times as he shook his head, "He was a murderer who was like in his forties who pretended to be a missing teenager with an intention to kill the family."
"Oh," Yeonjun gasped as he covered his mouth in faux surprise, "Maybe we both just got lucky and narrowly avoided being victims!"
"Or maybe you're the murderer!" Beomgyu pointed accusingly, "Rarely does anyone this hot have a personality I like and on top of that, you chose to eat mint chocolate chip ice cream.” Beomgyu scrunched his nose as he looked at Yeonjun’s ice cream.
"I'm the murderer because I like mint choco?" Yeonjun laughed before he pointed at Beomgyu, "Maybe you're the murderer. It would make sense. Beautiful people are rarely as funny or annoying as you are."
"I am not annoying."
"I don't know," Yeonjun smirked as he shrugged at Beomgyu, "I think I need to know you a little more before I can decide that."
"Maybe you do."
"For the record," Yeonjun said as Beomgyu got off the back of his motorcycle. He looked at Beomgyu very seriously, "Most people don't allow strangers they just met to drop them off at their house."
Beomgyu got off carefully before he stood in front of Yeonjun and shrugged. He struggled with the straps of the motorcycle helmet so much that Yeonjun had to reach up to undo it for him. "For the record, I rarely meet someone who has the second half of my broken heart," Beomgyu pointed at the pendant on his necklace. He smiled, "Well, thanks for making a pretty shitty night actually really fun."
"Yeah. Thanks for saying yes and being really cool about it," Yeonjun smiled back.
There was an awkward silence that fell between them.
Normally, this is when Yeonjun would say some cheesy line and lean in for a kiss but he literally just met Beomgyu and this wasn't exactly a date. It was just an introduction ...he hoped.
"Um, hey," Yeonjun broke the silence as Beomgyu handed him the motorcycle helmet back. When it came to asking people for their numbers, Yeonjun had never been nervous about it ...but he usually got people's numbers before they hung out. He cleared his throat as he asked, "Do you think I could get your number? You know ...just in case you need someone to hang out with when you get stood up."
Beomgyu smiled as he said, "I don't know, the guy I kind of have a crush on now doesn't seem like the type of person who would stand me up."
"Oh, yeah?" Yeonjun felt his heart beat pick up its pace as he looked over at Beomgyu's smile. "The guy you have a crush on, huh? I hope he's not a murderer."
"I hope so too," Beomgyu grinned, "Since he knows where I live and all now."
"Yeah, I hope he doesn't try anything weird."
"I don't know, I'm hoping he calls before anything. Especially since he already has my number," Beomgyu said as he turned and hummed a tune as he walked toward his door.
Yeonjun blinked a few times. Had Beomgyu given him his number? He couldn't remember. Yeonjun was sure he would have remembered if Beomgyu gave him his number.
"Check your helmet," Beomgyu shouted from his door, "You better text me later! I need to make sure you made it home safely. I'm not running our Broken Hearts Club alone!"
In the center of the helmet that Beomgyu had borrowed was a teddy bear sticker with Beomgyu's number.
"How stupid," Yeonjun smiled as he nodded to himself.
"You're home later than usual," Huening Kai called out from the sofa. Yeonjun was almost certain Kai had been there the entire time he was out. "I take it your date went well? Your texts sound so angry at—"
"I didn't go out with him," Yeonjun casually shrugged as he set his helmets on the table. He reached for the spare helmet and pulled out the teddy bear sticker with Beomgyu's number on the back. He smiled as he pulled off the backing and carefully placed the sticker on the helmet. He turned to Kai, "But I did have a good time."
"What does that mean?"
Yeonjun didn't answer Kai as he typed in Beomgyu's number onto his phone. It only took two rings before the line was picked up and Yeonjun smiled as he headed into his room.
"Yeah, Beomgyu, I made it home," he smiled as he heard the other man's voice. "Oh, shut up, I didn't do anything weird."
Although he might have been angry earlier, but now? ...Maybe some things really were just meant to happen.