Chapter 6 – The Hiccup
Yoona and Seohyun’s jaws drop while Jessica’s eyes dance dangerously. I have the strongest urge to cower from her but I manage to stand my ground bravely.
“Do you really?” she challenges me as she steps closer to me. Yoona and Seohyun’s jaws only drop even lower as they witness their gentle and mild-tempered ‘Yuri’ turning into a scary predator who is hunting down her prey.
I step back, fearing the worst; fearing for my life. However, I now have shorter legs and her longer legs close the gap between us with ease. In the blink of an eye, I find myself staring into her eyes which are now a mere inch away from mine.
“Do you really?” She wears a lopsided smile as she challenges me yet again.
“Uh…I…uh…” I find myself stuttering from the nervousness brought upon by her close proximity to me.
Her lips cover mine, smothering whatever lousy reply I had in mind. Her lips move over mine briefly before pulling away slowly.
I. AM. STUNNED.
And so are Yoona and Seohyun.
“Yuri unnie, you’re the best!” Yoona cheers excitedly upon coming back to her senses. “WOOHOO!”
Seohyun, on the other hand, doesn’t agree with Yoona. “Yuri unnie! You should ask for her permission first! Look, she’s in shock now.”
Yes, I certainly am. Having Jessica kiss me is the last thing on my list of things to be expected.
“You didn’t fart. You’re lying.” Jessica grins victoriously.
OH MY GOSH. You didn’t have to kiss me just to prove that point, did you?
All I can do is blink rapidly…and here it comes—my embarrassing blush.
Yoona bubbles over with laughter again as my nose and ears turn pink.
Argh. Sometimes, that girl just laughs a little too much and it pisses me off that I can’t even get angry with her because she’s just too sweet.
“Yuri, you sick pervert! You freaking stole a kiss from me! Give it back to me!” I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore; I’m so flustered.
Jessica can’t take it anymore. She starts laughing at the sight of my tomato-red nose and ears and my utterly flustered expression.
“OUCH!” I groan when she slaps my shoulder blade while laughing. It turns out that she slaps real hard and I get to find out the hard way. Just when I feel the sting of her slap spreading out, she slaps me on the same spot yet again.
Oh my…if this is what Jessica is like when she laughs, then I’d rather see an angry Jessica than a laughing Jessica. She is positively violent when she laughs!
“OWW!” I rub my very sore shoulder blade, hoping to dispel the pain that is spreading into a wider area as the seconds tick by.
Seriously, Jessica’s laughing style and my well-trained arms make a lethal combination. Sadly, I am on the receiving end of that combination.
What have I done to deserve this?!
“HAHAHAHAHAHA!” Jessica can’t stop laughing.
I check myself upon hearing the sound of a hiccup. It’s not me. Thank goodness. Hiccups are so irritating.
We all look at Jessica simultaneously. It’s her. She must have triggered her hiccups by laughing too hard. HA! Revenge is sweet!
“What are you—hic—looking at? Hic—Never seen—hic—a person hiccupping before?” Jessica’s sarcasm doesn’t sting as much now. Not with her hiccupping so cutely.
All it takes is a look shared between me and Yoona before we burst into peals of laughter. Our sense of humour has always been similar. We get the jokes that we make and we play along very well with one another.
“Jessica unnie, you and I have the same sense of humour!” Yoona remarks as she wipes the tears of laughter that have welled up in her eyes.
“I think so too!” I too, am busy wiping tears from my eyes.
“Girls, stop laughing—hic—at me and help—hic—me out!”
“Yuri unnie, I heard that sticking your tongue out helps with hiccups.” Seohyun kindly offers Jessica some advice.
“Okay.” Jessica sticks her tongue out immediately.
“I also heard that if you roll your eyes up while doing it, your hiccups go away faster,” I add.
Truth be told, I have never heard of such a thing but I think she’d look hilarious if she does it.
“Orrgaay.” Jessica rolls her eyes up and keeps her tongue stuck out.
Oh, this is too much. I exchange looks with Yoona again and we burst out into hysterical laughter again.
You may think that Yoona and I laugh way too easily but I assure you that the sight of Jessica with rolled up eyes and a stuck out tongue is just too hilarious. Even Seohyun can’t hold back her laughter at this point.
“My hiccups aren’t—hic—going away.” Jessica retracts her tongue and looks at us suspiciously. “Are you sure that—hic—was supposed to help?”
“I read that sticking your tongue out helps but I’m not sure how rolling your eyes up helps. Or you could try drinking something sour like vinegar,” Seohyun states matter-of-factly.
“Are you—hic—trying to torture me?” Jessica doesn’t look too pleased about the alternative solution.
“Seohyun wouldn’t joke about such things. You should know that.” Yoona looks strangely at Jessica.
That’s true but Jessica wouldn’t know that. It didn’t help that I added in the ‘roll your eyes up’ move for our pure entertainment.
“Seohyun looks very sincere to me, Yuri ah.”
Jessica looks at me and I nod slightly, urging her to take Seohyun’s well-meaning advice.
“Okay, okay, where’s the—hic—vinegar? These—hic—hiccups are annoying the heck out of me.”
Yoona and Seohyun look at Jessica very strangely.
“Don’t you know where your vinegar is?” Seohyun asks innocently.
Jessica blinks a couple of times and coughs awkwardly.
“Of course I do. Jessica, come and help—hic—me pour the vinegar out.”
I follow her meekly into the kitchen and whisper the location of the vinegar into her ear as discretely as possible. Fortunately, she manages to find the vinegar without looking too suspicious and I pour some vinegar onto a spoon.
“Ah…” I get her to open her mouth and feed her the vinegar. She makes a face while drinking it.
“URGH!” She coughs as the vinegar makes its way down her throat.
“Does it work?” I’m beginning to pity her. She’s been hiccupping for some time now and I know how annoying it can get when it doesn’t stop.
She looks at me silently, waiting for the next hiccup. It doesn’t come. She’s cured at last! I rub her back and smile at her widely, sincerely glad that her hiccups are gone. She smiles at me too and this moment between us is kind of nice.
“Ahem! Seohyun and I are going to head home now.” Yoona clears her throat awkwardly all of a sudden.
“Why?” I ask.
Yoona grins cheekily. “Jessica unnie, you’re such a good actress! You should act in a drama or something. Don’t worry…we will come around another time, Yuri unnie. But for now, I think you and Jessica unnie probably want some alone time. We know when we’re not wanted!” Yoona giggles and links her arm with Seohyun’s.
“Bye Yuri unnie and Jessica unnie. We will see you next time!” Seohyun smiles warmly and waves her free hand at us.
Jessica waves enthusiastically at them, sending an even stronger message that she wants them gone.
Argh! Now Yoona and Seohyun will really think that we’re together. JESSICA!!!
I can only sigh and wave goodbye to my two good friends.
The door opens and closes as they let themselves out and we are plunged into an awkward silence as we stand in the kitchen, with an empty spoon in my hand.
“I think it’s time you went back home. I’m tired and I want to rest,” says Jessica a moment later.
I nod in agreement, thankful that she isn’t scolding or hitting me.
“We’ll continue with our lessons tomorrow. I’ll come over. Don’t worry.”
Jessica nods mutely and I hasten to get changed into a new set of clothes. It’s really quite amazing that my towel stayed on all this time. I can’t wait to get out of the apartment. The further away from Jessica I am, the better.
I am a mere step away from leaving when I hear her calling me.
I freeze at the door, dreading what might happen next. Jessica stands in front of me and pouts. When I don’t respond, she tugs at my sleeve.
WHAT NOW?! Why is she pouting and tugging my sleeve? What is she up to?
“I don’t like to eat alone.”
I blink. “Is that a problem? Go to a crowded place then. You won’t be eating alone.”
“Would you accompany me to dinner?”
I am convinced that Jessica has some sort of disorder. How could she be so fierce yet so gentle in the span of a few minutes? I sigh inwardly, knowing that I would most probably concede to her request anyway. I’m just too nice for my own good some times.
“Why don’t we cook dinner and have a quick one.”
Jessica breaks into a wide smile that makes her look like she’s only ten years old and nods vigorously. “Okay! I want spaghetti for dinner!”
“Wait a minute…aren’t you cooking? Don’t you think you should be making it up to me for all the lies you’ve been telling my friends?”
Jessica merely looks at me with a blank expression.
“If there’s any making up to do, it should be you. You totally desecrated my cool and chic image with one horrible lie.”
“Why aren’t you screaming at me for saying that then?” I’m really curious to know why she’s letting me live after telling such a horrible lie about her. “Are you actually letting me get away with saying that about you?”
Jessica heaves a huge sigh. “Well…I kind of started it…so I can’t blame you for playing along.”
“Wow, I’m surprised to know that you feel that way.”
She slaps my arm real hard, making me wince. “YA! What kind of mean person do you think I am? Do you really think that lowly of me?”
“I don’t think of you as a bad person but you can be quite scary at times.”
“Why?” She looks rather surprised.
“You can be so fierce for a moment yet so nice the next minute. I really don’t know what you’re going to do next.”
Jessica laughs. “Well, at least I know what you’re going to do next.”
Jessica winks at me saucily. “You’re cooking me a plate of spaghetti for dinner.”
I set down a plate of steaming hot meatball spaghetti in front of Jessica before getting my own plate.
She pokes at the vegetables that I added and sniffs them dubiously.
“What is this?” she asks me, flipping the vegetable in question with her fork.
Her blood-curdling dolphin-like scream is the last thing I hear as an entire plate of spaghetti ends up all over my face and clothes.