This week the mod support team in the Fan Fiction community is posting stories about heartbreak! I tried to think of something a little different and the story ventures outside my comfort zone so hopefully it turned out okay. There is no smut and nothing unsuitable for younger readers (just some heartbreak). I hope you enjoy this story featuring D.O. of EXO set in an American small town/American college AU. *** For whatever reason, all of my apostrophes disappeared when this posted so until I have time to go through and fix that, please imagine the apostrophes are there 😂😭 ***
Growing up in a small town everyone knows who you are and exactly where you fit into things. Everyone talks to everyone else (or just about) so people know a lot about you and what they dont know they can fill in with assumptions, for better or worse. My best friend all the way from elementary school through high school was a boy. Im a girl. People knew how close we were, always together, and by the time we hit high school they assumed quite openly that wed end up together sooner or later. When we both got into the same college they started nudging each other when I walked into a room and throwing me conspiratorial looks before saying things like once they get to college itll finally happen, those two will see whats been in front of them all this time. I never responded to these kind of statements because I knew they were wrong. My friendship with Kyungsoo was rock solid, the one unshakeable, totally certain thing in life. It was pure luck that landed Kyungsoo and me in the only co-ed dorm on the campus. We were not supposed to be on each others floors after 10PM but otherwise we could continue doing exactly what we had done in high school: studying together, eating lunch together, spending weekends watching movies together, basically everything together. Im not sure how Id have made it through the first few weeks on campus without Kyungsoo but with him by my side I knew I could handle anything. We had a few of the same classes but in the classes we didnt share we started making new friends on our own; the widening of our social circles did not loosen the bonds of our friendship, though, as any friends I made quickly became his friends and any friends he made quickly became my friends as well. About a month into the first semester I was sitting in my dorm room on a Saturday evening trying to finish up a paper. Kyungsoo had spent the afternoon at a study group for one of the classes I wasnt in so I hadnt seen him since we went to breakfast together. My phone buzzed, alerting me to a new text message. It was from Kyungsoo. KS: Is your paper done? I have something important to tell you. Me: Almost. Maybe 20 minutes. Whats up? KS: Meet me then? My room. Me: Okay… I finished my paper, although it took longer than 20 minutes because I was distracted by curiosity, and then set out to find out what something important meant. Kyungsoos dorm room was one floor below mine. When he answered the door I noticed at once that something wasnt right; he wouldnt look me in the eye. His roommate was out so we sat down beside each other on the futon that they had crammed along the wall beneath the rooms only window. For a moment he just stared at his feet and looked nervous. Sophie. I have something to tell you. You mentioned that. I… have a date. Is that all? I thought something was wrong! I started laughing and he relaxed. I wasnt sure how youd feel about it. Oh, Kyungsoo, dont be silly! Im happy, of course. So, whats her name? Where did you meet her? Ava. I met her in my study group. I didnt want to tell you until I actually asked her out, which I did today. Thats great, but next time you have news dont scare me with a cryptic text, okay? He shrugged at me. Would you help me pick a shirt? Im taking her to a movie. Of course. When? In about half an hour. Youre ridiculous sometimes. After helping him select a shirt and wishing him luck, I went back to my dorm room and read a paperback for a while. It felt a bit weird to spend a Saturday night on my own but I felt better when, just before climbing into bed, I got another text. KS: Thx for helping me pick a shirt. Went great! Over the next two weeks, Kyungsoo saw a lot of Ava and not that much of me. I was beginning to feel a bit left out but then things took an interesting turn: Kyungsoo wanted me to meet Ava and arranged for the three of us to go to dinner together. I had heard plenty about her because she was all he talked about most of the time but the prospect of actually meeting her in person was kind of exciting and terrifying at the same time. What if I didnt like her? What if, against all reason, the people back home were right about us and I suddenly felt jealous? It wasnt like I could avoid finding out sooner or later. I arrived at the cafe a little early and sat down at a table near the door to wait. Kyungsoo and Ava walked in 10 minutes later holding hands. Ava was somehow even prettier than she had seemed in the pictures Kyungsoo had shown me on his phone. Her shoulder-length hair looked soft and shiny. Her cheeks practically glowed and her eyes were bright and playful-looking. I waved at Kyungsoo and the two of them made their way to the table and sat down. Sophie? Its nice to finally meet you! Kyungsoo talks about you nonstop. Ive heard a lot about you, too. I cant believe it took him so long to introduce us. Hey! It hasnt been that long. Mhmm. Whatever you say, Kyungsoo. Fortunately I know what both of you like to eat so I can go order for all of us, okay? Dont talk about me while Im gone. Kyungsoo stood up and walked off in the direction of the counter. I think hes nervous. The best friend test must have him worried. But honestly, if he likes you then I like you, too. If you think hes nervous, how do you think I felt? Youre so important to him, if you said you didnt like me I get the feeling thered be no chance hed pick me over you. Im just excited to finally meet you. Kyungsoo has really never paid this much attention to any girl before. Except me, I mean, but I dont count. In that case, would you mind helping me out? I know his birthday is in a few weeks but since we havent been dating very long I dont know what to get as a gift. Would you come shopping with me? That sounds fun. How does the the Friday after next sound, about 6pm? Its a deal. Thanks so much! Dont tell Kyungsoo, okay? The rest of the meal was pretty uneventful. Now that I wasnt worried about whether or not Id like Ava, it was actually fun to get to know her. She was nice and funny in a quiet sort of way and actually had interesting things to say. Kyungsoo looked seriously relieved to see us getting along. After I had returned to my dorm and showered I got a text. KS: Thanks, Sophie. You made Ava feel comfortable. It means a lot. Me: Of course, Soo. I can see why you like her. KS: Yeah :) KS: Night Finally, Kyungsoo and I started spending time together frequently again, just now it was with Ava, too. I was glad that she didnt mind hanging out together. It would have been nice to have more time just Kyungsoo and me, like we used to all the time, but if this made him happy then it was okay with me. I was actually kind of surprised that I didnt feel anything negative about the situation but I didnt. By the Friday of my planned shopping trip with Ava I was actually looking forward to spending a little time alone with her; it would be nice to know what she was like outside the context of Kyungsoo. I slipped on a sweater and walked to meet her in the student commons. She was already there, waiting for me, a coffee in each hand, one of which she held out to me. Heres yours. Kyungsoo told me you dont like caramel so I got you vanilla. I hope I didnt get that backwards. No, thats right. Thank you. So, where do you want to shop? Do you think we would find something at the shops over on the other edge of campus? If not we can get a bus to the mall. The other side of campus should be good. Theres a record shop there and I happen to know Kyungsoo has had his eye on a few things there. Eager to get started, Ava grabbed my hand and started walking, pulling me gently along with her. Her hand felt soft and warm in mine. I pulled my hand back and started walking more quickly so she had to make an effort to keep up. We passed by the college library and through one of the big windows I spotted Kyungsoo seated at a table inside. Quick, dart behind the trees! Ava did as I said but then looked at me like Id lost my mind. Why are we behind the trees? Kyungsoo was in the library. I dont think he saw us because he was busy studying but you said you wanted to keep this a secret. She started laughing. Thanks. I feel like were playing at being spies on a covert mission now. We reached the record store without further excitement. Inside, I suggested she browse and I could tell her if anything she picked up was a choice. She started combing through the crates of vintage albums, periodically stopping to hold one up for my verdict. I was looking through a stack of music magazines when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around to find Ava standing there, holding up an album in front of her face so that just her eyes were not obscured. It was one of the albums Kyungsoo was looking at last time I was there with him. She lowered the album to below her chin, exposing her peachy-glossed lips. This one? Yup, thats a winner! Her whole face lit up and she bit her lip as if that would suppress her little squeak of delight. Letting her find one on her own had been a good decision, way better than if I had just told her which one to get. We walked back toward the student commons, carefully avoiding the library in case Kyungsoo was still here. When we reached the point where we would need to part ways to head to our respective dorms, Ava stopped and just stared at me. All of a sudden her arms were around me. Thank you, Sophie. Thank you so much, not just for helping me shop! Im so glad we can be friends. When Kyungsoo told me his best friend was a girl I was worried but I think we can be just like sisters. My face was pressed into Avas hair as she talked. It smelled wonderful, like lavender and roses. I felt warm and comfortable; I could have stayed like that for a long time. Me too, me too. Im glad were friends. See you later, Sophie! Thanks for the coffee earlier. Bye! I walked back to my dorm slowly. Kyungsoos birthday arrived. We followed our birthday tradition and had a nice big pancake breakfast, although this time we had them in a diner near campus instead of sitting at the kitchen table at his moms house while still in our pajamas. The morning was just us. After lunch Ava came to collect Kyungsoo so they could go to a movie and romantic dinner before we would meet back up to have cake with more friends. I spent the afternoon picking up the cake and arranging simple party decorations in the common room at the co-ed dorm building. About 8:00 Kyungsoos friends from various classes started to show up, placing small gifts on the table near the cake. 20 minutes later Kyungsoo and Ava arrived. After saying hello and mingling for a bit, Ava nodded at me before taking her place by Kyungsoos side. I lit the candles on the cake and everyone sang happy birthday a bit off-key. Kyungsoo reluctantly stepped forward and blew out the candles. Ava and I passed out slices of cake that Kyungsoo sliced and plated. It was nice and cozy. I was eating my slice (with a frosting flower on it, at Kyungsoos insistence) when it happened. Ava had a bit of frosting on her lip and instead of wiping it away with a napkin, Kyungsoo just leaned in and kissed it away. That was the exact moment when the jealousy hit me. My stomach felt all of a sudden like I had swallowed lead. Im not sure how I hadnt seen this coming, but until his lips were on hers, I really hadnt realized how I felt… about Ava. I was jealous alright, but I was jealous of Kyungsoo. I didnt want to kiss him. I wanted to kiss the girl he was kissing right that very moment, the girl with the peachy lip gloss and hair that smelled like lavender and roses. I turned away. This was unexpected. There was no precedent. I tossed the rest of my cake in the trash and sat down away from the crowd. I didnt know what to do. The rest of the informal party went by painfully slowly. As much as possible I steered clear of Kyungsoo and Ava, not wanting my face to betray anything. When people left I cleared up the decorations and debris and waved goodnight to Kyungsoo before hurrying back to my dorm room. That night I couldnt sleep. I couldnt stop thinking about the mess I found myself in. No matter what, I couldnt let either of them know. It would be unforgivable, in my mind, to hurt Kyungsoo by doing anything about how I felt. I felt stupid and awful. I was betrayed by my own heart and even if Kyungsoo never found out I would always know that a little part of me secretly wanted to take his happiness away. I cried softly with self-loathing and bitterness until daylight broke and I finally drifted off to sleep. The next day I woke up to a text. KS: I need to talk to you. My room in an hour? My head was throbbing from crying most of the night. I stared at the text and felt like I might throw up. Did I give myself away last night? I took a deep breath. Me: Okay I put on some clothes and worked a small miracle with concealer to hide the puffiness surrounding my eyes. I had never been very good at keeping secrets from Kyungsoo. He could always see right through me. I still had 30 minutes so I dashed to the nearest coffee shop and grabbed the largest espresso drink on the menu in the hopes that it would help me feel less awful from lack of sleep. Kyungsoo answered the door and eyed my giant coffee warily. I hoped my concealer wasnt failing me. You can relax. I know youve been hiding something from me. How? Until yesterday… Please, you think I didnt see you? You two acted really suspiciously outside the library. Yes, I saw that. I looked at my feet, trying not to cry. He continued. And then yesterday… Theres no way Ava would have picked that gift by herself. You dont have to pretend, I know you helped her. What? Oh… right. Thanks Soph. It was really nice of you to help her out. You really are the best best friend I could ever have. Of course, Kyungsoo. Anything for you. I pinched the skin on my own ear, hard, until it really hurt, lessening the pain in my chest. Anything for you, Kyungsoo, I thought to myself.