Guilty Party – Chapter 3: Jung Yonghwa

GUILTY PARTY

PART I

Chapter 3

(Jung Yonghwa)

One week ago…

“I love you, Yong Oppa,” she told me with the sweetest, loveliest voice that ringed music to my ears. She stared at me with her sincere, bright eyes, and in that moment, I knew that no one else was perfect for me.

“I love you too, Hyun…”

Before I was able to reach out to her to kiss my lovely Seohyun, something hit me on forehead, causing me to open my eyes. There I saw my sister Eunji with a disgusted frown. Then she said in a strong Busan accent, “Oppa, snap out it! And wipe your drool too! You’re going to be late for school!”

Oh man, I was dreaming of her again. These past few days, I could not think about anything but her. Seohyun. My friends say that I have been absent-mindedly sighing a lot lately, and my eyes kept drifting off to empty space at certain times… Well I can’t help it. I don’t even remember when this started. Seohyun was just this young girl who went to the same school. Yeah, she’s a kind, cute young fellow, an adorable hoobae, a baby sister to her sunbaes, and a nice friend to her peers, but I really didn’t even care back then. She’s too childlike that I used to think of her more as a little sister. I don’t know how, but slowly, she was just seeping into my heart.

Once I had this school project that I had to do with Hyoyeon and Onew—two of my classmates in school. I don’t even remember exactly what project it was, but I do remember that we all met at Hyoyeon’s house to do it, and for some reason, Seohyun was always there at her house too. Apparently, she lived a ten minutes’ walk away and liked staying at Hyoyeon’s house while waiting for her parents to come home from work. Now recently, my family just moved to a new house and as if it was some twist of fate, our new house was exactly beside Seohyun’s house! Nowadays, when I head out to school in the morning, she would walk with me and Hyoyeon to the subway and sometimes we would see Onew in the same station. The more I got to know her I more interesting she became. I cannot pinpoint exactly when I fell, but I’m sure that I’ve already fallen deep. Now she’s quite comfortable with me and goes to my house when she’s lonely. I love having her around. I don’t regret falling in love with her either.

The only downside to liking Seohyun is the fact that she has lots of other admirers. It’s not that I’m jealous, because face it, none of those guys is as close to her than me. The thing is, she just doesn’t understand how I truly feel. Lots of other guys do nice things for her. Lots of other guys call her pretty. Lots of other guys like her attitude. What am I? I’m just like all those other guys to her. She likes all of them as friends, including me. Can’t I just be the only one to like her? Can’t I just have her for myself? I know I sound selfish but I’ll treat her really well!

At the start of the week, I went to my homeroom class and sat comfortably on my chair. Hyoyeon had to stop and chat with her other girlfriends, so I just sat there quietly, contemplating my morning walk with Seohyun earlier. Seohyun was so bright and bubbly like she always was. The twinkle in her eyes as she talked about her sweet potato breakfast was just adorable. She always makes my day even though she doesn’t know it.

Suddenly, Henry, the rich Chinese Canadian guy walked up to me and leaned on Hyoyeon’s chair. He smiled and looked at me smugly. “You have any gigs planned this weekend?”

I have a band that I like to call CNBLUE with me on lead vocals and rhythm guitar; my younger friends, Lee Jonghyun on lead guitar and vocals, Kang Minhyuk on drums, and Lee Jungshin on bass. We were hired to play for this rooftop restaurant downtown called the Xiah Dragon Noodles on weekends. I’ve personally handed out fliers and posted a notice on the bulletin board in school to have them see us play live sometime, so obviously, Henry should already know that I’m always playing music on weekends. My band isn’t nationwide popular, but in school and the surrounding area, we have made a name for ourselves. We get lots of positive feedback too, so I’m glad that what we enjoy is actually getting recognized by my peers.

“Yeah, why?”

“I know it sounds a little rude to suddenly ask you to change plans, but would you like to come play for my party this coming weekend? I’ll pay you a hell of a lot more than what you make from that hipster restaurant, and you’ll get a lot of exposure too since I have lots of connections with musicians and managers in the business coming to the party. What do you say?”

I blatantly scoffed. He’s hiring my band for a party? My little high school band? If he’s so rich and has lots of connections, why not just invite a famous pop idol girl group to come and grace his party with their hot entertainment? I’m sure everyone will enjoy that more. Besides, I promised my little sister Eunji that I will help her study for her middle school exams this whole week during evenings. I already asked Junsu Hyung, the manager of Xiah Dragon Noodles, to cut me some slack this week so I can help my sister. (He counts on our band to promote his restaurant.) Of course if I have to choose between music and my family, I’d rather choose my family.

“No thanks, I’m busy,” I told him.

“Aw,” he said, acting like he was disappointed. “If you change your mind, you can always contact me. You can always think about it; you have a whole week after all to make a decision. Ciao.” Then he tossed a small card at me with his name and contact information on it.

On the following days after Henry brought up that topic, Seohyun often came to me to ask for advice, and it was all about the same thing that it was beginning to irk me. I know I love her but I have to admit, I do get in a bad mood too because of her a lot, whether she knew or not. She asked me questions like, “Henry Oppa’s birthday is coming up soon. What do you think he would like?” “Do you think he would like this…?” “What do boys usually like?” “Would this be too simple?” “Would this be too much?” “Do you think he already has something like this?” Ugh, it was annoying. But I can’t blame her though. She probably just wants to make sure her gift would be appreciated. But seriously, the guy is rich; he wouldn’t notice if she gave a gift or not. But of course, Seohyun would still want to give a gift anyway…

Then I asked her as we sat together by the front porch of their house, “Are you invited to the party?”

“Yes,” she nodded. “We go to the same music institute. But of course, he’s a more talented sunbae of mine.”

“Are you going?”

“Well Kyuhyun Oppa has been bothering me about it so I guess I’m going,” she said in a rather unenthusiastic way.

“What do you mean?”

Then she smiled at me with her puffed cheeks and then said, “Kyuhyun Oppa just kept asking me to go to the party. He always comes up to me at school and says things like, ‘Joohyun-ah, you have to go okay?’ or ‘Seo Joohyun, you’re coming right?’ And when someone else asks me, he’ll pop out of nowhere and say, ‘Oh yeah, she’s totally going!’ I haven’t even made up my mind yet. I don’t even know why he wants me to go so badly.”

Alright, I understand. This party is obviously going to be huge and maybe an excuse to be stupid for a night. Kyuhyun… that hyung from the senior class… I don’t like it when he comes up to Seohyun so often. Yeah, he’s nice and friendly to her and to most people, but that’s his bait. Underneath that sheep’s clothing is something devious.  Yeah, I know about that because my band friend Lee Jonghyun sometimes gets dragged into his little gang. Kyuhyun likes causing trouble without being too obvious, and even if he does get caught, he usually charms his way out of it. And it’s not the first time he’s eyed a hoobae. I believe he and my classmate Sunny (one of Hyoyeon’s girlfriends) dated once but it didn’t end well—not that I would know much, but Hyoyeon once ranted to me about it back then. So here I am; I totally ditched teaching my sister for her exams and instead, agreed to play for Henry’s party, because I want to make sure that Seohyun would be alright. I heard that some people actually “get drunk and get laid” in huge late night parties like this, and I cringe at that thought of happening to Seohyun, considering the amount of boys fancying her. No, I have never even thought of corrupting her like that, and I don’t want that to happen to her innocence. But there’s just another downside to attending this party: I have to keep playing here on stage until JiYong Hyung from the senior class comes to DJ. And from this high place in Henry’s big, wide living room, I can see Seohyun without even trying. My eyes are naturally drawn to her. From what I can see now, she’s talking with her same age friends from school, the harmless younger brothers of my classmates Taeyeon and Sooyoung. Oh no, now I also see Kyuhyun approaching them. Without even any intros, he just went at it and started playing with my Hyunnie’s hair… You son of a b…

“Hey hyung, you okay?” Jonghyun asked me after we finished a song.

“Huh?” I asked, leaving my focus on Seohyun.

Jonghyun stared at me for a while and then chuckled and patted my back. Then he held a fist and said, “Hyung, fighting?”

“Oh, uh, yeah, fighting…,” I awkwardly said. It must have been obvious to him that I was not in my right mind right now. Then I said to the rest of the band, “Let me just take a break, I think I forgot some riffs for this other song…”

Drummer Minhyuk and Bassist Jungshin kept improvising to keep the groove of the party going but I reduced my volume to zero for a while and practiced my lines for the next song. While practicing silently, I saw Kyuhyun joking around with Seohyun and poking at her left shoulder. She was wearing a nice, simple, sleeveless white dress that showed off her pretty shoulders. And since I knew her quite well, that particular left shoulder is the one with the cute mole. Now Kyuhyun was constantly poking at it, and Seohyun was obviously motioning him to stop but he just kept at it. I can feel myself getting tenser as I was witnessing this. Kyuhyun wasn’t doing anything that bad but I was just feeling so angry.

As the night progressed, my band played more songs while my eyes were still fixed on Seohyun. And boy, Kyuhyun never stopped eyeing Seohyun himself. At some point he went to get some food and then he stood by a reasonable distance to watch her while she was talking to her other friends. She seemed to be pretty happy when Yoona, a close eonni friend of hers, approached her. She stuck close to Yoona like a leech, and it gave me some assurance that she’ll be safe for now. Finally when JiYong Hyung arrived to DJ, I was able to leave the stage with my band.

When I got down from the stage, I was met by a warm hug. It was Seohyun, of course. Ah, it felt like I went to battle and won, only to be greeted by the princess afterwards…

“Yong Oppa, you were great!” she said to me as if I was the most amazing musician in the world. Then she withdrew from the hug and held out a hand for a high-five.

“Thank you,” I humbly said and held her hand instead of just slapping it. Then I brought her hand down and patted her back. “Are you having fun so far?”

“It’s been great so far,” she honestly said.

“CNBLUE woohoo!” Hyoyeon danced past us and continued dancing her way until she disappeared into the crowd. Man, I don’t understand her sometimes.

“Yonghwa Oppa, Jonghyun, Minhyuk, Jungshin, you guys were awesome!” Yoona said as she giddily stood close to Jonghyun. She likes to think of herself as our biggest supporter. Also, Yoona and Jonghyun like each other, so yeah…

“Yeah, you were all really great!” Seohyun said as she looked straight to me with her big bright eyes. Her eyes just gets me every time…

“Which song did you like best, Seohyun?” my drummer, Minhyuk, suddenly went between us and decided to hog Seohyun all to himself. Aish, this guy… He and Seohyun go to the same class and magic club. Plus, they also have the same birthday. He insists that he only likes Seohyun as a friend, but I’m not quite sure if that’s the truth.

“Oh, I liked your drum solo on that one song…” Seohyun enthusiastically answered and Minhyuk happily conversed with her. They’ve got lots in common so I wouldn’t be surprised that they both talked so comfortably together. Anyway, Minhyuk is a pretty squeaky clean kid himself—his record is probably better than mine—but I’m still annoyed.

Feeling awkward, I cleared my throat and said, “I’ll go get something to eat for the whole band.”

“Oh no, hyung, let me do it!” said Minhyuk. I think he got the clue. He knew me well.

“No, no, go ahead and continue talking to Seohyun,” I said. I probably sounded like I was annoyed and mad because he completely stopped talking to her.

“You know what, I’ll go get you guys some food,” Seohyun offered. “Just relax for a while and let me do it.”

“No, no, no, I’ll do it,” Minhyuk insisted and quickly left to go fetch us some food. Jungshin ran off with him too. Then Yoona grabbed onto Jonghyun and dragged him with her to get some food as well. Now I’m left alone with Seohyun.

“So, Hyun, want to go out for some fresh air? I kinda want to rest from the loud music for a while.”

Seohyun agreed and we went out together by the koi fish pond. It was a beautiful night outside; the stars were shining brightly through the clear skies. The dim light from the lampposts made my darling look like an angel sent to keep me company. As we stared down at the dark waters of the pond, she smiled at me and talked to me about random things. She showed me some pictures on her phone that she took in the party—most of them were totally amateurish, because group selfies aren’t one of her strengths. I love seeing her like this—so cheerful and sweet. Since we didn’t have a photo together at the party yet, we took one together by the pond with the lamppost as our lighting. I held up her phone and captured the moment. It wasn’t too shabby.

Then Yoona began calling us from the door, “Seohyun, Yonghwa Oppa, let’s all eat together!”

Seohyun quickly ran into the party with Yoona, leaving her phone with me. Of course, I went to run after her, but then a message popped up on her cellphone screen. It was from Kyuhyun Hyung. I knew looking at the message would be an invasion of privacy, but I couldn’t resist myself.

“Seo Joohyun-ssi, come meet me in this room that opens out to the garden and has stairs that leads to the second floor. Come alone, okay, okay? Let’s play a fun game 😉 ;)”

The message really made my blood boil upon reading it. Why ask Seohyun to come alone in a room—with two winky faces? It seemed so suspicious that I even thought of beating him up and questioning him on his motives. So then, instead of heading into the party with Seohyun and Yoona, I took a detour. Near the area with topiaries was a smaller glass entrance into the house. This is probably the place that Kyuhyun was talking about in the message. I passed by it earlier before the party started because my band and I arrived early for equipment setup. It’s a little connecting room that led into the house, to the second floor, and to the topiary garden here outside. When I went in, I saw Kyuhyun standing there, his back turned against me, and his head hung down as if he was looking at something on his chest. He’s probably looking at his phone or something while waiting for Seohyun—at least I thought. When I went in, something unexpected happened. I heard him groaning in pain and suddenly, he fell down on his knees.

“Hyung? Hyung, are you okay?” I said as I approached him. When I got close enough, I saw him clutching his chest and to my shock, he wasn’t looking down on his phone; there was a bloody pen sticking out of his chest! His face looked so red and his mouth was opened wide. He was trembling and nervously trying to pull the pen out.

I was terrified. My heart began to race. I was too petrified that I couldn’t speak. “H-h-hyung?! Someone… someone help…” The music was too loud. I don’t think anyone heard me.

Then he mouthed out something that I couldn’t quite understand. He looked like he was about to faint. Then he pointed to the pen. Thinking that he wanted me to pull it out, I did so, making him moan out loud in pain. However, when I pulled it out blood came spilling out of his chest. Maybe that was a bad idea… Damn it, damn it, damn it… Then in a few seconds, he fell down on the floor. He was unconscious. I stood up and dropped the pen that I pulled out of him, utterly horrified by what just happened. Before I could do anything else, the door that lead into the wide living room just opened. Taeyeon came in with her mouth wide open. Then she screamed and fell down at the sight of the bloody body on the floor, accidentally closing the door behind her. Here we are facing each other with a bleeding man between us. My hands were stained with his blood and I was the only other person in the room when she came in. She looked at me with terrified eyes and stood closer to the door behind her. I am immediately a suspect.

“D-d-don’t look at me I swear! I d-didn’t do anything!” I probably sounded too nervous to be telling the truth, but really, I wasn’t the one who stabbed Kyuhyun Hyung in the first place!

Then someone else came in from Taeyeon’s door. It was Seohyun. Oh no…

She also let out a high-pitched scream when she saw the body. Then she immediately ran out repeatedly yelling, “Help!”

The next moments went by like a rush of wind. The ambulance came… the police too… I was still too petrified. I didn’t know what I’m supposed to do. The medics soon confirmed what I didn’t want to hear: Kyuhyun is dead. Taeyeon and I were one of the first to be questioned by the police. Obviously, we both just told them the truth, but I was very suspicious to them. I told them what I did throughout the party. Unfortunately, my truthful alibi even sounds suspicious to me—especially the doubtful part when I looked at Seohyun’s text message and decided not to show it to her. That obviously hints that I have an issue with him. Plus, I failed in getting help immediately and my hands are also stained in blood. No matter how many times I tried to tell them my story, they seemed to doubt me. Taeyeon’s alibi also made it worse. Of course, she just told them the truth: she came in and saw a dead body alone with Jung Yonghwa. She didn’t see what I did. She just saw me standing there. But the whole fact that I was all alone in the room when she saw me made me even more suspicious to the police. Soon, other people who were close to Kyuhyun were questioned. Nobody admitted to seeing the crime happen at all. In the end, I was the most likely person to have done the crime. Before I knew it, I was handcuffed and led away into the police car as a suspect for further interrogation.

The circumstances mostly point to me as the killer. It might be easy to believe that I in fact have killed him because of my jealousy, and protectiveness of Seohyun, but please don’t be fooled. I, Jung Yonghwa, am innocent.


Chapter 4⇒

⇐Chapter 2

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