My plan was good, until I realized that I needed to go to E.T., in order to find the high schooler. Police was unreliable, although we had Grumpy. Before they would find the stalker case in archives, it could take another month. E.T. was faster source, but I was afraid that also unreliable.
First, I tried alone to convince him that finding his friend was really important. I even told him that his life could be in danger too, if he wouldn’t help us. Of course, he didn’t believe me and cursed me for dessert. Then Grumpy had to step in. With his explanation (or should I say: threatening) E.T. agreed to take us to the high schooler. Members wanted to go with us, but I forbade them.
“You’re kidding, right?” Youjin outraged. “You think we let you alone –”
“I won’t be alone,” I assured him. “Grumpy will be with me.”
“But E.T. –”
“Don’t worry. He’s scared of Grumpy. I’m sure that high schooler will be too.”
After a lot of excuses, I finally convinced them and they went to fan signing. I was officially sick, so I couldn’t go. No, we couldn’t go after our activities. The high schooler had afternoon and night classes, so now was our only chance to meet him.
“You have real guts, Kim,” E.T. growled, when we reached the right house.
“That wasn’t a compliment. Now you’re hiding behind the police?”
“No. I just want to solve this damn thing and continue to live.”
He wanted to say more, but we heard a voice in entry phone and entered the gate.
Everything till now went pretty smoothly, until the high schooler saw me. He surely remembered me, because his face in a second became dark and he grabbed my shirt.
“You bastard!” he shrieked and punched me in the face.
I staggered at Grumpy, who caught me, dumfounded. E.T. was standing aside, staring at us with curiosity. I wasn’t even surprised that he didn’t plan to stop him.
“Hey, HEY!” Grumpy blocked the high schooler, pushing him into the house. “That’s enough.”
“And who are you, old man!? His protector!?”
“Let’s call it that way.” He showed him a badge. The high schooler turned pale. “So if you don’t want to go back to the police station, cooperate with us.”
“What now!” he groaned, but let us in.
He gave us coffee, but I didn’t drink it. Oh, I wanted it so bad, but I was playing tough, so he wouldn’t punch me again.
“Why did you punch him?” Grumpy asked. “I heard that everything has been clarified.”
“Officially, yes,” the high schooler grumbled, glancing at me grimly. “But it’s private matter.”
“Private my butt. Spit it out, brat.”
He hesitated, but didn’t have choice and said:
“My girlfriend broke up with me. Because of him.”
For a second I felt a guilt, but it disappeared quickly. It was not my fault that she was obsessed with me.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Grumpy said, however his voice didn’t sound as he really was sorry. “Then, let’s get to the point. We’re not here because of your funny and immature actions from a few months ago. We think that you didn’t act alone.”
“What do you mean?” E.T. asked.
“The big boy knows what I’m talking about. It’s impossible that you knew Jihun’s every move and everything about him, even though you hate him so much. Someone was giving you hunches, am I right?”
I stared at the high schooler with impatience. Were we right, or not?
“Yes...” he finally said. For some reason I was relieved.
“Who was it?”
“I don’t know, didn’t see his face. I only remember this creepy, wry smile.”
Grumpy exchanged looks with me. So it was him indeed.
“What did he tell you? He gave you the information about Jihun?”
“And how did he know that you’re related to Jihun’s fan?”
“I don’t know! He stopped me on a street one day and asked whether I knew him.” He pointed at me. “I said yes, and then he asked me, if I knew a specific girl. He showed me my girlfriend’s photo.”
He must have been observing them too, I thought. Judging by his face, Grumpy thought the same thing.
“And you told him what you think about Jihun,” Grumpy guessed. The high schooler nodded. E.T. was more and more confused. “How stupid were you to tell this to a stranger?”
“Detective.” I patted his back to stop him from being harsher.
“Okay, okay.” Grumpy sighed and continued, “Did he tell you anything else? Or did something that you remember?”
“He was talking to someone on the phone,” the high schooler said slowly.
“Phone?” all three of us asked in the same time.
“Yes... It was a simple and rather idiotic number.”
Something tied itself around my stomach. I reached to Grumpy’s jacket pocket. “Was it similar to this one?” I showed him the telephone number, which we had from the fiancé.
High schooler’s eyes widened and this something, that was tied around my stomach, suddenly became heavy.
“Yes!” he shouted. “That’s the number! I remember it clearly... How did you get it?”
We didn’t answer that. The atmosphere became darker.
“Do you... Do you know who he was calling?” I nearly whispered, as my voice broke.
He didn’t want to answer me, but he met Grumpy’s panda eyes and said:
“Not sure. It was probably woman’s name. S... Seo? Seo Yi? Seo Yun?”
“He was calling HER!?” I stood up violently, hitting Grumpy in the jaw with my hand. “Oh, sorry...” I sat down.
“You know her? Hey, will you finally tell me what’s going on?”
“Sorry, brat. That doesn’t concern you.” Grumpy raised, lifting me up too. “We’re going. Thanks for your cooperation. Ah, and the coffee was bitter. Work on that.”
“Hey, wait!” E.T. said, but waved to his friend and followed us.
He stopped me outside.
“What’s the meaning of this, huh!? You just scared him! And me too. What’s going on, Kim?”
“Thanks for your cooperation too, another brat.” Grumpy freed me from him. “Forget what you heard and go home.”
“Forget!? Why would I –”
“Or I’ll lock you up.”
That worked. E.T. frowned but went his way. We got into the car and went our way too.
Later this evening we had dance practice in the company. I told my members everything we discovered and hoped, that Grumpy will find out why hooded man called Choi Seo Yun that day. When we finished around 10 p.m., E.T. burst into our practice room.
“You bastard!!” he shrieked suddenly and punched me in the face.
I almost flew, hitting the wall. One punch a day was enough, so the second one angered me.
“What the hell, E.T.!?” Youjin outraged, grabbing him by shirt.
I wiped my lip and looked at DRAGon’s leader. I felt anxiety. Was he... crying?
“What happened?” I asked, getting up.
“WHAT happened!? You dare –”
“YES, I DARE!” I yelled angrily. “How would I know, if you didn’t tell me!? I’m not a psychic!”
E.T. bit his trembling lip and quickly wiped his eyes. My members moved back, puzzled.
“It’s your fault,” E.T. said. “If you and that detective didn’t come...”
I froze with fear.
“Something happened to your friend?” I blurted nervously. “What –”
“Yeah! Happened! HE’S DEAD! YOU killed him!”