.:chapter seventeen:.

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MARK is in the lead. JENO in second, with DONGHYUCK in third. CHENLE in last. RENJUN had been eliminated.

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"jaemin, we need to talk." i started. he looked at me with warm eyes, waiting for me to continue. "i've been thinking a lot, and i think it's better if we stay friends."

"but why? is it because i'm hyunjin's friend?" jaemin asked. there was sadness within his voice, which pained my heart.

"that's part of the reason. but we've known each other since we were practically infants. i don't want to lose you, but i think that it would be better if we were friends." i explained. he looked like he was about to cry.

"can i at least have a hug?" he opened his arms. i buried my face in jaemin's chest, inhaling his scent. i feel awful for doing this to him, but he must feel a thousand times more worse.

"this doesn't mean we can't hang out and be friends." i try to cheer him up, even though i just broke his heart. his eyes watered, and a tear fell. i wiped it away, and he sniffled.

"i'm such a cry baby." he huffed.

"someone once told me: don't feel bad for having feelings" i brushed his hair out of his eyes and smiled. he smiled sadly and pulled me in for another hug.

"do you wanna study with me?" renjun shyly approached me. "you know, with finals coming up."

"sure. but i'm not good at studying. i think instead of studying with me, you're gonna be tutoring me." i say. he laughed.

we both enter the library; the air conditioning chills my skin and i slightly shiver. we reserve a table, but he takes off his jacket and puts it around me.

"it's okay, you can keep your jacket." i tell him. but he grips my shoulders.

"i know you're cold." renjun says. "please, i insist you borrow my jacket."

"thanks." i accept his jacket. we started our study session, and for the most part it was the most efficient studying i've ever done.

page after page, hour after hour. the time flies by. i notice that renjun stares at me a lot. i caught him looking at me a few times, but to lessen the awkwardness, i'd ask him a question.

"do you know why hong yeji was my girlfriend?" renjun suddenly asked.

"n-no?" i shook my head.

"i wanted to make you jealous. that time when we were in elementary school; i wanted to make you jealous. but i thought you didn't care." renjun explained.

"well, it worked. but i thought your actions meant something else." i told him.

"do you still have feelings for me?" renjun asks. a lump grows in my throat. two heartbreaks in one day.

"i'm so sorry." i say. "but i don't."

"i see. you've moved on. i'm like a decade late." renjun jokes to hide his pain. but i know he's hurting.

"that was so long ago. feels like a different life." i say.

it gets late, renjun and i are still sitting in the library. i've decided to take a nap.

renjun looks at the clock and noticed how late it is. he starts putting away his books, but notices a sleeping hyejin. she looks too peaceful to be woken up.

"i guess i'll just carry you home." renjun muttered to himself. "but i don't know where you live."

"i'll take her home." jaemin appears from behind the bookshelves.

"na jaemin?" renjun questions. "how can i trust you?"

"i'm her neighbor, genius." jaemin replies with sass.

renjun cleans up hyejin's mess and watched as jaemin carried her out the door.

"goodbye, hyejin." renjun whispers to himself.

jaemin carries hyejin home. the sun was setting, painting the sky a warm orange and streaks of pink within the clouds.

jaemin knocked on the door and jaehwa answered. she silently let jaemin inside, understanding the situation. she follows jaemin to hyejin's room and opens the door for him.

after jaehwa leaves, jaemin rests hyejin on her bed, brushing the hair out of her face.

"you look so beautiful when you sleep." he says in a soft voice. "this might sound weird, but i wish i could be the one that sleeps next to you to keep you warm."

"i love you, hyejin. but it's okay if i'm not the reason for your smile."

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this is the longest chapter yet. two heartbreaks in one since y'all voted jaemin and renjun down.

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mark

jeno

donghyuck

chenle

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