Love on Air

“Two souls but with a single thought.. Two hearts that beat as one..” he said as his voice echoed through my room. “A wonderful poem by John Keats. It’s for those who have found love in each other and are united like one soul. I wish you all good luck with the last song of the day. It’s For you by EXO – CBX.  Goodnight my friends..” he said before the sweet melody of the song started. I laid down on my bed with a smile, humming softly to the melody. His radio shows were getting better day by day.

Sorry I forgot to introduce myself. I’m (y/n), 21, currently a sophomore in college. I’m majoring in psychology and dream to become a well known psychologist. I love reading and currently my favourite hobby or you can say a habit is to listen to our college radio. Why? Because of one of my senior or year mate. Yes you’re right. He is the RJ of the show and his name is Chen. Well, that’s not his real name though. I heard that it was a pet name.

I wasn’t really into radio and stuff but one day when I was surfing through the radio to find our college’s channel, I stumbled across this show. It was a late night show and it started around 9 pm. The first time I heard his voice, it felt a little awkward. His voice was not too deep but not too light. There was a weird contrast of everything and I don’t know how but it soothed my soul. I found my solace in the voice of that unknown person. And he played really nice songs, so I became more addicted to it. It became a daily part of my life. I almost forgot to mention that it was one of our most famous shows. Even people from outside tuned into it, just to listen to his show. Ahh… I really wish to meet Chen in real life so I can tell him how much I love his show and his voice.

I was lost in the trance of the music when my phone buzzed. I got up and checked the message.

From : Cat Jongdae 
To : Puppy (y/n)
10:04 PM
Have you finished your thesis paper? You said you would show me!
Oh shit! I almost forgot to tell him. I’m becoming more ignorant these days. I immediately replied him.
From : Puppy (y/n)
To : Cat Jongdae 
10:08 PM
I have finally completed it. I’ll show you tomorrow. 9 am library. Usual place
I put down the phone and walked to my bed again.
Point to self : Tell Jongdae to write his own essay from now on!

I sighed as I flipped on my stomach and buried my face in the pillow. Jongdae was my best friend from childhood. He was that whiny nerd kid who would copy your homework but he would still top the class. But to be honest, I really didn’t mind showing my stuff to him. After all he always helped me even when he was in trouble. I smiled at the thought. Jongdae my cat – angel.

I entered the library at sharp 9 and walked to our usual table. He was already there writing his assignment. “You’re late..” he said without looking up. “You’re early. It’s sharp 9.” I said and sat down opposite to him. He finally looked at me. Jongdae was handsome. Not the kind that would make you drool for him but the kind that would silently make your heart flutter. He was wearing his usual study glasses and snap back with his favorite black tee and right now he looked terrible. “Here have some coffee first. You look so done with the world..” I said and gave him his favourite iced americano. “You’re my lifesaver. What would I do without you?” he replied with a smile.

I always adored his smiles. The way his lips curled up was way too poetic and it always left a warm feeling in my heart. “You’re such a bias wrecker Jongdae..” I whispered to myself. “Did you say something?” he asked. “No..” I replied flipping through my books. “I swear you said something. What is it tell me! I want to know!!” he whined. Aghh this boy! “I said I love you.” I replied without looking at him. All of a sudden everything became very silent. I looked up to see his flustered red face. “What? Why is your face so red?” I asked him worried. “Aish! (y/n) I told you not to joke like that! Ugh I’m not talking to you!” he said and stomped away angrily. What happened to him? “Ya! Jongdae! I thought you wanted my thesis! Ya!” I yelled only to get stern looks from the librarian. What is wrong with this guy?

He avoided me for a whole day. What is wrong with this guy? He never behaves like this. Was my joke too much? I mean yeah I always liked him and that’s why I joked like that. Why did he became so offended? I called Jongdae at night before the start of my favourite show. “Jongdae.. I’m sorry.. I didn’t know you’d get so angry..” I cooed.

“It’s okay.. I’m sorry too for behaving like that.. Hey I’ll talk to you later okay! Bye bye” he said and hung up. He was always busy around this time. I wonder what he does. After getting in college he became more secretive. I looked at the clock and it was a minute to 9 pm. I immediately turned on the radio and waited to hear my favourite voice on earth!

“Good evening everyone! I’m RJ Chen and once again I’m here for another show. Hope you enjoy!” his voice sang from the radio. The show started out with different poems which eventually merged into songs. One of the reasons why I loved his shows was his passion and huge collection of love poems. The time ticked gradually and the show’s ending came. “Today I want to share a few lines before I end. It’s actually from my friend..” he said with a small laugh. “So.. Here it is.. I see her everyday. Wrapped in the afterglow of sun. She was beautiful and bright. Probably too much for me. When her eyes shined in the moonlight, when her hair was gently swept by the winds, does she know how much it wavered my heart? I wanted to break the walls and hold her close to me.. But I couldn’t. I loved her and sometimes she loved me too..” he paused for a second and then continued “Sometimes when you’re in love with someone you can’t have, don’t lose hope. You never know when a miracle can occur. Holding onto hope, the last song of today Moonlight by EXO. Goodnight my friends..” he spoke and his voice was drowned in the melody.

Next morning I met Jongdae at library. He was again running late for his assignments. “What were you doing last night? You’re always late these days.. Jongdae is there a problem? Share with me..” I asked him in a concerned way. “I’m just tired these days.. Ah.. Mom called to tell you that you need to come with me for dinner soon or lest she’ll be angry..” he said. I nodded and suddenly my eyes fell on one of our batch mate. He instantly looked away when our eyes met. “Jongdae did you hear Chen’s last show? It was so beautiful wasn’t it?” I chirped joyfully. “Yeah..” he replied without looking. “I wonder how he looks..” I said and Jongdae looked at me and asked “What do you think how he looks?”.

“I think he’ll be really handsome you know and he’ll be really tall but it doesn’t matter. Since his voice is beautiful he’ll be really beautiful. And his eyes will be really pretty too..” I replied dreamily. “How do you know?” he asked. There was weird vibe from his voice. “I just know.. He’ll be really handsome..” I replied and looked at him. He looked like he was trying to suppress something.

Chen’s Pov

Her perception of me is so different. She thinks Chen is someone who is tall and handsome and stuff but does she know that Chen is none other than her nerdy best friend Jongdae? She doesn’t know, that fool definitely doesn’t know. I sighed to myself. It’s my fault actually. I should have told her about my gig but I didn’t. But she should have guessed by now. Her IQ is dropping day by day, I’m surprised that she is still eligible for college. That girl. A giggle erupted out of me. “Jongdae.. Why are you laughing? Do you think it’s funny?” Baekhyun snorted. I looked up and finally realised that I was spacing out again. After her that ‘I love you’ joke I have completely lost my mind. Only I know how much I wished it to be true. “Jongdae!” Baekhyun waved in front of my eyes. “Sorry sorry.. Tell me again..” I replied. He rolled his eyes and said “I’m saying.. Introduce me to your friend.. I mean (y/n).. She is really cute..” he said shyly. Anger flared up inside me.

Point to myself : Sprinkle some itching powder on Baekhyun. 

I was broken away from my thoughts when I heard (y/n) calling and running towards us. She reached us huffing and puffing. Baekhyun was immediately tensed by her presence. “Jongdae why didn’t you tell me!” she said angrily. Huh? What didn’t I tell her? Wait did she found out I’m Chen? “I’m sorry..” I murmured ashamed. “You should have told me that he is Chen!” she said pointing at Baekhyun. What?! Is she really that dumb? “I’m Chen?” Baekhyun questioned himself. “Aren’t you?” she asked. She was already blushing. “I’m…” before Baekhyun could reply I cut him off and said “Yes! He is Chen.. And he wanted to meet you for a long time (y/n)”.

I can’t believe I said that! Why the hell did I told her that Baekhyun was Chen! What was I thinking?! I’m insane! I groaned and punched the wall in frustration only to regret it later. Ouch! It hurts. I could have easily told her that it was me but no I had to make up a bat shit false. I looked at the clock and it was almost time for my show. It’s been 3 weeks since that incident and I still regret it. I think a part of me will always regret it. I entered the studio and greeted my friend who was the technician. I put on my headphones and started the show. “Hello everyone! This is RJ Chen and on this warm day of summer I hope you get a cool relief to soothe your heart…” I spoke in deep voice. The show continued for an hour. “Maybe it was always supposed to be like this. Me looking at her, thinking she is my world but she looking back at me thinking I’m only a friend. It was a tragedy encased in the beauty of friendship..” I said closing my journal for the day. “One sided love is painful and I think that’s the beauty of it. The last song of today is What If by EXO. Goodnight my friends..” I said and left the studio. I walked down the campus and turned towards the field when all of a sudden a figure jumped in front of me. “Omma!” I screamed. “Don’t disturb auntie..” a voice replied suppressing laughter. I looked up and it was her. “What are you doing here? Go back to your dorm!” I snapped. “I won’t! I need some fresh air. Baekhyun’s voice was too sad today you know. I’m hoping to catch him too..” she replied looking around. “He went back. I saw him..” I lied. I hated the fact that for the last three weeks, she’s only been talking about him. “Oh…” she said disappointed. “But what were you doing here this late?” she asked. “I forget something..” I lied again. I keep lying to her nowadays and I absolutely hate it. “Okay.. Walk me back to the dorm..” she said and wrapped her arm around my neck. It’s been long since we spent time like this. Gosh.. I missed her a lot. We reached her dorm within 10 minutes.

“Go in..” I said. “Jongdae-ah.. Don’t avoid me. I don’t want you to drift away from me. Tell me your problems okay.. I’ll be there for you..” she said and pulled me in a hug. “Okay okay.. Now go in before someone catches you..” I replied ushering her in. She waved at me and walked in. Her words comforted me in a way that no one else could. This girl right here, owns my heart and I would do anything to tell it to her. A smile escaped from my lips. My phone buzzed and Baekhyun messaged me to meet up with him now in the ground. Is everything alright? I ran towards the ground and met up with him. I panted heavily from running. “What happened?” I asked worriedly. “I can’t lie anymore to her Jongdae.. I can’t fake being Chen anymore..” he said frustrated. “Why? What’s the issue?” I asked. “She is basically in love with Chen! She loves you!” he said angrily. My mind went totally blank. She loves me? “I’m going to tell her the truth Jongdae..” he said. “No..” I whispered in disbelief. “Yes I am! I’m falling for her goddammit! I can’t lie to her anymore..” he yelled.

(y/n)’s Pov: Whenever Jongdae smiles like that, my heart just melts into a puddle. It would be wrong to say that I never had a crush on him. I did, back in the sixth grade because I thought he looked like a white Persian cat. I even offered him to be my cat but he rejected. But nowadays he just seems so distant that I feel like he is drifting away from me. Did he get a girlfriend or something? Wait.. What if he really did? Suddenly there was a weird sensation in my gut. No.. No.. If he had he would have told me right?

The next morning I wanted to snap the head of idiotic Jongdae! This brat was laughing his butt off with a girl. Who is she? Is that his girlfriend? Anger flared up inside me and I wanted to tear that girl apart from him. I approached them and took Jongdae aside. “Who is she?” I snarled. “I’ll tell you later. She is amazing! I gotta go!” he replied grinning. Seeing him smile like that burned my insides. He walked back to her. “Is she your girlfriend?” I heard her ask. He laughed and said “No no.. She is my friend..”. Friend? Not even best friend? My hands curled into a fist. There was a pang in my heart. I don’t know why but this ‘Friend’ tag hurts way too much.

“(y/n) I was looking for you..” someone spoke behind me. I turned around and saw that it was Baekhyun. “(y/n)…. D-do y-you wanna go on a date with me tomorrow?” he stammered. “YES! ILL DEFINITELY GO ON A DATE WITH YOU BEAKHYUN!” I yelled instantly. Jongdae looked at me a surprised but it was soon overshadowed by sadness.

I couldn’t stop thinking about him with that girl. He looked way too happy and it pained me. Not because he was happy but because he was with that girl. It was certain that I was jealous. But friends don’t get jealous like this do they? Then.. Do I love him?

Baekhyun came to pick me up the next morning. I completely forgot about the date. I apologised but eventually went with him. We went to the movies and then had lunch together. After that we walked around Kwangjang market. We returned to the campus around 9:30 pm. “(y/n).. I have to tell you something…” he said without meeting my eyes. “Yeah.. Go on” I urged him to continue. “I’m not Chen you know… It’s Jongdae.. I wanted to tell you the truth for a long time but I liked you so I didn’t wanted to let you go… I’m sorry for lying to you..” he said, his voice almost choking. “I knew you weren’t Chen.. I actually found out last night.. I’m glad you told the truth. You’re a good person Baekhyun but I’m sorry… I love Jongdae.. You’ll meet someone better..” I replied.

“How did you found out?” he asked curiously. “The words he uses. Sometimes she’s jealous, sometimes not. Is she finally feeling the same thing? Uhhmmm.. Actually from the moment he started reading those short stories.. I just knew you know. But last night I confirmed that it was him..” I replied. “I’m sorry..” Baekhyun apologised. The clock struck 10 pm. He must be coming out now. “It’s okay Baekhyun. I wish you luck! And let’s stay friends if you want.. I’ll talk to you later.. I gotta find him.. Bye!” I shouted, already running towards the studio.

I reached the studio and asked about his whereabouts. They said that he already left. I ran towards the boys dorm but before that I found him lying on the field. I walked towards him with a smile and laid down beside him. “What are you doing?” I asked. “Nothing..” he replied. “Sorry I missed your show today..” I said holding back a smile. He immediately sat upright and looked at me dumbfounded. “You knew?” he asked surprised. “Found out last night..” I replied, cursing my stupidity. “I’m sorry.. I should have told you earlier…” he replied looking down. “It’s okay.. Better late than never..” I replied sitting straight. “How long we have been friends Jongdae?” I asked him. “14 years..” he replied confused. “I think I had enough time to understand.. But as you know I’m an idiot… I just found out yesterday that… That I’m sort of in love with you, you know… I hated seeing you with that girl..” I said shyly. His face was totally red but he replied “You’re truly an idiot.. But you know, I’ve always been in love with you..” he replied grinning from ear to ear. For a moment, we just sat there smiling at each other. “So.. Do you wanna become my cat now?” I asked breaking the silence. “How about I become your boyfriend?” he asked with a smirk. “Better..” I replied grinning back.

I don’t know how life’s gonna turn out for us, but I’m sure about one thing that this boy, who has the brightest smile I have ever seen will be there until the end. The summer air was thick but it was grazed with our confession. We stayed silent and just looked at the sky, smiling to ourselves. He was beautiful and so was his love and I’ll be always thankful for him. “You know.. I still prefer myself as a beagle..” he said. “Whatever. You’ll always be my cat Jongdae..”

The End

Written by Nabamita Kanjilal, Kolkata, West Bengal, India (Korean Culture India Fan Club)

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