Not much later on, Chris entered the lunchroom. He scanned the room until he saw Tae-Hyun in line to get her food.
Chris jogged over and stood next to Tae-Hyun in line. He said gently, "Tae-Hyun?"
She turned around and her expression darkened.
"Oh," Tae-Hyun said softly, "Hey, Chris."
"Can I... Talk to you about something?" Chris asked quietly.
Tae-Hyun studied him and said in a monotone, "Sure, anything, friend."
Chris nodded, "So... You know how you and I got together and decided that we would team up and see if we could get Julien to like either of us?"
"Yes..." Tae-Hyun said, involuntarily clenching her teeth. Chris noticed the gesture and swallowed nervously.
"Well..." Chris said, pulling at his collar, "Um... So..."
Tae-Hyun waited for him to finish and the lunch lady scooped a gooey orangish substance onto Tae-Hyun's lunch tray with a wet plop!
"Um..." Chris continued, "Julien asked me out."
"I know." Tae-Hyun said, looking anywhere but Chris' face.
Chris winced and said, embarrassed, "You do?"
Tae-Hyun nodded silently, focusing on her lunch tray.
"So..." Chris said, "Do you know what else happened?"
There was a pause; Tae-Hyun turned her gaze to Chris' and answered, "No..."
Chris closed his eyes, almost wishing someone had already told her.
"Oh..." He said, "Okay."
Tae-Hyun stared at Chris intensely and they got out of the lunch line.
Chris looked at his friend and said sincerely, "Tae-Hyun... I'm not sure how much you'll want to hear about this, but you should know... That Julien and I kissed on Sunday."
Tae-Hyun's face cleared of emotion and she stared at Chris for a long, long time. Chris stared back at her guiltily, forcing himself to not look away.
Tae-Hyun finally dropped Chris' gaze and sighed tiredly.
"You know what?" She said, "I just don't know what I should do... I feel like I want to be angry at you, but I don't think you are the problem."
Chris looked puzzled and asked, "What is the problem?"
Tae-Hyun sighed again, "Julien."
"Really?" Chris said, surprised, "How so?"
"Yes..." Tae-Hyun said, looking at Chris, "What do you say we try to forget about him?"
Chris' shoulders sagged and he replied hesitantly, "Well... I... I don't know if I can just like that. I mean, he says he really likes me-"
"And maybe he does," Tae-Hyun said, "But he was using me for sure. It turns out that Julien doesn't like girls like that... He's like you."
Chris sighed, trying to figure out what to do. Suddenly, Geoffry came into his mind and Chris remembered what had happened earlier that day.
"God... I just don't know." Chris said, running his fingers through his bangs, "Why does everything have to be so hard?"
"Not anymooore." Geoffry suddenly walked by, his head in the air haughtily.
Chris and Tae-Hyun turned to look at him. Geoffry stopped in front of them, his arm around Lester's shoulders.
"That's right, Chris, you heard me." Geoffry said snottily, "I am not attracted to you anymore. I have a new boy toy and he is much better than you."
"Wait, wait, wait, did you just say boy toy?" Lester said, "Woah, man, I dunno if I'm cool with that. I'm definitely not gay or anything, only loser people are gay."
Lester addressed Chris, "Sorry, man. Nothing personal, I just gotta hang around with the cool crowd, ya know?"
Chris crossed his arms and said, "Fine, Geoffry, hang out with Lester and see what I care. I don't care!... Plus, Lester clearly has no sex appeal."
Lester looked offended and claimed, "Hey, man, I got plenty of sex appeal. Have you seen my six pack?"
Chris covered his eyes with his hand and said, "Lester, no one wants to see that."
"Why do you hurt me so, Chris? I thought we were friends!" Lester cried. He got away from Geoffry's grip and ran across the lunchroom.
Chris sighed heavily and Tae-Hyun watched Lester in wonder.
"What..." She said, "Was that?"
Chris said tiredly, "That was Lester. You've probably seen him around, haven't you? He's kind of always... Just... There."
Tae-Hyun nodded, "Huh."
Geoffry sighed, "Well... That was fun while it lasted."
The three of them stood around for a moment longer. Then, Geoffry turned to Chris and said quietly, "So, do you wanna get together this weekend?"
Disgusted, Chris shoved Geoffry away and said, "Ew, you are such an ass."
"Come on, Chris, please?" Geoffry said.
"No!" Chris cried, "You are unbelievable! After what you did to Alice I will never take you back! Never, Geoffry!"
"Oh..." Geoffry said, "So, that's why you're mad?"
"Yes, that's why I'm mad! Along with a million other reasons called your personality!" Chris said, "Now leave me alone!"
Chris and Tae-Hyun walked away and Geoffry sighed heavily. He said quietly to himself, "Alrighty, Geoffry, you've got to stay away from Chris now, alright? It's for your own good... My own good."
But for some reason, he just could not bring himself to do that.
Then, Geoffry realized something.
If I can't get his attention by getting him to love me, Geoffry thought, Then maybe I can get him to hate me.
He already sort of hates me. Geoffry thought,
But I can do better than that.