It was a nice day outside. The sun wasn’t shining too bright and there was a slight breeze, making it a little cooler. Surprisingly, no one was out and about despite it being the weekend. Perhaps everyone was already where they’re supposed to be at?
“Are you bored?” asked the voice that broke into my musings.
Turning to the source, I shook my head and replied, “No, I was just thinking.”
“Oh alright. Well, let me know if you are, okay?”
“Okay, I will.”
With that short exchange, Seokjin returned his attention to his book.
We were currently inside his car, parked a few blocks down from their apartment. Apparently, he wanted some quiet time and since the members can get a little loud (understatement of the year), he decided to go “outside”, inviting me along in the process. I didn’t realize “outside” meant literally just that though, but this wasn’t so bad. The peaceful environment was a nice break from the usual chaos of hanging out with seven boys.
‘I wish I brought a book too though, or my sketch book,‘ I thought, disappointed. I’d ask Seokjin about the book he was reading, but he seemed so into it that it would probably be rude to interrupt him. Instead, I took out my iPod and opted for continuing to look outside the window. Pressing Shuffle Songs, I was pleasantly surprised that the first song to play was “24/7 = Heaven.” ‘How fitting that I’m listening to their song,‘ I thought and smiled.
I must have dozed off while listening to music because the next thing I knew, I was being slightly shaken awake.
“Hey, want to go back to the apartment so you can sleep more properly?” Seokjin asked, slight concern evident in his voice.
“Oh, no, it’s okay. I just dozed off a bit, ” I said. “I am a bit hungry though.”
“Let’s go back then. Maybe the members want to grab some lunch as well,” he said and put away his book, but not before marking the page where he left off.
I nodded in agreement. However, as he started the car, an idea popped into my head. “Hey, Seokjin?”
“Hmm?” He was putting on his seat belt now.
“Can I drive?”
That simple question stopped him momentarily. He then gave me a surprised look which eventually turned into a thoughtful one, like he was really thinking about it. A part of me was slightly offended that he didn’t trust me and my driving skills with his car. However, there was also a part of me that understood how he felt. After all, I did tell him about that one time I almost crashed my dad’s car into a fire hydrant. So yeah, his hesitation was completely understandable.
“Well, it’s only a few blocks. Sure, why not?” With that, he let go of his seat belt. Excited and happy, I reached over and gave him a quick hug before he got out of the car. “Thank you,” I said. Hey, it might seem like such a simple thing, but him agreeing meant a lot to me, and I hoped my actions (if not my words) conveyed that.
Returning the hug, he smiled and replied, “You’re welcome.”
A few moments later, we exchanged seats and I was finally behind the wheel. First, I checked if all the necessary parts were where they’re supposed to be. Signals, break, accelerator, etc. Okay, so far so good.
I must have looked weird because I then heard a slight chuckle from my only companion. “Do I look funny?” I asked, slightly embarrassed.
“A little, yes. But mostly cute,” Seokjin said with a smile.
Oookay, let’s not go there, Chris. In the first place, your driving skills aren’t that good so you can’t afford any distractions, especially if said distraction is a same-age friend. A good-looking same-age friend who happens to be in the seat next to you.
Fighting the urge to turn red in embarrassment, I took deep breaths instead, which is actually a habit I developed whenever I start driving.
Now that my head was clearer, I was about to drive off when I voiced out my current dilemma.
“Um. Which way do we go again?”
What was supposed to be a 5-minute drive back turned into almost half an hour. Since I was driving already, Seokjin decided to let me practice a bit, especially turning, which I was bad at. I was really thankful because he was so patient with me and my slight panicking whenever something didn’t go right.
“WHERE DID YOU GUYS GO?!” was what greeted us upon opening the door to their apartment.
“Nice to be back too, Taehyung,” I replied and smiled. He pouted as a reply and as he opened his mouth to say something, Jimin pushed him out of the way. “Now that you’re here, let’s gooo~!” he said excitedly.
Confusion must have been written on mine and Seokjin’s faces because Namjoon filled us in: Yoongi was gonna treat everyone to lunch.
Oh. Cool! I was about to look for him and say my thanks when Namjoon continued talking. Apparently, Yoongi’s treat came at the price of him driving everyone to the place where we would be eating.
At this piece of information, our elation turned into horror. I mean, I know I don’t drive well (yet), but Yoongi was another story, which I really don’t want to go into. Suffice to say, it was bad enough to traumatize me, Seokjin, Namjoon, and even the ever-happy and hopeful Hoseok. Yes, it was that bad.
Seeing the looks on our faces, Jungkook asked, “What’s wrong? Is Yoongi-hyung’s driving a bad thing?” Unfortunately, nobody had the heart to tell him the truth, so we just resigned ourselves to our fate and ushered the younger members out the door and into the van we would be using. Sometimes I felt bad for the clueless younger ones..
Once everyone was piled inside the van, we waited a bit until finally, Yoongi arrived and greeted everyone with an energetic, “Are you guys ready?!” In response, the Maknae Line responded with an equally energetic, “Yeah!!”
I couldn’t help but chuckle at this exchange. It was normal for Jimin, Taehyung, and Jungkook to be lively, but Yoongi? Something good must have happened to bring about this sudden change so might as well let him do his thing.
Seokjin, who was sitting next to me, caught me laughing and looked at me. I just shrugged and smiled, hoping he’d get the message that I just want to let things be. I think he understood because he nodded and smiled as well.
With that, we were off.
The first few minutes of the ride weren’t that bad. Like most drivers, Yoongi didn’t really fully stop at each Stop sign, but that was pretty much it. In fact, his turns were much better than mine. I guess we were worried for nothing.
We were about to get onto the freeway. Unfortunately, traffic was very heavy that even the ramp for merging was backed up. We were still some hundred feet from the ramp when I noticed something.
We weren’t slowing down. At all.
Namjoon must have noticed it too because he said, “Hyung, can you ease up on the gas?”
Yoongi complied, but we were still barely slowing down. Perhaps he just removed his foot from the gas but he still hasn’t stepped on the brakes?
By now, Seokjin and Hoseok were also worried, and the younger members must have sensed our unease because they suddenly stopped playing around.
It was an uncomfortable silence, and I felt like everyone was waiting for someone to speak up or for something to happen. Fulfilling the former, Yoongi said, “Why so quiet, guys? Don’t worry, I got this.” This was coming from the person who was causing all this anxiety as we approached the last car in the ramp which was probably less than 200 ft from us then.
A beat. And then all hell broke loose.
All I heard was screaming (I was most likely involved) and chaos, but what stood out the most was the collective, “YOONGI (-HYUNG)!!!!!” followed by everyone lurching forward from a sudden (yet much needed) stop.
I quickly checked how everyone was. Jungkook, Jimin, and Taehyung at the back looked thrown off, but otherwise they looked unhurt. The same went for Hoseok who was sitting on Seokjin’s other side. As for Seokjin himself, I didn’t notice that he had grabbed my arm until he let go and mumbled a quick, “Sorry about that,” before turning away.
Looking ahead, I saw that Namjoon (who had been riding shotgun) was leaning at an awkward angle, with Yoongi looking quite offended. It took me a few seconds to realize that the reason for this scene was because Namjoon reached over and stepped on the breaks.
My first thought was, ‘Bless you and your long legs, Namjoon,‘ which was followed by, ‘Yoongi, you look offended. REALLY?!‘ I couldn’t really say the latter so I just asked out loud, “Is everyone okay?” I got a weak, “Yeah..” in reply.
At this point, Yoongi looked like he wanted to say something, but Namjoon cut him off, almost shouting, “Nope. That’s it, we’re switching seats, hyung. I don’t care if you don’t treat us anymore, but if it means everyone coming out of this trip unscathed, then so be it.”
Yoongi shot back a response, and it eventually escalated into an argument which was only stopped when the car behind us blew its horn because we were blocking traffic.
In the end, Seokjin drove because Namjoon didn’t have a license after all. Meanwhile, I was left with a sulking Yoongi and hyperactive-once-again Hoseok, Jimin, Jungkook, and Taehyung.
And so we lived for one more day.
All I can is WOW. My anxiety about driving on the freeway for the first time must be so bad that I even dreamed about it. On the upside, BTS was also in it. And it seems like Seokjin and I were pretty close? ㅋㅋㅋ
Edit: I just watched a radio broadcast of the group from March earlier this year and apparently, at that time, none of the members own a car. However, Seokjin and Yoongi do have driver’s licenses. So my dream was kinda true then, especially regarding my anxiety about driving. I just don’t know if Yoongi really sucks at it though. Hehe.