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Prince of Food Ep 14: Pudding

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⧫Jackson Young


Harmonie


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If looks could kill, I'm almost 100% sure I would be dead and buried by now.


The guy who I had been talking to was just glaring at me with an unmistakable murderous intention in his eyes. I could tell since it was a similar look to what grams would give when I truly piss her off.


"..Um hello?" I ask a bit nervous still as a wave a hand in front of his face.


He slaps my hand away almost immediately and pouts even further. I had to restrain every bit of being not to make a very unhelpful comparison of him to a cat again.


"..No, I think you have me confused for someone else." He said with a frown.


It was obvious that he was lying, he knew it and I knew it. But to be honest I was about to just let it drop in the sense that I just wanted to continue with my night, drama withstanding of course.


"Oh uh, well then sorry about that. Must have gotten you mixed up with-"


"Jung-hee? Jesus, I thought you fell in there or something with how long you were taking."


Have you ever seen someone look like God has abandoned them? Well, that could only be the way I could describe how his expression just drops. I had to bite my tongue to stop the laugh that wanted to bubble in my throat. We both turned to whoever called to him and what proceeded afterward was probably the most interesting game of recognition ping pog yet.


The woman saw me, stop short with her face draining of the smile that had been on it. I recognized her in a few seconds as a waitress from Jubilees one that I know for a fact Jac has tried to hit on with zero success. And while the guy is looking at her like she couldn't have come at a more ill opportune time. And at the moment, to top it all off, she said exactly what we all were thinking at the moment.


"..Oh fuck..."


Hmm, quite so.


"....So you are from Jubilee's then?" I ask unconsciously before I could stop myself.


Again, if looks could kill.


"...What do you want?" He responds with a grunt.


Well, there goes all the courage as I now have his full attention. He pissed which honestly given our interaction, not all surprised.


"Uh... well I just wanted to say... umm...." I stumble around like a child.


I wasn't really sure where my mind just went. I guess now know that I most defiantly cause this guy to most likely lose his job is sinking in a bit more.


"What do you want?" He asks again this time angrier.


I flinch a bit before finally getting my shit together and answering him.


"Look, man... I'm sorry about what happened?"


Weak, but at least I got it out.


"....Is that all?" He said with a very unimpressed look on his face.


Well, this is great, he's fucking petty. My favorite type of people.


"Jung-hee!" The girl hisses from behind him and clearly hits his shoulder.


Jung-hee gives her that same unimpressed look that clearly tells me this is just his personality in a nutshell.


"..Uh yeah that's all." I answer, not fully able to not have the annoyance show in my voice.


"Great super, thank you for the apology." He responded in the blandest tone I'm sure he could muster.


This guy..!!


"Do we have a problem?" I ask crossing my arms over my chest, completely forgetting my earlier guilt.


He looks back at me, still unimpressed, which irks me even further. I guess I'm just too used to people being kind or at least respectful of me given my name. It doesn't... bother me exactly, just really... off-putting.


"Oh no, no problem. Just accepting your apology for making me lose my job."


Ah and there's the guilt. I know I physically flinch at his biting tone and instantly lose a bit of steam.


"Look I said I'm sorry man, honestly I am." I say again, this time firmly.


"..And I don't care, honestly."


This jackass!! I glare back at him again, gone is the guilt. This guy is really giving me emotional whiplash.


"Jung-Hee! That's enough!"


The girl pushes in front of Jung-Hee, giving him a clear look of disapproval. She then turns to me with an apologetic smile.


"I am so sorry. He's an asshole most time, but can be nice!" She said while pushing him back.


I would have laughed if I wasn't so annoyed at this moment. Jung-Hee behind her didn't look to be too please with her apologizing to me.


"Raque-"


"You, shut up!" The girl said glaring at Jung-Hee before turning again back to me.


"Again so sorry about the trouble, we'll be going now!" She said as she tried desperately to push Jung-Hee away who didn't even give me an apologetic look.


I couldn't help glaring at him as they started to walk away but suddenly froze up at heard an oddly familiar voice from down the hall.


"...Jackson.. is that you?"


All three of us looked up and instantly my heart dropped into my stomach at seeing a familiar figure.


"J..Jasmine?"


I couldn't focus on anything else as her face lit up with a smile and she walks over to me. A million and one questions could have come to my face as I took her in. But before I could even say anything else, we heard another voice.


"Jackson!!"


I flinched again to hear Hayden's very angry voice. And I look back down the hall. There he stood with a deep frown on his face. His eyes pinpoint on Jasmine and narrow just a bit more.


Things were about to get very ugly, very quick.


"...Jasmine..." He spits out her name like fresh poison.


"..See Hayden? I found him!" She says with a smile and hugs my arm.


I let her a bit helpless to know what the actual fuck I should do in this situation. Hayden practically stomps over and then forces her back roughly. My gut reaction is obviously to defend her.


"Ouch! What the hell!" She yells at him as she stumbles back.


"I don't know what you are planning  but whatever it is don't try me bitch." Hayden said with a growl.


"Hayden-" I go to grab him.


He jerks my hand off immediately and gives a glare.


"Shut up."


My mouth closes with a click as I stare back at him. He then turns to Jasmine again who is now openly glaring at him.


"What do you want Jasmine."


She crosses her arm over her chest.


"That's none of your business. I'm here to talk with Jackson, not you."


"Well, you don't get to talk to Jackson. So why don't you just crawl back into whatever hole you came from."


She let out a frustrated laugh.


"Seriously? What are you, his fucking guard dog or something."


Hayden gives her a smile with too many teeth.


"Woof, woof."


Her unimpressed look doesn't seem to bother him in the slightest.


"Jackson, can you please tell your friend to leave?" She said looking at me.


Now with both of their attention on me, I realized how unprepared I was to come in between them. I know the look on my face was a mix of fear and nervousness.


"Uhh." I said in peak intelligence.


"Jackson!" Jasmine calls again.


"As I said Jasmine, crawl back to whatever dark corner of the earth you were. Jackson was doing just fine without you and will continue to do so. " Hayden said with a smile that was not nice as all.


She doesn't respond for a few seconds, her eyes going from me to Hayden and then back. I couldn't help but look away guilty. Normally I would never be this meek but I just... couldn't look at her.


"...I'm sure you also had absolutely nothing to do with my number seemingly disappearing from his phone either I'll bet?" She asks Hayden.


Hayden neither denied nor confirmed but I know that particular honor went to Andria. Jasmine then let out a humorless laugh as she turns away.


"Fine.. just so you both know, I'm not here to cause trouble. I get that I ... fucked up alright? I'm not asking for forgiveness or anything like that. I just... I just want to be friends okay? That's it." Jasmine said in a solemn voice.


Hayden didn't budge a bit, while I couldn't help but feel the pang deep in my chest. She seemed truly sincere however as Hayden has pointed out on more than one occasion. When it comes to Jasmine, I also seem to see the best of her and not her worst.


"Jasmine-"


"Great, now leave." Hayden cut me off before I could even start.


Anger boiled in me as I stared at a hole in the back of his head. He knew I was angry but I could also tell he didn't give a shit about it. Jasmine doesn't seem offended and just shrugs her shoulders before looking directly at me.


"See ya later Jackson."


And then she is gone, just like that. As soon as she leaves, the hallway feels just a bit too cold and I let out a breath that I didn't even know I was holding.


"Jackson, I don't give a shit what she is saying. Do not trust her." Hayden said immediately as Jasmine disappeared around the corner.


"Hayden, seriously you're acting like she is the devil or something! Maybe she just wants to be friends did  you ever think about that?" I ask him in a rather annoyed tone.


I didn't like at all how cold Hayden was to her. I get Jasmine and I had a messy relationship but that was between the two of us. Hayden didn't know her as I did.


He looks almost disappointed at my response to him but also like he was expected exactly that.


"Jackson, you are without a doubt someone I care about and I mean this with all the love in my heart. Don't be a fucking dumbass." Hayden said harshly.


I frown deeper as now that anger was just simmering to the top.


"Seriously man? Why the hell do you think you know Jasmine so damn well?" I said in anger. "Neither you nor Jacob knew anything about her when we were in college!"


"Yeah, cause she kept you away from us!"


I give him a confused look at that rather stupid statement. I had no idea where the fuck that even came from but he was absolutely wrong.


"What? What the fuck are you even-"


"Jackson, I love you man but you are a fucking idiot when it comes to love." Hayden said.


"Hayden, the fuck are you talking about man?"


Hayden seems to look at me for a few seconds, scanning my face for something? I don't fucking know what but I don't think he finds it. He then just shakes his head.


"Forget it, it won't matter anyway." He said before walking back down the hall back to the dining area.


I follow behind silently in a confused and still angry state. Jacob and his sister were sitting waiting back at our table. Our meals seemed to have been wrapped up and the bill paid from what I saw when we got close. Jacob didn't have a happy look on his face which mean that he knew Jasmine was here.


Great, just what I needed.


"Jacob-"


"We good to go then?" He said as he gets up without even acknowledging me.


Fuck, today is just going from bad to worst so quickly. The car ride back to Kings Caravan was as silent as a graveyard. Every time I tried to talk with either, Jacob would just turn up his music loud or talk loudly to Erika who was on the passenger side feeling as uncomfortable as I felt. I thought maybe when we dropped Erika back at her house maybe I could break the tension with a joke or something but nothing. At this point, I realized that there was something worst than depressed Jacob and it was angry Jacob.


"Jacob! Will you please talk with me?!" I asked again.


Jacob just looks at me, with a deep-seated disappointment that makes my heart clench painfully.


"....I wasn't even upset that you didn't tell me. I had a hunch at one point or another, I'm not as stupid as you two think." Jacob said in a soft tone.


"Jacob, we don't think-" Both Hayden and I tried to speak but Jacob didn't stop.


"But what did piss me off was that she somehow had the idea, the concept that you were okay with her walking back into your life."


"...."


I couldn't say anything.


"Jackson, why the actual fuck does she think she has any hope of coming back into your life?" Jacob asks bluntly.


"I..."


"He met with her by accident and she somehow got him to give her his number. Fortunately, he thought better and deleted it." Hayden explained to try and pacify Jacob.


"....Oh really? Is that what happened Jackson?"


I really hate this whole situation with every fiber of my being. Both Hayden and Jacob were watching me like hawks.


"...Something like that."


"Andria delete her number didn't she?" Jacob said plainly.


Both Hayden and I looked at him at the same time. I, was in shock, that he guess that so easy and Hayden in confused which quickly turned to realization.


"..You didn't delete her number..." Hayden said slowly with a deep sigh.


"I..I was going to-"


"Jackson.." Hayden hissed, fresh anger on his face.


"You do understand that you aren't being friends with her right? You get that right?" Hayden emphasis just to make sure.


I could help to lash out at this point, feeling like a child being talked down at.


"Why?! Why can I be friends with her? We're not in a relationship anymore for fucks sake. You are not my mother Hayden." I yell at him still feeling like every bit a child.


I didn't like this feeling, I hate this feeling.


"Are you kidding me, Jackson?! Are you really going to just forget what happened to you? What she did-?!" He screams in my face, looking at me like I was an idiot.


"IT WASN'T HER FAULT!"


"IT FUCKING DAMN WELL WAS! She knew exactly what the fuck she was doing!! And you were too fucking LOVE DRUNK to see it?!"


"Guys.." Jacob tried to intervene as he could see this argument was going to get messy.


But I didn't care, I was just sick of Hayden treating me like some fool. I knew what I wanted, and I didn't need anyone to tell me how to think or feel.


In hindsight, I should have just walked away from this fight. I know how Hayden and I were like, two stubborn boars who didn't know when to leave. That is until one said something that was almost unforgivable.


This time, it was me.


"....You're not my mother or my blood family Hayden, no matter how much you act like it. What I do with whomever I do it with has nothing to do with you."


The silence was deafening, and I could practically feel my heart drop in my stomach as I could hear my words reverb back at me.


What the fuck did I just do?


--------


"So... you fucked up big time then?"


I let out another sigh as I look back up at Amy. It has been a few days since the mess that happened at Harmonie and then an even messier situation afterward. I told Amy about it well, in summary at least.


"Amy, I called you here to help me. Not rub it in?"


She just shrugs as she takes on a bite of her pudding which she stole shamelessly from my fridge.


"Not sure what you want me to do when I have no information to go off about this Jasmine other than your ex-girlfriend." She said plainly taking another bite.


I frown and look away. There are very few people that know the full story behind the disaster that is my relationship with Jasmine. The deep, gut-wrenching hurt usually stops me from talking about it. And the extremely uncomfortable dark thoughts that come from it also.


"Jackson."


Her voice snapped me from my dark musing and look back at her. She looks at me sternly, her short bob-cut hairbrush slightly against her eyes. And her lips pursed in a frown.


"...If you don't want to tell me, then that's fine. But I am a neutral party. I've neither met her before nor your friends. That's why you called me here remember? I'll be here whenever you are ready." She says gently.


I looked at her for a few seconds, searching her face for a lie. But found nothing but openness. And so slowly, but surely I told her. The full, ugly story of what really happened between Jasmine and I. When I finished, I let out a shaky sigh as my hands weren't steady. I could feel my very bones creaking with the idea of looking at her. Soon I was able to reset myself and then look back to Amy.


I wish I hadn't though.


The very look on her face wasn't one I was used to seeing. She looked caught between plotting someone's death or just committing the murder herself.


"..Amy-"


"Hayden is right, you are a fucking idiot when you are love." She says in an icy tone.


I flinch a bit at her cold tone.


"Amy-"


"Jackson, I don't give a fuck what sob story you are gonna try to write me on this ...woman, just save it." She said, pausing on her last word as if searching for an appropriate thing to say.


"But she isn't someone you ever need in your life. Ever."


"Amy, will you just-"


"No Jackson. Shut up and listen to me."


I close my mouth and just listen.


"I'm a woman, Jackson. And let me make something perfectly clear to this thick head of yours. She didn't love you. She used you. And she will continue to do so if you let her."


I wasn't sure whether it was Amy laying out so plainly or just hearing her say it at all. But I could feel tears dropping before I could stop them. I wasn't one to cry, I just couldn't stop them. Amy's look of pity didn't make it any better either.


"Jackson, just promise me this okay? You will not fall back with her again. Do you understand me? You can lie all you want to your other friends. But you will promise me this now."


I look back at her, her eyes burning into my own. She was serious, deadly so.


"I-I promise."


As Amy hugged me tight and I back, I knew right then and there.


I wasn't sure if I could keep that promise.

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