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Loser (in Love)

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The first time Taehyung saw Jimin, he tripped and spilled all of the books he was carrying.

That was not the ideal first impression Taehyung was hoping for.

Unfortunately, the young man hurried over. "Are you alright?" The brown-eyed patron asked, eyes full of concern.

"Yes!" Taehyung stood up quickly and grimaced because of the sheer harshness the word implied. "I mean, I am alright." In his mind, he slammed his head against the nearest bookshelf. Was this what happened when you spotted someone attractive? You became tongue-tied and made a fool of yourself?

Jimin gave the librarian a hesitant smile. Taehyung noticed that his teeth were straight. "Are you going to pick up your books?"

"Right!" Crouching, Taehyung scooped up the materials he was supposed to be shelving back in their proper places. He straightened up hurriedly.

"Here," said Jimin. "You forgot this one." He held out a copy of a cheesy romance novel. Taehyung cursed whomever had checked that book out. It had landed near Jimin's feet and no way was Taehyung going THAT near to the man.

The library visitor seemed way too good-looking for the world. Jet black hair fell softly over the man's forehead, framing his face. He was shorter than Taehyung which was amusing. Shining eyes and soft looking pink lips were a bonus to his features. His skin even looked smooth! Taehyung wondered if he was in a relationship.

Taehyung took it, cheeks aflame with embarrassment. His slender fingers barely brushed the man's skin and he felt his face heat up even more. "Thank you. What's your name?" In Taehyung's head, he heard himself shout 'SMOOTH!'

"I'm Jimin. What's your name?"

"You might've already told from the name tag," the librarian shifted the pile of books and pointed to the tag, "that my name is Taehyung."

"Nice to meet you Taehyung! Do you work here?"

Taehyung nodded. "As a matter of fact, I do."

"Well, I'd better let you get back to work then." Jimin waved. "I'll see you around!"

"Yeah..." was the intelligent response of Taehyung as Jimin walked away.

Taehyung wondered if someone could leave such a strong impression on you in only two minutes. He completed his job as quickly as he could and headed back to report that he was done.

"Did you finish putting the books back on the shelves?" Jungkook asked. "We have some more things to do." The younger was leaning against a the black checkout counter. He brushed his dark hair back with his hand as he talked to Taehyung.

Taehyung nodded. He tapped his foot on the tan carpet and tried to listen carefully as his coworker listed the remaining tasks.

"...reserved books, check the computers, and clean the study room. Are you paying attention to me Taehyung?"

"Yes I am," replied the librarian. Taehyung tucked his hands into the pockets of his brown slacks and ignored the handsome, smiling face that kept popping up in his brain.

Jungkook raised an eyebrow, but did not press any further. "You can go and clean the study room now. I'll see you back soon. Clean it properly!"

Grinning, Taehyung added, "Unlike last time?"

"Oh, go and do your job. Do it well." Jungkook sent him off with a wave of his hand.

The small study room was perfect for a group of four or less. Unfortunately, the latest library patrons had left it in a disarray. It was one of Taehyung's favorite place in the library too. The sun's afternoon rays filtered in through the glass windows. They gave off a soft feeling. He felt the urge to lay down and bask in the sun's light.

The erase board in the room was not fully wiped, so Taehyung erased it. Trash wrappers were littered on the floor. He heaved a sigh and swept up the garbage. Soon, the room was ready for the next occupants. Relieved with his work, Taehyung fixed one last chair and left.

Jungkook asked, "You're done?" as soon as Taehyung came back. When it was confirmed, Jungkook let him have a break.

Taehyung wondered if Jimin was still there. It was still very likely. Not too much time had passed yet.

Gulping down fear, Taehyung roamed the petite library in search of Jimin. On the way to the last place he saw Jimin, he racked his brain for someone to say. What was a good conversation starter, but not too personal or weird? Taehyung frowned. Coming up with things to talk about was really difficult. He was supposed to know what to do in this scenario! Those romance novels he read were of no use to him in real life, except for maybe a paperweight. The librarian let out a dramatic sigh.

Jimin was nowhere to be found.

Taehyung was mildly annoyed. He had spent his whole break looking for him. Now slightly disappointed—but not surprised—he entered the men's restroom.

It was as if Taehyung was transported in a fairy tale book because of the person in front of him. There stood Jimin in all of his five feet and however many remainder inches of glory. Jimin was lathering his hands with the pink soap. He looked up into the clear mirror and spotted Taehyung.

"Oh, it's Taehyung! Hello," Jimin greeted the worker. "I'm going to leave soon because I already checked the materials I wanted out."

"I see." Taehyung picked up the top book. "You read horror stories?"

"Yes," replied Jimin with a straight face. Anyone could see he was perfectly serious.

Taehyung did not expect this. He thought Jimin would settle for a more popular genre. Jimin's personality screamed cheesy romance novels all day and all night. Shrugging, Taehyung put the book back.

"Nice choice."

"Thank you!" Jimin grinned. "I can't wait to read it. It was just released a few weeks ago!" His eyes made a smile too. Taehyung couldn't help but smile back. Jimin looked at his watch and gasped. "I need to go! I promised my girlfriend that I'd be back soon."

Taehyung's heart sank and his throat closed up. Everything he was wearing felt like it was suffocating him.

"Girlfriend?" he whispered.

Jimin beamed. "Yes! It's our first anniversary today. I'm taking her to dinner. Afterwards we'll read horror stories together so I can freak her out!"

"Congratulations." The word sounded dull to Taehyung.

"Thank you!" With a final wave to the broken-hearted librarian, Jimin brushed past Taehyung. It was as if Jimin paused for a second while passing him.

"Wait!" Taehyung said as Jimin reached the door. "I..."

"Yes?" Jimin looked at Taehyung expectantly.


"You really have a way with words," joked Jimin. The fact that he was still happy and Taehyung was not, made Taehyung hate himself for wanting to take his happiness away.

"I hope you have many more years to come," said Taehyung at long last.

Jimin's grin turned less fierce and eased into a soft smile. "I hope you find someone who will love and cherish you for the rest of your life."

Taehyung could only nod.

Then Jimin left for good.

The bathroom was empty which was a good thing because Taehyung shed a few tears. He looked into the mirror where Jimin was a few minutes before and lightly smacked his face in disgust. Of course a perfect guy like Jimin was taken. Splashing his face with cold water, he felt a bit better.

As he exited the bathroom with a bitter smile, Taehyung knew he was only a loser in love.