Last night, I’m wrapping up a night of cocktails at Gansevoort Rooftop with grade school friends Steven and Roya with some Korean-style Chinese. I’m feeling a little flattered by the looks I’m getting from a guy sitting a few tables away, especially considering I’m not in my usual curly sexy going-out attire and instead sporting a tank top and oversized plaid button-up shirt. Apparently the Ms. Peggy country-hick look works a tad too well for me.
I have to pee, so I walk to the bathroom and etc etc. When I exit, I see a Korean guy standing there, playing with his phone. When he notices me, he puts down his hand and looks at me as if he’s been expecting me. I’m a bit taken aback when he actually starts talking to me.
“Excuse me,” he says in Korean. “I was wondering if you had a moment.”
“Yes?” I reply back in Korean. My Korean is god-awful when I’ve been drinking, I think to myself.
“I wanted to introduce myself to you, my name’s Jung-wook Kim. I noticed you when you were walking into this restaurant and you just made such an impression that I had to follow you and talk to you.”
“Ah, I see…”
“I was wondering, do you think we could get a drink together and have a conversation?”
“That sounds nice, but I can’t,” I politely decline. “I’m here with my childhood friends.”
“I saw them and they’re great without you,” he tries to assure me. “They don’t even miss you right now.”
I think about the fact that my friends only know each other through me. “Somehow I don’t think that’s true.”
“Come on,” he cajoles. “Just one drink.”
“I really can’t, I have to entertain my friends tonight. How about tomorrow?”
“I just want to talk to you for a little bit.”
“Really, I can’t tonight.” I wave him off.
Suddenly, he slips his arm around my waist and pulls me toward him, burying his head in my neck. I gently but firmly push him away, trying to slide out of his grasp at the same time. He steps back, but looks at me intently and says, “I’ll wait until you finish up with your friends, okay?”
I just flash him a half-hearted smile and leave. He follows behind me and sits behind Steven. To my chagrin, he orders food and actually settles in to wait for me. So. Creepy.
I try to ignore him, but for the duration of our meal, he repeatedly cranes his head around Steven’s back trying to catch my eye.
Finally, I suggest we leave. The three of us decide to split a cab together, and we leave the restaurant looking for an empty taxi. I hop in last since I’m getting off first and have just shut the door. Suddenly the guy flings the door wide open, reaches in, and grabs me by the arm.
“Get out of the car,” he orders. “We need to talk.”
“Can’t,” I say, cheeks growing hot. Steven and Roya are staring open-mouthed.
He runs his hand through his hair, the other still clutching my arm. “Are you seriously going to do this to me?”
He finally lets go and shuts the door and looks at me like I’m the crazy one.