"You've been looking dazed all day."
Her club president put an arm around her shoulder, she lowered her head with a slight frown. Oh wait, she should've smiled here.
"Did something happen?" the president asked.
All the other members were singing gleefully, she listened to the loud music around her for a second before opening her mouth.
"My friend got hurt."
"I think so. He's going to be hospitalized for two weeks."
"No wonder you looked so depressed all day."
She clenched her lips together, she tried to look happy and energetic since they received word about passing the prelims. She still couldn't fool the president though.
"Sorry for not noticing," the president said, grabbing her hands.
She shook her head vigorously.
"No, I'm fine."
"Liar. It's written all over your face."
The president twisted her cheek lightly. Was this what it felt like to have an elder sister? It really was heartwarming knowing that there was someone who could understand you.
"You should go."
"We're almost done over here. Might as well leave a little early."
"No, I'll stay."
"It's fine. I'll tell the others about what happened, so let's leave first."
The president whispered something to a second year next to her, the second year smiled and waved them goodbye as they left.
"Damn, there's so much snow. Do you have an umbrella?"
"Yes, I brought one."
The snowfall was heavy, seeming to be dumped from the sky. She took out an umbrella from her bag and opened it. The umbrella felt like it would break by all the wind.
"Take care. I'll see you on Friday."
The president saw her off to the entrance, she turned around after bidding farewell. Her thankfulness to the president didn't last long. By the time she got to the bus station, she had a massive frown on her face.
She had wondered what happened when the boy didn't appear at the Myungdong class, he wasn't the type to just skip class like that. She learned the next day from instructor Ganghwan that he got himself hurt. Before then, Maru only told her it was 'nothing special'. Only when she started pressuring him about it did he tell her everything. A burn, a fracture, and even stitches to boot... She was so surprised when she heard details that she couldn't even say a thing. Fine, she could understand him trying to hide it. It made sense in her head, but her emotions were another matter.
She sighed at the bus station before turning to walk into a fruit shop and bought a small basket before getting on the bus. She was mad enough to go empty-handed, but she wasn't that rude. The bus didn't have many people, she took a seat somewhere and took a look outside.
'Doesn't he have any fear?'
At first, she thought he just hurt himself playing soccer. She honestly thought people were joking when they told her he jumped into a fire. It wasn't a joke, the boy really did jump into a fire. To think he did that to save a few props... What if something terrible had happened? It made her mad just thinking about it.
The bus came to a stop in front of a hospital, she stepped off with her umbrella. She could see the white hospital on the other side of the street. She could feel herself getting worried again. Will she be able to scold him like this? She put a hand over her chest and took a deep breath. Hearing about Maru getting hurt made her think of her father, she wasn't a fan of people close to her getting hurt again.
"I'm going to scold him for sure."
She steeled herself before stepping into the hospital, walking along the hallway trying to find the right room number. Eventually, she came to a stop after passing an old man in a wheelchair.
"Oh, it's here."
She quietly opened the door. Three of the four beds in the room were empty, she could see Maru near the windowsill. She could also see a girl eating chips with a grin. Probably his sister?
She stared at Maru from the entrance for a second, it didn't look like he noticed her just yet. Watching the boy flip through the pages of a book so calmly roused her anger. She lost sleep because of him and he had the nerve to be so nonchalant?
That was when Maru turned to look at the entrance. Their eyes met. Maru's lips flopped downwards slightly before curling back up into a smile. That awkward smile made her open her eyes widely.
The girl who seemed to be the little sister asked. She waved her hand with a smile as she walked over with the fruit basket. She could see Maru laying down to try to go to sleep.
"Who are you?"
"This guy's friend."
She threw the fruit basket at Maru. The boy caught the basket in his hands with a surprised look.
"Yeah. I'm here."
"It was snowing a lot."
"A ton. It's still snowing. It was very hard coming here."
Should she console him, or should she scold him? Looking at him right now really made her want to scold him.
"Are you Maru's sister?"
"Yes? Ah, yes."
"You were surprised, weren't you? I'm sorry."
Maru's sister smiled looking back and forth between her and Maru. What a cute kid. She looked much nicer than Maru over there, who was trying to ignore her on that bed.
"Um, big sis."
"Are you big brother's girlfriend?"
The sudden question caught her off guard.
"So you are!!"
The happy reaction was welcomed, but that didn't make any of it less surprising.
"Man, and here I thought my brother was joking. Sis, he’s a waste for someone like you. Why do you go out with him?"
"He's matured a lot recently so he's better. But oh dear. You're just way too pretty for him."
The girl was going around saying embarrassing things despite being so young. She was just like Maru in that regard. Worse, actually.
"Yes. What kind of an idiot jumps straight into a fire? This one, apparently."
Maru's sister laughed to herself quietly. She was quite a fan of this girl called Han Bada. The little girl talked about how ridiculous a person Maru was for thirty minutes straight, it really felt amazing gossiping about someone to their face.
"Have some of this, big sis."
They were already so familiar with each other. In the meantime, Maru was just staring outside the window. Like some character from a drama.
"Idiot. Idiot. Idiot."
Bada wrote 'idiot' on Maru's cast.
"Want to write something too, big sis?"
Now that she looked at it, there were a ton of words written on Maru's cast. The one that stuck out to her, in particular, was 'get well'. Well, she'd only feel bad if he stayed wounded for a while, so...
'get well soon'
"Watching out for him because you're his girlfriend?"
"He's pitiable like this."
As the two of them started talking again, the door to the room opened. Two men entered. It was instructor Ganghwan accompanied by a man in a hat.
"Oof, did we come at a bad time?"
She bowed to the instructor before turning to look at the other man. It was producer Lee Junmin.
'Why is he...'
She's seen the man talk to Maru a few times, but they were close enough for him to come to visit?
Junmin stopped Maru when the boy tried to get up.
"Thank goodness, it doesn't look like you're that hurt."
"Yes, I got lucky."
"Be careful. That body of yours doesn't belong entirely to you."
Hm? What an odd choice of words. She looked back and forth between Maru and Junmin. What kind of relationship did those two have? Junmin turned around after a few minutes of talking.
"We'll take our leave now. It won't be good if too many people came. We’ll talk again some other time."
"I'm sorry I can't see you off."
"Shush. Getting farewells from a patient is just shameful."
Junmin gestured for instructor Ganghwan to put down the fruit basket they brought. It was almost too big for the cabinet. As a matter of fact, it would probably be able to fit Bada inside it if it was a little bigger.
"Sir, I don't know if I can even eat all of this."
"Just take it."
The two men left after a curt farewell, it felt like a storm just passed over the room.
"Who was that, sis?"
"Someone really famous."
As the two of them stared at the fruit basket, the door opened again. She became a little amazed looking at the woman who opened the door. The woman, who had a big teddy bear in her hands, was incredibly beautiful. White skin, long black hair, a smiling face, everything.
"Oh, sis Soojin."
"I heard the news. Are you okay?"
The lady called Soojin handed over the teddy bear to Maru. Why a doll, though?
"Ah, yes, hello."
She and Bada took the woman's greeting awkwardly. Soojin and Maru talked together for a bit, the two of them seemed incredibly friendly with each other.
"Dowook told me."
"How are you two nowadays?"
"Good enough to call each other?"
"All thanks to you. We're going to have a meal together soon. Want to join?"
"I shouldn't stick my head into family affairs."
"Come on, you're no stranger to our family. Dad wants to see you too, so come join."
"Did Dowook drop by?"
"I got a call from him, so I told him to not waste his time."
Soojin nodded with a smile. She watched Soojin alertly from the side, she felt like she was losing to this woman somehow.
"Can I write something too?"
Soojin wrote 'health' with a marker. They talked for a few more minutes before Soojin finally got up.
"I'll get going then. Take care."
"Yes, see you."
"I'm sorry for interrupting, you two."
Soojin was polite until the very end. She looked at Maru along with Bada as soon as the woman left, they needed an explanation. But before Maru could say anything, the door opened again.
"Oh, so it's here."
Again, a woman. If Soojin from earlier felt innocent, this woman felt very provocative. As a matter of fact, she was even wearing a very deep v-neck shirt. The woman in the leather jacket walked forward, click, clack, in her high heels. She, too, was very beautiful.
"Ah, yes. I do."
"Oh, that makes me so happy."
Looking at the woman made her think of a fox right away, a very fierce one at that.
"Who are you two?"
Bada was the first one to respond.
She put a bit more strength behind her throat as she replied 'girlfriend', she felt a tiny bit embarrassed to say it.
"Oh, so Maru had such a cute girlfriend with him."
The woman put the potted plant she brought on the windowsill.
"Perfect. How is it?"
"Well, it's alright."
"You're not happy that I'm here?"
"Just surprised. We don't know each other that well."
"Well, you're surprisingly cold."
The woman sat down on the edge of the bed with a smile, she clenched her fist right then. This felt weird. Soojin felt like a friend when she talked. This woman was vastly different, the smiles she put on didn't really feel like a smile. They probably wouldn't become friends with each other.
Bada shouted with a hand over her mouth. Why? She turned to look at the woman again. The woman had taken off her sunglasses and she too realized why Bada made that reaction.
"Suyeon, right? I saw you in a drama!"
Bada was shouting pretty gleefully. The woman, no, Suyeon smiled as she grabbed Bada's hand.
"Thanks for recognizing me. People don't often recognize me since I'm a no-name actress."
"No-name? No way! I'm your superfan. I loved your drama."
"Oh, I'm glad to hear that. Thanks for the compliments."
Suyeon pat Bada's hair with a smile, even that felt fake to her right now.
'This isn't right.'
Judging a person was a bad habit to have. Plus, this person came to visit Maru when he was hurt. There was no reason for her to have a bad impression. Right then.
"Oh? There's a lot of people already."
She audibly commented without even realizing it, she put a hand over her mouth when she noticed all eyes in the room turning towards her. The woman on the door was someone with short hair. Again, beautiful. She looked healthy, too.
She felt depressed. She was getting increasingly conscious of her looks just because of how pretty all the visitors were. She was starting to get embarrassed about herself, even.
"Instructor Miso," Maru said.
So the woman was called Miso.
"Wooow, you're quite popular, aren't you, Maru?"
Miso walked in with a loud laugh.Previous Chapter Next Chapter