“Did something happen yesterday?” Maru asked Dowook whose seat was diagonally in front-left of him.
Dowook would usually reply ‘what do you mean’ to such a question, but this time, he answered ‘no’ after contemplating. Maru twitched his brows since Dowook was obviously acting suspicious.
“Then why did you call me?”
“Just cuz. I can call anyone I want.”
“Okay, then. That’s how you want this to go.”
Maru crossed his arms and stared at Dowook. After holding it in for a long while, Dowook exploded out.
“Your sister asked me my number. Satisfied?”
“And you gave it to her?”
“She was about to cry if I didn’t give it to her, what am I supposed to do? Tsk.”
“Hey, you should’ve realized that they were crocodile tears. You look like a rational kid, but you’re weak at heart.”
“...Let’s not get into this,” saying that, Dowook turned around. Maru scratched his eyebrows and asked.
“Are you going to date her?”
“Wh-what kind of freakin’ nonsense is that?”
His desk and chair, made of metal, created a huge rattling noise as he turned back around. Such a violent reaction? It seemed that dating wasn’t entirely out of his mind.
“If you’re gonna date her, then treat her well. She’s a little cocky, but she’s not a bad kid. No wait, she might be a bad one after all. From where she’s going right now, it looks like she’ll roast any men in the future.”
“Hey, you damned shit. When the hell did I….”
“I’m saying this just in case you do. I can say a word or two as her brother, can’t I? If you do date her, then play with her well and don’t let her cry if you can. Also, don’t come to me complaining about her. Okay?”
“It’s not gonna happen so you don’t need to be worried.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure. They say the affairs between a man and a woman is unpredictable. Though, you’re the son of the petrol station owner, I’m okay with that. Hey, my little brother-in-law. Treat me well in the future, yeah? You can buy the house when you two get married.”
Saying those words, Maru stood up from his seat immediately. That was because he saw Dowook standing up while holding his mechanical pencil upside down. He burst out into laughter as he ran outside the classroom. Although Dowook was chasing him, the distance only widened.
“Hey, I won’t forget about this!”
Maru caught the mechanical pencil that Dowook threw. Dowook panted and returned to the classroom. Maru fidgeted with the mechanical pencil in his hand.
‘It should be a good experience for Bada to meet with different people.’
It was obvious that a person who had seen a thousand flowers was more knowledgeable about flowers than someone who had only seen one. The person that saw a thousand flowers knows what suits him or herself, and is able to decide wisely when purchasing flowers.
It wasn’t that humane to compare human relationships to purchasing items, but what about real life? There were still people in the current era that judge other people on their values as though they were items. No, in fact, it was impossible for everyone to be completely unbiased.
The relationship between two people wasn’t that simple. Of course, it could be made simple under the word ‘love’, but romanticism was only called romanticism because those blessed with ‘love’ in theirrelationships were very rare and few in between.
‘She needs that judgement skill.’
The love of covering up or even supporting people with delinquent practices might be something that everyone had to respect, but for some, it might be foolishness itself.
There was a saying that went ‘Marrying your first love is the same as pushing your ideals into hell’. Maru thought that meeting various kinds of people was for the best, whether it came to men or women. The best scenario would be to live happily ever after with the first love, but everyone in the world knew how hard that was. That was why it was called the ‘best scenario’.
“Have a good romance, you two.”
Maru fidgeted with the mechanical pencil as he returned to the classroom.
* * *
“It’s over!” Jiyoon shouted hurrah.
She was able to take the tests with comfort until the very end. Ever since the nervousness and the pressure disappeared, tests ironically gave her joy. The sense of achievement coming from the fact that she did it, and the sense of relief coming from the fact that she was no longer bound, overwhelmed her mind.
“Aah, Jiyoon, you have it good. You’re smart.”
Aram, who swayed across the classroom to her desk, fell on top of her desk. Their last test, history, was the one that Aram hated the most, and from the looks of it, it seemed that she had spent all of her energy solving those questions.
“Did you do well?”
“I don’t know. I don’t want to think about it. But then, some of the things I studied during break time appeared on the test and I answered them. I don’t know if I got them right or wrong though. Ah, why do we have to memorize the years like that? Don’t we just need to know that those events happened?”
Aram grumbled endlessly until she screamed and ripped the test papers in half. Others in the class did the same. Jiyoon smiled awkwardly as she looked at them. That was because she found history easy.
“The tests are over. What should we do today? When else would we be able to play like this?” Aram spoke as her eyes sparkled.
Her face looked like her head was full with the word ‘playing’, and it seemed that she had already forgotten about the tests.
“...Uhm, I have something to do today.”
Jiyoon thought that she said those words as naturally as possible, but Aram looked at her with suspicion. Jiyoon thought hard. She always thought that lies were bad things and she should never lie, but right now, she was in desperate need of one. That was because if she told the truth, there was a high probability that Aram would, no, not just her, but the friends gathered around, would follow her.
“Hmm? I wonder what it is that you have to do.”
Aram lowered her voice as she asked. She tried directing the topic away, but it didn’t work on her.
“Suspicious. It’s very suspicious.”
Jiyoon was stuck in a dilemma when the homeroom teacher came in. Thanks to that, Aram returned to her seat, and Jiyoon was able to sigh in relief.
“Don’t relax just because your tests are over. Those aiming for university should try drawing as well. Got it?”
“At least you guys answer properly. Once the results are out, you know what will happen, don’t you? Those below average, prepare yourselves.”
As soon as the homeroom teacher left, everyone started booing. Jiyoon also participated in it. Although he said all that, the teacher was actually very likable, and they were only able to boo him because they were close.
Jiyoon looked at Aram and her friends. They had gathered around and were discussing where they should go. Right now was the perfect time. This was the perfect opportunity to leave the class as no one paid attention to her. She left after saying ‘I’ll be going then’. Fortunately, the others waved at her goodbye. She sighed in relief and headed towards the 5th floor. Just as she arrived at the 4th floor, her phone notified her that a message had arrived.
-Have fun on your date.
That message was from Aram. Jiyoon felt faint the moment she saw those words. She even stopped walking because her face felt hot.
She calmed down and wrote ‘it’s not’ on the message box, but couldn’t press send. Strictly speaking, it wasn’t a date. After all, she was just going somewhere with Daemyung to buy props for the play.
‘...A date, huh.’
Jiyoon smiled for a brief moment when she read that word, but soon shook her head. It’s not a date. Yes, that’s right. It’s not a date at all. Jiyoon closed her phone. It was obvious that Aram would tease her no matter what she did.
As the tests were over, the independent studies classroom on the 5th floor was empty. It had become the acting club’s clubroom again. She sat by the window and looked down on the school field. Many people were playing with balls as though to celebrate that the tests were over.
Jiyoon was slightly startled to hear those words and turned her head around. She saw Daemyung at the back door of the classroom. When she overheard that Daemyung was going to buy props, Jiyoon squeezed out all the courage in her life and asked if she could go as well. Daemyung accepted it without hesitation. Jiyoon’s heart fluttered when he did. That was because she thought that her seonbae was glad to go with her.
However, that hope soon shattered.
“You’re going as well?”
Bangjoo was here as well. This fellow had a bright smile on his face as he kicked the soccer ball in his hands inside the classroom. The usually cheerful and passionate fella couldn’t be more hateful today.
“Thanks, both of you, when you should want to play around for today.”
“What are you saying? Of course we should help. Should I call Aram as well?”
“No, don’t do that. It was originally something I had to do alone.”
Daemyung smiled as he spoke. Jiyoon stiffly approached the two. She found it embarrassing that she was fantasizing just until a moment ago. At the same time, she found Daemyung a little hateful. Even though she was well aware that he did nothing wrong, she found him hateful because he was smiling without a care in the world.
“We’re going to buy some accessories, some materials for the props and some pins. We’ll first visit the local supermarket and go to a specialized store. For things like these, we’ll have to move around busily to buy them cheap.”
“Leave it to me! I’m confident in my walking,” Bangjoo spoke as he tapped his chest. Jiyoon nodded her head as well. She felt powerless for some reason.
“Are you ill?”
Daemyung immediately realized the change in her. This seonbae was really kind after all. Jiyoon thought that it couldn’t be helped.
At that moment,
“Are you going now?”
Maru had arrived as well.
“Sorry for not being able to go with you. I have a prior engagement.”
“It’s fine. This isn’t anything much.”
“You’re going with the two behind you?”
“Yeah. I’m going to look around and see if some places sell them for cheap.”
Maru groaned in a low voice before putting his hand on Bangjoo’s shoulder.
“I’ll borrow him then.”
“Yeah. It’s not like you’re buying anything heavy, so you can do it with just the two of you, right?”
“It doesn’t matter, but….”
Daemyung didn’t finish his words and looked at Jiyoon. Jiyoon stood there blankly for a second but shouted when she realized that this was an opportunity.
Only after she shouted did she realize how loud her voice was. She bit her lips and looked down. She felt very embarrassed.
“Then off you go. Bangjoo, come down to the container with me.”
Jiyoon inwardly thanked Maru. Of course, he wouldn’t have done that because he knew how she felt. It must have been a coincidence.
“Uhm… should I just go by myself then?”
“Eh? Why do you say that?”
That was rather unexpected of Daemyung, so Jiyoon took a step forward. Daemyung flinched and took a step back.
“Uhm, the thing is, it might be tiring for you since we’ll have to walk around a lot.”
“I’m fine with it.”
Jiyoon was surprised that she was speaking so clearly. Perhaps that was how badly she wanted to go with him?
“Then let’s visit the closer places first.”
Daemyung smiled faintly as they walked down the stairs. Jiyoon followed suit. Although they soon became silent because neither of them were good at talking, Jiyoon was fine with that. She was fine with just watching Daemyung smile.
On their way to the bus stop, Jiyoon spoke.
“D-do-do you have a girlfriend?”
Hearing that question, Daemyung stopped in his tracks. Jiyoon was puzzled and looked next to her, and found that Daemyung’s eyes were wandering all over the place.
‘His face is really red.’
Jiyoon smiled in relief. His facial expression was enough of an answer. Daemyung replied after being at a loss for a few moments.
“H-how about you?”
Hearing that question, Jiyoon had to look away as well. At the same time, she thought that he might be the same as her.
“L-let’s get going.”
Jiyoon thought that both of their faces should be red as they started walking again.
* * *
“Is that it?”
“Yup, that’s it.”
Maru waved goodbye to Bangjoo who seemed like he was at a loss. Bangjoo scratched his head, said goodbye and left.
“It’s hard being the wingman.”
They should have left the school premises by now. Maru stretched his arms out and picked up his bag that he put next to the container.
Now that the exams were over, the school became bustling again with students. Especially the school sports field. The students showed what burning youth was like. After watching soccer for a bit, he left the school. As he walked towards the bus stop, he took out his phone. His favorite ringtone could be heard.
“Really? Then I’ll go over.”
“Yeah. I can’t tell someone with a heavy ass to come to me.”
-Do you really want a beating?
“Uhm, is it me or are you getting really violent these days?
-Urgh, just come and wait for your punishment.
“Yes, yes, I’m going. Think about what you want to eat. I’ll buy it for you.”
-I have my own money too!
Maru hung up as he chuckled.
It had been some time, so he was going to see her.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Sorry for the late post! (Messed up a.m. / p.m. so it was scheduled to post 12 hours later)