Why do I feel like ridin was a little more chill bc out loud baby mark wasn’t there maybe it was just me....
Why do I feel like ridin was a little more chill bc out loud baby mark wasn’t there maybe it was just me....
haechan + hot sauce era
(^._.^)⟆ _- donghyuck... 💤🍞🥞
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NCT Dream: Reaction to you getting drunk & hit on at a company dinner
Kinda angsty & violent...
u have been warned ~(. ❛ ᴗ ❛.)~
Changed Chenle's pfp cuz this one gives more justice to his heavenly facial bone structure 😌
the empire of betrayal
haechan spit his beer onto my romper.
i quickly stood up, trying to avoid as much liquid as possible.
still as a statue, his hand extended in front of him with beer dripping down his mouth and hand- the panic set in.
“he’s your what?” he finally spoke.
my lips parted to speak, but i couldn’t manage my english.
“he never mentioned a girlfriend.” he mumbled quietly.
his statement felt like he was trying to cover for him, in some way.
haechan set his beer on the floor and wiped his chin with his shoulder as he got up.
i watched him closely- looking for clues.
i’m not really sure why.
dismissing the beer on his palms, he moved them to press against his chest.
“i am so fucking sorry. i didn’t mean to spit on you.“
￼￼i shook my head.
“i had no idea he had a girlfriend- just disregard everything i said earlier.” he blinked.
“i-i’m.” haechan blabbered.
he was at a loss of words.
huffing, he turned and walked away- making his way inside the party.
what in the fuck.
my feet felt like i was standing in quick-sand. like i was shrinking by the seconds.
how could he not mention me to anyone? all of my family knew about him.
“it’s okay.” i finally said replying to haechan.
he’s gone, you idiot.
walking back inside the house, my ears immediately started ringing.
i searched the sea of drunks, looking for isabell- but i couldn’t find her.
where the fuck are you? i need out of here asap.
zig-zagging my way through the living room, i made it safely to the stairs- where i decided to sit and stay.
reaching for my phone in my purse, i texted isabell.
i wanna go home.
i watched as my text bubble flew onto the screen, turning blue.
i stared at the delivered sign for at least five minutes and nothing had changed.
i was literally on the verge of tears.
how could johnny not mention me? and where the fuck was he, since he’s at this dumb ass party.
i secretly scanned the room, looking for all the tall men- but, no johnny.
feeling my phone vibrate in my hands, i quickly drew the device to my face- reading isabell’s reply.
i’ll be down in a minute.
down from where?
i rolled my eyes, stuffing my phone in my purse and holding it close to me.
you should’ve stayed home.
“johnny?..” i whispered as i seen a group of football players make their way towards the kitchen.
that can’t be him.
i stood up, leaning over the railing- squinting my eyes.
“johnny!” i shouted over the music. “hey!”
he picked up the bottle of hennessy and took the biggest “shot” i ever seen in my life.
i didn’t even know that johnny was a drinker.
in the four years that we’ve been together, i’ve never seen him touch liquor.
“mimi-“ i heard isabell’s voice call out for me. “what are you doing?” she laughed.
looking up towards the top of the stairs, there she stood with isaiah.
of course. they had sex. so annoying.
i rolled my eyes and ran down the stairs, pushing through everyone.
“milani!” i heard isabell yell.
i kept going.
i was going to kill johnny.
you fucking bastard. how could you not tell me you were here.
“johnny!” i yelled over the frat boys who were now hollering.
i watched him as he set down the henny bottle, throwing his hands in the air like the idiot he was.
i was going to fucking kill him.
unexpectedly, my body flew back.
isabell had caught me by my arm, pulling me in her direction.
“where the hell are you going?” she screamed in my ear.
i rolled my eyes.
“johnny is here.” i said looking back at her.
isaiah was right behind her, like a damn puppy.
he’s so annoying.
“frats are always here.” isaiah chuckled.
shut up. no one asked you.
turning back to look to the kitchen, johnny was gone.
who did he think he was? houdini?
i huffed loudly, turning back around to push past isabell and isaiah.
making my way to the front door, i ripped it open- stomping into the summer breeze.
my clothing reeked of nasty ass piss water.
i hated parties.
slamming the apartment door behind me, i flung off my sandals.
my feet were on fire.
i walked home, in the heat- at night.
how unsafe, milani. your dad would’ve had a fit.
i pouted, dragging myself to my bedroom- throwing my purse on the floor and stripping myself down to get in the shower.
i glanced at my naked body in the bathroom mirror.
this was my routine every time i showered.
looking at the fat on my body made my stomach turn.
you’re not fat, babe.
johnny’s voice echoed in my head.
i shut my eyes, unraveling my hair from its now sweaty and loose bun.
you know he hasn’t text you yet- so why check?
i felt like i was going to puke.
stepping into my shower, i inhaled sharply as the cold water hit my legs and back.
dad always said cold showers were good for your mental health.
i have a feeling he was lying cause this definitely didn’t feel good.
ignoring how cold the water was, i stepped closer and instantly started crying.
i hadn’t cried since this whole ordeal had started.
it had been three months since johnny cheated on me.
i didn’t even cry when i found out.
i was just in shock.
i didn’t even noticed that i was sitting down until i opened my eyes to stretch my legs out.
my body had become one with the tub.
i laid back against the white curves and hugged myself.
i was feeling alone and hopeless.
this was my senior year of college. i was supposed to be having the time of my life.
you’re pathetic, you know that right?
crawling into a ball, i laid against the floor.
water fell into my ear but i didn’t care.
i closed my eyes, hoping that i wouldn’t wake up.
“milani! wake up!”
this felt like a dream.
“what the fuck- get up. you’re scaring me.”
as my eyes opened, my vision was foggy.
i winced from the water, feeling my body shivering.
“what happened to you?” isabell cried out.
she reached over to turn off the water and pulled my naked body off the shower floor.
“are you crazy?!” she screamed in my face. “don’t ever do that shit again.”
she was crying.
i never seen her cry before.
isabell pulled me into a hug.
you know i’m naked right?
i laughed in my head because she was now wet, just like me.
she pulled back and helped me to my feet, wrapping my body in a towel.
for the next hour, we didn’t speak.
i laid in my bed staring at the ceiling- just like this morning.
same position- same reason.
i tried to sleep, i really did- but i couldn’t.
my fucking ear hurts. damn water.
i squeezed my eyes shut and rolled over on my side.
what was so wrong with me? i didn’t understand.
i thought i did everything right.
reaching over to grab my phone off the charger, i opened my eyes- looking into the brightness of my screen.
not one fucking message from him.
i was starting to hate him.
good for nothing ass boyfriend.
tomorrow- well today, i had class at 8am.
i needed sleep.
i slammed my phone down, rolling onto my back once again.
just sleep, milani. we can worry later.
it was johnny.
my eyes shot open.
“i’ve been looking everywhere for you.” he laughed. “where the hell have you been?”
my body jumped from the mattress.
“me? where have i been?” i screamed.
he furrowed his brows and slid his hands in his pockets.
that’s when i noticed he was wearing a suit.
why the fuck was he in a suit at 3:11am?
“please don’t be so angry.” he finally smiled. “you’ll ruin the moment.”
what fucking moment.
swinging my feet off the bed, i made my way over to him.
before i could open my mouth, johnny found himself on one knee- red velvet box in hand.
he smiled up at me as he opened the box.
i fucking hate him.
“milani- marry me.” he sang.
wedding preparations (but we’re already married!) — 0.7k words, lee donghyuck
warnings: desi(?)!au, husband!donghyuck, suggestive (spoiler, they kiss!!)
a/n: i wrote like seven different desi aus with hyuck and this is merely one of many. i just thought it’d be nice to think about hyuck but as your husband who helps you get ready. also to be clear, this is still written to be inclusive to non-desi readers as well; the only thing being utilized here is south asian culture! :> also yes all those photos above are just zoomed in pics of deepika padukone in movies <3
tagging (those who were v enthusiastic about this with me): @channoticedmeuwu @lebrookestore @hyuckefi @jisungiest @bluejaem <3
“Ow, that hurts!” A palm shoots up to rub at your scalp immediately, soothing you from the sudden scratch of the hair pin. Jasmine flowers trail over your shoulder in woven strings as soft apologies spill over and over again, quietly reassuring the pain away. You hiss when the stinging hits once more, causing another hand to press gently into your bare waist and squeezing to offer comfort. Pecks against your neck and kisses at your cheeks make you sigh, tilting your head back and resting it on a welcoming shoulder. A chuckle sends vibrations against your skin.
“You’re going to ruin your hair, jaan,” your husband murmurs into your ear, grinning when you nod absentmindedly. “Come on, baby, put your head back up.”
“No,” you whine quietly, rolling your head to meet his eyes. “You’re gonna poke me again.”
Fingertips graze over the side of your cheek, causing slight shivers to run down your spine and quiet gasps to leave your lips. Donghyuck finds your reaction amusing, pressing his mouth softly to the corner of your jaw and mumbling, “I’m sorry pyaari, I didn’t mean to, but you gotta put your head back up if you want to get to the wedding on time. I’d rather not get yelled at by your mother.”
His hand guides your head up once again, clicking his tongue in disapproval until you finally straight your back. The string of flowers rise to meet a particular crease in your hair, and a few hair pins press gently to secure strands of woven threads. From the reflection of the mirror in front of you, you watch as Donghyuck raises another pin from the dresser, pulls it apart with his teeth, and secures it to your hair.
“Babe?” You call out as softly as you can, following his reflection as he places his chin upon your shoulder and hums. “Would it be too much to ask you to fix my pleats?”
Soon after your timid question, he’s kneeling down in front of you, busying his hands to rearrange the carefully folded sari. A few stray strands of hair manage to obscure his vision as he works, leaving you to bend down in the slightest and brush it away. He sends you a dazzling smile, pressing the lightest of kisses to your knuckles, before standing up and turning you around towards the mirror. “Good?”
You hum thoughtfully at his question, but shake your head instead, knowing full well that he did more than enough to help you look your best. “One more thing.”
Donghyuck furrows his eyebrows when you turn around, your bangles and earrings jingling cheerfully as you do so. “Your heels are at the front door. Do you want—”
You effectively cut him off with your lips pressing insistently against his, catching him completely off guard and causing him to stumble backwards; a noise of surprise leaves Donghyuck’s mouth as you encircle your arms around his neck, letting the heat of your skin sear. Being no stranger to such kisses, he pulls himself together soon after, pressing a palm to the small of your back and pushing you impossibly closer. A yelp leaves your mouth—followed by a giggle—which is immediately muffled by desperate lips.
Shouts from deep within the house inspire a hand to cup your jaw, keeping you in place as your husband pulls back and purses his lips. “Hear that?” He nudges his head towards the door, and you smile shyly. “You’re lucky your mother didn’t catch us like this, jaan. Or every auntie would bother us about kids.”
“Oh shut up, it was just a kiss.” You turn to check yourself once more, but roll your eyes at the way Donghyuck looks at you from head to toe. “Don’t get any ideas. I’ll slice your kneecaps.” With another reminder of departure from one of your cousins, this time, your husband embraces you tightly from behind and presses a tight kiss to your cheek.
“I don’t need kneecaps to procreate, baby.”
content explanation: jaan and pyaari are terms of endearment, similar to saying ‘darling’ and ‘lovely’, respectively. jasmine flowers (typically in south indian culture) are typically worn in the hair for auspicious occasions, such as a wedding. a sari is a type of south asian clothing. an ‘auntie’ is referring to related or unrelated desi women that tend to have opinions on everyone’s lives.
10th floor & 5th floor ♥
mark cant sleep with the lights on . it’s like one mind
haechan x jay layouts
like/reblog if you save
📷 favorite boys
(like or rb if u save tysm)
*plays 34+35 and ties hair back*
“Gosh Donghyuck, you’re going to make me cry.”
“It’s chocolate, Y/N. Nothing too special.”
Though, the look he gave completely contradicted what he had just said, arms crossed with a smug look smeared across his face, proud of the gift he’d given you in the middle of the school hallway.
His group of friends were near, hiding behind the circle of trash cans as they spied on the pair near the lockers to see if you’d reject him, constantly shushing one another when they’d get too loud.
You noticed this minutes before Donghyuck had even whipped out the box of chocolates but ignored their presence, having your gaze constantly flicker between the gift and Donghyuck himself. “Three years, Hyuck,” you mumbled, giving the box a gentle shake. “We’ve known each other for three years…”
“Yeah I know, I’m so great. This is the part where you say ‘yes’ to dating me, by the way.”
“I’m allergic to chocolate,” you deadpanned, shoving the box into his chest before walking off after seeing the way his smile dropped.
You weren’t that far from the scene when you heard his friends charge at him, their screams making you laugh with the gentle shake of your head.
0.4 ☾ — untouchable
volleyball player!haechan x dancer!oc
summary. - in honour of the blue moon this year, the student parliament decided to hold a blue moon gala for the school. along with that, they created an activity. you pay $1.50 for either a lock or key. each lock and key have a pair with the opposite pendant (you would know if they were your partner if the key can unlock the lock). the person you pair with is your partner for the gala. mina thinks it’s fucking stupid. donghyuck, well—he’s always looking for some excitement in his life—but deep down he just wants someone who doesn’t like him for just his reputation.
taglist. - @oc-helps @jiheonie @philanarose @jiye0n0 @eommayaaaaaasehunnieee @softrenjunnie @mark3le // lemme know if you’d also like to be added!
a/n. - i am realizing how much actual writing there’s gonna be in this series😭 obviously it’s still gonna be socmed but yk there’s probably going to be a bit more actual writing in this au compared to other smaus by other ppl so uhhh sorry abt that?? but also not bc this is how i wanted it to go 😔 hopefully nobody minds it too much haha
𝒑𝒓𝒆𝒗𝒊𝒐𝒖𝒔. | 𝒏𝑒𝒙𝒕.
𝑏𝒍𝒖𝑒 𝒎𝒐𝒐𝒏 𝒎.𝒍𝑖𝒔𝒕
Mina whipped her head towards the sudden disruption, trying to see who it was.
Out of the changeroom doors came tumbling out two boys, a third one following behind them with his hands deep in his shorts pockets.
Mark let out an exasperated sigh, "Guys, stop! We have a guest!"
One of them turned towards the group and his eyes widened slightly, pushing the other off of him and getting up. He approached the three of them with a sly grin tugging at his lips.
"Woahhh, who's the chick?" he asked, looking the girl up and down. Renjun slapped him on the back, “shut the fuck up, Hyuck.” he spat.
By now, the entire team had come to see what the commotion was about. The pairs of eyes on her caused Mina to shift uncomfortably on her feet.
She took this time to get a good look at all of them, only having ever seen them on the court and occasionally around the school—and there were always a lot of people surrounding them during those brief moments.
Lee Jeno—god, Mina wouldn't be able to count the number of times she'd seen girls write his initials and draw tiny little hearts around them in their notebook with an infatuated look on their faces. She wondered how he was able to still be polite after having to constantly reject confessions—she would've snapped long ago if it were her.
Zhong Chenle and Park Jisung, the dynamic duo, Mina had heard. They were a year younger, yet they could play better than someone with years more of experience. Jisung was incredibly tall, looming over everyone else with a bored and stoic look on his face. Chenle, on the other hand, looked very happy-go-lucky, which was surprising.
But what surprised Mina the most was Na Jaemin.
God, was he intimidating.
He stood there with a stone-cold expression, not a single ounce of emotion could be seen along the lines of his terribly attractive face. He wasn't as tall as Jisung, yet his presence cast a shadow over her that sent chills down her spine.
Lee Donghyuck, the ringleader of their little group. The one everyone's been told to stay away from—yet they get pulled to him like a magnet. It's like a cocky smirk was permanently etched onto his face no matter the situation. His arrogance screamed dominance.
Frankly, Mina was terrified. She stared at the popular group of boys, who had built such a name for themselves, as they stood in front of her so casually.
Before, they seemed so... untouchable. This was just strange.
Chenle gasped. "Renjun hyung, you never told me you got a girlfriend!" he suddenly exclaimed, his look of shock turning into one of excitement.
Mina's eyes widened, turning her head to look at Renjun who looked equally as shocked.
"Wh- she's not my girlfriend!" He sputtered.
Mina shook her head, sucking air in through her teeth, "Catch me in my grave before I ever date this freak," she said in disgust, causing Renjun to roll his eyes.
Jeno snorted, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. "Alright then. And what's your name, Ms. Smartass?"
She clicked her tongue, "Park Mina."
"Park Mina..." Jisung suddenly said, his low tone startling the girl. "You're best friends with Yoo Celine, right?"
Mina slowly nodded her head, confused at the random question. "Yes...? Me and Renjun both are."
Jisung turned his head over to look at Jaemin, whose eyes at noticeably gone wider. They shared a look before Jisung turned back to the girl in front of him.
"Well, you see, Jaemin hyung has-"
Jaemin smacked Jisung on the back of his head, eliciting an 'ow what the fuck' from the boy.
Mina raised an eyebrow and looked between the two of them before turning away, just to be met with the face of Donghyuck.
His dark eyes bored into hers as they exchanged eye contact. Mina shuddered under his strangely piercing gaze.
Mark sighed and clapped his hands together. "Alright, no more wasting time. Come on, guys. Give me 5 laps around the court then we'll start scrims straight away." he said, heading towards the court.
Everyone complied wordlessly, following behind their captain. Mina looked at them one last time before walking up the steps of the bleachers.
new layout alert !!
❝She put the gun back to her head and closed her eyes, readying to pull the trigger.❞
pairing ▹ mark x original character genre ▹ fluff, humor, angst, slice of life, high school!au, enemies to friends!au, friends to lovers!au warnings ▹ bullying, parental abuse, alcohol consumption, mentions of depression & suicide, gun violence word count ▹ 7.0k
January 11, 2018
She was absent today.
At first, I thought she was just late. At 8:10, I was staring at the door, waiting for her to arrive.
At 8:17, she still hasn't arrived.
Park seonsaeng-nim had yet again asked me if I had seen her this morning when she was checking our attendance. I told her no.
I haven't seen her since our encounter yesterday. I didn't see her go to the ice cream parlor. I went to the convenience store last night, just to see if she was hanging out on their roof.
At 8:33, I knew she was absent. I could tell that Donghyuck was also waiting for her arrival because he kept looking at the door. He didn't have to tell me.
I knew he was waiting for her because he kept glancing at her seat. He also kept checking his phone, and I actually saw "Elizabeth" on his phone screen. But there was no new text from her.
I still had no idea if he does like her, though. He still hasn't said anything to me.
It was strange for me. Normally, I wouldn't care if I'd done something wrong to other people. I wouldn't care if they cried because of me. But today, I feel guilty.
I feel like it was my fault that she was absent today. I feel like I did something very wrong to her that she chose not to go to school today. I feel mad at myself for being guilty, for thinking like this.
Have I gone soft? It can't be.
I hated the way I was feeling today. But I couldn't deny the fact that I was, and still am, waiting for her to arrive. To appear at the door. To walk quietly towards her seat. To sit down right next to me.
Seriously, Mark Lee, what is happening to you? What is happening to me?
11:07 a.m. Donghyuck and I went to the cafeteria together where the rest of our friends were already waiting.
We talked about the usual stuff on the way. I tried as much as possible not to mention her in any way (because I didn't want to accidentally tell him what happened yesterday) but he did, when we were discussing about our Math project.
"Why should I be the one deciding that?" I asked him.
"Because you're the leader? Obviously." He replied casually.
"Why am I the leader?"
"Because you're the Math genius."
"You didn't have to remind me that." I rolled my eyes.
"What about Elizabeth? You think she can do the PowerPoint?"
We went to Donghyuck's locker first to drop his History book.
"I don't know. You chose her, right? You should tell her what to do. And she better cooperate with us." I said, slightly annoyed.
I wasn't sure what for.
"She will. I'm just a little worried that she might not wanna do the presentation. I could tell her to do the chart instead. I'll just help her with the materials, then I can do the presentation." Donghyuck told me. Or himself, rather.
"Whatever. Just tell her to cooperate." I said as we reached the cafeteria.
Renjun, Jeno, and Jaemin have already ordered their food. We quickly put our bags down and went to order, then went back to the table.
"Hey, guys—whoa. Why do you look so... so gloomy?" Jaemin asked us.
"What do you mean? We look normal." I answered.
"You two look like you just failed Math class." Renjun commented.
I heard Donghyuck sigh beside me.
"It's nothing." He said.
He seems so down today.
"Wait, did something happen to Elizabeth? Did Mark do something stupid to her again?" Jeno suddenly asked, looking at me.
I got a little annoyed at what he said, but I quickly defended myself. "Hey! I didn't do anything. In fact, she's actually not here today."
The three of them gasped in surprised.
"She's absent?" Renjun asked, and Donghyuck nodded.
"Aww. Who's gonna teach me in English class?" Jeno jokingly whined.
"Who's gonna be my seatmate in Homeroom?" Jaemin added.
Ugh. These guys.
I rolled my eyes so hard, I actually saw my brain.
"You guys are overreacting. She's just absent, not dead. Besides, this is only her first." I told them.
"Holy shit! Mark, is that you? I thought I heard concern in your voice." Jaemin joked.
"What? No! I'm just saying." I defended.
"Come on, Mark. We know you like her too. Everyone here does. But I liked her first, so you guys better step back." Jeno smirked at me.
"What? You guys are crazy. I don't like her, okay?" I rolled my eyes again.
"It does feel a little sad without her, huh?" Renjun sighed, then we continued eating in silence.
After a few minutes, I suddenly remembered what Jeno said earlier, "we know you like her too. Everyone here does."
Does that mean all four of them has a crush on her? Including Donghyuck?
I looked over at him, who was checking his phone. He must still be waiting for her to text.
"Waiting for her text?" I asked him.
"Huh? Oh—uh, nope. It's—I'm not." He looked up at me and shook his head.
I was going to say something else, but I didn't press it. Even though I already saw it, I knew Donghyuck better. He's going to tell me what he needs to tell me when he's ready.
After lunch, we went to our respective classes. Not much happened today. After school, we all just went home.
Renjun, Jeno, and Jaemin to their neighborhood, Donghyuck and I to ours.
5:30 p.m. Even though everything was normal today, there was this heavy atmosphere that surrounded all five of us.
I know they felt a little gloomy after finding out that she was absent. I guess they really were serious about liking her.
Especially Jeno and Donghyuck.
But I didn't know I would be feeling the same too.
I couldn't explain, even to myself, why I felt that way. I guess I do feel guilty for what happened yesterday, but it was so new to me that I hated the feeling so much.
I mean, why would I even feel that way?
I am Mark Lee, the worst person and the worst bully anyone could ever meet.
What is happening to me? Is it possible that I—no. It can't be. It's just not possible. Keep it together, Mark!
I slapped myself back to earth. When I was finally awake from my thoughts, I found myself in front of a house, and not just any house.
It was her house.
I hadn't noticed that I stopped in front of her house while I was deep in thought.
The house looked quiet, as if it was empty. Then I suddenly felt a heavy feeling in my chest. A lot of questions then ran to my mind but one was dominant: did they move out?
I felt quite nervous as I sat frozen on my bike. Squinting a bit at the house, I noticed that it wasn't empty after all. It was just really quiet because there's no one inside, apparently.
Must be outside.
Just as I thought about it, I heard a car turn to the street. I quickly biked forward to the left side of the street, letting the car to pass by me.
But it didn't.
I watched as it turned right to the parkway of her house.
It was them. They'd just arrived.
I stayed a little bit longer on the other side of the street, watching them get out of their car one by one.
Her mom was the first one to get out from the passenger seat, then her dad from the driver's seat. Her mom went to the front door to unlock it while her dad opened the garage door.
A few seconds later, she got out from the left side of the backseat. She was wearing a slightly large brown parka, her long black wavy hair falling wildly down to her sides. She closed the door to their car and as she did, she suddenly looked to my direction.
It made me freeze a bit on my bike.
She just stared at me without emotions, or so I thought.
Before she looked away, I saw that her eyes were a bit... angry.
And I felt my heart sink a bit.
She then turned away and started walking towards their door. I just watched as her dad drove the car inside the garage and they all disappeared into their house.
Sighing heavily, I then biked towards my house.
January 12, 2018
3:19 p.m. It was almost last period. My Biology teacher dismissed us early so we could change into our Phys Ed. uniforms.
I was a bit excited for the next subject today because I finally get to hang out with my friends.
She was present today, they told me during break. She was absent at the first two periods, but went to class on the third, which was English, where she's classmates with Jeno, Renjun, and Donghyuck.
I still felt uneasy in the morning but when I found out that she went to school, I felt much better. I quietly asked Donghyuck how she was in their class and he told me that she was "just fine."
I breathed a sigh of relief.
What was I even worried for? God, Mark, you should really stop thinking too much about her.
I shook my head at my thoughts.
My friends and I met in the male's locker room and we all talked about basketball while changing. We haven't played basketball for a while, so we were excited to play.
After changing, we all went to the gym, where some of our classmates were already waiting together with our teacher, Sir Jeon Dongwon.
Hyo and her friends were there. We have the same gym class.
She glanced at me when we arrived. I glanced too, looked away immediately, not wanting her to get the wrong idea.
I scanned around the large gym, looking for someone in particular. But I didn't see her anywhere.
A little later, Donghyuck appeared beside me and asked, "looking for someone?"
He was smirking at me.
"What?" I gave him a look.
"Come on, Mark. I know you're looking for her."
I rolled my eyes, but I didn't see my brain this time.
"Yeah, yeah. Whatever." I answered, just so he would stop.
I would never admit it, but I was looking for her. For New Girl.
I continued looking around, then I spotted her, coming out of the female's locker room.
Jeno quickly walked over to her and the others followed. I followed them too, albeit hesitantly.
Jaemin greeted her joyfully as soon as he neared her. "Elizabeth! I missed you already!" He pinched her cheeks.
I cringed a bit at his action.
Her face scrunched up a bit.
"Ow. You just saw me at Biology class." She rubbed her cheeks softly.
"Well, we already missed you. You were absent yesterday. We were lonely at class." Renjun added.
She just rolled her eyes. When she saw me standing next to Donghyuck, she suddenly looked away and became stiff.
I stared at her, because it was the only thing I could do.
A while later, Jeon seonsaeng-nim called for us students to sit down on the bleachers.
Donghyuck and I sat next to each other on the second row on the left side bleacher, then Jeno sat beside Donghyuck. Jaemin and Renjun sat right in front of us on the first row.
The boys and girls were separated so she sat on the third row on the opposite side, far away from the other girls.
Jeon seonsaeng-nim discussed about our activity for the day. As I listened intently to him, I also gazed at her.
She was just looking down on her shoes.
I wonder what's with her. The way these guys act around her, I've never seen them like this before. Not with their previous crushes. They act like they're in love or something. Well, they do like her but... I've just never seen them be this... sweet. They even like one same girl. I wonder how that'll turn out for them.
I chuckled quietly at the thought.
Jeon seonsaeng-nim then called the boys' names one by one after announcing the short basketball match.
Of course, my friends and I are in one team.
We then proceeded to warm up a bit before playing.
After forty-five minutes or so, the match was over. Our team won, of course.
We all went over to the water fountain to drink, quite tired after playing. When we went back to the bleachers, Hyo and her friends approached us to congratulate us.
Ugh. Them again.
While we were playing earlier, the girls kept cheering for us boys. Hyo had been intently watching me as I played. I just pretended that I didn't know because I felt uncomfortable with her watching me.
"You were great back there." She said as she smiled warmly at me.
"Thanks." I answered coldly and just sat on the bleachers.
Jeno and the others cleared their throats and slightly laughed.
One of Hyo's friends, Hana, blurted out at Donghyuck, "uh—you were awesome, Donghyuck!"
She then covered her mouth as if she just said something awful and blushed furiously.
Donghyuck was a bit surprised but he just shrugged it off. "Thanks, Hana."
These girls are wasting their time, I thought. They already like someone.
After sensing the awkward atmosphere, Hyo spoke up. "Um... See you around, Mark. Come on, girls."
I just nodded at her, feeling relieved that they decided to leave. My friends teased me after they left but I shrugged them off, telling them that I don't like Hyo.
Well, it was true. I only flirted with her for a while, but I never really liked her or anything. It was just for fun.
By 4:15, it was the girls' turn to play but theirs was volleyball. We stayed in the gym to watch. We weren't allowed to go home since the class was not yet officially over.
My friends and I just talked about different topics because we weren't really interested in the girls' match.
Donghyuck and Jeno specifically said that it was boring since she's not playing, to which Renjun and Jaemin agreed.
Just like in our last gym class, which was over a month ago, she didn't participate in the activity. Before the match, I saw her talk to Jeon seonsaeng-nim. They conversed for about a minute, then Jeon seonsaeng-nim just nodded and motioned for her to sit on the bleachers.
Weird. I wonder what kind of shitty excuse she's been telling Jeon seonsaeng-nim.
Donghyuck caught me staring at her as she sat down on the bleachers. He teased me a bit, but I just rolled my eyes at him.
At 4:50, we were dismissed. The girls had finished playing.
I didn't know which team won. I didn't really care.
We went to the male's locker room to change. After that, we got out of school and went home to our neighborhoods.
I didn't see her that night, nor the day after. And not even the day after that.
The third week of January passed by quickly. It was both boring and fun. Boring, because Donghyuck was absent for two days straight. He caught a flu over the weekend. Fun, because I had the chance to bully my seatmate for two days straight in the first two periods.
I didn't mean to take it to extreme levels though, she's a girl. It was supposed to be harmless, but the other one was accidental.
That Monday, Park seonsaeng-nim gave us half of the time of Math class to talk about our group projects. I had trouble getting her to talk to me in the first few minutes because she just kept doodling on her notebook. I had to snatch it away from her so she would pay attention to me.
I told her that Donghyuck and I already decided which company to research about. She just nodded and kept quiet. I then told her about our individual jobs, and she told me that she already agreed to making the PowerPoint presentation because she's not good with making mathematical charts.
Apparently, only Donghyuck knew about this. I guessed he was going to tell me but since he was absent, he wasn't able to. After that, I told her that she should come with us when we start making the project so she could also start with the presentation. She declined though, telling me that she'll just do it in her house after Donghyuck and I finish the problem solving and the chart.
I tried to convince her that she needed to be present while we're doing it but she insisted to do it her own way. I was frustrated by the end of our conversation so I didn't return her notebook until Park seonsaeng-nim scolded us again. She didn't tear up or cry that day, but she visibly didn't have any energy at all.
At World History class, when she once went out to go to the restroom, I found her bag open and saw this novel that she was reading just last week. Before she got back, I quickly took it out of her bag and hid it inside mine.
By the end of the class, I noticed her rummaging through her bag, looking for her novel. I quickly went out of the room before she could ask me anything, laughing when I got outside. I just kept the book in my bag until I forgot about it.
I didn't see her for the rest of the day.
On Tuesday, I remembered to bring something important. Donghyuck was still absent so I was able to prank her yet again. I waited for the perfect timing to do it.
The perfect timing came when I finished early in our World History quiz. She also finished early too, so when she came back to her seat after passing her paper, she put on her earphones then just slept. I waited a few minutes before I took my scissors out of my bag.
Everyone else was busy with their quizzes or doing nothing after finishing it. I tried to be as quiet as I could when I started cutting little portions of her hair that was falling down to her sides. I almost got caught by Taeyong hyung, so I had to stop and hide the scissors quickly.
When Taeyong hyung finally stopped talking to me, I continued cutting her hair. I was trying not to laugh too much that I accidentally cut a large portion when she suddenly jolted up on her seat, her eyebrows furrowed in confusion. She must've felt her hair lightly being tugged.
I froze on my place, scissors in my hand. When she saw it, she suddenly looked at her hair and noticed the uneven cut on it. She then looked at the floor and saw the hair that I cut and gasped as she stood up.
Her eyes started to tear up. She then picked up her bag and quickly ran out of the room, startling Taeyong hyung. He called onto her but she didn't stop or even look back at him. Taeyong hyung then turned to me, asking me what happened, and I hesitantly told him.
I got sent to the guidance office afterwards.
Of course, that wasn't new to me. I was even laughing on the way there. I didn't mind it. But I had no idea that she would also be there.
The guidance counselor talked to us about the "accident," forcing me to admit what I did because she was sobbing the whole time. When I glimpsed over at her, I noticed how I did cut quite a huge portion of her hair on the right side, and it looked ugly. I mean, the hair looked ugly because it was uneven.
The guidance counselor had told me that her parents will be called immediately so we could settle it properly but she insisted not to include them. When asked why, she said she just didn't want to stay any longer in the office. She just wanted it to be over already. So we both went out of the office after that.
I was going to apologize to her but as soon as we got out, she quickly walked away, not even looking back at me.
I felt a little guilty for what happened. I was only planning to cut small portions of it. It was pretty harmless, to be honest. But I had no idea it will turn out that way.
That night, my dad, who was drunk, had slapped me again at home. The school had called him to inform of my mischief.
I went to bed with red cheeks.
On Wednesday morning, Donghyuck had come back to school. I told him we'll be starting our project that day. I will be sleeping in their house so we could start with it already, and he agreed.
We just talked about video games and music until he asked me if I'd seen her because she hasn't arrived yet. I told him no because I don't really see her in the mornings when I go to school. Then he asked me if I did something to her, to which I jokingly said no.
"Mark, what did you do this time?" He asked.
"Nothing!" I said, laughing. "Okay, I might've done a thing or two, though..." I continued and laughed again.
He then playfully punched me in the shoulder, demanding to know what I did to her. But I didn't tell him. He'd probably kill me, together with Jeno, if he knew.
A little while later, Park seonsaeng-nim had arrived. We continued discussing the lesson from two days ago, having a Math quiz right after.
Of course, I got a perfect score. I secretly helped Donghyuck with the answers while Park seonsaeng-nim wasn't looking. He got the second most highest.
The day passed by smoothly, with us either having a quiz, or discussing a new lesson, or the teachers letting us start with our projects. And before I knew it, school was dismissed.
She wasn't at school that day.
Thursday and Friday also went by smoothly. I wasn't able to bother anyone in particular since I was busy with projects. Donghyuck and I started with our Math project, and I already agreed that she will do her part once we're finished.
And speaking of her, she came back on Thursday, and she looked... different.
I mean, she still looked the same. The same pale skin, the same average height. She looked thinner though, but it could just be my imagination.
But she cut her hair. It was still long, but not as long as it used to be.
She had cut it to match the uneven cut that I accidentally made last Tuesday. Donghyuck was visibly surprised that he almost dropped his jaw.
I, on the other hand, kind of expected it. I mean, the cut I made was really ugly, if I'm being honest.
She silently made her way into her seat that time, which was now in between Donghyuck and Jin, one of our classmates.
After that incident on Tuesday, I was told to change seats. I was now on her seat, next to the window, while Donghyuck's on my seat, and she on Donghyuck's.
She looks so...
"...pretty, Elizabeth." Donghyuck told her.
I heard the genuineness in his voice. She just gave him a small smile but it quickly faded when she saw me. I hadn't realized that I was staring at her that time, so I quickly averted my eyes.
For two days straight, all that Jeno talked about was how cute and pretty she looked with her new haircut. During lunch time, during break time while we were playing in the Music room, and even after school. Good thing I wasn't neighbors with him.
Of course, the other three agreed. I even caught Jaemin daydreaming about taking her on a date, if only Jeno didn't have such an obvious crush on her.
I was getting tired of it, but I just let them be. Besides, I knew it wouldn't last long.
Or so I thought.
January 25, 2018
This week was busy.
I had finished most of my individual projects on the weekends. They were easy, especially the project in my Music class. We just had to create song lyrics, anything that comes up in mind. I wrote some new lyrics because I didn't want to pass any of my original songs. They were too personal.
For three days, Donghyuck and I worked our parts for the Math project in his house. We kind of struggled to finish it. Our other groupmate never once went with us to help.
I was quite annoyed at that, but Donghyuck assured me that she already started the presentation. She was just waiting for the chart to be finished.
Last night, however, my dad was drunk. I noticed that he hadn't been drinking for the past three weeks (except Tuesday last week), but he was heavily drunk last night.
I tried to stay away from him as much as I could because I know what'll happen to me, but luck wasn't on my side.
He spotted me in the kitchen at around 11 in the evening, drinking some water. I thought he was asleep but it turns out he wasn't because right after I put the glass on the sink, he started hitting me. He didn't beat me up, he just hit me multiple times. He was saying something, though it wasn't clear. He was too drunk to speak clearly.
I did make out some words though, and they were more painful than him hitting me.
"This is all your fault, you fucking piece of shit!" He had said.
I knew it was about my mother again.
After a few more hits, he finally stopped and slowly fell down on the kitchen floor. He must've been so tired from too much drinking that he fell right asleep. I stared at him, my eyes a bit teary, then I decided to carry him back to the couch so he wouldn't wake up on the floor in the morning.
I was in a bad mood last night.
2:48 p.m. I was quiet at school today. I wasn't really in the mood. I was still thinking about last night. It had been almost a month since my dad last beat me up.
I was just so angry from what happened last night. I didn't even do anything stupid in the past three days, I was too busy with school work. And there he went, hitting the shit out of me.
What the fuck is his problem?
In the first two periods, I showed no interest in anyone or anything. I was so quiet that Donghyuck got worried, but I told him it was nothing.
He didn't press it.
While Taeyong hyung was discussing, I was looking down to my open bag and noticed an unfamiliar object. I fished it out of my bag, finding the novel that I snatched from her bag last week.
When I looked at her, she was just peacefully doodling on her notebook.
I skimmed through its pages disinterestedly. When I got to the back of it, there was this page, just before the author's part. The page was supposed to be empty but it wasn't. There were doodles of a moon and sun on it, and some words that were scratched. But there was this one sentence that caught my eye.
Pretty much everyone would see it if they happened to look into it because they were written clearly, though they were in small letters.
"dear mom and dad, please just let me die already..." It said.
At first I thought it was strange, but I just shrugged it off, thinking that perhaps it's something personal between her and her parents.
When the bell rang, I stood up and told Donghyuck I wouldn't be joining them at lunch. I just wasn't in any mood. Donghyuck just nodded.
I walked past him and her, swiftly putting the novel on her desk without stopping, and then towards the front door.
At Biology class, I just stayed quiet while half-listening to the teacher and half-thinking about a lot of things while skimming my book.
I was thinking about my mother, that led me to think about last night, then I had to shake that thought away because I was getting mad. I held my book, trying to focus on page 261.
Then I thought about the novel, or rather the words that were written there. I wondered if she was actually depressed or something because I had noticed her behavior. I mean, I don't really know what the signs of depression are, but she was quiet and gloomy and stuff.
Whatever. Why do I even care about that?
I mentally rolled my eyes and quickly dismissed my thoughts.
Then I excused myself to go to the restroom.
My room was a bit far from it. There was no shortcut so I'd have to walk all the way to get there. I turned right on the corner and just as I did, I accidentally bumped into someone.
When I looked up, I saw her.
I was going to apologize but then I suddenly remembered that I was annoyed at her because she didn't bring the PowerPoint presentation.
I had told her I needed to see it today so I could check our progress, but she didn't. I doubted that she actually did something, while Donghyuck and I struggled to do our parts of the project.
"Hey, when do you plan to finish that presentation?" I asked coldly.
"I—it's not done yet. Something came up so I couldn't finish it on time." She answered, her voice low.
"Well you better finish it by tomorrow so I could check it. I can't risk failing Math because of you."
"I will. Geez... It's not like you're actually gonna fail Math. You're the genius, remember?" She muttered under her breath, sarcasm evident in her tone.
"What did you say?"
"No, no. You said something." I moved closer, towering over her.
She backed up, and seeing as how I was blocking her way, she leaned on the wall, her bag getting flat.
Why is she carrying her bag?
"I said nothing." She looked down on her shoes.
"You better watch your mouth, New Girl. You haven't even shown your work. I bet you haven't even started it." I snapped at her.
She just kept quiet and continued looking down at her shoes.
"Wait—don't tell me—you haven't started it, have you? Holy fuck. I knew it. I shouldn't have—"
I groaned in frustration while she still hasn't said anything.
"I told you. I told you to come with us, didn't I? So you could already start with it. And what did you say? You said you'll do it in your house. And now you're telling me that you haven't started it? What was I thinking? This project is already due on Monday. I shouldn't have let Hyuck include you in our group." I said as I paced back and forth in front of her.
There was a moment of silence between us. But then she spoke quietly.
"I never wanted to be in your group."
I looked up at her. "What?"
"I said, I never wanted to be in your group." She repeated, drawling over her words.
I scoffed in disbelief.
"I never wanted you to be in our group." I shot back with a deep voice.
"Well, why don't you just kick me out already?"
"Oh, sure! Why no—"
"I'd rather die than be groupmates with a stupid boy, like you, on a stupid project."
She looked at me angrily, but her words triggered me to be more angry than her.
"Oh, really? Then why don't you just kill yourself already, huh? Why don't you just bid your mom and dad goodbye and be gone already since you wanted to die so much, huh? I bet the world would be better off without you." I shot back angrily as I punched the wall on her left side.
I saw her expression change from anger to shock. I don't know why but I quickly regretted my words when I saw her slightly tearing up again.
As I was about to say something, someone interrupted us.
It was Park seonsaeng-nim.
I quickly removed my fist from the wall.
"There you are! Your parents are waiting for you outside. What happened here?" Park seonsaeng-nim looked at her, then at me.
"Nothing." She replied, while I just stood there.
"Well, then you better go. They've been waiting for you. Mark, what are you doing out here? Go back to your class."
They began to walk towards the stairs, leaving me there. I followed my gaze to her disappearing figure as she walked away.
She didn't look back at me.
January 26, 2018
Donghyuck had mentioned this morning that she went to meet her uncle yesterday, together with her parents, to which I just shrugged.
So that explains the bag.
I haven't told him that I was planning to kick her out of the group because of what happened yesterday. I don't think he's going to like it, but I just had to do it. I planned to do the presentation on the weekends, instead.
By the end of Math class, she went out to go to the restroom, but before going out, she went over to my desk while I was scribbling something on my notebook.
She then gently put a black USB on my desk and said, "here. Keep it."
Then she went out.
I was quite surprised that I just stared at the small black object. Donghyuck asked me what that was about, to which I said "I don't know," because I truly didn't know.
World History class went by slowly, with Taeyong hyung reviewing us for the last time.
Our exam in World History will be on Monday, together with Math. Then Biology and English on Tuesday. There were no written exams on Arts, Music, and Homeroom, just projects to pass on Wednesday and Thursday. Then basketball and volleyball matches for Phys Ed. exam on Friday.
Today was normal. Everything was normal. Too normal, if I'm being honest.
It actually felt wrong.
When World History class ended, I didn't have any appetite. I couldn't explain it, even to myself. I just told Donghyuck that I wouldn't be eating, but I'd still join them in the cafeteria.
Donghyuck stood up first, offering her to eat with us but she politely declined.
I noticed something strange in her behavior, like she was too calm and too reserved. But I could sense that she seems to be waiting for something, which is weird.
I don't usually sense this kind of things but today, I could just feel it. That strange feeling got more stronger when I passed beside her seat and I accidentally bumped my foot on her bag. I felt something really heavy, like metal, on the right side of her bag.
When I looked at it, the bag was closed, which was even weirder. I knew she was the type of person who leaves her bag open. I looked at her but she was just gazing over to the window.
"Mark, come on." Donghyuck called onto me.
Lunch time passed by, and I didn't eat. I just felt this weird feeling in my chest.
I didn't know what or why and I couldn't explain it. Renjun even noticed that I was uncharacteristically quiet, but I just shrugged it off and told them that I was fine.
When I looked around the cafeteria, I didn't find who I was looking for.
She wasn't on her usual seat on the far right side of the cafeteria, near the large windows. She also wasn't in the hallways, nor her locker.
Jaemin had asked me if I was really okay because he noticed that I've been acting strange. I told him that I was, even though I really wasn't.
The weird feeling in my chest felt heavier by the minute.
During English class, I texted Donghyuck (despite knowing that he'll probably tease me and never let me live it down) if she was there in his class.
Donghyuck yep. she's here. why do u ask? 26/01/18, 12:31 p.m.
Me Nothin. Just asking. 26/01/18, 12:33 p.m.
Donghyuck why, tho? miss her already? 26/01/18, 12:36 p.m.
Me What? No. Nvm. 26/01/18, 12:36 p.m.
Donghyuck hahahahahahaha 26/01/18, 12:38 p.m.
I breathed a sigh of relief. But the heavy feeling was still there.
It continued until Biology class and it felt heavier, actually. So I texted Renjun this time, asking the same thing. He said that she was there too.
I breathed another sigh of relief but I didn't stop texting him. I asked what she was doing and he said that they were doing a review quiz, in which he was already finished with.
I asked him to update me on whatever she was doing. He found it weird and asked me if I was really okay.
Heck, even I find it weird.
But the heavy feeling just won't go away.
A little later, he texted me.
Renjun She went out. 26/01/18, 2:57 p.m.
I felt my heart sink a bit. I just had this bad feeling in my chest.
Me Where to? 26/01/18, 2:58 p.m.
Renjun Restroom. 26/01/18, 3:00 p.m.
I quickly raised my hand to ask the teacher to let me go to the restroom. As soon as she said yes, I immediately ran out of the room.
There was no one in the hallways except me. I half-walked, half-ran down the hall, trying to be as quiet as I can, going towards the female's restroom.
When I reached it, there was no one around. I looked at the door in front of me.
I put my hand on the doorknob, hesitating because, well, it's a female's restroom.
What if there are girls inside? This is so wrong... But what if she's inside doing god knows what? Argh! Why do I even care? What the fuck Mark, what is happening to you?
I let go of the doorknob, about to leave. I've already turned around when I suddenly decided to just try and check inside.
I was really sensing something bad, something heavy.
My heart was pounding hard when I turned the knob. To my surprise, it was locked. I got nervous as I tried to turn the knob again.
Nobody would lock a restroom door unless...
I knocked on the door.
There was no answer.
So I knocked again.
"Hey, New Girl. Are you there?"
There was no answer but I definitely heard something. It was the sound of metal hitting the floor.
I got even more nervous, a lot of thoughts running on my mind.
"Hey, open up!" I pounded on the door but still, no answer.
I walked back a few steps. I was going to force-open the door with my body but I knew that would hurt and that never actually works so I thought of something else.
Looking around, I then saw a fire extinguisher near the stairs. I ran to get it and hurriedly went back in front of the door.
I used the butt of the fire extinguisher to break the doorknob and it worked, the door slowly opening. I then went inside the female's restroom, carefully putting the fire extinguisher down on the floor.
I stopped on my tracks when I saw her, standing frozen at the far end of the restroom, her hair falling wildly at her sides, a gun in her right hand.
Her eyes were red from crying.
"What the fu—" I froze in place.
I looked around the restroom. There was nothing else except her and her bag, lying on the floor next to a cubicle.
I inhaled slowly, then exhaled.
"New—I mean, Elizabeth, please put that down."
She stared at me intently, not saying a word.
"Elizabeth, listen to m—"
"What? What are you gonna do?"
The words got stuck on my throat, and I couldn't speak.
"What's the point of living, if you're just gonna die in the end?"
I still couldn't speak so I slowly walked closer, careful not to scare her away. Then I cleared my throat.
"Elizabeth, please put that down. I'm sorry about yesterday, okay? I didn't mean to say those words to you. I'm so sorry," I said calmly, despite my heart pounding in my chest at the sight of the gun in her hand.
She looked at me, then lifted it to her head.
"Elizabeth, listen to me! Put the gun down. Come on, let's—let's talk about this. Where'd you even get that?"
She stared at me for a while.
I could tell that her eyes were pleading for help, but her actions tell otherwise.
She blinked a few times, as if having second thoughts, then she put the gun down and stared at it.
There was a moment of silence between us, and it was deafening.
I just stood where I am, my body feeling heavier by the second. I couldn't believe what was happening in front of me. She was just a few feet away.
I wanted to run to her, to get the gun away from her. I wanted to stop her from harming herself. But my feet weren't letting me. I was stuck there, unable to do anything.
She blinked several more times before finally breaking the silence.
"Who cares? The world is better off without me." She put the gun back to her head and closed her eyes, readying to pull the trigger.
chapter 5 | prev | next | chapter list
a/n: how do you guys like the story so far? i hope you’re enjoying it. lemme know if you guys wanna be in a taglist. or something.
anyway, questions? send your thoughts! feedbacks are much appreciated!
©️ 2021, moonstarsunflower. All rights reserved. Do not copy, repost, or use without permission.
❝Now that I think about it, she wasn't hostile anymore. She's just been really quiet.❞
pairing ▹ mark x original character genre ▹ fluff, humor, angst, slice of life, high school!au, enemies to friends!au, friends to lovers!au warnings ▹ mentions of bullying word count ▹ 5.5k
Donghyuck got out from behind the tree and walked over to her.
"Hey, what are you doing? Hyuck, come back here!" I whispered loudly at him.
He was already too far from me, so I also got out from behind the tree and followed him.
"Hey, what are you doing out here alone?" He asked her.
She got startled a bit, suddenly sitting up. I was just behind Donghyuck, not yet showing myself.
"I—I was just hanging ou—"
She stopped talking when she saw me.
Donghyuck then looked at me.
I eyed him, trying to tell him through mental telepathy that he shouldn't have done that. Then he looked back at her.
He must've felt the awkward tension between us because he suddenly scratched the back of his head and slightly chuckled. Then he cleared his throat.
"It's cold out here. Why don't you go home with us? Mark will take you home."
"What?" We both said in unison.
"What? It's cold and it's already late. Girls shouldn't be out here alone at this time of the night." He said.
Donghyuck wasn't usually like this when it comes to girls. Especially to girls that he doesn't like.
"It's okay. I can go home on my own. Besides, I don't think Mark would wanna take me home anyway," she said, her voice lowering at the last sentence.
But I clearly heard her.
When I looked at her, she was looking somewhere else.
"Look, Elizabeth. It's freezing out here, and it's already late. It's not safe for a girl like you to be all alone here. Who knows what might happen to you, so just go home with us. Your parents are probably worried about you, and Mark wouldn't mind."
I was shocked with Donghyuck at the moment that I was utterly speechless. I slightly nudged him, silently telling him that it's not a good idea, but he just gave me a look.
What is happening to Hyuck right now? It's like Jeno 2.0, but worse.
New Girl was also speechless, but I can sense that she was deliberating whether to say yes or no.
"Okay! Let's go." Donghyuck smiled warmly at her.
What the heck, dude?! Don't tell me you like her now too?!
I sighed, not knowing what to feel about the sudden turn of events. I then propped myself up on my bike, getting ready. I looked at her with a blank face, not knowing what to do.
I must've been staring for too long because she suddenly cleared her throat.
"Um. I'll just... walk."
She said, and then started walking. But Donghyuck stopped her, holding her right arm.
"What? No. Hop on to Mark's bike. He's taking you home. Safely." Donghyuck said, eyeing me when he said the word "safely."
I rolled my eyes.
I can't believe you're doing this to me, Hyuck.
"Err, no thanks. I'd rather walk." She said.
"Uh, Hyuck. Are you sur—"
"No. You're not walking home, and you're obviously not gonna ride on my skateboard. So get on Mark's bike already because he's taking you home."
We both said, "but—"
"No buts. Now go, hop on."
And just like that, Donghyuck convinced her to ride on my bike. She didn't have a say in it. I didn't even have a say in it. I was too speechless to complain.
I mean, I guess I'm not really complaining. Taking her home "safely" could be my apology for being a dick towards her last month.
Wait, what? Why would I even wanna apologize? Ugh. This is crazy.
She just sighed, not really having a choice. Even I didn't have a choice.
Donghyuck has that kind of persuasive attitude where you can't really say no to him. I'm used to it. We're all used to it.
But this—him persuading New Girl to go home with us, and even forcing me take her home personally—is new to me. We don't even know her that much.
Donghyuck has four classes with her whereas I only have two. But still.
Don't tell me he's gone Jeno on her too...
9:09 p.m. We went home together. We didn't talk at all, and it was pretty awkward, if I'm being honest.
Mark Lee, the resident bad boy was taking Elizabeth Moon, the new girl in the neighborhood, home on his bike.
The atmosphere got even more awkward for me when she tightened her arms around my waist the moment I started pedaling, and she even buried her face on my lower back.
My face felt hot for a moment. Good thing it was cold tonight.
I actually noticed earlier how she was hesitating on riding my bike. I initially thought she just didn't want me to take her home at all because she probably hates me, but this?
We got to my street first. Donghyuck's was a few a blocks away.
"Bye, guys! See you on Monday, Elizabeth. Mark, take her straight home, alright?" Donghyuck smiled at her but gave me a warning look.
I just rolled my eyes before giving him a glare. Then he scrunched up his nose and skated home.
I turned to our street and pedaled faster so I could get her home already.
Then I felt it again.
She tightened her hold on my waist and buried her face on my back again, and I felt my face get hot, again.
"You alright back there?" I asked her.
She mumbled a yes, I think. I couldn't really hear her. She stayed like that until we got to her house and I halted to a stop.
She slowly lifted her face from my back, then she suddenly let go of her hands around my waist and hurriedly got down from my bike. I watched as she walked towards their front door, but stopped midway and turned to me.
"Uh... Thanks." She said, a bit hesitant.
I guess she hasn't forgotten about the ice cream incident.
She then turned her back and started walking quickly towards their front door.
I was going to reply something but I don't think she wanted to hear it anyway. So I just watched as she entered her house, making sure she got home safely.
Damn it, Hyuck.
Then I finally went home.
I texted Donghyuck that night, asking him what was that all about.
He said that he just didn't want to leave her all alone out there. It'll be in our conscience if something happened to her and we were the last ones to see her.
I didn't press it. I knew he has a point. But I was just uncomfortable doing something nice for her, especially after last month.
But anyway, it'll be back to normal once classes start again.
January 8, 2018 Monday
8:13 a.m. I was too early for school, waiting in the classroom for thirty minutes.
I couldn't sleep properly last night, and I woke up earlier than my alarm so I decided to go to school early. I just sat on my chair, head on my desk, listening to music on my earphones. I drifted off to sleep for a while until I heard the other students arrive one by one.
"Whoa, you're up early. Is that your New Year's resolution?" Donghyuck joked as he plopped down on the seat next to mine.
I removed my earphones as I lifted my head. Yawning, I stretched my arms.
"My New Year's resolution is to have a proper sleep. Haven't had one since the start of the year."
As I lowered my hands from the air, I slightly hit someone's head. I quickly glanced to my left and saw New Girl, also sleeping on her desk.
Well, she's up early too.
Her long black wavy hair was all over her desk and also falling on the sides. Seeing this rare opportunity, I quickly thought of a prank to annoy the hell out of her. But I was short of resources so I reserved that idea for another time.
Park seonsaeng-nim was a few minutes late, arriving by 8:23. She greeted us when she entered and we greeted back. But there was one person who didn't, and it was New Girl.
She was still sleeping on her desk.
Park seonsaeng-nim saw her, but told us not to wake her up. She said we won't be doing anything yet since it's the first day of school after the holidays, so she gave us free time to do anything we want. Except skipping class, of course.
Donghyuck and I just talked about stuff. From vacations, to cars and motorbikes, to sports, to games, and finally to music.
We talked about cool new music we've been listening to and how he we should hang out in the Music room this week. We texted the others and they agreed, then we talked some more until Park seonsaeng-nim spoke.
"Guys, before I forget, I have an announcement to make," she began.
She waited for the class to settle down and listen to her. The others began to quiet down and Park seonsaeng-nim looked around the room. She then spotted me and motioned for me to wake my sleeping seatmate.
"Mark, please wake her up." She said calmly.
I looked at her, who seems to give this heavy vibe even though she was just sleeping. I began poking at her head lightly.
"Hey, New Girl, wake up," I whispered to her.
She didn't wake up so I shook her shoulder slightly.
"Hey, wake up." I said a bit louder.
She then woke up, startled, and began to lift her head.
"Good morning, Elizabeth." Park seonsaeng-nim greeted her with a warm smile.
She just stared at Park seonsaeng-nim blankly before fixing herself up on her seat.
"So class, your final exam week will be on the twenty-eighth of January to the second of February. So you better review our lessons. Everything that we tackled will be in the exams. We will discuss two more lessons which will be included, though. But don't worry because we'll be having a review week before your exams." Park seonsaeng-nim said.
The others reacted, either happily or not. I heard my best friend whine beside me.
Donghyuck is smart, especially in History. He aces every recitations, every quizzes, and every exams in that subject. But he definitely hates Math.
I, on the other hand, have been gifted the brains of a mathematical genius that is my dad. Although I hated the fact, being a Math genius has its perks. Like for instance, I get to have high grades in that subject. Only in that subject, though. Donghyuck, Renjun, Jeno, and Jaemin always come to me whenever they need help with their Math homeworks.
"Also, I will be giving you a project as part of your requirements for the finals period. But don't worry class, it won't be too hard. And it'll be in groups of three." Park seonsaeng-nim continued talking.
The students cheered when she mentioned about the grouping. They were already deciding which groupmates they want.
Of course, Donghyuck and I are automatically groupmates. We only needed another one.
Park seonsaeng-nim continued explaining about the project that she was going to give us. Apparently, we're going to research about a company and its sales, solve some mathematical problems, produce a chart of the problems and solutions, and make a PowerPoint presentation of how we solved the problems.
I heard New Girl sigh heavily beside me and I looked over to her, noticing something different about her.
She looked visibly tired. Her face looked tired and even paler, and her eyes were slightly red. Like she just cried.
I just stared at her as she listened to Park seonsaeng-nim.
I wonder what happened to her—Okay, Mark, let me just stop you there. Why don't you think about what to do with your project instead of wondering what the hell happened to her, huh?
I shook my head at the thought.
"So that will be your project. The due date will be on the day of your Math exam. The schedule of each exams will be given on the week prior." Park seonsaeng-nim smiled as she finished speaking.
Some students groaned, while the others were now discussing what to do with their projects.
"We still need one more groupmate," Donghyuck suddenly told me, distracting me from my thoughts.
We were thinking of who to get as our final groupmate when we heard some girls at the back whispering.
"Hana, this is your chance!" One girl, Hyesung, whispered.
"Are you crazy? What if Donghyuck rejects me?" The second girl, Hana, said.
"Just try it! If you don't do it, I will." Another girl, Yoora, joked.
"No, don't! Okay, I'll try it," Hana stood up, then sat down again. "Argh! I can't." She whispered, frustrated.
"You're too shy, Hana." The other one, Hyo, told her friend.
"Why don't you do it, Hyo? I'm sure Mark won't reject you." The last one said.
It was Miyo.
"Hurry up! They might choose someone else!" Hyesung whispered loudly at them.
I frowned as I heard them talk to each other.
"Wanna choose from them?" I joked to Donghyuck as I slightly pointed my head to the group of girls.
We both looked over to them and as we did, they suddenly looked away, giggling at each other.
Oh god, no. I don't wanna deal with them. Especially on a Math project, I mentally rolled my eyes.
I felt like someone was staring at me. I looked back to the group of girls and sure enough, one was gazing at me.
Last year, I used to flirt with her. It was just for fun. But when she told me that she wanted to take things seriously, I stopped flirting with her. I didn't want any commitment.
Good thing she didn't push it. But I think she was heartbroken that time. Although, I guess she just accepted the fact that I didn't want any relationship. I ignored her after that. But every once in a while, I'd casually talk to her. If I feel like it.
She looked away and they continued to talk again, but they were talking about New Girl this time. They tried to keep their voices down but I could still hear them.
"How about the new girl? She doesn't have a group yet, right? Why don't we invite her?" Yoora said.
"Well, she could be our groupmate." Hyesung followed.
"No way! I'm not comfortable around her," Miyo whispered quite aggressively. "If you want, you can put her in your group, not mine."
"She might not even participate with us." Hyo said a bit loudly.
"I think she heard you." Hana whispered to them.
I looked over at New Girl, who was staring down on her shoes, then she turned to stare at the window next to her.
I don't know what's gotten into Donghyuck but he must've heard their conversation too, because right after she looked to the window, he suddenly stood up and went over to her, passing by in front of me.
Everyone's attention, especially the girls at the back, were on him. He then cleared his throat before speaking.
"Hey, Elizabeth. Wanna be our groupmate? We still need one." He said to her. She turned her head to look at him, then at me. "Mark won't mind."
"What?" I whispered loudly at him, my brows knitted and eyes widened.
There he goes again.
He eyed me then whispered back, "better her than them."
We both looked back at the girls, who were also looking at us. They were visibly shocked at what Donghyuck just did.
I looked back to her, who was gazing—no—slightly glaring at the girls. Then I sighed heavily.
World History class passed by with us doing nothing too. But like Park seonsaeng-nim did, Taeyong hyung also gave us a project as part of our requirements to pass for the finals period. This time however, it's individual work.
I breathed a sigh of relief when Taeyong hyung announced that.
I still haven't gotten over Donghyuck's little stunt in Math class. I wasn't really mad, although I would've appreciated it if he consulted with me first.
I somehow understand what prompted him to do that, though. I knew he just didn't want to choose from one of those girls at the back.
What I don't get is why he'd choose New Girl when he could've chosen someone else.
I confronted him during lunch time. We were walking towards the cafeteria where Renjun, Jeno, and Jaemin were waiting.
"Hyuck, I know you didn't want any of those girls to be our groupmate but New Girl, seriously?" I asked him, a bit frowning.
"Why not? She didn't have any groupmates and we needed one." He replied casually.
"Well, you could've chosen someone else. Like Minjoon or Junyoung or—or Sungho—"
"Mark, you do know those guys specifically do not like us, right? Pretty much every guy in our Math class doesn't like us."
"Why don't you just give her a chance? It's not like she did anything to you."
"Hyuck, you know that I'm making fun of her, right? Isn't it just a little bit weird that the girl I'm currently bullying is our groupmate in our Math project? Don't you find it just a little bit strange? And since when did you start liking her?"
We reached the cafeteria and saw Renjun waving at us. They already found a table.
"Yes, I know that. And yes, it is a bit strange but who cares? I'm just being nice to her because I find her a little... lonely."
"Oh, so you befriend lonely girls now?"
"No, I don't. It's just—ugh. Never mind, Mark. You won't understand it. Yet."
"What?" I gave him a look, but he just rolled his eyes.
"And no, I don't like her. Jeno already has a crush on her. Can't risk fighting with him over a girl."
We reached the table and put our bags down on the chairs. Jeno and Jaemin just arrived with their food, greeting us. Renjun then stood up to order.
"You guys coming?" He asked us.
We walked to the counter and fell in line.
"What do you mean by that? You do like her, don't you?" I asked Donghyuck, getting back to our conversation earlier.
"What? I just told you that I don't. Are you deaf or what? And besides, someone else already likes her too. Aside from Jeno." My eyes widened at the information I was getting.
I couldn't believe someone actually likes that girl.
"What the heck? Since when did all of these happen? And who is it? Is it one of our friends? How'd you even know that?"
"What are you guys talking about?" Renjun, who was in front, looked back at us.
"Nothing." I said quickly.
"Elizabeth. We were talking about how Jeno and a certain someone like her," Donghyuck revealed.
Renjun smiled at the mention of her name.
What? Don't tell me he's gone Jeno 3.0.
"Who wouldn't like her? She's a pretty girl, and she's really nice. And smart, if I might add."
What? Just last month, he was laughing with me at her expense in the hallways. And now he's saying that she's nice and pretty and smart? Has he gone mad?
I was shocked at what was unfolding in front of me. We then got our food and paid for it one by one, then went back to our table and sat down.
Donghyuck and Renjun were still talking about New Girl, about how Donghyuck recruited her to our group project in Math.
"Dude! Mark and Hyuck are groupmates with Elizabeth in their Math project!" Renjun told Jeno and Jaemin excitedly.
They, too, seemed excited at the mention of her name.
What is wrong with these guys? Why is everyone suddenly smiling at the mention of her name? What has she done to my friends?
"She is?" Jeno asked him. "Wait, Hyuck, did you—"
"Yep. He did. In front of everybody." I answered, rolling my eyes.
I was getting tired of this conversation.
Jeno then glared at me jokingly. "Please don't do anything stupid to her, Mark."
"Seriously, Jeno, seriously?" I gave him a look.
"Yes, Mark. Seriously." He said with a straight tone.
I didn't want to get into a silly fight with him so I just scrunched up my nose and joked, "I'm not sure, Jeno. You know me." I scratched the nape of my neck.
He gave me another glare, to which I laughed. We then started to eat our food.
"So, are you done complaining about her being in our group? Besides, she can make the PowerPoint presentation while we work on the problem solving and the chart." Donghyuck told me.
I just nodded, not really having a choice.
"Wait, who was that someone again?" I asked him, suddenly remembering what he told me earlier.
"That certain someone." I said, quoting him.
"Yeah, that." I said as I drank some water from my tumbler.
"You." He said, then he scrunched his nose at me.
January 10, 2018
Two days have passed since that incident at the cafeteria.
That incident where I, Mark Lee, the most fearsome bully at school, almost embarrassed myself because of what Donghyuck said.
Apparently, he thinks—no, he believes—that I actually like New Girl.
How did I embarrass myself?
Well, I just had to spit out the water that I was drinking, quite a large amount of it, onto our table.
Everyone's attention was on me because I was that loud. I glared furiously at Donghyuck as they laughed at me.
Of course, nothing changed at school after that. I still remained the most fearsome bully. But I had a hard time explaining to all of my friends, especially to Jeno, that I most certainly do not have a crush on New Girl and I most certainly do not like her.
I seriously don't know what's gotten into Donghyuck, though, and why he "believes" I like her.
I don't like New Girl. I will never like her.
I shook my head furiously at my thoughts. Then I sighed heavily as I frowned to myself for thinking such things.
1:16 p.m. English class was almost over but I was still called by my teacher, Sir Kim Yoonwoo, to read an excerpt from our book.
As I read out loud, someone knocked on the door of our room. It was the president of the student council, who was looking for Kim seonsaeng-nim.
He motioned for the student to come inside the room, then they talked about something that we couldn't hear but I assumed it was about the end-of-school party.
I was left standing there, near the window, fiddling with the book in my hands. After a few minutes, they were still talking. It must've been important.
So I sighed and just looked out the window, looking over at the students who were already outside.
A few more minutes passed and the bell finally rang, signaling break time. Kim seonsaeng-nim was still talking to the student council president but he already dismissed us, telling us that we'll continue the lesson tomorrow.
I fixed my stuff then exited the room, walking on the hallways towards my locker to put the book there.
The school was quite huge. It has many students and lots of rooms. Back in middle school and our first year of high school, all five of us were classmates in every subject. But when eleventh grade came, we were separated from each other.
I always have a mental picture of our schedules, in case I might need it in the future. I have good memory when it comes to certain things.
Like for instance, I have two classes with Donghyuck in the morning which is Math and World History, at Room 1-B. The rest of our friends doesn't have a single class with me. We have the same subjects though, at the same time, but in different rooms.
Except for the last period on Fridays, which is Phys Ed., where all five of us are classmates in that subject. Donghyuck is the only one who has a class with each of us this school year.
New Girl, on the other hand, has two classes each with Renjun, Jeno, and Jaemin, and four with Donghyuck.
Of course, Math and World History classes with me and Donghyuck. Then English class with Renjun, Donghyuck, and Jeno; Biology class with Jaemin, Jeno, and Renjun; and then Homeroom/Arts/Music classes with Jaemin and Donghyuck.
I know because they told me.
Donghyuck is the only one who has the most classes with her, including gym class. Which reminds me, we're all classmates with her on Friday's last period.
1:32 p.m. My friends and I decided to hang out in the Music room today, at break time. We had thirty minutes to spare and we weren't really hungry.
The Music room is free for students who have to practice for a performance, or those who just wanted to play the instruments. We just have to get permission from the head of the Music department, Sir Park Chanyeol.
He's not related to Park seonsaeng-nim, though. They just happen to have the same last name.
Anyway, before someone else could borrow the Music room, Jaemin and I already got permission from Chanyeol seonsaeng-nim during lunch time. He gave us the key to the room. When we got there, we quickly picked up the instruments of our liking.
The room is large and has windows that are almost the size of a wall, and it's quite bright in there. It has a lot of instruments.
There's one electric, two bass, and three acoustic guitars, two beatboxes and one set of drum kit, one keyboard and one grand piano. There were also small instruments like flutes, tambourines, xylophones, and even a musical triangle.
Renjun and I picked up the two acoustic guitars while Donghyuck vocalized. Jeno picked up the bass guitar, while Jaemin went to the drum kit.
We agreed to play some songs from Maroon 5, then tried to play some of the songs I composed before, with Donghyuck and Renjun on vocals.
For thirty minutes or so, we just had fun, doing what we love to do, not caring about anything else but music.
We even forgot about the time because by 2:11, someone had texted Donghyuck, telling him that Renjun, Jeno, and Jaemin's teacher were looking for them.
"Your teacher's looking for you already." Donghyuck told the three.
We then proceeded to put the instruments back to their places. Donghyuck's phone buzzed again with another text.
"Who's that?" I asked him.
He looked at his phone again, answering nonchalantly. "No one."
I furrowed my eyebrows a bit. I had this weird feeling about who was texting him, but I quickly shrugged it off as we all exited the Music room and locked it.
"I'll return the key." I told them.
"Alright, see you later."
They then went to their own classes while I headed towards Chanyeol seonsaeng-nim's office.
Chanyeol seonsaeng-nim is my Music teacher and I know he won't be in his class yet because that's his routine every Wednesday. He won't arrive in class thirty minutes after the bell had rung.
He will be in his office, either playing with his guitar or writing down some lyrics.
He's actually one of my inspirations. We're not that close, but sometimes he'd tell me an advice or two about songwriting. That was after he found out about my hobby (and talent).
I was looking down on my phone as I walked towards Chanyeol seonsaeng-nim's office on the second floor when I bumped into someone.
"Hey, watch where you're going!" I snapped, looking up at the person.
It was New Girl.
She was rubbing her right shoulder.
"Well, what are the odds?" I smirked at her.
She just rolled her eyes and tried to walk past me but I held her right arm.
"What now?" She asked aggravatedly.
I had a feeling that she was the one who texted Donghyuck.
Lately I've noticed that Donghyuck was acting weird around her. He's been really nice to her in the past two days of school, and he's been really, really soft and gentle towards her.
Last month, in her first week here, Donghyuck and I were the ones making fun of her. He was even the one who suggested the pranks, while I did them. That was the first two days, though. By Wednesday that same week, he was just laughing at what I've been doing but he stopped suggesting pranks to me.
I thought it was just for that week. And then vacation started, in which I didn't know what the hell happened, then last Saturday happened, at the park.
And now this week.
It was bothering me, my best friend was hiding secrets from me.
I mean, I guess it would be okay if he just told us—or me—something. I guess I wouldn't really mind if he also has a crush on her, though I can't guarantee that I won't bully her anymore. But he didn't even say anything to me.
Not a single thing, and he just keeps showing these affections towards her.
Or so I think. But anyway, I just wanted to confirm it.
"Were you the one who texted Hyuck earlier?" I asked her, my voice low and serious.
She didn't answer, she just looked down.
"Hey, I asked you a question."
"So you better answer me. Were you the one who texted Hyuck earlier?"
"None of your business." She answered, which annoyed the hell out of me.
"It is my business because he's my best friend and he's been acting weird since you came." I snapped.
"Ow! You're hurting me! Let me go!"
I was unaware of how tight I was holding her arm until she actually told me. I let go of her arm but I moved closer, towering over her.
Meanwhile, she rubbed her arm. I noticed how her eyes started tearing up, fast. And the next second, her tears were falling.
She was sobbing quietly, rubbing her eyes.
I just stood there and watched, my eyebrows knitted at her crying figure, not knowing what to do.
"Uh. Hey—" I tried to talk to her, but she suddenly ran off, bumping me hard. "What the fuck?"
I was going to run after her but she was heading to the girl's restroom, so I didn't bother.
That was fucking weird.
I was pretty sure that I didn't hurt her that much just by holding her arm. I stood there, thinking about what just happened.
A few seconds later, Chanyeol seonsaeng-nim went out of his office, which was just some feet away.
"Ah! Mark! I was starting to wonder where you were. You didn't return the key in time," he said as he walked over to me. "Are you okay? Why do you seem so worried?"
"Huh—uh, nothing, seonsaeng-nim. Here's the key. Thanks for letting us play in the Music room." I said.
He then went back to his office while I went to my Biology class on the same floor. I was almost an hour late.
Good thing the teacher didn't start any lessons yet, but she announced about our project requirement for the finals period.
After the announcement, we were free to do anything. We just finished our previous lesson, so new lessons were postponed until tomorrow.
I just sat on my seat, my head resting on my hands which were on the desk, looking out the window, and I was still wondering about what happened to New Girl.
I noticed something different about her. She's been less aggressive lately.
Now that I think about it, she wasn't hostile anymore. She's just been really quiet.
In the past two days, I've noticed that she wasn't paying attention to anyone or anything. Not to Park seonsaeng-nim nor Taeyong hyung. Not to me, even when I was quietly making fun of her in the mornings.
She's just staring out the window, or just doodling in her notebook.
I also noticed how solemn her face had become in the past two days. Unlike when she first arrived, in which she looked way better, she looks really tired these days.
Her eyes were slightly red, if not weary, and the way she cried earlier was unusual.
Before, she would never back down without a little fight but today, she didn't even try hard and she just started tearing up in front of me.
Tch. How weak... But surely I didn't hurt her that much, did I? Why would she cry like that if I didn't hurt her that much?
My eyes were getting heavy as I continued thinking. I didn't even notice that I had fallen asleep in class.
chapter 4 | prev | next | chapter list
a/n: questions? send your thoughts! feedbacks are much appreciated!
©️ 2021, moonstarsunflower. All rights reserved. Do not copy, repost, or use without permission.
❝She was moving her hand in different directions, tracing the stars with it.❞
pairing ▹ mark x original character genre ▹ fluff, humor, angst, slice of life, high school!au, enemies to friends!au, friends to lovers!au warnings ▹ mentions of bullying word count ▹ 5.2k
December 24, 2017 Sunday
The week passed by so slowly. I was so bored and it was painful, I tell you.
My friends and I played at the arcade to lessen the boredom. But that was only for a day, last Wednesday.
Donghyuck and his parents went on their annual out-of-country vacation. They're going to Tokyo this year, though they've been there two years ago. Donghyuck says he wanted to go back there, so yeah.
He's an only son, by the way.
I was invited, as always. But of course, I had to decline. Not because I can't afford it. Well, I can't. But Uncle Johnny could.
He was willing to pay for my expenses so I could go with Donghyuck and his parents to Hong Kong Disneyland one time, about four years ago. My passport just had to be renewed.
If only my dad had allowed me.
Anyway, Uncle Johnny's fond of me because I'm his only nephew. He doesn't have a wife nor kids yet. He's just twenty-four.
The others have their own vacations as well. Jeno and his family are going to their province to celebrate Christmas with their relatives.
Jaemin's grandparents and other relatives, on the other hand, are going to their house this year to celebrate.
Renjun and his parents are going back to their hometown in China this year, and they won't be back until the first week of January.
Well, like I said, I'm stuck here in this hellhole of a house.
I don't really mind it. I'm already used to it, and my dad seldom gives attention to me during this season.
December 23, 2008.
It's been nine years since that tragic day.
And he's still grieving.
I haven't seen New Girl after our encounter at the park. I haven't been going out too.
It was getting colder each day, and all I wanted to do was stay in the comfort of my warm room, write some lyrics, and compose songs.
Yes, I write lyrics. I love music. Writing and composing are two of my favorite hobbies, if I'm not bullying anyone.
I know, strange, right? For a bully like me.
But I am still a normal human being. I have dreams too. I'm passionate about one thing and that's music.
I mostly write rap lyrics, and I'm pretty good at playing the guitar.
Donghyuck, Renjun, Jeno, and Jaemin are also good musicians. In fact, that's how all of us became friends, because of our fondness for music.
Years ago at school, Donghyuck and I were talking about how we should form a band in the future because we both wanted to try it.
Renjun, an aloof thirteen-year-old kid who was sitting somewhere near us, must have heard it because he suddenly came to us and offered to join, saying that he plays the guitar and has a good voice. We doubted him that time, until he suddenly sang a rendition of Heaven by Bryan Adams and boy was he good.
We never doubted his talents afterwards, and we became friends with him.
Jeno and Jaemin, on the other hand, were already best friends by the time we met them. It was a few weeks after we met Renjun that we saw both Jeno and Jaemin, hanging out together in the Music room at school.
They were playing She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5, harmonizing their instruments together. Jeno on the bass guitar, Jaemin on a beatbox. He also plays the drums.
Anyway, they were really good at what they were doing.
We entered the room, startling the two of them. I told them we just wanted to listen and watch, but Renjun was already picking up the guitar and began strumming.
"What?" He said as we all stared at him.
Renjun is the type of person that does whatever he wants, whenever he wants.
Jeno and Jaemin then started playing again, picking up on Renjun's action, and they played beautifully that time. Donghyuck suddenly started singing the song, humming at first until the lyrics started to come out of his mouth.
At that moment, I realized I've found my group. I found the people I belonged with.
We sort of formed a band after that. Well, not the kind that plays at gigs and stuff. That's why we don't have a band name. We just play in the school's Music room in our spare time and sometimes we hang out at a recording studio. Jaemin's dad owns one, and he lets us play there.
Anyway, we mostly play renditions of famous songs. Sometimes, we try to play the songs that I compose, and we're really good.
Sometimes I wonder why we're not famous.
10:29 p.m. I just finished writing the lyrics to my latest song, Young and Free, feeling tired but satisfied. Somehow.
Tch. I'm only young, not free.
I don't know why I even wrote that song. Perhaps, I just really want to be free.
I stood up from my chair and began fixing my desk, which was a mess of papers and several pens that were already out of ink.
I picked up my guitar and sat down on the floor, then I strummed some chords, trying to determine what would be a good melody to the lyrics I wrote. But it seemed as though the universe had just decided to annoy the hell out of me because I couldn't concentrate properly on what I was doing.
Our next-door neighbor, who was having this huge Christmas Eve party of the year, started to play some loud Christmas music. They had quite the number of visitors, which I can see from my balcony window.
At least they're having a good time.
My stomach growled. I hadn't noticed how hungry I was.
I stood up and put my guitar back to its place. I knew there won't be any dinner waiting for me downstairs, but I didn't want to cook either. So I decided to just buy some food at the convenience store.
I quickly put on some jacket, grabbed my motorbike keys and went out of my room. My dad was in the living room, watching the evening news. He looked up when he saw me.
"I'm gonna buy some food outside." I told him without any emotions.
He just stared at me before going back to his TV.
I went to the kitchen to grab some money on the ashtray on top of our fridge.
My dad and I mostly communicate non-verbally. He just leaves money there whenever I want to (or have to) buy something so that I wouldn't have to ask him. We really just don't speak to each other in a normal way anymore.
And as soon as I was out of the house, I drove away with my motorbike.
I arrived at the convenience store at around 11. When I entered inside, Lucas hyung was the only one around.
I went to the food section to look for something to eat.
Hmm... What to eat, what to eat.
I couldn't decide, all the food here was so boring. But my stomach growled again.
After a few more minutes of thinking, I finally picked up an instant noodle and a biscuit, just to fill my empty stomach. I then grabbed a cola from one of the refrigerators and went to the counter to pay.
"Working today, huh?"
Lucas hyung laughed a little.
"Yeah. For extra money. You know, college. Besides, I have nothing else to do at home. I already greeted my family." He smiled.
I smiled back a little.
After paying, I picked up my items and put them on a table beside the window, then I went to put hot water on my noodles. As I stood in front of the thermos, I thought about my mother.
I really miss you, Mom.
I quickly dismissed the thought and sighed.
As I ate my noodles and biscuit, I tried hard not to think about my mother. I do miss her, but I just don't want to linger on the feeling of missing her. It's really painful for me.
Even after all these years.
So, I thought about the new girl instead.
I don't know why but she's been appearing in my mind lately. Not because I like her.
I just found her quite interesting.
She's so aloof and detached and a bit of an emo, I think. She wasn't like any other girls in my classes. Those girls were so common.
I don't know why girls like bad boys. I don't understand the logic behind that. Not that I'm complaining. I like the attention and all but it's just so strange how those girls love to fawn over me, the cool, good-looking bad guy.
But New Girl was quite interesting, if I'm being honest.
She's a very quiet person, always looking out the window, daydreaming perhaps, if she's not focusing on the teachers.
Of course, that's only when I'm not pestering her and making fun of her.
Which reminds me, for someone as quiet as her, she's actually quite aggressive. And it really surprises me.
She's distant and silent, yes. But whenever I turn my attention to her, making fun of her, pulling pranks on her, or just plain bullying her, she becomes really hostile towards me.
She talks back, and she doesn't back down easily. But she's not always like that.
She also has her moments of weakness.
I personally think she's afraid of me since she's experienced my bullying first-hand.
At least that works on her, because apparently, my charms don't.
In all honestly though, I've never actually bullied a girl before. I mean, I did but I just tease them and pull harmless pranks on them. Not like how I do with her, and also not for a long period of time.
The girls I've made fun of before were passive and they comply too quickly, which makes them really boring. I prefer bullying the tough ones.
I remembered passing by her house when I came here. The outside was bright, as always, wall lights illuminating their front yard. But the inside was a bit dark, save for the light in an area at the lower right side of their house, which I guessed was the kitchen. She wasn't on the roof tonight.
Well of course, she wouldn't be. It was cold outside, and it was snowing. Their roof was already covered with thick snow. She must've been in her room, though.
Now that I was thinking about it, I realized how I didn't have any next-door or nearby neighbor from school who was a girl.
In fact, Donghyuck is the only classmate or schoolmate I know to be living near me.
Renjun, Jeno and Jaemin are neighbors in the next neighborhood. The others are in the city downtown, or in a different neighborhood.
I actually like how that's the situation. At least I didn't have to deal with girls near home. I was fine dealing with them at school, but not at home, where people can see how truly miserable my life is.
But she's the first one.
11:48 p.m. I finished eating my noodles and started drinking my cola. I must say, even though this wasn't the kind of dinner that I had in mind for Christmas Eve, I was slightly full.
I looked out the window beside me.
The snow had stopped falling, the streetlights illuminating the streets. It looked so white and peaceful, yet so empty.
I felt so empty.
I miss you so much, Mom.
After finishing my cola, I stood up. I picked up the empty noodle cup, the biscuit wrapper, and the empty can and threw them away in the garbage bin.
Then I headed towards the exit, but before I went outside, I turned my head towards Lucas hyung and greeted him.
He looked up, smiled, and replied, "Merry Christmas, kid."
I then proceeded to exit the place. I propped myself up on my motorbike, getting ready to leave.
As I turned on the engine, I stared at the white street before me, now looking brighter than ever. Then I sighed heavily and finally drove away.
I wish you hadn't died.
December 25, 2017 Monday
On my way home, I passed by New Girl's house again. The inside was brighter than before.
I stopped for a while and I didn't even know why. I just felt like it.
I stared at the window where the light was coming from, which was the kitchen, as I roughly guessed. There was nothing to see, really. The thin curtains were closed.
I don't know why I stayed there a bit longer, but I was snapped out of my thoughts when I saw a small silhouette make its way to the window. I quickly started the engine and drove away, never looking back.
I got back to my house a little after 12 midnight, parking my motorbike back in its place in the garage. Then I went inside through the front door and smelled something delicious.
I thought I was dreaming but when I checked the dining room, where the smell was coming from, I saw food on the table.
It was a newly-cooked Bibimbap.
The sight was so strange, I actually thought I got into the wrong house. But everything looked familiar, from the dish cabinets on either side of the room to the table and chairs that we barely use.
I didn't see my dad anywhere near the room, nor did I pass by him in the living room. He wasn't in the kitchen either. I pinched myself on the arm just to make sure I wasn't dreaming.
I just stood there, unsure of what to do. I couldn't tell if the food was for me or not because my dad has never cooked me any food ever since that day and he certainly wouldn't do it now.
But if it was his food, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't leave it unattended like that, especially when he knows that I come home at this usual hour. He would've eaten it by now.
Just as I was starting to wonder where he was, he suddenly popped up behind me. I jumped off a bit at his sudden appearance.
"That's yours." He said coldly before sitting down on one of the chairs.
I just stood there, dumbfounded.
"Well, what are you waiting for? Sit down and eat."
I hesitantly walked towards the table. As much as I wanted to eat (because I was still hungry), I found it so strange and suspicious that my dad, who barely gives attention to me especially during the Christmas season, had cooked dinner for me, on Christmas Eve.
I felt a heavy feeling, but I sat down slowly and started eating quietly. I didn't even say thanks. I was just too surprised at the sudden turn of events.
The first few minutes, he just stared at me while I ate. I felt so uneasy that I started to think that maybe he put poison in my food.
Holy shit. He wouldn't do that, would he? As much as I hate him and he hates me, fathers don't poison their kids, right?
I was so lost in many other dangerous thoughts when he suddenly cleared his throat, making me look up at him with wide eyes.
I stopped eating. I didn't know what to say but I managed a small hum.
He opened his mouth to say something but he paused, as if thinking of what to say.
Then he sighed and finally said, "Merry Christmas, Mark."
I was so surprised that I hadn't noticed that he already got up from the chair, slowly leaving the dining room. I blinked several times before I blurted out a response.
"Merry Christmas... Dad."
And then he left.
After a minute, I started eating my food slowly again.
Maybe it isn't poisoned, after all.
I couldn't sleep that night.
My mind was running with many thoughts. It was so strange, my dad greeting me a 'Merry Christmas' after so many years.
I didn't know what to feel about it. I wasn't sure if I should be happy or not. I just sat on my bed, looking out my window, staring at the moon and the stars, wondering about a lot of things.
That night, I wondered what my dad was thinking. I wondered why he did that. I wondered if that was going to continue or if it was just a one-time thing.
I wasn't expecting anything, though. I didn't want to expect anything because it'll only leave me disappointed in the end.
But at that moment, as I was about to drift off, I realized one thing.
One thing that I've been denying to myself all these years. One thing that I couldn't even think of without having to bear a grudge. One thing that I hate myself for even thinking about it: I miss my father.
January 6, 2018 Saturday
The two weeks passed by smoothly, if not slowly. My dad didn't greet me on New Year's Day, but he also didn't do anything remotely stupid to make me hate him even more. We just ignored each other and went about our normal routines.
I just wrote some more lyrics and played music in my room while he did his thing, whatever it was. I did notice that he had lessened his alcohol intake, though. I thought maybe it was because it's the holidays, but I just shrugged it off.
Uncle Johnny had greeted me, however. We had a video call on New Year's Day and told me that he'll be sending something else for my birthday this year instead of my usual favorite perfume. He said it was a surprise.
My friends had greeted me on Christmas Day and New Year's Day as well. I greeted them back, happy that they were enjoying their vacation.
Donghyuck and his parents were coming home today. He said he had bought me and the others some souvenirs from their vacation.
I wondered what it is this year.
Two years ago, he gave me some cool pairs of socks from Japan. Last year, it was a white cap with two black laces forming a V on top of it from Singapore. He had only started giving us souvenirs two years ago.
Renjun, on the other hand, had returned with his parents last Wednesday. He doesn't have any gifts for us.
"Me coming back safe and sound is the best gift I could give you guys," he said once, about two years ago.
They thought it was funny. But for me, that was thoughtful of him.
It's hard to lose a close friend, especially for someone who had lost a parent already.
Jeno and his family came back from the province just yesterday. He also doesn't give gifts because he says there's nothing interesting in their province to buy as a souvenir. But he does bring some delicious food and delicacies every once in a while. This year, he didn't. But we don't really mind.
Jaemin's grandparents and relatives are going home tomorrow. He isn't exactly allowed to go out whenever they're there. His parents say he has to spend time with them because he won't be seeing them again until the next Christmas vacation.
It was always like this for us.
I haven't seen New Girl as well. It seemed as though she doesn't exist because I haven't seen her at all, even though I'd pass by in front of their house a lot of times when I go out, either to go to the convenience store or to the ice cream parlor, and sometimes to the park. But the lights in their house tell me that she does exist and is not a figment of my imagination.
And almost every time I pass by her house, I get so irked. Perhaps it was because I haven't talked to anyone personally for a long time, what with my friends are on their own vacation and my dad generally not talking to me.
I get so irked because I haven't talked to someone, anyone, verbally, that I was willing to, for a single moment, stop bullying New Girl and just start a normal conversation with her.
If only she would go out of her house and show herself.
It doesn't have to be planned. It could happen unexpectedly, like accidentally bumping into each other again in the ice cream parlor and I'd be like, "Hey, how you doin'? I haven't seen you in a while," and she'd be like, "Why are you talking to me? I thought you hate me," then I'd laugh and be like, "I'm sorry about that. I don't hate you. I'm just really like this, always bullying people whenever I can. But hey, friends? I swear I won't bully you anymore," and she'd be skeptical and be like, "What is wrong with you?" but she'd shake hands with me and then we'd be friends.
Oh god, why am I even thinking like this?
I was desperate for a human conversation.
6:55 p.m. Donghyuck and his parents had already arrived home. He'd texted me about an hour ago, saying that they were already at the airport.
I was a bit excited to see him because imagine the boredom I've been through. Actually, don't. It's just too painful.
Anyway, he texted me again by 6:26, saying that they were already at their house. He'll just fix up his stuff and then we'll hang out.
Renjun and Jeno were already on their way. Jaemin said he'll be a little late, telling us that he was able to convince his mom to let him hang out with us.
Meanwhile, I was still getting ready at home.
We planned to hang out at the arcade.
As soon as I was ready, I got my house keys from my bag then proceeded to go downstairs.
My dad was nowhere to be found inside the house so I thought he must be in his room. I didn't bother to tell him where I was going but I left a note on the fridge.
Going out the front door, I then picked up my bike in the garage and started riding towards the park where Donghyuck and I agreed to meet up.
The arcade was just two blocks away from the park, and the shortest way there was through it.
Donghyuck and I met near the ice cream parlor. He was the first one to arrive, having bought an ice cream while waiting for me.
As I biked near him, I saw him eating that same Strawberry-flavored ice cream New Girl had bought for me last month. The one I never actually ate and even dropped in front of her, on purpose.
I suddenly remembered her, feeling just a little bit guilty for it. But I quickly shook the feeling away and called on my best friend, "Hyuck!"
He looked up from his ice cream when he heard me. "Hey, man! What up?"
I stopped just in front of him, and we did this little handshake we made up since we were kids.
"So, how's Japan?" I asked.
"It was pretty cool. We visited a lot of shrines there and we went to Tokyo Disneyland just before we went home. I got you something from there. It's in the house. I'll bring them to school on Monday." He answered as he quickly finished his ice cream.
"Really? That's awesome. Thanks." I said as I started pedaling.
He also started riding on his skateboard. "Don't mention it."
7:38 p.m. We met Renjun and Jeno outside the arcade. They arrived a few minutes before us, then Jaemin appeared about five minutes later. We greeted him and finally got inside the arcade to have some fun.
While playing, we talked about what happened during vacation.
Jeno told a story about how his older brother, Taeyong hyung, almost got mobbed by the whole teenage female population in their neighborhood back in their province, on the first day, because of his looks. According to Jeno, there were at least twenty teenage girls, and that was a new record for him. It was like that every year whenever they go back to their province.
Yep, Taeyong seonsaeng-nim a.k.a. Taeyong hyung, our World History teacher, is Jeno's older brother. Of course at school we call him "seonsaeng-nim" but outside of school, we're allowed to call him "hyung," and we mostly call him that because we're all close with him.
Anyway, I'm not really surprised. Taeyong hyung certainly has killer looks. Anyone would definitely fall for him. Even some students (and teachers alike) at school do. He's also very young, having graduated college just last year, and he's just twenty-two.
Renjun, on the other hand, told us that there wasn't much that they did back in their hometown. They just went back there to visit his grandparents. He did, however, told us that his cousin on his mother's side, Zhong Chenle, will be moving permanently here in South Korea with his family. They'll be arriving on mid-January, as Renjun mentioned.
We've met that kid before, when they visited Renjun and his family a few years back.
Meanwhile, Jaemin's grandparents and relatives visited them. As I've mentioned before, he isn't exactly allowed to go out whenever they're here because his parents want him to spend time with his family. He did tell us that he had fun hanging out with his cousins.
Of course, Donghyuck's vacation was the grandest. He's the richest among us friends, but he never actually brags about it. He may be quite playful and pulls a lot of pranks on people, but he's actually a kind person. He is a mixture of savagery and modesty, and it's actually great. His parents raised him right.
Anyway, he told us which places they went to in Tokyo and how wonderful Disneyland was. We were always excited to hear about his vacations because he's been to many places ever since he could walk. His parents are avid fans of travelling, and they work hard to earn money for their travels.
One time they went to China, and he actually met Renjun in his hometown and they hung out for a day. It was gold.
I, on the other hand, didn't tell them that much about my own vacation, because it was mostly me fighting boredom each passing day. But I did tell them about how I just finished writing a new song and we agreed to try and play it when we get back to school.
I also didn't tell them about my encounter with New Girl last month. I couldn't, especially to Jeno. He'd probably kill me if he knew what I did to her.
I seriously don't know what he saw in her for him to have a crush on her. He's not easily smitten by girls, if you must know. There must be really something special about her, which I don't see.
Anyway, I told them I hadn't seen her since vacation started. They know that she lives on the same street as me, and that was partially the truth. I haven't seen her this whole time except for that one encounter we had in the park, and those times that I saw her on their roof, which I didn't think they need to know.
8:30 p.m. We stopped playing after nearly an hour. Mrs. Lee had called Donghyuck, telling him to go home already so he could rest.
Renjun, Jeno, and Jaemin have also received messages from their families, telling them to go home too. I tagged along since I have nothing else to do anyway, and I was a bit tired from too much playing.
We exited the arcade and went straight to the bike stands. Only Renjun, Jaemin, and I had our bikes. Jeno and Donghyuck used their skateboards so they had to bring them along inside the arcade.
"Bye, guys! See you on Monday!" Jeno cheerfully said.
Too cheerful, I might say, which gives me a feeling he's actually more excited to see New Girl than us.
"See ya, guys." Renjun said as he propped himself up on his bike.
"See you, bros. Hyuck, don't forget to bring my GTA five this time." Jaemin warned Donghyuck, but smiled right after.
"I won't, I won't. It'll be the first thing I'll remember when I wake up on Monday." Donghyuck swore before laughing mischievously.
He then waved to them as they slowly started to ride away with their bikes and skateboards.
"Bye!" I waved too.
Renjun, Jeno, and Jaemin went the other way since their neighborhood is on a different path. Of course, Donghyuck and I went home together, and we went through the park.
There was actually a way to the arcade without going through the park but it's the long way, that's why we've always used that path. The park leads right to our neighborhood.
Tonight was extra cold, even though the snow had stopped falling. The park was bright with streetlights, covered in white snow. There were no other people as we rode through it, passing the ice cream parlor that was nearing its closing time.
Donghyuck and I talked about stuff. We were laughing out loud and just plain having a good time. Until he asked me about how my vacation really went.
Every once in a while, Donghyuck would ask me about my life, about what's been going on with me and my dad.
Well, not just me. He would also ask the others, especially when he knows they have problems.
He pretty much knows everything about each of us. He has his way of getting us to talk to him about our problems, and he's a good listener.
That's why I don't mind telling him. Don't get me wrong, though. I also share with the others. But Donghyuck is this one friend whom I share almost everything with.
He's my best friend.
I told him about that strange occurrence I had with my dad where he cooked me dinner and greeted me a "Merry Christmas" out of nowhere.
"That sure is strange. I wonder what's up with him..." he said thoughtfully, then he asked, "how about Elizabeth? Have you seen her?"
"What?" I was a bit startled by his question. "No! No. I haven't seen her, really. Why would you ask that?" I replied, rather too quickly.
"Because you live on the same street? Duh." He said as we turned right at the corner.
"Oh, right. I—"
I stopped my bike when I saw someone up ahead, Donghyuck stopping beside me too.
There was a girl, laying flat on her back on the ground near a bench. The streetlight, which was next to the bench, illuminated her figure. Her eyes were closed.
We were about to run to her when she suddenly opened her eyes and lifted her right hand up. Donghyuck and I suddenly hid behind a tree a few feet away.
"What is she doing?" Donghyuck whispered beside me as we watched the girl.
"I don't know." I whispered back, puzzled and squinting a bit.
After a few more seconds, I looked up to the sky, then back at her. That's when I realized what she was doing.
She was moving her hand in different directions, tracing the stars with it.
Wait, I recognize that long hair.
Donghyuck must've recognized it too, because he suddenly uttered, "hey, isn't that..."
chapter 3 | prev | next | chapter list
a/n: questions? send your thoughts! feedbacks are much appreciated!
©️ 2021, moonstarsunflower. All rights reserved. Do not copy, repost, or use without permission.
❝I wasn't really planning on doing anything. I didn't really like the ice cream she bought me, Strawberry is not my favorite flavor. I just really wanted to annoy her, and waste her money.❞
pairing ▹ mark x original character genre ▹ fluff, humor, angst, slice of life, high school!au, enemies to friends!au, friends to lovers!au warnings ▹ bullying, parental abuse, alcohol consumption word count ▹ 5.2k
December 12, 2017 Tuesday
Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!
I woke up to Donghyuck's alarm.
"Hyuck, your alarm," I said groggily. He didn't move on his bed. "Hyuck, your alarm. It's so noisy." I repeated.
He still didn't move. I tried reaching for his alarm to turn it off, looking up at it. The digits showed 6:01 a.m. in bright red color.
I sat up straight, a bit awake. I just sat there for a few minutes, trying to collect my soul.
I slept on a futon on the floor next to Donghyuck's bed. It was always like this whenever I sleep over at his house.
After a few minutes, I stood up and shook Donghyuck on his bed.
He was a heavy sleeper. I always have to wake him up whenever I'm at their house.
"Hyuck, wake up."
"Five more minutes," he groaned as he turned over to his left.
I knew his five minutes weren't really five minutes at all. It was either thirty minutes, or an hour. There's no in between.
So I took it upon myself to go to the shower first. This was our routine whenever I sleep here. If it's not his mom, I was his human alarm clock.
6:50 a.m. I was all done showering and preparing for school. Donghyuck was already awake, and in the bathroom.
Between the two of us, I'm the one who takes a longer time to prepare. That's why I always have to shower first.
Donghyuck, on the other hand, was quick. He can be awake at 6:57, and be done showering and preparing by 7:15.
I always take time to prep myself up before going to school. Or anywhere for that matter. And I never go anywhere without my signature perfume, which I get as an annual gift from my uncle who lives in Canada.
That was how I get girls to fall in love with me. Unfortunately for them, I don't return their feelings.
I don't necessarily break their hearts. I don't pursue them just so I could leave them hanging in the air. Nope, I just don't pursue them at all.
Not because I don't like them (well, that's one reason), nor because I'm scared of getting my heart broken. But because I believe I'm not capable of loving anyone like that.
Don't get me wrong, I am capable of having a crush. I had a few crushes before and I'd flirt with them for a while but I wouldn't let it turn into something serious.
Falling in love was just not my thing.
After I made my futon and neatly placed it back to where it belongs, I fixed my used clothes and put them in my duffel bag. I'd have to come back for it when we get home later.
Just as I finished packing, Donghyuck was also done prepping up. We both went down to the kitchen to eat breakfast. Which reminds me, Donghyuck's mom is nice.
She never lets us skip breakfast, especially when I'm around. She doesn't mind about my reputation as a bad boy and bully at school. Not that she doesn't care, because she actually does. But when she catches me being that way, she scolds me, which I don't mind. She's like a mother to me honestly, and she treats me like a son too.
She and her husband know about my past and they had looked after me silently when my own father couldn't. But Mrs. Lee is the one who keeps me grounded, at times. That's why she doesn't mind that her own son, Lee Donghyuck, is best friends with me.
Anyway, today's breakfast was bacon and eggs. Mrs. Lee is an expert in cooking. She was so good, sometimes I wonder why they don't own a restaurant for business.
Sometimes, I also wonder if my own mother is as good a cook as her.
I've forgotten how her cooking tastes like.
Donghyuck and I dug down on our breakfast.
His dad, Mr. Lee, is already at work. He goes to work early so we barely get to eat breakfast with him. But sometimes on the weekends, Donghyuck, Renjun, Jeno, Jaemin, and I play basketball with him whenever he has time.
When we finished eating breakfast, we said goodbye to Mrs. Lee and went to school. As per usual, I was on my bike and Donghyuck was on his skateboard.
We met Renjun, Jeno, and Jaemin at school. We talked for a while in the hallways before I looked at my watch and saw the time. It was 8:06 in the morning and classes were about to start soon, so we went to our separate rooms.
Park seonsaeng-nim always gives us a fifteen-minute grace period just because she doesn't want to start classes too early.
I've got to admit, I was a bit excited to see the new girl. I was hoping to "have fun" with her today, considering what just happened to me last night.
So when Donghyuck and I arrived to our room, I quickly looked around.
Not here yet.
We both took our seats and talked about random stuff, just waiting for Park seonsaeng-nim to come to class, while also waiting for the new girl to arrive.
8:15 a.m. When Park seonsaeng-nim entered the classroom, she took our attendance before starting the class, calling off names of boys and girls alphabetically. One by one, the other students raised their hands and answered present or here.
As it was nearing our names and the new girl's, I wondered where she was. She still wasn't at school.
I glanced at her empty seat.
"Lee Donghyuck?" Park seonsaeng-nim said.
"Here." Donghyuck said lazily as he raised his right hand, just as lazily.
"Yep." I said, raising my right hand lazily as well.
There was no response.
"Moon Elizabeth?" She repeated.
Still, no response.
She looked up from her attendance sheet, and looked to our direction. "Where is Moon Elizabeth? Has anyone seen her?" She asked us.
Then her eyes landed on me, waiting for me to answer.
"Have you seen her this morning? She's your neighbor, right?"
I heard some students whisper around the room.
I was a bit surprised that Park seonsaeng-nim knew we were neighbors, but then I remembered that teachers have access to school records.
I quickly shrugged my shoulders. "No, I haven't."
Suddenly, the door opened and there was the new girl, slightly panting.
"Oh, there you are!" Park seonsaeng-nim beamed.
"Sorry, I'm late, seonsaeng-nim." She said, slightly out of breath.
What happened to this girl?
"It's okay. And it's only been five minutes. But next time, if you're late for more than thirty minutes, you're gonna have to go to detention." Park seonsaeng-nim explained to her.
"Yes, seonsaeng-nim." She said as she made her way to her seat.
She sat down next to me, panting hard.
"You alright?" I asked her.
She just nodded, trying to catch her breath, her face sweating a bit.
"Did you run to school?" I asked out of curiosity.
I usually didn't care about other people but I was purely curious at the moment.
"What?" She replied, her eyebrows knitted.
"I said, did you run to school?" I repeated.
She gave me a look, and took a deep breath.
"Seriously? It's none of your business." She then fixed herself up on her seat and turned towards Park seonsaeng-nim and the board.
"Ooh. Feisty." I commented with a smirk.
This one likes to talk back, huh. Let's see how long you'll last.
Classes started and as she tried to focus on what Park seonsaeng-nim was teaching, I kept distracting her. I started as simple as stealing her pen when she rests after taking down notes, and playing with her hair.
Apparently, she really hates getting her hair touched. But I couldn't help it, it was really long.
When she once dropped her pen while writing, I caught it quickly and didn't return it to her until Park seonsaeng-nim noticed us making a fuzz and scolded us.
Of course, I was the one at fault. But I was having too much fun getting her annoyed. Donghyuck was dying in silent laughter at what I've been doing, and she was snapping at me every time.
It went on to the next period until lunch time. She was so frustrated at me, while Donghyuck and I were laughing at her expense.
I tried inviting her to sit with us at lunch again, though. But yet again, she declined.
Today, she was a bit aggressive, which was a result of my teasing her in classes.
I didn't press her to join us and I also didn't take her lunch money today, however. I figured I'll take it some other time because I was just starting.
We left her alone during lunch, watching her eat by herself at the far corner of the cafeteria and talking about her, having a a good laugh.
Even Jeno laughed, although he was sort of taking her side, telling me not to take it too far.
He must really have a crush on her.
Seriously, I couldn't help but roll my eyes.
After lunch, we hung around the locker area before we went to our classes. We were just talking when we spotted the new girl walking past us.
She was carrying some books, which I guessed she got from the library.
Donghyuck whispered something to me then I nodded, smirking at what he suggested.
"Guys, follow me." I told them.
There were lots of students roaming around the hallways since there were still a few minutes before the bell rings.
We went through the crowd, half-walking and half-running so we could catch up to her. Her back was turned to us, completely unaware of what was about to come to her.
"Move, fuckers." I said as I slightly shoved my way towards her.
She was quite the fast walker, but not as fast since I still caught up to her. The others were just close behind.
As I reached her, I placed my hands on both of her shoulders. "Need help with those?" I squeezed them and smirked at her.
"What the?!" She jumped off a little, then gave me a look when she saw me. "No, I don't need help."
"Okay, suit yourself."
I suddenly let go of her shoulders and bumped it slightly hard from behind, causing her to fall forwards.
It sent her books and papers flying.
Donghyuck, Renjun, Jaemin, and I laughed mischievously at her as she plopped down to the floor, then we quickly fled from the scene.
Some students laughed too, while others just froze and watched, unsure if they should help or not.
I stopped a few feet away and looked back, only to find my laughter suddenly turning into a frown when I saw Jeno helping her pick up her books.
What's with him? Why is he even helping her?
"Jeno! Come on, let's go!" I shouted, waving my hand at him.
Jeno looked at me, but before he ran towards me, he said something to her. She looked skeptical.
"What was that about?" Jeno asked me when he reached us, his tone a bit annoyed.
"What? I was just having fun," I laughed. "What were you doing? Being nice to her and helping her?"
"You hurt her a bit." He mumbled.
"Nothing," he said, looking away. Then, the bell rang. "Let's go, guys."
"Oh. Uh—bye, guys." Donghyuck scratched the back of his head then followed behind Jeno.
"See you later, Mark." Renjun said.
"Yeah. Later, dude." Jaemin followed after, and they both went to their classes.
I was left alone in the hallways while the other students went to their classrooms.
What was that all about?
I felt strange that time. But I just shrugged it off and went to class. I didn't see Donghyuck, Renjun, Jeno, nor Jaemin until after school.
And I didn't see the new girl for the rest of the day.
The rest of the week passed by.
Jeno was back to his normal self after that weird incident in the hallway. Although sometimes I catch him stealing glances at the new girl whenever she passes us by—which was rarely—because I heard that she was hiding from me.
But not for Jeno. He gave her a tour that Wednesday, since he was assigned by Park seonsaeng-nim to do so.
I noticed some changes in him after that. He seemed happier whenever one of us mentions her name, or just her in general.
Renjun and Jaemin were the same. From what I heard, Renjun had a debate with her that Thursday, and he was fuming. But then the next day, he seemed nicer to her, like something happened between them overnight that made him change his attitude towards her. He hasn't mentioned anything, though.
Meanwhile, Jaemin couldn't contain his excitement over officially meeting and talking to her because so far, he was the only one who hasn't had a decent conversation with her, according to him. He even went as far as joining her on her table at lunch that Friday, just because he thought she looked too lonely eating by herself.
But of course, that didn't stop me from pestering her every morning at the first two periods, and whenever I see her. I continued teasing her and playing pranks on her and just plain making fun of her.
And I finally got her lunch money for the second time, by the end of the week. She got more and more aggressive every time I tried to get near her.
She tried fighting and talking back to me, which was relatively new to me, but it was also interesting as well as entertaining. She truly was quite the challenge.
But she only lasted until that Friday.
Christmas was getting near.
This week was the last week of school for December. Next week's our Christmas vacation, and I was getting a bit sad as it neared.
I don't really celebrate Christmas and New Year very well, given my lame situation.
The first few years after my mother died, my dad and I tried to work it out. We used to go out and eat on Christmas Day and on New Year's Day, but we barely talked to each other. He pretended to be okay, but I know deep down that he blames me for her death.
He lost his job some time after due to poor performances. He tried to find a new one, but couldn't keep it. He jumped from one job to another until one day, when I was thirteen, he just stopped caring.
He stopped looking for a job. He stopped trying to fix us. He just stopped trying.
And he started drinking.
I was both sad and angry. Sad, because I witnessed how my dad crumbled into nothing after she died. And angry, because he took out his grief and anger on me.
He only used to neglect me. But then he started hitting me at fourteen, and beating me at fifteen.
I got used to it. It was painful and there were occasional tears here and there, but I got used to it.
Although, sometimes I wondered what it would be like if I'd lived a different life. Sometimes, I wondered what I would be if my mother was alive today, and my father didn't beat me like that.
Sometimes, I just wonder.
Occasionally, my aunt and uncle would invite me to their home during Christmas break. Sometimes I would go, if my dad allowed me. Other times, I decline. Mostly it's the latter part.
My aunt and uncle aren't related to me. They were my mother's friends. They just wanted me to call them "aunt" and "uncle." They don't have any children, and they never had one after they lost their first child in a miscarriage.
My grandparents on both sides were also already gone. When I was a little kid, my mother told me about how my grandparents on her side were already dead before I was born, while my other grandparents died years before we migrated here to South Korea.
The only other relative I know is my Uncle Johnny Suh, the one who sends me the perfumes. He lives in Canada, but he's originally from Chicago. My grandfather remarried Uncle Johnny's mother when my grandmother died, so he's my mother's younger half-brother.
He's quite a rich guy. He works at a hot air balloon company, and he's the boss.
He once told me that if I need any help with anything, he's just a call away. So far, there was nothing I needed his help for. Not for the last four years, at least.
In other times, Donghyuck would invite me to their out-of-town vacations but I also mostly decline because I couldn't leave my father alone. He also wouldn't allow me to go, even if Mr. and Mrs. Lee tries to talk to him.
So technically, I don't celebrate Christmas and New Year. Well, not happily, though. And this year is no exception.
December 16, 2017 Saturday
Today was the start of our Christmas break. And today would've been a normal Saturday. I even expected it to be boring.
Well, it was supposed to be.
Until I decided I wanted an ice cream on a cold winter day.
Snow had started falling late last night. I knew because I was up until 1 in the morning.
My dad yet again decided to hit me when the school called him and told him about what I've been doing. Specifically the part where I took someone's money. Apparently, a teacher caught me extorting money from the new girl.
He wasn't drinking last night, but he reeked of cigarette smoke.
Since it was the start of the weekend, I had decided to go out and have a drink. I didn't want to bother Donghyuck because I already slept over at his house thrice this week. Besides, Mrs. Lee certainly wouldn't let him drink with me.
And I just wanted to be alone.
I know I'm still under-aged, but I have my ways of obtaining alcoholic drinks.
Before, I used to steal from a convenience store just outside the neighborhood. But two months ago, I was able to befriend the college guy, Lucas hyung, who works part-time at that convenience store, and he lets me pay for them. He said it was better than stealing (his manager scolded him countless times for being unable to catch me).
I picked up my keys to my vintage motorbike, scurried out of that damned house, and drove away.
I saw the new girl when I passed by her house. She was on their roof again, looking up at the night sky. I slowed down to a stop just in front of her house, then looked at the time on my watch. It was 10:54.
I knew she definitely heard the sound of my motorbike because she looked down at me. And I looked up at her.
I don't know how long it was, but we just stared at each other in silence. I wasn't in the mood, and it showed on my face.
Hers was different. Even though she was up on the roof, I can see her face. Unlike the other night, I noticed that she looked rather unhappy.
I started my motorbike and drove away again.
When I arrived at the convenience store, Lucas hyung greeted me. I greeted back, then I went to the alcoholic drink section and picked up a bottle of Soju, going to the counter to pay for it right after.
"Celebrating tonight, huh?" Lucas hyung said as he checked out my item.
Yeah, I'm celebrating my fucked-up life.
"Yeah." I smiled a little at him and paid for my item.
I sat down on one of the seats and started drinking my Soju. Then I put my earphones on and listened to some music because I didn't feel like talking.
I stayed there until I finished my drink. It was a little after 12 when it started snowing outside, and I just stared out the window.
After a while, I stood up, threw my drink away, and nodded at Lucas hyung, signaling my leave.
I have high tolerance for alcohols so I wasn't afraid of driving back home. I wasn't really drunk that night. Just tired of life.
11:39 a.m. I woke up with a little headache. I didn't sleep well last night. Sitting up on my bed, I collected my soul. Then I reached for the bedside table, opening the drawer and trying to find my bottle of aspirin.
I got up groggily after finding it, then I went down to the kitchen to get some water. My dad was nowhere to be found, so I figured he must've went grocery-shopping.
My dad and I don't get along very well, and he did stop caring about me. But every once in a while, he'd go shopping for food, just for the sake of filling our stomachs.
He'd cook his own food, I'd cook mine. I don't mind what food he buys, as long as I can cook and eat it. I'm not that good of a cook, though. But I manage.
We get money from my Uncle Johnny. He doesn't know about my situation here, and I don't plan on telling him anyway. But he knows that my dad doesn't have a job (and couldn't get and keep one) so he gives us money. He's also the one supporting my education.
I feel a little bad for not doing good in school, but that's better than getting expelled or dropped, right?
I'm even at eleventh grade now. Just two more months and I'll be on my last year of high school.
My dad is a math genius, however. He buys lots of alcohols, you'd think he spends most of the money we receive on it. But you'd be surprised how he's able to budget the money for my education, his alcohols, and food. I'm still surprised even now.
I went upstairs to my bathroom to take a shower. After thirty minutes or so, I got out. I wore a black shirt, topped with a checkered black and white button-down hoodie and a light ripped denim jeans, and also a black beanie.
To partner with my dark soul.
I was hungry but seeing as there was no food yet and my dad was still out, I decided to just buy some outside. I was craving for an ice cream.
As soon as I was out of the house, I started biking towards the park.
Although it wasn't snowing at the moment, it was colder today, considering that the snow had started falling just last night. But it wasn't enough to cover the streets yet.
I passed by the house of New Girl (that's what I call her now), but I didn't slow down nor look at it this time. I just wasn't in any mood.
All I wanted at the moment was an ice cream.
I biked fast. I like the feeling of the cold wind against my skin. It makes me feel free, somehow.
When I arrived at the park, I noticed that it was slowly starting to turn white. So I slowed down as I biked through the place.
I always enjoyed going through here. I couldn't decide if it's because I know that I'll be getting something that I really love (ice creams) whenever I go through here or if it's simply because this place is just so peaceful that it puts my mind at ease.
A smile formed on my lips as I neared the ice cream parlor.
Ice creams just never fail to put me in a good mood, I thought to myself.
Like I said, today would've been a normal Saturday. I even expected it to be boring.
Well, it was supposed to be.
Until I bumped into someone.
I wasn't expecting it. She wasn't expecting it. The woman behind the counter wasn't expecting it.
Nobody was expecting the new girl to bump into the resident bad boy on a cold Saturday noon, and it happened rather quickly.
I parked my bike just outside the parlor and went inside. There were at least two to three people inside, sitting on the chairs and eating their cones of ice cream or ice cream parfaits. I went to the counter and waited in line.
There were two others in front of me. The first one just received his order and sat down on one of the chairs, while the girl in front of me proceeded to order.
I looked up at the menu, trying to choose which ice cream I wanted to eat today.
After seconds of choosing, I then decided to go for Mint Chocolate Chip. I waited patiently in line for the girl up front to finish ordering, searching my pockets for my wallet.
Walking slightly forward, I was about to get my money when the girl in front of me suddenly turned around, ice cream in hand, and accidentally bumped into me.
We both gasped as the ice cream landed on my black shirt.
"What the fuck?!" I looked up at the girl, surprised.
It was New Girl.
She was holding the now-empty cone in her left hand and her other hand was covering her mouth.
"I'm so sorry, I didn't mean—"
She stopped speaking when she looked up and saw me.
Her eyes suddenly widened in shock. She froze in her place for a minute before dropping the cone to the floor and suddenly sprinting out of the place.
"Hey! Get back here!" I shouted.
People were looking at me. I got annoyed at the looks they gave me so I quickly ran outside too.
She wasn't far off when I got out, so I chased her. "Hey, you! Get back here, idiot!"
She looked back at me, trying to run faster but she got tired quickly and slowed down instead. I caught up to her and held her left arm.
"Why did you run like that?" I asked, a bit panting.
She was panting too.
"Let go of me!" She yelled, trying to yank my hand off of her arm but I held on tighter.
"Why did you run first?"
"Because I saw you!" She replied, rather terrified.
I loosened my grip on her arm a little but I didn't let go.
"Well, look what you did to my shirt," I said pointing to it. I hadn't realized how sticky it felt against my chest. "You owe me."
"What? No, let go of me!" She tried pulling her arm but I held onto it tightly.
"Not until you pay me or something, you idiot." I said with a deep, unamused voice.
She then stopped struggling and looked down.
"What do you want from me?" She said quietly, still looking down.
I let go of her arm and walked closer, towering over her. She backed off a little and just looked down.
"What do you want?" She repeated.
I thought for a while.
Well, I really wanted that Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream but she blew my chance at happiness so...
"Buy me an ice cream."
"What? You're the one who bumped your ice cream into me. And besides, you owe me."
"I don't have enough money with me."
"So? You still owe me."
"I'm serious too. Buy me an ice cream right now, or—"
"I'll make your life even worse."
"Tch. As if you aren't already doing it." She mumbled under her breath.
"Oh, that's not even half of it." I said as I stared down at her.
She was still looking down on the ground, so I shoved her a little.
"Alright! Geez..." She finally agreed, though she was visibly annoyed, making me smirk.
We walked back together towards the ice cream parlor in silence. I'd almost forgotten about the stain on my shirt until I felt the stickiness on my chest again. I knew I had to do something about my shirt because I was getting annoyed at it.
I could remove my shirt, but I'd have to go to the public restroom first. But if I do that, she might run away and I'll never get my ice cream.
Whatever. Can't risk her running away from me.
So I stopped on my track, and she did too.
"Why'd you stop?" She asked.
I just ignored her and turned my back on her slightly, then I removed my jacket and my beanie.
"Just hold them." I snapped.
Then, with my back turned, I lifted up my shirt and removed it completely from my torso.
I shivered a little from the coldness as I wiped away the remaining stickiness from my chest, then I turned to her.
She was looking away.
When I snatched my stuff from her hand, she suddenly turned her head to me, but she looked away again when she saw me shirtless.
I rolled my eyes but I smirked at her reaction. I then buttoned up my jacket and put on the beanie and walked again, carrying my shirt. She followed behind slowly.
When we got inside the ice cream parlor, people were gone and the crew already cleaned up the mess from earlier. I went to the counter and looked up at the menu.
"How much do you have left?" I asked her.
"A few coins," she replied, grabbing the coins from her pocket and showing it to me.
I frowned at the few coins she was holding.
"I told you I don't have enough money."
"Whatever. Just buy me something. That one, the Strawberry one." I said as I pointed to a Strawberry-flavored ice cream.
It was the cheapest ice cream she could buy with her few coins, so she just sighed and went to order while I waited for her.
"Happy now?" She asked sarcastically without looking at me.
We were outside the parlor now.
"Not quite yet." I said, the Strawberry ice cream in my hand.
I just held it as I walked towards my bike. She was about to leave when I told her to stop.
"What now?" She asked, annoyed.
She wasn't as aggressive as the week before, but I can tell that she was really annoyed at me.
"Not so fast, New Girl. You think I'm already done with you?" I said as I propped myself on my bike.
"What more do you want from me? You already got your ice cream." She grumbled.
I wasn't really planning on doing anything. I didn't really like the ice cream she bought me, Strawberry is not my favorite flavor. I just really wanted to annoy her, and waste her money.
So as she waited for my answer, I got ready to leave on my bike. She was so confused when I looked up at her.
"Thanks for the treat," I held up the ice cream and smirked at her, then I dropped it to the ground. "Oops. My bad."
Then I biked away, leaving her.
chapter 2 | prev | next | chapter list
a/n: questions? send your thoughts! feedbacks are much appreciated!
©️ 2021, moonstarsunflower. All rights reserved. Do not copy, repost, or use without permission.
❝I wonder what's going on in her mind.❞
pairing ▹ mark x original character genre ▹ fluff, humor, angst, slice of life, high school!au, enemies to friends!au, friends to lovers!au warnings ▹ bullying, parental abuse word count ▹ 4.4k
December 11, 2017 Monday
Looking back, I wouldn't have expected that a day like today would make a huge difference in my life.
It was Monday after all. What would you actually expect? That someone will come waltzing in your life and changing your ways? That someone would make you feel so in love that you would do anything for them?
What in the world is love, anyway? It was just a four-letter word.
But you see, that's where I got it wrong, because it was on this Monday that the huge difference I was describing earlier arrived in my life.
Of course, at first I was unaware of it all. I wasn't really expecting anything. Like I said, it was Monday.
And like every other person in this room, I couldn't help but think—
What a boring day.
It was 7:58 in the morning and class was about to start, but all I could think of at the moment was the end of school.
I would've skipped classes today, like any other day, if only I wasn't told that I'd be dropped out of school if I continue doing that.
I wouldn't mind dropping out, though. School's no fun. But my dad would bury me alive if I did.
So here I was, suffering at the hands of my boring school.
I just stayed on my seat, waiting for the teacher to arrive.
"I heard the new student's coming today." Donghyuck said as he plopped down to the seat next to mine.
"Is it today?" I asked him, my mind suddenly whirring with thoughts.
I knew there will be a new student at our class, but I didn't know today will be her arrival.
Yes, it's a her. The teachers told us a few days ago.
"Wonder what she looks like," Donghyuck mumbled, looking at the door, as if waiting for her.
"I don't know. But someone's gonna have fun today." I replied as I grinned to myself.
Donghyuck looked at me instinctively and grinned too. "Definitely."
I, Mark Lee, am a well-known bully at this school. As well as in my neighborhood.
I know being a bully isn't really good of a trait, but I just can't help it.
A lot of people are afraid of me, save for my friends who are (not) as rebellious. And I must say, I like the feeling of being feared. It makes me feel fearless. Like no one can touch or hurt me.
And despite being a well-known bully at school, a lot of girls like me.
Well, no. They love me.
But that's only because I'm good-looking. Like, really good-looking. Those girls don't appreciate me well enough except for my good looks. But it's not my fault I was born this handsome.
Okay, okay. I know that sounded narcissistic. But I do have some good sides to me as well. Like for instance, I'd sometimes stop bullying a person when I feel like they're getting boring and I'd move on to someone else who seems more interesting to play with.
Like the new girl who's coming today at school. I was already tired with this other guy in my class. I think he's had enough of me for now.
Anyway, I admit that I'm excited to see this new girl. I'm excited that there's actually a new student arriving at our school for me to befriend.
I swear I'm not evil, though. I just really find it amusing to tease and make fun of other people.
8:15 a.m. Our Math teacher, Miss Park Eunji, arrived in the room with a sweet smile.
She seemed excited. Maybe the new girl was already with her, but she hasn't entered the room, nor can we see her outside.
"Good morning, class!" She chimed, setting her bag and books on the teacher's desk.
"Good morning, Park seonsaeng-nim."
"So, I assume you're excited to meet your new classmate. She's here now." Park seonsaeng-nim continued, motioning to the door. "You may come in now."
A few seconds later, a girl entered.
She has very long black wavy hair and pale skin. Paler than the usual, like she hasn't been under the sun for over a year. She wasn't tall, just the average height. And she was quite slim.
I stared at her.
She evidently looked foreign. American, most likely. And her eyes were different. They weren't the usual black or brown, they were a combination of brown and green.
When you take one look at her, her eyes will be the first thing you'll notice.
It kind of reminded me of someone from my past.
Not bad-looking, I thought.
Donghyuck was also staring at her. He must've been already thinking of a hundred pranks to pull on her.
She was looking around the room until she met my eyes, quickly looking away. And it made me smirk.
"Everyone, this is your new classmate." Park seonsaeng-nim said, then she turned to the girl. "Please introduce yourself."
There was silence for at least five seconds before the girl began to speak.
"My name is Elizabeth Moon. I'm from Canada."
My ears perked up.
I used to live in Canada too, before my parents and I migrated here ten years ago.
"I moved here with my parents last month. Um... Please take care of me." Her voice started normal, but it trailed off at her last sentence before she bowed.
She looked so nervous that it made me laugh a little.
She looks... cute. Wait, what?
"May we know how old you are?" Park seonsaeng-nim asked her.
The girl paused for a bit, thinking if she should answer.
"Fifteen," she finally said, then she suddenly added, "I mean—sixteen. Here."
Park seonsaeng-nim must've sensed that the new girl didn't want to answer any more questions so she smiled at her and told her where to sit.
"Anyway, welcome to this school, Elizabeth. You may sit down next to him. Mark, please remove your bag." Park seonsaeng-nim motioned to the seat on my left side.
I've always put my bag on that seat so no one would dare sit beside me, except Donghyuck, of course, which is on my other side. I also just didn't want my bag to get dirty on the floor so I took the liberty of putting it there.
But that freedom was now gone because this new girl was taking that seat, which, ironically, was the only seat available.
I sighed as I picked up my bag and put it down on the floor. She quietly walked towards the chair and sat down carefully, not making a sound.
Park seonsaeng-nim took our attendance, then classes began.
I just stared at her the whole time, save for the occasional peeks at Park seonsaeng-nim so she wouldn't catch me not listening.
The new girl never looked my way. She only looked straight at the white board, at Park seonsaeng-nim, or at the window beside her.
This technique usually works on girls. They'd sneak a peek back at me, then feel uncomfortable. But after that, they'd surely fall for my charms.
But why is this one difficult?
World History followed by as soon as first period ended. Park seonsaeng-nim said goodbye to the class and then looked at the new girl.
"Again Elizabeth, welcome to this school." She smiled warmly at her, then left the room.
A few minutes later Taeyong hyung, which isn't my brother, just so you know, went inside.
He saw the new girl, who was looking out the window, and smiled brightly.
"You must be the new student. Welcome to my class. What's your name?" He greeted and asked.
The new girl suddenly turned her head to look at Taeyong hyung, and she just stared at him.
"Welcome to World History class, um...?" He spoke again as he sat down on his chair.
"Oh. Um... Elizabeth Moon." She responded, rather late.
"Nice to meet you, Elizabeth. I'm Lee Taeyong. I will be your World History teacher." He smiled at her but she just stared at him. "So before we start, may we just know a bit about our new student here? Is that alright, Elizabeth?" He asked, still smiling.
The new girl just nodded, so Taeyong hyung asked her some questions.
"So, where are you from?"
"Oh, you're Canadian. Interesting. How did you learn Korean? You seem so fluent."
"I'm half. Mom's Canadian, Dad's Korean. They taught me Korean back there, and sometimes we speak Korean in our house. But my mother tongue is English." She replied with a straight face.
"Interesting, indeed. Well, I hope you learn a lot about this country, and other countries as well, in my class." Taeyong hyung said, smiling some more before walking to the board and starting the lesson.
When the class went on, I just stared at her the whole time again.
I did that for another hour and a half.
She didn't seem to notice me, but that was impossible because I was literally right next to her.
Maybe she was just good at ignoring me.
This is gonna be interesting, I thought.
Taeyong hyung didn't seem to mind that I wasn't listening to him. He just kept discussing a new lesson.
After a few more minutes, the bell finally rang, signaling lunch time. I finally stopped staring at her and stood up. But of course, I won't be leaving empty-handed.
I looked down to her, who was still sitting on her seat, fixing up her things and putting them in her bag.
"Hey, new girl. Wanna sit with us at lunch?" I started.
I wasn't exactly planning anything, I just wanted to see if that trick would work on her and she'd fall for my charms immediately, like all the other girls do.
"No, thanks." She replied monotonously without looking up.
I was a bit startled by her reply.
Normally, girls would have jumped up and down on their seats, looking nervous as hell because I, Mark Lee, one of the most popular guys at school, asked them to sit with me at lunch.
But this girl just straight away declined me.
"Oh, come on. I'm just being friendly, seeing as how you're new here. Hyuck and I could tour you around." I continued, trying to sound innocent.
"I said no." She stood up and looked me dead in the eyes.
I noticed her eyes. They seem, well... something, that I couldn't explain.
Backing up a bit, I was surprised that she still hasn't fallen for my charms.
This girl is really difficult.
"Uh-oh. I smell trouble." Donghyuck suddenly said behind me.
I quickly regained my composure. But to my annoyance, I began to move forward, towering over her. That's when she started backing up a little.
"Hey, I was being nice to you, new girl. Can't you at least be nice too?" I said with a deep voice, staring down at her.
She began to tense up and tried to look around, her eyes pleading for help. Unfortunately, everyone was out of the classroom already, so I smirked to myself.
"I—I said I don't wanna sit with you..." She replied, her voice slightly shaking.
She was looking anywhere but me, so I moved even closer to her. She reached a dead end and leaned by the window, unable to escape since I was blocking her only way out.
"Tsk, tsk. I was feeling a bit generous today, but seeing as how you're not cooperative, well, your choice. Give me your money."
"I said, give me your money." I repeated, making my voice as deep and intimidating as I could.
"Yeah. I'm fucking serious. Got a problem with that?" I moved closer, staring meanly down at her.
She then weakly went through her bag and got her wallet, her hands shaking a little.
The moment I saw her wallet, I snatched it away from her. It had about two bills of one thousand won and some coins.
I gave a piece to Donghyuck, got myself the other, and handed her the smallest amount of what was left of her money.
"You're lucky I'm still being nice to you," I said.
Her eyes were slightly welling up when I looked at her.
"Come on, Hyuck."
We quickly walked out of the room before we could witness her cry.
Serves her right, I thought to myself, smirking.
Donghyuck and I met with our other friends in the cafeteria and I treated them with the money I got from her.
Lucky for her, the only classes she has with me were first and second period, which were Math and World History. Donghyuck had two other classes with her, as well as our other friends.
I didn't see her for the rest of the day.
"See you tomorrow, guys." I waved to Renjun, Jeno, and Jaemin.
"See you." Renjun said.
"Yeah." Jeno followed.
"See ya." Jaemin replied.
"Bye, guys!" Donghyuck said to them.
He and I went home together since our houses were on the same direction. I was riding my bike while he was on his skateboard.
We live in the same neighborhood, Donghyuck and I. We've been best friends ever since I moved here from Canada ten years ago. I was seven and he was six. How did we become friends?
Well, a week after we moved and settled in, I was riding my bike along our street. I tried to explore a bit more in the neighborhood because I was that brave for a seven-year-old.
I got to his street with my bike, where I saw him for the first time. He was in the middle of the street. I thought he would move because I knew he saw me biking down his way, but he didn't.
I yelled for him to move out of the way but he still didn't budge. It was as if he was stuck there. I was speeding up due to the street being sloped a bit downwards, and since he didn't move away, I was forced to take a sharp turn to the right to avoid hitting him.
Of course, I, being on the bike, got into a little accident. I hit a curb and stumbled onto someone's front yard.
Donghyuck's front yard, to be exact.
Lucky for me, it was summer that time, and the grasses were abundant, so I landed softly on it. Sort of.
Long story short: Donghyuck's shoe was stuck in the middle of the street because of a huge chewing gum and he couldn't get out of it. After my little accident, I had to run to him quickly and help him get out because he was crying loudly, and cars could appear any minute. Fortunately enough, we were out of the streets before any cars could appear and hit us accidentally.
Unfortunately for the shoe, it was ran over by a large truck. Donghyuck wouldn't stop crying that time. His mom had to buy him an ice cream so he would stop, and I got tagged along because I was the one who helped him and that's how we met each other and became friends.
"So, what was she like in your classes?" I asked him.
"She looked hungry, dude. I had to give her biscuits because she really needed some. I can't believe you took her money." He said.
"What? I do it all the time." I laughed.
I felt a little bad. Just a little bit.
I've been doing that to many other students at school, so I wasn't really that guilty.
"Not to girls."
"Well," I shrugged my shoulders, "there's a first time for everything."
He just sighed and continued, "Jeno said she was cute, though."
"Seriously? He did?"
"Seriously. I think he's crushing on her. He kept looking at her during English class, and he tried talking to her."
We reached our neighborhood and turned left at the first street.
"What the heck? He's not supposed to hit on girls I bully." I rolled my eyes, a little annoyed.
"Why not? Are you jealous, Mark?" Donghyuck teased me. Or at least, he thinks he tried to.
"What? Me? Jealous? I don't even know her. And I don't fall in love with anyone. Relationships are a waste of time." I retorted.
We turned a right, and then another right, until we reached Donghyuck's street. My street was a few blocks from his.
"Yeah, sure. Anyway, here's my cue. See you tomorrow, dude." He waved and turned to his street.
"Yeah, bye." I waved back and continued biking.
I didn't want to go home yet and it was only 5:18 p.m., so I decided to bike through the nearby park.
There's a shortcut there that leads to this ice cream parlor that I really love. That same ice cream parlor where Donghyuck's mom took us when we were kids.
I may be a bad guy, but I'm still a normal seventeen-year-old kid who loves ice creams.
As I rode through the park, I saw the ice cream parlor and a smile made its way to my lips because ice creams just put me in a good mood.
I bought a Vanilla-flavored ice cream, which is not my favorite, but I just felt like eating one.
Sitting down on one of the seats and quietly eating my ice cream, I then thought about the new girl at school, wondering what her story is.
She seemed so quiet in class. She didn't even look at me for the whole three hours that I stared at her in the first two periods.
And her eyes.
Her eyes were full of an emotion that I couldn't explain when she looked at me.
Almost as if she's—
I was snapped out of my thoughts when I saw her enter the parlor.
Her hair was tied up and she was wearing her earphones.
If I think about it, like really, really think about it, Jeno was right.
She is cute.
Wait, what am I thinking?
She bought an ice cream but as soon as she received it, she exited the place. I quickly finished mine, went outside and quietly took my bike, following behind her.
I don't know why I followed her. Maybe I was just curious about where she lives. She walked through the park and I followed closely behind, walking my bike.
I was surprised that she knows about the shortcut to the ice cream parlor. Maybe she lives nearby.
She walked slowly while eating her ice cream. I was almost getting weary of following her and decided to just bike home when she suddenly turned to where my street is located.
My street is a lot longer than Donghyuck's, so there were two long rows of houses on each side of the street.
I followed behind as she quickened her pace, intrigued that she most likely lives on the same street as me.
Must be near.
Just as I thought of that, she turned right to a driveway and walked towards the house up front.
So it was them, I thought to myself as a realization came upon me.
I stopped a few feet away, hiding behind somebody's garbage can, so she wouldn't see me.
Watching her closely, she then went inside the house.
When she closed the door behind her, I realized how big the house is. Well, slightly bigger than mine.
I never really noticed that house, even after all these years that I lived here. It has a front lawn and a garage at the right side.
That house used to be empty for years but now that they've occupied it, I realized how nice it looks. They definitely decorated it well.
Rich girl, huh.
I took a deep breath and went on my way home, which was on the far end of the street.
Unlike hers, which was bright, my house was dark. I walked to the front door, hesitating a bit.
I didn't have a choice, though. Even if I didn't want to go home, I had to because this was the only home I have.
Sighing, I finally went inside.
The lights were off except for the light on the TV in the living room and the small kitchen light in the next room. My dad was lying asleep on the couch.
I walked towards the stairs quickly but was stopped by my dad's voice.
"Where have you been, Mark?"
"School." I replied.
"Are you sure? You know your teachers told me that the school's gonna drop you soo—"
"I was at school today, Dad. I didn't go anywhere. You can ask my teachers."
"You better be, you piece of shit. You think you're so good? Huh? No wonder your mother left you."
"She died because of you." I mumbled under my breath.
"What did you say?" He got up and off the couch.
"No. No, you said something," he walked towards me. "What did you say, boy? Huh?" He then slapped my right cheek, hard. "What did you say, you fucking piece of shit?" He slapped me again, this time on the left.
His hand was heavy.
I tried not to cry, but tears were already rolling off my eyes.
"I said nothing, Dad." I managed to say through gritted teeth.
He then smirked. "Still haven't learned your lessons, huh? Maybe I should give you more. You want more, huh, Mark?"
He laughed, which rang through my ears.
"You think you're so tough. Being a bully at school doesn't make you tough, you fucking idiot. It makes you stupid."
Just like you.
He then walked back to the couch and continued watching whatever it was on TV.
I quickly ran upstairs to my room. When I got inside, I slammed the door shut and plopped down on the floor next to my bed.
Tears were falling rapidly on my face, and I just sat there, letting my tears fall until I calmed down. Then I went to the bathroom to wash my face, staring angrily at my reflection on the mirror.
Stupid. You're just a stupid boy, Mark Lee.
I sighed heavily, then I went to take a quick shower.
After about twenty minutes, I put on a printed white shirt and dark jogging pants. I packed my extra pair of uniform, some sleeping clothes, and my toothbrush and put it in a small duffel bag. Then I called Donghyuck on the phone.
"Hey. What up, man?"
"Hyuck, can I stay at your house tonight? I need help with my homework in World History."
"What homework? We don't have any homework in World Histo—"
He paused for a second before realizing what I meant.
"Oh. Sure thing. Dinner's almost ready. Hurry up."
I ended the call.
I quickly rummaged through my closet to look for a jacket, finding an old one.
Wearing it, I picked up my bags, then I hurriedly went outside my room and down the stairs.
My dad was sleeping again, so I didn't bother to tell him where I was going. He wouldn't be awake until tomorrow. But I did leave a note telling him I was going to Donghyuck's place for the night.
For the most part, he doesn't really care wherever I go after school. He doesn't remotely care about me. So long as he's done hitting or beating me whenever I get home.
I understand my dad, slightly.
I was angry too. I was angry that my mother died because of his carelessness.
He was a bit drunk that night. They were driving home from a party and they got into an accident. My dad survived, but my mom died. I blamed it on the alcohol, while my dad blamed it on me.
I was only eight that time.
If I think about it though, maybe it was my fault. Maybe if I hadn't told them to hurry back home just because I was feeling lonely and scared in the house (even though they hired a babysitter), the accident wouldn't have happened.
If only I had let them enjoy the party that night, and let my dad sober up a bit, my mother would still be alive today, and I wouldn't be like this.
Of course, I knew why I became like this. I'm not that stupid. I'm only bullying other people at school because I, myself, am being beaten up in my own home.
And I just have to let this anger out. That's why I couldn't help but put them out on innocent people at school.
But I guess, back then, I was a stupid child. A stupid and selfish child who only wanted his parents to be with him on a cold winter night.
So that's my story.
Tch. Everyone knows that already, I thought bitterly to myself as I biked my way into the night towards Donghyuck's house.
Everyone. Except her.
6:41 p.m. It was a cold night, but it hasn't snowed yet. Good thing I brought that old jacket with me.
Snow usually doesn't fall until the third week of December. Sometimes it's earlier, though. But today is not one of those times.
On my way down the street, I passed by the new girl's house.
Last month, a family moved here on our street. I remembered there were huge moving trucks with lots of furniture. I saw the parents once, when I was passing by on my bike on the way to school. And I might have seen their teenage kid, but I couldn't exactly remember.
Until today happened.
I didn't realize up until an hour ago that my new neighbor is my new classmate.
The outside of their house was bright. It was decorated with a lot of wall lights, and they illuminated the street. I stopped in front of their house, trying to peek inside.
I couldn't see anything clearly from where I was standing. I was about to go when I saw a shadowy figure on the roof.
And it was her.
She had climbed up on their roof.
I quickly hid behind the same garbage can from earlier so she wouldn't see me, then I stayed for a little bit, just watching her.
She just sat there quietly, looking up. I looked up at the night sky too.
It was a dark blue and there were no stars. She wasn't looking anywhere but the crescent moon.
She looked peaceful. Like I didn't just get her lunch money earlier. Like she doesn't have any problems in the world. Like she was free.
I wonder what's going on in her mind.
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