Maybe it’s the period.
Seulgi thinks to herself as she stares at Irene who’s laughing freely in front of the class with some students, probably joking around as usual.
It has been a couple of months since Irene transferred and seems like the girl is doing just fine in this school. It has also been a couple of months since Seulgi started talking with the students in her class after being a loner for almost 2 and half year throughout her high school years.
Despite sounding weird on the phone call that she had on Friday night, Irene came back to school on Monday with the usual smile on her face. Seulgi concludes that the reason Irene was acting weird is because of her period indeed.
Though something on the back of her mind says that it’s not the reason, but who is Seulgi to judge?
She sighs softly and looks over at the clock, still 10 minutes until the class starts. She still has some time. Standing up on her feet, she walks over to the door and head to the washroom.
“Seulgi, where are you going?”
Seulgi turns her head to Irene who’s staring at her with curiosity look in her eyes.
“Washroom, need to pee.” Seulgi chuckles softly and gives a small wave before stepping out to the hall.
The washroom is rather quiet considering how the class is about to start already. Seulgi lifts her skirt up and sits on the toilet, sighing as she empties her bladder. Just then, she hears the door opens and a group of girls walk inside the washroom.
“I’m getting more and more pissed each day because of that .”
Seulgi twitches her brows when she recognizes the voice as Hyuna’s.
“Yeah, the whole class must be blind to think that she’s innocent. Her appearance screams .” Nana hisses.
Seulgi rolls her eyes, hard. There they go again, Nana and friends, trash talking about other students. What makes them think that they’re the best in this school?
“I’ll teach Bae Irene a lesson.”
Seulgi freezes at the name, her eyes snap open as she stares at the door in front of her, as if she can see through it. Are they talking about Irene? Which part of her looks like a ? If there’s anyone who’s blind, it must be them.
“You got the stuff ready, right?” Hyuna chuckles.
“Of course, just need to put it into action.” Nana laughs in return.
Stuff? What stuff? What are they planning to do?
Seulgi frowns and stands up abruptly before flushing down the toilet. The sound makes the girls gasp as they realize that someone is in the toilet as if listening to their conversation.
“Oh —there’s someone here, let’s get out.” Nana clicks her tongue and Seulgi quickly swings her door open, not letting the girls to escape. Though when the door is opened, Nana and the others are nowhere around the washroom anymore.
They sure have fast legs. Seulgi sighs exasperatedly and washes her hands on the sink. She can’t help but to think about their conversation earlier. Stuff, ready, put it into action. Just what are they planning to do?
Seulgi spends the rest of the day keeping a close eye of Irene, probably making the other students weirded out by her action.
Turns out, Nana and the gang didn’t seem to harm Irene in any way.
And soon, Seulgi forgets about it.
“Seulgi-ah, what are you doing right now?”
The said girl shifts the phone slightly against her ear before answering with a smile. “I’m just reading a book now.”
“What book? Is it the school textbook? Are you studying everyday?” Irene asks, her voice sounding serious despite her silly question.
“Of course not.” Seulgi chuckles as she traces a finger on the page of the novel she was reading earlier before Irene called. “I’m reading a novel.”
“Oh—do you want to read it? It’s okay, we can always talk later.”
“No, it’s okay. I want to talk to you.” Seulgi quickly answers, closing the book and places it on her nightstand. She leans back to her bed and frowns slightly when there’s no answer from the other line. “Irene?”
“Yes, I’m here. Sorry, I was just surprised when you said you want to talk to me rather than reading the novel.”
“Why would you be surprised? I can read the book anytime later but it’s not everytime we talk on phone.” Seulgi answers naturally, sighing in content as she feels her back sinks into the soft bed.
“That’s true.” Irene chuckles softly. “Then, how about you tell me about the novel you’re reading earlier? Is it an action or romance novel?”
“Nope, this one is about family and drama. The title is My Sister’s Keeper.” Seulgi hums softly.
“Eh? That’s one unique title. What is it about?”
“It’s about a girl named Anna and her older sister who’s suffering from cancer.”
Seulgi starts off, humming softly into the phone as if she’s whispering right next to Irene. It doesn’t take long for her to turn off her lights and gets under the blanket, still keeping the phone conversation with Irene. She knows that the other girl is on her bed too, judging from the soft rustling sound from the other line and how quiet it is.
Even since that time when Seulgi called Irene to ask her about her sudden change of mood, they have been talking on phone almost every night. Sometimes, they will talk about what happened at school, sometimes it’s about the movie or funny video that Irene watched, sometimes they’re telling their old childhood stories.
It’s not really an interesting topic, but somehow Seulgi always ends up laughing whenever she’s listening to Irene’s voice. The way she talks just makes everything feels cheerful and funny, Seulgi wonders how can someone have that kind of talent.
“Omoooo, and then? What happened next?”
Irene asks eagerly from the phone and Seulgi chuckles in response.
“Don’t know. I haven’t finished reading it.”
Seulgi says softly and Irene makes a fake crying noises from the other line, making Seulgi giggles loudly at the funny sound. A moment later, she hears Irene laughing along with her.
“You have a really nice laugh.” Seulgi says absently as if it’s the most natural topic ever.
“What?” Irene asks, sounding purely surprised as if Seulgi just says something so unbelievable.
“Your laugh,” Seulgi repeats. “It’s nice to look and hear at. I like to see or hear you laugh, it feels nice.”
There’s long second of silence from the other line before she hears Irene huffs out a breath on the phone.
“I like your laugh too. You look—pretty when you laugh.”
“Oh?” Seulgi blinks. Suddenly, the air around her turns much quieter that she can hear the sound of her own heart beating inside her chest. “You—you’re pretty too!” She replies, trying not to feel awkward at the sudden change of atmosphere.
“Thank you.” Irene speaks softly, followed by a soft chuckle and then it turns silent.
Seulgi opens and closes in attempt to talk, but it feels like her brain is going blank and she has no idea what to say now. The atmosphere just feels too different that she has no idea what happened and how to fix it. She knows she has been really awkward in receiving a compliment, but this time though, it’s different.
Yet she doesn’t know what makes it different. The way Irene says it just sounds very—personal.
“Did you know that Yeri poke her eyeball with a mascara few days ago when she’s trying out a new product of the store?”
Irene suddenly starts up a new topic and Seulgi finds herself laughing again. The awkward atmosphere has dissipates into the air just with a touch of Irene.
They end up talking for another half hour until Seulgi notices how late it is, and the fact that they have to wake up early for the school tomorrow. She mentions it to Irene and the latter agrees that it’s probably the time for them to end their call and sleep for the night.
“Oh, can we go to school together tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow? You want to meet at the bus station or something?” Seulgi asks as she moves over to turn off her lights before getting back to the bed.
“Nope, I’ll come to your house in the morning!”
“You can wake up that early?” Seulgi laughs softly. “Alright then, sure.”
“Great! See you tomorrow then, goodnight! I love you!”
Seulgi’s goodnight reply gets caught up in the moment she hears the words. She gapes in silence for a moment before her drying lips.
“…What did you say?” She asks softly and carefully, half wondering if she heard it wrong. There’s another long second of silence before Irene replies.
“I—got too caught up in the moment. I got too excited.” Irene says softly, almost sounding apologetic. “Sorry, if it makes you uncomfortable or something…”
“No, no, it’s okay.” Seulgi shakes her head rapidly. “I just haven’t heard those words from someone for a long time, so I was just surprised.”
“Oh.” Irene breaths out, this time almost sounding relieved. “Well, that’s good then, I thought I scared you off.” She says jokingly with a laughs.
“No, it’s okay, really.” Seulgi sighs with a smile. “Goodnight, I love you too.” She smiles into her phone before ends the call, not noticing the sound of Irene gasping softly into the phone.
She turns off her phone and places it on her nightstand before closing her eyes and tries to sleep, trying not to think too much about Irene’s confession earlier. It’s normal for girls to say I love you to each other after all, she used to say that too to her old friends when she’s younger.
But just like before, the way Irene says it just sound very—sincere and personal.
Or maybe, Seulgi is the one who’s hoping for more.
No way, what is she thinking?
Shaking her head, Seulgi shifts on her bed before drifting off to her slumber.
“I’m sooooo sleepy.”
Irene whines weakly as she rubs her eye with the back of her hand.
“Come on, the school building is in front of our eyes.”
Seulgi nudges her, tugging onto her wrist as they walk down the sidewalk and to the school.
In the end, Seulgi ended up walking over to Irene’s house since the said girl hasn’t show up until a certain time. Seulgi then found Irene still struggling to get ready for school. She ended up laughing and waited in the front door for Irene before walking side by side to the bus station.
Irene apologized so many times though, an evident flush across her cheeks and Seulgi just waved it off with a laugh.
“Maybe we should ask Wendy to join us in going to school together.” Seulgi chuckles softly.
There is a moment of silence that makes Seulgi glances over to Irene who’s staring at her with unreadable expression, making her raises her eyebrows questioningly.
“What’s wrong?” She asks, sounding confused and clueless at Irene’s reaction.
Irene smiles and shakes her head before suddenly takes off running to the school building.
“The last one arrives has to buy a sandwich for lunch!” She yells playfully as she runs.
“What—hey, that’s cheating!” Seulgi protests as she takes off running too, chasing after the laughing girl.
Seulgi ends up winning the race, earning a sad pouty look from Irene, which she laughs it off. They step into school building and are greeted by something weird.
All the student’s eyes are on them, staring at them while whispering to each other. Some of them even gesture vaguely or raise a finger at the girls, still talking to each other.
Seulgi feels closing up for being stared at judged like this. The fear creeps out from her feet again, crawling up to swallow her whole. She doesn’t like being stared like this, especially how they seem to judge her with the stare, as if talking about how imperfect she is.
Seulgi has forgotten about her low self-esteem for a while ever since she befriended with Irene, but now, it comes back and strikes her hard on the head. She’s being judged for her imperfection.
She gulps and drops her gaze down, trying to stare at hew own feet and ignores all the stare and talk from the students. She feels nauseous at nervousness and she just wants to take off running down the hall—but what if the students in the class also stare at her the same way?
What happened anyway? Why are they staring at her like that?
Her thought is snapped when she feels a hand slowly laces onto her own, holding it and squeezing it gently as if showing reassurance, as if saying that it’s okay.
She lifts her head and looks at Irene who’s giving her a reassuring smile as she guides her down the hall, casually ignoring all the stares.
Suddenly, Seulgi doesn’t feel so nervous anymore. She’s not focusing at the others anymore, her eyes stuck on Irene’s back and how her long hair sways as she walks.
In her cleared mind, Seulgi starts to notice something though.
The students are not staring at her. They’re staring at Irene.
Their steps then come into a halt when they see a crowd gathering in the middle of the hallway, in front of the notice board. Before they can take a closer look though, a panicked voice snaps them off.
Wendy calls out and runs to them, followed by Joy and Yeri from behind.
“Wendy? What happened?” Irene asks, frowning slightly.
“Irene—uh, don’t look at the notice board…” Wendy trails off and darts her eyes to Seulgi who’s staring at the girls with confused look. “Just… Irene, I think you should go home for today.”
“What are you saying?” Irene blinks incredulously.
“What happened?” Seulgi asks with a deep frown. Seeing how the girls hesitate to answer, she turns her head to the notice board and slowly walks over to it.
“Wait, Irene! Don’t follow her.” Joy calls out, but Irene already makes her way to trail off behind Seulgi.
The crowd turns their head to the two approaching girls and as if on cue, they make a way for them to the notice board, as if they want Seulgi and Irene to look better at the thing on the wall.
Seulgi steps closer to the board and tilts her head up, scanning it briefly before it lands on some pieces of papers stuck on the board.
A male teacher from X high school is expelled from ually harassing a student.
The victim still refused to speak about it. Many sources said that the poor girl has stopped coming to school.
There are rumors about how touchy the teacher was, but never to the extent of making a further move.
“It’s consensual. She came to me.” He kept on saying when interrogated.
Seulgi frowns at all the headlines that seem to be cut off from newspaper and internet news. It’s all about a teacher student relationship in X high school—Irene’s old school.
She darts her eyes lower and notices another pieces of paper stuck onto the board. This time, it’s not headline news or anything, it’s a printout version of a chat screenshot. Seulgi steps closer and reads the chats one by one.
- So, are you saying that the school staff caught the teacher trying to force her into a hotel?
- Yeah, it was creepy. I mean, we all noticed how that old man seems to like her more, but we never thought that he’d make a move against her. But then, I think it’s also the girl’s fault.
- You’re saying that she seduced the teacher or something?
- Well, no one believes it except some students and me. I think she came to the teacher and tried to make her grades better or something by doing some stuff.
- So, she is not a victim in this case?
- I don’t think so. In fact, I think he teacher is the one who’s the victim of this case. Everyone always believes on a younger girl and not on the male on ever ual assault cases after all.
- Well, that’s nasty. What’s her name anyway?
- It’s Bae Irene.
- You know what? She moved to my school.
- Whoops, tell the guys to be careful of Irene then.
Seulgi feels her heart sinks to her stomach after reading the name. Everything starts to click, the reason Irene moved school, the reason Irene avoids the topic, and the reason she never wants to talk about it.
Still gaping, she slowly turns around and looks at Irene who’s still staring at the board in shock. Seulgi notices how the colors leave her face, leaving her with overly pale complexion as her eyes stuck on the board.
After a few seconds, Irene slowly darts her eyes to Seulgi and stares at her, still gaping in shock, but her eyes tell something different. Seulgi feels her heart clenches painfully when the tears pour down from Irene’s beautiful eyes.
Seulgi watches as Irene starts to shake and her face falters into a frown. She lets out a heart-wrecking sob before turning around and takes off running to the end of the hall, leaving all the students to stare at her back.
“What are you all staring at? Go away!” Wendy snaps at the student, making some of the leave the board and walk back to their classes.
“Seulgi, what should we do?” Joy runs over and tugs onto her arm, making Seulgi snaps out of her trace.
Seulgi stares at Joy for a moment before turning around to the board and rips the paper off it. Wendy follows and helps her rip off all the paper, crumpling them into a big ball and throws it to the bin.
“Seulgi, where are you going?” Wendy asks from distance as Seulgi strides down the hall, clenching her fist tightly on either side of her body.
She strides over to her class and opens the door roughly, earning some stares from the students, but she can’t be bothered to care now. Her eyes immediately lock onto the group of girls who are laughing in the corner, not even bothering to look at Seulgi.
Feeling a fury inside her chest, she walks over to the group and finally Nana looks up to her with questioning look, though before she can ask anything, Seulgi already delivers a slap right across her cheek and pulls her up by her collar.
“What did she ever do to you!?” She snaps.
Hyuna and the girls quickly stand up from their seats and pushes Seulgi away from Nana, separating them both. However, Nana doesn’t back down though, she walks over to Seulgi and pulls on her hair.
“What the was that for, you ugly little !” Nana yells, pulling roughly onto Seulgi’s long hair.
“You’re the ugly one! Your heart is so ugly!” Seulgi yells back, flailing her hands around as she winces and takes a hold of Nana’s hair before pulling it hard, earning a screech from the other girl.
“Hey, off !” Hyuna hisses, grabbing a handful of hair from the back of Seulgi’s head and pulls it roughly, making Seulgi lets out a yelp of pain.
“You, off!” Wendy yells, quickly walking over to Hyuna and smacks her hand off Seulgi’s hair.
Seulgi immediately brings a hand to the back of her head to nurse the pain, and that’s when Nana lifts her hand and slaps Seulgi across her cheek. With that, Seulgi throws herself to the other girl and tackles her to the ground, straddling her waist as she tries to hurt Nana, to make her feel Irene’s pain.
“Why did you do this to her!? What did she do wrong!?” She yells desperately as she tugs onto the collar of Nana’s uniform.
Nana pushes Seulgi off and rolls them around so their position switched. She swings her hand and tries to claw on Seulgi’s face, though the latter is quick to cover her face with both hands.
“She’s a ! The whole school needs to know the truth!”
“She’s not a !” Seulgi argues, trying to push Nana off her.
How dare her, how dare she called Irene , how dare she revealed such a crucial thing to the whole school, how dare she hurt Irene like this. Seulgi can feel her heart burning with fury, clouding her mind and senses as she thinks about how to hurt Nana as much as she hurts Irene.
The fight finally ends when a couple teachers come to the class and separate the girls. All the girls end up being taken over to the teacher’s office.
Nana explained about how Seulgi just walked over and hit her, while Seulgi explained about what Nana did to Irene who’s innocent. The other girls explain that they’re helping Nana and Seulgi in the fight since they’re their friends, though Wendy, Joy and Yeri talked about how it’s all Nana’s fault.
In the end, the school decides to punish both Nana and Seulgi by calling their parents to the school and put them in 3 days suspension. Seulgi and Nana exchange dirty looks as they sit on the teacher office, waiting for their parents to come.
Nana’s father comes first and the teacher guides the father and daughter into a room while Seulgi waits on a chair. After a while, the father-daughter pair comes out of the room with the father scolding Nana. Seulgi chuckles inwardly at how pissed off Nana looks. Serves her right.
Seulgi’s mother ends up coming a bit late since she needs to finish her meeting first, making Seulgi feels bad for bother her mom’s work.
Her mother doesn’t really say anything as the teacher explains about the chronology and how Seulgi starts a fight violently. Seulgi glances over to her mom, wondering if she’s mad over it.
Mrs. Kang ends up taking Seulgi home that day. The ride is awfully quiet and Seulgi can’t bring herself to start a conversation, not when she has no idea how her mom feels over this news. She looks out to the window, recalling Irene’s crying face earlier. She saw Irene cried once before on her birthday, but not like this.
Irene’s face earlier looked like a combination of fear, humiliation and apology, as if she’s sorry for the thing, as if she’s sorry for being alive, as if she’s sorry for being a disappointing failure. Seulgi recalls how Irene always thinks so lowly of herself and the thing that happened earlier just makes her heart clenches painfully.
No, Seulgi doesn’t believe anything about the news. If it’s true, she’s sure that Irene was the victim of the case. She knows Irene, she knows how kind and innocent she is.
“You know.” Mrs. Kang suddenly starts up, snapping Seulgi out of her thought. “I’m supposed to be mad, but I can’t really get mad after hearing the reason you started the fight.”
“Mom…” Seulgi mumbles quietly, blinking at her mother.
“Though you’re not supposed to be that violent. Really, walking over and slap her on the face.” She sighs, but there’s a hint of chuckle on it. “I know that girl deserves one, but don’t do it in class at least.”
Seulgi gapes for a few seconds before chuckles lightly and shakes her head. In the end, her mom is still the best woman.
Mrs. Kang drops her in front of the house since she still has some work stuff to attend. Seulgi nods her head and steps out of the car, but pauses before she shuts the door.
“Mom.” She calls out from outside of the car.
“What is it, honey?”
"Do you... believe about that news?" She asks carefully.
"No." Her mother answers in a split second without hesitation. "At this age, I am able to see through some people and even though I just met her, I know that Irene is not that kind of girl. She's probably the victim, poor girl."
Seulgi nods with a small smile before asking again. “Do you think I should—you know, call Irene or something?” She bites on the lower lip as she stares at her mother.
Mrs. Kang stares at her daughter before sighing softly. “I think it’s better if you let her be alone for now… She’s still shaken about it…”
Still biting on her lower lip, Seulgi nods her head before saying bye to her mom and shuts the door, walking over to the front door as she takes out the key from her bag. She steps into the house and heads upstairs to her room. Once inside, she puts her bag on the chair before flopping to the bed and stares at her ceiling.
All these years she has been living, this is the first time she gets involved in a fight and getting a suspension on top of it. Where is Kang Seulgi the nice and quiet girl? Seulgi barely recognizes her old self ever since Irene came into her life, but she’s not regretting every single bits of it.
In fact, her life gets better ever since Irene came.
Seulgi wonders if she also makes Irene’s life better after the latter came to know her.
She lifts her phone and scrolls through her gallery, staring at a picture of her and Irene. She remembers how this picture was taken few weeks ago.
“Seulgi, let’s take a selfie.” Irene says cheerfully as she leans closer to the other girl.
“What?” Seulgi perks up, blinking at Irene.
“Selfie! Take a picture together.”
“Um, I don’t really take a picture of myself…” Seulgi shakes her head with a small smile.
“What? Why?” Irene blinks.
“I just don’t like to get my picture taken.” Seulgi shrugs.
“Come on, just this once! We never take a picture together.” Irene nudges and Seulgi can’t find herself to reject the offer as she laughs lightly.
“Alright, but I have no idea how to do it.”
“Give me your phone.”
Seulgi complies by taking out her phone and hands it to Irene, letting the girl taps onto the screen before placing it in front of their faces. Surprised to see her own face that close to the screen, Seulgi turns away and covers her face with a hand.
“Seulgi, don’t do that!” Irene huffs, trying to pry the hands away from the other’s face.
After five minutes of struggle and reassurance, Irene manages to make Seulgi faces the camera with stuff expression.
“Just relax Seulgi, the camera is not going to eat you.” Irene chuckles lightly before leaning her face close to Seulgi, pressing their cheeks together as she adjusts the phone in front of them. “One, two, three…” She counts before tapping onto the button. Smiling, she checks onto the picture and frowns slightly. “Seulgi, you look so stiff here, let’s do it again!”
Irene takes more couple of pictures, only to get the same expression from Seulgi, stiff and nervous.
“I’m tired Irene, let’s stop taking the picture okay, my face is like this.” Seulgi pleads.
“One last time, I promise this is the last.” Irene points a finger and Seulgi nods weakly, leaning closer to her like before.
Irene starts to count and Seulgi just stares at the camera like before, unaware of how Irene places a hand on her waist and tickles her suddenly. Seulgi ends up screeching before breaking out into a fit of giggle, and that’s when Irene takes the picture.
Seulgi chuckles at the memory as she stares at the picture. Her eyes are closed and her lips are stretched into a big smile, showing her pearl lined teeth. Irene is smiling widely too, probably laughing when this picture was taken, her pretty eyes are scrunched up into crescent as she looks at the camera. Seulgi wonders how can she took the picture nicely while laughing.
Sighing softly, she switches to contact list and stares at Irene’s id for a while, mentally debating whether she should call the girl or not. She really wants to know if Irene is feeling fine. But then again, her mother was right, Irene probably needs some time to be alone.
Pursing her lips, she drops her phone against the bed before looking up to her empty ceiling, briefly recalling about the tiny stars on Irene’s room ceiling.
Tomorrow, she’ll contact Irene tomorrow and hopefully Irene will answer her.
Hello guysss how are you doingggg omg I haven't been able to write so much lately hhhh and yet my mind is filled with new ideas for stories omg brain please stop
But yea, here you go, Irene's reason of transferring school though it's just half of it. The complete story will be told on the next chapter huehuehue ;)
You know, I've had this idea for a new seulrene story but it's angst omg I hate writing angst but my brain loves to think about it
Oh btw I changed the poster lol my friend said it looks like a cover of a novel hhhh
Please do know that english is not my first language so you might find a lot of grammatical errors, typos and broken english, I am so sorry!
Comments, subscribes and upvotes are much appreciated, thank you so much!
Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoy the story!