The usually deserted gymnasium was now filled with cheers of anticipation and excitement. Banners with our school's signature color were waved vigorously in the air, adding a sense of enthusiasm in the atmosphere. You may think I'm out there, enjoying the noise, feeling the adrenaline coursing in my veins while I was depriving my lungs of oxygen through endless shouting. However, you'll find me sitting down, doing everything in my power to block the reverberating cheers of the crowd while I flipped through the pages of the book I was reading. In this type of scenario, you may think of me as a misfit or a spoilsport, but I couldn't care less. The only thing that mattered to me now was to devour the last few pages of the mystery novel I started out two days ago.
My name is Im Yoona but almost everyone calls me Yoona. Picture a tall, lean girl, with long hair, dark brown eyes with a slightly long neck and straight auburn hair that slightly exceeds the base of her neck and on her face, an uneasy expression. Now throw in some rectangular-framed glasses, an oversized tee and a pair of semi-tight jeans to complete the picture. That's me. Nerdy Im Yoona.
As I was concentrating on every detail in the story, I felt a light tap on my right shoulder. My normal instinct would be to ignore the distraction and continue reading but when the taps became more persistent, I became pissed. That was it for my willpower. As I slowly lowered down my book, a familiar grinning face slowly surfaced from the edges of my book. It was Kyuhyun, my down-to-earth annoying yet sweet and irreplaceable best friend. He was wearing a half-worried, half-grinning expression when I turned to look at him.
"What?!" I said; my exclamation barely audible due to the screaming audience.
He grinned wider when he saw my annoyed expression. "Seriously," he said in a husky voice. Loud, yet barely distinct, "it's a basketball game. Not free period."
I gave him one of those is-this-what-you-called-me-for looks and replied, "I don't care! I've already seen many basketball games! Why should another one make any difference?!"
He was fighting back a smile now. I couldn't help but smile myself. Annoying as he is, Kyuhyun has this thing that makes you smile no matter how irritated you are.
"This is the final nationals round! If the Tigers win this, we'll be able to compete for the international level! Isn't that something worth reckoning?" He said.
"I don't care! All I wanna do is read this novel I've been dying to finish!"
I began to open my book again and made a mental note to ignore him no matter what he does.
"You have a bookmark for that, right?" he asked, clearly persistent.
"Yeah," I said, holding the bookmark up without looking up.
"Good," he said, "that's all I want to know."
As soon as he said that, he snatched up my bookmark and my book, shoved the bookmark on the page I was reading, slammed the book shut and stashed it in his bag before giving me any time to react. Before I could start saying anything, he placed his forefinger on my lip and said, "If you want to have your book back, you'll have to see the remaining time in the game. For now," he winked, "consider it confiscated."
I sulked. I was only about twenty pages before I would've completed that novel. I knew arguing with Kyuhyun would be pointless and I wouldn't want to start a commotion in the gymnasium just because of a silly book. So I waited, staring at the game with little interest; like it was an old home movie frequently repeated in the household. It was true though. My brother, Im Eun Hae, is a well-known basketball player. He's been through a lot of national competitions and we're usually there to give him moral support. Compared to him, I would seem like his complete opposite. My brother was big, muscular, and athletic and had that masculine aura that seems to reel girls in. I, Im Yoona, am the girl known for her clumsiness, dorkiness complete with an impaired sense of balance. Every time I contemplate about this kind of stuff, I can't help but feel sorry for myself.
Averting my attention back to the game, the Tigers seem to have a safe lead. Leading 98 to 84, the team players were as energetic as ever. My wavering interest seemed to get the best of me as I stared into empty space, hardly paying any attention at all. What caught my interest is the sudden silence that was an almost abrupt and unanimous reaction from the audience. Snapping out of my daze, my eyes immediately locked on the scoreboard which now bears the numbers 100 to 98 with Tigers leading with only two points. That perked me up. This is wrong; the Tigers never played such a close fight, not even once. Why should now be any different?
With the opposing team having the ball, I clenched my fists and hoped they would miss the basket. However, that wasn't the case. The orange ball flew up in the air and went straight into the basket - for three points. That consumed my disinterest. All at once I was up on my feet, eyes locked on the game, cheering until my throat became sore. Out in the corner of my eye, I saw Kyuhyun fighting back a smile. I couldn't help smiling; it's been long since I've felt an adrenaline rush.
Out in the game, Choi Siwon was dribbling the ball up to their court with the opposing team fast on his trail. Cornered in seconds, he didn't think twice about passing the ball to the team captain, Lee Donghae.
Somewhere in the crowd, someone shouted, "The Captain has the ball!”
This is it, I thought. With the ball in the Captain's hands, we still have a fair chance to win this game. When I looked at the scoreboard, I cringed when it was down to the game's last thirty seconds. Hurry! I thought. Donghae runs up to the court; dodging blocking adversaries all the way consuming twenty precious seconds of game time. He readies for the shot, dodging another blocker then jumps for a dunk. Five... Four... Three... Two... One... It's in!
"TIGERS SCORE 102-101! THE TIGERS ARE THE WINNER!" the PA boomed.
Deafening screams of delight erupted all around the Coliseum. I myself wasn't able to contain the excitement. I was jumping up and down like a crazy kangaroo. With an evil smile, I approached Kyuhyun, held out my hand and winked.
"Game over. Give me my book back."
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