My alarm clock signaled the start of another day, but even as the new day starts, I just can’t put last night’s events behind me. Kyuhyun, I never wanted to lose you. I never wanted to spend last night crying. I never wanted our friendship to be ruined by this thing called love. Sighing deeply, I rubbed my eyes and stretched my arms.
“Now’s not the time to be sad, I’m Yoona,” I scolded myself. “Do you think Lee Donghae will be happy to hear you moping around? No, right? So you’d better leave that later. Give Kyuhyun some time. Maybe all he needs is time to think before you attempt to repair your friendship.”
Getting up, I shut the blinds which were letting the morning sunlight pour in. This is it, he’s coming back! I smiled. Even the mere thought sent my heart fluttering away. I just hope everything goes according to plan, I thought. The door clicked, and my mother stepped in.
“Dear, you have a phone call,” she said, smiling.
I smiled back, hugging my mom. “I’m glad you’re back. Last night was a nightmare without you,” I said, remembering the emotional mayhem I experienced last night.
My mom patted my back. “It’s okay, I’m here now.” She kissed my forehead and looked at me. “Breakfast is ready; it’s your favorite American dish, bacon! But before you eat, you need to answer that call, okay?” she said, laughing.”
I laughed along with her, “Okay, who is it by the way?”
“Sunny?” I repeated; my eyes-widened.“Oh my, why didn’t you say so? It must me important!”I exclaimed.
I bolted down the stairway and rushed to the living room telephone, placed the receiver on my ear, and spoke.
“Sunny? What is it? Is everything set?”
Sunny laughed on the other line. “Don’t act so nervous! You sound like you sound like you’re in a hurry to get to the bathroom! Yup, everything is set and according to plan. Yuri, Hyo and Tae are also cooperating. We will make sure that Donghae will be welcomed back with style!”
I praised her giddily and told her to keep up the good work. We needed to keep the suspense up to maintain a good atmosphere. She replied that she will be doing her best, and I hung up after giving her another note of thanks and appreciation.
I joined my mother, who was waiting for me, beside the dining table and it didn’t take long before she saw the huge smile lingering on my lips.
“Okay, cut me some slack. What were you guys talking about?” mom asked, bubbly curiosity peeking out of her beady eyes.
I laughed. “It’s nothing that would concern you much, mom. Just something we need to do in school this morning,” I replied sublimely, grinning.
“Really, like what?” she probed, grinning cutely. “I won’t let you go ‘til you tell me,” she pouted.
I chuckled. As mature as parents are supposed to be, my mom still has the attitude of a typical teenager. Even though she has the body of a woman in her late thirties, she retains the personality of a cheerfulperson. “You’re never too old to be young,” she had always told me whenever I questioned her silly attitude. That’s why I love my mom. To be honest, she seems to be more attuned to the trends than I was.
I spilled the beans and told mom about Donghae’s arrival and what we were planning to do. All the time I was telling her, she has been looking at me with this teasing and suspicious grin. I almost burst out laughing when she waved her eyebrows in an up and down motion, with a silly smile on her lips.
“Mom! You almost made me spit out my food!” I exclaimed, laughing.
“Or choke,” my mom replied, grinning.
“Still, judging from the two options, none of which are any better,” I replied, giggling.
Mom smirked, “If you say so. Hurry up! Spend another minute here, and you’ll be late for your first period!”
I glanced at the clock and gasped after doing so. “Eight a.m.?” I exclaimed, eyes staring unbelievingly at the ornate clockwork. “Oh man, I’m gonna be late. Bye mom!” I said, half-running, half-eating. My mother couldn’t help but laugh at my haste.
“Slow down, you’ll choke!” she exclaimed, laughing at the same time.
I gulped down the last piece of bacon and placed the greasy plate I was eating on by the sink before even daring to reply back to my elated mother. “Will do! Goodbye mom!” I kissed her hurriedly in the cheeks and rushed out the door, leaving an amused mother behind me.
* * *
“Eleven-thirty on the dot!” I declared, checking my watch one more time to see if I was mistaken. I made my way down the stairs from my last period before lunch break. I know that there was still plenty of time, but I didn’t want to risk it. If ever there were last-minute flaws, an hour should be enough time to resolve that. I strutted towards the school’s main lobby where Sunny, Taeyeon, Hyoyeon and Yuri were waiting for me. They waved at me, and without hesitation, I ran towards them and gave them an expectant smile. To my extreme relief, the three were wearing identical masks of anticipation.
“So I presume everything is set?” I asked.
“All set and waiting! We even asked the headmaster to extend lunch hour just to welcome Donghae! It was tough at first, with all those silly appointments and student petitions to work with, but in the end, we managed to convince him at the last second,” Yuri declared proudly. “He even wished us good luck in welcoming our old friend.”
“That’s great!” I exclaimed, my eyes gleaming with sheer excitement. “I’m so glad to have you guys as my friends!”
“Tsk, it’s not a problem, Yoona,” Taeyeon laughed.
“Anything for our little sister,” Hyoyeon added, pinching my nose playfully, chuckling.
“Great, so do you guys have the program ready? We still have that one-hour party to work on during lunch time.”
“Yup! But there’ll be some regulations though,” Sunny said, pouting. “Since this is in school, we can’t go on like our usual off-the-hook parties.”
I conked her head playfully. “Of course! You can’t expect to have a disco party in the school cafeteria. That’ll be epic.”
We laughed merrily and began to ready ourselves in advent of Donghae’s arrival. We gathered most of Donghae’s friends and other people who were willing to welcome him back in the cafeteria, where we planned to surprise him. After a few minutes of preparation, a familiar car pulled into the view. The last time I saw Mrs. Lee’s car was when they left Seoul. Now, I was happy to see the car coming back, bringing the person whom I treasure inside it.
I nudged Sunny and she nodded. “I know what to do.”
Watching her steps, Sunny carefully trotted down the granite stairs to intercept the car, just as we rehearsed. I followed briskly behind; we needed to make Donghae’s mother go along with our little act. Sunny waved her hands above her head and the car abruptly stopped. I could see Donghae from here, in our uniform but with sunglasses over his eyes. I had to control my longing to be with him again. There will plenty of time for that later. I ran to the driver’s seat and knocked. Mrs. Lee opened the semi-tinted window with a confused expression. I had to stop her before she says anything.
“Mrs. Lee,” I whispered with a voice audible only to the both of us. I started narrating our plan to her and asked her to play along with our little surprise. Smiling, she agreed, and mouthed out a “thank you”.
She returned to the wheel, started to whisper urgently, playing along with our act. “Really?!” Mrs. Lee asked in a worrisome voice. “Oh my, Hae, son, you should go see Sunny. Something unexpected happened!” she exclaimed. I smiled at her well-versed acting skills, and she winked at me. On cue, Sunny came in and spoke in a panting, exhausted, but imperative voice.
“Donghae!” she exclaimed. “It’s me, Sunny! Something bad had happened to Yoona! You have to see her right away!”
From behind the translucent glass, I could see Donghae’s head pop up upon hearing my name. “What? What do you mean something bad happened?”
“While waiting for you, something must’ve gone bad. She became nuts! She won’t stop saying your name. She’s also mumbling that she needs to see you. I dunno what happened!” Sunny paused, adding some drama effect. “Perhaps you can snap her back to her senses. We didn’t take her to the hospital yet. She won’t let us!”
I grit my teeth together while suppressing a laugh and a smile. That Sunny goes overboard when it comes to acting sometimes. Me, gone cuckoo? Not in this lifetime, I thought, smirking. I’m going to have to shun her later. Fortunately, Donghae didn’t seem to ponder on the details. All I see is genuine worry mixed with concern in his face. I smiled. He’s worried about me, I thought. That’s so sweet.
“Where is she now?” he asked in an alarmed voice.
“She’s near the cafeteria, mumbling about car accidents and syringes. She’s being delusional! You have to come now!” Sunny exclaimed in her most convincing voice.
Donghae shifted uncomfortably in his seat – he was clearly taken aback by the sudden message. “But, I need to report to the school office and bring my stuff with me,” he said, hesitating.
“Don’t worry, dear. I’ll have them done for you. As for your books, I’ll ask someone to give them to you later on. You should go, this sounds serious,” Mrs. Lee said in a voice suggesting finality.
I whispered a message of thanks to Mrs. Lee, and Donghae hurriedly started to alight from the car. Sunny took him by the hand and led him forward. “Be careful, son!” Mrs. Lee called as Donghae started to walk away.
“Don’t worry, ma’am. We’ll take care of him. We prepared a small welcoming party for him. You can count on us!” I told her as soon as Donghae and Sunny were out of earshot.
“Thank you, Yoona. He will most certainly be glad,” she replied, smiling with gratitude.
“No problem, Mrs. Lee. I’d better catch up to both of them. Goodbye! And welcome back!”
Mrs. Lee waved her hand and mouthed out another message of thanks before I went away. Fortunately, Donghae and Sunny were not that fast since Hae was still starting to get accustomed to his surroundings. I tailed them from behind, and I could practically feel the tension building up in Donghae’s face while on the other hand, Sunny was fighting back a laugh. She saw me, and I winked at her. We were only a few more paces away from the cafeteria. I went ahead, because I needed to forewarn the others before Donghae and Sunny would arrive in the cafeteria.
Opening the cafeteria door, I was pleased to see that everything was set. Clapping my hands, I called out. “Donghae and Sunny are now here! Brace yourselves people! You know what to do!”
The door opened, there was a pop, and confetti fell to where they were standing.
“WELCOME BACK, LEE DONGHAE!” we chorused.
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