The freshmen and sophomores had their examinations in the morning. The juniors and seniors gathered in the gym after lunch. It was rowdy and crowded with complaining students.
“I’m going to puke everything I ate for lunch. I just know it.” Sooki muttered.
“I’m on my period. I hate running with cramps.” Sohee whined.
Ari was in her own little world as usual.
You tied your shoelaces and looked around the gym. You finally spotted L. Joe and brightened. “I’ll be back!” You told your friends and headed towards the senior class.
“Look who is coming~” Myunghoon whistled.
L. Joe turned around and narrowed his eyes *Not her again.*
You waved, “Annyeong oppas!” Myunghoon smiled and waved back.
“What do you want?” L. Joe asked. His voice was full of annoyance. “I just came to say hi, that’s all.” You smiled.
“You said your hi so go.” He ordered.
“Pfft.” You stuck your tongue out then blinked, “Oh yeah. This morning, I came downstairs and the bowl of shaved ice was empty! Did you eat it all?”
L. Joe panicked, “N-no! Of course not! I told you! I hate sweets!”
“Oh. Then it must have been dad.” You scratched your head in thought then shrugged. He sighed in relief, thankful that you weren’t suspecting anything else. “I was hoping you would have eaten it.” You whispered. L. Joe gazed at you. *Maybe I should tell her that it was me…*
But you brightened and pumped your fist, “So that you could be energized and ace the tests!”
L. Joe rolled his eyes at your hyper self. He glanced down and did a double take.
Your shoelaces were untied. He pointed at it.
“Huh?” You looked down, baffled. “Oh!” You bent down to tie your shoes.
L. Joe took the opportunity to leave. Done tying your shoes you stood back up but he was already gone. “Eh?! Where’d he go?!” You looked around.
The PE coaches blew their whistles, “Junior girls will do sit-ups first! Junior boys will do push-ups first! Senior girls will do the running first and senior boys will do pull-ups! Get in line now!”
The students headed towards their designated parts of the room. You successfully completed the required amounts of sit-ups and pull-ups. You were waiting at the bleachers for your turn for the push-ups.
“Your brother is running now.” Sohee pointed. You looked towards the track. L. Joe was standing at the line. He wasn’t stretching like anyone else. He just stood there, bored as ever. You stood up and shouted, “GO BYUNGHUN OPPA! YOU CAN DO IT!”
A few boys snickered but most grew jealous.
L. Joe turned red *Didn’t I tell her not to embarrass me?! Damn.*
“At the line.” The coach instructed. L. Joe stood along there with the rest of the boys.
The coach said, “Go!” The boys ran off. “Woo! Go oppa!” You cheered. L. Joe glared at you *Doesn’t she know she’s annoying me as hell? Or is she doing this on purpose? Damn.* It was your turn to do the push-ups so you stopped cheering. *Finally.* L. Joe thought.
After the push-up test, it was your turn for the run. You passed by a sweating L. Joe on the way. You beamed and held out your hand, “Good job, oppa!” L. Joe rolled his eyes and swept past you without a hi-five.
Sooki hi-fived you instead and you both laughed. The two of you went in line and stretched along with the other girls. “Ready?” The junior coach asked. The girls shuffled towards the front. “Go!” The coach put the flag down and the girls started racing.
You took even breaths and concentrated on finishing. *It’s not how fast you finish but that you finish at all.* You reminded yourself.
On the other hand, L. Joe was waiting for his turn to do sit-ups. “Look at your sister go.” Myunghoon nodded. L. Joe turned around and watched you. You weren’t the fastest but you were the most determined. Something caught his eye near the ground and he looked down. His eyes widened *Her shoelaces are untied again.*
Before L. Joe could warn you, you tripped over them.
The coach blew the whistle and started running over.
“Saerom!” Your friends surrounded you and helped you up. “Are you all right?” They asked. You nodded, “Don’t worry about me.” Yet, blood was running down from your knee. “That looks like it needs some fixing up. Can you go to the nurse’s station yourself?” The coach asked. You nodded. “All right. The rest of you, keep running.” The coach ordered.
Uncertain, your friends looked at you. “Go, I’ll be fine.” You encouragingly nodded and limped off.
You slowed down when you saw L. Joe. He glanced down at the blood and his eyes softened.
You followed his gaze and smiled while shaking your head, “It’s not as painful as it looks.”
“I never asked.” L. Joe looked away. “I just wanted to let you know…” You walked away.
L. Joe watched you and strangely, a part of his heart hurt. He hadn’t meant to sound so sharp and rude. L. Joe took a step towards you and reached out but you were at the door already. He sighed and turned back around *Whatever. Not my problem anyways. It’s her fault for not tying her shoelaces properly.*
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