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Uploaded by makiyoyoyo on Jun 30, 2010
There was one good thing about being the temporary head of the Hibari dorm. Teacher Jung Yong Hwa got to have breakfast alone without any interruptions. Most of the girls skipped their morning meal so that they could greet the boys at Seoul High. As a result, the breakfast buffet and the Hibari mess hall was all his before school began.
With a stomach full of hot food and coffee, Yong Hwa was in a much better mood when he made his way to the first lesson of the year. He was taking the short cut across the agreeable parklands of St Blossoms when he heard someone go “Psssst!” at him.
“Pssssst!” they hissed again.
He looked around for the source of the noise, and his eyes settled on the canopy of a tree.
“Pssssst! Teacher Jung!”
Yong Hwa hesitated and walked backwards until he was under the tree’s foliage. He peered up at the branches, and spotted two long spider-like legs wearing expensive Italian shoes.
“Student Lee Seung Gi?” He couldn’t resist a little cough-laugh. It wasn’t often that he saw the popular boy in an awkward position. “What are you-uh-doing up there? Did another girl turn stalker on you? Or, have you taken up botany?”
“Teacher Jung!” reprimanded Seung Gi. ”Now is not the time to make fun of me. I have been the victim of a gross misunderstanding that was in no way entirely my fault.”
Yong Hwa pulled out his phone and checked the time. “Lessons have begun at Seoul High. Go away before I call security.”
“Wait! I need your help! Please, Seongsaengnim!”
Yong Hwa sighed. “If you get down from that tree, I’ll pretend to listen to you.”
“Ah.” The youth flashed his white smile. “Then, is the coast clear?”
“Snow White. She wants to kill me with a baseball bat, and she has a...” He shuddered. “A sister that looks like one of the dwarves: Dopey.”
Yong Hwa frowned. “I have no idea who you’re talking about. There’s no one here, and I know that without looking because my classes are about to begin. Hurry up!”
Seung Gi jumped down, showing off his athletic prowess. He dusted off the tips of his shoes with his hands and straightened up to face Yong Hwa. “Teacher Jung. You of all people know that my IQ is thought the roof. I thought I had pretty sharp instincts about girls too, but just this once, I...um...I made a small miscalculation about something very important.”
Teacher Jung narrowed his eyes at the student. “What did you do? I warned you about what I’d do to you if you tried anything with any of the girls here.”
“Calm down, Teacher Jung! I didn’t do anything that would get you in trouble. Anyway, what I did isn’t the important issue here. What’s important is that I want to make amends. Snow White wanted to beat me up with a baseball bat, and I almost wanted to let her. Almost.”
Yong Hwa lifted one eyebrow at him, waiting for him to continue.
“Instead, I escaped up the tree from Snow White, and then I called Hibari-ssi on my phone. I told her that it was my fault for coming to such a stupid conclusion. Those girls really are girls. But Hibari wouldn’t listen. Aish! That girl gets so worked up about things. She’s so angry at Dopey and Snow White for hurting me that she didn’t listen to what I was saying. I’m afraid that she might drive the two away from this school, and I don’t want that.”
Yong Hwa pulled his blazer sleeves up his arms. “So let me get this straight. You got two of my girls in trouble with Hibari - though you’re being cryptic about exactly what you did to them - and now you want me to protect them from her?”
“Would you?” begged Seung Gi with a cute grin.
Yong Hwa narrowed his eyes. “What makes you think I care? And why do you care what happens to them? You’ve never cared about any of the girls before. Come to think of it, you’ve never cared about anyone but yourself before.”
The handsome student tutted at his elder. “Can’t a guy just do the right thing and not get cross-examined about it?”
Teacher Jung moved to walk away.
Seung Gi slumped. “All right. You got me. I feel guilty, and I lose beauty sleep when I feel guilty. My eyes get all dark and puffy, Teacher Jung, and I have an image to maintain. Also, I realised that Snow White and Dopey were telling me the truth the moment I...ah...shook hands with Snow White. It was too late to fix things by then. I want to make it up to her and her sister, and I can’t do that if they’re not still at St Blossoms or hunting me down with a baseball bat. Do you get it?”
“I see your problem,” said Yong Hwa. “And now that I have pretended to listen to you, I’m off. Good luck fixing things.”
Seung Gi gave a hopeful smile in the direction of his Teacher’s back. “I know that you’ll help me, Seongsaengnim. You are not as apathetic as you like to think.”
“Hibari-sama, calm down! Your face is going all red!”
“I can’t calm down! What they did to Seung Gi is-is, it’s as bad as breaking one of the eight commandments.”
“Aren’t there ten commandments?”
“Be quiet Komari!” ordered Erika, the shortest girl of the Hibari four. Her hair flipped out in a flirty seventies style that made her face seem less severe.
After the disaster outside of Seoul High, the Hibari Four had taken a hysterical Hibari to the nurse for mental health therapy and possible shock treatment. The nurse had instead slapped the girl’s cheeks and sent her off to her first lesson without so much as a glass of cold water.
“You’ll be fine,” said the wise nurse. “Go to class and learn something useful, maybe then your head won’t hurt so much.”
Hibari was therefore reduced to resting her head on her desk, waiting for Teacher Jung to start the first lesson. The girls were fussing over her red cheeks with powder so that her complexion didn’t look so ruddy.
When Shin Hye and Min Hyuk walked into the classroom, Hibari made a sign to the girls to leave her cheeks alone. She sat up straight and gathered up her strength. She had to look strong. She had to look like a leader.
Shin Hye and Min Hyuk gave Hibari a shameful nod and then sat down at their desks. The students glared at them as they pulled out their notebooks for the first class.
“Seung Gi asked me to apologise to you for him!” Hibari called out to the guilty siblings. Shin Hye and Min Hyuk turned to face her out of respect.
Hibari continued: “He said that the stuffing confused him, but that he was sorry for accusing you both of not being girls.”
Shin Hye’s hands formed fists in her lap, but she said nothing.
Hibari sighed. “He may be willing to take the blame for what happened. That is something only my generous Seung Gi Oppa would do, but I’m sorry, I cannot be so lenient.”
Min Hyuk looked like he was going to cry. His bottom lip was quivering like a child’s.
“You, Park Shin Hye-chan and you, Kang Min Hyuk-chan, are both banned from the Hibari dorm. I think you are both aware that you do not hold the same values as the rest of us. I expect you both to be out of the dorm by the end of the week.”
“Yes, Hibari-ssi,” acknowledged Min Hyuk. He got to his feet and bowed to the class. “I’m sorry that my sister and I lost our tempers at Seung Gi-ssi. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
The girls around him grumbled as he bowed to them all. When he sat back down, he gave Shin Hye a dejected look. It was obvious that he had really wanted to be a part of Hibari.
Shin Hye put a comforting hand on her brother’s arm and delved into her pocket to pull out a shiny red apple. As the class watched in astonishment, she got up and walked over to the teacher’s desk and put the apple on it, making sure that the nicest side would be facing Teacher Jung.
“Eeeehhhhhh?” echoed the entire class, leaning over their desks. Only Min Hyuk understood what she was trying to do, and he gave his sister a smile.
Shin Hye’s cheeks turned pink. “I want to get off to a good start with my new teachers. What’s so wrong with that?”
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” warned Erika with the seventies hair style. “Teacher Jung doesn’t like getting presents from students.”
“And he really doesn’t like it when students have a crush on him,” said Hibari. “I am only giving you this advice because I was once your beloved Unni. Of course, that was before you betrayed me and hurt Lee Seung Gi Oppa.”
Shin Hye pursed her lips and rounded her chin.
Hibari ignored the look. “Take my advice. If you must crush on a teacher, don’t pick him.”
The double doors clicked and opened. Shin Hye hurried back to the desk without taking the apple. Even if Yong Hwa rejected her offering, she had to try reaching out to him for her brother’s sake. She had already gotten him expelled from the Hibari dorm where Teacher Jung spent his spare time.
“Stupid pervert Lee Seung Gi,” she muttered under her breath as Yong Hwa marched in.
“Right!” Teacher Jung dumped his class notes on the desk and looked out of the window rather than at them. “Welcome to music theory. It’s going to be just as boring as last year, but if you work hard, you just might be able to sing hymns in church without humiliating yourselves. I want you to read the first twenty pages of those very expensive text books that your parents bought you, and then I’ll be asking you questions about it.”
The class groaned in unison. Pages rustled as the students flipped past the contents to page one. Yong Hwa turned to his desk and frowned.
“What is that?”
Everyone glanced up from their books with interest. They all knew what he was talking about.
Yong Hwa glared at the shiny red apple and then stared down his class. “What is that?”
Having flashbacks to her first time through school, Shin Hye raised her hand halfway and felt his eyes burning into her as she cleared her throat. “It’s, um, an apple, Teacher Jung.”
Yong Hwa broke into a toothy smile. A cute, boyish smile that made her have a mental blank.
Confused, Shin Hye looked at Min Hyuk, and then back at the disarming smile. He looked quite nice when he wasn’t being grouchy.
“Ah,” said Teacher Jung, still wearing the smile. “It’s an apple. I see.”
Shin Hye cleared her throat again. “Yes. I thought you might like it.”
“Really?” Yong Hwa stepped behind his desk. “I forgot that in some countries it is traditional to give teachers an apple as a present. Is that what this is, Park Shin Hye?”
She nodded. “Yes.”
He opened a drawer and pulled out a traditional flute. “I see. It’s so healthy looking. Where did you find it?”
Shin Hye watched him as he positioned the apple on the corner of his desk. “I...ah...one of the trees around the grounds.”
“Amazing.” Yong Hwa nodded and then aimed the bottom of the flute at the apple. “Four!”
Like a golf club, the flute smacked the side of the apple so hard that the fruit went flying towards the window.
It smashed through the glass like a rock through water, and continued spinning in the direction of the school’s sports oval and the early-morning hockey class. Girls in their sports uniforms ducked, dove, ran in different directions and screamed as it went shooting past them.
It was brought to a sudden halt as it connected with Sports Teacher Lee Jong Hyun’s head. He teetered for a moment before falling to the ground with a crash.
“Damn,” muttered Teacher Jung, putting the flute back in its drawer. He turned back to his gaping students and waved a finger at them. “Keep reading your text books. No snooping. When I get back, you’d better know that chapter off by heart!”
The moment he was gone, the students ran back to the broken window to watch the action.
Shin Hye looked amazed. “Is that what he usually does with presents from students?”
“Yes,” said Erika. “It’s his way of rejecting you and humiliating you in front of the class all at once. If it can be hit out of the window, he’ll do it, but this is the first time it’s ever hit someone.”
“Poor Teacher Lee,” said a girl that Shin Hye didn’t know. “I hope there wasn’t any glass in the apple.”
“At least it was an apple and not an expensive platinum razor kit. That’s what went out of the window last time,” said Hibari. “Poor Seo Hyun-chan cried for days afterwards...You don’t look very upset, Shin Hye. Aren’t you sad that he rejected you?”
She shrugged at Hibari and the other girls. “I told you that I just wanted to get on well with the teachers. I am not crushing on him.”
Erika clasped her hands underneath her left cheek. “True, but that false smile of his was nice while it lasted.”
“It was nice,” agreed Hibari. “Who would have thought that he had such a boyish smile?”
“He used to smile all the time,” mumbled Min Hyuk. The class looked at him with interest.
Min Hyuk nodded. “I’m serious! Back when he was famous. He used to smile just like that.”
The classroom drew closer to him to hear the story of Yong Hwa’s rise and fall in the world of kpop. Shin Hye continued to look out of the window at her teacher.
If he was going to be difficult, then she would just have to try harder.
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