Monday came. Jungah came to school and sat in her seat with her ipod blasting in her ears as usual. Half an hour, she caught movement in the next desk and shifted her attention to it. Kris sat next to her and blew his bangs. He looked at her, and his lips curved into a smirk, “Better now that I’m here?”
Jungah didn’t reply and turned the volume on her ipod louder.
Kris snickered to himself.
“Omo! The badass couple is back!” The girls squealed. Jungah zipped with her eyes narrowed. The girls quickly scrambled to their seats. *So threatening. I’ve never met anyone as daunting as me. Now I’ve met my match.* Kris thought.
It was time for PE. Jungah changed into her gym clothes and tied her hair up into a tight ponytail. She went into the gymnasium and rotated her neck. The coach came out and blew his whistle, “Enough chit-chatting! Start stretching!” Jungah languidly stretched her arms. “Partner up for back stretches!” He barked.
Everyone scrambled to find partners. A shadow fell over Jungah. She looked up at the shadow’s owner.
Kris smirked, “Now you won’t be a loner.”
Jungah disregarded him and snapped her fingers, “Hey, you.” She pointed to a boy with red, spiky hair.
He stared at her with round eyes and pointed at himself, “M-me?!”
“Come here, and be my partner.” Jungah demanded.
Kris raised an eyebrow. *Really? You’ll choose someone else over me?*
“Oh. Okay.” The boy started to come over, but Kris shot him a look. The boy froze in fear. Kris’s eyes sent chills down his spine. *I don’t want to die.* “Er, no thanks.” The boy scampered off.
Jungah pointed accusingly at Kris, “What the hell did you do?! You scared my partner away!”
“I didn’t scare your partner away because he’s standing right in front of you.” He gazed down at her. She scowled. *This jerk.*
“HAN JUNGAH! DIDN’T I TELL YOU TO PARTNER UP?!” The coach growled.
Without a choice, Jungah and Kris pressed their backs against his each other. It was like a competition to see who could lift each other more. Finally, the coach blew his whistle. Jungah yanked away from Kris with a grimace. *Thank God that’s over!*
“Now with the same partner, prepare for sit-ups!” The coach announced.
*Aw, . I can’t catch a break with him.* Jungah groaned.
Kris shifted his gaze towards her and smirked. “You first or me?”
Jungah scowled, “You lie down first.” “So suggestive.” Kris sat on the mat.
“Shut your mouth.” She hissed and plopped down in front of him.
Kris bent his knees and lay his upper body down.
“Okay. You have five minutes. Go!” The coach blew his whistle.
Everyone began to do sit-ups. Kris glanced at Jungah, “You’re supposed to hold my legs down.”
“Like I care. Do it on your own.” She snorted.
“Jungah.” The coach eyed her, “Do you want another detention?”
Jungah sighed in exasperation. She met eyes with Kris, who nodded at his legs, “Are you going to hold me down or what?” Jungah narrowed her eyes. Annoyance flashed across her dark face. She scooted closer and pressed his white sneakers down.
“That’s it?” Kris arched an eyebrow. “What the hell do you expect me to do then?!” Jungah snapped.
Kris couldn’t take it anymore and sat up. He grasped her arms and wrapped them around his legs. Jungah’s eyes widened. Her s were practically squished against his legs, and her face heated up. *This lewd, sick -* “That’s how you hold onto me when I do sit-ups. Now don’t let go.” Kris went back down.
“Don’t tell me what to do-“ Jungah stopped breathing when Kris’s face was right in front of hers. For a moment, she forgot everything.
School. Other students. Zico.
All she could see was the man in front of her.
Kris glanced down at her lips then gazed back up into her eyes. “That’s one.” He whispered then went down.
Jungah’s heart began to palpitate. She prayed to God that he wouldn’t be able to feel her thumping heartbeat. Every time Kris came back up, his face seemed to come closer and closer. Jungah squirmed and looked away uncomfortably. Kris stopped and just gazed at her. The way she was trying so hard to avoid his eyes made his heart soften. *Cute.*
The coach blew his whistle, “Change!”
Jungah immediately let go of Kris. *That was the longest five minutes of my life.* She lay on the mat and deeply exhaled. *This is so freaking awkward. Time better go by fast!* Jungah felt long arms slip around her legs. Instantly, she shot up. “What the heck are you doing?!”
“Holding onto you.” Kris said.
Jungah pried his arms off her legs and settled his hands on top of her converses. “That’s how you hold onto me when I do sit-ups.” She gave him a warning look then lay down.
“Five minutes! Go!” The coach blew his whistle.
Another round of sit-ups began. Kris watched as Jungah came up halfway and lay back down. She was persistent, but slightly cheating by not coming all the way up. “You’re doing it wrong. You can’t just stop halfway. You have to come up all the way. Like this.” Kris grabbed her wrists and pulled her up. Jungah’s eyes rounded as she came face-to-face with him again. His eyes intently searched hers, “Get it?”
Her mind grew hazy again. Seeing him up so close made her heart pulsate uneasily.
Everyone stopped doing sit-ups and watched them earnestly. “Omo, are they going to kiss?!”
Jungah snapped out of her daze. With a scowl, she sat up, and Kris blinked up at her. Without asking to be excused, she stormed out of the gym. “YAH! HAN JUNGAH! COME BACK! OR I’LL GIVE YOU DETENTION! BY 3! 1! 2! ….Ah! Whatever!” The coach gave up.
Jungah went into the restroom and splashed cold water onto her face. She wanted to take the hotness away. Jungah looked at herself in the mirror and slapped her burning cheeks. *Get a hold of yourself, Han Jungah! Don’t you dare let your mind get muddied up by that !* Yet, her heart could still remember the way he held her gaze and wrapped his long arms around her bare legs. *Something is terribly wrong with me nowadays.* Shaking her head, she splashed more water onto her face.
Kris went to his locker and twirled the combination. As soon as he had popped it open, there was a tap on his shoulder blade. Kris glanced back to see three girls in thick make-up and dazzling smiles. “Wu Fan, right? The exchange student?” He neither confirmed nor denied the information. He merely faced them with a curious expression.
“We wanted to ask…are you really dating Han Jungah?” One girl with pigtails blinked at him.
Kris raised an eyebrow, “If I am?”
“We pity you then.” Another girl with red lipstick and dark black hair that seemed to poorly mimic Jungah’s glossy hair shook her head.
“Pity me? How so?” Kris cocked his head in interest.
“Come on. Don’t tell me you didn’t notice her bad temper.” The third girl with a blonde bob giggled.
“Ugh. She has such a short fuse.” Red Lips rolled her eyes.
“Not to mention, she’s so violent. She’s even stronger than a guy. So unattractive.” Pigtails nodded in agreement.
Blondie nodded with a pout, “She’s a horrible girlfriend. So why would you go out with her?”
“I feel so honored being so highly spoken of.” A frigid voice said from behind.
The girls spun around and gasped. Kris watched Jungah’s eyes narrow into dangerous slits. Her arms were crossed, and a pissed expression was on her face. Step by step, she approached the girls. They backed away until they were in front of Kris. He stepped to the side to gladly let them corner themselves against the lockers.
“Aren’t you a lovely trio of gossipers? Jungah cooed. She reached out and Blondie flinched. Jungah dusted lint off Blondie’s shoulder, “Lee Misook. Don’t point fingers at me about being the bad girlfriend.” She stared at the blonde girl with spitefulness, “When you’re the one that cheated on Insung with Taeshik behind the gymnasium yesterday.” Blondie gasped and balked at her. *How did she know?!*
Jungah stepped up to Pigtails. “Unattractive? Me? Yes, that may be true, but at least I didn’t exchange my entire face for a fake, plastic replica of Song Hye Kyo. And quit it with the innocent pigtails, Oh Seungah.” She flipped Seungah’s pigtails, and Seungah stiffened. “You say I’m violent, but you’re the one that cut up a last week. Not me. If you’re going to be two-faced, at least make one of them pretty.” Seungah turned red in the face, and she clenched her quaking fists in anger.
Last but not least, Jungah approached the wannabe-Jungah. “Kim Gail. I agree with you that I have a short fuse. Let’s not test that, okay? I’m sure you don’t want me to blow up in your face. Do you?” Red Lips cleared and averted her gaze to the floor.
“Now scram before I show you how ill-tempered I can be.” Jungah hissed.
The girls quickly scrambled off.
Kris watched Jungah with a face of approval and satisfaction. He wasn’t the one that had been insulted, and yet, he felt fulfilled watching the girls regret their rudeness. There was something y and attractive about the way Jungah defended herself.
Jungah stared him down then snorted, “Thanks for defending me.” She started to walk away.
“I thought you told me not to!” Kris called.
“Whatever.” Jungah waved her hand dismissively and disappeared behind the corner.
Kris smirked and shook his head. *I don’t understand you, Han Jungah, but I guess that’s part of the fun.*
After lunch, it was an hour of lackluster history. Jungah stared out the window in boredom. Kris glanced down at his phone and texted one of the dealers. Both of them sat up as Mrs. Kwon, the history teacher, slammed a plastic bucket down on the table. Everyone stared at her. She pushed up her red-framed glasses, “Okay, so the annual senior history project will begin now.”
The students moaned. No one was looking forward to tedious projects.
“Quiet!” Mrs. Kwon eyed everyone firmly. Then she cleared and announced, “I will randomly pick partners and assign the topics. NO EXCEPTIONS ALLOWED. You get what you get. Understood?” Everyone grumbled in response. “Good.” Mrs. Kwon began calling out the names.
“Please don’t let me get Han Jungah!”
“I would do anything to have Kris as my partner!”
Finally, Mrs. Kwon announced, “Han Jungah and…”
Everyone held their breaths in dread. Kris held his own breath for a different reason. *Please let me be her partner.*
Mrs. Kwon looked up at him, “Wu Fan.”
Kris broke into a grin. “Aww! No fair! I wanted to be with him!” The girls wailed.
“You two will do Korean War. Next!” Mrs. Kwon continued calling the names.
Kris glanced at her with his eyebrows raised. Jungah rolled her eyes and slapped her palm over her face. *Why are we together AGAIN?!*
Mrs. Kwon finished calling all the names and explained the rules and rubric. “This project is very important. It is 45% of your history grade. In other words, if you fail this, you fail history. If you fail history…remember, history repeats itself.” She eyed the students, “I hope I won’t have to see any of you again next year.”
“You hate us, teach?” One male student snickered.
“I don’t hate you, but I hate that you’re failing. You all have potential. Show me what you got.” Mrs. Kwon gathered her folders and left.
The bell rang in dismissal.
Jungah gathered her things and left right away. Kris quickly slung his backpack over his shoulder and pursued her. “Jungah. Han Jungah!” He jogged after her and grabbed her wrist. Jungah stopped and spun around. She yanked her arm away from him, “What do you want?”
“When are we doing our project?” Kris asked.
“Count me out. I don’t do projects.” Jungah turned to leave, but Kris called, “Didn’t you hear the teacher? She said this is 45% of your grade. It’s a wild guess, but I don’t think you’re doing that well in your other classes either. If you fail this class, you’ll have to repeat senior year. Is that what you really want to do?”
Jungah shut her eyes and exhaled. *. Of course not. I hate him for being able to convince me to do the damnest things.* She opened her eyes and spun around. “I’m free on the weekend.” Jungah said.
*Not Sunday. I have a meeting with the Cobras.* “Saturday lunch. My house. I’ll pick you up.” Kris offered.
“I can’t stay for long. I have plans Saturday night.” Jungah said. *With Zico. There is no way I’m giving up time with him for something insignificant as this project.*
Kris smirked, “I said Saturday lunch, which means around noon. How long were you planning on staying?”
Jungah scowled, “You know where I live.” She pulled out a pen from her backpack, scribbled her number on a random piece of notepaper, and gave it to him, “Don’t be late. Come on the dot. I’m a busy woman.” Jungah left the school.
*I’m sure me, a drug dealer and gang member, is much busier than a high school girl like you are.* Kris tucked her number safely in his pocket.
He couldn’t wait until Saturday.