The next Saturday evening, Jungah went to Zico’s place for dinner. Everyone was putting a cheerful pretense in front of her. She felt a strange unease in the atmosphere, but otherwise, everything seemed normal.
Except for the fact that Jaehyo and Zico seemed to be avoiding each other.
*Did they have an argument?* She glanced between the two males with curiosity.
Jaehyo turned around, “Yah.” Jungah looked up at him.
Zico stiffened. His eyes flashed towards Jaehyo. One wrong word and Jaehyo would be kicked out out of his place.
Everyone tensed. *Please, hyung, not today.* Kyung wearily thought.
Jaehyo tossed the bag of plastic cups towards her. Jungah caught it with her good hand and gave him a funny look. “Don’t just stand around, and be a lazy . Set the table.” Jaehyo grumbled. He glanced at Zico then walked out of the kitchen.
“Huh. He actually spoke to me.” Jungah sarcastically spoke. She straightened up and headed to the table. Jungah glanced at the cups then down at the table. With a shrug, she bit onto the cup and set it on the table.
“Ugh, gross, Jungah! I don’t want your germs on my cup!” U-Kwon flinched.
For his benefit, she spit into his.
“JAEHYO HYUNG! WHAT DID YOU DO?!” U-Kwon stormed out of the kitchen.
Jungah shook her head and tossed the ‘infected’ cup away. She tried setting the table once again. Someone yanked the cups away from her. Jungah looked up to see Zico passing the cups out. “I think Jaehyo hyung forgot you broke your arm. That weird hyung.” He chuckled, but there was a strain to his voice.
Jungah gave him a suspicious look, “Something happened between you and Jaehyo, huh?”
“Nope.” Zico lied. “Liar!” Jungah pointed, “I know something did happen. Spill. Did that scumbag say something bad to you?! Ow!” She yelped as he lightly pushed her forehead.
“Tsk, tsk.” Zico clucked his tongue, “Don’t meddle into adult business.”
Her eyes flashed defensively, “I am an adult!”
“Right.” Zico teased with a chuckle. She scowled. “And how dare you call Jaehyo hyung ‘scumbag’? He’s much older than you, so have some respect!” He clouted her forehead as he walked to the sink.
Jungah shooed his hand away like it was an annoying fly, and her scowl deepened. “Why should I give him respect when he refuses to treat me like a decent human being?”
“If you must know, Jungie Jungie, Jaehyo hyung doesn’t treat anyone like a decent human being.” Zico let out a strangled chortle.
“Whatever.” Jungah mumbled and sank onto her seat.
Zico heated up the lasagna and sat next to her. He couldn’t help but glance at her. She looked sweet, but tired in her rainbow-colored sweater and gray mini-skirt. “What are you staring at?” Jungah turned her head and gave him a look. “At you.” He tapped her nose. She pretended to bite it.
Zico chuckled as he put his hand back in his lap. Then he glanced at her, “Han Jungah.”
“Aish. WHAT?!” She gave him an electrifying glare.
Zico searched her face then said, “You’re special to me, you know that, right?”
The annoyance faded immediately, and her eyes dimmed into peaceful orbs. “Yeah…I know.”
He gave her a smile and looked at the oven.
“Zico.” Jungah called.
He looked at her. She gazed into his eyes, “You are special to me, too. You know that, don’t you?”
Zico gave her a tender smile as his heart elated with peace and joy. “Yes, Jungie Jungie. I know.” With her words, he was comforted.
Jungah was finally allowed back at school on Monday. A part of her wanted to rest at home, but she had taken too much time off of school. If she wanted to graduate on time, she had to go for supplement classes. Jungah ran a brush through her hair. It was awkward using her left hand for everything, but she was more used to it than before.
Jungah straightened her skirt, pulled her backpack over her good shoulder, and left the apartment. She rode the elevator down to the first floor and exited the building. The strident honk of a horn made her abruptly halt and look up. Her eyes widened, “What the…”
Kris stepped out of the driver’s seat and walked around to open the passager’s door.
She raised an eyebrow, “What are you doing here?” “What does it look like I’m doing here? Picking you up, of course. Get in.” He nodded.
Jungah cautiously approached him. She eyed the car then raised her eyebrow at him, “Does anyone else know that you’re a rich bastard, or is it still just me?” Kris folded his arms over the top of the car door and leaned towards her face. “Just you. It’s always been…just you.”
Her heart fluttered at the double meaning in his words. He straightened up, “Get in, or we’ll be late.”
After a short pause, she entered the car.
Kris shut the door, jogged to the other side, and entered the car again. He leaned towards her, and she leaned back with wide eyes. Her entire body stiffened because of his approximity. *He’s so close.* His hair tickled her nose, and she bit her nose to keep from sneezing. He smelled like bar soap and expensive cologne.
Kris turned his head.
Jungah held her breath. Their lips were literally inches from each other.
His eyes shifted up to meet hers. At once, she turned aside to avoid his penetrating gaze. Her cheeks started burning hotly, and she bit her lower lip while trying to focus on something else. *Quit blushing! You look like a freak, Han Jungah! Stop it!*
“You’re red. You know that?” Kris whispered. His breath touched her cheek, and she became rigid at once.
*Holy-* “Yeah, only cause it’s freaking hot in here. Doesn’t this expensive junk have air-conditioning?” She kicked the glove compartment.
Kris pulled away, “Watch it. This car cost more than your apartment.”
Jungah rolled her eyes, “Anything cost more than my apartment.”
Kris chuckled. “Didn’t you say we were going to be late? Shut up and drive.” Jungah muttered as she crossed her good arm over her injured one.
“That attitude will get you nowhere.” Kris mocked.
“I’m walking.” She tried to leave the car, but he swiftly locked the doors.
Jungah gave him a look. “You wanna die?” Kris gazed into her eyes for a bit too long, “…Not anytime soon.”
Confusion crossed her face. *What does he mean?*
Without an explanantion, he started the car and drove off.
Before long, they arrived at the back of the school. “So this is where you hide your car.” Jungah cocked an eyebrow. Kris put a finger to his lips, “If you tell someone, I’d have to kill you.” “You can try.” Jungah scoffed and walked towards the gate.
Kris smirked, picked up his backpack, and followed her. He stopped when he felt a faint vibration in the pocket of his uniform pants. Kris checked the message. ‘When will you deliever the package? I already sent the money.’
‘Not today.’ That was all he sent. He had more important things to focus on at the moment.
“Yah, Han Jungah. Wait up!” He jogged after her.
Jungah glanced back once then kept walking. Yet, her pace slowed down. “Omo! Jungah is back!” “The rumor was right! She got hurt by protecting Wu Fan!” “Isn’t Wonsuk supposed to be back today also?”
Jungah glared at the group of girls, “What are you all staring at? DID I GROW A ING THIRD HEAD?! QUIT LOOKING AND MOVE!” They quickly walked away while glumly muttering, “She didn’t change at all.”
Kris gave her an amused look, and the corners of his lips tingled upwards. Jungah spun around and narrowed her eyes, “What are you smiling at?” *There’s only one reason for my smile. You, Han Jungah.* Instead of saying that, he just casually shrugged. “Idiot.” She muttered and walked away.
Together, they entered their homeroom. The classroom immediately buzzed.
“Jungah is back!” “Han Jungah is here!” “Oh, man. The y highness is back.”
Jungah ignored all of them and sat at her desk. She slipped her earphones into her ears and looked out the window. *Some things really do never change.* Kris thought.
The classroom became louder all of a sudden. He wondered why and looked up.
Wonsuk had just entered the room. His eyes landed on Jungah. He saw her bandaged arm and smirked. *Well deserved.* It took all of Kris’s will power not to punch that smirk off right there at that moment.
The door opened again, and this time, Mr. Kim stepped into the room. “Let’s get today started!” He piped up.
Mr. Kim called attendance then began the math lesson. Kris saw Jungah’s poor attempt at trying to copy the math problems with her shaky left hand. “Did anyone ever tell you that you have horrible writing?” He murmured. “Screw you.” She hissed. Kris darted his eyes to the board then glanced back at Jungah’s notes. “Give me that.” He whispered. Kris took her note and pen. Jungah protested, “What the hell-“
Kris began to copy down the notes.
Her expression softened, “What are you doing?” “Take a guess.” He continued to jot down the problems.
“Use your own damn paper.” She feebly mumbled. “This is for you, not me.” He stated.
Her heart dissolved into a mix of gratitude and warmth. *He does the damnest things for me.*
Soon, the class was over. Mr. Kim bid farewell and left.
“Here.” Kris handed her the math notebook. She glanced down at his quick and slightly illegible handwriting. “Your handwriting isn’t any better than mine.” He held out his hand, “Give me your science notebook.”
Her face fell, “Look, you don’t have to do this-“
“Hurry. Before the teacher comes.” Kris stated.
Jungah paused then took out her other notebook. He opened it up and wrote down today’s date.
She gazed at him with appreciation. *That was nice of him…*