At last, it was graduation.
Jungah and Kris were sitting amongst the graduation seniors. Block B was in the crowd somewhere.
Her shoulders felt light and free. Her stomach churned with unexpected excitement.
It felt good to accomplish the imposible. She was finally graduating high school.
*Thank God.* She was done and over with the immaturity level of high school. She was ready for something more.
What that ‘more’ was, she didn’t know yet.
All she knew was that she wanted Kris to be included in her future plans
. Jungah turned her head and looked at Kris beside her. Her lips curved into a small, affectionate smile. Kris turned his head and gazed at her with the same adoration. He slipped his hand into hers and gave her a tight, comforting squeeze. *Thank you for being by my side.* Jungah thought as she stared into his eyes.
The names were beginning to get called. Jungah turned her attention away from Kris and looked through the crowd for Block B. *Why are there so many people? Most of them are students from other high schools. I’ll definitely hear Zico and the others when I go up on stage*
“Han Jungah.” The principal called. She got up from her seat and walked over.
As suspected, Block B went crazy.
“GO JUNGAH!” “YEAH, BULL! WAY TO GO!” “THAT’S OUR DONGSAENG!”
*Those crazy idiots.* Jungah shook her red face. She accepted her diploma and came down the stairs.
Kris was called up, and he received his diploma also. *It feels strange getting this. I don’t know if I need it…or even deserve it at all.*
“GO WU FAN!” A voice yelled.
Kris looked up in surprise.
“YEAH!” Taeil hollered along with P.O. Jaehyo rolled his eyes and crossed his arms sullenly. *Why are they cheering so loudly for him?*
“LOSER MADE IT!” U-Kwon shot loudly in a good-natured way.
Kris shook his head with a cracking smile as he came down the stairs.
“Embarrassing, huh?” Jungah asked. Kris laughed.
Together, they walked back to their seats.
The graduation ceremony ended. Jungah and Kris left the crowded auditorium. “Where are your parents? Did they come?” She asked. “No. They’re busy.” He fibbed. “Oh.” Jungah searched for Block B. Kris sighed heavily. *I don’t know for how much longer I can lie to her.*
“Yo, Jungah!” B-Bomb called. Jungah turned around. She was surrounded by Block B.
“CONGRATULATIONS, JUNGAH!” P.O. swept her up in a tight hug. Jungah responded with an awkward pat on the shoulder, “Thanks…”
“You’re suffocating the graduation girl.” Kyung lightly slapped his back. P.O. pulled back with a beam. Kyung held an arm out with a lop-sided grin, “You did it, Jungah. You graduated high school.” “I know. It’s a miracle.” Jungah sarcastically bit. Yet, she gave him a little squeeze.
U-Kwon came over and gave her a bouquet of roses, “Congrats, Jungah! I never thought I would see the day you graduate! Although I did foresee that you would go to prison…” He tapped his lips.
Jungah raised her diploma to smash his head in. He ducked just in time.
B-Bomb chuckled as he handed Jungah another bouquet, “Let’s be nice to her for just this day, U-Kwon.”
“B-Bomb grew up. Why can’t you?” Jungah asked.
“Pfft. About time he does. I’m younger than him, therefore, I have my reasons to still be childish.” U-Kwon snorted.
Jungah shook her head. A bouquet of yellow tulips appeared in front of her. She looked up to see Jaehyo. He was looking away with a scowl, “Take it or leave it.”
“Geez. Can’t you be a little nicer?” Taeil rolled his eyes.
“Thanks.” Jungah accepted the flowers. “I’m surprised you came.”
“Zico dragged me.” Jaehyo stated. “Figures.” Jungah clucked her tongue.
“Jungah.” Jaehyo called. She looked up into his unusually warm brown eyes, “Congratulations.” Her heart grew warm at his friendly comment. “Thanks…Jaehyo.”
“Jungie Jungie~” A sweet voice sang. She turned around to be face to face with Zico. He drew her into his arms and gave her a long, warm hug. “Congratulations. I’m so proud of you. I knew you could do it. Mom would be happy in heaven.”
*I bet.* Jungah patted his back.
A clearing of the throat made the two of them broke apart. Kris raised an eyebrow at Zico.
Zico gave a good-natured chuckle and held out his hand, “Congratulations, Wu Fan. You endured life in a foreign country well.”
Kris shook his head with his gaze on Jungah, “I had a little motivation, of course.” Her eyes twinkled at the subtle reference.
Zico put his hand in my pocket, “We reserved a room at your favorite Chinese restaurant to celebrate. Let’s go.” He turned to Kris, “You should come with us, too. That is…if you’re free.”
*No.* Jaehyo and Kyung thought. “Sure.” Kris accepted the invitation.
“Cool. Did you bring your car?” Zico asked. Kris nodded.
“Great.” Zico turned to Jungah, “You know the directions, so you can lead him there.”
She nodded back, “We’ll be there after we change. I don’t want to stay in my high school uniform any longer than I have to.”
Zico nodded, “You do that.” He waved his arm and hollered. “Everyone else in my car!” Zico led the way.
“Did you really have to invite him? I mean…it’s our gathering.” Kyung mumbled.
“Don’t be immature, Kyung. Wu Fan is important to Jungah. Therefore, whether you like him or not, you still have to give him respect, araso?” Zico asked.
*If you can do it, I probably can. It’s harder for you.* “Araso.” Kyung sighed. Zico clapped his shoulder with an appreciative smile.
Half an hour later, everyone was gathered in the VIP room of the Chinese restaurant. Jungah looked around in awe at the vast room. *He must be wealthy.* Kris thought. She leaned towards Zico and whispered, “This room seems expensive. Are you sure this is okay?”
Casually, he sipped his jasmine tea, “Don’t worry about it, Jungie Jungie. I have enough to treat you to dinner.”
The waiter came in, and the orders were taken. Everyone conversed and laughed together until the food came. Zico held up his glass of ice water, “I’d like to make a toast before we eat.” Everyone stared at him.
Zico looked at Jungah, “Congratulations to Jungah for making it out of high school safely. Most of us doubted her ability to pass senior year, cough Jaehyo hyung cough,” He eyed Jaehyo, who turned red. “Thanks, Jaehyo.” Jungah gave him a thin smile. “Woo Jiho, you .” Jaehyo muttered. Everyone laughed.
Zico grinned widely, “Anyways, congratulations! May your future be bright and merry! Cheers!”
“CHEERS!” Glasses clanked and clinked.
Jungah and Kris tapped their glasses together, smiled at each other, and sipped their ice water.
In the midst of the celebration, Kris received a message from Lay. ‘Found who the culprit is.’
Kris’s eyes widened. *He did? Shoot.* He had to leave now.
Suddenly, Kris stood up. Everyone stopped talking and looked up at him.
“Going somewhere?” Taeil asked.
“Yeah,” Kris looked down at Jungah who was staring at him with confused eyes. *Just wait a little, my love. I’ll take care of this mess, and come back to you as a clean man.* “My parents unexpectedly came. I have to go see them.”
“Oh. Yeah, you should go then.” Jungah nodded.
Kris d her cheek and whispered with a nod, “I’ll call you.” She nodded.
“Thanks for everything.” Kris nodded at Block B, grabbed his blazer, and darted off.
“Well he was in a hurry.” U-Kwon huffily crossed his arms.
“Who cares? More food!” P.O. cheered. “You and your food, I swear.” B-Bomb shook his head.
Zico looked at Jungah to make sure she was okay. He could read her blank expression very well. Beneath the poker-face was disappointment. Zico comfortingly squeezed her shoulder, “He said he would call you, right?”
Jungah nodded. He smiled and patted her arm as he held out his glass of water, “Should we make another cheer?”
Jungah broke into a chuckle and held out her own glass. Zico tapped his glass against hers and smiled.