By his twelfth birthday, Park Chanyeol had grown six inches taller, which made him a giant when he compared himself to the other kids at Gusajung Middle School like Baekhyun who measured only 50 inches. He didn’t mind growing tall since now he could ride on triple loop rollercoasters in the amusement park. He was also tall enough to catch a ball while on third base by outstretching his arm and grasping it with his glove hand without moving a single muscle. While in goal, he could easily bounce soccer balls off his head without jumping. He was able to do things that other kids couldn’t at his age and Park Chanyeol smiled with pride.
His smile grew wider when he visited his grandparents’ home in Cheongju and received an early birthday present. It was a large package as big as him covered in bright wrapping paper. He hoped that it was what he wished for and what he had coveted for a long, long time. He opened up the package with excitement and it was his dream come true—a shiny BMX bike with knobby tires, twenty-inch-wheels and upright handlebars with crossbars.
Since he was all grown up, he told his grandparents that he wanted to invite the girl he liked to his birthday party. His grandparents gave him a puzzled look. Park Chanyeol thought it was fine because now that he turned twelve he was ready to have a girlfriend.
He took the invitation and placed it in his pocket. Then he stretched his long legs on the tiny pedals. He hunched over since his arms were too long and his hands too large to grip the handles. He steered the bike down the main street with his elbows. He heard the kids on the street sneer at him. Some of the kids were dressed in high school uniforms. Those were the meanest. They shouted at him and called him a “loser”. At first, Park Chanyeol thought that they envied his bicycle, but then he wondered about the size of it. Had his grandparents bought him the Junior bicycle for 9 year olds? He looked at the engraved name near the lime green handlebars. The bike was an Expert and it should fit a boy his own age. Chanyeol even knew adults who rode this type of bike. Why was it too small? Was he an extraordinary boy?
He biked a mile down the street huffing and puffing. Sweat dropped down his forehead. He hit the brakes and came to a halt by a large house surrounded by maple trees at the end of the street. Chanyeol knew her address by heart. He had memorized her phone number too, but he dare not call her because he was only twelve and she was thirteen. If he invited her personally then, he could talk to her and maybe ask her out for ice cream too because his grandparents had given him some birthday money.
He secured the bike with a lock and chain around a tree assuring that it would be safe from thieves. As he walked down the sidewalk, Park Chanyeol’s man sized Jordan sneakers squeaked. He then stood still at the sight of the large white mansion with bay windows in front of him. Her family must be rich. Chanyeol walked down the long driveway to the front of the house. He took a deep breath. He mustered up all his strength and rang the doorbell.
An ahjumma with a black maid’s uniform answered the door ajar.
“Is noona home?”
“Noona? It’s Im Jin-ah or Nana for short, not noona. She is out at the ice cream shop with her friends,” she said correcting him.
Park Chanyeol was used to being corrected but never for words. He was told quite frequently to stand up straight too. He wasn’t used to his new body frame.
“Sorry, ahjumma. Can I speak to her dad?” He asked boldly. He wasn’t going to take “no”