Honestly Yongsun had started volunteering at the nurses’ office at her high school because she was a senior and she felt she had to give back somehow. She had always thought of herself as super accident prone and it was the least she could do to make up for all the times Nurse Shim had to help tape up a scraped knee or give her a sling for a few days.
At least she had thought she was super accident prone.
Until she met Byulyi.
It had started on the third day since she had begun volunteering at the nurse’s office.
She was scribbling down a memo about the last student who had come in, a sophomore named Jung Wheein, who had felt a bit down because of her sick grandma and was resting in one of the spare beds in the back. Just as Yongsun was finishing signing her name she heard the entrance to the nurse’s office slide open.
Sliding her glasses down her nose a bit and she saw it was Kang Seulgi, Joohyun’s childhood friend, helping support another girl who had a nasty cut on her shin. She had her arm slung over Seulgi’s shoulder but she still managed to flash Yongsun an easy-going grin.
Yongsun blinked rapidly at the enthusiastic response. The blood hadn’t even completely dried on her leg…
“Hi… Nurse Shim is on her lunch break right now but I can try to help bandage you up?”
“Oh Yongsun-unnie! I didn’t recognize you with your glasses,” said Seulgi with widened eyes. The comment made Yongsun’s face flush and she said nothing as she pushed the thin framed glasses further up her nose.
“Can you tell Joohyun-unnie for me that I’m gonna be staying late after practice? So I won’t be able to walk her home.”
“You could just tell her that yourself,” the other girl said with a teasing grin, reaching up and mussing the short bangs on Seulgi’s forehead. What a flirt, Yongsun thought with a grimace.
“Anyway, Seulgi, can you help sit-”
“Can you help sit your friend down and I can bandage this up?”
Yongsun turned away and started to rummage in the medicine cabinet for some gauze, a cotton swab, and some antiseptic. Finding everything, she put the necessary materials on a tray before thoroughly washing her hands. In the little mirror above the sink she could see the girl Byulyi watching her curiously as Seulgi murmured something to her. The concentrated gaze made her self-conscious and she ducked her head.
Grabbing all the necessary items with care, Yongsun walked over to the table Seulgi and Byulyi were waiting at. She knelt in front of the injured girl, looking critically at the bits of dry blood that trailed down Byulyi’s calf.
“How did this even happen?” Yongsun asked incredulously, sitting back on her heels and looking up into Byulyi’s unwavering gaze.
“I fell a bit too hard trying to get a ball in tennis.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t get the ball, unnie!”
“It’s fine, can’t get them all,” Byulyi said airily with a disaffected hand wave.
Yongsun bit back a smile as she tipped the antiseptic onto the cotton ball, experimentally squeezing the puff of any excess liquid.
“This will sting a little. If it hurts too much you can grab my shoulder.”
Byulyi mouth twitched a little at the words and even before she started dabbing at the cut a warm hand was gripping her shoulder.
“It’s a precaution,” Byulyi insisted as Yongsun looked up at her with an arched eyebrow. She tried to ignore the way Seulgi was looking away with a red face.
“I’m going to clean your cut now.”
“Okay go right ahead- OUCH JEEZ!”
“I told you it would sting.”
Yongsun tried not to roll her eyes at the pressure on her shoulder and the way Byulyi’s face scrunched up in clear pain as she barely dabbed at the very edge of the cut. How on earth was this girl able to play a sport with such a pathetically low pain tolerance?
“Just bear it for a little while longer. It’ll be over soon.”
“Unnie it’s okay! Fighting!”
Byulyi said nothing, just gritted her teeth and squeezed painfully. She was going to bruise for sure at this rate. With a sigh, Yongsun just resolutely dabbed at the cut, making sure to get out the bits of dirt that had gotten into the wound.
“C-couldn’t you go just a bit faster?”
“I’m trying to do my job here. If you don’t like it maybe you could wait till Nurse Shim is done with her lunch break.”
“Nurse Shim didn’t make it hurt like this…”
Yongsun paused at her work, glaring back up at Byulyi’s scowl.
“I don’t have to be doing this you know.”
“Yes you do. This is your job isn’t it?”
“It’s a volunteer position which means I’m doing this out of the kindness of my heart.”
“You certainly have an interesting interpretation of kindness…”
Yongsun threw an annoyed glance over at Seulgi but the girl was pointedly looking at her feet, avoiding being dragged into a fight between two people older than her. Smart girl.
She swallowed back any snapping retort, instead focusing on finishing her job. The pressure on her shoulder abated a bit and she pulled back, breaking the contact.
“I need to wrap you shin in gauze now.”
Byulyi blinked before pulling back her hand like she had been burned.
“Oh yeah… sorry.”
Yongsun said nothing, jus shrugging as she gently gripped Byulyi’s calf and wrapping the fluffy white bandage around in a practiced motion. She’d had to do it on herself so many times, after all.
She squeezed Byulyi’s calf once before leaning back.
“All done. Let me just get your id number and then you’re free to go.”
“Thank you, unnie!”
Yongsun smiled at Seulgi quickly before glancing at Byulyi who seemed to be struggling with saying something. She paused for a moment, waiting as the other’s girl’s lips pursed and a soft uncertain sound came from .
“Here’s my ID number.”
Byulyi slapped down her ID card quickly and Yongsun tried to bite back the annoyance rising within her. Once she lost her tempter there would be no turning back. Joohyun’s reputation as student council president would be ruined by her best friend tearing out some tennis player’s hair in the nurse’s office.
“Thanks,” she replied cooly, quickly scribbling a memo with the ID card in hand. Initially her eyes stayed focused on the string of unrelated numbers. But then she caught sight of the ID card that listed Byulyi’s date of birth. She was a second year. A year younger than Yongsun and yet she’d been speaking down to her like she was some underclassman. God she was so close to a hair pulling session that would have Joohyun throwing her tiny doll-like body across the room.
“Here, Byulyi,” Yongsun said pointedly, watching the surprise color Byulyi’s face. No honorifics meant she was either super rude or older. She hoped that the other girl wasn’t too slow to gather that it was the latter and not the former.
“Wait are you-”
The school bell rang cutting off Byulyi’s words.
“Unnie, we have to get to Coach before the period is over!”
“ you’re right. Uh… thanks,” Byulyi squinted at the name tag on Yongsun’s chest, “Yongsun…Yongsun-ssi?”
She just sighed loudly and ignored the urge to grab at the other girl as she limped off with a careless wave over her shoulder.
What a horrible first impression.