“This is you,” Ye-rim stated when they found her locker, “Mines is down the hall, so I’ll meet you in class. Remember, Earth Science is in room 108, right across from the girls' bathroom.”
“Earth Science, 108, bathroom, got it.” Soo Young rattled off her instructions and smiled when Ye-rim rolled her eyes.
Ye-rim walked away as a tall boy stopped at the locker beside Soo Young’s. As she placed a few textbooks into her locker she glanced sideways and stopped once she caught sight of him. He was only a few inches taller than her and had blonde hair parted in the middle. His features gave off the impression that he was a soft person but the look he was going for said otherwise. His dark eyes were the color of soot, striking, and framed with red eyeshadow and he wore a large leather jacket over his clothes--which were also black. His backpack was also black and covered in red and white skulls. He had rings on every finger and a spiked choker.
He noticed her looking at him and closed his locker, leaning against it and raising an eyebrow at her, “Can I help you?”
His words were like ice water being spilled down her back, she jerked and looked away hastily, apologizing. Soo Young finished putting her textbooks in her locker and when she turned this time, he was staring at her.
“Do I know you?” He asked, his voice was as sweet as honey.
“I don't think so,” She said uttered, “I recently moved back here this summer.”
“Moved back?” He asked, emphasizing the last word like he wanted her to elaborate.
“Yeah… I used to live here as a kid but my family moved away.”
“What's your name?”
Soo Young swallowed. She didn't know who this strange boy was and she didn't know why he was so curious about her. But she had to admit he too seemed very familiar to her. This could be a bad thing because he was probably someone she knew. Which meant that she couldn't avoid running into anyone from her past. She didn't know why she thought she could get away with it, it was a small town after all.
“Soo Young,” she said finally after much thought, “Park Soo Young.”
He smirked, the corner of his mouth turning up in a lopsided grin, “I knew I recognized you.”
“I’m sorry but, I still don't know who you are...”
“Kim Hyo-jung.” He said and her jaw almost dropped.
Hyo-jung was one of her childhood friends. He’d moved to Pocheon when he was five and quickly joined the group after he’d defended Eunsuh from a school bully. Eunsuh’s twin brother had been so thankful that he invited Hyo-jung over to play one day and he ended up being a part of their group. He was completely different from the small boy with penny brown hair and glasses she remembered.
“Hyo-jung? I didn't recognize you, you look so different..” Soo Young said, kicking her locker shut and shrugging her bag unto her shoulder.
“Yeah, that's what happens with growing up,” He glanced behind her momentarily and his grin widened, “Oh look, it’s Ye-rin.”
Following Hyo-jung’s gaze, Soo Young turned around and noticed a nervous girl clutching a textbook to her chest walking towards them. Some people never escaped their childhoods, as if a part of them just didn't feel safe in the adult world. Soo Young could tell Ye-rin was like that, with just a glance. She had jade black hair that was tied back in a loose braid and wore a frilly blue dress that didn't show any trace of her shape and would be more suited for someone younger. Her face was free of make-up and she had a thing about "Kakao Friends," as proved by all the pins attached to her bag. Although she still wore the same types of clothes as when she was younger, Soo Young noticed that the girl had lost a considerable amount of weight. Had Hyo-jung not pointed her out she wouldn't have guessed it was her.
Well, she'd already run into two old friends, it seemed she really couldn't escape them.
She walked right up to Hyo-jung, “Um, hi E’dawn.”
“Sup.” He greeted her.
“Are you ready to head to class?”
“E’dawn?” Soo Young questioned.
“It’s what I go by these days.” Hyo-ju- E’dawn, clarified.
“E’dawn, whos this?” Ye-rin asked, trying to whisper it as softly into his ear so that Soo Young wouldn't hear. She heard anyway and gave Ye-rin a small smile.
“Ye-rin, you remember Soo Young.” E’dawn nodded in her direction.
Just then Ye-rin turned to her as if she only now noticed she’d been standing there and her eyes widened.
“Park Soo Young?”
She nodded, “It’s nice to see you again.”
“Wow, it’s been such a long time… I didn't think we’d ever see you again.” She gave Soo-young a once over and it seemed to her that the other girl wanted to hug her but thought better of it, considering they were practically strangers now.
“Yeah, I didn't think I’d ever return.”
“What brings you back?” She asked timidly as if she really wanted to know but she didn't want to seem too forthright.
“My grandmother needs someone to look after her, and with my dad unavailable the duty fell on me.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.”
“Don't be, so far it’s been fine, almost like I’m on an extended vacation.”
“Well, it's good to see you. Maybe we can hang out together sometime?” Ye-rin said and although Soo Young was smiling she knew it would never happen. She didn't want to get mixed up with her old crowd. She guessed she wouldn't mind saying