She watched as Sooyoung stood up and waved her arms until they noticed her. The band members cut through the dancing couples, walking in their direction as they waved at some fans. Heejin felt her legs twitch, eager to take her out of there, but Ryujin grasped her arm, keeping her in place.
Jiwoo and Sooyoung greeted their friends with hugs while they wished her happy birthday. Then, Jiwoo turned to Heejin and Ryujin, as they jumped from their seats.
“Guys, meet our friends. Ryujin and-”
“Heejin!” Haseul beamed at her.
Heejin waved awkwardly, trying to avoid looking at Hyunjin at all costs. She sat again, and Jiwoo, who previously sat beside Heejin, brought Jungeun and Sooyoung by her hands, sitting in the middle of them.
“Hi again.” Jungeun greeted as she sat next to her. “Did you enjoy our show?”
“Yes, a lot. You guys are amazing.”
“Oh, thank you so much, Heejin.” Jungeun smiled, and god, she was indeed so pretty. “Since you’re friends with Jiwoo, how about you come to one of our practices? Then maybe we could do something together.”
“We... the band?”
Jungeun chuckled. “You and I. I know you wanted Hyunjin’s number, but I can give you mine as well, in case you want to hang out sometime.” She approached her ear and Heejin held her breath. “I’m very weak when it comes to pretty girls like yourself,” Jungeun whispered, and when she was at a safe distance again, she winked and smirked at Heejin, and it all became too hot.
Heejin giggled as she tucked her hair behind her ear, nerves prickling under her skin. Jungeun was too blunt. It wasn’t like Heejin didn’t appreciate the compliment, but she didn’t have much experience with flirting. She looked down at the trembling glass between her hand and drank it, taking large gulps, frowning with the burning on .
“Careful with that, it’s strong.”
Heejin choked, coughing so hard everyone on the table stopped whatever they were doing to stare at her. Was she so distracted with Jungeun, she hadn’t noticed Hyunjin sitting on her other side?!
“You okay, Heejin?” Jungeun asked, resting a hand on her leg. It did not help.
“Y-Yeah, I just...” she coughed again. “Drank too fast.” Heejin forced a smile at her.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” Hyunjin said, stealing her attention.
“It’s okay, don’t worry.” Heejin managed not to stutter, but her eyes found Hyunjin’s, and for some reason she couldn’t break away. Hyunjin did though, much to Heejin’s disappointment.
“I was just telling Hyejoo and Hyunjin we’re from the same class!” Ryujin said.
“Yeah, I knew I recognized your face from somewhere.” Heejin heard Hyunjin say, but she was too busy trying to understand Ryujin. Her eyes were widened, her eyebrows together, and she tapped her own leg. Heejin frowned, mouthing a ‘what?’. Ryujin rolled her eyes and motioned something with her hands, like she was typing on her phone.
“How couldn’t we remember you, you’re the loudest person in class,” Hyejoo mumbled from the corner.
Ryujin crackled. “I like to think I’m the coolest, but loudest isn’t a lie either.”
“We are the coolest.” Hyejoo pointed at herself and Hyunjin. “Us and Yerim.”
“Don’t worry, it’s nothing against you, Hyejoo just says whatever she feels like.” Hyunjin patted her shoulder.
“No worries. There’s no reason why we can’t all be the coolest, though, so I’ll accept.”
Heejin chuckled, but observed only as they kept on talking about their class mates and whatnot, while on her other side, the other girls chatted animatedly about something Heejin didn’t even have the energy to figure out. She was getting into introvert overload, and honestly, just wanted to get home already. Also, the drink was starting to hit for sure. Her head felt light and she was getting drowsy.
Still, she couldn’t help but steal a few glances at Hyunjin every now and then. This time, Hyunjin laughed at something Hyejoo said and tucked her hair behind her ear, revealing the piercings Heejin hadn’t had the opportunity to notice, and another tattoo. Heejin wowed to herself. It was a simple, inverted triangle behind her ear, but it still looked so cool, just like the ear decorated with a total of six piercings. She wondered what that tattoo meant, and how she even had tattoos if she wasn’t a legal adult yet-
Her phone vibrated on her pocket, making her almost jump.
what was that with Jungeun?!
Heejin quickly hid her phone, glad that Jungeun wasn’t paying attention to her now.
“I really need to use the toilet.” Ryujin stood up. “Heejin, keep me company.”
Everything spun around when Heejin stood up, but Jungeun held on her arm in time.
“T-Thanks,” Heejin mumbled.
They entered the bathroom and while they waited for the girl to leave, Heejin splashed cold water on her face.
“I don’t even know, Jungeun said that she knew I wanted Hyunjin’s number, but I could have hers as well if I wanted to hang out with her.”
“Holy , you lucky son of a .” Ryujin punched her shoulder.
“Hey, I didn’t ask for anything.”
“But you have that opportunity, go for it! She’s so-”
“Hot, I know. But...” Heejin sighed, supporting herself on the sink.
“You wished it was Hyunjin.”
“No, I don’t. If it had been Hyunjin, I’m pretty sure I would have passed out with my head on the table.”
“Then if you want Hyunjin, put a good word for me with Jungeun! Pretty please?”
“Why would I do that if I can’t even look her in the eye? You go tell her that and ask for her number, if you think you’re so confident.”
Ryujin pouted, leaning on the wall with her arms crossed. “Man, I wish it had been my birthday instead. Maybe I could have asked Jungeun to write her number on my arm too.”
Heejin looked down at her arm, staring at it. “Don’t start with that again. I wanna go home, I’m tired.”
“Ask Jungeun to go with you, I’m sure she gladly would.” Ryujin snickered.
“Are you seriously mad because of that?”
“What? No, I was joking.”
Another sigh left Heejin’s lips, longer this time. “Sorry, I don’t think the alcohol did me good. I’m overwhelmed, with all the Hyunjin and Jungeun thing. I mean, I decide to go out at a place like this for the first time and I instantly crush on a girl, but another one asks me out? What the hell.” Heejin threw her hands in the air.
“And both are insanely attractive, I might say,” Ryujin mumbled, earning a glare. “Do you want me to call a cab or take you home?” Ryujin approached her, resting a hand on her lower back, rubbing it in circles.
Heejin smiled. “No, I don’t wanna go home like this and let my parents find out I’ve been drinking. Let’s go back inside and when I feel better, I’ll go.”
They went back, but this time Heejin sat by the edge of the circular sofa, beside Ryujin, who sat next to Hyejoo. It was very hot inside, and Heejin didn’t know if it was helping her feel better. She checked the time on her phone. Almost 1am, and a few missed calls from her mother. She cursed under her breath. She couldn’t call her in there, with all the loud music and people talking.
“I-I should go.” She stood up, earning their attention.
“Already?” Jiwoo pouted.
“Well, it’s already late for me, actually.”
“Do you want me to go?” Ryujin asked.
“I’ll take you.” Hyunjin jumped from her seat, everyone’s eyes on her now.
“N-No, it’s okay, I already called an Uber.” Heejin lied, feeling her stomach flipping the same second.
“Okay, at least let me take you outside and wait until it arrives.”
Heejin quickly scanned around, finding the big smirk on Ryujin’s face.
“Alright. Thank you all for tonight, you guys were great.”
“Hope you enjoyed Jiwoo’s surprise!” Haseul chirped.
“The highlight of the night.” Heejin smiled, waving at them as she followed Hyunjin.
The night breeze felt so much better than Heejin expected. She allowed herself to enjoy it for a few seconds before remembering she lied and still had to call the Uber. She fetched her phone and opened the app, but as she was writing her address, her phone died.
“No!” Heejin yelped.
“Is everything alright?” Hyunjin asked, leaning against a lamppost with her hands on her jacket pockets.
“U-Uh, yeah, hm-”
“You didn’t call an Uber, did you?”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to lie! I didn’t want to be a hassle and make you leave your friends. I was going to call it just now, but my phone died.”
“Do you want me to call one for you?”
“No, it’s okay. Actually, I can just walk, I don’t live that far away-”
“Let’s go then.” Hyunjin grabbed her arm and pulled her forward.
“I-It’s the other way, though.” Heejin pointed backwards over her shoulder.
Hyunjin halted and looked at her. She was a mere inch or two taller, but Heejin still managed to feel so small next to her. But when she chuckled, her smile so charming and brighter than all the stars on the sky, Heejin melted.
They turned, but Heejin resisted. “You don’t really have to go with me.”
“I won’t let you go alone at this hour.”
“But then you’ll have to come back alone.”
Hyunjin slapped her bicep twice.
“What, no one messes with you?” Heejin joked.
Heejin chuckled. She had seen how bulky her arms were back when she took off her jacket during the concert. And a flush crept under Heejin’s cheeks, but she shook her head.
“You okay?” Hyunjin asked.
“Yes, I’m feeling better, the fresh air was really all I needed.”
Hyunjin nodded, and there was silence again. No, Heejin didn’t want it to become awkward.
“I really enjoyed the show. You guys are great.”
“Yes. And your song Loonatic is awesome, it’s still stuck in my head. I don’t really care now!” Heejin sang the phrase that was still in repeat in her mind.
There was no answer from Hyunjin. Heejin peeked at her to find her with agape.
“That means a lot.”
“It’s very unique. I would love to listen to it again. Do you guys have it recorded?”
“Not yet, but we’re going to upload it on our YouTube channel soon.”
“You guys have a channel?! What’s the name?”
Hyunjin fetched for her phone and after a few taps, handed it to Heejin.
“Loona the band,” Heejin barely said, memorizing it on her mind and scrolling through the videos. There were several covers, some of them she had just heard on the show, and some... of Hyunjin alone. “I-I’ll follow you as soon as I get home! Did you guys write everything alone for Loonatic?”
“Yes. We normally try and play with the instruments until it sounds cool, then we try together and things come together, but I’m trying to make original music more often and more seriously. Actually...” Hyunjin paused and avoided Heejin’s eyes, a hint of a smile on her lips. “I wrote the lyrics by myself, but not the melody, that was all of us.”
“You did?!” Heejin stopped, chin threatening to reach the ground. “Holy , you’re amazing!”
Hyunjin looked down, lips trembling from how hard she held a smile, or a laugh, Heejin didn’t know, but then realized what she just said. “I-I mean, you’re really talented. I’m sorry, I tend to get really excited sometimes.”
She only hoped the flaming red of her cheeks wasn’t too noticeable, but just in case, she resumed her walk and looked down at her feet.
“I’m happy you think that way. It’s really important to me.”
“You seem to really love the band and what you do.”
“I do. Music is... my life.”
Heejin peeked at Hyunjin. She was staring up at the sky, lips pursed and dreamy eyes.
They walked in silence for a while, and it was not as awkward as Heejin thought it could be. In fact, she felt way more relaxed than back at the bar.
“What are those tattoos on your fingers?” Heejin broke the silence.
Hyunjin removed her hands from her pockets and stretched her fingers, putting them together and hiding her thumbs. “The symbols of the planets. From Mercury,” she moved her right pinky, then her left, “to Neptune.”
Heejin wowed, leaning in closer to take a better look at each one of them. “It looks so cool. What about the one behind your ear? It’s an inverted triangle, isn’t it?”
Hyunjin chuckled. “You’re very observant. People don’t tend to find that one at first.”
“I-I noticed because you pushed your hair away.”
With a smirk, Hyunjin pushed her hair just like before and turned her head enough to show it. “It’s the symbol of the water element.”
But that time, Hyunjin’s neck and jawline seemed of much more importance than the tattoo, and now her heart did hit her ribs. “D-Do you have more tattoos?”
Heejin pouted, looking up at her. Hyunjin met her eyes and looked away a second later, shaking her head with a light giggle. “Alright, I have three more.”
“Wow, you’re so cool, Hyunjin... I-I mean, how do you even have tattoos? Don’t you have to be an adult to get them?”
“Are you assuming my age?”
“N-No! I mean, you’re from Ryujin’s class, so I indeed assumed you’re at least my age or younger. I’m a high school senior, you know. We go to the same school.”
Hyunjin’s eyes went huge for a split second. “I should be a senior as well, but I failed the year. That’s why I ended up in Hyejoo and Ryujin’s class.”
It was true then. Did that mean if she hadn’t failed a year, there was a chance for them to be in the same class? And why did she skip classes so much? Even though she wanted to know, she felt like she shouldn’t ask.
“And answering your question about the tattoos, Jinsol is also a wannabe artist and I volunteered to give her my beautiful skin for her to practice on. And have free tattoos.” Hyunjin gave her another of her charming smiles, and Heejin realized why it was so beautiful. She had long, sharp canines that peeked out of her lower lip, and it was both cute and se-
“Jinsol is an artist as well?! You’re all so talented! I...”
“Hm?” Hyunjin raised her eyebrows, glancing at her. “You?”
She wanted to be an artist as well. “W-wish I could be as talented, too.”
When Heejin looked ahead and took a second to scout their surroundings, she frowned. “Wait...” She looked behind her, and she was right. “We walked past my house already.”
Hyunjin laughed. “Are you always that distracted?”
“You just said I’m very observant.” Heejin frowned, turning and walking back.
When there was no answer, Heejin looked over her shoulder, meeting Hyunjin’s eyes, but she was quick to look ahead again.
“It’s here.” Heejin stopped. “Are you sure it’s okay for you to come back alone?”
“Yes, don’t worry.”
“Alright. Thank you so much.” Heejin bowed. “And... It was really nice meeting you.”
“It was nice meeting you too.” Hyunjin gave a quick bow with her head, but Heejin could see her smallest of smiles trying to rip on her lips. “I’m glad you came tonight. Hope you enjoyed your birthday.”
“You can thank Jiwoo, it was her that convinced me to come, and she prepared that surprise as well.”
“I hope I didn’t make you uncomfortable on stage, with, you know...” Hyunjin pointed at Heejin’s arm, where her number still marked her skin without a single smudge.
“Oh, n-no, you didn’t. It was... cool.”
“Yeah, I’ve been told I’m cool.”
“The coolest? Like Hyejoo?”
Heejin giggled. “I should go, it’s late.” She took a step backwards.
“Have a good night.”
Heejin gave her a small smile that she didn’t bother to fight back and turned, passing the gate. She was about to step inside, but couldn’t help but look back, observing as Hyunjin walked away.
The second she opened the front door and noticed the lights on, she bit on her lip.
“Why didn’t you answer your phone, Jeon Heejin?” Her mother asked without taking her eyes off the tv. She wasn’t one to stay awake late, but it seemed like she was too immersed on whatever she was watching.
“I didn’t notice your calls, then when I was about to call you back, my phone died. Sorry. But don’t worry, a friend walked me home.”
Her mother irked an eyebrow at her and she hid her arms behind her back. “Ryujin?”
“Check if she arrived back safely.”
“I will. Good night, mom.”
“Don’t you wanna watch this movie with me? It’s good.”
“I think I’ll pass, I’m very tired.”
“Alright. Sleep well.”
It wasn’t a lie that Heejin was tired, but she really wanted to take a shower and wash her arm. Not without saving the number on her phone, of course.
Heejin remembered her mother’s words as she rubbed the numbers from her skin. She should indeed check if Hyunjin was okay, and she had no excuse not to do so. So, when she made sure her skin was clean from any black ink, she let her body hit the bed, phone in hands.
Did you make it to the bar safely?
She dropped the phone beside her pillow and stared at the ceiling. The events of the past hours replayed on her mind, but it felt like nothing had actually happened. Maybe it had all been a story her mind, in a very productive brainstorm, came up with, one to add on her endless pile of stories she would probably never work on.
But when her phone rang and she almost got whiplash from how fast she turned, she knew it did happen.
Yes, I’m back already
It felt like she could listen to her talking.
Alright, have fun!
She laid the phone down and went back to ceiling staring.
Her phone rang again.
Thank you. Sleep well =^-^=
She was not even expecting another response, but this?
Heejin was aware of the stupid grin on her face, but she didn’t care. For sure she was going to sleep wonders, but before of that, she made sure to follow their YouTube channel, and maybe watch a video or two.
A/N: poor Heejin
hope you're enjoying the story so far, and thank you for the subs and comments already! There will be something special for the next chapter, so look forward to it!