“She always plays it cool, whenever the situation, but deep down, hides a turmoil of feelings and inner battles. She masks the hurt of her past, until she meets the one who’ll take that mask away.”
“Aren’t you getting lame,” Chaewon mumbled.
Heejin sighed. “If you’re going to keep peeking at my things, at least don’t make fun of it.”
“Okay, I’m sorry. I was not making fun though, that’s powerful. Who’s the one? You?” Chaewon chuckled as Heejin balled a fist at her. “You gotta give her a love interest.”
“Of course. Not only a love interest, but someone who’ll help her grow and be the better her. And I think I’ve got an idea for that.”
“Uhh, do tell.”
“Not yet, I need to develop it more and make sure it makes sense.”
Chaewon clicked her tongue. “I’m getting curious. Does she have a name yet? You keep writing she.”
“No, haven’t thought of it.”
“What about Tsuki?”
Heejin snorted. “Am I a weeb to you?”
“Yes.” And that earned Chaewon a slap on the arm and giggles from the both of them. “Hyunjin didn’t show up today. Did something happen?”
“You’re more shocked that she skipped rather than when she appeared at school for two days?”
“Well, after you spent time with her.”
“What do you mean?”
“I think it’s pretty obvious she started coming because of you.”
Heejin kept silent, worries crawling again. “No, I don’t think so. Ryujin said she shows up once or twice a week, so it’s normal, even for her.”
“If you say so. But I like to believe she came to see you.” Chaewon snickered. “I think I’m going home. You coming?”
They walked together to the school gates, while Heejin listened to Chaewon babbling about Hyejoo. At least she was not terrified of her anymore, not that she was, more like terrified of making a fool of herself in front of her. And it was not like Heejin didn’t care, but she couldn’t stop thinking if she should pay Hyunjin a visit. Maybe she was perfectly okay and Heejin was overthinking. But there was also a chance she wasn’t feeling so well after the day before, and could use some cheering up.
She would risk it. On her way, she remembered about how Hyunjin seemed to love bread, and stopped in a convenience store to buy some sweet cream bread for her.
As Heejin turned the corner, her feet slowed down, until she came to a stop so she could witness that moment with a smile growing on her lips.
Hyunjin squatted, surrounded by at least six cats who ate from a large bowl, while she petted their heads. Heejin leaned against the nearest wall, feeling her eyes getting warmer. She was sure Hyunjin’s duality would never stop surprising her. How the bad girl with more tattoos than any adult Heejin ever knew skipped class and didn’t fear punching a guy a head taller than her, squatted in front of her house feeding stray cats.
Before Hyunjin could notice she was there, she snapped a picture with her phone, sniffed, blinked the single tear away, and walked like nothing had happened.
As she approached, a couple cats noticed her first and ran away, making Hyunjin look up with a frown that melted when she saw Heejin.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to startle them.” Heejin took a step back, letting them eat without scaring them.
Hyunjin stood up. “Don’t worry, they’ll come back if they’re still hungry.”
“You really have a knack for cats.”
“You can say so. I think they trust me.”
“Maybe because you feed them?” Heejin chuckled.
“Even before I started doing that. When I moved here, they would come to me. They never did that with Jiwoo or any of them before.”
“You’re a cat whisperer.”
Hyunjin smiled, and that was enough to send Heejin weak on her knees. She had only just arrived, for ’s sake...
“Did you need something?” Hyunjin asked.
“Oh, n-no, I mean, since you didn’t show up today, I thought I could pay you a visit.” Heejin prayed her cheeks weren’t changing color.
“Did you expect me to go to class everyday now?”
Maybe, after what Chaewon said...
But she laughed, shaking her head. “Mind if I keep you company?”
Hyunjin stared at her for a bit, like she was actually pondering if she wanted it or not.
“Sure. Wanna go inside?”
Heejin followed her down the ramp to the garage, as Hyunjin took a small remote and the garage door slid up enough for them to crouch and get in.
“Don’t you use the front door?” Heejin frowned.
“And risk finding Jiwoo and Sooyoung making out on the couch? No thank you. It already happened too many times.”
Heejin snorted. “Sorry for laughing. I could totally imagine that happening, though.”
“Right? What do they have their room for?”
Hyunjin dropped into her mattress. Heejin followed, taking the bread from her bag and waiting for Hyunjin to notice it. When she did, her eyebrows rose on her forehead, then stared at her.
“Is that for me?”
“Yes. I saw it on my way here and remembered how much you like it.”
“How did you know?”
“You were eating one before lunch the other day.”
Hyunjin shifted her gaze between Heejin and the bread still on her hand, until she accepted it at last. Heejin didn’t know if she was seeing things, but it seemed like her face had gained a different shade.
“Thank you, Heejin. I was actually getting hungry. I was working out before going out to feed the cats.”
“Do you do anything else other than working out?”
“I played the guitar earlier for a couple hours.” She took a half bread sized bite, humming in satisfaction.
“Not only. But I was trying to come up with something for the new lyrics I’ve been working on.”
Heejin wowed. “Can I see it?”
“Then what would be the fun in seeing it live? It wouldn’t be a surprise.”
“Fair point.” She wouldn’t argue, but she wasn’t sure if that was the whole reason, or if she was embarrassed about it.
“Wanna watch a movie or something?” Hyunjin asked before stuffing the other half in .
“Actually... How are you?”
Hyunjin frowned. “I’m great, like always. Why?”
“N-Nothing, I was just asking.” What did she expect? Of course, she wouldn’t say if she was actually not feeling okay.
“What is it, Heejin?”
She gulped. “Yesterday, while I was waiting for you, I heard you shouting. I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.”
“What did you hear?”
Heejin avoided her eyes. “About... someone not being your m-mother.”
Hyunjin let out a long, dragged sigh.
“I’m not asking you to tell me anything, I was just worried that you skipped today because you weren’t feeling well, and I want you to know that I’m here for you, if you wanna talk, or if you just need someone.” Heejin stopped for a second, fearing she would run out of air. “I’m here.”
The silence was agonizing. Heejin was sure she had screwed up. She shouldn’t have said anything-
“I don’t have a mother.”
Heejin raised her head, mouth agape. Hyunjin stared down at her hands in her lap. “She left when I was two. I don’t have any memories of her, I don’t remember her face. I don’t even know her name.”
There was a pause. Heejin couldn't come up with anything to say.
“That house used to be my home, and that woman’s my stepmother. I hate her. She acts like she’s my mother, but she’s not. She thinks she can tell me what to do, but she can’t.”
“Is that why you left and now you live here?”
“What about your father?”
“He’s a pilot, I barely even see him. And my brothers already left as well, they’re ten and eleven years older than me, they have their lives and I don’t want to bother them.”
“Hyunjin, I’m so sorry. You didn’t have to tell me if you didn’t want to.”
“But you said you were here.” Hyunjin stared at her eyes, and Heejin held her breath. “You are, aren’t you? Even if I tell you these things.”
“Yes! Yes, of course, I meant it. You can tell me whatever you want. I will never leave.”
Hyunjin smiled at her. A true, genuine smile this time, capable of warming Heejin’s heart up.
“Thank you. For real. You know, even though I’m an introvert and love to be alone here, playing the guitar, composing, writing, working out, I feel lonely sometimes,” Hyunjin said.
“You’re an introvert? But you get along so well with everyone!”
“Being an introvert and being shy are not the same thing.”
“Yeah, you’re right. I’m an introvert as well, INFP. You know those personality types?”
“Oh, yes. I’m INTP. We’re quite similar.”
“And we like the same things. Maybe that’s why we clicked so well and so fast.” Heejin cleared . “B-But you were saying, you feel lonely? Why?”
“I got used to have Jinsol around ever since I was a little kid, but she’s a college senior, she barely has time to be with me. We only get to see each other during band practice.” Hyunjin pouted.
“But you have the band, and you live with Jungeun, Haseul, and Jiwoo and Sooyoung.”
“I know, but they’re all in college as well, I don’t want to bother them.”
“You have me as well.”
Their gazes met, and there they stayed.
“A-And Ryujin, Hyejoo, Yerim, Chaewon. We’re all a group of friends, right?”
“I guess you’re right.”
“Maybe you also feel lonely because you don’t to school often. I understand what it’s like to isolate too much sometimes, and as introverts we have that tendency, but it does more harm than good if we overdo it.”
Hyunjin glared at her. “School is hard and boring.”
“I know, but it can also be fun. Didn’t you have fun yesterday playing basketball with them? And I can help you.”
“You know, studying. It becomes easier and less boring.”
Hyunjin kept quiet. At least she didn’t reject the same second.
“Graduating is very important, Hyunjin, if you ever want to go to college in the future, or to get a job as well. I know you want to focus on the band, but just like they are in college and can manage, you can too.”
“I’ll think about it. And enough about school now, let’s watch a movie. You can choose this time.”
A/N: Now you know about Hyunjin :)
And I know Heejin's personality type is not even that one, but I wrote this before it was known and let's keep it this way for the character and story's sake keke