[CONTENTID3]a kiss for good luck[/CONTENTID3]
I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with the whole Mina debacle, but I guess I'll just have to handle it tomorrow.
I freeze in my tracks, fixated on the person loitering at the front of my dorm door.
When he notices me, he also freezes.
Until suddenly, he's running toward me.
As he closes the distance between us, his arms fling across me and they bury me with his weight, almost all the air out of my lungs.
"Nam Juri, you scared the out of me," Junmyeon's breath tickles the hairs on my ears as he embraces me tighter.
I feel his heart beat against mine.
With every breath I exhale, he pulls me in just tighter but I stand, suspended with shock, unable to even return the hug.
Finally, he eventually peels himself off me but grips onto each of my shoulders, eyes darting across each of my eyes.
"Just tell me you're okay."
"How long have you been waitin–"
"Tell me you're okay, Juri."
"I-I'm okay," I whisper quickly, eyelashes batting as I scan the features on his worried face.
His lips curve upward and he exhales in relief.
I can't help but feel my stomach turn just slightly.
"I said I'd come back with the security guards but you had disappeared," Junmyeon frowns now, slowly lowering his hands by each of his sides.
I completely forgot about that.
"Sorry," I sheepishly smile, laughing softly, "But I'm fine now. Really. I'm okay."
This is a genuine answer. I can't exactly pinpoint when during the night that I began to suddenly feel okay, but I am admittedly in high spirits at the moment. It may be genuine complacency or just fickle adrenaline, but regardless, I do feel an obligation to thank Sehun. It's interesting, perhaps a little confusing, or downright freaky, because he's the last person I'd have thought would have the abilty to make me feel this way.
"That's a relief, Juri."
Junmyeon and I exchange soft smiles.
Had he really been worried about me? That's kind of him.
I think about how he had stood up for me when Mina had been taunting me at the dining table, and of course at the union mixer as well. He did promise to come back with the security guards, but Sehun had intercepted before he could return. He and Mina are supposedly friends, so I feel like his actions are particularly surprising and meaningful. Of course, I'd think it to be basic human decency to interject in a fight where one of the participants is clearly ing coocoo (Mina, duh), but I should give him credit – it was probably difficult to stand up to one of his friends.
Although I must say he has terrible taste in friends.
"It's kind of late," I mutter and break eye contact by glancing at the door, "Aren't you going to get in trouble?"
Junmyeon shakes his head, displaying a gentle smile. "They give a surprising amount of trust in the union president."
I open the door.
Kim Junmyeon, again.
Last night, it had taken an aggravating amount of time to assuage his concerns and convince him that I really am fine and that I definitely do not need him to guard my door like a dog. Thankfully, though, I managed to compromise by agreeing to meet him in the morning.
So alas, he here is, perfectly exuberant and chipper in such ghastly hours of the morning, like the boy doesn't need sleep to function.
"Seriously?" I grumble with my groggy morning voice, rubbing my eyes as a yawn escapes my lips. How can I not be tired? Mina had dragged me into unprecedented depths of emotional hell last night and I had found it extremely difficult to fall asleep.
"You're so pretty even in the morning," Junmyeon so blatantly flirts, reaching over to poke my cheek. I feel his cold finger sink into my skin and I frown, slapping his stupid, pestering hand away.
"Did you just snort crack? Why are you so upbeat? It's so early," I groan.
Junmyeon's giggles. "You're all the crack I need."
I roll my eyes. "That's not as flattering as you think it is."
"Okay, okay, come on! Enough chit chat, hurry up and get ready. We're going to be late!"
"Late?" I frown, taking a step backward as he swaggers inside my dorm, "It's a Saturday. What the hell am I late for?"
It's a Saturday morning. I'm pretty sure they don't run classes on the weekends, which are instead reserved for detainees to complete their volunteering hours or just slave away however the adminstration want us to.
"I'm not here just because. We need you to provide a witness statement so we can complete our incident report."
"What? What's an incident report?"
He smiles, shaking his head like I'm a confused little kid or something. "Every time a fight breaks out in the facility, it's protocol to fill out an incident report so that we have everything on record. It's not the best part of my job as the union president, but at least we get to spend some time together! Think of it as our first date. Fiona and Shrek go on a date – paperwork edition!"
"I think I know why you're single," I stare at him, deadpanned.
"It's because you haven't come to your senses yet," He winks at me and condescendingly boops my nose, sound effect and everything.
I begrudgingly drag my feet as we shuffle down the hallway toward the administrative office. I've buried my body inside an oversized hoodie. Still drained with exhaustion, I've slung the hood over my head and have shoved my hands in the pockets, signalling to everyone that we pass that I do not want to be approached. And frankly, since so many of the residents were there to witness Mina and everything she had revealed about me, I'm a little hesitant to show my face so openly.
"Cheer up," Junmyeon whines as he glances at me, perhaps noticing my unhappy aura, "I know it's early but I'll treat you to some ramyeon afterwards!"
I immediately snap my head toward him. Junmyeon-cooked ramyeon?
After destroying all my taste buds by eating Baekhyun's horrific noodles, I could really use some of Junmyeon's cooking. I'm not sure what it is, but the way he makes his noodles is just perfect. They're never over- or under-cooked; he never fails to add in the perfect amount of water to the powder and I absolutely adore the way he garnishes the dish. If it were socially acceptable, I'd marry one of his ramyeon bowls. We'd settle in a beautiful, two-storey suburban home with a white-picket fence. Maybe a dog – we'll see if it fits our budget.
I must admit, cooking is really Junmyeon's only redeemable trait. Unlike all the other things clearly wrong with the boy, it's one of the reasons I've decided that I don't mind being his friend.
Noticing my giddy reaction, he softly giggles. "Do you even know how cute you are?"
There he goes again: the cheesiness. Ack! Can he go three seconds without saying something nauseating?
Instead of entertaining him, I simply roll my eyes.
"What do you do in your spare time, Juri?" Junmyeon smiles at me, seeming like he wants to take this opportunity to get to know me better. We're walking beside one another down a hallway. This reminds of the first night we met, except we had been crawling on the floor, desperately trying to find me a way out of the detention facility. It's weird to think that that wasn't that long ago and so much has happened since.
"I don't really have any hobbies."
"Really? Nothing? C'mon, you're lying," Junmyeon prompts, looking at me with a scrutinising squint.
I purse my lips in thought. I don't know. I haven't really been able to focus on myself these past few weeks, have I?
"Photography. I like taking pictures and stuff," And I flush in embarrassment just slightly, lowering my head, "And... I guess I like to write. Just a few pieces here and there. I used to be a part of the photography crew at school and sometimes we'd write a few columns for the newspaper."
"Really?" I peer up at him, noticing how his face has brightened. This makes me smile back at him. I know Baekhyun and Sehun don't like him very much, but sometimes Junmyeon radiates golden retriever vibes. Okay, maybe don't tell him that I just compared him to a dog, but you get the point. I know there's a history to suggest that I would be positively demented to trust him again, but after what he had done for me in front of Mina, I do admit I'm very grateful for him. Plus, he's probably my only real friend in here.
"Yeah. What about you?"
Junmyeon grins. "My hobby is making you smile."
Ugh. I take it back. I immediately frown, unable to brush off the cringiness of everything he says. Lord, please spare me!
"Shut up, please. You're making me feel queasy."
"Queasy? What's queasy about my undying love for my fiancée?" He teases me by nudging me with his elbow. I gently shove him away.
"I'm not your fiancée, idiot," I roll my eyes, although it's hard to conceal my entertained smile.
I think the sight of me smiling makes him grin wider. He slings his arm across my shoulder and takes the hood off my head. Bringing his lips close to my ear, he kisses the air, sending the smooching sound loud and clear down my poor, ears. "I love you my cutie patootie! Fiona is the best fianceé an ogre could ask for!"
I try to shove him away but he's strong. "I called you Shrek as an insult. How the heck did you manage to twist that into a term of endearment? You know I'd never be bonkers enough to be in a couple with you, right?"
"It's only a matter of time," Junmyeon softly smiles at me, "I'll wear you down eventually."
I can't help but laugh. Jeez, is this his way of flirting?
"That's the single saddest thing I've ever heard in my entire life." I stifle another laugh, but he doesn't budge.
"Then why are you smiling?"
I drop my lips immediately. Damn it. "Because I feel sorry for you, obviously."
Tongue glazing his lips, he teases me with a stare. "Don't feel sorry for me. I know exactly what I'm doing."
I don't really know what that means, so I just shrug it off.
"Your smile is really pretty, by the way," He whispers, suddenly planting a kiss on the side of my head.
Flustered by this action, heat instanteously flushes my face and I yank his body off mine, screaming dangerous profanities as I chase him down the hallway.
When we finally arrive at the administrative office, I notice how he stands straighter and adjusts the clothing on his body. I look at myself and realise I'm very under-dressed to be meeting with the facility staff, but I don't really care. Besides, will they question the validity of my statements because of the way I'm dressed? Surely not, right?
Anyway, Junmyeon opens the door and ushers me inside, trailing behind me as we enter the reception area. The lady sitting behind the desk appears to have been expecting us, because she merely gives Junmyeon a curt nod and points to the couch. We sink ourselves into the fluffy cushions and I awkwardly glance around the area, mindlessly staring at the paintings on the walls, pretending to admire them.
"Are you okay? You look nervous."
I return his stare. "I'm a little confused. What are they going to do?"
Junmyeon smiles with reassurance. "I'm going to be there too, so don't worry. She's just going to ask you about what happened last night and keep it on record. You're not in trouble, so don't worry."
"A dispute officer. Her name is Mrs Hong."
I bob my head.
A few minutes pass before I hear our names called across the room.
Mrs Hong is a petite, red-haired, middle-aged lady. She stares at us through her thick black-rimmed glasses, ushering us inside a random meeting room. Inside, I see a long table and three seats. Atop the table is a laptop and a few sheets of paper, which presumably belong to Mrs Hong. Junmyeon and I slide ourselves into the seats at the table and she closes the door, squeezing herself into the chair across from us.
"It's nice to meet you, Nam Juri. Thank you for joining us."
Pressing my lips into a tight, genteel smile, I bow my head slightly. Junmyeon, too, bows at her and she nods in his direction, probably as they have met before.
"I understand Junmyeon has explained the process to you today. Just to reiterate, we are here regarding the incident that occurred last night in the assembly hall. Today, I require that you recount the events to the best of your ability. I will be taking notes on this laptop, which I hope will not be distracting. I may ask you questions throughout today's session or prompt you to clarify anything that is unclear. Please rest assured that I am not here to persecute you, my only job is to keep record of what happened. The appropriate punishments will be made to those at fault."
Not here to persecute me? I'm not sure if her words are reassuring or not. I'm not stupid enough to think that the administrative staff would ever be on my side. After all, Sanghoon is the headmaster of this facility. I'm well-aware that they're probably cautious about what happened last night, because so many other students were there to witness it. Reputation is the single pillar keeping this facility running – so I know they're very meticulous about these things.
Make appropriate punishments? Would that be to Mina, or me? She was the one that started it.
I will absolutely not accept any outcome that would result in me taking the blame for anything.
"After we conduct the session, I'll also ask you to sign this form here," She slides a sheet of paper across the table and I peer at it, "This is a written statement to verify that everything you have said today is true and recounted to the best of your ability."
Regurgitating the events of last night is not easy. For one, the whole experience itself was a little traumatising, I must admit. I'm also feeling extremely nervous so I stutter and trip over some of my sentences, but Mrs Hong is patient and unbothered by this. I don't really have a reason to sugarcoat Mina and her actions, but I'm most fearful that I'll exacerbate my own situation. What if I make things worse? With every single word I utter, I am always apprehensive of saying the wrong thing that could instantly make me the bad guy. I dance carefully around my word choice like a ballerina, because who knows? What if Sanghoon is listening in on this?
What if he somehow uses this against me?
I intentionally omit a few details, like why Mina had been angry in the first place – I don't know if Mina has told them that she saw me inside Sehun's dorm that night, but it's definitely not something that's going to come out of my mouth.
Instead, I tell Mrs Hong about how I had been trying to enjoy my night at the union mixer when Mina had suddenly gone bat crazy. I expound that I had tried to walk away from the situation but Mina the crazy witch had suddenly claimed to have read through my student file, while was a ridiculous breach of confidentiality. I emphasise that this was extremely upsetting to hear, and that it made me question the facility's secur