the beat of the audio drums echoed loudly in the activity centre. people in clusters sat around the tables. some gathered up on the stage while others assembled outside.
today's acquaintance party is almost a replica of last year and the year before that. right after the principal announced the program's over, the excitement in the air rose. people become loud and a wave of excited squeals followed when the lights on the dance floor lit up.
senior students like you know the best part of the night only starts once the program is over. the school is giving the night for everyone to party like the young adults they are before the dreadful college life starts kicking arses again.
free drinks were served. the school admin won't mind, no minors could attend the party. plus, they clearly state in their announcement that everyone will be responsible for their actions. whatever happens after the program is not the school's responsibility anymore.
the music played, and you felt the urge to dance. however, the people on the dance floor were all grins and most of them looked like drunken idiots. you don't want to be one of them.
so you went to the bar instead and ordered your third glass of wine. you leaned back, swirling the glass in your hand, your eyes scanning the dance floor to look for familiar faces. some of your club mates are there, already waving at you to join them. you raised your glass and politely declined them with a smile.
you scanned the dance floor again until you spotted a group of your classmates who are getting wild. amid the sea of people, one long-haired woman in a plaid skirt and black blouse caught your eyes.
you smiled as you take a sip from your glass.
she's always been appealing to you but it just feels different seeing her in a more casual attire compared to her usual semi-formal outfit on normal school days.
the said woman and her friends are having a great time on the dance floor. they were in a circle, doing all those y moves to each other.
you have to admit you kind of imagined them all stripping out there.
ugh. what were you thinking?
"if i were you i'd stop staring and start asking her to dance," a familiar voice said.
you turned around and saw your friend, taeyeon, approaching.
"i wasn't staring," you denied, turning back to the dance floor. "i was thinking of something else."
she elbowed you. "you're a bad liar, amber."
you sighed, knowing there's no point lying about it. "fine. so, i am being a hopeless romantic person again. what do you want from me?"
taeyeon smirks as she signals for a drink. "why don't you just ask her out?"
you think the idea is absurd. "i can't. she wouldn't date me."
"what makes you think so?"
"i'm not blind, taeyeon." you glanced at the direction of your topic. "she doesn't look like someone who'd date a girl, you know."
with a rum in one hand, taeyeon leaned an elbow on the bar counter. "well, from my experience, women like that are more interested in women than men."
you don't want to argue with taeyeon. growing up together, you know how expert she is in the dating game. she's been with too many women and has tasted different flavours (her words). she can even charm up her way and bend a straight girl (or used to be, in this case) to agree in dating her.
really amazing, you think.
because while taeyeon has been getting all the experience she can, you were the opposite.
you've had a few crushes way back elementary and high school but it never got to the point of confession because you never made a move.
you are always frightened of confessing or making a move, afraid they'll get scared of you. no matter how many times taeyeon says that same- relationships are widely accepted now, you still feel scared of the thought some are still frowning upon it.
so, you keep letting it pass by, convincing yourself you're still young to date and focus on your scholarship especially now you're in college.
"there's no harm in trying, amber," said taeyeon, nudging you back to earth. "do you want me to ask her out instead so we could find out if she swings that way?"
you glared at her. "you're not helping, do you know that?"
taeyeon rolled her eyes. "aish. can you tell me why you keep hesitating? you've held back since high school. don't you think it's about time you give yourself a chance, you give 'her' a shot?"
you looked away, letting out another sigh. "you know it's not that easy, especially with her. i've never heard of her showing romantic interest to any woman in this school. and in case you haven't heard, she's recently dating kai."
taeyeon's mouth dropped open. "kai? the lame basketball dude?"
"unfortunately, yes," you said, rolling your eyes. "well, a lot of girls love basketball guys and i guess she's no exception to that." you glanced at 'her' direction, taking a sip of your drink. "i also heard he's freaking rich. maybe their families are connected or whatever." you turned back to taeyeon. "now tell me, do you still think i have a chance with her?"
smirking, taeyeon shrugged. "you wouldn't know if you wouldn't try."
"aish." you shook your head. "i dunno. i just feel like she's always been out of my league to start with."
silence settled between you and taeyeon as you watch 'her' and her gang enjoy the dance floor.
"krystal jung," said taeyeon, resting an elbow on your shoulder. "the only daughter of a real estate tycoon. attractive, icy, sassy, pretty, y, hot..."
you can't help but smile while she enumerates krystal's traits.
"... delinquent, y, bully, feisty, player, flirty, what else?"
"kim taeyeon, stop that." you pushed her arm away from your shoulder.
"why are you mad?" she asked, chuckling. "i'm just saying that if you're thinking she's way out of your league, then you got it wrong. you're the one out of her league, man, because you're the one with a brighter future here. that girl knows nothing but to skip classes and make trouble."
you looked back at krystal and drank up all the wine in one go, wincing after.
"tell me, what's in her you liked?" came taeyeon's question.
you shrugged. you don't know.
"i have to admit she's damn hot. it's just that you two are so opposite," she added. "i don't understand how a promising student like you would be interested in someone like her. you two are like contradicting statements in a sentence, the yin and yang of every class. i honestly can't imagine how you two could make a relationship work out."
"i don't know either," you said, shrugging, smiling a little when you saw krystal laugh with one of her friends. "i've known her for two years now and if there's one thing i'm sure of, it's the fact that i really, really, really, really like her."
taeyeon squinted her eyes. "how did she get you? did she flirt with you too?"
you shook your head, secretly hoping krystal would do that to you. "we never talked. you know how i am with the ones i like, right? we have one or two classes together every semester but we never got the chance to... talk. and to be honest, i'm not sure if she knows me."
"oh, c'mon." taeyeon pushed you playfully. "who in this school doesn't know about the aikido captain, huh?"
"that's not something i'm proud of," you grunted. "first, nobody in this school watches aikido, and they don't even know such club exists. they love the basketball team more than anything."
taeyeon was lost for words. being in the same club as you are, she knows you're right. none of the students is interested in watching martial arts competition.
"well... besides that, you're every teacher's pet here," she countered. "i'm sure a lot of students know you, including her."
you rolled your eyes again, not sure if that's even a compliment.
"sometimes i feel like i'm tired of being a good student," you said, sighing in defeat. "sometimes i just feel like i want to do something different, anything that could impress her."
"you mean you wanna be delinquent too?"
"i don't know. i just feel like i don't exist in her world. maybe doing something bad or anything that she does will make her notice me." you spare krystal another glance. "why am i always liking the ones who aren't interested in me?"
"are you saying you don't find suzy pretty?" asked taeyeon. "i think she's a more fit for you."
suzy is a close friend of yours in your block. it's not a secret to the both of you how people in school ships you together. you feel flattered because aside from being pretty, suzy is a studious student.
even your dad is pushing you to date her after you introduced suzy to him.
"are you saying i should make suzy my girlfriend so i could get over krystal?" you asked.
"not a good idea but if that will help you realise how amazing suzy is, then i'd say go for it." taeyeon shrugged. "besides, have you forgotten that krystal and her gang bullies suzy? isn't that enough reason for you to despise her yet?"
you let out a huff, knowing what taeyeon saying is true. that's one thing you disliked about krystal. suzy is one of your closest friends in school. but these girls--krystal and her friends--are always ganging up on her. they are not hurting her physically or what, but they are kind of taunting her and telling her things on your back. you rarely notice it but there were days suzy would say she's getting low key ganged up by those girls.
"i don't know, taeyeon. maybe i saw something in krystal that's why i don't really care about her dark sides," you said, compelled to answer to taeyeon.
"saw something? like what, ?"
you punched her arm. "!"
"for all i know, all you wanted to do is to have her in bed."
"i'm not a maniac like you." you felt your face getting warm.
taeyeon hit you playfully. "hey, you're too serious. if i'm gonna advise you one thing, i think you should go for suzy."
you stared at taeyeon.
"seriously, man. suzy is perfect for you," she added. "and i think she likes you too. there's no point dreaming of someone not your calibre." she nodded her head towards krystal's direction.
you've thought of it several times. although you are not sure if you love her, you know you like suzy. it's just that you like krystal too and your feelings for both of them are different.
"you really think so?" you asked.
"pssh, come here you, romeo." taeyeon draped an arm around your shoulders to pull you closer. "don't look further because the one for you has been right in front of your eyes all this time. you're just not noticing her enough because of those pretty distractions."
you scoffed inside. krystal is pretty but definitely not a distraction. and the one in front of your eyes now is her.
after more than a year of liking krystal, you are starting to accept that being with her is a far, far away dream. maybe you should stop thinking about her. maybe suzy could really help you with that.
taeyeon raised her glass for a toast. "for suzy?"
you clinked your glass with taeyeon's.
"for suzy," you agreed even though it doesn't feel right. maybe you just have to try. besides, it's not impossible for you to fall for suzy. and with krystal, chances are slim.
it's just impossible.
or maybe not?