Soojin remembers this dance studio like how one would remember their childhood home. She remembers the first lesson she was signed up for upon her mother’s encouragement, although she was unwilling to do it at first.
Her mother thought she had a talent for dancing, and Soojin doesn’t remember it, but her mother would always tell her how she started busting out moves before she could even crawl.
Soojin just didn’t like the idea of having to dance in front of people, she was a shy kid after all. On her first day of dance lessons, Soojin met her dance teacher, Hyuna. She was youthful, and despite her intimidating look, Hyuna was quite soft spoken and friendly.
Soojin remembers hiding in the corner the moment her mother had dropped her off at her lessons, and Hyuna pulling her to the front row just so she could be seen.
It’s been six years since Soojin has stopped taking lessons with Hyuna, but she visits her from time to time, and they are still very much close. Hyuna was always there to support her during her dance competitions, and sometimes the older woman would jokingly tell Soojin that she should take over her studio in the future.
Well, at least Soojin thinks she’s joking.
It wasn’t a difficult decision for Soojin when Hyuna had asked her to take her place in two weeks worth of lessons at the studio, while she runs off to Europe with her fiancé, Dawn.
Of course, she’d do it. Hyuna has done so much for her, this is the least Soojin could do for her.
The studio has made a drastic change since her days. Soojin could pinpoint every single detail of the building that was different. From the interior, what were once blackened walls with signatures of every student that had taken a lesson with Hyuna, that was now painted a dull white.
Soojin preferred the old look, it had much more character to say the least.
“You’re here early.”
Soojin blinks out of her nostalgia, turning around towards the door.
Karina walks in nonchalantly, a small smile greeting the latter. She sees the baffled look on Soojin’s face, and Karina waits for the string of disdainful words that were to follow next.
“What are you doing here?” Soojin’s face blares the anger bubbling in her chest.
Before Karina could respond, Hyuna appeared from behind her with a look of warning. “Now, now, Soojin.” Hyuna shakes her head, “my rules still apply even if I’m not here. Only kind words in this studio.”
Soojin scoffed, crossing her arms. “We are not children anymore, Hyuna.”
Hyuna smiles, “then don’t act like one. I asked both of you to do me this favor, and because you both love me very much, you both promised me you would teach my classes while I’m gone.”
Soojin glares, “I never agreed to work with her.”
“You still made a promise to me, and I’m expecting you to fulfill it.” Hyuna pointed out, “so stop whining, and come give me a hug.”
Soojin heaves a sigh before doing as she’s told, “it’s nice to see you, Hyuna. Congratulations on getting married, by the way.”
Hyuna lets out a content groan, hugging one of her most favored students tightly. “Not married yet, but thank you.”
When they pull away from the hug, Hyuna reaches for Karina to stand next to her, and Soojin looks away awkwardly.
“Two weeks worth of classes, guys. I expect to come back to my studio in one piece.” Hyuna looks at the two women, back and forth, with a stern look on her face. “No fighting.” She adds firmly, knowing their dynamic very well from years of lessons with the both of them.
“Yeah, yeah.” Soojin mutters, kicking at the floor below her feet.
Karina only nods, still wearing her smile.
“I’ll be back in two weeks!” Hyuna jumps excitedly, throwing her arms around both women, and planting smooching kisses onto their cheeks.
“Two weeks!” Hyuna cheers as she skips out the door.
The two women stand in the middle of the room, air thick with tense awkwardness. Karina could practically feel the burning heat of anger radiating around Soojin, and her heart clenched with extreme guilt.
“So,” Karina starts, scratching her nape, trying to think of any sort of conversation starters that would make this situation less awkward. “How should we do this?”
Soojin scoffs, “we’re not doing anything.”
“Hyuna said we’re supposed to work together to teach her classes.” Karina reminds her, “we promised her.”
Soojin huffs in annoyance, “if I knew I’d have to work with you, I wouldn’t have promised anything.”
Karina’s lips form a thin line, eyes saddened, “I know,” she mutters, “but you did, so…”
The disdain in Soojin’s eyes was clear as day, and Karina was already used to it. “Come on, Soojin. I’ve already apologized—,” Karina tries to say, but Soojin lets out a sarcastic laugh, “so you expect us to be friends now?”
Karina heaves a sigh, “I know it won’t be easy,” she says, “but yeah, I was hoping.”
Soojin looks away, arms crossing over her chest stubbornly. Karina doesn’t blame her for keeping very strong opinions about her even after so many years, but she’s hoping that she’s able to prove to Soojin that she’s indeed changed.
“I was horrible, Soojin. I know, but I was young and stupid, and I’m sorry. I know that doesn’t justify all the torment and bullying I’ve done to you in the past, but I’ve matured. I swear to you.” Karina is sincere, but Soojin refuses to look her in the eyes to see cry it. The visible clench of Soojin’s jaw tells Karina that the latter is holding back.
“I’m gonna make it up to you.” Karina says with perseverance, “I-I don’t know how, but I will