The deafening rumble of the thunder echoing throughout the campus, the ear-splitting lightning piercing across the pitch-black sky and the hefty pitter-patter of the rain on the roof of the main building were what welcomed me the moment I exited the library.
The hallway was deserted as I couldn’t see any other students littering around nor staff rounding the rooms. Even the janitors who were usually cleaning up at this time were nowhere to be seen. If it wasn’t for the bright light coming from the fluorescent lamps on the ceiling, I was sure it would be as if I was in a scene straight out of a horror movie.
It was already past six o’clock in the evening and I was just going home now because I got holed up in the library, finishing a requirement that must be submitted tomorrow morning since that witch of a professor changed the due date at the last minute.
I knew it was better to just do it in the confines of my room with a warm milk choco on my table. However, the book that I borrowed for reference was so heavy that I refused to put it inside my bag and bring it home.
I was currently regretting I made that childish decision.
Because now, I had no idea how in the world would I get out of here since out of all the days I was being a girl scout just in case it rained, I chose today to not bring an umbrella. My phone had also run out of battery so there was no means for me to inform a certain someone who was probably waiting for me in the parking lot inside her car.
Just my luck.
My heart almost jumped out of my chest at the unexpected emergence of an unfamiliar voice.
“Oh, hi.” I breathed out when I recognized the face of the newly arrived person. “Minju, right?”
She smiled, seemingly pleased that I remembered her name.
How could I not?
It wasn’t every day I get to meet a pretty girl.
“Why are you still here?” she asked.
“I finished some requirements in the library.” I figured it was fine to tell her about my misfortune. “I was about to leave but it suddenly rained and I don’t have an umbrella with me so I’m stuck here.”
“I brought mine and it is big enough for us to fit under.” I watched as she pulled out her umbrella from her backpack, pressing the button on the handle to open it to prove her statement. “We could share if you don’t mind?”
I refrained myself from raising an eyebrow.
This was only the second time we were meeting each other, but she seemed already comfortable around me.
Don’t get me wrong, I had absolutely no problem with this kind of attitude.
I was just a bit surprised since I had already grown accustomed to seeing people afraid to approach me because apparently, I looked intimidating.
“I don’t want to impose...”
“Come on,” she urged. “I insist.”
I pondered about it for a second.
It was embarrassing to trouble someone I wasn’t close with and it was something I wouldn’t do under normal circumstances.
Though I guess it was better than having to wait for the rain to stop which I was quite sure wouldn’t be happening any time soon.
“I’ll take you up on that offer then.” I shot her a grateful smile before hopping to join her under the umbrella.
We walked through the rain with careful steps.
Eyes going down the road now and then to check if there was a puddle in the way so we could avoid getting our shoes soaked.
The umbrella was obviously made for two people, but the gust of wind was a strong so getting ourselves wet was inevitable.
I’d just take a warm shower once I get home.
“I heard from Yeji that you’ll go to the training camp.” I suddenly felt an arm around my waist and before I knew it, I was being pulled closer to her. My eyes widened as I glanced over her as if to ask what she was doing. “You’ll get yourself soaked.”
I mean, she wasn’t wrong.
However, I don’t think we were already at the level where any form of physical contact would be welcomed. Even Aeri doesn’t do this to me. If only I wouldn’t come off rude, I would’ve removed her arm because was it so uncomfortable.
“Ah, yes.” I nodded. “I’ll go.”
“We’ll see each other there.”
I didn’t know why she sounded really delighted at the idea. We didn’t know each other that well, why would she be delighted? Was I missing something here?
“Yeji told me,” I said timidly, hoping she could sense that I didn’t really want to talk.
“I can’t wait."
Girlie couldn’t take a hint.
I opted to not say anything anymore and just let the sound of the rain falling filled the silence in the air. It was awkward but it was better than having myself accidentally spill something I knew she wouldn’t like.
Honestly, I expected more from her considering she was a friend of Yeji who was the first friend I had made since Aeri. It was disappointing that she wasn’t the least bit similar.
I snorted internally at the thought.
That was why I had few friends, to begin with.
It was hard to find people who gave off the same energy as me.
The relief that washed over me when reached the black GTR was enough for me to disregard the rain and get myself as far away as possible from this girl.
I opened the door right away before I threw myself on the leather seat and slammed it closed. The windows were heavily tinted that was why it was impossible for her to even discern my figure, but inside, I could clearly see the slight disappointment on her face.
“Who was that?”
I turned to look at her.
She only had her shirt on and the sleeves were rolled up to her elbows. Her left hand was on the steering wheel while the other was on the gear stick.
Then I trailed my eyes up to her face.
The memory of what happened in the comfort room earlier this day was slowly coming back to me regardless of how hard I had been struggling to push it at the back of my mind.
How her body molded against mine perfectly.
Her warm breathing on my neck that sent tingles down my spine.
She didn’t touch me or anything.
She was surprisingly staying true to her words.
But somehow, I found myself feeling something unpleasant within me when she removed herself from me and proceeded to leave without saying anything.
I shook my head to get rid of such absurd thoughts.
Why would I be disappointed?
It wasn’t like I wanted her to touch me or anything.
That was impossible.
I watched as she smoothly turned the car to the right where the exit was located.
“Is she a friend?”
There was something in her tone that I couldn’t quite pinpoint. It was as if she was mad yet at the same time, she wasn’t.
“Why?” My lips quirked up in a teasing manner. “Are you jealous?”
She kept her eyes up ahead, lips sealed and so focused on driving since the road was slippery and one wrong move could send us flying.
It didn’t mean I would stop though.
I felt like being petty tonight.
“You are jealous, aren’t you?”
“I’m not jealous.” A plain reply.
Her indifference was starting to irk me.
“Oh?” I pressed on.
She released a breath.
“It is only natural that people with functioning eyes will be drawn to you.” She stopped the car as the traffic light turned red. “The fact remains, however, that those same people don’t matter to you. You won’t even bat an eye on them. Why would I be jealous?”
I honestly didn’t expect that answer to come from her.
It left me speechless for a moment.
She could really be serious if she wanted to.
“I was annoyed, Karina,” she followed up when I didn’t speak. “She draped her arm around your waist right in front of my face. She’s got some nerves.”
I bit back a grin, extremely satisfied at the responses that I was receiving.
“She was keeping me from getting soaked.” I tried to reason out even though I didn’t like what Minju did either just to further.
“She could’ve just told you to come closer!” she argued. “She didn’t need to touch you!”
That was the last straw.
I couldn’t hold it in anymore and let out a hysterical laugh while my hands found their way to slap her arms repeatedly.
Oh my god, it was ridiculous to see her all worked up.
All the times that I tried to get on her nerves by insulting her, I never imagined this was the only way to achieve that.
She’s so adorable!
“So, you will only get jealous of your sister?” I said without thinking. “I like her, after all.”
For some reason or other, the light air surrounding us vanished into thin air in an instant and was replaced by a suffocating tension.
I noticed how her body froze momentarily as if her brain short-circuited upon hearing my question.
Her chest was rising and falling rapidly.
Eyes darkening even though I couldn’t see it fully along with her face.
It took a while before she was able to manage to say something.
“You really are a major red flag, Karina,” she muttered, bitterness apparent in her voice.
“But you are the kind of red flag that is pleasing in the eyes.”
My forehead furrowed as I was completely ignorant as to what exactly she was talking about.
“What are you saying, Minjeong?”
“Or perhaps, I was a flagpole in my past life.” She chuckled before gazing upon me with steely eyes. “We’re here.”
Only when she said that had I noticed that we were already in front of our house. I guess I was too engrossed in our talk to pay attention around us.
I couldn’t help it.
She was speaking the language of aliens.
What did red flag mean?
“Uh, thank you.”
“It’s dark,” she commented, ignoring what I had just said. “Isn’t there nobody inside?”
“Our maids are on a day off.”
“So, you’re on your own tonight?”
I wanted to add how it was a normal occurrence in our household, but I decided against it as she didn’t have to know that.
“I’ll park the car.” She pressed some button on her side and I heard the sound of the doors unlocking. “Open the gate, will you?”
“What?” I blundered out. “Why?”
“I’ll stay for a while.” She shrugged.
She was going to what now.
“Who says you can?”
“Myself.” Her lips formed a grin. “Hurry up.”
I could only roll my eyes in response before stepping outside the car to open the gate wide enough for her car to pass through smoothly and made a beeline toward the door up to my room.
Once I was done taking a quick shower, I immediately went downstairs and smelled a pleasant aroma in the air that triggered the monsters in my stomach to roar uncontrollably, reminding me I hadn’t eaten anything since that eventful lunch with those three.
I was greeted by the sight of Minjeong cooking when I arrived in our kitchen. Various ingredients were laid neatly on the countertop. She had an apron on and her hair was tied in a messy bun, a lazy smile plastered on her lips as if a clear sign that she was enjoying what she was doing.
“You can sit over there, babe.” She gestured to the stool chairs as if she was the owner of the house. “This will be done in no time.”
“I see you can really cook.” I settled on the nearest stool. “I thought you just were lying.”
She chanced a glance upon me in disbelief.
“You really think so lowly of me.”
The way she was mincing the garlic was so fine which had me thinking she was Gordon Ramsay in disguise.
“It was just hard to believe. You are raised in a wealthy family. I’m sure you have a cook in your home.”
She dropped something in the casserole before stirring them with a wooden spoon. Once she was done, she pulled out a frying pan from the storage and placed it on the vacant stove.
“My sister wanted me to be an independent person,” she began to share. “That’s why she taught me how to cook.”
Now, wasn’t that interesting.
“No.” Her voice was firm, jaws were clenched rigidly that I could see the small muscles in there flexing. “My other sister.”
My eyes widened.
She had another sister...?
I was at the point of asking her about the matter but something in her manner showed me that any kind of question would be unwelcomed. She was giving off an aura that I wasn’t familiar with. I mulled over our short conversation, however, and tried to think back on the days when I would meet her family at formal gatherings.
As far as I could remember, it was just always her, Ryujin, and their parents. I never saw someone with them that could pass as her other sister. I also had never heard her talk about this other sister of her everytime we were together. This was the first time I was hearing this.
Was she pranking me?
“Dinner is served.”
The sound of a bowl being placed before me interrupted my musings. When I looked up, everything that we would be needing was already placed accordingly on the counter. From plates, glasses, utensils, soup bowls, and table napkins.
It was as if I was in a five-star restaurant.
I glanced down at the dishes that she prepared.
“Guobaorou?” I said in surprise. She knew how to cook this, huh. “And Seolleongtang?”
“You got that right, babe.” She wore a smug smile. “Goubaorou is my favorite food.”
I thought seafood was her favorite.
Though, that was just so her.
Maybe it was her personality or something, but knowing that she’s into meat more made so much sense.
Minjeong insisted to wash the dishes.
I tried to refuse at first because I wasn’t that heartless to make her do the cleaning up when she already was the one who cooked the food. But there was no way I was going to win against her so I surrendered and stayed on my seat to watch her.
She had pink gloves on, a sponge on her other hand. She was gentle with handling the fragile items, scrubbing them gently but firm before soaking them in water. It seemed as if she was doing this every day.
Honestly, this side of her really shocked me.
I thought she was just some spoiled brat who was used to getting whatever she wanted and would throw a tantrum if she didn’t.
That was a mistake on my part.
Every single day, she was showing me that she was different from what I thought she was. That she was actually a nice person, thoughtful, even.
Maybe Aeri was right.
I don’t hate her anymore.
If this went on, I would probably allow myself to open up to her and be friends with her. We had a lot of similarities so I’m sure we’d get along well.
“Babe, catch!” I heard Minjeong yelled.
Before I could even take a look to see what she was about to throw, a big lump of bubbles was already on my face and clothes.
“What the hell!” I wiped it off my face and tried throwing it back at her only for it fell short and land on the floor instead. “I already showered, Minjeong!”
She was laughing maniacally as she kept on throwing bubbles my way that I could feel my clothes getting damped and the floor getting slippery by the second.
“Stop!” I almost screamed when she began to splash water on me and now I was soaking inside out that I could feel the water on my skin. “Are you a child?!”
“I’m your baby!”
Oh my god.
This had no plans on letting me breathe, it seemed.
You know what, fine.
Two could play this game.
I ran toward the sink and pushed her aside to splash a large amount of water on her which caused her to get drenched from head to toe.
Or maybe that was a wrong move.
Because her white shirt had now become basically see-through and I could clearly make out the outline of her abdominal muscles.
She had abs...?
A momentary silence filled the area.
I could feel the quickening pace of my heartbeat, almost of its own accord.
“Like what you see?”
As if burned, my head turned away as fast as possible.
“W-What are you saying?” I was looking everywhere but her. I don’t think could hold her gaze at the moment.
I heard her giggle before she made her way closer to where I was. My first instinct was to step back because every fiber of my being was screaming that this situation was dangerous.
She was dangerous.
“Do you want to touch them?”
She held my hand and slowly brought them closer to where her belly was.
My brain combusted.
All the rational thoughts pretty much flew out of the window and I found myself eagerly pressing my palm on her abs.
I could feel my body on fire.
It was like I wasn’t in control of my own body because then, my hand was lifting the hem of her shirt in a need to feel more of her, to feel how hot she was against my skin.
However, a strong hand stopped my movements.
When I looked up, she was giving me an intense gaze that were enough to get me intoxicated that I almost staggered on my feet.
“Damn it,” she husked as her grip on me tightened as if she was trying to control herself. “You are making me want to break my own rule and touch you.”
A chill shot through my spine.
...I think I would like that.
My lips curved into a smirk.
“Why don’t you?”