001Our Friends Talk (About Us)
chapter 01 we hate each other
Length: 12.7k words
[ 1 ]
“You’re not captain anymore.”
“That’s funny, Coach.”
“Baekhyun, it’s not a joke. You’re not captain of the soccer team anymore.”
Baekhyun pauses mid-stretch to rise to his full height. He looks directly into the blue eyes of his coach. After almost four seasons of collegiate soccer with Coach Matthews, Baekhyun can tell when the old man is lying for the sake of team moral. He usually purses his lips, nods, and raises his brows in an earnest fashion. However, Baekhyun sees none of those tells. Instead, he sees his Coach, squinting under the direct sunlight, staring at him as if he felt sorry for him.
“What do you mean I’m not captain anymore?” Baekhyun asks defensively, almost snapping. “What? I led us to a championship last year.”
Coach takes a sharp intake of breath. “It’s not that simple, Baekhyun,” he says. “Why don’t you come over to the side, and I can tell you more about it?”
“I’m leading practice.” Baekhyun turns around to glance at the rest of his team. He has them running the standard drills, and for the past hour, he has been instructing them on what to do. “I’m captain,” Baekhyun stresses. “I can’t just leave.”
“But you’re not captain,” Coach insists, further fueling Baekhyun’s anger and confusion. “The university doesn’t want you playing anymore soccer when your grades have been falling.”
“So I’m being banned from playing soccer because of my grades?”
“It’s not that simple,” Coach repeats himself. A stray soccer ball rolls to where he’s standing, and he stops it with his foot. “You’re not being banned from anything. You’re still on the team.”
“So why am I not captain?” Baekhyun questions. He has to remember to lower his voice because as much as he sees Coach Matthews as his friend, he’s still the head coach of UCLA’s men’s soccer team. Coach can easily bench him for disrespectful behavior.
“NCAA rules.” Coach places his hands on his hips and sighs.
The NCAA, or the National Collegiate Athletic Association, determines the guidelines for college-level sports. Rules are meant to protect and create equality among teams, but sometimes, the rules are just so ridiculous that Baekhyun guesses that some are only there to cause trouble and frustration for athletes and coaches.
“Minimum grade-point-average to be a Division I student-athlete is 2.6,” Coach explains. “That’s what the NCAA says. Right now, you’re sitting at a 2.63.”
So, it’s not great. So, it’s an awful GPA in comparison to a lot of his peers. So, Baekhyun’s father would berate him if he wasn’t already so thankful that it’s not any lower. But so what?
“That’s good enough, isn’t it?” Baekhyun shakes his head, unable to understand where the problem is. “I’m meeting the requirements, and you said that I’m still in the team. Why can’t I be captain?”
“It’s a lot more complicated than that.” Coach untucks the clipboard he had been holding from under his arm. He removes a piece of pink paper from the very top and hands it to Baekhyun.
“Oh no,” Baekhyun mutters under his breath. He already knows what that slip of pink paper means. It means that he has to retake a class.
“You haven’t passed ‘Writing 2’ apparently. That’s a GE. It’s a state requirement to pass that class if you want to graduate. And that,” Coach pauses to take another sigh, “is why you’re not captain anymore. The university wants their students to excel in academics before sports, and—”
“Wait, so why am I getting removed as captain?”
“It’s on that pink slip.”
Frowning, Baekhyun looks down at the piece of paper in his hands. It’s addressed directly to him: Baekhyun Byun. Although he’s not much of a reader, it’s hard to miss bolded letters and underlined sentences.
“The English Department is making me see a tutor?” Baekhyun asks out loud as he reads the instructions. They’re typed in all-caps, ensuring that he doesn’t miss it. “On Mondays and Wednesdays? From 2PM to 4PM?” Baekhyun stares at Coach in disbelief. “I’m gonna miss half of our practices. It says that I shouldn’t even be at here today.”
Coach doesn’t say or do anything but nod, confirming the reality. “That’s why you’re not captain anymore,” he says after a moment. “You need to focus on your studies, and the university and I think it’s for the best to give you a lighter load on your back.” Coach purses his lips and glances at the rest of the team that has begun a short break by the sidelines. “I know how much you love the game, but… It can wait.”
It can wait?
Baekhyun stands there, angry beyond comprehension and utterly powerless. It’s late September, the very first week back at the university, the season is just starting off, and they have a game against UC Santa Barbara on Friday. No, it can’t wait, but his Coach just looks at him.
“So that’s it?” Baekhyun asks in a tone that tries hard not to mock. “I’m not captain anymore, and I’m just supposed to go see a tutor? I’m just supposed to miss practice today?”
Baekhyun really hopes that Coach will walk back on his words and deny his past statements, but all he does is nod.
“That’s right,” Coach confirms. “Your academic counselor told me that you need to go right away too.”
“You couldn’t have told me this through an email?” Baekhyun doesn’t want to be rude. No, he doesn’t want to be angry at Coach right in front of the team, but he feels robbed. After leading the university to a championship, Baekhyun feels violated that the one thing that he’s proud of—being captain of a team of brothers—is being taken away from him. “I changed out and everything,” Baekhyun says, “and now you’re saying that I have go back and sit in class somewhere?”
“I just got that piece of paper today,” Coach explains in a calmer tone. His pale cheeks are pink, but they always turn pink when he stands under the sun too long. “Believe me. If I had known, I would have told you.”
Whatever, Baekhyun thinks to himself. I ing hate it here.
Baekhyun is wordless when he grabs his bag and hydro-flask off the field. He also makes sure to kick a stray soccer ball as far away as he can manage.
“Where are you going?” one of his teammates asks.
“Ask coach!” Baekhyun yells without looking over his shoulder.
[ 2 ]
Although Baekhyun knows that he’s supposed to see some assigned tutor at around 2PM, he doesn’t walk any faster when he realizes that it’s 3:30 by the time he gets changed back into his day clothes. He doesn’t ignore the lost first-year students either. In fact, Baekhyun leads every lost student he finds to their classrooms just to get out of having to see a tutor. Since the UCLA campus—the great, famous 419-acre camps—is so large, it’s almost 4PM by the time Baekhyun reaches Kaplan Hall and parks across the street from its west entrance.
Kaplan Hall, standing at three floors, is the epitome of academia. Its exterior—constructed in the Lombard Romanesque style—is composed of reddened brick and limestone, and all are arranged carefully in uniform patterns. Even from the distance where Baekhyun stands, he can spot and count each individual stone used. The roof also has a small parapet, or thick barrier, that only adds to the castle-like image of the already royal-looking building. The windows on the top two floors, all very tall and arched, are perfect for daydreaming when one should be studying. In fact, some are wide open, undoubtedly testing the focus of whoever comes near.
Big windows are good for the soul, Baekhyun’s mother used to say to him. We could always let a little more light in.
As Baekhyun walks to the doors, he reads the inscription that’s literally set in stone over the entrance: “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Baekhyun isn’t quite sure of what it means, but he assumes that it must mean something pretty profound—otherwise the university wouldn’t have put it there.
“Oh, here he is.”
Baekhyun has only entered the building when he hears a familiar voice.
“Professor Goyal,” Baekhyun says, turning to his left. He meets the smiling face of his favorite professor—a tall, middle-aged man with dark hair and a five o’clock shadow that does little to hide his dimples. While Baekhyun either detests or immediately forgets his professors, Goyal is one of the memorable ones. He made learning fun and easy.
“Baekhyun!” Goyal takes Baekhyun into a warm embrace. “It’s nice to see you again despite the current circumstances, but I think we’ll get through it just fine.”
“Current circumstances, huh?” Baekhyun chuckles breathily. “That’s a nice way of saying that I won’t graduate unless I get my act together.”
“Well, I’m sure that it’ll be manageable for you,” Goyal dismisses. “You’re a bright student when you exert the effort.” He turns to the student who has taken a position standing next to him. “And you have help! This is your tutor for the next two quarters.”
Baekhyun is about to smile at his new tutor, but he abruptly stops when he recognizes that it’s her. She looks a lot different from when Baekhyun first met her last spring; her waist-length blonde hair is now a light brown, and her complexion seems to have grown a lot tanner over the summer, but it’s still her. They’ve only met each other face-to-face twice prior to this meeting, but she has worn the same expression every single time. Eyes narrowed and squinting. Lips curled up slightly in a scowl. Brows furrowed but trying hard not to frown. Nothing seems to have changed.
“Hi, Baekhyun,” she says in a neutral tone. “My name’s Nami, and I’ll be your tutor for Writing 2.”
Of course. It’s her. Nami Fujita is his tutor. As if being demoted from captain isn’t bad enough, Baekhyun now also has to deal with the cursed and the demented Nami Fujita as his tutor. She isn’t the sole reason why Baekhyun’s father answers his phone calls with an exasperated tone, but she’s a contributing factor, and that’s bad enough.
“Hey,” Baekhyun greets back. He has to remember to calm down and unclench his jaw. “It’s…nice to see you.”
“Have you met?” Goyal asks, completely ignorant of the conflict between the two of them. “Nami was my TA last spring.”
“Yeah, I met her,” Baekhyun says sharply as he glares at Nami. As Goyal’s Teaching Assistant, he saw her in the lecture halls often, but he also met her when she pulled him aside and accused him of plagiarism. “So,” Baekhyun scrutinizes Nami disdainfully, “you’re the one who failed all my essays last year.”
“And you’re the one who didn’t even try to do the readings,” Nami retorts.
Oh, you and the stupid readings, Baekhyun wants to say, but Goyal is standing in their midst, ensuring that another world war doesn’t break out at Kaplan Hall.
“I hope the two of you get along,” Goyal states with a hint more of intuition. He eyes Baekhyun and then Nami carefully. “Baekhyun, I’ll be your reporting advisor for the duration of the Writing 2 class. That means that I’ll be personally overseeing your progress and making sure that you meet the criteria.”
“Your actual professor is Professor Yeager for next two quarters,” Nami adds. She opens the folder in her hands and hands Baekhyun a small packet of paper. “He’s a pretty strict professor, so make sure that you read the syllabus. I highlighted all the important dates and made some notes.” Baekhyun looks down at the first page of the syllabus, and nearly half of it is highlighted, making the page look more yellow than white. “Make sure to read it,” Nami quips again.
“You already said that,” Baekhyun mutters. Twenty minutes hasn’t even passed, and he already feels like bashing his head into a wall and ripping his own teeth out. At least those things wouldn’t be as painful as having to deal with Nami.
“Well, it’s important,” Nami goes on, “so make sure to read it.”
I want to pass away, Baekhyun thinks to himself. Oh my, god. This is it.
“I have another meeting to get to,” Goyal says, breaking the awkward silence between Baekhyun and Nami. “Do the two of you understand what you’ll be doing every Monday and Wednesday?”
“Yes, we do,” Nami answers for Baekhyun and her. She smiles at Goyal and nods. “I’ll fill Baekhyun in on the syllabus and the rest of the class. Have a good day, professor.”
“Thank you, Nami.” Goyal smiles at her and then at Baekhyun before patting the latter’s back. “Make sure you listen to her,” he reminds Baekhyun. “She was one of my best students, and I don’t doubt that you’ll do well with her to help you.”
Yeah, I ing doubt it, Baekhyun wants to say, but he just smiles and nod like the good boy he can portray himself to be.
Once Goyal is out of earshot, Baekhyun glances at Nami and groans loudly enough for her to hear.
“Was there no one else available?” Baekhyun demands. “Don’t tell me that the Queen was the only tutor left.”
“Believe me, if I could choose not to deal with your , then I wouldn’t be here,” Nami snaps back. She gives him a onceover and rolls her eyes. “You think I want to tutor someone who I caught for plagiarism?”
“I didn’t plagiarize jack .” Baekhyun scoffs at the fact that Nami still hasn’t gotten over that incident in Goyal’s class last spring. “You made that up just so I could get in trouble.”
“Do you think I have time to make up stuff about some low-achieving ?” Nami forces herself to do a little laugh. “Please. If I could make anything up, I’d make up my own world without you ruining it.” She shakes her head in disdain. “Now shut up. I have to brief you on a class syllabus because you missed it today.”
“I already have a copy. I can just read it on my own.”
“You don’t even know how to read.”
Baekhyun pauses. “Excuse me?” he asks despite having heard every word. “I do know how to read. I’m not a .”
“You’re literally retaking a class for the third time,” Nami points out with a snicker. “Come on. If you’re not a , then you’re a failure, and that’s pretty much the same thing.”
Usually, Baekhyun doesn’t react to these types of things. He’s a male soccer player. Hearing insults traded on the field and in the locker rooms is a common occurrence. He knows better than to react and give a person the pleasure of having gotten inside his head. However, this is Nami Fujita. Ethics and morals can go to hell.
“I’m gonna report you to Goyal,” Baekhyun threatens. “I don’t think he’d be happy if he knew his TA was acting like a ing .”
“Go ahead.” Nami challenges. She scoffs again and crosses her arms. “I already talked to him about finding you a different tutor, but he personally wants me to help you. There’s nothing you can do to change his mind. Now,” Nami takes a deep breath, “shut up so I can walk you through the syllabus.”
“No?” Nami frowns and glares at Baekhyun. “What do you mean ‘no’? This is important. You’re going to have assignments every day leading up to your first essay—”
“I can do it myself,” Baekhyun dismisses. If he’s going to be stuck with Nami for the next two quarters, then he’s going to minimize the amount of time they’ll be talking to each other. “This is my third time taking the class,” he says in a mocking tone. “The assignments are like 10-percent of the total grade. I can just come to you for the essays.”
“That’s not how it works, Baekhyun. Hey. Wait. Stop.” Nami grabs Baekhyun by his arm as he’s turning towards the door. Baekhyun shakes her hand off him, but it comes at the cost of having to stop and turn to her. “You need to listen to me,” Nami hisses in a hushed whisper. The two of them are still inside Kaplan Hall’s empty lobby, and the whirring AC does little to drown out their voices. “This is really important. You know how bad it’ll look on the both of us if you don’t pass this ing class? I’ll look like a failure, and you’ll look like a total who failed a class three times.”
“I’m not gonna fail this class three times.”
“And I’m sure you said that the first two times, yet here you are.”
“So?” Baekhyun challenges. “Do you think I planned to fail?”
“I don’t know. Maybe you did.” Nami eyes Baekhyun disdainfully. “Clearly, you don’t have good work ethic if you’re taking a sophomore class yet again.”
“What do you mean ‘good’ work ethic?” Baekhyun repeats, offended. “I’ve been playing soccer for 15 years. I know what ‘good’ work ethic looks like.”
“Must be ty work ethic then,” Nami scoffs. “Who fails a class twice? Now listen.” Nami takes out a second copy of a syllabus from her holder. “I’m the tutor here, remember? I tell you what to do.”
As team captain (or ex-team captain), Baekhyun doesn’t like being told anything—which is precisely what Nami does—but he bites his tongue and endures the agony of it. Nami goes off into a mini-speech of how “work ethic” and “diligence” is supposedly important to excelling within academics—and life. Baekhyun can barely stand to listen to her, however, because he has heard this same speech before, and he doesn’t need to hear it again—especially from someone with the likes of Nami.
Instead of listening, Baekhyun simply stares at the girl standing in front of him. She has a mole near her right eye, resting just on her cheekbone, that Baekhyun pays more attention to than her voice. Although she’s several inches shorter than him, Nami talks as if she were above him. Like she’s superior or something. She talks without a pause, and as a result, Baekhyun simply cannot focus on anything she says. As far as Baekhyun is concerned, she’s just spouting words.
“Did you get that?” Nami finally asks after at least five minutes of talking.
“Yeah,” Baekhyun lies.
“Then don’t be late for our meeting next week on Wednesday or I’ll kill you,” Nami says as she tucks her copy of the class syllabus back into her folder. “Monday’s a staff development day, so we don’t have class. Do you have any questions?” Baekhyun opens his mouth, but Nami is already talking. “No questions? Alright, good.”
Something about that—Nami’s arrogance paired with her dismissiveness—just annoys Baekhyun. It’s not just the fact that she got him in trouble for “academic dishonesty” and “possession of alcohol” in the past; it’s also the fact that she thinks she can act like a under the guise of doing the “right” thing. Like now, she doesn’t actually want to help him pass a class; she just wants to fulfill her duties and call it a day. If she really cared, then why would she act so insufferably?
Nami is slow to walk to the exit, so Baekhyun quickens his pace to overtake her.
“I’ll see you on Wednesday shortie,” Baekhyun says loudly to Nami. He opens the door before she can and proceeds to let it close on her face.
[ 3 ]
It’s around 7PM when Baekhyun gets home later that day. It’s LA. It’s September. So there’s no rush. No rain. Just clear skies and a heavy heart. Maybe some sweat when Baekhyun runs up the steps to his apartment on the fourth floor. But mostly a heavy heart.
I’m not captain anymore, Baekhyun thinks to himself. One of his only sources of happiness has been taken away from him, and it’s not fine; he’s not fine. Being captain made him extra proud of the team, but it also gave him purpose in an otherwise purposeless life. He was actually good at it too. He worked hard and he played harder as captain. Now, he can’t even go to certain practices or games.
He stands out on the balcony, palms flat against the cool railing. LA stretches out before him like golden-eyed lover. There aren’t many things that can ease Baekhyun’s mind, but this city can always bring him to a smile because it seems to go on forever, and his resulting daydreams are just as endless. From his vantage point, the cars seem more like toys than machinery. The palm trees lining the roads could fit in between two fingers, and the sun is about the size of a grapefruit.
Baekhyun is just about to get lost in his thoughts when he feels his phone vibrate in his pocket. He takes it out, expecting a phone call from one of his friends, but to his disappointment, it’s his father. “Dad,” the caller ID says in Korean. It’s tempting to just let it ring, but lately, Baekhyun’s father has been calling more and more frequently, and the least Baekhyun can do is pick up.
“Hello?” Baekhyun answers.
“Baekhyun.” His father, being a real-estate developer who constantly travels between properties, sounds rushed as usual. Like on most of their phone calls, he doesn’t stop for pleasantries. “How are classes going?” he asks without pause. “Are you doing alright in them?”
“Why wouldn’t I be?” Baekhyun retorts, annoyed that his father is calling about the one thing he hates.
“Tanveer Goyal—one of your past professors—called me yesterday,” his father states, causing Baekhyun to sigh. He should have known his father was the reason for all this tutoring nonsense. “He said that he’s worried about you, so I arranged with the university to get you ‘supplemental instruction.’ Is it true that you’re retaking a class for the third time?”
“Something like that.”
“They said it was important otherwise you won’t graduate on time.”
“Well, I’m worried. Should we talk about this?”
“Sure, I guess.”
Baekhyun’s father sighs loudly on the other line. “Baekhyun, please. I’ve already made several donations to that school. If I have to make another one—”
“Then don’t,” Baekhyun interrupts rudely. “Let me get kicked out. I don’t care. You know I’m not captain of the soccer team anymore?”
There’s a short pause. “What?” Baekhyun’s father asks softly. “What do you mean? Didn’t you—”
“Something about ‘tutoring’ needing to take priority.” Baekhyun heads back inside his apartment to fall backwards into a couch. “I’m gonna miss half of my practices this season and probably most of the games too.”
“I-I’m sorry. I didn’t know that your schedule would be so affected. I—”
“Why do you even care if I graduate?” Baekhyun challenges. Talking about the mandatory tutoring he has to take has caused him to grow more aggravated. “You already have someone—that Junmyeon guy you’re always talking about—working for you. Can’t you hire him to run your business when you retire? Why do I need to do it?”
“Because you’re my son,” his father answers as if it were a shocking question. “I care about you, and I want what I have to be yours one day. And it would make your mother and I very proud.”
At the mention of his mother, Baekhyun’s temper flares even further.
“So you suddenly care about what mom thinks?” Baekhyun sits up just because he’s all worked up. His father has all his money and influence, but he can’t just mention her and use a person like that for personal gain. “That’s really funny,” Baekhyun scoffs. “I’m sure you care so much, dad. By the way, don’t call me on a school night again. I’m busy.”
“No, wait, I—”
Baekhyun hangs up before his father can finish his sentence. Almost immediately, his father tries to call him again, but Baekhyun places his phone on silent and casts it aside so that he won’t be disturbed by any more calls. Although Baekhyun wants to try and like his father at the very least, it’s near impossible for him to do that all things considered. Too much has happened between them, creating a rift—or a mountain—of wrongdoings that Baekhyun will no longer look over. As far as Baekhyun is concerned, his father is just a means to get by. A walking dollar sign and a nuisance. Nothing else.
Minutes pass by, and Baekhyun lies back down onto the soft couch. It’s as good as a bed, and it’s located in the best room of his apartment: the living room. His mother designed this midrise apartment complex, and she took sunsets and living rooms very seriously when drawing up her plans. With two walls composed of floor-to-ceiling windows, every sunset is less of an assault to the eyes and more like magic to the senses. There’s a specific moment—around 7:30PM on the last week of any September—where Baekhyun can lay on his side and watch as the orange hues of solar luminescence paint his living room.
It lasts for less than five minutes, but five minutes is more than enough.
Baekhyun gets up and checks his phone for any messages.
There is one from Baekhyun’s personal chef, Scott, who comes in every weeknight and week-morning to prepare him some nutritious as an athlete. Scott says something about arriving in ten minutes because LA traffic is awful on Mondays. Baekhyun replies with a thumbs-up.
And there’s also a text from his father.
Baekhyun doesn’t read the entire message because it’s so lengthy. He only reads the word “disappointment” on line one and decides that it’s enough. He already knows what his father thinks of him. There’s no need for reminders. He knows that he’s a disappointment.
[ 4 ]
Next Tuesday, it’s October, and the glare of the sunlight during the day is so strong that Baekhyun swears that he’s about to melt. Even during the small team break, when he’s chugging water out of his hydro flask so fast that it dribbles down his chin and neck, the heat is so terrible that he scrunches his nose at the absurdity of it.
“What’s up? Why’re you making that face?”
Baekhyun screws back the lid of his flask. Standing before him is Hunter McAllister—the tall, curly-haired third-year goalie. Despite his height, he’s nowhere near lanky. Like most of the other boys on the soccer team, he’s on the slender side but toned enough to withstand tackles from an opponent. And his eyes are so viridescent that even while he squints, their green hue isn’t washed out from being under the harsh sunlight.
“It’s just hot,” Baekhyun dismisses. “How you doing with the freshman goalie?”
“Oh, Calum?” Hunter takes a sharp intake of breath. “He’s alright. I think he’s just still nervous. He was sick last week, so his first D1 game is this Friday.”
Baekhyun stands with Hunter on the sidelines as the two of them watches the freshmen fish the stray balls out from the field and the goal. There are supposed to be three new freshmen members on the men’s soccer team this year, yet Baekhyun can only count two that are actually active in preparing the field for their scrimmage.
“I thought there was three freshmen?” Baekhyun asks out loud. “I see two, but isn’t there another one?”
“Oh, you’re talking about Mark Lee,” interjects another voice. This one belongs to Hades Bordeaux—the jaded fourth-year midfielder and Baekhyun’s old co-captain. Of course, now that Baekhyun doesn’t hold the position as team captain, that duty falls onto Hades’ shoulders. “I told the freshmen to get the equipment, right?” Hades starts, crossing his tanned arms. “Well, I shouldn’t have told them to do that when the girls are doing laps.”
For a second, Baekhyun doesn’t know what Hades is talking about, but then he sees the women’s soccer team running their laps around the field. UCLA’s Intramural Field is about four soccer fields big, allowing for at least four separate teams to practice there without interruption. However, they still technically have to share perimeters, and that means that the women’s soccer team runs their laps close to the men’s. Usually, it’s not a problem—in fact, it has never been a problem—but it’s a problem now that a scrawny freshman is watching the girls practice instead of fulfilling his duties.
“What the hell is he doing?” Baekhyun wonders out loud.
The girls have finished their laps and have begun to do some more warm-ups. They’re the same kind of warm-ups that the boys do—like jump squats and walking lunges—but the only difference is that they’re the women’s soccer team. Of course.
“He could just be…thinking,” Hunter reasons.
“Yeah, thinking of what? We can’t have distracted players on a championship-winning team,” Baekhyun retorts. He then parts ways from Hades and Hunter only to come back with a ball. Although Baekhyun could easily shout for Mark’s attention, he’s not that nice, and this would be funnier. So, without hesitation, he kicks the soccer ball directly into Mark’s , causing the unassuming boy to turn around abruptly.
Hades and Hunter start laughing at Mark’s surprised state, but Baekhyun simply glares at the freshman who comes running to him.
“You’re supposed to be helping your teammates,” Baekhyun states as a matter of fact. “What are you doing?”
“S-Sorry, I kinda forgot,” Mark stammers. He looks threatened by the presence of three upperclassmen, but otherwise, he seems unashamed for having been caught distracted by the women’s team. “H-Hey, I’m Mark. Mark Lee, by the way,” he introduces himself. “I don’t think we met last week?”
“I’m Baekhyun,” Baekhyun answers with disinterest. Last week is still bitter to Baekhyun, and he’d rather not think about it.
“Why weren’t you here last week?” Hunter asks, annoying Baekhyun. “We saw you for like 20 minutes, but then you left early.”
“I have to retake a class, so I have to focus on that,” Baekhyun replies simply. Although Hunter looks at him curiously, Baekhyun doesn’t want to elaborate any further. Instead, he takes the attention off him and back onto Mark. “What position do you play?” he asks Mark. “Forward?”
“No, I actually play midfield,” Mark says. “Usually left, but I can also do right. Whatta ‘bout you?”
“I play center-mid.” Baekhyun crosses his arms because he knows what this means. “I guess we’ll be seeing each other a lot then, huh?”
Every Thursday and on some Tuesdays, the team practices in smaller