it feels good to see seulgi back in your class.
unlike before--when you feel slightly awkward knowing she's in the audience eyeing you the whole time--you are more relaxed this time around.
you think developing that level of comfort is inevitable, considering you've slept with her. but unlike the typical hook-ups only lasting one session, yours is starting to blossom into friendship.
the idea makes you feel somewhat... giddy.
no. you're not, in any way, expecting your relationship to escalate romantically.
no. that's... absurd.
you're only loving the new experiences you're getting from her. you never thought stepping out of your comfort zone--moral zone--would make you feel this fulfilled, like for the first time in your life, you feel like you're finally living your own life.
you don't like to blame it on anyone. but you know that growing up in a religious household had greatly influenced how you view life in general.
at a very young age, you were taught that obeying your parents will do you good. combine it with your increasing urge to be like your unni, you thought doing everything she does or whatever your folks wanted would reward you the same love and affection your parents shower her.
so you followed them all the way, to the point you don't know how to decide for yourself anymore, to the point you're losing your sense of self.
it got worse when your brother was born. you were fourteen then. at that time, you were starting to feel more conflicted about yourself, feeling weirded out that you're not finding your male peers attractive like how your female peers do.
it's a problem you didn't voice out because your priority was to please your parents and get at least a portion of their attention now that you have another competition in the family.
you couldn't tell them you're not attracted to boys. you couldn't tell them you feel more comfortable around girls your age, that the simple touches and skinship from your pretty friends makes your heart flutter in so many ways.
you couldn't tell anyone either, because you know they will judge you.
so, you keep it to yourself, thinking that everything will be okay as long as you play the good daughter role.
donghae was the very first male figure you felt attracted to. no, he didn't give you the same feelings as how you feel with your secret girl crushes. but having him around distracts you from those immoral thoughts.
and since your parents think he's a nice boy, you agreed to date him.
he was a sweet boyfriend, a good friend, and a charming person in general. he convinced you that having a boyfriend isn't as bad as you thought it would be.
so, you gave in, thinking you're doing the right thing. the first kisses were awkward. no butterflies in your stomach. but you eventually got used to it. you've learned to care for him genuinely along the way.
on your first night together, donghae had you watch several films to the point you got so aroused you couldn't say no anymore. you don't remember if you enjoyed it the first time, but the succeeding ones felt good. so, why not?
you didn't stop noticing girls at church, school, or even work. but having donghae around helped in maintaining your sanity--your morality.
whenever you feel sadness taking over from your frustration of not having a relationship with someone you really like, you turn to donghae, and he always manages to make you feel alright again.
it's a never-ending cycle. it worked out for fifteen years for you.
you've been good at controlling yourself and your feelings.
but everything changed when you met--
"professor bae, can i help you with these?"
you blink at seulgi. you realise you dismissed the class two minutes ago.
"i figure i can help you with carrying these back to your office." seulgi gestures to the stack of papers on the side of your table. "i will also be handing over a copy of my medical certificate for my absences last week."
you observe your surroundings. none of the students seem to care what you two are talking about as they are busy chatting and leaving the classroom.
"uh. sure." you get to your feet and fix your things. seulgi carried all of the papers for you, leaving you to pick up your small bag.
"chivalry is not dead, professor," seulgi whispers before she steps out of the room.
you shake your head and follow.
"yah! kang seulgi!"
a group of female students approaches. you recognise them as seulgi's block mates.
"hello, professor bae," says the woman whom you remember as son wendy. she bows, and the other students follow. "i see seulgi's trying to make sure she passes this time around, huh?"
seulgi scoffs. "i did not fail last time. i got dropped out."
"yeah. and you never learn. you've been absent for a whole week again, you idiot!" wendy covers when she remembers your presence.
"it's okay." you smile. "already reprimanded her for that."
the girls cheered on you. "drop her again, professor!"
"yah! what's wrong with you! i've got a valid excuse!" seulgi tells her classmates. "admit it, you missed me."
"well, i'm sure a certain person missed you bad." wendy smirks at a girl whom you recognise as lee chaeyeon.
chaeyeon flushes instantly. "i... i do hope you are well, seulgi."
your brows fly up.
"oh. i sure am. thanks, chae." seulgi shifts all the papers to her other hand, pressing it in between her elbow and ribs, and pats chaeyeon's head.
that move elicits a loud squeal and teases from the group of girls.
"we're off to eat lunch, seulgi," wendy says. "we'll be at the usual."
"sure. i'll catch up." seulgi nods. "i'll help professor bae with these first."
you pretend you didn't notice how chaeyeon eyes you uncomfortably before they bow altogether and say their farewell.
you let seulgi into your office first before closing the door behind you.
and locking it silently while she's busy stacking the papers in order.
you don't know why, but after that fitting stall escapade you had last week, you're feeling exceptionally adventurous today.
and you know this student of yours won't say no to you.
"you are quite a charmer, aren't you?" you say as you make your way to her, putting your bag down.
"what does that even mean?" she's still occupied arranging the papers.
"hm." you lean your on the table. "have you ever tried sleeping with one of your close friends?"
"no. i am not crazy enough to ruin a friendship for my libido." she briefly looks up at you. "it's usually with people whom i'm not close with or the ones i don't often meet--or won't meet ever again."
"then why me?"
"why hook up with someone you'll constantly meet weekly, first period, every mondays, wednesdays, and fridays?"
she finishes her task and places both her hands in her pockets.
"well..." she presses her lips together and shrugs. "who am i to say no to the hottest professor that's ever laid foot on this university?"
you snicker as a response.
"i'm not kidding," she says. "professor, you have no idea how many women and men, in my class alone, would pay me thousands of bucks to be here, standing where i am right now, be given a chance to stare at you like this and be looked back in a way that says you want me to you here."
you fold your arms. "and how much would you ask from them?"
"hell no. you're priceless, madam. i wouldn't even trade this moment for any money in the world."
you roll your eyes at the line before gesturing a finger. "come here."
she glances at the door. "aren't there--"
"it's locked. and we have about fifty minutes before another staff comes in. now, would you like to do this here or not?"
"." she skips to you in haste, cupping your cheeks and kissing hard like it'll be the last time she'll get the chance to.
you reciprocate the gesture as you let her lift you on the wooden table, spreading your legs so she can stand in between while ravishing your neck.
but you stop when you feel her phone vibrate against your leg.
she pulls back a little to check the phone, brows furrowed. she sets it down on the side, giving you a glimpse of the caller's name: lee chaeyeon.
"aren't you going to answer that?" you wipe her lips with your thumb. "i can see your girlfriend is worried about you."
"she's not my girlfriend. and i told them i'll catch up."
"not your girlfriend, huh? i'm sure you ed her at least once."
she furrows her brows. "i did not."
"do you want to?"
she looks at you and studies your face. "professor, don't tell me you're--"
you stop her with a deep kiss that lingers for a few seconds before you pull back.
"it's not in the way you're thinking." you trail your thumb over her lips again. "i'm going to be honest here. i don't like the idea of you doing me here and jumping to the next girl an hour later. it makes me feel i wasn't enough."
"oh." she blinks. "i... i don't do that. that's kind of... tiring," she says softly and innocently, making you laugh. "what?"
"nothing." you shake your head. "you're so cute, kang seulgi."
"but i seriously don't do that. like multiple girls in a day?" her eyes grow wide. "that's insane! i mean, won't my tongue get numb?"
you lean you her as your body shakes with your laughter.
"i'm serious!" she says. "why are you having that kind of notion towards me?"
"nothing. i just..." you exhale as you compose yourself, finally recovering from the laughter. "i have one weird request."
she looks at you, waiting.
"can you promise me that while we're doing this, it'll be only with me?" you say, playing with her tie.
she stares, mouth slightly open.
"in return, i promise i'll only do it with you too," you finalise, her shoulder. "don't ask why. i don't have any particular reasons. all i know is i like us in this way, and i want to hold onto this for a little while longer."
she blinks. you know she's thinking.
her face finally softens. a smile breaks out. "sure. i promise." she leans her head against yours. "i like us in this way too."
"so..." you pull back, cupping her cheeks. "are we still doing it here or not? we're down to forty minutes."
and seulgi doesn't waste another second.