“Seulgi-unnie called in sick today, unnie.” Yerim immediately said worriedly after Joohyun entered their clubroom that afternoon afterschool.
Joohyun huffed. “I know.” She figured that already, though she kind of hoped that Seulgi still went to school and was just hiding from her. She went directly to the table and put some food containers. It was from her birthday last night and she thought of bringing some for her bandmates who missed the celebration because of what happened.
Seungwan, Sooyoung and Yerim watched her put out the food containers; their leader’s face exhausted, like she didn’t blink a sleep last night.
“You can have these guys.” Joohyun shortly said after putting all the food out. “I’ll go home ahead.”
The other three watched their leader go out of the clubroom wordlessly. They know she wasn’t in the mood to do any club-related things, not with their situation. And the three of them aren’t exactly in the mood too—Sooyoung and Seungwan still hasn’t spoken to each other.
Yerim can only sigh in regret at that.
“Hi, oppa. I’ll just go up to Seul—” Joohyun frowned and was surprised when Seulgi’s brother blocked her way, in addition to him almost closing the door on her face when he opened the door and found it was her just a while ago. It was unusual. She usually just casually enters their house and go up to Seulgi’s room wordlessly.
“No, Joohyun-noona.” Seulgi’s brother paused, eyes cold and indifferent. “Seul is sick.”
Joohyun rolled her eyes and tried stepping forward regardless. “Yeah, I don’t care. I just need to talk to her—” But Seulgi’s brother grabbed her by the shoulder gently, stopping her.
“No, Joohyun-noona.” Seulgi’s brother insisted. “Seul is not taking any visitor in.”
“Please give Seul some time to heal.” Seulgi’s brother’s voice was almost pleading now, which made Joohyun stop insisting and gave up. He watched Joohyun sighed in disappointment, eyes looking up at Seulgi’s room’s window, in hope to see her sister who was adamant on not wanting to see Joohyun, at least yet. Her heartbreaking bawling last night made him swore to himself to stood guard for her sister’s rare request.
“Should we go visit Seulgi-unnie, Irene-unnie?”
It was the next day when Seulgi still called in sick. Yerim prompted the question when the four of them just sat quietly inside the clubroom without doing anything—they didn’t even talk, and everything was awkward—so Yerim decided to break the silence when their leader finally stood up to leave for home.
Joohyun shrugged, her back facing her other bandmates. “Yeah, maybe you three should. I bet she’ll let any of you in.”
The three just looked at each other at the cold and sarcastic remark—well, except Seungwan and Sooyoung, who still hasn’t spoken—or even looked at each other yet.
But even with that bitterness, knowing that Seulgi is just really hiding herself from her, Joohyun still finds herself there again, shortly after leaving school that very day, almost forcing herself in their house.
Good thing, Seulgi’s brother thought, that he had more strength than her due to gender difference.
“Seul is still stick, Joohyun-noona.” He almost lost her firm ground when Joohyun glared at her angrily. She had never glared at him like this before. It’s not like she hasn’t ever—she always did whenever he sister—but this time, he knows Joohyun is furious.
“Is she really sick??” Joohyun asked, arms crossing over her chest.
“Yes.” Seulgi’s brother quickly answered, looking straight into Joohyun’s eyes to give a sense of honesty to his answer. Well, his sister is not really sick—he thinks heartbroken is the appropriate word. “You might get her flu.” He added to further the lie.
“I don’t care. I need to talk to Seulgi-yah.”
It took all of Seulgi’s brother’s strength to stop the rampaging Joohyun from entering. He pushed Joohyun with all his might to send her out of the door. “You’re so hardheaded, noona! Seul can’t deal with you right now.” He huffed in annoyance. He watched her stop on her stance, staring at him but looking past at him, as if in deep thinking. She sighed after a while.
What she does next still baffles him; he fears for her sister for a bit after that. For Joohyun suddenly picked a stone from the ground and threw it at Seulgi’s window, breaking its glass a little while shouting, “Run or hide all you want Seulgi-yah but you can’t escape from me!”
Joohyun’s ears perked up at the familiar laughter by the corridor. She snapped her head and there, laughing her heart out was Seulgi, seemingly laughing at her own joke for Seungwan was laughing half-heartedly while Sooyoung looked at her weirdly, as the three of them walked past by their classroom—like nothing happened. She flinched when their eyes met.
Joohyun watched Seulgi waved at her hyperactively like a kid, eyes and mouth smiling wide.
Yep, like nothing happened at all.
Joohyun rolled her eyes at that as she sighed in annoyance.
“Hey Joohyun-unnie. You and Seulgi-unnie doing okay?”
Joohyun felt déjà vu at Jennie’s question by her side; it was the same question she asked before when Jennie was having problems dealing with her feelings with her best friend, Lalisa. She glanced at her and found her gaze full of concern. She huffed. “Long story, Jennie-yah. But we’ll be fine.”
“Do you need help, unnie?” Jennie asked worriedly.
Joohyun shook her head. “No, it’s fine. We’re just playing hide and seek and I’m it.”
Jennie looked at her confusedly.
“And it’s about time for Seulgi to come out from wherever closet she’s been hiding. I’d make sure she’d do so, even if that means I’d have to drag her out of it.”
The school’s bell rang, signaling the end of the classes for the afternoon and the start of the club activities.
Joohyun looked outside after a while and as she expected, there standing by the hallway expectantly was the person she needed to talk to first thing—Park Bogum.
Seulgi exhaled sharply before she finally went out of their classroom, preparing herself to act as nonchalant as she can once she faces Joohyun. It was easy enough a while ago, but she’s sure it’ll only get harder once she’s closer, so she got to prepare—two days, one brother complaining, and a broken window should be enough.
As if in cue however, as soon as she stepped out of the classroom and turned her head to Joohyun’s class, she found her walking the other way with well, surprise—Park Bogum.
“Hey, Seul, you coming?”
Seulgi heard Seungwan asked from behind her as she and Sooyoung halted on their way towards where their clubroom is.
No, no, don’t follow them Kang Seulgi! Are you stupid?!
“Go on ahead. I’ll follow later.” Damn Kang Seulgi! She cursed inwardly as she tailed after Joohyun after telling herself not to.
Seulgi bended a bit to peek at Joohyun and Bogum who stopped just a few meters from the first floor’s staircase. She was a few stairs up, hiding from behind the railings, eyes squinting while she tried to listen closely to their conversation that had already started.
“—so, yeah. I’m sorry if that got your hopes up.”
“I see, though I somehow knew your silence meant no… but uhm… but can I still ask why?”
“Hmm, yeah well. I’m in love with someone else.”
“May I know who?”
Joohyun sighed. Why do men always had to ask who defeated them? Ego perhaps? But hell, maybe she’d tell so the truth can spread like a wildfire rumor and it’d stop all other attempts at her. “It’s—”
Joohyun whipped her head behind her when Bogum mentioned the name she was about to say. And there Seulgi was, panic obvious on her face as she pretended to tie her laces-free shoe then stood straight with a nervous smile.
“H-hi! I-I was just about to call Hyunnie? Yeah, b-but I didn’t hear what you two were talking about!” Seulgi stammered, trying to explain why she was there while cursing herself for not hiding properly.
Joohyun shook her head as she sighed then turned to Bogum with an apologetic yet final smile, patting his shoulder once then waved. “Bye.”
Seulgi’s eyes darted all over the place as Joohyun started walking towards her with a serious face. When s