Five in the afternoon came around so fast that Seulgi had to do a double take.
The remaining students in her classroom were just cleaning the shelves and windows. Seulgi kept looking at her watch, making tiny mental reminders that she was going to start tutoring Bae Joohyun in any minute now.
“You look so stressed, Seul.” Her best friend, Moonbyul, walked over to her, turning one of the chairs into its normal position. “Maybe you should’ve said no to her. She told you she didn’t want it in the first place, right? Probably just didn’t want to waste her parents’ money.” “Yeah, I know.” Seulgi sighed, “But I just realized I need this.” She fiddled with the tip of her braid. “I really need to prove to the teachers around here that students can improve with the right guidance.”
“Sounds like she’s a research paper for you.” Moonbyul grabbed her satchel and glanced at her watch. “Damn, it’s been five minutes past five and she’s still nowhere in sight.” “She’s probably with her friends at Automatic, forgetting that today’s the first day of her tutor sessions.” Seulgi checked her phone. No text messages nor phone calls from Joohyun. She tapped the message box, trying to think of something to say, but afraid that she might come off as harsh. But what if Joohyun did forget about today? Seulgi can’t afford to start her record wrong.
Seulgi shook her head. She’ll let Joohyun off the hook this time. It’s the first day anyway.
“Yah, Seul,” Moonbyul fixed her glasses and gestured to the door. Kim Solar waved at her. Seulgi smiled. “Solar-ssi! Are you two going now?” “Yeah! Moonie here is going to help me pick paint for the interior.” Solar said as Moonbyul approached her. Solar was Moonbyul’s girlfriend, and based on what Moonbyul told Seulgi last week, Solar was helping her older sister figure out the interior space of her new café.
Seulgi waved back at them. “Have fun then!”
The two girls left, leaving Seulgi alone for ten minutes…
And another ten minutes…
And another ten minutes.
It was already 5:45 in the afternoon, and Seulgi had zero patience left.
“Where is she?” She mumbled as she stared at her phone, waiting for a “hey, it’s Joohyun” text from an unknown number.
Maybe her first assumption was actually right. Maybe Joohyun decided to lounge around in Automatic before actually thinking about her future.
Seulgi hated the way it sounded to her. She wasn’t the type to judge people based on how surface-deep she knew about them, but her annoyance—more like anger—got the best of her.
The sound of running.
Seulgi’s head whipped so fast as she turned to the door.
Bae Joohyun was panting, a plastic grocery bag in each hand. And as usual, she had a missing component from her uniform, which this time was the blazer.
“Hey, I’m so—” “Where have you been?” Seulgi half-yelled, glaring at the smaller girl. “I told you not to waste my time! It would’ve been fine with me if you at least sent me a text message telling me you’d be 45 minutes late because you were hanging out with your friends at some almost rundown place in the city!”
It all happened so fast, and Seulgi immediately regretted what she did.
The look on Joohyun’s face was so unrecognizable.
She actually looked… Afraid.
And what she said next fuels the regret in Seulgi’s heart even more.
“I bought you snacks.”
Seulgi gaped at her.
It’s those moments, really, that make Seulgi realize that her fear of coming off as harsh is actually valid because… she is harsh. And it’s surprising because the old her would never regret what she just did.
But seeing Bae Joohyun, standing over at the door, a grocery bag in each hand, coming in late because she bought her snacks… made her feel absolutely stupid.
And Seulgi felt even more horrible when she realized her earlier thought of her not being the type to judge people that way.
“Oh god,” Seulgi walked over to her and got one of the bags. “I’m so sorry.” “It’s all good,” Joohyun managed to laugh after what happened. “It’s my fault. I should’ve texted or called, and so I’m sorry.” They walked over to Seulgi’s desk and started pulling out all the snacks from the bag. Seulgi gasped.
There were a lot of snacks, which made her feel even more guilty for what she did. Joohyun bought Choco Pie, Kkokkalcorn, Pepero, Kancho choco biscuits, honey