*Beep* *Beep* *Beep*
Ryujin groaned as she reached out to silence her mobile phone's alarm. She squinted, bracing her eyes in case sunlight has splashed across her black-painted walls. Realising that it was a bit gloomy outside, she let out another groan. All the more reason to stay home, she thought.
But with exams closing in and having high grades to maintain, Ryujin begrudgingly got out of bed to get ready for school.
Today did not particularly start well for Yeji as she accidentally slept in. One of the things that the girl absolutely despises is being late and here she was, missing her usual dose of caffeine and bolting her way into her class.
"Yeji! I thought you won't make it!" her friend, Kim Solar, said as the other girl took a seat and tried catching her breath.
"I bloody slept in. Stupid Yeji," she answered after settling in. "On another note, I should really take Physical Education class more seriously," she added.
Yeji and Solar have been inseparable since they were kids. It has even been a running joke in their year level that even their names are together in the list, claiming Ranks 1 and 2 respectively. "I'm just slacking off so she can be the genius because people already know I'm the prettier one," Solar would joke which always prompted an eye-roll from Yeji.
Lunch time came around quicker than Ryujin had initially imagined and she was walking with some friends to go to the cafeteria when something caught her eye in the Bulletin Board.
"LOOKING FOR DANCERS TO JOIN THE TEAM FOR INTERSCHOOL COMPETITION" the flyer said.
"Chaeryeong! Lia!" she called out to her friends who were startled as they didn't realise that Ryujin stopped walking with them until they heard her voice. The two girls ran back to where she was standing.
"What's up, buttercup?" Lia asked.
Ryujin pointed at the flyer. "Would you like to join? I think you guys would be a good addition."
"Only if you are coming too," Chaeryeong said.
Ryujin looked at her friend flabbergasted. "Yeah, nah. I don't dance," she said which earned a glare from the two girls.
"I call bull," Chaeryeong fired back. Ryujin knew it was true but she just does not have the confidence to do it in front of a massive crowd. Besides, it will mean asking her parents for money to buy her clothes for the competition and she didn't want to add to their family's expenses. Her tuition fees are not cheap and she didn't come from a rich family.
She started walking again and her friends followed. "I'll think about it."
"Solar, I signed us up okay? I'll see you tomorrow," Yeji said nonchalantly while collecting her stuff, hoping that her friend will not question it further or she might have to start digging her own grave.
The dark-haired girl looked at her questioningly. "For what?"
"ThedancethingythatIsawinthebulletinboard," Yeji said in one breath.
"I did not understand any of whatever gibberish you just said but I am quite certain you signed us up for something I will murder you for," Solar said, her hands on her hips. Yeji only gave an apologetic smile.
"Hwang Yeji, what in the hell did you sign us up for?!"
Yeji winced at her friend's voice that filled the entire room. "Uh, for that dance group that they're trying to put together."
Solar's eyes grew bigger and she seemed to be at a lost for words for a few seconds before saying, "You have seen me dance and I am nowhere near a beginner's level, let alone for a competition!"
The other girl sighed and blew a puff of air to move her pink-streaked hair away from her face. The challenge is not convincing her best friend to audition for the dance group but it's convincing her that she is good enough, "I have been teaching you for the past few years and you have improved so much. We both know that you are aware of that. C'mon Solar. It's our last year and then we are off to college and might not be able to get another chance like this. And I don't want to do this without you."
"You just want me there so that you can force me to tell you that you're a good dancer every time you need an ego boost," Solar huffed. "As if that's even necessary at this point. You're already too full of yourself," she added.
Yeji smiled at the comment, "You got me."
"Whatever." That was a yes.
The auditions were held and the final list of the students who made it into the group was posted on the bulletin board.
"I still can't believe I agreed to this."
"Well, I was right, and you got in!" Yeji said as she bumped hips with her friend.
Next to them was a group of juniors that they ran into during auditions. Yeji was hoping they will all make it because she reckons they were good dancers. She was about to ask them when she heard one of them say, "See, Ryujin! You have half-assed the choreography because you did not want to get in but you got chosen anyway!"
The shorter-haired girl rolled her eyes and said, "Ugh. Let's just go to the cafeteria. I'm starving."
Yeji remembers her because of her blonde fringe, but more importantly, because she was amazing during auditions - and for her friend to say that she had not even been giving her best at the time makes Yeji more intrigued.
"Oh, Moonbyul got in too," Solar's voice pulled Yeji out of her thoughts.
"Who now?" she asked.
Solar turned to her, "That junior who danced hip hop very well."
"Oh you mean the short-haired girl with a blonde fringe who was standing here earlier?"
Solar shook her head, "No the one with the long dark hair. She was better than the one you were talking about."
"What? No, I think the short-haired one did better," Yeji said defensively.
"Anyways... they both did well and they're both in," Solar said before they start another friendly competition of who is right.