SCENE 1: FIRST MEETINGS
"What do you mean, that gloomy girl?"
Karina only laughs at the weird gesture of her friend, Yeji, who wildly waves towards the end of the classroom while being oddly discreet as well, only making Karina laugh all the more before looking at whatever direction Yeji was signing to.
Three years had passed in high school and this is the first time that she had stared at the girl who sat upon the far end of the seats as always (they did not really have a permanent seating plan), and she may have been too busy to care or did not even care at all.
"Isn't she a gloomy one? The kind you read in books where she's always alone, of some sort?" Yeji asks, and Karina frowns at such a stereotype but could not deny that it isn't at all true—especially as she had not seen anyone interact with that girl herself.
"Maybe she doesn't really fancy human interactions that much? Come on, no reason to be thinking so hard about it—"
Karina could not even hear her move closer as the girl they were just talking about had already made her way towards her—well, she was really going out of the room—and picked up something that she had apparently dropped off the floor, which was actually her pen, and Karina could only smile as she stated at the girl's open hand.
"I take it this is yours?" the girl asks, and Karina could hear Yeji stifle a laugh as her friend picked up the pen in her hand, exchanging a tight lipped smile as the girl then made her way out of the room—
The girl looked back into the room, wonder and curiousness all painted in her face as Karina looked really unsure as to why she even spit out that word, but then she managed another smile and did not really feel awkward with that—
"Your name's Winter, right?" She asks, and Winter smiles wide at that, Karina mentally rejoicing as she heard it right from the chattering in school about her—not that she's gossiping, anyways.
"Yeah. See you, Karina."
Yeji laughs as Karina sinks down her seat, her face unbelievably red while she clutches the pen she had dropped upon her right hand, holding onto it for god knows how long and drowning out every conversation until the bell rang, waking her up from her trance.
"...all I'm saying is, you should go to school earlier if you're going to copy all of Karina's work. Well, shall we go?" Ryujin, another friend of theirs, joined the conversation afterwards without Karina even noticing due to her trance, but she then starts tidying up her belongings as the conversations all ended.
"Rina, you coming? We're going to an arcade!" Yeji says, raising her hand up for the girl to hit, but she then pouted as Karina offered one of those smiles—it usually meant no, I can't join you in her terms, as per what Yeji had memorized from her friend.
"Ah… I have things to do at home, sorry!" Karina says, bolting out of the room before even Yeji or Ryujin could stop her, the two just sighing at that and then just inviting another friend from another section to come with them—Yuqi, that super extroverted friend they had, as Ryujin remembers.
("She isn't too chatty, no?" Yeji would then remark, glaring openly at Ryujin and at the "friend" that they brought with them, who was now causing a ruckus in one of the games.)
"Joohyun unnie!" Karina calls out, but as usual no one answers but the silence while the third year removes her shoes, setting it down upon its proper place in the racks while she hurriedly rushes towards her room, changing into more comfortable clothes.
The "more comfortable clothes" would then be only a pair of an oversized t-shirt that was already three sizes bigger than her usual size as well as some boy shorts she always preferred to wear, putting her hair high up in a ponytail / bun and went off straight to work—
Cleaning, that is.
Using all of her might, Karina makes sure no dust is in sight as she scrubs away, her vast array of cleaning cloths and disinfecting liquids coming in help as she cleaned their whole house with all of her might until her legs and arms were already sore and she was tired more than ever, but it was worth it.
"Jimin noona!" a voice says, and Karina smiles as she picks up the dirty cloths she used and stored it upon the dirty pile in their bathroom (she makes a mental note to clean them later), then making her way to the front door with her smile so wide—
"Junyoung, why is your knee bleeding?!" Jimin says, exclaiming as she immediately disappeared back into the inner workings of the house and went back with a clean cloth, the little kid Junyoung then wincing a little as the cloth came in contact with a small open wound.
"He was chasing a cute cat, and then I saw him trip over and fall." a girl says with a small grin, her hand being used as a stress ball by Junyoung because of how hard he gripped it as he resisted pain.
"Ah, thank you—"
Karina widened her eyes as she stared at the girl, the task at hand forgotten as a girl smiled at her, and it is the first time that Karina had seen so many piercings upon her ears and one of her lips, but she pushed that thought aside as she bowed in politeness to thank her.
"I didn't notice you there, sorry! Oh, and thank you for accompanying him back here." Karina says, offering a smile as the girl scratched the back of her nape shyly, bowing back as a sign of welcome and smiled back as well.
"So, I should go—"
Karina internally cursed as she saw Junyoung grab the girl's shirt, preventing her from going away or even turning back as her sister panicked, not really knowing what to do as Junyoung looked like he was about to cry.
"Ah… maybe you should… you should stay a little? Junyoung wants you to." Karina says, the girl smiling at that statement.
"And would you want me to stay, as well?" she asks, and it takes all of Karina's willpower and embarrassment to not get red at that point, but she still mustered a nod and cleared the way for them.
"Of course, I don't mind at all."
While Karina fixed something for them to eat as a snack, the girl had been the one to dab an antiseptic cotton ball upon Junyoung's knee, the child biting his lips in pain but still smiling at the girl, something Karina had never seen her brother do in front of a stranger.
"Here! We didn't have much, so I hope you don't mind eating some toast and iced tea." Karina says, setting the plates down upon the little table they had in front of a small TV that served as their living room, the girl smiling appreciatively at that after she had just finished putting a band aid on the kid's knee.
"Let's eat, Junyoung!" the girl said, cheering as Junyoung smiled and nodded, grabbing one of the toasts and immediately biting on it, Karina doing the same as the buttery taste stayed in her tongue for as long as it could, her lips as she took a sip of the cold drink, all the while stealing glances of her.
She is certainly someone Karina had never seen before, for Seoul is a big city after all—yet, she swears that this girl looks familiar, but she quite could not put out where she had seen her before.
Probably because of the piercings, Karina thinks, because the girl had insanely so many, adorning both her ears, her lips and one also on her right brow, as well as an adequate amount of makeup that made her face striking as it already was.
But who was she?
"Certainly did not think I'd find you here, Karina." the girl says, smiling as she bit on her toast that was nearly gone in just a few bites left, and Karina smiled as she nodded at that—
"Eh? H-How do you know my name?" Karina asks, panicking and cursing internally yet again while the girl only smiled as she put her chin upon her hand patiently while patting Junyoung's head who already had his second toast for the day.
"I quite remember you know my name earlier, Karina-ssi." The girl says, and Karina widens her eyes as the puzzle connects, and her mind slowly gets rid of all the piercings, of the makeup, imagining the woman in Haejung Girls High's standard uniform—
Isn't she a gloomy one, from Yeji's words.