Ch. 15Wed Game
Joshua is a no-good, manipulative, evil, drama-seeking liar. He told me that the old man who was touching and harassing Jiheon would be disqualified, but nope. He’s right there, leering at Jiheon like a hungry dog.
Poor Jiheon. She’s so uncomfortable with him around her, always looking her up and down like she’s a prize for him to claim. And whenever we try to go somewhere else, he follows us like a stalker.
I tried everything. I told the staff in red that the man was supposed to be disqualified, and they didn’t seem to believe me. I told them Joshua himself told me, and they thought I was lying. I told them he was looking at Jiheon in a messed up way, and one of them laughed at me.
I yelled at him, threatened, shamed him in front of everyone Told him to leave us the alone, but no, he wouldn’t stop. He just keeps staring and leering.
“Mingyu, go fight him or something,” I tell my useless male companion.
“Chill, Sae. He’s just looking.”
“Looking can be just as much harassment as touching.”
“Oh come on, you know you’re being overly dramatic.”
Men just don’t get it. They don’t understand how someone can look at you and still make you want to crawl out of your skin. How they can make you feel so violated and afraid and threatened.
Jiheon has been shaking ever since we spotted him again. She can’t even talk, always keeps her shoulder hunched and her head down. And there’s nothing more I can do but stand in his line of vision.
I am so tempted to punch him again, tell him to off, but I I’m on thin ice.
Either he lied to me about getting that man disqualified, or he just forgot to disqualify him. Either way, he’s an , and I’ll be sure to tell him off next time I see him. How his idiotic actions have caused an 18-year-old girl so much fear and trauma.
I lead Jiheon to the women’s bathroom, and tell her to go in and stay put until I figure out what to do with that harassing her. She nods and thanks me again for all my help.
When I leave the bathroom, I see that old man is standing to the side, watching the door to the women’s bathroom, waiting for her to come out.
“Come on, Sae, why are you into babysitting all of a sudden?” Mingyu asks. “Just leave the girl alone; you’re not responsible for her.”
“Well someone has to be. Did you see how she was shaking, Mingyu? She’s terrified.” I begin walking through the crowds of green-clad contestants, thinking, plotting.
Mingyu is right behind me. “Okay, but it’s not your problem. Let the organizers handle it. You did report him already, didn’t you?”
“No one’s doing anything about it though! So I have to take matters into my own hands.”
“What can you do, huh? You can’t make him look away.”
“I can put a bullet through his head.”
“You can’t do that either.”
“Maybe I can conspicuously throw a rock at him and knock him out,” I say, more to myself than to him. “No one will know it’s me.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“There’s got to be some way I can hurt him without anyone knowing…”
An unfamiliar voice, directed at me, cut through the sound of the crowd. “A tick.”
I look toward the source; it’s a girl. A girl so pretty, I have to stop walking just to get a better look at her. The kind of girl that’s so pretty, you can’t help but wonder immediately what it’s like to walk around in the world being that gorgeous. She’s got the glowing skin and permed hair of a rich heiress, and just radiates wealth. Number 9.
Even her number is hot, god damn it.
“What did you say?” I ask.
“You’re talking about that old man harassing #69, aren’t you?” the girl asks. She looks so cool, like one of those femme fatales who goes around smoking cigarettes and seducing men to do her bidding.
“Yeah,” I say.
“You didn’t hear it from me, but the island is crawling with ticks,” she says. “They live on the shrubs and love soft skin, like the skin of creepy old men. One bite, and the unfortunate man will have to go to an emergency room.”
With that, she walks away.
I like this girl. I like her a lot. I know this will not be the last time I deal with her. Number 9.
As it turns out, I’m not the only one entranced by her. Mingyu also stares after her with stars in his eyes.
A tinge of jealousy pools in my belly.
I nudge him with my elbow.
“Come on, . Let’s go find a tick.”
Even as he walks behind me, I know he doesn’t look away from her until the very last moment.