As time passed, Jungah and Kris grew closer.
At school, they were always partners for every activity and spent their breaks together. Seeing them together wasn’t surprising anymore. It was thought as ordinary and was almost even expected.
Wherever Jungah was, Kris was thought to be there also.
Not only were they close at school but also outside of campus.
Jungah thought of Zico less and less, especially when she was with Kris. She was late to most of Saturday dinner dates with Block B. Twice, she had to cancel dinner plans with him.
Jungah wasn’t the only one calling off obligations. Kris postponed all meetings on the weekends. His priority had changed ever since Jungah had come into his life. Now, she was number one to him.
It was Saturday night. Once again, Jungah had canceled dinner plans with Zico. He walked into the kitchen and sat at the table.
“What about Jungah?” Kyung asked.
“She’s not coming.” Zico bit into his pizza. He looked like it didn’t bother him at all, but Kyung could read him like an open book. Zico was worried, confused, and disappointed.
“What the hell?! Again?!” U-Kwon yelped. “This is the third time.” P.O. frowned.
“Yeah, well she’s busy.” Zico explained.
“With what? It’s not like she does homework.” B-Bomb snorted.
“I’m telling you. It’s because of him.” U-Kwon spoke.
“Who?” Taeil questioned. He loved gossip.
“That guy we ran into her with. The tall, scary-looking boy who does not look like he’s in high school AT ALL. He looks as old as us. Heck, he looks older.” U-Kwon stated. “What was his name again?” B-Bomb asked. “Wu Fan.” Jaehyo answered promptly. He had sharp ears and a good memory.
U-Kwon snapped his fingers, “Yeah! Him!” “What about him?!” Taeil impatiently asked.
“Guys.” Kyung shot them a look then worriedly glanced at Zico. He seemed curious also.
“I heard they’re inseparable at school. Apparently, they hang out even outside of school. They’re like this.” U-Kwon crossed his fingers. Zico’s face fell.
“Really?!” Taeil gasped.
“Wow. The Han Jungah has finally made a friend.” B-Bomb snickered.
*With her temper, good luck keeping it.* Jaehyo thought.
“What if they’re something more than friends?” P.O. questioned. Everyone stared at him.
“Pyo Jihoon!” Kyung hissed.
“What? I’m just saying…I don’t think Jungah is the type to blow off plans for just a friend. She especially wouldn’t abandon Zico hyung.” He said.
Everyone shifted their gaze to Zico. *P.O., you idiot.* Kyung shook his head. Zico forced a big smile and shook his head. “Maybe we’re stretching their relationship. If Jungah was dating someone, she would have told me.” *At least, I think she would have. She always tells me everything.* “Let’s just wait until Jungah brings it up.”
“Okay.” U-Kwon simply shrugged and took a giant bite of his pizza. Everyone went back to eating.
Zico worriedly glanced at his phone. *Please don’t tell me P.O. is right. It’s true that I wanted her to find someone better than me to be with…but this is too unexpected.*
It was Friday afternoon. School was finally over for the weekend. Kris picked up his backpack and turned to Jungah, “I won’t be able to see you this weekend. I have plans with relatives.” *More like the drug lord of Hongdae.*
“Okay.” She shruggd as if the news didn’t dishearten her at all.
Kris rested his palm on the desk and slightly leaned towards her. His eyes fell upon her, and he gave her an inquiring look. Jungah slung her backpack over her shoulder and shifted her gaze upwards. “What?”
“I’m wondering…” Kris tilted his head, “Won’t you miss me?”
Jungah rolled your eyes, “Don’t kid yourself. I’ve lived well before you, and I’ll survive the weekend without you. Maybe I’ll even fare better.”
“I wouldn’t hold your breath for that one.” He grinned. “Just go.” She passed by him.
“I’ll call you.” Kris said. Jungah paused by the door and glanced sideways at him. “I’ll call you this weekend.” He promised. She merely shrugged and walked away, but a smile was playing on her lips.
Jungah came out of the restroom and wagged her damp hands. *Damn this cheap school. There are no more paper towels.* She halted when she saw Kris walking down the staircase. Jungah opened to call his name but stopped when she saw Wonsuk and his friends crowding around the stairway and watch Kris head towards the exit. Jungah closed . Something told her that they were planning something bad. Her eyebrows furrowed in suspicion. *What is Park Wonsuk up to now?*
“There! The bastard is leaving!” One of the guys frantically pointed.
Wonsuk frowned, “Who does that bastard think he is? He’s acting like he owns the school.”
“And he’s always by Jungah now! I heard they’re really going out now, hyun!” His junior friend whispered.
Wonsuk glowered at Kris, “If that rumor is true, it won’t be for long. I’ll get rid of him. He’ll either go running back to China tomorrow…or he’ll end up in a coma in Korea. Either way, he won’t be returning to this school.” Jungah narrowed her eyes and clenched her fists in fury. *That vile bastard.* “Come on.” Wonsuk tapped his friends and made his way downstairs. His friends quickly followed.
One of them stopped and looked back. Jungah quickly hid behind the wall. The boy glanced around then ran after Wonsuk. Jungah stepped out of her hiding spot with determination written over her face. *I won’t let you touch him, Park Wonsuk. As long as I’m concerned, you will never go near him. I’ll make sure of it.* She quickly strode towards the other exit.
Kris was one of the last ones to leave the school. He stopped and glanced around. *Did Jungah already leave?* Kris fixed the strap of his backpack over his shoulder and headed towards the gate. His phone rang, and he answered, “Hello? Yes, tonight is good.” He conversed with the man on the other line as he walked towards the gate.
Wonsuk and his gang appeared behind him. He opened his mouth, “Yo-“
A hand swept over his mouth and dragged him backwards. “Hey! Han Jungah!” His friends pursued him and the kidnapper.
Kris stopped and glanced back. *Did I hear someone call Jungah?* However, the area behind him was clear. No one else was there. *Hmm. I’m hearing her name everywhere now.* Kris walked out of the campus.
Jungah poked her head out from behind the building. She breathed in relief when she saw that he was safely out of sight.
Wonsuk shoved her hand off his mouth, “What the is wrong with you?!”
Jungah turned her attention to him. Her eyes narrowed into acerbic slits that showed no mercy. *Now I’ll deal with you.* She grabbed his shoulders and kneed him hard in his groin.
Wonsuk doubled over in pain. “Y-yah- ARGH!” He couldn’t breathe properly from the impact of her knee colliding with his private area.
Jungah stepped back with a baleful glare, “I won’t let you hurt him, Park Wonsuk. If you want Kris, you have to go through me first.”
“You !” Wonsuk hissed and pointed a finger at her, “Get her!”
His friends advanced towards her. Jungah didn’t hesitate to defend herself. She grabbed a reaching arm and twisted it. The freckled boy screamed in agony. Jungah kicked him towards the ground.
“Son of a-“ One of his friends tried to help. Jungah kicked him in the chest and punched another in the face.
“YAH!” A senior male with a nose ring lunged towards her. Jungah spin-kicked his face and punched another right in the gut. *I can’t believe it! How can this girl beat five guys?!* The boys were stunned and alarmed by her combating skills.
One of them spotted a wooden stick on the ground. He picked it up and tried to swing it at the right moment. Wonsuk watched as Jungah pulverized his friends. He gritted his teeth in rage. *I have to get to you to get through Kris? you. You think I can’t? I’ll show you who is the boss around here, Han Jungah.* Wonsuk walked towards the fighting scene. “Give me the stick.” He ordered.
His friend blinked, “But-“
Wonsuk snatched it from him. He gripped onto the end and watched as Jungah kicked his friend into the trashcan. *Now.* His eyes flashed with anger. He strode right towards her. Jungah turned around, and her eyes widened as he raised the bat. She raised her arm as a shield. The wooden stick smashed into her arm.
“!” Jungah landed on the ground. She bit her lip in agony. Her arm was throbbing with excruciating pain. She tried to hold it out, but it was shaking terribly. *. He broke it.* “You should be grateful I wanted you, you little brat! But you take his side?!” Wonsuk shouted, enraged. *I have to get away from him.* Jungah protectively hugged her injured arm to her chest. Gnashing her teeth, she tried to crawl away from him.
“Oh, no. You’re not going anywhere. We’re going to end things here, Han Jungah. I don’t need a like you in my life anymore.” Wonsuk raised the wooden stick.
Miraculously, a shout came from above, “PARK WONSUK! YOU PUT THAT THING DOWN RIGHT NOW!”
Everyone looked up. “! It’s the principal! Run!” The boys ran away.
The principal vanished from the window. Most likely, he was coming down to get them.
*. I have to get out of here before he catches me.* Jungah attempted to get up. She grunted in pain and placed her good hand over her broken arm. Jungah started running towards the exit. However, the boys and she were blocked by the principal, secretary, and two security guards.
*Damn.* Jungah thought.
The secretary sighed and shook her head, “This was the last chance, Han Jungah.”
Jungah was sitting in the doctor’s office. Her broken arm had been bandaged, and a thick cast had been placed around it. She wasn’t allowed to use her injured arm for a good four to six weeks. She felt smothered already. *Stupid broken arm. Damn you, Park Wonsuk. How can you make me handicapped like this? . I won’t be able to do anything for the next month or two.*
The door to the office burst open, and Zico darted inside. Jungah looked up. Her eyes rounded. *Crap! This isn’t good.* His eyes landed on her right arm. When he saw a cast around it, his heart dropped like an anvil. His eyes drifted back to her face. Jungah averted her gaze to the floor. Heat crept up her neck, and her cheeks colored in shame.
“Han Jungah is suspended for an entire week. I told you this would happen, Woo Jiho. Take your stepsister home, and make sure she learns to control her temper. No more fighting, you hear?”
The secretary’s words rang in his head. Zico gazed down at Jungah.
Grudgingly, she stood up. “I’m suspended, right?”
His gaze softened. He couldn’t yell at her now. He had never raised his voice at her, and he never planned to. He blamed himself for verything bad that happened to her. *I couldn’t take care of her better. If only I could have been there for her…* “I signed the papers, so we can go now.” Zico spoke without rancor.
Jungah left the office with a heavy sigh. Zico led her to his car and opened the passaenger door. She entered, and he clipped her seatbelt on for her. Zico shut the door, went to the driver’s side, and drove off. He glanced down at her broken arm. “It’s fine.” Jungah curtly spoke.
Zico looked at her face. Jungah was staring out the window with guilt and humiliation. “I’m okay. It doesn’t hurt. The cast just bothers me a bit, but that’s all.” Her voice was soft, “So…you don’t have to worry about me.”
*How can I not? You got into a fight with five boys and broke your arm. I always worry about you, Han Jungah. Every damn second that I’m not with you, I worry about you.*
“Wonsuk did this to you, didn’t he?” Zico asked. Jungah looked at him. His expression was indifferent, but she could tell how tense he was by the way he was gripping onto the steering wheel. His knuckles were pale, and she was afraid he would cut off the circulation in his hand. “Does it matter? It’s not like you would go after him and beat him up. You’re not that type of person. You’re too righteous for that.” She looked back out the window.
*You’re right. I wouldn’t do hurt anyone… unless they messed with you. And right now, I want to ing rip Wonsuk’s head off. God damn it. He’s still pursuing her after all these years. How many times do I have to teach that kid a lesson before he quits bugging her?* Zico rested his left arm on the door and ran his thumb over his bottom lip. He glimpsed at Jungah. *But it wouldn’t help in this situation if I went after him right now.* Zico tried to lighten the mood. “So now you’re on vacation for a week.”
Jungah spun her head around and hissed, “It’s not a damn vacation, and you know it. I was SUSPENDED.”
It was quiet for a moment then Zico spoke, “Mind telling me why you got suspended?”
“Isn’t it obvious? Didn’t the secretary tell you? I got into a fight.” Jungah shrugged.
“Why? What did Wonsuk do?” Zico questioned.
*He tried to ambush Kris and hurt him. That sneaky, filthy rat!* But Jungah would die rather than confess that to Zico. “I heard through the grapevine…that it was because Wonsuk tried to…go after your friend.”
She stiffened. *I’m going to rip Wonsuk’s friends’ big mouths off when I see them next week!*
“Am I right?” He asked.
“Does it matter?” Jungah growled.
*Yes, it does. You never reacted so defensively for someone else. You don’t even bother with anyone if they talk about you. If they say something about me, you’d definitely say something back. But when Wonsuk said he would hurt Kris…you went on a rampage. You even broke your arm while trying to protect him.* Suddenly, Zico was filled with dread. *What if what P.O. was saying was true? What if…they really are in love?* The idea made his insides cold.
Zico received a message from Kyung. ‘We’re leaving tomorrow to Jeju, right?’
*Jeju.* He looked at Jungah then made up his mind. “Since you’re…suspended, you can come with me on a trip.”
“Trip?” She asked.
Zico nodded, “I’m going to Jeju for the week. You won’t have anything else to do, so come with me. We can take a break from…everything here.”
*What about Kris?* Jungah wondered, but she knew opportunities to go on trips with Zico were seldom, so she accepted it. “Araso. I’ll get ready.”