The Do's and Don'ts of a Friendly Relationship [Hiatus]

                The sun was warm. I felt the wind as I jumped on my trampoline. It was a nice day to jump on the trampoline; the weather was nice and I didn’t have to go to school today. Actually, for the past few days, I didn’t have to go to school. Not going to school was nice; it meant you could enjoy nice days like today on your trampoline, and not sitting on a desk trying to fan yourself with your hand.

                A car, followed by a truck turned the corner into my street. I looked at it. It wasn’t too rare to see a truck, but I have never seen this truck before. Usually, the ones I see are the white FedEx ones or the brown UPS ones. This one was neither.

                It started to slow down as it neared my house. I started to wonder more: what was it doing? Did we buy something really big?

                It didn’t stop at my house though; it stopped at the house next to me.

                Then, I remembered. I think mommy told me earlier that our neighbor moved and that our new neighbor was going to also be Korean. I guess Koreans weren’t too rare in California, since I knew some from school, but that seemed to make mommy happy. Well if mommy’s happy, then I’m happy too.

                I got off my trampoline and walked over to the truck. I wanted to meet our new neighbors: if mommy liked them, then I like them too.

                When both the cars stopped, a man and a woman got out. The woman was holding a sleeping girl that look my age. I was excited.

                Usually, I didn’t have anyone to play with on my street because everyone was older than me and didn’t want to play with me. Maybe the girl who just moved in would want to play with me.

                Boys from school didn’t like girls, for some reason. I didn’t mind them. I don’t see what’s so bad about them: I mean, they’re just like boys, but with longer hair, right?

                The man and woman noticed me look at them.

                “Hello!” the man said, waving and smiling at me.

                “Hi!” I said, waving back.

                “Can you speak Korean?” the man asked.

                “Yes,” I told him, replying in Korean. Mommy and daddy always spoke in Korean, so I learned from them.

                “Well, we are busy right now. When Jessica wakes up, I’ll tell you to come outside and play with you. Ok?” the man said.

                “Ok!” I said, smiling. Since I was the only child in my house, I didn’t have anyone to play with. Playing with others was really fun, so I was excited for Jessica to wake up.

                I continued to jump on my trampoline, watching people from the truck move big boxes into the house next-door. It must have been two hours before I saw the girl from earlier come out.

                “Jessica?” I said, getting off my trampoline. I wasn’t wearing any shoes or socks since I didn’t need to. The grass felt cool on my feet too.

                “H-Hi,” she said shyly.

                “Do you want to jump on my trampoline?” I asked her.

                She nodded. I smiled, happy that I finally have someone to play with, and waved my arms at her. “Come on, then! My name is Alex, by the way.”

~The Do’s and Don’ts of a Friendly Relationship~

                “Alex, wake up!”

                I was already putting on my clothes when mommy said that. She opened my door while I was putting on my shirt.

                “Oh, you’re already up,” she said. I smiled at her. She smiled back. “Well, breakfast is ready. Come down when you’re ready.”

                “Ok mommy!” I said, putting my head through the hole on the top of my shirt. She walked out of my room as I went to my sink and started to brush my teeth.

                When I was done with that, I went downstairs. I was surprised to find Jessica already sitting at the table.

                “Hi Jessi!” I said happily.

                “Hi Alex!” she replied, smiling back.

                “Are you going to eat breakfast with us from now on?”

                She nodded. “Now sit down already so I can eat.”

                “Fine, bossy-pants. It’s not like I told you to wait for me.”

                We held a staring contest for a few seconds before breaking out into giggles.

                “Ok, enough you two. Eat breakfast; you have to leave for the bus in ten minutes.”

                “Ok!” we said together. We giggled at that and then began to eat our breakfast.

                Jessi and I were in the same class, which made me happy. I liked her; she was fun to play with.

                When we entered the class, I saw Jack and Daniel and I went to say hi to them. Then, the teacher started to give out assigned seats.

                “Jack, you’re here. Alex, next to Jack. Jessica, next to Alex. Crystal, next to Jessica.”

                I walked over to the table, happy that I was grouped with two of my friends.

                When we sat down, I looked over at Jessica, who had the shy look she had on the first day we met. “Jessica is new to this school,” I told Jack. “Jack, this is Jessica,” I told him, pointing at Jessica. Then I turned to Jessica. “Jessi, this is Jack.” I then remembered Crystal. “And this is Crystal,” I told her, pointing at her. “She’s also Korean.”

                Crystal smiled, but she seemed to be looking more at me than Jessi.

                Jessi nodded shyly while Jack just looked at her. “You’re friends with a girl?”

                I shrugged. “Yea. So what?”

                “Is she your girlfriend?”

                I had never heard that word used before. But I guess she was a girl, and she was my friend, so I told him yes. He laughed a bit. I asked him what was wrong, and he told me nothing. What was girlfriend supposed to mean? I looked over at Jessi to ask her, but her face was redder than usual. “What’s wrong Jessi?”

                “Nothing,” she replied in a quiet voice. That was weird. Did it have to do with the word girlfriend?

                Then, I thought of something. What if Jessi had a crush on Jack? I grinned, but I decided not to mention it. At least, not yet.

                “Jessica, please come up to the front of the classroom.”

                I looked over at Jessi, who looked a little scared. “Go on,” I said encouragingly, smiling. On that, she smiled back and nodded, shyly walking up to the front of the classroom.

                “Would you like to introduce yourself, Jessica?”

                She looked at me. I nodded again. “H-Hi, everyone,” she said sort of quietly. I motioned for her to talk more loudly. Luckily, she got my message and spoke up a bit. “My name is Jessica Jung, and I recently moved from Korea. I hope we can all get along well,” she said while looking at me the whole time. When she was done, she bowed slightly.

                “Everyone, say ‘hi Jessica’,” the teacher said.

                “Hi Jessica,” the class, including me, said.

                She smiled and turned a little red before looking down and heading back to her seat. When she got there, I whispered to her, “In America, people don’t bow to each other.”

                “Oh really? There are more Koreans in here than I expected, so I thought that would be ok,” she told me.

                “It’s ok. You did a good job, though,” I told her. She smiled brightly. “You have to introduce yourself again on Friday to the whole 2nd grade though.”

                Her face fell. “Don’t worry, you got this,” I said encouragingly.

                Every Friday, classes from each grade gathered together to have a competition. This year, my 2nd grade class looked pretty good though; we had a lot of smart and fast people. I wonder how good Jessi would be in the competitions this year.

~The Do’s and Don’ts of a Friendly Relationship~

                “Hey Jessi, weren’t your parents supposed to come home today?”

                She thought about it for a bit. “Yea. Today’s the 9th, isn’t it?”

                “Yea. They’re probably stuck in traffic or something.”

                Jessi nodded in agreement. “Well I hope they had fun on the cruise, at least.”

                “Must be nice…” I said, trailing off a bit. I could feel her nod next to me.

                It was summer break, so Jessi and I were just idly laying on my bed, talking.

                The brief moment of silence was broken when the door to my room opened.


                Jessi sat up. “Yes?”

                “Can I talk to you?” Mom seemed a bit off, though. Usually, as Asian parents are, she was extremely nice and cheerful around guests, even if we DID know Jessi and her family for 7 years. However, right now, she seemed a bit cautious, and more serious than I have ever seen her; and that’s me saying that even after I accidentally pushed Jessi off the trampoline some years back. Even though she never blamed me, I felt bad for it; but my mom blew up when she found out.

                Right now, though, it was a more calm kind of serious.

                Jessi probably sensed this too and also grew cautious. “Uh, sure. Actually, could you just tell me here? I’m sure Alex wouldn’t mind hearing it as well.”

                “I prefer you know before he does, and if you decide to share this information, then go ahead.”

                I got really scared at this point. What happened? Was she moving away?

                “O-Ok,” she said with a slight stutter. As far as I know, there are only two instances where Jessi stutters: when she’s scared, or when she’s nervous. I couldn’t tell which case it was this time, but I had the feeling she had the same feeling as I did: fear.

                I sat on the edge of my bed, anxiously anticipating Jessi’s return.

                After an eternity of just sitting there, listening to my own heartbeat, the door opened. What I saw broke my heart a little.

                Jessi was a mess. Her eyes blurred like she had a cataract, the rims of her eyes were bloodshot, and her cheek were stained with her tears. “A-Alex,” she said, crying as she ran to me and tackled me, pushing me down onto my bed.

                I was a bit shocked by this action. It’s not like he hadn’t hugged before, but never on the bed like this. However, my teenager hormones didn’t get the best of my concern for my best friend. “What’s wrong?” I asked with as soothing of a voice as I could muster.

                “M-M-My parents…” she said, hiccupping. “They’re…They-They’re dead!” she said, openly wailing as she stained my shirt with her tears.

                I froze in place. What? No way.

                That was my first reaction. That only happens in movies, right? How someone’s parents’ die while she’s still in high school?

                At first, I couldn’t believe it. My mind wouldn’t wrap itself around that idea.

                But as tears soaked through my shirt and onto my shoulder and as the sound of Jessi’s sobbing filled the room more, the idea sank in. They’re dead. Jessi’s parents. Both of them. They don’t exist in this world anymore.

                I felt an immense urge to cry alongside her, but I held it off. What kind of a friend was I if I just cried with her, and wasn’t able to comfort her?

                I her hair. “I-I don’t know what to say,” I said initially. “You can always live with us,” I told her. She didn’t respond, as I expected her to. “My parents can be your new ones, and I can be your new brother,” I continued. “You can sleep in the guest room, or if you want, you can sleep with me. Just don’t get any ideas,” I said jokingly.

                She hit my arm lightly. By now, her sobbing has gone down to just shaking occasionally. I chuckled, glad to be able to lighten the mood. “I’m sure my parents would agree.”

                She nodded. “Th-Thanks Alex,” she said.

                “For what?”

                “F-For letting me cry on your shoulder. For being here for me and comforting me.”

                I shook my head. “That’s what friends are for, Jessi. You make friends so you can go through the hardships life tends to throw at people.”

                She looked at me, and I looked back at her. Despite having her face stained with tears, she still looked beautiful. Puberty has done an exceptionally good job on Jessi. “That’s deep of you,” she said, smiling.

                I grinned back. “Thanks. You can call me Rousseau1,” I told her, and she laughed. I laughed with her, glad that I was able to be of assistance. It was the worst thing when you just sat there, watching your friend in pain, and you could do nothing about it.

~The Do’s and Don’ts of a Friendly Relationship~

                “Ok, well good luck kids! And remember, have a little fun, too!”

                “Thanks, mom and dad!” we both said as our parents got into the car. I once again thought about how lucky we BOTH were to have a full ride scholarship to an excellent school like University of Berkeley. We had already moved our stuff into our room (since it was a liberal school, it was ok to them that we shared a room since we have been doing so for the past few years), so we just stood there, waving to them as they pulled out of their parking spot and onto the street.

                They drove onto the street and drove to the traffic light, where they turned left at the signal.

                I saw it before I heard it. A car, rapidly approaching from the right, ignoring the stop light and almost running over pedestrians. I started to yell for the car to stop, as if it could hear me, but it was too late.

                Time slowed down. I felt my legs pumping, running, sprinting, while I was watching the bright red car make contact with my parent’s baby blue one. My heart stopped, but my legs kept going. I was still running, running as if I could make it in time to stop the collision, running as if it would change something …

                I vaguely remember the next series of events. I rode the ambulance to the hospital with Jessi, holding my hand, trying to comfort me as I did to her 4 years ago, tears in both our eyes. I don’t remember what I was thinking during the ride there, nor when I was waiting outside the operating room, nor when they delivered the news: they were dead. Both of them.

              An overwhelming, unbearable sensation hit me. I clutched my chest, which felt like someone reached into my body, took a grip of my heart, and started to squeeze. Tears flowed freely from my eyes, so much so that it started to hurt to wipe them away. My throat felt constricted, as if it was lodged by a rock. Jessi and I held each other, crying to our heart’s content.

              The only comfort I had was that they both died instantly. Their deaths were painless.

              Still, it wasn’t fair. What did they do to deserve it? It wasn’t right. There was something wrong with this world, if something like this can happen. They were good people; they raised me well, loved me, and even took in Jessi after her parents passed away so that she could resume her education in America. It just wasn’t fair. Why did it have to end like this? If God really existed, then why would He allow this to happen?

              Regardless of my emotions, I remember thinking, how bad must Jessi feel that her parents died twice. All of them in a car accident.

              “We still have each other,” I remember whispering to her.

              “Yeah,” she replied, her beautiful voice hoarse from crying. “We still have each other.”

              She gripped my hand, and I squeezed back. I wanted so badly to comfort her, to tell her everything will be alright, that we still have college to look forward to, but I knew I would just be kidding myself.

              “Hey,” I said.

              “Yeah?” she replied.

              “Promise me something.”


              “Promise to never leave me. Promise that we will always be together, no matter what.”

              She rested her head on my shoulder. “I promise, Alex.”

              I felt a little better at that.


How was it? Good? Bad?

The rest of the story won't be this sad, trust me. Some chapters might be, but most will be more lively. As I have said before, this story was just to introduce Alex and Jessica, the nature of their relationship (and why they have become so close), and a little background info on them so you can understand certain actions.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed!


1Rousseau was a famous 18th century philosopher

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Jaehyun2017 #1
Chapter 10: This story is so cute. Please continue this Author nim
Chapter 10: This is so cute!!! ^^
zSecretz #3
Chapter 5: Update soon pls!!!!
tommyo9876 #4
Plz update soon!