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Dieter had never found it appropriate to stare at anyone. It was something his parents had always told him not to do. So he never stared at anyone. He tried not to anyways. He would look somewhere else, perhaps at a wall, at the clock, anywhere but at whoever it was he was tempted to stare at.

So when the blonde boy met Shin Ae Yoo, he found it somewhat hard to avoid staring. However, he found a way. As he always did. He would talk to Soushi, he would try and look elsewhere. He just always found the young woman on his mind. She was beautiful, and she most definitely wasn’t a pushover. Which was something Dieter especially admired. The boy himself was quite the pushover. He just wanted people to be happy, so if something they wanted to do interfered with what he would want to do, more often than not he would agree to do their thing. However, that was not the case when he decided he would ask out Shin Ae.

In fact, his friend advised against it. “That chick is crazy Dieter,” was a frequently heard phrase for the other. But it didn’t deter Dieter. It only made him slightly annoyed. He had voiced defense for Shin Ae, reminding Soushi that he didn’t know if she really was crazy and he mentioned that people may think the same of Soushi. This gained a negative but compliant response.

“Don’t worry man, no matter what happens, I’ll be here for you.”

Those words gave Dieter a spike of confidence. Anything would give him confidence. He would be able to ask Shin Ae out. He knew he would. The boy continued to think about what he was going to ask her throughout the school day.

However, as the day progressed the worse Dieter felt. Would he really be able to pull this off? Soushi’s words about Shin Ae being crazy crept back into Dieter’s head. Sure the girl was known for being a bit aggressive, but she wasn’t crazy. At least he thought she wasn’t. What if she was?

Now Dieter knew his mind was overthinking the whole situation. It was a tendency of his to overthink. He would always overthink something that was stressful. He hadn’t thought asking Shin Ae out would cause him such stress. However it made him feel stupid, he got all frozen up around Shin Ae whenever they were near each other. Which was almost never, but it still made him anxious. He needed something to give her. Anything. God, why was this so difficult? It was as if Dieter hadn’t thought it through at all. Perhaps he should wait, but he doubted it would be wise to put it off until tomorrow. It would just make everything worse. And Soushi had mentioned that they could go hang out after school, Dieter didn’t want to be thinking about having to ask Shin Ae out the next day. So that settled it, he had to ask out Shin Ae Yoo then. Well, not then but later in the day. He couldn’t spend his entire day worrying about what he was supposed to say or do, even though those thoughts were digging in the back of his mind.

School seemed to drag on. It felt as if that was impossible. There was only an hour left, but that hour went by as slow as an hour could go. It felt like the hour was going second by second. As in he was counting every second of every minute. Dieter’s mind was barely on school. And it wasn’t at all on the lesson that was being taught. The blonde halfheartedly glanced back into the classroom and felt his face heat up with embarrassment when he locked eyes with Shin Ae herself.

The boy knew he was beet red. He glanced away as quickly as he could, focusing his gaze onto his notebook. This couldn't be good. She probably thought he was staring at her. She probably thought he was rude. She probably thought that the was some sort of creep, it was almost humiliation to the boy. He held his pencil, gripping it somewhat hard and pressing it onto the paper. The lead inside of it snapped and the boy simply grabbed another. He wondered if anyone was looking at him. He didn’t want to think about it. Shin Ae probably thought he was an idiot. An idiot who stared at people.

However, no one said a word. It was as if no one had seen Dieter make a fool out of himself. Dieter knew that he was overthinking what had happened. It wouldn’t have been the first time that had happened. The last twenty minutes of the class were miserable. There had to be a way to ask Shin Ae out though. He had to do it. He just had to.

And then the bell rang. Everyone rushed out of the room, their feet banging against the tiled floors of the classroom. He walked out of the classroom much slower than everyone else was. All he could think about was Shin Ae. He knew that she wasn’t really a bad person. She was just intimidating. It wasn’t like Dieter was really scared of her. He wouldn’t ask her out if he was scared of her. Dieter was more scared about seeing her reaction and being rejected. There was no time to back down anymore. All he had to do was to speak to Shin Ae. The boy went towards his locker and then remembered. He needed to give her something. He couldn’t go into a confession empty handed. It didn’t help that Soushi had gotten sick and left early, pretty much destroying their after school plans.

As Dieter walked back towards where Shin Ae’s locker he realized that he didn’t bring her anything. He brought nothing to give her. God, he was so stupid. The boy turned around, moving to go outside. Maybe it would be better to do it another day. It would have to be the next day. He couldn’t do it now. A cold breeze blew past the blonde boy and he blinked a moment. He noticed a bright yellow flower and instantly picked it. After plucking the flower from the ground the boy instinctively glanced around, praying no one had seen him pick the flower. He felt relieved when he noticed that no one was around him. It was nice to know no one had seen him do what he had. And then he saw her.

Shin Ae Yoo.

Dieter could feel his face already begin to flush red. He hadn’t even walked over to Shin Ae and was already humiliating himself. Dieter made his way over towards the girl, flower in hand. He was doing it! He couldn’t believe that he was actually going to ask out the girl he liked. It was a shocking and terrifying feeling. He called out her name and watched as she turned towards him.

Her expression was somewhat upset. But also confused. Had he upset her? He hadn’t meant to, he didn’t want her to be upset. There was no backing down now though, he swallowed and walked over to her. He held out the flower almost as an offering to the girl in front of him.

“Please accept my feelings!”

His words came out rushed and almost anxious. Her unimpressed expression made Dieter’s formerly found confidence fade. Her rather angry sounding no made his confidence completely disappear. Nonetheless he stood frozen until the girl walked away. And then he realized he had been rejected. He didn’t know how to feel. Disappointed, sure. However, he also felt a bit empty. The boy pulled out his phone and opened up the group chat between him, Soushi, and Yeong Gi.

‘she said no.’
‘dieter, that sucks! we can go and hang out if you want. i don’t want you to feel sad. we need to talk about something to take your mind off of this.’

Yeong Gi’s message was comforting, but the wording was odd. Dieter didn’t mind though. He smiled down at his phone, but his expression changed to a more tired one. So much stress leading up to a disappointing rejection. The way she did it could have been worse though. Much worse. With that, the boy walked towards the gates of the school where Yeong Gi was waiting.

“Come on Dieter, let’s go. We’ll have a good time together.”

Dieter didn’t mention his disappointment. He was just grateful for his friend caring about his feelings. He wasn’t over it by any means, he still found Shin Ae to be one of the best people in the school. But he wasn’t going to ask her out anytime soon. Maybe he could get to know her though, little by little. Maybe.