Chapter 1: Those Ocean Eyes
It was raining when I got off the plane. I remember the smell of the tarmac that was littered with puddles, and the rivulets that ran down slightly uneven areas.
It was raining when I got in my taxi and it took me to my new home. The Seoul Academy For Scholarly Endeavors; bit much if you ask me. The black metal gates stood tall encompassed by stone and I could tell the campus was gigantic.
There were hundreds of students like me flooding in at the start of a new year; some eager to accept new knowledge, some eager for the weekend so they could drink their sorrows away.
I lugged my duffel bag and suitcase to a marquee that was set up in the middle of the large stone walkway. It’s white PVC walls were wet and slightly shining due to the earlier rain. I hustled to the already crowded plastic white foldout tables where members of the academy were handing out maps and giving information on where to go.
‘Excuse me,’ I smiled and the lady I was talking to looked up from the map she was highlighting. ‘Hi there honey! How can I help you today?’ She beamed. Her enthusiasm was much appreciated, as I was incredibly nervous. I didn’t come from South Korea at all, no relatives, no bloodline, nothing. I stood out like a sore thumb, and she must have noticed.
‘Oh wow you’re not from around here huh?’ She rested her elbows on the white table as if she was getting ready to sit down and talk with me for hours.
‘No I’m actually from y/c,’ I confessed. It was obvious I wasn’t Asian of any kind.
‘Wow really?! I’ve always wanted to go there!’ She was practically jumping off her seat now. She had pretty blonde hair and big eyes. She spoke Korean fluently but she had a slight accent so I wonder where she was from.
‘Yes it’s a beautiful county,’ I giggled and tucked my strawberry blonde hair behind my ear. It has been annoying me lately because I cut it short a few weeks ago, just above my shoulders. But now that it was growing again it kept getting caught in the nape of my clothes.
‘Well my name is Lalisa, but you can just call me Lisa if you want,’ she reached her hand over the table for me to shake.
‘Nice to meet you Lisa, my name is y/n,’ I said as I shook her hand. She smiled cutely and grabbed one of the paper maps that were piled up next to her and sat it in front of me on the table.
‘Now, where are you going today y/n?’ She grabbed a yellow highlighter and yanked the lid off. I don’t know what she did with the other one. ‘I’m trying to get to Dorm 223,’ I explained, showing Lisa my room key.
‘Oh right! That’s over near the swimming block. So if you just go down that road and take a right then keep walking and you’ll go past the swimming pools. There are indoor and outdoor ones, it’s really only the swimming team that uses the outdoor ones though, and the occasional drunk partygoer,’ she grinned at the last part.
‘Okay thank you Lisa. I hope to see you around,’ I lifted the duffel bag back up onto my shoulder which I had placed on the wet stone at some stage during our conversation.
I walked down the elegant path and looked around at the impressively tall stone and glass buildings that surrounded the rolling green grounds and perfectly trimmed hedges. There were signs, much like street signs that signified where I was supposed to go.
I quickly found the swimming block where a large warehouse looking building loomed over a medium sized outdoor pool. The big building had several glass panels in the roof that I’m sure created a beautiful light setting inside. In the outdoor pool that was surrounded by a chain fence there were a group of boys, maybe ten of them. They weren’t swimming; they were just throwing each other into the pool. But some were wearing swimming caps and swimming trunks. I could tell that they were good swimmers, very fit young men. I grinned a little; maybe it wouldn’t be so bad living near the swimming complex.
One of the boys had been robbed of his swimming cap by another taller boy. Actually all the boys were tall compared to him. But his white blonde hair was drifting around his head like halo. He was angelic in all ways that mattered. I walked along the grassy slope near the pool and he must have spotted me because he waved and smiled, his eyes disappearing into crescent moons. I giggled a little and waved back. He looked thrilled, until one of the other boys shoved him into the pool. The group had noticed me now, and it occurred to me that the there weren’t very many other people around. It was only the couple kissing under the tree over there, and the young girl carrying her bag into the large indoor pool complex. I could see the dorm area through the pool fence and it looked reasonably small. It only then occurred to me that they probably didn’t put many people over here, and since I was an exchange student that automatically meant I got second best. Some of the boys had now come over to the fence that I was walking past. The little angel had pulled himself out of the pool by now and was shaking out his hair and joining the other boys.
‘Hey!’ One of them called out as I walked past. I froze and looked over at the fence. ‘Are you in the right place?’ The brown haired boy persisted. ‘Jungkook shut up!’ Another boy shoved Jungkook, but it didn’t look like he moved him very much, Jungkook was well built and I decided not to get on his bad side. ‘Hey!’ Jungkook shouted again. I stopped and faced the swimming fence. ‘Can I help you?’ I shouted back. He grinned. ‘Are you sure you’re going in the right direction?’ He asked, smirking. I sighed, he sure was persistent. ‘Yes I am. Thank you!’ I called back and resumed my walk. ‘What’s your dorm number?’ he called out again. I stopped again, my temper was flaring. I just wanted to get to my dorm and put my bag down. ‘Is that really any of your business?!’ I shouted back. There was a stir among the group. Jungkook only grinned. He looked like he was about to say something else when another boy walked over to the fence, the group cleared a bit and Jungkook piped down. I only heard a small conversation between the two which consisted of Jungkook whining to this other boy. I decided to keep walking while Jungkook was distracted.
I had almost gotten past the pool and down to the shady area full of trees where the dorm building was located, when I heard a pitter-patter behind me. ‘Hi!’ I stopped and turned around to be met by the angel boy. Who had apparently scampered out of the pool area while the others were talking. ‘Oh hello,’ I replied, smiling. ‘Do you want some help with that?’ The angel boy asked, pointing to my bags. ‘Oh no that’s fine. Thank you,’ I politely declined as he lifted my heavy duffel bag off my shoulder. ‘I’m stronger than I look,’ he assured me, seeing my worried expression. ‘Oh well thank you. That’s very kind of you,’ I said, as we continued walking to the dorm area.
‘My name is Jimin, what’s yours?’ He asked as we walked down the slope. ‘Oh my name is y/n,’ I smiled. ‘Nice to meet you y/n. What's your major?' He asked as we arrived at the entrance of the building. It was a big red brick arch. I could see the red carpet floors from here. ‘Oh um I’m doing a double major,’ I explained, as we walked into the plush entrance. There was a booth on the left where a young boy sat reading a book. He glanced up at us then wrote something down on a clipboard and went back to reading. ‘That’s Kyungsoo. He writes down the students that come and go so they know generally where people are. He’s actually really nice you just have to get to know him.’
I nodded as we ascended the large wooden stairwell, the carvings on the railings were beautiful and incredibly old. ‘Where are your dorms?’ I asked, realizing he knew quite a bit about these dorms in particular. ‘Right here,’ he grinned and pointed me around a corner. ‘Oh really?’ I wasn’t exactly surprised. In fact I was sort of glad that someone I knew would be staying near me. ‘Yeah. And rest of the swimming team. What’s your dorm number?’ He changed subject so casually I almost didn’t notice. ‘Wait the rest of the swimming team?’ He must have noticed my uncertainty because he quickly reassured me ‘Jungkook isn’t a bad kid. He’s just really friendly.’
After a few more corners and bits of conversation, I finally reached my room. ‘Well I’ll let you settle in here,’ Jimin said, dropping my duffel bag in front of my door.
‘Thank you Jimin. You’ve been so kind,’ I smiled and reached out my hand.
‘No problem! We should definitely catch up again, and you can meet the rest of the swimming team!’ He ignored my hand and wrapped me up in a tight hug. His little hands bunched up in my brown jumper. He really was a soft little angel. ‘I’m counting on it,’ I giggled as we let go. ‘Alright. See you round!’ he waved as he ran off down the hall.
I almost squealed. He was adorable, too adorable. I giggled again as I got my key out and unlocked my door. It opened to a room that was white, with big windows and billowing white curtains. There was another door that I assumed led to the bathroom. It was a beautiful room and I instantly knew I would never change it for anything else. There was a view of the pool from here and I could make out Jimin; who was just reaching the pool now, Jungkook; who was in the act of throwing two boys into the water at once, and the other one. The other boy who was talking to Jungkook.
The one with the ocean eyes.
Chapter 2: All-Star
I meet the campus all-star...
‘FUCK!’ The loud voice resonated through my bedroom.
‘WHERE IS MY FUCKING UNDERWEAR?!’
I paused. That might have been a bit loud. I don’t have many neighbors but the swimming team sleeps two hallways away and frankly I don’t want to have that discussion with them.
It’s been almost three weeks since I moved here and I’ve become reasonably good friends with the members of the swimming team. Jimin always keeps me company while I’m studying. Jungkook and I go to the gym together heaps, although he can beat me in everything. He basically has the stamina of a superhero and the personality to match.
And I found out who Kim Taehyung is.
I met with the swim team boys after my classes on Tuesday, the day after I arrived, and we went and got lunch at a local Kimbap Café. It was delicious. But I almost spat out my food when Taehyung walked in. I could tell he was attractive from a distance but up close it was almost scary, like it would be to look at a god or a goddess. It’s almost unearthly. His dark brown hair with streaks of blonde cascades perfectly off his skull and down the nape of his neck, and his eyes are piercing. As it turns out, he’s the captain of the swimming team and he sure does live up to his name; he swam the 100m freestyle in 52.04s. The fastest young swimmer known in South Korea, and after leaving here he intends to try out for the Olympic Team.
He seemed intimidating when he first sat down next to me, but as soon as he grinned his boxy grin and stuck his hand out for me to shake, I knew I was going to have a hard time not catching feelings.
But as the week went by we’ve become friends, better friends.
But today I’ve made the promise to myself to venture to the other side of the campus. I’ve been told by Jimin, my main source of gossip, that there is a massive rivalry on this campus. It’s between the swim team and the football team. Apparently Taehyung and the captain of the football team, J-Hope I think his name is, had some massive falling out a few years ago in high school. Now they’re mortal enemies I guess. Honestly, and guys say that girls hold bad grudges.
But the other half of the campus is the football team’s territory, which means that Taehyung doesn’t really want me going over there. He’s awfully protective for someone I just met a few weeks ago. But I want to see the other side of the campus, and it’s not like I was going to stay on this side forever. Jimin knows I’m going but Taehyung doesn’t, and I think if Kook knew he would get upset too. He’s honestly just a massive child.
‘Oh there they are,’ I reached down and pulled them out of my slipper. ‘How odd’, I frowned then shrugged, pulling them on.
It was windy outside, and I’m starting to question whether I should continue. But this is the only day I don’t have loads of classes so I want to take advantage of it and get outside. Doing a double major is hard work, it mean double the classes, the assessments, the exams, and minus the free time.
But I really enjoy doing what I do and I’ve met some amazing people so far.
‘Aaaah,’ I shrieked as my scarf blew off and away. ‘Seriously?’ I shouted up to the sky. It landed over near a football field where a group of guys were playing. I could hear small cheers of what mostly sounded like girls, I’m guessing whoever is practicing right now has quite the fan base. I know the swim team does. Groups of girls come to the pool and then just sit there and watch, they don’t actually swim at all.
‘I hope this isn’t the campus team,’ I mutter to myself as I walk over, although I already know it is. People come and play for fun on these fields but they don’t have fans.
Just as I get close to my bright yellow scarf, the wind picks up again and blows it up onto the scoreboard. I sigh, I’m not getting it back from there.
‘HEADS!’ I hear a loud male voice yelling, in my direction. Oh dear god I know what that means. I look up and see the football hurtling down at me, I barely have enough time to move before it impacts the ground right next to me.
‘Namjoon! You’re so clumsy god!’ One of the boys groans as I recover from the shock of having a ball kicked at my head. ‘Sorry miss!’ The boy I’m assuming is Namjoon calls out. I shake my head and wave my hand. ‘It’s okay!’ I call back. Then the team and myself just stand there looking at each other.
‘But you’ll have to come and get it because I’m not a very good kick normally and today I’m wearing about six layers,’ I call back again. I hear some laughter and one of them starts running over to me. I can see his team shirt flapping as he runs. And I make some effort to meet in the middle so I start walking towards the fence of the field. We reach the fence at about the same time.
‘Hi, I’m really sorry about that. Namjoon’s clumsy as hell and he isn’t a very good kick but he’s probably the only one with more than three brain cell’s so we keep him around,’ the boy talked at a rapid pace and I thanked god that I took those extra Korean lessons. ‘Oh that’s fine. I’m not a very good kick either. I didn’t want it to end up on top of the scoreboard like my scarf so I thought it would be better to just hand it to you,’ I replied. I don’t know who this boy was but he smiled like a ray of sunshine. His soft wavy brown hair tickled the tops of his ears and sometimes covered his the top of his eyes. He was wearing a black and yellow varsity jacket over a white t-shirt that i'm assuming is the teams colours.
‘Oh no is that your scarf?’ His smile dropped instantly, and I felt awful for being the reason it drooped even slightly. ‘Yes but it really doesn’t matter. I can just buy another one,’ I quickly tried to rectify the issue. He glared at the scoreboard like it was a major obstacle in his life. ‘I don’t know what to do,’ he said, looking slightly sad.
‘Oh don’t be sad please. It really doesn’t matter! I can buy a plain yellow scarf anywhere,’ I tried to comfort him even though it was my scarf that was lost. He smiled at me and it felt like the sun had returned. ‘You’re so cute,’ he said abruptly and I blushed. ‘Oh thank you,’ I giggled, I could feel my cheeks turning pink. Hopefully he didn’t notice, or he blamed it on the cold air.
He leaned over the fence very close to my face and said quietly ‘you’re even cuter when you blush.’
Then he grinned and turned around and ran back to his mates. Leaving me with my pink face and giggling lips. As he ran I saw the back of his varsity jacket flash the word
“J-Hope” and I knew it was him, the campus all-star. Famous for his incredible speed and rocketing kicks.
‘You’re pretty cute yourself J-Hope.’
Chapter 3: The Sunshine Scarf
Let the games begin and may the odds be ever in your favor.
‘I’m hungry,’ Jungkook whined as he splashed his feet around in the water. He was perched on the edge of the pool and he had his legs dangling in. Another boy, Felix his name was; he had cute little freckles and a sunny smile, scooped up a handful of water and flung it at him. ‘We just ate lunch. I think you might be getting a bit chubby mate!’
Jungkook leapt of the edge and started running over to Felix who had started running and screaming ‘Minho! HELP ME!’ Minho looked up from his phone, rolled his eyes and promptly ignored the struggle that was going on in front of him. Felix’s shrieks echoed the walls off the indoor pool and Jungkook threw him in. It had been too cold to go outside so it was agreed that we would go to the indoor pool today. I laughed as Jungkook dusted his hands and returned to his original place. ‘Aw my poor baby Lix!’ I blew a kiss to Felix who was shaking out his hair. He pretended to catch it in his arms but he overacted it and fell back into the pool. ‘How is he your poor baby?!’ Jungkook looked outraged. ‘Aw is Kookie jealous?’ I cooed at him as he grinned and sprinted over to where Tae and I were laying on the pool chairs.
‘Buy me food noona. Pleeeeeease,’ he whined and threw himself at my feet.
I rolled my eyes and took a sip from my waterbottle. ‘Aish this kid, honestly the whining never stops,’ I glared pointedly at Jungkook, who was laying on the edge of my chair. ‘Y/n please!’ One of the other boys called out from across the pool. His name was Jisung, but the boys made jokes and called him a squirrel. He had a cute little face and mousy brown hair. ‘Han Jisung you too?’ I dramatically flung a hand to my forehead. As if I was being dramatically betrayed. Technically I was.
‘Alright I’ll go buy food. But if it isn’t what you wanted I don’t care and I won’t hear any complaining,’ I declared as I picked up my bag and pulled on my red hoodie and black cap.
‘Y/n don’t go,’ Taehyung stood up and barreled me over with a bear hug.
‘TaeTae I have to. Besides I’m kinda hungry myself.’ I wrapped my considerably smaller arms around his torso. Taehyung smelt incredibly good; he didn’t stink of chlorine but there was a light scent that was masked by his expensive man perfume. I knew that Taehyung’s family would be wealthy; you had to be if you were at this school. Either that or you got a scholarship. But it was still a slight shock to see him arrive to lunch wearing Gucci loafers.
‘Then let me come with you,’ he muttered into my hair near my neck. I blushed, just as he knew I would. He smirked as he looked down at my face. ‘Hey Taehyung! Can you show me a better technique for freestyle?’ Chanyeol called out. Taehyung groaned into my neck, I chuckled. ‘Go help him, I’ll be back in 20 minutes,’ I promised. ‘Alright. But here take my credit card,’ he handed me his black credit card. ‘Tae-‘ I started to protest. ‘Just take it,’ he shoved it into my hand then kissed my cheek and turned away, jogging over to Chanyeol who was already in the water. His baby blue hair was floating around in the water above his head before he came up for air. He had lost a bet and let one of the younger members; Jongin dye it blue.
‘Alright I’ll be back soon!’ I called out over the loud mess of boys. There was a chorus of farewells and the occasional shout. I glanced over at Tae to see him going through movements with Chanyeol. He glanced up at me and flashed me his boxy smile and a wave. I waved back and walked out of the complex.
The roads looked busy so I decided to just walk, maybe catch a bus. I eventually ended up at Gwangjang Market. After wandering around the markets for about ten minutes I got hungry so I found a stall that sold Mayak Gimbap and started stuffing my face. I was well into my third plate of rolls when I heard a voice.
‘Hey! Yellow scarf lady!’ I turned, my mouth half full and saw J-Hope. Great, I internally groaned as he walked towards me. Of course I had to be in the middle of eating like a savage. I struggled out a choked ‘Hi!’ as he wandered over to me, for some reason he was still wearing his varsity jacket; but this time he was wearing a shirt that said “No rest for the wicked”.
‘Where have you been?’ He asked when he finally worked his way through the crowd. ‘What do you mean?’ I asked puzzled, although finally having finished my roll.
‘Your scarf blew down onto the field, and I was going to give it to after practice. But you were gone, and you never came back,’ he explained, pulling my yellow scarf out of his pocket and handing it to me. My heart melted a lil bit there.
‘Oh my goodness. Thank you so much. I had sort resigned to never getting it back.’ I confessed as he sat down next to me.
‘And you didn’t even come back to see me,’ he grinned, and his sunshine smile hit me again. It was only then that I realized how much I’d missed it.
‘I wasn’t aware I’d made such an impression on you J-Hope,’ I flirted. He grinned. ‘I wasn’t aware you knew my name. But here we are.’
‘Well it really does help when its written on your jacket,’ I confessed.
He chuckled ‘I suppose so. But I still don’t know your name.’
‘Y/n. Y/n L/n,’ I stuck out my hand for him to shake. ‘Well my name is Hoseok. Jung Hoseok,’ he took my hand and smiled warmly. ‘It’s a pleasure to meet you Hoseok,’ I smiled back.
‘Oh the pleasure is all mine.’