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Don’t walk away

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Jeon Heejin was undoubtedly, a person she couldn’t stand.

 

What’s worse is that the girl seems to have everyone wrapped around her little fingers. The whole school seemed to be in love with her pretty little face and her angelic attitude when she was in fact, a devil in disguise.

 

Hyunjin hated her.

 

Maybe it started off with the fact that they’ve always known each other since kindergarten and even then seemed to have never, ever gotten along.

 

Heejin loved her pretty, dainty barbie dolls. She liked putting pretend make up on them with art brushes and styling them up. Her favourite colour was pink, everything she owned had to be pink or else, she would cry like a whiny baby if she didn’t get what she wanted and at the fresh age of 5 years old, Hyunjin couldn’t stand that.

 

Frankly, Hyunjin was the complete opposite. She loved to go outside, play sports and be active. If they were indoors, she would be building legos with the boys and would be playing cars with them. Maybe it has to do with the fact that she grew up with older brothers who taught her the real meaning of fun. They always played car games at home or played games online so that was her normality. She was the same in school when it was their play time. It was natural to her.

 

She remembers, Heejin asking her bluntly,

 

“You’re weird. Why are you playing with boys? Why don’t you play with us girls and play with the dolls? We’re drawing right now too.”

 

Hyunjin didn’t care for any of that at all and she wasn’t interested so she replied with a simple,

 

“I don’t want to play with you. Leave me alone.”

 

Children were brutally honest and she didn’t have a filter, she’ve never had one. But she does know, her mother would be disappointed to hear her being so rude to someone. She has always been told to be polite and respectful even if they were pushing your ‘buttons.’ She remembers distinctly how her father told her to “always be the bigger person.”

 

But she just couldn’t stand Heejin.

 

She was so mean and she hides in the face of an angel. She vividly remembers this book she read about fallen angels, how they were once God’s beautiful creatures who had been expelled from heaven due to their imperfection and for the sins they’ve performed. In other words, the bad things that they’ve committed. Hyunjin was young, so she essentially simplified them to bad angels.

 

She thinks Heejin is a fallen angel.

 

Ever since Hyunjin told Heejin to leave her alone, the girl has always given her a snide look or looked at her weirdly when she played with the boys and never with the girls.

 

Hyunjin didn’t even understand what the problem was. So? What was wrong if she didn’t want to play pretend barbie or if she liked the colour blue better and not the typical pink that Heejin loves to always indulge herself in. It didn’t make a difference. She wasn’t hurting anyone.

 

Heejin has continuously mocked her for the things she liked or how she didn’t play along with the other girls. She always gave her a confused glance or puzzled stares when she does whatever she likes. She just couldn’t stand it. With boys, they were more fun. They didn’t care if their clothes got dirty or if they were being a mess, it was less thinking unlike designing clothes on barbie dolls or whatever. Hyunjin growing up with two older brothers whom she loves dearly and loves playing with, probably made it easier for her to hang out with boys. She wanted to be as cool as her brothers and she wasn’t complaining even if the other girls did look at her in distaste.

 

——

 

When middle school came - Heejin and Hyunjin ended up going to the same one coincidentally. They didn’t interact since they knew, they both had a mutual unspoken dislike that led to them not talking to one another unless necessary.

 

Funnily enough, as if the universe wants them to suffer even more, they ended up seat partners for a group project which ended up with them arguing about which topic they should do for days. In the end, Hyunjin chose ‘to be the bigger person’ and chose Heejin’s idea. When in reality, she got fed up trying to fight Heejin that she ended up just choosing whatever the brunette wanted to do.

 

The reason why she still couldn’t stand her? She always got whatever she wanted and she wouldn’t stop unless she gets it. She was such a spoiled rich brat. She despised it.

 

Heejin’s mutual hate for her fuelled when they were 13 years old and they were at a party that consequently ended up with a bunch of curious teenagers wanting to discover high school games so thus, began the game of truth or dare.

 

It was harmless of course. One got asked to spill one of their deepest secrets, the other to text their crush that they liked them and even one boy called Lucas got dared to take their top off and knock at the neighbours and have a conversation for 3 minutes. It was comical for Hyunjin seeing Lucas’s uncomfort talking to a stranger (who ended up being an old woman) threatening him to put a top on before she called his parents or even worse - the police. He pales at that. The boy who was usually confident runs back to the house while everyone laughs.

 

It somehow ended up being Hyunjin’s turn at one point and Jeno, one of the boys there tells her,

 

“Hyunjin, I dare you to kiss the most good looking person in here.”

 

Hyunjin shocked, but also not wanting to back down from a dare since that was not in her nature, goes along with it.

 

The thought of Heejin crosses her mind for a split second and she pushes that thought to the back of her mind. She scoffs at how she could even think that.

 

She scans the room and looks to a girl called Choi Yerim, more known as Choerry for her sweet and happy nature like the fruit. She hates how she just had to end up sitting next to Heejin, nevertheless, she crawls her way through the circle to get to Yerim.

 

Hyunjin makes brief eye contact with Heejin, as the girl stares at her with an unreadable expression. She doesn’t even realise she’s holding her own breath.

 

No one said it but everyone thought she would go to Heejin. And that thought is confirmed when Jeno taunts,

 

“Are you choosing Heejin?”

 

“No, of course I’m choosing Choerry.” Hyunjin replies.

 

She breaks eye contact with Heejin and carries on to Choerry nervously while the rest of the group coos.

 

She knows Choerry was one of the nicest girls in their school and they were friends. She looks at Choerry and whispers to ask if it was okay to kiss her but Choerry was more confused and baffled if Hyunjin was feeling okay and that she really was looking at her. Hyunjin just confidently smiles and goes,

 

“I’m looking right at you, you’re the prettiest here Choerry.”

 

Choerry blushes. The crowd hollers and a rowdy bunch of excited 13 year olds oozes at the fact that Hyunjin gives Choerry a small peck. Everyone loved Hyunjin for her confidence, the girl never seemed to back down from anything and always took things head on. She was reckless but she was liked for that matter.

 

Everyone was gushing except for an annoyed Jeon Heejin next to a happy Choi Yerim. Heejin seemed even more weirded out and was rolling her eyes like she couldn’t stand Hyunjin even more. Now, Hyunjin can read her expression of distaste. But she didn’t care and didn’t want to asses Heejin’s homophobia or weirdness with whatever was going on with her.

 

Jeon Heejin was probably annoyed that she wasn’t chosen as the prettiest girl in the room but there was no way Hyunjin would choose her.

 

(She ignores that slight moment where she faltered and thought of her.)

 

But, Hyunjin knows that every guy in that room would have probably chosen her if they were in her position but unlike them, she has taste. She would choose personality over everything. Plus, she’s never agreed on any of Hyunjin’s actions. Why would she be attracted to a girl who has always been in opposition to everything she does?

 

Hyunjin goes back to her seat while Choerry ends up still flustered and the game carries on.

 

Seeing Choerry blush was the turning point for Hyunjin when she realised that she liked being with girls in a romantic sense more than boys. She just had her first kiss with a girl (she was counting that as a kiss even though, it was a mere peck) and Choerry smelled really nice, she really liked her soft lips against hers. Girls were prettier to look at when they’re flustered or when they’re shy or embarrassed and they clearly smell way better than boys do. She also remembers that her parents once said to her with the biggest smile on their faces,

 

“If someone makes your heart beat a little faster than normal, then that means they’re special to you.”

 

She looks at Choerry again and feels shy but she can’t help but feel that her heart was at a steady pace.

 

——

 

Finally reaching high school couldn’t have been a more exciting time for Hyunjin. She’s waited for this moment since she has always wanted to play for the varsity soccer team. Trying out wasn’t hard as she successfully makes it due to her agility and skills she’s honed over the years. The sport is simple to her, she loves the feeling of the wind rushing against her face as she runs and the control that she feels when she has the ball. She’s the one in power and she loves that. Hyunjin knows she’s fast and that she’s a powerful striker. The athletic girl knows that herself because every summer, her dad would always play with her to help her improve.

 

The school’s soccer coach - Coach Park, was extremely impressed with her skills and tells her she got in easily. She smiles proudly and states that she’ll be better and she won’t let her down, which results in the coach looking at her with surprise at her determined attitude. Coach Park was intrigued, she smiled knowing the girl will get far with her unwavering attitude.

 

Hyunjin was welcomed in the team along with another girl she had become friends with during try-outs, named Hyejoo. Hyejoo was far more reserved and a bit quieter but she was a beast when goal-keeping which she admired.

 

She also recognised some people from her middle school ended up going to the same high school which shouldn’t be surprising when its one of the only few high schools in their area. So one day, when she sees Jeon Heejin walking across the hallway in a cheerleader outfit. She shouldn’t be surprised. But she is and she’s baffled because they still somehow ended up in the same high school and it’s like the world wants Hyunjin to constantly be annoyed. She scoffed at how perfect it was for Heejin to be a cheerleader. But she couldn’t care less, and will not care with whatever Heejin does.

 

Either way, she’s going to focus on soccer this high school and will not cross paths with Jeon Heejin anymore.

 

It was easier said than done.

 

Heejin and Hyunjin had to be in 3 of the same classes. They bicker obviously, clashing with their personality seeing Hyunjin was still playful and reckless as ever. And Heejin would always be daintier and softer. It would always be too much of a contrast and they’ve come to a silent agreement that they will never see eye to eye.

 

Hyunjin always seemed to rile the cheerleader up so damn easily that Heejin was constantly annoyed at her. However, Hyunjin realises that over summer, Heejin’s voice had started to become deeper which was a large contrast to her overall soft appearance. Although, that still didn’t stop the many boys that had caught on to the new pretty freshman cheerleader.

 

The soccer player knows that every boy was always on the lookout for cheerleaders though, Hyunjin had no clue if they only took pretty girls in the cheerleading team or everyone just ended up being sporty and pretty. But since Choerry made the team, whom she has become good friends despite their previous experience together, in which they decided to just stay as friends (and mutually thought, they were better off as friends anyways). She wanted to protect her with all of the leering boys at their age.

 

First year of high school was mainly Hyunjin settling in and practising her soccer even more than before and she loves it.

 

——

 

Her second and third year of high school was a blur to Hyunjin. She does remember that her second year consisted of attracting attention from a handful of girls oddly enough when she became a more well-known jock. At first she was quite shy from all of the girls leaving some sort of letters on her locker and even some guys had the courage to ask her out - thinking they wouldn’t get rejected because they confessed face to face. But Hyunjin was not interested in any of that, so she all turned them down since she promised herself she would stay focus on achieving to be the soccer captain for her third year. Plus, she was flunking a lot of her subjects from playing soccer too much that she’s neglected half of her school work. Her father tells her off stating,

 

“You can’t expect to be the captain if your grades are slacking, Hyunjin. You need your grades up to a standard too.”

 

After that, Hyunjin ensures that her grades were as good as her soccer skills (well, as close as she could get) for the remainder of the year.

 

——

 

When Hyunjin’s junior year came and Coach Park assigned her to be captain, she was beyond ecstatic. All the hard work, the gruelling practises everyday that she endures, finally paid off in achieving her goal. It became the highlight of her year.

 

The news of her being the captain already despite not being a senior, spread fast and her popularity increased even further. When parties came, girls threw themselves at her and Hyunjin couldn’t help but think that her favourite people to make out with were the cheerleaders. She couldn’t help the attraction that she felt since most of them were gorgeous so she had a growing infamous reputation around her. Hyunjin couldn’t care less of course, since she was finally the soccer captain and it’s not like she’s harming anyone so a little fun is alright.

 

Although, her friends would always tease her especially Shin Ryujin from the basketball team whom she’s come quite close with over the years. Her mischievousness spills when she says,

 

“You should slow down with the amount of girls you kiss, Kim Hyunjin.”

 

“As if you don’t do the same, Ryujin.” Hyunjin chuckles.

 

“Touché, Kim.” Ryujin laughs.

 

She was happy with everything to say the least.

 

Other than her soccer practices/games, school was a chore for Hyunjin. It’s not that she didn’t like studying but it was more of the fact, she got distracted easily and she couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to the many subjects she was taking. She considers soccer to be a subject for her since she does practice after school three times a week and it’s the only consistent thing that she has always loved.

 

——

 

When senior year has finally arrived, she remembers walking to her class that day and overhearing a group of boys from the football team, talking in annoying loud voices.

 

“Hey, did you see Heejin today? She gets hotter every summer I swear, man.”

 

“Yeah bro. Wonder who’s gonna tap that, this year.”

 

Hyunjin didn’t bother listening to the rest of that conversation after she hears that statement and hears the group chuckling loudly afterwards. The soccer captain already knows how that conversation will go down with boys. She can’t help but frown, she may not like Heejin still but she hates men talking so crudely about women, especially when they go on to objectify them like they’re some sort of meat.

 

Although, speaking of Jeon Heejin, Hyunjin is thankful that after her first year, she has not crossed paths with Heejin anymore in classes since the universe has finally listened to her prayers and they weren’t in any classes together during her second and third year.

 

However, after school was a different story since she always ended up interacting with her when the soccer and cheerleading team practices which happened frequently as much as Hyunjin hated to admit. The black-haired girl recalls that every interaction from the past year, when they’ve briefly communicated in practice during the time both the soccer and cheerleading team were using the field, ended up in an argument.

“Watch where that ball is going, Kim!” Heejin threatens when the ball ended up in the cheerleaders place of the field.

 

“That wasn’t even my fault! We can’t control the wind, Jeon!” Hyunjin yells from across the field, grabbing another ball. She refuse to get that ball from Heejin.

 

“What kind of a soccer player are you, if you can’t control the ball?” Heejin retorts back.

 

“It’s the wind, princess. Are you not listening?” Hyunjin states.

 

“Don’t call me that! Just stay on your side of the field.” Heejin frowns.

 

“Gladly, your highness.” Hyunjin yells back.

 

“Stop calling me names!” Heejin increasingly becoming annoyed.

 

Before she could reply, the rest of the team calls Hyunjin to stop annoying her girlfriend and start the drills. Hyunjin feels her face warming up but ignores that certain comment regarding the cheerleader and gladly starts practice.

However, fate seemed to laugh at the notion that she could escape Heejin’s presence when in her final year, she’s in almost all of her classes. It’s like first year again but worse. Since almost all of her classes included her sitting next to Jeon Heejin and for once in her life, she actually hated her last name. Their school just had to enforce that type of sitting plan where you sit in alphabetical order according to your last name and since J and K were right next to each other in the alphabet, it undoubtedly forced her next to Heejin.

 

Not that she could complain and wish for the sitting plan to occur in accordance with their first name instead. Since, her and Heejin’s name would still make them sit next to each other.

 

The universe really has it out for her, Hyunjin thinks.

 

The soccer captain drags her feet to sit next to Heejin and the brown-haired girl doesn’t even acknowledge her presence. Hyunjin rolls her eyes at Heejin’s attitude, the girl still thinks she’s above anyone and better than everyone else. When Hyunjin sits down, she notices everyone else taking their sweet time to get to their seats. She sits, feeling annoyed already.

 

She feels the boredness creeping out of her and there was no way she was going to talk to Heejin. Not that the other girl would want her to, anyways. So, she starts chewing her gum as loud as possible which finally entices a reaction out of Heejin. The cheerleader kept flinching everytime Hyunjin chews and the soccer player starts to rocks her chair back and forth which causes a further reaction out of the brunette.

 

The soccer captain knows she’s starting to rile Heejin up but this is a free country, she can chew her gum and do whatever.

 

When a minute has passed, it seems that the tranquility between them vanishes. The once calm cheerleader loses her patience as she snaps.

 

“Watch it, Kim.”

 

Hyunjin just smiles and retorts.

 

“Make me, Jeon.”

 

She continues to chew her gum happily waiting for their teachers’ next instruction, while Heejin makes a snide comment.

 

“I can’t believe I have to sit next to someone as despicable as you for half of my classes.”

 

Not a second later, the brunette adds on,

 

“And stop chewing your gum so damn loud, no one wants to hear your nastiness.”

 

Hyunjin pushes her chair back to the ground and chuckles.

 

“Oh? And you don’t think I don’t feel the same? But I’m gonna be having a good time here not letting anyone ruin my mood. You’re also not the boss of me, I can do whatever I want.”

 

“Why do you feel the need to be as annoying as possible? If only, you could use that aggravating energy that you never seem to run out off on your studies instead.” Heejin spites back.

 

“Nah, I make sure I use this energy on the field. As you would know princess, since you cheer for us at every game.” Hyunjin tells her.

 

“Don’t call me that.” Heejin states her distaste of the nickname.

 

Before Hyunjin could retort back a reply to Heejin, their teacher finally tells the class to settle down which leads to both girls having no choice but to quieten down and listen to class. Hyunjin thinks, if there was one thing she’s consistently loved - it was soccer.

 

But for something she’s consistently hated? Jeon Heejin definitely takes the top.

 

——

 

The annual soccer meetings that takes place were important for Hyunjin this year since it was her final year and a tradition usually happens every time for the senior captains. She didn’t do it last year since she wasn’t a senior yet so she was definitely looking forward to it. Everything would be revealed at Ha Sooyoung’s place who was vice captain. The girl was filthy rich and her house was simply massive which was perfect.

 

She arrives at the house and finds Hyejoo and Kim Jungeun, who’s probably her closest friends since freshman year to sit down with, while waiting for the rest of the team to arrive.

 

She notices Kim Yerim and Son Chaeyoung who are both their best midfielders along with Hwang Yeji who is an incredible striker come up to talk to them. Hyunjin smiles, she’s become pretty close with them over the years. Her chest swells with the soft spot that Hyunjin feels for her team. They all settle in comfortable chatter while waiting.

 

When the last girl - Im Yeojin, who is a reckless, clumsy sophomore (but is an insane runner on the soccer field), finally arrive they head down to Sooyoung’s basement.

 

Sooyoung’s basement was huge and in a way, it felt like a cinema room where they’ve had countless sleepovers in and Hyunjin recalls, watching movies for as long as they can until everyone’s passed out. It was extremely cozy with the carpet always seemingly new and the softness it entails has always felt so nice to touch. It always made Hyunjin feel like a cat who just wants to endlessly nap for hours whenever she lies down on the floor. Hyunjin thinks, she was probably a cat in her previous past lives since she could undoubtedly relate to their spiritual love for naps and she could even meow perfectly. Although, no one knows that and she’s only done it when she’s alone since she does have a reputation to uphold.

 

Hyunjin’s thoughts are broken when their annual ‘important’ meeting starts.

 

“So as you guys know, this meeting is a tradition for every senior captain. And since Hyunjin, is officially a senior - she should continue to uphold the tradition that every past senior soccer captain has done in the past.” Sooyoung states.

 

Hyunjin already knew what was going to happen. When she became a sophomore, she was finally allowed to come to these ‘meetings’ because freshmen kids weren’t allowed yet. She doesn’t think too much of it since it’s always been like that. But every senior captain for the soccer team has always had to do this tradition.

 

The tradition involves the whole team to decide on something for the captain to do. It was as simple as that. Almost like a dare.

 

However, over the years it has progressively gotten difficult as the team continues to do things that the captains may grudgingly find hard to carry out. Evidently, there were some rules in what things were not allowed for the captains to do, which is anything illegal or involving with any crime at all. That would be too unfair since it could jeopardise their future career especially when scholarships are on the line and is so important for their final year.

 

Hyunjin remembers Kang Seulgi being the past senior captain to do this tradition and she was dared to confess her secret love at that time, which turned out to be her bestfriend - Bae Joohyun. She knows it took a lot of will power for her former captain to confess and she almost backed out but the tradition has never been broken. Every previous soccer captain has managed to carry out this tradition. And so will she. Hyunjin thinks.

 

“Hyunjin we know you’re basically up for anything so as a team, it took as a while to figure out what you could do. But we finally came to a conclusion.” Sooyoung carries on.

 

Hyunjin smiles, of course she was known to be relentless on and off the field. She strives for the best if she puts her mind up to it. So this ‘dare’ was going to be easy.

 

“So, what will it be?” Hyunjin asks.

 

“Date Jeon Heejin and make her confess to you within a month.” Sooyoung finishes.

 

Her jaw drops. Did she hear that right? Yeah, she probably misheard Sooyoung.

 

“W-What did you say again?” Hyunjin chuckles nervously.

 

Sooyoung replies, without missing a beat,

 

“Get Heejin to confess to you within a month. And hey, if she falls in love with you and you guys end up dating in the end then you can thank us all.”

 

“Yeah! Jeon Heejin finally taming the unstoppable Kim Hyunjin down!” Yeojin yells.

 

Maybe Hyunjin spoke too soon because there was no way in hell she was doing that and to pull it off?? She thinks that will be the day, pigs starts to fly.

 

“Okay, you know I can’t do that! We both hate each other!” Hyunjin specifies the ‘hate’ significantly.

 

“Which is why it’s gonna be a challenge for you, Kim. If we chose any other girl - you’d probably already have them confessing to you within a week.” Sooyoung says.

 

“Yeah, plus we know how popular you are with the girls so we had to choose Heejin since she’s probably the only one not gonna swoon at you flirting.” Jungeun adds on.

 

“Thanks Jungeun. That really helps.” Hyunjin sarcastically retorts back.

 

“But, this is just impossible to do guys.” Hyunjin deadpans.

 

“Not gonna lie Hyunjin but there has always been some sort of tension between you two. If you know what I mean.” Yeri winks at her while the rest of the team laughs in agreement.

 

“Maybe you can finally sort it out with this challenge.” Yeri chuckles.

 

“The tension to kill each other, if that’s what you mean.” Hyunjin moans.

 

“C’mon cap, lighten up! This might end up in your favour and you get yourself a girlfriend at the end of it all.” Sooyoung claps.

 

She hears Yeojin making kissing noises along with her other teammates at the back but she ignores it.

 

“Bonus point! if you get her in bed.” Yeji, snorts.

 

“Can you believe Jeon Heejin is the purest of them all cheerleaders. It makes her more attractive though. She’s untouchable.” Chaeyoung sighs dreamily.

 

“Yeah, she’s definitely the hottest in that team.” Yeji carries on.

 

“Along with Jung Jinsoul.” Jungeun and Sooyoung say at the same time. They looked at each other and laughed at their ‘exceptional taste’.

 

“Hey Hyunjin, you can’t deny that Heejin is gorgeous so you’ll enjoy flirting with her.” Yeri teases.

 

Hyunjin frowns at how her fellow teammates are actually discussing at how ‘hot’ Jeon Heejin is. If she ignored that she knew Heejin when she was little and has never disliked her and perhaps, if she just met her through high school. Her opinion would be different.

 

Hyunjin would never admit it to anyone and this is her reaching to her deepest darkest parts of her mind but yeah maybe.... Heejin is one of the prettiest girls in their school but her incredibly huge fan club of boys swooning over her was uncalled for. She didn’t understand why they were so in love with her ‘everything’ when they should know how annoying Heejin’s personality was. She may be pretty but if her personality was shit, then what’s the point.

 

“And the worse that could happen is you and Heejin become friends.” Hyejoo pulls her back to reality.

 

Hyunjin entertains the idea that the worst that could really happen is Heejin ends up falling in love with her and she finds out that this is all a dare. But she shakes that thought out of her mind since the thought of Heejin falling in love with her makes her feel something in her stomach - it makes her feel all warm. Maybe she’s already starting to feel sick at the idea of this. Hyunjin is about to protest once again when Sooyoung says,

 

“Do you really want to be the first captain to break this tradition Hyunjin?”

 

And that was the sentence that Hyunjin needed to hear before sealing the deal.

 

She was not going to be the one to break this dumb tradition and as stupid as it seems, her pride was not going to get in the way.

 

Hyunjin decides that she will shove her hatred for Jeon Heejin at the back of her throat and pretend she’s in love with her so she can get a confession out of her. The tradition will continue and maybe Heejin will hate her even more but she couldn’t care less. Plus, she’s never been turned down before so there was no way she would let Heejin have that satisfaction.

 

“..... Fine. I’ll do it. I’ll make Heejin confess her undying love for me within a month.” Hyunjin firmly states.

 

The rest of the team cheers with that decision.