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take pains, be perfect (lord, what fools these mortals be!)

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Heejin sat on the bus, pointedly staring out of the window and contemplating the endless grey buildings that it passed everyday on their way to school, just to not be subjected to the sight of her younger sister, Hyejoo, and her newfound soulmate, a blonde with an entirely princess-y aura called Chaewon, being obnoxiously cute right next to her.

Sometimes she wondered how exactly those two came to be an item (not that she’d ever ask) - they seemed to be polar opposites, after all, with Hyejoo always acting much tougher than she actually was and having a permanent bitch face. But, only sometimes. Her younger sister having a loving girlfriend, as repulsive as that sounded, also meant that now Heejin often had the house to herself, which resulted in maybe too many drunken karaoke renditions of the Evangelion opening during the summer with Jinsol and Jiwoo. Heejin couldn’t complain, really, despite the almost constant reminders that she was painfully single herself.

With her left leg bouncing, she kept looking at her phone, unlocking the screen and locking it again in three-second intervals. It was only their third day of school after the summer holidays had ended, and the first meeting of the drama club was scheduled later that day. Jiwoo had sent a very excited “OMG storage room VERY important!!!!!” to their groupchat this morning, but Jinsol’s immediate “??????” and Heejin’s “wait what already what’s going on?” went unanswered, and Jiwoo’s icon was marked as offline. Heejin was left staring at her lockscreen, a fanart of Romeo and Juliet from the 1996 movie as two girls right until she felt a hand on her arm.

“Are you in a coma or something?” It was Hyejoo. With Chaewon looking ethereal in her lavender dress at her side, she picked up her sports bag from the dirty bus floor and motioned at the open door, the bus having reached their stop. Right, Hyejoo had football practice that day, Heejin remembered while looking at the beat-down adidas bag.

The three of them jumped off the bus, Heejin looking at her phone and lagging behind the couple while they headed towards the school’s enormous building. They were always just a bit earlier before the first big wave of students started flooding in, for which Heejin would always be eternally grateful. Before they parted ways, she asked Hyejoo:

“You want me to wait for you after practice? Since I have, uh, the drama club.”

Really, she couldn’t care less about waiting for Hyejoo so that they could go back home together, and Hyejoo knew that - she didn’t need her big sister to pick her up after school, either. But Heejin had a particular weakness for the school’s girls football team, and when Hyejoo finally landed herself a position in attack, she just couldn’t not indulge in it sometimes. And, despite the sheer improbability of her hopeless crush ever becoming something more than just that, when have a few minutes of looking in awe from a safe distance hurt anybody?

Hyejoo rolled her eyes, but she said yes nonetheless before she walked off god knows where with Chaewon.

As Heejin watched her younger sister turn right and disappear around the corner, wondering when exactly Hyejoo got taller than her, her phone vibrated in the backpocket of her jeans. It was Jiwoo.

“i said it was an emergency where r u???”

This time, it was Jungeun that was the quickest to reply.

“what’s the emergency
stop being so dramatic
i’m on my way though”

Heejin just typed a quick “omw” and, pushing her phone back into her pocket, rushed to her locker. If she remembered correctly, she had maths that day and needed to get her textbook. The locker itself was nothing special - their school had a strict no decorating policy, and they made them change their lockers every year to prevent it. Not counting a few poorly drawn doodles of dicks and weed leaves, it’d proven quite successful. She rummaged through her stuff - and wow, how could it have got so messy after only three days? - and then she heard a few voices accompanied with uneven steps. She recognized the voice right away (at that point, she was pretty sure that it was imprinted in her memory, anyway), and she felt an immediate rush of heat in her whole face. Right there, just a few steps away, Shin Ryujin was taking out some books from her locker, with a few friends chatting mindlessly about being back to school.

Heejin quickly averted her eyes and took a deep breath. Calm down, she thought to herself, it’s not like you’ve never seen her before, well, maybe not with this new haircut, which makes her smile look even better than before the summer but…

She quickly grabbed the maths textbook and stuffed it into her backpack. She gripped at the straps while throwing it over her right arm. She tried really hard not to eavesdrop, she really did, but even then she could not block out the words:

“...yeah, and coach was being weird yesterday, said something about a surprise or something…anyway...”

Then the locker snapped, and the girls, with Shin Ryujin at the front, started walking towards Heejin. The girl, feeling physically frozen, just stood there, staring at the inside of her locker, hoping that the death grip she had on her backpack was not noticeable.

“Oh, hey...Heejin?” She heard just as she thought that they would pass right next to her. At that moment, Heejin would swear that she could feel the blood stop circulating in her veins for a split second. Ryujin, with her stupidly charming smile and her slightly awkwardly raised brow, must have decided to give Heejin a sudden heart attack. The girl could basically feel her eyes bulge out of her skull as she put all of her willpower into not looking at Ryujin’s bare arms.

“Uhhh...ee… he-ey.” Heejin smiled at the other girl, although she just knew that she would have an existential crisis over stuttering like that for the next week. Ryujin nodded in acknowledgment, and just like that, they were gone, and Heejin felt like banging her head on the metal lockers repeatedly. Instead, she slammed her locker shut and went off in the direction of the storage room, biting her lip and mentally cringing at herself.

Heejin’s crush on Shin Ryujin was a long story. It all started on one very significant evening in first year, when Jiwoo and Jungeun had practically dragged her to watch the school’s football match with them. Of course, it wasn’t about her friends’ - about the least athletic people that Heejin knew - newfound passion for the sport, no way. It turned out that they both just wanted to leer at one of the players, the already infamous midfielder Ha Sooyoung. Not really wanting to be the third (fourth?) wheel, Heejin only agreed after they promised to never complain when she would choose naruto openings during their karaoke nights ever again.

It wasn’t like any of them had any clue about football - in Heejin’s mind, it was very simple: “no goal bad, goal good”, so she was fully prepared to munch on popcorn that was too expensive, bored out of her mind and with horny friends at her side, but she was taken by surprise as soon as their school’s team ran out on the field. She quickly noticed a girl with shoulder-length pink hair and just this inexplicable aura around her, and her heart skipped a beat.

“Who’s that?” Nudging Jiwoo she asked, trying to look as nonchalant as ever, passing the popcorn over to Jungeun.

“Oh! Her?” Jiwoo pointed at the field, interest apparent in her eyes. She slightly raised her eyebrows.

“Hey, don’t point!” Heejin smacked Jiwoo’s hand at what could only be the speed of light.

“You really don’t know anything, do you?” She heard Jungeun sigh, her stare fixed on the tall figure of Sooyoung passing the ball to some nameless, dark-haired girl.

“She’s the captain! Shin Ryujin!” Jiwoo finally answered, her lips in a wide smile. “Well, co-captain.”

“And who’s the other one?” Asked Jungeun.
“Kim Hyunjin. I heard that she transferred a month into the school year, but still got the position…”

At that, Heejin felt herself drift off, blocking out her friends’ banter and occasional comments about how “hot Sooyoung looked while drinking water during the time-out.” She really wanted to be above her friends (she still couldn’t believe that they paid, like, at least three after school meals at KFC each just to sit on uncomfortable plastic seats and be useless lesbians about some girl that they were never going to talk to), but as she saw the pink-haired girl - Ryujin, she reminded herself - lift up her white shirt to wipe sweat off of her face just enough to show her abs and Heejin knew that she was done for. Swallowing, she leaned back into her seat and watched the rest of the game without a word. She was no better than Jiwoo or Jungeun, after all.

It was even worse when Heejin realized that she actually shared some of her classes with Ryujin. Over time, after hours of staring at the girl’s back in biology and building up the courage to talk to her (which, somehow, never happened, as Heejin had a bad habit of either making a fool of herself or chickening out last minute, and she would rather die than risk saying something stupid), she had a pretty clear image of the other girl in her mind. Heejin knew that Ryujin wasn’t good at biology. She was shit at it, really. She knew that Ryujin was good friends with Son Chaeyoung, the same girl that triggered many lesbian awakenings when she cut her hair short in middle school. She knew that despite her popularity, Ryujin was very nice, which she actually witnessed first-hand, as one time when some guy walking over to the whiteboard knocked her books off the desk, Ryujin was the first to jump and help Heejin gather them from the floor. Safe to say, their proximity then, and Ryujin’s hand momentarily brushing her own while passing her the biology textbook, made Heejin feel as if she were having an honest to god stroke. But she also knew that Ryujin was popular, out of Heejin’s league and had girls lining up to her everywhere she went, just like every member of the football team. And so, Heejin never mustered up the strength, even though she knew that the girl probably wouldn’t laugh at her, and that they would actually maybe even become… acquaintances. Either way, she stuck to annoying Jinsol everytime that she deemed necessary, with her best friend dutifully hearing her out in every state she would reach due to the hopeless crush, be it gushy, horny or depressed.

The worst of all was that nothing seemed to help - it was their last year of high school, and despite being in two pretty short-lived relationships, where Heejin was almost sure that this stupid crush had passed and the only thing on her mind was her girlfriends at the time, it came back right after every break-up. She wondered if she would ever actually dare to make a move. Probably not, and then she would just annoy her friends about this right until they all died.

___

“Finally!” Jiwoo sighed when Heejin shut the door to their base after herself.

Nobody ever came there - it was a small storage room next to the drama club’s own room. The doors were never locked, and apart from one desk leaning against the dirty dark-green wall and plastic chairs that looked like they were made for a family barbecue, there was nothing inside. It was perfect, and they took to meeting there every time that there would be an emergency. Or not. Sometimes, the emergency was just a lack of free seats in the cafeteria during lunch. Either way, it’s been their place ever since Jiwoo had stumbled inside by accident when they were still in their first year.

Heejin flung herself on one of the chairs, slinging her backpack off of her shoulders and letting it hit the floor. She leaned against it with a deep sigh and ran her hand through her hair.

“Oh god, no, I know this face.” Said Jinsol, not lifting her eyes from her phone screen. “That’s your Ryujin face.”

Jungeun groaned while climbing on top of the desk to open the only window in the whole room.

“Ugh, what did you do, Heejin?”

“Nothing!” Heejin protested, feeling the heat rush to her cheeks. Then, she sighed again. “I’m just an idiot. She said “hi” and I was like… uhhhhhhhh…..hhhh...hey…”

Jungeun snorted. She sat down on the desk, right beside Jiwoo. Jinsol just smirked.

“That seems like a good start, no?”

Heejin groaned.

“Can we please get to the emergency?”

“Yes!” Jiwoo’s eyes lit up. “I finally saw miss Kim today.”

“Nooo, did you really call an emergency over Drama Club?” Jungeun rubbed her eyes and stifled a yawn.

“Just listen!” It was apparent that Jiwoo was struggling not to smile. That girl was like a walking ray of sunshine, no matter what was happening. “She said that there was a surprise in store for this year! Connected to our end-of-the-year play! I hope it means that we’ll be doing a musical this year…”

“God, I hope you’re wrong.” Said Jinsol, finally shoving her phone into her pocket and looking up. “I don’t want to be tasked with taking care of the music as well as the stage decor.”

“Oh come on!” Jiwoo insisted. “It would be fun!”

“Nope, I’m not dancing. No way.” Jungeun protested, leaning against the wall. “I hope we do something gay, like… Romeo and Juliet again or something.”

“Everything we do is gay, Jungeun.” Heejin pointed out. “There are no guys in the club.”

“Well, true, but let’s be explicit! It’s great! We could do West Side Story.” Jiwoo chimed in, clearly still caught up in the idea that the surprise that Miss Kim had in store for them would be to prepare a musical. “Imagine the power! Heejin, you could be Tony and I could be Maria!”

Heejin quickly pointed her finger guns at Jiwoo, winking. She wasn’t completely against the idea. Maybe landing the lead would finally give a long-awaited boost to her popularity.

“Nooo, no musicals!” Jinsol whined. “Either way, we will find out today, won’t we?”

They all nodded in agreement, and Heejin muttered a quiet “I guess so”. The bell rang, and they quickly gathered their things and split up to get to class.

Heejin thought that it was only a bit strange that they were not the only club whose teacher was acting suspiciously, but she brushed off the thought as she walked beside Jungeun to their first hour of english.

___

The lessons passed by in a blur. The only thing that Heejin really cared about was Drama Club, anyway. It was what she had been doing ever since the discovery of her talent in kindergarten, when she got the role of one of the shepherds that visited baby Jesus in the christmas special. Needless to say, she played it so convincingly (despite only having one or two lines because, well, she was a shepherd after all) that every year after that, right until the end of kindergarten, Heejin got promoted to the role of Mary.

That was, however, only the beginning. When in primary school, she was chosen as the lead for every school play that her class was supposed to prepare for special events, parent days and end of the year assemblies. Then, when she met the biggest drama enabler of all time, Kim Jiwoo, a kid with a smile too big for her face, who would sleep over at her house and sing made-up words to english musical songs with a little too much enthusiasm, she knew that THAT was what she wanted to do, really.

Heejin liked it. She liked how, when on stage, she was someone else entirely, and not just Jeon Heejin. When the primary school’s assembly hall went silent and Heejin cradled little baby doll Jesus in her arms, it was as if she’d undergone a transformation, that was quick to be reversed as soon as she stepped off the stage. On stage, she had the strength and freedom to express whatever it was that she had to express, and it seemed to captivate the audience as well - as captivated as an audience of bored students and their parents during a school assembly could be.

But it changed in high school. In high school, drama club became serious, and filled with people like Heejin, who actually cared. In high school, they met Jungeun, and by dragging her to the first drama club meeting and practically forcing her to stay, their trio became an inseparable quartet. Jinsol, despite being a horrible actress, quickly found a way to get involved with club: the endless hours of her forcing Heejin to inhale paint fumes as Jinsol would paint her gundams finally paid off, and she and a few other people became the team responsible for stage decor.

With the guidance of miss Kim, a former broadway aspiring hippie, Heejin practically devoured every Shakespeare play in the span of the first two months, to finally, finally make a serious debut as Tybalt in their school’s rendition of Romeo and Juliet. It was fun pretend-killing Jungeun, who got cast as Mercutio, despite ending up a part of the club by accident.

It was all fun and games, until one drama club outing. Haseul, their senior member, was the host, and she gathered all of them around in a circle, a horrible mix of vodka and orange juice sloshing around the red solo cup she clutched in her right hand, her words just a little bit slurred and her laugh just a little bit louder than usual.

“Hey, so like… this isn’t official, or anything, but…” She began, giggling and covering her mouth with her free hand. “You know, we don’t go to football games.”

Heejin, her vision a bit blurry already from too much drinking and Mariah Carey, just furrowed her brows. They were at the football game like three weeks ago, and nothing happened, so what was Haseul getting onto?

Seeing the new members’ puzzled expression she leaned in, as if sharing a secret of utmost importance.

“The first rule of drama club…”

Jungeun rolled her eyes.

“Please, no one makes Fight Club jokes anymore.”

Haseul’s expression remained unchanged, a smile still on her lips despite Jungeun’s snarkiness.

“It’s a principle! They pump all the money into sports, and none is left for us, so. It’s like, an unspoken rule.” She said. “I mean, it’s not like any of you would be into sports anyway.”

“Oh my god, is this like Glee?” Jiwoo’s eyes widened.

Heejin snorted.

“You wish it were.”

Jiwoo just shrugged, neither denying nor confirming.

“And they don’t go to our plays either, so you know…”

“Is there a backstory or is this purely... economical?” Jungeun asked, seemingly mulling something over with furrowed brows. Heejin wondered, if they had the same thing on their minds. Probably. It wasn’t that Haseul was wrong - probably none of the theater kids was into sports. But people who play sports? That’s another issue entirely. “Are you excommunicated if you so much as breathe in their direction?”

“No, no!” Haseul shook her head. “It’s just tradition, that’s all. But really…” She leaned in again. “I heard that a pretty nasty thing happened, like, 10 years ago. One girl from the football team played a drama club girl horribly. I don’t know the details, but well. I’m pretty sure it happened. Do you want more to drink or are you good?”

Heejin, Jiwoo and Jungeun all looked at each other simultaneously, suspiciousness painted all over their faces. Jungeun’s voice cracked as she said:

“Uhh, I could use some more, and you?”

Heejin and Jiwoo nodded, and Haseul disappeared in the kitchen, swaying a bit as she opened the door.

Jiwoo ran her fingers through her hair.

“So, we’re gonna be hiding under the bleachers from now on.”

Jungeun groaned and Heejin sighed.

“Where is Jinsol?” And, not receiving any response, she quickly downed the drink that Haseul set down on the table in front of them. “Come on, I need to, like… dance to something horrible. Right now.”

Jungeun took the red cup and nodded. The opening notes of Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” and a few eager screams could be heard from the living room.

“We can do this!” Jiwoo said as they began swaying in the middle of the room with all the other theater kids in various states of drunkenness.

___

As she was approaching the drama club room, feeling jittery all over from excitement, Heejin could already tell that something was… wrong. The doors were already open, and no voices were coming from the room, which was unusual to say the least. It was always, always chaotically loud in the drama classroom.

The first thing she saw was Miss Kim, standing awkwardly in the middle of the room, leaning against the teacher’s desk. She was looking pointedly at the floor, her green-framed glasses sliding to the very tip of her nose. With her arms crossed, one of her fingers was tapping against her forearm. It wasn’t rocket science to tell that Miss Kim was nervous. Or excited. Or both.

Everybody else was already sat on the plastic chairs arranged in five rows in front of the makeshift stage. Heejin saw Jiwoo and Jinsol, and with furrowed brows made her way over to sit next to them in the far-left corner of the room.

“What’s going on?” She whispered as she set her backpack on the floor. “Why are we sitting like this? And whispering?”

Jiwoo made a confused face, while Jinsol raised her hands as if in defeat.

“I don’t know…” Started Jiwoo. “Miss Kim told us to wait until everyone comes and she’s…” At that, her voice became almost comically high in her whisper, “she’s being so… weird!”

“Is she having stage fright or something?” Heejin asked, leaning in. She looked around to see everybody else talk in hushed voices. Miss Kim stood, unmoving.

“Who knows… “ Said Jinsol. “Hey, where’s Jungeun?”

“She had to get some stuff from her locker or something. Told me to go ahead.” Heejin answered.

As if on cue, Jungeun’s hoodie-and-ripped jeans-clad silhouette appeared at the door. Throwing Miss Kim a weirded-out glare, she quickly made her way over to the other three.

Her eyes wide and her grip on the backpack’s stripes deadly, she gestured ambiguously with her right hand. She plopped down on the seat next to Heejin and immediately leaned in.

“Alright y’all, you won’t belie-”

But her whisper was cut off by Miss Kim coughing and adjusting her glasses.

“Are we all present now? That’s great.” She said.

Nobody replied, nobody said anything. The whole drama club was just looking at Miss Kim as if she were an ancient oracle about to reveal some life-changing prophecy.

“Some of you probably know that… there will be a surprise in how the drama club works this year.”

Heejin could practically feel Jiwoo straighten up next to her.

“Together with Byu… I mean, coach Moon, we’ve decided that the drama club and the football team will unite their forces to present an end of the year spectacle like never before!”

Heejin was pretty sure that she was having a stroke right then and there. She felt heat creeping up her neck and her eyes bulging out of their sockets. Did she hear that right? Was that a fever dream? She looked at Jiwoo, and then at Jungeun, both in a very similar state to the one she found herself in then. Jiwoo’s hand clutching at her arm was all the more assuring that they were, in fact, not dreaming.

“What? But aren’t they, like… completely inexperienced actors? How is this supposed to work?” A freshman, whose name Heejin faintly remembered to be Yuna, asked from the very end of the room, baffled.

Miss Kim took a deep breath.

“You are all good kids, so I’ll tell you the truth. Well, most of it. We’re underfunded.” She raised her hand dramatically. “By getting the football kids to act, we will sell out all the tickets! Plus! This is a great socialising exercise. Both you and them will get out of your comfort zone!”

“But that still doesn’t solve them being… not good at acting?” Chimed in Yerim, a girl from Hyejoo’s class, whose energy levels could match only Jiwoo.

“That’s why you’re pairing up! This will be fun.” Miss Kim clapped. “I’ll explain more when they actually get here. Oh, here you go!”

Coach Moon strutted through the door, leading twenty confused girls behind her. As coach made her way to Miss Kim and they started quietly whispering about god knows what, the football team still stood in the middle of the room, in their workout clothes, entirely confused by the whole situation.

Heejin caught Hyejoo’s questioning stare, but the only thing she could do was shrug. They probably knew the same amount. Hyejoo rolled her eyes.

“What is happening right now? God, pinch me or something.” Heejin muttered, running her hands through her hair. “What the fuck? Not for real, that’s a figure of speech!”

“That’s what I was trying to tell you when I came!” If anyone could screech while whispering, it was Jungeun. “I overheard coach Moon telling them about this in the locker room. You know my shitty locker is right next to the field.”

“This is crazy!” Jiwoo looked panicked. Her eyes shifted from looking at the floor to looking at Sooyoung at least ten times in the past five seconds. It could not be healthy, Heejin thought. And then she allowed herself to look at the football team more closely.

Ryujin was there, exchanging confused glances with her teammates. Heejin didn’t know how it was humanly possible to be confused in such a cool way, but Ryujin could probably look cool while doing anything. She let her eyes fall on the girl’s lips, curled up into a smirk, and on her neck, and then she turned a bit and Heejin had a full view of her back, covered only by a plain white shirt, and her hair spilling right above her shoulder looked so good, Heejin wondered what it would be like if there was no white shirt at all-

“Dude, you’re staring.” Jinsol nudged her knee, brutally tearing Heejin away from her world of daydreams.

Jiwoo had her hands pursed on her lap, and she was biting her lip, trying not to smile as she was undoubtedly having the same kind of daydreams as Heejin, her eyes still wandering, albeit not as rapidly. Jungeun leaned against the chair, and Heejin knew that she would try to act all cool and disaffected, despite sneaking under the bleachers for three years to catch a glimpse of the girl both her and Jiwoo were too scared to talk to. Come to think of it, this couldn’t end well for the both of them in the long run. But, Heejin guessed, she herself was actually no better.

“Alright!” Miss Kim began again, showing her teeth in a wide smile. “Come on, kids, sit down.”

“Yeah, go, the chairs don’t bite.” Said Coach Moon to her team, her hands in her pockets. She was leaning against the desk right next to Miss Kim.

The football team looked around awkwardly and sat down. Now, the class was divided in half, with drama club kids on the left, and the football team on the right. Coach Moon sighed at this predicament, but didn’t comment on it.

“I know that this is a surprise to both of you, but this is a very good initiative. The credits you will earn for this are off the charts, and we will make our teamwork better. It’s important to do something different once in a while!” Said Coach Moon with an encouraging smile.

“But, coach, shouldn’t we actually train? And not waste time?” A girl with long, dark hair asked almost immediately. Kim Hyunjin. Heejin could feel her nose scrunch in annoyance at her words. Drama Club was far from being a waste of time.

“Oh, we will train, Hyunjin. This is just two hours a week, and it will be a great experience. Plus, our teamwork could actually use a little… boost.” Kim Hyunjin didn’t say anything after that, just pursed her lips. “Great, can we begin?”

“Hey, guys, isn’t coach Moon kinda hot?” Yerim leaned forward to whisper to the four. Jinsol stared at the older woman’s figure for a while, pensively rubbing her chin.

“Hm. Yeah.”

Heejin just nodded. It was true, coach Moon did have something extremely charming about her, but she was also pretty sure that her and Miss Kim were banging, which properly turned her off at the mere thought. Not that Miss Kim was repulsive, gods, no, but at this point, she was every drama club kid’s mother figure.

“Well, here are two little pouches. Inside, there are 21 little notes with numbers on them. Football team takes a number from one pouch, then drama club takes from another and voila. You check whose number is the same as yours, and you’re paired up for the year. This is so that nobody is left without a pair. Of course, it’s not that you will have to be joined at the hip, we can’t really require that of you, but a little guidance for the players from the drama club members will be greatly appreciated. And, let me announce without any more delays, the play that we will be doing this year is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”! Now, can we begin?” Miss Kim took the little woolen pouches from the desk and passed one to coach Moon.

“Oh my god, dude, what if-” Heejin’s eyes widened, as she spoke in unison with Jinsol.

“Maybe you’ll finally stop being so useless!”

“Or I’ll die right at the spot!”

But still, her eyes unwillingly shot in the direction of the football team, and in the direction of Ryujin, who was just taking her note out of the pouch. Oh, if only she had worn glasses, maybe she could have seen what number was written on it, Heejin thought.

The pouch was passed over to Jinsol, who didn’t take a number, as she wasn’t technically part of the club, and passed it to Jiwoo, who passed it to Heejin, and who passed it to Jungeun.

“What did you get?”

Heejin unwrapped her note.

“A 1…”

“Well, 6.” Replied Jungeun.

Jiwoo just showed them a round 10 written in Miss Kim’s handwriting.

“Please, pray for me.” Heejin said to no one in particular as she made a half assed cross sign over her chest.

“Done!” Yelled Yuna, who was the last to get her number.

“Alright, so… to change things up a bit, we will go from last to first!” Announced Miss Kim. Her initial awkwardness seemed long gone. “Now go, 21, come sit next to each other, learn each other’s names, you will need it!”

The first people to stand to stand up were Yerim and an extremely short blonde who, just guessing by her size, must have been a first year. They both smiled as they sat next to each other and hugged instead of shaking hands. Yerim was the best person to go first. And the possibility of Heejin having the same number as Ryujin just rose from 1 in 21 to 1 in 20.

After that, it was all a bit of a blur - the only pair Heejin actually remembered were Hyejoo and Yuna, because she just knows the hyper freshman was going to make her younger sister go insane and she couldn't wait to see it.

When Jiwoo’s time cae, and she got paired up with a short-haired girl called Yubin, her smile dropped a little, and Heejin was actually kind of disappointed at the universe for letting this girl down. But maybe it was for the best that neither Jiwoo nor Jungeun get paired up with Sooyoung. However, Jiwoo quickly recovered, and extended her arm to Yubin as they sat next to each other. Now, the chance was 1 in 9.

The numbers go by, and Heejin didn't really catch them, or would forget as soon as she didn't see Ryujin getting up from her seat. And then, Jungeun’s turn came. And she was actually paired with Sooyoung. Heejin heard the other girl gulp as she was getting up from her seat, but as expected, she didn't let anything show. Her eyes flicked to Jiwoo, who kept talking to Yubin with furrowed brows. Jungeun sat down next to Sooyoung, and they shook hands. Heejin thought it was kinda funny how they had the exact same posture while sitting - leaning against the chair, seemingly relaxed. Maybe Sooyoung was dying inside as much as Heejin just knew Jungeun had to be?

She bit her lip. When observing Jungeun and Sooyoung, three more people passed, and now the only ones left from the football team were Ryujin, Kim Hyunjin and Son Chaeyoung. Heejin’s eyes lit up. She was practically sure that this was the day that the universe would finally be kind to her. The day her life changes, and she stops being a useless lesbian.

It all shattered rather quickly when Yoohyeon showed her note with a little 3, and Ryujin got up with that wide smile that reaches her eyes. She felt Jinsol’s hand on her knee as she looked longingly and thought about how she was only centimetres away from being the direct recipient of the other girl’s smirk and actually getting to sit next to her, and… hold on.

Son Chaeyoung had already gone on to sit with Minji, which only meant that who Heejin was left with was none other than Kim Hyunjin. She caught the dark-haired girl’s stare from the other side of the room, and stood up without actually feeling her body. Her only chance at love was gone, and she was stuck with someone who clearly didn’t want to be there and deemed theater worthless. As if kicking a ball for 90 minutes was so much better.

“You got it, Heekkie.” Jinsol whispered, as she made her way to the last row.

Heejin could swear that she died a little bit inside that day.