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Can't Get You Out of My Mind (Perhaps You Feel the Same Way Too)

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Migratory birds; like that of the nightingale. Beautiful creatures that travel the skies in order to find their better place to be. Yet, they never settle. Never stop moving. It is said that the Nightingale has one of the planet’s most beautiful voice, singing during dawn and dusk, bringing anyone who had been granted the pleasure of chancing upon them, joy and serenity.  

A migratory bird—perhaps that had been Yoohyeon her whole life; a nightingale—perhaps it was what Yoohyeon yearned to be.   

Her wandering childhood had brought many wonderful memories and people into her life, but it had also meant that memories of herself in people’s minds—people whom she knew—were never a constant. She had met so many people, but how many have actually seen her?

 

*

 

“Is that the new transfer student?”

The president looked up from the sheet of paper, which had the face of a newcomer plastered on it. 

“Yup! She will be joining the fifth year, aren’t you glad Dongdong? A fellow comrade!” Bora smirked and jokingly poked the chinese student’s side. She turned to address the other figure in the room, “and that is why, my lovely Minji, I hav-”

“Yes, yes, I know.” Minji rolled her eyes, “I’m going now to greet her. Since it’s the first day for our academy’s new member after all.”

It was a tradition—one that Minji thoroughly enjoyed—for the council members to welcome new academy members, especially transfer students, and allow them to feel comfortable after they first step foot into the campus. Minji really appreciated her work as the vice-president; her ability to impart a memorable experience for everyone in the academy was something of value to the girl. It was heart-warming to think that she could find love in a place where she had given her all, her blood and sweat.

 

*

 

The migratory birds are returning. Yoohyeon walked as she gazed upwards, admiring the way the birds extend their wings into the sky. It has been years... looks like this place has changed a lot huh. I don’t even recognise majority of the stores anymore. And there surely wasn’t such an academy back then.

“Dreamcatcher academy.” Looking around, she cannot help but be absolutely blown away by the pristine buildings that surrounded her. “Wow… this is a school? Way too grand…”

“Welcome to Dreamcatcher academy!” A loud voice shook her out of her daze. “Are you Kim Yoohyeon?”

Beautiful may even be an exaggerated understatement when used to describe the person standing before her. As if on cue, the wind started to stir, pulling and tugging on the blonde hair of said girl as she reached out to tuck them behind her ear. And Yoohyeon had never witness a sight—a person; anyone—prettier than this. And Yoohyeon had met many people in her life. She stood rooted, not processing anything else but the blonde, until she registers words coming out from the girl’s mouth again.

“I’m Kim Minji, the academy’s vice-president! I’m here representing the school to welcome you!” Minji curled her lips up into a smile as her voice once again broke the tranquillity. Receiving no response from the silver-haired girl, Minji tilted her head slightly, “Yoohyeon? You are Yoohyeon right?”

“Ah! Y-yes,” Yoohyeon willed herself to speak, smiling apologetically. Finally tearing her gaze away, Yoohyeon scratched her nape in an attempt to hide the blush that she knew was definitely forming on her face.

Cute. “Well, since we will be sharing our school life together, let’s get along well!” Minji held out her hand, hoping for a handshake with the younger girl.

Yoohyeon stared at the outstretched hand in whimsical, initially not registering the intention behind such a gesture. Oh, right. A handshake. She scrambled forward; she would hate for causing a pretty girl to wait. She briefly noted the great disparity between the angel-like features of the girl and her own less than appealing appearance, and felt shame coursing through her body. How could someone like herself afford to stand anywhere near such a gorgeous being? Deep down however, Yoohyeon knew that she wasn’t ugly (far from it even), that there had been many who were smitten by her looks. But she just could not bring herself to fall in love with her own reflection, could not convince herself to see her own beauty.  

Seeing that the vice-president, who was smiling at her encouragingly, was looking genuinely happy of her arrival, Yoohyeon couldn’t but wonder: I have never been welcomed so warmly like this before. Always transferring from place to place, Yoohyeon’s school life had been a mix of faces and events. Over the years, she had learnt to keep to herself to prevent another heart-breaking farewell. Perhaps it was also to prevent herself from being forgotten again, for you can’t be forgotten if no one remembers you. Maybe here... I can finally find those things I have always longed for. Locking eyes with the vice-president, Yoohyeon reached out.

Until Minji roughly yanked her hand back upon contact with Yoohyeon’s hand. Wha-what? Holding her hands close to her chest, Minji rapidly averted eye contact with the younger girl. Desperately, she tried to even her now ragged breath, moving further away from the source that warranted this reaction in the first place. Yoohyeon looked on dumbfounded. Did she really hate shaking my hand that much? A wave of disappointment threatened to overcome her as she briefly recalled the times people from school avoided her. Or maybe it was she who avoided them? (It didn’t matter, not when the angel before her was clearly affected by something. Yoohyeon just hoped that it wasn’t something that she had done.)

“What’s wrong? A-Are you okay?” Yoohyeon moved closer while Minji moved back, still hopelessly trying to calm herself down. Why is this happening all of a sudden? Minji’s mind was going wild as she felt her body heat up at the proximity of the other girl, as if her body was a vessel that she had no control over. This wasn’t within the plans of the older girl; she had predicted a simple greeting followed by the end of their encounter—with her returning to the council and Yoohyeon to her dorm as yet another member of DC. She had not expected to form any bonds with the newcomer.

(But life had never been kind to her. This may just be yet another start of something big—bigger than her and everything she could handle.)

“Vice-pres?”

Minji swiftly turned upon recognising the distinct voice, putting a name to it almost immediately. Silently, she released a sigh. She had been saved; one more second and Minji might have broken. Too close. She eyed the transfer student briefly, noting the subtle hint of disappointment mixed with the profound confusion in her eyes; it would seem that the newcomer was not one to hide her emotions well. And it would also seem that Minji would be remembering the younger’s face for longer than she had anticipated.

Finally meeting the gaze of her saviour, Minji let out a stiff smile.

“Siyeon! Great, I was just welcoming Yoohyeon over here! Since you guys are in the same year anyways, would you mind showing her around the campus? Something came up and I have to go now, bye!” Minji sprinted headfirst towards the students’ council room, not forgetting to mutter a ‘thank you’ as she did.

 

*

 

“So... you kept moving because of your dad’s work?”

“Well, kind of. But since this academy has a boarding school, I can finally settle down without worrying about leaving again. I guess it’s time to make some real friends. I was constantly moving, so making friends was difficult. People tend to forget you after a while but I would still remember them y’know...it’s...yea”

“Hey, don’t worry, you will have fun here! I can be your first friend then. Once again, I’m Lee Siyeon. We will probably be in the same class, our homeroom teach hinted at a transferee.” Yoohyeon was glad that this time the handshake went smoothly without any complications like before. The interaction with Minji was weird, and Yoohyeon can’t help but to wonder if she had somehow left a bad impression—unknowingly, of course—on their first meeting. Although she did not find any of her behaviour to be out of line—well, minus the long silences and less than comfortable stares she gave—their encounter seemed normal to the silver-haired girl.

“Does the vice-president have an obsession with cleanliness or something?” She can’t help but wonder out loud. Siyeon let of a laugh as she slapped her hand across Yoohyeon’s back with such force, it sent her four steps forward.

“Of course not!” She giggled. She kinda looks like a wolf. Yoohyeon can’t help but notice the wolf-like appearance her new friend’s features extruded.

“Minji’s rather stubborn and headstrong, but she is a kind girl. Though I must say... she was kinda weird today.”

“See?!”

“Hmm, did you do anything? Or... maybe she just hates you in some way.” She shrugged and broke into a smirk as Yoohyeon’s ‘Hey!’ was heard. She’s too easy to tease~

Soon enough, they reached a modern-looking building that definitely stood out against the backdrop of the ancient castle-like infrastructures that made up the main campus. Dorm life was the thing Yoohyeon looked forward to the most, as she did spend quite a lot of time working and saving in a bid to move away from that dreaded place. Yoohyeon hated her life back home; if she could even convince herself to call it a home, her home. The word left a bitter taste in her mouth.

(Surely, home is a warm save haven but it could not be further away from the truth for her.)

“P-pardon the trouble.” Yoohyeon cautiously took a step into the establishment.

“Huh? Why do you have to feel troubled coming into your own home? Relax!” Siyeon motioned as she dragged Yoohyeon into the dorm. She made sure to give the latter a warm smile as reassurance, fearing that Yoohyeon might feel uncomfortable in the new environment.

It’s warm... Yoohyeon smiled to herself. I think I’ll like it here. If warmth were a feeling, it would most definitely represent happiness. Neither have been something Yoohyeon got to experience much, sadly.

“Oh my god, look out!” Before she could register what was happening, a figure crashed right into her and she was launched straight to the floor. “Oh shit! I mean- are you alright?!” the same voice rang out, shattering whatever peace that was once present.

“Lee Gahyeon! What are you even doing?!” Siyeon berated as she ran to help the poor fallen girl, only earning an ‘oops’ from her eccentric younger sister. “Yoohyeon, are you okay? Did you hit your head? Can you see me? What’s my name? What’s your name? How many fingers is this? Can you hear me? Please don’t die.” She panicked as she waved three fingers hysterically in the poor girl’s face.

“Ow ow… stop that, Siyeon.” She groaned.

“Wait, did you say Yoohyeon?” Gahyeon let out another yell, “OH, it is Yoohyeon unnie!” The two girls flinched. They can only grimace while their poor eardrums braced through the damage. 

When Yoohyeon finally took a proper look at the loud newcomer, she immediately remembered the younger girl. How could she forget one of the kindest girls she had ever met? She remembered playing with Gahyeon when she lived in this town eleven years ago. She remembered the way the girl had treated her—with kindness, a concept that was relatively foreign and an ever-absent subject in her life; at least under his sole guardianship. She remembered exploring the grand landscape before they were replaced by tall buildings—precious memories Yoohyeon held dearest. Perhaps the time she spent with Gahyeon had been her at her happiest; and it was comforting to know that Gahyeon still remembered her.

“You guys know each other?”

“She’s the girl I told you about, unnie! The one who played with me all the time when we were kids! Look at you now Yoohyeon unnie, you’re even taller than my elder sis!” Gahyeon rambled on, clearly too excited to be reunited with her long-lost friend. 

Yoohyeon smiled and pulled the shorter girl into a hug. “It’s nice to see you again Gahyeon. It really is.”

 

*

 

“So, what the hell happened?”

“I don’t know. It felt weird...I almost couldn’t control myself... It was the first time I’ve experienced something like this.”

“Oh, I mean I’m definitely interested in my dear friend’s feelings... but I was just asking about the newcomer,” Bora chuckled, certainly pleased at herself for teasing Minji.

“Urgh!” Minji shot the president a look before continuing, “She seems really kind and was really polite.” Not to mention really cute too. Her smile... gosh. Minji could easily recall the girl’s smiling face before it was coloured a deep red due to embarrassment. Her smile made her look like a little puppy and definitely made Minji feel something, though she would never admit it; especially not to Bora. Never.

“Well, that’s nice and all but... this queen here wants to know about the princess’ in-depth personal opinion~”    

“Kim Bora! Oh my god, I shouldn’t have talked to you about it!” Minji whined.

Bora’s words made her recall the silver-haired girl again, who had been haunting her thoughts since their meeting earlier today—more specifically the younger’s eyes, which possessed a pretty shade of hazel brown. It remained a wonder to Minji, how mere orbs could seem to enshrine an entire world within. Minji swears she saw a glimpse of the galaxy when she looked into those eyes with her own pair of dark brown ones. But she also swears that she would not want to look into those eyes again, for as long as it was possible; to get lost in the gaze that held the stars. Yea, definitely, most certainly not. (She is also definitely, most certainly, not fooling anyone.) And have I mentioned her silver hair suits her so much it’s like she invented that colour?

“But she may not be as happy as she tries to appear...” Minji mumbled to herself, remembering how those eyes that she has kind of taken a liking to (kind of), seemed to mask a cloud of sadness.

 

*

 

“What’s this?” Yoohyeon raised an eyebrow at the suspicious piece of paper Gahyeon had just handed her. Gahyeon may be kind, but her eccentric nature had brought Yoohyeon more trouble than not in the past, and the girl was hesitant to relive those moments all over again.

“It’s the academy’s map! I figured you might want to explore the school a bit more since lessons only start in the afternoon anyways.”

Yoohyeon eyed the paper, scanning through the list of facilities that were present; and she was certainly impressed. Undoubtedly, much energy and thought were channelled into constructing the architecture of the campus, for the myriad of facilities far surpass those of other campuses she had been to. Hmm? The...royal family? At the heart of the campus, lies a circular building that was labelled in big red words at the courtesy of none other than Gahyeon herself. 

“What’s this?” Yoohyeon pointed to the immaculate handwriting that caught her attention. “Why is there a castle on campus?”

Upon the mention of the royals, Siyeon finally looked up from her food.

“The students’ council president is called the queen, that’s why,” the wolf-like girl spoke as she continued stuffing her face with food, earning a grimace from the other two when bits of rice shot out of her mouth.

“That’s disgusting, unnie! This is why your dear crush, the queen Bora, keeps avoiding you!” Gahyeon made sure to articulate the name of her sister’s secret crush, causing Yoohyeon to smirk. Gossips may not be up her alley, but she found teasing her friends to be one of her favourite hobbies, surely.

“Oh? Didn’t know you are that bold Siyeon-ah! That’s some high standards you got there~” Yoohyeon can’t help but to join in the tease.

Siyeon could feel her face heat up at the mention of the students’ council president, and she was sure her face was now hopelessly coloured a deep shade of red. But can you blame the girl? She had been crushing on Bora ever since the welcome speech last year, which perfectly showcased the latter’s confidence despite her small stature. And a girl with confidence is hot, at least to Siyeon. It also did not help that Bora is downright gorgeous—like seriously, the girl shines. What human being shines? This is not some kind of fairy tail! Siyeon remembered thinking.

“Stop it guys!” Siyeon pushed lightly on Yoohyeon’s shoulders, “just go and explore the campus or whatever! This is embarrassing.”

 

*

 

“A castle, I can see why it’s called that,” Yoohyeon regarded the brick wall building that stood tall in front of her. The laid bricks that made up the exterior of the structure gave it a medieval air, while the refined ambience signalled otherwise.

“You.” Yoohyeon jumped slightly. “What are you doing here? Only council members are allowed in here.”

“I-I’m sorry! I’m a new student-” Yoohyeon began. Oh wow. Are all members of the students’ council pretty or what? The person who broke the silence stared, harbouring no emotions. Her orange hair unequivocally stood out, as that was the first thing Yoohyeon took note of. Next was her eyes; the pair reflected much intensity that Yoohyeon had to look away before they threatened to consume her. (But Yoohyeon understood that was impossible and it was only her overreacting. It would seem that overreaction was part of her (adorable) personality. Tragically.)

“You better get going, before she is here to-”

“OHHH aren’t you the new student?” A voice with a loudness that could rival Gahyeon cut short whatever the orange haired was about to say.

“H-huh?”

“I am your humble president, the one and only Queen Bora!” Another girl, almost half the height of Yoohyeon (sure, it may be exaggerated but it’s not that far from the truth) burst out of the council’s building. “So, you must be Yoohyeon! Come come, let’s get you a drink! Do you like tea? Or maybe coffee?”

Yoohyeon was forcefully dragged into the building. This left the chinese girl standing outside, who was by now pinching the bridge of her nose. Bora was definitely up to something, and the sharp-witted secretary picked it up right away. “See, that’s why I said to leave quickly,” she mumbled to no one in particular. “Minji is not going to like this...” With a sigh, the mysterious student could only follow Bora as she took in Yoohyeon’s exasperated expression.

Err...what the hell is going on? Yoohyeon took in her surroundings carefully, before turning to the person puling on her arm. For one, she definitely did not expect the president to be of such a stature. And she also most likely did not anticipate being attacked by the president questionable hospitality and way too fervent enthusiasm.

“And now, I present to you the student council’s meeting room!” Bora gave the large wooden door a kick, forcing it open in the loudest way possible. “My dearest Minji! We have a guest today!”

“Hmm? Who is it-” Once again, Minji locked eyes with the person she was hoping to never see again. (Yes, very convincing.) Time seemed to stop for a fraction of a second before Minji frantically regained her lost composure and yanked at Bora’s collar.

“Wha-what, what; why is she here!?” She was shaking Bora vigorously by now.

“I don’t know~”

“Bora invited her in.” The last students’ council member strode into the room nonchalantly. “I’m Handong by the way,” she turned to address Yoohyeon, who was resembling a lost puppy with the way she stood awkwardly by the door.  

“I. Thought. So.” Minji launched a glare at the poor dishevelled shorter girl before trudging quickly towards the pantry. “I’ll make some tea,” she said before cursing under her breath.

“So, to properly introduce ourselves, I’m Kim Bora, your humble president. This is Handong, the secretary-treasurer and a fellow fifth year like you. And I’m sure you have already met Minji, the vice-prez,” Bora gestured wildly as she shot down any formality from Yoohyeon.

Bora may be lacking in the height department but she was absolutely not lacking in energy. In fact, her outgoing nature was rubbing off Yoohyeon, making her relax considerably ever since she stepped foot into the room. She has had trouble getting comfortable and focusing, with Minji actively avoiding all contact with her, but Bora was either not registering the princess’ distress or choosing to turn a blind eye to it. Knowing the president, it was undoubtedly the latter; Handong snickered to herself. As much as she was constantly being annoyed by Bora, she loved teaming up with the girl to tease Minji. Seeing Yoohyeon relax more by the minute, Handong smiled. The chinese girl may not show it, but she did care about the people around her. Yoohyeon had really left an impression on her with the way the girl was always smiling. Anyone who has a brain could see how she extruded positivity, even those who had only been acquainted with her for a short period.

“Minji was so disappointed since she cannot be in the same class as you cause she’s a sixth year!” Handong sighed once more as she heard the words that came out of Bora’s mouth. Yup, she is just asking for it at this point.

“Of course not! Are you serious?!” Minji turned. Almost immediately, her eyes turned ridiculously wide, “n-no, I-I mean, it’s nothing! Don’t listen to this dumbass here.” She faked a laugh and smacked Bora repeatedly with whatever she was holding at that moment. (A piece of paper.)

“Did I do something?” Yoohyeon asked softly after Minji fled to the pantry again. She was seriously getting worried that she may have offended Minji without realising it.

“Don’t worry, nothing’s wrong! I mean, it’s hard to understand the princess sometimes... She’s a maiden at heart anyways.” Bora faked a sob as Handong suppressed a laugh.

“Right, but anyways I better get going...” Yoohyeon side-eyed the blonde and did not miss how her face lit up upon hearing her intended departure. Okay, she definitely hates me.

 

*

 

“What’s with that look, Bora?” Handong raised a brow at the brunette. 

“I’m thinking of giving Minji a little gift, maybe she will start appreciating the newcomer more~ Dongdong-ah, you in?”

“I’m scared. Whatever that are you planning, just... don’t overdo it.”

 

*

 

“Hello everyone! I’m Yoohyeon!” She briefly introduced herself with a smile. It was the official first day of classes for Yoohyeon and she was certainly eager—too eager, actually—to get started with school. After the strange encounters with the student council, she couldn’t help but to be relieved that her school life was finally taking a turn for the normal. And she thanked her luck a million times when she found out that she had been assigned the same class as Siyeon. It was reassuring to already have someone she knew; it made entering a class full of already acquainted people less intimidating. Now, she did not have to worry about not having any friends or being unable to fit into any cliques.

“Dami! You are late again. How many times has it been this week?” All attention turned towards the door as it slid close and the girl, Dami, strode in. She continued silently towards her seat by the window, not even sparing a glance at the now less than pleased teacher. Okay, another weird person? I better try my best to avoid her... I can already feel it bringing more issues than anything. Yoohyeon made a little vow before turning back to the teacher.

“Yoohyeon take a seat in front of Dami,” he gestured towards the empty seat in front of the stoic looking female Yoohyeon swore to ignore mere seconds ago. Wow, things are proceeding just as planned. What luck, Kim Yoohyeon. (Who was she kidding anyways? Since when was luck ever on Kim Yoohyeon’s side?) She begrudgingly set herself down, being slightly too conscious of the presence behind her. At least Siyeon is just diagonally in front. As if the girl had heard her cries of despair, Siyeon turned around and flashed the silver-haired girl a smile, for which Yoohyeon returned thankfully.

“How was your first day?” Siyeon questioned as the pair walked back to the dorms after classes.

“Not bad I guess.”

“You seemed to be pretty scared of Dami though.” Siyeon noticed the girl’s constant fidgeting back in class and was surprised to see Dami staring straight at Yoohyeon throughout the lesson. Dami was famous for staring out the window during class; that is, if she even turned up in the first place. A mysterious classmate that got along with no one, yet remaining unbothered and aloof; no better ways to describe Lee Dami. Even if there was, Siyeon would not know for she understood little about her classmate. None does anyways. Well, except for the fact that the girl is a literal genius, topping the cohort while turning up for less than half a term in an entire school year.

“Things have been absurd since you arrived. Lee Dami the infamous I-don’t-give-a-shit-about-anything personality taking an interest in you? While the kind, I-wouldn’t-even-harm-an-ant precious vice-president Kim Minji hates you.” Siyeon stated in a matter-of-fact fashion, earning a groan from the target she meant to tease. She let out a hearty laugh seeing Yoohyeon pouting—it makes her resembles a chick that has its feathers puffed up to combat the cold during winter, Siyeon noted.

“Well, Siyeon look who’s here! It’s the oh-I’m-so-confident-I-made-Siyeon-fall-for-me, the Queen, Bora~” The pout on Yoohyeon’s face was replaced by a lob sided smirk, which made Siyeon very tempted to slap it away.

Whipping her head, Siyeon caught sight of the beautiful brunette, together with Handong, walking towards them. Immediately, she went into panic mode, her eyes reflecting a wave of helplessness that was clearly spreading to other parts of her face. Now, Yoohyeon felt a little bad—only a tiny bit—for teasing her friend. Shit, what do I do? What. Do. I. Do.? Siyeon wanted very much to just turn back and run, as far away as she possibly could but another part of her, the more annoying counterpart, refused. She stood rooted, hoping her crush would be oblivious enough to not notice her presence, as if she was not standing right smack in the middle of the hallway looking like a lost deer (wolf).

Seeing how Siyeon was getting more tensed up by the minute and realising the stare she was giving wasn’t going to be of any help releasing said tension, Yoohyeon took pity on the girl and greeted the two council members. This finally received some attention from Siyeon, who moved for the first time ever since making eye contact with Bora. What the hell Yoohyeon! Why?!

“Hey, relax okay? I got this.” Yoohyeon shot her a reassuring smile that did not do any justice. Siyeon was most definitely not amused and very much not assured.

“Yoohyeon! I was just about to come find you.” Bora called out, for which Yoohyeon replied with a subtle tilt of her head. Confusion was evident on her face. What does she want now? She looked to Handong for help, to which the girl only gave a shrug.

“Minji told me to give you this,” Bora said with a smirk. Minji is so gonna kill her. The inaudible sigh that escaped from Handong’s mouth was enough to tell Yoohyeon something was up. But before she got to voice her reservations, Bora continued, effectively cutting her off.

“Oh? Siyeon!” Bora’s voice is softer now and Yoohyeon swore there was a gentler tone to it, which was of course out of character for the loud personality. Hmm...interesting. She locked eyes with Handong, albeit briefly, but it was sufficient to confirm her suspicions. Both smirked. It seems, Handong had realised, the newcomer is sharper than she portrays.

Receiving no response when her name was mentioned, Bora took hold of the girl’s hand, “hey are you alright?” Concern was deeply laced in her voice and Siyeon might (or might not, but who was she kidding?) have fainted there and then.

“I didn’t know you guys were friends,” Bora looked up to address the silver-haired girl.

“I met Siyeon on my first day and she showed me around. We are in the same class too.” Yoohyeon did Siyeon a favour and replied. “That being said, I kinda need Handong’s help for something, so...bye!”

“Wha-” Siyeon could only watch as Handong was pulled away while she could only curse adamantly at Yoohyeon in her head. I’m definitely getting her back for this. How am I going to survive? And without making a fool of myself in the process? Impossible.

 

*

 

“Stop looking at me like that!” Yoohyeon whined. She had dragged Handong away, but it was not to get judged. “Don’t even deny that you hoped for them to be alone, Dongie. I’m- no, we are like the best of friends they can ever ask for.”

“Didn’t know we are close enough for nicknames already.” Handong raised an eyebrow.

“Well, first of all, you are like the only sane person I have met so far,” Yoohyeon started pointedly, earning a scoff from her partner in crime. “Secondly, I figured since Dong is your name name, it’s better? I guess you wouldn’t want to be called your full name all the time. It must be pretty weird and all. But if thou art uncomfortable, pray tell.” Yoohyeon commented light-heartedly.

Saying that she was surprised was frankly an understatement. Not many knew of the situation surrounding her name, and Handong was impressed by how knowledgeable the girl was with chinese culture.   

“Dongie is fine.”

“Thanks, Yoohyeon,” she added seconds later. It was comforting to say the least, that someone was able to understand her and even thoughtful enough to take note of such as trivial a matter as her name.

 

*

 

“I-I I’m fine Bora.” Siyeon cleared her throat a little too forcefully. Shit. This is not real. She is too pretty. Bora chuckled; amusement edged on her face as she witnessed Siyeon undergoing nothing short of a crisis. She found the way the younger would always wear her emotions, or the fact that she fails to hide them very well, to be really adorable.

Both had met shortly after Bora’s opening speech to the school last year, when she had collided rather forcefully into Siyeon and left both sustaining injuries. But when Siyeon was more invested in Bora’s slight injuries than treating her own more severe one—a deep cut that ran across the skin too close to her lip—it left a sweet taste that was so everlasting, Bora still experiences it whenever Siyeon was nearby. As the student that undeniably holds much power within the school, Bora had met many who would go out of their way to get on her good side. But how many of them truly cared? When the kind stranger took in the injuries on her arm with a concern etched so intensely on her wolf-like features, Bora can’t help but be impressed: there are still people as genuine as her these days.

She remembered being towed to the infirmary by the hand and witnessed how Siyeon was extra gentle when treating her wound despite the fierce aura she emitted. Bora also recalled how Siyeon’s eyes had widened comically all of a sudden when she had offered to help with cleaning the stranger’s wound and did so before getting a response from the latter. The girl's face was completely flushed by the time Bora had finished. When the president finally inched her face away to leave a respectable and socially acceptable distance between the two, Siyeon felt like she could breathe again. Bora, however, pretended to not notice the obvious blush that had arisen on the other girl’s face, saving Siyeon from the embarrassment all together. But Bora would also pretend that she did not move a little too close to the girl on purpose. She had certainly realised their close proximity but had chosen to ignore it. Not that she would admit it. Like ever. (Well, maybe one day if...) 

“You don’t have to be so nervous around me,” Bora offered a laugh and a tender squeeze of the hand she realised she was still holding on to. (And not really wanting to let go of anytime soon.)

“I know. I-It’s just... Yeah.” Siyeon then settled for a sentence that her brain clearly did not process, and it was too late to hold them back as the words exited her mouth involuntarily, “you’re just too pretty.”

She winced. Not surviving this? Check. Making myself fool in the process? Also check. Mom would be so proud of you Lee Siyeon. She resisted the urge to face palm herself. (Mainly and only because her left hand was paralysed due to nervousness and her right hand was still being held by Bora.) Her senses suddenly became hyperaware of every trivial detail around them.

“Thanks, Siyeon. You are not that bad too.” Bora was now laughing but to Siyeon, it looked more like a smirk. As her senses went into overdrive, Siyeon could only focus on the brunette and nothing else.

“I really like you.”

Suddenly, silence. 

Bora whipped her head up and came face to face with Siyeon, who was mirroring the brunette’s shocked expression. I can't believe I said that! You're so dumb, Lee Siyeon!

 

*

 

Yoohyeon opened the envelope gingerly, fearing whatever that was hidden within. The girl came to a conclusion that anything to do with Kim Bora may be bad news, but anything to do with Kim Minji was the worst possible thing that could happen. The vice-president had made it known to her rather evidently that her presence was less than welcome. That, Yoohyeon could not be more confident about. So why was she holding a piece of paper that had ‘Meet me at the tree of language. 4pm today.’ written on it? And above all, why that tree? Yoohyeon may be new to the campus but the famous confession site was not unfamiliar to her. In fact, that was the first place the Lee sisters had brought her to during their little tour around the campus. “They say people who confess their love here will always become a couple!” Gahyeon had mentioned. What the hell?! But the next piece of paper that Yoohyeon came across did more damage than the first.

 

 

‘It seems like my adorable little princess fell in love at first sight~ Take care of her for me, Kim Yoohyeon.

-The Queen.’

 

If Yoohyeon wasn’t blushing earlier (she was but), she was now most definitely redder than said colour. Yeah right, this absolutely cannot be true. To Yoohyeon, Minji did not come across as one who would fall in love upon meeting someone for the first time. In fact, she gave off the image of someone hesitant to experience said emotion. Maybe it was just Yoohyeon trying to deny the possibility of goddess-looking Kim Minji falling for someone like her who just had nothing to offer in return. Or perhaps she was referring more to herself, the one who was truly afraid to fall—in love; and in life.

Despite every cell in her body having reservations about meeting the blonde again and this time alone, Yoohyeon decided that it would be rude not to show up if the letter was indeed by Minji. It would not be nice if she has to wait for no one... The kind hearted girl thought to herself and decided it was best that she be the one who was stood up instead if this was a prank.

Its only three now... One hour to roam around then... Oh? Isn’t that...? Yoohyeon found herself wandering aimlessly in the mountainous area behind the campus. Having the academy located on top of a mountain was indeed fancy but Yoohyeon appreciated the fact that it provided a great view of the city beneath much more. Following a familiar figure, she walked deeper into the secluded area covered by thicker bushes and trees. Didn’t know such a place existed... She scanned the region and was disappointed that the figure had disappeared from trace. Weird.

“What are you doing here?”

Yoohyeon jumped and let out a scream louder than she intended. “You scared the hell out of me!” She turned to find that the figure was indeed who she thought belonged to.

Lee Dami. (What happened to not getting involved?)

“You followed me first, not my problem you got scared by such a little thing.” Yoohyeon watched as Dami approached. All of a sudden, the mysterious girl collapsed onto the ground next to her.

“Hey! Are you alright?” Yoohyeon frantically sat herself down next to the limp body. With firm hands, she shook her, hoping that it would get a response from the unconscious girl. Oh my god, I should call someone! She was panicking now, as Dami laid in her arms. Then, a light snore was heard, which pulled Yoohyeon out of her trance. What? She eyed Dami suspiciously. She’s...asleep?! Yoohyeon huffed in disbelief as the once stoic girl started mumbling incoherently. Still a little worried, she settled next to the asleep girl watching over her in case anything was to happen.   

 

*

 

“You’re still here.” Yoohyeon turned towards the sound. She glanced at the mysterious girl who had just woken up from her deep slumber. She got up and started walking away.

“Where are you going?”

“Home. It’s late. Even the sun has set already.” Now fully awake, she regarded Yoohyeon with peculiar interest, “I know you didn’t have any malice, but it’s better if you don’t get too involved with other people.” Her tone was neutral, but it did contain a hint of warning.

Yoohyeon could only stare as the girl retreated back where they had come from a while ago, before processing what she had said. I better head back too; the sun really has set. The sun... oh shit!

Minji.

Yoohyeon gaped at the piece of paper. She could not figure out which was scarier: the fact that Minji actually showed up or the fact that she left behind a note that read:

 

‘That was very nice of you, Kim Yoohyeon.

- Kim Minji’

 

Shit.

 

*

 

“How did the meeting with Yoohyeon go?” Bora started with mirth.

Upon the mention of that name, Minji’s mood turned sour. She spat out a reply, “she wrote me a note saying to meet and then miraculously decide to not show up? The audacity! I-” She paused. “Wait, how did you know about the meeting? I didn’t tell anyone,” Minji gave Bora an accusatory stare.

“I- Err-” The president led out a nervous laugh.

“She was the one who wrote you the letter,” Handong answered Minji’s suspicion. “She handed one to Yoohyeon as well,” she continued with a monotonous voice, ignoring the piercing glare that came from the president. What can Bora do anyways? She is too small to harm even a strand of hair on the chinese girl’s body if she ever decides to throw hands.

“Oh god, I knew it!” Minji was intensely frustrated—at herself, for not questioning the obviously questionable note which had the words ‘Hey there gorgeous, meet me at the tree of language at 4pm today ;)’ written on it. (Totally not suspicious.) And more so than ever, she was frustrated for feeling somewhat delighted in receiving the note from the younger; for even looking forward to meeting her despite deep felt nervousness. I can’t believe I’m this dumb.

“I mean why would she- Urgh.” Her head met the table with a loud thud.

Loud, obnoxious laughter can be heard from the students’ council room, followed by a piercing scream and then way too chaotic noises. It wasn’t difficult to guess what transpired in the room afterwards, for Kim Minji always win. (But only when she is mad; and she was mad alright.)

 

*

 

For the umpteenth time, Yoohyeon let out a long sigh. Followed by a groan. Then a sigh again. The Lee sisters side eyed each other, bringing their unusual telepathic abilities (or whatever you would call it) to use. What happened to Yoohyeon unnie? Gahyeon raised a questioning brow at Siyeon. As if she had heard her younger sister, Siyeon shook her head as subtle as possible before mouthing “I don’t know.”

It had been going on ever since the trio started breakfast and was gradually getting worse by the minute. Though they have been friends with Yoohyeon for only over a week, it did not take much to realise that there was something inherently wrong with her. The silver-haired girl radiated positivity—she may not be the happiest person alive but she tries; she really does, to be at least optimistic about situations. So, for said girl to be here pulling out her gorgeous hair while looking like a distressed puppy, it was weird and almost unsettling for the sisters. Nudging her sister by the elbow, Gahyeon motioned for Siyeon to check on her by enlarging her eyes and probing up her chin. I’m not going to be the one to bring this shit up! You do it!

“Err... Yoohyeon, you aright? What’s wrong?” Siyeon began hesitantly. Swallowing another sigh, Yoohyeon contemplated on how to narrate her somewhat eventful afternoon yesterday.

“I... kinda... stood Minji up?” Yoohyeon began in a mere whisper, deeply ashamed of her actions.

“You what?" Gahyeon half shouted. Did she hear wrongly or were her ears deceiving her? “Wait you need to tell us what happened. Like right now.”

Yoohyeon recalled the contents of the letter from Minji as well as the incident with Dami, getting increasingly flustered and guilty as she did so. She berated herself for being so careless to the point of forgetting about their meeting. Yoohyeon could not help but think that Minji may have something important that she wanted to convey—the fact that Minji openly hated her guts but still wanted to meet up with her just seemed to confirm this for the latter. The thought made Yoohyeon recoil further with remorse.

“Unnie, you should stop criticising yourself, it’s not going to solve anything. Go and find Minji unnie and apologise,” Gahyeon wanted to knock some sense into her, knowing that Yoohyeon was the type to overly blame herself for things when she had messed up. She had been that way ever since they were young. It was somewhat endearing that the girl had not changed the slightest since then. “Minji unnie would understand if you tell her the reason why you were late.”

Siyeon hummed in agreement. “Despite everything, Minji is not an unreasonable person. She will forgive you if you tell her the truth.”

“Thanks guys,” Yoohyeon was glad to have made friends with the Lee sisters and was not reluctant to show her gratitude. “You guys are the best.”

“Anyways Siyeon, what happened with Bora unnie after me and Dongie left the other day?” Putting her problems aside for now, the transfer student was very interested in the progress of her friend’s relationship with the loud president. Siyeon almost spit out the contents in her mouth upon the mention of the older girl. In fact, she still could not believe the events that had taken place after she had nonsensically confessed her love to the one owning her heart.

 

“I really like you.”

Silence.

Both had lost the ability to utter a single word—one was too busy regretting whatever she had said while the other was too busy calming herself down, given that she had never expected the other to ever admit their feelings.

Siyeon was sure she had messed up. Bora had looked absolutely horrified on hearing her confession and she was sure the silence from the president could not be a good sign. She had screwed up their friendship and had only herself to blame. Siyeon had pretty much accepted the fact that Bora would never return her affection. To her, Bora was perfect; and surely there was no reason for such a perfect being to fall for someone like Lee Siyeon. She was about to take back her words and maybe offer words to salvage her situation. Such as: it’s fine; I was just kidding; I like you but only as a friend. But it proved to be too difficult to admit—especially when those were practically untrue.

“I think I really like you too.” These words of comfort escaped as merely a whisper.

Siyeon could only lift her head abruptly, to take in Bora bashful face and all too self-conscious demeanour. I think I heard wrongly. She must have left out a don’t or something. She was about to ask Bora to repeat herself and maybe also reassure the brunette that it’s totally alright to reject her and that she should not feel pressured to answer to her feelings. (Just dumb lesbian things.) But the next string of words that escaped her crush’s mouth left her perplexed.

“Do you want to go somewhere together then?” Bora offered, then frantically added, “just the two of us.” She was sure that Siyeon would misunderstand her earlier words and wanted to make sure the younger got absolutely everything that she had wanted to convey. Undeniably, Bora had grew fond of Siyeon and the idea of starting a relationship with the girl was constantly on her mind. However, she also understood the consequences that she must face if she were to ever accept the younger into her life. It was not a pretty price to pay; for herself and even more so, for Siyeon. Minji is so gonna kill me if she knows of this... Maybe Dongdong would too... She shuddered, but chose not to think about the two for now.

Siyeon could only nod in response to the bold suggestion put forward by the president, no longer in a state to be able to clearly think through her actions. “Great! I’ll see you this weekend? At 10 in the morning maybe?” Again, Siyeon could only lower and raise her head briefly.

After what seem like an eternity, Bora finally let go of the hand that she had been holding on for a little too long to be simply considered just friendly.

 

“I-I’m going on a d-date...apparently.”

“You what?!” Gahyeon was heard again. “Can you guys stop dropping all these world-shattering news all at once?! A girl still needs to breathe!”

The entire lunch session consisted of the two childhood friends teasing the hell out of Siyeon, while laughing at the girl’s failed attempts to murder the both of them. (With chopsticks.) 

 

*

 

School just ended for Yoohyeon and she had been walking around the campus ever since then in hopes of bumping into the students’ council vice-president. She wished badly to apologise to the older girl and wanted to do so quickly, before things turned even more sour between them. When she had first met the blonde, Yoohyeon had wanted to befriend her right from the start. (Whipped.) She may not have interacted much with Minji but Yoohyeon was confident that she was a great person with a huge heart. (Very whipped.) Yoohyeon had witnessed far too many with malicious intent, to be able to distinguish easily the good from the bad.

“Yoohyeon unnie!” She heard someone call out and was able to put a name to the voice even without turning her head.

“Gahyeon. What’s wrong?” Worry creeped onto Yoohyeon’s face upon realising the younger’s anxious mannerisms.

“Cherry is missing!” Who?  “He’s one of the dogs that the student welfare committee takes care of! He’s gone and we can’t find it!” Gahyeon continued, arms waving rapidly in mid-air.

The encounter saw Yoohyeon venture through thick bushes in search for the white Pomeranian that had caused an uproar from her friend. Long forgotten was her mission to find Minji and apologise. Instead, it was replaced with a real concern for the missing furry. Scanning her surroundings with utmost care, she ensured to take note of every little detail lest she lose sight of the puppy.

The entire students’ council had been deployed as well to look for the missing pet, at the request of Minji. (Pretty sure she ordered them to look for it rather than ask but-) This place is too huge...looking for a dog here is nearly impossible. Minji was approaching the soccer field as she saw a white shadow emerged from one of the bushes next to the playing field. The soccer team had already begun practice and seemed to be oblivious to the addition of a puppy across the field. Minji watched as a soccer member unknowingly kicked a ball in the direction of the poor puppy. No! Shit, I won’t make it if I sprint across normally. Should I...?

“Look out!” Before Minji could register what was happening, another figure had dived across the field only to rescue Cherry and narrowly dodging the ball together with a nearby goalpost.

“Ow ow ow… That was a little too rash.”

“You got dirt on your shirt,” Yoohyeon turned to find Minji standing beside her with a smile on her face. Both stayed in that position for some time, staring at each other.

“Come on, let me help you up.” Minji broke out of her trance first and reached out her hand.

“Thanks, Min-” Yoohyeon was about to grab hold of the blonde’s outstretched hands. Until (yes, again) Minji quickly withdrew it, once again reminding Yoohyeon of their first encounter. Wow...this actually hurts...

“N-No! I-It’s just-” Minji gestured towards the younger’s hands, making Yoohyeon finally notice the deep gash that ran across the back of it. Oh. OH.

“Oh my god! Unnie you’re hurt!” (A wild Gahyeon has appeared.) Taking Cherry into her arms, Gahyeon who had popped out of nowhere, guided the injured girl rather forcefully by the arm towards the infirmary.

“W-Wait. I have someth-” Yoohyeon could only protest as she was pulled away from Minji.

 

*

 

“I didn’t get to apologise again...”

“Really? You had quite the opportunity there just now.” A hint of playfulness could be found in the voice.

“Oh my-” Yoohyeon jumped and brought her hand to her heart, “You scared the hell out of me!” So cute. Minji let out an airy laugh at her antics, but also in an attempt to suppress the blush that threatened to show itself on her face after yet again thinking that the silver-haired is adorable.

“So?” Minji looked at the other girl curiously.

“R-Right! I wanted to apologise for the other day. F-For missing the meeting and all. I know it’s not really an excuse but something came up and afterwards I was too absorbed I simply forgot. Also, I’m not sure if I did something that made you uncomfortable on our first meeting, if I did, I’m really sorry and I hope that you will forgive me?” She shut her mouth after realising that she had rambled.

“You are such a weird person.” Minji mused. “The letter was actually a prank by Bora, I never wrote it. So technically it’s kind of Bora’s fault anyways. And I’m sure it was me who started acting weird suddenly, so you actually have nothing to apologise for.”

I knew it! The note was just weird! Why am I so dumb? Minji studied the younger’s expression and could see how she was reprimanding herself internally for falling for the president’s tricks. The way her mouth is stretched out into a pout just made her even more adorable, and to Minji, irresistible. 

“Here.” Minji offered her hand for the third time. “I promise I won’t reject your hand shake this time.” 

It took three tries for both to finally shake hands for the first time. The moment Yoohyeon’s hand was within her grasp, Minji felt goosebumps travel up her neck and a sensation she could not wrap her head around started manifesting in her stomach. Then, suddenly, the peculiar feeling was back and she had to will herself thoroughly to keep her body in check and suppress every urge to do what her mind was telling her to. No, she would not become what that person wanted her to be; her conscience would not allow her to. And moreover, not to a kind soul like Yoohyeon.

“Unnie?” Yoohyeon began, unsure. “A-Are you the type to fall in love at first sight?”

“Hmm? I have never tried it...so I guess no?” Minji was taken aback by the question out of the blue.

“Why are you aski-” Then, it clicked. “It's Bora isn't it?!” Minji was fuming and embarrassed (a deadly combination)—especially with how her actions could have indeed signalled that she had feelings for the younger.

(But she was sure it was not the case and it was most likely her instincts that had clouded her rational thoughts—it was the beast within speaking its mind.)

“KIM BORA! I SWEAR I’M GONNA KILL HER!”

“WAIT! CALM DOWN, MINJI UNNIE!”