New School, New Beginning
A slim woman walked down the corridors with a pile of documents in her one arm and a bag in her other. I watched her while she was busy talking to me, asking me questions about my ethnicity and why I suddenly decided to come back if I could have had a better life where I originally live. Well, I couldn’t blame her for her curiosity and simply answered everything until we reached a door, covered in scribbles, scratches and reeking dirt.
“Well then Miss Kim; are you ready?” I nodded with a cool expression although I was already at the verge of vomiting from the smell along.
It didn’t take long until an even stronger smell of glue hit my nose, giving me shivers. The woman beside me sighed and walked in—as if the gross smell never existed—and tore all windows wide open after setting her things on the front table, letting the students know she was there. They all hurried to their seats and took a seat while keeping it quiet.
The very moment she wanted to speak up, a boy—not very tall but also not too short for his age—literally crashed into the class, interrupting the exhausted looking woman who might be able to lift up a truck and throw it against something or a specific someone.
“I’m sorry, ma’am! Principal Kang stopped me on my way to talk about something.” The male apologized as he bowed several times with fear written all over his face. I bit my lower lip because of the stares I have been receiving from all others ever since I entered this room and with that guy interrupting my official welcome, I became even more nervous.
“Plus five points. You’re getting better in this game, Mr. Lee.” I didn’t really know if it was supposed to be a scold or a joke, but it was out of my interest anyway. The boy lifted his head up only to meet eyes with me. For some odd reason it gave me shivers with his eyes literally checking me out; or probably my chest.
As Mrs. Yoon went on with her speech, I finally got the chance to check where that guy was sitting. Around the third time, I caught him glancing at me, making me widen my eyes in surprise and just when I was about to turn away, my new homeroom teacher butted in with my introduction.
“And lastly, please welcome your new classmate. She comes from the US and isn’t very familiar with the school yet. Please take care of her,” Mrs. Yoon announced. I bent my upper body, showing everyone my gratitude for accepting me with a 90 degrees bow although I had a heavy feeling in my stomach, making me wonder if they would eventually like me. She then told me to take a seat beside that student who has been staring at me for the whole time as if I was a mad person. I sat down quietly, putting my pencil case on the table with a pack of paper when I heard someone chuckling beside me. I turned my head, only to get greeted by a grin.
“Gikwang,” he simply introduced himself as he extended his hand. I nodded slowly as I shook hands with him and bowed a little, giving him a simple smile. “_____”
I then turned my attention back to the teacher with my pen in between my lips. Suddenly I felt a tap on my shoulder, making me flinch due to my engrossment for the lesson. I heard a small chuckle escaping from the side, but instead of snapping at my neighbor I waved a hand, showing that I wasn’t interested at all although I knew it would be somehow rude—most of all when I was new around here.
He tapped me once again. I heaved a sigh and turned my attention as I gave him a look. “Please?” I asked in a slightly annoyed manner as I put down my pen and received a poke on my cheek. I shook my head, confused about his doings before scribbling some notes down on what Mrs. Yoon was talking about.
The bell rang for lunch; still I stayed inside the classroom because I had to do some work. I took out the book which I got from my teacher from the US and read it as I wrote notes when I heard someone calling my name. I lifted my gaze, only to see that weirdo of seat mate waving his hand. I let out a sigh but before I could read any further he covered the page with his palm. I mentally face palmed myself, asking how much annoying it could get. Before I could ask him he spoke up, asking me if I didn’t want to eat lunch. Before I could even answer my stomach suddenly growled, making him chuckle for the nth time today.
“I take it as a yes,” he teased as he approached me. I heaved a sigh and forced a smile as I closed my book and took out my lunch.
“Alright, let’s go.”
With that said, we both walked off into the cafeteria.
Once we arrived, Gikwang glanced around—probably trying to find someone. I did the same until I spotted a pair waving towards our direction. I tugged onto the boy’s shirt to gain his attention and pointed at the couple.
“I’ve been searching for you, guys!” Gikwang yelled, gaining a lot of attention through of it. I ducked my head in embarrassment as we walked towards the two of them.
Minutes passed by but I couldn’t help myself. I sat there, laughing along like a lifeless person since I didn’t get most of their jokes. After five more minutes the bell finally rang as a prior warning for the next lesson. I got up first and went to the classroom, trying to avoid any awkward conversations. A few moments later, the class got filled with the other students. Gikwang sat down beside me. Before he could even open his mouth for any kind of talk, the teacher came inside. We all stood up and bowed before taking our seats. I then took my notebook and started to write some things in it when I felt a nudge.
“Hey, what’s wrong with you?” the voice whispered. I looked at that guy and shook my head before taking some notes.
“You seriously don’t talk much,” he stated which—was actually the truth. I nodded slowly before ignoring everything around me except for the teacher when I heard a sigh.
“You should talk much more,” I heard him mumble. I blinked, not knowing how to react at all until a small smile formed on my lips. I then took a piece of paper and scribbled something down before giving it to him. He sat there not knowing what to do with it until I nodded once—wanting to tell him that he should take it. Gikwang unfolded it and read what I wrote. A small grin formed on his lips before he nodded. And from that moment on, I knew that we could get along.
Hey, sorry for acting like this. I’m just not really used to everything yet. Forgive me?
I was about to make my way home when someone held onto my wrist before I could leave the classroom.
“Where do you think are you going?” the one who held me asked. I turned my head around only to see Yoseob. “Home?” I stated in a more questioning tone but got immediately snapped at.
“Excuse me but… But why are you yelling at me? We don’t even know each other.” I said casually as I raised a brow. Just then Jinah came to my rescue and, yanked the latter off my sight. I let out a sigh of relief and thanked her before making my way towards the door in a hurry.
“_____, where to go?” I turned my head towards the voice and bit my lower lip as I bowed my head slightly. “Sorry, my aunt is strict when it comes to curfews. I see you tomorrow.”
Without giving them the chance to say another word, I escaped into the corridors and out of school.