His hair, around that time, was the same, radiant black color as right now, and dazzled purple under the sun just like that of Yeo Ryung. His face was as clean white as a cup of milk with gorgeously chiseled facial features. The pair of his jet-black eyes were fastened on me like a still object.
Four years ago, when I first encountered him, I immediately turned stiff on the spot. At that time, it wasn’t long ago since I had seen the Four Heavenly Kings, so I had no immunity to that kind of appearance. Besides, the Four Heavenly Kings’ had too fancy hair colors that they felt surreal like game characters. However, Ban Yeo Dan had normal hair, so he was perhaps the most handsome but realistic guy I had ever seen in this world.
Looking down at me, he said, ‘Hi,’ nonchalantly. As I stood still wordlessly while holding the doorknob, he came closer and gently put his hand on my forehead. His touch felt a little cold.
I wasn’t able to bring to my mind how I got back home that day, but I clearly remember that I passed that night without sleep. Recalling the times, I was about to laugh at Lee Mina’s stiffened face.
Barely suppressing my laughter, I switched my gaze into Yeo Dan oppa’s direction, but then our eyes met. Since we had eye contact as soon as I turned my head toward him, he would have been staring at me until now. While I flinched my shoulders, he shook his head.
Eh? I tilted my head. Why was he saying no? Just in case, I sent my thought to him through the look in my eyes.
‘Don’t act like I know you?’
I wasn’t sure if it worked, but at that moment, Yeo Dan oppa nodded, which made me startled. Was he now able to even read other’s mind? That was when I heard someone’s voice from beside me.
I turned my head. The girls from my class, who were sitting across, threw questions with bright smiles.
“Twelve girls? That truly makes sense since you’re so handsome. Hi, you’re the sunbae, who’s the sub, right?”
Diverting his gaze onto the girls, Yeo Dan oppa slightly nodded. It was just simple eye contact, but the girls shrieked in a low voice while holding each other’s hands.
Mina, who finally returned to herself, also nodded to greet him. Sitting across Yeo Dan oppa, she introduced herself then politely asked, “Um, may we know your name, sunbae?”
“Ban Yeo Dan.”
He replied as briefly as usual, but the air around the table began to stir. When I looked aside, Lee Mina and the other girls blinked swiftly and whispered, ‘Oh my god!’
No wonder they reacted that way since people mentioned Ban Yeo Dan as the hottest guy of the neighboring high school from a week ago, and they were now seeing him right in front just a few days after hearing that gossip.
Frankly speaking, the hottest guy of the neighboring high school was a valuable existence to us more than the K-pop idols of the same age. We could see him in person in real life whenever possible and could even go out with him if things were meant to be. The girls soon held their hands in excitement.
Once the fuss subsided, at last, we ordered a few menus and returned to our seats to have some time introducing ourselves.
“My name is Kim Jimin.”
“Hi, I’m Sohn Se Young.”
“I’m Chun Dong Ho.”
As Lee Mina said, everyone except Yeo Dan oppa was freshmen in high school and knew each other although they weren’t super close.
I was the only one who didn’t know their names, so the boys naturally introduced themselves while looking in my direction. The girl, who was listening to them beside me, dropped some remarks while resting their chin on their palms.
“Hey, that’s too cheesy.”
“Speak as usual.”
Meanwhile, when one of the girls placed her hand on her chest and uttered, ‘Hi, I’m Sohn Se Young,’ in a low and husky voice, everyone burst into laughter. I also began to giggle after them; however, Yeo Dan oppa was the only one who remained as firm as a rock.
At that moment, I found the boy, who introduced himself as Chun Dong Ho, throwing a glance at Yeo Dan oppa. Since he sat right next to him, Chun Dong Ho seemed to feel uncomfortable about Yeo Dan oppa’s silence.
Yeo Dan oppa would behave that way during the entire hangout. Would it be fine? Looking in that direction with a worried gaze, I had eye contact with Chun Dong Ho.
He opened his eyes wide then smiled awkwardly. I also grinned at him clumsily and turned my head to the front again.
The familiar noise, but the stranger boys, the secret eye contact and awkward smile between the boys and girls… While I opened and closed my hand under the table in nervousness, the girls beside me uttered one after another.
“I’m Moon Sarah.”
“Hey, I’m Ahn Ji Young.”
The only person here, who didn’t know them, was Yeo Dan oppa, so the self-introduction went naturally by using honorifics.
Lee Mina, the last person to introduce herself, then pointed at me while saying, “Hi, my name is Lee Mina, and this is my classmate––.”
As if she was being considerate to me, who came here to fill in someone, Lee Mina indicated me with an exaggerated attitude like a magician. I mean, I knew that it was her intention for me to relax, but what she was doing right now felt more embarrassing! With a blush, I stammered, “Hi, I’m… um… H… Ham Donnie…”
“H… Ham Needa?”
Listening to the voice coming from across, I covered my mouth with both hands. Gosh, my tongue got twisted!
Covering the part under my nose, I raised my gaze stealthily and looked across. The person who teased me was none other than Chun Dong Ho. ‘Geez, how long have you been knowing me to joke around?’ As my ears reddened, the people around the whole table burst into laughter again.
Lee Mina, sitting beside me, pulled me in her arms and tapped my shoulder.
“Aw… it’s because you’re cute. She’s so cute, isn’t she?”
She threw that question toward Chun Dong Ho.
I became even more bewildered. We could tell each other cute like nothing, but it would be so embarrassing to hear that word from a boy.
Something happened at that moment.
The question was aiming at Chun Dong Ho; however, the response came out from somewhere else. Everyone on the table directed their eyes in the same direction.
Looking at me unconsciously, Yeo Dan oppa suddenly blinked swiftly and turned his head to glance aside. That was when he showed a facial expression of a person who just woke up from sleep.
A moment after, Moon Sarah and Ahn Ji Young, my classmates, emitted a whoop while covering their mouths with their hands.
“Oh, my god! Oh, my god! Wow!”
“Yeo Dan oppa, can I call you oppa? Your voice sounded so sweet just now.”
“Wow, that was lit.”
Amid the fuss, I heaved a quiet sigh.
Oppa just now forgot that we weren’t the only people sitting on this spot. That was why he spoke like that as if he was taking care of me just as he did when I was with Ban Yeo Ryung.
Would this be fine? I was covered with a veil of concerns. Why was he trying to pretend that we didn’t know each other when he wasn’t a person who could act in the first place? Besides, I didn’t think it was a proper manner to hide our close relationship in front of the kids who were here to enjoy the group hangout. However, Yeo Dan oppa, who left home early in the morning to help his friends with studying, would have some reason to be here instead of going to the library.
That was when I touched my forehead while having some complicated thoughts in my head.
“Aren’t you feeling well?”
When I turned my head toward someone’s low whisper, Chun Dong Ho came into view who was looking at me worriedly. He had the most outstanding appearance among the three freshmen boys. The tips of his blond hair, which seemed to be bleached, turned almost white; his slanted, keen eyes and delicate facial features reminded me of Yi Ruda. Inside his Adidas jersey, he was wearing a white t-shirt, and between those clothes, a black necklace was dangling on his neck. He might be carrying his student ID around his neck.
I dressed very modestly, so if we walked around together outside, we wouldn’t look so good to each other. Having those thoughts in mind, I came up with the fact that he had initiated a conversation with me.
With a clumsy smile, I shook my head.
“Yes, I’m fine.”
“Excuse me, are you guys doing small-talk there?”
When one of the boys spoke naughtily that way, Chun Dong Ho laughed casually and turned his head to the boys.
“Oh, come on.”
Watching them having a mischievous fistfight, I noticed that Yeo Dan oppa, who was sitting beside them, was making an eye gesture to me. Pointing his finger at his temple, he mouthed, ‘Are you not feeling well?’