He might be a freshman since it was his first time to the school, but his voice was cold and low. He sounded more like a grown man.
I heard a funny laugh coming next to him. There followed a cheerful response.
“Yeah, don’t worry since I’m here. I’ll take care of Jiho.”
“You don’t have to.”
The cold low voice spoke again. The door opened and I was not at all prepared for it. A long leg wearing a uniform came out. The owner of the cold low voice appeared, at last. As the sun lights shed a glow on his hair, I became totally speechless.
What surprised me the most was his white hair that resembled the fur of an Arctic fox. A human, a Korean human being has silver hair. I was about to pass out.
At first, it seemed like a dyed hair, but his long lashes were also silver. It would be difficult to dye brows and lashes, so he might have been born with that hair.
His jawline was somewhat elegant and his skin was pale enough to match well with his hair color.
What made me speechless the most was his face. High nose, compressed lips. He looked so good like Yoo Chun Young who I met in the morning; no, maybe even more.
I was standing at one of the ordinary streets in Seoul, but ever since he got out of the car, the whole place changed into a foreign street straight from a magazine.
As I was lost in admiration of the handsome boy, someone else got out of the car.
The boy at the front of me was relatively calm, but the other boy behind him looked active. His hair was golden brown like caramel, and his eyes were glowing a gold shade. His face was so small it would probably be hidden behind a passport or a camera.
His eyes were big without any eyelids, and his large pupils reminded me of a puppy’s gaze. As if reflecting his bright nature, his eyes and lips were both drawing a crescent shape.
They were both like an angel and a fairy, which was hard to find in the real world.
The silver-haired guy faced me without another word. He was furrowing his silver brows, looking upset. His pupils were pitch black as he stared down at me.
As I was lost in thought in this unexpected encounter, the golden-brown haired boy looked back and said, “Then bye! See you later.”
“Yes, hope you enjoy!”
The man wearing sunglasses replied as the window went back up. The limousine then glided towards the road the same way it did when it parked in front of me. As the car disappeared from my sight, everything I saw seemed like a lie.
I looked around with my hand sitting on my forehead. Is this a prank? The changed uniform, the school I had never seen before in my neighborhood and all these gorgeous people I met ever since this morning. This sure was a prank! Every character was like a celebrity.
While wondering, the golden-brown haired boy looked at me. His face was still smiling. What a pretty smile. A moment afterward, the boy came to me and reached his hands out. I was surprised.
As I stretched my hands to him, he shook my hand high and low. What is he doing? I was confused, but then he spoke to me,
“Hi! I’m Woo Jooin. Are you also a student here?”
“Wow, nice to meet you! But why are you here instead of going to school? Are you lost?”
“Really? Then let’s go together.” He said with a grin and released my hands.
My hands felt like it was burning or tingling. Although he did not grab my hand that tight.
I rubbed my hands with a surprise and saw his smiling face. He looked like a young boy who recently graduated from elementary school.
On the other hand…
I lifted my eyes to see the silver-haired boy. He seemed to have lost his interest in me and was staring at Woo Jooin with a cold face. Woo Jooin smiled and tapped him.
“He is Eun Jiho. Oh, your name is… Ham Donnie?”
I responded bitterly but repeated his name over in my head. His relatively normal name, Eun Jiho, disappointed and relieved me at the same time. I thought he would have a name like Eun Biwol or something. That would have been embarrassing for me. It was at that moment when I looked at Eun Jiho again as I had those thoughts. His black eyes were staring at me.
He could have said something, but instead of talking to me, he tapped Woo Jooin then said,
“Let’s go. We’re already late.”
“Oh, yeah. Let’s go with us, Donnie.”
Woo Jooin gave me a sign with a bright smile. Eun Jiho was already walking ahead of us. I was about to follow them while being lost but realized something important.
No, I should look for Dae Dam Middle School! I opened my mouth flustering. My voice was shaking with nerves.
“Guys… I am actually… not a student here.”
Woo Jooin’s eyes got bigger. Eun Jiho walking ahead of us also looked back at me. There was a moment of silence.
Jooin pointed me and asked, “That uniform…”
“My mom got confused about my uniform. She bought the wrong one.”
“Which school do you go to?” It was Eun Jiho who asked the question.
He had the face of a person who had nothing to live for, so I never thought he would talk to me. I was wrong.
I got surprised and replied, “Dae Dam Middle School, do you guys know? It was around here, but I can’t find it today.”
“Dae Dam Middle School?”
The way he asked back seemed that he never heard about it.
Eun Jiho turned his head to Woo Jooin.
He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Never heard about it. I’m not a local here…”
“If you don’t remember, then the school may not exist in Seoul?”
“Hmm, not sure…”
Not in Seoul? That was too radical.
As I drew my brows together, Eun Jiho tapped Woo Jooin again and spoke to me, “If he didn’t hear about it, then it’s not in Seoul. Is the name correct?”
“Yeah, it is Dae Dam Middle School…”
My face was still frowny. Eun Jiho and Woo Jooin looked troubled. Eun Jiho swept his hair with a fretful look. I stared at him and thought he was sweeter than when I first saw him. He then took out his phone from his pocket. It was a new model that looked extremely expensive and cool.
He soon called somewhere.
“Oh, have you heard of Dae Dam Middle School?”
While I was watching him without uttering a word, he just proceeded with his call.
“Oh, it doesn’t exist… Yeah, Jooin also has never heard about it. Okay, I’ll hang up.”
He closed his phone with a slam and told me, “There isn’t any school like that in Seoul.”
“Maybe your mom brought the right uniform? Let’s go check out if your name is on the list. The school is right in front of us. You can search where Dae Dam Middle School is then?”
It was Woo Jooin who gave me the answer. Umm, y… yeah… That makes sense. I became speechless by how he clearly arranged things.
Eventually, I was on my way to school I first saw. I walked towards an unknown school together with the handsome guys whom I first met, while wearing a uniform I first wore.
* * *
I already realized the school from outside, but J… Ji Jon Middle School had an amazing building. The only flaw was its name.
Unlike other schools, it did not have any scribbles on its fence. Despite the high land prices in Seoul, the schoolyard seemed endless for a 5 min walk.
The building we finally arrived in had a modern and white sophisticated look on its ambiance as if it was built yesterday.
As we entered the gleaming entrance, we passed the hallway and went up to the stairs to the 2nd floor. A nameplate with ‘Class 1-1’ appeared.
Woo Jooin looked and said to me, “We are Class 1-4, do you know what class you’re in?”
“Then we should ask the school office.”
Woo Jooin moved his steps to the office. Eun Jiho followed along with his hands inside his pocket, showing no sign of annoyance.
I appreciated them in my mind. If I went alone to the office, I would have just come back without checking the student list.
The school had a clean atmosphere. The office was in the middle of the hallway, so we had to walk between classes. Oddly enough, there was not a single noise on the rooms for the new semester. Considering the uniform or the decent facilities, this place seemed to be a prestigious school.
As it flashed through my mind, I asked, “Is this a private school?”
“Didn’t you know?”
Woo Jooin asked back with surprise. Oh yeah. It sure was. I shut my mouth again.
We knocked at the office and pushed the door. The school office came into my sight. It also had a nice environment filled with solar lights. The monitors and computers were all brand new.
A person who looked like a teacher saw us and asked, “You guys need help?”
“Oh, she doesn’t know her class. Would you please let us check the student list?”
Woo Jooin pointed at me. His voice was smart and polite. The teacher gave us the list right away. We stood there and flipped over the list. Class 1, no, Class 2, no.
Then Woo Jooin said, “Oh, it’s here. 1st grade Class 4. 1-4”
He gave me the list. It was true. My name was on Class 1-4! My last name began with ‘ㅎ,’ so it was all the way at the end. I scrolled my eyes to check the names ahead of me.
The first name that caught my eyes were the three words ‘Ban Yeo Ryung.’ She was in this class too? My jaw dropped. Eun Jiho and Woo Jooin were in the same class, 1-4, as they mentioned before. Then my eyes paused at the name ‘Yoo Chun Young.’
He was the one who I bumped into this morning. It wasn’t a common name. I frowned and gave the list back.
Something wrong is happening here. I couldn’t deny that. I mean, it was not a strange thing whether who was in the class or not. Still…
I glanced at Eun Jiho and Woo Jooin next to me. Eun Jiho’s black eyes under the silver hair appeared to be seriously scrutinizing the list. Not quite as much as Eun Jiho, but Woo Jooin’s light hair color also stood out.
It seemed all the outstanding people I encountered today were in our class, 1-4. As if somebody arranged all these. You know, in TV shows or in novels, all the handsome protagonists are in the same class.
However, I refused to think like that.
I lost touch with reality since I saw too many attractive people.
As I raised my head up, the teacher said, “Are you all Class 4? Then we have the class president here, Eun Hyung, go with them.”
A boy who was facing back on the side turned around.
Under the bright sunlight, his red hair jumped to my eyes. It was a classy red wine shade that stood out anyway. Compared to Eun Jiho’s jet-black eyes, this boy had gray eyes with a hint of green. Straight nose, kind eyes, and a gentle smile on the lips.
He looked handsome, but I was not sure if he was Korean. While I was wondering, he opened his mouth.
“Oh, are you all Class 1-4?”
The name tag on his chest sparkled in the light. His name was Kwon Eun Hyung. Ever since I met him, I heard a rattling of an interlocking padlock in my head.
It seems hard to explain after all this time, but it felt like all the pieces of the puzzle were coming together. As I saw Woo Jooin and Eun Jiho walking to Kwon Eun Hyung, that feelings were getting stronger.
Now that I think of it, I felt something in my bones at that moment.
Ban Yeo Ryung, Yoo Chun Young, Eun Jiho, Woo Jooin, and Kwon Eun Hyung. I had a hunch these five and I would be tied tightly with a quirk of fate at that very moment.
It sure was. My feelings were never wrong.