As Ban Yeo Ryung sat down on her seat, Yoo Chun Young placed a paper on her desk. They then began to share a serious conversation while pointing on the paper. The paper in question was gray. That was when I realized it was the ‘crossword puzzle’ he was answering earlier.
Ban Yeo Ryung carefully listened to what he had in mind. She then wrote something on the piece of paper with her pencil. This made Yoo Chun Young’s face brighten like the morning sun. He smiled, he surely smiled to Ban Yeo Ryung and stood up from the seat.
Did he just ask Ban Yeo Ryung about the crossword puzzle?
I stared at his absurdity. He then eyed me on his way back to his seat. He pulled out his chair, sat right behind me, and laid his face down as if his tiredness had finally overcome him.
I watched Yoo Chun Young’s every move and noticed in my peripheral vision how Ban Yeo Ryung was looking at me with a bright expression. When she was about to glide beside me, I shook a boy who was sound asleep in another direction. At that time, I did not even know his name.
I showed a stack of cards in front of his heavy eyes.
“Hey, do you want to play cops and robbers?”
Showing his interest in card games, the boy scratched his head and straightened up himself. He then yelled at the boys who were playing basketball around the doorway.
“Dudes! Who wants to play cops and robbers? First come first served.”
As he pulled out his thumb and reached out to the boys, two of them dashed towards us and held their thumbs up as well.
Yoora and the other kids came through the backdoor and asked us, “Oh, let me join! Me, too!”
“Oh, don’t forget me!”
The six of us, three girls and three boys, began to play cops and robbers. Soon as the game went into a heated turn, other kids gathered around us. I glanced at Yoo Chun Young throughout the game, but he remained silent with his face down on the desk.
A moment after, one of the boys wanted to go to the bathroom and looked for someone else to play on his behalf. Then a boy with a light brown hair jumped out of the crowd and snatched the card. My eyes widened in surprise.
The substitute was Woo Jooin. As he sat down in front of us with an adorable smile, the girls blushed. I also noticed how the boys also seem to think he was cute.
Jooin said, “I’m playing for Sung Hwan!”
“Y… eah. Okay.”
His charming smile sent shivers down my body. I thought, he would not be a player with that pure face of his. This game was all about engaging in intense psychological warfare.
I changed my mind barely 5 minutes after that thought. All of us understood the conundrum we’re facing when a boy shouted out at last.
“Holy cow, Woo Jooin is incredible! He would never get caught!”
“Dude, I thought this goody-two-shoes ain’t a player. Huh? You good boy.”
One of the boys inside the crowd stretched out his hand and touched Woo Jooin’s hair. He never let go of his bright smile. He then stared at me with his shining golden-brown eyes, which made me drop the cards in my hand.
A boy who announced he had a joker begged with a crying face, “Guys, please catch the joker. Please? Please?”
Jooin replied and drew a card abruptly. This was a surprise to me, and it was the same case for the boy looking at Jooin with a blank face.
I heard one of the bystanders mumbling, “Gosh, Woo Jooin is really scary.”
“He said ‘okay’ and drew a card, a real joker. Does he have some kind of sixth sense or something?”
Regardless of what they said, Woo Jooin kept smiling. Maybe this guy really did have superpower since he’s a friend of the male protagonist. I thought about this while looking at his delighted expression.
Eventually, as the years had gone by, Eun Jiho unraveled to me all about the secret of Woo Jooin.
He told me, “Were the cards worn out or cheap?”
“What? Oh, yeah. It sure was worn out.”
“He remembers the card just by the worn out-patterns at the back.”
To sum it all up, he was a boy that had a superb memory. Since I was not aware of that when I was playing the cards with him, I just dropped my jaw in awe of him and left my cards to someone else to go to the bathroom.
When I went inside the bathroom, I saw Baek Yeo Min. Next to her stood someone else. I came to the bathroom alone, but I did not really care.
As I was about to pass by her, Baek Yeo Min called me with a timid smile.
I looked at her in wonder. She dyed her hair with a dark brown hue and held a grin on her face. She was not as pretty as Ban Yeo Ryung, but she still looked cute and charming.
To think about it, her name was quite extraordinary. Does it mean that she is the antagonist of this novel? It was not my business though.
As I gazed at her blankly, Yeo Min said with a smile, “Should we be friends?”
She then held out her hand. Do people normally do this to befriend someone? The way she did it was way too direct.
I held my thoughts for a moment. After a moment of consideration, I grabbed and shook her hand gently since I could not deny the friendliness in her smile. This was how all things began.
Baek Yeo Min and I became close friends. It was her friendly and easy-going personality that drawn me into her; however, I was not completely opening myself up to her.
She thought I thoroughly opened all of myself to her and I could realize it from the way she acted. However, I did not think it was necessary for me to know that she was misunderstanding my position. Things happened a few days later when we were chilling inside my room.
My parents were both working, so our house was often empty. This was the reason why I could bring my friends as much as I could. Because of this, Ban Yeo Ryung had been my closest friend. She came to my house all the time, entering the passcode on the front door — It was my mom who told her the numbers.
The door suddenly opened while I was chilling with Baek Yeo Min. I was acting weird over the few months, so Ban Yeo Ryung would have also recognized that I was not the Ham Donnie she used to know. Maybe she might have noticed that I no longer wanted to be her friend.
Her face turned pale as she opened the door abruptly. Usually, she could just accept the fact that a friend came over to my house; however, the way things were progressing was not as well as I anticipated.
In my class, there was a rumor about Baek Yeo Min hating Ban Yeo Ryung among the girls. I did not hear about that yet though. Maybe Baek Yeo Min would have been cautious in front of me since she knew I was Ban Yeo Ryung’s best friend.
Ban Yeo Ryung looked at me for a moment and stormed out of the room with a resentful face.
Slam! As the door closed, Baek Yeo Min, who was staring at where Ban Yeo Ryung was, turned back to look at me.
She was perching on my bed, and I was at my desk turning my chair. She moved her lips and said, “Isn’t Ban Yeo Ryung such a bitch?”
I was lost for words. It was not that I got surprised since I thought this conversation will take place one day.
As I shrugged my shoulders with a straight face, Baek Yeo Min seemed to understand it as an agreement. She talked faster.
“Oh, I’ve thought about this ever since the semester started, but don’t you think she’s acting so friendly with the handsome boys? She started talking with Woo Jooin and hitting on Yoo Chun Young and Kwon Eun Hyung on the first day. She did all of that while smiling all the way. I mean, sure, she is very pretty and knows about herself well, but that doesn’t justify her behaving like that only to cute boys. That’s a no-no, isn’t it?”
I remained silent as she spoke but, at the same time, I thought Ban Yeo Ryung did not seem to judge and react to others by their appearances.
It was the boys who were overwhelmed by her beauty. In fact, she hardly approached them. Kwon Eun Hyung was the class president, so she had a lot to share with him as the vice president. As for Woo Jooin and Yoo Chun Young, it was them who first approached her…
In these aspects, Ban Yeo Ryung was just nice to everyone who came up to her. It was accidentally only the handsome guys who came near her until now. As I was thinking that way, Baek Yeo Min furrowed her brows and kept on her words.
“I mean, she does her best during the class. I understand that she is the top, but why is she showing off so much?”
I rolled my eyeballs again.
I do not think so. Ban Yeo Ryung was just herself, but it was the teacher who made her speak because no one in the class was responding.
In fact, I was one of the kids who did not respond.
Baek Yeo Min looked annoyed as she finished her words. Then she glanced at me and opened her mouth again.
“Hey, do you want to eat with me?”
“You’re friends with Yoora, too, so all three of us could have lunch together every day. Ban Ryung Ban already has so many boys or other girls to eat with her.”
She nagged at me with her childlike charms. I fell into a thought looking at her. It was apparent that I anticipated this moment.