I lifted my eyes to glance at Lee Soo Yeon’s seat. She still didn’t try to have any eye contact with me. Feeling embarrassed, I swept my hair back and sat down on my seat.
“Are you ok now?” asked Lee Mina.
She sounded unusually cautious. Rolling my eyes, I smiled with a nod.
There was no reason to be not fine. I put a grin again.
* * *
An air of silence filled the school after all the classes were over. There were only seniors who were all doing independent studies, so the whole building didn’t show any indication of people being around. The school finished quite a while ago, but some kids entered the entrance in a few groups.
It was six in the evening but the sky was still bright throughout the summer day. Rays of sunset merely spread out at the end of the sky and white clouds flew toward the horizon like huge ships. The breeze was a bit chilly.
Leaning against the balustrade, Choi Yuri touched her phone.
Sent by: 010-9944-xxxx
I’ll bring Ban Yeo Ryung back home and be there. You said to keep it a secret.
‘What a bummer,’ thought Choi Yuri while biting her lips.
When she first sent Ham Donnie the message, honestly, she expected her to text back some swears. A text message could be the most evidence to prove how bad Ham Donnie was; thus, she could act hesitant first then show other kids the abusive text that Ham Donnie might have sent. It would’ve brought up Ham Donnie back to their conversations about how shameless she was while saying, ‘How dare she curse you?!’ The Four Heavenly Kings and Ban Yeo Ryung, who didn’t say anything about Ham Donnie until now, would have also turned away from her. Choi Yuri’s eyes suddenly gleamed evilly.
That was it! That was what she wanted. Twisting her lips upward, Choi Yuri shoved her phone in the pocket.
Ham Donnie didn’t curse. Standing on the edge of a precipice, Ham Donnie still pretended to be serene, which was very annoying; however, no matter how much she behaved as if nothing had happened, the game was over. Choi Yuri dropped her gaze at the bottom while resting her chin on her hand.
Everything was undoubtedly going under her plan, but she had a load on her mind. Choi Yuri typed on her phone nervously.
To: Kang Mino
Why are you not responding from the morning? If you keep on, I’m gonna reach out to my dad that my bodyguard isn’t doing his job. Are you kidding me?
Typing on her phone, Choi Yuri kept biting her lips. The only thing that weighed on her mind was her bodyguard who was out of touch since the morning.
If he didn’t help her, this plan would have never worked out properly; however, why was he, who played a critical role in this situation, out of touch from the morning? He was actively working for her as a bodyguard for the last two years, and this kind of thing never happened before.
It was then when her finger pressed the send button nervously.
She opened her eyes wide. ‘Wasn’t it a vibration just now?’ with that thought in mind, she quickly turned her head. If he was next to her like usual, he should’ve said something or, at least, indicated his presence.
Furrowing her face, Choi Yuri turned back. Her hair swayed alongside her quick action; however, the only thing that came into her sight was the white rooftop floor without any human shadows under the broad sky. There was no indication of a person around.
‘What was it?’ A sudden wind blow brushed against her neck. ‘It isn’t dark yet…’ she thought while feeling the hair on the back of her neck standing on end.
‘What the heck?’ She raised her both hands and had them around herself while thinking, ‘I did hear something like a vibration…’
It didn’t make sense that only Kang Mino’s phone was here without him. In other words, someone else was here on the rooftop, but every place where her eyes reached was plain empty. She then fixed her gaze at the rooftop door involuntarily.
The palely burning summer rays shed a shadow on that side. ‘If there’s a place where someone can hide, it’d be behind the towering rooftop door,’ she thought. Her larynx waved in tension. She then clenched her fist.
‘Should I go to that side? Maybe it was just a coincidence. Someone could’ve taken a nap while having the phone and it vibrated at a crazy timing,’ she thought. If it was her bodyguard, he would’ve appeared after hearing her voice.
It was the moment when Choi Yuri tried to take her step forward while clenching her fist.
With a clicking sound, the rooftop door got opened. Choi Yuri’s eyes directed that side.
The first thing that came into her sight was a brown hair against the dark stairway. The next was a pure-looking face with big brown monolid eyes slightly slanted upwards.
She looked quite identical to her as if staring at a mirror. Choi Yuri accepted the fact. One day, Ban Yeo Ryung and other friends told her that Choi Yuri and Ham Donnie looked alike, which upset Choi Yuri the most.
She thought Ham Donnie would seize her by the collar as soon as they met; however, Ham Donnie looked unexpectedly quite nonchalant. Sweeping her tangled hair back, Ham Donnie walked toward Choi Yuri and stood in front of her.
A moment of silence went by as they faced each other. The one who broke the ice was Choi Yuri.
“Sorry… for disclosing the fact that you’ve been hiding well. Though you did something wrong, it’s my bad to talk about it loud in front of others. Those who know your true colors and feel betrayed might curse you. It’s quite painful, right?”
‘They already swear at you,’ Choi Yuri murmured to herself. She then lifted her tearful eyes to look up at Ham Donnie, but she pulled one side of her lips upwards to hint a sneer. From the slow and quiet voice to the lines that touched the core, she prepared and practiced everything. She reenacted all of them as perfectly as in the rehearsal. ‘This would be enough for her to explode,’ Choi Yuri thought. When she raised her head and faced Ham Donnie, she looked, however, different from what she anticipated.
Ham Donnie didn’t show any signs of irritation on her face. Only her voice sounded a little enervated.
“So, what do you want to say?”
‘She sounds exhausted,’ with that thought in mind, Choi Yuri fetched a sigh of relief and put on a smile at the same time. She then responded to her in a generous tone.
“What about transferring to another school? You’re not famous but just a run-of-the-mill, so you’d get along with others who don’t know about you. I’m telling you this because I truly care about you. Although you did something wrong, there’s also my fault to make others blame you, so once you transfer, I’ll get rid of additional rumors spreading out.”
This time, Ham Donnie displayed a dumbfounded feeling on her face. ‘What can you do with it?’ Choi Yuri smiled to herself while pretending to have a sad look on her face. The opportunity that she longed for a long time was about to come true at last.
‘Ham Donnie is transferring to another school; thus, Ban Yeo Ryung and the Four Heavenly Kings will no more speak up for her. Other kids will voice out loud about Ham Donnie finally moving to another school as they’ve looked forward to how further that shameless bitch could go,’ thought Choi Yuri. Ham Donnie leaving this school voluntarily would be a decisive opportunity for others to trust Choi Yuri’s remark. Of course, Choi Yuri didn’t think about getting rid of any additional rumors at all.
‘If she finally moves to another school!’ Choi Yuri couldn’t hide her excitement. It was then when she clenched her fist in joy. She heard Ham Donnie’s voice.
“Transfer to another school? Is that what you wanted to say?”
Choi Yuri gathered her senses. Ham Donnie, in her sight, still looked dumbfounded without any feelings of anger or annoyance. ‘What the…’ Choi Yuri mumbled. It was strange as Ham Donnie should be screaming in rage under her plan. ‘But what else she can do now?’ thought Choi Yuri. She then spoke out the prepared lines.
“I know that you don’t want to hear any annoying advice from someone who’ve opened up this situation; however, you know that this isn’t right? You can be angry at me but think about Yeo Ryung who would’ve been hurt from you. I’m talking in regard to Yeo Ryung.”
“You can think that it’s still enough to get things on the right track. Yeo Ryung is, of course, too kind to believe that you betrayed her, but since everyone knows your true nature, how long will it continue? Unless she sees your bottom, you should better move to another school right now for yourself too.”
Choi Yuri inserted a wedge into her remark with a tearful face. Shen then thought, ‘I won, I finally won! My last words were the finishing blow.’