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-=HIGH SCHOOL ROYALTY=-

TVXQ and Pikapika's love child - From 11/17/06 - 01/28/07

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-=Acknowledgements=-
Text copyright © 2006 by pikapika.
Illustration copyright © 2006 by YOUknow, dloolb, jae7, &. MiSs L.E
High School Royalty, featured characters, names, and images are trademarks of
© SM Entertainment.
High School Royalty character personas, plotline, and publishing rights
© pikapika.
All rights reserved.
PDF Publishment (Dec. 6, 2008) by frosty_panda.
Published by soompi forums & DREAMiNTVXQ forums.

All celebrities, persons, books, and/or entertainment media has been borrowed for the sole purpose of writing fictionous fan literature. There is no
offensive or malicious intent to any persons featured or those related to those persons in this writing. This work is purely fictional, and all character
personalities and plotlines are from the imagination of the writer.

No distributions of High School Royalty (translated or not) are allowed without a written permission from pikapika.

No distributions of this PDF file are allowed without the written permissions from both pikapika and frosty_panda.

No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission from the author. Copyright infringement will lead to severe consequences.

This is a free publication that is available to soompi forums & DREAMiNTVXQ members in the fanfix sbuforum. If you purchased this publication
either online or in paperback, then you should be aware that the copy you bought is fake or stolen property.

Please be aware that all parties involved in this publication are non-profitable organizations. Be courteous and respectful to those who took the time to
work on the High School Royalty project.

Thank you, and enjoy! 

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-=Index=-
00-=Prologue=-
01-=Welcome to Sonho High=-
02-=Homeroom=-
03-=Introductions & Welcomes=-
04-=Gods & Constellations=-
05-=Welcome to Our World=-
06-=Stirrings of Trouble=-
07-=The Fall Festival Part 1=-
07-=The Fall Festival Part 2=-
08-=Civil War=-
09-=Romance=-
10-=Differences=-
11-=Teacher Yoon=-
11.5-=Winter Break=-
12-=Rejection=-
13-= Part 1: Porcupine & Nail Polish=-
13-=Part 2: First Kiss=-
14-=The Ghost of Sonho High School=-
15-=Shim Siblings’ Trip to the Hospital=-
16-=The Chapter You’ve All Been Waiting For=-
17-=Mira - Nari - Yunho - Yeseul - Micky - Changmin - Jungmin - Junsu- Jaejoong=-
18-=Lose Control=-
19-=Break Apart=-
20-=Part 1 Confrontation=-
20-=Part 2 Choices=-
21-=Results=-
22-=Wrapping=-
23-=Redemption=-
24-=Graduation Part 1=-
24-=Graduation Part 2=-
25-=Happy Beginnings=-

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-=Prologue=-
© pikapika.

Sonho Private High School: every Korean family’s dream.


It had a state of the art building, brilliant faculty, and a reputation that put other high schools to shame.
Universities from all over Asia fought with each other for the top students and a Sonho diploma guaranteed an upper
level college.
Parents dreamed of having their kid go to Sonho and to go to any other would just be average.

It wasn’t just parents who lusted after Sonho, the kids wanted it just as badly.
Being a Sonho student not only meant a lot of respect and prestige; it also meant that you were either a genius or super
rich.
To make it even more desirable it was also voted unofficially by high school students as the school with the best looking
kids.
Rumors sprung up that admissions actually considered physical attractiveness when looking at applications..
If that didn’t make going to Sonho important nothing else would.

Besides the fact that Sonho had a less than 1% drop out rate, 10 acres of land, and their own helicopter and limousine
service, it was similar to other high schools.
Gym was required for everyone, uniforms were mandatory, drinking and smoking on campus was prohibited, and it had
its share of cliques and groups.
Of course then again no other high school had a group like the Sonho High Royalty.

Sonho High Royalty was simply a group of friends who just happened to filthy rich and overly good looking.
They ranged from average to good students but they were so rich they didn’t even need to be in school; their parents
could have easily just bought colleges for them.
While other high school students longed to be in Sonho, the Sonho students longed to be part of the Royalty.
Not only did they have life going unnaturally well for them, they also had an impeccable friendship as they were all
fiercely loyal to each other.

So this is their story with all the good, the bad, and the beautiful; with all the drama that you could ever need in a high
school story.
But this isn’t a typical rich kids’ story and if you think you can predict what’s to come then you’re wrong.
Because even these kids had no idea what was in store for them, no clue at all.

Welcome to Sonho Private High School.

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Chapter 1 – Welcome to Sonho High.
© pikapika.

“Wow, Sonho high. I can’t believe it. This has to be the most amazing thing to happen to me. When I was young I
dreamed of going to this school and
I can’t believe that now…”

“Your kids are going to it.” A young girl finished her mother’s sentence as she looked out the car window. Her mother
who could have easily passed for her sister grinned and nodded.

“I’m so proud and happy for you two!” She looked back at her two kids and frowned at their unhappy faces. “What? I
would think you guys would be just a little excited. You’re going to SONHO HIGH SCHOOL. Do I need to read the
pamphlet out loud again for you?”

“NO.” They both said firmly in unison. The tall older looking boy crossed his legs and pushed his hair out of his eyes.

“Please don’t, I think I about memorized it by now. ‘Sonho High School is the most prestigious private high school and
arguably the number one high school in Korea. Dating back to 1951 and blah blah blah the school was started by some
old guy who fought the Japanese and the school is really awesome and there are a million kids who would chop off their
right arms to attend’. That pretty much sums the whole thing.”

The girl nodded. “We know Sonho is awesome but it’s just that, well we’re transferring in the middle of the year and not
only that we’re transferring to a school full of snobby rich kids.”

Their mother shook her disapprovingly. “Tsk, don’t be so judgmental, now you’re probably richer than most of the kids.”
She could hardly hide her glee. The two kids rolled their eyes.

“Yay money.”
“Yay we’re rich.”
“Yay we’re riding an Audi.”
“Yay it’s being driven by our own chauffer.”
“Yay we’ll have no friends.”
“Yay none of our old friends talk to us.”
“Yay we’re loners.”

This time their mother rolled her eyes. They acted as if last week they hadn’t jumped around and wrecked their house in
joy when they found out their father was promoted to Vice President. Not that what they did to the house mattered, they
bought one four times as big the day after. Kids these days, and she thought she worried too much when they couldn’t
help smiling through the previous Vice President’s funeral.

But, even though they couldn’t appreciate it now, they would thank her later. Thank her for contacting the school as soon
as she found out. Thank her for accidentally showing the admissions counselor their insurance value during their meeting.
Thank her for generously donating 400 million won to the school under their names.

“Madam, I think I see the school coming up.” The chauffer reported. The mother glanced to her left and saw a huge gate
with an even bigger building behind it. She glanced at the rearview mirror and saw that her two kids had tensed up
noticeably. She turned around and squeezed each of their knees.

“Now, Changmin, Jungmin, you both will be fine. Mr. Joo (God bless his soul) didn’t die so suddenly from his heart attack

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so that you’ll be loners. I’m sure you’ll make wonderful friends and if not you could probably buy some now.”

“Uhma!”

Their mother grinned as their car entered through the gates. “I’m just kidding. Changmin please watch out for your sister
though I don’t even know why I bother asking, you’ve always been a good brother. And Jungmin make sure you find your
brother later on and let him know you’re OK. Oh, we’re here! Oh I’m so excited for you two! Alrighty give uhma a kiss.”

The two kids leaned forward and gave their mother a kiss before leaving the car. As they closed the doors their mother
stuck out her head of the window.

“Ok love you! Good luck! Now go out there and strut your wealth!” She laughed as the car drove away. The two kids
stared glumly at the back view of the car.

“I can not believe she just said that. It’s a good thing we’re late so there’s no other kids around.” Changmin grumbled.

His younger sister sighed. “Yeah, but now we’ll have to enter in the middle of the class. There’ll be no escaping the
embarrassing introduction.”

The two kids turned around and looked up at the enormous building. It looked almost exactly like their old school, except
their old school didn’t have a helicopter on the top of the roof and the hundreds of statues of alumni. They both gave a
soft sigh and started up the stairs.

They entered the building silently and it wasn’t until Changmin had to go up some stairs for his second year class when
he spoke up.

“Well, give me a call when you get to lunch. I think we have the same lunch time. Ok, good luck.” He gave Jungmin a pat
on the head and headed up the stairs taking two steps at a time with his long legs. Jungmin watched her brother walk up,
fighting the urge to call him back. Finally, when he disappeared she trudged towards her class. She had to hand it to the
school though, all the classes were clearly labeled so she knew where her class was exactly.

“Room 1-B. Whoo, here we go. Ok, Uhma is right. Things are going to be fine. You’ll be fine. You’ll make wonderful
friends. You’ll be popular. You’ll do good in math and science. You’ll get helped by some hottie in English. You’ll get a
boyfriend.”

“You’ll get made fun of for talking to yourself.”

Jungmin turned around and saw a short girl laughing at her. Even though she was laughing in a nice sort of amused way
Jungmin turned red anyways. The girl winked and stuck out her tongue cutely.

“Good luck ‘you’.” And she disappeared as she went around a corner. Jungmin wasn’t quite sure what to make of the girl.
She seemed pretty nice even though she caught Jungmin doing something pretty embarrassing. Though Jungmin didn’t
know why she wasn’t in class. If the other kids were like her then things were going to be fine. With her confidence
strangely up a notch Jungmin took a deep breath and pushed the sliding door to her classroom

CHAPTER 2 – Homeroom
© pikapika.

She wasn’t sure what she was expecting from a classroom but room 1-B was pretty similar to her old classroom. The
teacher was up in the front behind a large desk and all the kids were sitting in neat rows looking at her in curiosity. There
were posters on the wall and the windows showed the soccer field. Of course then again, her old school had a blackboard

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instead of a whiteboard and a projector. And here all the kids had laptops and the desks were some sort of shiny metal
instead of the regular wood.

“Who are you?”

The teacher’s comment jogged Jungmin back to reality. Jungmin blinked and she felt herself turn red again.

“Uh, My name is Shim Jungmin. I just transferred.” Ugh, Jungmin groaned inwardly, did her voice have to squeak like
that?

The teacher looked down at some paper on his desk and pushed his glasses up when he looked back at her. “Ah, Shim
Jungmin, number 45635. Well, welcome to Sonho High, we usually don’t get transfers. Well, don’t just stand there at the
door, come up front so you can introduce yourself properly to your new classmates.”

Jungmin made sure to close the door behind her before she walked up next to her teacher. She glanced nervously around
and finally looked down shyly. There had to be at least 20 or more kids and they were all looking at her. She wished hard
that her ears weren’t as red as they felt and moved her hair to cover them up.

“So, tell us your name again. What school you’re from, your hobbies, favorite colors, and let’s see, you’re favorite food. It
can’t get any more basic then that.”

Jungmin cleared her throat and looked up a little bit but couldn’t meet any of the students in the eye. “Um, my name is
Shim Jungmin. I transferred with my brother from Jaewincho High School. I like to cook and knit, my favorite color is
blue and I like jjajjangmyun. Er, I hope to get along with all of you.” Ugh, cooking and knitting? She must have sounded
like an old grandmother. Why couldn’t she have said something cool like going to noraebangs and clubbing? Not that she
did, but still.

“Ok Miss Shim, you can sit behind Go Bora who’s right there with that ridiculous looking thing in her hair.”

Jungmin looked up and saw a girl with a huge butterfly hairclip in her hair make a face but then she smiled and motioned
her over. Jungmin bowed to her teacher and made her way to her seat very aware that everyone was watching her. She
smiled at Go Bora and placed her backpack next to her chair and looked at the teacher to let him know she was ready.

“Alright now that Miss Shim is all settled let’s review what we’ve been talking about in homeroom. The fall festival will be
coming up soon and every homeroom is allowed to have a stand. This year the first years will be taking care of snacks
and refreshments. Now we could go easy and go for the soda and chips or we could actually work with our home ec. class
and cook something up. What do you think?”

The class began their discussion and Jungmin took this opportunity to look around at her fellow classmates. Man, people
weren’t joking when they told her that Sonho only had good looking kids. She couldn’t see a single ugly looking kid and
back in her old school there had been plenty. Immediately she felt a little ashamed for thinking so shallow and tried not
to judge too much on looks alone.

But that was hard. Jungmin couldn’t help but notice the expensive American and European brands that their backpacks,
socks, and shoes boasted. Everyone had the same uniform of course but Jungmin noticed that her new uniform felt more
expensive then her old one. Boy, this was going to get some getting used to.

“Well, that’s pretty much all that I had planned for today. You guys relax and get Miss Shim well situated.” Jungmin
blinked in surprise as her name was mentioned. They were done with the festival discussions already? The teacher
continued, making a point to look at the boys who were grinning mischievously. “And don’t go and scare her from coming
back to the school. AND NO HACKING. The school had to pay a lot of money to the other high schools after you

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vandalized their email systems.” With that the teacher left the classroom. Jungmin was surprised again, teachers her just
left students by themselves? What kind of trusting school is this? And what was he talking about hacking?

“Hi, my name is Go Bora but you knew that didn’t you?” Bora said turning around and smiling. Jungmin smiled back and
nodded, not quite trusting her voice yet. Bora seemed to notice and continued cheerfully. “So you just transferred huh?
So let me guess, you’re super rich now huh?”

“What?” How did they know, Jungmin wondered bewildered. Bora laughed as two other girls turned their chairs about to
face Jungmin.

“Oh that’s how it is with transfers, my unnie told me. My name is Kim Jaemin by the way. So, did someone die and leave
you a bunch of money or did your parents get promoted?” Jaemin was one of the girls who had Louie Vuiton socks.
Jungmin didn’t even know that Louie made socks. She cleared her throat, might as well be honest.

“Both. Dad’s boss had a heart attack so he got promoted.”

The three girls laughed. A tall skinny girl with long hair came from behind Jungmin. “Wow, I’ve never heard of someone
getting both things happening for them, you got lucky huh?”

Lucky that someone died? Well, as morbid that sounded there was some truth to that. Jungmin just shrugged and
decided to change the subject. “So what’s up the hacking comment?”

Jaemin’s friend who had bright colored nails rolled her eyes. “Oh it’s stupid. Some of the guys thought it would be funny
to hack into the other school’s emails and-“

“have it say their name@yourmom’s#@%$#^%$.com.” One of the guys interrupted leaning over her. The girl pushed
him away but he just slid his chair closer and smiled sweetly at Jungmin. “Pretty cool huh? Good ole’ Sonho had to give
3000,000 won to EACH school that we hacked and we pretty much hacked every single pathetic high school in the area.
What was your old school’s name again? I wonder if we hacked that one.”

Jungmin smiled shyly, the kid was pretty cute. “Jaewincho, but I used to live in Incheon.” The boy shrugged and pointed
to his named tag that read “Jung Taewoo” and winked.

Bora smacked Taewoo and almost made him fall off his chair. “Stop flirting you bahrahmdoongee! You have a girl friend!”

Taewoo adjusted himself back into his chair and grabbed Jungmin’s hand. “Yeah, but she’s in 2’-E and I’m in 1-D with
this cutie. Hey want to be my 1-D girlfriend? All the other girls here are mean and strong, but you look dainty and cute. I
like them sweet and gentle, and I have two more girlfriends in 3-A and 1-C. I’m trying to get a girlfriend in every letter.”

“Uh…eek.” Jungmin squeaked blushing like crazy and unsure what to do. This time all the girls pulled Taewoo away and
formed their chairs to make a protective circle around Jungmin.

“He’s joking, he would never get another girlfriend, Kimji unnie in 2-E would kill him. He tries to act all flirty and free but
he’s pretty much whipped when she’s around.” Explained Soojin the tall skinny girl whose name tag Jungmin could finally
read. “Now let’s get to the important things. Lucky for you, you have classmates nice enough to explain all the important
things you need to know that’s not in the pamphlet that they give out.” She exchanged looks with all the other girls who
nodded in agreement and Jungmi couldn’t even guess what they were going to tell her.

Bora continued on for Soojin. “There are a lot of things you need to know but the most important thing is about the
Royalty.”

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“Royalty?” Jungmin repeated confused. Wait, didn’t the Korean royal family get over thrown awhile ago? Did their
descendents go to this school?

“Eun.” Jaemin nodded. “They are the elite group in our school and they basically rule it. They’re pretty nice as long as
you don’t bother them and sometimes Mira unnie even talks to us. They basically only hang out with each other and don’t
really belong with the rest of us. It’s better for you if they don’t know you exist than get them angry at you. If you make
them annoyed, they’ll punish you but if you make them angry they’ll make you wish you were never born.” Once again
the other girls nodded in agreement.

“Uh, so who are these ‘royalty’ kids? How do I know?” Jungmin looked around at all the girls as they looked around
apprehensively and drew in closer.

“Now, don’t interrupt anymore.” Jungmin opened her mouth to protest but Soojin shushed her. “I’m going to describe all
the members to you as fast and detailed as I can since we don’t have much time. The Chemistry teacher who comes in
next doesn’t like to have the class talk, not all teachers are cool here. Now, the Royalty can be split into two groups, the
gods and the byuljahlee (constellations). The gods are the guys of the royalty and constellations are the girls.

“There are currently four gods, Yunho (the leader), Jaejoong (the sexy one), Junsu (The sweet one), and Micky (The
talented one). They are all richly blessed in physical attractiveness and each is wonderfully delightful in their own way.”
Soojin paused to sigh with the rest of the girls. She quickly continued.

“Yunho is the leader and he’s a third year. He’s been a god for two years and he’s the athletic one. He’s also a good
dancer and right now he has silver hair so you can’t miss him. His dad is the founder of the main internet provider for the
Korean government so he’s loaded. He’s also basketball captain, not because his father paid for the new gym but because
he’s actually good. We noticed he doesn’t like to hang around in school and he pretty much keeps to himself though I
heard he wasn’t always like that. He seems to have a lot of secrets which gives him a cool mysterious quality.

“Then is my personal favorite Kim Jaejoong who’s been a god for almost three years. As soon as he came in as a
freshman he got accepted but I heard he didn’t want to join right away but that’s what makes him so cool! His family
inherited one of the oldest rice companies in Korea. He’s so sexy and has all these hot piercings and he has this tortured
soul bad boy aura to him. And best of all he’s single now! He used to go out with Mira unnie but they broke up like a
month ago although he has been more moody and depressed ever since. He certainly get into more fights and people say
he goes to clubs more often. If you see Jaejoong and even if you have like a heart attack in front of him he’ll probably
won’t notice.”

“That doesn’t sound very nice.”

“Sh, I told you not to interrupt. Bora likes Kim Junsu fondly called Xiah by his close friends, uh if you’re not a close friend
don’t call him that. He’s such a sweetie and he’s always laughing and he has the cutest laugh. He’s only been a god for
this year. He loves soccer and is captain of the soccer team. Junsu’s dad is one of the chairmen for Hyundai so he’s pretty
much set for the rest of his life but he doesn’t act snobby at all! If you ever want a chance of talking to a god you should
take it with Junsu, though he’s a bit shy. There’s a rumor going on that he’s never been kissed! But don’t tell anyone I
told you that.

“And lastly of the gods is Micky who’s a musical genius! He got accepted last year when he started to write these really
pretty songs. He’s even more quiet then Jaejoong and if you want to catch a glimpse he’ll be in the music hall writing or
playing one of his pieces. He even has Yoo Yungjin has a personal teacher for his song writing, how cool is that. What’s
funny is that Micky’s family invented banana milk which has nothing to do with music, but he just makes the drink taste
so much better. Oh, don’t you dare interrupt him when he’s in the middle of writing a song or the Royalty will punish you.
He can’t write too well after he’s been interrupted and once this girl did interrupt and the Royalty punished her so bad
that she transferred out to the number two high school Kaejoo high. Ew.” The other girls made a face too and Jungmin

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had a feeling that Kaejoo was the closest thing to a rival school for Sonho.

“Now for the constellations, they’re called that because they’re bright stars that no guys could ever dream of reaching.
There are only three of them this year, they’re a bit more pickier than the gods. There’s Park Mira (The cool leader), Song
Yeseul (The sexy queen), and Kim Nari (Another musical genius). Some of them are nicer than the others and they’re
just as rich, gorgeous, and talented as the gods. Any of us would kill to be them, heck, we would kill to be in their group.
Now about Mira unnie the thing that you have to know about her is that-”

“Alright be quiet, I am in the room now. I want you all back in your desks and take out your notes, that means you too
number 32983.” Soojin rolled her eyes and went back to her seat. Jungmin looked around confusingly as the lively
chattering class had transformed into a bored looking silent one. She looked up at her monotone teacher and wondered if
she should mention something. He caught her eye and gave a brief nod before going on the computer to bring up the
power point. “Yes, I already know about you number 45635, I passed by your homeroom teacher in the hall. Now the
rules of my class are that there will be no talking unless you are asking or answering a question strictly related to
chemistry. You must take notes and there will be a quiz every Thursday. I’m not sure where you are in chemistry but
after class I expect you to take a basic knowledge test. There will also be no interruptions from any electrical device or I
will have it confiscated. If you fall asleep I make sure you stay up all night for the next two weeks with extra chemistry
homework. I will not have silly hairpins or colorful useless accessories in my sight so if you have any right now I would
remove it immediately.”

The girls groaned silently and removed any color that they had on. Complicated formulas and pictures of different
elements came upon the screen and Jungmin thanked the real God quickly that she was blessed with a brain that
understood what all that meant. The teacher droned on. “These rules apply until your body is completely out of this
classroom for lunch. Now as you can tell, we have just learned the effects of element number 63 of periodic table on the
fourth line of elements which consist of, who can tell me? Number 28733.”

The class went by slowly and quietly as Jungmin crammed in as much information about the elements as she could.
Some of the stuff she knew well, some of it was brand new information. The other kids looked bored out of their minds
and Jungmin was wondering why she didn’t see anyone passing notes until her teacher caught someone and smacked her
in the back of head and took the notes. Taewoo nodded off a bit after and the teacher hit him with a textbook causing
him to fall of his chair. Jungmin stood up straighter and tried to look more attentive.

By the time the bell rang all the kids ran out as quickly and as silently as possible but Jungmin stayed behind and took
her test. It was fairly difficult but she believed she did well as she had always been good in the science department.
When she finished and returned it to her teacher he merely scanned it quickly with a short “Ok, you may go now” and she
was free.

There were a couple of kids in the halls but most of them were either at lunch or in class she supposed. Jungmin wanted
to scream, cry out, or say anything as her mouth and throat had been inactive for the past hour and a half. Her stomach
also grumbled so she walked a little faster towards the cafeteria. Now that was something different about Sonho, in her
old high school everyone just ate in the classroom. Maybe Sonho was more foreign style than other schools. Maybe that
was why it was so special.

Jungmin couldn’t help but feel a little nervous. Class had gone well but who knew if lunch would go as well? She had
never done this kind of lunch before and she wasn’t sure if she would be able to find her classmates. But she couldn’t just
stand there in the hall; she had to get it over with.

With the deepest breath she could manage she opened the door to the cafeteria.

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CHAPTER 3 – Introductions and Welcomes
© pikapika.

As soon as she entered the cafeteria she took a step back completely overwhelmed. It seemed like the entire school had
lunch together. There were a bunch of tables and they were all filling up. Kids who had bought their food were already
eating and talking loudly and there were actually kids in line for school food. Jungmin had never been to a school where it
provided food for so many students. And it looked good, there seemed to be quite variety. To her left Jungmin noticed
that there was even a corner for the teachers to eat and they were active in their talking just as much as the students.

Jungmin grabbed her lunch and looked around trying to find her classmates. There were just so many kids and it was all
so loud, she couldn’t see Soojin or Bora or anyone anywhere. Maybe she would have to just make some new friends.
Ugh, how awkward was that going to be, she thought to herself glumly. Well, maybe she’ll try to find some other first
years.

“Ah!” She caught sign of the short girl who laughed at her earlier. She was so small she had to be a first year. She was
sitting at a table by herself and seemed to be waiting for some people. She had been pretty friendly before and didn’t
look like anyone who would just reject the new girl at school. Still, Jungmin took a deep breath and found herself a bit
more nervous than she thought she would be.

She walked towards the girl and went over some things that she could start the conversation with.

“Hi, remember me? The girl who talking to herself?”


“Um hey, can I sit here? You seemed nice so…”
“Yo, I’m Jungmin the new girl, what’s your name?”
“Is anyone else going to sit here? Can I?”
“Heey, you’re that girl I met today huh?”

She finally decided on. “Hi, my name is Jungmin. I met you earlier today right? Is it alright if I sit here?”

She took one more deep breath and slid into a seat across from the girl. “Hi my name is…”

As soon as she had sat down the girl sat up and answered a phone call apparently not noticing her. She walked away as
Jungmin just sat there at the now empty table feeling incredibly stupid. Well, at least she was sitting down at a table and
maybe the girl will come back. Though she wasn’t sure how she would explain herself then.

“Hey you. What are you doing at the table?”

Jungmin looked at saw what she guessed to be two upperclassmen from the way they bluntly spoke bahnmahl to her.
One had blonde streaks and the other looked like she should belong on the cover of a magazine.

“Uh sitting?” She squeaked. They made her so nervous with the way they were glaring at her. What did she do wrong?
She was just sitting and waiting for the other girl.

“Well stand. You can’t sit there. Are you such an idiot that you don’t know what table your sitting at?”

Jungmin shot up and wished for her brother. Ugh, she should have called him before at lunch or she wouldn’t have been
in this situation. She should have never brought up the courage to introduce herself to anyone.

They looked like they were waiting for an answer or for her to at least step away. She did both. “Yes?”

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The pretty one gave a snicker. “So you are an idiot? Well let me be nice and spell things out for you. You are sitting at
the Royal Table where only members of the Royalty sit. You shouldn’t even be looking at this table.”

“Royalty? No this girl was sitting here. I was waiting for her.” They had their own table? Why didn’t Soojin tell her that?
And what about that other girl? What was she doing at the table?”

“Yeah Royalty. Now you better thank us for saving your little butt because if one of the constellations saw you, you would
be going to Kaejoo tomorrow. We’re so nice to you when you’re nothing but a naïve and stupid freshman year.”

“If this is you being nice I’d hate to see what I would have to do to you when you’re being mean.”

Jungmin and the two girls turned and saw the short girl Jungmin was looking for. Ah, how could she speak to the
upperclassmen like that? She wasn’t helping Jungmin’s already bad situation!

To her surprise the two seniors’ eyes widened and they bowed multiple times. “Uh Mira. We were just moving this rookie
off your table. She didn’t know anything so we thought we should let her know she shouldn’t have been there.”

Mira? Mira. MIRA? Little short girl was Mira? The Mira? The Mira who went out with the supposedly sexy Jaejoong? The
female leader of the Royalty? No way. Jungmin had imagined Mira to be this tall gorgeous third year who had an air of
confidence and moved like a queen. This girl had to be 5 feet tall MAX and she was more cute than pretty. She definitely
had pretty big eyes but there was no way this girl could be the famed leader.

The girl smiled. “I’m sure you had, um good, intentions but this girl is my friend. She’s a recent transfer, her name is
Shim Jungmin.”

Jungmin stared, how did she know her name? Did being a part of the elite mean that you knew everything that went on
in the school? Was Mira PSYCHIC?

Mira sat down and motioned for Jungmin to do the same. She smiled sweetly at the two nervous looking girls but her
eyes had a dangerous glint. “Now you better leave and next time don’t go around parading like you’re our bodyguards.
Okidoki?”

The two girls bowed one more time and muttered their apologies. As they left Jungmin stared at them never being more
confused in her entire life. What was going on in this crazy school?

“You can sit, and don’t let those silly girls scare you.” Jungmin looked back at Mira who was munching on some grapes
like nothing had ever happened. Jungmin sat down a bit nervously and tried to make a smile. Mira smiled cheerfully back
and winked again. “So your Changmin’s sister huh? He’s quite a cutie.”

“How do you know my name? How do you know my brother?”

“My friend Junsu is in the same class as him and he told me. I saw him on my way to lunch and apparently he’s becoming
good friends with him.”

Hm, Junsu, why did that name sound so familiar? Wait, Junsu as in one of the gods Junsu? Changmin was making friends
with one of the gods? Wow, he was doing well.

“Oh, and um thanks for sticking up for me with those girls. They kind of freaked me out. I really don’t know anything and
my friends didn’t get to explaining that you had your own table.” Jungmin explained a bit nervously. Mira made a face
and dug into her rice. Jungmin opened her lunchbox.

13
“Well, it’s not like we put yellow tape around the table. We just sit here and the kids pretty much figure to stay away
though I have a feeling that they would each cut off a finger to sit here for a day.”

Jungmin shoved some rice and some peas into her mouth so she didn’t have to say anything but she had a feeling that
Mira was dead on.

“Whoa, what’s up with this?”

Jungmin turned around fearing another upperclassmen and came face to face with a girl’s stomach. She looked up and
she almost gasped. She thought the other girl was pretty? This girl was drop dead gorgeous. She was tall and had a body
a model wouldn’t eat for a month for and had a short hair cut that covered one of her intense black eyes. Jungmin felt
very squat and plain next to her. She had to be one of the constellations, had to be.

“Oh, hi Yeseul. This is Jungmin the new guy Changmin’s little sister. I met her this morning and she was so cute I had to
invite her to eat lunch with us. Jungmin this is Yeseul, she’s a second year and my best friend.”

Yeseul sat down and placed an expensive looking salad in front of her. She eyed the gawking Jungmin for only a second
and began on her salad. “Hey. Don’t get used to sitting here rookie.”

“Tsk tsk, don’t be so cold. We need more cute girls here and it seems that my adorableness isn’t enough.” Mira batted
her eyes and giggled so cutely Jungmin had to fight the urge to pinch Mira’s cheeks. Yeseul barely cracked a smile. Mira
had this natural cuteness to her which made her so likeable and it was hard to believe that she was a third year.

“Hey you were supposed to call me.” Changmin came with another cute looking guy behind Mira and sat down next to
her.

“Oppa! I totally forgot sorry.” Jungmin exclaimed eyeing her brother’s friend. He was so cute and had such a sweet smile.
This had to be Junsu.

“Junsu! Changmin! I just met your cute sister!” Mira beamed. Yeseul nodded towards them and sipped her tea.

“Well, you seem to be making friends OK.” Changmin smiled and both him and Junsu sat down and grabbed a bite out of
their sushi roll. “The food here is pretty good. I’ve never eaten at a cafeteria before.”

Junsu flashed a grin. “Yeah, it’s different here. They even have American food like hamburgers. We have like thirty
professional cooks. Guess our tuition has to go towards something besides running the helicopter.”

Jungmin giggled shyly. “Do students actually use it? How do you?”

“Yeah, but I wouldn’t count on riding it anytime soon. You’re only a first year.” Yeseul said lazily eying the cherry tomato
she had jabbed with her fork.

“Oh.”

“Nah don’t worry about it, I bet we can work something out. I could even take you sometime.” Junsu grinned but if
Jungmin hadn’t known any better she would have thought there was a small tinge of pink in his cheeks. He continued
hurriedly, “You, Changmin, and me. I’ll arrange it sometime.”

“Thanks Junsu.” Changmin smiled. “Junsu and I are in the same class, 2-A and he’s been pretty nice to show me around
and such."

14
Mira beamed and Jungmin couldn’t help but wonder how she managed to not get any food in her teeth. “Yeah, people
here are pretty nice, most of them anyways. Poor Jungmin almost got bullied from some plastic looking girls but I came
in and saved her! I’m so nice too!” She giggled again.

“Yo. What’s up with the new faces?” A guy who was almost as tall as Jungmin’s brother squeezed in between Mira and
Junsu. With his silver hair Jungmin figured he was the group leader Yunho. He flashed a quick smile to Jungmin and
nodded towards the rest. He looked around for a second and then put his arm around Mira.

“Yunho, meet Changmin who’s in Junsu’s class and his little sister who’s even cuter than me, Jungmin. You guys, this is
Yunho.” Mira paused. “My boyfriend.”

Boyfriend? Boy this was confusing. Wasn’t Mira going out with Jaejoong? No, they broke up. So she was with Yunho now?
No one told her that. Jungmin gave a small nod and Changmin did the same.

Yunho glanced at Mira and then began eating some of her food. “Yeah. I heard about you two, transfers huh? I heard you
dad is now the V.P. of Jin Tech. Impressive.”

“Oh? So their dad got the spot huh? My family was wondering who had taken the title after the old geezer croaked.”
Yeseul was now done with her lunch and was intently looking at Mira and Yunho as if she was actually more interested in
them than Jungmin’s dad.

Junsu made a face. “Don’t say it like that Yeseul, you shouldn’t talk about the deceased like that. Have some respect or
when you die no one will ever find nice things to say about you.” He joked but Yeseul just shrugged.

“No matter what I say about the pervert, that’s probably what’ll happen.”

Changmin cleared his throat trying to change the subject. “So your families must be up there too huh? Dad’s promotion
hasn’t been announced yet.”

Yunho nodded and swallowed quickly before answering. “Yeah, I guess you could say that. Our families own or lead a
bunch of companies. Did you know Mira will end up inheriting LG? Like the whole thing? She’s our cute little billionaire
girl.” He patted her head fondly but went right back to shoving her food in his mouth.

Mira just shrugged, “Junsu has Hyundai, Nari has Sidus, dear Micky has banana milk, and I have LG. It’s not like you
guys are middle class or anything. Are you ok? You’re eating like you’re never going to eat again. Slow down or you’ll go
all choky.” She and everyone else stared as Yunho was washing down his bapp with water. He wiped his mouth and
grinned. Jungmin couldn’t help be in awe that he managed to making wiping his mouth look hot.

“We should go soon. You know.” Yunho and Mira looked at each other silently and then Yunho went back to eating and
Mira smiled.

“O yah, okee.”

“Hey where are the rest of the kids? Where’s Nari? Micky and um Joong?” Junsu gave an uneasy glance towards Mira but
she didn’t seem to notice. “What?” He whispered as Yeseul rolled her eyes at him. Changmin looked at both of them and
shrugged not really understanding what was going on.

“Oh here come two of them. Hey, where’s Micky?”

Jungmin turned around and saw a guy and girl walking towards the table. The guy who dark black hair and looked

15
disinterested but the girl stared at her and Changmin pointedly.

“Shut up in some closet somewhere probably. What’s up with Mr. Tall as a tree and Ms. Wide eyed and clueless?” The girl
asked flopping down right next to her and looking her up and down. Did she really look clueless, Jungmin wondered
worriedly. The guy she figured as Jaejoong by his handsome face leaned against a column and didn’t say anything but he
seemed to be staring at Mira and Yunho.

Mira seemed to ignore Jaejoong. “This is Changmin and this is Jungmin. Transfers. Cuties.” She explained pointing to
them. Nari shrugged and threw them both a nod and they returned it.

“Man, I was just writing this awesome song about dancing when a bunch of idiotic first years ran up the stairs screaming.
I almost lost my flow.” Nari complained. “And guess why they were making so much noise.”

“Ooh let me guess. Is it me? Let it be about me for once. It’s always about Yunho or Jaejoong.” Junsu piped up excitedly.
Jungmin couldn’t help but smile at him, he was just so cute and happy.

“Nope and it isn’t Yunho or Jaejoong.” The group seemed to be more interested and looked at Nari with curiosity and she
seemed to be enjoying the attention as her cocky grin grew bigger. She reminded Jungmin of Taewoo for some reason.

“Not me or Joong? It has to be Micky right? Who’s left?” Yunho asked momentarily distracted from his food.

“No! They were screaming about the new guy, Chungmin!”

“Changmin.” Changmin corrected but Nari didn’t seem to hear as the group turned and studied him. He smiled as if he
wasn’t sure what to do and looked down.

“The new guy?”


“Huh, that’s something different.”
“Are you sure they weren’t going crazy about me?”
“No not you Junsu. Changming.”
“Changmin.”
“Well Oppa was pretty popular back in my old school.”

This time the group looked at Jungmin who hadn’t spoken since Yunho came up. She fought the urge to look down and
shrugged shyly. “All the girls liked him.”

“Well, he is tall and adorable looking, I would figure so.” Mira agreed. Junsu nodded and patted Changmin on the back
who was now blushing. It was the Shim family curse to blush easily and there was a lot of that going around today
between the two of them.

“Hey, make him a god! He’s good looking enough and he seems pretty cool. Not obnoxious like some of the other guys
here.” Nari proposed as she whipped out a pencil and a piece of paper from her bag. Jungmin and Changmin watched as
she began to furiously write.

“Oh she’s gotten an inspiration. She writes songs, like Micky. Though Nari is more pop and punk while Micky is more
ballad. And don’t mind her loud voice it balances well with her loud personality.” The famous grin came from Junsu again.
Jungmin couldn’t help be impressed; song writing seemed like such a foreign talent to her. She could barely read music
let alone follow the words at a noraebang.

“Mira.”

16
Jungmin looked up at Jaejoong who was still staring intently at the couple. His voice was so soft and nice sounding she
couldn’t help but wonder if he sang. Mira looked up seeming politely curious.

“Yah?”

“I need to talk to you. Now. Alone.”

As if on cue Yunho stood up and stretched revealing a fit stomach which also caused some girls from the other table to
squeal loudly. “Ah, sorry but Mira and I have to get going. Places to go, things to do, all that stuff.”

Mira let Yunho help her up and she grabbed her lunch bag which Jungmin noticed was made by Prada. When did
designers make all these normal accessories?

“Don’t do this. Why do you guys have to be like this? I need to talk to you right now.” Jaejoong asked through clenched
teeth and his fists curled up. The kids from the other tables seemed to notice as the volume went down but he didn’t
seem to care. Nari looked up from her writing and Junsu and Yeseul cast worried looks.

Yunho looked a bit uncomfortable but Mira gave that confused look that she had earlier as if she didn’t feel the tension
that everyone was feeling. “Do what? We have to go, we would have left earlier if my pig hadn’t been stuffing his face.
Whatever it is we can talk later OK?” Mira smiled sweetly.

“Mira-”

“Anyways!” Mira chirped interrupting him. “So we’ll get going now. I’ll see you later after school Nari and Yeseul. Hey,
Jungmin you should come with us too. We’re going to go shopping.”

“What?”

“What?” Exclaimed Yeseul and Nari in unison, forgetting all about Jaejoong. They looked at Jungmin and then back at
Mira.

“Have this first year hang out with us? No way, she can’t.” Yeseul said flatly standing up.

Jungmin who had just begun to get excited about being able to hang out with new friends felt her hopes get crushed.

“Yeah sure, why not? She’s cute and we need more cute people and I haven’t been feeling very cute lately. Besides, her
brother is now a god.”

“What?”

“What?” This time Yunho and Junsu spoke up and looked at Changmin. Even Jaejoong broke his gaze and stared at
Changmin. Changmin looked around bewildered.

“A god? What?”

“Uh, it means you’re one of us! Yeah, right?” Junsu grabbed Changmin’s shoulder happily but looked at Yunho who just
shrugged. “Yeah, it’s a good thing. Don’t worry about that.”

“You can’t just do that!” Yeseul challenged. “I don’t care about that tall skinny kid but this first year can’t be one of us.
You’ve just met her.”

17
Nari nodded in agreement “And I was just joking about the whole making him a god thing, at least give them some
time.”

This time Mira didn’t smile but lowered her eyes in annoyance that contrasted so much from the friendly smile she had
earlier. The dangerous glint that Jungmin noticed a while ago had come back. “You seem to have a problem with my
decision. Are you going to do something about it?”

Yeseul looked like she wanted to protest some more but she pursed her lips and shook her head. The cafeteria by now
had gone completely silent and Jungmin had never been more confused in her entire life and Changmin didn’t look too
clued in either.

A smile broke out in Mira’s face and she was back to her cute self. “Ok! Well Jungmin, meet us in front of the trophies
after school OK? Alrighty, we’ll be going now! Let’s go Yunho.” She grabbed Yunho’s arm who gave one last glance at
Jaejoong before leaving.

As soon as the door closed behind them the entire cafeteria erupted into gossip as they dissected what had just gone on.
Jungmin and Changmin just looked at each other in utter confusion.

Yeseul fell back into her seat and looked sideways at Jungmin. “Well, so you’re a constellation now.”

“I can’t believe it. It took Mira a whole year to let me in and I had to win a contest! And Yeseul, you were her best friend
and she wouldn’t let you in for the first couple of months! And this kid. This wide eyed clueless first year gets in on her
first day? We don’t even know anything about her!” Nari complained looking at Jungmin as if she was trying to figure out
what was so special about her.

“Uh. I’m sorry. This is going to sound really stupid. But I’m a constellation? I’m a part of the Royalty?” Jungmin had to
hear it again because at this point she wondered if it was some huge joke on her and her brother.

“Yeah you are. You and your brother. Congratulations I guess. This doesn’t really happen often.” Junsu smiled but he still
looked confused.

Jungmin heard a frustrated sigh and turned around to see Jaejoong stomp off angrily. She wanted to ask what was going
on but she didn’t want to push things when it seemed that Yeseul didn’t like her too much and Nari wasn’t exactly fond of
her.

“Uh. So um, does anyone want to explain what’s going on?” Changmin asked looking around. This time Junsu sighed but
before he could explain things the bell rang.

“Hey man, I’ll explain as we walk, let’s go. I’ll see you around sometime Jungmin.” Junsu waved and Changmin shrugged
at Jungmin as they both left. Yeseul and Nari wordlessly stood up and walked out leaving Jungmin alone at the table just
as she was in the beginning of lunch. Jungmin was very aware that as people were leaving everyone was staring at her,
wondering what she was going to do next.

Jungmin couldn’t help but wonder the same thing.

18
CHAPTER 4 – Gods and Constellations
© pikapika.

“That was awkward.”

Mira looked up at Yunho who had slid his arm off her shoulders. The hallway was empty as there were not many classes
in this area of the school. “Yeah, well it’ll be like that for awhile I think.”

“This doesn’t feel right. Joong is my best friend. He hates me right now.”

“And? You say that but we both know we’ll keep doing this. You need this more than I do.”

Yunho stopped walking and sighed. When did things get so complicated? He rubbed his face and let out another sigh.
Mira was a couple of steps ahead and she turned around to look at him. She was no longer was smiling but Yunho was
used to that by now. Mira didn’t need to pretend to be so happy when she was around him. They had grown up together
and were pretty close. They could trust each other with their secrets and they did.

“I wish…I wish there was another way.”

This time it was Mira who sighed and she reached over and placed her hand on his arm. “Me too, but until then let’s keep
this charade. It’s not working for me very well but it seems to be working well for you. People don’t ask questions
anymore and you can now go to her more often.”

Yunho smiled, just thinking about her made him smile. “Yeah, I want to see her. What are you going to do during the
time?”

Mira shrugged and they both began to walk again. “I’ll figure out something to keep me amused and keep watch for you.
Same old, same old. Don’t worry about me too much, just enjoy yourself.”

“Thank you Mi.”

“You’re welcome Yu.”

-----

“So what’s the deal with me being a god?”

Changmin slid into his seat and so did Junsu. Students were coming in and this class their teacher was always late. Junsu
couldn’t help but wonder how he was going to fill in Changmin everything about the Royalty.

“Well. Hm, this is going to be tricky. Basically, well, to tell you the truth I’m not quite sure I understand everything
either. I’m kind of new to the whole Royalty thing myself, I just got in this year.”

“Do I need to do anything?” Changmin scratched his head as some girls sat down near by and began to point and giggle.
Was he going to have to deal with the staring for the rest of the school year?

“Er, not really. The way I look at it, Royalty is just a name for the bunch of us who are friends. Er, friends who are really,

19
really respected by the rest of the students.”

“Uh, OK?”

“Well, I don’t know if this helps but the history of the Royalty goes back to about twenty years after the opening of the
school. Sonho was beginning to get recognition and stuff and well there was this group of really popular students who
named themselves the gods and the constellations. Basically they ruled the school and made sure the students followed
the rules. As the years went by members graduated and new members were added. The Royalty is pretty much tradition
at Sonho.”

“Wow. Ok, so what do you mean by rule the school?”?

This time Junsu scratched his head and shrugged. “It’s not something I really worry about. Those things are basically up
to Yunho and Mira who are the leaders of the Royalty. They do nice things like make sure kids don’t get bullied and that
there’s no cheating and stuff. They also do things that I don’t really get but I guess it comes with the title.”

“Like what?”

“Well, they, and the rest of us too I guess, make sure that the Royalty is separated from the rest of the student body.
The members of the Royalty only hang out with each other mostly by choice but it’s been that way since forever I heard.
They also make sure that we get benefits like priority for the helicopter and getting out of detention. Stuff that I never
really thought was fair but then again I use those benefits all the time.”

“Ah, hm I guess that’s good for me and my sister.”

“Oh and speaking of your sister, there’s some things you need to know about the girls. The guys we’re pretty mellow I
think but the girls are, er, don’t know really how to explain it. They kind of need special attention.”

“Special attention?”

“Yeah, well let’s see. Take Nari for instance. She’s fun and all but she’s also tough. You have to keep her amused or she’ll
get restless and when she’s restless she gets a little physical. Like, fighting physical. Also, I don’t think she likes Micky
very much. I think they’re like rivals since they both write music. Oh, she gets excited very easily and when she’s excited
she gets really loud. She may seem rude but she’s not stupid, she’ll never challenge the rules or do anything that Mira
wouldn’t approve.”

“Oh. Sounds like a handful.”

“She is. So is Yeseul. My advice is to not take anything she says personally. People think she’s mean but I just think she’s
blunt. She may seem a bit cold at first but when you get to know her she can open up. She likes to go out and go
clubbing and people always think she’s over 19 years old. I don’t really like to gossip but she’s been known to be a
heartbreaker so don’t get too involved with her. Apparently she likes older guys.”

“Ah, well that makes sense. She’s very pretty.”

“Oh just say it, she’s beautiful, everyone knows that. People often think that she’s Mira. Mira is the only person Yeseul
listens to and it’s rumored that the two became friends right after Mira beat her up for talking smack about her. The only
person who can control Yeseul is Mira pretty much.”

“Er, Mira beats people up? I thought Nari was the violent one.”

20
“Oh yeah, Nari is outwardly violent, Mira is silent and deadly. She has like a black belt in Judo, Taekwondo, or Kendo. Or
all three, no one really knows. She’s small but she packs quite a punch. I’ve seen her take out three guys without
wrinkling her skirt. I like Mira and she’s nice but she has to be the weirdest one out of all of us. She can be so cute and
sweet but when she’s angry I actually get scared of her. I don’t know if I’m right but I get the feeling that she smiles a lot
even when she’s not happy. I think it amazes everyone how someone so small and cute can have so much natural
authority and power.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah, exactly. Oh and the whole Mira and Yunho and Jaejoong topic is kind of sensitive so I wouldn’t bring it up, ever.
No one except the three really knows what’s going on and I get the feeling that even Jaejoong isn’t sure of all that’s
going on. Anyways, other than that you don’t really need to know anything else. Wait, there is one thing that I forgot to
mention.”

“Er, I don’t know if I can handle anymore rules and information.”

“ No, you have to know this one. The other students of Sonho are not allowed to date a member of the Royalty BUT a
member of the Royalty may date another student of Sonho.”

“What?”

“I know, I know, but it makes sense I swear. Basically the other kids in this school can’t flirt or ask any of us out, it’s
prohibited. However, the members of the Royalty can date whomever they desire or want to. Get it?”

“Er, I think, wait no not really.”

Junsu scratched his throat. He had been talking for awhile and it was kind of hurting now. He eyed the door as the
teacher came in, late as always.

“Don’t worry too much about it, just tell me if you like anyone and I’ll tell you what you should do. OK, this is Teacher
Kwon and he’s pretty cool but he spits when he talks so be careful.”

Changmin nodded and turned around to face the front. “Oh, thanks Junsu.”

“No problem buddy.”

-----

“Can you believe this? CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?”

“Shut up, you don’t have to yell. Yeah, I can’t believe this either.”

Nari angrily pounded some minor chords on the piano and then froze. Hm, this would make a great angry song, she told
herself. Nari dug out some sheet music and began to scribble furiously.

Yeseul watched Nari though she wasn’t very interested. She was sitting on top of the Baby Grand piano and crossed her
legs. She hated this, there was so much drama going and it was all Mira’s fault.

“That Mira… I don’t think I even know her anymore.”

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Nari paused from her writing and nodded. “Yeah I know. I want to say that she’s changed but she hasn’t really. Like, she
still acts like her sickeningly cute self and she still smiles all the time. But…”

“But you can’t help but feel like there’s something wrong with her.” Yeseul finished. “She’s more short tempered these
days. I get the feeling that she’s ready to blow and she’ll use any excuse to let all her pent up anger loose.”

“Yeah, and let’s hope she doesn’t loose it with us but with some other kid.” Nari began to read over what she wrote and
started to make some corrections.

“My thoughts exactly.” Yeseul ran her finger against her jaw line. She hadn’t forgotten her first encounter with Mira and
how she had almost lost her jaw. Yeseul knew she had deserved every punch but that hadn’t kept it from hurting.

“You know when this all started right? When they broke up. I still don’t know what happened.”

“That’s true. I don’t know what happened either. I know that their parents weren’t too happy with their relationship.
Actually Mira once told me that her parents were dead against it for some reason. But Mira and Jaejoong wouldn’t let
something like parents break them apart. It has to be something huge and whatever it is Mira refuses to talk. She just
keeps saying that things weren’t meant to be and things are better this way.”

“And then she goes out with Yunho? That I also don’t get. And this was right after Yunho became all depressed and
moody. He would always disappear at night. I didn’t really believe them when they said that they had secretly liked each
other and all that happened because of that.”

“Of course, I don’t think any of us believed them. Yunho and Mira grew up together and I know they only see each other
as good friends. Something weird is going on and it drives me crazy that I don’t know what it is.”

“It drives me crazy too, so crazy I can’t even write a song on it!”

“Hm, that bad huh?”

“Yeah.”

“So much drama, what’s happening to us?”

There was a pause as both girls pondered about the answer to that question. Nari seemed to be singing her new song in
her head but didn’t seem too focused and Yeseul leaned over and absentmindedly began to pluck the strings on the
piano.

“So what do you think about the Chungmi kid?” Nari bit her pencil and tapped out a melody on the piano.

“Jungmin, you really do suck with names. I don’t know, I just don’t see anything special about her.”

“Me neither. Besides the fact that she’s now rich, she doesn’t deserve to be in this group anymore than any of the other
kids in the school.”

“She’s a bit too naïve for my taste.”

“Too innocent. I wonder if she’ll be able to handle the pressure of being a constellation.”

“Hm, who knows. Maybe that’s why Mira made that decision. Maybe she really does want someone more innocent and
nicer in the group.”

22
“Well, that’s what she said but that can’t really be the reason can it? There are other nice and naïve girls in our school
who would probably fit in more.”

“Hm, arrrg.” Yeseul groaned and hopped off the piano. “Mira you drive me crazy!”

“But we love her anyways.”

“Yes we do.”

----

The next music room over a depressed looking guy named Micky was staring at the wall, his back away from the piano.

“Nothing. I have nothing.”

The door opened and Jaejoong let himself in even though Micky looked extremely annoyed.

“What are you doing? You’re interrupting my train of thought!”

“Shut up, I saw that look on your face. You weren’t doing anything.”

Micky groaned and buried his face in his hands. “Yes, it’s true. I’ve got nothing, nothing. I’m going to be like this forever
and I’ll never be able to write songs again.”

Jaejoong rolled his eyes. “Shut up. You always say that but then a couple of minutes later, out of nowhere, you’ll jump up
and get all excited saying that-“

“I GOT IT. I FIGURED IT OUT. I KNOW WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT!” Micky jumped up and turned towards the piano. He
began to write down some words and he hummed to himself.

“Yeah that exactly.” Even though Jaejoong wasn’t in the best of moods he couldn’t help but smile at Micky. He always did
that, beat himself when he had writer’s block until a brilliant idea came to him. Then there was nothing stopping him.
“They were asking about you at lunch today.”

“Do we have to talk? I don’t want to lose my flow.”

“Well, you’ll deal. You produce so many songs it won’t kill you to lose this one.”

Micky paused his writing to look up and scowl but didn’t say anything. Anyone else he would have been more firm but
truthfully he wanted Jaejoong to talk to him. So many things were going on and he wanted to know what was happening.
Besides, Jaejoong and Mira’s story could probably easily be turned into an awesome song.

“You should have been there. We got two new members apparently.”

“No way?” This time Micky put down his pencil and stared at Jaejoong’s emotionless face. He most defiantly lost his song,
but no matter this was big news.

“Yeah, this second year who is in Junsu’s class and a first year girl. I think they’re siblings.”

23
“A first year? Wow, I bet Yeseul and Nari didn’t take that too easily.”

“Something like that. Both are transfer students and they haven’t been to Sonho for a whole day before they joined.”

“This is all Mira right? I don’t think Yunho would do anything spontaneous like that.”

“Yes.”

“What do they look like?” Micky wouldn’t be in the music closet for the rest of the day, he wanted to see these two new
additions.

“The guy is tall and skinny. The girl is short and cute.”

“Give me a break, that’s more than half the kids in our school. You have to do better than that.”

“They’re wearing uniforms.”

“You have a sick sense of humor.”

“As least I have one.”

“And you say that all with your ‘poker’ face. Come on, give me a bit more.”

“The guy has brown hair and has a big dorky looking grin. He always looks confused. He’ll be hanging around Junsu most
of the time. The girl has shoulder length natural black hair. She always has a wide eyed naïve look to her. They both
blush a lot.”

“Much better. What do you make of them?”

A dark look crossed Jaejoong’s previously emotionless face. “I don’t know I was more focused on Mira and Yunho.”

“’Ah, I see.”

“He had his arm around her. He was eating her food. He held her hand.”

Micky didn’t say anything but studied Jaejoong’s face. His face looked angry but Micky also noticed that there was some
pain.

“She won’t talk to me. She won’t let me get close to her. She won’t let me in.” Now Jaejoong began to pace back and
forth in the small room.

“They’re relationship is fake, I know it. She’s doing it on purpose so she can have some sort of excuse. I don’t know why
Yunho is doing it though. I don’t know why my best friend is pretending to date Mira.”

“Are you angry with him?”

“No, because it’s fake. Yunho probably has his own reasons. Mira probably blackmailed or told him to. Mira…it’s all Mira’s
doing. Mira is making all this happen. Mira is in control. Mira is the reason…”Jaejoong trailed off and closed his eyes.

“Mira is hurting me.”

24
Micky couldn’t find anything to say. He and Jaejoong had never been too close but after the whole deal Jaejoong had
come to him a lot just to rant. However, this was the first time Jaejoong admitted that he was hurting. Micky began to
play the song that he was working on before, making up the notes as he went along.

“What should I do?”

Micky continued to play but thought about his answer before he spoke. “I’m not quite sure. I can’t really help you when I
don’t know anything.”

Jaejoong was now being fully supported by the wall he was leaning on. “I know, but I can’t tell you anything. I’m sorry.”

“No don’t apologize. You have a reason, I understand. I also understand how it feels to lose someone when you’re not
ready.”

“I know.”

“So is that why you come to me all the time?” Micky stopped playing and looked down at the piano keys. All this was
bringing back memories, painful memories.

“Maybe, I’m not quite sure.”

“I see. Well, I’m here for you.”

“Hm.”

“You’re welcome.”

----

“IS IT TRUE? IS IT TRUE?! ARE YOU REALLY A CONSTELLATION? IS YOUR BROTHER A GOD? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?
WHAT DID YOU DO? TELL ME WHAT YOU DID!”

Jungmin had never been so scared in her entire life. As soon as she had entered the classroom she was corned by Bora
and the rest of her classmates. Everyone kept on screaming questions and pushing up against each other to get closer to
her. Jungmin felt like a celebrity; a celebrity who was terrified of her fans.

“CLASS! Class what is going on? Can I get some order?” Their math teacher tried to speak above the roar. A couple of
the students turned around.

“Miss Lee, Jungmin was just turned into a Royalty!”

“Royalty? Oh… really? Well if that’s true aren’t you all endangering your status as a Sonho student by attacking her like
that?”

Dead silence.

This time the students looked terrified and they all crawled away back to their seats leaving Jungmin still backed up
against the wall. What had just happened?

25
Sensing that Jungmin was paralyzed with confusion her teacher walked over and guided her to her seat. When Jungmin
was sitting down the teacher walked back and shook her head.

“I know I’m new here but I will never understand the whole Royalty deal. The only thing I do know about it is that it’s
important to you and the school for some crazy reason. Now, we have some algebraic formulas to go over and if the class
as a whole gets that done early, the rest of the time you guys can interview Jungmin or whatever you want to do to her.
But go easy on her kids, she looks just as surprised as you.”

The class mumbled in agreement but shot looks at Jungmin who still hadn’t made any sort of movement.

Halfway through the lecture Jungmin came back to reality and managed to look around. The kids were taking notes and
listening but at the same time they were also sneaking glances at Jungmin. Jungmin couldn’t read their faces; were they
angry at her? Did they hate her?

The teacher knew she didn’t have the class’s full attention and gave up. She wrapped up the lessons and told the kids
that they were free until the next class. She leaned in her chair and watched as the kids turned around to stare at
Jungmin.

All those eyes, all looking at her. Jungmin was blushing bright red now, and she looked down at her desk. They all had
such a scary hungry look.

“I know we all want to ask our questions, but I think it would be best if we did this in an orderly fashion.” Taewoo
declared standing up. The other kids nodded and let him lead. He walked over to Jungmin and leaned on her desk.

Jungmin looked at him nervously, what were they going to do to her? But Taewoo smiled and gave her a reassuring smile
which made her feel better. Taewoo would help, he would make things better.

“So I’ll ask some questions that I think we’re all wondering and you answer Jungmin. When we’re done if there are any
more questions we’ll ask them one at time until class ends. How about that?”

Jungmin nodded mutely and felt her palms get sweaty.

“So let’s start off this: What happened at lunch today?”

“Um, I’m not quite sure exactly.” Jungmin started but stopped as the rest of the students gave her a murderous look.
They wanted more and they wanted details. Jungmin hurried on. “But, well what I know is that I had to stay after to take
that chemistry test and I got to lunch later than other people. I was nervous because I didn’t know where any of you
guys were and I didn’t want to sit by myself at lunch.”

Jungmin took a breath and looked around. They were listening, even the teacher was listening, and no one looked like
they wanted to kill her, yet. She continued. “Well, I got to the lunch area and there were so many people I was
overwhelmed. Then I saw this girl, uh Mira unnie, but I didn’t know she was Mira unnie until later. Oh well before, Mira
unnie had been nice to me in the hall and since I didn’t know who she was I decided to ask if I could sit next to her. Well
when I got to her table she left before I could ask so I just sat down to wait for her but then these upperclassmen came
and they bullied me. But Mira unnie came and she defended me and she even knew my name. She told me I could sit
with her and we sat and we ate lunch. The other members of the Royalty came in and I found out my brother, Changmin,
was now friends with Junsu oppa. Well, we were just talking and Mira unnie introduced us to all of them and near the end
before Mira unnie left early she said I was now a constellation and my brother a god. Well, Nari unnie had first said that
she should make Oppa a god but Mira agreed. Then the lunch bell rang and that’s it.”

26
“That’s it?” Taewoo couldn’t hide his doubt in his voice. Jungmin nodded her head furiously.

“Yes, yes, that’s all I swear. I really don’t get what happened or why Mira unnie chose me.”

“Hm. Did you have any connections with the rest of the Royalty before you came to this school?”

“No, I mean there was my brother…”

“Did you ask to be part of the Royalty?”

“No! I didn’t even really know what it was.”

“Did they ask you to do anything?”

“Um, Mira unnie asked me to go shopping with her later today after school. That’s it.”

“That’s it?” A girl Jungmin hadn’t met yet yelped. “That’s it? You get to go shopping with the Royalty! You get to hang out
with them! Don’t you get how lucky you are?”

“No, Chaeri, she is a Royalty now.” Soojin said staring at Jungmin. “She’s one of them now.”

The class was silent as they all stared at Jungmin who was now very tired. She would have given anything just to be able
to crawl back into her bed and sleep.

“So I have one last question.” Taewoo spoke up breaking the silence. “What bra size do you think Yeseul wears?”

The class groaned and the girls threw whatever they had near by at him. The somber mood was broken and the class
began to laugh as Taewoo ducked from the flying notebooks, pencil bags, and erasers. Jungmin felt a little more relieved.

“What? Aw come on, don’t say that no one else wants to know? I, for one am dying to know.”

“You’re so sick Taewoo. Jungmin, tell me does Jaejoong oppa really have 9 piercings in his ears? I’ve always wanted to
know but I never got close to him” Another student asked Jungmin.

“Er, I didn’t really count. He had a lot.”

“I heard Nari has 500,000 won headphones, is that true?”

“No clue, didn’t see them.”

“You saw Yunho oppa’s stomach right? Was it as nice as everyone is saying it is?”

Jungmin blushed some more. “Yeah, well I thought it was nice.”

The girls of the class giggled and began to whisper to one another. This wasn’t so bad, Jungmin admitted. Perhaps soon
things will get normal again and the other kids will treat me normally.

“Hey, can I take you out to dinner sometime? Or even better can I get Yeseul’s phone number?”

“Ah get me Junsu Oppa’s!”

27
“Mira’s!”

“Jaejoong!”

“SHUT UP.”

Jaemin who had been silent the whole class period stood up and slammed her hands on her desk. The whole class
including Jungmin and the teacher stared at her who was almost as red as Jungmin.

“Whoa, chill out Jaemin.” Taewoo said his eyes wide at her outburst. But Jaemin didn’t chill out but instead looked even
more angry.

“No I will not! Don’t you guys get it? Jungmin is Royalty! She’s not one of us anymore! I don’t even know if she was ever
one of us! She’s a constellation so that means that there are rules. I don’t even know if we can ask her all these
questions but I know for sure that no one can ask her out or ask for another Roylaty’s phone number! Don’t you guys
understand? If Jungmin tells any of the others we can all get into big trouble!”

“No, no!” Jungmin protested. “No, please don’t say that! I mean, you guys can ask I won’t tell Mira unnie or anyone. I
can’t really give answers but I don’t see why we can’t all be friends? It doesn’t really change anything, I swear!”

This time Soojin shook her head. “No, Jaemin is right. Jungmin you’re different now. I’m sorry we bothered you, we’ll
leave you alone now. I guess we were all caught up, it’s been awhile since a first year became a Royalty.”

The class muttered to them selves and one by one they all turned back to their seats. They all looked at her differently
now and Jungmin never felt so apart from so many people. They all had the same look, and although Jungmin couldn’t
find a word for that look, she did know that she didn’t like it at all.

CHAPTER 5 – Welcome to our world


© pikapika.

Nari tapped her feet. Yeseul crossed her arms. Mira hummed to herself happily.

“Mira.”

“Yes Yeseul?”

“We’ve been waiting for 10 minutes. She’s making us wait.”

“Oh you’re so silly and impatient Yeseul. Ten minutes won’t kill us, besides she’s new so she’s probably lost. Oh, the poor
thing.”

Nari snorted. Yeseul may be impatient but silly she was not. Yeseul would probably chop off her arms before she became
silly.

They waited another minute or two before they noticed a small figure running down the halls, her bags flopping up and
down. Panting Jungmin skidded to stop in front of in them.

“Oh (pant) I’m so sorry (pant). I had to take another test and (pant) then the teacher wanted to talk to me about some

28
clubs (pant). I’m so very sorry I made (pant) you all wait.”

Mira cheerfully patted Jungmin on the back while the other two girls grabbed their bags. “No worries cutie. We’re all late
sometimes and you were so cute running in the halls like that. You were like a little manhwa character!”

“Yes cute. Do that again and I’ll make your life miserable.” Yeseul added as they headed out of the school.”

“Very cute and I”ll help.” Nari agreed. Though all four girls walked together Jungmin once again felt very distant from the
rest of the girls. They both hate me for sure, just like my classmates, Jungmin thought bitterly.

“Now you guys, let’s play nice! Alright it’s my penpal’s birthday in a couple of weeks so I need to buy her something nice
and something Korean. Should I buy her a Kimsun hanbok?”

“A whole hanbok?” Jungmin asked her eyes getting wide. For a pen pal? Kimsun Hanboks were top of the line and not
cheap and also shipping a hanbok must be so expensive!

“Aw do we have to? I was hoping to fly over to Japan for the rest of the day.” Nari complained.

“Fly to Japan?” Just for one day?

“I know, the flight is an hour long but I love shopping there. Also they’re like two months ahead of us in fashion.”

“No just stick to this country. We can spend next weekend there. I need to buy a new leather jacket.”

“What happened to the Chanel one? You just bought that last week!” Mira asked as they waited for the signal to change
so they could cross the street.

“I left at this one guy’s house and I can’t remember who he is. Doesn’t matter I wasn’t liking that one very much
anyways. Oh stop it Jungmin, stop looking so shocked.”

Jungmin blushed but Yeseul was right; throughout the whole conversation Jungmin’s mouth has been open wide and she
could not believe that they were talking so nonchalantly about such expensive subjects. Jungmin had never bought a
hanbok for anyone, she never even thought about going to another country for just a day, and she had never lost a
Chanel jacket, she didn’t even own any Chanel clothes.

“Yeah, I know your dad just got promoted but it’s not like you guys were poor before. He was a member of the board
right?” Nari asked loudly as they walked across the street causing some of other pedestrians to look around.

“Yeah but our financial situation was never stable. Dad never knew if he was going to get promoted or demoted, every
meeting was a gamble. Most of the money Dad made went to a fund and savings just in case something happened to
Dad. I know he made a lot but we never spent that much. Besides Dad said he wanted to let Changmin and me grow up
normally and not all snobby-! I’m so sorry! That’s not what I meant!” Jungmin clamped her hand over her mouth. She
had indirectly called the girls snobby!

But the girls didn’t seem to care let alone notice. Nari shrugged. “Yeah I heard that about Jin Tech. Hm, are we snobby
though? I thought we were just disgustingly rich and unfairly privileged.”

Yeseul brushed her hair out of her eyes only to have it fall back into place. “Honestly I don’t know, I’ve never known
another way to act. Mira do you think we’re snobby?”

“Oh I don’t think I am!” Mira chirped and then giggled as the other two girls rolled their eyes. “Oh I don’t know, what

29
does snobby mean? That we think ourselves above other people? Aren’t we though? In every factor aren’t we richer,
prettier, smarter, and overall better?”

Jungmin could not believe this conversation but what got to her the most was how honestly they thought about it. They
were right, they were and weren’t snobby, but before Jungmin could think about that anymore four girls wearing another
school’s uniform approached them. Jungmin couldn’t help but noticed how they swaggered towards them.

“Hey, you Sonho students know where I can find this Park Mira?”

Yeseul, Nari, and Jungmin all looked at Mira who smiled sweetly. “Why do you ask?”

“We have some, heh ‘buisness’ with her.” A tall girl smirked. The other girls nodded and surrounded the four Sonho girls.
Yeseul and Nari looked annoyed but Jungmin couldn’t help but be scared; these girls looked tough. They looked like
kangpes! She bit her lip nervously and hoped that they didn’t have knives in their pockets.

“And what may this business be?” Mira asked sounding curious and her smile never left her face. “Are you girls from
Kaejoo per chance?”

The four girls laughed and drew in even closer. “Maybe, maybe we’re not. We just want to thank her for breaking up with
Kim Jaejoong.”

“We also want to punish her and make sure she never gets near him.” One of the chubbier girls came very close to
Yeseul and looked up at her snapping her gum. “Are you Mira? You look like you could be her.”

“Maybe, maybe I’m not.” Yeseul mimicked. Jungmin squirmed as a girl with an incredibly greasy face touched her hair.
Jungmin wasn’t stupid, she knew a fight was coming, Jungmin watched her share of dramas.

“What if?” Mira asked loudly getting everyone’s attention. Jungmin noticed that Mira’s body was a bit tense although she
was still smiling. “What if I’m Mira? What will you do?”

The Kaejoo girls laughed. “Yeah right, a short little girl like you?”

Mira giggled too and held up her hands. “Wait, hold on let me get out my name tag, I think it’s in my bag somewhere.”
She reached into her bag and drew out a shiny name tag and held it in front of one of the girl’s face.

“Park Mira. Yup, there it is, hm I must be her then. So I ask again! What will you do?”

The four girls seemed a bit taken back and stared at the name tag as if to make sure. “Are you for reals? You’re Park
Mira?”

“The famous Park Mira?”

“The queen of Sonho?”

“The best girl fighter in all of Seoul?”

The tall one threw her head and laughed. She swaggered up to Mira and grinned down at her. “You know I was so
anticipating our little meeting but I thought it was going to be a bit more interesting. But I think this is going to be short
and sweet, just like you.”

The girl went to poke Mira on the chest but Mira grabbed her hand before it came close. The tall girl’s mouth opened in

30
surprise and she squirmed in Mira’s grip. Mira nodded. “I’ll make sure it’s short and sweet for you.

“Alrighty! It’s been awhile since I had a chance to bump. You girls just made my day!” Nari excitedly rolled up her sleeves
but Mira shook her head.

“Oh no Nari, this is solo time for Mira.”

Nari protested loudly but Mira ignored her and gave a huge smile so big that her eyes crinkled into a crescent shape. “I’m
going to thank you in advance you Sonho reject”.

Before the girl could think of a reply Mira changed her grip and pulled the girl in, only to knee her in the stomach.
Jungmin and the Kaejoo girls gasped as the tall girl fell to the floor clutching her stomach.

What happened next could have only been brilliantly choreographed in a martial arts movie. Jungmin watched in awe as
Mira went after each girl with kicks, punches, and arm twists. Jungmin winced as the greasy girl was kicked in the face
and Jungmin stifled a cheer as the fat one’s arm was twisted back and then elbowed to the ground. While Yeseul yawned
and examined her nails, Jungmin gawked in aw and admiration as Mira landed a spinning kick on the last girl. Nari
continued to protest and kicked the ground. Jungmin clapped excitedly as Mira stood up strait and brushed back her
bangs. Mira turned around and they all saw that her smile had never left her face. She winked and cutely held up the
peace sign.

“Mira watch out!” Yeseul yelled all of a sudden as the tall girl stood up and flew towards Mira behind her back. Jungmin
squeezed her eyes shut and shrieked, there was no way Mira would defend herself in time!

“What are you doing?”

No sound of hitting or kicking ever came. Jungmin peeked through one eye and gasped when she saw that the tall girl
never touched Mira as her arm was being help high by…

“Jaejoong?” Nari exclaimed. Jungmin opened both her eyes and looked around, where had he come from? Across the
street she saw her brother and the other gods running over.

“I asked you, what are you doing?”

The tall girl looked like she going to faint from either pain or happiness. “Jaejoong shiiiii”

Disgusted Jaejoong pushed her away and then his expression turned to one of concern as he gently touched Mira. “Are
you Ok? They didn’t do anything to you did they?”

For a second Mira didn’t move but when she did she brushed Jaejoong’s hand away and laughed. “Are you kidding me?
I’m great, I just wished they were a bit tougher and the whole thing lasted longer.”

Jaejoong stepped back looking hurt but Mira just continued to laugh and brush off her clothes. The guys finally came over
and Yunho grinned and patted Mira on the back.

“Dude, I totally saw that. You are one crazy little girl Mira. That spinning kick? I haven’t seen you do that in a long time.”

“Jungmin are you alright? Did you get caught up in the mess?”

“They didn’t hurt you did they?”

31
Jungmin shook her head and reassured Changmin and Junsu. “No I’m fine. It was all Mira unnie.”

“Yeah, ALL Mira.” Nari grumbled and looked wistfully at the Kaejoo girls who were crawling away. “I couldn’t even get one
little hit, not even a little girly slap.”

“Aw I’m sorry Nari, next time we’ll go looking for drunk guys ok? Not these pathetic school girls.”

Yeseul shook her head. “I can not believe that you just said that. Disgusting, you guys are so vulgar.”

“Oh Jungmin, meet Micky. Micky, this is my little sister.” Changmin introduced Jungmin but he didn’t take off his
protective arm off her shoulders. Micky nodded and studied the first year. He was a bit surprised, he had expected
someone a little more special looking. This girl was cute but she looked like any other high school girl.

Jungmin bowed. “Nice to meet you. I heard you’re a really good song writer.” Maybe he would let her listen to one of his
songs one day.

“PSH.” Nari said loudly looking away. Micky coolly looked at Nari.

“Psh? Are you jealous?”

“JEALOUS? Of what? Of your girly looks maybe? Yeah I might be jealous of that!”

“Well it wouldn’t kill you act a little more feminine.”

“WOULD IT KILL YOU TO BE MORE OF A MAN?”

“Please lower your voice; you’re attracting attention.”

“MAYBE YOU SHOULD START OFF BY NOT WRITING ANY MORE WUSSY LOVE SONGS!”

“You only say that because you can’t.”

“I CAN WRITE ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN! I CAN ALSO WRITE SONGS FASTER THAN AN ADANTE!”

“What’s an andante?” Junsu asked cheerfully causing Micky and Nari to stop arguing.

“Moderately slow or walking pace.” They both answered at the same time. Furious they glared at each other.

“Oh you guys stop it, you’re being so silly. Look though, we all met and now all know each other!” Mira chirped and
looked as if she hadn’t just taken down four girls bigger than her in less than a minute. “Us girls are going to go
shopping, what are you guys up to?”

Yunho shrugged. “Junsu is going to show us his designs. After that um, well we’ll see how things flow. Maybe go watch a
movie?”

“Aw that’s so normal”. Jungmin blurted out. That’s what high schools kids should be doing, not planning on flying to other
countries. The other kids looked at her for a second and shrugged.

“Yeah normal I guess.” Junsu smiled.

“If you count being the first ones to see the top secret designs for next year’s cars normal.” Micky added. “That’s not

32
normal right? Other kids don’t really do that do they?”

Jungmin and Changmin shook their heads. They glanced at each other and sighed. This new life style was going to have
to get some getting used to.

“Let’s get going, after today I definitely need a drink.” Yeseul picked up Mira’s previously dropped bag and handed it to
her. Mira made a face but nodded and motioned for Jungmin to follow.

“Yeah, I guess we should get going but Yeseul you really shouldn’t drink. Let’s hang out all together some time! Bye
guys!” Mira paused. “Oh by the way thanks Jaejoong. For the help.”

Jaejoong looked surprised. “No…problem. I’m glad you’re OK.”

There was an uncomfortable pause before the rest of the kids said their goodbyes and headed off their separate ways.
Mira allowed herself to look back one last time at the boys before she let out a happy sigh.

“Phew! That was so refreshing you guys have no idea.”

Nari threw her hands in the air. “Arg, it would have been nice to have some sort of an idea Mira.”

“Oh get over it Nari, use that pent up energy to write about a song how you couldn’t beat up some ugly school girls even
though you wanted to.” Yeseul rolled her eyes and Jungmin got the feeling that she did that a lot.

“Hm, maybe I will…”

“Mira unnie, are you OK?” Jungmin asked Mira privately. Mira’s eyes looked unfocused as if she had been spacing out.

“It’s been awhile since he touched me.”

“What?”

“Oh? Oh.” Mira came back to reality and blinked a couple of times. She let out a laugh although Jungmin couldn’t help but
stare at her. “Oh, just talking to myself. Jungmin do you need to buy anything?”

“Oh, not really.” Jungmin wanted to pry deeper in what Mira had said but it was obvious Mira was trying to change the
subject.

“Hm, I think it’s time for you to be a little spendy. Don’t you think Yeseul?”

“Huh? Yeah, Jungmin do you even own anything Chanie, Pra, Dolce, or Louie?”

Jungmin guessed that those were nicknames for designer brands. “Not really, I mean I have uh Dolce sunglasses at home
that I got as a gift once. That’s about it.”

Nari looked a bit happier. “Ooh, well it looks like we should introduce you to our friends. Now mind you, we’re not all
designer happy. We like to be thrifty sometimes too.”

“Yeah! We just like pretty things no matter what the price.” Mira added happily linking arms with both Yeseul and
Jungmin to Yeseul’s annoyance and Jungmin’s delight.

“Hm, do you own anything from Andre Kim?”

33
“Uh, does he even make anything wearable?”

“No, but it’s just nice to have one of his in the closet.”

“Oh wow.”

This time Nari linked arms with Jungmin and grinned. “Welcome to our world rookie.”

CHAPTER 6 – Stirrings of trouble.


© pikapika.

Changmin and Jungmin stared up, then to the left, then to the right, and finally strait ahead. They made no effort to
close their wide opened mouths.

“Hey grab some slippers and come towards the living room.” Yunho’s voice was heard down the hall.

“Holy….”

“Oppa!”

“Sorry.” Changmin shook his head in disbelief, he had thought Yunho’s house was impressive from the outside but the
inside knocked him off his feet. He had never been to a house with a fountain smack in the middle and the spiraling
marble staircase was something new too. He looked down at the satin guest slippers he was wearing and couldn’t help
but think that his 10,000 won socks didn’t quite belong in them.

He and his sister walked down the hall nervously and entered the living room where the other kids were either sprawled
on the couches or sitting down on the most comfortable looking rug.

“Jungmin! Changmin! Welcome to Yunho’s house!” Mira welcomed and waved them to sit down. Jungmin sat next to Nari
on the floor and Junsu moved to the side so Changmin could sit next to him on one of the sofas.

“So what’s this all about?” Nari asked loudly grabbing some crackers and offering them to the Shim siblings. Changmin
grabbed some but Jungmin shook her head.

“Isn’t it obvious? The Fall Festival is coming up which means the school will be really busy!”

Junsu leaned back on the sofa. “Are you planning something Mira? We don’t really do anything do we?”

“Yeah I wasn’t even planning on going.” Yeseul added.

Yunho answered for Mira. “She wants to know what your classes are doing and no we don’t do anything official during the
festival. We should go though and show support for all the stands. Besides it’s free food.” He grinned and looked excited
just thinking about the food.

34
“Wait I thought all the stands had a cost to raise money for that hospital.” Jungmin asked obviously confused.

“Haha that’s just a joke.” Nari laughed. “I mean we do raise money for the hospital but there’s really no point since our
parents could simply donate more money. I think it’s just one of those things Sonho does to make it seem like another
high school. All the other students pay and stuff but we don’t, it’s kind of pointless.” She stuffed some crackers into her
large mouth.

“Ah, I see.”

“There’s also the song writing contest.” Micky said softly for the first time. Nari stopped in mid chew and swallowed
quickly to glare at him.

“Yeah the song writing contest that I’m going to win!” She exclaimed standing up and pumping her fist. Micky pretended
not to notice.

“Win second place that is. Which is really dead last since you and I are the only ones competing.”

“They’re the only two competing?” Changmin whispered to Junsu who nodded.

“Yeah any one else putting in a song would be considered a joke.” He whispered back.

“DEAD LAST? YEAH THAT’S WHERE YOU’LL BE! DEAD AND LAST WHEN I’M DONE WITH YOU.”

“Nari do you have to yell?” Yeseul complained.

“You’re right it’s horrid sounding, just like your songs.”

“You really shouldn’t encourage her like that.” Yunho mentioned.

“THAT MAY BE BUT AT LEAST MY SONGS DON’T PUT PEOPLE TO SLEEP!”

“Now, now, Nari that’s a bit mean.” Mira chided.

“They do not put people to sleep!” Micky’s voice rose for the first time and he stopped acting cool and looked extremely
annoyed.

“AH HA! SENSITIVE SUBEJECT AINT IT? BECAUSE IT’S TRUE AND YOU KNOW IT!” Nari crowed.

Jungmin winced. “Are they always like this?”

Junsu nodded again and looked a bit glum. “Yeah and last time they got us kicked out of a movie theatre.”

“It was all Nari.”

“YOU STARTED IT YOU %&^%^#w$#@!”

Mira finally stood up and waved her hands. “Ok, we’re using foul language now so that’s enough. There’s no point in
arguing like little kids when the actual contest hasn’t even happened yet. You should be putting all your energy into song
writing! So save your voices you two! So silly.” She added with a smile.

Micky stood up and made a point to not look at Nari who was fuming. “You’re right and the festival is next week, I don’t

35
even know what I’m doing here. I should be working on my song.” He headed out the room.

“Work all you want I’m still going to win!” Nari shouted after him while grabbing her stuff. “Arg I hate that guy! I HATE
HIM.”

The other kids watched in silence as they both stomped out of the room and until Yunho gave a sigh.

“Well with the way they’re all worked up their songs should be pretty good. Mira, you should have tried to calm them
down more and keep them in here.” Yunho said but patted Mira’s head fondly. He seemed to think for a second and then
put his arm around her shoulders.

Jaejoong’s face twitched and no one except Yeseul and Mira noticed. Mira made no reaction but Yeseul cast a worried
glance at the two. She had a feeling something was going to come and it wouldn’t be good. She shifted uncomfortably
and once again wished she knew what was going on.

“Don’t do that.”

The kids turned to look at Jaejoong who looked out the dark window as if he couldn’t bear to see Mira and Yunho.
Jungmin couldn’t help but notice that although he sounded disgusted his voice had a nice sound to it, especially since she
rarely got to hear it.

“You guys can put up the act all you want but don’t you dare touch her in front of me.”

Yunho looked guilty and tried to raise his arm off only to have it put gently down by Mira. She didn’t say anything but her
smile seemed more fixed on than natural.

Jaejoong kept his eyes on the window. “It’s pointless, I don’t know why you both bother. Everyone knows it’s fake.”

There was an awkward silence as Yunho tried to think of something to say but came up with nothing. Changmin, Junsu,
and Jungmin looked at each nervously and tried to sit still to not make any noise. Yeseul’s eyes darted back and forth
from Mira to Jaejoong trying to read them both.

“Is it?” Mira asked breaking the silence her face unchanging. “Is it fake? Would you know Jaejoong?”

“Don’t give me those stupid questions Mira, we all know it is.” Jaejoong snapped, his eyes still fixed at the window.

The heavy atmosphere was making Jungmin so nervous that her hands were starting to get clammy. She would have
given her new Chanel necklace, Prada shoes, Dolce dress, and Louie bag just to get out of the room. Changmin would
have given away his state of the art laptop. Junsu would have given his international soccer team. Yunho would have
given away his inheritance.

“OK so no more questions. I apologize for making you uncomfortable but I can assure that it is very real. Yunho is my
boyfriend now and I’m going to have to ask you to accept it. Accept all of it.”

So there was more, Yeseul thought. The way Mira added her last sentence made it obvious to her that there was much
more going on between Jaejoong and Mira. If she could only figure out what it was.

“We don’t know anything for sure and I refuse to accept it!” Jajeoong yelled finally looking away from the window. He
locked gaze with Mira while Yunho desperately wished he was sitting somewhere else. It was obvious that he was no
longer the subject of the conversation, if he ever actually was.

36
“Don’t be stupid!” Mira snapped loosing her smile. “Why make things so difficult? Why do you have to keep fighting it?”

“Because no matter what I can’t give you up!”

Another uncomfortable silence filled the room. A maid came in with a tray of fruit but looked around and promptly left.
Mira looked shocked and out of words to say. She broke her gaze with Jaejoong and looked down. For the first time since
Jungmin met her Mira looked confused. For the first time Mira no longer seemed to be in control.

“I think this has gone far enough.” Mira finally declared. When she looked up her eyes were firm and mouth set. She was
in control again. “I think I’ll go home now, you guys can choose to do whatever you want. There’s really nothing else to
discuss.”

She grabbed her bag and walked out of the living room. Yeseul got up and ran after her.

“Mira wait! Wait for me!”

Jungmin was now very aware that she was the only girl among 4 guys with one of them looking like he wanted to break
something. She fidgeted with her jacket’s zipper and chewed on her lip deciding that she would also give her favorite pair
of skis to get out of here.

After a moment Jaejoong wordlessly left the room leaving 3 guys and one girl, all very uncomfortable.

“Ah.” Yunho managed running his hands through his hair. “I never ever want to go through that ever again.”

Junsu nodded. “I’ve never wanted to run out of a room before until now.”

“The atmosphere was so heavy…” Changmin added.

“I want to cry and I don’t know why!” Jungmin wailed. Junsu leaned over and laid a comforting hand on her shoulder
which surprisingly made her feel so much better.

“Now what?” Changmin said out loud echoing everyone’s thoughts.

“PARK MIRA IF YOU DON’T SLOW DOWN I SERIOUSLY WILL BREAK YOUR LITTLE LEGS!” Yeseul yelled running after Mira.
Yeseul couldn’t believe how fast Mira was and she wasn’t even running! There was something seriously weird about that
girl.

She managed to catch up to her and grabbed her shoulders forcing her to stop and turn around.

“You psycho.” Yeseul panted trying to catch her breath. “Where do you think you’re going?”

“Home.”

“YOU LIVE 20 MILES AWAY! YOU PLANNED ON WALKING THERE?”

“I didn’t plan anything.”

Yeseul sighed and grabbed Mira’s hands. The Limousine that had been slowly following them stopped and the driver came
out to open the door. Yeseul ushered Mira in while ordering the driver.

37
When they were both sitting down inside Yeseul reached into the minifridge and grabbed a bottle of banana milk
(courtesy of Micky’s family) and handed it to Mira. Then she grabbed a bottle of wine and poured herself a glass.

“Oh I really need a drink.” She quickly drowned down a glass and poured herself some more. Mira didn’t seem to notice
as she silently sipped her banana milk.

“Ok SPILL. Tell me what’s going on. I can’t stand it anymore, I have to know.”

Mira shook her head. “No.”

Frustrated Yeseul roughly grabbed her friend’s shoulders and forced her to look at her. “Mira you and I have been best
friends since you knocked off my jaw and broke my hand! We don’t keep secrets from each other! You know all about
me! You know my… ‘situation’, all about it! Now tell me yours!”

Mira refused to speak which made Yeseul even angrier. “Stop pretending that you’re so happy! Stop pretending that life
is perfect! Your dad isn’t here!”

The last sentence seemed to spark some life into Mira as her eyes flashed with anger. She seemed to think about it some
more and finally seemed to decide to speak.

“Alright, I’ll tell you. The thing is, Jaejoong and I might….”

The driver groaned. Right then Mira had pushed the button to raise the window that was between them and he couldn’t
hear any more. He had been Mira’s driver for 10 years and through out those years he always heard the most fascinating
stories about the lifestyles of the rich. But the one story he had wanted to hear about the most was kept secret to him.

“…and that’s why all this is happening.”

Yeseul was speechless until she cursed out loud. Then she added another cuss word and then added all the other ones
she knew and even made up some on the spot. When she ran out of words she couldn’t think of anything else to say.

“Yeah my thoughts exactly.” Mira added glumly. Letting out her story made her feel a little better but she was still
miserable.

“So Yunho and….and you and Jaejoong? Oh good Lord.” Yeseul breathed. This was way too much drama for her to
comprehend. Yeseul decided that she would give away the BMW motorcycle she never did learn how to drive just to be a
normal high school student.

“So now what?”

“I wish I knew.” Mira answered sadly biting her lip. No, Mira forced the tears to stop. Mira wasn’t someone who cried; she
was stronger than that. But it would have been nice and Mira would have given away all her stocks just to be able to cry
freely.

“Oh Mira.” Yeseul sighed and drew her friend close to her, hugging her tight. Mira didn’t fight it, though she knew she
should have, and let Yeseul hold her for the rest of the ride.

38
CHAPTER 7 – The Fall Festival – Part 1
© pikapika.

It had been a couple of weeks since Jungmin and Changmin transferred to the school and both had settled in quite well.
Of course both never did know what to do as Royalty and often relied on their friends to answer their questions.

Changmin was now used to frequent stares and the giggling and he and Junsu had become very good friends. He even
joined the men’s volleyball team and although he didn’t like the fact that he was put in Varsity mostly due to him being a
god, he worked hard to earn his spot which gained him more admiration from the rest of the school. He still felt the need
to study (to the rest of the Royalty’s amazement) and his favorite class was his music theory class that he shared with
Yeseul.

Jungmin accepted the fact that her classmates would never see her as their equal but she made a lot of effort to make
sure that they weren’t too uncomfortable with her presence. She still tried to please everyone (also to the rest of the
Royalty’s amazement) and the school began to accept that she was naturally a nice and honest girl.

The Yunho and Mira couple was now fully accepted by the whole school except two individuals. They were often seen
disappearing together and the teachers no longer questioned them when they would suddenly leave the classroom.
Yunho was still bursting with confidence and busy with basketball games and practices and Mira never stopped smiling
and being cute.

Yeseul was often caught roaming the halls staring at Mira, Yunho, or Jaejoong but never caught in class. Except for her
music theory class to everyone’s confusion including her own. She wasn’t sure why she kept on going either. She did get
help in the class; Changmin was often sharing his notes.

Junsu finally managed to create a mass of screaming girls that disrupted both Nari and Micky’s writing process when he
went into a fit of laughter at a joke Jungmin had made. Jungmin had been taken completely by surprise by both Junsu’s
cute laughter and the hysteria of the girls who witnessed the event. Junsu did get a rough beating by both Nari and Micky
but he thought it was worth the bruises.

The beating was the only time Nari and Micky were ever in the same place at the same time. They refused to speak or
look at each other which weren’t difficult since they were both usually locked away in the music rooms. Death would
come for any who dared to interrupt; even Mira and Yunho wisely chose to stay away wishing to continue their high
school education with both arms intact.

Jaejoong became a ghost at school and students were often sharing the rare sightings of him lurking around in the halls.
It was also rumored that at night he could be found at clubs just sitting at a bar drinking expensive champagne. One
thing that everyone knew for sure was that no one had ever seen heard him speak since the last couple of weeks.

The Fall Festival was on a Thursday night and the entire campus was strung with lights on that dark autumn night. It was
flooded with students, parents, and body guards and they all went around admiring the decorations, watching the shows,
and buying snacks and other things at the stands.

Jungmin was walking around alone since she came late but she didn’t mind so much since there was so many things for
her to admire. She stopped at a Karaoke show hosted by the music students and decided that they sang better than the
singers on TV. She tried to buy some cotton candy by a first year class but was denied and they eagerly gave it to her for

39
free.

“Jungmin, Jungmin! Hey, hold up!”

Jungmin turned around and to her delight she saw Junsu making way through the crowds with his typical grin. When he
caught up to her she noticed his smile grew even wider.

“You’re here! I was looking for you! You’re brother told me you were coming later because you had flute lessons. How are
you? Doesn’t the school look awesome?”

Jungmin nodded happily they began to walk together. “Yeah my old school never went all out like during our festivals.
What is your class doing?”

Junsu shrugged. “Oh nothing too impressive, it’s right over there.” He pointed towards the parking lot. “I arranged to
allow people to race the new model of the Tiburon around the parking lot.”

Jungmin openly gawked at the racing cars. “Is that safe?” She asked as she watched the cars weave around while
spectators cheered on.

“Haha don’t worry, they all have safety locks and they’re not really driving it, it’s all automated.”

“Wow all my class did was bake cookies. Though we did get our dough imported from Belgium.”

Junsu smiled and shyly grabbed Jungmin’s elbow. “Come on, Micky and Nari will be presenting their songs soon. You’ll
want to hear that.”

She had to admit, Jungmin had wanted to hear their songs ever since she heard that they wrote them. They made their
way to the auditorium and both barely noticed that everyone moved aside to allow them to get close to the stage.

They grabbed some seats up front and were greeted by their friends except Jaejoong who was of course missing. To their
disappointment Junsu and Jungmin were separated as Mira wanted Jungmin to sit next to her. Mira didn’t seem to notice
at all and excitedly shook her arm.

“Jungmin it’s finally your chance to hear their songs! Aren’t you excited? Aw don’t you look so cute in your little skirt?
Isn’t it weird to see all the students out of their uniforms?”

“Yeah, I can’t wait. You look good too and wow Yeseul!” Jungmin exclaimed as Yeseul came from the other side of Mira.
She was simply wearing jeans and a black tank top but she looked like she should have been gracing a walkway. Once
again Jungmin felt very squat and plain.

“Hey they’re starting! Woo go Micky!” Changmin cheered as Micky came up on stage and sat on a bench next to a piano.

There was no introduction and there was no need of one as Micky played the piano and crooned his song. The audience
was soon swaying back and forth as he sang his song.

Hearing the sound of the morning come, I fall asleep


As always have you spent the day forgetting me
How can you be okay with it so easily?
It was hard for me because I couldn’t understand
Why you left me, one who never changed
Just like this we'll slowly forget each other saying "I love you"

40
would be useless
I'm sorry, I was a selfish person
I tried to keep you by my side just because I loved you
That's right, I was forgetting something more important,
If I love you, you should always be happy.
I'll miss you, I can do anything about that, but I won't give you hard time.
For awhile I'll cry aching my heart and search for you but don’t mind me
It'll only last for a while
It's okay. I'll be here like this. I can stand my self with out you
I love you. This will never change. Even if your place is empty I will live loving you
I'll miss you, I can't do anything about that, but I won't give you hard time.
For awhile I'll cry aching my heart and search for you but don't mind me
It’ll only last for a while
that's right, I'm being stupid but I'll keep our past memories and stand alone.
For awhile I'll cry aching my heart and search for you but don't mind me
It'll only be a momentary good-bye
(Lee Ji hoon and Shin Hye sung - Credits to Aheeyah.com)

At the end of song as Micky sang his last note Jungmin erupted into tears but she wasn’t the only one. The whole school
and all their parents had gathered to hear him sing and there were sounds of nose blowing and sobs everywhere. The
song bought out so many emotions and everyone felt Micky’s pain.

Micky played his last note and then stood up, bowed, and wordlessly walked off the stage. He didn’t smile although he
was pleased with the thunderous applause. There was no doubt, this contest was his.

“I know what you’re thinking and you’re wrong.” Nari commented coming out from the back with her electric guitar.
Micky ignored her but he had to go past several band members as they bought out their instruments to the stage. As he
left Nari squared her shoulders and gave a determined look. She was going to show him and everyone else too.

Her friends watched patiently as the band set up the stage but Changmin had his doubts. He didn’t cry but he knew that
Micky’s song was beautiful and moving. There was no way Nari could top that.

But he was proved wrong as Nari got up there and immediately struck a chord in her guitar. She began to hop up and
down and worked up the audience with her bouncy song.

Everyday I am undefeated in a hundred battles


Even quite easy work can make me fall
All that work won't be complete
In this world I was born to carry on
Yeah, it is obvious that my life will fall down
I can see the end
Everyday I fight a hundred battles
Other people fight a hundred battles undefeated
I can't see anything in my future
I even start to hate myself
Got a get it, get it
Life has no meaning when you are not with me
Got a hit it, hit it
Now let me take your hand and show me everything in the world
You can't hide anymore

41
There is no hope of escape
I don't need a miserable life
I can't stand it anymore
I stop at the fork in the road
Only one choice remains
I run there instead of turning around
When that happens, the future is guaranteed
Na~ Cruel world Na~ Hit it Hit it
Na~ Lately you've let us two Na~ finally
You try not to show your cowardly feelings
You're afraid of crying in this world
You'll fight with everything you have
And once you hit out, the world will seem to go away
I know that the end is not here yet
Everyday I fall down, but head off to work again
From the end of the world until the end disappears
I'll be able to fly away
You try not to show your cowardly feelings
You're afraid of crying in this world
You'll fight with everything you have
And once you hit out, the world will seem to go away
This can't happen just once in a lifetime
To live peacefully oh-no
It's dangerous, I can't go onwards
My courage, I can't find my courage
Back Back Back Back Back Back I'll change myself
Back Back Back Back Back Back I'll get some courage
(Click B - Credits to Aheeyah.com)

Pretty soon the audience figured out the words of the song and everyone was singing along and jumping up and down.
Even Changmin started hopping up and down and realized that Junsu and Yunho were doing the same. Jungmin felt so
happy and cheerful it was as if Micky had never made her cry. She even saw Yeseul coolly bopping her head to the beat.

When the song ended Nari gave a loud whoop and the audiences cheered and clapped. People’s moods were bright and
happy and so was Nari. She had done well and she knew it. She eagerly went off stage to go gloat at Micky.

“Not bad.”

Nari stopped in tracks and turned around to catch Micky coming out of the shadows. If she wasn’t in such a good mood
after the song she would have been easily annoyed.

“Not bad? Shut up the song was awesome. I had the whole crowd jumping up and down.”

“Yeah well I had them in tears.”

“My song made them all happy.”

“Even our principal was crying.”

“It doesn’t matter only students vote.”

42
“Well you’ll figure out tomorrow when everyone votes then.”

“Figure out what? That my song ate your song?”

“No that your song was childish and didn’t impress anyone.”

“Why you…I think you’ll figure out that your reign is over.”

“Oh it’s far from over.”

The two song writers glared at each other their confidence from their performance forgotten, both filled with anger and
competitiveness. They both huffed and walked their separate ways.

-----

“Hey Changmin.”

“Oh Hi Yeseul. Have you seen either Junsu or Jungmin?”

Yeseul was standing in front of a European fashion stand looking slightly interested when she caught a sight of Changmin
walking around. He walked over and glanced at expensive dresses on display with brand names he couldn’t even
pronounce.

Yeseul shook her head and turned away from the stand. “Not since Nari’s song. We all kind of got separated when the
crowd pushed us out. I know that Mira and Yunho disappeared together.”

“I wonder where they could be.” Changmin ran his hand through his hair and sighed. He hated to admit it, but without
Junsu and Jungmin he didn’t really have anyone to hang out with.

“Isn’t it obvious?” Geesh how oblivious was this guy? Yeseul didn’t really pay attention to either Junsu or Jungmin but
even she noticed something. “They probably ran off together for some alone time.”

“Alone…time?”

“Yeah do you really not see it? They both like each other; they can’t stop smiling when they’re together. They’re almost
as bad as Mira, though their smiles are genuine.”

“Like…each other?”

Yeseul shook her head again. He may have good notes in music theory class but this kid wasn’t so bright. “Yes they like
each other. If you think about it they match each other pretty well: both are completely clueless. I wouldn’t worry too
much about it.”

“Junsu… Jungmin?”

“Oh geesh are you going to be like this the whole time? You know what helps? Some scotch, the intensity will bring you
back to reality, and then take you out of it.”

43
That did seem to jog Changmin back to his senses. “You really shouldn’t drink.”

Yeseul shrugged and started to look around the other stands as Changmin followed her. “There are a lot of things I
shouldn’t do or be.”

“Why do you drink?” Changmin asked pausing for a second to watch a life size shadow puppet show. He winced. “Wait,
that’s a personal question, I’m sorry. It’s none of my business.”

“Yeah it isn’t.” Yeseul agreed but she didn’t sound angry. They watched in silence as the puppets put on an elaborate
sword fight but neither of them was too impressed; after watching Mira it was hard to be impressed with anything.

When the play was over they clapped politely and walked away together with not much to say. Changmin being a
gentleman bought them both (non alcoholic) drinks and they found themselves in front of the soccer field. They both sat
down on a bench and sipped their drinks mostly in silence.

Yeseul had to admit it wasn’t so bad. Usually silences between people were awkward but this one was actually peaceful.
There was no pressure to think of anything to say and it was as if they were just enjoying each other’s presence. Yeseul
smirked to herself, what was this? She was turning into some weird softie. She played around with the bottle and decided
to break the silence.

“You know, you’re not so bad.”

Changmin was startled. “Huh?”

“You’re not so bad.” She repeated. “I don’t like a lot of people but I can deal with you.”

Changmin stared at Yeseul not quite sure what to say but he did blush. How did she always manage to surprise him with
all the things that she said? She was an interesting girl for sure. He finally came up with something to say.

“Thank you. I like you too.”

Now there was an awkward silence. Changmin choked on his drink and began to stutter. “I mean…you know…I can deal
with you too. Or that is…well it’s kind of like that but not really and…”

Yeseul smirked and held up her hand. “Relax, I got you. I’m not clueless like the rest of you guys.”

“OK.”

The comfortable silence came back and they both just sat there feeling pretty happy although they didn’t know why.

----

“Hello, I was looking for you at the Festival.”

A pretty young woman with long dark hair was examining a pottery jar when she looked up to see Yunho coming into a
classroom. She smiled sweetly.

“Oh, I already saw most of the stands during rehearsals and preparations. I did come by and hear the two songs though.
Both of them are your friends, correct?”

44
Yunho nodded and headed over to the large desk and sat on it. He motioned at the pot. “What’s up with the pot?”

The woman smiled and softly stroked the jar. “Isn’t it gorgeous? Look at the colors, and the texture is so smooth.
Reminds me of ancient Athenian pottery. Tell me Yunho, what country is that from?”

Yunho shrugged but thought about the answer. “Hm, Greece right? You know I do pay attention in class.”

“The difference is, that this jar was made using a pottery wheel.” She continued on her eyes never leaving the jar. “You
know I’ve always been fascinated with the pottery wheel.” A small smile formed in her pretty face.

Yunho studied the woman. “More fascinated with than Raphael?”

For the first time the woman looked up and away from the jar. “Oh, well Raphael and I go way back but…” She trailed off
and looked embarrassed. “Well, it’s a bit silly.”

“No, tell me. I bet it isn’t silly at all.”

“Well…my favorite movie of all time is “Ghost.”

Yunho blinked in surprise. That was news, he would thought she would have liked a different type of genre. “You like
horror movies? You know I watched “Phone” last week, that was pretty scary I have to admit.”

The woman laughed. “No! It’s a romance movie! You know, Demi Moore? Whoopi Goldberg? Come on, it’s one of the
most classic romance movies of all time!”

Yunho scratched his head. “Romance? Oh, so this is a chick flick huh? What’s it about?”

She let out a happy sigh. “It’s about this couple who are madly in love but he’s killed by his evil best friend. He becomes
a ghost and tries to save his girlfriend from danger with help from Whoopi. She won an academy award for that you
know.”

“So what does a pottery wheel have anything to do with it?”

“Well, Demi Moore is a potter and there’s this very romantic scene where she’s running the wheel and Patrick Swayze
comes over and they run the wheel together. I remember watching it when I was in high school and I thought it was the
most romantic thing ever.”

There was a pause. “So, that’s it? You know, I take it back, it is pretty silly.”

The woman pretended to be offended and lightly pushed Yunho. “What! Don’t say that! All girls love that scene! Shows
you how much you know about romance.”

This time Yunho pretended to be indignant. “What are you talking about, I know all about romance. I’m a modern day
Casanova you know.

“Oh really.”

“Yeah, I know all about walks on the beach, candle lit dinners, a dark night with bright stars…”

“Sounds like a cheesy personal ad.”

45
“Ok, I know about flowers and chocolates.”

“Nothing original.”

“Fine, I do know one thing though.”

“What’s that.”

Yunho leaned in close until his face was inches away from hers. He gently pushed away a lock of her hair and said in a
low voice. “Skinship.”

Her eyes opened wide and then she turned away, blushing. She messed with her hair and smiled nervously. “You really
are a charmer, Yunho, but you really are too young for me.”

Yunho became angry. “You always bring that up! We’re closer in age than you and Jung! He’s old enough to be our
fathers!”

The woman didn’t seem too happy either. “You will call him Teacher Jung and call me Miss. Shim. Besides I am your
teacher and you are my student! I shouldn’t even be seeing you like this! What if someone catches us?”

As she turned to step away Yunho grabbed her arm and his voice became gentler. “Stop, don’t worry student teacher
conferences are common during festivals. Besides Mira is roaming the halls for us.”

Miss Shim pulled her arm away but didn’t step back. “Why does she do this for you? What’s up with those rumors?”

Yunho dismissed the topic. “Don’t worry about it, we have our reasons. And the rumors are there to protect us.”

“Protect us? There is no need of all this acting and scheming if you would just let this rest.”

“You say that as if you don’t like seeing me.”

“I…” Miss Shim trailed off. She gave up, there was no point in lying. They both knew if she hadn’t wanted any of this she
would have stopped it a long time ago.

The truth was that Miss Shim was taken away by Yunho, ever since the first time they met. If circumstances had been
different, if they weren’t teacher and student, she wouldn’t have fought it. There was also another factor…

“You know what you should let rest? Teacher Jung. He’s no good for you and you know it. He’s even told you that!”

“The relationship between Teacher Jung and I is none of your business.”

“What are you talking about? He’s the reason why you won’t let us be! Don’t think that I don’ know that piece of junk
belongs to him.”

So he knew, she thought clutching the jar tightly. He was wrong, Teacher Jung was perfect. He was handsome, talent,
funny, and charismatic. Well, so was Yunho but Mr. Jung was an artist and not only that, a potter. And Yunho chased
after her, Mr. Jung asked to be chased.

Yunho let out a long frustrated sigh. Somehow she always managed to make him frustrated. Why did she have to be so
pretty? So pretty that she made looking insecure gorgeous. What killed him the most was that she was so close to him,
but so distant. Within reaching distance, but also galaxies away.

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He finally stood up there was nothing more to say. He had seen her and that was enough for him. “I better get going. I’ll
see you later Miss Shim.” He paused for a second wondering if it would be ok to touch her hand. He gently brushed a
finger or two on her hand silently and left.

Miss Shim sat still for awhile after he left. When she moved she looked up at her shelves where amongst different types
of pottery and art pieces there was a crooked looking cup. She stood up and grabbed it.

On her lap was the professional and obviously beautiful jar and in her hands she held an amateur clay cup. The cup was
unevenly painted and there were even some finger nail prints on the handle. Miss Shim smiled and gently turned the cup
over to read the inscription on the bottom of the cup.

“To Teacher Shim, Yunho’s first pottery piece.”

CHAPTER 7 – Fall Festival – Part 2

“Well, if it isn’t the infamous Park Mira, sovereign leader of the school and one of my favorite students. Well, when she’s
actually in class that is.”

Mira turned around and smiled at the teacher who was smoking a cigarette. Well, of all people to run in to.

“Hello Teacher Jung, what are you doing in the court yard? Do you really have to smoke? It would kill you if I got cancer
from second hand smoke.”

Mr. Jung brought out his trademark crooked smile that usually sent any girl or woman swooning. “You mean it would kill
you.”

“No, I mean what I said. If I found out I had cancer you would be dead the day after for sure. You’re the only idiot in this
world who smokes in front of me.”

“Ah, your almighty father would make sure of that of course. As usually Mira, you are quite witty and convey your status
and power naturally.”

“And as usual you are quite cocky and convey your conceitedness and ignorance naturally.”Mira never spoke to teachers
in such a cold and disrespectful tone, except to Teacher Jung. She really didn’t like his attitude and it didn’t help that he
was the one that was keeping Yunho from Miss Shim.

Mr. Jung smiled, he was one of the few people who didn’t take Mira seriously. He waved his hand lazily. “You really do
have quite a bite, Mira. To answer your original question I came here because all those mothers make me nervous.” He
eyed Mira who had put on a polite smile. “You wonder why?”

“No, I know why. Your preference for wives is no secret Teacher Jung. Your reputation has been widely known for longer
than the years I’ve been alive. Anyone else would be ashamed.”

“Do you know why Mira I have the reputations with wives and mothers?”

“I can only guess.”

“Please.”

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“If I were to consider life from your perspective and considering your inability to commit, wives would be ideal because
their relationships with you can’t last long and it all as to be kept hush hush. Am I anywhere near correct?”

Mr. Jung laughed. “Dead on as always dear Mira. Now here’s another question for you: Why do you think I let you know
all these things? Why do I let you dissect me and see all my dirty skeletons?”

Mira blinked, for the first time she didn’t have an answer. Why did he tell her so much and speak to her that way? Every
time she had to keep him away from Miss Shim and Yunho he always let on something about himself. What was it with
this man?

That man seemed to highly enjoy Mira’s lack of answers. “Well, hm I caught you didn’t I? Well, it is my duty as a teacher
to educate you and I will do so. Because, Mira, because you are the most interested person I have ever met. I believe
you are more interesting than me! Because I find it interesting that with all you know you don’t act, even though you
could. Oh yes, Mira you could have sent me to our Northern brothers by now if you wanted. Because Mira you and I are
quite similar.”

“No we’re not.” Mira was no longer smiling, in fact she was quite annoyed. “We are nothing alike. You are disgusting,
rude, vulgar, selfish, conceited, ignorant, and inconsiderate of the opposite gender. I am none of those things.”

Mr. Jung took a long drag and nodded. “Yes, but there are more things. You and I both have a certain influence on our
surroundings, whether we want it or not. You and I both obtain respect and admiration whether we deserve it or not. You
and I also like to have control, no, I take that back. You and I both need control. That is why I am an artist and in full
control of my art and you are rich and in full control of, well, life in general. Also, you and I both smile even when we’re
not happy.” The crooked smile that Mira was starting to hate came back.

Before Mira could give a reply Mr. Jung seemed to have a brilliant idea come to him. “Oh and I forgot. You’re wrong,
Mira, we are both selfish.”

“I am not!”

“Yes you are, all that you do, you do for yourself and yourself only. You only think you are not selfish because when you
have your way it just works well for others. That is one more similarity.”

“Why you-“

“Mira, there you are! Uhma has been looking all over for you!”

Mr. Jung and Mira both turned their heads to see a petite woman in fur come towards them. The figure paused at the
sight of Mr. Jung but decided to walk on anyways.

“Where have you been? You disappear too many times these days. You promised me you would show me your models!”

Mira bowed politely and when she looked up she had a smile on. “Sorry, I was just talking to one of my art teachers.
Mother, this is Mr. Jung, one of the esteemed artists the school hired to educate us Sonho students.”

“Hello Haejung.”

“What?”

“Excuse me?”

48
Boy, that Mr. Jung had quite a nerve! Mira made sure she still had a smile but she was fuming inside. Calling her mother
by her first name! Wait a minute…

“Do I know you?”

Flicking his cigarette Mr. Jung looked hurt. “Now come on, don’t tell me you forgot good old Jung Dongwan.”

“Oh my…”

Mira looked back and forth at her teacher and her mother. They knew each other? Since when?

Mira’s mother recovered from her shock but then bowed gracefully. “No, I haven’t forgotten you Mr. Jung. You are
teaching high school students now? Are you still sculpting?” Mira noticed that as polite as her mother was, there was a
tinge of coldness to her tone.

“Both. You’re looking good MRS. PARK. Anyways, you should go look at Mira’s fantastic architectural building models now.
I’ll be going.”

He gave a curt bow and turned to leave. A couple of steps ahead he paused and turned around. He managed another
drag before he spoke. “Oh I figured out another similarity Mira.”

It took all that she had to not go after him and throw him against the walls. Dreading whatever answer he would come up
with, Mira managed out a polite smile. “Oh?”

“You and I both like the color red. I’ll see you on Monday.”

When he was no longer in sight Mira’s mother turned to her. “What is he talking about? Similarities?”

Mira shook her head. “It’s nothing, he’s weird.”

Her mother bit her lip. “Well I know he’s your teacher but I want you to have little to do with him as possible. He…he is
not a good man.”

If Mr. Jung hadn’t made Mira so furious she would have questioned their relationship more. However, she just nodded.
“Don’t worry, I can’t stand that man.”

----

“You know what? I just don’t think I get this kind of stuff.”

“Yeah, I have no idea what they’re doing.”

Jungmin and Junsu stared at the interpretive dance display. Somehow the crowd has pushed them away from the others
and they decided to walk around together.

Jungmin eyed Junsu from the side. They were having a good time but Junsu seemed distracted, almost as if he was
trying to make up his mind. There had been a couple of times when she had caught him mumbling to himself. Jungmin
bit her lip nervously; did he not want to be with her? Was she boring?

“Hey.” Junsu spoke up suddenly slightly startling Jungmin. “I have something I want to show you, come on.” He grabbed

49
Jungmin’s hand quickly and started walking away before he could change his mind.

Jungmin was right, there was a lot going on Junsu’s mind. He had planned a lot for this day but the whole time he had
trouble gathering his nerve to act upon it. He had never done anything like this before and he wasn’t even sure if it would
turn out well. But if he analyzed this anymore he would have never gotten anything done, he just needed to do it and
hope for the best. Yes, he was going to do it!

“Where are we going?” Jungmin asked as Junsu pulled her up the stairs. The only answer she got was an adorable and
excited grin.

Finally Junsu stopped abruptly in front of the door to the roof. He and Jungmin were both panting slightly and he had to
wait a second before he spoke.

“Well.”

“Well?” At this point Jungmin was dying of curiosity.

“I have a surprise for you.”

“Really?”

“I want you to close your-wait never mind there’s no point, you’ll hear it right away. Um, OK well I’m just going to do it.”

“Ok…”

Junsu made out one more nervous grin and opened the door.

Even before the door was completely open Jungmin’s hair began to fly around and there was a thunderous noise. With all
the wind Jungmin could barely keep her eyes open but she couldn’t have missed what was on the roof.

It was the school’s helicopter and it was fully running, ready for lift off. Jungmin’s mouth fell open. No way, he wasn’t
going to…

“Come on! Let’s go for a ride!” Junsu yelled grabbing Jungmin’s hand again let her to the helicopter. They ducked as they
got near and the captain opened the door for them. Inside, he instructed them to put on their helmets and then began to
lift the helicopter.

“Hey, can you hear me?” A voice came through her helmet. Jungmin looked to see Junsu grinning and pointed to his
helmet. Jungmin nodded excitedly.

“Yeah! This is so awesome! I can’t believe this, I seriously can’t! Where are we going to go?”

“Have you ever seen all of Seoul at night? Look out the window!”

Jungmin let out a little happy scream as she looked out the window. Seoul’s tall buildings were lit up like Christmas trees.
It was one of the most beautiful sights she had ever seen in her entire life.

She saw the 63 building, Seoul Tower, World Cup stadium, and tons of office buildings. Junsu was a good guide,
obviously having done this before, pointing out the palaces and even the Hyundai building where his dad worked. The
only times Jungmin was ever distracted from the spectacular view was when Junsu leaned over her to point out a building
or a landmark.

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“Jungmin?”

Jungmin managed to pry her eyes away from the window for a second. “Yes?”

“Um, you’re enjoying this right?”

“Of course!”

“It’s almost time for us to go back though.”

“Aw…”

“Yeah, um…”

This time Jungmin turned towards Junsu completely and tilted her head. There was most definitely something he wanted
to spit out. “Is there something you want to say?”

“Yes.”

“Ok?”

“Can I be your boyfriend? Or, er, that is will you be my girlfriend? I mean, maybe just a date this Saturday? You know,
um, maybe lunch or something. Nothing too special. But if you don’t want to that’s OK, I mean it’ll be fine. It’s really no
big deal and I’m sure-“

“Yes!”

Junsu looked startled as if he hadn’t expected such an eager answer and Jungmin surprised herself too. But she would
have answered a lot sooner if she hadn’t been caught by surprise. She was blushing bright red but more from happiness
than embarrassment.

“Yes? Uh, to what part? Or maybe to all parts?”

This time Jungmin’s big grin matched Junsu’s famous beam. “Everything. Boyfriend, girlfriend, date on Saturday, all of it.

“Great!” His voice cracked and he clasped his helmet in embarrassment. Jungmin laughed at his cuteness and Junsu got
over his embarrassment and laughed along.

The stars were bright and the ride back was quiet except for the humming of the helicopter. A hand slowly crept towards
a smaller hand and held it for the entire ride.

CHAPTER 8 – Civil War


© pikapika.
“Eek.”

“Now don’t be scared, I do anything to you if you answer correctly.”

“Eek.”

“Now, you were there at the Fall Festival correct?”

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“Yes!”

“And you heard the songs for the contest?”

“Yes!”

“And you are a registered student of Sonho and plan on voting?”

“Yes!”

“And you agree with me that my song was totally awesome and you’ll be voting for me?”

“Eek.”

“WHAT? HEY DO YOU WANT TO DIE? I ASKED YOU A QUESTION, YOU BETTER ANSWER IT!”

Yeseul groaned out loud, this was ridiculous. Nari had dragged Yeseul and Jungmin into following her around bullying the
kids into voting for her. The poor first years she had cornered looked as if they were going to cry. “Oh just say yes and
sign the vote, it’ll be easier for all us.”

Jungmin tried to comfort the tearful girls. “Yeah, she won’t really hurt you…I don’t think.”

The braver of the first years spoke up, “But we wanted to vote for Micky oppa, his song was so sad….”

A nerve twitched on Nari’s forehead. “You…want to vote for Micky?”

“Oh dear.” Yeseul sighed.

“And not for me?” Nari whispered dangerously.

“Oh Nari unnie, please don’t do this! It’s not really fair if you scare people into voting! You won’t really be winning then!”
Jungmin pleaded for the first year’s sake.

“Jungmin…you agree that my song was the best?”

“Er…yes.” Truthfully she liked both songs, but Jungmin was closer to Nari.

“My song is the best...we all know that. There’s no question about. The voting outcome won’t change that.”

“Yes…”

“BUT I NEED TO PROVE IT TO THE WORLD AND TO THAT MICKY! ALL I AM DOING IS MAKING SURE THAT THE VOTING
RESULTS AGREE THAT MY SONG WAS THE BEST. ALL I AM DOING IS PROVING IT!”

“Ah!”

“NOW YOU FIRST YEARS BETTER SIGN YOUR VOTING TICKETS AND GIVE IT TO ME OR I’LL SIGN IT FOR YOU WITH
YOUR BLOOD!”

“Gross Nari.” Commented Yeseul as she watched the trembling first years hurriedly take out their voting papers. They

52
seem to be torn emotionally as they signed and handed it to Jungmin who put it in a box. Nari huffed and puffed and
tried to lower her blood pressure.

“OK, you guys can go now. I have to go find more students….more students…more votes….”

“Yeseul unnie, I’m scared. I don’t want to do this. I’d rather be in class than watch her terrorize everyone.” Jungmin
whispered nervously to Yeseul as they walked behind the stomping Nari. Yeseul just shrugged.

“Yeah, go and try to tell her that. And don’t think Micky is just sitting around doing nothing, nah he’s probably up to
something right now.”

“Micky oppa also threatens people?”

“No, he uses another tactic….”

“ARG I SEE STUDENTS! LET’S GO!”

---

“Hi, my name is Micky. I was wondering, perhaps I could get your votes for the song writing contest?”

Micky winced as the group of second years squealed excitedly. The things he would do to win this contest. It took all that
he had to keep smiling sweetly.

“Of course oppa! Your song made me cry! It was just so beautiful!”

“WAAAAHHHHH!”

“If I give you my ticket will you sign my backpack?”

“WAAAAHHHHH!”

“Yeah you’re going to be famous one day!”

“WAAAAHHHHH!”

“Is she going to be OK?” Micky asked pointing to a girl who was bawling. The other girls seemed to notice her for the first
time and stopped signing their voting tickets.

“Eunna, what’s wrong? Micky oppa wants your ticket! You love Micky Oppa!”

“Maybe she’s so happy that she’s crying?”

“NOOO THAT’S NOT IT! I CAN’T VOTE FOR MICKY OPPA! NARI TOOK MY VOTING TICKET THIS MORNING!”

That little…Micky cursed in his head. She moved so quick, half the students he met today had already given their tickets
to her. Or in most cases she had forced them to sign the tickets and grabbed it from them. He awkwardly patted the
sobbing girl on the head, might as well suck up to the other girls more.

“It’s alright, just tell me that you liked my song and that’s enough for me.”

53
The girl nodded. “Yes, yes, oppa, your song was so beautiful!”

“That’s all that matters. The voting doesn’t really matter, I just want people to feel what I feel when I sing the songs.
That’s what truly matters.” Micky pretended to close his eyes and placed his hands over his heart. Just as he expected
the girls looked like they were going to faint

“Oppppaaaa…”

“So mushitsuh!”

“I’m going to tell all my friends to vote for you!”

“Yeah me too!”

“That’s pointless you have the same friends! I’m going to tell ALL the students to vote for you Oppa.”

“Thank you, that…means a lot.” Micky bowed, grabbed their tickets and quickly left the girls arguing about who would
help him the most.

“That’s disgusting man, just disgusting.”

“Do musicians have any shame?”

“Wow Micky hyung, I’ve never seen you do anything like that.”

Yunho, Junsu, and Changmin came out of hiding from a corner to Micky’s great embarrassment. Those jerks with those
cocky little smirks.

“You want to win that bad?” Yunho asked crossing his arms. Micky, still embarrassed, didn’t say anything.

Junsu patted Micky on the back. “Well, I guess I can kind of understand. I’ve seen Nari around and she’s ruthless.”

This got Micky all heated up. “Yeah, and you say what I’m doing is disgusting? She’s threatening all the students! Even
the third years! I know my song is good, I know it’s better than hers! I just want to humble that crazy psychopath!” He
looked around suspiciously. “You all agree with me right? You voted for me right?”

Yunho and Changmin nodded but Junsu immediately looked away.

“Well…you see…”

“KIM JUNSU! YOU VOTED FOR ME RIGHT?”

Junsu cringed; Micky was starting to get just as scary as Nari. “I was going to…but then Nari stopped me and told me she
wasn’t going to break Jungmin’s hands if I voted for you. So I kind of had to vote for her.”

Yunho spoke up before Micky could violently react, “Wait, why did she threaten you with Jungmin?” He pointed to
Changmin. “Shouldn’t she be threatening you?”

Changmin looked a bit glum, “No, I didn’t even see Nari today. Besides Jungmin and Junsu are now going out.”

Micky forgot about his anger at Junsu for a second. “For reals?”

54
Junsu grinned sheepishly, “Yeah, I asked her during the festival last night.”

Yunho laughed and punched Junsu. “Way to go Xiah! How are you taking it ‘oppa’?”

“It’s OK I guess. I mean I’m just her brother and she can make her own decision. Not that I don’t approve…” Changmin
hastily added on to reassure Junsu. “It’s just a little weird.”

“Don’t worry about it, Changmin, everything will be alright. I’ll be good to her and we’ll still be buddies!” Junsu began to
feel a bit embarrassed but that didn’t mean he wasn’t happy. He imagined Jungmin’s cute smile and grinned widely.

“Hey speaking of which, here she comes and oh no…she’s not alone.”

The guys turned around to see the girls walking down the hall. The girls stopped when they caught sight of the boys.
Jungmin smiled shyly and waved at Junsu who returned it.

“Well, well, if it isn’t my rival: PARK YOOCHUL?”

“Who’s he?” Changmin and Jungmin asked at the same time. Micky furiously shoved his fists into his pockets.

“You don’t call me that and you aren’t worth being called my rival.”

“YEAH WELL YOU’LL BE WISHING YOU WERE MY RIVAL WHEN THEY ANNOUNCE THAT MY SONG WON THE CONTEST!”

“You’re not going to win, even with all your bullying.”

“IT’S NOT BULLYING, IT’S CALLED SUCCESSFUL PERSUASION. AND AT LEAST I’M NOT SUCKING UP TO EVERY SINGLY
PERSON I MEET!”

“I AM NOT SUCKING UP!”

Yunho interrupted before things got even more heated. “So, um, how many more votes are left?”

“Nari managed to get out a couple hundred.” Yeseul answered leafing through the voting tickets she had collected.
Jungmin stopped smiling at Junsu to look through her tickets.

“Yeah, we have a lot of the first years, the cooking club, the Taekwondo club, the Karate club, the Judo club, the archery
club…”

Yeseul continued, “Fencing kids, gymnast kids, the woman’s volleyball team, half the basket ball team-“

“What?” Micky interrupted and turned on to Yunho accusingly. “You promised me the basketball team!”

Yunho shrugged, “Yeseul got to the team before me and I could only manage to get about half. You know how Yeseul
works with the guys….”

Changmin spoke up, “Well, I did get all of the guys on my team for you Micky. And I know you also got the choir, the
band kids, the dancers, and most of the art kids. Oh I convinced the chess club, math club, and the foreign language
clubs to vote for you. Nari got the science clubs though.”

“Oh and I got most of my soccer members to vote for you, Micky. You also got most of the third years, well the ones who

55
aren’t afraid of Nari anyways.”

“So who’s left?” Yunho asked trying to think of all the groups in the school. Was there anyone else left?

“Jaejoong and Mira, I can’t find them anywhere.” Nari and Micky said at the same time to their fury.

Yeseul and Yunho shot each other worried looks. Before School started Yeseul had confronted Yunho, telling him she
knew almost everything. Although he wasn’t too happy about her knowing about his relationship with Miss Shim he was
also relieved; it was hard being the only one to know Mira and Jaejoong’s secret. The fact that Mira and Jaejoong were
missing worried them. They wouldn’t be together by any chance, were they?

Nari shot Micky one more glare before linking arms with the other girls. “Well, we’re going to go and find them first!”

“Oh, Jungmin and I were hoping to eat lunch together.” Junsu said worriedly. Jungmin nodded and looked hopefully at
Nari. Maybe she’ll let her go….

“NO WAY I NEED YOU TO HELP ME. US CONSTELLATIONS HAVE TO STICK TOGETHER! BESIDES JUNSU IS ON MICKY’S
SIDE SO HE’S THE ENEMY! YOU HAVE TO STAY AWAY FROM HIM OR YOU’LL BE SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY!”

Junsu, Jungmin, and Changmin both turned bright red at the last comment. Yeseul sighed and hit Nari on the head.
“You’re so dense, as if it wasn’t already awkward for them before without that stupid comment.”

Nari barely noticed. “I don’t care! Come on, we have to find them right now!” She tugged at the two girls. Jungmin’s face
fell as she got dragged away and Junsu didn’t look too bright and cheery either.

Micky angrily turned to Yunho. “No way, I need those two votes! Every single vote counts! You can for sure get me Mira’s
vote right? She’s your girlfriend right and you can convince her! You are the dominant one right?”

“Of course I am!” Yunho replied indignantly but no one looked too convinced. It was hard imagining anyone being
dominant over Mira.

Nari seemed to overhear as she was stomping away. She yelled over her shoulder, “Yeah? Well, I’ll
use…um…Yeseul to get Jaejoong’s vote!” So there!”

“What? What do I have anything to do with that guy?”

“You’re Yeseul; you have everything to do with every guy!”

As the girls turned a corner and disappeared Changmin muttered to himself, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

But no one heard him as Micky forced all the guys to double check all the student’s for their vote. If there was one
unused vote, Micky was going to get it. No matter what, there was no way he was going to get beat by Nari.

----

Mira wasn’t going to deny it: she was in hiding. She wasn’t in the best of moods and today it would be hard for her to
keep smiling. Maybe if she was alone for some time she would feel better, better enough to face the rest of the students.

Though it was hard, she couldn’t stop thinking and she didn’t have any hapy thoughts. She was on top of the roof looking
down at all the students, on the side without the helicopter. Since it was fall season the air was a bit nippy but she didn’t

56
really care or notice.

“Am I…selfish?” She asked out loud. That comment had been bothering her all night and morning. She didn’t think so,
but then did thinking like that make her selfish? She thought she had lived most of her life for other people and she was
sure she didn’t ask for much, then again there wasn’t much that she didn’t already have. Truly unselfish people don’t say
that they’re unselfish do they? Now, she was giving herself a headache.

“What if I am selfish? What if I’m being punished for being selfish?”

“You’re not selfish.”

She recognized the voice and didn’t turn around. “How long have you been standing there?”

“Actually I just came up right now, right before you started questioning yourself.” Jaejoong leaned against the door and
stared at Mira’s back.

“You really don’t think I’m selfish?” No, she shouldn’t be talking to him. She should be leaving now.

“No, I know you Mira. There’s no way you can be selfish.”

“How do you know?” Go, go now and leave him.

“For all your life you lived for your father. You’re happy when other people are happy and sad when other people are sad.
That’s unselfish.”

“I do?” Stop it, stop it now.

“I used to think that everything that you’re doing now was selfish. Ignoring me, faking that relationship with Yunho,
smiling all the time, I thought that was all very selfish. But now I’d like to think that you’re doing all that because you’re
not selfish.”

“I don’t understand? Isn’t what I’m doing very selfish? Isn’t it easier for me but hard on you? Aren’t you hurting?” She
couldn’t believe she was saying all of this.

“Is it so easy for you? Being selfish means doing what you want with no consideration for others. I’d like to think that
what you really want is to be with me, but you thought about our parents and maybe me and decided that this would be
the best for everyone. That makes you unselfish. Am I making any sense?”

Mira didn’t say anything but she did understand and that tore her up. He always knew her so well and they understood
each other perfectly even when there were no words. No, that was in the past, Mira had to move on. Mira had to take
control of the situation and make sure things were going right.

“Jaejoong, where have you been lately?”

“Around, I thought you wanted me to stay away?”

“No, I never wanted you to stay away.” No, that was too truthful. “I mean, I really hoped we could still be friends.”

“Why do you insist on lying?”

Mira whirled around and gasped. Jaejoong was only a foot or two away from her; when did he get so near? No, he can’t

57
know that he startled her. Control, control, control.

“Why do you insist that I lie?”

Jaejoong took the smallest of steps closer and changed the subject. “Have you voted yet? I heard that both Nari and
Micky are on a rampage looking for us. Who are you going to vote for?”

“Huh? Oh, well I could really understand Micky’s song.”

“Really? I liked Nari’s song, it gave me hope to keep fighting.”

“Maybe you should stop and give up.”

“I’ve made a promise that I wouldn’t.”

“What promise?”

“Yes, I promised I would hold on to you, no matter what happens. I’m trying to keep that promise, Mira, I’m trying so
hard.”

Jaejoong was only inches away from Mira now and she cursed herself for letting him so near. She should have stopped
this from the very beginning but she had no control. Why was this so frustrating to her? She never had any control when
it came to him. And she wanted him closer, she wanted him so close. She wanted to know if he still wore the cologne she
had given him. She wanted to know if he was still so warm.

“AH THERE YOU ARE!”

Jaejoong turned around and wanted to groan. Just when he thought he was making some progress with Mira in barges
Nari and the girls.

“YOU GUYS WILL VOTE ME YES? BOTH OF YOU? DON’T VOTE FOR MICKY!”

Why was she so clueless and dense? Yeseul wanted to smack Nari but didn’t see a point. She studied the two intensely,
they were way too close together for their situation.

Mira smiled. “Hi guys, how are you?”

“DON’T YOU DARE NOT ANSWER MY QUESTION MIRA!”

Even Jungmin couldn’t help but look at Nari helplessly. How could she not see that she had just interrupted something
very serious? Even Jungmin could sense something was going on and she was often the clueless one.

“There’s no point Nari. We’re voting for different people so it will cancel out.”

“Wait a minute…cancel each other out? WHAT? MIRA ARE YOU NOT MY FRIEND? I THOUGHT YOU WANTED ME TO WIN!”

Mira had enough with Nari’s ignorance. “That’s enough Nari I don’t want to deal you with right now. I want you to go
back and tell Micky what I’ve just told you and go bother some other poor student.”

“WHAT? WHY YOU…”

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“Shut up!” Yeseul snapped. “Jungmin.” She ordered. Jungmin nodded and gently but firmly pulled Nari down the stairs.
Yeseul eyed Jaejoong and Mira.

“Perhaps Mira, you should come down with us. Calm Nari down and tell Micky yourself.” She was trying to give Mira an
excuse to leave him, she didn’t think that the two should be alone.

Mira seemed to consider it but then she shook her head. “Give me a second, I just have to wrap something up with
Jaejoong here, don’t worry.”

Her best friend hesitated for a second but finally nodded and headed down the stairs leaving the two alone once more.

“I thought you would have left with her.” Jaejoong said softly.

“I’m going to, I just want to let you know something.” Mira took a deep breath, she had been weak today and she needed
to make it up. “You’re right, this isn’t easy for me. In fact it’s so painful, it hurts so much.”

“Mira…”

“So please don’t make this tough for me. Break that promise. Please don’t make it hard for us to stay this way. And
you’re wrong, I am very selfish. I am telling you to do this because it’ll be easier for me, just me. So you were wrong.
Now if you’ll excuse me.”

With that Mira hurried to the stairs and slammed the door behind her. She had done the right thing and she would never
let him get to her again. No, there would be no more weak moments for Mira. That was the last time for sure.

Jaejoong didn’t move. He just stood there alone on top of a roof.

He just stood there.

Alone.

----

“A tie?”

“A TIE? YOU LITTLE LIAR COME HERE AND SHOW ME THE PAPER! THERE CAN’T BE A TIE!”

Nari leaned over the desk and grabbed the poor student council president by the collar and shook him roughly.

“No (choke), it’s true!” He managed out his glasses falling off his face. “I counted it all (choke) myself, twice!”

“SO NOW WHAT?” Yelled Micky in utter frustration. The other kids looked at each, unsure what to do. They all had been
hoping the results, whatever it may be, would end all the insanity in the school.

“Let him go Nari, we need our council president.” Mira came in the room and waved an envelope. “I hope you guys
weren’t waiting for me, I was in the office getting some information.”

The little liar, Yeseul thought to herself. She was talking as she had just been in the office all day instead of with
Jaejoong. Even for all the years Yeseul had known her it never ceased to amaze her that Mira could put a smile on her
face no matter what was going on. If Yeseul was in Mira’s situation she would have never managed out one small smile.

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“I have here, the solution to our little tie.” Mira smiled at everyone and tapped the envelope. “But what are the chances
that there be a tie? I mean you would think there would be some difference between the votes huh? It’s almost as if your
songs are so different that they can’t really be compared and-”

“SHUT UP AND TELL US THE SOLUTION.” Nari roared.

Mira looked unfazed. “Oh, OK calm down! So Mr. President tell me, what is the number of currently enrolled students at
Sonho High?”

“1,267.”

“Hey that’s an odd number! There can’t be a tie!” Jungmin exclaimed.

“How many votes did you manage to collect?”

“1,262.”

“WHO DIDN’T VOTE?” Asked Micky frantically looking around as if there would be 5 students hiding in the office.

“Well, there’s two students who are on an exchange student program.” Informed the president looking a bit more
confident than when he was being shaken back and forth.

“So that leaves 1,264. We’re missing three more students.” Yunho noted. Mira nodded brightly.

“Well, there’s me and Jaejoong, we didn’t vote. It doesn’t matter though because we’ll cancel each other out.”

Micky and Nari both glared at Mira who didn’t seem to notice. She continued on, “So that means there we counted 1,266
students leaving one student who didn’t vote. This is where the envelope that I’m holding comes into play.”

Mira opened the envelope as slowly as she could to Nari and Micky’s torture. They deserved it though, through their crazy
antics they had turned the whole school upside down. There had been too much disorder, so unlike Sonho.

“Student #628454 Park Choongjae. He didn’t come to school today but he is still eligible to vote. I have his address right
here-“

Mira was cut off as Micky and Nari lunged for the envelope. Childishly they began to tug at the paper, both trying to keep
it his or her self. Mira made a face and hit them both on the head.

“Oh stop it you! I want you both to go to his house and get the kid’s vote. Play fair and the vote doesn’t count if you guys
don’t bring it back with his signature. Now go!”

Both clutching the envelope Nari and Micky ran out of the office and students watched in relief as they ran out of the
school grounds.

“Mira…” Yunho said eyeing Mira who had a mischievous grin. “Are you up to something?”

She put a finger to her lips and looked happily guilty. “Heehee, let’s just say there’s this tidbit of information I ‘forgot’ to
mention. Oh Mira you’re so bad!”

---

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“VOTE FOR ME PARK CHOONGJAE!”

“AAAHHH!” A boy screamed as he was roughly shaken awake by a scary girl. She was pushed aside and a guy pushed
him down and stroke his head.

“Hey how are you feeling? Do you need anything? Vote for me.”

The guy turned to Nari. “Are you psycho?” He turned to Micky. “Are you gay?”

“Heehee.” Nari let out as Micky looked really offended. The guy shook his head and couldn’t believe that the two were
standing at the foot of his bed.

“What are you two doing here? Aren’t you guys Nari and Micky from school? What do you guys want?”

“I need you to vote for me, I need you to tell me my song is better than his.”

“No, vote for me. Everyone knows my song is better.”

“I wasn’t even there at the festival! I don’t even know what your songs sound like.”

“EVERYDAY I AM UNDEFEATED IN A HUNDRED BATTLES. EVEN QUITE EASY WORK CAN MAKE ME FALL. ALL THAT WORK
WON’T BE COMPLETE!” Nari sang loudly striking an air guitar.

Micky wildly looked around and grabbed a toy piano and began blowing into it as loud as he could. However he stopped
when he realized that there was no way he could blow and sing at the same time. Frustrated, he gave up and sang his
song on the top of his voice trying to drown out Nari.

“HEARING THE SOUND OF THE MORNING COME, I FALL ASLEEP. AS ALWAYS HAVE YOU SPEND THE DAY FORGETTING
ME? HOW CAN YOU BE OKAY WITH IT SO EASILY?”

Nari was not to be outdone. “I CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE. I STOP AT THE FORK IN THE ROAD, ONLY ONE CHOICE
REMAINS.”

“IT’LL ONLY LAST FOR A WHILE. IT’S OKAY, I’LL BE HERE LIKE THIS. I CAN STAND MYSELF WITHOUT YOU.”

“SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!”

The guy hoarsely screamed. Nari and Micky both stopped singing and looked hopefully at the exasperated student.

“Aren’t you guys supposed to be cool? What is wrong with you guys? Why are you so desperate?”

Micky felt a little ashamed of himself and even more embarrassed. The kid was right, he was making a fool of himself,
trying too hard to get that vote. He hated to think about it but he was acting just as crazy and obnoxious as Nari.

“This, this means a lot to me.” Nari said in a voice Micky could almost call serious. “This means so much to me that I’ll
bully students into voting for me, even if they’re scared of me for it. It means so much that I’ll push my friends to do
things that they don’t want to do. I’ll even barge into a house belonging to a kid I don’t know and sing my lungs out. I
already know that my song is good, there’s no doubting that. I just need something concrete to prove something to

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someone I want to defeat.”

Micky and other student stared at the very somber Nari who instead of her wearing usual cocky smile, looked extremely
determined. Micky had never seen Nari be so serious before and it was almost…normal.

“It means a lot to me too.” Micky agreed but turned his face away from her. Nari grew embarrassed of her unusual
seriousness and brought back her cocky smile. She grabbed the cup of water on the kid’s bed and gulped it.

“That singing was making my throat hurt though.”

“Ah.”

“What?” Asked Micky and Nari in unison. Had he decided? Was he going to choose one of them? Was there going to be a
winner to this long battle?

“Ah, you shouldn’t have just done that.”

“Done what?” Nari asked growing suspicious.

“And you shouldn’t have been playing my melodica.” Choongjae turned to Micky looking guilty. Both Nari and Micky
started to feel a little worried.

“There’s a reason why I’m not at school today. I have Mono.”

----

“You’re kidding? Well, that’s interesting news! Thanks Choongjae I hope you feel better soon! I’m sorry if those two
disrupted your rest. Ok, byebye!”

“Well? Did he vote?” Yeseul asked. The rest of the Royalty, except Jaejoong, was still in the office looking at Mira who had
closed her cell phone. The student council president and his officers were also in the room and interested.

“Nope, he never got a chance. He never got the voting papers.”

“Oh no.” Junsu groaned. “I knew it, they killed each other even before they got to his house. Now we’ll have to go find
their mangled bodies.”

Jungmin clutched his arm worriedly. As scary Nari and Micky had been she didn’t want her friends to be hurt. “Are you
serious? Are they going to be alright?”

Mira shook her head and laughed. “Nope! They got there alright but they ran out when they found out he had Mono.”

Changmin’s mouth dropped open. “You sent them to a kid who has the Mono?!”

Mira shrugged innocently. “Maybe?”

Yeseul threw up her hands. “You really are crazy aren’t you? Even more crazier than those music freaks!”

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“Wow, I would have never thought of something like that, impressive.” Yunho nodded looking at Mira in admiration. The
other kids looked exasperated as Mira giggled and made the peace sign.

----

“Hello?” Micky croaked. A hoarse whisper came through the other end. “What?”

“I said I was going to kill you! I feel horrible and it’s all your fault!”

Micky coughed, that Nari. Even when he was sick she wouldn’t leave him alone. “Shut up I have it too and if you hadn’t
started the whole thing neither of us would be like this.”

He heard Nari moan on the other end. “Shut up, when I’m better I’m going to kill you, then Mira.”

“No, let’s kill Mira first.”

“Fine. We both kill Mira then go after each other.”

“Sound good to me, I feel better just thinking about what I’m going to do to her.”

He heard more hoarse whispering he couldn’t make out. “What? I can barely hear you.”

“I said I hope you feel better.”

Micky paused. What was this? Was he hallucinating now? Did Nari say something nice?

“So I can properly beat you with my songs. You know that kid was going to vote for me.”

“No he wasn’t, he liked my song.”

“He couldn’t hear your song!”

“Because you were screaming!”

“I HATE YOU.”

“I HATE YOU TOO.”

“GOOD BYE!”

Click. Micky coughed some more and pulled the cover over his head. That Nari! How dare she hang up on him? Well he
hoped she felt better soon too so he could properly show her where she belonged!

Exhausted from his hoarse screaming, Micky promptly fell asleep.

CHAPTER 8 – Civil War

“Eek.”

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“Now don’t be scared, I do anything to you if you answer correctly.”

“Eek.”

“Now, you were there at the Fall Festival correct?”

“Yes!”

“And you heard the songs for the contest?”

“Yes!”

“And you are a registered student of Sonho and plan on voting?”

“Yes!”

“And you agree with me that my song was totally awesome and you’ll be voting for me?”

“Eek.”

“WHAT? HEY DO YOU WANT TO DIE? I ASKED YOU A QUESTION, YOU BETTER ANSWER IT!”

Yeseul groaned out loud, this was ridiculous. Nari had dragged Yeseul and Jungmin into following her around bullying the
kids into voting for her. The poor first years she had cornered looked as if they were going to cry. “Oh just say yes and
sign the vote, it’ll be easier for all us.”

Jungmin tried to comfort the tearful girls. “Yeah, she won’t really hurt you…I don’t think.”

The braver of the first years spoke up, “But we wanted to vote for Micky oppa, his song was so sad….”

A nerve twitched on Nari’s forehead. “You…want to vote for Micky?”

“Oh dear.” Yeseul sighed.

“And not for me?” Nari whispered dangerously.

“Oh Nari unnie, please don’t do this! It’s not really fair if you scare people into voting! You won’t really be winning then!”
Jungmin pleaded for the first year’s sake.

“Jungmin…you agree that my song was the best?”

“Er…yes.” Truthfully she liked both songs, but Jungmin was closer to Nari.

“My song is the best...we all know that. There’s no question about. The voting outcome won’t change that.”

“Yes…”

“BUT I NEED TO PROVE IT TO THE WORLD AND TO THAT MICKY! ALL I AM DOING IS MAKING SURE THAT THE VOTING
RESULTS AGREE THAT MY SONG WAS THE BEST. ALL I AM DOING IS PROVING IT!”

“Ah!”

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“NOW YOU FIRST YEARS BETTER SIGN YOUR VOTING TICKETS AND GIVE IT TO ME OR I’LL SIGN IT FOR YOU WITH
YOUR BLOOD!”

“Gross Nari.” Commented Yeseul as she watched the trembling first years hurriedly take out their voting papers. They
seem to be torn emotionally as they signed and handed it to Jungmin who put it in a box. Nari huffed and puffed and
tried to lower her blood pressure.

“OK, you guys can go now. I have to go find more students….more students…more votes….”

“Yeseul unnie, I’m scared. I don’t want to do this. I’d rather be in class than watch her terrorize everyone.” Jungmin
whispered nervously to Yeseul as they walked behind the stomping Nari. Yeseul just shrugged.

“Yeah, go and try to tell her that. And don’t think Micky is just sitting around doing nothing, nah he’s probably up to
something right now.”

“Micky oppa also threatens people?”

“No, he uses another tactic….”

“ARG I SEE STUDENTS! LET’S GO!”

----

“Hi, my name is Micky. I was wondering, perhaps I could get your votes for the song writing contest?”

Micky winced as the group of second years squealed excitedly. The things he would do to win this contest. It took all that
he had to keep smiling sweetly.

“Of course oppa! Your song made me cry! It was just so beautiful!”

“WAAAAHHHHH!”

“If I give you my ticket will you sign my backpack?”

“WAAAAHHHHH!”

“Yeah you’re going to be famous one day!”

“WAAAAHHHHH!”

“Is she going to be OK?” Micky asked pointing to a girl who was bawling. The other girls seemed to notice her for the first
time and stopped signing their voting tickets.

“Eunna, what’s wrong? Micky oppa wants your ticket! You love Micky Oppa!”

“Maybe she’s so happy that she’s crying?”

“NOOO THAT’S NOT IT! I CAN’T VOTE FOR MICKY OPPA! NARI TOOK MY VOTING TICKET THIS MORNING!”

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That little…Micky cursed in his head. She moved so quick, half the students he met today had already given their tickets
to her. Or in most cases she had forced them to sign the tickets and grabbed it from them. He awkwardly patted the
sobbing girl on the head, might as well suck up to the other girls more.

“It’s alright, just tell me that you liked my song and that’s enough for me.”

The girl nodded. “Yes, yes, oppa, your song was so beautiful!”

“That’s all that matters. The voting doesn’t really matter, I just want people to feel what I feel when I sing the songs.
That’s what truly matters.” Micky pretended to close his eyes and placed his hands over his heart. Just as he expected
the girls looked like they were going to faint

“Oppppaaaa…”

“So mushitsuh!”

“I’m going to tell all my friends to vote for you!”

“Yeah me too!”

“That’s pointless you have the same friends! I’m going to tell ALL the students to vote for you Oppa.”

“Thank you, that…means a lot.” Micky bowed, grabbed their tickets and quickly left the girls arguing about who would
help him the most.

“That’s disgusting man, just disgusting.”

“Do musicians have any shame?”

“Wow Micky hyung, I’ve never seen you do anything like that.”

Yunho, Junsu, and Changmin came out of hiding from a corner to Micky’s great embarrassment. Those jerks with those
cocky little smirks.

“You want to win that bad?” Yunho asked crossing his arms. Micky, still embarrassed, didn’t say anything.

Junsu patted Micky on the back. “Well, I guess I can kind of understand. I’ve seen Nari around and she’s ruthless.”

This got Micky all heated up. “Yeah, and you say what I’m doing is disgusting? She’s threatening all the students! Even
the third years! I know my song is good, I know it’s better than hers! I just want to humble that crazy psychopath!” He
looked around suspiciously. “You all agree with me right? You voted for me right?”

Yunho and Changmin nodded but Junsu immediately looked away.

“Well…you see…”

“KIM JUNSU! YOU VOTED FOR ME RIGHT?”

Junsu cringed; Micky was starting to get just as scary as Nari. “I was going to…but then Nari stopped me and told me she
wasn’t going to break Jungmin’s hands if I voted for you. So I kind of had to vote for her.”

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Yunho spoke up before Micky could violently react, “Wait, why did she threaten you with Jungmin?” He pointed to
Changmin. “Shouldn’t she be threatening you?”

Changmin looked a bit glum, “No, I didn’t even see Nari today. Besides Jungmin and Junsu are now going out.”

Micky forgot about his anger at Junsu for a second. “For reals?”

Junsu grinned sheepishly, “Yeah, I asked her during the festival last night.”

Yunho laughed and punched Junsu. “Way to go Xiah! How are you taking it ‘oppa’?”

“It’s OK I guess. I mean I’m just her brother and she can make her own decision. Not that I don’t approve…” Changmin
hastily added on to reassure Junsu. “It’s just a little weird.”

“Don’t worry about it, Changmin, everything will be alright. I’ll be good to her and we’ll still be buddies!” Junsu began to
feel a bit embarrassed but that didn’t mean he wasn’t happy. He imagined Jungmin’s cute smile and grinned widely.

“Hey speaking of which, here she comes and oh no…she’s not alone.”

The guys turned around to see the girls walking down the hall. The girls stopped when they caught sight of the boys.
Jungmin smiled shyly and waved at Junsu who returned it.

“Well, well, if it isn’t my rival: PARK YOOCHUL?”

“Who’s he?” Changmin and Jungmin asked at the same time. Micky furiously shoved his fists into his pockets.

“You don’t call me that and you aren’t worth being called my rival.”

“YEAH WELL YOU’LL BE WISHING YOU WERE MY RIVAL WHEN THEY ANNOUNCE THAT MY SONG WON THE CONTEST!”

“You’re not going to win, even with all your bullying.”

“IT’S NOT BULLYING, IT’S CALLED SUCCESSFUL PERSUASION. AND AT LEAST I’M NOT SUCKING UP TO EVERY SINGLY
PERSON I MEET!”

“I AM NOT SUCKING UP!”

Yunho interrupted before things got even more heated. “So, um, how many more votes are left?”

“Nari managed to get out a couple hundred.” Yeseul answered leafing through the voting tickets she had collected.
Jungmin stopped smiling at Junsu to look through her tickets.

“Yeah, we have a lot of the first years, the cooking club, the Taekwondo club, the Karate club, the Judo club, the archery
club…”

Yeseul continued, “Fencing kids, gymnast kids, the woman’s volleyball team, half the basket ball team-“

“What?” Micky interrupted and turned on to Yunho accusingly. “You promised me the basketball team!”

Yunho shrugged, “Yeseul got to the team before me and I could only manage to get about half. You know how Yeseul
works with the guys….”

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Changmin spoke up, “Well, I did get all of the guys on my team for you Micky. And I know you also got the choir, the
band kids, the dancers, and most of the art kids. Oh I convinced the chess club, math club, and the foreign language
clubs to vote for you. Nari got the science clubs though.”

“Oh and I got most of my soccer members to vote for you, Micky. You also got most of the third years, well the ones who
aren’t afraid of Nari anyways.”

“So who’s left?” Yunho asked trying to think of all the groups in the school. Was there anyone else left?

“Jaejoong and Mira, I can’t find them anywhere.” Nari and Micky said at the same time to their fury.

Yeseul and Yunho shot each other worried looks. Before School started Yeseul had confronted Yunho, telling him she
knew almost everything. Although he wasn’t too happy about her knowing about his relationship with Miss Shim he was
also relieved; it was hard being the only one to know Mira and Jaejoong’s secret. The fact that Mira and Jaejoong were
missing worried them. They wouldn’t be together by any chance, were they?

Nari shot Micky one more glare before linking arms with the other girls. “Well, we’re going to go and find them first!”

“Oh, Jungmin and I were hoping to eat lunch together.” Junsu said worriedly. Jungmin nodded and looked hopefully at
Nari. Maybe she’ll let her go….

“NO WAY I NEED YOU TO HELP ME. US CONSTELLATIONS HAVE TO STICK TOGETHER! BESIDES JUNSU IS ON MICKY’S
SIDE SO HE’S THE ENEMY! YOU HAVE TO STAY AWAY FROM HIM OR YOU’LL BE SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY!”

Junsu, Jungmin, and Changmin both turned bright red at the last comment. Yeseul sighed and hit Nari on the head.
“You’re so dense, as if it wasn’t already awkward for them before without that stupid comment.”

Nari barely noticed. “I don’t care! Come on, we have to find them right now!” She tugged at the two girls. Jungmin’s face
fell as she got dragged away and Junsu didn’t look too bright and cheery either.

Micky angrily turned to Yunho. “No way, I need those two votes! Every single vote counts! You can for sure get me Mira’s
vote right? She’s your girlfriend right and you can convince her! You are the dominant one right?”

“Of course I am!” Yunho replied indignantly but no one looked too convinced. It was hard imagining anyone being
dominant over Mira.

Nari seemed to overhear as she was stomping away. She yelled over her shoulder, “Yeah? Well, I’ll
use…um…Yeseul to get Jaejoong’s vote!” So there!”

“What? What do I have anything to do with that guy?”

“You’re Yeseul; you have everything to do with every guy!”

As the girls turned a corner and disappeared Changmin muttered to himself, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

But no one heard him as Micky forced all the guys to double check all the student’s for their vote. If there was one
unused vote, Micky was going to get it. No matter what, there was no way he was going to get beat by Nari.

----

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Mira wasn’t going to deny it: she was in hiding. She wasn’t in the best of moods and today it would be hard for her to
keep smiling. Maybe if she was alone for some time she would feel better, better enough to face the rest of the students.

Though it was hard, she couldn’t stop thinking and she didn’t have any hapy thoughts. She was on top of the roof looking
down at all the students, on the side without the helicopter. Since it was fall season the air was a bit nippy but she didn’t
really care or notice.

“Am I…selfish?” She asked out loud. That comment had been bothering her all night and morning. She didn’t think so,
but then did thinking like that make her selfish? She thought she had lived most of her life for other people and she was
sure she didn’t ask for much, then again there wasn’t much that she didn’t already have. Truly unselfish people don’t say
that they’re unselfish do they? Now, she was giving herself a headache.

“What if I am selfish? What if I’m being punished for being selfish?”

“You’re not selfish.”

She recognized the voice and didn’t turn around. “How long have you been standing there?”

“Actually I just came up right now, right before you started questioning yourself.” Jaejoong leaned against the door and
stared at Mira’s back.

“You really don’t think I’m selfish?” No, she shouldn’t be talking to him. She should be leaving now.

“No, I know you Mira. There’s no way you can be selfish.”

“How do you know?” Go, go now and leave him.

“For all your life you lived for your father. You’re happy when other people are happy and sad when other people are sad.
That’s unselfish.”

“I do?” Stop it, stop it now.

“I used to think that everything that you’re doing now was selfish. Ignoring me, faking that relationship with Yunho,
smiling all the time, I thought that was all very selfish. But now I’d like to think that you’re doing all that because you’re
not selfish.”

“I don’t understand? Isn’t what I’m doing very selfish? Isn’t it easier for me but hard on you? Aren’t you hurting?” She
couldn’t believe she was saying all of this.

“Is it so easy for you? Being selfish means doing what you want with no consideration for others. I’d like to think that
what you really want is to be with me, but you thought about our parents and maybe me and decided that this would be
the best for everyone. That makes you unselfish. Am I making any sense?”

Mira didn’t say anything but she did understand and that tore her up. He always knew her so well and they understood
each other perfectly even when there were no words. No, that was in the past, Mira had to move on. Mira had to take
control of the situation and make sure things were going right.

“Jaejoong, where have you been lately?”

“Around, I thought you wanted me to stay away?”

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“No, I never wanted you to stay away.” No, that was too truthful. “I mean, I really hoped we could still be friends.”

“Why do you insist on lying?”

Mira whirled around and gasped. Jaejoong was only a foot or two away from her; when did he get so near? No, he can’t
know that he startled her. Control, control, control.

“Why do you insist that I lie?”

Jaejoong took the smallest of steps closer and changed the subject. “Have you voted yet? I heard that both Nari and
Micky are on a rampage looking for us. Who are you going to vote for?”

“Huh? Oh, well I could really understand Micky’s song.”

“Really? I liked Nari’s song, it gave me hope to keep fighting.”

“Maybe you should stop and give up.”

“I’ve made a promise that I wouldn’t.”

“What promise?”

“Yes, I promised I would hold on to you, no matter what happens. I’m trying to keep that promise, Mira, I’m trying so
hard.”

Jaejoong was only inches away from Mira now and she cursed herself for letting him so near. She should have stopped
this from the very beginning but she had no control. Why was this so frustrating to her? She never had any control when
it came to him. And she wanted him closer, she wanted him so close. She wanted to know if he still wore the cologne she
had given him. She wanted to know if he was still so warm.

“AH THERE YOU ARE!”

Jaejoong turned around and wanted to groan. Just when he thought he was making some progress with Mira in barges
Nari and the girls.

“YOU GUYS WILL VOTE ME YES? BOTH OF YOU? DON’T VOTE FOR MICKY!”

Why was she so clueless and dense? Yeseul wanted to smack Nari but didn’t see a point. She studied the two intensely,
they were way too close together for their situation.

Mira smiled. “Hi guys, how are you?”

“DON’T YOU DARE NOT ANSWER MY QUESTION MIRA!”

Even Jungmin couldn’t help but look at Nari helplessly. How could she not see that she had just interrupted something
very serious? Even Jungmin could sense something was going on and she was often the clueless one.

“There’s no point Nari. We’re voting for different people so it will cancel out.”

“Wait a minute…cancel each other out? WHAT? MIRA ARE YOU NOT MY FRIEND? I THOUGHT YOU WANTED ME TO WIN!”

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Mira had enough with Nari’s ignorance. “That’s enough Nari I don’t want to deal you with right now. I want you to go
back and tell Micky what I’ve just told you and go bother some other poor student.”

“WHAT? WHY YOU…”

“Shut up!” Yeseul snapped. “Jungmin.” She ordered. Jungmin nodded and gently but firmly pulled Nari down the stairs.
Yeseul eyed Jaejoong and Mira.

“Perhaps Mira, you should come down with us. Calm Nari down and tell Micky yourself.” She was trying to give Mira an
excuse to leave him, she didn’t think that the two should be alone.

Mira seemed to consider it but then she shook her head. “Give me a second, I just have to wrap something up with
Jaejoong here, don’t worry.”

Her best friend hesitated for a second but finally nodded and headed down the stairs leaving the two alone once more.

“I thought you would have left with her.” Jaejoong said softly.

“I’m going to, I just want to let you know something.” Mira took a deep breath, she had been weak today and she needed
to make it up. “You’re right, this isn’t easy for me. In fact it’s so painful, it hurts so much.”

“Mira…”

“So please don’t make this tough for me. Break that promise. Please don’t make it hard for us to stay this way. And
you’re wrong, I am very selfish. I am telling you to do this because it’ll be easier for me, just me. So you were wrong.
Now if you’ll excuse me.”

With that Mira hurried to the stairs and slammed the door behind her. She had done the right thing and she would never
let him get to her again. No, there would be no more weak moments for Mira. That was the last time for sure.

Jaejoong didn’t move. He just stood there alone on top of a roof.

He just stood there.

Alone.

----

“A tie?”

“A TIE? YOU LITTLE LIAR COME HERE AND SHOW ME THE PAPER! THERE CAN’T BE A TIE!”

Nari leaned over the desk and grabbed the poor student council president by the collar and shook him roughly.

“No (choke), it’s true!” He managed out his glasses falling off his face. “I counted it all (choke) myself, twice!”

“SO NOW WHAT?” Yelled Micky in utter frustration. The other kids looked at each, unsure what to do. They all had been
hoping the results, whatever it may be, would end all the insanity in the school.

“Let him go Nari, we need our council president.” Mira came in the room and waved an envelope. “I hope you guys
weren’t waiting for me, I was in the office getting some information.”

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The little liar, Yeseul thought to herself. She was talking as she had just been in the office all day instead of with
Jaejoong. Even for all the years Yeseul had known her it never ceased to amaze her that Mira could put a smile on her
face no matter what was going on. If Yeseul was in Mira’s situation she would have never managed out one small smile.

“I have here, the solution to our little tie.” Mira smiled at everyone and tapped the envelope. “But what are the chances
that there be a tie? I mean you would think there would be some difference between the votes huh? It’s almost as if your
songs are so different that they can’t really be compared and-”

“SHUT UP AND TELL US THE SOLUTION.” Nari roared.

Mira looked unfazed. “Oh, OK calm down! So Mr. President tell me, what is the number of currently enrolled students at
Sonho High?”

“1,267.”

“Hey that’s an odd number! There can’t be a tie!” Jungmin exclaimed.

“How many votes did you manage to collect?”

“1,262.”

“WHO DIDN’T VOTE?” Asked Micky frantically looking around as if there would be 5 students hiding in the office.

“Well, there’s two students who are on an exchange student program.” Informed the president looking a bit more
confident than when he was being shaken back and forth.

“So that leaves 1,264. We’re missing three more students.” Yunho noted. Mira nodded brightly.

“Well, there’s me and Jaejoong, we didn’t vote. It doesn’t matter though because we’ll cancel each other out.”

Micky and Nari both glared at Mira who didn’t seem to notice. She continued on, “So that means there we counted 1,266
students leaving one student who didn’t vote. This is where the envelope that I’m holding comes into play.”

Mira opened the envelope as slowly as she could to Nari and Micky’s torture. They deserved it though, through their crazy
antics they had turned the whole school upside down. There had been too much disorder, so unlike Sonho.

“Student #628454 Park Choongjae. He didn’t come to school today but he is still eligible to vote. I have his address right
here-“

Mira was cut off as Micky and Nari lunged for the envelope. Childishly they began to tug at the paper, both trying to keep
it his or her self. Mira made a face and hit them both on the head.

“Oh stop it you! I want you both to go to his house and get the kid’s vote. Play fair and the vote doesn’t count if you guys
don’t bring it back with his signature. Now go!”

Both clutching the envelope Nari and Micky ran out of the office and students watched in relief as they ran out of the
school grounds.

“Mira…” Yunho said eyeing Mira who had a mischievous grin. “Are you up to something?”

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She put a finger to her lips and looked happily guilty. “Heehee, let’s just say there’s this tidbit of information I ‘forgot’ to
mention. Oh Mira you’re so bad!”

----

“VOTE FOR ME PARK CHOONGJAE!”

“AAAHHH!” A boy screamed as he was roughly shaken awake by a scary girl. She was pushed aside and a guy pushed
him down and stroke his head.

“Hey how are you feeling? Do you need anything? Vote for me.”

The guy turned to Nari. “Are you psycho?” He turned to Micky. “Are you gay?”

“Heehee.” Nari let out as Micky looked really offended. The guy shook his head and couldn’t believe that the two were
standing at the foot of his bed.

“What are you two doing here? Aren’t you guys Nari and Micky from school? What do you guys want?”

“I need you to vote for me, I need you to tell me my song is better than his.”

“No, vote for me. Everyone knows my song is better.”

“I wasn’t even there at the festival! I don’t even know what your songs sound like.”

“EVERYDAY I AM UNDEFEATED IN A HUNDRED BATTLES. EVEN QUITE EASY WORK CAN MAKE ME FALL. ALL THAT WORK
WON’T BE COMPLETE!” Nari sang loudly striking an air guitar.

Micky wildly looked around and grabbed a toy piano and began blowing into it as loud as he could. However he stopped
when he realized that there was no way he could blow and sing at the same time. Frustrated, he gave up and sang his
song on the top of his voice trying to drown out Nari.

“HEARING THE SOUND OF THE MORNING COME, I FALL ASLEEP. AS ALWAYS HAVE YOU SPEND THE DAY FORGETTING
ME? HOW CAN YOU BE OKAY WITH IT SO EASILY?”

Nari was not to be outdone. “I CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE. I STOP AT THE FORK IN THE ROAD, ONLY ONE CHOICE
REMAINS.”

“IT’LL ONLY LAST FOR A WHILE. IT’S OKAY, I’LL BE HERE LIKE THIS. I CAN STAND MYSELF WITHOUT YOU.”

“SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!”

The guy hoarsely screamed. Nari and Micky both stopped singing and looked hopefully at the exasperated student.

“Aren’t you guys supposed to be cool? What is wrong with you guys? Why are you so desperate?”

Micky felt a little ashamed of himself and even more embarrassed. The kid was right, he was making a fool of himself,
trying too hard to get that vote. He hated to think about it but he was acting just as crazy and obnoxious as Nari.

“This, this means a lot to me.” Nari said in a voice Micky could almost call serious. “This means so much to me that I’ll
bully students into voting for me, even if they’re scared of me for it. It means so much that I’ll push my friends to do

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things that they don’t want to do. I’ll even barge into a house belonging to a kid I don’t know and sing my lungs out. I
already know that my song is good, there’s no doubting that. I just need something concrete to prove something to
someone I want to defeat.”

Micky and other student stared at the very somber Nari who instead of her wearing usual cocky smile, looked extremely
determined. Micky had never seen Nari be so serious before and it was almost…normal.

“It means a lot to me too.” Micky agreed but turned his face away from her. Nari grew embarrassed of her unusual
seriousness and brought back her cocky smile. She grabbed the cup of water on the kid’s bed and gulped it.

“That singing was making my throat hurt though.”

“Ah.”

“What?” Asked Micky and Nari in unison. Had he decided? Was he going to choose one of them? Was there going to be a
winner to this long battle?

“Ah, you shouldn’t have just done that.”

“Done what?” Nari asked growing suspicious.

“And you shouldn’t have been playing my melodica.” Choongjae turned to Micky looking guilty. Both Nari and Micky
started to feel a little worried.

“There’s a reason why I’m not at school today. I have Mono.”

----

“You’re kidding? Well, that’s interesting news! Thanks Choongjae I hope you feel better soon! I’m sorry if those two
disrupted your rest. Ok, byebye!”

“Well? Did he vote?” Yeseul asked. The rest of the Royalty, except Jaejoong, was still in the office looking at Mira who had
closed her cell phone. The student council president and his officers were also in the room and interested.

“Nope, he never got a chance. He never got the voting papers.”

“Oh no.” Junsu groaned. “I knew it, they killed each other even before they got to his house. Now we’ll have to go find
their mangled bodies.”

Jungmin clutched his arm worriedly. As scary Nari and Micky had been she didn’t want her friends to be hurt. “Are you
serious? Are they going to be alright?”

Mira shook her head and laughed. “Nope! They got there alright but they ran out when they found out he had Mono.”

Changmin’s mouth dropped open. “You sent them to a kid who has the Mono?!”

Mira shrugged innocently. “Maybe?”

Yeseul threw up her hands. “You really are crazy aren’t you? Even more crazier than those music freaks!”

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“Wow, I would have never thought of something like that, impressive.” Yunho nodded looking at Mira in admiration. The
other kids looked exasperated as Mira giggled and made the peace sign.

----

“Hello?” Micky croaked. A hoarse whisper came through the other end. “What?”

“I said I was going to kill you! I feel horrible and it’s all your fault!”

Micky coughed, that Nari. Even when he was sick she wouldn’t leave him alone. “Shut up I have it too and if you

hadn’t started the whole thing neither of us would be like this.”

He heard Nari moan on the other end. “Shut up, when I’m better I’m going to kill you, then Mira.”

“No, let’s kill Mira first.”

“Fine. We both kill Mira then go after each other.”

“Sound good to me, I feel better just thinking about what I’m going to do to her.”

He heard more hoarse whispering he couldn’t make out. “What? I can barely hear you.”

“I said I hope you feel better.”

Micky paused. What was this? Was he hallucinating now? Did Nari say something nice?

“So I can properly beat you with my songs. You know that kid was going to vote for me.”

“No he wasn’t, he liked my song.”

“He couldn’t hear your song!”

“Because you were screaming!”

“I HATE YOU.”

“I HATE YOU TOO.”

“GOOD BYE!”

Click. Micky coughed some more and pulled the cover over his head. That Nari! How dare she hang up on him? Well he
hoped she felt better soon too so he could properly show her where she belonged!

Exhausted from his hoarse screaming, Micky promptly fell asleep.

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CHAPTER 9 – ROMANCE
© pikapika.

“What are you watching?”

“Oh, hey Mira. I just started a movie. What brings you here?”

It was a Friday night and Yunho was in his room sprawled on a couch eyeing the Plasma TV that was on his wall. Mira
pushed Yunho’s legs aside, forcing him to sit up, and sat down next to him. She looked at Yunho and raised her
eyebrows.

“You’re watching ‘Ghost’? Since when is Yunho into foreign romance movies?”

“I want to do something for Miss Shim and she said this was her favorite movie, I was hoping to get some ideas.”

“You’re so cute.”

“Hm, I don’t get what the big deal is and when is that pottery scene coming up?” No answer came and he looked at Mira
who was staring towards the TV but not really watching it. He observed her somber and expressionless face, momentarily
forgetting about the movie. Suddenly he grabbed her and held her in his arms.

“What are you doing?”

“You look like you needed to be held so I’m holding you.”

“Do I need to be held?”

“You and your stupid questions.”

Mira relaxed into Yunho’s brotherly embrace and grew thankful for their friendship. If she didn’t have Yunho… she would
have thought she didn’t have much at all. She snuggled a bit closer.

“Oh here they go.” Yunho said watching the movie as the characters began running the wheel together. They watched the
move silently together but they both wished that they were watching the love scene with someone other than their best
friend.

“That’s it?” Yunho complained loudly when the scene was over. “That’s the big romantic scene that she’s all crazy about?
I don’t get it. It looks more messy and bothersome than romantic.”

Mira made a face. “Oh Yunho, how can you criticize the most romantic scene of one of the most romantic movies of all
time?”

“That’s what she said.”

“Exactly, I bet she said you weren’t much of a romantic either.”

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“Heey, I am too romantic.”

“Yunho, you really don’t know anything about romance.”

“Walks on the beach, candle lit dinners, flowers, stars in the sky…”

“Sounds like some kind of cheesy personal ad.”

“Well I am for sure good at-”

“Skinship? Yeah you are good at that but that doesn’t necessary spell out romance.”

“This conversation is starting to sound eerily familiar.”

A small smile came out on Mira’s lips. Poor Yunho, he may be good at a lot of things but romance wasn’t one of them.
Confident Yunho had his world turned upside when he fell head over tails for Miss Shim. Mira decided to help her friend
out and teach him a lesson or two.

“Ok, listen up. For something to be considered romantic, it doesn’t really matter what it is or where it is, what matters is
the heart.”

“And you said I was cheesy.”

“Shut up and let me finish. You could copy a scene from the most romantic drama or write the most eloquent love poem
ever written but it wouldn’t mean jack if you did all that JUST to be romantic. Then again, you could put your all into the
smallest of acts and it could be the most romantic thing in the world. Are you following?”

Yunho nodded wisely but Mira could tell he was just faking it. She sighed and tried to think of some examples to make
things simpler.

“OK, I’m going to give you two scenarios and I want you to tell me which one is more romantic.”

“Ok.”

“Alright, the first one a guy brings his girlfriend to a fancy restaurant and has candles lit on the table. He tells her she’s
the most beautiful girl in the world and presents her with roses. After dinner they go to a viewpoint to see the prettiest
view of their town with the stars above them. If it’s chilly he wraps his jacket around her. At the end he takes her home,
walks her to her door, and then gives her a kiss.”

Mira paused and Yunho nodded again. Then a far away look came to Mira’s eyes and a small smile played on her lips.

“The second is on a girl’s birthday. He surprises her by coming to her house; he was supposed to be away. He brings out
a chocopie with a candle on it and sings her the song as she blows it out. Then he holds her tight, so tight, as if he
doesn’t dare let her go. He tells her that she is so precious to him, more precious than anything else and all he wants is
to hold her, touch her. That’s all he has and that’s all there is.

“So which one do you think is more romantic?”

Yunho scratched his chin and considered his answer. “Um, the first one right?”

The far away look left Mira’s eyes and instead she looked annoyed. “No, the first one isn’t romantic, not at all!”

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“But the second guy didn’t do anything! And I’ve done the first one and she told me it was the most romantic thing ever!”

“Who? Who did you do that to?”

“Um, I think it was Yuri. Wait, no it was with Hyoyeon! Or was it with Joohyun? It could have been with Kyoungmi, or was
it Sooyoung? Er, then again…”

“You idiot, you did that with all the girls you just mentioned! For every single anniversary for every single girl, you do the
same thing! And those clueless bimbos only say it’s romantic because of you! If you took them out to a garbage dump
they would have called it the most romantic date ever.”

“Oh yeah, I guess you’re right. What’re about the second date?”

“Oh… that was what Jaejoong did for me on my 17th birthday.”

Yunho forgot about his past girlfriends and stared at Mira. “And that night, it was very romantic?”

“It was the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me.” Mira looked down. “He was supposed to be in Japan with his
father for a business trip. I really didn’t expect him to come but there he was on my door step with that little chocopie
box. He had secretly flown back for the night just for me. He told me he had spent the last two months trying to find the
perfect present for me but couldn’t come up with anything. He said… he said that nothing seemed good enough to be a
gift for the day the most precious person to him was born. I laughed of course, told him that was just an excuse for not
getting me a birthday present, but he meant it, he really did, I could tell. Then he just held me and told me he had to
leave in the morning because his dad didn’t know he was here. He told me he didn’t want to say goodbye and told me he
would stay with me until I fell asleep. I tried so hard not to fall sleep but the next thing I knew I woke up and he was
gone. And next to my chocopie cake he had written a note. He wrote, ‘happy birthday precious’ and that was that. It was
just written on a piece of napkin in his regular scratchy handwriting. But I was so happy, I’ve never been so happy in my
entire life. I couldn’t stop smiling, not my usual smile but a genuine full of happiness one, and I couldn’t wait for him to
come back. I couldn’t wait to be with him. I couldn’t wait for him to hold me.”

Mira’s voice broke and her little frame trembled but no tears came down. “Do you get it Yunho? He just came to tell me
that he loved me and all he wanted to do was be with me. He didn’t have any fancy gifts or he didn’t take me somewhere
beautiful. It was almost nothing but it meant so much. It doesn’t matter what you do or how you do it Yunho, what
matters is what your intent. Are you just trying to be romantic? Or do you really want to make her happy? Is it about
giving her all the prettiest things you can buy? Or is it about searching so hard to find that one thing that will mean
something to her? Are you understanding Yunho? You don’t have to plan much or anything at all, just show her how
much she means to you. That’s all you have to do.”

Yunho held her tighter but wished that someone else was in his place. His dearest friend was hurting but he knew that no
matter what he tried to do, Mira could never be truly be comforted, she needed someone else. And that person was the
one person she couldn’t be with. If only…

----

Junsu poked at his tie and then poked it again. Was it too much? Maybe he was a bit too overdressed. Ugh, how would he
know? He had never been a date before. He poked at the tie again and considered taking it off. She wasn’t here yet so
maybe he should take off the tie.

“Junsu!”

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Oh darn, well he would have to deal with the tie for today. “Jungmin!”

The two excitedly waved at each other and Junsu ran towards her. Jungmin tugged at her skirt as she waited. Maybe she
shouldn’t have worn a skirt, was that too girly? What if he had planned something that required running? Wait, then her
skirt wouldn’t be a problem it would be her shoes. Was she wrongly dressed? She tugged at her skirt again. Ugh, how
would she know? This was her first date. Boy, what would she give just to be able to go back and change her clothes.
Then again, what would she change into? Her current outfit took her 3 hours to put together.

“Jungmin, I’m glad you’re here. You look really pretty.” A pink tinge appeared on Junsu’s cheeks but Jungmin was also
blushing bright red.

“Thank you, you look good too.”

The two grinned at each other but couldn’t think of anything else to say. An awkward silence developed but neither of
them stopped smiling.

“So.”

“So.”

“I’m glad we can do this, since last week didn’t work out…”

“Oh I’m sorry about that! I really wanted to go out with you but my parents were being so stupid!”

Their first date had ended before it even started as Jungmin’s mom’s aunt and uncle unexpectedly came over for a visit.
As much Jungmin had complained and argued she had to cancel her date and spend the day being pinched on the cheeks
(not the ones on her face to her horror) and eating prune cakes. Even though Junsu had been a good sport and simply
moved the date later, Jungmin had still felt horrible.

“So.”

“So.”

“What are we going to do today?”

Junsu grinned even wider. “Since the weather is so nice I thought it would be fun to go ride some bikes around the park
and then have a picnic! How does that sound?”

“That sounds great!” Chirped Jungmin but then looked down. “Oh no, I’m wearing a dress. I can’t ride a bike.” AARRGG
her stupid skirt!

“Oh.” Junsu quickly tried to think of an alternative. “Oh! Well, can you kind of sit on the side? We can just share a
bicycle, how does that sound?”

“Yeah, let’s do that!” Jungmin cheered up and Junsu shyly grabbed her hand and led her towards some bikes. A tingle
went up Jungmin’s arm and she blushed some more.

“So, choose a bike!”

Jungmin blinked and looked at the 30 or so bikes that were propped up in front of her. “Choose…a bike?”

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“Uh, well heh heh.” Junsu laughed nervously. “I wasn’t sure what kind of bike you wanted to ride so I just bought a
bunch from the bike shop.”

Did it really matter what kind of bike they rode on? Jungmin couldn’t help but wonder as she looked around. Boy, Junsu
had bought every kind of bike that could be bought, even the low rider ones. Jungmin pointed to a yellow one with a
basket.

“That one, that’s cute and I can sit in the back.”

“Ok!” Junsu cheerfully brought the bike over and helped Jungmin on. He kicked back the stand and began to pedal away.

“Wait, what about the other bikes?”

“Oh, well people can take them if they want, it doesn’t really matter. I don’t really ride bikes since I have my own driver.”

“Wow.” Jungmin looked back the pack of bikes that were being eyed hungrily by a bunch of middle schoolers. She
shrugged, maybe this is one of those things you have to get used to when being around the royalty.

Junsu and Jungmin rode the bike around the pretty park with the leaves falling around them. Junsu was pretty proud of
himself, he had spent all night last week trying to think of something romantic to do and the bike idea had been a good
one. His first date was going well.

Jungmin couldn’t but feel like the main character in a romantic drama, except she didn’t have amnesia or a rare form of
incurable cancer. Feeling all warm and fuzzy inside she began to wonder, would it be ok if she held onto him a little
tighter? She bit her tongue and gathered up the nerve.

“Huh? AAHHH!”

In her anticipation Jungmin squeezed a bit too hard and startled Junsu causing him to lose control of the bike. The bike
teetered back and forth before falling to the side, dropping the two riders.

“Owch!” Junsu landed on his knees and began to rub them.

“OWWWW!”

Junsu looked up and saw Jungmin had her feet tangled with the spokes of the tire. Her dress had gotten caught in the
bike during the fall prohibiting her from falling neatly.

“ARE YOU OK?” Junsu scrambled over to her and tried to help her untangle her but managed to rip off the hem of her
dress. “AH I’M SO SORRY!”

“AWWWW!” Jungmin wailed as she saw her bloody ankle. “I’m bleeding!”

Junsu looked around frantically trying to stop the bleeding but couldn’t find anything. What was he going to do? An idea
flashed in his head and he ripped off his tie and began to wrap it around her ankles.

“Are you ok? Does it hurt?” He asked worriedly as he tried to wrap her ankles as gently as he could.

Jungmin bit her lip and nodded. “Yes I’m fine. I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you like that.”

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“What were you trying to do?”

Jungmin turned bright red and mumbled an answer. Junsu didn’t stop wrapping her ankle but tilted his head towards her.
“What?”

“I wanted to hold you a little tighter but I did it too hard.” She said a little louder but still embarrassed.

Junsu smiled and tied a knot. He gently helped her up. “Well, I’m just glad you’re alright. It’s my fault really, I shouldn’t
have been so surprised.” He paused and grinned. “And it isn’t like I wouldn’t have liked it anyways.”

Jungmin let out a small smile but still felt horrible. It was all her fault that they crashed and he had to use his nice tie to
help her stupid bleeding ankle. Ugh, why did she have to ruin everything!

Junsu eyed her ankle and wished he had tied it better. And her poor skirt! He had ripped it when he was supposed to help
her! And at least he could have worn a tie that matched her outfit. Ugh, why was he messing up so badly?

“Now what?” He asked a bit glumly.

Jungmin looked down and stifled a groan. Her new skirt was ripped and her legs were all bloodied. There was no way she
could look like this on a date with Junsu. She would humiliate him; he was a god of Sonho High School!

“Maybe…maybe I should go home.” Jungmin suggested in a small voice. She was so disappointed that the date would end
so soon but she couldn’t embarrass Junsu anymore. He probably never had such a horrible date before, Jungmin thought
to herself.

“If you want to.” Junsu replied disappointed. He had screwed up so much that she didn’t even want to continue their first
date. Maybe she didn’t even want to go out with him ever again. Maybe she didn’t even want to be anywhere near him. “I
guess you can’t walk, huh? And the bike is out of question, here, I’ll go call my driver. He’ll take you home.”

“You won’t take me home?” Jungmin blurted out. She was crushed; he definitely didn’t want to be seen with her. He
didn’t even want to take her home. He probably regretted ever asking her out.

“You want me to?” He asked. Jungmin nodded shyly and prayed he woudn’t reject her. Maybe she wasn’t too angry?
Maybe they still had a chance? He took a risk. “Do you still want to go out one day?”

“One day? Not any time soon?” Was she on probation?

“No!” Jungmin face fell and she looked like she wanted to cry. Junsu realized what he just said and hastily continued. “I
mean, soon, I want to date you again soon. Uh what I’m trying to say is, I want to go on a date soon. With you.” He
added just in case.

“Really?” Jungmin face brightened. He didn’t hate her! For some crazy reason he wanted to still be her boyfriend!

Junsu shyly nodded. “Really. Ok, give me a second, let me call Young.”

Relief flooded over Jungmin as Junsu quickly called his driver. It wasn’t going to end, not any time soon anyways. She
was still going to have a boyfriend, Junsu was still going to like her!

Junsu hung up and turned to Jungmin. “He’ll be here soon.”

“Ok.”

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“How’s your ankle?”

“Huh? Oh, it was hurting before but not anymore. I’m all better now.”

“Good, I’m sorry again.”

“No, I’m sorry.”

Junsu helped Jungmin hobble over to a bench and they sat waiting for Junsu’s driver. Junsu looked around while Jungmin
shyly looked at the rip in her skirt. She fingered it gently, before she had considered throwing away the skirt but she
changed her mind. The rip came from when Junsu was trying so hard to help her out when she caused such a mess. She
blushed as she thought about how he had sweetly and gently used his tie to wrap her ankle.

Junsu peeked at Jungmin who was smiling. She seemed to be alright with the ruined date and his chest swelled with
pride; he liked such a sweet girl! He eyed her hand that was resting on the bench between them and tried to casually
hold it. Her hand twitched in surprise but it relaxed. The two smiled but didn’t look at each other in the eye.

They didn’t say anything but Jungmin shyly gave his hand a light squeeze and to her delight she received one back.

----

“Hello?” Miss Shim stuck her pretty head in the dark classroom. She couldn’t believe she was actually here at the school
at night. She especially couldn’t believe she was here to see Yunho. If anyone caught them there would be huge trouble.

“I’m here, come in.”

Miss Shim stepped in the classroom and noticed that it was one of the art class rooms. Not only that, Yunho was sitting in
the middle with a cloth covered table in front of him. She sat down across from Yunho.
“So, what’s this all about.”

To her surprise Yunho looked away almost shyly. For the first time it seemed that confident Yunho seemed unsure about
what he was going to do. “I did a lot of thinking.”

“Really?”

“Yes, and you’re right. I know nothing about romance.”

“Really?”

“I only know what can be found in TV and movies and someone taught me that I just thought I knew what I was doing
when it came to girls. I don’t really know what is romantic or what the right things are to do. I don’t get why women like
romantic movies and sappy music videos. I don’t really get the deal with chocolates and flowers except for the fact that’s
what they want. I can’t write love letters or write songs like Micky, or even Nari. I can’t even eloquently talk about
someone I love like Mira.”

Yunho took a deep breath and then looked at Miss Shim in the eyes. “But what I do know that is that I love you. That’s all
I know and I’m not even sure why exactly. I know that I can’t stop thinking about you and that even though you make
life uncertain and confusing, I like it because I like you. And even though I don’t know anything about romance I know
that it makes you happy, and that’s all I want: I want to make you happy.” Yunho broke out into a smile. “When you

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smile life seems so much better

He uncovered the cloth, revealing a pottery wheel. The silent Miss Shim let out a small gasp. “I watched that movie five
times last night. I tried really hard to understand why it means so much to you. To tell you the truth, I still don’t get the
movie. But you said that pottery scene was romantic and even though I don’t get it, if you understand that’s all that
matters. So I want to give you this chance, to try out what you think is the most romantic. If this is what you want.”

Yunho started the wheel and poured water over it. Miss Shim wordlessly watched the piece of clay turn around. “I…I
know this isn’t exactly like it is in the movie but I don’t think you’re quite ready for that. But I want to be the first, and
maybe the only, one to do this with you. You can close your eyes and pretend that it’s Sam, or…or even Jung. Maybe you
can accept it that you’re doing it with me, Yunho. Whatever makes you happy, this is for you.”

Miss Shim didn’t say anything and for a moment Yunho feared she would walk away. However, he saw her hands slowly
reach towards the clay and then finally start to mold it. He let her mold it on her own for awhile, letting her get a feel of
the wet clay.

Then he took a soft breath and gently put his hands over hers. She didn’t withdraw her hands, she didn’t push him away.
Instead, she let him work with her hands, both gliding over the clay.

Time was passing but neither of them knew how much or how fast. For all Yunho knew they could have been together,
molding the clay, his hands over hers, for days or even a few seconds. He didn’t care, Miss Shim’s hands were in his and
her whole self was all his. He had wished, he had dreamed for a moment like this ever since the first day he laid his eyes
on her beautiful smiling face.

Miss Shim stared at their hands. He was right, it was messy and dirty and later on it would be a bother to get the clay off.
But she was so happy, she had never been happier. She looked up at the quiet and still Yunho who was gazing at her.
Miss Shim let out her prettiest and most genuine smile.

“Thank you…Yunho. Thank you.”

CHAPTER 10 – Differences
© pikapika.

“Oh! Sorry about that, didn’t see you there-“

“AARRRGGG HOW DARE YOU INTERUPT ME! I WILL KI-oh it’s you.”

Nari put down the music stand she was just about to throw and glared at Micky who had just entered the music room.
Micky didn’t look to happy to in the same room as Nari either.

“You’re such a monster.”

“You’re the one who bothered me.”

“Trust me if I had known you were in here I wouldn’t have opened the door.”

Nari grumbled to herself and sat down on the piano. She made a point to ignore Micky and began to pound on the piano.

However Micky didn’t leave and instead closed the door and watched her play. Nari grumbled to herself more and

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pounded the keys even harder. As hard as she tried, she couldn’t ignore his presence and her pounding grew hard and
louder until the piano began to shake under her might. Micky continued to silently watch until Nari couldn’t take it
anymore and slammed the piano shut.

“WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM? WHY ARE YOU JUST STANDING THERE? DON’T YOU HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO THAN
BEING CREEPY?”

“I’m waiting.”

“WAITING FOR WHAT?”

“Waiting for you to be done; all the other music rooms are taken.”

“ARE YOU NOT A GOD? YOU CAN JUST TELL THEM TO LEAVE!”

“That’s rude.”

“THIS IS RUDE!”

“Somehow it doesn’t seem rude when I’m doing it to such an animal.”

“FINE THIS ANIMAL WILL GET YOU A ROOM!” Nari roared and stood up. She pushed aside Micky and stomped out of the
room. She went over to another music room and kicked it open.

“YOU’RE DONE PRACTICING! GET OUT!”

“What? Aww do we have to?”

“MICKY NEEDS TO USE THIS ROOM!”

“OH ! OK sure, we’re going out now!”

Nari impatiently waited for the two girls to grab their flutes and leave. When they were gone Nari looked around and
noticed that Micky was nowhere to be seen. She peered through the window of her room and to her fury she saw that
Micky was sitting down and playing the piano contently.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING? I GOT YOU A ROOM OVER THERE!”

“Oh thanks but I don’t need it, I have a room right here.”

“AAAAAHH I’M GOING TO KILL YOU.”

“This is such an interesting song you’ve got here.”

“GIVE THAT TO ME!”

Nari reached over to take her music but Micky grabbed it before her. He pushed the piano between the two of them and
began to read as Nari frantically tried to scramble near.

“Hm, another fast paced song about fighting and winning. Don’t you write about anything else?”

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“Shut up you’re the one who can only write pathetic sad ballads.”

“Well I guess that shows the difference between the two of us.”

“What?”

Micky calmly handed the music over to Nari who snatched it angrily. “People write songs about what they know best.
Writers also use memories and experiences to inspire their music. It’s hard to write songs about things you don’t know
anything about.”

Nari counted to make sure all her papers were in order. “So what is that supposed to mean?”

“Well.” Micky paused as he realized the position he had put himself in. “Well, I write about sad songs because…because
life was painful and that’s all I knew.”

Nari looked up as she noticed a note of pain as his voice faltered. Micky tried hard to push aside the memories and but it
didn’t work, his chest was hurting and that made him angry. It was all Nari’s fault, her and her stupid happy songs. She
would never understand what he went through. She knew nothing. “And you, you who knows nothing except fighting and
screaming, that’s what you write about.”

“You’re so pathetic and wrong.”

“What?” Startled Micky stared at Nari. He had completely expected and wanted her to be screaming her head off by now
but she had spoken quietly and with so much loathing.

“You’re wrong. There’s more to my life than ‘fighting and screaming’. And you’re just pathetic; you think you have it so
bad?”

“Shut up.” Micky was furious now, how dare she? “You have no idea what I’ve been through.”

“What have you been through? You’re a royalty of Sonho High, your family makes millions through your stupid banana
milk, you have your own car and driver, and you’ll never have to worry about money or anything for the rest of your life!
So you’re really suffering huh? Life is so painful huh?”

“Don’t you dare judge me. You don’t know anything, nothing at all.”

“Come on, was I lying? Didn’t I just speak the truth? You just can’t handle the fact that I’m right which would mean that
you really are just a whiney spoiled child. You use song writing just as an excuse to complain but have people
compliment you for it. Pain? Suffering? Give me a break you’re just an unappreciative-“

“SHUT UP! YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING! SHE’S GONE FOREVER! IF I DON’T WRITE ABOUT IT THEN I’LL LOSE HER. I
CAN’T DEAL WITH ITUNLESS I WRITE ABOUT IT!” Micky clamped his mouth shut. How could he have screamed all that?
How could he have told her all that? Nari didn’t reply at first but stared at him coldly with unsympathetic eyes.

“I killed my brother.”

“What?”

Micky stared with wide eyes as Nari put her arms around herself. She was no longer cold and unsympathetic but started
to shake and tears began to form in her eyes. “My Oppa, he died because of me. I killed my brother. Because of that my
parents split. Everything was ruined because of me. I know about your girlfriend. I know about the hurt, that pain so

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deep in your chest that never leaves. I felt it too and to this day it’s still there.”

“Why don’t you write about it?” Micky asked softly coming over his initial shock.

Nari shook her head causing the tears to fall and her voice trembled. “If I write about it, it’ll always be there. My pain will
be permanent on that piece of sheet paper and then later on in the music. People will play and sing it and it’ll never leave
me. I can’t deal with it, I can’t heal if I’m constantly reminded of how much it hurt me. So I write about other things,
strong and more hopeful things. Because I want that to be permanent, I want to live like that. It was so hard, crying
everyday. I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to live.”

Micky reached over and gently placed a hand on her head. “And I write to release that pain. When I write songs I feel like
I’m let it all free and with every song I feel better, stronger. Being able to write about it lets me know I’m healing, that
I’m moving on. I guess that’s the difference between the two of us.”

Nari felt Micky’s warm hand and tried to stop crying. “I didn’t really think that you’re pathetic. I was just mad because
you made me sound so stupid.”

“I’m sorry, that was ignorant of me.”

“Yeah it was.”

Micky smiled, she was coming back to her old self. Nari moved her head out of his hand and wiped her eyes. She looked
up defiantly at Micky and then proceeded to wipe her runny nose with her sleeve. Micky crinkled his nose.

“We’re both very different artists, our songs are hardly comparable.”

“Yeah, that’s probably why we tied in the last contest.”

“Yes, I suppose that’s the closest you’ll ever come to beating me.”

“YEAH? WELL LET’S SEE HOW CONFIDENT YOU ARE WHEN I WIN THE NEXT CONTEST!”

“There’s no way that’s going to happen. Not with that song you just wrote anyways.”

“MY SONG IS BRILLIANT! THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH MY SONG!”

“There’s nothing right about it either.”

“I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!”

“Tsk, here comes the monster again.”

“I’LL SHOW YOU WHAT KIND OF MONSTER I CAN BE!”

Sonho Students who were passing by the hall looked around to see where all that noise was coming from. Looking into
one of the music rooms they saw the constellation Nari waving a music stand around her head screaming and the god
Micky who seemed to barely notice. The students looked at each other, shrugged, and continued to their next class. It
was just another day at Sonho High School.

-----

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Yeseul blew her bangs out of her face but they fell back into place when she turned her head to look around. Same crowd
today, the club was filled with desperate women and hungry men. How disgusting.

“If it wasn’t for you my little colorful friend I wouldn’t bother to come here.” She said lifting up her cocktail glass.

“Hm, and I thought you came here for me.”

Yeseul took a sip and eyed the bartender who was leaning against the bar. “Of course you would want that Joon.”

Joon smiled and lifted her face with his finger. “I would want that very much.” Unaffected Yeseul waved his hand aside
and took another sip. Yes, this drink was the only reason why she came here.

Some other clubbers came over at the bar and Joon looked slightly disappointed. “If you ask, I can stay here and serve
only you.” He told Yeseul who raised an eyebrow.

“Why would I do that? Go do your job bartender and if you’re going to come back grab me another glass of this stuff.”

“As you say.”

Disinterestedly Yeseul watched Joon receive order and then start to mix drinks. Aware that she was watching Joon
grinned and began to throw the shakers in the air.

His other costumers were more impressed as Yeseul turned around and began to look around. Joon did his job well and
put on a good show but this wasn’t her first time here, she had seen all his tricks before.

Yeseul watched the other people dance on the dance floor and contemplated going in. There were pros and cons to that
choice. Going there would mean putting herself in with all those sweaty people and there would definitely be a sleaze ball
or two trying to dance with her. No doubt about that. However Yeseul had been feeling restless lately and she needed to
let her self loose. Nari and Mira looked for people to beat up; Yeseul went to clubs and danced. That’s how it was.

Never mind the fact that she was still a year or two too young to be legally allowed in. Yeseul knew she looked older than
she actually was and she always had enough cash to bribe her way through an ID check. Though there were few clubs
that did check her, why would any club deny such a gorgeous girl from entering their club? Who cared how old she was.

Club Zone was her favorite and that’s where she was currently. She had found it last year when club hopping and soon
became a regular. She hated to say it but if it wasn’t for Joon it wouldn’t have been her favorite. Joon made it easy for
her to get in and made sure she received privileges. Joon had his reasons for the special treatment but Yeseul didn’t care,
she had a club that was easily accessible for whenever she needed it.

And lately she had been needing clubs more often. Clubs were her escape from the world that she knew, there weren’t
many places open so late. Besides, in clubs there were no high school students to bother her. The other Royalty didn’t
really bother with clubs either which meant she could escape from them too. Though, she did hear that Jaejoong also
went clubbing but he had his own favorite and she never once met up with him.

She stood up and stretched slightly. She had decided, she would go in for a couple of songs or until some slob tried to
warm up to her. Disgusting, no matter what club she went to there were always those dirty little men.

Yeseul hadn’t taken more than two steps when she felt her cellphone vibrate. She sat down and glanced at it. Changmin?
Why was he calling her?

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“Hey.” She answered sliding the phone on.

“Hey, it’s me Changmin.”

“Yeah?”

“Are you doing your music theory homework?”

“Is that even a question?”

“Want to work on it together? I’m having trouble.”

“You’re joking right?”

“No, hey what’s up with the music? Where are you?”

“At a club.”

“WHAT? WHAT ARE DOING THERE?”

“Drinking.”

“WHAT? WHY? ARE YOU DRUNK?”

“Hm, let’s see. I’m three cocktail glasses in, no not yet I don’t think.”

“I’M COMING TO GET YOU. YOU SHOULDN’T BE THERE!”

“You really don’t need to.”

“DON’T MOVE! I’LL BE OVER SOON.”

Changmin hung p and Yeseul stared at her phone. That idiot, he didn’t even know where she was. She wondered when he
would realize that. That kid, he was just as easily excitable as the other Royalty kids. Was she the only one who didn’t
freak out all the time?

Her phone began to vibrate again and Yeseul smirked. “Yeah?”

“Er, what club are you at exactly?”

“Club Zone, know where that is?”

“I’ll go ask my driver, he knows every place in Seoul. DON’T MOVE.”

For such a polite boy Changmin had hung up on Yeseul twice in one night. She wondered if Changmin would be able to
get in. Although there would always be a creep or two that got in, Club Zone was picky about who went through its
doors.

“You’re going to dance?” Joon was back and he slid over another cocktail glass. Yeseul shrugged and swirled the drink
around with the olive that was in it.

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“Nah, don’t really feel like it anymore.”

“You’ve been here a lot lately, more than usual. You want to see me that bad?”

“Things have been going on, you know high school drama. Wait, you wouldn’t know anything about that would you?”

“So cold.” By now Joon was used to Yeseul’s blunt comments. He began to wipe come glasses and smirked. “I really don’t
think I missed out on too much by dropping out. School wasn’t really my thing.”

“School isn’t my thing either but I still go, usually.”

“Ah, but princess that’s because you’re rich. As soon as I dropped out of school I took in three jobs. If you dropped out,
what would you do? Nothing, except roll around in that big house of yours. That’s why you’re still in school, you wouldn’t
have anything else to do.”

“Maybe. There’s another reason why I keep going.”

“And what may that be princess?”

“I have to keep tabs on my friends. Make sure they’re not consumed by their dramas.”

“Because you don’t have any yourself?”

“Not ones that people can deal with.”

“Or maybe not ones you’re willing to get help with.” Joon commented causing Yeseul to stop in mid sip. She raised an
eyebrow.

“I know you, Yeseul. You wouldn’t keep coming here if things were going well for you. You’re stressed out and you need
an escape. That’s why I keep pouring you all these drinks.”

Yeseul shrugged, for a high school drop out Joon sure liked to pretend he knew everything. She finished her drink
signaled for another glass. She was starting to think that Joon was right and she definitely needed another drink to get
rid of that thought.

“Yeseul! There you are, I’ve been looking for you! Are you alright?”

Yeseul turned around to see Changmin coming towards her looking distinctly uncomfortable. So he did get in! Yeseul
wanted to laugh, amongst the other clubbers good Changmin stuck out considerably.

“You’re lucky you’re so tall, you would have never gotten in with just your clueless face.”

“Let’s get going, I’ll take you home.”

“No.” Yeseul answered flatly and wished Joon would come back with her drink.

“Why not? What else do you want to do here?”

“I don’t have anything I want to do here, I just never go home.”

Changmin sat on the stool next to her and looked at her with concern. “Then where do you after school?”

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Yeseul shrugged. “Here, Mira’s place, and sometimes Nari’s place. Once I stayed over at Micky’s, heh that kid was so
uncomfortable. Usually Mira’s, goodness knows she has enough rooms in that castle of hers.”

Changmin stood up and put out his hand in front of Yeseul. “Well, let’s just get you out of this place. You really shouldn’t
be here.”

“Princess, is this guy bothering you?”

Joon was back with another drink for Yeseul and he eyed Changmin suspiciously. Yeseul reached for her drink but when
Changmin grabbed it before her making Yeseul look annoyed.

“This is Changmin, a fellow student. He’s royalty. This is Joon.”

Joon grinned and gave a deep bow. “Well, it is my honor to meet a prince! But why, may I ask, are you keeping the lady
from her drink?”

Changmin returned the drink and prevented Yeseul from getting it. “Nice to meet you. She doesn’t need anymore drinks,
we’ll be leaving soon.” He said firmly.

“We? Says who?” Challenged Yeseul. Changmin didn’t answer but pulled her up from her seat and pulled her away.

“Whoa, hold on a minute.” Joon called out as he hopped over the bar and stopped Changmin from walking any further.
Joon crossed his arms.

` “If you don’t want to go, I’ll make sure this guy leaves you alone.” He said to Yeseul but looked up Changmin.

This was ridiculous. Yeseul looked at both guys who were staring at each other defiantly. There was Changmin who
looked uncomfortable but also determined and Joon who, although he was a couple of inches shorter, could have easily
taken down the skinny high schooler.

Yeseul sighed. “Relax, both of you. It’s OK Joon, I was about to leave anyways.”

Changmin nodded politely and then walked around Joon while making sure Yeseul was following. Yeseul shrugged as she
passed Joon and handed him some money before leaving.

“For the drinks.”

Joon took the money but didn’t look too happy as the two kids left the club. He wondered if this Changmin kid was going
to keep away the best business the club ever had.

Changmin’s car was waiting for them when they exited the club. Changmin opened the door for Yeseul and when she was
inside he walked over to the other side and went in. The car started and drove away.

“You shouldn’t go to the clubs anymore.”

“Are you telling me what to do?”

“No, I’m telling you what you shouldn’t do. Here, drink this.” Changmin answered and handed Yeseul bottle water.

Yeseul raised an eyebrow but accepted the drink. “Where are you taking me? You know I’m not going home right?”

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Changmin grabbed his own drink and took a gulp before answering. “Nope, we’re going to my place.”

“Your place?” Figures, he was just like the other guys.

“Yes, and when we’re there we’re going to do our homework. Then for the night you can stay over at one of the guest
rooms or in Jungmin’s room. Her room is big enough and I don’t think she’ll mind.”

“You’re kidding. Homework?”

“You make it sound so foreign.”

“It is to me. Boy, you really don’t get it do you? Being part of Royalty means that we don’t have to do our homework. We
don’t even need to go to class!”

Changmin shook his head. “I’m not going to not do my homework just because I’m rich and nice enough to be part of the
group.”

This surprised Yeseul. Even the other royalty kids who pretended to be more righteous than her took full advantage of
their privileges. Even Jungmin, Changmin’s little sister, was now used to getting away with not doing school work and
being excused from class. What was wrong with this kid? This time she shook her head and took another drink of her
water.

“You are one weird kid, did you know that?”

“My sister tells me that all the time.”

“That’s because you are. Very, very weird.”

“You’re not exactly normal either.”

“True. So…”

“So?”

“What’s the homework all about?”

Changmin smiled. “We have to compare the pattern and forms of Chopin and Bach.”

“Who?”

Changmin sighed but still smiled. “We’re going to do a lot of studying tonight.”

“If you say so.”

Yeseul looked at Changmin as he began to explain who the two musicians were. He may be a bit annoying with his Boy
Scout demeanor but Yeseul decided that he still wasn’t so bad. She could deal with him.

CHAPTER 11 – Teacher Yoon


© pikapika.

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We take a break from the story to introduce a new character that hasn’t been mentioned before. Meet Teacher Yoon, 63
years old, and the new Sonho high Korean history teacher. He was a smaller man who tried to hide his balding hair with a
comb over. He wore the same thing everyday to work: A grey tie, white collar shirt, grey business jacket, and grey
slacks. It was rumored that he wore the same outfit every day of his life, even when he went to the beach.

Mr. Yoon was a good man with strong morals and a healthy sense of right and wrong. He was strict and a bit old
fashioned but he was fair. He taught his lessons to the best of his ability and expected students to do their work with the
same attitude. Mr. Yoon had been teaching for 40 years and neither his teaching method nor his views had changed since
then.

Which was why had called Mira Park to the front of the class in front of all the students.

“Teacher Yoon, I don’t think you quite understand.”

“What’s there not to understand Miss Park? I think I understand perfectly that you have the desire to leave this class in
the middle of a lesson.”

“But sir, I have my reasons.”

“You know the only reasons acceptable for leaving class are emergency medical or family reasons.”

“Teacher Yoon, you really don’t get it do you?”

“I think we already established that idea.”

Mira bit her lip and stared at Mr. Yoon. What was wrong with this man? He had been teaching in this school for more than
half a year and he still didn’t know that Mira could leave whenever she wanted? She had never had this kind of problem
before, all her other teachers never even questioned her! They all knew, why didn’t he? Didn’t the teachers have a special
conference where the principal told them all the rules regarding the Royalty? Maybe he didn’t know she was part of
Royaty, she didn’t exactly go around the school wearing a huge badge. Then again, how could anyone not know she was
in the Royalty? Did she need to bring it up?

No, she was going to make sure this never happened again. She was going to make sure Teacher Yoon really
UNDERSTOOD the situation.

“Teacher Yoon, follow me.” Mira headed towards the door. “We’re going to see the principal.”

“Did you just command a teacher? Mira Park, where are you going? Come here right now! Study the notes that I had just
handed out, when I come back there will be a quiz. BEHAVE.” He warned the class as he chased after Mira Park who was
casually walking towards the office.

Mira pushed open the door to the office and the school staff lifted their heads to the visitor. Realizing who it was they all
stood up and bowed deeply.

“Hello Miss Park, is there something that you need?”

“I would like to see the principal, right now please.”

“He’ll be right out.”

“Miss Park what are you doing? The Principal is a very busy man and should not be bothered by students like yourself. OH

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Mr. Principal, I’m so sorry about the interruption. This student has been-“

The Principal who had just exited his office raised a hand silencing Mr. Yoon. He bowed to Mira who returned one out of
politeness. “What is the problem Miss Park?”

Mira pointed to Mr. Yoon was who staring at the two in confusion. “This teacher doesn’t seem to know or understand the
special circumstances involving me and my friends. He has repeatedly kept me from leaving his class to attain to my
personal matters. I have been patient but it has become quite a bother.”

Mira looked at the Principal sternly who was eying Mr. Yoon. “You have been Principal for over 14 years and I would have
expected you to speak to the teachers in making sure nothing like this happens. I have been very patient up to this point,
however if this occurs again I will hold you both responsibility and take action. Am I clear?”

The Principal nodded and bowed again. “I apologize, I should have done better in making sure Mr. Yoon understand the
ways of our school. I thank you for your patience involving this matter.

Mira beamed and bowed to both the Principal and Mr. Yoon. “No problem, now that everything is all cleared up, I will be
leaving now. Thank you for your time. Good bye!” She had to leave soon, Yunho wanted to go spend time with Miss Shim
and neither of them could do that without her.

Mira brightly waved to the rest of the staff who stood up and bowed again and left the room. Mr. Yoon gaped and then
turned to the Principal.

“Sir! That student has just left class without a legitimate reason! And she spoke to you so commandingly! She should be
punished.”

“Silence. Teacher Yoon, you were present at the first staff meeting in the beginning of the year correct?”

“Yes sir.”

“And do you remember all the contents of the meeting?”

“Yes sir.”

“Do you remember how I explained to you that there are certain students in the school that get certain privileges?”

“Yes sir.”

“Do you understand that Mira Park is one of those certain students?”

“Yes I have been told.”

“Then what is the matter? Why are you denying her those privileges?

“Because I don’t believe in that.” Mr. Yoon answered determinedly. “I do not believe in giving some certain students
special treatment just because of high school politics. That is against my ethics and I refuse to go along with it.”

“Do you understand that those students are the reason why Sonho exists and has the reputation it has today? Mira’s
father is the greatest benefactor of this school! Do you understand what may happen to you if she reports you to him?”

Mr. Yoon threw out his chest proudly. “I know what could happen but I do not care. I am an educator and that is what I

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will do, educate. I do not care if some rich man threatens my job here. I will find another job. Now if you excuse me, I
have a quiz to give out to my students. If you see Miss Park before I do will you kindly remind her that she is not excused
from that. Good day Mr. Principal.”

“Teacher Yoon, Teacher Yoon!” The Principal yelled as Mr. Yoon proudly left the office. He put his hands on his hips and
let out a long sigh.

“I knew there was going to be trouble when I hired that self righteous sahtoori.” He said to himself. He looked around
and snapped angrily. “Are you all on a break? Get to work!”

----

A couple of weeks later Nari was sitting on a window still in one of the halls, swinging her legs back and forth. She
hummed to herself but she wasn’t exactly happy. She hated to be the first one to get somewhere and have to wait for
everyone else.

“Hey Nari!”

Nari looked to one end of the hall and saw Jungmin and Junsu walking towards and, gross, they were holding hands.

“Yo, where is everyone else?”

“I’m here and so is Changmin.” Yunho replied coming from the other side and Changmin who was behind him nodded.
“Where is Mira?”

“She’s coming but I don’t know where Micky is.” Yeseul spoke up from behind Junsu and Jungmin. The kids greeted each
other and stood around, waiting for the rest of the kids.

“Hey Jaejoong! It’s been awhile since I’ve seen you!” Greeted Junsu cheerfully as Jaejoong walked in quietly. He nodded
silently.

“Where’s Mira?” The kids turned around and saw Micky who finally arrived with a bunch of papers under his arm. Nari
eyed it suspiciously but Micky ignored her.

“So we’re all here, except the one who asked us all to come here in the first place.” Yunho mused. He looked around, it
really wasn’t like her to be late…”

“There she is.” Yeseul commented and the kids looked to one side of the hall where Mira was happily skipping towards
them. She smiled and waved cutely.

“So sorry! This second year threw up in the halls, I was helping him out.”

Yeseul wrinkled her nose. “Ew gross, I would have just left him.”

Mira shook her finger. “Now, that is why I’m so nice and you’re not so much.” Yeseul shrugged in response.

“What is this all about?” Asked Changmin eying his sister and his best friend. He should have been used to it by now but
still, it was weird to see them holding hands.

“Today is the last day of school before winter break! I thought it would be nice if we ended the school day early and went

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out together as a group! We never see each other anymore! Especially you, Jaejoong.” Mira answered as if it wasn’t
obvious why Jaejoong hadn’t made himself seen.

“What did you have in mind?” Nari asked and threw in a piece of gum in her mouth. “What?” she challenged as Micky
shook his head.

“Nothing really, we could go to the beach, mountains, or even go to the countryside!”

“We could fly to Jeju Island.” Yunho offered. Some of the kids nodded in agreement but Yeseul wrinkled her nose again.

“It’s winter, it’ll be freezing over there. I say we go to the mountains.”

“And the mountains won’t be freezing?” Asked Junsu.

“I like the idea of country side.” Jungmin said looking around hopefully. Her brother and Junsu agreed but Micky shook
his head.

“No, I hate hiking and I don’t like the idea of getting dirty.”

“Then what do you suggest?” Yunho asked exasperated. “At this rate we’ll decide when school is out.”

Mira nodded. “Yeah we should make up our minds soon, I really don’t want to go the rest of my classes. If we leave soon
we’ll have pretty much the whole day to do whatever.”

“So, planning on skipping class are we?”

Mira wanted to groan even before she turned around, she could recognize that accent anywhere. The other kids turned
around and came face to face with Mr. Yoon who had his hands behind his back.

“Then again, you are all currently not in class right at this moment.”

“Does he not know who we are?” Nari asked loudly never having had Teacher Yoon before. Yunho shook his head glumly;
he had two classes with him.

“Yes but he doesn’t care.”

“Doesn’t care about what?” Changmin asked. Mr. Yoon around at the group of kids and shook his head.

“You will not speak to each other with such disrespect and ignore your teacher!”

Yeseul ignored him. “He doesn’t believe in giving us our privileges. He’ll probably try to stop us.”

“I most definitely will!” Mr. Yoon declared.

“Stop us from what?” Asked Jungmin.

“Leaving early.” Mira answered.

“No you will not!” Mr. Yoon declared.

“Can he do that?” Asked Nari.

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“I don’t think so.” Micky answered.

“Of course I can!” Mr. Yoon declared. “Stop ignoring me!”

“This is ridiculous, let’s decide where to go outside.” Jaejoong spoke up for the first time. The other students agreed and
started to walk away. Mr. Yoon turned red.

“STOP! YOUR TEACHER DEMANDS THAT YOU DO NOT TAKE ONE MORE STEP! WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING?”

The kids turned around and looked at him. “We haven’t decided yet.”

“Well, I will decide for you! You’re going to detention right now!”

His declaration was met with blank stares.

“Detention? What’s that?”

“That’s what other students go to when they’re in trouble right?”

“Hm, I haven’t sent a kid to detention in awhile.”

“Yeah me neither, I usually just give them a warning and they never do it again.”

“So are we supposed to do something or should we just leave him?”

“I don’t know, never got this before.”

The members of the Royalty looked at each other and then turned to Mira who was deciding what to do. Throughout her
three years as Royalty the teachers have always knew that they could do whatever they want and in exchange the
students never directly disobeyed a teacher. Why hadn’t the principal explained things properly to Mr. Yoon? Mira really
wasn’t sure what to do.

Teacher Yoon furiously glared at the confused students and pointed his finger at them. “Did you not hear me? Well, fine
then, first you will be punished and then I will send you to detention! Get on your knees now!"

“Get on our knees?”

“Why?

“The floor is dirty and my socks are worth more than your weekly paycheck.”

“I don’t get it, what does he want us to do?”

“He’s trying to punish us?”

“Get on your knees and raise your hands!” Mr. Yoon yelled again.

Micky snapped his fingers. “Oh I get it, this is what other high schools do to their disobedient kids right?”

They all looked at Changmin and Jungmin who nodded. “Yeah, I’ve seen students do that but they were bad students. I

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was good so I never had to…”

“Looks like we got an audience.” Muttered Yunho. He was right, heads were popping up in the windows of the classes
surrounding the halls. Teachers and students were watching and they seemed to be very interested in what was going
on.

“If you students keep on disobeying me I will lengthen your punishment time!” Mr. Yoon threatened as he turned redder
and a vein began to throb dangerously.

To everyone’s surprised Mira smiled and obediently went on her knees. To everyone’s shock she innocently raised her
arms.

“Mira!”

“Whoa what are you doing?”

“Mira all these kids are watching.”

“Your socks are going to get dirty!”

Mira looked up her friends disapprovingly who were staring at her incredulously. “Now, you heard Teacher Yoon, we are
being punished. We should accept it, the Royalty never disobeys teachers. Get on your knees.”
Even Mr. Yoon was surprised. He had expected Mira to fight him the most but there she was obediently accepting her
punishment. Maybe he was wrong about her. He looked at the students and waited for the rest.

Yunho stared down at Mira and when she winked at him he smiled. He copied Mira and tried to look as innocent as he
could.

“You heard her, come on guys.”

Jungmin and Changmin looked at each other and went on their knees. Junsu watched them both and followed. Micky
shrugged and copied them. Nari looked around in disbelief and went down muttering to herself.

Yeseul shook her head. “I can not believe this.” However she sat next to Mira and put up her arms.

Jaejoong seemed to be contemplating walking out but after a moment he eyed Mr. Yoon in annoyance and went on his
knees. Now all the members of the Royalty were obediently in punishment position.

The students at Sonho have never seen anything like this in all their school years. In fact, throughout the history of the
Royalty never has a member been punished by a teacher, especially not in front of other students. They whispered to
each other but kept their eyes glued on the gods and constellations. Did they have something planned? Or was this the
end of the royalty after such a humiliating event?

Mr. Yoon looked at the obedient and innocent looking students and began to pace back and forth as he went on a speech.
“Now, I don’t want you to think I enjoy punishing you, in fact if I did not have to I would not. However I believe strongly
in treating all my students equally and no students, no matter how rich, is above that. If any other student attempted the
same act as you I would have punished them in the same way…”
Mr. Yoon continued to speak as he walked back and forth and when his back was turned Mira dropped her arms and
made a face. Before he turned around Mira put on that innocent smile and nodded.

“Yes sir.”

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As Mr. Yoon went on Mira continued to drop and raise her arms while making funny faces at his back. The other students
stifled a laugh. Yunho eyed Mira, what was she doing? Maybe if he…

“Money may be important to society however there are more valuable things in this world. There is humility, honor,
morals....”

This time Yunho dropped his arm and stretched. He hopped on to his feet and crouched but went back to his knees when
Mr. Yoon faced him. Yunho put on his most serious face.

“Yes sir.”

Nari caught on quickly. So, this was a game! Nari was good at games and even better, she was good at winning.

“…what would society be like if it didn’t have people like me to hold on to morals and good old fashion values? Why the
world would be a sad place full of…”

Nari blew a bubble and then popped it quickly before Mr. Yoon turned around.

“Yes sir.”

Jungmin, Changmin, and Junsu looked at each other and nodded. Jungmin began to smooth out the wrinkles in her skirt.
Junsu poked her on the side. Changmin tied his shoe laces.

“Yes sir.”

“…my goal as a teacher is not just to lecture you and test you on the proud history of our country but to also put into you
lessons about life. I don’t want my students to know just about history, I want them to become proud citizens…”

“Yes sir.”

Yeseul stretched and Jaejoong yawned. By this point whenever Mr. Yoon’s back was turned the Royalty members did
random acts only to go back to their original position. Every once in awhile they replied “Yes sir” in unison to convince Mr.
Yoon that they were listening. The observing students were excited now and watching the game between the students
and Mr. Yoon with concealed amusement.

“…there are a lot of bad people in the world and it is not their fault that they chose those wrong actions but the fault of
the educators who failed their duty to inflict moral duty upon their students while they still had the chance. I know you
guys are good kids deep down inside…”

“Yes sir.”

Changmin managed to impress everyone as he quickly stood up and sat down despite his long legs. Mr. Yoon turned
around quickly when the watching students cheered but went on his speech.

“…with your money and status you have so much potential to positively affect so many people and turn the world into a
better place. Imagine what would could be done if people of your worth donated their money to education programs
and…”

This time Yunho shot up and then resumed his position. Junsu copied him but when he tried to get back on his knees he
had to drop his hands to maintain balance. Mr. Yoon didn’t stop talking but eyed him suspiciously. Junsu nervously tried

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to smile as innocently as he could.

“Yes sir.”

Nari and Mira also tried standing up and then sitting back down. After while the punishment looked like an enormous
game of mole as the kids, except Jaejoong and Yeseul, jumped up and down as Mr. Yoon obliviously kept on speaking.
However, Yeseul couldn’t help but smirk and even Jaejoong had a tug of a smile coming on his face. The other students
were roaring with laughter now.

“Mr. Yoon what is going on- ARE THOSE THE ROYALTY STUDENTS?”

The kids stopped hopping up and down and turned around to see the principal who looked like he was going to have a
heart attack. He gawked as he recognized Mira’s smiling (but slightly out of breath) face.

“ARE YOU PUNISHING THE STUDENTS?” The Principal yelled running over.

Mira decided it was ok to stand up and the other kids followed the same. She patted her socks and stretched.

“Hello Principal, we were just being disciplined by Mr. Yoon here. He was trying to treat us like normal students.”

“MR. YOON!”

“Sir, I understand how you feel but I feel like I know the value of teaching the kids-“

“SHUT UP! Miss Park, Mr. Jung, are you alright?” The Principal began to wring his hands. This was the end of Sonho, for
sure this was the end. They would tell their parents and the money would stop coming. They might even tear the building
to pieces! He would go down as the Principal who hired the teacher who destroyed Sonho High School.

“We’re fine.” Yunho answered. “But we’re done now. I think we should get going, we wasted enough time. Let’s go.”

As the members of the Royalty began to leave they happily bowed to the confused Mr. Yoon and the crying principal.
Laughing they gathered their stuff and filed out of the hall.

Mira was the last to leave and she bowed low to Mr. Yoon. “I thank you for the experience of being disciplined, it was a
lot of fun.”

“Fun?” Mr. Yoon repeated.

“Yes, tons. However we will not be doing this again.” Mira turned to the Principal. “And you will be making sure of that.
Don’t worry none of us will tell our parents and your funds will not be cut off.”

The tears stopped streaming down the Principal’s face and he bowed furiously over and over again. “Thank you Miss Park,
you are too patient with us.”

“No problem, oh they’re waiting for me! Good day!” Mira waved to the kids in the classrooms. “Bye bye! See you when
school starts again!”

Mira skipped off and the other students waved back and returned to their seats leaving Mr. Yoon and the Principal alone
together in the hall.

“Mr. Yoon….” The Principal growled.

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“Well, I think they learned their lesson! I don’t think we’ll be having trouble with those kids again.”

“What?”

Mr. Yoon nodded satisfied. “Yes, I believe so. They were very attentive to what I was telling them and I believe that they
realized that they can’t be expected to be treated differently just because of their wealth. I think I really got to them Mr.
Principal. You should have seen them obediently raising their arms the whole time. I knew that all they really needed was
strong discipline and a kind word.”

“…”

“Well, my next class should be starting soon. I’ll be going now, have a nice break Mr. Principal.”

Mr. Yoon happily but a bit naively walked back to his class leaving the awe struck Principal alone in the hall. He clutched
his hair and began to shake.

“AAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII I HATE YOU TEACHER YOON!”

CHAPTER 11.5 – WINTER BREAK


© pikapika.

“AH SO PRETTY!”

“I have to admit, it’s pretty serene…”

“Where are we?”

“Wow so much snow…so much white clean snow…”

“Looks like something out of a drama.”

The 9 members of the royalty stood on top of the hill and admired the scenery. A couple hours before they had been
squabbling with one another in front of the school but now they were in the countryside in front of a great field of pure
white snow.

“Where did you find such a place?” Junsu asked Jaejoong. It was Jaejoong who finally got fed up with the arguing first
and told them about a piece of land his family owned in one of the more southern providences. Since hearing him speak
was such a rare opportunity they all agreed and hopped on a couple of helicopters.

“WWWEEEEEEEE!”

“YAAAAAAY.”

Mira had grabbed Jungmin and together they ran off into the field of snow. Laughing they jumped around in the snow and
threw it up in the air.

“How old are we?” Yeseul asked watching them in amusement. Mira didn’t seem to hear but she waved from below.

“COME ON! The snow is so soft! It’s so clean! It’s so much fun!”

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The other kids looked at each and other shrugged. Why not, they were here and the snow did look very tempting. They
hopped off the hill and joined the two girls who were now making snow angels.

Yunho couldn’t help but smile as he watched his friends romp around in the snow. There was something very cleansing
about white snow, the dirty snow in Seoul didn’t have this kind of affect. Everyone was so happy and carefree, just
enjoying themselves. They seemed to forget about their troubles, their circumstances, and their responsibilities. It was as
if for now, they could just be kids and they could just be friends with one another.

POW

“OWCH!”

Yunho rubbed his shoulder that was now covered with snow. Someone had thrown a snow ball? He looked around
accusingly but everyone had innocent looks on their faces.

“Which one of you threw it?” Yunho demanded glaring at all of them and trusting none. However none of the faces gave
anything away. Yunho bent down and created a firm snow ball. He tossed it between his hands threateningly.

“If you don’t tell me, I’ll just have to throw it at anyone!” Yunho yelled and threw it towards Junsu. Junsu ducked and the
snowball hit a tree. He looked at it and then at Yunho and started laughing.

“HAHAHAHA YOU MISSED. HAHA YOU COULDN’T HIT WATER IF YOU FELL OFF A BOAT! HAHAHAHA ARLACK!”

Junsu stopped laughing as he was hit with a ball of snow right in his face. While he had been making of Yunho, Yunho
had taken the liberty of making another snow ball and this time making sure it hit its target. Junsu wiped the snow off his
face and leaned down to make himself some snowballs.

“Oh no, no Yunho! I’M GOING TO KILL YOU YUNHO. DON’T DO IT JUNSU AAARRGG!”

Yunho grabbed Nari who was next to him and used her as a shield resulting in Nari getting plummeted with two
snowballs. She pushed him into the snow and went after Junsu, flinging snow as she ran.

Micky took this opportunity to trip Nari so that she fell face first into the snow. Before he could gloat a snowball hit him
square on the back. Angrily he turned around to see Mira’s very guilty face. He began to chase after her.

Jungmin didn’t want to be left out so she made a bunch of snowballs and threw them at her brother. Yeseul watched in
amusement as the two siblings threw snowballs at each other, until she got hit on the side by Changmin. She glared at
him and coolly dusted the snow off.

“You know this is worth over 4000 US dollars?” Yeseul said but she kicked snow into Changmin. She then let out a smirk
and tried to run away as he chased after her.

Jaejoong watched his friends and sighed. They were behaving like little kids. Look at them all, getting powdered with
snow. He watched as Yunho picked up a squealing Mira and threw her into the snow only to have Junsu tackle him from
behind. Yunho fell into Micky who was in the middle of throwing handfuls of snow at Nari. Nari pointed and laughed until
Yeseul shoved a handful of snow into her face. Yeseul ran away laughing and hid behind Changmin who graciously took
the pelting of snowballs.

POW

Jaejoong froze in shock. A snowball had hit him directly on the face while he had been leaning on a frozen tree. The other

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kids stopped laughing and playing in the snow. They all stared at Jaejoong who just stood there with snow falling off his
face.

“Eek.” Jungmin squeaked and put her hands to her mouth. She had thrown the snowball to protect her brother from Nari
but had missed and… and hit Jaejoong instead. She had thrown a snowball that hit Jaejoong. She had hit Jaejoong in his
gorgeous face. He was going to kill her.

“PU HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

The kids turned and looked at Mira who was falling on the ground in laughter. She grabbed her stomach and kept on
roaring with laughter. She managed to point to the still and snowy face Jaejoong. “HAHAHAHAHA YOU GOT HIT ON THE
FACE! YOU LOOK SO FUNNY!”

Mira continued to laugh as Jaejoong wiped the snow off his face. Mira gasped for air but kept on laughing and failed to
notice Jaejoong who was calmly making the biggest snowball he could make.

POW

The enormous snowball hit her on the chest and sent her flying backwards. She sat up in a daze and stared at Jaejoong
who had a small smile playing on his face. She glared at him and furiously tried to gather up another snowball.

The other kids came back to life and continued to wrestle and throw snow at each other, except now everyone was
involved. Jaejoong chased after Jungmin and dumped snow on her head.

One by one they slowly began to tire until they were all laying down in a circle in the snow. They were breathing heavily
but they all had content smiles on their faces.

Mira sat up and looked around happily at her friends. Times like these, times when all her friends were so happy made
her feel so warm and fuzzy inside. She loved her friends and loved it when they were happy. She reached into her pocket
and drew out some slips of paper.

“That was fun! But now it’s Secret Santa time!”

“Secret Santa?” Changmin asked leaning on his elbows. The other kids slowly got up and looked at each other.

“What’s that?” Jungmin asked.

“It’s a present exchange system.” Yunho explained. “We all draw out slips of paper with each other’s name and then we
meet up and give them to each other. It’s another tradition for us and this way we don’t receive and give 8 presents. It’s
not like we really need anything.”

“And this way we can spend a lot of time in finding one gift for one friend, instead of trying to find 8 good gifts as fast as
we can.” Mira said as she shuffled the paper. In actuality she was just rotating the papers around so that when she was
done they were in the exact same position as they were when she brought them out. While people had been getting tired
and lying down, Mira had been putting the papers in order. She tried to not smile so mischievously; there were just
sometimes when Mira needed to push things along.

Mira hopped up and handed out the papers around the circle. The kids unsuspectingly received their papers and read the
names that were on there. Mira took the last one for herself and checked the name to make sure she had done
everything correctly.

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“So no one go their own name or anything?” Mira asked but knowing the answer. When no one said anything she
continued. “So remember this is “Secret Santa” so you can’t tell anyone who you got, especially not the person you’re
giving the gift to. Then near the end of winter break we meet up and exchange our gifts!”

“Wait, why not on Christmas?” Jungmin asked.

“Well, we’ll all be in different places.” Yeseul answered. “Mira and I are going to the states with her family and spending
Christmas in New York.”

“I’m off to the states too, going to visit family in California.” Nari added.

“I’m going to the Phillipines, we go there for vacation and to check upon the bananas there for our milk.” Micky informed
them.

“I’ll be in Japan.” Jaejoong said.

“I’ll be Hong Kong.” Yunho also said. Jungmin and Changmin looked at each other in a bit of dismay, were they going to
be the only ones staying in the country? They looked at Junsu who looked at them apologetically.

“Yeah, my whole family is going to Austria for Christmas.” Junsu and Jungmin looked at each other disappointedly. They
had both secretly wanted to spend Christmas together, but their first Christmas as a couple would be spent apart.

“Aw, we’ll all miss each other but it’ll be OK! It’ll be only for a couple of weeks and when we see each other again we’ll
have cool gifts from different countries.” Mira reassured the siblings. Changmin made a mental note to himself that next
year his family would also go to other countries for Christmas; even he couldn’t help but feel left out.

POW

The kids turned to look at Yunho who had snow all over his face. Completely taken by surprise he just sat there with his
mouth open.

“Heehee.” Mira giggled, this time it was very obvious who the culprit was as Mira was grinning widely. “Sorry, couldn’t
help it. Just like I couldn’t help it the first time. HAHAHAHAHA” Mira started to laugh and she didn’t stop when she had to
duck from a flying snowball.

This started another fury of flying snowballs. The kids laughed as they ducked and chucked snowballs at each other.

-----

“AAAHHH I MISSED YOU GUYS!”

“Wow, Micky you’re so dark.”

“How was Europe?”

“Geesh, Austria was freezing.”

“Did you scout any talent Nari?”

“Nah, just saw a bunch of wannabes.”

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“Did you get to go to the empire state building and the statue of liberty?”

“Of course, we go every year.”

A couple of weeks later the members of the royalty met in Micky’s house. They were all settled down in his enormous
room, with plenty of room for everyone. They chit chatted lively, as they were all very happy to see each other again. As
they shared stories they sipped banana cider.

“Ok, so welcome back everyone!” Mira proclaimed getting everyone’s attention. “I’m so happy we’re all back together, I
missed you guys bunches! Now, we can share more stories later but I want to exchange presents! I can’t wait to see
what we all got each other! Who wants to start? Jungmin, you’re the youngest, you start!”

Jungmin shyly brought out a box. “Wait, do I have to give it to that person in front of everyone? Does he have to open it
in front of everyone?”

Yunho nodded. “You hand it to the person and then we all open it at the same time later. Go, give it to your present.”

Jungmin smiled and shyly held it out towards Junsu who looked surprised and delighted.

“You’re my Secret Santa? I can’t wait to open it.” Junsu grinned at Jungmin who continued to blush but looked extremely
pleased. Junsu reached into his bag and brought out a box. He tossed it to Changmin. “Here you go buddy! This is for
you!”

Changmin caught the box and thanked his friend. Hm, what were the chances that his Secret Santa would be his best
friend? He sat up and brought a large flat box. He handed it gently to Yeseul. “This is for you.”

Surprised, Yeseul accepted the gift. So Changmin was her Secret Santa, that’s interesting. Yeseul put the box aside and
handed Nari a bag. “For you Nari.”

Nari accepted the bag eagerly. “Yeah! Thanks Yeseul you probably got my something great. Hm, well this if for you.” Nari
chucked a box at Micky who barely managed to catch it before it hit him on the face. He glared Nari.

“Hmph, thanks. Jaejoong, this is for you.” Micky made a point of gently handing his gift over to Jaejoong. Jaejoong took it
and nodded. Then he wordlessly handed a small box to Yunho who took it with a surprised face. Yunho looked around. So
if Jaejoong was his Secret Santa and he was Mira’s and obviously Mira was Jungmin’s since she was the only one left. He
looked at the exchanged gifts and glanced at Mira, he had a feeling that Mira hadn’t been exactly truthful when she had
said she passed the slips out “randomly”.

` “Thanks Joong, here Mira this is for you. I was your “SECRET” Santa.” Yunho handed Mira her gift who pretended to
notice the heavy emphasis on the word secret. She took it happily and then excitedly ran out of the room. The other kids
peered out the door, wondering where she went when she came in the room wheeling in a box larger than she was.

“This is for you Jungmin! Yay now we can open presents!” Mira piped up excitedly.

Jungmin stood up and opened the box and gave a little squeal when she saw what was inside. Mira had given Jungmin
the largest gigantic stuffed bunny she had ever seen in her entire life. The bunny had floppy ears and a large ribbon
around his neck. Jungmin hugged the doll excitedly but glanced at Junsu through the corner of her eye. She hoped he
liked what she got him. She couldn’t go to some exotic country to buy him a gift but she did spend the greater part of her
vacation trying to make the perfect gift. She had spent so much time on Junsu’s gift that she almost forgot about the rest
of her family and had to do some emergency shopping the day before Christmas Eve.

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Junsu opened his box and eagerly brought out a long fluffy red scarf and matching gloves. He wrapped the scarf around
his neck excitedly and beamed at Jungmin who was just as red as the scarf. Junsu was extremely pleased, no one had
ever made him something for Christmas before. Junsu stopped admiring his scarf to look at Changmin who was opening
his gift. Junsu had been nervous and relieved when he found he had Changmin to give a present to. He had wanted to
give his best friend a gift but he also had to make sure he gave a good gift as Jungmin’s boyfriend. If things ever got
weird between the three of them, well Junsu hoped that never happened.

Changmin opened his box and his mouth fell open when he noticed keys stuck on the bottom of the lid. Those kids were
unmistakably car keys. Changmin stared at Junsu in shock, did he just get a car for Christmas? Junsu just laughed and
gestured Changmin to look inside the box. Changmin reached and drew out a toy model of a car. He laughed and
admired the handiwork of the small but very detailed model. He thanks his friend for the gift and the joke.

Yeseul weighed the box in her hands. She couldn’t help but curious to see what Changmin had bought her. If she had to
guess she would have thought of a Boy Scout handbook or maybe some vitamins. She opened the box and raised her
eyebrows in surprise. She brought out the warm looking coat and checked the label. Christian Dior? Changmin knew what
Dior was? She looked at Changmin who was blushing. He pointed to the box and Yeseul looked down to see a card. She
picked up the card and read it.

“To keep you warm for the rest of winter. Don’t know what Christian Dior means but I saw it and thought it would look
beautiful pretty nice on you. Drink up!”

Yeseul looked at the box again and it was all she could do to not laugh. She held up the vitamin drinks and nodded at
Changmin. They smiled at each other.

“YES! THANK YOU YESEUL! I WILL USE THIS WISELY!”

The kids looked up in horror to see Nari slashing the air with a real sword. She jumped around and swung the sword
around, almost knocking off a music stand in Micky’s room.

“You gave her a SWORD? What is wrong with you?” Yunho asked Yeseul in disbelief. That was like…that was like feeding
gasoline to a forest fire!

Yeseul put her hands on her hips and sighed. “NARI! That is a 4oo year old sword! Put it back in the case! You’re
supposed to look at it not swing it around like that! You could cut someone.”

Nari pouted and put the sword back in the case but stared at it hungrily. For now it would be in the case but when she
got home, heh heh, there would be no stopping her. She wondered what kind of fruit she had that she could practice on.
Nari hoped she had watermelons, lots of watermelons.

Micky didn’t open his gift right away. He stared at it suspiciously, who knew what could be in there. He just prayed that
whatever was in there it wasn’t alive, now or once. He cautiously opened the box and in total surprise brought out very
pretty black music box. He glanced at Nari who was drooling over her sword and back at the music box. There was no
way this delicate gift could come from that monster.

He opened it gingerly and listened to the song it played. Micky’s eyes widened, it was playing his doll song! It was playing
the song he had written. Micky stared incredously at Nari.

“You gave me this?”

Nari looked up from sword and tried to look like it wasn’t a big deal. “Yeah, I had it play your song.” She eyed him, did he
like it? Stupid Micky, it hadn’t been easy having that music box be made. She had been horrified when she found out who

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she had to buy the gift for and spent a great deal of time trying to think of a gift for him. Nari had been pretty proud
when she thought of the idea, a music box would be girly enough for Micky.

“And you…YOU THREW THIS AT ME? WHAT WERE YOU PLANNING TO DO IF I DIDN’T CATCH IT? IT WOULD HAVE
BROKE!”

“HEY YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO THANK ME FOR THE GIFT YOU UNGRATEFUL HALF OF A MAN?”

“HALF OF A MAN? AT LEAST I’M NOT HALF BEAST AND HALF MONSTER!”

“WHY YOU-“

Jaejoong silently opened his gift ignoring the loud fight that was going on right next to him. He brought out a leather
bound notebook and leafed through the pages noting that it was blank. A sheet music fell out and Jaejoong picked it up
and read it.

“It's feel like


beautiful thing
Below the moon’s shadow
The wind whispers in my ear
Where will it take me
Making the night turn white
A spirit that walks on clouds
Till the dawn comes
Till the night goes to sleep
Time of love, Oh my life
When will be the chosen day
There is nothing in this world
That is not beautiful
For one to know everything in a lifetime
It’s too short of a trip
Though the seasons will come again
Time also passes
Life’s faint light allow
Only the memories remain
I am thankful for each day
So I put my hands together in a small prayer
Everything that is hidden in lies
May I love please”
(DBSK - credits to aheeyah.com)

On the back of the last piece of music Micky had written a note:
“It helps to write. Maybe not songs but anything. I say this while I know nothing: Keep fighting while there’s the smallest
of chances. Micky. P.S. The paper of this notebook was made from bananas. Who knew?”

Jaejoong stared at the note and then he glanced up at Micky who was glaring at Nari while gently holding his gift. For an
idiot who pretended not to get worked up, Micky had a way with words and music. Their eyes met and Jaejoong nodded
thanks and Micky returned his nod.

Yunho would admit it, he was actually very nervous to see what gift Jaejoong had given him. Yunho knew he had done

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something very horrible to his best friend and he had done it for a selfish reason. It still amazed him that Jaejoong didn’t
show any hatred or anger towards him. Yunho opened the box and when he saw what was inside guilt flooded him like a
tsunami.

It was watch, a very nice European watch. While Yunho had been pretending to date his girl Jaejoong had noticed that
Yunho had broken his favorite watch and never got around to getting a new one. Yunho put on the watch and forced a
grin. He clasped Jaejoong on the back and thanked him heartedly, desperately wishing his guilt and misery was hidden.
For a second their eyes met and though no words were exchanged their friendship was affirmed. For some reason
Jaejoong seem to understand and he didn’t blame Yunho.

“Just take good care of her.” Yunho heard Jaejoong whisper and he nodded in response. They both glanced at Mira who
seemed to not notice the two and looked very engrossed in opening her gift.

“What do we have here?” Mira said excitedly. Inside the bag held her favorite sweets and a small jewelry box. She
opened the box and let out a laugh when she saw what was inside. Inside was a plastic flower ring which Mira happily
suspected he had gotten out of a vending machine. She put it on her finger and admired it. She picked up the card and
read it.

“Enjoy the candy and here is what I owe you from fourth grade. Thank you for everything and I hope you really smile
again. Yu.” Mira smiled and hugged Yunho.

“Now you give me a ring? You’re a little late.” She teased as Yunho laughed also. Mira and Yunho looked around as their
friends were thanking each other and admiring their gifts. Jungmin was sitting on the lap of her doll as Junsu continued to
praise her knitting skills. Yeseul was patiently explaining who Christian Dior was to Changmin who looked slightly
confused. Nari fingered her sword looking very hungry while Micky kept on staring at his gift and Nari in disbelief that the
two were related. Jaejoong seemed to be singing a song to himself.

Later on the night the kids left one by one, all feeling very happy. They all drove away in their separate cars and Micky
finally closed the door behind Jaejoong who left last. He yawned and scratched his stomach. It had be been a nice night,
a bit tiring but a good night. He headed up the stairs to clean up and get ready to sleep.

On the ride home Mira couldn’t get Yunho and Jaejoong out of her mind. Although she had pretended to be deeply into
opening her present she had kept on eye on the two. She knew that Yunho had been feeling guilty about the whole
situation and she knew Jaejoong would be kind enough to reassure him. Besides, it really wasn’t Yunho’s fault. Mira
looked at her plastic ring, she was to blame for everything. She was the one who broke up with Jaejoong and she had
been the one to propose the fake relationship with Yunho. She really was a selfish person.
When she arrived home her parents were already asleep. She went to her room and reached into her pocket to take out
her gloves. She paused as she noticed something else. Someone had slipped in a box in her coat’s jacket during the
night. Curious, Mira brought out the little box and stared at it. She leaned on the wall and opened the box.

Mira almost dropped the box. Inside was a mini chocopie. She slowly took out the chocopie and held her breath as she
read the note that was underneath.

“Merry Christmas Precious.”

Mira couldn’t hold it in anymore. The pressure that was inside her for so long grew so big and needed t be let out. Mira
started to cry. It started off small with a tear or two falling down her face but soon she was sobbing loudly, her shoulders
shaking as she slid down the wall and fell to the floor. She dropped the chocopie and buried her face in her hands. She
didn’t know why, but it hurt so much. Her heart hurt so much.

CHAPTER 12 – Rejection

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© pikapika.

“Hi Jungmin!”

9 heads looked up from their table and stared at Jungmin’s classmate, Taewoo, who was standing right next to them. He
smiled sweetly.

“Oh, hi Taewoo.” Jungmin said uncertainly. What was he doing just standing there? She hoped he wasn’t going to get into
trouble for that, other students weren’t normally allowed near their table. Taewoo was one of the few rare kids in her
class who treated her like a classmate instead of a Royalty. She would hate it if something happened to him.

“I broke up with Kimji last night.”

“Kimji? Hm, she’s in my class.” Yeseul commented eyeing Taewoo. So this was the first year who broke up with Kimji.
Cute, but not worth the trouble.

“You want to know why I broke up with her?” Taewoo asked Jungmin ignoring everyone else’s stares.

Micky took a swig out of his drink but couldn’t help but be annoyed with the first year, he had come to their table to
interrupt them with gossip? First years these days, they sure got a lot braver. Maybe it was because Jungmin was in the
Royalty now.

When Jungmin didn’t reply Taewoo answered anyways. “Because I like you and I want to ask you out.”

The entire school gasped. Yunho stopped chewing his steak. Mira stopped slurping her noodles. Micky choked on his
water. Nari choked on her gum. Yeseul raised an eyebrow. Changmin dropped his kimbapp. Jaejoong eyed the first year.
Junsu’s smile fell from his face. Jungmin’s mouth dropped open.

Did this first year just gobaek to a member of a Royalty? And a member who already had a boyfriend at that! Jungmin
and Junsu had become quite the popular couple at school. How dare he try to get in between the cutest couple in school?

“They get braver and braver every year them first years.” Yunho said who resumed gnawing at his steak.

“So?” Taewoo asked Jungmin. She closed her mouth and tried to come over her shock.

“Uh, well I already have a boyfriend, Junsu.” She stammered out. Junsu nodded and inched a little closer. Taewoo
seemed unfazed.

“I know.”

“You know?”

“Who doesn’t? I don’t care, I still like you. I find you really cute and sincere which I find attractive.”

“Oh…thank you?”

“So, will you go out with me?”

“No!” Jungmin said firmly this time. She liked Taewoo, he was a good friend. He was also very smart and funny and she

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wouldn’t deny that he was cute. However, how could she break up with Junsu? Even with their disastrous first date she
still liked him, a lot.

“Hm, I was worried you would say that. Which is why I bought this!” Taewoo whipped out a disk from behind his back
and held it out. The kids stared at it.

“What is that?” Nari asked.

“This here is the Jin Tech. data I hacked from Changmin’s laptop when he was in the bathroom yesterday! If you don’t go
out with me I will sell this to Jin Tech’s rival companies!”

“What is this revenge of the nerds?” Yeseul asked.

Now Junsu was worried. He had been a bit worried when the kid first came up to them but Jungmin had reassured
everyone that she wasn’t going to leave him. But now, he was threatening her family! If something happened to her
because of him, he wouldn’t be able to forgive himself. Then again, he didn’t really want to lose Jungmin to a weird nerd
like that.

Mira quickly swallowed her noodles and stood up. She went over to Taewoo and clamped her hands on his cheeks to his
and everyone’s surprise. Then she squeezed his cheeks and smiled brightly.

“Oh you’re so cute you smarty pants you! Trying to win over Jungmin with your smartness. I heard about you, you’re the
little hacker first year in our school! Now, if you would only take this seriously…”

“Excuse me?” Taewoo asked his cheeks still being squeezed.

“Come on you really don’t expect us to believe that you have all of Jin Tech’s data on that little bitty disk do you? You
would need a couple mega computers to have all that!”

Taewoo grinned as Mira let go of his cheeks. “You caught me.” He threw the disk over his shoulder. “That was just a
bootleg of “My Sassy Girl”. However, I did hack into Changmin’s computer yesterday and I did copy all of his data into
mine. There were some important folders on Jin Tech.”

Suddenly Changmin stamped his fist into his hands. “Oh I get it! I was trying to figure out what you hacked exactly. The
files you got is data from Jin Tech’s first years, before the company got revamped and rebooted. There’s nothing
important or valuable in the file there.”

Taewoo’s face fell. Not that he really planned on selling the data, he wouldn’t have done that. He had wanted to use that
data to create a super virus to unleash on to the school. Oh well, there would be other companies and other days.

“Well, since that didn’t work out too well I’ll just have to challenge Junsu to a fist fight.”

“You really don’t give up do you?” Micky asked incredulously. To everyone’s exasperation Taewoo shook his head
cheerfully. Jungmin bit her lip and looked at Taewoo and Junsu nervously. What was she supposed to do now?

“Well come on Junsu hyung, time and place! You name it!” Taewoo challenged Junsu still smiling.

Before Junsu could reply Yunho wiped his mouth and stood up. “I think that’s enough. Maybe because you’re a rookie you
don’t quite understand how things go around here but first of all, you don’t interrupt our lunch. Second of all you don’t
ask a constellation out, especially one who’s already taken. Thirdly, you don’t threaten any member of Royalty. Lastly,
you have a lot of nerve challenging Junsu like that. I think I’ll have to show you a lesson.”

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To everyone’s surprise Jaejoong stood up also. “I agree and I’ll help. I hate it when someone tries to get in between two
people.”

Nari hopped up excitedly. “Are we going to bump? Let me take him. You’re cute and I have to admit you’re brave but we
can’t have Junsu get his hands dirty with you. I’ll take him!”

“No, I’ll take him.”

Shocked the entire school turned to look at Junsu who had stood up. He looked around a bit nervously but looked
determined. “I’ll take his challenge.”

This time Mira was a bit worried. She had no problem of Yunho or anyone else taking on the first year, but Junsu! Junsu
was such a sweetheart, he would never hurt anyone purposely. She wasn’t sure if he would do too well in a one on one
physical fight. “Are you sure Junsu?”

“Yes.” Junsu nodded firmly. “He challenged me and as Jungmin’s boyfriend I have to take it. I don’t like to fight but if it’s
for Jungmin I will.”

Half the girls in the school including Jungmin almost fainted. Sweet Junsu was acting so manly and mushitsuh! As worried
as she was for him, Jungmin couldn’t help but feel so proud of her brave boyfriend.

“Never mind then!”

“Huh?”

Taewoo smiled cheerfully and scratched the back of his head. “Never mind! I was only joking, besides if I bumped with
Junsu and lost I wouldn’t be able to get to the other girls on my list.”

“Other girls on you list?” Echoed Jungmin being very confused.

“Yup!” He bought out a piece of paper and showed the table. On the paper was a list of twenty or so girl names. “Now
that I’m single I’m free to ask out all these girls! Jungmin, see your name is first but I really do have to be able to get to
the other girls too.”

“So none of this was serious.” Changmin said shaking his head in wonder. Taewoo looked offended and shook his head.

“Serious? Of course it was! Jungmin you are very cute! Then again, so are all these girls. I treat all girls with seriousness!
Oh, by the way, Yeseul you’re coming up next in the list.”

Jaejoong sighed and sat back down. What a weird first year.

“That’s it?” Now Junsu was angry. Who was this kid getting everyone all worked up? And to challenge him for Jungmin
but not mean it! How dare he not think Jungmin was worth fighting for!

Taewoo cheerfully grabbed Junsu’s hands and shook it. “Yup and now that’s over I wish you two most happiness. Oh look
there’s number two on my list! NOONA WAIT FOR ME!”

Taewoo grabbed his paper and left the table leaving the Royalty at the table all taken aback all except Nari who was
roaring with laughter.

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“WHAT A PIMP! THAT WAS SO FUNNY!”

Mira giggled. “That one is going to be trouble later on, he’s only a first year.”

“Luck you get to graduate.” Yeseul grumbled.

Junsu sat down frowning not sure what to make of the whole scenario. However, Jungmin grabbed his hands and
squeezed it.

“Junsu oppa you were so mushitsuh! I never had anyone willing to fight for me before!”

Junsu started to blush. “Really? You liked that?”

“I loved it! You were so cool!”

Jungmin continued to praise the blushing but happy Junsu as the rest of the Royalty began to finish their lunches.
Changmin took another bit out of kimbapp and contemplated sending his little sister to an all girls school. Micky chewed
on his chopsticks and wondered if this was going to be an inspiration for a song. Nari was still beaming, what a funny kid
she thought. Yunho sat back down, shrugged, and went back to attacking his steak. Jaejoong stared depressingly at Mira
who was helping Yunho cut up his steak into pieces. Yeseul eyed the three and shook her head. Junsu thought he had
drama with Taewoo? He had nothing compared to what those three had.

----

“Hello?”

“Hello Miss Shim it’s your favorite student!”

“Hi, Yunho…wait a minute how do you have my phone number?”

“Please Miss Shim, Mira’s dad owns LG. You have an LG phone. It was quite easy.”

“That is quick stalkerish of you.”

“Anything for love.”

“Yunho…”

“But enough about me! You think I wouldn’t know what day it is!”

“Yunho…”

“Happy Birthday!”

“(sigh) Thank you Yunho, now shouldn’t you be doing the homework I gave you?”

“I want to give you the best birthday you’ve ever had! I was thinking we could fly to Jeju Island and go to my favorite
restaurant there! What do you think?”

“Oh Yunho…”

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“Come on, there you won’t have to worry about people seeing us! Jeju is beautiful even in the winter you know.”

“I don’t know…”

“Come on…don’t you want to see what I got you? You wouldn’t see me for Christmas, you have to at least let me take
you out tonight.”

“…”

“Alright! Where are you? I’ll have someone pick you up!”

“No! Ah, why don’t we meet somewhere? How about in front of the pet store a couple of blocks away from school?”

“That’s fine, I’ll be waiting for you! Don’t make me wait!”

“Good bye Yunho.”

Miss Shim bit her lip and hung up. It would have been safer for him to pick her up at her place but secretly she was
ashamed. She didn’t want him to see the little shack she lived on the roof of some apartments. He was just so rich and
she, well she was a first year teacher. She couldn’t figure out why it would matter so much though.

Nevertheless she put her jacket and prepared to get ready. Truthfully she was hoping he would call, she didn’t want to be
alone on her birthday. She let out a small smile, she had never been to Jeju Island before, she had heard it really was
beautiful though.

When she was ready she locked her door and headed down the stairs. It was snowing lightly and very cold. When she
sighed she could see her breath of air. Miss Shim hugged herself as she headed down the street, as cold it was it really
was a beautiful evening.

As she got closer to the meeting spot she couldn’t help but get excited. Maybe the restaurant would have a view of the
ocean! It’s been so long since she’s seen the ocean! Her steps grew a little quicker.

“Oh well if it isn’t Miss Shim my favorite coworker!”

Startled Miss Shim turned and saw Teacher Jung leaning against a telephone pole smoking a cigarette. He grinned that
crooked smile of his.

“Mr. Jung!”

“I’m glad to see you Miss Shim.”

“You are?” Miss Shim asked breathlessly. He looked so handsome in his long dark trench coat with his grey speckled hair
slightly mused due to the wind.

“I was hoping someone could take me out tonight, it’s too beautiful of a day to eat by yourself don’t you think?”

Did he know? Did he know it was her birthday? She had hinted the last week or so but she had never been sure if he had
understood. “It is a beautiful night…”

“I forgot my wallet at home; do you think you could perhaps feed Teacher Jung? I would pay you back of course.”

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Miss Shim hopes were dashed; no he didn’t know it was her birthday. But for a chance to eat with him and perhaps
another chance to do it again! “Of course I would love to take you out, though I don’t have a lot of money…”

Mr. Jung waved his hand. “Oh I don’t need anything special. It really is my lucky day to bump into pretty Miss Shim isn’t
it?”

Miss Shim blushed. “Well, there’s a soup place near by that’s decent, how’s that?”

“Sound great.”

“Oh wait, oh if you excuse me can I make a phone call?”

Teacher Jung shrugged. “Sure, I’ll wait, no hurries.”

Miss Shim turned away from and brought out her cellphone.

“Hello, Yunho?”

----

Yunho blew on his hands and stamped his feet. After his phone call he had hopped into his car and had his driver drive
him to the meeting spot as fast as could. He couldn’t wait, he was going to be alone with Miss Shim for her birthday! He
had so much planned for that night! The flight to Jeju, the famous seafood restaurant he had reserved for the night, and
then the boat ride. There on the boat he would present his gift, the one he had dragged Mira into helping him buy. He
had spent hours trying to find the perfect gift for Miss Shim. Something that would best represent how he felt for,
something almost as pretty as she was.

Yunho couldn’t help but grin, she was finally beginning to warm up to him! Soon she would forget all about that idiot
Teacher Jung and be his and his alone. Then, after school ends and he graduates he could see her openly, no more
hiding. He couldn’t wait to graduate.

Yunho looked around excitedly and wondered which direction she would come from. Then something stopped him. Wasn’t
that Teacher Jung being kicked out of the bar? Yunho squinted, yes he was right it was Mr. Jung. He didn’t look drunk,
maybe he didn’t have enough money. Yunho contemplated for a second, maybe before Miss Shim got there he should
hand some money to Jung and shove him inside the bar. If anything could ruin his day, it would definitely be Jung.

Before he could make up his mind he noticed that Jung recognized someone. Oh no, he saw Miss Shim and they were
now talking. Yunho groaned and hid behind a sign, the one person to run into tonight. He watched as they talked and
wondered if he should grab her before she got any further with that man.

“Wipe that stupid grin off your face.” He muttered at Miss Shim. He could never understand what she saw in that smoking
cocky idiot of a teacher. Ew, he had some grey hairs too, how gross.

To his relief he saw Miss Shim step away but then she bought out her cellphone. No, she wouldn’t, please God…

His cellphone began to vibrate and he stared at it with dread. Slowly, he lifted it to his ear.

“Hello?”

“Hello, Yunho?”

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“Miss Shim.”

“I’m so sorry to do this to you but I’m afraid we’ll have to cancel our night. Something came up.”

“Really what?”

“Um, it’s an emergency family thing. I’m sorry Yunho, another night?”

“Family emergency huh?”

“Uh yes. Ok, I got to go. I’m so sorry Yunho, I’ll see you at school. Goodbye.”

CLICK.

Yunho still had his phone to his ear as he watched Miss Shim turn around and smile her pretty smile at Jung. He watched
in disbelief as they walked off together.

“How could you?” Yunho whispered.

----

“Well, this is really good suhlung tang! It might be because I’m eating it with such a pretty young lady.”

Miss Shim blushed and took a sip of her soondubu. She couldn’t believe it, she was having dinner with Mr. Jung!

“Thank you again for treating me out like this. I must be getting old, forgetting my wallet.”

“No, it’s no problem! And you’re not getting old…”

“Haha, sure if you say so. I was old back then when I was your professor, Miss Shim.”

“You were never old, not to me anyways.”

They both smiled at each other. Mr. Jung slurped his soup and grabbed some kimchee. “I can’t believe my favorite
student ended up being my favorite coworker! Now, what are the chances?”

Miss Shim blushed again but didn’t say anything. Truthfully she had fallen for Teacher Jung when he was her professor at
her college. He was so charismatic and charming, and he still was. Of course she was disappointed when he left her
college. She didn’t care if there were rumors that he got kicked out for having relationships with the other professors.
She graduated early and when she found he was being hired by Sonho high she had begged on her knees to be employed
in. It hadn’t been easy but it was all worth it, she could work with Teacher and Jung and see him everyday.

“So what were you doing out by yourself? Going somewhere?”

His comment jogged her back to reality and she took a sip of water before answering. “I was um, just enjoying the night
air. Beautiful night.”

Mr. Jung seemed to buy it, “It really is, isn’t it? All that snow and the city…”

Now there was a tug of guilt in Miss Shim’s stomach. She had done something horrible to Yunho, he had planned so much
for her birthday. She tried to push that thought aside, she was eating dinner with Mr. Jung! What better birthday present

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was that? Though she was paying for the dinner and tomorrow she would have to go without breakfast, but still, Teacher
Jung!

“Miss Shim? Are you alright? You seem very lost in thought. What could be going on in that pretty head of yours?”

Miss Shim smiled embarrassedly, “Oh, nothing much. Just thinking about how glad I am to have dinner with you.”

Teacher Jung grinned and made her heart flutter. “You like me that much do you? Hm, that’s surprising considering what
a stud your young suitor is. Yunho, he’s a good looking kid and closer to your age.”

“He is…but I don’t feel for him the way I feel about you.”

“Now, I’ve already explained to you, I’m not one that can be tamed.”

“I know but I don’t care. Mr. Jung I think I’m in-”

“Well, look who’s here.”

“Yunho!”

----

Yunho couldn’t believe himself, what was he doing following the two secretly like that? He should just go up to them,
grab her hand, and drag her out of there leaving that Jung by himself! However, here he was hiding behind poles and
walls, following them around like some crazy stalker.

They finally came to a stop and entered a small soup restaurant. She was ditching him to eat here? He waited until they
were sitting down when he slipped in unnoticed and grabbed a seat behind them.

“Sir, can I get you anything?” A waitress came over and bothered him. He shook his and bought out some money.

“Look, you can have all this and more if you make sure no one bothers me. Do we have a deal?”

The waitress grabbed the money excitedly and nodded. She left and started to whisper to the other waitresses. Yunho sat
back and listened to their conversation.

“Thank you again for treating me out like this. I must be getting old, forgetting my wallet.”

“No, it’s no problem! And you’re not getting old…”

Yunho angrily made a face, what was she talking about? That man was twice her age and he was even older than Yunho’s
father! And what kind of loser was this, bumming off a woman, especially on her birthday!

“Miss Shim? Are you alright? You seem very lost in thought? What could be going on in that pretty head of yours?”

“Oh, nothing much. Just thinking about how glad I am to have dinner with you.”

Yunho looked down sadly, was she that happy to be with Jung? Was she happier than she would have been with Yunho?
Was she happier sitting down in the mangy low class restaurant with Jung than with him in the expensive seafood
restaurant he had reserved? Would it have mattered that he had reserved the entire place for the two of them? Would it
have matter that he had hired someone to play her favorite songs on the piano? Did she really love Jung?

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. “You like me that much do you? Hm, that’s surprising considering what a stud your young suitor is. Yunho, he’s a good
looking kid and closer to your age.”

“He is…but I don’t feel for him the way I feel about you.”

Yunho couldn’t take it anymore, his heart was hurting so much. He reached into his pocket and grabbed the present he
had prepared for Miss Shim. He clenched it as hard as he could. He stood up angrily and approached their table.

“Well, looks who’s here.”

“Yunho!”

Yunho angrily looked at the two who looked shocked to see him; Mr. Jung with a surprised but highly amused expression
and Miss Shim who turned red with guilt.

“Family emergency huh?”

“What? Oh my…”

“Yunho I’m so sorry!” Miss Shim grabbed Yunho’s hand but he shook it off. He placed his present in front of her and
glared at the two.

“Don’t be, I shouldn’t have been such an idiot. I don’t know what I was thinking, you’re obviously in love with this
cigarette butt of a man. I’m sorry I ever bothered you.”

“Cigarette butt of a man? That’s a little harsh.”

“Yunho…”

Yunho shook his head. “I don’t want to hear it. I’ll be leaving you two alone, I hope you have a wonderful night. Oh, don’t
worry about dinner, I got it. You shouldn’t have to pay for dinner on your birthday.” With that he turned and wordlessly
left them.

“Yunho!” Miss Shim called out but Yunho ignored her. He tossed some bills at the waitress and walked out of the
restaurant.

“It’s your birthday?” My. Jung asked. Miss Shim bit her lip and nodded. What has she done?

“Open you present.” He ordered. Miss Shim looked down at the little gift box that was in front of her. She had hardly
noticed it, she was too busy feeling guilty and staring at Yunho.

Miss Shim let out a small cry when she saw what was inside. There in her hands was the most prettiest necklace she ever
saw in her entire life. It was silver with heart and a key pendent.

Mr. Jung reached over and grabbed a piece of paper that had fallen out when she grabbed the necklace. He read out
loud. “For your birthday. One day I hope to find the key to your tightly locked heart. Until then, sincerely yours, Yunho.”

Mr. Jung leaned back and sighed. “I was right, he’s quite the kid.”

Miss Shim didn’t reply but stared at the necklace.

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Mr. Jung continued on. “I didn’t even know it was your birthday and there he was, birthday present and all. He even
probably planned out an elaborate surprise for you too. And you left all that for me.”

Miss Shim looked up at Mr. Jung wordlessly as he shook his head at her. “You really are quite a fool Miss Shim. You can’t
tame me and all I will ever do will do is hurt you. I’ve already warned you, I’m not one who falls in love and someone
once told me very accurately that I have no consideration for the opposite sex. I’m very fond of you Miss Shim, that’s is
why I’m going to give you this advice: You don’t want anything to do with a man like me. I suggest that you open your
eyes and see the difference between someone who is no good for you and someone who sees only good in you. He may
be younger but what is in a number?”

Mr. Jung stood up and grabbed a cigarette. He tapped Miss Shim on the head as he left. “I’m going to leave you alone to
work things out. Don’t be blind Miss Shim and I’ll see you at school.”

He walked away but when he got to the door he paused. “Oh, happy birthday.”

Miss Shim sat there still staring at the necklace in her hands. A tear fell down her soft cheeks but she didn’t notice.

She really was a fool. A blind fool.

CHAPTER 13 – Part one: Porcupine and Nail polish


© pikapika.

“You know I woke up today and I had the weirdest feeling in my stomach.”

“You know what? Me too, I still have it.”

“It’s an omen, something is coming.”

“Yeah, something big and something dangerous.”

Yeseul, Jungmin, Junsu, and Changmin were sitting next to a ddukboki tent next to their school and they all looked at
each warily. It had to mean something, the way they were all feeling very anxious for a reason they had yet to find out.

Mira popped her head. “There you guys are! You guys are hiding too huh?” She happily popped down next to Changmin
and grabbed some ddukboki. She ripped off a piece and chewed it happily.

Junsu ordered some more. “Hiding? What we hiding from?” They all stared at Mira who tried to swallow quickly but ended
up choking. Changmin awkwardly patted her in the back and Mira took a gulp of water.

“(cough) Sorry! Anyways, don’t tell me you don’t know? Another song writing contest started again and Nari and Micky
both are entering.”

“Hm, no wonder.”

“I knew it was going to be bad.”

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“Ugh, just thinking it about gives me the shivers.”

“Our friends are scary…”

Mira nodded and grabbed another bit. “Yup, and you know how they get. You know what they do to the school.”

“Screaming and yelling.”

“Violent threats.”

“Mass chaos.”

“Fear everywhere.”

The 4 members of the Royalty looked at each glumly but were all thankful they were out of school. Mira happily ate some
more and ordered three more plates.

-----

“DIE! DIE YOU! AND DEATH TO YOUR FAMILY! MAY ALL YOUR OFFSPRINGS BE CURSED! HOW DARE YOU BREATHE SO
LOUDLY?”

Nari breathed heavily as she cornered three male students to a corner of a wall. She towered over and them roared some
more.

“YOU ARE INTERRUPTING MY THOUGHTS! I CAN NOT WRITE BECAUSE OF YOUR NOISY BREATHING. THIS IS A LIBRARY.
CAN’T YOU BE QUIET? “

The cornered students muttered something inaudible but Nari hardly noticed. She gave them one last murderous look
and stepped aside allowing them to scamper away. No, she didn’t have time for this. The song writer contest had started,
she needed a song. She needed one now.

Though she was definitely having trouble. She couldn’t think of a song to write, she had no emotions that needed to be
locked into words and notes. She was completely blank and it scared her; that had never happened before. Usually she
could just pop them out one by one with barely any effort.

Nari viciously began to chew on her pencil. She knew who’s fault it was, that stupid Micky. That stupid girly complaining
Micky. If he hadn’t made her so angry, so sad, and brought all those memories back she would have been fine. Stupid
him and stupid his girlfriend. Nari calmed down a little and put the gnawed pencil down. Great, now she felt bad for him,
bad for that punk.

No, no more nice feelings for Nari. She stood up determinedly. She was going to find him and she was going to make him
miserable the way he was making her life miserable. He would feel her pain.

Nari roamed the halls glowering at anyone who dare got in her way. She didn’t see any of her friends anywhere though
she did see that first year, Wootae or something like that. She had actually grown very fond of him and his confident yet
quirky ways. Though she did give him a black eye when he told her he had added her to his list and asked her out. Punk,
who did he think he was asking her out?

Nari couldn’t find that Micky anywhere, he was nowhere to be seen! She had checked all the classrooms, all the music

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rooms, and she had even went into the boy bathrooms (startling all those who were inside). There was one place left and
she headed towards the auditorium.

When she was inside she noticed that the stage was lit and on it stood a piano. Nari squinted her eyes, was that sheet
music on the piano? Nari hurriedly went down the rows and hopped up on stage. She picked up the music and read it.

“Quills of love and pain? What the, what kind of title is that?” Nari kept on reading and as she read the song she was torn
between laughing and ripping it into pieces with disgust.

Oh the music was beautifully formatted, it would be a pretty song for sure. But the lyrics! What kind of weird lyrics was
this?

“Oh when that quill hit your skin it hit my heart and went deep within…I was with you and you were with me… My life was
thrown into chaos when that porcupine turned to you…The quills so sharp and so painful…I’ve lost you forever and it’s all
because of the porcupine… I screamed and scream…at night in my mind I see your face and that evil grin on the
porcupine’s face…In my arms you fade away into black…WHAT THE?!”

Nari couldn’t believe, there was no way this was Micky’s song! But there was his name with that horrible hand writing of
his. What was this piece of junk? What happened to her rival?

“Hey what are you doing? Give me that!” Micky appeared out of nowhere and angrily grabbed the music from Nari’s
hands.

“This…this is yours?”

“Yeah.” Micky snapped. “This is the song I plan to enter the contest.”

“You…you plan on entering the contest with that song?”

“Yes, why not?” Micky answered defiantly. Nari looked at him with lowered eyes. There was something going, he was
definitely acting weird, very weird. And that song, that weird song of his. Nari continue to stare at Micky suspiciously as
he carefully smoothed out his music.

“Nari, you read the song right? What did you think?”

“Uh…” Nari couldn’t figure out what to say. Was this some sort of trick? Some sort of joke?

“This song…” Micky said placing it back on the piano. “This song is the song that’s going to make me heal forever.”

“What?”

Micky began to play his song on the piano. Nari was right it was a very pretty song and hearing it made her realizing it
had a very haunting melody.

“I told you before, I write songs to unleash. I’ve been slowly building up throughout the years, slowly writing more and
more personal songs as I keep healing. I know I can’t keep mourning forever, I need to move on. I think I have finally
come to the place where I can write one last song about her. And this song, it explains it all. That painful day, that day
when I thought my life had ended.”

“This song, this song is about the day your girlfriend died?”

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Micky’s fingers trembled over the piano keys and he took a deep breath to compose himself. “Yes. It was a couple of
years past. For some reason I knew she was special. So I fell in love, and I fell hard. She was so pretty and so sweet.
One day, we were camping and we got lost together. It wasn’t so bad, I was with her and she was with me. But we
stayed lost and it eventually became night. While we were stumbling around looking for our way back we stumbled upon
a horrible animal. An animal so vicious and terrifying, we screamed and screamed.”

“A porcupine?”

“Yes. It attacked us and the next thing we knew she was bleeding, bleeding so much. A sharp quill had pierced her hand
and she just kept on saying how sharp it was and how much it hurt. I didn’t think too much of it at first but then her hand
turned black, a horrid color. She grew weak and that night she died in my arms. The morning after, when they found us
they told me she had an allergic reaction. There was nothing I could have done. I lost her, I lost the girl I thought I
loved. I lost my first love.”

Nair stared wordlessly as she recognized some of the words from the song as Micky continued to play sadly. This, this
was how he lost her girlfriend? This was why he kept on writing those sad songs? Of all ways to go, she had to die in his
arms from an allergic reaction to a porcupine quill?

“But now I’ve written the song and I think I can finally move on. I think when all those people hear my song and they’ll
understand, that’s when I’ll finally be able to let go.” Micky slowed his playing down and looked at Nari. “What’s wrong?
You haven’t said much.”

“Uh…I think I have to go.” Nari stammered out and she left the stage leaving Micky very confused. After awhile he began
to play the song again and this time he hummed along.

------

Nari couldn’t sleep. She tossed and turned in her bed. No matter what she did, no matter how many sheep she counted
she could not get that stupid song out of her head. But it wasn’t the song that bothered her so much.

Nari sat up in her dark room and groaned. It was the fact that stupid song meant so much to that stupid Micky. And that
stupid contest was tomorrow and all the stupid students including her stupid friends would be there in that stupid school
to hear that stupid stupid song. Then all those stupid people would make fun of that stupid Micky and that stupid Micky
would get so hurt and he would never be able to get over his stupid girlfriend.

She rolled out of bed. She would have to do something. Not because she cared for that stupid Micky and his stupid song,
no she didn’t care for him at all. She didn’t care that he could get so hurt so much that he would never heal. She didn’t
care that the whole thing meant so much to him. No, she would do something because she really wouldn’t be winning if
she won because of that stupid song. Yes, that was it. She had to do this so she could win fairly.

Nari turned on a light and bought out some music paper. The contest was tomorrow, she had to write a song quickly.
Wait, no it was today as it was 3 am in the morning. She bit her lip and looked around quickly. There had to be
something that she could write about, something to write in a song that was equally as stupid as his.

-----

“So none of us are voting?”

“Yes, we have music teachers judging today.”

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“Thank goodness.”

The students looked at each other in relief. No one had forgotten the fear and the mass confusion of the first contest.
Now they could just listen to the songs and enjoy it without worrying about whether they were going to get stalked by
Micky or killed by Nari.

“Hey, doesn’t Nari look really tired?” Changmin asked Yunho as the members of the Royalty sat up front. Yunho peered
and tried to get a better look.

“Yeah, she has some serious bags under her eyes. I wonder if she’s OK…”

“Oh she’ll be fine, just don’t get in her way today, especially if she doesn’t win. She’s even scarier when she’s tired.”
Yeseul warned.

“Oh dear.” Jungmin mumbled worriedly.

The head of the music department got up on stage and the crowd became silent. “Ahem, now the second song writing
contest of the year will now commend. We have two contestants this time (duh) and we start it off with Nari’s song called
“Nail Polish.”

Nari took a deep breath and stepped into the spotlight. She adjusted her guitar strap and made sure the mic was at her
level. She would be singing solo today but then again she wasn’t sure if she could actually manage to teach this song to
her bandmates.

Nari strung a chord and before she opened her mouth she decided that out of all the stupid people in the world, she was
the most stupid of them all.

Life can be cruel something the way it takes things away


You who was so precious to me
Now you are gone because of that dark red
Nail polish.
I don’t know why I had it out and why it didn’t smell.
I thought you would know but you didn’t and it’s all my fault.
You took that bottle, that bottle of death and drank the
Nail polish.
I loved you so much, so much that I colored my nails for you
That color that meant so much to you, that deep dark red.
How was I to know that your blood would be the same color as the
Nail Polish.
I should have known, it’s all my fault.
You liked to eat toothbrushes, wrappers, and dirty slippers.
You often dined on scissors, bottle caps, and drank Windex with chapstick. But why the
Nail Polish?
There was also tissue and pens.
You could have tried my lotion or even my dictionary.
You could have eaten paper or even my mouse.
I would have even given you my lipstick. Did you have to drink the
Nail Polish?
And now you’re gone from me forever and it hurts my heart.

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Even after they tried to pump your stomach
and even after they poured the remover over you.
You are gone and you left me. All because of the
Nail Polish.
(credits to me...hahahahaha)

Nari finished her song and ran off the stage her face burning bright red. Yes, she was the most stupid of them all. She
ran past Micky who looked at her oddly and hid behind some stage equipment. Oh she was so stupid.

“Uh…” Junsu let out.

“Are we…supposed to clap? Laugh?” Jungmin asked.

“Uh…both?”

And there were both. The crowed seemed to share their confusion as they weren’t sure whether to applaud or laugh.
Some laughed weakly and some clapped softly and politely. It was a pretty song with a nice melody but then again, the
song was about some idiot who died drinking nail polish. What they were supposed to do?

Nari closed her eyes and wished the world would end in her embarrassment. She heard the Mc announced Micky and she
heard him start to play the piano. There it was, that melody. She had made a fool of herself for a reason, she did it for
that stupid Micky. Now he could play that stupid song and everyone would think they both did it on purpose. They would
laugh when they realized and Nari wouldn’t be so embarrassed and no one would make fun of Micky.

She quieted herself and leaned closer to the stage to hear him sing his song.

Even when my eyes were open, I couldnt see


Fear covered my two eyes
For what I lived, where I went,
I know those things now
That it was you
Can’t I do anything but hate?
I want to hold onto you who is leaving so much
My life without you has no light
Dont you know that I still love you?
I miss you, tears keep falling down my face
I should've done better, I have nothing but regrets
I've come to far to turn back now
Come back, I am right here
Move past all the sadness
Love came a footstep too late to me
Why does all separations come so quickly?
Did you leave so that I could know these things?
I still.. I still
I still love you
(Park Hyoshin – Aheeyah.com)

“Wait a minute!” Nari yelped. That wasn’t the song! He changed the words! Where was the song about his girlfriend?

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Where was that song that would help him heal? WHERE WAS THAT DARN PORCUPINE?

Nari stood up furious and marched up on stage. Micky had just finished his song and was bowing to thunderous applause
when Nari grabbed his collar and shook him in front of everyone.

“WHERE IS THE PORCUPINE? WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THE PORCUPINE? SING THAT SONG! SING THAT STUPID SONG!
GIVE THEM YOUR PORCUPINE YOU SON OF A-“

Someone hastily closed down the curtain hiding Nari and Micky. Mira and Yunho looked at each other worriedly.

“Did she…finally lose it?”

“Porcupines? I don’t get it.”

The other students muttered to themselves and filed out of the auditorium. Well, there was definitely not going to be a tie
this time. Only an idiot couldn’t have guessed who was going to win.

“Um, I think I’ll go too.” Junsu said.

Jungmin nodded. “Yes, I don’t think I want Nari to see me right now.”

Changmin agreed. “Especially when she’s like that.”

“She finally lost it, I knew it would happen on day.” Yeseul sighed.

Jaejoong said softly. “I’m glad I’m not Micky.”

Yunho and Mira looked at each other again and shrugged. Then 7 members of the Royalty followed the rest of the
students and left the auditorium as fast as they could.

“HOW DARE YOU? WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR SONG?” Nari screamed shaking Micky harder. Micky struggled to free
himself and when he managed he adjusted his collar.

“What’s wrong with you? What was wrong with your song?”

“YOU CHANGED THE SONG!”

“Well, yeah I did.”

“WHY TELL ME WHY!”

Micky looked down. “I couldn’t do it.”

“COULDN’T DO WHAT?”

“I couldn’t sing the song. I couldn’t let it go.”

“What?”

“I thought I was ready but I’m not. I tried to sing the words, I tried make out the words I couldn’t. I realized that I wasn’t
ready, I can’t let it go. In a weird way, it’s a part of me and I’m not quite ready to lose that part yet.”

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“What?”

“I know what you’re thinking, you think I enjoy the attention I get but that’s not it. My grief for her, it has been a part of
me for such a long time now I don’t know what I would do if I got rid of it. Who would I be? What would I do? What kind
of songs would I write? I can’t imagine life without it just the way I couldn’t imagine life without her.”

“So you didn’t sing the song?”

“No, I changed the words, it was so much easier. Besides,” Micky smiled softly. “I realized that it would have made a very
stupid song anyways.”

“NO KIDDING.”

“Yeah, it would have been almost as stupid as yours. What is up with that song anyways?”

“YOU DON’T KNOW? YOU DON’T KNOW? I’M GOING TO KILL YOU.”

Nari lunged for Micky but he ran away. She chased after him for awhile until suddenly he stopped. Nair went over to
choke him but he grabbed her hands.

“Wait a minute, you didn’t write the song for me did you?”

“WHAT IF I DID?”

“Why?”

“BECAUSE THAT STUPID SONG MEANT SO MUCH TO YOU!”

Micky’s eyes opened wipe in surprise. Did she say what he thought she said? Nari turned her head away from him,
obviously embarrassed.

“You would have been hurt if they heard your song and laughed at you. So I wrote a stupid song too so that they would
all think you did it on purpose.”

“Nari…”

“But mostly because I didn’t want to win that way! It doesn’t prove anything if I win because of your stupid song.” Nari
said defiantly pulling her hands away from Micky. She crossed her arms and glared at him.

“Nari, I didn’t know.”

“Hmph.”

“Thank you.” Micky placed a hand on Nari’s head. “I’m really touched.

“Hmph.” Nari said again and shook her head of his hand. “Yeah you definitely owe me, big time. I would have won if it
wasn’t for you.”

Micky grinned. “Really? I think I would have won even if I sang my song and you chose a normal song. Though compared
to your other songs, the nail polish song was pretty normal.

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“WHY YOU! I WOULD HAVE WON EASILY EVEN IF YOU HAD BOUGHT OUT A DECENT SONG!”

“Suuure.”

“I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!”

Back in the auditorium Mira opened a door quietly and popped her head in. There on stage she saw Nari screaming and
chasing after Micky who just laughed as he ran away. Mira smiled in satisfaction and then closed the door quietly.

-----

A few days later Nari stuck her thumb in the ID processor to her locker. Geesh, she could not believe this. Was she
actually going to get a book for a class she was actually going to go to? What was wrong with her these days?

The locker accepted her thumb print and swung open and to Nari surprise there was something quite large in her locker
on top of all her books.

Nari reached and brought out the golden trophy. She looked for the engraving but it was covered by a piece of paper with
her name on it. She took the piece of paper off.

“Sonho High School Winter Song Writing Contest. Winner : Park Yoochun.” She read out loud. She put her name back on
it and stared at it. Nari peered into her locker and noticed a piece of paper.

“To Nari, From Micky out of pity. What? That no good…” Nari muttered but she was smiling. She admired the trophy and
rubbed it with her sleeve to make it shine even brighter. She put it back in her locker and closed it and began to walk off
whistling happily.

Forget her book and forget her class, she had someone to bother.

CHAPTER 13 – PART 2: FIRST KISS


© pikapika.

“What?”

“You guys still haven’t had your first kiss yet?”

“What’s wrong with you guys?”

Mira, Yeseul, and Nari stared at Junsu in wonder who was very red in the face. He looked down embarrassedly and
wished he was somewhere else, anywhere else. He had been so stupid to them for help. All he wanted was some ideas
for his next date with Jungmin…

“There’s nothing wrong…” Junsu replied glumly. Who was he kidding? He thought their first date had gone bad? Their
second date Jungmin had been attacked by a goat, two rabbits, and four geese at the petting zoo he had taken her to.
When he tried to make up for that by taking her out to eat he had choked on his shellfish and Jungmin had turned over
the table trying to help him. They couldn’t get that smell out of their clothes for days. And they always seemed to have
trouble having a date at all. He was so busy with his soccer practices and Jungmin always had some sort of lesson or
tutor. It was no wonder he hadn’t been able to give her a kiss yet.

Junsu sighed sadly. He was trying so hard to give the girl that he liked so much a perfect date. He had watched countless

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dramas and read hundreds of manhwas just so he could figure out something romantic for Jungmin. Junsu wanted
Jungmin to have a great date on every date. He was running out of ideas when he had turned to his friends for help.

They had been very helpful, giving him ideas on what Jungmin would have liked. It was going fine and Junsu still had all
his dignity intact until Nari jokingly asked,

“So, you guys kissed yet?”

Of course Junsu wasn’t going to lie, that would have been stupid. He didn’t expect the shocked reactions though and now
he was just embarrassed.

Mira patted Junsu reassuringly. “Aw we didn’t mean to embarrass you. I just thought, since you guys like each other so
much it would have happened by now. Don’t worry, we’ll help you.”

“Sure.” Nari piped smacking Junsu in the back so hard he fell forward. “We’ll help you give Jungmin her first kiss! We’ll
make sure it’ll make up for all those dates you had.”

“You know how to kiss right? You’ve had your first kiss already?” Yeseul asked. For his answer Junsu turned even redder
and the three girls stared at him incredulously.

“You haven’t had your first kiss yet?”

“Oh, I think that’s sweet.”

“Oh boy this is going to take some work,”

So it was out. Yes, Kim Junsu, god of Sonho High School and captain of the number three high school soccer team in the
country, had never kissed a girl before. Junsu frowned depressingly, could he be any more embarrassed?

“Oh don’t be embarrassed Junsu, I really do think it’s sweet. And it’ll mean a lot more to Jungmin then.” Mira said trying
to comfort Junsu. “First kisses are important and it’s good that you’ve been saving it for Jungmin. You never forget a first
kiss!”

Nari nodded. “Yup! I remember my first kiss! I was 15? This punk from middle school stole it from me and I gave him a
black eye! It was my first time giving someone a black eye too.”

“Hm, I think I was 13 and the guy, I forgot his name. But I know he was a college student then.” Yeseul mused trying to
remember.

Mira spoke up hastily to break the awkward silence that was forming as everyone stared at Yeseul. “Mine was with
Yunho!’

“Really?” Junsu asked.

Mira nodded happily. “We were six I think? No, we were five and a half, or I was anyways. Yunho and I grew up
together.” She explained to Junsu. “We were watching The Little Mermaid and he kissed me. Then he told me it was
yucky and he never wanted to do that again. He was a punk back then too.”

Junsu laughed and for some reason he felt better. Junsu bit his lip and looked at the girls shyly. “I want to give her a
good first kiss, one she’ll never forget ever.”

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“Aw, sure buddy!” Nari went to hit Junsu again but this time he dodged it. “All you need to know is to make sure you hit
the target. If you miss it won’t be any fun.”

“Make sure your lips aren’t chapped, that can be kind of gross.”

“Don’t do it in front of a lot of people, that puts too much pressure.”

“Go somewhere quiet so you won’t be distracted.”

“Please don’t do it in a movie theatre, how cliché.”

“Make sure you’re close enough to her so you don’t have to lean too far over.”

“Keep your eyes closed until you’re done.”

“Don’t take too long, that’s kind of uncomfortable.”

“Unless you want to take it to the next level then I would-“

“One step at a time Yeseul. This is their first kiss, let them take it slow.”

Junsu head was reeling. There were so many things to do and to know! He never thought having a first kiss would be
complicated.

“Um, where should I do it? When?”

The three girls seemed to think for a second. Nari scratched her head. “You want it to be special right? Um, I always
though a first kiss in the snow would be cute.”

Junsu tried to think of a place where there was snow. In Seoul all the snow was melting as it was slowly getting warmer.
Would he have to go the mountains?

“What about in an elevator?” Yeseul suggested.

Hm, which elevator should he use? The one at school? Well that one was kind of short. What about the one in his dad’s
office? But what if someone else wanted to use it?

“Do it at the beach! That’s cuuute.” Mira said excitedly.

“So I have to do it in an elevator on a beach that has snow?” Junsu asked in exasperation. “How am I going to do that?”

“Hello! What are you guys doing?”

Jungmin stuck her head in the classroom. Yeseul, Mira, and Nari looked at Jungmin, then at Junsu, and finally at each
other and grinned. They stood up quickly.

“Hm, I think I heard Yunho looking for me.”

“Where’s Micky? I need to go bother him.”

“Time for music theory class.”

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Jungmin watched the three girls leave in confusion. Junsu sat up hastily and went towards her with an awkward smile.

“Uh, weird girls they are.”

“What were you guys doing?” Jungmin asked. Junsu sheepishly gave a huge grin and waved his hands.

“NOTHING! Nothing at all, no worries. Heh heh heh, how are you?”

“Good…” Something weird was going on. “How are you Junsu oppa?”

“Great!” Junsu squeaked. He clutched his throat and tried to clear it. “Ahem, I mean great. Uh, Jungmin, I want to ask
you something.”

“Ok?”

Junsu felt himself turn red again. What was he doing? Ugh, those girls were no help, no help at all! Now he was even
more confused then ever! What was he going to do? How was he going to do this? Why did this have to be so confusing?

“Junsu…?”

“HOW DO YOU WANT ME TO GIVE YOU YOUR FIRST KISS?” Junsu blurted out.

“What?”

“Er, um, I want to give you your first kiss. I want it to be memorable but um, I’m not sure how. So uh, I guess I’m asking
you, I think.” Junsu explained feeling really stupid.

“Oh.” Jungmin looked down blushing but had a big pleased smile. “Well, it doesn’t really matter, I guess. I don’t really
care. As long as it with you that is…you know that’s it.”

Junsu grinned too and the two kids could barely look at each other though they were both smiling. Wait a minute, that
didn’t help. Junsu still had no idea how to kiss her.

“Still, I want to give you a good one. Um, well what would be your ideal first kiss be?”

Jungmin pretended to think about it but who was she kidding? She was a teenage girl, she had imagined her perfect first
kiss since she was in elementary school. “Um, well I always thought it would really romantic to have on in a park…”

Junsu breathed a sigh of relief. Oh that would be easy.

“On a swing…”

Ok, so there was more, but still it wasn’t too bad. Most play grounds had play sets and there usually would be a swing
set.

“Next to a tree…”

Now Junsu had to think, he had to find a swing set next to a tree?

“In the rain.”

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It was all he could do from groaning. Great, he not only had to go find a park with a swing set next to a tree but he had
to kiss her when it was raining. What was with girls and precipitation?

Jungmin looked worriedly at Junsu’s furrowed face. “Though that’s just me! Honestly, anywhere with you would be fine. It
doesn’t have to be exactly…”

Junsu shook his head determinedly. “No, I’m going to do it the way you always wanted.” It would be hard and
troublesome but he would do it, he would do it for Jungmin.

“No really it’s ok…”

“Nope, I want to do it for you because I like you.” Junsu added shyly. “And I’m your boyfriend and that’s what I should
do.”

Jungmin turned even redder but felt very happy. She felt like the luckiest girl in the world, she was going to get her
perfect kiss with the sweetest and cutest guy in the world who just happened to be her boyfriend.

----

“JUNGMIN!”

Jungmin along with her other classmates looked up from their chemistry notes and stared at Junsu had just slid in their
classmates. Ignoring the girl’s excited squeals Junsu ran in and grabbed Jungmin pulling her out of the chair. Startled she
scrambled after him.

“Junsu?”

“Come on!”

“What’s going on?” The chemistry teacher called after them as the two left the classroom and ran out of the building.
Junsu hurriedly shoved Jungmin into an awaiting car.

“STEP ON IT!” Junsu ordered as the car squealed away. Jungmin grabbed on to Junsu as the car tilted while making a
turn.

“Junsu?”

“Look out the window!”

Jungmin looked out the window but didn’t understand. What was she supposed to see? She saw what she always saw
when she left school, the gate and then the streets. She peered closer to the window, was she missing something? If
there wasn’t the stupid rain she would have been able to see…

Rain? It was raining! No way, he wasn’t going to…?

Jungmin turned to Junsu who just grinned in excitement. She couldn’t believe it, he had remembered! She was going to
get her first kiss and he was probably taking her to a park! She was going to get her perfect first kiss!

Junsu felt proud of himself but he also felt relieved. Of course it was his luck that the day after he found out about
Jungmin’s ideal kiss Korea suffered from a string of droughts. He had waited almost three weeks for this day and during

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those three weeks he had faithfully checked the news report for any sign of rain. And now, finally today the weather
forecaster lady had said there would be on and off showers.

Junsu couldn’t help but wish his driver drove a little faster. Truthfully it wouldn’t have mattered if it rained those three
weeks or not, it had taken him a while to find a park with a swing next to a tree near by. Then if he found one he had to
go check it out and make sure it looked nice. After those weeks he had finally found the perfect spot and he was sure he
wasn’t going to be able to find a better one.

The car skidded to a stop and Junsu dragged Jungmin out of the car. Hurriedly they ran into a park and Junsu lead the
way to a swing that was actually hanging off a tree. Jungmin grinned, it was so perfect!

It was drizzling now when Jungmin plopped down into the swing. Junsu took a deep breath. He put his hands on the
ropes of the swing and leaned in. As he got closer we went through a mental checklist.

Lips targeted? Check.

Unchapped lips? Check (he had put chap stick on as he ran towards Jungmin’s classroom.).

They were alone? Check.

It was quiet? Check.

Was he close enough? Check.

Was his eyes closed? Check.

Jungmin closed her eyes. This was it, she was going to get her awesome first kiss. Her heart began to beat faster as she
could feel Junsu’s face get close. Then she noticed something.

“Hey it stopped raining.”

Junsu almost fell down. He looked up and wanted to cry. She was right, the sun was now coming out of the clouds.

Junsu’s shoulders dropped and his face fell on to Jungmin’s shoulder. All that work, all that waiting had no gone to waste.
He had never been so exhausted in his entire life.

Junsu felt his head being lifted up and he found himself staring at Jungmin’s smiling face. “Junsu oppa, you are so sweet.
I don’t care if it’s not raining anymore. I want you to give me my first kiss right now, I can’t imagine anything more
perfect.”

Junsu sighed and shook his head stubbornly. “No, I promised you that first kiss in the rain and I’m going to give it you
just the way you asked. Even if I have to wait another three weeks.”

“Really, it’s ok…”

“Nope, I’m going to give you that perfect first kiss.”

Jungmin couldn’t help but feel disappointed. She hadn’t lied, if Junsu had kissed her right then it would have been the
sweetest and most perfect first kiss ever. Ugh, she had been so stupid to mention that it had stopped raining! Now she
was going to wait even longer for her first kiss.

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Then Jungmin noticed an uncomfortable feeling she hadn’t noticed before. She stood up quickly knocking into a startled
Junsu. She looked back and groaned.

“My butt is all wet.”

Junsu wanted to hit himself. Of course it would be! He had forced Jungmin to sit down on a swing while it was raining.
Great, good going Junsu. But now how was he going to ever do that again? Was he going to have to sit Jungmin on a
swing and wait for it to start raining?

“Come on, I’ll drive you back.” Junsu said glumly.

The two silently walked back to the car both their shoulders low and their heads bowed. Neither of them was smiling and
their hands hung alone at their sides. As they entered the car they both couldn’t help but wonder if they were ever going
to get their first kiss.

CHAPTER 14 – THE GHOST OF SONHO HIGH SCHOOL


© pikapika.

“Well, it’s that time of the year!” Mira chirped one day during lunch.

Yunho dropped his spoon. Yeseul’s face that was resting on her hands slipped off and hit the table. Jaejoong’s shoulders
hunched forward. Micky gripped his pencil so hard it broke. Jungmin, Junsu, Nari, and Changmin stared at the startled
reactions of their upperclassmen and Yeseul. A sudden mood of gloom surrounded their usually happy lunch table.

“I was hoping you wouldn’t mention it.” Yunho muttered picking up his spoon.

“What’s going on?” Junsu asked looking around.

“I was hoping you all forgot.” Yeseul said darkly rubbing her chin.

“Is everything OK?” Changmin asked.

“I can’t believe it’s time already.” Micky said looking glumly at the two pieces of his pencil.

“Hey why are you all acting so weird?” Nari demanded an answer.

“If things couldn’t get any worse.” Jaejoong whispered looking very unhappy and uncomfortable.

“Something wrong?” Jungmin asked feeling a slight shiver go through her. Something definitely was wrong, all the third
years looked miserable, except Mira who was smiling widely.

“Tomorrow is the night we spend the night at school…”

“Oh that’s not so bad.” Junsu stated.

“…with the ghost of Sonho High!”

“What?”

“Ghost?”

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“Spend a night with a ghost?”

“Oh I knew it would be bad.” The four underclassmen exclaimed now feeling just as nervous and scared as the other kids.
The whole school seemed to sense their fear as the atmosphere grew heavier and the conversations darker.

Mira nodded happily. “Yep, it’s tradition that on the same date of every year we spend the night at Sonho High by
ourselves and say hello to the ghost!”

“Shut up Mira.” Yeseul barked nervously. She looked around apprehensively and zipped up her sweater.

Yunho seemed to agree. “Yeah, stop being so happy. There’s nothing cheerful about it, not at all.”

“I hate this time.” Jaejoong muttered.

“Mira you don’t have any idea, you’ve never seen the ghost.”

Now Mira looked depressed. Her face fell and she pouted. “Well you don’t have to rub it in…”

“You want to see a ghost?” Changmin asked in wonder. Mira nodded glumly.

“I’ve done this for the last two years and I have yet to see the ghost. Did you know that I’m that the only member of the
Royalty throughout its history that has never seen the ghost?”

“And that’s a bad thing?” Junsu asked. Yunho sighed, great just thinking about tomorrow made him lose his appetite.
That rarely happens.

“She’s not missing out. I’ve seen the ghost twice…and well that’s two times two many.” A dark look came on Yunho’s
face. Jaejoong nodded and his mouth set into a grim line.

“Me too. Those were…two nights that’ll stay with me forever. I still get nightmares sometimes.”

Jungmin was now feeling very scared and she put out her hands and grabbed Changmin and Junsu’s hands. If it was so
bad that Jaejoong got nightmares…

“I went through clinical insomnia for weeks after that night last year. Everytime I closed my eyes I would see her…”
Yeseul shuddered.

“I can’t even talk about it…I don’t even want to think about it!” Micky croaked. The members looked at each darkly
except Mira who was still pouting to herself.

“WELL I’VE MADE UP MY MIND. THERE’S NO WAY I’M GOING TO SPEND THE NIGHT WITH A GHOST. NO WAY. I DON’T
CARE WHAT THE CONSEQUENCES ARE.” Nari declared standing up but looking slightly shaken. The other underclassmen
nodded their head vigorously in agreement.

Mira shook her head. “Nope! You have to go! It’s tradition…”

“No….please…!” Jungmin wailed.

“and if you don’t go the ghost will come over and haunt you!” Mira added. Jungmin stopped wailing and looked at her
with her eyes wide.

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Junsu gulped. “If we don’t go she’ll haunt us? How is that any different than spending the night with her?”

“If you spend the night, it’ll be the worst night of your life but you’ll live through it. But if you don’t go…well…” Yunho
paused and looked around nervously as if he expected the ghost to jump out any moment. He cleared his throat. “She’ll
try to kill you.”

“AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!” Nari screamed and the entire school jumped up from their seats. Micky stood up and grabbed
her mouth.

“Shut up.” He hissed. “We’re all freaked out as it is.”

“She’ll try to kill us? Are you for sure?” Changmin whispered. Mira nodded seriously.

“Yeah, there have been three members of the royalty in the past that refused to spend the night. The first one, three
days after that night a member of the royalty couldn’t come out of the shower she was taking after PE class. She just
stood there and screamed that someone was holding on to her legs. She was getting scalded by the water that kept on
getting hotter. Finally someone had to break open the shower door and knock her out. The second guy was swimming in
a pool and he almost drowned. He said something was trying to pull him down but there was no one else in the pool. The
last girl was in sauna and the door locked on her. She was almost boiled alive.” Mira didn’t seem to notice the horrified
look of her friends and she tapped her finger on her lips. “I considered not going this year and seeing if she’ll come find
me but I really think that this year I’ll finally be able to see her.”

“OH DEAR GOD SAVE ME.”

Mira calmly pulled the hysteric Nari down. “So yeah, tomorrow after school I expect to see everyone at the school at 11
oclock. Don’t bother bringing anything, no one sleeps through that night. Be there or be square! Or at least be there or
be the target of psychotic blood thirsty ghost!” With that Mira hopped up and bounced away from the table.

“Who is she calling psychotic…”

“Sometimes Mira scares me.”

“I can’t believe she wants to see the ghost.”

“I can’t believe its tomorrow night.”

“I hate this school.”

“I think I’m going to pee my pants.”

“I think I already did.”

----

The day after went incredibly fast for Nari to her horror. Before she knew it she was standing in front of her school
building as the wind blew harshly around her. It didn’t matter if Nari was wearing a feather stuffed ski jacket, she was
very cold.

“I can’t believe I’m here.”

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Nari jumped up as Micky came out of nowhere besides her. She glared at him angrily but was too frightened to think of
anything to say. Micky also stared at the building with a grim face.

“So it begins.”

The two turned around to see Yunho and Jaejoong walking towards of them both carrying large wood sticks.

“I should have bought these things last year.” Yunho commented hitting his stick on his hands.

“How’s that going to help us?” Nari asked. “It’s a ghost. It wouldn’t matter if you bought a machete, machine gun, or a
tank.”

Jaejoong shook his head. “It’s not for her. It’s for us. There’s always a tendency to get locked up in rooms. I definitely
won’t be waiting for her to come after me again, I’m breaking doors.”

“GIVE ME ONE! I NEED ONE!” Nari roared and tried to grab the one out of Yunho’s hands. He clutched it close and shook
his head.

“NOOOO OPPA DON’T MAKE ME. PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME. I CAN’T DO IT! I CAN’T GO. HEEEELP ME! UUUHMMMMMAAA!”

The four turned around to see Changmin carrying a frantic and screaming Jungmin towards them. Jungmin was pounded
her tiny fists into his back as Changmin winced.

“Do you want to die? You just have to get through the night.” He said through clenched teeth. He dropped her on the
floor but immediately felt bad and helped her up. Jungmin sniffed.

“I’m scaaaared.”

“Jungmin! I’m here are you OK?”

Junsu ran towards Jungmin who clutched on to him tightly. Yeseul wordlessly followed right after and she had also bought
a large stick.

“Where’s Mira?” She asked darkly.

“She’s already inside. Come on, there’s no point in dragging this out any longer.” Yunho replied and led the way inside.
The 8 made no effort to hurry in but they found themselves inside the building too soon for their comfort.

“Sonho never looked so scary before.” Jungmin whispered. The other members agreed. Sonho was an old school but
since every year new technology and the latest architectural designs were added it never felt old, until tonight. A shudder
went through all the members. It was even scarier now that it was dark. Micky reached into his bag and handed everyone
a flashlight. They lit up the hallways but the light from the flashlight gave an eerie glow.

“Wait, do you hear that?” Jaejoong said in a hushed whisper. His friends stopped breathing to listen.

“Oh God.” Yunho muttered. He could hear it, it was soft but he could definitely. It was foot steps and it was coming this
way!

The kids stared down the hall where it ended in a corner. The light footsteps grew slightly louder however Junsu could no
longer hear, all he could hear but his heart beat pounding in his ears.

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A figure turned around the corner and she was dressed all in white.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”

All the kids screamed and ran the opposite direction. Micky led the way and Jungmin noticed herself slipping towards the
back. She breathed harder and tried to run faster. Oh if she only was athletic! She heard footsteps running after her, she
was close! Jungmin didn’t dare turn around and she wasted no energy in calling out. She had to run, she had to run fast.
It was too late, something grabbed her jacket and pulled her around.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!”

“Ah! Jungmin it’s me! It’s Mira!”

The figure let go of Jungmin and clamped her ears at her scream. Jungmin stopped screaming. Mira?

Before Mira could say anything else she was thrown to a wall and was held up by a very shaky Nari.

“WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING? WHY ARE YOU DRESSED LIKE THAT? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? YOU SCARED
ALL OF US!” Nari yelled shaking Mira. Mira pried herself loose and looked at them all with wide eyes.

“I’m sorry! I was just trying to be quiet! I thought you guys were the ghost and when I realized it was you guys, you all
started running. I thought you had seen the ghost!” Mira explained.

Yeseul let out a deep breath and she fell to her knees. She rested her head on the wall. “I hate you. Why are you wearing
that white dress?”

Mira looked down and then looked at her friends sheepishly. “Oh, this is a traditional shaman dress. I’m going to hold a
séance and call the ghost to me. I’m for sure going to see the ghost tonight.”

Yunho shook his head wearily. As much as he loved Mira he wasn’t going to pretend to be her boyfriend tonight.
“Whatever, just make sure you’re far away as me as possible when you do it.” The rest of the members nodded in
agreement.

“This place is kind of scary.” Junsu whispered.

The kids looked around and noticed that they were in a hallway surrounded by classrooms. This morning it had been just
one of those busy and populated hallways but now since they were alone it seemed frightening. The windows from the
classroom also cast dark and mysterious shadows. Slightly shaking the kids drew themselves closer to each other.

“So now what do we do?” Changmin asked quietly.

Jungmin never heard an answer for right after her brother spoke someone grabbed her and pulled her back.

Then all was black.

----

“Ugh.” Yunho groaned and rubbed his head. What had happened? Why did his head hurt so much? Where was he? What
was he doing lying on the ground?

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Yunho gasped and sat up quickly. His breathing grew quicker and his heart began to race as he realized where he was.

He was alone.

In the dark.

In an empty classroom.

Yunho scrambled up and ran towards door. He fumbled with the knob but realized it was locked. He shook it harder and
pounded on the door.

“HEY! HEY IS ANYONE THERE? LET ME OUT!”

Yunho’s eyes were not adjusted to the dark and he looked around frantically for the stick he had bought. He had to
smash the door open, he didn’t want to stay locked up in this room a second longer. Where was it? Yunho groaned,
whoever knocked him out and dragged him here didn’t bother taking the stick also. A huge knot formed in Yunho’s
stomach. It was just like last year, he was locked up in an empty classroom by himself Then…then she would come.

“Hee hee.”

The hairs in the back of Yunho’s neck stood up and a shiver ran down Yunho. He recognized that laugh. He didn’t close
his eyes but he refused to turn around and face her. He stared at the wall.

“Hello Yunho, great leader of this year’s royalty brats.”

Yunho tensed and he felt it get closer. Those wet steps, he could hear her step closer. Oh she was so close, she was right
behind him.

“What do you want from me?” Yunho whispered his eyes still strait ahead. Don’t turn around, don’t look at it.

“Why don’t you want to look at me? Am I not pretty enough for you?”

Yunho tensed up as he felt a wet hand grab his shoulder.

“Turn around shallow Yunho. I want you to look at me.”

No matter how hard he tried not to he felt himself turning around. He fought hard but the cold wet grip on him was
strong. He clenched his eyes shut. It didn’t matter, in his mind he could see her. He could see her long black wet hair. He
could see her gray and pasty skin. He could see the torn and faded uniform. And he could see her eyes, oh no not her
eyes.

Yunho let out a whimper as he felt her cold wet hands clutch his face. He wanted to run. He wanted to fight. He wanted
to move. But he couldn’t, all he could do was just stand there.

“Go find her. Just follow the screams.”

A strong force threw Yunho back and he heard the slam of a door being thrown opened. He opened his eyes. He was
alone but now the door was open. Yunho stood up shaking, his knees trembling.

Yunho took a shaky breath and stepped out of the classrooms. It was all over, she usually only came once. He needed to

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find the others, he needed to make sure they were OK. She also told him to “go find her”. She didn’t say who he was
supposed to find but he had a good idea.

----

Mira groaned and rubbed her head. Whatever knocked her out, knocked her out hard. She scrambled up and looked
around.

Good, she was in a classroom with a table. Mira wasted her no time and laid out the items in her bag and placed them on
a table. She quickly adjusted her dress and put on a long hat.

Tonight was the night. She was going to call the ghost and she was going to see it. No longer was she going to be the
only one not being able to see the ghost.

The table was set with various plants, herbs, and a long thick rope. Mira closed her eyes and clasped her hands together.
According to the website this was how a traditional Korean séance was held.

Mira began to hum and she tried to focus. She mentally called out for the ghost. She took a deep breath.

“I ASK THOU RESTLESS SPIRIT TO SHOW THY PRESENCE TO ME. I AM CALLING THOU!”

Mira stood still as she was greeted with silence. “Please.” She added. But nothing happened and Mira fought the urge to
open her eyes. Stupid website, she knew she should have just gone to a real one for help. Then again, maybe it wasn’t
the website, maybe it was her dress. It really wasn’t a real shaman dress, it was something she borrowed from the
drama department.

A gust of wind came from behind her and Mira’s heart started to beat with excitement. Could it be? Did she do it? Was it
here?

“You’re right Mira, tonight is the night.”

Before Mira could turn around and face the voice something hit her head hard.

Then there was darkness.

----

Yesuel was trapped.

She couldn’t move.

There was no room.

Yeseul nervously felt around. Yeah, she was in some sort of closet and there was barely enough room for her, let alone
the shelves. She groped around for a door and or some sort of exit but couldn’t find it. Yeseul’s breath grew very shallow.
She couldn’t shake the feeling off, the feeling like she was shut in a coffin.

“Don’t you feel helpless?

Yeseul jerked her head around. Where did the voice come from? There was no room for anyone. Yeseul let out a small
scream as she felt cold breathing next to her neck.

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“Hush.”

Yeseul bit her lip and felt tears form in her eyes. She didn’t dare move, she could feel that thing right next to her. The
breathing didn’t stop.

“I should keep you here. You’re no use outside. You’re nothing but a pretty face.”

Yeseul shook violently as she felt a finger nail trail down her face.

“Yes, no one loves you. No one cares for you. You’re nothing. You’re better off in here.”

Yeseul closed her eyes but a tear fell down anyways. She was right, the ghost knew everything. She was nothing. She
had nothing. Maybe she was better off in here. No! She couldn’t think like that! She was letting that thing get to her. No,
she had to be strong.

“Don’t fight it.”

“No.” Yeseul whispered.

“Don’t fight it. You have nothing. You have no mother. You’re father hates you. Men only want your body. Women hate
you.”

“No.” Yeseul felt her will weakening.

“Face it. You’re alone. You’ll always be alone. That is your life. You’re no better off than I was. This is your curse. This is
what you’ve done to-“

Suddenly the wall in front of Yeseul disappeared and she fell forward.

It was the longest fall of her life.

-----

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

Nari was screaming. She couldn’t think of anything else to do. Somehow she had ended up in an empty classroom. She
was all alone. It was dark. Nari was scared.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

Suddenly something cold, something wet grabbed her mouth and Nari felt herself being pulled up to a wall. Nari kept on
trying to scream but it was muffled by a cold wet grey hand.

“Hush.”

Nari gulped and stopped screaming. She was frozen. Something was holding her to the wall. Something strong.
Something cold. Something wet.

“Hello Nari. You’re the loud one who just joined last year. It’s a pity that you joined after my night or we would have met
sooner. My name is Gyusung.”

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Nari felt her goose bumps. That voice, it was so cold. Just as cold as those hands. Her mouth was released. Oh no, it
wanted her to speak.

“Hello.” Nari stuttered nervously.

“I bet you wish you were home. I bet you wish you in your bed. I bet you wish your brother was here. Wait, you killed
your brother didn’t you. Oh that’s too bad.”

Oh it was so cruel. Nari was too frozen to cry. How dare it bring up her brother?

“Yes, you’re quite the sinner here aren’t you? You should pay.”

Nari shook her head. No, Nari didn’t want whatever Gyusung had in plan for her. She just wanted to leave. She just
wanted to be somewhere else. She wanted her friends.

“You’re brother was so perfect, so kind. Everyone loved your brother. But you just had to kill him didn’t you? I bet you
did it on purpose. But look what happened, now your parents hate you. I bet you didn’t expect everyone to blame you. I
bet you thought you would have everything to yourself if he was gone.”

“No you’re wrong.”

The ghost appeared in front of her and Nari wanted to scream. In front of her stood a Sonho student, a wet dripping
Sonho student girl with long black hair. Her skin was grey and her eyes were dark bottomless pits of blackness.

Gyusung smiled and Nari was never more terrified of a smile. “What should I do with you?”

She stepped closer and Nari tried to move but she was stuck to the wall. Nari struggled and cried freely but she couldn’t
move. Gyusung took another step closer. No, Nari had to be move, she had to go.

“Nari? NARI!”

A door was smashed opened and Nari felt her body released from the wall. She fell down and sobbed.

“Nari, are you alright? It’s Ok, it’s me Yunho. Don’t worry, she’s gone.”

Nari looked up and through her tear stained eyes she could see that she was alone with Yunho. She grabbed on to him
and continued to sob. Yunho held her and stroked her head.

“It’s alright, everything is going to be alright. She’s gone.”

With Yunho’s help Nari stood up. She wiped her face and started to shake, shake with rage.

“I’m going to kill her.” She whispered. Yunho felt no need to mention that the ghost was already dead.

“She’s going to suffer. How dare she? HOW DARE SHE?”

----

Changmin couldn’t move.

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No he didn’t dare move.

He wasn’t sure what had happened exactly but one second he was asking a question and then everything turned black.
When he regained consciousness he had found himself hanging off the ceiling in some volleyball nets. One string was
dangerously wrapped around his neck and he discovered that it tightened every time he moved. If he wasn’t careful he
would hang himself.

Changmin tried to think, there had to be a way out of this. He had called for help for a long time now and now his voice
was almost gone. He decided to save his voice for a little longer and then start screaming for help again. Though he
wasn’t sure if he was going to get any, if he was stuck like this who knew what the other kids were into.

Changmin heard the gym door open and he looked down hopefully. Someone had entered the gym and was now staring
at him. Someone he didn’t recognize though she had a Sonho uniform on.

“Hey, can you help me? I can’t move and I need to get down.” Changmin called out. The girl made no response but just
walked closer. Why was this girl wet? She was leaving behind a trail of water.

“Hello Changmin. My name is Gyusng. I wouldn’t move around too much, you might hang yourself.”

Changmin didn’t reply but stared down at the smiling girl. He had a bad feeling about this. And her voice, her voice was
so cold.

“You’re different from the rest.” Gyusung spoke observing Changmin. “Why are you a royalty?”

Changmin felt compelled to answer. “I don’t know.”

“Don’t you feel ashamed to be part of such a selfish and conceited group?”

“No, we’re not selfish and conceited.”

“You may not be but the rest are. That’s why they needed to be punished.”

“Who are you?”

“Gyusung, I already told you. I am a student at Sonho. Or I was.”

“What do you want?”

“From you? Nothing. You’re innocent. But the others? I want to take it all away.”

“Leave them alone, especially my sister Jungmin!”

“You have a sister? She’s here? Hm, I wonder which one she is. I think I’ll go find her now.”

“No! Let me go! Don’t touch her!”

Gyusung shook her head and Changmin gasped as the ropes of the volleyball net broke and he fell crashing down.

Changmin groaned and clutched his leg. Gyusung was walking away. He tried to go after her but his leg, it hurt so much.
Soon, she had exited and was gone. The gym was silent.

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Changmin managed to get up and limp out of the gym. He had to find the others, especially his sister. Gyusung was
definitely after Jungmin, he had to protect his sister.

As he limped down the hall he heard a murmur coming from a closet. He stopped and looked at it. Someone was inside!
He hobbled over and opened the door.

As soon as the door opened someone fell on top of him and the two fell to the ground. Changmin winced and then looked
to see who had fallen on top of him.

“Yeseul!”

Changmin had never seen Yeseul cry, but there she was sobbing loudly. Changmin sat up and held her close, she was
shaking so hard. Changmin looked around and then into the closet, there was no one else around.

“Yeseul, are you alright? Sh, it’s ok, I’m here.”

Yeseul looked up and found her face close to Changmin’s concerned face. She continued to sob but buried her face into
his shirt.

“Sh, you’re going to be alright. You’re not alone, I’m here. Don’t worry I’m not leaving you, you’re not going to be alone.”
Changmin comforted and rocked her back and forth.

----

Micky did not appreciate the irony of the situation.

Changmin had been talking when Micky felt himself being grabbed. Next thing he knew he was locked up in a music
room.

Micky shook the door and yelled some more. He didn’t know how long he had been doing that but his body was getting
tired. If only he had Yunho’s stick.

“Listen.”

Micky froze and pressed his body to the door. Someone was behind him and playing the piano. Each note played sent a
shiver down his spine.

“Pretty? I’m almost as good as you.”

Micky didn’t answer but through the reflection of the door’s window he could see that Gyusung sitting on the piano bench
playing the piano. She still made his heart beat so fast, just like last year when she…when she had been so cruel to him.
Micky looked down and prayed that she wouldn’t say the same things.

“I know what you want but I’m not let you loose.” Gyusung said softly and continued to play the piano.

“You write such sad songs. Life is hard isn’t it? I didn’t like it very much either. It hurt a lot too. You’re not much different
than me.”

“No.” Micky whispered. She was doing it again. Gyusung pretended not to hear.

“Wouldn’t it be just so easy to end it all? No more pain, no more suffering, no more missing your girlfriend. Yes, Micky, it

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would be so easy to see her again.”

“No.”

“Come now, I’m trying to help. I’ve always been fond of you. You always wrote such sad pretty songs.”

“Stop it.” Micky was trembling now and he felt his legs grow weak. He was going to fall and if he did he wasn’t sure if he
could ever get back. Micky fell on his knees.

“Didn’t you love her? Don’t you want to be with her? She’s waiting for you Micky, she loves you so much. She wants you
to sing for her again.”

“MICKY? MICKY! YOU! I’M GOING TO KILL YOU! LEAVE HIM ALONE!”

Micky felt the door shake but he couldn’t move. He didn’t even hear the piano stop playing. He just stood there and he
didn’t even blink when a fist went through the door window sending shattered glass everywhere.

The door opened and Micky barely felt someone’s hands gently slapping his face.

“Hey, Micky it’s me Yunho. Come on man, say something.”

“MICKY? MICKY SPEAK TO ME? ARE YOU OK?”

Micky snapped back to reality as he was being roughly shaken back and forth. He shook himself free and stared at Nari
and Yunho who were staring at him worriedly.

“Nari? Yunho?” Micky jerked and looked around behind him. The music room was empty.

“She’s gone. Come on, we can’t waste anymore time. We have to find the others.” Nari said grimly helping him up. Her
arm was now bleeding but no one noticed.

“Yeah, she’s up to something and we have to make sure everyone else is ok.”

“She’s just as bad as last year.” Micky muttered as they sprinted down the halls. “No, she’s worse.”

“No kidding, she gets worse every year.” Yunho nodded. The three kids continued to run down the halls, looking for their
friends.

“What does she want exactly?” Nari asked her face dark and serious.

“What do you think?” Yunho answered grimly. “Looks like Mira will get her wish this year.”

----

Jungmin’s hands trembled as she opened the drawer. When she saw what was inside she gasped and slammed it shut.
She stared at the drawer.

She knew where she was and she couldn’t decide if it as a good place or a bad place for her to be.

Jungmin looked around the kitchen. Nothing electrical was on so she couldn’t use any of the appliances, though she
wasn’t sure what she could do if they were on. When Jungmin first regained consciousness she had screamed for the

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longest time. Finally her voice had gone out and during the time while she was alone she had calmed down and regained
her senses. She began to look around.

Jungmin opened the drawer a little bit and peeked inside. There were 15 or so large knives in there Jungmin couldn’t
decide to take them out or keep them in. She could grab one and could use it as a weapon though she wasn’t sure what
she would do with that either. Weren’t ghosts transparent? Besides, with her clumsiness she would probably hurt herself
before anything else.

Then again, what if the ghost planned to use them on her? Jungmin bit her lip, no don’t think about that. The
upperclassmen had said, the ghost didn’t really hurt people if you spent the night. How many hours have passed? When
was the night going to be over? When she could go home?

“Pick it up.”

Jungmin screamed and shut the drawer shut. She turned to her left and saw someone who she knew had to be the ghost.
Jungmin felt herself shake and she let out a whimper, her voice too gone to scream anymore.

“Pick one up, be a good girl Jungmin.” The ghost ordered. Jungmin tensed up as she lost control of her body. In horror
she saw her hands move and open the drawer. Then she picked up a large butcher knife and held it front of her. She felt
her gain control of the knife and her hand began to shake violently, dangerously threatening to drop the knife.

“Now, what will you do?”

Jungmin didn’t say anything but stared at the knife.

“Go ahead, try to attack me. Not that it will do anything good, I can’t die twice and I haven’t felt anything in a long time.”
The ghost smiled. “My name is Gyusung. I met your brother.”

Her brother! Was he OK? Where was he? She wanted him near. She wanted Junsu near. She wanted Mira near. She
wanted anyone near, anyone except this Gyusung.

“I like him, he’s innocent. You were innocent, Jungmin though not anymore. Look at you holding the knife.” Gyusung
shook her head as if she was disappointed. “You could have been innocent too, I could have been nice to you like I was
nice to your brother. But no, you succumbed to temptation. You took advantage of Mira’s pity.”

“Pity?” Jungmin croaked.

“Pity. Why do you think Mira let you join? She felt bad for you, she knew you weren’t going to have any friends. I mean
come on, besides the royalty do you have any friends?”

“No.” That wasn’t true. But wait, was it? Besides the other kids of the royalty who else did she have? She had no one.
Even her classmates didn’t like her. But wasn’t that because she was a member of the royalty? What if that was just an
excuse? What if no one really liked her?

“See. You’re quite lucky Mira felt bad for you. Well, maybe not so lucky now. You let it get to your head. Now you’re just
as snobby and conceited as the rest of the girls.”

No, she wasn’t snobby. Was she? Sure she started skipping classes and she used her position to get out of homework
assignments but it was OK! Everyone did that. Well everyone except her brother that is.

“Yes, such a snobby and spoiled child. No wonder Junsu wants to break up with you.”

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“No that’s not true!”

“Yes it is, you’ve never managed to have a decent date. You know why? Because Junsu doesn’t like you anymore.”

“No.”

“Yes, he liked you, back when you were innocent but not anymore. Yes, so what will you have then? When Junsu leaves
you will be alone. Mira, Nari, and Yeseul are only nice to you out of pity so they were never really your friends. You have
nothing.”

“No.”

“Oh don’t deny it. You’re not very pretty, you’re not tall, you’re horrible at history, you can’t dance, you can’t sing.
There’s nothing you’re good at. You don’t’ deserve to be a constellation. You don’t deserve Junsu.”

“NO!”

“Face it. He’s going to hate you. He’ll realize what nothing you are. Then you’ll know-“

“SHUT UP!” Jungmin screamed and flung the knife.

----

Junsu was very lost and very scared. He had been roaming the halls for a while and he was getting tired. After everything
got dark he had found himself alone in the halls. Where did everyone go? Especially, where was Jungmin? Was she OK?

He was walking past the kitchen when he paused. Was he hearing voices? Wait a minute, was that Jungmin’s voice? He
swung open the doors quickly and stepped inside.

“SHUT UP!”

“AH!”

Junsu screamed and slowly turned to his face to the side and came face to face with a quivering butcher knife, just inches
away. Junsu never got so close to peeing his pants before.

He heard something drop and he turned to see Jungmin fainted on the floor. He hurriedly ran over to her and held her
up. He gently patted her face.

“Jungmin? Jungmin wake up. It’s me Junsu. Wake up.”

Jungmin let out a groan and opened her eyes. When she saw Junsu’s worried face she burst into tears.

“Don’t leave me Junsu oppa!” She wailed.

Surprised, Junsu awkwardly patted Jungmin’s head, trying to comfort her. “Why would I leave you?”

“Because I’m a horrible person.” She managed out through her sobs.

“No you’re not, you’re a very sweet person.”

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“No, she was right, I’m snobby and conceited.”

“Who’s she?”

“Gyusung the ghost!”

Junsu stopped patting Jungmin’s head and forced her to look at him in the face. “You saw the ghost? Are you alright?”

Jungmin shook her head. “I’m a horrible person, I deserved to have her come after me.”

“No, stop saying that!”

“I skip class, I don’t do my homework, I take advantage of the unfair privileges given to me just because Mira felt bad for
me and made me constellation!”

“That’s not true. Mira made you a constellation because, well I’m not sure why exactly.” Junsu winced as Jungmin cried
even louder. He hastily continued. “But I’m sure it’s because you’re the sweetest girl I know. That’s why I like you.”

Jungmin tearfully looked at Junsu hopefully. “Really?”

Junsu tried to smile. “Really. Don’t listen to that ghost.”

Jungmin looked past Junsu and sudden noticed the knife. She gasped as she got up slowly.

“What?” Junsu asked turning around. He also noticed the knife and then turned to Jungmin. “You threw that?”

Jungmin nodded miserably. Junsu looked at the knife and looked at Jungmin again.

“You should take softball.”

Before Jungmin could think of a reply the kitchen doors swung open and in came Changmin and Yeseul. The brother and
sister hurriedly ran towards each other.

“Are you OK?”

“OOOPPPPPAAAA!”

Junsu looked at Changmin’s limping leg and Yeseul’s puffy and grim face. Those two obviously gone through a lot of
ordeals tonight.

“What’s wrong with your leg Changmin?” Junsu asked coming over to him as he hugged his sister.

“I um…fell. Where are the others?” Changmin answered looking around.

Jungmin stepped away from her brother and turned to Yeseul. To Yeseul’s surprise she hugged her tightly.
“Are you alright Yeseul unnie?”

Yeseul looked at Jungmin and then awkwardly gave her a pat on the head. “I’m uh fine. What happened to you? Why is
there a knife on the door?”

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“Long story. Come on, we have to find the others and then get out of here. It’s 4am, in a couple of hours dawn should
come and then we can go.” Junsu said looking at this watch. The four kids nodded and left the kitchen.

----

Jaejoong wearily opened his eyes. How long had he been out? He groaned as his eyes adjusted to the darkness and then
shot them wide open at what he saw.

“MIRA!”

Jaejoong struggled up and stared upwards. He couldn’t believe it. He was in the pool room and above the pool was Mira,
unconscious and all tied up hanging at the ceiling. Jaejoong couldn’t even manage how she got up there. He wasn’t even
sure what was holding her up.

“Mira! Hey! Wake up Mira! Come on Mira!” Jaejoong yelled. He frantically looked around. There was nothing in the room
except the pool, Mira, and himself. Exasperated Jaejoong ran his hands through his hair. How was he going to get her
down?

“Jaejoong!”

“You guys!”

“MIRA!”

“What is Mira doing up there?”

Yunho, Micky, and Nari entered the pool room and ran towards Jaejoong. They all stared up at the lifeless Mira.

“Nari unnie! You’re bleeding!”

“Jungmin!”

“Are you guys alright?”

“What happened to your leg Changmin?”

“I’m fine, we’re all fine. WHAT THE?”

“MIRA!”

“What’s going on?”

Jungmin, Junsu, Changmin, and Yeseul also ran into the room and the friends all embraced each other in relief. Jungmin
stifled a scream when she saw Mira.

“Is Mira unnie alive?”

“Yes, for now.”

All 8 kids suddenly saw Gyusung standing on the other side of pool. Jaejoong angrily tried to go after her but stopped

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abruptly. He couldn’t move anymore. The other kids squirmed and struggled but they all found themselves frozen in their
spots.

“This isn’t like you. Usually you just scare us and then disappear.” Yunho angrily muttered. “What do you want with her?”

“Do you know how I died?” Gyusung asked the kids ignoring Yunho’s question. When she received no reply she answered
herself. “I drowned myself in this very pool. Hm, I always thought Sonho would have gotten rid of it.”

Gyusung fondly looked at the pool but when she looked back at the kids her eyes were filled with loath and hate. “You
kids are bad. You deserved to be punished. I’ve been waiting a long time for the right person to come. I’ve been waiting
a long time for Mira.”

“What do you want with Mira? Leave her alone, she’s never even seen you!” Jaejoong managed out through gritted teeth.

Gyusung smiled cruelly. “I know and that tortured her didn’t it? That brat couldn’t bear to feel left out. She couldn’t stand
not being able to have everything that she wanted. I hate her, just like I hated her father.”

“Father?” Nari blurted out. “What does Mira’s dad have anything to do with this?”

Gyusung’s face contorted in anger. “He has everything to do with this. He made my life miserable. He made me want to
kill myself. He’s the reason why I’m like this. Still don’t get it? Mira’s father was the one who started the Royalty at Sonho
thirty years ago.”

“No way.” Yeseul muttered under her breath.

“Yes way. He created the stupid group and took over the whole school as a student. He created the rules and he made
sure everyone followed them. Then he let his friends join him.” Gyusung’s face grew dark. “He was mean and snobby.
And he wouldn’t let me join the group!”

“You killed yourself because he wouldn’t let you be a royalty?” Junsu asked.

“Don’t you dare judge me.” Gyusung snapped and Junsu let out a yelp as something unseen squeezed him hard. “It was
more than that. Not only did they reject me they made me an outcast. They laughed at me and the whole school laughed
along in fear. I was miserable and I was alone. I had only one desire when I fell into the pool and it was to create misery
for all those pathetic kids, especially the royalty. I wanted to punish those who had never felt pain. I wanted to punish
those who never earned their status. I wanted to punish those who considered themselves above everyone else. I wanted
to punish you.”

“You know for a ghost you don’t know anything. You don’t know anything at all.” Nari said loudly and squirmed as
something squeezed her body tightly also. Her face turned red but she managed out smirk. “You suck. You think we’ve
never felt pain? You think we got it so great?”

Nari gasped and red welts began to appear on her neck. As she struggled for breath Gyusung glared at her angrily. “Shut
up. You have money. You have power. Your life is perfect and you don’t deserve it.”

The red marks disappeared on Nari’s neck and Nari sucked in a lot of air and then her head dropped down. Micky
struggled against his imprisonment angrily. “Is that all there is to life? Yeah we have all that but we don’t have other
things. We don’t have the things that we need the most.”

Gyusung smiled. “Oh yes, our poor Micky. He lost his beloved girlfriend and he just can’t get over it. You poor thing.
Don’t think of me as fool, I know there’s more to life than money and power. That’s why you guys will live but when you

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leave you’ll never be the same. You’ll realize how horrible life is by watching it slip away. I hope you guys haven’t
forgotten about Mira, she’s still hanging above the pool. I’m going to drop her and I’m going to make you all watch her
drown.”

“NO!” Jaejoong screamed. He struggled and then fell down to the floor. He looked up at Gyusung angrily. “Leave her
alone! So what if you hate her father? Mira didn’t do it, she was just born to him. She never asked for anything, she
doesn’t want anything. She just has it, what is she supposed to do? This is unfair.”

“Life is unfair. So is death. Mira is more than the offspring of the man I hate. She represents all that is wrong in life. I
hated her ever since I watched her join the school. Always smiling, always happy never feeling lonely, never feeling
sadness. Of course she grew angry sometimes but what does that matter? When she’s angry you all fear her. She has
everything. That is-”

“You’re wrong.” Yunho interrupted loudly. “Mira feels lonely, Mira feels sadness. Mira is hurting right now, she’s in so
much pain but she tries to hide it. You know, you two are similar.”

“No, we are nothing alike!” Gyusung screamed and the pool room shook with her anger. Yunho continued to stare
defiantly at her.

“All you wanted was to join the Royalty right? But you couldn’t get it so you grew miserable. Then you killed yourself
because you couldn’t take it. Mira has something she wants, something she wants more than anything in the world. But
she can’t have him.” Yunho’s eyes flickered towards the silent Jaejoong but went right back to staring at Gyusung. “It
kills her inside but unlike she tries hard to hide it. She doesn’t want anyone to know. She’s miserable but she keeps
smiling so that others can be happy. Yeah she has it all, but you know what? She doesn’t want any of it. She doesn’t care
for it. And just to let you know, Mira’s father, he’s hard on her. He doesn’t have everything exactly perfect either. So
you’re wrong about them, just like you’re wrong about all of us.”

Gyusung silently stared back at Yunho. She seemed to be thinking. The other members looked at each other nervously.
None of them were sure if they could handle anymore of this night. All of them desperately wished they were in a bed
sleeping, not being held frozen by a vengeful ghost.

“You’re an odd group this year.” She finally spoke. The members of the royalty gasped as they felt their bodies being let
go. They all fell to the ground and Micky scrambled over to Nari to make sure she was alright.

Gyusung studied the 8 kids and then silently turned around. She walked away and went right through the wall but no one
noticed for as soon as she did Mira fell to the pool. Yeseul screamed and Yunho tried to scramble up but his legs were not
quite ready and he fell down. While he was cursing at himself he heard another splash and looked up just in time to see
Jaejoong jump into the pool.

All the kids had to take some time to find the strength in their legs but when they were all standing up Jaejoong had
already dragged the unconscious Mira out of the water. He fell right next her and his chest heaved as he panted hard. He
was exhausted but he didn’t care, Mira was safe.

“Is she going to be alright?” Jungmin asked worriedly. Yunho checked Mira’s heart and her breathing as the rest untied
the wet ropes.

“She’s fine, she’s just out.” Yunho sighed and sat down. What a night. He had never been so tired in his entire life.

Sunlight began to stream into the quiet pool room as the kids cleaned themselves up. Yunho and Jaejoong tried to dry
the soaking and unconscious Mira. Jungmin, Junsu, and Yeseul checked over Changmin’s leg. Micky woke Nari up and
filled her in as he wrapped her bleeding arm. They were tired and their clothes were ruined. The night had definitely

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taken a toll on them physically.

It had taken a toll on them mentally and emotionally also. When they were all ready they silently left the school together
with Junsu helping Changmin limp out. The sunlight was bright and there were birds chirping but the warm atmosphere
contrasted so much from the coldness and darkness inside the kids.

They all began to separate as they found their cars and drivers. Junsu had to leave first and he and Jungmin were too
weary to properly say goodbye. He fell into his car and Jungmin barely managed a wave. Micky left next, as he wordlessly
stepped into his BMW. As the driver drove Micky away Changmin noticed that Yeseul would have no where to go. Their
eyes met briefly and Yeseul nodded, she followed the Shim siblings to their car and left with them. Finally it was just
Yunho and Jaejoong, with Mira still unconscious on Jaejoong’s back.

“So you know.” Jaejoong spoke up as they walked silently. Yunho looked at his best friend seriously and nodded.

“Yeah.”

“Everything?”

“All that Mira knows.”

“That’s why…you and Mira?”

“Of course, I wouldn’t do that to you Joong.”

Jaejoong nodded and felt a little better. Despite all the things that he went through he couldn’t help but feel better that
Mira was for sure not in love with Yunho. Of course he had known their relationship was fake, but he couldn’t help but
doubt in worry.

“It’s all over.” Yunho sighed loudly and scratched his neck wearily. When he went home he was going to take a long hot
shower.

“No, only tonight is over. There are still things going on. Nothing has ended.” Jaejoong replied. They both looked at Mira
who seemed to be sleeping contently under Yunho’s jacket.

“When do you think it’ll end?” Yunho asked and Jaejoong shrugged and then adjusted Mira on his back.

“Who knows? Everyday I pray that it’ll all end the day after. But sometimes I can’t help but wonder, if we’ll be like this
forever.”

“I hope it ends soon, for all of us. All of us and our dilemmas.”

“Hm.”

Mira stirred a little in her sleep and Jaejoong stopped in his tracks. “Here, you should take her before she wake up. She
won’t be happy with this.”

Yunho nodded and took Mira from Jaejoong who let her go with a reluctant look in his eyes. When she was in Yunho’s
arms Mira’s eyes sleepily opened up and she stared at him in surprise.

“Yunho?”

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“Good morning.”

Mira gasped and hopped off of Yunho. “What’s going on? What happened? Why am I wet? Where is everyone?”

Yunho looked around and to his surprise Jaejoong had slipped away. He tried to smile at Mira. “They all left for home, it
was a long night.”

“What happened? Why am I wet?” Mira asked grabbing on his hands.

“You don’t remember anything?”

“What am I supposed to remember?” Mira asked in frustration. “I was trying to hold a séance when a gust of wind came
in the room. I think I might have heard a voice, I’m not sure. Anyways, I blacked out. Next thing I know, well you’re
carrying me and I’m wet. What happened?”

Yunho patted Mira’s head and put his arm around her and they began to walk. “She came after us. Then we found you in
the pool room and you were wet.” He lied. He didn’t really think he was going to get caught; the other kids wouldn’t be
talking about that night and what had happened for a long time.

“That’s it?” Mira asked in disbelief. She looked at him suspiciously but noticed the tiredness in his eyes and decided
against questioning him any further. “So, another night and another year and I still don’t get to see this Sonho ghost.”

“Is it really that bad?”

“Well, I suppose not really. I don’t know, you guys said it was horrible. Maybe I am better off not seeing her. But I
wanted to see her, I wanted to talk to her.”

“What would you say?”

“I would tell her back off from you guys.” Mira said firmly. Yunho looked at Mira in surprise. “I would try to find out what
bothers her so much and why she hates us so much. I would make sure that I would do all I can to stop her from every
hurting you guys again.”

Yunho didn’t say anything as Mira seemed to think some more. “That’s what kills me the most.”

“What?”

“That she’s hurting you guys but letting me loose. I don’t get why she doesn’t come after me, I would think she would
want to hurt me the most.”

“Hm.” Yunho couldn’t think of anything else to say but he couldn’t help but think that if Gyusung heard what Mira had
just said she would have unleashed hell on all of them. Yunho let out a small smile, Gyusung had failed to get to Mira.

“Hey, are you sure you don’t know what happened to me?” Mira asked.

“Er no, why?”

Mira held up her arms. “Well, I have these rope marks on my arms and my sides too. And I have this huge bump in the
back of my head.” Mira gingerly touched the back of her head and winced while Yunho tried to look clueless. “And I’m
wet, I mean it’s not too bad but I can’t help but feel like I was really soaked and just managed to dry up now.”

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“Er, hm that is…um odd. Oh look! There’s our cars, come on.” Yunho hastily changed the subject. He pointed to the cars
waiting for them and grabbed Mira’s hand. He made sure Mira was in the car and he waved goodbye before he stepped
into his own car. He wearily laid down on the seats as his driver began to drive the car away.

It was morning and the night, it was finally over. But Yunho couldn’t shake off the feeling that in actuality, things had just
begun.

CHAPTER 15 – Shim siblings' trip to the hospital


© pikapika.

Junsu smoothed out his shirt, paused, and then did it again. Not that the shirt needed to be dewrinkled, it had been
ironed a couple of hours before. Nevertheless, Junsu was nervous and he was taking it out on his shirt.

He stared at himself glumly in the mirror. What was wrong with him? He had been going out with Jungmin for a couple
months and all their dates have been disastrous. No matter how hard he tried to plan out the most perfect dates for
Jungmin, it always turned out bad. He still hadn’t been able to give Jungmin her kiss. That park that took Junsu weeks to
find had been torn down to make room for new apartment complexes. Junsu wanted to give up, why was it so hard?

But Junsu wasn’t going to give up, not yet anyways. Jungmin had repeatedly told him that a first kiss ANYWHERE would
be great and although Junsu had been stubborn he finally gave in. Tonight, although the skies were clear and they were
going around the city instead of a park, he was going to give it another try and give her an amazing first kiss. Junsu
smoothed his shirt again and squared his shoulders. Yes, tonight was the night!

Now he was getting a little excited. He really did like Jungmin. She was so sweet and kind, so unlike the other girls at
Sonho. And she looked so cute when she gave a smile, a little shy but completely genuine smile. Junsu grinned, just
thinking about her made him smile. Now he really couldn’t wait for the date to start, there was no way this night would
be anything less than awesome.

He went to the bathroom and made sure one last time he looked presentable. He glanced at the cologne bottle that was
next to his shaving cream (not that he really needed it). Hm, Junsu didn’t usually wear cologne, maybe he should? He
picked up the bottle and observed it, his mother had given it to him when they were in Austria for Christmas. He sniffed
warily, it smelled ok but he couldn’t help but think that girl’s perfume spelled better. Come to think of it Jungmin did wear
perfume or something that gave her this sweet fruity smell. Junsu smiled, he liked that smell.

Hm, once when Mira and Jaejoong had been still going out Junsu had overheard her telling Jaejoong that she loved
smelling him the most. Jaejoong had laughed (back when Jaejoong smiled and laughed) and told her that was the
weirdest thing he had ever heard and Junsu had secretly agreed. But now, his perspective change. The sense of smell
was one of the more powerful senses and one that brought back memories the most. Maybe he should start wearing
cologne. He imagined Jungmin telling him that she liked to smell him, hm he would like that.

Junsu shook the bottle and began to dab some on. How much was he supposed put on? He put on a little more and then
started dabbing his neck. Junsu stopped when he started to cough and his eyes began to water. He hastily closed the
cologne bottle as he coughed. He put some water on some toilet paper and began to take some of the cologne off. Maybe
he had a put a little too much.

“Shoot, I’m gong to be late!” Junsu looked at the clock and then threw the wet toilet paper away. He ran out of the
bathroom and slid down the railing to the first floor. He quickly put on a jacket, made sure his wallet was in pocket,
glanced at the mirror once last time, and then ran outside where his driver was waiting for him.

“Alright let’s go Young, thanks.” Junsu said as he stepped into the car. His driver coughed into his fist and began the

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engine. Yeah, Junsu still smelled pretty strong. He opened up the windows and looked around for more water and tissues.

The whole ride Junsu tried to take the cologne off but the smell never went away. He didn’t smell bad, it was pretty nice
cologne, he just reeked of it. The driver continued to cough throughout the ride and Junsu apologized each time.

When they arrived at the aquarium all the windows have been opened and there was a pile of wet tissues at Junsu’s feet.
Junsu took a sniff, well he didn’t smell as strong as before but it still had a strong presence. Junsu couldn’t help but
glumly think that Jungmin would probably smell him before seeing him.

He apologize one last time to his driver who told him he was going to take the car out for an inside car wash and Junsu
agreed. As the car roared away Junsu smoothed out his shirt one more time and looked around.

He was at aquarium and he couldn’t help but wonder why he hadn’t done this before. The aquarium was fun, interesting,
and the animals were caged behind a five foot thick wall of glass. Junsu winced as he remembered the petting zoo
incident, never again. Sure things that had started off a little rough, the whole cologne incident was still fresh in his mind,
but he was going to make sure the day went by perfectly.

“Junsu!”

Junsu turned around and grinned as he saw Jungmin waving at him. She ran a little towards him with a shy smile.
Jungmin wasn’t wearing a skirt, she had worn pants to every date they had and this one was no different. Jungmin
clutched her bag as she neared Junsu, she had also bought an emergency medical supply kit. As excited she was to be
with Junsu again, history had taught her to be prepared for anything.

When they were together they smiled at each other shyly, like they always did.

“Hi Jungmin, you look cute.”

“Thanks, hm, you smell nice Junsu. I like it.”

Fireworks went off in Junsu’s head and he beamed. He took Jungmin’s hand and they walked into the aquarium. He was
so happy, today was going to be great for sure.

As Junsu was buying the tickets Jungmin rubbed her throat. Hm, it was kind of burning. And her nose didn’t feel so great
either. Jungmin fought down a cough and silently prayed she wasn’t going to come down with anything. Today had to be
the day she got her first kiss and if she thought she was sick there was no way she was going to let him kiss her and risk
getting him sick.

They began to walk around admiring the fish but Jungmin couldn’t fight the coughs anymore. Every couple of minutes she
coughed and Junsu was now worried. Even though she apologized and said nothing was wrong Junsu couldn’t help but
notice that her face was getting kind of red. Jungmin blushed often but this was an odd shade of red and it covered her
entire face.

Halfway through Jungmin’s walk started to slow down and now Junsu was very worried. He had her sit down and he tried
to figure out what was wrong. Jungmin was coughing all the time now and her breath grew very labored.

Jungmin was in a lot of pain but she didn’t dare say anything. Tears formed in her eyes but it was mostly from
disappointment than pain. She was going to ruin another date again, and a date that had started off so well. They had
been laughing and making fun of the fish. If she didn’t feel so horrible, and why was she having such trouble breathing?

Jungmin clutched her throat and began to choke. Now Junsu was very alarmed, Jungmin looked like she was suffocating.

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“Jungmin! Jungmin are you OK? Jungmin what’s wrong? What should I do? Jungmin!” Junsu yelled as Jungmin continued
to struggle to breathe. His reaction had drawn a crowd and now concerned strangers were gathered around Jungmin and
Junsu,

“What’s wrong?”

“She’s not breathing!”

“Someone cal 119.”

“Don’t worry honey, you’re going to be fine.”

“Move aside, here comes some workers.”

The nurses at the aquarium came by and they pushed aside Junsu as they began to check to check up on her. Junsu
watched nervously behind one of the nurses, trying to find out what’s wrong.

“Her throat is swollen up, she’s having trouble breathing.”

“Here put this on her, looks like an allergic reaction.”

Soon the ambulance came and they wheeled Jungmin away. Junsu tried to get on the ambulance but he was pushed
aside again. Junsu watched the ambulance drive away and grabbed his cellphone.

“Hello?”

“Changmin, Jungmin’s sick, they took her to the hospital! Come quickly!”

----

“Is she going to be OK?”

“I’m sure she’ll be fine.”

“What happened exactly?”

“Junsu, are YOU ok?”

Nari, Yunho, Micky, and Changmin looked at Junsu worriedly. Junsu had gotten to the hospital as fast as he could and he
had trouble finding Jungmin who had been in the emergency room. Junsu also started to have a panic attack and only
calmed down when Changmin arrived with his family. They had calmed him down, found Jungmin, and now were in her
room watching her sleep. Nari, Yunho, Micky, and Mira also came to the hospital when they heard the news. When they
arrived they saw Junsu limply sitting on the chair looking horrified.

“Hi, I’m back.” Mira entered the room. She had been with the doctors trying to find out what happened. She smiled
reassuringly at the worried faces.

“Jungmin had an allergy attack but they managed decrease the swollenness in her throat and she should be breathing
just fine now. She’ll need to stay over night but other then that she’ll be fine.”

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The others sighed in relief except Junsu who still had that horrified look on his face. Jungmin’s father
brushed the hair off Jungmin’s sleeping face tenderly.

“That’s good to hear, thank you Mira. Did they say what she was allergic to exactly?”

Mira bite her lip and looked at Junsu worriedly. “Um, well, they said she had an allergic reaction to um…someone’s
cologne.”

Junsu reacted and stared at Mira. So it was true, the creeping suspicion that had been in his stomach the whole time had
been correct. It was his entire fault that Jungmin was sick and in the hospital. It was his entire fault that Jungmin almost
died. It was all his fault.

Junsu stood up automatically. His friends and Jungmin’s parents looked at him worriedly.

“Um where are you going?” Changmin asked.

“To the roof.”

“Junsu, why are you going to the roof?” Asked Mira gently as she stepped in between him and the door. Junsu seemed to
hardly notice.

“To jump off.”

“AH!”

“Junsu!”

“Oh dear.”

“Get a grip man!”

His friends all jumped up and grabbed him, preventing from opening the door. They forced him back to his chair and held
him down as he struggled against them.

“LET ME GO! I HAVE TO DO IT! I ALMOST KILLED JUNGMIN! IT’S ALL MY FAULT!”

“ARE YOU INSANE? DID YOU NOT HEAR MIRA? SHE’S GOING TO BE ALRIGHT! JUNGMIN IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT! THIS
IS SO NOT WORTH KILLING YOURSELF OVER.” Nari yelled as she held down one of Junsu’s arms.

“She’s right, you’re just over reacting.” Micky tried to reassure Junsu as he firmly grabbed on to his other arm.

“Junsu, it’s not all your fault. How were you to know that she was allergic to your cologne? Don’t worry, she’s fine now so
everything is going to be alright.” Changmin said through gritted teeth as he pushed down Junsu’s shoulders. His parents
also went over and tried to reassure him.

“Changmin is right, we don’t blame you at all. There’s no way you would have known.”

“And we’re very grateful you brought her to the hospital so fast, you saved her.”

Mira watched in concern as Junsu gave up and sat down limply on the seat. Poor Junsu, all he did was try so hard to be a
good boyfriend. Junsu’s heart was in the right place, it was just that bad stuff always seemed to happen to the cute

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couple. Mira looked at Jungmin who seemed to be sleeping peacefully. Mira had wanted the couple to be happy, she
really did like them two together.

----

Changmin yawned and glanced at the clock on the wall, it was 11 o’clock. He looked at his sister who was still sleeping.
He had given his parents a break and offered to watch his sister for a couple of hours. He wondered when they were
coming back, he was exhausted and wanted to go home and sleep.

Not that he minded, he had no problem watching over his little sister. He remembered how frightened he was when Junsu
had given him the phone call. His sister had never been allergic to anything before and what were the chances that she
was allergic to whatever was in Junsu’s cologne? Then again, Changmin couldn’t help but notice Junsu had put on a lot of
cologne on, he could almost still smell it.

He sighed as he thought about his best friend. Junsu was a good friend and a great guy, and he tried really hard to
balance being both his little sister’s boyfriend and his best friend. Sure, Changmin had thought it was a little weird and he
had been a little jealous as first but he soon realized things were going to be alright. He could trust Junsu with his little
sister and they still continued to be good friends. Once Junsu had taken Changmin to China to watch an international
soccer game and that had been great fun. Though Junsu did try to send a lot more time with Jungmin than Changmin.

Which was why Changmin was always looking for Yeseul. Ok, who was he kidding. He used that as an excuse. It was true
that he didn’t have too many friends at Sonho and the other kids were either too busy writing songs or sneaking around
mysteriously. But he had to admit, even if he had a line of friends he would still call Yeseul first. Changmin felt himself
blush and felt really glad his sister was a sleep. Yeseul was, well like no other girl he had ever known. Not only was she
pretty, no she was gorgeous, she was smart and honest. Sure she could be a little cold, but Changmin believed that it
was because she was trying hard to hide something. Of course Changmin didn’t like that she went to clubs and drank, but
it amazed him that she actually seemed to listen to him. She would let him take her out of those places without too much
of a fight, though she would go back the night after.

Changmin smiled to himself, he wondered if he was making it too obvious. His sister seemed to have a good idea,
especially that one night where he had brought Yeseul to his house telling his parents he had picked up Jungmin’s friend.
Not that it wasn’t true or his parent’s distrusted him. Yeseul was at their house a couple of nights a week now, sometimes
going strait to the guest room or sometimes staying up with Jungmin. And sometimes he thought that Mira knew, the
way she smiled at the two of them in such a knowing way.

Changmin bought out his cellphone and eyed it. He and Mira both tried calling her today but she hadn’t been answering.
He hadn’t thought too much of it at the time, he had his sister occupying his mind, but now he was a bit worried. Was
she OK? He fingered his cellphone as he tried to make up his mind. He definitely wanted to call and check, but he didn’t
want to see too overbearing and too concerned.

Finally he couldn’t take it anymore and he dialed her number. He held the phone and hoped Yeseul to pick up.

“Hello?”

Changmin held out his phone and stared at the screen to make sure he had called the right number. Yeah, that was
Yeseul’s name on the screen but why had a man answered?”

“Uh, who is this?”

“Who is this?”

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“Who is this?”

Changmin sighed, this was going no where. “This is Yeseul’s friend. I want to talk to her.”

“Well, she’s not quite fit to answer the phone right now.”

“WHAT? What are you talking about? Give me Yeseul right now? Who are you?”

“Look buddy, I said she wasn’t quite fit to answer the phone. I’ll tell her you called.”

“Where is she?”

“Where do you think?”

CLICK

Changmin stared at the phone. What had just gone on? Who was this guy who answered the phone? It wouldn’t be that
Joon guy would it? Didn’t really sound like him. Now Changmin was very worried for Yeseul, what did that guy mean
when he said she “wasn’t fit to answer the phone”?

“Honey, we’re here how’s your sister?”

Mr. and Mrs. Shim entered the room and headed towards Jungmin. Changmin stood up abruptly and grabbed his jacket.

“She’s still sleeping. I’ll be going off now if that’s all right.”

“Sure, heading home?”

“Er yeah, right after I go do something. If Jungmin wakes up tell her I say hi.” With that Changmin left the room and the
hospital. His family’s driver would be ready for him and as soon as Changmin went in the car, he ordered the drive to
drive to Club Zone.

On the ride there Changmin grew very nervous. In his mind he imagined all the horrible things that Yeseul might have
been in to. He knew she shouldn’t be going to clubs, there were creepy and dangerous men there every night! He
shuddered as he recalled those urban legends about girls at clubs and hoped very hard that he was just overreacting.
Though he couldn’t help but wonder if Yeseul was as tough as Mira or Nari. What if she needed to defend herself?

Changmin couldn’t get to Club Zone soon enough. As soon as it came into view Changmin opened the door and hopped
out of the car. This time he didn’t bother with the line, he shoved the bouncer some money and slipped in. He would feel
bad about that later, but for now all he could think about was finding Yeseul.

He looked around the smoky club, honestly what did she like about this place? It was hot and reeked of cigarettes. He
headed strait towards the bar, she had to be here. But as Changmin got closer and scanned the area, she was no where
to be seen.

“Well if it isn’t Prince Changmin! Care for a drink?”

Changmin turned around and saw Joon who was wiping glasses. Changmin eyed him suspiciously.

“No thank you. Do you know where Yeseul is?”

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Joon shrugged and grinned. “The princess? She was here taking in some glasses.”

“Where is she now?”

“Why? Planning on dragging her out again?”

“If I have to yes, I just want to make sure she’s OK.” Changmin decided right then that as polite as Joon was, he didn’t
like him. There was something very unsettling about the way he grinned and let’s face it: it was kind of creepy the way
he called Yeseul “princess”.

“Why don’t you leave her alone? She can take care of herself, she’s a big girl. Besides, if anything happens, I’ll be here to
take care of her. Maybe it’s time for you go home and study or something.” Joon leaned against the bar and stared at
Changmin. Joon had known the moment Changmin first entered the club that he would be trouble. And this kid, this
scrawny pole of a kid kept on dragging Yeseul out of the club. Joon needed Yeseul, Yeseul was the most profitable thing
that had ever happened to him. He hated those rich kids, they didn’t know what it was like to need money and not get it.

Changmin stared back determinedly. “She’s shouldn’t be here and you know it. I am quite considering reporting this
place to the authorities, you guys shouldn’t be letting minors in here so easily. I could easily bring this place down by
tomorrow morning.”

Joon scoffed and walked away towards some other customers. “You couldn’t, Yeseul wouldn’t let you. She likes this place
and you wouldn’t dare do anything she tells you not do. Now if you will excuse me my prince, there are other people who
are in need of my service.”

Changmin glared at Joon’s back but went right back to looking for Yeseul. Where was she? Maybe she was on the dance
floor, maybe he should go in to look for her.

Changmin stepped away from the bar to leave but was abruptly pushed back by two burly men. He looked at both of
them, where had they come from? What did they want from him?

“You’re the guy huh? You’re the guy on the phone.”

Changmin stared at the shorter of the two and recognized the voice. It was the guy who was on Yeseul’s phone. “Yeah, I
recognize your voice. Where is Yeseul?”

The guy stepped closer. “Gone. So, you’re like her protector huh?”

Changmin eyed the two uneasily. They reeked of alcohol and they were obviously drunk “If you don’t mind, I need to go
look for her. If you know where she is, could you please tell me?”

The guys looked at each other and laughed. “Yeah we know where she is.”

“We sure do.”

“Since you’re her friend we’ll take you to her.”

“Yes we will.”

“Follow us.”

Changmin sighed in relief and followed the two men. He just hoped that when he found her, she would be alright. The

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two men went through a door and Changmin followed.

The door slammed shut and Changmin eyes widened as he realized where they had led him. He thought dark alleys with
gigantic garbage cans only existed in those gangster movies. Changmin gulped, apparently he had thought wrong.

The two men came towards him with awful smiles on their faces. Changmin took a step back. He knew what was coming
and he tensed up considerably.

“You were threatening to close the place down?”

“Who do you think you are buddy?”

“And your girlfriend Yeseul, well we don’t like her.”

“No we don’t.”

Changmin could only brace himself.

----

Yeseul sighed and wearily walked up the stairs. She could have taken the elevator but she had been too tired to think of
it before. What a night, all she wanted to do was sleep.

“Yeseul? Hey where have you been? I’ve been looking for you.”

Mira met her on the top of the stairs with a worried look on her face. Yeseul just shrugged and headed towards the
guestroom which was officially hers.

“I was out. Some drunken idiots tried to creep up on me but (yawn) Joon scared them off. Then while I was dancing I
realized I left my phone and can you believe it? Those idiots had taken my phone. I push those drunken idiots and
grabbed my phone. Then I didn’t want to be in the club anymore so I left, though Joon wasn’t too happy about that.”
Yeseul yawned once more.

“You could have at least called us back. Jungmin is at the hospital, she had an allergic reaction.”

“Is she alright?”

“Yeah, she’ll be fine. Poor kid, it happened while she was on a date with Junsu. Junsu almost tried to kill himself twice.
Once he wanted to jump off the roof and the second time he tried to drown himself. He took it hard.”

“Geesh. I’ll go visit Jungmin tomorrow. I’m exhausted, I’ll see you in the morning. Night.”

“Night.”

Yeseul brushed up and changed her clothes. She slipped into bed and set the alarm. She thought for a second and slid
her phone open.

“10 missed calls? Mira yeah, and Changmin? Hm, I wonder if he’s doing alright with Jungmin in the hospital and all.
Maybe I should give him a call.”

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Yeseul pursed her lips and thought about it. Would it be too late? Finally she shrugged, might as well and if he didn’t
answer she could always leave him a message.

----

Changmin let out a soft moan and gently touched his face. Owch, it was bruised and bleeding. He was leaning on dirty
garbage can but he didn’t care, his leg was hurting again and the scratches on his face stung with pain.

The two guys had jumped him and Changmin had just taken it. He really hadn’t been sure what to do, he never been in a
fight before. Changmin didn’t even know to fight and he didn’t want to, his parents had always taught him to never use
his fists. Besides the guys were drunk and though it hurt, it hurt a lot, they often missed and fell. The beating lasted only
a little while and soon the guys had left him alone in the dark alley. He gently touched his ankle and winced. Yep, it was
definitely sprained again.

He tried to get up but fell back to the ground. He was tired and bruised but he was still worried about Yeseul. Those guys
were obviously no help and he still had no idea where she was or if she was alright or not.

Changmin felt his phone vibrate and he carefully drew it out. He hoped it wasn’t his parents, he wasn’t sure how he was
going to explain his situation.

“Hello?”

“Changmin? It’s me Yeseul.”

Relief flooded over Changmin. “Are you alright?”

“Am I alright? Are you OK? I heard about your sister, how is she?”

“She’s fine, where are you?”

“Me? I’m at Mira’s. I’m crashing here for the night. Why? Is everything alright?”

“So you’re ok?”

“Sure, why wouldn’t I be?”

Changmin let out a sigh and closed his eyes. “That’s good to hear. Yeseul, I’m kind of tired, I’ll see you at school?”

“Sure, are you sure you’re alright?”

“Yeah, don’t worry about me. Good night.”

“Night.”

When Yeseul had hung up on him Changmin wearily dialed another number.

“Mr. Lee? Yeah it’s me, could you pick me up? I’m going to need a ride to the hospital. I’m in the alley behind the club.
Thank you.”

Changmin hung up and rested his head on the garbage can. He would need to get his leg fixed and his scratches cleaned
up. Hopefully he could do this all tonight and not have his parents find out. They didn’t need anymore worries, especially

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after the whole Jungmin incident. It had been a tiring day for them and for Changmin. He sure did take a beating tonight.

Despite that, Changmin was relieved. His sister would be fine and apparently Yeseul was fine too. Changmin let out a
small smile but immediately winced right after. Yeah, he would need to clean those scratches.

----

“So you were allergic to Junsu’s cologne? Geesh.”

“Yeah, I feel so bad. I haven’t seen him since.”

“Well, it’s a good thing you’re not allergic to flowers because you have a nursery in here.”

Yeseul looked around at all the flowers in Jungmin’s room. There was barely any room for her or Jungmin. Jungmin
smiled sadly.

“Yeah, Junsu sent all of these. I want to see him and make sure he’s OK. I heard I hurt him when I got sick.”

“Hm , you guys are definitely one weird couple.” Yeseul stood up and pushed aside some flowers that were in her face.
“Anyways, I got to go, Mira tells me I should go to at least one class a day. You’re going to be good?”

Jungmin nodded. After the horrible incident Jungmin had woken up this morning in the hospital room. After she had
frantically woken them up, her parents had explained what had happened. Jungmin felt awful, she had definitely ruined
another date and to make it worse, he wasn’t answering his phone. Poor Junsu, she heard he had blamed himself even
though it was not his fault. Stupid Jungmin, she thought to herself, you just had to be allergic to his cologne.

“Yeah, I’ll see you around. Thanks for visiting.”

“No problem, see you in school soon I suppose. Bye.”

Yeseul left the room and headed down the hall. There was way too much drama between her friends, even between the
two most innocent ones. Yeseul brushed the hair out of her eyes, was this never going to end?”

Yeseul continued down the hospital hall when she noticed a figure limping towards her. Wait a minute, was that
Changmin?

“Changmin?”

“Uh? Oh, hi Yeseul.” This time Changmin let his hair fall over his face as much as he could. He couldn’t believe she was
here at the hospital so early in the morning. He definitely did not want her to see what had happened to him. He probably
looked horrible too, he had stayed up all night getting his leg and scratches fixed and he had hoped to just sneak back
into the house.

“Are you OK? Is your leg hurting again?” Yeseul eyed him. Changmin looked tired, he had huge bags under his eyes. “You
look…tired? Something happen?”

“Uh, yeah I just tripped and hurt it again. I’ll be fine. And um, last night I stayed up watching over my sister.” Changmin
felt horrible, he couldn’t believe he was just lying.

Yeseul continued to stare at Changmin. “Um, sure. Hey, are those scratches on your face? How badly did you trip?”

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Changmin blushed and pulled his hood over his head. “Uh, yeah it was um, a long trip. Anyways, I better get going. I’ll
see you around.”

Changmin hobbled away quickly and pressed the elevator button hard. He could still sense Yeseul staring at him and he
quickly hopped into the elevator. As the door began to close he tried to smile at Yeseul.

When the elevator door closed Yeseul shook her head and continued walking. That kid, what a weird kid. He kept on
getting hurt, he really needed to take better care of himself. Yeseul walked down the stairs. Yes, he was a weird kid
alright, though Yeseul had to admit, he was a good kid.

CHAPTER 16 – THE CHAPTER YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!


© pikapika.

“It’s a home run.”

“Alright, put it here buddy.”

Yunho and Jaejoong clinked glasses and then fixed their attention back to the television screen. They were watching a
baseball game on Yunho’s plasma TV screen in his room.

Yunho took a sip of his drink and glanced at Jaejoong. It was almost like the old days, where Jaejoong and Yunho would
hang out with one another and just chill. The difference was that the atmosphere was still heavy and there would often
be awkward silences. But it was to be expected, their friendship had hit some hard spots.

It was like they were trying so hard to pretend that nothing was wrong and that everything was going fine. They were
sprawled on the couches and drinking their soda, watching a baseball game. They would comment on the game,
comment about the players, but it wasn’t the same. There were few jokes and little laughing. Perhaps it would have been
better if they had not agreed to meet up.

“Yunho.”

“Huh? Yeah?”

“I’m sorry to bring it up, but I can’t get it out of my mind. There are a lot of things I don’t know.”

Yunho became very nervous and he looked at Jaejoong who was staring at him with a very serious look in his face. “Uh
Ok. What’s up?”

“What do you get out of being Mira’s boyfriend?”

“Huh?”

“I know you guys went through all that for me, but there’s more isn’t there? Or you guys would have ended the charade
awhile ago but you guys are still going at it. What’s your reason?”

Yunho scratched his nose and took another swig out of his drink. Ok, well it could be worse. Jaejoong still didn’t sound
like he hated him, he just wanted to know his reason why. “The thing is, well I do have my own reason for pretending to
date Mira. With her I have an excuse to disappear without anyone asking. Also, I use her as an alibi when I see…”

“When you see…?”

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“Joong, you know Miss Shim?”

Jaejoong seemed to think for a moment. “The new art teacher? The pretty one? What about her?”

“Well, this is going to sound weird, but I think…well I know, I like her.”

There was a pause. Yunho looked at Jaejoong nervously, wondering what he was going to say. Jaejoong seemed to think
about it and then nodded. “Hm, that makes sense.”

“It does?”

“Yes, it makes a lot of sense. She’s a teacher, you’re a student, that makes your relationship almost as forbidden as ours.
So you pretend to date Mira so you can go off to see Miss Shim and then say you were with Mira if anyone asks.”

“Yeah, you pretty much figured it all out. I like her a lot, I may even love her. I mean well, I think I love her. I’m pretty
sure, well l was sure, but now I’m unsure.”

“Why do you say that?”

Yunho sighed. “You know Jung?”

“Why do you keep asking me if I know these teachers? Of course I do, I still go to school.”

“Sometimes.”

“Back to the point, what about Jung?”

“What do you think of him?”

Jaejoong looked surprise. “What do I think about Jung? Well, he seems cool though he doesn’t really teach in class.
Mostly he talks about his own work, throws some clay at us, and then goes out to smoke. That man was not made to
teach. Actually, he even once told us he hates teaching.”

“He told you guys that?”

Jaejoong gave a rare smile, “Yeah, he said it in one of the few classes I went to. All he wants to do is make art, he’s only
teaching so he can have some food and a roof over his head. Anyways, what about Jung?”

“Miss Shim is in love with him.” Yunho replied depressingly, thinking about on Miss Shim’s birthday.

“Ah, well that makes sense too.”

“How does that make sense?” Yunho snapped back angrily. “He’s old and about to croak any second. He’s dirty and he
smokes. He’s also way too cocky for a man that old. I don’t get what makes sense.”

Jaejoong calmly took another drink. “Relax, don’t get mad at me. It makes sense because I see Miss Shim fluttering
around him all the time. I bet she would kiss his feet if he asked. Apparently he was her professor when she was in
college before he got kicked out.”

Taking some deep breaths Yunho tried to calm himself down. He really shouldn’t have gotten angry at Jaejoong, he didn’t

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do anything. “Sorry, just thinking about him makes him angry. How do you know all this stuff? I just found out recently
when I did research on him. Before college he also did private tutoring, Mira told me.”

“Mira told you?”

“Yeah, she told me she found out her mother knew Jung and she was furious. You know, Jung’s reputation.”

Jaejoong looked troubled. “What did she say?”

“Well, Mira approached her mother and well her mother got really mad at her for suspecting something like that. She said
her father hired Jung to be her private art tutor when she was bored. Mira said her mother fired him after two months
saying that he was the most arrogant man she’s ever met.”

“Interesting, so Miss Shim loves Jung. Where does that put you?”

“I don’t know. Sometimes, sometimes I have hope, sometimes she lets me in a little. Other times, most of the time, she’s
so caught up with Jung that she barely sees me. Sometimes, I wonder if I should give up.”

Yunho gave another frustrated sigh and glared at the TV screen. That Miss Shim, why her? Why couldn’t he be in love
with someone easier? Why couldn’t he have fallen for someone who wouldn’t fight him so hard? What was wrong with
him? There were plenty of girls out there who would kill to be with him, but he didn’t want them, he wanted Miss Shim.
He wanted the one person he couldn’t seem to have. Why? Why was life cruel like that? Why did she have to keep hurting
him?

But was Yunho hurting Miss Shim? The new thought startled Yunho. Ever since the birthday incident Miss Shim looked
extremely guilty whenever she saw him. She apologized and begged to make it up but Yunho had been stubborn. He was
still stung from that night. Not only did she seem guilty, she also seemed stressed out. What would it be like to be in love
with someone, but have someone else chase you? How much would it hurt to love someone and not have that love
returned? How much would it hurt more to have someone else chase you around, reminding you of your love for
someone else? Yunho hated thinking about Miss Shim hurting, he wanted anything else but that. He didn’t want to hurt
her, he would rather take all the pain in the world than have her cry.

“Jaejoong.” Yunho said suddenly. “Jaejoong have you…. Have you given up on Mira?”

Startled, Jaejoong looked up from his drink and stared at Yunho. Why was he bringing them up all of a sudden? What
about Miss Shim and Jung? Yunho looked back him seriously, so he really did want an answer. Jaejoong leaned back and
looked up at the ceiling.

“I suppose.”

“Why?”

“I don’t seem to have much of a choice.”

“What do you mean?”

“I was going to fight it to the end, I really did plan on it. I wasn’t going to give her up, even with all that is against us.
Even considering everything, I wasn’t going to let go of her.”

“Until?”

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“Until Mira asked me, no she begged me to. She told me she was hurting every time I fought it. She said it was too hard
for her and I was just giving her pain. I guess it was then I realized I should give up and be like Mira and accept it.”

“You gave up for her?”

Jaejoong wearily ran his hand through his hair. Talking about it, thinking about it, it also hurt his heart and this was no
exception. “Yes. As much I love her and as much it hurts for me to lose her…Well, it hurts even more for me to hurt Mira.
I’ll give her up even if it means years of pain for me. I’ll give her up even though I’m loosing a part of myself. I’ll give her
up even if I believe that I shouldn’t. If it keeps her from pain then I’ll give her up. I’ll give her up for her. I’ll give her up
because I can’t stop loving her.”

Yunho stared at his feet. “I’ll give her up because I stop loving her”? Was this true love? What this what love is about? Is
it really love if you selfishly keep pushing a person to the point of heartache? Is it really love if the other person is
hurting? Is it love when you give it all, knowing you’ll never receive anything back? Is this what love was?

“I know why you asked and what you’re thinking.” Jaejoong’s voice interrupted Yunho’s thoughts.

“So you do. What do you suggest I do?”

“Yunho, there comes a point where you love someone so much that nothing else matters. There’s so much love that
there’s no room for selfishness, pride, or self defense. Are you at that point?”

The two friends locked gaze with each other with the baseball game forgotten in the background. They were both similar.
They both were confused. They both felt control slipping away from them. They both woke up each day wondering if
anything else was going to go wrong. They both had a lot of hope. They both had a lot of hurt. They both had a lot of
love.

“Yes, I think I am at that point.”

“Then you know what to do.”

----

“Mira?”

“Oh, hi Jungmin. How are you feeling?”

Jungmin had been back in school for two days now and she was feeling better but there were times where she needed
some fresh air. Which was why she was on top of the roof where she found Mira leaning against the railing staring down
at all the kids who were running outside in the school yard.

“I’m feeling fine, I just came up for some fresh air. What brings you up here?” Jungmin asked as she also leaned on the
railing next t Mira.

Mira smiled. “Just getting some fresh air too. I come here to think sometimes.”

“Oh, do you want to be alone?”

“No, actually I don’t. I kind of want to talk.”

“Talk? Talk about what?”

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“Let’s talk about you and Junsu, how are things going?”

Jungmin sighed and made a frown. “Mira, I don’t know what to do! Ever since the incident I can’t find Junsu anywhere.
It’s like he’s ignoring me. He’s probably mad that I keep ruining the dates.”

Mira put a comforting hand on Jungmin. “Aw, that’s not true. Junsu is probably still beating himself up for what
happened. I know he didn’t do anything wrong but he still feels horrible. Just give it some time, Junsu will get over it.”

“But what about the fact that we haven’t had one decent date. And we haven’t even kissed yet. I didn’t expect it to be
this hard.” Jungmin added glumly.

“Just keep going, you guys were meant to be together and you fit so well with him. You’re both sweet kids, I’m sure your
first kiss will come at the right time.” Mira paused as she thought about her two friends. “Junsu, sometimes tries a little
too hard. He likes you that much, that he’ll try a little too hard to make things perfect. Did you know he came to us for
help with giving you the perfect kiss? See, he really does like you and when you two feel for each other that way, things
will get better.”

“He did? What did you guys tell him?”

Mira grinned. “Not much, sorry but I think we confused him more. But we all thought it was sweet.”

Jungmin sighed and watched two teams play soccer. She couldn’t help but wonder if Junsu was out there playing. “It’s
my fault really, I was so picky. But now, honestly I wouldn’t care if he kissed me in the sewage. I just want him to give
me my first kiss, not anyone else.” Jungmin blushed.

“You should let him know. Guys, these days, they try so hard to do the right romantic things when all they need to do is
be themselves.” Mira commented thinking about Yunho.

“Anyways, let’s talk about something else. How are you doing?” Ever since the first day of school when Jungmin met Mira
and Jaejoong she had been dying to know what was going on between them. As she got to know them more, she wanted
to know even more. What was it that broke up such a couple that seemed to be genuinely in love? They both seemed to
be hurting so bad.

Mira didn’t answer at first. She knew what Jungmin wanted and she thought about telling her, explaining everything. One
half of her wanted to let it out, it would be nice to have a sympathetic ear. The other half, well it hurt to talk about it and
she didn’t want to give Jungmin more things to worry about, especially considering her own situation with Junsu. Mira
sighed and watched the students down below and decided to wait.

“The kids, they don’t like me. Sometimes I think they hate me.”

Jungmin looked at Mira in surprise. “What? Everyone loves you, you’re a great leader! They all really respect you.”

“You can hate someone and respect them at the same time. Respect and love don’t always go together.” Mira answered
sadly. “Isn’t it weird? I try so hard to please them but they have no idea.”

Now Jungmin was learning some new things. It was weird to think of Mira longing for acceptance among her peers.

Mira continued. “But then, I try to please everyone. I was analyzed once, by a psychiatrist. He said I relied too heavily on
other people’s happiness for my own. I already knew that, even once Yunho told me that. Yunho knows me well, did you
know we grew up together?”

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Jungmin nodded and Mira smiled fondly. “Yeah, he’s like a brother to me. Hm, he even gave me my first kiss. Haha, it
wasn’t too great of a first kiss actually. Did you also know that once Yunho and I were engaged?”

“WHAT?”

Mira laughed. “Yeah, when we were in the fourth grade. It was some sort of a fad at that time. The higher class of
families was all engaging their kids to one another; it’s quite ridiculous when you think about it. Thank goodness that fad
ended.” Mira held up her hand and showed Jungmin a plastic flower ring. “He gave me this for Christmas, a couple of
years too late. That dork, I remember I demanded one when I found out, but he refused to buy me one. He didn’t want
to get married and he definitely didn’t want to get me a ring.”

“Did you want to get married to him?”

“Huh? Well, I was in the fourth grade. Honestly, it didn’t really matter to me. I would have gone through it if my father
wanted it. But I’m glad it didn’t work out I suppose. It would be weird to get married to Yunho.”

Mira became silent and she continued to watch the other students. Jungmin observed her silently, Mira was still and calm
in the outside but she had a feeling there was a lot of turmoil going on inside. Jungmin patiently waited for Mira to start.

“They look so happy.”

Jungmin looked down at the students Mira was watching. The students were laughing and seemed to be enjoying the nice
weather. “They have a lot to be happy about.”

“I have a lot to be happy about don’t I? Why can’t I be happy?” Mira failed to hide the bitterness in her voice. Jungmin
stared at her with her eyes wide. Mira closed her eyes and tried to calm down, no she had to be in control. She was just
scaring Jungmin. When she opened her eyes Mira was calm once again.

“I suppose I look ridiculous. Look at me, miserable little billionaire girl with everything in the world. It wouldn’t hurt so
much if I actually cared about all these stuff.” Mira reached into her pocket and drew out a 1,000,000 won bill. She held
it up to the sky and observed it.

“I think it would be easier if I cared about this. Because then, I could have something I care about. But I don’t care about
it, I don’t know why, but I couldn’t care less.”

Mira let go of the money and watched it get caught up in a gust of wind and fly away. Jungmin watched also, she cared
about it. She wanted to do go and grab the money. They were both silent as they watched the bill float away.

“Did you know once I starved myself for three weeks?” Mira asked a startled Jungmin. “Yeah, I was 10 at the time? Yeah,
I think I was. I had a private tutor at that time, she taught me English. She was fine at first but as she continued to teach
me she grew angry. She didn’t like the fact that even though I was the student and she was the teacher, she had to
listen to me. We never did anything I didn’t want to do. Not that I was a difficult student or anything, I was very
respectful. But it was still obvious, I had a higher rank than her just because I was rich. She felt underneath me and it
killed her, it hurt her pride. One day, she was very angry at me, she hated me so much. She told me I would never be
fully human, I would never really live life. She said it was because I had never once been hungry in my entire life, she
told me real humans go hungry. She told me hunger was the worst feeling in the world. I listened to her and I didn’t
know what to think. Later on, she was fired because I had no need of her, I could speak English fluently. I never told
anyone what she said to me that day but it stuck to me, I never forgot it.”

Mira sighed and had a far away look in her eyes as she remembered. “It bothered me, why wasn’t I human? She was

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right, I had never been hungry before. There had always been food for me, always available. It bothered me so much I
couldn’t sleep. Finally one day, I decided I would figure out what this hunger was. I wanted to feel this pain she spoke
about. So I stopped eating secretly. I mean, I ate some rice and drank water because my goal wasn’t to die. But I ate
very little and I developed that feeling of hunger for the first time. But I kept on not eating, I refused to eat. I was still
waiting. I was waiting for that hunger to be unbearable. I was waiting for it to hurt so much. I was so confused.

“Finally, my parents noticed and they grew very scared. By then I had lost a lot of weight, and well I was a small child
then too. My mother thought I developed anorexia but my father thought differently. He brought me to his office and we
were alone, just the two of us. He asked me, he asked me why I wouldn’t eat. So I told him. I told him everything. I told
him what my tutor told me. I told him I wanted to be human. I told him I never felt hunger and wanted to feel it. He
didn’t say anything at first, but then he asked me why I kept on starving myself. Why didn’t I stop after a day, or two
days? I told him I was waiting, waiting for it to really hurt. I told him that she said it was the most painful experience for
a human. I was waiting for it to be unbearable but it never came. I told him, hunger, it was uncomfortable and painful
but there are worse pains. Like I hurted more when my pet parrot died. Like when Yunho got sick, that worry inside hurt
more than this hunger. When I told him that he just stared at me. Then he told the cooks to cook my favorite food and
told me to eat. He told me to stop and to eat, and I listened.”

Mira smiled at Jungmin. “My stomach had shrunk so I couldn’t eat much, but there were all my favorite foods there for
me. Then the best thing in the world happened. My father he came to me, he sat me on his lap and patted my head. He
said ‘you truly are your father’s daughter’. He was impressed with my determination but he was more impressed with the
way I viewed the whole incident. I didn’t get it at the time but I just felt extremely happy. My hunger was going away
and my father was proud of me. That’s all I wanted. To this day, I try hard to make him proud of me. I want to hear him
say ‘you truly are your father’s daughter’.”

Jungmin didn’t quite understand. She loved her own father of course and when he was proud of her, she was happy. But
Mira, Mira seemed to worship her father. Mira seemed to be entirely dependent on her Father for happiness. It was a
relationship unlike any other Jungmin had known. Mira seemed to sense Jungmin’s confusion and continued to speak.

“Yunho told me my relationship with my father is a bit odd. Haha, actually he said it wad down right freaky but he doesn’t
understand. Yunho is the first son, he automatically got love from his parents and power. I had to earn it. My parents,
they tried for a really long time to have a child. They tried for years. Finally, when they were ready to give up my mother
became pregnant. She was checked and they told her she was going to expect a son. Technology then wasn’t as accurate
as it is today, I suppose. My parents were so happy, especially my father. He had waited such a long time and now he
was going to get the son he had wanted so badly. Well, I was born and you can bet they were surprised and
disappointed. Of course my parents loved me anyways, I was their child, but they had expected a son. It would have
been better if there was no false hope, it would have been easier for me.”

Mira looked down. “So I grew up knowing that I was supposed to be the son. My mother would tell me that I had to be
the best child, to make up for the fact that I was a girl. She told me I couldn’t disappoint my father anymore. She told
me if I didn’t please my father, he wouldn’t love me. She didn’t mean to hurt me, she was also trying to please father.
She felt like she failed him too by producing a daughter. I was so young, I believed her. I believed that I had failed the
moment I was born and I needed to do all I could to make it up. So I tried to be a good child, I tried to be the best child.
I studied hard so I could be smart as any son would be. I exercised and learned martial arts so I could be as strong as
any son would be. My father noticed my desire to exceed and he grew impressed, he then began to teach me the only
things he could me. I loved those lessons, I learned how to read people and how to convince them to do what I wanted.
My father he loved me, he loved it when I smiled and couldn’t bear it if I didn’t. So I learned to smile, I learn to smile
even if I was in pain. Haha, once I broke my leg and during the whole time at the hospital I had the most stupid grin on
my face. I didn’t want to hurt my father. Because when my father hurts, I hurt, more than any hurt a broken leg can
cause.”

Jungmin recalled the night she spent at Sonho. Gyusung had said that Mira’s father was the one who started the Royalty

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and now he was the CEO of a multibillion dollar company. What would it be like to be raised under such an authortive and
powerful figure? What would it be like to think that you failed the moment you took your first breath? Jungmin was a
second daughter, she had few responsibilities. She could only imagine the pressure, and that pressure formed the person
that was standing next to her. Jungmin stared at her friend, Mira was so complex, she had so many layers. Would it even
be possible to actually know all of her?

“I did a good job I think, I was never disobedient and I accomplished many things to make him proud. Everything that
my father said was law, he was never wrong. I really did worship my father, I wanted more than just to please him, I
wanted to be strong like him, brilliant like him.” Mira paused and when she spoke again her voice became strained. “Then
one day my father let me down. I lost so many things that night. I lost the perception I had of my father. I lost the sense
and stableness of my life. I lost…I lost Jaejoong.”

Now, Mira was at where Jungmin wanted her to be. She had been waiting for his name to come up, Jungmin could sense
that Mira was building up to the point. But it was hurting her, Mira looked extremely distressed.

“I had to let him go, I had to break up with Jaejoong. I had to do my best to regain control, regain control of whatever
was left. I had to find a way to make sure everything was alright. I had to do it.” Mira was slipping again, she was loosing
control. She buried her face in her hands and tried to take deep calming breaths. When she looked back up she managed
to smile at Jungmin.

“Once Yesuel told me I was the greatest irony the world has every produced. The one person who has it all, doesn’t want
it, doesn’t need it. I don’t need LG, I don’t money. I’ve already learned that there more painful things in life than hunger.
I could sleep on the ground and I would sleep soundly. I don’t want any of these things, I just have it.”

Mira paused and she looked sad. “But she’s wrong. The greatest irony of all is that the one person who has it all, doesn’t
want it and can’t have the one thing that she truly needs. I tried to think of an analogy once. Imagine taking a thirsty
person, someone so thirsty all he wants his one cup of water, and putting him in a room full everything anyone else
would want. There’s money, there’s clothes, there’s expensive items, whatever anyone has ever desired, its there. But of
course the person, he doesn’t care, he doesn’t want any of it. All he wants is one cup of water, he would give away all the
things in the room for just one cup of water. Jungmin, I’m so thirsty but I can’t drink! I have everything else but I can’t
have that cup of water. I have everything else but I can’t have Jaejoong!” Mira’s voice broke and she once again buried
her face into her hands, clenching her eyes shut as she tried to fight back the tears.

Jungmin tenderly put her arm around Mira and tried to comfort her. Jungmin understood, she understood how much pain
Mira had been feeling. It was cruel, it was so cruel to what was happening to Mira and she tried to hard to hide it and be
strong. While she was breaking down inside Mira had always tried to be there for Jungmin and for the rest of her friends.
Jungmin started to cry for her friend, it wasn’t fair.

“Why can’t you have Jaejoong? What is it? Is it your parents? If it hurts so much why don’t you just leave with Jaejoong?
If your parents really loved you wouldn’t they get over whatever it is and just let you two be? It’s not fair.” Jungmin
wailed.

Mira drew away and tried to wipe Jungmin’s tears which only made Jungmin cry harder. Mira managed out a small smile.
“Don’t cry, you’re making me feel bad. It’s my parents, it’s his parents, and there’s something more. I thought about it,
Jaejoong proposed it, that we just get out of here. That we just go off and be together. I considered it, I lost sleep over
it. But I can’t, it’s not right. I have to deal, Jaejoong and I aren’t meant to be.”

“Why? I know I’m younger and I’m not very smart but maybe I can help. Tell me, I want to help you.”

Mira sighed and shook her head. It had been a mistake opening up like that, now Jungmin was all worried and stressed
out. Jungmin had her own problems to deal with, she didn’t needed to be burdened with Mira’s situation. “Jungmin, if it

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was anything else I bet you could help so much. But this, this is something that no one can control. Not even me.”

“What is it? Just tell me! You can’t just say all that and not tell me what’s keeping you two!” Jungmin was getting
frustrated now and she wiped her tears angrily.

Mira eyed her. “Ok, I’ll tell you.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“Well what is it?”

“I have a rare incurable form of cancer that I developed after I met Jaejoong when he hit me with a car and gave me
amnesia.”

“WHAT?”

Mira laughed softly. “I’m just joking, though I bet that’s what you thought it was.”

“How can you joke like that?” Jungmin gasped. She wasn’t going to admit but she often wondered worriedly if Mira had
cancer or maybe she was pregnant. She also played with the idea that she and Yunho were secretly engaged but Mira
had thrown that idea out a while ago. Jungmin sighed, what was she thinking? Jungmin was watching too many dramas.

“Haha, I’m sorry. Come on, we should get going. The others might be looking for us.”

“What? No!” Jungmin grabbed Mira and kept her from leaving. Mira wasn’t going to get away from this with a smile and a
joke, not anymore. She glared at Mira. “You can’t just do that. I need you to tell me, it’s not fair. Besides, why are you so
insistent on doing everything by yourself? Are we not friends? You need other people to support you, and I want to do
that. But I need to know, if I have any hope of helping you get through this. Yeah, maybe I won’t be able to do anything
but it helps to share. Stop being so stubborn and stop hiding. Tell me.”

Mira stared at Jungmin. Just then, Jungmin showed a sense of maturity Mira had never seen before. Mira shook
Jungmin’s arm off and went back leaning on the railing. She looked at Jungmin seriously.
“You really think that way?”

“Yes.” Jungmin answered firmly.

Mira didn’t answer at first and the silence killed Jungmin but she knew better than to push it. Mira turned around and
stared back at the grounds of her school.

“Ok, I will tell you.” Mira took a deep breath. “The thing is…Jaejoong…”

Jungmin felt her heart beat faster, this time for sure, she was going to find out. She was going to know what was keeping
apart Mira and Jaejoong. She was finally going to know why Mira hurt so much.

Mira turned and looked at Jungmin strait in the face. She was no longer smiling and in her eyes there was so much
sadness.

“Jaejoong is my half brother.”

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SPECIAL CHAPTER 17 – FLASHBACKS
© pikapika.

MIRA:

“Heehee, we’re going to get caught.”

“Sh, not if you’re quiet.”

They were at school at night and it was one of those parent teacher conferences. Jaejoong had grabbed Mira and they ran
away from their parents and into an empty classroom.

Mira giggled and swung her legs. Jaejoong had propped her on a desk and he was leaning over with that smile of his. Oh
that smile, she saw it all the time but it always managed to make her heart beat a little faster.

Jaejoong leaned in closer until their noses touched. “Are you happy Mira? Why are you so happy?”

Mira poked his cheeks. “Because you’re here.”

“I make you happy?”

Mira nodded cutely. Jaejoong’s smile grew a little bigger and he kissed her on the nose. Mira wrinkled her nose.

“That’s it? I’m a bit disappointed.”

Jaejoong laughed. Mira made him happy too, so happy. He fondly played with a lock of her hair. What would he do
without her? He didn’t even want to think about it. Before he met her, Jaejoong rarely smiled but now he could never
stop. Even when they were separated, all he had to do was imagine her smile and some of the quirky things that she said
and he would be a grinning idiot.

“Are you happy Jaejoong? Why are you so happy?” Mira mimicked Jaejoong. Jaejoong poked Mira’s cheeks.

“Because you’re here.”

“I make you happy?”

Jaejoong copied Mira’s nod causing her to laugh. This time she kissed him on the nose.

Mira smiled mischievously, “Disappointing huh?”

Jaejoong laughed. “Yeah, it is.” He kissed her on the lips this time. “How’s this?”

“Much better.”

“Good. You’re so precious to me, you know that?”

Mira pretended to think. “I think I’ve been told that before.”

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“Yes, you’re my precious.”

Mira giggled again. “Ok Sméagol.”

Jaejoong stopped smiling and made a frown. “You know I don’t like that nickname, call me something else.”

“But that’s what Sméagol says all the time. ‘My precious’.” Mira mimicked the movie character. Jaejoong fought down a
laugh.

“So? Can’t you name me after another character? Aragon? Legolas? Frodo? I could even deal with being called Sam.”

Mira threw her head and laughed. She reached over and put her arms around Jaejoong’s neck and rested her head on his
shoulder.

“Jaejoong?”

“Yes precious?”

“Promise me something.”

“What is it?”

“Promise me that you’ll always hold on to me, no matter what happens.”

Jaejoong looked at Mira a little worriedly. “Is something wrong? Is something bothering you?”

Mira tried to smile reassuringly. “No, well, it’s our parents. I can’t understand them.”

Jaejoong tenderly grabbed Mira’s face and held it so that she looked strait into his eyes. “Don’t worry about them,
nothing with break us apart. I’ll make that promise and I’ll keep it, no matter what.”

She let him give her another kiss but she couldn’t shake off a weird feeling in her stomach. Her intuition told something
was coming, something big and it wouldn’t be good.

“Mira what are you- GET AWAY FROM MY DAUGHTER!”

Jaejoong drew away and whirled to the side to see Mira’s parents standing at the door looking furious and shocked. Mira
quickly hopped to her feet and looked down at the floor guiltily.

“Mother…”

“Get away from him right now, Mira! How could you? Come here right now!” Mira’s mother commanded. Mira shook her
head slightly and didn’t move.

“Mother, please. I’m sorry to disobey you but I can’t. I don’t understand mother, why can’t I be with Jaejoong? You could
at least-”

“Mira step away from him and come here.”

Mira’s father low but commanding voice shook everyone in the room and Mira took a step towards her parents. However
Jaejoong quickly grabbed her arm and kept her near.

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“Mr. Park, Mrs. Park.” Jaejoong bowed. “Please forgive us for our disobedience. However, I have no intention of giving up
Mira, no matter what the consequence.”

“Be quiet you silly child, you don’t know anything about the consequences.” Mrs. Park snapped angrily.

“Jaejoong? Oh dear.”

A pretty older woman with Jaejoong’s eyes and a bored looking man stood at the doorway. The three couples looked each
other.

“Mom!”

“Ah, Jaejoong’s parents.”

“Oh dear.”

“Well if it isn’t Mrs. Kim.”

“Park.”

“Kim.”

Jaejoong’s mother looked worriedly at Jaejoong and wrung her hands. “Jaejoong darling, maybe you should come over
here.”

“Yes take your son away from my daughter.”

“Mira are you disobeying your father? Don’t make me repeat myself.”

Mira looked at her father and at Jaejoong. She felt his hand squeeze hers tighter. She was torn, she had to go her father;
he had told her to. She never disobeyed her father. Then again, she couldn’t leave Jaejoong, who knew when they would
be back together. Mira wanted to scream.

“Can we get this moving? I have some business calls to make to Europe.” Jaejoong’s father asked looking at his watch.

“Yes, come on Jaejoong, we have to go.”

“Mira, listen to your father! Come here right now!”

“Mira…”

“No.” Jaejoong snapped and he drew the wordless Mira closer. “I’m not going anywhere. Not until you explain why you all
are so against us.”

“It’s better left unsaid and unknown.”

“Just trust us, son. Trust your mother.”

“Mira…”

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“Son, if you make your father late he will get very angry.”

“Fine, if there’s no explanation, then I won’t be going anywhere. You can’t just keep us apart. You know why? I love her.”

Mrs. Park let out a shrill shriek and Jaejoong’s mother’s hands fluttered to her mouth. Jaejoong’s father looked extremely
annoyed. Mr. Park’s face was still emotionless but he seemed to tense up.

“You can’t.” Mr. Park replied flatly. “You can’t love her.”

Jaejoong looked at his and Mira’s parents defiantly. “With all due respect, there’s nothing stopping me.”

“Oh just tell the two kids, this is getting ridiculous. ”Jaejoong’s father snapped. He drew out his cellphone. “I can’t wait
any longer, I’ll be waiting outside.”

“Jaejoong, darling. There’s something that you don’t know.” Jaejoong’s mother said worriedly. . She opened her mouth to
continue but seemed unable to find the words. Mrs. Park glared at her angrily.

“Fine, if you won’t explain I will. Mira your father had an affair with that child’s mother.”

“What?” Jaejoong blurted out. Mira’s eyes widened and her mouth fell open.

“You heard me.” Mira’s mother continued bitterly. “It was around the time your father and I were trying and failing to
have children. He felt the need to go to that woman during that time. He came back later on and finally I became
pregnant with you. However, 9 months after their little affair she gave birth to that child. Later on you were born.”

Mira’s father’s face never let on any emotion. “Nothing is confirmed but the evidence is daunting. However, both parties
mutually agreed that period of time would be forgotten and it would never be brought up again.”

“How can you talk about it like that?” Jaejoong asked. “Like it’s some business meeting? You just told me you might be
my father!”

“And Mira could be your half sister, which is why you two can not see each other.” Jaejoong’s mother said softly but
looked pained at her son’s shocked and hurt expression.

Mrs. Park now fully impatient grabbed her still and shocked daughter. “We promised to never bring that up so let’s keep it
that way. This has gone far enough, Mira let’s go.” She dragged Mira out of the room. Mr. Park nodded curtly at Mrs. Kim
and left with them.

Jaejoong wordlessly stared at their retreating backs and he collapsed on to a desk, completely in shock. Jaejoong’s
mother worriedly ran over to him and tried to hug him comfortingly. He was too shocked to even notice.

“I’m so sorry darling, I wish this had never happened. I’m so sorry for what I‘ve done to you.”

----

Mira felt herself being dragged away and pushed into a car. She had no emotions, she had no mind, and she had no
heart. Someone was talking to her but she wasn’t listening. Someone was pushing something cold into her hands but she
didn’t move. So, this was what it was like to have nothing. So, this was what it was like to have everything taken away.
It was cold, so cold and so empty. She was empty.

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NARI:

Nari felt like a prune. Or maybe a raisin. She was all dried up. She was all hard. And if she was really like a prune or a
raisin she was tasteless.

Nari wiped her nose with her sleeve and wrinkled her nose at what she did to it. She had been crying for a long time and
she had no tissues so she just had to make do. Her mother would have been furious to find out she ruined her expensive
sweater.

Her mother, she could hear her in the other room. She could hear her father too. Nari hugged herself a little tighter and
sniffed. She wished she didn’t have to hear, she wished she was deaf so she wouldn’t have to listen to their words.

“IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT. IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT HE’S GONE.”

“DON’T BLAME ME. IF YOU ONLY HAD BEEN WATCHING NARI CLOSELY! IF YOU WERE ONLY A BETTER MOTHER, OR AT
LEAST A BETTER WIFE.”

“HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT! I’VE GAVE UP MY LIFE FOR YOU AND WHATEVER I HAD LEFT IS NOW ALL GONE SINCE
NAHUM IS DEAD!”

“WELL THEN I GUESS IT’LL BE EASY TO GET DIVORCED THEN. TAKE NARI AND LEAVE.”

“NO, YOU TAKE NARI. YOU TAKE HER AWAY.”

Nari squeezed her eyes shut and clamped her hands over her ears. No more, she didn’t want any more. She had enough,
she didn’t know if she could take it anymore. Nari wanted to cry, no she didn’t. She was tired of crying. Besides she
wasn’t sure if she had any more tears left in her anyways.

Nari bite her lips so hard she drew blood. Why did it hurt so much? She should have figured no one would want her. Who
would want a murderer for a daughter.

Nari groaned and clutched her stomach, there was that pain again. She hated herself, she hated the person that her
brother died for. Why? Why did he do it? Why couldn’t he just have let her die? Life would have been so much better. Her
family would still be happy. Her family would still be together. No one would miss the clumsy bothersome Nari. No one
would miss loud obnoxious Nari.

There was pain in her stomach again but it was overshadowed by the pain in her chest. No, she didn’t want to remember
what happened. She didn’t want to see it again. She didn’t want to see her brother. She didn’t want to see the bright
lights that came from nowhere. She didn’t want to hear the screeching sound. She didn’t want to hear her scream. She
didn’t want to hear her mother cry and scream at her. She didn’t want to feel her mother shake her, shake her so hard.

“WHY? WHY NOT YOU? WHY NAHUM? HOW COULD YOU? HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO YOUR BROTHER? HE’S GONE,
HE’S GONE BECAUSE OF YOU! BECAUSE OF YOU!”

Her voice, it rang in Nari’s ears. Nari licked her dry cracked lips and tasted the blood. No more, no more. She wanted to
forget, she wanted to pretend it never happened. She wanted to pretend that she never happened.

Another memory. This time, no pain in her chest but a warm feeling, such a nice feeling now. She could see her brother.
She could see the bright sunlight through the trees. She could hear the birds. She could hear her laugh. She could hear
his warm rumbling laugh. She could feel his hand holding hers so tightly.

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“Sing for me oppa, sing me a song. Sing me my song! Sing me the Nari song!”

“I sing that song for you all the time! Why don’t I write you another song?”

“Another song? I like the song! ‘Nari nari gae nari…’”

“But this song I will write just for you, only for you.”

“For me? Really? Sing it for me! What will it be called?”

“Flying duck.”

“What a weird song.”

“Haha, but this weird song is for you my little duckling. My dream for you is to fly high even if people tell you it’s
impossible.”

“Fly? Where would I fly to?”

“Anywhere you want. Nari, don’t let anyone get in the way for your dreams. Don’t let anything keep you from flying to
the sky. Fly my little duckling, fly even if they say you can’t.’

“Hm, ok. I will fly but only if you fly with my Oppa duck.”

“Haha, ok Oppa duck will fly with you.”

“I’M CALLING MY LAWYER RIGHT NOW. DON’T YOU DARE THINK YOU’RE GOING TO GET A SINGLE PENNY FROM ME.”

“HALF OF ALL THIS IS MINE, I DESERVE HALF.”

Nari closed her eyes. Her happy memory, her happiest memory was cut off by their yells. She couldn’t stand to hear
them again. Nari wearily stood up and walked towards the piano. She needed to drown them out.

Nari sat down on the piano bench and stared the keys. She softly pushed one note and then another. She continued to
play notes, steadily picking up a strong beat. She developed a melody and opened her mouth.

“Even that time when the wind stays


Its not enough for me.
I smile one more time and give my final greeting:
I love you.
I am tired now and love hurts but
Even if that time is just a memory
I have to give my final greeting.
I love you, I love you.
Fly away Fly away LOVE
Fly away Fly away LOVE
Fly away Fly away LOVE
In the afterlife I will greet my love again”
(DBSK - Yelinoh submission #1)

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Nari started to sing the song again when she could hear her parent’s voice. Nari’s voice cracked and croaked, she must
have sounded horrible. But what did it matter? Only she could hear herself. And anything was better than hearing her
parents.

Nari found some sheet music and began to write on it. She wrote the notes and then wrote the words. She stared it hard.
She had just written her first song. She had written a song. It was her brother who wrote the songs in her family. But
here she was, writing a song, just like her brother.

Nari looked around the same practice room. Maybe it was because she was in her brother’s favorite room in the entire
house. He would spend hours here, locked up away from anyone else. Sometimes when he didn’t know she would press
her ears against the door and listen to him write. He always wrote the best songs, her brother could write sad song,
happy songs, angry songs.

“Do you know why I love to write songs? Because I am immortalizing my feelings. We feel a lot of emotions dear
duckling: happiness, sadness, anger, and many others. But those wonderful emotions, they go away when the next
comes. But when I write them into a song, those emotions will live forever in the music and in the words. That’s why I
love to write.”

“But what about the sad songs? Why would you want to make that forever Oppa duck?”

“Sadness is very important. Without sadness, we would never truly appreciate happiness.”

“Huh, I don’t get it.”

Nari surprised herself, she was smiling. She didn’t get it then, but she thought she understood now. Nari looked around
the room. Perhaps, maybe he did finish her song? Oppa duck never got to letting her hear her song, he always said it
wasn’t ready. Nari began to look through the papers in the room. What was the song about exactly? Where was the
emotions he immortalized for her?

Nari ripped apart the room and soon sheet music was scattered everywhere. Finally she found it, underneath so much
other music. With trembling hands and a trembling voice Nari began to play and sing the song.

“I had a dream.
A full moon appeared.
I went up to the sky
and talked to the moon.
As I awoke from my deep sleep
my wings shook.
Ducks don't fly,
my mother scolded me.
Now I want to fly up to the sky.
I want to become the great moon in the sky.
Fly up high. I want to be the great moon up in the sky.
I'm going to be a star in the night sky and dance.
I had a dream.
The moon told me,
Come up here
and lets play together.
As I awoke from my deep sleep
my wings shook.
My mother can't fly either.

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Today I was scolded again.
Now I want to fly up to the sky.
I want to become the great moon in the sky.
Flying up high, I want to be the great moon up in the sky.
I'm going to be a star in the night sky and dance.
Flying up high, I want to tightly hug the night sky.
As I spread my great wings like this, I dream.
I fly up high.
Fly up high, fly up high up to that sky.
I'm going to be a star in the night sky and dance.
Now I'm going to spread my wings and fly away.
Flying up high, I want to be the great moon up in the sky.
Flying up high, I want to tightly hug the night sky.
As I spread my great wings like this, I dream.
I fly up high.”
(Cherry Filter- Yelinoh submission #2)

Nari surprised herself again, she was crying when she thought she had completely dried up. So this was her song, this
was the song he wrote for her. This was the song that dreamt of a duck flying. This was his hope that he had made
forever. Nari played the song again, except she played the keys harder and sang louder. This was what he wanted her to
do. He wanted her to fly. He had given her a chance. She must never give up. She must fly.

YUNHO:

Yunho smiled and took a deep breath. First day of school year and he would be starting it not only as a third year but the
leader of the gods. Life was good and Yunho was good. This was definitely going to be an awesome year.

As he walked down the halls and nodded at the students Yunho couldn’t help but swagger a bit. They all knew who he
was, even the first years. They knew the respect he deserved. Yunho grinned, this was going to be fun. When Yunho was
crowned leader of the royalty at the end of last year, he waited all spring for school to start.

As he walked he noticed a pile of art supplies stumbling towards him. He stared at curiously, what was that? He looked
down and noticed that the pile of art was being carried by someone wearing heels. As he watched the pile started to tilt
back and forth dangerously.

He quickly jogged over there and tried to hold back some of the stuff. He still couldn’t see the person holding the stuff
but she stumbled a bit.

“Whoa, be careful.”

“Oh thank you whoever you are. I can’t see you, well I can’t see anything at all but AHHHH!”

The pile finally tilted over and all the supplies, the stranger, and Yunho fell to the ground. Paintbrushes, clay pieces, and
artworks scattered around the two. Yunho rubbed his head and looked around at the mess. He began to pick up the
pieces.

“Woo sorry about that! I was trying to help!”

“Oh no you don’t need to do that! It’s not your fault, it was my clumsiness, don’t know what I was trying to do carrying

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on that stuff on my own.”

As he reached for a picture of some artist the other person’s hand reached for it at the same time. Yunho looked up in
surprise and gave a small gasp.

The most beautiful woman he had ever seen was looking right at him. She was on her knees and her hair had fallen in
front of her face. She blushed at his stare and took the picture. She brushed her hair out of her face, revealing more of
her pretty face. Yunho could only gawk.

“Thank you, I think I got everything. Hm, the only problem is how am I going to carry all these things?”

Yunho quickly scrambled up and began gathering the big supplies. “Here, I’ll help you carry them. No, it’s no problem.”

She smiled and Yunho’s heart skipped a beat. “Thank you.” They both picked up whatever else was the ground and began
walking.

“My name is Yunho, Jung Yunho.” Yunho gave a side glance at the woman who smiled at him.

“My name is Miss. Shim. You’re a student yes? I’m the new art history teacher.”

“I’m 19.” Yunho blurted out. Miss Shim smiled and nodded to turn left.

“So you’re a third year? Well, it’s very nice to meet you Yuno.”

“Yeah…” Yunho couldn’t help but stare at her. A new art history teacher? She was way too pretty to be a high school
teacher.

“Oh here we are, here’s the art room. If you could put the stuff here.” Miss Shim directed and Yunho put down his stuff.
Hand free they stared at each other smiling.

“Well, thanks for the help.”

“No problem.” Yunho grinned and leaned against the wall. Miss Shim smiled uncertainly.

“Er, while you’re still here. You wouldn’t happen to know where Teacher Jung Dongwan is would you?”

“Jung? Yeah, he’s a couple of classrooms down, I’ll show you. You know him?” Yunho asked as Miss Shim followed him
out of the classroom and down the hall.

“Er, yes. Here?”

Yunho nodded and followed her into the classroom. A man who was smoking next to the window turned around.

“Eh? What do we have here?”

“Teacher Jung! It’s me, Shim Eunjin, do you remember me?”

“Shim Eunjin? Er, how do I know you?”

Miss Shim couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed. “I was in your art class in college last year. I sat up front?”

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Teacher Jung scrunched his forehead trying to remember until he snapped and then grinned widely. He threw his
cigarette out the window.

“Miss Shim! I remember, the prettiest girl in class if not the whole campus. What bring you here?”

“I’m a teacher now! I graduated early.”

“Really? Well welcome. I always knew you were smart. So I guess you’re my coworker now instead of my student.”

Miss Shim blushed. Yunho watched her with interest. So she was just fresh out of college eh? So she wasn’t that much
older than him.

“Yunho? I didn’t notice you there.” Teacher Jung said noticing Yunho for the first time. Yunho gave a polite nod.

“I just led Miss Shim here. But I have to go now, it was nice meeting you Miss Shim.” Yunho bowed but winked at her.
She looked at him in surprise but smiled back.

“See you Jung.” He called out as he left the classroom. He quickly jogged towards the office ignoring the other students
and teachers in the hallway. There was an art history class he had to sign up for.

YESEUL:

“Well, happy birthday mother.”

Yeseul bit her lip and looked down. Sometimes she wondered why she bothered, every year it was the same: Yeseul
would wish her mother happy birthday only to be answered with silence. Then again, did she really expect an answer?

“I’m 15 mother, I’m quite tall. I’ve grown another three centimeters, I’m one of the tallest girls in class. Next year I’ll be
going to high school. Mira says we’ll be going to Sonho high together, for sure. She says she’s going to make sure I get
in. You remember Mira right? I guess you could call her my best friend, though can you have a best friend if you only
have one friend? Anyways, in case you forgot she’s the one who sent me to the hospital two last year.”

Yeseul shuffled her feet and looked down. “I guess I deserved it, I said some nasty stuff about her. The thing was, I was
so angry at her. She was always smiling, always so happy. No one should be that happy, that’s not fair.”

Yeseul paused and looked up at the clear blue sky. “So I guess I was jealous. She was so small, she’s still small actually.
Anyways, I made fun of her to all these girls I didn’t even like. I wanted to make her cry. No, I just wanted to make her
stop smiling. But you know what she did? She took me to a park and beat me up. Ha, I’m sure it would have been quite
funny to see. It didn’t last very long, I couldn’t even do anything. I tried though, I tried to hit her hard. Anyways, there
was this huge crack and I blacked out. I’m not sure what happened next mother, but when I woke up I was in the
hospital and she was standing next to me. I was so angry at her! I had these stitches on my face and she broke my
hand! I yelled at her for a long time. I cried too, so I cried and yelled at her. She just listened.

“She was so quiet the whole time and I guess I was too busy crying and yelling that I didn’t notice that she wasn’t
smiling anymore. When I got tired and stopped she just stared at me with those big eyes of her. You know what she did
next mother? She just went over to my bed and hugged me. That’s all. She didn’t even say anything but she just hugged
me. I don’t know why, but I didn’t push her off. I didn’t yell at her anymore but I did start crying again. The thing was,
she hugged me like you used to hug me. For once in a long time, I felt love. Kind of silly huh?

“Well, that’s how we met. There’s more to her mother, more to her than a smiling little girl. She’s actually kind of weird, I

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never know what to expect from her. I’ve been staying with her, she lives in this huge house. I swear, it’s like a castle.
Her parents are nice, Mira looks like her mother. Mira’s father is a bit weird, well not really, I just get a weird feeling
when I’m around him. I feel like I have to listen to him, I feel like he’s always right.”

Yeseul closed her eyes and sighed. “I know, you’re wondering why I live with them now. You’re wondering about father,
does he even visit you anymore? Remember when he used to visit every day? Sometimes I couldn’t separate the two of
you. Sometimes he would never leave. He’s changed mother, I don’t know him anymore. He doesn’t even look the same.
I think I lost him, I think he’s gone.”

The tears were forming in her eyes but Yeseul clenched her eyes tightly to keep them from falling down. “Can I confess
something? I know this is going to hurt you but mother, I’m scared of him, I’m scared for him. All he does is drink, that’s
all he does. He just drinks and drinks and makes the whole house smell like alcohol. Then he starts yelling, I can’t stand
it when he yells. He says the most horrible stuff. He just screams and screams until he passes out.”

“Unless he sees me.” Yeseul whispered. “When he seems me, he gets even angrier. He says I look like you. He says I talk
like you. It’s always the same thing: he drinks, he sees me, he yells, then he…throws things. He kicks. He hits. He
pushes.”

Yeseul gave up and let the tears fall down. “You know what’s weird? When Mira hit me that time, it didn’t hurt so much.
Even when I heard my hand crack. But when dad, when he hits it hurts so much more. And you know what’s weird? It
doesn’t matter where I bleed, my chest always hurts the most. Last week, he threw this vase at me. I almost got away,
but it hit my shoulder and there was this huge piece stuck in me. But all I could do was think about the other pain, the
other pain that makes me cry. The other pain that came to me the day you left.”

Yeseul sighed and wiped her eyes. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to worry you, I just needed to get that off my chest. Don’t
worry, it’s not so bad anymore. I learned to just stay away. I know this makes you sad, I’m sorry. I just don’t go home
anymore, Mira takes care of me. She took me to the hospital again last time. She wants to do something, she wants to
punish dad. Don’t worry, I told her she must never see him. I told her to keep everything a secret. She’ll do it, she said
she’ll do it for me. Even though I know she wants to hurt dad. But you know what I learned? It’s hard to hurt a person
who’s already hurting. Dad is hurting.

“Well, that’s all I guess. I’m sorry to be so negative and I’m sorry I cried. I’m trying hard to not do it any more, even if
you did tell me it’s ok to cry. Isn’t the weather beautiful today? The clouds are so white. When I look at them, I get
reminded of you, mother. Why? Because they’re so beautiful and clean, just like you…

“Just like you were. Good bye mother, happy birthday. I‘ll see you again, same time next year. I love you.”

Yeseul placed the flowers down in front of the tombstone and gave a deep bow. She brushed the hair out of her face and
walked away without looking back.

MICKY:

“Yaerin!”

“Ooh, are you waiting for your BOYFRIEND?”

“Yaerin is in loooooove.”

“Stop it you guys!”

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“Yaerin and Micky sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-“

“Yaerin has a boooyyyfffrriiiieend.”

“I SAID STOP IT OR I’M GOING TO PULL OUT ALL YOUR HAIR!”

“Yaerin, are you beating up your friends again?”

A young middle schooler froze in the middle of grabbing her friend’s hair. She let go quickly and sheepishly grinned at the
older male student.

“Oppa! Of course not I was fixing her hair! See!” Yaerin continued to grin as she patted down her friend’s hair who was
glaring at her. Her friend stepped away and linked arms with another student.

“You’re so violent! Well, we’ll leave you two lovers alone. Goodbye Micky Oppa!” The two girls giggled and left Micky and
Yaerin. Yaerin fumed as Micky laughed.

He put his arm around her neck and began to drag her away. “Fixing her hair huh? Nice save.”

Yaerin struggled against his lock. “Oppa, they were making fun of me! They wouldn’t stop.”

Micky let go. “What were they making of you about?”

Yaerin stuck out her tongue in embarrassment. “They were making fun of us. They were just jealous.”

Micky stopped walking and turned to Yaerin. With a smile he fondly put his hand on her smiling head. “They have every
right to be jealous little Yaerin.”

Yaerin basked in the warmth of his hand. She grabbed on to his hand and beamed at him. “I love it when you do that.”

“Do what?”

“Put your hand on my head, it makes me fall warm and safe. Like you’ll always protect me, no matter what. You only do
this to me right? No one else?”

Micky let go of her head and put his arm around her shoulders. “Yes, you’re the only one who gets my protecting hand. I
only do it to those I care about.”

“Good, if I catch you putting your hand on another girl you’ll be dead!”

“Hm, I’ll keep that in mind. Yaerin you want some ice cream? It’s getting kind of hot.”

“I love ice cream!”

The two kids walked into a small store and Micky bought them two popsicles. They grabbed a seat outside and happily
licked their popsicles.

“Micky Oppa.”

“Yeah?”

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Yaerin put the popsicle in her mouth and blushed shyly. “I am your favorite dongseng yes?”

“Of course.”

“I’m even more than a dongseng yes?”

Micky smiled. “Yes.”

“I might…I might even be your um, girlfriend?”

“Why? You don’t want me to be your boyfriend?”

Yaerin widened her eyes and frantically shook her hands. “No! I want you to be my boyfriend. I like you, I like you a lot.
When I’m with you, I feel…I feel like a girl.” Yaerin blushed and grinned. “That sounds weird huh?”

Micky handed her napkin to wipe her face. “No, doesn’t sound weird at all. I’m glad I make you feel like a girl, sometimes
you make me wonder if you’re a guy.”

Yaerin pouted. “What? What is that supposed to mean?”

“Sometimes you’re just so tough…”

“I’M NOT TOUGH!”

“And loud…”

“I’M NOT LOUD!”

“And easily excitable…”

“I’M NOT EXCITED RIGHT NOW!” Yaerin yelled as she stood up. Micky laughed and pulled her down. He ruffled her hair
and brought her face close to his.

“Yes you are but it’s ok because it’s you. And I like you. I like you very much.”

Micky tapped her nose with his finished popsicle stick and stood up to throw it away. Yaerin just sat there in surprise as
she blushed. She gently touched her head when Micky had put his hand on and smiled. She stood up quickly and put her
arms around Micky’s waist.

“Oppa.”

Micky looked down at her in surprise.

“Yeah?”

“I’m very lucky. I don’t think anyone else has a boyfriend or an oppa like me. I think I am the luckiest girl in the world.”

Mickly smiled fondly at Yaerin and patted her head one more time. “Funny, I feel that way too.”

Yaerin looked up. “You feel like the luckiest girl in the world?”

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“What? No, I mean I feel lucky too.”

“Sure.”

“Hey.” Micky tugged at Yaerin’s ear teasingly. “Well, I suppose one of us has to be feminine one.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Haha, nothing come on let’s take you home.”

“Aw, do I have to?”

“Yes, because next Saturday we’re going to the mountain remember?”

“YEAH! I can’t wait! We’re going to go hiking right? We’re going to see all the animals and birds right? And then we’ll go
all the way up the mountain and see the whole countryside!”

“Yeah, we’ll do all of that and more.”

“I can’t wait, it’s going to be the best day ever.”

“Yeah, it will be.”

“Especially because I’m going to be spending the whole day with you.”

“Yes, especially because of that.”

Yaerin took Micky’s hand and squeezed it. “It’s always going to be this great right? I’ll always have you right?”

“I’ll try my best, I’ll try my best to never leave you.”

“Good. I love you oppa.”

“Me too.”

“You love yourself too?”

“What? No, you know what I mean.”

Yaerin laughed and swung their hands. She did know what he meant and although he wasn’t ready to say it, he would
one day. Yaerin smiled, he would one day tell her that he loved her. She couldn’t wait for that day.

CHANGMIN:

“Hey there sport.”

“Oh, hey SooAe.” Changmin looked up from the box of clothes he had been carefully packing. “How was practice?”

SooAe shrugged and hopped on his bed. She peered inside the box. “Geesh, everything is folded so neatly. I would just
throw things in there. Practice was OK, coach was practically in tears since you weren’t there. I don’t know how she’s

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going to manage without you. She’s in love with you, you know.”

Changmin laughed. “Haha, she’s just really appreciative of me for helping out the team. I would have gone today but
since we’re moving tomorrow and I haven’t finished my packing I thought it would be better if I missed it.”

“I don’t know, I think she would propose to you if she wasn’t like ten years older. It’s all cool, we already threw you that
good bye party anyways. Man, I seriously can’t believe you’re leaving.”

“Hey can you hand me that?” Changmin pointed to some sweaters that were laid out next to SooAe. She grabbed some
and helped Changmin fold them neatly. “I know, it all happened so fast. It’s going to be so weird moving to a different
city and going to a different school.”

“Yeah…Sonho high eh? Well if you have to transfer might as well transfer there.”

“I suppose. Mom won’t stop reading the pamphlet out loud. She’s already called all of our relatives. I think I about
memorized the thing now.”

“Haha, I can imagine your mom doing that. Geesh Changmin, what am I going to do without you sport?”

Changmin smiled at his friend and took the sweaters from her. “We’ll keep in touch and we’ll visit each other. It’s not like
I’m leaving the country or anything.”
“You might as well.” SooAe whispered which Changmin missed. She was sure Changmin meant what he said, but what he
said would happen and what would actually happen would differ. Changmin would get busy and get caught up in his new
life and even though at first they would keep in touch, time would separate the two. SooAe also knew about Sonho high
school, she had a cousin who went there. Sonho kids, they were different from the other high school kids and they kept
to themselves. As sweet as Changmin was, he adapted easily and soon he would become like them.

SooAe sighed. She knew what was going to happen. Changmin would go to Sonho feeling a little apprehensive and shy
but he would make friends, probably great friends. Changmin was such a nice guy, he would have problems not getting
people to like him. Then he would hang out with them and get caught up in whatever Sonho high school kids do and be
too busy to remember his friends back in Incheon. He might even meet a girl…

“SooAe! Hey SooAe, can you hand me that tape roll?”

Changmin’s voice brought SooAe back to earth and she looked around for the tape. When she saw it she handed it to
him, it hit her, this would probably be the last time spending time with him.

“Hey do you remember how we met?” SooAe blurted out. Changmin looked at her in surprise.

“Huh? Oh course. That huge dong was chasing you. I remember I was just walking and you ran past me screaming with
that dog barking right behind you. It was kinda funny.”

SooAe made a face. “Sure, it was funny to you. I was terrified out of my wits. I remember I was just running and
screaming when you grabbed me. Then you did something really stupid.”

“Stupid?”

“Yeah, idiot I still can not believe you put yourself in between me and that dog. You might as well have stuck your arm in
his mouth.”

“Haha, well I did get bitten.”

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“Bitten? Man, I honestly thought that dog chewed your arm off! You have no idea how scared I was! Lucky for you, you
taste bad so the dog ran away.”

Changmin laughed and pulled up his sleeve revealing an old scar. “Yeah, it could have been worse. A good thing came
out of it though.”

“What?”

“I met you!”

SooAe’s heart skipped a beat. To hide her embarrassment she smacked him hard on the shoulder. “Ha, you better believe
it! That was probably the best thing that ever happened to you!”

Changmin agreed. “One of the best. You turned out to be an awesome friend, I really am sad that I’m moving.” He said
seriously.

SooAe began to fiddle with Changmin’s pillow. That Changmin, he always did that to her. Make her heart beat so fast but
also managed to make her feel so sad. She had a great friend, but he would never be anymore than that. How could
anything else develop between them? She was too cowardly to confess and he was too naïve to notice anything. How
frustrating, if only…

“Changmin?”

“Yeah?”

SooAe sighed, what was she thinking? What was she going to say? “Never mind. Well, I’m glad I met you too. It was one
of the best things to happen to me too.”

“I’m glad.”

SooAe watched silently as Changmin began to finish his boxes. The knot in her stomach became tighter with every
passing second. Every second was a second closer to Changmin leaving. Every second was counting down to the last
second.

“Changmin.” SooAe blurted out again. “You’re going to do awesome in Sonho you know that? You belong there. You’re
such a great guy and so smart. You’re also so dedicated and hard working, so Sonho will be good for you.”

Startled Changmin looked at her and began to blush. “Oh, thanks SooAe.”

“That’s why you’re definitely going to achieve your dream to be a doctor. It’s not even a dream, it’s the future, I can see
it. You’re going to be the best doctor there is.”

Changmin put a friendly hand on the bright red SooAe. “We’ll both become doctors, remember it’s our dream? We’ll both
go to an awesome university and you’ll become a surgeon and I’ll start my own practice. Our futures are bright and
they’re going to be connected, I know it.”

SooAe wanted to cry but she had too much pride to do it in front of Changmin. She bit her lip and managed out a grin.
“Yeah, we’ll both become doctors. After high school we’ll meet up again and work on getting our licenses together.
There’s no getting rid of me Shim Changmin!”

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“Why would I want to get rid of such a good friend?”

This was getting too much for SooAe. Changmin’s kindness, he had no idea that it was actually hurting SooAe. He made it
worse, he made the approaching separation even more painful. SooAe stood abruptly and faced Changmin.

“I better get going, I still have school tomorrow. So this is goodbye.”

Changmin stood up also and smiled down at SooAe. “Goodbye for now. Remember our futures are connected.”

“Yeah.” SooAe stuck out her hand and then slowly drew it back. “Even though it’s only a temporary good bye, would it be
too much if hugged you?”

“Of course not.”

SooAe took a step closer and put her around Changmin’s waist. She closed her eyes and tried to take in as much of
Changmin as possible. So this was it, this was the end, for now. It was now or never, if she didn’t take the chance now
there might never be another one. SooAe squeezed a little harder.
“Changmin! I just want you to know that I’ll be looking for you! You made a promise back then, if you didn’t know it. I’m
going to make sure our futures are connected. Because I like you Changmin, I like you more than a friend!”

Changmin’s eyes widened in surprised and he looked down at SooAe who was still holding on to him tightly, staring past
him refusing to look at him in the face.

“I couldn’t say it before because I was too cowardly. But don’t worry, I’m going to let you go as a friend. But just know
that the next time we meet I’m going to be braver and I’m not going to let you go again. You might meet another girl,
you probably will. She may be smarter or prettier than me but I’m going to fight for you. So, be prepared because you’re
right. This is only good bye for now. Good bye!”

SooAe quickly let go and ran out of the room. She grabbed her bag and flew down the stairs.

Changmin looked out the window to see SooAe run out with her bags flying behind her. He watched her go to the street
and turn the corner and then she was gone. Changmin continued to stare out the window wordlessly. Finally he smiled.

“Good bye for now SooAe. I’ll be looking forward to seeing you again, friend.”

JUNGMIN:

“That was a good movie, thank you for taking me. Auntie Jen.”

“No problem, I enjoyed it also. It’s nice to see a good romantic movie once in awhile. Are you hungry? I am, let’s go grab
a bite to eat.”

Jungmin happily linked arms with her aunt and walked out of the movie theatre. “Ok! Can we go to a bakery and eat? I
want some bbang!”

“Sure, there’s one walking distance. So how have you been Jungmin? How’s middle school?”

Jungmin shrugged, “Middle school is OK. I can’t believe I’m going to high school next year! I’ll be going to the same one
as Changmin, which I’m glad. I’m glad we’re going to the same school.”

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“You guys do have an exceptional brother and sister relationship. But then, your father was a good brother too, I suppose
its expected Changmin take after him.”

“What about me?” Jungmin pouted. Her aunt laughed and put a friendly arm around her.

“I’m sure you’re a good sister, though it’s definitely not because you take after me. I wasn’t a very good young sister,
now that I look back upon it. I was always getting into trouble and relying on your father to bail me out.”

They walked into the bakery and Jungmin leaned over the display trying to figure out which bread she wanted. Her aunt
waited patiently until Jungmin chose some dinosaur eggs and paid for them at the counter. They grabbed a seat near the
window and began to munch on the bread happily.

While they were eating Jungmin took the moment to observe her aunt. She really did admire her aunt, she wanted to be
like her. Her aunt was very smart and graduated the top of her class. Of course she went the best university and then
transferred to some American college called Columbia. Then she went on to work for the UN, being an advisor to some
government in some middle eastern country. How awesome was that? Her aunt received so much respect from everyone,
Jungmin wanted to be like that. She wanted to be smart, she wanted to be resourceful, she wanted to be brave like her
aunt. Jungmin studied her aunt, she was even pretty. Well, maybe not now but it’s hard for old people to look pretty. But
Jungmin could tell her aunt had been very pretty when she was younger. Boy, her aunt had it all. Wait, except one
thing…

“Auntie, do you think you’ll ever get married?” Jungmin asked. Her aunt who was about to take a bite out of her bread
put it down and looked at her quizzically.

“Hm? Where did that come from?”

Jungmin blushed. “Well, I was thinking, you’re so awesome and you have everything! You’re smart, you’re rich, you’re
nice, you’re cool, and you have an awesome job! The only thing you don’t have is a husband. Do you think you’ll ever get
married?”

Jungmin’s aunt laughed. “At my age? I doubt it, I’m a little past that I’m afraid. But I’m fine with not getting married, I
chose this life. I knew I was going to have a hard time finding someone by working for the UN and then getting located in
Afghanistan. It’s not like I didn’t’ expect this.”

“But, don’t you get lonely?”

“A little, but when I do I just fly over here and visit you! I have family, I have friends, I have my work, I’m very happy
with that.”

“I want to be like you, but I don’t want to be single for the rest of my life. I want to fall in love!”

“Thank you Jungmin, that’s quite a compliment. But just because I never married doesn’t mean you won’t, I’m sure you’ll
find the right boy one day.”

“When do you think I’ll find him?”

“You could find him tomorrow, you could find him next year, you could find him when you’re thirty.” Her aunt laughed
again at Jungmin’s horrified expression. “Oh, thirty isn’t old, not compared to me anyways.”

“What if I found my true love next year, do you think that’s too young to find your soul mate?” Jungmin asked eagerly.

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“There’s no such thing as being too young or too old to find the one you love Jungmin. Sometimes people are lucky
enough to find their soul mate early, some others have to wait a little longer. True love has no limitations.”

“Wow, you know a lot about love Auntie! Have you ever fallen in love?”

“What’s your definition of love?”

“Huh? Isn’t love, love?”

“People believe in different kind of love Jungmin dear. Some people believe they can fall in and out of love, some people
believe love is eternal. Some people believe in love that can be found only in movies. Then there are those who don’t
believe in love at all. So tell me, what do you think love is?”

“Oh, I don’t know. I think I’m too young to know what love is, though I have some idea. But maybe, next year I’ll really
know for sure.”

“Why is it always next year?”

“Because that’s when I become a high schooler! It all starts in high school, because that’s when you start becoming an
adult.”

“Really, that’s an interesting theory. Well, Jungmin I hope you find out what love is soon, maybe in high school as you
want it.”

Jungmin put her head on her hands and sighed dreamily. “I always wanted a high school love, it seems so romantic. More
romantic then college love or grown up love. Wouldn’t it be great if I found him in my first year?”

Jungmin’s aunt smiled fondly at her niece. “You seemed to have thought about this a lot.”

“Of course! I even know how and where I want my first kiss!”

“Really? Tell me.”

Jungmin blushed again but grinned. “I thought about it, and I want my first kiss in the rain under a tree on a swing!”

“Sounds a bit detailed.”

Jungmin beamed. “Yeah, but I have my reason! I want it to rain because rain is romantic.”

“Hm, I always thought it was kind of well, wet.”

“Auntie! I want it under a tree because I think that best represents love. A tree is beautiful in all four seasons. When it’s
summer its full of life and has those green leaves. And when the sunlight goes through the trees and sparkles, it’s
beautiful.”

“That is a pretty sight.”

“And in the fall the leaves turn red, orange, or yellow. So many colors and then they fall so pretty. They float to the
ground. And you get to step on it when they fall to the ground!”

“Ah, I love stepping on crunchy leaves.”

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“Yeah, and then in the winter when it freezes, the tree turns white and glossy from the ice. And sometimes you get icicles
that hang down, that’s pretty.”

“Hm, and in the spring...”

“Spring means flowers! Flowers bloom and the petals fall and the tree gets ready for the summer.”

“So how does this represent love?”

Jungmin couldn’t help but feel a little embarrassed, she had never told anyone this analogy before. What if her aunt
thought it was silly? “Well, love is like a tree because no matter what the season it’s beautiful!”

“Hm, I’m not sure I quite follow.”

Jungmin tried to explain it as best as she could. “Every season the tree looks different, just like love is different for each
person. But no matter if it has a bunch of leaves or it’s frozen, it’s still beautiful but in a different way. I think love is
different for every person, but it’s still beautiful, especially to that person. Er, that doesn’t make much sense does it?”

Her aunt studied the blushing middle schooler. “No, I understand Jungmin, I understand perfectly. Jungmin, I believe
your perception of love is the purest of any view of love. I think you have more of an understanding of what love is than
you think.”

Jungmin grinned and stuck out her tongue. “Heh, you don’t think it’s cheesy?”

“No, I think it’s wonderful.”

“Can you promise me you won’t tell anyone? I mean, I don’t mind sharing my idea with you but I don’t want anyone else
to know what I think.”

“I understand, this can be very personal. But you never explained why you want it on a swing.”

“Oh! Well, I’m not sure why exactly. I know I just remember a long time ago I was on the swing with a friend, and it was
my first time on a swing. I was so happy and I was laughing so much. I really did feel like I was flying. I guess it’s one of
my most happiest memories and I want my first kiss to be happy!”

“Well, you make me want you to have your perfect kiss exactly the way you described it. But you know, first kisses don’t
always turn out the way we dream it will.”

Jungmin nodded. “I know, and I know that it’s not so important where you get your first kiss but who you get it from.
That’s what really matters. And I want my first kiss to be given by someone I really like, maybe even love.”

“Exactly, because a first kiss can be romantic where ever, it really depends on the person. You want to know about my
first kiss?”

“Yeah!”

“Haha, it was at a tutoring center.”

Jungmin stared at her aunt. “Auntie, I know what I just said but that has to be the least romantic place to have your first
kiss. You might as well as gotten it in a dentist office.”

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Jungmin’a aunt laughed. “Maybe, I was being tutoring in Latin. It was actually very uncomfortable since he was wearing
braces. Actually, he cut my lip. Hahaha, but I never forgot it and I still thought it was the best kiss ever!”

Jungmin made a face. “I really hope that doesn’t happen to me, no offense Auntie.”

“None taken.”

JUNSU:

“Over here! Over here!” A little boy waved his arms in the air as he yelled. “OVER HERE!”

But it was no use, the other boy passed the soccer ball to someone else who passed it back to him. Angrily the little boy
ran after the other boy and tried to steal the ball but the other kid was faster, and soon he slowed down to a stop as the
other kid ran away with the ball. He could only watch as the other kid managed to score a goal.

“Yeah! Did you see that Junsu? I’m so awesome! I scored a goal!” The other boy boasted jogging towards the glowering
Junsu. Junsu stamped his feet angrily.

“You said you were going to pass the ball to me! You promised! I could have scored the goal Hyukjae!”

Hyukjae scoffed. “No way you couldn’t have. Your legs are too short and you’re not fast enough. We would have definitely
lost the ball, I was just trying to save the team.”

“THAT’S NOT FAIR. I COULD HAVE SCORED!” Junsu yelled. Hyukjae also got angry and walked up close to the red and
angry Junsu.

“DON’T YELL AT ME. YOU COULDN’T HAVE.”

“YES I COULD HAVE! YOU’RE A SELFISH BALL HOG!”

“WELL AT LEAST I’M GOOD AT SOCCER! YOU SUCK!”

“I’M GETTING BETTER! I’M PRACTICING EVERY DAY!”

“DOESN’T MATTER YOU’RE STILL JUST AS BAD AS WHEN YOU WERE FOUR YEARS OLD!”

“YOU’RE MEAN HYUKJAE!”

“WELL FINE THEN, I DON’T WANT TO PLAY WITH YOU ANYMORE!”

“FINE I DON’T WANT TO PLAY WITH YOU ANYWAYS. WHO NEEDS YOUR STUPID BALL?”

Little Junsu angrily stomped off. When he was farther away from Hyukjae he turned around. “I’M GOING TO SHOW YOU
BALL HOG! I’M GOING TO BE THE BEST AT SOCCER! I’M GOING TO BE SOCCER CAPTAIN! YOU’LL SEE!”

Junsu ran away as he didn’t have to hear whatever mean thing Hyukjae would say. He was so mean, he was definitely
not his best friend any more! Who want to be friends with such a ball hog? He never shared and he always said he would
pass the ball but he never did! Junsu would find new friends, he would find better friend. Yes he will!”

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Junsu walked to the playground and went down the slide a couple of times but stopped when he realized it was boring to
play on the playground by himself. He sighed and put his chubby little hands on his hips. Now what? He scanned the area
and then his eyes caught side of the swing set. Yes, he would swing! Swinging is fun and you can do that fine by yourself!
And he would try to sing over the pole! Yes, he would! Then he would show that ball hog how cool he was.

Junsu ran over the swing but another kid got there first. He glared at the little girl angrily, this baby stole his swing!
Great now what?

But he noticed that the little girl didn’t know how to swing by herself. She swung her legs but the swing barely swayed.
Junsu watched as the girl kept on trying but soon looked like she wanted to cry. Junsu sighed and walked over to her.

“Hey, don’t you know how to swing properly?”

The little girl tearfully shook her head. “I dunno how.”

“Geesh, you’re such a baby, you don’t even know how to swing!”

The little girl pouted. “I’m not a baby. I just want to swing, I want to swing high.”

“How about this?” Junsu proposed. “I’ll push you for a little while, but then you have to get off and let me swing. But I’ll
show you how to swing OK?”

The little girl thought it for a second but the nodded. Junsu went behind her and began to push her as she clutched on to
the metal rope tightly. Slowly and little by little she began to swing higher.

“Wee! I’m going so high!” The little girl squealed happily. “You’re so strong Oppa! You push so hard!”

Junsu couldn’t help but smile a little proudly. “Well, yeah I’m strong. Look, I’ll push you higher, see how strong I am!”

“Yay!”

Junsu continued to push and soon he was panting a little as he kept on swinging. Now he was getting tired, even though
he was really strong. He wearily wiped his forehead and went around.

“OK, that’s enough. Come on, let me swing. You can watch me and figure out how to swing by yourself.”

The little girl obediently hopped off the swing and stood to the side as Junsu began to eagerly pump his little legs. She
watched in awe as the little boy swung higher and higher.

“Wow oppa! You can swing yourself so high!

“Yeah, it’s because I’m strong!”

“I wish I could do that! That looks hard.”

Junsu slowed himself down and looked at the girl. “It’s really easy. I’ll let you try.”

He hopped off and let the girl go on. She tried hard to pump her legs like the way Junsu did but she barely managed to
move. The little girl looked like he was going to cry again.

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Junsu sighed and tugged at the girl. “Oh come on, it’s not that hard. Here, get off.” The girl slid off and Junsu got on. He
patted his lap. “Come on, you can sit on my lap since you’re so small and I’ll show you how to do it right.”

The little girl managed to sit on his laps and placed her legs over his. She gripped on the swing as Junsu put on around
her stomach to hold her close. He then began to pump his legs as hard as he could and soon both of them were swinging.

“Wee! Look we’re flying! You’re so cool oppa.”

“Haha, I told you! Come on start swinging with me!”

The little girl helped swing, following Junsu’s rhythm. Together they began to swing higher and higher. They laughed as
their feet seemed to touch the clouds in the sky.

“We’re flying!”

JAEJOONG:

Jaejoong made sure to look strait ahead and refused to look at the other students. As hard as he tried to ignore them he
could feel their stares and hear their whispers. Oh how he hated high school, and he was only a couple months in.

“Look, there he goes that one hot first year.”

“Sonho just got so much better.”

“Hey, there’s the punk all the girls are going crazy over.”

“Dude, I would even jump him. He looks like a girl.”

“He’s prettier than any girl I’ve ever seen.”

“Did you hear? Youngjoo pretended to faint in front of him just so she could touch him!”

“No way, hm maybe I should do that.”

Jaejoong scowled and pushed his way down the halls. He remember that incident and it still made him burn to think
about it. Stupid girls, always bothering him, why couldn’t they leave him alone?

Just last week Jaejoong had been silently walking to gym when a girl approached him. She was an upperclassman and of
course he was obligated to listen to what she had to say. Not only that, she was some sort of star or whatever they called
those snobby girls. Jaejoong hated those girls the most, he had met most of them and they were the ones always trying
to talk to him. They kept on inviting him to be a god or join some sort of weird cult but he turned them down everytime.
She tried to talk to him but he had nothing to say. When he refused to exchange phone numbers she got angry. Then all
of a sudden she had just collapsed in front of him and of course instinctively he had reached for her.

When he held her he noticed that she was grabbing him tightly and had a stupid smile on her face. Disgusted he dropped
her and ran away as she yelled at his back. Girls, they were so pathetic. He never had so much trouble in middle school,
then again he did go to an international school in Japan.

And because of all of those crazy girls he had trouble making friends with normal guys. They were either jealous of him,

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made fun of him, or tried to use him to get to girls. Jerks, they were no better than the girls here. Jaejoong was definitely
miserable, how could he not be? He didn‘t have any real friends.

“Hi, Jaejoong?”

Jaejoong turned around and came face to face to a second year. She looked like a nice looking girl though she was a bit
on the pale side. He eyed her suspiciously.

“My name is Miah, Hong Miah.”

Jaejoong didn’t say anything though he had an idea of what was to come. If she was like the other girls…

“I think you’re really cute!” She blurted out and Jaejoong groaned inside. Figures, he was right. “These are for you!”

She shoved him a box with chocolates but Jaejoong made no offer to take it. He had learned early on to not mislead the
girls or they would never leave him alone. He shook his head coldly.

“No thanks.”

“Oh, OK…” Miah bit her lip. “Do you think maybe then we cou-”

Miah stopped speaking and her face contorted in pain. She took a step closer and Jaejoong took one back warily. This girl
wasn’t faking something was she?
“Help…my heart….” She croaked and she reached for Jaejoong. Disgusted Jaejoong dodged it, he couldn’t believe it. What
lengths would these girls go to?
Miah fell to her knees and dropped the box scattering the chocolates. Her breathing grew shallow and fast and her face
was turning bright red. Jaejoong couldn’t but think that she was really a good actor. He watched as he she fell to the
floor.

“What do we have here? OH! Are you OK?”

A small girl popped out of nowhere and was at the girl’s side. A crowd of students were gathering and Jaejoong looked
around uncomfortably.

The girl placed a hand on Miah’s shaking face and then placed it on her heart. The girl looked up at Jaejoong. “What’s
wrong with her? Why didn’t you do anything?”

Startled Jaejoong took a step back. Wait, then wasn’t she faking it? Was she really hurt?

The girl turned to some other students. “Go get a teacher!” She turned to Jaejoong. “Call 119! Hurry! I think she‘s going
through cardiac arrest!” She snapped.

Jaejoong fumbled for his cellphone as the girl tried to sooth and calm the trembling girl. She ordered another student to
get the helicopter ready and she tried to lift the girl. Jaejoong finished his call and stared at the girls unsure what to do.

“Help me take her upstairs. She needs to get to the hospital as soon as possible and the helicopter will be fastest. Hurry!”
She commanded and he obediently took the girl and put her on his back. Jaejoong and the other girl ran up the stairs
and went outside on the roof where the helicopter was waiting for them. A teacher ran out and ordered the helicopter
drive. However the teacher couldn’t get in as there was no more room.

Jaejoong didn’t even both with the helmet as the helicopter flew away. He watched as the girl fussed with some medical

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supplies with the help of another helicopter driver. He had no idea what to do or how to help but there was a growing
feeling of guilt in his stomach. This was all his fault.

When they arrived at the hospital the paramedics came and wheeled the girl away who was now shaking violently.
Jaejoong and the girl ran after them but stopped when they took Miah to the emergency area. They stood there silently
and watched the doors swing back and forth.

Now his guilt had completely taken over him and all Jaejoong could do was to pray that the girl would be alright. His
knees were shaking a little and he was sweating now. He had never gone through anything like this before. Wordlessly he
walked away and fell into some chairs. He put his head on his hands and sighed. What had he done? That girl, that poor
girl. All she wanted to do was give him chocolate.

“Here.”

Something cold was pressed against his hands and Jaejoong looked up to see that girl staring at him while offering a
drink. He took the drink and gulped it, realizing how thirsty he was. The girl smiled, went away and when she was back
she had two more drinks. She took one for herself and gave the other one to him.
“Are you going to be OK?” She asked looking at him. Jaejoong pressed the cold drink to his face and nodded. The little
girl smiled.

“Good, my name is Mira by the way.”

Jaejoong nodded again. “Jaejoong.”

“I’m sure the girl will be alright. The doctors are pretty good here and it looked like she was going through a minor stage
of cardiac arrest. She should heal quickly.”

“I don’t really know her.”

“Really? What were you two doing together?”

Jaejoong took another sip and looked guiltily at the floor. “She was giving me some chocolate.”

“Oh, why didn’t you do anything? You were just staring at her so angrily.”

Now Jaejoong felt even more guilty. “I thought she was faking it.”

“Why would she be faking it?”

“The other girls did, they faked it. They faked it to get close to me.”

There was a pause and then Jaejoong heard a light laugh. “Oh! So you’re Jaejoong! The one everyone is talking about!”

Angrily he turned to the girl but noticed that she was smiling at him in a very nice way. She looked sympathetic. “I feel
you. I’m sort of a special first year too.”

“You are?”

“Yeah, it’s hard making friends isn’t it?”

“Yeah…”

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“And everyone talks about you like you’re deaf but you hear everything they say.”

“Yeah…”

“You’re surrounded by people but you feel very lonely.”

Jaejoong was now openly staring at the little girl. Who was this girl? How did she know exactly how he felt? She looked
back with her pretty eyes crinkled into a smile.

“People treat me differently too, but I try to deal with it as best as I can. Anyway!” Mira stood up and smiled again at
Jaejoong. “I’m going to the first desk to make sure the girl receives the best treatment. She is a fellow Sonho student.”

Jaejoong stood up and grabbed her arm. They both looked at in surprise and he hastily let go. “No, I’ll go, it’s my fault.
I’ll pay for everything.”

Mira shook her head. “No, I got it. There’s a reason why I’m special. Just promise me that you’ll come and visit that girl, I
bet she would appreciate that very much. I’ll see you around then?”

With another sweet smile she turned around and left him. Jaejoong stood there a bit confused and unsure of what had
just happened. After a couple of moment he headed towards the exit.

As horrible as he felt before he couldn’t help but feel a better. If Jaejoong didn’t know any better, he had just made a
friend.

----

“My, if it isn’t Jaejoong!”

“Mira! What are you doing here?” Miah exclaimed. She had been propped up in her bed surrounded by flowers and get
well cards. Jaejoong was by her side and he looked down at the floor shyly.

Mira gave the gigantic stuffed animal to Miah and smiled at the two of them. “Just wanted to check up on you. How are
you feeling?”

“Great, I’m so much better now. I want to thank you for taking care of me, Jaejoong told me everything. If you weren’t
there…” Miah trailed off. She shook her head and smiled again. “And my parents want to thank you for paying for the
bills, they would like to pay you back.”

Mira shook her head. “Don’t worry about, it was nothing. I really didn’t do anything, it was Jaejoong who carried you up
to the helicopter. It seems like you guys are getting to know each other.”

Jaejoong shrugged embarrassedly as Miah beamed. “It was all you. I also, um apologized for the way I acted. You‘re
right, the girls, they‘re not all bad.”

“Even us Royalty girls?”

“You’re a star girl?” Jaejoong asked surprised.

“Constellation, yeah. They asked me to ask you to become a god by the way.”

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Jaejoong couldn’t help but frown. “I don’t want to join that weird cult, society, or whatever.”

Mira and Miah laughed. “Haha, no it’s nothing like that. It’s just a stupid name, they’re asking to be your friend. I’m
asking you to be my friend.”

“That’s it?” Jaejoong asked suspiciously.

“Yeah, I’m asking you to be my friend.” Mira paused and almost shyly smiled. “I want to get to know you better…”

Miah looked at Jaejoong who seemed to be thinking and Mira who was patiently waiting. Jaejoong had visited everyday
and she had gotten to know this good looking freshman. He had been shy at first but when he had warmed up to her she
found out he was actually a very nice kid. Of course as nice as he had been it was clear that there could only be
friendship between the two of them though surprisingly, Miah found that she didn’t mind at all.

“I don’t know about being a god or a star or whatever. But if it means being your friend, I’ll do it.” Jaejoong finally
answered. Mira beamed so brightly, she surprised him with how happy she looked.

“Yay, I’m glad! Hello Chingoo!” She stuck out her hand and Jaejoong took it and shook it.

“Hello Chingoo.”

Miah looked at the two fondly and also smiled. She was no psychic but she predicted something perhaps a little more
than friendship for her two amazing dongsengs.

CHAPTER 18 – LOSE CONTROL


© pikapika.

“Yeseul.”

“Yeah?”

“I’m thirsty.”

Yeseul stopped leafing through her magazine and looked at Mira who was sitting on her bed. Mira’s face was emotionless.
Yeseul stood up and studied the silent and solemn Mira.

“Is this a thirst banana milk can’t quench?”

“Yes.”

Yeseul sighed and stood up. She would pay for this and she would definitely regret her next few actions. But the look on
Mira’s face frightened her, her grave expression made Yeseul uneasy. She grabbed her bag and threw Mira her jacket.

“Come on, I’ll give you something that will cover your thirst temporarily.”

Mira wordlessly followed Yeseul out of the room.

-----

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“Hee hee.”

“What’s so funny?”

“Hee hee.” Mira giggled some more and looked up at her glass. “Lookee, I can see my reflection! I look so weeeiiirrrd.”

Yesuel eyed her friend who was giggling and making faces at her cocktail glass. “You’re easily amused.”

Mira nodded happily and grinned. She took loud slurps from her drink and then smacked her lips. “Yeseul! You never told
me when you drink the world starts turning around and around and around and around.”

“Hm, it must have slipped my mind. You’re feeling better?”

“Better? Butter? Beater? Maybe?” Mira giggled and then poked her own cheeks. “I don’t know! It’s like, it’s like nothing
I’ve ever felt before! It’s like, it’s like HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.”

Mira pounded her fists on the table as she laughed. The people at the other table turned around to look at them. Yeseul
just glared at them, daring them to say or do anything. They wisely turned back around.

“So you’ve been stressed out lately huh? It must be so bad that you come to me telling me you’re ‘thirsty’.”

Mira nodded and then tapped her chest. “Yeah, see for a looooooooooong time right here, it hurt a lot. It wouldn’t go
away, it was just always there. Like a shadow. Hm, like Peter Pan. Hm, Peter Pan.” Mira giggled at herself again.

Mira began to chew on her glass. “But now, it’s like buried! It’s still there, I know it’s there but there’s other things on top
of it now! So I can sometimes forget!”

“Hm.”

“But sometimes I don’t forget.” Mira added pouting. “A lot of times it comes back up. It keeps coming back up, like a big
fat balloon. I think the balloon is red, no yellow. Maybe blue. Hm, magenta?”

Yeseul poured herself some more drinks. Her own hidden feelings were coming up again. She needed to get rid of it, she
didn’t want to feel the guilt, she needed another drink.

“You know what? It’s not fair. This balloon. I don’t like balloons. They smell. This balloon, it smells really bad. Like really
bad. Like, like, I don’t know just really bad. And see this balloon, it talks to me.”

“What does it say?”

“It says you just whiney little girl. You whine and whine. But then, then it tells me something else. It says, life is funny!”

“It tells you that life is funny?”

Mira nodded hard causing her to loose balance. She fell down on her seat and giggled. “Ooh, there goes the world going
around and around and around! Anyways, yeah so I ask this balloon how is life funny? And it tells me, it tells me look at
you! It’s funny because you have a brother! That’s what’s funny!”

“That’s funny?”

“Yes, it’s very funny. It’s frikkin hilariiiooouuss. You know why? Because not only do I have a brother, my brother is

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Jaejoong! Did you know I am in love with my brother? Hm, what is that called? There is a funny word for it, oh yeah –
INCEST. HAHAHAHAHAHAH!” Mira roared in laughter and fell back down in her seat. Yeseul took another sip.

“I don’t think it’s funny.”

Mira tried to sit back up but fell back down. She giggled and buried her face in the seat but then quickly sat back up. “Ew,
this seat smells almost as bad as baboons. Baboons? Balloons? Anyways, it stinks. Why isn’t it funny? I think it’s funny.”

“No, I don’t think it’s very funny at all.”

Mira pouted and put her hands to her hips. “You don’t think it’s funny? Well, phooey on you! You know who would also
think it’s funny? Jaejoong. Yes, Jaejoong my brother. I think I’ll go call him RIGHT now and have him tell you how funny
it is.”

Mira drew out her cellphone but dropped it a couple of times before managing to open it. “It won’t stop moving.” Mira
muttered to herself.

Yeseul watched as Mira stumbled with the phone but managed to push the right speed dial button. She held the phone to
ear and waited while she puffed up her cheeks.

----

“Hey, thanks for inviting me to your house.”

“No problem, welcome.”

Changmin dropped his bag on the floor and looked around. Jaejoong’s house was just as impressive as Yunho’s though
the style was different. Jaejoong’s house was designed to look more like traditional Korean home with the straw mats and
ancient paintings.

“So what happened?”

“Well, my mom went on this redesigning spree and in her excitement she accidentally broke one of the main pipes. So we
have no water in the house. Junsu is gone for the weekend at a soccer camp and Micky is in one of his writing moods so I
can’t reach him. I don’t even know what happened to Yunho. Er, sorry I hope you’re not offended.” Changmin apologized.

Jaejoong shrugged. He didn’t blame Changmin for making him a last resort. He knew he had been a little distant from the
rest of the kids this year and truthfully, he didn’t know Changmin very well. Well, Jaejoong was trying to make things
normal again and this would be a good chance. Besides, Changmin seemed like a good guy. “No worries. Anyways, you
can stay in one of our guest rooms. Where’s Jungmin?”

“Jungmin was already at my aunt’s house so she’s just staying there.”

“So what do you want to do?” Jaejoong asked. The two boys looked at each awkwardly. The two most reserved of the
gods were stuck together and neither of them knew what to do to make the awkward mood go away.

To their relief Jaejoong’s phone began to ring. Jaejoong pulled it out of his pocket and stared at it. Mira? The last time
Mira had called him, well it had been a long time ago. What was going on?”

“Hello? Mira?”

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“JOOOOOOOOONG! You answered your phone!”

“Mira? Where are you? What’s up with the music in the background?”

“Silly, there has to be music at a club! So silly, so silly! Yeseul took me in! They wanted to card me but she slipped me in!
It was fun!”

“Yeseul brought you to a club? Mira are you drunk?”

Changmin looked at Jaejoong at hearing Yeseul’s name. “Yeseul? Are they together? What’s going on?”

Jaejoong shook his head. “Mira, are you OK?”

“I’M FINE. Hey I need you to tell Yeseul it’s funny OK? Tell her how funny it is.”

“What’s funny?”

Jaejoong never got an answer as he heard Mira passing the phone to Yeseul.

“Hello?”

“Yeseul?”

“Jaejoong.”

“Where are you guys? Are you guys OK? Is Mira drunk?”

“Club, I guess, and I would suppose she is.”

“WHAT WERE YOU THINKING BY LETTING MIRA DRINK?”

“Don’t yell at me. Oh, Mira is trying to stand up on the table, got to go before she makes a scene. Bye.”

“YESEUL? YESEUL! NO DON’T HANG UP ON ME!”

Jaejoong angrily snapped the phone shut. Great, just when he was trying hard to make things normal again Mira had to
go and get herself drunk.

Changmin grabbed his jacket. “Come on, we better go get the girls.”

“You know where they are?”

Changmin nodded as they put on their shoes as fast as they could. “If Yeseul’s with her there’s only one place they could
be.”

----

Yeseul took another sip and observed Mira who had her face flat down on the table. Before Mira had been jumping up and
down, giggling her little giggle, until she suddenly crashed and stopped moving. Yeseul was pretty sure Mira was only
sleeping.

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Yeseul looked around at all the bottles and glasses on their table. My, she hadn’t bought this many drinks since, well she
couldn’t remember.

“Yeseul!”

Yeseul coolly looked up to see Changmin and Jaejoong hurrying towards their table. Jaejoong worriedly slid into the seat
next to Mira and raised her head to check up on her. Mira sleepily opened her eyes and smiled when she saw who it was.

“Broddder. Hello.”

“Mira, are you alright?” Jaejoong asked gently pushing the hair out of her face. Mira gave a sloppy nod.

“Sure, brother. OPPA.”

“Stop it Mira.” Jaejoong angrily turned towards Yeseul and snapped, “What were you thinking?”

Yeseul shrugged. “She wanted it and I delivered.”

“You really shouldn’t be doing this, Yeseul. Are you alright?” Changmin asked crouching next to her. Yeseul shrugged in
response again.

Jaejoong looked around in disgust at all the empty bottles. “How much did you guys drink? How drunk is she? How drunk
are you?”

“I draaaank all of this.” Mira giggled and pointed to all the bottles before resting her head on Jaejoong’s shoulder.
“Aaaallll of it.”

Yeseul shook her head. “No she didn’t. She drank that, just that. She’s not very tolerant.”

Changmin and Jaejoong looked at a half empty cocktail glass. Jaejoong couldn’t help but feel a bit relieved; Mira was so
small it would have been bad if she drank more than that. Changmin frowned.

“Wait, so you drank the rest? YOU DRANK ALL THOSE BOTTLES BY YOURSELF?”

“Sure.”

Changmin tried to count the bottles but gave up at 8. He couldn’t believe this, Yeseul had drank so much but there she
was just sitting there with an expressionless face. She wasn’t red, she wasn’t swaying back and forth. She looked quite
sober.

“I can’t believe you Yeseul. How could you do this to her?” Jaejoong angrily yelled at Yeseul again as he tried to get Mira
to drink some water.

Yeseul looked annoyed. “Give me a break, you drink too. And you get into fist fights when you’re drunk.”

Jaejoong glared at Yeseul. “That happened once and I never drank again. But you, you disgust me. I can’t believe you let
this happen to Mira. And look at you, look at this! Trying to drink all your guilt away.”

“What do you mean?” Changmin asked as he prevented Yeseul from taking another sip of her drink. She frowned at him
but didn’t say anything.

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“Yeseul is extremely tolerant but when she drinks she becomes emotionless. The more she drinks, the less she feels
anything, anything at all. That’s why she drinks, when she feels guilty or sad she drinks it away.”

“Hm, maybe.” Yeseul said blandly. Jaejoong shook his head angrily at her but turned to Mira and lifted her face to look at
him.

“Mira, hey precious, how are you feeling?”

“Feeling? Peelings? MY PRECIOUS.”

“Ok, well I think you had enough for one night. Or forever. Let’s get out of here, I’m going to take you to a place where
you can sleep this all off, OK?”

Mira patted Jaejoong’s face. “Okeedokeeeee Oppa. Oppa. You’re my Oppa, isn’t that funny? Did you tell Yeseul how funny
that was?”

“Why does she keep calling you that?” Changmin asked.

“I’ll explain later, help me put her on my back. Thanks.”

Changmin assisted Jaejoong on hoisting her up on his back. “Are you taking her home?”

Jaejoong shook his head and adjusted Mira. “No, if I took her home like this I’d be assassinated on the spot. I can’t take
her to my place either, so I’m going to take her to a hotel. I’ll take a cab, you can take the driver back to my place. The
servants will let you in. Alright, I’m off.”

Changmin watched as Jaejoong left the club with the mumbling Mira on his back. He turned back to Yeseul and quickly
snatched away the glass she was about to drink.

“Come on, we should get going too. Can you walk straight?”

“Of course.” Yeseul brushed aside Changmin’s hand and stood up. She threw some bills on the table and left the club with
Changmin worriedly following after her. When they stepped outside, Yeseul hugged herself from the wind. Changmin took
off his jacket and put it around Yeseul who accepted it wordlessly.

“Alright, I know you don’t go home but I think you need to go home tonight. My house has no water and I’m not sure if
it’s right bringing you to Jaejoong’s house.”

“No.” Yeseul snapped. “I’m not going home.”

“Yeseul.” Changmin said gently. “Then where are you going to go to? Come on, you should go home every once in
awhile.”

“NO. I’m not going home. Leave me alone.” The bitter wind was sobering Yeseul and with that emotions were coming
back to her, angry emotions. She began to walk away.

Changmin went over and grabbed Yeseul. “Stop it, come on I’m trying to help you. That’s all I want.”

“Why? Why do you want to help me so much? Why are you always following me around? Why don’t you leave me alone?
Why are you always dragging me out of clubs? Why are you always taking my drinks? Why are you always taking me to

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your house? What do you want from me?”

“Because I like you.”

“What?”

Yeseul stared at Changmin’s slightly red but serious face. “Because I like you. I care about you, that’s why I’m being a
nuisance to you. I’m sorry, but that’s what I do and that’s how I feel. I like you, I liked you for awhile. I think ever since
the fall festival-” Changmin paused as Yeseul interrupted with a cold laugh.

“You like me? You don’t even know me. You know nothing. How can you like someone you barely know?”

“I think I know you enough to develop feelings for you. I can’t really explain it, but I care for you.”

“Shut up.” Yeseul snapped. “You’re an idiot. You don’t know anything, you don’t know me. You’re only kidding yourself
when you say that you like me. If you really knew me you wouldn’t even be standing here with me. What would you
parents say?” She mocked. Yeseul turned to walk away again but Changmin grabbed both of her arms, forcing her to face
him.

“Try me.”

“What?”

“Try me, tell me what I don’t know. Let’s see how I feel after you tell me your secrets.”

Yeseul smirked. “You really want to know? You’ll regret it.”

“Try me.” Changmin repeated firmly.

Angrily Yeseul threw off Changmin’s jacket and pulled down her shirt to reveal a large scar on her shoulder. “See this?”

Changmin’s eyes widened at the sight. Yeseul smirked again and pulled up her sleeve revealing a large bruise. “And
this?”

Finally Yeseul pushed aside her bangs to reveal another long scar on her temple. “Finally this. There’s more but I don’t
exactly feel like striping down to show you. Nasty isn’t it? Know where I got it? My father gave it to me. You know why?
Because he’s a drunk. Yes, my father is a drunk and he punishes me for being who I am. He punishes me for looking like
my dead mother. Ruined my pretty face didn’t it? You should have listened to me, you don’t want anything to do with
me. I’m cold, unfeeling, and cruel. I have scars in the inside and out and don’t want to heal them. I’ll disturb your happy
little life. Now you know.”

Yeseul walked off angrily. She was right, she was always right. Stupid idiot, he knew nothing before, but now he knew he
was stupid.

“Well, I still feel the same.”

Yeseul stopped in her tracks and turned around to see Changmin watching her seriously. He picked up his jacket and
walked over to her. Changmin let out a small smile as he put the jacket around Yeseul’s shoulders.

“I still feel the same way for you.”

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“What?”

“You think I would stop liking you because of your scars? I have one too, it’s actually kind of ugly.” Changmin pulled up
his sleeve and showed Yeseul an old dog bite. “But did you honestly think that I like you because you’re beautiful? You
must think of me as very shallow.”

“What about my father?”

Changmin stopped smiling. “I’m sorry I tried to force you to go home, you were right, you need to go somewhere else.
I’m sorry about your father and I’m going to try and help you. I’m going to make sure he doesn’t do anything to you
again.”

“You think you can do that?”

“I’ll try.” Changmin answered truthfully. “But that’s enough for tonight. I suppose we don’t have much of a choice but to
take you to Jaejoong’s house. I’m sure the servants will be wondering but I think his house has another spare bed.”

Yeseul stared wordlessly at Changmin. What was with this guy? He was like no other guy she had ever known. He always
managed to surprise her in one way or another. She let him lead her to his car that was waiting for them.

“You’re very weird.” Yeseul blurted out as she stepped into the car. Changmin walked around the other side and let
himself in. He smiled.

“I’ve been told.”

“Very weird.”

“But you don’t mind me?”

Yeseul looked out the window. “No.” She admitted.

----

Jaejoong gently laid down the sleeping Mira onto the king sized bed and threw her jacket to the floor. He sighed and sat
down next to her. Wearily he ran his hand through his hair.

Jaejoong had grabbed a cab and during the ride Mira had fallen asleep. He had taken her to a hotel that was owned by
his cousin. With his connection he had managed to discretely get one of the larger suites for the night. The last thing he
needed was people asking questions and spreading rumors.

He softly stroked Mira’s cheek. She must have been greatly stressed and hurt for her to resort to drinking, even if it was
half a cocktail glass. Jaejoong couldn’t help but smile, she really wasn’t tolerant. But then again, what would he expect
with such a tiny and delicate body?

He stood up and tried to adjust Mira so that she would be laying down properly. He would tuck her in and leave her here
for the night. When Mira would wake up in the morning, she would be sober enough to take care of herself. If he was
lucky Mira wouldn’t remember anything from tonight, it would be best if she didn’t know he took her here.

Jaejoong tried to lift Mira up gently but her eyes opened as she woke up. Jaejoong hastily put her back down and stepped
away as Mira rubbed her eyes.

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“Jaejoong?”

“How are you feeling?”

Mira looked up at him with sorrowful eyes. “I don’t know.” She seemed to have sobered a bit since the club.

“Are you going to be alright?”

“I don’t know. Where are we?”

“Avenuel Hotel.”

Mira rubbed her forehead. “Dongwook’s hotel?”

“Yeah.” Jaejoong stepped closer and crouched in front of Mira so they were face to face. “Listen, you can sleep here for
the night. You should try to sleep off those drinks, or drink I should say. Alright?”

Mira didn’t answer at first. She looked down. “Jaejoong, I hurt. I hurt a lot.”

“Oh Mira.”

Mira’s face distorted in pain. “I hurt so much. It won’t go away, it didn’t go away when I was drinking; I only thought it
did. I don’t know what to do Jaejoong, I’m slipping away. I can’t keep pretending anymore. I’m losing myself.”

Jaejoong gently placed a hand on her face. “Me too, I’m sorry Mira. I’m sorry I made it so hard. I’m sorry I can’t do
anything. I’m so sorry.”

Mira put her hand on top of his and closed her eyes. They stayed still for a moment. Suddenly with her other hand she
grabbed Jaejoong’s shirt and pulled him closer. She leaned forward and kissed him.

Something erupted inside of Jaejoong and he pulled her in closer, tighter. He had wanted this for the longest time. He
had yearned for this kiss. It had been so long and it had been so hard. But something was wrong. There was that bitter
alcohol taste in Mira’s mouth. But there was something else, a very disturbing feeling in the bottom of Jaejoong’s
stomach.

Jaejoong forced himself to pull away from Mira. “No, we shouldn’t do this.”

“Jaejoong.” Mira begged weakly. “Please, while I’m still to drunk to know any better.” Mira leaned forward again but
Jaejoong stood up.

“No, Mira.”

Mira’s head dropped. “You don’t want me anymore?”

Jaejoong groaned. He crouched back down and took Mira’s face into his hands. “No, you have no idea how badly I want
this. You have no idea how long I waited, how much I wanted. But, but this isn’t right. Mira, you’re drunk and if you were
sober, well I wouldn’t be as near as I am now. Also, as much as we want to forget, we can’t ignore the fact that we could
be….” He couldn’t bring himself to say it.

Mira didn’t want him to hear him say it either. Even in her state she knew he was right. She had let things go out of
control. She had made up excuses; she knew she wasn’t as drunk as she was acting, not now anyways. She had just

204
wanted an excuse to let it all go, let it all loose. Mira had finally lost all her control, and here she was in her weakest
state. The tides had turned, here was Mira desperately trying to hold on to Jaejoong while he was trying hard to do the
right thing and keep them apart.

Jaejoong allowed himself to stroke Mira’s hair before he stood up. “I better get going before…well I should get going.”

Jaejoong stepped to walk away but stopped when Mira grabbed his hand quickly and didn’t let go. Jaejoong stared as
Mira stared at the ground, her hand clutching his arm tightly.

“Don’t leave me, don’t leave me alone. I can’t stand to be alone any longer. I can’t take it anymore.”

“Mira.”

“Please.”

“What am I supposed to do?”

“Just stay with me, just for tonight. Don’t leave me. Just for tonight, and then tomorrow we can go back to how it was.
But just tonight, while you’re here. Don’t leave me, please.”

Jaejoong sighed and looked up at the ceiling. Why was she making it so hard? Why was it so difficult? Why couldn’t he
just pry her hands off and walk away? Why couldn’t he just go? Why was he just standing there as she hung on to him?
Why was he so weak?

Jaejoong gently pulled Mira’s arm off of him and turned around. He cupped Mira’s chin in his hand. “Go to the bed.” He
commanded.

Mira shoulders fell but she obediently stepped on the bed and went under the sheets. Jaejoong leaned over and tucked
her in. He sighed one more time as Mira looked at him sadly as she rested her head on the pillow.

Then Jaejoong walked over to the other side of the bed and slipped in. Mira looked at him surprise as he put his arm
around her and rested her head on his shoulder.

“Just tonight.” He whispered. “I’m going to be with you until you fall asleep. When you wake up, I’m going to be gone.”
Mira nodded and snuggled a bit closer. She closed her eyes, he was so warm. She could also catch the scent of that
cologne she had bought for him so long ago. She clutched on to his shirt and slowly fell asleep.

Jaejoong watched her sleep for the longest time, knowing he should leave. However his eyelids began to grow heavy and
his body was too weary to move. She was so warm and so small, her body fit so well in his arms. Jaejoong yawned and
closed his eyes. He would rest his eyes for a little while, then he would go. Yes, just for a little while. Jaejoong’s head
slowly drooped on top of Mira’s as he fell into a deep exhausted sleep.

Chapter 19 – Break Apart


© pikapika.

RING RING

“Er, (yawn) hello?”

“Hello Mr. Kim. This is the front desk calling you to tell you that your breakfast is ready.”

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“Huh? What?”

Jaejoong dropped the phone and looked around. Wait, he wasn’t in his room, where was he? This place, looked like a…
hotel?

Then it hit him. All the incidents of yesterday night came rushing to him and he quickly turned around to his bed. He was
alone.

“Hello? Sir? Would you like your breakfast delivered to you or would you like to eat on the first floor? Sir, are you still
on?”

Jaejoong leaned over and picked up the phone. “Yes, I’m still here. Who ordered breakfast?”

“Miss Park. She came early this morning and gave us instructions to wake you up at this time. Is everything alright sir?”

So, Mira had left. Jaejoong gave a tired sigh and rubbed his face. “Yeah, I’ll go pick it up. Thank you.”

Jaejoong hung up the phone and stared around the room. Yes, Mira was really gone, she taken her jacket that Jaejoong
had dropped on the floor last night. It was almost as if she had never been here, it was almost as if Jaejoong had spent
the night alone.

But he hadn’t, he spent the whole night sleeping with Mira in his arms. He had planned on leaving as soon as Mira fell
asleep, but obviously that hadn’t worked out. He wondered what Mira thought when she woke up next to him, he hoped
she didn’t get any wrong ideas. Especially, considering their situation…

Jaejoong stood up from his bed and headed towards the bathroom. He would need to clean up, eat the breakfast Mira
had prepared for him, and then go to school. Mira had planned on waking Jaejoong up early enough for him to get ready
for school, she obviously wanted to see him there. As he washed his face he couldn’t help but wonder what she would say
when they saw each other again. He had no clue but there was this heavy feeling of fear in his stomach. What if she….?

Jaejoong slowed down. He wanted to see Mira, he always wanted to see Mira, but he was afraid. Perhaps it was a mistake
falling asleep, perhaps he really should have left. Sure, the drunk Mira wanted him near but what about the sober,
thinking Mira? What if she was angry? He was afraid of what Mira might choose to do or say. He was afraid that what
could happen when they meet would be devastating. He was afraid that it could be last time his eyes would rest on Mira.

“What did you do?” Jaejoong whispered to himself.

----

“Jungmin. Meet me behind the soccer field. Junsu.”

Jungmin stared at the letter and read it to herself one more time. Yes, this was definitely Junsu’s handwriting but
something was wrong. Usually when he wrote her a note he would put cute drawings and put the smallest of hearts next
to her name. But, this note, this was just so blank and to the point. There was no way this note would come with good
news.

Jungmin closed the note again and bit her lip. Well, she couldn’t NOT go to the soccer field, she had to go see him.
Besides, maybe she was just being paranoid. Maybe she was over reacting. Maybe he was just trying surprise her, maybe
he had something amazing planned but didn’t want to give anything away, maybe.

206
Even with those thoughts Jungmin felt queasy and her palms began to sweat. Ever since the incident, things had gotten
weird. She had the hardest time reaching him and when she finally managed to see him at school he always managed to
run away. She understood that he felt unreasonably guilty, but to ignore her like that and not give her a chance to
apologize. Of course Junsu was busy, he was soccer captain and did other things but usually he tried to find time for
Jungmin. The last couple of days had been so hard just getting a glimpse of his face.

Jungmin saw Junsu at a distance and for once she didn’t call out his name, she was too nervous. Her steps became
slower but she still found herself getting closer and closer to him. No, she mustn’t be so nervous and scared. She was
just freaking out and over analyzing. Relax, it could be nothing.

Junsu saw Jungmin coming and he gave a small smile. Good, he was still smiling! Jungmin felt a little better, maybe it
wouldn’t be so bad. Maybe he just wanted to apologize for being distant. Maybe he really did have a surprise for her.

“Hi Junsu…”

“Hi Jungmin…”

Junsu was looking down, refusing to meet her eyes. The silence was killing her, Jungmin wanted him to say something.
Maybe she should say something. Maybe she should start first to let him know things were alright. They were alright,
right? Things were going to go well, yes?

Junsu finally looked up and when his eyes met hers, Jungmin’s heart dropped. This had never happened to her before,
but somehow she knew. Just the look in his eyes, she knew what was coming. She knew what he was going to say. She
knew what going to happen. She knew what was in store.

“Jungmin, I’m so sorry…”

----

“Yeseul, come outside right now.”

Yeseul, Changmin, and the rest of their classmates looked up at the door where Mira was standing. Mira wasn’t smiling
and as soon as she spoke a chill came into the room.

Changmin looked at Yeseul worriedly as she stood up wordlessly. Mira sounded so cold, he was actually frightened for
Yeseul. Maybe Mira was going to punish Yeseul for taking her out drinking last night. Maybe he should go out too.

Changmin pushes his seat out to stand up but Yeseul gently but firmly pushed him down with one hand.

“Don’t worry.”

With that Yeseul followed Mira out of the door. Changmin felt extremely nervous but he knew better than to follow them.
All he could do was hope that Mira wasn’t too angry and would go easy on Yeseul. His teacher cleared his throat and tried
to gain back the class’ attention but Changmin was far gone. He just stared at the door desperately wished he could go
out.

Yeseul closed the door behind her and turned around to face Mira. She had expected this, even before they went to the
club. She knew there was going to be consequences to her actions. Steadily she stared back at Mira who was looking at
her with an emotionless look in her face. Mira crossed her arms.

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“What happened last night?”

“You got drunk.”

“No kidding.” Mira snapped. Her eyes flashed in anger. “Now is not the time to be smart with me Yeseul.”

“Don’t blame me, you asked for it. I only did what I was told.”

“Don’t give me any of that. Besides I didn’t’ say anything about blaming you for taking me out. I want to know what
happened.”

“You don’t remember anything?”

Mira sighed. “I don’t know. I think I remember, but I want to know that I’m wrong. I need you to confirm to me that
what I think happened, or didn’t happen. I need you to reassure me.”

Now Yeseul felt a little fear in her stomach. She didn’t fear Mira, Mira was more stressed out than angry. She feared for
Mira. She shouldn’t have let Jaejoong take her away that night. She should have done something. She should stopped
them and taken care of Mira when she was vulnerable. If she hadn’t drank so much, if she hadn’t been so distracted by
Changmin. What if something happened? What if…?

“Mira, what happened? What do you remember? What I know is that you and I drank a lot at the club and then Jaejoong
took you away, I think he said he was going to take you to a hotel.”

“Yeah, I woke up today in a hotel room. I was so confused. I also felt really dirty and there was the nastiest taste in my
mouth. And-“

“And?”

“And I had a headache which would probably be from the drinks last night.” Mira lied. She was going to mention when
she woke up Jaejoong was sleeping contently next to her, but she didn’t want Yeseul to freak out. She could tell Yeseul
was feeling guilty, she didn’t really need to know the details.

“Where was Jaejoong?”

“Gone.” It amazed her that she could just lie like that,

“Well, it sounds like nothing happened. Mira, I’m sorry, I should have taken care of you. You were out, and well, I was
too but not like that.”

“No, I’m not your responsibility. Besides, if I remember correctly you had other things on your mind…” Mira didn’t bother
to hide the fact that she was staring back at the music theory classroom. Yeseul narrowed her eyes.

“Are you suggesting something?”

“Well, what I remember is that you two-“

“Mira.”

Yeseul and Mira turned around and saw Jaejoong coming towards them. He looked tired but also wary as he got closer.
Yeseul noticed that Mira had tensed up considerably.

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The three looked at each other, none of them knowing what to say.

Mira finally broke the sentence. “We need to talk.” Mira said softly looking at Jaejoong.

Jaejoong gave a nod. “Roof?”

“Yes.”

Mira caught Yeseul’s eyes before she turned and headed for the stairs. Yeseul watched as Jaejoong quietly followed after
her. She stood at the door for a long time, even after they disappeared from her sight.

“Yeseul?”

Startled Yeseul turned around and came face to face with Changmin who had his head stuck out the door. He eyed her
nervously.

“Are you alright?

“Yes…”

“Are they alright?”

“I don’t know, I really don’t know.”

----

Be strong, be strong, be strong.

Jungmin walked in to the school.

Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry.

Jungmin went down the hall.

Be strong, be strong, be strong.

Jungmin walked into her classroom.

Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry.

Jungmin sat down in her seat.

Be strong, be strong, be strong.

“Jungmin, are you OK?”

Jungmin burst into tears. Taewoo jumped back in alarm.

“DID YOU JUST MAKE HER CRY TAEWOO?” A horde of girls ganged up on Taewoo who put his hands up innocently.

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“All I did was ask if she’s ok! I swear!”

Jungmin buried her face in arms and continued to sob. Her classmates watched her nervously, unsure how to handle the
situation. Finally Soojin timidly put her hand on Jungmin’s shoulder.

“Jungmin? Are you alright? What’s wrong?”

Jungmin tried to stop crying, but it was so hard. She had fought the tears so hard, she was weak now. Another classmate
handed her a box of tissues which she accepted gratefully. She blew her nose and took a deep but shaky breath.

“Junsu broke up with me.” Jungmin felt another sob in her throat and more tears fell down.

“What?”

“He broke up with you?”

“WHY?”

Jungmin shook her head, she couldn’t bring herself to talk about it. She remembered how she had just wordlessly stared
at the ground while Junsu stuttered and stumbled with the words. It took him so long to get to the point, every second
tortured Jungmin as she knew what was coming. When he had finally said those horrible words, Jungmin felt like she just
had been plunged into cold water. It was the worst feeling in the world. She didn’t say anything when Junsu told her that
he had tried so hard. She didn’t say anything when he told her he couldn’t stand to think about hurting her again. She
didn’t say anything when he apologized over and over. She couldn’t say anything when he said,

“If we’re meant to be together it shouldn’t be this hard. Maybe, I’m just not ready to be your boyfriend yet. Maybe we’re
not meant to be together. I…I think this would be best.”

Jungmin’s shoulders shook and she clenched her eyes shut. She should have said something, she should have done
something. But she had been too frozen from shock to think of anything. So this, this was what it was like to have your
heart broken, shattered into a million pieces.

Soojin put her arm around Jungmin and squeezed her. “Aw, you poor thing. Don’t worry it’s going to be alright.”

Taewoo came over and smiled at Jungmin. “Yeah, it isn’t the end of the world! And look, now you’re single! There’s plenty
of fish in the-OW.”

Jaemin smacked Taewoo in the back of his head. “Shut up. You’re not helping.” She turned to Jungmin and patted her
leg. “Don’t listen to him, but Soojin is right, you’re going to be alright. Things will get better.”

Jungmin wiped her eyes and tried to smile. “Thank you, you guys. Thank you so much. You guys are, you guys are great.
You guys are such great friends!”

With that Jungmin burst into tears again.

----

Jaejoong snuck a glance at Mira. They were on top of the roof and both were leaning on the railing looking down at the
students who were outside for their P.E. class. Neither of them had said a word to each other and frankly Jaejoong didn’t
even know what he would say. But the silence, the silence was driving him crazy.

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“Jaejoong.”

Finally. Jaejoong turned his head and looked down at Mira who was still staring down to the ground.

“What happened last night?”

Jaejoong felt a knot form in his stomach. “Last night? You don’t remember?”

“Maybe, just clarify things for me.”

“Well, you called me and you were drunk. I went over there to check on you and you were there with Yeseul. I wanted
you out of that place but I knew I couldn’t take you to my place or your place.”

“Yes, I can only imagine how our parents would have reacted.”

“Yes. So I took you to Dongwook’s hotel, my cousin. I was just going to put you to bed and then leave you. But you woke
up and…”

Mira closed her eyes. So, she was right, it was exactly how she remembered it. The taste of alcohol, the hotel room, and
her holding on to Jaejoong. And then she did something very stupid, something she would have never done if she was
thinking properly. But in a sick way, she was glad she did. It felt so good, despite her state and the taste in her mouth.
She had missed him, missed him so much. She missed him even more when he was near her, when they were in the
same room. It was so much more painful than if he was gone, because he was so near but untouchable. She wanted him
to hold her, she wanted to touch him, but she couldn’t, she shouldn’t.

“I hope I didn’t scare you when you woke up.” Jaejoong said softly. “I really did plan on leaving, I just…I just fell asleep.”

“No, you didn’t scare me.” Mira lied again. She had woken up feeling oddly warm and happy but when she rolled over
strait into Jaejoong’s side she had freaked out. What had happened the night before hadn’t hit her right away so she
could only assume. Of course, she remembered her groggy night and though she would never admit it, she had just
watched Jaejoong sleep for the longest time. She had even allowed herself to touch his hair. The whole time she was
constantly afraid he would wake up, but he had been sleeping so deeply she let herself stay there a little longer. Finally
she pulled herself away and left him. She knew she would have to talk to him, sooner or later, so she set the breakfast
up with the front desk. And now here she was, talking to him but having trouble finding the words to say.

“It’s hard isn’t it?” She finally managed out.

“Yes…”

“It’s so hard. It’s too hard. I don’t know if I can last much longer.”

Jaejoong wanted to reach out and comfort Mira. He wanted to hug her, hold her and tell her that everything was going to
be alright. That everything will be fine. But, that would be wrong. That would make things harder. And Jaejoong didn’t
feel like things were going to get better.

“We have to do something. We can’t keep torturing ourselves like this any longer.”

“Mira.” Jaejoong said softly. He couldn’t hold back anymore, he stepped closer and placed his hand on her small face.
Mira didn’t fight back but closed her eyes as he gently brushed her cheek with his thumb. “Let’s go. Let’s go far away. We
can just pretend we don’t know anything and we’ll go somewhere where no one will know us. We’ll be together, just us

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two.”

“Jaejoong, we can’t just do that.”

“Why can’t we? I have enough money saved up for myself and you have your bank account too. We won’t need our
parents. We can go to Japan, we can go to Okinawa, no one knows us there. And it’s beautiful there, we can get a house
near the beach. It’ll just be us two and we can just pretend that we don’t know anything.”

Mira opened her eyes and stared at Jaejoong. “Can you really do that? Can you really pretend that nothing happened?
Doesn’t it bother you? Doesn’t this seem wrong to you?

“Of course this bothers me.” Jaejoong interrupted. “Of course I know this can be wrong. I killed myself over this, going
over in my head again and again. I questioned myself if I should keep fighting when it seems hopeless. I questioned
myself if I was being stupid. I told myself this was wrong, this wasn’t right. But then, but then I look at you Mira. I see
you, and I don’t see someone who could be my sister. I see you, Mira. And it confuses me, it confuses me like no other.
I’m not sure what to do or what to think. I thought I could stop loving you, but it’s just not something I can do, even with
all I know. And then, I don’t want to believe them, I think it’s all a lie. Also, I want to hope, I want to think that they’re
wrong and I tell myself that they’re just guessing, they don’t really know for sure…”

“They guess with over whelming evidence, Jaejoong. I couldn’t do it, I can’t do it. I can’t pretend like that. I’ll always
think about it. I’ll always think about how wrong it could be. I’ll always think about my parents. I can’t leave my parents.”

“They’re the reason why we’re like this! How can you still worship your father like that? It’s his fault!” Jaejoong snapped.
He hated thinking about her father, especially since he could be his father. He hated the fact that even before, his
greatest rival had been her father. He never completely had Mira for himself, Mira’s father always came first for her.

“But if what they say is true than you wouldn’t have been born. Jaejoong…” A thought came to Mira. What if…?

“Yes?”

“Jaejoong, running away isn’t an option.”

“Yes, but we can’t keep doing this to ourselves either.”

“You’re right, and I think what’s making it worse is that we have hope. We have hope that maybe this is all fake, that
none of this is true. You’re right, we don’t know for sure, we only have their guesses.”

“Where are you going with this?”

Mira looked up seriously at Jaejoong. “Let’s find out.”

“What?”

“Let’s find out for sure. No more guessing, no more wondering, no more hoping. We’ll do a DNA test and end all this once
and for all.”

Jaejoong stared at Mira. “And then?”

Mira paused. “Well, maybe they’re wrong. Maybe it’ll say that he’s not really your father. Maybe it was all a coincidence
and bad timing. Maybe it’s ok for us to be together. Then, then nothing can keep us apart.”

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“But…”

“But…if they’re right. If the DNA test confirms it…” Mira’s voice trailed off. “Well, then we’ll know for sure. It’ll be easier
and if it doesn’t become easier, well then I’ll leave, I’ll leave Sonho. It’ll just hurt to be much for us to be so close
together.”

“If that’s the case, I’ll leave. Sonho needs you and you need Sonho. I don’t need to be here, besides even if you left I
wouldn’t be able to stay here. This place, this place is you Mira. Mira, you are Sonho.”

“Well, we’ll work it out when that happens. So, this is our plan yes? It won’t be easy getting our parents to agree…”

Jaejoong nodded. “Yes, it’ll be quite hard. But I’ll push it, I won’t accept any other answer.”

“Yes, we must.”

The two looked at each other in silence as they thought about the actions they were taking. This test, this test they
planned on taking would change their lives. It would be the deciding point between completeness and brokenness. It
would mean the beginning of their future or the end of it. So much relied on this test, so much hung in balance.

“Well, I better go. I’m not going to waste another second. I’m going to go home. Are you going to be alright?” Jaejoong
asked, softly pushing Mira’s bangs out of her eyes. Mira nodded mutely and Jaejoong turned around to leave.

“Wait, Jaejoong wait!”

Jaejoong stopped and turned around. Mira was behind him, biting her lip and fighting back tears. She timidly took a step
closer. He watched silently as she reached for his jacket and then buried her face into his shirt.

“Just in case, just in case this may be the last time.”

Jaejoong put his arms around Mira and held her closer. So this was it, this could be the last time he would be able to hold
Mira. The last time… Jaejoong squeezed harder and didn’t let go for the longest but also the shortest time.

Chapter 20 – Confrontation
© pikapika.

Nari couldn’t believe it, she couldn’t believe she was actually back at the school at night. Just like that one winter night
when she met…

No, Nari shook her head. As bad as the memories were she needed to be here, her brother’s room was making her feel
uneasy for some reason. She couldn’t write like she used to, she couldn’t think of anything to sing. Usually her brother’s
room was the best place for inspiration but not tonight. Odd, that never happened and especially for such an important
song too.

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So here she was at school, later at night because she couldn’t sleep. She needed to go to her practice room, the one she
usually claimed for herself. Maybe she could write then, maybe the song would come to her there.

As Nari nervously walked down the halls she had an uneasy feeling in her stomach. Nari paused and stayed still to listen,
yes she could hear it. Someone was playing the piano, someone was playing a very haunting melody. The hairs on the
back of her neck stood up strait.

Nari slowly crept towards the sound, as frightened as she was, she was drawn to it. Who could be playing music at this
time of night? Could it be? Well if it was, she was ready, more ready than last time. This time she wouldn’t just let her
get away, she would get her revenge for what she did to her. Yes, Nari wouldn’t be frozen in fright tonight, she would
definitely take action.

The music led her to the practice room and right to the one with the broken window. Slowly, she inched towards the door
and hunched down. She pressed her ears to the door and listened harder. Yes, someone was definitely playing the piano
in there. Wait, the music ended. What?

Suddenly the door opened sending Nari flying down the hall.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!”

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH- NARI? NARI WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”

Nari sat up and stared in daze at Micky who was holding a music stand as if he was about to swing it. Staring down at the
shocked Nari he sighed as he dropped the music stand. Micky walked over and lend his hand so that Nari could get up.

“What are you doing creeping around like that?”

Nari took his hand and stood up. “What are you doing here at night playing such a creepy song? And what were you
planning to do with the music stand?”

Micky picked up the music stand. “I thought you were, well you know. You scared me so much.”

“I thought you were her too, good thing you got me first or I would have pummeled you. I’ve been itching to do that
since, well you know.”

“Yeah, no kidding. I wouldn’t have minded sticking this through her either. After that night, I’m more angry than scared
of her.”

“Yeah, but you didn’t answer my question. What are you doing here?”

They both entered the practice room and Micky sat down on the piano seat while Nari leaned against the wall. Micky
picked up some sheet music that had dropped.

“I couldn’t write when I was at home for some reason so I came here. I can’t really afford to have writer’s block,
especially for this contest.”

Nari crossed her arms. “Well it is THE contest, the only contest that matters. The only contest where it’s not just you and
me entering.”

“Yes, the one contest where the prize is truly worth writing for.” Micky nodded and started to play the piano. “This is the
one I really have to win, there’s no trophy for me to pass on to you this time Nari.”

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“Psh, I don’t care about the trophy. I want the guarantee into SM.”

“Well, wanting isn’t everything. I’m going to win it, I have to go to the School of Music.”

“Well, we both want it. Anyways, doesn’t really matter almost since we both seem to have writer’s block. You didn’t ask
why I was here, well for the same reason.”

“I wonder why we both can’t write.”

Nari and Micky both sighed and Micky stopped playing the piano. He scooted over and patted the seat next to him. Nari
eyed him warily but sat down next to him anyways. She began to play a happy little melody on the piano.

Micky smirked. “You STILL only play bouncy songs. Though, I have to admit, somehow throughout this year you’ve
changed.”

Nari didn’t stopped playing. “I haven’t changed, maybe your perception of me has changed.”

Micky thought about it. “Maybe, I mean I used to think of you as this psycho half man half beast kid. But now…”

“But now?”

“I see you as my dongseng… a psycho half man half beast dongseng.”

Nari stopped playing and glared at him. “Great, nice to know I moved up a little bit. When I first met you I thought you
were this moody and snobby upperclassman.”

“And now?”

“What you expect me to look at you differently? I still see you as this moody and snobby upperclassman except now I
know you have some serious problems.”

This time Micky began to play the piano and he continued the haunting melody that had drawn Nari to the room.
“Problems? What kind of problems?”

“Well for one you can’t get off this gloomy ballad thing. Have you ever written a fast song?”

Micky changed from his melody and copied the song Nari was playing earlier. “Like this? Sure, anyone can play this.”

“Not play, write. Can you write a fast song?”

“If you can write a ballad, I can write a fast song.”

“Is that a challenge?”

“Maybe.”

Nari stopped Micky from playing the piano and grinned at him. “Well then, I accept your challenge. For this contest I will
write the saddest, most sappy ballad ever written in exchange that you write a bouncy energy filled happy song.”

“For the contest? No way, for some other thing, not the contest.”

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“Why? Are you scared? Don’t think you’ll be able to write a song good enough? I can write a ballad superb enough for the
contest.”

Micky stared at Nari as he thought about it. Then he smirked and put out his hand. “I was only saying that for your sake
but fine, if you’re so confident. Shake on it, you better not back out on me and turn in your regular uppity song.”

Nari grinned and clasped his hand tightly. “DEAL. Ha, I have this contest IN THE BAG!”

Micky fought down a grimace under her grip and tried to squeeze it even harder. “We’ll see, we’ll see who comes out on
top and this time it will truly determine who’s the better song writer.”

----

Yeseul slowly and softly turned the key in the lock. As quietly as she could she turned the knob to open the door and
crept in. She would just check up on him without him knowing, then she would leave. He must not see her, he must not
know she is in the house. Yeseul tiptoed through the kitchen, pausing at every sound. It was dark but she didn’t dare
turn on the light, she didn’t need to put any attention to the fact that she back in her house, back in the place she used
to call home.

Suddenly the light turned on and Yeseul froze. Please don’t let be…

“Miss Song? Miss Song!”

Yeseul relaxed as she recognized one of the older maids, one of the few that stuck around. Yeseul put a finger to her lips
but the maid shook her head.

“No, you shouldn’t be here Miss Shim. He’s horrible tonight, you should leave now! Please lea-”

“YOU. WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?

There it was again, the tight squeezing in her chest. Yeseul’s hands began to tremble as her father came up from behind
the also shaking maid, swaying back and forth. His unfocused eyes blinked as he raised a clumsy hand and pointed at
Yeseul.

“What are you doing here? I told you I never want to see your face again. I don’t want to look at you. I told you to leave
me ALONE.”

Even from where she was she could smell the alcohol and she could see his blood shot eyes. She needed to move, she
needed to get away before be became angrier. But she couldn’t, she couldn’t step away. All she could was stare
helplessly back at her father, her daddy.

“Daddy.” Yeseul whispered. “Daddy please, I’m just here to make sure you’re OK. Come on Daddy, why don’t you go to
sleep now? Daddy please…”

“SHUT UP. Why do you keep calling me that? You are no daughter of mine. Why would I get sick of looking at my own
daughter? GO, GO I DON’T WANT TO SEE YOU ANYMORE. GET OUT!”

Yeseul knew what was coming. She knew it when he was screaming at her. She knew it when he stumbled back and
forth. She knew it before he grabbed the kettle from the maid’s hands. She knew it before he flung it at her still
screaming. She knew it before she closed her eyes tight, tensing her body for the contact.

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It hit her hard, and it burned. Her arm and her neck, it burned so much. But that feeling in her chest, the tightening
painful tearing feeling in her chest was too much. She couldn’t take it anymore, she needed to get away. She needed to
numb herself, numb herself from the pain.

Yeseul stumbled out of the house barely noticing the maid trying to hold the screaming man back. She didn’t look back as
he fell on the floor with his hands clutching his hair, unable to scream any longer through the sobs.

---

“Yunho.”

“Before I do something, I need to be sure.”

Miss Shim stared at Yunho was standing in her doorway, looking at the ground with a determined but saddened look in
his face.

“What are you doing here? How do you know where I live?”

“I’ve always known, I just didn’t tell you. I didn’t want to scare you.”

Miss Shim had no words. Yunho had known all along where she lived? Yunho had known she lived in his tiny shack on the
roof of a small apartment building? He knew the state she lived in? He knew the whole time yet he didn’t say anything?
He knew?

It didn’t matter that Miss Shim had nothing to say, for Yunho had plenty. “I’ll be making this quick, I have an
appointment I need to keep. I want you to know that I tried so hard, I’ve never struggled so much before. You know how
many nights I stayed up trying to figure out how to get to you? How to let you know how I feel so you would accept me?
Do you know that if I manage to fall asleep, the jar we made is the last thing I see before I close my eyes? Do you know
that I watched that stupid movie so many times that I can recite all the lines by memory?”

Finally Yunho looked up at Miss Shim who was still staring at him with her pretty eyes, wide in surprise and uncertainty.
“Do you know that STILL I can’t figure out why you like that movie so much? Maybe that’s why, maybe that’s why I can’t
get to you. Maybe that’s why I can’t open your heart like I so desperately wanted from the beginning. Maybe I’m just not
the right key to open it.”

“Yunho…”

“It kills me, do you know that? Why you or why not me? Why must the first woman I fall in love with, yes fall in love
with, love someone else? Why is she untouchable? Why am I allowed to have everything else, but the one I actually
want? How come I have scores of girls crawling behind me, begging for my attention but I can’t even get you to look at
me? I ask myself, what do I lack? What is it that I don’t have? What is it that I can’t do that’s keeping you from me?
What else is there? What is that that THING that makes everything else I do worthless and meaningless? What is it?

“Maybe it’s not me, maybe it’s you. I thought about that a lot too. Why is you? Why are you the one who makes me this
way? What is it about you? Should I be able to give reason? Should I be able to make a list of why I keep chasing you?
Why I can’t stop thinking about you? Why you make me go crazy? Should I be able to explain why I keep chasing after
my teacher who’s in love with a man I can’t stand? But the only thing that I can come up with is that I just do. I just love
you, and even though I can’t justify or explain it, I know I do. It’s more than just falling for your pretty face, it might
have started off like that but it’s grown into something deeper, something incomprehensible. Something that I can only
explain as love, because it can’t be anything else.

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“So with that I want you to look at me in the eyes. I want you to look at me strait in the eyes and tell me who you love.
Tell me the truth, tell me your heart.”

This time Miss Shim looked down. Yunho gently took his hands and lifted her face, forcing her to look at him.

“Oh Yunho, why do you make me do this to you?” Tears began to form in Miss Shim’s eyes. “Yunho why do you make
yourself so vulnerable in front of me? Why do you make this so hard for me? Please don’t make me say it, please don’t
make me hurt you more than I’ve already have. Please Yunho, PLEASE, let me go. Please let it all go. Please live your life
without me. Please go on and graduate. Please go to college and find a girl, a better girl. Please find a girl who isn’t as
foolish and stubborn, who isn’t caught up so much in the past that she can’t see anything else. Please find a girl who can
love you as much as you think you love me.”

So there it was. There was his answer. Yunho dropped his hands and took a step back. He had asked for it and there it
was. He had opened himself up and here was the result.

“I see.” Yunho stumbled back some more. “I see. So now I know for sure. Now I know for sure. Alright then, I’ll be
leaving now. Good bye Miss Shim, good bye.”

Miss Shim watched worriedly as Yunho stumbled out in a daze. Absentmindedly she fingered the necklace she was
wearing. Startled, she looked down at the silver necklace she had been holding. She had forgotten that she had been
wearing that necklace the whole time, the lock and key necklace Yunho given to her for her birthday.

CHAPTER 20 – CHOICES
© pikapika.

“Will someone tell me why this is so difficult?” Nari said out loud to an empty bedroom. She let out a long sigh and leaned
back on her chair.

Nari eyed the sheet music in front of her and made a face. Why did she make such a stupid deal? She would never admit
it but writing a ballad was proving to be extremely difficult. She should have never gone to school that night and seen
that stupid Micky.

Nari gave a small smile. Well, maybe not so stupid Micky. Maybe just nice Mick-

“NO!” Nari yelped and sat upright in her chair. What was this? Was she actually having unhateful thoughts of that Micky?
That jerk Micky? That cocky upperclassmen Micky? There, that was better. What had just happened to her back then,
thinking such a weird thoughts?

Then again, though she would never admit it, she had been feeling less resentful of him lately. Somewhere along the
school year she stopped fuming at the mention of his name and didn’t always have the urge to wring his neck. When did
this change happen? Nari scratched her head, should she be worried? Was she getting soft? She should be careful or she
would lose her reputation as the second most feared student in school, number one being the notorious Mira.

Grinning, Nari flexed her arms, yep she was darn proud of her reputation. Her brother would have been too, he always
found it amusing how tough she was. When he wasn’t calling her his duckling he would call her “my little brother”. When
she would try to get back him by calling him “Unnie” he would jokingly correct her with “Noona”. Her brother had always
been so soft and almost feminine, it was almost as if their genders have been switched. As kind and quiet as he was, she
could always manage to get him excited one way or another.

Just like the way with Micky.

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“ACK!” Nari smacked her forehead. There it was again! Boy, she must be getting soft! Maybe she should start watching
some wrestling, that usually got her pumped up and made her blood thirsty. Or maybe she should swing her Christmas
present around. Whatever she needed to do, she better stop acting like such a wussy. Nari shuddered, if the other kids
knew about the thoughts she was having, or if they knew she was getting soft, well, there would be no hearing the end of
it. Mira would probably never let her take down some rival schools. Yunho would never invite her to the K1 tournaments.
Jaejoong, well Nari could never figure out what he would do next. Junsu would probably make fun of her all the time.
Jungmin would probably stop making the “I’m terrified out of my wits” face that Nari loved so much. Changmin, well,
maybe he would actually stop staring at her so warily. Yeseul would probably tell her that she was basically useless in the
group now. Micky would…

What would Micky do? Wait, why did it matter what Micky would do? Since when did she care about what Micky thought?
Nari chewed on her pencil. Though, maybe she did care, just the slightest. Not too much, but sometimes she wanted to
show her music and see what Micky thought of it. Of course he would only say his was better but there were times when
he was truthful and offered advice. Not that she took his advice, though sometimes he had good ones. There were also
times she swore Micky would come over just to bother her and sometimes she didn’t mind it that much. Sometimes, she
even went around searching for Micky when she was bored.

Great, now Nari was confusing herself. What was wrong with her? Why does she feel such fondness for this guy? Sure he
had a sweet smile and Nari kind of liked it when he put his hand on her head so warmly. Yeah, he was talented and
smart, but also amusing and humorous. He did write really good songs that even Nari couldn’t deny to herself. But other
then that, psh, he was nothing. Nothing to be impressed with, nothing to like.

Nari clamped her mouth with her hands. Like? Where did that come from? Why did she think such a word? Now Nari was
sure, there was definitely something wrong with her. She needed to get out of this weird mood, she needed to stop
thinking such horrible thoughts. Nari stood up and frantically looked around, what could she do?

Nari snapped her fingers and then picked up her cellphone. She found the number quickly and then impatiently waited for
the other line to pick up.

“Hello?”

Wait, what was she doing calling him? What was she planning on saying? Why was her mind so blank now? Say
something, say something!

“Uh…”

“Nari? Are you OK? What’s going on?”

“Uh…I WAS WRITING AND I JUST WANTED TO BRAG TO YOU THAT MY SONG IS AWESOME AND I’M GOING TO MOST
DEFINITELY WIN THE CONTEST!”

“OW! STOP SCREAMING! You called me to tell me that? Well, I hate to burst your bubble but there is no way on earth
you’re going to win this contest.”

“YEAH WE’LL I’LL SHOW YOU. I WOULD SING THE SONG FOR YOU RIGHT NOW BUT IT WOULD RUIN THE SURPRISE.
BESIDES, I WOULD MAKE YOU CRY AND I CAN’T MAKE YOU LOOK ANYMORE STUPID THAT YOU ALREADY LOOK.”

“I SAID STOP SCREAMING! I BET I WOULD CRY, CRY WITH PITY! I WOULDN’T WANT TO LISTEN TO YOUR STUPID SONG
ANYWAYS.”

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“WELL THAT’S TOO BAD BECAUSE YOU’LL HAVE TO LISTEN TO IT WHEN THEY ANNOUNCE THAT IT WON THE CONTEST!”

“THE ONLY SONG I’LL BE LISTENING TO IS MINE! NOW I HAVE TO GO BACK TO SLEEP YOU PSYCHO. YOU SHOULD GET
SOME SLEEP TOO, STOP WRITING SO LATE AT NIGHT, IT’S NOT GOOD FOR YOU!”

“DON’T BE WORRYING ABOUT ME! WORRY ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU’RE GOING TO FEEL WHEN I WIN. I’LL HANG
UP SO YOU CAN GET YOUR PRECIOUS SLEEP.”

“THANK YOU. Good night.”

“Good night.”

CLICK.

There, she was right, she did feel so much better. Just like the way she always managed to feel better after yelling at
him. As Nari put down her cellphone she couldn’t shake off a nagging feeling. She wasn’t feeling better because she had
just yelled at Micky, she was feeling better because, well she didn’t know why! Well, maybe she did but she didn’t want to
admit it. Nari threw herself on her bed and stared at the ceiling. Well, if she had to be truthful she would say she did
know why she felt better. If she were to be truthful she would admit that it was because she got to hear his voice.

Nari smothered her face with her pillow. Though she would eat nail polish before she would admit that to anyone else.

---

“Well hello Prin- Yeseul are you ok?”?

“I need some drinks.”

Joon stared at Yeseul who wearily fell into the bar. He didn’t fail to notice the burns on her neck and arms. He hopped
over the bar and took her good arm.

“Come on, let’s get you fixed up.”

Yeseul let him walk her out to some of the private rooms in the club. There she fell down on the couch as Joon began to
tenderly dab her burns with a moist cloth.

“Your father again? Why do you keep doing this to yourself?”

Yeseul shook her head and grabbed the cloth. “I can deal with this, go and get me some drinks.”

“Yeseul…”

“Do your job.” She snapped and winced as she touched her burn a little too roughly. Joon looked as if he wanted to argue
back but after a moment walked out of the room. When he came back with two bottles Yeseul was now laying down on
the couch. Without getting up she grabbed a bottle and began drinking.

Joon watched her worriedly but didn’t stop her from drinking. He didn’t stop her because she was his customer, he just
knew better. She wouldn’t take it too lightly if he hadn’t brought the bottles or if he tried to take them away. He also
knew she needed something to numb her pain, both emotional and physical.

Yeseul was half way through the bottle when she stopped grimacing in pain and sat up strait. There, that was better. Now

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she was calm and her neck and arm didn’t hurt so much anymore. Even better the tightening in her chest was gone, or
buried anyways as Mira once put it. That Mira, how did she get to befriending such a crazy girl in the first place?

Well, birds of a feather… Yeseul took another long drink and eyed Joon who was looking at her with a concerned look on
his face. Yeseul knew that she was probably the best business Joon ever had but she also knew he was a decent person
and at this moment he was genuinely worried about her.

Not that it would do any good to either of them.

“Is it just burns? Are you hurt anywhere else?”

Yeseul shrugged. “If I did I wouldn’t feel it now.”

“Yeseul…”

“What happened to Princess?”

Joon gave a smile. “Princess is my best customer, Yeseul is my friend. Princess is the spoiled high school student who has
a bottomless wallet. Yeseul is someone who’s allowing herself to be more hurt than she needs to.”

Yeseul reached for another drink but this time Joon stopped her by grabbing her hand. “This is only temporary, and when
you’re sober again you’ll be in even more pain. Then you’ll drink some more and it’ll be just some vicious cycle.”

“This is a cycle I can deal with it.” Yeseul answered brushing away his hand and grabbing the drink she desperately
wanted.

“Then you are exactly like your father.”

Yeseul choked on her drink and put it down. “What?”

“Your father is doing the exact same thing. He drinks because he’s in pain and then because he’s drunk he does all that
to you. Then he feels guilty, so he drinks some more only to start the cycle again. Yeseul, if you keep doing this you’ll be
no different than your father.”

“NO. YOU’RE WRONG.” Yeseul tried to stand up but she wearily fell back on to the sofa. She glared at Joon. “We are not
alike. My father, he is weak but I’m strong. I don’t get drunk. I don’t scream. I don’t cry. I don’t throw things. I don’t hit
people. I am in control!”

“Yeseul, you get drunk and you’re drunk now. You two are similar, because when either one of you drinks, you get hurt.
You’re hurting yourself by drinking so much, physically and emotionally. Yeseul, sometimes I’m afraid you’re addicted.”

“That’s not true. I can stop, I’m in control. I don’t NEED to drink.”

“Then why do you?”

Yeseul buried her face in her hands. “Because I want it. Because it makes me feel better.”

Joon came around and put an arm around Yeseul. “It’s only covering the pain temporary.”

Yeseul shook her head. “No, it really does make me feel better. Because I know what it’s like to be drunk. Because it
makes you feel things you don’t really feel. Because I know it makes you say things you don’t mean. Because I know it

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makes you do things you normally wouldn’t do. It lets me know that my father doesn’t really hate me. My father doesn’t
really mean the things he says. My father has no control over what he’s doing. When it’s over, you can go back to being
yourself. When it’s over, he can go back to himself, go back to being my dad.”

“Yeseul-“

Before Joon could continue Yeseul’s cellphone began to vibrate. Yeseul gingerly took it out and when she saw who it was
she sighed.

“What does he want?”

Joon leaned over and saw who it was. “Oh, Prince Changmin. As much as that guy annoys me, maybe you should answer
it. He’ll come charging on his high and mighty horse and take you somewhere safe. You need some rest.”

Yeseul stared at the phone for the longest time. Deep down inside she knew she should answer and let him take her
away. Just like the way she knew he would take care of her. Because he was good to her. But then, she also knew he
would just freak out when he finds out what happened. Just like the way she knew he would worry over her. Because he
was too good for her.

Joon watched as Yeseul took out the batteries in her cellphone and put it down on the table. He shook his head slightly,
she really did know how to make things worse for herself.

Yeseul finished the last of her bottle and put on her jacket. “Hey, can I crash at your place tonight? Don’t think I can go
anywhere else.”

Joon sighed and stood up. He extended his hand to help Yeseul stand up. “Of course, though wouldn’t it be more
comfortable at his majesty’s castle than my dinky apartment?”

“No.” Yeseul said truthfully as she took his hand.

---

Changmin hesitated in front of the club. Maybe he shouldn’t go in, maybe he should just head back home and not worry
about it.

How could he not worry about it? Mira had called her asking if he knew where Yeseul was because she had this weird
feeling in her stomach and she wanted to know if she was alright. Yeseul wasn’t answering her phone and none of the
other kids knew where she was. Of course, he would go here next. He just wanted to make sure she was OK, he really
didn’t want to nag her or anything.

Changmin sighed. He really shouldn’t have told her that he liked her, he should have kept it to himself. Now, things were
awkward between the two of them. Yeseul became harder and harder to track and Changmin didn’t want to look clingy or
over protective but she did worry him. All he wanted was to know that she was alright, and that was that. There were no
other intentions behind his actions. Sure, it would have been great if they could spend more time with each other and he
always felt better when she came over to his house for the night. But honestly, he just wanted the assurance that there
were no greasy bartenders or drunk old men were bothering her.

He tried calling her again but hung up at the message. He didn’t even get a ring, which meant that her phone was off.
Why would she turn off her cellphone? Maybe she was blocking him, maybe she really didn’t want to see him after his
confession. Maybe he really did ruin it all.

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He heard a roar and turned around to see a motorcycle come out of the alley. Changmin stepped aside so the motorcycle
and the two people on it pass by.

As the motorcycle roared off Changmin couldn’t help but stare at it.

He could be wrong but it looked like one of the passengers was wearing the same jacket he got for Yeseul for Christmas.

---

“Yunho, are you sure you want to do this?”

“Do you think I’m making a mistake?”

“I just don’t want you to have any regrets.”

“Either way I’ll have regrets.”

Yunho opened the sliding door and stepped into the classroom.

“Eh? Oh, well if it isn’t Yunho…and Mira! What honor having such respectable students visit my humble office.”

“He calls this an office?” Mira mumbled under her breath as she closed the door. The small room was crammed with old
and used art supplies and there was clay and paint everywhere. Yunho stepped over a cracked pot as he headed towards
Teacher Jung’s desk which was just as dirty as the rest of the room. Mira came behind him and fingered the desk and
prayed that it was chalk on her finger, not dust.

“Well? What brings such esteemed guests here? Something you want to talk about?” Jung rolled his chair over near them,
going over some paintbrushes along the way. He smiled at them cheerfully as Yunho looked angrily at the ground. Mira
gently nudged him forward.

Yunho cleared his throat. “I…I’m here for a reason. I have something to say to you.”

“Oh? Would this have anything to do with the lovely Miss Shim by chance?”

Yunho fidgeted with some clay angrily. “Of course, what else do we have in relation to each other?”

“Well? What is that you would like to talk about?”

“Look this isn’t easy and you’re not making it any easier!” Yunho snapped angrily. “If I had it my way I wouldn’t even be
here in this dirty hole in the wall. I wouldn’t be getting dust and God knows what all over me. I wouldn’t even be looking
at you, let alone speak to you.”

“I can tell you’re quite angry. What is that you have to say to me that makes you this resentful towards me? I can only
guess that it’s something you really don’t want to say.”

“Why would I want to say it?”

“Why WOULD you want to say it?” Teacher Jung asked gently.

Yunho looked down and fought back the urge to break something, anything. It was bad enough he was feeling horrible
about what he was going to do but the way Jung was treating him like a child drove him wild. It would have been easier if

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Jung didn’t sound like he understood or that he cared. It would have been easier if he had just been his annoying cocky
self, then he could hate him easily.

Yunho clenched his fists tightly and gritted his teeth. It doesn’t matter, he needed to just say it and get it over with. He
just needed to end it all.

“Why would I want to say it? I don’t want to say it but I know I need to. I need to, I should. I’m going to say it for her.”

“Ah, I see.”

“Do you really? Do you really see? Do you have any idea what I went through for her? Do you have any idea? Maybe you
do, maybe you’re just this all knowing powerful being that knows everything. Maybe that’s why she likes you so much,
maybe that’s why she can’t seem to get over you. Because honestly I don’t see why else she would be so crazy over you.
What do you have that I don’t? Who are you that I’m not? What in the world did you do to her in college that makes her
so blind and foolish? Here I am on my hands and knees for her but all you have to do is to smile that ugly crooked smile
of yours and you send her swooning! I WATCHED GHOST 50 TIMES FOR HER. I don’t understand it, I don’t understand it
at all!”

“However…”

“However as much as it doesn’t make sense to me, that’s the way it is. I love Miss Shim. Miss Shim doesn’t love me. Miss
Shim loves you. You don’t love Miss Shim. You love yourself. That’s just the way it is and no matter how hard I try to
change this weird cha-cha line I can’t change the first three facts.”

“Cha-cha line?” Jung raised an eyebrow in amusement and even Mira stared at Yunho.

“Oh shut up.” Yunho said embarrassedly, he got a little too carried away in his speech. He hurriedly continued on. “So I
can’t change the first three facts, however…the last two I might be able to do something about.”

“Alright, you got me. I don’t understand.”

‘ Yunho sighed, so here he was at the main reason for confronting Jung. “I care deeply for Miss Shim and I thought what
I wanted most was to have us together. Now, after really thinking about it, all I want is for her to be happy. And it seems
that what would make her happiest is…you.”

“Ah.”

“So, I’m here on her behalf asking you to return the love that I never managed to get. I’m asking you to take care of her.
I’m asking you to make her happy.”

“Nope! I can’t!”

“What? “

Mira stared at Jung who was, of course, smiling at the two shocked students. How could he reply like that after Yunho
humbled himself before him? How could he just say it like that without even considering it after all that Yunho said? Mira
couldn’t stand to look at that man anymore, if she ever despised anyone… If Yunho hadn’t asked for support she would
have never been anywhere near Jung. She glared at the table in equal hatred. Look at this dirty desk, all the dusk, paint,
and clay. Ew, there was even a piece of Jung’s grey hair. Disgusting, just the fact that it came from his head…

“I’m sorry Yunho, I can’t just do that. I’m not like you, or Miss Shim for that matter. You could say I’m incapable of loving

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other people, it’s just one of my rare flaws. I just use up so much love for myself that I don’t have much left for other
people.”

“What kind of person are you? What do you mean you’re incapable of loving?” Yunho asked incredulously.

“I can’t just return someone’s love because someone else asked.”

Yunho’s shoulders fell down. So, he had not only confessed to Miss Shim and been thoroughly rejected but now he had
been openly vulnerable in front of the hated Jung for no reason, no reason at all. As much as his pride hurt his heart hurt
even more. The one thing he could do for Miss Shim that would actually mean something didn’t happen. He had failed.
Yunho’s head dropped slightly. So it would end like this with nothing resolved. No, he wouldn’t let it end now. He had to
do something. He had to change all this, he had to do it for her. There was no reason for two broken hearts.

Yunho dropped on his knees.

“Then I beg that you at least try.”

Mira gasped and even Jung stopped smiling.

“Yunho!”

“What?”

“I’m begging you to try. How can you just limit yourself by saying that you can’t love? Have you even considered the
possibility? Miss Shim, she’s quite loveable if you haven’t noticed. She’s kind and sweet and yes, she can be a bit naïve
and ditzy but there’s a purity to it. And there’s no need to mention the fact that she’s beautiful. If you could, just try, try
to return her feelings. Doesn’t it mean something that she chased you all the way here? She graduated early for you.
She’s almost as crazy for you as I am for her.” Yunho gave a small smile. “Which is why I’m here on my knees, begging
you to do it for her. If it’s so difficult could you at least open your heart a little? Could you at least take care of her? Could
you make her happy?”

The room became silent. A soft gust of wind came through the window blowing the chalk and dust around them. Jung, no
long smiling, stared at Yunho was still on his knees. Mira stared at the two men in wonder.

“You kids never cease to amaze me. Get up, get up from your knees, your legs must be completely asleep by now.”

Yunho looked up in surprise at Jung who had his crooked smile back. He slowly stood up but never took his eyes off of
Jung.

“What does this mean? Are you….?”

Jung shook his head in amusement. “Look at your knees, all dirty. Well, I suppose I really do need to get this room
dusted, or maybe torn down. That might be easier. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder myself how I work under these
conditions.”

“Answer him Jung.” Mira said softly but commandingly.

Jung gave a small nod. “I’ll give her a call and we’ll have dinner tomorrow night. That’s all I can promise for now, but
don’t worry, I won’t forget what just went on. Now you kids better get going home, if you stay here any longer you might
develop asthma.”

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Yunho let out a long sigh and gave a weary nod to Jung who returned it. He slowly walked out of the classroom. Mira
followed him but paused at the door.

“Jung?”

“Yes?”

Mira turned her head around and their eyes met. Mira gave the smallest of nods. As she left she closed the door behind
her.

Jung sat in his chair staring at the door. After a moment he stood up and headed towards the window. Pulling out a
cigarette, he lit it and took a long drag.

“Those crazy kids.”

Chapter 21- Results


© pikapika.

“Hell will freeze over before I take a DNA test.”

“Darling, please stop this. Why can’t we just let things be and forget everything?”

Jaejoong didn’t budge but stared back determinedly at his parents. He knew it was going to be hard convincing his
parents but did they have to make it this hard? But as stubborn as they planned on being, he would be even more so and
he would make sure hell did freeze if it meant getting them to agree.

“All you need to do is give me a piece of your hair willingly. If you choose not to, I’ll just have to take it from you. Either
way, a DNA test will happen.”

“Who do you think you are telling us what to do?” Jaejoong’s father barked. “If people find out about this test my
reputation will be ruined! I didn’t even do anything, it’s all your mother and that Park. I will not risk everything for a
foolish fling your mother had!”

Jaejoong’s mother didn’t say anything but her head fell a little in shame. In other cases Jaejoong would have felt bad for
his mother but there was no denying whose fault this was. He would have never guessed his mother would do such a
thing, she just wasn’t the type to cheat on a spouse. Well, that showed him how much he knew about his parents. Or the
people he thought were his parents.

“We will take all the precautions to make sure this test is held in utmost secrecy. When we know the results we will
destroy all evidence. For you father, when it’s over it will be like it never happened.”

Jaejoong’s father stroke his chin and observed his son. It was times like these when he really wondered if he really was
Jaejoong’s father. Jaejoong was stubborn, too stubborn, a trait that neither his mother nor his father had. Jaejoong’s
father could easily be swayed with a good monetary deal while his mother usually gave in to other people. That blasted
Park was a stubborn one, yes it was times like this when he wondered…Well, he didn’t have much time left to wonder,
Italy had an appointment with him in two hours. Jaejoong’s father checked his watch and sighed, it was time to make a
deal.

“Son…” Jaejoong’s father paused at the word and even Jaejoong reacted a little. He started again. “Jaejoong, I can see
that you’re going to be stubborn about this. Well, why don’t we make a deal? You can’t just expect us to go along with
this test without any retribution for ourselves. Isn’t that right Jaejoong’s mother?”

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Jaejoong’s mother looked up startled at her husband. What was he talking about? He was actually going to agree? But at
what cost?

Jaejoong’s father continued on. “Your mother and I will take this test, however we want something in exchange, or
rather, I want something in exchange. If the test comes out in our favor and you are undoubtedly my son, then you must
go to the university I choose for you and really prepare yourself for taking over this company. That means that when
you’re not in school you will be working for me. I don’t care what the other child is doing, I will have your time.”

There was a pause. Jaejoong spoke up softly, “And if the results go the other way?”

Jaejoong’s father refused to look at his wife. “Then you will be cut off from this family entirely. I will give you a set
amount before you leave if you sign a contract swearing that your will never speak of this shame that has come to our
family. You will be taken away from my will and the inheritance will no longer be yours. This also means that you will
probably be dropped from Sonho high school, even if you have only a couple of weeks left. If you are not my son, then
your real father can take care of you. Do you still want to take this test? It would be easier for all of us to just let things
be, I am willing to do as I have done for almost twenty years, forget about what happened. I will not allow you go with
this test under any other circumstances. What is your answer?"

“Honey, please don’t do this. This is too harsh! Let’s come up with something different, something else, anything but
this.” Begged Jaejoong’s mother as she grabbed on to her husbands arm. He shrugged her off and kept his eyes on
Jaejoong who looked shocked. After a second Jaejoong closed his eyes and when he opened them he stared back even
more determinedly at his father.

“I don’t know why I was so surprised, it’s not like I don’t know you father. Well, it looks like hell just froze over. I’ll be
going now to the doctor to get us tested.” Jaejoong gave a deep bow. “Thank you for your time and if you’ll excuse me.”

“Don’t you need our hair or something?” Jaejoong’s father asked. Jaejoong reached over to his pocket and drew out three
plastic bags, each with a piece of hair in it.

“I already have it. I wasn’t going to accept any other answer.” With that Jaejoong left the room.

Jaejoong’s father snorted. “That kid. Well, I must be going to the office now, I have other deals to make.”

“Yuhboh, why did you let him do it? Why did you agree?” Jaejoong’s mother asked grabbing his arm again. “Why didn’t
you stop him?”

“This is the best thing we ever did for Jaejoong. Besides, he was going to take the test with or without our permission,
might as well get something out of it.”

“But why the deal? How could you put that on him? What if….?”

Jaejoong’s father pulled his arm away and began to walk away. “Jaejoong can take care of himself. That is more your
punishment than his. This is punishment for your unfaithfulness that I never did anything about for twenty years.”

With that he left the room, leaving his wife alone in the room.

----

KNOCK KNOCK.

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“Come on, oh hello Miss Park. What brings you here?”

“Hello, I just wanted to check if Kim Jaejoong dropped of his materials and information yet.”

The doctor tapped a folder on his desk. “Why yes, he just dropped it off last night. We’ll run the tests tomorrow morning
and let you know as soon as possible when the results are in.”

“Thank you.” So Jaejoong had managed to convince his parents, or at least get their DNA. Mira would have called and
asked but she found it too difficult to pick up the phone and dial his number. It hadn’t been easy with her parents either,
at first her mother was horrified and her father took it especially hard. It was emotional for all of them as this was the
first time Mira chose to disobey her parents. Her mother soon agreed after finding out it would be top secret, saying that
they should have done this along time ago but her father, her father just quietly refused. In the end Mira fell at her
father’s feet begging for his permission for with or without it she would still go along with the test, but it would kill her to
do so. After that her father wordlessly left the room which both women took as a yes, it was a bitter victory. She thought
that ordeal was hard, but what she was planning on doing next would be even harder. She couldn’t believe she even
considered such an idea, however as wrong as this was Mira couldn’t stop thinking about it.

The doctor seemed to notice that Mira wasn’t planning on leaving. “Is there anything else I can do for you Miss Park? Do
you have any questions?”

Mira knew she shouldn’t do this but she had to do it, she just had to. If she didn’t do this, well it would probably be better
but Mira didn’t want that kind of better. At this point she didn’t care if it was morally right or wrong, she was desperate.
Would she regret her next few actions for the rest of her life? Probably, but like Yunho said, either way there is going to
be regrets.

Mira slowly walked over to the doctor’s desk and placed the envelope on his desk but didn’t take her hands off. She
stared down at the envelope, unable to look at the puzzled doctor in the face.

“Doctor Lee, I am going to ask for your secrecy again for what I’m going to do next. I have something for you, a couple
of things actually, in this envelope. I have a deal for you, a deal you can chose to take or not take. Everything you need
for the deal is in this envelope, along with instructions and $30,000 American dollars in cash. The money is yours to keep
regardless of the decision you choose to take.”

“Miss Park…”

“No, please listen. This isn’t easy for me to do, but I’m desperate. I understand that what I’m proposing is unethical and
wrong in a lot of ways, but if you choose to go along with it I will not judge you in anyway in hopes that you don’t judge
me for what I have done. However, if you feel that you can not agree then by all means please don’t do it. However, I
ask that you still keep the money, as an apology from me for making you make such a decision. I also ask that you do
not tell me what your decision is, I don’t want to know. This may be confusing for right now but when you open the
envelope you’ll understand, maybe not why I did this but you’ll understand why I don’t want to know your decision. That
is all and I apologize for putting this weight upon your shoulders. Now I will leave and I trust that you will not speak of
what just happened or the deal I just offered you. Just like the test and its results, everything must be a complete secret.
Thank you Doctor and I am truly sorry. I should leave before I change my mind. Please let us know when the results are
ready.”

With that Mira wrenched her hands off the envelope and quickly left the office leaving the doctor alone in his office
staring at the envelope on his desk.

----

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“Junsu. Meet me at the soccer field. Changmin.”

Junsu stared at the letter and read it to himself one more time. Yes, this was definitely Changmin’s handwriting but
something was wrong. Usually when he wrote him a note it was to invite him over to his house and usually the notes
would sound inviting. But, this note, this was just so blank and to the point. There was no way this note would come with
good news.

Junsu closed the note again and bit his lip. Well, he couldn’t NOT go to the soccer field, he had to go see him. Besides,
maybe he was just being paranoid. Maybe he was over reacting.

Who was he kidding? Changmin probably wanted to meet him alone in the soccer field to kick his butt. He was probably
furious that Junsu broke up with his little sister and probably wanted revenge. So now Junsu not only lost his girlfriend he
would lose his best friend. Well, it wasn’t as if he didn’t deserve all of this.

Junsu sighed as he walked towards the soccer field that was looming closer and closer. If they only knew what he went
through, if they only knew how hard it was to spit those words out. The night before Junsu had gotten no sleep at all as
he debated to himself over and over again if this was the right thing to do. In the end he decided as much as he hated to
do it, he had to do it, for Jungmin’s sake. He couldn’t keep screwing things up for the two of them.

As Junsu got closer to the soccer field he gave a yelp and hid behind a goal post. Changmin was there but so was
Jungmin! What was Changmin planning by bringing his little sister? Maybe he wanted her to watch as he beat Junsu up,
maybe Jungmin asked Changmin to do that. Or maybe he was going to make Junsu get on his knees and grovel for
forgiveness. Junsu gave another sigh, whatever Changmin wanted he probably deserved the humility and the pain.

“Um, Junsu? We can see you. You’re not exactly hidden.”

Junsu caught Changmin and Jungmin staring at him and then looked at the skinny white goal post that was doing nothing
to hide his body. He blushed and sheepishly stepped out from behind the post and came over to the two siblings but
made sure that Changmin was between him and Jungmin.

Changmin sighed as his best friend and his little sister stared at the ground. He had written them both notes telling them
to meet him there, not telling either of them the other was also going to be there. This was ridiculous and he couldn’t
believe he was doing this. In the beginning he didn’t even really want them together and now here he was trying to bring
them back to their senses.

“You. Guys. Are. Incredibly. Stupid.”

“Oppa!”

“What?”

Changmin put his hands on his hips and glared at the two shocked kids. “Stupid, yes you both are stupid. I can’t believe
you made me resort to these kind of notes to bring you together. I can’t believe you guys are acting like children. I can’t
believe I’m actually trying to help you guys!”

Jungmin and Junsu couldn’t help but stare at each other and then at Changmin. Was this Changmin? There was no way
sweet and kind Changmin could call his best friend and his little sister “stupid”. Who was this kid who looked so annoyed?
This was so unlike the Changmin that they knew, unlike the Changmin that everyone knew!

Changmin seemed to notice their surprise. “Well, I might come off a bit, harsh, but that’s only because I’m in a bad
mood. That Yeseul…”

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“Yeseul?” Junsu asked. What does Yeseul have anything to do with this? Jungmin didn’t look as surprised and she was
about to say something but Changmin spoke up first.

“Never mind that. The point is that there was no reason, NO REASON AT ALL, for you two to break up. Sure things were a
little rough for you guys, but just because things get hard doesn’t mean you can just give up.” Changmin turned to
Junsu. “I thought I knew you better than that. How could you just give up like that?”

Changmin then turned to Jungmin. “And I thought my sister would never let things just happen to her like that. Why
didn’t you say anything? Why didn’t you fight it when you knew it wasn’t right?”

Junsu and Jungmin looked down on the ground but snuck glances at each other.

Changmin wasn’t done. “Look, it was weird having my best friend and Jungmin date each other but I got over it. Why?
Because you guys are good for each other, almost perfect for each other. Like everyone else, when I see you two so
happy I feel hope. Everything else in the world is going crazy but you two have something that’s quite special and very
cute. I know I say this for everyone else too, even when things go weird for us, we look at you two and have hope that
things can get better. But then you guys had to go and ruin it all, for all of us. Normally it would be Mira doing this weird
matchmaker thing but she’s a bit preoccupied these days. Which reminds me, you guys should definitely feel lucky for
what you guys had. It could be a lot worse, it could be a lot more difficult, just look at our friends and what they’re going
through. Now I’m going to leave you two alone to work things out between you guys and the next time I see you things
better be better! Or I will really get mad!”

Junsu and Jungmin nodded mutely at Changmin who was starting to scare them. Changmin turned to leave but stopped
and then stared at the two. Apprehensively the stared back as Changmin sheepishly scratched his head.

“Er, oh yeah. As the big brother, am I suppose to hit Junsu or something? Is there anything else I need to do?”

Jungmin let out a sigh of relief and smiled. So her sweet big brother was back to his uncertain and confused self. She
shook her head. “Nah, don’t worry about it Oppa, you did fine.”

Junsu shook his head and stepped in front of Changmin. “No, you should hit me. It’s only right, after all I did break up
with your little sister. You can hit me, I deserve it.”

Changmin stared at Junsu, then at Jungmin, and then back at Junsu. He gave the smallest of smiles as he gently
punched Junsu on the chest. “There. Just don’t be stupid Junsu.”

Junsu grinned back at his friend who left. He turned around and as soon as he faced Jungmin his smile faltered and he
was soon looking down at the ground. Jungmin also looked away shyly. Even after Changmin was long gone neither of
them spoke a word.

“Um.” Junsu finally spoke up shyly. He still didn’t look at Jungmin in the eyes. “I’m sorry. Your brother is right, it was
pretty stupid of us. I mean me, just me. You didn’t really do anything it was all me, I was the stupid one. Stupid.”

Jungmin smiled as Junsu stopped stuttering and turned red. Junsu was never too good with words, which didn’t bother
her at all. In fact, she had almost forgotten how cute it was the way he stuttered and tried to string words together. “You
weren’t stupid.”

“Um, ok. Well, it was just that, you getting sick because of me really scared me, it scared me a lot. And then I started to
think about all those dates I managed to ruin and-”

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“You ruined? I thought I ruined all those dates! I thought you broke up with me because I kept on ruining the dates!
Tripping, getting chased by animals, turning the table over, getting sick: those were all my fault!” Jungmin exclaimed.

Junsu shook his hands. “No, it was all my fault! I couldn’t think of good dates for the both of us! I wasn’t a good
boyfriend, wearing the stupid cologne and all that. All I wanted to do was to be the best boyfriend and I failed miserably.”

This time Jungmin shook her hands. “No! You were an awesome boyfriend! You were so sweet and you always made me
happy! Your ideas were so good, I loved all the dates, well until I ruined it.”

The two laughed nervously. “I guess we were both stupid huh?”

Junsu inched a little closer. “Well, maybe we were just unlucky. Would you ever consider, trying again?”

“Well, I’ll have to think about it…”

Junsu’s looked so crestfallen that Jungmin laughed. “I’m just kidding! I would definitely want that, more than anything in
the world right now.”

“Great!” Junsu squeaked and then immediately covered in his mouth in embarrassment. Jungmin giggled and shyly took
his hand.

They grinned at each other, both blushing bright red.

----

“Sorry I’m late, I’m glad to see everyone here. Mr. and Mrs. Park, Mr. and Mrs. Kim. Miss Park. Mr. Kim.”

The doctor gave a bow to the guests in his office. Doctor Lee had been a doctor for over twenty five years and throughout
out his entire career he had never entered a room with such a heavy atmosphere before. They all returned his bow but
they were all stiff, it was clear that everyone was stressed out with anticipation.

Dr. Lee went to his desk and drew out an envelope that captured everyone’s attention. “I understand the importance and
seriousness of this situation so I will not beat around the bush. Here in this envelope are the results to the DNA testing.
We have taken samples from the two children, Kim Jaejoong and Park Mira, and compared it to the adult samples to
determine who their biological parents are. I have not even seen the results yet, so I am in the unknown as much as the
rest of you.”

The Doctor looked around the room and for a brief second he caught eyes with Mira, but quickly continued his gaze. He
cleared his throat. “I know that the wait must be extremely difficult-”

“No kidding, get to the point, we don’t have all day.” Jaejoong’s father muttered under his breath. The doctor continued
as if he had never been interrupted.

“-however I am obligated to remind you the details of the contract that we all agreed upon. No matter what the results
are, my office and I are not held responsible with the agreement that we swear these are accurate results. There will be
no legal issues after this meeting in exchange for the utmost secrecy. Also, for the fee that you all paid my office will turn
in all documents of this meeting and the test to you, and it is your choice on what to do with it. When all of you have left
this room it will be as if the meeting and the test had never happened. Is that clear?”

The Parks and Kims nodded, some more impatiently than others. The doctor also nodded and he finally opened the
envelope and began to read the paper that was in it.

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Mira closed her eyes and she could feel her heart pounding in her chest. It was so loud it was almost deafening. After all
that she went through, here she was in the office just seconds away from the answer to the rest of her life. She couldn’t
guess what the results may be. Would she find out if Dr. Lee agreed to her proposal? There really wasn’t a way to find
out except by asking him directly. But would she want to know? What she did was wrong and she put even more risk into
their already dangerous situation. But it didn’t matter now, what’s done is done. Mira tried to calm down her breathing, if
she only didn’t feel so weak. With all her nerves and anticipation Mira didn’t get sleep or eat anything the past two days.
She was even standing since she couldn’t stand to sit anywhere near her parents or his parents. Her body was tired and
hungry, but her mind was distracted. Mira clenched her hands tightly, she had never felt so frightened in her entire life.
What if…?

Jaejoong didn’t have his eyes closed but he really wasn’t looking at anything either. He couldn’t look at his parents and
he couldn’t look at her parents, he was far too angry to look at them for what they’ve done. He couldn’t look at the doctor
and the envelope, that would make him too nervous. He couldn’t look at Mira, who knew what he would do or feel if he
did. Jaejoong felt extremely queasy.This wait, this wait was killing him. He knew he was sweating and his heart was
beating wildly, he was almost afraid it would leap out of his chest.

“Now, we tested sample K3847 which belong to Kim Jaejoong and compared his DNA with all the adults in this room.
There were two matches. One was sample G9837, which belongs to Mrs. Kim. The other match was sample Y6590 which
belongs to-”

---

“Well, here we are.”

“Yep, here we are at my house.”

Junsu and Jungmin awkwardly but smiled at each at Jungmin’s doorsteps. After school they had gone out simply for some
drinks and just walked around the city. It was nothing fancy and they just went along with the flow, but they both had a
great time. They had forgotten how easy it was to talk to each other sometimes and how warm they would feel when
they held hands. It was almost dark soon and Jungmin knew that her brother and her family would be waiting for her but
she couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. Something that would make this day perfect.

Junsu scratched his head and looked to the side. OK, he wasn’t stupid. He knew what he was supposed to do. But man, it
was so hard! First of all, he was nervous, more nervous than that horrid raining day. Also, was it OK to do it right after
they just got back together? Sure they were only broken up for a couple of days but still, Junsu didn’t want to push it.
Maybe she didn’t want it now, maybe she wasn’t ready. Didn’t she want it when it was raining or at a park? He couldn’t
even remember what she wanted exactly.

Jungmin almost sighed with exasperation. Why was he just standing there? Why wouldn’t he just do it? What was he
waiting for? The rain? Well, that was her fault, she should have never told her silly first kiss dreams. She had made it way
too complicated then and she regretfully remembered how she had to mention that it stopped raining. She had been
pretty stupid then and let the chance go by, but not tonight. No, tonight she wasn’t just going let it go away, not tonight.
Jungmin clenched her eyes shut and went on her tiptoes. She leaned in and put out her lips.

Right at that moment Junsu sneezed causing her to fall forward and kiss her door.

Both of them were too embarrassed to move and for a second they stood there silently, Junsu with his hands to his
mouth and Jungmin with her face pressed against the door.

Finally Junsu fell down and crouched on the floor, his face buried in his arms. “WHY DO I RUIN EVERYTHING?” Came out

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his muffled cry.

Jungmin finally tore herself from her door and tried to wipe away the metal taste in her mouth. She covered her face and
her shoulders began to shake.

From down there Junsu could hear soft whimpering noises come from Jungmin and he felt even worse. Great, now he
managed to make her cry. Why did he have to sneeze at that moment? WHY?

Then he heard a snort and he looked up. Wait a minute, Jungmin wasn’t crying, she was…laughing?!

“HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” Jungmin roared with laughter as Junsu continued to stare up at her. She covered her mouth to
stop the giggles but when she looked down she burst out into laughter again. Junsu had his mouth open and looked like
he didn’t know how to react.

Still laughing Jungmin also crouched down so that she was face to face with Junsu. “We really do have horrible timing
and luck don’t we?”

Junsu cracked a smile and then he began to laugh. The two sat there laughing with each other at her door steps. When
their laughter died down, without thinking Junsu leaned over and gave Jungmin a kiss.

Jungmin turned bright red. She couldn’t think of anything to say. She had just had first kiss. She just had her first kiss!

Junsu shyly looked to the side. “Sorry it isn’t raining, I couldn’t help it.”

Jungmin shook her head frantically. “Oh no, no don’t say that. It was… perfect. My first kiss was perfect.”

And from the way she genuinely smiled at Junsu he knew she meant it and although he turned the brightest shade of red
possible, he couldn’t help but smile happily back.

---

Mira had her eyes closed and Jaejoong was staring emotionlessly at the wall as the doctor opened the envelope and
began to read from the paper inside of it.

“Now, we tested sample K3847 which belong to Kim Jaejoong and compared his DNA with all the adults in this room.
There were two matches. One was sample G9837, which belongs to Mrs. Kim. The other match was sample Y6590 which
belongs to…

“…Mr. Park.”

Mira hadn’t even fully comprehended what had just been said when her knees gave way and she fell to the floor. As her
head hit the ground she desperately wished and longed for unconsciousness but it didn’t come. No, she was still awake
and in this world, and what had just been sit hit her completely. So her father was also Jaejoong’s father.

So this was what it was like to have everything taken away. So this was what it was like to die of thirst.

Chapter 22 - Wrapping up
© pikapika.

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“Nari.”

“Micky?”

“Did you just put your submission in?”

Nari nodded and closed the mailbox. “Just right now, did you?”

Micky nodded also. “Yeah just a couple of moments before. So, I guess this is it huh? I guess there’s nothing to do but
wait for the results.”

“Yeah…”

“Er, you want to get some ice cream? My treat.”

Nari blinked at Micky in surprise. “Ice cream? Your treat? Are you trying to poison me? It’s a little too late you know, I’ve
already turned in my submission…”

“Geesh will you relax? Fine then, I’ll just go eat ice cream by myself. I was just being polite.”

Micky turned to walk away but Nari grabbed his arm. They both stared at it until Nari quickly let go. “Er, well since it’s
free ice cream I’d be pretty stupid to say no. I’ll go with you.”

The two walked quietly to the nearest convenience store, neither of them sure what to say it. It really was a strange
feeling, they had just turned in the submissions for the last contest of the year. Now it was all up to the judges, their part
was done. It was like they had nothing to fight over now and since they couldn’t fight they weren’t sure else they could
do with each other. Micky watched in horror as Nari chose the largest and most expensive ice cream and grumbled to
himself as he bought it along with his popsicle. They found a place to sit and quietly licked their ice cream.

“Um.” Micky broke the silence desperate for any sort of conversation. “Mira and Jaejoong should be finding out right
now…you know, if they’re well…you know.”

“Yeah… I can’t believe it. The whole year I was dying to know what was keeping them apart and to find out it’s THIS,
well, that was sure unexpected. I’m not sure what I would do if I was them, it’s just so weird.”

“Yeah, when Jaejoong told me a couple of days back I wasn’t sure what to say. Poor kids, I can’t even imagine what
they’re going through now. They really did make me believe in…”

“True love? Yeah, me too.” Nari quietly finished his sentence. “But I guess it really makes you wonder if such a thing
exists now.”

“Well, there’s Junsu and Jungmin. They just got back together. Those kids…”

Nari smiled. “Haha, yeah. Didn’t they JUST break up? But they’re really cute together, as sickening it was to watch them
it really was sweet. I’m glad that they finally came to their senses, it’s nice to know that some of us can get that kind of
relationship.”

Micky played with his popsicle stick. “Yeah. Changmin told me he had to be the one to bring them back together. Have
you notice that he’s been acting a little funny lately? Like he seems really distracted and stressed out, I barely see him at
school anymore.”

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“Uh huh, do you think it has anything to do with the fact that Yeseul disappeared? I mean, she’s done it before but not
for this long. I don’t think she’s been at school at all last week.”

“I’m sure she’s fine, well I hope she is anyways. If Mira wasn’t so distracted with her situation she would have brought
Yeseul home awhile ago. But why is Changmin so stressed out? Do you think they have something going on between
them?”

Nari shrugged. “Maybe, like I said before: Yeseul has everything to do with every guy.”

“Yeah.”

There was another awkward silence except now it was worse with the fact that they both were done with their ice cream.
Micky tied his shoe laces slowly while Nari stared at the blue cloud filled sky. They could hear the music coming from the
convenience store and across the street some old ladies were gossiping to each other about their grandchildren.

“ARG I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE! THIS IS SO AWKWARD!” Nari screamed clutching her hair as she stood up abruptly.
“WHY IS THIS SO WEIRD FOR US? THE POLITENESS, THE CIVILITY, IT’S DRIVING ME CRAZY!”

Micky let out some air. “No kidding, I was about to scream if you didn’t. Why can’t we fight and argue about music like
we used to? That always filled up the silence.”

Nari sat back down and began throwing some pebbles to the street. “It’s because we’re just so nervous about that darn
music contest! Normally we would be arguing about who was better but at this point I don’t know! I almost want to reach
into the mailbox and take out my submission to edit it!”

“Well, I don’t know about you but I KNOW mine is better…aw who am I kidding? I can’t do it.” Micky grumbled. “You’re
right, I’m nervous. And if we hadn’t made that stupid deal I probably wouldn’t be as nervous.”

Nari angrily tugged at her pony tail. “No kidding. It’s all your fault, why did you have to make that deal?”

Micky turned around angrily. “What? What are you talking about? You’re the one who had the idea and made us shake on
it! It’s all your fault!”

“I wouldn’t have done that if you hadn’t said that I couldn’t write ballads! I had to prove to you that I could!”

“Well if it wasn’t for your stupid pride we wouldn’t be in this stupid situation, stupid.”

“OH YEAH? WELL I DIDN’T PUT YOU IN A HEADLOCK AND FORCE YOU TO AGREE DID I? YOU AGREED ON IT BY
YOURSELF!”

Micky looked like he was going to angrily retort back but suddenly he just smiled. He turned his head away from Nari to
her surprise.

“What? Hey things were getting back to normal! Why did you stop?”

“You remind me of someone I know.”

“Eh?”

“Nari?” Micky turned around and came face to face with Nari. “Can I confess something?”

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“Eh?” Nari managed out in surprise. Micky, he was so close! Why was he so close? And why was her heart beating so
fast?

“The reason why I was so mean to you, it’s because you reminded me of someone I knew. It bothered me how similar
you were to her.” Micky paused and smiled again but Nari detected a hint of sadness in his eyes. “Then when I got to
know you better, I grew fond of you, just the way I grew fond of her. Sometimes, when I was with you it was like I was
with her.”

Nari turned her head away and stared down at the ground. “You remind me of someone I know too, or knew anyways.
Isn’t it weird how things work out? My greatest rival reminds me of the person who got me into song writing.”

Micky stared at Nari and then slowly raised his hand. Hesitant, his hand hovered over Nari head but slowly he put it down
and rested it on her head. Nari tensed up at first but then relaxed. Why did she like that so much? Why did she find it so
comforting? What did this mean?

Micky couldn’t help but stare at his hand and wonder what it meant. He had caught himself doing that so many times and
each time he had surprised himself. Why did he do that so many times to her? Why did he find it so comforting? What did
this mean?

Suddenly Nari stood up, knocking Micky to the ground. Yawning, she closed her eyes and stretched exaggeratedly.

“Well that was awkward! I can’t wait until we get back to our normal relationship of screaming and threatening each
other. This uncomfortable thing we have now is just too…weird.”

Micky glared at her as he scrambled up. He poked her in the shoulder. “Well, you didn’t have to knock me over to say
that.”

Nari eyed him for a second and then gave a large mischievous grin. She smacked him hard on the back forcing to tumble
forward and hopped away. “Oh, but the thing is, I did, I did have to. Gosh, you’re such a light weight.” She stuck her
tongue out teasingly.

Micky glared at Nari again and began to chase after her. “Lightweight? I’m not lightweight, you’re just unnaturally strong.
Of course my rival had to be some sort of a gorilla.”

“Gorilla? DID YOU JUST CALL ME A GORILLA? I’LL SHOW YOU WHAT THIS GORRILA CAN DO!”

Micky stopped in tracks and ran for his life in the other direction as Nari roared after him.

---

“Miss Shim, you don’t look like your enjoying yourself.”

“Oh? Oh, I’m so sorry. No, I’m enjoying myself very much. The food is delicious. I’ve just been a bit, distracted lately.”

Miss Shim tried to smile reassuringly and made a point to grab a large spoonful of her soup. Jung eyed her but didn’t say
anything. He grabbed a piece of kimchee and chewed on it thoughtfully.

“What could be distracting pretty Miss Shim from her bowl of suhlung tang? Something must have happened to her
recently to make her like this. After all, it’s not everyday Jung treats people like this. This being a very classy and
expensive soup restaurant.” Jung joked as he swatted a fly near his head.

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Miss Shim gave a small smile and took another spoonful so she wouldn’t have to say anything. It was a rare treat, but
why here? Why this soup place? Did he really like the soup here that much? Or did he have another reason being that
this was the same place when…No. Miss Shim shook her head. No, don’t think about that now. Enjoy your dinner with
Jung, remember Teacher Jung? The man you chased after all these years?

Jung lazily twirled his spoon around in his soup. “I’ve had some distractions lately too. Students these days, they just
grow up so fast don’t they Miss Shim?

“Oh? Well, I suppose so…”

Jung nodded to himself. “Yep, they grow up so fast! I mean look at you, you were just a bright eyed college girl a couple
of years back and now you’re a coworker! Even the kids in Sonho…” Jung paused as Miss Shim blinked hard. “Yes, I never
thought the day would come when I would look at them as my equals. They seem to get more mature every year,
sprouting monologues that are pretty deep and moving.”

“Monologues? I don’t quite understand.”

“Oh yes, long speeches students give these days. They’re quite interesting actually, I never thought I could listen to a
student speak for so long. Would you like to hear about one I heard recently? Just two days ago actually.”

Miss Shim nodded uncertainly, not quite sure what Jung was talking about. Jung gave his famous smile and acted like he
was trying hard to remember. “Well, let’s see. I want to get this right, because it was good. Very good, very heartfelt, I
was almost moved. See this student spoke about how he loved this woman, a woman above all women in his eyes. When
he spoke about her his eyes would have this spark that can only come from love, or constipation, but I’m pretty sure it
was love in this case. You could tell he was very much in love with this woman, it was so obvious.”

A weird look came upon Miss Shim’s face but Jung continued on as if he didn’t notice. “It was quite touching, but there
was more. See this woman that he loved didn’t return the feelings, or couldn’t actually. She was actually madly in love
with someone else, someone she couldn’t have. The man she loved was very handsome and had a lot of charisma. He
was also wise and talented, and had a way with the ladies that amazed even him. Well, anyways, enough about that
man. So this student was confused and hurt, what could he do? He tried to win her over but she was just too caught up
in that great man. He tried to forget about her but found that it was impossible. He almost went crazy, he mentioned
something about watching a movie over and over again. Though I’m not sure what that has to do with anything, some
foreign horror movie about ghosts I think.”

This time Miss Shim gasped. She looked at Jung with wide eyes as he looked very preoccupied with arranging his
chopsticks. He took his time and when he looked like he thought his chopsticks were perfect he looked up at Miss Shim in
feigned surprise. “Oh, right where was I? Oh yes, the student. So the student went on about cha-cha lines or something,
I didn’t really get this part. But he did say he realized that sometimes, for love, sacrifices needed to be made. He said
that he wanted the woman to be happy, regardless of who she was with. Even if he was jealous of the other man for his
looks and brains, he would give her to him despite his broken heart.”

Jung paused and observed Miss Shim’s struggling face carefully. There was no need for the story now, it was time to get
to the point. “Then he went on his knees and asked me to return your love, to take care of you.”

Miss Shim gasped and put one hand to her mouth. Jung continued on. “Well, I told him no at first, I am incapable of love.
One of my rare and few weaknesses I told him. That kid wouldn’t take no for an answer, so then he begged me to at
least try. To do what I can to make you happy. He humbled himself in front of me, and you know how fond he is of me.
He did that all just for that woman he loved so much.”

Jung sighed and took a sip of water. “You know, I considered it. I knew it meant a lot to this kid and sure, he’s not one of

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my favorite students, but I knew what it took for him to get down on his knees and beg. I didn’t make any promises, but
I thought about it. Then, I came to conclusion that if I tried hard enough, I could, I could do it. I could return your love.”

Miss Shim stared wide eyed at Teacher Jung who was no longer smiling but looked serious. “I could do it, I could develop
feeling that go deeper than fondness for you. I could change my ways and become a better man, a man that can take
care of you. However…”

The crooked smile came back but this time it was softer, gentler. “However I realized that if I could do that, if I could
return love than why can’t someone else? Why can’t someone else give it a try? If I think I can change my ways and
become more of a normal, less self centered person, why can’t someone else open her eyes and her heart? Personally, I
can’t help but think that it would be easier for the other person than for me. Don’t you think Miss Shim? Oh, but before
you answer I would just like to remind you that you’ve been fingering a certain necklace the whole night. I bet you didn’t
even realize it.”

Startled Miss Shim looked down to see that Teacher Jung was right, she was holding that necklace, that necklace Yunho
had given to her at this very restaurant. She let go but then after a moment, held on to it again. Miss Shim closed her
eyes and the smallest of smiles appeared on her face.

“I understand. Thank you, thank you very much.”

“Hm.” Jung mused taking out his wallet. “You better be thankful. I just gave up a gorgeous young woman that was
practically handed to me on a platter.” Grinning he placed some bills on the table and stood up. Miss Shim followed him
out of the restaurant.

Outside Jung wasted no time grabbing a cigarette and lighting it up. He eyed Miss Shim who was silently staring at her
necklace. He blew out a smoke ring and gave her a wink.

“You know, the kid he’s an interesting one. He’ll definitely keep you on your toes. Besides, graduation is coming in a few
weeks. My suggestion, hurry up before then. Good night Miss Shim.”

Teacher Jung began to walk away but paused. He looked up at the clear sky and took another long drag from his
cigarette. “Oh, and much luck to you.”

With that Jung walked away as Miss Shim gave a deep bow. She watched his retreating back, she knew why she was so
in love with that man. Despite his rather shallow exterior there was a good man inside, a good man who understood a lot
more than he let on. Miss Shim stared up at the sky that was starting to bring out some stars. Yes he was a good man,
but she had to move quickly before she lost an even better man.

----

“Mr. Park.”

Jaejoong didn’t move. Mr. Park, what did that mean? Then it hit him and Jaejoong felt his stomach drop. His father was
Mr. Park? Mr. Park as in Mira’s father? So he and Mira shared a father? So they were siblings? So they couldn’t be
together? So this was the end?

He heard a loud crash and turned to see Mira on the floor. A million thoughts ran in his head. I have to go to her. No, you
can’t. Mr. Park is your father. Mira needs me. You are no longer a Kim. Mira. Loud noises, people yelling and moving
around. The man you called father isn’t. The doctor looking worriedly over his desk. The man I considered my greatest
rival turns out to be my father. My mother with her hands to her mouth. You should be called Park Jaejoong. Mr. Park
crouched over his daughter. That’s your father. Mira needs me. No, she is untouchable now. My father, no, Mr. Kim, looks

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angry. Does he look sad? No, he is angry. I should be angry. I lost it all. I lost Mira. I lost my family. I lost my mind.
What else is there? Mira. Mira.

Mira.

Jaejoong clutched his head and suppressed the desire to scream. His head was a mess and there were so many thoughts
going on. Jaejoong wanted to throw up. He wanted to get up and run out. He wanted to go over to Mira. He wanted to
throw something. He wanted to hit someone. He wanted to scream his lungs out. He wanted to sleep. He wanted
everything to rewind. He wanted to disappear.

Mira knew she couldn’t just lay down on the floor forever. The shock was gone and now all there was left was cold reality.
So, it was all over. Mira, she needed to face the facts. She couldn’t just close her eyes and pretend that nothing
happened. She heard the noises, she heard the alarmed cries of her parents. They needed her, and even though she
couldn’t hear Jaejoong she knew he needed her too. He needed her to make things the best they could be, they all
needed her to do that.

Mira slowly opened her eyes and refusing help wearily stood up. But she took one look around the room and desperately
wished she was unconscious again. She had been only kidding herself, how could she do anything? What was she
thinking by saying she would make everything better? What could she do? Her mother was fawning over her while glaring
at her father who for the first time in Mira’s life looked like he didn’t know what to do. There was Mr. Kim who looked
extremely angry and was glaring at all of them while his wife looked like she was going to burst into tears. Then there
was Jaejoong, oh Jaejoong. Mira’s heart wanted to burst. He looked like he was in so much pain and he looked so
confused. Mira wanted to go and comfort him, but he was no longer hers. Was he ever hers in the first place?

Mira pushed her parents away and headed towards the door. No, she couldn’t do anything, not now anyways, not in this
state. She needed to get away, sleep this all away, and when she was ready, think about what she needed to do next.
She had to make things better, she had to be the one. But what could she do? At this point she had no idea. She couldn’t
help but wonder if it was actually possible. Mira reached for the doorknob.

“Wait, Miss Park. You might not want to leave yet.”

Mira paused and turned around to look at the doctor. “Why wouldn’t I Doctor?” She managed out, her throat dry.

“Wouldn’t you like to know the results of your DNA test?”

“What?” Mrs. Park exclaimed. “What else is there? There is nothing to question when it comes to Mira.”

“What’s going on?” Mr. Park asked darkly lowering his eyes. Even the Kims looked confused and Jaejoong stopped
clutching his head. Mira’s heart skipped a beat.

The doctor pushed up his glasses and looked extremely serious. “Mira’s DNA sample H0827 only matched with one other
adult sample.”

“WHAT?”

“What does that mean?”

“I don’t understand.”

“Oh God.” Mira whispered. Her knees felt watery again, she was going to fall. Mira grabbed on to the door and leaned on
it, depending on it to keep her up.

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The doctor gave the smallest of nods. “H0827 only has one match with the samples from the Kim and the Park groups.
However, H0827 does have a match from a third party, a third party with only one sample: sample X4881. A sample that
only Mira knows who it belongs to.”

Mira’s mother let out a shriek. Covering her mouth with trembling hands she turned around and stared at her daughter
who slowly fell down to the floor. Neither of them said anything but just stared at each other. Mr. Park watched the two
of them and then an odd look came in his eyes.

“One of the matches is Mrs. Park correct?” He slowly asked the doctor who nodded his answer. “And the third party
match, it would belong to the biological father of Mira?”

The doctor nodded again and Mira’s mother began to sob loudly. She scrambled over to her daughter and began to shake
her.

“Why? Why Mira why did you do it? Where did you find it? Why did you have to do this? How did you know? Why couldn’t
you just listen to me? How could do you this? Why? I was trying to protect everyone! WHY?”

Mira allowed herself to be shaken by her wailing mother. She had almost forgotten about the third party sample. So the
doctor had accepted her proposal. She knew she would regret if the outcome turned this way, and she was right. Ever
since that fall festival it always bothered her and even though her mother denied it, Mira had sensed something was off.
So she took a piece of his hair, and along with the explanation and the money, gave it to the doctor. To take someone’s
sample like that and have it tested without his consent was illegal and wrong, but both of them decided to do it anyways.
Perhaps neither of them had anything to lose. But it didn’t matter now, this changed everything.

“So I have no daughter.” Mr. Park said quietly. His wife stopped shaking Mira and turned around to stare at her husband.
“And as far as I’m concern he is not my son. So I have no children.”

Mira pushed her mother aside and crawled to her father. “Father…”

“No, you are no daughter of mine. It has all been a lie, I should have known. Ever since that…well it no longer matters
now. Everything in the past twenty years means nothing now.”

“Father.” Mira whimpered again.

“I AM NOT YOUR FATHER.” Mr. Park yelled finally losing whatever control he had left. He turned red with anger and
turned to his wife. “AND AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED YOU ARE NO LONGER MY WIFE FOR WHAT YOU’VE DONE.”

Mira’s mother angrily wiped her eyes. “HOW DARE YOU JUDGE ME? YOU’RE IN NO PLACE TO SCREAM AT ME, YOU’RE
JUST AS GUILTY AS EVERYONE HERE. YOU MESSED UP TOO, WE ALL DID! THIS IS MY FAULT AS MUCH AS IT IS YOURS!”

Mira stared at the floor, just when she thought she lost everything, somehow life managed to take away one more thing.

The yells of the Parks seemed to ignite something in Mr. Kim who stood up and glared coolly at his wife. “This is insane. I
want a DNA test for all of our kids, I no longer trust you.”

The tears that were held back so long by Mrs. Kim fell and she suppressed a sob. “Oh no, don’t say that. You don’t have
to worry about the other kids, don’t do this. Please, yuhboh, listen to me. I’m sorry, please forgive me.”

Jaejoong blinked. It hit him. Just now, everything that just went on hit him. He stood up abruptly and pushed past the
adults in the room. He picked Mira up and dragged her out of the office.

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“Come on Mira, let them handle this by themselves. Let’s get out of here. “

“Father.” Mira whispered right before the door closed behind her.

---

Jaejoong somehow managed to close the door behind him as he tried to keep Mira up. Her body was limp and if Jaejoong
hadn’t been there she would have collapsed to the floor. Jaejoong continued to hold Mira up as he led her to the bed. He
wearily fell down on the bed next to her and closed his eyes.

All was quiet as Mira sat still on the bed while Jaejoong looked like he was sleeping. Then a small soft chuckle came out
of Jaejoong. His mouth twitched and another laugh bubbled out of him. Soon he covered his eyes with his arm, laughing
exhaustedly but also with relief. When his laughter died down he rolled on his stomach and looked up at Mira who hadn’t
moved. Still smiling he sat up and put his arm around the still Mira. Brushing away a lock of her hair from her face
Jaejoong whispered in her ear.

“Mira, hey wake up. Come back to me, snap out of it. Mira, MIRA.”

Mira didn’t respond but Jaejoong was too relieved to worry too much. Gently, he tilted her face towards his and gave her
a kiss. Mira’s body jerked a little bit and she slowly opened her eyes. Seeing Jaejoong’s face so close to hers, she gave a
gasp and automatically pushed him away.

“Jaejoong? What are you doing? Where are we? What’s going on?”

Jaejoong didn’t reply but just grinned widely. He pinched her cheek. “I have no idea what you did but I don’t care. Mira,
we’re safe, there’s nothing keeping us apart. No one is going to take you away from me ever again.”

Realization dawned in Mira eyes and she fell back on the bed. She let out a soft moan and covered her face. “Oh God. I
just lost my father. I just lost my father.”

“We both lost our fathers. I lost my entire family actually.” Jaejoong laid down besides her and draped his arm around
her. “But don’t worry, no one is going to separate us, never again will we go through what we went through. I’m going to
take care of you, don’t worry.”

Mira closed her eyes but put her hand over Jaejoong’s arm. “What’s going to happen to us now?”

“I have no idea.” Jaejoong murmured and sleepily snuggled closer. “I’m so tired, I feel like I haven’t had any sleep in
weeks. But I’m happy, more happy than tired. Don’t worry Mira, I’m going to take care of you. We’ll get through this
together. Together.”

Jaejoong fell into a much needed sleep. Mira turned her and stared at his sleeping face. Finally, she let out a small smile
and also fell into a deep sleep.

Chapter 23 – Redemption:
© pikapika.

Changmin stared at the note in his hand. Just when he thought he had enough of mysterious notes, here was another
one. But this one, this one was definitely the most ambiguous out of them all.

“To his Majesty. Club Zone back room number 4. 1 knock. Tonight. Your humble servant.”

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No matter how many times Changmin read the note he still couldn’t figure out what it mean. Obviously it was from that
bartender, Joon, but what did he want exactly? What was waiting for him in this back room number 4? Changmin had a
suspicion, and he had enough of violent drunk men.

But of course he couldn’t not go. The only tie that he had with Joon was Yeseul who he hadn’t seen for almost two weeks.
By now Changmin was extremely worried and no matter who he talked to no one seemed to know where she was. Mira,
probably the one person who could help, had also pulled a disappearing act but Changmin knew she had a good reason.
If what Micky said was true, then Mira had plenty of things to worry about other than Yeseul.

But why now? Why didn’t Joon talk to him all those times Changmin tried to get into the club? Every single time he was
refused entrance and if he somehow managed to sneak in, he was immediately kicked out. Changmin gave a frustrated
sigh, she was probably there all those days. He just needed to speak to her for only a little while, try to convince her to
get out of that dirty and smoky place.

Well, he was there now. Club Zone, a place he dreaded going to but ended up at too many times. He didn’t even bother
with the line, if Joon wanted to meet him he would definitely get in. Changmin was right, the bouncer took one look at
him and let him to the dismay of all the other people in line. Changmin would apologize later, he had some business to
do.

He went past all the dancers and the lethargic drinkers and headed towards the rooms. What were these rooms for
anyways? Changmin decided that he didn’t want to know. Room 2, room 3, and yes, room 4. He hesitated before
knocking, one knock right? Changmin couldn’t help but pray that there wasn’t some sort of ambush waiting for him
behind the door.

He knocked once and after a second he heard a voice calling him in. Changmin paused, it was definitely a female voice
and by the coldness of the tone it had to belong to Yeseul. Yeseul was in the room! He found her!

Changmin quickly swung the door open and inside was Yeseul (alone thank goodness) looking at him with a slightly
surprised look in her eyes. Then she scoffed and shook her head.

“Darn that Joon. I should have known, that sneaky…well, I’ll deal with him later. Hello Changmin.”

Changmin wasn’t sure how to act. First, he was relieved, very relieved. There were no scary drunk men waiting to jump
him and he had finally found Yeseul. Then he was worried, she didn’t look too good. She was a bit on the pale side and if
his eyes weren’t fooling him she seemed to have some scars on her neck. What did she get herself into the last two
weeks? Finally, Changmin was angry. He had never been so angry in his entire life. How could she just sit there so calmly
like nothing happened?

“Yeseul.” He said darkly. “What is wrong with you?”

Yeseul had been drinking, well of course she had been drinking. But she had been especially drinking a couple of
moments before. Despite that Yeseul felt weird. Yes, there was a weird feeling in her stomach. Yeseul couldn’t help but
squirm a little under his glare, the closest word she could get to describing it would be…guilt.

When Yeseul didn’t say anything Changmin stomped over to her and grabbed her good arm, forcing her to stand. Yeseul
couldn’t help but be relieved that he didn’t grab her other arm. He pulled her out of the room.

Yeseul protested, trying to pull away. “Hey, stop it! Leave me alone! What’s wrong with you? Let me go!”

However as hard as she tried to get away, Changmin’s grip was firm. Yeseul found herself in the middle of the club and

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heading towards the exit. When did this kid get so strong? She couldn’t get rid of this iron grip.

Changmin was too furious to think strait and he accidentally missed the main entrance and found himself facing the alley
he had gotten beat up a couple of weeks back. Fear flooded him but he didn’t let go of Yeseul’s arm. Well, at least he was
out of the club, he just had to get through this alley and he would be within
sight of the car. Changmin dragged Yeseul towards the end of the alley.

“Oh hoy, just who we were looking for.”

Just a couple of meters away from the exit, a group of dark men appeared from the shadows. Changmin skidded to a
stop and stepped in between the men and Yeseul who made no move to stop him. Great, just his luck with dark shady
alleys.

Yeseul knew better than to make a smart remark now. Yeseul could be snide with ugly high school girls or drunk old men,
but this would be the most stupid time to say something annoying. This was the real deal, the tattoos and the scars
screamed loud and clear who these guys were. These weren’t some high school posers, they guys were true kangpes.

One of the bigger ones gave a grin. “Now, don’t worry. We’re not here to make trouble, unless you make us. We just
want to know where Joon is.”

“We have no idea, we don’t even know the guy.” Changmin replied as bravely as he could but couldn’t help but eye a
large metal pipe one of them was holding.

It was all Yeseul could do from swearing out loud. That JOON! That explained everything, he had been acting rather
shady these days. Yeseul knew Joon did more than bartend, but she didn’t ask any questions and Joon didn’t bother
giving any explanations. And today, today that jerk had left her a note to stay in the club until someone came to get her.
He had probably run out clear of the city. If she could get her hands on his neck…

“Sure you don’t. Hey doll, tell us where he is. We’ve seen you around, you even live with him. Tell us where he is and
we’ll leave you and this baby alone.”

A weird startled sound came from Changmin’s throat and Yeseul quickly turned her head so he couldn’t see her face.

“I don’t know where he is. He disappeared on me too. I’m just as clueless as the rest of you.” Yeseul said softly but
truthfully.

The kangpes swore at each other and seemed to discuss with one another. Changmin tried not make it obvious he was
looking around frantically. There had to be an exit, a way for both of them to get out of there safely. They didn’t even
need to get too far, his car was just waiting for them around the corner!

The men took a step closer to the two kids and they took one back. “Well, we just decided you two rats are lying to us.
Now tell us where Joon is before we really get angry.

“I’m not lying!” Yeseul exclaimed nervously. “I swear, I don’t know where he is. If I knew, I would gladly tell you. You
have to believe me!”

The men took another step closer and one of them gave a sneer. “Fine, we’ll believe you. However, we need to do
something. See, we need to send a message to Joon and lucky for you, you guys will be our messengers. I want to make
my message loud and clear.”

Yeseul swallowed hard and her stomach churned. She felt herself pushed back against the wall and saw that Changmin

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had stepped up. What was that idiot trying to do? Did he really think he could go against a bunch of kangpes? Did he
think he was in some sort of movie?

The kangpes seemed to find Changmin’s actions hilarious. They roared in laughter and one of them grabbed Changmin’s
shoulder.

“Ha, do you really intend on taking on all of us? Kid, have you ever gambled before? Well let me give you some advice, 8
to 1 are horrible chances.”

Changmin shrugged the guys hand off and stared down at the ground. “Gambling…is illegal.”

Yeseul almost groaned out loud. If he had to do a one liner, couldn’t he at least do a cooler one? Gambling is illegal?
What kind of response was that? Even “I’ll take my chances” or “I’m feeling lucky” would have been better.

The men chuckled a bit but got closer to Changmin. Yeseul grew very afraid for him and even more so when she saw that
he had his hands clenched tight into fists. So, he was really was going to do it. Yeseul was extremely angry at herself,
she was going to get him killed. It was all her fault.

Changmin took a step closer but then suddenly he clutched his chest. The men took a step back in surprise. Changmin
slowly fell to his knees and Yeseul noticed that his chest was heaving rather heavily.

Forgetting all about the kangpes Yeseul ran towards Changmin. “Changmin? Changmin are you OK? Changmin, what’s
wrong,”

Changmin looked up enough for everyone to see his face was bright red and he looked like he was in pain. He wheezed
out some words that Yeseul couldn’t work out.

“What? CHANGMIN. CHANGMIN WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? OH GOD, WHAT SHOULD I DO? WHAT SHOULD I DO?”

Changmin was now squirming and it was obvious that he wasn’t breathing anymore. He managed to croak out one word,
“Asthma.”

“ASTHMA? ASTHMA! YOU NEED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL. OH MY GOD. DO SOMETHING!” Yeseul yelled at the men who
took a step back uncertainly. They looked at each other as if they didn’t know what to do next.

Finally, the one who looked like the leader just shook his head and began to walk away. “Leave him, we don’t have to
worry about sending a message, this kid’s a goner. That’ll be enough. Come on.”

To Yeseul horror the men left her alone with the struggling Changmin. They didn’t even look back. Yeseul felt tears form
in her eyes. She didn’t know what to do! If only she hadn’t thrown away her cellphone! If only she hadn’t been so stupid!

“I’m so sorry Changmin! Changmin? CHANGMIN?” Yeseul screamed as she noticed that Changmin was now hunched over
and he wasn’t moving. Oh no, please no. The tears fell down her face. Changmin…

“Are they gone?”

Yeseul blinked. She stared at Changmin’s body. Did she? Did she just hear him say something? She put her head down to
where his was.

“Are they gone now?”

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“CHANGMIN? CHANGMIN ARE YOU ALIVE? ARE YOU OK?”

To Yeseul relief and surprise Changmin slowly uncurled himself. His face was still very red but he looked like he was
breathing just fine. He looked around.

“Good, they’re gone. I was worried that it wouldn’t work. Yeseul, are you OK?”

Yeseul angrily and tearfully grabbed his collar and shook him roughly. “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? ARE YOU OK? WHAT
WAS THAT ALL ABOUT? I THOUGHT YOU DIED!”

Changmin freed himself from her grasp and sheepishly scratched his head. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you this much.
I just needed them to believe I was having an Asthma attack. There was no way I could take all those guys, let alone just
one of them.”

Yeseul stared dumbfounded at him. “You…You’re alright? You don’t have Asthma?”

“Oh, I have Asthma. Or well, I did have Asthma back when I was younger. It was the only thing I could come up with, I
didn’t think I could fake a heart attack very well.”

SMACK.

Changmin’s eyes opened in shock as his face stung with pain. He gingerly touched his cheek where he had been slapped.
He nervously looked at Yeseul who was now crying very freely.

“You idiot. You big idiot. I hate you. I was so scared! I thought you died! How could you do that? I’ve never been so
scared my entire life! You JERK!”

Changmin smiled and hugged the sobbing Yeseul. “Gosh, I’m so sorry Yeseul. I didn’t meant to scare you so much, I
couldn’t think of anything else to do. But hey, if you think about it, we’re even now. You scared me a lot that past two
weeks you know.”

Yeseul didn’t say anything but tried really hard to stop crying. That idiot Changmin, that IDIOT. Making her cry like a fool
in front of him after faking an Asthma attack. THAT IDIOT.

Changmin helped Yeseul up and brushed off her shoulders. “Come on, let’s get going. We’ll talk about this later. You need
to go and get some rest, we both need rest actually. We still have your room all ready for you.”

“My room?”

“Yes, your room at our house. Jungmin and my parents are worried about you too. Hurry, my driver must be wondering
what’s going on.”

Yeseul let him lead her to the car and as soon as they were both settled in and the car running, she dropped her head on
Changmin’s shoulder and fell into a deep exhausted sleep.

Changmin was almost afraid to move. He didn’t want to wake her up. Poor Yeseul, how tired must have she been for her
to fall asleep so quickly. Changmin smiled and softly stroked her head, it was good to have her close again. It was good
to have her safe.

----

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“Hello?”

“Jungmin?”

“Junsu?”

“Hey, what are you doing now?”

“Oh, doing some reading for class. What are you doing?”

“Nothing much, not really. Well, I was thinking…”

“Thinking about what?”

“ (pause) I was thinking about you.”

Jungmin blushed and smiled. Just by listening to his voice she could tell that Junsu was probably blushing too.

“Heehee, well I wasn’t doing too good of a job reading, I was too distracted thinking about you.”

“Really?” Junsu squeaked. Jungmin heard him clear his throat before he continued. “Well, that makes me happy. Hey, it’s
kind of late but um, do you think I could see you?”

Jungmin glanced up at the clock. Well, it was a bit late and her parents wouldn’t be too happy. But then again, Changmin
always disappeared in the middle of the night and they never complained. Hm, she did want to see Junsu but when did
she ever want to NOT see him?

“Yeah, but I’ll have to meet you somewhere. I don’t want to explain too much to my parents.”

“Oh, well never mind then. I don’t want to get you into trouble.”

“No, no! I want to see you too! It’s ok, don’t worry about it. Changmin goes out at night all the time!”

“Er.”

Before Jungmin could convince Junsu she heard the door open and close downstairs and her parents voices. What was
going on?

“Hey, Junsu I’m going to call you back OK?”

“Uh, sure. OK.”

Jungmin regretfully hung up but left her room quickly and headed down the stairs. Halfway down she gave a small gasp
she saw her brother at the entrance holding up, Yeseul? Her parents were also there hovering over the two.

“What happened? Are you two OK? We were worried about you!”

“Oh dear, Yeseul honey are you alright? Is that a burn I see?”

“No, no don’t worry about me. I just need some sleep. I’m sorry to make you all worry.”

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“What’s going on?”

“You’re burned? Let me see, Yeseul let me see!”

Changmin angrily pushed Yeseul’s hand aside to reveal the burn on her neck. Yeseul looked down at the ground, not
liking all the attention given to her by the Shims. Mrs. Shim took Yeseul’s arm and started to lead her into the kitchen.
Jungmin followed worriedly and Changmin and his dad began to talk to each other in low voices.

In the kitchen Yeseul protested loudly as the Shim girls peeled off her shirt to reveal more burns. Mrs. Shim began to put
some ointment on them and instructed Jungmin to keep the men away from the kitchen.

“Shouldn’t we contact the police or something?”

“No, I don’t think that would be a wise idea, I think I have some sort of idea of what happened. Let Yeseul do things at
her own pace, I’ll just push her along a little though. I think right now what she needs most is some rest.”

Changmin and his father stopped whispering to each other when Jungmin came out of the kitchen, eyeing them
suspiciously. What was going on?

“Mom is putting medicine on Yeseul and said you guys should stay out of the kitchen until she’s done. Is Yeseul OK?” She
asked her brother.

“She’s going to be fine now.” Changmin said firmly letting Jungmin know she wasn’t going to get any more answers. All
this secrecy, why won’t anyone tell her what’s going on?

A red faced Yeseul and Mrs. Shim with her arm around her came out of the kitchen moments later.

“Um, thank you. I’m sorry for all the trouble.” Yeseul muttered embarrassedly. Jungming and Changmin couldn’t help but
think how weird it was to see the Ice Queen Yeseul looking so embarrassed but wisely chose not to say anything.

“Well, you should get some sleep now. You can go to your room and we’ll work things out tomorrow morning, you must
be exhausted.” Mrs. Shim said gently. Yeseul nodded and headed up the stairs.

“You want me to come up with you?” Jungmin asked. Yeseul shook her head but gave a small smile before going up the
stairs. The Shims watched her silently until she disappeared into one of the rooms.

“Interesting.”

“Poor child, I can’t even imagine what she’s going through right now.”

“Hm, I’m worried for her.”

“Um, hey, I’m just going to go out and get some fresh air. Is that alright?” Jungmin asked quietly, edging towards the
door.

“Sure dear, I’m worried for her too. I really think we should do something.”

“Just come back soon honey. Well, if she doesn’t want the help we can’t really give it.”

“That’s the thing, she won’t allow us to help her.”

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Jungmin quietly slipped on her shoes and left the house leaving her family talking amongst themselves. As worried as she
was for Yeseul she knew there wasn’t much she could do right now, like they said if Yeseul didn’t want help she wouldn’t
receive it. Tomorrow morning she would try to talk to her, get her to open up. But until then, and while her parents were
distracted, she would go see a certain someone who had been in the back of her mind the whole time.

“Hello?”

“Junsu, hey I’m out of the house. Where do you want to meet up?”

“Did you sneak out? Don’t do that, it’s not really worth it.”

“No, my parents know, kinda. Don’t worry.”

“Ok….well, I’m walking towards your house anyways. I’ll come over in a few minutes and we can walk together.”

“Ok.”

True to his word Jungmin didn’t have to wait long until she saw Junsu happily walking towards her. They smiled at each
other as they got near, and like they always did, found it hard to say anything at first. Junsu looked away but shyly
grabbed Jungmin’s hand.

They began walking, in no rush as they enjoyed each other presence and the clear spring night sky.

“Are we going somewhere special?”

“You’ll see, I have something planned for you.” Junsu said as mysteriously as he could. Jungming looked at him
inquiringly but he just smiled. Jungmin eyed the backpack Junsu was wearing and couldn’t help but wonder if whatever
was in there had anything to do with it.

They walked for awhile more until Junsu abruptly stopped and stood in front of Jungmin.

“Sorry, but from this point on you have to trust me and close your eyes. I want you to be surprised.”

“What? Do I have to?”

“Do you have to…of course you have to! Come on, close your eyes.”

Jungmin felt Junsu put his hand over her eyes but didn’t push him off. She couldn’t help but be excited. She always had
wanted some sort of secret surprise where she had to close her eyes. She let Junsu lead her, trusting him in making sure
she didn’t fall or hit anything.

She couldn’t tell how far they walked when Junsu stopped. She sensed him step to the side with his hand still over
Jungmin’s eyes. She felt his face lean over to hers as he whispered in her ear.

“Ok, ready? Ta da!”

Jungmin felt Junsu’s hand move away from her eyes and as soon as she regained sight she gave a happy gasp. Junsu
had led her into a small forest and right in front of her was a small wooden swing hung on a tree. There was even a
battery powered spotlight so that they could see. Junsu had planned all of this?

“What? Oh my goodness, Junsu! I had no clue, since when?” Jungmin stammered out. Junsu couldn’t help but grin a bit

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proudly.

“I didn’t want you to know, but I’m glad you could come out today. Go, sit down! Sit down on your swing!”

Jungmin walked over and sat on the swing, grinning widely. She swung a little bit as Junsu came over and placed his
hands over hers on the rope.

“The Park? Check.” Junsu said with amused smile. “Swing? Check.”

Jungmin blushed.

“On a tree? Check.” Junsu could feel his heart beat a little faster. “Precipitation? Oh wait, it isn’t raining.”

Jungmin felt her heart drop. Oh no, he wasn’t going to wait for it to rain was he? Was it even going to rain today? Didn’t
Junsu learn anything the last few weeks? Did they really have to go through all of that again?

Junsu sensed Jungmin’s anxiety and barely managed to hide his glee. He reached into his backpack and to Jungmin’s
surprise and delight brought out a spray bottle. He spray the air a couple of times as Jungmin laughed.

“Check.” With that Junsu leaned over and gave Jungmin a kiss. Jungmin felt herself turn red and when she opened her
eyes she could see that Junsu was also blushing.

“Junsu…”

“I thought you deserved your dream kiss, even if it was the second kiss.” Junsu said almost shyly but grinned. Jungmin
could only describe herself as deliriously happy.

BOOM.

Jungmin heard a loud noise and felt herself pushed into Junsu as he covered his body protectively over her. A second
later when she drew away she noticed it was pitch black. She looked to the side where the spotlight had been. It seemed
to have overheated and blown up.

Junsu gave a small groan. “Argh, can’t I just do one thing perfect?” He muttered.

Jungmin laughed and hugged Junsu. “But isn’t that our luck? We can’t have everything perfect can we? But you got close,
very close.”

Junsu smiled, feeling much better and even gave a little laugh. He decided it wouldn’t be too soon to have their third kiss
and leaned in.

---

Nari felt extremely agitated, she wanted to throw off her uncomfortable dress and just start running around. She didn’t
care if she had to run around in her underwear, the dress was so stiff and itchy! And her shoes, oh those heels were
going to kill her later. Normally you would have to tie her down to wear a dress other than her school uniform but this
was a special event, a very special event.

It wasn’t just the clothes, there was something else that was bringing her down. There were just so many people there,
all in their little groups. Everywhere Nari looked there was some sort of happy family, excitedly waiting for the results and
showing support to whoever turned in an entry. Every time she saw one there was that pang of jealousy in her stomach.

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It felt like she was the only one alone, the only one without two beaming parents giving praises…

“Nari! Hey Nari!”

Nari pushed down those thoughts and forced a big grin as Changmin, Yeseul, Junsu, and Jungmin came towards her.

“HEEEY! I’m glad I found you.”

Nari didn’t fail to notice that Changmin seemed awfully close to Yeseul, as if he was afraid that she would run away from
them all. Then again, Yeseul usually didn’t let people get so close. Something was definitely going on. Also, there was
Jungmin and Junsu, both all smiles and sickeningly sweet.

“Nervous?”

“Are they going to play your song? I want to hear!”

“I want to hear too.”

“Where’s Micky?”

Nari tensed up. “I don’t know. There’s a lot of people here…”

The five kids looked around. They were on a spacious courtyard of a local university and the place was crawling with
people, kids and adults alike. It was easy to make out the participants from the others as those kids seemed especially
nervous. Everyone was dressed nicely and there were groups of people talking lightly to one another.

“Hey guys!”

“Well, if it isn’t the infamous couple…” Yeseul mused as they noticed two figures walking towards them, one with his arm
around the other’s shoulder.

“It’s been awhile.” Changmin agreed.

“I feel like I haven’t seen you guys in forever!” Jungmin exclaimed.

Junsu grinned and nodded. “Glad to see you looking happy.”

“I’m not quite sure what exactly happened but I guess there’s no separating you two now huh?” Nari added.

Mira smiled and hugged the girls. “It’s a long story, I don’t think I completely get it myself. How have you guys been?
Sorry we’ve been kind of out of it lately…”

The other kids looked and each other and sighed.

“It’s kind of a long story for us too.”

“For all of us.”

“And some of us aren’t completely sure what exactly happened either.”

“I have no idea what happened.”

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Jaejoong gave an understanding nod. “It seems we all had a crazy time.” He met eyes with Nari. “Are you nervous?”

Nari blinked, startled that Jaejoong even knew what was going on. But she quickly got over it and shrugged. “I would be
stupid not to be.”

Mira grinned. “And look at you, all dressed up. I never thought I would see the day…”

“Shut up.” Nari mumbled fighting the urge to scratch herself. The other kids laughed.

“Hey, if it isn’t the whole gang all together.”

The kids turned around to see Micky walking towards them. He gave a smile and nodded at all of them. Micky walked
over to the other side of Jaejoong and grabbed his shoulder in a friendly greeting.

“How have you been? I heard the news, though I don’t quite understand.”

“I don’t think anyone does.” Jaejoong answered but gave a rare smile at his friend. Mira happily grabbed Micky’s hand
and squeezed it.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other Micky. Are your parents here?”

Micky nodded. “Yeah, they’re over there somewhere. What about your parents?” He asked Nari.

Nari tried not to show her disappointment and just gave a shrug. “No clue, I’m sure one of them is here somewhere.”

“Hey, where’s Yunho?” Changmin asked looking around, changing the subject to Nari’s relief. “Is he coming?”

Mira pursed her lips. “He said he wasn’t in the best of moods and didn’t want to bring the rest of us down. Oh don’t
worry, he’ll be fine, he just needs some
time...”

“If I may have your attention, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you have been enjoying the refreshments and the
entertainment. We will shortly announce the winner of the School of Music annual song writing contest.”

The announcement over the speakers grabbed the kids attention and they all turned around to face the stage. Nari and
Micky glanced at each other for a second and then turned their attention on the speaker on stage.

“We’ve had entries from all over the country and this year’s submissions have been amazingly talented. Unfortunately we
can only have one winner who will win an acceptance to the school and also a baby grand piano. Now, I will like to
introduce Mr. Ahn Chilhyun, the dean of the school.”

There was polite applause as another man stepped on stage and shook hands with the announcer. He leaned towards the
mic and cleared his throat.

“Thank you.” He started softly. “Like Mr. Lee said, there were many talented submissions entered into the contest.
However, there were two submissions that stood out among the rest and it was an extremely difficult decision deciding
from the two of them. The two students who wrote the songs were actually from the same school and they both entered
very beautiful songs.”

The kids all looked at Micky and Nari who looked at each other. It didn’t take a genius to guess which school those two

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students came from. So once again, it was between the two of them. Micky gave a nervous gulp and Nari let herself give
one tiny scratch.

“As much as we would have liked to pick both songs, a winner was chosen. And the name of the winner is…”

Suddenly Micky reached over and grabbed Nari’s hand. Nari, though a bit surprised, didn’t pull her hand away but
squeezed it hard.

“…Park Yoochun.”

“Who?” Jungmin and Changmin asked out loud.

Nari quickly let go of Micky’s hand and stepped away. The other kids didn’t notice but crowded around Micky to
congratulate him. Even Jungmin and Changmin eventually figured out who Park Yoochun was and offered their
congratulations. Micky gave a sigh of relief and thanked his friends. He was ushered on stage where he shook hands with
the dean and posed for pictures.

The whole time Micky’s heart was beating wildly. He had walked up the stage in almost a daze and barely functioned
enough to shake the dean’s hand. He looked around the crowd and smiled at his happy parents. The dean spoke some
more words and although Micky wasn’t really listening he continued to smile and nod. So he had done it, he had won. He
had won a national contest. He had proven his worth to hundreds of people. He would be attending School of Music. It
was all over. He grinned even wider, he really did win. Micky waved to his friends who cheered even louder. They were all
there, they where all there for him. Well except Yunho and Nari. Nari? Micky scanned the crowd. Where did she go?

Before Micky could do a thorough search he was pushed towards the piano and stage. They handed him his entry and it
was obvious they all wanted him to play. But where was Nari? He had to go find her later, the spotlight was turned on
him. He had to play his song.

But he had something to confess to her. Where was she?

Nari was running. She had thrown off her shoes a long time ago and was running barefoot across the grass. She wasn’t
sure where she was running to exactly but she was running, she was running away. She ran past buildings, she ran past
people. Nari turned a corner and found herself at a dead end. Exhaustedly she leaned against the wall and tried to catch
her breath.

She stood there, her hands against the wall, her chest heaving back and forth. She was probably sweating and her dress
was probably ruined. Her hair had even gotten loose while she had been running. Nari must have looked like a mess but
she didn’t care, she didn’t care one bit. She clenched her eyes tight and bit her lip. No, she wasn’t going to cry, she was
not going to cry!

Nari heard someone behind her but didn’t move. She wished the person would go away and leaver her alone. She didn’t
want to deal with anyone, not now. Nari tensed up as she heard the person get closer and softly put a hand on her back.

“Baby duck.”

Nari froze. She slowly turned her face and widened her eyes and who she saw.

“Uhma?”

Nari’s mother gently turned Nari around and held her face. “Nari. I saw you running and chased after you. Did you really

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have to ruin your dress and throw away your shoes?”

Nari stared wordlessly at her mother who had a small smile on her face. Her mother tenderly brushed away Nari’s messy
hair from her face.

“You wanted to win didn’t you? You worked hard on your song didn’t you my duckling.”

Since when did her mother come to the competition? How did she even know? Why was she using that nickname? Why
was she using that nickname her brother had made for her, just for her? Why was she being so tender and why did she
look so sad? Why did she look like she cared? What did she know? Nari felt the tears building up and a pressure in her
chest and she knew she wouldn’t be able to hold back much longer.

Nari erupted into tears. Her mother brought her close and began to stroke the back of Nari’s head comfortingly.

“I wanted to win,” Nari bawled over her mother’s shoulders. “I wrote that song for him. I wrote it for him but I didn’t
win.”

Tears began to fall from her mother’s face. “I know and I’m so sorry duckling, I’m so sorry. Your mother is so sorry!”

Mother and daughter cried and held each other for the longest time. When they had run out of tears they walked off
together, neither of them letting go of the other.

CHAPTER 24 – Graduation
© pikapika.

“WHERE ARE THEY? WHERE ARE THEY?”

Students who were setting up the chairs looked up to see the principal on stage looking hysterical. He clutched his hair
and ran around in circles.

“WHERE ARE THEY? WHERE ARE THEY?”

A teacher ran up on stage and attempted to calm down the red principal. “MR. PRINCIPAL PLEASE CALM DOWN! We have
less than an hour until the ceremony! This is not a good time to fr-“

“LESS THAN AN HOUR? LESS THAN AN HOUR! AND THEY’RE NOT HERE! I DON’T KNOW WHERE THEY ARE! EVERYTHING
IS RUINED!”

“Who? Who’s is not here?”

“ROYALTY. THE ROYALTY. MISS PARK AND MR. JUNG ARE NO WHERE TO BE FOUND. I CAN’T FIND MR. KIM OR MR. PARK
EITHER. I CAN’T EVEN FIND THE UNDERCLASSMAN ROYALTY.”

“Well, I’m sure they’re around here somewhere with the other graduates. Please calm down.”

“CALM DOWN? HOW CAN I CALM DOWN? WE CAN’T HAVE THE GRADUATION WITHOUT THE ROYALTY!” Tears began to
stream down the Principal’s face and he groaned. He ran over to the wall and began to beat his head on it over and over.
The teacher and the students just stared, too frightened to stop the hysteric man. One student leaned over to the other.

“Maybe we should bring out the anesthesia on him?”

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“Are you willing to get near him and give it to him?”

“No.”

“Neither am I.”

---

A couple of halls down in the brand new basketball court Yunho was getting his uniform and robe dirty.

But he didn’t care. He didn’t care if he was sweating right through his clothes. He didn’t care if graduation was only an
hour away. He didn’t care if he would walk up on stage and accept his diploma with wrinkly clothes and reeking of sweat.
He wasn’t even sure if he wanted to go to graduation at all. Yunho shot a basketball and grimaced as the ball hit the rim
and bounced off. He ran after it and threw it again.

Who cared about graduation? There was only one reason why he had looked forward to graduation and now that reason
didn’t matter anymore. Obviously it didn’t matter if he was a student or not, she wouldn’t have him.

Once again the ball missed and Yunho picked up the ball to shoot again. Well, he hoped she would be happy with Jung.
He hoped they would live together happily. He hoped they had a happy ending. He wished them the best of luck. Yunho
positioned himself to shoot once more. He was fine with it, really he was. As long as she was happy…

Screw it. Who was he kidding? He was angry. Yunho was very angry. And disappointed, yes he was also disappointed. He
didn’t really want them to be happy together. He didn’t really want them together all. He had been just lying to himself.
He was just thinking that to make himself feel better, but it wasn’t working. No, it wasn’t working at all because Yunho
was still angry.

This time Yunho didn’t bother aiming for the hoop, instead he threw it as hard as he could against the wall. He fell
exhaustedly to the floor and heard the ball bounce away. Not only was he angry and disappointed, he was hurt. He was
discouraged. What had happened? He was supposed to get the girl. The old creepy man never wins. The young one, the
good looking one gets the girl. Especially after all he did for her, it was almost a given that he would win her over. Didn’t
God watch Korean dramas? Didn’t He know how it was suppose to end? If Yunho ever had a moment alone with God he
would personally recommend some titles for God to watch, just so that He would know how these kinds of stories were
supposed to end.

He heard some footsteps and closed his eyes, hoping whoever it was would go away. Probably some messenger coming
to ask him to get ready for the graduation, the graduation Yunho didn’t even know if he wanted to attend or not, even
though Micky had requested a favor from him.

The person, whoever it was, seemed to have picked up the basketball and began dribbling. As much as Yunho wanted to
know who this person was, he didn’t want to open his eyes. Maybe whoever it was thought he was sleeping, maybe soon
that person will go away.

Then Yunho heard the swoosh of the ball going through the hoop and he decided he would open his eyes and find out
who this person was. Yunho quietly turned to the side and opened one eye.

What he saw made him open his other eye in surprise. It was Miss Shim and she was picking up the ball to shoot it again.
She didn’t seem to notice that Yunho was now watching her and she posed to shoot the ball again. Yunho noted that she
had good form, none of that wimpy girly shooting, and found himself even more surprised to see the ball go in again.
Miss Shim hopped forward to catch the ball and when she did she finally turned around to see Yunho propped up and
watching her.

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Miss Shim blushed and hugged the ball. “Not bad huh? I played in high school; at this height I didn’t have much of a
choice. I still can’t believe I made it in though, it’s been awhile.”

Yunho didn’t say anything but sat up. Why was she here? What did she want from him? Was she here to let him know
that Jung was finally hers? Did she know what he did for him? Was she here to thank him? Yunho hoped not, he wasn’t
sure if he could take that kind of gratitude.

Miss Shim wasn’t too sure what to say either. She nervously bounced the ball up and down some. Finally she turned back
around and to make another shot. The ball went in again and Miss Shim let it bounce towards Yunho. She didn’t turn
around to face him but looked down and played with her hands.

“I bet you didn’t know I played basketball in highschool. I was always into art but I did like to run around a little bit. I
was in woman’s varsity my second and third year, our team won a district championship but we didn’t get much farther
than that. They used to call me Lady Shooter.”

There was no answer so Miss Shim kept on talking. “I bet you also didn’t know I broke my leg the year after highschool. I
fell down some stairs, I know, no one really breaks their leg falling down the stairs but I did. It was those
heels….anyways I have a scar a couple of inches above my ankle that I keep hidden with my tights.

“Also did you know that ever since I was young, I always wanted to go to Europe and study art? Of course that’s every
art major’s dream but I really wanted it. First stop would be Italy and the Vatican museum, they have a great Raphael
collection.”

“I knew that.”

Miss Shim turned around to see Yunho still sitting with the ball in his lap. Yunho shrugged. “I knew you wanted to go to
Europe. I mean, I figured so, and then I read the essay you wrote in college.”

Although Miss Shim couldn’t help but think that it was a bit stalkerish of him to read her college essay, she let out a small
smile. “I see. Well there’s still a lot you don’t know about me Yunho and there’s a lot I don’t know about you.”

Where was she going with this? Yunho couldn’t help but wonder as Miss Shim walked towards him. Yunho was still too
wary to get up so when she was close Miss Shim crouched down next to him.

“But I’m willing to change that. I want to know more about you Yunho and I want you to know more about me.”

Now Yunho was thoroughly confused. What did she mean by that? And why was she so close to him? He had almost
forgotten how pretty she was up close, how clean and pure she looked. Wait, what about…?

“What about Jung?”

“Teacher Jung, Yunho, Teacher Jung.” Miss Shim corrected but still continued to smile. “Teacher Jung is an amazing man
and I’ll always respect him.”

Whatever tiny ray of hope that was inside of Yunho completely died out. Great, so she wanted to get to know him better
but still thought Jung was all that? What was going on here?

“However…”

“However?”

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“There’s an even more amazing man sitting right in front of me.”

“Eh?” Yunho looked to his left and then to his right to check if she could be speaking about anyone else. “Me?”

“Haha, yes you. Though it took me a long time to figure that and my heart out, I now know for sure. I’m sorry I gave you
such a hard time Yunho.”

Yunho now figured it out and let himself give a small smile. Although he didn't understand where the change of heart
came from (and what about Jung?) he decided not to push the subject for now. So God did watch Korean Dramas…

“So, now what?” He couldn’t help but ask.

Miss Shim nodded towards the exit. “Go, go graduate Yunho. You should hurry, I think people are waiting for you right
now. I’ll be waiting for you when it’s done. I think it’s time to start anew.”

“You mean that? You’ll be waiting for me after graduation? You’ll be waiting for Jung Yunho the man, not the student?”

“Yes, something like that.”

Yunho never felt so happy in his entire life. He hopped up and also helped Miss Shim up. Grinning Yunho began to head
out of the gym. He turned around but didn’t stop running.

“OK! You better mean that, I’m going to be looking for you. Then there’s no letting go of you.” Still running backwards
Yunho gave a cute salute.

Miss Shim waved and laughed out loud when Yunho got too carried away and tripped, almost falling flat his face. Slightly
embarrassed but still happy Yunho collected himself and ran off as Miss Shim continued to laugh.

Yunho couldn’t wait to graduate.

---

“Well, if it isn’t my melodious goddess! Shouldn’t you be at graduation?”

Nari gave a startled jump as Taewoo popped out unexpectedly from a corner. She had been roaming around in the halls
avoiding human contact as much as she could and she wasn’t too happy to see Taewoo as cute as he was. She really did
just want to be alone.

“I don’t have the patience for you today, Taewoo, I want to be alone.” Nari turned around and began to walk away but
Taewoo adjusted his backpack and jogged up to her side and walked with her.

“You’re hiding.”

“Go away.”

Taewoo hopped in front of Nari and pouted. “Don’t say that, I haven’t seen you for awhile. Besides, I wasn’t kidding when
I said you should be at graduation. Isn’t it a mandate for the Royalty to be there or something?”

“They can go on fine without me.”

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“Have graduation without the funniest and strongest of the constellations? How can you speak of such blasphemy?”

“You think you’re funny don’t you?”

“Fine. I’ll be serious. Who are you running away from?”

“What?” Nari stopped in her tracks. “Why would I be running away from anyone?”

Taewoo acted like he didn’t hear her and pretended to think. “Well, it’s not me since you would have thrown me clear out
of the building by now. I don’t think it’s some sort of teacher, they’re all in one place and you’re moving around a lot.
Hm, my strongest guess would be that it’s another member of the Royalty. You guys don’t really have friends any else
where else. Could it be….?”

“You think you’re smart don’t you?”

Taewoo stood in front of Nari to keep her from walking further. He gave a serious nod. “Yes, I do think I’m smart. Not
just because I can decipher computer code faster than anyone else I know or because I got into Sonho solely by my
brains, but because I can guess who exactly you’re running away from.”

“You don’t even know me, or the other person for the matter.” Nari said flatly getting more annoyed.

“But I can string together what I do know. I know that you recently entered a contest with someone else. I know that you
and that other person are friends, though you guys fight insanely loud a lot. I know that someone else won the contest
instead of you. I also happen to know that person is looking for you.”

“What?”

“Gosh, imagine how he must feel. He enters this contest with a friend but when he wins the friend disappears, not
congratulating him. It probably doesn’t feel like much of a win, huh? Especially considering the fact that his friend is his
rival, someone he respects since they both write songs. I bet there’s few people who’s opinion he would want more…”

“Taewoo…”

Taewoo cringed and braced himself for impact. With his arms over his face he stood there as Nari watched him in
amusement. She patted his back reassuringly but somehow sent him forwards.

“Thanks Taewoo. You’re a lot smarter than you act.”

Taewoo uncovered his face and grinned. He caught Nair by surprise as he grabbed her waist and brought her close.

“Then how about rewarding me with a kiss?”

Nari’s leg shot up and she walked away leaving him on the floor wiggling in pain.

----

Mira wasn’t sure how long she had been standing there but she could guess that it’s been awhile. She knew she couldn’t
hold back much longer, the graduation ceremony would start soon. People would be waiting for her, people were probably
waiting for her right now. But still…she couldn’t just move her hand to open the door.

She had taken her time, she could have confronted him any day the last few weeks but she always just managed to get

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to his door and stop. She couldn’t force herself to open the door and go in. She knew what was waiting for her, or rather,
she knew who was waiting for her behind the door. She really needed to get this all done and over with, it would probably
make life so much easier…

Mira put her hands against the door and pressed her forehead on it. And life had been a bit difficult the past few weeks,
more so than usual. Sure the whole incest thing was all settled but their families were all messed up now thanks to her.
Mira sighed. Her father had disappeared and now matter how hard Mira tried, she couldn’t find him. It wasn’t like him to
run away like that but then again, it wasn’t like him to cheat on or get cheated by his wife. Mira’s stomach still churned
when she remembered how her father had publicly disowned her, not giving her a chance to say anything. How hurt must
he have been to act that way? And her mother, her mother was angry, extremely angry. She was angry at Mira’s father,
angry at Mira, and angry at Jung. She wouldn’t even speak to Mira, let alone look at her. Mira wasn’t sure how she would
have made it through if it wasn’t for Jaejoong, then again Mira had made a choice. She made the choice between her
family and Jaejoong and this was the consequence of that decision; maybe she did deserve all of this. Maybe she did
deserve to be disowned. Maybe she did deserve to lose her parents.

Suddenly the door slid opened causing Mira to fall forward. She fell on top of something and tumbled over it.

That something was Jung.

Neither of them was sure how to react at first. Jung had opened the door and suddenly found Mira falling on top of him,
causing him to fall flat on his butt on the floor. Mira was now sprawled over his knees with her face to the dusty ground.

Mira sneezed and created a small cloud of dust around them.

“Er, as comfortable as this is, do you plan on laying on top of my legs for much longer?” Jung asked jokingly.

Mira didn’t look at Jung in the face but she could imagine his crooked smile. She scrambled up, refusing help from Jung,
and stood up as dignifiedly as she could.

“Sorry about that, wasn’t expecting the door to open like that.” Mira muttered looking at the ground. Well, so she was
forced to confront him now, there was no turning back.

“Yes, I apologize also, I didn’t expect that someone would be leaning against the door like that. Been there long?”

“Not really.” Mira lied still looking at the floor.

“Well, since this is my office door I’m assuming you are here to see me? Would you like to come in, wait, don’t we have a
graduation to get going to?”

“It can wait. We need to talk.”

“Alright, well come into my humble office. Grab a chair, er, if you can find one underneath all the pottery.” Jung said
stepping back into his office. Mira also stepped in and looked around for somewhere to sit. She somehow managed to find
an unused chair and sat down on it with her hands on her lap. Jung went strait towards the window and pulled out a
cigarette.

“Do you have to smoke?” Mira asked trying not to wrinkle her nose.

Jung barely looked at her as he lit the cigarette. “Not usually but now I think I need to. I have a funny feeling about the
conversation that we’re going to have Miss Park.”

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Mira played with her fingers. How does one tell her teacher that he’s her father? How does she explain all that had
happened? This didn’t seem like something you could just blurt out and just say right out. How would she build up the
conversation to tell him? But then, what if he already knew? Maybe she wouldn’t have to explain, that would be easier.
Though that idea made her mad, he knew the whole time but didn’t say anything to her?

“Er…” Mira started but stopped. She really didn’t know if he did or did not know. Arg, why couldn’t Sonho have a class on
revealing your biological father or something like that?

“Does this have something to do with Miss Shim and her young suitor? If you’re here to ask me to-“

“No.” Mira interrupted hastily. “This…this is something different all together. This just concerns you and me, Yunho and
Miss Shim have nothing to do with it.”

“Oh, don’t tell me you’re in love with me too. I don’t think I could stand to break another young woman’s heart.”

Mira hoped Jung was joking but he had his back to her so she couldn’t really tell. “Er, no. Ew, no way.”

“Well, you didn’t have to respond like that…”

“Jung, I know what happened between you and my mother.”

Ok, well so she did have to just blurt it out. Though there was more, but this was pretty much getting right to the point.
Mira may have not known how to bring the subject up but she did know that beating around the bush and talking about
mindless chatter would drive her crazy.

“Ah, I see. Did your mother tell you? I didn’t think she would, maybe Eunsoo found out?”

Eunsoo? That was her father’s name, Mira had almost forgotten. Wait, who did Jung think he was referring to her father
by his first name?

Jung seemed to sense Mira’s confusion. “Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter how you found out. Listen Mira, don’t judge
your mother. There’s a lot you don’t understand, I’m more connected to your family than you know. There’s a long
history to all of this. I can assure you that it was short lived and it’s all behind all of us. So it’s best to forget that it ever
happened and move on.”

Mira stared at Jung’s back as he took a long drag. Could it be? Did he not know?

“Jung…”

“Yes?”

“Jung, you’re my father.”

The cigarette fell from Jung’s hands and he froze. Mira watched him worriedly, did he not hear her? Please don’t make
her say it again, even if the first time the words had just blurted out from her mouth, she couldn’t bear to think of saying
those words again.

“Jung….Teacher Jung?

“I heard you.” Came the soft reply. Jung finally moved and he rested his head on his hands. Mira saw his back go up and
down as he gave a long sigh.

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“Do you know for sure?”

“Yes, we had a confidential testing recently.”

“Why, why did you test it?”

“I had to.” Mira said softly thinking that he would never understand. “I knew what it would mean, but, I had to. There
were other matters involved.”

Jung didn’t say anything at first but when he did there was a strange note in his voice. “It wouldn’t have anything to do
with the Kim boy would it?”

“What? Jaejoong? How do you know about that?” Mira demanded completely thrown off. How did he know? Who told
him?

Jung shook his head wearily. “Oh Mira, you think this just involves you and that Kim boy don’t you? You don’t realize, this
goes back, way back to before you two were even born. Dear God…oh no. How did Eunsoo handle it? What about
Haejung…?”

Mira still didn’t understand how he would have known. “Neither of them handled it well. Father he’s disappeared and
Mother is furious at me. Jaejoong’s family is having a hard time too…” Mira trailed off sadly.

“Don’t blame yourself Mira.” Jung said suddenly startling Mira once more. “I know what you’re thinking but it’s not your
fault. I suppose it would have unraveled itself sooner or later. Oh… remember that night? I went on how we were similar
and I had no idea…you always interested me. Not just because you were Eunsoo and Haejung’s daughter, but there was
something else. I can’t believe it never occurred to me that you would be…anyways, I bet you’re thankful you look like
your mother huh? Who knows how you might have turned out if you looked anything like me.”

Jung finally turned around and he had that crooked smile back. Mira remembered how he had once said that they both
smiled even when they were not happy. It was very weird, very weird seeing Jung like this and listening to him ramble
on. He wasn’t acting like his normal cocky self and his crooked smile had no life in it.

Jung stood up and ran his hand through his hair with another long sigh. He checked his watch. “Well, you should be going
soon Mira; the graduation ceremony can’t really start without you.”

“What? That’s it? So we just act like nothing happened?” Mira couldn’t hide the frustration in her voice and she also stood
up. “We just go back to being Park Mira, student, and Jung Dongwan, teacher? Does this not change anything?”

Jung stood in front of Mira and they both looked at each other. Jung raised his hands but hesitated for a second before
putting them on Mira’s shoulders. He forced her to turn around and steered her towards the door.

“This, this changes everything, Mira. But for now, you need to go to graduation or our dear Mr. Principal will commit
suicide. Go, go graduate and afterwards we’ll work things out more. I Promise.”

Jung gently pushed Mira out the door and shut it behind her. Mira stood there silently in a daze. She slowly raised her
hand and gently touched her other shoulder. She really wasn’t sure what to think or what to make out of all that he had
just said.

It took awhile but Mira finally snapped out of her dazed state and headed towards the auditorium. Jung was right, right
now she needed to graduate. Later, later they would continue where they had left off.

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Mira wasn’t sure if she or wasn’t looking forward to it.

---
“Ow.”

“Oops, heh heh heh….”

Yeseul made a frown and sighed. She had been resting next to a tree, enjoying the spring air when a lighter fell on her
head. Above her was Taewoo sitting on a branch and juggling numerous firecracker pieces and a backpack. He grinned
down at her sheepishly.

“If you could pass that up…I kind of need it, heh heh heh.”

Yeseul made no move to get up but fingered the lighter. “What are you up to?”

Taewoo tried to smile as innocently as he could while he fumbled with something in his bag. “Er, I was asked to help end
the year for the third years with a bang? Come on, nooooooonnnnaaa, it took me awhile to get up here.”

“Where you there the whole time?” Yeseul asked suspiciously as she flicked the lighter on.

“Well, I did get here before you and I was going to say something when you sat down next to the tree but you looked so
gorgeous I couldn’t bring myself to open my mouth. I’ve been watching you, you looked troubled.

“I’m not troubled.”

“Are you hiding too?”

“What? What are you talking about?”

Taewoo grinned even wider and shook his head. “Oh you sexy Royalty girls, so mysterious. But in all seriousness, don’t
you have a graduation to get to?”

“It’s not my graduation.”

“But you’re a constellation.”

“Try telling me something I don’t know.”

“Yoohoo! We’re over here hyung!”

“Huh?” Yeseul turned around and to her annoyance saw that Changmin was walking towards them looking confused.
What was this? Did he have some sort of tracker on her so that he knew where she was 24/7? She could understand that
she scared him recently but this was ridiculous.

Taewoo waved happily from his branch and then pointed down at Yeseul. Changmin looked at him and then at Yeseul. He
reached down and took the lighter from her hands and then reached up to give it to Taewoo who accepted it eagerly. The
confused look never left Changmin’s face.

“Uh, that’s what you wanted right? Why didn’t you just take it from her?”

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Taewoo shook his head sadly. “She wouldn’t give it to me. I texted him asking him to come over here and take the lighter
from you to give to me.” He explained to Yeseul.

“Why?” Yeseul asked just as confused as Changmin. What was up with this first year? He was just as weird as Changmin,
perhaps even more so.

“Well you wouldn’t give it to me.”

Changmin shook his head impatiently. “No, but why did you text me and bring me all the way here?”

This time Taewoo grinned mischievously. “Because you’re the only one who can take her away from me.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Yeseul narrowed her eyes but Taewoo just beamed even brigher. He winked at her and
shooed her with his hands.

“Now really, you should get going. Seriously, you don’t want to be here in, oh…” Taewoo looked at his watch. “134
minutes and 36 seconds.”

Changmin couldn’t help but think that ever since he entered Sonho High he had been nothing but confused. But what
could he do? Changmin shrugged and put out his hand to help Yeseul stand up. She took it and began to walk away but
gave one more glance at Taewoo who was happily whistling as he untangled a long cord of rope.

“What were you doing there with him?” Changmin asked as they walked farther away.

Yeseul sighed and pushed her bangs from her eyes. “I don’t know, I was just sitting there when he drops this lighter on
me. Who knows how long he’s been up there.”

“Why were you outside?”

“What is this, twenty questions?”

Changmin didn’t reply but looked down a little. Yeseul made an effort to not look at him, knowing that she would feel
guilty if she did. She wasn’t really angry at him or anything, it was just that it bothered her. It bothered her how he was
always there no matter where she was. It bothered her how Taewoo made those comments. It bothered her that
Changmin cared so much, too much.

“I’m sorry.” Changmin said suddenly interrupting Yeseul’s thoughts. He stuck his hands in his pockets. “I made things
awkward, didn’t I? That wasn’t my intention…”

Yeseul knew exactly what he was talking about. Well, there was no denying it. Things had gotten awkward ever since his
little confession but truthfully Yeseul wasn’t quite sure what to take out of it. She was confused, very confused by the fact
that although he’s seen the worse of her, he still treated her so caringly, like it really didn’t matter to him. It was like he
didn’t even judge her, something she had feared he would do.

As they walked closer they slowed down their walk. Yeseul wondered if she should say something, but what would she
say?

Changmin spoke up instead. “I just want you to know, there’s no pressure. I’m happy the way we are, right now. I’m
happy with our friendship, the way it is.”

Yeseul stared with her mouth slightly opened as Changmin smiled at her. “What? What’s that supposed to mean?”

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Changmin stopped walking and scratched his head. “Er, well, I’m not sure how to word it anyway other way…”

“No, that’s not what I mean. You’re fine with just being friends even after your little confession? You don’t want anything
else?”

Changmin shrugged. “There are things I want and there are things I’m fine with. Yeseul, I don’t want to rush you, I know
you have enough to deal with as it is. But I’m going to help you, I’m going to be with you as you work your problems out.
I’m not going to leave you. I’ll also be waiting. Maybe someday….”

Now Yeseul was completely taken back. What was with this guy? What was going on? How was she supposed to react?
What was she supposed to say?

Changmin nodded towards the school. “Come on, we should get going back. Graduation should start soon and we should
support our friends.”

Yeseul followed Changmin back to the school but she couldn’t help but wonder how he always managed to leave her
speechless. There was something seriously wrong with this kid, he seriously needed to get something checked. Yeseul
nudged him slightly with her elbow to get his attention.

“You are so weird.”

Changmin looked at her and smiled. “Maybe, but you know what? When you say it, it doesn’t sound so bad. I kinda like
it.”

“Yeah, way weird.” And Yeseul turned her head away so Changmin couldn’t see the hint of a smile playing on her lips.

---

“MICKY? PARK MICKY ARE YOU IN HERE?”

“AAAAAIIYYYAAAA!”

“Oh shut up, it’s not like this is the first time I’ve done this.”

Nari angrily closed the door to the boy’s locker room and looked around frantically. Where else could she go? Where was
he? Why was that the whole year round somehow they always managed to be in the same place but when she needed to
see him the most he was gone? Didn’t that kid say he was looking for her? Where was he?

Nari ran down the halls, stopping briefly every once in awhile to check a classroom. That kid was right, she need to go
see Micky. She needed to congratulate him, she needed to hear his winning song. If she had won Micky would have been
the first person she wanted to hear her song. Micky would have been the first person she wanted congratulations from.

Nari decided to head towards the music rooms one more time. The first time she had gone they had been empty. She
didn’t have much time, graduation would be starting soon, though she had approached a lot of third years and told them
to call her as soon as they saw him.

She went in each other room sighing in frustration when she found them to be empty. She came to the one with the
window still not fixed. When she was inside she angrily slammed her hand on the piano. Where was he?

Nari turned around quickly to leave and smacked her face on to someone’s chest.

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“Ow.”

“Nari, I knew I would find you here. OW”

Nari took a step back and rubbed her nose. She opened her eyes and saw that Micky was looking down at her as he
rubbed his chest.

“What do you have in your nose, rocks? Dang, that hurt!”

“Micky! I’m sorry! I’m sorry I ran out on you, I’m sorry I didn’t congratulate you, I’m sorry I didn’t hear your song!
Congratulations, really, I’m happy for you. You deserved to win.” Nari blurted out, completely relieved that she had finally
managed to find him and do the right thing.

Micky looked at her in surprise but then a guilty look passed through his face. “Thanks Nari, but the thing is…there’s
something you don’t know.”

“Huh? What are you talking about?”

“Um, you see…I kinda…well, you see, I cheated.”

“WHAT?”

Instinctively Nari grabbed Micky’s collar but Micky’s face was red even before that. He didn’t bother to take her hands off
but looked to the side guiltily.

“I felt really guilty and I felt like I should tell you, but I couldn’t. I knew you would rub it in my face and make me feel
bad. I almost feel like I don’t deserve this reward.”

“ALMOST?” Nari yelled shaking Micky back and forth forgetting all about her guilty feelings towards him. “WHAT DID YOU
DO? HOW DID YOU CHEAT? OH NO, DON’T TELL ME YOU PLAGIARIZED!”

“What? NO!” Micky shook his head and finally wrenched Nari’s furious hands off. “No, it’s not like that. I wrote that song
all by myself, I would never copy! The thing is, well, I couldn’t keep my end of the deal…”

“Huh?” Now Nari was more confused than angry. What was he talking about? He cheated but he wrote his own song?

Micky took out some sheet music from his bag and held it in front of him. “I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t write some poppy
upbeat song. Normally I could, but I couldn’t for this contest. There was another song I felt compelled to write and to
turn in, so I did. But I didn’t tell you because I felt guilty.”

Nari fell down on the chair and glared at him. “I see, I get it now. Well it’s a good thing I ran out or I would have
strangled you on stage in front of all those people. I actually wrote a ballad…”

Micky smiled softly and sat next to her. “So I guess you won our deal and I won the contest? Could you maybe say that
we’re evenly matched?”

“Maybe.” Nari grudgingly said.

“Why did you run out anyways?”

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Nari fingered the keys on the piano. “I really did put a lot of effort into my song, it meant a lot to me. I guess I really was
disappointed…”

Micky looked guilty again. “I’m sorry, maybe you should have won…”

“Nah, I’m sure you deserved it. I’m sure you put your heart into your song too, too bad I couldn’t hear it.” Nari said as
she jabbed Micky a couple of times with her elbow. Micky winced but put his music on the piano stand.

“Can I play it for you?”

“Don’t you have a graduation to get to?”

“It can wait, I really did want you to hear this song. I think you would appreciate it more than anyone else.”

Micky began to play and sang softly.

“Oh I gotta find it. One day I was dreaming. I finally have it in my arms.
Tomorrow is coming. You know that it’s growing
Now it is the time to stop the pain and let go.

Up to now, when I couldn’t do something, I gave up.


I started to get tired, stepped on by the world,
I try to hide my sad tears at times, I try to smile, tried numerous times

The weight of the world on my tired shoulders (when they pass)


I want to throw it away

And I will stand by you, even if I love, and love again, I need more time
And you’ll be safe in my arms, wherever you are, start again, find the dream you lost

Trying to keep my faith is hard (every) hard, it brings me up,


Right now, when I start again, even though it's hard (when I open my eyes)
There is a new world

And I will stand by you, even if I love, and love again, I need more time
And you’ll be safe in my arms, wherever you are, start again, find the dream you lost

The times I went on my knees, the time doesn't come again,


A lot of my dreams are still left here

And I will stand by you, even if I love, and love again, I need more time
And I will stand by you, even if I love, and love again, I need more time
And you`ll be safe in my arms, wherever you are, start again, find the dream you lost

Let's share it with each other, even if I love, and love again, I need more time
Let's start again, wherever you are, start again, find the dream you lost

Oh I gotta find it. One day I was dreaming. I finally have it in my arms.
Tomorrow is coming. You know that it’s growing
Now it is the time to stop the pain and let go.

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To start again”
(Take – HOPE – Credits to Canityo)

Micky slowly played the last few notes and when he was done he let his fingers slide off the keys. The two didn’t say
anything but sat together on the piano bench.

“Micky...” Nari said softly looking down at the keys. “Micky…”

Micky didn’t dare look at her but also stared at the piano keys. He felt his heart beat faster in anticipation for her next
words.

“Micky…I should have won. My song is better.”

“WHAT?”

Nari came back to life and scoffed at the music sheets. “You and I both wrote a ballad, your specialty, and mine turned
out better? Psh, we should get the contest rechecked. Maybe they thought my song was yours, yeah there must have
been a mistake.”

Micky’s mouth fell open. What? How…what? But the song! How…no…why? Just when he though…she had to…? Then he
saw Nari grin at him and closed his mouth. Micky shook his head but smiled. He shouldn’t have been so surprised, would
Nari give any other response? That’s who she was, that was Nari. And Micky knew from the way she silently and seriously
listened to the song, and the way her head had softly nodded towards the beat, that she was giving her approval in her
own way.

“Hey.” This time Micky nudged Nari with his elbow, trying to do it as hard as she had done it to him. “Don’t get so cocky,
I know you liked it. Besides, you didn’t hear my other song, the fast one. They’re going to play it at the end of
graduation, you’ll be humbled then.”

“Psh, or it’ll make me fall asleep.”

“Hey, I said it was a fast one.” Micky stood up and placed his hand on Nari’s head, slightly messing up her hair. “I should
get going, but you’ll be there at graduation right? You have to hear my song.”

Nari glared up at him and pulled his hand off. “Go, go graduate. Of course I’ll be there, but there’s no way I’m going to
be impressed.”

“We’ll see.”

With that Micky left the Nari alone in the music room. She sat there for sometime until she started to play the song he
had left on the piano. A smiled played on her lips as the notes came easily from her fingers.

It really was a pretty song.

CHAPTER 24 – Part 2

“Nari! Hey, over here!”

“Oh hey, where’s your other half?” Nari pushed her way to the seats Jungmin had been saving.

“Oh Junsu?” Jungmin was blushing again, even now just the mention of his name sent her face flaming but she didn’t

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care. “He’s getting Changmin who’s with Yeseul. Where were you?”

“Finishing some business.”

Jungmin looked at Nari worriedly. “You weren’t beating up people were you?”

“Haha, I wish. Oh look, here they come.” Nari laughed and pointed to Junsu, Changmin, and Yeseul who were heading
towards them. Junsu in his eagerness to sit next to his once again girlfriend knocked Nari over who didn’t take it lightly
as she plummeted him with fierce punches. He tried to grin reassuringly at Jungmin as he gently rubbed his bruised
shoulder.

“What?” Nari asked threateningly as Changmin stared warily at her. He just shook his head and sat down. Yeseul barely
noticed all that happened as she craned her neck to see who was on stage.

“Where are they?”

The rest of the kids began searching. Nari pointed to the left side of the stage. “There’s Mira, see that little dip between
the other two? Gosh, she really is short.”

“Jaejoong is behind her I think…” Changmin said squinting. Jungmin nodded and then pointed to the other side.

“And Yunho and Micky Oppa deul are on the other side. Hm, is it just me or does Yunho look a little….sweaty?”

“Yeah…weird, I wonder what he was doing before he got on stage. And why does Micky keep massaging his side? Did he
get hit?” Junsu asked making no effort to hide the fact that he was looking at Nari.

Nari tried to shrug innocently but remembered that she had nudged Micky harder than she could have.

The lights dimmed down low and the auditorium went into a hush as the graduation ceremony started. Ten minutes in
and it was all the royalty could do to not yawn. They had forgotten how BORING Sonho’s graduation was, how Pomp and
Circumstance it was. It was speech after speech, blah blah blah blah. Underclassman students were nodding off all over
only to be poked back awake by a teacher or a parent who looked just as sleepy. Junsu yawned and stretched
exaggeratedly as he put his arm around Jungmin. The two smiled as Nari quietly made gagging noises.

“-and now Park Yoochun will perform his award winning song.”

The kids perked up and stood up a little straighter. Nari was confused, Micky was going to perform his song? Didn’t he
say he was going to play a fast song? Nari caught eyes with Micky and he gave a wink.

Micky stepped off the stage and to everyone’s surprise so did Jaejoong and Yunho. Hushed conversations filled up the
auditorium, what was going on? The Principal and the other teachers looked at each, trying to understand. The girls of
the school however, were excitedly squealing and pulling out their phones and cameras.

Yunho and Jaejoong pushed the piano back off the stage and Micky bought extra mics. He turned one on and tapped it to
check if it was working.

“Check, check, OK. Um, hello, my name is Park Yoochun.” Micky paused as the girls screamed. “Yes, well I was asked to
perform my award winning song, Hope, however I decided that another song of mine would fit better. Please forgive me
Mr. Principal, but I think this song is really needed for this (cough boring) graduation. Thank you.”

The three boys took off their robes and checked their mics again. The underclassmen Royalty looked at each other and

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shrugged. This was news to them too, the older boys hadn’t said anything to them. Yeseul looked over to see Mira
running off stage and down the stairs to put a CD into the sound system. So obviously Mira was in the whole thing.

Mira grinned at her friends and pushed a button and immediately a strong beat came on.

“Isn’t it tough? (It’s tough) The cruel world


Will laugh at you behind your back
In front of the mirror ki jook ko
You’ll have to support yourself
Don’t know where to go
With one mistake, everything else will be lost
When your head is down, fold your hands
Spread your wings, you can fly
It’s morning when you open your eyes
The compass heads you toward the same direction
In this confident world around you
It’s not easy to kneel down and rest
Don’t forget what made you want this old dream
Elegant two arms, spread your wings, you can fly
You can fly (No matter anyone says)
Higher (I won’t ever)
Then the birds in the sky (Give up on my dream)
You can fly (No matter anyone says)
Higher (I won’t ever)
Then the birds in the sky (Give up on my dream)
Fly (My Baby) No matter what the world says
Fly, fly, get em up high,
No matter what anyone says, go go
Fly (My Baby) Even if love leaves you behind
Fly, fly get em up high...
Fly, even if you’ve got nothing
You Can Fly, even if love abruptly leave you behind
You Can Fly, even when you’re suffocating from pain
You Can Fly You got to fly sky high!
When you open your eyes, there may not be any light
You may be a long distance away from your dream
It’s still hard to rest and breathe living my way
I turned away from reality
And still haven’t what I’ve been looking for
Don’t let a love you couldn’t receive
Bring you down, never die
Spread your wings, let’s go everybody, fly!
A lifetime dream being erased by sighs
Doors I’ve opened many times
I notice false hope when I open my eyes
Clean out the dust from every corner
Just as I thought, I’m a suitable competitor
Slowly I’ll make progress, why give up my dream?
Stay on firm ground and look far
Darker the night, brighter the stars will shine”
Epik High - translation by: Yoonie (also: aheeyah.com)

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Sonho High Graduation suddenly turned into a concert. As soon as Yunho started rapping girls began to scream louder
and pushed their chairs away to run up to the stage. By the time Micky started to rap even the other Royalty kids (except
Yeseul who just stood up) were jumping up and down. When Jaejoong began to sing the chorus the teachers and the
parents gave up trying to bring order back to the once peaceful graduation.

The Principal could only watch in horror as the graduates threw off their robes and began to dance. Mira bowed quickly in
apology to the Principal before joining Jaejoong in singing the chorus. Junsu and Jungmin laughed as he twirled her
around. Changmin awkwardly bobbed his head to the beat as Yeseul laughed at him. Nari began to happily beat up some
first year boys who bumped into her while they were dancing.

The graduating Royalty sang the chorus one more time and grinned at each other. Like everyone else in the room, they
felt happier and more energized. The song, the words, gave them hope and reminded them that high school really over.

Yunho had seen Miss Shim laugh (unlike the other teachers) and couldn’t help but grin like an idiot throughout the whole
song. As soon as the ceremony was over he would be allowed to see Miss Shim and she wanted to see him. She wanted
to get to know him better. She wanted…him. The whole year, he had chased her as she broke his heart over and over
again but now that the year was over, all that was also over. They could start brand new, not as teacher and student but
as man and woman and Yunho couldn’t wait.

Jaejoong also felt the energy and the whole school was graced with his rare smile. He had his doubts when Micky asked
him to sing with him but now he had no regrets. High school was over, it really was. The beginning had started off rough
and for awhile he thought it would end that way but once again, a bright girl with pretty eyes changed all that. He
hugged Mira and really did feel hopeful and even if the future seemed unsure, he did know that Mira was his and there
was no letting go. They would go through whatever was waiting for them after graduation together.

Mira knew that also and she treasured that hope. She also had faith, something that she thought she had lost a long time
ago. She had faith that her parents would come back to her, that they would forgive her and know that no matter what
the results say they were her parents. Especially her father, she still adored her father despite his mistakes and there was
no way Mira would ever consider Jung her father. Jung, who had mysteriously disappeared since their meeting, she could
stand knowing that he was her biological father but that was it. She could stand him and she would get to know him
better, after all, half of her chromosomes were from him.

Micky had thought that winning the contest was the best thing that had happened to him but he had been wrong, this,
this was the best thing that had ever happened to him. He had written a song, a fast rap song, and was performing it to
the people most important to him. He didn’t fail to notice Nari, how could he not notice the violent yet happy beatings she
was giving the first years? He wondered what kind of song she wrote for the contest and grew very thankful that she had
forgiven him for not going through with their deal. Though he could never tell her he had written both songs for her,
inspired by her. He had thought he would heal through writing more sad ballads but he had been wrong, he was healing
through these kind of songs and he was healing through Nari. Did she even know? Could she even guess? Micky laughed
as Nari stopped her vicious beating and grinned at him. Maybe not…

When the song was over the four third years put away their mics and went to bow in apology to the principal. However,
the principal had passed out due to stress and anxiety by the second verse. After carrying the principal to the back and
getting some teachers to tend him, the four Royalty members huddled together and discussed what they should do.
Finally they broke apart and Mira went to the stand, tiptoeing to speak into the Mic.

“Er, yes don’t worry our dear Principal will be fine. I think he would have liked us to continue the ceremony. So, in his
place I will start reading off the names to this years graduating class. If you would all rise.”

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Mira began to name off the graduating seniors and they came and accepted their diplomas and flowers from Micky and
Jaejoong while Yunho shook their hands. The other third years all agreed that this was better and had more honor than
accepting diplomas and shaking hands with the teachers and the school board. The girls couldn’t help but whisper to each
other excitedly and squealed when Yunho shook their hands.

As Mira reached near the end of the she motioned for Junsu and Yeseul to come up the stage. Junsu and Yeseul looked at
each other and nodded, leaving Changmin, Jungmin, and Nari looking at each other in confusion. When Mira had read off
the last name she stepped aside as Yeseul took her place. Junsu shooed Micky, Jaejoong, and Yunho away from the
diplomas and flowers.

Yeseul cleared her throat and ignored the catcall and Changmin who was furiously looking around trying to see where it
had come from. “Kim Jaejoong.”

Jaejoong smiled and accepted his diploma from Junsu who grinned at him widely as girls screamed hysterically
everywhere. He stepped to the side and waited patiently for the others.

“Jung Yunho.”

There were more screams and Yunho grinned at the audience, especially towards a certain young art teacher.

“Park Yoochun.”

Nari and she cupped her hands to her mouth and yelled over the screams. “I LIKED YOUR SONG!” Micky flashed her a
smile.

“Park Mira.”

There was no hysterical girly screaming but instead a thunderous applause filled the auditorium. Mira looked back at the
audience, taken aback by the warm and respectful response. It took a second but Mira gave a deep and completely
genuine smile, her eyes crinkling into crescent shapes. It felt like it had been a long time since Mira had given a genuine
smile that.

After Mira received her flowers and diploma the graduating Royalty gave one more deep bow before going backstage with
the other third years.

Yeseul and Junsu looked at each other and smiled. They understand why they were chosen to go on stage and they knew
they needed to go down and explain to their friends.

---

“Hey Soojin, have you seen Junsu oppa anywhere?”

“No, but hey let’s take a picture!”

“Uh sure…”

Jungmin put her arm around Soojin as someone took a picture of them together. Once again the crowd had swept away
Jungmin from the others and she found herself completely surrounded by people outside of the school. There was a lot of
talking, hugging, and picture taking. Especially picture taking, Jungmin had been pulled into some group or another at
least twenty times so far and asked to take a picture with them. She didn’t quite understand why, she wasn’t graduating,
but agreed every time.

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Jungmin left Soojin and continued her search for her boyfriend. She was stopped six more times by picture takers before
she saw Junsu, also posing for pictures.
She yelled his name and motioned for him and he pushed his way towards her.

“Jungmin! Hey, I was looking for you!”

“Me too, what’s going on? There’s an awful lot of picture taking going on.” Jungmin asked looking around. Junsu
cheerfully grabbed her hand and shrugged.

“Normally students aren’t allowed to take pictures of us Royalty kids through the year, except at graduation. Now they
can take all the pictures they want and everyone does. It’s pretty much tradition for Sonho to take a bunch of pictures
with as many people as you can.”

“Why? I mean I understand taking pictures of the graduates and I kinda understand taking pictures of us Royalty, but
why everyone?”

Junsu couldn’t answer right away as he and Jungmin smiled for multiple cameras owned by happy school girls. When they
were done Junsu blinked hard, trying to get rid of the white spots.

“Hey, this is Sonho high school. The students are future politicians, scientists, athletes, celebrities, artists, and other
important people. Famous people always have high school pictures circulating around the internet, most of them are from
Sonho graduations.”

“Wow.” Jungmin managed as another group of people asked to take pictures. It was very weird to look around and think
of her classmates as future presidents or Olympic athletes, but then again, this was Sonho High School. Jungmin felt a
surge of pride go through her, this was her school.

“Junsu! Jungmin! Hey, come on! We’re all going to take a group picture!”

Jungmin and Junsu headed towards Nari who was waving towards them. The other Royalty kids were all there, laughing
and congratulating one another. It took awhile for Junsu and Jungmin to get through as their friends were crowded by
students and parents, all trying to take picture of the popular group.

“Congratulations!” Jungmin said to Mira who hugged her tightly. They were all there, all the members of the Royalty in
one place. It had been awhile since they had all been together like this and it felt good.

“Oh, I have a question! Why did you ask only Junsu and Yeseul to come up there?” Jungmin asked third years. Yunho
grinned and put his arm around Junsu. Junsu made a face as Yunho pulled at his cheek.

“Well, who else could announce our names but the new leaders of the Royalty?”

Mira nodded happily and began to swing Yeseul’s arm. “Yup! Normally there’s this big announcement and what not but I
thought that under those circumstances it was a good time. Were you surprised?”

Yeseul shrugged. “Who else could you have picked?”

“Hey!” Nari yelped indignantly. “What about me? Why wasn’t I chosen? I could be leader of the Constellations!”

Micky shook his head as Nari continued to protest and also put his arm around Junsu. “Then no one would want to be
Royalty, you would scare everyone off. Congrats Junsu, how do you feel?”

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Junsu looked like he was being smothered by the third year boys and barely managed out a smile. “Great!” He squeaked
as the other kids laughed. Changmin looked around as more people crowded around to take pictures of the group.

“Hey, we should take a group photo now.” He suggested to everyone’s agreement. They tried to arrange themselves for
the photo.

“Picture, picture, group picture!” Mira chanted happily as she was pushed towards the font by Jaejoong who stood to the
side of her.

“Get up there shortie.”

“Looks like cute Mira is back.” Yeseul noted in amusement as she put her arms around Mira from behind her.

Jungmin leaned forward next to Mira. “I hope I turn out good…” She wisely pulled Changmin behind her so that he ended
up next to Yeseul.

Changmin put his hands on Jungmin’s shoulder and squeezed them. “You look fine little sis.”

“Hey, who’s going to take the pic?” Yunho asked as he went on Changmin’s side. “Junsu get in front of me so I can keep
pinching your cheeks my little protégé. Aw, stop complaining, you can be next to the first lady. HAHAHAHA.”

“Someone’s in a good mood.” Junsu muttered as his cheeks were being stretched but scooted closer to Jungmin.

Nari, who was still a little grumpy about not being chosen leader, decided that she would at least be in the middle of the
picture and sat down in front of Mira and Jungmin. “There are like five million people taking pictures of us, I’m sure we
can nab a copy somewhere. What?”

“Look at you! In the middle like you’re someone important!” Micky rebuked as he placed himself next to Yunho. Nari
stuck out her tongue at him but didn’t move as Micky shook his head some more.

“Here, coming through. Teacher of Sonho High School. I’ll take the official picture.”

The members of the Royalty looked to see a small balding man with an accent push people aside and position himself in
front of the group with a large black camera.

“Teacher Yoon?”

Teacher Yoon crouched down and waved at the confused Royalty kids. “Hello, Ms. Park. I thought that you needed
someone to officially take a picture and since you are my favorite students and perhaps, I am your favorite teacher…”

“Favorite teacher?”

“Favorite students?”

“Just when I thought he couldn’t get any weirder…”

“Sh, just let him be.”

“Yeah, what if he punishes us again.”

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“Ha, I remember, some punishment that was.”

“I really did think I got rid of him after graduation…”

“(sigh)”

“Just hurry and take the picture you sahtoori.”

“…I am gladly offering my services.” Continued on Mr. Yoon not hearing the mutterings of kids. He put the camera to his
face. “Ready? 1, 2, and 3!”
BOOM.

Startled on the kids turned around to see a tree fly in the air followed by fireworks.

Click.

The kids continued to stare at the sky admiring the magnificent display of fireworks, forgetting all about the picture that
Teacher Yoon had just taken of them looking at the sky and not at the camera. Off in the distance they saw a boy
running away from school officials. Further on in the forest behind the school there was a dark singe on the ground where
one of the trees used to be.

“What a way to end the year.” Jaejoong commented as he put his arm around Mira. The other kids smiled in agreement
as they continued to watch the fireworks together.

CHAPTER 25 – HAPPY BEGINNINGS


© pikapika.

“Hello Jaejoong.”

“Hello.”

The two men stared at each other, both a little stiff. Jaejoong’s father motioned for him to sit and Jaejoong sat down
across from him. They both continued to stare at each other, unsure what to say or how to start the conversation.

“Can I get you gentlemen anything?” Came the Waiter. Jaejoong shook his head but his Father ordered black coffee.
When the waiter left the two still couldn’t say anything to each other.

Jaejoong began to wonder why he came. Actually he knew why, Mira had made him. He had been stupid enough to leave
his cellphone with her and she had picked up the phone when his father’s secretary called, asking for a meeting between
former father and son. He couldn’t even call in person, Jaejoong thought annoyed. He had every intention of standing his
father up but Mira wouldn’t hear of it. Finally when Jaejoong had said for the third time he wasn’t going Mira had just
looked at him sadly with her big pretty eyes and said,

“At least your father still wants to see you.”

How could he say no to that? So here he was, very uncomfortable in an expensive café with hi father across of him
drinking his coffee. What did he want and why wasn’t he talking? He didn’t really expect Jaejoong to start the
conversation did he?

“Jaejoong.”

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Finally. Jaejoong grunted in response. His father, or former father, cleared his throat.

“So, where are you staying these days?”

“Dongwook’s hotel.”

“I see, with the Park girl?”

“Mira? Yes, she doesn’t have a place to go either.” Jaejoong couldn’t hide the bitterness in his voice. Somehow actually
talking to that man created an anger inside of him, or perhaps the anger was always there, perhaps it had been buried
the whole time and looking at the man he used to call father unleashed it. Whatever, all Jaejoong knew was that he was
angry. This was unfair, this was extremely unfair. Why, why did this have to happen to them? Why were they being
punished? What did they do exactly? It wasn’t even their fault but they had both been kicked out of their family and
disowned. Disowned! Both of them! For something that neither of them even did? Why?

Mr. Kim saw Jaejoong’s hands tremble in anger and chose not to say anything. Jaejoong had always been stoic and a bit
cold, he grew annoyed easily but Mr. Kim had never actually seen him angry. He waited, he wanted to see what he would
do next. Would he control it? Or would he let it out? Would he unleash all the injustice that had happened to him and that
other child?

His ex father’s emotionless stare infuriated Jaejoong, how could he just sit there like that? Why wasn’t he saying anything
else? Did he just bring them together just so he could find out where they were staying since they had been kicked out of
their houses? Was he expecting some sort of summary of the past few weeks that he and Mira spent as family-less? Did
he want him to explain how as happy Mira pretended to be, he could still tell she was hurting? Why wasn’t he saying
anything? Why was he doing this?

“SAY SOMETHING! Jaejoong yelled, as he finally snapped. Mr. Kim fought down a triumphant smile and took of a sip of
his coffee. It was a good thing there were no other people in the café…

“What do you want me to say?”

Jaejoong stood up angrily and slammed his fists on the table. “ANYTHING, SAY ANYTHING. STOP TORTURING ME LIKE
THIS. TELL ME WHY YOU WANTED TO MEET UP WITH ME. TELL ME WHY I’M HERE. ARE YOU SORRY? ARE YOU SORRY
FOR DISOWNING ME FOR SOMETHING I HAD NO CONTROL OVER? HAVE YOU EVEN PUT INTO CONSIDERATION HOW I
FEEL? ARE YOU GOING TO APOLOGIZE FOR ALL THE UNFAIRNESS THAT WAS PUT ON MIRA AND ME?”

Jaejoong closed his eyes and sighed as he sat back down in his seat. He rested his head in his hand and opened one eye
to look at the silent and observant Mr. Kim. “Or are you just here because you’re curious? Are you curious to see how
Mira and I are holding up financially with our parents? Are you here to make some sort of one sided deal, like the last one
you made with me? Do you want something from me? Do you want something from us? Do you even care? I wouldn’t be
surprised, after all, I WAS your son. Business first, family second, isn’t that right? And I’m not even family now, so where
does that put me?”

His voice, his voice was so cold. Jaejoong wearily closed his eyes and failed to notice that Mr. Kim was no longer stoic and
instead, looked saddened. He put his cup of coffee down and stared down at his hands.

“Jaejoong…”

He was answered with silence and Jaejoong didn’t even bother opening his eyes.

“Jaejoong…do you love Mira?”

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Jaejoong’s eyes unwillingly opened in surprise. He stared at his father who was staring back with an expression he
couldn’t read. “What?”

“Do you love Mira?”

What was going on? Jaejoong was completely thrown off, where had that come from? Why was he asking such a
question, especially right after Jaejoong’s outburst? What was he thinking? What did he want?

“What kind of question is this? Why, why do you want to know?”

“I met your Mother on our wedding day. When I saw her for the first time, I was taken away. I almost thought that it
wouldn’t be so bad to marry this woman. But when she looked at me with those eyes of hers, I knew she wasn’t mine. I
just knew that there was someone else, and it made me angry. Not because she loved someone else, but because I
didn’t. Neither of us had any choice in our marriage, and I was angry and jealous that she was able to experience love
before we were chained together. I really didn’t think it was fair…”

Jaejoong was speechless. He had never heard his father speak like this, nor had he ever heard him speak about his past.
And that expression on his face, he still couldn’t read it.

Mr. Kim continued. “I wanted that too and I wanted more time, a time to find the love that everyone spoke about. I
wanted another chance, before I was bound to a woman who loved someone else. But I never got that extra time, or the
chance. Your mother and I learned to love each other, but I knew it wasn’t the right kind of love. It was more of a mutual
agreement you could say, because if we didn’t, life would have been unpleasant. We also needed each other, we were all
that we truly had. Yet, even with this sort of love that we had, I knew she hadn’t forgotten her true love, the one she had
to leave behind…”

“…and the one who had left her behind.” Mr. Kim continued on after a pause. “I’m not too clear on their story but what I
do know is that it had something to do with family and business politics. He had already been married so the two had
already been separated when we got married, perhaps that’s why she seemed so defeated on our wedding day. Then
there was his wife whom I heard fought hard, harder than any of us had, and yet she still lost. We all lost.”

The café was completely silent. The waiter seemed to have disappeared. Jaejoong was still speechless and still absorbing
the story. Mr. Kim seemed to have been very lost in thought, caught up in the past that he realized had come back to
haunt them all.

“That’s why I want to know, Jaejoong, that’s why I want to know if you love that girl. I want to know that all that
happened not for some silly high school crush, but for something that had been taken from us. We were robbed, all of us,
of the one thing that we wanted the most. And from that loss, we changed, changed into the people we are today. Cold,
some colder than others, and a bit corrupted, some more corrupted than others. I want to know that you two have what
we all desperately wanted, because then I can forgive, then I can know that all of this didn’t go to waste.”

For the first time in a long time, Jaejoong understood, he understood his father. He had never understood why his father
didn’t hold him when he was a child. He had never understood why those international business meetings were so
important. He had never understood why his father had treated his family with such indifference. He had never
understood why his father seemed to only find value in Jaejoong the next heir instead of Jaejoong the son. Jaejoong still
didn’t understand a lot, but he did understand why his father had asked to meet with him. He did understand why he
asked that question. He understood his father.

His father…Jaejoong surprised himself. He had thought of him as his father without even realizing it. As much as he had
tried, he really couldn’t see him any other way. It didn’t matter what the tests say, he really was Jaejoong’s father. And

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his father had asked him a question he hadn’t yet answered.

“Yes, yes I do love Mira. What we have, it’s worth all that Father, it’s worth being cast out. It’s worth whatever else is in
store for us, she’s worth everything that I could ever lose.”

If his eyes weren’t fooling him, Jaejoong could have sworn he saw the smallest of smiles on his father’s lips. However,
before he could tell for sure Jaejoong’s father took a sip of his cold coffee.

“Good.”

That was all he said and as father and son looked at each other, they both knew there was nothing else needed to say.

---

Mira couldn’t believe she was in back in her house. It was night and she had snuck in to pick up some of her stuff.
Without their parents Jaejoong and Mira didn’t have much, even with their bank accounts. They weren’t exactly destitute
but then again, who knew how long they would be supporting themselves? They had to be careful and try not to spend
too much money, though lucky for them Jaejoong’s cousin let them have a room in his hotel for free after hearing of their
situation. But how long could they stay there? A hotel was just so impersonal and Mira would admit that she missed her
room and the comforts that were in it.
Mira quietly crept up the stairs, trying not to make any noise. If she woke up the servants her parents would be next, if
her parents were even in the house. Mira let out a quiet sigh. It had been so long since she’s seen her father and she
wanted to see him, maybe she should go look for him. Maybe he was back home. Even a quick glimpse of him sleeping
would make her feel better.

When she reached her room she swiftly began to find her stuff but she couldn’t shake off a feeling that someone had
been in her room since she left. Mira paused and looked around the dark room. Yes, someone had definitely been in here
and apparently been looking at her pictures from the way they had been moved around.

Mira went to her dresser and looked at her pictures with a soft smile. So many pictures and all with such fond memories
attached. There was the one in the back of her whole family, it was such a prim and proper picture of them all dressed
up. There was another to the left of it of her in middle school with Yeseul, and Mira knew if the light was you could see a
scar on Yeseul’s jaw. There was also the picture of her and Yunho, poking each other as toddlers. Mira tilted her head to
the side, hm, odd. She reached over and picked up the picture of her and Jaejoong from the end of their first year in high
school. She was grinning and had her arm around Jaejoong who looked like he was trying hard not to look pleased. This
picture, this picture had been faced down the last time Mira was in her room. This was before that test, Mira had put the
picture down, too hurt to look at it, but someone had put it up. Who had been in her room?

Wait, Mira frantically searched around the dresser. Where was that picture? She was missing a picture! Where was it?
Mira ran over and turned on a light, forgetting about being discreet. Her picture, her favorite picture was missing. Who
would have taken it? When she couldn’t find it Mira sat down on her bed, distressed. She had wanted to take that picture
back with her, that picture and the one with Jaejoong.

Mira shook her head and knew she had to get going. She gathered her stuff, along with the other picture, and put it in a
large bag. She closed the door quietly and headed down the hall. Mira still couldn’t get over her missing picture but she
couldn’t stay in the house much longer if she didn’t want to get caught.

Halfway down the hall Mira stopped and stared at door with light coming from inside of it. Who was awake at this hour
and which room was that? Their house was just so big with so many rooms, there was a reason why Yeseul had called it a
castle. Wait, wasn’t that her baby room? The one where she stayed in until middle school before she moved out to a
bigger room? Why would anyone be in there?

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Mira headed towards the room and discovered that the door was slightly ajar. She peeked in and it was all she could do
to not cry out.

It was her father, her father sitting on her old bed with his head leaning on the wall. His hair was messy and ungelled and
his clothes were wrinkled. The moonlight from her window enhanced the lines on her father’s face and there was a sad
and distant look in his tired eyes. But Mira couldn’t take her eyes off his hands, her father’s hands that were holding a
picture, the missing picture. The picture of a young Mira being held in her father’s arms.

“Father.”

Mira’s father looked up to see Mira standing at the door way with tears in her eyes. He stared at her, not recognizing her
immediately in his tired state but soon realization shown in his eyes. He gave a soft gasp but didn’t move.

Her father, her father was right in front of her. After so long she was finally able to see her father. What would they say
to each other? Would he cast her out again? Did he really not see her as his daughter anymore? The thought brought up
a sob that got caught in Mira’s throat. No, he couldn’t, he couldn’t do that to her. She would let him know that nothing
changed, she would tell him that she loved him. She would tell him he was her only father, there was no one else. She
would ask to be taken back, no she would beg to be taken back. Mira walked to her father and knelt down in front of him.

Mira hadn’t been on the floor for more than a second when her father abruptly grabbed her and pulled her close. He held
her close, squeezing tight as if he didn’t dare let go. Mira’s eyes widened in surprise but then instinctively curled up in her
father’s chest. It was just like that day, that day when he pulled her close and told her that she was his daughter, the day
when her favorite picture was taken.

“Oh Mira, I couldn’t do it.” His father moaned, weariness in each syllable. “Mira, I couldn’t do it. Mira, my baby, Mira, my
Mira, Mira, Mira, Mira, my daughter Mira, Mira, Mira…”

As her father softly said her name over and over again Mira closed her eyes though the tears fell despite of it. Her father
rocked Mira back and forth and neither of them noticed her mother, leaning on the doorway in her night clothes with a
half smile on her face.

---

“Oh Yeseul.”

“What is this? Are you following me? Aren’t you supposed to be home?”

Yeseul exasperatedly put her hands to her hips and Changmin stared at her with a confused look on his face.

:Er, no, why would I follow you? I was going home, but then I got caught up.”

“Let me guess.” Yeseul said dryly. “You found kittens in a box and you were finding homes for them.”

Changmin looked even more confused and shook his head. “No? I was walking home but then I saw this harmonee who
needed help so I carried her groceries to her house and she just happened to live across town. That’s why I’m going
home now.”

Yeseul sighed, people actually did that these days? Just when she thought he couldn’t be any more of a boy scout…

“Are you…angry? Should I be home? Is there something going on? Changmin asked as Yeseul wondered how oblivious he

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could get.

“No, it’s just that you’re everywhere Changmin. Honestly, it’s like having a second shadow.”

“Oh…sorry?”

Yeseul shook her head. “Forget it.” She started to walk off and eyed Changmin as he walked with her.

“Where are you going?” He asked curiously. Yeseul hesitated a second before telling him, knowing he wouldn’t be too
happy with what she had to say. Oh well, it would be interesting to see what he would do.

“Joon called, he’s back in town. He wants to see me and apologize, drinks are on the house.”

“WHAT? JOON? YOU’RE GOING TO SEE JOON?” Changmin yelped pulling on Yeseul’s arm as they both stopped walking.
Yeseul nodded and shrugged.

“Give me your phone.” Changmin demanded putting out his hand. Yeseul reached into her bag and brought out her new
phone and handed it to Changmin not out of obedience but out of curiosity.

It didn’t take long for Changmin to find the number and he impatiently held it to his ear as Yeseul could hear the fainting
ringing.

“Hello? Joon?”

Yeseul leaned in closer to hear Joon’s voice.

“Yes, hm, is this by chance his royal highness, prince Changmin?”

“Yes it’s Prince Changmin! I have a message for you. Yeseul accepts your apology beforehand so there’s no need to see
her. So cancel whatever plans you made with her.”

“Really? Does Princess know about this? Because the last time we talked she was coming over and-“

“Well that’s too bad because she has other plans now! By the way did you know we were almost attacked by kangpes
because of you?”

“What? Kangpes? When?”

“And I never got around to telling you I was jumped by drunken men before because of you too!”

“What?”

“What?” Yeseul repeated staring at Changmin. Changmin ignored her and continued to yell at Joon.

“So listen, stop calling Yeseul, she’s got enough on her plate besides you. And I hope I never have to see you again and
enter your stupid club. Got that? Good bye and have a nice day!”

Changmin slammed the phone shut and crossly handed it back to Yeseul, still caught up in the conversation.

“Have a nice day?” Yeseul asked incredulously as she put her cellphone back into her bag.

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Changmin blinked and forgot his anger as he blushed in embarrassment. “Er, well yeah, never mind that. Force of habit.
How could you think of going to that club again after what happened?”

Yeseul ignored his question. “And what did you mean you were jumped by drunken men because of Joon?”

Changmin blushed harder as he realized he had been caught. He shook his hands. “It’s nothing, never mind, it happened
awhile ago. I really dislike that Joon.”
Yeseul didn’t push the matter any further and let Changmin mutter to himself as they walked. It had been quite funny to
see Changmin all worked up, with that cute frown in his face. He was just so weird…

Clearing his throat, Changmin stopped muttering to himself and changed topics. “So, where are going to go now?”

“So Zone is out of the question?” Yesuel asked slyly as Changmin looked indignant.

“Of course!”

“I see, well then, I think I’ll go shopping.”

“Shopping? Shopping for what? Clothes?”

“No, flowers.”

“Flowers?”

Yeseul smiled at Changmin’s baffled face. “Yes flowers. It’s for your parents. I can’t just keep leeching off your family
without giving something back. That’s rude. They wouldn’t mind flowers right?”

Changmin stopped looking confused and smiled back. “Yes, they would love that. I know a fairly large florist near our
house, want to go there?”

Changmin and Yeseul walked together as he led her to the florist that wasn’t too far from where they were. As soon as
they stepped inside the humidity made them pause for a second as it felt like a green house. Yesuel looked around in
wonder at variety of plants.

“Nice. Help me choose some flowers for your parents.”

“Do you know a lot about of flowers?” Changmin asked as he looked at a cluster of round dark blue flowers.

“Actually yeah.” Yeseul hesitated for a moment. “My mom, she really liked flowers so she would teach me about them.
She liked clouds too, but you can’t grow clouds. Anyways, the ones you’re looking at are called Allium, they represent
patience.”

Changmin checked the label next to the flowers and discovered that she was right. So Yeseul was more than designer
clothes and clubbing. He smiled at her, just when you thought you knew someone.

Yeseul seemed to find his smile a bit awkward and quickly pointed to some bright yellow flowers. “See those? That’s Nari
(Forsythia), the flower our Nari is named after. They represent good naturee, which you could say Nari has.”

Changmin pointed a cluster of purple flowers. “What about those, those are pretty.”

“Oh, those would be Junsu and Jungmin flowers, lilac, first love.”

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Changmin found this conversation very interesting. “Ok, what kind of flowers would represent Micky?”

Yeseul looked around, as she thought about it. Finally she walked over and picked up a plant with white flowers that were
spread apart like the fireworks they saw at graduation. “Angelica, inspiration.”

She fingered bright pink flowers a couple of rows behind. “Pink clove, true love. Definitely Jaejoong and Mira’s flowers.
Though Centaurea, the flower of hope in love, would also fit Mira well now.”

“What about Yunho?”

Yeseul smiled and pointed to a cactus. “Yunho doesn’t get a flower, he gets a cactus. Endurance, fits him perfectly.”

“Hm, I think I just found the flower for you Yeseul.” Changmin said suddenly picking up a delicate pale flower. “Oleander,
know what it means?”

Yeseul hesitated before answer. “It has three meanings: Caution, Beauty, and Grace.”

“Fits you perfectly, especially the caution part, haha.” He joked. Yeseul looked away, embarrassed by his choice.

“Here, this is you Changmin. Gladiolus, strength of character and sincerity. Fits you perfectly.”

Changmin blushed but secretly admired the flowers she had picked for him. The colorful flowers were tall and looked
steady. He was glad she picked those flowers, he was wondering if any flowers had the meaning of “confusion.”

“OK, I’m going to give your parents these flowers.” Yeseul lifted a cluster of flowers that were pale blue and pink in color.
Changmin fingered the soft petals and nodded his approval at their pretty sight.

“And these are?”

“Hydrangea which comes with the message “Thanks for understanding”. They’ll like it right?”

“Yeah, I think they’ll love it.”

Yeseul went ahead to buy the flowers and Changmin followed her but stopped in front some bright pink and yellow
flowers. He leaned in close to read their description and let out a small smile.

Yeseul waited outside with her basket of flowers for Changmin to come out and when he did, she saw that he had a bag
in one hand and a flower in the other. He motioned for her to come closer and when she took a step he gently tucked the
pale Oleander behind her ear.

“There, beautiful.” He announced. Taken back, Yeseul put her hand to her cheek and to her horror found that she was
blushing. Lucky for her Changmin had already turned around and began walking, blushing himself.

“Er, what’s in the bag?” Yeseul asked making sure to walk a little behind him so he couldn’t see her slightly pink face.
Changmin turned around slightly to smile at her.

“Flowers.”

“For who?”

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“You, to put in your room.”

“More Oleanders?”

“No. Yarrow. You know what these flowers stand for right?”

Yeseul paused a second, allowing Changmin to walk a bit further ahead. She stared at the bag in his hand where small
bright pink and yellow flowers were peeking out.

“Yes.”

Changmin slowed down a little to let Yeseul catch up to him. As they walked side by side Yeseul looked at the ground, not
able to meet him in the eyes.

Yarrow. Flowers of healing.

---

“Look! It’s Yunho Oppa!”

“Yunho Oppa? He’s back? Where?”

“Why is here? Oh, he looks even hotter now.”

“Maybe he’s back for good! Maybe he’s going to spend another year in Sonho!”

“Yeah right, though I wish…”

Yunho wasn’t deaf, he could hear all the whisperings of the high school girls. Not that he cared, he was in too good of a
mood. Yunho flashed them a grin that sent them falling down. Yeah, he still had it.

Yunho knew he was swaggering down the hall but he couldn’t help it. This was the first time he was walking down the
halls of Sonho High School as an alumni and not as a student. He nodded briefly to the teachers he passed by, yes he
was an adult now, in equal status to all the adults there. Boy, did this feel good.

Yunho halted to a stop when he came to an all too familiar room. She could wait, he had something he needed to do first.
After all, if it wasn’t for that man Yunho wouldn’t be in the great mood he was in today. He slid the door open and
stepped in.

Yunho almost stepped back in shock. The room…the room was CLEAN. The chairs were all empty and there were no art
supplies scattered around in the room. There were no traces of clay and Yunho couldn’t find a spec of dust anywhere,
there was even no chalk dust on the chalk board. Did he just enter the wrong room?

“Hello? Oh, well if it isn’t the young suitor.” A head popped out from under the desk to Yunho’s surprise. Jung stood up
and placed the cleaning supplies on the desk. “Visiting?”

Yunho began to laugh when he got a clearer glimpse of Jung who was wearing an apron and bright pink rubber gloves.
“Haha, if you had a handkerchief on your head you’d be an old janitor lady.”

Jung didn’t looked fazed and calmly took off his gloves. “I couldn’t find one that matched my flowered apron. What can I
do for you Yunho?”

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“I want to thank you, Miss Shim told me about what you did. I really wasn’t expecting that, didn’t know you had it in
you.”

“Hm, well you could say I’m a man of unpredictable mysteries. But ah, you’re welcome, I’ll come find you if I ever need
anything in return.”

“Go ahead, I owe you one. So, what’s up with all this cleaning? Didn’t think you would be the type to clean out for the
end of year.”

Jung shook his head and took off his flowered apron. “Remind me to give this back to the Home Ec. Teacher. You’re right,
I’m not the type. I’m actually retiring, you could say I’m graduating like you and Miss Park.”

“Retiring? What? Why? You’re not even that old!” Exclaimed Yunho. Jung flashed him a grin.

“Never thought I would hear that from you Yunho, the whole year you never failed to remind me how old I am. But
you’re right, I’m nowhere near retiring age, I just decided this would be a good time to move on and put more focus on
my art.”

“This wouldn’t happen to have anything to do with you being Mira’s dad would it?”

Jung cringed at the word “dad” but quickly got over it. “Ah, so you also know. Partially yes, I’ll admit. Eunsoo, er, Mr.
Park and Mira came to me recently and offered to support me financially so I would stop teaching. Apparently they were
under the belief that odd things happen when I teach people art, don’t know where they got that idea though…”

Yeah right, Yunho thought to himself. When Jung tutored Mrs. Park he got her pregnant, when Jung taught art in college
he had Miss Shim fall in love with him, and Yunho didn’t even have to think about the whole mess Jung started when he
was a teacher at Sonho. Who knew what could happen if Jung continued to teach? What if he just went along with the
pattern and taught in middle school? Yunho suppressed a shudder.

“Yes, so I’m retiring, which I was thinking about anyways, never really liked teaching. So it breaks my hear to say this
but this will be the last time we see each other, Yunho.”

“I bet.” Yunho replied but smiled at Jung anyways who had his notorious crooked smile back. Yunho stepped in to face
Jung and extended his hand.

Jung stared at it but didn’t move. “What’s this?”

“I want to shake your hand, man to man.”

“I don’t know about man to man, you’ll always be my little suitor to me.” But Jung grinned even wider and grasped
Yunho’s hand firmly. “But I’ll shake your hand, after all we have the same surname. Who knows, I could be your father…”

Yunho pulled his hand back in horror. “As if! I’m going to go now, someone’s waiting for me…” With that Yunho ran out of
the room quickly, not brothering to shut the door.

Jung turned around and chuckled to himself. “And that’s going to haunt him for days. Oh Jung, you’re so bad.”

Yunho didn’t bother to stop running, completely creeped out by what Jung had said. Just when he was starting to think
Jung was OK, he had to say something gross like that. Yunho shuddered as he slowed down, he was glad he wasn’t going
to that Jung for awhile.

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Yunho stopped in front of another art room and squared his shoulder. He tried to push Jung out of his mind and eagerly
opened the door and stuck his head.

“Heeellllooooo!”

Miss Shim looked up from her binder and smiled as she pushed her hair behind her ear. “Yunho! What are you doing
here?”

“I’m here to see you, of course! What are you up to?” Yunho asked as he pulled a chair and sat down on the other side of
the desk.

“Finishing up grades for the underclassmen, it won’t take too long. What did you do today?”

The disturbing conversation came back in Yunho’s mind but he shook his head as if to get rid of it. “Er, nothing
important. What matters is what we’re going to do when you’re done grading!”

Miss Shim looked up from her binder. “What are we going to do today?”

“We’re going to go to Jeju like we were supposed to for your birthday!” Yunho answered happily. Miss Shim smiled at him
fondly and continued to grade.

“I suppose it’s long over due. Give me a couple of more minutes, I’m getting near the end and then we can get going.”

Miss Shim scribbled down some words but then felt the urge to look up. When she did she almost laughed, as there was
Yunho smiling cutely with his chin in his hands.

“What are you doing?”

Yunho batted his eyes and smiled innocently. “I’m watching pretty Miss Shim grade papers and waiting patiently for her
to be done, what else could I be doing?”

Miss Shim put down her pen and tried not to smile. “Well how can I grade papers when you’re being so distracting? I
can’t focus!”

Yunho eagerly grabbed the binder from her. “Ok then, stop for now and you can continue later! Come on, let’s get going!
If we wait any longer we’ll miss the sunset!”

“Yunho, I can’t! Come on give that back I have to…oh forget it. Fine, we’ll go. But you can’t keep me out too late, I really
need to finish this.” Miss Shim gave up and started to pack her bag as Yunho hopped up excitedly. As soon as she was
done he grabbed her hand and pulled her out of the room.

“Look, it’s Yunho and IS HE HOLDING TEACHER SHIM’S HAND?”

“What? What are they doing holding hands?”

“Are they an item, since when? He was just a student.”

“Oh I hate her, she’s so lucky….”

Miss Shim blushed at all the stares and whisperings from the students as they pass them by and tried to pull her hand

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away. “Yunho, let me go. I can walk fine by myself.”

“What?” Yunho asked looking at her. “A teacher can’t have a boyfriend? “

Miss Shim opened her mouth to protest some more but then changed her mind. She shyly and quietly let Yunho lead her
out of the school.

“Yunho? What are we going to do in Jeju?”

“It’s a surprise Miss Shim.”

“Are we flying there?”

“Yes.”

“Remember, you can’t keep me out too late. I still have to grade.”

“No problem Miss Shim.”

“And Yunho, we agreed to take thing slow right?”

“Yes, don’t worry Miss Shim.”

“Does your parents know about this?”

“I don’t need to ask my parents my permission, but yes they do know I’m going to Jeju.”

“Do they know about me?”

“They know something Miss Shim.”

“Hm, and Yunho?”

“WHAT?” Yunho asked a bi exasperatedly as he stopped. They were only a couple feet away from the car! How many
more questions did she have?

Miss Shim widened her eyes, a bit startled but then she smiled shyly. “Call me Eunjin.

“Eunjin?”

“Yes, no more Miss Shim.”

“Ok Miss- I mean Eunjin.” Yunho said almost shyly but then gave her the biggest grin he could manage. He squeezed her
hand and Miss Shim smiled back at him sweetly.

“What does your parents know? Do I need to meet them? And Yunho, what if they don’t like me?”

Yunho sighed and put his arm around Miss Shim neck. “It’s a good thing I’m crazy about you…Eunjin.”

----

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“So you’re really leaving in a couple of days huh? Excited?”

“I guess, I can’t believe I’m going to SM though. Gosh, I’ve dreamed of this for so long and to finally have it come
true….”

“It’s going to be weird without you…”

Nari said distractedly, looking off into a corner. She and Micky were sitting on the same piano bench in their special music
room with the broken window that still hadn’t been fixed. Even though Micky had graduated he had returned to the
school and pulled Nari out of class though he couldn’t help but feel that she had seemed really out of it the entire time
they were together.

“Hey, I never did hear the song you wrote for the contest you know.” Micky said softly nudging her. Nari blinked

“Oh? Oh…I can play it for you right now if you want, I memorized it.” Nari said and scooted more towards the middle
after Micky nodded. She began to softly play the notes to a very pretty melody.

“With the slightest movement


The memories of you bring pain, as they spread like dust
When the rain falls, I try to forget you
And the tears I’ve kept inside start to fall
No matter how hard I try, I can’t erase you
Even though I try to cover up with a smile, tears fall
This thing called love bring me near, and it’s not much
But I haven’t forgotten you just one bit
Each time I close my eyes I see your face
Why does it disappear when I open them?
Without you near, my heart is starting to harden
I still remember how you filled me up
No matter how hard I try, I can’t erase you
Even though I try to cover up with a smile, tears fall
This thing called love bring me near, and it’s not much
But I haven’t forgotten you just one bit
All I have of you are memories, I can’t even feel you
How many days have to pass before your forgotten?
No matter how hard I try, I can’t erase you
Even though I try to cover up with a smile, tears fall
This thing called love bring me near, and it’s not much
But I haven’t forgotten you just one bit”
(Tehwan – credits to aheeyah.com)

Micky watched Nari as she sang her song, his head slightly nodding to the slow beat. It was such an experience seeing
Nari gently playing the notes and singing softly a sweet melody with such sad words. He could feel her heart in all the
words that she sang so sincerely and with so much emotion.

When the song ended Nari lifted her fingers off the piano and placed them on her lap, not saying anything. Micky tilted
his head to the side and continued to look at her.

“Nari.” He said softly as Nari looked up to look at him. “My song is better, I knew there was no mistake that I won.”

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At first Nari looked insulted but then came back to life as she scoffed at Micky’s grin. “Whatever, I still think I should have
won. This song is gold.”

“It is.” Micky agreed to her surprise. “I liked it, you should write ballads more.”

Nari shrugged but smiled. “Your ‘Fly’ song was not half bad, you should write more of those too.”

“Half bad? You said you liked it.”

“I said that in place of the graduation gift I didn’t get you.”

“Whatever, I saw you happily beating up those first years to the beat. You liked it, you liked it a lot.”

“In your dreams.”

The two song writers looked at each other and smiled as a gentle silence filled the room. It was obvious there were so
many things to say as this would be one of the last times they would be together but neither of them had the words to
say how they felt or what they wanted. So maybe it was true, maybe it was true that when they weren’t singing or
fighting with each other there’s wasn’t much else to say, but was that so bad? Nari fumbled with some papers in her
hand, neither of the two was good with words when there wasn’t a melody attached which was probably why she was
having the hardest time finding her voice to say what she wanted so much to say.

Micky noticed the papers in Nari’s hand but didn’t say anything, knowing that Nari would tell him when she was ready.
Before he had wanted to say so much to her, to explain all the things that he had learned recently about himself and her,
but now, now he felt like there was no need. Nari may not know what he was thinking or how he felt but she understood
him, more than anyone else, and that’s what mattered the most. He understood Nari too and he couldn’t help but wonder
when they had developed such a relationship. When did they get so close? When did they first connect?

“Micky.” Nari said suddenly and shoved the papers in her hand at Micky. “Here, this, this is my goodbye present to you.
It’s a song, a song I wrote recently and well, I would normally sing it for you but I don’t think I can. I think you’ll
understand it just fine and you can play it yourself. I got to go, I’ll see you…later.”

“Wait, Nari.” Micky called out as Nari ran out of the room. He stood up to go after her but changed his mind and sad back
down. He unraveled the rolled up sheets of paper and began to read.

“Always my affection may seem foolish


But my love is so much bigger than I am

When it is hard to keep my balance


And the world brings me to my knees
I won't know a day without love

I'll tell you, will you listen to my love?


It may not be much, but I will always be waiting

I wandered aimlessly for a long time


But in the end you were where I stopped

You are like a great present who takes always my pain and despair
Thank you, I'll wait many days till I can tell you that
I love you and will make the hard times go away

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Please always stay here beside me”
(Prayer - credits to aheeyah.com)

Micky stared at the sheets of music when he was done reading. This was Nari’s gift for him, this was the song she had
written for him. Though he had only read the song, he understood her message. So maybe music was the best way they
communicated to each other. He connected with her through the song and wait a minute, what was he doing here just
thinking?

Micky ran of the room with the song in his hands and hoped she didn’t get too far. Where did she go exactly? He
searched the halls as fast as he could, ignoring the students who were staring at him running around. He exited the
school and looked around desperately until to his relief he caught sight of Nari walking towards a car that waiting for her.

“Nari! Nari, hey wait up! NARI.” Micky yelled and ran even fast to catch up to her. Nari looked at him surprise as he
rested, trying to catch his breath.

As Micky stood up strait Nari eyed him a bit warily and nervously, did he read her song already? What did he have to
say?

“Why did you run out like that?” Micky asked still slightly panting. Nari looked down embarrassedly.

“I hate good byes.” She muttered. Micky let out an exhausted laugh and shook his head at her. He put his hand on her
head, pushing it forward and gave her a kiss on the forehead.

Nari’s eyes widened in complete shock and her mouth fell open but no words came out.

Micky smiled at her expression. “Keep writing awesome songs and win the contest next year. I’ll be waiting for you.”

With that he opened the car door and gently pushed the still shocked Nari in. As the car drove away Nari turned around
in her seat and looked back at Micky who was waving. When he was no longer in view Nari turned around and touched
her forehead in wonder.

He was going to be waiting for her. He was going to be waiting for her at the School of Music. Nari couldn’t help but grin.
She would write more songs, she would write better songs and she would win the next contest for sure, there was no
doubt about it. Then, well, she knew what was after that.

And Nari couldn’t wait.

---

“I can’t believe it, we look stupid.”

Jungmin took the picture from Nari. “Oh, I don’t know, I think it’s kind of funny.”

“Yeah, and see he even managed to capture the flying tree.” Junsu noted leaning over Jungmin’s shoulder and then
passed the picture from Jungmin to her brother.

“We don’t look bad and at least it’s memorable.” Changmin commented pointing out the flying tree to Yeseul. She took it
from him and shook her head.

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“That Yoon, I knew he would screw it up one way or another.”

“Oh, I’m kind of fond of him now.” Mira chirped as she took the picture and looked at it with Jaejoong together. “Now that
I’m out of the school that is.”

Jaejoong shook his head but fondly stroked her head. “Hm, I was going to say.”

Yunho leaned over the two of them and grabbed the picture. He held it up. “Well I don’t know about the rest of you but I
look good. I’m fine with it, I want a copy.”

Micky rolled his eyes and snatched the picture from him. “Ever since graduation you’ve been awfully perky and cocky,
more so than the usual, Yunho. Might it have to do something with a certain young art teacher?”

Yunho just grinned as the others laughed at him. The Royalties were all sprawled out throughout Changmin’s room,
meeting up for one last time before the graduated Royalty left for their destinations.

“So let’s see.” Jungmin said looking around. “Micky, you’ll be leaving for SM tomorrow?”

Micky nodded and caught eyes with Nari who quickly turned her head away and began to munch on some apples that
were sliced up on a plate in front of her. Mira grabbed two slices and gave one to Jaejoong.

“And Jaejoong and I will be leaving for Tokyo next week.”

“I can’t believe your father managed to put you into Tokyo University last minute. Will you be able to handle the long
distance?” Yeseul asked picking up the plate and passing it around.

Mira shrugged and took a bit out of her apple. “This was the one University Jaejoong’s father agreed to, but it’s Ok, I
think we need to learn to live without our families a little.”

“We?” Jaejoong asked and reached over for another apple piece. “We’re going to Japan all for Mira’s sake, she and her
father need to learn to live with some distance between each other.”

“Gosh Jaejoong, I think that’s the longest sentence I’ve ever heard you say.” Junsu said bursting out in laughter along
with the others. “And Yunho is only going to be twenty minutes away in the near by college?”

Yunho nodded happily and hugged a pillow. “Yep! Like I would let college keep me away from Eunjin.”

“Ooh, did you hear that he called her by her first name! Getting a little intimate aren’t we?” Nari teased and caught the
pillow Yunho threw at her before it hit her in the face.

“And the rest of us will be starting school as third years, except for Jungmin who’s going to be a second year.” Changmin
said looking around.

“Yeah and I promise to try my best to be the best leader of the gods! I won’t let you down Yunho.” Junsu announced
happily.

“Oh my baby Xiah!” Yunho cooed and jumped on top of him, squeezing his cheeks. As Junsu struggled to get free Yeseul
calmly moved the apples out of danger.

“Though next year it’s going to be harder to get in, there definitely won’t be any first years. No offense to you.” Yeseul
added.

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Jungmin shook her head. “None taken, but I can’t wait to bring more people in! It’s going to be very different next year.”

“Oh and speaking of which.” Nari said with her mouth full of apples which Micky looked at with disgust. She swallowed
quickly. “I have someone I think we should let in next year. The Taewoo kid, I wouldn’t mind him in our group.”

“The weird first year?” Yeseul asked disdainfully. Junsu also frowned.

“The one who asked Jungmin out?”

Mira nodded brightly. “Ooh, I think that’s a good idea. He’s way cute and super smart right? He’s in Jungmin’s class right?
What do you think?”

Jungmin patted Junsu’s arm reassuringly. “Don’t worry, Taewoo is harmless, he won’t be doing that again. Besides, he’s
been following around Nari lately.”

“What?” Micky asked sitting up straight. Nari shrugged in response and stuffed more apples in her mouth.

“Oh, there’s a friend who’s been away on exchange the past year. He and I are good friends and he used to be on my
soccer team. I’m thinking of inviting him.” Junsu said as the others nodded in approval except Yeseul who frowned.

“Well we don’t have to invite everyone in right away, we have the whole next year. Besides, it would be weird to have
new kids…” She trailed off. Mira and Yeseul looked at each other sadly and then to everyone’s surprise Mira burst into
tears.

“Oh my…”

“Mira’s crying?”

“Mira, hey precious are you OK?”

“I have never seen Mira cry and I’ve known her all her life.”

“Oh no, the world’s going to end, Mira is crying.”

“Is something the matter?”

Mira accepted the tissues from Changmin. “I’M GOING TO MISS EVERYONE!” She wailed as Jaejoong gave her a hug
while he laughed.

“Uh oh.” Nari said looking at Jungmin who’s lip was trembling. Pretty soon large tears rolls down Jungmin’s face and
Junsu frantically grabbed some tissues also.

“I’M GOING TO MISS EVERYONE TOO!” She wailed along with Mira who was still crying. The guys of the room shrugged,
unsure what to do and Nari and Yeseul just looked at each other.

“Should we be crying also?”

“Like I would cry in front of everyone.”

The boyfriends began to comfort the crying girls and Yunho squeezed Mira’s shoulder.

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“Hey, stop that you baby. You scared all of us. We’ll see each other again, we’ll all come back to Sonho one day.”

Changmin nodded and handed his sister more tissues. “And at least we’re ending in a happy note, you could say this is a
happy ending.”

Mira shook her head and blew her nose. “I don’t believe in happy endings.”

“What do you believe in?” Junsu asked patting Jungmin on the head as she slowed down her crying.

Mira looked around at her dearest friends. There was Jungmin and Junsu who had renewed their first love and had so
much in store for their cute relationship. Jungmin, she had grown so much and had a hidden maturity that Mira put in her
faith in for the next group. AndJunsu who would probably be the most sweetest out of the all leaders before him, would
do a good job taking care of the next group of Royalties. Though Mira had a feeling that because of Junsu’s natural
sweetness he might get pushed around more than it was usually allowed.

Which was why Yeseul was chosen as the female leader. Yeseul would make sure that traditions would still be kept and
the image of the Royalty be well kept. Mira knew Yeseul would never stop clubbing and being a bit wild and her situation
with her father wasn’t resolved but Mira had faith in a certain tall friend with a good heart and mind. Perhaps the most
pure out of all the kids and definitely the most confused and oblivious, Mira sincerely hoped for some developed in his
relationship for Yeseul for both of their sakes.

There was also Nari and Micky who just when their relationship was blossoming, they would be separated. But it wouldn’t
be too bad as they would both be writing songs and as they would do that, they would think of each other. Mira
wondered if they knew, that through each other they had healed the deep scars that had formed from their pasts. Well, if
they didn’t know it now they would realize it one day, one day perhaps, when a certain Sonho student won next years
School of Music contest. Both had a lot in store for them, in music and in life.

Yunho also had a lot of things in store for him too, especially with a certain pretty art teacher. Yunho had proved to all of
them that there was more to Yunho than his confident and rather bullheaded exterior. Inside of Yunho was something
incredibly sincere and genuine and Mira was truly happy for him that Miss Shim finally saw that. It won’t be too easy for
them though, as they have a lot of explaining to do to a lot of people but Mira had faith in what they had and knew that
Yunho definitely had the endurance and strength to keep pulling through no matter what difficulties lay ahead.

And of course, there was Jaejoong, her Jaejoong. Mira reached for his hand and squeezed it. After all that they had gone
through Mira felt like they deserved a new start and they would get one in Tokyo. She would miss her Father of course,
but she had Jaejoong and he was right, she needed to learn to live without her Father. Though that didn’t mean she loved
him any less, in fact, Mira would say she loved her Father more because of the whole experience. She didn’t love her
Father because of biological reasons but because he had raised her, he had loved her, and because he was the man that
he was. And as for Jung, she knew he would be happy alone, completely free to release his artistic inhibitions and Jung’s
isolation would probably be best for the female population. Besides if he wasn’t for him, well she wouldn’t be holding
hands with the man she loved in a room full of wonderful and dear friends.

Mira realized that everyone was waiting for her to answer Junsu’s question. Looking around again she felt like her heart
would burst with happiness and love.

“No, I don’t believe in happy endings.” Mira beamed and despite the tears made the most genuine and happy smile.

“I believe in happy beginnings.”

THE END

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(Or is it?)

-=Character Analysis=-
Pikapika’s note: (Jan. 30, 2007)
so i just finished my character analysis...im not sure how this happened but it just got looooooooooong~for
that reason i wont pm people about it~but if u want to read it and get a better understanding of the characters
please do
it also explains alot about characters that i never got to writing...

i would like to explain something though that i will also explain later one. In HSR there are no bad or evil
characters. Sure some characters make it harder for some other characters but there's no one truly bad. I
purposefully did that because in real life there really aren't evil people out there to ruin other people's lives
just because they can. I think that's one of the things that separates HSR from most other fic and i really like
that. ok thats all ^.^

ROYALTY:

Jungmin: The story of HSR begins with Jungmin which leads everyone into thinking that she will be the main character,
but in fact, though there is no real main character) she actually didn’t get that much face time (yeah the term is used for
movies and TV but it works for this story). I really wanted Jungmin to be the “average Korean school girl”, someone you
could actually find in real life. If anything you could say Jungmin’s story is like one of those where a normal girl finds
herself living in a drama or a movie.

Jungmin was important because she was used to show how other students view the High School Royalty. I needed a fresh
perspective of the group and I think Jungmin was great for that. When the girls were talking about shopping for designer
clothes and flying to other countries I think Jungmin reacted in a way any other normal kid would have acted: in wonder
and disbelief.

-What I didn’t add: Jungmin was going to have trouble dealing with being a Royalty, more so than in the story. I actually
planned on having her getting close to her classmates and then have trouble figuring out to balance being a Royalty and
their friend. Somehow, that never came up and all I could do was add the wee bit of when her classmates comfort her
after the breakup. I think the hardest part about being Royalty for Jungmin is being isolated from the other kids but as
that scene showed, it really wasn’t like that

-Strengths & Weaknesses: Jungmin had a habit of saying things without thinking, though that makes her honest and
sincere. She is a little bit too caught up in what other people think, but who isn’t? I think that makes her very human.
She’s comes off as shy at first (remember when Jungmin’s first day of school) but she’s very aware of people and their
circumstances. I think that in the beginning Jungmin had a lot of insecurities, normal ones that typical high school girls
go through, but she really developed in story, through her relationship with Junsu, and became a stronger and more
mature person at the end. She really did learn to speak up for herself through the incidents of the story and it’s really
hard not to like this girl.

Junsu: Junsu turned out to be everything that I wanted. Sometimes charaters don’t turn out the way I exactly planned

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them to that wasn’t the case for Junsu. From what I know first love stories usually have the guy being, well like Yunho or
Jaejoong, but I wanted something completely different and Junsu was perfect for the role. Not only is he sweet looking in
real life (his high voice was PERFECT for the character) but Junsu was definitely one of those characters you could
imagine the real person doing those acts.

My favorite thing about Junsu? The way his voice cracks when he gets excited. Haha, I seriously crack up whenever I
write or read those parts. I think that just makes him even cuter and just enhances his innocent image. I have yet to
meet a guy like Junsu (if you know anyone let me know!!) and in a lot of views he’s my most unrealistic character, guys
tend to get corrupted in their teenage years.

-What I didn’t add: Junsu’s flashback changed. In the original one he was supposed to have a very influential older sister
who was also a Royalty when she was in school. The point (all the flashbacks had a point) of this flashback was to show
why Junsu is just so sweet and tries so hard to be romantic. I had planned on having his sister hurt by another guy and
makes Junsu promise to be the most romantic guy he can be. I changed the flashback because I seriously couldn’t figure
out how to write it but I’m glad I did. His flashback was way cute.

-Strengths and Weaknesses: Junsu’s strength is his sweetness and his good nature. I think that’s why he got into the
Royalty, they just loved how sweet and nice he was despite his high status. Junsu can get a bit stubborn (I know, we all
wanted Junsu just to kiss Jungmin that first time despite the lack of rain) and can over react to situations. He’s also a bit
too much of a romantic and tries too hard to make things perfect but I think Junsu definitely learned a lot by the end of
the story. And poor Junsu, I just gave him such a hard time with his dates.

Changmin: Ah, Changmin. I knew I needed a character like this to opposite Yeseul and he just fit it perfectly. He’s the
only god without an ego problem and he’s so GOOD. His tall and clean image just goes so well with the character, it’s a
pity the real Changmin isn’t actually like that (I mean, I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with Changmin’s actual
personality…just saying…). I don’t think anyone else could have done justice to this part like Changmin did.

You might not believe me but Changmin is actually based off this guy I know. That guy is also extremely kind and good, I
really didn’t think guys like him existed. However, both guys have one problem: they bore me. As much as I am fond of
my friend he’s just TOO nice and in the beginning of the story I wanted to snore whenever I wrote about Changmin. Of
course that changed as I wrote more into what Changmin was thinking and how he changed through Yeseul. I think for
Changmin, at first it seems like he’s just a good guy with no personality but when you dig a little deeper you see that he
gets angry and frustrated like everyone else. I do love Changmin though, he’s just the perfect older brother (the one I
never had but desperate wanted T.T).

What I didn’t add: Changmin didn’t get a lot of face time did he? I was going to write this little piece where Yeseul drags
him to the dance floor at the club and he awkwardly tries to dance. But then I knew I couldn’t describe their dancing well
enough so I just stuck with the little bit during the graduation. I really did want to make Changmin this loveably dork.

Strengths & Weaknesses: Changmin’s strength is definitely character as Gyusung the ghost knew. He’s solid rock of pure
goodness though he is a pushover. Changmin could have taken those drunken guys that one night but he let himself get
beat up. I think another weakness of Changmin is that he doesn’t push, at all. I know a lot of you were frustrated by the
lack of action between Yeseul and Changmin but I swear that’s all Changmin’s fault. Yes he confessed but then he said he
would wait and he never bothered her again. Though if you think about it, I think that works well for Yesuel, she might
have ran away further if he persisted any more about their relationship.

Yeseul: Yeseul is definitely the character where there’s more than what meets the eye. In the beginning everyone
thought she was just a snobby and beautiful “Queenka” but as the story developed and more about Yeseul was explained

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those thoughts changed. I wanted a beautiful cold female character and Yesuel was perfect. I think her name even means
“Beauty” (I have a cousin named Yeseul). She was also the prime example of how other people view the constellations:
Gorgeous and way out of their league.

Yeseul’s not as cool as she first appeared to be, she also has a sense of humor and a heart that wasn’t visible before.
When they’re surrounded by kangpes Yeseul’s thinking comment about Changmin’s one liner is just gold for me, so unlike
the cool and calm character she seems to be. I think if Yeseul was as cold and unmoved as she acts, she and Mira
wouldn’t have been best friends.

What I didn’t add: I really regret not writing more about Mira and Yeseul’s friendship. I really do like the idea of their
friendship, the cold beauty and the cute girl, though Yeseul and Mira are corrupted versions of that. Though at least I
managed to write about how they met and how Mira changed Yeseul. I would have liked to write more about Yeseul’s dad
but I’ll leave that for the side stories.

Strengths & Weaknesses: Yeseul is pretty cool headed and doesn’t get easily excited like some of the other kids. She’s
also extremely aware of the people around her(She was the one who first told Changmin of Junsu and Jungmin and
during the first contest fiasco she tried to save Mira) and she can get very caring. However, she does act cold and it does
take time for her to warm up to someone. She’s also the one who seems to be the most snobby, especially with her lack
of desire for new members. Of course as strong as Yeseul acts she has a lot of dark skeletons under the closet and her
self esteems isn’t as high as it seems.

Nari: Ah Nari, dear Nari. I think she’s the most popular girl character, if not the most popular character in general. She
was definitely the comic relief for the story which I knew it needed. I really wanted an untypical comic relief and I think
Nari does well for the part. I thought she would be an interesting match for Micky and I guess I was right?

Nari is probably the character most heavily based on a real person. Yes, someone like Kim Nari ACTUALLY exists. Well,
the character Nari is more exaggerated then the real Nari but both are loud, musically talented, and pretty tough. When
the real Nari heard about this story she read the first part and she was like “I killed my brother?” Though I think the real
Nari’s favorite member of dong bang shin ki is Jaejoong.

What I didn’t add: I wanted Nari to fight more and I’m sure she wanted to fight more but I headed away from more
fighting scenes when I realized I can’t write them. I didn’t think it would be hard but it was, I am STILL displeased with
Mira’s fight scene, I think I could have written it waay better but I’m not sure how I would have done that. One thing that
I didn’t plan on was having so many songs in this story! I spent a lot of time on aheeyah.com looking for the right lyrics
and truthfully some of the songs I chose I have never heard before. Oh well, it’s the words that count.

Strengths & Weaknesses: Nari is funny, that’s for sure, though she doesn’t try to be. I think Nari’s greatest strength is
her ability to heal. Losing a brother, especially one who died for you, isn’t easy but I think Nari healed herself very well.
Of course she still misses him and she still blames herself but more than that, she made herself strong and tries to be
positive. Nari also doesn’t care what other people think of her and yes she can get a little over excited (I don’t even need
to give examples) but I think this Nari would definitely be someone you want to be friends with because at least she
doesn’t beat up her friends.

Micky: Micky was my hardest character. He was totally going to be this completely moody I’m-so-much-in-pain Emo kid
but somehow he gave himself a different personality. In a way, you could say that he’s the character I know the least. I
struggled a lot with him, he didn’t come easy as the other characters.
He’s also the most inconsistent character, I barely had any control over him. He so did not turn out how I wanted even
though he did the things I planned. But I don’t think it’s so bad, I think he might have actually turned out better. I think

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the hidden funny/dorky side of him came out pretty well and I loved writing Micky and Nari’s little shouting matches. He
also has this brotherly quality that I love. I think Micky and Yeseul are similar, they put up this cool and cold act but deep
inside they’re loveable dorks.

What I didn’t add: So Micky’s girlfriend was originally going to be the complete opposite of Nari which I thought would
make things interesting for him and Nari. However, I decided to base it off the winner of the contest (Yelinoh) as much as
I could and Yaerin actually ended up being somewhat similar to Nari. I was a bit worried about that but I think it made a
twist that turned out pretty well. Micky’s old girlfriend was also going to be one year older than him but that also
changed. However, even in the beginning she was going to die because of a porcupine which I still find hilarious as bad
as I feel for Micky. Honestly, I don’t even know if you can be allergic to porcupine quills (haha I’m chuckling to myself as
I write this).

Strengths & Weaknesses: I was going to write about this but I just never did so I’ll explain it here. Originally after Nari
confessed to Micky he would have told her that she’ll have to wait since he’s still not over his girlfriend. The thing is, he’s
not over he because he doesn’t want to be. He was afraid that without his pain he wouldn’t have be able to write
anymore and he doesn’t want to lose that. Then Nari would have told him that he loves writing more than he loved Yaerin
which would lead him to getting over all that. This did not get written because the story didn’t turn out that way and I
didn’t think I could explain it well enough. I don’t even think I explained it well enough just not but I promise you, it
makes sense in my head, hahaha.

Jaejoong: Oh Jaejoong, I made you so SEXY. I admit, I was a little bias because he’s my favorite character (He’s just so
SEXY). When I started writing I knew he was going to be my most cliché character, the hot brooding guy who’s just
naturally romantic but I couldn’t help it. It makes me sad to think that guys like him don’t really exist and man I gave
him some awesome one liners for this story. Seriously if this story turned into a drama his quotes would go into the
Korean Drama hall of fame along with “*puts hand on heart* You’re in here” and “Do you smell something burning? It’s
my heart on fire for you” (ROUGH translations, sorry but I’m sure most of you know what I’m talking about).

Jaejoong definitely became my ideal vision of a guy. If any of you know someone like him, please introduce him to be
because guys like Jaejoong do not exist in real life. There are some guys I know that come close, but not quite as sexy as
I made Jaejoong. As I said before, if only the real Jaejoong was like this (Not that I don’t love the real Jaejoong, I love
his humor) but then that would just make him TOO sexy and I’m not sure if the world could handle such sexiness.

What I didn’t add: Jaejoong is my most mysterious character because I knew if I made him talk anymore he would lose
the mysterious sexy character. He was gone for a lot of chapters which a lot of you noticed and trust me I noticed too,
but I thought it was important for the story. I was going to expand more on him being violent at clubs but like I said, I
can’t write fighting scenes and I couldn’t decide if he would be a better fighter than Mira. I still haven’t decided so I just
never wrote about it.

Strengths & Weaknesses: I admit, I was too biased and gave Jaejoong no flaws, at least none I can think of for right now
(Come on, he was even really nice to Yunho after the whole fake relationship fiasco). Sure it was a little weird how even
though he knew Mira could be his sister he still chased after her but I tried to justify it by writing about how he couldn’t
see her as his sister. Let’s remember, they lived their entire life not knowing and this is definitely not something you can
swallow quickly. Oh wait he does has a flaw: he doesn’t trust people because he’s so sexy. Wait, does that even count?
I’m so disappointed in myself.

Yunho: I adored Yunho’s character, he was just so fun to mess around with. I definitely needed some sort of the
“Kingka” for the story and of course it would be Yunho. I also imagined him with that silver/grey hair look just because I
like him like that, only Yunho can pull off grey hair. Like most of the characters, I wanted him to seem very cliché but

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later on show that there’s more to him than meets the eye.

Yunho (along with Junsu) was used to convey my hidden message. That message being that romance isn’t something you
can copy or just do, it has to come from the heart. Yunho was a stud his whole life and got a wee bit cocky until he met
Miss Shim. I think Miss Shim was the first thing(or person) he couldn’t get right away and that drove him crazy. Yunho
also turned out a lot cuter than I intended but that’s the real Yunho’s influence. I just remembered how cute he acted in
his banjun dramas (My favorite being “Dangerous Love”, got to love Jaeho) and had to put it in.

What I didn’t add: If I could do the story over again I would definitely write more about him and Miss Shim. I think I
failed to make you guys understand why he likes her so much as a lot of you guys hated Miss Shim but oh well, nothing
is perfect. I think their relationship was the least explained and in a lot of ways made Yunho seem superficial. But trust
me, there’s more to it and maybe someday I’ll explain it better.

Strengths & Weaknesses: Yunho is a bit superficial and a bit cocky but inside he’s a good person which his friends and
Miss Shim can see. He’s just a little too confident in himself and when circumstances that he can’t control arise (The
whole Miss Shim thing) he gets quick confused. Overall, Yunho is a good person and is very caring as you can see
through his relationship with Miss Shim and Mira.

Mira: I’m going to try really hard not to write forever on her. If there was a main character for this story, she would be it.
The actually story started off with her and Jaejoong and their forbidden love story and the other kids were eventually
added on. I really wanted a different kind of protagonist and heaven forbid I write a ugly girl/hot guy story (I can’t stand
them). I think I wanted a strong character, someone tough (awesome fighting skills) and powerful (controlling, good
leader) but I also wanted more. So I made Mira cute and bubbly which created a very interesting character.

I fondly think of Mira as my child as she is the most complex character I’ve ever created or even read about. She’s a
strong character but she’s also cute and not only that it’s explained why she’s like that. Sometimes I think that if Mira
was a real person she’d be psycho, no kidding. She’s been unintentionally emotionally and mentally abused if you think
about it and she has some serious issues. Mira also change