Chapter 1

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Seung Yeol’s POV

“3,2,1, Say cheese”

I turn around after having another talk with Jung Su about the probability that more than half of our senior year class wont even contact each other after today, Soo Ji squeezes herself in between us and puts her arms around our shoulders and I flash my best smile widely at the camera. Three genuine smiles, three unbreakable bonds.

Eun Hae: Look at you three, it seems like only yesterday you guys were arguing over which Saturday morning cartoon to watch.

Jung Su: Probably because it was only yesterday…

Eun Hae: well it’s not my fault you three are only a few months away from entering college yet it seems like you wont outgrow this silly little Saturday tradition

Soo Ji: and why not? We hardly ever see each other because of busy schedules during the weekdays; Saturday is practically the only day we can hang out together.

Eun Hae: and yet you spend a good part of it arguing

Seung Yeol: Well, you know what they say, a family that fights together, stays together.

Eun Hae: geez, no wonder you three remained best friends after all these years

The talk goes on, until we are duly interrupted by a voice that makes everyone’s knees weak, hearts tremble and hairs stand on end. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see the mess of white hair poking out from an otherwise shiny bald head. Headmaster Kwon Jin Man approaches us, letters in hand.

Headmaster Kwon: Ethan, Suzy and Liam, can you please come here for a second?

Ethan

Hebrew origin, meaning strength

My tutor gave me the name after tae yeon was born, not even a month after I lost both my grandparents in a freak train accident; my mother gave up her life to save another. My Sister blamed herself her entire life for our mother’s death. I wouldn’t blame her, having lived her own life without the guidance of a mother, my sister isolated herself from others. As if having asthma and heart problems was bad enough. The only people she ever interacts with are Soo Ji and Jung Su, whenever they come over, and Eun Sang and In Na, her maid and private tutor. Dad rarely ever sees her, torn between showing affection for his only daughter and resenting the reason for his first love’s death. Apart from My mother and grandparent’s death, Tae Yeon’s imminent depression and

Dad’s negligence, my friends are the only happy things I have in my life. They are my strength.

Ethan!

I snap out of my trance as Headmaster Kwon snaps his fingers in my face. I turn my head and look at Soo Ji and Jung Su’s concerned faces. A tear attempts to roll down my cheeks but I have enough control to keep it from falling.

Seung Yeol: Yes Sir

Headmaster Kwon: well now that I finally have your attention, let me repeat. *Clears throat * So Ethan…Suzy...Liam... do you know why I called you

All three: No sir.

And at this point, we genuinely don’t know. The only time ANYONE ever calls us by our English names is when were about to receive breaking news, in most cases not very good news. The three exchange frantic glances as all have the same idea. A million thoughts race through their mind

*Imagining *

Seung Yeol: drats, did I fail my final exam? I swear I answered the last items precisely. Oh no, what if there was another part that I didn’t see, oh gosh, I cant afford to fail now…

Soo Ji: I swear it wasn’t my fault I always fall asleep in Professor Park’s lectures. It’s not my fault that old dinosaur bores you to sleep with her rather monotonous tone.

Jung Su: Damn that Jong Hyun, he must have tattled. It’s not my fault he went home with a black eye. He deserved it. No one calls me stupid and gets away with it.

Sweat starts trickling down my forehead as I recall every wrong thing we committed.

Headmaster Kwon: Relax kids; I’m letting whatever you three are so worked up about slide. For now, that is. We just received the acceptance letters from Seoul National University and guess which three of my best students get to go this fall.

Soo Ji: No way. Oh my Gosh, no way. Shut up. Like I. cant. Even.

Headmaster: complete sentences please Ms. Kim.

Jung Su: woaw. I actually did it. Ha! In your face people-who-thought-only-my-fists-were-good-for-something!

I take the letter from the headmasters hands and let my own shaky, excited hands involuntarily rip open my letter and my equally excited eyes skim through.

“ Jung Seung Yeol…. Congratulations…. Accepted… College of Business Administration…”

The tear I held a while back finally set free but in a totally different context.

 I peeked at my friend’s letters, which was quite difficult as Soo Ji’s was already soaked with tears and Jung Su was once again jumping around.

“Kim Soo Ji...accepted… College of Fine arts, Major in Design”

“Lee Jung Su…accepted… College of Medicine..”

We all hugged each other; we were going to be together after all. I would still get to play video games after classes with Jung Su and go walk in the park or watch movies with Soo Ji. My heart fluttered. I wouldn’t have to separate with the one I love, or at least, loved from afar. I don’t know which is harder, Falling in love with my best friend without ever telling anyone or watching someone else fall in love with your best friend, and knowing you lost before you even fought.

“HEY! SOO JI!”

Another familiar vice rises above ever other. Won Sang Ho, the school quarterback, came bolting towards where we were standing. Ever since middle school, Sang Ho always chased after Soo Ji. Couldn’t blame him, Soo Ji was a sight to behold. Soo Ji always just brushed it off, knowing what her brother would do to the poor guy if she even considered his affections.

Sang Ho: Hi Soo Ji!! Nice day isn’t it.

Soo Ji: yes, yes I guess it is.

Jung Su drapes his arm around Soo Ji’s shoulders and ruffles her hair

Jung Su: Hey lover boy! Do you know Soo Ji here got accepted to SNU!!

Soo Ji: Hey Jung Su! Stop it! You did as well, and stop messing up my hair; it took me hours to set!

They pull each other into a hug and laugh loudly, so loud my pangs of jealousy were drowned off. But like how Soo Ji shrugs off Sang Ho’s feelings, I guess I should let go of my feelings as well.

Eun Hae: SOO JI! HURRY UP! MOM”S GETTING CRANKY!! YOU KNOW SHE DOESN’T LIKE WAITING IN A HOT CAR

Soo Ji: (to Eun Hae) ALRIGHT ALRIGHT!! IM COMING!! (to Seung Yeol and Jung Su) I’ll see you guys tonight at the after grad ball! Bye guys! Bye Sang Ho!

All: Bye Soo Ji!

Sang Ho: I gotta go as well, gotta prepare for tonight if you know what I mean * wink ** wink*

Jung Su: shut up you perv. Hey give me a ride wont you. I forgot to pick up my tuxedo.

Sang Ho: after you called me a Perv. Pshhh fine. Just put in a good word for me to Soo Ji would you.

Jung Su: suuuurrreeeee I’ll totally do that. (Faces Seung Yeol and rolls eyes) come on, let’s get going. Bye Yeollie!!! See you tonight!!

Seung Yeol: YAH! Don’t call me that. Only Tae Yeon can! All right see you guys tonight.

And just like that, I was left to my own thoughts.

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