Six

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Bo-mi and I sat together for lunch, eating whatever food it was that our mothers packed. The cafeteria was rambunctious around us as they chatted loudly and refused to stay seated. We ate in almost silence compared to what the others were doing.

"You," Bo-mi calls suddenly, pointing a chopstick at me. "Tell me what's it like living with a adult male who has no relation to you in any way."

I pursed my lips. "We aren't living together yet, but I can tell you now, it won't be fun." I dug into my salad with my fork, taking a giant angry bite out of it.

Bo-mi couldn't contain her smirk. "What do you mean by that?"

I placed down my fork, readying myself to go deep into an detailed rant. "It would be just like living with my brother-he is a pig!" My mind grew cloudy as I started to think about last night again. Just seeing him be cocky and ignorant was adding fuel to my fire.

She shook her head. "I highly doubt it. Can you hold your brother like lovers do?" She smiled as she thought about it. "Can you kiss?"

My face contorted into disgust. "Ew, no! Kiss him? What a joke."

I could feel his presence even before he whispered into my ear. He leaned down halfway to speak. "Don't think we won't do that, Lilla. Once we get married, you will be my girl."

I turned my head to side slightly so he could hear my words. "In your dreams."

He sucked in a breath. "I will have my boundaries, but I would like to hold you sometimes."

Bo-mi piped up. "Just hold?"

Jae-won stood up, clearing his throat and furrowing his eyebrows. He seemed as if he was scolding us for something, rather than speaking of our marriage secretly. After a moment of looking around the lunch room, he winked at my friend and quickly walked away.

"Ugh! What a pig!"

Bo-mi smiled sympathetically. "He is a boy, Lilla. My poor baby is finally going to grow up."

I glared harshly at her. "Boy or no boy, he is still a pervert."

She shrugged, filling more food into her mouth. "Like he said, he has boundaries. Whether or not he sounds like a childish boy, he treats you like a princess."

After the conversation ended, we sat in silence for the rest of our meal. In the end, we cleaned up our spot and walked back to our classes. Bo-mi didn't say a word, but kept the grin on her face as well as Jae-won. They both exchanged glances.

"Get out your reading textbooks and open to page 370. Read the first paragraph to yourselves while I read aloud."

Your accent makes you hard to understand, why bother?

I frowned at my textbook, slumping in my chair. I didn't want to hear his voice at the moment, but it wasn't like I would have a choice. I would see and hear him everyday once the wedding is over. Truly, I hope he gets another job quickly after we wed.

"Lilla? Why don't you read the next paragraph?"

Am I four? Who even does this anymore?

I was irritated. Grabbing the book, I slid it closer and began to read. Just as I did, Jae-won interrupted me. "Speak louder, please."

Let's play a game.

"Edgar Allan Poe was a famous writer for poetry such as 'The Tell-Tale Heart'. He was known for the scare and horror within his poetry."

"What language is that?" A student asked, turning around to look at me.

"I didn't know what she said."

"Is she Chinese?"

Jae-won did not seemed impressed but forced a laugh. "Please read in English. You and I will have a talk when we get home."

Bo-mi stiffled a laugh. "It's Korean," she explains to the students. "And she is getting in trouble right now."

I raised an eyebrow. "I don't want to. I'm sorry, but I am not good with English."

Jae-won smiled. "Well I am not either, so we can help each other." Despite the insistence in his eyes, he looked away from me and chose another student. It took me a moment to realize he was no longer in a happy mood, and I immediately dropped my head.

I sighed heavily, staring at my english book with a bit of guilt. It didn't seem right to me that he could tease with no expectation of something back. He made it seem like I was the bad guy by acting out-in which I was- and he was an angel. It was like I was a kicked puppy.

"Lilla, please see me after class."

I looked up quickly. "What?"

His eyes seemed different than before. He stared at me, as if daring me to deny his command. Even Bo-mi, on the opposite side of the class room, looked to me with hopeful eyes.

I nodded. "Ye." (yes)

The bell rang for the last time, making everyone rise from their seats. "Wait, hold on! Give these permission slips to your parents; you must sign and turn them in by this Friday!" Jae-won quickly passed out the green fieldtrip papers.

Everyone left, some leaving a few glances at me. I ignored them, waiting for them to leave so that I could take my punishment quietly. Even my best friend left the room without a word, surprisingly.

"Lilla, come here."

Like a child caught doing something wrong, I bowed my head and slowly made my way to him. He sat behind his desk, heaving a sigh and rubbing his temples. When I came up to him, he sat up a little.

"What was that for? Why did you cause a scene?"

I gripped my shorts between my fist, tightly clenching them. "I don't know." I didn't meet his eyes as we spoke.

"Lilla, look at me."

I shook my head. "No thank you."

Jae-won stood from his chair, walking around for him to be closer to me. He pushed a few things off his desk so he could sit down easily. "Then, come here."

I slightly titled towards him, but didn't take a full step. He didn't like the small movement and reached out to grab my hand. With a yank, he pulled my back into his chest and wrapped his arms around me.

"There."

Sighing from the guilt, I leaned back into his chest. "I'm sorry."

I felt him lean his head down to the left side of my neck, snuggling closely as he hugged my shoulders. "You have to stay a good student. Acting out like that will cause issues and your mom will not be happy." His breath fanned on my neck as he spoke. "Be careful, okay?"

"I know, I know," I mumbled, putting a hand lightly on his arm. "Just, don't say stuff to me during school. I'm still young so I react before thinking."

"I'll be careful." He paused for a moment. "I can't take you home today, the school is having a board meeting."

I turned so my head laid on his. "Bo-mi is not going to like that." Although I was not use to this boy beside me, holding me closely and talking lightly, I felt comfortable in his arms. As if that was something I usually did.

Just as he was to release me, the classroom door opened to reveal a distressed person. Their eyes widened as they looked to both Jae and I. "What are you doing?!"

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Ye and ne- yes in Korean. Used for agreeing.

가슴은 뛰고 있어
여전히 널 보고 있어
자꾸만 숨이 막혀서

아직은 멀리에서
너를 지켜보고 싶어
내가 또 왜 이러는지

My heart is racing
I’m still looking at you
Because I keep running out of breath

I’m still watching over you
From far away
Why am I being like this?

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