15. Stay

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  I wake up to a throbbing sensation on my leg.

My eyes widen as I see the night sky above me.

In Seoul, you rarely ever see the stars because of the lights of the city. So I just see a dark expanse stretching over me like a dome.

But why am I laying down outside at night?

As I begin to become more aware of my surroundings, it's like someone turns up the volume in my ears and sound fills in them. I notice someone is crying a little, while someone else keeps repeating my name over and over again. Hands shakes me gently.

Then it hits me.

Yun-ji. Joking around. Pushing. Falling. Car. Horn. Hands. Jungkook.

I sit up so fast my vision blackens as the blood rushes from my head. Someone yelps in surprise and I hear the person falling over. I moan as my knee protests at the sudden movement. It hurts. A lot.

I turn in shock to see both Yun-ji and Jungkook by my side.

Tears shine on Yun-ji's cheeks as she watches me with scared, wide eyes. Jungkook is the one who was knocked over when I sat up so quickly.


Is he really here?

"Oh, Nari, I'm so sorry!" Yun-ji almost wails. "Are you okay? Oh, your knee is bleeding!" She crawls over to me and grabs my shoulder.

Jungkook shakes the hair out of his eyes. He, too, comes back to my side. "Nari? You good? Do you need me to call the hospital?"

I only shake my head. What exactly happened?

Yun-ji reads the question in my eyes. "I'm sorry," she repeats. "We were pushing each other, and I tried to push you in the snowbank, but you tripped over it and into the street instead of landing in the snowbank like I'd intended. A car almost hit you when this man appeared and yanked you back to the sidewalk before you actually got hit. Oh, I'm so sorry, Nari. But...it's your fault you didn't land in the snowbank and instead, practically jumped over it!"

"You're kidding right?" I find my voice and I glare at Yun-ji, though I'm not mad at her. "My fault I didn't land in the snow bank."

"It's both of your faults," Jungkook cuts in before Yun-ji can reply. "Are you guys crazy? You don't just play fight beside a road. I don't care whether it looks empty or not!"

Yun-ji hangs her head in shame.

I only stare bug-eyed at Jungkook.

"What are you doing here?" I breathe.

"Just rescued your life, idiot." He's clearly upset. He keeps running his hand through his hair and his eyes continue to flicker down at my leg.

I follow his gaze and wince. My school uniform is soaked and dirty, and my knee is cut open with blood oozing out. Disgusting.

"Can you stand?" Jungkook offers a hand.

Yun-ji grasps my elbow as I move to get up. I clench my jaw as more pain stabs into my leg as my knee moves. The cut doesn't look too deep, though.

"Do you need to get to the hospital?" Jungkook repeats his previous question.

I shake my head. "N-no, my house is only a block or so down this street."

"We need to get you inside soon and clean the cut," Jungkook notes.

"I can run ahead and get your parents," Yun-ji says earnestly.

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