Whitewash

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It's been a few months since Araceli came back to Korea, signed to P Nation and moved into her new apartment that was just below Seventeen's. It was like she had never left the group as she was always over at their place or they were over at hers.

In the span of those months, Seventeen had already came back with Home and Getting Closer. Araceli had changed her stage name to just ARA and had been staying out of the public eye (aside from some modeling she's done) since signing to her company. The only thing she's been doing is posting on her Instagram, much like Jessi, Hyuna, and Hyojong.

Araceli has been just relaxing as much as she could, writing lyrics and learning how to make music from Jihoon, and doing some modeling gigs. Other than that, she hadn't been doing much.

And today wasn't any different. Araceli was lounging around in her living room, scrolling through her Instagram feed and lazily pressing the like button on some posts of her friends before she felt like she had enough social media for the day and turned her phone off.

At that same moment, Minghao entered her apartment unannounced. It was a usual thing that he (and all the other members) did. Araceli had gave them all an extra key to her apartment, as they gave her an extra key to theirs. So it wasn't unusual for them to just pop in like Minghao just did now.

Araceli looked up and saw the stone-faced boy walking towards her, causing her to quirk an eyebrow before sitting back up on her couch.

"Hey Ming, what's up?" She asked curiously as he plopped down on the couch, positioning himself to lay down so that his head was in her lap.

"The ceiling...." He answered rather bitterly, blankly staring up at Araceli.

"And what's got you so upset today?"

"You."

Araceli blinked in surprise, not expecting that type of answer. Immediately, she tried to think back to what she could have done that would have irked Minghao to be upset with her. She hadn't really done much but be on Instagram—

"My recent post...." She mumbled, sighing softly while closing her eyes shut for a moment.

"You promised to stop whitewashing yourself," Minghao stayed calmly, keeping his eyes trained on Araceli. "You broke that promise."

"Hao—"

"Noona, why the fuck do you keep whitewashing yourself??" Minghao frowned. "You look like a fucking ghost in every photo your post."

Araceli just sat there as he ranted. There wasn't much she could say that would excuse her or explain why she continued to whitewash herself. She knew that whatever she said would be nothing to Minghao, it'll just make him even more upset and concerned. She saw him do it with Mingyu, so he would certainly do it to her.

"Do you not like your natural tan skin?? Because I do, and so does everyone else. It makes you look you and it makes you look even more gorgeous than you already do!" Minghao sat up and turned around so that he was facing Araceli. "I swear, both you and Mingyu are so self-conscious and uncomfortable with it, I don't understand! It may be because of fan sites and paparazzi and other people that whitewash the hell out of you, but don't let them get to you, noona! Your skin color is so pretty, you're pretty in general..."

Araceli felt tears well up in her eyes as she sat there, biting her lower lip. Instinctively, she averted her gaze away from Minghao's stern one, not wanting to let him see how upset she was. She didn't know why she was crying, she didn't have a real reason to cry but hearing him scold her like he was doing reminded her of whenever her mom would scold her for hating herself while growing up. Araceli hates her tanner skin and her eyes while growing up. She hated how she was a "halfie" as other kids put it and she just hated herself in general.

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