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Forgiveness, Thankfulness and Remembrance

Chapter 1: Touring the School

WE: Assume dialogue is Korean unless specified to be English or Mandarin. And, the flooring plan is fictional, though the actual school is not. There's an actual school schedule for this, take a look!

-❄❄❄ September 6, 2017. 8:09 AM

"Have a good day, Eunju." I smile to my host Mom, Jeongna, as I sling my bright blue backpack over my shoulder and open the door a little. "You can always come home if you're not comfortable in the dormitories."

"I will, Mom. Take care."

"You, too." She returns the smile, then I exit the vehicle, booting my black suitcase ahead of me. I close the door behind me and wave to Jeongna as she drives away. Sighing as I prepare myself a little more, I walk towards the front doors and enter the building with some other student. I bow my head in turn of thanks as a male student hold the door open for the small, oncoming crowd, then make my way to the office.

By the office door, I make eye contact with a Korean girl in the school's uniform. She has dark, dark brown hair to her shoulder blades, and eyes like melted sharp chocolate captured in reflective marbles. This is Mun Haeun, a twelfth grader like me who is my STG. I met her yesterday after I moved half of my things into my host family's house because the teacher in charge of the STG Team scheduled for us to meet at one of the many cat cafes at noon to help us get acquainted. STG stands for 'Student Tour Guide', but Haeun told me that students mockingly call it 'Swear To God' because they feel like children.

We became friends after realizing we both cosplay as Vocaloids, sew our own costumes, and have a weird fascination for watching people. She speaks Korean and English, and her parents teach Korean and English at the school. Haeun has no siblings, but her younger cousin, Sinhye, is in tenth grade, here. "Hi, Eunju." Haeun greets me, waving, and I return the gesture, bowing my head a little in respect. "Did you sleep well?"

"I slept well, yes."

"Good, you'll need it. This school is actually that hectic. Let's go to your homeroom." I follow Haeun out of the office down the forward facing hallway, another to my right. "You remember what room number it is, right?"

"Yes, room F-8, which is on the second floor with all the grade 12 lockers." I answer, as we come to the stairs on the left after the Lost-and-Found box in a nook under the stairs with two sets of double doors. When we went over the school's floor plan, yesterday, Haeun told me they're usually closed. A bench, janitor's closet and bathrooms are on the opposite wall, followed by grade 10 lockers and five classes, three of which are on the left. As I begin to rapidly march up the stairs, right foot first, then my left foot joining it, three students pass me. I catch a pair of shirts and one pair of pants as a giggle rolls down the stairs.

"Hey, wait, oppa-yah." The girl who was a bit behind catches my eyes; she's really cute, her face shape is like a doll's, and she has golden brown hair. "Look at her, she looks so stupid. I hope she falls." As she jogs back to join her friends, I look at the other girl.

She's adorable, with big, brown eyes, a stout little chin and caramel brown hair that's dark brown at the roots. The male student, who could accurately be described as a brown haired Mochi, is short and breathtaking in appearance. Haeun sighs as I finish climbing the first set of stairs and move onto my next one. "Really, Dahyun? She has bad knees from an injury two years ago."

"And, I speak Korean well." I slyly add, keeping my eyes on the stairs as I pass them.

"How did you do that?" Dahyun asks.

"One Friday in March, I had too much exercise at school, and I used to walk to and from school. My knees were already buckling from walking on my toes." I lean against the wall after I finish climbing. Haeun, who already knows the story from yesterday, joining me. Dahyun is on her tail, and the other two quietly follow.

"When I got home to help my parents outside, both my knees buckled, which never happened, before. I spent a week at home on crutches, then Sunday, my parents told me to walk five steps from the dining table to the couch." Two male students pass us from ascending the stairs in a hurry. I notice the tallest student grips the other's wrist, whose face is red, and both divert their eyes from our group. "I was too scared and tried going back to my room, but I started off wrong and sat on my good leg, dislocating the knee."

"It took me all summer to walk without assistance, including anxiety pills, because they became a comfort item. I flunked a grade when I tried homeschooling, but I caught up last year in a branch of my old high school. I did go a little crazy, especially after my first boyfriend, who was a psychopath. But, I wrote a book during that time." I lightly huff and smile. "I always wanted to live in a big city like Seoul instead of a small, Canadian town like Vanderhoof, so it was worth it."

"Wow..." The second girl awes.

"I'm... sorry I picked on you." Dahyun says. "You're kind of cool and inspiring. What's your name?"

"My name is Young Eunju. I'm in grade twelve."

"Aw, your name suits you!" She giggles. "I'm Kim Dahyun, and this is my best friend, Joo Jayoo, and my boyfriend, Park Jimin. Jayoo is in tenth grade, I'm in eleventh, and Jimin oppa is in twelfth." She gives a polite bow. "It's nice to meet you."

"It's nice to meet you, too." I reply, bowing back.

"Are you going to homeroom to meet your teacher?" Dahyun asks.


"What room are you in?"


"Ah, you get Mrs. Mok!" Jayoo comments. "She's really nice. If everyone hands their work in at the end of the week, she gives us ice cream!"

"Are you in her class?" I ask.

"Yes!" Jayoo looks among Dahyun and Jimin. "We were heading to the music room down the next hall, a staircase is at the end of this one. The classroom is on the way there. Want to walk with us?"

"Sure!" I nod a little, then Jayoo and I walk practically side-by-side down the hall. Haeun is behind me, and Dahyun and Jimin are behind Jayoo, holding hands. My stomach churns in memory of Halloween during the moment I look. We reach the classroom, and I peer inside to see a Korean woman sitting at a desk facing the left of the room.

Jayoo turns to me with a smile. "Well, here we are. I have P.E first block, Dahyun unnie has Yearbook, and Jimin has Biology, then we all have a double block of Musical Arts. What about you?"

"I have P.E this morning, too." Haeun answers. "Eunju has Apprenticeship and Workplace Math. Then, we have Visual Arts for the double block."

"We could meet outside at the ten minute break between the double block." Jimin quietly suggests.

"Yes, yes." We agree, nodding. I've got a strong impression that Jimin's a Shy Mochi, heh. Lucky Dahyun, he's cute.

"Um, after lunch, I have Media Arts with oppa, and Jayoo has Science." Dahyun says. "Then, for the last block I have Pre-Calculus, Jayoo has Languages, and oppa has Law."

"I have Food Studies, then Pre-Calculus." Haeun says. "Eunju has Theatre Arts Tutoring, then Languages."

"Nice, we'll see each other in several classes." Dahyun replies.

"Do you have Kakaotalk, Eunju and Haeun?" Jayoo asks.

"Yes, we have it." Haeun answers.

"Let's trade numbers, then! Do you want Dahyun unnie's, too?"

"If it's alright with her, yes." Haeun looks to Dahyun, who nods with a gentle smile in response. We trade numbers, then say farewell as the three continue down the hall. Haeun and I enter the classroom, and Mrs. Mok looks up to us from her computer, which seems to be her emails.

"Good morning." She greets us.

"Good morning." We reply, bowing.

"Are you a new student?" Mrs. Mok asks me, making eye contact.

"Yes, my name is Young Eunju. I'm in twelfth grade. I'm from Canada."

"Oh, Canada! How nice!" She smiles. "Welcome to SGHS, I'm Mrs. Mok. Is this your homeroom?" I nod in confirmation. "Good, good. You have some time before the bell rings, so you can go, unless you have some questions."

"Uh, yes." I giggle. "I've been told you give ice cream to the class if they hand their work in?"

"Ah," Mrs. Mok laughs. "Yes, that's true."

"Is it... OK if I turn down the ice cream? I'm lactose intolerant." I laugh nervously under my breath.

Mrs. Mok laughs lightly as she shakes her head. "Of course it's alright. Another of my students is also lactose intolerant, too. Her name is Hwang Hyejae, do you know her?" I shake my head to say no. "Well, you'll meet her today. Maybe you have other things in common." I smile and nod a little in reply. "Are you comfortable giving the class a short greeting speech?"

"Yes, I would be comfortable doing that."

"Alright. I'll call you to the front when it's time, then. You can take a seat in the front, few students sits there." I nod in reply. "Is there anything else you want to ask, Eunju?"

"No, I'm out of questions. Thank you, Mrs. Mok."

"Alright. Let me know if you need anything, OK?" I nod twice in reply. "I'll see you in a little bit."

"Bye." I bow a little, then Haeun and I exit the classroom. She follows me as we continue down the hallway, more students making their appearances. "She's a really nice teacher, wow." Haeun nods in agreement, giving a low 'mhm'.

"Where are we going?" Haeun asks.

"Uh... that's a good question." I laugh a little, then exhale in thought. "How full is the music room, usually?"

"Packed full." I laugh again, and Haeun joins me.

"How about the library?"

"Full, too. But, not as hectic."

"What about the drama room?"

"A little occupied. Actually," Haeun turns to look at me instead of the staircase we proceed to descend from. "You might like it there. The kids there sure are welcoming."

"Cool, then let's go there." After reaching the bottom, we take a left down the science and continued grade 10 hallway. We pass through the opened double doors after another staircase with an empty nook below it to the left. There are double doors, usually locked, leading outside to the left before a wall of lockers, as this hallway has more grade 10 lockers. A door to the large, blocked courtyard is on the right; four classrooms look into it, split between the second and base level.

We take a sharp left-then-right turn on a corner and pass the languages hallway, the opened double doors to the library on the right. The last of the grade 10 lockers line the walls between the two classes, which are on either side of the hallway. Between the one on the right is short hallway that leads to the small auditorium and looks into the library and courtyard. There are bathrooms ahead after two support beams that stand semi-centre in the opening, and a bench is between two sets of locked double doors leading to the staff parking lot. We pass through this, and I glance at the lime green hallway that begins with a gentle ramp.

"The Home Economics classroom is down there, right?" I ask, as we pass a janitor's closet on the right and a nook with a bench on the left.

"Yep. Then, after a right turn, there's doors behind you, the grade 11 hallway ahead of you." Haeun explains, as we pause at the ramp leading into the grade 11 hallway. "The woodwork classroom is on your left in the middle, and more doors are at the end, on the left. The metalwork classroom is on the left, when you turn right, after some lockers. There are two small classrooms on the right usually used for lectures."

"What's behind here?" I ask, tapping the door on the left wall just before the ramp.

"Textbook storage."


"And then, you know the choir and old drama room is down here." Haeun says, pointing ahead to review my knowledge. "It's used for the Dance Club, too. Do you remember where Theater class is, now?"

"The small auditorium, because they use the stage."

"That's right. The Writing and Media Arts classrooms are down the hallway to our right towards the office, on the left. The first door on the right leads to the photocopying room, and the cafeteria with the canteen on the left is open to the hallway right before the small auditorium. There's a dramatic corner before the languages and library hallway to make room for the courtyard. The school's layout is a bit weird around this area."

I giggle and nod in understanding, then Haeun continues. "Across the cafeteria and small auditorium is the gym hallway. A long trophy case is on the left wall, and a small canteen is on the left just before the double gym doors. There's an exit down the right hallway after another trophy case and vending machines. If you ignore the gym hallway, there are bathrooms on your left, and the Careers office is on the right, after the entrance to the canteen and its tiny kitchen, the office on your left, and the main entrance at the end."

"That was a good review, I think I'll remember that even more, now."

Haeun laughs lightly. "Sorry about that."

"Eh, it's OK. We still have..." I pull out my phone from the small pocket of my backpack. "...12 minutes to fool around."

"Shall we go into the old drama room, now?"

"Yes, definitely." We continue down the hallway, and when I look into the giant window that looks into the classroom, I see three male students scream as they chase each other with pool noodles. Another male student and a female student sit on the couch facing into the classroom, and laugh along. Two other boys sit on the floor, another girl by the side of the farthest boy, and they glance up from their phones to laugh as the three run around. I find myself smiling. "Yeah, now I remember why I liked being a drama kid."

"You haven't been in drama class since your knee accident made you paranoid about the floor for a couple weeks, have you?" Haeun asks. I shake my head as an answer, and Haeun smiles with a slight huff. "Well, there's no time like the present."

"Nope." I return the smile, then pull open the rightmost door into the classroom.

-Forgiveness, Thankfulness and Remembrance-


WE: 2500 words exactly, wow. The next chapter will be more exciting, and ho boy will there be ships, drama and gags. Think about the story's title and the first group mentioned in the Description. That is your clue. Thank you for reading!


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