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Forgiveness, Thankfulness and Remembrance

Chapter 3: Homeroom Thoughts

-❄❄❄ September 6, 2017. 9:01 AM ❄❄❄-

I look up from my phone as a cute, somewhat short male student with silky, light brown hair and beautiful brown eyes passes me. Oh, isn't he the second guy who passed us in the hallway? He gives me a brief, small smile as we make eye contact. He quickly reaches the fifth and final row to sit in the desk near the window. Ah, so this is our main protagonist.

"Uh, good morning, Baekhyun." Mrs. Mok says, making a slight face as she turns on the SMARTboard behind her. Is this not his usual morning behavior?

He turns to her from looking outside for a moment. "Hi, Mrs. Mok."

"Are you feeling OK today? You usually sit in the front, right beside where Eunju is sitting."

Baekhyun catches my eyes that paced between him and Mrs. Mok. "Your name is Eunju?"

"Yes, I transferred here from Canada for my last year. It's nice to meet you, Baekhyun."

Baekhyun's chest slowly sinks as he exhales. "It's nice to meet you, too." He gives another little smile, but his expression reflects anguish. Should I... ask?

As I open my mouth, Mrs. Mok takes my place. "Baekhyun, are you feeling alright?"

"Yes, I'm fine." His tone doesn't make it seem that way. Just as Baekhyun finishes his sentence, more students file in, filling the seats. I guess it's not my business to ask what's wrong, but I still can't help but wonder if his mood has something to do with the student he was walking with, this morning. The bell chimes again, then shuffling comes from the speaker on the ceiling's corner to the left of the door.

"Good morning, SGHS." Oh, this is the secretary's morning announcement. "Welcome back from summer vacation, we hope you all had fun. Today's block rotation is 1-2-2-3-4 after homeroom. As a reminder, you only have to be in homeroom before the first block for the first week for attendance."

"The first dance of the year is on the last Friday of this month, the 29th. The theme is Fall Fair, so dress in denim and plaid if you want to. As always, there is a small prize draw, and admission is ₩8200." That equals about $10 CAD. "You can preorder your copy of the yearbook starting October 1st by the office."

"They are ₩45, 600 until December 1st, then they will then be ₩53, 900." That equals around $55 and $65 CAD. Ugh, my other high school had overpriced yearbooks, too. "That is all for today's announcements. This has been Seo Jeonghae, your secretary in the office. Have a wonderful day."

There's a bit more shuffling as Jeonghae ends the announcement, then Mrs. Mok rises from her seat. "Alright, good morning class, I'm Mrs. Mok." She begins to write her name in Hangul on the SMARTboard with the black pen. "As Jeonghae said, welcome to the 2017 school year." Mrs. Mok adds her name in Hànzì underneath.

"Mr. Jeup and I teach Korean, Japanese, English and Mandarin, so we collaborate our classes." She writes her name in Hiragana and English, then sets down the pen and puts her hands at her sides. "Our students often share one language and wish to learn another that a peer knows. It's a trade that has shown to be enjoyable and educational for everyone. Language has helped people communicate for generations, and it's my job to help you communicate wherever you go."

"How many people here are looking to learn English?" A good half of the class raises their hands, and everyone looks around like curious puppies to see each other. I notice that Baekhyun is one of these people. "Ah, a big number, like always." Mrs. Mok smiles.

"Good, very good. Who is here to learn Korean?" A small portion of the class raises their hands. "Mm, good. How about Japanese?" Another small portion raises their hands. "And, Mandarin?" I raise my left hand with a third small portion of the class.

"Excellent, everyone here is looking to learn something different. Mr. Jeup and I enjoy posting videos of students talking to each other in their newly learned languages on our school's YouTube page. We have a collection of playlists that has been growing since 2012. We will teach you through various games, exercises, and activities. At the end of every week, you will be tested by talking with me using what you learned that week. If everyone does well, you all get ice cream. Does that sound good?"

We cheer and applaud collectively, laughing at ourselves. "Now, may our new student come to the front and introduce herself, please?" I rise from my seat and walk to Mrs. Mok's left side. She gives me little nod and smile. "When you're ready."

I huff, nodding firmly, then turn to the class. "Hello, my name is Young Eunju, I'm in this class to learn Mandarin. I am in twelfth grade. I am a transfer from Canada on two scholarships. I enjoy writing and can make friends easily because of my personality. I look forward to knowing you all; please treat me well." I bow to finish my speech, and the class gives me a warm applause, Baekhyun included, who looks a little interested and a little relieved of stress.

"Thank you, Eunju. You may return to your seat, now." Mrs. Mok says, and I nod in response, doing so. "Now, let's go over the course assignments and begin the first assignment." Mrs. Mok picks up the keyboard on her desk and closes the application, Word 2017 beneath it.

She puts down her keyboard and hands a stack of booklets to the leftmost student in the front row. "Please take one and pass it on." After everyone had taken one, Mrs. Mok proceeds to go over the assignments for the course. Our first assignment was to create a poster in our chosen language, with help from Mrs. Mok, of a small self-introduction. We would present them to the class on Thursday, then they would be posted to the bulletin board outside for a week.

We began to work on our projects, making rough drafts on lined paper about what we wanted to put down. I met Hyejae, who's in twelfth grade, during the class's Q&A time featuring me. She was adorable and idol-image-material with big, dark eyes and short, black hair. We clicked right after I mentioned we were both lactose intolerant, knowing the struggles of not being able to find vegan ice cream so easily. She turned out to be vegan as I am, and she cosplays as Kagamine Rin, so we got excited about Vocaloid, too.

I received many questions from students about my home country and town, which is Vanderhoof, located in the geographical heart of British Columbia, scholarships, dwarfism, and the way I walk. Of course, this lead to a brief explanation of my knees for the upteenth time. I discussed my other interests, starting with Pokemon and my preference of Water and Fairy types and favoritism of Mudkip and Sylveon, and Project Diva, and that I like music and can sing but wouldn't sing then and there. I talked about Minecraft and why I don't play online or Story Mode, cosplaying, and that I don't own a maid outfit and sew the costumes myself, and how I play Magic: The Gathering casually and attend Friday Night Magic.

Everyone who asked me questions and listened seemed thrilled to meet someone as unique as me. It didn't surprise me because I knew my appearance alone would raise questions. I noticed that Baekhyun was among the intent listeners, quietly working and smiling a little when I talked about how I adore Miku and all of her possibilities, and why I'm not a great Magic player: unlucky decisions. After everyone had asked their burning questions, I thought about Baekhyun and the student I saw him with. Baekhyun's face was red, and the way the other person was holding his wrist was a clue that something was happening.

Maybe someone did something to anger the other person, like try to... take... Baekhyun away. Oh my God, I think they might be a couple. Pretty fucking sure that guys don't hold each other like that unless they're gay. The latter being totally fine to me, I mean, hell, gay and lesbian etc. people can be just as wonderful as straight people. They probably went somewhere more private than a bathroom, they missed two of them by the time I stopped looking their way and missed if they turned the right corner or went down the stairs at the end of the hall.

I think the former option is most likely because Haeun told me that the door to the fenced school rooftop is always unlocked. The door follows the Information Technology and Law classrooms, on the right, and the third set of stairs, on the left, at the end of the hallway after the turn. The History, Social Studies, and Planning classrooms are on the left wall as well. They might have went there and had a talk. Oh geezums, now I'm curious and worried, when it's none of my business.

I quietly sigh, looking to Baekhyun from the protection of my hair over my desk. I hope everything's OK, he seems to be kind of depressed about something, for sure. Also pretty sure that if I asked someone about the two, I'd get some raised eyebrows. Or, maybe I wouldn't. Hm, I'll observe people in the school a little more, see if I can spot Baekhyun with anyone. Or, maybe I'll meet someone who knows Baekhyun and what's going on, and they'll tell me. I... I fucking hate being an author, I overthink things way too easily. Eh, at least I've got a plan.

I feel like a fucking cool-ass teen detective too, like Nancy Drew, but with brown hair and green eyes. Even though I'm naturally a dark blonde, so there's that, too. After everyone was working for fifteen minutes, the bell rang. "Alright, I'll see you tomorrow for the double block." Mrs. Mok says, standing from a helping a student at their desk while everyone hastily packs up.

I wait for everyone to file out so I don't get run-over, insisting to Hyejae and a few other students that I was sure of my choice. Yeah, I'd say this is going pretty well. Mom's gonna be glad to hear about this. I look over my left shoulder as I watch Baekhyun approach me. "Hi, Eunju."

"Hi, Baekhyun. Did you need something?"

"No, I was just wondering what your next class is."

"Oh!" Not a question I expected from him. "After ASWM, I have Visual Arts."

"Really?" Baekhyun gives a light huff. "I have those courses, too. Do you wanna go to math, together?"

"Sure, I wouldn't mind." Baekhyun nods, then we take a right to the staircase that way.

"So, ASWM, huh? You're not good with math, either?" I chuckle.

"No, I'm not very bright in math or science." He lowers his shoulders. Oh, something's telling me his parents may have high expectations for him.

"Are you good at art?"

"I'm not bad at scenery painting." Baekhyun answers as we descend the staircase. "I'm good with people and gardening, too. I might go into social work, or my parent's business at the greenhouse." I give an 'mm' in reply. "What are you going into, Eunju?"

"Something with writing, if I'm lucky. I have a business certificate, and I've worked at a bank before, so I could work in an office, too. Something where I'm not up on my feet all day." Baekhyun nods a little in understanding. "By the way, what grade are you in, Baekhyun?"

"I'm in twelfth grade, too." He answers, waiting for me at the bottom of the first set of stairs. "So, your knee incident actually happened?"

"Yeah," I answer, starting the final set. "I'm wearing black pantihose to help hide my scar. I mean, I shave, but I had a habit of scratching at mosquito bites as a kid, so I have circular scars all over my arms and legs. That's why I chose to wear the long sleeved uniform." Baekhyun gives a low 'mm' in understanding.

When I was a little more than halfway down the stairs, the student that Baekhyun was with this morning halts in front of the opening into the hallway from the right. I never realized how tall he was until now, and his face is kind of baby-like, his eyes are very dark, piercing brown. "There you are, Baek. Are you coming?" Whoa, that’s a deep voice, if I ever heard one.

"Chanyeol, you still have to go to class, after homeroom." Baekhyun replies, reaching the bottom. "We have to wait until break to..." He pauses, then shakes his head a little as I finish descending. "...To talk on the roof."

"Just for a minute, come on..." Chanyeol whines.

"Nope, we're going to class." Baekhyun replies, taking Chanyeol's left hand and pulling him along as we go to the math classrooms down the hallway. Chanyeol's face holds this bewildered, judging and pleading expression, telling me that they're a couple, and that Chanyeol is the masculine figure who is currently confused at his partner's actions. He's also judging me because he may think I have something to do with it, and pleading to be released from Baekhyun's hand so he can recapture it and away with Baekhyun. Just... just fuck my analyzing brain; I'm thinking too much, and I have math, next.

-Forgiveness, Thankfulness and Remembrance-


WE: 2260 words, yes, very good. To clarify, if an idol is born before '95, they are in tenth grade. '95 liners are in eleventh grade, and '94-'90 liners are in twelfth grade. There are many exceptions for the sake of ship-relevancy for idols who are in twelfth grade. Yep, you heard that right. Ship-relevancy. Thanks for reading!


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