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Forgiveness, Thankfulness and Remembrance

Chapter 4: Lollygagging Purposefully

-❄❄❄ September 6, 2017. 10:02 AM ❄❄❄-

We quickly reach the second classroom on the left, which is three doors down because the first class has two doors. Baekhyun lets go of Chanyeol here, and Chanyeol grabs his hand, rubbing it. "So, Mr. Park is the ASWM and Foundations teacher, and is also Chanyeol's dad." Baekhyun says to me as I glance at the obviously bothered Chanyeol. "If the class works quietly, he lets them have a five minute break every fifteen minutes."

"He loves it when students ask questions, so you can always ask for help." Baekhyun turns to point towards the door behind him for a moment. "Mr. Beom teaches Pre-Calculus and Calculus, and he's great too. He lets his students write equations on the SMARTboard and help each other."

"Does every classroom have a SMARTboard? My other school had one almost everywhere."

"Yeah, same here." Baekhyun nods a little, then turns to Chanyeol. After a moment, he asks, "What?"
Chanyeol shakes his head. "Nothing. We can talk about this, later."
Baekhyun raises an eyebrow. "OK, then. I'll see you later-" He takes a step forward, and Chanyeol lifts his right arm. But, Baekhyun hesitates, and slowly turns to me.

I giggle and gently pat Baekhyun's back as I pass him into Mr. Park's classroom, which already has half of its students inside. "I'm OK with gay people, you two. I have no idea if you're trying to keep it a secret or if the school knows already, but I'll keep out of it."

"You're so weird..." Chanyeol mutters, turning his glare to Baekhyun. "And, you didn't even introduce her."

"Were we... that obvious?" Baekhyun cautiously adds, diverting his eyes to meet Chanyeol's. "And, I was about to! I just..." He crosses his arms. "Didn't expect her to figure it out, so quickly."

"You're not wrong, Chanyeol, I am weird. I'm a nerd who wrote a book about adolescence with historical and mythological references." I hear Mr. Park laugh a little from his desk, behind me, as two more students slip in. "And, you were a little obvious. I mean, tall, handsome guys don't drag short, cute guys around by the wrist just for shits and giggles."

Mr. Park gives a guffaw, a few students laughing as well. Baekhyun chuckles a little, but ceases when he catches the evident fire in Chanyeol's eyes. "I won't do anything with this information if the school's gonna lash out." I turn around and give a short bow to Mr. Park as another group of students file in. "Hello, Mr. Park. I'm Young Eunju, the Canadian transfer in your class." I raise my right index finger. "Would the school knowing about them be a bad idea?"

"Yes." Baekhyun and Chanyeol immediately answer.

"Hey, you two are fine!" I turn towards the rows of desks to see Hyejae in the fourth of six rows, which each have five desks, two seats towards my left. "The kids here only care about finishing math, forever." I giggle a little in response.

"Ah," Mr. Park claps his hands and stands up. "Welcome to SGHS, Eunju, it's very nice to meet you." Baekhyun pecks Chanyeol's left cheek, but he hardly takes a step away when Chanyeol grabs the smaller male's wrist and returns the kiss on Baekhyun's right cheek. Cute, oh my God, that's cute.

Chanyeol releases Baekhyun, who hastily passes Mr. Park's desk, his face red and his eyes on the floor. He drops his phone in the bin on Mr. Park's desk that holds other phones, then sits in the second row, three seats from my right. Mr. Park points after Chanyeol, who turns to Mr. Beom's classroom. "That's my son, his older sister is a news reporter. Only his mother, myself and his close friends know of their relationship."

"This school is full of teenagers, and there's always a student who's looking for trouble. That's why it's best that their relationship remains a secret. Everyone in my class has an assigned seat, so please find your name taped to the top of a desk. Please leave your backpack in front of my desk and your phone in the bin on my desk." I bow my head a little in understanding, set my bag in front of Mr. Park's desk, and place my phone in the bin.

I walk through the rows of desks to begin my search. Na Choongsik, Oo Joah... I'm not in the front. Gae Yeonho, Wang Kyeongjin... or the second row. Jang Sooji, Gwak Changjoo, Byun Baekhyun, Young Eunju. Ah, here I am; right next to Baekhyun.

I take my seat and place my binder on my desk as a distant buzzer goes off, then the bell chimes. "Where is that buzzer coming from?" I ask.

"That would be from the gymnasium locker rooms." Mr. Park answers, taking a marker from the whiteboard. "It's very loud, but that's so everyone knows to hurry up-" He keeps his eye and raised pen on the final student as they scurry to the empty desk. "-So they can leave and not be late." Mr. Park taps the air with the pen, then turns to the whiteboard.

-❄❄❄ September 6, 2017. 11:00 AM ❄❄❄-

The bell chimes, and everyone rises from their seats. "I will see you tomorrow during the double block." Mr. Park says, over the scuffling on the floor as everyone grabs their phones and backpacks. I exit the classroom with Hyejae on my left and Baekhyun on my right. Chanyeol latches onto Baekhyun's right side as we pass Mr. Beom's room.

"I'm surprised I'm not dead." Chanyeol says. "Mr. Beom doesn't like me much."

"Probably because you think you deserve everything on a silver plate, recently." Baekhyun snarkily comments, receiving a very intimidating glare from Chanyeol. I wave to Haeun as she joins our turn down the main hallway.

"Alright, I'm going to retrace my steps, I have Musical Arts, upstairs." Hyejae says.

"OK, see you, Hyejae." I reply, Haeun and I waving to her as she detaches from us. We pause as we come to the doors of the Visual Arts room, students still filing in.

"Alright, I guess I'll head upstairs to History." Chanyeol says, rocking on his feet impatiently. "I'll meet you outside for break, Baek."

Baekhyun gives a little nod. "See you. And, pay attention, you're really something else, today."

"Mhm." Chanyeol's eyes dart to both sides of the hallway. Seeing that nobody was paying attention, Chanyeol plants a quick kiss on Baekhyun's head, his left hand holding Chanyeol's upper arm before he just as quickly pecks the taller male's nose. Chanyeol catches my eyes and furrows his brows. "Would you stop staring, Eunju?"

I guffaw as the crowd dies down. "Sorry, Chanyeol. It's still cute, though." Haeun chuckles under her breath, and we enter the classroom. To the left side of the room is a shirt designing press, a deep, metal sink, and a long, wooden table.

Two tall, wooden cabinets stand at the end of the left wall and beginning of the forward-facing wall. The SMARTboard is just to the left of the teacher's desk, in the center-front of the long classroom, and sure enough, there's a pair of doors that lead into the old drama room between the cabinets and SMARTboard. There's a green screen to the right of the classroom with photography equipment, and a door into the Media Arts classroom to the left of the screen.

I make eye contact with the female teacher, who sits at her desk, and has blonde hair to her shoulder blades in small curls and light brown eyes. She gives me a small smile, then looks to Haeun as I hear Chanyeol and Baekhyun say farewell again. "Hello, Haeun."

"Hello, Miss Gyo." Haeun replies as Baekhyun takes a chair from the wall the door is on. "This is Young Eunju, a Canadian transfer student. I'm her STG." Baekhyun sits at the third and final row of tables; two tables are in each row.

"Ah, welcome, Eunju!" Miss Gyo smiles brightly. "Take a seat anywhere you'd like."

I nod a little, then Haeun and I each take a chair. I look to Baekhyun and ask, "Do you want to sit alone, this time?"

Baekhyun sits up in his chair, hastily. "Uh, no, sit with me, please. You're not annoying; you're nice to be around. I usually sit alone, it's kind of a nice change"

I set down my chair, and swing into it. "Well, it took me seventeen years to learn that you don't get nice things by being a..." I look to Miss Gyo. "Do you tolerate bad language in your classroom?"

"I'm not a fan of it, no." Miss Gyo answers.

I return my gaze to Baekhyun. "A mean, selfish, stubborn kid." Haeun and Baekhyun laugh a little, some students joining.

"How can someone so cute be so mean?" I widen my eyes as I look to the adorable short blonde haired girl who spoke. She giggles as I stare for a moment, and I giggle along.

"My foster parents treated me like I was super special." I answer. "I mean, my body is, but the rest of me isn't. And, you're cute, too! I'm sorry for staring, ah..."

"It's OK, I know I'm cute, hee." She tilts her head cutely. "My name is Son Chaeyoung, tenth grade. It's nice to meet you!" Chaeyoung beams, bowing a little in her seat.

"It's nice to meet you, too." I return the smile and gesture as the bell rings. Miss Gyo pulls up the course outline on the SMARTboard. Apparently, there was so many students who wanted to do the course, the school board decided to throw grades ten through twelve into one mixed class per semester. Miss Gyo says this might make the group projects more interesting, because everyone has a unique artistic style, and age groups also have differences.

Chaeyoung and I got along well, and she proudly showed me some of her sketches of her friends and scenery around campus in a large sketchbook she carries around. 11 o'clock makes itself known to us by the bell, and we rise from our seats. "I'll see you in ten minutes!" Miss Gyo shouts as we leave the classroom.

Chaeyoung jogs ahead into the hallway, then places a hand on the doorway as she makes eye contact with me. "I have to meet my friends upstairs in the music room. I'll see you after break, Eunju!"

"OK, see you, Chaeyoung!" I reply, waving to her. She waves back as she turns to leave, then we walk to the office doors. Haeun jogs ahead to catch the door as a female student releases it, then hands it to another female student as Baekhyun and I pass and thank the student. I immediately spot Chanyeol standing on the grass, a few feet away from the door, the Food Truck parked a little more than halfway down the sidewalk.

Chanyeol gives a small smile as he makes eye contact with the smaller male. "Hi, jagi."

Baekhyun inhales deeply as Chanyeol joins our advancing group. "Idiot, don't say that so loudly."

"I wasn't yelling, Baek, calm down. Besides," Chanyeol glances behind him, then looks to Baekhyun. "There's nobody within five feet of us to clearly hear me."

"I still don't want you to say it when he's around." Baekhyun growls, making direct eye contact with an approaching, very handsome, blond male student surrounded by three girls. As the student passes us, he exchanges an awkward look to Baekhyun and Chanyeol, who divert their eyes to the side. I follow the hint, looking at the ground, making out that Haeun bows her head, too. After their footsteps had become soft, I look up to see Baekhyun heave a sigh, his eyes ahead, Chanyeol's dazed in the same direction.

I look to Haeun, who lowers her shoulders and frowns. Not her place to say anything, I take it? Baekhyun gives a short growl, then looks to Chanyeol. "What does he think he's doing? Luhan isn't going to come back for him. He's given up too easily."

"He's just confused, Baek." Chanyeol says. "All we can do is try to help him."

"I thought Junmyeon, Yixing and Jongin had that job?" Baekhyun whines.

Chanyeol looks to Baekhyun sharply. "Sehun is still our friend, and he's a good guy. Even if he did accept the stupidest deal, ever. And, it's Luhan's fault, too. If Luhan wants to be a man so badly, he should stop running away because he's so afraid to come out to the school. Come to school for once, for crying out loud, your boyfriend misses you..."

We come to the Food Truck, its hatches on the metal box that makes up the back of the truck opened. The lady who owns the truck, a school staff member who's in charge of restocking its supplies and cooking the small selection of hot meals it provides, stands on the grass, a few feet away. She takes money from students who show her what they're buying, placing the Won in her belt-pouch, and a male student assistant jots down what's been taken on a notepad. The chips and dried snacks are on the two higher shelves, while the candy, cookies and flavored water are on the lower two. There are hot potato wedges and mac and cheese in small cardboard bowls, and grilled cheese sandwiches in paper wrappings stashed to the left of the shelves under a yellow heat lamp and closed off to the cool autumn air by a plastic flap.

Hyejae takes a bag of dried seaweed while Haeun grabs a bag of spicy chickpeas. Hyejae turns to me and asks, "Do you want a bag of seaweed, Eunju?" Chanyeol grabs two bags of dried seaweed, one spicy, one not.

"Yes, but not the spicy kind, please." Hyejae takes another bag of seaweed, then goes to pay for both our items as Haeun pays for herself. I watch Chanyeol give Baekhyun the bag of not spicy seaweed, and Baekhyun eagerly opens it. Hyejae gives me my bag, then ticks her head back to the main doors to signal that we should head back. I follow her towards the doors, Haeun beside me and Baekhyun and Chanyeol trailing a little behind.

As a female student passes the door to Hyejae, I look back to see Baekhy-oh my God, who is Chanyeol and Baekhyun talking to? He's a Korean student with striking, dark brown eyes, and his brown hair is tidy, but I don't see the shine of hair gel in the soft, late-morning sunlight. His left arm is linked with a visually stunning Korean girl with long, glossy black hair and dark eyes that could compete with Haeun's. What a couple; I'll have to ask Haeun and Hyejae who they are. Baekhyun catches my wandering eyes, and gives an awkward smile and wave.

Aha ha, poor Baekhyun; these must be friends of his and Chanyeol's. I wonder if they're in the big group Taehyung was talking about, earlier? Sehun, Luhan, Yixing and Jongin must be, too, by the way Chanyeol and Baekhyun were talking about them. I think Baekhyun's a little upset that he had to detach from our group. His face depicts a unique, bubbly personality; today is probably not his best day.

"Eunju." Haeun snaps me out of my trance, and I give a short, embarrassed laugh before I continue into the school. Haeun chuckles lightly, and I steer my eyes away from the outdoors and let them rest on Hyejae's back as we walk down the grade 10 hallway. As we open our snacks, Haeun asks, "Do you wanna know the names of the couple you saw with Baekhyun and Chanyeol, Eunju?"

I nod rapidly for a moment. "Yeah, I wanna know who they are. Their visuals are amazing." Haeun and Hyejae giggle.

"Their names are Kim Junmyeon and Park Jihyo, both in twelfth grade." Haeun says. We turn right to continue down the grade 10 hall. "They've been together since tenth grade, and have always won the class vote for Couple of the Year." I coo, and Haeun giggles with a little nod. "They're really nice, too. You'll usually find them in the library."

"Is Junmyeon part of the big group of twelve?" I ask. "Baekhyun and Chanyeol mentioned a Yixing and Jongin besides Sehun and Luhan, too. Are they all part of the group, too?"

"Yes, they all are." Haeun nods twice. "Minseok and Zitao are part of the group, too. The remaining members are Yifan, Kyungsoo and Jongdae."

"And, is Jihyo part of the group of nine, with Mina and Momo?"

Haeun nods in confirmation. "I've been in classes with all of them, over the years. You can usually find at least one them either outside on the field, or upstairs in the music studio. They're all ambitious, busy people, and most of them are balls of energy."

"Wait," I pause as we come to the courtyard doors, Hyejae and Haeun stopping as well. "This school has two music rooms?"

"Yeah," Hyejae answers. "The one past the old drama room is for band and choir. The one upstairs is an actual studio, and is the Musical Arts classroom. It's just past the Information Technology classroom, at the end of the hall. There's a dance studio up there too, for Dance Club."

I intentionally drop my Korean and speak in English. "Damn, wow, this school has everything." Haeun bursts into laughter, but Hyejae giggles awkwardly, so I repeat myself in Korean. "I said, 'Damn, wow, this school has everything'." Then Hyejae burst into laughter. Smiling in satisfaction, I lead us down the hallway.

As we round the corner into the main hallway, I shriek as I bump into Dahyun, who also exclaims. Laughing as we recover, we make eye contact as we calm ourselves down. "Hi, Dahyun." I greet, then look to see she was accompanied with Jimin, Taehyung and another girl who is shockingly cute. I give a short wave, and Taehyung and the girl return the gesture.

"Hi, Eunju, Haeun and Hyejae." Dahyun says, waving to my friends. She makes eye contact with Taehyung and the girl. "Do you know Taehyung and Tzuyu?"

"I met Taehyung this morning when Haeun unnie and I visited the old drama room." I smile and look to the girl, Tzuyu. "Tzuyu is a new name to me, though! It's nice to meet you." I bow a little, and Tzuyu does the same.

"It's nice to meet you." Tzuyu replies. "What grade are you in?"

"I'm in twelfth grade."

"Oh, you're my unnie, too!" Tzuyu smiles. "I'm in tenth grade." I give a small 'ah!' in reply.

"So I've been told that you met-" Dahyun counts on her left hand. "-Minseok, Zitao, Mina, Seokjin, Momo and Jungkook, Eunju?" Dahyun asks, redirecting my attention to her. "They were with Taehyung, this morning."

"Yes, I met them, too." I nod a little. "I met Chaeyoung this morning, I think she's part of your group because you all seem to be in the same place."

"Yeah, that's true." Dahyun nods. "We stick together. Have you met Jihyo, Nayeon, Jungyeon and Sana yet?"

I shake my head. "Haeun unnie said that I saw Jihyo outside with her boyfriend, Junmyeon."

"Oh yeah," Dahyun tilts her head back. "They left us at the double doors on the left end of the science hallway just by the stairs. We should find the others so you can meet! Ah, but were you going anywhere?"

"No, we were just walking." Hyejae answers.

"Come with us, let's find them, together!" Dahyun exclaims. I nod in agreement, Haeun nodding a little and Hyejae nodding cutely. Dahyun links her left arm with my right, and we lead the others down the right hallway at the cross-hall junction. Singing warmups come from the end of the hallway in the band room, and we peer inside to find the three girls Sehun was with, Sehun himself, Hoseok, and a Chinese male student who is breathtakingly beautiful.

Dahyun opens the door, and we quietly let ourselves in. As the door quietly closes behind us, Hoseok immediately notices Jimin and Taehyung. The girls, smiles washing onto their faces, trade waves to Dahyun and Tzuyu. Sehun and the other student glance to us, but return their eyes to the sheets of music on the black, metal stands. I recognize them to be singing the second verse (skip to 1:50) ofAt Gwanghwamun by Kyuhyun of the popular boy group, Super Junior.

After the song was finished, we give them a warm round of applause, the female music teacher joining us. "Beautiful! I hardly had to teach you anything, you know the song so well." She chuckles lightly. "Thank you to our audience for arriving at almost the perfect time, as well."

Dahyun and I lead our group as we applaud ourselves, laughing along with the performers. The three girls approach our group, binders containing papers in hand, while Hoseok, Sehun and the third male student set the stands aside. "Alright, the bell is about to ring. I will see you tomorrow during Break, then during Collaboration, if you are able to make it. Please make sure you come to the after school practice on Thursday!"

"Bye, Mrs. Jeung!" The long, light brown haired of the three says, waving enthusiastically to the teacher. The other girls say 'goodbye' as well, Hoseok joining us as Taehyung holds the door open for us.

"Goodbye!" Mrs. Jeung replies, waving in return as she approaches a desk near the door. Sehun and the third student politely excuse themselves as they pass our group, both keeping their eyes on the floor and wall as they speed away.

"Wow, Sehun is still really hurt about Luhan..." The same girl says, then looks among our group. "Hi, Haeun and Hyejae; who's this?" She makes eye contact with me as Sehun and his walking partner continue down the hallway towards the library.

"Sana, this is Young Eunju." Dahyun says. "She transferred here from Canada for her senior year."

"Oh, welcome to SGHS!" Sana beams, bowing politely.

"Thank you." I return the gesture, smiling as well.

Dahyun gestures to the mid-red haired girl. "Eunju, this is Nayeon-" She gives a small bow, which I return. "-And, Jungyeon." I bow along with the short blonde haired girl in greeting. "And now, you've met all of TWICE, the cutest and best in all of Korea!!"

Her fellow members screech with her, except for Jungyeon, who does so less enthusiastically. They giggle as they calm themselves, then Nayeon makes eye contact with me and asks, "Eunju, how did you get into SGHS?"

"I got a Languages scholarship and a Language Arts scholarship." I answer. "My major is writing." Nayeon gives an 'mm' in response as we turn left down the junction. "What classes do you, Sana and Jungyeon have right now, Nayeon?"

"Jungyeon and I have Yearbook, and Sana has Language Arts." Nayeon answers. "What about you, Haeun and Hyejae?"

"Haeun and I have Visual Arts, and Hyejae has..." I look to her. "Actually, I don't know about Hyejae."
Hyejae smiles as we come to a stop at the Visual Arts classroom. "I have Communications 12. I'm taking Language Arts next semester instead of an elective. The bell is actually going to ring soon, so let's meet around here, for lunch, if we can?"

"Taehyung and I can't make it, we have Dance Club upstairs at 12:25." Jimin says, looking to Hyejae.

"I think we girls can make it, Chaeyoung will definitely come after she's done helping in the cafeteria." Dahyun says, taking her turn to look at Hyejae. "But Jihyo, Momo and Mina might be with their boyfriends. We might see them, though. Jihyo's the only one of us you haven't properly met, right, Eunju?"

"Yes, that's right." I answer, nodding once.

Dahyun makes a soft hyuk. "Ah, we'll have to introduce her to you!"

"And, the rest of our group, too." Taehyung says. "Jimin and I shouldn't have a hard time finding them, either."

"Yeah, it'd be good to meet them, too." I reply.

"Alright," Dahyun says, linking her right arm with Jimin's left and taking Tzuyu by her other arm. "Let's go before the-" Ding! Ding! Ding! Dahyun drops her shoulders as we laugh at the coincidental cue. "See you, Eunju and Haeun!"

"Bye!" We reply to each other, the group of seven with Hyejae departing ahead to the staircase by the office doors. Chaeyoung passes them as they round the corner, and they greet each other before being forced to say goodbye, though they laugh through the entire meeting.

Chaeyoung beams as she approaches Haeun and me. "Hi, again!"

"Hi, Chaeyoung. More sketching of a bonsai tree, yay." I give a quiet applause on my rught palm with my left fingers, and Chaeyoung laughs as we enter the classroom.

"We're being marked on creativity and style, not accuracy." Chaeyoung says as we take our seats. Baekhyun had already returned, as well as the majority of our class. "Not a lot of art classes do that, our school is really special."

Baekhyun growls lowly in his throat, drawing my attention. "If special means that they allow students to skip a whole week of school and not call the parents, then yeah, it's special."

"You're talking about Luhan?" I cautiously ask. The carefulness didn't help one bit, Baekhyun still ends up glaring at me, like I've broken something precious to him. "Sorry, sorry, it's not my place to ask." I bow my head a little, warmth rushing to my face. Just as I could feel myself go pale as I stare at the table, Baekhyun slowly exhales, and I look up to him.

"If you're not doing anything at lunch, I can tell you while we eat. I imagine my friends will help." Baekhyun says, sucking in his bottom lip for a moment as he looks to Haeun. "I don't blame Haeun for not telling you." He returns his eyes to mine. "It's a sad situation, and it's affected a lot of people besides Sehun."

"Just..." Baekhyun exhales heavily through his nose. "Don't talk to him about Luhan, or anything related to Luhan. The last thing we need is for him to run away, too. But, just remember that it's not your problem or your fault, especially because you weren't here when it all happened, OK, Eunju?"

"OK, I understand." I nod twice, then the bell goes again to signal class, and Mrs. Gyo stands up from her desk.
-Forgiveness, Thankfulness and Remembrance-


WE: 4432 words, yep, that's enough! I feel like an accomplished author, when I have 3-5k words in a chapter. I'm really excited to show you what's next, you're going to love me and hate me at the same time.ヽ(´∇´)ノ Thank you for reading!


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