L I N G E R E D

{ chapter I }

Koeun

Koeun’s POV

“A bully!”

“How does it feel to be able to use your superior strength to intimidate your own classmate huh?”

“You forced her to do everything you want.”

“I can’t believe this sort of slavery did exist at school.”

“Aren’t you guys best friends?”


It was my first day at my new high school. Staring at the ground I walked through the hall. The hallways seemed busier, the students seemed less friendly and the teachers didn’t seem to care that I didn’t know my way around. Nobody seemed to care that I was unfamiliar. Nobody seemed to care that I was unusual. Nobody seemed to even notice me. I had to take a glance down to make sure I was still there; that I hadn’t turned invisible. I liked it that way somehow. I didn’t want to be remembered. Attention had brought me only trouble in the past, so I did my best to dissolve into my surroundings.

Music in my ears, I had a smile forced across my face. This school would be a fresh, new, normal, start. I was finally happy. Well, I had to.

My timetable told me I had additional Physics. Way to ruin the day. I slung my backpack over my shoulder and picked up my map, determined to find my class without help. Big football players raced past me in an effort to get their lunch first and cliques of cheerleaders clotted the stairs. Some of the chicks threw meaningful glances at me. Their eyes were judging if I was going to be one of the popular kids or an outcast, or not.

I quietly made my way from one particular spot to the next, keeping my head down and my gaze on the map. Girls and their sense of direction, I should have known that it wasn’t going to work but I would still give it a try, anyway.

Mark

Mark’s POV

The monotone buzz of several-hundred voices hummed like an orchestra of deadbeat droids. A single figure entered the hallway, sheer authority silencing the groups. And wow, guess who.

Me.

Mark Lee.

The popular one.

The halls were crowded with people, and the chaos was no longer there, perfect. There was the couple that was always flirting on the left side of the hallway, and about ten feet farther down, the cliquey girls, the cliquey jocks and the parade of band geeks with their huge instrument cases. There were the aerospace tech kids who never did anything but making paper airplanes and the fashion chicks that wheeled mannequins and clothing racks down the hallway. And then there was me, not that I fit into any of those groups. I just had my own kind of people.

As I walked down the hallway, my footprints were embedded, leaving a piece of me on the cold tile floor. The whispers were out of bounds but I didn’t care, it was a part of being popular anyway.

As I walked into the lunchroom alone, looking desperately for an empty table, someone tapped my shoulder. “Hyeong,” he smiled at me, a bright smile that made the chicks at the corner drool over him. “Did you just ditch your prior classes? Again?”

“Come on, Na Jaemin. Why bother asking? You know me almost too well. We’ve been friends for decades, afterall. So, where’s everyone?”

He pulled his shoulders into a brief shrug, “Out of curiousity, man. Oh, there. You might want to turn around.”

Looking back, I eventually got to know more of my cliques taking a long stride to my direction.

To be continued . . .

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