Finding My Way
Days have past by. The only new thing around is exams. I had to come when midterms exams were around the corner.
“Jaemi.” Hoseok whines. He sits across from me, his area is clear and his arms lay flat on the white table. He presses his cheek on one of his shoulders. “How much longer are we going to stay here.”
“Calm down.” I mutter, finishing a math equation. “And be quiet. We’re in a library you know.”
“But I want to catch up with Taehyung and Seokjin.” Hoseok continues complaining. “They left two hours ago. I’m tired of studying. I literally can’t math right now.”
I heave a long sigh. “Alright. We’ll study more tomorrow.”
Hoseok helps me clean up my belongings and before I know it, we’re outside. A crowd of students leave the library with us. Some head in the opposite direction, most wait for our next move.
“It’s already dark outside.” I say, observing the stars.
“C’mon, follow me.” Hoseok gestures.
We start walking in a direction. The dimmed yellow streetlights are the only things guiding us. We don’t notice, but a large crowd of students follow behind, a quarter mile away.
“Hoseok-shi.” I start.
“You don’t have to address me like that anymore. We’ve known each other for a while. 'Hoseok' is fine.” He says, eyes glued onto the road ahead of us.
“Were you going to ask me something?” Hoseok questions. He slows his pace to meet mine and we walk side by side.
“Eo.” I say, recalling my question. “How long have you been in Buncheon?”
There’s about a minute of silence before he answers me.
“For as long as I can remember.” Hoseok looks up at the dark sky. “For as long as these stars have been watching at me as I do them.”
“Watching you?” I purse my lips in confusion, but he continues.
“It’s like how parents watch over their children. I’ve never met my parents, therefore I consider the stars as my family. They’ve been watching me ever since I was taken into the orphanage.” Hoseok clears his throat. “That’s how Byeol got her name. I always called her that instead of her real name, Minji.”
[A/N: BYEOL means STAR]
“Ahhh.” I say, finally understanding her nickname.
“So basically, she is my mother. She did watch over me. I was brought into the orphanage the first year it was open. And because I called her ‘Byeol,’ everyone else picked up that name.”
We stop walking and Hoseok looks up at the sky once more. I gaze at his eyes, which show the reflection of the glimmering stars. It makes his eyes gleam brightly. I find myself grinning. Why is he so… his eyes are so alluring.
“Oh, which reminds me. Byeol would’ve given dinner by now.” Hoseok says, using one finger to scratch something on the side of his nose. “Let’s go eat at a cafe.”
We start walking again. This time, there isn’t much space between us.
“Do you have money on you?” I ask. “Byeol doesn’t give you allowances does she?”
“No.” He laughs. “We work too. However, since you’re new here, we wanted to make you comfortable. Byeol requested it from us. That’s why we took a week break from our jobs to get you comfortable in this new environment.”
“Ohhh.” I scratch my head. Am I a burden? “Where can I get a job?”
He shrugs. “Beats me. There are already so many students working around here, I doubt you’ll find one easily.”
He opens the cafe doors and I walk in first.
“Like the waiters and waitresses here.” He says in a low voice.
The cafe is almost empty. There are only about seven tables, of twenty, filled. Ironically, they’re all students who attend my school.
He guides me to a booth. “It’s a ‘seat yourself’ style cafe.”
I nod and take menus for both of us. I look around to the once quiet cafe, but now it’s filled with students. The same students in the library.
Blocking my view, a waiter stands in front of our table.
“Are you guys ready to order?” The waiter says in a monotone.
We nod, the bright atmosphere dies down as we order our meals. This waiter has no expression at all.
“My name is Kim Namjoon, I’ll be your waiter today. If you have any questions, just call for me.” He sighs and walks away, re-reading our orders in his hand.
“Who is he?” I move my lips to one side of my face. “He doesn’t really seem happy to work here.”
“A student in classroom 3F. Compared to ours, 3A.” Hoseok explains. “The number is the year of your class (3 is Juniors; 4 is Seniors), the letter is the class’ ranking within that year.”
“So, class 3A is the best, and class 3F is…”
“The worst of the worst.” Hoseok whispers just as Namjoon arrives with our orders.
What if I end up in 3F. I might fail the upcoming midterm exams, or the finals, and I might be degraded. Thanks to Hoseok and his complaining.
“Here’s your order. Enjoy your meal.” Namjoon says, cutting off my thoughts. He leaves in an instant.
“What’s your relationship with him?” I ask Hoseok.
“He used to be in our class freshman and sophomore year. But… something happened, I guess. I never really asked him. I haven’t spoken to him since the end of sophomore year, not counting the times he took my order here.” Hoseok shrugs. “Enough talking, let’s eat dinner and hurry home.”
As I eat, I find myself constantly glaring at the waiter. Namjoon. How can Hoseok stop being friends with Namjoon just because of his rank…?
After we finish eating, we stand at the front desk to pay for our meal.
“Thank you and come again.” The host behind the desk smiles widely at us. She’s a fellow classmate of ours. “It’s great to see you here again, Hoseok oppa.”
Hoseok nods in response. Oppa? But they barely know each other.
“Should we grab something for Taehyung, or Seokjin?” I stare at Hoseok to wait for his response.
“Taehyung really likes the soup here.” He looks from me to the host. “I guess we can get your soup of the day to go?”
“Sure thing.” She smiles. “It’ll be on the house. Don’t worry about paying. You should save your money for something else.”
A boy sarcastically chuckles at what she says. I turn my head to find our waiter, Namjoon, chuckling as he sweeps the floor.
“They all pity the orphans of the town.” He whispers, however I manage to understand what he says.
Is that what he really thinks of us? Is that what others really think of us? But… they don’t know who we really are… so why are they judging.
“Let me pay for it.” Hoseok sighs. “You should treat all of the customers the same, Irene. Just because you have a crush on Taehyung, doesn’t mean I’ll let you give it him for free. If you really wanted to do that, give it to him yourself. Stop hiding in the shadows.”
The host, presumably Irene, blushes. So they don’t pity us. She just has a crush on Taehyung. And… oddly, Hoseok knows more about her than I thought.
I look for Namjoon and plan on correcting his claim, but he’s nowhere to be seen. In a few minutes, Namjoon comes out with the soup in a paper bag. He hands the bag out to me. Instead of taking the bag, I inspect his eyes, but I’m unable to read them.
The cafe, filled with students, stop what talking and center their attention to the front desk. He sighs and lifts my hand to physically put the soup in my hands. His aggressiveness makes me lean back and Hoseok stabilizes me. The witnesses turn to each other and talk amongst themselves.
“Namjoon!” Irene snaps at him. “You can’t just rudely come in contact with our customers like that… more like sunbae’s. Even worse, it had to be Jaemi sunbaenim. You can’t just-”
“Irene. They are just like us, students. I don’t care who they are or what their living conditions are like. If you refuse listen to me, refer to what Hoseok said earlier, treat customers the same. That’s all I’m doing, regardless of their class and social ranking.” Namjoon walks to an open booth and sits with his colleagues.
“Jaemi-ah.” Hoseok takes my free hand and gently tugs me. “Let’s go home.”
I nod and allow him to guide me to the door. I take one last glance at Namjoon. We unexpectedly make eye contact. What was so bad that made him drop down four class ranks? And… I look at Irene. How does she know my name when I only met her today? I’m a sunbae? But I’ve only been in school for about a week.
“Jaemi.” Hoseok lets go of my hand and gently pushes me on the back. “Byeol might be worried about us.”
“Thank goodness you two are here!” Byeol comes running down the hall once she spots us.
“We left the library late and grabbed dinner a cafe.” Hoseok explains and points to the paper bag in my hands. “This is for Taehyung.”
“I heard my name!” Taehyung says, excited. He comes from behind. “Jaemi-ah, did you get this for me? How thoughtful.”
“Actually, Iren-” I’m about to answer him, however Hoseok covers my mouth.
“Yes. Jaemi suggested we bring soup home for you.” Hoseok smiles as Taehyung leaves with Byeol to the dining hall.
Hoseok releases his grip on my mouth. I turn around to face him and hit him in the stomach.
“Ow.” Hoseok complains. “You’re really strong.”
“What was that for?” I fold my arms.
“Don’t mention Irene. He doesn’t know who she is… hence the reason why she wanted us to pass the soup over to him.” Hoseok sighs and rubs his stomach. He bends forward slightly. “Yah, we just ate.”
What an excuse. We ate 45 minutes ago.
“I’m sorry.” I put a hand on his shoulder. “Should I make it up to you?”
“How so?” Hoseok immediately straightens up and lets go of his stomach.
“I was going to suggest that I dance for you, but you seem perfectly fine right now.” I raise my eyebrow at him.
“Ah, my stomach!” Hoseok starts again, overexaggerating. I laugh at him and watch as he bends over further than before.
“Let’s stop by my room so I can grab my shoes. I don’t know where the dance studio is, however I’m sure you can show me.” I pat his back and walk first.
Within seconds, he walks beside me.
Once we reach my dorm, I leave him waiting for five minutes. I change into my ballet tights and leotard. I slip on my thick, poofy and bouncy tutu. I decide to show Hoseok ballet, as it is my strongest skill in dance. I grab my ballet pointe shoes, next to my jazz and tap shoes. I briefly look into my tall mirror. It’s been awhile since I’ve worn this.
We reach the large studio and Hoseok turns the lights on. Mirrors are the walls of the studio. A very beautiful studio, however, it’s really dusty.
“Why is it so filthy in here?” I question.
He begins to sweep the floor and I help by dusting the instruments.
“Byeol doesn’t let the children in here. No one has used this room since the three of us entered high school.” Hoseok explains.
I wonder what happened.
After five minutes of cleaning up the room, I sit on the black grand piano bench and put my shoes on. Hoseok sits on the floor, watching my every move.
After securing my laces, I stand up. I stretch and do a couple of twirls to remember the feeling of dancing in these shoes.
“Hurry and dance!” Hoseok says, annoyed and excited. “We don’t have much time until curfew.”
“I have no music to dance to.” I shrug.
“Kookie I’m bored.” I complain. “Wanna dance for me?”
He heaves a sigh at the floor, but looks up at me with a warm smile. His hands push off of the steps and he stands up. He stretches briefly before walking to the sidewalk under the street light.
“I have no music to dance to.” He shrugs.
That day… Jungkook. Jungkook? I forgot to contact him.
Without hesitation, Hoseok begins to sing. But I have tomorrow to do that.
Seokjin and Taehyung walk into the room. Hoseok stops singing.
“Would you mind if we joined you?” Seokjin asks.
I nod and gesture for them to sit down.
“Ah, Taehyung, finish the soup first.” Hoseok points at him and gestures him to finish outside.
Hoseok begins to sing with Seokjin following shortly afterwards.
I close my eyes and take a deep breath.
Good shoes take you good places.
I rise and stand on the tip of my toes. My hands are up and I begin to move along to their sweet, soft voices. They sing a song about keeping faith and being optimistic, making my dance mellow and swift.
The song reminds me of my memories in Seoul, with Jungkook. With my other friends and fellow classmates. It’s still hard to accept the fact that they’re all gone. That life doesn’t exist anymore. Julliard doesn’t apply to me anymore. But, with the help from Seokjin, Hoseok and Taehyung, I almost easily forgot about them… and it’s only been a week.
My dancing becomes more meaningful as these thoughts flow through my mind.
I easily forgot about that life. But, when I put these shoes on, it all comes back to me… Will I ever be able to see Jungkook again?
Without notice, tears form in my eyes. I shut my eyes tightly and wipe my face clean before they notice. Just keep dancing for them. They're apart of your new life now. You're new family... You're stars.
Taehyung walks into the studio with an empty bowl. He stops in his tracks.
Taehyung’s POV/// Hoseok’s POV/// Seokjin’s POV
Jaemi dances beautifully.
I decided to update today. I'm going to update today and Friday. I leave for Seoul on Friday, however it's at night, so I have time. I don't plan on updating new Tuesday, which is why I am updating today to make up for it.
This chapter introduces two new characters. Namjoon and Irene (from RED VELVET). Both of them play an extremely important role in this story. Hoseok also opens up to Jaemi, making them somewhat closer.
Kill me if there's any errors. My bad.
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DOES MY STORY SUCK. I have 18 votes *yay?* but i also have a rating of 8.3... *cries* I'm sorry to dissappoint you. I'll take this positively and work even harder to bring this story to your liking.
Thank you for reading <3
I'll see you in the next chapter~
P.S. EXO'S COMEBACK WILL BE THE DEATH OF ME. THEY COME BACK DURING MY FINALS. SM, WHY YOU DO THIS.
Ey, look it says TACO.
Just playing. If you read follow the arrows and start from E, it says, "EXACT EXO 3." The "E" and "X" are used twice.
EXO PLANET #3, THE EXO'DRIUM is coming out in JULY. ALREADY. LIKE. SM IS MAKING THE EXO-L's BROKE.
I'M ALREADY BROKE FROM EXO PLANET #2 THE EXO'LUXION AND UPCOMING KCON 2016. DAMMIT.