24 hours ago…
Mmhmm… I think I smell spicy rice cakes (떡볶이). Ah yes, they are spicy rice cakes. I must eat right away. Choi Soo-Young—that’s me—should never miss out on an amazing food experience. I quickly yanked my shorty friend Sunny’s arm and dragged her to the temporary food stall by the street.
“Ouch Soo-Young!” she yelped as I pulled at her arm. I just ignored her. It’s her fault that she didn’t grow longer legs to keep up with me. These short kiddos—they’re all the same. They think I’m a giant, but really, they’re just afraid to admit that I have the better genes. Besides, they really should be a little easier on themselves. I mean, being short is kind of an advantage at some point, like being huggable and cute—like my classmate Sunny right here. I’m still sexier though.
It was already dark outside and we were just in time to catch the night street food of Seoul. There’s nothing like leaving that crappy, boring high school and eating delicious snacks on the way home. I seriously love this country. There’s just cheap food everywhere. I love food. I can eat forever and be satisfied. I don’t understand how some can just refuse food.
“Two servings of spicy rice cakes please!” I said to the old vendor man behind the cart.
“Aw, Soo-Young, are you treating me to snacks tonight?” Sunny clung to my arm and began acting cute. Her voice went up a few pitches higher. I honestly found her annoying. She does this stupid “cutesy” aegyo thing often. Some people actually fall for that, like when she was late for class, she just charms the teacher and BOOM! She’s no longer in trouble. I really don’t get it. When she starts “acting cute” I just want to punch her in the face. It’s not cute; it’s annoying! Grow up, you little…!
“No, I don’t have money so you better pay for it,” I jokingly said. “And the two servings are both mine, by the way.”
“Aish, this glutton,” Sunny said in a disappointed tone with a stomp of her foot. Then she pushed her tongue inside her cheek and crossed her arms. Now I have to admit, when she’s angry, I actually find her cute. “I’m not paying for it, Soo-Young. Goodbye, eat your snacks alone. I’m going home!”
“Aw, Soonkyu’s on her period,” I teased. Sunny is usually bright and happy, which is why that is her nickname. Her real name is Soonkyu and she hates being called that. I, for one, like making everyone’s head tick. I find pleasure in those things.
Before Sunny was able to march off to the nearby subway station, she turned around and angrily said, “I am not on my period!”
I laughed hearing her say that out loud in public. Some passersby even looked at her. It was funny. Finally I told her, “I’m just kidding. I’m paying for the spicy rice cakes and you and I can eat together.”
So then Sunny and I ate together while heading down to the subway. We sat on the benches for a while before riding the train to finish our spicy rice cakes. We always went to the subway together since middle school. We always got on the same subway line even though we go down on different stations. Honestly, even though I make fun of her all the time, I enjoy having company.
“So are you going to Henry’s party tomorrow?” I asked her. She’s pretty close friends with that Henry geek. I almost thought that they were dating but she always denied it and said that he was absolutely not her type.
“I don’t know. I’m pretty mad at him these days.”
I didn’t expect her to say that. She sounded like a distressed wife. I couldn’t help but chuckle. “Is it still about that notebook you lost last week?”
“Yeah, I left my notebook at school a week ago, and he said he has it with him but he still hasn’t returned it.”
I swallowed the last piece of my spicy rice cake and tossed the paper bowl in the nearby trash can. “He could be lying, or it could really be there with him. Just go to his party and nag him about it, or do a search in his house.”
“But his house is huge!”
“It’s really huge. He’s rich,” Sunny said, emphasizing on “rich.” “What about you, are you going? Oh yeah, you have Bible study with Siwon Oppa every Saturday night.”
Ignoring what she said about my weekly Bible study, I asked again, “How rich is Henry exactly?”
On the night of the party, I arrived at Henry’s house with my younger brother Minho. And boy, Sunny wasn’t kidding when she said the place was huge. And the amount of guests was no joke either. I didn’t know he was that famous among his peers. I mean, to me he’s just a geeky genius dude. It looks like this party is going to be pretty wild. I guess they don’t call him rich for nothing.
I’d like to have fun but honestly I just feel guilty of coming here. I’m supposed to be at my Cousin Siwon Oppa’s Bible study tonight, but what am I doing? I’m going to this party just out of curiosity since I wanted to see Henry’s house. Plus, if he’s rich, the food must be good, right? Ugh, I just had to give in to temptation. It’s just for tonight anyway, and I won’t be doing anything stupid like under-age drinking until I get drunk, hopefully. Siwon Oppa won’t be happy though. I basically just ditched the Bible over some stupid party thrown by a guy whom I’m not even close to. Anyway, I wonder if Sunny actually came to look for her notebook…
I went through the huge gate and climbed up the slope to their wide open front door. Gosh, they even have topiaries here by the garden and some small pond with koi fish in them. Some guests were chatting here… There’s Kyuhyun Oppa talking with Changmin Oppa just like they usually do in high school. Since they have been becoming friendlier with my brother, they both said hi to us.
“Ah, Choi Siblings!” Kyuhyun Oppa said as he gave my younger brother a high five.
“Good evening,” I said politely, because they are my seniors.
“Kyuhyun Hyung, Changmin Hyung!” Minho said with a big smile.
I don’t really know if my brother hanging out with those two was a good idea, especially since those two are known for being troublemakers. I swear, if they make my sweet brother just like them, they are both dead. My brother happens to be in the varsity for soccer, and if he causes trouble or get low grades, he’ll be kicked out. I don’t want him fooling around. But I trust my brother though. He’s a good kid and I know he won’t let stupid seniors influence him. Also, he’s good friends with Seohyun, and that kid is like the most well-mannered kid out there. I’m sure she’ll keep him on the straight path.
Since I didn’t want to hang around those guys for too long, I made an excuse to go. Here we go. Into the party I went. I need to look for the food and check out the interior of Henry’s house. It seemed like a very interesting place. I see Yonghwa is playing with his band here on a stage… whoa, they have a stage and sound systems in their huge living room? This is insane. Not that I’m complaining. Yonghwa’s band is pretty good. I went to a few of his gigs with my friend Yoona because Yoona has this huge crush on her classmate Lee Jonghyun, Yonghwa’s lead guitarist. I can’t complain about her taste of men though. Lee Jonghyun is quite handsome with that pretty white face, charming eyes, and deep dimples. Speaking of Yoona, she’s right there closest to the stage.
“Hey you,” I said as I stood beside her. She looks ridiculously infatuated right now. She held her cheeks and kept smiling like a lovesick puppy.
“Oh, Sooyoung Eonni!” she turned to me, obviously startled. She’s really into this band like crazy.
“I told you not to call me ‘Eonni’. We’re the same age anyway.”
“But I’m used to it since you’re one grade higher than me,” she frowned. I have to admit, this girl is even prettier than most of the girls in our school. Even her frown looks pretty. But heck I’m the prettiest, so whatever. She’s too skinny though. I’m skinny too, but not as skinny as her. Anyway, we’re good friends because we both go to the drama club. I’m the better actress though, if I don’t say so myself.
After finishing the song they were currently playing, Lee Jonghyun hopped down from the stage and said hello to Yoona and me. Ooh, looks like this love isn’t a one-sided thing. Then he said to Yoona, “You’re close to Seohyun right? Can you look after her and take care of her? She’s in the party somewhere. Just make sure she’s alright.”
With blushing cheeks, Yoona adorably said, “Yes. Of course.” Then she started fixing her hair and tucking some loose strands behind her ear.
“Why? What happened to Seohyun?” I asked.
Lee Jonghyun looked around then whispered, “Yonghwa Hyung just agreed to play here tonight because he found out that Seohyun was attending the party. Of course, he doesn’t want her getting in trouble with certain guys…”
“Ah, I get it,” I said, cutting him off. I sit next to Yonghwa in class so I know enough about how much he loves Seohyun because I always overhear him talking with Hyoyeon, my other classmate, about her. Hyoyeon always gave him tips on how to win Seohyun’s heart. She ships Yonghwa and Seohyun like crazy. I can’t blame her though. Out of all of Seohyun’s admirers, Yonghwa seems like the best suited one for her. Unfortunately, Seohyun doesn’t care about boys and thinks of everyone as her friends. She’s just that innocent that it’s absolutely weird. Sometimes I don’t even know if she’s for real or not.
“Look at him,” the guitarist said as he pointed to Yonghwa. There I saw Yonghwa angrily practicing chord progressions with his volume down. Then Jonghyun continued, “He’s angry because Kyuhyun Hyung has been flirting with Seohyun a lot lately.”
Hahaha. Looks like Yonghwa is jealous. In obedience to her crush, Yoona ran off to look for Seohyun. Lee Jonghyun quickly went back on stage and the band began to play the next song. I also sent a text message to my brother telling him to take care.
Meanwhile, I continued to wander around, still looking for food. There’s really so much people here that it’s impossible to spot that midget Sunny. I don’t know if she actually came, but I hope she gets her notebook back. If not, I might have to nag Henry about it myself. But first, I must find food. I can’t go notebook hunting on an empty stomach.
When I finally found the food table, I saw my classmate Taeyeon standing there, furiously eyeing Yuri and Tiffany. Man, she looked so cute and hilarious. She’s wearing a black hoodie and black sweat pants, and her expression was so serious that she looked like she was planning on killing someone. I don’t know what happened to this little guy and why her teen angst was just so much worse lately. She used to be such a funny little dork. Her laugh used to sound like twenty cackling laundry women. And when she sings, you’ll forget every other singer out there because she is definitely the best one out there. She just grips your heart with her voice. One shot of a depressing ballad and I know I’m done for. These past few days, she looked upset most of the time. I think it’s because her best friend Tiffany is hanging out with some new people. Aw, poor little cutie. I don’t know why she’s too into Tiffany. She can always hang out with me, I mean, we’ve been friends long before Tiffany arrived to Seoul from California! And unlike her other friends—like Jessica who doesn’t hang out with her anymore—I have always been with this little dork since we were little kids! So then to ease her pain, and to remind her who her real friend is (me of course), I stood by her. She didn’t notice me though. But, mmhmm, those dumplings on her plate look really delicious… As a natural instinct, I began eating. When she finally noticed me, I said through the loud music, “Sup, Taeyeon?”
“Sooyoung?! Did you just eat all my dumplings?!”
“You look like a hooded creeper,” I told her because she just looked so amusing.
“Yes, I know I look terrible. And get your own food! Aish…” Whoops. She didn’t seem to take my joke lightly. When Taeyeon gets angry, it’s just really scary. But of course, I have to play it cool.
“You jealous?” I asked her.
“Jealous of what?”
“Of Ppany Ppany talking to Yuri and stealing your friendship.”
“Go away,” Taeyeon snapped at me. Whoa, she really looks upset.
“You’re just like Yonghwa.”
“You mean that guy playing and singing on stage?”
“Yeah, you both have that same scary look on you face as if you both want to kill people. If you listen to his song, you can tell that he’s totally not in a good mood.”
“…Sad, sad, sad, sad, tonight. 가슴이 아파 (My chest hurts…)
Oh no, no, no, no, nobody knows 맘 몰라 (Don’t know my feelings…)”
외톨이야 (I’m a Loner) – CNBLUE
I looked around and pointed to Kyuhyun Oppa’s direction. Now he’s chatting with Seohyun, my brother, and Taeyeon’s younger brother Key. Man, the way Kyuhyun Oppa is playing with the Seohyun’s hair is obviously flirting. Anyway, I thought Yoona was going to look after Seohyun; where is she? Maybe she’s there somewhere; I just can’t see her from here though. I’m not sure.
“Why would he be mad at my brother?” Taeyeon stupidly asked after looking at where I’m pointing to.
“Not your brother, you idiot!” I hit her head with the plastic plate. “Look at Kyuhyun Oppa! Yonghwa likes Seohyun.”
Taeyeon looked dumbfounded as if she was in deep thought after telling her about it. She always seemed to be drifting off like that nowadays. “Really? I didn’t know that.”
“Anyway, if you’re really uncomfortably lonely, why don’t you just join Fany and Yuri’s conversation?”
“Oh yeah, about that, where are they anyway?”
It looks like Yuri and Tiffany left while Taeyeon and I were talking. So then I roamed the place with Taeyeon to look for our missing friends. A while later while I was looking around with Taeyeon, the birthday boy, Henry, stood on the stage and Yonghwa’s band left for a break. Then Henry announced through the microphone, “Hey everyone thanks for coming! I hope you enjoy this evening!” Ah, there’s that geek. I should really go over to him and ask about Sunny’s notebook. I still haven’t seen Sunny anywhere in the party. Maybe she didn’t come after all.
Then I saw Jiyong Oppa from the senior class go up on stage and set up his turntable. Then he spoke through the microphone, “Ay-yo, this is DJ G-Dragon ready to rock your pants off!”
“Tch, what a dumb name,” I heard Taeyeon scoff. Not gonna lie, it is a pretty dumb name.
Suddenly, I felt this strange sick feeling in my stomach. Ugh, I think I must have eaten something terrible… Is it because I ate too much of those fried dumplings or was it something I ate earlier? I don’t know… Oh, dang, it really hurts… I tapped Taeyeon’s little head to catch her attention and then hung my arm over her shoulder for support. But ugh, I just can’t take this.
“Ugh I think I ate too much… I need to go to the bathroom. Taeyeon can you hold my bag for me?” I quickly handed her my bag and left to look for a bathroom.
I ran to and fro, asking people for directions to the nearest bathroom. Soon enough I was able to find one. I turned the knob, and yes, thank the Lord that it wasn’t locked! But shockingly, when I went in, I saw Yuri passed out on the floor. At first I was scared for my life but then I went to her and tried shaking her to wake her up, but she wasn’t responding. At that point I got even more scared and began to panic. I tried to check her pulse but I don’t know; I don’t think I checked it properly because I didn’t hear anything and my arms were already shaking out of my control. Dear Lord God, please wake Yuri up… She has to be okay. Since I can’t really do much, I got out of the bathroom and completely ignored my sick stomach. This isn’t the time to feel sick—not when Yuri is unconscious in that bathroom.
“Somebody help…” I tried to say, but my stomachache got worse. Ugh, I knew I shouldn’t have ditched Bible study just to come here.
“Sooyoung? Are you okay?”
When I turned around, I saw Tiffany looking at me. Yeah it’s probably obvious that I’m in pain right now but someone has to do something about Yuri first. “Yuri… bathroom…”
“Oh yeah, Yuri went to the bathroom some time ago but she still hasn’t returned. I don’t even know which bathroom she went to,” Tiffany talked on. Dang it. She talks way too fast sometimes…
“Yuri… passed out in the bathroom,” I said in a soft voice. My stomach was really hurting right now that I can’t even talk properly.
“What?” Tiffany asked. The electronic music was just too loud and Henry was hosting games right now so everyone else was also making lots of noise. Tiffany moved closer to me so she can hear properly. But before I could say something, we heard someone repeatedly screaming for help. It was Seohyun. She ran toward Henry and said something to him that was caught on his microphone.
“Kyuhyun Oppa is unconscious and bleeding!”
Huh? Kyuhyun Oppa? The noises and the loud music stopped. Soon, some people were heading to that one door and taking a look. Most of them gasped and had expressions of terror all over their faces, and some of them took some steps back. People were already contacting the ambulance.
“Oh my gosh, I wonder what happened?” Tiffany said as she held on to me, obviously worried. “I don’t want to look…”
Then I remembered how I was just joking around with Taeyeon earlier about her and Yonghwa looking like they both wanted to kill people. Yuri… Kyuhyun Oppa… What kind of sick prophesying did I just do?! I wanted to see it for myself to believe it. Forgetting about my upset stomach I walked up to that opening and saw none other than Taeyeon and Yonghwa standing right in the same room with an unconscious body on the floor. Blood was spilled on the floor from the man’s chest. His body wore the exact clothes that Kyuhyun Oppa wore—blue polo shirt and pastel green pants. Yonghwa even has some blood on his hands. W-what the heck just happened here?!
Soon the ambulance and the police came into the picture. I don’t know if he’s dead or not; I didn’t look while they were examining him. Yuri was also quickly found because I was eventually able to tell Fany about what I saw in the bathroom after the noises died down. The medics put Yuri on a stretcher and quickly placed her in the ambulance. Since my stomach felt really terrible and I was getting pretty nauseous to the point that I wanted to pass out, I went with the medics too and rode with Yuri in the same ambulance. I felt like fainting. I could not comprehend how this could just happen. Maybe I should stop joking around. I remember Siwon Oppa once say that words were powerful. What I just said jokingly earlier while talking to Taeyeon just came true. I’m not saying that Taeyeon and Yonghwa did the murder. I mean, they could have ended up there in that room with Kyuhyun Oppa because of some other good reason, right? And what exactly happened to Yuri? Taeyeon couldn’t have done this to Yuri; I was with her the whole time!
“Will she be okay?” I asked one of the medics sitting with me in the ambulance.
“Yes, she’s still alive and it looks like nothing serious happened to her. We’ll have to check her in the hospital to make sure though,” the kind medic said to me.
When the medic said those words to me I just burst into a fit of cries at that point. I probably sounded insane but I couldn’t help it. Tears fell like waterfall from my eyes. Oh thank God, Yuri is alright! When we got to the hospital, the doctors examined me too. The doctor told me that I was probably food poisoned. Ugh, having diarrhea sucks. I don’t know what I ate that made me this way though. I mean, other people ate the dumplings too and everyone else seemed to be fine…
About an hour and a half later Tiffany and Taeyeon came to the hospital. Tiffany gave me a big hug, but Taeyeon still looked so pale and traumatized by Kyuhyun Oppa’s dead body. Tiffany constantly supported her and rubbed her back.
“Taeyeon, what happened?” I asked her.
“I just went in the room, and I saw Yonghwa with a dead body,” she emotionlessly said in a hoarse voice. “Yonghwa and I were questioned by the police so I told them exactly what I saw. Yonghwa had blood on his hands.”
Tiffany went closer to Taeyeon and held her small frail body tight. Then Tiffany added, “Yonghwa claimed that he was innocent, but Yonghwa was detained for further questioning by the police. I can’t believe this just happened…”