“Yooma is a weird one isn’t she?
“She’s smart but it seems like she’s kinda scary.”
“I don’t really talk to her much, she’s such a loner.”
To me, I have always thought that friends were people who brought me nothing but lies. I have always just ignored them and the awful rumors they spread concerning me. They were something that I didn’t need anyway. That’s why being friends with someone is utterly unnecessary for me.
In this time and age, school is not entirely about learning. It’s now about grouping yourself among the others, pretending to be someone else just to fit in, in fear of being cast out. And those who were unfortunate enough not to get in one of the circles, will be their target.
Society has changed for the better, they said. But all I see through my eyes were pitiful students being everyone’s prey. Those who were on top of the society, would trample on the backs of the lower ones, to be specific.
“What the heck? I told you to buy cranberry juice!” Fei, one of the people who managed to gather senseless students to be her slaves, said in an irritated voice as she threw the opened can of milk on a petite girl kneeling on the floor. From the looks of it, she’s poor and only has one set of uniform but the contents of the can soaked it, earning a whimper from her.
I watched the usual scene right in front of the class. Everyone, however, was too occupied in their small circles not watching the situation since it has been an everyday thing that they grew tired of it. Feigning ignorance as they laugh and giggle at themselves. The teachers, were not much of a difference. They’d do the same and feigned ignorance, not wanting to help the students in need.
While I, don’t really care that much about them either. They chose their path, it’s their decision to be stepped on or be the one stepping on people. My decision is to not get involved in their drama, since I can’t be with other people. I do not give anything to anyone, that’s why I dont expect anything in return either. I reject anything and everything because getting involved with people is the same as creating disadvantages and I refuse to do that.
I am much better off alone.
“Yooma!” An irritating voice echoed from the doorway, causing the whole class, including the people at front, turn to her direction.
“How foolish.” I muttered, closing my eyes in intent annoyance as I close the textbook I was halfway finishing.
The girl who owns that irritable noise came rushing towards my direction, attempting to pounce on me.
“Stay 2 meters in radius away from me.” I spoke as I put a full stop on her before she could reach and tackle me using the book I was holding, completely hitting her face.
After that, the whole class, returned to their own world, Fei continuing to pester the girl at front.
“Yooma, you’re so mean! Is that a way to treat your best friend?” I pulled my book away from her face before continuing to read.
She sat down on the seat in front of my desk and faced me with her usual annoying grin.
“Guess what? Joon and I are going on a date!” She squealed, holding her reddened cheeks as she squirm around.
“Guess what? I do not have the slightest bit of care about your statement.” I remarked, flipping the pages to look where I stopped.
She, however, didn’t stop and kept squirming her body in delight.
“You should care! Because Joon is like the most handsome guy in campus!”
“Which only means that a lot of woman would come pulling your hair.” I uttered but she was too busy visualizing her fantasies that she took no notice of my statement.
I glance over at Fei and saw that she was looking at our direction with utter jealousy, crossing her arms as she whispered next to the girl besides her called Jina. I looked back at Youngji sitting in front of me before an exasperated sigh escaped my lips.
“Youngji. You should stay away from Joon. You know he’s up to no good.” I advised, and once again, she ignores me.
It wasn’t too long until she became their target, it was inevitable anyway since Joon, the most liked guy in the whole school, is surprisingly her boyfriend.
Since the day she mindlessly believed that Joon likes her and began dating, almost all the immature women are out making fun of her as if it was their daily routine.
Youngji, however, does not mind as long as Joon is by her side. If it wasn’t for the genuine smile she shows whenever she’s with him, then I’d already disposed of that guy to keep him away from her.
I was walking through a small alley, a plastic bag filled with food dangling on my hands as I spotted the familiar rundown apartment.
“Open up.” I lightly knocked a few times at the almost broken door before it opened to reveal Youngji in her usual clothes. Ragged and old.
“Yooma! You’re here again!” She squealed, tackling me before I could even enter the freezing clamped room.
“Yes yes, get off me.” I pushed her forehead away and began walking towards the living room. I sat down on the floor since there’s no couch or even a chair found, placing the plastic bag on the small table at the middle. “I brought food–” before I could even finish my sentence, she was already rummaging the bag in search for her favorite.
“Cupcakes!” She leaped from the floor and once again attempting to tackle me but I stopped her with my raised foot, resting on her stomach.
“I thought I told you to stay 2 meters away from me.” I calmly said, pulling out a new textbook I bought and began reading.
She frowned, returning to her spot across the room but eventually smiled to herself as she began eating the cupcakes I baked.
From time to time, I kept glancing at her and at the rundown room. It wasn’t that messy but from the lack of furniture and stuffs, it looked almost like an abandoned place. The once peach walls were dark grey and molds had already formed, her bed was nothing but a stacked carpets in attempt to resemble a decent bed. Aside from the small table at the center of the room and her bed at the corner, a small drawer was placed just besides the bed. I’m already certain that the only clothes she has was her school uniform, the uniform from her part time job and a few old clothes.
At the top of the drawer lies a picture frame of a 10 year old Youngji and her parents. Her father was tall yet stout, wrapping his hand around Youngji’s shoulder, while her mother has her hands resting on Youngji’s head.
All of them had a genuine smile plastered on their face, their eyes almost crinkling in delight. It made me wonder, why they left their only daughter in famine. Well, she did told me that her parents were always fighting day and night, she even got involved in their catfights and got her arms broken. Then one night, she found herself all alone in her house with nothing but a note from her parents saying that they’ll go to another country and uncertain when they’ll return.
I glanced back at Youngji, still devouring the food I brought while constantly smiling to herself with each bite she takes.
It left me pondering why she’s still smiling after all the sufferings she received. She’s basically a mess. At school she’s being bullied by almost everyone, after a tormenting day she returns to this lonely apartment with no one to accompany her, and at night until dawn she has to go work in a karaoke bar. And the next day she comes to school without any sleep only to be harrased by everyone again.
“Youngji.” I called to her amidst the silence. She glanced over to my direction, chocolate icings stuck on her face.
“What?” She asked, stopping her continuous devouring of cupcakes.
I stared at her pale complexion, it’s obvious that she’ll get sick from her current situation. I sighed, closing the textbook and placing it on the table.
“Nothing.” I remarked, earning a puzzled stare from her.
“Okay then.” She resumed consuming loads of sweets, while I kept on staring at her in disbelief.
How long is she going to put up this act. Pretending as if she’s fine even though her whole world had already crumbled. Yet she wore a cheerful smile to the world not being able to be warmly embraced. I can hear the painful cries through her eyes, it echoes through the sky and shakes the Earth, yet no one glanced at her with sympathy. . .
Not even me. . . Her own best friend.
Scandalous pictures spread across the whole campus like wild fire, earning giggles and smirks from everyone.
I watched Youngji walking through the crowded hall, her head hanging low and her hands trembling in deceit.
People around her erupted into soft murmurs, a disgusted yet satisfied look plastered on their face.
“How foolish.” I sighed, closing my eye before heading towards the student council office. At least I can do something for her, even though it was her fault for going with Fei knowing that she hates her with great intensity.
When will she ever learn not to trust people. Always, and always smiling to whomever she encounters, even if their motives were malicious.
Striding across the hallway, my ear caught familiar voices talking inside an isolated classroom at the very end of the hallway before I make a turn to head for the library. I stopped in my tracks and stood in front of the certain room and listened silently.
“Youngji is really done for. I bet she’s already expelled from this school, and I wouldn’t have to see her ugly face anymore.” The one speaking, which I believed is Fei, laughed in a mocking tone. Various laughter also resonated from inside, making me bite my lip and wonder why they’re so happy by Youngji’s crisis.
“I think she doesn’t even have the guts to show her face at school because of those pictures we took.” Kelly interjected, earning an annoyed voice from Fei.
“Excuse me. I’m the one who made sure that her face is clearly seen.” She proudly said, giggling afterwards.
“Hey, without my camera, you wouldn’t capture those awesome pictures.” I heard another voice, specifically from a man. And as far as I can remember, that irking loud voice belongs to Youngji’s boyfriend, Joon.
Knowing that Youngji’s most loved person in the school is actually a part of her downfall was enough for me to slam the door open and walk in the room. The room was filled with a awful smell that comes from cigarettes, Fei was sitting on top of a desk while all her other friends were gathering around her, and Joon was leaning on the wall next to them.
“Oh shoot. It’s the president.” Joon mockingly smirked, acting happy to see me when in fact he was expecting for my reaction to be furious, which it was.
Fei on the other hand was surprised and was taken aback right after seeing me burst through the door.
“I heard everything you just said.” I said in my most dangerously calm tone, standing in front of them. My whole body was shaking in anger as I stare at all of their faces, almost half of my classmates were here, smoking and laughing about Youngji’s scandal.
“Wha. . . You. . . Ugh. . .” Fei struggled to form a decent sentence as I take a step forward to her direction.
“Wha? You? Ugh?” I repeated what nonsense she just whimpered in a more furious tone, glaring daggers at her shaking pupils. “What language is that? Could you speak in one of the 13 languages I actually understand?”
“What’s with you? Boasting about your intelligence and s–t.” Jina sat up from her seat and stood between me and Fei, probably shielding her from me.
“Well, I know now that all of the people here are behind the allegedly scandal of Youngji and is responsible for scattering the pictures across campus.” I tried to calm myself but my anger still makes my whole arm shake. “It made me wonder why there are conveniently placed pictures everywhere, turns out I was correct that there are more than one person behind this.” I stated, making Fei click her tongue in annoyance before avoiding eye contact, but Joon was fast enough to speak up to defend their innocence.
“Hah? Where’s your proof that we did all that?”
I glanced over to his direction and saw that he was furrowing his brows, probably because I was slowly making my way for getting them expelled from this place.
“I already told you. I heard all of it.” I deadpanned, and the corner of his lips tugged upwards as if I was delusional.
He crossed his arms and leisurely leaned back on the wall. “You think the principal will believe that? Theres 20 of us here and you’re only one, we can easily brush it off by saying that you’re making that up.” Fei regained her boastful composure after hearing those words from Joon, smirking and raising an eyebrow at me.
“Yeah, you’re just being a psycho and misheard everything.” She added, also crossing her arms.
The people around her was nodding too, staring at me as if waiting for me to speak.
Great, a group of idiots. I thought to myself before talking back. “You think the principal will believe a bunch of disgusting good for nothing people? And did you also think that me, Kim Yooma, will get easily brushed off?.” The irritating smirk Joon and Fei had on quickly disappeared right after realizing that the most well behaved, intelligent, most trusted student in the school is infront of them right after mindlessly blurting out their crimes and I coincidentally heard everything.
Almost all of them stepped back and was exchanging glances at each other before looking back at me with a guilty look.
“I’m not involved in this, I was just here to smoke, nothing more.” One of our classmates shook his head, raising his hands in mock defeat.
“Y-yeah, I didn’t do anything to Youngji.”
“It was Fei, not us.”
“We only did it for the money Fei is giving us.”
“It was Hyemi who organized that party as well as Youngji’s scandal.”
One by one, they started pointing their hands at each other. I just watched them bark at themselves when in fact, they’re all in the same boat. Once I put a hole in it, all of them will drown.
“Now then, what shall I do? Should I broadcast it for the whole school to know how well you schemed all these? I wonder if expulsion is enough for the likes of you.” At this point, I was the one smirking from seeing them panicking……
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