Author’s Note— This is Chapter One. Please refer to the previous chapter if you haven’t read them yet :)
“What the hell is up with your hair?”
“Shut up, Suwon. Seriously, I can’t handle them. They are like you guys multiplied by 50. You know I hate kids!” I tell them as I scribble notes down for my lesson tomorrow.
Seungyoon and Suwon are my two older brothers. They are older brothers that act like my little brothers. They can be at times—overly protective and other times they can be like little five year old children. They live in their separate apartments just like how I do but there is one thing that we always remembered to do every other night. Webcam chat. It keeps us together even though we don’t live with one another. Their advice, most of the time, can be taken with a grain of salt. It’s either a hit or miss with these two. Dating advice, they are experts but with counseling a bunch of spoiled famous singers, I don’t know what level of knowledge they would have in this area.
“Seri, it looks like something is growing from the back. Sasquatch?”
“Seungyoon, I’m going to murder you,” I threaten and hold up my pencil, pretending to stab his face.
“You wonder why no guy wants you.” Seungyoon has a knack for pointing out the obvious. He’s the witty one and never has trouble finding a girl to be by his side. He probably has a new girlfriend every month, changed his hair to a different style every week, and bought new clothes every single day.
“Are you guys going to help or what?”
“Mom really screwed you over this time,” Suwon notes but begins to come up with some ideas. “Icebreakers. They’re pretty awful but they do the trick.”
“They’re singers so maybe you can do something with music and songs,” Seungyoon adds.
“That’s it! You guys have finally become useful after all of these years,” I reply and jot down ideas.
“I’ve been giving you advice since the day you were born. Go brush that damn mane of yours!” Seungyoon leans closer to the computer and tells me.
“Didn’t I tell you to shut up? You guys going over to see Mommy this week? You know she’s lonely after Dad died.”
“Find her a boyfriend.” Seungyoon says, dryly.
I put down my pen and close my notebook after finishing my morning plan. Seungyoon is right but it isn’t like a good man will pop out of thin air with the snap of my fingers. In a manhwa—maybe. In a anime—possibility. In a soap opera—definitely. In real life—zero chance. I take after my mom. We both have foul language, horrible manners, and have low tolerance for stupidity and boys are the epitome of dumbasses.
“Suwon, you want to take this one for me? I might throw my computer against the wall if I keep listening to this idiot,” I say, cracking my knuckles for both to see. I’m one inch away from going Sadako—Ring girl on him and climbing through the monitor to strangle his throat.
“What our kind, young sister is implying is that you are the dating machine. Go work your magic on mom,” Suwon tells him and leans back into his chair with a book in hand.
“My magic only works on getting girls. The hell do I know about how to get men for mom?”
My mom’s gorgeous—if she was back in her twenties. When she was in her prime, she was able to get men to bow down to her feet. Unfortunately, due to the lack of care from my dad—not to mention his death, she began to deteriorate away into the next cat lady or a crazy person on the TV show ‘Hoarders’. Okay, that’s a bit extreme. She’s not a hoarder or crazy. She just doesn’t care for herself as she did before she met my dad. I’m starting to think that my mother is another reason why I’m not lady-like.
From the corner of my eye, I see Seungyoon putting shades over his eyes during the nighttime. “Really, Seungyoon? Really? You know what, fine. Gah. Does my being blind you that much?”
“Just that hair ball. Seriously, how are you related to me?”
“Seungyoon, be nice. She’s just a late bloomer.”
“Thanks, thanks guys. I really appreciate it.” Major sarcasm. “Good night.”
Shutting off the webcam, I stuff my notebook into my backpack and walk to the bathroom to brush my teeth and go to bed. “Sweet baby, mother of cheese.” I look at myself in the mirror and that idiot, Seungyoon, is right. My hair does look like a Chewbacca was giving birth to a big foot offspring. Gnawing at my hair with my brush, I pat it down and figure it’s good enough to sleep on. I will have to fix it tomorrow.
I wake up early the next morning to tame my hair and clean up my look. My hair decides to revert back to its monstrous form overnight which is why I’m taking extra measures to make sure it looks right when I go to work. Sitting at my front desk, I eat a spoonful of yogurt and write a song title down for each group. I’m hoping that by working in groups, they will be able to befriend other students outside of their band mates so that their world will open up just a little more.
“Seri,” I look over to the door and see the President. “How was the first day? Your mom asked me to keep an eye on you.”
“Good. I split them up and what? Why? I’m not causing trouble.”
“Don’t know. Just reporting back to the superior!” he turns around and walks out the door. “Good luck, Han Seri!”
Laughing to myself, I go back to my sheets of folded paper and put them inside of a glass jar. Slowly, the students walk into the classroom with their hair and make-up just as perfect as yesterday. If they aren’t such bitter people, I might even want to ask them how they get it so perfect. Not even magic can fix my horrible, as Seungyoon would call it, Sasquatch mane.
“Okay, so we’re going to do a fun project,” I say and grab the glass jar. “You guys will be split into groups. First row—Im Yoona, Park Gyuri, Kwon Jiyong, Kim Hyuna, Lee Donghae, Yang Yoseob, and Gong Minzy will be the leaders of each group. Basically, for the others, your group will be the aisle you are sitting in. If you’re sitting behind Minzy, you are in her group.”
“No way. No friggin’ way,” Tiffany says and crosses her arms.
I see that all of the students are unhappy with the project and again, I don’t understand why.
“I agree with the witch—”
“Yah, don’t say witch!” my voice thunders, cutting off Kim Yoobin. The building shakes from my sound and I place my hand on the front desk to keep it from vibrating. The skies become dark, stormy and I tell myself to calm down. Calm the frack down, Seri. As I control my breathing, I open my eyes and see the students looking at me like I’m a nut job. I hate the word ‘wit—’… ‘wit—’. Jeeze. I can’t even say the word in my head.
I walk up to Im Yoona and hold the jar out to her. She leans her back far into the chair and her hands tremble as she places her hand into the jar to grab a sheet of paper. Yoona slowly unfolds the paper, keeping her attention away from my eyes. She reads out loud the song title name, her voice matching how she grabbed the sheet of paper. “2— 2— 2NE1 — I— I—I’m the Best.”
“Pick one,” I say sternly to Gyuri. Like Yoona, she also avoids my gaze.
“2PM—Again and Again.”
I stand in front of Jiyong and hold out the jar. He looks at me for a second, the first out of three to stare me right in the eye. The lines of his forehead come together but he holds my gaze as he puts his hand into the jar. A smirk comes up from the corner of his lips as he mouths the most disgusting word to me, ‘Witch’. I clench my free hand into a ball, holding back the urge to sock him in the eye. He sneers at me, “BEAST—Fiction.”
My jaw tightens and I walk to Hyuna’s seat. By the time I got to Minzy, all groups are assigned their song. “What you’re going to do with these song is that you’re either going to remake the music video or interpret the song in a different way and then you’ll perform it for the class at the end of the month.”
Dismissing the class early, I sit back down in my seat with a throbbing headache making my stomach wanting to regurgitate the yogurt I ate in the morning. I close my eyes and rub the opposite ends of my temple in a circular motion. Suppressing my anger a few moments ago took a lot of my strength away and I don’t have the energy to sit in front of the students, pretending to be normal—when I’m just as abnormal as they are. I hear my phone vibrate in my bag and I pull it out to look at the name of the person calling. There are fifteen missed calls from Mom, Suwon, and Seungyoon.
“Crap,” I mumble out loud and answer the phone. “Yes?”
“YAH! What the fuck did you do?!” Suwon, usually the calmer one in normal situations, screams from the other line. “Conference call with Mom and Seungyoon. NOW.”
I lean my upper body onto the desk, covering my face onto my arms as I wait for the wrath of my family to blast into my ears.
“Was that you? It was you wasn’t it?” Seungyoon accused.
“What happened, Seri?” Mom asks, her worried tone catches my attention. I hate making my mom worry. It’s bad enough that Dad’s gone. I don’t want to add to the list.
“Nothing. Nothing happened. It’s okay. I calmed down. Everything is fine.”
“You’re gunna cause another natural disaster.” Suwon says and I hear him sigh from the other line.
“I’m not!” I reply, my voice comes out louder than I mean it to be as lightning strikes outside.
“YAH!!” all three say at once.
“Sorry! It’s just—a kid in my class said—” I swallow, having trouble saying the word out loud. “She said ‘witch’. Not to mention this other dumbass mouthed it right in front of me and I kind of just—lost it for a second.”
“Fuck. Dammit, Seri. Get a hold of yourself,” Suwon tells me, probably running his fingers through his hair out of frustration.
“Go make sure your hair hasn’t turned all blonde,” Mom adds.
“It’s not. My hair won’t go all blonde. Look, I gotta go. I’ll be more careful. Bye.”
I shut off my phone and squirm in my seat from frustration while every single curse word is running through my head. Just to make sure, I grab the ends of my hair. They’re still brown which is a good sign. I didn’t lose all of my self control in that moment. Finally sitting up from hiding in my arms, I almost fall off my seat. I see Jiyong standing in front of me, staring me down like a hawk hunting for its prey.
“What?” I ask and lean back in my chair with crossed arms.
“You’re a crazy nut bag aren’t you?” he asks oh-so-dumbly.
“Yes, yes I am crazy. What do you want?”
“Switch me with another kid. I want to be in Im Yoona’s group.”
I point to him and tell him to come closer. He bends his frame down close enough for me to slap him on the side of the head. “Stop wasting my time, Kwon Jiyong. Why would I want to do that for you?”
“Because she’s hot—but you wouldn’t know what that’s like, right?”
“Ugh. Shut up, Jiyong. Seriously. Just shut up,” the headache is raging just like how the lightning struck earlier. I’m on the verge of snapping the kid’s neck in half if he says another word. I rub my head with my left hand, massaging the side where it hurts the most. “You’re staying in the group that I assigned you to. If you want to go on a date with Yoona, go do it outside of school.”
He grabs the side that I struck him and makes an angry face. “Fine. Always hitting people. Why the hell are you so violent?”
“Why the hell are you still here?”
He rolls his eyes and tugs on his backpack that hangs from his right shoulder. “By the way, your damn roots are blonde. Might want to get a physical or something, you witch.”
“Fuck.” I touched the top of my head. “Not this again.”
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