Chapter 5 - Polo Game
I first met Keith in university. To be exact, that was when I first came to know of his existence.
He was famous from the very beginning. The first name that I heard as soon as I entered university was “Keith Knight Pittman,” and so was the name that I continued to hear once or more every day.
Back then, I was a beta. Most people manifested during their teenage years, and transitioning past that period was rare. Nobody had imagined that I would become an omega.
That day, my final exam of the semester was just ahead of me and I was exhausted and on edge. No matter how hard I tried, my grades were not where I wanted them to be. I could barely understand the contents of my textbooks, and my restlessness was at a peak.
Since I had gotten into a good school, my parents wanted me to focus on graduating without worrying about the tuition. However, I still felt immense pressure. Living costs were simply too expensive, and I had no time to work part-time.
I couldn’t even hope for good marks, and passing every semester was basically my only wish. On top of that, my youngest sibling was dedicated to piano, which contributed greatly to our household’s expenses. I could never mention that I was running low on money. I had heard rumors about a group of international students exchanging past papers and sharing notes, but I couldn’t even imagine being a part of it as I was shy to the point where I would avoid talking to strangers as much as possible. I had my hands full just following along in classes every day.
Since every day was a repetition of holing up in the small room and reading my textbooks, I lost my sense of reality pretty quickly. Once, I went to a convenience store to buy a bottle of water and blanked out after giving the cashier my student card, resulting in some irritated remarks from them.
“Oh, Yeonwoo. You’re already here?”
Liwei, my housemate, greeted me when I got home early after giving up trying to shove all the class material into my head. I only saw him once in a blue moon because he was always out and about, and this seemed to be the rare occasion where he decided to return home. We weren’t very close despite his friendly greeting, so I replied rather awkwardly.
“Well, yeah… going out again?” I asked, eyeing his airy shirt, shorts, and tennis shoes.
Liwei smiled and answered, “There’s a game going on today. Aren’t you gonna go?”
“A game? What game?”
I glanced at his outfit once more, wondering if it was a tennis match. He chuckled, this time with a hint of surprise. He soon spilled the reason for his amusement.
“The polo game. Didn’t you know?”
“Oh… really? There’s a polo game?”
I asked stiffly. I had only heard of polo in passing; I had never watched nor had any interest in watching it. I knew that the university offered various sports programs, but never took interest because I didn’t have the time to follow along with each game. I didn’t even know how many people were in a game, let alone the rules. There was no reason why I would be interested in it.
Liwei tilted his head at my dry response. “Why don’t you let your brain rest for a bit and come watch?”
I was slightly tempted after being so depressed about my studies. I wanted to be distracted. I was hoping that I would be able to take my mind off things while watching something else.
“Liwei, I’m ready. Let’s go!”
While I was silently contemplating on the offer, Liwei’s girlfriend walked up from behind. I reflexively stood aside to let her pass.
Liwei asked me, “If you want to go, let’s go together. I’ll give you a ride.”
I hesitated. The remaining work I had to do today was pulling on my leg, but my urge to run away was also strong.
As I stalled, Liwei added, “What’s more is that Keith Pittman will be running today. It’s your chance to see an Extreme Alpha in real life. Are you gonna just let that chance go? Pittman’s in his final year, so if you don’t see him now, you’ll never see him.”
I only realized that I had accepted his offer after I had agreed.