Chapter 18 - Don’t You Dare
She had noticed someone walk into the classroom with a wrench in his hand. And she could only stare at the psycho in shock, her unblinking eyes taking in what he was trying to do.
“What are you looking at? Mind your own business,” Jaeho had said.
She had debated whether to walk away from the scene or not. She knew who he was: Cha Jaeho, a 9th grader, and also Muyeol’s older brother. On the first day of school, he was beaten up by Muyeol in front of everyone. And that was how she had come to know about the relationship between the two. The half-brothers were opposites, like an angel and a devil. The kids claimed that Jaeho loved Muyeol dearly, but the angelic Jaeho always lost against the devilish Muyeol.
‘But why does the older brother have a wrench with him?’ she had wondered.
It was at that moment that she heard a loud bang. Yiyoung’s eyes widened, refusing to blink even once.
Jaeho had struck the lock on Muyeol’s locker.
‘Oh my goodness… What should I do? Do I have to interfere?’ Yiyoung had wondered.
Yiyoung always felt like her relationship with Muyeol was formed by fate. She believed that it was predetermined that they would go to the same junior high. And to think they even ended up in the same class and became deskmates again…
Muyeol barely spoke, and he was unbelievably arrogant. He never opened his mouth, even during a class. But he was capable of looking down on someone with just a glance. He always ate alone, and if someone accidentally bumped into him, he would dust off his clothes as if they were filthy and move on.
Muyeol was so eccentric; she had never seen anyone ignore others so much. She couldn’t even imagine what kind of adult he would grow up to be.
That was why Yiyoung always kept her distance from him. She was confident that she could become good friends with anyone, except Muyeol. She didn’t want to be his friend, especially when all he did was glare at her. So she had kept her distance until she saw him writing in that diary of his.
Just then, another bang resounded.
Her heart jumped, startled by the sudden sound.
When the wrench clanked against the lock again, Yiyoung found herself stepping in, not even aware of what she was doing.
“Why are you breaking into someone else’s locker?” she had asked.
“Butt out,” Jaeho had snapped. He, a freshman, was the most popular kid in the school. He was known for his good grades, excellent personality, and being empathetic, but…
“Stop now!” she raised her voice to stop him.
“That was when he finally deigned a response. “What’s wrong with you? Don’t you know who I am? This is my brother’s locker, and siblings share everything.”
“I don’t believe that. You should stop. If you don’t, I will go ahead and tell our teacher right away.”
But Jaeho had pretended to not hear her and continued to dig through the locker. When he pulled out a black diary, Yiyoung recognized it right away. It belonged to Muyeol.
She had seen him writing in it one early morning when she had ended up going to school earlier than usual this one day. He had looked so different that day, completely unlike his usual arrogant self. It made her realize that one really can’t judge a book by its cover.
Jaeho had suddenly closed the distance between them, the black diary in one hand and the wrench in another. It was so scary. Her heart pounded so hard it felt like it was going to explode, and she had been unable to move a single inch as Jaeho smiled down at her. She then understood why he was so popular in school. Jaeho had a beautiful smile.
But only his smile was pretty, the words that had spilled from his mouth were not. “Okay. Tell the teacher and I’ll kill you.”
“You must be Yoon Yiyoung. I’ll remember this.” So Jaeho knew who she was. No one in this school did not know her; she always sat next to Muyeol, after all.
“You’re an upperclassman, Cha Jaeho from 9th grade, right? I’ll report you, but if you return the diary, I’ll let Muyeol deal with your punishment,” Yiyoung had warned him.
She had heard the sound of the air whooshing first. Her ear felt numb, and her vision spun so quickly that she stumbled. Jaeho had slapped her, and the pain only increased when he grabbed her by the hair.
“Do you want to die?” Jaeho had tugged her hair, the force so immense and painful that her eyes watered.
Rage had built up easily within Yiyoung then. “Who do you think you are? You lunatic!”
She screamed and launched a fist at Jaeho’s gut.
When she had started looking for a part-time job after entering junior high school, her friendly personality and huge smile landed her a decent job at the MMA gym, where she cleaned the gym every night. She was too young to be officially working, so she was asked to say that she was a pupil if anybody asked. The instructor adored her, and he had taught her some self-defense skills. She was actually taught several skills, they never seemed to work out when she tried them in actual situations. She decided to ask to be taught a killer move, like God’s touch, something that would take down others in one move.
Fortunately, her weak punch had started Jaeho, so she was able to snatch the diary from him and run away.
As she bolted down the hallway, other students had eyed her weirdly. She was focused on catching up to Muyeol, but then…
Yiyoung’s mind came back to the present.
‘Shoot, those two brothers are the same, huh? One’s violent and the other always forgets to say a simple thanks.’ She let out a deep sigh. ‘I’ve got to be careful, huh?’
Jaeho seemed like he was out of his mind. She couldn’t believe how quickly he had slapped her. From the look of things, it was obvious that he was looking down on her. ‘He was just lucky to be born with a silver spoon in his mouth, how dare he look down on me! Shit!’
It was a good thing that she had instinctively turned her face when he hit her. If his punch had landed directly on her face, with the amount of strength Jaeho had used, her nose would have shattered into pieces.
At that disturbing thought, Yiyoung tried to think of ways to protect herself in the future.
‘If Dad were here, I would have just asked him to do something about it.’ Yiyoung sighed once again.
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