Copyright (c) 2000 SeChsKieS GurL (SechsKiesGurL@aol.com). All rights reserved.-->
“Ugh! Chicken poop!”
Jiyong looked down at Seonghoon’s shoes and to his dismay, he burst out laughing.
“What’s so funny?!” Seonghoon glared, trying to scuff his shoe.
Jiwon turned back and caught a glimpse of Seonghoon’s stained shoe. “Uh-oh. Wangja byung got his shoe dirtied,” Jiwon snickered, throwing his head back to let out a throaty laugh.
“Wipe it off with your hankie, dummy!” Jaeduk whispered.
Seonghoon felt himself for his handkerchief and realized he had forgotten to carry one.
“Here. All you ever remember is your name is Kang Seonghoon and your phone number. I think we should sew a hankie right onto your wrist,” Jaejin said lowly, handing Seonghoon his handkerchief.
“I think that’s the only thing he ever does. Insteada homework, he copies his name and phone number ten million times so he can hand out the next day,” Soowon grinned.
“Hahaha,” Seonghoon chimed in dryly.
“Lighten up. It’s just chicken poop! You’ll get anutha pair! Don’t worry. It’s not like you’re poor or anything,” Jiyong smiled, patting Seonghoon on the back.
“Might as well ruin my other shoe,” Seonghoon sulked.
“Don’t wish too soon!” Jiwon sang.
Right after Jiwon’s warning, another pile of feces landed on Seonghoon’s shoe. This time, staining the other shoe.
“Uh...” Soowon started.
“AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Seonghoon screamed with frustration.
“Told you,” Jaejin chuckled, watching his friend squirm with fury.
From a distance they heard a scream that matched Seonghoon’s, only the other one was of terror and was a notch higher.
“I guess the other person wasn’t too happy,” said Jaeduk, nudging Seonghoon.
“Unniya!” Jeeya cried, jerking on Jiyoon’s dress.
“I want that!” Jeeya pointed at a man who was parading around with apple candies sticking out of a long pole.
Jiyoon drew out her little pouch and dropped four coins into Jeeya’s awaiting hands. “Get two, one for Jeeyu,” she smiled.
Without further hesitation, Jeeya skipped away to the man with Jisoon. Jiyoon neatly tied the laces together and was ready to slip it back in her shirt. A young man who had been eyeing Jeeyu for a long time, yanked her away, snatching the pouch out of Jiyoon’s hand.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Jiyoon screamed.
“What happened?” Jisoon yelled, pushing past the crowd that started to gather around Jiyoon and Jeeyu.
“My money! Jisoon!”
Jisoon dashed after the man, knocking people down as she went along. Jeeya pushed herself through the tall people and knelt by her sisters. “Unni!”
“Jeeya! Goodness! Jisoon just left you like that?” Jiyoon gasped, wrapping her arms around the small child.
“Unni went after the thief! She’s gone!”
“Gone?” Jiyoon blinked.
“C’mon unni! Hurry! Or else Jisoon won’t be able to catch him! She needs our help!”
“Jisoon is capable of anything. We’ll wait here,” Jeeyu pursed, folding her arms across her chest.
“What if the man’s bigger than unni? She’ll get beat up!” Jeeya said, frightened.
“Jeeya’s right. C’mon!” Jiyoon agreed, pulling Jeeyu off the ground.
“Here unni! For you,” Jeeya chirped, giving Jeeyu an apple candy.
“This is baby food. I don’t want it,” Jeeyu said haughtily.
Jeeya cast her eyes on the ground.
“Just take it. Jeeya means well,” Jiyoon sighed, looking down at her sister.
“I don’t want it! It’s for babies,” Jeeyu thundered.
“Fine! I’ll give it to Jisoon after she beats the guy up! And I’ll tell her to beat you up too!” Jeeya shot back, glaring at Jeeyu.
“I’ll hold it. Be careful with that thing in your mouth. Don’t trip,” Jiyoon warned, taking the candy.
“Unni, you can have half of it,” Jeeya smiled.
Jiyoon chuckled at her little sister. She was cute either way. Mad or happy. There was no way of telling how Jeeya would react to certain things. “Okay. When we find Jisoon, I’ll split it with her.”
“Now hurry! Jisoon’s getting away! And you know her! She runs faster than the wind!” Jeeya cried, pushing Jiyoon ahead of her.
The six of them exchanged glances before advancing forward. They halted at the running chaos and saw a poorly dressed male running through the frozen crowd of shoppers.
“STOP! YOU THIEF! COME BACK!”
A young girl dressed in a casual outfit ran after the boy, supposedly the ‘thief.’ She chased the boy and three other girls followed her. The boy brushed past Jiyong and his friends as Jisoon hollered a “STOP HIM!” Without avail, Jiwon and Jaejin let him slip by.
“Jisoon!” Jiyoon panted, pausing in the middle of the street to catch her breath.
Jisoon ran on, picking up speed as anger coursed through her.
“Hurry, unni! Jisoon disappeared!” Jeeya cried, looking for her second oldest sister.
“Jisoon!” Jiyoon called out again.
“Unni! She went that way!” Jeeyu shouted, pointing after Jisoon.
Jisoon rammed into Jiyong in attempt to push past him, but he held tightly onto her arm, preventing her from going any further.
“Not until you apologize.”
“Like my ass I will! Let go!” Jisoon retorted.
Jiyong was shocked by the response this girl had given him. Her eyes blazed and loose strands of her hair clung to her sweaty face. She bit her lower lip and glared at him.
Without warning, a ball of saliva flew from her mouth and he felt a sudden sting his left eye. She flung his arm away and continued her pursuit after the thief.
“Jisoon! Stop Jisoon! Come back! Forget it! Ji-Jisoon!” Jiyoon hollered.
“Jisoon, Jisoon, Jisoon!” Jeeyu and Jeeya chorused.
Jiyoon stopped in front of Jiyong, who was desperately rubbing his itchy eye.
“Oh, my God! I’m so sorry! I’m so, so, so sorry!” Jiyoon apologized, bowing again and again.
Jeeya tugged on Jiyoon’s uplifted dress. “Unniya! Hurry! Jisoon’s getting away!”
Jiwon looked amusingly at the little girl that coherently ushered her elder sister and bent down to talk to her. “Little girl. How old are you?”
“Unni!” Jeeya shrieked, hiding behind Jeeyu and Jiyoon.
“ARGH!” Jaeduk roared, popping out of nowhere, making Jeeya jump.
“Ahhahahaha,” Jeeya giggled.
“I’m so sorry. You’ll have to forgive my sister. She’s like that. I’m so sorry. Are you okay?” Jiyoon asked tentatively.
“I’m quite alright,” Jiyong sniffed, dabbing his eye.
Jeeya wriggled free from Jeeyu’s grasp and darted past the eight giants that stood idly before her.
“Jeeya!” Jiyoon and Jeeyum gasped in unison.
“Unni, unni, unniya!” Jeeya’s childish voice rang out in harmony.
“NOOOOOOOOOOO!” Jiyoon howled, running after her seven year old sister.
“Unni!” Jeeyu wailed, pulling up her dress. Jiyoon turned back to pull Jeeyu after her.
“That’s a funny group of girls,” Jaejin finally commented, looking after Jiyoon.
“The little one’s cute,” Jaeduk giggled.
“No, the other one is,” Seonghoon corrected.
“Who?” Soowon hooted.
“Definitely not the one that spat in my eye,” Jiyong answered scathingly.
Jiwon slapped Jiyong hard on the back, trying to control his laughter.
“What?! Do you want me to spit at you? In your eye?!” Jiyong growled through clenched teeth.
“I swear...I thought...whoa! Lemme stop,” Jiwon laughed.
“C’mon! Let’s go!” Seonghoon interrupted, winking mischievously.
“Why do you always want to be in someone’s business?” Jaejin asked, exasperated.
“I wanna see more of that cutie,” Seonghoon replied, his eyes bright.
The six guys trotted after the girls and found the most surprisingly hilarious sight.
“Yay!” Jeeya squealed, jumping on the boy.
“Punk! Gimme back mah money!” Jisoon bellowed.
“Jisoon!” Jiyoon gasped again.
“Unni! His eye!” Jeeyu cried, pointing at the swollen black eye.
“You’ll have that beauty mark too if you mess with me,” Jisoon threatened.
Jeeyu shrank behind Jiyoon.
“Leave the kid alone. You’ve done enough to him already,” Jiyoon winced.
“Enough?! Jiyoon, he stoled our money! You call this enough punishment?!” Jisoon shrilled.
“Gimme my unni’s money!” Jeeya demanded, kicking the boy’s side.
Jeeya backed away at Jiyoon’s angry voice.
“Give our money back and we’ll leave you alone,” Jeeyu cut in, stepping forward.
Jisoon lifted a clenched fist and the boy threw the pouch at her. “H-He-Here...ta-take it...Don-Don’t hit me!” he stammered, cowering against the wall.
Jeeya scampered to Jiyoon’s money bag and picked it up. She skipped to Jiyoon with a proud smile and handed her the bag. “Unni.”
Jiyoon took the bag and rumaged through it, digging out a few cents. She walked over to the beaten boy and knelt next to him.
“Here. My sister didn’t mean to hit you that hard. I’m sorry. Take this. I’m very sorry.”
“Jisoon, take pity on him. He didn’t want to do this. But he had no other choice,” Jiyoon reasoned, getting up.
“Choice?! I’ll name over a hundred choices for you if you can’t name any! Why won’t he steal from them?!” Jisoon fired, waving to Jiyong and his speculating friends.
Jiyoon remained silent.
“Unniya,” Jeeya whimpered, hugging Jisoon’s leg. “Don’t yell at Jiyoonie. She didn’t know. She didn’t know.”
Jisoon smoothed Jeeya’s hair, pulling her pigtails straight. “Okay, I won’t yell at Jiyoon anymore. Let’s go home.”
Jeeya agreed almost immediately and pulled for Jiyoon to follow.
“I’ll hold onto the money,” Jisoon grunted, looking at Jeeyu.
Jeeyu turned away from Jisoon’s hawk-like stare and peered at the six young men that stood not too far away from her.
“Uh...I’m Eun Jiwon,” a young man introduced, stepping forward.
“Yeah, and I’m Ko Soyoung,” Jisoon replied sarcastically, rolling her eyes.
“Why won’t you just shut up?!” Jiyong retorted.
“Why won’t you stop trying to be the man you’re not?” Jisoon fired back.
“Wut?” Jisoon challenged, stepping closer to Jiyong.
“Hi!” Seonghoon smiled, sandwiching himself between the two.
“You have a pretty smile,” Jisoon complimented. “Now get outta my way.”
“Wouldn’t you like to know who I am?” he asked, his smile fading.
“That girl over there looks interested. Her name’s Jeeyu. Ask her,” Jisoon acknowledged, her eyes fixed on Jiyong.
“Jisoona. Let’s go home. Didn’t you say you want to make preparations to go see Mom tomorrow?” Jiyoon interrupted, nudging Jisoon.
“After I finish this bastard off.”
“Ahnyonghaseyo,” Jaejin cut in. “Lee Jaejinimninda.”
“I’m Jeeya!” Jeeya piped, beaming proudly at her name.
“Can I be your friend, Jeeya?” Jaeduk asked, toying with Jeeya’s pigtails.
“Do you know how to fight?” Jeeya asked, her eyes wide.
“Yeah! If you can beat Jisoon then you can be my friend.”
“Whoa, your little friend strikes a hard bargain,” Soowon faked a cough.
“What’s your name, buddy?” Jeeya chirped.
“Call me Shorty!”
“Shorty? You’re tall! Look at my Jisoon unni! She’s shorter than you!”
“Why, thank you, thank you. I’m taller than your unni, yes. But I look short,” Soowon stated, straightening his tie.
“I think it’s the suit,” Jaeduk whispered, jabbing Jeeya’s ribs.
“I think so, too,” Jeeya giggled.
“C’mon! Bring it on!” Jisoon yelled, throwing her hands up.
“You’re gonna regret this,” Jiyong muttered to himself, narrowing his eyes.
“Jisoon! No!” Jiyoon croaked, pulling her sister back.
“I’m gonna sit on you if you don’t let go!”
Jiyoon immediately release her hold on Jisoon as she propelled forward. Jiyong held his breath and pulled his arm back, getting ready to strike the girl.
“YAAAAAA!” Jisoon screamed, kicking up dust.
“UGH!” Jiyong sputtered in disgust, trying to clear the sand that filled the air.
“AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH! My suit!” Seonghoon cried out in dismay.
“Jisoon!” Jeeyu stomped, wiping the dirt off Seonghoon with her rag.
“Unniya! My eyes! My eyes!” Jeeya wailed, groping for one of her sisters.
Jaeduk snatched up the small hand and carried her away from the uprising action.
“Unniya,” Jeeya sobbed, rubbing her eyes.
“It’s okay. Your sisters are fine,” Jaeduk cooed, brushing her bangs aside.
“You pig!” he heard Jisoon’s shrill voice scream and stretched his neck to see her tackling Jiyong to the ground. Her arm clung around Jiyong’s thin, long neck as she fell to the ground with him.
Damn, she’s a complete boy, he thought.
He looked over to her two other sisters, who were both pale and looked like they were close to passing out from watching the scene. He turned back to gaze at the little one that stood before him and was surprised by such a difference between the four girls.
Jiyoon, from what he had gathered, must be the oldest. Her delicate figure and olive color skin and her soft spoken eyes tells it all. Jisoon, on the other hand, he would have mistaken her for being the oldest. She was the complete opposite. Her tall, towering figure, blazing, fiery eyes, hot-tempered personality nearly scared him. Jeeyu, as Jisoon had mentioned, seemed so unlike the two. She wasn’t as honest and nice like Jiyoon and she definitely isn’t as straight-forward as Jisoon. And last, but not least, the little diamond jewel, Jeeya. A little pretty flower she was. Her medium length hair braided neatly into two pigtails and her small tiny body reminded him of a doll.
“O-Oppa,” Jeeya sniffed, cutting off Jaeduk’s train of thoughts.
“My eyes. My eyes hurt. Where’s unni?”
“I want Jiyoon.”
“I want unni,” she pouted.
Jaeduk lifted her into his arms while she continued to massage her watery eyes.
“JISOON! STOP! YOU’RE GONNA HURT HIM!” Jiyoon yelled on top of her lungs.
“Hurt? Hardly,” Jisoon grunted, wrestling with Jiyong’s bony arms.
“Jisoon! Jisoon, if you don’t stop I’m going home and tell Mom you’ve been fighting again!” Jeeyum blabbed mindlessly.
Jisoon’s arm slipped and Jiyong tumbled on top of her. She threw up a protective arm in front of her before Jiyong’s lips came in contact with hers.
“Whoa! Smooth move!” Soowon hooted.
“Sorrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeee,” Jeeyu clicked with her tongue sheepishly, ducking behind Seonghoon and Soowon.
“What happened?” Jeeya asked, reaching for Jiyoon.
“Jeeya!” Jiyoon gasped.
“Unni,” she replied tearfully.
“What happened?” Jeeyu asked, taking Jeeya from Jaeduk.
“Sand...I got it in...aaaaaahhhhhh!”
“Unni, my eyes hurt.”
“Stop rubbing it!” Jeeyu commanded, slapping away Jeeya’s hands.
“I can’t help it. It stings.”
“GET OFF ME!” Jisoon bellowed, pushing Jiyong off her.
Jiyong rolled off her, dusting the sand off his pants.
“Your oma’s gonna have a lot to say when we get back,” Jiwon said quietly, offering Jiyong a hand.
“It’s her fault. I told her I didn’t wanna go out today,” Jiyong retorted, dusting himself.
“Is Jisoon unni hurt?” Jeeya asked softly, squeezing her eyes.
“No, the stupid dickhead is though,” Jisoon mumbled. “What’s wrong with your eyes?”
“I got dust in them,” Jeeya whimpered.
“C’mere,” said Jisoon, taking Jeeya’s hand. “Open your eyes.”
“Try to open them then.”
Jeeya fought against the painful stinging that brought fresh tears to her eyes. Jisoon pressed a firm finger over the lids and blew hard into Jeeya’s eyes.
Jeeya did as she was told and soon she opened her red eyes. “Hey!”
“Heh...yeah.” Jeeya’s lips curved to a sly smile, throwing herself into Jisoon’s embrace. “Unni, can I still get my slingshot?”
“Sure,” Jisoon winked, pinching Jeeya’s nose.
“Ask Jiyoon if she still wants to go.”
Jeeya raced to Jiyoon and begged for her to stay longer.
“It’s almost afternoon! Aren’t you hungry?”
“I still have my candy,” Jeeya said hastily, making her eyebrows dance.
“I suppose. But Jisoon’s a mess.” Jiyoon frowned, casting Jisoon a look of disapproval.
“It won’t take long! Pul-leeeeeessssssse?”
“Fine,” Jiyoon sighed, giving in.
“Yay!” Jeeya squealed, jumping for joy.
“I take it Jiyoon has granted your wish,” Jisoon smiled wickedly.
“I don’t want to be seen walking around with her!” Jeeyu wailed, stomping her feet in defiance.
“Then stay away from me.” Jisoon shrugged, jumping over the low door step. “Just remember, if you get harrassed, you’re the one fighting. Not me. Cuz I’ll be miles and miles ahead of you.”
“Jiyoon!” Jeeyu flushed, turning to Jiyoon for comfort, infuriated.
Jisoon laughed lightly and guided Jeeya away. Jiyoon lifted her skirt and Jeeyu followed. Slowly Jiwon and Jaejin filed after them with Seonghoon and the rest of them trailing behind.
“Do you live far from here?” Jiwon asked casually, falling in step with Jiyoon.
“Not very. Only a few blocks away.”
“Is that girl really your sister?” Seonghoon asked in awe, running up to Jeeyu.
“The one that was fighting with Jiyong.”
“No,” Jeeyu lied.
“She’s not?” Jaeduk gasped.
“She is. Jeeyu just doesn’t get along with her,” said Jiyoon.
“She’s not even ladylike!” Jeeyu said with disgust, making a sour face.
“You can say that again,” Jiyong grumbled.
“You’re still mad at her?” Jaejin asked, looking back at Jiyong.
“No. Just intimidated.”
“Jisoon’s like that. She was always active and hyper like that. Too smart for her own pants,” Jiyoon explained.
“Don’t your parents ever do anything?” Jaeduk probed, sticking his head in between Jiwon’s and Jiyoon’s.
“They...They’re too busy to,” Jiyoon said quietly.
“Very busy,” Jeeyu chimed, nodding.
Silence fell upon them as they returned to the marketplace. Ahead of them Jisoon and Jeeya bounced from one end of the street to the other, ‘ou’ing and ‘ah’ing different odds and ends.
“Jeeyu! Isn’t this pretty?” Jisoon shouted, pointing at a piece of violet fabric.
Jeeyu rushed to Jisoon’s side and her eyes widened with delight. “It’s beautiful!”
“Do you need a whole set of clothes?”
Jeeyu nodded eagerly, not taking her eyes off the material.
“Unni! It’s better than what you’re wearing!” Jeeya said in a loud, modest voice.
Jeeyu boiled at the comment.
“We’ll tell Jiyoon to put it together for you,” Jisoon said hurriedly. To the peasant, “Give me all of this please.”
“All?” Jeeyum gasped.
“Jeeya and Jiyoon need clothes too, you know. Don’t think the world evolves around you,” Jisoon replied absentmindedly, reaching for the hidden money.
“Here you are, miss,” the man smiled, handing Jisoon the bundle. Jisoon dropped a few coins into his hands and tossed the cloth at Jeeyu.
“Unni! There!” Jeeya pointed excitely. Again Jisoon took off with Jeeya, racing to their next fascination site.
“She’s not that bad. She’s pretty good with kids,” Jaejin said after a while, observing Jisoon.
“She’s good with kids because she is a kid,” Jeeyu said mildly.
“I sense that you two should be reversed. You complain more than an old ajuma,” Jiwon laughed.
“I think you and Jisoon should exchange places. You’re not our oppa,” Jeeyu retorted.
Jiwon’s laughter subsided and was lost for words. He just continued forward, glancing at the people nearby.
“I need to get my mother her things,” Jiyong reminded them.
“Darn!” Seonghoon moaned.
“Might as well do it now.” Jiyong shrugged.
“Don’t give her the slip. I don’t think her parents would like it,” Jaeduk said, faking a cough.
“Slip?” Jeeyu looked baffled.
“Seonghoon knows. He has a bad habit of handing his homework out to strangers,” Soowon explained, winking at Jaeduk.
“Very bad habit,” Jaejin chimed.
“You guys are taking forever to say farewell,” Jiyong accused.
“Thank you,” Jiyoon said softly.
“Thank us? For what?” Jiwon asked just as softly.
“Coming to our aid,” Jiyoon answered with a smile.
“It was nothing. I think Jisoon was the - ”
“I didn’t tell you my name right?” Seonghoon asked loudly, taking Jeeyu’s hand.
“No,” Jeeyu answered, shaking her head.
“My name is - ”
“His name is Kang Seonghoon and he lives past the village. Further down the dirt road, in a big house,” Soowon finished rapidly. “And he doesn’t have a phone.”
“Ah?” Jeeyu uttered, confused by the ordeal.
“Shut up!” Seonghoon whispered loudly, pushing Soowon away. “Ignore him. He’s stupid.”
“No! You’re stupid! Letting everybody know where you live and your phone number!” Soowon retorted, resting his arm on Jaejin’s shoulder.
“Uh-huh,” Jeeyu mumbled stupidly.
“Uh...Do you always go out?”
“No. Home half the time.”
“Call me when you do.”
“No particular reason.”
“Seonghoon! The girl’s too young to be your yuja chingoo. She’s only like what? Fifteen? Fourteen?” Jiyong guessed.
“Who said I wanted her to be my girlfriend? Friend, yes. But not girlfriend.”
“Ay, whatever. Hurry!”
“Here. Before I do sumthin stupid!” Seonghoon slipped her the piece of paper and twirled away.
“Tell Jeeya I said ‘bye.’ And be careful,” Jiwon warned.
“Don’t worry. With Jisoon, nothing ever happens to us,” Jiyoon reassured him.
The two girls departed and left the six guys standing idly behind.
“Someone’s in love!” Jaeduk sang, pushing Seonghoon.
“Change that to some people,” Jaejin snickered, eyeing Jiwon.
“What?” Jiwon drawled, meeting Jaejin’s gaze.
“You like her. Don’t you?” Jaejin accused.
“No,” Jiwon fibbed, feeling his face grow hot.
“We’ll see,” Jaejin replied smugly.
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