Copyright (c) 2000 SeChsKieS GurL (SechsKiesGurL@aol.com). All rights reserved.-->
“I swear to you! I did not know there was a test today!”
Seonghoon nodded absentmindedly as Jiyong continued to ramble on. He pulled open the diner door.
“Seonghoon! Why is it you just won’t believe me?”
“For two?” the waitress smiled upon the opening of the door.
Seonghoon continued nodding.
“Are you nodding off to sleep or are you just nodding off?” Jiyong demanded.
Seonghoon continued bobbing his head.
“I’m about to smack you,” Jiyong threatened.
Seonghoon stopped moving his head and followed the waitress to the far end of the diner.
“Coffee,” Seonghoon sighed, plopping himself on a seat.
“Coffee?” Jiyong echoed, looking at his friend.
“Yeah,” Seonghoon replied, raking a hand through his shriveled hair.
“I think you need some shots of soju,” Jiyong chirped.
“Coffee,” Seonghoon objected, shaking his head.
“Fine. I’ll take wuteva you have that’s good,” Jiyong said to the awaiting waitress.
The waitress nodded and smiled, showing her deep dimples. She quickly scribbled their order and disappeared to the kitchen.
“I thought those things tasted like chalk,” Jiyong whispered, making a disgusted face.
“Well, Jiwon likes it enough,” Seonghoon shrugged.
“I dunno. I’m afraid to go home now.”
“Why? Just because of some nightmares?” Jiyong laughed.
“No, not because of that. I dunno...” Seonghoon’s voice trailed off.
“Yoonji or Yoonyi?” Jiyong asked, pursing his lips.
Yoonjang stared at his sister as she devoured the serving like a hungry wolf. She looked up at him, bewildered.
“Wut?” he asked.
“I thought I just heard my name,” she said, swallowing as she wiped her mouth with a napkin.
Yoonjang looked around. “No, it’s only you and me in here. Nobody else.”
Yoonyi stared at her brother suspiciously.
“You’re imagining things. Hurry up and eat. If Oma finds you here, you’re in trouble,” Yoonjang whispered, peering at his sister.
“Humph. We’ll see,” Yoonyi sniffed, dropping one of her chopsticks on the floor by accident.
“Yeah,” Yoonyi sniffled, winking with satisfaction.
Something behind them fell to the floor.
“Wuwuz dat?” Seonghoon mumbled, laying his head on the table.
Jiyong turned around. “Just a chopstick.”
“Chopstick. Ya know? Chop chop?” Jiyong snapped.
“Uh-huh. Now I wanna sleep,” Seonghoon yawned.
“Your coffee’s yet to come!” Jiyong bellowed.
Seonghoon bolted up in his chair.
“Not yet, though,” Jiyong grinned.
As plates and cups clattered throughout the diner, Seonghoon and Jiyong waited for their drinks to arrive while listening to a close by discussion about the chopstick that fell to the floor.
“I dunno! No one was sitting here though!”
“Are you sure?”
“Then how did this get here?”
“I dunno! We haven’t used chopsticks; not even the day we opened!”
“I know! But...how did this get here?”
“Didn’t the last owner of this place use chopsticks?”
“But it was burnt with the shikdang.”
“Then what’s going on?”
“Could it be ghosts?”
“Or maybe someone came in here with it.”
“Why, though? We don’t serve foods here that you need the usage of chopsticks.”
“Jiyong!” Seonghoon whispered softly.
Jiyong nodded at his friend knowingly as he stared at the three girls behind Seonghoon with his eyes wide. He cleared his throat loudly and the girls turned about, startled by the interruption.
“My drinks,” Jiyong smiled meekly.
“Oh!” one of the waitresses let out, trotting to the counter. She served them their food and quickly left to clear other used tables. Seonghoon and Jiyong eyed at each other as they quickly gulped down their drinks and each slapped down four dollars before asking for the bill. Like a sudden breeze, they flew out the door.
“Buuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrppppppppppppp!” Yoonyi covered her mouth at the embarrassing eruption that escaped her mouth. “Haha! Oma? I don’t think she could do anything.”
Yoonyi smiled at the comment and began toying with her hair again. Yoonyi, sixteen, turning seventeen in January, was the crowned jewel of the family. Yoonjang, her older brother, who was twenty-two, never finished high school. He was drafted into goondae and upon his release, their father saw no point of furthering his son’s education and forced him to work in the family restaurant. Days and nights, nights and days, Yoonyi spent time alone, sitting up in her room, supposedly “studying” for college. She had only a few more years of high school before “officially” leaving home. She thought about the idea of leaving home. School, her friends, even her brother, who constantly picked on her faults and flaws.
Her mother, daughter of one of Korea’s most famous business owners was married to a another man of the same background. Sometimes Yoonyi wondered how did she end up living like an average kid, when her parents are children of Korea’s richest people.
She watched as her feet moved mechanically, one in front of the other. Tap, tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap, tap.
“Yoonyi! Yoonyi! Where are you going?!”
Yoonyi blinked at the sudden inquiry. She looked for the voice that called out to her.
“Yoonyi!” a voice of a girl shouted, blaring her horn.
Yoonyi looked to see her classmate, Yuri, waving out her car window.
“Can you go out?!”
Yoonyi hesitated before replying, “No!”
“Your mom home?”
Yoonyi nodded her head vigorously.
“Okay then, never mind! Buhbye!”
Yoonyi sighed in relief. She didn’t like going out. And definitely not with Yuri. Ever since she entered middle school, her mother her locked in solitude. Never letting her answer the phone, talk to her friends, nor even letting her go out. It was like the world was coming to an end and Yoonyi wouldn’t be able to get into one of the best colleges in Korea if she did all those things.
“Life sucks,” she mumbled to herself, kicking at the stones that were in her way as she strolled along. She continued on, her eyes glued to her dirty sneakers.
Nothing exciting ever happened to her. All the other girls had some good-looking namja or a chakham namja approach them and start wooing them in school. Or some agent comes knocking at their door, offering them money for their youth and pretty faces. She envied them while they envied her wits abilities to get good grades.
She arrived at the doorstep and gazed up the wooden stairs, hesitating to enter the house. She plopped herself on the stairs, sighing with boredom.
It was a beautiful Wednesday morning, only eleven-thirty, she noted. It would be about lunchtime for kids in school. For her, there was no school. Whatever the reason, she didn’t care. As long as it was a day off, she was happy. She stood up from her spot and brushed off her jeans before entering the house. She stomped up the stairs and thrust her key in the door, unlocking it. She tossed the key onto the table that stood by the door and dropped herself on the living room couch. She picked up the magazine that sat on the coffee table and flipped through the contents, not amazed by the old issue of the wrinkled book.
She threw the magazine back onto the table and sped up the stairs to her room. She stared at the books on her desk and moaned at the reminder that she still hasn’t started on her homework. She sat down and picked up a textbook, burying her face into it. Hoping she could lose track of time, she wished she didn’t have school anymore.
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