“Give me a moment…” replied Sunghwan, who lightly tapped on the girl’s shoulder. The girl in front of him turned around slowly. She was reading a book as she turned around to face Sunghwan. A thread of sunlight found its way through the transparent full-window wall, reflecting upon the girl. It looked as if she was gleaming. And that’s when he saw her.
“Yijin…?” asked Sunghwan slowly. The girl’s straight, black, hair was hanging down her back, tied in a loose ponytail. It was tied with a red cord, one that he oddly recognized. She closed her book and lifted her chin up to look at Sunghwan.
“Yes…?” began she, only to find herself unable to continue as she saw Sunghwan’s face. For a moment, they stared speechlessly into each other’s eyes; where brown met black. “Do… you…?” was all Sunghwan could stutter out, being flooded with emotions. Not knowing what to say, he saw a tear falling down the girl’s chin.
“Are you okay…?” whispered Jungseol.
No answer was given, for in the next moment, the girl rose up from the chair and rushed over to Sunghwan, throwing her arms around him. “Yes, yes, yes!” whispered she in his ear. “I remember you Sunghwan, I remember, how could I ever forget?”
Jungseol looks away amidst the affections, “Wow, wow, too much PDA. I’m suddenly itchy, why are there so many ants in here?”
Sunghwan, hugged her tightly and whispered “Yijin, I finally found you…”
After the hug, both of them glanced at Jungseol. “What, why are you guys looking at me?”, says a baffled Jungseol. “Mind filling me up with your stories?”
Just then, his phone rang. “Wow… okay. Maybe later,” said Jungseol, disappointedly. “Typical saved by the bell action…”
Yijin giggled and said “Don’t worry, we’ll still be here when you return. Sunghwan, I have so much to tell you!”
Returning from his phone call, the three gathered around and sat quietly together. Not knowing where to start, Sunghwan held Yijin’s hands dearly, having a yet confused Jungseol watching them, waiting for a clarification.
“Guys,” began Yijin, breaking the silence, “I have something to share with you.”
“What is it?” Jungseol asks curiously as Yijin pulled something out of her backpack. To Sunghwan’s surprise, it was his old cellphone.
“Omo, this phone is like from the 1980s, does it even work?” continued Jungseol.
“I’ve kept this for such a long time. Sunghwan gave this to me on the day he left,” said Yijin as she turned on the phone. To the boys’ surprise, it still worked.
“Damn, looks like it still does,” replied a surprised Sunghwan.
Yijin opened up the phone’s photo gallery. It was filled with really old pictures, mainly portraying Sunghwan and herself.
“These are some really old pictures. When was this?” asked Jungseol as he pushed himself closer to Yijin to get a better glance at the pictures. “And how many pictures does it even have?”
Yijin endlessly scrolled picture after picture without stopping. “Oh right, do you still like to take photos, Yijin?” asked Sunghwan.
“Yeah, I still take pictures of the landscape from time to time,” replied Yijin as she smiled at Sunghwan.
“Wait! Scroll up a bit… Stop! What’s this?” asked Jungseol.
“Oh, this? Looks like I forgot to tell you guys that I’m a part of the swim team. Sorry…” Yijin boasted. Her way of boasting was so cute that both Jungseol and Sunghwan glanced away in blush.
“Ah, damn you guys,” she chuckled. “Anyway, Jungseol is it, right? Let me tell you some stories about me and Sunghie!”
“Oh, Sunghwan, hey,” said Yijin, sitting in front of him. “I heard that you’re… leaving.”
Sunghwan nodded slowly, “Yeah, tonight…”
Yijin turned toward him with tears falling from her face, “Does that mean… you’ll never come back here?”
“No, no, I’ll be back, I promise,” answered Sunghwan worriedly after seeing Yijin’s tears.
“Hey, you should smile more, you look prettier when you smile!” said Sunghwan jokingly in an attempt to comfort her.
Their eyes met as sunlight reflected on Yijin’s face, making her appear as if she was gleaming. She was a shining star, both metaphorically and literally. For she was the light guiding Sunghwan in his darkness.
Sunghwan walked up to her and hugged her, “I promise that I’ll be back, and I’ll find you, no matter where you are. I’ll find you.”
“…that’s it?” Jungseol asked.
“After that, he gave me the phone to feel a bit better about everything. All our memories were stored inside it, I assume he gave it to me so I could have something to look at in his absence,” began Yijin.
“And that’s about it. Sorry, but it was a really long time ago,” continued she. “Regardless, the fact that he is here with me today feels so… surreal. I just… simply can’t believe it.”
Sunghwan nodded, still experiencing so many emotions at once, “I love you so much, Yijin. Damn how I’ve missed you.”
Jungseol threw his hands up in the air, “Woah, Sunghwan, way too early to be having a relationship! It’s literally the first day of freshman year! Besides, I don’t know anyone except you… for like an hour… But regardless, I’m not prepared to be lonely!”
Yijin giggled, “You know… that’s actually a good idea, Jungseol”
“What?” shouted the boys’ in surprise, looking at each other, totally baffled.
“Hey! It’s too early for this relation-shit! Besides, I just met you guys!” Jungseol protested.
Yijin then turned to look at Sunghwan, “So Sunghie… What do you think of me?”