When "Hello" Isn't Enough

my friend wanted me to post her story, too, so...
original: http://www.asianfanfics.com/story/view/363240


11. Friends

Everyday after school, I've noticed how Haneul always walks home alone. It's not safe for her to be alone. Especially since Kai threatened to do something to her. I don't know if he was being serious or not, but I won't take that chance.

"Haneul!" I called and she stopped walking. She turned around and came towards me. 

"Hi Siwoo," she said and gave a small smile. She doesn't smile a lot, but she needs to. "What are you doing here?"

"I just thought it would be better for me to walk you home," I answered.

"No, it's fine. I can get home on my own," she said almost immediately. She started walking away, but I kept following her.

"It's not safe for you to be alone. You don't know if there are creeps around here waiting for a target."

She didn't say anything but she gave a small nod, so I took that as a yes. She held her books tight to her chest and kept her gaze down.

"So, uh, where do you live?" I asked.

"Just a few minutes away," she answered. It was obvious she was nervous. Does she not like me? 

"What's your family like? Besides being strict."

I think my question caught her off guard because she took longer than usual answering it. "Well, they're gone a lot. I mean they're  working so they're never really home. Kinda like your parents."

I forgot Ray told her they're on a business trip.

"Remember how you said you like talking to me?" She continued. She started biting her lip. "Because I like talking to you, too."

I felt my face grow warm when she said that, but I don't think she noticed. "Since we both like talking to eachother, does that mean we're friends?" 

"I guess so," she replied. "I've never had a real friend before." 

Neither have I. 

​I looked down at the ground to try and hide my smile. I could see she had a small smile, too, which made me even happier.

"Well, thanks for walking me home," she said. I didn't even notice we had stopped walking. She turned away and went to go inside. 

"Can I come in?" I asked, maybe a little too quickly.

"What?" She tilted her head a bit in confusion.

"S-so we can start the project," I added, just in case she got the wrong idea. 

"Um, just wait a second, okay?"

I nodded and she went inside. She came back out a few minutes later with a slight look of relief on her face.

"Okay, you can come in now," she said and I followed her back inside. 

Why did she have to do that? Was her house a mess and cleaned it up a little before I could see? Did she have to warn her parents about a sudden visitor who they've never met before? I was really curious, but I didn't let her know.

It wasn't all that bad inside, but it was a little plain. Maybe too plain. It seemed like nobody really cared about the decor being "friendly" since it was mostly dull colors.

"You can sit down," she offered and gestured to the sofa, which like the rest of the room, was old and shabby. "Do you want anything to drink or..."

I shook my head. "No, I'm not that thirsty."

She sat down on the other end of the sofa. "What are we doing for the project?"

"I don't know, but it has to be about the human body," I answered. "Could your parents help us come up with some ideas?"

She looked at the floor. "They're not home right now. They won't be back for a while, either." She kept biting her lip.

"Well, maybe I could stay a while until they get back."

"I don't think that's such a good idea," she quickly responded. "They don't like it when I have people over without their permission."

"So I'm not allowed to be here?"

"You are, but they won't be very happy."

"Should I leave then?"

"No, you can stay, but you'll have to leave before they get back," she answered.

"When are they coming back?" I wondered.

"I don't know. It's always a different time so I can't know for sure."

Why would her parents be upset if she had a friend over. Isn't that what parents want for their children? A friend... I really like that word.

​~Haneul's POV~

Siwoo and I eventually settled on a topic for the project, which was the effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain. Siwoo seemed to know a lot about this, like he's actually experienced it. I highly doubt he has. He's such a good kid.

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