Your Warmth

1061500
Arranged marriages, company dinners, school trips and dances. The factors of complicated romances. Four best friends, moving onto their fourth and final year of high school with low expectations, are dragged into chaos over and over again by the same people every time. What’s gonna happen to them? Will they make it through these difficulties and find their happy endings? Or will they fail to push past the troubles?

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11. Eleven

Ti Hyun's P.O.V.

"Tonight is the Homecoming football game which means everyone has to be here by 5 to help set up. The game will be starting at 7. Does everyone have a job for tonight," asked Min Ji, the student council president. Everyone replied with either a nod or saying yes. After that, Min Ji talked some more about how important tonight's game is and how we all need to be there to cheer on our football team. Then she talked about the decorations for the Homecoming dance tomorrow. "Alright, that's it. Enjoy the rest of the day everyone."

I quietly gathered my papers and put them in my folder before heading towards the door. I barely took one step out when Min Ji called me back. I turned around and smiled as she approached me.

"You're going to the dance tomorrow, right," she asked. I nodded in response.

"Yeah. I mean, I kinda have to," I answered in a joking tone. Min Ji giggled slightly which made me cringe on the inside.

"Well, I was wondering if you're going with Soon Jae." I looked at her like she was crazy which made her blush. "Um, sorry if that was a little too straightforward. I heard about you guys and I just assumed that you would be going together."

I laughed nervously and forced a smile. "It's okay. We're not going together. I'm actually just going with my friends."

"Ah, I see. Actually, I asked because I wanted to ask him to accompany me to the dance and I didn't want to do that if you guys were already planning to go together," clarified Min Ji while blushing madly. I continued to smile even though what she said was a little uh... odd to me. I mean, if she knows that Soon Jae and I are engaged, then why is she basically confessing that she likes him to me?

"Oh. Well, good luck." Min Ji looked at me, slightly confused and I think... offended? "With asking Soon Jae, I mean." 

Min Ji nodded showing that she understood before greeting me as well. I let out a long breath before making my way to my locker. That was definitely... interesting. When I got to my locker, I was surprised to see a certain someone leaning against it while looking down at their phone. I cleared my throat as I approached them.

"What are you doing here," I asked. Soon Jae immediately looked up from his phone and put it in his pocket as he faced me.

"I was waiting for you," he answered while moving away from my locker so that I could open it and put away my things from the meeting.

"Oh... You didn't need to," I said. I put away my folder then pulled out the books I would need over the weekend. I turned to face Soon Jae after closing and locking my locker.

"Actually, I do. Our parents found out that we've been leaving and going home separately and said that from now on, we have to go together," said Soon Jae. I nodded in response but stayed in quiet after that. Soon Jae cleared his throat.

"Let's go." Soon Jae started walking down the hall and I followed behind him. At one point, he stopped walking and I ended up bumping into his back since I wasn't looking where I was going.

"Sorry," I said quickly while backing away. Soon Jae quickly turned around and held my wrist. He started walking with my hand in his, basically dragging me.

"Walk next to me, not behind me," he mumbled. I looked down and struggled a little to keep up with him since his legs were much longer than mine. Eventually, we both started walking at the same pace. When we got to a more crowded area of the school, everyone whispered as we walked by them. You'd think I'd be used to crowds and people whispering and staring but, I'm not. In fact, I have never wanted to run and hide more than I do right now. I noticed someone point at us and looked down to see that he was still holding my hand. I tried to pull my hand out of his grip but he only held it tighter.

We walked all the way to the senior parking lot where Soon Jae's car was. Soon Jae didn't let go of my hand as he leaned forward to open the door of the passenger seat for me. He took my bags so that I could sit and put them in the trunk before he got into the driver's seat. I glanced over at him as he started the engine. It's so awkward. Should I say something? Wait, no. Besides, I'm pretty sure he would rather be driving his girlfriend home than me. I sighed before looking out the window. I just watched the scenery as we continued our way to our home.

"What time do you have to be back at school?" I snapped my head sideways to face Soon Jae. How does he know about that?

"Uh 5," I answered.

"I'll drive you." I stared at Soon Jae, slightly suspicious. He didn't say anything and just continued to focus on the road. 

"Uh, you don't-"

"That wasn't an offer." I furrowed my eyebrows as Soon Jae turned to face me. He had a cold expression, like Jin Hyun usually does. "I'll drive you."

I gulped nervously before turning back to the window. I could feel Soon Jae's stare and it felt like I was in an interrogation room, being accused of a crime I didn't commit. Finally, we made it to the house which was more of a little cottage. Our parents bought it for us and we moved in last week. As soon as the car was parked, I unbuckled my seatbelt and moved to open the door. I pulled on the handle but it wouldn't open and I sighed, realizing that it was locked. I cleared my throat as I turned my body back to face the front.

"What," asked Soon Jae. I pointed at the door but apparently that wasn't enough. "Use your words, Ti Hyun-ah."

I grimaced and cringed at the way he called my name but sighed and obeyed. "Could you unlock the door?"

"What's the magic word," he asked. I looked over at him and glared. He was looking back at me with a teasing smirk. He wiggled his eyebrows which made my roll my eyes as I turned to face the front again.

"Please?" Soon Jae chuckled before he finally unlocked the door. I quickly got out of the car and immediately walked towards the trunk where I had to wait for Soon Jae. When he got out of the car, he walked towards me and opened the trunk then lifted it up above our heads. We both grabbed our bags before he closed the trunk again and locked his car. After that, I walked straight to the front door while Soon Jae stayed back after his phone started ringing in his pocket. Probably his girlfriend.

I unlocked the door and took off my shoes as soon as I stepped inside. I put my shoes in one of my cubbies, replacing the lavender slippers that I dropped on the floor to slip into. I sighed then walked towards the living room and dropped my bags on a two-seater sofa. I plopped down next to my bags and took out my phone to check the time. I still have about 2 hours before I have to go back to school. What am I supposed to do in the meantime? I could do homework. Actually, I'm hungry. 

I got up and went to the small kitchen. I opened the fridge and took out a small container of grapes. I sat down at the dining table and started eating the grapes while texting the girls in our group chat. Ryu Maeil and Min Yu were currently teasing Nae Jin about Seung Wook but then Nae Jin turned it around by bringing up Woo Young and the fact that Ryu Maeil turned him down. After that, it got a little more serious when they talked about what we saw last night. This is when I joined the conversation. If I joined earlier they would've talked about Soon Jae and I did not want that. 

I heard the front door opening and glanced behind me to see Soon Jae changing his shoes to his own slippers. He did the same thing as me and put his bags down on the sofa before coming to the dining table. He rested one hand on the back of my chair as he reached past me to take some grapes.

"Shouldn't you be doing homework instead?" I turned off my phone and looked up at the exact same moment that he looked down. I completely forgot what I was about to say when I realized just how close we were. We were barely a couple of inches apart and I could his hot breath on my face. We stayed in that position until a ring suddenly echoed through the house. Soon Jae quickly stood up straight and I looked down at my lap.

"Sorry, that was my phone," said Soon Jae.

"It's fine," I replied quickly.

"I, uh, have to take this. Excuse me." I hummed as an okay while Soon Jae left. He probably went up to our room. Yeah, that's right. Our room. But, it's okay. Why? Because I volunteered to sleep downstairs on the couch.

I sighed when he was completely gone. I was about to reach for another grape but then the scene from just now replayed in my head and pulled my hand back. I shivered a little before I stood up and put the container away. I went back to the dining room and looked around. There is literally nothing to do. I looked over at my backpack that was on the couch. I sighed before reluctantly bringing my backpack to the dining room. I sat back down and pulled out my binder. I guess I'll be doing homework to pass time.

An hour passed by and I almost completely done with everything. I put my things away then grabbed my phone and went upstairs to our room. I was about to open the door when I heard Soon Jae's voice. He's still talking? But, it's been an hour. Who's he even talking to? 

"Haven't I made it obvious? Haven't I made it clear? Do I really need to spell it out to you? I've told you already that I don't want anything to do with you. How hard is it to understand that, Dae Yeom."

Wait... what? I pressed my ear against the door in attempts to hear better. He was talking to Dae Yeom? He doesn't want anything to do with her? But... They kissed at the engagement party. I've been thinking that they were together for the past 2 months!

"This is the absolute last time I will ever talk to you, understand? Get out of my life and stay out."

Yikes. I would feel bad for her but I've known her long enough to know that she must've done something really bad for him to be so mad and annoyed with her. I heard footsteps and quickly ran down the hallway to wear the stairs were, pretending that I was just about to head up to the room.

"Oh, sorry. Did I take too long? Do you have to leave now?" I shook my head quickly and caught my breath, trying to answer as normally as I could.

"No, I was just about to go up and rest for a bit," I answered. Soon Jae nodded before he moved out of the way for me. I entered the room and he followed, closing the door behind him. I sat down on the right side of the bed and plugged in my phone before setting it down on the nightstand.

"Hey..." I turned around to face Soon Jae who was awkwardly standing by the door and rubbing the back of his neck. "So, I already know that you were gonna go the dance with the girls but, I was thinking that maybe we could go together instead."

My eyes widened and when he saw that he panicked a little. "I mean, since we're engaged and everything. I just thought, it would be a good idea. Since our relationship is already public."

I could feel my face heating up and my heart rate speeding up as he continued to talk. I cannot believe this is happening right now. What do I say? Soon Jae saw that I was uncomfortable and immediately shut up.

"You know what? Never mind. If you want to go with the girls then you should go. Just uh, forget everything I said." I felt bad as I watched Soon Jae walk away with his head hanging low. The next thing I did was completely unexpected.

I stood up and called for him.

"I, uh, I'll go the Homecoming dance with you," I answered while looking down at the floor. My face felt as hot as the blacktop on a sunny summer day and my heart was beating so fast it was going faster than the fastest race car in existence. I heard Soon Jae stutter but I couldn't look at him. I was way too nervous for that.

"O-Oh, uh, that's... that's great. Um, I gotta, uh, go and um, do... something." I looked up and met his eyes which only made me even more nervous. "Just, uh, come downstairs when you're ready to go."

I nodded as Soon Jae started walking. Once he got out of the room and closed the door behind him, I plopped back down onto the bed. My whole entire body was shaking and my brain felt thumb. Once everything finally processed, I buried my face into a pillow and screamed. What have I done?

After panicking, I relaxed and got out of the bed. I checked the time on my phone before fixing the bed sheets and going to the closet to change out of my uniform and into something casual for the game. I washed my face before grabbing my phone and heading downstairs to find Soon Jae asleep on the couch. Ugh, now I feel bad. If he's tired he shouldn't have to drive me to the school. I mean, we're setting up two hours before the game starts. Maybe I should just leave a note and get a ride from Min Yu or something. I went back to the dining room and got a sticky note from my backpack then wrote Soon Jae a note saying I left with Min Yu instead so that he could rest. I went back to the living room and looked around. Where could I leave this so that he could see it right when he wakes up? I was about to put it on the coffee table in front of the couch but I get the feeling he won't notice it. I turned back to face him. Should I put it on his arm? Or forehead? Hand? Ugh, I don't know where to put this thing!

I decided to just leave it on the coffee table then turned to go put on my shoes but I was stopped by a grip on my wrist.

"What time is it?"  I put on my hand on my chest over my beating heart.

"Aish... You scared me!"  Soon Jae chuckled before he let go of my wrist and sat, rubbing his eye.

"Sorry.  Anyway, is it time to go," he asked.

"Yeah, but if you're tired you can just rest and I can get a ride from Seok Min or one of the girls," I answered.  Soon Jae immediately got up and went upstairs, surprising me.  "Wait, where are you going?"

"Changing."  He was halfway up the stairs when he stopped and turned to face me, leaning on the railing.  "You are not going with Seok Min."

I watched with a confused expression as Soon Jae continued his way up to the room.  What the heck?  Why can't I go with Seok Min?

I sighed and decided to just shrug it off since it wasn't really my business.  I sat down on the couch then texted the group chat, asking them when they were gonna go to the school.  After another 15 minutes or so, he came downstairs wearing a casual but warm outfit. 

"Let's go," he said as he walked pass me towards the closer by the door.  He pulled out a coat then put on his shoes.

"Why are you bringing another coat," I asked from behind him.  He moved over a bit so that I could get my shoes.

"For you, duh," he answered as if it was the most obvious thing ever.

"But, you don't need to," I said as I put my slippers back in the cubby.

"Yes, I do."  I turned around to see Soon Jae looking at me with the most serious expression ever.  I avoided eye contact then slipped past him.

"We should go," I suggested as I reached for the door.  Like earlier, Soon Jae opened the door for me before he got in the driver's seat and started driving.  The whole ride was awkward.  If possible, even more awkward than earlier.  When we got to the school, I got out of the car on my own this time since he didn't lock the door like earlier.  He opened the door to the back row and pulled out the two coats that happened to be his.

"You should've just grabbed my coat," I said quietly as I accepted one of the coats he held out to me.

"I wanted you to wear mine," he replied honestly, making me blush a little.  I thanked him before we started walking towards the meeting room.

"Where are you gonna be?  While we're setting up," I asked as we stopped by the door.

"I'll probably go up to the rooftop.  Or maybe the music studios," answered Soon Jae with a shrug.

"Oh, okay.  Then, I'll see you later,"  I said with a smile as I turned around.  Before I could even take a step, Soon Jae pulled me back and turned me around so that I was facing him.  I opened my mouth to ask what he was doing but he stopped me by putting his arms around me and pulling me into a hug.

"Save a seat for me," he whispered before he slowly released me.  He gave me a cheeky smile before he turned and left, leaving me a complete mess.

 

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