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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9. Nine

Nae Jin's P.O.V.

"Seung Kwan!  Get your butt over here," I shouted as my annoying little brother continued to run away from me.  I groaned and fell on the couch.  "I'm so done with life."

"What's going on here?"  I turned to face the door and felt all of my energy come back.  "Appa!"

I ran over to him and immediately hugged him as tight as I could.  It's been forever since I've seen him.  He was away on a business trip for the last two months.  He left right before school started.

"Nae Jin-ah, how are you," asked Appa.  The two of us walked over to the couch and sat down then started talking about things that happened while he was away on his business trip.

"Wow, so Soon Jae likes Dae Yeom now," he asked.  "And Jin Hyun and Min Yu are a thing?"

"Well... we're still a little confused about Jin Hyun and Min Yu.  After the Soon Jae and Ti Hyun's engagement party, they haven't spoken to each other at all.  At school, they act like they don't know each other.  I mean, for like a week they seemed like friends.  They would acknowledge each other in the halls but then Jin Hyun went back to being the cold prince of Wangjo Academy," I explained.  "Oh and Soon Jae and Ti Hyun moves in together like a week ago.  But, she's almost never there.  She tries to stay out as often as possible and basically only sleeps there.  When she isn't there, she's with Min Yu."

"Wow.  And what about you and Ryu Maeil," asked Appa.  I started laughing.  Does he really think I would have an interesting life like Min Yu and Ti Hyun.  "There's nothing going on for me.  I mean, I'm always stuck at home taking care of Seung Kwan and Chan Sung oppa's kids."

Appa laughed then ruffled my hair. "Good. That means I don't have to worry about any boys yet," he said before standing up and getting his suitcase.

"Uh, you mean ever," I shouted after him as he made his way upstairs to his room. I sighed and grabbed the remote, ready to relax.

Until I remembered there's a certain brat that stole my phone.

"Yah, Hong Seung Kwan! Where'd you go?"

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Ring!

"Class dismissed.  Your homework is to finish pages 90-95 and the worksheet.  Oh, and don't forget the Homecoming Football tomorrow and the dance is on Saturday," said Mr. Byun while gathering his papers.  He went back to his desk and sat down, turning on his computer.

"Hey, we're still going to the game and dance, right," asked Ti Hyun who already finished packing up and was now standing in front of my seat.

"Yup.  We should go to the mall today," I answered while putting away my books.

"With Ryu Maeil and Min Yu?"

"Duh," I answered giving her a 'Are you kidding me?' look.  She smiled sheepishly before going back to her seat and getting her backpack from the hook on her desk.

"Oh, I forgot.  Min Yu and I have practice so we'll have to hold off shopping until after 6," said Ti Hyun.

"Hm?  We're going shopping," asked Min Yu as she came towards us with her backpack on her shoulders and Ryu Maeil right behind her.

"Yeah.  We planned this like last month.  Remember," asked Ryu Maeil.  Min Yu thought for a second before she remembered.

"Anyway, we need to go to practice," said Ti Hyun, tugging on Min Yu's sleeve.

"Oh, right.  Why don't you guys come and just hang out on the side or something," suggested Min Yu.  Ryu Maeil and I stopped and looked at each other, thinking.

"But, would your coaches be okay with us watching?  We're not on the tennis team or the volleyball team," asked Ryu Maeil.

"Well, I know my coach will be okay with it since Nae Jin and I had her for homeroom our sophomore year," answered Min Yu.

"Yeah and Ryu Maeil can come with me since my coach was also our homeroom teacher last year," added Ti Hyun.

"Well then I guess I'll go to the gym with Min Yu and you're gonna go to the tennis courts with Ti Hyun."  Before going to the locker rooms so Min Yu and Ti Hyun could change, we all went to our lockers to leave the books we don't need and get the ones we do need for homework or studying.  

"Hey, did you hear that the quarterback from the school we're playing against on Friday is really popular?  Like almost as popular as Seung Wook," asked Ti Hyun.  Out of the four of us, mine and Ti Hyun's lockers were the closest to each other.  We were all in the same section but Min Yu and Ryu Maeil's lockers were a little deeper inside the hallway than mine and Ti Hyun's.

"Oh yeah!  Some people said that they went to the same middle school and both played football then, too," I answered.  "I don't think that's true though since we all went to the same middle school as them and I don't remember any guy being as popular as Seung Wook."

"Well, maybe he wasn't popular then but now he is at his high school," suggested Ti Hyun.  "Besides, they don't even know his name.  People are saying that he's always ditching so they don't even call his name during roll anymore and he doesn't talk to anyone at all."

"Who," asked Min Yu as she and Ryu Maeil approached us.

"The quarterback from Wangguk High," answered Ti Hyun.  The four of us started walking towards the locker rooms while talking about all of the things we heard about Wangguk High.

"Okay, we'll see you later," said Ti Hyun before she and Ryu Maeil left for the tennis courts.  Min Yu and I started walking down the hall to enter the gym.

"Coach!  Is it okay if Nae Jin just sits on the side and watches," asked Min Yu as soon as we got inside.

"Sure, as long as she doesn't cause any distractions it's fine," answered Coach Kang.  Min Yu thanked her before we both walked over to the open row of bleachers.  I sat down while Min Yu put her duffle bag down in front of me.

"So practice ends at like 5 and we get a 15 minute break around 3:45.  You could probably head over to the tennis courts around that time cause they end around 4:30," said Min Yu as she changed her shoes and put her Adidas in her duffle bag.

"Can't I just leave at 4:30 then," I asked.  Min Yu paused what she was doing for a second then smiled innocently.

"Yeah, that's what I meant," she answered.  I gave her a weird expression as she ran off.  For the first 10 minutes, I watched her play but then I got bored since she was just doing drills.  I pulled out my binder and opened my agenda.  Might as well get some homework done while I'm waiting.

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After Min Yu and Ti Hyun's practices ended, we all went to Min Yu's apartment since she lives the closest to school and we all love her mom.  When we got inside, Ryu Maeil and I sat down at the dining table while Ti Hyun and Min Yu went to wash up.

"Min Yu!  Can I have something to eat," I asked while looking through her pantry and fridge.  I heard her sigh behind me and turned around to see her wearing her pajamas and drying her hair with a towel.

"Why do ask when you're gonna take it anyway," she said while passing by me to grab a cup of noodles from a top cabinet.  She poured hot water in it then left it on the counter for me to take when it was ready.  Before she left to change into casual clothes, she grabbed a fork from a drawer then left it on top of the cup noodles.

"So, what's the plan for Homecoming," asked Ti Hyun as she came out of Min Yu's mom's bathroom, also in pajamas and drying her hair.

"Why do you have your pajamas here," asked Ryu Maeil, looking at Ti Hyun weirdly.

"Because I sleep over a lot and Mrs. Lee said I should just leave some clothes in Min Yu's closet so that I don't have to bring a lot stuff and in case of unplanned sleep overs," answered Ti Hyun casually with a shrug.  "Now, back to Homecoming."

"This is gonna be our first and last Homecoming," said Min Yu from inside her room.  She came outside wearing a casual and warm outfit and gave Ti Hyun some clothes to change into.  "We need to make sure it's memorable."

"And the key to that is to make sure the dresses we choose are also memorable," added Ryu Maeil, standing up from her seat.

"Okay, let me just grab a purse and then we can go," said Min Yu as she started walking to her room.  She grabbed the doorknob and pushed open the door and the next thing we knew, the door was closed and Min Yu was on her knees apologizing.

"I forgot you were in there," explained Min Yu while bowing to a closed door.  Ti Hyun then came outside, fully dressed, and glared at Min Yu.

"Hey, it's your fault for not locking the door," said Ryu Maeil, trying not to laugh.

"Because I thought someone would remember that I was in their room, changing," said Ti Hyun. Ryu Maeil and I started laughing as Ti Hyun and Min Yu started fighting like they usually do.

"Wait, so are we gonna be walking to the mall," I asked while putting on my shoes.  "Also, we can just leave out stuff here, right?"

"Yeah, you can leave your stuff here.  And no, we can just uber or use the bus," answered Min Yu.  "Also, are you sure you guys are okay with wearing your uniforms to the mall?"

Ryu Maeil and I assured Min Yu that it was okay and the four of us finally left.  As soon as we stepped outside, a breeze hit us and we all shivered.

"It's so cold," said Min Yu.

"No, it's hot," said Ti Hyun sarcastically, making the three of us laugh.  Min Yu grabbed Ti Hyun's arm and started begging for forgiveness.

"Are you seriously just gonna be salty for the whole night," asked Min Yu.  Ti Hyun ignore Min Yu's question and continued to walk down the path even though there was a kid glued to her arm.  As we walked down the path to the front gate, we talked about the most random things and brought up jokes and memories from before.  When we got outside on the sidewalk, we saw something very unexpected.  In front of us were two cars and beside them were Woo Young, Min Hyuk, Seok Min, and Jae Yeol.

"W-What are you guys doing here," asked Min Yu as she slowly got off of the stairs leading to the gate.

"Well, we happened to hear your conversation earlier about going shopping for Homecoming and since we haven't really been hanging out lately, we thought it would be fun to go shopping altogether," answered Jae Yeol, taking a step towards her.  

"But you guys weren't even in the room when we were talking," said Ryu Maeil.  Woo Young suddenly stepped past me and Ti Hyun and took off his coat, putting it on Ryu Maeil's shoulders instead.

"No, but we heard you talking when you were leaving school," said Woo Young, earning confused and suspicious looks from all four of us.  "Did you forget?  Min Hyuk and I had practice after school, too."

"Oohhhhhh," the four of us exclaimed.  Woo Young started talking to Ryu Maeil about something while Jae Yeol was already getting Min Yu in the second car.  I looked over my shoulder and saw Woo Young and Ryu Maeil walking to the other car, in front of the one Min Yu was in.

"Let's go?"  I looked in front of me and saw Min Hyuk extending his hand to me.  I looked around and saw that the others were all gone already.  I didn't even see Ti Hyun leave, what the heck?  I sighed before looking through the windows of the cars to see which one was already full.  Min Yu, Ti Hyun, Jae Yeol, and Seok Min were all in the second car so I'm guessing I'll be in the first one with Ryu Maeil, Woo Young, and Min Hyuk.

Instead of giving Min Hyuk, my hand, I walked right past him towards the car.  I heard him chuckling and I started laughing too.  I reached out to open the door but was stopped by Min Hyuk who put his hand on my shoulder.  I looked back and saw his face really, really close to mine.  Like way too close to mine.  I immediately turned my head around to see that he already opened the door for me.  I cleared my throat awkwardly before getting in and sitting down next to Ryu Maeil.  Min Hyuk closed the door for me before getting in the passenger's seat.

The car ride was one of the most awkward things I have ever experiences in my whole entire life. Ryu Maeil and Woo Young were the only ones talking the whole entire time.  And they didn't even talk that much since Woo Young was the one driving.  There wasn't even any music playing.  It was so quiet I thought I was in a library.

"Okay, we're here," announced Woo Young as he parked the car.  When we got out, we saw that Seok Min was still struggling to find a parking spot.  Min Hyuk waved his hand and Seok Min stopped right next to us.  The window rolled down revealing Jae Yeol.  In the back, Min Yu and Ti Hyun were on their phones texting each other.  How do I know?  Because we basically only text each other and if they're not texting me or Ryu Maeil then it has to be each other.

"We're gonna go ahead.  Just text me once you're inside," said Min Hyuk.  Jae Yeol and Seok Min said they would before going off to find a parking spot.  Woo Young and Min Hyuk started walking me and Ryu Maeil to the entrance and opened the doors for us.

"Um, thank you," we both said before walking.  Ryu Maeil nudged me with her elbow and pointed to her phone and I nodded before taking mine out.

<Ryu Maeil>

What is going on with them?

Why are they being so weird?

I don't like thissssss

It's so awkward like seriously!!

I don't even know what to say to them anymore

They're being so... wEiRd

Lol stop freaking out

Just act normal

Maybe it'll stop

Sooner or later

It better 😑

I smiled and shook my head before putting my phone back in my bag.  I looked over at Ryu Maeil who looked calm but I could tell she was still weirded out on the inside.  I glanced over my shoulder and saw Woo Young and Min Hyuk just casually walking behind us.

"So, where should we go first," asked Woo Young as we stopped after walking by a couple of shops.

"Um... Well, do you guys need to buy anything for Homecoming," I replied, turning around to face them.

"Not really.  We only came for you guys," said Min Hyuk with a shrug.  I was a little surprised hearing his answer.  Why does everything say and do have to be so... flirty?  I mean, I always knew he was a flirt but he doesn't usually flirt with us.

"Oh... Well then, I guess we should go look at some dresses," suggested Ryu Maeil.  I turned to face her and shrugged.

"Sure," I said as we started walking again.  We passed by a jewelry shop and I had to stop when I saw a necklace.  Ryu Maeil noticed that I stopped and came up to the window with me.

"What is it," she asked.  I pointed to the necklace and she immediately understood.  "Oohh."

We were just standing there, looking at the necklace, when a certain someone exited the shop.

"Ew, what are you doing here?  More specifically, in front of my father's jewelry store?"

Ryu Maeil and I turned around to see Rae Shin standing by the door giving us a dirty look.  She looked at us from head to toe and scoffed.  She stepped towards us and opened her mouth to insult us but then the door opened again and two people stepped out.

"I'm really looking forward to this partnership, Mr. Choi."  Rae Shin turned around immediately and faked the most innocent face she could.  Ryu Maeil and I also turned to see the better and my jaw dropped all the way to the basement when I saw who was standing there.

"So am I, Mr. Ahn.  I believe we'll do really well together.  I also believe our children will be very happy together.  I mean, they already go to school together which means they already know each other pretty well."

"Rae Shin, come and say goodbye to your soon-to-be father-in-law and your fiancé."  Rae Shin immediately approached Seung Wook who was standing by his father.  She reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck, burying her face in his chest.  She leaned up and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

"See you tomorrow at school, oppa," she said before sneaking a glance over at us and smirking.  I rolled my eyes at her actions.  I grabbed Ryu Maeil's wrist and was about to drag her away until...

"Wait."

I don't know why I did it but I turned around and looked at Seung Wook who roughly pulled Rae Shin off of him.

"I can't marry your daughter," he announced before bowing to Mr. Ahn who was a flustered, stuttering mess.  Mr. Choi, who was also confused, called after his son who was suddenly in front of me.

"I already have a girlfriend and I'm sure you can continue the partnership without me."

No words left my mouth as Seung Wook stood beside me with his armed wrapped around my shoulders.

"I'm sorry Father, Mr. Ahn," he said before walking away, pulling me with him.  I could hear both his dad and Rae Shin's shouting after us and I could feel Min Hyuk's glare on my back.  I understood the situation perfectly but at the same time, my brain was literally blank.  After who knows how long, I finally realized what just happened and stopped.  I looked around and saw that we were already outside the mall.  I turned to face Seung Wook who sighed and ran his hand through his hair.

"Sorry about that.  You must be pretty shocked, huh?"  I nodded slowly as an answer and heard him chuckling.  I shook my head then looked up at him.

And then it hit me.

He just told everyone that I'm his girlfriend.

And he's using me to get out of his engagement with Rae Shin.

And I went along with it.

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