I glance over at Seoyun who still seemed to be deep in thought. I almost jump back when she immediately spins her head to face me.
"I see. Thanks for your response."
Seoyun's expression and tone drops quickly as a crossed look flashes onto her face. Dahyeong notices the sudden change and stares wide-eyed between Seoyun and me. She gestures to me for some sort of explanation that I already know I won't be able to give her. In response, I carry a dumbfounded expression on my face for a good few seconds before smiling and nodding, turning my head back forward. After all, there's not much I can do to explain to Dahyeong.
Seoyun's words carried an odd air of silence between the three of us as the only thing we were able to hear for the next few minutes was our steps along the concrete sidewalk. It definitely didn't help that Dahyeong was made aware so there was no longer her usual blabber, along with the fact that this usually never happened between the three of us.
I pick up on the slightest throat clear from Dahyeong as she attempts to speak.
"So... the convenience store is just down the road there."
"Yep! C'mon let's go."
I sound more peppy than I would like to be but no one else would have said anything so I suppose it's the best choice for now. On the other hand, Dahyeong looks somewhat relieved that she was able to wake up at least one of Seoyun and I to say something.
Dahyeong begins to quicken her pace, her seemingly forced laughter filling up the space while Seoyun and I trail behind her. She reaches the entrance to the store and busts her way through in complete disregard for her surroundings or the poor employees she half scared to death.
"Miss, do you need help?"
The cashier stares at Dahyeong beady-eyed, his gaze travelling to Seoyun and I behind Dahyeong soon after. He runs a hand through his hair and plasters an awkward grin.
"Oops, sorry. I didn't think there would be any staff in this store. Most of the time in convenience stores, there aren't any." *
"That's alright. Just be mindful next time."
Dahyeong nods while biting down on her lips before rushing off into the store in an attempt to get herself out of the situation she got herself into.
Excuse me, what?
Seoyun and I are left without much of a choice but to follow her. As we walk by the cashier, I make sure to give one last apology, just in case he didn't like Dahyeong's.
"Sorry about that..."
Since I'm really not in a mood to hear his response, I dash off into an aisle before he can respond.
The padding of feet behind me can no longer be heard which can only mean one thing. Seoyun has ditched me. Great. I assume she's left to supervise Dahyeong which I can understand. That girl needs to stay on a leash at all times or else she just might blow up a building. Call me a worrier but it's true. She almost set the chem lab on fire but that's a story for another time.
I glance behind me just to double check until I feel myself run into someone and find my face planted into the crook of neck. I step back in a hasty manner and am about to let a dozen apologies run through my mouth until I look up and notice no other than Jun himself.
"That wasn't very nice, y'know." He teases with a light smirk on his face.
"I was about to apologize until I saw your monkey face." I proceed to readjust and tuck my sweater back in my jeans after saying that. "Anyway, what are you in here for?"
"I could be asking you the same."
Jun pulls out his earbuds and stows them away into his backpack, maintaining his stare on me.
If I could raise one eyebrow at a time, I would have done just that. Sadly, I can't so all I was left with was to answer.
"Fine. I'm here because Dahyeong wants to look through t-money card designs. You?"
"Right. As expected."
I scoff and am about to walk off before Jun stops me.
"I forgot to give you this at school. It's your birthday right?"
Jun pulls out a small box roughly the size of my palm and hands it to me. The box was textured with a red coloured velvet that had embroideries on it. The golden ribbon was the final touch to the box, embellishing it in sparkles. The box itself looked more expensive than me and might as well have been.
"Yeah, it's my birthday."
"Alright, good. Open it when you're by yourself."
I fumble with the box in my hands, ever so slightly puzzled at the random gift. I give it a little shake, hearing a small rattle within it. Jun eyes my expression with anticipation.
Jun smiles and waves back to me as he walks off to the cashier.
With those words, I'm left rather confused in the aisle by myself. I open my bag and put the random gift away into a small pocket, figuring that I don't trust myself to keep it safe.
There's something I'm just not getting. Why do I have to open it when I'm alone? I think it's something more of a personal gift but after only 2 days of knowing each other? That's just not realistic. I honestly didn't even expect a gift at all from him. I thought last night's random dinner gift was enough.
I'm tempted to open the gift as my hands begin to take out the gift and pry at the ribbon, slowly tugging at it.
I hear a scream from a distance. I immediately put the gift away and snap my head to the direction of the screaming. My eyes land on Dahyeong standing at the other end of the aisle I'm in with Seoyun standing behind her. Without skipping a heartbeat, Dahyeong races towards me as if she was a bull and I was carrying a red handkerchief. I brace myself with my arms until I am greeted with an underwhelming tug on the arm.
"Look! I found matching colours of the t-money card you have. There are other ice cream ones but with a red and yellow background! Seoyun wanted to get one as well so we all matching ones! Isn't that cool?"
"I didn't even know there were multiple colours."
Seoyun fiddles with the red one in her hand.
"Neither did I." I peep out, somewhat knocked senseless at the sudden arrival of Seoyun and Dahyeong.
"Well now you do. We're like, practically bonded now!"
Dahyeong snatches Seoyun and I and hugs us extremely tightly. So tight that I think I might bust a lung. I squeeze my bagpipes in an attempt to let out a hearty laugh before ruffling Dahyeong's hair.
"Yeah, I guess it's now official."
I give Dahyeong a light smile. She manages to keep attached to Seoyun and I like superglue, refusing to let go.
"Now you guys can never leave me. Promise me that you never will?"
"Hey, what's with this sudden question? Minji and I still have years ahead of us. Of course we will!"
"No I'm serious! Promise me."
Seoyun and I exchange glances with each other for a good second before turning to Dahyeong.
*Convenience stores in Korea usually don't have staff there and only have self-checkout. There are still security cameras but most of the time, you'll never find a cashier there, especially during the nighttime, which is unlike western countries.
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