The Boys’ Dorm - Four
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"Aha, so you’re a music major!" Eric said, as if he had figured out the meaning of life. "That’s so cool!"
I gave him a strange look. “Not really…” It wasn’t like I didn’t love music, but…he was just overreacting.
Maybe I should’ve gotten myself used to it. He was one of those people that overreacted to everything.
"It is! Music is an extremely important part of life that we should never ever take for granted," he replied. What was he talking about? And why did it sound like he rehearsed this whole thing? "You are changing lives, Hyesungie."
…I couldn’t comprehend what he had begun to talk about, but I nodded anyway. “Yeah…sure…”
Lucky for me, I was finally beginning to learn how to tune him out. It didn’t really make a difference whether or not I was listening, since most of the time it was just him talking anyway. It felt right to just nod a few times, though, just in case he would throw a tantrum when he discovered I wasn’t actually paying attention.
“Really? Awesome!” he suddenly said triumphantly. “Then it’s a promise!”
I glanced at him strangely. A promise? And why did it sound like…
He took one look at my face before saying, “What’s with the expression?”
"What promise?" I snapped.
It was his turn to look at me strangely. “Um…the one you just made?”
Wait a minute. I didn’t even say anything; how could he claim I made a promise?
"I asked you if you wanted to go out for a meal after classes with the Minwoo and Dongwan and I," he said carefully, as if talking to a toddler. "And then you nodded? Yeesh, Hyesung, are you starting to get memory loss?"
So that was it? Because of my polite nodding, I had agreed to something that I didn’t mean to? “I’m not going to go out for a meal,” I said dryly. A little too bluntly, probably.
"I misheard." I wasn’t hearing, I corrected in my head.
He stopped walking, and for some bizarre reason I didn’t take the chance to run away. Instead I stopped with him, and then made the mistake of looking at him.
His eyes had widened, and his bottom lip was slightly stuck out in a pout. It was like some sort of poor puppy imitation, and he was way past the age to be doing that sort of thing. But it worked nonetheless.
As soon as classes were done, I ended up walking with a trio of mental people to some snug restaurant right outside of school grounds. It was one of those places that was housed underneath a crummy-looking tent and smelled like meat all the time.
I let the three of them walk a few feet in front of me. They were pretty civilized for how they usually acted in the dorms. I wondered how long it would last.
Eric seemed to notice that I wasn’t walking with them, because he turned around to look at me. “You should feel lucky, Hyesungie!” Eric told me happily as we neared the ugly green tent. “Most freshmen don’t get personal welcome parties.”
I didn’t tell him that I didn’t feel lucky, and that I hadn’t even hinted at wanting a personal welcome party since I didn’t want a personal welcome party. To my annoyance, Dongwan and Minwoo were both just as excited to go and eat some cheap food with an unwilling junior - me.
What made the situation worse was that I had a test the next day. My first test since stepping foot on university grounds, and instead of studying I was out with some people going to eat pork. Since middle school I had never not studied for a test, and I was becoming uneasy just thinking about it.
We sat at a random table, and upon sitting I was already impatient to return to the dorms. Why had I been that stupid, agreeing to come out here because of an animal imitation by someone I didn’t even like that much?
I was definitely going to study. Of course I was. I wasn’t going to let a group of psychos control my life to the extent that I wouldn’t be able to study.
Two green bottles of soju arrived at our table. “Thanks!” Minwoo told the ahjumma brightly, immediately grabbing a bottle and popping the cap off. It was like he had done it countless times before.
"Aren’t we underage?" I asked.
All three of them gave me a weird look. Dongwan was the one to start laughing as he said, “Naive little Hyesung…a little alcohol never hurt anyone. Loosen up. You have to start drinking a little bit before you actually hit drinking age. Think of it as…uh…”
"Training," Minwoo finished.
Dongwan nodded and pointed at Minwoo. “What he said.”
…Training…for alcohol? I watched with a probably half-disgusted expression as the three of them each snatched a shot glass, waiting as Minwoo poured them each some of the clear liquid.
"Hyesung’s having some too, right?" Minwoo asked, already filling another glass to the brim.
"No, I think I’m okay," I said quickly. No matter how early these people started drinking, I wasn’t about to be influenced. I had studying later. I couldn’t have alcohol clouding my mind.
"Just one," he told me regardlessly. "If you don’t like it, of course we won’t force you to drink more. We’re not that kind of people."
If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be forcing me in the first place… Begrudgingly I took the small glass from Minwoo, hesitantly lifting it to face level and staring at it. Three pairs of eyes were watching me intently as I put the glass to my lips and downed it in one go.
It tasted bad. Really bad. And that’s all.
I felt my face wrinkle up in distaste, and the rest of them burst into laughter. “He’s so cute,” Eric said, reaching out and poking my cheek before I could think to avoid it. Wonderful. “And his skin is seriously like a marshmallow!”
"Really?" Dongwan said. He leaned across the table, and probably would’ve poked my face too if I hadn’t moved aside in time.
"Please give me my personal space," I said while trying to swallow away the taste lingering in my mouth.
I was being serious, but Minwoo, who had been about to down his glass of soju, started laughing and in the process spat out what had gotten into his mouth. “Ugh, you’re disgusting!” Eric exclaimed. He sounded more like he found it funny, though.
"Did you hear him?" Minwoo gasped out between laughs. He weakly pointed at me. " ‘Please give me my-’ oh my gosh…I can’t breathe…"
That was just the beginning of my torture. I tried to get up and leave a few times, but either Eric or Minwoo would latch onto my arm and force me back into my seat. More than a “welcome party”, I felt like I was being kept under survelliance in order to keep me from being productive.
It was irritating to look outside to see that the sky was getting darker and darker. With each second that passed by with them munching on food and drinking their soju, I was growing more anxious and more annoyed. I became increasingly irritated when I wondered why they had to make me come along with them. Clearly they were having enough fun without me; just the three idiots together.
By the time we left, I didn’t even have the heart to be relieved. I sulked behind the trio as they meanwhile skipped along with their arms across each others’ shoulders, singing random trot songs and laughing in their own little bubble.
It was that kind of feeling where once you begin to feel annoyed by something, everything that happens around you makes your mood worse. I couldn’t help but hear them or see them, and I was slowly feeling myself become tenser as we headed back to the dorms. When we arrived I was silently fuming and stormed off to my room. I had to practically slam the room card against the scanner before it granted me access, which made me get angry at the plastic card and nearly snap it in half.
I collapsed onto my bed, breathing deeply until my head spun.
What was wrong with those people.
Why did they have to make people do what they didn’t want to.
Why did they have to make me resort to cramming.
Maybe it was a petty thing to do; getting angry at people just because of studying issues they didn’t even know about. But something I hated the most was when my good habits were being messed around with, intentionally or not.
I sighed before forcing myself off the bed and heading over to my desk, turning on the desk lamp and organizing whatever books or notes I needed. I would study for this test, pulling an all-nighter or not.
I had just begun my studying when I heard the door open. After it closed, it was silent for a few moments before Eric’s voice said:
"What are you doing?"
I felt my blood pressure spike as soon as he spoke. I shut my eyes and took a deep breath. “Studying,” I mumbled.
"Studying," I said, a little louder. I sounded annoyed even to myself.
The next thing I knew, he was peering over my shoulder at the textbook I was bending over. “Studying?” he repeated. “For what?”
My eyelid was twitching. “A test.”
"Well, no, really?" he answered sarcastically. What the-why ask if he knew the answer? “I’m going to shower.”
I glared at him, watching as he headed, carefree, into the bathroom and lightly shut the door behind him.
What an oblivious airhead.
I returned to the tiny little words in the book, reading over the sentences and phrases that I expected to be on the test. I should’ve waited until after the irritation of being dragged outside wore off, because my mind kept on drifting. It was impossible to focus. No matter how many times I read the same line, none of the information sunk in.
Right when I was sure that I was going to lose my sanity, Eric appeared. It was an exact replica of when we first met - dripping wet and half-naked. It was like he didn’t even bother drying himself off with the towel before wrapping it around his waist and leaving the bathroom.
"Are you not going to sleep?" he asked me.
"No," I said through my teeth. "I’m studying."
"Are you going to stay up to do that?" I heard the bed creak as he tossed himself onto it after getting dressed. "It’s not worth it."
I thought it was very worth it. As a scholarship student, I had to keep my standards, even if it meant skipping a night of sleep. “I’ll be fine,” I said. “So just go to sleep if you want.”
"Oi, how can I do that if my roomie isn’t sleeping, too?" Eric asked like a child. "Let’s just go to sleep, ‘kay?"
"How about no?" I answered more snappily than I wanted to. "It’s not like me studying will bother your sleeping hours, so just disregard my existence or whatever." Or rather, what I had actually wanted to say was for him to make it so that I could disregard his existence.
It didn’t matter, because whatever he had claimed about not being able to sleep unless I went to rest as well turned out to be complete fluff. I absorbed myself back into studying when I realized that it had suddenly become quiet. I turned around to look at Eric, only to find his back toward me as he slept on his bed.
I scoffed before returning to the book. I couldn’t help but think that it was pathetic how just a moment before, he was refusing to sleep. It wasn’t that I didn’t appreciate the following silence; of course not. But after establishing in the past few days that he was a nuthead extrovert with an extreme passion for unnecessary skinship, I now had the title of “hypocrite” to add to that list.
For whatever reason, I found it difficult to retain any information that was going to be on the test, so I did end up pulling an all-nighter in order to attempt some more. Which put me in a worse mood than before. To think that the reason for my having to lose sleep was because I went out to eat with some forceful idiots made me clench my pencil until my fingers started to hurt.
When morning arrived, I heard Eric shift around as he got to his feet. I swear, if he dared to even talk to me-
"Morning!" Eric said cheerfully in my ear, making me jump in my seat. "Did you really stay up the whole night studying?"
"Yes," I answered bluntly and irritatedly. "Of course."
He clicked his tongue at me. “Are you not tired?”
I glared at him. He was still able to ask me that sort of question, after knowing that I had stayed up the whole entire night while he was snoring away?
He didn’t seem to notice the way I was looking at him, because he just patted my head like I was his pet hamster. I wondered if I would be able to beat him up without embarrassing myself. “Do well on your test,” he sang before prancing away.
That was the only good thing that happened that day - he left without dragging me along with him.
Hey everyone! ^^ I know it’s been waaay late since the last update. School started recently and work just piled up T-T
Also, I’m completing the plan for this. In other words, there should be no plot issues, no contradictions, or anything like that in this entire story since I know what will happen in each chapter.