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Even though there was a trouble at school, the whole day could be averaged up to be pretty good.
It is all because I played the just released game pack in Yun-Su's house until the late night. That is if you average up to the part when I was walking home.
As soon as I saw my front door slightly ajar, I felt a sense of gloomy foreboding. My hand could not grab the door handle readily.
I already had a uneasy feeling walking through the unlocked gate…I stood in front of my front door for some time before I heard a loud shout from the house.
"You piece of shit! Go bring your textbook, right now!!"
The shout was followed by a loud thud and a weak whimper. Is that moan from my older brother?
Suddenly I felt a chill down my spine as a realization hit me. I took few involuntary steps back.
Again.. That bastard of a father must have had his drinks!
If I go in now, it was inevitable for me to end up in the same situation as my brother. I turned my body to leave the house.
However, another thought entered my mind. If me and my brother was not in the scene, the next target that our father went for was always my mom.
That was why I could not run away right there. It must be the same for my brother.
"Heu-uk (sound of crying).. S..Stop. Please dear.. Seong-Ah*, go back to your room. Why are you doing this! He didn't do anything wrong..AH-AK(involuntary sound made from getting hit)!"
*Seong is the first name. Ah is a letter added to single letter names for gentle sounding*
Hearing my mom's sobs, my head cleared instantly along with the chill I felt earlier. Without much thought, I reached for the door handle and jumped into the house.
To tell you the truth, we don't like spending time sitting in front of our gate. The one-way pedestrian road to a clustered housing complex has two bricked walls on the either side. So, when you seat with us in that narrow road all you can see is a tall wall. It is very suffocating.
Most of all, I don't like that spot because it is where we, me and my brother, always end up after getting beat up by our old man.
"F***.. I'm going to leave this dump.."
My older brother was in his second year of a middle school. Somehow, he learned to curse and his vocabulary for it has gotten better. -well, still not as good as Pork Belly- He nags at me sometimes without a good reason other than to nag at me which tells me that his personality is turning perverse.
According to my mom, my brother is going through a puberty, but I think his personality was bad from the beginning it just took some time to show. I'm not going to ruin my mom's fantasy for my brother by telling her that though.
"Bring me with you."
Of course, I wouldn't really leave the house but still It was nice to dream. But as soon as I said it I felt my brother's fist on my head and saw stars in my mind.
"SSHH! Why did you hit me!"
"Foolish, a child small as you should stick to home and school!"
Under my brother's fierce glare, I could not help but shrink in my seat. What can an underdog like me do but mumble inaudible protest.
"shh.. does he think he is all grown up?"
Afraid of getting hit again, I gave my brother few side glances to make sure he wasn't raising his fist at me again. He only sighed and looked up at the sky.
I could make out his black eye, a tissue shoved up in his nose, and a torn out pollo style shirt under the weak streetlight. He looked like a straggler, but I can't pity him or anything since I am not in a better state. I could feel the bruises forming everywhere in my body just like my brother's.
Yes, I am sure I look just like him, cuts and bruises and all.
I lifted my hand up to above my left eye. It was a spot I got hit by an edge of a hardcover book.
Shh.. It swelled. I wrinkled my brow as I traced the spot with my fingers. My brother spoke.
"Does it hurt?"
Shh..It hurts like hell.. but I shook my head.
I knew that my brother took one or two more hits from me and our mom's share of beating, so I didn't wanted to complain.
"Why does dad change when he drinks? I hate him so much."
"Do you think I have any idea? Damn it.."
I secretly scowled at my brother as he turned his anger on me. I bowed my head and held a rock from the ground.
"I'm hungry, can we go back inside?"
To tell you the truth, my belly was growling for quiet awhile. It was same for my brother.
"Let's wait ten more minutes."
Is he worried that dad is still awake and that he will beat us again?
Wuse.. I answered my brother who was staring up at the sky.
I too did not wanted to get beaten again.
It was first time for me showing up in class with bruises and scars since entering sixth grade. The classmates were shock to see my sorry state, so they bombarded me with questions as soon as they saw me walking into school the next day. I told them my made-up story about how I fell down the stairs and rolled a few times in front of my house and took my seat.
I caught a glimpse of Yun-Su's worried look and felt glad that only he knew about my family drama.
If it was someone else, I would have felt ashamed and embarrassed. But in front of Yun-Su, I did not feel like that.
I was very glad that I have at least one friend like that.
Eh? Did I just hear someone laughing as he went pass me?
I whipped my head around to find the person who laughed and easily spotted the culprit.
I made a fist as I casually cursed under my breath.
That damn Pork Belly!
I jumped up from my seat and approached Pork Belly who was about to take his seat. I was so angry that he who was fat and was an outcast dared to laugh at me.
Pork Belly looked at me with his chair half removed from his Desk. As soon as he spoke, I grabbed his front collar with one hand.
"You.. Did you just laugh at me? Uh?"
"Ha! I did! What are you going to do about it? You F***ing bastard!!"
"Crazy. What, you rolled? I don't believe it for a second. You got beaten, didn't you? Someone beat your sorry ass and you make up stories about it KeKeKe.."
My temper shot up like a rocket when my eyes met Pork Belly's ferocious horizontal-slit eyes.
What did this bastard say? What give you the right to curse at me! I was angry.
The anger that was dormant in my body and bruises found its target then. I felt like I could explode on Pork Belly with all my hatred.
He doesn't know anything, and he has audacity to laugh at me? He doesn't know his place…
I gritted my teeth as I raised up my other hand that wasn't holding on Pork Belly's collar.
My classmates rushed in to separate me from Pork Belly. During the struggle to land a hit, I shouted.
"Shut up! You..You.. Son of a prostitute!!"
For a second, more like less than a second, I felt everyone's breathing stop.
That was when I felt an overwhelming emotion engulfing me and I could not name it because I never felt anything like it. Even before I could confirm what I was feeling, Pork Belly leapt on me and drove a heavy punch on my face.
"Eu Euk..(Jung making sound from the pain)"
"YOU SON OF A B****!!!"
The classroom became a mass. Furious for getting hit, I fought back. Pork Belly and me rolled on the classroom floor with intention of hurting one another. Students were on all side of the commotion trying to separate us.
"Hey, Jung. Are you okay?!!"
In the midst of chaotic movement of students pulling me up from my arms, I never left my glaring gaze from Pork Belly. A figure stepped between me and Pork Belly.
"Ha Jung! You okay?"
Half standing and half carried by the students, I heard a voice of the figure. All of a sudden my eyes took in the face of Yun-Su.
Feeling the adrenaline, I was breathing roughly when I felt Yun-Su's hand cupping my cheek.
And then his thump lightly rubbed the sides of my lips.
It must be the spot where Pork Belly's fist grazed. Small part of my lips was ripped.
I saw the faint trace of blood on Yun-Su's thump.
My blood… As soon as I saw the small red color, my head started to fill with more steam. I shoved the students who were holding me and was about to step forward when Yun-Su stopped me by hugging me tightly.
"Stop, Ha Jung."
As if Yun-Su's voice is a tranquilizer, I slowly got my breathing under control as I heard his calming whisper in my ear.
I relaxed my body and motionlessly stood there. The classmates who were surrounding me earlier came over to ask if I was alright.
"Are you okay Jung-Ah? I will give Pork Belly good beating later."
"Just ignore him. We should go out a bit."
I was swept away from the classroom by the group of students whom I hang out with in regular basis. They held my hands and walked toward the classroom door. Before my view can no longer see Pork Belly, I saw him slowly walking to his seat, alone.
TN: I picked this up so I can escape from the gloominess of the other project but I have a long way to go before the characters mature.
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