Minhyun was walking the corridors, lost in his thoughts. A lot had happened over the weekend or even the night after Seongwu had confessed to him.
They had exchanged a kiss under the tree.
A small and shy kiss that felt more like a promise than anything else.
A promise that they would be there for one another, not just as friends but as lovers.
They hadn't spoken a lot, simply exchanging smiles and enjoying every second of their new found joy.
This time Minhyun wanted to take things slowly.
He wanted to make him feel loved, he wanted Seongwu to be happy.
A smile appeared on his lips as he recalled their walk on the way home and how Seongwu wouldn't let go of his hand.
He loved him so much and everything felt like a sweet dream's embrace.
"He is what..?" whispered a girl behind him
" Well... you know...Gay or so I heard." replied her friend.
Minhyun turned around, confused.
The girls covered their mouth,surprised as their eyes met and ran away.
Minhyun felt dizzy and clenched his fists.
He must have misheard them right?
His steps were now heavier and slower, breathing suddenly seemed so hard.
Were they all staring at him? Why were they laughing?
Where was Seongwu? He needed to see him, everything was fine when they were together.
What about Wooseok?
"Faggot." heard Minhyun as he passed by a group of third years.
His whole body froze as they started giggling.
There was no mistake, they were all talking and laughing about him.
"...What did you say?" asked Minhyun, trying his best to not let them hear the slight tremor in his voice.
"Faggot." repeated one of them with a sly smile on his lips. "Funny to think that you went around campus acting like a prince when you are this disgusting."
Minhyun wanted to run away.
It was so hard for him to breathe.
He had spent a full year as Minhyun, the perfect student and perfect teenager, fearing that the true him would not fit with others.
What had his efforts been for?
" Someone saw you kiss Seongwu under a tree. There's no point denying it." said a senior girl, uncomfortable.
Minhyun felt violated.
It was supposed to be their moment.
The beginning of something great.
The moment he broke free of the chains he had imposed on himself.
How could they?
Minhyun thought that this must have been karma plaguing him for harming Mina.
It had to be.
"Poor Mina...She deserves so much better." said one of the 3rd year.
Minhyun remembered him.
He had been one of the many boys to confess to her when they still were just friends.
He couldn't blame them, he too had once loved her.
Mina was pretty,kind and rich even if she didn't go around showcasing it.
She was the daughter of a successful lawyer that had created her own law firm , one of the best in Seoul and Minju, her cousin, was the daughter of a gigantic shopping mall's owner.
Dating her, her cousin, her brother or even Yohan (also from a rich family ) was the ultimate prize sought after in their school.
"This has nothing to do with her." tried to say Minhyun,hoping that he could at least salvage her reputation. "She didn't know."
"Oh? Why the violent break up then? Why did the pretty cousin hit you if it had nothing to do with you?" asked another boy with hatred in his eyes. " Was it the money that made you hide who you truly are?"
A hand slowly grabbed his from behind.
"Minhyun." said a most familiar voice.
"...Mina?" asked the young man on the verge of crumbling down.
Minhyun had imagined meeting her again.
He had imagined her getting angry at him and slapping him.
He had imagined all the violent scenarios but not this one, not her warm fingers slowly brushing against the back of his hand to calm him down.
"You're back Mina! Have you heard-" asked the senior student that had insulted him.
"Who are you?" coldly replied the girl."Am I supposed to know you or your little group?"
The group exchanged a nervous look.
"It wasn't really a question I think." said Myungsoo who had been by her side since the beginning, arms crossed.
"I don't recall knowing people as disgusting as you all are."
A scoff escaped the third years lips.
"Why are you defending him after what he did to you…?!"
"If I defend him or not is my choice and concerns me and only me. Leave him alone."
"But he is a disgusting! You can't-"
Mina slapped the group's leader before the surprised eyes of Minhyun and Myungsoo.
"You know how my cousin slapped him. What made you think that I would not hit you if you insulted him? Who do you think Minju learned that from?"
Myungsoo gently patted her head.
"Let me take care of this alright?"smiled Myungsoo.
Students had started to gather around them.
"Aren't you going to say something for god's sake?! You are the student's president-"
"Oh yes I am indeed. Should I also report your words to the principal then? I am sure that he would not mind a single slap to defend a fellow student but words such as yours...I am not sure that he'll like them." stated Myungsoo, stepping closer to him and pushing him against the wall. "And I for one...I'll personally make your life a real hell if you ever think of reporting her. I'll make sure that your parents know what kind of trash you are here at school." menaced Myungsoo.
Minhyun didn't know a lot of things about Myungsoo apart from what he had heard from Mina. He was an usually silent , law-following good student and was the son of a lawyer that had graduated the same year as Mina's mother.
Myungsoo's father on the other hand, came from a rich and influential family of politicians.
Myungsoo threw a cold look at him.
"Don't think that I am doing this because I like you. In fact,I don't like you at all."stated the president, sighing " I'm doing this for her and because whatever I may think of you,their actions are not right,that's all."
Mina's grip on his hand tightened as they walked away from the scene.
The young girl brought him to the empty and usually closed roof.
"How did you get the key- ...Oh." said Minhyun, catching the president's name written on the key.
Mina let go of his hand and walked to the edge of the roof,eyeing the tall buildings fading into the horizon.
The silence was heavy, maybe even heavier due to her lack of wrath.
" Aren't you mad?" asked Minhyun, walking to her.
" I am." replied his friend.
Minhyun bite down on his lips.
Of course she was, how could she not?
"...But I am more sorry than anything else." sighed Mina before looking at him with tears in her eyes.
"...Because I should have known. Because out of everyone I should have known that you didn't-" her words were cut, as if locked in her throat. "...That you were not into me."
Tears started rolling down her cheeks.
"I should have been the one to hug you and tell you that everything would be fine. I should have been the one letting you go so that you would be happy with another...With Seongwu."
This was not right, she had to get mad at him, she had to slap him and tell him to disappear.
"Don't be sorry...Scream at me, tell me that you wish me dead if it helps you but...Don't blame yourself."
"How can I not when I think that deep down I knew Minhyun? Every time I kissed you, every time I told you that I loved you...I could see it in your eyes that you didn't." whispered a shaking Mina." I trapped you and I am sorry…"
"I am the one that should have let you go..Not you."
"....The thought that you suffered by my side is...It's pure torture. I should have known that you didn't love me."
Minhyun back-hugged her.
"You are wrong...I did love you,not romantically in the end but at one point I did...And I still do love you in my own way." murmured Minhyun in her ear. "I loved you so much that I was scared to tell you the truth. I was scared that I would lose you over this."
"...But even then...You should have stopped. You should have stopped before that afternoon,that's the only thing I am angry at you about." said Mina "...That was my first time, a first time that I wanted to be with someone that loved me. A first time that I will never have back."
"Sorry…I'm so sorry..."apologized Minhyun,hugging her tighter against him. " I am the worst."
" You are...But I don't hate you, I can't...I just can't."
Minhyun felt her inhale to calm down.
"...Was...Was everything really for nothing? Was I the only one happy?"
"No...No I liked all the memories we made together. All our dates together...I loved them all."
"That's a relief…"sighed Mina, brushing her fingers against his.
His now lost lover turn round to face him and in that instant he hated who he was more than ever.
He hated the fact that he hadn't been able to reciprocate her feelings.
He hated the fact that in trying to protect her he had only harmed her more.
"I loved you. I loved you to the point that I felt like my heart was burning."
"Don't apologize I was happy to love you." smiled a teary Mina "I am happy that you were my first love."
Mina tiptoed,hesitated and kissed the corner of his mouth.
"Please be happy."
"..Is it a goodbye?" asked a heartbroken Minhyun, scared to lose his best friend.
Mina cupped his cheek.
"How could it be one when we attend the same school? I...I just need some time for things to go back to the way they once were."
Mina smiled before turning her back to him again.
"Go to class first, I need some fresh air."
Minhyun hesitated and headed to the staircases.
A small laugh escaped her lips.
"For a lot of things, too many things." said Minhyun. " For being my friend, for loving me when I needed to be loved, for not hating me despite everything that I messed up...Thank you for not looking at me with disgust even now." said the student as tears fell from his eyes.
Mina ran to him and hugged him.
"How could I ever look at you with disgust?" cried the young woman.
"I..I don't know…"
"I want you to be happy. I want you to fully love and be loved."
"Promise me that you'll be happy. That's the only thing I'll ask of you."
Minhyun wiped his tears and smiled.
"Good. And no matter what...Don't let others' opinion drag you down." whispered Mina."Wooseok, Seongwu and me….We will always support you."
"Show them how strong you are, show them that you liking a man changes nothing." smiled the girl."That's what the Minhyun I loved would have done."
"I will...I promise."
Minhyun kissed her cheek before cupping her face in his hands.
"Don't stay outside for too long alright?"
"Hmm.."replied Mina, swallowing back her tears and trying her best to smile.
Minhyun knew that she would crumble down as soon as he would leave her.
But he had to go, he had to let go.
It took all of his strength to step back and open the door.
After going down a few steps, Minhyun caught sight of Myungsoo,leaning against the wall with his arms crossed.
"...Go see her,please." said Minhyun.
"I'm not sure that she wants to be seen."
"If it is you I am sure that she'll be alright and...She needs someone." sadly smiled Minhyun. "..She'll need someone for a while. Please be there for her."
Myungsoo eyed him for a while.
Minhyun hadn't noticed that tears were falling from his own eyes.
"..She may have forgiven you but I won't."
A small smile appeared on Minhyun lips who remembered catching Myungsoo longingly staring at Mina and her sometimes looking for him in busy crowds.
"...You should tell her one day."
"About what you feel for her."
Myungsoo frowned a little before sighing and massaging his temples.
"...Does it show a lot?"
"Yes." smiled Minhyun.
Minhyun slowly climbed down the stairs before being called out by Myungsoo.
"...Good luck Minhyun."
"For the future. For what they'll say about you." said Myungsoo. "Be strong."
Seongwu's face appeared in his mind as well as a smile on his lips.
" Don't worry, I will be fine."
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