Chris walked down the hallway at school in his ripped up jeans and a black t-shirt with the name of some punk band on it, beaming like he owned the world. Every person he passed, he gave a distracted, dreamy smile. The person always either smiled back or gave him an awkward, confused look.
Chris sat down next to me in homeroom and I scowled hatefully at him. He turned his lovestruck grin over to me and said, "Yeeees, Angie?"
I scowled more and said, "You... Are the worst brother ever."
"Why?" Chris asked, laughing, "I think I'm wonderful. You know who else thinks I'm wonderful?"
Chris paused and, seeing that my expression didn't change and I wasn't going to guess who he was talking about, he squealed, "Juuuulieeen!"
Chris sighed, dazed, and said, "Ohh, he's so beautiful. I'm pretty sure I'm actually in love with him. He's so cool and smart and handsome..."
"I hate you so much!" I said, "Just look at you. You never let me have a guy that I like, and you're my brother! That's not fair!"
"He just likes me best, it's not my fault." Chris said, twirling his pencil around on his desk.
I glared at Chris and turned away, arms crossed, until the bell rang for first hour.
Leo sat down across from Chris in English, watching him in irritation.
Chris was oblivious to Leo's dirty look, dazed and somewhere else.
"So, Chris, how was your date with Julien?" Leo asked, his tone firm.
"Oh, it was fine." Chris said, looking at his nails, "We had dinner, we talked, we made out a little bit."
Leo's eyes got wide and slammed his hands down on the table, startling Chris.
"You what?" Leo exclaimed.
"Nothing! I mean, he kissed me, but why should you care?" Chris asked, surprised.
Leo slitted his eyes and said, "Chris, that is so not cool."
"Why? It's not like it's any of your business." Chris said, pouting.
Leo glared at Chris and said, trying to think of something smart to say, "Chris... Julien lives with me and I am very uncomfortable with you dating him."
Chris huffed, irritated, and said, "Geez, mother, you don't need to freak out on me. I like him and he asked me out. Why would I say no?"
Unable to come up with anything else to say, Leo sat down and said quietly, "Okay... I'm sorry. It's not my business, but it makes me uncomfortable."
"Okay, I'm sorry for upsetting you." Chris said in soft tone, a little bit defensively.
Leo crossed his arms and sighed, "Julien's just messing everything up..."
In fourth hour, French, Tae-Hyun gazed absent-mindedly at her notebook, doodling hearts and pretty flowers all over the page. She sighed shyly, thinking about Julien.
Does he really like me? Tae-Hyun thought, It seems like he does. He talks to me a lot and he's nice and he smiles at me...
Alice sat down by her and said, "Hi, Tae-Hyun."
Tae-Hyun blinked and said, "Oh, hi, Alice. What's up?"
"Ah, nothing big, I guess..." Alice said, sighing.
"Are you sure?" Tae-Hyun asked, concerned.
Alice shrugged, "Well, I mean Chris has been acting kind of weird ever since his date with Julien."
There was a silence and Alice held her breath, slowly looking over at Tae-Hyun.
Tae-Hyun stared at Alice and her eyes got wide, looking hurt.
"You... Didn't know about that, did you?" Alice asked slowly.
Tae-Hyun shook her head; She looked like she was going to cry.
"Honey..." Alice said, putting her hand on Tae-Hyun's shoulder. Tae-Hyun shrugged it off and turned away, her feathery hair hanging in her face.
Alice felt bad and wanted to make Tae-Hyun feel better. She suggested gently, "Is there anything I can do?"
Tae-Hyun sniffed and wordlessly shook her head.
Alice gave her one last pitiful look and said, "I'm sorry."
She turned back around in her desk and waited for class to begin.
Chris walked into class and sat down. He turned around in his seat and said to Alice and Tae-Hyun, "Hey... Guys..."
Alice gave him a hopeless look and Chris said slowly, "Is... Everything okay?"
Tae-Hyun wouldn't look at Chris and her eyes moistened.
Chris gave Alice a nervous look and said in a low voice, "Did you tell her already?"
"I'm sorry, Chris. I didn't know that she didn't know." Alice said quietly.
Chris paused and studied Tae-Hyun, looking worried. He bit his lip and said, "It's okay. That's not your fault."
Alice nodded and relaxed a little.
Chris looked guiltily at Tae-Hyun while she stared into space, her eyelids fluttering, holding back tears.
French class was finally let out and Tae-Hyun stood up shakily. She shuffled out of the classroom and into the hallway. Every person who bumped into her felt like a harsh club to her well-being.
Tae-Hyun paused by a wall and looked down at her clothes. She had on her new Ellegarden shirt and a short leathery skirt.
Just an hour ago, these clothes made me feel good about myself, as if I was accomplishing something. Tae-Hyun thought, As if I was winning Julien's heart... But I was wrong. These are just clothes and they do not go with me.
A tear went down Tae-Hyun's cheek and she shuddered.
"Pull yourself together." Tae-Hyun said aloud, moving leisurely toward her locker.
There was almost no one else in the hallway and Tae-Hyun could hear every sound she made echo emptily. Tae-Hyun pulled her books out of her locker and walked to math, feeling weak and sad.
Julien didn't love her.