I step out of the classroom for the final time. This time I feel a sense of satisfaction. I'm finally done. It's all over. I reach into my bag and pull my phone out. I turn it on and begin walking toward the bus stop. My heart stops as my notifications begin to flood in.
"Hey." A soft voice mumbles as I lower my head. I stare at his feet, not strong enough to look him in the eyes.
"I know you've been talking to MinHo. I know today was your last day of class. I also know that you're doing well without me, but I was hoping you could spare some time for me. It doesn't have to be much. I just want to talk." JiSung whispers softly as he grows more and more self conscious by the second. He's afraid of me. He's terrified of what I might say. I never wanted him to get to this point.
"Well, MinHo did invite me over—and I think we need to talk, too." I nod as I gather the strength to look him in the eyes.
"Really?" JiSung perks up as a smile crosses my face.
"Yeah. I guess I kind of missed you guys." I grab ahold of his arm and begin dragging him toward the apartment building.
"People are looking—I'm not wearing a mask either." JiSung attempts to hide his face from the gathering crowds.
"So? I don't care about that anymore." I glance up at him as he turns toward me.
"What if the media finds out? It'll be all over the place—and we aren't even together—at least I don't think we are anymore." JiSung trails off as the sound of cameras shuttering surrounds us.
"Too late, I think they know. Think about it though—" I laugh as I slip away from him. I hand him my bag in attempt to add dramatic flare to the articles that will inevitably pop up all over the internet.
"Yah! JiSung I told you not to bother her." Chan comes rushing toward us.
"Channie!" I wrap my arms around him tightly as I take in everything I gave up selfishly months ago.
Chan relaxes in my grasp as he returns my warm embrace. The feeling of him beneath my touch is something I'd never imagined I'd miss, but I missed all of it. I missed the awkward feeling of sitting between them while not knowing what to do. I miss the movie nights and falling asleep on them. Most of all, I missed seeing their faces.
"I missed you." Chan holds me tightly as I rest my head on his shoulder.
"I need your help." I whisper softly as I pull away.
Chan takes my hands in his and nods. I pull my hand away and open it to reveal my gift from MinHo. Chan chuckles softly as he stares down at it. He gives me an encouraging smile and grabs ahold of my shoulders. He spins me around to face JiSung.
"So—today's my birthday, right?" I start anxiously as I stare down at my feet.
"Yeah—that's kind of why I wanted to see you." JiSung swallows hard.
"I have one question—if I asked you for one thing for my birthday, would you get it for me?" I look up to meet his gentle eyes.
"Yeah—I'd do whatever I could to get it for you." JiSung nods, no longer concerned with the prying eyes.
"I want a restart." I hold my hand out for him and allow my fingers to relax.
He looks at me puzzled before glancing down at my open hand. JiSung chuckles and shakes his head as he steps back. He reaches out to take a small piece of paper from my hand.
"Where did you get that? I made that a million years ago." JiSung's face brightens up as he slings my bag over my shoulder. He takes the paper into his hand and holds it up as if checking it's authenticity.
"It's my birthday gift from MinHo. I want to use it right now. I want a redo on our relationship. Let's start over." I take a step back and drop my hands to my sides.
JiSung nods as he slips the paper in his pocket and matches my posture. I hold my hand out for his as joy dances across my face.
"I'm Ari. I'm a huge fan. It's an honor to finally meet you." I state confidently as JiSung takes my hand in his.
"It's nice to meet you, Ari. I'm Stray Kids' Han, but you can call me JiSung." JiSung laughs as he pulls me toward him. He wraps his arms around me tightly.
Chan awkwardly tugs on us as the crowds get bigger. JiSung pulls away from me and looks around. Neither of us had noticed how big of a scene we were causing. Without warning, JiSung scoops me up off of my feet and starts running down the street toward the apartment building.
I wrap my arms around his neck tightly and bury my face in the crook of his neck. We would've thought that someone like me would get to live a fairytale twice?