Dara woke up early and cautiously prepared her outfit. She really had trouble picking out what to wear today. She ended up putting on white long-sleeves polo and dark-blue slacks. She checks herself in the mirror and puts on dark-rim eyeglasses. She said to herself, “I look formal… like a teacher, right?” then smiled before going out from her apartment. Before she put on her shoes, she went back to her room and changes her slacks with black tight-fitting jeans. She is still not comfortable wearing slacks. Checking her outfit at the mirror again, she put on a smile before leaving her room.
At the entrance gate of Sungkyunkwan High School. Dara looked up at the signage that crowned the gate. She smiled and murmured, “The sky looks bright, a good sign that today will go well.” She closed her eyes and silently prayed. Suddenly, someone bumped into her, sending all her things flying everywhere then ended up on the floor. She opened her eyes and quickly searched for the person who collided with her. A guy wearing a headband with a smirk on his face looked at her. The guy mockingly said, “Ya! What are you doing here in the middle of the gate dreaming? Wake up girl!”, then jogs toward the school building.
Dara slowly bent down to pick up her things. “I thought this was going to be a good day”, she let out a sigh when suddenly somebody picked up her book and handed it to her. She looked up and took the book. With a bow, Dara uttered “Thank you” and smiled. The guy with a long side bangs staggered backwards and bowed before hurrying towards the school building. It left her with a bewildered thought, “Am I contagious?” Dara shrugged and walked toward the school. She had already visited the school during her application and interview. Still, she felt like a newcomer in the building. As she reached the office, someone opened the door and greeted her with a big smile. “Hi, you must be the new English teacher. I’m Seunghyun, the school physician” the guy extends his hand and Dara accepted his handshake thinking that the guy doesn’t look like a physician but more of like an actor clad in white suits in movies. Seunghyun opened the door widely for her and stepped aside to let her in. Dara bows and entered the office. She was warmly welcomed by her co-teachers who were all male. She looked around seeking for a female staff or teacher but found none. “Does that mean I’m the only female here?” she whispers to herself. Seunghyun laughed behind her then murmured, “For now, yes. The admin is still looking over some applications.” Dara smiled shyly then went to her desk after making several bows. “This is gonna be hard, being the only female teacher in school.” She let out a deep sigh.
Before the start of the school opening ceremony, Dara decided to grab a quick bite to eat at the canteen since she didn’t had any breakfast. She hurriedly went outside the office and headed to the canteen. The corridor was now getting crowded since more students have arrived. She walked hastily without looking at anyone in particular because she started to feel that most of the male students were gawking at her. It seems like they’ve never seen a girl in their lives. “Where are the female students?” She asked herself while almost running towards the canteen. When she reached the canteen, she let out a deep sigh. The canteen was really rowdy. It was already filled with students who were all chatting noisily and they were all guys. She continued walking toward the aisle to buy some food. She stopped in her tracks when the noise died down and noticed that the students were all looking at her. She felt uneasy. She just wanted to vanish into thin air at that moment. She thought, “What’s wrong with this school?” She quickly took out her wallet and bought a sandwich. As she turned to leave, a student blocked her path. “Oh no, what does he want?” The guy doesn’t look scary but disturbing. He is really tall and has a long wavy hair. He was smiling at her brightly.
“You seem to be new here. Welcome to our school.” He said then bowed his head. When he lifted his head up, he sways his hair to the right making a wave while smiling at Dara again. Dara smiled back then bowed and tried to make her way. The guy blocked her path again and said with a smile, “I’m Jungshin, a senior here. I thought my highschool days would end without having to meet you. I was just asking for a simple girl but heavens must have favored me, they sent me a goddess.” Dara smiled awkwardly and moved to the left to escape the student named Jungshin who also swiftly moved to the left. “I’d really get in trouble if this goes on. I don’t know what to say.” Dara thought in panic. Just when she really feels cornered, the movie-actor like doctor, Seunghyun appeared behind Jungshin.
“Kid, you still have a lot to pray for. You should finish schooling first before hitting on a goddess.” Seunghyun declared as he pushed Jungshin to the right side. Then, he motions his hand as an opening for Dara to pass. Dara moved quickly and went to the corridor then back to the safety of her desk at the faculty office. “Don’t tell me, I am the only female in this school.” Dara thought in horror as she bites on her sandwich.
At the opening ceremony, the teachers and the students gathered in the gym. The program was about to start. Dara peeped at the crowd from the side of the stage. The students were having fun chatting with their seatmates. She skimmed the crowd looking for female students. At the farthest corner, a group of girls huddled in their seats. They casually talked but most of them were keeping quiet as they are observed the crowd. A girl, her hair in ponytail and wearing eyeglasses, was fumbling with her cell phone. Then suddenly, the crowd was cheering as someone entered the gym. The student named Jungshin entered along with some male students. The girls stood up from their chairs and joined in the cheer. “”Jungshin… Jungshin” There were two girls though who were oblivious of their surroundings. The girl who was fumbling with her cell phone and the other one was just staring at the crowd. The other girl flips her dark brown colored hair that hangs softly down her back and glared at Jungshin. The guy who wore eyeglasses sitting beside her, taps her shoulders. The girl just shrugged.
The students grew silent as Principal Park Yang Goon stood at the podium. “Uhumm… Uhumm..” Principal Park tested the microphone before proceeding. “Good Morning Everyone. Today is another beginning of a school year. Let us welcome it with enthusiasm and positive outlook towards development in education and also in other aspects.” The students cheered and clapped their hands. The program went on and the introduction of teachers followed. Dara was getting nervous. The students cheered on as the other teachers gave their talks. Dara had been memorizing her speech. She wanted it brief and meaningful.
“Next is a new teacher who will be handling the English subject and she is also our first female teacher.” The emcee wasn’t able to finish yet when the students started to make noise. “Shhh…. Please welcome Teacher Dara Park.” Everyone clapped. Dara slowly stepped forward. She was used to speaking in front of a crowd but this particular moment really made her nervous and she didn’t know why. Bracing herself, she went to the podium and picked up the microphone. She slowly tapped the microphone before she delivered her speech. “Hi everyone, I am Ms. Dara Park. I will be handling your English subject. Let’s have fun learning English!” The crowd grew silent. Then, Dara bowed her head and smiled in front of everyone. The students gaped and cheered as well as her fellow teachers. “I shouldn’t have smiled. They will take me as someone easy.” Dara scolded herself as she closed her mouth firmly and went back to her seat.
Jungshin was smiling widely. He had found a new target, a very interesting one. At first, when he found out that she will be their teacher, he felt embarrassed of what he did before. It never crossed his mind that the girl he met at the canteen was a teacher. “She looks really young.” Now, after thinking about what happened at the canteen, he surely left an impression on their new and only female teacher. It could be good or bad but one thing for sure, this will be a very interesting school year for him. Jungshin grinned at Minhyuk who was looking puzzled.
Minhyuk always wished he could read others people mind. Right now, he wanted to know why Jungshin was grinning at him, like he’s out of his mind. Minhyuk looked at their new English teacher who smiled then tightly closed her mouth before leaving the stage. He had met her before at the entrance gate. He helped her pick up her book. He had always been shy around girls. So, when he handed the book over and saw her face, he quickly left. But, it’s not because he felt timid it was because he felt a very unusual emotion. His heart started beating wildly when their fingers touched as he handed her the book. And right now, his heart was beating fast again. He clutched his chest, confused.
Seohyun had always been watching Minhyuk from afar. She was many seats behind him but she could still see what he was doing. Seohyun was baffled when she saw Minhyuk clutching his chest. “Is he having chest pains? Why? He doesn’t seem to have those even after a tremendous basketball game.” Seohyun is becoming worried. She wanted to send him a mobile message but hesitated. She had never contacted Minhyuk before and he didn’t know she had his number. She had his mobile number when Minhyuk forgot his cell phone at the library last school year.
Jinyoung smirked as he watched their new English teacher went to the backstage. “She’s pretty and I really hate those kinds of girls especially the popular ones. She better prepare herself. I will make this school year memorable for her.” He thought to himself. Then, he stood up and went to their classroom to prepare his first surprise gift for their new teacher.
Suzy watched Jinyoung get up from his seat. “The jerk must be planning something. I wonder who will be his target now.” Last school year was like hell for Suzy. She became Jinyoung’s interest. Jinyoung played tricks on her and bullied her as well. But she is smart, strong and has lots of allies, so Jinyoung’s bullying usually never prevails. Suzy hoped that whoever Jinyoung is having interest in is also smart and strong like her. She understood why Jinyoung acts the way he is. They were on the same boat. She grew up not knowing who her father is. Their difference is in the way they deal with their frustration. Suzy stood up and followed Jinyoung.
Shinwoo grabbed Suzy’s hand as she stood up. “Where are you going?” Suzy halted and whispered to Shinwoo. “Oppa, I’m just going to the comfort room. I will be right back.” Shinwoo let go of Suzy’s hand. He watched Suzy’s back as it went out the gate of the gym. He let out a deep sigh. He knows Suzy is a strong girl and hardly relies on anyone but he couldn’t help worrying about her. Ever since they performed at the school festival last year, boys have been swarming over her and girls started to look up to her while some envied her. Before, when Suzy was young, Suzy clung to him every time they were together. As they grew up and time passed by, it felt like Suzy needed him less and less. Ten minutes passed, Suzy was still not back yet. Suddenly, it hit him. The gym has a comfort room at the sides, why did Suzy left the gym? Shinwoo quickly stood up and went out of the gym.