“Bzz-bzzzz! bzzz!” Her alarm goes off for the fifth time that morning. She fumbles to shut it off from the clock on her bedside and realizes that the unwelcome sound is coming from the phone underneath her pillow. She had set the alarm from her phone the night before, in an attempt to wake up earlier. She looks at the time sleepily and was tempted to hit snooze again but when reality washes over her, she jolts out of her doldrum and began to scurry. “Aish, pabo! When will I ever learn?!? Late for work again!” She paces the room back and forth, disoriented, wondering what to do first until her senses also wake up. “Relax. Breathe in. Breathe out.” She picks up her phone and dials her office number. The early morning receptionist picks up. “Yeoboseyo!! Kae Jin-ssi? Is Mr. Choi there? Can you tell him I will just be a few minutes late today? Yea, I had a late night on that assignment last night.” The receptionist gives in to her request. “Jjinja?! Kamsahamnida!! I’ll see you later Kae Jin-ssi! Annyeong!!” With that she paces herself a little less hurriedly than she was after waking up. “That was a lil too easy.” She thought to herself. “Next time, I will really have to try harder and work harder. Living on my own, I must learn to thrive.” She looks around her tiny apartment. It wasn’t much, but she was happy and that was all that mattered. She fixes some of the disarrayed sketches that she had been losing sleep over scattered on the floor and went to take her shower whistling a tune.
In another home not too far away, Tae Kyung is blaring the intercom again, only to announce that they had no activities that day. “Aish, pabo? Bugging the wits out of people only to say we had a free day. What is a free day when it’s not really free since that means I have to go to classes at university today?” Jeremy thought to himself before trying to sneak a few more moments of snooze before he gets ready for school.
It was a failed attempt at snoozing as Mi Nam comes barging in to his room and shaking him to wake up. “Jeremy!! Wake up! Let’s have breakfast and go to school together today! There’s oatmeal with all sorts of fruit for breakfast!” Jeremy pulls the cover over his head, as Mi Nam pulls it away making for a mini tug-o-war over a blanket.
“Ugh, why are mornings so cruel?” Jeremy mutters rising up glaring at Mi Nam. “Aigoo, Jeremy! You really have to do something about this waking-up-angry thing of yours.” Mi Nam nags. “Yea? Then why not help me start by not showing your face to me at least for one morning?” Jeremy snaps.
“Old fart!” Mi Nam teases. “Kya! Who you be calling old fart?!” Jeremy says tackling Mi Nam, bringing him to the floor with his obvious combat skills.
“Stop! You know you’re being pathetic boys, right?” They both hear Shin Woo try and referee the match ensuing. As they sat still startled, Mi Nam breaks into laughter. “Jeremy. Bro. Saranghae. I will not kill you, ever. Even if you don’t like me.” Mi Nam says in between laughing fits. He then runs back into his room before Jeremy could say anything.
Vehicles buzz across the busy streets along Uljiro. A girl running late for work is still taking her sweet time with her arms clutching an easel pad, a beanie over her head and a knitted messenger bag crossed over her body. She smiles at everyone she meets, as if the world isn’t whizzing past her. Her fashion is not at all quirky, with her outfit still well coordinated at least in color. But the best part of her wardrobe is not seen in her unique sense of style but in her infectious smile and the carefree way she goes about humming tunes without a worry that people may think she had gone wrong in the head.
She enters a bakery cafe to grab her morning coffee and pastry. “Annyeonghaseyo!” She greets her friend, the barista and baker. “Oh, Bit! Aren’t you running late again? And you still can dilly-dally?” The baker teases her.
“Haha! Nae, ahjussi! I’m running late but I don’t want to be too early for my funeral. If I keep stressing myself out, then I decrease my lifespan.” She banters with him.
“Well, you still are the spoiled chaebol brat you are.” he lovingly reminded her. She frowns for a short moment, then chuckles “I guess I am. Okay, I promise, tomorrow I’ll behave as if I’m dying 10 years earlier. Can you give me two pastries to start that process?”
The baker laughs too, “Bit, you never fail to have at least one good comeback, huh? Here’s your other pastry.” She takes it from his hand, “Kamsahamnida! I’ll see you tomorrow, ahjussi. Have a great day today!”
The girl heads to the bus stop and waves to everyone familiar she meets. She sees her favorite hotteok stand. She comes up to the woman hotteok vendor. “Annyeong, ahjumma! Jal isseosseoyo? (Are you well?)”
The ahjumma looks up at the voice calling her, “Bit!! It’s been a while. Nae, kwenchanayo!” The girl rummages inside her purse to look for her other pastry. “Igeo. (Here.) Have this for yourself, ahjumma. I have an extra, will be nice to eat something else every once in a while, you’re getting frail!” She spots the bus she’s trying to catch. “Oh, oh, there’s my bus!! Mianhae, ahjumma, I can’t stay to chat today. Already running late. Mianhae!!!” she says as she started to run trying not to miss her bus. The ahjumma hotteok vendor shakes her head smiling, “Aigoo, Bit. You really are one heck of a girl.”
A girl running to the bus catches Mi Nam’s eye as he sat inside the van, while Jeremy and him were headed for school Seeing how she looks rather clumsy and whimsical, he remembers his sister. Recalling his sister’s stories of her closeness with Jeremy, he ponders, “I haven’t been seeing that side of him too much these days. Maybe he misses my sister too. Or maybe he needs another 4D girl in his life.”
Without knowing much of that side of Jeremy, Mi Nam misses that Jeremy still, “Someday I hope he comes back. And I hope someday is soon, for his sake. And perhaps selfishly, for mine too. Having a friend in the dorm would be so much better.”
Mi Nam feels a crumpled paper ball hit his head. “Kya! Ogling passersby again? Did you even do your required reading?” Jeremy sneers at him. Mi Nam smiles, “He’s slowly coming back. We will wait, On Yu-ya,” he thought to himself.