High School Band AU: Ch. 7
Hope you all like this! ^^
You turn the light switcher and the ceiling fan in one quick move, giving a quick look around the record store. It looks cleaner than it used to be before summer, but you still have some work to do with the records on the second floor. Hopefully, Jaehee and Jumin won’t feel like climbing up the stairs.
“Make yourself comfortable, guys. Or… at least try to.”
“It looks almost like a library.” Jaehee looks around everywhere. “How many records do you think there are?”
“More than 3000.” Jumin states, flipping though some random albums mindlessly.
“3.647, actually.” Both of them look at you curiously. “According to my uncle, don’t look at me like I counted them all.” You lost count, actually.
“It’s impressive. Do you have profit?” Jumin asks, glancing quickly to the cashier register.
“Come on, people don’t buy even CDs these days, let alone vinyl records. We do have some faithful customers, however. My uncle’s former band mates, some elderly citizens who like bolero and hipsters who are looking for inspiration for t-shirts, I guess.”
“Well, some albums’ covers look like true masterpieces, so it’s understandable.” Not really the point, but yeah, he’s right.
“Anyway, feel free to have a look around. Let me know if you like something, maybe there is a symbolic prize and you’ll pay less for it.”
“Oh yes, V told me about how he bought a Patti Smith’s album almost for free.” Ugh… why did V lie about this to him as well?
“How is he? I mean… how is college?” and Rika? Are they dating? Did he find out she’s a weird girl who throws flirty threats to her cousin’s friend?
“He texted me yesterday, we’re not talking much because he’s been busy. I didn’t know you’ve knew him to know he is in college, MC.”
“Well, we had a casual talk right here a few days ago. He talked about college and told me about the audition, the rest you know by yourself.” He also said you’re talented.
“Well, he’s not one to brag, but he can get very cocky sometimes.” He says flipping through some records again. “Do you have Meatloaf?”
“Do you like Meat Loaf?” you and Jaehee ask at the same time, he rolls his eyes and goes back to flipping through the records. Well, he does, and he’s not proud of it.
“I guess you could say it’s a sort of guilty pleasure.” He mutters.
“I think guilty pleasures are so lame.” Both of them look at you. “I mean, why would you be embarrassed about something that makes you happy? Except it’s something outrageous or… incriminating, I don’t know. Why would you be embarrassed about liking Meat Loaf?”
“Because it’s a band with the name of a food, because it’s not even a great rock band, because… their songs aren’t bad…”
“Yeah? And so what? You like it, it makes you happy. Everybody likes terrible things. Me, for example, I love… the Kardashians.”
“Will it be offensive if I say I’m not that surprised?” he asks. Was that… a joke? Coming from Jumin Han?
“It wouldn’t, because I’m not feeling guilty of my pleasure, or… something like this, I guess. What about you, Jaehee? There’s something you’re embarrassed of liking it?”
“Zen.” Jumin says, still looking at the records, not noticing- or not minding- the surprised eyes from both girls.
“Zen?” you ask, trying to ignore he basically called Zen a “something”. “Jaehee, you…?”
“I don’t. Jumin is getting quite imaginative these days.” Wow, she’s being as formal as him, a sign that she’s nervous? A sign that she’s lying?
“Are you denying you liked him when we were freshmen?”
“Every girl liked Zen in the first year. I was no exception, but… now we are fiends and things changed a lot in two years, Jumin.”
“If you say so.” He shrugs, showing he’s not interested in going on with this conversation, but you are.
“Have you and Zen… ever…?”
“Oh, oh no… it was just a crush, but it faded away as soon as we became friends. He… wanted dancing lessons from me.” She blushes and looks away, which is… amusing somehow.
“I did ballet and modern dance when I was younger. And Zen… wanted to learn how to dance to join the musical theater club.”
“Oh… why haven’t you joined? We could have been buddies watching the club getting shut down.”
“I…” she starts messing some old show tunes records “Oh! A Chorus Line, have you ever heard this one, MC?”
“I did. We sang ‘One’ in the club once. Ugh… so cheesy, I would have shut down any club who submits their students to such a monstrosity like that… but the real musical is great.”
“Oh, I love ‘At the Ballet’!” and then she hums the melody, oh… judging from what you’re hearing, she is… “Oh, sorry, I’m a little tonedeaf.”
“I see…” you hear, actually.
“Anyway… if you don’t mind me asking, what was your fight with Saeran about?”
“You fought with Saeran?” wow, Jumin isn’t really up to date with things going on around him, except when it comes to Zen, and… Rika? No, don’t think bout Rika right now.
“He was just being rude, as usual, but this time I wasn’t having it. Not that I had the other times, fuck him.”
“He was talking about a girl wanting to kiss you…?” Jaehee asks.
“Oh, yeah… that. Hum… you know what? Maybe he isn’t that wrong, I… I’m just crazy.” You don’t really want to talk about Rika in front of Jumin, though you’re pretty sure if there is a person who can give you some answers, it would be him.
“You just said you weren’t having it. What made you change your mind?” he asks. Shit!
“I… I don’t know. And… who cares if there is a girl wanting to kiss me, right? There’s nothing wrong with that. You two know that better than I do, probably.” They both look at you intently.
“… you mean?”
“Well, because you’re both gay,and…”
“Gay?” they look at each other, confused, and then at you. “Who’s gay, MC?” Jaehee asks, blushing.
“You… two? Aren’t you?”
“No!” Jaehee protests clumsly, getting all flustered. Oh… were you doing the stereotype thing again? Just like you did with Zen’s friend? Ugh… stupid!
“I heard that too many times to even bother to answer.” Jumin rolls his eyes. “Oh, and I’m taking these, MC. How much?” you say a price, wondering if you should have established a symbolic price by yourself after obviously upsetting him. “Keep the change. I’ll get going, do you need a ride, Jaehee?”
“No, I’m fine.” He nods and waves a goodbye to you, heading out of the store. Shit… when you thought you two were starting to get along.
“I really screwed up, didn’t I?”
“With Jumin? Nah, I don’t think so. He just… likes to make dramatic exits.” You both chuckle. Though you’re not fully convinced, you’re a little relieved after her attempt of making you feel better, like a great leader would do. “MC, can I ask you something?”
“Do you… why did you think I was gay?”
“No particular reason beside me thinking of stereotypes. You just… have this really badass haircut, and… walks with this bunch of guys, and… you know? I should stop talking, I feel like I’m sounding more and more stupid.” She chuckles. “I’m sorry for jumping into conclusions, Jaehee, I…”
“It’s fine. Oh… and just so you know, I… don’t think there’s something wrong with kissing girls, either.” She smiles and you smile back. “So… does that phonograph work?”
“It does, my uncle takes a better care of it than he does with his own health, actually.”
“So, uhm… can we hear this?” she shyly takes the Chorus Line out of the pile, and you smile, taking it from her hand.
But you barely listened to the album, you were busy talking. You used to have a lot of girlfriends when you were in middle school, even though you felt oddly dislocated in girl talking. But with her, it was pretty natural. Your mother used to tell you that when two girl laugh together, they become friends for real. And your cheeks were hurting from how much you laughed.
“So Zen asked me if he had to wear a leotard to learn ballet.”
“Oh my God, tell me you told him that was mandatory!”
“Well, I didn’t… but I regret up until these days not to.” You both laugh. “I… really liked him back then, I didn’t want him to make a fool of himself.”
“What happened? Why haven’t you… confessed to him or something?”
“I honestly realized we would work better as friends. There’s always this point with Zen, you’ll see.” What does she mean? Is she… is she thinking you and Zen…?
“Oh, I guess we are at this point already.” Are you? You haven’t talked much with him ever since… that day you sang with Yoosung… “So… how did a tonedeaf great ballet dancer with a badass haircut like you become the manager of these guys?
“Well, Jumin and I were partners in a lot of group tasks, he was going to take over V’s place at the bass and needed someone to fill his place as the manager, so… I was the better option, according to him.” Oh… Jumin was the manager, no wonder he still acts like a leader, somehow. Did he boss Rika around telling her not to shake her hips like he does to you? “And, I have much more fun than I care to admit, you know? They are… well, you are, like a bunch of brothers, teasing, fighting and in the end, having fun. And I’m the momager.”
“Did you just…?”
“You’re not the only one to like the Kardashians, MC. But shhh, I’m not so proud of my guilty pleasures like you.” You both laugh. “Ahh, is that ‘Sing’ ? This music is perfect for me!” Oh yeah, the Chorus Line soundtrack, you were so focused o your talk you almost forgot about the song. “See, I really couldn’t sing, I could never do was…”
“Sing.” You follow the record playing, and she smiles at you.
“I have trouble with the…”
“It goes all around my… “
“It’s a terrifying…”
And you two keep playing this unusual duet, even waltzing in the part they sing “Still, I’m terrific at a… dance!”
And as you dance in the limited space, smiling and having fun, you realize how bad you misjudge her in the first time you’ve met each other. The guys showed who they were to you in the minute you’ve met, Zen was flirty, Saeyoung was crazy, Yoosung was sweet, Jumin was cold and Saeran was… a dick. She’s the only one who didn’t show you much, maybe for you to realize she’s even sweeter, nicer and more caring than what you could possibly expect from your first impression?
She’s an amazing person you’re glad o become friends with. To the point you don’t even want her to go when she looks at her watch and says it’s late.
“I had lots of fun today, MC! I knew convincing Jumin to come with me to meet where you work was a good idea!”
“Oh, I thought it was the other way around, he convinced you…”
“Nah, between the two of us, Jumin thinks he is still the boss, but… he’s not.” You two chuckle. “Though, I have to agree with him and say you can take it easy a little on the hips thing.” Well, it’s not like you really mind if you’re being asked politely like this, just because of her, you will consider. “See you tomorrow, MC!”
This was great! You miss haing fun with other girls, if only your classmates weren’t so pathetic gushing over Zen and…
Zen… Jaehee said she doesn’t like Zen anymore, why do you care so much? It’s not like… it’s not like you’re just like your classmates, are you? No, no you’re not! They probably don’t think there’s nothing wrong with kissing girls.