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While we still breathe

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„So... the school year is almost over.“ His ears burned hot and embarrassed. A year that changed many things. He had gained many new friends. Rai. As awkward as he may be, he was still a friend. He learned many things about the Headmaster. Regis, who was just as awkward. Raskreia. She was awkward too. Actually, almost all of his new friends were awkward, but it was alright. He also could be very awkward at times. Like now. Seira... She was the prettiest girl in the universe, there could not be any doubt about it. The way she moved... the way she talked... always with purpose, but not silent to the point of uncomfortable. Summer break lied ahead. Of course, he still would hang out with his friends. Go and play games, get ramyeon (hopefully the headmaster would allow them to come outside schooltime too!) and enjoy the good weather. Maybe they all could go to the pool at some point. However... there was something he needed to ask. This was his chance. Be cool. Had he ever seen Seira hanging out with someone?
Be brave, he told himself and swallowed.

„I wanted to ask whether you want to go have ice cream at some point.“ His palms were sweaty. Would she say yes? Would she go out with him?  "I mean.... just the two of us?" 
Seira was quiet, as usual. Shinwoo never could exactly tell what was going on in that head of hers. Was she going to reject him now? Did he mess up? Shit, he should not have asked just like that. Maybe he made her uncomfortable, Maybe she did not like him that way. Maybe he had asked too soon. Maybe she was seeing someone already. Why did he ask her? Now he made her uncomfortable! Say something, Seira! Anything! Just don't look at me like that!

„I mean- if you-“
She interrupted him with the same soft grace she did everything else. A single whisper from her could silence out the whole world screaming at once. Did she just...? Shit! Play it cool! Don't ruin it! He laughed nervously to fill the silence. Unlike his new friends, he did not quite know how to deal with awkward silences.
„That's... awesome! So... uhm... guess we will see then? Are you going on holiday anywhere?“
„I don't know yet.“
„But you will still find time to go out with me? And will you guys hang out with us? We could, uh, go to the pool or something. And maybe headmaster could drive to the beach with us...“

That conversation lingered on in her head. She had noticed a bead of sweat on his forehead. His cheeks were flushed red, and she could hear his heart, too. It often seemed to beat faster around her. Quiet she may be, but not ignorant. This was no situation she would wish for her friends: to be torn between two things you care about. There was Rael, a clan leader, a future. Rael, who had grown up so much, who had gone through so much. Yet... there was also Shinwoo.. a role model of courage. Genuine, honest courage and the strive to protect his friends at all costs. One could not help but appreciate him. To be cherished by two you care about, two you would not want to hurt. Two who have been hurt enough already.

It was no easy choice, yet a choice she wanted to make nonetheless. To make both of them wait for an answer would be a cruelty they did not need.

Rael would understand. He must understand – a clean leader she might be... and yet, Sir Raizel had shown them all a world they never knew before. A world where anything was possible. Maybe even love would be possible, though she would not go as far as to call it that. Buds of a flower that endured a hard winter, the warmth of a first love. Not one that would last forever (no human lasted forever), but memories that would stay with her until the end of time. She would cherish them, hold them dear. A first 'date' as they called it. A date with a boy who, if he were noble, would be the worthiest of them all.