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She Smiled Because She Knew

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Jinsoul was never much of a party person. Through high school and into her now third year at college, she had no desire for it. She would much rather sit at home and build her newest Gundam, which was an early birthday present from Sooyoung. What she didn’t expect, or really want, was her gift from Jiwoo: this party at the energetic girl’s sorority house, currently bustling with so many people that she didn’t even know.

Jinsoul should’ve known better: her "birthday" was just an excuse to host another party here this weekend. It wasn’t even really her birthday, either. That wasn’t for another MONTH or so, but “It’s Gemini season anyway~” Jiwoo sing-songed to her, then proceeded to give her girlfriend a kiss. Yuck. Sooyoung and Jiwoo couldn’t go one second without being affectionate, could they? And she was pretty sure it was still Taurus season.

So now, Jinsoul was standing in the corner of the large, crowded house, sipping awkwardly on her plastic cup of vodka, watching the chaotic energy that was commencing around her. There was an especially large crowd of people in varsity hoodies surrounding the ping pong table at the corner of the den, shouting at each other, and dropping emptying cups and cans on the floor. In the living room, where she was standing, there were various cliques of people huddled around, talking loudly over the bass that was booming from the adjacent kitchen area. It was suffocating, honestly. This corner was one of the only places in the whole house that didn’t make her feel like she was packed like a sardine.

Greek life. Yuck.

She would never understand how Sooyoung ended up dating the president of their biggest sorority on campus, and how she got roped into their shenanigans, but she liked the girl, so she’ll suffer through this party. It didn’t stop her from grimacing at the hollering, drunk frat boys that would run through the crowd of people and out the front door, though. She frowns into her drink as she takes another sip, flinching slightly as it burns down her throat and lingers in her mouth.

That’s when the fighting started.

“YOU’RE A JERK!” She hears a female voice yell, the noise of the party starting to slowly die down as a male voice replies. “OH FUCK YOU, YOU LIAR!” He sounded much angrier, and unfamiliar with this type of setting, Jinsoul was growing anxious. She took a small step to the side and leaned farther into the corner wall as she watches the sources of the fighting come stomping dramatically into the room, the people parting like the red sea to let them through and gawk.

She couldn’t see the girl very well, her back turned away, but she thought something was loosely familiar about her. She should recognize that gorgeous blonde hair anywhere, but she was too stunned to process why she seemed familiar. The man, however, she had never seen before in her life. But his BBC wrestling sweatshirt and baggy shorts told her all she needed to know about him.

“You waited SIX MONTHS to tell me this?!” He yells out, ignoring the whispering crowd that has started to gather around them. Jinsoul could barely see over or between any of the people that were congregating around. “I can’t believe this. Do you realize how wrong that is?! What about MY feelings!”

The blonde remains silent for a moment, only the thumping of the music being heard (and, even that, was turned down at this point). She then finds her voice although, it’s shaky, nervous, and growing rapidly upset. “Y-you are S-SO self-absorbed.” She spits out. “All you care about is yourself. Do you even know how hard this was for me to admit to MYSELF, never mind to you?” Her voice was starting to waver, which indicated she was definitely on the verge of crying.

He sighs. “Just get out of here, Jungeun.” He says calmly, turning around with a hint of hurt in his eyes, pushing harshly past a crowd of people. This left the blonde to push her way in the opposite direction, heading up the nearby stairs and out of sight as dozens of whispering people gossip and watch her go.

Before she turned around the corner at the top, Jinsoul noticed the strong frown on her face, and her mouth parted. Jungeun. She’s definitely heard that name before and seen her face before.

The blonde was, no doubt, Jiwoo’s best friend, also vice president of the sorority. She always thought the girl looked really attractive in the photos of her that existed on Jiwoo’s Instagram page, but the whole sorority thing kind of threw her off. Maybe Sooyoung didn’t mind that about her girlfriend, but Jinsoul felt intimidated by that.

Still, the girl looked utterly upset, and Jinsoul couldn’t help but feel bad for her, even though she didn’t know what was going on. Being yelled at like that in public was so embarrassing. At least, now, hopefully, she would have gone to her room and wouldn’t have to deal with people bothering her about it.

The outburst, at this point in the night, had been completely forgotten. The usual activities have resumed, along with its usual loudness. The bass pulsated through the walls of the house, shaking Jinsoul’s shoulders as she leaned against the wall, unmoved from her spot. She really meant it when she said she would rather not be here. And, knowing Sooyoung or Jiwoo, they would protest to her leaving if she happened to run into them.

Speak of the devil. The couple squeezed past different circles of people to excitedly wave after the dark-haired girl. “SOULIE!!” Jiwoo screeched, making conversations pause and heads turn over to look at the source of the loud noise, only to quickly go back to their normal business. It was Jiwoo after all, everybody was well accustomed to her loudness. “Why are you in the corner?”

Jinsoul feels her face heat up in embarrassment, her gaze trained down at the floor in front of her. Sooyoung stands a couple feet to the side, her arms crossed, and her eyebrow raised. Jiwoo is holding a similar looking cup to Jinsoul, using her free hand to shake her shoulder. “You won’t have any fun sulking in the corner like that, why don’t you go dance? Or at least find someone to talk to.” She giggles, making Sooyoung smirk. This makes Jinsoul blush more.

“I’m fine here, thanks.” She grumbles, barely audible over the music. She takes another sip of the vodka in her cup, trying to hide her ever growing red face from their poking and prodding. “I was going to go home early, anyway. I’ve got…calc work.” She says slowly, watching the disappointment flash on her friends’ unconvinced faces.

“You’d leave your own birthday party?” Jiwoo pouts, making a small pang of guilt flash through Jinsoul. Sooyoung furrows her brows at the sight of her girlfriend. “Say, before you go, why don’t you go grab the blue bag that’s on Jiwoo’s bed upstairs? It’s another present.” It was hard to read her tone, but by the sound of it, Jinsoul could tell that whatever it was, it would get her to stick around for much longer and stop her usually bubbly girlfriend from pouting. Sighing in defeat, she nods, handing Sooyoung her cup and starting to make her way, squeezing through the crowd of people and up the stairs.

When she finally weaved her way up the stairs and onto the less packed landing, she let out a large breath. It was hard to breathe when you were sharing the air with so many people on your way anywhere through this full house. If she wanted to leave before, then she definitely wanted to just jump out of Jiwoo’s second story room and run home now. She wasn’t sure there was any gift that could guilt her into staying here for much longer. Jiwoo would just have to accept that she didn’t fit in here, with these other fraternity and sorority people.

When she got to the door down the hall, past the couple that were kissing against the wall of the hallway, flashing them a disgusted look, she stopped in her tracks. On each door, each girl of Omicron Pi Alpha had their nametags. On Jiwoo’s door, she cursed under her breath upon seeing a cute owl sticky with the word “Jungeun” next to Jiwoo’s penguin sticky tag. The president and vice president shared a room? She had no idea how sororities ran, but she wasn’t expecting to have to run into someone else, especially someone who probably wanted to be left alone right now.

And it was Jungeun, after all. The girl was REALLY attractive, and Jinsoul was a mess around pretty girls. There’s no way she was going in there.

“Hey, do you mind?”

Her eyes widened as she turned around, staring at the source of the noise. She squinted slightly. “Hyeju? What are you-“ She paused when she realized that the couple that was kissing against the wall was none other than Hyeju and Chaewon. She blinked a few times. “Uh, am I interrupting so-“

The door that was in front of her then opened slightly, only a pair of brown, puffy eyes visible. They did not look happy. “Who are you and why are you outside my room? Can you go away?” She then sticks her head out farther, her blonde hair moving beautifully as she peeks around the corner and shoots the two girls a glare. “Chae, can you please go get fucked somewhere else?” She says with annoyance. Jinsoul feels her face already burning, a mix of the interaction in front of her and the close proximity of such an attractive girl.

Chaewon rolls her eyes, only to start smirking and giggle when Hyeju continues to press quick kisses all over her cheek. Her hand runs through the girl’s black hair. “Fine, sorry. I uh-“ She pauses, her smile faltering slightly. Hyeju continues to now kiss her neck. “I’m sorry about earlier. Fuck him, I didn’t realize he was such a hom-“ Jungeun shakes her head and cuts her off very firmly. “It’s fine. Just, please go away, you two are sickening me.”

Hyeju detaches herself from her girlfriend and shoots the blonde a tight-lipped smile, grabbing the girl who was against the wall and dragging her towards the stairs. Jinsoul feels herself stare at them squeeze past the people camped on the steps with a disgusted look on her face. She would probably want them gone if she wasn’t even upset herself.

“And what do YOU want?” The vice president says with an annoying huff, crossing her arms. Jinsoul turns away from the stairs and feels her words get caught in her throat.

Jungeun was a thousand times more attractive in person, even with red eyes from crying. Her blonde hair cascaded down her shoulders in slight waves, wearing a tight red crop top and jeans, making the dark-haired girl swallow hard. She wasn’t sure what her face looked like right now, tending to wear her emotions on her face easily, but she hoped it wasn’t obvious that she was currently experiencing a hard gay panic over the girl right now.

Jungeun’s annoyed look slowly grew into a smirk.

“You’re Sooyoung’s best friend.” She said, her tone hard to decipher. Jinsoul didn’t know how to respond, so she just nodded furiously. She mentally kicked herself for looking so eager as Jungeun raised her eyebrow in curiosity. “Jiwoo left your gift on her bed. You can go grab it.”

She turned around and walked back towards her own bed on the opposite side of the room, plopping down on the pale blue sheets with a sigh and wrapping one of the blankets around her shoulders. She keeps a hawk’s eye view on the nervous girl, making a slow and careful way to Jiwoo’s own bright pink bed to grab at a small, shiny blue bag. Jinsoul looks at it with curiosity.

“I- uh- you don’t happen to know what she got me, do you?” She asks with a nervous laugh, rubbing the back of her neck with her free hand. Jungeun weakly shakes her head, her eyes now trained on the carpeted floor in front of her. “Mm-mm.” She hums weakly, now kind of wishing she was alone again.

Jinsoul didn’t seem to notice. “Oh. Well- that’s okay. I’ll just- I’ll go back to my dorm now.” She stammers out, swallowing nervously at the sight of the blonde looking small, wrapped up in her own blanket on her bed. “I- uh, I’m sorry about earlier. You-you didn’t deserve to be yelled at like that.” She suddenly says, physically hitting herself in the face, praying quickly that the blonde didn’t see. “I’ll-um, I’ll leave you a-alone now.” Hearing ringing in her own ears at her stupidity, she makes a quick stride towards the door.

Her hand freezes on the knob when she hears Jungeun’s small voice. “Thank you.” She half-whispers, making Jinsoul turning around. The girl looked utterly miserable, her gaze slowly moving from the floor to the frozen girl at the door, looking like a deer in headlights. “That was sweet of you to say.”

Jinsoul didn’t know what to do. The girl looked almost…hopeful, like she didn’t exactly want to be left alone after her outburst. Slowly, her hand detached itself from the smooth, golden doorknob, falling to her side as she turned herself to face the back corner of the dimly lit bedroom. “Do you- um, do you want to talk about it?”

Quickly, when she couldn’t read Jungeun’s silence, she puts her free hand up. “I’m sorry!” She bursts out, coughing awkwardly after. “I shouldn’t be- I shouldn’t pry.” She mumbles, moving her hand to rub awkwardly at her arm. The bass from downstairs was still pumping through the walls of the house, being the only noise on top of the slight murmur of talking from people down the hall as Jungeun studies the dark-haired girl in front of her.

“I came out to my boyf- my ex-boyfriend.” She finally says, looking back at the ground. Jinsoul pauses for a moment at the outburst as Nights by Frank Ocean could be recognized from downstairs. Swallowing, she takes a few steps forward to sit down on the floor in front of her bed.

“You can come sit up here; you know. I won’t bite.” She says shyly with a small smile. Jinsoul blinks a few times, trying to process the fact that a pretty girl, no, that the vice president of Om Pi Al wanted to be anywhere near HER. Realizing she was talking too long to respond, she nodded furiously, getting up to sit herself on the bed. She made sure to keep a few inches of space in between them though, for her sanity, and the fact that they’ve only just properly met now.

The music continued to pulsate through the walls from downstairs, loud laughter coming from somewhere across the house, one that could only be recognized as Jiwoo. This made Jinsoul chuckle slightly. Realizing that Jungeun’s outburst did not warrant any kind of laughter right now, she tries to cover it up by coughing a little in her throat, then turning herself to stare at the other girl, who was already staring at her with a curious eye. This made Jinsoul chuckle again, this time nervously.

“I’m assuming that didn’t go well.” She finally says. “Coming out, I mean.” She bit her lip slightly as she just processes the information herself. Jungeun wasn’t straight? That was…pleasing to hear, honestly. But she didn’t want to let that show to the upset girl next to her. “Yeah. Han didn’t take it so well.” She murmurs. “It took me so long to fully, finally, come to terms with it myself. I love him, but- she pauses, wrapping the blanket around herself tighter. “I didn’t see a future with him, or well- with any man.” She admits, her breath coming out shaky. “He’s claiming I led him on for half a year, and I-“ She pauses, her eyes threatening to well up again as her gaze turns back to Jinsoul. “I wasn’t, I really wasn’t. These thoughts, they’ve always been there, but-“ She closes her eyes. “I was so scared of them until a month ago. I want to stop hiding.”

Jinsoul hums, nodding at learning the information. Her hand tightens in her lap. Jungeun notices and smiles weakly. “It was probably my fault for not disclosing that with him, don’t be mad at him for that.” She says softly. She plays with her hands under the blanket. “I think I was just pretending that I was straight, throwing myself in that relationship with him. And I- I DID like him.” She claims sternly. “But it could really never go any farther than that.”

Jinsoul remains silent. This was a lot of information to learn about the girl next to her. What did Jiwoo think about that? They were best friends, after all. Jungeun seemed to read her mind. “I always knew Jiwoo was gay, I mean, it was so obvious.” She chuckles lightly, adjusting herself on the bed to crisscross her legs. Jinsoul copies her, the pair facing each other now on the bed. “But, when she started dating Sooyoung last month, I- I WANTED that.” She admits, her face turning red. “I wanted a girlfriend. I was suddenly aware that I only liked girls.”

As she said this, Jinsoul chuckled nervously, unable to read the girl’s expression as she looks her in the eye. She looks away, hoping that her face didn’t scream “I think I have a massive crush on you.” Jinsoul didn’t see it when she looked away, but Jungeun smiled slightly.

“I’m sorry for dumping that on you.” She says, making Jinsoul look back up from the blue comforter to the girl’s brown eyes, no longer so red. “You asked, but- you didn’t need me to drop that bomb on you.”

Jinsoul shakes her head. “No, I- it’s okay.” She says quickly, before pausing to find what she wanted to say. “It’s good to talk about it, you shouldn’t be alone right now. And- and none of this is your fault. Everybody’s journey is different, and you did nothing wrong.” Jungeun half smiles softly, reaching her hand forward to grab Jinsoul’s own. That makes her brain shut down. It was very warm.

“You’re very sweet. Thank you for listening.” She says softly, giving the dark-haired girl's hand a small squeeze. Jinsoul softly makes a noise in her throat that she prayed to God the blonde didn’t hear. The girls suddenly felt closer, going from almost strangers to acquaintances, maybe even the start of being friends. It was bound to happen at some point anyway, their best friends never seeming to go a moment away from each other. Still, the two were glad it happened in this natural way, more than forcing the two of them to hanging out with the others. They would have probably ended up bonding more over being totally grossed out over their best friend’s whipped behavior, which isn’t exactly the best thing to share with someone.

The blonde then unwrapped the blanket from around herself, letting it fall around her on the bed. Her eyes went over to the blue gift bag that was next to the older girl. “So, what DID Jiwoo get you?” She asked with curiosity. Jinsoul turned her gaze to the shiny bag, feeling her cheeks turn even more pink. “Oh. Well, uh-“ She suddenly felt exposed. “I guess we should find out, huh?”

Jinsoul has only known Jiwoo for a month and a half, Sooyoung coming back to their dorm one night raving on and on about the girl she met in the library that afternoon, not coming back until almost midnight from what was supposed to be an hour cram session. She’s seen the girl all over her Instagram since then, and a few times she’s unfortunately walked in on them coming back to the dorm from class. But, from the few times they’ve crossed paths and talked, she knew the girl was a total sweetheart. Still, that didn’t stop her from feeling nervous about pulling something weird out from the bag in front of Jungeun. She hoped strongly to herself that she didn’t have to march downstairs and kill her best friend’s girlfriend.

She reaches into the white tissue paper that was sticking out of the bag to feel something rectangular. She furrowed her brows. Maybe it was another gift box? “Well, what is it? I would like to see your present.” Jungeun said shyly, giggling. Jinsoul swears she never heard a more beautiful noise, her own face contorting into shy smirk. She pulls out the item to audibly gasp.

Jiwoo and Sooyoung definitely collaborated on her gifts. While Sooyoung presented her with the Gundam model earlier, Jiwoo managed to get her hands on a very good quality tool kit, the clear blue case feeling smooth in her hand. “Uh…what is it?” Jungeun asks curiously. Jinsoul immediately snaps her shining eyes to turn back to the blonde in front of her, who was leaning closer to get a better look at it.

Despite the excitement she was feeling at getting to use it when she built her new model tomorrow, she suddenly felt very exposed. Oh no, if she wanted to score some points with Jungeun, she shouldn’t geek out right now. She clears her throat nervously, hoping the pounding of her heart wasn’t so obvious. “Oh. Uh- it’s for a project I’ll be working on.” She says hurriedly.

The music downstairs now turned to another song, Kendrick Lamar’s voice ringing through the house as a few people downstairs start hollering loudly. Swallowing nervously, Jinsoul feels the need to tuck the tool kit back into the blue bag, feeling embarrassed for being such a dork in front of the girl. “Oh? What project?” She says quizzically.

Jinsoul wants to disappear. “Oh, it’s- it’s dorky. Y-you don’t want to hear about that.” She mumbles. There was no way she would be able to get closer to the girl in front of her, maybe even as friends. Jungeun was this overtly attractive, popular vice president, already having a ton of much cooler friends. And herself? She liked to solve trigonometry equations for fun or watch documentaries on marine life. They were two totally different people.

Snapping her out of her thoughts, Jungeun places a hand on her shoulder, making Jinsoul shyly and slowly meet her gaze. “Tell me about it, really, I’m interested.” She says sincerely. The vice president offers a warm smile. She already knew that the girl was a bit of a nerd, hearing all about it from Jiwoo on one of her rants about Sooyoung. And, quite frankly, this cute, nervous girl has heard enough about her. She wanted to return the favor, and admittedly, learn more about her. She was kind, genuine, something she didn’t see often in her time, especially in her social circle.

“Well, I’ll be using this to build a Gundam model that Sooyoung got me- oh I should probably explain what a Gundam is-“

Despite not knowing what the girl was talking about, Jungeun swore that she never had such a good time at a party in her life.

Of course, Jiwoo wasn’t going to make THAT the last party a “gift” for someone else, especially hearing about what happened with Jungeun. She was furious, threatening to kick Han out of all future events for being such a homophobe (although, he claims he wasn’t one at all, angrier that he was being led on than anything). Jiwoo didn’t care how it was phrased, he embarrassed her best friend in front of all those people. She wanted to throw another party a little before people would start worrying about final exams, give Jungeun better memories as the end of the semester was approaching.

So, naturally, Jinsoul would be here again, forced by Sooyoung after hearing all about how Jungeun gushed about her to Jiwoo the morning after the other party. Jinsoul thought that Jungeun was just being nice, happy to have had someone to listen to her in a sad time, and nothing more, but Sooyoung insisted she come and get more acquainted with her again. “We can DOUBLE DATE!” She said excitedly before they left that evening. “Wouldn’t that be adorable?”

Jinsoul wants to tell her that no one could stomach a double date with her and Jiwoo, but she just offers a small smile instead. “That’s cute, but Jungeun and I just had a small moment. I’m sure she will hardly pay attention to me later.” She says nervously, looking down at her oversized flannel and high waisted jeans. “I’m too dorky for these kind of things, you should know that by now.”

Sooyoung wasn’t going to drop it, and that’s how she landed back in her familiar corner. It wasn’t AS packed as last time, some people heading to the football game tonight and then opting to go home early, but still. It was packed too much for the dark-haired girl, just wanting to go home and finish her Gundam. She had a few last pieces to put on, goddammit. She really wanted to put it on her shelf with the others.

The night was in its typical fashion. The ping pong table was overcrowded, as usual. The Backstreet Boys were pumping through the thin walls of the house (“What? It’s 90’s night!” Jiwoo pouted when Jinsoul gave her a strange glare at the door). And the different clusters of people that were sitting around the living room, as well as from the porch outside, were LOUD. The music was loud, but the people were making enough noise to drown it out. It annoyed her to no end. What was so enjoyable about these anyway? And what was there to make so much noise about?

She regrets asking herself that question, as the front door swings violently open. Stomping his way through, Han and two of his friends stand behind him at the opening. They are all wearing their varsity BBC black and white jackets, making Jinsoul roll her eyes into the sip she was taking from her cup. What a bunch of idiots. Wasn’t he not allowed back here? Maybe someone will say something.

She then looks around the room and notices the many eyes that were on her. She furrows her brows at them, only to face Han and his friends making their way towards her. She raises her brows, unsure of what was going on. She feels herself slowly press more into the wall behind her as he gets close to her face. “Who the fuck are you?” He spits out, making Jinsoul flinch. She slowly reaches her hand up to wipe at her face.

“Uh, can I help you?!” She asks with sheer confusion. Once again, someone turned the music down, everyone now crowding around them both. He looked pissed. “Stay the fuck away from Jungeun.”

She blinks a few times. She only interacted with the blonde once, and that was last week. What is he getting at? “I’m not sure I know what you’re ta-“ She starts, only to stop when he puts a hand up to silence her. “She doesn’t know what she wants right now. Please stay away from her until she figures it out.” He grits through his teeth.

Jinsoul bursts out laughing.

Everyone in the room starts to murmur.

“You can’t make those choices for her. She’s-“ A loud, familiar voice comes from behind her. “Jisung, what the fuck are you doing here?!” Jungeun’s voice rings out through the house, it now being dead silent. “Go the fuck home. Jiwoo said you’re not allowed here anymore.”

He opens his mouth to protest, only to close it again. He looks around at the eyes of people on him, some of them looking very pissed off. He started to blush slightly, turning a finger back at Jinsoul. “If you were smart, you would listen to me.” He says with warning, walking backwards back towards the door, glaring at the faces that were gawking at him.

As the door shut, the place fell into an awkward silence, the murmurs of people surrounding her. This is absolutely NOT what Jinsoul wanted for herself, the staring and whispering directed at her making her nervous. She frantically scans the room for someone else she knows, but only Jungeun is standing there, now in front of her, amidst the sea of people. She really didn’t want to attract more attention to herself.

“Jinsoul, are you okay?” Jungeun says with concern, reaching her hand out to touch her arm. That made the dark-haired girl even more nervous, taking a few steps to the side and closer towards the door. “I-I’m fine.” She stutters out, internally kicking herself as people continue to gawk at her, despite the music resuming to its normal volume. “I think I’m going to go home, though.”

Jungeun softens her gaze on the other girl, fully aware how anxious and shaken up she was at the unwanted attention. She looks around and shoots people glares, making them quickly resume what they were doing before. She turns back around. The look in her eye is hard to distinguish. “Let me join you.”

“Huh?” Jinsoul says immediately, her eyes widening at the blonde standing so close in front of her. She softens her gaze, a smile on her lips. Jinsoul feels herself swallow nervously at the sight. “Yeah, let me keep you company. I’m pretty sure Sooyoung is in my room with- well, you know.” She says awkwardly as Jinsoul blushes. Jungeun’s look then turns playful. “And I want to see some of those…Gun-bots you told me about.”

A smile breaks out on Jinsoul’s face. “They’re Gundams.” She suddenly felt her heart slam hard in her chest. Bringing a girl, bringing JUNGEUN back to her room, wanting to see her GUNDAMS? This was definitely not a realistic scenario to be in.

“O-okay.” Jinsoul stammers out, her face growing warm as butterflies swarmed in her stomach. “Let’s uh- I’ll lead the way.”

“What is this one’s name?”

“This is the Wing Gundam Zero!”

“Ah, I’m just going to call him Jeffrey.”

“No! That’s not- ah, what the hell, okay.”

Jungeun was observing the small shelf Jinsoul had next to her dorm bed back in her room. She’ll admit, she knew the girl was a bit of a nerd, but her corner of the room was definitely something else. There were Red Velvet posters, and a large shelf full of math books (she was certain no math major at this school needed that many books), and of course, the Gundams sitting on top of it. It was honestly…very refreshing and cute to see. Jinsoul was so proud of all her things, making no effort to pretend to be someone she wasn’t.

Pouting, Jinsoul puts the Gundam back on the shelf. “You can call him Jeffrey, I guess.” She says with a defeated sigh. Jungeun giggles. “So, this is who Jeong Jinsoul is…” She trails off, making the dark-haired girl shoot her a surprised look. “Wh-what does that mean?!”

With a laugh, Jungeun presses her finger into the girl’s side, making her squeal slightly, and blush a cute red color. “Oh come on, Jiwoo didn’t have much to tell me about you! I had to do some digging, but your social media presence was very…non-existent.” She turns pink herself. “Not that I was actively looking, or anything, but- yeah, okay, maybe I was.” She admits with a giggle. “But the real Jinsoul, surrounded by all her Gunb- Gundams, she’s really cute.”

Chuckling nervously, Jinsoul lets herself fall over on her bed to cover her face. “Stopppp~” She whines out, feeling her face heat up. There was no way this was real life. She could hear Jungeun giggling, plopping herself down next to the girl to poke the part of her cheek that wasn’t being hidden. “What?! I mean it!”

Suddenly, Jinsoul can’t help but let Han’s words come back to her. She thought he was a complete idiot, but still, she couldn’t help but let his words get under her skin. She slowly looks up and over to the girl laying closely to her right. She tightens her smile, her nerves growing again. “Uh- about earlier, what was that about?”

Jungeun furrows her brows, only to then understand the question. Her face becomes annoyed, her gaze turned down towards Jinsoul’s grey bedding. She starts tracing the hexagonal pattern of it with her nail. “He thinks I’m confused or something, that I never actually broke up with him, even when I asked him to give me space and leave me alone until he was mature enough to talk. He uh-“ She pauses, her face turning a deep red. “I may have talked about our time together last weekend with Jiwoo, who probably told everyone else in the house. Word spreads pretty quickly in Greek life.” She chuckles nervously.

Jinsoul nods. That wasn’t really her fault. Jiwoo can’t seem to keep her mouth shut, and neither can anyone else in their house, apparently. “And Han thinks I’m…a threat?” She asks cautiously. Jungeun smirks. “Yeah, I think he does. Uh- sorry, I don’t want you to get involved in something that’s messy, or-“ Jinsoul isn’t sure where her next words come from, but she says them anyway.

“Well, tell your man- I am not afraid. He doesn’t scare me.”

Jungeun bursts out into laughter.

“He is NOT my man anymore, no need for the theatrics, Soulie.” She says between fits of laughter. She then latches herself onto the older girl, almost spooning her. “You’re funny. I would like to keep you around if that’s okay.”

Jinsoul breaks out into a huge grin, doing a silent fist bump that Jungeun definitely notices, although she keeps to herself. “That would be really nice.”

Jungeun was nervous when Jinsoul didn’t show up at the next party.

She made a promise at the end of the night in her dorm that she would be at the next one, wanting to get to know the blonde better. It was already approaching 11:30, and the cute math major wasn’t here yet. Was she being stood up?

She was sitting on a lounge chair outside of the house by the inground pool, sipping from her red cup and shivering, despite the warm night. Something didn’t feel right.

“Hey, what’s up?”

She looks over and sees Heejin taking a seat beside her. She smiled at the Om Pi Al secretary. “I thought you went to the mixer at JYP Uni?” She asks inquisitively, making the girl scoff. “Absolutely not. The girl I was seeing there stood me up last night.” She says indifferently. Jungeun chuckles nervously. “I’m sorry about that Heekki, maybe you should calm down a bit? You’ll find a girl in time…just take it easy with the dating, okay?”

Heejin sighs defeatedly, her face turning red. “Yeah, maybe, we’ll see.” She mumbles. Jungeun then bit her lip. “Speaking of being stood up…uh, have you heard anything about Jinsoul tonight? She said she would be here.” Her tone comes out nervous.

The other blonde’s eyebrows shoot up in surprise. “You mean, you didn’t hear?” She says awkwardly. Jungeun narrows her eyes. “Hear what?”

But, somehow, Heejin didn’t hear her. Her gaze was focused behind her, at a group of the varsity basketball girls. Her face was turning pink. “Ohhh shit. That Kim Hyunjin.... is SO fine, isn’t she? I think she’s single now too...” Before Jungeun could press her for any more information, she gets up, striding her way towards the group of girls with a giggle. Jungeun shakes her head. Heejin was never going to learn her lesson, and she herself wasn’t going to find out what happened to Jinsoul.

She gets up, embarking on a trip around the property to search for Sooyoung or Jiwoo. They would definitely know, they just had to. She made her way around the different rooms of the house (almost walking in on a few people, Chaewon and Hyeju being amongst them, making her cringe), only to not see where they were. She stopped dead in her tracks when she heard a familiar voice from someone’s phone screen, a group of people huddled around it.

She pushes past them to stand next to the girl with the phone. “Yeojin, right? She says to the short girl. She nods without looking up from her phone. “Take a look at this!” She says with interest, tilting the phone screen more for Jungeun to see. The sight made her blood run cold.

The living room of the wrestling house was all to familiar to the girl. That wasn’t what caught her eye though. Glued to the couch, her hands clearly gripping the cushions with white knuckles, Jinsoul looked terrified. Surrounding her, a group of the wrestlers were taunting her, laughing, and recording from their phones. What the hell was she doing there?

A familiar voice could be heard off camera. “You’re going to be sorry.” Shit. Was that Han? “You think you can sneak around with Jungeun?” She hears him say, Jinsoul’s face turning red. “Maybe you should learn to mind your business.” He says ominously, making Jungeun furrow her brows at the screen. He was an idiot, but he wasn’t completely cruel. He was just bluffing.

That was, until she saw the familiar thing in his hand. Jinsoul’s face turned completely white upon seeing one of her Gundams. “Where the fuck did you get that?!” She screeches, fear flooding her face. She could hear him and the rest of the guys surrounding the old couch snicker.

This wasn’t good. She needed to run there before he went way too far.

By the time she managed to frantically find someone at this stupid party who wasn't too drunk or too down someone else's pants to drive her the eight blocks to the house, she cursed under her breath at the sight of Jinsoul sitting on the curb outside. The streetlight shone down on her in a somber, orange glow. “Shit. Shit.” Jungeun mutters as she quickly slams the car door shut, running over to the girl with her head staring down at her lap. She kneels in front of her, putting both her hands on her shoulder. “Jinsoul?”

Weakly the girl lifts her head, her eyes looking sad. In her lap, pieces of two of her Gundams were crushed, looking indistinguishable. Jungeun’s gaze softens. “Oh, Soulie, I’m so sorry.” She says, trying to not let herself cry, when clearly, Jinsoul was the one who was hurt right now. Moving forward, the girl wraps her arms around the girl, feeling Jinsoul’s head rest into the crook of her neck with a defeated, sad sigh.

They stayed like that for a few moments, before Jungeun pulled away, looking at the crestfallen look on the math major’s face. “How- wha- I had nothing to do with this, I hope you believe that.” She says quickly, reaching her hand up to cup the girl’s face. Jinsoul nods weakly. “I know, it’s not your fault. He- he was asking around to find out what dorm was mine, and he broke in and stole them when Sooyoung and I were in class.” She shrugs. “It’s fine. They’re just plastic.”

Jungeun shakes her head, tilting the girl’s face upwards to get her to look at her concerned face. “No, they’re not just plastic. You love them a lot, and you worked hard on them. This isn’t okay.” She says sternly, flashing a glare towards the house, which was pumping faintly with bass-heavy music. “Let me talk to them.”

Jinsoul’s eyes widen. “N-no, you shouldn’t. Just…it’s okay, really. I- I think I’ll have a lot of fun building them again.” She says with optimism, a faint smile forming on her face. The blonde sighs. The older girl has been through enough tonight, maybe she shouldn’t march in there and start something again. She turns back to her with a small smile, moving back to stand up and reach her hand out.

“Well, you couldn’t possibly do those again by yourself…could I help?”

And that’s how for the next few weeks, the growing feeling of adoration in both of the girl’s chest only brought them closer. Finals were approaching, and they would all have to say goodbye for the summer and go their separate ways. Jiwoo, of course, wasn’t going to let that happen so easily.

So, once again, there was ANOTHER loud, claustrophobic house party. Jinsoul occupied that wall for the hundredth time it felt like. At this point, there should have just a permanent outline of her form there since she hardly moved from it.

That was, until Jungeun made her way over to the girl, the biggest smile on both their faces. That part of the night was always the best. Giggling, Jungeun would always grab her hand and lead her up the stairs towards her room, ignoring the whispers and raised eyebrows from those around them. In those moments, it was just the two of them.

Jungeun didn’t know that being with a girl, with Jinsoul, would feel so right. And without Han making a scene, questioning it never seemed to cross her mind anymore. The dark- haired girl was just so pretty, as well as so nerdy and flustered, that Jungeun felt herself falling.

And here, under the soft string lights of her own room, she blushes a light pink at the admittance to herself. And Jinsoul, leaning over her as they lock eyes, smiles. It takes up her entire face, her eyes sparkling against the accent of the lighting.

Jungeun smiles back as her cheeks deepen into a beautiful red color.

A giggle escapes Jinsoul’s mouth as she continues to push the blonde down farther into the bed by her hands, her look becoming playful. The usual thump of the music through the walls of the house combined with the various talking was starting to sound like the soundtrack to the new…something that was growing between them. Neither girl has talked about exclusives or dating, but these hangouts were getting to be a very routine thing for them. For now, they were just going to enjoy each other’s company and continue to share these moments together.

“What are you doing?” Jungeun whines, a pout forming on her face as Jinsoul continues to smirk teasingly at her. She leans closer, getting within a few inches of her face. “I’m just looking at you, is that a crime?” She says dramatically. But Jungeun can hardly hear her. Her eyes are glued to the girl’s mouth, which was dangerously close to her own. She parted her lips and took a tiny breath. “Maybe.” She whispers.

Both girls remain frozen as the party continues to happen outside of the room. Their eyes flicker from mouth to eyes, eyes to mouth, daring the other to make that first move.

And before she makes the move herself, Jungeun flashes another smile. The gap closes between them as a soft, hesitant kiss happens between the two girls. Jinsoul can hear ringing in her ears, but finds the courage to kiss back, even if it is a little sloppy from being nervous. However, Jungeun pulls away, giggling. Jinsoul was too nervous to keep a steady pattern to their kiss, but she didn’t care. She was elated. And despite the embarrassed pink on her cheeks, Jinsoul was too.

“J-jungie, uh, I-“

The door immediately opens, making both girls flinch and pull back.

Jiwoo is standing there with Sooyoung standing to her side. Before Jungeun could protest, or Jinsoul could tell Sooyoung to go away, their words died in their throat at the sight of their annoyed and concerned faces. “I need you to come downstairs and get him off our property.” Jiwoo says with impatience. “And he brought his stupid sweaty friends.”

The descent to the living room and then out to the front porch was unsettling. The hush that befell the crowded, suffocating living room made Jungeun nervous. What did Han want this time? She was so sure that he was going to leave them alone this time. She turned around and noticed Jinsoul was squeezing her way past the gawking eyes of people, her eyes alert, and full of fear.

She clicks her tongue, shaking her head at the girl as she stops immediately at the front door opening. “No. They’ve done enough to your Soulie, go back upstairs. I’ll be back in a second.” She says sternly, turning back around to step out onto the porch after the other couple. She is stopped by Jinsoul’s grip on her shoulder. Turning her head, she can see the dark-haired girl looks guilty.

“No! I- uh, well, they’re here for me.” She tries to say coolly, but it comes out frantic. “I may have…taken something of theirs.” She says with a small voice. Jungeun looks at the girl in front of her with bewilderment. “You WHAT? Jinsoul what the hell?!” She says with disbelief. “I don’t know if that’s impressive or hot or concerning or what.” The blonde shakes her head, her eyes still wide. “But I guess we’re going to have to go face the army outside.”

Turning back around, Jungeun grabs Jinsoul’s hand, and they continue to walk outside and onto the front porch. The vice president takes a deep breath at the sight of an angry Han and seven other BBC wrestlers standing at the end of the dark, packed driveway. The only light coming from the porch and from the window near them made them seem much scarier. They looked like shadows, waiting stiffly.

Jinsoul swallowed nervously. Jungeun side eyed her, then turned back at the group of eight guys that were now walking towards them. Their faces were starting to show as they got closer. They looked pissed. “What did you take?” She whispered confusedly to the girl next to her. Their hands were still locked, growing sweaty as their nerves got the best of them. Jinsoul chuckled anxiously. “Their regionals trophy.”

Considering BBC hasn’t won a regionals competition in wrestling until just last year, this was definitely something to get pissed about. Jungeun felt like saying a prayer for the girl next to her. “Good luck, babe.”

Jinsoul feels herself start to blush at the nickname, but doesn’t have any time to react, as the boys were all now standing in front of them, blocking the path to the stairs that lead on the front lawn. The sound from inside the house was now eerily dead silent. There were so many people gathered by the windows, hanging out the front door, watching this go down. Jiwoo and Sooyoung stood to the side on the porch, their arms crossed. “Can you get lost?” Jiwoo says with an impatient huff. “You know you or your asshats aren’t allowed here after your blatant homophobia and harassment.” The president throws out. Sooyoung tries to nod sternly next to her in support. At least she was trying.

Han pushes his blond hair back with his hands, a frown on his face. “I’ll leave once this little shit gives us back our trophy. And we are NOT homophobic.” He accuses, his eyes turning towards Jinsoul with fire in them. “You. You made a BIG mistake.” His words were laced with venom. “It would be a shame for you to get your ass kicked in front of all these people.” He turns to look at the guys on either side of him with a smirk. “But maybe we should do it anyway. Nerds who build toys don’t belong here.” The entire team laughs, and a few people behind the girls start whispering, unsure of what was going on. Jinsoul felt her face turn red.

Han and his stupid friends made Jinsoul want to crawl in a hole and never climb out. This was so embarrassing for her; she wasn’t embarrassed of the joy she got from building Gundams or getting enjoyment out of finishing her math degree, but she wasn’t sure what those kind of words were going to do to Jungeun. The girl was already not too long ago dealing with coming to terms with her sexuality, she didn’t need to get this realization of their different social hierarchies swimming in her head either.

She didn’t want Jungeun to realize she could do so much better, someone who wasn’t so different. The moment she saw the girl, she knew she was in big trouble. Her heart was starting to walk away from her own chest at the sight of the blonde. How could she lose all of that, when she was already getting so used to their nights, finding each other, and staying up until after the party was well over.

But she didn’t have anything to worry about. How could she? Turning over to stare at the girl next to her, one that she never thought she would find the courage to say a word to never mind kiss just moments before, looked at her with a reassuring smile, despite the intensity of the situation. The look held everything she needed to know. And it was enough to get her hands to stop shaking, her gaze to focus on the man in front of her.

“N-no. YOU don’t belong here. Leave Jungeun alone.” As the words started coming out, she could feel her confidence building. She takes a step forward as the rest of the world around her seems to completely freeze. “Don’t you get it? She broke up with you. There is no getting back together, there is no ‘confusion’ or ‘phase’. She- well, s-she can speak for herself.” The math major says hurriedly, turning to glance back at the blonde, who was looking at her with an unreadable expression.

Awkwardly, she clears her throat. “Uh-“ Her voice was getting shaky again. “L-leave her alone. I’ll give you back your stupid trophy, but just leave her alone. You’re making it harder for everyone, including- well, yourself.” She lets out.

Two of the guys around him turned to each other, as if understanding what Jinsoul was saying. The rest seemed unmoved, but Han broke his hard stare on Jinsoul. The tips of his ears were turning red as he turns his gaze at the ground. “S-Shut up!” He spits out. “Whatever, fine. Just- give us back the damn trophy.” He mutters.

Jinsoul sighs with a nod, taking a few steps forward. She thinks she’s said enough to get the wheels in his dusty brain turning for once. Maybe he would leave them alone now, or at least reflect on the fact that Jungeun came to terms with herself and he had to respect it. Just as she was going to go towards her car and retrieve the only evidence of their pathetic manhood from her car, she feels a hand on her shoulder.

“Uh, where are you going?!” Jungeun asks with bewilderment. Jinsoul looks between the boys, the skeptical blonde in front of her, and the blackness of the street. “I was going to get the tr-“ Jungeun cuts her off. “Give it to me, Soulie.”

She used the nickname, so whatever she was thinking about probably wasn’t anything bad, Jinsoul thought. Still, she was becoming skeptical herself of the clear anger on the girl’s face. She didn’t want to find out what angry Jungie was like, at least what it would be like directed at her. So, she takes a brisk, awkward jog over to her car that was parked next to the neighboring house, taking the tall contraption from under a blue blanket, tucking it under her arm with care. She would be in DEEP shit if she happened to drop this on her way back.

Awkwardly, with the house still in its silence, she approaches the boys, walking past them as they look between Jinsoul and Jungeun with curiosity. The dark-haired girl hands over the tall trophy, and Jungeun sighs, inspecting the gold and shiny red columns. She then turns her gaze back to the boys in front of her.

“You have a lot of nerve, acting like a fucking moron like this.” She starts, her voice sounding a lot louder than it really was. The little whispers and murmurs of the house was completely silent now as all eyes were on the front porch. “Do you know how hard it was, to tell you about my sexuality? It was really hard. But- it felt SO good, too.” Her voice was slightly starting to shake. But she didn’t cry. A small, confident smile appeared on her face. “And I thought maybe, in time, you would support me, as a friend. But I guess I was wrong.”

She tightens her grip on the trophy, tearing the figure of the wrestler on top off as a few people behind her gasp, Jiwoo being one of the loudest ones, of course. One of the boys, Jungeun thinks his name is Felix, buries his face in his hands. Another, who she knows to be Changbin, tightens his hands into a fist at his side. And, Han, he looks like his closest friend just betrayed him. The anger and sadness flash through his features, but he remains silent.

“That’s for breaking Jinsoul’s Gundams. Now you know how it feels to have something you worked so hard for- be destroyed in front of your eyes.” Jungeun throws the trophy on the ground, causing the rest of it to bend at a wonky slanted angle.

It’s still silent, but she doesn’t care. They’ll all just see a jerk get what he deserves. If they think differently of her, then that is on them. Who cares about those social rule things? Clearly, Jinsoul was the best one there, and she was at the very bottom in the eyes of most here. Maybe that wouldn’t be the case after tonight, though.

Turning around, she is met with the wide eyes of Jinsoul. Before she could let the girl react, she grabbed for her hand again, softly rubbing her thumb on it. “Let’s get out of here.” She whispers, showing a sweet smile. Jinsoul breaks out in a huge grin as she is being led past the group of horror-stricken wrestlers, and over towards her own car.

“…Well? Do you need some kind of invitation?” Sooyoung says sarcastically to the boys to her side. “Get the fuck out of here.”

It takes a few moments, but Han reaches forward and picks up the trophy, letting a few chips from it fall onto the ground. They all slowly turn around and make their way back home in complete silence, as Jiwoo’s loud scream resumes the party back to its original state for the rest of the night. “YOU REALLY TOLD THEM, THAT’S MY SOOYOUNGIE!”

It was as if nothing ever happened. Han and his wrestlers avoided everyone for the remainder of the semester, and before they all knew it, summer vacation was upon them. Jinsoul was too busy taking her ‘leisurely summer statistics class’, and Jungeun got a head start on recruitment ideas with Jiwoo for the upcoming semester. That left both girls to spend their nights in less party- like settings. Some nights, it felt like the campus belonged to them as they chased each other past the tall buildings, laughing like they were the only ones in the world. Jungeun wouldn’t admit it and boost the girl’s slowly growing ego but dating a ‘nerd’- dating Jinsoul was the most fun she’s ever had in her life.

She smiles to herself at the memory of last night, shaking her head as she feels someone poke her cheek. “What’s got you like that?” Jinsoul asks with curiosity, sliding herself around the bench in front of the math building to sit down next to her girlfriend. She drapes her arm over the back of it and leans over the blonde, a smirk on her lips. That ego of hers was really going up more as they spent time together.

Shutting her laptop, she rolls her eyes playfully. “Nothing, you dork. Stop being so nosy.” She laughs out as Jinsoul pouts. With a chuckle, Jungeun leans forward and kisses her face sweetly, pulling away to a wide grin on the girl’s face. “That’s what I thought. Now, how was class?”

Jinsoul’s eyes lit up. “Oh, class was so INTERESTING. We learned about Bell Curves, which I already know how to do, but-“ Her excitement stops suddenly, her face turning into a confused one as her eyes dart behind Jungeun’s head. Turning herself around to see what could have possibly stopped the girl’s math talk, she sighs with annoyance at the sight of a nervous Han.

“Hi.” He says shyly, playing with the tassel on his BBC hoodie. “Er- I was just out for a run around campus. How- how are you both?”

Rolling her eyes, Jungeun turns back around to face Jinsoul again. “You have a lot of nerve talking to us.” She says, not looking at him. Jinsoul looks up at him and sees his red ears and his sad expression. Shit. Was she really going to feel bad for the guy who destroyed her ZZ Gundam? It took her forever to find it again. But he looked…genuinely upset and guilty. Maybe they should hear him out.

“Say what you need to say.” Jinsoul says passively, making Jungeun flash her a look of confusion. “What are you-“ The math major shakes her head, gesturing towards Han. “Go ahead. make it quick.”

He looks down at the ground and continues to play with the tassel, biting his lip. Jungeun turns and looks at him with a huge frown on her face. “I’m sorry, to you both.” He looks up at them with sincerity in his eyes. “I was really shitty to you, Jungeun. I shouldn’t have made your already hard experience harder. I just- I wasn’t thinking properly, and I took it personally. That was wrong of me.” He says, making Jungeun blush. She looks at the ground and nods. “Sure. Thanks, I guess.” She grumbles. But she was kind of glad to finally get some sort of apology, even if it was late.

He then turned to Jinsoul, rubbing the back of his neck. “I’m really sorry for breaking into your room and taking your things and destroying them. That- that was a dick move.” He admits. “And I’m sorry for being so jealous. Everyone could tell how much happier she was, with you, and well- I took that personally when I shouldn’t have.” He says, making the other two girls blush.

“I don’t expect you to forgive me, but I wanted to give you both a proper apology. I’m sorry.” He says, swallowing nervously. Jungeun and Jinsoul both look at each other, then back at him. Jungeun clears her throat.

“Thank you for your apology, but it’s just- it doesn’t fix everything. It- it’ll take time, Jisung. But- I guess it’s a start.” She mumbles, biting her lip. Jinsoul nods, showing a tight-lipped smile. He hums, returning a similar smile. “I get it. I- I just wanted you to know.” He looks at his watch and awkwardly takes a few steps forward. “I’m going to head back home. You- take care of yourselves.” He says, waving slightly and jogging off, the two girls watching him go.

They sit in silence for a moment, the only noise being the slight breeze of the wind through the trees that they are around. Jungeun lets out a hum. Jinsoul copies her. They then turn to each other and chuckle.

Standing up, Jinsoul reaches out her hand, indicating for her girlfriend to take it. “Come build something with me. I just ordered the Deathscythe Model, I am so excited about the way it’ll come out-“

Jungeun smiles as she listens to her girlfriend continue to talk about her new Gundam, the light in her eyes sparkling. She keeps taking glances at the girl, feeling very lucky that a couple of crazy, loud parties got her to this place.

Jinsoul stops walking when she notices Jungeun’s glances on her. “What?!” She laughs out, swinging their hands in the middle of the sidewalk. Jungeun just smiles, shaking her head, pulling the girl along as they continue their walk back to Jinsoul’s dorm.

Everything about this felt so right. She really wants to build that Gundam with her girlfriend, and as many more as there will be.