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The Darkness Behind Us

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Monday

 

It was only past midnight when the seven boys were bidding goodbye from each other then separating each one to their own house. It was way too early for their night to end, for their hangout nights would normally end around three or four in the morning, when one of them was too drunk to bring himself to let a single coherent word out of his mouth, sometimes even trying to pick up a brawl with a random group of teens that happened to pass by them at that moment - but that rarely happened. Tonight was an exception, the reason for the early end of their night was because summer vacation had come to an end and tomorrow was the the first day of their second semester of senior year in high school, and so they had no other choice but to return home early than usual and get some good night's sleep.



Five of the boys went in the same direction which their neighborhoods were, and the two others headed in the opposite direction. Yoongi and Jimin lived in the same neighborhood, one that was a ten minutes walk from the park wherein they spent most of their nights at. The two boys had been neighbors ever since Yoongi had moved to town with his parents, around four years ago. The first time they had met, though, was on the first day of their second year in middle school. Jimin hadn't paid attention to where he was going and had ended up bumping into a boy with small, sharp eyes and a blank expression on his face. Jimin had apologized with a sheepish smile then offered to help him find his homeroom class, and that was how they had discovered they were classmates and somewhat befriended each other. Later that day, they had also found out that they lived in the same neighborhood, their houses were just across each other's. Going to the same school and living in the same neighborhood naturally led into them becoming best friends.



Jimin suddenly came to an abrupt halt, stopping in his tracks and automatically stretching his arm aside to block his friend from walking any further. Yoongi was drunk enough to stumble a step backwards upon bumping into a sudden barrier but managed to steady himself and he glared at Jimin, although his attention was focused elsewhere. He furrowed his brows and averted his own attention to the same direction the other boy was looking at. His vision was slightly blurry from the mixture of tiredness and alcohol in his system, so he had to squint his eyes a little in order to see clearly what Jimin and he were looking at. It seemed like what caught Jimin's attention was a figure standing in the balcony of a bedroom on the second floor of the house they stopped in front of: the figure of a girl looking about their age. Her head was tilted upwards as her eyes were fixated on the starry sky above their heads, seemingly too immersed to acknowledge their presence on the sidewalk below her and staring at her as if the sight of her was bizarre, which kind of was, for they had never seen her before in their neighborhood.



The calm silence of the night was interrupted by the low chuckle that slipped past Yoongi's lips once realization hit him. He put his hand onto Jimin's shoulder with slight force which the boy wasn't fazed by. "So did you really stop walking because of a pretty girl?" he teased with the corner of his lip curled into a small smirk but didn't receive any response and he rolled his eyes because talking to him was like talking to a wall. Whenever Jimin was drunk, he tended to be in his own little world of oblivion.



“You know what, I'm going home.”



“Wait,” Jimin finally spoke up and grasped his arm before he could walk away from him. “Isn't she that girl we saw earlier tonight?”





 



Their conversation had been interrupted by a loud noise of wheels rolling against the pavement nearing the bench they had been seated on; a sound they recognized as one riding a skateboard. Their heads had turned in the direction it was coming from, expecting to find some random boy skating towards them, but they had been surprised to find it was a girl and the taken aback expressions on their faces was comical and priceless. That was the first time they had ever came across a girl riding a skateboard and to say they were surprised was an understatement: they were shocked. Perhaps their reaction was exaggerated but that was because they had been merely a couple of steps away from being drunk. The majority of girls around the small town they lived in were way too feminine to even think about doing a boys activity such as skateboarding, much more preferring to leave that for the guys. Therefore, the sight they had witnessed wasn't a sight they expected to witness in their town at all. As they had stared at the mysterious girl, they discovered her appearance was quite unique as well. Rather than the typical dark, long hair they were used to seeing daily, her hair was short, barely reaching past her shoulders, and bleached blonde. Her outfit was casual: a simple grey oversized t-shirt one or two sizes larger than her actual size, black leggings that emphasized her thin legs, along with a black pair of Vans sneakers. That kind of outfit was something most girls around would never be seen wearing outside their houses, for it seemed like they all preferred to dress to impress.



Everything about her from head to toe was simply different, she was a complete contrary to other girls and that had intrigued them.



Their gazes had followed her as she had skated past their bench and neither of them had flinched nor looked away when she had casted a glance at them over her shoulder, seemingly acknowledging their stares. Her face was blank of any expression as she had stared back at them but then they had caught the small wry smile that formed on her lips before she faced the front and continued her journey out of the park.  









“Huh.” Yoongi let out in realization, and Jimin briefly glanced at him to catch him cocking his head slightly. “I guess that is her. After all, how many girls with bleached blonde hair do we have in town?”



“...we don't.”



Their ears perked up as a chuckle was heard through the silence and they could take a guess where it came from. The girl averted her gaze away from the sky to finally look down at them, amusement written all over her face. Clearly she had heard their conversation and was well aware of their presence below her balcony. Now that they could see her face properly, it was confirmed she was the exact same girl that had skated past them earlier that night; same large brown eyes and same pink plump lips. This time she was clad in what was supposedly her sleepwear: a white oversized t-shirt that reached near her mid-thigh, and even though at first glance it seemed like she wasn't wearing any pants, black pajama shorts peeked a bit from under the shirt. Her pale skin glowed underneath the moonlight and she looked almost like she was an illusion. It was Jimin who snapped back to reality, a wide silly grin spread on his plump lips.



“Well hello there. I'm guessing you heard us, huh?”




“It's not like you two were exactly whispering to each other.” she retorted cheekily then leaned in to fold her arms over the railing, her eyes studying the two boys. Both of them were dressed quite similarly: clad in a white t-shirt and bomber jackets and dark jeans with rolled cuffs, finished off with black combat boots. Yoongi had a black beanie pulled over his brown hair, messy fringe resting against his forehead, and Jimin's hair was completely hidden beneath a snapback worn backwards, his forehead revealed to the world.



“So you're new around here?” Jimin inquired curiously. The answer to that question was obvious but he just had to say something in order to keep the conversation going.



“Yeah. Just moved here about three weeks ago...?”



“Cool, welcome to the neighborhood,” he grinned brightly and spread his arms to his sides, “we live just a few houses away from you. I’m Jimin, by the way.”



“Nice to meet you, Jimin.” she offered him a small smile, and unlike he expected she didn't tell him her name.



“And I’m…” Yoongi paused abruptly and his brows furrowed, mouth open ajar as he seemed like he was in deep thought; as if trying to recall what was his own name. “...drunk.”



Jimin burst out laughing and he shook his head in amusement over his friend's antics. “Yoongi. He doesn't get drunk often and when he does, he tends to act like... uh, this.”

 

“What's the special occasion that made him drink?”



“School.” Jimin giggled and she joined him, the sound of her light laughter bringing a wide smile to his face. Then his attention averted back to Yoongi when he felt a sudden weight on his shoulder and found it was his friend's head that mistook his shoulder as a pillow. Jimin let out a sigh and stared at Yoongi for a moment longer then looked back over at the girl. “I guess we should get going, it's late and we have school tomorrow.”



“Yeah, me too.” she said and pushed herself away from the railing, ready to go back into her room.



“Hey wait, what school are you going to?” he questioned excitedly, realizing there was a chance she went to the same school as them as it was the closest one to their neighborhood. “If we go to the same school then we can come pick you up in the morning and help you get there.” he suggested with hope twinkling in his eyes, but the girl told him she needed to go and headed back into her bedroom. His eyes didn't look away from the now closed door of the balcony and he was bewildered by what just happened. For a moment he wondered why she ignored his question but then it hit him that he was a complete stranger and she wasn't obliged to answer him. Pursing his lips in disappointment that he didn't know whether she was going to his school or not, he looked at Yoongi again and sighed deeply. His elbow nudged his side in a failed attempt to wake him up and he only earned himself an incoherent grumble. There was no other choice for him other than to somehow get him on his back and carry him all the way home as it didn't seem like he was going to do so by himself. Despite the short distance, he was going to struggle nonetheless because it would be difficult to walk properly in his drunken state.



“Ugh, you're so damn lucky I'm your best friend or else I'd leave you to sleep on the fucking ground.”