Chapter 4: Dark Alleyways
It was late by the time Minam finally got a chance to go to the store to prepare for dinner. Jinyong hadn’t said a word to her since that morning but since then, she’d been unpacking and daydreaming. She made sure this time that she knew what everything looked like before she went out and bought it because she doubted that she would see Dongwoon again. She knew that Jinyong loved American food and she herself loved Asian food so she decided to make a combination of the two.

She walked into the grocery store and tried to remember where Dongwoon had told her that the various items were located in the store. The ramen was exceedingly easy to find and so were the fruits and vegetables but the sunflower seeds and the peanut butter. She decided to double check with random people she encountered in the store and they either laughed at her or helped her out and she was very thankful to be able to speak Korean.

It was getting close to dinner by the time Minam had returned and Jinyong was locked in her room. She hurried over to the kitchen and prepared her meal. Placing the ramen in the water, she let it boil as she mixed together the rest of the ingredients. She waited until it was done baking and then put it in the refrigerator and went off to her room to check her phone. There were seven more messages from her parents. She didn’t even bother checking them and threw herself onto her bed and, before she knew it, she was fast asleep.

“Minam,” a voice said after a while. “Minam?” She glanced up and saw Jinyong hovered over her. “Is dinner ready?” Jinyong asked impatiently, “I’m starving.”

Minam nodded with a smile and groggily got out of bed. She walked over to the kitchen with Jinyong and got the spaghetti out of the refrigerator. Jinyong smiled when she smelled it and Minam scooped Jinyong a big portion on a plate. They both sat down at the table and began to eat silently. “Oh wow,” Jinyong mumbled, her mouth full with spaghetti, “this is amazing! You are forgiven!”

She smiled as she watched her cousin dig into the food that she had prepared for her. Her mother always did say that the stomach rules the mind and Jinyong was exhibit A. As Minam watched her cousin stuff her face with spaghetti, she noticed something very strange. “Uh…Jinyong,” Minam said, “What’s wrong with your face?”

Jinyong placed a hand on her slowly swelling cheeks and jumped when she felt small bumps on her skin. She got up and ran over to a nearby mirror and screamed when she saw her reflection. “Minam! What did you do to me?” she asked, horrified.

“Nothing! I didn’t do anything!” Minam retorted.

Jinyong continued to rub her face as if rubbing it would make the lumps go away. “Did you put peanuts in that?” she asked, now fuming. Minam had to think. She didn’t remember buying peanuts. She bought sunflower seeds, noodles, garlic, and…peanut butter. Jinyong read Minam’s face and could instantly tell that Minam had put peanuts in it. “You idiot!” she yelled, “I’m allergic to peanuts!”

Minam’s eyes widened. “I’m so sorry!” she said, “I didn’t know. I swear!”

Jinyong glared at her. “Get out of my house,” she said coldly.

She began inching closer and closer to Minam and Minam backed up as quickly as she could. “Do you need me to get you anything?” Minam offered, running into a chair behind her. Jinyong said nothing and Minam took that opportunity to rush to her room and grabbed her suitcase and swiftly stuffed everything she unpacked back into her bag and rushed out of the house, not even bothering to check to see if Jinyong was okay.

Minam glanced at her phone and saw that it was late into the night. A cold brush of air swept past her, foreshadowing the impending winter, and Minam grabbed a jacket out of her suitcase and wrapped herself up tightly in it. She began walking, unsure of where she was going “ but aiming for a place with heat.

As she continued walking down the street, Minam began to feel a sense of uneasiness. Even when she was living in America, she never walked the streets at night by herself. She knew it wasn’t safe for a 20-year-old girl to be by herself but she didn’t really have a choice at the current moment.

A sudden chill went down her spine when she walked past an alleyway and three men came out behind her. She didn’t look at them and instead kept walking straight. They guys began talking about her and walked up behind her. “Hey Kitten,” one of the men said in her ear, “are you lost?”

“Yeah,” another one whispered, attempting to be seductive but failing miserably, “Why don’t you come with us. We’ll help you out.” She felt a hand placed on her bottom and she yelped, swatting the man’s hand away instinctively. “We got ourselves a feisty one,” the same man laughed to his two friends. He grabbed a hold of Minam’s wrist and turned her around.

The man chuckled and pulled Minam up to him and grabbed her waist. “Where are you going, princess?” he asked darkly, “Let’s have some fun.”

“Get away from me,” Minam said, attempting to squirm out of the strange man’s grasp but his grip on her was too strong. She couldn’t get away from him. Suddenly, she was pushed into the nearby alleyway the three men began to surround her. Her head began spinning. She didn’t know what to do. The men pushed her against the wall and one brought his hands up her shirt. “Get off of me!” Minam yelled, pushing the man away from her, resulting in a punch to her face.

“Shut up!” one of them said. Minam tried to run away but the three men held her back against the wall and she began flailing in their grasp. “Hold still!” the man ordered but Minam didn’t listen. She began screaming for help to anyone who was in earshot and the men tried to silence her by covering her mouth. “Hey, I said shut up!” the man yelled again.

Minam continued to struggle against the men’s hold when she saw one of them reach into their pocket. He pulled out a napkin and then grinned as he brought it up to her face. The second she breathed in, her world became dizzy.

“Hey! What do you guys think you’re doing?” Minam heard a voice say. It was too dark for her to see who the voice belonged to and even if she wanted to see who it was, she couldn’t. Her body began to feel weak and she toppled to the ground. “Get her back to the dorm!” the voice ordered to what she thought to be a second person in the alleyway with them.

A pair of strong arms wrapped themselves around her and Minam felt herself being lifted up into the air. Everything was growing darker with each passing second and she tried to stay awake as long as she could but the world around her was quickly shutting down. When they finally emerged onto the semi-lit street, Minam finally got a chance to see who her savior was. She had just enough time to utter his name quietly before she collapsed in his arms. “Dongwoon.”

Author's Chapter End Notes

FINALLY! I'M DONE WITH THIS CHAPTER! Honestly, I didn't expect this chapter to be as difficult to write as it actually was. This chapter wore me out! But B2ST should appear in every chapter after this because this was the chapter were everything actually begins. So yay!

To Be Continued.
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