"Oh great. As if being the new girl in town wasn't enough. Now I'm late too." Nicole said to herself as she ran through the school doors.
Hero had left early for work today. He left her a note on the kitchen counter saying breakfast was in the fridge and that she should leave early for school. He drew a map on the back so Nicole would know which way to go. She left at the perfect time, but on her way, took the wrong turn and got lost. She had just arrived at the school when the bells rang for class.
"Oh crap oh crap oh crap." Nicole said as she shut her locker and ran down the hall. Her class was on the second floor. As she approached the stairs, a sign saying the stairs were closed for cleaning purposes was being put up.
"What?" Nicole whimpered. Then someone grabbed her arm and dragged her down the hall.
"Stand there whimpering why don't you." said a male voice.
Nicole finally caught in step with the guy long enough to take a look at who it was. She stopped short at the sight of the boy at the pool.
Sensing she had stopped, he turned to look at Nicole. He raised his eyebrow and stood there. Nicole stared. Something about him triggered memories of yesterday's encounter with the others; Hongki, Wooyoung and Jonghoon.
"You can stand there and be really late, but I'm going to class." the boy said, turning.
Nicole shook her head. She would have time later to think about why he triggeredmemories of the others. For now, he seemed to know his way around the school and Nicole needed to get to class. "Is there another staircase?" Nicole asked as she followed behind the boy's heels.
"No. The janitors clean all the staircases during first period. Only way to get upstairs is the elevator." the boy said overhis shoulder.
"Elevator." Nicole mumbled as she nodded.
The two arrived at the elevator as the doors began to close. The boy launched himself towards the elevator, holding the doors open, and stepped inside. Nicole followed suit. Before even looking around, Nicole could sense that the atmosphere was tense. There were others for sure. Most likely people who didn't like each other. Curious, Nicole glanced around to see Hongki, Wooyoung and Jonghoon in the elevator as well. Nicole smiled at them. She wondered why the atmosphere was so tense.
Then the elevator made a screeching noise as it came to a stop. Everyone readied themselves to run for their classes, but the elevator doors didn't open. Instead, the elevator dropped down a bit, causing Nicole to lose balance and fall backwards, landing on her butt. Jonghoon helped her up with Hongki looking on while Wooyoung began punching the doors.
"It's stuck. The elevator's stuck." Wooyoung said, to no one in particular.
The five of them, the four boys and Nicole, sat on the floor as they were trapped in their own thoughts. Nicole could still feel the tense atmosphere, which continued to bug her.
"This is so stupid! Of all the people in the world, it had to be you in the elevator with me!" Wooyoung suddenly burst out saying.
"Like I had a choice!" Hongki said, glaring at Wooyoung. Nicole, bewildered, looked at Jonghoon questioningly. Jonghoon had his head down, a small sigh coming out of his lips, as if this had happened mulitple times before.
"Like I had a choice? Is that all you got to say?"
"Why? What else do you want me to say?" Hongki stood up. Wooyoung followed suite. The tense atmosphere Nicole felt earlier seemed to grow as the two boys stared each other down with murdering expressions.
"Maybe you should just except your stupid mistakes and disappear. Then you wouldn't be such a freaking bother to the world." Wooyoung spat in Hongki's face.
Furious now, Hongki pushed Wooyoung against the wall of the elevator. "You shut up. I made no mistakes that day! If anything, it was you!"
Wooyoung recovered from the attack and charged at Hongki, grabbing him by the collar of his shirt, "I usually hope you die a painful death, but today, I'm not gonna hope. I'm gonna make sure it happens. Now!" With that declaration, Wooyoung punched Hongki in the jaw. Hard.
Hongki fell on the floor from the impact. He turned to stand up and met Nicole's eyes. Nicole's shocked eyes. Nicole saw Hongki's face of fury soften, but before he could do anything, Wooyoung was ontop of him, punching and and swearing.
"STOP!" Nicole screamed. She was standing up now. "What the heck are you guys doing?!" Wooyoung, covered in sweat, looked up at Nicole confused. Hongki, bruises decorating his face, took the distraction to push Wooyoung off and stand up, wiping the side of his mouth.
Wooyoung's anger returned first as he stood up. "That thing has issues to resolve with me." Wooyoung said, pointing a shaking finger at Hongki.
"What kind of issues have to be resolved in fighting?" Nicole said. Wooyoung glared at her. Nicole felt a tugging on her sleeve. She looked down to see Jonghoon urging her to sit down. Nicole looked over and saw the boy that had brought her into the elevator sitting quietly in the corner.
"Sit down." Jonghoon whispered. "Just ignore them. What guys don't get into fights." Again, like the day before, Nicole heard a hint of metal in his voice, as if he wished he were fighting too.
"I'm not going to ignore them!" Nicole said, anger rising up in her. To calm herself, Nicole recited her mother's favorite saying. A saying that her mother had always used for the four boys back in her distant childhood. A phrase her mother would say over and over, so that neither Nicole nor Hero would ever fight. Nicole took a deep breath and closed her eyes, the though of using her mother's memories burned her eyes and threatened to rain tears down her cheeks. "Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding." Nicole whispered. Silience filled the elevator. Nicole openned her eyes to see all four boys looking at her with wide eyes.
Then it hit her. Four boys. Fights. Her childhood. Her mother's quote calming everything. She already knew Wooyoung, Hongki and Jonghoon were the three boys. But the atmosphere felt so right. She turned to look at the boy who had brought her here. He was looking towards her, but his mind far away in outer space. Key. It could only be him. No one else would be able to complete the circle of five. No one but the fourth boy. No one but Key.
"Key." Nicole whispered. He semed to have mentally shook himself and looked up at Nicole. The reaction was enough to confirm it. Nicole had found all of her childhood friends. All four of the boys she spent everyday with. Wooyoung, Hongki, Jonghoon, and Key. But why? Why did they not like each other? Before Nicole could ask, the elevator started up again and went to the main floor. The door openned at kids were spilling out of class and into the hallways. Was the day over already? Students were shutting lockers and leaving the school with their backpacks.
"Half-day." Jonghoon said.
"Great." Wooyoung commented. He walked out of the elevator, pulling Nicole's elbow on the way. "We need to talk."