Track No. 02 – Twinkle
Something hard pressed onto my head. Was it time already?
The homeroom teacher often woke me up like this. A student would normally be yelled at if he was indulging in sleep right in front of the teacher’s desk, but that also depended on who the student was. In my case, it was deemed as ‘I guess he studied all night.’ and was ignored to a reasonable degree. Good grades could also be used like this.
However, it had been a long time since I had been woken up like this. Usually, the dude behind me would wake me up beforehand. Could it be that he was also asleep?
I squinted slightly at the bright light and woke up my heavy body.
The sorry that I would always utter to put up a good front. That one word just refused to come out. What entered my sight was the young homeroom teacher, who was smiling so brightly that it was almost creepy –
– and the girl standing next to him.
Sleep ran away at her appearance, which was so unreal that it seemed as if she would ascend to the sky at any moment. Her blonde locks, abundantly wavy, were long enough to almost reach her waist, and delicate facial features that were like those of a doll’s were positioned atop her pale skin. Her gentle brown eyes gazed upon me, who had just woken up, as if I had triggered her interest. Though, she averted her gaze as soon as my eyes met hers.
Somebody’s soft question broke the silence within the classroom, speaking for everybody’s feelings. She shyly drew in her shoulders, glanced at the homeroom teacher once, and lightly nodded.
The moment strength entered my fist, shrill screams and excited cheers exploded.
One who continued to motionlessly stare at her, with his mouth wide agape. One who covered his mouth. One who pinched his own cheek. One who pinched it with him. It wasn’t just one or two students who were taking her picture with their phones, and one kid was so excited that he was openly calling someone.
I also took out my phone at the sight, but had to put it away again when I remembered its low-resolution camera. Damn. The fact that, as far as the current situation was concerned, there would be many more chances to take photos was my only consolation.
The homeroom teacher was the first to hang up the call, his face still ruled by a smile, and he settled down the excited students, who had been banging on the table. It was quite obvious that he was looking forward to it as part of the younger generation. Perhaps the students had read his thoughts, since the ruckus toned down into a whisper. However, now the problem lay not within the classroom, but outside.
It seemed that the news had spread as it pleased. The hallway outside the classroom was packed with students who had come to look at Angel0. Various folk songs were obviously sung, and many voices let out unhindered announcements of love, regardless of gender. A few teachers were intervening in an attempt to send the students back, but it was useless.
Although, everyone hushed to listen when, at last, the homeroom teacher reached the limit of his patience and shouted “Let her introduce herself!”.
The homeroom teacher lightly signalled with his hand from besides the teacher’s desk while repeatedly clearing his throat. It looked like she was going to lightly bite her red lips, but immediately bowed her head in greeting.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Kim Ahyoung.”
The resonance of her voice was different from other’s. Kim Ahyoung’s voice was gentle, yet it powerfully dug into one’s ears. It could not possibly be thought of as a human’s voice. It was in that moment that I could finally understand why she was “Angel0”, and why she was tagged with the word “angel”.
The angel moved a step away from the teacher’s desk, with a surprised expression on her face, as the cheers sounded once again. Her blushing, red-tinted cheeks stood out on her especially pale skin.
Then again, her reaction was not very different from any other typical human’s.
Angel0, who stood shoulder to shoulder with internationally famous people and sang in front of tens of thousands of people, could not be found. She was fiddling with the ends of her blonde hair, which was like her own symbolic representation, and averting her gaze.
The homeroom teacher spoke while banging on the table once again.
“Now, now. I understand that you’re happy, but keep it down. We shouldn’t show her such a scene when our Ahyoung has just arrived for the first time.”
As the person sitting at the very front, I wanted to advise him to first do something about his crooning voice and manner of speech. Moreover, our Ahyoung?
Amidst the slightly settled down hubbub, Kim Ahyoung walked towards the back of the classroom, by the homeroom teacher’s order. Every time she moved, the gazes of everyone in the classroom followed her movement. It seemed that the empty seat that somebody had placed in the classroom that morning was for her.
As the morning announcement had not progressed properly, the homeroom teacher had given up and exited the classroom after giving simple instructions. While the homeroom and other teachers quelled the commotion outside of the classroom, someone shouted “please give me your signature!”, and the population within the classroom instantly concentrated in the back of the room.
“How long are you gonna stay in Korea?”
“Could you also give me your signature?”
“I love you! Please marry me!”
“I want to listen to you sing!”
“Are there any new songs?”
The students gathered around Kim Ahyoung’s seat like a flock of pigeons flying to eat food, and each of them pulled out the words they had buried in their minds. As an upside amidst the downsides, the group seemed like a fairly good model of a self-governing crime prevention society, as shown by the voluntary handling of some of the kids who lost their minds and went overboard with their comments.
However, the teachers, who realised what the situation was like within the classroom, quickly rushed in, and a considerable amount of time was spent calming down the excited students.
Kim Ahyoung’s seat, which was located next to the window at the very back, was still surrounded by people.
The students, who were initially swarming without holding back, regained rationality and began listening to the teachers when two men who seemed to be her bodyguards began standing in the hallway right outside of the classroom. The bodyguards might have been a little dejected. Really, all they did was just stand there. I supposed that what could be called the problem lay in their fashion, which consisted of short hair, sunglasses, and black suits, and was intimidating by itself.
The students of the class were now calmly and quietly engaging in conversation around Kim Ahyoung. The face of the one who was actually important, Kim Ahyoung, could not be seen, and only short words like “Yeah” or “Thank you” could occasionally be heard.
The classroom was divided into two of the following categories.
The enthusiastic ones who approached Kim Ahyoung, and the ones who observed from their seats like me. Although, most of the latter were measuring the timing to join them.
“Hey, can you believe this?”
I turned my head at the question that came from beside me. Before I had realized it, Kyungho was sitting on the chair next to mine, which had no owner.
“It’s really Angel0.”
“I know. She’s behind there.”
He nodded at my lukewarm answer and shouted “Hey! Get out of the way, ‘cause we can’t see her!”. When he even lightly threw a rubber at them, countless pieces of stationery flew towards us, along with curses. I was keeping still!
I replied while throwing back the pen that had struck my head.
“It’s not a zoo or anything. ‘I can’t see’ my ass.”
“Says the one who frantically eyed her from the very front seat.”
Says the one who sat right behind me. The reason this bastard had not woken me up was probably because of this. Since Angel0 had appeared right before his eyes.
“Obviously. It’s not something you see oft……,”
I shut my mouth without being able to finish my sentence. Shit, I was practically saying what I had just pointed out.
“Yeah. Yeah. I see you’re still a guy, even though you’re just studying all the time.”
A feeling of irritation rushed in as I looked at Kyungho, who made an benevolent expression that seemed to imply that he understood everything.
“Got a problem?”
When I snapped at him, he smiled approvingly and waved his hand.
“None. It’s Angel0, y’know? Anyone would be like that when they see her for reals. Seriously, I got chills when we walked into the classroom. How can a human be so pretty? Isn’t she really an angel?”
TL: Angel in Korean.
That was the common word that the whole world used when referring to Kim Ahyoung. Her concept, which had been inherited from pedigrees of many pop divas. However, he also wondered if he could consider it as just a concept. That was how overwhelming Kim Ahyoung was.
Now, the sound of the kids whining, with one voice, for Kim Ahyoung to sing for them could be heard. They seemed desperate, since there was not much time left until the start of first period. Though, Kim Ahyoung was constantly refusing to do so.
Her appearance wasn’t the only reason why she was called an angel. Her outstanding singing ability was also an important factor that had led her to her current self.
“Hey, don’t you have a guitar?”
Kyungho tapped my arm and asked.
“You brought a guitar when we did our music practicals in tenth grade, dude.”
This bastard only remembered completely useless stuff. I had only done that because the teacher said that they would give me a higher mark if I brought an instrument that I could play, other than a recorder.
“That’s true, but why do you want to know?”
“No, I was just wondering if she would sing if she had accompaniment.”
Considering his awkward smile, Kyungho seemed to be inwardly hoping for what the kids in the back were requesting. On the contrary, I shook my head.
“I don’t think she’d sing, even if there was. And I don’t have a guitar.”
“Why? Did you sell it?”
“No. It wasn’t mine in the first place.”
“Then whose was it?”
I answered with a wave of my hand.
“Anyway, if you have time for such chitchat, hand over the question sheet that you said you were gonna bring yesterday.”
“Oi, how could you even ask me for the question sheet? Really, when there’s Angel0 right in front of your eyes?”
“I can’t see her.”
Kyungho returned to his seat while grumbling and rummaged through his backpack. The clicking of his tongue seemed to be particularly loud.
Soon, Kyungho practically threw a few sheets of worksheets at me and joined the crowd at the back. At that moment, a loud cheer echoed, as if Kim Ahyoung had given some kind of an answer.
The ruckus at the back of the classroom continued until the old math teacher who was in charge of the first period class arrived.
♫ ♩ ♬ ♪
If I had to speak at this point in time, after a few days had passed, the normal school life of the superstar seemed perfectly possible.
Bulky men in suits always roamed around the school, many reporters attempted to trespass into the school while avoiding their sight, and when school ended, a luxurious sedan drove into the school field to pick Kim Ahyoung up.
Making do with what they had, the reporters changed their target and turned their microphones to the students who were returning home. As the discontent of the students – and the teachers – became more prevalent, further in-school reporting was prohibited by Kim Ahyoung’s side after a short interview with a few newspapers, TV studios, and magazines that had public confidence. Though, they clearly weren’t free from the pressure of the media. Also, an autograph meeting was held in the assembly hall, for the students. It was an event that could properly soothe the students who were excited about this and that.
Even so, excluding the series of small incidents as stated above, she seemed to be leading the life of a typical student to anybody who watched.
Firstly, Kim Ahyoung easily befriended people.
+ Author’s comment : Since it’s completed anyway, I’ma submit it in parts…