When God Made Me - Chapter 12
When Seung-ho returned back to the court, Geum-taek was already shooting a lay-up. Geum-taek succeeded easily since his height was a good 180 cm.
After making the basket, Geum-taek triumphantly high-fived Chang-min and Sung-yun. The score gap had widened quite a bit since Seung-ho had gone to the bathroom. High school students placed no value in waiting for people in the bathroom to commence a basketball game.
“Heads up, Seung-ho!”
Sang-hyup called Seung-ho while passing the ball to Sang-wook. Fake out. Though the other team was fooled, the problem was that Sang-hyup’s team had been fooled too.
While Sang-wook had been looking at Seung-ho, Geum-taek intercepted the ball.
Geum-taek passed the ball straight to Sung-yun and another basket was scored. ‘God-taek’ was a nickname that the friends had come up for Geum-taek, which involved replacing ‘God’ with the first part of the name for those who did things incredibly well.
The score was now 14 vs 4. It was a half-court game, they decided that shoots from outside the line were worth three points, and shoots from inside were worth two. Of course, they made up their own rules.
“Hey, ice-cream is on the line! We can’t lose!”
Sang-hyup passed the ball to Sang-wook. Sang-wook attempted to push through to the front, but Geum-taek blocked his path. He was the best player out of them, as expected from someone who played basketball during lunch throughout the third year.
Sang-wook passed to the side. The ball had finally come to Seung-ho.
As soon as he caught the ball, he felt something distinctly different from last time. It felt as if the ball moved with his fingers.
‘I think I can make it.’
Fortunately, none of the other kids were blocking him. Since he was outside the 3-point line, the guys had let down their guard, thinking, ‘There’s no way he can make it.’
Sang-hyup dug through to the front and raised his hand, but Seung-ho didn’t want to lose the feeling. He raised the ball and tossed it.
The form was perfect. The right hand threw the ball using a snap of the wrist, and the left hand simply acted as a support.
Drawing a perfect arc, the ball swished through the basket without even touching the rim. It was the definition of a clean shot.
“It’s my first time seeing such a clean 3-pointer.”
The other kids looked at Seung-ho with a suddenly different expression. Having watched the perfectly clean shoot from afar, the female students’ eyes widened as well.
“I thought he did so badly earlier.”
“Maybe he was nervous. He’s so tall and handsome and it looks like he’s athletic! Cool!”
Of course, since they were talking quietly amongst themselves, Seung-ho didn’t hear them at all.
‘Even I don’t know how I did it, but the feeling’s still there.’
This was the shooting accuracy bought with the 10 points.
“Hey, hey! Heads up!”
Sung-yun yelled as he passed the ball to Geum-taek.
Seung-ho’s next shots weren’t as neat, but his form was clearly different than before.
But even with the 3-pointer, the score was only 14 vs 7. It was difficult to overcome the double score.
The first team to score 20 points would win the game. The total score was 20 vs 17. Seung-ho’s team had caught up quite a bit, but it wasn’t enough to bridge the gap that had been made in the first half.
‘We could have won if I’d had more points.’
It’d been a close call, but there was nothing he could do. If he hadn’t raised his stats, his team would have been mercilessly crushed.
“Woah, it looked like Seung-ho suddenly became good. It looks like you suddenly woke up after taking a good shit, when before you sucked because you needed the bathroom.”
“That’s not it!”
Seung-ho could now joke around somewhat naturally and mix in with the group. Before going back to the classroom, he visited the bathroom and washed his sweat off his face.
‘I feel like I’ll smell even when I change into my uniform. What if the others say something?’
The reason Seung-ho was this sensitive about smell and cleanliness was all because of the kids.
Back when in his Ug-Face days, he had been neither dirty nor smelly, but the kids had made fun of him for that and avoided him. The memories from before were suffocating Seung-ho.
Mentally worrying about his smell, he entered the classroom and carefully sat down at his seat. When he was looking through his desk drawer to prepare for the history lesson, Seul-hwa poked his arm and began to talk to him.
“You were quite good at basketball.”
“Huh? Not really. I was just lucky…”
Flustered by the compliment, he hedged through his reply but his heart was already soaring into space. Though he heard compliments a lot these days, he didn’t get sick of them at all.
‘It’s thrilling and always new, hahaha.’
He searched his drawer, but couldn’t find his history textbook. It seemed as if he hadn’t taken it out from his locker.
Seung-ho stood up from his seat and headed to the back of the classroom, where it was located, and opened the locker.
There was a note inside. He glanced around before sneaking it into his inner pocket, just in case somebody saw him. It was a good thing that he’d been wearing a sweater due to the still-chilly weather.
‘What could it be?’
It wasn’t a sincerely and carefully written letter but rather a hastily written note on torn notebook paper. Anticipation and apprehension warred within him.
He’d received a couple of this kind of note before; notes that were folded into a heart shape. When he’d open them, the contents were either cussing him out or vulgar messages like, ‘Were you looking forward to his, idiot? LOL’ or ‘Phew, Ug-Face. Why are you living? Just die!’
But this was a lot different from back then. There was a large possibility that it was a love letter. Seung-ho was filled with excitement, but the bell rang as he tried to sneak off to the bathroom and check the note out.
‘I’d better look at it later.’
With an expectant heart, he returned to his seat. The teacher entered a moment later; he was the same teacher that was rumoured to be intimidating - Kim In-suk.
“You voted for class president, right? Let’s have a greeting.”
It was incredibly nerve-wracking to have the class president’s first greeting in Teacher Kim In-suk’s class.
‘You’ve seen it plenty of times before now. Just do as you saw.’
Taking a deep breath, Seung-ho stood up from his seat.
Seung-ho’s voice trembled to the point that the other students noticed.
Thankfully, the students followed Seung-ho’s command and greeted the teacher. The teacher greeted them back and smiled.
“Why is the class president so nervous? Someone as normal-looking as you should be fine.”
Seung-ho didn’t hear him, however; he was so relieved that he’d succeeded with the greeting. As soon as he sat down, his legs gave out.
‘Ha, that’s a relief.’
Relaxation lasted only for a moment as the Korean history teacher frowned and pointed his stick at Seung-ho.
Surprised, Seung-ho raised his head. It appeared as if something was wrong.
“You call yourself class president, and yet don’t get the textbooks ready?”
He’d been so occupied with the note in his locker that he’d completely forgotten about preparing the textbooks.
Seung-ho hurriedly stood up and urgently brought out the history textbooks from the locker. Teacher Kim In-suk stopped frowning and started the lesson.
Seung-ho sighing in relief, when Seul-hwa poked his arm from beside him and spoke quietly.
“Didn’t you go to the lockers to get the textbooks?”
“Yeah, but I forgot.”
Seul-hwa laughed as she opened her textbook. Following her, Seung-ho opened his book in order to focus on the lesson.
The lesson continued for a long while, but the words flowed in one ear and out the other. His entire mind was focused on the note from earlier.
‘I’m so curious. I want to see it.’
However, it was obvious that Seul-hwa would see and tease him if he opened the note now. It had always been that way.
‘To think that I’m not focusing on the scary Teacher Kim In-suk’s lesson…’
Seung-ho was amazed at himself for having the guts, but he simply could not concentrate on the lesson.
It felt like every second lasted a minute.
The bell finally rang while he’d been daydreaming about stars about the note.
“End of lesson. Class president!”
It was an indication for him to start the greeting. Startled, he’d answered but he’d understood the teacher’s meaning right away and stood from his seat.
“Thank you for the lesson!”
As soon as the teacher left, Seung-ho dashed to the bathroom. Her eyes following his retreating backside, Seul-hwa tilted her head.
‘Could he not concentrate on the lesson because he needed the bathroom?’
Not giving a monkey’s butt about anything but the note, Seung-ho entered the bathroom right away. However, those whose classes had ended early were already using the bathroom.
‘What do I do?’
Due to memories of the bullies harassing him, Seung-ho didn’t want to enter the left toilet. He could only wash his hands awkwardly and went back out into the hallway.
In the end, he stood in front of the incredibly burdensome science laboratory. It was empty, as expected.
‘Let’s just check the note and leave.’
Seung-ho checked the front of the lab before taking out the note.
Whoever it was had folded it elegantly.
Fidgeting and with an already excited heart, he unfolded the scrap of paper.
[Dear Seung-ho. I’ll be waiting at Sky Park after the evening study hall. Please come.]
[ - A girl who’s gazing at you from afar.]
The second he finished reading the letter, his whole body shivered. This was a real love letter.
‘Who is it?’
He felt curious about the person who’d sent the letter. At the same time, he realized anew that this generation still confessed its feelings with this kind of notes.
‘It’s my first time feeling that a day could last this long.’
As soon as his evening study hall had ended, he headed towards Sky Park. Curiosity and happy imaginations coexisted in his mind during the entire walk there.
It was the first time in his life that he’d received a confession, but it was burdensome. Not to mention the fact that since this was a confession after he’d become handsome, the person was certainly approaching him due to what he looked like, not what he was like.
‘Do I accept? Reject?’
Seung-ho had been pondering the two questions throughout the study hall, but couldn’t reach a definite answer before reaching the park.