Act 10: D.C. 11
After looking into my eyes for a bit, the principal soon turned his gaze away.
“If it’s you, I guess that’s possible.”
What in the world did the principal think I was? I stood there feeling slightly awkward as he then started asking questions to Lee Suh-ah. The questions were on the interview song she had just sung – the reason she sang a specific verse the way she did, her interpretation of the song as well as how she practised.
Thinking that was probably how I looked just then, I watched the process in a faintly relaxed mood. Then, I felt a hand touch from the side.
When I turned around, Kim Wuju with his eyes closed filled my sight. I took a step back in surprise as he showed a wide smile.
“Did you really just practise by yourselves?”
He’s asking someone else during the interview? I watched him continue his words in curiosity.
“Ah, I’m just asking. We usually just sing the way our teachers tell us to.”
Seeing him tilt his puzzled face, it seemed like he really was just asking out of curiosity, but since it’s Kim Wuju, I guess it wasn’t that strange. He didn’t have much interest in things unrelated to songs so he probably wouldn’t really care about performing in the Subscription Concert in the first place.
Kim Wuju would just sing because he was asked to.
I quickly gave a reply after accepting that fact.
“Umm… It’s not that special. We just sang together and tried matching the sounds together to find the best sound and expression. There’s no reason to call a teacher for something like that so…”
“But it was really good – better than a teacher’s.”
When I faced a confused look at him, Kim Wuju made a smile.
“It’s nothing. It was good.”
In that instant, the principal who had finished his interview with all the students tapped his palm with the baton.
“Now, I will announce the results of the interview.”
As soon as his words fell, our eyes gathered towards him. Within that atmosphere filled with tension, the principal kept his mouth closed for a while before glancing across each of us and explaining.
“Before that, there’s something I want to say. The results that are out right now can be overturned at any given time. If I don’t find it to my liking while conducting, I will immediately chase you down and call someone else. The chorus parts are simple anyway.”
A temporary position, huh. It wasn’t anything unheard of.
I silently gave a nod as the principal spoke with a stern look.
“So don’t relax just because you were chosen now, and don’t practise half-heartedly just because you didn’t make it now. Do you get it?”
He then glared at us with a scary gaze and remained quiet before suddenly dropping a name indifferently.
I could see Han Dasom’s eyes enlarging as they threatened to pop out. Her eyes were originally very big but the current sight reminded me of how large they really were.
In the middle of my stupid reflection, the principal’s voice dug into my ears.
“And Jo Yunjae.”
The eyes of other interviewees gathered at me, and from within, I caught sight of Lee Suh-ah’s sunken look.
Lee Suh-ah stopped her feet in front of the classroom. She was returning to the class after the practice for the Subscription Concert ended to pick up her bag.
The class was filled with an energetic mood. Students talked about how this time, the song would be interesting and that it was rare for a boring school like theirs to perform a musical song, while also chatting about the main vocals this time.
Watching that rowdy scene, Lee Suh-ah took a step into the classroom as Noh Jusup welcomed her with a raised hand.
“What are you doing?”
Seeing her expression crumple in an instant, Noh Jusup made a solemn look.
“Lee Suh-ah. I heard it’s your first time.”
Raising his eyebrows in an irritating manner, Noh Jusup grinned.
“First time coming to the back of the stage – to the chorus. Then naturally you should greet this senior who has three years of chorus experience, right? Come on, I’m waiting for it!”
It was annoying.
Thinking that, she glared at Noh Jusup when a familiar laughter sounded from behind – a somewhat annoying and unpleasant laughter. It was Jo Yunjae’s laugh.
Turning her head around with a flick, Lee Suh-ah screamed.
“What’s so funny! It’s not like a person can be the main vocal every time!”
“Kukuk, ah sorry.”
Him appearing to be holding back his laughter was more annoying. And Han Dasom standing behind Jo Yunjae wearing an apologetic expression was more and more annoying.
Trampling on the ground for no reason, Lee Suh-ah took a deep breath in and out before sitting on her seat.
Why did things turn out this way?
‘…No, it’s not like I can’t acknowledge the result itself.’
That’s what Lee Suh-ah thought.
Han Dasom and Jo Yunjae. The two of them practising together, unlike others who practised alone, definitely had an effect and plus, it was obvious that a chorus was what the conductor desired.
A harmonic chorus different from a solo piece.
Considering how everyone else apart from them had practised separately, the end result of them winning was something she and other interviewees could acknowledge. Besides, since it was a temporary decision, she would be able to take the position of the main vocal whenever after practising the said section.
‘But… it’s annoying…’
In an attempt to hide the frown on her face, Lee Suh-ah laid down on the table.
It was annoying.
Although it wasn’t anything big, it annoyed her.
It’s not like this was her first defeat in life and she had lost countless times to Kim Wuju already. For Lee Suh-ah who already had enough fame, the Subscription Concert wasn’t even that important either.
But then, why was she so annoyed? Why did it feel like a part of her chest was boiling up? Why was she feeling an intense emotion which she had never felt before in her life?
She heaved out a sigh when a memory of what happened during the interview popped up in her head. On top of the stage, there were Han Dasom and Jo Yunjae singing side by side.
Han Dasom – her friend who although was a bit shy, was a kind and cute friend. But for some reason, she just didn’t want to see her right now.
Unable to find an answer, she buried her face in her arms.
“Why’s she like that?”
“Are you asking that because you really don’t know?”
Seeing Noh Jusup scratching his hair awkwardly, I shook my head with a sigh.
Aye, it’s okay to joke around but he shouldn’t cross the line like that.
After joking around with her not making it into the main vocal position despite her strong competitiveness, it was natural for her to be like that. At least that’s what I thought as a regular viewer of Lee Suh-ah’s youtube videos for 20 years.
Clicking my tongue, I packed my bag up and stood up from the seat. Then, I tapped on the shoulder of Han Dasom who didn’t know what to do while throwing glances at Lee Suh-ah and me.
“It’s not your fault, so why are you like that?’
Han Dasom. Perhaps because it was her first time defeating her friend, she seemed baffled and appeared to be unsure of what to do.
It must be tough.
Reminiscing about the past, I wetted my lips and stared into Han Dasom’s trembling eyes.
“No buts. It’s a competition. We fought fair and square without using an underhanded move so don’t blame yourself too much. Sympathising with her like that would be more humiliating for Lee Suh-ah.”
Seemingly feeling sorry for Lee Suh-ah who was lying down on the desk, Han Dasom bit on her lips before giving out a sigh.
“Suh-ah… should be fine right?”
“She should be. This shouldn’t be her first time losing.”
“Suh-ah lent me an eraser last time… and talked to me… I was grateful so… I feel sorry for her…”
…I thought Han Dasom was closer to Lee Suh-ah… was their friendship limited to such memories?
I’m pretty sure they chatted quite a few times whenever they were with me but maybe they weren’t close enough to talk when I wasn’t there. Although a bit worried about Han Dasom’s school life, I decided to end it there for the time being.
“In any case, just let her be. She’ll recover by herself. For now, I’ll go to my society for a bit.”
“Society? You joined one?”
Noh Jusup tilted his head from the side.
“Yeah. Remember the one that came to our class last time?”
“There’s been new ones coming everyday, so how would I know which one?”
“That… I chased after them right when their introduction finished.”
He seemed to be in thought for a while with a frown before shooting his eyebrows up.
“What? You mean that weird Religion whatever society?”
Noh Jusup made a dumbfounded expression.
“But why would you join a society like that? If it’s you, I’m sure you could join any society and the seniors will welcome you with open arms.”
Well, I don’t think the word ‘any’ included the musical club though. Hiding a bitter smile, I spoke of whatever that popped up in my head.
“It seems to be a society with a fair bit of history. Well, the number of members is a bit low but…”
“Should I join as well…?”
Seeing Han Dasom closing in from the side, I smiled and pushed her away slightly.
“Nah, you said you enjoyed taking pictures right? It’s not right for me to stop you from doing the activities you enjoy.”
“I don’t mind though…”
She seemed a bit dispirited but after throwing a glance at her, I turned around.
“I’ll get going then.”
“Yah. See ya.”
Ah right, I needed to take Song Mirae with me as well.
After locating Song Mirae who was lively teasing the angry Jun Shihyuk, I dragged her out of the class.
“Is this the right place…?”
As her foot touched the floor, it creaked which startledly made her fall back.
Thinking that she truly was a lady of a rich family to be surprised by things like that, I clicked my tongue before stopping and looking around.
The worn-out corridor continued without an end. The wooden tiles on the floor showed signs of weathering and the walls had paint falling off, while the interior design didn’t follow the recent trends and the windows creaked from the wind.
Right now, we were in the Old Main Building of Future Performing Arts High School.
“…I thought the Old Main Building wasn’t being used.”
Perhaps insecure about the status of the floor, Song Mirae carefully walked and complained.
“If it wasn’t being used, they would’ve demolished it already instead of leaving it be.”
Seeing her pouting lips, I turned around.
Fitting its history which exceeded forty years, Future Arts High had an old building but that was in the past because a few years ago, they had done a huge renovation and changed almost everything.
Therefore, we had been using the new building that had the most up-to-date equipment as the main building and for other purposes.
However, this old building was an exception. Maybe the school didn’t see the need to rebuild it, but it had been left as is and now it was being used as storages and rooms for societies.
In fact, it just appeared old and the building itself didn’t have any other problems.
“Ehew… Can’t we just join another society?”
But Song Mirae, born from the Future Foundation didn’t seem to like it.
Clicking my tongue, I quickly carried my feet.
“If you don’t want to, you don’t have to come.”
“Ah…! That’s not what I meant. Hehe.”
After walking a bit more with Song Mirae who amiably came closer and babbled, the door of the society room which I had seen before when I had previously come to locate the society room appeared from a distance.
Walking up closer to that door which had the paper reading ‘RC Society’ stuck crudely, I looked at Song Mirae once before knocking.