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SAM DA SOO

Sam Da Soo, the freshest water from Jeju Island and a superstar in Korean households, a sip of it, and you feel youth return, some would say. Yes, it’s mineral water, but it’s the best water someone can give you.

“안녕 [annyeong], Sam Da Soo.”

“I beg your pardon,” Ji-Seong said. The man lifted his head from the chapter he read.

“Oh, don’t you know your nickname?”

“No, I didn’t know people nicknamed me after water.”

“Anyway, thank you. I’ll be going now.”

“Hey,” Ji-Seong got up a took three steps to catch up with the girl, “don’t tell me you came to my table to say that.”

The girl adjusted the strap of her bag on her left shoulder, “I’m sorry it was a stupid bet.”

“You mean someone put you up to say that to me?”

The girl stopped as Ji-Seong now stood before her “yes, and that someone is me.”

Ji-Seong stared at her with a bewildered expression, “wait, you put yourself up to this?”

“네 [Nae=yes].”

“Waéyo?”

“I wanted to meet the already famous Sam Da Soo and Lee Seonsaeng’s worst enemy.”

“I see, okay,” Ji-Seong said and turned to go back to his seat only to be followed by the strange girl.

“That’s it?”

The man cocked an eyebrow, “what do you mean?”

“I mean, my answer was enough. You don’t want to know more?”

Ji-Seong pulled out his chair and sat down before letting out a simple, “aniyo.”

The girl posed her backpack on the table and sat down across from Ji-Seong. The man examined her; straight hair dyed auburn a little make-up she was a rookie; he could tell by the sloppy eyeliner trail.

She was a beginner for many things he also noticed when the young woman walked alongside him; she didn’t have a habit of walking with heels. Black slim pants, khaki parka, and a white t-shirt, she was a casual one.

Ji-Seong’s fan looked as innocent as a lamb; this made the man shudder. Innocence is like an antibody attacked by viruses daily until you become pitch black and an infection yourself. Innocents scared Ji-Seong, who didn’t want to tint them.

“Sorry for sitting down without your permission.”

“It’s a free space,” Ji-Seong replied as he plunged his eyes into his book.

“I’m Sonmi, Kyeong Sonmi.”

Ji-Seong remained silent.

“Guess you already know, huh?”

“Know what?” Ji-Seong asked without lifting his head book his book; he refused to look at her. The purity which oozed out of her made him uneasy; he hated dealing with innocents.

Sonmi leaned over to make a declaration Ji-Seong expected as a big revelation “I hate her too.”

Damn these pure beings, Ji-Seong thought.

Sonmi was one of those people who didn’t have much to say but tried very hard to make friends. Of course, most people would see her as a psycho and ignore her. Judging by her appearance Ji-Seong guessed she was in her first year, roaming without a group, she was pretty but an outcast, he concluded.

For the sake of it, he gave her a line, “hate who?”

“Lee Seonsaeng, she’s a 미친년 [Michin Nyeon].”

Ji-Seong lifted an eyebrow to the profanity, which sounded like it had woke up at the sound of an alarm to throw itself out of Sonmi’s mouth. Without realizing it, Ji-Seong shook his head in disapproval.

“Wae, why are you shaking your head Chae Seonbae?” Sonmi asked, slightly tilting hers in an expression which said I-thought-we-were-the-anti-Lee-seongsaeng-squad.

Sonmi knew who he was, Ji-Seong wondered if he had introduced himself.

“Uhm, listenー.”

“Sonmi.”

“Yes, Kyeong Sonmi Ssiー.”

Sonmi smiled in anticipation.

“Jigeum papaso [I’m busy night now], I have my first assignment to hand in soー.”

“Oh, chaeseonghabnida [I apologize],” Sonmi got up, her face burned red with embarrassment. Not only did she approach a first-class student who was also the newly appointed campus hottie. She obstructed his education, which his parents paid for, “sorry again,” Sonmi said before hurrying along wobbly-legged on her heels. This Ji-Seong watched, for it was quite a sight before plunging his gaze once into his book once again, only to hear the chairs around him pulled.

“Yo, Chae ssi.”

“Yo.”

“Anneyeong”

“Pushover, Soo-Hae,” Gong-Won groaned.

“I want to sit here,” the girl said and took place across Ji-Seong.

“I see you’ve met Kyeong Sonmi,” said Soo-Hae.

Ji-Seong lifted a brow. The girl appeared to know every single person on campus; without replying, Ji-Seong turned his page.

“Ah, Lee Seongsaeng’s tal, [tal=daughter],” Dae Jung said, clicking his fingers in the air as he caught on.

Ji-Seong’s ears piqued at the info, yet he kept his stern expression.

“Poor girl, it’s hard being blacklisted. Some students have so much hate towards her mother she can’t make any friends,” Dae-Jung pursued.

Ji-Seong turned another page.

“It must be so difficult to walk in the footsteps of such a charismatic and intelligent woman as Lee Seongsaeng; I can’t believe her husband left her.”

“Yeah, it was big news on campus last year; everyone said Lee Seongsaeng went crazy. Some students even imagined seeing her in nightclubs,” Dae-Jung added, making Gong-Won lift an eyebrow.

For the first time since they had intruded on Ji-Seong’s study session, the young man found interest in the conversation.

“Guys, the assignment,” Gong-Won said, bringing up the reason why they initially came to the study hall.

An irresistible desire to ask them to carry on the conversation overwhelmed Ji-Seong making the words regroup themselves at his lips’ border. Instead, he brought out his bottle of Sam Da Soo and took two huge gulps.

“Ah,” Soo-Hae sighed,” I feel blessed, ouch Oppa waelaé?” She retorted, glaring at her brother, who had just kicked her chair.

Soo-Hae wasn’t the only one to indulge herself with the vision of Ji-Seong; other groups of girls around sighed with the same infatuation.

“Sam Da Soo,” Dae-Jung said with envy. He, too, recognized Ji-Seong’s refreshing features.

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