Yoona finds herself pacing the corridor leading to the staff offices. She doesn’t really want to do this but the test is coming up in three days and she needs help. Desperately. Sooyoung tried to help her for the past two days but they both quickly realized that Sooyoung probably needs as much help as she does at this point so this helpline has gone south.
“Yoona? Is that you?”
Yoona freezes in mid-step and puts her foot down abruptly, spinning around to face the music. Her teacher looks fresh with fair complexion and pretty, short ash brown hair teasing her shoulders and her voice is as soothing as usual. Very attractive. “Good afternoon, Ms Kim.”
“What are you doing here?”
“I . . . well, I actually need your help but I wasn’t sure if you’d be in so I was kinda thinking if I should look for you in the office.”
Ms Kim takes a quick look at her watch. It’s a Casio, Yoona observes. An elegant, white strapped Sheen. “I have a meeting in twenty minutes.” Yoona’s heart sinks. “But it shouldn’t last long. So if you can wait something like thirty minutes, I can meet you at one of the study benches.”
Yoona smiles as her heart lifts. “I can wait. I’ll wait at a bench in the next block. Near the vending machine.”
“I think I know where that is. I’ll see you there.”
With happy feet, Yoona half-skips to the next block. The bench next to the vending machine is unoccupied. Fantastic. She sits down and puts her backpack beside her. Taking out her art textbook, she resumes reading from where she last stopped. Post-Impressionism to Fauvism. “Gawd,” Yoona mumbles under her breath. How is she going to pass the test with just three days left?
She’s reading and thinking deep thoughts when a voice interrupts. “Yoona, thanks for waiting.”
Yoona’s head snaps up too quickly. She may have pulled a vein. “Hi, Ms Kim.” That was smooth, Yoona. Not awkward at all. Nope.
Ms Kim smiles. Her teeth are really neat and pretty. “So how can I help?”
Yoona flashes a sheepish grin. “Maybe if you could explain Post-Impressionism to Fauvism . . .?”
Ms Kim spins the textbook around and glances at the page before turning it back to Yoona. “You’ve made a lot of progress in half a week. Alright. Let’s get into it.”
One hour later, Yoona is smiling widely and it isn’t because she thinks Ms Kim’s blue and white striped blouse looks really good on her. Neither is it because Ms Kim is wearing a wonderfully distracting scent. It’s because Ms Kim is a really good teacher and she has unwrapped the mystery that surrounded the entire period of modern art. How does she make everything sound so simple?
“Are you good now?”
Yoona nods with enthusiasm. “Yes. Thank you so much. It’s all clear to me now.”
Ms Kim smiles. “Good. It’s all worth it then. Even if I had to knock your head at least ten times in the past hour.”
Yoona blushes. “I’m sorry, Ms Kim. You have too many distractors.”
Ms Kim looks down at herself. “Distractors?”
“Your teeth, your hair, your eyes, your nose—”
“Hold on. I thought you said my voice is distracting? When did it become all these other things?”
“I like you.” What are you saying, Yoona! “I mean, I like you as a teacher. And you’re very pretty.”
Ms Kim chuckles. “So I should wipe off my makeup and put on a deep, rough voice to get your attention back on the topic.”
“You would be pretty even without makeup, Ms Kim. You have nice big eyes and a cute little nose and your lips—” Shut up already, Yoona!
“So do you,” Ms Kim says with a smile. “You have lovely features too. Everyone says you’re the prettiest girl in the Class of 2008. I daresay, you’ll be absolutely drop-dead gorgeous when you’re my age.”
“How old are you, Ms Kim?”
“I’m six years older than you.”
Ms Kim smiles and nods.
“Oh . . .”
Yoona shakes her head. Then nods.
“Last question for you.”
“Do you keep in contact with students after they graduate?”
Ms Kim bows her head and laughs. “You’re a really smart girl, Yoona.” She nods. “Yes, I do have the numbers of some students and we meet up sometimes, the whole class.”
Ms Kim’s answer perks Yoona up considerably and she flashes a wide grin. “I see. Okay. Thank you, Ms Kim.”
Ms Kim’s chuckle is an important part of her charm. “Study hard, Yoona. I hope you do well for the test this week.”
“I will, Ms Kim.”
Ms Kim’s parting smile will be in Yoona’s daydreams. “Go home safe, Yoona.”
Yoona’s smile is bright as she gets up to leave as well. Ms Kim has just made her day. Her week, even. Now to find her pig of a friend, Sooyoung, who is probably hanging out in the canteen with their classmates, and eating.