Sam-Dong thinks he understands her; he thinks he sees who she truly is underneath her icy facade. He believes that she's this fragile, broken thing that needs to be shielded from a harsh world that just doesn't understand her prickly disposition. That she doesn't deserve the flying eggs, the harsh words, and falling flower pots.
"I'll protect you better next time," he says, with that puppy-dog loyalty of his.
She wants to yell at him, tell him that she doesn't need him. But the look of disappointment in his eyes –that he'd failed her in some way –forces the words back down her throat. "Komawo," she whispers out instead. Thank you.
God help her, she almost means it.
Not that she's unappreciative. Not that she doesn't want to be thought of that way; protected and cared for. If she's perfectly honest with herself; she kind of likes it.
She's tired of being the glue, and it's a relief to have someone else try to put the pieces of her cracked reality back together.
Every time Sam-Dong places his hand next to hers –fingers dancing nervously playing the space between –she's tempted to take his hand in hers. Tempted to believe right along with him.
But, no. Go Hye Mi may be a lot of things, but she's not a pretender.
She tried that once when she held onto that mystical "K" shaped pendant allowing herself to believe that believed long enough, rubbed hard enough good fortune would just fall into her path.
And it had, for one whole day.
Hye Mi still remembers how happy she was when her father called.
For one whole day she allowed herself to be the girl he saw.
Jin-Gook had put an end to that. He ripped that Goose's Dream right out of her pocket in front of the whole class; making her out to be a thief even he knew she wasn't.
Everyone else might've believed that her silence towards him in the week that followed was because of her anger. Because of the abuse she suffered after his betrayal.
No, his words had shamed her into silence.
"What are you doing," he hissed at her, jaws clenched.
All she do is stare back in stunned silence –for the first time in her life, Go Hye Mi is silenced -while he tells her off in front of the entire class.
She doesn't see Baek-hee clutching the pendent to her chest. Hye Mi barely even hears her choked gratitude, "Thank you. You don't know how much this means to me."
All she sees is Jin-Gooks face twisted in disgust. All she hears are his unsaid words: You're better than this. You're better than all of them. You are not this person.
And if she's completely honest with herself, his looks and his words would probably mirror her own if she'd ever stopped to take a good look at herself.
So no, she isn't angry at him and he knows it. She sees it in his smirk every time she pointedly ignores him when he walks into a room. She hears it in his voice whenever he asks her a question he knows is going to go unanswered.
He gets it. They don't need words.
Unlike Sam-Dong, Jin-Gook understands that she doesn't need to be protected from her classmates harsh words; they only fuel her drive to show that she's better than all of them.
He understands that when she lashes out and says things she'll regret later (like the time she screamed at Sam-Dong "I lied to get you here…You're nothing!", when all he was trying to do was fix her shoe), that she doesn't need someone to back down like a spanked puppy.
"It's all your fault! You ruined everything"
"People normally cry when they're upset"
Someone who lets her just be; but doesn't let her be it alone.