Of Pocky and Pepero

SUMMARY: A South Korean transfer student is struggling to adjust to her new life here in Japan, that included getting used to the strange boy who she's been sitting next to for the past month. OC

Chapter 1: Every Morning

Soo-Jin dreaded getting up in the morning. That meant that she would have to drag herself to get ready for school—the place where she dreaded even more—and have yet another awkward breakfast with her host family members.

Every morning, she would clasp her hands together and murmur in Korean, "Please, let my evil mother repent for her evil ways and allow me to come back home out of how much kindness there is existing in her black, black heart." And then she would roll off of her futon, once again meeting the cold wooden floorboards.

Every morning, after putting her school uniform on, she would come downstairs and respond to her host mother's "Good morning, Won-san. How did you sleep?" Her reply would be laconic, and she would sit down and wait for the youngest son to come down. Already sitting at the table would be the eldest sister, as always.

"Takeru, you need to wake up earlier," the host mother would occasionally chide to her fifteen-year-old son. "You always keep your sister and Won-san waiting for you." Takeru, a third year in middle school, was a tall gangly boy who wore his uniform in a ruffled kind of way. He would cast Soo-Jin an odd look that would last for three seconds before seating himself and eat breakfast, as usual.

Every morning, they would either have miso soup with rice or fish with rice. Though it may be a bit stereotypical, but Soo-Jin missed having kimchi served at the table. Of course, she couldn't impose and request as such—that would be simply rude towards the kind and gentle woman. Besides, the Fujiokas probably would mind the sharp smell of spicy pickled cabbage.

Breakfast was always a silent affair—a suffocating one, at that. Soo-Jin wondered if this was common even before her presence.

When breakfast was finished, the dishes would be cleared. Kyoko, a college student with short bouncy hair, would assist her mother in washing the plates while Soo-Jin and Takeru would prepare to leave for school. Soo-Jin would fetch her schoolbag and adjust her thick-framed glasses, and Takeru would look like his usual disgruntled self and sling his schoolbag over his shoulder.

Every morning, the mother would bid them farewell. Soo-Jin would leave the house with Takeru, and the two would walk together in silence until they're nearing Takeru's school.

Every morning, Takeru would give her a glance and murmur, "Later."

Every morning, Soo-Jin would sigh and tread across the concrete, not caring that she was wearing down the soles of her sneakers.

Every morning, she would feel eyes fall on her every time she approached the shoe lockers. It was fine since she was used to it. She wondered if being Korean really did make her stand out within this Japanese community.

Every morning, she would go to class and sink into her seat.

Every morning, she would turn her head to the left ad catch Murasakibara mindlessly eating his snacks.

Every morning, she would think to herself, "What a weirdo."

And every morning, the teacher would come in and start today's lesson, thus initiating the same routine all over again.

Life sucked.