A/N#1: This is just a preview of the Wish Series. It is the first scene of chapter 1 (a.k.a. Phase One - The Setting Sun).
A/N#2: Not a lot happens in this chapter.
A/N#3: This is unbetaed because I wrote this up a few days ago (yes, my editor has never even read this!)
The first day of school is never supposed to be busy. The first day of school is supposed to be that achingly annoying transition day from vacation to having to work and study until one’s eyesight was compromised. For Shim Jang Academy, better known as SJA, the first day of school was always busy incarnate. The first day of March always consisted of students – old and new – returning to SJA’s campus in the secluded countryside north of Seoul. SJA was the school of choice of the ridiculously smart and ridiculously rich because of its challenging and highly praised curriculum, not to mention its limited seats for enrolment every year.
The four-storey building was surrounded by cement walls, separating the school’s grounds from the surrounding forest. The school was in the shape of a squared-out C, the root of the C being the front of the school and facing the circular drive which led to a lane and out the school gates. The west appendage of the building housed all of the school’s three years while the east wing was (from the top floor to the bottom): teacher housing, the library, the offices and staff room, and then the recreational hall. The central part of the school was where all the classrooms were located, along with the dining hall.
That first of March was heavily clouded and threatening to open up as the winter’s crisp wind embraced anyone who dared go outside. The circular drive of SJA was packed with cars and limousines as students slowly returned to campus.
From one of the fourth-floor classrooms, the young headmaster of the school peered down at the front courtyard (for there was also a rear courtyard located between the two wings) and watched over the slow trudge of cars coming and leaving. A small, pitying smile tugged at his lips as he saw one of his spoiled students ordering about her butler (or perhaps a footman, or whoever the brats brought the first day of school) to carry her luggage to her designated dorm.
He turned away from the window to the middle-aged woman who had entered the classroom, “If this school didn’t rely so heavily on tuition, I would hand-pick my students,” the headmaster admitted, leaning a shoulder against the wall and half-turning his face back to the window, “Is everything all set?”
“Yes,” she answered. Youthful in appearance, only the slight lightening of her dark hair and the way she subtly creases at the corner of her eyes revealed her true age, “I’ll be going now.”
“You won’t be able to get out in this crush,” the headmaster said lightly, turning his face to look at her, “the staff driveway by the west wing, however, should be clear if you’re anxious to leave, however.”
“All the teachers have already arrived?” She inquired politely,
The headmaster shook his head, “Classes don’t begin until tomorrow, so only those who live here during the school year have arrived; a good portion of my staff commute every day from the city.”
She nodded indulgently, not truly listening as she kept looking out the hallway every other minute. When she looked back at the headmaster, he was smiling at her, “I should be going,” she said, “But everything is okay?”
He nodded, looking back down at the front courtyard, “Are you sure you won’t stay a bit longer?”
“No… I’ve done what I came to do,” she stated abruptly. She turned to leave, but paused, one delicate hand on the doorframe, “Headmaster Park… do you think I am a monster?”
“I don’t judge – can’t judge – anyone, ma’am,” he replied honestly, “but don’t you think I’m the wrong person you’re asking?”
He watched silently as she slipped away, the soft sounds of her footsteps fading away. When he could hear her no more, he turned back to the window and looked down as more vehicles came through the school gates, driving down the long lane to the circular drive. The sky opened up and he looked up at the dark, grey sky.
Silently, he prayed, “Let’s make this a good year.”
To be continued in Summer(?) 2010...