"This is just weird," said Mike.
"It's weird for me too," said Christine.
"Me three," said Daniel.
"We better hurry, though," said Zoey. "We don't have much time."
"I agree," Mike said, then his eyes flew to me. "So, Sam, are you ready to do the honours?"
"Not really," I answered.
"Hey, guys?" G-Dragon called out to the five of us. "We're waiting here."
"Hold your horses, GD, we're coming," Zoey said as she turned her head to look at him.
I took in a deep breath. "Ok, let's do this."
"Wait!" Daniel exclaimed before we dispersed. "Are you sure telling them is a good idea?"
"We just discussed this, Daniel," said Mike.
"I know. I just want to see if we're all sure."
"We'll be okay," I said as I held his shoulder for he was standing next to me. "You can be assured of that."
Daniel nodded his head as we soon broke away from the little group discussion the five of us had.
Everyone else was seated in the lounge while the five of us had our little discussion in the dining area and then came back to join the rest. The other four Toxins sat while I remained standing. This time around, Lee and G-Dragon were seated with the others in the lounge.
"Okay, I don't know how to put this," I said, "we don't like to talk about this subject."
"We can see that," said Lee. "Is it really serious?"
"Umm, not really, no," I said as I cupped my hands together.
"Then why did you all freak out upon hearing his name?" Mino asked. "I swear, Zoey looked like she was about to have a heart attack."
"She always looks like that when she's freaking out," said Christine.
"No, I don't," said Zoey.
Christine smiled at her. "Okay, sometimes."
"Wait, but if Sam says all this isn't serious, why is it that you all reacted like your worst nightmare came to life?" Jennie asked.
"Because it did," Daniel answered.
Jennie shook her head at Daniel and scoffed. "You five are seriously the most dramatic people I have ever met."
"But we love them anyway," said Lee.
"At least I'm not the only dramatic one," said Zoey.
"Okay, guys, look," I said, bringing them back to the matter, "all I can say is, this Johnny issue might not be serious to you, but it is to the five of us."
"Then tell us why it bothers you that he is here," said Seunghoon.
"That's where I am getting to. Now, can you all keep quiet and listen."
"Sure," said Lisa. "I love a good story."
"Do you guys remember when we made our way to Times Square?" I asked.
"Yes, we do," said Jinwoo.
"Well, do you remember when Zoey and the others talked about a guy I punched when we were back in high school?"
"Oh, yes!" Jisoo said. "The guy you were talking about was Johnny."
"Exactly." I smiled at her.
"So, you punched the guy and then what; you made an enemy out of him and you've been that way ever since?" G-Dragon asked.
"Yaaa..., the problem is, that wasn't the first time we ever had such an encounter with him."
"For as long as we can remember, Johnny was always teasing us till he finally graduated," said Mike.
"And why was that?" Jinwoo asked.
"Because he liked Sam," said Daniel.
"Really? I thought he liked me," said Zoey. Everyone else apart from us, Toxins, looked at her with puzzling looks. Soon, she laughed and waved her hand. "I'm kidding. He really did like Sam."
"He liked Sam that he pretended to like Zoey to try and get closer to Sam," said Christine.
Zoey's face grew grim and I knew she was remembering what happened at that time. "Ya, he is such a jerk," she said.
"An awful jerk," said Daniel.
"When he did that, we had had enough of him and we tried our best to avoid him," I said. "But since he was the most popular guy in school, it was difficult. That's when a lot of incidents started happening. Like fights, including me punching him in the face when we were in the school bus."
"And you never got in trouble for it," said Seunghoon, as he smirked.
"But when we tried to get back at him, it would always backfire," said Mike.
Christine laughed. "I remember when you tried to put a gecko in his locker during football practise and the coach caught you," she said.
"Well, the good thing was he hadn't seen me try to remove the gecko from my backpack. He was just curious and he let me go when I lied that I was looking for something. I did feel bad for not putting it in there."
"He didn't like such things, did he?" Zoey asked.
"No, he didn't," I said. "Remember during biology class in 11th grade when we were told to dissect a frog? He let out a scream even before his partner laid a knife on the thing."
"That news went round school like wild fire," said Christine.
"Ya and the school made a big deal out of it."
"So let me get this straight," said Lee, "you guys don't like this Johnny because he liked Sam and he tried to use Zoey just to get to Sam?"
I looked at Zoey whom I also found looking back at me. I looked over at Mike who was looking at Daniel, and then he went on to look at me. Christine and Zoey shared a look before Christine went on to look at Daniel. Daniel also returned her look and then he went on to look at me. I then turned to look at Christine, who was also looking back at me.
"Wait, a minute," said Rosé. "What's with that look?"
"What look?" Daniel asked.
"The look that you all shared just now. I saw it and you can't deny it."
"Wait, is it the look that they give one another and then they pass it on to the next?" Lee asked.
"They do that when there's more to the story," said Lee as she looked at me. "Don't think I don't know."
"Well, for now, all you can know is what we've told you so far," I said. "Johnny is a jerk."
"Johnny is a jerk," said the other four Toxins all together, like a jury condemning a criminal.
"Okay...," said Mino, "but all that was when some of you were in high school. Maybe he's changed."
"Or he's still the same," said Mike.
"I'm sticking with Mike on this one," said Zoey.
"I'm with Mino," said Seungyoon. "People change and whatever he did in the past doesn't have to stick with you guys right now."
"You're right on that one, Seungyoon," I said. "But some of us are going to keep our guard up. A leopard doesn't change its spots."
"So are we going to continue working on the song or what?" Jennie asked.
"Looking at the time, I think we can work on it for like an hour," I said as I looked at the time on the clock on the wall behind me.
"Well, I would like to stay and see how this thing goes, but I have to be somewhere," said G-Dragon as he stood up from the couch.
"Really?" Christine asked. "It looked like you had no plans but to taunt us this weekend."
"Trust me, the news about you guys making an album, is hilarious." We all threw him a look and he quickly changed his statement. "I mean, it's shocking."
"Where do you have to be anyway for you to leave so early?" Jisoo asked.
"I've been invited to a party," said G-Dragon with a smile on his face.
"Awww," Zoey muttered angrily. "Can I come? I know I won't be able to go with this album thing going on."
"You're right," said Lee. "Collins will kill you if you go."
"And I don't think I'm in a mood for it." Zoey shrugged her shoulders. "I don't even know why I asked. I still feel exhausted with all that happened yesterday."
"Alright, then," said G-Dragon. "Your loss."
"Not everyone is going to cry about it," Mike said.
G-Dragon went round the couch as he started to make his way out of the lounge. "I'll see you all later. All the best with the album, and make sure to see all the pics I'm going to post on Instagram."
We all waved at him and said bye. Some of us told him to have a good time. As soon as he left, I quickly took his seat next to Lee. I felt exhausted, that I dropped next to her like a rock.
"You seem tired," said Jennie as she looked at me with a worried look. "Is it about Johnny?"
"I don't even want to think about him," I said as I rubbed my face. "I already feel pressured with this album thing."
"Ya, we all are," said Lisa.
"Why don't you all meet tomorrow or on Monday?" Lee suggested. "You've made progress on the song and as much as you want to continue, you all look tired."
I looked at everyone seated in the lounge and I could see what Lee meant. I hadn't seen how tired we all looked. We didn't seem that way at first, but we did now.
"Lee is right," I said. "We all need to rest."
"Now that you've mentioned it...," Seungyoon started to say but he ended up stretching his arms out wide and yawned. "... I think I need a nap."
"Then we can meet later, maybe tomorrow after we've had enough rest," I said as I also yawned. Goodness! Yawning is definitely contagious.
Everyone agreed and we all stood up from our seats. We started to make our way to the elevator, escorting BlackPink and WINNER.
"Hey, I hope you guys don't go looking for trouble with Johnny," said Rosé as she summoned the elevator.
"With an album to make and longing for some sleep, not in a million years," said Zoey.
"We won't even bother knowing his room number, trust me," said Daniel.
"Okay, we sure hope so," said Seunghoon.
The doors to the elevator slid open and we all said goodbye to each other as the other two groups entered the elevator.
After the doors closed, Daniel yawned. "It's a good thing we ended this meeting," he said.
"Come on you, Toxins," said Lee as she stood behind us in the hall. "There's still time for all of you to catch up with sleep."
"Ya, let's go," said Christine as she turned around and stretched out her arms. "I can't stay up any longer."
The five of us all made our way to our rooms. It was three going to four in the afternoon and it was the perfect time to have a good sleep before waking up in the evening.
As Zoey closed the door behind her after we entered our room, I removed my phone in my pocket and threw it onto the bed and made a bee-line for the bathroom. I had to get out whatever I had in my system before going to bed.
When I was done, I went back into the bedroom and found Zoey already on her bed and inside the bed covers. She looked like she had just fallen asleep.
"Zoey?" I called out to her.
"Mmm," she opened one eye. "What is it?"
"I thought you had fallen asleep," I said as I dropped onto my bed.
"I was until you called out my name." She closed her open eye.
"Sorry." I put my phone aside, next to the bed lamp. I drew away my bed covers and covered myself with them. "You usually fall asleep so easily."
"I know." Zoey smiled, still with her eyes closed.
I lay my head on the pillow, preparing myself for sleep. I felt all the weight in my head fall onto the pillow and I realised how tired I was. I wanted to check on something on my phone, but with my whole body on the bed, it wasn't worth it. I was too tired to even lift a finger. I would check it out later.
I felt my eyelids get heavier and heavier. I was just about to close my eyes when Zoey called out to me:
"Yes, Zoey?" I responded, my eyes itching for some sleep.
"Do you think Johnny will trouble us like he did before now that he's here?"
"Well, I hope not. I hope he's really changed like the others said. We don't need his melodrama right now."
"Ya, you're right." Zoey yawned. "I hope he's changed too."
And just like that, our conversation ended. The last thing I remember before drifting off to sleep, was looking at the window and up at the clear blue sky. Looking at it brought a certain calmness in me. Or was it because I was just tired? It didn't matter. I felt my body relax like I was floating on a cloud. Then I knew nothing more afterwards.ns 22.214.171.124da2