I bought a cup of hot of lemon tea from the vending machine an hour later. I passed by the newsroom again and I saw her still sitting in the same position.
That’s weird, I thought. At that time of the day she would usually be running around rushing the printers to get the newspaper for the week out. Taking naps on campus wasn’t part of her usual routine.
I walked to her slowly, trying to choose the right words to say in my mind.
As thought she’d sensed me coming in, she suddenly sat up and looked at me.
“What is it?” she sounded annoyed.
“Are... Are you okay?” I tried my hardest to sound genuinely concerned. She looked pale.
She looked away and dropped her head on the table again. I sat down next to her and tried to find out what was wrong.
“Joon-sshi, what on earth do you want?” she asked without lifting her head. I’ve never heard her snap at anyone in that way, unless it was work-related.
“Are you not feeling well? Fever? Or is it the flu...”
“Joon-sshi, you sure have a lot of questions today.”
Really? I’m sorry then. I muttered under my breath.
She felt bad for snapping at me. “I’m fine. I just have a little stomach ache.”
“Why? Did you eat something bad?”
“I don’t know. I’m kinda used to it.”
She’s used to it? Did she eat something wrong? Could it be something only girls have... What do they call it? Right. Period cramps?
“Uh... Here, have some lemon tea. It should help.” I offered her the hot drink.
She finally looked up at me again. “Oh...” For once, it seemed like I’d spoken more than her.
“Don’t they usually say that it’s good to drink something hot when... it’s THAT time of the month?” my cheeks flushed talking about it. That should be right. I’ve heard my sister mention this before.
“That time of the month?” she looked confused.
“Period.” I’ve never felt so awkward in my life.
“Pe... Period?” she asked with her mouth wide open for a good twenty seconds which felt like twenty years. She burst out laughing all of a sudden. “You’re... You’re saying I’ve having my PERIOD??? Ha ha ha!!!”
I stared at her. I had no idea what was happening.
“You’re always trying to act so macho all the time. But you’re kinda cute when... ... Ha ha ha!!!” she couldn’t stop laughing. “I’m just having a normal stomach ache. Do you get it now?”
I wanted to bury my head in the big printers at the time.
She stood up and grabbed the cup of hot lemon tea I gave her. “Anyway, thanks for this!” And she went out.
I nodded again.
So, her pain is gone?