"Um – Hey, I haven't received one…"
I spoke sheepishly to a girl in front of me and she turned on her seat to face me. Well, she did not actually look at me, for she was avoiding the eye contact and somehow looking at the edge of my desk. She blinked her eyes as if she just woke up from a long sleep.
It was the winter of 2009, the very first day at Jamsil Girls' High School. We were at a cold and unfamiliar classroom, sitting in cold and unfamiliar desks and chairs. The classroom was full of 30 strangers and my seat was at the far back. Our temporary teacher started to hand out new textbooks but in my row there was one book lacking, that was, mine.
The moment she looked back I felt something unrealistic for her. Her face and body was really tiny to my surprise. She was wearing a jet black duffle coat, so big for her little figure that she looked like a small bat. The coat was all dusty, and I cannot help but imagine her chucking the coat at the corner of her room after every time she wore it. Shoulder-length dark hair was not really combed and it tangled wildly. Her small face and dark skin reminded me of the Tiny Black Pepper Imp from Harry Potter.
"Er…" She mumbled something in a not-positive-and-not-negative-either way. I stared at her for a while and just raised my hand myself and said, "Mister, we need one more here," for she did not seem willing to help me. She turned back slowly without any change of expressions. I spent the rest of the day counting dusts on her coat.
And that was the first day I met Bible. She had hundreds of nicknames (though almost 99 percent was from me) but Bible was what I called her most often, because her real name was Seongkyeong, same as the Korean word for 'the Holy Bible'. As lots of old friends do, I do not really remember the middle stage of our friendship. Maybe we got close because of our seats were close. In our class, the teacher decided our seats by the attendance number. We were 5 and 6 each, so I usually sat right behind her.
Her appearance is just like one animal, and that is a sloth. Slight dark skin, tiny body, drowsy smile and heavy eyes, all reminded me of a sloth. And not just the appearance, but her action is just like a sloth's. Every now and then I heard her muttering "I'm too lazy," for three years in high school. Unfortunately, the laziness did not just stay in her but crept out from her tiny chest and contaminated me as well. Soon my words came out as slowly as her. Along with many activities we started feel lazy to stand in the lunch line. Bible and I remained sat in our seats, chatting or doodling, and only stood up after all girls in the line got their meals. "If God created man from clay, I'd say he created you from laziness…" I often said to tease her, and she answered with a half-angry squeal or a simple chuckle.
My thought was that sometimes she felt lazy to even keep contact with some people. There were the church people, an annoying boy she met by chance or the college friends. Bible changed her phone number at least seven times as far as I know, all to avoid unwanted messages. And the important thing is that I survived in her phone book through all the pruning process. And it is quite an honour to me, after four years, still being one of the friends of the lazy, wild Bible.