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BLOODY LUNCH Jeonglee Choi


re you sure you’re not coming to finish up?” Grace said, going into Mr

G’s room. I nodded and went ahead to cafeteria that was right around the corner. There was a counselor’s office on my right, and a wide window with a blue frame on my left. I saw Ji Eun going in the opposite direction. I thought she had already finished her science fair project, why was she going into the hallway? She was holding a red tortilla on a snowy white plate. I walked back to her and asked: “Hey, Ji. Didn’t you finish your science fair project already? Or are you going somewhere else?” She lifted her head, noticing my voice. “Yes, I did. But I think it would be nice to help other people. I also need to check if I have everything.” I gave a big, long ‘Oh-’, then rushed into the cafeteria. As I reached the humongous line, the only thing I saw was: blond, black, and brunette. Even though I tiptoed, it was even hard to notice what was for lunch. What did I see? Yes, heads. I got pushed this way and that way until I had a headache as if my head was spinning. I mean, tall people don’t always notice me. When I got my food and walk up to the counter, I felt like I was escaping from a jungle. I searched for my friends, but of course they weren’t there. They were busy finishing up their ‘science fair project.’ I just stood there, confused by what to do next. I shake my head. Then, I saw a table with bunch of girls. “Can I seat here?” I asked cautiously, pulling the chair. “Yes sure, Why not,” One girl said, scanning me from head to toe with her gorgeous hazelnut-colored-eyes. I awkwardly sat down and started cutting my overpriced tortilla. I chewed as slowly and quietly as I could. My ‘formal’ mode went up. The greasy cheese with tomato sauce and chili spiced chicken, was simply amazing. It was quite fun listening to the girls. They were talking about One Direction. They changed their subject. I nodded without a word just like other girls. But inside, I thought ‘Oh my god, what kind of gossip is that? Seriously, it is so unrealistic!’ We randomly started banging the table. Was it some kind of game? I left my fork on the plate and joined them. I felt like I should have joined them. Bang, bang, bang! We were banging the table so hard for no actual reason. I didn’t realize that my plate was moving toward me. We banged, banged and banged as if we had a competition of ‘Who’s banging louder.’ Of course, I was part of it. My plate moved... closer... closer...closer... then bang!

Everyone looked toward me because of the loudest ‘bang’ they have ever heard. My plate fell on my lap. Hot tomato sauce slowly soaked into my red jeans, fell to my foot, and then dripped down on my shoes. Everyone froze. They only moved their eyes, first to my lap full of my lunch, then to my face. Their mouths were widely opened, hands in the air. I lifted my plate when more sauce fell from the back of the plate. I was terrified. One blonde-haired-girl with nerdy glasses stood up to get me some tissues. A girl that was talking about One Direction laughed. I seriously wanted to punch her in the face. A short girl was asking if I was okay. But she didn’t really look like she was worried. I felt my cheeks turning red from the embarrassment. I grabbed the tortilla with my hands. I slightly threw it on the plate and whipped my lap with rest of the tissues. I could barely move my fingers. I just sat there, confused. I felt tears covering my eyes but I didn’t dare to cry because something on my lap wasn’t something more than red, delicious, tortilla. I felt like someone had banged my head with hammer. I couldn’t hear anything. The way to my locker was the most embarrassing thing in the world. People were staring at me and whispering about me. Well, they might have not done that, but everyone looked like an enemy to me. No one was next to me. Even the girl that had brought me a tissue. Even the girl that had asked me if I was okay, no one. The way to my locker was a trek. It was long and full of frustration. I met Grace! She was right outside of the class, printing her research papers. I ran toward her. She was looking at me like ‘what the heck happened to you?’ I wanted to explain but I couldn’t open my mouth. I just swung my hand trying to explain. “Dude, I think you have to change into your PE clothes.” Grace slowly said, nodding her head. “I know... I know.... But...” Grace held my arm and pulled me to my old, green locker. She forced me to open it and I did. I had to do it. The orange bag in the corner of my locker was my PE bag. She held it and gave it to me. She sent me to the bathroom. Of course, I was stunned the entire time. In my left hand I had my PE bag, on my right hand? I just left it awkwardly next to my wet legs. I changed into my PE clothes, but I couldn’t dare to go back to the cafeteria. I was afraid of people’s eyes. Well, people that saw me with tortilla all over me. I just jogged into the white door, which was the science room. Good that I had band next period. I didn’t have to worry about embarrassment because there weren’t any of the girls who were sitting next to me in my lunch table. I came early so I waited for my friends. The first person was Ji

Hyeon. She came close to me, waving at me. I felt like she was the angel who saved me from the embarrassment. She came close to me and asked why I was wearing my PE cloth. I tried to explain. It is too long story. Only thing I said was that I changed because I flipped my dish and spilled red-sauce-covered tortilla all over me. My face turned red. One drop of tear came out of my eye. But you know what? You’ll not going to believe this. I was laughing. It has past about 1 year ago, but I still regret of my act that day. I don’t really know why I was so angry, even now. After that day, before I go to bed, I still say to myself: ‘why was I so mad that day? It was just a tortilla that I spilled.’ The lesson that I have learned that day is things that you think is the most embarrassing thing in the world might be nothing when you step back.

“Hot tomato sauce slowly soaked into my red jeans, fell to my foot, and then dripped down on my shoes”

About the author Jeonglee Choi is born in Chunan, Korean in 2001. As a child, Jeonglee liked reading and writing. Her first book was ‘time store’

“Terrific, I can’t believe that ‘bloody lunch’ is just a first step.” -Roald Dahl “Funny, wise, disgusting, sad… This is the best book for young adults.” -The times

©2013-2045 Jeonglee Choi ISBN 62-7456-24563-3

Jeonglee c memoir  
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