When I reached the end of the field, I could see the houses perched on a hill in front of me. This was it, I was entering the human realm. I took a deep breath and sprinted the rest of the way. I changed to a slow walk as I saw a couple walking a dog round the corner. They waved at me, and I waved back, still not used to human communication. I remembered thinking it was a little silly when I was young that humans waved their paws in the air as a greeting, To a fox or a bear, that was a threatening thing. As the couple with the dog passed, I thought about how I could act human. I had watched them all my life, but I didn't know if I could ever fit in and become one of them.
I was so focused on this, that I actually bumped into someone, and turned to see a guy chasing after a girl. I had seen enough of this to know it was a break up scene, or even a make up scene, but I didn't really want to stick around to find out which one would happen. I expected him to keep going, but he looked at me strangely, before running after the girl again.
I looked down, and noticed that I had no shoes. This was normal for a Gumiho, but not a human. I walked through the neighborhood and found a corner store. But I had no money! Defeated, I found a place to sit by a local park, and wondered what to do next.
"Excuse me." I heard a young voice say.
A little girl walked up to me and sat down beside me. I waited for her to say something, but she simply sat there and twiddled her thumbs. I watched, mimicking the movement until I saw her stop and stand up quickly.
For a moment, I couldn't breathe. I knew I would see him again, but I didn't realize that the human I had watched, who was so kind to others and seemed to be very cheerful and happy, lived so close to the Divine Forest.
"Did you wait long?" he asked the little girl as he held a bag in front of her.
"Thanks big brother!" She shouted with a grin, and sat down beside me again, opening the bag.
"Who's this?" the human asked, staring at me.
"I don't know." The little girl replied, pulling out a bubble wand.
The human held out his hand and smiled, "I'm Dong-Sun Park." He sat down beside me.
"This is my little sister Hana."
I nodded and shook his hand.
"What's your name?" he asked
"Sakura." I replied. "Sakura Gu."
"Gu?" he asked, "That's an interesting last name."
"So is Park." I replied, and he laughed.
"Well it's nice to meet you Sakura." Dong-Sun said. "Although your name isn't Korean."
"It's Japanese." I told him, "My father named me after my mother's favorite flower."
It wasn't far from the truth, but I had to leave out that my father was a Divine Being.
"Are you lost?" Dong-Sun asked.
I looked at him, wondering what I should say. If a human was lost, they were usually upset. Every human I had seen who was lost was usually crying or shouting for the person they were with.
"No. I'm not lost." I answered.
"Is your family nearby?" he asked.
"I'm just curious." Dong-Sun said, watching his sister blow bubbles. He offered me a bubble wand, and taught me to hold it up to the wind, creating strange see through orbs that disappeared after a while.
"My family is actually far away." I said finally. "I don't know if I will see them again."
"I'm sorry." Dong-Sun said. "My family's not that far away, but they are rarely home. It's up to me to entertain my sister this summer."
I smiled at Hana, and she twirled in a bubble wall.
"Would you like to hang out with us?' Dong-Sun asked. "We don't have much, but I'm sure Hana would like a girl around. Her brother's kind of boring."
I looked at him. He really was a nice human. Something about his offer seemed uncommon and very familiar at the same time.
"Sure." I replied, not understanding what "hanging out" meant.
"My friend is throwing a barbeque tonight." Dong-Sun said, "You should join us."
He stood up and held out his hand, waiting for me to take it. Hana giggled and tugged her brother's arm.
This seemed very strange, and he didn't even know me. Usually humans took a while to warm up to other humans.
"Why are you asking me to join you?" I asked.
He seemed shocked by the question, so I wondered if I had said anything wrong. Then he smiled and shook his head.
"I can't leave a girl out here all by herself." he said. "Especially when her family is far away."
I stared at his hand, then took it, following Hana, who found the sidewalk.
Dong-Sun walked next to me, keeping an eye on his little sister.
As we walked, I began to wonder what he would think if he knew I wasn't human. Would he be able to accept me? Would Hana?
A wind whipped around the trees and I took a deep breath. This was my first step into the human world. I didn't want to take it for granted.