Chapter 35: Chapter 35
I gave a shrug and replied, “We’re neighbors since we’re born. Wouldn’t be weird if we don’t treat each other like best buds?”
“The senior girls.”
Eun Hyung’s face showed that he immediately caught the meaning of my brief answer. Yeo Dan oppa, however, had a wry face as if he felt uncomfortable after not understanding the meaning behind my words. There was no way for him to comprehend it anyway since he was completely unaware just how attractive he is.
I shrugged again and went to the front door after hearing the doorbell rang.
There I saw Eun Jiho coming into my house with a decent attitude. What surprised me more than the fact that the guy who was going berserk earlier had now turned into a decent man with a quiet attitude was what he was holding in his hands.
As soon as saw it, I turned my head back and yelled, “Mom! We don’t need to buy meat anymore!”
“Huh? Why, why?”
Her bewildered voice rang back from the living room. I looked at smug-looking Eun Jiho and yelled out again.
“Eun Jiho brought a Korean beef gift set!”
* * *
The splendor of the setting sun surrounded the short cut green grass. The glowing sunset tinged the white concrete road across the grass was with flashing yellow and red shades sparsely. The last departing rays of the sunset flashed directly through our sparkling eyes. As I shaded my eyes from the sun while looking up at the crimson sky, I heard someone calling me from behind.
I turned my head back and saw Woo Jooin waving at me as soon as he awakened from the large bench covered with perilla leaves and onions.
My glance also caught my dad and Yeo Ryung’s father clinking their shot glasses together. The boozes overflowing their shots indicated that both were getting a little drunk.
This place was just a 5 min walk from our apartment complex, so maybe they had no concerns about driving back. I understood the situation at hand and had Woo Jooin, who was flittering towards me, all in my arms.
He hugged me tight and stepped back to look up at the sky while I was watching it turn dark. The way he stood on his tiptoes made me view him as an innocent kid who was wondering if there would be something else beyond the sky. Watching him like that made me instinctively wear a gentle grin on my face. Then I turned around again.
Eun Jiho was there leaning on a tree near the bench. His silver hair reflected the hues of nature for it turned blueish under the blue sky and reddish under the red sky.
Right now, he was sweeping his flaming orange hair back. In front of him stood Yoo Chung Young who was folding his arms as well as Eun Hyung and Yeo Dan oppa.
As I wondered and looked what Yeo Ryung was doing, I found out that she was already cleaning up the bench. Ban Yeo Ryung truly was a good girl. While those thoughts flooded my mind making me nod with confidence, Jooin who was in front of me looked back at me. His light brown hair turned golden-brown against the sunset.
He was smiling at me. Without thinking why I just followed his lead since Woo Jooin always smiled when our eyes met.
Then a peaceful silence hung between us. When I was about to look up at the sunset, Woo Jooin uttered in a trice.
“3 years had already passed, huh?”
I looked aside to see him and felt astonished after looking at his golden eyes.
Strangely, the moment Woo Jooin said the words ‘3 years,’ I thought he was referring to how the world changed 3 years ago. Although he was apparently referring to the middle school opening ceremony.
I stood still for a while and responded with a clumsy smile.
“Yeah, already 3 years.”
“It says that it takes 6 seconds to make a first impression.”
As soon as I responded, Woo Jooin began talking about a different topic. I was aware of his style of talking, which was an old habit, so I just shrugged and tried to focus on what he said.
His words, at first, sounded as if he hadn’t properly organized his thoughts before speaking for it sounded so random and senseless, but in the end, all of them connected to a conclusion.
This conversation style was, therefore, only available to people who were smart enough to comprehend Woo Jooin’s thoughts.
His voice flew through my ears like a whisper through the sunset.
“When I first saw Chun Young, he seemed to be suppressing something inside him. For Eun Hyung, he looked like someoned who knew what he was doing. As for Jiho, we’ve known each other since we were young.”
What he said at the end made me laugh. He then burst out some naughty-sounding laughter as well. His following words, however, removed the smile off my face.
“Mommy, you were like a person who suddenly fell from the sky.”
“You had the look of someone who fell from out of the skies, and you looked so confused as to why and how you fell.”
I could not move a bit for quite a while, then barely had my eyeballs on his. Eun Jiho’s voice from far apart was fading away from me. Jooin’s eyes shed with the evening sun were like freshly melted gold.
He would have felt odd about my rigid face but Jooin never showed any signs of that; however, he smiled while bending his eyes.
Then he continued, “You know, like an attractive first impression. Yeo Ryung, Jiho, Chun Young, and Eun Hyung are surely outstanding in that aspect but not as much as you, mommy.”
“A person who suddenly fell from the sky, isn’t it interesting? You have no idea how much I wanted to talk to you for the whole semester.”
He then laughed gently, shrugging his shoulders but I didn’t. I knew that he had always been a knowledgeable person but now he was like in another level. He was more than just someone who had insight, but it seemed as if he was reaching beyond what was humanly possible.
While I kept my rigid face and stood still, Woo Jooin carefully raised his fingers and tapped the back of my hand. He then wrapped his hand around mine slowly. Unlike the usual glomp he did to me, it was a very contained gesture.
He uttered, “It’s great that we became friends like this, but… can I ask you something?”
“3 years have passed, but why… are you still having that look?”
I was at a loss of word.
He then lifted his gloomy eyes that were dropped under his light brown brows and stared at me.
He asked, “Why, do you still… have that face as if we’re going to become apart and would never see each other again?”
“Is there something… something I do not know?”
As soon as he tossed that question, I started feeling immense dizziness. As I escaped his eyes, I suddenly felt that I would blackout.
From a distance, Eun Jiho’s silver hair remained sparkling under the setting sun and Yeo Ryung had stopped cleaning things out and was almost jumping out of her skin when my dad offered her a drink. Eun Hyung was… what would he look like if he heard what Jooin told me?
I had my hand around my forehead and soon straightened up my body. Woo Jooin’s golden eyes were still directed at me unflappably. I slowly broke the ice by locking my gaze on his eyes.
I closed my eyes slowly and turned my head to the people around us.
My dad and Yeo Ryung’s father were bursting with laughter on the bench. It made me want to close my eyes again. Then I uttered,
“Because of something… and it was something that you’ve already mentioned. It’s because of that reason why I’m still having that strange look on my face.”
“If I suggest acting like strangers in high school, what would you do…?”
I murmured to myself, the guy in the drama we saw on the TV earlier were different from me.
He knew what would happen to his life after two months, albeit he would die, but I have no idea when I would return to my original world. The guy would do everything to make good memories with his lover in the remainder of his life, but not me. I couldn’t. I couldn’t since I didn’t know how much time I had left
Having that in mind, on the other hand, I just kept smiling as I continued doubting myself. Chun Young told me why he liked me. so did Jooin.
Despite what they said, I was still having doubts that the only reason why they were attracted to me was that I was playing the role of Ban Yeo Ryung’s bestie. It was inevitable for me to think like that. There were 3 years left for this novel to reach its foregone conclusion.