I stammered out, “Um… so, what I want to say is that… Ruda isn’t the type of person who you’re thinking, ma’am. He’s such a warmhearted kid who still can’t forget the person… the hyeong, who took care of him a decade ago. That’s why he’s trembling his hand if that hyeong is in trouble.”
While I talked that way, Ruda’s hand, that was shaking involuntarily, gradually decreased. I switched my gaze to Ruda and found out that the look in his eyes was now calm down, so I released his hand from mine.
I continued, “And as I mentioned earlier, I received a lot of help from Ruda. Not only did he save me from the kidnapping incident but also when there were some bad rumors about me at school… Beyond that when I wasn’t confident about myself…”
Taking a deep breath, I went on speaking, “Ruda told me many good words and did great things to me. Above all, he was always just there right next to me.”
I concluded at a slow pace, “I believe that those soothing words or responses are only available from a person who also felt so lonesome.”
With that remark, a moment of silence swept the rooftop.
Rolling my eyes, I glanced around to read others’ countenances. While Yi Jenny still fastened her gaze at me, Yeo Ryung and Jooin were somewhat nodding their heads.
Lucas was even turning his mouth up slightly to resemble the hint of a smile as if he didn’t seem to matter anymore what would happen to him afterward. His grin embodied support and a bond of sympathy. The moment I smiled after him, Yi Jenny’s mouth opened, at last. I turned my head.
“Do you still wish to be my successor?”
Lucas’ eyes opened wide. Blinking swiftly as if he couldn’t believe what she had just said, Lucas slowly nodded at her.
“Yes, I do… but it’s already been a decade, and I’m not sure if things can change…”
“True, it’s exactly ten years that you’ve been deceiving me.”
Lucas soon closed his mouth at Yi Jenny’s cold remark. Her following words made my eyes wide open again.
“Lucas… to be honest, you’re utterly the opposite of whom I’m looking forward to as my successor.”
“Excuse me? Oh…”
“The fact that you’ve deceived me is worse than you think.”
Watching the two sharing a conversation, which sounded difficult to understand what was going on, I soon grinned at her following remark.
“However, I’m giving you a chance since I appreciate your effort that you were determined to achieve your goal with all might even though you were stabbed in your ribs at the age of fourteenth.”
Yi Jenny finally drove a wedge into Lucas, who froze and replied that way.
“If you deceive me once again, you’re really gonna pay for this.”
While Lucas became at a loss of words and turned stiff, Yi Jenny turned around and murmured, “How ridiculous it is! I was just completely playing into a kid’s hands; besides, now I should adopt a foster son unexpectedly.”
Yi Jenny turned back and shouted at Lucas, who was standing blankly as if he still didn’t grasp the situation.
“Come on, what are you doing there? You aren’t trying to keep talking in this place, are you?”
“… Uh… yes!”
“We’re gonna further our conversation in the reception room.”
Yi Jenny, who was again heading toward the iron door, didn’t look like a warder anymore as she did at the time when she haled Ruda to a prison-like space.
Things proceeded smoothly afterward.
While we all kept our eyes out, Yi Jenny organized some documents and made Lucas sign a few things. Still, she grumbled, “So, you completely deceived me at the age of fourteenth, huh?”
“Oh, um… haha…”
Scratching his head in embarrassment, Lucas kept on reading the whole document. We watched the whole sight while sitting on a couch on the other part of the reception room. Ruda, Yeo Ryung, Jooin, and I, the four of us…
I whispered and explained roughly about what had happened in the past to Jooin and Yeo Ryung, who didn’t know the truth of the incident that took place ten years ago. I considered that the two would also get astonished at Lucas’ bold action that even deceived people on his side; however, Yeo Ryung and Jooin paid attention to something utterly different.
Opening her eyes frightfully, Yeo Ryung diverted her gaze onto Lucas and uttered savagely, “So, that bastard said to Donnie, she’s an idiot?”
Shoot! Nothing could calm down Yeo Ryung, who entered that fierce mode. Everything was wrapping up quite peacefully now. In this situation, how could I prevent the disaster that would soon occur in this place?
That was when Yi Jenny flung a question.
Ruda, who was sitting beside me, quickly raised his head, replying, “Yes?”
Displaying a calm look on her face, Yi Jenny continued, “Aside from Lucas becoming my successor, I have a right to exercise a certain level of influence on your education as your guardian.”
Ruda bit his lips in a pale face. I also furrowed my forehead since I had a rough idea of what would be said.
Indeed, a question that was quite the same as what I just thought returned. Looking in this direction with her tranquil, black eyes, Yi Jenny asked, “Do you think that school is necessary to you?”
Crossing her legs in the opposite direction, Yi Jenny kept on speaking, “That academy belongs to a quite high-level educational institute in this country, but it’s still a regular high school. Don’t you think it’s too uncomfortable to fit you into some silly PE classes?”
Sealing his mouth tightly, Ruda didn’t respond. Meanwhile, Yeo Ryung, Jooin, and I rolled our eyes to study Yi Ruda’s face.
We couldn’t help doing that reaction since we were here to rescue Yi Ruda. Although we met him and solved things out eventually, what mattered the most was Yi Ruda’s own opinion.
I, of course, believed that Ruda would prefer returning to school, but now I had come to think of it, that was just my mere conjecture.
Wouldn’t Ruda feel better anywhere he could get away from Yi Jenny?
Now that Yi Jenny no longer regarded him as her successor, wouldn’t he be able to live a freer life in a different environment that would better suit him?
A heavy silence prevailed around the space.
Meanwhile, Yi Ruda, who drew our attention, opened his mouth, at last.
His following words then made me heave a sigh.
“I don’t think that school is necessary for me, but…”
“I guess the kids in that school needs me.”
I burst out of breath that I had held back. Jooin was flaunting a slight grin beside me. I could hear Yeo Ryung murmuring bluntly, “… At least not Donnie.”
Ruda continued, “Although I was a nobody or not such a great person, those kids regarded and needed me as their friend. I also thought that the image they had about me was false; that was why I felt guilty.”
Yi Jenny asked, “So?”
Putting his hand on his chest, Yi Ruda kept on speaking, “However, that image was just another side of me… one of my true colors in a different circumstance. That was also me.”
Ruda concluded briskly, “I want to see how much I can change while being with those kids.”
Looking at Yi Ruda talking that way, Yi Jenny slightly narrowed her eyes as if she felt dazzled; however, that didn’t last long. Silence returned to the reception room. I touched my hands in tension.
At that moment, Yi Jenny called me, “Donnie, was it you? Did you say that Ruda also has the right to change as he wants?”
“Excuse me? Oh, um, yeah…”
Replying with my eyes open wide, I felt my heart almost exploding. It was me who dared to say that to Yi Jenny fearlessly.
However, if there was a difference between the life that Yi Jenny and Yi Ruda expected to live, it should be adjusted by thorough conversations. Yi Jenny should not make a conclusion of what she was looking forward to Yi Ruda in advance. Having those thoughts in mind, I heaved a sigh.
My parents could persuade me to become someone in the future; however, they didn’t have the right to force me on their dreams. Besides, no matter how many conversations I had shared with others about what I wanted to be, I should find my own dream and path for my future.