Ban Yeo Ryung pouted her lips again.
“Don’t go, Yuri. Only you…” she cried.
‘No,’ I said to myself while covering my ears. I didn’t even want to think about whom Ban Yeo Ryung was yearning for. With my hands on my ears, I uttered, “Yeo Ryung, wake up!”
How could the person, whom she was calling out so desperately, become Choi Yuri, not me? Ban Yeo Ryung and I had been kidnapped by Choi Yuri and a group of her employees. That incident was so clear in my head as if it had happened yesterday. Around that time, Ban Yeo Ryung would have felt more afraid than I was; however, she yelled at the guys that they would gonna die if they tried to hurt me. Ban Yeo Ryung also told me that she wouldn’t let anyone harm even one hair on me. That scene was still lingering before my eyes.
But why? I showed a hollow smile.
‘At last, I’ve returned to this universe.’ That was what I thought just now. Looking back and forth between Ban Yeo Ryung and the weird clock that Jooin gave me as a present, I was deeply relieved that I had finally come back to the world I belonged to.
However, things were all screwed up now.
Taking my hands off my ears, I pressed my eyes firmly. I murmured, “After all, there was nowhere for me to be from the beginning.”
I totally misunderstood that there would be a place for me in this universe. Things didn’t go on as they had to be since I lost my memories; everything was just twisted. Choi Yuri was supposed to take my position in the original plot.
‘In the end, even the smallest things that seemed achievable weren’t mine at all,’ I murmured. The person who should be holding Ban Yeo Ryung’s hand and lying on the bed right now had to be Choi Yuri, not me; she also should have been the one chattering with the Four Heavenly Kings while standing beside Ban Yeo Ryung.
‘And maybe…’ I trembled at the thought that suddenly flashed through my mind. Cold blood seemed to spread out on my heart. Maybe the person who had to become an official couple with Yeo Dan oppa was Choi Yuri, not me.
Thinking to that extent, I pressed my eyes again.
That was when I grasped why Choi Yuri and I looked so alike. Her strange obsession with Eun Jiho and her hostility toward me became also understandable.
I opened my mouth again and murmured, “Maybe that’s because…”
That would be an instinctive hostility of a person who lost her role or position by someone else.
At that moment, Ban Yeo Ryung, who was deeply asleep beside me while I was lost in thought, moved her lips again.
“Don’t go, Yuri,” she cried again.
With a frightened look on my face, I stared at Ban Yeo Ryung. This universe might be where everything returned to their original place.
I said to her involuntarily, “Please don’t do that, Yeo Ryung.”
The moment when she dropped the last word, I leaped to my feet. Flinging the door open, I went outside to the living room.
However, the place that came into my sight wasn’t the living room in my house. Suddenly, bright sunlight was pouring down from the clear blue sky. I blinked swiftly.
I had come back to the middle school freshmen opening ceremony day; however, I was alone, unlike the fact that Ban Yeo Ryung and I had come to school together. Watching people paying attention to somewhere and whispering to each other, I also turned my head toward that direction.
“Look at her. She’s Ban Yeo Ryung, right?”
“She’s so pretty.”
“Why is she alone? She must have some friends whom she came here with.”
At the place where all the people were fixing their gazes, Ban Yeo Ryung was trudging with downcast eyes. Amid the situation, she was amazingly keeping herself upright.
Ban Yeo Ryung then suddenly raised her head and directed her eyes exactly on me in the crowds. She pouted her lips as if she was trying to say something.
However, my name didn’t fully come out from her mouth; that was it. Ban Yeo Ryung closed her mouth out of the blue, turned around, then disappeared through the entrance door with a gloomy expression. I quickly walked after her.
The moment I passed the entrance door following her, the sight in front of me suddenly flipped over and some new scenes appeared.
Eun Jiho was, once in a while, staring at Ban Yeo Ryung with cold eyes as if he was displaying vigilance. Yoo Chun Young was only concentrating on his work with a frigid expression. Showing a warm smile, Kwon Eun Hyung was taking care of everyone evenly, whereas Woo Jooin was smiling cheerfully with a face that was unable to know what he was actually thinking inside.
They were hovering around Ban Yeo Ryung but in a distance far away like those of other planets. Thus, she didn’t notice anything and was just looking outside the window in solitude. Someone then called me who was staring at Ban Yeo Ryung sitting that way in the classroom.
“Hey, I heard you went to the same school with Ban Yeo Ryung.”
I took my hand off my chin and turned my head. Baek Yeo Min was looking at me. Her hair with a hairpin on waved gorgeously near her shoulders.
She smiled and said, “What kind of kid was she?”
The scene then changed again. After going through a lot of time, Ban Yeo Ryung and I grew up and became freshmen in high school. On the very first day of school, Ban Yeo Ryung quarreled with Eun Jiho upon the student representative thing.
Watching Ban Yeo Ryung pouring out some words with a determined look, Eun Jiho was laughing as if he felt excited at the sight. Once he left the classroom, there was a moment of silence, but someone came to Ban Yeo Ryung. It was Choi Yuri.
I shook my head at that moment. “Stop,” I uttered. I didn’t want to see any further. However, the scenes quickly went on and threw out things of the past in front of me that had changed.
The senior trip, school trip, party, and Sports Day… the numerous moments that took place without me… I watched all those things with a tearful face.
The moment I thought about maybe it would have been more exciting without me, a noisy alarm rang in my ears.
I quickly raised myself. The pale light of dawn pierced through the curtains and was pouring into the room. Sitting still for quite a while, I slowly stretched out my hands then touched my neck and shoulders. They were all sweaty. The air felt cold all of a sudden. As soon as I hunched my shoulders, I sneezed, “Ah-choo!”
Thankfully, there was, at least, something to do. Thinking that way, I quickly washed myself, changed my clothes, and got ready to go to the cram school.
My feelings were quite influenced by my dreams, and the dream I had today was specific enough to work that way. Thus, if I didn’t have a precise goal, I would have just skipped all the classes today.
Holding the strap of my backpack, I just shoved my feet roughly into my sneakers and dwelled on the things I had to do today.
‘So, I should go to the bookstore and search for the web novel with the title of ‘Hae-garim,’ right?’ I said to myself.
Since it was a large bookstore in the middle of Gangnam, the book would definitely be there. However, if they didn’t carry that book, I decided to skip the classes and go straight to other bookstores just in case. Nothing was urgent than this thing. With that thought in my head, I pushed the door open and stepped outside the house. The cold wind struck my cheek as always.
My hair that grew slightly longer during winter scattered around my eyes and disturbed my sight. As I took my hair away from my view in annoyance and turned my head, I became frozen like a statue.
Her long black hair was falling straight under her chest. A pair of black eyes with long thick lashes on her beautiful white face was gazing at the empty hallway.
A girl, who looked like a masterpiece painting and didn’t fit in the apartment hallway, was leaning against the wall beside our house door. Glancing at her stunning appearance, I suddenly realized that I didn’t check how the clock in my room looked like in the morning.
‘But I was afraid that the nightmare I had would become true…’ While I was being lost in that thought, the girl slowly turned to look at me.
Her face, surrounded by the early morning fog, looked pale and expressionless like an ice sculpture. I recalled the dream I had last night while staring at her face. Suddenly, someone seemed to grasp my heart.
At that moment, the corners of her lips slowly went upward; a captivating smile spread across those lips, and at the same time, beads of tears fell down from her eyes like a meteor shower. I watched that sight while holding my breath.
While the entire hallway was sunk in silence, she detached her lips, at last. Only two words slipped from her mouth.
That was when I realized whom she was waiting for.
Standing still absentmindedly for a moment, I slowly spread my hands wide and looked at her again. She came toward me and pulled me in her arms. It was such a powerful embrace that I couldn’t even breathe.
‘Uh, hold on…’ I uttered while wriggling out of her arms. “Yeo Ryung, hold on… wait for a second…”
When I was about to say, ‘You’re almost killing me,’ her following words made my mouth shut.
“Donnie, welcome back to where you belong.”
“I waited for you so much…”