The thing that he most liked was, of course, Ban Yeo Ryung calling him in that situation. He would then open the door and step out of his room. That moment was the best thing for him. Perhaps he enjoyed staying in his room quietly since he could listen to his sister calling him at any time.
On the other hand, Ban Yeo Ryung had so many things that she liked or disliked. Besides, she clearly expressed what she wanted. The look on her face was very obvious. Unless she showed an awkward smile while practicing good manners to people she felt unfamiliar with, Ban Yeo Ryung always acted that way.
What she liked was a careful touch or question, the feeling that she was being protected, lightning or thunder, cats or dogs, and cute animals. However, she hated attention, receiving over compliments, people touching her mindlessly, getting praised for her beauty as if evaluating stuff, and Ban Yeo Dan cooking.
Ban Yeo Ryung hated those from the bottom of her heart. Ban Yeo Dan tried eating what he had cooked and thought nothing was wrong, so he didn’t know why she was reacting that way. (He heard from his friends that he wasn’t even a human being.)
Anyway, Ban Yeo Dan liked that Ban Yeo Ryung was obvious about what she liked or disliked, unlike himself. Although his friend dissed him for having no likes or dislikes, Ban Yeo Dan even thought that it was thankful since he could suit everything to Ban Yeo Ryung. He could just hate what Ban Yeo Ryung hated and like what she liked. That was enough for him.
Ban Yeo Dan also liked the moment when he stepped out of the house with his little sister. But one day, he found himself packing his bag and coming outside the house before Ban Yeo Ryung woke up from sleep.
Looking down under his feet, Ban Yeo Dan soon raised his head and looked outside. It was sleeting on the apartment balustrade. He later wondered what if it was falling until the afternoon.
Stepping back into his house, Ban Yeo Dan took out an umbrella and came outside again. However, he looked inside his hand and murmured, “Why…?”
As if he was lending someone an umbrella, he was holding two of them in his hands. He couldn’t understand why. Actually, Ban Yeo Dan didn’t get the reason that he left Ban Yeo Ryung in the house and came out alone in the first place.
Standing still absentmindedly for a second, Ban Yeo Dan soon found enlightenment.
‘Maybe I prefer a snow shower?’ The thought flashed through his head. It was a good sign that he finally found something that he liked.
Ban Yeo Ryung hated Ban Yeo Dan’s attitude which was suiting everything to her. Since she was a nice kid, she felt uncomfortable about just receiving someone’s too much dedication even though it was from her family.
If his attitude pressured Ban Yeo Ryung, Ban Yeo Dan also hated that too. He tried hard to change himself, but a preference or taste wouldn’t suddenly come out regardless of his efforts since he had been living without it for over a decade. However, something he liked appeared out of the blue, eventually.
Ban Yeo Dan thought he would have to deliver this good news to Ban Yeo Ryung, but he didn’t want to wake her up from a deep sleep. Thus, he just bent his steps quietly and left the apartment hallway while holding two umbrellas in his hand. Even though he didn’t have a specific destination, Ban Yeo Dan descended the path stretched down to the apartment complex.
Every time he took a step forward, the slightly frozen ice made a crisp noise under his feet. If he wasn’t that athletic just like his sister, he would have slipped down and gotten hurt severely. With that thought in his mind, Ban Yeo Dan took his phone out and entered a message. He then checked the contact and paused typing in the words.
Be careful going down the hill.]
The cursor flashed at the empty recipient space. However, he couldn’t enter the number there in the end. Putting back his phone in the pocket, Ban Yeo Dan calmly traced the stream of his consciousness.
He already thought that Ban Yeo Ryung or himself wouldn’t get hurt on the frozen path since they were both athletic. In other words, it was someone else whom he tried to send the text message to.
But who on earth was it? Was there anyone else except the apartment neighbors who would walk down this path?
Being lost in thought, he soon found a convenience store out of the blue. It was the nearest store to the apartment, so many of his neighbors used that place very often. Even the part-timers there were actually living in the same apartment complex where Ban Yeo Dan lived.
It happened again this time too. The part-timer, who was standing at the cashier with a dark expression just like the sky today, loosened up her strained look when she found Ban Yeo Dan. The change on her face looked so dramatic as if a sun rose through the cloudy sky. However, it wasn’t something so surprising to Ban Yeo Dan, so he just nodded.
“Hi,” he uttered.
“Hey, it’s you, Yeo Dan! You’re the one living on the eleventh floor, right?” she asked. The girl was a college student living probably on the third floor of the same building. However, since they were living in an apartment house of corridor access, there were so many units. The two, therefore, weren’t that close to each other. In fact, Ban Yeo Dan was aware that she had entered college last year but didn’t know which school she was going to. The girl, however, looked very delighted to see Ban Yeo Dan.
She asked him with a bright look, “You’ve grown very much!”
Ban Yeo Dan looked at her in wonder. Her remark would be probably based on the last time she had seen him, but Ban Yeo Dan didn’t grow taller for the last two years.
He was growing insanely like ten centimeters every year. However, ever since he turned into a high school student, his growth stopped like a lie. Ban Yeo Dan’s mother often joked that, back then, she was concerned about her son growing too tall.
However, did the girl say that he had grown very much? Tilting his head in wonder, Ban Yeo Dan didn’t reply but just stepped back to the display stand. Whatever his response was, it wouldn’t become an appropriate answer. Besides, he didn’t want to talk too much in the morning. He felt some stinging glance at his nape but wasn’t sure though.
Ban Yeo Dan browsed the beverages over the glass door. Actually, he didn’t enjoy snacks that much, so he even didn’t know why he was here. It was just an impulsive action without any reason…
Something that seldom happened to Ban Yeo Dan was occurring already a number of times today. His wandering hand soon grabbed a beverage. As he placed it down on the cashier, the college girl covered her mouth and burst into laughter.
“Yeo Dan, do you like this? Geez, it doesn’t match you, but you’re so cute,” she giggled.
“… Yeah,” he replied.
‘Maybe I like this,’ thought Ban Yeo Dan, or else he would have not stopped by here early in the morning and grabbed a chocolate milk.
“I love sweets so much too, but weird,” said the girl. She kept on speaking to him with a swiveling smile.
Ban Yeo Dan paid her in cash instead of a card. He felt uncomfortable to further the conversation and just wanted to leave this place as soon as possible. Waiting for the girl to return him his card would feel so perplexed. That’s why he gave her cash and snatched the milk from her.
He then quickly turned around while saying, “Thanks.” With a ringing noise, the convenience store door closed. Some words came from behind him, but Ban Yeo Dan wasn’t able to hear that from the sound of the bell on the door.
Those who picked up Ban Yeo Dan, who was wandering around the streets, were his friend on their way to the library to study just in time. Now he had come to think of it, Ban Yeo Dan helped them with their studies everyday.
Since they were seniors in high school, they usually worked on the mock exam of the college entrance test. Thus, sometimes, they asked Ban Yeo Dan to solve some questions from chapters that they didn’t learn yet. Every time that happened, Ban Yeo Dan asked for some time and scanned the textbook.
Within a few minutes, he closed the book and began to solve the questions, which astonished his friends.
“He’s insane,” they exclaimed.
Ban Yeo Dan heard that plenty of times during the break. Since he was teaching them with all his heart, Ban Yeo Dan couldn’t understand why he had to get dissed that way.
Slightly squinting his eyes, Ban Yeo Dan handed them back their workbooks and wondered, ‘Since when did I start studying with these guys?’
When Ban Yeo Dan initiated a question out of the blue, everyone directed their eyes on him. Ban Yeo Dan concluded the sentence.
“Do I… like teaching people?”
The strained atmosphere loosened up in a flash. The boy sitting right next to Ban Yeo Dan replied with a dumbfounded expression.
“How do we know?”
“It’s your preference which only you know, dude.”
Other kids on the table added, “But your face doesn’t look that happy…”
“Nah, he’s always like that.”
“Hey, didn’t you see his face when he’s looking at his sister?”
Every one of his friends took a turn joking around, which soon made the table noisy at a twitch. Ban Yeo Dan, however, just rested his chin on his palm and quietly fell into thought.