Standing in front of the door of the hospital room, Kayla took a deep breath before opening the door. 

Let’s think of money, Kaylee. No one pays as much as this child’s guardian.

Kayla, who remembered the amount of money that was stamped on her bank account every month, took her hand to the handle. 

Even though the door opened with no noise, the boy sitting against the wall of the bed turned his head to the door. 

The sunlight that came through the wide open curtains poured down the boy’s black hair, left cheek, and white paper books. 

In the most tranquil scene, Kayla curled her damp fingertips, then loosened them, and gave a voice in a higher tone than usual. 

“Hi, Dohyun! Were you reading a book again today?” 

A bright, awkward greeting. 

Dohyun nodded weakly, as if he didn’t notice it. 

“Really? Wait a minute. Let’s read it together.” 

Kaylee took off her jacket, hung it on a hanger, went to the bathroom in the hospital room, and washed her hands. 

Walking to the chair next to Dohyun’s bed with a strangely slow movement, I remembered countless thoughts again. 

Why do I hate this kid so much? 

It had been a year since she met Dohyun. 

It was a daily question, but Kayla still couldn’t get the answer. 

I like children. She had a child about the same age as Dohyun. She should be more sympathetic to him compared to other people. 

If she didn’t feel sorry for a sick person, she wouldn’t have been doing a job as a caregiver. 

But why? 

Kaylee recalled the moment she first met Dohyun. 

That was when rumors about Dohyun were already spreading little by little among caregivers. 

A child they didn’t want to care for, no matter how much money they were paid. 

That was Dohyun’s story that Kayla heard. 

Kaylee didn’t take the rumor seriously. 

She concluded it was a rumor made by stupid racists because she knew the child was Asian. 

She vowed to take good care of the child who would have been hurt by those rude and mean people. 

That resolution fell apart the moment she met Dohyun. 

He’s such a gentle and kind kid…. 

Kayla swallowed a sigh as she stopped herself from running outside the room. She shook her head and sat down. 

“What’s the title of this book?” 

“It’s Demian.” 

It’s a hard book for an eight-year-old to read. But Kaylee answered familiarly.

“Are you going to keep reading? Or do you want to play?” 

Dohyun’s black eyes, which had been calm at Kayla’s question, showed a faint light.

Dohyun answered in a slightly louder voice than before. “I want to play.” 

It was still a calm tone for a child, but Kayla, who found the excitement in the voice, smiled without realizing it. 

The emotion that crept up on the child’s face, which was expressionless, was so lovely that she forgot her repulsion for a moment. 

It wasn’t just because it was a child. She had never seen such a pretty child. 

Is it because he’s an Asian child? 

His white cheeks were pale because he didn’t go out of the hospital room often, but it just made him look more mysterious and sometimes like a fairy. 

Contrary to that, his hair and long eyelashes were pure black. 

And most of all, his eyes that sometimes shine like stars were one of the most beautiful things that Kayla had seen in her life.

Kayla talked to Dohyun normally without realizing it herself. 

“Where should I start?” 

“Here, I’ll take on the role of Sinclair. Kayla, please take on the role of Kromer.” 

The part Dohyun pointed out was still at the beginning part of the novel. 

Kaylee, who nodded, pulled the chair closer to Dohyun’s side. 


Kayleigh cleared her throat. And I read Kromer’s lines awkwardly. 

“Is that true?” 

It was just reading a sentence, which was far short of acting. 

But at that moment, Dohyun’s mood changed in an instant. 

Kaylee blinked at the change. 

Dohyun, who became Sinclair, replied. “Of course!” 

The short answer contained the child’s nervousness and anxiety at the same time. 

His voice did not tremble at all, but his anxious eyes and stiff shoulders told her that Dohyun was nervous right now. 

She couldn’t get used to it, no matter how many times she had witnessed it. 

Dohyun, who was just next to her until earlier, completely disappeared. 

Kayla, who endured this surprise, read the next line. 

“You really did such a thing?” 

“Of course, it really happened.” 

Dohyun, who replied loudly, tried to pretend to be calm, but she felt a fear that he couldn’t hide from his slightly trembling eyes. 

At that moment, Dohyun was Sinclair. 

The lines went on and on. 

As the lines of Sinclair, who lied because she wanted to join the children, and Kromer, who held and shook such a Sinclair, continued, Kayla felt like she had become a really mean person who grabbed and threatened a young boy. 

“I really don’t have any money. Instead, I’ll give you as much as you want. Take my Indian book and my soldiers and compass.”

The child, who failed to even inflate himself falsely, begged in a weak voice. 

The boy’s anxiety, worry, self-criticism, and fear were mixed and delivered to Kayla. 

Dohyun’s face, which seemed to burst into tears at any moment, looked so shabby.

That’s how Kayla faced Sinclair as she became Kromer, a father, a mother, and Demian. 


The sound of the book pages turning over and the sound of Dohyun and Kayla exchanging lines continued without a break. 

Then, when Kayla, whose throat had become sore, coughed dryly, Dohyun, who was going to say the next line, paused. 

And Dohyun, who had been a perfect Sinclair until a while ago, quickly returned to his original form. 

“That’s it for today, Kayla. Thank you for joining me.”

“Uh… that, yes.”