The next moment, I heard quick footsteps coming toward me. Yi Ruda soon hugged me in her arms then pushed me to the whiteboard. His hand was touching the top of my head. The crowds roared again.
Yi Ruda’s blue eyes on me could never be so deep and serious. A moment after, she detached her lips to speak.
“You… Do you want to be mine?”
I turned my head to the side then responded to him.
Our play was total bullshit.
After a while, Yi Ruda, who went to the hospital, grabbed my hands and whispered, “I love you,” while laying her body on the desk.
I replied, halfheartedly, “So do I.”
Regardless of the overall situation, Yi Ruda kept on her sad lines.
“The moment when I first saw you… you were the last owner of my heart.”
“Yes, I’m your last love. I’ll be with you forever.”
After speaking the line, I raised my eyes to scan the audience gazing at us. Ban Yeo Ryung, who stood between the kids in Class 1-1, was well worth seeing. There I saw demonic auras waving around her shoulders. Those who had such an uncomfortable look on their faces as much as Ban Yeo Ryung were no other than the Four Heavenly Kings. ‘You guys are already the main roles of a crazy novel but why not me… of a crazy play?’ I felt a little unfair.
In the meantime, our play was heading toward the climax. Yi Ruda whispered to me again in a sorrowful voice.
“To tell the truth, I’m… terminally ill. Only two days left before I die.”
“But my test result came out the day before yesterday, so I’m gonna die.”
I blinked my eyes nonchalantly and responded to him.
“Goodbye, my last love.”
“Yeah, farewell, argh!!”
Yi Ruda then passed away while writhing in the throes of death.
At the next scene, I stood alone in front of Yi Ruda’s grave while folding my hands behind my back. At that moment, someone, who covered his face with a hoodie, came toward my back and said in a low voice.
“Excuse me, I saw you for a while. Don’t you want to go out with me?”
I turned my head to look at him then spoke in a cold flat voice.
“I can’t love someone anymore because I only have one heart. My heart was already given to Yi Ruda a long time ago, and now I don’t have any left.”
As I spoke in a tone of a weather forecaster, kids, again, burst out laughing. The guy, then stretched out his white hand and pulled his hoodie back. Under the lights, there stood a boyish girl with dazzling blond hair.
Looking at him doing like that, I couldn’t help myself laughing. ‘Oh, no! My concept is to read the lines like a book…’ with that thought in mind, I trembled hard while closing my lips tightly. She then said to me with a smile.
“It’s me. Your only heart.”
I shouted her name out loud then jumped into her arms. That was the end of our stage.
Yoon Jung In then spoke on the mic, which rang through the speaker.
“And that was the end of the stage for Class 1-8! Thank you!’
A moment of silence went through. Soon, roars of laughter and waves of booing were brought against us. Standing on the stage, we flinched but couldn’t hide our giggles at the same time. As I sank my head on my chest for a while, someone shouted to us.
“Hey, what a crazy script! Who wrote that?!”
“It’s not me though!”
Yoon Jung In returned his words to the attacker, which made all the crowds split their sides at his joke. I looked at him with a smile then recognized I still didn’t get out of Yi Ruda’s arms.
The lower part of the auditorium was so hot and humid but the above felt chilly, surrounded by cold air. I smelled grassy and refreshing scents combined with the damp air. ‘Maybe this fresh green scent is from Yi Ruda…’ I lifted my head with that thought in mind.
I wasn’t sure if she also saw me coincidentally or was looking at me from quite a while ago. Our eyes met. They were such serene and blue river-like eyes. Feeling embarrassed, I grinned and twisted myself a little to get out of her arms. It was then that it happened.
She bent her head then put her lips on my cheek.
The next moment, all the noise in the world seemed to stop. The boisterous laughter throughout the space and Yoon Jung In talking about something on the mic… they all got pushed far away out by some invisible waves. Only the empty silence hung between us.
That was all. I couldn’t think about anything else. My head was dizzy. Her lips on my cheek seemed a bit chilly. I wasn’t sure if I felt like that from my cheeks burned with heat. Contrary to my belief that her lips would be soft and smooth, it seemed to be a little chapped.
It was, of course, not only me who saw Yi Ruda kissing my cheek. Although our entire class was on the stage, the audience fixed their gaze exactly at us. My cheeks were stinging.
A moment after, Yi Ruda took her lips off from my cheek. I could hardly guess how long she had her lips on my face, maybe a few seconds or minutes. It was when I rubbed my cheek blankly in surprise.
A sudden roar prevailed the whole space. ‘Jesus…’ I raised my eyes feeling dazed and confused. Yi Ruda’s blue eyes on me were still showing a hint of a soft grin.
‘Hold on, this is…’ While I got completely befuddled, Yi Ruda took off her hands from my back. I, at last, got out of her arms but hardly could stand straight. As I touched my cheek at a loss of words, I found aggressively fastened gazes, directing at us, through the waves of roar.
While everybody was turned up with heat, they glared at us with pale, icy-cold faces like that of a statue. When I lifted my head to see them, I became frozen as soon as I found out who they were.
‘Oh, no!’ I stretched my hand out to the side and pulled Yoon Jung In’s arm. He was shouting in excitement just now but as our eyes met, he spoke quietly.
“Hey, are all the stages over? Can we go back to our rooms?”
“Oh, it’s now break time. Right, then can I go to your room…”
“Hye Hill! Should we back to our room?”
Getting out of Yi Ruda’s arms, I asked Kim Hye Hill. Then I turned back to see somewhere.
There was still a cold air waving around Class 1-1. Not only Eun Jiho and Yoo Chun Young but also Kwon Eun Hyung, who rarely revealed his feelings on his face, looked frozen like ice. And Ban Yeo Ryung… she was about to run onto the stage. If Jooin and Kwon Eun Hyung didn’t grab her arms tight from both sides, she would’ve dashed into us immediately.
‘Oh, gosh…’ I held Kim Hye Hill’s hand and said, “Sh…ould we please leave?”
“Ok, let’s go. It’s too noisy in here.”
Kim Hye Hill then held my hand and jumped off the stage. She ran through the gathered crowds so quickly and easily. Fortunately, kids were just having a naughty gaze at me but didn’t seem to question me about our relationship.
Before I got out of the auditorium, I turned back to see the fuss going around. In the middle, there stood Yi Ruda looking at my side with a quiet grin on her white face. After the eye contact, a cold and damp air touched my face. I raised my eyes.
When the talent show was over, darkness surrounded the whole place. The streetlamps in front of the auditorium cast long shadows on the coarse sands. I closed my eyes for a second to catch my breath. My head swam. Her lips coming toward me… the warm heat I felt when it touched my cheek…
‘Was it a way to say hello?’ I thought, ‘Wasn’t it too long for a hello? But also, isn’t it too awkward to provide further meaning to her cheek-kissing? If it wasn’t a way to perform a greeting, then what was it for?’
“Should I foretell something?”
As I opened my eyes just now, Kim Hye Hill said while looking at the auditorium. ‘Foretell…?’ She then continued with a dry tone.
“Tonight, Yoon Jung In and other boys will definitely come to our room. In a group, also with Yi Ruda.”
“You’re gonna get in trouble when you’re in our room. Everyone will make you two as a couple. Is there any room you can stay for a while?”
Rolling my eyeballs, I fell into thought. Including myself, only six were from Ji Jon Middle School and the other five were Ban Yeo Ryung and the Four Heavenly Kings.
Ban Yeo Ryung, who was about to dash onto the stage, came across my mind. The Four Heavenly Kings, who stopped her from attacking us, didn’t look that good though.
The damp breeze across from the sea waved my hair and blew away. After a moment, I quietly shook my head.
“Then go inside the small room and pretend you’re not there.”
Kim Hye Hill suggested while pulling me from ahead. Her back looked so trustworthy. Sometimes, she turned back to look at me on her way up the stairs. It seemed like she wanted to ask me about something. ‘Maybe it’s about Yi Ruda,’ I thought but she didn’t question me about anything at all.