He said, “Okay, so it’s almost 3 in the afternoon now. Jiho and Jooin said that they have a family gathering today, and Yeo Ryung, you also said that you’re busy, right? I got something to do right now, too, so…”
“Yeah, I think that’s it for the day,” said Jooin, who stretched his limbs. There weren’t any traces of anger on his face at all, which he had the other day. When our eyes met, he spoke with a bright smile.
“Mama, see you next week.”
After a week from now, we had a courage test. I smiled with a nod.
While staring at Eun Jiho, Ban Yeo Ryung, Woo Jooin, and Eun Hyung’s back while leaving the café, I suddenly realized that there was a person who didn’t leave this space yet. I turned back.
Sitting against the glass wall where strangers walked past by, Yoo Chun Young rested his chin on his hand and dropped his gaze at the table with a nonchalant face. As our eyes met, he flung a question.
“Aren’t you leaving?”
“What about you?”
“I have a meeting around here after an hour,” said Yoo Chun Young.
He then touched the jet-black mask that he pulled down under his chin. It made me notice his outfit.
Yoo Chun Young, who was insensitive to the weather, sometimes wore long sleeves in the summertime, which astonished us. One time, he came outside while wearing a coat on top of his short-sleeved shirts. When Eun Jiho grumbled about the freezing weather, Yoo Chun Young took his jacket off to put it on Eun Jiho and walked outside in short-sleeves. He was even wearing a flip flop…
I couldn’t remember why we dressed obviously in a hurry and walked outside the streets that day with those outfits. Even the person who Yoo Chun Young gave his coat to was none other than Eun Jiho. I giggled, and soon, a new thought came across my mind.
Oh, yes… that day was March 2, 2009.
On the day that my world changed, I was crouching in front of Jooin’s house, and he later found me. When Jooin caught sight of me, he reached out Ban Yeo Ryung and the other three Heavenly Kings immediately. That was why none of them came outside with adequately dressed articles of clothing for the weather.
Eun Jiho, who was so sensitive to coldness, only wore long sleeves and sweatpants to appear in front of Jooin’s house on a chilly, early spring day. He and the other guys would have been shocked. Yoo Chun Young was the same.
‘A trench coat on top of short-sleeves and sweatpants… Maybe he quickly just put on his coat to dash outside,’ I laughed with that thought in mind.
When we all came out of Jooin’s house, it was snowing. The boys tried to bring Ban Yeo Ryung and me safely back to the subway, so they walked together with us while wearing hilarious outfits. When I gathered my senses, the white snow was gently falling from the coal-black sky.
Someone’s voice then fished me out of the endlessly continuing thoughts. I, at last, opened my eyes wide and noticed that someone’s white fingertip was just above my forehead.
The white fingers that had cold air around as always were Yoo Chun Young’s.
The situation reminded me of one summer day in the hot classroom when his long finger reached my forehead naturally. The sudden touch of his big white skinny hand with thick knuckles…
Putting his finger on my forehead, Yoo Chun Young frowned.
“They say that you got hit on the head many times…’ he said.
Excuse me? At that moment, the fondness I had toward him soon vanished away. I replied while furrowing my brows.
“It’s just that I got hit a few times in my head; would you please stop treating me like a disabled person?”
“What did I do?”
“You tried to bring me to the doctor when a car almost hit me.”
‘Aren’t you treating me like a vulnerable and weak person?’ I tried to finish my words like that.
If his blue eyes didn’t shine brightly and gorgeously with a hint of sharpness within, I would have done that. Yoo Chun Young furrowed while glaring at me with those irresistible blue eyes.
At last, I stopped what I was trying to say and fell into thought. He then spoke while pouting his lips.
“Yeah, you almost got hit by a dump truck.”
“I mean, that’s…”
When he said that, I had gone speechless. ‘It happened quite a while ago, but how can he still remember that? Hmm…’ I frowned.
Well, as I got to thinking about it, Yoo Chun Young’s words made sense and seemed to be correct.
Maybe I had a confused look on my face. Yoo Chun Young, who stared at me for a while, finally broke the ice with a sigh.
He then said to me, “You regard yourself too much as an iron man.”
“But you’re still getting hurt anyway.”
With that said, Yoo Chun Young fetched a sigh. He then slightly pushed my forehead and took his fingers away from me. Stepping a few steps back, I rubbed my forehead and looked at him.
‘Is that all he can say to me after a while?’ I fixed my gaze at him with a frown. Of course, I knew that he was only expressing these words to me inevitably as a friend who knew me for such a long time; however, I somehow felt a little disappointed.
‘Aren’t my charms popping out whenever one sees me after quite a while? Something like… I look a little cute since you haven’t seen me for a week… No, that ain’t what I want!’
Anyway, listening to Yoo Chung Young’s remark made me feel like an idiot.
‘Geez…’ That was when I complained to myself quietly.
“Take a seat here, if you’re not leaving,” said Yoo Chun Young.
“Take a seat?” I asked with a surprised gaze. He was pointing at the seat beside him.
Well, his action wasn’t that friendly since he could have gently tapped the chair beside him or something; still, what he did was truly exceptional. Hesitating for a moment, I finally went closer to him and plunked down on the seat beside him.
When I took a seat, I noticed that something felt weird. ‘I mean, there’s nothing strange about…’ I murmured while dropping my gaze.
I didn’t have any extraordinary things to do today, although there wouldn’t be much difference when staying here. ‘Well, he might be feeling bored too…’ That was when I kept some useless thoughts in my mind.
Yoo Chun Young raised his hand and placed it on my head. He then slightly moved his hand to dishevel my hair.
“Don’t you know that you would drive me nuts sometimes?” Yoo Chun Young said with a sigh.
‘You’re saying those things again,’ I grimaced eventually. ‘Don’t I have any appealing qualities? Hmm…’ but as I got to thinking about it, I really have to admit that I would sometimes drive others crazy, which was obviously one of my flaws.
‘But I would have other strengths…’ I thought while knitting my brows, ‘There would be… no, of course, there is.’
‘Hold on, don’t I have any charms? Well, a run-of-the-mill appearance, grades, ability… Jesus!’ I sighed as hard as I could to find anything to argue with Yoo Chun Young’s remark.
‘Wait, no!’ A thought then flashed through my mind.
While Yoo Chun Young stared at me in wonder, I opened my mouth with a smile.
“Dude, I drive others crazy sometimes, but that isn’t a big deal.”
“Because I have you guys!” I answered back while pointing at Yoo Chun Young.
He stared at me with wonder, which made him look like he had a question mark plastered on his face. Perhaps, he might be thinking that I might have hit my head the wrong way at some point, and now my head was a mess.
No, no… I waved my hand in a hurry and kept on my words.
“I mean, I am sometimes driving others crazy with my stupidity, but you guys are so determined! Think about Ban Yeo Ryung. Except for me, she talks and behaves so straightforwardly and determinedly to Eun Jiho and you guys. Jooin and Eun Hyung… let’s exclude them, but Eun Jiho, who’s a swindler, acts so hard-nosed to strangers. While you…”
“You’re the most adamant person I know.”
Yoo Chun Young looked speechless for a few seconds. It had been a long time since I had last seen that look on his face.
The time when we began to get closer, I acted unpredictably sometimes—for example, when I was about to have a fit at the word ‘ranking’ or faint at the term ‘Four Heavenly Kings’—and Yoo Chun Young had this certain look on his face. As we grew comfortable with each other, I could barely see his face like that which looked as if he had his guard down.