Chapter 37: Chapter 37
Yoo Chun Young replied abruptly, “Fine.”
Eun Jiho had his hand in the air. Yoo Chun Young followed suit and raised his arms up as well, yet his nonchalant face was still intact. Their high fives banged in the air.
Woo Jooin kept smiling at the sight of both of them as if he’s feeling excited. He then looked at me and said, “Mommy, me, too. I’m also fine.”
He looked fine 24/7, 365 days a year; however, he was also not the type of guy who would ask for the impossible. In that case, he would not act like a spoiled child who did not want to go home. However, why did everybody want to stay up late today? When I was about to ask that with a perplexed feeling, a silvery voice resounded beside me.
I turned my head to the sound.
“Hey, Yoo Chun Young. Are you really okay?”
Ban Yeo Ryung had her body bent to look up at Yoo Chun Young. Chun Young hid his eyes and stepped back as if he was on pins and needles, which indicated that he was already aware of how serious his eye bags were.
Ban Yeo Ryung soon straightened herself up and perked her lips in doubt. She then turned back and said to me, “Donnie, Yoo Chun Young is a little weird. Let’s send him home.”
She paused and swung her hands in the air with a firmly determined look on her face.
She said, “Hey, never mind. You should all just get back home, spare pricks of my love! Donnie and I will have a good time.”
“Jesus, she’s really going to send out wedding invitations.”
“Well, we need to share a deep conversation with each other, don’t we?”
“Why only you? We want to do that, too.”
Ban Yeo Ryung and Eun Jiho soon began quarreling. Watching them arguing again made me think about what would be the subject matter of the deeper conversation she had wanted to have with me. Then I stiffened at a slower pace.
What they wanted to talk about was obvious. How I felt about the world-changing and what I wanted to do from here on out. These would be the topic of our talk for sure.
Once I started to feel baffled while looking at her, someone beside me touched my shoulders. It was such a feather-light and soft touch. I turned my head and, as I expected, I saw Eun Hyung with his usual gentle smile.
He grinned and said, “Let’s tell them we’ll be at home first. They would be here until midnight when Yeo Ryung’s mother arrives or maybe they would head straight to a pub or so. We’ll be staying with you until 11 pm.”
“This is not the first time we stayed at your house. We won’t mess up, promise.”
Eun Hyung waved his pinky in front of me as he finished his words.
I mean, who still makes pinky promises these days? Before I could ask him, someone else had his pinky around Eun Hyung’s in a blink of an eye.
Soon, as I raised my head, Woo Jooin was shaking his pinky finger with Eun Hyung in front of me.
He said, “Me, too. I promise I would behave!”
“Hey, just get back home. What’s wrong with you guys? You’ll be bushed tomorrow.”
Woo Jooin nor Eun Hyung did not say that response. It was Yoo Chun Young who said so. I lifted my head to look at him. He dropped his blue eyes on me and said serenely.
“If we’re all together, it might not change.”
I could not grasp his notion at first since I was blanked out for too long, but then I realized that my jaw had already dropped. Oh, that’s right.
There was a reason why Eun Hyung came to our house with Yoo Chun Young earlier in the morning. It was an intention great enough for Eun Hyung, who aimed to be as independent as possible and would have himself bent out of shape just to help other, to attempt doing something unusual such as having dinner together with us. There was a reason why he wanted to stay at my house until the metro service ended despite knowing he would be busted for tomorrow’s opening ceremony.
The reasons for all these were now very clear.
As I remained silent for quite a while, Yoo Chun Young expressed his thoughts candidly.
“If we’re all together, we would not disappear, so… let’s just stay together for today. It’s not just a regular day; it’s March 2.”
“Mommy, let’s do it, okay?”
Woo Jooin replied while waving my hands. I looked at Yoo Chun Young without another word as I locked my eyes on Woo Jooin who was smiling beside me. While looking at his warmhearted face, I could feel my heart filling.
I could not help myself from bursting into tears. Eun Jiho, who was arguing with Ban Yeo Ryung in front of me, got so shaken up that he yelled out my name.
“Hey, Ham Donnie! Dude, what’s wrong with her?!”
After a brief answer, Yoo Chun Young rubbed my eyes with his thumb, which made me laugh. He was the only guy who could make that response with his own lips but, at the same time, remain to have a nonchalant expression.
Soon, we slowly headed to our house, leaving our parents, Yeo Ryung’s father, and Yeo Dan oppa in the park.
The white path between the short cut grass was now shining with an orange hue under the streetlights. We walked along the way altogether.
The Park was relatively scary at night, especially when walking along the dark road between the streetlights. The trees shaken by the evening breeze looked like shadows of a growling monster from a distance. The invisibly dark concrete ground seemed to be infested by bugs, which made me fear to step forward.
However, at this very random moment of all five of us walking towards our apartment, I never felt afraid of anything.
Maybe because of the bright and refreshing voice of Ban Yeo Ryung, who was walking next to me, or Eun Jiho, who consistently grumbled in front of me. It could have been because of Yoo Chun Young who replied to Eun Jiho in a criticizing tone or perhaps it was Eun Hyung, who was humoring them with a gentle smile. Woo Jooin, who freaked us out after screaming, “A snake!” while walking along beside me could be the reason too. I, in all seriousness, never felt afraid for a second.
I did not have the slightest thought about the fact that this world could change anytime. The ground I was standing with my foot on felt solid enough for the first time. On the second day of March, I would always suffer from the anxiety of having myself absorbed into the bottom of a swamp. However, for now, that feeling was no more.
As we stepped inside the building, the orange light on the ceiling lit up and brightened the hallway. We were dashing to the elevator like that, and on the 1st floor, a lady walked towards us with a trash bag of food waste on her hand.
She looked interested to see a group of six teenagers waiting for the elevator late at night. It was surely Ban Yeo Ryung, the politest among us, who said hi to her first.
“Umm... oh! Yeah, hi. What are you guys doing this late?”
“Oh, our parents are having a talk around here. They told us to go inside because it’s too cold outside to watch TV or so, haha.”
Ban Yeo Ryung wrinkled her red nose with her hands inside the coat pocket. The lady nodded with an expression indicating he had understood her explanation as if Yeo Ryung looked very cold to her.
Then she stepped back to her house and said, “Oh, YHT will start soon! Have fun, guys!”
Ban Yeo Ryung replied loudly seeing her back disappearing through the dark hallway. If someone heard us talking, they would have thought we would be watching TV in her house. With that in mind, I stared at Ban Yeo Ryung’s beautiful profile under the orange light and got surprised as she turned back.
At the same time, there was a ringing sound above my head.
Woo Jooin said, “The elevator is here.”
“I’m afraid if the lift would overload because of Ban Yeo Ryung’s weight.”
Eun Jiho joked around with a straight face which resulted in Ban Yeo Ryung kicking him. He then jumped around the elevator grabbing his shin, which made Yoo Chun Young warn him to stop doing inside the elevator.
The door soon closed and the elevator began to ascend. 1, 2, 3…. While looking at the slowly increasing numbers, a question came to my mind. I asked while looking back.
“Hey, what was the YHT she was talking about?”
“Oh, that one. It’s an abbreviation for “Your Happy Time.” It’s a TV series a lot of people are watching lately. The story is lame, but the casting is amazing, so… Yeah.”
The response came from Eun Jiho, who looked fine even though he was in pain earlier. Then it was Ban Yeo Ryung who continued the explanation while frowning in wonder at Eun Jiho.
“Hey, isn’t the story about the latest version of Romeo and Juliet? A rich heiress and the rival company’s heir falls in love… then they went insane to keep their love.”
“Wow, Ban Yeo Ryung. Look at her summing up the lovers’ tearful appeal as going insane. What an overflowing sensibility!”
“Oh, my. Haha”
Eun Jiho’s remark made Eun Hyung laugh in a low voice. I glanced at Woo Jooin, who didn’t seem to care about their conversation while tracing the moth flying around the mirror with his eyes.
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