His gaze stayed on me for a long time.
He stared at me with an expression I couldn’t read.
Soon, he opened his mouth.
“Do humans… should have value”
Yeon Woojeong tilted his head.
The low voice seemed to be faint yet it was firm.
He rolled his eyes, looking in another direction, then he looked back at me.
“I don’t think so.”
It wasn’t an answer to what I asked.
What does he want me to do I tapped on the table and then asked again.
“So you’re telling me not to do it”
“Do as you wish.
Do it if you want.
Don’t if you don’t want to.”
I furrowed my eyebrows.
I didn’t want such an answer.
I hated his carefree attitude.
I wanted to have value because I hated that.
Yeon Woojeong looked away.
I stood there, still in the same place, and looked at him intently.
The silence spread.
The fingers moving in the notebook stopped.
He looked back at me again.
Don’t be an object with value.
You can be a human with no value though.”
“You have no value to me.”
The remark that I was a person with no value to Yeon Woojeong stabbed me like an arrow.
Did he really have to say it in that way I closed my mouth, scowled at him, then clenched my fists and turned around.
Yeon Woojeong’s words haunted me the whole moment I walked upstairs to the dark second floor with the lighting off.
I laid face down on the bed.
I tried to cool down my boiling inside, but it wasn’t easy.
No matter how I tried to understand Yeon Woojeong’s remark, it pissed me off.
It was obvious that the current me had no value to Yeon Woojeong.
Therefore, I tried to do something, but because he cut me off by talking like that, everything lost its meaning.
Object Human That’s some good words there.
This is a world where the objects are better than humans, and humans are less than objects.
Humans will hold the valuable objects to death, but the invaluable human beings are easier to throw than the objects.
I can’t be anything to him.
My limbs turned jelly at that fact.
I didn’t want to do anything.
But, if I’m being like this and do nothing, then how do I differ from the house guarding dog
I felt like I had a lot of dark clouds in my head.
Even breathing out was suffocating.
I stayed like that for some moments.
Then, I heard the sound of someone going up the stairs.
I buried my face in the pillow.
If there was a door here, I would lock it.
Alas, I could not stop the unwanted guest.
One side of the bed went down.
Yeon Woojeong’s hand touched my hair near my ear.
As I shook my head roughly, his hand fell off, but it came again.
His touch was ticklish and soft.
The urge to look at his face looking down at me surged up, so I grabbed the ends of the pillow as if creasing them up.
“What I mean, the important thing isn’t your usefulness, but you.”
The voice that flowed like water soaked my ears.
I shouldn’t get bewitched—because he said good things and would never give me the answer I wanted.
There’s no harm in experiencing anything.”
“Just don’t force yourself to do it.
Quit if you want to quit.”
I didn’t want to talk with him, but what he said was absurd.
As I opened my mouth, my voice came out murmuring.
“Is there any person who works because they want to How many people can quit right away when they want”
I didn’t know if Yeon Woojeong became a prosecutor because he wanted to, but people, in general, worked even if they didn’t want to do it to make money.
They couldn’t quit even though it sucked.
A laugh rang above me.
He lightly pulled my earlobe.
“I mean, don’t put the standard on me.
I have no plan to assess you.”
Yeon Woojeong let go of my ear.
After his hand left me, I immediately ruminated over what he said.
His statement that he wouldn’t assess me reached me, strangely.
It was hard to completely understand everything he said.
I also didn’t want to make useless expectations.
What he said was unfriendly.
He was such a man.
However, his attitude now…
His voice and his temperature next to me were warm and friendly.
How could he treat me like this Now I didn’t blindly feel uneasy about his kindness, which had no conditions and deadlines.
I just got impatient.
I wanted to get it more and more.
The greediness without knowing my place was bitter.
If I was in front of him, I kept feeling like I was getting small.
However, that didn’t make me die.
It was rather…
“Are you going to keep laying down cutely like that”
As I turned my head immediately at his nonsense, I saw Yeon Woojeong’s smiling face.
It annoyed me that he acted so gently to come so far here when he was looking at his notebook without expression.
As I glared at him, Yeon Woojeong got up.
He walked down the stairs.
I chased after his back with my eyes and then got up as well.
I was hungry too.
When I reached the kitchen, Yeon Woojeong was standing in front of the curry pot.
He had turned on the heat, stirred with a ladle, and scooped out two bowls.
“You’re going to eat that”
I asked bluntly on purpose.
Then, he stopped moving, looked at me, and smirked.
“The smell of curry is spreading, so won’t I get hungry”
I watched Yeon Woojeong take out two bowls of rice from a rice cooker and even set up the side dishes.
I ventilated it before, so there was no smell.
My heart ached.
Yeon Woojeong sat on his seat, then looked at me.
I sat quietly in front of the dining table.
He picked up the spoon.
There was the same yellow curry placed before Yeon Woojeong and me.
Eating the same food wasn’t really a big deal, but this situation pervaded me slowly.
Yeon Woojeong took a spoonful of rice, dipped it in the curry, then put it in his mouth.
Meanwhile, I poured a bowl of rice into the curry bowl.
“This is good.”
Yeon Woojeong muttered after eating for some time.
That voice of his sounded ticklish somehow.
“Strangely, what you made seems to have a unique taste.
Why is it”
“… Don’t be so dramatic.”
“I’m being sincere, though.”
He smiled slyly and picked up his chopsticks.
The taste of curry on the tip of my tongue was extremely normal.
I lowered my hand under the table and scratched my palm.
I originally could finish a portion in 10 minutes, but I lowered my pace as I looked at Yeon Woojeong’s movement.
He spent 30 minutes finishing off a portion.
I couldn’t eat for that long like him, but since my portion was bigger, I could roughly match up his pace if I ate very slowly.
Only the clatter occasionally rang in the kitchen.
Even those were the sounds I made.
Yeon Woojeong was quiet even though he didn’t pay particular attention.
That got on me for no reason, so I fixed my posture, but then my toes touched Yeon Woojeong’s feet.
I stopped abruptly and stole a glance at Yeon Woojeong.
He put down the chopsticks, drank a sip of water, then looked at me.
“Just remember this one.”
“I am your guardian now.
The one who has to be protected need not prove anything.”
Was Yeon Woojeong’s voice originally like this The voice mixed with breath was dry but gentle.
“Bear this in mind even though this sounds preachy.
I realized that too late you know.”
He got up.
After cleaning up the dishes, he went to the living room and sat on the sofa again.
“I have to work.
I’ve been busy lately.”
A tired voice and a grumbling tone.
With an uncharacteristically crying voice, he looked at the laptop in an unruffled posture.
My toes curled down.
I stared at Yeon Woojeong, who occupied the living room, then turned my gaze to my plate.
There was still a spoonful of rice left.
I scooped it with my spoon and put it into my mouth.
The unique smell of curry filled my nose.
This certainly, tasted good.
I got impatient waiting for my wounds to heal.
It felt like all the determination I finally made up would crumble down if the convenience store had hired a new part-timer in the meantime.
The wound had faded, but there was still a red bruise on my cheekbone, and a cut at the corner of my lip.
I inevitably took out a bandaid from the first-aid kit, stuck it down, and looked in the mirror.
I looked like a gangster.
Certainly, my impression was on the bad side.
My lips looked somewhat bearable to see because many people have chapped lips in winter.
This wasn’t bad.
It was obvious I would lose the chance if I waited for everything to get perfect.
I went up, opened the closet, and looked for the neatest clothes.
I took out a shirt and knit, also black pants, then wore them.
After wearing a tteokbokki coat on top, I looked in the mirror.
Since my attire was neat, it worked in fading the wounds on my face a little.
I pocketed my identification card and phone and then went out.
The day kept getting colder.
My neck was empty, so it reminded me of the scarf.
I didn’t even get angry anymore at this point.
Just forgetting about it made my mind at ease.
I erased the popping-up memories and took a step ahead.
The paper was still attached to the door of the convenience store across the road.
I walked in stride and arrived before the convenience store, but I felt a bit nervous.
I simply came because there was no mention of bringing anything in particular.
Will this be fine, though
I loitered in front of the door, but my eyes met with the woman behind the cashier’s desk.
I then opened the door at her questioning gaze and walked inside.