“It’s the address of the orphanage where the kids are.”
I unfolded the paper.
I read the address written in more neat writing than usual.
“The disabled children will go to another facility.
They are staying there for the time being.
I’ll let you know when it’s decided.”
Yeon Woojeong didn’t say much after that.
I folded the paper again, then put it inside my pocket.
I got a lot in mind because he didn’t advise me to go or not to go.
After finishing lunch, Yeon Woojeong dropped me by the bus stop.
“See you later.”
Yeon Woojeong smiled, closed the window, then left.
I watched over the leaving car for quite a while.
It was not a different day than usual.
Nothing changed, fortunately.
I was breathless once again because of that fact.
I returned to the officetel.
Friday, a day off that came back after a week.
I sat on the sofa and looked beyond the window.
I stayed like that for a while, then I took out my phone and the paper from the pocket.
After looking for the address, I learned how to get there.
It took an hour and a half.
Added up with the time walking and waiting for the bus, it would take two hours.
After checking the time once again, I went upstairs.
I took out some money from the envelope in the closet.
This would be the last anyway, so this much would be fine.
I went outside and took a bus.
It was a day off after a while, but I felt busier than ever.
I had to change buses even after riding it for a long time.
After checking the bus dispatch time, I walked to the convenience store behind the bus stop and bought three boxes of choco pie.
With choco pie boxes in hand, I got on the bus.
I took a look at the very unfamiliar view.
It was a neighborhood that was more secluded than Seoul.
I have lived in a quiet neighborhood and also in Seoul, but I couldn’t tell which one was better.
Whether it was just me or everyone else was like that, I felt like I was floating every time.
How do people live in a place with their feet on the ground
Yeon Woojeong’s face appeared over the low building.
Is that it Were all people living with such luck
As the thoughts that I couldn’t tell anyone continued on, I reached the destination before I knew it.
I got off the bus and then opened the maps app.
There was an orphanage nearby.
I walked slowly while looking around.
It wasn’t as remote as I thought.
I guess I walked for about 10 minutes.
A building with a wide playground entered my sight.
As I got closer, I saw a door plate.
I thought over the name, then I looked beyond the opened door.
The playground was deserted, but it didn’t look shabby.
The playground with jungle gyms and swings, the space for playing with sand, and gazebos was much better than the playground of the elementary school I attended.
I hesitated to go in because there was no one around, but I was glad.
I only came to give the choco pie anyway.
The building didn’t look new, but it was neat.
It must have been much better than when they lived together in a cramped house because the building was large.
They must have eaten well too.
It was okay as long as they had nothing to be sad about food.
I walked until I reached the door.
The door color was vivid and clean as though it was painted new.
I can just leave it here, right Will they think it is strange But it can’t be helped.
I was about to put down the boxes, and suddenly there were sounds of footsteps and voices.
I couldn’t put down the boxes and quickly moved aside, hiding.
“Let’s go, let’s go!”
“I want to be the tagger!”
Light footsteps rang all at once.
A familiar voice was also heard among the harmoniously mixed voices.
I stretched out my head as their presence got distant.
I looked for a familiar face among the running kids.
He was there.
A face with a wide smile.
Strangely, he seemed to grow higher too.
The kids ran joyfully without minding the cold.
They laughed loudly, having so much fun playing tag.
As though they quickly got tired of it, they did rock-paper-scissors and then played red light green light.
I always saw those kids inside the narrow house.
There was a time when I thought they were shallow for laughing, running around, and singing frequently, but there was light I had never seen before in those small faces.
My hands turned numb.
The fingertips were red and frozen.
I was looking at them without realizing the time.
After hushing my steps and putting down the boxes on the entrance, I left through the back gate.
I waited for the bus, and I didn’t think of anything while sitting on the arrived bus.
I felt like I was frozen to the head.
Inside the bus with a heater, I put my whole hands inside the pocket, and warmed them up.
I blankly stared outside the window.
My head felt tingling yet cool as well.
I felt glad when I arrived at the officetel.
It was amazing that this high gray building became a place for me to come back to.
The sun had set in the meantime.
I looked up at the building that shone its surroundings instead of the stars, then I moved my steps.
Has Yeon Woojeong gotten home He seemed busy as well nowadays.
Having such a thought, I saw Yeon Woojeong’s black shoes at the entrance as soon as I opened the door.
I felt breathless in an instant.
I couldn’t move, still holding the doorknob.
Somehow, I felt I couldn’t do anything.
I was collecting my breath while looking down only at his shoes, but then I heard relaxed steps.
White feet with the instep covered by the hem of the pants.
As I slowly looked up, there was Yeon Woojeong looking at me.
“Are you not going in”
It felt like something crumbled down the moment I saw Yeon Woojeong’s face.
The words burst out before I could think.
Why is it hard to say that Why couldn’t I say this yesterday
Yeon Woojeong’s eyes got wider.
Why, why do I feel this breathless
“I guess… I wished them to live well.”
But I thought they wouldn’t be able to have that.
Happiness was unusual and rare, but misery was obvious.
I believed Lee Sugeol’s facility was the shallowest among many misfortunes.
The reason was, because it was natural.
Why does such things only happen to me This kind of thought was meaningless.
If such things happened from the start, that would just be obvious and natural.
Can misfortune be called misfortune What was laid in front of those kids and me was just the foretold path.
I thought so.
I would probably be unable to pay anything back to Yeon Woojeong.
I was afraid of that gap, and it was distant.
But even so, I didn’t want to let it go.
Rather, hilariously, I wanted Yeon Woojeong to accept everything about me.
Yeon Woojeong smiled.
He extended his hand and touched my face.
“Why are you so kind”
“What are you talking about”
“It’s not easy to think like you.”
He pulled me.
The door closed as I let go of the doorknob, and his face got closer.
“You have thorns all over your body, yet you don’t know how to stab others.
Your face turns pale even if you only stab a bit…”
“You won’t know how lovely that is.”
Yeon Woojeong was weird.
I wasn’t a kind human at all.
He wouldn’t be able to think so when he found out what I thought of, what I dreamed of, and what had I done.
I had said something hurtful to him.
But why does he think so He is really a strange man.
Only Yeon Woojeong said those words.
I wasn’t such an existence, but if I became such an existence to him, then I wanted to be like that forever.
I hugged Yeon Woojeong.
I put my forehead on his shoulder, and I held tight his back as if I were going to crush it.
Yeon Woojeong’s arms were wrapped around me.
He caressed me from my head to my nape.
That touch was so gentle that I couldn’t breathe.
Even though I hugged him for a long time without saying anything, Yeon Woojeong didn’t complain at all and caressed me.
Leaning into that touch, I rubbed my forehead on Yeon Woojeong’s shoulder.
Laughter was heard through my ears.
“How did you hold back from wanting to act spoiled like this”
It seemed like he was teasing me, but I ignored him.
While hugging me, Yeon Woojeong stepped back one, two steps.
Since I didn’t let him go, I, too, was dragged along.
“Have you eaten You haven’t, have you”
Yeon Woojeong’s steps headed to the kitchen as I nodded.
He, who moved lightly even while carrying me, stopped in front of the sink.
“We will be hungry forever.”
Yeon Woojeong twisted my hair with his fingers.
His tone clearly meant to tease me.
I eventually let him go.
After all, it was time for him to have dinner as well.