He fed me, gave me a place to sleep, bought me a phone, and he even handed me his credit card.
Even a volunteer worker can’t do this far.
Hearing the question I blurted out in anger, Yeon Woojeong looks at me obliquely.
His gaze scans over me.
He doesn’t even try to hide his gaze going down from my eyes, to my nose, and to my lips.
“I received help in the past.
I try to repay that, but… I was told to repay it to the next, and to the next.
And so, you’re that next one.”
The dry voice scatters like a breath.
He looks like someone who can’t speak to the point.
Or maybe, he’s someone who can only speak to the point.
I feel like I understand his story, but I don’t want to know it.
Because I don’t really understand, I want to know.
The plastic bag in my hand rustles.
“I walked my way, but you were there, and I…”
“It was the first time in my life seeing something as beautiful as you.”
When I crease my forehead, Yeon Woojeong slants his lips up.
Unlike his lips, his eyes smile leisurely.
My heart bubbles up.
I want to wreck his smiling face.
However, I can’t think of any method to make that happen, and while I am stunned like that, Yeon Woojeong turns back first.
As the handle of the plastic bag is divided into two, I hold it on one side, and he holds it on the other side.
I follow him without saying anything.
“She must be still cleaning.”
Just like what Yeon Woojeong said, the employee is still cleaning his bedroom.
I walk past them, who greet each other, to the kitchen.
After organizing the groceries, I go to the living room.
Yeon Woojeong sits on the sofa like a playboy with two buttons of his shirt unbuttoned.
I have nowhere to go, so I have no choice but to stay here, therefore I sit away from him.
“Ah, I’m tired.”
Yeon Woojeong lays down on the sofa.
His toes are close to touching my thigh.
I’m paying attention, so they don’t touch, but the toes reach me.
I’m annoyed, but it’d be ridiculous if I avoid it, so I just stay still.
However, as time passes, it feels like the skin of the touched part heats up, so I move to the side enough for them to be unable to reach me.
He suddenly lifts his head and smirks.
When I glare at him, he puts down his head back on the sofa, and plays with his toes, driving me crazy.
“What did you do”
“Don’t you get bored because you have nothing to do”
“Tell me if you need anything.
Or you can buy it yourself.
I already told you that this is my first time picking someone, so I can’t be perfect.”
The employee quickly moves, leaving Yeon Woojeong’s bedroom and going up to the second floor.
She quickly goes down, perhaps because there is nothing to clean on the second floor.
As there’s a sign she’s leaving, Yeon Woojeong, who’s lying down arrogantly, raises up his body.
“I’ll leave the shirt nearby as usual.”
“Yes, good work today.”
Ah, did you leave the laundry under the sofa on purpose”
The moment Yeon Woojeong lowers his head to look under the sofa, I remember that I left my underwear there.
The fever rises up in my head.
After raising his head, Yeon Woojeong’s gaze lands on me for a moment.
“I thought so, so I didn’t touch it.
Then, I’ll be leaving now.”
“Yeah, see you next time.”
Yeon Woojeong sends off the employee.
I somewhat can’t move.
It’s not an embarrassing thing at all, but humiliation envelops me for some reason.
The slow steps return.
“There’s a wardrobe on the second floor.
I think it’s better to bring in a bed, right We— there is a lot for us to do.”
He stares at me, then goes to the kitchen and opens the refrigerator.
After taking out a lunch box, he looks back at me.
I’m not standing up.
I’m hungry, but I don’t want to eat here.
It’s ridiculous to eat something I make by myself when Yeon Woojeong declared he would not eat what I made, but I also don’t want to take out and eat his lunch box.
It’s been a long time since we ate face to face because he kept working overtime, so I try to picture eating with him, but I feel like it’s better to eat later.
As I show no sign of getting up, I feel an intense gaze.
Even when the microwave lets out a sound, noticing it’s done, Yeon Woojeong doesn’t move.
The microwave lets out sound again.
I ignore that and look at the black TV.
When I put my hands inside my pocket, there’s me who looks somehow sulky there.
“You’re not eating”
“You make me feel lonely.”
I turn my head at that nonsense.
There’s a coy smile blooming on his lips.
He acts very shamelessly even after saying nonsense.
“Are you telling me to eat alone Why should I eat alone when there’s you here”
“What nonsense are you talking about when you’ve been living alone until now”
“That’s how it works.
I might be back then, but there’s an empty seat here.”
“Until when are you going to talk nonsense”
“Until you eat.”
He doesn’t even feel upset or sad, but he plays with me.
The microwave lets out sound again.
I finally get up because I hate to hear that.
He cozily leans his back on the chair.
It will take time to cook the rice, so my turn will come once Yeon Woojeong empties his lunch box.
I take out the lunch box from the microwave and put it in front of Yeon Woojeong, then I open the rice sack.
While I wash the rice and put it in the rice cooker, Yeon Woojeong doesn’t touch the lunch box.
He should just eat.
It irks me that he keeps staring every time I move.
It will take time for the rice to cook, and I have no plan to absentmindedly stand in front of Yeon Woojeong, so I go to the bathroom.
As I enter this place, I remember the clothes I had taken off before leaving.
I put it on the shelf, but looking that they are not here, I wonder if the cleaning employees cleaned it up.
I go to the laundry room, and they are spread on the drying rack.
There are no clothes to wear but this.
I can sleep wearing the clothes I’m wearing now, but I am reminded of the robe Yeon Woojeong wears after washing up.
I go back to the bathroom and wash my body.
Yeon Woojeong must be eating by now, right All his bath products smell soft.
They also smell light, so there’ll be no smell left after washing up.
After washing up, I dry my hair and I take out a robe from the cabinet.
I suddenly realized that I didn’t bring my underwear, so I tied the knot firmly.
I leave the bathroom, and as I walk to the sofa, I stop because I feel a gaze.
Yeon Woojeong still leaves the lunch box untouched in front of him.
“Why are you naked”
He scanned me from the head to the toe.
He really doesn’t seem to have any intention of hiding the direction of his gaze.
He likewise wears it every day, but if I wear it, I’m naked The slow and persistent gaze feels like stripping me off.
My toes are numb, but I ignore it and open the rice cooker emitting steam in the kitchen.
After stirring the rice, I put oil in the frying pan.
I think it’s funny to move as if this is my house, but Yeon Woojeong said to just do as I like.
I take out a canned ham, cut it, then cook it.
After both sides turn yellow, I move it to the plate.
As I put the steaming rice and the ham on the table, Yeon Woojeong finally holds his chopsticks.
Even though it’s clearly already cooled down, he doesn’t think of warming it up.
Is that annoying for him Looking at the lunch book that looks tasteless, I spoon the warm rice to my mouth.
“We have to buy clothes too, don’t we”
Yeon Woojeong asks while looking somewhere under my face.
Yeon Woojeong’s chopsticks that hold the food move to his mouth on rote.
He looks like someone eating objects, not food.
We eat without talking for a while.
When my bowl is about empty, I lift my eyes because I feel Yeon Woojeong is staring at me.
He puts a meatball from the lunch box on the plate.
Then, he takes a slice of ham.
When our eyes meet, Yeon Woojeong smiles.
“You said you won’t eat”
“I never said I want to do that.”
“This tastes good, though.”
He glances at the meatball and eats the ham he takes.
He chews as if savoring it, but he doesn’t look like he knows what it tastes like.
I look down at the meatball covered in sauce.
I don’t want to eat that.
Likewise, I feel like I’m losing to him if I eat that.
But, I’m curious because he said it’s tasty.
While I stare at the meatball, my boiling heart slowly calms down.
I stab it with the chopsticks then put it in my mouth.
It tastes good.