Chapter 166: Chapter 166
Those who envied and hated Ban Yeo Ryung weren’t always the people less gifted than her. Still, the people believed that the one who slandered Ban Yeo Ryung was me just because I was less attractive and competent than her, although being less unaccomplished than someone else wouldn’t necessarily make that person cruel.
Laying his hand on top of Ban Yeo Ryung’s wrist, Eun Hyung continued his remark serenely. His voice felt like it was waving into my ears.
‘Yeo Ryung, do you know what’s funny? The more you get hurt, the more you become crooked-minded. The world is such a weird place. You know, some research says that when children are raised in a motherless family, their minds would easily be corrupted. Another one asserts that, as one grows up under abusive parents, it was more probable for them to do the same for their child…’
‘Those who verbally abused us would forget about it and move on; thus, we should completely forgive them wholeheartedly, or else we wouldn’t be able to escape from those wounds. If we don’t dismiss those bruises in our minds, we just have to watch those wounds turn us into horrible and ugly things.’
Eun Hyung’s voice always sounded like that. It permeated into my ears effortlessly and made me contemplate. I dropped my gaze onto the floor and repeated what he just said to us in my mind as I remained silent.
‘We just have to watch those wounds turn us into horrible and ugly things…’
Eun Hyung looked weaker than before, but he still showed a faint smile and continued his remark.
‘Even if you’re confused or did something bad, we wouldn’t leave you. When you struggle, we’ll be there for you. When you do something terrible, we’ll stop you. It’s because we’re your friends, and we want you to choose the right path. If we would ever leave you, it would only mean we’re so done with you that it would be better to just give up on you.’
With a bright smile, Eun Hyung grabbed Ban Yeo Ryung’s relieving shoulders. He then gazed at her eyes again to continue what he had to say while his other hand was still holding her wrist.
‘You’ve always been doing well until now. Instead of hating someone or destroying yourself, you always tried to stand up on your own and build trust with new people.’
‘Don’t worry. I will still stand beside you.’
Eun Hyung’s last words fell onto my ears, warmly like fluffy cotton candy. Then, tears fell out of Ban Yeo Ryung’s eyes like waterfalls as if she couldn’t suppress her rising tears anymore. This time, her unanticipated reaction disconcerted Eun Hyung so much that he asked for Kleenex when the tissue box was right in front of him.
I fell into another thought while looking at them.
Sometimes, it’s good to struggle. While going through hardships, we learned about other’s true colors as well as the depths of thoughts and feelings that they have toward us. We realize how firmly they grabbed and sustained us from the very beginning.
Sometimes, I would suddenly shudder in fear. I was afraid that it would already be too late once I realized that I was spending the happiest moments of my life right now.
I heard the loud cries of the cicadas outside. That day was when summer vacation suddenly strode toward us.
Article 16. A Courage Test is Essential in Summer! (Part 1)
Summertime had indeed arrived, for the sunlight that was hitting the schoolyard was sharp and clear. A breeze blew into my clothes while looking outside with my neck stretched out. The heated wind felt like a hot, sticky breeze drifting by my face like I was sitting in front of a heater. Geez! I frowned and fanned myself with a plastic sheet.
As I glanced around the classroom, I realized that the whole space was burnt to the ground. Everyone was all lying flabbily on their desks like dead zombies. Someone wrote a few big words using chalk on the dirty blackboard that the duty student of the week didn’t clean.
One Day Before Summer Vacation!
Indeed, it was. There was only one day left before summer vacation, but I furrowed my brows as I recalled the things that occurred back then. After all, many things had changed.
First of all, I confessed to everyone in my class that I was close to not only Ban Yeo Ryung but to the Four Heavenly Kings too.
There was one thing I learned from that Choi Yuri incident. The reason why I hid my relationship with the Four Heavenly Kings to our class until now was that many kids would approach me to get closer to those boys.
In other words, I didn’t trust my classmates; however, as I saw them trusting me silently while the big rumors were sweeping throughout the school, I thought that keeping such a thing hidden would be an insult to them.
“To be frank, I’m close to the Four Heavenly Kings. Some people back then conspired against us out of jealousy, just as Choi Yuri did. Other people approached me to get closer to the Four Heavenly Kings too… Whenever I say something, people would ask me if I were acting like that because I’m close to the Four Heavenly Kings. I really hated those words, and that was why I tried to hide our relationship, but when this thing happened, I thought it’d be better to admit everything. I’m sorry for not telling the truth…’
The kids reacted unexpectedly bland. Some girls, who asked me the numbers of the Four Heavenly Kings as Lee Soo Yeon did before, of course, scowled at me; however, that was it. Instead, most of the kids looked as if they understood my situation through the incident that happened to me.
Everything was done just like that. As a funny way to signal the end of an era, the Four Heavenly Kings of Sukbong Middle School, who knew the truth because they were close to me from the beginning of the semester, tapped my shoulder before leaving for their seats. For me, who expected that my classmates would say something bitter since I deceived them, it was such a satisfying and, at the same time, bland ending.
Thus, I could finally greet the Four Heavenly Kings, such as Eun Jiho or Yoo Chun Young, when I met them in the hallway now. That’s it.
The second thing that changed was the relationship between Yi Ruda and the Four Heavenly Kings.
Well, this was kind of difficult to articulate into words. Based on my limited knowledge, the four boys had never met Ruda before; however, as if they had formed some kind of unknown connection, Jooin began to act chummy with Yi Ruda.
Whenever Jooin bumped into Yi Ruda, he would run towards her with a bright smile, and honestly, Jooin looked so cute; however, Yi Ruda would run away from him with a pale face. I also heard Jooin yelling behind Yi Ruda’s head.
‘Ruda hyeong! Where are you going?’
‘Hyeong? Since when did Ruda become your hyeong?’
When I asked with a furrowed eyebrow, Jooin responded simply with his usual bright smile.
‘Ever since I decided to!’
Oh, I can’t believe I forgot that. Contrary to his perpetually naïve appearance, Jooin was a boy who would accomplish everything he set his sights on.
Perhaps, Yi Ruda would soon accept that Jooin was calling her ‘hyeong,’ as I did before. ‘Yi Ruda is a girl, but she is still being regarded as a ‘hyeong.’ That will be a little stressful,’ I thought, ‘but I can’t intervene between the two and correct Yi Ruda’s gender, so…’ I scratched the back of my head. Well, they would sort things out later.
When I turned my head to glance around, I realized that the classroom looked so distracted. Most of the classes were all caught up, so the teachers would seldom come. Sometimes, a kid from another class that just finished a PE class would walk into our classroom abruptly and said, ‘Hey, the teacher told you guys to come outside for class.’ That was when we had to go to the gym for a short period.
Anyways, the students seemed to be thinking that ‘PE class isn’t really a part of our lessons, so it’s good to just chill out!’ They usually hung out in the classroom while watching movies before heading outside momentarily for the PE class. That was how we continued our school life.
Some kids would sit under six combined desks and would talk noisily, whereas some would lay their heads on the desks to sleep while sweating hard.
Yoon Jung In, who put both his feet on the computer chair beside the board, took out the keyboard, placed it on his knees, and typed something with it. Beside him, Kim Hye Woo was looking at the scene with an exhausted face.