Chapter 19: Chapter 19
One summer day. The weather was so hot I barely wanted to go to the cafeteria. Instead, I asked Ban Yeo Ryung for a pizza burger from there and just stooped over the desk.
A few kids walking by touched my head if I were sick. As I responded that it was too hot for me to go get lunch, they nagged about the money I was wasting for the mandatory school meals. How long had it been since I fell asleep? As I felt the scorching heat, I went back and forth getting asleep and being awakened for about ten times.
Only the sound of the clock ticking and the breeze shaking the shades once in a while were flowing around the empty summer classroom. The lights were turned off, but the space around us was filled with bright sunshine through the window.
My face on the textbook was turned to the window looking at the blue sky. The weather felt unbelievably refreshing. I sat absent-mindedly, staring at the scenery and then closed my eyes with a moan. As I murmured with my agony as to how hot that day was, I felt something cold on my forehead.
Was it a beverage? I wondered if it was Ban Yeo Ryung; however, when I opened my eyes, I was surprised to find out a white hand on my forehead.
Men and women have different hands. As I realized it was a guy’s hand, I slowly raised my eyes.
Then I almost had a heart attack to see Yoo Chun Young dropping a gaze at me in front.
I mean, why? Why would he just…? Things seemed to glow where his eyes reached. Just a moment after he placed his hands on my forehead, he opened his lips and said,
“No fever yet.”
Of course. That’s because I was not sick, I whispered to myself. The cold fingers slipped from my forehead. My eyes were narrowly opened while looking at him. Since he played the role of ‘the cool guy’ in this novel, I thought it might have also affected his body temperature.
His hand left my face; however, there was a faint smell hanging in the air. I opened my eyes in wonder. A cool and refreshing scent. What did they call this fragrance? Then, a familiar phrase crossed my mind.
Law of the Web Novel Article 5. The Male Protagonist Always Smells Like Cool Water – For example: As he stood alongside me, I smelled a cool and refreshing scent from him. A cool water fragrance… I murmured.
Just thinking about the phrase even made my face cringe. I muttered, biting the bullet. I mean, come on, the scent coming from him would definitely not be cool water, right? If it really was then the writer of this novel really had a mind of a nine-year-old.
My face was, however, still cringing, so I gave up going back to sleep and had my head up instead. That was when something startled me.
Yoo Chun Young, whom I thought went back to his seat, was still sitting in front, gazing blankly at me. His blue eyes looked softer than usual as to confront his face.
Where was Kwon Eun Hyung? He used to be always with him. As if he read my face, Yoo Chun Young responded immediately by pointing at Ban Yeo Ryung’s seat with his chin.
“Went to the cafeteria with Ban Yeo Ryung.”
“What about you?”
How great were his short responses? I had to say, he seemed kinder than I expected?
I really thought he would only say a word or such to me. I even thought he would just flat-out ignore me. Maybe I was getting too carried away? At least he was the same human being I knew.
Just because he was one of the male protagonists, I considered he would never talk to me. Now it made me feel ashamed. As I nodded to let him know that I understood, Yoo Chun Young seemed to throw a glance at me but turned his eyes to look at somewhere else again. I rubbed my cheeks out of embarrassment.
A moment of silence revolved around us. As if to go with the flow of the coldness of our atmosphere, the drowsy afternoon sunlight followed soon and the air blew lighter than usual. I raised my eyes again and pointed my gaze at Yoo Chun Young.
It had been a while, but he was still sitting in front. With the way he’s behaving at the moment, I doubted he would leave me alone any time now. One of his hands was on the back of the chair and the other was grabbing a white mp3 player. He had white earphones on his ears as always.
His hair was glowing bluish as the sunlight shed on his jet-black hair. As I scrolled down my eyes under his tangled hair, there existed his proportional forehead, deep eyes, and straight nose. His handsome facial features made me think,
Strange. Why is he not going back to his seat?
He then had his eyes on me as if he felt my gaze. My heart sank at his yet horrifyingly blue eyes.
Why… Why? Should I take my eyes off of you? As I was about to speak like that, he pulled out the earphone from his right ear all of a sudden.
Then he handed it out to me. I flickered my eyes. He asked,
“Do you want to listen to it with me?”
In those days, I had no time to decide whether I wanted to hear the music he’s into or not. As if I were possessed, I just reached out my hand to take the earphone and shoved it in my ear. The song that came out was something that I already knew. It was ‘Faint’ by ‘Linkin Park.’
The song was a hardcore rock with an intense guitar sound. How could I imagine him listening to rock with that quiet face every day? As I looked at him in surprise, he might have thought I had a weird look on my face. He shrugged his shoulders and tried to take his earphone back from me. I raised my hand and stopped him to do.
“I like Linkin Park.”
My response seemed to make him open his eyes widely. Then the next moment, I couldn’t quite understand what it was, but I thought he was smiling at me while folding his cold eyes in the bright summer sunlight.
It was barely a smile; however, when I placed his usual character into consideration, I realized he was indeed grinning.
We then discussed Linkin Park and recommended other musicians and songs to each other. Our situation might have looked strange enough for Ban Yeo Ryung and Kwon Eun Hyung as they went back from the cafeteria and saw us together. I could not blame them, most of the kids’ shocked gazes were onto us as well as if they had encountered a lamb and a wolf having a debate.
When I told Kwon Eun Hyung about how my conversation with Yoo Chun Young started by sharing his earphone with me, Eun Hyung seemed to now have a full understanding of what was happening. He said to me with a gentle smile.
“Maybe he liked you from the beginning.”
“What’s with that thunderstruck bunny-face? I’m not kidding.”
He then spat out a burst of small laughter as if my face looked funny. While he touched my bangs, I turned around to see Yoo Chun Young. When our eyes met, he shrugged his shoulders with a tranquil expression. I held my head back.
If the speed of Ban Yeo Ryung and I getting close was 5, it was almost 1 for me and Yoo Chun Young. We became close slowly and steadily but in the most idealistic way.
As we got closer on a moderate speed, it happened on one summer day in our freshmen years in middle school. It was after the final term when everyone was enjoying their freedom while watching horror movies through the TV screen in front of the classroom. Yoo Chun Young and I were sitting in the back listening to music.
At that time, our class had a custom of boys sitting with boys and girls sitting with girls; however, that was not necessarily a steadfast culture in our class. Let’s say, for example, there were Woo Jooin sleeping on a bed of five desks attached to one another while other kids were playing card games on a round table made out of five chairs. In other words, our seating arrangements were totally a mess.
I remembered that day as a very windy afternoon. It was a day when the wind blew through Woo Jooin’s brown hair and scattered them around his peaceful face sleeping in front of the locker.
The classroom was quite dark. A few kids were almost screaming coupled with a few laughs while watching the zombie movie flashing in front. Among the chaos permeating all around, Yoo Chun Young and I were chilling together at the back with our desks attached and listening to music.
Kwon Eun Hyung and Ban Yeo Ryung were the class president and the vice president of the class respectively, so they were gone to the teacher’s room to discuss the upcoming summer field trip. I watched the dark dim space and listened to the screams and waves of laughter. Then I stared at Yoo Chun Young’s face next to me.
His blue-black hair was covering his white forehead decently. His lashes were reflecting the blue light. His eyes were icy pure and azure. His profile figure exposed in the pale light was just gorgeous.
I did not even know that I was looking at him with bewitching eyes. As I realized what I was doing, I slapped my face. The noise might have made Yoo Chun Young turn around to look at me with an awestruck expression. He seemed to be half asleep and half awake earlier.
He then took away his eyes on me, pulled out a textbook from the desk and placed his face on it to return back to dreamland. His head was facing me. I asked, feeling absurd.
“Dude, do you know whose textbook this is?”
True. It was difficult to figure out whose seat he was sitting at in this situation. It was as hard as finding out whose desk was included in Woo Jooin’s bed of the attached five desks.
As if he got annoyed, his eyes that were once opened closed back. Then he mumbled while sleepiness threw him at a drunken spell.
I dropped my gaze at him and tried to ask if he minded staining other’s textbook with his oily face… However, I gave up my futile actions after gazing at his poreless and flawless skin.
He was not like me who would become greasy after a good nap. Though he would also be the same, if that textbook belonged to a girl, she would definitely save it as a family heirloom: a book Yoo Chun Young laid his head on! Even I would have done that.
As I looked at Yoo Chun Young dropping off into deep slumber, I began to feel my own drowsiness visiting my consciousness as well.
Before dozing off, I snooped inside the desk. The textbook I took out had a name neatly handwritten on top. It belonged to Ban Yeo Ryung.
Oh lord. How lucky I was. I muttered to myself and opened the book right away. After flipping through the pages, I placed my head down onto it.
As I laid down, we happened to be asleep looking at each other. He was only about 50 cm away from my face. It was then when I had absurd thoughts of searching for any pores on his face.