Chapter 200: Chapter 200
Only then did Yoo Chun Young look back at me slowly, as if he had recognized me. ‘How frightening his eerie blue eyes were at first…’ When I recalled that memory, I broke into a smile.
I said, “Hi.”
Considering our relationship, it was quite unnecessary to say such a thing; however, I just wanted to try as we didn’t much say ‘hello’ to each other for a while.
“What are you listening to?”
Flinging a question, I tilted my head and put the earphone that I just took off from him on my ear.
The familiar raindrops ringing in my ear… I knew this song too. Eminem’s Stan, which we listened most often in the summer of middle school freshmen year. ‘As this is a dream, perhaps only the songs I know are played.’ That was when I smiled with the thought in mind.
I suddenly realized Yoo Chun Young, sitting beside me, was reacting a little strange.
Usually, he wouldn’t lay his eyes on me but divert his gaze back onto outside the window or stoop over his desk while placing his arms on it as if listening to music right next to him was nothing special. He was, however, staring at me with a look of wonder. It looked as though he was watching a stranger. I turned my head.
I wasn’t getting it wrong. With his blue eyes wide open, Yoo Chun Young, looking young and naïve in middle school, was directing his eyes on me.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, smiling in embarrassment.
“Is it you?”
Regardless of my question, Yoo Chun Young was still looking at me with his deep-blue watercolor-like eyes. He then continued with a nod.
His unique, flat-toned voice resonated around me. I became a little dumbfounded. ‘Although this is a dream, there should be some probability…’ His voice then cut into my thought. I raised my eyes again.
“It was snowing, but I stood right there and thought why I was standing here…”
“No matter how hard I tried to think about it, I couldn’t find out for whom and for what reason am I here waiting…”
While I was staring at him at a loss of words, Yoo Chun Young suddenly furrowed his jet-black brows. Then I heard his voice slipping out of his lips.
“It was you…”
What? All I could do was just looking at him with my eyes wide open. I mean, it wasn’t Yoo Chun Young’s incomprehensible words that captivated me from doing nothing at that moment. Instead, the look on his face was what made me freeze.
I never saw Yoo Chun Young looking so desperate or painful while talking about something that I could only stare at him, straining my eyes.
A moment after, I pulled myself together as if being awakened from sleep. Then I asked in a perplexed voice.
“What do you mean? You waited for me? When? On a snowy day?”
This time, Yoo Chun Young didn’t respond. I continued my words yet in confusion.
“Did you wait for me on a snowy day? But I didn’t show up? When? Where?”
Yoo Chun Young was still looking at me with a clear solitude in his eyes. I suddenly realized that the look on his face, directing at me, didn’t change at all.
‘Is he… unable to hear my voice?’ As soon as I had that thought, everything around me was distorted out of the blue.
The sunset-filled classroom, the dazzlingly shining blackboard, the clean podium, and the neatly arranged desks and chairs… All of them were distorted as if they were being absorbed into the center of something and so was Yoo Chun Young, in front of me.
I tried to stretch out my hand to grab him; however, he was already gone from his seat. Darkness surged to the spot where the dazzling orange had disappeared. Things happened in a split-second.
Feeling like a person abandoned from the storm, I just watched everything vanishing away while standing there still. And then, the darkness arrived.
I looked down, blinking my eyes. I was wearing a simple outfit, short-sleeved blouse and short jeans, for the courage test. There were sandals on my feet and a phone in my hand.
‘Stan,’ the song I heard through Yoo Chun Young’s earphone, lingered around my ears.
The cobwebbed ceiling, randomly placed desks and chairs… and that was when I turned my head as I suddenly sensed the faint orange lights hovering over me.
“What… what the f…!!!”
As soon as all kinds of shrieks burst out, at least, a dozen of black figures got up from their seats. Even though I only saw the appearance from behind rushing out the backdoor, I could tell that it was the back of someone’s head whom I knew.
I took a moment to look around the floor. A few candles that we prepared for the courage test were flaming fiercely on the holder.
I murmured, feeling absurd. Then, at the moment, I heard a familiar voice near my ears as if it was meant to be.
[Donnie, why didn’t you answer the phone? So was Jooin… oh, there he comes! But why is he alone… Donnie, where are you? … What did you say, Jooin? Huh?]
“Oh, Eun Hyung, um…”
For a second, I wondered the most proper words to describe the situation on the familiar voice that I heard after a while. Still, I couldn’t come up with a suitable response with my poor vocabulary that I just ended up shaking my head and giggled.
Putting my one hand inside the pocket, I held a candle and spoke on the phone.
“I’ll tell you when I get there. Where are you?”
* * *
“Oh, the kids in Class 1-1 dashed out of the classroom, crying, and said that they saw a ghost. Was that you?”
With that said, Yoon Jung In giggled to death while lying with his face down on the desk and tapping it several times.
While Shin Suh Hyun stared at him apathetically, saying, ‘Crazy ass,’ and the Kim twins directing their blue-black eyes on me, Jooin gave me a look. Looking a little hesitant, he soon lowered his voice and cast me a question.
“Mama, did you also come back through the bathroom?”
I wondered what he meant then I realized what it was and nodded my head.
He might be asking how I came back to this world from the bizarre universe that we were in earlier. In that case, the strange experience I had before wouldn’t be just something in my dreamland. ‘But, hold on…’ I frowned.
Then how could I explain about coming across Yoo Chun Young at the classroom filled with lights of the sunset? Was it a midsummer night’s dream? Or another thing that this shut-down school offered to me?
I dropped my gaze at my empty palm. Then, at a sudden, I realized that I didn’t decipher Yoo Chun Young’s mysterious text message yet. I raised my head to look at Eun Hyung and asked what I had in mind.
“Oh, did you reach out to Yoo Chun Young? What was he trying to say through the text?”
Cleaning out the candles, Eun Hyung told me about it in a calm voice.
“He wrote that he couldn’t come. A shoot was scheduled at the last minute, I guess.”
“Geez, Yoo Chun Young, why didn’t he just call? He’s not even good at typing.”
As Eun Hyung frowned a little and said so with a sad face, Yoo Chun Young felt like a person with a disease on his finger to me.
Being tentative for a moment, I opened my mouth.
“Um… but you know what…”
Jooin and Ban Yeo Ryung switched their gazes to me at the same time. I continued, wriggling my fingers awkwardly.
“I saw Yoo Chun Young.”
“What?” asked Ban Yeo Ryung with her eyes wide open.
I kept on, nodding my head, “Yeah, but Yoo Chun Young and I were wearing our middle school uniforms; the sun was declining outside the window… and um… oh, we both heard a song together.”
“Um… and the last thing I’d like to say, which is the most critical thing…”
Eun Hyung, who was cleaning things in the corner, also diverted his eyes onto me. Smiling aimlessly, I carried on my words in a faint voice.
“I’m about to pass out…”
Soon after dropping the last words, the flipping vision was the final memory I had of that day.