Chapter 22: Chapter 22
As I narrowed my eyes, I saw the terrace window tinged with a white glow. I stared at the sight vacantly hunching up on the couch. Then I realized it was the slow and steady knock that awakened me from my thoughts.
No wonder I could not get out of the tangle for a while after arising from my slumber. It seemed like it was impossible to rid myself of the throbbing in my chest. What’s wrong with me? I had my fist on my forehead for a moment and turned my head to the door.
I was sure it was Yoo Chun Young. In fact, even the knocking sound resembled his character. He should feel thankful enough that I’m not a heavy sleeper like him. If not, what would have happened? I clicked my tongue and rose from the couch to waddle to the entrance.
Before pushing the door aside, I glanced at my reflection in the mirror on the wall. When I had assured myself that I looked fine, I pushed the door open.
A boy with a black hat, a black mask printed with an illustration of barred teeth, and an exceptionally pallid neck appeared.
As I quickly ran through him dressed in thick wine sweater on top of a white dress shirt under a black jacket and a dark navy denim pants, I pretended to blow a whistle. He then hesitated to enter with a frown.
I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Man, your model aura is no joke.”
My words made him pause as he took off his shoes. His light blue eyes under the black hat seemed to be on a mission to scrutinize my expression to assure himself whether I saw the trending topics on the internet or not.
However, he might have not seen anything amiss due to my skilled acting ability. He then gave a sigh of relief and took off the rest of his shoe to step inside the dark living room.
He pulled down the mask to his chin with his pale fingers and said, “Why didn’t you turn on the lights?”
“I was nodding off in the living room waiting for the tiramisu.”
He raised his eyebrow for a second; he then placed a paper box he was holding onto my table. I took it from his hand before he could do so and checked the contents of his little souvenir. My face then beamed into a thousand rays of sunshine.
I placed the box on the table immediately and opened my arms widely towards Yoo Chun Young.
“Welcome to the royal palace of Joseon dynasty, stranger.”
By looking at him wiggling his brows without any response as a sign of his discomfort, I guessed he knew that I was mimicking King Sejong’s lines from Civilization V: Brave New World.
Yoo Chun Young pointed at the tiramisu with his chin and said, “Why don’t you say that to the tiramisu.”
His words made me turn around to the table. There stood the elegant cake box waiting to receive my warmest greetings. I added all kinds of frivolous motions to show my great enthusiasm toward it.
“Oh, yeah. My dear tiramisu! I sincerely welcome you to this my peaceful abode!”
Yoo Chun Young seemed to breathe a sigh then turned to the living room wall. His hand was fumbling around the wall. It looked as if he was searching for the light switch.
I paused my small campaign to welcome the tiramisu. I turned my head towards his direction and headed towards the clueless boy who was still busy looking for the light switch hidden among the shroud of darkness.
As I strode beside him and pushed the light switch open, the whole living room soon lit up brightly. Yoo Chun Young, at last, took off his black jacket and threw it roughly on the living room couch. While I turned the living room light on, I also switched the lights on the kitchen open to bring the forks and plates.
Yoo Chun Young did not place his legs on top of the table like Eun Jiho, which made me regard him as someone who possed a more refined and modest attitude. I tried to ask him, who was crumpling his long legs under the couch, if he would like to have a slice of the tiramisu. I, however, refused to do it. Instead, I rummaged the drawer in silence to take out two forks.
Yoo Chung Young would definitely take a slice. Regardless of his icy, sophisticated, and ascetic appearance, he preferred to listen to hardcore rock music, to eat sweets, and to play video games.
As I proffered two plates and a fork to him quietly, he grabbed the plate and put it on the living room table. Then he glided down the couch and sat on the floor. I remained silent sitting next to him and opened the box of tiramisu.
I then gaped at the soft ladyfingers, the white cream, and the cocoa powder on top of this lovely dessert. Wow, it looked so good.
I fumbled the chocolate topped on the tiramisu with my fork and asked him, “Where did you get this?”
“The place I go often.”
After his response, Yoo Chun Young spooned the chocolate I was fumbling with the fork and just shoved it inside my mouth. I stopped questioning him with my usual frown and savored the taste of the chocolate. At that moment, I was unable to explain the euphoria I was feeling as the sweet chocolate melted in my mouth. Then I held the plastic knife inside of the box and sliced the cake into nine pieces.
I placed a slice on Yoo Chun Young’s plate and another slice on mine. When I closed the box and was about to head to the fridge with it, the door of my parents’ room suddenly opened. It startled me so much that I almost dropped the box of tiramisu onto the floor.
The one who came out with tottering steps while rubbing their eyes was my dad. My eyes were wide opened since I thought he went to work.
Yoo Chung Young also seemed alarmed as my dad appeared all of a sudden. He straightened up his posture before sitting casually on the floor. To be more specific, he sat on his knees like a scholar during the Joseon dynasty.
It seemed that half of my dad’s consciousness was still in dreamland. He rubbed his eyes again and looked at Yoo Chun Young sitting in the living room. Then he had his eyes on me standing in front of the fridge.
He asked, “Is he Jiho?”
“No, dad! It’s Chun Young.”
“Oh, Chun Young? Where are my glasses?”
In the meanwhile, I pushed the cake box inside the fridge and picked up his golden framed glasses from the table.
“Oh, now I can see. Oh, yeah, it’s Chun Young. The boy who’s also a model? Right?”
“Yes, sir.” Yoo Chun Young nodded his head with a brief answer.
My dad also looked satisfied with his answer since he remembered who Yoo Chun Young was. He smiled delightedly and turned his eyes on me.
He asked, “But why is Chun Young inside our house in the morning? Why is it only you and him? Are you guys dating?”
“No. I was just bored, so I had him come to my house with a box of cake.”
Wasn’t it so silly to confess that I promised Chun Young I would not turn on the computer for 3 hours?
As I responded exhibiting a timid smile, Yoo Chun Young stared at me for a while. My dad, after looking at me, soon let out a whoop and clapped his hands.
He said, “What a girl. How can you dare think about spending your friend’s time and money that way? My daughter, don’t you have any hands, legs, or money?”
“Hehe, dad. I’m running out of money though.”
I tried to subtly ask for some pocket allowance by appealing to the fact that I was running short. As I spoke with a grin, he then cut my words at once.
“Why didn’t you take good care of your funds, huh? It’s not my fault if you don’t know how to save your allowance.”
“Oh, come on. It was mom’s birthday earlier this month. That’s why I spent everything I had.”
“None of my business. Hey, Chun Young!”
My dad ignored my remark and stuck out his head to call Yoo Chun Young. I stared at him while pouting my mouth.
I meant, how could he cut me into pieces in front of my friend? As Yoo Chun Young looked at my dad, he barely hesitated to advise,
“Chun Young, although she’s my daughter, beware of her. Not only her friend’s money but everything that goes inside her hand would disappear in a matter of seconds. So watch out.”
“Thank you, sir.”
For me, it was such an unfair remark that it boiled my blood; however, Yoo Chun Young made a sincere response by nodding his head instead. My dad seemed to be so satisfied with his answer that he rubbed his chin and went to the bathroom for a shower.
After I heard the bathroom door closing, I went back to the living room and stared at Yoo Chun Young.
He was changing the channel with the most comfortable posture like a couch potato as if he never sat on his knees a while ago. When I came down to him, he rolled his eyeballs to take a glance at me and turned out to burst out of laughter. I lifted the tip of my eyebrows and asked, “Dude, why are you laughing? Huh?”
“What do you mean?”
His response made me bury myself next to him. As he turned his eyes aside, I grumbled while pouting my lips.
I quibbled, “Hey, how could you not say a word! Donnie is so reliable. She boasts strong credibility like a bank. I could confide my whole property to her care! Something like that!”
“How could I believe you?”
Then I stopped myself from talking altogether. No, it was not by my own will… No one could keep on talking after hearing his voice like that. The lit-up living room was still so bright, but I deluded myself as if the entire room was surrounded by darkness.
I sat still dropping my gaze at the table then turned my eyes to Yoo Chun Young, who sat next to me. He was looking at me with that freezingly light blue eyes. It had been a while since I truly grasped just how cold his eyes were.