Min Ji opened the gate to see a very dirty Shin Hye. The younger one lit up a naughty smile.
"Geugeon eottaesseo (How was it)?" Min Ji asked.
Min Ji frowned at her eonni's laconic answer, so she laughed at her.
"Mwohoho, eonni, I can grab a skillet now."
"I'll fry you."
Shin Hye chased Min Ji around the house, but the gate was left opened, so Yong Hwa was able to get a glimpse of the two sisters arguing and fighting.
Back to the days of old. And Min Ji had to treasure this moment because her Eonni would be studying for college soon.
That afternoon, Yong Hwa knocked at the gate of the next door neighbor, and someone opened the gate.
"Annyeong, Shin Hye-ya," he greeted with his toothy smile.
His smile was priceless and shimmering and glamorously adorable, and Shin Hye wanted to fall for him again, but she felt it was long gone. Out of goodwill, she let him in and let him stay in the front porch.
"Would you want some tea, juice, or coffee?" she asked.
He looked at her strangely.
"You know I only like coffee," he said.
She shrugged her shoulders and left for the kitchen. Later, she brought in a tray with two cups of coffee. She placed the tray on the table and sat next to him.
"Oh, I thought you hate coffee," he asked as he saw her grab one cup.
"I used to hate coffee," she said. "But after my hospitalization, I don't know. I suddenly had the craving for coffee."
He looked at her strangely as she sipped from her cup.
"I don't know what happened, but after that incident, I liked things which I usually hated."
"I hate seafoods, but now I love them," she said. "Eomma was even astonished. I used to hate syrup on my yogurt, and I know only Min Ji has that weird taste. But after CSAT, I tried it and I found it delicious."
Yong Hwa sipped at his own mug.
"Which reminds me, the things that I loved now happened to be your favorite," Shin Hye said.
Yong Hwa was puzzled. Not only did she had the same cravings as he had, she also remembered his favorites.
"You like your yogurt with syrup too, right?" she asked.
"N..ne.." he replied. "Chocolate syrup to be exact."
"Strange, huh?" she commented.
"It indeed is," he said.
Both of them watched the birds flying from the branch to a nest.
"Where... where will you study? I mean, what college?" he asked her.
"Seoul National University," she lied to him.
Sadness took over his mood.
"Geureom, we will, perhaps, not be seeing each other again," he said.
She looked at him, who was looking at the birds. It was best to let the past go and forget her love for him.
"To be honest with you, the blood you received," he started out of the blue.
"What about the blood?" she asked in astonishment.
"It was from me," he said as he looked at her.
Her eyes grew wide at the revelation, and she started to laugh in denial.
"How can you be so sure?" she asked him.
"The segment number, the blood bag number, I took note of it," he said. "I donated my blood because you needed it."
Shin Hye's heart clenched and melted at the revelation, she was even touched that he donated his blood, and she was touched that he even remembered her blood type.
"But just because I donated my blood, it does not mean that you have been influenced by my favorites."
"Ani, ani... It's not that," she said as she shook her head. "It is just that, after the blood transfusion, I suddenly felt some connection with you, and I don't know why it had happened in the first place. I just noticed it."
And hesitantly, she asked, "But it is not because of the blood, is it?"
"Ani... Perhaps not."
"I guess... I guess..." she stammered.
Yong Hwa looked at her eyes silently, and she was melting at the stare. She was hoping that he'd continue her speech and say that both of them were meant to be.
"Ani... ani..." she thought.
"I just guess that we had started to gain some unconscious connection," he told her. "Even I cannot explain how it had happened, how you began to have all my likes as well."
Talking about all these weird connection was beginning to freak her out a bit, so Shin Hye suggested that she was gonna go and get her guitar. She ran upstairs and grabbed her guitar so that both of them will have some jamming sessions.
"It feels like I am not in a hurry," she laughed uncomfortably. "But tomorrow, I'll be going back to Seoul alone."
The smile from his eyes disappeared.
"I hope you'd stay a little bit longer," he said sadly.
"I know," she said sadly.
She gave him the guitar so that he'd start playing some music. For the rest of the afternoon, both of them sang and jammed together. As they were singing, thoughts came to play in their minds.
"I want to say this, but I am afraid to say it," he thought. "Do I have to wait for the right time? Or should I say it before she leaves?"
"I want to hear what you want to say to me, even if it hurts," she thought.
After the strumming of the guitar, Eomma called them both to have dinner. Yong joined them in.
After dinner, both of them got back to sitting down at the front porch.
"Yong Hwa-ya, I want to tell you something," she said.
He looked into her eyes and waited patiently. His heart ached as he watched her tears falling down her eyes.
"I just want to say thank you for coming into my life, for being a friend, for teaching me how to love, to get hurt, and to let go," she said. "I just don't know what else I can say to say my goodbye to you."
"G..goodbye..." he echoed. "Goodbye?"
"Ne... As I have said this afternoon, I'll be leaving for tomorrow early."
She wrapped her arms around him and let her tears fall down his shoulder.
"If I could stop time, I will really let it stop," she thought as tears fell down. "I want to be with you and to say that I love you, but saying it will only be hard for me to let go and leave."
He buried his face on her hair as he hugged her back. He began rubbing her back tenderly, with all the feelings he could muster to show her.
"Shin Hye-ya, I want to say that.... I love you... I really love you, and I mean it," he thought. "I know I will regret if I don't say this, but I know saying this will only make it hard for you to go."
That night, Shin Hye tried to compose a message, professing her love for him again, but she kept on erasing it. A lot of drafts came to her mind, but none made sense.
"It doesn't make any sense anymore," she said. "I am leaving tomorrow, and saying my love for him is best said in person... Now I regret not saying it..."
Her heart clenched at the regret that she had felt, and tears fell down her eyes.
In the other house, Yong Hwa also composed a message, telling her that he loved her very much. He did not know how to say it in the most convincing way possible.
"Now, I regret it. I had the chance this afternoon, but I never said it to her. I should have told her in person that I love her..."
His heart clenched at the regret, and tears fell down his eyes.
The next day, Shin Hye bid her eomma, harabeonim, and yeodongsaeng goodbye. She would be leaving for Seoul, and Yonsei was the place to be.
The bus was unusually late, so she just waited. Later, a bus rolled and stopped at the bus stop, and she got aboard. The bus had few passengers, so she just sat anywhere she wanted.
She was a bit sleepy that she dozed off, but her yawn was cut short when someone from the outside shouted her name.
"Shin Hye-ya! Shin Hye-ya!"
She opened the window and peeped out. Even some of the passengers peeped out.
"Jeoge mwoya!" one ajumma exclaimed in disgust.
"Yong Hwa?" Shin Hye asked no one.
He was running after the bus and continued calling out to her.
"Shin Hye-ya! Saranghae!!!!!"
Her eyes grew wide. Did he just said that he loved her? Even the people in the bus where curious and giddy and excited of this open proposal.
She watched him stop to catch his breath. But the bus was too far and too fast to even stop now, it was too impossible.
"Mianhae, Yong Hwa...."
She grabbed her cellphone and sent him her draft from last night.
"This is it," she thought. "I really have to tell him that I still love him..."
After a few seconds, she received a message from him.
"Wait for me in Seoul."
Her heart fluttered when she received the message. She sent him another message.
Yong Hwa was puffing and gasping for air when he received a message from her.
"I'll not only wait for you, I want to meet you in Seoul."
He let out a wide grin as he watched the bus far away.
"Ne... definitely... I will meet you there," he said. "And I promise you, you will be mine."
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