Chapter 2A Summer with Superman
The festival came; I was a bit happy and excited, becauseafter all it’s Seunghyun that I’ll be with. But on the backof my mind, I couldn’t help but to feel lonely for, for thefirst time, I am not with my best friend.
Seunghyun was happy to be with; he’s totally different fromJiyong with his warm company and him always throwing funnyjokes. But I couldn’t help but to miss Jiyong’s seriousness.I miss pulling him to different booths and making him to play and get all the prizes for me because with Seunghyun, I don’t need to whine and ask for him to get me a prize for as if he already knows what I want.
And as if God had heard my thoughts, I saw Jiyong at one of the booths in the place. I almost forgot about Seunghyun and just ran up to my best friend, but when I saw Jiyong was with someone, especially when that someone was the same girl I saw with him these past few days, something slowly died inside of me. For a while I just watch them having fun, well, on the part of the girl because sure, he's still the same cold guy I know.
But when I saw that same warm smile that crept on his lips just like that day when I saw them, a sudden wave of pain struck inside my chest and I realized why; it was because it wasn’t me who he was smiling at again.
I just stood there. Glued on my spot; watching Superman with his Lois Lane. They definitely look good together just like what the others say; but why can’t I make myself, even on the slightest way, be happy at what I’m seeing? Instead, this unexplainable pain kept on pricking my insides.
Then I heard myself gasped. As if it wasn’t enough for me to see them, as if it wasn’t enough for me to look pathetic standing from afar, watching them; Jiyong turned his gaze towards me; and the smile on his lips slowly vanished upon seeing me.
He looked at me with an unreadable expression on his face, but still, I just stood there stiffened on my spot. I saw them walked towards me, but all I could see was Jiyong looking straight at me. The noise of the festival, the crowded place slowly vanished one by one as all I could see was him still looking at me with those unexpressive eyes. Just then I felt my heart started to beat hard, impossible it may be but I could hear it racing so wild that I almost thought it would escape from my ribs. What’s happening with me? I kept asking myself; only to hear nothing but that wild beats that’s been escaping from my chest.
Then I could feel the urge to run again. Silly, why would I run away?
And as they went nearer; I could feel my heart throbbed more, but as much as I think that it’s because I was only excited to see my friend, it still wouldn’t reciprocate the painful feeling from each and every throb that I could feel. The look in his eyes, it was different from his usual stares. As if it were boring holes through my face, such judgment his eyes were sending me. Why is he looking at me that way?
And when I thought I would die from having a heart attack; when I thought my ribs would break from too much pounding inside my chest, I felt something landed on my shoulder. Bringing me back from my painful trance; breaking my gaze away from Jiyong.
I looked over my shoulder and saw a hand on top of it, but what surprised me more was to realize that it wasn’t only a hand but an arm that was wrapped around me and from no other than Choi Seunghyun.
I looked up to see him. Still blank from what’s happening, I watched the side of his face and saw him smiled at the people before us. I felt his hand gripped tightly on my shoulder and felt myself being squeezed as he pulled me closer to him. I couldn’t break free, for I am confused, totally baffled that I could only stay silent as I turned my gaze back to Jiyong.
He was still looking at me. I heard Seunghyun spoke but I couldn’t decipher any of the words that came out from him, I
saw Jiyong looked away from me and started talking with Seunghyun. I didn’t know they knew each other. But setting
my curiosity aside, I can’t make myself stop from watching my best friend as he continued talking with the man I’m with. Until I realized, I was back from being dazed.
He has really grown big, sure he still has those gleaming tiny eyes, his pointy nose, up to his plump lips but as if it was all different from before for I never knew Jiyong has grown this handsome.
I felt a sudden dryness in my throat; feeling a forming lump in it. I gulped down as I continued admiring the beauty of
my best friend until after a while my gaze landed on his lips, watching it as he spoke. I can’t look away rather; I think I really don’t want to look away.
What’s happening with me? It feels so odd. As if I want to do this all night long. As if watching him would be much of my contentment. Why? He’s only Jiyong, my best friend.
I snapped out from my trance when I heard Seunghyun calling me. I immediately broke my gaze away from Jiyong and looked up to Seunghyun.
“Are you okay?”
He asked, and it was clear in his voice that he’s somewhat worried. I just then realized that he’s been holding me for quite a while now. I felt myself blush, with that I quickly wriggled myself away from him as I bowed down a bit to hide my flushed face.
I looked up as I tucked my loose hair behind my ears and bit my lip as I saw the three of them looking at me in curiosity, I must’ve startled them with my sudden action. I saw Seunghyun as he let out a light chuckle; I could only let out a slight smile as my gaze trailed back to Jiyong only for it to be stopped when the girl he’s with called my attention.
“You’re must probably Sandara.”
She leaned towards me as she extended her hand and presented me with a wide sweet smile. I looked down to her hand before I looked up and turned to Jiyong who was still looking at me with an unreadable look on his face.
I pouted and snubbed him; how could he not tell me about ‘her’?
I turned back to the girl, she’s beautiful, and clearly she’s nice; no wonder why Jiyong liked her. But honestly, thinking about it really makes me mad.
I bit my inner cheeks before I nodded my head and took her hand, I know I’m acting childish again, but I didn’t care because I really felt betrayed about Jiyong not telling me about this, he even invited her to this festival.
“I heard lots of things about you from Jiyong. By the way I’m Song Ji Hyo, nice to meet you”
And they even talked about me. I wonder what he told her about me. Probably how much annoying I am, probably on how much he wanted to wished he never knew a childish person like me, probably how much of a nuisance I am to him.
I learned that the three of them really knew each other. I could only pout and sulk, feeling sorry for myself for being
the last person to know all about these. What am I busying myself this whole time for not knowing about these?
The rest of the night was a torture for me, for aside from my aching feet, the worsening pain inside my chest really bothered me. Seunghyun and I were behind Jiyong and Ji Hyo. As much as I wanted to listen to Seunghyun’s stories, I
can’t help myself but to watch my best friend again, I was used watching his back but the fact that it wasn’t only his
instead he’s with someone else than me, really inflicted that weird pain inside me.
He didn’t even bothered talking to me, not that I’m not usedto it. But he should’ve at least told me why he was with ‘her’, as if the reason were not that clear to me. And whydid he bother reminding me about this festival the other day when right in the first place he was planning to come with his ‘Lois Lane’?
I let out a long discrete groan as soon as we sat on a part of the riverbank, waiting for the highlight of the night, the fireworks display. My heels were totally killing me, why did I even wear these kinds of shoes in the first place?
“Are you sure you’re okay Sandara?”
Seunghyun asked me, I quickly gave him a forced smile as I told him I’m okay. Making him worry about my probably now bruised feet was the last thing I want to do this night.
Soon the first batch of the fireworks colored the night, the water in the river reflected those lights and the whole crowd was all immersed by the beauty of it and that includes me. This is one of my favorite things during summer; watching the free fireworks show together with my best friend. Apparently now, it wasn’t only him that I’m with, neither was he.
I just found myself drifting my gaze away from the heavens, stealing a chance to get a glimpse of him again. And when I
finally set my eyes on him, I felt myself smiling from it. As if looking at him was better than watching those colorful
lights in the night, missing a whole batch of fireworks for this summer to feed my silliness and watched the side of his
face as he looked above, watching him the whole time he was not looking at me.
And as I continuously did, I felt those strange beatings in my heart once again. My eyes widen as an overwhelming feeling showered over me. But I just sat there, unmoving, gaze still fixed on him, probably looking like a fool that all I needed was to drool over the beauty of my best friend.
I was still in my own world, as if I finally swallowed my tongue for up until the fireworks had ended, up until the whole festival had ended, I never spoke a single word. This ‘summer sickness’ has really gotten into me this time; I just felt so weird inside.
Seunghyun and Ji Hyo bid their goodbyes; apparently they belong to the same neighborhood which was different from
Jiyong and I. And when I realized it, it was already too late for the two of them had already headed home, leaving
me, Jiyong and the deafening silence behind.
I didn’t know when it started but I never imagined myself feeling this awkward towards my best friend of whole life; that I couldn’t even look at him now after that fireworks show. What has gotten into me?
“What has gotten into you for wearing those heels?”
I finally heard his voice after a period of an excruciating silence. I quickly darted my gaze towards him and despite the dimness of the night, I saw the worry in his face. I was left baffled for a moment. Heels? And before I could ask him what he was talking about, my eyes widen when I felt his arm draped along my waist and before I knew it, I was being lifted up by him. With that, I quickly wrapped my arms along his neck and could only watch the side of his face as he
started walking us to somewhere.
I felt myself being seated on a bench. I stayed silent, still dazed as to what he was up to. I saw him stoop down in front of me and lifted up one of my legs; that’s when I snapped out from my trance.
“What… what are you doing?”
I tried to stop him only to hear myself let out a long groan when he took off my shoe and held my foot.
I was left watching him as he shook his head. He was too focused on my bruised foot and started on massaging it. I bit my lower lip and my eyes fluttered when I started to feel a stinging feeling as I continuously watched him.
“My friends said that I should start wearing heels because I look short.”
I mumbled, not thinking about my words, just to replace that silence that’s been my sanity. I heard him chuckled as he shook his head again and reached for my other foot. I felt my lips started to quiver, until I realized that I was about to cry from watching him.
“But on the other hand, it doesn’t look good for a girl to be so tall. So stop wearing these things.”
My vision started to blur, until I felt my tears started to stream down on my cheeks and my hands quickly reached for my eyes to wipe my tears away.
Jiyong immediately noticed it and quickly looked up to me. His hands immediately reached for mine to take it off from my eyes and there I saw again the worry in his face.
“Why are you crying? Are you hurt somewhere?”
He worriedly asked, but still I continued crying; doesn’t even know the reason behind my tears. It’s just so painful inside, the heaviness inside my chest and the painful lump in my throat was too unbearable that I just wanted to cry it all out.
“Dara-ah… what’s wrong?”
His soft voice played along my ears. He held one of my hands as he caressed my cheek with the back of his other hand. I
looked up to him; saw the crease on his forehead despite my blurred vision. My lips didn’t stop from quivering and my shoulders began trembling from too much crying.
“My feet hurt…”
I said between my sobs, and just then I saw his face slowly calmed down. His shoulders dropped at ease and slowly, a smile formed on his lips.
I’m such liar. I didn’t know where and when I learned how to lie, but I managed to let out one.
I just realized that I was not crying because my feet hurt; I couldn’t even feel it anymore for I am completely numb from other feelings aside from the painful beats in my chest.
I was crying because I miss his voice. I miss talking with him. I miss him telling me what to do or not, I miss him scolding me because of my childish acts. I miss him even though just earlier we were together. I know it was my fault for putting up that silent war that was known only by me. And it may be too shallow of a reason, that it’s only been just two days since I last talked of nothing but silliness with him, but I don’t care. I just miss him.
I closed my eyes and continued to bawl, until after a while, I gasped. My eyes widen and tears instantly stopped when I felt something wet and soft landed on my forehead.
“Don’t cry now little girl”
I heard him whispered before he caressed my head with his hand. I was left stiff on my seat when he wiped off the tears on my cheeks before he went back on massaging my feet. My eyes blinked for a couple of times, trying to decipher what just happened. He just kissed me.
Jiyong just kissed me.
My entire being all went blank. The pain that’s been bothering me was all gone. With just a simple kiss on my forehead, everything inside me felt all hot and pounding.
And aside from the kiss he gave, those words that he just spoke… the same words he spoke when we first met added up to
reasons why every fibers in my being were all rejoicing. He’s still the same ‘toothless’ superman that I knew.
Before my hand could reach up to touch my forehead, which seemed like marked by some magic spell that clearly stopped my tears; he came to stop my hand as he held it with his. I looked up to him and saw him smiling down at me again. The same smile that ‘toothless’ superman gave me from back then.
“Let’s go home”
He turned around with me facing his back and stoop down again. He grabbed both of my arms and wrapped it around his neck as he slowly pulled me towards him.
“What are you doing?”
I quickly asked him even though I have a gist of what he’s planning to do.
“I didn’t bring my bike.”
With that, he gave me my shoes back as he completely let my arms wrapped around his neck. Without another word, he
lifted me up on his back. I heard him groaned before he stood up.
I gasped when he bounced me up a bit on his arm; I quickly tightened my hold on him as I rested my head on top of his
He looked to the side, I saw him smiled before he started with his tracks.
Silence enveloped us. I snuggled my head on his shoulder as I closed my eyes and couldn’t help but to smile despite the
awkwardness of doing this thing at such age. For I can’t feel anything aside from the bliss that just like when we were kids, superman came to my aid again.
“Are you okay now?”
He broke the silence as he whispered. I don’t know how long I have been on his back but I couldn’t help but to wish for the time to just stop, or for our house to be still far; because I never felt this good before.
I nodded my head, not bothering to open up my eyes, I inhaled his scent; same smell as the freshly mowed grass, the sweet smell of the flowers blooming, the smell of the fruits from the trees as the wind brushed by them, the smell of barbeque… amazing, he smelled like summer.
“Are you mad at me?”
I quickly opened my eyes as soon as I heard those words from him.
“You were quiet these past few days, was it because I scolded you because of your skirt, or because you were the only one who was punished when we came late for class?”
My eyes widen with his words. That was probably the longest statement I heard from him. He actually noticed my silence.
I smiled against his shoulder before I pulled myself up a bit to have a glimpse of the side of his face. His scoldings
were all nothing to me, I’m already used to be scolded at by him, and the punishment; it wasn’t even only me who cleaned the whole yard.
“No. It’s because you keep things from me.”
I pouted, remembering about Ji Hyo, remembering how close they were with each other without me even knowing what they have between them.
“You… and Ji Hyo… are you guys…”
I heard him chuckled before he looked to the side again and peeked at me.
“What do you mean?”
My brows furrowed and it took me a period of silence before I let out a sigh and asked him again.
“Is Ji Hyo your girlfriend?”
He suddenly stopped from his tracks which startled me a bit. After a while he chuckled before he started to walk again.
“Where did you hear that?”
He said after he chuckled, I pouted again and rolled my eyes.
“The girls in my class were all talking about you two.”
“You easily believe in whatever you hear don’t you? First the fairies, then the skirt, then the heels and now this?
What else did they say? ”
My eyes widen, totally offended by his blow. I was about to bite his shoulder for revenge but got stopped when he continued.
“As long as it’s not from me… don’t believe on whatever you hear from others arasso?”
“You’re too full of yourself sometimes.”
I retaliated back but he just chuckled at me.
“So… it’s not true…?”
I couldn’t help but to ask again. My curiosity was really killing me.
“Are you asking me because you’re jealous?”
That struck me hard. Jealous? Probably I am.
If it’s only pain that I could feel whenever I see them together, if I want him to just look only at my direction, if I wanted him to talk only to me, if I wanted him to smile only at me and if I wanted him to be superman only to me. I’m selfish. And I probably am jealous.
I stayed silent, dropped my head back on his shoulder as I let out a sigh. Why can’t he just answer it? Why does he need to make me feel bad again, because seriously, thinking how jealous I probably am seeing them together slowly breaks me.
“She’s just a friend…”
But despite the supposed to be reassurance that he told me, I couldn't help but to still feel sad. Probably because it was not what I am wanting to hear from him; but I myself doesn’t even know what I wanted to hear just to make myself in peace.
“But Jiyong, I don’t want to see you with someone else.”
My mind screamed those words over and over again, for it’s is only selfishness that I am capable of doing for him. I tightened my hug around his neck. I didn’t care if he would choke from it. But I just want to feel his presence before me. I want him to at least feel that I will always need him. I don’t want to let go, for hearing him say those things about ‘her’ being ‘just a friend’ sent a different meaning to my selfish mind.
“Stop from worrying about little things Dara-ah…”
I heard him mumbled as he looked over his shoulder.
“Don’t ever leave me Jiyong”
I closed my eyes again, I’m not even sure what else came out from my mouth for I was back to inhaling his scent, my mind was filled only about the scent of summer. Letting silence enveloped us again.
When I opened my eyes, I just found myself in the comfort of my room and saw through the curtains of my window that it’s already a new day. Just like back then, I fell asleep on his back again.