Chapter 3A Summer with Superman
Summer slowly passed by with me seeing myself watching Jiyong from afar. I would just find myself always staring at his direction while clutching on my chest, and would shyly look away whenever he would meet my gaze. I have been acting weird after the festival, and this strange feeling inside me kept on bothering me as well.
And from watching Jiyong, I am bearing the odd pain that always strikes me whenever I would see him with Ji Hyo. Though the gossips about them died out, though he already told me that they are only friend, I still couldn’t help but to feel this strangely uneasiness inside me. I might even have looked like a predator always watching my prey from afar.
Riding his bike going to school and going home became just a plain silent ride because of me. I continued with my silent war against… myself. I never planned and wanted to act this way but I can’t help it. Jiyong’s making me mute by just doing nothing. What made me sadder was that, he never asked why again, he just played along with the silence I’m giving him; not that I care, but towards the end, it’s always me who’s dying to hear from him.
Another sigh escaped my throat. My chin was resting on my palm as I once again, watch Jiyong from the window of our room as he was chatting with his ‘fortunately’ guy friends outside.
“What’s wrong with me?”
I mumbled. I could feel my forehead creasing; wrinkles were probably appearing on my face now because of too much thinking but still, I can’t figure out what’s happening with me. I think my head would burst from too much thinking which I’m really not used to doing. Jiyong’s the one assigned to thinking, while I’m only assigned to just blabber out whatever that comes to my mind.
“Why? Are you sick?”
I heard someone spoke behind me, and my gaze quickly darted away from Jiyong towards the hand that I felt against my forehead.
“You seem fine. What’s wrong?”
Before I could even turn around and face the man who owns that big hand and deep husky voice, he had leaned down to me which startled me because his face immediately welcomed my sight and because of the small distance between our faces; his thick eyebrows curved out an arch as he gave me a warm big smile. My eyes widen and quickly pulled myself up and distanced myself a bit away from him.
I looked around for a bit and sure saw my girl classmates all pouted, probably because of envy and jealousy; I sometimes get scared what his fan girls might do to me, because honestly Seunghyun has been visiting me often in our classroom these past few days; I didn’t know why, either when he started calling me by my nickname, Dara; not that I have something against it but, I’m really wondering why he’s acting all so sweet and caring towards me. And whenever I would ask him about that, concerning myself about his fan girls, he would just show me that infamous smile of his and tell me because he just wanted to. I could just only nod, pout and tell him that he better explain his fan girls that we’re just friends then after that I will hear him chuckle before he pats my head. It’s always been like that, until I got tired from asking him and just let him do what he wants; now he’s even barging in our classroom much to his comfort.
“Nothing, what are you doing here? You startled me.”
I smiled at him. He gave me back a sly smile before he went closer to me and before I could even block his hand, he had already pinched my cheek. That’s one of his habits whenever he would see me; I’m afraid that my face would swell from too much pinching that I get from him but still, he wouldn’t stop and would even blame it to my chubby cheeks.
“Why are you so cute?”
He told me, that’s when I slapped his hand away and pouted. I heard him chuckle before he grabbed my hand and started to drag me out of the room.
I’m supposed to feel that strange giddiness inside the pits of my stomach just like the first time he held my hand, I should blush whenever our skin brush against each other, should feel like my cheeks will burn whenever he would look at me; but none of these feelings would hit me whenever he would do those things. I knew it; that was really just because of the hotness of summer.
“My mom cooked some seafood that she got from the neighboring town.”
We started hanging out during lunch as well, with Jiyong and also with Ji Hyo. I don’t know why she’s here, why she’s always with Jiyong whenever we would hang out during breaks. Honestly don’t like it, I don’t like her being near with us, especially with Jiyong. Sure she’s a nice girl, but I can’t make myself no matter how I try to like her.
I was lost in my thoughts, watching the two across the table while Seunghyun kept on putting food on my plate, I shrugged off my shoulders and decided to look away while pouting. And as I was about to eat the food I randomly picked on my plate, a hand suddenly stopped me. I quickly looked at the owner of the hand and I felt my heart suddenly jumped when I saw that it was Jiyong.
“Dara-ah… that’s a squid, did you forget that you’re allergic to it?”
I looked down on the food mentally hit myself for not being careful, that even until eating; I still needed Jiyong to remind me of things. Has he been watching me this whole time? He gently put my hand down while I just stay silent and couldn’t take to look at him.
He got my plate as pushed his in front of me. I finally looked up only to see him not looking at me anymore.
They started chatting, while I just sat there listening to them. Jiyong was also silent like he always is, with only Ji Hyo and Seunghyun doing the talking, once in a while my gaze will land to Jiyong, as if he has some kind of magnet that no matter where I look, I always end up staring at him; and just like what I have been doing this past few days, I would blush and quickly look away whenever he would catch me staring at him. I guess I was wrong about not having that summer sickness anymore, for I think it has even gotten worse.
“Are you done answering the future plan sheet?”
Jiyong broke me out from my trance with his question. We were on his bike, on the way to our school, with me seated behind him again thinking about what happened earlier at home. My mom scolded me again, and it was about that ‘future plan sheet’ that Jiyong was talking about.
I never thought of planning for the future. I just never expected time to pass by this quick, that one more semester left, we’re all going to depart ways and face that path we decided to take, and unfortunately for me, I still haven’t found anything that I want to be in the future. I was used
to following Jiyong’s words, with him always do things for me, so it never crossed my mind to do things my own and that flared up mom’s patience towards me earlier.
“I can’t think of anything to write on it.”
I flatly answered Jiyong, it took him a while for him to speak again.
“What’s wrong? All you have to do is to write what you want to be in the future”
That’s the problem; I don’t even know what I want.
“How about you? Are you already done with it?”
I asked him back instead. I felt him sighed before he glanced back a bit and answered me.
“Yes. So you should start answering it, everyone needs to pass it on Friday. Do you want Mrs. Lee to scold you again?”
I pouted and looked down.
“Can you just answer it for me Jiyong? After all, we’re still going to be together right?”
I mumbled, not really thinking about my words, and when I only received silence from him, I continued.
“I just want to be with you always, that’s the only thing that I have in mind.”
Still lost in my thoughts, letting my lips spoke off everything that I feel right at that moment, without hesitations I tightened my hold on his sides.
I heard him whispered. Yes… I’m silly. Always thinking of the easiest way to escape, always depending myself in your care, I’m silly for thinking that you’re forever be with me. But can’t we?
I was fixing my things, readying myself to meet Jiyong and go home when I heard someone called my name. I followed the voice and saw Seunghyun standing right outside our classroom wearing an unreadable expression on his face.
He looked around for a bit, the students slowly lessened until it’s just the two of us. I continuously looked at him questioningly while he gave me back a slight smile.
He slowly went towards me, biting on his lower lip like a kid who got into trouble. He kept shifting his gaze to the side until he reached the spot in front of me.
“What’s wrong Seunghyun-ah?”
He bowed down for a bit, then I was startled when he grabbed my hand. Felt that racing going on inside my chest again, my hands started to sweat from the forming anticipation I could feel inside. Strange… it was all strange again.
He looked up and I almost let out a gasp when our eyes locked and one of his hand reached for the side of my face and felt it caress it.
“No matter how I try I always end up staring at you… it’s my first time feeling this odd feeling inside of me whenever you’re near. I don’t know how I managed to hold myself back, just watching you from afar… but right now, I don’t want to be a coward anymore and let the others have their way to take you away…”
I was stilled. I don’t know what he was talking about but it feels like every of his words pierced right through me. His every words clearly described every of my feelings, every of my actions towards my best friend. How come Seunghyun knew all about it? Why was telling me those things? And before my mind could even process the reason behind it, his next words had beaten me to it.
“I love you Dara…”
I don’t know if it was his voice or was those words that brought shivers down my entire body, but after hearing it everything inside me all went blank. I can’t look at him; I can’t even let out a single word. First time hearing it, I should at least say something, but I was so lost. And the only thing that I am sure about what I’m feeling was that, what I am feeling inside was far from the bliss that I was expecting to feel.
I walked my way home. When I went out Jiyong was not there anymore. The sun was about to set down, the water in the river reflected its ginger color; the water sparkled as if bits of tiny diamonds were poured in it. I was still in a state of blankness; my mind was flying off somewhere until I let out a sigh.
And when I looked ahead, a gasp escaped my throat upon seeing ‘him’ in his bike, making his way towards me. I stopped from my tracks as I watched him. The last rays of the sun hit his form perfectly, casting his shadow below him, his beauty was flawlessly being highlighted by the sunset. He was pedaling his bike as if he’s racing between life and death; I knew he saw me because the once worried face slowly got replaced by a calm one when he got nearer.
As the distance between us slowly lessened, my heart began racing once again. My lips parted as the music created by my heart played along my ears, until my vision slowly blurred; only to realize that tears had been blocking my clear vision.
Jiyong hurriedly went down from his bike before he could even reach me. The poor bike got almost thrown away as he roughly got off from it. I stood still on my spot, waited for him as he ran towards me. It was clear in his face that he was mad and I was expecting to be scolded by him because of that.
But I was wrong, for as soon as he was an inch away from me, I felt myself got enveloped by his tight hug, heard myself gasped from the force our bodies collided with each other.
“Where were you? I’ve been looking all over for you. I thought something bad happened to you!”
I heard him yelled, felt his arm held me so tight that I thought I would break, his hand continuously caressed the back of my head; but I could only bury my head on his shoulder and cry.
After Seunghyun’s confession, I quickly ran to the rooftop of our building and hid myself, I don’t know why but I wanted to be alone and calm myself. I didn’t realize that I was crying and took me almost an hour to calm my nerves. But here I am now again; crying in Jiyong’s embrace couldn’t control my overflowing emotions. I don’t even know the reasons behind my tears, was it because of happiness, or because of this strange sadness that I am feeling again.
I felt him pulled me out from our hug; I looked up and saw him looking down at me with clear worry in his face. He was still holding one of my shoulders tight as one of his hands reached for my face and wiped off my tears.
“What happened? Why are you crying? Did something happen?”
That was my first time hearing Jiyong in so much panic, and honestly, I liked it. I want him to worry about me, I want him to always protect me, I want him to always make sure that I’m always at his side, I want him to think only of me.
I bit my trembling lip before speaking.
I choked on my tears and saw his brow furrowed in much frustration upon hearing his friend’s name.
“Seunghyun… told me that he loves me.”
I finally said it before another wave of tear escaped my eyes. Jiyong’s hold slowly loosened, his face had completely been blurred out because of my tears, I wanted to see his reaction, I wanted to know how he felt upon me saying that thing. I just wanted to know.
But then, I found myself being hugged by him again, my tears slowly drenched his shirt. He held me so softly that all I could feel was his warmth that added more to the burning feeling inside my chest.
“He asked me to be his girlfriend Jiyong-ah…”
I whispered, gripping tightly on his back as my arms wrapped along his waist, hugging him back. For a while he was silent, only caressing my head and back that I could only close my eyes in so much comfort that he’s giving me.
“I don’t know what to do. He said he’ll wait. I can’t think. I don’t know.”
“Sssh… then why are you crying?”
He whispered back. There I felt my heart been pricked with his question and because of the pain I could feel in his voice.
I couldn’t answer him back, instead I just cried more, and bury my face on his chest, wanting to hear the beats of his heart.
The reason I was crying was because it was not from Seunghyun I was expecting to hear those words, because I just realized in myself that I wanted to hear those words from another person, and that person was the same person I am crying my eyes out now, the person who could make my heart race fast and slow at the same time, the person who I was with all my life, the person who I selfishly want for myself. I was crying because I want to hear it from Jiyong, and knowing that it’s impossible for right in the first place it was only me who has this selfish desire and probably because he has those words ready for another girl.
“I’m happy for you”