Chapter 4A Summer with Superman
“I’m happy for you”
Everything was so fast. Those words never left my mind up until now. Two weeks had passed but it felt like more of a year that passed. Seunghyun was always around me; after all I agreed to become his girl friend. Fetching me from our house until escorting me back from school, Jiyong and I had completely became distant from each other. And something in me completely died as well.
I don’t know why I let things end up this way, but it’s probably for the best. I should start to grow up just like everyone around me tells me. I should give Jiyong his right to choose, and unfortunately for me, he never declined about Seunghyun taking his place in my life. And it really broke me, thinking that all along, I was nothing but just a responsibility for him, and he could probably breathe lighter now that a nuisance like me was finally out of his life.
But now, having him by my side again, wants me to take back what I decided, I want him to be back in my life again, I want him to save me from this painful feeling of just watching from afar, I want my superman back. If only I could turn back the time, and just told him how I felt, there’s
probably a possibility that I am not dying like this, that I am not feeling this big distance between us. I just want him all back.
“Where’s your bike?”
I asked, breaking the deafening silence as we walked our way home. Seunghyun has something to do first and he asked Jiyong to accompany from going home, and as usual, he was the same cold silent guy that I know.
“The tire blew up and I haven’t fixed it yet.”
I nodded before looking away. After a while, I felt my hand got enveloped by something warm, I quickly looked down only to see it wrapped by his hand. I looked up to him and saw him looking ahead with a calm expression on his face. Soon he looked at me and the calm expression on his face got replaced by a curious one.
“Why? Can’t I hold my best friend anymore because she already has a boyfriend?”
He asked, while I could only look at him. He looked at me for a while before he looked ahead again, a smile formed on his lips as we continued with our tracks.
“I used to hold you like this when we were young. You tend to lose your way even though we pass through the same way
everyday. And sometimes, I regret buying that bike, because I don’t have any reasons to hold your hand anymore.”
Why was he telling those things? I continuously stared the side of his face until I felt his hand tightened on mine, couldn’t help but to think that it perfectly fitted with his; if only I could hold it forever.
“Why are you -…”
“Would you be mad if I go Dara? Would you be fine if I’m not here anymore? Will he be enough to keep you safe?”
I immediately stopped with my tracks which made him stop as well. My brow rose up as confusion filled my mind.
“What are you talking about Ji?”
He looked at me with a clear pain in his eyes, his hand reached for me and I felt it touched my cheek and caressed it after a while, I saw him smiled but it was clear in his eyes that he’s far from the happiness that his smile was depicting.
“We’re moving out Dara…”
I continuously looked at him, reached for his hand that’s been resting on my cheek and brought it down.
“Moving? Where? Why?”
Questions immediately escaped my lips, fear started to creep up on me as the thoughts of not seeing him everyday filled my mind. If it was a joke it really wasn’t funny.
“Dad was promoted and was assigned to one of the company’s franchise in abroad.”
Abroad? Just then I felt instantly defeated after hearing it. I slowly let go of his hand as I shook my head.
“No you can’t. You said you won’t leave. You said you’ll stay with me.”
My selfishness went on again. He didn’t speak, instead he just bowed down and reached for my hand again and squeezed it with his.
So it’s true, my other hand quickly reached for my face to cover my mouth. I felt my chest tightened and felt a lump forming in my throat, I wanted to cry but before the tears could even fill my eyes, we heard a voice calling out our names, I looked away while Jiyong immediately let go of my hand as he looked towards the owner of the voice.
“Good thing I was able to catch up with you guys”
I quickly darted my gaze towards the panting Seunghyun, he smiled to the both of us, patted Jiyong on his shoulder before he went beside me. My gaze went to Jiyong, who stepped back behind us.
Seunghyun’s hand went to caress my cheek and that’s when I snapped back from my trance. I smiled to him and shook my head. So, Jiyong hasn’t told Seunghyun about it yet.
“Nothing, I’m just tired.”
With that, I felt Seunghyun’s arm wrapped around my shoulder as we began catching up with our tracks. Jiyong stayed behind us, while my insides were twisted in much agony, and as soon as we got home, I quickly ran inside our house without even looking back at Jiyong, I locked myself inside my room and there I cried my eyes out, muffling my loud cries as I buried my face on my pillow.
How could he do this to me?
Those words chanted inside my mind over and over again, I felt betrayed for the second time. And this time, superman won’t be around to soothe the pain I am feeling inside anymore. He promised he would stay, I didn’t lack from reminding him not to leave me, yet he will still.
I continuously cried, my eyes were probably swelling from too much crying, the sheets of my bed were now probably drenched but I didn’t care, I don’t even know how long he’ll be gone, so these tears were not enough to express this sadness that I am feeling.
“Dara-ah… what’s wrong dear? Why are you crying? You didn’t go down for dinner earlier. What’s wrong?”
I heard my mom asking me as she pulled my blanket off me, revealing my broken figure, my most frail state. That was worse than when Tam tam was kidnapped by those bullies back then.
As she caressed my back and asked me what’s wrong, I looked up to her and clearly saw the worry in her face, after all that was my first time to cry out in front of her for I only cry in front of Jiyong and no else.
I immediately sat up and tightly hugged my mom as I continuously cried.
“Jiyong’s going to leave me. He promised not to but he will. I hate him, why did he have to promise me that? Why did he have to leave mom?”
I can’t see myself without him everyday, for even though Seunghyun was there, I always end looking at Jiyong’s direction, for even though I feel safe in Seunghyun’s arms, I would still need Jiyong to have the peace that I am wanting inside; everything just feels so complete when Jiyong’s there.
“Dara-ah… just what I always tell you, Jiyong won’t be around always when you need him, you should learn how to give him his way of choosing things, and you yourself should also do that or else you wouldn’t enjoy others company”
But I’m stubborn and I really don’t want others, Jiyong is enough to make me happy. But no matter how many times I feed that to myself, it still wouldn’t change the fact that he’ll still leave me, and his promise would be left broken.
I completely avoided him after that day, and what added more to the pain I am feeling inside was knowing that Jiyong won’t be here for the next semester, his family will only stay up until the summer ends, and knowing about that, I childishly wished that everyday would be summer, that the whole years and the upcoming years would be just summer for I don’t to see him leave, I don’t want to wake up the next day not seeing him because I am selfish and I want him to stay.
Last night I even borrowed my little sister’s book, I read that fairytale that mom read her night’s ago and cried to myself thinking I’d rather choose to have a fairy godmother this time, just so she can make my superman stay with me, but then I realized that fairytales are just fictions, far from reality, just like superman.
Ms. Lee, our class adviser called my attention and asked to talk with me, was it because I had been spacing out in our class again? Or because of my short skirt again?
My thoughts got interrupted when she placed a familiar paper in front of me. I looked down and my eyes widen upon realizing that it was the future plan sheet that she asked us to fill out back then.
“Everything is just a joke for you, isn’t it Ms. Park?”
I didn’t answer him instead continuously looked at the paper in front of me as a smile slowly crept on my lips upon seeing my answer.
I didn’t know what came to me to put that ridiculous answer. It was a hot afternoon, the day when we’re all supposed to pass that sheet yet I was still not done with it, and when my gaze shifted outside the window, trying to collect my thoughts on what to write in it, my gaze landed on Jiyong who’s doing PE. He’s always perfect with everything he does, from music, academics up until to athletics. He truly is a superman, so without thinking, I jotted down what came to my mind right after seeing him. And now looking at what it was, I could only smile at my silliness.
“Lois Lane? What the hell is Lois Lane Ms. Park? You always do things that always raise questions to us teachers, weren’t we enough to educate you…-?”
Her lecture continued while my gaze was still fixed on my answer. What’s wrong with wanting to be Lois Lane? Superman needs a leading lady and that calls for a Lois Lane, can’t I wish to be her?
Soon, she surrendered from obliging me to grow up, and in the end she just sent me back to my classroom.
I guess there really weren’t any reasons for me to stick up to that plan, after all Jiyong won’t be here anymore.
“Are you okay?”
Seunghyun’s voice broke me out from my deep thought. Today Jiyong came to class only to say goodbye to everyone. Just one more day, one more day of this summer and I won’t be seeing Jiyong’s face again, won’t be hearing his voice again, one more day before the summer that I loved will be different from any other summers from the past, one more day and superman wont be here anymore.
I looked up and saw the pained expression on Seunghyun’s face, my mind instantly felt worried with it but before I could even ask him about it, both of his hands came to cup my face.
“Why can’t you just tell me that you’re being in pain? Coz if you just told me, I would’ve already stopped before. I’m selfish too Dara-ah… but seeing you like this makes everything wrong despite having you with me.”
I didn’t understand him; I didn’t know what he was talking about so all I could do was to listen, watch him until I saw tears forming inside his face, I was about to reach for it and wipe it but he shook his head.
“I never even heard from you if you love me back yet I still deafly and blindly go on and kept you, watch the two of you grow apart, I’m such a bad friend for doing this, just because I love someone who loves the guy beside me.”
I started, my eyes started to tear up as well from watching him like this.
“I guess it just proves that we’re not really meant for each other, for no matter how I try making you look my way, you always end up looking at him, I can’t make you smile the way he makes you to. And I can’t make you love me for clearly he had been in your heart even before I had laid my eyes on you.”
My eyes widen upon realization hit me. He knew. He knew that I’m secretly in-loved with my best friend. My heart sunk upon feeling so guilty for hurting him because of my little selfishness. All this time he had his eyes on me while I never looked back at him. All this time we had been in the same situation, and I know how painful he may have been feeling right now.
I felt his thumb brushed against my cheek, making me to look at him.
“Don’t feel bad about me. It’s my fault in the first place for going in between you two. And I won’t ever forgive myself if I continuously played blind and deaf about the things you two should know from each other.”
He slowly let go of my face as he held me by my shoulders.
“He’s probably not too far from here yet. Please do me a favor and run after him, I just don’t want to see those sad eyes whenever I look at you, and I just don’t want to see you in regret for not even telling him what you truly feels Dara…”
My eyes widen for the next thing I felt was his soft lips on my forehead. It was his first time giving me a kiss which made me startled. He pulled himself away and gave me a smile before turning me around and made me face the door of our classroom.
“Go Dara… tell your superman how much you love him.”
I quickly looked back upon hearing it. How did he know about it? Instead, he just gave me a sly smile before I felt myself being pushed gently towards the door.
Tears slowly formed inside the sides of my eyes as I continuously saw the smile on his face, and after a while, my lips slowly curved into a smile as well.
I whispered which earned a nod from him.
Without thinking twice I started my first step outside our classroom until I saw myself running, wiping my tears with my arm as I raced for the last chance I could see his face. True, I don’t want to regret everything just because of the childishness I got accustomed of doing, for once I want to
grow up and do something for myself and that includes telling Jiyong what I truly feel for him before it’s too late.
I panted, sweat had already drenched my clothes but I didn’t stop from running, and when I saw his figure walking along the river bank, my heart began racing even more and I felt myself floated instead of running my way towards him.
Good thing he didn’t use his bike today, good thing our neighborhood was slightly far from our school, good thing I ran after him.
I slowly stopped from my tracks when I was only a couple of feet away from him, and just there I was back from watching him. He was looking over the river as his pace was slow, he probably didn’t notice my presence for he didn’t stop.
I watched the side of his face, that face that I would surely miss to stare at… and the next thing I knew was I was back from running, I closed my eyes as I open both of my arms and engulfed him in a tight hug.
My mouth was half opened and eyes were still closed as I buried my face on his back. The firm broad back that I will miss and his warmth which brings comfort and erase every worry in me. I can’t help but to cry my heart out.
I felt his hand on my arm, with that I tightened my hold on him more. I don’t care if I’ll delay everything, I don’t care if he may break some ribs but I want to be selfish just until that time. Just an hour, a minute or just a second, I just want to feel him one last time.
And just like that, my hold slowly loosened. Why does my name really sounds so beautiful whenever he speaks it? His deep husky voice, can’t I just listen to it forever?
He held my arm as I felt him slowly turned around, I continuously wept with my head bowed down. For a while silence enveloped us until I felt his hand lifted my chin to face him.
I slowly opened my eyes, my vision was all blurred because of my tears but it didn’t escape my eyes to see that warm smile on his face, which definitely added more to the wild racing inside my chest.
“Look at you… you’re so drenched. Did you run all the way here?”
I nodded at his word, he really sounds like a father rather than a best friend; with that he smiled some more. Oh Jiyong don’t ever smile like that to every girl that you’ll meet out there. He pushed back the loose hair that got stuck on my sweaty face, tucked in the hair behind my ears before he settled his hand on the side of my face.
“I need to tell you something.”
I immediately told him, saw the anticipation in his face as his gaze never failed to drift away from mine. My lips continued to quiver and I made a deep breath to focus myself, my lips parted and I was about to tell him the words that I’ve been feeling for him this whole time only to be cut by him.
I felt his arm s around my waist as he pulled me towards him and the next thing I felt was his lips against mine. My first kiss. My eyes immediately widen as tears continuously streamed down from the sides of it. My body all stiffened, arms dangled lifelessly beside me; his beautiful brown orbs meet mine.
His other hand framed my face as he tilted his to deepen our kiss. His arm pulled me against him more which made me gasped and used it as the opportunity to slide in his tongue inside my mouth. My eyes closed as soon as I felt his tongue met mine, everything feels so new. My heart was on the verge of breaking down from the too much overwhelming feeling the kiss was giving me. My arms slowly wrapped around his form, and gripped on his back tight as we continuously shared a breath taking kiss, with only the river as our witness, with only the beats of our hearts being heard.
He pulled out from our kiss, leaving me panting and in a daze. I felt his forehead against mine and his hot breath tickling my lips as we both catch up to our breaths.
I slowly opened my eyes, welcoming my sight was his brown orbs still looking at mine. Great way to distract me, for really during that time, my head was all blank from any thought, as if his lips stayed etched on mine, I can’t get over from the feeling of our previous kiss.
“I never asked anything from you not until now.”
He started, his thumb brushing on the side of my lips.
“All I’m asking is for you to wait for me. No matter how long it is, I want you to wait. I will come back, and once I return tell me what you have to tell me.”
I saw his jaw tightened as he stopped from speaking and for the first time I saw tears inside his eyes, superman’s a human after all.
Before I could even speak back, he had sealed my lips with his again. He held me so tight that I felt his heart beating so wild against my chest. I could only comply with his words, my feelings still kept hidden from him with me waiting for the right time to say it, with me, waiting for his return.
The next day I received a call from him. He was at the airport and obviously he was disappointed with me for not seeing him off. What’s the use, he promised to be back, I don’t want to see him saying goodbye, for goodbyes are not meant for the both of us, we will still meet, I kept telling myself.
But what made me almost ran after him was when he told me he had Tamtam.
“Just so our agreement be clear to you, I held Tamtam as captive, so if you want to see him again, you have to wait for me.”
I didn’t know he had that childish side of him. Without Tamtam, nothing’s left with me. That whole day I cried, calling Tamtam and shouted how I sometimes hate Jiyong’s smartness. He really wanted me to suffer from waiting.
For a week I cried buckets of tears, Seunghyun and even Ji Hyo accompanied me to school and would always invite me outside just so I wouldn’t feel alone but every night I would still end up thinking of Jiyong, if he too was thinking about me, if he’s taking care of Tamtam, if he’s still riding that bike to school, if he’s okay without me because seriously I felt hell without him even with only just a week that passed.
“Jiyong… I miss you so much… how many summers should I wait for you to come back?”
I watched as the last leaf from the tree beside the window of my room fall off. Summer had already ended and so were my tears from falling down from my eyes. Until now he hasn’t called or mailed me about how he is, just a simple post card that I received that says a simple ‘Take care’ on the back. Thoughtful, so thoughtful of him; I kept thinking sarcastically inside. Just a simple email would be enough, but none came from him, while I wrote to him almost everyday, I would always stay up late praying that he’ll answer my letters, would patiently tell him everything that
happened to me each day, even proudly told him that I managed to get in the university I planned to go but nothing, nothing came back from him but just those post cards that all says the same thing.
And just like the other days of me waiting something from him, I looked over my desk and saw the postcards that he sent. My eyes fluttered in disappointment to see that up until now, he still as cold as he was.
I sighed before keeping the postcards inside the compartment of my desk, grabbed my bag from the bed; Ji Hyo and Seunghyun invited me to hang out again, I looked back on my desk and sighed once again.
‘How would I wait if you kept on making me feel that I shouldn’t?
Those words kept repeating inside my mind, slowly killing my hope that he’ll be back, slowly killing my determination to wait. Slowly lessening the fast pace of my heart whenever I would think of him.