Chapter 5

A Summer with Superman

She must probably the most childish person that I met, with  nothing to do but to say the silliest thing I could ever  hear. She must probably the most crybaby that I met, for she  would easily cry once she didn’t get even the smallest thing  that she wants. And she must probably the most hard-headed 
person that I met, for she always does things that in the  end she would get scolded.

But no matter what she is, no matter how many times she  would make my head hurt from her pettiness, I still love  her. Love her since the day I saw her crying her eyes out  just because of a weird looking doll, love her because of  her untainted innocence, love her more each day whenever she  would break me out from my restraints because of her naïve  prattles, love the way she would make my knees weak just  with her smile, love the way she would make my heart do  somersaults whenever she would call my name, love the way  she would make my whole body tingle whenever our skins touched, I love every single detail about her. And words aren’t enough to express the feeling I have for her, the feeling that I painfully kept inside just so I can keep her, 
just so what we have between us won’t falter for that’s the only way I could keep my close distance with her, I would take it to forever that she could only look at me as a friend, just so I could stay close with her just until the forever that she had in mind.

My Dara. What would you feel if I tell you that I am no superman?

I am not as strong as you think I am, for deep inside; it is you that is my weakness. I am not as perfect as you think I am for deep inside I am insecure to match a beautiful person like you and each day I try harder so I could look perfect in your eyes, just so you would always look at me, and need me for you think I can do everything for you. The only things that I could probably do for you are to protect you and be selfish over you with each time that you’ll need me by your side.



“Do you believe in fairies?”

That was probably the silliest thing I’ve ever heard her asked me, couldn’t contain but to let out a smile because of it, her innocence that I love the most, her eyes that will twinkle whenever she would be curious about some things, her nose that would scrunch up whenever she’s confused and her lips that would pout whenever she would not get the answer that she’s wanting to hear, I don’t know what will happened to me if I wont be able to see those things anymore.

And just what I expected, after I said no, that cute little pout immediately appeared on her lips, oh how much I’ve wanted to kiss that pink lips, but shame on me, I could only see myself doing that inside my imagination.

“But I do believe in fairies”

I heard her whispered; I could only smile at it, curiously thinking what could she probably thinking right now. I sometimes hate that she think silently to herself, I want to hear everything that she thinks of, I want to know if she’s still thinking about me.

She’s a stubborn girl, would always cause worry in me especially when earlier I saw how her skirt almost barely covered her thighs, I don’t know where she got that idea but I seriously hated it. Why does she keep doing things that she said would make her beautiful? What can be more beautiful to an already perfect person like her?

I told her to hold on to me, and when I caught her spacing out again, I took the opportunity to grab her hand and wrap it around me and god, it is moments like this that I don’t regret buying this bike for feeling her arm just against my waist could already send me to heaven.

“Sorry for making us late again Jiyong-ah”

I heard her spoke, I don’t care; I would even wish for the time to stop just so I can be with her longer. Being a stubborn girl she is again, I felt her extended her hand with only her other hand holding on to me which made me to slow down the bike and look over my shoulder to see what she’s up to.

“Jiyong-ah. It’s summer once again.”

Upon hearing it, I felt myself smile, lifted my face to feel the sun’s rays touched my face, she’s right; it is already summer. Another summer that we would share together, I couldn’t help but to wish that I could be with her every summer of her life, but that would be too much, she’s the only who could tell me to stay or not. And I wish she would tell me to stay.


I almost laugh at how her face twisted as soon as we arrived in school. Who wouldn’t be disappointed if you’re tasked to clean the whole yard by yourself? And that lovely pout appeared on her lips again once I passed by her and headed for my room. I could only shake my head and watch her for a while inside the building before I made my way to the back yard and help her clean it, that was my first time to be absent in a subject but I didn’t care, as long as I do things for her.


Seunghyun, my friend called me as soon as I got back inside the building. And it was probably a mistake for talking with him that day. It’s my first time hearing someone asked me about Dara and thinking it was Seunghyun, the most popular player of our school’s football team, I knew there’s something different with it.

My shoulders dropped in defeat, and I felt my heart sunk for a while after hearing him say that he had liked my best friend since the first day of our high school. How could I not see this all the time I was with him? I kept asking myself only to earn myself a shy smile from him, a blushing man who’s asking me if he could have a ‘move’ on my best friend.

The whole time I was protecting her, the whole time I thought she was mine, I never considered anyone would take her away but right now, all I could do was to shrug my shoulder and let him know that I don’t care. So uselessly let her be taken away just like that, I should’ve just said he can’t for I love her but I was such coward, afraid to claim her as mine for right in the first place she’s not.

And there, I watched them as he approached her. Saw how her pale cheeks blushed upon knowing who it was, I could only bit my lower lip, it probably bled but the pain it gave off was nothing from the pain that pierced through inside my heart when I saw her smile at him.

“What’s with the sad face? Did she got mad at you again?”

Ji Hyo, another friend of mine, broke me out from my trance, between her and Seunghyun; she’s the only one who caught me having a one-sided love towards my best friend. I don’t know if I was that easy to read or she was just smarter than I am to keep it much hidden to myself.

I looked at her but all I could do was to let out a desperate sigh. For sure Dara would tell me about the incident with Seunghyun later and thinking about it made it more painful for me even before hearing it from her.

“Oh. It’s that incident earlier is it? Yes, I know how you feel; but what can we do? We chose to be their friends.”

My jaw tightened upon hearing it, watched as her eyes fluttered in agony. She’s right. It was a matter of choice, and I don’t know if the decision I made was right, I was too selfish to even saw the flaws behind it even before I had already chose what position I’ll be in Dara’s life.

“Tell me again why we are keeping our silence and just content ourselves watching them from afar?”

I heard her whispered, she always ask me that whenever at times like this.

“It’s because friendship is much more important for it to stake for our own selfish desires.”

I answered her back and it took her a while for her to nod at my words. If only I didn’t meet her as a friend, I probably am not feeling so helpless now, just watching her.

“We’re such good friends aren’t we?”

This time she finally let out a smile that I couldn’t help but to smile back. What can we do? That’s the only way we could feed this little one-sided love we have for our friends.


Later that afternoon Dara was all silent, I thought she’s just having tantrums but in the end I still asked her about it which earned me with a still silence from her. I was worried, she never gone that far with her tantrums and when after few days passed and still she was all dead silence, I got scared, thought to myself if I’ve done something wrong, my insecurity came flashing through me again; but when I remembered the festival this upcoming weekends, I didn’t think twice and ask her about it.

But what added more to the fear I am feeling was the hint that this summer, she won’t be spending it with me, and I was right. Probably Seunghyun had asked her to it, and who am I to compete with him?

“Ah. It’s okay. It’s good to have someone else to join you just for a change.”

Oh she doesn’t know how much strength I needed for those words to be told, I don’t want even a tinge of change, if having her not in it, I wouldn’t want it at all, but it’s all too late; she’s starting to drift now away from me.

I don’t even know what came to me for even going to that festival, if not for Ji Hyo forcing me to accompany her, I wouldn’t come and openly hurt myself watching the two of them have the time of their lives. Those smiles that would escape her lips, I’m supposed to feel happy about it, but couldn’t help but to wish, he would fail to make her smile, for I don’t want anything or anyone but me who could only put those smiles on her face.

My Dara, who could be better than your superman? Is it Seunghyun?

I desperately asked myself as soon as our eyes met, I couldn’t help but to feel a little betrayed for she always tells me back then to always stay by her side, but there she was, going out with another guy, there she was, looking at me with those unreadable eyes.

I know she was somehow mad, even though I don’t know the reason behind it, I could feel it through her silence and her looks. What bothered me that night was about the shoes she was wearing, it was my first time seeing her in such heels and I was sure those shoes were killing her that night.

The fireworks colored the night, it’s beautiful but its lights wouldn’t compare to her beauty, her porcelain skin, those beautiful round eyes, and her pink plump lips, every summer, every time I would watch the fireworks with her, I couldn’t help but to always compare her beauty to the beauty of those fireworks that would captivate the eyes of the crowd. Dara is just too much for perfection.

Ji Hyo and Seunghyun bid their goodbyes and it didn’t escape my eyes to see that sweet smile that formed on Ji Hyo’s lips upon seeing them go, another stolen chance for the both of us.



And when Dara began crying, everything inside me shouted in so much worry, I asked her about it and when she told me it was all because of her feet, a bucket of relief washed over me. I watched her for a while; would she really be okay with Seunghyun? Would she really be okay without me?

“Don’t cry now little girl”

And I just found myself kissing her; I myself was surprised to what I’ve done but after doing it, regret never came to me, instead I felt relief washed over me once again for when I did that, her tears stopped from falling. It just hurt me to hear her cries.

And can I just have my selfishness over her for tonight again?

I pulled her to ride my back, lied to her that I didn’t bring my bike just so I can have more time to be with her that night, left my bike parked on some tree; losing it that night was far from my concern and I don’t care if my back would hurt after it, for having heaven with her was all worth the pain.

Hearing her asking about Ji Hyo, I blindly made myself believe that she’s somewhat jealous but hearing silence in response, I could only let out a bitter smile, who am I kidding?

“Don’t ever leave me Jiyong-ah…”

And that brought me back to reality. My eyes widen as realization hit me and the words from my parents came ringing inside my mind once again.

“You’re not fully cured and you know it.”

“I can’t leave, I’m fine mom, I’ll drink my medicines regularly”

I was thinking about her all the time, even forgot the reality that my body needs help itself.

“Is it because of her? Jiyong you can even barely see now, how can you say that you’re fine?!”

Even fate tells me to go; do I really not deserve her? Why am I this weak? Why can’t I be the superman she’s always thinking me to be? I want to see her always, see that beautiful smile on her face but I don’t want to go and leave. If only I can fly back and forth to see her. But I am not superman, and never will.

Days passed and we grew apart, my vision’s even failing me to see her, and I hated it, what’s more painful to not seeing her anymore? Letting the distance between us eat me alive as I watched the two of them grew close together, but I stood by in her words, I never left, even begged for my parents to just search for a cure that doesn’t need to go far from this town.

But one day, the day that gave me the most painful shot in my heart. She was nowhere to find, and god knows how worried I am when I can’t see her anywhere, I thought I would go insane from too much worry, and when I saw her after an hour, walking alone, I merely forgot about our friendship, almost showered her face with kisses but then her words stopped me to it.

“Seunghyun… told me that he loves me.”

“He asked me to be his girlfriend Jiyong-ah…”

And that end it for me, those tears? Were all because she was happy? My mind was all shouting me to just tell it to her Jiyong, just tell her that you love her, it would probably change everything, she might probably love you back, but my heart won’t let me to say it, for I know she only sees me as a friend, and as a friend I should be happy for her; and what could a blind superman do for her? I could only let out a bitter smile, so much for my love, I should have expected this. Yes I had, but I do deserve to feel at least be hurt by it right?

And there, I surrendered everything just for her happiness. I gave her the last thing that she had probably wanted a blessing from a friend, my support and my forced happiness. And I got something in return, that is a complete distance from her, an immense heart break. I was stupid, so stupid for loving my best friend, but what more could be stupider if I had loved her my whole life without even letting her know about it.


The day came when I had to say my goodbye, another painful day that I miraculously managed to get through. I couldn’t even ride my bike properly anymore that I had to walk my way but that day, I was a bit grateful that I can have probably my last chance to hold her hand again. And upon feeling it to mine, heaven knows how much I wanted to cry at that moment.

I almost forgot that I was supposed to say my goodbye to her for I couldn’t let go of her hand, rather, I don’t want to let go of it.

And I saw the pain in her face when I told her the biggest lie to cover up my weakness. Oh please don’t look at me like that, don’t look at me as if I’ve done something that’ll not be good for you. Somehow I too wanted to go away Dara. I wanted to clear my mind and heart from all this selfish love I have for you for in the end it’s me who’s suffering from it. I can no longer be your superman, where in right in the first place, I was never.


I watched the last summer that I’ll probably see, with a tinge of vision I had left in my eyes, I tried to memorize its beauty, just like my Dara, as beautiful as her. I want to see her so bad, even just for the last time and as if God heard my last heed.

I suddenly felt a familiar warmth against my back. And my heart rejoiced upon realizing who it came from.


I felt my eyes started to sting because of the tears that threatened to form in my eyes. But I managed not to break, not until the last moment, I still tried my hardest. Oh please let me to never forget about this face, let my mind and my heart see what my eyes can’t anymore.

“I need to tell you something.”

Heard her speak but played deaf about whatever it is. For upon that close distance between our faces, I finally broke the last restraint I had in myself and the next thing I felt was her lips against mine, the lips that I always dreamed to feel, I used my last opportunity to make the best out of my first kiss, wishing that I too was hers. I don’t know how long it lasted but the feeling of her lips stayed on mine like forever.

And my lips said the most selfish thing I could ever tell her.

“I never asked anything from you not until now.”

“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 am no superman for I am selfish, and until that last time I still was.

For years I lived in darkness, with only the memory of her face inside my mind, with her letters being my lullabies as my mom read it to me over and over again. Even chanted her words inside my mind, mom told me to write one back to Dara, but I can’t, I can’t let her know how much suffering I am 
having, I can’t let her know how weak I am now, especially that she’s not by my side. The only thing I could probably tell her is for her to take care of yourself while I’m gone, at least do that for me, and I’ll continue to hope that I’ll be able to comeback again and see her.

“Please wait for me…”

I will come back Dara, and please be there once I did. I’ll be better, try my hardest to be the man you’re thinking I am. Try to be the superman you think I am, despite the only knowledge I know, and that is on how to love you. But may my love be enough for you to see the real Kwon Jiyong behind the invulnerable man you think I am.

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