FinalA Summer with Superman
“Do you believe in fairies?”
And it’s as if those words were like magic to my ears, I then found myself smiling; listening to the little voices of two youngsters behind me. The sound of innocence, the sound of two untainted playful minds; which brought me back to when I too spoke of those words; until slowly, the curve on my lips grew wider.
I turned my head to the side, as I continuously listened to the two kids behind me. With still a smile on my lips, I watched the bright heavens from inside the window of the car. I brought down the window and stuck out my hand to feel the warm breeze brushed on my palm and through the spaces between my fingers. My eyes slowly closed as I could smell the scent of the freshly mowed grass, the sweet smell of the flowers blooming and the smell of the fruits from the trees as the wind brushed by them. The sounds of the birds chirping came playing around my ears… and it struck me, as the warm breeze brushed through my cheeks… summer has finally come unnoticed by me.
How many summer have I already missed? How many summer had passed by without my knowledge? And how many summer has it already been without you by my side?
But it would probably be better to just let summer be forgotten for it only brings your memory, especially your promise that left neglected.
My brows started to furrow; as slowly, everything from that one summer time flashed back to my mind. As if it was only yesterday, as if it was you’re here listening to my undying naive prattles again and as if the fast beatings in my heart were all new to me again. I could only feel the nostalgia… as if you’re here again by my side.
It’s been years since that one particular summer changed my life. Until now Jiyong never contacted me, I can’t even remember when was the last time I sent a mail to him and up until that last mail, I never received a reply, just those stupid post cards that would make me cry even before I could even see what was written in it.
But still, I couldn’t help but to admit in myself that up until now I still had my hopes soaring as the level of the skies. Still waiting for the day he would come back to me, probably because he still has Tamtam, probably because I still have an unfinished business that I needed to tell him.
I had waited for years, didn’t even noticed how many summers that already passed because I was too focused on working hard, harder everyday so that when we see each other again, Jiyong will see how I grew up even without him, that I managed not to break from waiting, so that when we see each other, I could look at him straight, without a trembling fiber in me, I could tell him the words I’ve been treasuring to tell him all these years.
“Thanks for offering me a ride Ji Hyo, Ms. Lee kept on calling me asking where I am, that old lady never showed me a bit of kindness even once. Always telling me to do this and that, aigoo I don’t know what came to me to even work for that school”
I heard Ji Hyo chuckled at me before scolding the kids on the backseat who were now arguing about the fairytale they were talking about earlier. With Jiyong being away, I earned two good friends in Seunghyun and Ji Hyo and what I’ve learned from hanging out with them was that Ji Hyo had never been my competition in Jiyong’s heart for she had been all along in-love with Seunghyun, that’s why after knowing it, I felt so much guilty for everything I’ve thought about her, but that easily got replaced when one day, they told me that they started going out, and now they’re even married and expecting a child soon. I could only wish them happily, could only wish for my own story to end up just like them but seeing myself now, alone, teaching kids with Ms. Lee who ended up as a rugged old maid, I can’t help but for my wish to fail me, I’ll probably end up just like Ms. Lee.
“It’s okay, the school is on the way after all, by the way who was the one who bought the school again? Whoever he is, he’s so kind to do that, I thought we’re not going to be able to save it but because of his help we did.”
I too couldn’t believe it. That’s the reason why Ms. Lee was telling me to go to the school today because the one who bought the school finally paid a visit.
The government nearly took the school from us because there aren’t much students attending it anymore and would just relocate everyone to the neighboring town. Everyone in our town was against it, especially me. For every memories of Jiyong and I were confined inside the four corners of it and I’m sure everyone else’s childhood memories were all kept in there, we couldn’t just let them take it away from us just like that. We tried to save something in order to buy the whole school, but the money we got wasn’t enough and yet there isn’t much time anymore for us to earn more. And then suddenly, one day we just heard that someone bought it for the whole town, he never introduced himself, and we only got a message from that man telling us that the school was important for him as well. And now, everyone in the school was excited to see him, and that includes me. I can’t express the gratefulness I am feeling inside.
“Thank him for me, and tell him welcome back”
Ji Hyo winked at me while I could only raise a brow, suddenly confused as to what she told me, but before I could even asked her about it, she had already started her car’s engine.
“See you..! I still need to deliver these kids to their mom”
She chuckled and waved goodbye as she drove off her car. I shook my head as I smiled, Seunghyun and Ji Hyo really fit each other; they always crack me up with their sudden statements.
A young man welcomed us once I get to the faculty room, I was busy examining him when he reached for my hand and introduced himself. Not a part in him looked like a Korean, so why would he bother buying the school, when clearly he didn’t came from here.
“My friend asked me to pay a visit in here to fully take care of the papers of the school. He won’t be able to do it personally because he has something else to do.”
I was looking outside the window, smiled to myself as I watched the fair blue sky, somehow I felt different about this day, probably because finally our problem’s finally solved.
“This school was very important for him and especially for his best friend, he said that he’s sure she would definitely cry again if this school won’t be saved and he doesn’t want her to cry not until he’s back.”
Somehow it sounded a bit familiar, I could only smile as I remembered Jiyong from the man’s story; how he would do everything for me just to aid my tears, how he would do everything just to make me happy. My Jiyong, I haven’t done anything yet to make you happy.
I was walking along the hallway of the building, about to go home; when suddenly I caught something at the side of my eyes which made me to stop from my tracks. My body went stiffened like a statue, lips parted as a gasp escaped from it; and there I felt my heart started beating crazily again.
I turned my head to the direction, inside the room and as soon as my eyes laid on a familiar figure, one of my hands automatically reached up to my mouth. My eyes both widen and my heart doubled its wild pace.
A man was standing inside, with his back facing me; hands were inside his pockets as he was watching the view outside the window of the classroom.
His hair was dyed blonde but that back, that familiar broad back; how could I not figure out who owns it?
My mind instantly went blank as I could feel the hard pounding inside my chest, the stinging feeling that’s forming inside my eyes, and the over flowing longing inside my heart.
I casted my first step and each step I make were all heavy as if my feet would sink in the ground. Excitement filled my entire body until to the tips of my toes and fingers, and before I could even take another step, a gasp escaped my throat as I saw him slowly turn around.
His blonde hair gleamed against the sun, those hazel tiny eyes, that pointy nose, that plump lips, his face was the same as the last time I saw it.
I continuously watched him, couldn’t even blink my eyes for I’m afraid that if I will, he will suddenly vanished. Just then, his lips slowly curved into a smile, that same smile that ‘toothless superman’ gave me back then, just there, every restraints I had in myself slowly broke down; my vision slowly blurred as tears started to fill my eyes.
He’s really here.
I uttered his name after years, whispered it softly like a prayer and then saw his smile slowly faltered as he moved towards me.
Before I knew it, I felt myself being engulfed by his tight hug.
My eyes automatically closed as a familiar scent immediately welcomed me. The smell of 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 still smells like summer.
“Did you miss me Dara-ah…?”
And oh God that voice… you don’t know how much I missed you Jiyong. The next thing I felt was the tears that’s been making its way out from the side of my eyes, muffled cries slowly been heard from my lips as I cried against the shoulder of the person I missed the most.
“You’re really here? Jiyong?”
I helplessly cried as I kept asking him over and over again. I gripped on the back of the coat he was wearing, feeling for myself that he’s really there.
“Why are you crying, didn’t you like my present for you?”
That stopped me from crying. My eyes instantly snapped open upon hearing his last words. I pulled out from the hug and looked at him with tears still streaming down on my cheeks.
“What… what do you mean?”
My voice was shaking, shoulders were trembling; I then felt both of his thumbs came to my cheeks to wipe off my tears.
“I was saving that money since young for another cause but thinking this school is so important to you…-“
My mouth hanged open as more tears came out from my eyes.
“You… you bought it? You were the one who bought it?”
The back of his hand came to the side of my face and caressed it again, only for me to let out another gasp as I felt his lips against my forehead.
“I just don’t want to see you sad Dara-ah…”
Without thinking twice, I threw myself at him again, cried my eyes out, burying my face on his chest as I hugged him so tight. Until now, he still does his best to aid my sadness, my superman; how can I ever live without you?
For a while we stayed like that. Feeling his warmth gave me the comfort that I was seeking, easily eased the worry in me, how can he do these things to me?
“But here you are… still crying, I thought you don’t cry anymore, that’s what you told me in your last letter.”
He had read my letters back then?
He stayed hugging me even if I tried pulling myself to face him. He caressed the back of my head and felt his hug tightened around me.
“I’m so proud of you.”
“Then why didn’t you answer any of it, I always waited.”
I pouted and slapped him a bit on the back which earned a chuckle from him.
“I did send you postcards didn’t I? Plus, I don’t know what else to tell you aside from taking care of yourself.”
I managed to push him away. The same cold guy I knew. There I was almost losing my hope that he’ll come back, almost hate him for breaking his promise while the only reason he has was because he can’t think of anything else to say to me?
I was about to blurt out my great disappointment when all of a sudden my words got cut off for the next thing I felt was his hand pushing the back of my head, the sudden jump of my heart and his lips over mine.
In the middle of the afternoon, with only the fast paces of our heart being heard, his soft lips grazed over mine. Just like our first kiss that one summer. I could only close my eyes, my arms slowly reached up to wrap around his frame as I savored the sweet taste of his lips against mine.
“I’ve been so lost without you. I thought I won’t be able to see you again…”
He whispered to me as soon as we broke out from our kiss, and another batch of tears escaped my eyes upon hearing it. Was it supposed to be me to tell that to him? Just then, I remembered the words that I’ve been dying to tell him these whole years, the words that waited for him to be heard.
“I love you Jiyong… so much…”
And there I saw his lips formed again into a smile before he pulled back a bit and got something from the desk behind him that added more the surprises I received this day. Tamtam.
“I took care of him, but I won’t give him to you yet.”
My head tilted to the side as my mind filled with confusion. He placed Tamtam on the desk beside me before he got my hand while his other hand fished through his pocket.
“I loved you since the day I saw you crying your eyes out just because of a weird looking doll, loved you more with each day you’ll crack me up with those silly questions that you’ll ask. I don’t want you to not need me, I don’t want you to not think of me even for just a second, I love you so much that I prayed everyday that you’ll feet hurt so I’ll be there to massage it for you, for you not to grow up so that you’ll need me to reach things for you, for every place that you’ll go be far so that you’ll need me to accompany you, and sometimes…-“
I saw tears escaped the side of his eyes as he began to choke on his words because of it. My heart was beating so wild with every word that escaped his mouth; I could only look at him in much awe, with my tears already dried up inside my eyes.
“Sometimes, I wish you would always cry because I want you to need me to cry your eyes out. I had been selfish Dara-ah, I even sometimes forgot our friendship because of that… I am no superman, I am not as perfect as you think I am for all in the end I would need you for me to feel complete, and I am just a simple, selfish guy who only knows is to love you… and now, I’ll be selfish once again…”
My eyes widen upon seeing what he got from the little box he had in his hand.
“Even though I won’t be able to give you a grand wedding just like what I was planning, I still want you to marry me Dara, or else, you won’t ever see Tamtam again.”
A laugh almost left my mouth. I didn’t know he had this childish side of him. But upon sinking into me the words that he said, my mouth hanged open and I thought I would really die of heart attack. He just came back, and now he’s asking me to marry him. Please tell me this isn’t all just a dream.
After a while, I felt my face twisted, tears broke out from my eyes again as I pulled him back into a hug as I frantically nodded my head. I don’t care about Tamtam, or the wedding, I just want him to stay with me, what else could every girl wish for her own fairytale? But for her to have her own happy ending; and what I have now is far from fairytale, far from any fictional story. For I don’t need any superman or any fairy godmother to give me that happy ending that I too wanted for myself, for only a Kwon Jiyong is enough to make everything perfect the way it supposed to be.