Chapter 26: Chapter 26.
“There is a swimming pool. In the school.”
It was the first time Woojin said something like this. Yoonil pulled his chair closer to listen as Woojin continued, “We are having a school ceremony. A daily morning ceremony.”
“There is always one swimmer who gets awards.”
“During the ceremony?”
Based on Yoonil’s observation, Woojin had minimum to no interest in others and felt no need for social interactions. Yoonil checked a few things quickly as he listened to Woojin.
“Some days, he looked tired.”
“And other days, he even smiled.”
The boy who was taller than everyone in high school. He was only in his first year of high school, but his uniform already looked a little too tight. It must’ve been because he was so big and muscular.
That boy… whenever he walked, you could see his muscles moving lithely. Woojin saw how the girls watched and whispered amongst themselves whenever this boy walked by.
Compared to his mature body, the boy had a rather youthful face. His face still retained an innocent look, creating an overall strange appearance. Woojin felt that he himself was odd for noticing this boy and staring at him. He wondered if it was because this boy was so opposite of Woojin. Whenever Woojin saw the boy looking tired, he wanted to go and touch the boy’s face.
Woojin didn’t know when it started, but he began to look forward to seeing the boy getting an award during the morning ceremonies, which happened often. The boy seemed indifferent even though everyone’s eyes were on him. This boy’s confidence made Woojin feel warm.
Woojin continued, “I can’t help but remember his name. His name was called out at almost every morning ceremony.”
“Whenever the teacher placed a medal around his neck, he seemed to have a hard time. The boy was so tall, and the teacher had to stand on his toes to do this.”
It made Woojin smile. It made him feel ticklish for some reason.
And when the boy returned to his seat, Woojin would watch him walk. The feelings Woojin felt at the time were new and unfamiliar to him.
And slowly, more pieces of Woojin’s memories began to come back.
Black sedan, the people that walked out as the door opened, the barking puppy, the hand that grabbed his ankle, and those eyes that looked down at him so coldly.
Woojin added, “That’s all. That’s it.”
No, that’s wasn’t it at all.
“Is there anything else you want to tell me, Woojin?”
Woojin replied and held up the glass from the table. He knew it had a sedative mixed into it. Yoonil looked at Woojin warningly, but Woojin drank it anyway. As usual, the liquid inside the cup was warm and not completely clear.
Yoonil asked, “Do you want me to give you a sedative injection?”
“… Yes please.”
“When would you like me to wake you, Woojin?”
“In about an hour please.”
Woojin’s breathing started to slow down. Yoonil asked, “Have you still not been feeling any sexual need?”
Whenever Woojin met with a psychiatrist or a therapist, he felt like he had to act normal. It was because these medical professionals seemed just like him, indifferent and calm to a point of being robotic. If they were considered normal, why couldn’t Woojin be as well?
Yoonil asked, “No comment?”
Woojin felt a sudden stab of pain from the scars on his chest. Woojin hesitated before nodding. He felt sleepy now. Woojin saw Yoonil stand up and call for his nurse. Slowly, Woojin felt his eyes closing.
Woojin remembered the morning when he saw that boy walking rhythmically. Woojin could smell… fresh blue water from him. His hands… his smiling face… and…
‘Please open your eyes! Please!’
Jihoon was writing his report when he stretched his arm and groaned. He seemed tired as he massaged his shoulders. He turned to Woojin and kicked his chair a few times lightly. Jihoon had several business trips recently and had many reports to finish. He yawned loudly and stood up next to Woojin.
Woojin turned to look at him. He was reviewing his own reports, and he had to complete them as soon as possible. Woojin was assigned to go on a business trip to Germany next week.
Woojin was going to skip lunch, but Jihoon wouldn’t let him. Jihoon ended up dragging him to the nearby restaurant and ordered both of them bowls of rice porridge. Woojin didn’t feel hungry at all, so he barely ate. Jihoon made sure the leftover was packed and handed it to Woojin.
Their fingers touched briefly, but Woojin didn’t seem to even notice. Jihoon smiled bitterly and Woojin noticed it. It was strange because Woojin had never seen that expression on Jihoon before.
“Let’s go for coffee. We can go to the rooftop.”
“When they decide on the workshop date, we will be responsible for preparing for it. We should talk about that anyway, and we can do that while drinking coffee.”
“That’s not my responsibility.”
Yeonwoo, who was listening to the conversation quietly, turned around and looked at Woojin in shock. Yeonwoo completed the written statements for the workshop and already gave them to Woojin to review. When Woojin finished checking them, they were going to be sent to their team leader for approval.
Jihoon asked, “Is it because of your business trip abroad?”
“Just push your trip back two weeks and let’s work on the workshop material together first. The workshop is going to be next month, and the HR department already sent a request to our team. If you can just delay your trip…”
“It’s not my job, so why should I do it? I never agreed to work on it.”
Yeonwoo’s eyes widened in surprise. She had never seen Woojin get angry or raise his voice before. But now, Woojin looked different.
His jet-black eyes looked the same but his eyebrows and facial muscles had different shapes now. Jihoon stared for a long time before grinning.
“Woojin, did you just get angry?”
“Wow, I can’t believe I got to witness Woojin Choi getting angry!”
Woojin quickly relaxed his face and looked down. This was a clear sign that he was upset. Woojin could feel the heat rising up to his face and becoming a bit breathless.
When Woojin covered his face with his hands, Jihoon gently pulled them down to reveal his face. Jihoon leaned forward and joked, “Your cheeks are turning pink. Very pretty.”
“… Let me go.”
Jihoon patted Woojin’s hair. He loosened his tie and sat down on Woojin’s desk. He smiled widely and replied, “Alright. Have a nice trip. I will do the work. Or at least try.”
“You should try this more often. You know, getting angry or smiling. I would like to see that.”
Jihoon unbuttoned one of his shirt buttons and stretched his arms again with a loud groan. He walked away from Woojin’s chair.
When Jihoon left, Woojin stared at his monitor blankly. He felt very tired, but he also felt a bit lighter.