Chapter 6: Chapter 6.
Jihoon murmured, “Wow, he really just left.”
“… I see that.”
Shin turned away from Jihoon and looked at Woojin who was walking away. Surprisingly, Woojin looked calm as he walked slowly away from them.
Shin knew by now that Woojin was a very slow-moving creature. He just wanted to tease Woojin a little, but Woojin ended up running away. Shin’s chest felt tight, so he stretched his arms.
Jihoon said to him, “I have never seen him act this way. Maybe he is coming down with something.”
Shin thought, ‘You talk too much.’
Until he returned to his seat, Shin listened to Jihoon talk about Woojin. Shin thought that just now, the one who pulled the trigger was Jihoon, not Woojin.
Woojin resembled a fox, but he didn’t seem like a girly type.
‘Something feels strange here.’
The way Woojin trembled when his hand touched his skin… Woojin’s habit of biting his lips… How Woojin turned red whenever he saw Shin…
Woojin piqued Shin’s curiosity, and that was why when Woojin left to go to the washroom, Shin followed him. At first, Shin thought Woojin was a blunt person, but after further observing him, Shin realized that he was wrong. Woojin was very slow to respond no matter who talked to him.
Or more likely, it wasn’t that he was responding slowly, but he was ignoring whoever was talking to him.
During dinner, the interns were drinking and getting shots, while Woojin sat across from them and never once looked up at them. He kept his head down and didn’t listen to anyone.
It was the strangest thing, but it seemed that the people around him were used to it. He was left alone, and despite the oddness of it, Woojin still blended in very well.
“Shin oppa, where have you been?”
Yeonwoo asked when he reached his seat, and instead of answering her, Shin looked at her with a smile. Yeonwoo blushed and smiled back at him. Her smile was adorable. She was sexy in a cute subtle way. She had short hair with a slight wave, which suited her porcelain skin and adorable face.
Shin wondered, ‘See? This is how most people react to me…’
But Woojin responded differently. He seemed outright confused. When they touched, Woojin’s whole body reacted so violently. Thinking back, Shin frowned.
Woojin acted strangely. When Shin grabbed his wrist, Woojin just froze. His neck kept turning red, and Woojin refused to say a word about anything. He didn’t even complain about his burn.
What was the meaning of all this? What did Woojin want? Was he planning something?
Shin remembered Woojin’s wrist turning pink when he held it. He couldn’t stop picturing it and for some reason, Shin started to become a little angry.
Yeonwoo murmured, “Oppa… you look a little… upset.”
“Oh, no. I’m not.”
Shin grinned naturally. He didn’t plan on dating anyone at the office, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t flirt. But with who… Shin felt a little confused.
The strange and blushing Woojin Choi.
Thinking of Woojin, Shin felt the familiar pressure in his ears.
The exact same feeling when he first jumped into water.
The moment when he can only hear his own heartbeat as his body becomes surrounded by the pool.
It was the moment Shin loved. Unfortunately, it was also something he could no longer experience. He remembered the excitement when he used to compete.
The sound of the start gun, the shock of the cold water against his skin while diving, the exhilaration of it all…
It was the same feeling he had when he first saw Woojin Choi.
The television in the cafeteria was on the news channel.
“The shooting incident in Gangnam in 2005 has finally been solved after over 10 years of persistent investigation by the police. It was found to have been started by the family members fighting over their inheritance. A successful businessman left over 20 million dollars, and his oldest daughter apparently hired a professional assassin to murder her own brother. When the prosecutor gathered all the evidence…”
Shin was eating lunch, and as he did, he looked at Yeonwoo who was chatting with a colleague. It had been a while since all the interns got together since they were assigned to different departments. This morning, Minjae suggested they all meet together for lunch.
Yeonwoo talked excitedly about Woojin, “I saw him reject her like four or five times!”
“OMG! That’s so crazy!”
Yeonwoo explained how Chief Seulgi Kim from the marketing team asked Woojin Choi to have lunch with her every day. Minjae listened with obvious interest, but Shin felt annoyed by the story.
He was happy about his new position on the marketing team. It was exactly what he had hoped for. Yeonwoo Ji, who was assigned to the policy department, described her impression of Woojin Choi in her team.
She said Woojin was very different than Jihoon Kang who was in the same department. Jihoon was her direct superior, which she was thankful for. She mentioned this a few times.
Woojin was apparently very hard to talk to. He often ignored others.
Shin could believe it. He ate his food, which tasted bland. His throat felt dry.
Shin asked, “Maybe he is just very tired. Tired of everything perhaps.”
“Shin oppa, it’s more like Woojin Choi is… very cold.”
Shin wasn’t sure if it was ok to gossip about their co-workers in the company cafeteria, but Yeonwoo didn’t seem to care. She continued eagerly.
Shin did notice Chief Seulgi, who was in the same department as himself, leaving for lunch a few times, but until now, he hadn’t realized that it was because she was going after Woojin Choi.
So was Woojin Choi popular? That was a surprise to Shin because he knew women very well, and Woojin wasn’t the popular type among girls.
Yeonwoo continued, “And I have NEVER seen him talk during work hours. He looks and acts almost like a doll.”
Shin wondered sarcastically, ‘Oh, I guess dolls nowadays can blush when you touch them?’ He was afraid that he might say something he would regret, so Shin continued eating quietly. Yeonwoo said something about how she felt sorry for Chief Seulgi. It was then when Shin stopped listening to her because as he turned around, he saw him slowly walking into the cafeteria. Shin’s face crumpled.
Shin stared at him as Woojin took a seat somewhere far away. He knew Woojin was unusually pale, but in a certain light, he looked even whiter. Today, he could see the blue veins underneath Woojin’s skin.
Woojin put down the tray and just stared at it weakly for a long time. This was the third time Shin had seen him do this.
Just looking at his food.
Why did Woojin act so passively and feebly? The odd thing was that although he was very thin, Woojin still gave off a solid feel to him. Woojin felt… very real, making even his surroundings more three-dimensional. Watching Woojin stare at his food blankly made Shin feel weak himself.
Yeonwoo said something that annoyed Shin even more.
“It looks like Woojin Choi only talks to Assistant Manager Choi.”
Shin frowned. His food now tasted like sand. Hearing about the person that was seated nearby was an awful experience. Shin picked up his tray and stood up. Impulsive actions always came unexpectedly.
“Oh, Shin oppa, are you done eating already?”
Ignoring Yeonwoo, Shin walked up to Woojin and sat in front of him. Woojin, who was holding his spoon without actually eating looked up.
Woojin looked unusually pale today. It looked like he hasn’t slept much recently because his eyes looked a little red. Watching Woojin’s pupils dilate, Shin finally admitted that perhaps he was beginning to feel interested in this man.
The first day they met, the way Woojin stared at him.
How Woojin reddened with his touch.
How every time they saw each other in the hallways, Woojin would run away.
These things… interested Shin. And most of all, he felt like they had met each other before.
It was a very odd feeling. A feeling that he had forgotten something very important.
“Assistant Manager Choi.”
“Let’s eat together.”
Shin’s colleagues gasped and gaped in shock behind him, but the only thing that interested Shin was the fact that Woojin nodded very subtly. Woojin refused and ignored everyone, yet he was accepting Shin.
Shin couldn’t help but be fascinated by this man.