Chapter 4: Chapter 4
After confirming the three students’ name plates, Suhyuk looked up at them. ‘They were you guys.’ His diary was full of contents about his self-deprecation, or words of abuse and cursing toward others. However, their names were mentioned most often in the diary: Choi Inbae, Kim Insoo, Kim Donghyuk. These were the very names. What kind of harassment did he get from them? Suhyuk opened his mouth,
“It’s been ages since we met last time?”
“Yeah, three months.”
Choi Inbae, who kept a close eye on his hands while touching his horn-rimmed glasses, opened his mouth again, “Can’t you really remember us?”
When Suhyuk, smiling bitterly, nodded his head, Kim Donghyuk, who looked like a mischief, asked, “Have you forgotten everything you studied?”
He wasn’t sure because he did not study in earnest. Maybe what he had learned might have been erased from his memory.
Why are these guys approaching him in a kind manner? Because they want to harass him in a different way this time? Not only they, but also the rest of the classmates came to inquire after him with a worried look. Were all the classmates trying to deceive him? He didn’t feel that way. Obviously they had a sincere look. He felt confused with all the complicated thoughts again.
“I think I have to introduce myself again. I’m Kim Donghyuk, let’s pal around like before.”
Donghyuk reached out his hands to Suhyuk. Suhyuk did not hesitate to grab his hand. The Lee Suhyuk, who had been harassed and behaved like a loser in the past, had died a long time ago. Suhyuk wore a dry smile, looking at Donghyuk. ‘That stupid guy of me in the past could have suffered a lot, but I’m not that type anymore.’
“I’m Suhyuk at your service.”
Using recess time, Suhyuk exchanged a brief and clear conversation with them, and he heard from them something he could not understand. Namely, the four of them, including him, studied together, and did that every day, including on the weekends, without skipping. More dumbfounding to him was that it was Suhyuk himself that made the study group. He could not believe it.
“When are you coming back to the study meeting?”
He did not think long before answering, “After I take about ten days’ rest”.
Just like a bridle that can not be separated, it keeps spinning round and round on the same spot if you try to avoid the answer. What if they harass me with bullying? He’d given up such a stupid idea long before. Fighting with them? Winning is simple. You do not have to think hard. You win if you go to the extreme. With his normal two eyes opened wide, Suhyuk had no intention at all to get the harassment like before.
One week had passed since Suhyuk came back to school. In the meantime, there was no one who harassed him. On the contrary, some students came to see him with math textbooks or workbooks for help. Fortunately, he still could teach them easily with some of the knowledge he obtained before. But there were some problems he could not solve. When Suhyuk shook his head, saying he did not know how to solve them, they said in unison,
“You look the same as ever.”
This is what happened before he lost memory: Suhyuk consistently said that to those asking him to teach math formulas that he did not know. Nonetheless, he belonged to the top tier whenever he took math exams. They were right in thinking Suhyuuk did not teach them on purpose. Of course, that was something Suhyuk could not remember now..
“Is there anything you can recall about this?”
Suhyuk shook his head when Donghyuk questioned. Spending time together at the same study group, they often came to see him at recess. Funnily, all three belonged to different classrooms? He must have been such a big pushover; enough to bring them back even if they belonged to different classes.
“I still can’t recall anything yet.”
When Suhyuk replied, they expressed regret, but did not forget to offer encouragement.
“Recess time is up. We have to go.”
Waving their hands, the three turned back. At that moment Suhyuk raised his eyebrows a bit because he felt his head throbbed painfully. When he saw them leaving the classroom, with waving hands, there was something very familiar to him about their appearance from behind. Something Suhyuk must have seen before. It was really a brief moment that a certain scene from the past went through his mind like a flash. The appearance of someone turning back, waving at him in the street. Suhyuk laughed silently, looking at them. And he could feel the same feeling that he had had at the time.
A sense of relief, a sense of victory. What does it mean? Suhyuk intensely focused not to miss any memory that came to his mind like puzzle pieces. It seemed as if this could act as a starting point from which all his memories locked up so deep inside could burst out like dam water. But it turned out a vain wish. Even though all the classes were over and the day’s last class meeting was approaching, he could not recall any more.
“Hi guys, go straight home instead of hanging around at the PC rooms.”
As soon as the homeroom teacher said that, the students went out the classroom like a tide. Soohyuk, who had been thinking about something, also moved his body. His thinking did stop until he arrived home and changed his clothes. Why? Why did he wear a victorious smile when he should find himself shuddering at them like before? No matter how he tried to understand, there were too many things incomprehensible to him.
With a long sigh, Suhyuk gave up such thoughts completely. If he had anything he could recall with utmost efforts, he could have done so very easily. He felt he could recall some more if he felt more relaxed.
Suhyuk checked the wall clock. It was heading for 7 o’clock pm. It was time for his mother to come back after her building cleaning work. As soon as he thought of it, he heard Kim Myonghee opening the door.
As Suhyuk went out into the living room, she was returning with a smile as expected. Instead of a proper padding jumper, she was dressed in several suits of cloth, which made Suhyuk’s mind bittersweet.
“Son, did you go to school well today?”
Embarrassed, Suhyuk cast his eye down at her. Although his mom smiled, she was limping severely.