After Story 8: After Story: Happily Ever After (8)
Bom was feeling down.
There were actually a few things which she hadn’t mentioned to Yeorum. After retrieving the lost daily life, Bom had thrown Yu Jitae roundabout questions a few times, asking if he had conducted an experiment and taken a look at the organs related to conception and childbirth when vivisecting her body.
But he shook his head.
– I didn’t.
– All my experiments were related to the Origin Fragment. There was no reason for me to touch anything else.
– Did you not touch the heart at all?
– To be exact, I did have a look at a section of the heart that shared organs with the Origin Fragment. The things inside a Dragon Heart weren’t actually in one piece so there was no need to touch anything else.
Throughout his response, Yu Jitae stole glances at her face in concern because their conversation was related to his unsightly past of conducting experiments on her body.
However, Bom had already forgiven him and did not care about it.
It was on a certain midsummer evening when she was alone by herself. The surroundings were quiet and the sunset over the window was casting an ambient light over everything.
While applying a red pedicure on her toes, Bom thought to herself.
I’m currently living a happy life.
Each and every passing day was overwhelmingly precious and satisfying for Bom. She no longer had any great concerns or problems like the past, and was creating wonderfully incredible memories with the kids and her most precious person in the world, Yu Jitae.
However, not everything can be perfect and beautiful…
That was the bitter truth of reality.
Her toenails were coloured into lustrous red as she deeply pondered to herself.
Like other women, Bom also couldn’t help but think about having a child after having someone whom she wanted to spend the rest of her life with, and that was what she had been thinking of for the past several centuries at the very least.
A reunion with Yu Jitae, having his baby and living happily ever after forever.
That was the hopeful future she had been harbouring in her heart through the agonising times at the bottom of hell.
And because of that, Bom cried buckets out after realising her [Conception Organ] had been shattered, even though she still had to act in front of her mother and the vengeful spirits.
One of her greatest hopes had been crushed.
Bom forced a smile on her face.
She had to stop that line of thought because lingering on that topic only made her more depressed. As long as she forgot about it, although it was unforgettable, she could still live while immersing herself in happiness.
– How could you say something so important to me before Yu Jitae?
Yeorum’s voice vividly came back to the surface.
But, how was I even supposed to say this to oppa?
It might be because she was greatly conscious of it already, but Bom started having a strange experience after that.
First of all, her eyes picked up more children in the streets than before, to the point it made her wonder if this was the normal number of kids in the neighbourhood or not. There were a lot of children energetically running around with a shout, as well as babies blankly gazing at the sky on a pram.
At the start, her eyes were fixed on those young children, but they soon moved up towards the joyful parents.
People smiling with their babies standing on their lap; a mother gazing down at her child while breastfeeding; and a father walking with his son sitting on his shoulders…
It must be because she was jealous. After admitting that fact, Bom decided to switch off her interest for the time being while waiting for her emotions to settle back down.
However, that wasn’t the end of her strange experiences.
“Hehe, chirp chirp ♪”
It was when she went to a spirit beast cafe with Kaeul and Chirpy.
Kaeul loved spirit beasts and came here very often. Bom followed her today and came across all sorts of cute spirit beasts that ranged from birds, cats, dogs and mice to spirit beasts that resembled animals that were not from Earth.
“Uh? You’re here!”
There was someone who recognised Kaeul as soon as she came inside. Surprisingly, it was the staff working at the spirit beast cafe.
“Aigo, one of our kids was dying for you to come.”
“Could you please have a look?”
The staff brought a young hedgehog spirit beast. It was glaring at the keeper with the quills on its back standing tall, and looked quite temperamental.
“Ehew. Is this child doing this again? Haha.”
“Yes yes. It’s very concerning. He doesn’t want any food. It’s great that he’s okay for a week after every time you come, Miss, but…”
Bom tilted her head while wondering what that was about, but that was when Kaeul carefully hugged the hedgehog, while making sure the sharp quills wouldn’t stab through her clothes.
The upset hedgehog glared at Kaeul as she looked into its eyes in return.
She then carefully swayed the hedgehog back and forth, regularly like a rocking cradle.
“C’mon. Why didn’t you have any food?”
Kaeul coaxed in a soft voice, while gently tickling its nose with her fingers. She slowly rocked back and forth as if the spirit beast was her precious baby. The hedgehog slowly relieved its tension and peacefully gazed up at Kaeul while diligently twitching its nose for a sniff.
“Egugu. Good boy…”
At last, after hearing Kaeul’s soft tone of voice that even soothed her heart and seeing the affectionate interaction between the spirit beast and Kaeul, Bom felt strange yet again.
This was not good.
Besides, there was no reason for her to feel this way.
Bom told herself that it was because she was overly concerned about looking away from it in the streets that she was seeing their interaction in such a strange light. Bom scratched her head and tried to empty her mind.
But her thoughts had already been sparked to an ember, and her strange thoughts continued even after she returned to Unit 301.
For some bizarre reason, Gyeoul’s tiny head was sucking in her gaze more than ever, and the same was with her small, doll-like body as well as her chubby cheeks that she could see from behind…
Lastly, seeing Gyeoul’s minute fingers fidgeting around zealously left an afterimage in her brain.
That was when Gyeoul suddenly turned around with a flick. She was asking her with her gaze, ‘What are you looking at.’
Bom chuckled while stroking her hair. After that, she was about to go back to her room but was stopped by Gyeoul who suddenly walked up to her with the remote controller in her hands. A bright smile was hanging on her lips, and she seemed keen on watching a movie together.
Bom felt awkward.
Whenever they were watching a movie together, Gyeoul always used to sit on her lap. The backrest was too uncomfortable when sitting on Kaeul, and the seat was too uncomfortable in the case of Yeorum… or it might in fact be her existence itself.
Due to those reasons, Gyeoul’s favourite sofa was Bom.
Now, they were no longer in the relationship of a mother and a daughter. They were just friends who were slightly more affectionate of one another.
Was she wrong for being conscious of it?
Should she be natural like before?
Thinking that, Bom placed the child down on her lap and watched the movie together.
Actually, she tried to, but couldn’t do it naturally.
The small head resting on her chest was way too adorable, and the tiny body leaning on her belly was so endearing that it almost drove her crazy.
‘This is not good…’
She couldn’t focus on the movie at all.
Gyeoul was too cute.
“Actually, I’m sorry but I think I have to stop watching the movie…”
“Sorry. I’m a bit tired.”
After that, she avoided coming into contact with Gyeoul. Gyeoul seemed puzzled by her actions but it couldn’t be helped, because Bom had to consciously create a distance between herself and Gyeoul.
But as if mocking her determination, a different situation came knocking on the door.
It was on a certain morning.
Yu Jitae was getting ready to go out to a park with Gyeoul sitting on his shoulders. There was a speaking practice book in his hands – the two of them were planning on going to a park and practising speaking to help Gyeoul with her pronunciation.
Gyeoul chuckled and mumbled something into his ears as a similar smile bloomed on his face.
Yu Jitae and a baby.
That’s what their relationship appeared like in her eyes.
It seemed way too natural and joyful.
The image of Yu Jitae and a baby was a perfect match… as if it was straight out of a painting.
[The birth of a baby means a new relationship and the start of a society.]
That was the phrase Bom saw when reading a book that day. Her fingers twitched. She almost unconsciously closed the book but somehow managed to continue reading the next words.
[It is when there are exactly 3 or more people that we form a ‘society’. Three liars can forge the truth, and two out of the three can bring misfortune on the remaining one. Members of the society gain access to a far greater amount of power than what they possessed as an individual.]
[It’s the same for a married couple and their baby. The happiness of themselves as an individual is brought by the happiness of the society and as such, the members seek a healthy and happy society for the happiness of their own. The personal wounds and dissatisfaction the couple has against each other become easier to swallow after the birth of a baby, let alone the ones that were made before the foundation of the society.]
[The birth of a baby is one of the methods that allows a couple to forget the past misfortune and head towards a new relationship—]
Bom closed the book.
This might be why Yu Jitae started to avoid having a relationship with her.
In the end, Bom couldn’t spend the night with Yu Jitae on the day they discovered the deep roots of the Ottoman Empire.
She didn’t have any opportunities after that. Before, there would have been some level of furtive show of affection in the inhabited staircases of the apartment or the quiet and dark alleyways but nothing happened even when they were alone in such areas.
That was why Bom thought to herself that it must be somehow related to babies. Although she couldn’t exactly connect that reason to what was happening right now, she couldn’t come up with any other possible reason.
Bom knew that she had to confess about her infertility to Yu Jitae one day, so she slowly prepared herself over time.
After a while, she had the opportunity.
It was when they left on a family trip.
The family trip was very enjoyable.
Spending 2 weeks in a cabin next to the coast with a warm breeze, they caught fish for sashimi and caught prawns and the likes for a stew. They cooked raw sausages and lamb shanks, and topped them with nice sauces, and had plenty of delicious food.
They saw a bunch of pretty corals, and travelling around the wonderful underwater scenery was also a delightful experience. When they were having a race by holding onto the shells of turtle spirit beasts, Yeorum constantly bickered with her turtle so Bom laughed her heart out.
Quietly chatting with each other under the refreshing breeze at night in front of the campfire was also a nice experience. Having a sneaky kiss with him away from the eyes of everyone else and then hiding from Gyeoul who walked towards them during their kiss…
Everything made her happy.
Lastly, she gazed at the falling stars.
It was the same thing they saw when they first met; as well as during their farewell and today – even though it was her third time seeing falling stars, that scene always appeared refreshing and beautiful.
After waiting for the right opportunity, Bom asked Yu Jitae if they could take a walk along the coastline with just the two of them.
Holding onto his hand, she walked across the fine grains of sand on bare feet, before coming to a stop and sitting down.
It was a bright and starry night.
A long silence befell the beach. It was time for her to say it, but the long silence made her feel all the more frightened. The answer she had been running away from the whole time added to her fears.
However, his hand grasping onto hers was very warm. His hand used to be cold the whole time but that was now no longer that case. That was like a solace for Bom and gave her courage.
She marked the end of her hesitation by opening her mouth.
“There is something I want to ask.”
“I actually have one myself as well.”
“Then shall we ask one at a time?”
“Sure. You can go first.”
“We both have to be honest, okay?”
He nodded as the back and forth QnA session began.
A wet and soothing breeze blew at her face. Bom chewed on her lower lips before finally opening her mouth.
“Why have you been avoiding me these days?”
“…You mean from having a relationship.”
“It’s because I happened to hear about a black-hair.”
Bom widened her eyes into circles.
Yu Jitae replied while looking back at her.
“What is this thing about a black-haired person, Bom? And what’s the relationship between me and the black-hair? There is something I am not aware of.”
“You don’t have to tell me if it’s hard for you to say it. It didn’t seem like a light topic to casually ask about, so I was wondering and thought you would tell me in one way or another if I avoided having a relationship with you, but that wasn’t the case either.”
It seemed that they had been misunderstanding each other.
The thing about black hair was probably something he heard from Yeorum. Him avoiding her wasn’t because he didn’t like her, nor was it because of the problem with babies.
Bom felt the problems in her heart melting away as she replied with a smile.
“A long time ago… I saw this Providence.”
She told him about the future and the Providence she saw a long time ago; including how she saw herself being embraced by him as a ‘green hair’, followed by a black-haired woman in his arms in a distant future.
“At this point, I don’t think that black-haired woman is anyone else no matter how much I think about it.”
“It won’t be… right?”
“Of course not.”
He mischievously pulled her in as she collapsed to the side. ‘Kyaaha–’ Bom chuckled as she laid down using his lap as a pillow.
“And after that, I thought of something.”
She was embraced by him as a ‘green hair’, and she was happy. In the future, she would be embraced by him again with her hair dyed black, but that was up to her choice now.
It was a very rare phenomenon how the thing she saw through the Eye of Providence had become a choosable future.
“My happiness has been proven to last until I do it with my hair dyed black. In other words, that means our relationship will continue forever all the way until I spend a night with you, oppa, with black hair. That much is certain.”
“But I don’t know anything about the future after that. And you see, thinking about how clueless I was, I became very uneasy. It felt like I was walking with my eyes closed…”
Bom said with a self-deprecating smile.
After knowing the backstory, he felt pity. If she had a firm belief that this happiness would last forever, she wouldn’t be thinking about such a thing.
That in turn meant that Bom was still uneasy about this happiness.
“So, that’s like my totem. A totem of belief that we will definitely love each other until that day. Haha…”
Like how he had been having a nightmare, she also had her own share of troubles.