Chapter 558: Chapter 558
She paused, heaving a sigh, then continued, “I didn’t talk like that just to pull your leg. Wished you can study harder and put more effort into it, but talking seriously about them could scare you. That’s why I meant it tongue-in-cheek. In fact, mommy didn’t feel good to do that too.”
I sighed at her remark. Tightly clenching my fist, I replied, “Why do you think it’s appropriate to joke about it? For you, comparing me to Yeo Ryung can sound witty, but for me, no, not at all.”
“How come? Then what do you want me to say?”
My mom tossed the question irritatedly. She retorted, “You’ll never gonna get the best of Yeo Ryung––is that what you want to hear from me? No matter how hard you try, you’ll always lose, so just do as you please––is that what you’re expecting me to say?”
“Mom, I didn’t mean that you know.”
“Come on, isn’t it you who’s giving yourself up right now before trying the best? I trust you; that’s why I’m talking like that.”
Our conversation seemed impossible to carry on since we weren’t speaking the same language. After realizing it, I got up from my seat.
“Where are you going when your mother is speaking?”
As she shouted from behind me, I replied, ‘Hold on for a second!’ then went straight to my room. Searching through my wardrobe, I found my yearbook message and took it out along with the one I just got from Yeo Ryung. Having both in my arms, I quickly turned around and ran to my mom.
She was waiting for me, looking like she was ready to drop the words left unspoken in her mouth. However, when I flung the two papers down on the floor out of the blue, she seemed bewildered.
“What are these?”
“The yearbook messages Ban Yeo Ryung and I received at our elementary school graduation day.”
As if she had no idea that this stuff had existed, my mom slowly sat down on the floor and browsed the papers. It seemed that I, back in the days, didn’t show these to my parents and just shoved them somewhere deep in the closet.
Well, only a very few children would be able to confidently tell their parents that their school life wasn’t going well. Likewise, the young Donnie might have not let her parents see this paper in fear of them getting more fond of Yeo Ryung than their daughter.
Looking back and forth between the two papers, my mom’s face gradually stiffened with dismay. She murmured in shock, “Donnie… what is this…?”
“I told you, those are yearbook messages.”
“Why is it hard to find notes about you?”
“Because other kids also responded the same to me like you.”
My mom looked up at me with a grim face.
I added composedly, “I was just… a friend of the pretty and even smart Yeo Ryung… drop-dead gorgeous Yeo Ryung’s friend… that was me; that was all.”
“No, Donnie, I never thought about you that way.”
“Mom, the words written there and what you usually said to me… how different do you think they are?”
My mom wasn’t able to look at me in the eyes but just held the paper with a tight grip. Watching the white piece of paper getting crumpled and losing its shape, I remained silent.
My dad, who began to sit straight from the moment we reached the climax of our conversation, stretched out his hand to my mom.
“Let me see them too,” he requested.
Being handed the paper with crumpled corners, my dad also was in a state of shock. Both my parents cast their gazes down at the floor in silence. I watched them for a while, then dropped a remark before I left the spot.
“I’m gonna sleep over at Yeo Ryung’s today.”
I went to my room to change into comfortable clothes and took my toothbrush from the bathroom. Even until I headed to the shoe rack, only silence was prevailing in the living room. I paused, opening the door lock, then turned around to drop another word.
“Mom, I don’t want to hate myself anymore.”
They were still wordless.
I uttered again, “I also want to stop feeling sorry for you having me as your daughter.”
Then I opened the door. Ban Yeo Ryung, who looked very nervous, and the other kids welcomed me outside. The moment I shut the door back, I seemed to have heard some words like, ‘No, it’s not.’
That was when I let out a loud breath as if I had been holding it for a long time.
“I told them everything.”
“Good,” said Eun Hyung. He was the first one to respond, then it was Eun Jiho, tapping my arm, saying, ‘Great job.’ Yoo Chun Young put his hand on my head; Yeo Ryung pulled me into her arms in the end.
I finished, “I did everything I can do.”
The stone was thrown into the pond; it was just the time to wait for the ripples now.
It was good to take a shower and lie next to Yeo Ryung. However, I couldn’t sleep at all.
Before I returned to her room, Yeo Ryung, who took a bath ahead of me, shouted, ‘We must stay up all night, talking about the rest of the things!’ with a determined look, but as if it was a scene in my dreamland, she was sleeping like a log. Just in case, I gently pushed her shoulders, wondering if she was pretending to be asleep. After a moment of silence, there was only her soft breathing sound.
How could she get knocked out just by putting her head on the pillow? No matter how many times I witnessed it, she was still a mystery. Staring at her face in awe, I soon lay down beside her.
“Hmm, I did wake you up, girl,” I murmured an excuse although she couldn’t even hear it. After that moment, I was staying this way––not being able to sleep a wink for hours.
As if I were having a staring match, I blankly gazed at the shadow of the window hanging over the ceiling. Except for the loud car door closing sound coming from the parking lot once in a while, the entire room was in dead silence. Sometimes, Yeo Ryung’s phone on the desk flickered a flashing light.
It felt like only the two of us were there in a spaceport far away from earth. Based on my experience, the night was particularly long when I had these feelings.
For quite a while, I tossed and turned, wiggling my toes, but in the end, I couldn’t help but check the time.
Heaving a sigh, I uttered, “It’s only one in the morning.”
Although I went to bed early at half-past ten to follow Ban Yeo Ryung’s bedtime, I spent much time, having trouble sleeping. Thus, it had to be, at least, five in the morning according to my feelings.
I began to moan, touching my forehead. Making another attempt to fall asleep would definitely fail; it was too early to go back home.
What should I do… I wondered for a while, rolling my body into a ball with my chin on my knees. At last, I made up my mind, then got out of bed.
“Is there be someone not asleep?”
Mina and Hye Hill would be sleeping, whereas Kim Hye Woo would not, busy playing video games in which I shouldn’t bother him at all. Jooin… he was quite random at night, so I wasn’t sure about him. So, the only person I could reach out to right now would be Jooin?
My phone was completely broken in half, but Yeo Ryung told me that I could use hers as much as possible whenever I needed it.
‘She’s so amazing,’ I exclaimed in my thoughts. No matter how long we had been friends and how many mutual friends we had, if it was me, I wouldn’t be able to let her use my phone so willingly. Indeed, Ban Yeo Ryung was always a person of consistency.
Opening her phone, I searched Jooin’s number, and entered, ‘What are you doing?’ As soon as I came out to the living room, there was a noise from the kitchen.
I quickly turned my head in the direction. As if I were in the middle of a jungle, I had keen senses, but I soon calmed down.
The person in the kitchen pushed his body toward this side, which made me laugh quietly.
“Yeo Dan oppa.”
He didn’t respond but just slightly held up the cup in his hand. I tilted my head. Was he asking me if I want to drink something?
“What is that?”
His response aroused my curiosity again. It was something that our family rarely had in our house. The only things inside the cupboard were just some whiskeys or rice wines.
I did seem to have heard that herb teas were good for stress relief and relaxation. After a moment’s reflection, I nodded my head. Yeo Dan oppa went back to the dark kitchen; the rattling noise reached my ears again.