Yoo-hwa’s voice as she quickly retorted was stronger.
But her eyes were still empty as if she had given up.
“I told you.
That I want to eat together.”
“… Does that make sense”
Yoo-hwa’s voice trembled slightly.
Following her, Woo-hyun put down the chopsticks he was holding.
After taking a deep breath with his back straightened, he opened his heavy lips.
“Why did I come all the way to this neighborhood”
“Don’t I have my own circumstances too”
“The type of circumstances that make me live in a place like this, where everyone has left.”
“Think of it as something like that.”
Yoo-hwa looked at Woo-hyun with an unknown expression and then turned away.
“What’s wrong Are you scared because it’s an unspeakable circumstance”
Woo-hyun asked, leaning forward.
Yoo-hwa didn’t answer, but she realized it wasn’t Woo-hyun.
If she were scared, she should have stepped back when he approached her.
Yoo-hwa was so emotionally exhausted, to the point that she could not feel any fear.
But that didn’t mean she was happy with his existence.
She was just observing, and at the same time, she was confused.
In times like this, Woo-hyun knew that he had to calmly get out of the way.
“So don’t worry.
I’ll get going now.
Thanks for the food.”
Woo-hyun stood up.
“Still… Don’t get close.”
A small voice stopped his steps.
Kim Yoo-hwa, complicated and strict.
Woo-hyun muttered inwardly and looked at the door that was smaller than himself.
He saw a wall at his eye-level.
The door was at the tip of his chin.
Woo-hyun, who was looking coldly at the dried yellow wallpaper, quickly corrected his expression.
“Do you still write these days”
Woo-hyun, who put on a refreshing smile again, turned his head and asked while looking at the top of Yoo-hwa’s head.
Yoo-hwa slowly raised her head.
Yoo-hwa’s haggard, dry, and lifeless eyes sparkled for a very brief moment.
“You also wrote back then.”
“I remember that you wrote very well.”
“I still remember it.”
“That sentence, ‘The only thing that could embrace the shadow was a shadow.'”
At Woo-hyun’s words, Yoo-hwa’s eyes shook relentlessly.
Yoo-hwa was dragged into the forgotten past by his words.
It was the only time she lived in the bright sunlight.
The wind was natural, and the sunlight was natural.
She wrote it at a time when she did not doubt that her life would go on normally, and the now-forgotten sentence was coming out of someone else’s mouth.
Words that said that any darkness or any being crawling on the floor is worth embracing.
Words she didn’t believe in anymore.
Yoo-hwa barely held back the groan that was about to come out as she bit her lip.
“… Don’t you think it’s perfect for this situation”
You and me.
Woo-hyun smiled leisurely.
With a soft smile, he turned around with his back to Yoo-hwa.
Woo-hyun, who came out of Yoo-hwa’s house, knew that he could not leave after drinking water.
His mouth was dry since he ate ramyeon for the first time in a while.
It’s been a long time since he stopped eating ramyeon because he had been eating it a lot since he was a kid.
The ramyeon he had for the first time in a long time was still salty and tasteless.
He could go back to his house and drink water, but Woo-hyun raised his head as he stood in the middle of the yard, where everything he could see was cracked.
He saw a cloudy sky.
A strong wind blew, fluttering his hair and clothes.
When he was young, he sat at the back of the classroom.
Even then, a strong wind blew in through the half-open window.
Woo-hyun fell asleep at the last hour and woke up quite late, after everyone had left school.
No one approached him.
Even the teacher had long since given up.
A red sunset hit the window, and dust flew in through the gap, like a mix of snow and rain.
It was a coincidence that he saw the writing in the back of the classroom.
When the sun is strong, the shadows are dark.
The shadows stretched out in a circle, and sometimes they stretched out long.
It was so profound that he wondered if it was written by a middle school student; as if the teacher had liked it, there was a mark on the text saying that it had won a prize.
The last sentence caught his attention.
The only thing that can embrace the shadow is a shadow.
Woo-hyun couldn’t take his eyes off that sentence for a long time.
He didn’t know what it meant or what they were thinking while writing it, but it was strangely stuck in his head.
Woo-hyun’s gaze turned upwards.
Written by: Kim Yoo-hwa
At that moment, Woo-hyun found out for the first time that there was a child in his class named Yoo-hwa.
It wasn’t until the next day that they paired up.
She was a normal girl, who smiled more habitually than he thought.
Woo-hyun woke up from his thoughts and looked at the cement floor with a cold gaze.
His shadow was unevenly split on the cracked cement floor.
Woo-hyun muttered silently.
When he was young, he could not understand all of Yoo-hwa’s sentences, but he did empathize with them a little.
It was like Eun-soo and himself, embracing each other no matter what.
But now, as he stood in his shadow, he thought.
Shadows don’t embrace each other, they eat each other.