Bada returned to her room with the autograph and the tickets. It still felt like a dream. She not only had her beloved Sungjae-oppa’s autograph, she had six tickets as well! Not only that, they were r-seats, not ordinary seats. She would have a seat at the very front. If she was lucky, she would be able to shake TTO oppas’ hands.
“I should laminate it!”
She immediately left the house with the autograph. Then, she started running towards the stationery store that was within the apartment complex. Although the sun had set, the stationery store was still open. She gave the owner lady the autograph and asked her to laminate it. She did not forget to add that it was very important.
“TTO, huh. My daughter really likes them too.”
The lady laminated the autograph with a kind smile. Bada left with the still hot laminated autograph.
She was thinking about how good it would look on her wall. She couldn’t stop smiling. She was even wondering if it was okay to be so happy about an autograph.
‘Oh yeah, I should call them up.’
She reminded herself of her friends who helped her out so that she could go to the concert. Since she had six tickets, she could bring them as well. Everyone will sing their hearts out together and watch the concert. Just imagining it made her thrilled. Just as she was fantasizing, no, planning her future, a voice entered her ears.
“Are you hurt anywhere?”
Bada was startled by the sudden voice and turned around. There, she saw Dowook, riding his bike. He was wearing a black bicycle helmet, and it suited him quite well.
Bada pointed at him.
“How dare you point your finger at me.”
Dowook waved his hands sideways, gesturing for her to get out of his way. As he did so, he flashed the headlights on his bicycle handle. Bada frowned due to the bright light.
“It’s bright! Turn it off.”
“You can just move away.”
“I don’t want to though.”
Bada became precocious and blocked his path. She still couldn’t forget about the drink incident from last time. She gave it to him out of appreciation, and he dared to reject? Though, it didn’t make her feel bad or anything.
“Like brother, like sister, huh.”
Dowook got off his bike and lifted his bike up. It seemed that he was planning to go around her. Bada snorted and watched as he did so until the headlights caught her eyes.
It was a cute cat-shaped lantern. The light was actually from a cat shaped lantern on the right handle. Bada had a look at the lantern once before looking at Dowook again. Dowook avoided her gaze and got on the bike. He clearly looked like he was going to run away.
Bada grinned and grabbed Dowook’s clothes. This was an opportunity. She had asked her brother several times to introduce this man to her, but had failed each time. She couldn’t miss this opportunity. It wasn’t her style to act calmly.
“What’s this? A cat, huh. You have a cute side.”
“Let me go.”
“What are you going to do for me if I let you go?”
“Oppa, do you know that this is our third time meeting already? And all of those times, it was a coincidence like this too. At this point, aren’t we fate?”
“Wh, what the heck?”
Dowook was a little flustered. It was probably because of the cat-shaped lantern. Bada found Dowook, who covered up the cat-shaped lantern with his hands, really cute. Though, it was somewhat weird to call a vicious-looking man cute.
“Is that a gift from your girlfriend?”
“Mind your own business.”
“You actually get embarrassed quite easily, don’t you?”
“What the heck are you saying?”
“Then why are you trying to run away?”
“I’m not running away, I just… forget it. What the hell am I doing with a kid.”
“We’re only two years apart, you know?”
Bada liked Dowook. When she first came across him in Myeongdong, she couldn’t look at him in the eyes because he looked like a delinquent, but he ended up saving her when she came across real delinquents. Her friends told her that he was a little scary, but Bada thought differently. Helping others was a really hard thing to do.
She found out that there were some circumstances behind that, but the fact that she was helped didn’t change. To overstate it a little, he was like a prince on a white horse. After all, he appeared just when she was in danger.
On top of that, this guy looked quite handsome. Although he gave off a cold impression, he never ignored other people and replied to their questions. If he was a really bad guy, he would just simply ignore her and go past her, yet he was using words.
“Wait a minute! If you run this time… you know what will happen, don’t you?”
Bada went to the convenience store across the street and bought banana milk.
‘I’ve never seen people hate this!’
She left the convenience store with the banana milk in hand. However, the bicycle couldn’t be seen anywhere. Did he really leave just like that? She looked around in search of him when she saw a bicycle distancing itself with its lights turned on. Bada started running towards the bike with all her might. She was always the last runner in relays. She was plenty capable of catching up to a bike that wasn’t pedalling at full speed.
“I said don’t run!”
When she shouted, the bicycle stopped. Bada panted and caught up to the bike. Dowook looked flabbergasted.
“H-here,” still panting, Bada held out the banana milk.
“You’re really obstinate.”
“I’m quite persistent, yes. Pant, pant.”
“So I just need to drink this?”
“Geez, both of you siblings are weird.”
Dowook took the lid off the banana milk and emptied it on the spot. Bada looked at him happily.
Dowook gave the empty plastic bottle back. Bada asked as she received it.
“Do you have a girlfriend?”
Did he really not? When Bada tilted her head and looked at Dowook, Dowook looked as though he was about to depart again. Bada wanted to talk to him a little more, so she tried to grab him, but she ended up missing. The bicycle went forward, and Bada’s hand grabbed empty air. As she had expected that she would be able to grab him, her center of gravity, and therefore, her body, leaned forward. As she had good reflexes, she didn’t fall over, but the laminated autograph in her other hand flew into the air. The autograph then slid down across the floor before hitting right on the side of the sewer. The area around the drain still had a puddle of rainwater around it, as well as bits and pieces of trash.
Bada became dejected and crouched down in front of the sewer. The tip of the lamination was cracked open and water slipped inside.
Her joyous mood fell rock bottom in an instant. This wasn’t anything much, but for some reason, she felt like crying.
* * *
Dowook stopped and looked behind. Maru’s younger sister was crouching and picking up a laminated piece of paper. When the cheerful girl became dejected in an instant, Dowook became worried as well.
‘...What the heck am I doing, I wonder….’
He was about to ignore her and go his way when her depressed expression entered his eyes. She was an obstinate kid. He was annoyed by her, but didn’t really hate her. She was the younger sister of a thankful friend of his, so there was no way he would dislike her for no reason at all. It was just that he found her annoying because she held him up for no reason. No, to be honest, he realized to some extent that that girl had feelings towards him. She was so obvious about it, how could he not notice?
As he wasn’t really ‘the good kid’ in his middle school years, he used to have a few friends in his age group that were girls. He would sometimes smoke together with them and go to noraebang together. None of them asked someone else out, but the people around them all treated them as couples. The girls back then, were, well, for bragging rights. That was how delinquents acted. They would get proud of themselves if others praised them for playing with girls that hung out with them.
Ever since he entered high school though, his relationship with them was cut off. After going separate ways with Changhu, he didn’t even exchange messages with those kinds of people. Relationships built on top of sand crumpled just like that, and the only friends he had now were the people from the electrical engineering class. He was able to get close to them quite easily as they were all good people. Oh, there was the acting club now as well.
It was just that there were no girls his age in both of those groups. There were two juniors in the acting club, but one seemed to be interested in Daemyung, and the other was practically a boy, so he didn’t even treat her like a girl.
In such circumstances, the approach of a close friend’s younger sister was pressuring him. This girl didn’t look like the type to smoke, nor did she look like she would spit everywhere and use swear words. Dowook honestly didn’t know how to, or what to, speak with such a girl.
As such, he didn’t know what to say to the depressed-looking Maru’s sister and just kept on watching. He was afraid that saying anything here would make her lash back at him, and felt that he might look irresponsible if he stayed still. Just as he was stuck in a dilemma, Maru’s sister stood up.
“I’ll get going then.”
She sounded very dejected. Dowook, who watched as she walked away with the wet laminated paper in hand, followed her.
“Give it here.”
“I don’t know what it is, but I’ll wipe it off for you.”
He took the laminated paper from Maru’s sister, who stood there stiffly. The dirtied piece of paper had someone’s signature and her name on it. It seemed quite important, so Dowook felt sorry for some reason, even though, strictly speaking, it was her fault. However, he couldn’t say that to her.
Dowook took out some tissue from the bag attached to the bicycle frame. Although some water had seeped inside, it didn’t look that dirty after wiping it off.
She received the paper before bowing to him.
“Sorry about that. If it’s something important, tell it to Maru later. If it’s something I can do, I’ll do something about it.”
He had a debt to Maru, so he decided not to be rough with her. After saying that, Dowook turned around to leave. However, that familiar hand grabbed his clothes again. When he turned around, he saw Maru’s sister with a big grin on her face.
“Then give me your phone number, and also, treat me to a meal sometime.”
Dowook frowned as he looked at that face. Maru’s smile could be seen in his sister’s smile as well.
He felt somewhat frustrated as though he got caught up with something very annoying.
* * *
Maru, who was reading his notes to do some revision, suddenly saw that his phone was vibrating. When he opened it to see who it was, he was surprised to see the name.
“What is it?”
-Your sister is just… urgh, nothing. It’s all my fault.”
“What the heck is this about so suddenly?”
Then, Dowook just hung up.
What was this about? Just as he stared at his phone trying to figure out what this about, he heard the passcode beeps from the front door. Maru left his room to see that Bada had come back home. She stiffened as soon as the two met eyes. The way she hid the autograph and her phone behind her back looked very suspicious.
“I just got a call from Dowook.”
“D-Dowook? Who’s that?”
“Oho? You’re practically acting like the culprit here. So, what happened?”
Then, she darted off to her room. Maru was very suspicious but he couldn’t pry. If he was to pry someone, he had to pry Dowook, not Bada. He called Dowook. However, all he got was that the other party was currently on the phone. At the same time, he heard Bada whispering inside her room. Well, that was blatantly obvious.
‘I don’t know anymore.’
As he was someone who thought that romance was a good thing when young, he did not plan to oppose his sister’s romance. Though, it ticked him off that the partner was a friend of his…. He had no excuse to stop her from doing so when she looked so adamant about it. He only wished that she wouldn’t come crying to him later saying “why is your friend this and this….” after breaking up.
Maru glanced at the door to his sister’s room before turning around.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Hm, I want to see more of Dowook's character development...