Kudos and many thanks to Really Not and LHI for their hard work on this chapter!
Translator: Really Not
Lunchtime, at the Audiovisual Reference Prep Room.
I was studying as usual when Yuyu spoke from across the table.
At this careful call, I stopped my pencil and looked at her face.
She was looking my way, blushing.
“I think… I have a…”
As I was looking at her with an odd expression, she lowered her eyes and made an embarrassed face.
“I think I have a baby…”
For a moment, I couldn’t understand what she was saying.
I jumped up from my chair at this unexpected announcement.
“Wh-What are you talking about!”
“I-I was surprised, too. I am a little happy, too, though.”
“Wait! Wait, how could I be…”
“Yu Yuyu peeked up at me and said with a red face.
“It’s like a dream, me becoming mom and Glasses becoming dad…”
“I-I’m the father?!”
Then that means…
“A-Aren’t you going to take responsibility? You’re horrible…”
“D-Don’t cry! That is, I don’t remember anything like…”
As I was struggling to calm a tearful Yuyu, the metal door of the Preparation Room opened with a loud bang.
“I heard all about it.”
The girl who walked in, her long hair in the wind… was Ka-ryeon, in her waitress uniform.
“Han Ka-ryeon?! How did you get in here?!”
Her clothing aside, I was more surprised that Ka-ryeon, who went to another school, was here.
But instead of answering my question, Ka-ryeon approached me in light steps.
Stopping right in front of me, she tilted her head slightly and said,
“Sunbae, would you prefer a boy or a girl?”
Ka-ryeon put her hand on her belly and smiled.
“In here is the… fruit of our love.”
“...What the hell are you girls talking about?!”
Startled, I took a few steps back.
“That can’t be! What is going on here! Not just one, but two…”
Then, I heard a familiar voice.
Peeking out from behind Ka-ryeon, Yeon-hee was looking this way.
“Y-Yeon-hee, don’t tell me you…”
I looked at Yeon-hee with trembling hands, and she bent her expressionless lips into a small smile.
“Looks like you have another member of your family, Oppa.”
I crouched on the floor. Yeon-hee, as if trying to comfort me, said in a tender voice,
“Don’t worry, Oppa. It would be trouble if we were really blood-related, but we aren’t”
“Yeah, that’s a relief… Wait, no!”
Almost accepting that for a second, I jumped up and shouted,
“Don’t lie, you girls!”
I cried at the blinking three people in front of me.
“We were never in a relationship! And we obviously never did anything that would result in kids!”
I recently lost three months of my memory in a traffic accident.
The three girls in front of me now are the people who claim to be my girlfriend… That is, Yu Yuyu, a classmate, Han Ka-ryeon, my junior coworker, and Ahn Yeon-hee, my little sister. They claimed that they used to be in a rather serious relationship with me, and tried feverishly to prove it as well.
But none of it was true. It was a lie that the three desperately made up in order to not lose me.
After the truth was revealed and the matters sorted, we made up and agreed to stay as friends in the future.
Which means, this nonsense here shouldn’t be happening!
“Glasses, aren’t you being too mean?”
However, Yuyu looked shocked at my words and started tearing up.
“That’s horrible. How could you be like this…”
Yuyu started sobbing, and Ka-ryeon gave me a reprehensive look while putting an arm around Yuyu’s shoulders.
“Sunbae, you should take responsibility if you are a man.”
“No, I mean, I didn’t do anything to take responsibility for…”
“There was incriminating evidence in your desk drawer. Don’t try to back out of this.”
Ka-ryeon took out the square box that was in my drawer. When did she get that?
“That doesn’t necessarily mean I used them… No, if I did use them, there wouldn't be anything like this?!”
“Sunbae, you’re a model student and you don’t know this? They don’t work perfectly all of the time.”
Next to Ka-ryeon, Yeon-hee mumbled expressionlessly,
“My belly is already bulging out…”
“Nonono, that doesn’t happen that fast! Are you sure you don’t have a disease, not a baby?!”
“Oh, it kicked… Fufu.”
“Y-Yeon-hee, making a mother’s face like that! …...N-No, don’t talk rubbish! That happens way after three months!”
Yuyu, who was wiping her tears, then said with a stern expression,
“I-It’s okay. Even if Glasses decides not to be dad, I’ll take care of the baby by myself…”
“O-Okay. So what I mean is…”
“It’s okay, Ms. Yu Yuyu. Although Sunbae is like that, he fulfills his responsibilities.”
“Don’t call me Yu Yuyu!”
That gets you worked up now?
“Well, this leaves me with no choice. I accept your relationships with Oppa. But the real wife is me.”
“What is this all of a sudden!”
I shouted to Yeon-hee, who was standing with her arms arrogantly crossed.
“Then, Sunbae… You’re prepared to support us three, plus the three babies we now have?”
“You will need to quit school and get a job. I’ll ask my sister to see if she can get you any good jobs.”
I was starting to go mad.
“Glasses, too bad you can’t study anymore… Cheer up.”
“Oppa, I’ll study hard and do your share as well.”
“Sunbae, you’ve studied enough, now you should work.”
“W-Wait! This can’t be happening!”
I jumped up and down, looking at the three girls’ smiling faces.
This can’t be. How could this be happening to me.
There is something I must do…!
“I have to study…!!”
I jumped up from under my blanket.
“Haah, haah… S-Studying…”
Looking around, panting, I saw my familiar room. It wasn’t the Audiovisual Reference Prep Room, and I didn’t see any of the three girls demanding that I take responsibility.
“W-Was it a dream?”
I was soaked with my own sweat.
“T-That was a bad one. Not being able to study…”
Of course, becoming a dad all of a sudden was pretty shocking as well.
Not one, but three? That’s pretty hard.
“Was it because I studied biology before going to bed last night…”
This is all because of that FSH and LH and estrogen and progesterone crap. Why do hormones have to have such difficult names?
“...At least I memorized them well.”
Feeling the fruits of last night’s studying coming back, I stretched inside my bed.
Mmm, having what I studied stored well inside my head does feel satisfying.
“Yeah, doing it with three girls at the same time, no way something like that could happen in real life…”
I came down from my bed, muttering.
I left my room and went to the bathroom to wash my face…
There, Yeon-hee was going to be sick...!
She was in a thin t-shirt and shorts, not yet changed into her school uniform. She was bending over the sink, her expression pained.
“Yeon-hee having morning sickness, was it for real?!”
“......Oppa, are you out of your mind?”
Ahh, my little sister’s cold eyes. It brought my senses back like a bucket of ice water over my head.
“Get ready for school. It’s Monday, you know.”
Snapping at me, Yeon-hee rinsed her mouth and left the bathroom.
Apparently, she wasn’t having morning sickness, she just choked while brushing her teeth.
Wow, that scared me…
After having breakfast, I opened the front door and saw a familiar uniform in front of me.
“H-Hey! Good morning!”
Hearing my lukewarm response, Yeon-hee peeked out from inside the house.
“You, why are you here?”
“A-Am I not supposed to be here?”
Standing in front of the door was a girl in our school uniform… Yu Yuyu.
“Of course not. Begone, stalker.”
“I-I’m not a stalker!”
“What are you if not a stalker, hanging around someone else’s house like this. Never come near here again if you don’t want to be reported to the police. In fact, I’d like you to leave this neighborhood completely.”
“I live around here too! Are you going to make me move?!”
Yuyu sulked at Yeon-hee’s unforgiving attacks.
“Uhhh… Say something, Glasses!”
“Actually, I’m a bit surprised, too, that you’re here.”
She doesn’t have to pretend to be my girlfriend anymore, and I thought going to school with her every morning was over.
Yuyu said hesitantly.
“I’m a bit, worried…”
“Worried about what?”
“You coming to school, you know…”
“...I’m not a child, going to school isn’t that hard.”
Having said that, I did know what Yuyu was worried about.
“Let’s go, we shouldn’t be late. ...Yeon-hee, I’ll be off.”
“...Walk at least 10 metres away from Kyeong-hyeon.”
Ignoring me, Yeon-hee scowled at Yuyu and slammed the door shut.
...The girlfriend stuff is over, so why is she so hostile?
As we were waiting for the elevator, Yuyu asked after seeing me take a small notebook out of my pocket.
“It’s a word list I made.”
I look at a few words while I’m on the elevator, and I repeat them over and over in my head as I walk to school.
“Are you serious?!”
Yuyu looked at me, startled.
“Are you studying while walking to school?!”
“This is pretty useful. It keeps me from getting bored, too.”
I couldn’t do this last week because I wasn’t used to walking to school together with a girl, but I think it’s okay now.
“W-wait, you’re going to study alone while walking to school together with me?”
“Do you want to use it?”
“N-No, that’s not what I mean…”
Yuyu drooped her shoulders and made a gloomy expression.
“I-If we’re walking together, shouldn’t we talk or something? I can’t talk with a person who’s memorizing words inside his head…”
I was lost in thought for a second.
I put the notebook inside my bag. Come to think of it, Yuyu might be offended if she felt neglected.
“G-Glasses gave up studying for me…”
We took the elevator, Yuyu looking moved for some reason.
We reached the first floor without exchanging a word.
“So, what are we going to talk about?”
Yuyu looked surprised at my question.
“You said we should talk. What should we talk about?”
I didn’t walk to and from school with friends that often, so I didn’t have a feel for what the topic should be in situations like this.
Of course, Yuyu and I talked a lot last week, but that was about being in a relationship and such.
“What should we… Yeah, so…”
Yuyu looked rather tense. She seemed to be thinking of interesting topics to discuss.
“You don’t have to force it.”
“No! S-So, umm…”
“...Let’s talk about the future.”
Yuyu shouted when I cut her off in advance so she wouldn’t think of anything weird.
“G-Glasses, would you like a boy or a girl?!”
The image of Yuyu shyly confessing that she had a baby flashed through my mind.
...This can’t be a continuation of that dream, right?
“...Why are you asking something like that?”
“Reference for what!”
Yuyu covered her face and shook her head left and right at my loud voice.
“T-That’s… Uhh, Glasses, how can I talk about something like that here… You’re cruel.”
“What’s cruel is your conversation abilities…”
I can’t figure out what she’s talking about. Is it normal for high schoolers to talk about their future children when walking to school in the morning…?
“Then which would you like?”
Yuyu blushed bright red at the question and glimpsed at my face.
“W-Well… Then of course… A s-son?”
“...Okay, please do have a healthy boy.”
I blurted out, trying to end the conversation. I felt somehow that we should stop talking about this subject.
“W-Wait, Glasses, I think that’s a perverted thing to say…”
I can’t understand women…
Exchanging such conversations, we arrived at the intersection in front of our school. There were a lot of people wearing our school uniform, and Yuyu, who was walking right beside me, put a little distance between us.
We were waiting at the pedestrian crossing when Yuyu, who was standing behind me, asked me.
“Is is okay?”
“There was that thing on Friday. Is it okay, going to school?”
I kept my mouth shut and stared at the red light.
This morning, Yuyu came all the way to my house. It was probably because something was on her mind.
Last week, there was the National Achievement Test. However, I ran out of class, breaking the rules. Then I made a ruckus to save the three girls who were held captive by my homeroom teacher - Mr. Kim, that is.
What that event would do to my school life, and what that would cause for my state of mind… Yuyu came early because she had those things on her mind.
“It would be a suspension at most. It’s okay.”
After that day, I waited at home for a possible phone call from school… But there was nothing, it seemed that even teachers took weekends off.
“You have nothing to apologize about.”
“I always cause trouble for Glasses…”
“It’s okay, really.”
Yuyu mumbled in a small voice.
“Nothing changes if I’m sorry, so I guess it’s just for my own satisfaction?”
“I’m saying, it’s okay…”
I did what I did because I wanted to. I honestly didn’t want her to feel sorry or anything.
“But, what are we going to do at school…”
“...That is a problem.”
I frowned at Yuyu’s worried voice.
That day, I shouted in front of many students that I’m a philanderer who toyed with women. And Yuyu was one of my victims.
When we go to class today, people will give me a different look than before. An unfriendly look - not the one that they gave to the “quiet studying maniac.”
On top of that, last Thursday, Yuyu went around telling people that she was in a relationship with me. Our classmates welcomed the news, but when they hear that it was actually me playing with her…
“It must be troubling for you, too. ...I’m sorry.”
In cases such as this, people come down hard not only on the perpetrator, but the victims as well. Even if she did nothing wrong, the looks people are going to give Yuyu will certainly not make her feel comfortable.
“I-I’m okay. I just have to read the books as always and then go home… I don’t have friends, anyway.”
“Well, aside from Sega, neither do I…”
I had a heavy heart as I thought of my fine friend. Last Friday, he was watching me do that stuff.
It is likely that my behavior would be quite disappointing to him since he had a diligent and serious attitude towards dating.
Growing distant from Sega would be rather regrettable, even for me.
“What should we do at lunchtime? We can’t use the Prep Room.”
Honestly, I wanted to have lunch and study at the Audiovisual Reference Prep Room like before, but since I was caught there Friday by the homeroom teacher, we won’t be using that place anymore.
“If we disappear from class, just the two of us, our classmates will have suspicions… It’s a bother.”
“T-Then should I stay in class? You can leave by yourself… Oh, if you want to stay, either way is fine.”
If we both stay in the classroom, it will be uncomfortable in more ways than one. Having lunch together there is out of the question.
“...Let’s just see what happens. It will work out.”
Even if things turn for the worse, it’ll just mean that there will be two more outsiders in class. Yuyu and I were both like that from the start, though. It won’t make much of a difference.
Mocking myself like that, Yuyu and I crossed the road, walking some distance apart.
When I left Yuyu, who said she would go in a bit later, and entered the classroom, I felt a variety of looks coming at me.
Before, no one cared whether I came and went or not. I was certainly the center of attention now.
Some frowned openly, and others glanced my way, pretending to do something else. They were not friendly looks. Regardless of whether they were boys or girls.
In their eyes, I was actually a philanderer who tricked and toyed with girls while pretending to be studying quietly.
I strided into class as if I had nothing to hide. I put my bag on the desk, maintaining my confident attitude.
There is no need to appear intimidated. Philanderer or not, I just have to sit at my seat and study.
Thinking that, I was about to take my seat.
The warm feeling, no, pressure, on my butt.
Feeling something touch me through the gap in the back of my chair, I jumped up.
Where the hell did he come from? Sega, who wasn’t at his seat just a moment ago, was leaning over his desk and rubbing my butt.
“A good butt today as well, thank you.”
Sega, saying that perverted line with his handsome, smiling face.
This manliest of men, perfect in every conceivable way, touched my butt.
I was a bit moved by that.
I was about to cry. Not necessarily, of course, because of the fact that he touched my butt.
Sega heard everything last Friday, but his attitude towards me hasn’t changed a bit.
He still looks at me as before and makes the same jokes.
If this doesn’t move my heart, what should?
“T-Touch all you want! I can trust you with my butt!”
“Then I won’t refuse.”
I saw many of those who were giving me those looks hurriedly turn away. Among those, a few girls seemed to be concentrating even harder at what was happening here, but that didn’t matter to me.
“W-What are you guys doing…”
When she saw us, Yuyu became pale and came to a dead stop as she was entering the classroom, but that didn’t really matter either.
As I was enjoying my friendship like that, it soon became homeroom time.
“Okay, quiet down.”
But the person who came in wasn’t the homeroom teacher… Mr. Kim.
A white blouse, a black skirt, and slender legs. Still in her twenties, monopolizing the popularity of the male students… It was Ms. Park Eun-Kyung, the social studies teacher and also our vice-homeroom teacher.
“Mr. Kim can’t come today because of personal matters. I’ll be doing both the morning and afternoon homeroom times today.”
The class became noisy at Ms. Park’s ringing voice. It must have been pretty shocking that Mr. Kim, who was like a teaching machine, was taking a day off.
Of course, I couldn’t keep my composure either. While I was a bit worried about having to see Mr. Kim face-to-face, I was more confused than relieved.
Disregarding the hum, Ms. Park started to call attendance. She wasn’t the type to give a warning when students were chatting or not paying attention, but she had a curious ability to quieten things down just by speaking aloud.
“Okay, homeroom time is over. And, Ahn Kyung-hyun.”
After making all the announcements and such, Ms. Park stopped and looked in my direction while stepping out of the classroom.
“See me in the Counseling Room. Class president, please tell the first period teacher that I borrowed him.”
Sega’s voice coming from behind my back, and the eyes of my classmates focusing on me.
I silently stood up.
I saw Yuyu worriedly looking my way, but I’ll only give others something to gossip about if I stay too close to her in class. I stepped out, not giving Yuyu a look.
When I stepped inside the Student Counseling Room, the supposedly soothing pastel tone interior greeted me.
When I sat on the sofa, Ms. Park opened a cupboard and started making coffee.
Two cups in her hands, she put one down in front of me. Not sure whether I was supposed to drink it, I sat still, but Ms. Park sipped hers silently.
Unable to bear the silence, I broke the ice first.
“Mr. Kim, did something happen to him?”
“What, you’re worried about Mr. Kim?”
Ms. Park replied to my question without changing her expression.
“Why, do you think he’ll be sick in bed because of what you did?”
Perhaps Ms. Kim saw me cringe, because she laughed.
“Don’t worry. Actually, Mr. Kim’s mother is getting discharged from hospital today. He was supposed to have today off anyway.”
“...Is that so.”
It’s been some time since Mr. Kim’s mother fell ill with a stroke. I thought she was okay now, but did something else come up?
“Well, I suppose he might have spent the weekend in bed since his favorite Ahn Kyeong-hyun became a real delinquent.”
Mr. Kim Mu-hyeok. As a friend of my father, he became the legal guardian of Yeon-hee and me after father passed away.
We weren’t especially close and we both kept our distance, but he still helped us out.
But I let Mr. Kim down. It was to protect the three girls, but I went against him and showed him the appearance of a delinquent with relationship problems.
I know I should formally apologize later and repay my debt, but I can’t fathom when that would be.
“Then again, I’m not sure you’re a real delinquent, after all.”
Ms. Park’s voice startled me.
“Don’t make fun of your teachers, you.”
Ms. Park said, furrowing her brows.
“If you were really out of your mind like that, you wouldn’t become all serious about what I just said.”
I unconsciously covered my mouth.
I tried to show a good-for-nothing, rebellious attitude last Friday, but I completely forgot about it just now.
“Us teachers were a bit troubled, too. We all knew what kind of student you are. But you did cause that ruckus, and we were confused.”
Ms. Park said, shrugging her shoulders.
“So they just dumped everything on me since I am the youngest. I’d know your feelings the best since we’re close in age, that sort of thing.”
I realized that my treatment was left in the hands of the person sitting in front of me, Ms. Park.
“You had your reasons, right?”
“But, you aren’t going to tell me?”
I don’t want to explain things and justify myself. I’m also not sure if I can explain the complicated situation so Ms. Park can understand.
Ms. Park sighed and leaned back on the sofa. She didn’t seem to be angry, though.
“Honestly speaking, I don’t want to interrogate you. As a woman, I am interested in the love affairs of others, but what good would it do me to listen to you kids talk…”
I’m not sure what the difference is, but I guess Ms. Park isn’t interested in high school students’ relationships.
“I’ll make something up, so you just wait.”
“I-Is that okay?”
“It’s harder to listen to your story and make it so that the other teachers can understand.”
I agree with that.
“What about, any disciplinary action?”
At my question, Ms. Park crossed her arms and made a thoughtful expression.
“If you think about it, you didn’t really do anything that wrong. Leaving class early, roaming around the school, and letting non-students into the building… There is also the affair with the girls, but suspicions are just that, suspicions.”
Ms. Park suddenly leaned forward.
She put her face into mine and asked in a serious tone,
“Did you get them pregnant or something?”
The three girls from last night crossed my mind. Desperately trying to chase the memory of them, charging at me and demanding that I take responsibility, out of my mind, I said,
“I-I did not!”
“If something like that happened, it’d be difficult to just let you off the hook, but if not… It’s nothing, really. Definitely not something to give a suspension over.”
That was a bit surprising.
“No suspension? I caused such a fuss…”
If anything, I wanted to be punished for the trouble I’ve caused Mr. Kim.
“Even if we give you a suspension, you’ll just study at home. Hardly any punishment at all.”
I didn’t have anything to say.
“We won’t give you a suspension for something like this. Just a long talk would do fine. But still, you did make a big commotion… Be prepared for some community service work.”
Community service… I wouldn’t be able to study while doing that, so it would definitely be punishment for me, but still, I thought it was too light.
“So model students really are different? You didn’t have alcohol, smoke, or get into a fight, but you were that worried about punishment?”
“It’s not like I was worried…”
“The world’s more lenient than you think, you know? Even when you think you are crossing the line, people will accept it.”
Ms. Park sounded both playful and grown-up at the same time.
“...Would Mr. Kim accept it, too?”
“It might take time. He has his stubborn sides.”
I nodded, and Ms. Kim smiled and waved her hands in front of her.
“Well, then, get to class now. I shouldn’t keep a student from his classes, especially in your case.”
After showing her my gratitude, I left the Counseling Room.
I felt strange, like my face was tickling.
After returning to class, first period ended and the first recess arrived.
Recess is always noisy with the sound of students chatting. However, I was sitting still at my desk, and no one was paying any attention to me. People gave me curious looks when I returned in the middle of first period, but if I just sit still, their interest fades quickly.
So I stayed at my seat and opened a book. If I just study at my desk like usual, no one will care about me.
I glimpsed at Yuyu, who was also studying with a notebook open in front of her. Perhaps we were thinking the same thing. That’s good. If Yuyu comes over and talks to me, gossip will spring up from everywhere. It would be like trying to make small talk with the guy who played around with her.
Thinking that, I turned my attention to the book when a voice sounded from above my head.
When I looked up in the direction of the cold voice, I saw braids hanging in the air.
It was a neat looking girl, her soft hair braided over her shoulder. She appeared to be a bit angry, but since she looked younger than her age, it wasn’t really intimidating.
She was small and had little in the way of feminine curves, but the disciplined movement of her slender limbs gave her presence. Her skirt was a bit longer than that of her classmates, and overall, she seemed to be without fault.
I knew her name. She was Chae Song-hwa, our vice-class president.
I replied, a bit tense, and the vice president frowned.
Then I saw the others looking this way behind her. I just wanted to study, not draw attention - what is this…
“Let’s talk just a bit.”
I blinked at the vice president’s stiff voice.
I wasn’t friends with the vice president. I wasn’t friends with girls in general, really. We might have spoken before since she is, after all, the vice president, but we didn’t have private conversations before.
I realized a certain possibility all of a sudden.
I didn’t have any memories of being friends with vice president Chae Song-hwa. But what if I had forgotten it?
What if, during the three months that vanished from my memory, I had built up some kind of relationship with the vice president?
I looked at the vice president’s face, feeling tense. But it was impossible to deduce from her frowning face whether we did have some kind of relationship or not.
“Ahn Kyeong-hyun, I…”
I jumped up from my seat and grabbed the vice president’s wrist.
I saw her make a surprised expression. But there wasn’t any other choice. There were too many onlookers here to talk.
“Let’s talk somewhere else!”
“Hey, Ahn Kyeong-hyun! What the…!”
I dragged the resisting vice president into the hallway. Being approached by the vice president, then grabbing her wrist and hauling her out of the classroom… I realized my classmates were staring at me, their eyes wide, but it was too late.
“What the heck are you doing!”
The vice president yelled at me when I stopped at an out-of-the-way spot where I spoke with Yuyu before.
I was a bit rough with her, I admit. I lowered my head, feeling sorry, but the vice president still looked unsatisfied.
Well, she always looked a bit unsatisfied.
“...What, why are you looking at me like that?”
Feeling my stare, she took a step back.
“So, uh… What is it that you wanted to talk about?”
This time, the vice president looked at me with her mouth shut.
I started to become uneasy at her silence. If there really was something between us, I wanted to reveal my amnesia and hear from her what our relationship was like.
But the calamitous events of last week flashed through my head. After realizing that I had lost my memory, the three girls started claiming to be my girlfriend. That gave me a lot of trouble… Wait, this time, too…?!
“Don’t you even have an idea of what I’m going to say?”
“D-Don’t tell me you’re going to say you’re my girlfriend, too?!”
The vice president’s eyes grew wide. I covered my mouth, realizing that I had said something stupid, but I couldn’t take it back now.
“W-What are you talking about! Who’s your girlfriend!!”
The vice president yelled, her face red. Yuyu also had a thing for blushing, but the vice president was up there, too. She was so red that she looked like a scarlet flower, just like her name. [TL note: Chaesonghwa literally means ross moss (Portulaca grandiflora).]
“W-W-Were you looking at me with those eyes, too?!”
“D-Don’t tell me you brought me here because…”
The vice president made a frightened expression, looking around her surroundings.
“Y-You’re going to do perverted things to me, too! You pervert!”
The vice president’s eyes, which were looking at me with a burning stare before, were now trembling like those of a frightened herbivore. She was raising her guard against me, her body shrinking.
“I-If you touch me, be prepared to face the consequences!”
“...What are you going to do?”
“I’ll bite my tongue off and die. Then you’ll be charged for murder!”
...No, I don’t think that counts as murder.
“Don’t worry, you won’t be doing anything like that.”
“Are you saying you’ll stuff my mouth and stop me from biting my tongue?!”
“I’m really disappointed in you, Ahn Kyeong-hyun! I didn’t know you were like this!”
The vice president screamed in a reprehensive tone.
“I thought you were different from the other boys, but you were this perverted…!”
“...Different from the other boys?”
I asked, and the vice president looked as if she was caught off guard.
She turned her eyes away and mumbled sulkily,
“You know I don’t like boys, right?”
Even sitting still at my seat, I can hear the things that people talk about in class. I heard it from Sega once as well, and apparently, the vice president hates men.
It’s not so bad as to affect her social life, but arrhenphobia was enough to seriously hurt men who approached her with stinging words. That was one of the few personal things I knew about vice president Chae Song-hwa.
“But… Ahn Kyeong-hyun, I thought you were a bit better than the others.”
I opened my eyes wide, and the vice president continued, her face blushing a little.
“You study hard every day, and you don’t chat or slack off in the middle of class… Most of all, you don’t chase after girls like the other guys. So I had a good opinion of you.”
A thought popped up inside my head.
M-Maybe the vice president…
“D-Did you like me?”
“No! What are you talking about! Why does it come to that!”
...Oh, yeah. Of course.
Who would like a boring guy like me? I shouldn’t make assumptions like this from now on.
“Don’t get the wrong idea! Because you’re different from the other boys! I thought you wouldn’t be a threat! Cause any trouble or things like that!”
The vice president shook all over, clenching her fists.
“Why did you do that? Why did you have such messy relationships?”
She proceeded to yell at me, showing anger on her face.
“Missing the Achievement Test, letting students from other schools in, doing perverted things inside the school with all of them… Why are you doing this!!”
...What? Isn’t something wrong here?
The story I fabricated last Friday was that the girls I meddled with gathered round and had a skirmish over me… Something like that.
“W-Wait, I think there’s a misunderstanding…”
“Don’t make excuses! I saw you too, last Friday! You guys doing perverted stuff in the school and getting caught by our homeroom teacher!”
“I’m telling you, it’s not like that!”
D-Don’t tell me that’s what my classmates think what happened.
It is definitely more exciting and interesting if you put it that way…
“I couldn’t understand what was going on when I saw it then! But I figured it out after thinking about it over the weekend! You were definitely caught because you did those things!”
“That’s just your imagination!”
I think it was just her delusion.
“No! It’s true that you had an indecent relationship with three girls! Did you not! Three girls! Indecent relationship!”
It was hard to deny it when she put it in such a direct fashion. I did, in fact, end up doing things with three girls, and it was a pretty indecent relationship.
“See?! You’re stuttering! You pervert! Pervert! Pervert glasses!”
The stubborn vice president, accusing me relentlessly. I wasn’t sure how to deal with this. There didn’t seem to be a very good way.
I let out a long sigh, feeling tired.
“...So, what is it that you want to say.”
I’ve heard enough about what the vice president thinks of me.
Her purpose wouldn’t be to just condemn me, so I’d like her to say what she wants now.
“So, I’ve decided!”
“I’ll keep watch over you so you don’t get your hands on any other girls, and I’ll educate you so you regain a healthy state of mind! You’ll become a new person!”
“...Are you for real?”
The vice president nodded in a serious expression.
“I can’t overlook a classmate heading down the wrong path. The class president is too close with you, so it’s up to me, the vice president.”
...I don’t know why a mere class vice president has such a large sense of responsibility.
“You know, vice president.”
Feeling weary, I groaned,
“This doesn’t concern you.”
Maybe I was being too cold to her, but you can’t be ambiguous on matters such as these.
The vice president was probably acting on her sense of morals and good will, but honestly, it’s just unnecessary and annoying interference for me.
For instance, there was a kid back in middle school who used to tell me to get along with my classmates, not just study all day. Of course, his logic made sense, but I didn’t like his attitude of trying to force others to be like his version of what’s right.
When you get involved in something with such a person, you have to be clear cut from the beginning - it’s better for both sides.
“Don’t interfere. I’ll take care of my own business.”
I told her as resolutely as possible, but the vice president started to slowly lower her gaze.
I became a bit uneasy at this unexpected response. Did I make her cry or anything…? Was I too cold to her…
“It doesn’t matter…?”
As I was feeling alarmed, she moved her lips slightly.
“Of course it matters!!”
She cried, raising her head suddenly.
“Ahn Kyeong-hyun, you’re in the same class as me, right? Then does it not matter?!”
“N-No, I mean, we’re just in the same class…”
“What if you keep walking the path of the Pervert Glasses and other girls in the class get harmed? Even when it comes to that, do I have to not do anything because it doesn’t concern me?!”
“No, I’m not going to do anything like that!”
“Don’t joke with me!”
“Like I said, I’m not doing that!”
“Liar! You laid your hands on Yuyu!”
I gulped when I heard those words.
The vice president’s look towards me didn’t hold just stubborn self-righteousness.
“Last Friday, Yu Yuyu looked like she was really suffering. She was in pain, she was hurt! You are responsible for making her like that!”
Of course, the events of that day were totally different from what the vice president thought happened. Still, I couldn’t deny that I had some responsibility for Yuyu getting hurt.
“I’m not really that close with Yu Yuyu, but I was thinking I should become closer friends with her because we’re in the same class. Seeing someone like her getting hurt, it does concern me!”
The vice president roared, looking at me with fire in her eyes.
“I can’t condone something like this happening again in my class! I’m going to make you a new man. Of course, I’ll see that you apologize sincerely to Yu Yuyu and reflect on yourself…”
Just then, as the vice president was pointing fingers at me and raising her voice, she stopped as if someone had hit the stop button.
I was looking at her with a dumbfounded expression when she put her hand into the pocket of her skirt and retrieved her cell phone.
“...30 seconds before the start of second period.”
“Oh, we should get going now.”
I breathed a sigh of relief, actually having wished for recess to end soon.
“Let’s continue this after second period ends.”
“Come on! What if we’re late for class!”
The vice president grabbed my wrist and started running. She just told me she wouldn’t let me touch a hair on her body, but is it okay if she touches me?!
We arrived just as the bell signalling the start of second period was ringing. Feeling the stinging looks from all around as soon as we set foot inside the door, I gulped.
“Sit down! Class is starting!”
Pushing me, the vice president strided to her seat and plopped down. No one dared talk to her, who had her arms crossed with a determined expression.
After second period ended in that state, the vice president suddenly stood up and approached me.
“Ahn Kyeong-hyun, let’s go!”
Feeling everyone’s stares again, I resisted.
“I just want to sit here and study!”
“You’re the one who took me to that out of the way spot! We should finish what we started.”
“We already did enough! Stop, will you?!”
“I haven’t had enough. Is it over after you’ve satisfied yourself?”
“Man up and put your back into it!”
The classroom was quite noisy, for some reason. More so than this morning or just a few minutes ago. W-What?
I was just standing there, confused at the strange atmosphere, when the vice president dragged me out, even resorting to kicking my waist.
After taking me to the spot from before, she resumed her nitpicking. She droned on about what kind of life is sound and healthy and human, and I couldn’t help but listen to her with a tired feeling.
“We’re out of time. Let’s continue this after third period.”
Returning to class once more, the looks my classmates were giving me were on another level from before. I sat down at my seat. I don’t know what’s going on anymore.
And it was recess once again.
“Hey, let’s go and continue what we were doing!”
Just as the vice president, who seemed to me like the devil now, was coming over to my seat.
A girl blocked her path all of a sudden.
The girl who spread her arms and tried to stop the vice president with a desperate expression was none other than Yuyu.
“What’s going on?”
The vice president looked at Yuyu, perplexed.
“W-What are you doing!”
“T-Taking Glasses outside during breaks… Doing that in obscure spots…!!”
The whole class stirred in an odd way.
Yuyu, no, everyone was reacting strangely. What was happening?
I wanted to avoid talking to Yuyu in class if possible, but there was no other choice. I tried to walk over to her, but the vice president turned her eyes on me wildly.
“Ahn Kyeong-hyun. I thought I told you not to approach this girl?”
At that voice, I flinched and stopped. The vice president emphasized over and over that I, as the perpetrator, shouldn’t go near Yuyu, the victim.
After blocking my intervention, she turned her attention to Yuyu.
“I didn’t really do something that serious.”
“I-It must be something you don’t do every day!”
“That is true. It isn’t a very ordinary thing to do.”
“I-I knew it…”
“I thought I should do something, having found out Ahn Kyeong-hyun is a guy who goes around seducing innocent girls.”
“So did you want to test Glasses? I didn’t know Chae Song-hwa was that kind of girl…”
“Test? Well, I guess you could call it a test. The results were as expected.”
Interpreting my actions the way she wanted to, she came to the conclusion that I am indeed a philanderer.
“S-So you did it?”
“Yes, I did it.”
She did the pestering.
“T-To think that Chae Song-hwa was such a carnivore… Uuu, I thought I wouldn’t have any rivals inside the school… Getting him stolen so suddenly…”
Carnivore? Rival? Stolen? What’s she talking about?
“On top of that, doing it at school, I can’t believe it!”
“Then where should we do it?”
“W-Well… Anyhow, somewhere no one else is around!”
“That’s true. That’s why we went to that corner. We couldn’t do it in class.”
“Of course! But if you really had to do it, couldn’t you have done it after school?!”
“After school? I couldn’t wait until then.”
“You should wait! ...Is it t-that good?”
Yuyu glimpsed at me for a second, and her face turned scarlet.
“And not once, but several times…! S-Shouldn’t you be satisfied with doing it once?!”
“We didn’t have enough time. Recess is 10 minutes, and we have to count the time it takes to get to and from there.”
“Y-Yes, I did hear that women take a bit of time, unlike men…”
Is the time required for pestering different for men and women?
“Glasses doesn’t like it! Taking him by force… You shouldn’t do that!”
“Even if he doesn’t want it, we should do what should be done.”
“N-No! You should do it under consent or it’s unwholesome!”
“I think it would be rare for both to like it.”
“It’s not! Anyway, you shouldn’t work Glasses too hard!”
Yelling in a loud voice, Yuyu then pointed a finger at me.
“Y-You did it so much that his waist hurts! Give it a rest!”
I was rubbing the spot where the vice president kicked me before.
“I don’t think that is related to waist pain…”
“It’s related! Don’t tell me Chae Song-hwa was on top of Glasses and moving on her own!”
“On top of me? Moving on her own? I don’t know what you’re talking about… We were both standing.”
“S-Standing…?! I-I see, in that position…”
Yuyu looked back and forth at me and the vice president, her face becoming a darker shade of red.
“Just to make this clear, I don’t do this with anyone.”
“Ehh? D-Don’t tell me, Chae Song-hwa, you actually think of Glasses like that…”
“I just did it because I knew he was a dangerous philanderer who toyed with girls.”
“Then it’s because of his body?! That’s even worse!”
“One more thing, this is my first time doing this.”
“First?! It’s your first time and you did it like one night’s mischief?! Not even my fantasies were that wild!”
Yuyu was spouting nonsense, but I was a bit surprised that I was the first person the vice president lectured like that.
“...Vice president, you seemed like you were used to doing that, so I thought you had done it to the other guys before.”
“Who do you think I am? My body won’t stand it if I did that with anyone.”
“A-Anyway, you can’t do it anymore! I will protect Glasses!”
“Protect? What are you talking about?”
The vice president looked dumbfounded.
“You’re the victim. Why is the victim protecting the perpetrator?”
Out of words to say, Yuyu looked at me - but I couldn’t think of anything, either.
It was near impossible to explain now that the relationship between Yuyu and I was different from that of a victim and perpetrator, that is, a girl who was fooled and a boy who toyed around with her. There were too many people around, too.
“S-So, that was, I…”
Yuyu clenched her fists and tried to say something.
Yuyu seemed like she would make a big mistake again, so I tried to stop her.
“Glasses and I…!”
Just as everyone’s attention, including the vice president’s, was focused to Yuyu, who was radiating a strange willpower.
“It’s time for class, everyone~ English time~ Let’s study again today with… Eh?”
Ms. Choi, the English teacher for 4th period, tilted her head at the tension in the classroom.
And then, finally, lunchtime.
During 4th period, I had already decided what I should do now.
Exactly as lunchtime began, I’ll take my boxed lunch and run outside. It doesn’t matter if it’s the bathroom, I just want to eat lunch peacefully and study alone.
I’m done with bothersome things. If I drag my feet, the vice president will catch me again and I’ll have to listen to her tirade. Yuyu will also try to say what she was trying to say before, and that would be a headache. The other students will think even worse of me, and there was nothing I could gain from that.
I just wanted to study quietly, but what is this? I was a bit relieved that the school was going to go easy on me, but my classmates were the problem.
As I was getting out of my seat while thinking that.
I was about to run outside with my body lowered when someone grabbed my belt and took me down.
“W-What are you doing!”
I got myself together and shouted at the person who had done that.
“This is not the time! I’ll take my pants off anytime, so leave me alone!”
“That’s quite a dangerous and provocative remark.”
Sega replied, making a gentle smile.
“I received a note from Chae Song-hwa during class.”
I turned my head to see Yuyu also restrained, this time by the vice president. What’s going on?
“I wasn’t sure until now, but…”
The vice president let Yuyu go and walked towards me.
“Ahn Kyeong-hyun, you were taking Yuyu out during lunchtime and doing weird things with her, right? And you were going to do that today, too.”
Right then, Yuyu made a troubled expression and joined our conversation.
“N-No, Chae Song-hwa…”
“What’s “no?” You were going to meet up with Ahn Kyeong-hyun outside class right now.”
“Wait, I didn’t make that kind of appointment.”
I butted in, feeling that the conversation was heading down the wrong path again.
“Don’t lie. You still haven’t regained your senses and were going to do bad things to Yuyu again.”
“No. It’s definitely true that I have been having lunch with Yuyu until now. ...I haven’t done bad things to begin with, anyway.”
The vice president sighed and stared at me.
“Just to make sure.”
Turning her fiery eyes at me, the vice president asked,
“Yuyu and you were in a relationship, right? There was a rumor on that last Thursday.”
I stopped in the middle of my sentence.
Last Thursday, Yuyu told others in this very classroom that she was dating me. That was her lie, but it wouldn’t be prudent to reveal that in front of others.
“Of course, the truth was that Yu Yuyu alone was thinking that she was Ahn Kyeong-hyun’s “girlfriend.” Ahn Kyeong-hyun was just playing around with her.”
“G-Glasses didn’t do that…”
“Yes, that’s right.”
I said, blocking Yuyu’s words.
“But we’ve settled that relationship now. Everything was revealed on Friday. Yuyu shouldn’t have any feelings left for me, so don’t think that I would do weird things to her now.”
Saying that, I raised my head a little and looked around.
Everyone in class was looking this way, even as they were eating their lunches.
“And, I just want to make this clear so I can protect Yuyu’s honor.”
I said aloud, conscious of the fact that everyone was listening.
“Yuyu never suffered weird things - the kind that you’re imagining - from me. Not once, so bear that in mind.”
I needed to make this clear. It wasn’t very good for Yuyu’s image that she was duped into a relationship with a guy, but if it had physical implications, it would be quite damaging for her. That would be a big burden for a girl.
I didn’t feel the need to protect my own image so much, but I did want to make sure no one thought wrongly of Yuyu.
“Yu Yuyu, is that true?”
Yuyu, who had her head down, answered by dropping it another inch.
“You’re not lying to protect this guy?”
This time, she shook her head hard.
Seeing her do that, the vice president made a thinking expression.
“Hmm… That’s a bit hard to believe. Then why did Ahn Kyeong-hyun hit on Yu Yuyu? Men are always trying to do bad stuff to women, right?”
“What do you think men are…”
Lost in thought for a while, the vice president nodded and turned her attention to Shin Sega.
“During lunchtime, please have lunch with Ahn Kyeong-hyun and keep an eye on him. If we let him outside, he might get his hands on other girl.”
Not only was she trying to restrict my movement to inside this classroom, she was bringing Sega into this mess. I tried to object, but the vice president ignored me and looked at Yuyu.
“I’ll have lunch with Yu Yuyu.”
“If you go outside and meet with Ahn Kyeong-hyun, then all this until now becomes futile. He may not have done anything to you until now, but that might mean he hasn’t done anything “yet.””
The vice president raised her index finger.
“Yu Yuyu doesn’t seem like she has realized that Ahn Kyeong-hyun was playing with her - that she was being fooled. I don’t think she has come to her senses yet, but if she keeps following Ahn Kyeong-hyun around and really suffers something, then it would be too late.”
“Wait, if I have lunch with Sega, then there wouldn’t be a problem. Even if Yuyu goes around outside, I’ll be under surveillance here, so we wouldn’t meet.”
I objected, not wanting to restrict Yuyu’s freedom.
“I just want to double-check, that’s all. Sega might not be able to have lunch with you every day. And honestly, Yuyu looks like she has a poor guard. If she goes around outside like she has until now, she might end up with the wrong people and suffer, even if it’s not Ahn Kyeong-hyun.”
“Do I look like I have a poor guard?”
Yuyu looked quite shocked. I’m in agreement with the vice president on this one, though.
The vice president pointed her finger and said adamantly,
“I’ll keep an eye on Ahn Kyeong-hyun so he doesn’t do anything promiscuous, at least in this school. Yu Yuyu, too. As long as I have my eyes open, no one’s doing anything weird.”
Her words were fancy, but they were just a nuisance to me.
...I have a feeling that this would be more bothersome than having a girlfriend.
“Sega, do we really have to do this…”
“I’m fine with it.”
Sega shrugged his shoulders and smiled.
Then there’s no way out of this other than me giving a clear refusal… But looking back on the events of today, I had a feeling that defying the vice president might end up in even more bothersome situations.
“Then that’s decided. Come on, Yuyu. Let’s have lunch.”
The vice president grabbed Yuyu’s wrist, but Yuyu hesitated and glimpsed at me.
Yuyu said hesitantly, dropping her head.
“I want to eat with Glasses, if possible…”
The vice president looked at Yuyu impatiently.
“Didn’t you hear what I was saying until now?”
Yuyu looked like she was frightened of the vice president’s anger. As I was thinking about what I should do, I heard a voice coming from next to me.
“Chae Song-hwa, let her do that.”
Sega was looking at the vice president with a warm expression.
“Yu Yuyu has been having lunch with Ahn Kyeong-hyun until now. Yu Yuyu wouldn’t feel very comfortable if we suddenly force them apart.”
“But I’ll eat with her, right? We’re both girls, and I think she would be better off with me.”
“That’s not true.”
Sega said with a bitter smile on his lips.
“Actually, there is a way to satisfy both Chae Song-hwa and Yu Yuyu’s wishes.”
“What? What is that?”
“Having lunch all together. Ahn Kyeong-hyun, Yu Yuyu, Chae Song-hwa… And me, if possible.”
I opened my eyes wide and looked at Sega. Yuyu and the vice president, too.
“Then Chae Song-hwa will be able to keep an eye on both Ahn Kyeong-hyun and Yu Yuyu, and Yu Yuyu can keep having lunch with Ahn Kyeong-hyun. Isn’t that a win-win situation?”
“W-Wait. Then I can’t keep Ahn Kyeong-hyun and Yu Yuyu apart like I was planning…”
“Is it your purpose to sever their relationship completely? Isn’t it better to let them develop a sincere and healthy relationship if you want to stop them from having an indecent one?
After making Chae Song-hwa think about his proposal, Sega turned his attention to Yuyu.
“It wouldn’t be as good as having him to yourself, but wouldn’t this be okay?”
“In this situation, it might be better to have others around, too.”
At this, Yuyu made a surprised reaction for some reason.
“Ahn Kyeong-hyun, you’re okay with this too, right? You wouldn’t have as much time to study, but please understand. Staying in the classroom and hanging out like normal students to will give others a good impression.”
“Chae Song-hwa, you’re good?”
The vice president sighed and nodded her head.
“Then it’s decided.”
After receiving approval, Sega quickly began to assemble some desks. Without much of my help, a spot where the four of us could have lunch was prepared in no time.
“We spent a lot of time talking. Let’s eat, everyone must be hungry.”
At his smooth suggestion, Yuyu and the vice president brought their boxed lunches over and sat down. I also reluctantly joined them and took out my lunch.
“As expected, Sega’s lunch is really impressive…”
“Yuyu’s lunch looks good, too. It’s quite amazing that you can make that yourself.”
“What? Yu Yuyu makes her own boxed lunches?”
“Y-Yeah. And, I don’t like being called Yu Yuyu, so I’d like you to call me Yuyu if possible…”
“Oh, really? Then I should do that from now on.”
Like the other students, we sat in a circle and ate our lunches like friends do.
“How did it come to this…”
I mumbled to myself, feeling quite strange.
I couldn’t even imagine something like this happening just three months ago. Me, having lunch with this many people.
It wouldn’t be the case with Sega, who understands my intents, but eating with others takes a lot of time, with the talking and all. Preparing and cleaning up afterwards uses even more time, and that reduces the time I have for studying, which I do not like.
Just three months, no, a few days ago, I would have thought that, but strangely, I’m not feeling very displeased right now.
As I was thinking that, Yuyu, who was sitting to my left, murmured as if she was deeply moved.
“It’s the first time I’ve had lunch with a girl since I’ve entered high school…”
I’m not one to talk, but this kid really doesn’t have any friends…
Anyway, this was a novel situation for both Yuyu and me. Until this morning, we were prepared to be isolated at school, but we’re having lunch like friends now. Why did this happen?
“Ahn Kyeong-hyun, why do you have your mouth shut? Are you having perverted thoughts going inside your head, perhaps?”
A clamorous school life.
I don’t like chaos, but this isn’t too bad, either. Thinking that, I had a spoonful of Yeon-hee’s side dish.
Sensing the deep scent of coffee, I opened the wooden door.
The shop’s interior was full of dignified furnishings. Of course, there were no real antiques; they were all imitations, but to a layperson, it looked like quite a presentable space.
Cafe “Saint.” It was the place I worked part-time every evening from Monday to Friday.
Seeing me step inside, the woman at the counter, in her mid-twenties, called me. Her name was Han Che-ryeon, the manager of this cafe.
“W-What’s going on?”
Unlike her usual lively self, she looked strangely depressed. She had dark bags under her eyes, and overall looked quite spent.
“I… Did some thinking over the weekend…”
Speaking in a heavy tone, she suddenly raised her head and shouted,
“Are!? You!? Really!? Not in any kind of relationship with Ka-ryeon?”
I almost stepped back at the force she was radiating from her eyes. Trying to maintain my composure, I answered,
“R-Relationship… We’re just co-workers. What about that?”
The manager shouted, tearing up a little.
“Are you in a lovers’ relationship with Ka-ryeon?!”
Is she still suspecting me… I sighed softly.
The manager cares really deeply for her sister - also my co-worker. I feel the same about my own sister, Yeon-hee, so I understand where she’s coming from, but her excessive sister complex sometimes puts me in an awkward situation.
Even if you love your sister so much, should you overprotect her like that… You should keep it in line like I do!
“I told you last Friday. There was a problem with one of my classmates and I didn’t know his phone number, so I contacted Ka-ryeon because she did. We just got together after everything was resolved. We don’t have that kind of relationship like you think.”
Of course, this wasn’t strictly true.
Ka-ryeon was planning to get married to me. After I lost my memory, she pretended to be my fiance and tried to seduce me.
But I can’t tell the manager that. If she finds out she did that to a guy, she would go insane.
“I know you would kill me if I laid my hands on Ka-ryeon, so why would I?”
“O-Of course, I did announce that I would crush your precious place like coffee beans if you touched Ka-ryeon…”
I heard this before, but it gives me the chills every time I hear it. Scary…
“B-But if Kyeong-hyun would have a serious and responsible relationship with Ka-ryeon… Maybe it would be a different story… I know what kind of person Kyeong-hyun is, and maybe I could entrust Ka-ryeon to you…”
The manager, murmuring, had a cute side to her, unlike her age would suggest.
I was happy that she thought so highly of me, but she was still getting the wrong idea.
“No, we really don’t have that kind of thing going.”
“Really. Our relationship is just that of a junior and senior.”
Last Friday, I made it clear to Ka-ryeon.
Don’t settle for a guy close to you, look for someone who’s better.
Ka-ryeon chose me just because I’m the closest man to her. She doesn’t have the opportunity to meet other guys, so she thought of me as the man of her life. I made this clear so Ka-ryeon would understand.
Now Ka-ryeon doesn’t have any reason to insist on me. She doesn’t have to seduce me into marrying her.
“If you are still suspicious, look closely this evening. We’re just colleagues.”
So, I don’t have to get a headache over Ka-ryeon’s attacks!
Leaving the suspicious manager behind, I headed for the changing room.
“Let’s begin work~”
My heart felt really light when I thought Ka-ryeon wouldn’t be bothering me anymore. I could focus on my job, and also rest when I wasn’t too busy.
Yeah, that’s what part-time jobs should be like! No more dealing with juniors flashing their legs under their skirts!
As I opened the changing room door in such a cheerful mood.
A girl, with long, lightly colored hair and unbelievably beautiful, was standing there.
Han Ka-ryeon, a junior at my part-time job, who also claims to be my fiancee.
She was changing.
Very fortunately, she wasn’t in her underwear. Of course, she wasn’t stark naked, either.
She was about to take off the top part of her light blue school uniform. She was wearing her skirt, too, so it wasn’t like I could see anything.
Still, because she was about to pull her blouse over her head with her arms crossed, I could see her bare, white belly.
That was it. It wasn’t like I could see any further up. I couldn’t see the color or shape of the underwear that would be there.
Then again, I could see her belly. Her waist was so thin that I thought it might break if I hugged it too tight, but she wasn’t so skinny that her bones were visible through her skin. She had pretty lines that gave her a very feminine beauty.
Yes, they looked smooth. Although her waist looked like it came straight out a painting, without an ounce of fat, it would surely be very smooth to the touch… A small belly button right in the middle, that belly…
I was staring at her bare flesh without even knowing it. I hurriedly opened my mouth as soon as I regained consciousness.
“S-Sorry, I’ll leave right aw…”
But before I could even turn around.
Ka-ryeon started tugging at her clothes again.
I was there, and she was undressing right in front of me.
What are you thinking?!
I turned around and tried to run out of the changing room, but stopped after remembering that the manager was just outside.
If I dart out from the changing room now, the manager will wonder what was happening inside. If she sees Ka-ryeon changing, she would definitely be all over me for trying to see Ka-ryeon in her underwear.
Then do I have to just stand here and watch? Watch Ka-ryeon strip in front of me??
I bit my lips and slammed the door shut. This was a locked room now. The manager will have no idea what happens in here from now on.
In front of me, Ka-ryeon was slowly undressing while throwing me a seductive look. If she raised her blouse a little bit more, I would be able to see her underwear.
Honestly, as a boy, I was interested.
“But I shouldn’t do that!”
Convincing myself like that,
...I closed my eyes. I just had to not look!
Through the utter darkness, I heard Ka-ryeon’s voice.
“What are you doing?”
“As you can see, I am closing my eyes.”
“If I didn’t, I would be watching you change.”
“...Haven’t you thought of the possibility that I might be letting you see on purpose?”
I shouted out loud. But only so loud that no one outside could hear.
“Why do you want to show me something like that?”
“Are you serious?”
I heard Ka-ryeon giggle.
“I’m seducing you.”
I felt Ka-ryeon moving about, but I couldn’t tell what she was doing because I had my eyes shut.
“W-Why would you be seducing me?!”
It was strange.
“The reason you were doing that was to prove that you were my fiancee! You wanted to take the place of my girlfriend, too…! But that’s all over now!”
There was no reason for Ka-ryeon to do this after everything was exposed.
“And I told you! There are better men than me, so you should go out looking for them! Do you still have any reason for doing this?!”
I could hear Ka-ryeon sighing.
“Maybe you still don’t understand.”
Her voice was close.
She must almost be face-to-face with me, but I couldn’t open my eyes to check.
It wouldn’t be ideal if she was in her underwear when I looked, and I had the feeling that Ka-ryeon would be the type of person who would be doing just that.
“I just… want to get married with Sunbae, not with anyone else.”
At that moment, something soft - I guessed that it was Ka-ryeon’s finger - blocked my lips. I gulped at the foreign sensation.
“Sunbae, I want to get married to you and become a NEET.”
That’s the dream of this cute little girl. Getting married to a man who provide for her and lying around the house all day - that is her dream.
It seems that she wants to make up for relying on her spouse by… satisfying him at night. I have no way to tell whether she is serious or not.
“I don’t want to marry anyone else. Just you.”
I tried to move my lips, but the sensation of Ka-ryeon’s finger prevented me from doing so. When I tried to move away from her, the finger followed.
I had no other choice but to grab her wrist. ...You, even your wrists are so thin.
“So, I mean, why me! It can be anyone else!”
“I told you already. You are…”
“Because my grades are good and I work diligently? That’s nothing! You can meet someone who is much better than me!”
“No, that’s not what I mean. I’m not judging you based on things like that. I just really…”
Ka-ryeon’s voice became smaller and smaller. When I was wondering why she wasn’t saying anything anymore, she coughed.
“A-Anyway, that’s what you need to know. I haven’t given up becoming your fiancee.”
“And I said, why are you doing that…”
“T-That’s it for now. I’m just going to change.”
Ka-ryeon removed her finger. What’s going on?
In any case, Ka-ryeon moved away a bit and I could hear the sound of her clothes rustling for what seemed like a long while. Then she called me again.
“Sunbae, I’m finished, you can open your eyes again.”
I felt Ka-ryeon approaching me. She pulled my hands forward and put something in them.
“The school uniform I just took off.”
“Sunbae, you shouldn’t drop it. You should check.”
“Whether I really did change or not.”
Confused, I fumbled around with whatever Ka-ryeon gave me.
...I wasn’t sure, but it did feel like the uniform Ka-ryeon was wearing. It had a blouse and a skirt.
“Wait, even if I check this, it doesn’t prove you’re wearing your cloth…”
“Wait! What was that sound!”
“That’s a good photo. Sunbae, holding a girls’ uniform in his hands and feeling it thoroughly… I like your expression, eyes closed and concentrating.”
“H-Hey! Erase that now! No, give that to me!”
“You should note that I don’t even have my underwear on now, so you shouldn’t open your eyes.”
I needed to confiscate her phone or camera or whatever, but I couldn’t even do that now.
“Well, that’s a lie anyway.”
“You can touch to make sure. I’m wearing the waitress uniform.”
Ka-ryeon grabbed my hand and pulled it towards her.
I mustn’t touch where Ka-ryeon takes my hand. There is the danger that she will put it somewhere inappropriate.
I therefore grabbed Ka-ryeon’s wrist and started my way up from there.
“S-Sunbae? What’s this?”
“T-This feels a bit weird…”
Ka-ryeon sounded a bit more embarrassed than usual, but I didn’t have time to pay attention to that now. Being careful not to touch anything other than the arm, I moved my fingers up slowly.
“S-Sunbae, if you touch my arm like that…”
“...You’re wearing it.”
My hand confirmed the presence of the waitress uniform’s sleeve. After reaching her shoulders, I let go of her.
And I opened my eyes.
I couldn’t help but let out my breath when I saw Ka-ryeon wearing her waitress uniform with my own eyes. Why am I going through all this trouble? Weird things sure do happen in life.
Ka-ryeon’s face was strangely pink and pointing towards the ground.
She walked out of the changing room in small steps, as if trying to avoid eye contact with me. Did she seem elated for some reason, or was it just my imagination?
“...I should change, too.”
It must be my imagination. It was just her arm, after all.
“I’m going to go mad…”
I was lying against one of the chairs, my time for the day almost up.
I’m exhausted, but not just because of the flood of customers asking for dinner.
My exhaustion stems from the fact that Ka-ryeon’s behavior is more or less the same compared to last week. Whenever she gets the chance and the manager is not looking, she pulls weird jokes on me.
“Has she seriously not given up on marrying me?”
I don’t get why she’s so stubborn. If you want to be a NEET so bad, find someone who can provide a better NEET environment for you. I’m trying to provide some serious advice here… Maybe she doesn’t have the will to find another man.
I sighed and looked at Ka-ryeon, standing a bit away from me. She was doing something with her phone, maybe texting someone.
I asked without giving it much thought, and Ka-ryeon raised her head, looking surprised.
“Let me see, I wouldn’t say it’s a friend.”
“Is that so?”
Come to think of it, I haven’t really heard anything about what Ka-ryeon’s friends are like.
Then I looked at the clock and saw that it was already 8:50.
“Then I’ll be going.”
Seeing that it was now my time off, I stood up right away.
“In a hurry, are you?’
“I rescheduled my studies in order to make up for the three months I lost. Today is the start of some serious studying.”
Due to a car accident, I have lost my memories of the past three months. It goes without saying that I have forgotten everything I have studied during that time.
That commotion during last week was because Ka-ryeon persuaded me to go out with the three girls in order to regain my memories… In the end, nothing returned.
My memories might come back with time, but I still need to study. That is why I was holed up in my room over the weekend, checking the state of my knowledge and making a schedule to fill that three month gap. I really need to work even harder than before.
“Is that so? Then it might be better for you to get home and start right away.”
Ka-ryeon’s behavior was somewhat off.
When I stopped and looked back, Ka-ryeon smiled and waved her hands, as if seeing me off.
“Are you perhaps planning something weird again?”
“I am not.”
Ka-ryeon wouldn’t tell me anything more no matter how hard I tried.
I’m feeling a bit anxious.
After changing and leaving the store, I wiped away the sweat on my forehead and sighed.
The air was warm. June was already almost over, and while it wasn’t full-on summer yet, it was enough to feel hot. If it was like this at 9 PM, it must be about to get really hot soon.
“I’ll have no choice but to stay at the library from this weekend on…”
I often study at my house, but I also frequent a library near here. There are a lot of references to look at, and the climate control made it a good place to be in the summer and winter. During summer and winter vacation, I practically live at the library to manage the electrical bills.
As a side note, Yeon-hee doesn’t really care about the cold or heat, so she just stays at home. She doesn’t produce a drop of sweat on the hottest of days if she gets just an electrical fan.
Walking home, I thought about what I had to bring to the library to study. Actually, I got the problems from last week’s mock examination from Sega today. I felt like taking a look at them as soon as I got home, but it would be better to solve them during the time of day when I would actually be taking them.
“All right, mock examinations at the library this weekend…”
Just as I was walking along the avenue, murmuring to myself.
An ice-cold voice pierced my eardrums.
“It’s been a while, my boyfriend.”
I almost instinctively turned my body towards the voice.
The night road with almost no trace of people. On the stairway that led to the part of town opposite from where I live.
A black shadow with a hand on her hip, bathing in the blue glow of the streetlamps.
It was a girl of the most foreign beauty.
To begin with, her hair was blonde. Glimmering even in the darkness, it was tied into ponytails around her head. Even her eyes were blue, giving off the implausible look that one would expect in a manga or novel.
She was similar to Ka-ryeon in that she was so unbelievably, captivatingly beautiful - but unlike Ka-ryeon, who appeared fragile and delicate, this girl exuded an immense presence that made it difficult for me to even approach her.
Her appearance was so exceptional that it was almost frightening, overpowering.
Yes, it was almost as if she was…
“W-What did you…”
Looking down, she started to walk down the stairs one by one while I stood there, my body and mind frozen.
I watched her coming towards me, holding my breath.
“Did you forget what your girlfriend looked like just because you haven’t seen her for a few days?”
And before that, she called me her “boyfriend.”
I couldn’t comprehend right away what that meant.
A voice from last Friday, playing from the answering machine, clicked on in my head.
— ...Why did you leave me waiting last Saturday?
—Were you… fooling around with other girls?
—...If you were, I will never forgive you.
That voice sounded very similar to the queenlike girl before me now.
It was difficult for me to grasp the situation.
She was my “girlfriend”.
I was her “boyfriend".
Then, that means…
I didn’t know what to say.
Was it really her?
Not the school girlfriend, the workplace girlfriend, or the family girlfriend, but the “weekend girlfriend”... The real deal?
I tried to explain. That there was an accident, that I lost my memories, and that I didn’t even know her name.
While I was trying to decide what to begin with, she finished walking down the stairs.
Stopping right in front of me, her expression was as cold as ice.
I couldn’t say a word at the sight of that face.
But right afterwards, she warmed up. On that immaculate face was a small and beautiful smile.
When I was feeling relieved for a moment.
She let out a short breath, and I felt a sharp pain on my cheek.
It took some time to realize that I had been slapped.
Erasing the brief smile from her face, she turned away with an expression of contempt. Without another word, she started to quickly climb the stairs.
She was disappearing into the 9 o’clock darkness.
I came to my senses and ran up the stairs after her.