Oh My Love, The First.
His body was in a state of exhaustion from all the tests that had been going on since morning.
Ha Joyoon let out a small yawn as he stretched his upper body in a chair in front of the reservation counter, then looked around.
From casual visitors to inpatients in hospital gowns, the lobby was crowded with all sorts of people.
For the time being, focus on recovering your health.>
Ha Joyoon, please go to room No.1.”
At the call of the nurse announcing that his turn has come up, Ha Joyoon raised his body.
Oh, Boyle, I’m sorry.
I think I should go in now.>
After finishing the call with a simple greeting, he started walking behind the nurse.
The unique scent of the hospital brushed the tip of his nose.
A strange smell of the borderline between life and death.
Ha Joyoon closed his eyes and traced his memories as a sudden sense of déjà vu emerged.
When he reached somewhere in the past after passing through a large curve, he realized the identity of the sense of déjà vu.
The smell was similar to the smell of gunpowder that had wafted through his senses just before he was struck by a bullet and fell; it was similar to the traces of war.
As the line between reality and dreams began to blur, a friendly voice woke him up.
“Not all of the test results have come out, but I will tell you some of them today, and the rest will come out during the next treatment.”
A nurse who arrived at the doctor’s office added an explanation.
Ha Joyoon shook his head lightly to nod with an expressionless expression.
The door opened, accompanied by the sound of him turning the knob.
Through a gap in the slightly opened door, a doctor who was examining the pictures on his monitor came into view. Come in. He took a careful step, guided by a gentle voice.
“Please take a seat.”
The doctor recited formal instructions as if he was a machine, without even examining Ha Joyoon’s face as he entered the room.
He faced dozens of patients a day, and so, his voice was utterly dull.
Perhaps that voice would tell you something important.
Just like pressing a button on a robot.
It could be truly tragic.
Ha Joyoon remained seated on the assigned chair as he continued with his trivial thoughts.
It was when he handed the nurse who came along with him some papers and charts and watched the doctor dryly instructing him, that he eventually became unable to overcome his boredom and turned his gaze toward the window.
His light brown eyes gently tilted to the side at the friendly voice calling him.
The doctor’s face, which had been dull so far, now had an expression of astonishment.
“It’s Ha Joyoon, right?”
Ha Joyoon carefully looked at the face of the person seated across as he heard the voice confirming it again, and let out a short exclamation in a similar manner.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Gb sbe gfwfwyfg wf? Yt, Regrf Aecu, sbe mjc ifjnf.
Pa’r rbwfbcf P xcbk.”
The man who beckoned the nurse tossed the picture on the photo chart and pulled his chair close to Ha Joyoon.
He took a moment to scan the name of the person which was embroidered on his white coat.
A name that felt familiar yet seemed unfamiliar. Hey, no way.
Fancy meeting you here. As if he wouldn’t forget his name even in his dreams, he was busy examining the face of Ha Joyoon, who was sitting in front of him with a look of surprise.
“Lbk ibcu tjr la yffc? Qtfc P olgra tfjgv atf cjwf, P atbeuta la kjr j vloofgfca qfgrbc klat atf rjwf cjwf, yea P’w regqglrfv ab rff la’r sbe joafg jii.”
It’s been a while.”
“I think it’s the first time I’m seeing you since high school graduation right?”
Ha Joyoon, who was trying to remember, muttered and nodded without any emotion.
Despite his awkward expression, Im Dohyun smiled calmly and continued.
“Taejung keeps in touch from time to time but I never heard from you.
I was curious about how you were doing but I ended up meeting you here, how nice.”
His body, which had been seated in a bored manner, flinched at the name that followed like an unconditioned reflection.
No matter who he meets, whatever topic they talk about, everything inevitably led back to him.
It was terrifying to even count just how many things that connected the two of them were still left. The traces of Kang Taejung, which are connected to every part of my life, were so clear and painful that I was at a loss as to how to deal with them.
Ha Joyoon tried to keep a calm expression on his face and responded appropriately to his high school classmate’s greetings.
“That’s just how I’ve been doing.
I guess you went to medical school.
I didn’t know.”
“That’s what happened.
Do you still take photos? You used to carry your camera around for the entire three years of high school.
A journalist or a photographer or something like that, right?”
It’s something I’ve been doing all along.”
“I guess it’s true, after all.
Hahaha, it suits you well.”
He smiled weakly and intertwined his skinny fingers.
The thin hair that was lightly scattered over his forehead by the air conditioning wind repeatedly gathered up before being scattered again.
However, Im Dohyun, who had no idea of his complicated feelings, was busy expressing the joy of being reunited with a classmate.
“When we were in school, you were always with Taejung so I couldn’t talk to you properly but it really is nice to meet you here instead.”
“Is that so.”
“At that time, everyone wanted to talk and get to know you, but you were always in an atmosphere where you couldn’t even talk to anyone else unless it was that guy.
You were a bit unique.”
Whether in the past or present, Ha Joyoon’s world was narrow and prejudiced.
He was passionately immersed in the things he was interested in but paid no attention to the things he was not.
He had the same attitude towards work and his relationships.
Except for his family, Kang Taejung was the only person who held a lot of meaning and importance to him.
He did not even dare to guess where the starting point was.
He thought there was no discomfort or dissatisfaction, but now that his relationship with Kang Taejung was severed, his tendency has become a boomerang, endlessly ripping and crushing his wounds.
How much longer do we have to be in this situation? Will I be able to overcome it each time? He closed his eyes tightly and opened them again, filled with an unknown emotion.
The priority right now was to change the topic.
He knew it was not polite to the person who was happy to see him, but Ha Joyoon avoided his gaze and cut off the conversation in a voice, free of any intonation.
“Did I…? It was so long ago.
But I have to leave quickly… Can I know the test results first?”
“Huh? Oh, oh… yes.
I was just so glad since we met after so long that I forgot.
With an embarrassed smile, the man hurriedly displayed a brain image on the monitor screen.
Ha Joyoon stopped breathing for a moment at the image of his head that he had seen in front of him, and slowly calmed his breathing.
His chest was stinging, accompanied by a nauseating feeling.
as if fragments that may have remained somewhere had reached his heart through the blood vessels. What remains in my mind are the vestiges of civil war? Is it a vestige of my heart? He thought it was all okay, but when he faced reality, the fear he had been putting up with came rushing in.
The person sitting on the other side also spoke with difficulty, pointing to a specific part of the video picture with a serious expression.
The moment the eternal silence ended, Ha Joyoon closed his eyes.
When he opened his eyes again, the painful reality had disappeared for a moment, and he was surrounded by everyone he had dreamed of.
As he looked around curiously, he soon found a familiar man he had only seen in pictures and quickly approached him.
Hey Robert, do you have any regrets in your life?
An imaginary man answered the silly question.
Look, buddy, the mines that blew my body didn’t get rid of my film and Gerda’s photos.
It was a mischievous voice.
The sound of the horn tumbled along the road.
The footsteps of people passing through the sidewalk block were entangled in a zig-zag pattern, beautifully embroidering the city.
The unsteady gaze of someone carefully stepping between the cracks, gaps, and spaces between all the people.
The arduous steps as a result of walking continuously slowed down little by little and soon came to a complete stop.
Then, he turned around completely.
Standing absent-mindedly in the middle of the road, Ha Joyoon, like a lost child, alternately looked at the path he had just walked and the path he had to take further on.
An odd sense of distance.
Even though he had just left the hospital’s main entrance, it was already too far to go back, too far to move forward.
It was a crossroads of choice, neither the worst nor the lesser evil.
Suddenly, the medicine bag in his hand felt as heavy as a lump of iron.
Im Dohyun, who calmly explained everything in a tone of concern and worry, did not forget his request until the end.
The heavy words carried weight as if the responsibility for all the choices lay with Ha Joyoon himself.
He wiped my dry lips and pulled out his phone with a sluggish hand.
The screen displayed a list of missed calls and messages.
Since he came out without saying anything, most of the calls came from home, and besides that, there were different numbers and names all over the place.
He scrolled down the list in a slow and bored manner.
It’s because he knew the contact name he wished to see the most wouldn’t be there anyway.
He hears a kind and subtle voice.
Despite knowing it just was his hallucination, a deep longing for his lover rose from his throat.
His heart, which had been wandering without its proper form for days, cautiously landed on a certain decision.
It may be a hurtful choice for others, but the hesitation was short. Didn’t I already experience death once? If life was about not knowing when it would end then I don’t want to leave with just nothing but regrets and memories. Ha Joyoon, who once again bit his lips hard, quickly dialed the number with a face full of determination.
He erased it several times, but he couldn’t erase the memories that had been etched in his heart.
1) Are you going to Scarborough Fair Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme… Remember me to one who lives there….
Shortly after pressing the last number, a familiar pop song flowed through the small device.
His body froze for a moment at the familiar melody.
The tip of his tightly closed lips trembled gently, akin to when one wants to laugh and cry at the same time.
Kang Taejung’s caller tune, which hadn’t changed in the past decade, was one of Ha Joyoon’s favorite pop songs.
You can’t even stand your ground till the end. The longer Garfunkel’s song went on, strangely, the more his heart beat faster.
The desire to receive and the desire to not receive coexisted in a tangled embrace.
As if to cut off even the lingering feelings, the music too was cut off in an instant.
In addition, the breathing that followed the notes chose the same route of action.
Ha Joyoon held the heated machine to his ear and exhaled slowly.
The silence was the same for the other party beyond the phone.
It was Kang Taejung who broke the silence.
This act of asking about other things without any prior greetings was simply unlike his actual attitude.
He would always call first to check up on Ha Joyoon’s state of mind before continuing the conversation smoothly.
Since they were both the quiet type, even if they did not talk much, the silence was never uncomfortable.
The moment when the silence was just a gap as comfortable as breathing, was now unbearably scary and uncomfortable.
However, without expressing sadness in the reality that Ha Joyoon had changed, the other party quickly announced the end.
A cold silence passed between the two.
He tried to pretend to be calm by running his fingers through his messy hair, but his voice was terribly cracked from tension.
It remained the same even when he tried to tone it down with a slight cough.
He didn’t want to visit without saying anything like before.
If he saw the two coming in together again, he wasn’t confident that he’d be able to keep his composure this time.
In that case, it was better to block all variables in advance.
There was still a strange silence.
A familiar breathing sound was heard. Unlike my heart which was pounding as if convulsing, the other person’s extremely calm breathing hurt. Even if he pretends to be aloof, there was no way Kang Taejung was unable to notice Ha Joyoon’s tension over the phone.
He was a man who was quick to know even the small emotional changes that the other was not aware of.
He was a lover who gave everything from one to ten, like someone who was born for him.
In retrospect, he couldn’t have been born that way.
It was only a one-sided sacrifice supported by his own love.
Ha Joyoon’s restlessness grew as the silence continued without knowing its end.
With a vague foreboding that the conversation could end as it is, Ha Joyoon hurriedly opened his mouth.
He had no intention of ending it.
He knew that he was seeing someone else now, but for Ha Joyoon, Kang Taejung was not the past but the present.
As if he was already aware of what was on the mind of the other person who wanted to hold him back, Kang Taejung awkwardly called out the name of his former lover.
Afraid of what would follow, Ha Joyoon quickly brought up the business for which he called.
I’ll wait until you get off work.>
It’s nothing like me following you around….>
His voice gradually watered down.
It was sad that he had to make such an excuse, and it was because he realized that everything he said and did now made the other uncomfortable.
A hot mass of heat scratched the vocal cords.
It was not cold, but the silence with hesitation was rather cruel. I… I… Unforgettable words are buried in the noise made by people on the street. I feel miserable, but I still want you to say something.
Please. The silence continued again as the weary voice responded to the poor request.
After waiting for a long time, the word of consent falls. Where is the place– even before the question was over, Kang Taejung continued without a break.
Although he seemed reluctant, Ha Joyoon eagerly held onto his phone and nodded seriously at the appointment Kang Taejung made with difficulty, as if he was right in front of him.
An awkward air came and left.
He, with an infinitely heavy heart, ended the call without asking for the other person’s approval.
He was afraid of having to endure Kang Taejung’s silence any longer.
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