A Deeper Bond
A Deeper Bond
Yong Sook, a striking freshman, a first year in high school who had two years left before graduation had no hard time studying at all. He was more intelligent than the other kids around his age; he had enough knowledge to surpass his seniors. He seemed serious and quiet; some might say a bit grumpy and hostile, not a very lenient person, surprisingly it made him extremely popular among the girls. He didn’t have any close friends; neither did he have any interest in making any. He was easily misunderstood due to this odd personality.
School seemed more and more tedious day by day even though it has only been one month since the beginning of the high school.
The teacher’s deep voice sounded like a loud prayer that put you in a somnolent state. His mind kept drifting away from the book.
Yong Sook could no longer tolerate with that voice, he decided to go wash his face to awaken him a bit, and put his hand up to get the teacher’s attention.
“Yes Yong Sook, What is it?”
“Can I go to the bathroom?”
“Yeah sure go ahead” the teachers were always easy on him, they hardly ever asked him any questions as he would reply with an answer that would make the teacher’s look dim-witted.
He stepped out rubbing his face and sauntered along the hallway into the boy’s bathroom. ‘What a dull day’ he thought.
The cold water that he splashed onto his face reduced the drowsiness and revived him.
Fortunately, as he reached the class room the bell rang starting the twenty minutes break time; he didn’t have to put up with the teacher’s praying voice for any longer.
He sighed with a sense of relief and leaned his head on the desk, closing his eyes. The brash gust of wind that broke through the window next to him brushed on his face, leaving a velvet softness, out of curiosity he opened his eyes and ran his long slender finger on his cheek to find out what the softness was. There, he found it, a small pink petal, he knew where it came from; he gazed out the window at the cherry blossom petals cascading from the swaying tree. ‘How pitiful’ he felt sad toward this ephemeral beauty. Then he realised for the past six years the only thing he saw in those blossoms was the thorny sharpness that pierced his heart. ‘How strange’ he muttered while enjoying the transient beauty.
“Beautiful isn’t it?” the voice behind him made him jump.
“Sorry, did I scare you?” she asked while chuckling.
Instead of replying he turned his gaze toward the rocking tree again.
“Do you want to go have lunch with me after next lesson?” this girl, Lee Jung-Su has been trying to become friends with Yong Sook ever since middle school and has been rejected every single time but she refused to give up. At first he would not reply at all but somehow she managed to make him respond to some of her questions. She thought of it as a successful step toward their friendship.
“No thanks” he replied with a cold tune.
“Ya, why are you so cold toward me?”
“Because you are annoying” this phrase had become the most spoken sentence by Yong Sook. She never took it into her heart since she understood his feelings; she remembered clearly that, as a child when they were in elementary school, he was very friendly and kind toward everyone. He changed since the day of that accident. She had never seen any friends as close as those two, Young Sook and Lee Ha-Neul, they had a bond that seemed deeper than their souls, they seemed really happy together which made her wish if she could be a part of that friendship but she was too shy to say anything so she always watched them quietly.
It was a day like this, the trees lining along the road was full of cherry blossoms, falling petals were like snow, turning the road into a flower bed. They were only ten years old. They both ran across the road to the other side, but for some reason Yong Sook ran back into the middle of the road and picked something up, he seemed to have dropped it while running.
“Watch out...” she heard Ha-Neul’s shouting from the other side, she ran her gaze along Ha-Neul’s gaze, the truck was only few meters away from where Yong Sook stood, she could still feel that unpleasant feeling, a chill went down her spine, her heart was pounding, Ha-Neul ran back and pushed him out of the road, but that boy didn’t have enough time to move away, the deafening screech of the tires echoed in the air as the truck hit him throwing his body into air, he fell onto the road, the driver couldn’t control the truck and crashed into a shop near the road. The flower bed turned into a blood pool.
He was rushed into a hospital, no one was sure if they could save that little boy’s life. Doctors were rushing in the corridor; he was taken into the operating room, they took nearly four hours to finish the surgery, Yong Sook didn’t know what to do other than blaming him self, it was his fault; that’s what he thought.
He cried to the extent of his heart.
“I’m sorry, I’m really sorry, it is all my fault. He got into that accident because of me” Yong Sook begged for forgiveness from his friend’s parents, even though he wasn’t sure if they will ever forgive him for letting their only child get hurt like that.
“Yong Sook, it is not your fault son, so cry okay, he will be fine, the doctors will save him so don’t cry” the reply from his friend’s mother placed an even heavier burden into his little heart. He was hoping for her to yell at him, curse him, or even beat him up; or rather he wanted her to do that, it would have made him feel a bit better, the burden upon his heart might have lessen a bit so he was ready for anything but not for this, forgiveness, no he didn’t want to be forgiven because he knew that it will cause him a deeper wound that will leave an even deeper scar for the rest of his life.
Everyone’s heart was put at ease when the doctor announced that the surgery was a success. But no one was allowed to see the patient until the next day. Even though Yong Sook couldn’t wait that long he had no other choice.
The following day Yong Sook came to visit his friend but he was no longer there. Yong Sook couldn’t figure out what was happening, he was startled, he looked around and found a nurse, he remembered her face from yesterday, he went to her with teary eyes, she recognised the little boy.
“Are you here to see your friend?” she asked kindly with a smile.
Yong Sook nodded while biting his lips trying to hold the tingling tears.
“Didn’t you know his parents took him away” Yong Sook glanced up at the young nurse’s face with confused, painful eyes.
“I think they went abroad, if I’m not mistaken…… it was…. England” she stroked his head and said,
“Don’t be sad, he will get better in no time, the treatments are better in England. You will see him one day” her kind words became an aid to his wounded heart.
Not being able to see his friend before he left, and not knowing when he will come back, with all the pain and sadness trembling in his heart he could no longer hold his tears. He sat in a dark corner, hiding his wilted soul from the world. Knowing that no one will notice him; he let the warm stream of tears to freely run down his pale dry cheeks onto the stiff collar of his shirt.
Yong Sook cried until there were no tears left to shed, until his eyes became swollen. He hadn’t realised how important his friend was in his life until he disappeared. He made a vow to himself, to wait for his friend no matter how long it will take; he will wait for his return. It has been six years since that day.
As his hand reached his neck, pain swallowed his heart, that necklace with the silver tooth was still tightly hanging around his neck. It was Yong Sook’s birthday present from his beloved friend.
“Another boring day”
Lee Jung-Su wanted to break the silence around them.
Park Hye-Won came running through hallway into the class and stopped in the middle, he was panting loudly. Everyone stared at him with confusion and curiosity.
“Ya, what is wrong?” Lee Jung-Su asked the question that everyone wanted to ask.
“There…is…a… new… trans…fered…student” he muttered while panting.
“Eh… really? Is it a girl or a boy?” all the girls asked at once with sparkling eyes.
“A Boy” Park Hye-Won replied while catching his breath.
“Kyaaa….” The thrilled scream of the girls echoed in the classroom. It is very rare to get a transfer student in the middle of the year and on top of that it is a boy. Even though there were quite a lot of handsome boys in the school, most of them were either taken by girls from ‘Shinil Girl’s High School’ or they had devoted their hearts to the books and some had no interest in girls what so ever.
“Is he cute? Where is he from? What is his name?” they asked so many questions that Park Hye-Won couldn’t even answer one question, the teacher came into the class.
“Morning everyone” everyone ran back to their seats.
“Morning teacher…” and bowed to the teacher.
“Okay…now please sit down. As you might already know we have a new transfer student from England.”
“Kya.....”, “Woah… he is from England?”, “He must be really cute”
“With a blond hair?” all the students started chatting about the new boy with excitement.
“Now now everyone, I know you are all excited so please welcome our new transferred student, Lee Ha-Neul. Please come in and introduce yourself” all the students stood up and bended over each others shoulders to get a closer look at the new student who was about to enter.
Lee Jung-Su turned swiftly turning her gaze toward Yong Sook the instant she herd the name Ha-Neul, she was worried about him. Yong Sook’s heart skipped a beat when he heard that name. With the thumping of his hesitating heart, somehow, he gathered enough courage to just lift his head and get a glance at the boy’s face. Even though he was now 16 years old Yong Sook could easily recognise him. After all, the only thing Young Sook has been doing for these past six years was to just wait for his return. He couldn’t take his eyes off the boy standing in front of the class, or rather his brain was taken over by the heart full of excitement, joy, pain and thousands of feelings that he could not say separately.
“Kyaa….” All the girls were enchanted by his charming beauty, his ‘Korean kpop hairstyle’ was way beautiful than the blond hair they had imagined. Just one glance from his deep long eyes was enough to get you lost in another universe. It was hard to believe that those eyes belonged to a boy. His lips were just like cherry blossoms you can feel the velvet softness just by looking.
“Hello, I’m Lee Ha-Neul. Nice to meet you” he bowed.
“Woah, he is so cute, his voice is like a sweet melody” the girls started mumbling.
“Okay you can sit at the back there next to Yong Sook” the teacher showed him the empty chair next to Yong Sook.
Ha-Neul stepped toward the vacant seat with a smiling face. Yong Sook thought his heart was going to burst, the hammering was that loud. He wasn’t sure what he should do, he wasn’t sure what he should say to his old friend, whether to say ‘welcome back’ or ‘hey, how have you been’.
“Hello, I’m Lee Ha-Neul. Nice to meet you Yong Sook” he replied before Yong Sook could think, and waited for Yong Sook’s greeting with a beaming face.
Yong Sook’s mind went completely blank; he could only stare at his long lost beloved friend’s face that didn’t seem to recognise Yong Sook.
Yong Sook could no longer bear the trembling feelings in his heart. He has been waiting for this moment for six years but his friend didn’t seem to remember him at all. He could no longer stay in that classroom; or rather he was afraid that his feelings will burst out from the small chamber in his heart. He stood up in an instant, walked out of the classroom and ran along the hallway.
“Hey, where do you think you are going, come back here” even though the teacher shouted Yong Sook had already disappeared.
Yong Sook let the dancing tears in his eyes to flow as they wished. Knowing that Ha-Neul could no longer remember him was more painful than the pain that was eating his soul for the last six years. He bent over the rooftop and gazed at the cherry blossoms, they looked lonely; may be the solitude he saw in the falling petals was merely a reflection.
Not a day had gone by without him vividly remembering the moment everything ended, along with its emotional package.
The spring wind was cold yet soothing. It was silent; the only thing he could hear was the sound of the breeze brushing against the trees and the hammering of his heart. The ‘thudding’ sound behind him broke the silence in the air. Hardly anyone comes to this side of the roof top and he knew that, he quickly turned around. He couldn’t believe his eyes, Ha-Neul stood before his eyes with a soft smile on his lips. Yong Sook never expected for this boy to find him here. On top of that it was still lesson time.
“What are you doing here?” words came out of his mouth before he could think.
“That’s my question, why did you leave the classroom? Did I say something that made you angry? Or do you hate me or something?” Ha-Neul asked with a depressed look on his face.
“No, it had nothing to do with you” Yong Sook replied in a cold tune, making sure to keep his face hidden from Ha-Neul’s sight. He was afraid that Ha-Neul will figure out his true emotions.
“I was worried about you; you seemed to be in pain back there in the classroom, are you feeling okay?”
Yong Sook’s fear came true, he didn’t understand how that boy could understand him so simply like that, they have been apart for six years yet he seemed to understand Yong Sook better than ever. Since they were young, Ha-Neul always easily understood Yong Sook’s feelings and was always beside him. Yong Sook couldn’t hold back any longer, he had to ask him, he just had to make sure.
“You, do you know me?” Yong Sook couldn’t change the coldness in his tune.
“I know that your name is Yong Sook and nothing more but I really want to get to know you, I want to be friends with you.”
Ha-Neul’s reply startled Yong Sook’s heart; it was the same as when they first met at the kindergarten.
If it was in the past his reply would be ‘we are friends’ along with a hug. Ha-Neul was waiting for that reply and that hug but his hope was shattered with Yong Sook’s reply.
“Sorry but I have no interest in becoming friends with strangers” he walked away from Ha-Neul. Even though his words sounded harsh toward Ha-Neul, Ha-Neul’s wards brought a thousand times worse pain to Yong Sook’s heart.
“Ya, is that how you reply to an old friend? How mean”
Yong Sook’s heart stopped along with his frozen feet, his mind had forgotten the essentiality of a breath. With his hands refusing to cover up, he had to set the tingling tears free while the feelings he could not separate out cramped in his heart.
With the heart longing to turn around and run back to him, the mind longing to cradle him into his chest and the body that could not find enough strength to move he could do nothing but be still.
Ha-Neul’s heart beat quicker than his footsteps, his long slender arms wrapped tightly around Yong Sook’s waist. His voice seemed caught in his throat as he struggled to form the words. Somehow he managed to utter.
“I missed you….; I missed you so much that I thought I will die” his shaking voice throbbed Yong Sook’s heart, the beating of his heart against Yong Sook’s back tied his stomach itself in knots. The pleasurable yet almost hurtful feeling all over his body made him lose control, Yong Sook could no longer hold back his feelings, he swiftly turned around; his long slender fingers ran along Ha-Neul’s soft cheeks as his teary eyes stared deep into his longing eyes.
“My heart aches so much, both my body and soul became empty the day you left me, I became a living corpse. Do you how much I have missed you? I’ve been waiting for six years and you finally came and acted like you have forgotten all about me. Do you know how painful it was?” the long waited reunion had finally arrived, they both cried, for the last time, they cried to extent of their heart.
“You, don’t you dare leave me again like that” Yong Sook muttered as he smiled through the tears.
He placed his sturdy arm around Ha-Neul’s slender waist; embracing him in the warmth of his chest he firmly ran his long fingers through Ha-Neul’s dark long hair.
“Thank you for coming back to me” he mumbled.
“Thank you for waiting for me”
Lee Jung-Su watched them quietly from far making sure not to disturb them; she could not help but think, ‘is that just friendship?’ Not that it mattered, either way she was happy; the glimmer in her eyes provided the proof.