I didn’t have anything particular that I wanted to eat, but if he said it like that, it made me want to go against him.
However, I was curious about what Yeon Woojeong wanted to eat, so I said nothing.

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The car ran well through the alleyways.
Yeon Woojeong skillfully turned the steering wheel with one hand.

Yeon Woojeong pulled the car up.
It seemed like he had a professional spirit as a prosecutor, from the way he only parked in the area allowed for parking.
As I followed him up the gradual uphill pathway, I saw a house that lit the brightest in the quiet street.
There was no significant difference in size with the surrounding houses, as if that was a house that was renovated into a restaurant. 

When I walked inside the opened wooden gate, I saw a garden with short lights, tables, and chairs.
Perhaps because it was cold, there was no one outside, and the cozy interior could be seen from beyond the glass window. 

An employee wearing a modernized hanbok guided us as we stepped inside.
The tables by the window were already full, so we had to sit in the middle.

“There’s only one menu here.
Table d’hote.”

“It was the same in the seolleongtang restaurant.”

“You’re right.
It’s superb that we don’t need to choose the menu when there’s only one menu.”

While saying that, Yeon Woojeong ordered two portions.
The employee brought over two glasses.
It wasn’t water, but warm tea.
I only held the glass and blew the tea, but Yeon Woojeong laughed while looking at me.

“You look like the match boy if you hold it like that.”

“What do you mean?”

“What kind of wish will you make? If you are in front of the last flame of the match.”

I knew the story about the little match girl.
Was it about selling the matches, but because there was no one to buy the match, she lit it up and imagined things? I thought it was pretty stupid even when I was young.
Because I thought it was better to do something else rather than use it lonely like that and die.
Something like coming to her parents, who caused that and then burned them. 

What did that girl wish for? I thought she wished for warm meals, maybe.
If it was me…

“What will you wish for, Mr.
Yeon?”

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It was a simple question, but if I answered it easily, I felt like I was showing my financial status.
My answer could change depending on his answer.
Yeon Woojeong moved his mouth strangely at my question.

“I remember that I asked you first.”

What a petty man.
As I looked at him without answering, Yeon Woojeong shrugged as if he had no intention to answer.
His gaze now turned to the next table.
There had been stealing glances from earlier, and it seemed like Yeon Woojeong also noticed that.

There was a woman who looked quite older at the next table.
As their gazes met, Yeon Woojeong’s face somehow turned soft.
I hurriedly opened my mouth.

“I won’t make any wish.”

Yeon Woojeong’s eyes returned to me.
He put his clasped hands on the table.
The tapping finger caught my attention.

“Why?”

“Because the wish didn’t come true, but imagination.
It’s stupid to use the match just to look at that.”

“But she felt happy before she died.”

“What’s the use of feeling happy before dying?”

“That happy feeling filled her up.
Forever.”

There was a breathing sound mixed at the end of his words.
If I took out the sentence, Yeon Woojeong was nonchalantly making a chilly noise.

“Do you want to feel happy when you die?”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

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“Well, it’s better to feel happy than not.
You don’t think so?”

“Mhm.”

“Why?”

“Feeling happy only when death comes…”

That makes me feel worse.
As if he understood the words I mumbled out, Yeon Woojeong stared at me and nodded.

The employee pulled a cart and put porridge and dongchimi on the table.
The porridge was savory and delicious, but the portion was small.
When my bowl was already emptied, Yeon Woojeong slowly ate the remaining half of his porridge.
Looking at that, I suddenly recalled my question.

“What will you wish for, Mr.
Yeon?”

“Wish?”

“Yeah.”

“Erm… I’m not sure.
Because it’s an imagination, then it might be best to see the face of someone I want to see.”

“You have someone you want to see?”

“Why? That doesn’t suit me?”

Yeon Woojeong smiled lightly and put down his spoon.
Since his porridge bowl had already emptied, other foods were placed on the table.
While he was looking at the side dishes being placed on the table, I tried to picture people that he might want to see. 

It didn’t suit him.
It didn’t suit Yeon Woojeong to make a wish, asking to look at someone’s face he wanted to see before he died.

Who that might be? I was curious, but I did not ask him.
Even if such a thing really happened, I hoped for his wish to not come true.
Suddenly I realized that I was thinking of something petty.
Yeon Woojeong moved his hand holding the chopsticks with a clueless face.
There was tteok-galbi already placed in the middle of the table.
He took one and put it on his plate.
The remaining one was my portion. 

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I was feeling weird.
Just like what Yeon Woojeong said, he picked me, so I had no reason to be thankful to him, but I felt ridiculous to think like that.

“Now that I look at it… the wounds are already better now.”

Yeon Woojeong scanned my face.
That gaze disturbed my eating.

“I’m glad you didn’t get a scar.
It’s troubling if there’s a scar on that face.”

“Is my face yours?”

“… I mean, it’s troubling to see.”

He smirked as he held a glass of water, then he drank it and put it back down.
As I looked at the wet lips, I suddenly felt hungry even though I was eating.
I made a big cut of tteok-galbi and put it in my mouth.
I couldn’t stop eating because it was sweet and salty.

I wasn’t the type who liked vegetables, but the vegetables here weren’t bad.
I wondered how this man, who didn’t look like he knew about food’s taste, knew about this place.
Well, I didn’t think it was hard for him since he had lived a long and had a lot of money.
Come to think of it, how old is he?

“How old are you?”

As I asked while picking the side dish, Yeon Woojeong raised one of his eyebrows.

“I’m asking how old you are.”

“I’m not underage.”

Hearing his broad and ambiguous answer, I wondered if he was following my answer when I said I’m underage.
And as if to prove my thought, Yeon Woojeong smiled as if ridiculing me.
I creased my forehead, but Yeon Woojeong raised his hand instead and ordered another tteok-galbi.

Not long after, tteok-galbi was served and Yeon Woojeong pushed the plate to me.
The irritation I felt went up high and then fell down.
I looked at Yeon Woojeong eating calmly, and then I moved my chopsticks.
I ate the second tteok-galbi in a flash.

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I was feeling full after drinking the sikhye that was served last.
After drinking a sip of the sikhye, Yeon Woojeong looked at my empty glass and wiped his hands with the wet towel as he asked.

“Shall we go?”

While Yeon Woojeong paid for the meal, I went out to the garden.
The moon was exceptionally bright.
I thought that because I had just come out of a warm place, it was not too cold here.

I looked away as I noticed a presence, and there was Yeon Woojeong, who was also looking at the sky like me next to me.
There was steam flowing out of his slightly parted lips.
Suddenly, I felt like touching those white cheeks.
I clenched my fingers inside the pocket, and he turned his head to look at me, flashing a smile.

“Wanna do something fun?”

A voice that made me couldn’t help but follow it.
Yeon Woojeong whispered like a devil. 

“Do what?”

“Follow me.”

Yeon Woojeong walked downhill.
I wondered if we would take the car, but he walked past his Benz.
The sound of his shoes rang softly.

The place he stopped by was a bus stop.
He attentively looked at the bus route attached to the bus stop, then he pointed at something with his finger.

“Let’s take this one.”

“Where are we going?”

“There’s no destination.
We’ll just go back after the last stop.”

“… Why?”

“I told you, right? Let’s do something fun.”

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