“By the way, is this kid a girl or a boy?”
It is a question that doesn’t spoil my first impression of him.
Yeon Woojeong, who has been eating quietly, raises his head and looks at me.
I feel like his gaze scanning over me makes my neck stiff.
The rice that is wet because of the soup slowly melts on my tongue.
Then, he opens his mouth.
“I think you need to check your glasses prescription again.”
Yeon Woojeong’s eyes land on seolleongtang again.
He is about to spoon the rice but stops.
“Does it have nothing to do with the glasses?”
After mumbling like that, Yeon Woojeong nonchalantly put the rice in his mouth.
Looking at the prominent nose under the forehead and blinking eyelids, I focus on eating again.
I catch a glimpse of that man’s lips spasming.
“So, what kind of crime did this bastard do for you to bring him?”
‘This bastard’ the man points to is me.
The man’s annoyance at being unable to win against Yeon Woojeong is now directed at me.
It is natural.
Humans are animals, and animals can easily know the creatures weaker than them.
“I know you sometimes buy kids meals, but do it moderately.
You can’t educate a black-haired animal with rice.”
Sometimes buying kids meals means I’m not the first.
Did he only buy them meals? Did he also bring them home and give his card? Where did those kids go? My head turns messy just like seolleongtang in the other table that is mixed with kkakdugi.
It is noisy in my head.
If I break that man’s head with the earthen bowl that is just placed before him, his seolleongtang will splatter and litter everywhere, right? Since Yeon Woojeong sits next to him, he will also get dirty.
I’m irked with bastards who talk gibberish when there are foods presented before them.
They make my small wish to eat peacefully become a luxury.
The most important thing for me is always filling my stomach.
“You punk, get a life.
It seems like you’re fighting here and there.
Bastards with healthy arms and limbs always don’t want to work, making any kind of excu-”
When I’m thinking it is best to just shove that man’s face into the bowl, Yeon Woojeong puts down his spoon.
His voice is flat and clear, but oddly sounds heavy.
Thus, I can’t help but pay attention, even though the one he calls isn’t me.
“Just say pretty kids as pretty.
Don’t get jealous.”
“…… what? Jealous?”
Yeon Woojeong smiles brightly and checks on my bowl that is already empty.
He doesn’t defend me, nor does he make an excuse that I’m not the kind of person that man thinks I am.
He only blocks that man’s mouth with absurd words.
That man’s face is more pathetic and funny than when he’s shoved to the seolleongtang bowl in my imagination.
I feel like my laugh is close to bursting out.
“What kind of nonsense are you talking about, Prosecutor Yeon? Why should I be jealous of this kind of kid?”
“If you’re not jealous, then why are you sprouting hate out of nowhere? We’re the same black-haired animals after all.”
“We’ll leave first since we’ve already finished.
Enjoy your lunch.”
Yeon Woojeong smiles leisurely and stands up.
I follow behind him.
When we reach the public parking lot after leaving the alley, I open my mouth.
Yeon, you’re lacking social skills.”
“Really? Oh, dear.”
Yeon Woojeong laments despite not feeling regret at all.
Anyway, it means he really did that with an intention to ruin that man’s mood.
I completely bury my body on the seat that quickly turns warm.
My stomach is happy.
“If you’re going to call me, then we have to buy a mobile phone first.”
“… mobile phone?”
“I told you to call me before you come, right?”
I straighten up.
I filter words of little use so that I don’t spit them out.
Alas, I have no talent in choosing topics for conversation.
“Did you also treat other kids like this?”
“Did you buy them meals, a mobile phone, and give them a place to stay?”
“You’re the first I ever pick.”
I am the first? I try to read Yeon Woojeong’s face, but it is hard to figure out his real intention.
He might be lying that I’m the first, so there’s no need to think deeply about it, right? Even if I’m truly the first, it is not important.
The most important thing is the reason.
There is no way this man is a volunteer worker.
I decided to not ask for the reason now.
There must be a price, but it is best to ask for it much later.
Even though the sum will get bigger by then.
The car stops in front of a mobile phone retail store.
As I follow Yeon Woojeong inside, the worker welcomes us.
When he says we want to take a look, the worker introduces us to phones that are recently launched.
I don’t know what is the difference between them, so her explanation makes little sense to me.
“Choose the one you like.”
Yeon Woojeong gives me the right to choose, and thanks to that, the worker sticks to me and explains to me in a friendly tone.
If I say nothing, I feel like I have to hear all of this long explanation, so I call Yeon Woojeong, who is checking his phone.
“What is your phone, Mr.
“Mine? It has been a long time since this was launched.”
He shows his phone a bit to me.
The corner of the LCD is broken.
He should have changed his.
“I’ll go with that, then.”
I don’t think there’ll be a time when I’ll be using the phone anyway, so I don’t mind if it’s not a new product or smartphone.
It is true that it’ll be easy to look for a way or something using a smartphone, but everything pricey is a debt.
Yeon Woojeong looks gazingly at me as he hears my reply, and then one corner of his lips goes up.
A smile as if ridiculing me.
I crease my forehead and turn away.
“Please give me the same thing.”
The worker takes out a new phone with a regretful face.
While filling up the document and waiting for the phone to be registered, Yeon Woojeong keeps touching his phone and talking with someone.
It seems like they are talking about work.
I take a look at the clock on the wall.
It seems like it has been an hour since we left the prosecutors’ office.
When ‘12:59’ turns into ‘13:00’, the worker says it’s done while handing out the phone and a shopping bag, and Yeon Woojeong takes that.
We walk to the car.
“I’ll drop you in the station.
You can go alone, right?”
Yeon Woojeong touches my phone, then hands it to me along with the shopping bag.
Yeon Woojeong’s number was saved on the phone.
When I nod, he drives the car away.
The machine in my hand feels strange.
I never expected that I’ll have a phone this early, but I also never expected that the first number I’ll save is a prosecutor’s.
I play with the phone in my hand, then glance at him.
Perhaps because his skin is white, the veins on the back of the hand holding the steering wheel stand out.
“When should I return this?”
“When you want to stop using it.”
“What about the card?”
“Do you even know how much I’ll use for you to just give it to me?”
Yeon Woojeong looks at me for a moment, then lets out a vain laugh.
“It has a limit.
Unfortunately, I’m not a conglomerate, you see.”
“How much is it? Just use it moderately.”
There is no sign of worry in his voice.
I want to see his flustered expression by using it to the limit, but I think he won’t get shaken by that.
The fact that trivial things can not affect him brings me a faint secure feeling and at the same time upsets me inside.
We arrive in front of the station and I open the door, digging up meaningless thoughts and trampling on my muddy head.
“Ah, the key.”
When I turn my head at the sound that is holding me by the neck, he takes out something small like a toy and hands it to me.
It is not the ordinary shape of a key, so maybe it’s a key that will open the door when it’s touched there.
I don’t take that and look straight into Yeon Woojeong’s eyes.
“I know— the password.”
Hearing my words that I said to somehow provoke him, Yeon Woojeong opens his eyes slightly bigger, then smirks.
The red tongue inside the lips that let out a voice leisurely is cunning.
As I close the door to the reply that is out of the topic, the car departs.
I chase the rear of the Benz with my eyes, then walk down to the subway station.
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