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    Loves Error

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    ‘Go out first!’

    ‘For now, you go out!’

    Yoo Min-ho’s voice, shouting as he held off the zombie horde just minutes ago, still echoed in my ears. …Why was I so concerned about this kid dying? He didn’t even remember what he had said. I had tried to die first knowing I would reset, but why did he sacrifice his own life for just mine? Even though he was right in front of me, I couldn’t ask him.

    The current situation was the same. No one would remember anything after a reset. However, despite knowing that, I stood there stiff and motionless, holding my ground.

    “…Are you not going to move?”

    It was the moment when the usually polite Do Ji-hyuk lowered his voice as he spoke.

    Behind us, there was a dull sound of something hitting the glass storefront. At the same time, the expressions of the three people in front of me turned to shock. Reflexively, I turned around and saw the glass stained red as if painted with a broken brush. As I froze, another thud shook the glass door visibly.

    It was a familiar face. The first woman who turned into a zombie in the cafe was standing outside the glass wall. Damn, zombies are helpful at strange times. I quickly pulled the bookshelves to block the zombie’s view.

    “…What the fuck was that? What did she eat to make her mouth look like that? Shit, that’s disgusting.”

    “Are you saying that the killer you mentioned is that woman?”

    The two men, upon seeing the first zombie who maintained a relatively intact body compared to the others, simply thought of her as a crazy woman. I didn’t bother correcting them. Even though the woman with blood smeared around her mouth was banging her head against the glass, they didn’t see her as a zombie. Sitting down in front of the bookshelf, I spoke slowly.

    “Yes. I don’t know why she’s like that… She has very low intelligence and… she bites people. Not just biting, but she bites until… until they die… Yes, she bites until they die.”

    As I spoke, I couldn’t help but think how crazy it all sounded. A crazy woman eating people in the middle of Seoul? They probably wouldn’t have believed it if they hadn’t seen it with their own eyes. None of the three could speak for a while after hearing me. In the silent stillness—thud, thud—the intermittent sound of the woman’s head hitting the glass door was the only thing heard. I cleared my dry throat and continued to speak.

    “Don’t go out. Please, we need to wait here until someone comes to rescue us. Most of the people inside the cafe… died because of that woman. I can’t bear to see anyone else dying… “

    …I also don’t want to die anymore.

    I couldn’t bring myself to say the last part and swallowed it back. It was strange. I thought I was fine, but as I spoke, my hands shook more and more. Isn’t it too late to feel despair now? I had witnessed countless deaths and had experienced death myself multiple times.

    Yet, even as I thought about it, I felt that sense of despair eating away at my brain. Perhaps I didn’t even realize how desperately I had been trying to reassure myself. I knew that if I lost my grip and collapsed, things would get even worse. The fact that I had someone to talk to made me feel so weak. Human emotions are indeed funny. After all, they wouldn’t remember me once time reset.

    Trying hard to steady my breathing to avoid bursting into tears, Do Ji-hyuk approached me. He knelt down right in front of me, looked into my eyes, and said, “It’ll be okay. There won’t be anyone else dying in this building today.”

    …Bullshit. Despite thinking that way in my mind, I couldn’t help but believe his gentle words. I didn’t tell them everything, didn’t mention that the figure outside the door was not a killer but a zombie. Sharing that information would only create more anxiety. They were already in a panic just from the woman banging her head against the storefront glass.

    A moment of brief peace found its way back into the real estate. Although it seemed I was the only one who felt it was peaceful with the zombie still banging on the door. The real estate agent remained anxious, pacing at the door, but with Do Ji-hyuk’s assurance that the killer was here, she visibly relaxed. I swallowed the bitter truth in my mind.

    Feeling suffocated, I slightly opened the real estate office door to let in the cold night air. The shutter only allowed it to open about a hand’s width, but as the outside air filled my lungs, I felt somewhat relieved. What was the person who wrote this damn movie trying to achieve by throwing these supposedly notable people into a horde of zombies? Yoo Min-ho turned into a killer, but what would happen to Do Ji-hyuk and Lee Chae-eun? As I was lost in a tangled web of unresolved thoughts, someone next to me started speaking.

    “…You… You seem a bit off today.”

    It was Yoo Min-ho. He was staring at me as if observing a strange creature.

    “What?”

    “Just… were you always like this? You seem a bit different from usual.”

    “…Usual? How was I usually?”

    I replied, facing him. When I stared at Yoo Min-ho, he met my gaze without a word. His dark brown eyes trembled nervously. Thud, thud. The sound of someone banging on the glass window continued unabated. At this rate, you’d think her skull would cave in from the persistence. At the same time, for the first time, the thought crossed my mind that maybe not all zombies had the same low intelligence. The zombie outside couldn’t be driven away simply by blocking her view. This fact made me afraid.

    “…In the past, you were more unlucky, creepy, and annoying. Every time I saw you… I would clench my teeth in anger.”

    “…And now?”

    “Now? Now… I don’t know. You just seem a bit different. You look really pathetic.”

    “…..”

    I was left speechless. Although I don’t remember everything, I was fairly certain this was the first time someone had ever told me to my face that I looked pathetic. Yoo Min-ho was truly something else.

    …Was that why? Did I look so pathetic that he decided to be the bait instead of me? Unintentionally pondering such absurd thoughts, I blurted out without thinking.

    “Can I ask you one thing?”

    “What is it, with that serious face all of a sudden?”

    I hesitated with a jumble of thoughts in my head. I was most curious about why he became the bait instead of me, but since it hadn’t happened yet, I couldn’t ask. Where should I start questioning? Should I ask if I’m a woman or a man like last time? As I contemplated, I ended up shutting my mouth. It was fortunate not to hear any accusations of being weak again. After letting out a small sigh, I turned my gaze back out the window and spoke again.

    “No, it’s nothing.”

    “…Are you kidding? Why start talking and then stop?”

    “All the banging noises from outside made me forget what I was going to say.”

    “Don’t lie. You’re the only one who’s not afraid in this real estate right now.”

    “…..”

    “Hey, Lee Chae-eun.”

    “…I was just… wondering if the name Lee Chae-eun doesn’t really suit me. It’s not really a man’s name.”

    After my words, there was a brief silence. Even with the zombie banging its head against the glass wall outside, my mind strangely calmed down. But I was completely taken aback by what he said next.

    “Why are you suddenly talking about names? Why, are you going to ask me if you look like a man or a woman again like before?”

    Yoo Min-ho, who had said that, suddenly stopped speaking and asked with a puzzled expression, “…But have you ever said that to me?”

    My heart pounded like crazy. …No way… Is he remembering? His words weren’t even something he said in the previous round. The thought that someone else might know that this hellish loop was endlessly repeating made me feel like a lump would fill my throat with sorrow.

    “…Do you… do you… remember? The things I said to you?”

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