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    I couldn’t hide my confusion until the moment I got in the car and fastened my seatbelt. Was this some kind of unconscious thing? I really wanted to confirm if it was true, but I couldn’t bring myself to speak up, fearing he might ask if my memory had returned or get his hopes up. As I looked around, our gazes suddenly met.

    “What? Do you have something to say?”

    “No… Well…”

    I stalled by unnecessarily unbuttoning and taking off my outer layer. It was too late to say nothing, so I secretly hoped he would pretend not to notice. However, as the car moved forward, he spoke as if he wouldn’t let it slide.

    “I’ll wait until you answer. By the way, it’s a long drive.”

    There was a playful tone in his voice. It must be a joke, right? I glanced at him focusing on driving, thinking “Surely not,” but indeed, whenever I thought he might have forgotten, he would teasingly ask, “Not yet?” or “Still not?” until I had no choice but to give in. It seems his stubbornness might be even more formidable than mine.

    “It’s really nothing.”

    “If it’s nothing, why don’t you just say it?”


    Obviously, it wasn’t nothing. But how could I ask things like, “What will you do if my memory never returns?” or “Would you break up with me if I seriously asked?” In the silence, I regretted tagging along. Maybe I should have stayed put instead of coming to see the sea.

    “Seo Seung-won. Be good to me.”


    “If you’re going to like me anyway, don’t think useless thoughts and just be good to me from the start.”

    I questioned if I had misheard his sudden statement, but he repeated it, telling me to listen carefully.

    “Just… just imagine I’m not by your side. How hard would that be? If you know, be good from the start. Even if you don’t know, you should be good. Didn’t you say not to hurt someone you like?”

    It felt like he was repeating something someone else had said, making my heart throb. If they were my words, I couldn’t fathom what state of mind I was in when I said them, and trying to understand his position in being able to repeat those same words now left me feeling overwhelmed.

    I felt as if I had been pushed into the middle of the vast ocean, lost, but firmly held by him to prevent me from drifting further away. The stifling feeling pressing on my chest and the piercing sensation in my heart was ironic. If the suffocation was due to the one-sided relationship and emotions, was this tingling because some feelings remained?

    My thoughts continued to spiral. I wish I hadn’t lost my memory. I wish nothing had happened. But what happened has happened, and here I am, having lost my memories. It was like… the person I liked now wasn’t him.

    “What will you do when your memories come back?”

    I was shocked for a moment. Did I just say that out loud? By now, the car had entered the highway and was speeding up. In the heavy atmosphere that matched the silence, he calmly criticized me with a serene face.

    “Even if your memory doesn’t return, if I end up liking you so much I could die, why are you already thinking about breaking up?”

    “Hyung, you really… quick-witted.”

    I trailed off and was honestly amazed. How does he know my inner thoughts so well, as if he’s looked inside my head?

    “I know. So don’t do anything you’ll regret later and just worry about your health.”

    “Yes… ”

    “By the way, that was a hint to button up your shirt again.”

    “No, it’s too hot. Who catches a cold in a car?”

    I didn’t bother to ruin the suddenly lightened mood. After all, what he said wasn’t wrong.

    During the trip, we only exchanged uninteresting talk that served no purpose, but I felt at ease. I liked Tae Seong-je. I wasn’t sure about love, but I really liked him as a person. I liked that he didn’t force me to remember things I didn’t know or ask me if I should contact my father. I liked the fact that he didn’t make me uncomfortable even when he joked around, and I also liked the way he continued to pay attention to me.

    I was glad to realize I liked someone like him. At least my taste had always been consistent, just like with my senior. Unconsciously, I started comparing and finding similarities. Despite trying not to, I kept wondering if this or that was similar too. Finding those similarities made me feel foolish yet pleased, making it hard to stop.

    “Oh, the sea.”

    “Can you see it?”

    “Yes. Yes, I can see it.”

    When I caught a glimpse of the ocean on the horizon, I hurriedly rolled down the window. Although he quickly rolled it back up, my excitement didn’t wane. Even though we weren’t close enough to feel the sea breeze or step on the sand, I felt like I could already sense the salty scent.

    What was even better when I arrived was that I didn’t see many people. It felt like we had rented this entire vast sea. Since I didn’t have shoes, I just opened the door and took a deep breath, feeling the fresh air clear out my insides. The loud sound of waves and the setting sun created an eerie illusion of entering another world.

    “Aren’t you cold?”

    “I’m not cold.”

    It was true that it had gotten chillier since we left, but with the beautiful sky making the sea look even prettier, I didn’t feel that cold. Well, with all these layers on, how could I be cold anyway?

    “Um… since we came all this way, how about dipping our feet in the water before we go?”

    “Shall we?”

    I thought he’d say no right away. It was unexpected. He came over and carefully took off my socks, and rolled up my pant legs. I thought I’d die of embarrassment. I’m not a child who can’t do this much. As I was starting to feel self-conscious about my bare ankles, Tae Seong-je stretched out his arms. As he gestured for me to come, I felt a belated dizziness, as if I was getting motion sickness.

    As I hesitantly reached out, my body was suddenly lifted. Even if the sky was getting dark, still. Shamelessly embracing a man like this. I buried my flushed face into his solid shoulder, making some remark I wasn’t sure was meant for him or myself. Every time he walked on the sand, I could feel him holding me tighter, making my cheeks burn even more. If he asked why my face was like this, I’d say it was because of the sunset. Because the sun has set.

    As soon as my feet touched the ground, I tried to quickly pull away, but I was startled by a wave that immediately rushed up and brushed my ankles.

    “The waves come all the way up here.”

    Leaving him muttering, I walked forward on the clean, cold, firm sand. Once again, a wave carrying white foam crashed towards me. Gasp. It’s really cold. It was so much colder than I thought, I felt like I might freeze. But it’s fun. It had been so long since I’d seen the ocean. Excited,  I pushed the cold to the back of my mind and soaked my feet in the sea, watching the waves for a while.



    I felt so good that I turned around with a big smile on my face. Seeing Tae Seong-je standing desolately under the suddenly darkened sky, I slowly withdrew my smile. His deeply sunken gaze felt heavy. He suddenly took off his shoes on the beach, then approached me without hesitation.

    “Let’s start over from the beginning.”

    He confessed to me as he stepped into the waves. My thoughts stopped abruptly, and I became dumb in an instant. I forgot how to breathe, and even how to speak. In the end, all that came out of my gaping mouth was a pathetic sound.


    “You know I can’t live without you now. You feel the same way, don’t you?”

    No? Everything hyung said is right. I moved my lips and then quickly returned to my senses. I almost agreed with him. This is crazy. I knew I was going to fall for him again. Though I wasn’t completely won over yet, it was not like I was a teenager receiving their first confession, and I don’t know why I was so nervous. My heart was pounding so hard that my hands were shaking and my face was hot and sweaty, so I thought it was a good thing that the sky was dark right now. Even without looking, I knew my state was beyond the level of using the sunset as an excuse.

    “Seo Seung-won. Look at me.”


    “Breaking up with me is just a waste of time. You know that. And you won’t lose out by being with me, so just say yes.”

    “In what way?”

    I was about to answer right away when I saw his face, but I held back and suddenly asked out of curiosity. In what way wouldn’t I lose out? At that moment, he suddenly grabbed my wrist. Wondering what he was doing, I stared blankly, and in that moment, Tae Seong-je guided my hand and placed it on his own beautiful cheek.

    “First of all, this is yours.”

    He’s using his good looks against me. It was absurd, but I felt like my true feelings were being exposed. Oh, I’m falling for this. How does he know me so well? As the light around us grew brighter, his face came into clearer focus. As he said, it seemed like I had nothing to lose. That made me even more curious. What did I do to deserve this?

    “This is yours too.”

    No, that far? When his hand moved down past his neck to his chest, I inadvertently gasped and swallowed hard. We were originally lovers, and we’re both healthy adult men. Did we… Did we do it? We probably did, right? It would be stranger if we didn’t, but I can’t imagine it at all. How do two men do it? When I was younger, my mind was more innocent, so I never thought deeply about this kind of thing, and now my head was spinning.

    “All of me is yours.”

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