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    It was fortunate that tomorrow was a Saturday.

    I spent my time quietly lying on Lim Dae-han’s bed with my hands on my stomach. What was the time? I fumbled and reached across the bed for my phone. A bright light shone through the darkness. It was 1:15 in the morning. There has been no contact from Lim Dae-han yet.

    “…”

    Fortunately, my parents said they would spend the night at my grandmother’s house in a row and return in the morning, and my brother sighed as I began talking without hesitation and then told me to do whatever I wanted. Even if my older brother had said, ‘Hurry up and go into the house!’ I had no intention of stopping. I had to finish talking with Lim Dae-han in some way.

    I lay on the bed in the dark house for a long time, remembering my time with Lim Dae-han. I had an emoticon arm pillow that looked like Lim Dae-han on my arm. Far from the interior, I looked up at the unpatterned, pure white ceiling.

    To be honest, there were times when I initially thought that the actions that Lim Dae-han showed me were coercion or harassment. But he was always by my side so there was no room for my resolve to avoid him. And as if by magic, I wondered who Lim Dae-han was.

    For me, the conclusion was the same. I fell in love with Lim Dae-han as if I were being dragged helplessly by him. It was my first relationship, so I was clumsy and unfamiliar. Was that how you did it? I even thought about it. But he was much better than my doubts.

    I couldn’t have imagined wanting to be with Lim Dae-han at school, on the way home, or even when I got home a few months ago. For me, dating was a distant future, and when it came unexpectedly, it felt like a sweet dream.

    Maybe if I broke up with Dae-han because of this incident, I thought I’d never meet someone like Lim Dae-han again in my life. And that I couldn’t have another heart-pounding loving relationship like the one I had with him. Not because Lim Dae-han was my first time, but because he was a very nice person. I realized it again as I recalled my time with him.

    So, I couldn’t break up with Dae-han. Even if he hated me, I wanted to be by his side.

    Beep- beep- beep, beep- beep- beep-

    With each button pressed, the house door opened. Of course, it was Lim Dae-han. I squinted my eyes. The sound of footsteps was strange.

    “Ha…”

    Lim Dae-han sighed. I expected him to walk into the room and see me, but he didn’t. I got out of bed slowly and walked toward the door. Lim Dae-han opened the lid of an unopened 2-liter water bottle from the refrigerator. He drank it while holding it in one hand.

    “Lim Dae-han…”

    I crammed in the doorway and called Lim Dae-han. Lim Dae-han, who had been drinking water with his head tilted back, slowly turned his eyes towards me. Cough! He nearly spits out the water. He barely drank it all and covered his lips with the back of his hand.

    I faced Lim Dae-han after opening the sliding door that separated us.

    “Ki Young-hyun, why are you here…”

    Lim Dae-han couldn’t continue speaking. As I approached him through the door, I naturally lowered my head and tears welled up in my eyes. The bridge of my nose then twitched. This smell…

    “You…”

    “…”

    “… Have you been drinking?”

    I know because I’ve had it a few times. I didn’t notice it until I got closer because he didn’t appear drunk. When he entered the door password, there was a slipping sound, and the sound of his footsteps was urgent for some reason. There was a reason for him to drink water.

    Lim Dae-han averted his gaze and bit his upper lip. It reminded me of him before we started dating. He did all sorts of bad things.  He, who had always slept curled up in the corner of the classroom, did not even come to school or arrived late, and his presence alone disturbed the classroom atmosphere.

    I’m not going back. I became anxious.

    Lim Dae-han placed the bottle he was holding next to the sink on the counter. He nudged away from me without making eye contact with me.

    “It’s late.”

    “Dae-han-a…”

    “I’ll take you home. Let’s go.”

    Then, despite my presence, he did not attempt to become tangled up as usual. I was unfamiliar with such a Lim Dae-han.

    Did he really want to break up?

    Lim Dae-han kept avoiding my gaze. I moved closer to Lim Dae-han without answering. Then, without saying anything, I fell into his arms.

    “…”

    “…”

    I felt Lim Dae-han’s body stiffen. Thump, thump, thump… his heartbeat could be heard through his chest. The sound was strong and loud. I could both hear and feel it.

    Lim Dae-han’s hand, which had been hovering in the air without being able to reach my back, reached me one beat later. He patted my back with his palm as if to soothe me. To be honest, it hurt a little because he couldn’t control his strength well, but I felt a sense of stability because it was the regular Lim Dae-han. I was quite good too.

    I had nothing to say about the bitter smell of alcohol coming from Lim Dae-han. Thankfully, it did not smell like cigarettes. I was lightly pressing my nose against Lim Dae-han’s chest. 

    “You, why are you a student… Go drinking.”

    Lim Dae-han still didn’t answer. All he had to say when he came home was that he would take me home. Somehow, I felt sad. I was out at this time due to someone. I went home and went out late at night again because of someone. Lim Dae-han knew nothing.

    “Why didn’t you reply to my message…”

    “…”

    “Why didn’t you answer the phone…”

    There was still no answer.

    “Why, why don’t you come to pick me up in the morning, and why don’t you come to school…”

    Would Lim Dae-han believe me if I told him I had been anxious for the last three days? I wrapped my arm around his back. Lim Dae-han hugged me even tighter after that. I moved away from Lim Dae-han, who was just holding me without saying anything.

    “Dae-han-a.”

    “…Yeah.”

    “Well, I… I have something to say.”

    I had to be serious. I need to know why he didn’t contact me, why he didn’t come to school, where he went, and why he was now returning home from drinking. And if I go back further, when he hit Lee Hyun-woo, I was shocked and, to be honest, I was a little scared, but I know he did it because of me. Actually, Lee Hyun-woo has been bullying me since I was a child. But I felt sorry for my reaction, and I gradually organized my thoughts. I’d already arranged my thoughts a few times, but I was thinking about how to make it more clear to Lim Dae-han.

    “Don’t…”

    Lim Dae-han shook his head and took a deep breath.

    “Don’t say it.”

    I raised my head in surprise at the unexpected reaction. I blinked and stared at Lim Dae-han.

    “Don’t say it… Ah… Don’t.”

    Lim Dae-han clenched his fists tightly. He lowered his head gradually. I had no idea what to do, so I just stared at him. Drops of water fell from Lim Dae-han, who bowed his head at that same time.

    “Don’t… Ah, really…”

    Lim Dae-han raised his hand and rubbed his face with the back of his hand. So, if what I expected was right, Lim Dae-han seems to be…

    “Are you crying?”

    Nothing was more stimulating than asking if you were crying when the tears fell. So was Lim Dae-han. The moment I asked if he was crying, Lim Dae-han took a breath again. He didn’t raise his head after that.

    “Lim, Lim Dae-han…”

    After taking a deep breath, Lim Dae-han began to cry openly. He cried a little too loudly. The sound was quite loud. He didn’t cry as nicely as the main character in a romantic film. His shoulders trembled.

    He was probably trying to hold it in, but he couldn’t, so his breath was unusual. I expected to cry if he said to break up, but it was a strange situation where I was standing still and Lim Dae-han crying.

    I was even more surprised since I had never thought or imagined Lim Dae-han crying. And crying like a child. In front of me.

    “…”

    I pulled and hugged Lim Dae-han, who was crying heavily. It was difficult to hold such a big body, but I wanted to hug Lim Dae-han. And for some reason, I burst into tears as well.

    “I, I… ah… I was wrong… I was wrong for hitting him.”

    My shoulders were damp from Lim Dae-han’s tears. I caressed Lim Dae-han’s back, neck, and head. I had no idea why I wanted to cry as well. I pressed my lips together and gazed up at the ceiling, barely holding back my tears.

    “Haaa… Don’t say it…”

    Haaa, Lim Dae-han took a deep breath and hugged my back tightly. It was like a magnet that refused to fall.

    “Ki Young-hyun, I really don’t want to break up.”

    Break up? I pushed him away while holding back my tears. But he couldn’t possibly be pushed back.

    “Wait, wait…”

    Lim Dae-han’s grip on my back tightened. Still, when his powerful arms were loaded with strength, I found myself struggling to breathe.

    “Wait a minute!”

    I pushed Lim Dae-han’s shoulder as hard as I could, so I could breathe a little. At that moment, Lim Dae-han raised his head.

    “…”

    His eyes were swollen in a short amount of time. The area around the swollen eyes, eyelashes, and cheeks was all wet. Just how much he cried in a matter of minutes. I bit my lower lip and looked into Lim Dae-han’s eyes.

    “Why… Are you telling me to break up with you?”

    “…”

    Lim Dae-han closed his eyes as if he had misinterpreted the question’s meaning. The tears that were welling up began to fall.

    “Oh, no… Dae-han, that’s… No, why are you telling me to break up?”

    “…”

    “You didn’t want to break up with me, did you?”

    Lim Dae-han frowned while crying. He let go of his strong grip on my back and rubbed his eyes. I almost leaned on him and stumbled back, and Lim Dae-han hurriedly moved his hand and wrapped it around my waist again, fearful that I would fall.

    “Why would I break up with you?”

    Lim Dae-han turned his head after crying for a long time. His wet side profile looked even more pitiful. I had no intention of breaking up, but I was curious as to why he was pushing himself so hard.

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