Semantic Error - Chapter 10.05
Jihye pouted. It wasn’t like he couldn’t understand the disappointment of getting a lower score than someone who understood the subject less than them. Sangwoo made a huge decision to tell her something that would be pleasant for her to hear since it was, as they said, a time where humans were animals of emotions.
“I’m naturally good at memorization. I didn’t understand this subject well, but your explanations ended up helping me a lot.”
“Really? Are you for real?”
Sangwoo ignored her and kept eating. After they finished eating, he left to get coffee at the snack shop, but Jihye followed him as usual. She took the canned coffee, paid for it, and then said: “Oppa. I helped you do well on the test and I even got you coffee, so shouldn’t you do me a favor?”
“Was that a trap?”
“Yes, that’s right. Since you owe me, do me a favor.”
Jihye smiled brightly while saying scary things. He tried to imagine what favor she would want, but he could only come up with things like treating her to a meal or carrying her stuff.
“What is it? Let’s hear it.”
“What are you going to do at the festival?”
Sangwoo frowned slightly at the unexpected question. The word ‘festival’ didn’t bring about the slightest amount of positive feelings. Sangwoo had never participated in any festival activities, and since classes were usually cancelled during the festival, he spent his time productively looking for things he could do for a week.
“I have to work.”
“Oh, so you do have something you’re doing. I helped you a lot though, so can’t you take a day off?”
“Let’s say Monday. Hang out with me on the day of the festival.”
“I want to enjoy the festival, but I don’t have any friends.”
“Why do you need friends?”
“Stop, oppa. Because I asked for a favor. Just agree, please.”
It wasn’t a situation he could refuse. It was true that Jihye had helped, and because he had uselessly said good things, he was about to become a two-faced person if he didn’t accept this request. When Sangwoo grumpily agreed, Jihye laughed and asked that they meet in front of the main gate at 11 a.m.
The exams were all done. The results were as expected, and there wasn’t any other surprise except that he did better than expected on the cultural theory exam.
Sangwoo ate, got coffee, and walked along the trail. He walked fast. He was much more excited than usual.
During his two busy weeks, one thing was missing in his life. He had made weird mistakes and lost concentration because he didn’t have it in the past. However this time, he was able to endure it, since he had set a date for when they’d meet again. He also had the ‘Jang Jaeyoung’ folder on his desktop.
‘Don’t avoid it and don’t even ignore it. Just see it through to the end with me. Try to feel what it is that you are feeling to your heart’s content. And then the feelings that are torturing you might disappear.’
The not-so-short exam period was an opportunity to experiment with two methods of dealing with the problem. If the emotions Sangwoo was experiencing were temporary confusion, they would disappear during the two weeks. If they remained by the end of the exams, the cause would need to be eliminated by confrontation. Sangwoo had a tendency to avoid uncertainty, but he had no choice this time because the issue was grave this time. All he could do was to wait and see in a state of uncertainty.
The exam period with the experiment was over. Sangwoo thoroughly separated reason from emotion and observed his everyday state. The result was clear. When the enemy outside the castle was left unattended, they were called to come inside even more fervently.
Jang Jaeyoung’s face, Jang Jaeyoung’s voice, Jang Jaeyoung’s hand gestures, Jang Jaeyoung’s expressions, Jang Jaeyoung’s way of speaking, and Jang Jaeyoung’s smell. With something different every day, he missed everything about Jaeyoung. Even the things he originally didn’t like. He looked at his photos and videos every day and listened to his playlist before he went to sleep, but like before, his thirst wasn’t quenched. The more lust he left unattended, the more it confirmed his inclination of things worsening and polluting his mental world.
As one of the options had become invalidated, only one other remained. Two days were left before their appointed presentation day, but Sangwoo had already made his decision. In the work studio, where he was mindlessly heading to convey this decision, there was a design student who, though two years older than Sangwoo, had been admitted in the same year.
“Jang Jaeyoung isn’t here.”
The student looked like a poacher because she was wearing a fur coat. She turned down the volume of the music while looking at Sangwoo. Wires were randomly tangled around the speakers. It was hard to look at the keyboard, mouse, tablet, phone charger, external hard drive, monitor, two USB-jacks, and four-piece multitap outlet all wired together.
“Speakers these days have wires that are too short,” mumbled the poacher handling the speakers which had soon fallen over.
Sangwoo learned that if he became too flustered, it would render him speechless. He sat in an empty seat and waited for a bit. His eyes naturally turned towards Jaeyoung’s seat. He collected the trash and put away cigarette packs, lip balm, umbrella covers, earphones, and the zippo lighter in the drawer.
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