Stranger - Chapter 6.1
Chapter 6 Human Time
I overslept. Maybe because I slept late, my body was light, but my head was heavy. When I opened my eyes, I saw Yeon Woojeong sleeping on his stomach. His head was facing my way, so I could see his face.
Yeon Woojeong’s face, which had been changing diversely throughout the dawn, flashed before my eyes. That moment was just like a dream. His bare body revealed on the blanket convinced me of the reality.
The slightly parted lips entered my sight. I touched my lips with my fingertips. Somehow, Yeon Woojeong felt foreign. No, it was just, this situation now was strange. How should I look at him when he wakes up?
After looking at him for quite a long time, I got up. What time is it? My phone was on the second floor, so I had to get out of this room. The living room was already bright even though the lighting was off. I went upstairs and turned on my phone, it was past midday.
I was hungry, but I decided to wash myself first and brought the blanket I left in the laundry room to the bathroom. I turned on the water, cleaned only the dirty parts separately, and took them back to the washing machine. Leaving the laundry room, I took out the rice cake soup package I put in the refrigerator. Yeon Woojeong must be hungry when he wakes up, right? It’s the new year, so he has to eat rice cake soup too.
I took out the contents inside the package. After pouring the stock into the pot and boiling it, I put all the remaining ingredients in. When I saw the white rice cakes floating in the soup, I was reminded of Yeon Woojeong’s skin, so I stirred them with a ladle.
I turned the heat down, then went to the bedroom. Yeon Woojeong was still sleeping soundly. Sometimes, he looked like he had low stamina. I approached him and grabbed his shoulder.
“Wake up. Have a meal.”
He, who usually woke up after I shook him a few times, didn’t move even an inch. I tried putting my hand under his nose and turned back. It was obvious he wouldn’t eat if I only woke him up.
I put the rice cake soup into the bowl and took a tray. As I put down the bowl with a spoon, it looked somewhat better. Lastly, I poured water into a cup, then I brought the tray to his room. After pushing away the lamp on the drawer next to the bed, I put the tray.
I didn’t think he would wake up if I simply shook him. I put my arms around his body and raised him.
Yeon Woojeong grimaced. When I propped his waist so that he didn’t slide down after raising half of his body, he opened his eyes.
“What is it?”
A hoarse voice. He, who narrowed his eyes as though he was blinded, moved his eyes and saw me.
“… I’m not eating.”
Yeon Woojeong’s body turned lax. I caught the body, which was sliding down, and said,
“But it’s the rice cake soup?”
He answered with his eyes closed, not even taking a look. I alternately saw between a face full of sleepiness and a belly that looked empty. I could eat first, but that troubled me instead. I felt like I could only fill my stomach after feeding him.
“You fed me porridge, right?”
“… You’re talking as if you were forced to eat?”
“I never asked you to feed me.”
I knew it was mean, but I said it on purpose. He did it to me, so he had to receive it from me. This was not a concept of trade. I just wanted to do something for him. He had to receive something from me.
Yeon Woojeong laughed with a faint blowing sound. He touched his forehead and shook his head, then he looked at me.
“You got me all up.”
While Yeon Woojeong was coming to his senses, I put the tray on his legs. After looking at the rice cake soup, he slightly raised his brows.
“You made this?”
“I bought what I made.”
“Thank you, I’ll enjoy the food.”
I was nervous inside in case he would say he wouldn’t eat, but Yeon Woojeong unexpectedly took the spoon calmly. When I looked at that, my palms tickled.
After spooning a rice cake and putting it in his mouth, Yeon Woojeong slowly chewed it. When I looked at the munching lips, I wanted to eat too. It was quiet on the bed, so the chewing sound could be heard. It was a very cute sound that didn’t suit Yeon Woojeong. I stared at him quietly, and he asked,
“Have you eaten?”
“Why don’t you eat?”
He took a spoonful and held it out to my mouth. A dirty spoon that he had used. I opened my mouth and ate it. It was tasty.
“Did you sleep well, 20-year-old Kim Jiho?”
Yeon Woojeong, whose hair was calm today, smiled while looking at me. Somehow, it was kind of awkward to look at his eyes.
As he brought up my age, it hit me that I had become a 20-year-old. There were days when I thought the world would change once I reached adulthood, but my world on the first day of the new year was the same. No, except for one thing. The man in front of my eyes.
A spoonful of rice cake approached me once again. I opened my mouth and ate it. I felt like I had to say something, but I had nothing to say. The atmosphere was somewhat awkward, yet Yeon Woojeong was staring at me with a nonchalant expression.
I was curious about what he was thinking. That thing happened, but he didn’t look like he regretted it, or acted awkwardly to me. On the contrary, it seemed like I was weird for being wary of him.
While I put my gaze on the creased blanket, the spoon came again. I ate it thoughtlessly, but then I frowned as I realized something.
“You’re giving it to me because you don’t want to eat it, aren’t you?”
A smile formed in Yeon Woojeong’s eyes at my comment. When I scowled while chewing harshly, he shrugged his shoulders.
“I don’t eat in the morning.”
“It’s past twelve.”
He turned his head and looked at the window with the blind half closed. The line from the high nose bridge to the neck was straight yet soft. The shadow formed due to the sunlight drawing another line on his face. I remembered a statue I saw near the church one day.
Yeon Woojeong’s gaze suddenly returned. I felt like I was locked inside the black eyes that I couldn’t move my gaze. Yeon Woojeong, who scanned me leisurely, looked around me and then raised his arm to look.
“Did I just sleep?”
“You cleaned me?”
It was obvious the one to wipe his body would be me, but still, it was embarrassing to answer him. As I said nothing, Yeon Woojeong laughed faintly.
“You’re also strong. You don’t work out, do you?”
“Aah, it’s not worth working out. Should’ve been born with a good body.”
“Do you work out?”
“At night. You were sleeping when I came back.”
It was surprising that he came back after work, followed by working out. He looked lazy, but it seemed he was unexpectedly hard-working. Well, for someone who had to sit in front of the table, he had to work out to have this straight posture and good body.
Yeon Woojeong’s neck and chest were full of my bite marks. I thought I only bit him, but when I looked at it now, I sucked him here and there. It also looked like he was suffering from a disease. Won’t Yeon Woojeong think of me when he looks in the mirror every time he washes? I remembered Yeon Woojeong’s struggle to escape from my arms.
The spoon tapped on my lips. I immediately looked up. Yeon Woojeong’s face was calm, whether he didn’t know about my gaze or pretending to not know. After accepting the spoon while grazing my nails, I took the bowl away from him.
“Don’t eat if you don’t want to.”
“It’s not that I don’t want to, but I can’t.”
Yeon Woojeong caressed my hair once, then got up. As he went down, his naked body came into view.
He let out a groaning sound. Without realizing it, I quickly looked away, but when I thought I had seen everything, I chased after Yeon Woojeong again. Even though his whole body was shown, he didn’t even think of hiding it, and he proudly yet slowly walked to the bathroom.
I was the only one left as the bathroom door was closed. The rice cake I was chewing suddenly felt like it blew up. I stared at the closed door, but then I got up and went to the kitchen. I filled the bowl with rice cake soup and moved to the table.
I ate the soup like a robot. The seat across from me was empty. It wasn’t surprising. I hit the floor with my toes.