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Chapter 574: Chapter 574
After listening to their conversation, I heaved a sigh of relief. Kids in the other class seemed to be watching some scary videos with the class computer without warning their classmates.
‘Thank god!’ I returned to my seat totteringly, then fell into thought, looking outside the window.
How long should I be living this way? Perhaps only I could answer this question too.
Two or three days later, Yoo Chun Young started to text me through the messaging app, instead of calling me on the phone. I was busy studying in my dark room where I only turned my desk lamp on. When I flipped my phone to check the screen, my eyes widened at the message.
[Yoo Chun Young: I’m not going]
Grabbing my phone with both hands, I quickly texted back to him.
[Ham Donnie: Really??]
[Ham Donnie: Why?]
[Yoo Chun Young: I’m filming for my scene on the last day.]
[Yoo Chun Young: I could fly back to the studio on the day before the shoot, but it’s bugging too many people]
[Ham Donnie: Ah, that’s right… it’s a teamwork]
Rubbing my chin, I was immersed in my thoughts. ‘Then does it mean that we wouldn’t be seeing each other until the end of the school trip?’ I switched my gaze to the calendar that had red circles on the dates, 15th, 16th, and 17th.
‘I wouldn’t be able to see him for a week,’ I deeply sighed.
Then, would I feel less uncomfortable to see his face afterward? Would I be able to answer his call as if nothing had happened? I couldn’t guarantee those things, but for now, I felt relieved to take some time apart from him.
However, I also felt sad at the same time that Yoo Chun Young couldn’t attend our school trip, one of the most special events in high school. We did have a retreat last time, but the school trip was on another level, especially when it was taking place in Jeju-do.
Touching my lips again, I slowly typed a message.
[Ham Donnie: But this is a once in a lifetime school trip]
[Ham Donnie: I’m sorry you can’t come]
Yoo Chun Young read my messages immediately but didn’t reply to me for a while.
‘What’s going on?’ I knew that he was slow in typing on the phone, but how long was the message that he was trying to send me? I tilted my head in wonder, then realized something––it was now a perfect time for him to call me on the phone.
Yoo Chun Young did text me a long message earlier, in which he might have had a hard time moving his fingers and typing the response, so this time he would definitely ask me to talk over the phone.
Lowering my head, I quickly left a message.
[Ham Donnie: Oh, I should get back to studying]
[Ham Donnie: Let’s talk later]
Holding my phone, I made a long face.
What was I doing when I just said to him that this was our once-in-a-lifetime school trip? How could I cut off the conversation this way? But to me, it was better than talking over the phone with a trembling voice.
That was when I sighed and flipped my phone to hide the phone screen from my sight. My cell vibrated again.
Even that short vibration made me frozen to the spot. I felt scared to look at my phone screen. As I barely picked it up, I felt the smooth surface slipping on my wet palm. Biting my lips, I tightened my grip and checked the message.
[Yoo Chun Young: Okay]
[Yoo Chun Young: Keep it up]
“Oh geez, thank goodness!”
I was concerned if he would have texted me something like ‘Why are you avoiding my call?’ or ‘Do you feel uncomfortable talking over the phone?’ but no, that was all.
I leaned back in my chair like a wet seaweed and was spaced out, then suddenly crouched down, feeling guilty again.
“What should I do…”
Every time I avoided his call, I felt too bad about myself that now it was even hard to breathe.
Two days before our school trip, I was having lunch with the kids.
She grumbled, “I wish this school trip thing is over ASAP. Lately, the entire school seems to be so obsessed with this event as if this is our ultimate trip.”
“Ahaha, that’s funny,” Yoon Jung In burst into laughter.
Kim Hye Hill, however, continued seriously, “I’m not joking. If things keep going this way, we would be knocked out before going on the actual trip.”
“Oh, really? Well, I do find it worrisome too, but how could we stop the kids from feeling so excited? We can’t just ask them to calm down, can we?” replied Yoon Jung In.
“That’s true but…”
After the conversation, Kim Hye Hill was lost in her thoughts. I agreed with her that having too much expectation could lead to disappointment, but soon I shook my head no, thinking that I shouldn’t spoil the mood. Still, it was quite difficult to get used to this vibe, which was like a stirred beehive.
There was also something else that distracted the school atmosphere. These days, students in other grades wandered around in groups to search for someone at the cafeteria. Watching the sight, Kim Hye Woo nudged Kim Hye Hill in the ribs.
“Hey, do you see them? Are they looking for Yoo Chun Young again?” asked Kim Hye Woo.
“Not sure but maybe yes. Just focus on eating, so we should go.”
“Yeah yeah, you’re being so sensitive.”
Kim Hye Hill retorted, “The cafeteria turned much noisier than usual.”
After her sister’s blunt response, Kim Hye Woo began to shove the meal into his mouth. I, who already finished my lunch, rested my palm on my chin and glanced at the freshmen kids.
They moved around in a group of six people, ignoring other students’ cold stares, then finally approached Kwon Eun Hyung.
Looking at the kids, Eun Hyung said in bewilderment, “Unfortunately, Chun Young and I don’t share all our schedules, so I have no idea either. I’m sorry for not being helpful.”
“Ah, no! We should be sorry for asking you!” The kids bowed politely with reddened faces, then receded away.
When Eun Hyung and my eyes met all of a sudden, he waved at me with a warm smile. I also responded to him with a clumsy grin, then averted my eyes from Eun Hyung.
On my way to the classroom from the snack bar, I ran into Eun Hyung again at the backdoor. The moment I tried to walk past him, waving my hand, Eun Hyung called me out of the blue.
“Donnie, hold on for a second.”
I felt nervous somehow but left the hallway after him. When we arrived at the staircase where there were fewer people, Eun Hyung opened his mouth at last.
“The school looks very distracted these days, right?” he asked.
I replied, “Uh-huh, even I find it hard to concentrate on something, so I guess I should just chill out until the school trip is over, and not plan something big.”
I set up goals for this week with a strategic plan, but I haven’t achieved even half of it yet. Eun Hyung then showed me a sweet but doubtful smile.
I asked, “Is everything all good, Eun Hyung?”
“Me? Yes, as always.”
“No, don’t talk like a book.”
Eun Hyung scratched his cheek embarrassedly, “Haha, it’s hard to fix the way I speak.”
“Come on, do you really have something going on?”
“It’s not about me.”
My eyes widened, “… Then, Yoo Chun Young?”
“Does anything come to your mind?” Eun Hyung replied immediately, staring at my eyes.
I couldn’t avoid his gaze at all. As I remained silent, Eun Hyung heaved a deep sigh, then he detached his lips.
“I get it. You know, Chun Young is far from using electronic devices, but he began to carry his phone everywhere out of the blue when he had no one to wait for a call.”
“Why is there no one?” I tossed a question.
Eun Hyung replied, “That’s because we had a loud video call with him that night on our way home from your house.”
Yikes, I hung my head in shame. So, that night, I was the last person whom he called.