Reunion Chapter 22

Author: nicotine

For some reason, Deokgu stuck his tongue out and made a wheezing sound. I bought out the ingredients as I washed them and carried them outside, then the table filled up quickly. It might be because the vegetable wrap basket was too big, the plate at the end of the tab;e was pushed and it dropped to the floor. It was a plate of mushrooms, onions and sausages.

Ah.

It was a moment where I could only say, “Ah.” Before squatting down to pick up what had fallen, something came by me at the speed of light.

“What…huh?”

Before I could grasp the situation, Deokgu had already moved away with the sausages in his mouth. According to Jang Yoonsung, a dog lover raising Golden Retrievers, once said that human food was not good for dogs. Especially processed food. So I chased Deokgu, who seemed to be at the source of trouble.

“Hey, you can’t do that!”

When I chased after him saying that, Deokgu ran away into the mountain. Oh, I was dooneed. I ran along with Deokgu without a second thought. That was because once Poongjak also ran into the mountains and got lost so I remembered searching the whole mountain with Jang Yoonsung.

“Deokgu, I’ll give you a sausage! So come here! I told you, I’ll give you some!’

At least, Poongjak was young and his running was at the level of a toddler so I could find him at the foot of the mountain but I deemed it wouldn’t be the same for Poongjak.

Perhaps because I was not Deokgu’s owner, he didn’t look back even after how much I hollered his name and called him. Following the rustling sounds, how much did he climb the mountains? Even if it wasn’t hot, I started sweating and running out of breath.

Since the distance from Deokgu was a lot, I couldn’t even hear any more noises of rustling and just then a drop of water bounced on my nose. When I looked up and checked my surroundings, it seemed darkness had already dawned.

Oh, I’m really doomed.

“Deokgu-ya, Deokgu. I’ll give you something delicious, so let’s go.”

I called out to him in a softened voice because I thought he might be afraid of being scolded and ran away, however I didn’t hear anything. Tip and tap, and the sound of the rain eventually thickened.

“Deok…”

Shaa…

My words were soon covered by the sound of rain. Rain poured through the tangled branches.

It was really the time to climb down. It would be foolish to wander in the dark mountains on a rainy day. At least, I should have bought my umbrella and torch. Finally, I made the decision.

A dark neighborhood. I used to think like that before but it was the first time it felt so gloomy, I couldn’t tell in which direction the villa was because of the darkness that curtained over me ina instant. Indeed, there was no way that the small light that Jang Yoonsung turned on in his study room could be noticed in a forest full of trees.

My cell phone. Where was my cell phone? Oh, I put it on the table.

I had no choice but to trek down the mountain without a direction. Whether it was a villa or a road, it would work out somehow. It might be because the raindrops started to corrode the soil, the road was slippery and I bit my lips unconsciously. Come to think of it, the rain there has always been cruel to me.

The heavy rain was making my sight worse. Something sparkled in the distance by the time when I questioned why I climbed that high up. Following the light, I glided down the mountain.

One, two, three, four…The lights were increasing one by one. I shrugged of the water droplets on my eyelashes and carefully examined the identity of the light. Into the distance, the windows of the villa were lighting up one by one.

It seemed Jang Yoonsung was searching all the rooms for me. I stopped there and stared blankly at Jang Yoonsung’s futile efforts.

Silly me. How else could he find someone in a dark room?

Jang Yoonsung who was searching every nook and cranny of the villa, I cursed at him and sat on my knees. My legs, which were stiff from walking, seemed to have lost all its strength all of a sudden. Jang Yoonsung, who seemed so clever, became as foolish as me as he brightened up every window of the villa.

No, that was not it.

I thought that might not be it. He might be turning  on the lights because he was afraid I might have lost my way in a dark place.

As if I had not assumed wrong, all the surrounding outdoor lights were eventually turned on and the villa shone brightly in the fog of heavy rain.

I got drenched in the heavy rain and I dragged my heavy body as I walked again. Onwards the light guided by my seeker.

When I came down to the foot of the mountain where Poongjak was barely able to climb previously, I could see Jang Yoonsung looked around with an umbrella and a flashlight from afar. How close should I get to him so that he could hear my voice through the rain? I already lost all my energy so it would be difficult to holler at him. Just a few steps, and I could hear my name faintly. Only then did I answer.

“I’m here!”

I’m here, I said I’m here! The flashlight that Jang Yoonsung carried turned to me at the sound of me barely shouting at him. Jang Yoonsung quickly ran towards me even though he couldn’t see it well because he was quite far away.

“Without even telling me…”

Unable to string the rest of his words, he quickly handed me an umbrella and torch.

“I’m already drenched.”

Even though I accepted the umbrella, I thought what use would it serve? Without explanation, Jang Yoonsung took off the cardigan he was wearing and rubbed my wet face.

“It’s okay, let’s wash up when we get to the villa.”

“First, wipe your face. For what purpose did you come here?”

“Deokgu ran towards the mountain, so to look for him…”

Jang Yoonsung who was patting the water flowing from here and there on his clothes and at my words concerning the mountain, he stopped his movements.

“Mountain? That’s what the dogs usually do here. Why were you chasing him dangerously even when it’s raining like this at night?”

“How do I know what the dogs do here? And…”

I had a lot to say back to the criticism. How could I wait for him to come back unharmed even when it was not my dog in the first place? I didn’t know he would go that far and it wasn’t raining when I entered the mountain plus, it wasn’t that dark then.

It would be mouth to mouth wrestling if I said so I couldn’t bring myself to pour my thoughts out. It  was because Jang Yoonsung’s touch against mine, the voice mixed with the rain were strangely familiar.

“…I’m sorry that I worried you.”

I couldn’t tell what kind of expression Jang Yoonsung was wearing after hearing my gentle apology. However with a much softer grip, he draped the cardigan over my head.

Jang Yoonsung was still staring at me, holding the hem of the cardigan, perhaps trying to calm down his rage that still remained. The torches were shining in the distance so we couldn’t even see each other’s faces properly.

“I said I’m sorry.”

I apologized again. Instead of saying it was okay, Jang Yoonsung took the umbrella again and the flashlight from my hands.

“It’s slippery so stick by my side and follow me.”

“Okay.”

I thought his anger would ease a little so I playfully clung to Jang Yoonsung’s back. Even though Jang Yoonsung didn’t ask me not to fall, I had to grab tightly onto the hem of his clothes. I pondered several times that I was glad that there were not many people here.

“But what about Deokgu? It’s raining even…”

“First, freshen up. I’ll give a call to the caretaker.”

There was nothing I could do immediately as well so I decided to do as I was told. That didn’t mean I was at ease. Jang Yoonsung said Deokgu knew his way around the mountain well but I didn’t know if it was the same during rainy weather. I washed my body and wiped all the water thoroughly. There was also a dryer in the bathroom but I came out in a hurry with a dry towel on my head.

Perhaps, still on the call, Jang Yoonsung was standing with his cell phone stuck to his ear.

“…Yes, no. That’s all right.”

With such a cold voice, saying it was alright… I stopped moving and stood still, wondering if he was talking with the owner of Deokgu.

“Yes, take care.”

Once Jang Yoonsung ended the call and looked at me, I asked with a restless voice.

“Is it the caretaker? What did he say? Is Deokgu okay?”

“The dog returned to his home.”

Jang Yoonsung tossed his phone on the sofa.

“Phew, that’s a relief.”

Only then did I shake my head which was wrapped in a towel, in relief. I was a bit reproachful that Deokgu ran towards the mountain but it was better than losing him. Jang Yoonsung approached me with a firm expression as if he was still angry.

“Hakyung.”

“What, again?”

I felt uneasy when he called my name. While muttering my name like that, Jang Yoonsung’s hand touched the towel that was covering my head. Jang Yoonsung pulled down the hem of the towel as if he was covering my face like he did earlier, when he wrapped the cardigan on my head.

He looked too serious to assume that he was joking. I cast a quizzical look. His lips, which had been still, began to move up and down.

“Hakyung, I…”

Jang Yoonsung scanned my face again with a blurred gaze. Somehow I felt strange and avoided looking at him.

“What?”

When I urged him with words, Jang Yoonsung wrinkled his forehead and continued to talk.

“I think I know a girl with this face.”

I thought I was ready but I guess I wasn’t. I suddenly raised my head without realizing it.

The eyes that met, widened. As if when the lights seeped into the shadows.

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nicotine

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