December Chapter 6
“Just. It looks nice.”
He muttered and couldn’t take his eyes off my scarf. I double checked my scarf that I had been wearing for more than five years. My mother said she bought it at a department store when it was on sale, but was it from a luxury brand? When I was shocked that I had been neglecting a luxury scarf for the last five years, he let go and lowered his hand.
“Let’s keep in touch.”
“Yeonwoo, why do you keep staring at your phone while you’re eating?’
I put down my phone at my mother’s words.
“Is there someone who will call you?’
No. I shook my head with rice in my mouth. The father on the other side talked about the topic he wanted to bring up while watching me eat.
“Your mother and I will go down to the countryside this weekend.It’s still winter so there’s nothing much to do right away so I’ll go back and forth however I won’t be able to come for a while when I start working there are many houses that need repairing.”
Yes, I nodded again. My father had been suffering all that time because he was swindled by someone with whom he considered a close brother a year ago and recently decided to go down to his hometown. At that time, the debt was still debt so it would be the same even if he went down there but he couldn’t stop himself.
I knew from my father that it was harder to rebuild a broken heart than to fill up the money he had to pay back. My father was a person who was usually not that bothered even if things happened to him but it took a year to redeem what he had lost so it was a big blow. My father especially blamed himself for being deceived by that person. Perhaps the hardest thing about overcoming hardship is to forgive yourself. Because I was like that, too. Even if I knew it was my fault, it was not easy to forgive myself because I became pathetic and ugly in those bad situations.
Lying in bed at night reminded me of myself during the day, when I was afraid of that Alpha. The uncle of that middle school student. I came to a strange neighborhood to acquire a part-time job and read for a few hours in the library where I visited for the first time, but all I could remember was him, whom I only saw for five minutes. I checked my phone, which had no new messages and put it down next to me. It seemed like he didn’t like me at the first sight so let’s not work myself up. Well, he was a dominant Alpha who didn’t matter to me.
The temperature was one degree higher than yesterday but the wind came in with chilliness and mercilessly swept the people on the road like a tank unit. When I got off the bus and entered the library’s study room, my body melted and the warmth spread in my body. I opened the book which became soft as a rice cake once it thawed.
The library was free on weekday mornings but more than half of the seats were available because it was the exam period soon. The interior was quiet except for the sound of turning pages and pens. Not long after the library opened even though many people used the table, it was still shiny as new.
The environment was not that important for studying but that atmosphere was inspiring. The inspiration helped because it was not easy to sit down and read books because I did not study for the last three years. I was determined to concentrate on my studies that day. However, less than five minutes after sitting down, a message appeared on my cell phone.
– You should have greeted me if you came here.
It was my friend from university. As he wanted, I asked what he was up to.
– You have frostbite on your brain.
– I really want to delay my graduation. I want to graduate late. I want to be a student forever. The brains of graduates are suffering from job stress and are similar to those who have frostbite on their brain. I suggested a realistic way.
– It’s not too late. Give up on the final exam.
– It’s not that I didn’t think about it. But I think they will graduate me no matter how much of a mess my grades are.
I smiled and wiped my laughter at the next text that followed.
– The shameless Alpha who bullied you, his grades were a mess but still he received an award and graduated. They cut slack for dominant Alphas, anyway.
I heard the news. Since I didn’t know what to reply, I changed the subject.
– Since you are a Beta, don’t let it slide and ask them to expel them.
– Our Yeonwoo…you have become strong.
I laughed without making a sound and then turned my eyes to the book. After that, that guy messaged me a couple of times. I occasionally texted him back and scribbled on the book of my major. After a while, a message came up again and I turned my eyes on it without much thought, however I stopped breathing once I saw it.
– Where are you?
There was no introduction but three words and as soon as I saw it, I knew who it was. A small tremor like goosebumps wrapped my heart like a cloth. I checked the number after looking at those words for a long time. He was the uncle of the middle school student. I was really contacted by him. I sent the answer half surprised and half puzzled.
– The library.
I stared at the screen until it turned black and no answer came afterwards. Even though I had to turn to the book again, I kept glancing at my cell phone. But after a long time, there was still no contact. I guess he was just asking.
Did he mean for me to contact him if I noticed an Alpha student? I kept overthinking and turned my cell phone upside down because I didn’t want to be bothered about it. About 20 minutes after I buried my nose into the book, someone pulled out a chair and sat down next to me.
If it weren’t for this one thing, I wouldn’t have cared. There was a faint smell of winter forest. Surprised, I looked up and met eyes with him, who just took his seat. Huh? Unlike me, who turned stiff at the moment, he greeted me with a slight nod. I bowed my head quickly too. How did he get here? I sent him a message because I couldn’t ask him out loud because it was a library.
– Is coffee okay?
The vending machine coffee in a paper cup was quite warm so I wrapped it in my hand. I waited for it to cool down. That way, I could drink it in one shot and wake myself up. I tried not to be conscious but I couldn’t help but worry about the Dominant Alpha in front of me.
In addition, his pheromone scent was pleasant even though I could only feel it faintly when I would concentrate on it so I raised my wariness without realizing. I had met Dominant Alpha’s in my life but I was never attracted to someone’s scent like that before. I pushed the chair back slightly so it wouldn’t show.
“Are you here to catch the Alpha high school student?”
Looking at the paper cup like me, he raised his eyes and smiled slightly.
Yesterday, I had an impression that he was cold because of the way he was staring at me, however, he looked different when he smiled. His smiling face made him look younger than I assumed. I was staring at his face and guessing how old he was, but he avoided my stares and pushed his bangs back with his hand.
Come to think of it, was his hairstyle different from yesterday? It seemed the bangs that came down naturally without parting were styled with one side of the forehead being covered like it was trimmed. The neat hairstyles and the short peacoat he wore made him look so dashing that I wondered if he had another meeting to attend to. I was a little embarrassed wearing the same padding I wore yesterday and the sweatshirt that had been through some years. The already awkward atmosphere felt more awkward because I had never cared about my clothes and how it looked before anyone.
“I’m here to study.”
Oh, right. This was a library. His purpose was reasonable and I nodded and paused.
“Then why did you want to see me?”
“I need to find the Alpha high school student.”
“Wouldn’t the student be at school, dozing off right now?’
He grinned softly, pursing his lips. It wasn’t a big deal but laughter spread to his eyes as if it was something funny. I was embarrassed seeing his different demeanor compared to yesterday and smiled awkwardly. He asked back, pleasantly.
“Are you saying that since he is an Alpha, he isn’t studying and sleeping instead?”
I was caught off guard and burst into laughter.
“I do not have any intention to criticize Alphas.”
“It’s not a criticism though.”
I was rather ashamed after his serious reply. No matter how much it came off a a joke, it was a wrong word that was swept away by prejudice. In front of an alpha. However, I hesitated and missed the timing to apologize and fumbled with the paper cup.
He was also holding a paper cup on the table with one hand and his fingers were long so the paper cup looked as small as a soju cup. Your hands are big. I looked at his hands as I was possessed and being embarrassed quickly, I took a sip of the coffee.
“When did you come to the library?”
“Oh!…Hm…About half an hour ago?”
I was going to drink the coffee all at once but when I was suddenly being questioned, I was about to spill the coffee like a 3 year old. Fortunately I had a handkerchief in my pocket so I quickly took it out and wiped my lips but the coffee quickly permeated my shirt. I had to attend work that afternoon. I was trying to remove the stain with the handkerchief but before I knew it, he bought a tissue and wiped the coffee from my chest together.
“That’s fine. I’ll do it.”
He raised his hands in chagrin yet absorbed the coffee by pressing the tissues down on my clothes. I was embarrassed to spill the coffee, making my shirt dirty but his hands were on my clothes and when he pressed on my chest, my body stiffened with tension.
“It’s really okay.”
hope you enjoy my translations. please do not share on SNS otherwise all of my translations will be taken down. thank you!