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    Plum Candy Love

    Vol. 1 Chapter 16


    Translated by Springlila
    Edited by Springlila


     

    After the closing ceremony, I and Lim Dae-han stepped out together through the back door. Lim Dae-han, who took the lead first, felt like he was filling the doors. In front of the door were Dae-han’s friends. Lim Dae-han slid his hand into his pocket with his workbook stuck on his side. I glanced at his back.

     

    “You guys go first. I’ll go home for a second.”

     

    “Home? Why don’t we just do it at your house?”

     

    Are they close enough to visit him at his home?

     

    “No way. Once you come, you’ll be dead.”

     

    But, that’s the most comfortable place.

     

    “Anyway, go and take a seat. I’m leaving.”

     

    Lim Dae-han turned slightly. I stood behind him and took a step back, and then we walked together. We left the building together and walked uphill towards the back door. We did not hold hands when the day was bright. Because there was a student from the same school nearby when we first started holding hands, I asked Dae-han not to.

     

    We walked together. Even though the route is always the same, walking together in broad daylight was a little awkward. We obviously went together yesterday. I glanced at Lim Dae-han. They were probably close enough for them to go to his home and study together. I was hesitant to ask, but Dae-han was the one who spoke first.

     

    “Ki Young-hyun.”

     

    “…Yeah.”

     

    “Shall we go eat ice cream?”

     

    “Huh?”

     

    “Or let’s go eat. Aren’t you hungry?”

     

    I felt empty for some reason since I couldn’t hold anything. I fiddled with my fingers. And I asked very carefully.

     

    “Aren’t you going to study with your friends?”

     

    “I can go later.”

     

    “…”

     

    “Oh, right, you should study.”

     

    “Then…”

     

    I stopped and turned to face Dae-han. Dae-han stopped as well and gazed down at me. I mentioned it first before Dae-han said it again.

     

    “Shall we go eat?”

     

    I reached out and stopped in mid-air. Lim Dae-han’s gaze turned to my fingertips. He reached up with his huge hands to grab it, then dropped it again. Lim Dae-han looked down again and made eye contact with me.

     

    “What do you want to eat?”

     

    “Let’s eat pizza. Do you like pizza?”

     

    It’s a good thing I brought money!

     

    I was excited at the thought of standing alone in front of the cash register and handling money. I’ll pay you back in full right away… Although it may not be possible now, I will repay it one by one in this way.

     

    Lim Dae-han nodded at my words.

     

    “Let’s eat two plates.”

     

    I’m sure I’ll be able to repay you… I believe there is a possibility.

     

    ***

     

    As expected, Lim Dae-han ate well.  Just because the person next to me eats a lot doesn’t mean he’s a glutton, but it was incredible. There was no one around me who ate as much as Dae-han.

     

    When I ate one piece, Lim Dae-han would eat two pieces or even three pieces at most.

     

    Half a slice of pizza fell off every time it was squashed. He would wipe the oil off his mouth with a tissue if it smudged around his mouth, and it wasn’t unpleasant or dirty.

     

    As I drank the cola from the cup with a straw, I frowned slightly at the carbonated beverage. I was hungry, yet two pieces of pizza had filled me up.

     

    “You seem to be eating really well.”

     

    I told Dae-han while chewing on the straw. Lim Dae-han, who was carrying my bowl and taking pizza with the pizza turner, came to a sudden stop.

     

    “… … .”

     

    “… Why?”

     

    I asked him as he looked at me with a surprised expression. Lim Dae-han dropped the thing he was holding. I didn’t understand why, so I ate pickles with a fork while waiting for him to say something.

     

    “You don’t like it? That I’m eating a lot?”

     

    “N-no…?  I don’t hate it. It’s good to eat a lot. I can’t even eat well, so…”

     

    Maybe I just said something wrong. I took the triangular pizza turner he was holding and put the pizza he was about to give me in his bowl.

     

    “Eat a lot.”

     

    I was wondering if this was how parents felt. He was better than me who couldn’t eat well. Even my older brother once advised me to go because seeing me eat makes him lose his appetite. When he sees Dae-han eating, he’ll probably like it.

     

    Dae-han pouted his lips when I handed him the pizza while smiling. However, as soon as he put his head down, he became completely engrossed in the pizza.

     

    I just stared at him as he ate.

     

    I guess he would go to his friends after eating. Studying, playing, laughing, and chatting…

     

    My lips naturally dried up. I asked carefully.

     

    “Are you going to study with your friends after eating?”

     

    “Yeah.”

     

    “You must be really close. That they want to study at your home.”

     

    “Do you want to come too?”

     

    “N-no, that’s not necessarily…”

     

    I’ve never ever had a strange thought. The scene in the infirmary was never pictured in my mind. Lim Dae-han nodded as if he had foreseen it.

     

    “Next time.”

     

    “Yeah?”

     

    “When you go out with me.”

     

    I got up from my seat.

     

    “W-wait, I’ll go to the bathroom for a second.”

     

    I went to the bathroom after telling Dae-han. I looked at myself in the mirror while washing my hands. I thought my face would have turned red, and it did as expected. I patted my cheek with a damp hand. After trying to regain my breath, I returned and saw Dae-han conversing with the clerk. The clerk smiled softly.

     

    I used to think of Dae-han as a gangster before we became close, but there are times when I understand that’s not the case while we’re together. He was good at joking with the teacher, playing with his friends, and communicating effectively. Even when the teachers gave self-study, they would come over to class and have a conversation with Lim Dae-han. The aunts who served meals openly liked Dae-han, and all of his friends liked him. And… Me too.

     

    I returned to my seat and sat down. I asked Dae-han carefully.

     

    “What did you talk about?”

     

    “Ah.”

    “…”

     

    “I ordered a pizza to go.”

     

    How much do you plan to eat?!

     

    Of course, I didn’t tell him I was paying today, but the amount was excessive. I’ve never spent more than 100,000 won on a single meal before. But there wasn’t anything I can do about it. I made the decision to pay it.

     

    The pizza that Dae-han had ordered arrived after quite some time. It was a box with a red string around it. Lim Dae-han grabbed it and walked over to the pay register. Two of the pizzas had been neatly emptied. While I was eating, there was roughly half of what was left.

     

    I was about to take out two 50,000 won from my wallet when Lim Dae-han handed out the card. The employee would prefer to choose a card than cash. And as I expected, the employee received the card and quickly completed the calculation. It cost more than 100,000 won. I cautiously opened my mouth when we went out and returned home together.

     

    “…I was going to buy it today.”

     

    Lim Dae-han looked at me with strange eyes.

     

    “Why would you?”

     

    Rather, he asked me.

     

    “Because you always bought me food… this time I got an allowance as well.”

     

    It’s a defense of its own. I didn’t want him to pay for everything. It didn’t take very long from the pizza store to my house. It was a little disappointing. But we can meet tomorrow. Dae-han merely smiled strangely as I dragged my steps out of regret. It wasn’t a funny story, but he keep smiling.

     

    “I have a lot of money.”

     

    “I also have a lot!”

     

    I got upset and raised my voice. With a workbook in one hand and a pizza box in the other, Lim Dae-han asked.

     

    “How much do you get?”

     

    I made a V shape with my hand as I said. “200,000 won.” I brought it up quite proudly. Even today, my father gives me a significant sum of 100,000 won when he tells me I did well on the exam. “Really?” Lim Dae-han replied half-heartedly. I also asked Dae-han.

     

    “How much do you get?”

     

    “I…”

     

    Lim Dae-han lowered his head. He whispered so quietly that only I could hear him.

     

    “…”

     

    I paused in my tracks as I heard the amount.  Lim Dae-han, who was one step ahead, shrugged his shoulders.

     

    “S-seriously?”

     

    “Yeah. So let’s go.”

     

    Lim Dae-han took another step forward. I hurriedly took a step forward and settled next to Dae-han. It’s not that I come from a low-income family, but it’s the first time among my peers that I’ve ever received such a lot of money as pocket money.

     

    “Do you really get that much? Are you rich?”

     

    I couldn’t believe it, so I pleaded for an explanation and walked alongside him. It remained the same till I entered the apartment and walked to the front of my unit. I knew where this place was as I stood in front of the community veranda, and I realized it was time to part. I asked him with a surprised expression.

     

    “H-how do you know my house?”

     

    “You came out of there every morning.”

     

    “…”

     

    I never expected to bring him here so naturally. But there’s nothing I can do. I’ve been acting like a fool.

     

    I took a deep breath out. I couldn’t do anything and said, “Bye.” As I was ready to walk in, Lim Dae-han handed me the pizza box he was carrying.

     

    “What is it?”

     

    “Eat it at home. While studying.”

     

    “… I can’t eat all of this.”

     

    “Just take it.”

     

    I accepted the box in Lee Dae-hand han’s as soon as he made an impression on me. As soon as he looked so stern and he frowned, I instantly formed the obedience position. We’re getting pretty close now, but it’s still a little scary. Apart from that, it’s pretty good.

     

    With one hand free, Lim Dae-han grabbed my hand and held it down. He gripped my hand tightly.

     

    “It hurt.”

     

    Lim Dae-han gazed at my face as I stomped my feet. Then, as if the work was done, he said, “I’m leaving.” and walked away. I went into the house after watching Lim Dae-han disappear until the end.

    ***


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