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    Plum Candy Love

    Vol. 1 Chapter 22


    Translated by Springlila
    Edited by Springlila


     

    This is not a coincidence.

     

    Lim Dae-han was seated behind me. After glancing at the names written on the blackboard, the teacher looked at Lim Dae-han for a long time. Then he looked at Lim Dae-han once again, before he looked at me.

     

    To be honest, it was a pity I couldn’t be Dae-han’s deskmate, but it was nice to have him even in the back seat. Lim Sang-han, who was sitting next to me, raised an eyebrow and asked me as I smirked and smiled unknowingly.

     

    “What makes you so happy?”

     

    I just shook my head in response to his question. Honestly, it was still a little scary, just a little.

     

    Lim Dae-han and I moved to the first row. Jung Ji-pil was the third row. While pretending to be pretty poor, he took the middle spot and opened a chat with the guys around him. I also briefly greeted my deskmate and prepared for the first period, and someone pressed my back hard from behind. Obviously, it was Lim Dae-han.

     

    I opened my eyes and turned around.

     

    “Don’t poke me. Because it hurts…”

     

    Without even realizing it, the end of my voice had become blunt. Lim Dae-han put a ballpoint pen between his index and middle fingers like a cigarette. It seemed to be a habit.

     

    “Are you going to the night self-study after school today?”

     

    I nodded cautiously as I looked at the ballpoint pen between his fingers.

     

    “Because tomorrow is Saturday. I’m going to study till late today…”

     

    “Ah.”

     

    Lim Dae-han was a bit embarrassed. I asked him carefully.

     

    “Why?”

     

    “Hey, Dae-han-ah, you know we’re going today, right? We waited for the exam period to be over. Yep yep.”

     

    “Ah, come on. Talk to me.”

     

    Lim Dae-han’s friend abruptly interrupted our conversation. I immediately raised my head. Lim Dae-han’s friend was a little taller than me, but he was skinny, and he always wore a black cool protective layer beneath his summer uniform. Others said it’s because of his tattoos, but I’m not sure if that’s true. And he only lowered his tail in front of Lim Dae-han, while cursed without hesitation at the other guys.  

     

    “…”

     

    I fiddled with my fingers while silently hesitating. To be honest, I don’t want to play with guys like a bully, but I can’t say anything. Also, we aren’t even dating. I should have kissed and sorted out our relationship yesterday, but I couldn’t. I was blinded by the skinship in the morning, so I missed the timing because I was flirting. Even if we were dating, I would have been nosy if I told Dae-han not to play with his friends. But it was the same for Dae-han.

     

    Lim Dae-han looked at me as I pouted my lips. I avoided his gaze as soon as I pressed my lips together. That’s something he’s doing on purpose.

     

    While smiling helplessly, I spoke carefully after his friend returned to his seat. I placed my hand on the back of his hand and pressed it with my finger. I gave him a lot of strength, but Lim Dae-han didn’t even show any signs of pain.

     

    “You can hang out with your friends today.”

     

    “What?”

     

    “Have fun since the exam is over. You already hang out with me yesterday, too.”

     

    No one said anything because of the freedom of late-night self-study. First and foremost, Lim Dae-han had to stay at school until 10 p.m. every day because of me. My suggestion was good enough for Lim Dae-han. But I pretended to be unconcerned for a while. Come on. I can hide it.

     

    I took out a ballpoint pen in Lim Dae-han’s hand and drew a circle like he did at the library a few days ago.

     

    “Have fun. Really.

     

    Lim Dae-han shifted his gaze to the back of his hand. A black circle was drawn in the center of the back of his hand, which was slightly darker than mine, who had lighter skin. Lim Dae-han, who had been staring at the mark, quickly smiled. I smiled because he doesn’t usually smile like that.

     

    *** 

     

    The class leader’s mother unexpectedly gave sandwiches and drinks to the students who were studying at school, saying that we had a hard time in the final exam. The ingredients and sauce between the bread were mixed together, making it a good snack to eat during a boring night of self-study. In one hand, I held a sandwich, and in the other, a mechanical pencil. After a while, I set down the mechanical pencil in my hand. I took my time looking out the window. Unlike inside the classroom, where students were enthralled by their studies, it was peaceful outside.

     

    I couldn’t concentrate and was bored for some reason.

     

    Normally, there would be no time to be bored. I had to see Lim Dae-han sleeping drooping next to me, seeing Lim Dae-han holding his book with his hair tied up,  and when he got bored, I had to respond to Lim Dae-han who talked to me in some way.

     

    After only a few hours without Lim Dae-han, I suddenly felt a huge emptiness in Lim Dae-han’s seat. I wrapped the paper from the sandwich I had just finished. I then placed it in the corner of my desk. I turned around and grabbed his usual peach arm pillow. I took the picture while clutching the top of its pointed head. Then I wrapped my arm around my side and buried my cheek in my hand.

     

    It was strangely soft and cozy.

     

    I could see why he fell asleep with his face buried in this pillow. As I stretched out, I reached for my cell phone from the corner of my desk. It was the moment I looked at the screen. Ting. A message popped up. It was Lim Dae-han.

     

    Lim Dae-han: [What are you doing?] 19:37

     

    I had to respond right away because I was in the chatbox. I paused on the keypad. Then I started typing.

     

    Me: [Self study…] 19:40

     

    Me: [The class leader bought me a sandwich] 19:41

     

    Lim Dae-han: [Only you?] 19:42

     

    Me: [No… He bought it for everyone.] 19:43

     

    Lim Dae-han: [Ah] 19:44

     

    That was the entire message. I waited for another message, but it never arrived. I have a pleasant conversation with Lim Dae-han, but what kind of relationship did we have? Like the sticky outside temperature, I became soggy. I slowly typed a message into the chat box where there was no longer any conversation.

     

    Me: [We did it yesterday] 19:47

     

    Me: [What will happen to us now?] 19:49

     

    Me: [I wanted to say this today, but I couldn’t…] 19:51

     

    When I saw ‘1’ disappear, I knew he’d read the message. However, Lim Dae-han did not reply. It was strange and I was a little disappointed. I put my phone down and flipped over the peach arm pillow I was holding in my arms. I picked my phone again. I didn’t want to give attention to my phone, but I kept giving it.

     

    Is this how it feels to like someone? I felt like an adolescent boy.

     

    Come to think of it, I didn’t experience any symptoms of puberty. First and foremost, I was terrified of my brother. When I tried to be a little shady, like saying “Hey, you bastard,” my brother would get angry if I got caught saying that.

     

    Anyway, I picked up my phone, put it down, and repeated it several times. And around the end of the first period of night self study, Lim Dae-han’s name appeared on the phone screen.

     

    “…”

     

    I clenched my chin indifferently, then the ringtone rang again, and I brought the phone to my ear.

     

    “Hello.”

     

    It was a low, gloomy voice that I did not know. He was panting over the phone. I took off my cell phone from my ears, wondering if it was a mistake. “Ah, shit.” There was still a thick swear word and a panting. I walked around the corner of the hallway, putting my phone in my ear as if I were hiding. The hallway was quite dark because the lights were turned off.

     

    “H-hello…?”

     

    Unlike just now, I asked again carefully.

     

    “Isn’t it Lim Dae-han?”

     

    – Ki Young-hyun.

     

    Huu…

     

    “Yes,” I said, responding to the sound of quiet breathing. Lim Dae-han called my name again over the phone.

     

    – Ki Young-hyun.

     

    “Yeah, I’m listening.”

     

    Come out through the back door.

     

    “… Now?”

     

    – Yeah. Pack up.

     

    Lim Dae-han called me despite the fact that he knew I was at school. I grabbed my phone with both hands and moved it closer to me.

     

    Don’t tell me…

     

    “Are you at school now?”

     

    – Yeah, I’m almost late for cleaning the house. So come out now.

     

    Phew. I sighed. He always does whatever he wants. I muttered to myself. But I ended up returning to my seat. My phone was still in my hand, and I could feel Jung Ji-pil approaching.

     

    “Oh… Hyung, I’m leaving now…”

     

    – That’s nonsense.

     

    “Yes, wait a little bit.”

     

    Jung Ji-pil asked quietly, ‘Is that your brother?’ I nodded cautiously. I took my mouth off the phone and said, “My brother is home now.” It was better than being bothered for no reason. Jung Ji-pil, who is afraid of my brother, also nodded and waved his hand.

     

    “Let’s see each other alive, Ki Young-hyun.”

     

    I frowned at the strange joke.

     

    ***


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