The heart is more and more hotter like being burned by a fire, Jiwon cannot stop rubbing his hands so as to relieve the feeling of intense tension that isconstantly rounding him up.
– Why are they so long?
Jiwon is very impatient now. Jaeduk knows that, because he is also as nervous as Jiwon. The sweat streams out from his forehead, and the back of hisshirt is wet too. Jaeduk frowns slightly. His heart is beating harder and harder. Jaejin and Suwon have appeared.
The shadows of Jaejin and Suwon shows up from afar. Their faces are so puzzling. They are always express their attitude by the weird and unusual waysso Jaeduk never can guess what they think.
– Jaejin, Suwon, how is it going on?
Jiwon pushes Jaeduk out of the car and hurriedly asks.
– Jiwon hyung…
Jiwon knits his brows. His face suddenly turns pale even though he has not really understood anything yet.
– WHAT’S HAPPEN? SAY IT!!!
The atmosphere becomes suffocating that crushes Jiwon’s heart and tortures it utterly. His face’s skin flushes up and every nervure is visible on the back of his hands. He seems to be able to faint at any moment. Jaeduk thinks about the worst result. Observing Suwon’s unintelligible face then turning his eyes to Jaejin, Jiwon thinks … he has understood all.
– No way! That’s no way, right?!!!
– Calm down, hyung… – Jaejin tried to reassure Jiwon falling down.
Jiwon’s knees immediately drop on the ground, tears begin streaming down on his face. Having not bother about anything around himself, Jiwon screams out loud. He feels regret, very regret, because he did not hold Sunghoon and also could not fulfil his responsibility for protecting his love.
“Sunghoon … That is impossible”.
– Huyng, I have not finished yet.
– We have to keep looking for Sunghoon. That person is not him.
Ji Won opens his eyes wide – the eyes still remaining traces of tear – and looks at Su Won. His fit of anger explodes because he has just suffered from a heart attack.
– Ya!!! What are you doing, Suwon? When we were in deep water, did you give a non-committal answer to me?
Jiwon wants to rush violently at Suwon for retaliating but seeing Suwon just shows his teeth and laugh, overjoyed so Jiwon is also resigned to giving up.
– Haizza. You have threaten us with death, you know?
– I’m sorry.
Suwon bends his body forward.
– Ya Lee Jaejin, did you seduce Suwon?
– No… no. *embarrassed*
Jaeduk feels relieved in mind, tells off Suwon and Jaejin. Ji Won thinks that he has just taken off a burden. Remembering the last moment, Jiwon cannot believe how fast he can fall down like that. Because of Sunghoon? Is Jiwon really afraid of losing Sunghoon? Jiwon thinks he is totally mad. However, after all, the question is still “Where is Sunghoon? Is he okay?”. Everything that is going on on Ji Won’s mind makes him tired, but until the day seeing Sunghoon with self’s own eyes, Jiwon will not let himself give up.
Everything turns out all right. Jiwon returns to the company when the lunch break has been over. Waiting for news from the early morning so Jiwon is also hungry, but he does not want to eat. Back in the chair, he accidentally sees a photo in an opening small drawer.
When he was 17 years old and Sunghoon was 15 years old, both of them chanced on each other in Hawaii when they went there to study abroad. Jiwon never forgets the image of a cute Korean schoolboy with chubby cheeks, curious eyes and a smile like sunshine entering his class in the morning. Jiwon was a lazy student who came to the classroom just to lay his head down on the table for sleeping and Sunghoon was asked to wake up Jiwon by the teacher.
– Where do you live?
That was the question Jiwon gave to Sunghoon as an acquaintance. Jiwon’s mind still imprints the image of two people at that moment. That look and that smile has left Jiwon and gone away for a long time.
Looking at every line on the photo so long, a lot of beautiful memories as a slow film make Ji Won touched. After leaving Hawaii, Jiwon and Sunghoon were separated, until Jiwon heard that Sunghoon was being induced into the criminal world. Jiwon risked his life to save Sunghoon many times and then he realized he loved Sunghoon. He really loved Sunghoon, but it was still hard to accept Sunghoon’s temper when Sunghoon sometimes still sworeand they argued. A period later, suddenly Sunghoon was not so anymore, because he wanted to change to be loved Jiwon. Ji Won bursts of laughing. That was very interesting.
In spite of the hundreds of thoughts are still appearing in every corner of the brain, Jiwon continues with so many books being piled up in front of him.
– Jaeduk, Suwon, do you want to go out for drinking alcohol?
– Hyung, drinking alcohol with you means that until we don’t know the way to coming home anymore, that is only called “the end” – Su Won grumbles. He always likes to grumble to others like that.
– Jiwon hyung, if you agree to go for an hour and then we will be with you, okay?
– No problem. Only one hour.
Ji Won quickly accepts Jaeduk’s request. It is simple for him. Jiwon does not know why today he suddenly has the interest to drink alcohol, perhaps in his heart still contains some complicated feelings that hard to explain.
– Hyung, come on. It’s been over one hour. You agreed and then rejected yourself.
Jaeduk urges Ji Won to go home. Jaeduk does not dare to drink much because he has to drive.
Su Won sits next to Jaeduk, crosses his arms and looks at Jiwon moving from side to side. Suwon shakes his head, feels both funny and pity. He whispers into Jaeduk’s ear:
– Do you think Ji Won will remind the problem of buying my car nearly 10 years ago to blame me again?
– Maybe. You should go home first.
– Go with me. Let him stay alone.
– What’s wrong? – Jaeduk is surprised. Suwon may also tipsy. – Why do you think of leaving Jiwon hyung alone?
Su Won puts the chin on his hands, stares at Jaeduk’s innocent eyes. JaeDuk looks like a dazed deer in the forest of dry leaves. Suwon bursts into laughing and replies:
– I will take a taxi. Drive carefully!
Jaeduk nods his head for approval. Everytime Jang Suwon wants to court fondling from Jaeduk, he will ask Jaeduk to take him home, but Jaeduk never does not carry Suwon. They always go everywhere together.
Jaeduk sighs, stands up and pulls Ji Won’s arm. He says loudly:
– Hyung, hurry up. You drank alcohol too much so how to drive your car?
Busan’s voice sounds like Jaeduk’s blame makes Jiwon startled. Jiwon holds his head up, his dim eyes watch Jaeduk trying to help him sit up. Suddenly Jiwon feels headache and vomits that make Jaeduk panic and confused.
– Hey, lead him away. He makes my stall dirty.
– Yes. I’m sorry.
Jaeduk is such gentle and humble. Jiwon laughs in his dream. If that is Sunghoon, will the stall’s owner must hear Sunghoon volley curses from the east to the west? However, it was so strange when during ten past years, Sunghoon rarely asked Ji Won to go out for eating. Sunghoon knew cooking, and often did nan-ja-wat-seul for Jiwon – a Chinese dish Jiwon loved so much. Sunghoon, in Jiwon’s eyes, is a good kid but too stubborn in self-control.
Everything around is like reversed, Jiwon falls asleep in the car and he is taken home by whole-hearted Jaeduk.
At noon in the next morning, Ji Won wakes up. Having a ringing in his head makes him extremely uncomfortable.
– Oh my goodness. It’s late.
Jiwon tries to stand up but loses his balance and sits down on the bed.
– Hey Eun Jiwon.
Jiwon hears Jaejin’s voice echoing in his ear.
– Let me worry about the company today. I told your mom that you weren’t well.
– Thank you, Jaejin.
Lee Jaejin also comes from Busan like Jaeduk who is an eccentric but non-talkative character. Jaejin has the kind of thoughts and rules of living extraordinary that people cannot find out. He is not good at business when he used to close a small restaurant but in return, he is very kind. Jaejin knows caring about others and he also can quickly acquire the work to do, so Ji Won still entrusts to Jaejin every time he cannot be present at the company. Jiwon has never stop feeling proud of the brothers who have appeared in his life during the past few years. They are like the most precious gift God has given to him after his study in Hawaii.
The doorbell rings. Jae Duk’s familiar voice resounds:
– Jiwon hyung, open the door.
– I’m coming.
– Tada ~ coffee for you here.
Jaeduk smiles and gives the plastic cup stagnating cold water outside to Jiwon. Besides Jaeduk, it cannot lack Suwon, of course. Jiwon sniggers and says:
– Do you have to carry with you your debt all day?
– Huh? – Jaeduk slowly understands then turns to look at Suwon glaring at Ji Won’s face.
– What’s up, Jang Suwon?
Ji Won takes a sip of coffee, teases Su Won cheerfully. Jiwon is taking revenge on Suwon for his non-committal answer on Jiwon’s fear yesterday.
– Jiwon yah, from now on I will never let Jaeduk go drinking with you anymore.
– Every time you promise and then you’re completely drunk that still don’t want to back home. You are really weird.
Ji Won feels like there are a lot of emotions running around his body. Jiwon cannot remember what he said, how he acted when he getting drunk, but Jiwon still believes Jaeduk and Suwon can be the holds for him when he needs to be shared.
– I’m sorry. Is it okay? I will learn from experience.
– Learn what? Huh?
– Hey Suwon. – Jaeduk hurriedly stops. – New day has just come, have you come here to pick a quarrel with Jiwon hyung?
Su Won goes away. Jiwon and Jaeduk looks at each other and laughs. Jang Suwon looks cool, but still be childish.
– Thank you for buying me coffee. Now I have to go out.
– I will come home. Goodbye hyung.
Ji Won puts on a white shirt, slowly combs his hair hanging down. Standing in front of the mirror, Jiwon suddenly thinks that this style looks appropriate to him then smiles wryly and leaves. Will Eun Jiwon today be like a handsome man in a love novel?
Walking slowly through the busy streets, Jiwon finds himself a new source of life. The rhythm of the busy Seoul, it has been a long time that he has not enjoyed it, after many days so dark in his marriage. Suddenly Jiwon remembers a beautiful day more than two years ago, when Sunghoon wheedledinto going out, although being tired of work, Jiwon agreed; the same day, two people stood in front of each other and promised that they will never let their relationship over. Everything… really has the potential to change.
Waiting for the traffic light turning red to cross the street, Jiwon suddenly sees a familiar person appearing on the opposite sidewalk.
Jiwon dashes from his sidewalk and runs as flying that does not mind about the cars rushing at him and hooting noisy. All his life, Jiwon does not believe he will misjudge Sunghoon with someone else. Kang Sunghoon, always be the only one.
The sound of the car stopping hurriedly makes Ji Won panic. Sitting down and embracing his head as a reflex action, Ji Won is “petrified”. The red light starts, the passers-by looks at him with their curious and strange eyes, there are whispers somewhere that he intends to do a commit suicide or his mind has problems.
– Hyung, are you okay?
Suddenly, someone extends his hand to help Jiwon. A little panic, Jiwon quickly grabs it and stands up.
The boy who is standing in front of Jiwon is Kang Sunghoon.
– Are you OK? Enter the road-side.
Ji Won notices something very unusual. Following Sunghoon enter inside, Jiwon suddenly grabs Sunghoon’s shoulder and twists him round. That is really Sunghoon. Jiwon hugs Sunghoon tightly although Sunghoon struggles to escape his arms.
– Hey. What are you doing?
– Where did you go in the last two years? Do you know how much I miss you, Kang Sunghoon?
– Why do you know my name?
– What’s happen Sunghoon?
Sunghoon takes a step back. Seeing his face dazed like a kid facing a strange adult, Jiwon thinks of something unsafe.
“What the hell is going on? Don’t you recognize me?”
– You know my name. Who are you?
– You know my name. Who are you?
– Sunghoon, what are you doing here?
From afar, there is a tall and thin man wearing a black suit and carrying a briefcase for those who working in the workplace. Glancing at the serious appearance can also expect him to be a successful businessman.
– Jiwon hyung?
Ko Jiyong, the childhood friend of Jiwon, Jaejin, Jaeduk, Sunghoon and Suwon. The six-member group was attached to each other as shadow figures during the twenties, when the group’s eldest member, Jiwon, was only 18. Seven years later, Ji Yong abruptly went abroad to pursue a career in business. From that moment, all lost contact with him. In Jiwon and the rest of people’s subconscious, Jiyong’s images became afire on ice reminding them of the warmth and joy of youth. Jiyong’s appearance at this moment is too sudden to Jiwon.
– Finally we meet again – Ji Won smiles and says hello. – How are you?
– I’m fine. And you?
– Me too.
Suddenly Jiwon sees Sunghoon panic and advance towards Jiyong. The small figure hiding behind the long and large back makes Jiwon’s heart like being stifled so he cannot breathe.
– Tell me what happened.
Three people go to a nearby coffee shop. Jiyong is moderate and he looks very swell like a true CEO. Jiyong also does not want to waste a lot of time, he begins the problem Jiwon wants to hear by saying:
– Sunghoon temporarily lost his memory.
– What do you say?
Jiwon is haggard. The news likes “a bolt from the blue” that makes him sink deeply into silence.
Jiyong says that two weeks ago, he accidentally saw Sunghoon lying unconscious near a dark alley when he went home late after work. Recognizing that was Sunghoon, Jiyong stopped the car and took him to the hospital. Later, Ji Yong heard the doctor said that Sunghoon had lost his memory temporarily due to a huge emotional shock. Since then, Jiyong started caring for Sunghoon but there was no way to remind Sunghoon of himself and those who around him to find his family.
– I’m really sorry that our previous photos, after a clean-up, I lost them. I know we all cherish those happy days, and now it will be good for Sunghoon to remember everyone, but…
– Don’t have to blame yourself, Jiyong. It was because I couldn’t protect him. But why didn’t you tell the police?
– I hope you understand me. I only thought how to make Sunghoon gradually be well again at my house that didn’t want to take him to the police station. The police may be makes difficulties and scare for him.
– I see…
Ji Won slightly looks at Sunghoon that is also looking vaguely at his side. Realizing Jiwon’s eyes, Sunghoon hastily dodges and turns to Jiyong as if to ask for help. Sunghoon himself knows he has lost his memory. He knows that he is living on Jiyong too, but apart from that way, Sunghoon has no other.
– Jiyong, during the past time you worked hard. Can you leave Sunghoon for me?
– What are you talking about? – Sunghoon immediately responses.
– Is that okay?
– During the past two years when he gone missing, his family, I and the remaining three children had been looking for him so hard. Now that he’s here, I cannot let him disappear once again.
Ji Yong lightly breathes out, looks at Sunghoon who is “bristling up his thorn” for vigilance. Sunghoon does not stop looking at Jiwon as if he wants to say something but he cannot. He is also unable to remember who is sitting in front of him…
Ji Won leaves the coffee shop. With the unstoppable feet, Jiwon expects Jiyong to successfully persuade Sunghoon to let Jiwon take care of him. Jiwon wants to make up for those months and days when he made Sunghoon suffer from his cold and indifferent, because he could not be strong to face with the social prejudice about love between two men and then hurriedly got married to hide his bad feebleness. He made Sunghoon angry, made Sunghoon writhe, feel indignant, lonely and leave. Ji Won realizes that they are all his fault.
“You could have been more cheerful and optimistic if I had known how to make a stable hold for you. I was wrong.”
The door is open. Jiyong comes out with Sunghoon shyly behind him.
– Now I leave Sunghoon for you. Please take him to the hospital regularly to check his condition.
Jiyong grabs Sung Hoon’s wrist and leads Sunghoon to Jiwon’s side. What Jiyong have done for Sunghoon, Jiwon really does not know what to do to requite.
– Thank you. Keep in touch.
– Keep in touch. Goodbye hyung.
Jiyong turns away and walks towards a far way until his back is only a small dot under the sunlight that does not too “crisp” in a warm summer day.
– Where do you lead me to?
– Go home.
– Let me go.
Sunghoon takes back his hand and takes a few steps backwards.
– What did Jiyong tell you about me?
– You’re not a bad person. *small voice*
– So do you believe in Jiyong?
Sunghoon does not answer and only knits his brows. Jiwon smiles then holds tightly Sunghoon’s hand. Sunghoon has been thinner already when the blood vessels’ lines on his hands become visible. Recognizing that, Jiwon is very hurt.
“I will never let you go again”.
Hearing that Jiwon found out Sunghoon, Jaejin, Jaeduk and Suwon rush to Jiwon’s house. Just entering the house, Jaeduk gladly asks:
– Where is Sunghoon?
Sunghoon is sleeping. He is lying on Jiwon’s bed, holding Jiwon’s pillow, being absorbed in the soft cotton wool and spending a daydream of unbroken sleep. Sunghoon used to have trouble with falling asleep, but maybe because Jiyong took good care of Sunghoon so he could sleep easily like that.
– Can Sunghoon sleep easily here? – Jaejin speaks out when he feels strange.
– Actually, he’s having the temporary memory loss. It started two weeks ago.
– What do you say!!!?
All three people are shocked. It was two years Sunghoon went missing and now he is suffering the dementia, what happened during those years? Everyone keeps silent and looks Sunghoon sleeping. That face, even one feature, still has not changed.
– Jiwon hyung, when are you going to bring Sunghoon back to his house? – Jaejin continues to ask.
– I… I will keep him here until the day he remembers.
– What do you say? Sunghoon’s mom and Yoonji are looking forward to him every day. You know?
– I know – Ji Won explains slowly – … but I wants to make up for him.
Suddenly, Suwon pushes the chair to stand up and says:
– Jaejin huyng, let’s take Sunghoon to his house.
– What are you doing?
Ji Won also follows his reaction and stands up then looks at Suwon surprisingly. The atmosphere becomes stuffy and cold as if a fight is going to happen. Jaejin is still cold and he does not speak anything. Jiwon and Suwon are like fire and water, Jaejin is too familiar to that. Su Won approaches Sunghoon and being stopped by Jiwon. Jaeduk panics. He runs to separate them and says with a small voice:
– Let him sleep.
Everyone looks at Sunghoon again. The pink hair glistens under the warm rays of the sun streaming through the window and creating a rainbow that is like beautifying that beauty to become mysterious and magical. Ji Won reassures himself and backs to the seat. Suwon sits down next to Sunghoon. His heart cannot help hurting.
– In the old days that was you saved his life and gave him the hope in a society which is grim but it still has love and protection. In the end, you were the one who left him. Now you say you want to make up for him, is it pleasant to hear?
– Let him say.
Jiwon interrupts Jaeduk. At this time, he can only accept the hardest words to be disabused when he really made mistakes.
– You gave Sunghoon your love, made Sunghoon love you and then you got married to gloss over your cowardliness. From the day we knew him until the day he realized he loved you, did you know how he changed because of you?
– Suwon, maybe in the depth of your mind, you still hate me very much. It’s just because you have no condition to say it, right?
Suwon keeps silent. He knows Jiwon will understand what he thinks about. How many times can Jiwon understand Suwon when they are friends during ten years? If two years ago Jiwon had understood Suwon’s wish that Jiwon and Sunghoon would be happy together forever, today could not have happened.
– I won’t say anything more.
Suwon takes Jaeduk out of Jiwon’s house. Jaejin also returns to the company. Sitting alone in the space with all silence, Jiwon knows he hasmastered what Suwon has just said. During the past two years, Suwon has never been so angry with Jiwon. Two people can be opposite but they always tease each other with jokes that make the opponent fall in the impasses and feel full of pent-up anger. However, it has nothing to take offence. It turns out that Jiwon has never understood Suwon as he thinks. Jiwon holds his head. He is very upset, uncomfortable and speechless.
Sunghoon is awake. He squints his eyes because of the sunlight. The man sitting and holding his head is the person whom Jiyong said that he would take good care of Sunghoon and help Sunghoon to remember everything. Sunghoon half-believes. His mind takes shape complicatedinner feelings’ waves.
“Is it sure?”
Seeing Ji Won come, Sunghoon closes his eyes and pretends not to wake up. Jiwon stands there and looks at Sunghoon for a long time. He slowly approaches and bends down to kiss deeply on Sunghoon’s pink hair then whispers…:
– Have a good sleep. I’ll cook for you.
… and leaves.
Sunghoon afraids of being found out so he carefully opens his eyes. His mind keeps asking himself: Who is that man actually?