chapter 4: Better OFF
One day, the man, who had been enjoying his time by himself after breaking up with the woman, felt suddenly lonely. As if it was the first time he had ever been alone. Sleeping, eating, or breathing alone gave him a heart-piercing terror. He earned for someone to hold his hand.
Of course, it was not the first time the man had seen loneliness in his life. He welcomed the occasional solitude with open arms, and thus was quite embarrassed by this blatant loneliness that wished for someone else like never before. What was worrying is that it seemed this loneliness might not pass with time, might never fade away completely and stay locked within his heart. In reality, the agony of being alone crashed around aimlessly inside as it cut at his heart. The man never could have imagined he would face such a brutal loneliness.
He needed the right kind of person.
Not someone to chat idly over drinks, but a person he could confide his childhood stories to.
Someone who was not loose-tongued, nor too quiet.
Someone who did not disregard his touches but did not hang off him all the time.
Someone who did not stress over language formality.
Someone who, in the heat of the sun and the cold of the snow, could be smart as the wind.
Someone who bowed above the ankles but still below the knees.
He needed that kind of person.
He hesitated for a moment as he searched through his contacts. The woman’s number still remained there. He wondered whether to press the call button and stopped himself. They left each other for their best, so now he could not just call her to ease his loneliness. A love nurtured from the breast of loneliness knows no fulfillment. He thought to himself how he would prefer to die of loneliness than birth an ungrateful love.
The woman always listened to music before going to sleep. And so, from time to time, he used to whistle her a song. The man settled for appeasing his loneliness with the woman’s old habit. When he turned on a song, one he had first heard around the time of their break-up, her face appeared dimly to him. How could someone he had spent years together with be this distant and faint, after only a few months?
She was already being erased from him.
So we can both rest at peace, leave me and go
FOR ALWAYS JONGHYUN
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