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Kaya ended the call. Maybe that would have been the easiest way to dispel the magic. Kaya walked towards him. Then, as if she was knocking she lightly hit the back of his hand that was holding his still-terrified face.
“Is there someone inside?”
“………Yes. There is.”
“Why are you putting that dumb-like expression? Why? Was the stimulation too excessive for the mister absolute sense of taste?”
“Are you also like this with other people?”
“Don’t be so strict. …….I understand. I don’t. I don’t do it.”
Kaya treated him as if he was an ill-natured kid. Jo Minjoon was perplexed. Since when was Kaya this relaxed in front of him? Jo Minjoon glanced at her brown hair and said.
“Did you dye it?”
“Yes. Nowadays I also have a coordinator. Did I tell you last time?”
“No. Anyways, it’s pretty. But even so, I like black more.”
“Well, honestly speaking if you aren’t conscious you don’t even know that it changed. Even if it’s brown it’s a dark brown.”
Kaya talked like that and rolled her hair with her finger. Jo Minjoon, who was looking at that, mumbled “should I also dye.” Kaya put on a severe face and said.
“No. Never. If you do that I will immediately dye it blonde.”
“……….Why can’t I?”
“I don’t like it. I like your black hair.”
Looking at Kaya throwing a tantrum like that, a smile appeared rather than feeling annoyed. Why did she feel so pretty in whatever she did? Jo Minjoon unconsciously pinched her cheek. Kaya rolled her eyes while still having her cheek pinched and glared at his hand.
“Wats dis, dis line.”
“As you act like a kid, it makes me treat you like one. It’s your fault.”
“Let’s speak after u teik ur hands off.”
After he let go, Kaya glared at him while rubbing her cheek.
“……..You always apologized immediately. I can’t even get angry anymore.”
The two of them kept discussing like that for a while more. For some, it may be a meaningless conversation, but they weren’t doing this to pass the time at all. They needed those normal conversations, the flowing of the meaningless time the most. They grieved it the most…
…to the point they could endure the sleepiness. These light words, which came and went through this chilly air, felt like it embraced them in a warm way. One hand, or perhaps it was two hands of distance that they were separated from each other, but their words and feelings certainly reached the other.
“So tomorrow you are going to Alan’s restaurant?”
“Yeah. We aren’t going in the morning, but at lunch.”
“How good. I also want to go with you.”
“……Do you have time?”
“No. That’s why I want to go.”
Kaya clinged on the handrail with a depressed face. Jo Minjoon was putting a nervous face next to her and prepared to hold her for if something unexpected happened. Kaya turned her head while still clinging on the handrail and looked at Jo Minjoon without saying anything. Kaya extended her hand.
Jo Minjoon chose to look at her instead of grabbing that hand. Kaya swung her arm and said.
“Will you grab my hand?”
It didn’t mean to hold her for when she fell. However Jo Minjoon wordlessly grabbed her hand. Although the cold air pinched their hands, the blood that flows hotly warmed up their hands. Kaya sensed that heat and said.
“Nowadays, I’m grabbing the hands of people the most since I was born. I’m not the type to like handshakes much. But the funny thing is that however many times I grab a hand, there is no one that grabs me as tightly as this.”
“Are you scared?”
“……..Yeah. Although I want to boast in front of you, I feel like I want to be more honest with you. I’m scared. In the past I just lived as a part of the world, but now the whole world is looking at me. I just thought that I had succeeded…….. But it wasn’t only that. The funny thing is…”
Kaya grabbed Jo Minjoon’s hands tightly and then pointed on his right hand with her left one.
“…even if I’m that scared,as someone grabs my hands like this once……. I can place down my feelings. It’s not that you hugged me, and it’s only grabbing hands. People are really funny, right?”
Jo Minjoon just looked at Kaya. Like coincidence, the shadow of the moon appeared behind her head. Between the long and dispersed hair the moonlight that was reflected by the water shone, and that just seemed like a texture.
“What happened with what I told you last time? You said that something would happen soon.”
“It didn’t yet. So don’t worry.”
“Can I ask you what it is about?”
“I told you. That if I told you I will rely on you, and that if I rely on you I become weak. I don’t like that. I will become strong. That’s why things like relying……”
Kaya got off the handrail. She put her hand on the pocket of her hood shirt while standing firmly. It seemed like her clothes got pulled and her hat sticked to her hair but soon, it flicked like a rubber band and it got taken off. The colour of the hair grabbed his attention. Just like the colour got different, she was also different.
“I don’t want to do it. I want to become an adult. That’s why I have to put in more effort. I have to but…….”
Kaya’s eyes directed to his hand. You couldn’t distinguish at first glance as to which finger belonged to whom. Kaya took in a breath and slowly said a with trembling voice.
“This hand, it’s difficult to let go.”
Originally, she hadn’t planned to do this. However for the past few weeks, she realized after Jo Minjoon wasn’t there with her, that she was in the world alone. That the meaning he had for her was a lot more huge than what she had thought.
That’s why she grabbed his hand. She thought that it had to be only a moment. But it wasn’t. She realized it after she grabbed it. That she didn’t grab it because she wanted to, but because it was a hand she didn’t want to let go.
Kaya raised her brows as if she was angry, but her opened eyes were trembling while having moisture in it. Those eyes directed to Jo Minjoon. Although you wouldn’t know if it was because he was Asian that you couldn’t read his expression well, or he actually was like that…….. But his face that seemed expressionless seemed kind of unkind.
She didn’t want to look at that face. She could close her eyes and turn her head. However Kaya didn’t do so. No, she couldn’t. It seemed like Jo Minjoon was letting go of her hand, and soon he slowly pulled her from her shoulders. She felt Jo Minjoon’s chin that touched her neck. Jo Minjoon’s voice made the insides of Kaya’s hood feel hot.
“Don’t be scared.”
As it it was calming her, patting her. The moment she heard that voice, Kaya felt that the uneasiness in her heart all melted away. She felt like she returned to her hometown. But of course, she didn’t have any days which she felt comfortable in her hometown.
Kaya also hugged him. It was at that moment when she brought her cheek to his neck. She felt a weird feeling. And soon, she realized that that feeling was because of the scar that remained in his neck.
Kaya placed Jo Minjoon’s shoulders. Below the lamp light, the scar that had a strange colour was seen more clearly. She said with a lower and rougher voice than ever.
“I told you last time. That you are most important next to my family.”
“It’s a lie.”
At those words, Jo Minjoon didn’t even have the time to be perplexed. Kaya buried her face on Jo Minjoon’s neck. No, it seemed like that. But it wasn’t it. Kaya slowly pressed her lips over the bright scar. A tickling and a hot breath came out from between her trembling lips, and even before the heat that came out of her breath disappeared, her lips covered the scar.
Why did the smooch sound feel like when you smacked your lips after eating a dish? Kaya slowly took her head away and then raised her long eyelashes to look at him.
“You are as important as my family.”
“Just like there’s no way for your scar to disappear, my feelings also won’t change.”
The lodging. Jo Minjoon having gone out last night was something that was known by every participant. Anderson, that wanted to ask him how it turned out when he returned, fell asleep while sitting in the sofa and all the others sought Jo Minjoon the instant they woke up.
“…….He still didn’t come in?”
Sera asked with a perplexed voice. Jeremy laughed with a wicked smile.
“If a man and a woman doesn’t return before night, the story is obvious.”
“……Jeremy. If you have the age don’t spit out things that easily. If that wasn’t the case, and even if that was, is it something to speak in front of the kids?”
“What about it? You also kept saying this and that at your time. You acting this way is funnier.”
“I’m beggin you, so please shut that mouth of yours.”
It was at that moment when Jeremy laughed while saying ‘See? She’s originally like this.’ Jo Minjoon carefully showed himself. He laughed awkwardly.
“I was a bit late, right?”
“A lot. Did you sleep?”
“Yes, I slept a bit on a bench…….What’s that expression?”
Jo Minjoon looked at Emily’s mouth that was opened because of the astonishment and got confused. Sera put a provocative smile and said.
“Well, I don’t dislike that free life.”
“……..Is closing your eyes for a moment on the bench something that should go up to that way?”
Sera looked at Jo Minjoon with weird eyes. And Jo Minjoon also looked at her with the same eyes. They fired off question marks with each other, and the one that stopped that was Anderson.
“You talked all night?”
“Well, yes. I got asleep at the bench for a moment. We had a lot to talk about since it’s been a while since we saw each other.”
Anderson nodded as if he knew that would be the case. In the first case, he didn’t even ask because he was curious. He just wanted to clear the doubt everyone had about Jo Minjoon with his own mouth. Jo Minjoon and Kaya, although he didn’t want to admit it, were more naive and pure than what they looked to be.
Sera and Emily exchanged sights for a moment. They were checking if they had understood the conversation between Anderson and Jo Minjoon. Soon, Sera said with a confused voice.
As they exchanged glances as if it was weird, she felt more embarrassed that she thought about something she shouldn’t have. Jeremy cleared his throat and said.
“That’s why I told you not to jump to conclusions early.”
The place they went to to have breakfast was a pizza store in town. But Alan wasn’t here because it was planned that they would have lunch at his restaurant. In the first place, it was also difficult for the head chef to empty his place for a long time.
‘For a slice of pizza early in the morning.’
Thinking about it, it was weird. Eating one, no, three pans of Jeon doesn’t feel that excessive but in the case of pizza it felt that eating half of it was eating a big amount. Even when the pizza that was cooked in a brazier wasn’t that thick.
Sera ordered a margarita pizza and said.
“It’s obvious for Italian to eat a whole pizza even if they are women. Just like you don’t share hamburgers.”
“Well, compared to American pizza, the thickness is thin and it’s not as wide, so I can understand it…….. But it kind of feels like I’m eating a lot. In my country, it’s a basic thing for three people to eat one pizza. And we don’t even eat pizza in the morning.”
“Morning pizza is really healthy.”
Looking at Sera talking like that, he felt that it was marvelous. It wasn’t that simply kind of foods changed when the country was different. Eating habits, attitude on the ingredient, and on top of that the basic constitution of the ingredients was different. Just by looking at this pizza, it was a menu that would fill you all day in Korea when you ate it at morning.
And it wasn’t an exception because it was Jo Minjoon. When breakfast ended, Jo Minjoon had to get in the car with a face that seemed to suffer of low pressure even at first glance. Even so, for a body that didn’t receive cheese well at morning, and as he also ate it with flour, looking that his stomach rumbled wasn’t a weird thing.
‘Would Kaya have eaten breakfast?’
Thinking about it, Kaya had also stayed awake the whole night, so whatever she would be doing right now she would be in quite a tired state. Perhaps, he should have sent her a little bit earlier, but as they felt good to see each other they couldn’t easily say to separate. Jo Minjoon took out his cellphone.
[ Me : You aren’t tired?]
[ Kaya : I slept a bit in the car. They said we will be broadcasting something at a restaurant. I will have to sleep again while eating.]
[ Me : ……….I’m sorry. I grabbed you until late.]
[ Kaya : Were you the only one to grab me? I also grabbed you. I will sleep for a moment. Message me later.]
It was an unexpected thing that the reply came immediately, but Kaya stopped the conversation as if she was soon tired. Jo Minjoon didn’t send her any more messages on purpose. In the first place, he also felt sleepy. Jo Minjoon closed his eyes, and Anderson, who was driving, opened his mouth.
“But about the name of Alan’s restaurant. However I see, that was copied from teacher Rachel’s restaurant, right? Olive island.”
“……Probably. I retired even before Alan became a head chef…..The situation wasn’t as to entrust the main store to that kid. Even so, looking that he leaves a trace of my restaurant and my husband’s, he’s a really good kid.”
“There would only be Rachel that treats Alan like a kid in this world.”
Emily smirked and said.
It was when they arrived at Alan’s ‘Olive Island’. They stood in front of the restaurant and Martin asked them to wait for a moment while standing. As it was something that hadn’t happened until now and they looked at him with a weird expression, Martin smiled brightly and said.
“Although I don’t know from what country it is, they say there’s this saying that food is more delicious when you share it. But of course, between you 6 the food will be plenty and you may even leave some, but even so, if one more fork and a knife is added it may be possible to enjoy a more delicious meal than now.”
“………Just what are you trying to say that your speech is so long?”
“There’s a special guest to be with you today.”
Guest. At those words, Jo Minjoon frowned. At that moment, he got one hunch. However that probability didn’t have to be right. If it was as he thought, the time he had while not even sleeping would become meaningless in an instant.
However, the moment gave him a weird sight, Jo Minjoon became certain that his supposition was right. Martin pointed his back. A woman who was wearing a gray and sleeveless sweater and a dense, smoky makeup was looking at him with speechlessly. Martin opened his mouth.
“It’s the winner of Grand Chef, Kaya Lotus!”
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