“I’m not a child, and don’t try so hard to take care of me.
Sherry is really crying behind you.
That’s what you should be concerned about.”

“You should go first then.”

Kamian reached out his hand to embrace me.
I recoiled, my body retreating, and spoke with a muttered tone.

“Really… please, Kamian.”

“… ”

Kamian fell silent.
It seemed that I could move faster than pushing him away.
I passed by Kamian and walked out of the room.

As I walked away, Sherry’s crying could be heard from behind, but it abruptly stopped at a certain point.
Perhaps Kamian had comforted her well.
Only then was I able to enter Sherry’s parents’ room and cover myself with a blanket.
After tossing and turning for a while, I couldn’t fall asleep, so I lit a scented candle.

An unfamiliar discomfort boiled within me.
At that moment, I heard footsteps.
Without realizing it, I tightly closed my eyes and pretended to sleep.

[Thud] The door closed, and the sound of footsteps grew closer.
I could vividly feel Kamian entering the blanket with me.
When his warm hand touched my forehead, I almost made a sound without even realizing it.


“… ”

My saliva is beneath my tongue.
I wanted to swallow it, but I was afraid it would make a loud noise, so I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Kamian, with no response from me, didn’t continue speaking.
He simply held me from behind, pressing his body against mine.
Thump.] My heart pounded relentlessly, unaware of any restraint.
If I keep pretending to sleep like this, he’ll catch on.
Why did I pretend to sleep?

The arms that embraced me grew tighter.
Kamian exhaled a long, soft breath.

It felt maddeningly uncomfortable, yet it wasn’t that I disliked Kamian’s broad embrace.
I wished he would continue holding me, yet I also wished he would leave me alone.

“I only need you.”

“… ”

“You have so much affection that you can’t leave those around you alone.”

Kamian began his calm confession.
Every time his voice hit the back of my head, a strange shiver ran down my neck.

“I know that, but sometimes it’s tiring.”

“… ”

“I even consider killing everything around you, just so you can pay attention to me.”

“… ”

“But if I did that, you’d cry, wouldn’t you?”

My mind went blank.
I never imagined I would hear such words from Kamian’s lips.
I thought he was just a kind-hearted, hapless devil who had fallen for me more than anyone else, someone I considered a hopeless case if he had been born in South Korea… I never, ever expected him to harbour such thoughts deep inside.

However, I was not at all disappointed by such an admission.
There was no fear.
I simply wanted us to live as we were, without those wicked thoughts.
I wanted to pat his back, comforting him.

I must have gone mad.
There’s no other explanation.
Otherwise, my heart wouldn’t be pounding within this ferocious turmoil.

I chewed the inside of my cheek painfully, so as not to let Kamian notice.
It was a sign for him to pull himself together.
But there was no way to stop the waves surging from the depths of my heart.
I struggled to escape, thrashing about, but it was already firmly entrenched in a corner of my soul, and there was nothing I could do.

I shouldn’t have let each of his actions excite my heart, I shouldn’t have grown accustomed to this warm embrace, and I shouldn’t have allowed my ears to heat up rather than frowning at his affectionate confession…

I foolishly handed over the right to occupy my heart to him.
This realization unexpectedly bewildered me in the midst of an ordinary day.

It seems… I must like Kamian.

Perhaps a drop of emotion mingling in the forcibly contained depths of my heart was the spark.
If Kamian had not held me in his arms and confessed, I could have continued to feign ignorance or denial, as I had done so far.
But this single drop of emotion swelled and overflowed in the end.

* * *

I tightly held onto my racing heart, as if trying to restrain its wild gallop, and closed my eyes.
Even when Kamian’s lips met the back of my head, I did not lift my closed eyelids.
The passage of time was palpable on my skin.
Enduring without even knowing what I was enduring was an excruciating ordeal.

Though it was not as if all the emotions that had come from you would return with the passing of this night, I firmly believed that if I could endure this night alone, everything would be resolved.

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