minhee's hands were trembling. he's not afraid about his new school. he's not even scared of facing unfamiliar people but yes, he's trembling and nervous.
people had always called him weird. he was a subject of bullying because everyone thought he's cursed - everyone thought he's a monster.
"hey! watch out!" a guy shouted which made minhee flinch.
the traffic lights turned green and he hasn't noticed that. well, he's too busy thinking about what would happen during his first day. well, not really because he had been studying for quite some time now. he's just… thinking whether people would call him names and make him transfer out once again.
"it's my seventh school this year, please, just please, be go-" minhee's monologue was then cut by a man who suddenly tapped his shoulders.
"hey, we're running late and the traffic light already turned red!" the guy said while pointing at the traffic light.
he's right. the walking sign is now in green and is already blinking. and yes, he hasn't notice about it once again.
minhee tried to run, but he just gave up after a minute of trying.
"he knew i was going late?" minhee asked himself while walking.
"young man, do you have a spare change? it would be a big help for my dying child," a man appeared out of nowhere.
minhee looked at him.
"sorry, sir?" he asked.
"may i ask for a spare change? my child is in the hospital and he's almost dying. please, help us." the man explained once again.
minhee just stared at the man.
but still, minhee pulled out some of his spare change and gave it to the man.
yes minhee, way to go. just pretend you never knew he lied about having a dying child , he thought.
he continued walking towards his school, trying to think about some ways to hide his curse from anyone.
"hey!" it was the same guy from the pedestrian. the guy who told him about the traffic lights. the guy who told him they're running late.
and now, he's even smiling at him.
"h-huh?" minhee mumbled while staring at the boy, trying to figure out whether the guy is staring at him or someone else.
"you, new guy. where's your class?" the boy asked.
minhee pointed at himself.
"me?" he asked back at the boy who's now nodding at him.
minhee looked at his phone for his schedule and the moment he looked up to answer the guy, he saw him standing right in front of him.
"oh, you're the new kid!" the guy cheerfully said.
"it must've been hard for you to transfer before the midterms." he added.
minhee just smiled shyly.
he was right. of course, it is hard for him. it has always been hard for him.
"let's go to school together?" the guy asked once again.
"okay," minhee said in an almost whispering voice.
"hey, don't be shy! you can be yourself around us, the kids at our class are kind too! anyway, you could call me yunseong. what's your name?" the guy asked once again.
usually, minhee would be worried about engaging on a long conversation with a stranger because he could see the tremendous amount of lies someone utters in front of him or in front of other people but this time, even his heart was heart was being happy. not because the guy has been kind towards him since earlier, but also because he never once saw a bunch of floating red letters from yunseong's mouth ever since they talked.
he's pure. minhee thought.
"you c-can call me minhee," he answered before he smiled towards the boy.
discussion time. everyone's busy listening to the teacher who was discussing in front when minhee suddenly opened the door. the eyes shifted towards him automatically.
of course, he's the new guy. everyone's curious, especially now that the midterms coming. unusual, and everybody would definitely knew that something happened to him, since he wasn't forced by his previous school to transfer out.
"oh, you must be the new student." the teacher said.
minhee nodded. he looked around the class, trying to look for a familiar face - and there he was. sitting at the back part of the room. he was smiling and waving towards him so he decided to simply reciprocate the gesture of the guy by smiling.
"introduce yourself first." the teacher said.
"kang minhee..." he mumbled.
"that's it?" the teacher asked.
minhee nodded once again.
"okay then. you could sit beside yunseong," the teacher said while pointing at yunseong.
"if you have any question or concern, you could ask him. he's the class president anyway. take your seat now and remember that we're glad to have you here."
minhee smiled lightly. he knew that the reaction would turn out like this. no homeroom teacher would ever want to add another child to care upon in the middle of a school term, especially when a major exam is about to happen.
still, minhee shrugged it off of his shoulder and sat beside yunseong.
"so... we're seatmates now?" yunseong said while laughing.
"i guess so?" minhee replied before smiling widely.
at least, he had gotten a reliable and trustworthy seatmate for the rest of the term.
talking about how fun their weekend was, the students were flocked inside their class while minhee was silently sitting at his seat. as much as he wanted to interact with everyone, he chose to stay at his seat, trying to ignore a lot of floating red words from a different mouths.
they were all lying about how they spent their weekends. some says they spent it simply when they didn't. some says they went out on a fine dining restaurant for dinner when they didn't. some said they studied hard when they didn't. some says they slept all day when they didn't.
the room was almost full of everyone's lies which minhee had been trying to ignore.
it's hard, of course. no one said it was easy, especially when he never even wanted to have the ability to see red words floating around the air when someone lies.
if only he could turn back time, maybe he'll choose to ignore the things he had observed before. maybe he'll choose to be naive. maybe he'll never wish to see through his parents' lies as a kid. maybe he'll never wish to have the ability to see who lies so he wouldn't expect more from them - so that this skill wouldn't manifest in him - but it's late. it's too late.
he had already done it. he had already wished to see the lies everyone would utter - because he was scared he'll end up being disappointed and hurt by everyone.
minhee sighed again.
"that's deep." yunseong suddenly said.
"you're here early." minhee uttered.
"yep... i woke up early today," yunseong smiled.
at least, despite of having everyone around him lying, he still has his seatmate who never, for once, lied to him ever since he entered this school.
days passed. the seatmates became closer. the first time minhee actually entrusted someone.
he was struggling to even trust his own family because they we're the sole reason why he wished to have this ability.
it was his first time to actually meet someone who never lied to him for quite some time.
it was his first time to experience having someone who's open to him - no boundaries. yunseong even tells him about how bad his handwriting is because he didn't wanted to sugarcoat his word.
it was his first time to feel that someone had been being honest towards him.
he was his first time.
he became his first escape from a world which was clouded by too much red and floating words. he became his first proof that not everyone would actually come up and lie at him every time.
and just with that, minhee found himself falling for his seatmate.
days, weeks, months. it was finally their finals week. everyone was busy studying to pass the exams. besides, they would soon graduate from high school so everyone had been trying to do their best.
but despite of the fact that they need to study hard to look and apply for a university to fulfill their dreams, minhee had been thinking about something else already.
he was thinking that he wouldn't be able to do that once they graduate. he was thinking that it won't be too wrong if he'll confess.
he was positive about the result anyway.
they had been watching movies together. they had been doing their homeworks together. they had been going home for quite some time now too.
minhee definitely thought that yunseong feels the same.
and so the thought of confessing crossed his mind.
confessing after the finals? that would be nice.
finals were just finished. minhee was nervous.
but it's now or never. and so he went near his seatmate who was busy staring the trees outside their classroom's window.
"hey yunseong, can we go out tonight?" he asked.
"where are we going this time?" yunseong asked.
"somewhere i know you'd like." minhee answered.
"oh. is it a date then?" yunseong asked.
"well.... whatever suits your liking," minhee answered while smiling cheekily.
"it i-" yunseong suddenly covered his mouth.
"huh?" minhee asked.
yunseong shook his head, trying to tell minhee it's nothing.
minhee just shrugged it off, thinking that yunseong really meant it.
but he didn't.
"surprise!" minhee exclaimed before removing the blindfold he had put around yunseong's eyes.
they were on a cliff which overlooks the city lights. the wind is blowing enough to make the two boys shiver.
"it's cold." yunseong said.
as usual, he talks about what he feels - truthfully.
"do you want an extra jacket?" minhee asked.
minhee smiled widely. if it was someone else, they could've probably said no because they'll be shy. especially on a romantic scene like this. but yunseong didn't lied. he told the truth about how he truly feels.
minhee removed his jacket and wrapped it around yunseong.
"that's cliche!" yunseong exclaimed before laughing.
minhee laughed with him, knowing that yunseong really meant what he just said. at least, he had been honest about it.
"yunseong... do you know why i asked you out here?" minhee asked.
"why?" yunseong asked.
"look.... i know it's obvious but... i love you." minhee said without looking at yunseong.
he was staring at the city lights right in front of them.
"minhee..." yunseong called out.
"hmm?" minhee asked.
"look at me." yunseong commanded.
minhee softly looks at yunseong who was staring at him. tears were visible throughout his eyes.
"i..." yunseong took a deep breathe.
"minhee i...." he trailed off.
"i love you too." yunseong said with red words floating all throughout the air.
minhee stared at him.
it was his first time to lie towards minhee.
"minhee, i'm s-sorry..."
yunseong took a step closer to minhee but the latter did not even bothered to move an inch.
"i.... i knew you were seeing lies... your mom... she knew about it too... she... told me..." yunseong's tears were falling down but minhee didn't even bothered to look at him.
"yunseong...." he whispered.
"i'm sorry minhee. i just.. wanted to tell you about this for quite some time now. the r-reason i always told you the truth... it was because i'm afraid i'll hurt you... your mom.. s-she asked me to take care of you... because she couldn't... and s-she feels sorry..."
"she wasn't sorry, stop lying." minhee coldly said.
yunseong looked at him helplessly.
"there was a shooting star... i was crying that night because mom took my brother on an amusement park and left me alone... i didn't even had any food to eat with me... but then a s-shooting star came... i was staring at the sky... i r-remembered about the myth that whatever you wish upon a s-shooting star will come true..." minhee trailed off in the middle of explaining.
"instead of wishing to have mom take me into an amusement park, i asked the star to tell me whether someone has been lying to me or not... y-you know why?" minhee tried to laugh but his own tears were making it difficult for him to even speak properly.
"because mom had been telling me the same things over and over again... p-promising me she'll take me after some time... b-but it never came true... t-the disappointment as a child... i f-felt that. i was h-hurt. and so i wished t-that thing to make me see through people's lies.... because i don't want to disappoint myself over and over again because yunseong... it hurts... it... f-fucking hurts..."
yunseong took another step towards him.
"minhee... i-i didn't knew... i-i'm sorry..." yunseong was crying.
but minhee was almost choking with his own tears.
he got lied to again.
"it would've make sense if someone else lied to me.... i just... t-trusted you... so m-much..." minhee looked at yunseong.
"but y-you were not d-different from them..." he added.
"mom was never sorry.. she just wanted to clean her conscience... because she knew she was one of the reasons i... t-turned out to be like this..." minhee smiled.
"well no one r-really liked me, i guess..." minhee said before walking away.
he was about to get further away when he faced yunseong, for the last time.
"please stop lying... it makes m-my heart feel w-weak..."
with that, yunseong was left alone, crying for what he did.
he could've been honest. he could've said the truth - but he did not.
three years had passed but he is still paying the guilt of lying to his seatmate who had entrusted him.
three years had already passed.
he stared at the grave lying in front of him.
"minhee...." he whispered.
a cold breeze suddenly blew.
"i'm s-still sorry.... i n-never knew that being lied to b-by the person you fully entrusted after you h-had your skill would actually k-kill you... it's m-my fault... i'm sorry..."
yunseong kneel at the green grass which covers the home where minhee had been resting for three years now.
"i'll see y-you... real soon."