The rain continued pouring even after midnight.
The crowded hall went quiet but Jang Yoosung, who arrived late, was still there.
“Do you know me?”
“Then why are you staring at me?”
Jang Yoosung came to the store despite the pour and as if he was uncomfortable, he asked me.
I thought he didn’t change at all over the years, but when I looked closely, it wasn’t the case at all.
It was like he was still adorning a little boy’s tee but his face was clearly of an adult’s.
He always had those sharp eyes but now it had become impassive.
I darted my eyes elsewhere looking for an excuse when I noticed the umbrella in his hand.
I will take it for you.”
But that service was quite expensive.
It was required of us to carry the guest’s umbrella to the table.
The staff stored the customer’s umbrella at the entrance and lent it back when they left the store.
There was no need except that.
Jang Yoosung, wordlessly, held out the umbrella and I took it from him.
I looked at his face but he seemed unperturbed.
As expected, he didn’t realize.
It’s been 7 years.
7 years was not a short time.
It was a span of time enough to forget the faces and names of friends that were in the same class at school.
I, too, could have forgotten his face by then if I didn’t try recollecting his face every now and then.
It might have been the same for Jang Yoosung.
In addition, I was someone of the same gender so more of a reason that he didn’t remember me.
It wasn’t easy.
However, it was a relief.
If he noticed that I was the same person as Han Jiyoung, for sure,it wouldn’t have ended with a punch.
Jang Yoosung passed the umbrella to me, just as he was about to enter the store, he took one last look at me.
He stared at me as if he could burn holes into me.
But that was it.
It was as if he wanted to say something but he ducked his head inside and went in.
With that one sigh, the breath I had been holding left me.
For a moment there, it felt like my heart would burst.
After taking care of Jang Yoosung’s umbrella, I wiped the floor again.
It was to the point that Seongwook hyung dragged me inside saying that the floor would wear out.
As expected, Jang Yoosung was sitting with the real deals. Jang Yoosung was the same as I remembered when he talked with the girl wearing the red lipstick.
They looked very close.
I knew that even though Jang Yoosung didn’t seem to be having a fun time.
Well, Jang Yoosung wasn’t the type of person who could come to an outing only to put up with the uncomfortable environment listlessly, for hours.
It had already been a while since the real deals hogged the large table and were talking.
Since I had nothing to do for the next four hours, I often took glances at Jang Yoosung.
His face was smooth as if it was sculpted, those fingers that played the piano were exceptional while his legs were enough to be jealous of.
All of those features were still there.
I confirmed all of it.
I looked, again and again, to see if what I saw was correct.
Eventually, our eyes met and I stopped peeking.
It was a lie that a reunion wasn’t expected.
As I lived, I thought there would be a chance to see him again someday.
The reunion I asked for was only to that extent.
To ask for more, I knew was a selfish request.
It would have been enough to see him doing well.
The hall became empty and as the day passed midnight, I entered the kitchen.
No matter how long it was, if you keep meeting them, he might remember.
“Jongmin, where is Hakyung?”
But it wasn’t long after I had disappeared into the kitchen that I heard Seongwook hyung’s voice looking for me.
“Hyung, it seems like you were playing around in the kitchen.”
Park Jongmin teased while washing the wet dishes with effort.
Soon after, Seongwook hyung rushed into the kitchen and held out a plate to me.
It was a side dish with some finger foods nicely plated.
“Take this to the real deal’s table.
Tell them it’s on the house.”
I blankly stared too and fro from the dish to Seongwook hyung’s face.
He looked for me just to make me do this? He even met Park Jongmin on the way.
“Wouldn’t it be better for you to do it personally and take the credit?”
I couldn’t say that I wouldn’t do it but Seongwook hyung only shrugged his shoulders and replied as if he didn’t know the reason himself.
“Kijoon asked me only for you to do it.”
“The one wearing the glasses.”
Was his name like that? Jongmin asked strangely, as I bitterly accepted the dish.
Jongmin was taking advantage of his leisure, already leaving the hall, and was in the middle of playing around.
“But isn’t he a guy? Why does he want Hakyung?”
“How should I know?”
Seongwook hyung, who was disinterested, urged me to take the dish as soon as possible.
I have never been unable to serve.
But if he came often, then it could be a problem and I thought I would cross the bridge when I got there.
Anyway, there were several besides me anyway.
“What if he’s gay? Please be careful, hyung!”
Jungho teased me before I left him behind and entered the hall.
The real deals were talking about something humorous as implied by their loud laugh, as they tried catching their breath.
Among them, only Jang Yoosung didn’t laugh and only moved his lips a little.
As I approached the table, the people surrounding it noticed me.
As I served, there were instances where I could feel glances hovering over me but it was more explicit than usual.
“It’s on the house, from the owner.”
As I put the dish down on the table, persistent eyes followed and were glued to my face.
Jang Yoosnsung also scrutinized my face.
“Is there something on my face?”
I asked them with an awkward smile.
I could have just ignored it but I had a face that he had seen several times before so I couldn’t shrug off that fishy atmosphere.
Besides, they were special guests of Seongwook hyung.
The man wearing glasses, Kijoon, shook his head with an apologetic look.
You looked like someone we know…right, Yoosung?”
Jang Yoosung took a swig of the glass in front of him with an indifferent expression.
“What makes you think that?”
It was as if Kijoon knew who I resembled but it still didn’t seem so in Yoonsung’s eyes.
“I don’t know the person I look like, but he must be someone handsome.
Enjoy your meal.”
I smiled as if I was the living embodiment of a handsome man.
Although my masculine charms were far from a well-built man, I was bound to think so, as many people complimented my face in my daily life.
Compared to 7 years ago, I now had the confidence that I couldn’t even imagine having before.
“OK, thank you.”
But the man wearing the glasses was always smiling at me like something was funny.
It was the same for others.
It seemed like they didn’t agree with what I said.
But I wasn’t bothered by whatever they thought.
I didn’t say it to receive their affirmation.
I bowed and turned my body.
They started talking again before I could take a few steps.
“When Kijoon said that, I didn’t understand what he was talking about but he does have the same vibe.
You know, with your girlfriend.”
The woman who wore the red lipstick said.
“Hey, it’s been a while since he’s been dumped.”
A giggling sound perked up.
The woman pretended to be surprised in a not-so-apologetic voice.
“They don’t look alike.”
It was Jang Yoosung who answered in a solemn voice.
He meant that I didn’t look like his ex-girlfriend.
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