[Iris]: Theo, I'm fine.
Really, look at my face.


After persuading him for a long time, I was now able to see Theo's face.
His eyes were red and swollen from crying all night.


[Iris]: Did you cry?

[Theo]: …..

[Iris]: Theo, are you okay?


I asked Theo, who had been silent since earlier.
I was worried that he might have been too shocked.


[Theo]: Really…

[Iris]: What?


He mumbled unpleasantly, and I couldn't understand what he was talking about.
Theo furrowed his brow and asked me seriously.


[Theo]: You really didn't collapse because you got hurt last year?”

[Iris]: Oh….


I glanced at Ms.
Haley, who was looking at paperworks far away from us.
Apparently, this was the problem that bothered the teacher before.


[Iris]: Theo.
It wasn't me who got hurt last year, it was you.


I said, pointing my finger at Theo's forehead.
Last summer, a wound that leaves a small scar was spotted there.


Note: This may refer to that accident with the children where Theo saves Iris by covering her from the falling debris.
I'm not 100% sure tho


[Theo]: Maybe you're not hurt outwardly but still…!

[Iris]: You mean I have an internal injury?

[Theo]: Yes! That's it!


Theo shouted excitedly.
I laughed at Theo's 'real child' appearance, which I can only see occasionally.
But Theo frowned at me.


[Iris]: Anyway, thanks for your concern, Theo.
You've been by my side all this time, haven't you?

[Theo]: I wasn't worried….


'He's lying again.'


I laughed off Theo's lie.


[Iris]: I don't know why I fell like this, but I don't think it's because of what happened last year.

[Theo]: Are you sure?

[Iris]: Well, I'm not sure exactly.
But that's what Ms.
Haley said.


At my words, Theo's eyes turned back to Ms.
No matter how much he looked, his eyes were full of disbelief.


[Iris]: I trust the teacher.
And I don't think there's anything wrong with my body either.
Maybe I've been tired lately?

[Theo]: ……
It would be great if we could go to a bigger clinic.


Theo couldn't seem to let go of his stupidity.
I smiled deliberately to reassure Theo.


[Iris]: Don't worry too much, I'm fine right now! By the way, Theo, aren't you tired because you didn't sleep properly?


I tapped the empty seat on the bed with my hands.


[Iris]: Come here, let's sleep together.

[Theo]: What?


Theo's eyes, which had been frowning and disgruntled, instantly widened.
His pale face flared up.


[Theo]: What are you talking about?


I looked at Theo curiously.


[Iris]: What's wrong?

[Theo]: What's wrong?


Note: Theo is being sarcastic here


Theo took a breath as he looked at me blinking.


'What's wrong with him?'


I tilted my head.
I had no idea what Theo was thinking.


[Theo]: Iris.
We're not a kid or a two years old.

[Iris]: We're kids.
Are you an adult then?


He was only eleven years old, but it was a strange thing to say.


[Theo]: I'm not sleeping with you anyway!


Theo shouted.
Thanks to this, Ms.
Hailey's terrifying eyes turned to us.


[Iris]: Shhh.
If you don't like it, you don't like it, why are you yelling?


I put my index finger to my lips and scolded Theo.


[Theo]: Because you say strange things!


At the sound of Theo's words, Mrs.
Haley's head turned back to us.
I covered Theo's mouth with my palm.


[Iris]: I see.
If you don't like it, you will continue to sleep uncomfortably like before, because if you make one more noise, you will be kicked out at this dawn.


When I said this, Theo finally shut himself.
He jerked away from me and sat down in a chair next to the bed.


[Iris]: Are you sure you're okay?

[Theo]: Better than sleeping in the same bed as you.

[Iris]: Eh, what do you mean?


I eventually gave up trying to convince Theo and went to bed.
Theo sat in his chair, his chin clenched, watching me.


[Iris]: I'm sorry to make you worry.

[Theo]: I wasn't worried.


Theo leaned his seated body toward me.


[Theo]: I'm done, so you sleep more, don't fall down again.


His tone was brusque, but the touch on my forehead as I lay was cautious.
I looked at Theo as he ran my hair on my forehead.


[Theo]: What are you thinking right now?

[Iris]: Just.
I think it's been a lot bigger.
(Note: I think she means his hands are bigger)

[Theo]: What?


Theo's face contorted wickedly, asking before I could finish speaking.


[Theo]: Iris what the hell do you think what the hell are you looking at me as?

[Iris]: What do I see you as…


Have I ever thought of that? I pondered.
For me, Theo is…


[Iris]: A wild cat?

[Theo]: ….

[Iris]: Still young….
A sensitive, black stray cat whose wild senses have not disappeared.


This is it.


I smiled wryly, complimenting myself on the fitting analogy.
He was on a human hand because he was eagerly approaching, but he still looked exactly like he was full of wariness.


[Theo]: It's not even a person, but an animal…..


Theo gritted his teeth as he talked to himself.
I scrambled to look at Theo.


[Iris]: Are you mad because I compared you to an animal? I'm sorry.


Theo stared at me for a while.
I could hardly tell what Theo was thinking with his little head.


[Iris]: Theo?


I cautiously called my name, and Theo toss the blanket over my face.


[Theo]: Fine.
Hurry up and get some sleep.


Through the blackened field of vision, Theo's voice was hoarse.


'I wonder why'


I muttered to myself and closed my eyes tightly.
I don't know the minds of kids Theo's age.
In my dazed mind, I heard his fingers tapping on the table.
Theo didn't seem to be asleep until early in the morning.




The next morning, Ms.
Hailey checked my condition briefly and quickly released me from the ward.
I smiled vaguely at her as I watched her smile with liberation.


'I used to think Ms.
Hailey was bright and sweet.'


Unintentionally, as my mental age increased, I saw things I didn't see.
For example, Ms.
Hailey was actually just an old, tired, normal adult…


[Iris]: Let's go


I took Theo's hand.
Theo grumbled that he didn't like it, but we always held hands, so it was only natural for me.


[Theo]: Let go of my hand.

[Iris]: Huh?


But Theo suddenly let go of my hand.
With a firm gesture that was distinctly different from the one when he had been holding my hand steadily and steadily.
I stared at my hands dumped in the air, eyes wide open, and looked up at Theo.
Theo said calmly, as if answering me.


[Theo]: I'm not going to hold hands with you anymore.

[Iris]: What?


There was a thud and a rumbling in my head.
An unspeakable sadness came over me.
What kind of 'I'm not going to take a bath with my mom anymore' is this?


[Iris]: Why?


I asked Theo in a voice dripping with regret.
But Theo spoke plainly in that quiet voice.


[Theo]: I don't need a reason.

[Iris]: Theo.
Has the rebellion started?

[Theo]: Sounds useless again.


Unlike me, who was in shock, Theo was maintaining his usual demeanor.


[Iris]: Why all of a sudden?

[Theo]: ……..
Because you're not my sister.


'What the hell is he talking about?'


Am I not getting the ideas of today's children because I have grown old? I was troubled by a serious face.


[Theo]: That's the case.


Whether or not he knew how I felt, Theo spoke softly and began to walk in the lead.


That was the last time.




From that day on, Theo began to distance himself from me.
Until all the bitterly cold winters have passed.


[Evelyn]: Iris, did you scold Theo by any chance?

[Iris]: What?


I frowned at Evelyn's absurd question.
She moved closer to me, using her finger to sign to be quiet.


[Evelyn]: Theo looks dead lately.
The kid who has always stuck with you…
How many weeks has this been?

[Iris]: Evelyn.
It's not like that.
And don't treat Theo like an animal!


Unable to control my anger, I jumped up from my seat and shouted.
Then, I felt the burning eyes of the children around me as well as the librarian teacher in the library.

I sat down, lowered my voice and spoke quickly in a small voice.


[Iris]: I didn't do anything.
I don't know why Theo suddenly left me.
And in the first place, Theo…!

[Librarian]: Iris.


The librarian who called my name from a distance was looking straight at me.
I said I was speaking softly, but before I knew it, my voice had gotten louder.


[Iris]: Hah….”


I ended up closing the book I was reading and head out of the library.
Even today, it seemed wrong to correct the rumors.


'What's wrong?'

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