was why it was painful to keep on looking, and he hated that terribly.

“I thought he was just an irresponsible and selfish person because of the things he did to you, but when I actually saw him, I understood why you liked him so much.”

“…….” 

“Of course, I still don’t like him.”

The eyes that were smiling hard were also slightly trembling.
The agitation and anxiety were clear.
Kang Taejung who had been silently staring at his lover for a while, moved his lips. Youngwoo.
A heavy and sincere voice quietly echoed in their own space.

“It’s already over between us.”

“… He didn’t seem to be done with this at all.” 

Kang Taejung tried to reassure him as he looked into the eyes of the man who was also looking at him.
Just as Ha Joyoon felt Seo Youngwoo’s anxiety, Seo Youngwoo, too, felt Ha Joyoon’s agitation and lingering feelings.
Regardless of his thoughts, Kang Taejung strengthened his hold on the man’s shoulder.
It was as if he was trying to catch up with all of his unsettling feelings and not regret this.

“I’m done.
That’s why I’m with you.”

Long but small eyes without double eyelids contorted.
A brutal pain.

Hyung.
Do you know what kind of expression you’re making right now? Seo Youngwoo forcibly swallowed the words he couldn’t utter, took one step closer to Kang Taejung, and wrapped his arms around his waist.
The refreshing scent of perfume blended with the unique body odor stimulated the senses.
It was a scent he loved very much.
He closed his eyes tightly and was completely in his arms. 

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“I really love you.”

“… Yeah.”

“That’s why I don’t want you to get involved with him again.”

“Youngwoo.” 

“Am I being too greedy?”

“…No.”

 

He’s mine now, no matter what the past used to be.
He’s my person.
He came to me.
To stay with me.
I’ve been looking at him for a long time and always waited for the opportunity to come to me.

Ever since I got to know a man named Kang Taejung, I have never given up my heart.
I pretended to be a good brother to hang around him, but my heart was always filled with love. 

By the time I was getting tired of the never-ending unrequited love, the opportunity came as Ha Joyoon’s disappearance occurred, and I comforted Kang Taejung, who was broken by his lover’s absence and struggled to deal with it.
It was an accident this time, but he was a selfish man who had always left on his own accord and made him lonely. 

Whenever Ha Joyoon left for an unknown country to film the reality of the battlefield, I remember Kang Taejung, who was always anxious and distressed while waiting for him without any promise.
He was a person who never gave Kang Taejung a sense of stability and confidence in a relationship for even a single moment.
I have no intention of giving him back to such a person.
Love cannot last on a one-sided sacrifice alone.

Seo Youngwoo’s fingers, which were holding the collar, shook slightly. Youngwoo.
A cruel but friendly voice called out to him warmly.
The feeling was so good yet painful.
Seo Youngwoo rubbed his cheek on his wide arms.
He was confident that he would make him love him to the point that one day he wouldn’t even remember the past.

At the place where the whole family met again, the long-suffering and old feelings flowed back and forth.
His parents, who had been waiting for Ha Joyoon from outside the front door, unable to speak properly about the life or death of their son, which he confirmed only after five years, were grateful for this miracle. 

Ha Joyoon hugged the shoulders of his parents, who were shaking due to a fit of convulsions.
He felt guilty when he saw his mother’s expression, who had become skinny, and his father, who was full of sorrow.
He had hurt his head and heart, but at that moment, he felt fortunate that they were working properly.
And he realized that he had another chance at life.

He couldn’t bear to say all of his thoughts in front of his parents, who were just thankful that their son was still alive.
However, the priority was to reassure them by whispering that he would never leave the country again even though it was a promise he could not keep.
After a long conversation, Ha Joyoon was able to enter his room only near midnight.

Clack.

He brushed off his wet hair and set the mug, which was still warm, on the desk.
The sound of footsteps of the people in the picture hanging on the wall was stupefying.
Their destination was a land where death and life intersected.
It was the boundary between life and death, the living and the dead, dead but alive.
The back view of French soldiers walking towards Thai Binh from Nam Dinh, Vietnam.
It was the last picture taken by Robert Capa the moment he stepped on a mine and exploded. 

Knock Knock-

The shaking gaze headed to the door where the knock was heard.
Through the gap in the slightly opened door, a figure more familiar than anyone else could be seen.

“Do you have a moment?”

The midnight visitor was Ha Junghye, his older sister by two years.
Since they only had each other, the brother and sister were on good terms.
Ha Joyoon’s cool eyes were pleasantly curved as he greeted his sister. 

“You need to rest.
Sorry.”

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“It’s fine.
Come, sit.”

Ha Junghye, hesitated for a while, then pushed the stool slightly, quickly settling down.
Warm air flowed between them.
Ha Joyoon carefully looked at the face of his sister, whom he was seeing for the first time in several years.
Her eyes were swollen and red from crying all evening.
When he looked at her, her easygoing personality meant that she couldn’t remember the past when she acted like a tomboy, so he laughed out loud without realizing it.

“Are you laughing?” 

“…Sorry.
What’s up?”

Ha Joyoon, who put the half-wet towel aside, stretched lightly.
Ha Junghye, who was staring at him intently as if she would not miss a single little movement of her little brother, tucked her hair that lightly covered her shoulders behind her ears and smiled.

 

“It’s strange.”

“What is?” 

“That you’re in this room.”

“…….”

“Nothing has changed, but only you weren’t here until yesterday.”

When I first opened the door, I couldn’t help but be surprised. From small props to cluttered objects, there was no change in the room, as if it were stuffed with the moment Ha Joyoon last left.
When he became an adult, he got an officetel and lived separately, but since he had been coming and going to his parents’ house regularly, many things remained as they were.
His parents probably kept his traces as they waited for their son.
Without knowing that it would take five years.
The time that had passed in vain became sad again, and Ha Joyoon quietly lowered his eyelids. 

“Mom cleaned it up every night.
You don’t know how careful she was to not even touch the location of the objects.
It shouldn’t change… In case you’ll feel awkward when you come… .”

“Yeah.”

“In both the company and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs… In fact, even when they announced that you were dead, Mom and Dad… never believed it.”

Ha Junghye smiled as if she were crying, and clasped her brother’s hand, who was not moving. 

“Neither did I.”

My little brother. Words she couldn’t bring herself to finish filled the space between them.
Indescribable emotions tightened the throat. It was not too long until this moment when I opened my eyes and sat down, but my heart, which had collapsed from too much shock, has calmed down for a while now. Ha Joyoon swallowed the sorrow accumulated over five years and quietly spoke up.

“It’s my fault.”

A voice resembling a sigh, an unspeakable regret, sadness, a sense of shame, all these emotions came together and mixed.
He had always pursued an unrealistic ideal.
He believed that he had chosen the best path at the crossroads of choice.
He thought that he was responsible for that choice, but he did not realize that there could be other people who were innocently hurt by it. The consequences of my past full of indifference were truly brutal. 

 

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