Love for Love's Sake - Chapter 31
[Ahn Gyeonghun] : Myeongha
[Ahn Gyeonghun] : Thank you so much for yesterday
When I woke up and checked my phone, there was a message from someone in the middle of the night thanking me.
A message like this at 3AM?
I had already received thanks and apologies from Ahn Gyeonghun before meeting up with Cha Yeowoon yesterday. I practically had to push him away when he insisted on helping with the cleaning.
Based on what I had heard about Ahn Gyeonghun, a story could be roughly drawn. The reason why he had received mental health treatment was probably due to bullies like Tak Junho yesterday.
Maybe that was why his family and teachers felt the need to be overprotective or show extra concern for him.
I began attending New Leaf only in my 3rd year after having fallen into the classroom, so I wasn’t aware at first. Though, if I had known, it wouldn’t have mattered much.
Ahn Gyeonghun was just one of the many worries I was going through.
The culprit, who had been sending me vague texts since early morning, confronted me as I just reached school, fixing me with a determined gaze while unaware of my worries.
“We’re going to study together with Cha Yeowoon. Is that okay?”
“Huh? Together? The three of us?”
“Ehm. It would be good if you could teach him too, but if you think it’ll interfere with your studies, you can focus on your own.”
Ahn Gyeonghun, who had been hesitating, shook his head as if he had made a big decision.
“Cha Yeowoon, um, I’ll teach the junior well.”
His burning enthusiasm seemed to be more about repaying a debt than studying. He didn’t need to go that far. I scratched the back of my head for a moment. Well, I guess it was fine.
* * *
Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all.
The atmosphere was incredibly awkward. It felt suffocating.
Cha Yeowoon and Ahn Gyeonghun couldn’t have been more awkward than this. Still, we had eaten tteokbokki together last time.
We had decided to study at Cha Yeowoon’s place, but even the journey there posed a problem. Although there were plenty of empty seats on the bus when we boarded at the time Cha Yeowoon’s training ended, the three of us stood awkwardly together.
“Why don’t you sit down?”
Just to clarify, it wasn’t that I didn’t sit because I didn’t want to. It was because Cha Yeowoon and Ahn Gyeonghun had both attached themselves to me and didn’t move, so I also stood.
“Where is senior going to sit?”
“I was going to sit alone, so you two can sit together.”
I let out a deep sigh when neither of them took a seat.
It was clear why they were standing like this on a bus that had already started moving. Despite the fact that they could have sat anywhere, they were watching where I would sit. Both of them at that.
In the end, I sat in the back seat, right in the middle, like a king. With Cha Yeowoon and Ahn Gyeonghun on either side of me.
I wanted to sit by the window, but that would have made them uncomfortable sitting side by side. I began to have my doubts about today’s study session.
“I-I’ve brought some workbooks I had used in my 2nd year. I thought they might be helpful.”
Contrary to my worries, Ahn Gyeonghun behaved extremely politely once we arrived at Cha Yeowoon’s place. It was a far cry from the No-License delinquent who had complained about how anyone could live here.
From the seemingly heavy bag, Ahn Gyeonghun carefully placed a few workbooks onto the desk. Cha Yeowoon hesitated for a moment when he received the workbooks sorted by subject, then nodded.
“No problem. Y-You’re a close junior to Myeongha. I’m also indebted to him.”
“Senior Myeongha is in the same class as you, right?”
“Ehm. His seat is next to mine.”
“Does senior Myeongha pay attention in class?”
“Uh, usually, but he does sleep sometimes…”
“What kind of conversation are you having with someone sitting next to you?”
It was good that they had found a common topic, but why did it have to be me?
“Study for the upcoming exam. It’s in two weeks.”
After I interrupted them, they quietly returned to their workbooks. Cha Yeowoon seemed full of complaints, but at least he listened well.
His commitment to studying appeared sincere as he actively asked Ahn Gyeonghun about the problems. I couldn’t help but feel a hint of distrust in the part where he didn’t ask me anything. Such a cautious guy.
“Th-This is how you do this. Using the similarity of a right triangle, the length of segment P…”
Ahn Gyeonghun did his best to explain, and Cha Yeowoon listened intently, clicking his mechanical pencil.
Anyone could tell just by their reactions. Despite Ahn Gyeonghun’s efforts, Cha Yeowoon wasn’t fully grasping the explanations.
Understanding something yourself and teaching it to others were two different things. In a situation like this, one of them should have realized and stopped, but both were stumbling through it blindly.
“Let me see.”
I couldn’t sit still and watch anymore, so I took the workbook.
“You don’t understand, do you?”
“No, that’s not true.”
Cha Yeowoon retorted with a hint of annoyance. Who was he trying to fool? It was the face of a child who didn’t understand the lesson. It was all written on his face. He had no idea what Ahn Gyeonghun was saying.
“What Gyeonghun said. Do you know the Pythagorean theorem?”
“It’s not that I’m not studying.”
“Okay, I understand. Who says you’re not studying? I was just asking so I know where to start explaining. Anyway, you solve this using that.”
I explained the problem while jotting down equations on a piece of paper. Cha Yeowoon understood it quicker than I expected. His comprehension was good. Although there were gaps in his fundamentals, it wasn’t like he couldn’t catch up.
“Senior, was the talk about you being good at studying true?”
“Do you think I’m crazy to pull you in for studying and lie about it? Trust me a little.”
“I didn’t think you studied at all, honestly.”
“In the first place, a true master never shows his presence.”
Cha Yeowoon continued to show an amazed expression. Even Ahn Gyeonghun seemed surprised as if he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
Despite how I might appear now, I was an instructor teaching children like them, so to be treated like this…Of course, when I was really 19, I had fought fiercely with the guys who ranked in the bottom 10.
“Do you want to grab dinner after this? I-I’ll treat.”
“What do you mean you’ll treat us? Let’s split it three ways. I’ll cover for Cha Yeowoon.”
“Why would senior pay for mine?”
“Because you’re the youngest.”
“No. Myeongha you got hurt yesterday because of me.”
“How long are you going to talk about that? You’ll probably still be talking about it at your 70th birthday. I wasn’t even hurt. If I had to say, losing my first kiss was a bigger deal.”
“What are you talking about?”
Cha Yeowoon interjected with a straight face. I stopped Ahn Gyeonghun from answering. If he started talking, I would have had to explain the whole story from beginning to end.
“I kissed Tak Junho yesterday.”
“Wh-What, kissed? Tak Junho?”
“Yes. That’s what happened.”
“Why would senior kiss Tak Junho?”
“To scold him.”
“What? Why would you kiss to scold someone? Wait, senior is fine kissing m-men?”
Cha Yeowoon must have been quite taken aback, but the further he spoke, the more strange his words became. Even the pronunciation was twisted at the end.
Amidst this healthy schedule of studying for the midterm, why had something like whether or not I was fine kissing men suddenly become a central topic of discussion?
I could have passed it off as a joke and say I had no choice, but I was worried about the stiffened Ahn Gyeonghun, who had been entrenched in rumors with men.
“Can’t I? So what?”
When I retorted impassively, Cha Yeowoon became startled like a surprised rabbit.
“It’s…I’m not saying it’s wrong.”
“You should study before you get scolded by me, too. So, what are we eating? How about some chicken?”
Ignoring Cha Yeowoon, I checked the delivery app. As expected of a nation of delivery, there were plenty of chicken places to choose from.
“Seasoned and fried? Let’s skip spicy since Yeowoon can’t handle it.”
Cha Yeowoon, who had kept interrupting and trying to pry into the memories of my sharp first kiss, became silent from that moment. I was surprised when he suddenly buried his head in the problem book and began working through the questions with enthusiasm.
We ordered three orders of chicken, but it wasn’t enough. As expected of high school boys in the prime of growth. It was funny when I offered them a leg each and they refused, but ended up eating them.
“Senior, do you want more?”
“I’m full just watching you guys eat.”
“Myeongha, should we order something else?”
“It’s fine. Finish the cola. It’s getting late, Gyeonghun, shouldn’t you go home?”
It was regrettable that it seemed Ahn Gyeonghun didn’t get to study much. Seeing the time, he was surprised and packed his bag.
“I didn’t realize the time passed so quickly. I-It was fun.”
Some might wonder how studying could be fun. But I understood Ahn Gyeonghun’s excited reaction. Honestly, I had fun too.
It was my first time experiencing the fun of spending time with my peers. Chatting, eating together, and hanging out.
After tidying up the desks, Cha Yeowoon and I saw off Ahn Gyeonghun. It wasn’t my home, but since I came and went often, I had naturally become part-landlord.
“Myeongha, aren’t you leaving?”
“Go ahead. I’ll clean up and head out. Go home safely.”
Ahn Gyeonghun, who was about to leave after we exchanged goodbyes, hesitated.
“W-Would you like to study together tomorrow?”
“If you’re okay with it.”
Ahn Gyeonghun went downstairs with a bright smile. The smile seen through the thick glasses was very apparent.
The Sub-Mission was undoubtedly to help Cha Yeowoon make friends, but for some reason, I thought the person who would benefit the most was Ahn Gyeonghun.
Anyway, even just one friend was fine. If Cha Yeowoon had truly disliked it, he would have declined, but watching him studying so composedly, it seemed he genuinely liked it.
While sorting out the trash from the chicken we had just eaten, I casually remarked.
“Gyeonghun is a nice guy.”
“Isn’t it fun and good when the three of us study together?”
Why did Cha Yeowoon have to be so blunt?
It was a relief Ahn Gyeonghun had already gone home. Cha Yeowoon firmly tied up the pay-as-you-throw trash bag.
“It’s not that I don’t like senior Ahn Gyeonghun. I thought I would be studying with senior alone today.”
“I suggested we study together last time. And it doesn’t matter if it’s two or three of us. How much did Gyeonghun teach you today?”
“It’s not that I don’t like senior.”
“I said I wanted to study with just senior. I told you.”
Cha Yeowoon spoke assertively. The pay-as-you-throw trash bag was knotted once more and made a rustling sound.
I took a moment to understand his meaning and realized.
“Yeowoon, you only want to hang out with people you already know?”
“You need to work on your social skills. Make some friends. Hang out together.”
“Tae Myeongha, you’re really annoying…”
“What? Did you just say something?”
“I didn’t say anything. I’m going to take out the trash.”
Cha Yeowoon thought I wouldn’t have heard him because he had muttered softly. Now that his favorability had improved, I thought he had become a cute puppy that followed his senior well, but my favorite was still rude.
“Where do you throw away the trash here? I saw a pile of trash bags under the building. Can I just throw it there?”
“Let’s go together. But before that, senior.”
“I won’t hear any questions related to kissing.”
“Was that really the question?”