GrandS Chapter 5

Chapter 5: 1991 A Late Night #3

TL: emptycube / ED: Raigeh


 

“Haa… Haa…”

 

After eating, he kept walking around the living room. He could feel that his body was gradually understanding the sensation of ‘walking’. However, he had yet to feel a sense of unity in his body.

Although it was possible to move his arm as soon as he thought about moving it, there seemed to be a ‘delay’ in the process of thinking about moving his leg and actually moving it. If there was no problem with his body, then he could assume that a mental factor was restraining his body.

What could he do, except keep walking?

His mother held a towel in her hand and was busy wiping Young Suk’s sweat anxiously.

 

“Sorry. Now and in the past, I keep troubling you.”

“It’s okay. Don’t say things like that, since I’m not used to them.”

 

Seeing his mother reply while feigning ignorance, Young Suk grinned.

The training continued even after dinner.

His father, who must have gotten an earful when he said he was leaving work early, followed Young Suk around and took care of him since 6 p.m.

At 8 p.m., Young Suk quickly showered and collapsed on his bed, almost fainting.

 

***

 

“Hmm, as expected, there’s no problem.”

 

When Saturday came around, Young Suk and his parents, who arrived at the hospital, showed expressions of relief when they heard Young Ae’s words.

It felt like he had taken all the tests the hospital could offer. Young Ae persistently worried about Young Suk’s health and spent 4-5 hours conducting tests on him.

 

“How’s walking?”

 

Young Ae asked as she looked at Young Suk. Young Ae’s skin was had become dull and dry after spending the entire day treating outpatients as the hospital was inevitably crowded on Saturdays.

Although Young Suk was exhausted as well, he smiled brightly at her as he replied,

 

“I can walk fine without much trouble. If you ignore the sense of a delay, it’s fine.”

“…?”

 

Young Ae felt that Young Suk’s speech was strangely out of place. It was the same for his expression. It wasn’t the bright smile characteristic of a child’s.

As the amount of affection and attention she gave Young Suk was no less than Young Suk’s parents, she could easily discern the change in Young Suk. When she secretly glanced at Yi Hyun Wu and Han Min Ji, who were her friends since college, they tried their best to avoid her gaze.

 

‘What’s going on…’

 

After deciding to interrogate them later, Young Ae met Young Suk’s gaze again and said,

 

“Really? Still, come once a week. You’re going to start going to school after your entrance ceremony so you just need to come when you end early. Since it’s close, you should be able to come alone.”

 

Like his mother, she was an aunty who worried a lot, both in the past and now.

 

“Ah, right. I have to give you a gift for entering school.”

 

Fumbling, Young Ae took out a large box from under her desk and said,

 

“Open it.”

 

Young Suk glanced at his parents before opening the box.

 

“Oh my god…”

 

Young Suk was surprised at the various colored items.

There were two rackets from Wilson Co. and a pair of Nike tennis shoes inside. There was also a tennis bag to put them in. It was a gift set.

 

“Since I was still nervous about having you use adult gear, I bought you ones for juniors. Since you’re going to grow quickly, I only bought one pair of shoes.”

 

Young Ae, who began talking quickly in a nonchalant manner, cleared her throat, seemingly embarrassed. She was embarrassed about being so nosy in front of his parents, who were her friends.

 

“Oh, wow. You bought such pretty ones~!”

“Thanks.”

 

Hyun Wu and Min Ji each said a word of thanks and Young Suk did so as well.

 

“Thank you. I’ll use it well!!”

 

Young Suk couldn’t stop smiling even after he said his farewells and left the hospital.

 

“You’re that happy?”

 

When his mother asked, he replied in a gentle voice,

 

“Besides you and dad, she’s the one who cares about me the most.”

“Yeah. That girl strangely adored you since you were born.”

 

Perhaps it was because he received an overflowing amount of love on his way back, hugging a bundle of presents, but he was happy.

 

 

***

 

The day of the entrance ceremony arrived.

Before this day, Young Suk had constantly walked and walked.

That was all he could do.

Also, the day the entrance ceremony quickly arrived.

 

“Where’s Young Suk?”

 

Young Ae, who had made precious time to congratulate Young Suk, badgered Han Min Ji and Yi Hyun Wu.

 

“Haa, this girl. People might think he’s your son. At this rate, won’t I have my son snatched from me right under my nose?”

 

Han Min Ji scolded. To these three, this was their greeting.

Unlike her words, Han Min Ji and Yi Hyun Wu, who knew why Young Ae looked out for Young Suk so much, had Young Ae sit between them.

 

‘So long…!’

 

It was definitely long.

Perhaps the principal thought that these kids with baby fat on their cheeks, who had just entered primar- no, elementary school{1}, would understand his speech or perhaps it was for the crowd of parents in the stands, but his speech continued endlessly.

 

Click, click.

 

Due to the parents who would click their camera shutters as soon as they discovered their kids, Young Suk, felt like he was standing on the tennis court.

 

‘People took a ton of pictures during the Paralympics too…’

 

The only differences were that they were currently using film cameras instead of digital cameras and the lousy domestic cars that lined up outside the school gate, which gave Young Suk an endless sense of realism.

 

“… I wish you all the best of luck.”

“Finally, we will sing the school song.”

 

As soon as the principal’s speech ended, an upper year girl, who had been waiting, stood on the podium and raised her baton.

Music flowed out from the pre-installed speakers and the school song began.

 

‘Tacky.’

 

He looked at the song in the pamphlet he had received.

What mountain and what about receiving a righteous energy…?

Young Suk simply opened and closed his mouth like a goldfish.

 

“Cheese!”

 

After the formal entrance ceremony event ended, Young Suk was pestered by Young Ae and his parents.

Not only his father, but he was lifted and hugged by his mother as their pictures were taken. His picture was taken as he was placed on his father’s shoulders.

 

‘Everyone’s full of energy…’

 

Although it was tiring, happiness poked its way up to Young Suk’s heart too.

Afterwards, they got in the car and ate at a quiet restaurant. It was a pleasant day.

 

‘I really did return.’

 

***

 

Uncaring of Young Suk’s thoughts, time went on impassively day after day.

A horrible boredom came upon him.

No, it went beyond simple boredom and sent chills down his spine.

From the way teachers spoke to children, to the high-pitched voices of children.

And how was school? Although he was writing his ABC’s, his mind was in a stupor.

In his past life, he was good at studying so he easily passed the qualification exams, and he even performed well on his college entrance exams that he was accepted into top universities. Although he didn’t accept since he was concentrating on tennis, he had lived a life that made his parents and himself proud.

After deciding to thoroughly set up a life plan on a later date, Young Suk made his way to the hospital. It was the day he would receive a checkup from his parents’ best friend, Young Ae.

Even though a week had passed since the entrance ceremony, he was always alone on his way to and from school. He couldn’t bring himself to mingle with others so he went around by himself.

 

“I should go home first before going to the hospital.”

 

His backpack was quite heavy due being filled with the textbooks and other books. They weren’t just lined notebooks. The textbooks, which contained study notes split into sections and lines in a specific style and were filled with tacky fonts, were unnecessarily large and heavy.

Since his home was on the way to the hospital from school, Young Suk walked, thinking about dropping off his backpack at home.

 

Jjing.

 

“Keuk…”

 

After he dropped his backpack off at home, passed the security office and left his complex, he staggered due to a sudden migraine.

 

“What’s this…?”

 

His mood became severely bad and he felt so nauseated that he felt like throwing up. It was the same as the ones he felt the few days following his return after his death(?). His mind became tattered as it felt like it was stretched then loosened. Due to it acting up however it wanted, his mind and body quickly became exhausted.

A strange phenomenon with unknown origins.

His heart thumped and his body felt cold. His mood continued to drop every step he took.

Thinking that he should quickly go to the hospital, Young Suk quickened his pace. He thought that it would be okay since it was only 10 minutes away.

 

As soon as the crosswalk in the distance entered his sight, his heart began to beat even faster.

He felt a very ominous premonition. He felt a strange sense of déjà vu and even became uneasy.

However, Young Suk, who seemed to know why he felt this way, didn’t stop his steps and continued stubbornly.

 

“…!!!”

 

This negative energy reached its peak as soon as a girl came into his sight.

His consciousness became blank and an ominous video played back. It was a memory that had been locked up by a combination of his own and others’ wills.

 


{1} This is pretty difficult to explain in words, but Koreans used to call elementary school 국민학교, but now it’s 초등학교. Young Suk thought 초등학교 before changing it to 국민학교 to match the times.

 

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