“Let’s eat together if you haven’t.”
Yoo-hwa, who restored her focus on Woo-hyun’s words, shook her head.
“… No, I…”
“I don’t like eating alone.”
“Eating together, it’s not difficult.”
“It doesn’t have any special meaning as you said, so don’t worry too much about it.
If it’s burdensome, think of it as me paying you for the ramyeon you gave me.
Or you can think of it as payback for covering your sneakers with plastic yesterday, if that’s difficult.”
Yoo-hwa’s gaze tilted downwards and then rose in a straight line.
“Will you refuse even after I said this”
As Woo-hyun bent his waist and spoke in a low, pitiful voice, Yoo-hwa’s eyes fluttered.
The Yoo-hwa that Woo-hyun remembered from middle school was similar to Eun-soo.
She couldn’t easily ignore pitiful, small things.
She was a kid who bought milk with her pocket money for a cat that was limping along the school wall.
If she wasn’t much different from back then, he thought that Yoo-hwa would not be able to reject him.
However, Woo-hyun did not hang onto it strongly nor was he forceful.
Instead, he looked away with a resigned expression.
Like someone who knows that it was Yoo-hwa’s weakness.
“… What are you going to eat”
Yoo-hwa finally asked.
Woo-hyun smiled brightly and answered inwardly.
Woo-hyun thoroughly investigated Kim Yi-woon.
After dispatching all the people from the detective agency and searching from top to bottom, he found some important things.
If human beings could be treated like garbage, that’s what Kim Yi-woon would do; and, strangely enough, such a human being cherished and cared for his stepsister, Kim Yoo-hwa.
Since his school days, he said that if anyone spoke recklessly about his older sister, he would mercilessly punch them in the face.
Most of the times he was taken to the police station was because of something related to his sister.
Because a guy talked recklessly about her, because a guy confessed to her, etc.
Woo-hyun laughed silently at Jun-kyung, who reported as if hitting people for talking recklessly or even confessing was something surprising.
Although they lived separately as adults, he found out that Kim Yi-woon stopped by Yoo-hwa’s house regularly on a fixed date and showed his face.
At any rate, Kim Yoo-hwa was important to Kim Yi-woon, and for that reason, Yoo-hwa was also important to Woo-hyun.
Because he is the person who can catch Kim Yi-Woon, and she is the person who can inflict the same kind of pain on him.
Woo-hyun wanted to return to Kim Yi-woon the terrible experience of his one and only precious family coming back broken into pieces from the inside out.
Woo-hyun looked at the steaming pot.
It had ramyeon in it.
Next to it was the kimchi that Yoo-hwa had just brought.
“As I said before, I only have ramyeon.”
Yoo-hwa said in an awkward voice as he sat down across from him.
A moment ago, when Woo-hyun proposed to go out and get something simple to eat, Yoo-hwa shook her head with a troubled expression.
She said that he had only a short time because she had to take care of the grandma.
“Then do you want to eat at home”
At Woo-hyun’s question, the expression on Yoo-hwa’s face disappeared.
She looked like she hadn’t thought of that.
She impulsively accepted the offer to have a meal together, but she seemed to remember belatedly that there was no suitable place.
Yoo-hwa, who stood blankly for a moment, said again that it would be difficult to have a meal together; and after comforting her and insisting, Woo-hyun eventually persuaded her to eat ramyeon at her house.
Yoo-hwa’s door and the old wooden door were wide open, so he could clearly see the outside.
It seemed to mean that Yoo-hwa could run away at any time.
At the same time, it was a message containing the meaning of just eating and leaving.
“Thank you for the food.”
Woo-hyun held up his chopsticks, pretending not to have noticed it.
Slurp, only the sound of slurping the noodles filled the house.
Followed by the crunchy sound of chewing the kimchi.
Woo-hyun ate without saying a word, like a person whose sole purpose was the ramyeon.
Just before the two packets of ramyeon were finished, Yoo-hwa, who had been squinting at him, opened her mouth.
“I know you’re lonely, but…”
At Yoo-hwa’s words, Woo-hyun looked up.
She said she knows he is lonely.
Woo-hyun wanted to applaud her for guessing exactly what he was trying to convey.
“It would be better if you stayed away from me.”
“It’s just that.”
“Because you’re a murderer’s daughter”
Yoo-hwa’s chopsticks stopped in the air.
Her eyes widened in shock.
After a while, Yoo-hwa, who grabbed the chopsticks just before they fell, swallowed dry.
After slowly moving the chopsticks down as if trying to contain the shaking, she hid her hands under the table.
But she couldn’t hide her trembling arms.
Yoo-hwa, who had been shaking her head for a moment, looked up.
Numerous emotions rushed into her light brown eyes like waves.
Soon after, the two eyes were empty, like a falling tide.
“… You knew”
Yoo-hwa’s voice was hoarse.
“I happened to know.”
Woo-hyun responded lightly.
“Then why did you say to eat together Were you curious About whether the daughter of a murderer will also commit murder, or is she violent, or how does she live”
Yoo-hwa’s twisted lips trembled lightly.
As if it had been a long time since she has lived while being looked at like that, the way she talked was filled with spite.