My side hurt so badly it seemed to be tearing. Sweat fell in drops. In the nooks and crannies of the railroad, in the vacant lot behind the convenience store, under the overpass--the girl was nowhere to be found. I had even run to the bus stop, but as expected I didn't see her. The people waiting for their buses looked at me strangely. What had happened? We hadn't promised to meet, but it was still strange. That girl always appeared from somewhere and followed me around. Even if I told her it was annoying, it was no use. But now she was nowhere to be found, even in the places we used to go together.

    I came to a familiar wall and slowed my steps. There was graffiti there we had drawn together. It was the first thing she had ever drawn. On top of it there was a large "X" drawn. It was her. I hadn't seen her do it, but I knew. Why? There was no response. Instead, several after-images overlapped on the wall.

    Her laughing at me after I had laid down on the railroad tracks and hit my head. Her helping me up after I'd fallen trying to help her run away, her angry face after I'd stolen and eaten her bread. Her cloudy expression when we passed in front of a photo studio with a family photo in the window. Her gaze following the students we passed by, unbeknownst even to her. As we had sprayed this wall together I had said, "if you have a problem, tell me about it, don't just grumble to yourself." The X was drawn over all those memories. It seemed like it was saying all of it was fake. It seemed like it was saying they were all lies. Without realizing, I had made my hands into fists. Why? Of course there was no response. I kept walking. We were alone again. Me, and her.


    The Notes 1: 花樣年華 [The Most Beautiful Moment in Life]


      Taehyung is climbing the stairs to his house, skipping past broken plates and liquor bottles to find his father passed out. His sister assures him it was not what it looked like, and the woman living nearby had called police because she heard loud noises. Taehyung turns to see the police in their house. Taehyung look at his father’s figure, and thinks of how he worked as a labourer at a construction site.

      Taehyung used to dream of killing his father in his dreams. Once he had actually done it too, and ever since that time, he began sympathizing with him.

      The police officer is someone Taehyung has seen regularly. The officer told him to thank the lady who reported and left. Taehyung asks his sister if she had been in touch with their mother. The sister tells him that their mother missed Taehyung a lot. Taehyung is resentful and asks her for her address and contact information. He wants to just go and release his bitterness and ask her why she thought it would be a good idea to leave them. She tells him she only knows that their mother lives in an apartment in Buk-gu, Munhyeon.

      Taehyung starts towards the north, and eventually realizes Jungkook had followed him.He tells him to go away and starts walking on the overpass. Eventually he feels sorry for Jungkook and asks him if his leg is okay. They stop by a store as they approach town to eat. Taehyung leaves to get some drinks, but when he returns a shabby looking man in a khaki overcoat was eating Taehyung’s unfinished noodles. At that moment some troublemakers trip the man and he falls down. Taehyung tries to fight with the men, and Jungkook joins in too. The shop owner calls the police on them, and they flee.

      A silver car brushes Jungkook lightly and he falls down, stunned. The car belonged to the troublemakers from earlier. Stunned, Jungkook gets up and has some difficulty walking. Taehyung decides it is back for them to head back home.

      Since there is still time for the first bus, Taehyung and Jungkook end up watching the scenery as Taehyung confides in Jungkook how he had followed his mother back when he was a child and she had left them. While walking, his mother had stood still once, and Taehyung did nothing but come back.

      On their way back to Songju in the bus, they spot the man in the khaki overcoat again.