How long had I been sitting there? I saw someone come out into the third-floor hallway. They were a long way away and I couldn't make out their face. But it seemed to be a thin middle-aged woman. The woman rested her arms on the banister and looked down at the playground. Then she lit a cigarette. The flame of the lighter shone and then vanished. Cigarette smoke spread out into the blue dawn air.

    I looked up at her without moving an inch. Our surroundings grew lighter, maybe because the sun was rising. The woman stayed with her arms on the banister. Looking outward, and lit cigarette after cigarette when the last one burned out.

    I wondered if she had seen me. My face wouldn't be visible at this distance. But what would she have thought about seeing someone sitting on a swing in a playground at this hour? I supported the swing with both arms and legs so it wouldn't so much as creak. The lit tip of the cigarette flared and waned, again and again. The sun was coming up. The woman lit her last cigarette as she took in the light. Then she turned around and went back inside. I counted doors from the left end of the hall, 304, 305, 306. Then that door was my mom's house.


    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.