Home Post 1103-chapter-143


Aiden’s voice made my heart drop, but I soon regained my composure.

Because the breeze that touched me yesterday was so warm. Deep down, I had hoped… It wasn’t. That it wasn’t you, that I hadn’t been seen… that’s what I had hoped.

“That breeze wasn’t a dream after all. It felt too warm to be just a dream.”


“You always have good timing. Every time I’m about to fall, you catch me. Thanks to you, my knees are still intact…”


My rambling had to stop there.

His call was loud. Uncharacteristically loud.

His sobs were sad. Uncharacteristically sad.

Our silence was sharp. So much so a slight movement could wound each other or ourselves.

“How much do you know?”

I broke the tense silence first.

At my quiet question, Aiden’s shoulders trembled slightly.

“Priest Ian kept the secret. He only knows about the blood pool. So, Miss, if you want to keep it hidden, it’s alright to do so.”

Yes, Ian kept the secret.

Typical Priest Ian. A very steadfast man. That’s why I sought his help.

I smiled faintly, recalling how uncomfortable Ian must have felt. The awkwardly raised corners of my mouth naturally found their place.

My lips felt numb, as if blood wasn’t circulating in my body.

As if the lack of circulation was numbing my head, too.

If I wanted to keep a secret, Aiden wouldn’t ask.

But… my numbed mind let my lips move on their own.

“…I’m scared.”

Yes, scared.

“Scared that if you know the truth… you might pity me. That you might struggle against hopeless hope. That we might have to inform the family, and I would have to stay locked in my room as a dying person.”

Bearing the despair of others, having to endure every day.

Aiden didn’t speak.

His hollow eyes seemed to blame me. It was hard to meet his gaze, so I turned away.

At the end of my gaze were my fingers. My finger with a ring on it.


Aiden’s answer came slowly, as if my question wasn’t clear.

Taken aback by the unexpected response, I turned my focus back to Aiden. His shoulders were still trembling.

But his face was serious. A face devoid of deceit.

“I will do as Miss wishes. Struggling against hopeless hope… that, I can’t promise. Hope is… something you can’t give up on because it’s hope. But everything else…”

As if spellbound, I slowly stood.

My legs were weak, and I slumped to the floor, but Aiden didn’t move from the door and just flinched slightly.

A single tear streak flowed from his eyes as he gazed down at me.

“Whatever it is, I will do as Miss wishes. Because I love you, Miss.”

Aiden’s voice caressed my ears.

Just moments before, my head was throbbing in pain, but his affectionate yet firm voice made me forget the pain, the situation I was in… everything.

I slowly reached my hand toward Aiden, who simply stood and watched me.

“Help me up, Aiden.”

Only then did Aiden move from the door.

He walked to me, his beautiful eyes brimming with tears. He’s such a crybaby.

Aiden’s large hand enveloped mine.

“Where would you like to go?”

“To the window.”

We whispered to each other and headed to the window. Aiden moved to fetch a chair, but I shook my head.

I chose to sit on the floor in front of the large window. Aiden brought a blanket from the sofa and draped it over my shoulders.

“Sit down, too.”

I patted the spot next to me, and Aiden sat down.

Just like a puppy. Comes when called, sits when told.

A small smile leaked out.

I slowly tilted my head.

Until my face touched his shoulder. My head started throbbing again, and I wanted to lean on something.

No, that was just an excuse.

I just wanted to lean on you. To feel you close.

For this moment, I decided to be selfish. To forget that he had confessed and I had rejected him. To forget all that and just be us, like before.

Or, me, liking you.

“Was the family shocked?”

“They were pale. The Priest and I barely stopped them from calling a doctor.”

“Really? Thanks…”

It was quiet. The moon was bright.

Even though I had lost blood and consciousness and spent half a day in bed… the moon above was just as bright as ever.

“I have a rare, incurable disease. A limited time to live. There’s no cure, and I’ll be gone in three weeks.”

I was afraid you might try to find a solution if I mentioned the Priest’s black magic… that you might actually find a solution and take on the risk to save me.

So, I deliberately kept the fact about the black magic hidden.

Well, it wasn’t entirely false. In a way, it was an incurable disease.

“I’ll tell the family, but only after the trip is over. Actually, I want to delay it even longer. You know how our family is, always so worried. The moment they know I’m sick, they’ll just cry. I don’t want that. I want to live my last moments in peace. A peaceful, leisurely life. You know that’s what I prefer.”

Aiden didn’t respond.

The sound of his breathing beside me grew a bit ragged.

“Why, I used to just lie in bed all the time. It was peaceful then, right? Just that kind of life would be fine.

To live like that and then close my eyes like that. So…”

It hurt to keep my eyes open. No matter how beautiful, staring at the moon was challenging. The bright light stung my eyes.

Colored stars seemed to hover over my closed eyelids, and the afterimage of the moonlight floated vaguely.

My mind was as blurred as the afterimage of the moonlight.

What was I trying to say again?

What was I going to say after ‘So’?

What did I want to say…? What did I want to… say?

My thoughts swiftly went dark as if a light had been turned off in my mind, leaving it empty.

And then, the only words that came to mind were…

“I like you.”

The sound of breathing stopped.

I felt movement from the shoulder where my head rested. He must have turned to look at me.

What expression would he make?

What kind of eyes would look at me?

My checklist was ruined.

I couldn’t draw with hands that wouldn’t muster strength, and on a trip meant to accumulate happiness, I ended up coughing blood and collapsing.

Out of the short list of four items, two seemed destined to be marked with a cross.

No, counting this moment, maybe three.

Whenever I wanted to draw a flower, I didn’t hesitate. I just drew it.

Whenever I wanted to capture the night sky, I didn’t hold back. I just painted it.

So, when I suddenly wanted to tell you that I like you, it was destiny that I should speak.

“Soon-to-die me, forever stuck at this age, gradually forgotten me, that me likes you.”

My closed eyes fluttered.

Was it tension, guilt, or excitement? A mix of interlaced emotions made my facial muscles tremble.

Rough hands that tell the story of your life as a worker touched my stiff face. Just like the tears shed for me, your hands were warm.

The tip of your thumb wiped under my eyes.

I hadn’t shed any tears, yet you acted as if I had, as if I were a person crying.

My throat closed, forcing me to wince and hold my breath.

“Are you confessing to me?”

Your voice, wet with emotion, came from above. My mouth naturally curved into a smile at your words.

“You’ll regret it.”

“I know.”

“You’ll cry a lot.”

“I know that, too.”

“If you’re still okay with it…”

I nodded slightly, signifying my consent.

Soon, Aiden’s hair brushed against my forehead. Following the tickling sensation, I slowly opened my eyes as a significant weight settled on my forehead.

Aiden’s forehead was resting on mine.

Cold me and warm you.

Forehead against forehead, you cried, and I smiled.