༺ Friendship (3) ༻
Sharon said that she’d just be changing her clothes, but it took ten minutes before she stepped out of her room and joined Siwoo in the living room.
“Did I make you wait for too long?”
“No. Can you get me some beer? Also, I put some popcorn in the microwave.”
Said popcorn was the 2,000 won kind that were sold at the convenience store, and the beer was the cold and canned one.
Watching a movie with the AC on and a cozy blanket draped over their knees was a moment of pure bliss for them.
Specifically for Siwoo, having Sharon, a beautiful female friend, with him, just made the experience significantly better.
Sharon exclaimed as she settled onto the sofa, placing the popcorn and beer on the armrest.
The distance between them was so close, but it seemed entirely natural.
Her smooth thigh, hidden under her dolphin-patterned shorts, touched Siwoo’s.
“Pass me the beer.”
“Here you go.”
Even Siwoo was amazed at how effective the AC was, considering that it was currently midsummer. Initially, he was afraid that he’d have to deal with sweat all over his body.
He leaned over to grab the beer from Sharon’s hand, and noticed something.
Normally, when she was indoor, Sharon would prefer to wear her dolphin shorts and a tank top.
Siwoo still remembered the culture shock he felt when he witnessed the combination of her voluptuous chest, which didn’t quite match her slender waist, and the absence of her bra under her tank top.
Whenever she made slight movements, it’d nearly expose her breasts and protruding nipples.
While Siwoo had grown accustomed to a lot of things, he still felt uneasy when seeing this sight, so he always tried to avoid it by averting his gaze.
After all, he didn’t have the kind of personality to say things like, ‘Hey, your chest is making me uncomfortable, so wear a bra at least!’
But for some reason, she wore a black bra under her black tank top today.
The choice of color was probably because she tried to match it with her shoulder straps.
In any case, he couldn’t see her protruding nipples anymore, as the bra cups covered them.
Sensing something was off, Sharon asked that question.
But, that wasn’t exactly a good move from her.
She was aware what was the reason behind his awkward reaction, and said awkwardness was contagious, making feel the same way.
The way she nervously brushed her forearms and fidget hinted to her discomfort in the moment.
Siwoo took a gulp of his beer, trying to soothe his parched throat, before adjusting his posture and tried to compose himself.
‘Why is she wearing a bra now?’
‘Did she notice my discomfort despite my efforts to hide it?’
Though, the thing that had been bothering him had gone, so he felt a little relieved about this situation, but…
He felt mostly awkward rather than relieved, as he kept on pondering, ‘Why did she suddenly do this…?’
“…Y-You seemed bothered by it, that’s why I did it.”
“W-What I’m trying to say is… I-I haven’t been wearing my underwear, right? N-No I’m wearing it… I just don’t want you to get the wrong idea…”
Sharon caught his glance, briefly turned her mint-colored eyes towards him, and spoke.
He wasn’t great at hiding emotions, and Sharon already knew this a long time ago.
“Ah, I see.”
The brief conversation ended with Siwoo’s curt response, replaced by the dry sound of them sipping their beer for a while.
An awkward air enveloped the two of them.
Siwoo felt the urge to clear the awkwardness, but struggled to find the correct words to use.
Luckily for him, Sharon took the lead and started a new topic of conversation with him.
“So, what are we going to watch today?”
“I don’t know. I’m not good at these things.”
“Then, why don’t we just pick something randomly? I’m fine with anything.”
“If you say so.”
Siwoo pressed the remote control and selected movies that appeared randomly on screen.
He had planned to watch a war movie or a thriller movie, but ended up choosing an unexpected genre in a rush.
The movie they ended up picking was a romantic comedy that he had never heard before. And it didn’t seem to be a masterpiece or anything of the sorts either.
Nibbling their popcorn, the two of them watched the movie intermittently.
Before the movie reached the fifteen minute mark, Siwoo already had a hunch.
‘Why does this always happen when I’m the one who’s choosing?’
Just by looking at the scene in the beginning and its plot, Siwoo could tell if the movie would be entertaining or not.
And according to his impression, this movie was a hot mess.
The actors’ performance was subpar, and the events that brought the male and female protagonists together felt very forced.
He anticipated that he’d be feeling really bored and kept on stifling his yawns for the rest of the movie.
Sharon, on the other hand, was eagerly watching without any signs of being distracted.
In just fifteen minutes into the so-called romantic comedy movie, a passionate scene unfolded on the screen.
When he watched it, all the remaining expectations Siwoo had were completely gone.
At that moment, Sharon, who was watching the two characters getting all sticky and smoochy at a graduation party, suddenly called out to him.
He glanced briefly to his side and noticed that she was also stealing a glance at him from the corner of her eye.
The room was pretty dark, as the only light source inside came from the screen, so it made it hard for him to tell, but he was sure that there was a little blush on her face.
“Have you ever kissed?”
“That came out of nowhere…”
Sharon’s sudden question left Siwoo scratching his head in surprise.
By now, he prided himself on somewhat understanding what a woman was thinking about.
But, even he couldn’t understand why she was asking such a question at this very moment.
Throughout their time together, he concluded that Sharon showed no interest in relationships, or even saw him as a man.
So, he assumed that she only asked this out of curiosity.
As if to confirm that, Sharon continued speaking.
“I’ve seen a lot of kissing scenes in movies, so I was wondering… If you have any experience or not…”
He immediately remembered four people.
Amelia, Odile, Odette and Yebin.
That got him to think if his life in Gehenna might have been better than he initially thought.
“Yeah, I do.”
“I kinda expected that…”
Her response came out somewhat gloomily.
“Because… It seems like you’re not particularly interested when you watch those kissing scenes…”
Siwoo turned his gaze at her. He noticed her calm demeanor, despite her clenched fists and sparkling eyes.
Still, this didn’t answer the question, why did she bring up the topic in the first place?
“Also, there’s something else I want to ask…”
“When do people suppose to kiss? Is it the same as in movies?”
“Same as in movies?”
Sharon had seen and heard things about kissing.
But her standards and understanding of it were still somewhat vague.
In movies, the main characters would often share a kiss when they reunited with their ex-lovers after a long time, confessed their love or when their love was finally realized. Romantic background music would often accompany these scenes.
“Kissing is something two people do together, right? When you watch movies, do you ever get a feeling like, ‘This is the time!’ then they start kissing immediately after? Or are there some unwritten rules or societal norms that dictate the timing?”
In other words, she wondered if kissing was only reserved for ‘an important moment.’
The answer was, it wasn’t.
A couple could kiss in the most ordinary circumstances, like when they woke up next to each other, during a casual encounter or even while sharing a meal.
Once they became lovers, they’d go at it, biting and sucking each other’s tongues in their daily lives.
Their conversation started while the movie slowed down to an extent.
‘This sounded like something the twins would ask,’ Siwoo thought.
Curiosity that stemmed from one’s innocence.
Sharon was trying to understand emotional matters by using her logic.
“How was it for you?”
His first kiss was tainted by Odile’s forceful actions, so he didn’t even consider telling her about it. So was his kiss with Odette, since it was a result of the effect of a love potion.
Which left him with the other two; Amelia and Yebin.
With Amelia, it was when he hugged her as she tearfully apologized, and before he knew it, their lips had already met each other. As for Yebin, it was when she asked, ‘Should we kiss before having a sex?’
Among the two, there was only one of them that aligned with Sharon’s question.
His kiss with Amelia.
It stirred an unexplainable ache in his chest.
He disregarded the unease and focused solely on the moment when their lips met.
But, as he tried to do that, he found out that he was unable to put it into words.
It was similar to when one was looking at a bouquet of flowers. One might recognize it as such, but if the question, ‘How many flowers make up the bouquet?’ was asked, they’d struggle to answer it.
“It’s hard to explain… I just felt a desire to… Just go for it, I guess…”
“What do you mean by that?”
‘This conversation took an unexpected turn,’ Siwoo thought.
It felt awkward for him to discuss such matters while watching a romance movie.
While Sharon seemed indifferent, he felt rather uneasy.
“Back then… My heart beat faster…”
“Your heart? It did that?”
Hearing his words, Sharon’s eyes widened.
She didn’t seem to expect that answer.
“Then… It felt like everything around us disappeared… I could only focus on both of our lips… I felt an urge to do it, then I just did it…”
“You just did it? What about the other person? Don’t you need their consent?”
“Hmm… Honestly, I’m not sure about that part, but back then it felt like they also wanted to do it… It was just my hunch though…”
Despite the uncomfortable topic, Siwoo honestly answered her curiosity.
“Would you have refrained if you weren’t sure though?”
“Hm… I guess relationships between men and women in real life are more complicated than in movies.”
Siwoo still had a lot of things he didn’t understand.
This intricate situation defied any attempt of him trying to simplify his answer.
But at least their conversation was concluded with that, at least for now.
For a while, they just stared blankly at the screen, without even watching the movie properly.
Siwoo wasn’t keen on the movie in the first place, while Sharon was busy thinking about the answers he gave her just now.
[Slurrp… Smack… Ahh…]
Soon enough, a passionate kissing scene unfolded, catching their attention.
Sharon, who had been immersed in her thoughts, started watching the movie again.
As for Siwoo, he glanced at her, noticing how she tried to do a deep analysis and compare Siwoo’s answer with the scene unfolding in front of her.
Except, it seemed like the scene wouldn’t stop with just a kiss.
[Oh yeah, fuck yeah~]
And once again, Siwoo’s well-honed intuition, nurtured by countless romance films, was correct.
After the couple went back home and shared a kiss, things swiftly escalated to a scuffle at the door.
Maybe because it was an adult romance comedy, they boldly revealed the woman’s chest and the man’s buttocks.
At this point, Siwoo had long past feeling awkward over watching such scenes with Sharon since every film had a semblance of sex scene in it.
It was because Sharon was usually unperturbed when watching such scenes.
Well, it still felt awkward when their conversation was cut because these kinds of scenes come up, but ultimately, it wasn’t that big of a deal.
But something was different today.
He noticed it when he took a glance at Sharon.
She was sitting with her knees pulled close to her chest, her head slightly tilted and there were sparkles in her eyes as they stared at him.
“Can I ask you another thing?”
Due to how close they were, her scent was even more noticeable than usual.
The only light source in the room was the dim light coming from the TV, but Siwoo could make out every detail of her.
Her eyes possessed an enigmatic color, which seemed otherworldly.
One wouldn’t even need to exaggerate this description, as she had flawless features on her face that could captivate the hearts of any man, devoid of any imperfections.
He noticed strands of hair covering her long eyelashes.
And when he did, he finally realized how close their faces were at the moment.
“It’s nothing big…”
At first, he tried to ignore it.
Their usual daily life had already made him feel content.
He didn’t want any impulsive changes to occur in it.
And, he could feel something, instinctively.
How this question could bring a major change in their relationship.
The mere thought of any unforeseen events to alter her friendship with her, or worse, destroying their relationship altogether, made him sad.
“What is it?”
But, before he could do anything, his words already slipped out of his mouth.
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