Chapter 5 - Chief Kim and Assistant manager Choi

Chapter 5.

Since childhood, Woojin saw emotions as colors. To him, emotionless meant colorless. And because he rarely “felt” the world, to him, looked black and white. Whether he was asleep or awake, he felt nothing.

Just a dull monotonous life. He never felt the heat or iciness of emotions.

“Your little boy… doesn’t smile or cry, does he?”


“And he doesn’t talk much either. He doesn’t even answer when he is called.”

Woojin remembered his childhood like it was only yesterday. Time seemed meaningless to him, and the memories of his past were stored inside of his head like photographs.

Being detached to the world meant that everything and everyone felt the same to him. No one, or no one thing, was more special to him.

Jihoon said to Woojin at the office dinner, “If you stare at your glass like that, it is going to shatter.”


Woojin had been looking at his glass and he slowly looked up at Jihoon who was sitting next to him.

Jihoon was the type of a guy who was interested in others. Woojin had known him for five years.

Jihoon seemed to be curious about why Woojin was staring at the glass so quietly, but without answering him, Woojin turned away from him and looked down again. He played with his round glass with his finger, then suddenly, he quickly glanced at the man who was sitting nearby.

As soon as Woojin spotted him, he started to feel the heat. It started from his fingertips and spread slowly to the rest of his body.

Strange emotions and sensations coursed through his body. It almost felt like pain, and without thinking, Woojin murmured to himself, “… hasn’t changed.”

“What hasn’t changed?”

When Jihoon caught the words and asked, Woojin replied, “It’s nothing.”


It was the honest truth. He looked exactly the same.

Shin Kim, who sometimes appeared in Woojin’s dream, was here in real life, looking the same as in his dream.

Well, there were a few minor differences. Shin looked taller and he felt more… real. And unlike in his dreams, Shin had many more expressions.

He smiled and laughed often, unlike in his dream where his eyebrows were raised in anger.

Woojin felt the sharp pain in his left chest again. He became breathless, so he blinked a few times.

Woojin wanted to see his eyes again. The eyes that reminded him of night…

“Hey, Woojin Choi!”


Suddenly, Jihoon grabbed Woojin’s hand and pulled it away. It seemed that Woojin was leaning forward and accidentally got his finger onto the hot grill on the table. Thankfully, Jihoon caught it in time or else Woojin’s hand would have been burnt badly.

Jihoon yelled angrily, “Hey! What were you thinking? You need to pay more attention!” Everyone around turned to them in surprise and confusion.

Jihoon quickly grabbed his cup of cold water and dunked Woojin’s fingers in it. Woojin sighed calmly and with his other hand, he gestured for one of the waiters. When a server came to him, Woojin quietly asked, “Please get me a dry towel.”

Jihoon protested, “We need to put some medication on it first!”

“… It’s fine. Just eat your dinner.”

Jihoon continued to grumble, but Woojin ignored him. When the server brought him a towel, he wrapped it around his finger and left the table. Woojin didn’t have much appetite and he rarely ate dinner; he only came here to see Shin Kim. When he stood up, he felt dizzy. The room spun around him.

He must’ve been very tired.

The restaurant was too noisy. People were talking too loudly around him.

Slowly, Woojin walked to the washroom. He felt someone following him from behind. He figured it was Jihoon, so he frowned and turned around.

“Are you ok?”

It wasn’t Jihoon. It was Shin Kim.

At the unexpectedness of it, Woojin froze and blinked a few times. Was this a dream?

Shin must’ve drunk a little, because his ears were pink. Because Shin was taller, Woojin had to look up if he wanted to see Shin’s eyes.

But he didn’t. He couldn’t.

So instead, Woojin looked down.

So many thoughts crossed Woojin’s mind. His voice that sounded the same as in his dreams… His shadow that Woojin saw on the floor… His face that must be staring at Woojin…

Shin was the opposite of Woojin himself. Shin was so alive and colorful that Woojin wondered if Shin would bring colors to his own world too.

Just like that night…

Shin asked, “Don’t you have to run your hand under cold water right now?’


Woojin stared at Shin who was gesturing him to go to the washroom. Looking at him, Woojin felt the world around him brighten and become colorful. His heart began to beat faster.

Woojin hurriedly walked into the washroom and Shin followed him. When Woojin looked at him again, Shin smiled and replied, “I was going to the washroom too.”

Seeing his smile made Woojin feel like he just drank a whole bottle of liquor. Woojin breathed out deeply and Shin grinned again knowingly. Shin’s big mono-lid eyes narrowed seductively, making Woojin’s stomach do a flip.

When they walked in together, Shin leaned against the sink and offered, “Do you want me to hold the towel for you?”

Woojin moved very slowly and he was about to shake his head when Shin reached out and grabbed the towel out of his hand. Their arms touched briefly.

Woojin couldn’t breathe at all.

Shin offered, “I will hold the towel for you so go ahead and wash your hand, Assistant Manager.”

When Woojin froze, Shin’s eyebrows flinched. He had such thick brows and Woojin stared, mesmerized. Then suddenly, Shin grabbed Woojin’s wrist.

Without a word, Shin undid Woojin’s sleeve button and pushed it up his arm. The feeling of Shin’s fingers on his skin… It made Woojin shiver.

“I can see that you require a lot of care.”

Woojin had never heard someone say this to him before. He remained frozen while Shin turned on the cold water and placed Woojin’s hand under it. Because he was tall, Shin had to lean forward as he moved Woojin’s hand around under the running water. The water was ice cold, but Woojin’s wrist, which was held by Shin, burned.

When Woojin remained quiet, Shin started the conversation again.

“Are you usually this quiet? Do you not talk much?”


“Or are you trying to tell me something with your eyes?”


When Woojin finally replied in surprise, Shin turned off the water and slowly looked at Woojin again. The way Shin looked at him was… seductive. Shin tilted his head side to side before slowly grinning.

Woojin couldn’t look away from Shin’s night eyes. His body started to burn again.

Shin covered Woojin’s wet hand with the dry towel and added, “I thought you had something to say to me.”


“Was I wrong about that?”

Woojin stopped breathing.

Shin slowly and gently wiped Woojin’s hand nonchalantly. He then slowly brought Woojin’s fingers to his eye level and examined it.

“It looks like you might get a blister…”

Shin slowly caressed Woojin’s fingers, making Woojin jump. The shocking feeling of it… It wasn’t a bad sensation. It was like… as if his heart was beating right against his own ears.

Woojin pulled his hand away roughly.

“… I’m fine.”

His voice trembled, but he didn’t even notice it. Woojin turned around and left the washroom quickly.

He ran, his footsteps echoing loudly in the hallway.

Their hand touched. Was there a spark? Because it certainly felt like there was one.

The unexplainable feelings and sensations…

When Woojin returned to his seat, Jihoon was drinking with the other interns.

“Hey, Woojin, what’s wrong? Why is your face so re…”

“I’m leaving.”


Jihoon looked surprised, but ignoring him, Woojin grabbed his briefcase and his jacket. When he walked out, Jihoon followed him.

“Are you really going home?”


“What’s wrong? Is the burn really bad? Do you need to go to the hospital?”

Woojin wanted to go home and think about what had happened.

To figure out all these strange emotions.

Something felt wrong. He felt nauseous and breathless. Woojin kept blinking fast, and Jihoon refused to let his hand go.

“… Jihoon, go back inside.”


“I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Just then, Shin was coming out of the washroom and their eyes met. Shin’s eyebrows rose ominously when he saw Jihoon and Woojin together.

Shin asked politely, “Are you going home?”

“Oh, your name is Shin Kim, right? I think Assistant Manager Choi burnt his hand badly…”

Woojin pulled his hand away and left as he mumbled, “I’ll see you later.”

He couldn’t breathe and his body felt like it was being suffocated.

What was happening to him?

That day… when the black night turned blue…

One summer day… just before the autumn began…

For the first time, Woojin felt like he could see the world as it really was.

With color.

His heart was beating as usual, but it felt different today.

His blood was turning blue, and yellow, and so on. It was changing into different colors as it ran in his veins.