Oh My Love, The Last.
Ha Joyoon, who swept his pale cheek a few times, turned his gaze back to the screen.
Shin Kwonjoo, who had been staring at him quietly, also began to look through the photos again soon after.
The topic shifted naturally, and silent conversations resumed in a quiet flow, accompanied by the clicking noises of the mouse.
“Even though time has passed, there are still quite a few photos that could be put to use.
In recent years, the Assad regime has colluded deeper with terrorist organizations, making attacks on civilians more brutal.
This temple here was blown up last month to the point of being unrecognizable.
The eastern part of Aleppo is in a situation where all of its supplies are blocked, so it’s the worst.
In any case, I think it’s okay to export these photos now.
They’re photos we need.”
“That’s a relief.”
“Boyle will like them, for sure.”
With light admiration, Shin Kwonjoo started looking through the other folders as well.
His eyes, which had been bored when the poor tale of love was being told, all of a sudden, shone wildly and searched for the record of the moment.
Time passed, but the scene conveyed by the photo was still in progress.
The largest prison in existence.
A country where the whole nation was a prison.
A country swayed by the greed of its leaders and the insanity of its situation for the benefit of greater powers.
… And a country where someone remained and had a responsibility and an obligation to let people know about it until the end.
Ha Joyoon bit his lip slowly, recalling the place he had left as if he was running away.
At that moment, he couldn’t think of Kang Taejung.
“Are you planning to go back to the field?”
He stopped the gesture of fiddling with the table and raised his head.
A man with his jaw clenched and indifferent eyes on the screen came into view.
His smooth cheeks and distinct facial features made him look more temperamental.
“I still don’t know.
I haven’t fully recovered yet, and I still need to undergo more rehabilitation… and I also have some other personal matters to deal with.”
Ha Joyoon, who was contemplating for a while, answered honestly. I see.
A simple answer followed.
He suddenly felt grateful for the man’s indifference as he didn’t inquire any further to know why.
Not to mention, the previous conversations that took place were embarrassing enough.
It was time for silence to draw waves, as it wrapped around the heated neck. Ha Joyoon-ssi. A low voice rang.
“Why don’t you work at the Korean branch until you’re certain about returning? No need for regular hours.
Feel free to go whenever you need treatment.”
It was an unexpected suggestion.
The man who turned his face slowly met his eyes.
A deformed feeling of being unable to say a word pulled itself tightly around the mouth.
“If you accept, I’ll tell the headquarters.”
As if he had read his mind to ask for the reason, Shin Kwonjoo immediately added.
“I like your photos.”
“They’re photos in which the technical skills used can easily be found without needing to wash your eyes.
In fact, they’re accurate and realistic.
It’s hard to see photos that don’t have useless scraps attached to them.”
It was difficult to distinguish whether it was a compliment or an insult, but the expression of Shin Kwonjoo had lost its characteristic daunting pressure unlike the rest of the time.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
“I think we can use them well, so how about it?”
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Though this wasn’t a bad offer.
What he needed now was oblivion.
It was good to do anything as long as he could forget the painful emotions and reality for even a moment.
Despite saying that he would not give up in quite a vigorous manner, the reality given to Ha Joyoon, who was not used to psychological pain, was a hellish time every day, every minute, and every second.
He tried to hold onto his distant heart and tilted the cold cup of glass.
“It seems like a good deal to me.”
“Then I’m glad.
As a matter of fact, the employee who quit was a photojournalist.”
Smile- Shin Kwonjoo pulled out his cigarette again and asked with a light smile.
Just before he was about to light the fire as fast as he could out of habit, he paused for a moment.
Soon, the sharp black eyes met directly.
“Is it okay if I smoke?”
It was a question that came out of the blue.
When Ha Joyoon’s gaze moved to the stainless steel ashtray where he had stubbed a cigarette a while ago, a short exclamation flowed out of the other person’s mouth.
Of course, he doesn’t care at all.
Suddenly, he remembered that he had never seen him smoking in the past.
“Did you smoke before? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you do it.”
Suddenly, the lit cigarette drew a long trajectory of smoke.
Shin Kwonjoo replied in a serious tone as he shook off the ashes and took in another puff deeply.
“Why does it matter?”
The words uttered by the man with a noble yet sword-like appearance were cold.
The gesture of the speaker turning an elegantly platinum-adorned Zippo lighter was nothing but eye-catching.
“Start coming from tomorrow.
Being short of a single staff member can call for an urgent situation.”
Shin Kwonjoo, who gave the order unilaterally, as if the other person’s intention was not important, raised only the corners of his mouth and smiled.
His eyes were expressionless.
A few years ago, while covering a civil war in Iraq, he traveled to the capital, Baghdad.
Despite the fact that he had to fight the scorching sunlight and coarse grains of sand as he crossed the endless desert in an old car which he could never be sure of when it would break down, the memory of the trip itself was quite good enough to not be forgotten even after a long time.
After driving all day, he would rest anywhere at night, and when he wasn’t doing that, he often went on the road.
From the black sky where he would lay under with his worn-out backpack tossed randomly on the silk-like sand, white stars poured down as if the universe had been shattered.
It was like being embraced in the arms of the night and the stars.
For that moment, it felt as if the night sky would embrace all of his ugly greed and selfishness.
It was a bizarre experience.
The half-filled glass of water sloshed and created waves.
Even though it was only a short outing, his whole body throbbed as if he had been hit, and no strength could be exerted to the tips of his fingers.
In the end, even holding the glass became difficult, so he put it down on the console table.
The device next to it still had a black screen and no signs of movement.
The answer to the message Ha Joyoon had sent to Kang Taejung a few hours ago was, as expected, only silence.
That was his decision.
After meaninglessly touching his phone, he came back, buried himself in the soft bed, and closed his eyes deeply.
The thin eyelids trembled gently.
The pale complexion shone under the frosty light, creating a precarious atmosphere as if he would disappear just as he was.
Ha Joyoon began to draw out traces of the past one by one.
It was for a task to distinguish between what should be thrown away and what should be kept.
The hard-to-swallow pill slowly ran down his throat and passed into his body.
The ripple effect of the nail-sized lump of white powder was so great that the headache that had plagued him all day was deeply suppressed.
At last, the moment of liberation came.
Transparent tears fell from the corners of his tightly closed eyes, as they quietly created a path.
Suddenly, he thought that it would be nice if he could fix his heart with just one pill as well.
That included love, memories, and pain.
Thump- Thump- Thump- The rhythmic music filled the closed space.
The sophisticated interior and soft lighting that illuminated the space made the atmosphere of the club more dreamy.
The cheerful melody and the people who were more relaxed than usual without hesitation whispered secrets with others and enjoyed a secret deviation.
In the corner of the counter bar where glasses and money were frantically flowing, someone familiar sat down after pulling the stool.
The gaze that scanned the people was quite contemplative.
Moments later, the blonde-haired bartender who spotted the man came closer and waved his hand.
“Been a while.”
In a short but affectionate tone, the lower corners of the eyes bent nicely.
“Sungjae-ya, it’s been a while.
There’s quite a lot of people?”
“Well, it’s Saturday.
Have you been drinking? Your face looks a little off.”
His shy smile had already turned red from drunkenness.
He lightly rubbed one of his cheeks as he made a playful excuse.
“Haha, a little.
I just drank a little.”
Seo Youngwoo, who pointed to the menu and ordered the kind he always drank, looked inside again with his side-eyes.
Inside the club, there were many familiar and unfamiliar faces.
A blue liquid resembling the Caribbean Sea filled the glass.
“Why is it so hard to see your face? Did you think you became a celebrity after you started dating?”
Seo Youngwoo closed his round eyes as the other person teased him mischievously.
“It’s not like that, I’ve just been busy lately.
There were… some things I had to deal with.”
“What sort of things? Isn’t it enough to date someone you’ve been in love with for years?”
“Well… you’re right.”
It was only a few months ago that he was so happy about Kang Taejung finally accepting his confession.
Park Sungjae didn’t feel all that great from hearing the man’s name because he had heard about Kang Taejung’s vague attitude through Seo Youngwoo.
In one way or another, he had a close relationship with Seo Youngwoo.
There was no way there was a feeling of like for a man who had only coldly ignored his friend who was trying to approach him seriously.
“What exactly do you like about that guy? Judging by your condition, is he really treating you well?”
Seo Youngwoo, who took a sip of the well-made cocktail, opened his eyes wide and smiled brightly.
“Hyung has been really sweet and is treating me well these days.
He’s really kind and does his best for me.”
“That guy? Well sure-.
Then why do you look like that?”
“What about me? This bastard….”
Seo Youngwoo carefully put his hands together, eyeing the people who flocked to the cocktail bar.
Depression subsided in his eyes.
It was just another piece of his dark and heavy heart that had been gnawing his mind little by little for a very long time.
“Aren’t you quite busy?”
I’m the main guy here.
Look at how many subordinates there are.
It’s fine, punk.”
Park Sungjae smiled at the somewhat timid voice and stroked Seo Youngwoo’s black hair.
Seo Youngwoo, who looked around once more, opened his tightly closed lips as if he had made up his mind.
”That… person came back.”
He was good at mixing the drinks that had been ordered.
Responding indifferently, Park Sungjae started shaking the shaker filled with various drinks and alcohol.
It was only a few minutes later that a meek voice came out.
“The person Hyung used to date.”
The shaker fell on the table with a harsh sound.
Park Sungjae, without even erasing the absurdity on his face, blinked several times and opened his mouth.
“Did… Didn’t you say that he was dead? Did his ghost come back?”
Seo Youngwoo groaned and let out a small chuckle at Park Sungjae’s response.
“… He didn’t die, he just went missing, but somehow he ended up coming back.
Apparently he was injured.”
It would’ve been better if it were rather his ghost. Even the mumbling voice that pretended to be playful had a hard time hiding his despair.
Seo Youngwoo closed his eyes tightly again.
His distant heart was pounding as if empty and dry.
It may be because of the dry air.
The stone that had been pressing down on his chest for a long time now had gone past its limits, and it felt like it would burst the guts out of his whole body.
A voice that could not hide its gloom flowed out amidst the cheerful beat.
I really am trash.”
“Trash? Did someone say anything to you?”
The sound of his kind friend’s voice made the emotions that he had been holding back for days rise up in tears.
Seo Youngwoo, without even thinking about hiding his distorted expression in agony, uttered the words he had been meaning to say.
“He returned to the country not too long ago, and visited Hyung’s place.
Luckily, he was with me, so nothing happened….”
“Hey, where and how did that bastard find him? You too….”
“Do you know what I was thinking when I saw that person?”
“Why did you have to come back?”
“Wish you died there instead of coming back.”
The out-of-focus eyes were blurred.
A secret that he couldn’t tell anyone came out in a rather stark manner.
In front of his lover, he pretended to be a good person and acted like an open-minded person, but the truth was that his heart was burning black.
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