When God Made Me - Chapter 19
The Thing That Happened During The School Trip (6)
Seung-ho’s face flushed red at Seul-hwa’s sudden confession. His heart, which had been beating quickly ever since Seul-hwa had laid her hands on his cheeks, started to thump even harder.
It was his first time being confessed to). To top it off, it was from Seul-hwa, who was very pretty and had a stunning figure. He’d received a confession from Choi Seul-hwa, who had hated him and kept away from him just a few months ago.
His head turned blank as a fresh sheet of paper. He was far from being able to answer; at the moment, he couldn’t tell whether this was a dream or reality.
Unaware of Seung-ho’s inner turmoil, Seul-hwa beseeched him for an answer. She gazed at him with two sparkling eyes.
‘What do I do?’
Seung-ho felt inclined to agree. Honestly, it was a given that he would have no reason to reject her had he been any other guy. However, the not-so-good memories with Seul-hwa were still fresh in his mind.
Seul-hwa gulped as if she was nervous. However, Seung-ho was still keeping mum and avoiding her gaze.
‘He isn’t about to reject me, is he?’
When she didn’t get an answer, Seul-hwa suddenly felt uneasy.
‘There’s no way. How could he refuse when this Choi Seul-hwa confessed? He’s probably thinking about how to answer.’
As Choi Seul-hwa tried her best to wrestle her thoughts into positive ones, Seung-ho abruptly grabbed her hands that were holding onto his face.
‘Oh my. He’s holding my hands.’
‘I hate the smell of cigarettes.’
Amidst the contradicting thoughts, Choi Seul-hwa’s hands were separated from Seung-ho’s face.
The low and serious voice didn’t suit Seung-ho at all. At the unexpected baritone, Seul-hwa’s heart skipped a beat once more.
‘He’s so cool.’
Getting his thoughts in order, Seung-ho took a deep breath.
“To be honest, this is my first time receiving a confession, so I’m a bit flustered, but…”
Hearing that it was his first time, Seul-hwa felt thrilled.
“I think it’s a bit early for me to date someone and stuff.”
Seul-hwa’s forehead crumpled.
‘D-did I just get rejected?’
She couldn’t control her expression. Though she tried to smile, her face spasmed and began twitching.
“I am very thankful for your feelings, but I’m sorry.”
“Are you in your right mind?”
Knocking Seung-ho’s hands away, Choi Seul-hwa put her hands on her hips and spoke with a raised voice.
“You’re rejecting me even though I’m this pretty and have a sexy body?”
“It’s not that…”
“Are you a eunuch?”
The word ‘eunuch’ imbedded itself in Seung-ho’s ears. He’d had an inferiority complex anyway because that part had been small due to being buried by flesh back in his Ug-Face days, but she had to go there.
“Even though I tried beating about the bush because you’re pretty, you still speak rashly.”
“There’s no use for people with rubbish personalities like yours. Hey, don’t you remember harassing me last year because you were a bit pretty? Whew, whenever I just think about those days…”
When he brought up the topic of last year, Seul-hwa’s eyes started to twitch.
“When was it when you told me to bugger off? And now that I’ve become better-looking, you keep making passes at me like there’s no tomorrow. Aren’t you embarrassed to look so thirsty?”
“You crazy b*stard!”
“What! Do you want me to keep reciting what you’ve done? Back when Kim Han-joo was at the top of the ladder, you were so happy flirting with him and doing all sorts of things!”
“To top it off, you’re being a rebel and smoking. I mean, who comes to a school trip and smokes? Are you a chain smoker who’s addicted to nicotine? Even your hands were reeking of cigarette smoke!”
Unable to control her rage, Seul-hwa screamed as she ran back to her lodge.
Seung-ho simply stood where he was and gazed at Seul-hwa’s appearance from behind. He didn’t know how many years it’d been since he’d last snapped. In his worked-out state, he’d poured out all the things he’d hidden inside without realizing it.
As soon as Seul-hwa went inside her lodging, he came back into his sense. His heart was thumping and beating quickly.
‘What do I do.’
Seung-ho sighed deeply and ran his fingers through his hair.
‘I didn’t meet up with her for this.’
He’d snapped at the word ‘eunuch’. The memory of when he’d been a middle-school student, and had been teased for being small after having his pants pulled down in the bathroom by the bullies, had popped up in his mind. This was why one shouldn’t touch the inferiority complexes of others.
‘I should apologize later.’
Of course he had to apologize, but he knew that he had said nothing that was wrong. To be honest, he’d been flustered and hadn’t known what to do when Seul-hwa had suddenly become nice to him, so he thought that perhaps it was a good thing this had happened.
Because he hadn’t answered for a while, his phone had stopped vibrating.
‘I should reply.’
He’d have been okay if the weather was cool and refreshing, but because he was in the mountains and the wind was cold, he felt like he would get a cold if he stayed out any longer.
Tapping on his phone, Seung-ho went back to his lodging.
“What are we doing?”
“They said we’re going to experience the mud flats. Apparently, Beolgyo is really close.”
“Beolgyo-eup is originally in Boseong County.”
Sang-hyup spoke while hitching his glasses up his nose.
“Yeah, you’re good at geography.”
“Of course. I was in liberal arts until last year.”
At Sung-yun’s sarcastic words, Sang-hyup grinned and nodded.
The kids riding the bus were headed to Beolgyo. During the current season, people could dig up these organisms: fan mussels, ark shells, a variety of sea cucumbers, and cockles. Beolgyo cockles. It was a fully famous specialty.
“But are we digging them up ourselves?”
“I think so?”
“Eugh. If we put all 10 classes together, the number of students is over 400; we’re all going into the mud flats at the same time?”
“I only heard it secondhand, so I’m not sure.”
“Ah, I hate this kind of thing though.”
Sung-yun shook his head and sighed.
“I should just go and get a mud mask.”
“I’ll even put mud in your nostrils for you.”
“Just try, buddy. I’ll dunk your head in the sea.”
Amidst the exchange of immature banter, the bus arrived at Beolgyo. As soon as they’d gotten off the bus, the teacher called Seung-ho and got the boots and hoes out from the overhead compartments.
“Distribute them among the kids and tell them that they have to wear them.”
He handed over a pair of boots and a hoe to each kid who was wearing different clothing. The teacher had said that if the mud would be hard to wash off if it got on them, so he’d told the students to bring the gym clothes that they’d worn last year.
Since he’d gotten new gym clothes to use in the 7th class, he wouldn’t have any cause to wear last year’s clothing anyway, but he still felt like it was a bit of a waste.
‘No. I would only wear it at home even if I did wear it, so let’s not think that it’s a waste.’
Shaking off the thoughts, he took off his shoes and put on the boots. To Seung-ho, he who hadn’t worn boots even when he’d been young and it’d been raining, this kind of boots was unfamiliar.
‘It feels somewhat constricting and weird.’
Even if he felt that way, he wasn’t about to throw his trainers away. Thinking that he would get used to them soon, he put his shoes in the overhead compartment of the bus.
“You guys didn’t hand your phones in, right?”
The 7th class students didn’t answer the homeroom teacher’s question.
“Of course you didn’t hand them in. I won’t say anything, so leave all your wallets, phones, and other valuables in the car. Don’t worry; the bus doors are going to be closed. There’s no solution if you accidentally drop them in the mud.”
The students all hesitated at the teacher’s words. Even if it was the notorious Teacher Ryu Han-shin, they were worried that they would be at a disadvantage if they got caught in the fact that they hadn’t handed their phones in.
Teacher Ryu Han-shin smirked and turned around.
“I won’t look, so stash everything inside and get outside in 3 minutes.”
At the cool teacher’s decision, all 40 students went into the bus and placed their phones, wallets, and other items at the seats and returned outside.
When the last student left the bus, the driver shut the doors with an amused expression. It was only then that Teacher Ryu Han-shin turned back around and looked at the kids.
“You guys, listen better. Hand in your phones during lesson time.”
Following the homeroom teacher, the students headed toward the mud flats together.
As soon as they entered the mud flats, their feet sank deep into the ground. He’d thought that the celebrities on television had been exaggerating, but his feet sank incredibly deep in real life.
“Hey, this is weird!”
The male students were already in the mud flats, pushing others, tossing handfuls of mud at each other, and generally romping about; the female students were whining that their feet weren’t coming out, giggling, and frisking about.
“Teacher, should we start digging from here?”
Teacher Ryu Han-shin nodded at one student’s question.
“Yeah, you guys can have fun by yourselves now; just return to the bus by 1PM.”
Ryu Han-shin left the students behind and plowed his way through the sloppy mud toward the 4th class. It was obvious that his destination was Teacher Kim Ha-neul.
“Hey, is this a cockle?”
Having already dug something up, Geum-taek asked as he held up a weird shell.
“Isn’t that a baby clam?”
“Isn’t it a cockle? I heard that cockles are famous here.”
“Aren’t baby clams and cockles the same thing?”
“They’re different. Baby clams go in noodle soup and cockles are eaten after they’ve been seasoned.”
“But don’t they look the same?”
“Do they? Ah, then are cockles the word in dialect, and baby clams in standard language?”
“I don’t know either.”
Geum-taek and Sung-yun giggled and fist-bumped each other.
Seung-ho knew that baby clams and cockles were definitely different, but he didn’t know how they were different. One could say that it was something he had only vague knowledge of.
‘Well, it isn’t important anyway.’
As Seung-ho bent down to dig something up, someone called him.
“Class prez! Where’s our bucket?”
“Didn’t Ha-eun and Han-seung take it a while ago?”
He’d heard that the class would use the organisms that they’d gathered themselves for dinner that day. Seung-ho looked around to search for Han-seung.
Then, he spotted a male student with a big build holding a hoe in both hands and digging into the mud flats like crazy.
“Woah, that’s Han-seung, right?”
“I think it is.”
Together with Sang-wook, he headed toward Han-seung’s direction.
“Wow, he’s hooked up to an engine or something.”
“One hundred percent. That’s not the speed of a human.”
Even if it was Seung-ho, he didn’t think he could match that speed. As if trying to recreate Moses’s miracle, Han-seung was digging in the mud flats, walking forward, picking up shells, and placing them in the bucket.
As Seung-ho approached and sneaked a peek into the bucket, he could see fan mussels, cockles, baby clams, crabs, gobies, and even conch shells. It was to the level that someone might have mistaken Han-seung for an expert fisherman.
If anything, it seemed as if Seung-ho and Sang-wook would have to pull up their sleeves and pitch in because the kids digging around Han-seung couldn’t match his speed.
“We should dig, too.”
After Seung-ho and Sang-wook called the others, everyone joined in and began to pick up the shells together.
“Our class is going to have a feast tonight.”