Within that conversation, both didn’t realize when the stiff awkwardness they had been struggling with was gradually dissipating without their notice.
Shui felt as though she spent her lifetime of her stored energy into this single conversation. She fanned herself, feeling breathless.
Jin still wasn’t sure of the destination so he asked, “So should I head to the base or-“
“My house! My house please!” She speechlessly exclaimed.
Jin wasn’t quite satisfied with that decision. He gave a simple nod and looked back at the road.
After a few moments of silence, Shui steeled her own courage and said, “It is true that I was really hurt by your words that night.”
Jin’s eyelashes faintly trembled.
“I couldn’t forget them to this date, and I decided it was for the best to keep my distance from you now on. It was difficult seeing you anymore when the man I…loved hated my sight to this extent.”
He had a sudden urge to confess his true feelings and clearly say all those emotions he had been holding back for these years.
Do I have the right…
He felt his heart overflow with a myriad of thoughts he wanted to let her know and which were just at the tip of his tongue, but he couldn’t. He weakly smiled to himself and kept it all to himself.
“I thought you would have to say something about this.”
Shui pressed her lower lip. “I wondered if you might want to correct me about what I just said.”
When the man I…loved hated my sight to this extent.
“I…don’t hate you,” he spoke with a stifling sensation suffocating his chest. He thought it would make him feel lighter but for some reason, he felt all the more pressure and burden.
Shui stared at him. “Then why did you say those hurtful things?”
That was an even more complicated question to answer which entailed his and Jun’s past lives. But it wasn’t something he could explain to her.
“Is it purely because Jun and I broke up? I know how much you adore and respect Jun. But your hate towards me…” her voice shook, “was it only because you blamed me for our relationship not working out? Because somehow, I cannot see how that alone could have made you despise me so much.”
Jin felt his throat go dry.
His hatred had many more reasons than just their relationship not working out.
But how am I supposed to tell her…
“You know something more, right?” Shui asked.
“Right now, you are like an open book, Jin. I can see it from your eyes that there are a lot more things going on in your mind, but you don’t want to tell me anything. We spent all these years together as close friends, and I strongly feel that you wouldn’t act this way just because of one reason. You said you want to apologize to me. So yes, I will forgive you but only if you tell me the truth behind your hatred.”
“…I cannot tell you that.”
Shui frowned. She had a feeling that Jin wouldn’t easily confess.
“Is it…related to how you had felt sick those two times?”
It was just for a fraction of a second, but Shui clearly saw his reaction which he immediately hid behind an undecipherable expression.
“No,” he answered. “I just fell sick because I was weak.”
Shui looked away for a second and paused to think. “Jun and…Uncle Jinhai also seem to know, right?”
It was getting harder for Jin to not crack his indifferent expression.
How is she figuring out so much?
“They both acted strangely when you had fallen sick. And for some reason, they both didn’t feel that it was necessary to take you to a doctor. Jun literally did nothing to curb your high fever in his condo which was…very much out of his character, especially towards you. The Jun I know wouldn’t have acted that way at all. He was the same brother who kept you company in that dark room during your punishment until the end just to make you feel better.”
At this point, he wasn’t even sure of what to answer.
How far is the Han villa now?
Jin sincerely wanted to run away from this predicament.
Shui narrowed her eyes suspiciously. “I feel I am right. Something more is going on, and Jun and Uncle know it too. But others don’t, including me.”
Jin tried to smile. “That’s a misunderstanding.”
“Don’t you think I deserve to know after how much your words have hurt me?”
“So rather than skinning you alive, I would prefer if you tell me everything as your atonement.”
Which was a fair deal only if Jin could execute it.
Why is this distance to her house suddenly feeling so damn long!?
Jin gritted his teeth. “I cannot tell you! It’s complicated.”
“How complicated can it be?” She was dumbfounded. “You are saying as if it’s some imaginary unsolvable physics equation.”
He grimaced. “It’s very close to that.”
She gave him a dry look. “Try me. It won’t be something unbelievable that I might not be able to process.”
“Yeah it’s very well the case.”
Her brow twitched in annoyance. “Why are you being so stubborn!?”
“You are the same!”
“And I think I have the right to be stubborn,” she sharply said.
He couldn’t retort to that.
Shui slowly stretched her hand to touch his shoulder and as soon as she did, Jin shuddered hard and lost control of the car.
“J-Jin!? What’s happening? D-Drive slowly!” She exclaimed in horror.
The car was starting to turn zig-zag along the empty road, making Shui feel her heart pounding rapidly in her chest.
“Jin! Please stop! W-What’s wrong!?”
But her fear and cries went to deaf ears because the moment Jin had felt Shui’s touch, the dark road before his eyes was suddenly blinded with a golden light.
And in that moment, two more situations triggered simultaneously at two different locations.