I let Chun-ja choose which side of the bed she preferred and we put our things on the respective bedside tables.
This was a much different week for both Chun-ja and me; there was no morning rush to go to work, no strenuous work during the day. We didn’t have to go shopping, we didn’t have to cook. We looked after each other as much as we could comfortably do; we had plenty of time to do so. The good thing was that we both were interested in scientific research to create something new for the next generation. First Chun-ja discussed infrared thermographs.
‘With infrared thermographs you identify overheating electrical connections and other machine components, scheduling repairs to be made during planned downtime. This increases reliability and productivity for the entire operation.’
Chun-ja and I took elaborate notes from our brainstorming sessions and contemplated publishing them soon. Then I initiated research on tyre puncture and how we could have inflatable tyres that need be pumped up only once in lifetime. As we both liked logical thinking and meditation, we enjoyed researching and thought this week would add a feather in our caps.
I worked for an hour in the evening to write up the notes on my laptop. Chun-ja was ready to go to bed. She came to me and said: ‘Why take so much trouble writing all these? I can type fast and do this very well. I’ve scribbled some notes and sketches. Why don’t you change and come to bed?’
I said: ‘No, I’ll let you sleep on your side of the bed. So far I haven’t shared my bed with anyone other than Hye-jin. With a traditional mindset, I consider this as a sin—as a blasphemy’.
‘Please have faith in your own ideas, don’t follow traditional superstitions. No act is a sin as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody. We’ve done enough work, now it’s time to listen to your heart. This week our duty is to know each other as much as we can. I’m looking forward to seeing you with me here.’
I returned wearing my night suit and looked at Chun-ja, now clad in her nightshirt. I thought I was seeing a different person. It was difficult to make out whether a boy had come in place of Chun-ja. She might have been wearing a padded bra during the day so her flat chest wasn’t revealed, but she had nowhere to hide behind her nightshirt.
As Chun-ja had insisted, I thought she’d feel bad if I didn’t remove my shirt and hers as well. I said, ‘I like your boobs; they look like mosquito bites’.
I gently patted her mosquito bites. I shut my eyes and intended to sleep when Chun-ja put her hands around my shoulder and looked into my eyes. I looked at her eyes as well and couldn’t blink. There was so much love in her eyes, I felt invited. I gazed at the mosquito bites; there was nothing I could hold with my fingers or in the cup of my palms. I looked at Chun-ja’s face. I placed my mouth on the mosquito bites and I felt the tip with my tongue and sucked. Sweet cream flowed on my tongue and I sipped the nectar from the heaven.
‘You’re so sweet at heart, Chun-ja’, I said. ‘I never thought you had so much love in your tiny mosquito bites.’
I raised her skirt. She wasn’t wearing any panties. I later came to know that she never wore any. Just then I remembered the face of Mi-sook, her three-year-old daughter. I wouldn’t have the courage to tell her I just had unprotected fun with her mother.
Chun-ja said she wasn’t worried about consequences; she was happy with whatever happened in the day and in the night. Chun-ja and I lay on the bed, happily entangled with each other.
Next morning, when I got up, it was quite late. Chun-ja had already risen and had her shower, and started working on her laptop.
‘Wash up, Jie-won. Let’s have our breakfast. We’ve things to do.’
The week continued with the same enthusiasm to search for the truth. I could see no boundaries between us.
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