Healer

CH 1.4

It was a rainy Wednesday.
Sejin went out every now and then, even when Hyungwook didn’t come to church.
Because he was given rice every week from church.

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Sejin sat in an empty church and sang to a female college student.
The female college student was a choir teacher and the one who informed him that his brother had autism.
She happened to hear Sejin’s song and then invited him to join the choir, but Sejin refused each time because he couldn’t make time because of his older brother.

After the female college student finished her worship, she asked Sejin to sing separately.
Today was Caccini’s ‘Ave Maria’.
When he was first asked to sing it, he was afraid that it was a song in a foreign language, but he learned it more easily than expected because there were very few lyrics.
The college student closed her eyes as she listened to the song serenely ringing throughout the classroom.

Ave Maria~ Ah~~~ Ah~~~

Sejin enjoyed singing himself rather than listening to songs.
At that moment, the pain disappeared from his head, and only the lyrics were left in his mouth.
As the echoes of the song left his mouth and came back, it felt like time was reversed, awakening his memories of being in womb.
With his tiny body shrinking, the sounds he heard through the uterine wall and the scenery he saw at that time, Sejin remembered everything.

He was always like that when he closed eyes and was drunk on the melody he was making.
Suddenly, he felt as if he was being watched from somewhere.
As he recited lyrics, he looked around to find the identity of the one looking at him.
When he realized who it was, he stopped singing.
Because it was Chaewoo who was spying on him outside the window.
Sejin wondered why Chaewoo was in the church.
It was Sejin who discovered the culprit, but Chaewoo’s face was full of surprise as if he had discovered something.
He then shortly disappeared.

“Why aren’t you singing?”

When Sejin turned his head, the female college student had her eyes widened.

“No.
Something was caught in my throat.”

‘What… You’re an unpleasant fellow.’

Sejin turned his attention away and sang the rest of the song.
The college student with her eyes closed savoured the afterglow of the song.

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“You are really good at singing.
Words are not enough to describe how good it is… How should I say it? I want to hear it again when I turn around, and it keeps ringing in my ears… I wish I could buy a record by someone who has a similar voice to yours, but there’s no one who sounds like you.
Anyway, it’s a shame that your talent is rotting here.”

She brushed her long hair over her shoulder and continued talking.

“Actually, I get severe headaches and insomnia.
But on the days I listen to your songs, the headache goes away and I sleep soundly until morning.”

“…”

Sejin cringed every time the female college student praised him but he acknowledged his skills internally.
She pulled out a CD from her furry bag and held it out.

“This is the Rivera Boys’ Choir, and it’s sung by kids your age.
Can you sing a few songs here next time?”

As soon as he saw the English written on the CD, his eyes dimmed.

“I wrote the pronunciation in Korean there.”

The female college student who noticed his expression said with a smile.

“Ah, why don’t you sing a solo this Christmas?”

“A solo?”

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“Mhm.
No matter how much I ask you to join the choir, you refuse, so please do it only for Christmas.
It won’t take much time.”

“If a kid who isn’t in the choir sings solo, won’t other kids not like it?”

“I asked the kids and they all said it was okay.
The pastor liked it too.
When people hear your song that day, everyone will be happy.”

It was a blessed and… startling offer.
However, it was the first time that he could be recognized for his singing, not as a pitiful child whose fate was twisted because of his older brother.
He really wanted to do it.
When he nodded his head, the college girl jumped with joy.
After he promised to practice from the following week, the college girl put her bag on her shoulder.
She hesitated as she was about to go out the door.

“Um… Will you sing tomorrow too?”

“Tomorrow? But you called me the day before yesterday too.”

“Yes, but… Ah, if it is too much trouble to come to church, shall I go to your house?”

“…”

Sejin had an older brother at home and it smelled so bad that he didn’t want to bring anyone in.
Above all, this college student was strange.
Well, she was more annoying than weird.
Before, she had only asked for a song once a month, and then she asked for it once a week, but now it was daily.
As Sejin touched the CD and refused to answer, she left with a regretful face.

And that it was Hyungwook who brought Chaewoo to church, something he later found out.

Time flew and it was the week before the Christmas show.
The song to be sung that day was ‘Blessings on Christmas’, and the remaining nine members decided to add harmony with Sejin’s solo lead.

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But from the first day of practice, a problem arose.
It would have been better if it was friction with the existing choir members but the problem was that Hyungwook and Chaewoo were sitting at the back of the church and watching the practice.
The two of them had been arguing about giving or receiving.
Sejin controlled his bubbling temper and tried not to pay attention to them.
Suddenly, Hyungwook spoke to the college student in a loud voice.

“Teacher.
Chaewoo is good at singing, right?”

At that moment, Chaewoo’s complexion changed to that of plaster.
The female college student showed interest.

“Hm? Can Chaewoo sing well?”

“My mother says that even the dead can get up?”

“Then would you like to sing too? Chaewoo has a clear voice when he speaks, so it will sound pretty when he sings.”

Chaewoo didn’t answer the female college student’s question.
Sejin felt like his legs were about to collapse.
It was not enough for the two of them to be arrogant, and he hated Hyungwook, who pushed his way to Sejin’s realm.
Sejin clenched his fists and glared at Hyungwook, but it seemed that he could only see Chaewoo in his eyes.
As the strange atmosphere flowed, Hyungwook smiled.

“Is it because you don’t know this song? You have a good brain, so you’ll memorise it soon.”

“Don’t mention me.”

Chaewoo replied coldly.
Hyungwook was persistent.

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“Ah, don’t brush it off and just try it.
My mom complimented you on it, so I’ve been wanting to hear it for a long time.
What’s wrong? Is it because you are shy to sing in front of people?”

It was the first time he knew that Hyungwook was such a messy person.
While Chaewoo was expressing his anger with his whole body, Hyungwook, without noticing it, poured oil onto the fire.

“Don’t insist, just once…”

“Don’t talk to me..”

“No, why on earth…”

“Don’t speak to me.
Don’t speak.
I said don’t speak—!!”

It was the moment when a sound resounded loudly.
Jjang— The window and the piano keys trembled wildly.

“Urgh-!”

“Aahh—!”

Hyungwook grabbed his head and fell on the spot.
All the members of the choir stumbled and screamed.
Sejin was in a daze.
He didn’t understand why people were like this all of a sudden.
A little while ago, the blade-like air scratched his skin, but it wasn’t to the point where he couldn’t control his body like they were right now.

The children and the female college student who managed to come to their senses, could not hide their bewilderment, and Hyungwook looked at the origin of the sound with a nosebleed.
Before the sharp scream disappeared, Chaewoo spoke coldly to Hyungwook.

“If you pretend to know me from now on, I’ll kill you.”

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