Silence fell over the room.
Before long, Roger raised the corners of his lips as if he had forgotten all his troubles. But it disappeared before Vivian saw it.
“Did you recognize me from the moment we met?”
“Why did you pretend not to know?”
Vivian responded proudly.
“You did too.”
He stood for a moment with a thoughtful look on his face and nodded his head.
It was an absurdly out of character reaction. Maybe he had the same concerns as her. He was not sure if they had the same dream or not.
A situation that only the two of them could understand connected them.
Vivian looked up at him and raised her eyebrow in curiosity.
“By the way… Why are you talking nonsense?”
He grinned. He seemed to think that her comment did not fit the current situation.
“Are you asking that now? It’s been three years.”
From the moment they met, he naturally let go of her words, so there was no time to ask questions. His provocative tone suited him so well that there was no room for complaints. But in reality, she couldn’t help but ask questions because she remembered him being polite. If his original personality was fake, she would understand, but it didn’t seem like that.
He smiled charmingly and tilted his head. They got closer, their foreheads almost touching.
“Do you hate nonsense?”
Vivian stared at him without saying a word.
“You do it, too.”
“I do not care.”
This man… Did he always have this kind of personality?
Vivian’s memory became hazy. She couldn’t find a quick response, so she pursed her lips.
“You were the first to speak.”
“I was? When?”
She quickly scanned their past, but couldn’t find anything, neither in their dream nor in reality. It was obviously Roger who spoke first.
“I told you that one day your personality changed as if you suddenly woke up.”
Vivian recalled the memory without difficulty. It was part of a conversation they had when she first met him in a dream. At the time, Roger called Vivian ‘sexy’. He said she was completely different, and was upset by the change.
Roger’s eyes deepened as if he was gazing into the past.
“Before your personality changed, you talked to me often. So if you look at it, you were the first to talk.”
“… Was that really me? Because I really don’t remember.”
It was a phenomenon that started three years ago and still didn’t make sense to this day. To the extent that she wondered if it was a delusion. Vivian swore that it was then that she first met Roger.
“Are you mistaken for another woman?”
When Vivian asked if it was possible, the hand that had been stroking the ends of her silver hair stopped suddenly.
“Obviously it was you.”
He slowly raised his head and opened his mouth. There was a strong conviction in his powerful voice. He was so confident that it was impossible to ask how he was sure of it.
His fingers, which had been caressing the tips of her silver hair, moved slowly. A finger that rose like a swimmer gently stroked Vivian’s jawline. It was a touch that she could feel his emotions through, tangled like a skein of yarn.
“… How dare you forget this face.”
His tone was arrogant, but it wasn’t abrasive. On the contrary, her heart pounded from his friendly touch and mournful voice. His hand, prowling around her chin, unwittingly rested on her cheek. His fingers carefully stroked her cheeks as if they were touching a very precious thing.
“Is your body okay?”
When the silence seemed a little heavy, he spoke again.
Body? Vivian tilted her head and blushed. Yesterday morning, she remembered the scene where she struggled under him.
She pushed away the hand caressing her cheek and hurriedly hid her face behind her hands. It was warmer than usual.
“I’m okay, so please stop asking that!”
Vivian realized yesterday and today that people could die of embarrassment. She wanted to hide in a mouse hole, disappear into dust, and now she just wanted to die. The degree of despair caused by Roger had changed in many different ways.
“Are you really okay?”
He still couldn’t let go of his suspicion when he saw Vivian’s hot face. He was concerned about the way she was crying yesterday because she couldn’t breathe.
In fact, it still hurt a little, but Vivian nodded her head as she didn’t want him to do anything. It was as if a veil of doubt in his eyes had been peeled away by her intense affirmation. But he didn’t seem to like it.
“Where have you been, Commander?”
“Isn’t he upstairs?”
At that moment, unfamiliar voices broke the spell that bound the two. Urgent footsteps were heard outside the room. Then there was a voice that seemed to be looking for Roger.
Roger took a deep breath.
The timing seemed like a godsend.
“I have to go.”
Vivian’s face brightened at his soft words. At the half-face that was visible in the dark, Rogers’ eyes were nervous. Vivian quickly managed her expression.
“Tell me later.”
He gently pulled Vivian to the side, then grabbed the doorknob she had been blocking, and whispered softly. Vivian grabbed his arm without realizing it.
“Is there anything left to talk about?”
Her eyes fluttered eagerly. Roger smiled as calmly as possible as he regained his patience.
“Isn’t there a lot?”
Vivian’s mouth shut at the natural retort. Looking at his eyes, he seemed to be thinking of what was needed of him. With a smile still on the corner of his lips, Roger sharply looked into her eyes.
“Are you going to avoid me again?”
“If you wonder how I will behave in front of other people, I’ll just avoid you again.”
Vivian swallowed her tears and shook his head reluctantly. He glanced at her longingly and ran out of the room.
Left alone, Vivian leaned her head against the wall, immersed in self-blame. She had a series of regrets. Whether it was a good choice not to deny it, or how to look at Roger in the future. More than anything… Now that she knew that both of them dreamed, what should she do if they meet in a dream?
As the questions came to mind one after another, Vivian could only chew her lips.
* * *
It was late at night, approaching midnight, when Roger finished his errands.
Vivian, who was about to go to bed, forced herself to get up and sit on the sofa. To be honest, she was very tired from being wary and avoiding him all day, but she couldn’t help but get up because she remembered his words not to avoid him again.
“Were you sleeping?”
It was a peaceful day because there were no cracks, but it was not a peaceful day for her as she was busy being conscious of Roger.
Roger, who approached her with the top button of his shirt undone, naturally sat down next to her.
She asked, wondering why he had to leave after being called out in a hurry.
“Something happened at the construction site in the village.”
While nodding her head in response to his answer, Vivian thought to herself.
‘He said he went to the village again. Could it be that he met some women?’
Vivian said nothing, only scratching the sofa armrest pattern with her fingernails. Roger noticed her dissatisfied expression, rolled his eyes, and smiled silently as if something came to mind.
“I didn’t meet another woman.”
Her fingers stopped tracing the pattern. Vivian waved her hand with a look of considerable embarrassment.
“I-I didn’t say anything?”
She was very embarrassed as he seemed to have revealed her secret. Although she protested, Roger shrugged his shoulders.
“I was just saying.”
“… Have you decided to let go of it altogether?”
Embarrassed to have revealed her jealousy, Vivian hurriedly switched the topic. He realized what she was trying to do, but he allowed it without hesitation.
“It’s ridiculous to bring it up again.”
Did he have anything to be embarrassed about?
“If you don’t like it, leave. I do not care.”
Roger stared at her with languid eyes, realizing that she could not open her mouth willingly.
“Say my name.”
Vivian’s eyes widened at the sudden instruction.
“Call me by name.”
‘What’s with the name calling all of a sudden?’
Vivian forcibly opened her mouth, even though she sensed an unexplained aura.
His grayish-yellow eyes shone disappointingly.
“Not like that.”
He grabbed her chin and looked straight into her face. His clear eyes were too burdensome. The moment she looked into his eyes, Vivian realized what he wanted.
Vivian hesitated, and after a while she opened her mouth.
There was no strength in the small voice. He raised an eyebrow and whispered softly.
“Call me kindly.”
‘Why the hell is this man here?’
Vivian opened her mouth obediently, suppressing her desire to get up from her seat. She wanted to run out of the room and hide in her bed as soon as she could.
As she called him, a smile formed on Roger’s face that left a deep impression. He seemed very satisfied.
“It was good in my dreams… It sounds better in real life.”
He swept her face and smiled contentedly. It felt good that his voice became softer. The sharpness shown in the dining hall had long since disappeared. He now looked more like a large puppy than the crazy dog Vivian had seen in her dreams.
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