The Forest (Gaksital)

September 2012

by mrdimples

He walked towards the forest clearing and sat on the tree stump. The sun rays hit the ground of fallen leaves and it gave a warm golden hue, the trees swayed and whispered to each other. This is their secret meeting place, the first place where he held her in his arms and kissed her. He looked at her now, she has not changed one bit, her eyes so full of life and beauty, the nose petite but straight with a hint of character, her rose bud lips luscious and inviting, her chin strong and firm belying the determination within. She smiled at him so sweet and pure and his heart ached. He loved her so much that he felt his heart could burst. His eyes turn moist and her face became blurred. These days, his eyes gave him trouble and he couldn’t see her as clearly as he once did, perhaps he should get those glasses as they called it. If they could help him see his Boon Yi better, then it was worth the while. He rubbed them and blinked. Now, that’s better. She smiled that smile of hers that made him fall in love with her so many years ago.  He hugged her close to his body and held her hands. He liked nothing more than sit here and enjoy the serenity and beauty of the surroundings. He told her gently: “Boon ah, today I gave all our money to the school building foundation. Are you angry? I thought about it and that’s where I wanted to plant the seed. The future of our nation depends on the young generation. With knowledge, they will have the means to build a strong country. Do you agree? We’ve come a long way, haven’t we? Your father was right, one day the boulder will break but the egg lives, the chick will grow and be strong. This day has come.” He gently squeezed her hands as he always does and she smiled at him again. She has always understood him and stood by him. They need not say much and yet they understood each other perfectly.  

Suddenly a voice broke the peacefulness. “Lee Kangto, is that you?” a man burst seemingly out of nowhere into the clearing. “I went to your hut and you were not there, I guessed correctly.” Deuk Soo panted and grinned as he stepped forward. “Seon Hwa cooked a lot of side dishes including your favorite bean paste soup. You should go back now and drink it while it’s still hot”

Kangto just sat there and smiled, not moving. Deuk Soo pulled his hand and beckoned him to follow him back “It’s getting dark, you are not going to sit there forever, are you?” Finally, he stood up but not before casting a glance in the direction of that one path that runs along the forest. Then he looked up at the sky above him and saw the beautiful stars shining in the twilight. He smiled again and nodded at Deuk Soo. He will come back again tomorrow as he always has all these years. 

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