Chapter 4: I Told You Not To Touch¹ Me!
Quality Check: Lady Blue
First published on Ainushi.
“Can’t I live here?”
W-wait! What did you say? You want to live here? Here, with me? Ji-On snapped out of the trance induced by Dae-Shik’s handsomeness.
I must protect my sweet home! If I get caught living with a man, I’ll get chased out. How can I, a girl living alone, have a male adult in my home. Absolutely nope!
“You completely hate the idea, right? Truthfully, I hate it too.”
Tak², Dae-Shik leisurely returned to his seat and perversely crossed his legs.
“You can’t possibly be more frustrated than me. Suddenly forgetting my name, not knowing who I am, and suddenly falling in this tiny one-room.”
This person is indirectly dissing my house. This is pretty spacious for being a one-room.
“I want to find my place the most. Think about it. How desperately must my family be looking for me?”
Ah, that’s true. Ji-On nodded her head.
“Find me please.”
“If you don’t want me to live here.”
“You said that I was probably the driver of that Benz. If you find the owner of the car we can know who I am.”
Ji-On contemplated for a bit. Should I tell him that the accident scene was magically cleared away?
“What, do you want me to live with you?”
“Ah, no! Absolutely not!”
“Then go to the police station.”
I was going to go anyways. It really could have been that the police cleaned up the scene.
“Let’s go together. They can do facial recognition. We should check while you’re a human.”
“Hmm, I don’t really want to.”
“Based on what you said, haven’t I unintentionally committed a hit-and-run? I should speak with a lawyer before going to the police.”
“Go by yourself.”
Why is this person so comfortable with commanding strangers to do stuff? He thinks he’s so mighty. Well then, first!
Ji-On held up her cell phone and took a picture of his face.
“What are you doing? You can’t just take my picture.”
“I may need it when asking the police to find a missing person.”
Ji-On asked as she got ready to go out.
“But what should I do if there aren’t any reports of missing people?”
For an instant, Dae-Shik’s constantly relaxed expression became dark.
“No way. Wouldn’t you report if you had family missing?”
I would. I would but…
“You said you don’t remember anything. What if you were originally a dog? A dog who was able to become a person through this accident.”
“That’s a new view. If I lived as a dog, how would I know what a Benz is?”
“Maybe you were a smart dog. Or your owner drove a Benz.”
“I may have forgotten everything, but I do remember being a person, okay?”
Dae-Shik slowly rubbed his chin and said,
“I thought about it and… I think I was an amazing person.”
What did you say? Oh my, look at that snobbiness.
“First, look at this elegant and aristocratic face. This is not the product of combining normal genes. And look at the grooming status. I, a man, am prettier than a woman. Isn’t that simply amazing?”
This person isn’t ill, is he? A sickness of the heart? Prince-complex⁴?
“You can’t tell? I’m definitely… a golden spoon⁵.”
Cough, cough. His words don’t seem to be completely wrong. He naturally orders others around, and a Benz is an expensive car.
“If that’s true, please don’t forget that I clothed and fed you.”
“Even though the food was dog chow and the clothes were a pair of sweats?”
Urg, that mouth!
“Look here. Why do you constantly speak informally to me? Don’t you remember that I’m your lifesaver?”
“Don’t I look more like an oppa⁶ when compared to you? Doesn’t it seem like I’ve lived longer than you?”
“I think I’m a complete nuna⁷ if we use your dog age.”
“Then I’ll speak formally when I turn into a dog. Ruff, ruff.”
Wow, this impish dog-bird⁸ doesn’t lose one sentence. Fine, I will find and return you to your family at all costs. I will definitely chase you out of this house!
“I’ll be back!”
Ji-On smartly pledged and left the house. However,…
“What? There was no accident at that time?”
That was what the police officer in charge of the jurisdictional police station said. The weird feeling from this morning seems to be turning into reality.
“I personally reported the accident. Look. It shows here.”
Ji-On shoved her cell phone call records at the officer, but he just shook his head.
“I’m saying that there was no reported accident case. There was no Benz that got in an accident.”
Then what did I see yesterday. Screech, bam! Was it all a dream? No way. The memory is way too vivid to be a dream.
“Lady, did you stay at the scene?”
“No. There was an injured puppy, so I had to take him to the hospital first.”
“Anyways, there’s no case like that.”
The officer cut her off firmly. Why is he so confident? Is he trying to cover up the accident? Is that why there’s no report? Did he erase it? Ji-On looked at him with suspicion.
“Then, are there any missing persons reports for a person who looks like this?”
Ji-On showed the picture she took of Dae-Shik.
“Why? Do you know an unidentified person? Then please send them to us…”
“Ah, no thank you. Just a check please.”
She emailed the photo to the station’s computer and the computer compared it to the recent missing persons’ photos.
“Well, there isn’t a match within the reports from yesterday and today.”
“There’s a limit with using just a photo. We have to compare it one by one for the older records. Fingerprinting is the best option. Do you want to bring him here?”
“Oh I see. Thank you for the information.”
Ji-On bowed her head as she bid farewell. Her questions remained unanswered even after leaving the station. How did the accident report disappear? Did I really dream it? What’s happening? While Ji-On was walking past the station, behind her, the LED billboard flashed with the latest news report.
‘Future Group’s Executive Director Song Yoon-Hyuk, Died in the Philippines! Cause of Death Still Unknown.’
There was no photo of Executive Director Song in the report. There was only a silhouette with a question mark. Ji-On, who didn’t see this, hurriedly walked while holding her cell phone with both hands. She was thinking hard on how to bring him to the station and get him to check his fingerprint.
“Huh? You don’t have fingerprints?”
Ji-on wore a face of absurdity when she came home and touched his soft fingertips. What’s this? What is this jelly-like texture? Why this is the sensation of the paw pads on dogs’ feet?! Dae-Shik’s supple fingertips did not have any human fingerprints. What? Is this even human?
“Umm, do you want to stop rubbing me?”
Dae-Shik frowned and rebelliously looked at Ji-On.
“So, you just came back?”
“Then what do I do. They asked me to turn in the suspicious person, should I?”
His eyes instantly sadly drooped down.
“Have I possibly been abandoned?”
Ahh, his gaze made her feel pity. It felt like a dog was abandoned without cause. It was that moment that the depressed Dae-Shik looked cute like a puppy that moped with both ears drooping.
“I left the photo, so there will be news once they compare it to the older records.”
“What if there isn’t any news?”
“That’s not possible. I’m sure you weren’t abandoned.”
This man… is a bit pitiful. And cute. But Ji-On didn’t know. Acting dejected was all part of his plan. He had already calculated everything in his head.
“Umm, I’m sorry, but I think I’ll have to stay here for a bit.”
“You can’t. This is a one-room. I told you, no men and no dogs.”
“I won’t bark and I’ll hide to make sure not to get caught.”
“Still, if the landlady sees, hell will break loose.”
“Then… what should I, who was abandoned by the world, do?”
Uhk⁹, don’t look at me with those eyes. I thought I only got heart attacks from the killer puppy gazes, but it’s the same when he’s a person, too. No one can hold out against that sad and loveable gaze.
“Am I going to be wandering the streets constantly changing forms? No, should I just enter the circus?”
“Am I going to be imprisoned for indecent exposure for suddenly changing into a naked human? What if I get sold through human trafficking because I’m an orphan?”
“Let me stay for a few days. Just until the police contact us.”
Ha-hhh, I shouldn’t be doing this. I shouldn’t be wavering like this. Ji-On kept hesitating as she nervously bit her nails.
“You feel it too, don’t you? The scent of wealth wafting off of me. I am definitely… a golden spoon. As soon as I find out who I am, I will repay you greatly with that spoon.”
Haa, I’ll probably get karma for throwing out a homeless person, right? Fine, let’s just think of it as doing a kind deed. It’s really not because I’m hoping for the golden spoon’s gratitude.
“… Well, I guess it can’t be helped.”
Ji-On weakly nodded her head and begrudged her weak heart.
“Instead, I have a condition.”
A condition when you’re mooching off me?
“You can’t ever touch me. I’m a delicate man.”
Ha? Ji-On’s mouth dropped from the ridiculousness.
“Wh-who’s gonna touch who. I should be worried about you touching me.”
“Unfortunately, you’re not my type. Promise me. You won’t touch me.”
Pahaha, an abrupt laughter of absurdity spilled out of Ji-On.
“Goodness, okay. We both will not touch one hair of each other.”
“Yes. You must never break that promise.”
Dae-Shik made her pinky promise, stamp, and copy it¹⁰.
“I’ll make sure to speak formally to you when I’m a dog. Ruff, ruff.”
Urg. Why do I feel like I keep getting fooled by this guy?
“Excuse me, I have to change now…”
“Go change in the bathroom.”
It’s just a feeling that I’m getting bossed around in my own home, right?
As soon as Ji-On went to the bathroom, Dae-Shik pumped his two fists and said ‘nice’. I suspected this outcome. It’s already fictitious how I became a dog, so it doesn’t make sense to be able to easily identify me through a logical method such as a missing person’s report. I really don’t like the old-fashioned name, Dae-Shik, but since I don’t have anywhere to go, I’ll just squat here for a while. And in order to do that, I need to win over this homeowner. Thankfully, Ji-On is compliant and a pushover. I’m going to squat at this house and slowly plan everything out. Dae-Shik’s facial expression suddenly went from evil to gloomy. What must my family be doing that they don’t even look for me? Do I even have a family? There’ll be news soon, right? Let’s just stick it out til then. At the same time, Ji-On, who was washing up in the bathroom, looked into the mirror. I can live with a male puppy, but can I live with a male human? In a one-room that has no walls? Won’t it be hard? She did accept, but no matter how she thought about it, there were a lot of uncomfortable things. Firstly, there was the problem of sleeping.
“Excuse me, there’s only one bed, so where are you going to sleep?”
Ji-On asked Dae-Shik as she came out of the bathroom. …However! Dae-Shik was already settled smack dab in the middle of Ji-On’s twin-sized bed.
“Where do you think I’ll sleep?”
He had a strange smile on his face.
“Huk! That’s my bed!”
“I know, how wouldn’t I? Shouldn’t guests receive the best?”
“No. I cannot yield this bed.”
“Then where am I supposed to sleep?”
Ji-On nodded her head to the corner of the room. There was a cardboard box filled with several layers of towels to temporarily house a puppy.
“With this height? With this size?”
“Then change back into a puppy!”
“I can’t sleep like that for even one night.”
“Then what should we do? There aren’t any extra blankets or pillows.”
“Well, there’s no helping it then. I will have to sleep here.”
Dae-Shik further sunk into the bed and straightened out his legs.
“Even though I’ve lost my memory, this much is true. I have never slept on the floor.”
Heol, did I bring a dog or a master!? This mannerless dog-bird!
“I’ll go wash up, too, master.”
Heol, only a master at times like this. Dae-Shik leisurely walked into the bathroom as he twirled a towel. Urrrggg, what can I do to him? How should I deal with this reckless dog-bird?! First, I need to make him back into a dog. That way I can protect my bed. But how? Is there some kind of method? When did that bastard change into a puppy? It was then that Ji-On suddenly thought of an idea. Yes, this morning! We accidentally touched lips and he changed into a dog! Oh, so that’s how it’s done…? It’s the same method as The Little Mermaid and The Frog Prince? If I kiss that bastard, he’ll turn into a puppy? Okay! This is it! …is what I wish. But that’s not easy either. It’s one thing to kiss him when he’s a puppy, but how can a girl kiss a man first. We also promised, stamped, and copied not to touch each other. Suddenly, the strange feeling from this morning passed again. The strangely soft and jelly-like lips. And the warmth that spread through her body once their lips met. Her blood started warming up just thinking about the morning’s event. Her heart started flopping up and down like a fish out of water. Hah, what should I do? Should I just attack him as soon as he comes out of the bathroom? No! How could I do that!? What happens if I kiss him and he doesn’t turn into a puppy? Then I become a crazy woman! Ji-On’s thoughts went back and forth as she grabbed her head. Yes, let’s at least try it. He’s half dog, so let’s just think that I’m kissing a dog. If not, I really may have to share the bed with him. No, he would actually steal the bed from me. The owner of this area is me. I can’t let that happen. Just as Ji-On made her decision…!
The door of the bathroom opened. However! The man who appeared was literally the Water God. The sexily wet hair, the waterdrop surfing down his skin, the thrilling photoshoot-like body, the thin towel barely covering his lower body, the sexiest energy overflowing out of his entirety! He was the appearance of a jaw-dropping beautiful man.
‘How can he come out topless!’
I have to kiss th-that man? I just decided that? Unless my liver explodes out of my stomach¹², there is no way I can do that.
“Umm, I’m sorry but…”
As he walked closer, Ji-On caught a whiff of shower cologne. It was a familiar but unfamiliar scent since it came from him. She became dizzy at that mysteriousness.
“Want to give me a credit card?”
“I don’t have clothes to change into. I want to order some from the internet.”
What did you say?
“Give it to me. I’m telling you I’ll repay you greatly later.”
Suddenly the sound of glass shattering sounded in Ji-On’s ear. That’s right, I’m crazy for getting affected by his handsomeness. This cannot be forgiven! That bastard dog-bird is boldly playing master while freeloading at someone else’s house! That reckless jerk thinks using my credit card is a joke! This mannerless puppy is above my head¹³! I will train you! I will show you what training is! Ji-On solidly decided, brushed her wet hair aside, and strode towards him.
“Wh-what are you doing?”
Dae-Shik felt a bit frightened by her sudden boldness.
“I told you not to touch me! We both agreed we wouldn’t be like this!”
Dae-Shik covered his chest by crossing his arms and tried to step back, but like Mechander Robo¹⁴ she did not stop walking. And within a moment! Ji-On kissed Dae-Shik.
Dae-Shik was flustered at the sudden situation. Unable to react, he froze like a meerkat and looked down at her. At the same time, Ji-On was brainwashing herself while kissing him. This is a dog, I am giving a dog a kiss. She squeezed her eyes shut and focused on brainwashing herself. However, no matter how much she tried to persuade herself, the lips felt too much like a human’s lips. These are too chewy, too soft, and too hot. The sex cells all over her body seemed to come alive and burn. The flames wrapping around her made it seem like her hard spine was melting into corn syrup. It felt like that corn syrup was dripping down her legs and falling onto the ground. Right now, while touching his lips, Ji-On couldn’t help but acknowledge it. HON.EST.LY this man is so sexy. After a while, she slightly moved away. The startled meerkat was still blankly blinking his eyes at her. With water still dripping from his hair, he was sexy as hell. But, why isn’t there any change? The two people were frozen as if someone stopped time.
Unbearable awkwardness followed afterwards. The stillness that ensued made one’s fingers and toes curl up from embarrassment. The face-burning silence made one’s body cringe and twist like a cooked squid.
‘Uahhhh! There’s no change!’
Her face became as red as a paprika.
Right when she fisted her hands and was about to run away from the shame and shyness that was filling up to her head! Finally, he started changing. Is this perhaps?!
1) Touch: The denotation is closer to rape, but rape is too serious to fit the translation. The connotation is closer to attack or touch.
2) Tak: The sfx of an object hitting an object. This instance being Dae-Shik’s butt hitting the chair.
3) Chal-kak: The sfx of a camera shutter.
4) Prince-complex: Also known as the Prince Syndrome. The mental state of believing you’re the best in the world, everything has to revolve around you, everyone will cater to your needs. Acting like a prince.
5) Golden spoon: An expression used to describe rich people. Probably derives from the phrase ‘born with a gold/silver spoon in one’s mouth’. It has become a more popular term within the last five years. Along with it, the term dirt spoon has become common as well. Dirt spoon is used to describe the poor.
6) Oppa: It means older brother and is typically used by younger female siblings, but is also used by women to call any older man. Nowadays, the male doesn’t even have to be older. Many fans call their idols/stars oppa, even though the celebrities are younger.
7) Nuna: It means older sister and is used by younger male siblings, but males can use it when calling a older female who is close. Many older women prefer being called nuna than ahjumma. Ahjumma is used to refer to an older lady who is closer to the age of the calling person’s mother or aunt.
8) Dog-bird: It sounds like a Korean curse, but is a legitimate word that literally describes a dog cg-ed onto a bird.
9) Uhk: The sfx of getting your breath taken away or when an actor gets stabbed in the abdomen with a knife or sword.
10) Pinky promise, stamp, and copy it: In Korea, when they do pinky promises, they make the promise, sign it and/or stamp it, and copy/scan/print it. First, they link their pinkies, then sign each other’s palm and/or press their fist or thumb on the palm, and then slide their palms against each other’s palm.
11) Dal-kak: The sfx of a door opening or closing.
12) Liver explodes out of the stomach: An expression used to describe when a person is crazy, abnormal, brazen, and/or gutsy.
13) Above my head: An expression used when the other person is smarter than you, playing with you, manipulating/controlling you or one step ahead of you.
14) Mechander Robo: An old Japanese animation that was really famous in Korea back in the late 1980s.