One thing is sure: it was a warm autumn. She was looking dazzling in her white dress. Of course, that's not the thing that attracted me. No. She was a strange kid who was playing with the wind.
I sneaked a little closer to her, hoping that maybe she won't notice me.
"Who are you?"she asked looking at me with those strange eyes of hers.
"What do you care? Who are you?"
"Mi Rae. I'm a ballerina,"she smiled, showing those lovable dimples.
"Seung Ho. I'm going to kindergarden."
She continued her strange dance, moving her hands in the rhythm of the wind.
"Neh, Seung Ho, what's a 'ballerina'?"
"Why are you asking me? You're the one that said you're one of that. Why should I know?"I replied, still watching her strange movement. "You're not a ballerina."
And the world stopped moving for me. My world began revolving around her. Her eyes, those icy-blue eyes were present in my life like the oxygen is in the air. And we became friends. The girl who danced with the wind and the boy who had no friends.
"Wait for me, Seung Ho!"I heard her calling from behind as we climbed up the hill.
"C'mon, shorty!"I teased, slowing down. "Why are you so short, shorty?"
"Seung Ho, that's not funny,"she replied while passing by me. "What are you doing? Last one at the tree is a rotten egg!"
I smiled and speeded up. As always she would trick me. Or should I say, I was letting her trick me, 'coz her smile was my greatest reward.
"Hi there, red tree!"she greeded the old tree. "Aren't you lonely?"
"And here you go again talking to a tree. Mi Rae, it's just a tree! A. Tree."
"Isn't he a living thing as well?"
"Well, yes, but it's still a tree. And trees don't speak, Mi Rae,"I tried to convince her to leave behind her odd habit.
"Red tree, don't listen to him. He doesn't mean it. I can tell. Seung Ho is not a bad boy..."
Seung Ho is not a bad boy...that phrase moved me, made something inside me feel warm. Like home. No. Seung Ho is not a bad boy...
Those years were sweet. Maybe the sweetest I ever lived.
"Moon Mi Rae, why are you hidding yourself in here?"
"Shhhh! They will hear you, Seung Ho,"she whispered from the dark corner of her closet.
I closed the door behind me and sat on a pile of clothes. "Who will, Mi Rae?"
"They. The kids from school,"she whispered. "They are not like you, Seung Ho. They are bad."
I tried to see her face through that dark. Was she hurt?
"They don't like me,"she continued on a shaky voice. "They call me monster because of my eyes. Tell me Seung Ho, are my eyes bad? Or ugly?"
"Don't be silly, Mi Rae. Eyes can't be bad. Nor ugly. They are just eyes,"I answered after few seconds of thinking.
"They don't think so. Neh Seung Ho, if eyes could be bad or ugly, would mine be so?"
"No. They would be beautiful,"I whispered. "Let's go out, Mi Rae. I won't let them hurt you. I wll protect you. I promise you."
I will protect you...and did my best.
I looked up. That monkey was up there again!
"Moon Mi Rae, if your mother would see you up there...come down! I can see your panties,"I frowned.
She sticked her tongue out, but jumped off from the tree's branch.
"Haven't I told you before not to climb up there? It's dangerous, Mi Rae. You could fall and hurt yourself,"I scolded her as we sat on the ground. "Did you bring it?"
She showed me the red box.
"But Seung Ho...I don't want to burry it. I like my box."
"Don't be a goose, Mi Rae! We already talked about this and if I remember corectly, you were the one that offerend to bring the box. How will we be able to make a time capsule if you don't have the capsule?"
"Here you are,"I said, taking out from my bag a notebook. "You can write on this and then rip the page. Now, what should we write...?"
"Let's make a promise list,"she suggested with dreamy eyes.
"A promise list?"
"Yes. The things we want to promise to each other and that we will never break."
"Ok! Promise list be it! But we need some punishments as well, just in case. Hmmmm...alright! If I break even one promise, I'll eat 5 bananas. Bleah! I hate those..."
"If I break a promise, I will pat a dog's head."
Seung Ho's promise list to Mi Rae:
I will be a strong man
I will protect Mi Rae from those bullies
I will learn how to play the piano
I will compose a song and dedicate it to Mi Rae
I will be a handsome man like those from TV
When the world will be watching me, I will call Mi Rae's name first
I will buy a big house and have children
I will make her get over her dog fears
I will let her cry on my shoulder when we'll grow up
I will protect Mi Rae forever
Mi Rae's promise list to Seung Ho
I will learn to bake cookies that Seung Ho loves
I will no longer be afraid of bullies
I will be a great ballerina
I will never leave Seung Ho and we'll get wrinkles together
I will stop climbing up in the tree when I wear dresses
I will dance only for Seung Ho
I will kiss him on his birthday (later, when we grow up!)
I will never cry if Seung Ho is not beside me
I will be strong for him
When I'll be on a stage, I will call Seung Ho's name first
"Let's burry the box, Mi Rae,"I smiled, helping her get up. "This tree...he's the only one that will ever know about this except us."
She nodded in agreement. "Red tree will protect our time capsule. Here, put this in as well,"she continued, handing me her silver bracelet.
"But...Mi Rae, this is the bracelet I gave you! You can't burry it!"
"Because it is from you I want to burry it. Red tree will keep it safe. I don't want to lose it, Seung Ho. It's too precious."
"Let me...a sec! Here! I'll put this in as well,"I said, lying the small toy inside the box. "I don't want to lose it either."
"You still have it!"she exclaimed with a smile on her face.
"Of course, silly! Why would I lose the toy you gave me?"