Melin's Salvation Plan - Chapter 4
The smell of stale dust and the bitter smell of the ointment were mixed, giving off a strange scent inside the blanket
Time began to slow down.
Please get out of here, please.
Luckily, Edina didn’t come in. I looked around the doorway and heard the door close quickly.
Tepeo and I held our breath until Edina went downstairs.
We could finally breathe again once we couldn’t hear the footsteps anymore.
And then….Our eyes met. He seemed to have been looking at me all along.
It’s weird. It’s definitely dark on the blanket.
His eyes were clearly visible in the dark.
Beyond that, a dim ray of light was alive like a living thing.
What was the reason why the world felt so sinful and that were the only left alone?
Why couldn’t I move quickly under the old cloth, and even my breath became cautious?
We kept eye contact for a while as if we were trying to understand each other’s eyes.
Breath and heart beat sound filled the area where we couldn’t say anything.
I think Tepeo and I fell asleep at some point using it as a lullaby.
I was the one who got up first early in the morning.
As soon as I opened my eyes, I was surprised that Tepeo’s face was right in front of my nose. I swallowed my voice and looked at him.
He showed no sign of waking up, perhaps because he was tired.
Wow, look at his long eyelashes.
I felt like I was looking at a (big) painting or a statue without flaws.
The male lead is different. Something like that?
This child’s childhood in the novel would soon appear. My heart tickled strangely.
As I was looking in for a long time, the morning bell rang loudly outside.
Tepeo slowly opened his eyes. And soon, the both of us made eye contact.
When I gave an awkward greeting, Tepeo looked at me without answering. I was about to say hello again, wondering if he was half asleep, but he jumped up.
“That’s the first morning greeting you hear.”
“I…..did I sleep in your bed?”
Somehow Tepeo looked confused.
“Well, where do you think you just slept?”
“No, that’s not it…..! I didn’t mean to sleep here.”
“Don’t say anything weird and come down. I have to go wash up.”
“Yes, I’m going to wash my face and eat breakfast.”
I left Tepeo dazed, and I came down from the bed first. Then I reached out my hand to him.
“Let’s go. I have something to do after breakfast.”
* * *
We met at the playground again after breakfast.
According to the nursery school schedule, I had to take a bath after breakfast, but I sneaked out of the room.
This was the perfect time to work secretly.
There are no children out here, and all the employees of the nursery, including Edina, are in the bathroom.
“What’s the job?”
Perhaps it was comfortable for him to tie his hair yesterday, Tepeo seemed to tie his hair on his own today.
However, his skills are poor. Anyway, there was more hair sticking out than tied up.
“Let’s start with your head first.”
Tepeo quietly looks at his head to see if he looks funny.
“If you feel uncomfortable with long hair, would you like me to cut it for you?”
“Can you do that?”
“It’s hard to cut it pretty, but I can cut it so it won’t bother you.”
In the meantime, Tepeo’s hair became neat. I tied my soft blond hair together so that it wouldn’t come loose.
Tepeo touched his hair awkwardly.
“That’s enough. Let’s go now.”
“Where are we going?”
I pointed my finger at the ground without a word. Tepeo’s expression became suspicious.
“Not on the ground, but down.”
In the flowerbed behind the playground, there is drainage for rainwater.
There is an old manhole where water drains when walking along the ditch, and so far, the manhole has not been lifted.
Because it was too heavy to carry alone.
But not anymore.
I began to move after confirming that there was no eye around.
Tepeo followed behind me without knowing how dangerous it was.
He didn’t know what I was going to do even after arriving in front of the manhole.
I took out a crowbar that I hid from one side of the bush and secretly stole it before.
“What is that?”
“Take it for now. It’s heavy.”
Tepeo flustered at my words.
At the same time, he seemed to be puzzled.
“Where and how do you get this?”
“You’ll get hurt if you know.”
Well, this is all set.
I asked Tepeo to put the lever in the manhole cover. Then Tepeo looked back at me with a strange face.
“We’re gonna open this?”
Look. I can see ‘Don’t say nonsense’ with your facial expression. I’m telling you the truth.
“On the count of three, we will press it together. All right?”
Tepeo sighed and steadily put his hand on the lever. I put my hand on it, too.
“Here we go. One, two, thre…..!”
We pressed the lever at the same time.
When the weight of the two children was put on, they couldn’t stand the iron lid and began to tremble.
I think we can do a little more.
At last I hugged Tepeo and pulled from his stomach while Tepeo was clinging to the lever. The gap widened when I weighed all my weight. I didn’t miss the opportunity and threw the lever aside.
The round lid slowly pushed away and finally opened with a rattle.
“Don’t hug me all of a sudden……”
Tepeo muttered something, but my eyes were only fixed on the open manhole.
My life, my future.
“It’s finally open!”
I couldn’t stop my excitement and rushed to Tepeo.
“Ho, hold on….!”
“Thank you. Thank you, Tepi!”
“Okay, stay away from me!”
Tepeo’s face was even glazed, I think he didn’t like hugs. Is it too much?
I step back from Tepeo with a slight embarrassment.
“N, now that you’ve opened it, what are you going to do?”
“Oh, my. I’ll have to go inside.”
“Where are you going?”
Of course, I pointed to the open manhole. His red face suddenly became white.
“You’re going…..in there?”
Oh, that’s what you were curious about. I thought I should give my reasons.
It was too early to tell the truth. So, I won’t tell him.
“I just want to explore.”
“Exploration? Over there?”
I thought it was a bit absurd, but I decided to brazenly push ahead with what I already spit out.
“I know. It’s kind of creepy, right? But it’ll be that much fun.”
“If you’re really nervous, you can keep an eye on who’s coming from here. I’m going alo-.”
“You can’t go there alone!”
Oh my gosh. You surprised me. Why are you shouting?
“Then you should follow me. I’m going down first. If you tell it to someone, I’ll hate you forever.”
I began to go down the manhole leaving that remark. It was darker than I thought under the manhole.
I should’ve brought some candles.
No, let’s just go around the light time today. I’ve got to make it back by lunch time.
While I was thinking about that, there was a sound of someone coming down from above.
When I looked up, I found Tepeo following me down, looking scared.
“You don’t have to overdo it if you’re scared, Tepi.”
“I, I’m not scared!”
It sounded like a roaring cry, but in detail, Tepeo’s legs were shaking like a newborn baby.
I hope he doesn’t get hurt.
In fact, Melinia in the novel was the first one who thought of getting out through the manhole.
In Tepeo’s abduction, Melinia looks for an exit from Hope with the intention of running away from it, and finds a manhole with no lid on after construction.
That was where I and Tepeo we’re going down now.
As the story goes, I had to find a way out a long time later, but I couldn’t afford to wait until the manhole construction date.
I hope this choice is a wise decision.
Back in the novel, Melinia spent a long time walking alone in the waterways and finally finding a way out.
Unfortunately, she dies in the hands of the director the day before she was about to run away.
But it wasn’t very futile.
Tepeo was able to get out of here because Melinia told Tepeo the escape route before she died.
【”Get away from here. You’re the only one running away, Tepi…..”】
A girl who saved him to the end and died.
“That’s definitely an unforgettable first love.”
“What did you say, Melin?”
“I think we’ve arrived on the floor.”