I barely swallowed the words that had risen to the top of my throat and remained silent.


[Theo]: I kept thinking.
And I decided to experience what it would be like to be separated from you.

[Iris]: That's why you avoided me?


Fortunately, not all of my predictions were wrong.
I felt bad for my cute friend.
I was the first friend he had ever made since he was born, so I knew how special I meant to Theo.


[Iris]: Don't worry, Theo.
Nothing like your concern is going to happen.

[Thep]: You know what I'm worried about?


Theo said so and slowly turned his head towards me.


[Iris]: Uh.


And I had no choice but to slowly shut up.
When I saw Theo's face, I realized.


[Theo]: After all, I can't be apart from you, Iris.
I mean, you have to marry me, no matter what.


It's not that I caught Theo, it's that Theo is holding me.


[Iris]: ……Huh?


I muttered.
If you were told this by the average ten-year-old, most would just laugh it off.
He's still young, so that's fair enough.
When friends feel like everything in life.
And I did.

But I couldn't laugh at Theo's words in that way.


For Theo's possessiveness, standing before my eyes, and calmly holding in my hands, hardly belonged to an ordinary ten-year-old boy.
Theo's feelings for me weren't just regrets that he didn't want to break up.


It was an obsession to hold on no matter what.


It seemed similar, but it was a distinctly different feeling.


[Theo]: Iris you said so.
You and I can't be together forever unless you're family.

[Iris]: Yes, that's correct.

[Theo]: So the good side is that when you become a family, you can stay together all the time, right?


I was speechless.


That's right! But…..


[Iris]: Theo, we're still ten.


Don't you think we're still too young to talk about that?


[Theo]: That's not that important.
What really matters is whether you decide to do it or not.


I frowned and looked at Theo.
To be honest, I didn't fully understand what Theo was talking about.


[Iris]: So you mean it's important for me to decide to marry you? It doesn't matter what actually happens.

[Theo]: That's right.


I bit my lip and was in distress.
I didn't know where to start or how to explain it to Theo.


[Iris]: Theo.
I think you're mistaken about something….
Marriage isn't like that.
People who love each other….

[Theo]: I love you

[Iris]: What?


What is he talking about?


Theo's red eyes were staring only at me.
There was no sort of naivety or cruelty in him.
On the contrary, it revealed feelings darker and fishier than those of adults.


[Theo]: I know that much.
Marriage is a vow between a man and a woman who love each other to be together for the rest of their lives.


I took a step back from Theo.
But then, Theo's face instantly hardened when he saw me step back.


[Iris]: ……!

[Theo]: Why are you running away?


It was hard to meet Theo's eyes as he stared at me.
Theo stepped closer to me and grabbed my wrist.


[Theo]: Are you scared of me?

[Iris]: It's not that….


I hurriedly shook my hand in embarrassment.
Theo closed his eyes and laughed at my awkward laugh.


[Theo]: Right? It's not.
But why are you trying to run away?


I felt like I was choking.
Theo's face lit up when I was forced to answer no.
I felt as if I had faced a side of Theo that I had never seen before.


No, maybe this was Theo's original form.
It was something I had forgotten for a moment.


That Theo was no ordinary child.


'This is more than swearing or punching….'


I felt more reluctant than when I first met Theo and heard harsh words from him.


[Theo]: When we turn fourteen, let's make a covenant between the two of us.
No, it would be better now.
And as soon as you're an adult, we can have a wedding.

[Iris]: Theo.
You need to calm down.


Theo came closer to me.


[Theo]: Why? You don't like me?

[Iris]: I don't mean that.


I was perplexed.
I felt that I wasn't even able to express my feelings by saying I was embarrassed.
Somehow nervous, it was hard to know how to define this feeling of fear for Theo, who was still a child.


[Theo]: Iris you lifted me off the floor.


Theo furrowed his brow as I continued to react negatively, seemingly hurt.



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