|MH| 상처 마음: Chapter 2

 


STORY 1


상처 마음

Chapter 1: Cuts

Chapter 2: Stitches

JANUARY 17, 1998, Saturday

      Jinwon spent the first week of his new life in the rehabilitation center trying to re-learn things about the world around him. He sincerely tried his best for hated feeling dumb and clueless. However, the white-uniformed men and women called nurses and doctors usually got into his nerves. All they did was smile like the world was perfect when he felt like hell.

      “You are truly a miracle, Jinwon! Most coma patients lie cold for months—maybe even years with that kind of accident. But you, you woke up in about a month, and your body is even healing very quickly!” That’s what the nurses and doctors always said.

      “What a miracle,” Jinwon sarcastically laughed at himself. He didn’t believe a single word. He wished he just died. He scoffed and clicked his tongue, ready to mutter a curse, but he only found himself spacing out. Not a curse word came up in his internal dictionary so he just forced himself to brush this negativity off. Memory loss was good for some things, after all.

      At the end of the week, Jinwon was finally able to come home. He still needed to come to the rehabilitation center and the hospital for frequent checkups, but other than that, he won’t be going to sleep in his cold, hospital room anymore. He was relieved to know he’ll be with his family, but felt bad that he still had no idea who they really were.

      As he waited at the lobby of the hospital, he looked hesitantly at the doors closing and opening. He could just get up and leave if he felt like it. He had the choice to make a new life—away from those so called “friends” and “families.” But even though he wanted to, he knew it would do no good. Beyond those glass doors was the world—the world he doesn’t know anymore. Fragments of information still lie in his brain somewhere, but they are definitely not enough to keep him alive out in the dangerous world. He needed help no matter how many times he wanted to deny it.

      HaYeon and Stephanie pushed open the glass doors and found their way to him. He turned his gaze away feeling unworthy that he couldn’t even remember his own sister or girlfriend. A part of him truly wanted to remember, but there weren’t exactly instructions on how to recall them. Therapy has not been working well either.

      “Hey, how are you?” Stephanie greeted. Stephanie visited him every day and tried hinting him small memories here and there. It annoyed him but he tried not to show it. Seeing her was like watching the golden sun set behind the city buildings as he stands alone, freely on the hospital rooftop. Something about her felt like a fresh breeze of comfort. Something about her repels his scornful soul. So no matter how much he heated up, he could not let himself blow her away.

      “I’m… good,” Jinwon said without a smile or any expression at all. Although they were kind and gentle to him ever since he woke up, he wasn’t exactly sure if he was happy to see them. He still despised seeing everyone who once knew him—even his own reflection in the mirror.

      “How do you feel about coming home?” HaYeon asked.

      “Better than this place,” Jinwon said. He started to walk but his left injured leg made it a bit hard.

      “Do your wounds hurt? Can you walk properly?” Stephanie asked, gently reaching out her hands for him to hold on to.

      “No, I’m fine. I can take care of myself,” Jinwon resisted her hands and tried his hardest not to look so cold, but his shrill voice gave it away.

***

      Jinwon sat patiently on his bed as HaYeon and Stephanie roamed around his room, handing him all sorts of things. His past memories were engraved in each one of them. They mean nothing to him now. What once were his beloved treasures were now useless to him.

     Out of all his the things that were special to his past, one stood out. It was his black poodle named Ginger. He was a gift given by Stephanie two Christmases ago. Since the poodle only wagged its tail for him and seemed to have no expectations, he immediately loved him. He felt like a child seeing a puppy for the first time and he found joy in its odd nature. He laughed heartily when the dog tilted its head as he spoke to it. He lost it even more when it stood up on his lap and laid its paws on his chest to reach his face just to lick his cheeks. Stephanie’s heart fluttered seeing him so happy and she cherished this moment. Someday, Stephanie dreamed, he will be able to laugh like that with her again.

      “Oh, this! I got this for you last year a few days after your birthday.” It was a small painting of an eclipse with a bunch of crying men and women carrying babies reaching out for it. Some were dead and some were bleeding. The sky was dark and the picture looked gloomy, but it had butterflies in it. It looked horrible in the eyes of Jinwon. Well, he was supposed to hate it. He never liked that photo even in the past anyway. It just looked so disturbing.

      “And this rocket figure,” HaYeon handed him the toy. “This was given by our cousin, Yoon-hee. She knew you like stars so she gave this to you before we left our hometown some years ago.”

      “Stars?” Jinwon’s head tilted, not exactly remembering what they were.

      “You don’t remember stars?” Stephanie asked.

      Jinwon shook his head.

      “Maybe I can show you sometime,” Stephanie smiled, seeing a great opportunity to fulfill her dream. Jinwon, knowing nothing, just nodded his head.

      When Jinwon got bored, he decided to look around. He sat on his desk and stared at it lifelessly until something caught his eye. It was a key necklace hanging on the wall. He picked it up and stared at it. Something about it seemed so familiar.

      “What is this?” he asked. As soon as Stephanie saw it, her mouth went dry. It was part of a couple-necklace that he bought for the two of them. He had the key while Stephanie had the lock. She wanted to tell him the story behind it, but she was too overwhelmed that he was able to notice that one particular item out of everything.

    

AUGUST 8, 1996, Thursday

      Nocturne Op. 9 No.2 in Eb Major

     Softly and carefully, Jinwon’s fingers pressed the baby-grand piano’s keys. Stephanie sat beside him wondering why in the world he decided to play a song with the piano for her today since he never showed any interest to learn it. He was a boy who loved his acoustic guitar, plucking away with new tunes he’d discover by ear. He was musically talented—that Stephanie surely knew. But playing the piano—especially with a composition from Frédéric Chopin? It was no surprise that he was terrible at it, and accomplishing to play every ten notes would suddenly get him off track. It amused her to suddenly see the band leader awful at something for once. But after all, he was trying his best just for her, and that’s what mattered, right? If he couldn’t do it properly, there is absolutely no pressure. Her heart was already fluttering at the overall picture, especially since he chose to work on this particular piece to show just how much he loved her.

      Jinwon stopped after a brief minute of playing. “Oh, I still don’t know the whole song, so…”

      “That’s alright,” Stephanie patted his back. “It was still nice.”

      “You know the song, right?” Jinwon smiled.

      “Yeah,” Stephanie said with her shoulders rising and her cheeks turning pink.

      Jinwon reached for his pockets and took something out.

      “Tchan!” Jinwon smiled like a dork as he held a lock necklace in front of her.

      “What’s that?” Stephanie became startled.

      “It’s a lock necklace,” Jinwon said and showed a key necklace that hung on his neck. “I have the key to it.”

      Stephanie’s eye-smile shone like crazy as her cheeks blushed more. Jinwon was being cheesy but she didn’t care.

      “I’ll put it on you,” Jinwon said as he brushed Stephanie’s hair from her shoulders and surrounded her with his arms to put the necklace on her. Jinwon’s face naturally drew closer to hers making Stephanie mentally panic feeling his breath on her cheeks.

      “So, when did you hear the song?” Jinwon asked referring to the Chopin song as he was still putting on the lock necklace on Stephanie’s neck.

      “I, um, the night… that night,” Stephanie stuttered long enough for Jinwon to finish what he was doing.

      “When?” Jinwon stared at her with his face almost as close as the night when they first kissed.

      “When we kissed, ”her voice climbed up an octave higher.

      Jinwon snickered, “I’m glad you remember.” He closed his eyes and slightly bent his head. Gently, he went closer and softly kissed Stephanie’s heart-shaped lips. Instead of feeling startled, Stephanie’s eyes subconsciously closed and kissed him back with a sweet smile on her face.

      A few weeks back when Stephanie had opened up to Jinwon about her life, she pecked his lips as a thank you for being able to comfort and understand her. That was their first kiss together.

      But this day was totally better than their first kiss.

    

FEBRUARY 9, 1998, Monday

      “Class, this is Jinwon, as you all know,” the teacher introduced him in his class even though everybody knew him. He was kind of popular in his school. He was the main singer and guitarist of the school band that won the talent show some few years ago. He was the friendliest kid around. He was charming to everyone and the only reason they would hate him is if they did not understand how Jinwon at some days, would prefer to only stick by his closest friends—his band members. But other than that, he was favored by everyone because of his charms. And since this was a small community, he knew almost all of them at heart—of course, before the accident.

      The class smiled widely and congratulated him for being back in the last year of high-school. They patted his back and wanted to horde around him, but Stephanie told them not to expect too much. She knew that was what Jinwon would’ve wanted.

      Out of the happy crowd, Hyungsoo, Yohan, and Jessica sat silently. Most of Jinwon’s classmates knew nothing about the big change in his character, but these three did. They didn’t really know if they were happy that he is back in school. Things just weren’t the same between them anymore.

      Jinwon sat at the middle of the class with Stephanie on his left and on Hyungsoo on his right. He slightly bowed his head to Hyungsoo and Hyungsoo awkwardly bowed back. Hyungsoo didn’t look at him after that. He was too affected by Jinwon’s memory loss that he couldn’t take seeing his own best friend.

      Then Jinwon blankly stared at his textbook. He wanted to study, to prove that he could progress in his life, but his mind can’t seem to work.

      Stephanie worriedly stared at him the whole day. It looked like he was listening to the teacher, but it was evident on his face that he was struggling. Even writing down his name on a piece of paper was hard. He wanted to do well, but he just couldn’t.

      After school, she talked to him while he walked him back to his house.

      “How’s your first day?” Stephanie asked.

      “It was fine,” Jinwon smiled trying to look excited hoping she would not know how tired he was meeting everyone and trying to learn things he couldn’t even understand.

      “Have you remembered a few people?” A small fire sparked up in Jinwon for he did not want to hear that sentence at all. He wanted to spit out sarcastic comments, but he tried to immediately swallow down his temper.

      “Not yet.”

      “It must be overwhelming to learn so many things again, doesn’t it? Almost the whole class wanted to hover around you.” she said.

      He sneered and faintly rolled his eyes remembering everyone earlier in class.

      “If you don’t understand something or want to know something, you can come ask me.”

      “Thanks.”

      “A-and about the studies,” she stuttered as she timidly glanced at him. “Don’t push yourself, okay? If you can’t understand anything at all, tell me.”

      “I’ll be fine,” Jinwon assured, hearing the concern in her voice. “You don’t have to worry about me.” Jinwon has constantly been told that he’s been doing well and healing well for the past few weeks and he was starting to fully believe it. Jinwon wanted to prove to her that he could manage without always having someone to help him.

      “By the way, a while ago, Chang-Seon was taunting you and spitting out horrible words. Are you okay?”

      “Who?”

      “It’s that stuck-up guy with the crooked smile, his hair covering one eye, who said you should’ve died. He’s a guy who can never beat you 3 years in a row on the school talent show.”

      “Oh, that guy.”

      “You should ignore people like him. He’s so disgusting for wishing death upon someone!”

      “It doesn’t matter,” Jinwon scoffed. “I don’t really care.” He couldn’t hold a grudge to the guy at all because for once, someone agreed to what he thought.

      

“I wish I just died.”

     

FEBRUARY 14, 1998, Saturday

      Jinwon and Stephanie took a stroll in the park at night to show him what stars were as she promised. Stephanie so badly wanted to hold his hand, especially since it was White Day (Valentines Day), but he kept them in his pockets all night. Spending some quality time with him have become rare these days that she just wanted to take all the chances that she could get. She was a bit hesitant at first, but she slowly hugged his arm and smiled when he did not resist. Jinwon didn’t mind it since he had no sense of what these gestures really meant. It was also because of the fact that simple little things like these felt familiar and normal to him. And since the winter air still gave them a chill, he realized that Stephanie provided a bit more warmth. Thus, he naturally pulled her in a little closer and Stephanie tried her hardest not to turn red.

      “So what are stars?” Jinwon asked. He was in a particularly good mood today. Maybe it was because he was allowed to get out of the house for a while.

      “See those twinkling things up there?” Stephanie pointed to the dark, diamond filled sky. “Those are stars.”

      “What are they?” Jinwon wondered. “Are they like the sun?”

      “They are,” Stephanie nodded. “The sun is a star. Those little stars that you see are just farther away from Earth and they aren’t little at all.”

      “Do they stay on the same position every night?” Jinwon asked.

      “It changes every season or month I think. Some people use it to navigating the earth. If they are lost at night and they don’t have a map, they can just look up.”

      “It seems a bit hard to read something so small, don’t you think? I don’t think I can see them all,” Jinwon said.

      “Of course we can’t see them all… oh wait, maybe it’s just you. Your eyes have problems,” Stephanie giggled.

      “My eyes?”

      “Yeah. You need glasses, actually.”

      “Oh I think I remember now…” Jinwon suddenly said. “I like staring at stars. I’m starting to remember each constellation.”

      He was remembering some memories of him just lying on a hill, staring at the dark sky. He had a constellation book with him and he was reading it. There was a little girl beside him who looked deeply amazed at the stars before them. It gave him a peaceful feeling remembering this.

      “Really?” Stephanie asked.

      “Yeah. Like that Cassiopeia constellation, the one right there,” he pointed to the east. “I think that’s the Cassiopeia constellation.”

      “Cassiopeia? But that’s not visible to human eyes so easily. How can you see that?” Stephanie wondered.

      “Really? But I can see it clearly,” Jinwon said, sounding so certain.

      “Maybe it’s another constellation that you’re seeing.”

      “No. It’s there. You see that? It’s one… two… three… four… then five!”

      “Yah, Kim Jinwon! Are you tricking me?” Stephanie softly hit his arm.

      “Maybe…” Jinwon smirked and laughed. Stephanie laughed along. She was happy to be laughing with him. Jinwon hasn’t playfully smiled like that since 2 months ago. She wanted this moment to last. Days like these were just so hard to come by.

       “By the way, can I ask you a question?” Stephanie said.

       “Sure.”

      “How are you?” she asked gently. For the past few days, it was too obvious for her that something was bothering him a lot. Although he was never a person to speak about his deepest feelings, she wished he would open up more to her.

       “What do you mean?” Physically, he’s still tired and he’s still trying his best to build up the muscles he lost for a month. Emotionally, he is still bitter about his very existence, but strolling with her under the starry night makes it a little more bearable.

       “I’m just curious. How do you feel so far being treated so specially by everybody? Even back then, you hated it when you’re put on such a high esteem. I don’t know… I’m just worried.”

      “I’m thankful, of course,” he said, hoping he wouldn’t make her sad now by saying the wrong thing. He tried to find more words to say, but all the words he thought of were lies. Not wanting to be dishonest towards her, he shut his mouth.

     “Really? Aren’t you pressured by anyone at all?” Jinwon froze at her statement. He wished for someone to understand him and now it was being granted. But oh, how uncomfortable it was for his feelings to be figured out for the first time.

      “Jinwon,” she stopped on her tracks and stood in front of him. She took out his hands from his pockets and held it tightly. “You can be honest with me.”

      How far can honesty take him, though? Although he is thankful of many things, he also despised the fact that he’s alive. He despises the memories he doesn’t have. Would she be able to understand that? The fact that he is alive is what makes everyone happy. Recalling the memories he shared with people makes everyone happy. Even if he hated hearing about his lost memories with every fiber of his being, he would rather endure them than to stop everyone who loves him.

      “I know you don’t like speaking your thoughts out,” she said through the long silence. “If you’re not ready, I understand. Just know that I’ll be here for you.”

      Even though he’s not ready to speak his thoughts out, at least now he knows Stephanie is trying to understand him. That was enough for him and he was beyond grateful. He pulled her hand and her body crashed onto him, startling Stephanie’s heart. He embraced her as tightly as he could and said,

       “For now, this is all I need. Thank you, Stephanie.”

 

FEBRUARY 27, 1998, Wednesday

      “Oh, crap! I failed?” “You’re so stupid, haha! I passed it.” “I got it perfect.” “Me too.”

      These were the words that passed through Jinwon’s ears as the teacher gave each student their scores in their quiz. He anticipated his own score. He listened to the lessons carefully and tried to do the quiz but he honestly couldn’t say for himself if he did well or not. It was still hard for him to take in information.

      “Hyungsoo, you should do better than this next time,” the teacher said, giving him his quiz paper. His grade was a bit low, but it still passed.

      The teacher turned to Jinwon and smiled warmly, “Nice job, Jinwon.” Then she moved on to the next person.

      Jinwon stared at the paper and winced. He poked Stephanie and said, “Hey… can you check this for me. I don’t understand it.”

      Stephanie looked at it and smiled when she saw a high mark. However, it quickly faded when she realized what was on the paper. Most of Jinwon’s answers were wrong and his paper was messy. Most of the answers were also skipped. This quiz paper looked completely perfect for a failed score, but it was passed by the teacher anyway. It’s only been about a month and a few weeks since Jinwon woke up. The teacher understood that his mind might still not be well by this time.

      “Y-you did a great job,” Stephanie lied and faked a smile. She gave Jinwon’s quiz back and Jinwon stared at it more. He couldn’t understand why he got a high mark. He couldn’t understand the questions either or what he wrote and answered.

***

      “I need to speak with you, Ma’am,” Jinwon said as everyone in the room left for lunch break.

      “Jinwon, are you coming?” Stephanie said as she stood at the door.

      “In a second,” Jinwon said. “I’ll catch up with you.”

      “Alright…” Stephanie pouted and headed for the cafeteria.

       In the cafeteria, Stephanie sat and sighed. Jessica sat beside her along with Yohan and Hyungsoo.

      “Fany-ah…” Jessica cooed as she side-hugged Stephanie. “Are you alright?”

      “Where’s Jinwon? Isn’t he going to eat with us?” Yohan said.

      “He’ll come,” Stephanie said. “I’m just worried about him.”

      “Did something happen?” Hyungsoo asked.

      “He passed his quiz but he got everything wrong. He’s struggling in school but he’s pushing himself to learn. I don’t know how much he could take.”

      “It’s only been a few weeks since he started school,” Yohan said. “He’ll improve eventually. I don’t think that he will stay this… messed up… forever.”

      “How do you know that?” Stephanie retorted. “It’s been a month, Yohan! A month! Nothing progressed other than him remembering a bunch of useless stars. He doesn’t even remember his family. He doesn’t even remember me!”

      “Fany-ah…” Jessica sighed.

      “No, just stop. Please… It hurts seeing him like this. He doesn’t even consider us as his friends. I can see it in his eyes. He doesn’t care!”

      The three became silent. Stephanie started crying until Yohan spoke, “Well… it hurts us three seeing you doubt him like this. Don’t doubt him, Stephanie. He will recover… someday. Maybe not just for you, but for his child too.”

      “How can you be so sure?” Stephanie sniffed.

      “Yohan, Come help us! There’s something wrong with Jinwon!” a classmate shouted. The four instantly stood up from their table and followed Yohan to the classroom.

      There Jinwon was, throwing a tantrum in front of the frightened teacher. He was kicking the tables and threw papers everywhere. He was going out of control and growled in anger. The teacher could do nothing but cringe and watch him. She had never seen the calm-spirited boy act like this before.

      “Jinwon!” Yohan ran into the room with some jock. They took hold of Jinwon’s arms and he flailed about in anger.

      “Let go of me! Let go!” He shrieked.

      “Jinwon… Jinwon, shhh. It’s alright. It’s alright,” Yohan whispered trying to calm him down.

      “NO!” he growled. While he was being dragged out of the classroom, he shouted to the teacher, “You bitch! You know I failed that quiz! You piece of crap! You were supposed to mark it zero! What kind of teacher are you!? You’re a liar!”

      The teacher sat speechless and a bit traumatized by what he was saying. What was she supposed to do, though? She passed him and this happens. What happens more if she failed his quiz? He would only be discouraged. There was no knowing if Jinwon would throw a tantrum like this one even if she scored it honestly.

      Everyone was in shock watching Jinwon struggle out of the jock and Yohan’s grip. They have never seen him like this. He was a calm boy who tolerated everything that angered him. Seeing him let his anger out like this gave chills down everyone’s spine. This was definitely not the Jinwon they all knew.

      “Let go of me! I said let go of me!” Jinwon shouted. The two boys let him go mercilessly and threw him to the ground. Everyone around him slowly backed away and didn’t want to get too close. This seemingly innocent boy just suddenly became more threatening than all of the bullies around the school. They didn’t want to associate themselves with him now. Stephanie, however, dove down to help him without any dilemma.

      “Get away from me!” Jinwon immediately shoved her away. She fell to the floor and everyone was utterly shocked at what he did. They all knew Stephanie was his beloved girlfriend. He would never treat her so harshly.

      “Stephanie!” Jessica ran to Stephanie. She didn’t like it when Stephanie was hurt, especially since she was pregnant right now. “Are you alright?” Jessica cupped her face. Tears brimmed yet Stephanie held them back.

      Realizing what he did, shame engulfed his heart and he turned his face away. He got up and stared down at Stephanie then to his own trembling, guilty hands. In fear of his own impulses, he pushed through the crowd, trying to block out the gazes following his every move.

      “Woah, hey, where are you going?” Yohan stopped him, infuriated by how he treated Stephanie. Jinwon felt even worse, and so he ran as fast as he could, away from everyone. Yohan tried to chase after him, but Hyungsoo held him back.

            “Give him some space,” Hyungsoo said. “He needs it.”

***

     Jinwon sat outside of the school grounds trying to calm his overheated mind. However, no matter how much he has calmed down, he felt like people stared at him, gossiped about him, and talked behind his back about what he did today. Because of this, he hated himself, and this self-hate scared him more than anyone else’s opinion. Now, more than ever, he wished he was never given the chance to live again right from the start. If he continued to live, just how much more can he unintentionally harm?

     The scene a while ago kept replaying in his mind. He was thrown to the ground and nobody dared to come close. Everyone who wanted to hang out with him for the past few days slowly backed away. They all turned their backs on him. Not even Jessica, Yohan, or Hyungsoo dared to come close. They might not be his real friends after all, or at least not anymore. Although he knew it was his own fault that everyone else turned away, he at least expected some to understand that he was not in his best state.

     In the end, Stephanie was the only one who dove down without dilemma to make sure he was okay. From the very beginning, he was a little apathetic towards her—the girl who had her whole life mended around him. He realized that even if the world turns their back on him, she will always be there beside him. When he’s frustrated and stressed, she gives him silence and a hug—a medicine that always calms him down. Like a child with a parent, whenever she is around, he does not pay attention to where he is going. Though he did not show it, he was thankful every single day knowing she cared for him.

     Stephanie never did anything wrong to him, but how did he repay it back? He pushed her away. Mentally, he has done it many times, but to physically push her with a reckless force was something he had never done before. He deeply regretted it.

     It’s only been a month and two weeks since he woke up from his coma. Instead of being thankful for seeing another sunrise, he scoffed and hated his life. But if he was already this frustrated, he wondered if Stephanie had it worse than him. Though he saw how fragile her heart was through her shattering eyes, she looked strong on the outside. She tried to cheer him up when he just didn’t care about anything, but what goes in her head? Does she cry harder when he’s not around? Does she hate him since he’s unable to give all the love back? How does she not get tired of a boy who would not treat her the same way she treats him? Regardless of the reason, his heart burned up at the thought of her love for him. He felt extremely sorry and wished she wouldn’t hate him after all that he has done.

      “Hey…” Stephanie sat beside her, startling him.

      He started to sweat and he felt his heart pound. He didn’t know if he deserved to look at her. He felt unworthy of her love.

      “Are you okay?” Stephanie asked. Jinwon was silent.

      “You know… I’m not angry at you.”

      “Why are you here?” Jinwon asked. “Why are you talking to me?”

      Stephanie looked at him, trying to read his shaking eyes.

      “I mean,” Jinwon added, “we’re just boyfriend and girlfriend. Don’t you want to break up with me after what I’ve done to you?”

      Stephanie took a deep breath and exhaled. She looked down on her stomach which was starting to gain a bit of round shape and said, “I don’t want to. I can’t.”

      “Why?” Jinwon asked.

      “Because I…” love you. Stephanie said. For some odd reason, she didn’t have the courage to say “I love you” out loud. If those words came right out of her mouth, the gates to her waterworks would open again.

      “Well… I just can’t.” Stephanie managed to say. “Maybe someday you’ll understand why.”

      “Understand what? Can’t you tell me what it is now?” Jinwon asked.

      “I don’t have the courage to…” Stephanie said. Silence fell between them.

They felt the spring breeze slowly starting to introduce itself. It soothed them and the tension between them.

      “I’m sorry…” Jinwon apologized.

      “For?” Stephanie looked at him.

      “For pushing you a while ago. I didn’t know what got to me.”

      “I understand,” Stephanie compassionately smiled. “I forgive you. Even before you’ve done it, I’ve forgiven you.”

      “Why?” Jinwon asked.

      “Because I want to.”

      Jinwon stood up and inhaled the refreshing air. He stretched and looked at Stephanie.

      “I’ll go now.”

      “Okay.”

      Before Jinwon took off, he sighed and said, “Thank you, Stephanie.”

       “For?” Stephanie asked.

      “For forgiving me.”

      Stephanie smiled. Jinwon warmly smiled back and walked back to the school building. Stephanie sighed as she watched him walk with his hands on his pockets. Her heart pounded at each step he took. Her heart pounded at each word he spoke. Her heart that was wounded so deeply was starting to heal. It was slowly being stitched up. Maybe Jinwon was going to recover after all. Maybe Jinwon will come back to the same calm and caring boy she once loved. It may take a while, but she saw it crystal clear in his eyes. There’s still the same Kim Jinwon somewhere in there.

      Suddenly, Jinwon pause in his steps. After a few seconds of waiting for Jinwon to continue walking, she saw him fall to the ground. She sprang up from her seat and ran to him. She looked at Jinwon’s face and terror engulfed her body.

      “Jinwon! Jinwon!” she called out, softly slapping his face to wake him up.

There he was on her arms with eyes closed. His body shook without his control and Stephanie couldn’t do anything to stop it.


CHAPTER 3: Severed


Chapter Theme Song:
그대니까요 (Because It’s You) – Tiffany

Don’t say that you’re sorry
Love doesn’t end here for me
If we break up like this
What do I do… What do I do?

You’re the only one I love, but I can’t love you
I have something I really want to say, but I can’t talk at all
The love that is getting farther away,
The words I couldn’t keep—they make me cry

Don’t say that you’re thankful
I want to give you all of my love
If we end up being strangers
What do I do… What do I do?

You’re the only one I love, but I can’t love you
I have something I really want to say, but I can’t talk at all
The love that is getting farther away,
The word’s I couldn’t keep—they make me cry

I love you
Because I love you, what do I do?

Even if this love hurts, it’s okay

Even if I try to forget, I can’t forget you
Even if it’s sad fate, I can’t let you go
I love you… because it’s you

You’re the only one for me


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