STORY 1 | STORY 2
APRIL 22, 1991, Monday
12 year old Jessica blankly stared at the raindrops sliding down from her umbrella. Though the rain wasn’t strong, it still got her pretty, white shoes wet and muddy. Throughout the year, she begged her parents to buy her this pair and it was finally given to her on the 18th of April—her birthday. However, she could care less about how precious it was to her now. She was not going to complain and cry over something so childish. The rain had bigger reasons to grieve over today.
Jessica was raised in the birthplace of her American-Korean father in the Californian grounds of San Francisco. 11 years of her life, English was her main language, but her mother conversed to her often in Korean at home. With the mixed Korean blood aside, she was born and raised in America and it was her home. She could not dream of being anywhere else, but one day, her parents declared they will be going back to Korea. It was brought up so out of the blue that she tried to object to it with every fiber of her being. Korea might be her parent’s home country, but even they have not been back there for a long period of time.
Jessica knew she just would not belong there. Korea was a country with complex beliefs and rules compared to the Land of the Free. She could not even speak its national language without stuttering or replying with a few English words attached to it. There were also way too many versions of formal speech according to certain classes of people; it hurts her head to keep up. And of all things that had to be invented to pick food up, why two sticks? Her western-borne spirit could not make sense of it all.
She wanted to go back America. It was her home. It depressed her to think that she may never fly so freely again, but neither could she complain about that anymore. Getting out of the comfort zone is a common road in life and at this point, she has no choice but to accept things as is. Moving to another country out of your will won’t ever be as bad as losing someone you never thought you could lose.
At 11 years old, coming here to this land confused her and angered her. When she asked her parents for the reason why, anything that came right out of their mouths were equivocal. It made no sense to her that she was kept in the dark, but now she realized that they were only trying to protect her. Among their little family was a beautiful young flower, and it has now wilted away.
Jessica didn’t want to witness any of it today and slipped out of the gates to breathe. Just why did her parents not tell her earlier? Maybe things would have been better if she knew how early she was going to lose her little sister in this life.
There she sat on the cemetery bench by the entrance with an umbrella in hand. Her sobs were muffled by the pounding of the soft rain as if the clouds were weeping with her. She never liked crying yet she does cry very often especially when she’s angry, but only sadness overcame her today. Crying like this made her feel extremely vulnerable and she didn’t want anybody to see her. She didn’t want to be comforted by the adults whom she didn’t even know, but that didn’t mean she wanted to be alone for now she felt lonelier than ever.
A boy just about her age holding a black umbrella and a blue notebook saw her sitting by herself. From head to toe, he stared at her and watched her grieve without anyone beside her. Just a few moments ago, he saw a young girl whom he barely knew being buried under the gloomy skies of Jeonju. He met the girl once and that was it. His family only attended the funeral because the girl’s parents were his parents’ friends. He was only dragged along. And from morning till noon, he saw only adults weep and cry for the loss. As the cheerful boy that he was, he kind of despised the scene since he didn’t want anyone’s sadness to rub off on him. But for the first time, he saw a child just about his age that appeared to be more downcast than those whom he had seen. She was probably crying for the same loss and it made him sympathetic.
It wasn’t long before Jessica noticed the boy standing there. She didn’t know him, but she felt his compassion hanging around. Flustered that someone witnessed her crying, she tried to wipe them as fast as she could even though it could not hide how red her face had become from the endless tears.
“Are you her sister—the girl that was buried?” he asked, taking note that Jessica spotted him there.
Jessica nodded and wiped her tears away even though it pulsed out even harder from the question. The boy was heartbroken at the sight of her. He sat beside her and gently took hold of her hand. Jessica was not fond of this intimacy and at a usual occasion, she would resist it, but she didn’t. She was too tired and heartbroken to even care about what he was doing.
“Here,” he said as he opened her hand and let her hold a blue notebook.
“What’s this?” she said.
“If you have letters to send up to her, write it there,” he said as Jessica opened the notebook. It was empty and brand-new. Its papers were made out of recycled paper, tinting its pages relic brown. When she looked up, the boy’s eyes never left the notebook. She could see by the way he timidly pursed his lips that he was still debating whether giving his precious book away was the right thing to do.
“But this is yours, isn’t it?” she said.
“No, it’s yours now,” he smiled. He nodded and walked back to the funeral to his parents. Jessica was left baffled but she felt some kind of comfort in his smile. He stopped her from crying in an unusual way and she was thankful for that.
She opened the notebook once again and run her thumb through the pages. On the last page at the bottom left, she noticed something handwritten in black pen.
Kim Jinwon’s notebook
APRIL 21, 1998, Tuesday
It remained quiet in the Jung’s dinner table. Dinner used to be the time of the evening when the two teenage girls’ laughter echoed throughout the house, but conversation hardly worked out these days. Mr. and Mrs. Jung would sometimes try to break the stale air but they could never do it. Anyone could feel the chill of how Stephanie slightly grew apathetic after Jinwon left and just how much this annoyed Jessica.
Stephanie stood up from the table silently and headed for her room. It has been the 8th time Stephanie left her dinner unfinished. This irritated Jessica every night, and today, she just could not take it. Frustrated, she stood up from her seat and chased after her best friend. Mr. and Mrs. Jung exchanged glances and silently worried about what could happen.
“Hey, where are you going?” Jessica angrily pulled Stephanie’s arm and turned her around.
“Huh?” Stephanie stared at her in confusion.
“I mean your dinner,” Jessica glared. “Why do you keep doing this to yourself, huh?” Stephanie stayed silent.
“This has been the eighth day you haven’t finished your dinner or any meal for the past week. What’s wrong with you? Are you trying to kill that baby?”
Stephanie avoided Jessica’s piercing glare and scorned, “I ate enough. You don’t have to worry about me.”
“Look, I know you’re depressed because he left. I’m sad too. But can’t you try to live a normal life of a pregnant woman? Can’t you at least try for the life that you’re going to bring to this world? If Jinwon was here, would he—”
“That’s easy for you to say,” Stephanie scoffed. “You don’t know how hard it is!” She shouted as her blood-shot eyes gave away. “How am I supposed to live well when he told me the Jinwon I knew was dead?”
“Well, he’s not actually dead and—”
“The one I knew, who knew who I was, who loved me and spent every day with me, is gone and will never come back to me,” Stephanie’s eyes brimmed with tears and her voice wavered, “You don’t know how hard this is for me.”
“Of course I do, Fany. I—”
“I lost my mother when I was 16 and my family members are all so distant! And now, I’ve lost Jinwon, too!” Stephanie interrupted, her voice rising in hostility. “You don’t know! You wouldn’t understand!”
Jessica wanted to shout back, but Stephanie’s words caught her off guard. Stephanie’s words weren’t true. She understood very well hard it was to lose someone she loved. She had to learn that at a young age and it almost keeps her up every night.
“I do,” Jessica said silently, turning her head away. She winced, remembering the painful memories coming back to her. “That’s why I’m trying my best here.”
Stephanie became speechless hearing how soft Jessica’s voice suddenly became. She expected her to at least scold her and argue with her because that’s how she would usually respond. For her to suddenly be gentle in an argument felt completely out of the blue. But then Jessica’s frustration jumped back.
“Do you know one of the reasons why we took you in? Our family lost someone precious too, that’s why! And right now, I don’t want to lose you either, but hey, guess what? You probably wouldn’t understand. You only think of yourself,” Jessica backfired. She stormed off of Stephanie’s presence and locked herself in her room, leaving Stephanie guilty.
Jessica held in tears of anger and fanned herself. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Even through the blackness, she could hear and see echoes from her past. She opened her eyes and stared at a blue notebook that contained inserted pieces of post-it notes lying by her bedside table. She flipped the notebook open and read the one phrase that stood alone in the middle of the front page. The young handwriting brought tears to her eyes. It was written,
I’m sorry, Chrystal.
APRIL 12, 1991, Friday
“Unnie,” 8 year old Chrystal held her sister’s hands and smiled. “You won’t cry, right?”
Jessica’s cold demeanor gave in hearing her little sister’s weak voice. She trembled at the sight of Chrystal’s scrawny limbs. She used to be a chubby kid, but now, it’s as if she never ate for a month. Oh how terrifying it was to know how soon her days could end just by staring at her tired eyes.
“Unnie,” Chrystal called out.
“Mm?” Jessica’s lips quivered. She sniffed her tears back and caressed her sister’s hair. Chrystal did not reply back. In a few seconds, Chrystal started again.
“Yeah?” Jessica looked at her with concern. She waited and waited, but Chrystal just stared at her. “What?”
“I want to keep calling you ‘Sica’ Unnie,” she giggled, referring to a nickname she made up for her sister. The little girl loved calling her “Sica” more than “Jessi.” She always thought of it as quirky and cute while Jessica totally despised it.
Even though Jessica was the short, brown-eyed girl with a slight Korean accent, she hated being addressed “Unnie” or “Sica” since it sounded so foreign. In their younger years, Chrystal used to call her only by her name, “Jessica” without an “Unnie” after it as it was the American way. But ever since Chrystal learned the addresses of respect in Korea, she never stopped calling her older sister “Unnie.” It used to bother Jessica, but recently—just recently—ever since they came to Korea and was told about her little sister’s condition, she accepted Chrystal’s quirks to call her whatever she wanted.
“You can call me ‘Sica’ Unnie all you want,” Jessica smiled as a single tear fell down her face. She quickly wiped it away for Chrystal didn’t want to see her cry.
“Call me ‘SooJung,’ too!”
The Korean word “수정(soojung)” when translated to English meant “precious jewel” or “crystal.” It was obvious to see that Chrystal loved her Korean heritage while Jessica did not. She deemed the place more beautiful and interesting since the beautiful colors of each season were more vivid, unlike San Francisco, unchanging with its high palm trees for the whole year.
This was why their family moved to Korea. The Jung parents and Chrystal herself knew about the sickness that was taking over her body for a long time now. They knew ever since she turned 6. This was kept from Jessica, however, by Chrystal’s simple wishes. Chrystal wished for Jessica to treat her same—that is, being the cold and sassy, somewhat valley-girl, older sister that she was. Chrystal didn’t want to be spoiled only for the reason that she could die any day. She still wanted to live a normal life and her parents respected that. Now, her illness had gotten worse, up to the point that doctors kept saying there was no hope. Chrystal then wished to go visit the country she so wanted to see ever since she was born. She knew she wanted to spend her last days there.
In her simple, 8 year old bucket list, many things have been granted and one lay uncrossed. She already experienced having a pet hamster when she was 6 only to find that she didn’t want any more after it died. She already sang a solo last Christmas in her local church and peopled adored and loved her for that. She already rode a plane and saw the lands of clouds just a few feet from her. She already walked on the grounds of Incheon, to Seoul, and to Jeonju where she now resides. She already saw the snow fall from the sky and has flopped herself on it. She was a girl who got to accomplish most of her wishes, and the only wish she had not finished was to get closer to her sister.
“Sica Unnie, I have a gift waiting for you at home,” Chrystal said with a jubilant smile on her face. “Make sure to open it at exactly your birthday, okay? I spent lots of time making it.”
“I will,” Jessica smiled. “Thank you, Chrystal.”
“I’m tired, Unnie,” the younger pouted. “Can you sing me to sleep?”
“Huh?” Jessica’s eyebrows jolted up. For her, singing was something she wasn’t into. And though she had a great voice and was starting to have an interest in music, she never sang in front of anyone. The stage was not for her.
Chrystal, on the other hand, had high hopes of becoming a singer one day. Though young, she was a bit ambitious. She loved to sing. She wanted her voice to be recognized by people someday. That dream won’t ever come now. But even though her life was ending, she never showed any bit of sadness to anyone. She only had a smile on, even when she knew her days were narrowly numbered. She accepted everything as is and didn’t complain.
Chrystal closed her eyes and smiled. One eye took a peek as she waited for her sister to do as she requested. Jessica was left with no choice. She tucked her younger sister in sighed. Softly, she sang,
(Song: Because of Me – Krystal)
“I love you, although you’re not beside me right now.
Because you’re here with me, my world is filled with happiness.
Don’t ever forget, wherever you are. Please remember, my love.
I love you. You, I love you.
Because of you, I’m like this. Because of you I cry these tears.
Though I may never see you again, I’ll be alright
Because I love you…”
APRIL 18, 1991, Thursday
“Are you happy?” Chrystal asked her older sister, her voice lower and hoarser than before. She could barely breathe even with the hospital’s equipment. It was obvious to see that the little girl’s time will end soon.
“No,” Jessica shook her head. “I feel bad, Chrystal.”
“Please smile,” Chrystal said gripping her sister’s hands tightly with every bit of strength that she had. “It’s your 12th birthday today.”
“How can I?” Jessica wept. “You’re lying here like this…”
“I’m happy.” Chrystal simply said and smiled. Jessica paused, staring at her sister in awe. Even when she was dying, how can she still smile so brightly?
“Unnie,” Chrystal met her eyes. “Do you remember your birthdays?”
Jessica was confused for a moment but tried to recall her birthdays anyway. She always had birthday parties that were well planned and all of her friends were invited. She would be treated like a princess every single time. But why did Chrystal want her to remember this when her birthday today was not even properly celebrated?
In her little sister’s wavering eyes, everything clicked.
“I’m sorry,” she breathed out and started sobbing a waterfall. “I always shoved you away, didn’t I? How cruel was I? Oh, I’m so sorry, Chrystal. I’m sorry. And it probably wasn’t just on my birthday parties. I was never there for you and I barely cared about you. I only thought of myself. I’m so sorry…”
“Don’t be,” Chrystal weakly replied. “Be thankful I got sick.”
“Why would I be? I’m losing you!”
“My sickness brought me to you… and you to me.”
Jessica let her tears fall. She didn’t hold them back. She couldn’t hold them back. What Chrystal said was right. If Chrystal did not turn gravely sick as this, Jessica wouldn’t have made time for her little sister—to be by her bedside every day just talking about the most random topic that could occupy their time.
Chrystal looked up greatly to her big sister and often would want her attention when Jessica would give none. Despite the apathy she had given to her little sister, Chrystal deeply loved her. It struck Jessica that Chrystal was more than any friend she could ask for. A sibling is a family forever. Now she was about to lose one—her only one.
“Sica Un…nie,” Chrystal called out as her eyes slowly drooped away.
“Mm?” Jessica looked up.
Chrystal faintly smiled. She didn’t have enough energy to move her muscles, but still she tried. “사… 랑해… 요… Sica Unnie,”
“I love you too, Chrystal,” Jessica replied back as her tears dropped down Chrystal’s palms.
“Happy… birthday… 울지마요, 제발 (don’t cry, please),” Chrystal said as tears started to form on her own, sunken eyes. Watching her sister cry was the most heartbreaking thing for her to see.
“I won’t,” Jessica nodded as she wiped her tears away. She tried to smile, but her lips still trembled. Crying was never an easy thing to stop for her.
Chrystal’s palm opened slightly as she motioned to point to what’s in it. Jessica, in confusion, looked at it and pried her weak hand open. Inside it was a crumpled pink post-it-note. Jessica took it out and read silently,
A single tear fell from Chrystal’s eyes as she closed it gently, feeling it getting heavier to open. Jessica gripped her hand tighter, not wanting to let go of her. A second, a minute, an hour, or a day could pass by. It could be any time now. Through the blaring silence, Jessica prayed in agony to let her sister last for just a little bit longer so that they could strengthen each other in such a cruel world.
But then, the heartbeat monitor suddenly alarmed a steady beep.
Jessica knew that was it.
APRIL 22, 1998, Wednesday
“Jessica?” Stephanie knocked on her best friend’s door. Although she felt guilty being called selfish last night, she wanted to confront Jessica as soon as possible to resolve their argument. She didn’t want to have ill-feelings towards her for too long and wanted to apologize.
“Jessica, can I come in?” Stephanie knocked even louder. “I’m sorry about last night… Can we talk it out?”
The door suddenly opened, revealing a blood-shot eyed Jessica. She had been crying all night. Seeing her like this was like a once in a lifetime event; Stephanie didn’t know what reaction she should give. Good for her, she didn’t have to have any. Jessica hugged her before she could even do or say anything.
“It’s like I’ve lost you for so long,” Jessica hugged her tightly. “Let’s never blow up at each other again.”
Stephanie’s eyelids blinked rapidly as Jessica withdrew from her hug. She could not process what just happened.
Jessica sat on her bed and Stephanie did the same. They both sat in silence for a while. When both were ready to talk, Stephanie started.
“I’m sorry for last night. I know you’re just caring for me but I’m just so stubborn and dumb these days.”
“You don’t have to say sorry to me. Say that to your child,” Jessica said, softly laying her hand on Stephanie’s stomach. Of all the people actually looking forward to the new life, it was Jessica. She didn’t know anything about babies and neither was she good at handling them, but she looked forward to the possible joy. She was dead tired of losing so many people. She could use having someone new to share the cup of love she’s got left in her life.
Jessica suddenly felt something move. “Oh, what was that?! Did you feel that?” Stephanie became startled when Jessica jerked her hand away. Stephanie focused her own attention on her own belly and felt it move as well. The baby was starting to kick! For a second, it excited her, but she was again reminded of the man she’s been trying so hard to forget. A rush of emotions tried to greet her but she chose to be strong today. She held in her tears and sighed. Her eyes quickly roamed around to look for something to distract herself. Yet again, everything that she saw reminded her of Jinwon even though she was in Jessica’s room.
“That blue notebook,” Stephanie pointed. “It looks like the one you gave to Jinwon on his birthday.”
“Oh… yeah,” Jessica nodded, passing the notebook to Stephanie. “This notebook was actually his. He gave it to me on the first time we came across each other.” She opened it to the end of the book, revealing the print that was written “Kim Jinwon’s notebook.”
“Was this part of your love story with him?” Stephanie chuckled. “He did remember you pretty quickly.”
“Well, our time wasn’t actually a love story. As we used to say, it was a childish relationship and it was only for a little while. We didn’t really know what exactly we were doing ‘cause we were only twelve. He gave this notebook to me on our first encounter as I said.”
“What’s with all these post-it-notes, though?” Stephanie asked, taking out one post-it-note. “It looks like there are about a hundred in here.”
“DON’T… take it out,” Jessica quickly confiscated the note from Stephanie’s hands and placed it back to where it belonged. Stephanie was still able to read a few of them though. Each had quirky and encouraging little phrases written on it. Stephanie couldn’t help but smile. But then she saw the writing on the first page written “I’m sorry, Chrystal.”
“Who’s Chrystal?” Stephanie asked carelessly, her eyes filled with so much curiosity. Jessica was her best friend, yet she never did mention anything to her about a “Chrystal.” She knew this Chrystal was someone close to her heart the moment Jessica blanked out, showing the scar of loss in her eyes.
“She’s… she’s my sister.”
Stephanie’s eyes widened. She always thought Jessica was an only daughter. It made sense if she did think about it, though. She hasn’t seen a single family picture of the Jungs posted on any wall of their house. She found it kind of odd since the Jung family had a very strong bond.
“Are these post-it-notes from her?” Stephanie asked. “From your sister?”
“Yes… they are.”
APRIL 19, 1991, Friday
Jessica hugged her legs and buried her head in them, trying to muffle her cries. She had been crying so much in her own room after waking up and it was only 10 am in the morning. Mornings usually go with Chrystal patting her lightly, interrupting her beauty sleep. She used to be so annoyed by it, but now she missed it. She never thought she would’ve missed the kid and her fresh, innocent presence wanting to play with her so early in the morning. Now all she had was a crumpled note in hand telling her not to cry.
“Jessica,” Mrs. Jung carefully opened her door and came in carrying a big, white box. She sat on her daughter’s bed and sighed, caressing her short, banged, brown hair and pulled her into a hug. For a minute, they cried together. Then the mother said,
“I found this box in Chrystal’s room… it’s for you.”
“What’s in it?” Jessica asked.
“You’ll have to see for yourself,” her mother said. She patted her daughter’s head and got up. She compassionately smiled and left the room.
Jessica wasted no time in trying to find out what was in this box. When the lid was lifted up, the box revealed a neatly arranged stack of post-it-notes in different kinds of colors. Each note had a number on the upper left corner of the note and on the center, written different kinds of phrases, all well hand written by her 8 year old sister, Chrystal.
사랑해요, 시카 언니 ❤
“I love you, Sica Unnie”
Secrets will be revealed someday. Just hang in there.
I’m really hungry. Eat a lot today, okay?
I wonder what is like to eat in diferent places in a month… mmmm
You have an amazing voice… Don’t ever forget that!
You’re 10? Wow! I wonder how you look like if you were 20… wow, you must be sooo pretty!
Why can’t doctors look less creepy?
But above all 499 notes was a folded letter. It wasn’t long and neither was it short. Jessica proceeded to read. She didn’t care if tears would fall again. She just wanted something to remind her that Chrystal still existed somewhere.
Dear Sica Unnie, Please be strong.
I been sick for almost a year now. The doctors say I have no hope. I’m going to die soon, Sica Unnie. I don’t want you to cry so I said to Mom and Dad not to say anything. To be honest though Sica Unnie… I want you here beside me. I like to believe and pray that someday I heal, but if I really dont, I’m writing this letter… I know I could just come to you and tell you about what is been going in my mind, but I don’t think I’m confident enough.
I don’t know why… I like writting letters because you can say things easily that you can’t by talking. For a young kid like me, I had a lot going in mind these days. Knowing my days are few, I been crying a lot. I know I look happy all the time, but I’m sad. I’m really sad, Unnie… because I have little time to be with you. I know we will have our time someday, even just for one day. Asking for a week or even a month with you is too much. With this sickness, I know you are going to cry. I know you may seem cold, but that’s what older sisters are to their younger sisters, right? I know you love me secretly… knowing that is enough for me.
I will never forget the days when you listen to my stories every night. Even though you look angry at me all day, you always crawl beside me in my bed every night to listen to what I say. No one would ever listen to those things. only you. And those stories are only for you. I know you laugh at my stories secretly. You find me adoreable at times, don’t you?
If we cant be together here, maybe in another world or another time, we will have our time. Let’s meet again in Heaven. We’re sisters, Unnie. We’re a family. We have an invisible, unbrakeable bond. We won’t be separated forever. Please remember that.
I love you Unnie…사랑해요…I’m never going to stop saying that in my head until I die. No, I will still keep saying I love you in Heaven!
You are great and you know that. You are the best sister I could ask for.
Please don’t cry
because if you cry…I will cry too.
APRIL 22, 1998, Wednesday
“I’ve been so cold to her when she was going through such a hard time…”
“You didn’t know, didn’t you?” Stephanie said.
“Yeah, but… There’s nothing much I could do than to accept the love she had for me when I used to push her away so…”
Stephanie averted her eyes. All Jessica did these past months was care for her and all she did was push her away. No one else would have stuck to her so much other than Jessica in her worst days. Now she understood why Jessica had always been so caring. A great loss of a loved one could change any person into one.
“I think there’s something like that,” Jessica sighed. “We tend to neglect people that are closest to us… so treating them even better is the right thing to do.” Tears pooled Jessica’s eyes as this was the first time she had talked about her sister in a while. “That’s why I’m even sorrier to Chrystal. When she used to knock on my door every afternoon after school, I had a feeling that she had something important to say. I ignored her almost every single time and made excuses… I lost her before I could even turn around the things I’ve done to her. That’s why I don’t want to lose you too… You’re the only sister I have left. I care for you and want what’s best for you physically and mentally. I hope you understand that, Stephanie. I don’t want you to hurt yourself over and over again.”
Watching Jessica get all emotional, Stephanie began to tear up as well. Ever since the beginning, Jessica was there scolding her and telling her the difference between the rights and the wrongs. And yet, even when she barely listened, Jessica did not give her up—she could not give her up. She was a person who stuck with her through the good and bad, a person definitely worth keeping.
The two lay motionless in bed together, talking about the most random things they could think off. Whether it’d be their first times meeting in San Francisco back in the day or the silly things they used to do together, it’d just be to avoid anyone of them from crying again.
Even when they had their differences, they were the best of friends. Stephanie liked pink and very colorful things, while Jessica preferred the simplicity of white and classic colors. Stephanie had many other friends, while Jessica had really few. While Stephanie was the outgoing and bubbly person, Jessica was the quiet and emotionless. They were both positive and negative ends of a magnet. It was no lie that these two attracted very much. Because of their opposite characteristics, they equaled each other out and they completed each other. When one lacked, so the other gives what she needs.
“So tell me about Jinwon… how did you guys meet and became you know, in a ‘relationship?’” Stephanie asked.
“You sure you want to talk about Jinwon?” Jessica looked at her friend in disbelief.
“C’mon, I won’t cry, I promise… Unless you tell me a sad story,” Stephanie chuckled, her eyes taking the shape of beautiful vertical crescent moons.
“Okay,” Jessica laughed and gave in to her best-friends smile, “if you say so. I should warn you though, the start is kind of sad. I might tear up.”
“Jinwon and I met at Chrystal’s funeral,” Jessica paused. She thought tears would come rushing, but there was none.
“His parents were my parents’ friends so that’s how he was able to attend. We were both the only kids around so I guess he saw me crying outside the cemetery grounds. Randomly he just gave this blue notebook to me the moment we met,” Jessica said, picking up her post-it-note-filled notebook. “He said I should write letters to the one who died—to Chrystal.”
“Even then he was sweet, wasn’t he?” Stephanie sighed.
“Yep,” Jessica nodded. “I thought he was a strange kid then for doing that… you know, caring for someone you barely knew. Well now that I think about it, he’s still a strange kid to me.”
“He’s caring without actually saying much. It’s his charm.”
“Yeah it is.” Both lay silently for a second, smiling at the thought of Jinwon. It was no doubt that these best friends have fallen for the same man. Of course, Jessica had her time. Now, Jessica had given Jinwon to Stephanie, and that she even wished for the both of them to get married. To Jessica, Jinwon had become a best friend, or even so, a close brother—nothing more, nothing less. Yet even with Stephanie and Jinwon’s baby on the way, feelings for him never really did fade away completely. Though not as strong as it was in the past, Jessica’s heart still thumped at the thought of him.
“How was he when he was 12?” Stephanie asked.
“Oh,” Jessica snickered. “He didn’t really change much. The way you remember him when he was 17, he was like that when he was 12. A weird, grandpa talking flower boy. Although I admit, when I met him again, he’s quieter and he’s cooler.”
APRIL 23, 1991, Tuesday
Like nothing ever happened, Jessica came back to her school. People thought it was too much for a 12 year-old to go to school the next day after her sister was buried, but she had no better choice. Either she goes to school or stay at home crying all day where pain and regret would start occupying her weary heart. At least here in school, she’d get her mind off of things, even just for a little while. She knew she might not even be able to pay attention properly, but she gave it a shot.
Though many bullies and judgmental students walked around the same grounds as her, she was never touched. The kids were usually intimidated by her naturally cold demeanor. She was a foreigner from the USA and this caused them to set her aside as someone different. And Jessica had no reason to be teased of her Korean. She excelled brilliantly on the language in a short period of time and she could converse just fine. No one was able to mess with her for that.
She was not a very sociable person right from the very beginning, and losing her sister made her even more mysterious. Her mouth was usually kept shut and she wouldn’t say a thing unless spoken to. No doubt, this made her a lonely kid, though she didn’t mind it at all. Her family was going to come back to America eventually so she just has to endure her time here. There was no need in making friends.
During lunch, she sat by a far off table, avoiding any human contact as much as possible. There was no reason for her to try and eat with anyone. For now, she wanted to be with herself and only the blue book that the strange kid gave to her yesterday. She opened it and felt the new, light-brown paper of the blue note book. She took out a pencil and carefully wrote the phrase she’d wanted to say to her little sister on the middle of the page.
“I’m sorry, Chrystal.”
“Hey! Stay away from her!” A boy shouted, breaking Jessica’s thoughts. She looked up and saw the familiar boy from yesterday that she assumed to be named “Kim Jinwon.” He was trying to protect a girl about his age from the bigger guys, but it wasn’t working out too well.
“Yeah? What are you going to do, shorty?” one of the bullies cockily said.
“Eish,” Jinwon growled. “Don’t touch her!” He tried to go closer, but he was pulled back by one of the bullies. They threw him and he helplessly fell on the ground like paper.
“Oppa!” the girl cried. She flailed about and soon enough got out of the bullies strong grasp. Jessica watched in disbelief. It was obvious to see that the girl was thin and skinny, yet it seemed at that moment that she could take everybody down with her strength. Jessica has never seen anyone escape those bullies before.
“You guys are pathetic!” one of the bullies scoffed. “Jinwon-ah, give up your dreams of becoming a musician. Do you think that makes sense when you’re always not on rhythm? Hah, pathetic thing! You’ll never succeed!”
Jinwon shot them a glare. He could not say anything for fighting back was never his thing, though he did burn up as they tried to destroy his dream. He was a determined musician, having been influenced by his father’s awesome band and his mother’s sweet voice. He knew his dream was not something impossible.
“As for you, Yoon-hee, you’ll never amount to anything with that face!”
The girl, Yoon-hee, clenched her fist in anger. “Let’s see in 15 years who’s making profit by doing what they love. Let’s just see!”
“Why you-!” one bully was angered and tried to kick Yoon-hee on her ribs, though she blocked it quick enough with one arm. When Jessica saw how rough the bullies were getting, it irritated her. She could never take anyone being bullied right in front of her, let alone crushing people’s dreams. She believed that every dream will be granted as long as you trust in the Higher Seat with your life. She was certain that everything Chrystal had prayed for had and will be granted sooner or later, whatever those prayers were. Disturbed, Jessica stood up and walked to the scene.
“Yah! What are you doing?” Jessica glared, stunning the bullies. They have never heard Jessica talk, ever, and they viewed her a bit creepy even with that short, doll hairstyle.
“Go away before I tell the teachers,” Jessica said and the bullies obeyed, scuttling hurriedly and nervously out of the scene. Jinwon and Yoon-hee was left amazed at how quickly she scared them away.
“Are you guys alright?” Jessica turned to the two with concerned eyes. Jinwon’s eyes widened at the sight of her. She was that crying girl from yesterday. He was left breathless at how cute she was at the moment, free of tears. Even the sun messed with his brain, giving Jessica a bright halo above her. He felt like they were just saved by an angel.
“Yes, we’re alright,” Jinwon brightly smiled as he got up, brushing dust from his pants. Not once did he leave his gaze at her.
“Thanks for that, um…” Yoon-hee scratched his head.
“Jessica,” Jessica shyly bowed her head.
“Jessica! Thanks for scaring those guys away! Man, they’re such a pain in the butt sometimes. How did you scare them away so easily though? Are you some kind of witch or something to them? Ow!” Yoon-hee yelped in pain as Jinwon hit her side with his elbow.
“You could say that I’m just… mysterious to them,” Jessica said, nodding her head with her mouth pursed.
“I’m Jinwon by the way,” Jinwon bowed his head. “You’re that girl from yesterday, right?”
“Yeah… thanks for the notebook, Jinwon,” Jessica smiled. “I really appreciate it.”
“I heard Chrystal was your… sister,” Jinwon softly said.
“Yeah…” Jessica’s eyes instantly dropped as the name Chrystal entered her ears.
“Oh… I can never imagine losing my own sister. It must be so painful,” Jinwon pouted compassionately.
“I hope you feel better soon… You’re really pretty when you smile,” Jinwon shyly said, gaining a painful hit by Yoon-hee and a blushing Jessica.
“Don’t start flirting, Oppa,” Yoon-hee laughed. “She just lost her sister and that’s what you say?”
“Ow… Sorry,” Jinwon snickered. “I’m just telling the truth!”
APRIL 22, 1998, Wednesday
“Wow, even then, he’s a smooth talker when it came to pretty girls,” Stephanie snickered. “Sheesh… I thought he was only like that to me. When we first met, he said pretty much the same thing—that I have a pretty smile.”
“Guess he’s just really like that,” Jessica laughed. “Or maybe we’re both just really pretty girls to him.”
“We are,” Stephanie nodded with cheerful eyes. “Have you seen us? We look stunning! You’re even more beautiful than I am!”
“Oh stop it, Fany-ah. We both know you’re prettier. Your smile is more captivating than you think. It’s such a fresh ray of sunshine, that eye-smile of yours…”
“Yeah? Well who’s got a bunch of guys falling for her? That’s not me!”
“Guys? What guys?” Jessica’s eyebrows crumpled.
“W-well,” Stephanie stuttered, taken aback by how startled Jessica was, “You know… Hyungsoo, Yohan, and those guys from school. Nooo… don’t tell me you didn’t know!”
“I don’t!” Jessica sprang up from the bed. “Hyungsoo? Really? And Yohan… he’s always seen me as a friend… You don’t think he really…?”
“Yohan told me he liked you,” Stephanie said. “I thought you already knew!”
“And Hyungsoo? What about Hyungsoo?” Jessica asked, with her hands on her hips, extremely baffled that she didn’t know about any of this.
“Well… he never really told me anything, but sometimes he acts like he’s kind of into you…”
“Well, that doesn’t explain anything if he hasn’t really told you. For all you know, it’s because he’s just that friendly,” Jessica sighed. “I mean he does have a lot of friends.”
“Yohan though…” Stephanie raised her eyebrows.
“Yohan…” Jessica sat back down the bed.
“I know you like him back,” Stephanie said. “I’ve known for some time now.”
“How are you so sure about that? I never told you anything. Yohan and I are just friends.”
“He does come here almost every day to hang out. And when he does come, he’s hanging onto you like a leach.”
“He’s just very affectionate,” Jessica said, blushing. “That’s just how he is.”
“Okay then…” Stephanie dropped the topic knowing Jessica would never admit her feelings for Yohan. Yohan was a very friendly guy, making it seem like every girl he came across to be his best friend. Because of this, Jessica was never really sure of what she thought of him. At times, her heart would flutter, but she brushes them off each time. And to add to things, after the storm that hit Stephanie and Jinwon’s relationship, she didn’t want to be in any relationship at the moment.
“How did your first ever kiss go? You said it was with Jinwon,” Stephanie suddenly asked, embarrassing Jessica.
“You sure you want to hear that?” Jessica said, uncomfortable at the topic. “I mean after all, Jinwon is your boyfriend.”
“Jinwon ‘was’ my boyfriend,” Stephanie sighed, “And well, you’re my best friend, aren’t you?” Stephanie laughed. “Don’t you think I have the right to know how my best friend’s first kiss went?”
“Eish,” Jessica snarled, “Fine I’ll tell you,” she answered with a bit of a scowl on her face.
AUGUST 22, 1991, Wednesday
Four months passed since Chrystal’s death and funeral. In every 22nd day of each month, Jessica and her family visits her small grave and cry at what could’ve been. Though they visit only once a month as a family, it was no lie that Mr. Jung, Mrs. Jung, and even Jessica, secretly went to Chrystal’s grave on their own without anyone knowing. They would lay a flower on it and let their tears silently fall.
Jessica did something else. Each time she visited, she would sit down beside it and write on a post-it-note, as if answering each of Chrystal’s questions that were left for her. Sometimes, she would also write a whole written letter for Chrystal on the blue notebook that Jinwon gave to her. Deep inside her, she believed Chrystal reads those, even though the idea did sound absurd to her. She had to believe that her sister was still out there somewhere and that they will have their time together again if God willed.
Today was the 22nd day of August. Her family was supposed to come with her, but since they were busy packing their bags to go back to San Francisco, she went alone. Yes, her family was finally coming back to America just as she wished, but it felt really bittersweet for her. She was just starting to like the place of Jeonju and the country as a whole. And of course, why would she want to leave this place when Chrystal’s grave stays here? She’d go to the cemetery every day to visit if she only could, but of course, that’s not something healthy to do for a 12 year old.
And besides, she’s been happy for the past few months with her only friends Jinwon and his cousin Yoon-hee. More than that, she and Jinwon have gotten into some kind of “closer” relationship, as if treating each other like lovers, when really they didn’t exactly know what they’re doing. Jinwon would give her cute little gifts, and Jessica would give him something similar back. Yoon-hee thought it was cute, but at the same time, was disgusted since she didn’t understand why they were both acting that way. Yoon-hee was only an 11, tomboyish kind of girl, and certainly didn’t care about having a boyfriend anytime soon unlike these two little cheesy kids.
The only condition that Jinwon and Jessica both had between each other was that there should be no kissing or any intimacy at all. That rule was made by Jessica’s father. He clearly warned the young 12 year old Jinwon to respect strict boundaries of the Jungs. Jessica was okay with following this rule for kissing didn’t seem such an important factor to keep them together. She hung onto Jinwon only because he was fun to have around, and that was about it. She’s also never thought about saying “I love you” since she always believed that “love” was too much of a strong word to use. However, Jinwon, as the optimistic, dreamer boy that he was, had been waiting for the right moment to strike. He just wanted to try some things out.
As Jessica entered the cemetery, her steps paused as she saw someone standing in front of Chrystal’s grave. Nobody ever visited that grave other than the Jungs. It seemed strange from afar, but when she went closer, she was filled with relief and yet curiosity at the same time.
“Jinwon?” Jessica tapped her friend’s shoulder and the latter turned around.
“Jessica? Oh… hi,” he brightly smiled.
“What are you doing here?” Jessica asked, staring at the engraved name on the marble stone beneath them.
“It’s the 22nd isn’t it?” Jinwon simply said. “I come here every 22nd if you didn’t know.”
“I don’t know… I’m kind of affected by our first meeting.”
“I just want to thank her because I feel like your sister led you to me that day when you were crying. Do you believe in such things? I don’t know… I guess I do believe in fate or things like that. I mean I don’t really have many friends other than my cousins. It’s like just on that particular day when I gave you that notebook, I made an actually friend that I actually care for.”
Jessica blushed. “Yeah… I thank my sister for bringing me to you, too. I would’ve turned out so depressed if you didn’t come. I would’ve cried every day even though she told me to be happy.”
“Did you come here to bring her some flowers too?” Jinwon asked.
“No… I just came to write her a letter,” Jessica said, showing him his notebook that is now her property. Jinwon smiled. Looks like Jessica made great use of that notebook.
“Can I insert some words for her, too?” Jinwon asked.
“Sure,” Jessica nodded.
And so, the two kids sat there on the soft grass, writing a letter to Chrystal. As Jessica wrote, Jinwon couldn’t help but read that she’s finally going back to California. That saddened him very much. He was just starting to get to know more about his friend, but she’s apparently leaving already.
“You’re leaving?” Jinwon pouted.
“When will you come back?”
“I don’t know,” Jessica sighed. “I have no say in this.”
“But you will come back, right?”
“I don’t know, Jinwon,” Jessica repeated. “Maybe not after a long time.”
“You won’t forget me right?” Jinwon asked.
“I won’t,” Jessica firmly said. “You’re kind of hard to forget. You won’t forget me, right?”
“No,” Jinwon shook his head. “Of course not!”
“Are you sure?” Jessica asked in disbelief. “I’m an easy person to forget, you know.”
“No you’re not,” Jinwon shook his head, softly patting Jessica’s back.
“Really? Prove it,” Jessica raised an eyebrow.
“How?” He snickered and turned his head away. Suddenly he got an idea that the dimple on the right of his chin sunk like it had never before. He turned his head back to Jessica and pecked her lips, leaving her stunned. He quickly moved his face away and started giggling on his own. As fast as he could, he casually brushed his hair like nothing happened. Before he could even take a glance at Jessica’s expression, Jessica kissed him back on the cheek. Both blushed instantly and were left with a bit of an awkward silence. The unfamiliar feeling of being awkward felt weird to Jessica, so she smacked Jinwon’s leg with the blue notebook to loosen things up a bit.
“Ow! What was that for?”
“Here’s the pencil,” Jessica casually said. “You said you wanted to write to Chrystal, too.”
“Eish… you didn’t have to hit me for that,” Jinwon said, rubbing his leg.
“Hurry up. I have to be home by 5!”
APRIL 22, 1998, Wednesday
“We left a few days later. I think his family moved here. I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye and that saddened me a bit until I met you back in San Francisco. But yeah… that’s how our first kiss went,” Jessica sighed tiredly.
“That’s so cute,” Stephanie giggled, her eye-smile showing again. Jessica could do nothing but stare at her like she was crazy. I mean who wouldn’t? Stephanie was finding her boyfriend and best friend’s first kiss cute.
“No it’s not,” Jessica sighed. “It’s embarrassing and ughh…”
“Why are you so embarrassed?” Stephanie laughed. “It’s not as if Jinwon is something to be embarrassed about.”
“Okay, I guess he isn’t… but he’s nothing but like a brother to me now. Besides, if I kissed him before, it’s like you just indirectly kissed me. I mean come on, what the hell…”
“Are you assuming you don’t want me to kiss you?” Stephanie teased.
“Well do you want me to?” Jessica glared at her with lazy eyes.
“Ew, no!” Stephanie laughed as she rapidly waved her hands to say she really didn’t want to.
“See, that’s why it’s kind of weird for me—to know I’ve actually kissed the father of your child.”
“Look on the bright side though,” Stephanie smiled. “His lips are sweet, aren’t they?”
“Ughhmph!” Jessica snorted. “How should I know? Our kiss was too sudden and I was too young to even process such a thing… Argh, thinking about it drives me mad. Actually, talking about kissing Jinwon with you is just… weird.”
Stephanie just laughed and turned her attention back to her stomach. The baby was moving again, and this time, she pulled Jessica’s hand invitingly to feel the wonder.
“Wow, that kid’s moving, alright,” Jessica said.
“It feels like an alien so much,” Stephanie snickered.
“If it was an alien, it would’ve already stuck its arms right out of your belly.”
“Hahah, like Pwwooff!!” Stephanie chuckled as she made a kind of gross blooming flower action with her hands, a classic reference to the movie Alien. This resulted into an uncontrollable eruption of laughter as they both flopped together on bed again.
Suddenly, the phone rang. Stephanie stopped laughing as she ran to the living room, but Jessica still giggled on her own.
“Hello?…. Oh! Sunny? Sunny, hi!!”
Jessica was left on her own in her own room, sighing at the happiness that was provided for her for the previous 30 minutes. She remembered Stephanie’s bright eye-smile shining before her—the smile that never failed to make anyone happy. It’s been a while since she saw that. It’s also the first time she caught Stephanie smiling at the thought of her baby. That kind of happiness playing before her showed her that there was hope of an actually happy future for Stephanie’s own good. She just had to actually figure out how to make it last for a long time. There will be people that will definitely bring her down. That she knows very well. She made up her mind to be by Stephanie’s side, protecting her, caring for her, and supporting her, till the day she dies. And it’s not just because Stephanie was her best-friend-forever, it was also because he owed it to Jinwon.
DECEMBER 12, 1997, Friday
“Jessica,” Jinwon whispered to her three months ago as he was about to leave the Jung’s home when Stephanie had fallen into a peaceful slumber. “If incase things don’t work out between me and Fany, please take care of her.”
“What do you mean?” Jessica scoffed. “You’re having doubts now? She has a freaking baby that came from you, idiot. Don’t tell me you’re going to try to break things off with her, ‘cause if you are, I’m not allowing you—not in a billion years.”
“Calm down,” Jinwon chuckled. “It’s just an incase thing. I won’t let her go, I promise that. But I don’t know… if by chance I got some job at some far off place to support the family, I would like you to protect her while I’m gone. Or… who knows,” he shrugged. “Life is pretty unexpected sometimes.”
“Tch, you trust your middle school ex-girlfriend to protect your possible wife in the future that much?” Jessica teased.
“Well it’s been what- 6, 7 years since we stopped our ‘relationship’ yet we’re still friends right now aren’t we?” Jinwon laughed. “Besides, you yourself said Fany-ah is now your sister—the one you care for the most. I can trust you because I know who you are. Your love for family and friends had always been great, even if you can’t show it that well. Even if you’re cold on the outside, you’re the most caring person I know… well, besides myself.”
“Of course,” Jessica snickered. “It’s good to know I trust you, too. You’re the best guy anyone could ask for. Stephanie is a lucky girl to have you… or maybe not since you got her pregnant, but anyway,” she laughed. “You can count on me. If you become stupid sometime in the future, I’ll surely keep her away from you, even if you’re the father of her child.”
Now that Jinwon was really separated from Stephanie, Jessica wanted to take over Jinwon’s place just as she promised. The hard times in Stephanie’s life are starting again, and she didn’t want her to hurt so much.
Jessica stood up from her bed to go to Stephanie’s room and continue talking about Jinwon more, but stopped when she saw the mail come in. She picked up the mail and read it. It was from her top choice university in San Francisco. It was an acceptance letter. She jumped for joy at the thought of the future ahead of her, but stopped when she realized one thing. She would leave everything here behind.
“Jessica,” Stephanie called out after saying goodbye to her cousin. Jessica automatically hid the letter behind her back and winced as to why she did so.
“Would it be okay for you if I left this town?” Stephanie shyly said.
“W-why? Where are you going?” Jessica asked.
“Sunny is telling me to live with her in her grandfather’s farm. She said the farm might be a better place for me right now.”
“Well what do you want? She’s your family, isn’t she?
“Yeah she is… and I do miss her. Spending some time with her would be great.”
“Then go. It’s probably what’s best.”
“What about you?” Stephanie asked. “Why do you sound like you won’t even miss me?”
“It’s nothing like that…” Jessica said. “I will miss you, but Sunny is your family. It’s better if you stay with your family in times like these. I promise we’ll see each other again.”
“How do you even know?” Stephanie pouted. “The sooner you realize, you might just be on a plane flying to America soon and live there for the rest of your life not knowing what might have happened to me.”
“We’re sisters, Fany-ah.” Jessica said, wrapping her pinky around Stephanie’s. “And family… will never separate.”
“Yes… and believe me, I want and would take care of you and protect you if I was given a chance. But for now,” she said throwing the acceptance letter to the couch where Stephanie could clearly see. “For now, I think the world wants what’s best for us. I got an acceptance letter from the college I’ve wanted to go to. And as much as it hurts leaving you here, I have to have a future to give you one.”
“Thank you… but I don’t want to say goodbye to you yet,” Stephanie pouted.
“Goodbyes will have their time… that’s why we have to cherish the time we have left. But please just promise me one thing: that we will never say goodbye. I don’t want to say goodbye. Because if I say it, I feel I might never see you again.”
APRIL 26, 1998, Saturday
It was finally the day when Sunny and her uncle arrived to take Stephanie away. Stephanie wished to stay a little longer, but Sunny made her final offer. Her bags were packed and lifted to the back of the trunk. Though Jessica wanted to be happy for her, she felt a little heavy-hearted letting her go.
“So this is it, huh?” Jessica said.
“I’ll come back when the time is right,” Stephanie said.
“And when would that be?”
“I don’t know… let’s just see,” Stephanie wryly smiled. “You’ll come to visit us on the farm if you have time, right?”
“I’d visit you every day if I only could.”
“Come on, don’t look so sad,” Stephanie patted her friend’s arm. “We’re sisters, remember? And family never separates.”
“We’re sisters,” Jessica nodded.
“MI-YOUNG UNNIE, WE HAVE NO TIME! Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!” Hyuna, Sunny’s younger sister shouted from the car’s backseat. Sunny muffled her sister to keep from saying anything else. She knew Stephanie had the right to spend at least a few more seconds with her best friend.
“I guess I have to go now,” Stephanie chuckled, but her eyes showed she was saddened to have to part with her after these few years of living in the same roof together. She threw her arms around Jessica and hugged her as tightly as she could. She knew she wouldn’t have the chance to do such a thing again for a long time.
Without saying any words, they withdrew from the hug and Stephanie walked to the front seat of the car. Jessica waved goodbye as the car drove away. She held her tears back, but they dropped anyway. “This is just life,” Jessica cooed to herself, though it only helped little to stop tears from falling. When it was out of sight, she gloomily walked back to the house and sat on the couch.
The house was empty. No one talked, no one blasted music in any room, and no one was crying. It was like the first day when Chrystal was no longer part of her life. The house was so silent, it slowly drove her mad. She was an only child in the house once again. She thought it’d be fun to have some alone time by herself, but only 5 minutes have passed since Stephanie had gone and she was already feeling so lonely.
She picked up the telephone and dialed Yohan’s home number. He didn’t answer. She tried again and still, Yohan wasn’t answering. Oh well, her only hope of escaping this lonely world was not answering. Guess the world just wanted her to feel lonely at the moment.
Once again, the thought of her best friends came to her. Jinwon is gone and now, so is Stephanie. Who else was there to talk to? And so, she sat on her desk and opened her blue notebook. She started writing,
It’s been a while.
A few days ago was the 22nd of April, 1998. Time flies by so fast, huh? If you were still here, you’d be 15 now and oh, would I have loved watching you struggle as a teenager. I could just imagine you, completely different from an 8 year old, yet still that sweet and loving sister that I’ve always known. And I think at that age, you’d probably smarter, stronger, and wiser than who I am right now.
Now that I just turned 19, I miss you even more and the easy life I once knew. How fun it would be to just take out a coloring book and not care about the world. Now, I’m facing the reality of life once again. It’s just so hard, you know? I’ve already lost you, Jinwon, and now Stephanie. Who’s there that’s left for me? Will you send another to keep me sane just like you’ve sent Jinwon and Stephanie to me? Okay… haha, I know you’re not God, but I know you’re with God. Give Him a kiss on the cheek for me as thanks for the blessings He had given me after you left. Without Him, my life wouldn’t be as hard as it already is. Knowing that you Guys are watching makes me feel at ease.
But really, what I’m aching to say today is that…
I’m sorry I can’t be the kind of sister that I want to be for Stephanie. I know I shouldn’t be apologizing to you and should apologize to Jinwon, but he has forgotten me. Well, if his past soul is still out there somewhere, please relay him the message that I am sorry… I tried my best while Stephanie was here with me. Maybe in the future, I’ll be able to treat her better as I’ve promised, but now, I’m just sorry. She’s in the hands of great people for now, though. What better company does she need other than her family?
I’m sorry again… for not being a better sister to you, Chrystal. I wish I knew any better back then.
Because of me, you must’ve been tired. Because of me, you must’ve been hurt. Now I know you’re too precious to me. You have shaped me into a better person just by being yourself.
I know you’ve already forgiven me even before all of the things that have happened. I just… I just want to say these words as much as I can:
And I love you, Chrystal.
Don’t you ever forget it.
STORY 3| Solace – Chapter 1
Chapter Theme Song:
Bye – TaeYeon
I wasn’t ready
But you were before my eyes about to leave
I couldn’t say anything so I just waved
I wave for you who’s shining brightly
So long, my love
My precious friend
Like the sun, warmly hugged me
I’ll watch you as I say goodbye
I look at you a bit more…
I hope you’ll be happy
I hope you’ll always be a bright person
With a smile, so long
Let’s be a bit stronger
Farewell now… Goodbye
Let’s go now
Goodbye, my love
My precious person
Like the sun, warmly hugged me
I’ll watch you as I say goodbye
With a bright smile…
Oh so long,
My precious person
You beautifully sparked and shined on me
Goodbye, my love
I’ll watch you as I say goodbye
I look at you a bit more…