GLITCH: Jessica





       “Oh…? Um, hey? Who is this? Is… this SeoHyun?”

       “Um, no… This is one of YongHwa’s friends.”

       “Ah… What’s going on? He always answers his phone. Did something bad happen to him?”

      “N-no… he got into some accident, that’s all.”

      “Well that’s technically considered bad… Is her sister Krystal alright?”

      “Krystal? Ah, SooJung? Oh she’s doing fine. She’s staying with some friends.”

      “Oh that’s a relief.”

      “You’re their eldest sister, right?”

      “Yeah, I guess… What happened to him again?”

      “The situation is kinda weird. We don’t really know what exactly happened. People say he tried committing suicide but I–”


       “Ah… y-yeah.”


SUICIDE??????????? Whaaaaaaat?


       “Eherm… What’s your name?”

      “T-TaeYeon.  Kim TaeYeon.”

      “My name is Jessica Jung—or I guess… SooYeon.”


      “Let me hold on for a sec. I-I’ll call back a little bit later. Would you send me your number? I might ask you again about this.”

      “A-alright. Bye.”

      “Thank you. Bye.”


He was probably fine.


That’s what I tried convincing myself even though I obviously had a mini-heart attack and had the urge to shut the conversation off.

Ugh, he was probably fine. It wasn’t necessary to worry about him. He’s twenty-nine years old. He could probably take care of himself. Why do I even worry about him? We don’t even have the same blood. He’s my brother but only through our parents’ union. Er, well… that’s also kind of false since his father and my mother already divorced a long time ago. There’s really no point in calling him my brother. I really shouldn’t care about him.

But lying isn’t my thing. I do care about him to some extent. People may think I’m a cold and heartless little bitch who owns an expensive fashion line but hey, I care about my family at least. I don’t have many friends and neither do I have any close cousins or family around. I don’t even have a boyfriend. I had one but oh well, some things just aren’t meant to last. Gosh, I’m turning into an old maid.

I have my mother but she pisses me off most of the time. She’s obviously sagging physically and psychologically in an unpleasant way. She’s been whining more and throwing tantrums every time she catches me contacting YongHwa. It’s like she doesn’t even want me to acknowledge that I still have connections with my old family. I mean it was once her family, too. It’s so shameful and embarrassing. She’s not any better than Krystal who has schizophrenia. And she doesn’t even like me mentioning Krystal as if Krystal wasn’t her daughter. It pisses me off so much.

Anyway, I really thought YongHwa would be alright. He was a strong guy. He got through any problems. I thought he would be alright, and god, I should just stop trying to be optimistic sometimes. Optimism isn’t my thing at all.

TaeYeon, that friend of his, told me he tried committing suicide, but that didn’t make sense since he was a very happy guy. Every time I talk to him, he always laughed as if everything was always right with the world…

Anyway, as the days passed, TaeYeon also told me—kind of hesitantly actually—that the situation was much, much worse than everyone thought. It was only her hunch but she sounded gravely sure that something wasn’t adding up.  I asked her how she thought of it that way but she wouldn’t really budge much information to me.

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It was cold. My hands seemed a little numb, my face felt stiff, and my body couldn’t move as I willed it. I just shivered. My body was trembling. I had no control.


There was a thick coat on me. A hot cup of coffee sat on my lap, and its hot mist danced warmly under my chin. It should’ve been warm, and maybe it was warm.

But strangely, I feel cold.


Desolated. Broken.


I was cold.


My vision blurred. I couldn’t make it focus. I couldn’t seem to hear anything anymore either. All I see are footsteps coming and going, but above their calves—nothing. The noises are indecipherable. Where am I again? I can’t seem to remember. Why am I losing my senses? Where am I?

      “S-SeoHyun-ah…” TaeYeon Unnie’s voice broke through the haze. It was then that I realized what was going on again.


“W-w-what are you doing!? YongHwa?”


There was blood. Everywhere.


“Get a hold of yourself! Please don’t do this to me!”


He tried to… he… tried to… s-s… su…

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GLITCH: Taemin




I’ve been stressing out for the past few days contemplating whether I should give up my position as a coroner even after all these years of being successful at my job. I’ve worked hard to get this job for so many years. The thrills of new cases–new dead bodies–are like my high. I just can’t get enough of it. I’m living my dream. But I think I’ve gotten enough of it. Damn right, Jonghyun, Key, and Onew would lose their minds if they knew how I truly feel—how I need to quit and leave this all behind.

I only told them that I’m alright with Kai’s death—that I’ve toughened up and moved on—just to save my position. But it’s only been a few weeks since Kai died. Of course they would know I’m lying. Of course they would know how hard it is for me. But I’m just ridiculous. This is my dream—to be in an investigation team with my best friends. I don’t want to give it up. But I just feel like I have to give it up somehow.

When Minho and I were headed to Kai’s grave, I relayed on him what I’ve been thinking.

       “Do you think that’d be okay?” I said to Minho, my closest friend in the team. I consider him almost my brother for we have been friends for as long as I could remember.

       “Hey man, if that’s how you feel, I can’t really argue,” Minho said. “It’s been hard on me too and I’ve honestly thought about it myself. Since we got into this job together, I got your back on whatever decision you make.”

      “What, so if I quit, you quit too? I can’t leave this position, then! This is your dream, too. Don’t make unnecessary sacrifices for me. If I leave, you stay, okay?”

       “What’s the point then in being in this team if you’re not going to work with me? We’re in this together, Taemin. If you leave, I leave. Don’t argue with me on this one.”


The rest of the ride was silent. Even when we got out of the car and got to the place where my cousin was buried, not a word was said. And there we were just standing in front of Kai’s grave, staring at it without energy.

I personally haven’t cried yet. Part of me doesn’t believe this has really happened. I just know he’s dead but somehow it hasn’t completely hit me that he is gone.

Kai is my best buddy. I used to see him almost every day. Even now, I imagine him smiling around the house, flirting with his twin Sulli playfully when he felt like he wanted to tease, secretly holding in his emotions towards SooJung every time she comes for a visit, and laughing at me whenever I lose on his favorite video games. He’s such a cheerful kid whom I thought I’d never lose—not this early at least—and definitely not in that way.

For the past few months before his death, I’ve gotten a little busy and I haven’t got a chance to hang out with him. Didn’t even get a chance to say the things I want to say, do the things I want to do, or show him what I want to show as his cousin—as his hyung. Now he’s just part of dirt.

Have I missed out on a lot of things? Did he look up to me? If so, was it my fault that he committed suicide? It would be understandable since I took out my anger on him a lot when I get home from work extremely exhausted. My heart aches every time I remember him also getting impatient with me… Wouldn’t this theory be understandable since he used my pistol? Could he have been sending a message of hate to me all this time? And did he purposely not write a suicide note to drive me even crazier?

       “Taemin, I have to go and give Sulli a ride home now,” Minho suddenly said. It then clicked to me that we have been here for about fifteen minutes. “Do you want to come?”

        “You go on. I think I’ll stay here for a couple more minutes.” And so, Minho left me alone.

Finally, tears started rushing in me. Somehow, I just need to get it out now or else, I’d feel like a robot for the rest of my life.

         “Why did you leave?” I breathed out. “Was it my fault, Kai? Was it my fault that you’re gone now? You could’ve written a note… just something! How about Sulli? Why did you leave her? You know she loves you very much. And how about SooJung? Man… man, you told me you’d confess to her that weekend! Why are you… why are you here?!” I screamed at the grave for my heart was craving answers.

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I used to be normal. I was upright, focused, sophisticated, and calculated. Those were the things that made me a great accountant. Aside from being a smart and diligent math nerd, I’m one of the prettiest and most men stare at me in awe while the women either do the same or get jealous of me. Though I don’t really believe much in being the most perfect lady around, my popularity in Empire Rooftops says otherwise. I do not think I am someone great, but the people who say I am do build a lot of confidence and pride in me. But as the wise sayings say, things like those don’t last. This beauty doesn’t last forever.

Sanity is like beauty. It’s something that could be snatched from you at any point of your life.

I have lost my sanity. Sane to insane. But hey, I’m still the hottest topic among my colleagues. Of course, there’s really nothing but negativity at the mention of my name these days.

She’s gone crazy

She’ll get fired soon enough

She’s such a weak woman after all

I used to believe gossips never affected me, but they really do and they claw away at my defenses.

I’m starting to lose it.

I used to be normal. I used to be.

Kai, or Jongin, is dead.

I get it.

He’s dead. My twin brother, my other half, is dead. Everybody knew about it. It spread like wildfire in the office the day after I had gone absent on my work for the very first time—after the day of his death. They’ve given me consolations and comforting words. Most of them just said my heart will eventually heal in time. I… I need them to stop…

They don’t need to know what I have seen. I don’t need their sympathy and understanding. They will never grasp what my brother’s death has done in my life because neither can I…

I never wanted to call myself insane, but it seems appropriate to do so these days. They are sane and I am not. They will pass me by normally like I have only caught a common cold.

“You’ll move on from it.”

Ever since the night Kai died, he would haunt me in my dreams around 4 am. His blood splattering on his newly painted room would replay like a glitch, and when I would awake from the nightmare, I’d run to his room hoping it was all just in my head. But every time I burst his door open, the harsh reality would slap me on the face to wake me up completely, telling me I would never see him again sleeping on his bed. That nightmare was nothing but the cruel reality. He’s dead.

And I saw him die.

I can still remember that horrifying scene. It is vividly stuck in my head. At that lonely hour of 4 am with Taemin Oppa’s pistol pointing at his head, Kai breathed steadily and firmly, sitting upright on his own bed. At such an early hour, I thought he was kidding around… but…

I trembled and fell seeing his head plop down on his bed, his body awkwardly falling along. Blood spilled and splattered everywhere. I screamed and couldn’t remember what else I had thought of after that. I do remember thinking it was all just a nightmare, considering how early it all was. But there’s nothing I could do but scream out my lungs and sob now. It was a nightmare I couldn’t awake from.

I get it. He’s dead… but…

No! I don’t get it! Why would he kill himself? Why would he kill himself in front of me? And at 4 am? Why? Was he not even ashamed to leave me alone in this world? Just about 6 hours before we died, during 8 pm, we had our dinner just like any other evening. He was laughing along with me! We were making jokes—inside jokes only we understood. We were watching TV and insulting the people in the news. After dinner, we played Just Dance on wii out of boredom while waiting for Taemin Oppa to come back home from his work. We were… we were happy.

It doesn’t make sense.

I’ve been trying to analyze everything that had been going on in his life to see whether or not had any reason to leave this world behind—to leave me and everyone he loved that loved him back. In the end, things always wouldn’t add up. Although being an introvert like me made him a little mysterious, he was a very jolly guy. He was very friendly, very caring, and a big hopeless romantic. He was also very active in his hobbies. He was having a hard time searching for jobs but aside that, he had dancing as a delightful activity to keep him occupied. Dancing filled his world with optimism and life.

As his twin, I always had a very accurate hunch of his inner thoughts and emotions. We never really had any secrets between us, and if there was any, we’d figure each other out soon enough. If he was in-love, I would’ve known. If he was annoyed, I would’ve known. If he was depressed, I would’ve known.

So why…? Suicide? I cannot simply just believe that he would get up in the middle of the night and decide to do that. It’s impossible.

Every night, I get where the nightmares about him come from. It must be from the trauma. Of course, it was probably a natural thing to dream about these things over and over again. I was scarred for life and it’s something I will have to deal with for the rest of my life.

But there was something I couldn’t wrap my head around…

Is there something else wrong with me? I keep having these blackouts, these brief seconds of pause when I can’t process a single thing. Words blur when they hit my eardrums. What I see slows down in front of my eyes. They only last for about 5 seconds, but it feels much longer than that. Maybe 10 seconds? 30 seconds? A minute? It’s incomprehensible. I’ve discussed this once or twice with Minho, but he just dismissed it as trauma. Is it trauma? That does sound reasonable… but there’s something else to it.

There’s this woman in the corner of my eyes every time I have these pauses. She’s faint and transparent like a ghost, but askew and distorted like a glitch in a computer game. I cannot decipher her shape, face, or anything that would give off her identity.

Usually, I’d dismiss it as hallucination from my trauma as Minho would have logically put it, but she’s showing up way too frequently. It has been a week since she would occasionally show up—a week after Kai’s death.

Maybe I’m just seeing things. It’s not even clear enough to even be classified as a woman. I’m just assuming it to be one. Besides, it only shows itself in brief sparks of light. It might just be the lighting. It might just be…

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