Category: Chapter, Angst, NC-21
Main Cast: Kang Seulri & Cho Kyuhyun
Supporting Cast: Ok Taecyeon
Cho Kyuhyun is frustrated, in the past fifteen minutes he’s doing anything he could to bring her back into consciousness and yet Seulri still closes her eyes not responding to any kind of impulse he’s giving her. He pulls himself away from the side of her bed to check the preparation on her emergency procedure. The doctors wheel in the separator curtain that’s usually being used for a C-section in order to safe their patient from the horror of seeing their abdomen being cut open while they’re only being locally sedated.
Seuri is still unconscious so the curtain hasn’t really done its purpose, but better be safe, just in case she suddenly awakens. Kyuhyun takes a peek to the operation progress behind the curtain, her abdomen is covered in betadine and special plastic wrap before a green fabric place on top of it to start their surgery.
“Start her on processors.” The head surgeon begins the operation, “Scapel!” He utters his command and the nurse beside him give the little operation knife he needs.
With one stroke he managed to cut open her abdomen and in no time. The amount of blood clot that spills from the cut is more than he expected and anyone in the O.R knows that she’s experiencing a bad bleeding in her internal organs.
“Oh God, Seulri-ya.” He mumbles in between his frantic shock. No matter how many operation he’s been to in his life, watching the closest person he knows being cut open will never be easy. “What happened to you in that road? How could it be this bad?”
“She’s got a grade-2 splenic lac. let’s leave it for now, she won’t be affected much by it the bruise will heal itself. Make sure to check the rethrohepatic space.” The head surgeon informs the doctors next to Kyuhyun.
She digs her hand into Seulri abdomen to check for the space between her right kidney and liver, “Positive for bleeding, doctor.”
“We’ll focus on that for now, remove the clotting, give me the French tube again.” He lifts his hand waiting for the nurse to handle him the next device he asked.
“Suction.” The female doctor follows the lead and begin vacuuming the blood around the cavity that aren’t supposed to be there.
Kyuhyun stood still in his place, not being able to imagine the kind of pain Seulri is experiencing at the moment. He takes his gaze away from her bloody abdomen towards the serene face she has whenever she falls asleep.
She’s closing her eyes peacefully, as if nothing weird is going on from the big cut on her belly. Under the bright light of the O.R, Kyuhyun’s eyes begins to notice the lines of her dried tears on her face, her eye-liner must have been washed down from the tears and what pain him more is the fact the lines are going down towards her cheek and not to the side of her face. It only means that she’s crying while she’s still driving. She cried so hard to the point she didn’t notice the danger that awaits her and she cried because of him.
He bites his lips to suppress the pain, thinking that he can channel his heartache into something else. What has he done to her? She wanted nothing but to be saved by him, she didn’t even ask for him to change his plan, she only asked to be forgiven. His quick sharp tongue beat him tonight, instead of being the strength she needed him to be, he chose to punch her more to add more pain into her already crumbled life. Now she’s just closes her eyes helplessly, with the peaceful expression as if she’s having a better vision inside her dream, as if she’s ready to leave all her problems behind her.
He swallows the lump he feels in his throat, her voice from few hours ago was still clear in his head, “Oppa, I just need you to forgive me. I know you won’t take me back, I know I worth nothing in your eyes and I don’t dare to ask that favor. But can’t you at least forgive me, for going far astray from the dream we used to have for each other?”
He lowers himself closer to her one more time, whispering in her ears the words he should have said tonight, “I forgive you and you worth everything to me Seulri-ya, that’s why I’m so mad at you. Just because I stopped saying it, doesn’t mean I stopped loving you. So please, let me apologize properly, open your eyes Seulri-ya.”
It was the day he’s been waiting for in the past twenty months, he’s released from his duty to his country and he couldn’t feel more disappointed when he didn’t see his girlfriend in front of the gate the way she promised him.
Not long after his birthday, he got his letter of enlistment from the army. Just like any South Korean men, he has to obey the call and soon as his second semester finished he packed up his things and do his duty for the country. It’s never easy for close family members to say goodbye to their son who’s leaving them for almost two years. They know the day-off won’t matter much as long as he still need to serve for the country and of course it’s also hard for the girlfriends.
Seulri cried when she read his letter of enlistment, she voiced her protest to him and demanded it must have been such an error from the government because Kyuhyun still has so many years ahead of him before he should be enlisted, yet obviously this call-letter was not something for him to rebel to. They both negotiated on how to keep communication to each other without the luxury of phone and technologies, Seulri suggested she could visit him once a month but Kyuhyun refused the idea. He was stationed too far away from the capital and he didn’t want her to suffer the long ride just to see him for a good half-an-hour. Kyuhyun also tried to cheer her up, said that he’ll get some days off and he could go visit her whenever he granted the day off, but he’s not kidding anyone, they both know the enlistment was the new task for their relationship.
Their method worked out for about a year. No matter how hard the long distance relationship was for them, Seulri and Kyuhyun figured out a way to stay faithful and close to each other. Along the time, she learned to stop depending on him too much whenever the problem at home raises and as for him, he learned to let her became more independent and trusted her more with her decisions. With their distance apart, they both still thanked heaven for being able to spent their Christmas together, her birthday, his next birthday, and without them being dramatic about the separation, his enlistment just went by quickly.
She once promised him that she’d pick him up when he’s done, she promised to bring him the toppoki he missed so much from the outside world and she promised to bring a banner saying ‘welcome back’ for him.
But that never happened.
Kyuhyun kept on pressing the bell in front of her house, waited for anyone to answer yet Kang Seulri nor her father came out to answer the door for him. He knew he informed her about his day of deployment from the enlistment and he also aware that Seulri hasn’t replied to any of his letter since three months ago, but he couldn’t believe that she just vanished without any news for him. He was telling himself that she’s now in her senior year and she’d probably need to take more time on her studies so she could follow her dream of becoming a scientist. He’d be lying if he said he wasn’t mad for her ignorance, but then again he just missed her too much to stayed mad. What he wanted at the moment was just to see her, hold her in his embrace and showered her with the kisses he’s been holding on to for too long.
Kyuhyun got inside of Seulri’s front yard, waited for her on the little bench available. His head continuously turned to look for a sign of her or anyone in the home but until the sun went down, none of her family returned yet. He begun to feel impatient and started to pressed the bell again, wished that this time around at least somebody would answer. Instead of a greeting from the inside, an ahjumma that passed by called him and said that the family that rented the house had moved three months ago.
He asked her whether she knew where they moved out or why, but she was as clueless as he was. What she knew was that one day they all just gone from that house and she never even saw any moving truck or anything.
His annoyance and curiosity had led him into breaking and entering to her house, he tried to look into some clue, he thought that maybe if a moving truck never be seen that’d only means their stuffs were still inside. His heart broke once he noticed the empty rooms around the house, by then he realized that Kang Seulri just left him without even giving him a proper goodbye.
He remembered that day as the day he cursed her, he hated being clueless and he hated that Seulri didn’t take him into her consideration when she moved out. Kyuhyun understood that her mother’s job required them to move from one city to another but leaving him without any notice is sure a bitch move to pulled for her.
But his hatred towards her just lasted for a night, the next day he tried to find a new way to find her by coming into their school. He waited for her by the entrance the way he did when they first dated and he just kept on waiting until the last student went home. Dissatisfied with his effort that day, he finally got into the school during school hours the following day, tried his last effort to asked about Kang Seulri to the student service. He lost his hope when he’s informed that Kang Seulri was dropped out from the institution since she stopped going to school for more than three months without any notice.
Meanwhile not so far away from where he was that time, Kang Seulri was fighting the battle she lost long before she even begun.
Seulri awoken from her uncomfortable sleeping position, a nurse just woke her up telling her that she needed to give them some space so they could check the condition of her father. Her father has been hospitalized for the past three months and no good news was coming from him. He’s diagnosed to be paralyzed from his hips down and he became a little bit delusional every now and then because of the accident he involved in around three months earlier.
If being taken care of immediately maybe her father didn’t have to lost his ability to walk but everything was so sudden, her family weren’t covered in any insurance and the only one that could provide these days was Seulri alone.
“Seulri-ssi, this is the bill for this week.” The nurse handled her a pile of white papers, gave her a degrading look before she barely checked her father vital.
“Can’t you at least really check him properly? He kept on complaining about his headache.” Seulri spoke for her father.
“We can do something about it, but then again you need to settle the previous bills first.” The nurse answered shortly, avoided to look into her eyes.
“Excuse me, I thought your job and the doctors here are to save life.” She raised her voice, then the rest of the patients that stayed in the same room as her father mumbled to shut her up.
“Well, we did save his life.” The nurse answered, “It’s the following treatment that’s hard to come by.”
“But I promise that I’ll pay this all up, I just need more time.” She felt the tears begun forming again in her eyes. She had no idea how many tears had been shed just from this incident alone, what she knew was she’s tired of it and she needed a way out.
“Seulri-ssi, I also have no power when it comes to the medicine we should give your father. I’m just a nurse, not even a doctor. I don’t want to be rude to you, but if you keep this up, I’m afraid the authorities will kick him out.” The nurse lowered her voice, she tried to be more secretive because honestly she also felt a lot of sympathy for Seulri. “Please, can’t you call your relative and ask their help? I don’t like seeing you and your father being treated like this also.”
Seulri stared blankly afar and shook her head helplessly. “No, he’s all I have now.”
The nurse looked down into her feet, not knowing what she should say to her so she just patted her back briefly before she took her leave.
Seulri took a deep breath before she took a quick glance into the bills in her hand. She wished she could just rip it off then all of her father’s debt in the hospital would payed off by itself. She looked into her father that was closing his eyes, she knew he’s not sleeping because he’s in agonizing pain but she also knew her father couldn’t look at her at the moment. She knew how much he must have felt guilty towards her and it’s his subtle way to make the air more comfortable around them.
“Appa, I will go to work now, I’ll get back before nine.” She whispered near his ear. “When the nurse sends your lunch, you must eat them all okay? I have to work hard for both of us now, but don’t worry, we’ll get through this together.”
Her father stayed still, pretend that he didn’t listen to her so Seulri just gave him a peck on his cheek before she left. She closed the door behind her to dragged herself to the nearest emergency stair in the local hospital where her father now being taken care of, she took some steps towards the middle level of the stair to took her seat.
Her eyes stared into the numbers on the bill while her mind kept on wondering why her life had gotten so hard when she wasn’t at all prepared.
Three months ago her parents were involved in an accident on their way back from their old friend’s son’s wedding, Seulri didn’t come with them at the time because she had to attend her final exam. She was at school when she got the call, so she just left everything behind her and got into the emergency hospital the police informed her.
Her mother’s life was taken away in instant, she didn’t survive the hit and passed away at the scene while her father was trapped behind the wheel and it took the paramedic three hours to get his body out by cutting the car’s frame away. The injury had made a big impact on her father physically and mentally, he’s drowned in his own guilt towards his wife and he hated himself for that, his hatred just slowly affected on how he became a quiet and cynical person—that eventualy made Seulri didn’t just lost her mother but also the soul of her father.
Three days after her mother’s funeral, two loan sharks approached her with long list of her mother’s debt towards them, something she couldn’t understand at the time. But she learned quickly that her mother moved from one city to another not because of her job, but because she’s been avoiding these guys and that her unknown hobby other than drinking was to gamble. Seulri tried her best to keep this matter a secret from her father, she didn’t want to add more burden into his misery so she kept on doing her best to keep her father away from this problem.
But she’s just one person and all these burdens were too much to handle for a teenager such as herself.
Seulri took her time to cried her heart out, she was only seventeen, she was supposed to live a youthful life, being reckless, worrying about her school and her college options, worrying about her boyfriend that she missed so much. Yet here she was, tried to solve a problem that was beyond her capability.
It’s been a long time since she communicated to him and she missed him like crazy. If she could, she’d definitely run into Kyuhyun at the time, wrapped her arms around him and just share her burden with him. But she couldn’t. The more she sank deeper into the problems her mother created for her and her father, the more Seulri felt incompetence with Kyuhyun and now with her being a high school drop-out that worked two part-time jobs just to slowly payed up the bill, she definitely had lost her face in front of him. He had such bright future in front of him and Seulri just kept on sinking into the pit of her inferno. She was too ashamed, she has lost her confidence and her self-worth altogether.
She knew Kyuhyun would help her, she knew she could rely on him for every hardship she encountered, but she’d never been able to drag her feet into his house, nor picked up the phone to let him know how she’s been struggling without him.
And things were just about to get even worse from that point.