Category: Chapter, Angst, NC-21
Main Cast: Kang Seulri & Cho Kyuhyun
Supporting Cast: Ok Taecyeon
Kyuhyun grabs a rolling chair available in the O.R to sit on so he can talk to Seulri in the same level, he’s leaving the operation to the more experienced doctor and he keeps his focus on keeping her senses to stay alert.
Seulri turns her head to the right side slowly to get a full look into the only thing that matters to her, her finger is tracing down every inches of his face, she wipes the tears in his eyes one more time but Kyuhyun just keep on crying.
Why are you crying, oppa? she wants to ask him. It doesn’t make much sense to her to see that Kyuhyun is now drowning in his own tears seeing her dying slowly in front of him.
“Seulri-ya, are you scared now?” He whispered next to her with his hand on the top of her head, caressing her hair that’s sticky with the blood she gets from her head wound.
She shakes her head as far as she could and hopes he gets the message, she places her right palm on his face and uses her thumb to wipe another tear that falls from his eye.
“Good, that’s my girl, my girl Seulri isn’t afraid of anything.” He forces himself to smile, “You shouldn’t be scared, do you know why? Because I’m here with you. They’re doing a great job and soon, my sunbae will arrive and help you with your other wound, okay?”
She blinks and tries to smile.
“Promise me you will fight your hardest to stay alert and alive, can you do that for me?” He pleads.
I will do anything for you, oppa. She blinks one more time and she lifts up her pinky, Kyuhyun links his own pinky finger into hers and stamps on their thumbs together.
“Great, because there are a lot of things we haven’t done and the list just keep on growing.” He tries to distract her from the current situation, “We still have to visit that theme park for the new roller coaster, and you want to go see the beach again before autumn comes, don’t forget those Marvel movies you’ve been waiting for—you can’t leave before knowing how those heroes save the whole galaxy, and you have that ticket to a concert you’ve been dying to see, remember? You have to fight for all of those.”
To be by your side is enough reason for me, but is that still possible now? She let her tear falls from the socket.
Seulri feels like somebody is sitting on her chest because she’s suffocated all the sudden, she fights the pressure but no matter how much she tries to keep her heart rhythm normally, she can hear the heart monitor on her left beeps faster and faster.
Kyuhyun also notices this sudden change and he immediately gets up and takes a stethoscope that lays around on the operating table behind him. He puts the ear piece into his ear and quickly check on Seulri, “Breath in as deep as you can for me, Seulri-ya.”
She follows his instruction and it leads to another projectile blood vomiting from her mouth, Kyuhyun’s hands now covered with her blood but he ignores that as he has another thing to be worried about.
“Doctor, permission to do an ultrasound on her chest.” Kyuhyun informs the head surgeon.
“Approve, do what you can for now, I have to close her up down here.” He replies.
The intern brings in the cart into him and Kyuhyun takes no delay to look into the problem in her chest, “I will have to tear open your shirt now.” He asks for her permission before he runs the scissors to cut open the remaining fabric that still covers Seulri.
There she was, exposed and dying at the same time with the love of her life trying to save her with any way that he knew. She keeps her focus on his face only and she avoids to look into what’s happening on her chest at the moment. Any kind of medical procedure scares her a little bit because she doesn’t like seeing and smelling blood—especially her own.
“She’s still hypotensive, I can’t find any lung laceration.” Kyuhyun informs the doctor. Maybe in some other time, he would look super cool in her eyes. Doing medical procedure, speaking the language that only the doctors understand, trying to safe live and everything.
“Doctor, you finish stitching her up, I’ll check her lungs now.” The old doctor gives his command to his junior and come to the other side of Seulri’s body.
He puts his stethoscope into his ear and does the thing Kyuhyun did few moments ago while Kyuhyun is running the ultrasound device across her chest.
“Hilum’s intact, she’s not bleeding in her chest this makes no sense.” Kyuhyun curls his eyebrow in frustration.
“Set up for T.E.E!” The old doctor commands the nurses to bring in another device.
He takes a glance into her again, although it’s really subtle, Kyuhyun can see that Seulri is smiling weakly. It frustrates him, how could she smile in time like this. He knew she’s always that person that swallows her pain and put on a great show to the world as if no problem on Earth could bother her, but does she really have to smile and pretend right now? As her friend he knows that he should just keep on cheering for her and keep on telling her that she’s doing fine.
But as a doctor, he knows that she’s dying very slowly and painfully in front of him.
Few minutes passed with both of them starring into each other in disbelieve, he’s been looking for her in the past six years and she’s been avoiding him in the same amount of time. Yet here they were, stuck in one of the hospital’s emergency curtained chamber. She was squinting her eyes from the pain that still pierced her right foot and he was too shocked of what he saw that for a second he thought he was hallucinating.
A little nudge from the female doctor beside him finally broke off the awkward silence and took his mind back to the present time.
Kyuhyun cleared his throat as he walked closer towards her, took a rolling stool to sat on and rolled himself to the side of her feet that’s wounded. Seulri’s eyes still wide open and her pupils followed his movement in one fluid motion.
“So, Kang Seulri-ssi. Tell me what’s going on here.” He looked at her right foot and he could see some green glasses pieces still stuck to the flesh.
Kyuhyun tried his best to keep a straight face as if he didn’t want anyone in the room knew that he knew the patient he’s about to took care of and Seulri got the message from his stiff way to questioned her.
In the other hand, Seulri was froze still, she was certain that her heart forgot how to beat normally and something about the way he talked to her just brought some pain into her heart—the last time they spoke to each other, his tone was so calm and warming and the current situation was the complete opposite of that.
“Kang Seulri-ssi?” He asked one more time without looking into her face, “I can only do a procedure if I know what happened. And by the way, you’re right Jinae she definitely need some stiches.” He lifted his face from the wounded feet into the female doctor beside him.
“Told you, I sprayed some alcohol on it and the blood just keep on flowing.” She bent her back to give a closer look into the patient’s foot. Making her face only inches away from Kyuhyun’s. “Kang Seulri said that she accidentally stepped on broken glass.” The doctor lifted her face and looked into Seulri for confirmation.
Seulri nodded weakly, still consumed by her shock.
“Glass or soju bottle? It’s green pieces of glass here.” He replied coldly.
“Broken glasses.” Seulri answer shortly. “It was dark and I couldn’t see where I was going.”
He smirked, “Ever heard the invention called slippers?” He lifted his hand so the nurse could slip on the gloves for him.
She only looked down and exhale, they haven’t seen each other in six years and this is the kind of conversation they have to fill in those gaps. She didn’t complain much to the situation because she imagined it’d be even worse than this. She always imagined some yelling and arguing would be involved into their conversation when they met each other again. To saw that Kyuhyun was actually really calm about the situation somehow made her felt a bit at ease.
“Well, I’ll explain the procedure.” He put on his surgical mask and took the syringe prepared by the nurse. “You probably can’t see what’s really happening down here but let me tell you, it’s bad. The big pieces are easy to take out but our concern here are the little ones that nested in between your flesh. Therefore, I will numb you and slice open each cut to make sure nothing stuck in there. When it’s all clear I’ll stich you up again and we both can continue with our own life, understand?”
Seulri nodded and her heart sank a bit to his words that pressed in the part of continue with their own life, seemed to her he was trying to be professional but being witty at the same time. She already felt breathless before just by looking at him and now she had to imagine that bloody little operation he’d about to do to her and it’s sickening.
“I’ll begin now, do you want me to count?” Kyuhyun sat back on the stool and finally braced himself to lift his eyes to look into hers.
She shook her head, for her the counting would be a personal torture.
“You can lie down now if you don’t want to see.” Kyuhyun nodded. The way he uttered the words seemed different now. It’s almost sounded like he cared about the pain she’s about to take.
The female doctor and the nurse came closer towards her and hold her right leg firmly, she was confused on the purpose of their action at first but as Kyuhyun begin to pierced her skin with the syringe in order to numb her, Seulri knew it was necessary.
She jolted in pain but she couldn’t run away from it, she took every single numb shot Kyuhyun put on some points of her foot and all she could do was closed her eyes and withstand the pain as best as she could.
He took a peek into her expression in between the shots he’s giving her, the way Kang Seulri closed her face with her palm and the way she grimaced in pain bothered him more than he thought it would.
Kyuhyun had imagined for this day to come in the past six years, the day when they eventually see each other again. He always thought that he’d be the cool guy that pretend to be okay with her leaving, he’d put on a show that he was fine without Seulri and that he wasn’t affected at all with her lack of explanation. He promised himself that if he’d ever see her again, he’d play his part as the grown up man that’d pretend to be mature and wise so she’d see what she’s been missing while she’s away. He planned to tell her that he was completely okay without her and bunch of other lies he prepared to tell her for the sake of saving his face in front of her.
But she came to him tonight and both of them were caught off guard. She was as dumbfounded as he was and she really needed his help. As Kyuhyun continued to inject the drugs into her foot, his mind wandered to the time when he was doing this kind of treatment for her back then—the difference was he didn’t have any drugs and her wound would be from the act of her violent mother. He noticed that Seulri still tried to withstand the pain the way she always handled them, just closed her eyes and grimaced in pain as she willingly received her curing treatments. The sight of her bearing the pain hurt him still even up to that day.
If it’s any other patient, Kyuhyun would just swallow her explanation and take it as an accident, after all it sounded believable from every aspect. But he knew her and his image of her still locked into the image of her abusive mother, he believed that night Kang Seulri ended there had something to do with that woman.
“Kang Seulri-ssi, can you feel it?” He took a spatula and tapped on her foot repeatedly.
He looked up to her to see if she’s crying because her voice sounded like that, yet the look she gave him was more painful to looked at. She didn’t cry, she didn’t even shed any tear, she just stared at him with a gloomy look that seemed to be a default emotion she had on her face.
“I’ll begin the procedure now then.”
A beeping sound came from the female doctor, she took out her pager to read the command she received from the device, “Oppa, do you need me around? A new patient is coming in.”
“It’s okay, Jinae. I can do it alone or with the help of nurse Lee.” He smiled sweetly towards her.
Seulri felt like somebody grabbed her heart and squeeze it really hard for the sight of his smile. Oh how she missed seeing that warm expression of his, how much it used to calmed her and how much she loved tracing her finger into his beautiful face. It was enough for her just to saw him from this close distance but it also hurt her to noticed that the smile he had was no longer belonged to her.
“Kang Seulri-ssi, I’ll leave you in the good hand of my colleague. Don’t worry he’s a great surgeon.” The female doctor bid her goodbye to Seulri.
“Ne, thank you for your help doctor.” She replied awkwardly.
“I will give your paperwork to your guardian okay? also with the prescriptions you’ll receive from doctor Cho later.” She took the map containing Seulri’s information.
“Just give them to me doctor.” She responded quickly. “I don’t have a guardian.” She added with an awkward chuckle that was forced a bit too much.
Kyuhyun turned his head to look at her, “You came here with this wound alone?”
“Somebody helped and dropped me off, but it’s okay, I’m all conscious which means I can take care of the paperwork myself right?” She asked the female doctor.
“Sure, I’ll prepare them for you.” She nodded and leave the curtained space, leaving Seulri and Kyuhyun trapped with a nurse between them.
“Nurse Lee, prepare some pills for her to take later and why don’t you take care of her paperwork instead, I can take it from here.” Kyuhyun gave his command and the nurse obeyed him at once.
Even when they’re finally alone, none of them dared to talk. Kyuhyun was too overwhelmed by his mixed feelings over her and Seulri was too afraid to say anything.
For him, treating her wound probably was the kind of irritating blessing. He hated seeing her bleed out like that but if that wound was the thing that finally brought her back into his life, then he’d do what he can to get her better—just as he always did back then. If only Seulri knew how much he missed her.
He’s angry for what she’s done and over the years he had went through the emotional roller-coaster in between his choices to forgive her, to let it go, to be angry again and to curse her. Seeing her in front of him with such resigned expression on her face, with the wound he knew she didn’t get just by stepping on broken glass, and those dead-looking eyes that just looked through him, how could he ignore the only woman that ever mess with his heartbeat.
“Now it’s just us, you can tell me. Did your mother do this to you?” He finally spoke out his suspicion.
Seulri widened her eyes, it’s been a long time ago since anyone reminded her about her mother and of course Kyuhyun didn’t know what happened to her and her family.
“No, it was really an accident. Oemma had nothing to do with it.” She confirmed.
She’s still too afraid to say anything. It was her fault from every point of view. She was the one that left him, lied to him, betrayed him and broke all of her promises. None of her mistake was done voluntarily but he didn’t know that, and Seulri felt a lot better with Kyuhyun hating on her. That way, Seulri would be able to keep on hating herself and she didn’t have to cross her own boundary by thinking she might have a second chance with him.
“I’ll prescribe some pain killers, two antibiotics that you have to take three times daily and a pill to fasten blood clot.” He chose to stay on track on being professional with her.
She nodded, “Okay, thank you oppa.”
Just with that sentence, Kyuhyun felt like he’s suck into a time machine. His heart skipped a beat just by the way she called him that way. After all these time, Kang Seulri still managed to mess with his head and his heart.
“You can lie all you want but I know it’s soju bottle that pierced through here, didn’t make it any better for your wound. Tell you father to take care of you carefully, because I guarantee you’ll experience a fever as your body’s way to fight the bacteria that entered the wound on your way here.” He continued.
She bit her lips, tried to fight the urge to tell him that his suggestion would be hard to follow and that she would have to take care of her fever alone.
“I closed up your wound beautifully but it’s still prone to water, so this gauze I’m giving you meant to keep protect your foot from that kind of contact. When you take shower, cover your right foot with a shower cap or plastic bag okay?” He continued to explain to her.
The more he talked the more Seulri tried to fight back her own emotion. How could he be so cool and calm in front of her while she crumbled slowly in front of him.
“I’m done with the procedure. You can try to walk on your left foot and support the right one with a crutch.” He pushed himself away from her to give Seulri some space to try her steps.
She stepped on the floor and surprised that she couldn’t fell anything. “I think I’m fine.” She whispered.
“Of course you feel fine, the drug is still working.” He rolled his eyes. “Wait here, I’ll get the crutches and you can learn to use it, your life will depend on it for the next couple of weeks.”
She nodded and leaned back to the gurney as she watched his back that faded from her sight. Did she hear it right? Did Kyuhyun just nonchalantly talk to her as if nothing had happened between them? She expected anger from him yet Cho Kyuhyun treated her just like any other patient and his face didn’t even flinch while he tried to treated her earlier. A part of her was relieved, at least this way she didn’t have to explain how far life had taken her fate into the shameful being she was, but another part of her felt a bit disappointed with his reaction. If he could act cool about her abandonment that’d only mean that Kyuhyun had move on from her, it meant her absence meant nothing to him anymore and in some ways, it made her sadder than she thought she’d be.
“Seulri-ya. Did you hear me?” His voice broke her off her wandering mind.
“Ne?” She turned to look at him.
“Here, try this.” He offered two long crutches to her. “Support you weight by your pits at the top and use the handle only for gripping.”
She took the crutches from him and do as he said, tried to take few steps with her healthy foot supporting most of her body weight and surrender the rest of the step to the strength of her upper body.
“I think I can get used to this.” She said, “Thank you for your help, oppa.” She bowed a little.
He ignored the messy heartbeat inside his chest and just pointed the cashier to her as he gave him her receipts. “You know how to take care of it, right?”
She nodded and slowly took her steps towards the direction he pointed. “Thank you.” She took another step.
He didn’t plan to help her nor offered her to sit on a wheelchair while she’s still under his care, a little devil in him wanted to see her suffer. But the sight of Kang Seulri carefully took one step after another had made him questioned his own heart, would he really go that far just for the sake of giving her a lesson. She hurt his heart and he now hurt her physically, it wasn’t fair for his standard.
“Kang Seulri.” He called out her name and she glanced at him from her shoulder, “Shall I grab a wheelchair for you?”
She shook her head, “Gwenchana, I have to learn to use this anyway.” She took a deep breath as if she tried to say something important, but she hesitate to the idea all at once. “Sorry for the trouble I caused you, doctor. Thank you.” She bowed to him again and continued her walk into the cashier.
His jaw tightened to the way she addressed him, only later he realized that his girlfriend had return to his side, finished with the procedure she was asked to do. Oh Jinae clung onto his arm to took his attention away from the patient he just treated.
“Will she be okay, oppa?”
Kyuhyun nodded vaguely, “She looked like she’s strong enough to handle the pain earlier. I just wish her fever won’t last longer than a day with a wound that bad.”
He smiled forcefully towards Jinae then excused himself to change his scrubs. His shift was over when he was paged earlier, but his girlfriend asked him to help her stitch up her patient and he was just trying to be a good doctor and a good boyfriend. He scoffed loudly to his own thought, a good boyfriend, what kind of good boyfriend lied continuously to a girl that’s so faithful towards him.
Kang Seulri took her careful step one foot after another towards the taxi stand nearby the hospital. So much had happened to her that night and she didn’t even know where to begin reviewing the series of events that took place earlier. Her heart still beat uncontrollably fast and her breathing was rapidly increase whenever she remembered the look on his face tonight.
She took a good look into the hospital she just came out from, took a mental note that the place was his work place. “So you finally admitted into this place just as you dreamed back then.” She whispered to herself, “I always knew you’d be this great oppa.”
Seulri can feel her eyes got hotter the longer she stared into the building, she was overwhelmed by her own feelings. She’s proud of him for being able to follow the success path he once planned out for himself, she’s amazed by how great he turned out to be and how normal his life seemed to be just by a quick glance.
The familiar pain in her heart returned and all she wanted to do was cry, but she shed enough tears that she didn’t have any left to cry on. Ever since her melt down in Taecyeon’s apartment almost six years ago, Kang Seulri swore herself that she won’t ever cry for her silly fate anymore and she had lost her ability to cry these days, she’s numb to the pain that it had stopped bothering her.
She could ignore the pain in her heart, but not the pain in her foot that began to crawl into her senses. Kyuhyun was right after all, Seulri felt okay only because the drug was still working for her and the effect was about to be worn out. She approached the taxi stand and took a seat while waiting for a taxi to pass.
She stared into her gauzed foot and smiled weakly.
“Is this really the cost to see him?” She lifted her head up to the sky. “So I can see him and that’s it, isn’t it? you planned this and this is how it ended for me and him. You meet us in the perfect time, when his life goes as plan while mine sink into a bottomless pit, you really have great sense of humor.” She hissed to the sky.
A car pulled up in front of her and Seulri took her head back down, ready to stood up to get into the taxi she’s been waiting for.
Only it’s not a taxi, it’s Cho kyuhyun. He got out of his car and didn’t wait for her to stood up, he simply just placed one hand on her back and the other one behind her knees then he lifted her up without any struggle. Seulri automatically looked for her balance and she wrapped her arm around his neck while she’s still confused with the sudden lift she experiences. For a second her life seemed to be aligned in a perfect place again, she could hold him in her arms, she could feel the warmth of his body and she could inhale his scent that she’s been missing.
“So when you said somebody dropped you off, you really have no one to pick you up?” He mumbled in between his steps.
She was too surprised to answer correctly so she just nodded.
“So where do you live now?”
“Great, we’re heading to the same direction.” He carefully put her into the passenger seat then quickly grabbed the seatbelt and put it on for her. “Just show me the way.”
Full awkward silences filled the atmosphere in his car that night. Both had too many things to talk about yet none of them seemed to be able to find a right word to even begin a decent conversation, so he just drove the girl into the direction she pointed to,
Seulri silently enjoyed the treatment she got from him as she carefully wrapped her arms around his neck while Kyuhyun piggy back her into her home. If she could stop the time, she wished it’d be that night when her misled life suddenly got back in order again. She had to held her own desire to laid her head on his shoulder, she knew this was not a romantic act that he did for her, he did because she needed his help and Kyuhyun was always the good person that happened to help people in need.
“So you’re the one that moved into the rooftop house?” He panted between his breath as he climbed four stories and headed for the fifth.
“Ng, how do you know?”
“The landlord… informed all residents… yesterday.” He took his step slowly while catching for his breath, “That… a new… tenant will live… at the top house…”
“You live here?” She couldn’t hide her surprise.
He didn’t answer but nodded. They reached the last step and Kyuhyun put her down slowly as she reached in for her keys.
“You don’t have automated lock? Aish that’s not even save.”
“Nobody would do me any harm anyway.” She grabbed her key, put it into the keyhole and turned it open.
“Well, don’t take this gesture in a wrong way.” He said after she opened her door. “I just happened to pass in front of you and I knew not many taxi is on stand-by there around this hour.”
She nodded and smiled. “Ne, don’t worry about it. Thank you so much.”
Kyuhyun exhaled and took his steps away from her, he didn’t even look back when he shouted. “Don’t forget your pills, you’ll need it badly later tonight.”
 T. T. E: Trans-thoracic Echocardiogram, an ultrasound to look further into the heart chamber.