Category: Chapter, Angst, NC-21
Main Cast: Kang Seulri & Cho Kyuhyun
Supporting Cast: Ok Taecyeon
The T.E.E cart rolls toward the head surgeon and he waits no second longer to do a vital check on his patient. He immediately takes out the tube inserted in the incision on her throat and replace her breathing way straight from her mouth. Kyuhyun helps him by lifting Seulri neck a little to open the airway as the doctor inserts the airway management into her.
“You’ll breathe better this way.” Kyuhyun explain as Seulri’s eyes moving rapidly from left to right. “This is necessary also to get the small device to look into your heart chamber.”
She already had a hard time speaking and the piece they just inserted from her mouth now made it almost impossible. But Kyuhyun was right, she feels like she can breathe easier now.
“Preparing the T.E.E now.” The old doctor announces.
Kyuhyun takes his gaze away from her eyes and he took the little cable with little ultrasound device in the end towards her mouth.
“Seulri-ya, this will feel a bit uncomfortable.” He reminds her and doesn’t wait for her confirmation.
He put the device into her mouth, through her throat and observes his way into her inner esophagus from the camera attached at the end of the tube while the old doctor pays his careful attention to the ultrasound picture send from the little device.
“Heart chamber is fine, no bleeding and heart valves are okay.” the head surgeon reads out her ultrasound to the rest of the room.
“Persistent bradycardia, I don’t understand what the hell is happening here.” Kyuhyun curls his eyebrow in frustration.
What is happening to his girl, he tries everything he knows by the book and by what his sunbae taught him, but he can’t understand why Kang Seulri just keep on getting worse by the minute.
“Take the device out of her, we should do another check into the thorax.” The head surgeon commands him.
Kyuhyun obeys. He carefully takes out the long thin wire from her throat and he check her condition one more time, looking at her closely in order to give her some peace of mind.
“Seulri-ya, I’ll figure it out for you. You hear me? You’ll be save, I promise.” He takes his hand to hold hers one more time.
Only then he figured something in her eyes.
“Check her pupils doctor!” Kyuhyun almost shout, “Her right pupil is blown, damn it! we need neurosurgeon right now!”
The head doctor takes his place on the top of her head, he spreads open her eyes and he knew Kyuhyun was right. Those time they took to take care of her internal bleeding was wasted, Kyuhyun was right from the first time, it’s the wound in her head they really need to take care of.
“Page your college again, she needs to be open up right now!”
Kyuhyun nods and ready to take his steps out of the operating room but Seulri gives all the strength that’s left in her to hold on into his hand as her way of begging him not to leave.
“Seulri-ya, it’s important. I have to call him, you need my sunbae right now.” He tries to explain to her.
Seulri is persistent and her hand still holds him as hard as she could, her gaze started to get blurry and she just wants him to be beside her. She feels like this is it, this is her time and this is her last chance to say goodbye.
A tear that falls from the corner of her eyes sinks his heart. Kyuhyun takes out his phone and gives it to the nurse behind him. “Please do me a favor and call the last number I dialed, I can’t leave her.”
The nurse took his phone with her and excuse herself from the operating room. While the rest of the doctors that’s in the room takes their seat one-by-one on the rolling chair provided. They know that at this point they can only wait for the neurosurgeon to arrive because there’s nothing else they can do for Seulri.
“Hey, I’m still here.” Kyuhyun takes his seat back next to her as he starts whispering, his tears fall freely from his eyes, “I think I figured out what’s wrong with you.”
Of course you figured it out, you’re a great doctor oppa. She blinks and tries to smile although it was impossible with the breathing tube inside her mouth.
“Seulri-ya, you’re the strongest person I’ve ever known in my life and I know you’re tired fighting your endless battle. But please fight this last one for me, because I can only help you by doing these procedures. This is the fight that you have to go through yourself, but I promise if you survive this I’ll go with you for whatever wait in front of you—in front of us. So you have to stay strong for both of us now, do you understand?” He takes her hand and kisses it repeatedly.
Seulri grabs into his hand and squeeze it three times in a weak yet firm squeezes, delivering her heart content into him.
Kyuhyun understands her, it’s always their way to say it to each other. Usually this gesture will make him smile widely but he’s too afraid that it’s her way of saying goodbye to him. After all it’s not the first time he witnesses a dying patient on the operating table, her body language, the shine in her eyes that starts to face and the resigned stare she keeps on giving him—he knew it all too well.
“You promised to do your best tonight, remember? You can’t break that promise to me.” He presses his tone.
She squeezes his hand three times again, she doesn’t care about anything at the moment. What she wants is for Kyuhyun to understand that no matter how far her life has gone astray and no matter how deep he had hurt her, she still loves him and she always will.
Kyuhyun shakes his head in desperation, “Please, Seulri-ya.”
She continues to squeezes his hand three times repeatedly and he replies her squeezes the same way she did to him.
“I love you too, I never stopped loving you Seulri-ya. Allow me to fix our future, I’ll leave everything behind me if that can make you stay. Please.” He starts sobbing uncontrollably.
I’m fighting my best now oppa, I’m trying. She whispers in her heart.
Kyuhyun went back and forth in the hospital changing room, he supposed to take his girlfriend out for lunch but his mind was occupied with something—someone—else at the moment. Last night he drove Kang Seulri into her home, piggy-back her into the fifth floor where her rooftop house was located and made sure that she closed the door behind her securely before he went home.
Yet something bothered him.
He expected her father to open the door for her or welcomed her, but her house was dark before she came in and it only meant one thing—she lived alone. If she lived alone that meant nobody was taking care of her at the moment, while he was sure that she’ll catch fever from the wound she got.
Kyuhyun took his seat on the long bench in the middle and dialed a number, he placed the phone closer to his ear and waited.
“Are you busy now?” He cut to the chase.
“Preparing myself for my class, why?” She sounded like she’s in a rush.
“Cho Ahra, you’re one of the loveliest person that I’ve ever known, do you know that?” He talked cutely to his sister.
“What do you want?”
“Do me a favor, could you please go to the rooftop house in our place?” He asked nicely.
“Why would I do that?” She replied with a cynical tone.
“Because you’re a good person and somebody in that house might need you to check on her. Please, I just need to make sure that she’s okay. I’ll buy you first grade meat in return.” He bargained with his little sister.
“So the rooftop house is occupied now?” The sound of his sister opened up their front door was clear in his ear. “I didn’t know it was for rent, if I knew I’d rent it out for myself instead of living with you.”
“Ey, you really know how to break your brother’s heart.” He ticked his tongue, “Are you there yet?”
“Ng, what should I do now?” She sounded like she’s catching her breath.
“Knock on the door and wait for the tenant to get out.”
Cho Ahra did what he asked and continued to do that three more times, “No one answered oppa.”
“Is there any window open?”
“What are you suggesting now Cho Kyuhyun?”
“Just check, I wonder if she’s at home or not.”
“Since when you become a creepy stalker?” Cho Ahra rounded the house and noticed a small window was open. “It’s your lucky day, the window is open.”
“Take a peek inside will you? Or just shout to attract attention, who knows she’ll open the door.”
“Oh my God oppa, I see somebody’s lying on the bathroom floor!” She shrieked in panic all at once.
Kyuhyun got up from his seat and walked in circle to release the panic he felt inside. “Can you get through that little window Ahra?”
“I think I can squeeze myself in but it’ll be consider as breaking and entering isn’t it?” She hesitated.
“Or it’ll be breaking and saving her life, get in there I’m on my way.” He opened his locker to grab his jacket and car key.
He ran through the corridors and quickly get into his car, already forgotten about his lunch date with his own girlfriend. Kyuhyun put the gear on ‘drive’ and he navigated his way as fast as he could to get into their house.
Just last night he figured out that Kang Seulri that he’s been looking for in the past six years lived in the same building as he was. He remembered his landlord informed all tenant that he’s renting the rooftop house and that somebody would move in within the week, but never in his wildest dream he’d expect the one to live there would be his Seulri.
His Seulri. He scoffed to the thought, even after all these time he still considered her as his most important person.
Kang Seulri had done the cruelest thing to him, she charmed her way into his heart, made him fell helplessly in love with her and then she broke his heart without any explanation. Last night ride from the hospital to her home was dominated by awkward silences since none of them dared to open a conversation. In his deepest mind, he wished Seulri to instantly beg for his forgiveness, he always thought the first sentence that’d come out from her when they see each other again would be her explanation on why she left. Yet she kept her silent and Kyuhyun didn’t want to look too desperate in front of her, so he tried to keep his cool by drove his car silently.
Fifteen minutes later he pulled up into the driveway in the little building, he got off and climbed five stories in instant then he rang the bell while he’s catching his breath.
Thuds of steps heard from behind the door and his sister’s face showed up not long after. “That was fast!” She said impressed.
Kyuhyun got himself into the rooftop house to the direction his sister showed him.
“It’s Seulri oenni.” She mumbled beside him as Kyuhyun reached the bathroom where her body laid helplessly on its floor. “You finally found her oppa, why didn’t you tell me?”
He could instantly tell why she fell into her bathroom floor, seemed like Seulri used the crutches to support her weight while she tried to get in—or out—and the wet floor was too slippery for the feet of her crutches. Add a fever and massive pain from the wounded foot, Kyuhyun was sure that’s the reason Seulri now passed out on the wet floor.
He glanced quickly to his sister and smiled weakly, “I just knew last night.”
She nodded and patted his back, “Do you need help to move her?”
“It’s okay, you have class to be at right? I’ll take care of her from here.” Kyuhyun placed his hand on his sister’s shoulder, “Thank you for staying with her until I got here.”
Ahra nodded and she excuse herself to go to her campus, leaving Kyuhyun and Seulri alone.
He leaned closer to her, placed his one hand under her soaked back and the other one under her knees to lift her from the bathroom floor. Kyuhyun carefully placed her on top of her bed and he ran his hands to the shirt she was wearing to check how drenched her outfit was.
“Who told you to be smart enough to use the crutches into the wet bathroom floor, Seulri-ya?” He mumbled then got from his position to look around her house to find where she put her clothes.
He noticed a little drawer next to the bathroom door, took a peek inside and relived because he found what he needed. Kyuhyun walked back to her, quickly took off her wet sleeping dress and changed her into a dry one. It’s strange how he never felt awkward doing little stuff like this for her, he had to think several times before he held his own gilrfriend’s hand but when it comes to Kang Seulri everything felt so natural to him.
He then filled a little basin with warm water to dab a little warm towel along her damped feverish body. His hand worked automatically as he slipped her hair behind her ears, caressed her reddish face that felt too hot for now and he pulled the blanket closer to her shoulders.
“I told you, somebody should take care of you.” He hissed to her from the corner of his mouth. “You could’ve just told me that you live alone, aish Kang Seulri!”
He then reminded about the wound on her feet, Kyuhyun gave a quick look into it and he’s relieved because at least Seulri took his words into account when he said to cover her foot in plastic bag.
He places the towel on her forehead and finally felt at ease that he’s done what he needed to do to lower her fever, all he needed to do was wait until she woke up. Kyuhyun sat on the floor with his back leaned against her bed frame and his eyes began to travel from one corner of her room to another.
She lived in a small place that’s enough to shelter two people, most of her stuffs were still in the box that piled up in one corner and Kyuhyun was sure that Seulri didn’t really use the kitchen since the only available utensil on the sink was a little mug. He ran his gaze around and piles of things stacked near the bookshelves grabbed his attention.
Kyuhyun stood up to approached the kitchen. He prepared a glass of water for her to drink down her medicine that she’d need to take once she’s conscious. He continued to study the place she lived in and his eyes fixed on her collection of stuffed plushies he used to get for her from the claw machine. As he looked into the plushies one by one, fragments of memories hit him with no mercy. He remembered each and every one he got for her, he remembered how hard he tried to impress her back then and he remembered how big her smile was whenever he gave her his new catch.
His eyes felt hot all the sudden, he can’t remember the last time he felt this melancholic over a memory of her. Kyuhyun glanced into her from his shoulder, the girl he loved still slept peacefully while struggling with her fever. Then he noticed a picture frame next to her, it seemed too familiar for him but he had to brought the frame really close to his face to really believe what he saw. He put down the glass of water he prepared for her and lifted the frame into his face, noticed that it was their picture taken on his birthday six years ago.
A faint smile drew on his face to the beautiful memory he had of that day, he couldn’t remember ever received such treasured gift as precious as the gift she gave him that day. He could still remember the nervous shine in her eyes, her smile that shone bright when she gave him her all and how she innocently said that she belonged to him until the end of their time. It was a beautiful memory for him that surprisingly hurt him so much just by remembering it. The girl that laid on the bed now seemed like a whole different person and he wasn’t sure on what really changed from her—and it bothered him more than he expected.
“Ng, it hurts..” She mumbled in her sleep, took his attention away from the picture in his hand.
Kyuhyun put the frame down and sat on the edge of her bed, dabbed the towel on her forehead towards her sweaty neck. “Are you awake?”
Seulri blinked one time, two times and several other times to get a clear vision of what’s in front of her. she must have been dreaming, last night she had a wonderful dream of being piggy-back ride by the one that she loved and now that person was right in front of her.
She lifted her hand and used her fingers to touch his forehead and continued to trace his face towards his chin. Then she smiled, a smile that she could finally relate to how a smile should be, not just a forced curve on her face to make her look prettier.
“I had a dream about you yesterday oppa.” She whispered while Kyuhyun just stared blankly into her, “You carried me back home in my dream and now you appeared again, why it seemed so real?”
He was too stunned to replied, why Kang Seulri acted like this? why she acted as if Kyuhyun was the one that left her behind while the fact was the other way around.
“I think I’m going crazy.” She scoffed softly, “or is it the dizziness in my head that produced a beautiful illusion of you?”
He felt his eyes got hotter just by listening to her words. Why her words sounded so sad and painful to him?
“I miss you.” She whispered and smiled weakly.
Kyuhyun touched her hand that’s on his face and use his other hand to touched her cheek, how come his anger just vanished to the sight of her innocent smile. Here it came again, his messy heartbeat he got every time he saw her smile. Seemed like all she need to do is smiled that sweet smile to him and he’d take her back in his arm anytime, just as a well-known song by Dolly Parton described.
“How do you feel Seulri-ya?” His voice became raspy from his restrained cry.
She turned her head to the side before she tried to get herself up by supported her upper body weight into her elbow. Kyuhyun helped her to get up and he piled her pillow to the backrest so she could lay on her back comfortably.
“I told you to drink your pills yesterday, didn’t I?” He took the glass of water he prepared for her and offered her all the medicines he prescribed last night. “Drink these one-by-one.”
She’s still confused and her head still felt heavy but she just followed what he asked.
“Do you live alone?” He questioned his curiosity.
“Where’re your parents? Don’t you have anyone to call to help you with your invalid foot for a while?” He wasn’t ready to hear her answer but he asked anyway.
“Oppa.” She lifted her hand again to touch him. “Are you real?”
He scoffed and messed with her hair, “I am.”
“I sent you home last night, remember?” A smile formed on his face, “Did I drugged you that much yesterday?”
Seulri could feel her heart beat faster with his face being only several inches away from her. “Why you’re here? I thought you’re mad at me.”
He bit his lips and nodded, “I thought so. But you’re so weak and alone, I couldn’t leave you now can I? Go take some more rest, I gave you the drowsy kind of pills.” He pulled her blanket closer to her to tucked underneath her body. “Next time, don’t use the crutches while you’re in the bathroom. You were lucky Ahra saw you laid on the bathroom floor. And I have to apologize in advance to you, I had to changed you into the dry clothes you’re wearing now, sorry about that.”
Her jaw dropped in disbelieve. This man in front of her held no grudges over her abandonment, instead he returned to her side and took care of her, but what scratched a new wound in her heart was the fact that he had to apologize for taking off her clothes that he did for her own sake. If there’s anyone who’s more entitled of her being, it would be Cho Kyuhyun, yet he was the only one that still treated her with such respect she had long forgotten.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” He pinched her cheek. “Close your eyes and get some more rest.”
She opened her mouth ready to say something to him, but Kyuhyun beaten her to it.
“I will still be here when you open your eyes, please take your rest now Seulri-ya.” He tapped her head and messed with her hair for some more.
Seulri closed her eyes but not long after that she opened them up again, just to make sure that Kyuhyun was still in his place and unmoved. He hasn’t change his position at all, but he stared into the picture frame beside her bed with so many questions in his eyes.
“I put that next to my bed so I can always see your face when I open my eyes.” She whispered softly.
Kyuhyun felt a familiar pain in his heart, it’s bittersweet for him to hear her say that. He might need a lot of explanations from her later. Why she left? Why she didn’t come to find him? What happened to her? How’s her life went by so far? Did she get her degree in natural science, the way she used to dream yet? But instead of bombarded her with those question, Kyuhyun just swallowed his pain and smiled sweetly towards her.
“I heard that bullshit before.” He chuckled, “I taught you how to say it that way.”
Seulri smiled, “I know. But it’s true.” She started to get the effect of the drugs Kyuhyun just gave her as she felt her eyes got heavier, Seulri closed her eyes and in between her consciousness she mumbled, “One look at it each day is enough dosage for me to keep on breathing.”
He’s done fighting his yearning towards her.
He’s touched by her charm all over again, with the simple words that she mumbled, Kyuhyun forgotten about his current life, he forgotten about his responsibility over his own girlfriend that waited for him to pick her up for lunch, he forgotten his pain that she created in the last six years of his life. What mattered to him was only her serene sleeping face that looked as beautiful as he remembered.
Kyuhyun leaned in closer and planted a soft yet deep kiss on her forehead, just like that he felt like he just entered the time machine and suddenly they’re in their teenage year again, all reckless and in love—as if nothing could break them apart.
 Slow heart rate