(Eng.) Final Call – [Embrace It While It Lasts]

 

Author: Ssihobitt

Category: Chapter, Angst, NC-21

Main Cast: Kang Seulri & Cho Kyuhyun

Supporting Cast: Ok Taecyeon

His job in the O.R probably looks like the most useless one, since several other doctors are busy moving their feet all around the critical patient to provide the neurosurgeon with every tool he needed. Cho Kyuhyun just had to sit next to her and keep talking to her, keeping her awake and somehow pumping up her spirit if that’s still possible.

It should be an easier task if he doesn’t know the patient, it’ll be strictly professional if the girl he’s trying so hard to get the attention from is not the person that he loves. Maybe if he doesn’t let his affection over her stands in between them, Kyuhyun could sit coolly while continuously report back to his sunbae about her reflexes.

But just earlier she lost movement control over her right body part and his sunbae is working hard to fix the matter as fast as he could, before it goes even further. Now the hand he’s holding begin to tremble out of control, not because she’s scared, not because she’s cold, but because the same reason she lost control over her body movement.

Kyuhyun squeeze her hand tighter, still try his best to put on a great act to tell her that she’s alright while he knows her chance now has decrease to less than fifty percent.

He bit his lips so hard to hold his tears from falling, Seulri shouldn’t see him falling apart slowly in front of her. He should make her believe in the work of miracle, a miracle he wished could happen at least once in her life.

“Seulri-ya, can you still hear me?” His voice becomes squeaky.

Seulri squeezes his hand in between her tremor.

“Good.” He runs his other hand to her cheek, caress her skin softly while ignoring the traces of dried blood that left in there. “You’re doing really good, Seulri-ya. I’m so proud of you.”

Her eyes sparkles just with his words, when’s the last time somebody said that to her?

“I know you’re the best girl I could ever get.” He kisses her hand, “You’re somebody with the purest heart I ever found and you’re the only person that ever loved me this way, I’m sorry I took you for granted.”

She squeezes his hands three times.

“I love you too Seulri-ya.” He replies. “Give me a chance to make it up to you, please.”

She blinks, she’d be very delighted to do that for him.

He smiles at her, wondering if she could survive if he pleads harder to her. She used to plead him to stick around her and he gave in to their longing of each other. It was probably the worst decision they could make at the time but looking back into that night, Kyuhyun never regret his choice. With their stupid deed, Kyuhyun and Seulri managed to buy themselves more time to be with each other, they could re-live the life they used to have and he could love her without having any hesitation.

Those times probably was the time that he considered as his dream, because it was too short yet so beautiful. But back then, he had so much to lose, there are too many things at stake in his hands and one wrong move could drag him down and away from his dream.

Tonight however, Cho Kyuhyun got a revelation.

She’s dying slowly in front of him and yet she still has some strength left in her to repeatedly tell him how much she loves him. Nobody ever dedicates their life to him the way she does and only tonight he really understands the depth of her pain from his awful revenge he did a week ago.

He can’t let her go this way, not before he makes her as happy as she made him, not until she feels the kind of love she always showers unconditionally for him, not until she understands that she’s actually worth his whole world.

Because tonight, Cho Kyuhyun dares to leave out all that he owns: his reputation, his family, his career, his future, and his dreams. He would leave all those as long as he could live in the same world with the girl—and the only girl—he’d ever want to spent his life and beyond with.

***

Kang Seulri and Cho Kyuhyun probably were the best couple that managed to handle their life in denial very well. She could have positioned herself very well in the awkward status they have, she could pretend that she wasn’t affected when his girlfriend called him during their dates and she could lock herself in her house very well whenever his family come visit their children downstairs.

She had enough struggles in her life and that made Seulri be a better pretender when it came to being happy and this mindset had helped her to erase any guilt left towards Oh Jinae. Seulri believed she entitled to Kyuhyun as much as Jinae did and she let her selfishness consumed the little conscience she still has left.

While she was doing her best act to ignore his family, Kyuhyun continuously tried to explain to his parents that he wasn’t ready to get married or be involved in anything serious with Jinae. He wanted his family to respect his decision and be open minded enough to acknowledged whoever woman he chose later. His father could accept his argument but his mother still believed that Jinae was the best woman he could ever get.

As for Cho Ahra, she had to stand in between Kyuhyun and their parents. She knew very well about his affair with Seulri and somehow Ahra preferred her brother to be with the girl that he loves rather than with the perfect woman their mother kept on insisting to him. Ahra suggested Kyuhyun to just really take matter into his own hand, go to the USA and break up with Jinae and immediately officiate his relationship with Seulri—but they both know it’s easier said than done.

Immorality asides, the couple were actually living the time of their life. The world seemed to be in order again for both of them. Ever since they got back together, Kyuhyun always have a reason to rush from the hospital to go home. He knew Seulri was arranging her schedule to match his and it resulted in more time they could spend with each other. Most of the nights they would just cuddle or Seulri would sat still in his place, watched the TV while Kyuhyun laid his head on her thigh as he read his thick medical books. This was the kind of relationship they had back then, they didn’t have to go on fancy dates every weekend, she never demanded him to go see a new movie, and he also never asked her to dressed up properly for any important occasion. Spending times in the comfort of a home was always their ideal date of options

One day during winter, Cho Ahra came home with four coupon tickets she got from her professor for getting the highest score in one of her classes. She suggested the three of them and her boyfriend to go on a double date before the ticket expired. Seulri and Kyuhyun laughed to the idea, the amusement park could be a good idea but a double date with a couple that ten years younger than them sounded too ridiculous in their ear. Ahra however, managed to convinced them that she and her boyfriend would stay away from the couple, she just wanted to have fun together with her brother.

After some schedule arrangements, they finally came on an agreement to go to the amusement park a day before Christmas. It’s not the best time obviously since each of them had to visit their own parents in the same night, yet it’s the only time they have available before the coupon ran out on new year.

The last time Seulri and Kyuhyun went to an amusement park was during his farewell to the university. They were so young and naïve back then but they both knew how to have fun.

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pict belongs to Goong Sooah & Byun Jeongha from Stylenanda

“What should we do in here?” He asked Seulri as they got themselves into the park.

Seulri studied the park map, “I want to hop on one of these thing.” She pointed a merry-go-round.

He laughed, “How old are you?”

“Just because a child in you died, doesn’t mean the same thing happen to me.” She rolled her eyes and pulled his hand to the direction she thought was right according to the map.

“Shall I hug you from behind like all the cheesy couple?” He teased her.

“No,” She chuckled, “but you can pretend to have fun with me while we’re here.”

“I am having fun.” He took his hand away from her then rounded his arm around her shoulder, “Every second I spend with you is fun.”

“Cih, here we go again.” She laughed, “Oppa, since when you’re becoming a man with cheesy lines like this?”

“Since I knew you.” He pecked her temple. “You bring out the cheesy guy in me.”

“There’s the thing!” She ignored him and pointed to the ride she was looking for. “Do you want to come or you just want to wait on that bench?”

“I’m coming with you.” He decided.

For the next few rides he just kept on following wherever she wanted to go, she’s the queen in his life and he realized it’s been a long time since he took her out for something as fun as this. He silently agreed with her, during the time they’re busy growing up and taking responsibilities, Kyuhyun had forgotten to have fun like a kid does. He couldn’t really remember the last time he laughed freely while doing silly things the way he’s been doing it lately whenever she’s around.

To Kyuhyun, Seulri had brought back a piece of his heart that he forgotten existed, he learned to smile again, he learned to be a genuine person after her return, he once again reminded how painful his stomach could get from laughing so hard by doing things he used to consider silly. Only Seulri managed to bring the best out of him and he’s been using that excuse as his solid justification of his silent affair. He deserved to be happy too, right?

“Oppa, get me one of those!” Seulri grabbed his hand and pointed to the claw machine in the game arcade.

He grinned playfully. “One plushy for one kiss.”

“I’ll give you more than that.” She bargained with a naughty look on her face.

“Aish, it’s not the right place to seduce me, Seulri-ya.” Kyuhyun messed her hair.

“So you don’t want more?” She laughed and pinched his cheek. “Come on, get me that’s bunny.” She pointed to the plushy inside the claw machine.

“Deal, one plushy for ‘something more’.” He lifted both of his hands and made a quoting gesture in his words.

“Kol.” She agreed.

Kyuhyun reached out into his pocket to get some coins. “I haven’t done this in years by the way. The last one I got was the one I gave you, so I might rot in skill.”

“I believe you’re still as great.” She encouraged him.

Kyuhyun began to put in the coins in the machine and the moment the claw moved, the world around him became silent. It’s just him, the machine and the bunny plushy he aimed for.

Seulri took out her phone to record his game-face that looked super intense into a video. His mouth pouted, his eyes focused on the price and his eyebrow curled as if he’s concentrating on something as important as saving someone’s life. She often took his pictures and videos in silent this way. It’s her way to keep his memory along with her, because no matter how great she was with her denial, Kang Seulri knew there will come the time when she had to say goodbye to the great man in front of her, and those memories in pictures and videos would be the only evidence left of their happiness.

“Aiiiish!” He slammed the machine when the plushy he got earlier fell down.

Kyuhyun turned his head to look into Seulri, “Are you recording this? Seriously?”

She nodded, “Go on oppa. Try again.” She cheered from behind her camera phone.

Kyuhyun put in the second coin to do his second attempt. His face got more intense than before, one reason was because he failed the first try and the other reason was because Seulri capturing this moment in her phone.

He got her the bunny she wanted on the second try, Kyuhyun proudly took the plushy from the container below and handed it to Seulri with a huge grin on his face. “There you go, my dear Seulri. Now give me a kiss.” He tapped his lips with his fore finger.

Seulri grabbed the plushy from him and land a soft kiss on his lips just as he asked. “Gomawo.”

“Anything else that I can get for you?” He took the phone from her hand and recorded her happy face as she admired her new plushy.

“Well, since you asked. That hedgehog plushy looks cute also, I haven’t had a hedgehog in my collection.” She put on her aegyo face to him while pointing to another claw machine.

Kyuhyun stopped the recording in her phone and walked towards the machine she meant, ready to grab another plushy to make the love of his life stayed happy the way she was that moment.

.

.

.

Fun was over. The siblings were headed to their parents’ house and Seulri left alone in her house with the fake plan she made up in the last minute. How has it been for her since the last time she visited her father? She wasn’t even sure that her father missed her at all or if he still remembers her.

The man has been her other reason to kept fighting her miserable life no matter how hard it seemed for her. Even when she was ready to cut her own wrist few years ago, the thought of her father being alone without anyone supporting or taking care of him has somehow stopped her from continuing her awful plan—him and the other man that breathe in happiness in her life lately.

In the end Seulri considered visiting her father as a real option of things she should do, it’s Christmas after all and she should be with the only family she has left. She bought some breads for him along the way and brought it with her and got herself to his father’s house by bus, only took her thirty minutes to reach the place where they first lived when they arrived in Seoul.

She walked the path she used to went through during high school, took her time to sit in the park where Kyuhyun and her used to spent their time after school and reminisced the beauty of the simplicity of her life back then. If she could redo it all over again, she’d rather have her abusive mother still throwing fist at her compare to the time after she’s gone. For some reasons she knew that her debt would break the family apart but at least it won’t cause that much damaged to Seulri and her father.

When the day got dark, she finally took her steps into her father’s house. She had prepared herself for the worst case scenario that he always shown her, but it didn’t mean she never hope that a miracle could happen one day and he’d remember her again somehow.

She braced herself before she pressed the bell in the front door, took a deep breath and put on a big smile on her face. Waited for somebody to open the door for her.

The door was open and a young woman peep from the inside, her face lightens up once she saw Seulri was the one behind the door.

“Oenni, how are you?” She greeted her.

Seulri put on a bigger smile and got herself into the house. “I’m good.”

She took off her shoes and handed some breads she bought earlier to the young lady.

“I’m sorry, Sora-ssi. You’re supposed to be with your family for Christmas, instead of looking out for appa.” She bowed slightly to her father’s social worker.

“It’s okay oenni, it’s my job and I will have my long leave later in June anyway.” She grinned.

“Is appa doing okay?” She entered further into the house while her head looked all around.

“He’s resting in his room now. Do you want me to tell him that you’re here?”

She shook her head, “Let’s not make a scene tonight, I don’t want to trouble you later on when you have to calm him down.” She smiled bitterly.

The place was exactly how she remembered it, a dimmed living room with traditional house feels, with a TV on one corner stuffed in between two bookcases filled with old newspapers. The little table in the middle has changed into a high dining table which she bought to adjust her father’s need, since the man had to constantly move around in his wheelchair. Some pictures on the walls were displayed the way it used to be, if a guest come over, she was sure they would think that nothing had happened or changed in the household—while the truth was so far from that.

“Yesterday he forced me to put on your high school uniform again, he said it’s time for you to go to school and do the important exam.” Sora walked towards Seulri’s old room to take out a little notebook to give to Seulri.

She took the note from her hands and took her time to read Park Sora’s report regarding her father’s daily progress. From the first day Sora worked in the house, Seulri had asked her to write down his progress, his words, and every little thing he did like a diary. Seulri was afraid that she missed out on his development and she knew her father talked a lot to Sora. This was her way, so Seulri could feel like she joined their conversation through the diary Sora written down every day.

“Omo, did he told you to cut your hair also?” She pointed to one of the notes Sora wrote.

Sora nodded, “But I said that I got bored with short hair and I wanted to try something new. Ah, and he gave me something few weeks ago, he said he planned to keep it as your graduation gift but he’s too excited to wait for that time.”

Seulri gave her a quick nod and took her seat on the corner of the living room to continued reading the diary in her hand. She inhaled deeply while taking in all the essence she could from the most memorable place she could call home.

From all the pictures that displayed on the wall there, the only picture that weren’t put up are the pictures with Kang Seulri in it.

Since his accident, her father has slowly entered stages of dementia caused by the minor damage in his brain that he got from the impact. The first time they knew about this problem was about four years post his accident. That morning Seulri was waken up from the glass breaking sound her father did, she hurried herself to see what’s going on and turned out her father was throwing the pictures on the wall—any picture with Seulri in it.

He then accused her as the cause that he lost his wife and his only daughter, he made a lot of scene and he hurt himself and Seulri during the time she tried to calm him down. That day probably the first time she felt so helpless, seeing her father didn’t recognize her as his own daughter. She called Hyukjae for help that day and couple of doctor’s appointments later she figured out that the accident happened years ago had affected him slowly.

She survived to live in the same house as he was for another year, received his tantrum whenever his dementia attacked him. What began as a seldom episode had turned into a monthly reoccurrence, then weekly, and finally it attacked him daily. Seulri tried to find a solution to this and paid a lot of money she didn’t have to get the best doctor to cure her father. That’s when they met Park Sora, a social worker that volunteered in the hospital. Her father immediately recognized the girl as Seulri, he acted all nice and kind towards the girl and he kept telling her to go home with him.

It took them some time to get through the paperwork needed to get a social worker in the house but finally Park Sora officially assigned to look after Kang Sooha, while Seulri was busy looked out for another place for her to move out. Her father hated the sight of Seulri and he wanted the monster that ruined his family to leave the house, so that was exactly what she did.

“Oenni, here you go.” Sora approached her and took a seat next to Seulri, “He said it’s supposed to be your good luck charm.”

Seulri took the little necklace Sora handed her, a gold necklace with paper crane-shape pendant. Her heart clenched as always whenever it came to her father and how sweet the man still treated her through Sora. Maybe he didn’t treat Seulri the way he supposed to, but he treated Sora—the one he thought was Seulri—very well.

“It’s beautiful.” She said with a squeaky voice.

“You should take it oenni, it was meant for you.” Sora caressed her arm.

Seulri nodded and forced a smile on her face. “Is there anything else I should know?”

Sora leaned her head to the wall behind them, recalling her memories. “Hmm, he kept on telling me to study real hard if I still aim for that university that I want. He also told me to keep my game on so that I can do well in life and won’t be an embarrassment later on when Kyuhyun oppa’s family propose to him.” She cleared her throat, “Who’s Kyuhyun oppa, oenni?”

Seulri felt like someone just punched her on her gut. “He said that to you? He remembered him?”

Sora nodded, “He even asked why Kyuhyun oppa hasn’t visit him for so long.”

Seulri bit her lips, tried to channel her pain into something more physical. So her father still remembered her big goal to get into a university, he still remembered her silly dream of becoming Kyuhyun’s wife, he even still remembered Kyuhyun, it’s just Seulri that he forgotten.

Their conversation interrupted by the sound of Kang Sooha calling out Seulri’s name. Both girls immediately got up from their seat and Sora approached his room. “Ne, appa?”

“Help me out, I want to watch TV.” His tired voice came from the inside.

Seulri didn’t need a commando, she quickly grabbed her shoes and ran through the back door to vanished from the living room. The last time she appeared in front of her father, he threw the nearest plate next to him to send her away. Seulri didn’t need that kind of shock therapy for today, she just wanted to visit her father and see how the man had been doing these days.

She ducked her head when Sora pushed him out of his room into the mid part of the living room, put on the lock on his wheelchair then threw a blanket on his lap to keep him warm.

Seulri felt like she’s ready to cry right there, but no matter how sad she got her tears just wouldn’t come out. The sight of her great father being so helpless always scratched a pain in her heart but what hurt even more was the fact that she couldn’t be the one that took care of him.

She wanted to do it, be the one that helped him prepared himself every day, have small talks with him, cook for him, accompany him to watch his favorite TV show or just simply be beside him to have a father-daughter moment while her father caressed her hair the way he did to Park Sora at the moment. She was willing to take any kind of tantrum he could throw at her whenever he entered one of his episode, but the doctors kept telling her that it’s bad for his health if he continuously being angry—so one more time she had to make a sacrifice for her father, and that meant she should accept the painful sight in front of her.

Seulri held the little note book and necklace Sora handed her earlier, she planned to spend her Christmas night by reading her father’s words and advices that Sora had kindly written into the book. This was the only way Seulri still feel a little bond with her own father.

tbc…

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4 thoughts on “(Eng.) Final Call – [Embrace It While It Lasts]

  1. gaemaker says:

    It’s always hard for me to feel emotional when it comes to Seulri and her father. Eventhough I’m more like my father, we never have that bond like I have with my Mother.. but having the only family left, I can’t feel how seulri would feel here. It’s just heart breaking.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Seo HaYeon says:

    I changed my expression as fast as read this part! it could be happy and seconds then so sad. I was so delighted imagine Kyu’s expression when he played the game to catch bunny and hedgehog, But it’s like someone pinched my heart when the words “Fun was Over” then replaced with her another sorrow episode! You did The Best way to organize this story, eonni author…! Really good-great-job! Love U! 😀 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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