Chapter 00: Timing

So, I guess the two of us weren’t enough to stop it all from happening.

You could say that we were strangers, at first, but then we crossed paths quite expectedly.

For the two of them, it was one of the worst and inhumane places to be at the hospital: psychotherapy. All of their secrets would be unearthed with a sharp shovel and dumped into a bucket, their infamous beige folders. 

“How are you feeling today, Jihyo?” Dr. Kim Jinmo asked as his hand clutched tightly to the blue ballpoint pen. Jihyo’s eyes were fixated upon his pen. She was sure that that pen was worth over $200 at least; it never bored her to find the new objects that Dr. Kim had or the new clothes that he wore. In fact, she had seen him too many times that she could probably list out his tie collection. 

“You’ve got to talk, Jihyo,” his grip became tenser. “In order to move on, you must talk.”

A slight smile formed. There was no need for her to talk. He had told her so many times that it was imperative for her to talk and even if this were so, she was speechless every time the topic was brought up. There was no way that she would ever speak of it, ever again. 

“Jihyo, I understand that you are still uncomfortable with discussing about your brother’s death, but you have to understand that talking will help you,” he tried his best to convince her and after around five minutes of silence, he closed the beige folder and scratched down a few notes. 

Jihyo finally looked up. By now, he had become impatient and frustrated. She couldn’t blame him though. This behavior of hers had persisted for at least six months. While he tucked in his chair and stuffed the folder beneath his arm, he sighed, “Have a good day, Jihyo. I will see you next week.” 

He made a quick bow before opening the door to leave. Jihyo followed his exit, but turned right instead of left. She crossed her arms securely as she walked down the lonesome hallway. The yellow lighting only made the place more unfriendly.

This was the life that she had chosen. She scoffed and grinned weakly to herself. 

When would this end?

“So, you’ve finally woken up?” a man in a white lab coat with a grey tie on commented bitterly.

His eyes struggled to adjust to the whiteness of the room. 

Was this utopia?

To his disappointment, he was imprisoned in a hospital room.

“What am I doing here?” he quickly demanded as his head jolted to the right, facing the man directly.

“Sou, I’ve known you since you were practically in your diapers. Now, tell me. Why’d you do it?” Sou at once recognized this man’s voice. It had to be his father’s long-time best friend, Dr. Lee Naesang. He watched as Dr. Lee’s eyes furrowed while patting his shoulders once and just once. 

Sou scoffed, knowing what this was. It was supposed to diminish the distance a patient had with a doctor. A touch could be touching, but not anymore for him. He, instead, shriveled backwards. “Where’s Mother?”

“Naomi is home.”

“No, not her,” Sou heaved a long and heavy sigh. 

That was a name that he never wanted to hear about again. Every time someone had mentioned her name, he could only shudder. The thought of her lingered in his mind, but there was also an unfathomable sense of hatred in his heart, his frozen heart.

“Oh, you mean, Matsuda Kairi?” Dr. Lee confirmed.

Sou nodded and shifted his gaze towards the window. Cherry blossoms had already bloomed and its petals were descending to the ground. If only I could fall like that, he thought in his mind. That would have been beautiful, bloodily beautiful.

“She doesn’t know yet and don’t worry . . . I won’t tell her.” 

Dr. Lee reached forward to pat Sou’s back this time. Then, he exited for his duty had ended and so, there was Sou, alone in a despondently white room. Sou was left to question why he was still here, why he hadn’t tattered to burnt ashes, and why he could never seek what he desired. Why did someone have to save him? He would have been happier dead. His hands now clasped onto his head. His head had suddenly hurt too much that it was almost unbearable. No, it was everything in his life that was unbearable. To live was to suffocate.

However, what he didn’t know was that the worst had yet to come.

His beige folder was being made, which would mean the start of how they’d meet.

Dependency at its best.