- a Wonnie short story
“Hyori, I love you so much.”
“I love you too,” answered Hyori, staring in this guy’s eyes, tears falling from her face.
“HYORI, GET UP!!” screamed Juhyun.
“What?” replied Hyori, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. For goodness sake, she’d been dreaming again. This was the third time. Every time there was that same handsome guy who was Mr. Right. She always fell in love with him and whenever she was going to find out what happened next, poof! She was awoken.
“Goodness sake Hyori, we’re going to be late for school!” yelled Juhyun impatiently. “You have about fifteen minutes to get ready. I’m going to go eat breakfast. Hurry up. If I finish breakfast early, I’ll go start the car.”
“Oh all right,” replied Hyori. Juhyun walked out of the room. “What a crank,” muttered Hyori as she walked to the bathroom. Quickly washing her face and brushing her teeth in about ten minutes, she walked back into her room. After digging through her messy closet, she managed to find a clean white baby tee and a pair of khaki overalls. She grabbed the blue polo style shirt she had to wear at work after school, along with the name tag. When putting on her clothes and lacing up her white skechers, Hyori grabbed her purse and black back pack and rushed out to the kitchen to find Juhyun scarfing down on her second bowl of cereal while crunching on a piece of toast smeared with strawberry jam. Hyori looked at her disgustingly.
“Hey, I’m a growing girl. I have to eat, you know,” said Juhyun with wide open eyes.
“You don’t grow any more at your age,” quipped Hyori. Juhyun stuck her tongue out at her. “I don’t have time to eat. Let’s go,” prompted Hyori. She brushed her hair.
“Just one more piece of toast, Hyori. I want to try that new peanut butter we got,” begged Juhyun pathetically.
“NO! We’re already late as it is! Let’s go,” ordered Hyori. Sulking, Juhyun got up and joined Hyori to the trek from their apartment to the parking garage where Juhyun’s black jeep was.
“RUN!” screamed Hyori when they got to their college. They had about two minutes to get to class.
“I’m—trying!” wheezed Juhyun between gasps of breath, huffing and puffing behind Hyori. Hyori made a mad dash to her junior literature class and burst through the door.
“Phew. Juhyun, we made it,” sighed Hyori with relief. She wiped the sweat that was glistening on her forehead with a cloth. “Juhyun?” Hyori whipped her head around to find no one behind her. Confused, she found a seat a few rows from the back in the left section. A few seconds later, the bell rung. ‘Where is she?’ thought Hyori impatiently. Ten seconds later, a very sweaty, exhausted Juhyun emerged from the doors. Hoping the professor wouldn’t notice her, she quietly took a seat beside Hyori.
“Why’d you ditch me?” hissed Juhyun.
“I thought you were behind me,” retorted Hyori.
“All right class. We are going to be doing a project on four of the playwrights, authors or poets we have been discussing in class. I will hand out a list and you choose which four you want to do the project on. You will find information, blah blah blah,” droned on the lady.
“Hey, Juhyun. I’ll do the project with you,” whispered Hyori.
“Of course,” answered Juhyun.
“Partners have already been assigned,” announced Miss Kim. Some groans of disappointment were heard throughout the class. “Kim Soo Jin and Park Soo Ho, Ryu Ji Ni and Yoo Joo Hee, Lee Jin and Ok Ju Hyun…” Juhyun smiled as she was paired up with her friend. Hyori bit her lip in nervousness. Maybe she’d be lucky and be paired up with Sung Yoo Ri, her friend. “Sung Yoo Ri and An Joon Sup,” declared Mrs. Kim. Hyori groaned softly. Finally, her name was called. “Lee Hyori and Eun Ji Won.” ‘Who the hell is that?’ thought Hyori. ‘Great. I’m paired up with a nobody. He’s probably a nerd who makes up math formulas in his spare time. Oh well. Maybe he’ll do most of the project.’ “Lists are on the stool. Pick one up along with a name tag and find your partner to discuss your plans for the project. Due on the fourth of December.” Today was November 8. Hyori trudged to the stool to pick up her paper and wrote her name on a name tag and stuck it on the front of her overalls. She slumped in a seat in the front row to wait for her partner.
“You’re Hyori?” said a voice.
“Yeah,” muttered Hyori unhappily. She looked up to see the most gorgeous guy she’d ever seen.
He had dark eyebrows and big brown eyes. There was something about him that looked familiar. He sat down next to her.
“I’m Eun Jiwon,” said Jiwon, introducing himself. Hyori nodded at him and looked down. She didn’t want to make it obvious how handsome she thought he was. “So, are you good in this class?”
“I suppose. I’m getting a B,” answered Hyori quietly. She looked up just in time to see his lips curl in to a smile. She didn’t know if she liked it or not, but smiled back anyway. “When do you want to meet to work?” asked Hyori cheerfully. She couldn’t wait to actually be with him and get to know him.
“Well, I’m busy this week,” replied Jiwon.
“Oh.” Hyori looked disappointed. Her pretty almond shaped eyes fell. “Next week then?”
Jiwon seemed hesitant. “Is it a Monday?” Hyori nodded. “Maybe.”
“I need more than a maybe, Jiwon. If you don’t know if you can on Monday, pick another date,” said Hyori, growing impatient.
“Give me your numbers and address and I’ll give you mine,” instructed Hyori. She scribbled down her home phone number, address, and pager number. She wasn’t rich enough to have a cell phone. Hyori had almost had to pull teeth to get her parents to own a pager. He gave her a card with his home phone number, cell phone number, pager number, voice mail, and address. “There.”
“Well, I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?” said Jiwon. He walked over to a big group of people and started talking with them. Hyori recognized them as the rich, well known people in school. She sighed and sat down in a seat and watched the clock tick away.
“HYORI!! TELEPHONE!!” shrieked Juhyun shrilly at the top of her lungs on Friday night.
“Hold on!” shouted Hyori. She had just gotten out of the shower and she needed to put on her robe. After tying the light pink terry cloth robe, with her long black hair dripping wet, she climbed out of the tub/shower. Since her feet were still wet, she slipped on the smooth floor and wiped out.
“HYORI!!!! GET THE PHONE!!” thundered Juhyun.
“I SAID HOLD ON!!!!!” screamed Hyori twice as loud. Picking herself up painfully, she carefully made her way out to the nearest phone. “Hello?” Juhyun hung up the other phone.
“Hey Hyori? This is Jiwon.”
“Oh hi Jiwon. What’s up?” chirped Hyori.
“Well I was wondering how the project is coming along,” answered Jiwon.
“The project? I haven’t started it yet. I was thinking we would both start it together when you had a free day,” replied Hyori.
“Oh. Well don’t worry about me being there. Why don’t you start it without me until we can get together,” suggested Jiwon.
“You’re not free next week either?” asked Hyori.
“I don’t think so.”
“How about this weekend?”
“My weekends are always full,” answered Jiwon bluntly. Hyori sighed. “Hey it’s not my fault I’m so busy,” retorted Jiwon defensively.
“I didn’t say anything,” shot back Hyori. Silence. “Listen, it’s obvious we probably can’t get together in time for our project, so why don’t we just split it up. I’ll do mine on Shakespeare and Twain. You can do your’s on Keats and Shelley.”
“I don’t want to do it on Keats and Shelley,” said Jiwon plainly. He sounded like a child.
“Why?” asked Hyori, trying not to get impatient.
“Well you obviously don’t want to,” pointed out Jiwon.
“And how do you know that?” inquired Hyori sarcastically.
“There must be something because you didn’t choose them.”
“Fine! I don’t care! Do your’s on Shakespeare and Twain,” snapped Hyori.
“No need to be angry. If you’re going to be like that, I’ll just do mine on Keats and Shelley,” said Jiwon with an edge to his voice.
“Okay. I’ll call you some other time to see how you’re doing,” said Hyori calmly.
“Fine.” CLICK. ‘That went well,’ thought Hyori sarcastically. After drying her hair, she put on her baggy blue jeans and long sleeved gray shirt and flounced out to go to the library.
It was three days before the project was due and Hyori was all done with her half. During the weeks that had passed, Hyori had called Jiwon on his cell phone, voice mail, home phone, and pager. He would never return her pages, calls or messages. When he did pick up the phone, their conversations were always terse. Jiwon would always have an excuse for not doing it. He went out with friends. He had other homework or tests. He had dinner with his family. Hyori was beginning to go insane. He still hadn’t started this and her literature grade was riding on this since it was worth a lot of her grade. She had been slipping the last few weeks and a good grade on this project would pull her grade up to an B or B-. Hyori definitely did not want to get stuck with a C. It was Sunday and she had gone out to lunch with Jin.
“Jin, I’ll be right back. I need to make a phone call,” said Hyori, excusing herself. She went outside to a pay phone and stuck her phone card into the slot in angry thrusts and started punching in the numbers to Jiwon’s cell phone.
“Hello?” Hyori heard Jiwon say.
“Hi Jiwon, this is Hyori,” chimed Hyori.
“Yeah, I know,” said Jiwon in a somewhat disappointed voice. “Listen, I’m kind of busy right now so I’d better go. It’ll also be better if you don’t call my cell phone so much. It does rack up a high bill, you know.”
“Listen Jiwon, I need to know if..”
“Yeah, the project. I’m not at home right now, but I’ve gotten the books and I’ll start right when I get home, okay?”
“Okay, good. Bye,” sighed Hyori in relief. She replaced the phone on the hook.
THE NEXT DAY
Before literature class started, Hyori was talking with her group of friends until she saw Jiwon walking by. “Hey guys, I’ll be right back okay?” Hyori excused herself and walked briskly over to where Jiwon was sitting.
“How are you coming along on the project?” asked Hyori nonchalantly.
“Fine, just fine. I’m finished,” answered Jiwon smugly.
Hyori’s eyes widened in surprise. “Really? In one day? That’s really fast. Are you sure you did it right and are they long enough and are actually well written? Jiwon, I need to…”
“Yes, yes, yes. Now stop bothering me about it!” snapped Jiwon angrily. Hyori looked at him with hurt eyes. Then they narrowed.
“Listen here, Eun Ji Won. I have been working my ass off doing this project. It took me two weeks to get all the necessary information, format it, and check it over,” replied Hyori shakily. But her voice kept getting stronger and stronger. “So I don’t know how you did this all in one day since you are obviously a lot f***ed up than I am. I’ve heard of miracles and this has definitely got to be the biggest and unbelievable one of all.” Hyori stuck up her middle finger at him which he recognized but was too late to do anything about it since she was already walking away.
AT JIWON’S APARTMENT
“Hyang geut han morning coffee wa, nae ah chim eul ggae wuh joo neun sang….” sang Jiwon along with the radio while fixing himself some ramyun for dinner. He heard a knock on the door. Forgetting he was just dressed in boxers, he ran over and opened it without looking through the peephole.
“Hello Jiwon. Now if you’ll excuse me,” sang out Hyori while shoving her way through him into the apartment.
“Hyori! I’m in my underwear!” shrieked Jiwon.
“Big, fat, hairy deal. I don’t care. I want to see how crappy of a job you did on your half of the project. Where is it?” demanded Hyori.
Jiwon turned red. “Over there,” he pointed to the coffee table. She looked to see some papers strewn messily on the wood coffee table with several books scattered on the floor.
Hyori walked over to the couch behind the coffee table, her red warm ups making swishing noises as she moved. Perusing through the pile of messy papers, her brow wrinkled into a look of disgust. “What the hell is this SHIT supposed to be?” Hyori screamed in frustration. “You basically scribbled down about two paragraphs of shit on these people and typed it out to make it look PRETTY! Fuck, Jiwon! These things are supposed to be four pages long each!” She started cursing to herself, cursing at Jiwon and cursing at her professor for pairing her up with a hopeless moron like Jiwon. All of a sudden, Hyori collapsed on the couch and started sobbing violently. The stress of school and work were getting to her. Her whole body was shaking as tears streamed down her face like a waterfall. Jiwon just gave her a blank stare. He’d never seen her like this before. She’d always seemed so steady and controlled. He pulled a t-shirt on and joined her on the couch. “It’s over. My life is over. This is totally going to kill my GPA. My parents are going to kill me. What the use in even trying anymore?” blubbered Hyori through gasps and tears.
“It’s just one class, Hyori. I don’t think it’ll be that big a deal,” reassured Jiwon.
“Did you know I have an older sister? She is a third year medical student. My parents are always telling me to be like her. Do you know how much pressure I get at home?” whispered Hyori sadly.
“I didn’t know,” answered Jiwon.
“I feel so powerless. I don’t think I can do this anymore. I’ve tried this whole time to get straight A’s. I’ve gotten one A. The rest B’s and C’s,” replied Hyori. “You must think I’m a total jerk to come to your house and yell like I did.”
“Na. I deserve it. I would’ve done the same thing,” said Jiwon nonchalantly. Hyori was still crying. He didn’t really know what to do so he awkwardly put his arm around her shoulders. She suddenly turned and threw her arms around his neck, burying her sobs into his chest. Surprised at her unexpected action, Jiwon put his arms on her back and rubbed it, trying to calm her down. He put his hands through her long, silky hair and smelled its sweet fragrance. “Everything’s going to be okay,” Jiwon repeated over and over again.
“All right class. Before you turn in your projects, I’d like you to meet with your partners for a few minutes to look over everything and say goodbye since this is the last class day,” announced the teacher. After projects were turned in, they were also going to be taking a final test. Students scattered as they searched for their partners.
“Jiwon, you look terrible. What happened?” asked Hyori as she studied his face. He had big, dark circles and bags under his eyes. His eyelids were swollen and he looked as if he was going to topple over any second.
“Here. I did it all night Monday and all day and all night Tuesday. Take it. I hope I never see it again,” Jiwon thrust the neat pile of papers to Hyori. She looked them over and smiled at Jiwon gratefully and gave him a hug. He slowly put his arms around her.
“Lee Hyori, Eun Jiwon. Please do that outside of class,” called out Miss Kim. The two abruptly let go as they looked around the large crowd of spectators in their seats looking at them. They sat down where they were and then turned in the assignment.
The next few weeks, Jiwon and Hyori talk on the phone and at school. They sometimes get together. They get to know each other very well. Her parents have told her to quit her job, so she did. One day, Jiwon gives Hyori a call at about 10:30 PM.
“Hello?” said Hyori.
“Hey, this is Jiwon. Do you think you can come to my apartment?” His voice was dead serious.
“What’s the matter, Jiwon?” inquired Hyori, sensing something was wrong.
“I’ll tell you when you get here,” answered Jiwon tonelessly.
“Can’t you tell me now?” asked Hyori uneasily.
“I really need you here right now, Hyori,” replied Jiwon shortly.
“Okay, I’m on my way.” Hyori was in her pajamas since she had been planning to sleep soon. She changed into a t-shirt and pulled a white sweatshirt over it and pulled on black pants and flung her black purse over her shoulder. After pulling on her long gray coat and cream colored scarf and black gloves, she caught a taxi and went to Jiwon’s apartment. “I got here as fast as I could. What’s wrong?” asked Hyori in a concerned voice. Jiwon just pulled her close and held her. Not like a friendly hug, but a passionate embrace. Surprised, she pushed away from him.
“Hyori, please. I…” His voice cracked. He was silent. A baseball cap was pulled over firmly to hide his face.
“Jiwon, talk to me. Tell me what the problem is,” said Hyori gently. She tried lifting his hat, but he grabbed her hand just as she was reaching his cap. He stood there, holding and looking at her hand in both of his hands. Her hands tingled at his touch. She heard him sniffle and a large tear drop fell on her wrist. She looked at him quizzically, waiting for him to explain what was going on. With her hand in his, Jiwon flipped off the light and walked out of the apartment, closing the door behind him. After Hyori shut the door of Jiwon’s black pick up truck, he zoomed out of the parking garage, the tires screeching. When Hyori realized they were very far from her apartment, she became worried.
“Jiwon-ah, where are we going?” asked Hyori tenatively. No noise except for a stone cold silence. She stared at his tear streaked face that she could see. She could’ve asked him to stop the car right then, but she could tell he needed her.
They traveled on for a couple more hours until he had to get some more gas. Hyori fell asleep after a half hour and took a nap. After rubbing her eyes, she looked at the car clock. It read 5:07 AM. It was a good thing this was Saturday morning. “Oh no!” yelled Hyori out loud to herself. After six hours of driving in deadly silence, the sudden noise surprised Jiwon so much he pulled over and stomped on the brakes. “I forgot to tell Juhyun I was going out. She must be worried sick. I should call her or something.”
“It’s kind of early to be calling her now,” pointed out Jiwon. His voice sounded strained.
“I’ll just leave a message. I doubt she’d wake up. She’s a pretty sound sleeper,” said Hyori. “Is there a phone around here?” She bit her lip nervously.
Jiwon thrust his cell phone towards her. She slowly took it from him, her delicate fingers brushing his hand. His touch had an affect on her all the time. She didn’t know what it was. After about three rings, somebody picked up the telephone. “Hello?” the voice sounded apprehensive.
“Hello? Who is this?” said Hyori in a confused voice. She didn’t recognize this as Juhyun’s voice.
“Hyori? Oh my gosh! Thank goodness you’re all right!”
“Yoori? What are you doing at our apartment so early?” asked Hyori.
“Juhyun has been worried sick about you! She called me at midnight last night saying you and your purse were gone!” yelled Yoori. “Her and Jin are out looking for you right now!”
“Oh no! I’m out with a friend right now! Page her and tell her I’m okay. I probably won’t be home for a while,” instructed Hyori.
“WHAT? Why didn’t you even tell her?”
“It was an emergency. I’m really sorry. Could you just relay my message?” pleaded Hyori.
“All right. I’ll tell her,” said Yoori.
“Thanks Yoori,” replied Hyori and hung up. Jiwon started the car again and started driving. This time at a dangerously fast speed. “Jiwon, what are you doing?!” screamed Hyori. He didn’t answer. “SLOW DOWN!!” ordered Hyori. He didn’t listen. She was gripping the edges of her seat, hoping he would slow down. Finally, she couldn’t stand it anymore. She reached over and swung the wheel to the right, pulling them off the road. It practically gave Hyori and Jiwon whiplash. All of a sudden, a popping noise sounded and Jiwon slammed down on the brakes.
Hyori’s eyes were big and she was breathing heavily. Beads of perspiration were glistening on her forehead. “I’ll go out and look to see what’s wrong,” said Jiwon. He went outside. Hyori followed him. “Oh SHIT!” exclaimed Jiwon.
“What happened?” asked Hyori nervously.
“We’ve got a flat tire,” answered Jiwon. Hyori looked at him with a confused look. ‘What’s so bad about that? He can fix it.’ “That wouldn’t be a problem if I had a spare.”
“WHAT?! You don’t have a spare tire?!” shrieked Hyori. He winced as she yelled. Her face softened as she looked at him. Hyori remembered she had to be there for him. “I’m sorry for yelling. I know you really don’t need this right now,” apologized Hyori. He kept staring at the flat tire.
“There’s a hotel up ahead. I think I can push it up there until we get some help,” Jiwon nodded his head up toward the small hotel that was about a block away. Hyori nodded in agreement and helped him push the truck.
“We’d like to have two separate rooms please for the day,” requested Jiwon once they got to the hotel. Him and Hyori were both worn out and decided they both wanted to rest for a while.
“I’m sorry sir, but this is a very popular hotel since it’s by the seashore. We only have one room left,” apologized the lady.
“Oh,” answered Jiwon shortly. Hyori and Jiwon exchanged an awkward glance.
“Of course, you can always go to the other nearest hotel that might have some room. But it’s ten miles away.” Jiwon’s face fell. He didn’t want to push the truck ten miles and it was too far to walk.
“We’ll take the room,” interjected Hyori. Jiwon stared at her blankly. The lady wrote down their names and gave them the key.
“It’s on the second floor. Number 220 on the right. Have a nice stay,” chirped the lady. Jiwon and Hyori walked in silence all the way to the elevator and the room. Hyori pushed open the door, hoping the room had twin beds. No such luck. It was a barely furnished room with one queen sized bed, a television, closet, and bureau. One side there was a bathroom. Hyori looked at him uneasily as he took off his jacket and fell on the bed. She grabbed a blanket inside the closet and covered Jiwon with it. Afterward, she took a look around, searching for a cot or something to spread on the ground. She didn’t want to sleep on the ground itself. It was gross and dusty. Taking off her sweatshirt, she folded it up into a bundle and placed it behind her head, leaning against a wall. Hyori closed her eyes and prepared to sleep.
“Don’t sleep there. It looks uncomfortable,” called out a voice. Hyori shot open her eyes and looked to see Jiwon staring at her. “You can sleep here.” Jiwon pointed to the extra space beside him on the bed.
“No, you must be more tired than I am. You should have the bed. I’ll be fine,” lied Hyori. ‘I probably won’t be fine. I’ll have a huge crick in my neck when I wake up and a headache, but you should get the bed.’ thought Hyori.
Jiwon saw right through her. “Come here. There’s plenty of room,” offered Jiwon. Hyori looked at him. He looked harmless. There was nothing to worry about. She set her sweatshirt on the ground and joined him in the bed, pulling half of the covers over her. “Hyori, do you want to know why I wanted to talk to you?” asked Jiwon, laying on his side to face her.
“That would be nice,” answered Hyori while smiling. She laid on her side so she could face Jiwon.
“I need someone to be here for me. You see, my mother’s dying of cancer.” Hyori’s eyes widened in shock as she looked at his sparkling eyes. She could tell he was trying hard to hold his tears in. Hyori had met his mom once before. She was a nice woman who seemed perfectly healthy at the time. Jiwon’s mom had thought Hyori was his girlfriend. The next thing Hyori did was on instinct. She scooched closer to Jiwon and held him in her arms. He buried his face in her neck. Their arms were around each other. She heard his silent sobs and rubbed his back like he had done to her.
“Oh Jiwon, I’m so sorry,” said Hyori. “But out of everyone you know, why did you choose me to be here for you?” asked Hyori curiously. “You have tons of other friends.” She put her fingers through his hair
“They’re not really my friends. They’re there for the good times, but not for the bad. My only other real friend, Sunghoon, isn’t in town this weekend so I called you,” answered Jiwon tearfully. The next few minutes, nothing was heard except for Jiwon’s crying. After, it stopped Hyori began to talk.
“I have to tell you the truth, Jiwon. I think I like you. Not liking as a friend, but really really like as something more. I don’t know how you feel, but I want you to know that you can always count on me for anything no matter what happens between us.” Hyori let out a breath. It felt good to get that out. She hadn’t realized how strongly she felt for him. “Jiwon? What do you think?” called out Hyori. No answer. “Jiwon?” She detatched her arms and body away from him and looked at his face. He was sleeping. She smiled ruefully and pecked him on the forehead.
Jiwon sleepily opened his eyes. “I’m sorry, were you talking?” asked Jiwon in a tired voice. “I think I fell asleep.”
“What are you, Sleeping Beauty? No, I’ll tell you later. It’s not that important. Go back to sleep,” whispered Hyori. He happily closed his eyes and turned over to the other side. Sighing, Hyori closed her eyes and tried to get some sleep.
“Mmmm~” hummed Hyori. She lifted her arms to stretch but felt something in the way. Hyori had been laying on her side. She looked to see that her back was against Jiwon, his arm was hanging around her waist. She looked at him. ‘He’s so cute.’ thought Hyori as she looked at the peaceful look on his handsome face. She looked at her watch. It was ten o’clock in the morning. “Time to wake up, sleepyhead. We’ve been asleep almost five hours.” Hyori shook Jiwon awake. He didn’t do anything so she turned on her other side and shook him a little more vigorously. His eyes were still closed but he had a smile on his face as he grabbed Hyori and pulled her to him. She shrieked with laughter as he squeezed her tight. Then he turned over so his body was on top of her’s and gave her short sweet pecks all over her face and neck. Hyori giggled uncontrollably as her neck was her ticklish spot. “Stop! Stop! I give up! Uncle!” screamed Hyori through giggles. She slapped him lightly all over his back and arms with her hands.
“Oh no, you don’t win that easily,” said Jiwon. He pinned her arms down and continued pecking her neck until she thought she was going to die from laughter. Slowly, she could feel his pecks turning into something more. She slowly relaxed as he nibbled on her neck and stopped resisting.
“Jiwon, were you really sleeping while I was talking?” asked Hyori. She could barely get that sentence out as he was kissing her neck.
“Mmm, no. Be quiet,” ordered Jiwon as he placed his lips on top of her’s, slowly parting his lips, making her do the same. Hyori’s arms were released and she immediately placed her hands behind Jiwon’s head, drawing him deeper into the kiss. He caressed her cheek with his hand and met his tongue with her’s. The next three hours was like paradise as they exchanged kisses in the room.
“Jiwon, why didn’t you say anything when I confessed I liked you?” Hyori whispered in his ear. They were in each other’s arms.
He didn’t answer. “Jiwon!” exclaimed Hyori.
A grin formed on his face. “I’m not telling! It’s too embarassing!”
“TELL ME!!!” ordered Hyori defiantly.
“NO!!” yelled Jiwon. He smiled and turned over so his back was facing her.
“All right. No more kisses for you,” sang out Hyori and turned over to her other side.
“Okay! I’ll tell!” said Jiwon, pouting. “You play dirty.”
Hyori chuckled and turned back over so she was facing him. “I thought I was dreaming,” replied Jiwon. “But when I realized I wasn’t, you were asleep.”
“WHAT?! YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE DREAMING?!” shrieked Hyori unbelievably. She buried her face in a pillow to muffle her laughter. Her body shook and looked like she was convulsing.
“You shut up!” ordered Jiwon, trying to sound serious but he ended up laughing too.
“When do you want to go home?” asked Hyori. Hyori and Jiwon had decided to go to the beach that was just a mile down the road. They were sitting on Jiwon’s jacket. They were sitting side by side. Hyori was leaning against his shoulder, looking out to the sea. He put his arm around her.
“When?” Jiwon chuckled. “I could stay here forever.”
Hyori turned her head so she was looking at him. “You know we can’t do that,” said Hyori skeptically.
“I know. But it’s a good thought, isn’t it?” answered Jiwon. He pressed his lips tenderly on her’s.
Hyori blushed. “Stop it, Jiwon. People might be watching us,” scolded Hyori as she turned back around.
He nuzzled her neck. “So what if they are? Are you embarassed to be seen with me?” responded Jiwon playfully. He started kissing her neck.
“Of course not. I just think…that…people might get offended….that’s…all,” answered Hyori. She was finding it harder to resist getting drawn into the moment.
“I’d better go to that service station we passed and get a tire,” said Jiwon. He stood up and pulled Hyori up.
“Wait! I should probably call home and say I’m coming. Wait a sec. I’m going to use that pay phone,” called out Hyori. Jiwon had changed the tire and they were going to go home. It was about 3 o’clock.
“Hello?” said Juhyun.
“Hi Juhyun! This is Hyori!”
“You know you scared me half to death.”
“I’m sorry. It was an emergency. Well I’m going back home now. I’ll be there in a few hours.”
“Hours? Where’d you go anyway?”
“Pretty far, obviously. But don’t worry, I’ll be home soon.” CLICK.
“Thanks for being here for me. It really meant a lot,” said Jiwon sincerely. He took her in his arms.
“No problem,” replied Hyori breathlessly. She leaned her head on his chest. “Thanks for letting me.” Hyori felt tears soaking through her shirt to her shoulder. “Jiwon, everything will turn out okay. Just be prepared for anything. I know this must be really hard for you,” said Hyori, trying to comfort him.
“I love you, Hyori,” choked out Jiwon.
Surprised, Hyori pulled away from Jiwon and studied his face. “I love you, too,” responded Hyori. She leaned closer and gave him a sweet, short kiss. “I’d better go. I’ll see you later,” said Hyori. She went inside the building and headed towards her apartment.
“So, give me details!! What happened?” squealed Juhyun with excitement once Hyori got through the door.
“Nothing happened,” answered Hyori, a smile on her face.
“OH COME ON!! TELL ME!!” begged Juhyun.
“Later,” said Hyori.
“Later?” repeated Juhyun.
Hyori nodded and dreamily walked towards the bathroom.
That night Hyori told Juhyun how she and Jiwon hooked up. “That is so romantic,” whispered Juhyun dreamily. They were in Hyori’s room.
“You think everything’s romantic,” retorted Hyori and smacked Juhyun with pillow.
“I’m serious! It is romantic!” insisted Juhyun. She smacked Hyori back with another pillow.
“You’re never serious!” shrieked Hyori and hit Juhyun back with another pillow. The two girls giggled into the night as a flurry of feathers flew into the air.
ON GRADUATION DAY THE NEXT YEAR….
“Jiwon-ah! Let’s take a picture together!” yelled Hyori after the ceremony was over. He smiled and motioned her to come over. Her hand was on her head to keep her cap from falling. As she was running, her gown flapped in the breeze.
“Hey Hyori,” greeted Sunghoon. He smiled his charming smile.
“Hey!” chirped Hyori. She had met Sunghoon through Jiwon.
“Hey dude, take our picture,” ordered Jiwon. He thrust his and Hyori’s camera at Sunghoon.
Hyori and Jiwon held each other. “Say kimchee!” sang out Sunghoon as Jiwon and Hyori grinned. The flash went off. “Okay, okay, one more!” The flash went off as Jiwon and Hyori crossed their eyes and stuck out their tongues. Hyori ended up taking dozens of more pictures with Yoori, Jin, Juhyun, Sunghoon, her parents, her sister, other family members and other friends. She also took a few more with Jiwon.
“Yo Hyori! A bunch of people are going to go to the dance club! Bring your friends and come tonight!” yelled Jiwon as he walked to his car. She smiled and nodded.
“What to wear, what to wear?” Hyori asked to herself aloud.
“Hyori, you have an hour to get ready. What are you so worried about?” asked Juhyun. She was rubbing her wet hair with a towel. “Jin and Yoori are coming over in twenty minutes to get ready with us. Relax.”
“You’re right. I’ll go take a shower,” responded Hyori. She had finished and dried her hair in half an hour. She put on her robe and went out.
“Hey Hyori. I hope that’s not what you’re wearing to the club,” joked Jin.
“Haha,” said Hyori sarcastically. “What are you guys wearing?” asked Hyori.
“Don’t say a word!” interrupted Juhyun. “Let’s all go change in separate rooms and see what everyone else is wearing. It’ll be more fun that way.”
“Okay, I get the bathroom!” called out Yoori.
“I guess I get the other bathroom,” replied Jin.
“Me and Juhyun will use our bedrooms. Let’s go!” shouted Hyori. Each girl zipped to their place and pulled on their clothes and did their hair.
“Everyone ready?” bellowed Yoori after about fifteen minutes.
“YEAH!” shouted three voices.
“Let’s come out!” Everyone looked great. Hyori was wearing a sparkly white tube top with dark jeans. Her hair was down as always and she was wearing silver platforms. A silver watch rested on her wrist and a silver bangle bracelet was twisted around her upper arm. Body glitter was all over her face and skin. Jin was wearing a slinky light blue tank top with slim black pants. Her hair pulled back with two glittery barettes. Black chunky shoes finished it off. Yoori was wearing a gray top with a short black skirt. Her hair was done in a cute ponytail. Juhyun was wearing a plain white short-sleeved peasant top with puffy sleeves with blue capri pants. Her hair was up in a bun. “You guys look so pretty!” shrieked Yoori.
That started everyone else off on how pretty or how cute or how gorgeous the others looked. After about ten minutes, they all piled into Juhyun’s jeep and drove to the club.
“Hey Hyori! You look great!” shouted Jiwon once Hyori reached the club.
“You do too!” yelled back Hyori. The club was playing some sort of dance song with loud bass. Jiwon did look good as always with his long sleeved, crisp white shirt slightly unbuttoned with black pants. His hair was perfect as always.
“Let’s dance!” said Jiwon. He grabbed her arm and led her to the dance floor. Hyori looked back to her friends who were motioning her to go on. She smiled and started dancing with Jiwon. After about three dances, Hyori was worn out and took a seat. Jiwon sat at the chair across from her.
“Are you thirsty?” asked Jiwon breathlessly.
“Yeah, a little,” answered Hyori.
“Really? What do you want to drink?”
“Whatever you’re having, I guess,” responded Hyori.
“Are you sure? I’m having beer,” said Jiwon. Hyori was a little surprised to hear that Jiwon drank.
“You drink?” asked Hyori curiously.
“Not that much. Only on certain occasions,” replied Jiwon. Hyori nodded.
“What the hell? I’ll have beer, too.”
“You’re sure?” repeated Jiwon.
“I’m sure!” shouted Hyori. He ordered the beer and carried on a conversation.
“I think I’m drunk,” said Hyori sluggishly.
“Really? You only had four!” said Jiwon, guzzling down his sixth bottle.
“I was never really a drinker,” replied Hyori, smiling weakly. He chuckled and pulled Hyori slowly to her feet.
“Do you think you can dance?” Jiwon whispered in her ear. It was playing an old song by Roo’ra.
Hyori nodded and started dancing like she’d never danced before. Jiwon looked surprised, but continued dancing. Soon the song ended and melted into a slow song. She started walking off, but Jiwon grabbed her wrist. She giggled as he pulled her close to him and they swayed to the beat of the song..
“Hyori, I have to go to the bathroom. I’ll be right back,” said Jiwon. Hyori sat down and stared off into space.
“Miss, miss?” called out a voice.
Hyori turned to him. He was a Korean man about thirty. “Yes?” responded Hyori.
“Have you ever considered being a model?” asked the man.
“Huh?” answered Hyori. She was still out of it.
“I think you are just the look we want for our company. Here’s my card. Call if you’re interested. What’s your name?”
“Hyori. Lee Hyori.”
“All right, Miss Lee. Hope to hear from you.” She watched the man walk away.
An arm snaked around her waist. “Who was that?” asked Jiwon.
Hyori let out a little yelp. “Jiwon, you scared me!”
“Sorry. Who was that?” repeated Jiwon.
Hyori stared at the card. “Some guy from some company that wanted me to model, I suppose,” answered Hyori.
Jiwon laughed. Hyori stuck her tongue out at him. “It’s not that you’re not the most gorgeous woman in the world, this is just a strange place to be discovered, that’s all,” explained Jiwon. Hyori smiled at him. He smiled back. Then she fell into his arms and closed her eyes.
“Hyori? Hyori? Are you okay?” asked Juhyun. Hyori woke up to be in her room.
“What happened?” asked Hyori, confused.
“You collapsed at the club. You must not have a really high drinking tolerance,” answered Juhyun. “You’ve been out for the whole night.” Hyori looked at the clock. It read 9 o’clock in the morning. “Jiwon brought you home and stayed for a while, but I told him to go home. He was pretty drunk himself. He got you home in a taxi. He was drinking like there was no tomorrow.”
“Oh, I see,” answered Hyori. She was about to ask why he had been drinking so much, but a piercing headache came over her. “Oh, I don’t feel so good,” moaned Hyori.
“Hyori, are you okay? Do you need to hurl?” asked Juhyun.
“Oog,” was all Hyori could say. She rushed over to the bathroom and threw up to her heart’s content. She kept the door closed for about ten minutes. Hyori was breathing heavily and her face was sweating. “Ugh.” She flushed the toilet and rinsed out her mouth and brushed her teeth. Then she went back to bed and fell asleep.
Hyori’s eyes fluttered as she struggled to open them. After a few moments, she managed to open them without trouble. “How are you feeling?” Hyori heard a voice whisper. Jiwon’s beautiful face was in front of her.
“Better,” replied Hyori, managing a smile. “How long have you been here?”
“I just got here ten minutes ago. I came to see how you were doing.”
“What’s this?” asked Hyori. She turned to her bedside table to find a cup with liquid in it.
“Oh, I made you some ggool mool for your upset stomach,” answered Jiwon.
“You’re so sweet. Thanks,” said Hyori. Jiwon helped her sit up so she was leaning. She took a sip from the cup and smiled
“Good?” asked Jiwon. Hyori nodded. She set the cup down. Jiwon took both her hands in his and kissed them.
“Where’s Juhyun?” asked Hyori curiously.
“She said she was going to Cheju to go see some family. She won’t be back for a couple of days,” answered Jiwon.
“Oh that’s right. I forgot she told me a few days ago,” commented Hyori. Hyori looked into Jiwon’s eyes. They looked happy, but she could see a certain sadness in them deep within. “Is there something you want to talk to me about, Jiwon?” prompted Hyori. “Is it your mom? You shouldn’t be visiting me, you should be with her,” reprimanded Hyori.
“Oh, she’ll be fine. I just really want to be with you right now,” said Jiwon. “Come on, scooch forward. I’ll give you a back massage.”
“Jiwon, maybe you should go see your mom,” repeated Hyori.
“She’ll be fine. Anyway, she seems to be responding well to the medication so doctors say she’ll probably get better,” said Jiwon.
“Really? That’s great!” Hyori beamed brightly. Jiwon gave a smile.
“Now let me give you that back massage.”
“Okay, thanks. Now that you mention it, I really do need it,” said Hyori, scooting up so Jiwon could sit behind her.
“How’s that?” asked Jiwon as he rubbed her shoulders.
“It feels good. I think my muscles are starting to loosen up,” replied Hyori. Suddenly, he started kissing her neck. “Jiwon, how can you kiss me? I feel like the most grossest person in the world.”
“Because I love you. And you’re beautiful,” answered Jiwon between kisses.
“Really?” asked Hyori. She chuckled. “Well they say love is blind.”
“I can see just fine,” said Jiwon. Hyori turned her head around, took his head in her hands and laid her lips on his. She had prepared to give him a short kiss but he placed his hands on the back of her head, trapping her in the kiss. She could’ve pulled away, but she didn’t. She didn’t want to. His tongue slipped in her mouth as she started to unbutton his shirt. Abruptly, he ended the kiss. “Hyori, are you sure about this?” asked Jiwon. She nodded seriously. He took her back in his arms and laid down on the bed.
A few hours later, Jiwon looked at Hyori sleeping peacefully and pulled the covers up to cover her bare shoulders. He got up from the bed and put his clothes back on. He grabbed his wallet from the bedside table and prepared to leave.
“And where do you think you’re going?” a voice called out.
“Oh, you’re awake!” cried Jiwon, surprised.
Hyori giggled and stretched her arms. “Yup. Where are you going?” asked Hyori.
“I was going to leave and go home seeing that you were asleep. But now that you’re awake, I’m sure we can think of something to do,” said Jiwon cheerfully.
“Yeah yeah. Well I’m going to change, so you wait outside,” instructed Hyori.
“What if I don’t want to wait outside?” taunted Jiwon.
Hyori grabbed a pillow and threw it at him. He caught it with both hands. “You wait outside while you can still stand, boy,” commanded Hyori jokingly. He chuckled and walked outside the room.
Over the next week, Jiwon and Hyori spent every day together. They went shopping, they went to norae bang, they watched movies, and went to Lotte World. Sometimes they would just stay at Hyori’s apartment. They could always find something to do whether it was to watch a movie, eat dinner or whatever. This particular day, they stayed at her house. Jiwon had walked through the door.
“Hey baby,” greeted Hyori. She took him in her arms. Suddenly, he pulled away and looked at her with a stone cold face. “What’s wrong?” asked Hyori nervously, walking back from him.
“I can’t see you anymore,” replied Jiwon coldly.
“What?” said Hyori in disbelief.
“I can’t see you anymore,” repeated Jiwon. He had no emotion in his voice.
“W-w-why?!” sputtered Hyori. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
“I realized that I have feelings for somebody else,” answered Jiwon tonelessly.
“What?!” screamed Hyori. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. His kisses…their hugs….his presents….the night they had together…all of it was a lie? “So you mean to tell me that the night we had together was nothing to you? You were thinking of someone else?” asked Hyori shakily. “WAS IT NOTHING? ANSWER ME, DAMN IT!!” yelled Hyori. She looked down and realized her hands were shaking.
“That was how I felt then. Now I realize I should have thought it through more,” retorted Jiwon calmly. Tears were forming in Hyori’s eyes, but she wouldn’t give Jiwon the benefit of seeing them.
“So it’s over?” spoke Hyori just barely over a whisper.
“Yes,” answered Jiwon.
“Fine, then. This turned out pretty well. I was offered a modeling contract and I think if you hadn’t broken it off any sooner, I would have. I wouldn’t have had any time to see you, anyway,” said Hyori.
“I’m happy for you,” congratulated Jiwon.
“Just go, please. Just go!” cried Hyori. She walked out of the kitchen towards her room where she could cry all she wanted. As Jiwon looked around the apartment one last time, he sighed heavily, let one tear drop fall on the ground and closed the door.
TWO MONTHS LATER….
“All right Hyori! You’re cute, sweet, innocent! Flash that smile!” yelled the camera man. Hyori walked around the set in the pink dress she was wearing and smiled brightly. “Great great! Okay! I’ve got to reload. Take a five minute break.”
Hyori sat down in a chair and sipped some water. She had never realized how hard modeling would be. “Hey Hyori! Over here!” whispered a voice. She whipped her head around and smiled. It was Sunghoon. Even though Hyori and Jiwon had broke up, she still had kept a friendship with Sunghoon.
“Hey Sunghoon, what are you doing in New York?” asked Hyori, sitting beside him.
“I’m here on business and I decided to come see you. How are you doing?” asked Sunghoon.
“I’m doing great. The pay’s good and it’s fun. But it’s still hard work,” answered Hyori.
“Oh I see you have to go now. How about we meet later tonight at eight for dinner? Here’s my number. Call me so we can discuss the details. I’m leaving tomorrow. I’ll see you later.” Sunghoon left the building.
“Well Hyori, you’re a big success. How long are you staying here?” asked Sunghoon.
“I got here the day before yesterday so I’m leaving tomorrow to go to Seoul, also. It’ll be good to get back home,” replied Hyori, sipping her wine.
“Where have you been?” inquired Sunghoon curiously, cutting his steak.
“In two months I’ve been to Thailand, Paris, Italy, Florida, Australia, New Orleans, Florida, Virginia, Germany, Japan, and New York. Tomorrow I go home,” said Hyori. She sighed. During this time, she thought she’d be too busy to think about Jiwon. But she always thought about him when she was alone. Whenever she laid awake at night, looked at pictures, looked at presents he gave her. For some reason, Hyori couldn’t bring herself to throw those things away. She still loved him no matter how much of a jerk he was. Her friends, especially Juhyun had kept urging her to forget him but she couldn’t no matter how hard she tried.
“Hey, you might have the same flight as me. When do you leave?” asked Sunghoon.
“You and Jiwon haven’t talked lately, have you?” asked Sunghoon.
Hyori winced at the sound of his name. “No, not really,” said Hyori solemnly. “I’ve tried to move on.”
“Oh, I see.” Sunghoon glanced at something sticking out of her purse. “Hey, what’s that?” asked Sunghoon curiously.
“What?” asked Hyori in a confused voice.
“That. Sticking out of your purse.”
“Oh this? Nothing.” Hyori tucked it back into her purse so it was completely covered.
“Let me see it.”
“If it’s nothing, it shouldn’t be such a big deal.” She tried to keep her purse back, but Sunghoon’s reach was longer and he grabbed it, taking out what was sticking out. He looked at it. It was a small framed picture of Hyori and Jiwon on graduation day. “Oh I’m sorry, Hyori. I shouldn’t have done that.”
Hyori snatched her purse back. “No, you shouldn’t have,” agreed Hyori. “But it’s okay. You reminded me I have to put another picture in the frame.”
“Come on, Hyori. Can’t you give him another chance?” asked Sunghoon.
“No. How can you ask me to do that? He was the one who broke my heart,” said Hyori, tears glistening in her eyes.
“Well, I don’t know about that, but I still think you should go see him,” said Sunghoon firmly.
“You can’t force me to do that. Just out of curiosity, who was the girl Sunghoon? The one Jiwon had feelings for?” asked Hyori.
“Girl? He’s only had three girlfriends. You were the most recent. He never tried for anyone else after you guys broke up. It’s not like he could.”
“What? Didn’t he tell you why we broke up?” querried Hyori.
“No, he just said ‘we broke up.’ I didn’t want to make him talk about it.”
“But what do you mean he couldn’t try for anyone else? I don’t understand,” said Hyori.
“Didn’t you know? Jiwon went straight to the hospital for chemo treatment after you guys broke up,” answered Sunghoon.
“What?” asked Hyori in disbelief. “Chemo? I don’t understand. What’s wrong with him?” choked out Hyori.
“Jiwon was diagnosed with cancer during his junior year of college, same year he met you. He said he tried calling me to talk, but I had gone out of town. So he said he called you. I assumed you knew,” replied Sunghoon.
“What? I-I don’t remember anything like that,” said Hyori. She thought hard for a moment. “Wait. I remember him saying something about that. But he said his mom had cancer.”
“His mom? His mom’s fine,” explained Sunghoon.
“How is he?” asked Hyori concerningly.
Sunghoon hesitated. “Tell me, Sunghoon,” ordered Hyori.
“Not too well in fact. Jiwon never went to get chemo treatment until a while ago. He said it would just extend his life he knew was going to end anyway. But we all forced him to go. He is so incredibly stubborn and persistent,” commented Sunghoon.
“This is really confusing me,” said Hyori, rubbing the temples on her head.
“Why don’t you go visit him in the hospital when you get back? I know you’re going to be tired and all…”
“I don’t know, Sunghoon. I don’t know if I could handle it…”
“Listen, Hyori. I have to be blunt. I don’t know how long Jiwon’s going to last. Doctors said it could be days, weeks, or even months. But they made sure to tell me and his family to treat every day like it’s his last. I had to go on this business trip, but the company said I only have to stay here for today. I was supposed to stay a week. Please, I want you to go. It might benefit you, too,” begged Sunghoon.
“What hospital is he staying at?” Sunghoon gave a relieved smile.
TWO DAYS LATER….
“Hey Sunghoon, how was your trip?” called out Jiwon weakly from his bed.
“It was fine. How’s the treatment coming along?” asked Sunghoon, trying to keep his voice even.
“Oh you know, the usual. Doctors tell me I’m improving but I know I’m going to die. This chemo is just delaying it. Luckily, none of my hair has fallen out yet,” replied Jiwon easily. “Well, I’m not scared anymore.” He clicked on the TV.
“Jiwon, don’t say stuff like that!” pleaded Sunghoon. His voice became all wobbly as tears fell from his face.
“It’s okay, man,” reassured Jiwon. Sunghoon gave Jiwon a hug.
“Sorry Jiwon, I think I got your shoulder all wet,” apologized Sunghoon, wiping the tears from his face.
Jiwon smiled weakly, remembering how he had let Hyori cry on his shoulder. “So where are my parents?” asked Jiwon.
“They’re downstairs eating. I thought they deserved a rest,” replied Sunghoon. Jiwon nodded in agreement. His parents had been great through this time, spending the night at the hospital everyday, staying through the day. “Well, I’m going to go downstairs and get a drink. I’ll be right back,” said Sunghoon.
“Okay.” Jiwon watched Sunghoon walk out the door. His eyes widened as he saw who came through the door next. “Hyori!” gasped Jiwon. “What are you doing here?”
“What do you think, stupid? I’m here to see you,” said Hyori softly.
“How did you know? Did Sunghoon tell you? He did, didn’t he? That jerk! I’ll kill him!” growled Jiwon.
“Sunghoon is the jerk? Sunghoon is the jerk? Don’t you dare tell me Sunghoon’s a jerk! I’m just lucky he told me! Why didn’t you tell me? Why?” screamed Hyori.
Jiwon winced as she yelled. “Nothing’s left to say, Hyori. Just leave.”
“No! No! I am definitely NOT leaving until you explain everything I want to know!” retorted Hyori. She walked up to his bed and sat down in a chair next to his bed.
“Just go, Hyori. It’s hard enough, already! Go!” shouted Jiwon. Hyori didn’t budge. “GO!” thundered Jiwon.
Just then a nurse came in. “Mr. Eun. Please. I know you have your own private room, but please keep your voice down as to not disturb the other residents.” Jiwon muttered a brief apology and the nurse walked out of the room.
“I am not moving one inch until I get some questions answered,” demanded Hyori. He laid in the bed, looking away. Tears fell from his face.
“What do you want to know?”
“Why didn’t you tell me? Why did you lie and say your mom had cancer?” asked Hyori through tears.
“I didn’t want to hurt you. I knew breaking your heart in a cruel way would make you want to forget me more. I wanted you to remember me the way I was. I needed someone to be with me when I first found out the news. I was going to tell you to the truth about the person being myself but something stopped me. I wanted to make my last week with you happy. When I realized I loved you, I didn’t want to hurt you. I didn’t want to hurt you,” Jiwon kept repeating.
Hyori wiped her tear drops away from her face. “How could you think such things? I would’ve been here for you every step. It would’ve hurt me, but not as much as it hurts to hear that you lied to me.”
“You weren’t supposed to find out.”
“Now that’s great. Great plan. You have put me through pain. I haven’t been able to stop thinking of you. I never realized how much I need you. Please Jiwon. Can we try to make this work again?” asked Hyori. Jiwon didn’t answer.
“How can we make this work when we know I’m going to die?” asked Jiwon.
“Why can’t we have this work while you’re alive?” said Hyori. He looked at her lovingly. She could always put things in a way that seemed better. He nodded and he held out his arms which she came into. “Jiwon, I’ve missed you so much,” sobbed Hyori.
“I’ve missed you, too,” said Jiwon shakily. “Don’t cry. You’ve given me a reason to live as long as I can.”
Time passes by and Hyori gets to know Jiwon’s parents. Sunghoon comes by everyday while she is there. She has taken a vacation from her modeling.
“Hyori-ah. I’m bored,” complained Jiwon. “Hey, don’t models have portfolios?” Hyori nodded. “Can I see your’s?” She took it out and pulled her chair up to him. He whistled at a picture of her wearing a top that showed her midriff and denim shorts. “Wow, I like this one the best,” said Jiwon after flipping through the whole thing. The portfolio was turned to a picture of her in a white t-shirt and khaki overalls. “It looks most like you.” She studied it carefully.
“I guess so.”
“You know what? It’s stuffy in here. Let’s go outside,” suggested Jiwon.
“Okay,” agreed Hyori. She took out his wheelchair and carefully helped him get into it. Carefully rolling the IV pole along with him, they headed toward the elevator to go outside.
MORE TIME PASSES….
“Good night, Hyori. We’ll see you tomorrow,” said Mrs. Eun.
“Good night, Hyori,” echoed Mr. Eun. She looked at both of them. Their eyes had bags under them, they looked tired and thin from not eating due to lack of appetite. It was obvious when they spent the night, none of them seriously slept.
“Listen, I’m not tired at all. I’ll stay with Jiwon tonight and you guys go home and take a nice rest. You deserve it,” suggested Hyori.
“Thank you Hyori, but we want to be with our son at all times,” said Mr. Eun.
“Don’t worry, you can trust me. He’ll be fine,” reassured Hyori.
“Not that we don’t trust you, we just want to be with him. Because you’ll never know if…” started Mrs. Eun, but stopped.
“I understand. Well I want to be with him, also. Is it okay if I stay with him in his room, too?” asked Hyori.
“I don’t see why not,” answered Mrs. Eun.
“Thank you,” said Hyori.
“Thank you, Hyori. You don’t know how much you’ve impacted our son. He used to be so depressed. Now he has this calm peace about him ever since you came back,” said Mr. Eun. Hyori nodded and walked back into Jiwon’s room.
After the Mr. and Mrs. Eun fell asleep, Hyori laid her head on Jiwon’s bed from the chair she was sitting in. “Don’t sleep like that, it looks uncomfortable,” said Jiwon. Hyori looked up and smiled.
“It’s all right Jiwon. I’ll be fine,” smiled Hyori and laid her head back down.
“There’s plenty of room here,” offered Jiwon while grinning. “Does this sound familiar?” Hyori giggled.
“What if your parents wake up?” hissed Hyori through silent chuckles.
“It’ll be fine,” said Jiwon. Hyori climbed into the bed with him. It was a tight squeeze, but she made it. She snuggled into his arms. “Hyori, will you find another boyfriend after I go?” asked Jiwon curiously.
“Why would I do that?”
“You should. I want everyone to be able to move on after I die,” said Jiwon.
“There is no one else who I could love as much as I love you,” insisted Hyori.
Jiwon was silent. “Hyori, promise me you’ll be able to go on without me,” said Jiwon.
“Jiwon, I..” started Hyori. Her words were stopped as her throat got thick. She was so sad since he was talking this way.
“Promise,” repeated Jiwon.
“I can’t,” choked out Hyori. She began to sob.
“Oh, don’t cry Hyori. It makes me so sad. Please promise,” begged Jiwon. Tears were falling from his eyes too.
“I promise,” sniffed Hyori. He kissed her trembling lips.
“Hyori, I want to say goodbye. I’ve already told my parents goodbye just in case something happens,” said Jiwon evenly.
Hyori just cried harder. “I love you, Hyori,” said Jiwon. Hyori looked into his sparkling eyes.
“I love you, too,” she managed to say. She kissed his cheek and snuggled closer to him and fell asleep.
THE NEXT MORNING…
Hyori got up from the bed and stretched her arms. She glanced at her watch that said 9. “Hey Jiwon, wake up sleepyhead,” greeted Hyori. She laid back down. “Come on, Jiwon. Wake up.” She slapped his face a little. He still didn’t respond. Trembling, she took his pulse. There was none. She laid her ear by his mouth, hoping to hear a breath. She leaned against his chest. There was no heartbeat. Tears streamed down her face as she realized what happened. She laid down beside him and cried into his chest one last time.