Momentary Separation. (3/3)
She could see the dark clouds brewing through the window. The clouds weren’t pitch black yet, however fogs whirled around faintly with the occasional drizzles. Kim Han-Byeol could feel her emotions settle with the raindrops slowly falling on the window.
The place wasn’t snug, but still held an air of comfort. Though the sentimentally did not fit the situation, she felt better when compared to being chased by those strange things outside that forest.
Since her childhood, Kim Han-Byeol liked rainy days. During rainy days, she would listen to music under the umbrella, enjoy the simple pleasures of her placid life. She suddenly desired a cup of coffee. No matter how momentarily, a sip from a warm cup of coffee could take her away from this horror.
She felt sad as she stared at the world behind the window. It seems like evening had already come, with shadows being cast from her body. Mental fatigue weighed her down after facing one too many things in a single day. Rubbing her tired eyes, she turned away from the window. A huge room, about 70 square meter in size could be seen. The room had everything a room could possibly contain, food, water, beds, toilets and even a shower.
They had fled without a sense of the world and entered the first city they saw. However, before she entered, Kim Han-Byeol felt a strange dissonance from the city. The place was too quiet like no one lived in it. Of her first impression of the city, she thought it would lead to her death. During her introspection, they found a medium sized building. Its roof was painted black, but it was singled out by the party. Maybe it was luck, but something had attracted them to it and when they entered the building, it was filled with all the necessities.
Her body and mind screamed for sleep, but the situation was still tenuous at best. An-Hyun was busy looking after his sister, An-Sol, who was still in a stupor. And Lee Yu-Jung….
She found Lee Yu-Jung quickly enough. Lee Yu-Jung was holding the knife she had left by the main entrance. She gave out a light sigh, guessing the reason for her actions.
“Please put down the knife.”
“Don’t want to.”
Lee Yu-Jung acted like she didn’t hear and proceeded to unlocked the main door. The main door opened with a loud ‘Chu-kuk, and An-Hyun rushed out of his bedroom with a surprised expression. Seeing Lee Yu-Jung holding the knife, his eyes narrowed.
“It’s pointless. Please put down the knife and wait.”
It looked like Kim Han-Byeol’s voice finally reached Lee Yu-Jung as she stared daggers at her.
“I will go fetch Su-Hyun Oppa so you guys just wait.”
"Oppa, Su-Hyun Oppa."
She whispered that name over and over in her heart. The image of him, appearing in Kim Han-Byeol’s head. When she first saw him, she thought that he was the same as her. At the clearing, she felt something was different about him. Always composed, and confident. And those calm eyes. Maybe it was because of that, she was compelled to listen to him on that hill. Staring blankly at Lee Yu Jung for a while, Kim Han-Byeol spoke.
“Unni, you are not the only one that’s worried about Oppa. There is nothing to gain going back there again. Waiting patiently is just the same as helping him.”
“We don’t know if he’s still waiting for us there. I will say it again, but if you're not going then don’t bother me. If you guys aren’t going then I will bring him back alone.”
“Lee Yu-Jung. Han-Byeol’s right. Just drop the knife.”
Hearing the harshness in An-Hyun’s voice, Lee Yu-Jung turned to face them. Sneering at An-Hyun and Kim Han-Byeol, she spoke in a sarcastic tone.
“You guys are too much. We don’t know if Oppa might be struggling out there alone looking for us.”
You guys are too much. There were too many meanings held in this one phrase. This created an uncomfortable prickling sensation in An-Hyun and Kim Han-Byeol’s hearts. An-Hyun closed his mouth, but Kim Han-Byeol didn’t. Glimpsing at the collapsed form of An-Sol in the bedroom, she spoke once more.
“There was nothing we could do. It was too dangerous, those things were scrambling at us. If it wasn’t for that child, everyone here would have been killed.”
“We all know that. We escaped and got Sol here, didn’t we? And that’s it? The end? We are all safe, so it’s done? That Oppa will come here by himself?”
Kim Han-Byeol felt uncomfortable as she watched Lee Yu-Jung’s throwing a tirade. From the beginning, with her shouting and her crude speech, irritated her. Without her being aware, her lips had twisted and with a sneer, Kim Han-Byeol spoke coldly.
“Then leave. Leave and search all you want. You can die for all I care.”
She wanted to take it back, but the dam had already burst. An-Hyun look at Kim Han-Byeol in surprise. Lee Yu-Jung was blindsided by that remarked, but soon recovered and laughed out absentmindedly.
“You… You, really, really are a piece of shit. Did Oppa sacrifice himself to save a kid like you? You are such a disappointment. Looking so worried when you told him not to go, what an act.”
“I definitely told him not to go. But Oppa went anyways. Why are you blaming me for that?”
“You… Sigh. Nevermind, I don’t need to speak to a garbage like you. Just shut your mouth. You bloodless, tearless cold-hearted bitch.”
Kim Han-Byeol was slightly surprised by Lee Yu-Jung’s unexpected response. She thought Lee Yu-Jung would scream and fight, but felt her pride being bruised when she was ignored and called trash. Lee Yu-Jung didn’t notice it at first but soon became aware of Kim Han-Byeol’s rough breathing. Kim Han-Byeol’s message was faint but was mixed with pent-up anger.
“Your words are harsh. Was there anything wrong with what I said?”
“Dunno. I don’t care. But I don’t want to be a hypocrite like you.”
“Are you finished?”
“Staring at your elder with such disrespect.
What you gonna do? Should we start tearing our hairs off? Back off. Shut your pretty mouth if you don’t want me to scratch that dainty face of yours.”
Watching the increasingly hostile response, An-Hyun snapped out in an angry voice. Lee Yu-Jung and Kim Han-Byeol fell silent at An-Hyun’s anger. Watching the two with hollow eyes, An-Hyun stretched out his hand toward Lee Yu-Jung.
“Give it here.”
Lee Yu-Jung held onto the knife tightly. An-Hyun sighed deeply and spoke in an exhausted voice.
“I will go look for Hyung with you. I have thought about it, and you are right.”
“... Really? Then let’s go together.”
At the sudden change in An-Hyun’s attitude, Lee Yu-Jung was a bit hesitant but had a pleased expression on her face. An-Hyun just shook his head weakly and responded.
“No. It will be much better going alone. Those things might still be out there. Just please look after Sol with Han-Byeol.”
“With her? Don’t wanna. I can’t trust her.”
Kim Han-Byeol felt something boiling within her as Lee Yu-Jung continued to disparage her. She has been controlling and restraining herself till now, but the anger within her had finally exploded. However, she kept a cool head. Unlike Lee Yu-Jung, who started shouting and became red when angry, she was the opposite and became colder and scornful. With a frigid tone, she spoke to An-Hyun.
“Don’t go. Oppa, if you go you will be attacked.”
“You, shut your mouth.”
“You shut your mouth.”
“What? Me? Say that again.”
Seeing Lee Yu-Jung step forward filled with violent intent, An-Hyun immediately intercepted her and snatched the knife within her grasp. Kim Han-Byeol was resolute, and as if the dam had burst, she continued.
“If you don’t know, then don’t bother going. If I wasn’t here before, what do you think would have happened to all of us? Knife, fists, nothing worked. It’s obvious you are going to be killed, so why do you keep insisting on going?”
“Really this bitch….”
“You have nothing to say, so you are swearing instead. How are you going to fetch Oppa, do you know where he is? If you have a brain, use it.”
“Your are full of it. Or maybe this is you finally revealing your true nature. Can’t you remember that the only reason you are here is because of Oppa? Trembling in your hypocrisy, all you think about is your Machiavellianistic tendencies. I can see what kind of person you are, just by looking at you. You are more abominable than that shit.”
Comparing that trouble maker with herself, at these harsher words, Kim Han-Byeol’s expression became agitated for the first time. Anger spiked in her as Kim Han-Byeol voice started to tremble and the tone increased.
“The dead stays dead! What is so wrong about the living trying to stay alive?!”
Lee Yu-Jung went ballistic, pushing An-Hyun out of the way, she charged forward. Kim Han-Byeol clenched her teeth tightly and raised her hands for a powerful slap.
“What’s that? What’s causing that noise?”
The main door unfastened and through it, a young man entered. Always composed, and confident. And those calm eyes. With the crossbow hanging on his left arm. Everyone held their breath as they saw him enter. The boiling tension within the room disappeared without a trace.
With a quiet smile, he loosened the crossbow on his left arm. After, he raised his right hand and greeted everyone.
“It’s really good to see everyone is safe.”
It was Kim Su-Hyun.