“Ra Nae, why is your hand having a failure?”asked the doctor that had put that hand on me. “Are you not happy with it? Are you really trying to die here?”
“What are you saying there doctor? If I wanted to die, I would have killed myself before I end up on a hospital bed,”I answered as I pulled off the blanket and looked at my metal hand. “But the trith is that I’m a lil’ tired of all of this. I dream of having a normal had even though it’s no longer possible. It bugs me…this hand,”I frowned.
“Ra Nae, you have been poisoned by your own hand because your own mind rejects the robotic metabolism,”spoke the doctor in his usual, calm manner. “everything starts from inside here,”he comtinued while placing his index finger next to his temple. “If you are unconsciously, refusing to have this hand attached to your body, then everything will be done as you wish; your body will continue to reject the hand and you will continue to be poisoned to such an extreme that we will not be able to save you. And you’ll die…”
“Doctor, this was bound to happen sooner of later and you know it just like I do,”I smiled. “I’m just an experiment. Nothing was safe from the very beginning. And you can’t blame me for that, doctor! No one promised me that I will live after I agree with having this attached to my body. You yourself told me that it’s risky. So don’t blame me.”
He just nodded. He knew that what I was saying was the truth and nothing else. I accepted to an experiment, but I never expected to be so difficult to cope with the robotic tissue. I fell in depression before I even knew it. And no matter what I did, nothing could pull me out. Not even learning the truth…
“I will let your friends to enter one by one,”the doctor walked over to the door.
“Please tell Hyun Seung to enter first,”I demanded.
I leaned against the huge pillow and looked outside. The sun was drying the pools of water that the heavy rain left behind on the asphalt.
I looked at the new commer. His eyes were red from tiredness and from crying. “Yah, Pororo…I’m not dead, you know?”I smiled softly as I signaled him to approach my bed. “Why did you cry for? You dummy,”I caressed his hair as he sat on the chair next to my bed.
“Please don’t die,”he pleased like a lil’ kid.
“Who was the idiot that told you I’m dying? I’ll hunt him down!”I tried to joke. “Now now, why are you crying, Pororo?”
“B-because I…I have so many things to say to you and I…I feel that I’m running out of time here,”he sobbed, hiding his face in my blanket.
I looked up at the ceiling, trying to drive away the tears that were threatening to run down my cheeks. “You can say them to me right now. I’m not going anywhere,”I whispered so that he wouldn’t hear my shaking voice.
He looked at me. “I don’t want to! If I tell you…what will I do once you’re gone?”
“You’re such a big baby!”I leaned forward so that I could hug him.
“I don’t want to lose my baby sister!”he sobbed while hugging me tight. “So please don’t go anywhere where I can’t reach you…”
I patted his back, waiting for him to calm down. So he finally said it, huh?
He was calm now. And he realized what he said before.
“I know,”I pulled back and closed my eyes for a second.
“Please! I’m not stupid, you know? And plus, we obviously look alike,”I stared at him. “I’m a liar,”I sighed. “I told everyone that I never wished to know who my real parents are and their motive for leaving me. I lied, ‘coz I did some researched on it and that’s how I learned about you. I even managed to put my hand on a picture that we had when we were kids,”I pulled out the old picture from my wallet. “See? Don’t we look alike?”I smiled.
He looked at it with a smile on his face. “Mother was so happy to see us so close,”he said while giving me back the photo. “But why didn’t you say anything about it? It would have saved me from a lot of trouble, you know.”
“Your father doesn’t like me. I know that. And I didn’t want you to ruin your relationship with him for me. It’s not nice. You should apreciate your family while you still have it!”
“When did you find out?”
“After you came to grandpa’s place. And after I confessed to you,”I smiled at that embarassing moment.
“Oh…please don’t mention that awkward evening,”he hid his eyes behind his hand.
I smiled. Actually, we were alike. Even thouh we were half siblings, if you took a good look at us, you could clearly see that we look alike. We had the same kind of eyes:big and round; the same smile could play on our lips; the same fair complexion was making our lives during the summer. Our personalities were different because we grew apart and in different environment. But he was my older brother and I his little sister. We were siblings…
I sighed as I waited for the door to open and reaveal the one I was waiting for. But he was late. Even this time, he was late.
“Why is it so sunny outside?”I mumbled as I tried to pull the curtains.
“You shouldn’t do that you, don’t you?”
“Says the one who walks all dressed up in a patients ward,”I replied in the same manner after quickly scanning his outfit. He was really well dressed. He was smelling like ritch man that paied for his clothes with a black, VIP card.
“Aren’t you happy to see me wearing clothes that actual fit me?”he smiled.
“I am,”I whispered.
He leaned over me and approached his face to mine, trying to kiss me. But I lowered my head and all he got was my forehead.
“Oy! Why are you playing shy now?”he laughed while sitting next to me, on the blue chair.
I looked straight into his eyes. “You don’t want this, Seung Hyun,”I said, even though it hurt me on the inside. “You don’t love me. So let’s not start something that you’ll later regret.”
I took a deep breath, trying to cope with the pain that my right hand was giving to me. “Look, we’re running out of time here,”I continued. “The contract will expire in few days, so there’s no point in hiding this anymore. I just hope that once you know, you will be able to take it as it is. I don’t want to see you breaking down once again…I will not be there to help you up this time.”
He looked at me confused. I sighed and took out the oh-so-well-known photo. I placed it in front of him, but he didn’t even looked at it. He just kept staring at me with his big brown eyes, making me wonder what was I going to do after I tell him everything.
“Seung Hyun, you wife, Go Min Ji…she’s alive,”I said, having no second thoughts.
He looked at me as if I was crazy. “What are talking about there? Min Ji is dead. I spread her ashes over the sea. There’s no way she could survive the accident!”
I shook my head. “She was never there. The day she left for work was actually the day she left you. The accident was the best cover that the destiny could have ever gave her.”
“I don’t understand…”
I sighed. This was going to hurt him. Badly. “Go Min Ji was a…scumbag. She married you for money and fame. She married you because her family had huge debts and because her little brother was kidnapped by the mafia. She never loved you…”
“NO! YOU’RE LYING!”he jumped from his chair with tears streaming down his face. “YOU’RE LYING BECAUSE YOU’RE JELOUS ON MY LATE WIFE! WHY CAN’T YOU JUST ADMIT IT TO YOURSELF, KIM RA NAE? THAT YOU’LL NEVER FIND SOMEONE TO LOVE YOU? DON’T TRY TO MAKE ME LOSE THE MEMORY OF MY SWEET WIFE!”
I waited for him to calm down. What he was saying were just words. They couldn’t possibly hurt me…could they?
“It’s your own problem if you believe me or not, Choi Seung Hyun,”I said after few minutes. “I’m not a liat and I do not seek to take her place in your life. I know you loved her…and who knows, maybe she loved you too. But this is the truth she told me, so don’t make me responsible for her own words. Here’s her adress,”I pushed the note towards him. “You can go an see for yourself if you don’t believe me.”
He took the little note with trembling hands and stared at him for a couple of seconds. Then he headed towards the door.
“Seung Hyun?”I called, seeing that he did not look back.
He stopped on his tracks, but he didn’t turn around to face me. He was hurt.
“I’m proud of you, Choi Seung Hyun. And I wish you all the best that there is…”
The door closed behind him and I pulled the cover over my head. I closed my eyes and I covered my mouth with my righ hand, squeezing my lips that were going to betray my heart. My sobs were giving out my pained thoughts:I had to let him go, ‘coz his life was different from mine. I had to let him go, because I could no longer sustain him.