Category: Fans Fiction


Chapter 2

I was living a life of a usual high school student. Busy with school life and extra enrichment lessons and working my part time job fives times a week. It wasn’t exactly money that I needed, but having more cash than your usual allowance means being able  to live a little more extravagant life. I was looking into buying branded goods. In fact I’m never interested in any and I haven’t got one. It didn’t matter with me that most kids around me have branded goods. The can show off all try want, it wasn’t something in life that I was looking for so it didn’t bother me.

Working part time means less time for revision and sleep. But, because I stayed alert in class, my grades weren’t affected. It just meant I have less time for myself and my friends. I bid goodbye to my group of friends other other day while I went for work and they were out for early dinner or movies. I didn’t like spending money on those. I don’t encourage an extravagant student life. Those kind of life can come later when I could afford it was always a thought I had on my mind.

My survival skills? Music and comic. These are those two. I can’t give without music for a moment. I can’t allow my ears to be bare for a moment without sounds. It was also music that encouraged me most and gave me a sense of living. I came in touch with pop music during my late elementary school, but it wssnt only in high school that I really started regretting that I haven’t studied anything about music. These days, reflecting back on my life, I couldn’t help to feel that I haven’t live life to the fullest doing things that I want.

It was a slow week that week. I think it was first year of high school. That was the period that I felt a lot of stress as well. It wasn’t really manageable since there isn’t really anyone I can talk to about. My expectations of myself have always been sky high and in additional to the stress that my parents gave me. They probably didn’t realize then that I had been giving myself a lot of stress. I couldn’t sleep at night. Parents were busy with work as usual; late nights and many times leaving early in the morning. At times, I’ll hear them quarrel about things. But as they are adults I believed they can resolve it among themselves.

I didn’t know what went on and on a certain night, dad just told me that he would be going away for a couple of days. I couldn’t asked more and he left. It was a very sudden departure. Mom didn’t mention anything either but just told me exactly what dad said and asked me not to probe. I was curious. And, not to mention, worried as well. The next evening, I got a text from my aunt and she told me that dad was staying with her for the next couple days. She said that she knew he would’t mention anything to be but I’d be worried, so she chose to inform me. I was glad she did.

Couple days passed and there was nothing from dad. My patience is running it. Mom doesn’t seemed to be bothered about it at all. I started calling and texting and it was obvious that I count get through. Next day, at my work place, I texted again and I got a reply this time. Knowing that dad was checking his phone, I decided to call. We were talking about things, but he chose not to tell me anything about that issue at all. Neither did I probe about it. I was trying to hold back my tears as I spoke to him. It was just a short couple minutes talk. He hung up and I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I teared and it turned into weeping and loud cries that I tried so hard to suppress.

Couple of days passed and I got another text from another aunt of time. She said that I should roughly know what’s going on by now. Both my parents refused to talk to each other. And they would’t want to tell me about it. She believed that I should be informed. The last part of her text stated that they would be signing the papers on Saturday and they would do it in discreet.

My heart broke. Nothing came to my mind. It was darkness in my eyes. I stayed like that for a while before I started to cry. I gave a call to my good friend then and I remembered that she comforted me for the whole night. It was really late when we hung up and we have early lessons next morning. I force myself to sleep.

Couple days passed with me feeling dull and unhappy. On Friday night, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about what’s going to happen on Saturday. The more I thought about it, the upset I get. I cried for what felt like the longest time. And a lot of thoughts went through my mind. My emotions turned to anger. I was resentful of them. Why did they choose not to let me know? I was in a despair.

I had never believe in the existence of saints. But what hapopened that night and the next day forced me to.

“If you really do exist, prove to me that you do. You know what I desire down in my heart.” I said what in teary eyes and then I wiped it dry and continued, “There,s no free lunch in this world. So, I am willing to exchange it with half of my life. But, if only you would also teach people who should be taught a lesson a lesson. They need to know how unbearable it is.”

No one left any house to anywhere the next day.

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Hye rested for 2 days during that week due to her hot fever. She was told by her boss to take a couple more days to rest if it was needed, but Hye couldn’t much as she wanted to because work was piling up. The next two weeks passed quite peacefull with JaeJoong appearing now and then in the day to take a peep at Hye. She couldn’t talk to him much about anything because she’s always busy in the day. At times, JaeJoong would just sit in with her during her meeting and she would just stare straight at him in the face with a look that says “I have a lot of things to say to you.” Of course, JaeJoong wouldn’t know that Hye was clearing up her mind of the stories she’d seen in her dreams. JaeJoong didn’t get the chance to question about it either. Night missions were keeping him away from her at night.

“Can I ask you a couple of questions?”

“I seriously don’t like the idea that you can see me.” Shadow exclaimed, walking from the back of Hye to in front of her.

“Why not?

“It was much convenient when you couldn’t see me.”

“You can just say that you’re afraid of me questioning you.”

“You can read my mind now?!”

“No. I just feel that could be so.”

“Hmm…”

“Anyway, don’t try to change the subject. I have a question for you.”

“Alright, you can ask, but doesn’t necessary mean I’ll answer you.”

Hye stared at Shadow with a glare.

“He doesn’t seem to be able to see you.”

“Is that a question?”

“Can you stop interrupting me?”

Shadow looked around because Hye suddenly raised her voice. No one was looking.

“If you realized, you’re asking me questions in broad daylight on a public street at a bench.”

Hye looked around her environment. “I’m aware of that.”

“People don’t see me.”

“That slipped my mind. It feels like you’re alive.”

“Do I look like I’m dead? I’m just not human, that’s all.”

“Is that so?”

“That’s insulting. What do you mean by that?”

“I haven’t any idea about what are you…”

“What… You used what. Like how your sister did.”

“Anyway, I’m don’t mean to argue with you about that.”

“Why can’t he see you?”

“Because we don’t belong to the same world.”

“Why do I see you then?”

“Not everyone can see me. Or rather, not everyone can see the existance of us.”

“Explain.”

“Hmm… like ghosts? Not everyone can see them.”

“I don’t see ghosts.”

“You do, actually.”

“Ghosts? I do?”

“Kim JaeJoong’s dead.”

“Yes, he is. But I don’t see other dead people other than him.”

“You basically don’t see anything non-living, except both of us.”

“Yes…”

“You see us because you’re meant to. Not because you’re able to right from the start. It’s different from Seo.”

“Hmm…”

“Is that what you’re curious about?”

“Not exactly. It’s what bothering me most.”

“Ok. End of session. Someone’s coming.”

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“Hye!”

“Oh…”

“Why are you seated here alone?” Hye’s colleagues who are back from lunch saw her sitting along in the bench and approached her.

“Just doing some thinking.”

“You had lunch.”

“Yeah…” Hye lied.

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The day passed quite peacefully with Hye burying herself in her work. In the day, she works, In the night, she dreams as she sleeps. There wasn’t any time that she can sort her thoughts out except during the time when she takes the bus. She’s always immensed in her deep thoughts these days. Her parents notice her change, but they didn’t question her. Instead, they sent Seo.

Seo was stand right in front of Hye’s door. Before she could give it a knock, Hye opened the door.

“Come on in.”

Seo glanced around the room for Shadow. “How did you know I’m coming?”

“I heard you.”

“You heard me? I don’t think I was so loud.”

“You came at the right time. I have things to ask you.”

“Mom and dad are worried. You do know that, right?”

“Yes. You thought of an excuse for me? I don’t suppose I can be frank about what’s going on.”

“You definitely can’t. Leave that to me.”

“Glad to have you.” Hye paused for a moment to sort out her thoughts. “I have a confession to make. I can see him. And I named him Shadow.”

“I heard.”

“Good. Is there anything you aren’t aware of?”

“You’re my sister. I wouldn’t if you’re a stranger.”

“Makes sense.”

“JaeJoong hasn’t been around with me for a long time in the night because he’s on missions. You know about the mission part?”

“Mission? No idea. First time I’m hearing it. But, nevermind. Go on.”

“Yes, missions. That’s what he told me. For what reason, I have no idea. And, he isn’t able to see Shadow. But, Shadow is able to see him.”

“That’s only normal. But, don’t ask me why. I have no explainations.” Looking at her sister’s puzzle look, Seo continued to explain, “Not everything in this world can be explained. This is not science.”

“Alright. I have been having dreams.”

“I realized. It’s been going on for weeks. But, what are they about?”

“A lot of complicated things that I don’t even know where’s the start and end. Or, should I say it’s like puzzles, something that I need to form up myself. But, the problem is I don’t know where to start. And, I only see myself in full picture in the dream. I don’t see the other people. Even when I talk to them and even if I meet them face-to-face, I can’t see their looks in the dreams.”

“That’s only normal.”

“But, I remember when I dreamed when we were young, you remembered that I always tell you about my dreams? I remember all those things and people and everything. It was so clear.”

“Those were random dreams. They are real dreams.”

“Real dreams? You mean those dreams I’m having is not real?”

“How should this be explained to you? There are many kinds of dreams. Those real dreams that you remember and see clearly are those that happens because of some brain reaction. But, those story kind of dreams that you see in your dreams, aren’t real dream. Meaning to say, they were real. They could have happened before.”

“Happened before? When? But, I don’t remember that those things took place.”

“It could be in the past.”

“Past? You mean my previous lifetime?”

“Yes…”

“How is that possible? People have no recollections of their past.”

“Yes, they don’t Not until they are dead. Remember how JaeJoong came to find you?”

“Yes… Yes…” Hye remained silent for a long time.

Seo knew that Hye would stay like this for a long time, so she decided to leave her sister in her thoughts.

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That night, Hye dreamed about many things as well. But, because it was so chaotic in her dream, she couldn’t remember anything the next day and she didn’t manage to join anything together that would end up making any sense to her. Hye decided that she would ask JaeJoong the next time she sees her. Be it in the day or at night. She need to clear up everything in her mind. And, he would be the only person that he could.

On the other hand, JaeJoong has been given missions every other nights theses days, sometimes two and sometimes more. One thing that he couldn’t remember was the reason why he was on all these missions. The very last memory that he had was the car accident that caused his death when he was alive. And, when he was dead, his memories only started from when he appeared at Hye’s house the very first night. But, the timing doesn’t fit. A day was missing.

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Check it out Part 16: If we’re destined, we would definitely meet again.

Hye was thinking about JaeJoong the whole day, but he didn’t appear in front of her for 5 days already. Hye was starting to get worried. There was no way she can tell where JaeJoong is. Would JaeJoong appear again? Would Hye be able to clarify things with him? Will Shadow be able to help about that? Would there be a whole full picture of what happened to Hye and JaeJoong?

 

Chapter 1

This year is my last year of middle school. There’s a major exam round the corner and everyone is stressful preparing for it. We have to get good scores for all the subjects because which high school we can enter all depends on the grades. Most of the extra local activities and clubs have all stopped in order for all students to have sufficient time to prepare for their exams. But, not for the dance team because we have an upcoming year-end competition round the corner and that happens to fall on a weekday afternoon just a month before the exam. I took extra languages as well because of my interest in it. There’s an exam for that as well. Luckily, I was able to get an A grade which spared me for a re-test later. But, dance club was an issue. As time draws nearer, our instructor gets more lenient on us and practice hours just doesn’t end. Days of practice added from a day to two to three. I was finding it stressful mentally and physically. I told my mom about it, but she said I shouldn’t be so irresponsible and back out last-minute and I should endure until the competition is over. Hating to lose out and the unfairness of me backing out alone leaving the others hanging in the air urged me to hold on. I was out early morning and back late at night due to practices. My body couldn’t take the stress much longer. I was giving myself more stress because I didn’t have sufficient time to prepare myself for the mock exam papers coming up for the next week. It happened to fall on just three weeks before the dance competition.

Day and night I studied when I have the time. To save time, dad offered to drive me to school. I took the offer gladly. I had breakfast with dad each morning at school since then since he drove me and he set off to work after which. Two to three hours of sleep isn’t helping and worse, it wasn’t even peaceful sleep. I took the mock papers and I didn’t manage to score well for the papers. I’m not a smart kid, but I worked hard for my credits. Having insufficient sleep is causing me to lose my concentration. I spoke to dad about this over breakfast one day. He said he understood what I’m going through now because he went through the same thing during his middle school. I felt a little comforted at his words. Mom decided to enroll me in tuition classes to help me in getting better grades. Whatever reasons I gave was of no acceptance for rejecting those class. I went for it and thus leaving me no time to self-study at all. I didn’t complain. The day for the mock exam came and I took it. Teachers marked them the very day and gave it back to us to go through our mistakes and learn from it. For those who didn’t score well, they are all to stay back after school for an hour of extra classes. As most of the students have extra tuition lessons, lunch time was cut down to 30 minutes for those who needed to stay for extra lessons. I was one of those. I needed to stay late for at least 3 days and a day out of those three days was the day I need to go for dance practice and the remaining two weekdays were the usual practice days as well. Five days of extra tuition lessons outside school, three days for extra lessons in school and three days odd dance club. Each and every hour was filled with things to do.

Days passed and my body couldn’t manage to take it. I pretended to be sick for a day and took a day off dance to rest and clear my mind. I went to school and extra lessons as per normal. More days passed and I have been giving reasons for the last two weeks not to go for dance practice. It didn’t get permitted of course. I was asked to stay in and watch so that I won’t drag the whole team down when I resume practice. But, I never had the intention to. All I wanted was to drop out of dance. The dance instructor picked me. I didn’t want to be part of the competition. But, because of my height and I’m good I’m obligated. The instructor called my mom. Mom questioned me. I find all sorts of excuses and I lied for what I remembered to be the first time in my life. I give all sorts of reasons that I could and I had to put on an act. I thought I convinced my mom because she said to speak with the instructor about it. Next day, she took time off work and dropped by my school. I was so glad to see her. I could finally drop myself off dance club was the thought that I had. She approached the instructor and spoke to her.

“My mom wants to speak with you about my dance practices.”
“She does? I’ll speak with her while you should  get on with practices.”

I backed down, but stretch my ears to listen to it.

“Yes, yes, I’m aware. She told me about it.”
“… …”
“Yes, yes, I’m sorry about that. Yes… Yes…”
“… …”

The situation doesn’t seemed to be what I had expected, so I decided to approach with caution. I got near enough to them and my mom touch me on my shoulder. Everyone wasn’t practicing at all. They were all focused on the two adults. I could hear exactly what they were talking now. My mom was totally siding and believing what the instructor said which wasn’t true. All I did was find excuses to drop out of dance cub. My mom totally buy the instructor’s side of the story. I thought she’d side me and get me out of the club because studies are more important. This was definitely betrayal. I just explained everything to her clearly the night before and I certainly heard her promising me.

This is wrong; absolutely wrong. I poised myself. Waited for them to finish the talk. I told the instructor that I want to go back with my mom today and I was given the permission. She asked me to rest well for today. I didn’t start a conversation with my mom on the whole journey back. The betrayal I felt for a 16-year-old. I was angst and disappointed. That night I couldn’t sleep. I cried in my bed for what seemed to be the longest night in my 16 years of life.

I made a wish that night. “You betrayed me today. You’re perhaps never to be trusted. I won’t choose to tell you anything at all anymore. You broke what seemed to be a perfect family lifestyle for me. Caring parents and lovely home. You won’t ever be able to make up for today. You’ll regret, but won’t know the reason for you’re losing my trust.”

In life there are many times when we feel that something is lack. There are also many times when we made wishes without our slightest knowledge. It could probably just be a casual wish. Sometimes it comes true, but sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes we make a wish out of desperate needs, sometimes it’s an earnest request. It could be for oneself, or it could be for others. There’s a saying that there’s no free lunch in this world. I made a wish today and I hope that it would come true. Have you made any today?

Hye was waiting for her usual bus at the usual bus stop near her work place. It was late at night, almost 10pm. She was all alone. But, what she didn’t realize was that she wasn’t exactly all alone. There was someone who was watching her from afar, and another someone who was watching her from over the glass. Both of them wasn’t able to approach her. No, only one of them wasn’t able to approach her because he saw that she wasn’t alone.

It wasn’t 3 minutes later that the bus came. It was very cold that night, but it didn’t bother Hye because her mind was somewhere else. She had been having late nights and her body condition wasn’t tip-top. She boarded the bus and because there wasn’t many people around, she was able to get a couple seat to herself. In such circumstances, the girl would usually sit near the window, but Hye chose to sit near the aisle. She put on her earphones and played her music. The lyrics of the first song on the playlist seemed to be singing out her story. She closed her eyes and unknowingly, tears flowed.

There was someone who was watching her, beside her; Hye of course wouldn’t have noticed. Hye was starting to weep a little, but there was no noise. The man seated next to her stretched out his hand to wipe off those tears rolling down the cheecks. The cold touch startled Hye.

Turning her head fast, Hye saw JaeJoong seated right next to her. She couldn’t help but weeped more.

“What’s wrong?” JaeJoong asked, being concerned.

“Nothing.”

“Don’t lie.”

“It’s really nothing.”

“You know I can’t read your thoughts recently.”

“Have you tried?”

“I…” JaeJoong is lost for words. He didn’t know how to explain it to Hye. No matter how hard he tried to read her mind, he can’t. And, he was kept away from her with his mission.

“See…” Hye tried to force a smile. “Why are you here at this timing?”

“Why? I was here all along. But, someone was so busy crying that she…” JaeJoong was trying to cheer up Hye.

Hye pouted and stared hard at JaeJoong.

“And… You know.. Usually, at times like this, the ladies would usually sit at the window seat. And, they would rest their head on the window… Why?” JaeJoong stopped his nonsense when Hye continued to stare at him.

“Why would I? When there’s no one else. And, it has always been my habit to sit here.”

“Oh, really?”

The next song continued to play on Hye’s music player. JaeJoong took the ear phone resting on the left side of Hye’s ear and put it into his own.

“What song was it that made you so upset?”

“Ung?”

“You were crying.”

“I… It wasn’t the song.”

“You’re lying.”

“It’s up to you to believe it or not.”

JaeJoong didn’t argue with Hye. He sat upright to match his shoulders to be higher than Hye. Then, he put his left hand over her shoulder and pushed her head to rest on his right shoulder.

“Why?” Hye tried to lift her head upright.

“Just for a while. Just stay like this for a while.”

The third song continued to play on. Tonight, weirdly it seems, all the songs on Hye’s playlist seemed to be playing stories about their past. Both Hye and JaeJoong have many parts of their stories in bits and pieces. One thing JaeJoong didn’t realize is that Hye had a companion who was looking out for her at a distance.

The bus drove on and it soon came to the stop that Hye needed to alight. Hye took the ear phone off from JaeJoong’s ear and stood up immediately.

“Oppa, I’ll alight and walk home myself. You don’t have to see me home.”

“Hye…”

With that, Hye alighted the bus and ran a little until she was sure she wouldn’t be seen from the bus stop. As she ran, she couldn’t stop herself from crying. She sat at a bench and cried with all her might. Someone was seated next to her. He was protecting her in his own way.

JaeJoong saw that Hye was seated alone on the bench and she kept weeping. Upset, he wasn’t able to take a step forward towards her so he could sit beside her and comfort her.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Hye, I’m really sorry.” JaeJoong found himself crying for the first time after his death.

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“Mr. Kim JaeJoong, you didn’t forget about your mission, have you?”

“Senior, I haven’t. It’s just…” JaeJoong knew that he failed on his mission tonight.

“As your senior, I only have one advise for you. You’re already dead. Don’t mess with the life of the living. No matter what you do, you can’t turn back time.”

JaeJoong nodded when his senior put an arm over his shoulder to usher him that he should leave.

“Now that you’ve seen her enter the door of her own house, you should feel more at ease.”

“Thank you, senior.”

His senior let out a sigh and commented, “I seriously have nothing to comment about your relationship with her.”

“You don’t have to.”

“Your fate with her ended in this life. But, no one can tell what’s coming up next. Haven’t you know enough to be able to guess?”

“What… do you mean… with that?”

“Come on, boy.”

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“You’re upset, aren’t you?”

Hye entered her own room and he followed behind her. Hye slammed the door right at his face. But, in any way, it wouldn’t matter to him.

“You’re upset because of him.”

Hye went to her table and put her bag down.

“What can you do about it?”

Hye sat down on her chair.

“There’s nothing that you can do even if you’re upset.” As he said that, Hye was tying up her hair.

“You’re not going to start to cry again?” Hye folded her legs right in front of her chest, on her chair.

“Alright, for a day like today. You should cry your heart out.”

That night, Hye cried for a long time and she didn’t even bothered bathing or changed to a new set of clothes. Tired, she just lied on her bed and slept, without covering the blanket.

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“Hye!”

“Hye!”

“Hye!”

Hye’s mom was calling out for her in the dining area. It was already 8am. Hye would be late for work.

“What’s that girl doing? Why isn’t she coming down yet?”

“Why don’t you go and take a look?”

“She’d usually be here, eating her breakfast at this timing.”

“Morning, dad, mom.”

“Seo, you came at the right time.”

“Why?”

“You’re done with feeding the dog? Can you go and call your sister?”

“Hye is still not coming down?”

With that, Seo ran upstairs and barged into her sister’s room.

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“What? What are you? Why are you here at broad daylight?!”

“Why can’t I? I can be here anytime I want.”

“What did you do to my sister?”

“I swear I didn’t do anything. But, she was crying the whole night.”

“Crying?” That guy nodded hard.

“Hye? Hye, wake up. You’re late.” Seo called out for Hye as she approached her sister. Seo touched her sister and realized that she’s down with a high fever.

“Mom! MOM!”

Frantic, her mom ran to the second floor.

“Hye… She’s down with a hot fever.”

“Hot fever?” Concerned, her mom burst into the room. “Let me see.” Her mom moved to the other side of Hye and touched her on her forehead. “Indeed. Seo, get some ice and cloth from the kitchen. Make sure to wet it.”

“Ok…” Seo ran downstairs.

“What’s wrong with your sister?”

“Oh… She’s down with fever and mom wants me to get some ice.”

“Down with fever? Our strong Hye? She hardly falls sick.” Worried, her dad went upstairs to take a look.

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With that, Hye’s mom busied herself the whole morning, trying to lower Hye’s body temperature. A house doctor had been called in and medicine prescribed. Worried, Hye’s mom couldn’t leave Hye an inch, but it was almost lunch time.

“My dear, you need to take your medicine. I’ll cook you something, alright?” Hye’s mom said in a very soft voice.

She left the room.

That guy who was watching this whole thing came forth and took a look at Hye.

“I’m supposed to protect you. But, I couldn’t stop you from having a fever. You’ll come to know why later.”

He wasn’t expecting an answer, but… “Why?”

“What a scare! You can see me?!?!?”

“You’re standing here, aren’t you?” Hye said as she lifted her hand and pointed at the direction he was standing.

“I… am…” Puzzled, that guy continued to ask, “But, how did you manage to see me? No, no, no, since when did you know of my presence?”

“You’re questioning a sick person?”

“You’re not that sick that you can’t answer a question or think.”

“Since… last night?” Hye wasn’t certain. So, she added, “But, I know you’ve been around.”

“You knew? Must be your talkative sister!”

“No… it wasn’t… Seo. She… didn’t say anything.”

“Hmm… interesting.”

“What doesn’t interest you?”

“You interest me.”

“Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.”

Hye threw a glance at him.

“What’s your name?”

“I can’t tell you.”

“Why can’t you?”

“Wait… Why aren’t you scared?”

“Should I be?”

“True, after what you’ve been true.”

Hye ignored him.

“So, who else do you see?” He paused for a moment before adding, “Other than him.”

“Just you and him.”

“Oh?”

“Since you have no name, let me name you.”

“No, thank you.” He tried to say politely but strongly rejecting.

“I insist.” Hye sat up and thought for a moment. She took in a deep breath and heaved out a sigh. “I shall call you ‘shadow’.

“Eh? Why shadow?”

“You don’t like it?”

“Do I have a choice?”

“No, actually. Because you seemed like a shadow when I knew of your presence.”

“Wait, meaning you couldn’t see my actual figure?”

Hye nodded before she rested her head on the pillow again.

“Mom’s coming.” Hye warned.

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“Hye, come, eat this and eat your medicine.”

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What seemed like a long journey began in Hye’s mind again.

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It was autumn. It was dark at night. Hye was walking by herself and she came to the signboard. She couldn’t read what was written. But, she entered. As soon as she did, the place lit up. It was a busy place. She took a glance around her surroundings. Then, she saw that she was being escorted by a lot of people behind her.

“The night is cold. Why don’t you return?”

“No, I barely came.” Hye responded to the voice.

Hye continued to walk. Then, to her astonishment, she realized that people behind her are disappearing. She turned back to see.

“What are you looking at? Why aren’t you following me?”

Hye turned in front to see a familiar face.

“Why are you in a daze? You want me to hold your hand?” With that, the guy held her hand and dragged her to walk forward.

“Where are we?” Hye asked and the dream disappeared.

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Hye awoke from the bed and she smelled something nice. She walked towards the kitchen.

“Who… is this?” Hye asked. And, she saw herself walked passed her.

“My dear, you’re awake?”

“My dear husband, what if Mother-in-law sees this?”

“Don’t worry, my dear. Mother had went out early this morning.”

“But, still…” That guy placed both of his hands on her shoulders and made her sat on the chair. “My princess, you can sit here and wait to be fed.”

Brimmed with happiness, Hye saw herself smiling and staring at the guy.

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“Are you dreaming about him?” Shadow asked the sleeping Hye. “Do you know that each time you dream about him, you would end up tearning. Although you wouldn’t know what exactly happened, but your dream will stay with you. I only worry that, you’d feel miserable on the day you get the full story.”

===========================================================

“Oppa!” Hye was waving towards a guy who was standing beside a red posh car.

“You’re late. Get on quick.”

“I’m sorry. I was preparing.”

“You don’t have to.”

“How do I look? I’m going home today.”

“Pretty as usual.”

“Really?” Hye stared at herself and into the rear mirror.

===========================================================

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know that it would become like this.”

“Had I known, I wouldn’t have agreed to come along with you.”

“Why do I always get the blame?”

“Ain’t I always in a shit because of you?”

“Hey, high scholar! Why are you blaming me? You should say if you had a better idea.”

“Yeah, right. It was all because of you we ended up here.”

“YongJae, I’m sorry. Ung? Don’t be angry.”

“Oh, whatever. Are we really going to spend the night here?”

“We… don’t… have… a choice…”

“Aishh…”

YongJae took off his top and lied on the left side of the bed. “You sleep over there.”

“Yong Jae ahh…”

“… …”

“I got it.”

Yong Jae slept facing inside, but as soon as Hye lied on the bed, he turned and faced the other side. The dream stayed on for quite some time in the dark. Hye was staring at YongJae’s back the whole night. From the viewpoint of the Hye in the dream, Yong Jae wasn’t asleep either. In fact, he didn’t move an inch because he thought Hye was asleep and he was afraid he’d wake her.

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The day went on very long and Hye, down with a hot fever, slept through the day. The dream went on and on in swirls. Shadow just sat beside Hye and tried to reduce her sorrow as much as he could.

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Preview Part 15

What Hye saw in her dream made her drew a distance with JaeJoong. She couldn’t tell from which is which. She knew that JaeJoong is hiding things from her. She wanted to question him. But, she need to find a good time. With lesser and lesser time that JaeJoong is appearing in front of him, what questions can she ask?

Check it out Part 15: One shouldn’t dwell in the past. Our past is a shadow.

“Hye! Hye! Hye!” Hye couldn’t hear her mom calling for her from level 1. She went straight up after she entered the door to her room. She was deep immersed in her thoughts to hear or notice what’s happening around her.

“Hye!” Hye’s mom called our for her as she opened the door with a sudden swift and it startled Hye.

“What a scare!” Hye turned around and saw her mom standing at the door with her arms crossed in front of her chest.

“My dear daughter, I’ve been calling you since just now when you stepped in and my throat is all dry now.”

“I’m sorry, mom” Hye was feeling apologetic towards her mom. Not because she didn’t hear her calling out for her, but because she was still deeply immersed in her thoughts. Hye was staring blankly at her mom as her mom spoke.

“Hye… Do you get anything I just said at all?”

“Huh?”

“Oh well, nevermind. What have you been up to lately? You seem to be lost in your own thoughts.” Hye’s mom moved to sit beside her daughter who was now sitting at her own bed. Hye was going to tear up, but she managed to hold it back.

“It’s nothing. Just… things at work.”

“Are you having a lot of stress recently?” Hye knew that she’s going to burst into tears soon. She couldn’t bear to let her mom see her tearing up. No, in fact, she was afraid that her mom would question her. Because, she would have no answers to those questions. Her mind was in a stir. Hye continued to be in daze as her mom exited the room.

===============================================================================

There was someone else in the room. The feeling was positive. But, because Hye was too immersed in her own thoughts she wouldn’t notice a thing. There was a loud thud and it shocked Hye. It actually brought her  back to the current world. Seo was standing at her door.

“What’s that for, Seo?”

“Shhhh….”

“What is it?”

“Just keep silent for a moment.” Seo moved around and her fingers moved towards the main switch of Hye’s room. She pushed the switch and it clicked off.

“What are you doing?!” Hye exclaimed, irritated by her sister’s nonsensical actions.

“Quiet.” A few moments passed and Hye was so irritated she got out of her bed to switch on the light. She then held her sister’s hand and dragged her to sit on the bed.

“Can you tell me what exactly are you doing now?”

“I can. Let me ask you some things first.”

“Shoot.”

“First, you’re having nightmares recently?”

“Yes.”

“JaeJoong hasn’t been around for very long?”

“No…”

“How can that answer be no?”

“Why not?”

“You’ve seen him?”

“Yes.”

“Where?”

“Everywhere, but home.”

“Everywhere… but home… Hmm…”

“Why?”

“I’m doing the questions here.”

“Fine. Shoot, then.”

“Did you notice any difference in your room after he’s gone?”

“What difference is there?”

“Nevermind.”

“Why are you asking all these?” Of course Hye’s question had been ignored by Seo.

“No reason why. Shouldn’t you be bathing already?”

“I am about to…”

“How long have you been having nightmares?”

“It’s been quite some time now.”

“What are they about?”

“Nothing much… Wait, how did you know I was having nightmare?”

“You talked in your dream.”

“I… What?!”

“Nevermind. Go and bath. Quick.”

“Why are you acting just like…”

“Like what?”

“Oh, nevermind.” Hye grabbed her towel and clothes and went straight into the bath. Seo watched Hye as she made every single movement and she was certain that she did not feel anything unusual about her own room.

==============================================================================

When Hye started to bath, Seo walked around the room, patroling like she’s some dog sniffing for a bone that was hidden somewhere, lost.

“I know you’re around. Why don’t you just appear to make things easier.”

There was no answer.

“You should be able to tell what I’m made of. Don’t try me” Seo tried to threaten. “Just because we’ve been busy with our daily lives doesn’t mean that I don’t bother about my dear sister.”

There was still no answer after Seo waited for what felt like an hour but it was barely 1 minute that passed.

“I say, come on out now.” It wasn’t a threat, it was a demand.

And, it worked.

“Why are you looking for me?”

“Oh, you’re a guy.”

“If not?” That guy raised his eyebrow.

“What are you?”

“What?” That guy paused for a moment before continuing, “You used what?”

“Yes. Answer me now.”

“You have no respect for us.”

“Us?”

“Yes, us.”

“Just answer my question.”

“That’s not for me to say. I can’t tell you.”

“Doesn’t mean I can’t find out.”

“By all means.”

” You caused her nightmare?”

“Not exactly.”

“What’s your motive?”

“I have no motive.”

“Liar. Speak up now. What are you here for?”

“I mean no harm, alright. You’re like a tigress. I’m here to protect her.”

“Protect her? Under whose orders?”

“Someone. I can’t tell you who.”

The bathroom door opened and Seo stood frozen still facing that guy. Seo looked right at him and turned to look at Hye and back to that guy.

“Why are you still here, Seo? You still have something to say?”

“Me? Ahh… No… No, I have nothing to say.” Seo replied her sister while shaking her head. Seo is acting weird today and to Seo, Hye seemed to have notice but she didn’t question about it.

Seo left the room. One thing that she’s certain, Hye isn’t able to see that guy. Somehow, she didn’t know to feel happy about that or not. That night, Hye turned in early. But, it didn’t stop her from having her dreams again.

==============================================================================

“Why did you ask to meet here? I had a hard time sneaking out.”

“I know.”

“Although the times we spend is very short, but I’m always happy with you.”

“Hye…”

“Ung?”

“Nothing.”

“The weather is nice today. Let’s just enjoy it together peacefully.”

JaeHak looked at Hye with a sorrow face, but he tired very hard to keep it from Hye. Each time, when Hye turned to look at him, he’d smile at her brightly. Hye, being the innocent her, wouldn’t have noticed anything.  The dream stayed sweet for a moment before it was moved to another scenario.

==============================================================================

Hye was walking down a path where all houses lined up in a straight line and it was dark in the night. She was all alone. She had a piece of her outer clothing wrapped up over her head in order to cover her face. She took each step forward with much cautious. She had ran out of somewhere, onto this street, in search for something. In the dream, Hye kept walking and none of the street lights lit up for her. Then she heard sounds behind her and she turned around, scared. She then heard some footsteps in front of her. She turned around and she’s being brought to another sencario. It was a back street. It was a dead town. Scared, Hye forced herself to walk fast foward in a haste. She stopped at a corner when she heard a voice.

“Who sent you? Who are you people?”

“Cut the crap. Kill him!” A marcho guy ordered some 2-3 other shorter guys.

Then a fight broke out. Scared, Hye hid herself behind the house while she watched the 5 men fought. She saw that the man that they were trying to kill was JaeHak. Shocked, she let out a loud scream. JaeHak lost his focus on her and he was slashed by one of the shorter guys. Shocked, the 4 men fled.

“Prince JaeHak!” Hye shouted out to him as she ran towards him. She tried to hug him when he was in much pain, but because it was just a dream, when she tried to hug him, the dream shifted and the scenario changed.

==============================================================================

“Prince JaeHak?” Hye saw him from afar. She ran towards him, only to notice that he wasn’t alone.

“Hello” Hye greeted the other lady that was with him before turning to him. Hye signaled to JaeHak to ask him who that lady is. But, Hye didn’t like the expression on his face. He was avoiding her glance as well. He didn’t bother to introduce her. The lady, didn’t bothered to introduce herself either. She glanced at Hye and then at JaeHak, as if she understood everything. She did, in fact.

“Who’s this lady?”

“She’s someone… bestowed to me.”

“Bestowed?”

“Yes, we’re getting married soon.” That lady interrupted them.

“I didn’t ask you.” Hye was suddenly losing her cool.

“Stop that, Hye. She’s my wife-to-be.”

Hye kept shaking her head as she backed away from the scene. She was tearing up in her dream. She looked very heartbroken. After backing for what seemed 15 steps, Hye turned and walked, then it turned to brisk walking, then to running.

“No… You shouldn’t. Why are you doing this to me? You said you love me… You can’t do this to me. No, you can’t! You can’t!” Hye found herself weeping in her own sleep.

She was crying so badly that she woke herself up.

==============================================================================

“No… You shouldn’t. Why are you doing this to me? You said you love me… You can’t do this to me. No, you can’t! You can’t!”

This kept ringing in Hye’s head for the next couple of days. For the next couple of days when she met Jae during the day, she wasn’t able to smile brighty at him.

==============================================================================

Preview Part 14

JaeJoong seemed to have notice that something is not right. He tried to use his means to find out the reason behind it. What exactly had he found out? What was the thing that he exchanged with his missions? What did he realize that Hye come to know? Would that change the relationship between the both of them? Who exactly is that guy?

Check it out Part 14 Given a choice, I wished we remained as who we were, never to meet.

“No… You shouldn’t. Why are you doing this to me? You said you love me… You can’t do this to me. No, you can’t! You can’t!”

Hye jumped out of her bed and broke out in cold sweat. It was the sequencial dream that she keeps having after that night and tonight is already the 10th night. Everything was like a puzzle that she had to fix up herself and the story was incomplete – no, it was yet to be completed. Sometimes the dream stopped after once but at times, it continued the whole night. The amazing thing about dreams that Hye realized was, in reality everything happens by the seconds then minutes, but in dreams, everything happened in a flash within a spilt second. It wasn’t at all confusing, in fact, it told her many things within a single second – stunning yet scary at times.

Hye got off her bed while she tried to catch her breath and relaxed herself. She glanced around and realized that JaeJoong wasn’t around. He hadn’t been around at night since after that eventful night. It wasn’t because Hye didn’t had the courage to question JaeJoong about it, but she knew that she shouldn’t. It was like a taboo, like how a little girl’s candy would be taken back if she questions the capability of her fairy god mother. Hye went to wash her face and realized that it was 6am.

She sat back at her bed for what seemed to be 10 minutes that passed. “I might as well wash up and get ready to go to work.”

==============================================================

During the morning, Hye was busy with meetings until 11am and when she finally finished everything, she was totally exhausted.

“Why don’t you go get a cup of cold water to drink and rest a little?” A familiar voice struck from behind her.

She turned around with teary eyes. “Oppa…” She called out of him in a low voice as she tried to keep her tears from falling out.

“What happened, my dear? You look tired.”

“Ung? Oh… It’s… not… hing much…”

JaeJoong heard footsteps and he turned Hye’s chair back to facing the front.

“Hye, could you help me with these? I need to go for a meeting and I have an external meeting over lunch later. But, the boss wants this done by the afternoon. Please… Please… ” Hye couldn’t reject.

“Alright. I’ll look into it now.” When her colleague left, Hye turned around to look for JaeJoong.

“Oppa?” She paused for a moment. “Where did he go?”

“I’m here.” JaeJoong appeared at her front instead.

“When did you…”

“I was hiding as I didn’t want to confused you.”

“I don’t get confused these days.” Hye signaled to JaeJoong that she has more work to do, putting the file right up to his face. But, of course, the file couldn’t touch him. Nothing can touch him unless he allows it. Or, unless it wasn’t human or an object.

With that, JaeJoong disappeared from Hye’s sight. Hye buried herself at work again.

1 hour… 2 hours passed…

“Geez… What time is it now?” Hye was talking to herself again as she stared up at the clock opposite. It strike 1.30pm.

“Oh shit! It’s already 1.30pm! Since when did time pass so… Wait, I’m hungry…” Hye was thinking of going to the cafe downstairs to grab something. She stood up and glanced around. She was the only one left. She grabbed her wallet and phone and was about to leave when the door bell rang.

“Yes?”

“Delivery”

“I don’t think anyone ordered anything.”

“It has been paid for. The address is correct. Do you have someone by the name of…” Hye glanced at the receipt that the person was holding and saw her own name.

“That’s me!” Hye shouted out, without realizing that she was being too excited about a lunch delivery. She was stared by the delivery guy.

“Where shall I put these?”

“Oh… Oh! You can just give them to me.” Hye ensured that the person left the office before she turned around and head off to the pantry area.

“I’m quite sure I didn’t order these. Who was… ” Hye murmured to herself.

“I ordered for you.”

“I thought you went off?”

“I did.”

“But, why are you…”

“Because my princess would miss her lunch again.”

“My princess?”

“Yes, my princess…”

“What’s up with my princess?” JaeJoong didn’t answer Hye but showed his white rows of teeth, smiling gradiently at her.

“It’s really been a long time…”

“What?”

“It’s been a long time since you smiled like this, oppa.”

“Did I?”

“You look less tired these days.”

“I guess getting used is part and parcel.”

“Maybe…”

“And, you look more and more tired.”

“Do I? Maybe it’s work.”

They heard footsteps and once again, JaeJoong disappeared.

This time, he disappeared for the whole day.

========================================================================

“You know that I love him. You knew it, yet why did you propose marriage?”

“I know it. But why should I let the both of you be together?”

“You know that I never love you.”

“Of course I do. I don’t expect you to now. But, I will make you love me.”

“Why can’t you just let go of me?”

“Because I love you…”

“This is not love. What you and Princess MiEun do is not call love!”

“Where do you think you’re heading to? To him?”

“Let go!” Hye was grabbed by her shoulders from behind.

Once again, Hye broke out in cold sweat from her dreams. She stared at her clock and it says 3am. She had barely slept for 2 hours but it felt so long. She went to the toilet to wash up and changed into a new set of clothes before turning in again.

========================================================================

“Prince JaeHak, are you studying?”

“uhmm…”

“Why don’t you come and walk the garden with me?”

“uhmm…”

“Can you teach me how to ride a horse?”

“uhmm…”

Hye was annoyed by the reaction that JaeHak was giving her. Being at 15, being at a playful age, she teased JaeHak.

“Why don’t you make me your wife?”

“uhmm…”

It wasn’t even a slight second that passed when JaeHak reacted.

“What!”

Hye giggled out loud.

“I like how you let me ride the horse.”

“Horse riding is not something…”

“I know, I know, you don’t have to keep saying.”

========================================================================

“Your Majesty…”

“Says who you can bring the princess out as you like?”

“Please pardon me.”

“EunHye! You too! When will you ever grow up?”

“Father, I…” Hye started out but was stopped by JaeHak. Hye shook JaeHak off. “I like him. I want to marry him!”

“No, I won’t allow that!”

“Why can’t you, father?”

“You’ll marry when you’re of marriagble age, but he won’t be the man.”

“Why can’t he? He’s also a prince like…”

“What are you doing? Won’t you bring the princess back right away?” An angry voice commanded in Hye’s dream.

“Prince JaeHak… Prince JaeHak!”

The next image that was seen was JaeHak pleading for forgiviness.

========================================================================

This time, Hye awoke frozen in her bed. She felt numbed for at least a long 10 minutes before she could finally move. She felt that she wasn’t alone.

“Who’s there?”

“Oppa? No, you can’t be him.”

“Who are you?!” Hye screamed across her room in a loud voice.

Seo went into her room. She saw that Hye wasn’t alone. There was another presence that was being felt. But Seo didn’t know what that was. She couldn’t afford to scare her sister.

“What are you doing? I heard you screaming.”

“Screaming? No, I thought I saw…”

“Saw?”

“It’s nothing.”

It was obvious to the both of them that either of them are hiding something from each other. Hye couldn’t tell Seo out of fear and Seo couldn’t tell Hye because she shouldn’t get Hye involved and knowing about the existence of these things. On an additional note, she herself, wasn’t too sure either.

========================================================================

Preview Part 13
Sometimes, the more we question about something, the more we get to know about a certain truth. Sometimes, the truth could be something desirable, but many times, it is a true fact so true and torturing that one wouldn’t be able to bear knowing the whole story behind. When we question, we choose what we want to question. And, when we remember, we have to be certain that’s worth remembering for what’s being remembered would not be forgotten even if that thought is missing from the brain, it lives in the subconscious mind. Hye wasn’t prepared for anything at all.

Part 13 That wasn’t a betrayal. It wasn’t within our means.

 

For the next couple of days, it was hard to catch sight of JaeJoong. Hye was bothered about it when she had that free time to let her thoughts run wild; sometimes on the way back and forth work and sometimes over lunch. These days, Hye likes to eat her lunch alone rather than having the company of her colleagues. She thinks that she needs time to herself to think about many things. But, each time she sits down to really give it a serious thought, her mind just went blank. She felt puzzled and frustrated about it. She could ask no one. JaeJoong wouldn’t tell her of anything even if she’d try to ask, he’d just change the topic and asking Seo is definitely not the best idea. She wouldn’t want JaeJoong to be hated by Seo. It was a Sunday night when Hye was tidying up her schedule for the following week.

“Hmm… There’s just so many things to be completed in a week. Why do we have only 24  hours a day? And, spending 8 hours a day for sleep is just such a waste of time!” Hye complained to herself in her room. “And…” Hye glanced around her room. “Where is that Mr Kim Jae Joong!” She exclaimed quite loudly to herself.

“I’m here.”

“Wow!” Hye was shocked. JaeJoong was standing directly behind her chair. “Why did you appear out of nowhere?”

“Where am I suppose to appear then? In front of you?”

“That’s worse. It’s a wall.” JaeJoong nodded in agreement mischievously.

Hye turned her chair around only to find herself stuck right in front of JaeJoong. JaeJoong was staring directly at her. Hye started to pout and cross her arms to show her dissatisfaction.

“What’s wrong now?” JaeJoong asked, being concern. He was praying in his own heart that Hye would never ask him that question.

“Where have you been all week?”

“How’s work? Is it still bad? I wanted to help…” Hye broke JaeJoong off before he could finish up his sentence.

“Don’t try to change the topic again. Answer me. Where have you been?” Anger filled Hye’s voice. Hye stood up and her eyes matched JaeJoong’s eyes. He looked seriously tired. Hye’s eyes started to tear a little. JaeJoong softened.

“I’ll tell you when…”

“You’re not going to say you’re going to tell me when the time is right.” Hye walked away from JaeJoong to escape his glance. “You know that I’ll be worried. I’ve been worried about you for the whole week. Do you know how it feels like talking to myself, thinking that you’d reply me? Thinking that you’re actually right beside me and I couldn’t see you? I’ve been worried about your whereabouts.”

“I know…”

“I know. That is it?” Hye wasn’t trying to be pushy but she’s really worried. “Oppa, you can tell me frankly.”

“Hye, it’s not that I don’t. It’s I am not supposed to. You need to understand that.” JaeJoong thought.

“Fine.” Hye was crossed.

“It’s Sunday night. You’ll need to work tomorrow. You should…”

Hye glanced at the clock. “You’re going to ask me to rest again? But, oppa, you…” Hye felt too listless to continue. She didn’t want to quarrel with JaeJoong, especially so when he just returned after such a long time. One thing that Hye is very certain is, she’s still able to see him.

“I promise that I’ll come very night, alright? Now, go and rest.” JaeJoong tried to coax Hye.

Hye pretended that she listened to JaeJoong and went off to bed. Seeing that Hye is asleep, JaeJoong set off again. When Hye noticed that JaeJoong is gone, she get out of bed to get changed. She ran out of her house, onto the main street and found JaeJoong walking. She followed him but wondered to herself if that’s how ghost travel – by walking. She followed him quite closely but kept a distance so that JaeJoong wouldn’t know that he had been followed. She felt like a stalker and thought about to herself how his stalker fans must have stalked him like that previously. She saw him come to a halt in front of a condominium. JaeJoong stood there and stared at a single unit for at least 10 minutes before moving off again.

“Why is he doing here? Why did he keep staring at the apartment. Which apartment was it that…” Hye was distracted in her thoughts for a moment and before she realized it, JaeJoong was out of sight. She stood up and revealed herself, thinking, “Where did he disappear to? He didn’t walked?” There was a shine of light coming from behind. Hye turned.

“Miss, what are you doing here? Are you a resident?”

“No, I am…” Hye started off saying, but decided that she should lie. “I just came back from an exercise and will be heading back now.”

Hye pretended to enter the building and pressed the lift when the security guard went off. “Phew, that was close! What a time to be at a strange place and spotted by a security guard with no excuse.”

======================================================

For the next couple of days, Hye’s day schedule were meetings and conferences and appointments in the day. For night, the original planned schedule was overtime, dates with friends, drinks, movies but she had them changed and cancelled.

======================================================

As promised, JaeJoong did show up every night at Hye’s house and put her to sleep, but each night when she sees him, he gets a littler more tired than the previous night. Hye was worried but she didn’t question. She was unusually obedient to JaeJoong. JaeJoong was too tired for anything else so it didn’t cross his mind that Hye was being unusually obedient to what he has to say. Every night, when Hye pretended to sleep, JaeJoong would leave the house to go to that mysterious apartment. Hye would follow him only to fail to be able to tell which unit exactly was the one that he entered. But she was determined.

======================================================

“Oppa, I’ll be going out with some friends tomorrow so I won’t be home early. Would you be dropping by to see me?”

“Have fun with your friends. I’ll not drop by tomorrow since you’re not home.”

“Oh… Alr… right…”

“Are you disappointed?”

“Rather than saying I’m disappointed, I’m just…”

“I can find you at whereever you’d be tomorrow night”

“No,no,no it’s fine.” Hye insisted thinking that it’d foil her plans. She had intended to wait for him at the apartment instead.

======================================================

Hye was there at 10.15pm. She knew that she could be early but she wouldn’t want to be late. So, she didn’t bother about the time. It was a good thing that the weather was kind to her that night. She waited at a bench nearby, close enough to be able to spot JaeJoong when he appears. After a long wait, he appeared. Hye was excited and determined when she saw his appearance. This time, he walked into the building. Hye followed closely behind. He was gone when she reached the lobby but she noticed that the lift stopped at 15th floor, so she took the lift up to the 15th floor. There were 6 units in that level. Hye started to walked back and forth at the lift lobby, wondering which unit could JaeJoong be at.

“It’d be insane to go and ring the bell of every single unit. People would complain and I’d get into trouble and I can’t investigate. No,no,no, that’s a very bad idea. What can be done?”

The lift door sprang opened and a black suit man walked out. He looked beat. Hye followed behind him to see which unit he entered. He walked to the far end of the unit that the main door faced the whole corridor. She tried to followed closer up, intending to make a right turn to the unit at the right if he notice her. That black suit man turned his door knob and Hye stood there frozen.

Before she could react, JaeJoong was standing in front of her. He shook her a little to get her to wake up.

“Hye!” He said to her, looking at her eyes. “It’s not safe here. Let’s go.” JaeJoong knew that the other two men would most probably appear soon if they found out.

======================================================

“What are you doing there? Have you any idea how dangerous it is? And, what time is it now? Do you think it’d be safe for a girl to…” Hye was still in a daze. “Forget it. I’ll take you home.”

JaeJoong grabbed Hye by the wrist but Hye shook his hand off.

“What’s that for?”

“I’m taking you home.”

“Not that.”

“What?”

“You know what I mean…”

“You’re going home this moment.”

“Oppa, don’t try to escape this time.” Hye started to cry.

JaeJoong hated to see her cry. He hugged her. To Hye, he felt a lot colder than he used to be when they first met. She didn’t question. She knew the answer. She didn’t have that energy to either.

“Alright, I’ll tell you.” JaeJoong said as he grabbed her hand and started to walk. “Let’s walk home while I tell you. But you’re not allowed to ask any questions.” Hye nodded in agreement like a 3 year old kid given a lollipop candy.

“I’m on a mission. I can’t tell you what mission is that. It’s against the rules. There are rules that I have to abide by while I’m here. I didn’t know what happened that allowed me to stay here, but I have to exchange something with it for while I’m here. There are people in charge of me to ensure that I accomplish my mission and to ensure that my identity wasn’t revealed. You are a threat. You’re not supposed to know anything. But, I stayed for you.” JaeJoong said, stopping now and then to check that his words are clear to Hye.

“I have to do this every night. It drains my energy. I’m always with you during the day. But, I need to rest too, so I didn’t appear in front of you.”

“Is that why my work is always so smooth?”

“No, not exactly why. I couldn’t help much because it strains my energy as well. You were good at your work to begin with.” Hye nodded to show that she understood him.

“It’s like an exchange. For the missions I complete, I get to stay here longer. There are things that I need to find out. I promise I’ll tell you when I get the whole picture…”

They were almost at reaching Hye’s house. JaeJoong was glad that nothing happened. But he wasn’t glad for long. That two men appeared in front of him. JaeJoong didn’t know that Hye wouldn’t be able to see them. On the other far end of the street, he saw that Seo is standing there with her arms crossed and an angry look on her face. He didn’t have to ask to know. He and Hye walked nearer to the two men and Seo decided to walk towards them as well. Seo saw the two men and felt that their presence could be a threat so she decided to walk to Hye.

“Hye, what are you doing out here in the middle of the night?” Seo tried to shake Hye awake. “Are you sleep walking again?” Seo pretended that she didn’t see JaeJoong or any of the two men. JaeJoong was glad that she did so. He didn’t want to put either sisters in any danger. Seo grabbed Hye’s arm and put it over her shoulders. She didn’t turn around to look at JaeJoong or the two men and made sure that Hye didn’t either.

======================================================

“Mr Kim Jae Joong.”

“Yes.”

“We have our rules to abide to.”

“Yes.”

“You have broken some rules tonight.”

“I know. But, could you…”

“We don’t touch the living. Their forces and ours don’t match. It’d cause us more harm than good.”

JaeJoong didn’t understand what his last sentence meant but it wasn’t important. Before he could react, he was brought to a dark room.

======================================================

That night, Seo put Hye to sleep after feeding her with a cup of hot milk. That night, Hye had a rough night. She saw JaeJoong in the dream, but he wasn’t his usual self. He wasn’t laughing and he looked more tired than usual. He was, in fact, in pain. 

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Preview Part 12
Hye found out what JaeJoong was up to at night, but she didn’t manage to get her answer. Her dream that night bothered her greatly but she didn’t question JaeJoong about it. JaeJoong still manage to keep her company during the day, appearing now and then when she needed him. But, that marked the start of the nightmares that Hye started to have at night. What exactly was all that? To JaeJoong and Seo’s surprise, Hye actually had a visitor ever since that night – a non-human visitor.

Check it out: Part 12 Unprecendented past and an unknown future

‘What have you been busy with recently?”

“What have you been busy with then?”

“You should know what I have been busy with, oppa. I had special trainings and after that we had discussions. And I wrote a note the other day to say I found an extra job so I’ll be working late at night too.”

“Why would you need that extra job for?”

“It’s just so I can save up more money… for some uses…” Hye was planning to go on a vacation with JaeJoong. And, of course, there was no need to save for a 2-person trip.

“If you say so…”

“I haven’t been able to talk much with you and this is what I get when I finally have time.” Hye pouted.

JaeJoong ignored that fact. He was bothered with other things than what’s going on around the room now. Someone is waiting for him outside the door. Someone that he thought only he himself can see.

“It’s late. You should be resting.”

“You realize? You’ve been asking me to go to  bed all nights for the whole week when it’s barely 12midnight!”

“It’s late. You should really rest and save up the energy for tomorrow.” In fact, JaeJoong too can’t bear to leave Hye.

As he turn to leave the room, Hye shouted, “By the way, I have all the rights to know… everything about you!” Hye was angry. Having said that, she lifted her blanket with a flip and hid under it. JaeJoong turned and glanced at her with broken heart.

“I’m sorry, Hye. Now is not the time. I have no idea what’s going on yet.” He murmured really softly under his breathe. So soft, Hye didn’t hear a thing.

JaeJoong exited Hye’s room and turned to stare at Seo’s door and then moved his sight to the living room. They were there, two of them, waiting for him.

“We’re glad you kept your promise. We were waiting for you.”

JaeJoong didn’t answer. He just walked down the steps to meet them and the exited the house.

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“Hye… are you not going to wake up? You’re going to be late for work.” Seo said to Hye as she opened her sister’s door. Seo glanced around and noticed that JaeJoong isn’t around. Seo was surprised but she didn’t ask much.

“ung?”

“lazy bum! Wake up now! You’re late!” Seo started to pull Hye out of her bed.

“I got it. I got it. I was having a sweet dream and you had to spoil it.”

“It’s not the time to be having dreams now.” Seo said as she pointed as the clock in Hye’s room. Shocked of the time, Hye jumped out of her bed.

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“Hye! Are you not going to have breakfast?”

“Sorry omma! I need to run. There’s an early morning meeting today.”

“Hye…!” Hye was out of the house and down the yard before her mom could continue what she wants to say.

“It seems like she’s been taking up different responsibilities at her work recently.”

“Should that be a good sign, my dear?”

“I guess it should be. Where’s the paper?” With that, Hye’s mom went out to get the morning paper for Hye’s dad.

===========================================================

For the whole morning, Hye was stuck in the meeting room and discussions about a project at work that she and her team mates are working on. She had no time to think about JaeJoong and didn’t even notice that he wasn’t around since last night. It was almost lunch time when one of Hye’s colleague approached her.

“Hye, it’s almost lunch. Where should we go today?”

“Ung?” Hye asked as she stared at her watch. “I didn’t realize it’s 12.30pm. I’ve been busy with work. I still have a couple of things to finish up on before I can eat my lunch.”

“Is that so? You can’t do you until after lunch?” Another colleague asked.

“I guess I can’t. You guys go ahead and I’ll try to join you later?”

“We’ll just head down to the cafe downstairs then. EunJung-nim says she has an email to send before she can join us and SeungHee will be meeting us at the lobby shortly. Join us when you’re done.”

“Alright.” Hye smiled at her colleagues before burying herself at her work again. She flipped through her work after 5 minutes and let out a sigh.

“So much to be completed.” She said to herself in the empty office. Then she stood up and glance around. Luckily, there really wasn’t anyone around. She heaved a sign of relief and sat back down on her chair.

“No matter how busy you are, you still need food.”

Hye heard someone spoke behind her. She turned around only to see JaeJoong standing behind.

“Oppa! You scared me. Don’t appear out of nowhere like a ghost.”

“I am a ghost.” JaeJoong said laughing.

“That’s not funny.” Hye crossed her arms in front of her chest and stared hard at JaeJoong.

“Aigooo… my dear princess is angry.” JaeJoong teased her.

“I have so many things to do these days. I only have 2 hands.” Hye complained to JaeJoong.

“No, you have four.”

Hye stared at JaeJoong with a blank look.

“I mean I can help you too.”

“Help me? How?” Hye asked feeling very puzzled.

“You will know later.” With that, JaeJoong pulled her out of her chair, grabbed her bag and put it on her shoulders and hold her by the shoulders and walked her towards the door. “No matter how busy you are, you need food. Your stomach says it is hungry.”

Hye smiled.

“What will I do without you?”

They waited at the lift lobby and the lift arrived, slightly packed but still there’s space for at least 3 people. The both of them entered. Then, it stopped at the next level again. This time, 2 people were waiting. JaeJoong signaled to Hye that he’d  be at the lobby. Before she could react, JaeJoong was gone. Hye didn’t like the missing act. And somewhat, she remembered that he didn’t come back yesterday.

Hye exited the lift and found JaeJoong seated gracefully at the sofa in the lobby. She walked towards him and in a low voice, said “Where were you last night and this morning? I didn’t see you.”

“You’ll be stared at talking to yourself.” JaeJoong has grown to be more conscious of their surroundings and accepted the fact that he’s invisible to everyone. “Now, let’s go to the cafe over there and get you some lunch.” JaeJoong put his hands on Hye’s shoulders and ushered her out of the building. There were a lott of people queuing to get food.

“What shall I get?”

“You didn’t even have breakfast.”

“Should I get egg sandwich? I’m craving for eggs.”

“You didn’t have your coffee too.”

“Tuna sandwich looks delicious.”

“You don’t like tuna.”

“Smoked salmon!”

“That’s a salad. It’s insufficient for you.”

“I think I should get a smoked salmon and a bagel and then black coffee. That should be it.”

“You should get your egg sandwich, a honey bagel and cappuccino.”

Although the queue was long, the service was somewhat fast. Before Hye’s turn, she turned and look around at the crowd and there wasn’t any seat. Then she noticed her colleagues at the other corner and decided that she shouldn’t join them.

“What can I get for you?”

“Hmm… Can I get an egg sandwich, a honey bagel and cappuccino, please?”

“Do you want your sandwich to be toasted?”

“Yes, please.”

“It’s $18.20.”

Hye made payment and was given a receipt and a waiting number. It was barely 3 minutes when her order came out. She held the tray and walked towards the direction of her colleagues. JaeJoong was following closely behind and he was whisling in a good mood.

“Hye! Come here!” SeungHee waved to Hye as he saw her approaching their direction. Another colleague pulled a chair and made space for her.

“Thanks, guys.”

“What did you buy? We waited so long in the queue and there were so many people.” HeeJoo complained as Hye settled herself.

“Oh really? I was there for less than 10 minutes and I had everything.” Hye said as she glanced around to look for JaeJoong who had walked over to the other side of the cafe to seat under the tree. Hye stared at her food and sighed.

“Why?” HeeJoo asked.

“Ung? It’s nothing. I didn’t know I ordered all these.”

“What was that?” SeungHee asked.

Everyone ate and finished everything and went back to work. Hye had like 10 tasks to be completed that day and she was all prepared to work over time like the rest of the day. But everyday, she always never fail to finish her work faster than she should.

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That night, JaeJoong returned home when Hye was about to leave her office. He was surprised to know that Seo was waiting for him inside Hye’s room.

“Hye has been telling me things.”

“What sort of things?”

“Don’t pretend you didn’t know.”

“What are you referring to?”

“You’re not supposed to help her.”

“What am I not to?”

“You’re not supposed to be here in the first place.”

“… …”

“Don’t take it that I never say anything doesn’t mean that I approve of you. It’s all for my sister’s sake. Now, if you’d let her be with her things and stop doing all those things to help her.”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Don’t you know? There are many things that you shouldn’t interfere and she should have done it the human way.”

“Hye is reaching soon.” JaeJoong warned.

===========================================================

Hye burst into her room only to find JaeJoong seated peacefully flipping though a book she placed on her table.

“Oppa…” She started as she placed her bag on the floor and jumped onto her bed. “You read?”

“Why don’t I?” JaeJoong placed the book back on the desk and turned to face Hye with his arms crossed in front of his chest. “Now, if you’d get off that bed and go to bath, you dirty fellow.”

“Let me lie down for a while.”

JaeJoong stood up and was about to reach out to Hye when Hye rolled herself out of bed. “I got it. I got it. I just came back and you want me to move.”

“You can bath and then rest later; smelling nice and feeling good.”

“I got it…” Hye pouted and added, “Don’t act like a grandma.”

“What will you do without me?”

“Why would I?” Hye asked as she shut her bathroom door to bath.

===========================================================

She returned to her room but JaeJoong was gone.

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Preview Part 11
JaeJoong has been doing the disappearing act for most nights that Hye would return after dinner time. After some nights, she realized that he always disappears after 10pm. Where exactly did he go? What exactly did he do in between the time when he’s not with Hye. Is he trying to settle some other things that he didn’t accomplish? Hye was getting curious and was very determined to find out. She shouldn’t alert JaeJoong about it because it has to be done in secret and in her own means.

Check it out: Part 12 Human stay in the human world and the dead walks their own path

“Do you perhaps know…?”

“Know about?”

“I have liked you since a long long time ago…”

“Yes, since a very very long long time ago…”

“Ung?” Hye sat up and turned and looked at JaeJoong in a very swift movement. They were lying down on the grass getting the sunlight on their faces.

“Why are you so shocked?” JaeJoong asked Hye, sitting up and stared at her straight into her eyes.

“No… because you seemed to know that I liked you since a long long time ago… So… I was just wondering how did you… know…”

“I knew about it recently…”

“Recently? How? What do you mean?” JaeJoong stood up from where he was seated and started walking off when Hye stood up and chased after him.

“What do you mean with that?”

JaeJoong shrugged.

“What does that mean?”

Hye was ignored by JaeJoong again. Angry, she stopped at where she stood and crossed her arms in front of her chest and turned her head against where JaeJoong was walked. JaeJoong, noticed that Hye was not following turned back. JaeJoong stood at where he was positioned and looked at Hye.

“You’re angry?” Hye twisted her head slightly further away.

“Your neck will hurt this way. Look at me…” JaeJoong said in a soft voice and that melt Hye’s heart. She turned slowly first to look at JaeJoong. But something shocked her.

“Oppa?!” Hye was not able to see JaeJoong from where she was standing so she started to pace herself into a slow run.

“I am here. Why?”

Hye didn’t seemed to have noticed where JaeJoong was standing and ran past him. JaeJoong chased after her and grabbed her by her left arm.

“Where are you heading?” JaeJoong asked as he grabbed her arm.

Hye was starting to tear.

“Where did you go? I couldn’t see you!” Hye sounded scare.

“I’m sorry because I…” But before JaeJoong could finish his sentence, Hye cut him off.

“Oppa, you seemed different from last night. Actually, you looked different this morning too.”

“Different? In what sense…?”

“I don’t know is it because of the bright sunlight…” Hye looked at the sun and then set her focus back on JaeJoong’s face. She tip-toed slightly because it was even harder to tell where exactly JaeJoong is standing in front of her.

“Maybe it was the sun… I couldn’t make out your face a while ago…”

“You mean you couldn’t see me?” JaeJoong started to understand what Hye meant.

“It should be just the sun… You are too fair!” Hye started to complain and she started walking off.

“What?! What has that got to do with me being fair?” JaeJoong was slightly annoyed. He didn’t like it when people say that his skin is fair because he couldn’t do anything about getting darker even with sun tanning.

“Do you want me to be late? I need to get to the bus stop else I’d miss the bus.”

“The bus is not coming until a little while more. Maybe another 3 minutes?” JaeJoong was looking at his watch when he said that and he was looking very cheerful and optimistic.

Hye stared up at him feeling slight annoyed. At the side of her glance, she noticed that a granny was looking at her with weird glances like she was someone insane.

“It’s all your fault!” She murmured under her breath.

Exactly 3 minutes later, the bus arrived as JaeJoong had said. Hye stared at him as he stepped up to stop the bus to board it. Hye flagged the bus too and it stopped in front of her instead of JaeJoong. They had both forgotten that not everyone would be able to know JaeJoong’s existence.

Hye was having some special course that day for the whole day and the special training will go on for 3 days. Feeling bored, JaeJoong told Hye that he would be going somewhere else and he’d see her at home. That night, Hye returned late because the people at her class had asked her out for a group dinner.

“He needs to have a hand phone so I can tell him I’d be late… How am I supposed to let him know? Would he know..?” Hye stared up in a daze at the night sky as she thought of all these.

“EunHye, what are you in such deep thoughts? Is it going to rain?” One of her mates at the training class asked her.

“Ung? Oh… Nothing…”

“Let’s go!” He said as he pulled her hands.

================================================

“Oppa?” Hye pushed open her door, still panting.

“He’s not here?” Hye slammed her own door before JaeJoong could react. He was seated on her bed. JaeJoong heard her running across to Seo’s room.

“Seo…?” Hye asked as she opened Seo’s room door slowly.

Seo turned and looked at Hye from her study desk. “You’ve come? How was it?”

“Ung? How was what?” Hye asked as she settled herself on Seo’s bed.

“You won’t think I’d be asking about your training, would you?”

“You knew?”

“You think I wouldn’t?”

“That has never cross my mind.. But… But! That’s not what I wanted to ask! Did you see oppa?”

“Oppa? JaeJoong?”

“You don’t see him” Seo asked, slightly shocked. She stood up and walked towards Hye’s room, open the door and found JaeJoong seated at the end of Hye’s bed.  “He’s here. Don’t you see him?”

Hye peeped through her own room’s door. “I… see… him… now…”

Seo turned and walked out of the room.

“But I couldn’t see him earlier!” Hye shouted to Seo.

“Who couldn’t you see?” Hye’s mom asked as she approached Hye.

“Ung?” Hye turned to look inside her own room. JaeJoong was still seated at her bed. Hye tried to shield him from her mom’s view.

“Hye, why are you acting weird today?”

“Acting weird? When… did I? I did not!” Hye sounded much excited then she should have been.

“And you’re saying you are not acting weird?” Hye’s mom pushed Hye to one side and walked into Hye’s room and sat by her study desk. Hye shifted her sight from her mom to JaeJoong. JaeJoong shrugged and shook his head.

“Omma… what’s the matter?”

“Do I need a reason to have a talk with my own daughter?”

“No… that’s not what I meant but… but I just came back… and… and… I haven’t showered.” Hye set her focus on JaeJoong’s face, afraid that her mom might have noticed JaeJoong.

“Hye?”

“Ung?”

“Why are you so out of sorts? Did you have fun?” Hye’s mom asked her as she stood and walked towards Hye and patted her on her head.

Hye’s view of JaeJoong wasn’t blocked by her mother and she saw JaeJoong gave a hard shake with his head. Hye stared at him with an annoyed face.

Maybe because Hye’s mom saw the look on her face she said, “You seemed to have a hard day. Have a good shower and rest early.” She said that as she closed the door behind her.

Hye dumped her bag on the bed and moved in front of JaeJoong.

“What was that look for?”

“What did I do?”

“Nevermind!” Hye walked away from JaeJoong and went to pick up fresh clothes to bath and change into.

Hye had forgotten about something. JaeJoong too had forgotten about it. It was an hour later when Hye came out from her shower, all ready to go to bed. She laid down on her bed and JaeJoong tucked her under her blankets. JaeJoong was about to walk away when…

“Oppa…”

“… …”

“Tell me…”

“About…? Bedtime story?”

“No… Our story…”

“Our story?” JaeJoong remembered of the conversation they had earlier this morning. “I don’t know where to start…”

“Just start from anywhere…”

“Hmm….”

“Hurry…”

With that JaeJoong started his story.

“On the day of my accident, I saw a very bright light that flashed across my face. Then, I heard someone calling out to me. I felt like I had arrived in a very strange place. That place was very peaceful. It was all white initially then there were colours and faces and voices. It felt like a hundred years have passed within that swift moment. I saw everything. I saw you. But it wasn’t the you that you are now. I saw myself. But it wasn’t the myself now. I saw many other people. I saw Seo too and I saw many other people. I think I saw your parents too but their looks were different. Then the story went on. I saw what happened. Everything that happened…”

“What? How you met with an accident? I was there that day.”

“No, not that. Remember I said this morning I knew that you liked me since a very very long long time ago?”

“Ung… You said so this morning.”

JaeJoong continued his story.

“I have no idea how to explain about the way of our dressing when we first met. It wasn’t modern and we met a couple of times or should I say many times back before? We were lovers before and before that. But our parents objected of our relationship. You seemed to be from a rich family, like you are now and I seemed to be from a family that wasn’t so well-off, exactly like what it felt like now. I saw you crying many times and then you were dragged away by people who seemed to be like your parents from before. We were seperated and we wasn’t able to meet at all. Then everything ended when your parents tried to arrange for your marriage, forcing you to marry a person that you didn’t loved and I have no idea what happened to you after that…”

“Maybe I died? Maybe I committed suicide?” JaeJoong totally ignored Hye.

“Then it because different again. This time, we were students. We were not from the same class. I was quite sure I liked you then but you didn’t seemed to know who I was. I was pretty upset about it, being quiet most of the time. During that time, you had a lover. I was always watching you from far away. You seemed to know that I was watching you but you didn’t bothered with me. You had times of happiness with your lover then. But there was one day when the two of your fought and he pushed you onto the floor. You were crying very badly. I hit him out of fury. I consoled you. You started to take notice of my existence. But that was all. You didn’t accept my feelings for you. We became slightly closer friends but that was it. Then, you dated someone new after a few months later and everything ended there. I had no idea what happened next.”

“Ung…” Hye was starting to doze off in JaeJoong’s arms.

“This life… I saw you out of that many people. But, it was too late obviously. I saw you when you went for our first showcase, our first concert, our first fan meeting, our first recording live and I saw you at the airport several times. You were even at some of our tour concerts. I saw you a few times when you walked to the supermart near my place. I was always on my way out when I saw you. Why didn’t I took more notice?”

JaeJoong stared down at the face of Hye. She looked so sweet and peaceful, asleep. JaeJoong sealed a kiss on her forehead as tears rolled down his cheecks.

“If only… If only I had notice you earlier, perhaps… perhaps things would be different…”

JaeJoong hugged Hye tighter with much remorse about his retarded feelings.

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Preview Part 10
The week passed by peacefully with Hye busy with her training and preparation works that followed after that. JaeJoong was bored by the work that Hye had to do so most of the time he didn’t sticked to her. He would appear at her room at night and sometimes she would find him seated at her study desk the next morning. There were times when JaeJoong said he would be back when he failed to. But one thing, Hye was never late for anything due to JaeJoong’s help.

What exactly was JaeJoong busy with? What exactly did JaeJoong help Hye with? Would life really remain that peaceful as the couple would have liked it? Seo suddenly disapproved of JaeJoong sticking on to Hye and even threatened JaeJoong. Why did she do that?

Check it out Part 10: All good things come to an end. Or, does it not?