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Mona’s eyebrows wiggle, “I see you, and Tae Won are getting on well.”

“We’re just friends.”

Mona takes a sip of her latté before saying, “don’t roll your eyes at me. You know Koreans don’t believe in friendship between men and women. Ending up in a relationship for better or for worse is its finality. I thought you liked him. Why are you putting up a front?”

Why, because I killed his family, I believe it’s a pretty legitimate reason.

I often recall this sentence; it allows me not to forget and sink into the comfort of the situation. I remember what I’ve done and who I really am. It’s the last piece of dignity I have, the only remaining thing attesting I’m still human though, at this point, I can’t be considered as one.

I’m the worst, and the fact that I’m sitting here drinking tea with Mona without a care in the world shows what vicious creature I am.

I can’t help but think about the moment I spent with Tae Won earlier; I told him so much about myself. I delivered so much to a guy I’ve known for two months.

Two measly months and I’m opening myself to him like Tower Bridge.


“Eh, yeah.”

Mona gives me a quizzical stare, “I’m glad you are happy and all, but what about us?”

“What do you mean?”

“You’ve been neglecting everyone; you spend thirty percent of your time at college, I say thirty because I know your mind wanders off, sixty percent of your time with Tae Won and all the rest Brad and me included is bundled up in the remaining ten percent.”

What Mona says is true. I’m impressed she kept the stats. But she is wrong though my mind is away ninety-five percent of the time. The people around me only obtain five percent of my attention because I’m that selfish.

I should be feeling guilty, but I don’t. I guess it’s impossible to be more accountable than I already am. Since I’m a bitch, I try to transfer the blame, “don’t tell me you’re jealous?”

Mona huffs and sinks back down in her chair. It’s time for me to bring on some of my life’s experience realities.

“Mona, we’re not kids anymore. You needn't doubt. I mean, I spent five years away; you didn’t die, you managed without me.”

“But you’re here now, and you should be putting us first. Mr. Kim is just a stranger; he’s Korean. A romance with him will last what a month. I’m saying this because I see how you are putting your heart into it.”

“Then perhaps I should say the same about you. Brad is a Korean descendant; you’ve loved him for what, seven no eight years now.”

“It’s not the same, and Brad is American, he can travel, he has tons of money. I mean, it’s easy to plan with Brad.”

“So what if Tae Won hasn’t got money.”

I have.

What am I thinking?

“You don’t get it, Jane.”

“No, you’re the one not getting it. I told you Tae Won is a friend; there’s no love on either side. I’m sorry if you feel neglected. It wasn’t my intent. You have your Kpop model friends and college projects; Brad has his money like you said. I don’t see what the problem is if I spend a lot of time with Tae Won.”

Even if I do see a problem larger than life, Mona has pissed me off, and I can’t help being petty.

“I don’t want this relationship with Mr. Kim to consume you.”

Consume me; it’s in moments like these, I realize how little Mona knows the person I am now. That there’s nothing to consume because the old Jane died four years ago.

I cross my arms, “I’m a big girl; I can take care of myself.”

Okay, am I wrong here? Because I don’t understand why Mona is butting in like this. Sometimes she roots for me, and then she has these big psycho trips. Doesn’t she see being with Tae Won is having a positive effect on me? I just want to be with him a little, help him along, and that’s it. I feel good when I’m with him, even if I have spasms of guilt trips.

I feel alive with Tae Won; it’s controversial, but that the way it is.

“Jane, I’m like this because you’re different. The Jane I knew only cared about having fun without consequence, call me psycho, but this friendship you have with Mr. Kim seems essential for you. When something is that Important, the fall is fatal, and I don’t want you to get hurt. That’s why I’m just trying to make sure you know where you’re going.”

As Mona speaks, I mentally shrink under the pressure of her words as I realize she’s merely acting this way because this is the role I distributed to her. Mona is my warden, and it’s always been that way.

How does she support me?

I’m such a handful for everyone. Right now, I feel compost, a whole load of shit blended and burdening those around me.

“I’m sorry, Mona, Iㅡ.”

“Don’t worry, Jane, that’s why we’re all here.”

The tone is cynical, and it makes me uncomfortable because my cousin isn’t the sarcastic or cynical type.

Come on, Jane, you’ve changed, and so has everyone else.

Mona is attempting to help me; I’m mentally weak. I take back what I said earlier. I understand she’s trying to prevent me from doing something stupid, but the train is already on the tracks, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to avoid a collision.

What’s worse is I’m persisting in meeting Tae Won despite the voice telling me that Mona, coach Gong and whoever else has tried to warn us.

It’s hard to explain; I don’t need to see Tae Won. I just feel it’s mandatory. It’s not a chore because I shamelessly feel good when by his side.

To be honest, I can’t stand the negative opinions concerning us.

Nothing will ever happen between Tae Won and me, cross my heart, and hope to die.

I’ll probably die with my luck.

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