TRACKSIDED

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가짜

TAEWON

FAKE.

That was the one word I found inside an envelope in front of my doorstep when I got back from Jane’s house.

The person typed the word in the middle of a white page. My name isn’t on the envelope but left how it was, knowing I’m the only occupant on this roof. I don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to deduct it was intended for my attention.

And now there’s another one, this time the author went artistic as the words are composed of letters cut out from different articles.

I KNOW WHO DID IT.

If the first message left me indifferent as I imagine the culprit is one of Soo Ae’s obsessive fandom, this note has the hairs on my body sticking up like cactus thorns.

Who did what?

There’s only one question in the world for me that would inherit such an answer.

Who caused the accident?

Though Jane gave me a clear answer, there are still things I have to check, and this message entices my curiosity. I used to harass the police daily when I quit swimming; I went to ask questions and left without answers. The theories I submitted amused the inspectors.

Inspector Yong Dong Geun always told me to bring substantial evidence. What would he think of these letters?

At one point, it was inspector Dong Geun I wanted to kill. I got the impression he hid something. I found out later that the case was handed down to him, and he was in the dark as much as I was for the file he received already had blind spots.

I also know there were no witnesses, and the fire department came because someone saw the fire from their window and called. There was no CCTV, my parent’s car’s black box burnt, and the driver’s black box was allegedly destroyed in the crash.

There’s nothing concerning the other driver except the car he drove. The license plate wasn’t in the report. All I know was the car was an import. There was no use for me to visit any car concessionary.

And now, five years later, I’m receiving these teasers announcing a truth COMING SOON.

My heart races and the reasons are multiple. I’m scared to find out the truth, a part of me wants to remain in the dark in this newfound bliss of mine with Jane, and the other desires to know.

Perhaps I’m assuming things, and these messages don’t concern my family’s hit and run case, and I should discard my thoughts mainly since it was not a hit a run. What ate me up all these years was to think the person who caused the crash left without alerting the emergency services.

It drove me crazy as I imagined how my family must have agonized before being consumed by the flames, but the driver died. I’m not picky; where he passed away, whether it was on the spot or in a hospital, that doesn’t matter. What’s essential for me is that he’s not out there somewhere living the life.

And that’s the idea that tortured me all these years.

Things are different now. Is it necessary for me to know the person’s name?

I mean, what will I gain knowing who the killer was?

Will it help me sleep?

Will it change the fact that my family is dead?

Will I be able to seek some vengeance?

What will knowing his name change in my life?

I’m already moving forward. What if it’s a setback that will plunge me into an abyss of despair?

I put the message back in the envelope, and I grab the other. I’ve got to show inspector Dong Geun perhaps the culprit left fingerprints or something.

I’m getting ready to head out when I have second thoughts, something like this will arouse the press, and right now, I don’t want the hassle which comes with media exposition. I already had enough with the dating rumors with Soo Ae, which put Jane through a lot of stress.

I pose the envelopes on my desk; it’s not like the messages are explicit. Inspector Yong will laugh his head off or suspect me of having fabricated them.

No, it’s not worth getting worked up about it. If ever I get another one, then I go to the police. For all, I know it’s a prank, a joke of the worst taste.

FAKE.

The word doesn’t seem to want to leave me.

I wonder who could have deposited them.

One thing for sure, I won’t tell Jane, she already worries full speed when triggered, and it’s contagious. I find myself concerned about her. She doesn’t see her reactions. When holding tissues, she shreds them to bits. She tends to scratch things, like her arm. Sometimes if no one stops her, she can peel off her skin. Jane does that without realizing it.

In those moments, she breaks my heart, and I wish I could do something. I grab her hand sometimes to stop her, but she pulls away, afraid one so Soo Ae’s fans might see. Despite coach Gong’s stare of disapproval, we still go to train there. I think it’s good for Jane to relieve some stress while boxing. I don’t see myself telling her to consult because she’s been through that, and perhaps there are other ways of helping her.

Arrghh.

It frustrates me to see the limits of the protection I can offer her. If I knew what it was, perhaps I could do better.

What we need is time for her to trust me more. For now, Jane still has doubts about us. Sometimes I feel as though she wants to run away not because of other people but this relationship scares her.

I relate to that because it frightens me, too; there are so many things that separate us from society’s perspective. Soo Ae’s words come back to mind, “she’ll get on a plane and leave; what will you have left?" Now and then to taunt me.

Even though such an outcome is most probable, I don’t want to stop seeing Jane.

I can’t stop.

I want to see how far we can go while keeping my fingers crossed that we don’t crash into a wall.

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