TRACKSIDED

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살인자

TAEWON

Is this a new world or my rebirth?

That’s how I feel when I open my eyes and lay pondering, it was unexpected, but I would willingly sign up for more surprises of this genre. Though I don’t know Jane’s thought yet about what happened, I know I desired her more than anyone else in the last few years.

I’ve been with quite a few women since Soo Ae, but I clearly distinguish what I did with Jane and the rest. I don’t know how it works for women, but for guys, I mean for me, the line is drawn in yellow tape.

The one night stands I had were like missions where goals, performance, and achievements were awaited on both sides. Sometimes, each party searched to satisfy themselves without thinking of the other; it was a very egoistic process. Sex with those women was me seeking psychical thrills with no feelings attached, but with Jane, the right word would be making love.

That’s a different story, one where all the emotions you forbid yourself to have when you have everyday sex spill in every cavity of your body. Your motivations are not goal-oriented, but you desire to show how passionate your love is. Tonight more than ever, I wished to make one with Jane’s mind, body, and soul. And when I reached my blank space where I usually stand-alone, Jane was there with me.

Small details come back to me, like the surprise I had when I discovered her silk and lace ensemble. Jane’s daily casual wear doesn’t leave space for me to imagine that. The dim light from my desk prevented me from admiring it.

Jane’s natural shyness transpired with every hesitated gesture, lowering her eyes as I unclipped her bra.

Heat invades my cheeks, and I shiver at the thought as the echoes of the sensations ripple all over me. I turn to face Jane; she isn’t there.

I get up and scan the room desperately; it’s still dark. The clock on my wall says it’s 3:15 AM.

“Jane.”

No answer.

I look at the door; her shoes are gone. My gaze sweeps the room; once more, something is off. No, something isn’t the way it should be.

I walk to the desk; all my notebooks are open.

The envelopes.

They’re emptied of their contents, which I pick up from the floor.

As I arrange them, I notice what appears to be a letter; it wasn’t there before because it’s in Jane’s sloppy handwriting. My lips curve in a smile; she writes in hieroglyphs. I grab the paper, and my enthusiasm diminishes as I start to read and discover something my mind refuses to register.

The note is simple as the person who wrote it.

I DID IT TAE WON.

I KILLED YOUR PARENTS.

DON’T EVER FORGIVE ME.

I feel myself crumble, “gummi da [it’s a dream], igeat mboya, gummi.”

Though I’m repeating the words, my brain brings the pieces together. I see Jane across the road posing the flowers where the collision occurred.

I can almost read the fright in her eyes as I tell her to come to the police.

“The driver is dead.”

Jane said it; she told me the driver was dead.

I grab the messages the stalker left:

THE DEVIL BESIDE ME.

CHASE THE RED.

A vision of Jane’s red locks swaying at the seaside appears.

It was there before my eyes; the truth accompanied me all these months. The fact held my hand; it kissed me and said it loved me.

No, it wasn’t the truth; it was a murderer.

Salinja [murdrerer].

My head jerks forward as I vomit all over my floor. My body can’t bear the shock. It seems I can’t stop puking; it’s as though I want to deprive and cleanse myself.

I get up and walk to the bath, leaving the liquid of my intestines on the floor; all is a blur as I rinse my face.

I lift my head to the mirror, “no, no, Jane aniya [it’s not Jane], Jane aniya, jaebal. Not her, please, please.”

My feet wobble as though I’m drunk back to the living room, where I return to the desk and look at the note again. Something pushes me to search. My mind starts to race as I spread and toss everything off the bureau.

Where is it?

Where is it?

I was supposed to take it to a pawn shop, but I kept delaying. It wasn’t an emergency, but now I’m in a panic. It’s loaded.

In a spontaneous reaction, I get dressed and run outside.

A part of me tells me to go back inside and hopes Jane blows her head away.

But the other half, the one Jane created in me and watered my heart during all these months, tells me to go after her.

I run, without any indication, only to stop and recollect my thoughts.

How long has it been since she left?

Where could she be?

I try to recall conversations that could give me a clue, but we’re in Seoul, a city full of suicide hotspots. I speed to the closest point to the apartment; it’s my death location.

The river.

Here I am screaming her name, “Jane.”

She turns.

“Tae Won, kill me.”

She doesn’t need to ask. I’ll grant her wish, but for that, I need Jane to get off that ledge. I take a step.

“Don’t approach me.”

The police car parks, and the officers get out.

“Miss, you shouldn’t be there.”

“Shut up,” I yell, “Jane, come here.”

“I said don’t approach me,” she says, pointing the gun at me and then at the officers.

“Jane.”

“I killed them, Tae Won, I killed them.”

Jane’s words make the anger inside me mount. I want to push Jane to her doom, but something holds me back. I feel like a dog on a leash, struggling to free itself.

Why do I have this feeling?

“I killed them; I must pay, I must pay.”

Jane turns and faces me, “sorry, Tae Won, I love you.”

She points the gun at her head and shoots.

A rip-roaring sound breaks the air as Jane falls backward.

Splash.

I wanted to find my family’s killer; Jane is their murderer.

Question:

Did I want the killer to die?

Yes.

Question:

Do I want Jane to die?

Do I want Jane to die?

Do I want Jane to die?

Do I want Jane to die?

Jane is gone.

Jane is dead.

Jane.

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