I carefully open my eyes and see what seems to be black smoke clouding my vision. I think back on earlier events. I don’t recall anything that just happened. “What? Why don’t I remember anything?” I mumble quietly as I hit my head lightly, as if it will do anything. My name is Choi Y/N. I know that much. I have two parents and one set of grandparents alive. I live in a lodge with my parents in the woods, and I have since I was a child. I know all this, yet something seems off.. like something has changed.
I shake my head and look around. My eyes fall upon something bright and it catches my attention. What’s that?
Shaking, I slowly walk towards the white light and a door appears in my line of sight. Without thinking, I walk into the room with no hesitation as if I don’t care what happens to me next. My eyes trail around the room, scanning every visible object for some sign of where I am.
My eyes fall upon a suspiciously clear mirror and I stare into it. My eyes widen slightly as I see a hospital room with an oddly familiar face, tears streaming down her thin nose and flushed cheeks. She had been crying for a while. Her tear falls down and I feel something on my hand. I look down at my hand and there is a singular tear on it, until another falls.
I look back up at the mirror quickly and still see the familiar face, but it is now staring directly into my eyes. I feel the stare of this mysterious person piercing my soul and my brain is telling me to comfort them. My consciousness doesn’t understand how, but apparently, my body does.
Without noticing, I feel myself walking to the mirror with no hesitation. I close my eyes tight expecting to run into the mirror, but I feel nothing. I keep my eyes shut as I feel a wave of what feels to be relief overflow my body. I have no idea why I am relieved but it feels good. I feel another drop of water fall onto my hand and quickly open my eyes.
As the world around me comes into vision, I recognize I am no longer in the smoky room, and there is no longer a mirror. I feel more connected to myself and the familiar person now more than before, and that bewilders me. Now, I feel sheets surrounding my body, and cold air hitting my face. I feel more alive than ever. I look around the room and see a white ceiling and as I look down, I see a whiteboard with writing on it. My eyes furrow as I try to read it.
“Patient 278.” I hear a high pitched but sad voice exclaim. I quickly snap my head around and see the familiar face smiling and looking in the same direction as the whiteboard, tears falling faster now. I stare at them, and the realization of who they are snaps into my mind like a wrecking ball.
“Jessie!” Without realizing it, I shout the all too familiar name and try to spring up to wrap my arms around her but I holler in pain. “Careful Y/N! You are going to pull a muscle.” I hear my best friend of 7 years exclaim as she wipes her tears and stares at me in awe.
“I missed you..” Jessie murmurs quietly as she sweeps some of my hair behind my ear, smiling. I smile back and quickly turn serious and speak. “Where am I?”
“The Seoul hospital closest to home.” Jessie looks down.
I look back at the writing on the whiteboard and see the words “Seoul Hospital for the Mentally and Physically Ill” written in black marker. That’s a weird name for a hospital, but alright. Drawing my eyes back to Jessie, I speak. “What’s up with the hospital name?”
Jessie narrows her eyes, clearly hesitating to speak. “This hospital.. will help you heal. Both physically and mentally.”
I shake my head in confusion. “Mentally?”
My eyes draw back to the whiteboard once again and I see the doctor's note written in small print. “Y/N is in good physical condition, just not awake yet. Her brain seems to have changed, but we don’t know what happened just yet. In her coma, she often mumbles words that don’t have good signs..” I pause and continue reading, intrigued. “She is obviously mentally troubled, probably scarred because of what happened the night she was brought into this hospital. Once she wakes up, her grandparents, as well as I, believe it is best for her to be taken up to the 4th floor where she can seek therapy and mental security.” I shake my head and look over at Jessie in disbelief and utter shock. “What?”
“You suffered serious mental trauma Y/N.” She lowers her head, speaking softly and calmly. “Do you.. remember what happened before you blacked out?”
I keep staring at her and try to recall any memories that seem unusual. “Hmm..”
I freeze in my spot and my mouth drops open slightly. I quickly shuffle out of bed despite all the pain I am in and try to run out of the room, but a tall man in a white robe blocks my way. The tall man looks down at me calmly and speaks. “Y/N, please sit down. You are still sore.”
I hesitate but do what he says, utterly shocked from what I remember of that night at my family’s home in the woods. The man sits down next to me on my hospital bed and draws his eyes to Jessie with a calm look and back to me.
“How are you feeling Y/N?” says the man. I look at him and scoff.
“How am I? What do you think?” I say disrespectfully and look away. I am surprised myself about my tone, but I shove it off. What a dumb question to ask someone who just woke up from a coma of 2 months.
The doctor’s expression doesn’t change, and he looks at Jessie once again before looking away and speaking. “I take it you are not doing great.”
I scoff again, louder this time. “What gave you that idea? The fact that I just woke up from a coma, or the fact that my father was murdered right in front of my eyes?”
I look at the doctor with intense eye contact, tears threatening to form in my eyes. I can’t believe the first thing he said to someone who just got out of a coma was, “how are you.”
He looks back at me with shock and stands up. “So, you are aware of the circumstances?”
He shakes his head and sighs, looking at a nurse now in the doorway of the hospital room with sympathetic eyes. “Could you please take her to Ms. Sang Hu’s office? Carefully though, she’s a bit out of it.” He says to the nurse and she nods.
The nurse walks towards me and signals her head towards the door. “Could you please come with me?”