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1. How It Began...


Waking up is no longer the pleasure it was. There is a fleeting moment when I am whole again but it evaporates faster than summer rain off the burnt earth. Then my lids that were drooping and leaden with sleep snap open as violently as if I'd been woken by the raid sirens wailing as the realization dawned up on me.

Shoot holy fuck !

" lils, I told ya to wake me up in the morning! ." I screamed at my roommate and friend who was caking up her face.

"Now blame it on me bish. Why are you screaming the first thing in the morning? You were the one who threw your alarm on the wall. Who is even gonna wake up at 4.00 in the morning? Besides you've got time to dress up." She replied calmly.

Well..... Han Lillian is my friend from gr. 5 or was it 6? Either way our bond was so strong. We still kept contact even tho I chose to be a FBI student and she studied interior designing. But she's an expert in fashion designing too. Anw that's the best job for rich gorls mahn! Even tho I chose to be a fbi student.
We started living together after I graduated as it was easy for her to go to work. Sure, if dating counts as work. Lol her father is so bent on setting her up on blind dates. She simply hates them.

"This is not like elementary school days, I've to work hard if I wanna achieve my goal. Anyway, Go make me pancakes."

"I'm your friend not your personal maid, go and eat at the Cafe. I've got works to do"

"I envy you lils, you got time for your personal needs whereas I haven't touched makeup since the beginning of this year" I drawled out .

"well, aside from my pretty face I got a brain that works unlike you. I mean like whoever the fuck loves being busy? I chose interior designing unlike you who chose to be an fbi student Pfft".

"you won't understand, that is like, in my blood. You know my curiosity doesn't have any limits."

"Sure" she scoffed.

I'm going somewhere. I won't be home when you come so don't forget the key. Bye. With that she shut the door leaving me alone.

I shut the door to the washroom.

Perfumed air, gleaming tiled floor and walls, stainless steel shiny tap over the pristine sink, perfumed soap dispenser and spotless mirror and there was me looking at it. The only ugly thing in this grand house was none other than me.

My father worked in the FBI . Now both my parents leave abroad. My asshole of a brother works as a CEO in some company. He's famous and I'm not. Lol I hate that asshole. He gifted me this apartment,when I graduated.
(even tho it was dad who asked him to. )

Putting all that aside, I cleaned my eyes from the remainders of sleep.
I took my time to clear up my daily business.
After a warm bath I opened my wardrobe and chose a cozy hoodie so that I could sleep during class, but then I remembered my fashion proffessor aka Lillian's words when I asked her to give me a tip to stay awake during classes : " When you're dressed a little nicer, you're not going to be tempted to fall back asleep or space out during the lecture".
I guess it worked. Partly because my horny classmates won't stop whistling and throwing flirty comments. They want to get into someone's pants or their dicks gonna wither 🙄.
I pulled out a black sweatshirt and a grey checkered pant. I slipped on a jacket as it's gonna be cold outside. Not gonna lie, I really look good when I have my glasses on. Fashion.

I slipped in my shoes and locked the door behind me.
I got in my car and stopped by the nearest Cafe to grab a cup of coffee.
I got in and placed my order.

The air was thick with the scent of coffee.I drink in the aroma like everyone else. As my hands are rejuvenated by the soup( I ordered it to warm up myself a bit) , heat radiating as far as the cuffs of my jacket, I study the people near the counter and gracefully entering and exiting the shop. Who has things I need, who looks well equipped? I sip and analyze, my favourite activity by far.
The waiter placed my order in the table before flashing me a smile and I replied him with the same gesture.

The smooth,brown milk created a contrast with the mug that laid on the table. The lustrous texture, topped with chocolate crumbles outdated the effect created by the coffee beans !The vibrant aroma seemed to have extricated itself from the thick, cream coating over the surface,penetrating deep into my nose, watering my mouth!

I shifted my gaze to the dishes besides it.
There was the croissant, crispy with a lot of puff pastry, and it smelled good of the butter in it and the everything bagel which was Crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, slightly sweet, somewhat salty but undeniably pristine. I'm talkin about REAL everything bagels. Not half-rolled-around-in-a-bag-with-three-poppyseeds-and-a-small-piece-of-fennel. These bagels were just wow. and the spicy chicken sandwich was irresistible.

All these foods made me remember the last time I had a good appetite which seemed like years ago. Everything changed after I applied for behavioral science to get into the FBI section. There are times I should be hungry, yet my anxiety steals my appetite away.
I started digging in, not before taking a good picture of myself with these babies. Well, I ain't one of those selfie-maniacs who takes pics with their ass out and lips puckered to post it on insta. To me, eating for good health became a self-hug. Lol, yh food is life n life is food. My purpose is to see myself happy and these pics remind me to love myself more and spent time for myself rather than loving someone and getting my heart shattered by someone who ain't worth my attention. But the main reason is, like I mentioned before I don't have time to enjoy these things during my busy life.
I also loved the way my gut feelings are right most of the times. My quick wit and the positivity is exactly what it requires to be an agent or a police.

I felt someone staring at me. I could see a man dressed in black. On his head was a black French beret pulled a little too far down, that it had the effect of hiding his eyes altogether. He sat on the table next to me. I could see him staring at me with his chin resting on his right palm, through the corner of my eye. Even though he wore a mask, I was sure he was handsome. But, when I turned out to look at him he was gone.
I payed the bill and got out of the Cafe. As soon as I got out, I craved the cozy warm feeling again.
I got on my car and that's when my phone lighted up showing a message.
The message was from my proffessor saying that I was excused today as the section chief required me in his office. When I reached the office, I parked the car and got out.
Behavioral Science, the FBI section that deals with serial murder, is on the bottom floor of the Academy building. Puffs of smokes left my mouth as I breathed in and out.
No one was in the outer office, so I got in and walked through the corridors. I heard someone calling me from behind and turned around to see soojae, section chief choi's assistant. I bowed her good morning and she informed me I was requested to be present in Mr. Choi's office.

I walked grimly to his office wondering why I was needed in his office.
I saw Mr. Choi with his back turned on me. He was standing at someone else's desk talking on the telephone and I had a chance to look at him properly for the first time in a year.

Normally, he looked like a fit, middle-aged engineer . Now he was thin, his shirt collar was too big, and he had dark puffs under his reddened eyes. Everyone who could read the papers knew behavioral Science section was catching hell. As I said before, I catch things quite fast even though I'm dumb at times.

He ended his telephone conversation with a sharp "No" and turned to me and asked me to take a seat.
I sat on the cushioned chair and looked at him expectedly my heart beating like crazy.

"I hope my sudden request didn't make you uncomfortable". He said.

"certainly not". I replied with a smile. certainly yes, I thought.

"Your professors told me that, you're doing well, top of the class."

"I think so, they haven't assigned me anything yet."

"I ask them from time to time."

Well now, that surprised me a bit.
In my mind I had written choi off as a two-faced recruiting superintendent son of a bitch.
I met him first when I was in the university. He came there as a guest lecturer.
Aside from my piquing curiosity, the quality of his criminology seminars was one of the reasons for me
coming to the Bureau. For the three months I had been a trainee, he had ignored me.

I'm one of the people who do not ask for favors or press for friendship,
but I was puzzled and regretful at Mr. Choi's behavior. Now, in his presence, I guess I liked him.
Clearly something was wrong with him. There was a peculiar cleverness in him, aside from his intelligence, and I noticed it in his color sense and the textures of his clothing, even within the FBI-clone standards of agent dress. Now he was neat, but dull.

"A job came up and I thought about you," he said. "It's not really a job, it's
more of an interesting errand. I'm sure that, you want to come directly to Behavioral Science when you get through with the Academy."

"I do."

"You have a lot of forensics, but no law enforcement background. We look for six years, minimum."

"My father was in the FBI , I know the life."

He smiled a little. "What you do have is a double major in psychology
and criminology, and how many summer holidays working in a mental health center?

"Two." I replied.

"Do you know about VI-CAP?"

"I know it's the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program. The Law
Enforcement Bulletin says you're working on a database, but I guess you haven't started it,yet ."

Choi nodded. "We've developed a questionnaire. It applies to all the
known serial murderers in modern times." He handed me a thick heap of papers in a flimsy binding. "There's a section for investigators, and one for surviving victims, if any. The blue is for the killer to answer if he will, and the pink is a series of questions an examiner asks the killer, getting his reactions as well as his answers. It's a lot of paperwork."

My self-interest snuffled ahead like a keen beagle. I could smell a job offer coming, probably the drudgery of feeding raw data into a new computer system. It was tempting to get into Behavioral Science in any
capacity , but I knew what happens to a woman if she's ever pegged as a secretary, it sticks until the end of time. A choice was coming, and I
wanted to choose well.

"So, we've tried to interview and examine all the twenty-two known serial murderers we have in custody, to build up a database for psychological profiling in unsolved cases. Most of them went along with it.Nineteen were willing to cooperate. Two on death row with appeals pending . But the one we want the most, we haven't been able to get. I want you to go after him tomorrow in the asylum."

"Who's it? "

I felt a glad knocking in my chest and some apprehension too.

"The psychiatrist - Dr. Byeong ho. "

A brief silence follows the name, as always, in any civilized gathering.

I looked at choi steadily, but I was too still. " byeong ho as in the,


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