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Hazy Memory | JJK


“You don’t remember anything ?” I asked, watching her every move as my heart was racing in my chest. She watched me closely, slightly frowning as her head tilted to the side. "I think it's better that way." I mumbled to myself.

Romance / Drama
Age Rating:


Eun Jung’s POV

4:28 PM

“Greet your halmeoni for me, will ya ?” Mister Kim shouted as I was leaving the convenience store. I smiled back before I walked out of the shop holding three pretty heavy bags on both hands. I turned to the right & made my way home. I went to the store today to buy some vegetables for dinner but also to buy my little brother his favorite snacks because he ran out.

My hair was all messy as I had been walking for the past 10 minutes. I looked down at my right hand as I could see it turn red from the heavy bags I was carrying with it. Ever since my mother’s been away, I’ve had to take over some of the responsibilities & house chores that she used to do. But don’t get me wrong, I love taking care of my family. My father is a university professor and isn’t home for the most part. And when he is, he spends his time working for school. But he does try his best to hang out with my brother and I. My little brother is always either hanging out with classmates, watching anime in the living room or out and about with his friends. I couldn’t expect anything more since he’s a teenager, going thought puberty, the last thing he wants to do is hang out with his older sister.

And my grandmother, well, she’s kind of the one I can talk to and get girl advice from.

But despite me not being able to interact with my father and brother that often, I’m very grateful for them and I love them very much.

I dropped the bags to the floor. My hands gave out. Even though the convenience store isn’t that far away from home, it feels like I’ve been walking for hours because of the heavy bags.

“Last one at the park is a loser!” I turned around to see children riding their bikes with huge smiles on their faces. Their knees and clothes were all dirty as they must’ve been playing in the mud. They laughed amongst each other as they rode past me and towards the park. I remember when I was a little girl, playing and laughing as the whole world seemed so peaceful and fun. Not knowing what would happen to my mother in a few years, how I’d have to give up on being a child to help my father and grandma raise my brother.

I looked down at my hands as they were very red and possibly even blistering. A smile automatically appeared on my face.

This is what my mother would go through. Every single day she would make quick runs to the store, which made her hands blister because of everything she’d buy for us. She would wake up two hours earlier then me and my brother to make sure breakfast was ready and our lunch boxes were set for when we’d wake up in the morning for school. I ran my blistered hand through my messy hair. Most of the time, she’d have messy hair just like I do right now because she’s too busy taking care of all of us during the day, that she doesn’t even have the time to comb her hair when needed.

My mother worked so hard everyday making sure our family would eat, drink and sleep with a fulfilled soul. And even though she was neglecting herself, she was always happy. I could tell because whenever I’d run up to her as a kid I always caught her smiling. Even when she was alone. I never stopped to thank her for everything she was doing for us. She is the backbone of this family. The least I can do for her and my family is basically take over her responsibilities.

I smiled as I fixed my hair and leaned forward to pick up the bags that had fallen to the ground. I slowly made my way back home.

“Let’s go see what everyone at home is up to.” I said to myself.

The sun was slowly setting as I approached the house. Even though it was spring, the evenings were always colder as the sun was setting. I hope Min-jun is at home. He was only wearing a t-shirt when he left. I walked past granny’s house to see if the lights were on.

My grandmother’s house is next door to ours. My parents decided to move right next door to her when they got married because she refused to move in with them and leave her house behind. My grandma is getting older and they only wanted her to move in with them so they’d be able to take care of her more easily, but granny can be a bit stubborn.

When I saw that the lights were off, I guessed she’d be at ours. I put the bags down and opened the door into the house.

“I’m back !” I called as I closed the door and made my way towards the living room. My dad was sitting by the table, tuns of papers surrounding him as he had a red pen in his hand. He looked up at me and as soon as he saw me, he put the pen down and rushed my way.

“Sweetie, why are you carrying such heavy bags by yourself ?!” He said as he grabbed them all from my hands. I massaged my sore hands as I smiled up at him.

“I knew you’d be busy with work so I didn’t want to bother you.” I explained. He sighed as he shook his head. “I can take a break and come help you, darling. You guys will always come before work.” We exchanged a smile as he made his way towards the kitchen. I peeked into the living room and saw Min-jun watching tv.

“Hey, what are you watching ?” I asked as I messed up his hair. He groaned and fixed it immediately. ”Attack on Titan.” He quickly said as he was focused on the screen. I was clearly bothering him.

“Alright, well, I’ll go start making dinner. Where’s granny ?” I asked, looking around the living room. He pointed towards the kitchen as his eyes were fixated on the screen. I nodded and made my way out of the living room. I walked into the kitchen, my dad was putting the groceries away as granny was scolding him because he was about to put the vegetables right next to the fish in the fridge.

“The vegetables in the drawer, Jung-hoon! Take them out of the plastic bags first!” Granny smacked my dad slightly on his shoulder as he nodded and quickly did as told. I chuckled as I walked in and decided to save the day for my dad.

“Leave it to me, appa. You can go back to work while I cook dinner.” He nodded as he handed me the carrots. I took them as he quickly bowed to my granny. She gave him a stern look as I could tell she was holding back a chuckle.

“If you need my help just let me know.” He said, but my granny snapped before I could answer him.

“What do you mean ‘need your help’? We don’t need the help of someone that doesn’t know that you have to take the vegetables out of the bag before you put them in the fridge !” She argued which made him jump slightly.

“Right.” He chuckled nervously before rushing out of the kitchen and into the living room. As soon as he left, granny and I looked at each other and started laughing.

Despite her teasing him practically every day, she loves him dearly. When he presented himself to her and my grandpa to ask for my mother’s hand in marriage, she was trying her best to be stern because she wanted to test him first. She was only looking out for my mother of course, not wanting her to end up with someone that would only make her life miserable. But my father’s good heart and unconditional love for my mother, proved to her that he was the one that would make my mother happy in the long run.

“Why were you so mean, granny ?” I chuckled as I washed my hands. She pulled out two cutting boards and started rinsing the vegetables.

“Oh Eun Jung, you know I enjoy teasing your father.” She smiled as she started cutting the carrots. I walked over to the rice cooker and started cooking the rice. “I know I know. He might have a heart attack the next time you scream at him like that though.” I said which made granny burst out in laughter. We went on about dad, mom and everything in between. Having our usual evening chat about or day or life in general.

Although today I wanted to address something that I should have addressed a few days ago.

“Did dad tell you ?” I asked as I glanced over at her, her smile turned into a confused look which gave me an answer to my question. She looked over at me.

“Tell me what ?” Her tone was now lower as she was getting worried. Possibly imagining the worst. I took a deep breath as I proceeded to explain the situation to granny. I knew dad didn’t tell her so she wouldn’t get too worried about this. But this was about mom, her daughter. I couldn’t leave her in the dark about it.

“As you know, dad bought a car two months ago to facilitate anything that had to do with eomma. Ever since her condition worsened and we weren’t allowed to let her ride on public transport, appa decided it was best to buy a car.” I sighed, thinking of my mom and how she has to be alone in the hospital the time. The last thing she needs in the state she’s in is to be alone. But the doctors were right, she had to stay there so it’d be easier for them to treat her condition. In this side of Busan that we live in, it’s very far from everything, including hospitals. For that, we would have to take two buses and still walk about 20 minutes to get to the hospital.

The doctors gave her the permission to come out of the hospital and visit us once a month. That’s about the only time we see eomma in regular clothes and not in a hospital gown. She’d come home and spend a whole day with us, which we needed because we miss her so very much. Because of that, my dad decided to buy a car to drive her from and to the hospital with ease. He also wanted to be able to drive to the hospital even at night if there is an emergency.

“With the house- and car bills piling up, the maintenance for the house and all of our personal needs… well, dad said that he can’t afford mom’s medicine right now. He even said that he can barely afford mom’s treatment now.” I struggled as my granny stayed silent. I looked over at her as she let out a deep breath.

“He shouldn’t have bought that car.” She shook her head. I could almost hear her heart breaking in her chest.

“But granny, he had to. Otherwise eomma would have to take the public transport and we both know that she’s too fragile to handle that.” I explained as she stayed silent. I knew that she didn’t mean what she said about the car. She knew well enough that when my dad bought the car, so many burdens were lifted off our shoulders. Not to mention that because of the car, my mom was allowed to come home once a month. The doctors wouldn’t let her if she had to take the public transport.

“But don’t worry !” I said as she looked up at me, her sad face turning into a confused look.

“I decided to apply for a new job so that I can help dad pay for eomma’s treatment, medicine and everything else!” I smiled as she slowly stopped cutting the vegetables. She shook her head slowly as tears were forming in her eyes. I was already working at a small bookstore downtown but I wasn’t even making enough to be able to pay for my mother’s medicine and treatment.

“N-no, Sun Jung…” She slowly said as she turned her body to face me. Her eyes were getting bigger as her movements were slowing down. I knew why she said that. My mom’s bills are ridiculously high and her medicine only doubled the zeros on those bills. She probably didn’t want me to carry that burned on my shoulders as a 19 year old.

“You always wanted to go to university and study-“ I quickly cut her off and grabbed both her hands into mine. A single tear fell down her cheek as more tears were forming in my eyes.

“Forget about that! Eomma is much more important than that. I can’t just sit back and do nothing about this. She needs us right now and it’s about time that I do something useful around here. Aside from the house chores and stuff which I’ll continue taking care of, of course.” I sniffed. “She’s done so much for this family, she even sacrificed her dreams of becoming a designer to raise me and my brother and became a housewife.” I let the tears run down my face freely as I couldn’t even hold them back anymore.

“I’m going to find a job and make enough money to support mom’s treatment and to be able to afford her medicine. I’m not giving up on her, granny.” I cried out. But as soon as I finished my sentence, she wrapped her arms around me and squeezed me tightly. She started sobbing which made me start crying as well.

“You’re such an angel, Eun Jung. I’m so so proud of you, child.” Her words made me cry even more, yet I could help but smile.

I took this decision a while ago and applied for different kinds of jobs that would pay me enough to support my mother’s health. I’ve wanted to do this for a while now but my father never wanted me to. He would rather overwork. But we didn’t have a choice anymore. My dad started working full time as a professor and on top of that, he started doing private lessons to students for extra cash. I decided it was time for me to help him out financially as well.

Although it meant to leave my dreams behind for now, it is now or never.

I’m not giving op un you, eomma.

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