The rain did not seem to want to stop. During three days, straight streams of water ran down the street.
Sa-rang stood to wait for the rain to calm down in front of the hospital. She stopped driving as she lost concentration. Also, she didn’t want to be paralyzed by pain while turning the steering wheel.
So she took public transportation. The only thing she had to do was walk, but even making that demanded effort.
It was weird to see how daily actions became an endeavor. Sa-rang’s body worked like Wachowski bullet time, all in perfect slow motion.
The woman wondered how long she would be able to operate. Sa rang wished to carry on as long as she could, but the patients were her priority. She could not put their lives in danger out of her selfish desires.
Leaving her duties scared her, she lived for the hospital, and she had no clue what she would do if she took leave.
If Sa-rang had more strength in her limbs, she would have gone on a world trip. Unlike most people, she did not draw up a bucket list of things to do, but ideas popped up from time to time.
Sa rang brushed away most projects. Her only objective was to look healthy until the end.
“Why can’t this rain stop?”
Sa-rang was about to step out when a hand grabbed hers and slid something in it. The woman stared at the small red umbrella before watching the man who gave it to her put on his hood and walk away in the rain.
Sa-rang clinched the umbrella to her chest.
Why was he like this?
It wasn’t the first time Ji-Seong showed a kind intention; despite their feud, the man remained a gentleman.
Sa rang would find a bottle of water and a sandwich on her office desk. Her files were labeled and in order. Ji-Seong posted her work on the university’s website regularly.
The doctor hated it, Ji-Seong made her life more comfortable, and it drove her up the wall.
Also, there was Soo Hae; the girl was compassionate. She avoided asking the professor questions about her illness; she just helped.
Sa rang was unworthy; the woman did not deserve this love and care; it was like an open heart operation without anesthetics.
The man had no idea how he hurt her, how his presence tore apart Sa rang’s reasoning.
Now she paced like a lion in a cage in Yoona’s apartment, hoping to find good advice.
“I’m scared, Yoona, for the first time in my whole life, I’m afraid of losing someone.”
Sa-rang pushed In-Sung and Sonmi away to save them from sorrow. She hoped her appalling conduct would help them forget her.
For some reason, it was more complicated with Ji-Seong.
The man filled her thoughts; the short time they spent together made her dependent without notice.
She missed their conversations and other pillow talks.
Ji-Seong was the first man after In-Sung Sa-rang allowed to enter her bubble of intimacy; it felt good to be with someone. She who always loved being alone but found herself wanting to flee solitude.
Sa-rang wanted to be with him.
Yoona could see how affected her friend was, and she was regretful for having brought them together even if it was a coincidence,” tell him Sa rang, Ji-Seong is as scared as you are.”
Yoona preferred not to tell Sa rang about the student and her divergence of opinion, which she thought would only disturb her friend more.
“I can’t, Yoona; I can’t admit I have feelings for him because if I do, I’ll want to live. I’ll want to stay by his side; I wish to remain by Ji-Seong’s side, Yoona, and I can’t do that.”
Sa rang, slicked her hair back; her confession stressed her. The woman hugged herself and suddenly cried; she had so many hostile feelings swimming inside her. Sa rang no longer knew what was right or wrong. Both reason and irrational thoughts collided.
What was she to do?
The decision to die her way was still her aim; the woman planned everything to the thumbnail, and here came Ji-Seong breaking an entry into her existence, but it was too late. Sa-rang could no longer change the course of what she programmed; the crash was inevitable.
Revealing her feelings would only complicate things, enslaving Ji-Seong to a dreadful fate of the mourner by adding memories that will haunt him and eat him alive.
People think showing love is holding on, but for Sa rang, loving someone also meant having the ability to let go.
Letting go was essential if it meant sparing loved one grief; this is what she did with In-Sung, Sonmi, and she would apply the principle to Ji-Seong because that’s how Sa-rang loved. From the beginning, Sa-rang did not desire the public to see her execution, and this had not changed.
Sa-rang, the woman, let the young man in her life, for she was lonely.
Ji-Seong’s flattery and sweet words swayed the girl who once believed in the existence of a knight in shining armor.
All this time, Sa rang thought about her needs, but what about Ji-Seong? What were his desires?
No matter what his wishes were, Sa rang refused to let him witness her end. The man deserved better than that; it would be so unfair to keep him prisoner in a dead-end relationship.
“Yoona, I think I’m going crazy,” Sa-Rang said, sobbing.
After her flood of tears at Yoona’s apartment, once home, Sa-rang, restless decided to take a stroll around her block, the night was still, and the rain seemed to take a short break.
All one could hear were the drops falling from the tree’s autumn leaves and the residue of water rushing into gutters.
Sa-rang breathed in and out, treasuring every intake of air.
Hers could stop at any instant. Even there in the middle of the street, she could die. The thought made her shudder. She turned to walk back, and there he was.
Her name was like a faint whisper, but she heard it. The man’s solemn voice rose every hair on the woman’s body.
Sa rang, cleared her throat before speaking, “what are you doing here?”
“I was thinking of you; I wanted to see you.”
“Isn’t it obvious? I can’t get you out of my mind.”
The answer was direct and blunt, but that was Ji-Seong always honest with his feelings.
Sa rang, refrained herself from answering the same. Instead, she hugged herself and walked past the man who grabbed her arm.
“What are you doing?”
Ji-Seong turned his head to face Sa-Rang while the woman stared straight in front of her.
“Sa-Rang, please don’t run away.”
“Ah, chum, I’m not fleeing. I don’t have anything to say to you.”
“I have things to say. Please listen.”
Sa-rang sighed and pursed her lips as she turned her head to face the man who still gripped her hand.
The moonlit Ji-Seong’s face, which seemed to glow, Sa-rang could see all his features. Ji-Seong was a handsome man with a bright future.
A future Sa-rang foresaw without her.
“I know I said I would stay by your side, but I can’t sit and watch the woman I love throw life away.”
“I don’t understand you, Ji Seong. What do you want from me? I told you I couldn’t give you what you desire. I can’t be the woman of your life. You don’t know who I am or what I did to you.”
“Why, why did you have to come into my life? I forgot about you. When I see you-you remind me of my past and sins.”
A frown adorned on Ji-Seong’s face, “what are you talking about?”
“You think I forgot; I’m the one who made you like this, I’m the one who created the abyss behind your gaze. You remind me that day, and Moon Nari reminds me one can’t cheat on death.”
“Yes, I remember who you are. I knew from the first day you walked into the classroom.”
Ji-Seong grasped Sa-rang’s arms and fixed her straight in the eyes, “then you also know I can’t love another woman because it’s always been you, Sa-rang. I’ve been running after the mirage of you. The shadow of you, I’ve been looking for you all my life since.”
Sa-rang shook her head vigorously, “I killed your mother, Ji Seong.”
The rain’s interlude was over as thunder roared above them, and heavy raindrops began their descent.
“No, you didn’t. How can you beat yourself up about that?”
Ji-Seong found out the truth since, being a medical student and replaying the takes of his mother’s operation over and over, the man understood better than anyone Sa rang was not to blame.
The woman tried to pull away, unable to do so. She lowered her gaze, “I see what’s behind your stare. You wouldn’t be this way ifㅡ.”
“If what, I’m twisted, but aren’t we all, okay, do you want my forgiveness? Then cure me, Lee Sa-rang, accept my love and fill me with yours, close the pitfall you created in my heart. Give me love, Sa rang,” Ji-Seong said, reaching out to touch her now wet cheek. The rain poured stronger, drenching the lovers. Ji-Seong took Sa-rang in his arms.
“Heal me, Sa rang,” he whispered in her ear.
Tears rolled down Sa rang’s face, mingling with the raindrops. Sa rang lifted her hands slowly to cling them to Ji-Seong’s sweater.
If it were a fairytale, the wicked witch’s spell would break, but this was real and just another moment in life that allowed them to move on to the next scene.