TO DIE FOR
“Sa rang. I know you are angry.”
“You don’t know anything about my feelings. Do you think I love you? You’re wrong; I kept you by my side because I felt guilty for letting your mother die.”
“Sa-rang,” Yoona muttered as she stretched her hand to touch the woman’s shoulders to beckon her to stop, but Sa-rang shrugged off her hand and pursued her inquisition.
“I let you stay next to me because you are as clingy and sticky as a parasite. You were amusement; that’s what Silent knights are, right? You are entertainment for wealthy and lonely women in Seoul’s high society. Now get out, don’t ever appear before me again.”
“I can see right through you; Lee Sa-rang, I know you don’t mean what you’re saying.”
“If you can see through me, then you know what my wish is at this instant. I want to die right now, so I don’t have to stare at your face again.”
Yoona gulped as she listened to her friend’s most venomous words.
The man blinked to stow away the tears which threatened to betray his feelings. Sa-rang’s words stung; they shrunk Ji-Seong, who felt like the lost child waiting for his mother to come out of the blocks.
“How can you be so cruel?” Ji-Seong said as his eyes bored into hers.
“I thought you loved me that way.”
In her eyes, Ji-Seong could read Sa-rang’s anger, but what made him surrender was the hatred that slithered under her stare. At this instant, there was no way to reason the woman.
Without a word, Ji-Seong picked up his jacket and left.
“Don’t dare call, don’t you dare approach me,” the woman yelled from her living room.
Usually, Ji-Seong shook off this kind of outburst, but Sa-rang pricked his heart with thousands of daggers. A retreat was the only option for the man to tend to his mental wounds. If in front of Sa-rang, the man remained dignified, behind the closed door outside of her apartment, he collapsed.
Women had left him before, but never had Ji-Seong felt such an emotion of despair. He got up, went to his car, drove off, arrived at his apartment, and took a shower.
And it was only when he sat on his couch that he assessed what happened and Sa-rang’s words.
The drops fell slowly at first, and suddenly they flooded out. There was no stopping them. Ji-Seong cried a lifetime’s worth of tears at his mother’s funeral. Since his mother’s death, his eyes remained dry to the point he had to put in drops to hydrate them. But now, because and for Sa-rang, he cried.
What pained him was to think everything he had done was for her sake. Ji-Seong hoped for a reconciliation between mother and daughter before the fateful moment where there would be no time to save the relationship.
If Ji-Seong represented nothing to Sa-rang, the woman, on the other hand, was his everything; and for her, the man was willing to give up all he had if it meant saving her. This was the resolution Ji-Seong desired to tell her in her apartment, and now all was lost. His gestures were on autopilot. Ji-Seong climbed in his bed and rolled up in a fetal position while he carried on to pour his heart out in his tears.
In Sa rang’s apartment, Yoona sat on the floor, “Sa-rang, why, why did you say all those things. Perhaps it’s the hormones with the baby, and I’m a little too sensitive, but don’t you think you want too far.”
Yoona was one of the lucky people to have never experienced Sa-rang’s wrath. Her ears were immunized to her friend’s harsh words, but here, even she was shocked by the rawness of Sa-rang’s speech.
“Yoona, what was I to do?” Sa-rang said, slumping down next to her. “I don’t want to see him again; he ruined what is left of my life. I’m so exhausted from living. Why can’t God take me now?”
“What’s the point? Tell me, Yoona. I worked all my life to climb the social ladder to become someone. I spent twenty years of my existence saving lives, for what? What do I get out of this, Yoona? Disputes and a tarnished reputation, the hatred of all those around me. I might as well die now.