Throughout middle and high school, I a loner…
It wasn’t very serious because I wasn’t bullied or sexually harassed or anything. But, I was hated by my classmates. Back then, I didn’t know why since I did well in school and my personality wasn’t bad. I finally discovered the reason why but it was far too late. It was my second year of college and I overheard a couple of girls talking.“Kim Soo Hee? She’s such a slut.”
“I know right. That bitch is always looking for a sugardaddy. I can’t stand her.”
When I heard the girls who I thought were close friends talking shit about me, I felt horribly depressed. It’s so unfair! If only they’d known that I’ve always been single up to this point and I never…
Ah ah, what’s the point of explaining myself? They’d just say I was making excuses or call me a liar.
Anyway, my “friends” thought of me as a flirt with the boys. I didn’t realize what they meant until I was twenty-three when it had slowly dawned on me. Even though I never went looking for them, rich men would pursue me. They would buy me designer handbags or expensive cosmetics that I liked, even though I never asked for anything. At first it made me uncomfortable, and I refused. But as time went on, I began to enjoy it.
Hmmm… Maybe my friends were right about me. Maybe I was a flirt who sized men up by the bulk of their wallets. But when I reached twenty-six, I fixed my ways. It began when I started dating Jinsu. Jinsu was neither rich nor particularly handsome, but he obviously cared for me. He didn’t rock my world and make me see stars, but I felt content. More than the thrill of being chased by rich men and showered with luxury goods, I enjoyed the comfort of eating a simple meal Jinsu had made in his tiny studio apartment. Looking back, I can say without doubt that my time with Jinsu was the happiest in my life.
Then, everything changed in a flash. A man who used to follow me around, telling me again and again how much he wanted me, loved me and waited to find me alone so he could stab me to death. He said if we couldn’t live together, we should die together. I heard his sinister laughter and his voice that somehow seemed disgusting to me.
He repeated, “I love you. I love you.”
My vision was blurring.
“Hahaha. You bitch. This wouldn’t have happened if you had just loved me!”
I felt the life drain from my body as his voice became increasingly distant.
“No…” I protested. A face wavered before me, and I fought to remain conscious. I want to live. The memory of the text message I’d just received from Jinsu came to me. I got off work early and made stew. Come home soon. Miss you.
Jinsu was waiting for me at home. I tried to rise, but failed. I regretted that I hadn’t texted him back to tell him I missed him too.
I want…to live.
I had never once told Jinsu I loved him. The image of his sweet face wavered before my eyes. I hadn’t realized how much I loved him until this moment. But now, on death’s doors, I was overcome with the urge to see him. My despair, knowing I’ll never see Jinsu again was more painful than the searing pain of the metal in my flesh.
I heard the man’s sickening voice again. “I love you.”
I wept. I knew I was dying. But there was something I wanted to say. Instead of cursing bitterly, instead of letting out one final scream, with my last breath I started to say, “Jinsu, I lo…”
But then I was overcome by drowsiness.
Had I really fallen asleep? I was definitely not dead. I was lying blissfully in bed, a high ceiling above me. There was modern, indirect LED lighting. A pleasant New Age melody played. I felt something soft and warm to the touch, and a comforting, sweet smell tickled my nose. All was well. But then I realized the one thing that was amiss.
With a start, I realized, I wasn’t in my house. I snapped to attention. Had I been kidnapped? My mind went blank, and I shrieked.
What is this? No words left my mouth. I was dumbfounded. Only then did I realize what had happened. I can’t believe it. I tried shutting then opening my eyes. No, I was still dreaming. I tried to pinch something.
I can’t move my hand. Not only was I unable to move my hand, but I felt out my body.
I’m a baby! It all seemed absurd.
Then I heard a voice. “Another worthless girl? You should be ashamed of yourself.”
I didn’t know it then, but that voice belonged to my father.