[ tw ] / rape, death
❝ ...he was not a nice man. ❞
he had no plans of being a father and he made it clear. your mother is a good christian woman. she chooses to raise you alone. when the nurse hands you to her for the first time, she sobs with joy. the sudden noise makes you cry. you both cry together.
she wants to give you the world. she starts working as soon as she can. you stay with your grandfather. you live in a warm apartment in a lower-class neighborhood. when you scrape your knees, 'papa' is always there to get you a band-aid and kiss it better. all three of you go to church on sundays. your mom and pappa hold your hands on the way in and out. sometimes pappa carries you on his shoulders. you extend your hands to the sky and try and touch the clouds.
she always smells so nice. you and pappa always buy her perfume on her birthday. she has the bottles lined up neatly on her dressing table. she's laying on her bed when you get home from school. she needs a nap. you curl up in her arms and remind her about the school play. she can't come. she has to work. you tell her you will work so she's not tired all the time. she laughs, it's your favourite sound.
❝ ...your only job is to do well in school hyunnie. ❞
it's a promise.
you do well for her. each good grade brings a smile to her beautiful, weary face. you want to get a good job so she never has to work again if she doesn't want to. pappa helps you with your homework. you want to be like him when you grow up. he's smart and funny and kind. he's better than your father ever could have been. he tells you stories from when he was a little boy. you could listen to them forever. when he passes you experience a loss so painful, so deep, you don't think it will ever stop. you cry until you feel as though your lungs will give out.
you pray to god. you beg him for your pappa.
there is no answer.
sixteen. running late. cornered by a group of men. your heart races so fast it threatens to burst from your chest. your face is pressed so hard into the concrete you fear your bones will break. your entire body cries for a mercy that isn't there. you know true evil for the first time. you stumble home, disheveled. your tell your mother that you were mugged; a half truth. you were, but you were stripped of so much more.
high school is over, you're quick to get your first job. you can finally help your mother. she wants you to go to university - again, she wants you to do well. you don't want to leave. you've always been a team. on your first day as a waiter, you bid her goodbye. she asks you where you're going. she should know the answer, you've been excited for days. she's confused.
she wakes you for church. it's thursday.
midnight. you've arrive home from a function. your mom is in the living from with the iron. she doesn't know why. her face is a portrait of terror and confusion. you walk her back to bed, mind racing.
you go out for dinner for her birthday. she can't hold her chopsticks. she can't recall how to. she stares at her hand and cries. her mind and body are betraying her. you cry together.
❝ ...who are you? ❞
your heart breaks in two.
you don't pray anymore.
do well tae hyun.
it's all you can do.