What I Did For Love
June 17, 1999
My name is MiNa Nam. I’m 19, still very young, but I am dying. Not right now but my life is slowly fading away as I’m writing my story. At this moment I’m sitting at ‘our’ spot. Mine and Eun Ji Won, the love of my life.
The sun is slowly beginning to set over the lake. I took a glance at my reflection in the water. My outside looks have changed drastically within the past few months, but the water reflected the true me. Inside I’m still the same person.
I have done and given so much for love but never once, have I received it back from Ji Won. There are times that I wanted to tell him everything that I’ve done for him and make him love me back. But I can’t. Love is not selfish.
So I did what felt right. I keep giving Ji Won my love and I never asked for his love in return. Even though I’ll leave this world pretty soon, my love for him will still remain. My story begins when I first met Ji Won six years ago on this one fateful day. It all started out….
October 31, 1993
“You better come back here you good for nothing brat!”
I covered my ears with my palms. That was my stepmother calling me. Her voice sounds murderous and I didn’t want to face her today. She had slapped and hit me too much already. I’m afraid I can’t take it anymore so I hid in my closet. I peeked through the crack in my closet and saw my stepmom with a really pissed off look on her face. She was holding that stick that I’m always afraid of. I winced thinking about how much it would hurt if she hits me with it again.
I’m just thirteen and whoever said 13 was an unlucky number, they were right. My mom had died when I was just turning ten. Before she died she told me that I was the most beautiful girl in the world and how proud she was to be my mother. She said even though she’ll be gone, her love is with me always.
Tears rolled down my cheeks. ‘If you love me mommy, how can you be so selfish to leave me?’ So now when I had turn 13 my dad had married Mok Young A, who is my stepmom today. She was a cold-hearted woman who tortured me all day. Any self-esteem I had for myself was shattered and I was living a nightmare.
My closet door suddenly opened. “There you are you wicked girl!” My stepmom started cussing at me as she pulled me out and threw me onto the floor. I began to tremble because I knew what was going to happen next.
*Whack whack whack.*
I cried out in pain but I knew that no one is going to hear my cries. I desperately began to gasp for air. My heart was aching again. I couldn’t breathe.
“Not again! Don’t you see how much you’re costing your father and me with your heart problems? If it wasn’t for all these medical bills we wouldn’t be so poor now!”
I had this heart condition where air would suddenly shut off and I couldn’t breathe. The doctors are trying to save me by giving me a respirator and pills, but they’re not sure how much longer I’ll be able to live. My dad (who was a pathetic excuse for a man) came in.
He looked down at me with sorrowful eyes. He held my stepmom’s arm lightly and said, “I think she had enough. You don’t want her to have another attack. Calm down and let’s have dinner.”
“That’s why I’m hitting her!” she yelled. “She got detention and stayed after school for an hour. She was supposed to be home to go buy food for dinner and make it. Your daughter is so evil. She wants me to starve or something!”
“I didn’t get detention. The teacher wanted to talk to me about—“
But I was cut off by the whack of my stepmom’s stick. I cried silently in pain and turned away. I didn’t want to look at her. My dad said, “Well, dinner’s just going to be a little late today. Mina, say sorry to your mom.”
Despite the pain, I managed to say, “Sorry mom. Please forgive me.”
My dad handed me some money. “Here. Go buy food to make mee-yuk-gook tonight.” My stepmom’s temper simmered down a little as my dad lead her out of my room.
I picked up the money and headed for the store. Mr. Choi, the owner of Choi Food Market, shook his head as I walked in. He knew what kind of hell I was going through. I finished my shopping and checked out.
“That’ll be $3.49.”
“What?” I asked. “Umm…Mr. Choi. That’s impossible. With all this stuff it should be around $15.”
“I know Mina.” Mr. Choi gave me a sad smile. “The exact price is $14.32. Why don’t you keep the change for yourself?”
I opened my mouth in shock. “Mr. Choi…I..I can’t do that,” I said as I handed him 20.
He only took five. “No. Keep it. I know that stepmom of yours don’t give you any money.”
I looked up at Mr. Choi with tears in my eyes. Here he was, just a friend reaching out to me. I said thanks and headed for home.
I decided to take a shortcut home but as I passed the alley, a hand pulled me in. I was knocked to the ground and a shadow hovered over me. I began to scream but the same hand covered my mouth.
“Shut up or I’ll kill you!”
I shut my mouth instantly. I didn’t want to die yet. In the moon’s reflection I got a good look of my attacker. It was a boy who looked a little bit older than me. His face and clothes were dirty but he had really good features so I could tell he was extremely good-looking. But this was not a time to think about such things.
He held a table knife at my throat and said, “Give me all your money or I’ll kill you.” I panicked but I knew what to do. I used the move I wanted to use on my stepmom every time she pinned me down and hit me. I kicked him hard right into his family jewels. He gasped and fell to the floor, dropping the knife. I picked up my groceries and ran.
I guess you can call me the dumbest person alive. I was afraid I had kicked the boy too hard and permanently damaged him. Besides, since my life is hell already, I didn’t want him to go through it too. So I turned back.
When I came back to the alley, the boy was still lying on the floor. He was moaning softly. I lifted him up gently. “Are you okay?” I asked. He shook his head no. “I’m sorry,” I said to him. I reached into my pocket and pulled the money Mr. Choi gave me. “If you need money, then here. All I have is ten dollars.”
I placed the money in his hand and walked away. He looked at me with this weird expression that I couldn’t read. I picked up my groceries and this time I left without turning back. I could tell the boy was watching me as I was walking away…
Ji Won stared at the girl who had just walked away. ‘She must be the nicest or dumbest person in this world,’ he thought. He began to stand up but had to use the wall for balance. That girl had kicked him a little too hard. Ji Won had just run away from home again. He had ran away so many times that the alley was his second home. When he ran away he always stole his parents’ money.
They were the richest people in all of Hawaii but they were also the most messed up family. His dad would have a lot of women with him and would betray a friend if it would bring him money. His mom, on the other hand, was an exact duplicate of his dad. She always had these young men around her and spend money like crazy. His parents were divorced and lived on opposite ends of Hawaii. ‘Bitch and bastard,’ thought Ji Won.
When he ran away this time, he didn’t have the chance to steal any money from his dad. So he had no choice but to rob somebody. When he saw the young girl walking out of the store, she seemed to be the perfect target. But things didn’t turn out as planned.
Ji Won kept wondering why the girl gave him the money even though he could have killed her. Ji Won knew he couldn’t take the money because she was the first person in his messed up life that was nice to him because she wanted to be, not because she wanted something from him. He wanted to give the money back. When he gained some of his strength back, he began to chase her…
When I came home, I was greeted by the usual words. ‘Ugly wretch, wicked girl, freeloader, etc.’ but luckily I made it through dinner fine. When dinner ended, my parents went to sleep leaving me with the dishes. I cleaned the table and washed the dishes. I also took out the trash and then suddenly I felt someone grab me from behind.
My attacker turned me around to face him. It was the same boy I met in the alley. I began to panic. “I gave you all my money already! What more do you want from me?” He raised a finger to his lips and tried to shush me. I felt one of my attacks coming on. I started to hyperventilate and couldn’t breathe. I was beginning to black out.
Ji Won looked at the girl who looked like she was going to die. “Oh my God! Are you okay?” This time it was the girl’s turn to shake her head no. Then she collapsed in his arms. Ji Won didn’t know what to do but he had to save her life. He began to give her mouth to mouth. “Come on,” he whispered to her. “Breathe. Don’t die on me.” After a while she began coughing and opened her eyes.
I opened my eyes and saw a blurry object heading towards me. Then I felt something soft pressing against my lips and I felt a gust of air. Then I realized the boy was giving me air. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I blushed and gently pushed him away. “Thank you for saving me. I’m okay now.”
The boy turned slightly red. “Uhh…you’re welcome. You kinda scared me there.”
“Sorry about that. Well, what is it that you want from me?”
“Here.” He handed me back the same ten dollars I had given him. I looked up at him. “No, it’s okay. Keep it. I think you need it or you wouldn’t have tried to rob me.” He shook his head. “No. I just wanted to borrow it only. I don’t take charity. Well, goodbye.”
Just as he walked away, I heard his stomach grumble. I bit my tongue so I wouldn’t laugh. Since he didn’t take charity, I said, “Um, hey. I just made some food and I don’t know if it’s good or not. I need a guinea pig because I don’t want to serve it to my parents if it isn’t and besides, you did save my life.
Ji Won looked at her. ‘Why is she being so nice to me?’ he thought. He knew she was just saying that because she heard him say he doesn’t want charity. Ji Won’s stomach was growling like crazy. He haven’t ate for 2 days already and the mention of food was killing him. “Uh, okay. I guess I’ll be your guinea pig since I have nothing to do.” He studied her face as she smiled at him. ‘She’s pretty,’ he thought as he smiled back.
I let the boy wait outside as I got some of the leftover mee-yuk-gook for him. He finished it in less than a minute. Then he leaned back and sighed. Out of nowhere, he let out a burp. I had to giggle. He looked at me and smiled. “Sorry about that.”
I hesitated before I asked him the next question. “Umm…so what’s your name?” He glanced at me and then stared at the ground. I could tell he was debating to tell me his real name or not. I didn’t want him to feel obligated to telling me his name. “It’s okay. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”
Ji Won looked at her surprised. “No! It isn’t that!” he yelled. She stared back at him surprised too. Then he lowered his voice. “I’m sorry. Please don’t misunderstand.” She nodded her head slowly and Ji Won can tell that she was confused. Ji Won felt that he could trust her and he wanted her to be his friend.
“My name is Eun Ji Won and you are?”
“Nam Mi-Na, but call me Mina. It’s easier to remember.” Then she gave him the sweetest smile. Ji Won felt his heart beat a little faster when she smiled at him. He blushed and looks away. “So uh, how old are you?”
“13,” she replied. “And you Ji Wonee?”
He smiled when she called him that. “I’m 15,” he said turning back to look at her.
“15?” I asked in disbelief.
Ji Won nodded. “Where are your parents oppa? You’re too young to be living in the streets.” He shrugged his shoulders. “I can take care of myself.” I gave him a doubting look because he was trying to pull that tough guy act on me. “It’s okay though,” he told me. “I have a family. It’s just that things are bad at home so I’m just getting away from it for a while.” ‘So he ran away,’ I figured out.
I could tell that Ji Won was a good person. “Do you have a place to stay tonight?” He shook his head. “How about staying in my room then,” I offered.
Ji Won couldn’t believe his ears. He stared at Mina. ‘Did she just offer him a place to stay?’ “Ji Won?” Mina asked as she waved a hand in front of his face. “Are you okay?”
Ji Won shook his head and snapped out of it. She placed her hand on his knee. “Oppa, I asked if you want to stay in my room for tonight?” Ji Won was so touched that he felt his heartache. No one had ever cared about him so much but he didn’t want to feel as though he owed her. “No thanks.”
Mina looked at him with her big sad eyes. “Please oppa? I’m afraid of the dark.” Ji Won smiled. He knew she was lying so he would say yes. For the first time in his life, Ji Won felt warm inside because now he is wanted. He let out a sigh. “Aigo Mina, okay. You talked me into it. But just for tonight though.” She giggled and nodded.
Silently, I led Ji Won into my room. My room was small and luckily, it was far away from my parents so they can’t hear much. I let Ji Won have the bed while I take the floor. ‘Damn,’ I thought. ‘Why does the floor have to be so cold and hard?’
Ji Won stared down at Mina who was trying to sleep on the cold stone floor. He picked her up easily and lifted her onto the bed.
“Oppa? What are you doing?” I whispered as my eyes grew wide.
“Do you trust me?” he asked.
I nodded my head slowly.
“Good,” he said. “This bed is small but it’ll fit both of us.”
My eyes grew wider at what Ji Won had just said. But I had just told him that I trust him. I couldn’t take my words back so I had no choice but to sleep with him. We both got in my bed and slept side-by-side. I was so nervous, I couldn’t sleep. Ji Won, on the other hand, had no problem. He fell asleep instantly.
I turned my head over to look at him. His face was so innocent like an angel when he was sleeping. Who would have thought he was such a devil when he’s awake and moving?
An hour had passed and it was 3’ in the morning. I still couldn’t sleep. Suddenly something weird happen. Ji Won turned his entire body around and did a 360, kicking me. “Ow!” I cried out but covered my mouth so my parents wouldn’t hear me. When he was done, he had this happy look on his face.
At first I thought he was just playing with me but he really did do a 360 in his sleep. Suddenly he reached over and held me tight. My entire body went tense and rigid. I could feel Ji Won’s light breathing on my neck. I don’t know why but now that Ji Won was this close (practically laying on top of me) made me feel better. It’s probably cause I’ve never been this close to a person in a long time. Soon I began to fall asleep too…
November 1, 1993
Ji Won opened his eyes and found himself laying partially on Mina’s body. He blushed and slowly moved away from her. Then he just laid near her watching her sleep. Suddenly it caught his eyes. The sleeves and pant legs of her pajamas were lifted up and he got a good look at her arms and legs. Dark purple bruises cover her entire body. There were several scars on her legs and arms too. Red lines run across her legs and it made Ji Won wince because it looked so painful.
He didn’t want to disturb Mina but he was really curious. She turned over and Ji Won lifted the back of her shirt. It was even worse than her legs. Ji Won opened his mouth lightly in shock and touched her bare back delicately, fearing that he might hurt her. Mina began to stir.
I rubbed my eyes and sat up. I saw Ji Won looking at me with this sad expression on his face. “What’s wrong oppa?” I asked. “Who did this to you?” Then he lifted the sleeve of my shirt. I opened my mouth in shock. I tried to hide it but I couldn’t believe he saw my bruises.
As I tried to answer him, I heard my stepmom’s footsteps heading towards my room. “Oppa!” I yelled, turning back to Ji Won, who was rubbing my bruises. “You have to get out of here! My mom is coming!” Ji Won looked at me surprised but I opened my window for him to climb out. “Climb down this tree. Goodbye Ji Wonee,” I said to him with tears in my eyes.
Ji Won remained silent the whole time as he left her room. But he didn’t leave though. He sat on the branch of her tree and looked through her window. He couldn’t hear what Mina and her mom were talking about but he saw it. He saw Mina’s mom bring out a small wooden stick and whack Mina with it several times. Ji Won couldn’t take it anymore. He busted back into Mina’s room.
I looked up at my stepmother in pain. “I’m sorry mom. I didn’t know we’re supposed to have guests today.”
She glared at me with cold hatred in her eyes. “Mr. Eun, of the Eun Hotel Empire all over Hawaii, is coming to visit us. Your father might get a promotion if we make a good impression! You’re supposed to be awake half an hour ago to prepare all of us tea! Now Mr. Eun is down there expecting tea! What am I supposed to do now huh?”
My stepmom began to breathe rapidly as her anger increased. I saw her raise that stick of hers again. I curled myself up hoping the pain would lessen but I know it wouldn’t so I prepared myself for the strike…
Ji Won caught the stick just before it would hit Mina. Mina’s mother stared at Ji Won in surprise. Mina opened her eyes and stared at Ji Won in shock. He looked down at her. “Mina, are you okay?”
“Ji Won!” I screamed. “What are you doing here?”
Ji Won looked back at me. “I came to save you from this evil bitch.”
My stepmom twisted her face in hate. “I knew you were trouble all this time Mina. How dare you bring this boy home? Wait until I tell your father about this!” Ji Won grabbed my stepmom’s arm to stop her. “You do that and I’ll have you fired!” I stared at Ji Won dumbfounded. ‘What is he talking about?’
“What are you talking about you juvenile delinquent?!” snapped my stepmom.
“I mean,” said Ji Won glaring at her. “ That you’re having tea with my father right now and I’ll get you and your husband fired if you hit Mina one more time.” I look at Ji Won surprised. ‘Ji Won is the heir of the Eun Hotel Empire? His family is the richest in all of Hawaii!’
My stepmom looked at Ji Won doubtfully. “If you’re his son, then how come you’re so filthy?” Ji Won gave her a smirk. “I know you want proof. How about all of us go down there to talk to my dad?” My stepmom looked at him and thought, ‘This is the only way for real evidence. He might get us a promotion.’ Then she said, “Come on then, boy. Let’s go.”
All three of us came downstairs together. Ji Won had to help me down because my legs were too weak to support me. Ji Won helped me sit on the couch and he faced the strange man before me. Mr. Eun glared at Ji Won.
“Hi dad,” said Ji Won.
“Where the hell have you been Ji Won?” shouted Mr. Eun.
My family just watched them yell at each other. Ji Won shrugged his shoulders. “Around.” It made Mr. Eun really mad but he never hits Ji Won. He continued yelling. Ji Won didn’t really listen and after a while he cut his dad off. “Look dad, shut up about it already and we’ll talk about it at home.”
‘Dang,’ I thought. ‘I could never talk to my parents like that.’ Mr. Eun shuts up. “Okay son, we’ll talk about it at home.” Then Ji Won gestured his hand at my entire family. “The Nams were nice enough to let me stay at their house. You owe them dad.” Mr. Eun nodded. “Fine. Joon and Young A, you two just got a raise.”
My stepmom got so excited. “Thank you Mr. Eun!”
“Come on Ji Won,” said Mr. Eun. “Let’s go home. And have that talk.” Ji Won brushed his dad’s hand ff his shoulder. “Later dad. I’ll be home in an hour.” His father glared at him. Ji Won glared back. “I said one hour.” Mr. Eun knew Ji Won was stubborn. So he agreed. “Fine then. One hour.”
After Mr. Eun left Ji Won talked to my parents. “Listen here,” he said as he sat down next to me. “I can get you hired and fired just like that.” And he snapped his fingers.
“We know, we know,” said my stepmom sweetly, pouring Ji Won some tea.
Ji Won didn’t drink it. “All I want is for you two to not touch Mina anymore. If I see another bruise on her, you know the consequences. Ji Won held my hand the entire time he spoke with my parents. I felt a strange warmth going through me and I knew that right then and there that I was falling in love with Eun Ji Won.
My dad remained quiet while my stepmother talked. “Of course Ji Won.”
Ji Won rolled his eyes. “Okay, and I’ll make sure you keep your promise.” Then Ji Won turned to face me. “Come on, let’s go.”
“What?” I asked confused.
“Go to my house with me.”
“Go go!” said my stepmom pushing me towards Ji Won. “Have fun kids and stay out as long as you like.” I knew my stepmom was really ticked off but she was playing it off pretty well.
Ji Won continued holding my hand and never once did he let it go. The walk to his house took us 15 minutes and I was enjoying every minute of it. When we reached his house, Ji Won let out a sigh.
“Mina,” he said softly. “Just stay quiet and let me do the talking okay?” I nodded my head and we entered his house. His house was huge! I felt as though I’m a peasant walking through a castle. He even had a few maids and butlers who attended us. Ji Won led me to his room. It was nice and clean but there were a lot of holes all around his walls. I sat down on his bed as he went into the bathroom to take a quick shower. When he was done, he came out and sat next to me, holding my hand. I really am in love.
“Ji Won, how come your walls have a lot of holes?”
He shrugged his shoulders and I massaged it for him. As he relaxed, he answered me. “Oh, it’s cause I fight with my parents a lot so I take it out on the walls.” Judging by the holes, I can tell that he was really angry every time he made one. “Come on,” he said. He lifted me up on his back and gave me a piggyback ride downstairs. He smelled so good now that he’s clean and fresh.
His dad was waiting for him in the den. I waited outside while Ji Won came into face his dad. Ji Won came in, uninterested in what his dad had to say. “What is it dad?”
“Ji Won, son…this is getting to be very tiring. Every few weeks you would run away, leaving me and your mother worrying about you.”
Ji Won smirked. “Sure you’re worried. That’s why you’re out with those hoes and mom’s out with those morons. It’s because I’m your only son. You’re just scared that when grandpa passes away he won’t put our family on the will.”
His father got angry. “Well do you want it to end up on your uncle’s side?” Ji Won gave his dad a look that showed he didn’t care. His dad continued talking. “Since I managed to have a son and my brother have no kids, I have the advantage. Son, listen to me. You know you’re my heir. All my wealth will be pass down to you.”
Ji Won looked at his dad disgusted. “All you care about is money! You don’t care about me!” he yelled as he stormed out of the den. Ji Won slammed the door open and grabbed my hand. “Come on, let’s go.”
I was confused and didn’t know what had happened. Ji Won held my hand and took me to the beach near his house. On the sand there were these 2 huge rocks. Ji Won led me over there. He lifted me up and we sat side by side. We remained silent until Ji Won took a deep breath of the ocean air.
“I love this place, don’t you?” he said to me smiling. I returned his smile and held onto his hand tighter. “Ji Won, what’s wrong?” Ji Won avoided my eyes. “Nothing.” I turned his chin to face me. “Come on, you know you can tell me.” He nodded.
“It’s my dad and this stupid feud he has with my uncle. They’re fighting over who will get the larger part in my grandpa’s will.”
“Oh…” I said softly.
“Isn’t it stupid?” he asked laughing. “My grandpa’s not even dead yet!”
I understood what was bothering him. So I didn’t say anything because I know he doesn’t want me to worry about it. He threw a rock into the ocean and it skipped three times. “Perfect” he said. “Why is it perfect?” I asked. “Age ain’t nothing but a number right?” he asked me, changing the subject. I thought about it for a while and nodded.
“Since I’m older than you by two years, that makes me your oppa,” Ji Won said to me.
“Yup,” I answered, smiling.
Ji Won smiled back. “I love you….”
I felt my heart my heart filled with a bubble of love but then Ji Won continued talking..”as a dongsang.” My bubble bursted. This was not what I had expected him to say.
I stared at Ji Won with wide eyes. I knew it was pretty forward of me but I had to ask. “Y…your….donsang?” I managed to stutter out. Ji Won looked back at me with his puppyish eyes and smiled. He nodded his head gently. Have I been reading all his signs wrong?
“So what do you say?” he asked. “Want to be my dongsang?” Even though it was breaking my heart, I had no choice but to agree. I nodded. “Yes, I want to be your dongsang oppa.”
“Good,” he said.
Ji Won nodded and reached into his pocket. He pulled out a small silver knife. I stared at him with wide eyes. “Ji Won, what are you going to do with that knife?” He asked, “Do you trust me Mina?” I nodded my head without hesitation. I trusted Ji Won with my whole heart. He smiled at me. “Good. Lower the back of your shirt.” Ji Won pulled the back of my shirt down. Then he used that knife to cut me. “Ow!” I screamed in pain but he continued anyways. He carved a small ‘E’ onto my shoulder blade. My back was bleeding and he bandaged it for me.
Then he handed the knife to me. “Here. Engrave your initial ‘M’ too cuz I don’t want to use the same last name as your mom.” My hand trembled as I held the knife. I didn’t want to hurt Ji Won. “Go ahead. Don’t worry, I can stand the pain.” I engraved an ‘M’ onto Ji Won’s back. I was surprised because he didn’t let a tear drop or cry out in pain. I bandaged him and he acted as if nothing had happen. When it was over, he held me close.
I held onto Ji Won tightly as if he was going to leave me. I know he only thinks of me as his little dongsang but it feels nice holding him like this.
As Ji Won held onto Mina, his smiling face instantly turned sad. He wanted to say ‘Mina, I love you as a girlfriend’ so she would be his forever but he couldn’t. He wasn’t the type to admit his feelings. So he figured the scarring was not an engravement of his brotherly love to Mina, but his promised symbol as a soulmate to her forever…
Years had pass and I’m still with Ji Won. I didn’t think it was possible but I grew more and more in love with Ji Won everyday. We would do a lot of stuff together and we never had any fights. We argue, but it never came to the point where we would get really mad at each other and he usually let me have it my way.
Kang Sung Hoon was Ji Won’s other friend and he hangs out with us a lot too. Sung Hoon is a little older than me and is really nice. He has this really cute smile that when he smiles, you can’t help but smile back. I called him ‘bang geul ee.’ His family life also isn’t good. His dad is a drunk and his mom had passed away when he was young. So usually it was the three of us together.
My home life is a lot better thanks to Ji Won. My stepmom didn’t dare to touch me anymore and it’s still the same between me and my dad. We don’t talk much. Ji Won’s parents like me a lot too. It’s because when they tell Ji Won to do something and he wouldn’t do it. They would come to me. I’m kind of like their pawn. Life was heaven for me until it completely shattered on day.
It started out with good news but who would have known it would end up in tragedy?
June 15, 1996
My stepmom and dad came home one day from visiting the Euns. “Guess what?” my stepmom told me excitedly.
“What?” I asked calmly.
“The Euns are planning a wedding for you and Ji Won!”
I sat down because my knees gave out. This news hit me with total surprise but I was so happy to hear it because I’m so in love with Ji Won. “Really?” I asked excitedly? “How did this happened?”
“Mr. Eun wanted Ji Won to get married and he figured you’re the girl he should marry.”
“What did Ji Won say?” I had to ask. I didn’t want him to be forced into this.
“Of course he agreed,” she answered.
My breathing increased so I took out my respirator. After I calmed down, my stepmom took me into her room and told me all about the arrangements.
Meanwhile back at the Eun mansion…
“Just because you’re making this wedding for me and Mina doesn’t mean I owe you anything!” Ji Won yelled angrily at his dad.
Mr. Eun grabbed Ji Won by the collar of his shirt. “Ji Won! You listen to me. Once you and Mina get married, your grandpa will give you all of his businesses. Sharing part of it with your dad isn’t asking for much is it?” Ji Won pushed his dad away. He began to laugh. “The only two people grandpa will give the businesses to is me or uncle. He won’t give it to you because you’ll spend it all on those whores! I bet all your money is gone now.”
It was true. Mr. Eun was in serious debt and he needed Ji Won to get married because Ji Won’s grandpa was going to give Ji Won his inheritance once he gets married. Ji Won had just turned 18 and his dad had planned the marriage months ahead. His dad got on his knees. “Please son. Please do it for me.”
Ji Won rolled his eyes. “You’re so pathetic dad.” He sighed. Living with Mina taught him compassion and sympathy for people. “I’ll see what I can do dad.” He went into his room. Just then his cellular phone rang. He picked it up, thinking it was Mina. Using his sexy voice, he whispered, “Hi Mina.”
A weird high-pitched giggle came from the other end of the line.
“Ooh…”said the voice. “Hi to you too sexy.”
Ji Won rolled his eyes. “Oh shut up Sung Hoon.”
Using his real voice, Sung Hoon began to laugh out loud. “Gross hyung! That’s how you talk to Mina? Ew! It gives me the chills!”
“Hey Sung Hoon,” said Ji Won seriously. “Is everything set and ready to go?”
“Yeah hyung,” said Sung Hoon.
“Good,” said Ji Won, smiling. “Meet me at the docks tonight. From there we can sail to the mainland airport and get away from Hawaii to start a new life in Korea.”
“Yeah,” said Sung Hoon. “But did you tell Mina about it?”
“No,” answered Ji Won, sighing. “I’m afraid she won’t leave her family. I’m planning to just kidnap her and take her along. It’s easier that way and no hassle.”
“Right,” said Sung Hoon. “At least the three of us will still be together.”
“Yeah,” said Ji Won. “Meet you in an hour. Get everything ready. I got our money too.”
“Okay,” replied Sung Hoon.
“Bye.” Ji Won clicked off his phone. Ji Won’s dad didn’t know it but his grandpa had given him $10 million in advance, along with hotel ownerships in Korea and Hawaii as his wedding gift. He planned to leave his dad $5 million and live off the rest with Mina and Sung Hoon. He smiled thinking about how he would get away from everything and just be with the one he loved the most, Mina.
Back at home I was so excited I couldn’t sleep. I know I was still young to be thinking about marriage but I know Ji Won is the only guy for me. I held my teddy bear close as thoughts of Ji Won drifted me to sleep.
It was midnight now. Ji Won snuck out of his house quietly without making a noise. He carried his backpack full of money on his back. He planned to go to Mina’s house to grab her and leave. Then it would be just him, Mina, and Sung Hoon leaving together. He was almost to Mina’s house when he realized that he was being followed.
It was his uncle’s men. They came to get rid of him. Ji Won was smart. He knew the streets too well. He made it through the alley and those men end up losing him. But when Ji Won reached Mina’s house, about 10 men had surrounded her house. They all saw him approaching. Ji Won began to ran as they chased him. He made it to the dock. He saw Sung Hoon on the boat.
“Hyung! Hurry! The boat is leaving!”
Ji Won threw his bag onto the boat first and made a high jump. He landed safely onto the boat. His uncle’s men couldn’t chase him anymore. Ji Won and Sung Hoon started cheering until Ji Won realized what was missing. Mina. He had left her. Ji Won fell to his knees.
“What’s wrong?” asked Sung Hoon.
“Mina! We left her! We have to go back!” yelled Ji Won.
Sung Hoon opened his mouth in shock because he just realized it too. Then he shook his head sadly. “We can’t. If we go back, we’ll just get killed and we’ll be putting Mina’s life in danger too.” Ji Won moved away from Sung Hoon, knowing that the darkness will cover his face. And for the first time in his life, Ji Won cried.
I woke up the next morning with this strange feeling inside me. I don’t know why but I find it disturbing. Then I remembered that Ji Won and I are going to get married soon, it subsided. When I went downstairs, my stepmom was holding that wooden stick I haven’t seen in years. I began to panic. She whacked me with it. I fell down surprised.
“Where’s Ji Won?” she screamed at me.
I was so confused and surprised I didn’t know what she was talking about. She kept hitting me and telling me to answer her. But how can I answer when I don’t even know myself? Then something unusual happened. My dad grabbed the stick away from my stepmom.
“Stop hitting her! Can’t you tell that she can’t think straight through all that pain?”
My stepmom was shocked and she kept her mouth shut because my dad never did that to her before. “Mina,” my dad said to me, holding my hand. “Ji Won ran away from home again. He’s no longer in Hawaii and the wedding’s canceled.”
“He left?” I asked blankly.
My dad nodded his head sadly. “How can he leave me?” I asked standing up. My stepmom’s next words hit me hard and cold like ice.
“He probably left because he didn’t want to marry you.”
I sunk to my knees and fell to the floor. I began to sob to myself. My parents left the room, leaving me alone. ‘How can you leave me, Ji Won? Were all those promises of taking care of me lies?’ I loved Ji Won so much. All I ever wanted is to be with him, even if he did only consider me as a dongsang. I needed to know why he left. Being with him all this time, I knew where he went. I’ll search all of Korea if I had to…
One year later…
During this year, my life of hell had return. I managed to save up enough money for a ticket to Korea and money to spend. I had to work odd hours so my stepmom wouldn’t find out or she’ll take the money from me. I also had to sell some of Ji Won’s gifts to me. He was a really generous oppa who would buy me a lot of expensive clothes, jewelry, perfume, and just about anything that I wanted. I figured he wouldn’t mind because they’re just material possessions. They were a big help because I managed to trade them in for a lot of money.
July 24, 1997
I finally had enough money to leave. It took me a while to go because I knew chances are low of finding Ji Won right away. I needed extra money for my search and I had to pay double for a fake I.D. You could say that I have almost everything planned out. I got a pretty good amount so I planned on leaving today.
It’s been a little over a year since Ji Won left me with no reason or explanation. I’ve gotten so much thinner because I couldn’t eat or sleep and I miss him so much. The problem I still had facing me were my parents. I know they were not going to let me leave. I was only 17. Damn. Still a minor. This year had been total hell for me and I can’t stand another year of it. I had to leave and I had a plan. I was going to fake my death.
It was all so perfect. My family had to go out to a luau with Mr. Eun. He still keeps in touch with us. I guess it’s because he thinks I might know where Ji Won is. Truth is, I have no idea except I know Ji Won’s somewhere in Korea.
I planned to fake a drowning. Because of my heart failure, it helped me close off my air circulation for up to 4 minutes. This time I am using it to let my family think that I have drowned and the tides drifted my body to sea so I will never be found…
But before I go I had to say goodbye to my father. I hugged him hard. He looked at me surprised.
“What was that for?” he asked.
I shook my head. “It wasn’t for anything dad. I did it because I love you.”
My dad had tears in his eyes. “I’m so sorry Mina. I’m so worthless as your father.”
“No you’re not but you have to do what’s right dad. Don’t let anyone stop you and stop putting yourself down.”
He nodded his head. I hugged him for the last time. “I’m going for a swim okay?” He nodded his head and watched me head toward the ocean. The plan went perfect. I stayed underwater for a while and swam myself to the other side of the beach where they couldn’t see me. All my belongings were there. I got on the dock and sailed to the mainland airport leaving Hawaii forever…
July 26, 1997
Ji Won traced the ‘M’ scar on his back. ‘Damn,’ he thought. ‘I miss Mina so much.’ He sent out one of his men to retrieve news about her and if they could, get her here to him in Korea. Ji Won had it all. Money and power. The only thing that was missing was Mina. So much had happened to Ji Won as he remembered back.
Ji Won and Sung Hoon made it to Seoul, Korea. With Ji Won’s leadership skills and Sung Hoon’s smooth talking, they end up getting a lot of businesses and putting others of out business. Money was not enough for Ji Won. He needed power so he created Sechs Kies, where he was the leader and Sung Hoon was his 2nd-in command. He and Sung Hoon managed to eliminate the group Quiksilver on their own and gained the respect and loyalty of the two members Kim Jae Duc and Lee Jae Jin. Along the way, they found Ko Ji Yong and Jang Su Won wandering the streets. Ji Yong proved to be a genius and Su Won was handy in finding information.
Ji Won knew they were enough. They had hundreds of men under them but Sechskies were the main leaders with Ji Won as the head. They committed a lot of crimes but no evidence was ever found to convict them.
Just then there was a knock on his door, interrupting his thoughts.
“Come in,” said Ji Won.
Jang Su Won came in. “I have news for you, boss,” he said.
“Well what is it? What did you find out about Mina?” Ji Won asked.
Sun Won looked down and hesitated to reply. “I’m afraid it’s bad news.”
Those words made Ji Won panic. “Jang Su Won, you answer me now!” yelled Ji Won with rage.
Ji Won’s yell scared Su Won so he blurted it out. “Mina Nam is dead. She drowned while she was swimming in the ocean. Her body has not been found and is still missing.”
Ji Won fell back in his seat in shock. ‘Mina’s dead? No, anyone but Mina,’ he thought. Su Won knew it was a good time to leave so he left Ji Won in his office. “Mina!” Ji Won screamed out of his window in pain. His cries echoed throughout the city of Seoul.
I finally made it to Chejudo, Korea. I didn’t know where to look for Ji Won so anywhere was fine. I was never a lucky person. I couldn’t find any signs of Ji Won there so I traveled to Inchun City. My search for Ji Won continued for another year. During that time I had traveled to many cities like Guam, Pusan, etc. It must have been a gift from God because one day my search was over…
November 21, 1998
I had just finish my overtime shift at the Nam Hotel. It was pretty ironic because my whole family spent their lives working for hotels and here is the biggest one in all of Seoul with our family name. I went into the worker’s lounge to take a break and pour myself some tea. I sat down and read the headlines.
‘Sechskies are to open a conference broadcasting live on Channel 6 today’
I rolled my eyes. Not them again. They were the notorious mafia lead by Matthew Eun. I shuddered. I can’t believe the leader has the same last name as my beloved Ji Won. Actually 6kies was composed of 6 leaders. They committed a lot of crimes and were always challenging the authorities. They had a lot of power and no one could take their pictures without their consent but a lot of people know what they look like. I didn’t care. I was too busy looking for Ji Won to notice them.
A worker with me named So Kyung Hee came in. “Hey,” she said, patting me lightly on the knee. “On break?” I took a sip and nodded. “Me too,” she said smiling. I smiled back at her. Kyung Hee was actually one of the nicest people at the hotel. Most of them were cold and just worried about how much tips they can get.
Kyung Hee picked up the TV remote and turned to Channel 6. “Hey Mina, there’s supposed to be showing 6kies today. Wonder what they look like.” I nodded and watched with her. When the clock struck 9, I felt my heart had stopped and it was not from my heart failure either. I stared at the face that was giving a cocky smile to the camera. Ji Won. Slowly the camera pulled out revealing the other 5 members.
I recognized Sung Hoon. He and Ji Won looked completely different but I still recognized them. Ji Won had his hair dyed completely blonde while Sung Hoon’s was streaked. Kyung Hee and I watched them in silence as they began to talk. Ji Won and the others introduced themselves. Then the camera showed directly at Ji Won.
To most people he would look like an evil gang leader but in my eyes he was a beautiful angel. If it was ever possible, Ji Won was even finer than before.
“Mina, are you okay?” asked Kyung Hee, as she waved a hand in front of my face.
“Huh?” I asked looking at her. “Oh, I’m fine. Just listening to what they have to say.”
I pointed to Ji Won on the screen. “Who is he?”
“That’s Matthew Eun,” she answered me.
I stared at Ji Won some more. He had change his name and so did Sung Hoon. No wonder I couldn’t find them.
Kyung Hee caught me staring so she smiled at me. “The leader is cute huh?”
I blushed. “Yeah.”
“Too bad in real life he’s such a jerk.”
“He is not!” I yelled at her.
Kyung Hee scooted her seat back in shock. I apologized right away. “Sorry Kyung Hee, I didn’t mean to yell at you.” She had a confused look on her face but she said, “Uh, it’s okay Mina.” I pulled a finger to my lips. “Shh…let’s listen to what they have to say…”
Ji Won began talking. “This is Sechkies speaking to all you losers out there watching us. We just want to say that we’re open to hire new ‘employees’. We usually travel around to our many hotels but you’ll find us if you have the right connections. Also a word to the police of Korea. Why are you picking on us?, “ Ji Won asked sarcastically. “We’re good, law-abiding citizens.” Ji Won folded his hands together and gave a little bow. Then all of the Sechskies leaders started laughing.
“Oh my gosh! Look at him!” yelled Kyung Hee and pointed to Sung Hoon on the T.V. screen. “Look at that stupid smile and that perverted laugh. Kekeke…” Kyung Hee made a poor impression of Sung Hoon’s laugh and it made me laugh. Geez, I thought. Sung Hoon would kill her if he knew she made fun of his trademark smile.
The show ended a little too soon for me but Ji Won did say he was visiting many hotels and mine is the biggest one. He has to come here. I went back to work and waited for him to come.
Ji Won entered the main doors of the Nam Hotel and headed towards the lobby. He let out a sigh. Being in a hotel brought back to him a lot of memories. He remembered how he would take Mina to the hotels to trash it or slide down the long stairway banisters. But those carefree days are over. His only love had died and he no longer has the heart to love anyone else.
Eversince the news of Mina’s death, Ji Won began to develop a passion for anything he thinks is related to her. Things like her hairbrush, the same type of lipgloss she uses, her little respirator, etc. There are times when he had to give her mouth to mouth if the respirator wasn’t around. Ji Won smiled remembering that she had told him that he was her first kiss. Mina never went out with any guys so it made him really happy but he also found it very strange. He didn’t want to give her any ideas about dating other guys so he never asked.
Ji Won had changed his name to Matthew. It’s to symbolize that Ji Won died with Mina and Matthew replaced him. He chose the name Matthew because of Mina’s initial ‘M’ and if anyone asks, the ‘M’ stands for Matthew.
Sung Hoon wanted to changed his name to Ricky but Ji Won wouldn’t let him. Ji Won only allowed him to change it if it had the letter ‘M’ so Sung Hoon ended up changing it to Mickey instead.
“Hey hyung! Over here!” shouted Sung Hoon.
Ji Won looked over at his five friends. He walked over to them and was surprised at what he saw. “What the hell is this?” he asked angrily. Every single one of them had a girl in each arm. “What do you guys think you’re doing?” he asked as he strode over to them.
“Come on hyung,” said Jae Duc. “Lighten up.”
“Yeah,” said Jae Jin. “We worked hard all day and now let’s have a little fun.”
Ji Won rolled his eyes and then he saw two girls wrap their arms around him. He smiled. “Yeah, I guess.” “Alright!” they all shouted. They like it when Ji Won is in a good mood.
From where I was standing, I felt as though someone had stabbed me with a knife. Ji Won looked so happy with those 2 girls sitting on both sides of his lap. I stared at my reflection in the hotel mirror. Big, glassy eyes, pale skin, and waist-length black hair. I looked kind of like a ghost. Not much to look at, I thought sighing sadly. Then I felt a tap on my shoulder and I slowly turned around.
“What are you looking at?” asked Kyung Hee.
Whew. I let out a sigh of relief. “They’re here,” I whispered to her.
“Who?” she asked, looking over my shoulder.
“Oh. So you want to go serve them?” I shook my head ‘no’ quickly. Kyung Hee laughed. “Okay. Don’t get so worked up, Mina. I’ll do it.” She took a waitress pad and headed over to their table. I remained in the corner watching them.
“Hi, my name is Kyung Hee and I’ll be your waitress today. May I take your order?”
All the SechsKies members looked up to the pretty, young girl who just approached them. Instantly Sung Hoon made the 2 girls on his lap move. He looked up at Kyung Hee, giving her his best smile. “I don’t know what I want for dinner, but you want to be my dessert?” The other 5 Kies members laughed while Kyung Hee rolled her eyes. “That’s so cute. Must have took you all day to think up that one huh?”
“Ooh,” shouted Ji Yong. “This one has a mouth.”
Sung Hoon just smiled. “Feisty. I like it.”
Then he pinched Kyung Hee’s side playfully. She moved away, glaring. “Hey don’t touch me!”
“Come on babe. Go out with me. I’ll show you a good time.”
“Hell no!” Kyung Hee shouted back in his face.
Then Ji Won stood up. “Don’t talk to my friend like that,” he said in a low threatening voice. “Or else I’ll have you fired.” Ji Won’s glare made Kyung Hee move back a little bit but she answered back anyways. “You can’t fire me! I quit!”
She handed Jae Jin her apron and pad and stomped over to me in the dark corner. “Stupid, lousy jerks,” she whispered to me. “I know,” I whispered back, patting her shoulder. Suddenly, I caught Ji Won staring at me. I didn’t know what to say or do so I just left.
Ji Won stared at the girl who was talking to Kyung Hee. ‘She looks like Mina,’ he thought. ‘But can’t be.’
“Hyung,” said Sung Hoon. “What are you looking at?”
“Her,” said Ji Won, pointing in Kyung Hee’s and Mina’s direction.
“You like my waitress too?” asked Sung Hoon, pouting.
“No,” said Ji Won, shaking his head. “Her friend. Doesn’t she look like Mina?”
Sung Hoon glanced at the person Ji Won was pointing to and watched her walk away. “No...” said Sung Hoon slowly. “That girl’s hair is much longer and Mina has a nicer body. That chick looks like a stick.”
Ji Won cocked an eyebrow at Sung Hoon. “How do you know Mina have a nice body?” Sung Hoon’s eyes widened. “I dunno… just guessing. Ji Yong’s calling me. I’ll go see what he wants,” Sung Hoon said quickly and ran over to Ji Yong right away. Ji Won began to chase the girl who just left.
I heard some footsteps following behind me. I quickly turned a corner and entered my room.
Ji Won ran after her as fast as he could. He saw the girl turn a corner and he continued chasing her. He saw a figure up ahead and he grabbed her by the shoulder. When the girl turned around, she had a surprised expression on her face.
“What do you want?”
Ji Won looked at the strange girl. She looked nothing like Mina. “Wrong person.” The girl walked way. Ji Won sighed. ‘Maybe it’s cause I miss Mina so much that I’m beginning to see her.’ He began to walk back to the lobby, disappointedly.
From my hotel room, I was watching Ji Won with the little hole in the door. I saw him pat a girl and then walk away with him head bowed down. I went over and sat down on my bed. I let out a sigh. Ji Won doesn’t miss me. He has too many girls with him already. He probably forgot who I am by now.
Tears fell down my face and I didn’t even realize it. I quickly wiped them away. I wanted to tell myself that I hate Ji Won but I couldn’t because then I’d just be lying. There was only one thing left for me to do.
I stood in front of my bathroom mirror. I can’t be with Ji Won as Mina, but I wanted to be by his side to watch over him. I thought about it for a while and remembered they were recruiting new members for Black Kies. I looked at myself. Hmm…if my hair is short and put into a cap, I wear sunglasses more, darken my skin with make-up, and lower my voice…I can pass for a guy.
So I did it. Within an hour, I had transformed myself into a guy. I checked myself over. As a guy, I didn’t look too bad. I smoothed out my new short hair and tucked it into a cap. Guys wear earrings too so I didn’t have to worry about my earring holes. I wore a couple of T-shirts under my flannel and 2 pairs of boxers under my baggy jeans so I would fill out more and wouldn’t look so scrawny. I checked my make-up, making sure I was well-covered. I put my sunglasses on. Perfect, I thought. Now all I have to do is have to pass the test to join the gang.
Ji Won walked down the aisle looking at the 5 new candidates. He nod his head as he studied them. “Pretty good,” he said to them. “Alright,” he clapped his hands for attention. “All of you know how it’s done. Jae Jin and Jae Duc will jump each of you in. If you’re still standing after 5 minutes, then welcome to SechsKies.”
Only 2 of the 5 guys lasted when Jae Jin and Jae Duc were done beating them up. “Okay,” said Sung Hoon. The two newest members to join is—“ “Wait!” shouted a voice, interrupting Sung Hoon. Everyone looked over to see who it was.
Ji Won stared at the young boy who was walking towards them. ‘What the hell? Damn! This kid looks like Mina!’ he thought. ‘I must be losing it. How come I keep seeing her today?’ Sung Hoon looked at the new boy curiously. “Yes? What do you want little man?”
I looked at Sung Hoon. Gosh he developed an attitude, I thought. I took a deep breath. This is it. “I want to join SechsKies.” A guy I recognized as Jang Su Won busted out laughing. He placed his hand on top of my head. “You? How old are you boy? 15? !6? And how tall are you now? 5’?”
I moved his hand for him. “No. I’m 18 and I’m not 5’, I’m 5’3.” That made all the other members laugh, except Ji Won. I looked at him curiously and realized he was checking me out. Oh no, I thought. Please don’t recognize me.
Ji Won held up his hand for the others to stop laughing. “Hey, if he wants a chance, then we’ll give it to him.” Then he turned to face me. I felt my heart thumping loud and prayed he couldn’t hear it. He placed his hand on my shoulder. Dang, he smells good, I thought as I tried to suppress a smile.
“Look kid,” said Ji Won to me. “You have to be jumped in to join. These 2 guys (pointing to Jae Jin and Jae Duc) will kick the crap out of you for 5 minutes. If you’re still standing, you’re in.”
I nodded my head. I knew I had to last because I’m doing it all for Ji Won. I stood there as Jae Duc and Jae Jin began to hit me. Jae Jin threw the first punch and it gave me instant pain. He’s even stronger than my stepmom, I thought. Jae Duc kicked me and I was knocked to the ground but I kept pulling myself up.
Ji Won looked at the helpless boy who was struggling to stand up. He doesn’t understand why but when he looks at the boy, images of Mina replaced him. Right now in his eyes, it looked like it was Mina being beaten up by Jae Jin and Jae Duc. He couldn’t help it. “Stay down!” he yelled to the boy. Everyone stared at Ji Won. Both Jae Jin and Jae Duc stopped hitting the boy because they were surprised Ji Won was being nice out of nowhere.
I heard Ji Won yelling for me to stay down. My ears listened but my legs wouldn’t. I refused to stay down. No matter how many times they hit me or how hard, I managed to get up. Finally 5 minutes was over and I was still standing. “Am I in?” I asked in a weak voice. I saw Ji Won staring at me with a surprised expression. “Yes, you’re in.” he said patting my shoulder. I smiled and fainted into his arms.
Ji Won held the boy, surprised. He realized the boy had fainted. Usually he would have let go if someone fainted on him, but this time he held on tight.
The other 5 Kies members looked and the 2 new recruits looked at Ji Won with queeried eyes. “Uh, hyung,” said Sung Hoon, as he patted Ji Won on the shoulder. “What?” asked Ji Won, as he continued holding the boy.
“What should we do about the new recruits?”
“Give them instructions and show them to their rooms. We’ll have a meeting tomorrow.”
They all left but once in a while, they all would glance back looking at Ji Won, who was carrying the boy in the other direction.
Slowly I began to regain my consciousness and I woke up. I looked around and realized I was in the biggest room in the Nam Hotel. The Presidential Suite. “What am I doing in here?” I asked myself. Then suddenly the chair in front of me spun around. Ji Won was sitting in it. I stared at him with wide eyes. I started to panic because I was all alone with him in the room.
Ji Won gave me a sideways glance. “You okay?” he asked. I nodded my head. Ji Won got up out of his seat and walked towards me. He sat down on the bed next to me and looked at me straight in the eyes. “So what’s your name?” he asked. “Mi-“ I began but instantly cut myself off. ‘Stupid, I thought to myself. You almost said your real name!’ I saw Ji Won’s eyes grow wide.
“What did you say your name was?”
“Min-Sung,” I answered him quickly.
“Oh,” he said and backed away from me.
Ji Won stood up and walked towards the window, looking outside. He knew the new recruit was a boy but somewhere inside him wished MS would say his name was Mina. He let out a sigh. “There’s a meeting tomorrow. Be there okay?”
I looked at Ji Won with his back facing me. It had only been 2 years but I felt as though I couldn’t read what was going on in his mind anymore. I let out a sigh myself. “Ji Won, where do we meet later tomorrow?”
The call of his real name made Ji Won suddenly look up. He ran over to where Min Sung was sitting and grabbed him by his shoulders. “How do you know my real Korean name? No one knows me by that. Everyone calls me Matthew.”
Oh no, I thought. I had completely forgotten that Ji Won had change his name to Matthew but I thought fast. “I didn’t know your name as Ji Won. All I said was, ‘Gee, wanna go out later tomorrow?’” I felt Ji Won’s grip on me loosen. He had bought the story. When he was looking, I let out a sigh of relief.
‘I’m losing it,’ thought Ji Won. “We’ll meet in the main dining room tomorrow,” Ji Won told Min Sung. He nodded his head and left. Ji Won walked out to the balcony and looked up at the sky. “I love you Mina, that’s why it hurts so much that you’re not here.” But the real Mina had left before she could have heard those words.
Meanwhile back in the hotel lobby…
After Sung Hoon and the others gave the new recruits instructions and about the meeting, they all went back to their rooms. “You think there’s something wrong with Matthew hyung?” asked Jae Jin. “Yeah,” said Jae Duc. “Did you see the way he held the new guy?” They began to shudder.
“No, it’s nothing,” answered Sung Hoon.
“You think maybe Matthew is gay?” asked Ji Yong.
“You’re the one who looks gay,” said Jae Duc, jokingly.
“Shut up!” yelled Ji Yong as he punched Jae Duc lightly.
The others began to laugh. Then Su Won said, “Could be though. I never saw him ‘be’ with a girl before.” Sung Hoon lets out a sigh. “Okay, I’ll tell you guys the real deal. But don’t let this get back to Matthew okay?” They all nodded and leaned forward to hear the story.
“It was like 5 years ago when Matthew hyung met this girl named Nam Mina….”
“She a babe?” asked Jae Duc, interrupting.
Sung Hoon gave him a look. “Yes, Duc-ee, she’s a babe.”
“Oh, okay,” said Jae Duc. “Continue.”
“Anyways, Matthew knew her before he met me. It turns out that she was the first person who ever really cared about him and Matthew fell in love with her. But you know how hyung is. He could never tell anyone exactly what’ s on his mind or how he feels. Instead of saying he wants Mina to be his girlfriend, he said he wants her to be his dongsang—“
“That’s stupid!” yelled Jae Duc, interrupting Sung Hoon. “Why he say that for? She’s a babe!”
“Sh..!” yelled Jae Jin, Ji Yong, and Su Won at Jae Duc.
Sung Hoon continued. “Well, Matthew ended up having this blood ceremony with her. They scarred each other’s back with their initial. It looks like a blood tie but later on I found out it was his symbol of promised love-“
“Ow..that must have hurt,” said Jae Duc, as he hugged himself. Jae Jin smacked him on the head for interrupting again.
“I think they knew each other for a year before they met me. At first I thought Mina was cute, but then by the way Matthew acts, I can tell she was off limits. See, Mina had this heart condition where air would suddenly be closed off and she couldn’t breathe. The only way to get air in was by this respirator—“
“The one hyung always carry?” asked Jae Duc.
“Yes Duc—ee,” said Sung Hoon, rolling his eyes. “Anyways, it was either that or mouth to mouth. Once when Matthew went collecting shells for Mina, I was walking along the shores with her. One of her attacks came on. I freaked out of course, but I knew what to do. I laid her down and I was about to give her CPR but then Matthew ran the speed of light and knocked me into the ocean and he gave her CPR.” The others started laughing.
“Dang, ain’t he a Romeo?” said Jae Duc, laughing.
Sung Hoon smiled. “It’s cause he loves Mina and didn’t want any other guy touching he. I mean, during school, if any guy talks about wanting to date her, Matthew made sure he didn’t. Oh yeah, Matthew hyung hasn’t always been Matthew. His real name is Ji Won. The ‘M’ scar on his back stands for Mina, not Matthew.” The others opened their mouths in shock. They never knew Ji Won had been this much in love before.
“How romantic,” whispered Jae Duc.
“Shut up hyung,” said Ji Yong. “Quit interrupting!”
“Okay, okay,” said Jae Duc, blocking himself from Jae Jin’s hand.
Sung Hoon began talking. “If there are no more interruptions, then I’ll continue.” He paused for a second and then continued. “The day before Matthew and I made it to Korea, he and Mina were supposed to get married. Matthew didn’t like his dad and there was this feud in their family on who gets the grandpa’s inheritance. Matthew got it, of course, and he took it all and left Hawaii. He took me and he was planning on taking Mina too. When he went to her house though, his uncle’s men were guarding the place and he couldn’t take her. He ended up leaving Hawaii without saying goodbye to Mina.” All of them remained silent.
Then Su Won spoke. “Last year hyung sent me out to get some news on Nam Mina. She had died drowning.”
Sung Hoon nodded. “Yeah but Matthew and I think she committed suicide. He think it’s because Mina can’t handle living with her stepmom, who always abuse her. If you ask me, I think Mina committed suicide because Matthew left her without any reason. I think hyung thinks that too but he won’t say it. I think he blames himself for her death and since then he hasn’t been the same. He used to be nicer and not this touchy. Also that’s why he’s never been with another girl. I mean, we see him flirt with other girls but none of us actually see him ‘be’ with another girl right?”
The others nodded in agreement. Sung Hoon continued. “About this new boy today. I think Matthew is losing it. He probably thinks when he sees the boy he is see—“ Sung Hoon stopped talking as he looked up. He finished his sentence with a “—See you later!” and he ran off.
The others looked up surprised. Jae Jin smacked Jae Duc on his head. “What?” asked Jae Duc. “I didn’t interrupt!” “It’s not Duc-ee’s fault,” said Ji Yong. “Look.” Ji Yong pointed to where Sung Hoon ran off too.
“Aigo,” said Jae Jin. “It’s that same waitress babe.”
“See?” said Jae Duc. “It’s cause of a girl, not me. You hit me by mistake.”
“No, it’s not a mistake. I still wanna smack your head cause it makes this cool hollow sound,” replied Jae Jin as he smacked Jae Duc on his head again.
“So, wanna go out sometime?” Sung Hoon asked Kyung Hee, leaning near her. She rolled her eyes at him.
She answered flatly, “No” and began to leave.
Sung Hoon held onto her arm. “Come on babe. X-mas is next month and don’t be a scrooge.”
Then suddenly, Kyung Hee gave him a seductive smile. “I guess. How about we go out on November 31 then?”
Sung Hoon gave her a sexy smile back. “It’s a date then,” he answered, letting her go. The other 4 walked up to him.
“How’d it go Mickey?” asked Su Won.
“Hey, hey, what can I say?” answered Sung Hoon cockily. “I’m the man!”
Jae Jin gave him a high-five.
“Alright!” yelled Jae Duc. “When you 2 going out?”
“November 31,” answered Sung Hoon.
“Uh, Mickey,” said Ji Yong.
“Sup Ji Yong?” said Sung Hoon.
“November doesn’t have a 31st.”
“What?” asked Sung Hoon surprised. He looked at the calendar. November ended on the 30th. He looked around but Kyung Hee had already left. He started cursing while the others tried to hold back their laughter.
November 23, 1998
“This meeting of SechsKies is now in session,” announced Ji Won to the main members of the group, along with the new recruits. His voice got their attention and they quickly focused their attention on Ji Won. Ji Won looked to see if Min Sung was there. He was. Ji Won gave a little smile to him. He didn’t know why but when he looks at Min Sung his mind would replace Min Sung’s face with Mina’s.
“So any new business?” he asked the members.
“Yes,” answered Jae Jin. “The Black Dragons have killed some of our members and took away some of our businesses.”
“Damn it!” yelled Ji Won as he pounded his fist on the table. “We’ll just have to see that this Black Dragon matter will be solved. Mickey you, Ji Yong, Su Won, and the 2 new recruits deal with the businesses. Jae Jin, Jae Duc, and Min Sung will come with me.” Everyone looked at Ji Won strangely.
Sung Hoon began to speak. “Uh, hyung. You want to take Min Sung along?”
Ji Won glared at him. “Yeah. Anyone here have any objections?” No one answered. “Meeting adjourned,” announced Ji Won and everyone went to work.
I followed the Black Kies to a dark alley. I was surprised Ji Won wanted to take me along, considering I was one of the weakest members. I thought I would get to work with the White Kies in businesses.
“Hey kid,” said Jae Duc to me.
“What is it?”
He handed me a gun. “Use this to protect yourself.”
My eyes widened as I held the cold metal. Please don’t let me use it, I prayed silently.
Ji Won walked over to Min Sung. “Okay, the coleaders of Black Dragons are meeting around here. You’ll recognize them by the dragon tattoos on their arms. If you see them, just shoot them as they come out.”
“But Matthew hyung, I—“ but my words were cut off the sound of gunshots.
“Get down!” yelled Ji Won as he covered me. Then he started firing. I covered my ears and watched Ji Won in disbelief. He had shot 4 people and killed 3. Ji Won stood up smiling. I couldn’t believe it. I was in love with a cold-blooded killer. Jae Jin and Jae Duc killed some other members and JW told them to kill every single Black Dragon member.
One Black Dragon member laid hurt on the ground. Ji Won pulled him up by the collar of his shirt and pointed a gun to his head. “Tell me who’s your leader punk or else I’ll blow your brains out.”
The young boy was whimpering. I felt sorry for him. “Please don’t kill me. My leader is Eun Tae Won.” “Who the hell is that?” asked Ji Won angrily. “What the hell does he have against me?” “He’s the godson of Mr. Eun, who’s one of the heirs of the Eun Hotel Empire and he came to get the inheritance back from you.”
I listened to what the boy was saying. I never knew that Ji Won’s uncle had a god son. From what I had heard, Ji Won’s uncle had passed away 2 months ago and he had a heir. The heir is the leader of Black Dragon, I figured out.
“That bastard,” said Ji Won. “He’s dead and he still has someone after me.” When Ji Won wasn’t looking, the Black Dragon boy had pulled out a knife, ready to stab Ji Won. I didn’t have time to think so I reacted instantly. I shot the boy. He fell back in pain but managed to get up and run away.
Ji Won looked at me surprised. He gave me a smile. “Good job, Min Sung,” he said walking over to me and patted me on the back. I was appalled at what I had done. I couldn’t answer him so I just handed him back the gun.
Just then Jae Jin and Jae Duc came back to us. “Got them all hyung,” said Jae Jin smiling as he did fancy handwork with his gun.
“Good,” said Ji Won. “Min Sung here just saved my life. I knew it was a good idea to bring him along.”
“Really?” asked Jae Duc. “Nice work kid.” Then he punched me lightly on the shoulder.
When we made it back to the hotel, I ran into my room using my respirator and swallowed a pill. Afterwards, I took a shower. I felt so dirty because what I had done. I knew this was going to be only one of the many dirty work I would have to do to stay with Ji Won.
A few months later…
During this time, since I saved Ji Won’s life, he began to trust me more and confided in me with everything. I was like his new best friend. SechsKies continued traveling to many places and recruited new members. More war between SechsKies and Black Dragons broke out. Many businesses were shut down and more members were killed from both sides. All the blood shed and fighting was getting to me but I held on. All the members of SechsKies accepted me but sometimes I overhear them whisper that I’m gay. I didn’t care as long as I had Ji Won.
April 30, 1999
Finally, after many days of hard work, SechsKies finally got a day of rest. The leaders always hang out together but Ji Won always included me. We were at this fancy restaurant and were all having a good time. Jae Duc was telling us funny jokes. He stopped in the middle of a joke as he saw the Black Dragon leaders enter the restaurant.
Tension was felt by everyone. The Black Dragons sat down across from us. Ji Won and Tae Won were giving each other glares. Underneath the tables, we pulled out our guns. I knew the Black Dragons were doing the same. We didn’t know which side fired the first shot but before we knew it, bullets were flying everywhere.
Ji Won covered me as we ran out of the restaurant safely. We met up with the other 5 Kies in a dark alley. The Black Dragons were still chasing us.
“Damn it hyung! What should we do?” asked Jae Jin.
“Kill them all!” shouted Ji Won.
“There are too many,” Ji Yong shouted back. “Let’s just hide out in this motel.” We all ran and hid in this cheap motel’s restaurant. The Black Dragons lost us and continued searching.
“I don’t believe this!” said Ji Won furiously. “I, Matthew Eun, of SechsKies have to hide down here in this cockroach motel like I’m a dog or something!”
“Calm down,” I said to him gently, patting his back. “It’s not so bad.”
“Yeah hyung,” said Sung Hoon. “It’s only for one night. Besides, we’ll make them pay for this.”
All of us looked around. There was only one bed. I could tell none of us wanted the floor because it was disgusting and reeked of something. “I ain’t taking the floor!” all of us shouted in unison.
“There’s only one bed though,” said Su Won.
“Look on the bright side,” said Jae Duc as he laid out the sheets on the bed. “At least it’s king size.”
I nodded my head. “It’ll be tight but we’ll all have to try and fit in.”
Soon it was Jae Jin, Jae Duc, Ji Won, me, Sung Hoon, Ji Yong, and Su Won laying down side by side uncomfortably on the bed. We were laying down one by one and the others looked at me strangely as I ran to be the next person who laid near Ji Won.
Soon everyone fell asleep except me. I made sure everyone was asleep before I made my move. I bent over to kiss Ji Won lightly on the lips. Then I laid my head down on his chest to hear his heart beat. I sighed contentedly.
Then suddenly I felt Ji Won’s leg twitch. Oh no. I knew what he was about to do. His 360. I placed my entire body on top of his because I didn’t want to get kicked. As Ji Won did his 360, he kicked everyone except me off the bed. As always when Ji Won was done, he had a huge smile on his face. Then he held onto me tightly. I was overwhelmed with happiness.
The others must have been exhausted because none of them woke up except Jae Duc. He opened his eyes sleepily and said, “Huh?” “You’re dreaming,” I whispered to him. He nodded his head and went back to sleep. Soon I drifted off to sleep too.
May 1, 1999
Ji Won began to stir. He woke up finding Min Sung holding onto him tightly. Ji Won widened his eyes and gently unraveled Min Sung’s arms and legs off of him. The guys already called Min Sung gay and he didn’t want them to think he’s gay too. He sat up and saw 5 of the SechsKies leaders laying on the floor.
Then Sung Hoon began to wake up. He sat up and looked around. “Gross! How the hell did I end up down here?” Ji Won shrugged his shoulders. Then Jae Duc woke up. “Damn, my butt hurts. It feels like someone kicked it last night.” Then one by one everyone woke up. “P.U.!,” yelled Jae Jin. “This floor stinks!” Everyone started laughing.
“Sorry you guys,” said Ji Won laughing. “I must have done a 360 and kicked you all off.”
“How come you didn’t fall off Min Sung?” asked Ji Yong.
Uh, oh, I thought. “I did,” I answered him. “But I got back up and went to sleep on the bed again.”
“Really?” asked Su Won. “I didn’t even know. I just went right on sleeping.”
Ji Won began to study Min Sung. It was weird but somehow Ji Won had a feeling that Min Sung knew he does a 360 in his sleep. ‘But that’s impossible,’ he thought to himself. ‘Only Mina knows that and why didn’t Min Sung say anything about me kicking him?’ Ji Won didn’t know what was going on with Min Sung but he knew he had to find out.
We all got up and ready to leave the room. The coast seemed clear so we walked out unarmed. Big mistake. There was a n ambush waiting for us. “Disperse!” yelled Ji Won and we all ran our separate ways. Black Dragons chased after each one of us. I lost the Black Dragon member that was chasing me but I didn’t want to go back the hotel room without Ji Won so I turned back to get him.
When I found Ji Won, he was backed up against the wall by a Black Dragon. It was the leader, Tae Won. He was telling Ji Won to bow down and beg for mercy but Ji Won ended up spitting in his face. Tae Won got angry and pulled the knife back to stab Ji Won in his throat. I ran as fast as I could and knocked Tae Won down. He dropped the knife and fell to the floor with me. As he fell, he used the handled of the knife to knock Ji Won unconscious. Tae Won got up glaring at me.
“Do you know who you’re messing with?” he asked me angrily.
I glared at him back unflinching. “I’ll make you pay for hurting Ji Won.”
“Oh you must be the gay SechsKies member I’ve heard so much about,” said Tae Won laughing. “You’re afraid your faggot leader would die leaving you alone?”
That made me really angry. I didn’t care that he called me gay but calling Ji Won a faggot ticked me off. Since he was distracted, I grabbed the hand he was holding the sword with, and made him stab himself. He cried out in shock and pain. He pulled knife out of him. Tae Won pushed me away and cuts me in the knee with his knife. I fell down and saw him raise the knife above my head. I was going to die.
Then suddenly a voice screamed out, “Gang Rape!”
It made Tae Won run off. I looked over to see who it was. It was Kyung Hee screaming for the cops. I saw her looking at me sighing and walked away.
“Kyung Hee!” I screamed for her.
Kyung Hee looked at me strangely as she approached me. “Do I know you?”
I nodded my head and motioned for her to come near me. When she did, I whispered in her ear, “It’s me, Mina.”
“Mina? But you’re a guy!” she yelled back at me.
“Look at me closely.”
When she did, her eyes widened as she grabbed a hold of me. “Mina, it is you!” I turned her back to face me. “Please help me bring Ji Won back to the hotel.” Kyung Hee made a face of disgust.
“What are you doing with the SechsKies leader and why are you dressed like a guy?”
“I’ll explain later,” I told her. We both put Ji Won’s arms around us as we carried him back. Along the way we found Sung Hoon unconscious on the ground, bleeding. I set Ji Won down gently and lifted Sung Hoon up. “Sung Hoon!” I said, shaking him. He was hurt badly. “Kyung Hee, please do me a favor. You carry Sung Hoon while I carry Ji Won.”
Kyung Hee looked at me reluctantly but then nodded. I lifted Ji Won onto my back and carried him back to the Nam Hotel. My leg was still bleeding from the cut and I was limping. “Mina, can you carry him?” Kyung Hee asked me, concerned. “I’ll be fine,” I answered her as we made it back.
I took Ji Won back to his room while Kyung Hee took Sung Hoon back to his. I washed Ji Won’s cuts and nursed his wounds. When he was bandaged, I sat down on the chair next to his bed.
Then suddenly, I couldn’t breathe. One of my attacks is coming on and I didn’t have my respirator with me. My heart was aching so painfully that I was gasping in pain. But then I remembered Ji Won had a respirator. I searched his pockets and sure enough, there it was. I started pumping it quickly and air entered my lungs.
My vision cleared and I began to breathe easier. Then I put it back into his pocket. My touch made Ji Won stir. He began to wake up. He looked at me.
“Min Sung?” he asked weakly.
I nodded my head. “Yes, it’s me hyung.”
Ji Won lifted himself up. “Where am I?”
“We’re back at our hotel.”
“Oh,” Ji Won said as he looked at my leg. “What happened to your knee?”
I looked down at it. It was bleeding through my pants. “It’s nothing hyung. I’ll be okay in a few days.”
“Did Tae Won do this to you?”
I nodded my head.
Ji Won pounded his fist on his desk. “Damn him! I’ll get him back.”
“It’s okay hyung,” I said calming him down.
“By the way,” he asked me suddenly, “how did you end up finding me? Weren’t you supposed to come back here by yourself?”
His question hit me by surprise. I answered him truthfully. “I came back to look for you because I was worried you might be in danger.” I saw Ji Won look at me awkwardly and inched himself away from me. He thinks I’m gay, I thought.
“Uh, thanks for coming back to save me then,” Ji Won said to Min Sung awkwardly. Min Sung nodded and left his room. Ji Won lets out a sigh. He loved Min Sung as a friend and definitely nothing more. He didn’t want Min Sung to have any thoughts.
Instinctively Ji Won reached into his pocket to check to see if his respirator was still there. It was but it was different. Ji Won stared at it with wide eyes. His once filled respirator was now only half full with air. Someone had been using it.
Later that evening Ji Won posted a note on my door telling me to meet him. It was 8 p.m. and I knocked the door to his room. “Come in,” said Ji Won. I entered his room, not knowing what he was going to say. “Follow me,” he ordered. He left the room and I followed him.
He took me to the beach that was near our hotel. Then he walked over to a spot where there were two rocks side by side. I caught my breath. This looks exactly like our spot in Hawaii, I thought. “Come here and sit next to me, Min Sung,” said Ji Won to me, patting the rock next to him. I sat down near him and closed my eyes as I breathed in the salty sea air.
Ji Won began to study Min Sung. ‘He looks like Mina in a way,’ he thought. ‘Could he be Mina in another form?’ Ji Won didn’t believe in reincarnation but Min Sung was too much like Mina for him. He wanted to see if somehow Min Sung was Mina so he had to test him. “Min Sung, you want to hear a story?”
“Sure,” said Min Sung eagerly.
Ji Won smiled as he told his story. “There once was this rich boy who came from a messed up family. He had no friends at all. Then one day he met this little girl who became his friend. She was really nice to him, unlike his family, so he began to adopt her as his dongsang.” Ji Won paused right there to see Min Sung’s reaction.
My smile faded when Ji Won began his story. He was talking about our life in Hawaii. Then I figured out he was testing me. The respirator, I thought. I must have drained it when I was using it so now he suspects me. I steadied myself and tried my best to give no reaction.
Ji Won stared at Min Sung, who appeared to have no reaction to the story. “Well what do you think?” Ji Won asked him. “That’s a cute story, hyung,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. Ji Won continued. “Do you know why he took extra care of his dongsang?” Min Sung shook his head no. “It’s because she has this heart problem and needed this respirator to breathe.” He took out the respirator from his pocket and showed it to Min Sung. Again no reaction.
“Poor girl,” said Min Sung.
“Yes, poor girl,” said Ji Won sadly. “She died a few years later.”
I looked at Ji Won sadly. I knew Ji Won felt bad because of my death but since I’m no one special to him, it wouldn’t matter if he knew the truth that Mina was still alive and with him right now. Then Ji Won took out a stone and handed me one. I rubbed the white marble stone for a while. “Throw it,” he told me. I shook my head no. To me it was like a present so I didn’t throw it but just kept it in my pocket. Ji Won threw his into the ocean. It skipped 3 times.
“Perfect,” he said.
“Why is it perfect?” I asked him.
This time I wished he would tell me the significance of the 3-skip. “When the stone skips 3 times, it means 3 words. I love you.” I looked at Ji Won in an overwhelming joy. Did Ji Won love me? He had thrown the rock and it skipped 3 times many times before. “So did the rich boy ever really loved his dongsang?” I asked Ji Won. Ji Won looked at me. “Of course he does. He has a lot of brotherly love for her.” “Oh,” I whispered softly. My heart began to ache.
As Ji Won continued staring at the ocean, I began to walk home with a heavy heart. Ji Won began to shake his head. ‘Mina’s dead already so why am I denying that I love her?’ he thought to himself as he stared out to the ocean. “Actually, Min Sung, the rich boy loved his dongsang the first day he met her but he’s such a weak person. He never could admit his feelings for her and just waited for her to say that she loves him first.”
Ji Won turned around and saw that Min Sung had left. ‘Oh well,’ he thought as he headed back to the hotel.
*Since some of you wanted to hear more about Sung Hoon and Kyung Hee, this chapter is a little side story.
Sung Hoon woke up aching. He realized he was back at the Nam Hotel and in his room. “How did I make it back here?” he asked himself. Then he realized he was wearing nothing but his boxers. His bathroom door suddenly opened and out came Kyung Hee. “Hey!” he shouted as he pulled a blanket over to cover himself.
Kyung Hee rolled her eyes. “It’s too late for that. I’ve seen it all already,” she told him as she yanked the blanket away.
Sung Hoon crossed his arms over his chest. “So you took advantage of me in my weak state?”
“So what if I did?” she snapped at him.
“That means you have to marry me and support me while I give birth to your child.” Kyung Hee could’t help but laugh.
Sung Hoon smiled at her. ‘I guess he isn’t so bad,’ she thought. “You know,” said Sung Hoon quietly. “You didn’t have to diss me like that when you said you’ll go out with me.” Kyung Hee looked at him.
“I had to! You were such an arrogant jerk and you wouldn’t leave me alone.”
“Maybe it’s because I like you too much to leave you alone,” he replied back.
Kyung Hee blushed a little and decided to change the subject. “Give me your arm,” she said to him. Sung Hoon’s right arm was bleeding and Kyung Hee began to wash the cut.
“Ow!” he yelled in pain, pulling his arm back. “That hurts.”
“Does it?” Kyung Hee asked him, concerned. “I’m sorry.”
She leaned over to blow on his cut. Sung Hoon stared at her the entire time. He felt warm and shy being around her. He never felt this way for a girl before. She was nice to him and not dissing him like she usually does. He really liked that feeling. Kyung Hee gently placed his arm into a cast.
“There,” she said. “All better.”
“You know,” said Sung Hoon softly. “Everyone says kisses make boo-boos feel better and go away.”
When Kyung Hee was nursing Sung Hoon, she developed a liking for him and his nice body was a good addition. “Really?” she asked skeptically. “I don’t believe you.”
“Why don’t you test it out then?” he challenged her smiling.
“Maybe I will,” she said, flirting back. “Where does it hurt?”
Sung Hoon pointed to his knee. Kyung Hee kissed it. Then he pointed to his hand. She kissed it too. Slowly he pointed to his forehead, which she also kissed. He worked his way down to his nose. Kyung Hee couldn’t help but laugh as she kissed his nose lightly. Sung Hoon’s nose was broken.
Then he pointed to his lips. Kyung Hee was about to kiss it lightly but then Sung Hoon held onto her tightly to deepen the kiss. Kyung Hee felt drawn to him so she didn’t push him away. He turned her over so she laid down on his bed, with him on top of her. His hand went under the back of her shirt and he stopped there. Kyung Hee continued kissing him and ran her fingers through his hair. Since she wasn’t stopping him, he was about to continue when…
‘I’m going to kill that person,’ thought Sung Hoon as he broke off the kiss. “Yeah? What is it?” he yelled.
“Matthew wants all of us to go down to the dining room for a meeting,” said Ji Yong.
“Okay, I’ll be there in 5 minutes!” Sung Hoon yelled back. When he heard footsteps of Ji Yong leaving, he kissed Kyung Hee once more. “Sorry honey, I have to go but I’ll be right back.” Kyung Hee nodded and helped him into his clothes.
“Order SechsKies!” yelled Ji Won.
“Ooh, ooh,” said Jae Duc. “I want some kimbab!”
Ji Won glared at him. Jae Duc shuts up. “Now I want to talk to all of you about Min Sung. He’s only been here for a few months but he had saved my life twice and not to mention, Sung Hoon’s.” Sung Hoon slapped Min Sung on the back and smiled.
“Now,” continued Ji Won. “What do you want Min Sung? A car, money, women? Tell us and it’s yours.”
“Yeah,” said Sung Hoon. “Just name it buddy and it’s yours.”
I thought about it for a while. The only thing I wanted was Ji Won but I couldn’t say that. Since he was suspecting me so much there was only one thing I should ask for. “I want a woman,” I told them. They all opened their mouths in shock.
“Alright Min Sung, you dog!” yelled Sung Hoon, breaking the silence. “At least you’re proving to us that you’re a man now!”
“Okay,” said Ji Won slowly. “Who’s the girl?”
“So Kyung Hee,” I announced.
I saw Sung Hoon’s smiling face turn mad.
“Who do you want?” Sung Hoon asked me in disbelief.
I repeated myself. “So Kyung Hee.”
Sung Hoon grabbed me by the collar of my shirt. “Out of all the girls you could have picked, why her?” he yelled at me. I knew Sung Hoon liked Kyung Hee but Kyung Hee was the only person that could help me. “I happen to like her too,” I answered him. “Besides, you all said I can have anything I want, and I want Kyung Hee.”
“He’s right,” said Ji Won softly. “We can’t go back on our words.” Ji Won clapped his hands for attention. “So Kyung Hee now belongs to Ahn Min Sung. Anyone from SechsKies who touches her, the penalty is death.”
Su Won and Ji Yong had to hold Sung Hoon back from attacking me. “I thought you were my friend!” he yelled as they took him away. I sighed and headed for my room.
Ji Won looked at Min Sung as he was walking away. “Min Sung.”
“Are you sure that’s what you want?”
“Yes hyung. I’ve never been more sure in my life.” Then Min Sung left.
When I made it back into my room, Kyung Hee was in there waiting for me. “What the hell is going on?” she asked me. I knew it was time to tell her my story. When I finished, she was bawling like a baby. I handed her a tissue.
“Th..that is s..so..romantic,” Kyung Hee said, sobbing.
I patted her head as she leaned on me. “No, it’s not.”
“So you’re not going to tell Ji Won who you really are?”
I shook my head. “It wouldn’t matter anyways.”
“How do you know? If he knows you’re still alive, who knows? He might fall in love with you.”
“Maybe,” I began slowly. “But then he’d love me out of pity and not out of love. I don’t want that.”
“Oh.” Kyung Hee stared at the floor. “I wonder if Mickey really likes me.”
“What?!” I asked in surprise.
She looked at me sheepishly. “Oh, I forgot to tell you that Mickey and I are beginning to fall for each other.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I didn’t have a chance to. Besides, it just happened.”
“I’m sorry Kyung Hee.”
“It’s okay,” she said as she hugged me. “We’ll just have to put our little romance on hold for a while. You’re more important.”
“No, I’ll go tell—“
My words were cut off by my lack of air. This time my attack was worser than it ever had been before. Kyung Hee stared at me frightened. “Mina! What’s happening?” “C..can’t breathe…” I managed to say. She lifted me up.
“Come on, I’ll take you to the hospital.”
“Don’t let the others see me,” I said to her before I collapsed into total darkness.
Slowly I began to open my eyes. I closed them instantly because the light reflecting me was so bright. Am I on the other side? I wondered. I managed to squint my eyes open. I found myself strapped to a pulse racer machine and an IV fluid was hooked up to me. I started to look around my room. I was in a hospital and I saw that my door was open slightly ajar. Then I heard 2 voices talking and I began to eavesdrop.
“It’s a miracle that she’s still alive,” said the doctor.
“Is she going to be okay?” Kyung Hee asked him.
“Well, according to these test results, her heart will expire any time now. We need to get her a heart transplant soon because she’s past overdue for 2 years already. I made some calls and there is a matching donor for her in England.”
“I’ll have to talk to her about it.”
“Please do,” said the doctor. “It’s her only hope of living.”
Kyung Hee slowly entered my room. She stared at me with wide eyes. “You heard everything Mina?” I nodded my head weakly and took the air respirator off my mouth. “You can tell him to forget about it. I’m not going to England for a couple of months to get surgery.”
Kyung Hee ran over and shook me. “Mina, are you crazy? You have to or you’ll die.”
“No,” I told her stubbornly. “It was so hard for me to find Ji Won and I won’t let go of him just like that.”
Kyung Hee began to cry. “I don’t want you to die though.”
I looked at her sadly. “You’re a good friend Kyung Hee. I know you’ll be the perfect girl for Sung Hoon.” I yanked the IV tube off my arm. “Come on. Let’s go home.”
A little over a month later….
My heart condition began to grow worse. My attacks became more frequently and undetected. It would happen during odd times like when I’m showering or having dinner with the SechsKies guys. Luckily Kyung Hee was always there by my side to cover for me. Sung Hoon hated me. I can tell by the way he acts. He probably thinks that Kyung Hee really likes Ahn Min Sung (that’s me). What he doesn’t know is Kyung Hee truly does love him and it breaks her heart seeing him go out with other girls. I think he’s doing that to make her jealous.
As for Ji Won, he began to grow distant towards me. He wouldn’t talk to me much and he’s been depressed about something lately. I wish I could know what was bothering him because it hurts me to see him sad like that. Secrets are definitely hard to keep. Especially ones that you have to cover everyday. I should have known that my disguise and heart attacks would be exposed soon but it just came to me unexpectedly…
June 15, 1999
Ji Won was in his depressed state again. There was this empty void inside him that he couldn’t erase. It was a recurring pain that never seemed to end. He felt lonely. Whenever he sees Min Sung and Kyung Hee together, it disturbs him. He could’t figure out what it was but he kept finding something wrong with the picture. Then a knock came on his door. “Come in,” he said, without bothering to see who it was.
I entered Ji Won’s room holding a tray of food. Now these days since he was in his isolated stage, he didn’t eat much anymore. I was beginning to worry. I didn’t have much time left with him so I wanted to take care of him the best I could with the time I still had left. “Hyung? Are you hungry? I brought you some food.”
Ji Won turned around to see who it was. It was Min Sung. “Just put it down.” Min Sung placed it down before Ji Won. Ramyun, mee-yuk-gook, rice, and curry. ‘How does he know I like these food?’ Ji Won thought. “Take it away I don’t want it.”
“But hyung, you haven’t ate for days. Please eat a little bit.”
“I said take it away!” Ji Won yelled, his anger exploding. He knocked over the tray of food. It ended up spilling all over Min Sung. Ji Won and Min Sung stared at each other. Neither of them knew what to say. Min Sung leaned over to clean up the spilled food and then left. Ji Won fell back in his chair. He ran his hands through his hair frustrated. Min Sung was too much like Mina that it was driving him crazy. Ji Won knew he was out of line though, so he began to walk to Min Sung’s room to apologize.
What a mess, I thought as I stripped out of my clothes. I soaked myself into a hot water bath, hoping it could wash away all my troubles. When I was done with my bath, I wrapped myself up in a towel and got out of the tub. Then I heard my room door open and then close. Must be Kyung Hee, I thought as I began to put my clothes on.
Ji Won entered Min Sung’s room, not knowing what to say. He wasn’t good at apologizing. He looked around and didn’t see Min Sung anywhere. Then he heard the sound of water draining. He figured Min Sung must be in the bathroom. Ji Won opened the door slightly and saw Min Sung’s bare back. He shuts the door quietly and began to leave. He planned to apologize later but then his mind began to sort out what he had just saw. Min Sung’s back had an ‘E’ on it. Ji Won breaks the open the door to the bathroom.
I was buttoning up my long sleeve shirt when my door suddenly opened. I stared at Ji Won in shock but then remembered I wasn’t completely dressed yet. I buttoned up the remaining buttons and then faced him. “Hyung!” I said surprised. “What are you doing here?” I caught Ji Won looking down at my shirt. I had buttoned it all wrong and a great deal of my body was showing. Oh hell, I thought. “Hyung, I can explain-“ I began to tell him but I never had a chance to.
Ji Won stared at Min Sung’s exposed body. Without thinking, he ripped open Min Sung’s shirt finding that Min Sung was indeed a woman. Min Sung stood still, stunned at what Ji Won had just did. He turned Min Sung’s back to him. There it was. His ‘E.’ “M...Mina?” he asked uncertainly, afraid to hope.
I didn’t know what I was more embarrassed from. Letting Ji Won see me exposed or being caught. In all my life I had never been angry at Ji Won but I didn’t know why I reacted impulsively. As I held my shirt together, I slapped Ji Won across the face hard with my other hand. His head snapped to the side. He held his cheeks as he turned to face me. “How could you do this to me Ji Won?” I asked him screaming. “Get out! Get out!” I started to push him out the door.
Ji Won was in shock. Mina, he thought. He grabbed her arms as she pushed him out. “Mina, don’t! Is it really you?”
I glared at him. As if he knew, Ji Won took off his jacket and puts it around my shoulders. I zipped it up, covering myself. “Yes Ji Won, it is me Mina.”
“But I thought you were dead.”
“I didn’t die. I faked my death.”
“So I could go to Korea.”
“You came all the way from Hawaii to find me? Why didn’t you just tell me who you are?”
Ji Won looked at Mina, who had tears coming out of her eyes. He was about to brush them off for her but then Mina pushed his hand away. “That’s the only way I could do to be with you. Join SechsKies.” Ji Won stared at Mina as she continued talking. “After you left me all alone in Hawaii, my life became so miserable. Not because of my stepmom, but because of you. I finally found a way to leave Hawaii to find you. I was so happy when I thought about how I could see you again. I thought—“
Ji Won began to feel a rush of mixed emotions. Mina’s words made him sad but seeing her alive in front of him, made him want to hold onto her and never let her go. He paused to let her continue. "—I thought that we could be together like we were….oppa and dongsang in Hawaii. But obviously, I was wrong. You had all those girls around you that you’ve completely forgotten about me.”
Ji Won felt his heart shatter into a million pieces. Each one of Mina’s words stabbed him like a knife. “Mina, you don’t understand. I—“ Mina didn’t wait for his explanation and ran. Ji Won chased after her.
“Mina!” he yelled as he chased her out of the hotel.
“Hyung,” said Su Won as he saw Ji Won ran by him. Ji Won pushed him out of the way.
Kyung Hee ran up the 5 Kies. “What happened?”
Su Won shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know. Ji Won was chasing Min Sung and kept screaming Mina.”
Kyung Hee stumbled back and Sung Hoon caught her. ‘Oh no, poor Mina,’ she thought. She turned around to see Sung Hoon looking at her sadly. Kyung Hee moved close to him and held onto him tight. Neither one of them lets go.
June 16, 1999
It was 3 a.m. and Ji Won had lost Mina. As he chased her down the streets he lost track of where she ran off to. “Mina!” he continued shouting. His cries echoed throughout the streets. A lot of people heard him yelling. So did the Black Dragons.
Tae Won silently crept behind Ji Won. Ji Won was all alone. Tae Won gave an evil smile. He had a plan. He and his sidekick began to set up a trap for Ji Won, which they knew he would fall for.
“Mina!” I covered my ears. I didn’t want to hear Ji Won’s voice. I was so confused. All I ever wanted was to be with Ji Won but now it’s all complicated. I leaned back against the alley wall. I needed time to think.
Ji Won ran through the alleys as he continued searching for Mina. Then he ran into Tae Won. Out of the darkness, Tae Won stepped out. “Looking for someone?” he asked.
“Yeah,” said Ji Won, glaring at him. “I’m looking for Min Sung.”
“The punk that stabbed me?” Tae Won asked furiously.
“I got him.”
“You do?” Ji Won asked surprised. “Hand him over!”
“There he is,” said Tae Won, pointing to a figure up ahead. From the back it did look like Min Sung but little did Ji Won know that it was all a setup.
“Mina?” Ji Won whispered as he approached the person. It was a Black Dragon member. He grabbed a hold of Ji Won around the neck and began shooting Ji Won continually in the stomach.
I looked out from where I was hiding when I heard gunshots. “Ji Won!” I screamed as I ran out from where I hid. My scream threw the Black Dragon member off guard. Seeing his chance, Ji Won grabbed the gun from him and shot him in the head. He fell to the floor dead. Tae Won started to run away but Ji Won aimed a shot directly at his heart. Tae Won fell down dead too.
Ji Won looked at me and then collapsed to the cold ground. He wasn’t able to hold on any longer. Rain began to pour. “Ji Won!” I screamed, shaking him. He was still breathing but barely. I lifted Ji Won up on my back and carried him to a nearby hospital. The rain drenched us and it grew hard for me to carry him because of the weight. However, I managed to make it. They rushed him into the emergency room. Four hours later the doctor came out.
“How is he?” I asked as I ran up to him.
“He was shot 4 times in the stomach region. As you know, a person needs at least one kidney to survive but both of his are destroyed. Unless we can find a donor, he’ll have to die.”
“Give him mine,” I told the doctor right away.
“Are you sure?” I nodded my head. “Because of your heart condition, if we have this operation that means you can die instantly during the transfer.”
I nodded my head again. “I understand. Please let’s have the operation now.”
They tested me and luckily I was compatible with Ji Won. Six hours later the surgery was completed. It’s a miracle that I’m still alive. I knew not for long though.
I woke up finding myself in a hospital bed with Ji Won on a bed next to me. He was still in a coma. I got out of bed and went near him. I stroked his hair gently as I bent down to kiss him. “I love you Ji Won,” I whispered to him. Then I left the room, going to the last place I wanted to be.
Ji Won began to wake up. He looked around and realized he was in a hospital room. Slowly his door began to open and the rest of SechsKies entered his room. “Hyung?” asked Sung Hoon. “Are you okay?” Ji Won nodded his head weakly as he pulled himself up. “I’m okay now.”
Jae Jin walked over to his bedside. “We’re so sorry Matthew hyung. We didn’t know what happened until this morning. We got revenge for you though when we wiped out the entire Black Dragon hideout.”
“It’s okay,” he told them softly as they all bowed down.
Then a knock came to his door. The doctor came in. “Oh good, you’re awake,” he said.
Ji Won looked at him. “Thanks for saving me Doc.”
“No need to thank me. Your girlfriend is the one who saved your life.”
Ji Won began to panic. “What did she do?”
“She could have gotten a chance to go to England to get a heart transplant but she decided to stay to give you her kidney instead.”
“The girl…where is she?” he asked frantically.
The doctor looked around the room. “She was supposed to be in here—“ Ji Won got out of bed and ran out of the room, leaving everyone staring after him. “Hyung!” all the 5 Kies shouted but Ji Won had already left. He ran searching for Mina. He knew where she went.
June 17, 1999
Please let Ji Won be okay, I prayed to myself silently. Hopefully my prayers will be answered. So is this the end? My heart never changed because it was still the same one I loved Ji Won with. I couldn’t bear the thought of trading it with someone else. I was so confused. Had I finished what I had really come for? What will happen to my love for Ji Won? I didn’t know these answers.
I felt weaker and my pen fell from my fingers. I stopped my story right there. Truth is, I didn’t know how to end it so I might as well leave it unfinished. I took off my cap and clothes. I was wearing a long white flowing dress underneath. It was the kind I always wanted to wear when I thought I was going to marry Ji Won.
My hair had grew out a little bit. It grazed my chin. I started to put on some light make up and combed my hair. I don’t know why I’m getting dressed up for but I knew I wanted to die looking like Nam Mina, and not Ahn Min Sung. I looked at my reflection again. At least I look like a girl now, I thought with a little laugh.
When I was done, I leaned against the hard rock and wrapped my arms around it, pretending it was Ji Won. Then I heard a voice yelling out my name. “Mina!” I recognized the voice. Ji Won. I smiled, knowing at least he’ll be the last person I’ll see before I go.
Ji Won looked around the beach and saw a figure in a white dress. ‘Mina,’ he thought as he ran towards her. It was Mina. He lifted her into his arms and onto his lap as he sat down on the rocks. ‘Mina,’ he whispered to her and kissed her on the neck and face. Tears began to fall down his face.
All of my energy seemed to have been drained as I forced myself to open my eyes. My face felt wet but it wasn’t from my tears and it wasn’t raining either. My vision was kind of blurred and I couldn’t see Ji Won too well. I reached up to touch his face. It was wet. “Ji Won,” I whispered to him. “Please don’t cry. You’re scaring me. I’ve never seen you cry before.”
Ji Won looked down at Mina, through his tear-filled eyes. “I’m so sorry Mina.” “Don’t say you’re sorry,” she whispered back to him. “You’ve done nothing wrong.” Ji Won shook his head. “I’m so sorry. You’ve done so much for me and I haven’t even realized it. I haven’t done anything for you except put you through a lot of pain.”
I reached up wipe away Ji Won’s tears. “I didn’t expect anything back from you oppa. But I want to know why did you leave me in Hawaii? I could have called the wedding off if you didn’t want to marry me.” I felt Ji Won’s grip on me tighten.
“I didn’t mean to leave you Mina,” answered Ji Won, his voice shaking. “I couldn’t take my dad anymore. My grandpa had given me his inheritance and I planned on taking you and Sung Hoon with me. I didn’t tell you about it because I was afraid you wouldn’t leave your family for me. When I came to your house to get you, my uncle’s men were there waiting for me and chased me to the docks. I escaped but I wanted to go back but couldn’t. I could have put your life in danger. This isn’t the first time I’ve cried Mina. I cried when I knew I was going to be separated from you.”
Despite the pain, I managed to smile. Ji Won didn’t want to leave me, I thought. “Look Ji Wonee, I’m wearing the dress I always wanted to wear if we had gotten married.” Ji Won looked at me. “You’re beautiful Mina,” he said to me. “If everything would have gone as planned, we could have been married here in Korea.”
One thing was still bothering me. I think I managed to hold onto my life this long because of this question. “Ji Wonee, do you love me? I mean romantically, and not as your dongsang.”
Ji Won looked down at Mina. She was beautiful. His heart ached when he saw how pale she was. He realized she never did knew that he had loved her all along. “Yes, Mina,” he told her. “I loved you since the first day we met. I loved you then and I had never stopped loving you.” He bent down to kiss her.
My heart was deepened to a warm bliss. Ji Won said he loved me, I told myself as I felt him kiss me. Then a cold realization washed over me but I didn’t really care. I always thought that I was hurt when I didn’t receive Ji Won’s love. Instead, I found out my pain came from when I didn’t give Ji Won enough love. I haven’t told Ji Won I loved him yet.
“Ji Won,” I said to him as he looked down at me. “Thank you for making my dream come true by saying that you love me. I know you’re lying and just saying it to repay me but you didn’t have to. I did it all because I—I—“
I was losing my voice. Not now, please, I prayed as tears fell down my face. I need to tell him before I go. I reached into my pocket and pulled out the white marble stone Ji Won had given to me when I was Min Sung. I pointed towards the ocean to make Ji Won look. I threw the stone with all my remaining strength. It skipped 3 times. ‘Perfect,’ I thought as I closed my eyes for the last time.
As Ji Won listened to what Mina was saying, he was stunned still. He couldn’t believe his ears. She thought he was saying he loved her as payment of what she had done for him. More tears fell down his face as he shook his head. Then when Mina pointed out to the ocean, Ji Won saw her throw the stone he had given her. It skipped 3 times. I love you. Ji Won smiled, knowing that Mina loved him too. He had known that she had loved him all along but she never told it to him either. “Mina, you don’t understand. I do love you!” he shouted. Then Ji Won looked down at her. She had passed on. “Mina?” He shook her gently. Her body was still and completely lifeless. “Mina!” he screamed in pain. He held onto her tightly, burying his face into her neck. He was crying so loudly and painfully that both their bodies shook.
Sung Hoon and the others finally made it to where Ji Won and Mina was. They circled Ji Won, who was bent over holding someone they couldn’t see. “Hyung,” said Sung Hoon as he put his hand on Ji Won’s shoulder. “Are you okay? Where’s Min Sung?” Ji Won lifted his head up and Sung Hoon saw who Ji Won was holding. He fell back into the sand shocked. “M…Mina?” he asked in disbelief.
“Mina?” the others repeated.
“Min Sung is Mina?” asked Ji Yong.
Ji Won nodded his head. “She dressed up as a guy to join SechsKies to be with me.”
“You’re right, Mickey. Mina did love Matthew hyung,” said Jae Duc quietly.
Sung Hoon got up and hugged both Ji Won’s and Mina’s bodies tightly. “Why?” he asked crying. Everyone remained silent. Ji Won shook his head. He moved away from Sung Hoon and turned to face all of them. “SechsKies is my family. You guys are all like my brothers. Please be my witness as I make this promise to Mina.” They nodded their heads sadly and listened.
“Mina,” Ji Won began. “When you were alive, I was never able to tell you that I loved you. Now that you’re gone, you don’t believe I love you. Even though I never showed you the kind of love you wanted me to, it doesn’t mean I didn’t love you with all I have.” Ji Won paused and yanked off the ring around his necklace. “With SechsKies here as my witnesses, I, Eun Ji Won, take Nam Mina as my wife ‘til eternity. I have nothing to give you Mina except my heart, which belonged to you from the first day we met.”
He kissed her lips as he slipped on the ring. The others watched him in silence. They were surprised when because of all the time Ji Won had been their leader, he had never used his real name Ji Won before. They knew he was serious. When it was over, Ji Won lifted Mina up into his arms as he stood up. “As your leader, I have a final announcement to make. I am quitting SechsKies.”
“What?” they all asked in disbelief.
“Hyung,” said Su Won. “Please reconsider.”
Ji Won shook his head. “This is the second time Mina left me. I really can’t go on as your leader. The person I loved the most is taken away from me too soon and she died not knowing that I truly do love her.”
The others understood what Ji Won meant. Jae Jin walked up to Ji Won. “What do you plan to do then Matthew?”
“I don’t know,” he answered. I’ll be somewhere where I’ll always be with Mina and constantly remind her that I love her. And as for SechsKies, with all the money and businesses we have, I don’t see any reason why we have to commit any more crimes. We each have enough money to spend for the rest of our lives already.”
They all nodded.
Ji Won placed a hand on Sung Hoon’s shoulder. “Sung Hoon,” said Ji Won.
“Yes hyung?” asked Sung Hoon. “If you do love Kyung Hee, tell her before it’s too late.”
Sung Hoon nodded. “I will.”
Ji Won looked at his 5 brothers for the last time. “This final meeting of SechsKies is now adjourned. I wish you all the best and hope you do find your true love because I have. Good bye.”
Ji Won picked up Mina’s book and scribbled something into it. When he was done, he placed it down back on the rock. Then Ji Won lifted Mina’s body up into his arms as he walked away.
“Hyung!” shouted Sung Hoon. “Where are you going?”
Ji Won continued walking and didn’t answer him. The 5 Kies watched their leader walk towards the sunset carrying his bride and disappeared. They picked up the book to see what Ji Won had written. The last entry of Mina’s story was,
“True love never has an ending.”