“Huh? Yoonji?” Matthew prompted.
Mickey looked around him, shocked to find himself not at home (in Korea). “I’m at home?!”
“No, where’d you think you was? At a pimp house?” Brian cracked dryly.
“But...I coulda sworn I heard Tiff scream.”
Brian and Matthew exchange bemused glances and both in unison said, “Really?”
“Either that or she has a stomach of an opera singer.”
“We didn’t hear it,” Brian said, frowning.
“My head hurts,” Mickey whined, massaging the back of his head.
“It was pretty bad,” Brian guessed.
“Yeah,” Mickey agreed. “It just slammed my brain! Just like that!” Mickey snapped his fingers, demostrating the sudden, silent blow.
“What exactly is it?” Matthew asked slowly.
“I dunno. It’s this noise. I dunno why I hear it. It hurts my head. Like you know those testing broadcasting systems or wutever those things are? Those long beeps, only it’s more screechier and painful,” Mickey answered.
“Ouch,” Matthew said quietly, wincing. “I feel ya, kid.”
“Wanna wash yourself up? I was getting kinda hungry. Anybody in the mood for instant noodles?” Brian offered.
“I want eggs!” Matthew told him, running off to the bathroom.
“I want mine’s spicy!” Mickey shouted. “With eggs! Jiwon! Get out! I need to pee!”
“Don’t tell me!” Brian laughed. Living with those two were impossible. He wondered how could their parents deal with them. “No other special requests?!”
“Nope!” Mickey and Matthew screamed together. Mickey ran after Matthew and started beating down the door.
“Hey, hey! Break it and spend the rest of your life using shower curtains as a door!” Brian reminded Mickey.
“Jiwon hyung! I can’t hold it in anymore!” Mickey wailed, hopping. “Open up!” He started kicking the door and sunk to the door as the buzz slowly increased.
“Seonghoon! Seonghoon!” Brian cried, rushing to the boy. “Jiwon hyung! Open the door! We need to send Seonghoon to the hospital! Hurry!”
The door swung open and Matthew stood paralyzed like a frozen statue with his pants still hanging around his thighs.
“Put your pants on, boy! Nobody wants to see your morning glory! Hurry! Help me carry Seonghoon to bed!” Brian ordered, taking one of Mickey’s arm.
Matthew quickly pulled up his pants and took Mickey’s other arm. The two slung Mickey’s arm over their necks and carried him off to the sofa-bed. Mickey started shivering as his eyes rolled to the back of his head, moaning, “Noooooooo.”
“Seonghoon! Oh, my God! I think he’s sick!” Matthew shouted, wrapping a thin blanket around Mickey.
“He’s beyond that! Go get your car! He’s going to the hospital!” Brian said decisively.
“No. I don’t trust those stupid goons,” Matthew said gruffly.
“Then what?!” Brian exploded.
“Col....Colddddddd....Jiyong....” Mickey moaned, reaching for Brian.
“Get him another blanket!” Brian commanded, pushing Matthew. To Mickey, “We’ll send you to the hospital.”
“Nooooooooo,” Mickey dragged. “Don-Don’t le-let them t-take...meeeeee...”
“Who? Who? No one’s taking you! We’re not taking you anywhere. Nobody’s taking you. Seonghoon! Seonghoon, listen to me! Hang on, hang on! Jiwon hyung is getting you a thicker blanket,” Brian babbled. “Wait...Seonghoon! Don’t...no, no, no, no...You’ll be okay. Wait, Mickey! Wait!”
Matthew stumbled over his own feet and threw the heavy cover at Brian. “Here! The most heaviest, warmest, biggest thing I know!”
“It’s no use! He’s growing colder every second!” Brian fretted. “Feel!”
Matthew pulled himself to the edge of the bed and touched Mickey’s shaking hand. “He’s frozen!”
“I’ve never seen him like this before!” Brian recalled, hugging Mickey.
“But...the ac’s not on,” Matthew pointed out.
“I know that! He not only hear things but he freezes and burns up unexpectly!” Brian gushed.
“Burns up? What’s with this kid?”
“Call for an ambulance! He’s going to the hospital!”
Mickey tighten his grip on Matthew’s hand. “Noooooooooo.”
“Seonghoon! Let go!” Matthew said, trying to pry Mickey’s hand away.
“Nooooooo...” Mickey said weakly. “Noooooooooo...”
“Mickey Kang Seonghoon!” Brian boomed.
“Noooooooooo...I-I-I ne-never...I-I ne-never don-done an-anything wr-wrong...” Mickey stammered, his teeth clattering.
“He knows,” Matthew whispered. “He doesn’t wanna go.”
“Let go, hyung! You’re - ”
“Jiyong...I-I-I...I’m not-not-not cold...I-I-I’m just sh-shi-shivering...but-but-but...I don’t feel...feel co-cold...I-I-I feel...hol-hollow...”
“But you’re shaking!” Brian protested.
“What have you been smoking?!” Matthew demanded.
“No-N-Not f-f-funny...hyung...” Mickey chattered. “I-I-I’m ha-having th-the re-re-reactions of some-someone el-el-else...”
“Who?” Brian hooted.
Mickey bolted upright on the bed. She looked around the room, trying to find who had said her name. The hiss was rather vague and she shook her head, trying to clear out the fogginess of it. She observed her environment, not a thought registering towards the white walls of the square room which resembled a blank, white canvas. Other than the hospital-like bed she’s on, the room’s completely empty and bare coated with a brown, soft-felt rug.
The hiss came back. Mickey brought her knees up to her chin. “This can’t be happening,” she told herself as pure terror course through her body.
First, she was hearing buzzes and beeps. Now, her skill of hearing ‘weird’ things couldn’t have promoted to hearing minds and thoughts. She shivered at the possibility and squeezed her eyes shut. It was bad enough being a freak, but now she’s a labortory experiment. She shook her head, objecting to reality, not wanting to accept it.
Her parents had abandoned her when she was five, right about when they discovered she was a black sheep and a queer. Her supernatural intelligence and keen sense of hearing scared the living wits out of her parents. Her ultra-sharp eyesight terrified them. She didn’t feel like the ‘Matilda’ Ronald Dahl made up fictionally, she felt like a reject. She is a reject. Children of her age, older, younger were all afraid of her. She broke things everytime she went by something. The room freezes up without her notice, people getting scald by being in the same room with her. She was something. Something not meant to be touched.