Copyright 2000 SeChsKieS GurL. All rights reserved.-->
Susan stood in front of the mirror, taking in the beautiful image that reflected of her own. She clicked her tongue with satisfaction as she ran her eyes over the lower half of her body, eyeing her shoes in particular. She turned to the empty seat behind her, forgetting she came shopping alone.
Damn...I miss Jiyong already, she thought dreadfully.
Her smile overturned to a frown at the thought but was still content with her selection without Jiyong’s help. She paid for the shoes and strolled briskly out of the store.
She glanced idly at the window displays, grappling at the empty space next to her. She found herself groping for Jiyong’s invisble hand and looked down at her bag, embarrassed by the situation. She casually entered an apparel store and fiddled around with the garments that hung on the racks.
“By yourself?” a voice behind her snickered.
She whirled around to find Jiwon leaning against one of the racks with a look of disgust on his face.
“Wuddo you want?” she asked acidly, facing the other direction, avoiding his eyes.
“I find it surprising. Jiyong, not with you?” Jiwon faked a gasp, glaring at Susan.
“That’s a stupid question.” Susan semi-laughed, looking out the corner of her eyes.
“Really? I don’t even recall asking you a question,” Jiwon retorted.
Susan rolled her eyes. “Wuddo you want?”
“Kiss my ass.”
Susan was stunned by the response.
“You heard me. Bow down to Jiyong’s too while you’re at it.”
Susan reeled around to face him. “You are one little bastard,” she said through grinded teeth.
“Not a bigger bitch than you are. Admit it. You never liked Jiyong.”
“Wussit to you if I didn’t?”
“Nuthin. It’s a shame how Jiyong couldn’t see through that pretty face of yours and tell right away that you’re an ugly hag with an empty heart.”
“Well, I guess he chose not to.”
“Nah, I think he finally saw how ugly you really are and was blinded instantly.”
Susan’s mouth was filled with a sour taste at the insult. “Get away from me.”
“I don’t have a disease. I’m completely harmless. Can’t you see? Or are you just as blind as Jiyong? Or possibly worse?” Jiwon mused, tilting his head to one side.
“You know what? Go suck a cock,” Susan fired, pushing past him.
“I think that’s your job, slut,” Jiwon shot back, pulling Susan back.
“Let go of me!” Susan screeched, swatting Jiwon’s arm.
“You’re coming with me! I think Jiyong’ll be quite surprised to hear from you,” Jiwon sneered, wrestling with Susan’s thin arms.
“If...If you don’t let go...I’ll scream!” she threatened weakly.
“Think I care? I’ll just yell right back!”
Susan clammed her lips shut as Jiwon dragged her out of the store. Right when they stepped over the threshold, Susan squeezed her eyes shut and let out the most loudest and deafening scream ever heard by anyone.
She felt the tight grasp around her wrist loosen and a sudden rush of wind brush past her face. Her voice was suddenly caught and she couldn’t scream anymore. She opened her eyes and found a surrounding crowd of people around her and Jiwon yelling at her (he really wasn’t kidding).
“It’s just a damn cockaroach! Do you have to scream your life out?! If only you can scream like that when we’re in bed together! Dumb bitch!”
Susan clapped her hands over her flaming cheeks only to find them stinging like she had been slapped. “C’MON!” Jiwon bellowed, reaching for her wrist again.
She trailed after him willingly and realized a moment later that he had smacked her. “You bastard!” she suddenly shouted, pushing him from behind.
“You fucking slapped me!” she accused, throwing a shaking finger in his face.
“Boy, you’re awfully slow if you just knew that now,” Jiwon whistled.
“Er, you!” Susan snarled through gritted teeth, flailing her fists at him.
“If you don’t stop, I’ll beat you!”
Susan jumped back from him, taking his word. “Wuddo you want from me?”
“Go home. I’m getting tired,” Jiwon said cooly. He decided it wasn’t torture to Susan, but torture to Jiyong to hear from the materialistic bimbo.
“Tired? Is this your idea of some game?” Susan shrieked, stalking closer to him.
“I guess. Get outta my face!” he thundered, shoving Susan away.
“Ugh! Don’t touch me!” Susan frowned, brushing her shoulder where Jiwon had just touched her.
“You think I wanted to? You’re contaminated. Dunno wut Jiyong saw in you,” Jiwon sneered, wrinkling his nose.
“You’re just jealous.” Susan smiled wickedly.
“Of him and you?!” Jiwon scoffed. “I rather go out with Seonghoon’s mother than go out with you!”
“Ewww...she’s all old and wrinkled,” Susan squeaked with disgust.
Jiwon shrugged at the comment and began to walk away. He stuffed his hands in the pockets of his jeans and strolled in the direction they had just come in.
“Jiwon! I really like Jiyong! Honest! I’m not lying!” she shouted after him, hoping he would turn back.
But Jiwon continued forward, without looking back at her nor give her any sign that he had heard her last statement.
Chomee surveyed her small but comfortable room. She settled in with no problem and became fast friends with the servants. She stared longingly at the picture of her and her mother that stood on the corner of her table. Next to it was a family picture taken a lot of years back. She giggled at the snapshot which portrayed a toothless, goofy grin from her and her parents looking so heavenly in love with their darling child.
A soft knocking at the door interrupted her thoughts.
“Yes?” Chomee murmured, pulling the door open.
“Do you wish to eat in your room or in the dining hall, miss?” Sangah whispered, poking her head through the door.
“Why are we whispering?”
“I dunno.” Sangah shrugged.
“I’ll eat in the hall,” Chomee answered with a smile.
Sangah returned the smile and motioned for Chomee to follow her. Chomee stepped out of her room and closed the door firmly behind her. Sangah led her to a wide hall where everybody was seated and ready to eat. Chomee looked over at the packed table and noticed Jiyong wasn’t there.
“He doesn’t eat with us,” Sangah informed with her mouth full.
“Does he ever eat?” Chomee inquired, remembering his bony arms.
“Even if he does, we wouldn’t know.”
Chomee raked her hand through her bangs and sat down to join the festivity. The food looked ravishly inviting and made Chomee’s mouth water. She scuffed down the food like she hadn’t eaten in days and grinned impishly when she looked up from her bowl.
“Aiya, Chomee! You’re done already?” Ajuma gasped, peering into Chomee’s bowl.
“Hehe...” she winked.
“Be careful! You’ll choke at the rate you’re going!” Ajuma scolded, instantly reminding Chomee of her mother.
“What’s Jiyong gonna eat?” Chomee asked quietly, pushing her bowl away.
“Jiyong?” Ajuma drawled as if trying to remember who her master was.
“Yeah. Rice, too?”
“His food’s in the kitchen. I’ll bring it up.” Ajuma swallowed another mouthful of rice.
“No, Ajuma!” Chomee objected, jumping up from her seat.
All eyes turn to her with a questioning look.
“I mean, I’ll bring it up. Since I’m done eating and you’re tired with the day’s work...” Chomee desperately groped for words.
Ajuma let out a deep chuckle and patted Chomee’s hand, “Don’t worry. I know what you mean. It’s on the tray. Just go right in and you’ll see it.”
Chomee collected her bowl and chopsticks, backing out of her seat, headed for the kitchen. She gently placed the china in the sink along with the chopsticks and lifted Jiyong’s tray.
She ventured out of the kitchen, taking a shorter path to Jiyong’s room through the back stairs. She held her breath as she kicked his door open upon arrival and slid the tray onto his dresser.
“Jiyong sir,” she called out.
The blinds in the room were drawn and Chomee could make out a silhouette on the far end of the room. She tiptoed to the still torso, cautious of making any sounds, picking up thrown clothes as she went along. As she neared the silent figure in the chair, she realized he had fallen asleep waiting for his dinner. Letting him sleep on peacefully, Chomee deposit the clothes she had just gathered into a basket. She pushed the opposite chair that faced him against the wall, giving her room to move about. She threw fearful glances at the giant that snored softly in her presence, afraid his anger would erupt unexpectedly.
Chomee’s ears pricked at the familiar voice.
“Did you give him his dinner?”
Chomee let out a breath of relief and tiptoed back to the entrance of Jiyong’s room. “He fell asleep,” she whispered through the cracked door.
“No wonder you’re in there for so long. He wouldn’t even have me in there for more than three minutes. You’re a piece of art,” Ajuma complimented, looking smug.
“I’m gonna clean up his room while he’s asleep,” said Chomee.
“Good idea. We can never get to it...Even when he’s asleep, we still can’t get in without coming back out with some sort of an injury. Did you knock him out?”
“You’re funny, Ajuma.”
“Guess not.” The elderly woman shrugged, answering her own question.
“Does he need fresh sheets?”
“The boy needs everything freshened out! Even himself!”
Chomee looked at Ajuma incredulously. “You mean to say Jiyong’s been living up here without a shower or a bath?”
“That’s what I’ve been thinking,” Ajuma grunted.
“Help me change the sheets and everything, I’ll straighten the furniture and clothes away,” Chomee bargained.
“Good. Let me get Sangah first. Bring his food down,” Ajuma murmured as she disappeared. Moments later, she reappeared with a mountain stack of linens and sheets and curtains...everything.
Chomee quickly disposed Jiyong’s scented clothes into baskets, three already overflowing and hiding the rim. She sent Sangah running up and down the stairs, washing and drying the laundry, folding and sorting them. It was late in the night when all was accomplished and Chomee fell back against one of Jiyong’s chairs. “Miss Chomee, you should go rest. It’s late. Almost two o’clock in the morning,” Sangah yawned, rubbing her eye.
“You go on ahead. You still have a whole day tomorrow,” Chomee managed to utter.
Sangah could only bob her head and exited the room. Chomee looked over at Jiyong, who was still snoring like a baby while the three of them sanitized his room.
He’s so pretty...If only...
She let the thought hang and shook her head clear of it. She gave him a final look of pity and retired to her own room. Leaving Ajuma to say ‘good night’ to the sleeping ‘beast.’
The loud clattering of the phone woke Chomee of her misty dream. She tossed and turned at the racket, hoping to get rid of it, only to realize it was morning.
She bolted upright on her bed and snatched the receiver off the hook, uttering a dreamy, "Yeboseyo?"
Jaeduk on the other end, was surprised to hear Chomee's voice. "Yeeeaaaaboooohoooseyoho!" he yodeled.
Chomee winced at the howl. "Who's this?"
"Jaeduk?" Chomee whispered hoarsely, trying to recall if she ever met a 'Jaeduk.'
"Jiyongie chingoo," he provided. Beside him, Seonghoon raised a brow at his friend's strange encounter on the phone. "Who's that?" he mouthed.
Jaeduk would only reply with a shrug.
"Jiyongie?" Chomee echoed softly, trying to shake herself awake.
"Yep, yep! Who are you?" Jaeduk chirped.
"Me? I...I'm Chomee."
"Chomeehee?" Jaeduk squeaked in his Pusan accent.
"Uh-huh. Who are you?" she repeated absentmindedly, still sleepy from the night before.
"I told you, I'm Jaedukee."
"Ugh...Call back to...mor...row..." she mumbled, falling back on her bed.
"Tomorrow!" Jaeduk shrieked, his voice causing Chomee to bolt up straight on her bed again. "I can't wait till tomorrow! I'll die! It's an emergency! Call - huh!"
"Hello? Hello?" Chomee shouted into the receiver as she heard Jaeduk's phone drop to the floor. "JAEDUK!" she screamed.
"Hello?" another voice spoke.
"Jaeduk?" Chomee squealed, worried Jaeduk had stopped breathing.
"Who's this?" the same quiet voice asked.
"Is Jaeduk okay?" Chomee asked, ignoring the question.
"Jaeduk?" The voice sounded confused.
"Yeah, it sounded like he had a heart attack..."
A deep chuckle escaped the person's mouth. "You must forgive Jaeduk. He's always scaring people. That's his habit, there's nothing wrong with him."
Chomee let out a breath of relief.
"I'm Seonghoon. What's your name?"
"Pretty name. Is Jiyong home?"
Chomee remembered where she was now. She arrived at Jiyong's house yesterday and spent the whole night cleaning his room. "Yeah, of course. Or at least I think so."
"Chomee..Chomee Yoon...are you new? I haven't heard of your name. Or maybe I just never knew..."
"Yeah, I just arrived last night."
"Hold on," said Chomee, tossing the receiver on her bed. She dashed out of her room in her sleepwear across to the living room and up the stairs. She tapped on Jiyong's door lightly and waited for an answer.
"If it's for me, I'm not accepting."
Chomee looked up at the voice. For an awkward moment, Jiyong towered over her and she had forgotten at that same moment that he was blind. His smooth olive skin glowed with the radiant sun, his ebony colored hair was parted in the middle, bringing an exotic look to his eyes. His thin frame stood awkwardly beside her and she stared up into his eyes. "Jiyong sir," she greeted.
"You're in my way. I need to get in my room," he said gruffly.
Chomee moved aside and reached for his hand, forgetting that Jiyong doesn't depend on anyone.
"I don't need assistance. Thank you."
Chomee stepped away and followed him into his room.
"It's Seonghoon sir."
"Tell him I'm not speaking to him."
"But why?" Chomee couldn't help herself.
"Would you just go? I want to be alone!"
Chomee obediently left his room and told Seonghoon exactly what Jiyong had asked her to do.
"What?! Why not?!!" Seonghoon screeched.
"I dunno. I asked him the same thing, but he waved me away," Chomee mumbled.
In the background, Chomee could hear a few other people in the same room as Seonghoon. Somewhere in the house, another person picked up another extension. "What she say?" another voice demanded.
"That's Jiwon," Seonghoon introduced.
"Hi," Chomee said timidly.
"Hi? Who's this?" Jiwon asked Seonghoon, confused.
"Chomeeeheeee," Jaeduk hollered in the background.
"Is Jaeduk from Pusan?"
"Yeah, heavy accent, huh?" Seonghoon chimed.
"Uh-huh," Chomee agreed.
"Who's Chomee?" Jiwon asked, switching back to the subject.
"New servant," Seonghoon answered.
"Nurse," Chomee corrected.
"Nurse," Seonghoon repeated firmly.
"Oh...Where's Jiyong?" Jiwon asked, repeating all of the questions Seonghoon had asked earlier.
"He's in his room. He won't speak with you."
"Me? How dare him! Did you say Seonghoon or Jiwon?"
"Tell him to drag his ass right this second to the phone! Tell him Jiwon hyung told him to!"
Chomee shifted uncomfortably at Jiwon's command. Jiyong had already dismissed Seonghoon, how could she get him to talk to Jiwon?
"Wuddo you want?" a deep voice came on.
"Jiyong!" Jiwon exclaimed, voicing Chomee's thoughts.
"You can go now, Chomee. I got it," Jiyong said softly.
Chomee slowly returned the receiver to its place on the cradle. Jiyong..Jiyong...how can I get him to be normal again?"
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