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“Sometimes, you just need to listen to your surroundings.” This normally was my mantra, but I’d been so busy this past week; gathering things for Kyungwon’s New Year’s party, making sure everything was ready to go. Last time we let her go out with a list, she came back with a stray dog. I still don’t know how that one happened. “I got Soju for us and some sparkling juice for Bada.” Minkyung would murder me if I tried to sneak Bada a drink, she’s practically her mom by now. “Oh, I forgot the beef, no big deal I’ll just-” What was that sound? Everyone else is out, doing…well whatever it is they do when we have free time. “Did Eunwoo leave the window open again? Every single time we head out, she leaves out something. Today it was the window, yesterday the fridge door was open. I know what her resolution needs to be, try to leave everything out when you leave. “Let me just get the beef and come back, they should all be here soon.” I locked up and made my way to the market.

“Meat, meat, where is the meat in this store?” I don’t normally even go here, but it was the closest one and I’m starting to run behind schedule. “Was there anything else that we were missing? Fireworks? Scratch that, we tried that last year and Kyungwon almost got us evicted. The landlord still hasn’t forgiven us for setting her rosebush on fire. “Let me just find someone that works here, I don’t have time to be wandering around right now.” It looks like there’s a worker further down, let me ask them and then hurr-”

“Yae…” Ok I thought I was imagining it back at the house, but this time I know I heard something. I could feel my heartbeat shake my clothes as I looked around. There wasn’t anyone near me, no one that looked even remotely sketchy, just the normal busyness of a market. Matter of fact, it was really busy. So busy, I couldn’t even collect my thoughts. There were just all these people rushing by, getting what they needed last minute, running around like ants trapped in a-”

“Can I help you with something?” I hadn’t even noticed that an employee had made their way over to me.

“What?”

“Do you need help with something, you seem really lost.” Great, it wasn’t bad enough that my heart almost jumped out of my chest, now this person thinks that I’m insane.”

“Yeah sorry about that, I was just looking for…oh there it is, excuse me.” How did I not see the meat at the end of the aisle? I really need to calm down. Grabbing the meat, I made my way back home. Once I got back to the house, only Bada was there. I guess the rest of them were still out shopping.

“Hey Bada, is anyone else back yet?”

“Nope not yet, just you. They really need to hurry though. You guys really aren’t good at doing things last minute.”

“Hey!”

“Well am I wrong?”

“Just help me with these bags.”

“Alright, alright.” She was a such a little knucklehead but she was just the light that we needed. I really can’t imagine things right now without her.

“Hey are you alright?”

“What do you mean?”

“You look really stressed out and your clenching the bag so hard, you’re about to put a hole in it.” I thought I had calmed down by now, but I guess what happened in the store really did stick with me. I know I didn’t make it up, there was something calling my name. I didn’t see them but darn it they were there.

“I’m fine, didn’t mean to worry you. Probably just stressed out about the party that’s all. Here, I’m going to lay down for a bit, can you put away the rest of the things?”

“Sure, no problem, just let me know if you need anything.” I made my way to the back and plopped on my bed, hoping that would calm me down. I normally don’t even get anxious like this, but right now I’m wound up to the extreme. My heart still feels like it’s in the middle of a sprint. “Maybe some cold air would help.” I know it’s the middle of winter right now and there’s ice everywhere but by this point I was desperate. If I didn’t get this sorted out now, this would only make for more problems. I’m really bad at hiding my emotions and I don’t want to bring everyone down. I walked up to the window and cracked it open, sticking my head outside. My nose and ears got red instantly, but it did make me feel a little bit better. The cold, winter air clearing my thoughts.

“Perfect, this is just what I needed.” I pulled my head in, but as quickly as peace had returned, fear came in and stamped it out. A handprint appeared on the window. No one was there, no one climbed out to where I was, there was just a handprint. “No, no, no this can’t be happening.” Maybe I just need to take a nap, pushed myself to the point of exhaustion. Yeah that’s all it was, I have been doing the absolute most for this party and need to relax. Just think of us looking at the stars tonight, how happy everyone will be at midnight, all the hard work you put into this party paying off. All you need right now is just to go to sleep for a little bit, a power nap will solve all this.

“Yaebin.” My eyes shot open, terrified before I realized it was just Bada.

“Don’t do that you scared me!” Bada just kept looking at me, smiling. “Did you put the bags away?” There was no response. “Ok…let me just check the list to see if there was anything I might’ve forgotten.” I turned to my dresser for only a moment, and in that moment Bada was gone. She didn’t run away because I didn’t hear any footsteps. “It’s alright, you’re just dreaming. Just go back to sleep, please go back to sleep.

“Yaebin.” This the voice was a lot clearer. The voice I’d been hearing all day, this was it without a doubt. Only thing was, what I was hearing now sounded way too familiar. Almost like the person I’m hearing is…”

“Bada?” I opened my eyes and tried to scream, but words were a foreign memory at what laid before. She was there in front of me, floating mere inches from my face. Her eyes were a coal black and her smile stretched all the way across her face, from ear to ear. The last thing I remember, was her lunging for me before everything went black.

Sometimes, the silence just wants to have a conversation.

Hours later

“I can’t believe we lost track of time!”

“Yaebin is going to be so pissed when we get back.”

“Eunwoo you think I don’t know that? Let’s just hurry up and get home.” All we had to do was go to the mall and pick up a few things, I’m downright embarrassed we got caught up clothes shopping. I opened the door slowly, hoping that Yaebin wasn’t waiting there with a bat or worse, a disappointed look. Instead, we were all greeted by Bada.

“Hey Bada, glad to see you’re home, have you seen Yaebin?”

“She’s in the back, I think she’s taking a nap. She seemed really stressed about getting the party ready.”

“Dang, we didn’t help at all by taking so long, we should probably go wake after we get everything set up.”

“No need to worry about that Minkyung. I’ll go check on Yaebin, you just worry about these party decorations.” She shot me a corny grin before heading off.

“Min…”

“Hold on, did you guys hear that?”

“Hear what Minkyung?”

“It sounded like someone was calling my name.”

“So that wasn’t just me that heard it then?”

“Make that three of us, I definitely heard that too.”

“What do you mean Minkyung?” Bada had walked a little bit closer. “I didn’t hear a thing.”