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Your loss, not mine.

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Soojin

 

22 September 2016

2.38 am

Her mind is filled with thoughts of Shuhua.

She's remembering every whisper, every word that her lips had uttered, and Soojin's head slams against a fistful of self-hatred. Her tongue burning at the thought of the other girl's lips, stomach drowning in its own burning pit.

She remembers the way how Shuhua would let her hands roam at the expanse of her ribcage, how she would put her ears to Soojin's chest to hear every breath she was taking.

She remembers the way Shuhua's face fell when she couldn't hear anything.

She remembers thinking it was her own fault that she pushed the girl away.

She remembers questioning herself for hating the other girl for leaving, when all she did was stop her from staying.

 

2.45 am

She's choking from her own breath, unsurprised that she would die from her own preservation. She thought that if she let herself fall without Shuhua, she could survive. But in the end, she only let herself suffer.

She remembers the Sunday mornings with cups of hot tea. The early mornings they shared the bathtub. The quiet nights they shared the story of a book they've finished.

She remembers the reason why she woke up early in the morning, to see the smile adorning Shuhua's face like sunbeams. She remembers thinking that Shuhua was made of too much sunshine, and she had to cover herself to resist the light.

 

2.59 am

Soojin remembers how Shuhua had mended her heart with her slender fingers, ignoring every explosion and every indifference that she had given her. Shuhua's insistence on fixing her, that Soojin sometimes almost couldn’t breathe.

How Soojin wanted to set herself free from her utter destruction, too stupid to realize that Shuhua was her satisfaction.

She remembers Shuhua realizing too late that Soojin wasn't a broken bird, but a ticking bomb.

 

3.00 am

Soojin realizes too late that Shuhua was already gone.

The demons are inside Soojin's mind now, they know how much she misses her. So they understand where she's been. The pulse of her veins throbbing at her wrists.

Maybe that's why she feels desperate to feel something, anything.

The silence lingers on to her like a second skin, stinging her like burning ice. Cold. Heartless. She stares at her hands, feeling nothing, and thinking nothing.

Except for the wave of all the old feelings she's been trying to drown. It's been days, the same emotions following her: Tasteless and insipid, almost as if it was mocking her. Making her feel more lost and alone, but she swallows it down. It's easy to get used to something when it happens everyday.

It's easy to get tired of something when it happens everyday.

 

6.38 am

There's something melancholic waking up to an empty room, Soojin knows, because when her eyes flutter open, all she could see is a ghost.

She isn't sure what time it is, because the sunlight could never really seep in through the windows. Her eyes are trying to follow the small stream of light. While ignoring the burn of the empty space beside her.

Sadness and anxiety are no strangers to her. They've introduced themselves in her life without invitation, and have burrowed themselves deep within her.

She's not a fan of them, and she doesn't make it obvious. There's no point, however, in running or hiding or even denying it right now.

No matter what she does, she won't ever be sure of what's wrong with herself.

She closes her eyes, and can hear nothing but the silence that she hates.

 

10.28 am

Soojin doesn't know where she is going, her feet are moving without any plan. Just taking her anywhere through autopilot.

She doesn't know where she wants to go, but her mind can't focus on anything and just want to escape to somewhere quiet.

The road is familiar to her, but she's never actually walked down here by herself before. These streets are ones she's never walked here anymore. They pull her back and she surrenders to the memories she's been running from.

 

19 September 2016

3.32 pm

She watched her go.

She didn't say anything.

She felt nothing, either. As soon as she left the room, she went on to pick up the pieces.

Small metal bits from a tiny metal figurine that was one of the few collateral damage from the event. She cleaned up, nicely as she could. Even her side. Especially her side.

But the entire time, she was quiet. Saying nothing. Trying to feel nothing.

She lay down on her own bed, but for once, the sheets weren't as comforting without that familiar weight and warmth.

In the end, it took a while, but she still fell asleep.

 

22 September 2016

5.42 pm

The halls echo with each step she takes.

Echoing.

Echoing.

Echoing.

Until it shouts in her ears; the laughter and shrieks they shared, that used to fill up the empty spaces of the room, Shuhua's cute broken korean, haunting her everyday.

It's been a day. Going out and coming home.

She wipes her eyes. They were red and sore from- from dust. Yes. She had been cleaning. Again. Going through all their- her belongings. Running her fingers over her desk, her works, her- She keeps herself busy. Distracted. Procrastinating by being productive. Her phone was vibrating an awful lot in her hand. Not that anyone was contacting her. Anyone important, anyway. She knows she have to go back to work, but it won't be soon.

She took a few breaths. Guilt was creeping in, but she still had enough of her facade intact to ignore it.

Shuhua's number, already etched into her memory for a long time now, effortlessly appeared on her screen. She bit the inside of her cheek as it finally began to dial. She waited. A moment, now gone...

She didn't pick up. Why wouldn't she pick up? Why-

No. No. Not yet. Try again. She steels herself once more, only to be met by the same result. The number you dialed is out of coverage area. Pl- She hung up ahead of it ther time. Her phone was off, or she was out of range, or, or...

No. Shuhua can take care of herself,  she's strong. She'll be fine, they'll be fine.

Gods, why did she have to go. Why did she let her go? Please. Please, come home.

 

7.41pm

A letter sits untouched on her desk. She ignores it. She's been ignoring it for a while now. Acting as if the presence of the letter didn't burn through her. Past all the lies and walls that she's built around her. The silence screams at her, with all the words she's never said. And all the secrets that she's tried to keep. She wishes that she could be aloof about all of this, ignorance can be comforting as it is terrifying.

A letter sits on her desk, untouched, unopened. Almost as if opening it would mean erasing the last bits of Shuhua's self that she gave to her. Opening it would mean accepting that Shuhua was gone, and all that she left was a piece of paper.

 

23 September 2016

9.31 am

On the very rare occasion that Soojin gets to see Minnie, they usually have their monthly meetings in the coffee shop Minnie absolutely adores. The interior is slightly small – somewhat the size of one of the bathrooms in her parents mansion. The tables are all made of mahogany wood, tiny stools barely fitting the two seated across each other.

"What is it?" Soojin asks. She settles her elbows on the table and links her fingers together. She hides her lips behind her cup of tea. "You seem to be observing me." Soojin shouldn't have questioned that, Minnie was always observant.

The older girl purses her lips together, her eyes were flooded with concern. She takes a small sip of coffee before continuing.

"How are you holding up?"

 

19 September 2016

9.16 pm

Minnie is surprised to hear a knock on her door. Even more so when she sees it was her bestfriend. After graduating, Soojin had moved out of their place to stay in an apartment she wanted to share with Shuhua.

"Moon must be pretty blue for you to come back here."

She was taken aback when she noticed that the girl in front of her was different from the Soojin she usually sees. Her normally bright brown eyes were dark, like they've lost the spark. Soojin looks down, unable to meet with Minnie's eyes. Her friend looks like a dying candle trying to stay lit in the middle of a storm. Minnie ushers Soojin inside the apartament they used to share.

Soojin says nothing, letting the silence fill in the gaps of the conversation. She shuffles towards the couch, sitting down gingerly. Picking apart the storm from inside of her. What can she tell Minnie?

"Hey," Minnie voice is soothing, her hand moving. Reaching out to her bestfriend, the person that has and always will be there for her. Already guessing why Soojin came back here. "You don't have to share if you're not ready yet."

Minnie envelops her in a hug. And Soojin leans into the touch, inhaling deeply. She's taken back to simpler times, to happier times, and she closes her eyes one more time and just loses herself in her memories.

 

23 September 2016

9.32 am

Soojin feels an ache where Shuhua used to put her head on, to listen to her breathing. She finds herself wondering if the other girl thought of her, if the other girl knew how much Soojin cares for her. If Shuhua still knows the taste of Soojin's kisses.

Soojin remembers how Shuhua sat in front of her in the classroom, her beautiful black hair glinting like it held Soojin's every secret. She remembers the way Shuhua's eyes were the color of the night sky the first time they talked. How her voice was as raw as the promise she'd never kept.

She remembers the first time they kissed two years ago. She remembers wanting to touch Shuhua's light skin, as if it were her lifeline.

Minnie calls rear her back out of her thoughts, and Soojin blinks to find her hand reaching over to the woman's face. Her fingers are trembling, her breathing unsteady.

She's remembers how it felt like she tasted everything she ever wanted in Shuhua's lips.

"I'm sorry," she says, drawing her hand back to curl it into a fist.

She remembers thinking how the sun looked different.

"It's fine," Minnie hesitates. "Are you fine?"

Soojin's breath hitches, her eyes unable to break contact. "I'm fine."

Soojin remembers Shuhua saying how she was the only person she would ever love. She remembers the taste, the sound, the shape of that moment.

"But why-?" Minnie bites on her lower lip. "Soojin."

She remembers how she felt like when Shuhua returned the all the parts of her heart she'd given her.

"Yes?"

She remembers that she had already lost Shuhua. Right in that moment, right in that room they shared.

"Why are you crying?"

"I don't," Soojin whispers, finally feeling the tears strained on her cheeks. "I just-"

"I don't know how else to love her. I don't know how to be what she needs."

She remembers-

"I don't know," Soojin says, her heart gripping in her chest. "I don't know how she left me so easily when I can still see her smile when I close my eyes."

She remembers–

Minnie transfers to the bench where Soojin sits on, allowing her to let down her walls with her.

 

6.08 pm

She walks with Minnie back to the empty apartment. Despite the conspicuous burning absence, Soojin can't bring herself to leave.

"Soojin," Minnie starts, not sure on what to say to her. On what she could say to make the pain of loss more bearable. "It's not your fault. Okay? It's not always going to be your fault."

"How can it be not my fault when I never gave her a reason to stay?"

They stay silent in front of the door, staring with one another. Minnie's heart hurting at the fact that her bestfriend was in pieces. Sighing, Minnie tells her that she should open the letter, a kind of closure that she deserves. Soojin barely registers the words she said, nodding automatically without any understanding.

They exchange their farewells, Soojin steeling her nerves as she walks inside. Towards the desk with the letter.

With trembling hands, she opens it. An elegant script that Soojin knows all too well, words that are illegible with the tears staining them.

Was it hers or was it Shuhua's?

 

Soojin,

I--

I am so sorry. It's just that my life has been a constant question of whether I'm doing this right or if I'm actually good enough for you. I sometimes think that loving you is hopeless because your mind is a mess of colorless palettes and mine is made of  flowers and kisses with no other purpose than to catch your self destruction. I just wish that yearning for you wasn't a crime.

But if there's one thing I've learned, is that I can't force myself to someone who no longer wants me, or that never wanted me at all.

You always told me that I was never a burden, but I just think that this isn't all worth it.

You picked up my heart in your hands and placed it in your pocket. You're all I prayed for, all I ever needed, wanted. And I wanted to be the one for you too, but deep down... I knew I weren't.

Even when my throat closes up every time I think of how I fall like a fool for the way that you smile, for the darkness that are dwelling in your eyes, and how I can almost taste the stars on your lips.

If I could, I would count all the times I thought about losing you and tally it on my wrist. But you would grab my arm and kiss the pain away. Somehow you always know exactly where I ache.

All I wanted was for you to see how much I adore you. I wanted to show you how much I could love you if you let me. I hoped you realized that it was worth fighting.

Soojin, I--

I don't know how to say this. My bones are broken from trying to fix you. I've tried everything, but we are very much different, you've said that yourself. I just can't comprehend how much you hurt the people you love.

I am keeping my tongue inside my lips to prevent myself from exploding, but you're making it harder when you're giving me all this pain.

-Shuhua

PS: "Maybe, we'll meet again. When we're slightly older, and our minds less hectic. And I'll be right for you, and you'll be right for me. But right now, I am chaos to your thoughts, and you are poison to my heart." is a line by Chris Cadle. I hope it rings out true for us.