or: The curses of love / The trials of reason
by Raísa Beatriz J. de Assis
WARNING: This fanfiction has mild despictions of blood, branding (?), kidnapping and smoking. I really don’t know how to tag this so read at your own risk.
“I seem to have run in a great circle, and met myself again on the starting line.”
Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
Once more she woke up alone in her bed. Not that she expected anything else.
Sleeping alone is still hard for her. After dating her for so many years, Sumin honestly thought that they’d be together forever. She became spoiled by their relationship and honestly thought that she and her lover would be together forever. It was so sweet. And so naive.
Sumin wanted to puke.
She wasn’t a kid anymore. She couldn’t afford herself to still believe in fairy tales or true love. Not after that day. Sooner or later she had to grow up and face the world.
She stared blankly at the empty space beside her, not daring to move. The other pillow was one of the first things to go, alongside her relationship ring and their pictures together. These were first steps in overcoming the other woman.
Spoiler alert: it didn’t work. She could still imagine the smell of her ex lover’s shampoo as she came out of the shower, their playful kisses and vows exchanged in between caresses and love-making.
She craved for her.
She craved for her stupid smile, her stupid voice, her stupid pink hair and her stupid face. Gods she missed her so much.
And this big bed didn’t help it.
She got up and took a shower. No more moping around, she decided. She was lucky to have a day off, but she had to get a grip in her life and soon. She had already decided to move out of her apartment. She made plans after her parents accident. Going back home and noticing that her family wasn’t there to see her was gut-wrenching, but then she thought that it would get better with time…
…Until she was cheated on.
While she was looking for clean clothes inside of her wardrobe, Sumin accidentally found an old shirt that her girlfriend liked a lot. It was a white cotton shirt, with embroidered flowers in its long sleeves. She approached it to her face. It still smelled like her, like roses in a summer day.
She ripped it off with her bare hands and threw it out in the trash, tired of those old memories haunting her.
Since the day she caught Baek Seju with a man in her bed, she couldn’t stand the smell of roses.
One night, while Sumin was going back to her new apartment, a man suddenly talked to her. When she turned to answer him, he covered her mouth and nose with a humid cloth. She tried to run, but he grabbed her arm, not allowing any move. She tried to punch him and hold her own breath but it was far too late once the chemicals started kicking in. She felt her arms and legs getting numb, asking herself why was this happening to her.
Her vision faded to black…
She woke up hours later, unsure of where she was. Her hazy vision and her headache made it harder for her to concentrate. When her eyes focused again, she realized she was in a warehouse. Maybe one in the docks, based on the smell of dead fishes. Out of the window the sun was rising. She was gone for so long and no one would realize it until it was too late. She shivered in fear and because of the cold floor. Her shirt was ripped off, exposing her white bra. How did she not notice that before? She panicked. What would happen to her now? Was she going to get killed… or worse? She tried to get up and run, but her arms and legs were tied up. Her aggressor thought about everything.
“You finally woke up.”
She heard footsteps and a voice closing in. She turned in the direction of the voice and for the first time she had a clear vision of the man. For her surprise, it was one of Seju’s relatives.
“I don’t know what she saw in you anyway.” he spoke when he finally stopped. “You look rather average.”
She didn’t know his name – better, she never knew their names. She didn’t bother. Her ex girlfriend has a big family and she didn’t care enough about them to try to remember all of them. They were all vipers, waiting for the moment to bite and inject venom in their victim.
And besides, they didn’t even like Sumin. “Any friend of the bastard child only meant trouble” she once heard one of them say. She was glad she would never deal with them again after the break up.
Once upon a time she used to feel sorry for Seju.
Now, who would feel sorry for their newest victim?
He approached her, holding something in his hand. She couldn’t see it, but it looked like it was a small object. He turned her over, making her face touch the ground. She tried to protest, but his grip on her was stronger than her resolve. Suddenly, she felt a sharp pain in her left shoulder. She found out that he was carrying a razor in the worst way possible.
At first she didn’t scream, adrenaline dulling the pain. But then it cut her deeper, making more blood flow. She couldn’t handle it. She screamed and begged for him to stop. The razor cut her as if it was carving something in her skin, maybe a tree branch. She couldn’t see it, but the torturous pain didn’t tell otherwise.
When he was satisfied he got up and threw the razor to the other side of the warehouse. He had done his job.
“You seemed to be doing quite well. She, on the other hand, didn’t even have the strength to tell me not to come back. I don’t like that one bit.”
Sumin’s eyelids got heavy. She was losing too much blood and soon she would pass out. She couldn’t believe that she was going to die there, forgotten by everybody and no one would mourn her. She couldn’t hear him very well and breathing was getting harder, but finally she got strength to say something.
“What do you think…you’re doing…”
“I’m placing a curse on you.”
At the distance, she thought she heard the ambulance, but maybe it was her imagination playing tricks in her head.
“A curse you’ll never forget.”
And she never did.
One of the first things she did when she was released from the hospital was to go out with Nam. They didn’t talk for awhile since they were both busy: Nammi with her job, Sumin with her life in general. Right now they were at a coffee shop, waiting for their orders.
“You shouldn’t be smoking, you know. It’s bad for your body.”
“It’s not that bad.”
“You say it now, that you’re young. Wait until you’re 40 or 50 and then we talk.”
She picked up that habit after the…incidents. Both of them. She bought her pack soon after she was discharged from the hospital. At first it was terrible. She coughed a lot and the smoke made her nauseous. But now, she was almost like a pro.
“So, did you find someone new?”
Yes, of course she would ask that.
“I’m not interested in relationships right now.”
“C’mon, midget! Life is too short for this. How long it has been since you two broke up?”
“Stop calling me like that! And honestly I don’t remember.” she lied. “Besides, no one picked my attention yet.”
“If you really want to move one, you should try dating somebody else for a change.” Nammi glanced over her shoulders, looking at the other side. “That waitress looks really nice.”
“Why don’t you shut up for a second?” she blushed.
The waitress came, bringing with her their dishes. Two slices of cake and two cups of coffee. Sumin took a sip from her drink, almost regretting ordering it.
“I thought you hated coffee.”
“Yes, I did.” she said and took another sip. “There’s a lot about me that has changed.”
The doorbell rang once. She was expecting that. After all, she was the one that called that person over. She got up and walked towards the front door, suddenly feeling as if her feet were walking on jello. She held her breath once the door was open.
At the other side, there was Baek Seju, her ex girlfriend. And damn, she was as pretty as ever.
“Hello Sumin.” Seju said, smiling.
“Hey.” she answered, displeased. She tried to keep it brief.
She let her come inside, closing the door after that.
“I’m going to get your stuff.” and then she went to her bedroom, to retrieve the box, filled with objects that once wore from her ex girlfriend. Since they broke up, there was no reason to keep them any longer. Sumin went back to the living room and saw the other woman looking at the city lights.
“This view is amazing.”
“Yeah, sure, here you have your stuff. Could you please go home now?”
Seju turned to look at her, her grey eyes filled with sadness.
“I already said I am sorr–.” Seju tried to touch her on her right shoulder. Sumin recoiled, slapping her hand and dropping the box on the floor.
“Don’t. You. Dare.” she said, letting out her pent-up anger. “I’m tired of you, of your attitude. I’m tired of you in my life!”
“Look, I just want to talk to you.” Some time ago Sumin would have listened. She would do anything for that woman.
But now’s different.
She wasn’t a kid anymore.
“Oh yeah? ‘Cause that’s exactly the opposite of what I wanna do.”
“…then, what do you want to do?”
They stared at each other, not daring to move. It was as if time had frozen for them right on that instant. It was their point of no return. They stared at each other, deciding what to do. Suddenly, they closed in. They didn’t know who started the kiss. Maybe it was Sumin, who pulled Seju in by grabbing on her shirt. Maybe it was Seju, who grabbed the shorter woman by her hair and wouldn’t let her go even if her life depended on it.
They also didn’t remember when they went to the bedroom, but they made sure to forget their clothes in the way.
Don’t get her wrong, Sumin still hated Baek Seju. They didn’t make up. Their relationship would never be the same again. Even so, she liked to pretend that they were still two dumb teenagers in love, two young goddesses that had an eternity together. Even after all that happened there was still a part of her – and she didn’t know how much control this part had over her – missed the good old times.
It was indeed a curse.
A curse that didn’t allow them to move on, but it wasn’t like they wanted to.
They couldn’t stop. They wouldn’t stop.
It was too late for them.
She woke up in her bed and, beside her, there was a pink haired woman. She didn’t expect anything else.
Hey there! Thank you for reading my WDTFS fanfiction. It was an honor to participate in this fan event. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when I wrote this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally #TeamBlonde but I can’t deny that Sumin’s backstory with Seju is pretty interesting, so I decided to focus on that: two broken women, too broke to do anything with their lives. I hope they can find happiness some day. English is not my first language so forgive me if there’s something odd in here. Hugs from Brazil to all of you!