A Faint Smile

Won Hyunki is a normal teenager to the untrained eye but when looking past the surface, one would see a broken soul with a very dark and sorrowful past. One bright and warm summer day at school turns everything upside down and becomes all too much for him. The faces of the scornful and spiteful classmates, the reminder of an uncaring cold foster family waiting for him at home, the unbearable flashes of the accident that took his parents life. The memories haunt him, not giving a single moment of peace. There’s nothing left to return for…Nothing.
After a slow fall of darkness and emptiness, he finds himself in an unknown place. A place no normal citizen knows of. It has it’s own rules, procedures, purposes. Strangers wander down the mysterious corridors of the facility. But somehow where Hyunki ended up, has a connection to him, a connection that runs into the deepest part of his past.

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2. The Awakening

 

I came back to consciousness.

I had to process this, before I could even think.

What in the world? I had just come to my senses and could feel my heavy breathing. It was so heavy that if I couldn’t hear the air swooshing, I would have guessed I wasn’t even breathing. But I was. That was the bizarre thing…

The events of yesterday came like a light striking back to me. The pace of my heartbeats sped up and I felt a wave of nausea. Then followed by a pang of pain, torturous merciless pain. It was like a sickness inside me, my instincts were instantly alarmed.

Something was wrong. Something was very wrong, here. I mean besides that I’m supposed… to be dead. For gods sake!

A million questions popped in to my head.

Did my suicide attempt go wrong? Why was I alive? Where was I? Is this heaven? Or is this perhaps hell? Was I even alive? A pounding headache threaten me, that if I used anymore time thinking, it would explode. With that, I fell lightly asleep once again.

A screeching noise interrupted my sleep. I tried to see what it was but it was like glue held my eyes closed. After various tries I finally opened them, the bright lights almost blinding me. I had gotten used to the darkness. They finally adjusted after some time and I could sense the contours of the room. To my left there was something brown, a closet, beside it, a plant. The walls were all painted in a sharp white. Everything glowed white. Tears fell. The lights had made me all watery.

White? A memory flashed back:

“Grandma, what about the color white?” A little boy appeared in the room. It was me. But much younger, I looked around nine years old.

An old lady with a frizzy hairdo turned her head to the younger me.

She coughed. “What about white?” her rusty voice asked.

“Well. You said every color has its meaning. What about white?” The younger version’s eyes widen and looked expectantly.

“Oh, yes. Let me see… First of all, it means purity and symbolizes a fresh beginning.” She turned her head away again, and brought her gaze back to her book.

The memory was over, I tried to hold on to it but with no luck.

A fresh beginning.

Tiredness came storming once again. I was in such bad condition even looking did hurt. Suddenly, I saw movement at the entrance of the room. A door swung open with a squeaky noise but nobody there. Then a woman with a white apron passed the door quickly and disappeared soon enough again. I had only caught small glimpses, from what I could tell she had some kind of uniform on.

Is this a hospital? I asked myself.

Angered, the fright filled me. I wanted to be dead! Not in a hospital bed, this is possibly the worse thing that-

Someone’s voice cut me off.

“He’s awake?” a surprised tone in the voice.

A boy, in his late teens around eight-teen years old, appeared in the corridor. He was talking to another woman, in the same uniform and matching apron like the first woman. Who are they? The broad and tall guy neared the room, I jerked back in the bed in fear, and my back was tight against the headboard. What do they want?

He neared the end of the bed and directed his gaze at me, sizing me up.

“Hello, sleeping beauty. Finally up, huh?” his voice was very deep and manly. The guy was wearing a dark blue trench coat, along with tight black pants matched with some combat boots. Rather fashionable. His hair was curled up to every side, messy. Yet charming? The thing of all that stunned me was his eyes, they were big, somehow frog-like and had a dark brown color to them.

At the realization that he actually had spoken to me got me so surprised, that I actually shrieked.

He just shushed and said:

“No need to panic. You’re safe.” And then gave me a wide smile, that wasn’t comforting at all.

A silent pause, had he really said I’m safe?

“W-w-where am I?” I tried not to appear frighten and shocked, but I ended up seeming even more so with my voice cracking and stuttering.

“That, is a long story… You should worry more about getting well.”

I doubted everything he told me. Who was he to tell me that? This ain’t a hospital, that’s for sure. Something told me that they, whoever they were, weren’t saying the whole truth.

“Soon enough you’ll see.”

His slender hands slipped on the steel of the bed frame. Suddenly the door slammed, I shifted my attention from the guy to the other person, who emerged into the room.

“Mr. Choi, somebody wants to talk to you downstairs. It’s urgent.” A concern in her voice was obvious. It was the woman from earlier.

The guy, who apparently goes by the name Mr. Choi, grinned and his eyes formed to crescents.

“Well. Nice to see you too Noona Yuri. Please say hello to your new patient.” The woman’s name was Yuri. I was guessing she was a nurse then? The nurse bowed, gave me a genuine smile.

“Oh. I am the one and only, the principle of this academy. But I let everyone call me, Minho.”

The nurse slapped his shoulder playfully, giggling cutely. They seemed to be pretty close. If it weren’t for the pain in every inch of me, and the current situation… I would have maybe been fonder of them. But the truth was, that I was scarred. The headache still hadn’t gone away.

“We’ll let you sleep. Don’t be scared. Tomorrow we will answer all your questions.”

Minho and the nurse had turned their backs to me, walking down the corridor they’d come from.

“Sleep tight.” It was the nurse’s soothing voice. I kind of liked her, and there was this calming aura around her.

Then the world went black.

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