Yang Minjung, a very pretty 19 year old girl, sat on a bench in the park a warm day in late October and stared out into nothing.
“..jungie-ah… Minjungie-ah!!” she heard someone call. She snapped out of her trancelike state and looked up, only to find the worried stare of her best friend Choi Kwangmin. “Ah. Hyung?” she mumbled. It was an old joke between them. When they first met four years ago, Minjung had had short hair and a very boyish attitude so everyone would assume she was a boy. She and Kwangmin had made fun of it and she had started calling him “hyung“, and as she grew older and more girl-ish, that habit had stayed, and Kwangmin didn’t seem to mind.
“Aish Jungie. I’ve been calling out to you for the past ten minutes. What’s wrong, did anything happen?” Minjung shook her head. She didn’t want him to feel worried about her. “N-nothing is wrong hyung. Everything is fine. I.. I was just thinking over something.” she said, sounding as convincing as she could manage, though her voice stuttered a bit. Of course Kwangmin noticed the slight hesitation in her speak, but he decided not to pursue the matter any further. For now at least. He had a slight idea about what was wrong, and he didn’t want that talk to happen in the park, surrounded by the public. He put a hand on her shoulder and squeezed it lightly. She flinched a tiny bit, only enough for him to just barely notice. He sighted: “If you say so Jungie...” She could hear he didn’t believe her one bit, but she was grateful that he had let it go. She really did not want to talk about it.
She smiled and looked down at her watch: 17.16. She had been out for nearly four hours! She had to get home before anything bad happened. Her boyfriend Son Woojin had quite the temper and he would get very mad whenever he didn’t know where she was. “I have to go now hyung. It was nice seeing you!” she said as she started to run back the way she had come from. “Take care!” Kwangmin sighed. Not sure if she could even hear him anymore.
Minjung stood outside of the apartment door. She took a deep shaky breath and opened the door. “Oppa, I’m home.” she called. She took her shoes off and hung her jacket in the closet, walked into the living room and looked around to find Woojin staring at her. “Where were you?” he said in a deep voice. “Ah. I was just out. I’m sorry oppa. I forgot the time again. I will start the cooking now.” she bowed deeply and hurried out to the kitchen to start preparing their dinner. Anything to get away from the tense atmosphere that surrounded the living room.
Minjung had just started on the food when Woojin stepped out into the kitchen. He grabbed her arm and pushed her against the wall. “I thought I told you to tell me when you went out.” he said in a low voice. “I’m sorry oppa!” she said and tried to free herself from his grab. But he was too strong. “Oppa you’re hurting me!” she whined and felt the grip on her arm getting tighter. Definitely intended to leave a mark. “Just so you remember who you belong to.” he said, let go and walked out of the kitchen to leave her to finish preparing the rest of the dinner.
The silence in the room could cut. They had just finished eating dinner, and Woojin turned on the TV to watch some baseball game. Minjung took out the dishes and started washing them. Her hands were shaking and she dropped a plate to the floor that broke into pieces. She knelt down and started picking it up, only to hear footsteps and a moment later Woojin appeared in the door. “What was that?” he asked. “I… My hand just slipped and I dropped the plate.” she didn’t look at him. He walked towards her and grabbed her wrist and pulled her up. She looked at him with frightened eyes. “Didn’t I tell you to look at me when I speak to you? Show some respect!” “You should show some respect too oppa” she mumbled, but instantly regretted it when she felt his hand hit the back of her head. Her mind blacked out for a second. “I’m sorry oppa. I shouldn’t have said that. I’m sorry.” Fear showing in her voice. She could feel tears forming in the corner of her eyes, but she quickly blinked them away. She wouldn’t give him the pleasure of seeing her cry. He let go of her and mumbled “stupid bitch” and walked out. A second later she heard the front door open and close. She sank onto the floor. Tears now streaming down her face and that well known feeling of hopelessness and anxiety washing into her mind. She felt sick. Her stomach curled up and threatened to turn inside out. But she got a hold of herself and ran to the toilet, just to vomit a second later. She could feel her knees give in and she sank to the floor. She grabbed her legs and held them tight to her chest while she rocked back and forth, trying to stop shaking, slowly singing an old lullaby her mum used to sing for her when she was a child. Back when everything had been okay, when she had been safe.
A while after she calmed down enough to get up. She walked out to the kitchen and cleaned up the rest and went to the bedroom, laid down on the bed, not bothering to remove her clothes. Exhaustion washed over her and she soon drifted off to a dreamless sleep.
She opened her eyes slowly and looked at the clock. It was 02.40. Confused she looked around, searching for that which had woken her up. It was Woojin that had just come home. Drunk again.
He removed his clothes, laid down onto the bed, eyeing her still fully clothed figure. “Yah! Why are you sleeping in your clothes!” he said. Not bothering to wait for an answer he ripped her shirt off and pulled down her skirt. He started kissing her jaw and neck and moved down further biting hard every now and then to leave marks. She closed her eyes to prevent herself from crying. She knew what he was doing. He was marking her, so she couldn’t show herself to anyone else. He knew she was too ashamed of her body. He smirked when he saw her closed eyes and pained face. “Hey.” he said and grabbed her jaw between his fingers. “Look at me” he said with a dangerous lustful voice as he spread her legs and pushed into her hard. She looked at him with empty eyes. She learned long ago not to feel anything when he took advantage of her. He was all she had, she wasn’t worth anything, and nobody wanted her. So she just bit her lip hard to stop the trembling and dealt with the pain.
The next morning she woke up and went to the kitchen to make coffee and breakfast for Woojin and hurried off to work.