3. Why do you put up with it?
Chapter three: Why do you put up with it?
Kwangmin came walking down the street, and into the park where he saw Minjung sat on the bench and waited for him. He smiled as he saw her. He had liked Minjung for quite a while now. He wasn’t sure when these feelings had started. But one day he had realised that he did indeed like her very much.
But he knew she was with Woojin, so he never did anything about it. Even though he felt there was something wrong with Woojin, he never talked about it with Minjung. Afraid it would upset her and make her angry with him. He sat down beside her and pulled her into a gentle hug. She smiled at him “Hey hyung.” He loved to see her smile, but he didn’t fail to notice how recently that smile never reached her eyes. It made him feel a sting in his heart. Something was wrong. Something she was not telling him. It pained him to see her turn into a shadow of the happy and ever laughing girl she used to be. But he was too afraid to ask her, even though he had a slight idea about what was wrong.
They sat for about half an hour, just talking about small nothingness’ that didn’t really mean anything. Just happy to be in each other’s company for a while. Until Minjung got up. “I have to leave now. Thank you for spending some time with me hyung~!” she said and turned around to leave. Kwangmin grabbed her and hugged her tight. “Jungie-ah. Remember, I’m always here for you okay? No matter what.” He knew he couldn’t get her to tell him what was wrong, but he figured he could at least let her know he would be there for her, if she ever decided to tell him. She looked at him surprised, but then smiled. “Thank you hyung. I’ll remember.” and turned around and walked away.
A week passed before they saw each other again.
Minjung had been in a fight with Woojin. This had earned her a big blue bruise on her fore arm. Kwangmin noticed that every time he touched her arm, she would flinch and a small hiss would escape her lips. He grabbed her wrist, pulled up her sleeve and saw the bruise on her arm. He looked shocked. “What happened?” “… I. Uh. Nothing. I slipped on work the other day” she said, avoiding his gaze. He took a deep breath and voiced the suspicion he had felt for some time now. “He hit you, didn’t he?” She looked shocked. For a moment, she thought about revealing everything to him. About the abuse, the violence, and the scars. But she decided it was for the best if no one knew. Not even him. “No. I really did slip hyung!” she said. But he noticed the hesitation. “Why? Why do you put up with it? You deserve so much better Jungie-ah” he said. Minjung felt her eyes sting, threatening to release the tears she desperately tried to hold in. No she didn’t. She didn’t deserve anything. She was worthless. She was broken. She was nothing.
She pushed him away and ran as fast as she could. She could hear him yell after her. But she couldn’t stop. She knew she had hurt him. But she had to push him away. She wasn’t his problem, and it would be best for him if he wasn’t a part of her life anymore. She started crying, not caring if anyone saw it. She hurried home, and out to the bathroom. Not noticing Woojin’s questions. She desperately searched for something sharp. She found a razor blade and pulled her sleeve up. She starred at her arm. There were a lot of scars now. She started cutting a thin line, but it didn’t take away the pain. She cut deeper than before, the blood dripped down on the floor and mixed with her tears. Why didn’t it help? Why didn’t the pain in her heart disappear like it used to? She cut deeper again and again and again. She started feeling dizzy, and before she knew it she collapsed on the floor. Crying harder than she ever had before. Clutching her arm, holding on to herself like she was afraid that if she let go, she would fall apart. She felt so alone. So broken.