Chapter 15: Il Minjoon

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Hae Gi squatted on the ground looking a bit dazed. She stared at her dirty hands, looking particularly at a long white strand.


It was her hair.


Gone was her once jet black hair, as it became riddled with white as years passed.


It reminded her that this was real, she was getting old.


All alone, she was left behind. This courtyard reminded her of the time she spent with that little boy who made the whole courtyard warm and bright. That little boy who was separated from her because of her own inadequacy. 


Years had passed and she did not fail to look at the door every single day. She held on to that false hope, that maybe he'll come back.


But he didn't.


Ever since she'd gone out to seek for the old man, she was imprisoned within these empty walls. She couldn't do anything. It was the Emperor's orders.


She knew something changed but she was always left in the dark, trapped in this hollow cage.  She felt a whirlwind of emotions. Inside her heart, she can't help this feeling of remorse and desolation. She was worried for a child that was not her own, hurting from a man that she did not really know, and confused about what she should do.


She knew that she was normally stronger than this. She was once a doctor for Christ's sake. She was equipped with these learned abilities and skills, yet she couldn't make use of it all.


Hae Gi once again stared at the silvery strand of hair. Time flies so fast.


She wondered when this will end. This whole parade of masks that she wore with the people around her. She once again remembered that little boy that always looked at her with bright twinkling eyes. Holding her hand, worrying for her, laughing with her. 


She knew that to the people around her, she was Hae Gi in their eyes. So she tried to act like Hae Gi. But she couldn't act at all when facing that child. She couldn't will herself to lie in front of him.


She usually hates children - their constant crying, their constant tantrums - her patience just couldn't keep up with them. Yet with Minjoon, she was more tolerant and endearing. He invoked a new side of her that she did not know.


She was plainly herself when she was with that child.


She felt that Minjoon was her first friend in this world. Her one and only solace.


So when they separated, she felt discarded. Riddled with negativity that changed her physically and mentally. She wondered if he already ate, if he already slept early, if he already took his afternoon nap. These unending questions further deepened the feelings and emotions that she felt. And she wondered if this was really hers.


The doors suddenly opened with a bang.


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