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What I Did for Love
Written By Val
My name is MiNa Nam. I'm 19, still very young, but I am dying. Not right now but my life is slowly fading away as I'm writing my story. At this moment I'm sitting at 'our' spot. Mine and Eun Ji Won, the love of my life.
The sun is slowly beginning to set over the lake. I took a glance at my reflection in the water. My outside looks have changed drastically within the past few months, but the water reflected the true me. Inside I'm still the same person.
I have done and given so much for love but never once, have I received
it back from Ji Won. There are times that I wanted to tell him everything
that I've done for him and make him love me back. But I can't.
So I did what felt right. I keep giving Ji Won my love and I never
asked for his love in return. Even though I'll leave this world pretty
soon, my love for him will still remain. My story begins when I first
met Ji Won six years ago on this one fateful day. It all started out
"You better come back here you good for nothing brat!"
I covered my ears with my palms. That was my stepmother calling me.
Her voice sounds murderous and I didn't want to face her today. She
had slapped and hit me too much already. I'm afraid I can't take it
anymore so I hid in my closet.
I'm just thirteen and whoever said 13 was an unlucky number, they were right. My mom had died when I was just turning ten. Before she died she told me that I was the most beautiful girl in the world and how proud she was to be my mother. She said even though she'll be gone, her love remains with me always.
Tears rolled down my cheeks. 'If you love me mommy, how can you be so selfish to leave me?' So now when I had turn 13 my dad had married Mok Young A, who is my stepmom today. She was a cold-hearted woman who tortured me all day. Any self-esteem I had for myself was shattered and I was living a nightmare.
My closet door suddenly opened.
*Whack whack whack.*
"Not again! Don't you see how much you're costing your father and me with your heart problems? If it wasn't for all these medical bills we wouldn't be so poor now!"
I had this heart condition where air would suddenly shut off and I couldn't breathe. The doctors are trying to save me by giving me a respirator and pills, but they're not sure how much longer I'll be able to live. My dad (who was a pathetic excuse for a man) came in.
He looked down at me with sorrowful eyes. He held my stepmom's arm lightly and said, "I think she had enough. You don't want her to have another attack. Calm down and let's have dinner."
"That's why I'm hitting her!" she yelled. "She got detention and stayed after school for an hour. She was supposed to be home to go buy food for dinner and make it. Your daughter is so evil. She wants me to starve or something!"
"I didn't get detention. The teacher wanted to talk to me about-"
But I was cut off by the whack of my stepmom's stick. I cried silently
in pain and turned away. I didn't want to look at her.
Despite the pain, I managed to say, "Sorry mom. Please forgive me."
My dad handed me some money. "Here. Go buy food to make mee-yuk-gook tonight." My stepmom's temper simmered down a little as my dad lead her out of my room.
I picked up the money and headed for the store. Mr. Choi, the owner of Choi Food Market, shook his head as I walked in. He knew what kind of hell I was going through. I finished my shopping and checked out.
"That'll be $3.49."
"What?" I asked. "Umm Mr. Choi. That's impossible. With all this stuff it should be around $15."
"I know Mina." Mr. Choi gave me a sad smile. "The exact price is $14.32. Why don't you keep the change for yourself?"
I opened my mouth in shock. "Mr. Choi I..I can't do that," I said as I handed him 20.
He only took five. "No. Keep it. I know that stepmom of yours don't give you any money."
I looked up at Mr. Choi with tears in my eyes. Here he was, just a
friend reaching out to me. I said thanks and headed for home.
"Shut up or I'll kill you!"
I shut my mouth instantly. I didn't want to die yet. In the moon's reflection I got a good look of my attacker. It was a boy who looked a little bit older than me. His face and clothes were dirty but he had really good features so I could tell he was extremely good-looking. But this was not a time to think about such things.
He held a table knife at my throat and said, "Give me all your
money or I'll kill you."
I guess you can call me the dumbest person alive. I was afraid I had kicked the boy too hard and permanently damaged him. Besides, since my life is hell already, I didn't want him to go through it too. So I turned back.
When I came back to the alley, the boy was still lying on the floor. He was moaning softly. I lifted him up gently. "Are you okay?" I asked. He shook his head no. "I'm sorry," I said to him. I reached into my pocket and pulled the money Mr. Choi gave me. "If you need money, then here. All I have is ten dollars."
I placed the money in his hand and walked away. He looked at me with this weird expression that I couldn't read. I picked up my groceries and this time I left without turning back. I could tell the boy was watching me as I was walking away
They were the richest people in all of Hawaii but they were also the
most messed up family. His dad would have a lot of women with him and
would betray a friend if it would bring him money.
When he ran away this time, he didn't have the chance to steal any money from his dad. So he had no choice but to rob somebody. When he saw the young girl walking out of the store, she seemed to be the perfect target. But things didn't turn out as planned.
Ji Won kept wondering why the girl gave him the money even though he
could have killed her. Ji Won knew he couldn't take the money because
she was the first person in his messed up life that was nice to him
because she wanted to be, not because she wanted something from him.
He wanted to give the money back.
Ji Won looked at the girl who looked like she was going to die.
I opened my eyes and saw a blurry object heading towards me. Then I
felt something soft pressing against my lips and I felt a gust of air.
Then I realized the boy was giving me air. I couldn't believe what was
happening. I blushed and gently pushed him away.
The boy turned slightly red. "Uhh you're welcome. You kinda scared me there."
"Sorry about that. Well, what is it that you want from me?"
"Here." He handed me back the same ten dollars I had given
him. I looked up at him.
Just as he walked away, I heard his stomach grumble. I bit my tongue so I wouldn't laugh. Since he didn't take charity, I said, "Um, hey. I just made some food and I don't know if it's good or not. I need a guinea pig because I don't want to serve it to my parents if it isn't and besides, you did save my life.
Ji Won looked at her. 'Why is she being so nice to me?' he thought.
He knew she was just saying that because she heard him say he doesn't
want charity. Ji Won's stomach was growling like crazy. He hasn't eaten
for 2 days already and the mention of food was killing him.
I hesitated before I asked him the next question. "Umm so what's your name?" He glanced at me and then stared at the ground. I could tell he was debating to tell me his real name or not. I didn't want him to feel obligated to telling me his name. "It's okay. You don't have to tell me if you don't want to."
Ji Won looked at her surprised. "No! It isn't that!" he yelled.
She stared back at him surprised too. Then he lowered his voice. "I'm
sorry. Please don't misunderstand."
"My name is Eun Ji Won and you are?"
"Nam Mi-Na, but call me Mina. It's easier to remember."
"13," she replied. "And you Ji Wonee?"
He smiled when she called him that. "I'm 15," he said turning back to look at her.
"15?" I asked in disbelief.
Ji Won nodded.
I could tell that Ji Won was a good person. "Do you have a place to stay tonight?" He shook his head. "How about staying in my room then," I offered.
Ji Won couldn't believe his ears. He stared at Mina. 'Did she just
offer him a place to stay?'
Ji Won shook his head and snapped out of it. She placed her hand on
his knee. "Oppa, I asked if you want to stay in my room for tonight?"
Mina looked at him with her big sad eyes. "Please oppa? I'm afraid
of the dark." Ji Won smiled. He knew she was lying so he would
say yes. For the first time in his life, Ji Won felt warm inside because
now he is wanted. He let out a sigh.
Be sure to check out Val's "It Was You All Along" and our AsiaFinest's interview with her. Feel free to talk about "What I Did For Love" in our friendly discussion forum!
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