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What I Did for Love
Written By Val
***Please try to understand that I NEVER did want to write an alternate ending for this story. I believed that some things should just remain as is but unfortunately, about a year after this story was released, I received 50+ emails requesting that the ending be changed. The reason is they all somehow found that they can relate to the story and they find it so depressing that they won't find true love. Please understand that it's mainly fiction. The REAL Mina Nam is alive and engaged to her true love. =) Everyone who has emailed me, thank you so much. You all have been so kind and encouraging and I am truly grateful for it. Thanks for reading and feel free to email me for any comments or criticism! ~v.a.l.
'Please let Ji Won be okay', I prayed to myself silently. Hopefully my prayers will be answered. So is this the end? My heart never changed because it was still the same one I loved Ji Won with. I couldn't bear the thought of trading it with someone else. I was so confused. Had I finished what I had really come for? What will happen to my love for Ji Won? I didn't know these answers.
I felt weaker and my pen fell from my fingers. I stopped my story right there. Truth is, I didn't know how to end it so I might as well leave it unfinished. I took off my cap and clothes. I was wearing a long white flowing dress underneath. It was the kind I always wanted to wear when I thought I was going to marry Ji Won.
My hair had grown out a little bit. It grazed my chin. I started to put on some light make up and combed my hair. I don't know why I'm getting dressed up for but I knew I wanted to die looking like Nam Mina, and not Ahn Min Sung. I looked at my reflection again. 'At least I look like a girl now', I thought with a little laugh.
When I was done, I leaned against the hard rock and wrapped my arms around it, pretending it was Ji Won. Then I heard a voice yelling out my name. "Mina!" I recognized the voice. Ji Won. I smiled, knowing at least he'll be the last person I'll see before I go.
Ji Won looked around the beach and saw a figure in a white dress. 'Mina,' he thought as he ran towards her. It was Mina. He lifted her into his arms and onto his lap as he sat down on the rocks. "Mina," he whispered to her and kissed her on the neck and face. Tears began to fall down his face.
All of my energy seemed to have been drained as I forced myself to open my eyes. My face felt wet but it wasn't from my tears and it wasn't raining either. My vision was kind of blurred and I couldn't see Ji Won too well. I reached up to touch his face. It was wet. "Ji Won," I whispered to him. "Please don't cry. You're scaring me. I've never seen you cry before."
Ji Won looked down at Mina, through his tear-filled eyes. "I'm so sorry Mina."
"Don't say you're sorry," she whispered back to him. "You've done nothing wrong."
Ji Won shook his head. "I'm so sorry. You've done so much for me and I haven't even realized it. I haven't done anything for you except put you through a lot of pain."
I reached up to wipe away Ji Won's tears. "I didn't expect anything back from you oppa. But I want to know why did you leave me in Hawaii? I could have called the wedding off if you didn't want to marry me." I felt Ji Won's grip on me tighten.
"I didn't mean to leave you Mina," answered Ji Won, his voice shaking. "I couldn't take my dad anymore. My grandpa had given me his inheritance and I planned on taking you and Sung Hoon with me. I didn't tell you about it because I was afraid you wouldn't leave your family for me. When I came to your house to get you, my uncle's men were there waiting for me and chased me to the docks. I escaped and I wanted to go back but couldn't. I could have put your life in danger. This isn't the first time I've cried Mina. I cried when I knew I was going to be separated from you."
Despite the pain, I managed to smile. Ji Won didn't want to leave me, I thought. "Look Ji Wonee, I'm wearing the dress I always wanted to wear if we had gotten married."
Ji Won looked at me. "You're beautiful Mina," he said to
me. "If everything would have gone as planned, we could have been
married here in Korea."
Ji Won was growing frantic and impatient. Mina looked so fragile and pale. He started to ease Mina's body more gently into his arms so he could carry her.
"I need to get you to the hospital."
I opened my eyes and started to panic. No doctor can save me now but Ji Won didn't know that. I was beginning to whimper and shook my head 'no'.
"No they'll take away my heart. I can't let them do that."
"Why Mina? Don't you know that you're going to die? Why are you being so damn stubborn?" he cried, but they were imploring questions, with many layers, and what he really was asking was, 'Why didn't you tell me who you really were? Don't you know how much I love you? Do you even love me at all?'
I realized that I was dying and pride made fools out of all of us. I had to let Ji Won know how I feel about him. How much I really do love him. NOW. Before it was too late.
"I can't trade hearts with anyone else because it'll no longer be the heart that I-I-"
I was losing my voice. Not now, please, I prayed as tears fell down my face. I need to tell him before I go. The pain was overwhelming and I soon lost the battle to darkness.
Mina's hand went lax in Ji Won's own. Ji Won started to shake her.
"Mina?" No response came from her. Ji Won started to shake his head in denial. He refuses to accept her death. "No, you're not going to die "
Ji Won picked Mina up and started to run down the narrow path. He stumbled down the road with Mina in his arms, his breathing becoming labored. He forced himself to slow down. He couldn't fall. Not with Mina like this.
He felt like he was in one of those dreams where he would run and run but never get anywhere, but this was no dream. Mina's in pain. He looked down at her. She looked so fragile and was showing no sign of movement. He had never seen anyone lay so still before.
Ji Won kept running. His arms were growing numb and his legs began to ache. Each breath he took was a fight for her life and each stride was in desperation. He couldn't feel her breathe. He couldn't feel her heartbeat. But she was still alive. And everything else started to hurt.
It was hurting him to breathe. It was hurting him to run. It was hurting him to see her like this.
But he kept running. He finally reached the emergency room and kicked the wide double doors open. He was crying out for help to anyone who would listen.
"Somebody! Anybody! Save my wife!"
An aide immediately came by his side and wheeled a moving bed next to Ji Won so he could lay Mina down.
"Sir, let me take her to the emergency room. The doctors will help her there." Ji Won followed them but they were pushing him out. "Sir! Sir, you're not allowed in there!"
"That's my damn wife! I need to be with her!"
They restrained Ji Won and he let them. Letting Mina be saved was more important than fighting with the orderlies. Less than hour later the same doctor that saved Ji Won came out.
"Yes, doctor? Is she okay?"
"Her condition is stable at the moment but it's still critical. In other words, she's slowly dying."
Ji Won felt his heart plummet to the ground. Everything around him became bleak and desolate. He couldn't seem to think anymore but he was able to continue with his questions.
"So you're telling me you can't save her at all?"
"Not exactly. Miss Nam actually has a matching donor-"
"Then save her already!" Ji Won interrupted.
"In England," the doctor emphasized. His face appeared contrite. "There's nothing I can do. I'm sorry."'
"Then give her my heart or something! You're a fuckin' doctor and you're telling me that you can't save her life? What kind of doctor are you?"
"Mr. Eun, please control yourself. I understand what you're going through. We received a patient an hour earlier. A bullet was shot really close to his heart but it hasn't damaged it in any way. His heart is in excellent condition and he would be a matching donor for Miss Nam except-"
"Except?" Ji Won prodded the doctor further. The doctor's words gave Ji Won a small glimmer of hope.
"Except he's not a donor. His name is Eun Tae Won and we're trying to locate his family members and see if they are willing to donate his organs."
Ji Won froze. Then he realized that this was his chance to save Mina. Ji Won grimaced in disgust but for Mina, he'd do or say anything. Ji Won's next words left a bitter taste in his mouth.
"Excuse me, Doctor. Eun Tae Won is my god-brother. I'd like to donate the organ in his name."
"Really? Do you have any identification? Also, I'll have to check my records to confirm that."
The doctor appeared skeptical but he searched through both of the Mr. Euns' medical files and licenses and it did appear to be legal. He nodded in agreement and pulled out a donation form for Ji Won to sign.
"Well, this is highly unorthodox but since his identification and papers claim that you're his closest living relative, I'll accept the consent for donation. However, I feel that I must warn you that heart transplants are very tricky and since Miss Nam is 2 years overdue and just underwent a kidney transplant, her body didn't have sufficient time to heal so her chances of survival are slim."
Ji Won stared at the doctor directly in the eyes.
His words sounded more like an order than a statement. The doctor hastily wiped his glasses and cleared his throat.
"Very well. I'll start the procedures immediately."
Hours have passed and the red operating light still remains on. Ji Won continued pacing across the corridors and suddenly without warning, the hospital's emergency lights and horn started blaring. Ji Won blinked in confusion.
"What the hell is going on?"
Sung Hoon came bursting through the double doors with a panic-stricken look on his face.
"Hyung! We have to get out of here! The cops are coming for us! There are eyewitnesses that you killed 2 Black Dragon members. You'll be convicted for life!"
"But Mina's still in there!"
History repeats itself once more. But this time it was different. Ji Won had Mina within his reach. He couldn't leave without letting her know that he loves her or not knowing whether or not she loves him. Ji Won started to pace frantically, trying to decide whether or not to run when the red operating light came off. Sung Hoon had run off to warn the others of their impending crisis. Soon the doctor came out, pulled down his surgical mask, and grinned.
"The operation is a success! Miss Nam should be up and moving in a few weeks." The doctor started to notice the commotion surrounding the hospital. "What is going on?"
"Good," Ji Won stated. "I'm taking her home right now."
Before the doctor could reply, Ji Won had already covered Mina's body with a surgical gown and ready to take her away. The doctor along with a few orderlies blocked the doors with their bodies and refused to let Ji Won through.
"If you take her, the surgery will be for naught. Her tender self won't be able to withstand the harsh environment out there."
Ji Won looked at Mina's body. She was scarcely breathing but still alive. He stared at the doctor, his eyes imploring. It was the hardest thing he had to do.
"I want to leave her here to recuperate-"
"Good," stated the doctor.
"But I can't!" Ji Won continued. "This time I can't leave her behind!"
Ji Won's voice cracked on the verge of hysteria. He was desperate to get himself and Mina out of the hospital. The doctor was about to hit the security button but Sung Hoon suddenly appeared and rendered the doctor and 2 orderlies unconscious from behind. He came up closer and pressed a kiss on Mina's forehead.
"Hyung, if you must take her along, leave NOW."
Ji Won nodded and was already heading towards the door.
"See you in Hawaii."
Those were the last words Sung Hoon heard from his best friend as he disappeared through the door with Mina's body.
During the invasion of the hospital, surprisingly, no one was hurt. The police had arrived too late and SechsKies had disappeared without a single trace. They weren't found anywhere in Korea so the authorities weren't able to convict them. It was as if though they never existed but many people knew of their fame was legendary.
The name 'SechsKies' could no longer be affiliated with many organizations or gangs. To this day, many people wondered what had happen to the infamous leader.
Days passed by slowly and Ji Won never once left Mina's side. He was waiting for Sung Hoon and the others at his special spot with Mina in Hawaii. SechsKies has been officially disbanded.
The weather and place might be calm and soothing but right now Ji Won felt like screaming. Mina was still lying there unconsciously and there wasn't a damn thing he could do about it. He hated feeling helpless. He knew, no matter how much he yelled or pleaded, it wouldn't do any good. But that didn't mean he was going to stop trying.
"Mina... wake up." Ji Won pleaded. "Please don't leave me. This isn't funny anymore..."
Ji Won lifted Mina's head up, bringing her body closer to his. He was about to say something he'd been trying to say for a long time now.
"Mina... you can hear me... can't you?"
Her battered and slowly healing body was cradled safely in Ji Won's arms. Ji Won could only stare blankly at the blue ocean, reminiscing his past life. He often wondered why he waited so long to tell Mina how he felt and cursed himself for his foolishness. He also realized something. Everything that Mina had ever done, she'd done it for him so she had to love him. There was no other explanation for it but he needed to hear the words in some way.
She was his life. Nothing else mattered. If she didn't live, he didn't want to live. What's the point of living, if part of your heart and soul is gone? A single tear fell from his eye, hitting Mina's cheek.
"Mina, sometimes I wonder You have done so much for me but never once have you expressed that you loved me in any way except as your oppa."
He caressed her soft cheek lovingly.
"Please... wake up. I can't go on another day not knowing."
Still no response came from Mina. Finally all the anguish and denial that had built up over the years exploded. Ji Won couldn't hide his feelings anymore. Closing his eyes tightly, Ji Won shouted the few words he could never say to Mina, let alone admit to himself.
"At least wake up so I can tell you that I love you, Mina!"
Ji Won breathed a heavy sigh to calm himself down. He opened his eyes and reached for the rock he had given Mina but it was missing. When he looked up, he saw the gleaming marble skipping three times across the ocean. His jaw slackened in awe and he glanced down.
Mina had finally woken from her long slumber. She was looking up at him, her eyes shining brightly with love. Her hand was reaching for him and he rested her palm against his coarse, unshaven cheek.
"Ji Won, I "
It pains her to even speak. But Ji Won knew. When he saw the skipping stone, he realized that everything was right in the world again. He leaned over and kissed her gently.
"Sh it's okay. I know now." He smiled against her lips and replied, "I love you, too."
He understood. During those past few days when I was unconscious, I heard Ji Won's voice from the other side, urging me to wake up. I realized that love is a miraculous force. Somehow and someway, true love will always find you. And it did with Ji Won.
"Hurry up and stop goofing around!" ordered Sung Hoon. He ran ahead of the others and stopped when he reached his destination.
Kyung Hee was gasping for air by the time she reached Sung Hoon. Sung Hoon looked over her shoulder for the others but they were nowhere to be seen.
"Where are the others?"
"I think Ji Yong and Su Won are right behind me. Jae Jin just buried Jae Duc neck high in the sand. I don't know why but Jae Duc kept crying out for his mother's kisses."
Sung Hoon's nose crinkled in confusion. "His mother's kisses?"
"Yeah. He kept screaming 'mother pucker' over and over to Jae Jin."
Sung Hoon blinked and grinned. He needed to teach Kyung Hee better English. In the few short months that they were together, Sung Hoon realized that he did love Kyung Hee and spent everyday reminding her of that fact. He patted her head like a loving child.
Jae Jin came first, laughing, and a furious, sand-spitting Jae Duc was right behind him. Ji Yong and Su Won finally caught up with them but Ji Won or Mina was nowhere to be found. It was if as though no one had showed up at all.
Sung Hoon looked for signs of their former leader and his eyes rested on an object fluttering in the breeze. He picked up the tattered, leather-bound manuscript and thumbed through the entries. He smiled.
Jae Duc came up from behind him and looked over his shoulder. The rest followed his actions. Kyung Hee knew and remained silent as she held Sung Hoon from behind. Su Won, best known for his information, wasn't even able to locate them so he had to know.
"Were they here?"
"Yeah, they were here."
Jae Duc scratched his head. "So, is Min S-, I mean Mina still alive?"
"Yeah, she is."
"How do you know?"
Sung Hoon picked up Mina's diary and flipped to the very last entry. Everyone smiled because they knew that Ji Won and Mina are finally together. Through her neat script, they were able to make out their former leader's scrawled handwriting at the bottom. He had completed Mina's last entry.
True love never has an ending.
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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