Yi-woon went to a shelter for children.
After making the same statement to other police officers several times, Yoo-hwa was able to go to the women’s shelter.
Her mother, who was taken to the hospital, was transferred to the intensive care unit after getting surgery.
Yoo-hwa visited her regularly with the policeman at the appointed time.
A few days later, when she got the call that her mother had regained consciousness, she ran frantically.
The bright intensive care unit was filled with mechanical sounds.
Among the patients who were anxiously going back and forth between life and death, only her mother had her eyes open.
The eyes staring at the ceiling had no focus, only darkness that rustled like ashes.
Yoo-hwa slowly approached her mother.
When she called the name she thought she wouldn’t call anymore, her throat got hot.
At the same time, tears welled up in her eyes.
Her body trembled with an inexplicable feeling.
It was then that the mother’s eyes slowly reached Yoo-hwa.
“… It’s you, Yoo-hwa.”
Contrary to her expectations that she would be happy, her mother’s voice was quiet.
It was a voice similar to an empty face, like all emotions had disappeared.
She expected her to be like that because she was tired, but a strange hunch tickled the back of her neck.
“What about that person”
“… He disappeared.”
“He didn’t die”
As soon as she heard her mother’s words, Yoo-hwa remembered the blood scattered in the house.
The fact that it wasn’t all her mother’s blood gave her a creepy but strange relief.
Yoo-hwa quietly reached out and took her mother’s hand.
When she was about to thank her for being alive,
“… Am I alive”
Her mother’s question was heavy.
So much that she couldn’t even answer.
“Why… am I alive Why”
Her mother’s face, questioning her life, was blank.
The mother who cried to her, saying that she should not die, was no longer there.
Her mother looked at the ceiling like a blind person and then moved her dry lips.
“I’m sorry, Yoo-hwa.
For making you live like this…”
It was a different apology from the one before.
Unlike the sorrowful apology that was tainted with sadness, it was an apology with no weight at all.
As if she had nothing else to say except for that.
She received an apology from her mother, but it did not ease her pain.
Because apologies cannot erase the time that got stained with wounds.
However, she could neither resent nor comfort her mother.
She was afraid that her mother would be broken like this if she resented her.
That was more terrifying.
Her one and only mother, falling apart.
Being left alone in this miserable loneliness.
Yoo-hwa blankly watched her for a long time without even blinking, as if she were engraving it in her memory.
She wanted her mother to live a long life.
She would live if she overcame this crisis.
She looked at her mother with eyes that contained the words that she couldn’t say because they seemed like a lie.
However, whether letting go of the will to live that she had been persistently holding on to was only difficult once but not twice, her mother died in the intensive care unit that night.
The clothesline, which had become loose all of a sudden, drew a curve downwards.
The thin wood on which the clothesline was tied was slanted inwards.
After putting down the clothes she was holding, Yoo-hwa fixed the wood again, untied the clothesline, and pulled it.
However, while she was tying it up, the wood tilted once again, and the clothesline flowed down.
This was not something she could do alone.
Even if it was to be done alone, it was only possible for a tall person.
Yoo-hwa, who had been groaning around, gave up.
It was frustrating, but she had no choice but to hang them inside the house.
If she hung them outside, there was a high probability that the supporting wood would not bear the weight of the laundry and fall.
A heavy sigh escaped from her lips.
Yoo-hwa rubbed her forehead with a tired expression.
She tossed and turned all night, unable to sleep.
On days when the memories of the past that were barely buried made their way through her mind, she could hardly sleep.
When it was more severe, she even heard hallucinations.
It would have been fine if she had a prescribed medication for anxiety, but she had to step out for 30 minutes to get it in this neighborhood.
After the redevelopment decision was made, even the hospital changed locations.
One way or another, she had no choice but to clench her teeth and endure it.
Then, when Yoo-hwa had barely turned her heavy steps back,
Yoo-hwa’s head turned at the unfamiliar sound she heard.
Woo-hyun was sitting on the cement stairs in front of the house, where a pair of shoes could barely be placed.
He had cup ramyeon in his hand.
The ramyeon disappeared quickly with the movement of the chopsticks.
Since when has he been there
She didn’t feel his presence even when she brought the laundry outside.
Yoo-hwa felt uncomfortable when she thought of Woo-hyun, who must have witnessed all her sighs and troubled expressions.
Yoo-hwa’s head turned forward as if she had not seen anything.
She was held up by the friendly voice that called her.
Yoo-hwa’s eyes, which were looking ahead, became hazy.
How long has it been since someone called her by her name like that