When I looked back, the hospital was really far away. I could no longer see the bench where I had left the wildflowers, nor the window through which I used to watch the river with that kid. Upon reflection, that kid had been a space to breathe in the otherwise stuffy hospital life. As we sat on the hospital bench in the late afternoon and talked about this and that, before we knew it the sun had set. I told [her] about playing in the hideout and going on vacation to the beach, and about walking all the way to the train station. [She] told me about all the corners of the hospital. Which window you could see the river from, about which staircase to take to secretly climb up to the roof. There was nothing [she] didn't know about the hospital.
[Her] hospital room was empty. Had she been discharged, or moved to another hospital? I asked the nurses, but none of them could tell me. For some reason, a corner of my heart felt empty. I turned around and kept walking. In the distance I could see the school. It seemed that most of the things I had told [her] about had to do with the hyungs, and almost all the stories I told started with them. To me, who had been totally alone, the hyungs had become my friends, family, and teachers. My story was contained within their stories, and I only existed inside my relationship with them.
But at some point, I started to think like this. That there may come a day when they would no longer be at my side. I might go looking only to find them gone, without giving any reason. Or maybe something even more could happen, I didn't know.
I thought of that night. When the huge moon rose in the sky, the world turned upside-down, the headlamps I saw from an inverted view, the shape of the car that passed by me and disappeared. The sound of an engine, familiar for some reason. I didn't want to jump to conclusions. But even so, I kept thinking about that moment.
TRANSLATED BY @ORIGAMYFIREFLY. PLEASE DO NOT REPOST.