When I came to my senses, I was at the bus stop. I looked back to see how far I had walked, but the hospital was already out of sight. I waited for the bus and then boarded. It was a bus to that place. I hadn't planned it, but maybe I already knew in my heart. That I had to go back to that place. Had to know the meaning of what happened there. I looked out the window at the passing summer weather and thought to myself could I trust the hyungs?

    When I got off the bus. It drove off right away. A cloud of dust swirled up. I walked slowly toward the site of the accident. I thought about that night. The huge moon hanging in the sky, the world upside-down, the headlights that came toward me in my reversed vision, the shape of the car that passed me and disappeared, the lights of the tail lamps. An engine sound that seemed somehow familiar.

    I laid on the asphalt just like I had that night. I tilted my head and looked up at the sky. It was getting dark, but I couldn't see the moon. It was a quiet street, but if a car were to come, they might not see me and I could have another accident. As I thought that, I asked myself once again. If I couldn't trust the hyungs, who could I trust?


    I thought my body was floating but at some point it met the hard ground. For a long moment I felt nothing. My whole body was so heavy I couldn't bear it, so much so that I couldn't even lift my eyelids. I couldn't so much as swallow or breathe. As my senses dispersed, my surroundings grew dim.

    Then, like something startled, my whole body jolted as if with a seizure. Within thirst and an agony the source of which I couldn't specify, I opened my eyes without realizing. My vision was uncomfortable, as if filled with sand, and something glimmered ahead of me. I thought it was fire, but it wasn't. It was bright and large and vague. It didn't move, just floated in the air. I looked at it for a long time, and slowly it assumed a definite shape. It was the moon.

    The world was upside-down, like my head had snapped backwards. In that world, even the moon hung backwards. I tried to cough in order to catch my breath, but nothing moved. Cold came over me. I was afraid. I moved my mouth, but no words came forth. I didn't close my eyes, but the world grew dark in front of me. Amidst my fading senses, someone spoke.

    "Living is more painful than dying, but even so, you want to live?"


    I dreamed. In my dream, I was floating in the air above my hospital bed, looking down at a different me lying there. The me in the bed was asleep, the sleeping me's eyelids moved erratically, like I was dreaming, and then without warning my eyes flew open. At that moment, our gazes met.

    In the next moment, I was lying in bed. I dreamed of the night of the accident the headlights became a moon, then changed into bead-like green and blue lights. When I opened my eves, a different me was floating in the air above. My gaze met with the me in the air. Our two gazes intersected and our consciousnesses reversed. I was the me in the bed and then the me in the air, repeating and repeating. The speed of the intersection and reversal started to quicken. I grew dizzy and nauseated.

    I awoke with a scream. My sheets were soaked with sweat. My breathing came short and I felt like throwing up. Suddenly, something I had forgotten until then floated up in my mind. Someone's voice. “Living will be more painful than dying. Is that okay?” My mother called the doctor to check my condition. The doctor said that since I was recovering quickly, there was no need to worry. I had bruising and fractures. But almost no bleeding. He told me that I had been very lucky in this accident.

    I looked at the doctor and asked, 'who was it who hit me?


    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.