When I came to my senses, I was walking along the bridge. The sun was so bright that it was hard to open my eyes. I wondered how I had gotten here, but then I felt dizzy and my vision blurred. I wondered if my legs were collapsing under me, and the sounds of car horns coming and going assaulted my ears. At one side of my vision, I could see the black water of yangjicheon.
The auntie at the orphanage was the first person who comforted me after I lost my mother. She had been at my side when I woke up in the middle of the night with a fever, in my empty bed after a friend was adopted, when I woke in the hospital after a narcolepsy seizure, from my elementary school entrance ceremony to my high school graduation.
She had gotten sick. The voice on the other end of the ordinary phone call had been that of a friend from the orphanage. I couldn't remember how I made it to the auntie's house. What I remembered was her house, and her face through the open window. She was talking with someone, and then she laughed. That she was sick, that she needed surgery. That there was no hope--all of it sounded like lies. When we almost made eye contact, I hid myself. I felt like I would burst into tears if I saw her face. I felt like I would spit out words of resentment like, “even you're going to leave me?" I started walking. It seemed like someone called to me. But I didn't look back.
A large bus kicked up a wind as it passed me. “Mom,” I muttered as I watched the bus drive away. On the day I lost her, we had ridden that kind of bus. Would the auntie leave my side too, just like my mom? Would I lose another person who was so precious to me? I lifted my head and sunlight poured down. Then the world started to collapse. The sibilant noise of tires on asphalt, the wind coming off the river, and all the memories I had with the auntie all crumbled under the sunlight. I collapsed to the ground.
TRANSLATED BY @ORIGAMYFIREFLY. PLEASE DO NOT REPOST.