The Convenience Store
JUNE 3RD 2015 5:00 P.M.
UGLY. FAT.IDIOT. All the words that were spat out to me came into my head. My vision is blurred from the water drops in my eyes. The cold wind whips my hair into my face. I’m on the edge of the bridge right above the Hangang river, not sure of what to do. I tremble. I think of my family and the few friends I think I have. I close my eyes trying to make my decision. Right as I lift my foot to take another step, I feel a hand on my arm hold me back from jumping. The person pulls me up. I hear sirens of the ambulance. Paramedics jump out and hold me down. “LET GO OF ME”, my voice aquiver.
I struggle with the strength of the paramedics and they strap me on to a gurney. They move me into the ambulance. Still struggling, I yell, I cry.
Why did they have to stop me? Why can’t they let me go away from this suffering? I want to swear. I want to run away. Just then, I start imagining how my parents will react once they find out what had happened. I want to run away even more. We arrive at the hospital. My body still held down on the gurney, and I feel a million eyes fall on me.
JUNE 3RD 2017 9:00 P.M.
It’s been four hours since I had arrived at the hospital and there is no sign of my family. Suddenly, I hear multiple footsteps coming towards me. The door swings open. I see my mom’s worried face, and her eyes were filling up with tears. Her body still stuck in the clothes she wears for work. I turn over to see my dad. His wrinkles very visible and dark circles drooping from under her eyes to the bottom of his face. I can’t even look at my sister. I feel ashamed to show her this side of myself. I fail of being a good role model to her.
My family comes towards me. I get my mind reading for all the yelling and nagging that’s about to come. As my parents step closer to me I flinch, but instead, they hug me. At that very moment, all of my worries and struggles come loose. Tears flow to my eyes. I’ve never cried this much before. We stayed like this for what seemed like ten minutes but an hour has passed by. I want to stay like this forever. I never knew how great it felt like to be in the embrace of your family. My parents and I talk it out and they decide to stay in the hospital with me.
AUGUST 3RD 2017 2:30 P.M.
Two months have passed since that incident took place. After that, I stayed in the hospital for about a week and they gave me a psychiatrist. Her name was Ms. Chung. She would always ask me how my day was, and what I’d want to be when I grew up.
“So, how was your day today?” she asked.
“Hmm, I watched TV, read a book, drew, and you know, the usual,” I said. It was the same question and answer every day. I look at her face, and I already know she needs to tell me something.
“What is it?”, I say before she brings it up.
She takes a deep breath and stares at me with a caring and worried look.
“ I was thinking about bringing you back to school.”
My smile fades, and my heart drops to my stomach. Memories flash in my head, tears flow out of my eyes.
“I know it’s all of the sudden but I think you’re ready,” she said.
I shake my head. This can’t be happening. I know that I’ve been sustaining well in the hospital but I wasn’t sure if I could handle going through the memories again. For now, all I do is shake my head. I go home and all I can think of is what Ms. Chung said. A new school?!
That night I couldn’t sleep. All I thought of were the things that could happen to me at the new school.
AUGUST 10TH, 2017
It’s been a week since the school topic has come up. My family says they think this would be a good chance for me to start a new chapter of my life and a chance for me to be a normal high school teenager. The school they suggested was a performing art high school. I looked up the school online, and the reviews were really good. I’m looking through pictures and one caught my eye. It was a picture of the uniforms. For girls, they had khaki colored skirts and a blue jacket. For a second I imagined what I would look like in that uniform. At that moment I felt a little bit of excitement run through my body.
AUGUST 11TH, 2017
I still haven’t decided whether I wanted to go to school or not. I mean, it’s a really hard decision, and I’m just too scared.
AUGUST 11TH, 2017 3:00 P.M.
I walk into the convenience store to get some food. The perfect cup of ramen was always there for me to eat. The school topic never seems to leave my mind. I pay for the food and I’m walking towards a bench and all of the sudden I feel a hard thud on my shoulder.
“Oh sorry.” I look up and see a boy. He looks around my age. He’s tall and has sharp and dark features.
“Oh, it’s okay.” Where have I seen him before?I continue walking to the bench and start eating my food.
AUGUST 13TH, 2017
Today is just like any other day. I visit Ms. Chung and I do the normal procedure. As always, the convenience store is my next stop. I get the same thing and eat at the same place, at the same time. Although this time I didn’t bump into the guy. I sit down, and I see a shadow pass by my eyes. It’s the same person as yesterday. I secretly look at him from the corner of my eyes. Suddenly his eyes meet mine and I quickly avert my eyes. I try acting like I didn’t look at him. All of a sudden he gets out of his chair and starts walking towards me.
Oh, shoot. He caught me. He sits in front of me and I jerk back.
“Hi,” he finally speaks up.
“ Do you remember me?”
“No?” I replied.
“ Oh.” He seems sad that I didn’t know.
He said his name was Hyunwoo. Wait… where have I heard that name before??? I took a minute to think and I finally remembered. He was a student in my class. Or should I say my old class. I panicked and walked away. I was so embarrassed that there was someone out there so close to me that knew my history. He probably thought I was a loser just like everyone else did.
The next day I saw Hyunwoo but I tried avoiding him.
“Wait” He holds on to my arm,“ I just want to talk. What those girls did to you was really mean.”
I slowly turn my head.
“Really?” I start to get irritated. “Didn’t you think I was a loser too?”
“ No, I thought you were really nice.”
“Yea right,” I muttered.
“ No seriously.”
Before he could say anything else I quickly walked back home thinking of what Hyunwoo said. I still didn’t believe him.
Every day I went to the convenient store to find Hyunwoo sitting at the same spot, and same place waiting for me. Whenever I would try to avoid him, he would keep on trying to talk to me. Soon or later I gave up and just started to talk to him.
Once we have talked enough I realize Hyunwoo was actually a really nice person. We quickly became really close friends. Every day we would meet up at the convenient store. Whenever I was with Hyunwoo I would forget about the decision of going to school. Now that I think about it. I never brought it up in front of him
AUGUST 15TH, 2017
I go to Ms.Chungs office and it was finally the day where I had to tell her if I was ready to go to school or not. This took a lot of courage, but I said that I would go.
I went to the convenient store really excited to tell Hyunwoo but I don’t see him. Maybe he’s sick?
I walk away a bit sad. I really wanted to tell him about the school.
AUGUST 20TH, 2017
The next few days Hyunwoo still hasn’t been to the convenient store. I want to talk to him but I realize we haven’t even exchanged numbers or anything. I really needed to talk to him.
SEPTEMBER 5Th, 2017
It’s been more than a week since Hyunwoo hasn’t shown up at the convenient store. It was also the day I’d have to go to school. I awkwardly walk in my skirt and top to the bus stop. From far away I already see a lot of students from different schools that I would have to encounter. My heart is racing. I don’t feel like I can face this many people. The distance from the bus stop and my body is getter smaller and smaller. I see a space on the bench open. I quietly sit down with earbuds in even though no music is playing.
All of the sudden my head turns to the sound of my name.
A huge smile is stretched out on my face. I know this boy. He’s wearing the same uniform as I am. It’s the same boy who I saw at the convenience store every day.
The Convenience Store
The Convenience Store