Sana hesitated and halted her steps when they were about to enter the church.
"What happened?" Grandma Oh asked worriedly when she noticed Sana's unsure face.
"Are you sure the church priest could help me?" She laid out her doubts. Though she was more afraid of hearing what the priest would have to say about her condition, she wasn't ready to hear some horrific conclusions about her. After the previous night, she could no longer depend solely on her mind and try to rationalize the happenings as only her nightmares. 'But I could be just sleepwalking!' her mind desperately tried to hold onto this logical idea of her actually sleepwalking and plucking the rose from the garden and going back to lie on the bed before she woke up from her nightmare and found that rose petal inside her fist, but no matter in how many ways she thought of this possibility, the logic didn't sit well like a perfect puzzle.
"Of course! He's a very helpful person. He has assisted so many cases like yours in the past." Her grandmother assured while patting her back to render her some courage.
Sana nodded and with a huge breath, she continued walking with her grandma. They found a church helper inside there and asked for the priest, the young boy led them towards Father Shin's small office room at the back of the church building.
Since the said older male already knew her grandmother, so they didn't need much of formal introduction. Sana's grandmother immediately started narrating about her granddaughter's condition, her nightmares. Whereas, the girl herself was contemplating whether she should reveal the pieces information she had hidden from everyone. Would her grandmother also call her insane if she'd reveal that the man in her dreams had spoken more than just asking for help from her? Should she let them know about the absurd information that the past two nights' dreams were way too realistic than each and every old ones?
"Child, have you had any other experiences of such unusuals other than your dreams? Like, have you seen any unexplainable shadow looming somewhere around you or maybe the voice calling you when you are actually awake?" Mr. Shin asked her carefully, his kind looking eyes boring hole into Sana's face, making her fidget uncomfortably.
"No." She replied as it was getting too intolerable to sit under the scrutinizing gaze of the priest, but she didn't lie anyway. All of these happenings were only limited till her dreams, until now.
After another few minutes of unbearable silent stares from the priest, he finally cleared his throat and spoke, "Mrs. Oh, I don't think she's possessed by anything unholy. She's probably having all these dreams due to stress?" The man delivered with a reassuring smile.
"Oh, thank god! I was so worried for her! Thank you so much for your time Father Shin, I'm really indebted to you." Grandma Oh respectfully bowed to the male and after a short formal chitchat, the pair of grandma and granddaughter made their way out of the church.
"Where are we going, Grandma?" Sana asked, little confused as the older lady led them through a different route than which they had come from.
"We're going to the town market. I was so scared for you that I forgot we didn't have breakfast. So let's just eat from the market." Her grandmother replied, smiling brightly. The previous worry was lessened from her wrinkly face, making Sana feel much better. She felt guilty of how worried and horrified her grandmother had looked when she found Sana lying on the grass of her garden earlier. Sana tried her best to explain the older lady that she had walked into the garden on her own and she had accidentally fallen asleep there out of exhaustion. But her grandmother was almost sure that no sane person could just walk out in the middle of night and fall asleep outside if they weren't forced by any invisible entity.
"Sounds good. Is the fried chicken restaurant still running there?" Sana asked, feigning cheerfulness after pushing all the thoughts from last night away. Though she wouldn't deny, she was kind of excited to know whether her favorite restaurant was still available here or not. Her and Mina absolutely loved the unique taste of the food available there, they used to visit the restaurant every now and then when they used to live here in Busan, or whenever they'd visit here after they'd moved to Seoul.
"Yeah, it's still there." Grandma Oh let her know and Sana clapped her hands happily.
Sana had spent the rest of the day more or less restlessly. The dread of facing the night and apparently seeing the visitor of her dreams was gnawing at the back of her mind throughout the whole day.
Sana didn't know anymore what to do. She had somehow became accustomed of the nightmares and she was ready to live the rest of her life with this unexplainable fate of not having peaceful nights. But now that the her nightmares were changing, or more like deepening in some way, she wanted them to nothing but stop. She didn't like to stay under the clouds of unpredictability, she was scared, she was angry, she was helpless.
"Would I get rid of these awful dreams if I do what he wants me to do?" Suddenly, the thought came to her mind when she was contemplating her situation and the probable solutions. Now that she thought of it in this way, this solution seemed to be the best one. He would get what he wanted and she would also get her own freedom.
Though, she might just get more than her own freedom. She might or might not be relieved since there would be days and nights, where she would feel something more than fear, rage and helplessness; and that was ruth. She pitied the trembles hidden underneath the velvety texture of his voice. And the way he'd been calling for her help without any break for years, she could tell that he wasn't doing it just to entertain his bored self. She felt the urge to help him from time to time, freeing him from whatever it was bounding him wherever he was bounded. "This is it. I'd have to help him in order to get rid of him." She told herself firmly.
Sana jolted out from her looping thoughts of being torn in between believing his existence, wanting to get rid of the nightmares by helping him; and ensuring that she hadn't gone completely insane to be even thinking of the man of her dreams actually existed somewhere other than her dreams themselves. The loud 'ding dong' sound of the giant bells echoed through the whole Oh mansion for the second time and Sana hurriedly made her way downstairs to check on the door.
Both Sana and Mina screeched, jumping over one another for a tight hug as if they hadn't seen each other for years, whereas in reality, they were separated just for two days.
Sehun rolled his eyes massively seeing the unnecessary loving greeting between his sister and her annoying best friend. Sana didn't miss his gesture as her brother was standing just behind Mina.
Though, Sana was quite surprised to see Sehun here. She was certain that he wouldn't come here leaving his precious weekend leisure. And then she realized that the overcoat drapped over Mina's shoulder, was actually Sehun's. Something was fishy, fishy in a good way. "We're going to have a detailed revision of your little journey with my brother, love." She whispered into her best friends ears before breaking the bone crushing hug.
Mina's cheeks were red when Sana leaned back to see her face. 'Bingo. Something definitely happened between them!' Sana squealed inside, probably her Sehun-Mina ship wasn't that hopeless at all, maybe there's a chance of the ship actually sailing.
"Move." Sehun lightly pushed the two girls and entered inside.
"My grandchild!" Grandma Oh also reached into the living room and enveloped Sehun in a bear hug. "How long has it been since I last saw you? You've grown up so well. Look at these long legs and broad shoulders. Oh and this face? I bet girls would be running behind you crazily! You're just like your grandpa!" The older lady cooed and gushed over Sehun, making the always unfazed man turn red out of embarrassment.
"It's nothing like that, Grandma!" Sehun denied, rubbing his nape almost sheepishly. And all of them laughed at him.
"Okay, I won't t