V. Fallacious Memories

One Sunny Day [REVISED]


Dark, empty, and cold. The room stood silently at the end of the corridor. The fluorescent lights flickered as the walls screamed lifelessness. Shadowed figures curled up in the corners of the prison cell, whispering an insane secret. The man in a baggy t-shirt, hiding his skinny figure, carelessly dragged his feet across the floor. He moved towards the iron cell gate as if he expected someone to come.



The guard removed his handcuffs, and his almost skeletal fingers clutched the cell bars, jittery on the thought of entering another life. He sighs with relief.



It felt like it was only yesterday when he screeched so much, rattling the bars, throwing himself around, as he resists to enter the cell. It felt like it was only yesterday that they tackled him to the ground, restrained him, and threw him into the cell, slamming the gated door.



The map of wrinkles on his face cannot tell any incredible journey. His eye lines traced histories of frowning rather than laughter and warm smiles of affection.



His forehead shows nothing but vain from the past and worries for the present. They were deeply ingrained but not enough to compensate for the permanent damage he left someone else before entering the prison. It was probably not enough as he only hid there for six years.



He looked at the guard with questioning eyes. As if he was waiting for the guard to confirm something.



"Nope. You're not formally supervised, so you won't have officers to follow you around. You just have to report directly to the court when asked to."



He responds with a cold nod then he walks past the guard, leaving the place with nothing on hand.






"Please do me one last favor and get me out of this place." Irene's calm, monotonous voice creeped throughout the room. With her tears dried off from her bare face and her fingers barely fighting away the shaking, she requests in the sound of a command.



In her mind, she had more than tons of questions she wanted to ask, but the situation was too much to bear at the moment. Overreacting? No. That would never be the case for someone who just learned to trust again.



She barely even opened her heart, yet it's set to shut everyone out once again.






"No. Please don't ever call out my name like that again. It's all that I have right now. I don't want my name to bring back despicable memories too..."



The pain carried by Irene's words hit Seulgi hard. But there's this fact that she's clueless about what she's supposed to do. She has her own side of the story, but she knows only a part of Irene's. If there was someone out there who does, that is definitely not her.



Seulgi was still contemplating between spilling out everything and remaining quiet when Irene stormed out of the room. Although Seulgi wanted to explain why she had to pretend, there were boundaries that she didn't want to step on.




Sleepless as ever, Irene struggles to open her puffy eyes from all the crying she did the whole night. She reaches out for her phone, that had been ringing for quite a while. Of course, Irene had expected this endless phone call. She left the hospital without a word while she was aware of her urgent situation. Still, that doesn't give her second thoughts about never returning to that place.



At least I'm excused ignoring and avoiding people when I am blind, she thought.



She picked up but refused to speak as the call was from an unknown number. The first few seconds were mere silence, followed by a heavy gasp of relief.






The woman bit her lower lip in dismay. I clearly told her never to call out my name like that... She had her thoughts but chose to remain quiet.



["I'm sorry. I know I shouldn't call you like this... But I can never calm myself down, knowing that you are refusing to get the surgery done. I really regret making a fool out of you, and if you can't forgive me for that, I understand. But please... Your condition is getting worse each day."]






["Irene?"] She calls her name out one last time, followed by a sigh when she has received no response from the other woman.



["I'm... leaving. I mean, I'm outside your apartment."]



"What?!" Irene's hands automatically land on her lips to seal them shut. She's been holding out this whole time. How could she speak now?



She could hear the woman softly giggling on the other line. ["I guess a word from you is enough. I'll respect your choice to be left alone for now, but please think about it one last time. If not for me, then for yourself at least. Bye..."]



Irene winced to the sound of the woman hanging up on her. How can people fool each other and simultaneously act like they actually care? The thought kept lingering on her mind.



That is when she felt exhaustion all over her. She's restless and mentally drained at the moment. She's really... anxious. She refuses to step into that hospital, yet she can't deny her fear for herself. Seated on her bed, she plopped down to rest her weary self.



The back of her palm landing on her phone screen fortuitously played a voicemail she received earlier, which she initially chose not to open.



["Dear, why are you doing this to me?! I adjusted my schedule to perform surgery on you, and you what? Left the hospital without a word? I already told you, didn't I? I won't be able to perform any other surgery with you in mind. I'm sending an ambulance to your place, I tell you. Expect it by 10 am. See you!"]



The message left Irene overwhelmed. A surgeon who is busy enough to skip all meals for the day did all that... just for her.



She slaps herself for her own thoughts.



"No! You're not falling for it again. It's just another scheme... just another temptation from this damned universe. Don't trust any of the so-called concerns!" She convinces herself.



But her deep thoughts are shattered by the sound of a siren. She never imagined it to actually be heard from her apartment, which is on the 4th floor. She jumped out of her bed, sprinting towards her closet and running her hands through it.



She grabbed one of her coats without even thinking straight. She headed out of her apartment in an attempt to escape, clueless of where to go.



She rushes to the stairs, the first place that came to mind. That way, she could avoid running into the paramedics. All the rushing, however, made her forget about her cane. Now she's sticking her hands into the wall, rushing in her indoor slippers like a madwoman.





The voice echoed through the walkway, putting Irene to a halt. She turns around with her lips shaking and eyes into thin air.



"Where are you running off to?" The woman takes a step closer.



It's the same voice all over again. Irene shook her head off and took a step back. "Who would you be this time... Sai? Seulgi? Or is there another person I know nothing about?" The heaviness in Irene's voice slowly turned into panting while she continued to step further away from the woman in front of her. "W-what do you want from me?"



The person consistently following her started to panic at the sight of Irene. She definitely looks nothing like fine.



"Calm down... please? It's me ---" Before she could even finish what she was about to say, Irene's face turned pale. She stumbled forward as she fell, passing out.







The procedure, which usually takes 5 hours, took more than twice longer to wrap up with Irene's condition. It would have resulted better if she had pushed through with it on time. But she had delayed it to the extent of her brain bleeding. She held out for too long that her body almost gave up on itself.



Tiffany Young, Irene's surgeon, entered the serene ICU in green scrubs. She intently focuses her gaze on the younger woman lying on the hospital bed, peacefully rested as if she had never had the chance to do so in the past.



The surgeon herself is getting impatient from waiting to see how Irene is when she wakes up, although it was her decision to use sedatives on Irene and keep her asleep for a few more days. That way, she can recover better.



"You should wake up soon and recover. There's someone I want you to meet." She whispers, giving Irene's palm one final squeeze before leaving the room.







A young woman is moving about the room like there's a hurricane rampant inside her brain. She's been going back in forth, lips and limbs shaking, barely holding herself together.



Her body froze momentarily. Along with her heavy breathing, she scans the whole place.



I need it now... She whispers.



Seulgi, about to enter her office, bolted upon hearing the commotion happening inside. There she finds her sister, too worked up as she searches every corner of the room.



It took Seulgi not much time to come closer and get a hold of the younger girl in panic.



"Seungwan... Seungwan! Please, calm down... " Seulgi tightens her grip. She positioned herself in a way that her sister would keep her eyes on her instead of anything else.



"S-Seulgi..." Seungwan's lips parted with so much tension. She sniffled loudly as her tears welled from deep inside her and coursed down her cheeks. "I... I don't understand. Why do I always feel this way? Please, make it stop..."



Her words came almost like a whisper that manifested her agony and discomfort. It was not the first time Seulgi had seen her sister acting that way. But it was still overwhelming for her. Seeing her sister suffering... it's excruciating.



Seulgi leaned closer to bring Seungwan into her arms. Embracing her, only tight enough to give space to breathe. "Alright. I'll give you something to help you calm down, so you have to help yourself too, hm? Take a deep breath, Seungwan."



Seungwan gasped, catching her breath as if there was not much oxygen in the air.



"Good. You're doing good. Now, look at me..." She cups Seungwan's cheek with her right hand. "Now, I want you to recognize this anxiety attack that you're having. I need you to convince yourself that this is nothing more than anxiety getting into you..."



The younger girl nods. She's starting to lose the chest pain from her heavy breathing and heart pounding. "There... you're doing well, Seungwan," Seulgi tells her with a gentle smile.



It took half an hour to soothe her downright. On the sofa, she lies, staring at the ceiling while remembering how her anxiety got the best of her.



"You went to the ICU, didn't you?" Seulgi asks.



"I... did."



"Are you still blaming yourself?"


Seungwan smiled with so much bitterness. "Blaming? I'm not so sure about that. I think acknowledging is the right word. I'm just admitting my fault..."



"It's not like you wanted to fool her."



"That's not it, Seulgi."



The older one frowns. "Then what more is there?"



"That innocent woman who doesn't deserve to be lying on that cursed hospital bed... Do you know why she hesitated to get treated all this time?" She pauses. "She's been refusing because all these years, she feared that her dreadful nightmares may come back upon seeing her father."



"And how is that your fault?"



Seulgi's words made Seungwan rise from the sofa. "Don't you get it? Seeing her father again would never happen if I didn't mess things up! He would have been locked up for life! But because of my incompetence... she had to live her life in fear. And just when she's about to fight her fears, just when she's ready to get treated, I made another stupid mistake of fooling her..."



"Seungwan, those are detestable things you had no control of. It was never planned. And fooling her? Dear, that's not the way to explain it. You never intended to do that to Irene. You met her before you recovered your abhorrent memories..."



"My dissociative amnesia is not an excuse---"



"Of course, it's not! It's not an excuse. Your dissociative amnesia is your reason for asking me to pretend to be you. That reason is enough for Irene to understand. And all these years, it's not like you wanted to lose your memories so you can escape from the guilt you're feeling. Seungwan, you shouldn't be beating yourself up like this in the first place. You just did your job as a lawyer back then."



"I just did my job as a lawyer? Did I? Lawyers are supposed to serve justice, not defend criminals..." Seungwan walked towards the door to leave the room as she didn't want to get into another pointless argument with her sister.



"Seungwan... you understand my point, right? I just wish you'd quit cutting off your part of the story." With Seulgi's last word, the younger left the room.



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I promised to update this last week but I wasn't able to. Sorry I only got to do it today. Still,thanks for patiently waiting 💙
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