SIX :: Hold me
Somehow… Sun Ye felt like she just came out of a bar. Though she wasn’t feeling like a drunkard staggering her way to the client’s home… It was her escorting Ye Eun who’s acting like she
was the one coming out of the bar.
The person leaning heavily upon the proprietor was deathly pale. Ye Eun’s arm slung over the dark chocolate-haired woman’s shoulder, holding tightly onto her as she dragged her feet across the ground. Her other hand clamped tightly to her face which seemed to be turning even whiter as the seconds went by. Not even ghosts could stand close to Ye Eun’s shade… Pitch black eyes flickered on and off with consciousness.
“So…” Sun Ye began, eying the nearby factory, “is your nose really that
The taller couldn’t even reply to her query. Instead, she merely groaned and rested her head on the other’s shoulders, breathing very slowly. Never mind how ill Ye Eun was feeling, Sun Ye had to be the one to support her…and the crimson-haired woman’s guitar case…She could help the other walk properly, but did she really have to bring that case with her!? That thing felt like a million bricks! Feeling the other slipping lower and lower to the ground, she grabbed her belt and yanked her higher.
“Really… if the stronger fiction find out about your weakness, you’d be in a lot of trouble,” the writer chided softly as she looked for a way to get Ye Eun away from the supposedly repulsive smell of the factory. She looked about the area, taking note of the streets and chose accordingly. Slowly but surely, she was able to take the other further and further away from the factory site yet still be heading for the client’s home.
As she walked, she felt Ye Eun’s arm tighten around her shoulders. The other’s head buried itself under the crook of her neck, uttering a groan beneath her. She wanted to laugh—Ye Eun always had a powerful image to her, yet here she was, staggering and weak from the mere fumes of a nearby factory…
“I’m sorry…” she heard the other say almost inaudibly.
“Why are you apologizing? Everyone’s imperfect in some way,” she gave the taller’s waist a reassuring squeeze, “I’ll just be wary of places that you might not be able to go through ‘cause of your insane sense of smell, that’s all.”
A ‘pfft’ in the air made Sun Ye smile, if not a little. It was definitely true. Ye Eun may command this amazing presence, but just seeing her so knocked out seemed almost cute to her. However, she made a note to really make sure that this does not happen again. There must be some way for her to be able to ‘turn off’ her scent radar and she was adamant on exploiting that. She took another glance at the address and looked about the streets.
“Oh dear… I wonder if you’d be useful here?” Sun Ye said as she glanced back and forth between the paper and the street sign.
“It’s here?” a weakened hand took a hold of the hand holding the address and pulled it down. Ye Eun could only sigh and attempt to straighten herself out, albeit still a bit nauseous.
“Can you walk?” Sun Ye asked with a tint of concern in her mocha eyes, her hand now rubbing the other’s back. The swordswoman gave a stiff nod and walked ahead, though a bit clumsily. “Well if you collapse again…”
“I’ll be fine,” Ye Eun waved her hand dismissively, “Just still a little dizzy.”
“Whatever you say…” the half-song smiled and shrugged, “by the way, the house is this way,” she pointed in the other direction as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. Embarassed, Ye Eun turned and hastily caught up with the other. “Park Oppa, you’re just too cute.”
“Only because my nose…” the crimson-haired woman rubbed at the aforementioned appendage, “it’s a liability.”
“It’s a good thing we don’t really need it for this mission, since songs are odorless.”
“Then how do you sense songs if they’re od—”
“Well I’m practically half-dead. I mean, I do
have a rotting arm,” Sun Ye answered immediately, lifting her gloved hand in the air. “Now the house should be around the corner, is your nose alright?”
“It’s a bit clogged up…” Ye Eun wheezed as she attempted to wrap the bottom half of her face with her scarf. “But I think I can manage, just treat me like someone with a cold, that’s all…”
“You need to find a way to control your sense of smell for real though. I can’t imagine what would happen if we were in some boss fight and you’re knocked out ‘cause a little oil was in the way…”
“I’m sorry…” a muffled voice replied solemnly.
“Saying sorry isn’t going to cut it, you have to work on it until you can turn it off and on at will,” the small instructor said sternly, “It may seem like I’m nagging, but it’s for your own good.”
“Yeah…” the crimson haired woman hung her head in shame.
“So straighten up, I’m ringing,” Sun Ye said sternly, ringing the doorbell. Ye Eun did what she could, but came out as haggard as she was before, scarf covering half her face and lurched over like she was about to hurl.
Soon after, the white oak door opened and Hyo appeared in its frame, donning a simple T-shirt and long pajama pants. His eyes struggled to keep themselves open, but managed as he quietly ushered them into his house.
Color returned to Ye Eun’s face once the smell of the factories disappeared behind them. She inhaled deeply, though coughed when she inhaled a little too much as the subtle scent of the factories became amplified tenfold. Sun Ye gave her a scolding look before returning her attention to the man.
“Do you wish to sit?” he scratched his head timidly.
Sun Ye looked around, deep in thought. After a considerable silence, she shook her head, causing the man to bite his lip.
“Do you mind if I look around?” the proprietor asked, her eyes wandering around the house.
“Go for it.”
Sun Ye quietly drew her skeletal fingers into her palm, ushering Ye Eun to follow with a gentle gravitational pull towards her. The house was relatively normal enough. She thought with the man’s appearance, he’d at least have a messier house but that certainly wasn’t the case. Longevity in both her life and career taught her to never assume anything unless she was 100 percent sure.
Ye Eun noticed another presence asides their own, but couldn’t quite pinpoint the exact location. If only songs at least gave a scent, she could pick it up no problem… She exhaled deeply, frustrated. When they went into the bathroom, the crimson-haired woman couldn’t help but feel her senses ring a bit, but Sun Ye turned to her and blatantly said that the echo-ing walls of a bathroom usually threw off senses, discouraging the younger even more.
The bedroom was no different, though the three became distracted from the job when they came across the twin-sized bed. Sun Ye and Ye Eun beamed brightly at the sleeping four-year-old dreaming on it, even making the nervous Hyo feel a bit better at the sight of his child. After a prolonged silence, Sun Ye motioned for the other two to return to the living room.
“Well?” the man rubbed his hands together, anxious of the news.
“Please sit down,” Sun Ye pointed at the couch, the man obeying. She then looked at Ye Eun, “I’m about to interrogate him. Study this situation carefully.” She then took her gloved arm out of her jacket sleeve and looked at the man. “What do you see surrounding my arm?”
“Um… Nothing really… But the air around it is kinda… distorted? Like when you see a fire, the air around the fire looks like it’s rippling? That sort of look.”
“I see…” Sun Ye placed her arm back into its rightful sleeve once more. “Do you have a wife?”
“Is she beautiful?”
“The most in the world.”
“The mother of that child?”
“Of course, she bore that child.”
“How did she die?”
Hyo’s eyes widened. Ye Eun blinked incredulously.
“Er… Car accident… a couple months ago…”
“That’s what I heard…” Hyo gulped, feeling very uneasy now. There was even visible sweat beads rolling down his brow.
“Long luscious curls of black?”
“At the date of her death, was she wearing a white blouse and blue skinny jeans?”
Again, Hyo’s eyes widened, and he nodded slower.
“Wearing four silver bracelets on her left hand?”
At this, he tensed. Ye Eun couldn’t help but also feel unnerved at the heavy apprehension in the air following her teacher’s words.
“It appears that she wears an aqua-colored headband too.”
He was practically shivering at this point. Why was it that this… stranger he met… suddenly just knew his wife? Why was it that she could exactly tell everything as it was!? “H-how…” he began, shuddering, “How do you… know that?” Sun Ye’s eyes narrowed.
“Because she’s sitting right next to you.”
Hyo practically jumped away from the couch but when he looked at the couch, he saw nothing. Ye Eun was also confused, for she didn’t see anyone sitting next to him either. Dumbfounded, he sat back down again, though still staring at that spot.
“Perhaps it will be easier to see her when the lights are off,” and with that, Sun Ye motioned for the light switch to turn off and gravity did that job for her.
Hyo and Ye Eun couldn’t believe it.
Next to him was a very faint, but white outline of the very woman Sun Ye had described. Within her being, a ball of light hovered about. The swordswoman wondered how Sun Ye would know exactly what she looked like with the lights on, but then remembered that she was also dead (well, half) so that could very well mean that she could see the true forms of the spirits as clear as day while she and the client could only see clearly in the dark, and a very faint outline at that.
“Now…” Sun Ye reached out to the song with her gloved hand, “When I touch her with this hand, she will be pulled out of her perpetual train of thought, which was the moment she died. She should be able to converse with you afterwards,” she commented as she touched the forehead of the said woman.
When Sun Ye pulled her hand away, Hyo’s wife had suddenly stood up from the couch.
“H-Hyo…?” a soft feminine voice stroked the air, soft eyes staring blankly ahead. The said man’s eyes trembled in their sockets, beginning to wet themselves. He too, stood up and looked at his lover.
“B-baby… I…” words failed to reach him. His hands shot up to his face, now dripping with tears.
“H-Hyo… Don’t cry…” the woman cooed, now turning to face him, though her eyes remained blankly staring ahead. But little did his wife know, she too, was slowly beginning to choke up in tears, for transparent drops were seen.
“Y-you’re…” his hands reached out to touch her face, but felt nothing in his finger tips, “You’re blind…?”
“T-that’s…” his wife pulled back from his nonexistent touch, covering her face, “I’m… so sorry…”Ah… That’s why Sun Ye asked if there was head trauma… it usually leads to blindness…
Ye eun thought as she watched the reunion solemnly. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a tiny head peek out from the doorframe. The half-song also looked at the newcomer, smiling ever so softly. Hyo turned to look at what caught the writers’ attention.
“Yujin…” the man whispered in the fine air. The song perked up at the name of her daughter.
“Is she… here?” Hyo’s wife remained standing still, unable to look and see due to her blindness.
The young child looked at the scene cautiously, staring with large almond eyes.
“Yujin…” Hyo called out gently, “She’s here… Mama’s here…” his smile twitched here and there, attempting to control his urge to just kneel down and cry.
“Mama…” the said child repeated, coming into the full sight of the others. Hearing her daughter’s voice, the song turned around, her lip quivering and eyes brimmed with tears once more. “Ma…” Yujin tottered towards her mother, growing faster with each step. Hearing the beats of the floor, the song knew what her daughter wanted to do. She went down on one knee and spread her arms out, ready to receive the hug—the hug which never came.
Yujin nearly stumbled as she went through the apparition of her mother, her father’s quick reflexes catching her before she could fall on the ground. When the girl looked up to find her father’s weeping face, she too, couldn’t help but begin to whimper and cry.
For the nth time, words failed to come out of Ye Eun’s lips. Watching the others cry made her want to cry as well. She felt the edges of her eyes become damp, but attempted to keep it in. “S… Sun Ye…” the crimson haired woman looked at the aforementioned woman to find that she was simply watching the scene unfold before her unresponsive eyes. Emotionless eyes glanced back towards Ye Eun, eliciting a slight flinch at the sudden response.
The swordswoman looked at the crying family, biting her lip. Remembering Sun Ye’s teachings, she stepped up. “Please… Possess my body to hug your child and husband…”
The song looked at her, mouth slightly parted from shock before turning upwards into a crooked smile. “It would mean the world to me, thank you!” she said as she wiped her ghostly tears away.
“Ye Eun, remember to relax and let your guard down for the possession to take place properly,” Sun Ye reminded with a light smile.
The taller nodded and exhaled deeply, closing her eyes and keeping her chin up. The song also breathed in deep and walked into Ye Eun, disappearing as if through a doorway. The writer shivered at the feeling of cool air enveloping her form before standing still.
She opened her eyes. What was once inviting darkness had transformed into serene depths. She looked down, spotting her daughter staring curiously up at her with wet eyes. Ye Eun bent down until she was eye-level with the kid and smiled.
“You’ve grown so much… my daughter…” tears escaped Ye Eun’s eyes as she pulled in Yujin for a deep hug. At this, Hyo broke down crying, wiping his tears with his arm. Ye Eun scooped up the crying four-year-old in her arms and then rested her head against the crook of Hyo’s neck. “She’s going to be such a beautiful child…”
“She’ll look just like you…” Hyo managed to say amidst his tears, wrapping an arm around his wife and another around their precious child, “I promise I’ll take care of her…” he embraced the two tightly, not one bit ready to let go.So fleeting…
Ye Eun and Sun Ye walked side by side in silence. They moved quietly among the dimly lit streets, their breaths painting a stroke of white in the air. She wasn’t sure about Sun Ye, but Ye Eun’s heart weighed heavily inside of her chest. It felt like a darkness threatening to consume every bit of her being. She could feel the chains clinging to her feet, slowing down her every step.
Noticing the lack of vigor in the other, Sun Ye walked closer, inspecting the crimson haired woman’s face as she held her hand and stepped in front of her. The taller stopped in her tracks, turning her face slightly away, and long luscious tresses covering half of it.So very fleeting…
“It’s okay to cry…” Sun Ye gave her hand a reassuring squeeze, using her other hand to brush the other’s red locks from her face. The second the proprietor said that, strong arms wrapped around her waist, gravitating her towards Ye Eun.
She heard the other sniffle beside her, soon feeling the dampness on her shoulder. Sun Ye tentatively returned the embrace, rubbing the crying woman’s back comfortingly. “There there…”The essence of life…
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