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Bloodstained Hands

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Blood. Her palms were covered in blood.

For a long time after waking up, she simply sat still, and with eyes seemingly deprived of emotions, she stared at her own hands–trying to understand what had happened. Trying to understand where all the blood and the scratches on her neck came from.

They weren't there before she went to sleep...

After a moment she realized that her ears had been ringing constantly ever since she got up.

As she awoke, she began to remember this terrible dream. A nightmare from which she had just woken up but left behind these horrible, heart-ripping images.

And blood on her hands.

Her pupils narrowed slightly when she realized, that it wasn’t her blood. Not hers...

A strangled cry escaped from the girl's throat.

“That can't be it, after all it was just a dream. It's impossible that something happened to him. Impossible...”She chanted the words in her mind, hastily turning on the computer.

Trembling, and with her hands still stained with the red substance, she entered the address of a Korean Information website.

She prayed it wouldn't be true. She prayed that she only accidentally harmed herself while sleeping. She prayed that the news would dismiss her thoughts and dreams.

At a rapid pace, her gaze drifted from word to word, slowly calming down.

The media was silent, so everything must be fine. Right?

But just in case, she refreshed the page. She had to make sure nothing happened.

She felt the ground linger beneath her feet as she read the news that had just appeared on the site. With the horror painted on her face she looked at the computer, then at her hands, not wanting to believe it. Unable to understand the certainty with which this one particular thought bounced off the walls of her mind.

"This blood... belongs to him."

 

***

 

He didn't exactly know what had happened to him. He only remembered that he was going somewhere with his manager. Apart from that, he couldn't remember anything other than her – the mysterious woman who'd saved him before he died. A woman accompanied by brightness.

He slowly opened his eyes.

“Heechullie?” The shivering voice of the leader reached his ears.

"Hyung, turn on the light, please", he asked, searching for his hand and squeezing it gently once he found them.

"Chullie, don't joke like this, please", he heard. Something was wrong. Why did Leeteuk sound so sad and why did he think Heechul was joking?

He squeezed his friend's hand harder, completely confused.

“Why would I joke about this? Hyung, light them up."

He did not expect that answer. Even for a moment, it didn't occur to him that something was wrong with him.

"It's the middle of the day, Heechullie...”

“Wha- no, now you're kidding me, hyung.”

Heechul nervously tried to look around, but he couldn't see anything. How could it be daytime when it's completely dark everywhere?

"It's quite bright, Chullie. Quite bright", he heard Leeteuk trying to control his voice with all his might.

And that's when he realized why his hyung spoke to him in such a sad tone.

Once again he remembered the woman who touched his eyelids before something big hit him and knocked him unconscious.

"This woman.. Sh-she closed my eyes."

Leeteuk wiped away tears, which, though unwanted, stubbornly flowed down his face as he looked at his friend who just announced that a woman had closed his eyes. Was it a shock after the incident? Temporary confusion of the senses associated with the sudden loss of sight?

“Chullie, there was no one in the car except you and manager hyung–”

“You're wrong. She was there. I don't know how she got there and who she is, but she was there”, he said, clenching his fists. He spoke so confidently that Jungsu almost believed him. Almost, because it couldn't be true.

"Hee, maybe get some sleep" he suggested, not wanting him to realize that he was talking bullshit.“You look very tired.”

The leader left the room and without thinking, he hit the wall with all his strength, feeling the pain spread over his body. He repeated the action several times, venting his frustration.
He had to be strong. Heechul needed him now more than ever.

 

***

 

I don't know if I can trust anyone, but I'm pretty sure she was there–she hugged me, whispering that I should take care of myself and pulled me closer to her.

Thanks to her the car didn't crush me. Thanks to the fact that she dragged me to her side...

I know it's terribly strange; this woman came out of nowhere, as if she was just a ghost or as if in a dream. But it isn't.

She is real. She must be. And I have to find her.

Because only she is able to restore my sight.

 

***

 

She was unable to do anything, still staring at her hands, unable to understand how all of this happened.

Every time she closed her eyes even for a moment, she saw his eyes. The terrified look in dark brown irises when he realized what was happening; the look that pierced a hole in her heart.

She remembered those eyes and what happened later.

The impact of this accelerated car, his nails digging into her neck as she pulled him to herself, and an incredible bang, then a crack. And the silence that followed a moment later.

But she couldn't remember where all this blood came from.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the loud ring of the telephone.

“Hello?” She asked in a weak, hoarse voice.

“Did you see? Heenim–”
Interrupting the voice of her friend, she  snapped back to reality.

"With my own eyes", words escaped her mouth faster than she wanted.

“What?”

"I saw it", she said with great certainty in her voice. “The red van drove straight into his manager's car, dipping into almost the entire side", she continued, against her own will. She was sure that her friend would think she's speaking foolishly and that she was just imagining things after hearing the news about the car accident of her idol.

"I’m not sure how it happened, but I was sitting next to him. I saw it all–like it was in slow motion.”The memories of this event that earlier seemed like a dream began to look clearer and clearer.

"What are you talking about?" The voice on the other side seemed even more worried.

But she felt she had to finish her story. She needed to share this story with someone, even if no one believed her.

“I saw it, okay? The frightened look in the van driver's eyes. And I knew this car could kill us. I pulled Heechul to myself, hugging him. The car did hit us and something sharp... I don't know, something pierced his back.” The woman felt tears on her cheeks. “And I- and h-he didn't know what was going on, he was terrified, and he cried. He wanted to scream but couldn't. It must've hurt so much, his eyes were full of such fear. I guess mine were too. And he was staring at me; I didn't want him to look at me, so I closed his eyelids and told him everything would be all right. I embraced him, and then I felt the blood on his back–his blood was on my hands.

Unnatural silence fell on the other side.

"I just want to remind you that we live a thousand miles away from South Korea.”

 

***

 

No matter whom he told, no one believed him. Everyone thought he was delirious or that he was trying with all his might to understand the sudden loss of vision. And no one listened to his intense requests to search for that woman. None.

But when the doctors said that the traces of epidermis under his fingernails and the light, blonde hair on his favorite sweater did not belong to anyone at the scene of the accident, he felt that this was his chance to explain everything and start looking for her. But he waited in vain. Nobody asked about his version of events. Nobody wanted to know what Kim Heechul remembered from that day. Because everyone thought that he had lost his mind. That he was just imagining things. But it wasn't like that at all.

“Lee Donghae, listen to me, please.”

"Hyung, if you want to talk about this girl again, then-"

“Donghae, listen! This isn't just my imagination, it's true! I don't understand it that well either, but she was there! She saved me! Why doesn't anyone believe me, Donghae. Why?"

"Okay, let's just say I believe you hyung. So what? Do I have to look for her all over the world? It's impossible, hyung, please understand...”

He did. But they still didn’t want to understand him.

 

***

 

They don't understand. They don't get that my eyes are waiting for her to come here. They wait for her to approach me in great brightness. Then she again, with her soft, delicate fingertips will touch my eyelids. And she'll take away the burden of darkness.

Yes, I'll be able to see again – but only when she'll come back to me.

 

***

 

“You. How did you know about all of this in such detail? The detailed information came just now, from where–”

She sighed and answered her friend with a calm voice:

“I've already told you. I. Was. There.”

“You know, the rumors say that he did go a little crazy after he lost his sight. He wants to find the woman who 'closed his eyes'..."

They both knew who he was looking for. But they were also aware of the fact that that he'd never find her. Unless, like it was back then – they would meet in a dream.

 

***

 

He had a strange feeling that soon they would see each other again. He didn't know how or when, but this strange certainty was embedded in his heart before he went to bed in that day with a delicate smile on his lips, waiting for the mysterious meeting.

 

***

 

She carefully traversed the meters on the icy sidewalk, barely keeping her balance. The people around her fell over and over again, cursing and rubbing the sore places on their bodies. She smiled sadly and looked around – everyone seemed to be so overwhelmed by the approaching Christmas. Nobody–literally nobody could imagine that somewhere on the other side of the Earth, an artist; probably because of her and because of a horrible accident, had lost the ability to see.

The woman sighed. But as soon as she looked up from the ground, she saw him. He stood there, leaning against the lantern, in the hospital gown, and looked as if he was not cold at all.

She rubbed her eyes in disbelief; but he was still there, and he looked as if he was waiting for someone.

She approached him, gently laying his hand on his shoulder.

“Heechul-ssi?” She whispered.

He smiled at her, taking her hand.

“Have I found you?" He snorted, his lips turning into a delicate smile- the one she knew so well; for the smile was his trademark.

"Maybe", she laughed, reaching her hand towards him and touching his eyes. He slowly closed then opened them, and the first thing he saw was her smiling eyes, so different in expression from those seen during their first meeting.

And then everything went faster than one could have expected.

A passerby slipped on the sidewalk, bumping into the woman who flew onto a busy street.

Heechul tried to catch her, but it was too late; the red van collided with her body.

He ran up to her and pushed away the strands of hair from her face, leaning over her, waiting for even one breath and looking for traces of her pulse at her neck.

It was too late.

He gently moved his fingertips over her lids, carefully closing them.

History came back around.

The price for his life was her life.

For the opportunity to being able to see again – her empty, dead eyes.

This kind of justice ripped his heart. He could only shed tears in silence.

 

***

 

I'd rather think that you were a dream than knowing that I've lost you forever just when I was just about to keep you by my side...

 

***

 

He woke up and opened his eyes.

Blood. His palms were covered in blood.