tell me beautiful lies (don't break my heart)
“And how did that make you feel?” The question was similar to several of the other ones asked in the days prior.
“Like I meant something. No, like I was everything.”
The woman hummed in understanding before asking another question.
“Did it seem fake?”
The woman being interviewed gave an emphatic shake of her head. The woman across from her stayed quiet, waiting for an explanation. After all, the investigator couldn't make reports on what wasn't said.
“No, she had a way of making you feel like you were the most important thing-person in the world.” She looked down and fiddled with the edge of the fleece blanket draped over her legs. It was used partly for modesty, but mostly to ward off the chill in the cold, stark room she was in. “She would look at you like she couldn't see anything else.”
“So you never knew?”
There was no response as she tried to think of all the details of their relationship, from start to finish.
“No,” Jiwoo shook her head again. She looked away from the wall she had turned towards in thought and back towards the investigative forensic psychologist. “She kept that side private, but was very open about many things so it didn't seem like she had anything to hide. She would even send videos of all the great things she was doing. I never even suspected.”
It was quiet for a few moments while the investigator jotted something down in the spiral notebook she brought along with her. Jiwoo wasn't sure why this was necessary if it was all being recorded, but she waited all the same. She watched as the woman meticulously wrote something down and mumbled to herself as she checked a previous page in her notebook, it made Jiwoo wonder how someone who looked so young could work in an occupation that was so dark.
“What about after things were revealed?”
Jiwoo raised an eyebrow questioningly. Unsure of what the woman was asking.
“Before she was caught, when there were announcements of the crimes occurring.”
“No, not really, she was the same-” Then Jiwoo paused as if the question triggered a memory. “The thing is, I think-I think I remember her once saying something when she thought I was asleep.”
The investigator waved her hand, motioning for her to continue.
“The news was on and it mentioned the-the murders. She said, ‘that won't ever happen to you.’” Jiwoo rushed to add, “She corrected herself to say she'd never let that happen to me, but I never thought of anything suspicious. I was half asleep and she was very protective of me because I’m younger.”
The investigator nodded.
“What about after your coworkers disappeared?”
Jiwoo clenched her hands into fists, this always made her feel as though these deaths, not every one but a few, were her fault. After all, with Sooyoung’s confession saying she did it for her, what else was she to believe.
“Me, Yoojung, and Jooe were close. We had been working at the company together for 2 years and they were transferring to another branch so we hung out several times before they were leaving. I never even knew anything happened until-” Jiwoo cut herself off.
Their bodies were discovered.
In fact it wasn't even a real transfer, but no one had known until it was too late. Sooyoung had somehow hacked the databases of both branches to create the swap, so it wasn't until several weeks later that they were reported missing since their records were deleted at the new location.
No one was expecting them so no one knew they were gone.
Well, if she really thought about it, Doyeon had been worried and mentioned how long it had been since her girlfriend had contacted her, but everyone else all had put it off as Yoojung being worried about settling in at the new company and not having time. Especially since Doyeon was listed as an emergency contact for Yoojung, so she would have been the first to find out that something happened to her. Unfortunately she was, but in the worst way possible.
She cleared her throat. “They were my friends and I never wanted anything bad to happen to them.”
The investigator waited a moment before asking another question. “Speaking of friends, what about your friend, Miss Kim?”
Jiwoo’s heart dropped.
She hoped it wasn’t her. There were a lot of Kims, Jiwoo’s own last name was Kim, and not that she'd want any of them to be gone, but this couldn't be true.
Kim Jungeun was her best friend. Sooyoung knew that.
“Wait, what do you mean- there's no way!”
The investigator paused and looked towards the one way mirror of the interview room. Then there were two knocks on the door, and the investigator closed her notebook excused herself to step outside. She returned moments later with a solemn look on her face.
Jiwoo watched as the woman took her seat once more. The woman's name tag reflected the light from the bright LED's above and it was only then that Jiwoo was able to commit her name to memory, as her mind had been in a fog since arriving at the police station from the hotel she was in.
Heejin coughed into her fist. “Apologies, Miss Kim, to have you find out in such a callous manner. I believe that may not have been aware of this since it was a late discovery while you were in protective custody.” Heejin looked apologetic when paused to meet Jiwoo’s eyes. “Kim Jungeun's dismembered body was discovered two days ago.”
Jiwoo stood from her chair so quickly it was knocked to the ground.
“You're lying! whatever it is you want, it won't work. I didn't know anything about Sooyoung being the murderous Yves.” She turned to the mirror and pointed a finger at whoever was watching from behind the glass. “You hear me? I had nothing to do with this so bring her back.”
Jiwoo ignored the investigator and walked to the mirror to bang her fist against it.
“She was in protective custody like me and Jinsol, right? We all had nothing to do with it so let her go.”
Jiwoo looked from the glass to Heejin, the investigator shook her head. Jiwoo turned then back again. “Please,” she said, resting her forehead against the cool glass.
“Jiwoo,” Heejin said from her seat. “I'm sorry, but it's the truth. “
Jiwoo slid down the wall, unable to stand any longer. When she hit the ground the first tears fell, and she sat silently sobbing for the first time, as the reality of the situation and all the friends she lost finally caught up to her.
Heejin got up from her chair to console Jiwoo and Jiwoo was sure it was against protocol or something, but she didn’t turn down the offering of comfort.
After several minutes, Jiwoo nodded and extracted herself from Heejin’s hold to return to her seat. Her face was a mask of indifference, completely different everything she had been showing up until that point.
“How do you know?” Jiwoo asked, voice devoid of emotion.
“We found her because the killer confessed and the fingerprints on one of the hands matched hers.”
She knew it to be true but she still thought Yves. She had somehow, despite everything, separated Yves from Sooyoung in her mind.
Sooyoung. Sooyoung. Sooyoung.
She had a name. Sooyoung wouldn’t-
Even so, Jiwoo did not want to believe her best friend was dead. Not only that but killed by the woman she loved—or thought she loved. She had only heard from Jinsol the day prior, after a couple of weeks of no contact from her or Jungeun, and she hoped that Jungeun was in protective custody like the two of them. When Jinsol had called and mentioned that she still had been unable to reach her girlfriend, Jiwoo tried not to let it bother her because no one was allowed their phones and even contacting others was extremely difficult as they did not want to give away their whereabouts while the killer was still on the loose.
“Was it fast?”
“I don’t think that-”
“Tell me if she died quick and painless or if it was like the others.” Jiwoo asked calmly.
Heejin looked to the mirror and there was a knock from the other side of the glass. She sighed.
“It was,” Heejin started hesitantly. “It was worse, it is to be believed that she was made to suffer.”
Jiwoo nodded. She tried to wrap her mind around why Sooyoung would do this to her best friend and her own best friend’s girlfriend.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, Heejin had the answer.
“In Yves’ confession, she stated that she had always hated how close you and Jungeun were. That she tried to get over it for Jinsol, since she made her friend happy, but she couldn’t get over it because-” Heejin cut herself off again.
“No, I want to hear this-I need to hear what you have to say.”
There was a knock on the glass without Heejin’s prompting so she nodded.
“She said that it was because you cared so much about her that she couldn’t let it go. She could never know you the way that Jungeun did because you two grew up together. Yves felt like it was killing her inside, so she needed to kill Jungeun.”
“So all of them-they’re all dead because of me?”
“No!” Heejin was quick to reply. “Regardless of what happened, Yves, no Sooyoung, should not have killed these women. Any aggression and thoughts of this nature should have been dealt with by seeking help. Not acting on carnal urges. This isn’t your fault.”
When Jiwoo didn’t respond, Heejin repeated herself. “None of this is your fault.”
“Then why does it feel like it is.”
“It feels this way because she needed a reason to explain her actions. It was her rationale for doing something so inexcusable.”
Jiwoo nodded, not entirely convinced.
“The murderer who claimed the moniker Yves has been killing for several years. Long before the two of you were together.”
Jiwoo gasped. She hadn’t known that at all.
“We have several missing persons reports and cold cases over the past decade, all across the country with the same M.O. but many from the past 5 years with Yves’ signature.”
Jiwoo only knew it after the recent news reports. A serial killer who would kill their victims, then coat a skinless apple in their blood for it to appear red, before putting it in their mouth. Many of the victims were tortured prior to their death, so some of the apples had bite marks in them from being forced into the victim’s mouth while they were still alive.
Jiwoo shuddered at the thought.
She had only found out a couple months ago that Yves was Sooyoung and that Sooyoung was a killer.
Sooyoung had left a confession and a shiny, bright red apple on Jiwoo’s counter. Jiwoo hadn’t found it until well in the afternoon; she had been sore and slept in late after a long night of making love—she wondered if she should still call it that.
Was it love?
Were they in love?
Was she in love?
She wanted to know, what is love? Because how could someone she loved commit such heinous crimes.
Jiwoo had the tried to contact Sooyoung once she read the note stating she was the serial killer Yves, and had done it all for Jiwoo. Jiwoo didn’t think whatever sick joke Sooyoung had left was funny, but Sooyoung was nowhere to be found.
When Jiwoo couldn’t contact her, she called the police, but instead of letting them know of the confession, she had filed a missing persons report. It wasn’t until she had been questioned about Sooyoung’s last known whereabouts that she realized she should have said something sooner.
She told them about the note Sooyoung left, but she had hesitated.
It was why Jiwoo had been questioned several times over the past few weeks. She was thought to be colluding with the killer.
The apple was why she was placed in protective custody. Despite it looking normal to the naked eye, when placed under a black light, it stated that Yves would find Jiwoo again and to wait for her.
The interview concluded and she was brought back to her hotel and left to her thoughts.
That evening there was a knock at her door, and Jiwoo looked at the clock and noted that it was around dinnertime. She got up from the small couch in her room and checked the peephole to see who it was. She saw a uniformed guard with a cart of food and let the officer in as she normally did.
The officer did the same usual rounds by checking the room for any abnormalities before leaving the cart of food, protected by a large silver cover, in her room. She waited until the man left before checking her dinner.
She gasped when she saw the bright red apple at the corner of her tray, then she relaxed because there was no way that Sooyoung could have gotten to her when there people who inspected everything that went in and out of the room, and even down the hall, before something could reach her. But her gut still clenched at the sight of it, so she decided that she would either save it for last or throw it away after she was finished.
Probably the latter, since she couldn’t stomach the idea eating an apple after the implications of Yves.
Despite the day’s events she was famished and quickly finished her dinner.
She picked up the apple to put it on her plate to be disposed of with the rest of her meal, and gasped when she found a note the size of a fortune cookie fortune underneath it.
Don’t worry, you and I will be together again. No one can get in between us. – S
She dropped the apple to the ground and it broke in half easily. In the center, lodged on each side of the core was a ring.
The left was a plain silver band she always saw Jungeun wearing on her right hand, it was a promise ring from Jinsol. The right held the golden engagement ring Jungeun had gotten for Jinsol, she didn’t even know that anyone else knew about the ring. That is, unless Jungeun had told Sooyoung herself, but no. They weren’t close and only played nice if Jiwoo was around, but maybe Jungeun had given it to Jinsol and had yet to say anything, which meant-
There was no way Sooyoung would kill her best friend. Would she?
There was a ruckus in the hall followed by some loud thumps and Jiwoo froze.
It was quiet for several moments before a knock sounded on her door. Jiwoo crept softly to the door but all she could see was darkness when she glanced out the peephole. She jumped and made a sound when another knock sounded, much louder than before and right next to her ear.
“I know you are there. Open up.” Came a deep modulated voice. “Or I will break down the door.”
Jiwoo’s heart felt like it had lurched up into her throat and suddenly she couldn’t breathe. She was frozen and unsure of how she had been found.
“I am not going to hurt you.”
Then there was a beep as her door was electronically unlocked. Jiwoo wanted to curse at herself for not putting on the deadbolt, but her mind was blank and she was stricken with fear as the door opened.
“Good thing the guard had a key, since you’re still standing here. What if I did have to break down the door? I would’ve been a liar—you could have gotten hurt.”
The figure stepped into the well-lit room and removed the mask from their face.
“Hello, Jiwoo. Nice to see you again.”