Nobody ever clears the snow off the roof, so even though the streets below are walkable, up here the snow is so thick that Eunsung can hardly see the shape of the roof and its railings. It looks like a barren wasteland of white with a barren sky beyond it. There isn’t a single cloud today; she’d heard workers mention that at least five times on her way up but the reality of it is emptier than their words were. There is nothing up here but white and blue and the sun.
Eunsung shuts the door behind her without looking at it, and walks out into the snow.
It really is a beautiful day. There isn’t even any wind. The cold is still biting and there’s so much snow that it’s falling into Eunsung’s boots but nobody can argue with the beauty of a clear blue sky.
Eunsung already knows the view from the roof isn’t worthy of a day like this.
Her mother’s company looks over an ugly cityscape, too populated with offices to see anything but windows and concrete and billboards and slow moving cars down on the ground. There’s nothing you can do to beautify it except maybe change the lighting a little and frame it. Then you could make a decent photograph out of it, but without those trappings the scenery is bleak.
She’d looked at this view many times last summer, wondering if it would make a fitting scene for her death.
Surely the setting itself sent a great message. No matter how much Eunsung thought about it she never came up with a better way to shatter her mother’s illusions than to jump off the building she wanted Eunsung to run someday.
The ugliness of the view was always what stopped Eunsung from committing to the idea of dying here. Even on her most desperate days that summer, Eunsung couldn’t imagine being content as she fell if she was surrounded by buildings as dull and grey as the ones she could see from the roof.
Maybe if there had been a clear blue sky as nice as this one sometime last summer, Eunsung would be dead already, having stared at the endless calming blue as she fell.
Maybe since it’s so nice today, Eunsung will finally be able to jump.
She doesn’t really feel an overwhelming urge to die today, but she’s leaving her options open.
Part of her has wanted to jump ever since she left Susin, just to prove to Yohan that he didn’t cure her, he never did anything that could be remotely construed as helping her and she committed suicide regardless of anything he did.
But Yohan isn’t around to see that message, so there’s no real satisfaction in killing herself to make that point.
Another part of her realizes that it’s impossible for her monster to bide its time much longer, and that she might want to pull a Yoon Su before she does anything drastic.
But Eunsung’s always been too selfish for an end like that.
If she dies today, it’s going to be because she really, truly wants to.
The railing that marks the edge of the roof is coming up, Eunsung’s close enough that it doesn’t look like a continuation of the ground anymore. She hoists herself up onto the flat top of it with a little more difficulty than she did last summer, it’s been a while since she’s tried, but she makes it up and sits there, legs dangling over the white and head looking out on the blue, trying to ignore the ugly city below her.
She wants to leave her options open, not be deterred from dying by something as stupid as the scenery. She hadn’t wanted to live at all last summer, why had she let some buildings stop her? Was her will really that weak?
She doesn’t want to believe it was. She doesn’t want to believe she overlooked such an obvious weakness. Eunsung is smart, she goes to the high school that’s been top of the rankings for three years, surely if she didn’t actually want to kill herself last summer she would have realized that and stopped coming up to the roof every damn day.
Yet she did come every day and she never jumped, never realizing she didn’t want to until she had a gun pointed at her face.
Eunsung sighs, leaning back on her hands and letting her hair dangle over the edge.
By all means, none of it makes any sense. Her life doesn’t make sense at this point, hasn’t made plain, straightforward sense since she caught her mother kissing that man last summer.
The thought of her mother now almost makes Eunsung laugh.
Of course everything comes down to her mother. Of course after depression and a suicide attempt and a serial killer toying with her for days, everything comes down to her mother.
She can finds as many different reasons she wants but in the end, if she kills herself, she’s killed herself because the mother she loves is a selfish liar.
Does Eunsung really want death because of that?
Does Eunsung really want life when she has to deal with that?
Neither option is appealing, but only one of them is permanent.
Eunsung sits up and lets herself look at the urban sprawl beneath her. It isn’t actually the ugliness of it that keeps her from wanting to die, it’s the movement of it. The way cars crawl along the pavement, the way the sun glints off the windows differently if you so much as tilt your head, the way you can see people walking inside the buildings if you squint.
Movement reminds Eunsung of her own movement, of her rapid heartbeat and her shivering body and her heaving lungs.
When Eunsung can feel herself moving she feels a contentment that’s as close to happiness as she can feel, and she doesn’t want to let go of that feeling.
She really is too selfish to kill herself in the end.
Eunsung turns away from the city and the sky and slides back onto solid ground. The snow doesn’t look so perfectly blank now that Eunsung’s footsteps mark the path from the door to the edge.
Eunsung likes the way that it seems she’s made a mess. She likes the way that her path is unmistakable and she likes that there’s a clear patch where she sat on top of the railing. When her mother goes up to the roof to investigate what Eunsung was doing up here to become so cold, she’ll have no illusions about what Eunsung had been thinking about.
Her mother might think Eunsung was contemplating death because of Yohan, but that’s not an issue. That conclusion is at least partially true, and Eunsung can work with it for now.
While she’s alive and moving, she has plenty of time to let her mother know otherwise.
Again, that’s really what everything boils down to: Eunsung’s mother, and letting her know how miserable she’s let Eunsung become.
It’s far from the purest motive to live, in Yohan’s terms it’s probably the monster’s motive, but Eunsung doesn’t particularly care.
Whatever keeps her moving will do.