June 17, 1999
My name is MiNa Nam. I'm 19, still very young, but I am dying. Not right now but my life is slowly fading away as I'm writing my story. At this moment I'm sitting at 'our' spot. Mine and Eun Ji Won, the love of my life.
The sun is slowly beginning to set over the lake. I took a glance at my reflection in the water. My outside looks have changed drastically within the past few months, but the water reflected the true me. Inside I'm still the same person.
I have done and given so much for love but never once, have I received it back from Ji Won. There are times that I wanted to tell him everything that I've done for him and make him love me back. But I can't.
Love is not selfish.
So I did what felt right. I keep giving Ji Won my love and I never asked for his love in return. Even though I'll leave this world pretty soon, my love for him will still remain. My story begins when I first met Ji Won six years ago on this one fateful day. It all started out.
October 31, 1993
"You better come back here you good for nothing brat!"
I covered my ears with my palms. That was my stepmother calling me. Her voice sounds murderous and I didn't want to face her today. She had slapped and hit me too much already. I'm afraid I can't take it anymore so I hid in my closet.
I peeked through the crack in my closet and saw my stepmom with a really pissed off look on her face. She was holding that stick that I'm always afraid of. I winced thinking about how much it would hurt if she hits me with it again.
I'm just thirteen and whoever said 13 was an unlucky number, they were right. My mom had died when I was just turning ten. Before she died she told me that I was the most beautiful girl in the world and how proud she was to be my mother. She said even though she'll be gone, her love remains with me always.
Tears rolled down my cheeks. 'If you love me mommy, how can you be so selfish to leave me?' So now when I had turn 13 my dad had married Mok Young A, who is my stepmom today. She was a cold-hearted woman who tortured me all day. Any self-esteem I had for myself was shattered and I was living a nightmare.
My closet door suddenly opened.
"There you are you wicked girl!"
My stepmom started cussing at me as she pulled me out and threw me onto the floor. I began to tremble because I knew what was going to happen next.
*Whack whack whack.*
I cried out in pain but I knew that no one is going to hear my cries. I desperately began to gasp for air. My heart was aching again. I couldn't breathe.
"Not again! Don't you see how much you're costing your father and me with your heart problems? If it wasn't for all these medical bills we wouldn't be so poor now!"
I had this heart condition where air would suddenly shut off and I couldn't breathe. The doctors are trying to save me by giving me a respirator and pills, but they're not sure how much longer I'll be able to live. My dad (who was a pathetic excuse for a man) came in.
He looked down at me with sorrowful eyes. He held my stepmom's arm lightly and said, "I think she had enough. You don't want her to have another attack. Calm down and let's have dinner."
"That's why I'm hitting her!" she yelled. "She got detention and stayed after school for an hour. She was supposed to be home to go buy food for dinner and make it. Your daughter is so evil. She wants me to starve or something!"
"I didn't get detention. The teacher wanted to talk to me about-"
But I was cut off by the whack of my stepmom's stick. I cried silently in pain and turned away. I didn't want to look at her.
My dad said, "Well, dinner's just going to be a little late today. Mina, say sorry to your mom."
Despite the pain, I managed to say, "Sorry mom. Please forgive me."
My dad handed me some money. "Here. Go buy food to make mee-yuk-gook tonight." My stepmom's temper simmered down a little as my dad lead her out of my room.
I picked up the money and headed for the store. Mr. Choi, the owner of Choi Food Market, shook his head as I walked in. He knew what kind of hell I was going through. I finished my shopping and checked out.
"That'll be $3.49."
"What?" I asked. " . Choi. That's impossible. With all this stuff it should be around $15."
"I know Mina." Mr. Choi gave me a sad smile. "The exact price is $14.32. Why don't you keep the change for yourself?"
I opened my mouth in shock. "Mr. Choi.I..I can't do that," I said as I handed him 20.
He only took five. "No. Keep it. I know that stepmom of yours don't give you any money."
I looked up at Mr. Choi with tears in my eyes. Here he was, just a friend reaching out to me. I said thanks and headed for home.