"Soojin!!!" Dr. Ma calls her name. "Are you okay??" He asks, staring with his forehead wrinkling. The doctor's warm hand on her right shoulder brings her consciousness back from the darkness.
Am I hallucinating???
"I-I'm... o-okay…" Soojin stutters her words as she grasps for her voice from the deep silence.
"Are you sure? You were standing there for a minute glaring at the door?" The doctor questions her with his worried eyes.
"I'm okay. Thank you, Dr. Ma." The young therapist forces a smile on her lips. She hides the tremble in her hands by making a fist.
"Why don't I walk you to your car? I think we are the only ones left here." The psychiatrists offer, flashing a charming grin on his face.
Soojin nods her head to agree on the doctor''s suggestion. They start to walk in the hallway, past the pitch-black darkness in the middle of the center, and into the doorway to get outside the facility.
The strong frosty breeze outside the small building makes Soojin's body shiver. She grabs her coat close to her body, crossing her arms around her chest while walking towards the parking lot where her car is stationed while the doctor follows her from her back and stops in front of her car's door.
"Will you be alright?" Dr. Ma asks, narrowing her eyes and staring at the woman who looks a little pale since he saw the young therapist standing in the hallway.
"I will be. Thank you." Soojin says and lets out a sweet gleam on her face towards the doctor.
The precious smile of the psychologist heats the doctor's cheeks, flashing a pinkish hue on the fair skin over the bearded face of the man. Dr. Ma Dohyun likes Soojin since the woman joined the clinic of psychologist and psychiatrist that his uncle Dr. Yang assembled. Yet, he is timid to directly ask the therapist out as he is the oldest psychiatrist at the facility at age forty and the woman is the youngest at twenty-six. He could simply say he cares about Soojin as a friend and colleague and stop himself from showing affection beyond that.
Soojin opens her car and lets herself in while Dr. Ma stands a few feet away from her car door, waiting for her to start the engine. The machine brought out a jarring sound as she pushed her keys in and the flickering red light flashes on the screen near the steering wheel where the car settings can be seen.
Soojin reads the warning, she stops and thinks if she's going to leave the car in front of the facility or use it. She watches Dr. Ma nods his head and waves his hand to say goodbye to her. He walks away in the direction of his car near the entrance of the parking lot while she grabs the steering wheel to look like she's going to drive off the place. When she scans the vicinity and sees the doctor left, the therapist puffs out loudly while hunching herself at the driver's seat.
Pondering about whether to use the car or not, Soojin decided to leave the car in front of the vicinity and ride a cab home rather than have problems in the middle of the road. She checks her car before getting outside and locks the door with her car remote locker. Before walking out, she makes certain the locks are working by trying to pull the door handle hard with two hands.
The security guard passes by as Soojin is pulling the handle hard and gives her a questioning look that makes her stop and smile. She nods as the man continues to walk by and to not look suspicious she pulls the remote out of her pocket and points at the car then clicks the automatic unlock. The vehicle lets out a quick "blip" sound of an opening door which makes the guard turns to look at her. Soojin flashes a quick smile and when the patrol leaves, she quickly marches away from the parking lot.
π - π - π
The street is still filled with young shoppers in Common Ground, as the place is near Konkuk University a few steps away from Dr. Yang's facility where Soojin works. The place is lively with stalls made from cargo containers and designed into hip boutiques and restaurants. The place is starting to become a tourist spot as well even if it's at the eastern end of Seoul and far away from the typical tourist spot such as Gyeongbok Palace, Insa-dong, Myeongdong, Hongdae, or Seoul Station.
The smell of roasted meat with soy sauce and spices fills Soojin's nostrils as she passes by the food trucks at the center of the shopping district. The excitement to taste a savory dish makes her mouth watery, craving for a delightful dinner to eat at one of the food stalls lined up in the street. She let herself wander around to choose from the variety of food sold in the street market when her sight caught a man's face walking past her to stand in line in the front of a food stall that sells spicy kimchi.
Mr. Lee Yejoon
The unexpected sighting of her client made Soojin's heart jump from her chest. From their last encounter this morning, the man has never left her mind. Especially, when she didn't experience the usual recollection of memories of the person she touched. Soojin remembers having her "ability" working before with her client, Mr. Lee, but the man said he had an accident yesterday that caused him to forget details of his life.
Perhaps having temporary amnesia can stop her from recalling memories as the nerves in the brain are also blocked by the injury, Soojin thought.
Yet, her fascination lingers. She gazes at the man wearing a black cap and clear glasses. He is tall with a height of six feet and two inches, and as she recalls, the man plays basketball with his best friend in a semi-professional league during weekends. His physique is not too muscular but his arms show a good line of muscle builds that his black short sleeves tee-shirt exhibits. The faded jeans folded at the hem of his pants make him look neat and he matches it with white sneakers with no socks for a trendy appeal.
I wonder what size of shoes he wears, Yoojin asks herself.
When Mr. Lee Yejoon completes his order from the stall, he immediately walks away from the crowd of people.
"Mr. Lee!!!" Soojin calls the man who passed by her. It is unethical to make communication with a client outside the clinic but she wants to ask him about his accident.
The man sees her but turns his face away to ignore her presence. Mr. Lee walks fast into the street going to the parking area.
"Mr. Lee!!!" The woman stride fast to catch up but Mr. Lee's steps are larger compared to her. She begins to jog and when she catches the man at the corner block in front of a television shop, Soojin immediately grabs his hand.
The calm sense of nothingness surges in like a wave of water from the sea. She feels her nerves savor the comfort of not forcing herself to stop seeing memories or thoughts of the person she's holding. The calming nature makes her feel at ease.
"What do you want, Ms. Han???" The tall man yells, yanking the hand that stops him from running away.
"C-Can you tell me about your accident? I sense… there might be something wrong with you... that's why you lost your memory." The therapist inquires, catching her breath as she continues to clutch the man's hand.
The electronic shop displays suddenly change from playing a melodic love song to the flash news of a person who has suspected to drown at the seaside just outside the city. Soojin didn't mind the loud noise the television made and the worried look at the man's face.
"There's nothing wrong with me!!!" Mr. Lee yells, his eyes fiercely stare at the woman who followed him to ask about his state.
"Then, I suggest you be careful. I don't want to think it's a bad sign that you can't recall your memories." Soojin explains. Head injuries can cause hemorrhage to the brain with some cases undetected and amnesia can be one of the effects.
"Why would I be careful?" The man continues to shout at the woman. He tries to grab the therapist's hand holding his other hand to free himself from the tight grip.
"You might be dying." The female psychologist confesses to making her client realize the danger he is in.
!!!POLICE REPORT SAYS THE BODY RECOVERED AT THE SEASIDE BELONGS TO MR. LEE YEJOON, TWENTY SIX YEARS OLD, WORKING AS A NURSE AT SEOUL HOSPITAL!!!
Soojin turns her head at the fifty-inch television displayed in front of the shop.
!!! THE POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING THE DEATH OF MR. LEE. SUICIDE WAS TAKEN OUT AS ONE OF THE REASONS DUE TO THE LACERATION FOUND IN HIS HEAD!!!
The news raises Soojin's hair from her neck to her legs, giving her goosebumps and shock. She turned her face at the man in front of him and scanned every part that made him alive.
One, Soojin can feel the blood coursing through the man's veins in his hand and the warmth it gives against her palm. Second, the man standing in front of her does not have pale skin or has any injuries like the one they found at the seaside. Third, the client knows her schedule of appointments and contact number. The mysterious man knows the victim.
"Who are you???" Soojin mumbles with her eyes wide in shock
Is he a ghost, Soojin asks herself.