Healer

CH 2.1

“Who’s going to welcome you there?! If you go to that house one more time, I’ll tell the police to catch you!”

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“I want to hear Chaewoo sing… Let me hear it just once…”

Sejin’s older brother begged with tears in his eyes.
Even though those1 were the words he feared the most, that desire dispelled the fear.
From that day onwards, the brother had been wandering around the house.
When he opens his eyes first thing in the morning, he would look for Chaewoo.

Where’s Chaewoo? Is Chaewoo not coming? Bring me to Chaewoo’s house.
Please bring Chaewoo.
Chaewoo, Chaewoo…

“Not coming! I said he’s not going to come—!”

When the request was not met, the older brother pooped in his pants, destroyed his food and beverages, and messed up the house.
For the first time, Sejin felt terribly murderous towards his older brother.
It was Sejin who had the option of not abandoning his older brother so far.
But he was no longer an absolute being, a favourite, or guardian to his older brother.
He was just a hindrance.
It was so scary.

Sejin secured the door with tape from the outside, and set up a broken TV and two rocks.
Although his heart ached, one of his strengths was dealing with others so he risked escaping.
He checked the door carefully and rushed to the supermarket, where he stopped.

Sejin found Hyungwook talking to a strange man near an electricity pole in the alley.
The man looked around his neighbourhood and went down the other side.
As he walked away, Hyungwook greeted him with an awkward face.
Seeing his heart beating like this, it seems that he didn’t completely hate Hyungwook yet.

“Who was that man earlier?”

“Just someone.
He asked me this and that…”

Ah~ Sejin nodded his head.
It was just an excuse to talk a little more, he was not really curious about who the man was.
Hyungwook looked at the place where the man had disappeared with an uneasy expression, and left a dry greeting and ran away.
In the direction Hyungwook was running, there was Chaewoo’s house.

“When are we going to that abandoned house again…?”

Only Sejin’s voice was left falling to the floor alone.
He wished and hoped that Hyungwook would abandon his plan, but Hyungwook did not come back.

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Even if Chaewoo took over Sejin’s surroundings one by one, he tried to understand him generously.
Because he deserved sympathy, with his mother who was crazy about money, even his troublesome brother.
He was not petty enough to stop Hyungwook from taking care of a poor child.
Sejin struggled to somehow turn this jealousy into compassion.
Otherwise he would go crazy.
Even if he sees Hyungwook’s back, who was running towards Chaewoo and hears his brother’s voice looking for only Chaewoo, he still made up his mind that he needs to sympathise with him.

If only that had not happened.

Time flew quickly and Christmas Day soon arrived.
The people who cursed the world because of poverty exchanged words of blessing only for today.
The church was decorated with trees and snowman dolls, and the inside and outside were so crowded that there was no space to walk.
As expected, Chaewoo and Hyungwook did not come.
In the morning, Sejin washed and dressed his brother and brought him to church.

“I want to go home…”

He comforted his frozen brother who kept shaking his ass and groaned.
He was an older brother who would put strength on his shoulders no matter where he puts it if he only hides his weak talk and poor intelligence.
His brother hated places with a lot of people, but today was the first day Sejin would sing a song to his brother.

“Don’t go anywhere, I will come down immediately after I sing.”

He pleaded with his brother and gave him a candle in a cup and then ran straight backstage.
He wore a winged angel robe and a round prop on his head.
The members of the choir stood on either side of Sejin.
Everyone in the choir was full of nervousness, and Sejin’s heart was fluttering.

The red curtain split on both sides, and the dark stage was lit.
Candles held by people in the audience flickered like a night view of the city.
Surrounded by colourful lights, the children were like fairies who came to play for a while on Christmas Day.
When the piano accompaniment started, a young voice sang out.

Blessings on Christmas, love on Christmas…

I will remember the day I met you

Today, perhaps, instead of the Christmas nightmare left by his mother, he could make real memories.
That was the Christmas present that Sejin wanted to give to his older brother.
On top of the chords the children made, Sejin gently sang.

A song for my brother…

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On the window sill, the candle will hide the black night, and the whole world will be covered with white snow.

It doesn’t matter to me when we’re apart or together.

Still, my heart is always by your side forever and ever…

Sejin’s voice spread through the auditorium.
The shock of Chaewoo’s song had not gone away yet, but when he sang, all the distractions were gone.
It didn’t work hard, it just happened spontaneously.
Sejin sang only for himself, and he used to be intoxicated with his tone.

But if you could touch something with this colourless, odourless voice, if people could feel it, if you could caress that chair, the tree that stood all day long, and the polluted people, Empty everything polluted and refill it from scratch… Very occasionally, he felt the desire to do so.

Suddenly, Sejin’s song was crushed in his mouth.
When his singing suddenly stopped, the face of the female college student who was playing the piano stiffened.
The children were also startled.
In the darkened auditorium, only yellow and red light bulbs blinked.
Sejin looked blankly at one place.
The place of his older brother with only a candle left…

Clang—!

Sejin ran without taking off his angel costume.
As soon as he got home, he flipped the door open.
There was only darkness and thin air in the room.
Ha… Ha…! His breath rose to the heights.
He turned without hesitation.
There was only one place his brother could go at this time, on a day like today, and leave his younger brother.

“Fuck! He can’t even clean up his poop and pee by himself… !”

He ran through the cold rain alley.
The cold rainwater cut through the skin like a knife.
Somewhere in town, someone sang a carol.
Someone must have been hesitant to unpack the presents.

‘Who do you like the most?’

‘I like Sejin the most.
I like my brother the most.’

“Liar! Liar! Don’t talk bullshit!!”

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It wasn’t the older brother’s feelings, just like Sejin told the fake truth, he also told the fake truth.
It was the same with Hyungwook.
Sejin was Chaewoo’s closest neighbour and so he was a good bridge between Chaewoo and them to step on.
When Sejin came to his senses, he looked around and saw that Chaewoo was eating up all of Sejin’s belongings2.
Sejin had to wash the quilt until his hands swelled, cooked and sacrificed until his waist broke, and forcibly forced him to say what he wanted to hear.

Would it have been less of a shock if he had been prepared to lose his brother? Wounds torn apart in the absence of immunity did not regenerate easily.
Instead, new malice piled up in the place of the wound.
The solo was also a mess, and one more nightmare on Christmas occurred.
He would never wait for Christmas again.
Never! It was only then that he realised this sadness when the bitter tears came into his mouth.

“Urgh… Urgh…”

The breath mixed in the rain was sad.
A sharp wind blew and pierced his chest.
He made his way through the alley to a fork in the road and ran down the slope.
He looked at the house, filled with livid eyes.
It was then.

Stop it! Stop!! I don’t want toooo-!!

Sejin froze at the scream that ripped through the darkness.
An ominous feeling was clinging to it.
He stepped forward and turned around the corner.
After opening the door to the house, he entered the yard.
The sound of rain pounded down the dim house.
Sejin approached slowly and opened the front door.
Creak… There was only a creaking sound, and the inside of the house was engulfed in darkness.
He didn’t even dare to go inside the house.

At that moment, a shout was heard from behind.

As he snapped his head and looked back, he saw a man standing in front of the gate.
He looked at Sejin with an umbrella resembling the black sky on his shoulder.
Cigarette smoke caught in his fingers and fluttered like the hem of a ghost’s robe.
He stroked one arm and glanced over the gate.
There was no one passing by.
The man who had been smoking a cigarette opened his mouth with surprise.

“Do you live in this house?”

Sejin couldn’t spill information to the stranger, so he was just dumbfounded.

“No.
I just… I was just looking for someone.”

“It seems like you were poorly educated to go in and out of other people’s houses at this hour.
Ah, it’s okay.
Ahjussi3 tells a lot of lies, so he has an idea of ​​whether you’re lying or not.”

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The man walked through the rain and came in front of Sejin.
He was a man so big that it hurt his neck to look up at him.
Large and small scars on the man’s unsmooth cheek seemed to represent his past history.
Sejin sighed and stopped breathing.
It was because a tattoo of a large scorpion was attached to the nape of his neck.

“What’s your name?”

The man asked again.
It was difficult to guess who the hell he was and why he was asking this, but the man’s intimidation made his body freeze more than the cold.
Sejin said while hesitating.

“J-Jang Sejin…”

“How old?”

“F-fourteen years old…”

At that moment, the man smiled, flashing his teeth.

“I went all over the place trying to find you.”

It all came from his father’s diary.

The words in the old diary changed Giha’s life.

 

Referring to “i’ll call the police” line from sejin Metaphorically, ie.
Sejin feels that Chaewoo was taking everything away from him like his older brother and Hyungwook Meaning uncle, he’s referring to himself.

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