It was possible. Anyone would get tired of playing with their favorite toy eventually. It was time for him to lose interest. It wasn’t unusual.
He’s so frivolous. He looks like he has only ever been in light, flirtatious relationships. He looks like he has never been seriously in love, as if he doesn’t even know what it is.
Of course, it wasn’t love. It was a game.
She knew this would come someday. She knew it would happen, so she wasn’t surprised when it did. She had to be prepared.
Why does it feel weird?
Won clenched and unclenched her first; half to calm her nerves, and half to hide her trembling fingertips.
She had not been betrayed. It was just that the predestined future had been realized.
She tied the lifeline around her waist in advance, knowing that at any moment, he could push her from behind. She didn’t just fall n*ked and defenseless.
Normally, she would be standing there, unharmed, and admiring her own foresight. She would have been marveling at her wit, free of his tiresome bullshit.
‘If I knew it…’
Why is she shaking?
Instead of feeling liberated, she felt like she was abandoned.
She knew from the beginning that he was treating her like a toy, and she wanted him to just play with her and then leave her alone. It isn’t true for her to say she was abandoned by him.
It was the promised end. The feeling of betrayal, shock, and emptiness is ridiculous.
Her head told her so, but her heart didn’t accept it.
How can a person change so quickly? It’s not like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
If he kept calling her pretty, even as a joke, she would eventually become confused. She would be wondering if she was actually pretty and develop an attachment that wasn’t originally there. What was with the sudden change?
‘Really? It was nothing?’
Not even a single gram of sincerity?
‘Everything you put me through was a joke?’
A fever rose to her head. Her teeth chattered and her stomach churned. She was fully aware that he wasn’t serious, but she couldn’t comprehend why she felt so uncomfortable with the confirmation.
It was unexpected. She thought she would be fine.
‘… It’s the dream.’
She is bothered because of the dream about him.
‘It has to be.’
Mrs. Sook was also taken aback by Top Dog’s rejection. Looking back and forth between him and Won, Mrs. Sook responded with a confused look.
“Oh, you won’t go? Okay.”
After watching her the entire way to the audio-visual room, Mrs. Sook cautiously asked, “Did you have a fight with Rock?”
Won tried not to show it on her face.
“We don’t have anything to fight about in the first place.”
She gave a look to Mrs. Sook that told her to stop prying and then turned her head away.
She was annoyed, wondering why everyone was so interested in her business. At the same time, it felt like reassurance that she wasn’t the only one who thought there was some sincerity.
The fact that Mrs. Sook was puzzled by the unsuccessful evangelization was proof that Top Dog’s behavior could be misunderstood by anyone. She thought she was crazy for a minute. It wasn’t just that Won was overly self-conscious and mistaken, but others saw it too. Somehow, it was comforting, though it didn’t make her feel better.
“Oh, I’ll sit over there! I’m a good listener!”
When they reached the room, Mrs. Sook decided she had served her purpose and sat next to someone else she knew.
‘The caught fish, I see.’
Left alone, Won took a quick look around the room. She didn’t recognize any of the patients, except for Black Cat who sat alone to one side.
‘There you go.’
Black Cat said he infiltrated the hospital to investigate a cult. It was an opportunity that came around once every few weeks.
Won sat at a distance from Black Cat. She didn’t mind the contact with him but wanted to avoid it because it felt weird and a little awkward. Plus, she didn’t want to cuddle with someone.
She waited for the program to start, bracing herself in case a strange man came and sat next to her. If it was a woman, Won would compromise, but if a man sat next to her, she would bolt for another seat.
Luckily, there were no patients trying to sit next to her with malicious intentions.
Just as Won was letting her guard down, relieved that the people in the program weren’t being weird, she heard the sound of a chair being abruptly pulled back next to her. Won jerked her head in that direction.
‘What kind of person would sit next to someone else without asking…’
She froze when she realized who it was.
“Hi, pretty girl.”
“Why are you…”
Her lips had barely parted when she heard a voice from the podium.
“Good morning, everyone, and welcome to those of you who have met us before and those who are meeting us for the first time today. We are from the New Faith Prayer Center…”
The program started and she missed her chance to move.
Won tore her gaze away from the shameless smirk on Top Dog’s face and stared straight ahead, her mind racing.
‘What is this? Why did he come?’
He acted like he wouldn’t.
‘Was he bored? Did he have nothing better to do? Why are you laughing?’
He acted like he did a good job.
‘I’m guessing you still want to play with me since you’re sitting next to me.’
Realizing that her eyes were still focused on the person next to her, she tried to distract herself.
Now was not the time for such futile thoughts. It was absurd that she was trying to gauge his intentions after participating in a program run by a cult. She can think about him any time she wants, but gathering information is to be done now, and she doesn’t know when she’ll get another chance.
‘Let’s stop thinking about him.’
If she wanted to waste time, she could do it later when she was so bored she could barely look at herself. For now, it was best for her to focus on the task at hand.
Composing herself, she first observed the congregation.
The muscles in his forearms, visible through his shirt, were not the kind of muscles one would see on someone with professional training. His hands, while calloused, were only enough to hold a golf club. His bent ring finger, which looked like a bone sticking out to the side, was a common deformity in people who played golf with poor form. He was an ordinary middle-aged man who took up golf as a hobby.
Next is a middle-aged woman. She doesn’t even have the average muscle mass. She was a perfectly normal person who seemed to live in a garden.
Next is a young, male churchgoer. He has muscles that proudly sit in the most visible areas. His body was made for fitness. He has a good physique, but he wasn’t much of a threat.
The young female churchgoer sat next to him. At first glance, she looked skinny and thin, but she was actually the strongest of the four. She’s the only one who has done any kind of exercise that might help her in a fight. Her clothes make it hard to see the exact location and shape of her muscles, but she’s probably been practicing some jitsu for a while now, even if it isn’t at a competitive level.
In conclusion, none of them seemed to have any special training and were just regular people.
“We all know about Adam and Eve, the Tree of Knowledge, the Serpent, and Original Sin. It’s said that the Serpent in Eden tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, which led to Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden. So while we often think of the Serpent as an evil and cunning creature, there is also a school of thought that credits it with giving mankind wisdom. The ability to discern between good and evil comes from wisdom.”
The elder lowered his voice.
“It’s a secret, but I actually don’t hate snakes. They’re called lewd, but that’s not a bad thing. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like lewdness when we were all born with it?”
The elder, who was wearing a three-piece suit, rambled on for a while about snakes. Won felt a little uncomfortable because it was supposed to be a worship service.
In the Bible, snakes are depicted as the sources of all evil. The Serpent is described as the source of all evil. In Genesis, the Serpent is described as “the most deceitful of the wild beasts,” but he doesn’t hate snakes?
‘Even if it’s a cult…’
Something clicked in her mind.
The myth about the snake roaming the ward.
Patients crawling through the halls like snakes, aggressive religious conversion, as seen in the ‘Precautions for the Closed Ward’ pamphlet.
An elder in a snake-friendly cult with a vague connection to the hospital.
The word ‘snake’ penetrated everything happening in this ward.
Won glanced at the seat next to her. Top Dog, sitting in the chair, looked unbothered.
“I’m going to tell you the precautions to take in the locked ward, so open your ears and listen.”
“Watch out for snakes.”
Who the hell is this guy?
hey besties i’m back and will be trying to upload on a regular schedule again. sorry i went mia i had some things to take care of