"Here you are sweetheart." says Jinki's grandmother.
She sets a pot of gabli tang on the dining room table.
"Take a seat." she says to Jinki.
Jinki, excited about the gabli tang hurries to his seat. He can't wait to dig in.
Jinki's grandmother takes a couple of scoops of the soup and puts it in his bowl. She then pushes some side dishes closer to him telling him to eat those too.
He takes a bite of soup and instantly falls in love with it.
"Mmmm, neomu mashisseoyo (it's very delicisou)." he says with joy.
"Really? Ahh then eat more, eat more." His grandmother says as she puts more soup into his bowl."
After dinner Jinki's grandmother took him upstairs to his new room. She told him to look around and to get comfy.
"Your grandfather will be home soon, so why don't you go a head and start unpacking. Once he gets here we'll have dessert." she tells him.
She closes his door and Jinki kind of looks up and around. He walks slowly exploring all of the things that were in his new room.
There wasn't much for a child's room. Mostly books, not toys. The walls were pretty bland. The bed was perfectly made, and the desk was empty. The room was pretty small actually. At least smaller than his previous room.
It was around 7 o'clock when Jinki finished unpacking. He was pretty tired. He wasn't necessarily uncomfortable with the situation but he wasn't too fond of it. He figured it was better than the foster home.
He sat down on his bed and laid back staring at the ceiling. He started thinking about how it would be to live with his grandparents. Worrying just a little but then determining that everything would probably be okay.
He then started thinking of his parents. The last thing he remembers is that day at the park. Everything else is quite a blur. It's been 6 months since he lost them. He tries hard recall what had happened but he starts to get headache every time he thinks about it. So he just gives up for now.
After about a half of hour of laying there Jinki hears someone coming up the stairs. His door busts open, it's his grandfather.
Jinki sits up quickly and tries to get off the bed to greet his grandfather but before he can...
"Don't you move!" says his grandfather.
Jinki just sits there as still as a statue. His grandfather closes his door and walks slowly towards him.
He stares at him, making Jinki feel more uncomfortable than ever.
"Don't you think for a second that just because your precious mommy and daddy are dead that I'll show you any sympathy." said his grandfather with a sort of ridged facial expression.
"I don't like the idea of a having a son of a slut and a big nosed know-it-all in my house." he continued.
"And this isn't a free ride where you get to eat all day long and use up all the hot water without doing any work around here. You better believe that you will be working for your stay. And i don't tolerate disobedience and attitude so you better get yourself checked on that." he exclaimed as he got closer to Jinki.
"And don't you ever, ever go crying to your grandmother, cause she can't help you."
He put his index finger right into Jinki's forehead and pushed him down on the bed. Then he began walking back towards the door....but before he left he stopped and turned around.
"I'll be watching you." he said in a low sort of whispered voice.
He left the room and left Jinki with a frightened look on his face. Jinki thought to himself, mom, dad, please help me.....
----BACK TO THE PRESENT----
Down the dark alley is a door, this is where Jinki lives. It's an old abandoned building that no one ever bothers to care about. No one ever comes back here.
When you walk into his place its not your usual comfy suburb or modern home. The place isn't very safe to live in. There are nails sticking out of the floors and walls. There are leaks from the roof. The place isn't very clean looking either.
Theres a bed, a bathroom, and a few other items Jinki has collected over the years; including a photo of his parents. Thats all he feels he needs. This may not be home sweet home, but it is home.
Jinki falls asleep after finishing his first roll of kimbap. He doesn't eat much. He's learned that he doesn't need much to satisfy his hunger, this way, he'll save more food. In the middle of the night Jinki starts tossing and turning. He has flashes of that day at the park with his parents.
He sees his mother and father together. He also sees a man, running, but he can't make out who he is or what he was doing. Then, he sees his kite in the air, not by him though, as if he let go and it was out on his own, and he's screaming towards his parents....
Jinki instantly wakes up in a pool of sweat. He starts breathing heavily; trying to calm himself down he sits up and grabs his chest. His heart is beating rapidly. With his right hand still grabbing his chest, he looks down to his left and closes his eyes. Taking slow, deep breaths. His heart finally starts to calm down. He lets go of his chest. With his eyes still closed he puts his head back, he slowly runs his hands through the front of his hair to the back of head. For a moment, he just sits there.
He opens his eyes and realizes its morning. "Hmp, morning already?" he says out loud.
He gets up and grabs a bucket he keeps next to his bed and goes downstairs and outside of the place he lives. Out there in the alley there is a faucet you're supposed hook up a water hose to. He had discovered that the water was still running a while back and has been using it every since. This is how he manages to stay hydrated along with staying clean.
While he waits for the bucket to fill up he looks out to the end of the alley where he can see people walking and cars passing threw. He doesn't really think much of it. He learns to accept his life for what it is and tries his best not to ever become envious of anyone else's. He does this so he can obtain and manage his life without regret or suffering. He knows he is not like other people in the world but he is still happy to be breathing each day and that's all that matters.
The water starts overflowing the bucket. He snaps back to reality. After returning to his room he sets the bucket down on his table and grabs the cup that sitting on it. He fills it up with water and gulps it down. Then he takes the bucket into the small bathroom that's next to his room and tosses water on his face and saves the rest of the water for later.
He's a bit hungry so he goes and eats half a roll of kimbap that the store ajumma had given him. He then decides to take off and wander around a bit, mostly to get some fresh air. He hates sitting in that room of his, it gets pretty stuffy.
He starts walking down the street and does what he does everyday, and that's enjoying the air he's breathing. About an hour of walking Jinki stops and sits at a bus stop for a bit just to take a small break. There are a lot of people waiting for the bus to arrive. One of them, is a mother and a daughter that looks about 5 years of age. As Jinki sits there, the young girl who is standing next to her mothering is holding her mothers hands in one hand and a lollipop in the other. She notices him. then turns around and stares.
After Jinki realizes that the young girl is looking at him he stares back and smiles. She then smiles back at him. As the bus begins to arrive at the stop people start crowding around to get onto the bus before others. The girl and her mother disappear in the crowd. After a few seconds, people are still entering the bus. He then notices the young girl looking out of one of the windows still smiling at him. She puts her hand outside of the window and signals him to come over. Jinki walks over to the girl and she says "Here, this will make you happy for the rest of the day." and hands him the lollipop. The bus then sets off.
His smile sort of fades while he is staring at the lollipop. He can't even remember the last time he's ever received anything from anyone. His eyes almost tear up. He slowly puts the lollipop in his mouth then smiles again. This little girl has made his day.
A few hours later Jinki is still wandering around and notices that the sun is beginning to set. So he heads off to his home. While he's walking, he still has a huge grin on his face and the lollipop in his mouth. A group of teenage boys who seem bored notices him and notices that he is what they call a bum. Instantly they have an urge to mess with him.
They follow him for a little bit until no one is around. One of them step in front of him. Jinki stops and says "Excuse me" and tries to walk around, but once he takes a step to the left, the boy also takes a step to the left. So Jinki tries going to his right, but the boy again steps to the right with Jinki. He stops and takes the lollipop out of his mouth. behind him he hears the snickering of two other boys and he turns around. He instantly gets a bad feeling about this.
One of the boys start pushing him against the building he's next to. Jinki gets this worried look among his face. Jinki may be a strong person but because of his cold past when it comes to physical things he immediately becomes the child he once was back then. He doesn't know how to protect himself.
"Where you headed?" one of the boys ask in an smirky tone of voice.
"I'm-I'm going home." Jinki hesitated.
"Home?" he says. "You don't look like someone who has a 'home'. Where do you live? In a cardboard box?" He questions. All of the boys start laughing.
"Please." Jinki begged. "Just let me go, I didn't do anything wrong."
"What made you think you did something wrong?" The boy looks at the other two. "Did you say something?" he asks one of them. The other boy shakes his head no. He looks to the second boy and asks, "How about you?" "Nope." He replied. "It doesn't look like anyone here said you did anything wrong." the boy said to Jinki.
"Then please, let me go." Jinki pleaded.
"Mmmm, no, I don't think so. Not until we have a little fun." the boy replied.
He looks down at Jinki's hand and sees the lollipop. "Awww, look you guys, he's sucking on a lollipop." They all laugh. "Does it taste good?" He asked Jinki.
Jinki says nothing.
"I SAID, DOES IT TASTE GOOD?" The boy asked and he grabbed Jinki's collar of his shirt.
"Ye-Yes" Jinki replied nervously.
"Then why not share. You know, sharing is caring!" exclaimed the boy.
Jinki turns a little, basically denying his request.
"Oh so your a stingy fella huh? Well I guess being a bum kind of makes you that way." he tells Jinki. He tries to grab the lollipop out of Jinki's hand but Jinki moves his hand out of the way quickly. The boy looks Jinki in the face, angry.
"I said SHARING IS CARING!" The boy said angrily.
Jinki once again moved his hand out of the way so the boy couldn't take the one thing that has made his life just a bit more joyful.
This made the boy furious. He punched Jinki in the stomach which led Jinki to fall to his knees. Jinki, grabbing his stomach starts coughing and spitting out blood. The boy stomps at Jinki's rib cage and this leads Jinki to fall straight to the ground, dropping the lollipop. Jinki, squirming around trying to get up gets kicked in the face by one of the other boys.
With his face to the ground he looked at the lollipop, he tries to crawl over to it to grab it but the boy notices Jinki and walks over to it. He looks at it. Then he looks at jinki, he stomps on it.
The lollipop is crushed into little pieces.
Jinki starts crying out, "ANDWAEEEEE!" One of the other boys kick him in the face again and Jinki flips over to his back and stares at the sky. Everything is blurry and fading in and out but he sees one star, just one bright star, which gives him hope.
Right after, he hears a voice. "YAH! Neo MEOHAE!?!" the person screams out. The boys run away quickly leaving Jinki on the ground.
The person hurries over to Jinki and asks him if he's okay. He sees a female in all white, with beautiful light brown hair and big, round brown eyes. She grabs his head and lifts it up, "Are you okay?" she repeats herself. Jinki can barely hear or see her. Everything is becoming more blurry and faded.
Soon, Jinki passes out completely....
"Here you are sweetheart." says Jinki's grandmother.