Today was March 9, 2012 which meant it was Haneul’s birthday. Usually people are all giggly and excited for their special day but today, when Haneul woke up, she felt nothing. It’s not like she had anybody to spend the day with. It’d probably consist of her walking down to the cafe around the corner and picking up her morning coffee and then going out to see a movie or something. She did have a night time performance at Haru today but it was close to when her birthday would be ending so from around 12 in the afternoon till then, she had absolutely nothing to do.
She got out of bed and put on anything simple and headed out to get her coffee as she planned. She ordered, drank it then headed towards the movie theater to watch a movie. She decided to watch The Vow. Haneul knew that it was probably just the same cliche girl loses memory then falls in love with the man again but she was still interested in how it’d go. She wasn’t exactly satisfied with the film but it wasn’t all that bad as some had rated it. She got into her car then headed back to her apartment.
When she arrived home, she saw some letters outside of her door. She picked them up and headed inside. She went through each one and saw that it was mostly bills and a card from her grandparents and there was one from her… parents. She placed all the other letters on her table and lied down on her bed, unwrapping the one that was sent from her parents. She opened it and it read, “Haneul-ah. I’m writing this letter and sending it, hopefully it reaches you on the 9th. You’re my only surviving child left with Hajin in the skies now and I bet you felt pressured after your brother died. If you felt that we didn’t love you and were using you just to get justice for Hajin, you were wrong and I’m sorry that I made you feel that way. You must be wondering how I got your address. I got in contact with one of your old friends and they told me where you might just be and I hope that this does really reach you. Haneul, always remember that you’re my daughter and that I truly love you. Love, Mom.”
Haneul was shaken. She didn’t expect anything from her at all. She wasn’t all too sure what to feel. She felt a tear run down her face but she quickly wiped it. She wasn’t the type of girl to cry over a letter from her mom. She threw the letter on the floor, she still couldn’t forget the betrayal she felt from her parents when they practically forced her into becoming a lawyer, it’s what caused her to run away. She looked out the window and up to the heavens. “Hajin-ah, do you think it’s about time I forgave them?”
Always seen around Haneul’s neck would be this treble clef necklace with blue jewels in it. It was there to represent her brother. She found it underneath her pillow when she came back from the hospital after his accident. A letter was left with it. ‘Noona, I know you’re having a hard time these days so I saved up my allowance and bought you a necklace! I don’t know what you like except music and blue so I just tried to buy something that might satisfy your needs keke. Do you like it? I hope to see you wear it noona!’ It was supposed to be a surprise gift from Hajin to her but she had to find it the day he left the world. It’s seen worn by her all the time now because she never takes it off. So she could forever have Hajin by her side even if he was up in the heavens watching over her.
Singing was probably the only thing that kept Haneul’s mind off of the troubles in her life. Once she was on stage, holding onto that mic, everything around her went black and all she could see was herself soaring in the skies while belting out the notes that everybody enjoyed hearing. Dreaming of one day flying higher than where she was right now, a night club, a place someone like Haneul would have never imagined herself stepping one step into. A professional was what she wanted to become. To be loved by people who were not drunk and wreaking of alcohol and sex. That’s what she dreamt of.
Haneul walked up the stairs that were built for people to climb the mountain a bit more swiftly, although the way up was quite long. She hasn’t walked this road since last summer and it she felt different every time she did. Due to the cold weather, the trees didn’t have their bright green colors and the flowers that were always in bloom felt more dead than usual.
As she took her last few steps up to the top, she hesitated a bit before walking towards her love. “Hajin… Noona’s here! Did you miss me?” Haneul took slow steps to the grave and the place her brother was now lying in. “I’m sorry I couldn’t come a little earlier, I didn’t have the time.” She could feel the tears coming through her eyes but she tried to be strong, she didn’t want to show her brother her weak side. She was always supposed to be the stronger older sister that he looked up to. “I bet mom and dad came by more than I did. I was the one who promised to come often though. But.. I couldn’t keep my problem this year. It looks like I’m late.” She wiped the single drop that spilled from her eyes against her will.
“So how did you spend your 18th birthday? Noona promised you… That she’d be here on that day but I had work. Stupid bosses. Don’t they know that I have a life?” Haneul tried her best to let out a laugh but anybody could have known it was forced. There was snow all over the gravestone that she didn’t notice till now. She didn’t have any gloves on but she slowly wiped it all off so she could see the engraved text more clearly. Here lies Kim Hajin… A beautiful voice we cannot hear anymore… Up in the skies now. She couldn’t help it now, she was bawling and crying and she couldn’t help it. “Hajin-ah. Noona’s so sorry. I-I couldn’t protect you.” She hit her own chest and hugged the gravestone, wishing it could have been her younger brother…