Empty Spaces by Azzurri

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The wind howls past my ears, its ice-cold gust freezing up parts of my face. I pull my cap lower, and my turtle neck sweater higher. Still, I can’t take my eyes away from the blinking lights of the city down below me. From here, everything seem so still and peaceful. From here, it is almost as if the city reaches out with loving arms to beckon me forth to her. Healer, come. It silently calls to me.

For some reason it makes me recall lines from a poem I read sometime ago. Don’t ask me why I read poetry. Sometimes a day can seem rather long, when there is no job. Sometimes even talking to Ajumma makes me restless. So sometimes, although very rarely so, I read. Whatever I feel like at the time. Whatever I can get my hands on. An old high school textbook sometimes. A literary work another. But surely no porn stuff or girly magazines – that was Teacher’s entertainment, but somehow it never rubbed off on me.
So what were the lines of that poem again? Ahh this:  

Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
In a field I looked into going past...

The night has come, shrouding the day in its dark shadow. After the sun sets, the darkness looms swiftly. This darkness gives me comfort and I feel safe to be out here, on the roof of this high rise building looking down on the spread of bright city lights below. At this distance, and in this quiet stillness, the city of Seoul looks almost like a field. A field of blinking bright neon lights that hide shaded dark alleyways that I know so well, almost like the back of my hand.

And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

This dark cold winter night has seen a sheen of snowfall covering the rooftop, glowing white and pure around me. Uh-uh... no weeds on concrete fields, thank you very much. Especially not in the dead of winter. No, this is Healer-land. My land. Where I am king. Where no other human lurks beside me in my Healer persona – mysterious, dark, adept to hide in the shadows and to leap and climb and tumble and run when I need and want to. To complete an errand of Ajumma’s choosing, no matter my disdain sometimes at her choices of work. Or just to be out and about when the confines of my abode start to press in on me, and I feel suffocated.

The woods around it have it - it is theirs.
All animals are smothered in their lairs.

Although the urban jungle is barely a home, especially not for trees and definitely not for animals... sometimes I feel I am that animal. That wild animal in the woods, being smothered in my own lair. Sometimes I forget I even have a name and that Healer is just a persona we three created (Teacher, Ajumma and I), so immersed am I in getting through another job and another day, and to take another breath.

I am too absent-spirited to count;
The loneliness includes me unawares.

Ajumma always calls me Healer. I barely ever hear my own name, except the other day when I went to see my mother. “Jung Hoo,” she called me softly. The name seemed alien on her lips and to my ears, but from some detached place I am reminded that that name belongs to me. Seo Jung Hoo. Yes, people used to call me that. When there were people in my life, apart from Ajumma and Dae Yong, my minion.

I was once a person called Seo Jung Hoo, someone with a father, a mother and a grandmother. But one day that father died, and not long after my mother left and my grandmother died too. Then one day Teacher appeared, telling me that my father was his good friend. I had no money, nowhere to go and no one else then. I only had Teacher, and for a time he was my family and my world. Then he left too, and Ajumma became my only contact to the outside world. My only friend. I have never met her in person. She is just a voice that rings out in my home and in my ear, sometimes I even think she’s a voice inside my head.

The real truth is Ajumma is my partner. She arranges the job and payment, and on a job she is my eyes and ears. Her amazing skill with computers and the cyberworld helps support me in my work. My work is just that – work. I run errands that no one else is capable of. Our clients can trust us for our anonymity, both ours and theirs. I don’t care for politics or power. As long as the pay is good, I’m willing to do almost anything. As long as it doesn’t include the taking of another life, any other crime is of no consequence to me. I will do it all, and I have a reputation for doing it well and better than anyone else in the business. No safe or secret, dirty or clean in this city of lost souls is immune to the Healer.

And lonely as it is that loneliness
Will be more lonely ere it will be less—
A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
With no expression, nothing to express.

And so I’ve lived for the better part of 8 years since Teacher upped and left. I don’t particularly like being among people, let alone crowds. I don’t even like the city during the day –its brightness and its noise is something I would rather leave behind. That is why my dream is to own a deserted island, a 2 hour boat-ride from the Panama Canal to a paradise of lush green trees and natural waterfall, surrounded by the bluest ocean and sky. A place of oblivion. A place where even Ajumma’s voice will not interrupt me ever again.

I have reveled in this aloneness and found solace in it. I have never yearned for the presence of another human being to share my empty spaces with. I have always kept my own counsel and my own company. But lately, lately... something unfamiliar has been happening to my heart. Sometimes I feel warmth within it. Sometimes it tingles. And lately, it has even begun to hurt.

A few days ago it surprised even myself. “Instead of waiting for someone who isn’t  coming, why don’t you consider me?” I had asked her. “If you want, I can live the way you want me to. As long as I could, and very carefully... be next to you like this.” The words were out of my mouth even before I realised I had said them. I was in disguise, but at that moment it was Jung Hoo not Bong Soo who spoke.

They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars - on stars where no human race is.

There used to be this empty space inside my heart, but lately it’s been filled. I didn’t even realise it, until it was too late. It was too late for me to empty it out or even to run away. Because this girl, this girl with laughing eyes had settled into that empty space and made it her home. All of a sudden, those shining conglomeration of stars in the night sky – I found them shining in her eyes, and in my heart. It was the first time that I finally felt I wanted to be a part of this human race.

Ajumma had said, that just like that Superman character whose weakness was a rock – my weakness was people. Human beings. I don’t think that’s exactly right. My weakness was probably my fear of people. Of being hurt. Of being left behind.

I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.

Those desert places within me, which before defined Healer and defined Seo Jung Hoo... they no longer exist. I am no longer afraid. I am prepared, even if it means I will be hurt. Even if I cannot be 100 percent forthright with her. Still, I want to stay by Chae Yeong Sin’s side. To hear her sing a strange song and dance a funny little dance. To have her kick me and hit me for deceiving her – I can take a few hits and I deserve them. To see the stars in her laughing eyes and hear her charming peals of laughter. To get lost in the warmth of her embrace and her gentle kiss.

Ajumma, I had said. Don’t tell me to run away. I don’t know how to run away. She didn’t ask me why, because she didn’t need to. I think she knows my own heart better than I do.

Credit: Inspired by

 “Desert Places” by Robert Frost.

Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
In a field I looked into going past,
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

The woods around it have it--it is theirs.
All animals are smothered in their lairs.
I am too absent-spirited to count;
The loneliness includes me unawares.

And lonely as it is that loneliness
Will be more lonely ere it will be less--
A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
With no expression, nothing to express.

They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars--on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.

FF Link

11 comments

  1. Technically we shouldn't be commenting here, but Azzurri, this fanfic is pure gold! You're a brilliant writer and you've captured Jung-hoo's thoughts perfectly! Double Thumbs Up!! <3

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  2. A┼║zurri...it's so hard having this withdrawal symptoms..yet your words give a lot of strength to this die hard fan

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  3. I've said this before on your tumblr... but thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up!

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  4. *wipes tears* that was amazing! Thank you for sharing it with us! x

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  5. This is beautiful, thank you so much for speaking for our hearts.

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  6. Azzurri thanks for this amazing FF..you are not helping me to move on to other kdrama..uwaaa sob sob

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  7. Azzurri thanks for this amazing FF..you are not helping me to move on to other kdrama..uwaaa sob sob

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  8. Aww you guys... thank you. I'm so motivated these days, and it's all because of you fantastic Healerites! And Healer of course. What a wonderful story and what awesome characters. So easy to get inspired.

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  9. "Don’t tell me to run away. I don’t know how to run away"
    i am obsessed with this diamond worth of a line. every time this line pop up somewhere,it just tickled me, and Azzurri, thanks a million. for writing something on this scene when he churned out this helpless yet passionate line to Ahjumma, "i don't know how to run away". and boy do i so so so really loved the way you say " I had asked her. “If you want, I can live the way you want me to. As long as I could, and very carefully... be next to you like this.” The words were out of my mouth even before I realised I had said them. I was in disguise, but at that moment it was Jung Hoo not Bong Soo who spoke."... Yes, it's because Jung Hoo is the one who said that to Youngshin, that's why we realised that Jung Hoo had became Bong Soo, and the line drawn between Jung Hoo and Bong Soo has blurred, and merged both as one. to have a guy asking you, almost pleading with you, to let me stay by your side, quietly, and i don't mind becoming the person you want me to me, let me forsake my own "self" and become whatever pleases you... wow... which guy in our true life will ever do that for us? yes, these moments are priceless. thanks for writing on, bot forsaking this moru moru shrine, where we healerites wandered, day by day, picking up bits and pieces that drop off the table, to fill our hunger and thirst, in a Healer-less post Healer days.
    be continued inspired, we need to feed upon that. thank GOD for you guys who can write well and write right into our mind.
    i am also "i don't know how to run away", don't know how, and don't want to. refusing to run to other drama yet.

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  10. "Those desert places within me, which before defined Healer and defined Seo Jung Hoo... they no longer exist. I am no longer afraid. I am prepared, even if it means I will be hurt. Even if I cannot be 100 percent forthright with her. Still, I want to stay by Chae Yeong Sin’s side."
    so right!
    in era like this, when Avengers exists, straight out of Marvel comics, from our hearts right onto IMAX screens.... heroes fly, mutants glorified, the cullens are beautified and hobits exist... we want to worship heroes, heroes with the darkest flaws, the deepest wound, who's hearts were empty and void, until his Jane (Thor) , his Lois (Superman) , his Bella (Edward Cullen) appeared.
    yes, within the knights there's always hidden this crave for acceptance, desired to be loved, denial that he too want to be loved... heroes are tortured souls.. depraved childhood, forsaken by loved ones... and Writer Song bring out that part of his wound past / his present "awesome-ness" well, without the needs of any super power or gifts, or super "benevolence kindness" to "save the world", the crap about saving little children from aliens attacks...
    i don't think heroes are cold hearted people, infact they still love people around, only that they acted cool and cold, to convince themselves that they do not care even if anyone drop dead beside them... Healer still care, the fact that he pour his heart out to ahjummah often, still angry with Teacher... shows he cares... wanting to run away to a desert place where nobody is, show a fear too, fear of being hurt again by people... if you are truly cold and care not for any human... truly you won't mind living among them, because anyone die at your feet will never affect you. the fact that Moru Moru exist in him, you are so right... actual the "desert place Moru Moru" exist in his heart... show he still vulnerable and able to be hurt. after 3 months passed since 10 Feb... this tortured soul still haunt me, Seo Jung Woo... and His "salvation" by Yeongshin, cured me.

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