Go Away by Webfoot


Go Away

K-drama Healer fanfic

She scooted further back. The brick wall scratched through her cotton t-shirt, but still she pressed herself to the wall. The pungent heat from the metal dumpster was on her left. The brick wall to the right and behind her. In the searing afternoon, there was too much light everywhere. 
One more scoot into the meager shadow. She placed her hands on a glass shard. It nicked her perfectly across her palm. She checked the pale streak, watching it bead with blood. She only bit her lip, and another tear escaped. It ran down the side of her nose, joining the mucus leaking from the bottom. She didn’t sniffle. She didn’t whimper. Both would make a sound.
Soft crunching. She heard huge brown leather boots enter the alley. Young Shin stilled. Not even breath escaped her now, not the slightest bit of herself was allowed to exist. 
The boots paused briefly. Young Shin felt her lungs clawing for breath. A loud thunk shattered the silence and shook the dumpster, Her breath escaped in a tiny shriek. She felt the vibrations in the dumpster shudder up her elbow as she pressed herself ever smaller. 
"Young Shin?" Chae crouched down. "Is that you?" He put his hands on the ground and peered under the dumpster. He saw her tuck her sneakers closer to her body. Her black jeans were streaked with dirt, and he was willing to bet her t-shirt was a mess too. Young Ah would never have let their daughter out like that. He straightened with effort, putting his hands on his knees to push up. Only forty three, but he felt eighty today. He was supposed to age with his wife. Not alone.  And now he’d terrified his daughter. 
Chae sat down and leaned his back against the green, rusty dumpster. His own dark suit would soon match Young Shin’s in dirt. 
 ”I scared you, didn’t I?”
If he concentrated, he could hear her little gasps for air as she struggled against tears and noise. 
"That was me. My toe hurts now." He examined the throbbing end of his shoe. 
The sun continued to boil everything with its molten heat. A measly breeze stirred the humid air, and the dumpster smell ripened to pungent - old fruit, coffee grinds and expired cake were oddly fragrant and sour. 
"It smells terrible out here. Is it any better in there?"
"Don’t come in."
"Well, then you come out."
"You’ll get dirty."
"I don’t care."
"Omma cares."
Chae knew, somewhere in his mind, that the stabbing reminders would ease one day. And that a teenaged girl was entitled to some rude behavior. He just wished that at that moment, he didn’t need to deal with mourning and thirteen year old Young Shin at her worst, at the same time. He knew she was pushing him away. She always pushed. From the day he’d met her shivering in the playground of the orphanage, those walls were never far away. The more she hurt, the more solid, the meaner she would defend the walls. The death of the only mother she had ever known would qualify for hurt. As walls go, China should be worried. 
"Young Shin," he started. He swallowed. "Daughter…" 
He reached for calm. For something that was not equally angry.
"Go away. That person is gone. You’re next."
For the first time, he wanted to hit her. For the rage that rose in him was both agony and betrayal. A calm response was out of his reach. Only the awful truth was left.
From her crouched position behind the dumpster, Youn Shin could just see his bottom on the gravel. To his right and left, his feet splayed in front of him, like a child. But her eyes widened when she saw his hand turn into a fist, white knuckled and shuddering. He stood up. 
She’d seen enough. It was happening, again. She scrambled backwards, further into the corner.  Her heart thundered in her chest and she wanted to yell “I’m sorry!” She couldn’t. The lump of fear wedged in the back of her throat. She heard the slow, unhurried walk around the dumpster. She knew she’d finally crossed the line, said the wrong thing. It was finally time for her to be kicked out of the home that never should have taken her in. 
When her adoptive father turned the corner and stood there, he filled up the entire entrance. Long, meaty arms hung by his sides. His boots were heavy, construction style, and looked out of sync with his formal funeral jacket. They weren’t the only things out of sync. So were the tears on his face. So were his words.
"Don’t make me leave. Please, don’t make me leave," he whispered.
Young Shin wrapped her arms around herself in the cold loft. She watched Jung Hoo struggle with himself, with his guilt, with his knowledge of wrongdoing. Then she whispered the same begging words, the words of a man justified to walk away, but asking to stay. 
"Don’t make me leave."
Author’s note: for the love of Daddy Chae.

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