Chapter 59 - Incoming Calls
It was a torrential downpour. The onslaught of raindrops pounding against the windowpane woke Yoongun from his slumber. Sliding out of bed, he walked towards a window and opened it. The front of his clothes was quickly soaked through. The sound of rain dripping on the windowsill continued in a steady beat. Yoongun inhaled the unpleasant scent of the damp musty air. Once the storm had passed, the dampness would cause dust accumulation to increase.
Lightning flashed across the night sky, lighting up the darkness like a camera stroboscope. As if to crack open the heavens, the brilliant spark momentarily brightened the world in front of him. Yoongun understood the basic science behind it. Lightning strikes are the physical manifestation of electromagnetic radiation supercharging the air and generating heat, while thunder is the shockwave emitted from the sudden increase in atmospheric pressure. Since the speed of light is much faster than the speed of sound, he began applying the flash-to-bang method, knocking on the windowsill about six times before the roaring crash of thunder descended and echoed across the large field.
Despite the violent boom, Yoongun didn’t flinch. He stared out of the window trying to guess where the lightning struck. Factoring in the speed, it was a simple calculation that didn’t even require a calculator. He deduced it struck about 2 km away from where he stood. For him, even natural phenomena could be boiled down to a simple equation.
Since when had it started that the thought of Kyuyoung Seo caused his head such pain he felt like it would explode? His headaches had worsened since the night he spent with her, and they seemed to worsen when she was out of sight. He thought his physical state had been improving, but rather than stabilizing, his schizophrenic symptoms seemed to worsen over time. Now, no matter how much medication he took, he couldn’t alleviate his headache. He’d even gotten an MRI, but the results came back normal.
Well, perhaps normal wasn’t quite right. He hadn’t been ‘normal’ from the beginning, since his frontal lobe was a mess. He trudged over to the bedside drawer and pulled out three painkillers. Washing them down his throat with a glass of water, as his mind drifted back to Kyuyoung.
Yoongun had been the first to reach out to her, and eventually her defenses had fallen and the two had tangled their bodies together. He believed that they’d acted on their carnal desires, without any messy sentiments involved. Yet, despite the fleshly release, he still felt stifled, as if something remained trapped within him. It was an ambiguous feeling and it upset him. He felt an impulsive need to collate all the symptoms.
Ascribing to the homeostasis theory, the symptoms of his sporadic headaches and his crazed prepubescent teen-like sexual desires were indicators of an imbalance. His physiological conditions seemed stable, with his immune response, reflexes and metabolic regulations remaining steady and unchanged, but his inability to reign in his hedonistic and impulsive behaviors indicated an upset in his psychological homeostasis. It was unsettling, and he couldn’t even bring himself to consider exploring his emotions either.
There was a faint curiosity as to whether intercourse with another woman might elicit the same responses, but Yoongun didn’t feel the need to test out the possibility. He didn’t think it would make much of a difference, and his time was already wrapped up in Kyuyoung. And, anyway, why had he started all this with Kyuyoung Seo in the first place?
Putting a cigarette between his lips, Yoongun thought back to when he first encountered Kyuyoung at age seventeen. As of now, he had to assume that his brain had been affected by something from that time. Perhaps from the instant he’d laid eyes on her back then, his brain had recognized her as his prey. His mind wandered to the moans and gasps she made lying beneath him.
“I’m the type to devour bit by bit,” he unconsciously whispered aloud, as he tapped the ash off his cigarette.
There was no sense in him rushing it. If he intended to devour her anyway, none of this was all that important. He wanted to further weaken her defenses and wreak havoc in her life, so that she’d lose her bearings and could no longer endure it alone. He wanted her to fall into the pits of despair. If she hit rock bottom, her only option would be to take his hand.
Imagining how he’d slowly pressure her mentally and entrap her lightened his mood. He planned to start by picking away at her freshest scab. He would pretend to support Jihyuk and his mother in order to shatter her pride. He would expose all her flaws.
Another flash of lightning lit up the sky, followed by the rip of thunder a few seconds later. The deafening sound reverberated in his eardrums. Yoongun found himself laughing with childlike glee at having discovered something fun to play with.
Yoongun disliked boredom. Unfortunately, his exceptionally remarkable mind meant he found life constantly tedious and dull. Even the interest he’d held in the programming and development of the AI system had lost its luster long ago. He was perpetually searching for ways to alleviate the monotony of his days.