Chapter 2 – Reborn (2)
… … …
As Yoona opened her eyes, she awakened to the sight of a quiet classroom. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes and squinted, allowing her eyes to adjust from the onslaught of light which clouded her vision.
Alas! She had fallen asleep whilst studying once again. It was in the late afternoon, and yet she still dreamt of that same gruesome scene.
For many times she kept dreaming about it, but she never got used to seeing it. She doesn’t think she ever will. She always felt awful every time she woke up from her dream.
It always showed the same thing: a woman, whom she’s never met before, slowly burned at the stake.
What made it even more unnerving was the fact she had relentlessly dreamed of it for the past year.
As if trying to erase the memory, she began blinking hard, shaking her head. It wasn’t long after that, had the bell finally rung, indicating for classes to be over and done with for the day.
“Hey Yoona, slept well? You seem to be dozing off pretty frequently.”
Asked her friend as she reached her side.
“I just haven’t been getting enough sleep.”
“Is it because of that dream?”
Yoona had paused before finally sighing and nodded at her friend.
“I must be going crazy. I mean, there’s not much use stopping myself from sleeping at night because even if I sleep whenever or wherever it’s always the same dream!” she grumbled.
“I think you should go to the hospital. I mean, it’s normal to have the same recurring dream for a few days or so, but for a whole year? Even that seems a bit of overkill.”
It was definitely not a normal thing.
Ever since she began to dream that, she’s been in a pretty bad shape.
Still, she was optimistic it would be over soon, but not once for the whole year did that dream stop coming. By this point she figured that admitting herself to an asylum or psychiatric ward could help to ease her worries whether or not she does indeed have some kind of a mental illness, but she always put it off because she had more important things to do that needed her attention.
“Or maybe you’re stressing over the upcoming exams? You do overthink things a little bit.”
Her friend paused momentarily.
“Actually, you overthink a lot.”
“Okay, maybe I am an over-thinker. And I do overthink a lot of things. Maybe that’s why I feel like I’m going nuts!”
“Or maybe you were born with a loose screw in your head?”
Her friend teased her.
“Hey, don’t say such horrible things.”
Yoona knew what she was capable of. At this rate, she’s either going crazy, or she was subconsciously letting her own health deteriorate. Not taking enough rest or sleep was beginning to take its toll on her.
“But anyway, you have been looking a bit under the weather lately. Take better care of yourself. Go to the hospital, or clinic.”
“Well I was putting it off, but I guess I can’t ignore the problem anymore.”
A bus had arrived, not too far away from them.
“Well, I have to go. Bye.”
“Yes, bye. See you tomorrow.”
When her friend finally had left Yoona, she began to walk alone, placing her palm on her forehead at the sudden burst of pain.
“Ugh, my head.”
It was because of that dream, she mused. She always had some headaches, but this, this was even more painful. It almost felt like her head would split in two!
Currently, she wished nothing more than to just be at home. So she picked up her pace, eager to reach her destination much quicker.
As she walked in a brisk manner, she noticed the eerie silence surrounding her as soon as she had left the school premises. It was so quiet she could even hear herself breathing heavily.
Warily, she began to scan her surroundings.
Not a human or stray animal in sight. Even the streets began to appear gloomy. She wondered if she left school a little later than she usually did. Everyone seemed to have already been in the confines of their houses.
But it was impossible. She had passed this street almost every day for her entire life and no matter how late it had gotten, it never appeared this deserted. It was either there was juveniles wandering around the streets, or she could hear televisions from their houses. But none of that were even around to bring her comfort. It made the hair at the back of her head stand on edge.
Fear slowly crept in her, sending shivers down her spine, and all she did was stand frozen in place.
Why am I getting such a bad feeling?
Feeling vulnerable, she figured going back would be the best course of action. She looked back. The road to the highway appeared to be darker than it did before. Had nightfall came upon her fast?
With a firm resolve, she continued to walk. The sooner she left this place, the better she would feel. But as soon as she started, she heard approaching footsteps…
Feeling like the devil himself was after her, she began to walk faster, slowly accelerating to a sprint and broke out to a full run, her limbs ached in protest at the sudden change.
But even so, the footsteps following her had also picked up their own pace, matching hers.
Filled with frantic terror, she felt her body grew cold with trepidation.
“Wha – why are you following me?!”
The desperation in her voice broke out as she turned to look at the person after her, only seeing a man with a sturdy build, and was wearing a hat from a distance.
Unlike her, who was struggling with her breathing simply from never having to run that fast in her life, he seemed calm. Hardly breaking a sweat with that run he was doing.
He was coming closer, inch by inch, the distance between them shortened.
He was speeding up.
At some point, she had managed to convince herself this was all just in her head. A trick because of her recurring dreams. But even her heart was pounding painfully against her chest.
Everything will be alright.
To no avail, it wasn’t an illusion. The footsteps got louder. The man was still advancing at an alarming rate, that he was much closer than before.
This made her run even faster, as adrenaline was the only thing making her move. Her legs were still protesting in pain, her throat gasping for air as the wind quickly escaped her in ragged breaths.
The footsteps were still picking up pace despite her efforts…
And in a split second, she felt something hit the back of her neck.
She didn’t even have time to scream or even be surprised. Everything just exploded in an instant. The man had caught up and seized her, forcefully claiming her fragile body, that she couldn’t budge even an inch to release herself from him.
He released a breath of triumph.
And then she felt a sharp pain on her waist penetrating her body.
This didn’t take long for her to understand. She could feel the warm oozing liquid coming out from the wound, as it slowly spread all over her uniform. As the metallic smell breached her nose and filled her sense of smell, she knew exactly what happened to her.
But despite the haziness of her mind, she wondered if the news would be able to tell the neighborhood about her and the atrocious crime that was committed?
With the numbing pain, her heart that once pumped in adrenaline was beginning to slow down. She knew she was dying, and she couldn’t do anything about it.
“Who… why are you doing this?”
Her blood felt warm as it pooled at her feet. She wanted to cry for help, but no one was around to help her in her pitiful state. It was frustrating that out of all the times she needed someone around, no one was. It felt like someone wanted her to end like this.
“I can’t believe you would choose to hide like this.”
He suddenly said to her.
What is he talking about?
She wanted to ask him, but she couldn’t gather the strength to do so.
I’m gonna die.
Suddenly, Yoona can feel it. The coldness was starting to settle in her guts as she continued to bleed out. The man was laughing as he watched her do so.
Suddenly, her legs gave in, as she fell on the asphalt. She could resist death no longer…
I shouldn’t have to die like this.
She thought it was unfair. How could her life be taken from her just as easily as this? What’s wrong with him? Why would he kill such a person without hesitancy or a little mercy? Did he know her? Held a grudge at her for something?
That was what he said.
He had said some other things, but by then, Yoona had lost the ability to comprehend what any of his words meant. With the last of her strength, she tried to look at her murderer once more, to imprint his face in her mind.
But she couldn’t see it clearly; the shadows only veiled his face from her. Only the soft details were what she could gather; the image of a young man, who was happy for her death.
And that was the last thing she saw, before the darkness embraced her.