EARLIER THAT MORNING
"Mommy, where are we going?"
Yoona held onto her silver bracelet; the fox's eyes reflecting ruby in the darkness. she played with the charm while looking out the window. From as far as she could see, her vision was filled with weary fields and scattered trees. There were no stars in the sky and the sun was barely visible at the horizon.
Beside of her, mother was pale. Shaken. With sunken cheeks and dark under-eyes. Despite the sleeping passengers on the train, her mother was wide awake, eyes peering back and forth on alert as if she was on the lookout.
Her mother grabbed her hand. "Nothing's wrong. We're just moving."
The early 4:30 a.m. bus was heading to Seoul. The mother's plans were to get to the main bus terminal to catch another bus that would take them to the other side of the country. The seaside. There, they would be safe. Or so she hoped.
Although she was unfamiliar with the area, they needed to get away. It was unsafe to live in the town anymore. Anyone fired by the Chae Family was immediately scrutinized by the civilians. Living there would be hell.
Due to her cooking skills, the mother hoped to open a small restaurant at the seasside from the small money she had in her bank account. They needed to survive somehow.
"I thought we lived at Mini's house?" Yoona stated.
Her mother stared at her with a frightened expression. No colour visible on her face.
Yoona squirmed in her seat, unfamiliar with the gaze. Did she say something wrong?
"We are not going there anymore."
Yoona scrunched her eyebrows while letting out a yawn. What did mother mean? She couldn't understand why they would leave. She was happy with Mini by her side. There was no need to leave that house.
Plus it was big and fun to play in. There were many cute animals in the field too.
"But I like it there..." She said. She couldn't continue her sentence to due drowsiness.
Yoona's eyes were closing. She was tired. Her mother had suddenly awakened her in the middle of her sleep, hurriedly telling her that they were going out. When she looked around, their clothes and belongings were already tidied up.
She was about to fall asleep again on the bus ride. Her body couldn't handle the physical exhaustion.
Yet, the lingering questions didn't allow her to sleep, nor did the expression on her mother's face.
"I don't like moving houses," she continued. "I moved from daddy's house to Mini's house and now to somewhere else..."
An apologetic look flashed on her mother's face. She engulfed her daughter in a hug.
Yoona laid her head against her mother's chest, trying to find warmth in her mother's cold body. A wave of dizziness had crashed her head, trying to submit her to deep sleep.
A kiss was planted on her head.
"Oh my child..." Her mother began. She caressed her Yoona's hair. "I'm so sorry. I know you liked it there but we must move."
"I'm so sorry that your mother is so powerless..."
Yoona looked up. Her eyes half awake. "Mommy. What do you mean? Don't apologize. It's okay."
She placed her arms around her mother, snuggling more into her.
"Once you get older you'll understand."
There was an air of silence. The mother was reflecting on her actions and life choices up to this point. She pitied her daughter and wished to have worked harder in the past. If she had just picked the right path, she wouldn't have been in this financial state. They wouldn't have been black-listed by MH conglomerate.
Then Yoona would've never met Minhyun.
Suddenly, the mother heard a small voice. "If we move, will I be able to see Mini again?"
The mother's breathe hitched at the back of her throat. Although the two were attached now, there was no chance for them to meet in the future. It was impossible. Chae Seung-Bum would kill them. He was already furious by her actions. The mother thought she was going to die when she was caught red-handed. She could never forget his murderous eyes. They couldn't go back. Ever. Her body was still shaking from the terror.
Besides, in the future Minhyun would definitely forget about her. He was a MH heir, of course he would find someone else. She couldn't let Yoona cling onto the single hope of meeting Minhyun again. She knew how much the boy made an influence in her life.
"No you won't see him again," she answered.
Yoona widened her eyes. Her head snapped up. She didn't expect a no from her mother.
This couldn't be real. Minhyun was special. She was happy around him. Why did she have to leave him behind and never see him again?
"What do you mean?"
There was no answer.
The troubled expression on her mother's face made her reluctant about asking again. However, she couldn't hold the curiosity in. Mini was her friend. Why wouldn't she see him again?
"What do you mean?" She asked persistently.
Suddenly the clouds covered the red sun, darkening the sky. The air in the bus turned black. Bloody red. The eyes of the fox charm haunted the shadows.
There was a shaky sigh. After contemplating, this was the best answer she could give her daughter.
"Minhyun is dead."
For the rest of the trip, Yoona couldn't sleep.
To clarify: You guys are probably going to be really confused with the phrase "Minhyun is dead".
But yes, it is not a wording mistake, I intentionally made the mother say that.
If you have a guess, write it in the comments. For those who are curious, here is the explanation:
Whenever Yoona's mother would explain someone's death, instead of saying that they passed away, she would sugar-coat their death.
For example, in Starry Starry Night Yoona says: "Mommy said Dad went to live in heaven. She said that anyone who goes to meet God is gifted a star as a welcome gift. The brightest one is my father's."
The mother wanted to give her daughter hope. She didn't want to break the bad news to her. If you look at the statement, it insinuates that the father is still alive and she would be able to see him another day. That he is watching her.
However, in today's chapter, the mother uses the phrase "Minhyun is dead" which goes against her usual explanations involving death. Why? Because she doesn't want Yoona to cling to hope. She doesn't want Yoona to believe that Minhyun is alive and that she would see him again.
Dead or alive. In Yoona's life, Minhyun is as good as dead.
Hope this explains everything!