The House; The Story of Losing Them - DRAFT
- They lived in the war in this truced country. 2019
Written by Jung Jean
- They lived in the war in this truced country. 2019
Written by Jung Jean
I's Father, and his parents.
They are the closest people to I; but, at the same time, they are the most mysterious people, too.
This is the story about them.
Here are A, B, Y, and C.
We already lost them. In fact, long times before we lost them, they had lost themselves. However, nobody talked about it.
Only 'I' couldn't lose them, because I didn't know them well from the first time; therefore, no one but I could leave behind a record about them.
I'm the 'I'.
According to Y's younger brother, she was the first daughter of a rich man.
People around her, they loved her including her brothers and sisters.
Her father carried on a big business in Seoul
and they lived in a big residence with large Japanese gardens.
When Japan had invaded Korea, the house was built for a high-ranking government official.
In the house, people called her 'lady'.
Y was a bright and sociable girl. Her friends and teachers liked her.
However, she couldn’t be a person she wanted to be.
Like other girls in the period, she got married without thinking about herself and her life.
Japan executed forced draft young Korean girls as Japanese Military Sexual Slavery named ‘Comfort Women’.
Y’s father gave her daughter in marriage deep in the mountains to avoid them.
The pretty, small, and smart girl moved into GangWonDo before she finished in her tenth grade and the rich girl loving beautiful things by instinct didn’t endure her new life in the forest.
She got a boy as a first child and after the birth, she stayed at her parents’ house in Seoul.
Suddenly, she might realize that this kind of life is not what she wants.
she is not the person sacrificing herself for others even family.
And also, unfortunately and sadly, she might realize that although she wanders from place to place and makes a strong stand in front of her destiny, she could not help coming back to her reality.
And one day, Korean Peninsula divided into two, North and South.
After the division, Y could not meet her husband again for her entire life.
The time passed by, and Y’s father liked A sincere and reliable.
Soon, A and Y got engaged.
A lived in north part of Korean Peninsula where was close to China.
A’s mother had good business skills and opened a big general store in China.
So, he was brought up in a wealthy family.
When he was 18, he helped his mother riding a red horse across the Manchuria field,
and before 20, he got married and had two daughters.
Japan went back to their island in 35 years and there was a rumor not long after the liberation that this peninsula will divide into two.
People said that the north part of this peninsula near to China will be communized and the south part amicable to US will be democratized.
People around him knew much of the world. Soon, something big is happing.
A knew that instinctively.
In fact, the reason was not understandable.
Before the Japanese invasion, we called ourselves the Joseon Dynasty and it was over 500 years.
For a long time, this Korean Peninsula was one country.
Then, why this land should be divided into two? That is really for the people in this country?
There is no time to think. Some said that communists hate rich people.
The other said that they take property of the rich, give out it to the poor, and hang the rich.
A should run away right now. He promised his wife to come back soon and left that night to south.
Consequentially, the promise was in vain.
North and South selected their own representatives and called each, Nnal Defense Commission Chairman and President.
A thought, 'Is that possible? Two kings in a country?'
South and North started to slander each other. There was no sign of peace and unity.
He just realized that he lost his whole fortune and family, right after he left his house.
He couldn't cry. He should do what he can do now. He was totally alone.
Even though he died on the street, there was no one here who feel sad for him.
In those days, people was always hungry and food were not enough.
If A did not work due to his sorrow, he would be dead on the street;
if A thought deeply on the situation, he would be dead in the jail.
He should live from hand to mouth without deep thinking.
His inborn diligence and his sense of business made him stand out.
He had a daughter who lose her husband due to Korean Peninsula’s division and, for the same reason, the boss was keeping an eye on A.
Soon, A and his boss's daughter got engaged.
B's father was a first child in a venerable family.
He was one of the followers of Confucian ideas as other men of those days.
He was firm in his belief; therefore, there was no compromising his pursuit of perfection.
Almost everyone looked up to him, but he might be the worst father to his daughters.
He never taught his daughters among his children, so B was illiterate.
Every women in his family, they couldn't do any single social activities.
B was a good girl and she didn't even think about having opposite opinions of her father. Well, actually, she'd never have her own opinions.
B got married with a man whom his father brought.
He was A.
In her head, the destiny of the women was taking care of men.
Before marriage, she was devoted to her parents; after marriage, her husband and his family.
B had two daughters, but they were just daughters. She felt guilty that she had no son.
She'd always thought that she has to birth a boy.
Korea was liberated from Japan's colonial rule.
Soon, the country was divided into two North and South, and her husband left toward South.
She believed in the words he left. He'll come soon.
There was nothing she can do, but believing.
One day, somewhere between North and South, barbed wires were put up.
A officer said that if people go over it, they will all die.
She thought that there may live scary monsters in South.
People said that along the fence, soldiers stood guard and shoot every living-things around the wire.
Time was ticking.
There had been no letters from her husband, since 3 weeks ago.
B risked her and her daughters lives to find her husband.
Let's skip B's tragic trip. In conclusion, she found her husband.
It was like a miracle. B and A finally met.
But, the meeting was not beautiful.
A said that he'll get married to a woman soon.
B nodded her head. She had no son.
4. Y, A, and, B
A was sheepish, B was miserable, Y was hopeless.
A remained idle, B kept silence, Y thought that if she knew that his three women come to live with him, she'd never been engaged to him.
Instead, she would live and die in his father’s house. As an exhibitionist, she had her pride.
Nonetheless, Y's father pushed her wedding.
In short, there was no breaking engagement, because the second wife was less disgraceful to her family than a divorced daughter.
Y and A got married.
Y's mind was wandering around and the war broken out.
Her life was already in a war, then there was a war in this country.
One wise man said that it is because of the ideological conflict.
What on earth it means! She's never heard that the people living in the same country kill each other with swards and guns.
What is democracy? What is communism?
Frankly, most people of the time, they didn't even know what the words mean. Anyhow, inside of her, C was growing.
The war broke out on Jun. 25th 1950.
C was born on Jun. 29.1950, while fleeing to avoid the war.
The God was severe to Y and C from the very first time.
The mother and the baby were survived during the war.
One said that during the war, surviving is the only task.
And they worked sincerely and finished the task clearly.
When the communist passed by them, they sang a song praising them.
When UN forces passed by them, of course, they sang a song for them.
A boy next door sang switched and his father was executed in front of him.
That was time.
July 27th 1953.
C became 3 and a month later, the war stopped.
It was not over, but kind of a break. The war is kind a thing having a break time...?
Everybody cared; but no one talked.
Under the name of ideology and politics, way too much friends were already dead.
Finally, people in this peninsula had a chance to focus on their lives. They thought.
C was grown up calling B mother, because Y was not with him.
B raised Y’s first son, but he died aged 9 with the epidemic.
We didn't know why and when she left her baby and family.
The only thing the people left behind can do was assuming.
C didn't remember Y, so we can guess that she may left him before his age 5.
B brought up C like the apple of her eye, because he is the only son of A's family.
She didn't take much care of her own daughters.
B resembled her father.
B gave C everything with full of love.
Maybe her two daughters hated C, because he stole their mother.
B had to love C and she did.
Until C became 9 years old, B carried C on her back and commuted to school every single day.
He became 10 and on his way home, a pretty lady asked him.
"Are you C?"
"I'm your mother. Real mother."
According to C, that was the first time he met Y.
Soon, A bought a new house and he left B and daughters.
We didn't know how Y lived during her absence.
No one asked and she never talked about it.
Y might believed that C will naturally accept her as his mother as time passed.
However, Y didn't tell C why she had to leave and never tried to explain.
Besides, she was not kind of person who says 'sorry'.
C was not kind of person who is generous to people he can't understand.
Hence, Y was C's family, but mother. Until now, his only mother is B.
C never trusted Y and he grown up believing that Y can left him again anytime.
And she did.
C couldn't love Y, and Y couldn't love her baby who doesn't love her.
Y didn't have to long for C's love.
She gave birth more babies.
The little creatures were showered with affection by Y and A.
C got married, and lived with his parents - Y and A - like other first sons in those days.
C's wife gave birth to 'I' on Jan. 1st 1980.
It was one of the coldest day in that year.
Y turned off the heater in the baby's room.
She said that heating bills are expensive. It was because 'I' was not a boy.
C's family could not help taking refuge from Y and stayed in C's wife's parents' house.
The spring came, and they came back to Y and A, but C's family left them soon.
C said that he had to live with B because her married daughters were all left her and she was way too old and weak to live alone.
Y and C grew away each other more and more.
Several years later, B was dead.
Y's only and last wish was cremating her body.
She said that she wants to drift about at the mercy of the wind.
However, despite of her will, she was buried under the ground.
It was her daughters' opinion.
She was dead as a woman who treasured the jujube tree in her back yard
and as a C's only mother.
People called her jujube grandma.
There was a jujube tree in her back yard and she treasured it so much.
Every fall, the tree used to make hundreds of jujubes.
A's house was not far from B's, but they barely meet each other.
Only when fall comes with jujubes, A visited B to take them for ancestral rites.
On 1984, B was dead and A moved into B's house with Y.
The first thing Y did in the house was cutting the jujube tree.
At that night, A drunk a lot.
The jujube tree means his hometown to A.
A and B had planted it; and later, Y cut it out.
C still have a scar, it's been made when he fall from the tree.
And I was born with an allergy to jujube.
The hope in Korean Peninsula was not different.
In the past, people had missed hope and they planted it together,
but it was cut cruelly all the time.
When they finally can raise it,
people in this land do not believe in the word - hope - anymore.
When A has dementia, Y took care of A.
That was unexpected. Y said that she wants to do that for A.
But, till end of her life, Y gave nothing to C.
Her love and her whole fortune were all for other children, but C.
If possible, Y took C's and gave it to other children.
They lived in their war in this truced country.
She never said sorry, until she dies. Sadly, she took the worst choice.
"I can't remember old things at all." She said.
In 1984, B was dead.
In 2001, A was dead.
In 2018, Y was dead.
To I, A was ‘the oldest person’.
A was the oldest person I’d ever met since she was born.
A loved doing sports and drinking. He was tall, gentle, and always smile.
To I, B was ‘the oldest memory and death’.
B was about to give her grand-daughter a sweet potato but collapsed, and never woke up.
I ran to her mother’s working place crying. As a result, B was dead in front of 4year-old ‘I’.
To I, Y was ‘anger’.
In I’s memory, Y was always angry with a frown.
Y never showed her smile to A, C, C’s wife, and I.
While ‘I’ raises her baby, all of a sudden, ‘I’ thought that
even though understanding someone is almost impossible, I may understand them a little,
as human-beings who lived in such a harsh and twisted days, and
as ordinary people living their difficult lives just like, ‘I’.
Perhaps, understanding someone is a lie. We knew that.
We are not them.
We should admit the two; we do not know well and we are different.
We learned it; but,
we also knew that admitting them is one of the most difficult things to do.
In this reason, I observe and explore with subjective and dry eyes excluding hate and love.
It is I's effort not to lose them to the end.