CHAPTER 1 PART 1


Boksangsa... boksangsa? Is that a temple’s name?

When an incomprehensible word appeared, Mo Rae tilted her head from the book she read.

“Ah... no, no... If it became boksanghada, then it's a verb? Ugh, I don’t understand. Seonbae!

Mo Rae's class was quite chaotic because it got cancelled earlier. Male and female students scattered around, forming groups of four and five to gossip. Mo Rae called out to a senior reading a book across her desk who stood by the glass window. Well, since he's a senior, I bet he knows terms like this, Mo Rae thought.



The male looked at Mo Rae and responded back.

“What is it?”

“Do you know what is boksangsa?”

Soon as he heard Mo Rae's question in a stern and loud voice, the Seonbae’s face suddenly turned red. The class, which had been rowdy with pitter-patter, went silent. They were surprised to hear Mo Rae's question. Cold gazes stabbed at Mo Rae, but with an innocent expression, as if nothing had happened, Mo Rae opened her mouth one more time and was about to speak again. At that instant, a pair of smooth white hands nimbly covered Mo Rae's mouth. It was Mi Young's, Mo Rae's best friend.

“Hmmphhh... mnfhhh....”

“Shut up! Let’s get out of here!”

Upon finding the situation turned awkward, Mi Young whispered right into Mo Rae's ear who tried to break free from her grip. Mi Young intimidated Mo Rae and drag her best friend out of the class. Inside the classroom, giggles and weird glares could be seen by Mo Rae. After leaving the classroom and finding a quiet place, Mi Young finally removed her hand from Mo Rae's mouth. It was then that Mo Rae was able to breathe normally again.

Cough... cough...! What are you doing?!”

Mo Rae, being mad at her friend's weird attitude, shouted. However, Mi Young responded with an even louder shout.

“You naughty girl! How come you asked that word out loud?!”

“What kind of word is that even?”

“Something like umm... something like... just that kind of word!”

Boksangsa? Do you know what it is? What does that mean? Something weird? No wonder the kids were staring at me like that.”

Mo Rae closed her eyes and asked Mi Young. Hearing her friend's question, Mi Young grabbed Mo Rae's shoulders with both hands and looked at the girl with an annoyed expression she couldn't take anymore.

"Holy cow, such a poor girl! Mo Rae, you shouldn't ask anyone again about that word. Try searching the internet by yourself later, or secretly looking at the dictionary, and in a very quiet place, understand?"

Mo Rae was a bit taken aback to see Mi Young begging pathetically. She couldn't ask her now. Mo Rae nodded her head while furrowing her brows, still did not get what the word meant. What the heck is the actual meaning of boksangsa that even made the kids react that way? Mo Rae muttered to herself.

Sometime later, an hour since Mi Young brought her a dictionary, Mo Rae still couldn't escape the harsh reality she just learned.

“I’d better die!”

This was the twelfth time Mo Rae said that. Mi Young looked at Mo Rae's pathetic expression. Trying to comfort her for the nth time.

"It's alright, you didn't know about that. Things like this could happen. Please stop saying that. Let's just eat."

"Sob sob! How come I eat in a situation like this? I just wanna die. What's the point of living dirty? I'll make a rope and hang it around my neck."

"Good then. You'll die in hunger too."

Mi Young left Mo Rae heading to the canteen alone. She didn't worry much about Mo Rae who still always ate three meals a day even though troubles are in the way. Or will it be different now? But then Mi Young heard Mo Rae's grumbling voice from behind, tailing her.

“You meanie! Your friend is about to attempt suicide but you want to fulfill your stomach instead!”

“Hohoho! Today is Wednesday, the day of special stir fry octopus!”

“...I will die after having stir fry octopus.”

“You bring your lunchbox, do you?”

“...Yeah.”

“You will die after dinner, then.”

“.....”

Mo Rae walked into the canteen while giving the annoying Mi Young a sharp look. Then she began scooping rice and side dishes into her food tray fully. People who didn't know Mo Rae, they'll surely be wondering why a woman of such a small size scooping so much food onto her tray. Sitting on one of the benches, Mo Rae took out her lunch box and started to put half the food from the tray into her lunch box. Mi Young did the same, she also put some of her amount of food into Mo Rae's lunchbox.

A year ago Mo Rae's parents died in a traffic accident and left behind a bunch of debt. Since then, her life has become tough. For Mo Rae, the toughest matter is to find a way to get three meals a day. Mo Rae always ate dinner from lunch box filled with rice and side dishes that she brought from the campus canteen at lunch. The auntie who took care of the canteen understood Mo Rae's struggle and helped the girl. Each time Mo Rae came, the auntie would sometimes prepare special side dishes to give her.

Mo Rae is still doing well in this world. She started chewing radish kimchi in her mouth. However, problems like boksangsa sometimes popped out. Mo Rae reminiscing the previous incident that couldn't be considered as light. She shook her head and tried to enjoy the special stir fry octopus. If possible, she would avoid that certain senior and the kids in the class earlier. Good thing, next class is Cultural Knowledge. In the 23 years of her life, Mo Rae sometimes had a crisis like this.

Lunch done, Mo Rae sat on the campus stairs, enjoying the fresh breeze. Mi Young handed a cup of coffee she bought from a vending machine to her friend.

“Caramel Macchiato?”

“Yup.”

“Thanks!”

Both sipping the 2,000 won coffee from a vending machine which tasted no less than St*rbucks’. Enjoying their free time after lunch. For Mo Rae, who had to get to work soon after the afternoon class is over, this short free time after lunch was priceless.

“Oh right, tomorrow is time to pay the tax.”

Remembering that, Mo Rae turned to Mi Young and asked. "Mi Young, you have a calculator?"

“Yeah, here.”

What Mi Young gave is a small calculator with a weird shape. Although she's a bit useless, her friend always had something tiny. Small LCD, small audio speaker, also this small round calculator. Mo Rae asked as if surprised by her friend.

“Where did you get this?”

“You know I have a cousin, right? He got it from a claw machine for only 1,000 won and gave it to me. This thing can be a calculator and a voice recorder. It was made in China and super cheap. Look at this!”

Mi Young pressed a 'record' button and say 'Kim Mo Rae', then pressing a 'repeat' button. Mi Young's voice came back saying 'Kim Mo Rae' from the small speaker.

“Whoaaa!!! Cool.”

“Wanna try again? 'Boksangsa is not a temple’s name'.”

“Hey!”

“Hahahaha! Just kidding. Forgive me, as an apology, you can have this if you want.”

“But I’m afraid it will break. Are you sure I can have it?”

“Uh-huh, it’s only 1.000 won anyways.”

“Thank you, girl. You are such a useful friend.”

“Shut it! Now I don’t wanna hear something about suicide and so on. If you ever talk about that again, I’ll take back the calculator.”

“Hahaha... ay-ay captain!”

What a mean girl, even though I said that, don't you see how worried I am about you? Oh, bless me. Mi Young thought while observing Mo Rae.

Done calculating using the tiny calculator, Mo Rae hit the 'record' button and started practicing her voice.

“A- ahh- ahh- test- test-... one- two- three- four. Hey! This is useful! This thing is very amazing.”

“Oldie! What are you doing? You're not even a head man.”

“Shut up! How to use this? Looks like it can be beneficial to me. Oh! I know!”

A great idea came into her head, Mo Rae pressed the 'record' button again and spoke a few words in a beautifully made-up voice.

“Pip! Thank you.”

Then press the 'repeat' button, listening carefully to her voice coming out of the speaker. Not quite what she expected, she hit the 'record' button again and just repeated ‘pip, thank you!’ over and over. Seeing her friend act weird, Mi Young finally couldn't help but be curious and asked.

“What you doing? Why are you speaking ‘pip! Thank you!’ over and over?”

“I'm gonna use it as a substitute for my bus card. Since the record is nice, similar to that payment machine’s voice, I'll use this tape to trick the driver later. What a genius I am!”

Mi Young stared at Mo Rae. She lowered her head, feeling helpless, then got up from her seat and left quietly.

“From now on, please do act as if we don’t know each other.”

“Hey! Jeong Mi Young! Where are you going? Teach me until the record is perfect!”

Mo Rae followed behind her. However, Mi Young's steps gotten wider.

Creepy woman. Please live normally, Mi Young thought.

Mo Rae, which was about catching up to Mi Young's steps, started giggling. Mo Rae didn't really mean to use it as a substitute for her bus card. She just wanted to play with Mi Young, it was fun for Mo Rae to tease her friend.

"Jeong Mi Young! Where are you going? I still need to practice how to record 'transfer' and 'student' besides 'thank you'!"

Mo Rae is getting crazy. Really crazy. Mi Young stopped her steps and turned to face Mo Rae. Then reaching out her hand.

“Kim Mo Rae, give it back to me!”

“What a shame! You said you gave it to me and now you want it back. I'll never gonna do that, I was just kidding.”

Mi Young glared at Mo Rae in disbelieve.

Mo Rae finally melted.

“I'm an honest and straight youth of the nation, you know?"

“Who in the hell will commit a crime just to save 900 won?”

“I was just kidding.”

Mi Young rolled her eyes as if she couldn't believe Mo Rae who was smiling ear to ear. Mo Rae turned on the calculator again, grumbling, and gave it back to Mi Young. There was a sound of panting, as if someone is being interrogated, escaping from the speaker.

“Honestly speaking, I never thought about doing that. Just this time, I beg your pardon to forgive me.”

Mo Rae and Mi Young listened to Mo Rae's voice on the tape. They looked at each other and started laughing loudly.

“Mo Rae, you're indeed unbeatable. You are weird.”

“I’m not. I’m unique.”

Both smiled and returned to class. When the afternoon class was over, Mo Rae immediately ran to the subway station to head to her workplace.

The station was full of the crowd during office hours. It is filled with workers returning home, students, and parents. They're sitting comfortably in a row on the chairs, including that perv*rted man. For the last five minutes, Mo Rae's gaze kept paying close attention, watching the perv*rted man's hand fondling a student's hip who stood not far from him.

Crazy people like that are still around, huh.

Mo Rae looked through her bag before pulling out a cell phone.

A phone with a video record feature is indeed useful at times like this. I'm gonna upload it to the internet and people like him will be buried alive.

Whilst Mo Rae was recording the perv*rted man's act, the man's gaze followed the cellphone she held. His gaze then shifted to Mo Rae's face. Soon, he realized Mo Rae's doing and removed his hand from the high school girl's hip in an instant. Then spoke to Mo Rae.

“What are you doing?”

“Don’t mind me, please continue.”

“Hey! You!”

When the man was about to snatch her phone, Mo Rae dodged quickly towards the back. After pressing the 'save' button, Mo Rae put her cell phone back into her bag. Then ask the student who lowered her head.



“That ahjusshi did something weird to you, wasn’t he?”

The student's face turned red. She nodded her head slowly.

"See? You, this student, and I, the three of us should go to the police station. With reports from civilians like us, you could be charged with sex*al harassment."

“Are you crazy? Why on earth should I go to the police office?”

“The victim is here, the witness is me and the evidence is inside here.”

Mo Rae spoke out loud as she patted her bag. The man looked at her with murderous intent. People on the train began to whisper and glared at the perverted man as if they were criticizing him. The man bit his lip.

“M*therf*cker!”

He cursed and got off the train quickly through the open door. Mo Rae yelled at the man.

"Hey! Where are you going! Come to the police station! Shouldn't we act fast? How come a well-dressed man like you act dirty like a perv*rt?!"

The perv*rted man disappeared into the crowd and soon out of sight. The train door closed again and started running back. Mo Rae then caught the student who was about to change seats because she felt embarrassed.

"Hey, next time you have to bring a drill! If you meet a perv*rt like that man again, hold his hand firmly then attack!"

Seeing Mo Rae speaking in a fiery manner, the girl just frowned. She did not cry, nor smile.




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