The La-Iin Series
“There Is No Escape”
What, in the end, turned out to be only one day, felt like several days that piled pounds of stress onto Dosa-Mina.
“I’m never going to get to show my true self without going to jail!” San-Kyung yelled. “I can’t take going to jail, Dosa-Mina! I can’t!”
He repeated those words to Dosa-Mina frequently, as if he thought he didn’t quite understand what he was saying. But Dosa-Mina understood completely.
“You could try and find some other way to be happy!” He said.
“Oh really, Dosa-Mina? I’ve tried looking for some other way to be happy. But I can’t stand the idea of living the rest of my life acting like a goody-goody, and no matter what I do, I’m going to have to act that way, aren’t I? Otherwise I might go to jail.”
“Please, San-Kyung. I know what you might be thinking–”
“No, you don’t.” San-Kyung said. “It’s fine for you to act like a goody-goody because you don’t care one way or the other. But for me, it matters. I’ll be happy for you if you become a successful species studier, Dosa-Mina. But even if I’m happy for you, I don’t think I’ll ever be happy for myself.”
“You’ve got to find a way to be then,” Dosa-Mina said.
“Why? What’s the point in trying anymore? I already know what my options are.”
“Because….because, San-Kyung, lately you’ve been talking about doing something…..drastic. And if you really cared about me, you’d know that if you did that, I’d be devastated!”
“Yeah, but you’d get over it, wouldn’t you!?”
“I….I’m sorry, Dosa-Mina.”
“I understand that you’re stressed out, San-Kyung, but if you died, I would never get over it. Never. You are my best friend. And I thought you understood how important you are to me. I’m not completely sure about that now.”
“Dosa-Mina…please, I’m sorry.”
“I’m not going to run away and start ignoring you. That’ll only cause more problems. So let me help you! Please! You think I’d be fine if you died. No, I wouldn’t! I could never be fine with that!”
“Don’t cry, Dosa-Mina…”
San-Kyung’s voice started to sound warped. Dosa-Mina glanced up, his vision blurred by the tears rolling down his cheeks. San-Kyung looked distorted even with tears blurring his eyesight.
“San-Kyung….?” His voice broke as he spoke his friend’s name.
A familiar sight played in front of his eyes–a sight that, given the situation, should not have been one Dosa-Mina remembered. The sight of San-Kyung falling off the building–at that sight, Dosa-Mina realized he must be dreaming.
He refused to step forward and look at San-Kyung’s body. He had seen that sight many more times than he would like to. It was a sight he hoped he would never see outside of the nightmares. It hurt him to stay back and watch as the crowd formed around his friend’s corpse, but he couldn’t bring himself to step forward.
Out the corner of his eye, the world around him started to distort again. He felt like he could see a glimpse into a house he hardly ever saw, but a house that he knew. A little blonde girl held a gun in her hand. Dosa-Mina quickly realized he was being faced with both suicides at once. He closed his eyes tight, curled into a ball and mumbled to himself.
“I know this is a dream, so I should be able to wake up. I know it’s a dream….please…”
“A dream?” La-Iin asked. Dosa-Mina’s concentration broke and without remembering, he looked up. Both San-Kyung and La-Iin stood in front of him, but both were bloodied and hardly recognizable. They both looked as if they had stood up and began walking again right after committing suicide.
Dosa-Mina was horrified.
“You won’t accept the truth, so you’ll just claim it’s a dream. I see how this is.” Both walked closer to him. Dosa-Mina wanted to run away from them, but fear kept his legs tucked close to him.
San-Kyung put his hand on Dosa-Mina’s head and stroked his hair. The action would have normally been comforting, but given the current situation, he couldn’t help but stare at empty space in horror, trying to avoid looking at either him or La-Iin.
Flashes of his nightmares replayed in his head. From a happier moment where he strayed San-Kyung away from suicide to the moment where he couldn’t prevent it any more.
“Stop!” He screamed. San-Kyung backed away.
“This is a nightmare. I know it! It’s not anything else!”
“Then why aren’t you waking up?” La-Iin said with a grin.
“Dosa-Mina, wake up,” San-Kyung said. His expression became serious, but Dosa-Mina could barely stand to look at him. He grasped his head, stood up and backed away from the duo.
“I want to wake up!”
“Wake up, Dosa-Mina!”
“I WANT TO WAKE UP!”
“I said, wake up!”
Dosa-Mina took a deep breath, and his room returned to him.
He was prepared for his parents to come into his room, and this time, he actively awaited them and stared at his door. He had the nightmares so many times over that even though they terrified him, he knew what to expect. San-Kyung and La-Iin’s corpses speaking to him, however, seemed like something out of a bad movie.
‘I must be going crazy. I did stay up too late last night. Probably made it worse than usual. Wait a second….’
He turned to his side. Sitting in the bed next to him was San-Kyung, a concerned look on his face.
“Are you okay?” He asked. Dosa-Mina didn’t respond.
“Dosa-Mina? Are you okay?”
“Um–” He tried to think of a way to change the subject. “Wasn’t La-Iin here too?”
“Her mom demanded she come back home. Apparently she didn’t tell her she was coming here first…hey, don’t change the subject! You should remember that! Why were you screaming?”
“It’s nothing,” he said.
“If it was nothing, then you wouldn’t have screamed. You had a nightmare, didn’t you?”
“Not necessarily….maybe I was just screaming….because…of some other reason….?”
“Dosa-Mina….you know, I can tell when you’re lying. These nightmares aren’t recurring, are they?”
“Why would they be?”
“Is something wrong? Don’t tell me these nightmares have anything to do with Deatrou….”
“Why does everyone think I was traumatized by Deatrou!?” He yelled. He pulled the blanket over his head. “It’s nothing, San-Kyung. Don’t worry about it!”
“Too late for that,” he said, sticking his head under the blanket. “I want to know what’s going on.”
“….I had a nightmare. That’s it.”
“Pretty bad one from the sounds of it.”
“Yes, so? People have bad nightmares all the time that have no basis in reality.”
“Something tells me your nightmares aren’t just a whole bunch of random impossible scenarios.”
“Well maybe they aren’t random, but the scenarios are definitely impossible!” ‘….right?’
When he thought on it, neither he nor San-Kyung were adults yet like they were in the dream. In the nightmare he had about La-Iin, she looked the same as she always did, and given the slow aging rate of Vampires, there was no real way to tell if she was supposed to be older or younger than six in the dreams.
‘…well, maybe what they do isn’t impossible, but I really doubt La-Iin’s house has a gun in it….’
“You know you can talk to me about these sorts of things,” he said.
“No, I can’t.”
“Why not?” He wrinkled his forehead.
“Because I just….it’s not going to help, talking about it. I don’t know what could help. Sleeping with someone apparently didn’t help. So I don’t know what to do.” Dosa-Mina sniffled. “I don’t know, San-Kyung. And besides, I’ve dealt with nightmares a lot. I screamed tonight, it doesn’t change that.”
“Don’t tell me you need a night-light.”
“I don’t think that would help either…it just happens. Maybe I’m more prone to nightmares than other people.”
“Wish you’d tell me what the nightmares are about…you know, you aren’t going to sleep well like this.”
“I know that.”
“Are you sure there’s no way I can help?”
Dosa-Mina stared down at San-Kyung. He was younger than in the nightmares; he wasn’t bloodied and broken on a sidewalk. He was lying right next to him in bed.
“Promise me something.”
“Unless there’s absolutely no way to avoid it…don’t leave me behind.”
“In what way?”
“Don’t die before me.”
“Of course I won’t, if I can prevent it. We made a pact.”
“Does this have to do with your nightmares?”
“Not exactly…it was just for peace of mind?”
“I’m not completely sure I believe you.”
“You don’t have to believe me, but I know I’m telling the truth.” He worried that the waver in his voice would give him away.
“I’m surprised Mom and Dad aren’t coming….they usually come running whenever I scream.”
“Maybe they know I have it under control.” San-Kyung said.
“Yeah, maybe….” Dosa-Mina yawned. “We should probably try and get back to sleep. It’s still late…”
San-Kyung nodded. He pulled the blanket off of their heads and curled up with it.
“Good night, San-Kyung,” Dosa-Mina said. He took a deep breath and laid his head on his pillow.
Dosa-Mina was not conscious of his next nightmare being a nightmare. He felt drained of emotion.
He felt like he was being restrained by something, but he had no idea what, and didn’t care as much as he might have in another situation.
He stared at a black wall. Behind the black wall, there seemed to be something going on, but Dosa-Mina couldn’t tell what it was.
Unaware of the nightmare, he simply stayed in place, not fighting his restraints at all.