[ENG TRANS] Skeleton Flower, Chapter 1.

listerinejunghee:

(hi wow i did this cool,

sorry about any inaccuracies,

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stories
that have drawn near

—from the day of parting—

“where
can I go? and how long can i have you with me?” he asked her.

she
said nothing. merely embraced him quietly.

and
i’m asking you.

“how
far have i come? and how long have you been with me?”

no
more

the
man had a strange habit.

for
when he became fiercely emotional, he had a habit of speaking
politely to anyone, regardless of their age, or his relationship to
them.

“people
truly are cunning at heart. when something is not mine, i want to
have it, yet when it comes into my hand, it withers like a plucked
flower.”

it
was fairly quiet on olympic road after closing time. after finishing
her aggressive deadlines, the women went on her way home with her
long-time lover. the man in the passenger seat kept silent
throughout, until he finally brought up some nonsense story. this
too, while speaking politely.

before
he begins to talk, the woman turns off the radio, which was easing
the silence inside of the car. she shifted her eyes to stare at him.
she lets out a soft sigh, as if she was predicting how lengthy and
boring this speech would be.

the
man continued, keeping himself alive.

“of
course, it’s reasonable for one to prefer bouquets of flowers,
decorated this way and that, to those stuck in the ground. but then
what? for the instant it is held, the flower, once passionate and
full of life, will soon begin to wither and die.”

he
lowered his gaze as the women, face impassive, spoke abruptly.

“what
are you talking about this time?”

“it’s
like you and i.”

the
man cut her off, frightened.

the
woman contemplated this for a moment, eyebrows knitted.

“what
are you up to now?”

the
man could not hide the stench of discomfort as the woman scowled at
him. but whether he was tactless, or just decided he didn’t care, he
did not meet her eyes.

“it
happens in films sometimes, y’know. love at first sight. time slows,
the world around them turns to black and white. ‘oh, god. is she
human? please, let me have her!!!’ they say bullshit like this, and
what’s worse, they find it romantic. soulmates don’t exist.”

“…….”

the
women was driving her car down a small alley before he knew it.

“yeah,
love has the power to turn humans into fools, so what. when i first
met you, i was like that too. the problem is, whether that power
lasts or not. it depends on the person, but once it loses it’s
efficacy and they see each other as they really are, the gates of
hell open.”

though
strangely, the man seemed almost excited.

the
woman started to feel too distant from the man sat next to her. she
got the feeling that the man who loved her was disappearing.

“okay.
but can you stop speaking politely? it’s cheesy, i can’t listen to
it.”

“look.
you can’t stand listening to the politeness that used to be
‘considerate’, what was once ‘pleasantly plump’ after eating is now
‘gluttony’, and even cute gestures just feel like annoying whining.
you see? there’s no spark when our eyes meet, we hate holding hands
because of the sweat, and kissing has become nothing more than force
of habit.”

the
woman couldn’t take it anymore. her voice turned sharp.

“why
are you saying this? how do you expect me to answer? would you rather
i sigh at the end of your every sentence?”

the
man, who was staring straight ahead, finally turned his gaze to the
woman.

his
eyes were full of certainty. his pupils didn’t shake.

“it’s
unfortunate. we were so fiery, how did our relationship cool down to

this
ambiguous temperature? not lukewarm, nor cold, but perfect for going
stale.”

5
years.

that’s
how long the two had been together.

excitement
became familiarity, familiarity became comfort, comfort became
boredom, boredom became fatigue, and nothing was stopping fatigue
from becoming hatred.

when
the man finished talking, the car stopped violently.

the
two had arrived at their destination.

in
that moment, the perfect conditions of a couple living in the same
neighbourhood, turned out to be the worst environment for a farewell.

“when
we were in our prime, we couldn’t understand why those around us were
breaking up, why they couldn’t overcome their fatigue. but we aren’t
any different. shall i be honest? our situation is more severe. we
don’t have the will to turn each other’s fatigue into passion again,
you know?”

“just
get to the end. i have a headache.”

the
woman rummaged through her bag and took out her painkillers.

“right
now, we’re breaking up for the same reason as them.”

she
didn’t reply. simply clenched her medication case.

he
glanced at her, and said.

“don’t
force your tears.”

the
woman chased down two painkillers with water.

“i
wouldn’t.”

she
swallowed her answer along with a third pill. the first two weren’t
enough.

“we’re
gonna stop with the staring contest, waiting to see who’s gonna spit
out their goodbye first, and just go our separate ways now. for the
last time, i’ll whistle for you, the way you like. we’ll leave this
car, walk the opposite way, and when you can’t hear that melancholy
whistle anymore, we’re done.”

as
if to ease her headache, the woman slowly brought her head to the
handle of the car. she didn’t move after that.

the
man also kept his mouth firmly shut, and said nothing more.

“goddamn
romanticist……..”

the
woman muttered to herself.

how
much time had passed?

“get
out.”

the
woman said when she eventually raised her head. as she spoke, she
slowly took off the ring she was wearing on the forth finger of her
left hand. the ring was a present the man gave to her on their 1 year
anniversary. a wish for love to last forever.

“…………………”

“i
said, get out. go your own path, like you said.”

the
man looked as if he would say something, but quickly shut his mouth
and opened his car door.

suddenly-

“take
care.”

the
man got out of the car, walked up his street, and the woman only
watched him go.

5
years.

that’s
how long the two had been together.

love
was but a mask of a jester, a jester who would change its roles frequently,
who dedicated plenty of time to playing both of its parts. but “take
care” was a single farewell which, in an instant, had compressed
those 5 years into an ridiculously insufficient utterance.

nevertheless,
she had no choice but to watch through the car window as he walked
away. she couldn’t go after him, grasp his hand and yank him around.
it was because of the moment their eyes met, the conviction she read
in those still pupils, she told herself. it was because, whether
through the memories of the two of them, or the tears of the moment, his
heart could not be changed, she told herself.

the
psychic ability of the two people who spent five years together, the
ability to read each other’s hearts simply by looking into each
others eyes, was presently insignificant. as of now, even that became
useless.

a
quiet street at night. even though she didn’t want to hear it, the
sound of a whistle reached her ears.

the
lines between the relief, hopelessness, sadness, and happiness inside
her were blurred. the woman let out a small chuckle and spoke to
herself.

“……….that
whistle is unbelievable.”

she
liked the noise the man would make when he pursed his lips together.
sometimes, at the end of an intense day, she would whistle with him
until they fell asleep. in his arms, listening to that sound, kissing
his pursed lips, she could forget all the worries in the world. those
magical moments when they were the only two left, relying on each
other…….

she
could still hear the sound of the man’s whistle and his slow
footsteps, and to escape her memories, she hurriedly pressed the
button on the car radio.

toot-
toot-

the
sound of her phone’s dial tone trickled out through her speakers, and
the women leant back in her chair and covered her face with both
hands.

“why,
of all things……..”

——————————

hi
it’s ur fave listerine hypeman uhhh i’ve never posted translations before but

1. please
don’t use this without crediting me

2. dm
me if you have any questions

3. ill
try and translate as much of this as i can

4. lemme know if anything is inaccurate or wrong

5. my
twitter is twitter.com/listerinejjong u
can reach me there

6. i tried to keep this as close to jjong’s structure as i could, but i could never do him justice, i’m simply translating it, i’m not a writer, jjong is a much better writer than i’ve been able to portray him

7. i highly recommend you check out this, a proper actual translator translated different parts of jjong’s book, and did such an amazing job, and it’s very very beautifully written and i wish i was them help i could never

8. this is my first posted translation im very very sorry if it’s awful im v anxious please be kind 2 me

9. have
a nice day

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