Chapter 10: maybe tomorrow
Such as the ocean returns to stillness after a sweeping storm, the woman’s seemingly non-stop shaking heart, too, quieted down. She could not know when that would abruptly change again, but for now, she was alright. He was, slow and surely, being erased from her.
However, if there was one thing that had not changed, was that she was still suffering from a worsening headache and insomnia ever since he left. After she finished organizing the manuscript for the upcoming interview next month, the woman, busy as ever, got a cup of coffee for takeout from the cafe in front of her company as usual.
‘I should stop drinking coffee, it’d be better for my insomnia······.’
It was a little past 1 in the morning. On a regular day such hour would have felt like the night was just starting, but after today everything felt overwhelming and exhausting to the woman. Perhaps she had been too absorbed into her work. She had completely forgotten she had left the car at the auto mechanic in the morning. She had been driving it for 5 years with no big accidents, but she still had to take it for a check up from time to time. Had she not forgotten she did not have her car, she would have left work at around 11PM to take a bus back home.
‘I can’t do this. I’ll have to take a taxi······.’
The woman supposed that would be better. She drank so much coffee today that her hands were shaking, and while her mind might have been clear, her body was on the verge of a meltdown from fatigue. It was a dangerous state to be driving at such late hour of the night.
“To Shinsadong, please.”
Resting her body on the backseat of the cab, she felt comfortable for the first time in what seemed like ages. As she quietly closed her eyes, a voice she had heard before reached her ears. It was the radio. The voice of that singer she interviewed months ago, the accent and intonation so distinctive that she recognized it immediately.
‘Right. He said he is a radio host.’
Sometimes there are these days. A day that is tiring and overwhelming for no particular reason, a day when things that are usually easy just don’t work out, so it’s a day twice as irritating. In this sort of day, even if people around me try to cheer me up it doesn’t really comfort me. I just wish they’d listen to me and nod. Sometimes hearing these encouragements just feels like being pressured to get over my feelings.
The woman nodded at the man’s faint words.
Yeah, if somebody told me to just cheer up right now, I might get mad and pour coffee on their face or something. Of course that people trying to cheer me up is not a bad thing. But sometimes, rather than ‘cheer up’ I want to hear something that’s more like, ‘It’s alright, you can rest today, just leave the rest for tomorrow’, you know.
‘Good thing you can’t reach my coffee.’
With her eyes closed, she enjoyed an unexpected resting break. It was like the warm coffee scent and the man’s soft voice brought her comfort. The taxi cab drove down the silent roads and arrived at her home before she knew it. Still curious about the next words of the singer’s interrupted speech, the woman fumbled with her phone as she slowly walked into her home.
‘You can listen to the radio on your phone these days, right?’
The app downloaded quickly enough, and thankfully the radio was not over yet.
Anyways, to everybody who worked hard today, those who are tired for whatever reason and lost their strength.
I wanna let you know that you did well. ‘Let’s cheer up. Tomorrow will be better.’
I always wrap up by saying that but today I don’t want to.
It’s alright to only cheer up by tomorrow. No, it’s okay if it’s only after tomorrow too.
It’s alright to be sad for a while. Please come to me whenever. Because I’ll be here.
It’s alright to cheer up tomorrow, it’s alright to be sad for a while — those gentle comforting words of that man seemed to cheer her up more than any encouragement would
When he said to always come to him, that he will be there, she thought that perhaps she could start listening to his radio more often.
The last song we’ll listen to is ‘Maybe Tomorrow’. Come and rest again tomorrow.
The woman laid down on her bed and closed her eyes as she listened to the song on the radio.
It’s alright, it’s alright
FOR ALWAYS JONGHYUN
Copyright © 2015