The Thinker

July 28, 2013 in Leviathan Universe, Nelly by nelly

This is something I wrote and scheduled for automatic posting. Jsyk.

First off, thank you to everyone that’s been commenting! 🙂 It really means a lot to me that you guys are finding this interesting, and I love hearing your thoughts and opinions on what happens.

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Seohyun climbed the stone steps to the main door of her brick walled apartment building. Her apartment was on the second floor and she took the staircase one step at a time, her mind weighed down by the thoughts rushing through her head. She was so preoccupied with thinking about what had happened today that she almost bumped into someone halfway up the stairs.

“Hi Seohyun!”

“Oh hi T-” But the girl was already gone, jumping and skipping down the creaky wooden staircase as if it was a game she was playing with herself.

When Seohyun got up to her room the first she did was lock the door, then open the window in front of her desk. It opened out onto the street below, so she could hear the background noise of the city. She sat down at the table and pulled out her screen and propped it up on her desk. One of her students, a small boy nicknamed Shox, had found a way to hack past the public library’s firewall and gotten her access to archives of old philosophical dissertations. She had spent the last several nights pouring over Rousseau. As she scrolled through the text transcription on her screen, her ears picked up on snippets of the conversation happening outside her window, below on the street.

“They…they ran him down in the streets. I saw…I saw it…and I couldn’t do anything.”

“There was nothing you could have done. He wouldn’t have wanted you to put yourself in danger.” Seohyun recognized the voice that had said hi to her earlier.

“He was such a good man.”

“He IS a good man. And he’ll be home to you soon. And he’d probably laugh if he came home and saw you so worried about him, wouldn’t he?” There was a lighthearted laugh, soon joined by another slightly more tentative chuckle.

“Yes, yes he would, wouldn’t he? He’d call me an old worry wart.”
“In the meantime though, take this.”
“No no I can’t possibly! You don’t even know me, you can’t give me this!”
“Well that’s easily solved. My name’s Taeyeon, my friends all call me Taengoo.”
There was a hesitation before the old woman introduced herself as well.
“There then! Now we know each other! Now please take this. I’ve met your son before, and so it’s my responsibility to help take care of you until he comes back, okay?”
The woman thanked her.
“Great! I have to run now, Mrs. Choi, but before I go, where around here do you live? That way I’ll know where to visit you!”
“I live on the sixth floor of that building over here.”
“Oh what a coincidence, I live in that building too, on the tenth floor! I guess we were meant to meet then!”

Seohyun looked up and caught sight of Taeyeon’s slowly receding form as she jogged away from the building. She didn’t know Taeyeon very well, had only talked to her in passing or bumped into her on the stairs, but she knew by the tone of the woman’s voice that Taeyeon had given her money. She wondered how much and where Taeyeon had gotten it since she never seemed to have even enough to buy a change of clothes. But this was the slums, and in the slums Seohyun had learned that if someone didn’t mention what they did for a living, it meant one of two things. Either they were doing something illegal, or they were planning on doing something illegal.

She shook her head and turned back to Rousseau. Thinking about what Taeyeon was up to right now wouldn’t do any good.

Over the next few weeks, Seohyun couldn’t help but start paying more attention to Taeyeon’s actions. She’d find herself having longer conversations with her on the stairs, walking with her down the street as Seohyun headed to the school. But Taeyeon never brought up what she did, and Seohyun never pried.

And in a few months they had developed the beginnings of a close friendship. Under the easy smiles and natural laughs, Seohyun found that Taeyeon was a kind soul and a good listener. Sometimes Seohyun would accidentally confess something she’d read from archives she shouldn’t have access to, or pose a question that she’d been taught since she was little was forbidden to ask. But instead of being frightened or horrified by it, Taeyeon would smile and ask her to continue, or furrow her eyebrows in thought and match Seohyun’s question with a question of her own. Seohyun had never felt like any of the other children at the orphanage she’d grown up with were family, but now she felt herself thinking of Taeyeon almost like an older sister. Soon Seohyun was quoting passages of Rousseau to Taeyeon or challenging the very lessons she’d taught that day in class. Seohyun was pretty sure that sometimes Taeyeon didn’t understand the political theory or the historical references, but having her there to listen did wonders for her. For the first time, the gears in Seohyun’s head were free to turn how she wanted and as quickly as she wanted; she could finally let the thoughts out instead of bottling them inside herself.

Seohyun had finally found someone to ask the dangerous questions, to tell the dangerous thoughts. And even if Taeyeon didn’t know how to answer or didn’t know how exactly to respond, it was okay. Because now that the questions were out in the open, she knew it was only a matter of time before the answers came too.
But then, abruptly, Taeyeon stopped showing up on the stairs. Stopped meeting Seohyun on the steps to walk with her to school. Even stopped visiting Mrs. Choi. And when Seohyun went up to her apartment and checked, all there was inside was an old mattress in the centre of an otherwise empty room.

She had disappeared entirely.

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What’d you think? 😀 Did you see this coming?

The stories are really starting to blend together now, which makes me really excited. Hopefully you think it’s cool too! 🙂