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Korean Love Story
Love's Song Part 1

Next on Love's Song Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

 

“Mother, Yuri, I’ll be back in an hour!” Simon Kowan called, climbing into the red Fiat.
The car pulled out of the Kowan’s driveway in Sacramento, California. Yuri did not need to guess where her brother was going. He was going on a date with his beautiful girlfriend Jenni. She stared wistfully at the fading car and wished she had Simon. People often said that Yuri did not resemble her family members and they were not wrong. After all, she was an adopted child. Yuri had beautiful black hair and a slim body fit for a fifteen year old while Simon’s handsome features and slick blonde hair resembled his father, who passed away years ago. Mrs. Susan Kowan, as most people called her, is a kind widow who was not beautiful for a woman of forty eight. But her kind face had no wrinkles and her blonde hair showed no specks of grey.

Yuri had a crush on Simon for three years now, and she loved him far more than a brother. His blue eyes could catch any girl’s heart, but Yuri knew in her own heart that she loved Simon more than anyone else in the world, even Mrs. Kowan. Yuri spent the hour reading and waiting for Simon as she always did. The clock ticked noisily and one could hear the sounds of Mrs. Kowan’s knitting and her chair rocking throughout the house.

Late into the night, the sound of keys at the door was heard and the door creaked open. A boy by the name of Simon of age eighteen stepped into the house quietly as a mouse and went up to his sister. She had fallen asleep waiting for him on the couch with her book across her lap. He went up and put her head on his shoulder silently. The sleeping girl stirred but fell back into her slumber. Simon stroked Yuri’s head gently for a while then kissed her cheek. The moment of silence was broken by the loud chiming of the grandfather’s clock, indicating that it was midnight.

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“Yuri, I know how you feel towards me.”
Simon whispered into the night and to his sleeping sister. His voice was soothing like a lullaby.
“I am sorry I am unable to love you back more but I will always love you, almost as much as I love Jenni. You are a beautiful and gentle girl, like the night breeze that lures me to sleep each night. I have to go for a while now. Sleep well.”
Simon slowly lifted Yuri’s face up to his and gently placed his lips over hers. It was a short kiss but a true one. Seconds later the boy left again. Yuri opened her eyes and gazed at the empty driveway, trying to recall the kiss that she only half remembered, before falling asleep again.

The quiet dawn in the house of the Kowans was once again disturbed by the shrill ringing of the phone. Yuri rose from the couch and picked up the phone that rang at two o’clock. A male voice spoke.

“Miss Kowan, this is Officer Jyo from the Sacramento Police Department. I think you’d better come down to South Street. There has been an accident involving your brother.”
Then he hanged up. Yuri was still for a moment, before she threw down the receiver and screamed.
“Mother!”

Two ladies, one young and one old arrived at South Street minutes later. Police cars were everywhere and there was an ambulance. A small crowd was huddled around two bodies.

Yuri and Susan Kowan rushed and pushed through the crowd to where the three officers were examining the two bodies. One was a stranger whose head was heavily bandaged and stains of blood were visible through the bandage. The other was Simon. The boy’s head was bleeding heavily and blood stained his body which was full of cuts and bruises. Two more officers came with a stretcher and lifted the stranger onto it.

(Related Story : English Love Story)

“To the emergency room immediately. There might still be hope.” An officer said.
“What about my brother? He needs to go to the hospital, too!” Yuri screamed with her voice shake uncontrollably as she stared at the bloody heap that was her brother.
“He needs to go! Somebody, bring a stretcher!” Yuri was shrieking, tears streaming down her face as she wrung her hands desperately.
“Miss Kowan, I’m sorry. There is no need for Simon to go to a hospital.”
The officer said, trying to soothe the frantic girl.
“Why not? That person went too! There’s still hope!” Yuri cried, shaking her head.
“Simon Kowan is dead.”
Yuri froze. Susan Kowan fainted but Yuri didn't. Before she knew what she was doing, she grabbed the officer’s shirt.
“You’re lying. Simon said he was only going out for a little while. He’s coming back!”
Yuri cried shrilly. At that moment, all she wanted was for her brother to come back. She thought she was going crazy.
“I’m sorry, but he is dead.”
The officer replied, looking sombre. He loosened himself from Yuri’s grip and walked away. Yuri knelt in front of Simon. She stroked his soft blonde hair as he did to her earlier, staining her hands with blood from his hair. Her tears spilled and she hugged Simon tightly. The crowd slowly parted leaving behind Yuri and the dead Simon.

An officer came over and patted Yuri’s shoulder gently.
“Miss Kowan, we have to take your brother.”
The officer waved his hand and two other policemen gently pulled Yuri off Simon. Yuri didn’t know why she didn’t object. She didn’t argue as well when Simon was lifted onto a stretcher and covered in a white cloth. The sirens of the ambulance and police cars softened as they slowly drove away. Yuri felt a fresh wave of tears in her eyes and she stood there staring at the disappearing vehicles.

Simon Kowan died on December 14th.

“Yuri, have you packed all your things?”
Susan Kowan called from downstairs.
“Your plane to England leaves at six!”
Yuri stuffed the rest of her clothes into her suitcase and snapped the suitcase shut.
“Almost done, Mother!” the sixteen years old called back.
She hesitated as she looked at a picture of her and Simon. Her brother would have been nineteen if he hadn’t died. He had his arm around Yuri in the picture and they were both smiling happily.

It has been almost a year since the death of her brother. Yuri never really got over the tragic incident but much to her surprise, life soon became normal again for all others, but never for Yuri. A part of her had died and she knew it was her heart. The young girl decided to attend a music orchestra school in England. After Simon’s death, they never shut down the small beach house Yuri’s brother owned, but nobody ever went there again. However, everything inside was still working.

Yuri buried her thoughts and quickly placed the picture into her suitcase. She grabbed the suitcase and heaved it downstairs where her mother was waiting for her.

“Come on, hurry up, dear.”
Mrs. Kowan beckoned, climbing into the driver’s seat of their Fiat. The mother and daughter bided each other goodbye at the airport. Susan Kowan kissed Yuri on the cheek and told her to be careful.

Hours and hours later, the American Airlines flight landed at the London airport. Yuri got off the airplane along with the other passengers. The airport security staff stood still like statues at every entrance. The airport wasn’t crowded. The girl’s eyes darted around for some sign of what she was looking for - a person or people who represented the Carson Music School.

Just then Yuri heard her name.
“Miss Yuri Kowan!”
She spun around. A boy dressed in a blue uniform gestured towards her. He ran over and took her suitcase and escorted her to a small group of people who were dressed similarly to him. The boy was red-haired and freckled. His British accent was strong and he seemed very polite.
“Miss Yuri, this is our president, Mr. Aaron Spiel. I’m Randy.” The red-head introduced.
Yuri nodded and shook hands with Mr. Spiel.
“Welcome, Miss Kowan. We are honoured to have you attend our music school.” Mr. Spiel said warmly.
“Thank you for coming all this way.”

They escorted Yuri to a van and rode to the school. England was beautiful in an eerie way. Everything in London was so formal and exquisite. Yuri thought the architecture was unique and brilliant. They arrived at a white marble building and went inside. Pictures and portraits of the orchestra and extraordinary musicians were hung all over the wall.

Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, Yuri saw a lock of slick blonde hair disappear at a corner of the hallway. The girl’s breath got caught in her chest as Simon’s silvery blonde hair flashed across her mind. She dropped her suitcase and ran to the hall where she had seen the boy. But just then, the doors opened and a crowd of students holding violins came out. Yuri searched frantically for the boy but he was gone.

“Yuri, is anything wrong?” the voice of Randy brought her back to her senses.
“Oh, nothing.”
Yuri hesitated, and then asked. “Is there a boy named Simon Kowan in the orchestra?”
Randy looked at her, puzzled.
“No, Yuri. Do you know someone of that name?” he asked.
Yuri’s looked at Randy and shook her head.

Later, Yuri was brought to a dormitory where there were two beds. Randy brought Yuri to her bed, which was on the far right.
“Yuri, I understand if you’re tired, but in an hour time, there will be a welcome ceremony for you. You can come if you wish.”
Randy set down her suitcase and walked out. The girl peered around the dormitory and hung her clothes up in a closet that she shared with the other girl. She had just set down her picture of her and Simon when the door opened and a girl entered. The girl glanced at Yuri, walked up to her and held out her hand. Her blonde curls were dangling from an expensive butterfly hairpin.

“Hello, I’m Emily Radley. You share a room with me.”
The girl said abruptly in a superior tone. Yuri held out her own hand and shook Emily’s.
“I’m Yuri Kowan.”
“Oh, so you’re the girl from America? Are you going to the ceremony? I wouldn’t miss all the attention for the world if I were you.”
Emily sat onto her own bed and popped a candy into her mouth.
“I play the viola, what about you?”
“I play the harp.” Yuri explained.
She did not feel like engaging in a conversation with anyone right now, especially Emily. Emily seemed to read her thoughts and she hopped off her bed.
“Well, I’m leaving.”
The girl slammed the door behind her.

An hour later Yuri stepped up onto the stage and was introduced to the orchestra of one hundred and seventy people. Yuri scanned the big orchestra with interest. It was certainly a good orchestra. Suddenly, Yuri spotted the blonde hair again. Once again, Yuri felt her heart hammer against her chest. The boy’s hair was slicked back and his head was down as he studied the keys for the grand piano. Yuri dropped the microphone with a loud clang and all heads turned to her. Emily and her huge group of friends smirked and giggled. The boy looked up and Yuri gasped with shock. The boy was Simon. His looked at her with his sapphire blue eyes, except ten times colder. He also had the same pale skin and beautiful blonde hair.

“Simon!”
Yuri whispered with a voice hoarse with shock. The boy stepped up to her.
“What do you want, Kowan?” he asked icily.
“Oh, this is Thomas Vacur, our pianist.”
Randy explained, looking rather embarrassed at Thomas’s rude attitude.
“He’s rather inhospitable toward strangers.”

However, Yuri didn't hear him. All she saw was her handsome brother standing alive in front of her. Tears filled her eyes and even Thomas seemed surprise as the teardrops slid down Yuri’s white face and dropped onto her harp.

“You’re not dead.” Yuri whispered.
“You are very much mistaken Kowan. I never died. And my name is not Simon, its Thomas, T-H-O-M-A-S, in case you can’t hear or spell.”
The boy turned on his heels and went back to the piano.

Why is Simon being so mean and cold? Yuri thought. He doesn’t love me, he hates me. Why did he glare at me like that like he never knew me? Clapping her hands over her mouth, Yuri sped out of the auditorium.

 

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Next on Love's Song Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4