Doppio Senso – Chapter 5.2


– Hey, Lee. Isn’t it dangerous to be out this late at night?

Amy, EunHa’s best friend, sounded worried. Having talked for so long, EunHa’s phone felt hot in her hand. She looked down at it and frowned.

[Yeah, my battery’s about to die anyways. I think I need to head back now.]

– That’s probably for the best. When did you say you were coming back again?

[If it were up to me, I would fly back as soon as possible. No matter what, I’m going to do everything I can to get on the plane next week. You’ll be the first to know when the exact date has been decided.]

EunHa let out a deep sigh and scratched her head. She wanted to hang out with her friends, but as soon as her school break had started, she had to fly to Korea. She didn’t like this from the start. Because she was the only Asian at school, she was treated like an alien sometimes, but thanks to her personality, she managed to make new friends fairly quickly.

– Okay. Jason asked about you. He was checking to see if Lee was going camping with us.

On top of that, she even had a crush who made her heart race everyday. A blush formed on her face as she thought about Jason’s smile. Because he was the school quarterback, he was popular at school.

[Ah, really?]

– It looked like he was really looking forward to seeing you there.

[Amy, I’m going to look up plane tickets as soon as I get home.]

– You need to persuade your parents first since they’re very strict, Lee.

[If they don’t give me their permission, I’m going to tell them that I’m going to sneak off to Philadelphia and join a female gang.]

– A female gang? I’ve never heard of those before.

[Of course you haven’t. I’m going to establish the first one.]

– Haha, as expected of you, Lee. You’re so much fun.

Amy’s laugh made EunHa burst into laughter as well. She finally let out a soft sigh.

[Emily’s older sister said she’d go as the chaperone, so I don’t know why my parents were so against it. I mean, I knew they were strict, but I don’t think there are parents out there in the world that are more strict than mine. At times like these, I wish I was an orphan.]

– Don’t get too worked up and try to persuade them. Good luck.

[Okay. I might call you again later.]

After they said their goodbyes, EunHa ended the call. EunHa begrudgingly began to walk back to her house. The houses in this neighborhood were lined up along the slope and had tall walls. Her house was the one at the very end of the street.

EunHa complained in her heart with every step. Ever since she was young, her parents were very protective of her. ‘Strict’ didn’t even cut it. Ever since elementary school, her mother always waited for her at the school gates at the end of every school day. If EunHa wanted to go over to friend’s house, she always needed to get her parents’ permission beforehand.

When she was in 5th grade, she moved to the United States. Her father stayed behind to work in Korea, so EunHa felt a little bad leaving him, but EunHa was excited to finally have some breathing room of her own.

While she was in the United States, a Mexican woman was hired to take care of her. The woman was funny and kind. The other children were wary of her at first, but they were all nice.

Since she was the only Asian in the neighborhood, she always stood out whenever she went out. However, her life was less restricted here than in Korea. Therefore, whenever she returned to Korea during her breaks, her parents’ overprotection seemed even more severe to her.

After finally reaching her house, EunHa made up her mind. She was going to let them know how she felt no matter what. She took out the round sensor key and held it up.

What the…

The front gate was slightly open. EunHa frowned. Did she forget to close it properly when she left? As she pondered this, she went inside and closed the gate. She carefully lifted her feet as she walked. There was no sign of their family dog, Fluffy. The hunting dog was usually very energetic and always wanted to play. It was past midnight now, so maybe he didn’t want to get up.

EunHa fidgeted with Fluffy’s treat inside her pocket as she made her way across the yard. The moon was hidden behind the clouds tonight. The neighborhood seemed quieter than usual. Maybe it was due to the time of night.

“……”

The front door was open, and there was dim light coming from the living room. EunHa’s frown became even deeper. Something was wrong. Did her parents find out that she had snuck out of the house?

Her mother always woke up throughout the night and opened her bedroom door to check up on her, so it was a possibility. That’s why EunHa had thrown her teddy bear underneath the sheets before she left. But it seemed that it wasn’t enough and she’d been caught.

She was going to get a good scolding as soon as she went inside. EunHa was sure of it. And this was all after she had just argued with them about the camping trip. EunHa knew what she was going to say.

How long were they going to keep treating her like a child?

EunHa mumbled to herself and took off her shoes. She tossed the keys into the basket next to the door. Then she turned into the decorated corridor. She was imagining the looks on her parents’ faces as they sat on the sofa in the living room. Just as she was about to turn into the lit room…

“……!”

EunHa quickly hid behind the cupboard. She covered her mouth with both hands because she couldn’t stop her teeth from trembling. She bit the inside her cheeks very hard as she tried to mute the noise.

Robbers.

She saw someone in black go up the stairs. She felt as if her heard had jumped up to the back of her throat as it pounded inside her chest.

‘What… What do I do…?’

A robber had definitely broken into the house. The house had a private security system installed. If someone was monitoring the situation through the security cameras, they would be sending help within 5 minutes.

Her mother had collected priceless paintings and ceramic works and spread them throughout the house. It would take the robber more than 5 minutes to take all of it.

EunHa believed that all she needed to do was wait for the security guards to come. Suddenly, she heard a cry come from the room connected to the living room.

“Aaagh! Wh-Who… are you… Aaaagh!”

EunHa’s pupils dilated. While she was in the United States, she had always talked to her father at least once a day, so there was no way she didn’t recognize his voice. Her tears flowed down her hands that were still covering her mouth. This man wasn’t simply a robber.

She needed to get out. She needed to run away right now, but her legs had turned to stone and wouldn’t move.

“Aaaagh!”

EunHa’s head shot up. She heard her mother’s scream followed by something crashing and stumbling onto the floor.

“Haaagh! Aaaagh!”

Every time EunHa heard the desperate wails of her mother, her heart skipped a beat and trembled. Her mind went blank, and she couldn’t think.

“Hm…Hmm…”

EunHa’s cries leaked through her hands as they continued to cover her mouth. She needed to hold it back. She was so scared that she didn’t even realize that her cellphone was in her pocket. EunHa didn’t move one step and continued to hide behind the cupboard.

“Hyung-nim, it’s done.”

“There should be a kid on the 2nd floor.”

A door opened and someone walked out. EunHa shut her eyes.

Mom, Dad. What am I supposed to do now? I’m scared. I’m scared! I’m scared!

“There was no one else. The kid’s mother was the only one.”

“It’s summer break, so she should still be in the house. She might have hid after hearing all the noise.”

EunHa trembled as she kept her eyes shut. How could this be happening to her family? A shiver went down her spine. This definitely wasn’t a dream.

Mom, Dad. Save me. What do I do?

“Have you checked under the bed? Inside the closet?”

“Ah, that is… The mother wouldn’t cooperate…”

Tssk. EunHa heard someone click his tongue.

“I’ll go with you.”

She heard their footsteps on the carpet. EunHa’s face was covered in tears and snot and was a complete mess. She finally stepped out from behind the cupboard.

“…Haah!”

The carpet that her mother had cherished was drenched in blood. Her mother was collapsed on top of the stairs. Red blood flowed out endlessly from her mother’s body and dripped down the stairs.

“M…M…Mo…!”

EunHa held out a trembling hand towards her mother. Her frozen legs finally moved. She took a step closer to her mother. Even though her eyes were blurry with tears, she finally saw her hand grab her mother’s.

‘Don’t… come… EunHa…’

Her mother’s face was warped with pain. She didn’t make a sound and only moved her lips at EunHa. She could hear the men ransacking her room as they flipped all the furniture.

“M…Mom…”

“Go… Run… EunHa, run…”

Her mother barely managed to speak. She coughed and some blood burst out of her lips. EunHa watched her mother die with her eyes still open and collapsed onto the floor.

“She’s not in the bathroom either. Just how many bathrooms are in this damn house? Just how much money did they blow through all these years?”

“Keep searching the 2nd floor. I’ll go back downstairs and check there.”

EunHa heard the steady footsteps go down the stairs. When she heard the squeaking shoes on the hardwood floor, her chin began to tremble. She grit her teeth and bit her cheek as she crawled into the master bedroom. She didn’t have enough time to run across the living room and reach the front door.

“Uugh…!”

Her father was spread out on the bed, drenched in blood. He wasn’t moving. His red blood had spread throughout the white sheets and was dripping onto floor, making a small puddle. EunHa gripped her hair so tight that it felt like she was ripping it out of her scalp. She didn’t understand how this could be happening to her. If this was a nightmare, she prayed that she would wake up. Please. Please!

Ding-dong.

Suddenly, her cellphone in her pocket let out an alarm. Terrified out of her wits, she grabbed her cellphone and pulled it out.

“Haa… Ah…”

With trembling hands, she turned off the phone. But it was too late. It seemed that the man outside had heard. The footsteps came closer. Suddenly, she heard a door burst open. One by one, the man opened the door to her father’s study, then the guest room, then the dressing room. EunHa tightly gripped the cellphone and trembled.

Dad… Save me… Save me, Dad…

Finally, the master bedroom door opened. EunHa pressed her back against the wall behind the door. She bit her lips and held her breath.

“Maybe I misheard. Shit.”

She heard a man’s voice behind the intricately carved wooden door. If she was caught now, she’d die. EunHa continued to hold her breath. Each moment felt like an eternity.

“Where is our princess hiding…”

Her tears silently dripped down her cheeks. EunHa couldn’t even blink. EunHa heard a ringing sound as the man let go of the doorknob. When she heard the footsteps fade away, she rushed over to the bedroom window. There was no time to waste. If she stayed here any longer, she’d die.

“Huuu…”

EunHa held back her cries and tried her best to quietly open the window. As she was about to go over the windowsill, the moonlight shone over her father’s closed eyes and illuminated his body. A family portrait of her father, her mother, and EunHa hung on the wall.

Mom, Dad…!

EunHa tightly shut her eyes and jumped out the window. When her feet landed on the ground, she felt a spark of pain go through her ankle. However, if she stayed here, she’d be stabbed to death.

EunHa got up and ran across the yard with all her might. She now saw Fluffy’s legs poking out of his doghouse.

“Huu… Ugh…”

As soon as she ran out the gate, a sob escaped her lips, but she still couldn’t cry out as loud as she wanted to. With tears pouring out of her eyes, EunHa ran down the slope. There was no one on the slope surrounded by tall walls. She just needed to reach a major street. Just get to a major street…!

As she ran, someone popped out of an alleyway. EunHa crashed into this person.

“Aagh…!”

Just as EunHa was about to tumble down, the person firmly grabbed her shoulder. It was a tall young man wearing a black cap.

“Huu… Save… Save me…”

EunHa clung onto him and sobbed.

“Please… Please, save me…”

Her body wavered like an aspen tree. She begged him in a whispering voice as she wet her pants. She fainted, and when she opened her eyes, she was in the hospital.

TN: OMG 😭 FLUFFY! Of course, EH’s parents too. All so tragic!

Sorry! I’m not sure if you guys noticed, but I mistranslated a past chapter. EunHa didn’t sneak out and go over to a friend’s house. She went out and just called her friend to complain. I’ve fixed that previous chapter (ch 2 pt 2) accordingly. My bad! Sorry about that…


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