Part 14: Rain and Tears
content warning: animal death, brief mention of child abuse
[BGM: Getting Serious]
Rain and Tears
I was a stray kitten. Daddie called me Spottie.
Daddie was like a daddy to me. He was an older homeless cat who had always taken care of me.
Ever since he found me, he would always bring me with him wherever he went.
He had given me my name too. He had told me it was because of the yellow spots on my tail.
Whenever we found some goodies, Daddie would always let me have the first bite. He would stroke my head, and tell me:
Kiddo, help yourself. You're only three months old, you need more food to grow up.
I always liked Daddie the best!
Today, Daddie was going to take me to the hill and catch some birdies, but it started raining heavily.
Daddie said that because of the rain the birdies wouldn't come out for their sunbath today.
So we had to go back to the street like yesterday and look for some goodies to eat.
I hoped we could find more tasty chicken legs and fish steaks, meow!
Unlike in the wild there are many, many two-legged animals walking on the street. Daddie told me they are called humans.
Because of the humans the street was always very crowded, all day and all night.
Sometimes when we came to a place where there were a lot of humans, a few female humans would excitedly meow at me.
What a cutie~
And if I let them touch my head with their paws, I could often get some goodies too!
But Daddie always warned me to keep my distance from them.
Daddie said that humans are not to be trusted.
The street was just across the road. I could see the shop with the Fish sign from here.
But we had to wait for the light to change.
Daddie explained that the traffic laws in Korea are very strict. The fine is over 20,000.
If we were caught, even if we turned in all of our hidden dried fish treats, it wouldn't be enough.
And there were many iron beasts running so fast in the streets. Daddie said those beasts are made by humans and they are called cars. They're very dangerous, and we must be careful not to get hit.
So we must obey the law, meow.
The light finally turned green.
I sprinted a little and went ahead.
Daddie followed me slowly. He was a little old and he had been injured before, so he couldn't see very well.
A beast near us suddenly let out a huge roar of Bang, and smoke came out from under it.
Cats... Do they have pointy ears and a long tail?
And they know how to watch the traffic lights?
They know how to write letters, too?
Good question. Maybe they can write in their own language. We are gods, so we will always receive the translated version of their letters.
That's fascinating... I wonder what the original letter looks like.
The beast seemed to have suddenly become shorter and it was charging directly towards Daddie, screeching and screaming.
But it was green light meow!
The ground was covered with water, and it was very slippery.
I heard a sound like schlip. I looked back. He had slipped.
I ran over, trying to grab him.
The beast ran over Daddie in an instant.
It didn't stop until it was almost at the crossing.
A human kid opened a door on the beast and ran towards me and Daddie.
Please help Daddie...
I meowed at him for help.
But the kid tripped just a few steps away from us.
I recognized him. His name was Park Sang-Gun. He lived nearby.
I often got goodies from him. He was a good kid. He would help Daddie for sure.
I kept meowing louder and louder, and a few more adult humans in white coats followed him out of the beast.
I thought they were all coming to help me and my Daddie.
But they stopped at where Sang-Gun fell and pinned him on the ground.
While they were trying to drag him away, I saw a big, dark red scar on the back of his neck.
I had seen people in his home beat him. I didn't know he had been hurt so badly.
Sang-Gun was dragged away by the white coated humans and thrown inside the beast once again.
And then, the beast just ran away...
The whole time, nobody had even heard me meowing for help.
I saw Daddie lying in his own blood. I almost couldn't recognize him anymore. I cried.
Please take Daddie to the hospital... Please... Someone...
The humans walked by, glanced at us, and kept walking.
It was like they couldn't even see us or hear us anymore.
Some humans covered their noses, as if they had seen a dead rat.
They were not like this before. They used to like touching our heads with their paws.
Was Daddie right? Were humans really not to be trusted?
God... Please help Daddie...
[BGM: Sunny Day]
I thought the lieutenant would commend me for resolving a crisis on my first day.
Instead, I was scolded in front of the entire office as soon as I got back from the scene. I was even told to write a discipline report.
And it had to be at least 10,000 words long!
I had always hated writing, I'd rather run 100 laps on the field.
So I decided to simply Google similar reports online without the lieutenant noticing.
After lots of copying, pasting, and rearranging, I finally completed the 10,000 word report.
I felt exhausted afterwards, so I went to the bathroom to wash my face.
I could still feel the impact to my organs after falling on the cushion.
Fortunately, I was fit enough to endure it. A regular person would probably have to stay in the hospital for a few days.
I looked in the mirror and saw the Band-Aid on my face. I gave myself a proud smile.
I was just getting out of the bathroom when I witnessed something incredible with my own eyes.
[BGM: Broken Dream 1]
Lieutenant Kang was holding a folder in front of him.
Even though his face was mostly hidden behind it, I could still clearly see his expression from where I was.
The cigarette he had in his mouth was slightly twisted.
Some watery stuff was coming out from his eyes. They were, without a doubt, tears!
Is this really the eccentric dictator that I had been hearing about?
And... should I leave the room now? Should I? Should I?
Officer Min-Jun had left the office a while ago. The lieutenant must have thought I had gone home, too.
If he saw that I was still in the office right now, would he kill me for seeing all that?!
I was still struggling with the most difficult decision in the history of mankind, when Lieutenant Kang closed the folder.
I quickly hid back in the bathroom and didn't come back out until I heard him walking out of the office wing.
I looked around the office and realized that I was alone.
I couldn't help but start walking closer to Lieutenant Kang's desk, without even realizing it myself.
The folder was still on the desk.
It was a red folder.
It said Archives of Criminal Investigation Unit 2 on its cover.
Unit 2. I heard that a few years ago the entirety of Unit 2 had been killed in a violent incident.
Afterwards, Unit 2 became the only unit in the Busan Police Criminal Investigation Department that had a designation but no members. Some people called it a ghost unit.
Due to the severity of the case no one in the station would talk about it, especially the older officers who had been at the precinct when it happened.
Why did Lieutenant Kang care so much about Unit 2?
Had he lost some colleagues during the incident?
Wait, why did I care?
It had nothing to do with me. I should just mind my own business.
I went back to my seat.
I created a new document on my computer.
Then I typed the title. Unit Transfer Request.
But I couldn't think of another word afterwards. My brain was totally blank.
It must have been worn out after writing that damned report today.
I was straining my brain to figure out what to say next, when a big hand slapped my shoulder.
Yo! The new guy at Unit 4 is working hard! I wish my people could be half as diligent as you!
The voice sounded as loud and powerful as a booming bullhorn. I almost jumped out of my skin when I suddenly heard it behind my back.
I turned around. It was Lieutenant Kim Jeong-Ho of Unit 3.
I stood up from the chair quickly and gave him a salute.
He waved his hand.
Young man, no need to be so formal. Go take a bath and rest in the spa. Don't work too hard.
I checked the time. Huh, I didn't even realize that it was almost 11 PM.
[BGM: What You Saying]
The spa room inside the precinct was even bigger than my apartment. It was incredibly clean.
It would be incredible to finish the day with a hot bath!
I breathed in the steam, looking forward to a relaxing evening.
Then I took off my clothes and stuffed them inside a locker.
I closed the locker door and turned around.
Lieutenant Kang was right there!
He just got undressed.
He was in great shape, with lean muscles all over his body.
I didn't want to admit it, but when he was not screaming at me Lieutenant Kang was actually a rather handsome man, despite being a little disheveled.
I used to hear a rumor that, despite his peculiar personality, he was still able to keep his position in no small part thanks to the solid support from the female police officers in the Criminal Investigation Unit.
I guess that made sense.
I had already witnessed the female officers from other units smiling at the lieutenant in the hallway quite a few times on my first day alone.
Why didn't anyone smile at me?
Speaking of which, not only was Unit 4 a small team, it was also a sausage unit.
If only we had an awesome female officer in the unit as well!
I hadn't talked to Lieutenant Kang after he yelled at me that afternoon.
Yet now we were standing in front of each other, completely naked. This was not awkward at all...
We got in and out of the hot tub after a spa session that seemed to last forever, then we went back to the locker room.
We put on our clothes and we were about to leave.
We never said a word to each other the whole time.
Sigh, I was hoping that I could relieve some of the tension between us.
May I write a letter to him?
I want to ask for a picture of his boss next time.
I supposed I was too naïve.
A piece of soap appeared out of nowhere and stopped near us.
He reached out.
I was taking my clothes out of my locker when I heard a noise. I turned around and saw what had just happened.
My eyes involuntarily looked down...
I looked back at myself...
And then looked at the lieutenant again...
This time, our eyes met.
And I could see something menacing in his eyes.
Oh my God!
I-I-I-I didn't do it on purpose!
And I didn't even see anything!
Okay, fine, actually I did see something.
But I... I really... didn't mean to...
I was so screwed!
Even if my request to transfer was approved, I wouldn't be able to get out tomorrow!
Maybe tonight... the lieutenant would just kill me!
Please, Buddha! Please tell me, what should I do?!
What exactly did he see?
Er... I have no idea.