“What do you mean?”
“Like I said, I’d like to see and check your children’s health conditions.”
His mother’s eyes became wide, but she made a smile in no time.
‘My son’s kind-heartedness never goes away!’
“Oh, you’re a doctor! You must be proud of your son, who’s tall and handsome,” The director said, smiling brightly, but her face soon became dark.
“What should I do? We don’t have a facility for you to do that. Though I appreciate the offer very much. How good-hearted you are!”
Suhyuk smiled, saying, “ It’s okay. I can go to their rooms. Do you have first-aid kits?”
“Oh, you don’t have to… I really mean it.”
Suhyuk made a smile again.
“I noticed wounds on some of your children here and there. Even small wounds can cause tetanus by inflammation.”
Pondering over his suggestion, the director soon showed a smile, saying, “Hold on a minute.”
When the director went out of the office, Suhyuk’s mother asked, “Are you not tired?”
“I’m okay, mom. It’ll take some time, so you can go home first.”
“How can I go home alone when my son is taking great pains here.”
Suhyuk smiled gently. Knowing she would not go home despite his strong urge, he did not ask her anymore.
“Okay, you can take a break here then.”
At that moment the director came back, with a large first-aid kit.
“This is all I have right now.”
Handed over the kit, he opened it to find all kinds of ointments, dressings and disinfection medicines. That was enough.
What was lacking was only a first-aid room.
As the orphanage was small, they did not install such a room.
“How many children are there?”
“Thirty three in total.”
Looking at his mother, Suhyuk smiled at her.
“Ok, work hard, son!”
Suhyuk headed to the second floor, and moved to the nearest room.
The room was not large, with three double-beds.
Six children who seemed to be elementary school students sat at their desks, moving their pencils. They seemed to be doing their homework.
At his voice, they turned their heads to him.
One boy opened his eyes wide. He was the very boy who picked up Suhyuk’s sausage at the dining hall.
“You must have been doing homework.”
“Yes,” said the boy, and then he fixed his eyes on the workbook, with a frown.
Suhyuk came closer to him, and saw that it was a math workbook.
“What year are you in?” asked Suhyuk.
“1st year, sir.”
With a smile, he stroke his head, “You must be smart.”
‘“I have to be smart because I want to be a doctor.”
“Why do you want to be a doctor?”
“My mother and father were in a traffic accident, but died because the doctors could not treat them. When I grow up and become a doctor, I’d like to treat such people.”
Suhyuk let out a silent sigh.
“Where did you fall?”
At his soft voice, the boy touched his chin with a scab on its wound.
“Oh, while I was going down the slide, sir.”
“Doesn’t it hurt?”
Suhyuk looked at his chin here and there.
“No, it doesn’t hurt at all.”
As the boy said, the wound was not deep, just some light bruises.
Suhyuk took out an ointment from the first-aid kit and applied it on his chin.
Then someone coughed from behind.
Suhyuk turned back, and said to him, “Do you have a cold?”
“No, sir. I just coughed.”
“Ok, let me see.”
Suhyuk opened his mouth, checking inside. His throat was not swollen, and there was no sign of dryness inside his mouth. Then he put his hand on the boy’s forehead.
No fever. He had only a light cold, and he needed no medicine in that case.
It was better for him not to do anything, so the boy can cure his cold naturally.
Then Suhyuk began moving around the rooms to check their health conditions.
Those in their late teens showed some annoyance, but Suhyuk did not care.
Fortunately, their condition was good enough overall.
Almost two hours passed since he started seeing the children.
Only one room was left, but it was closed firmly.
When he knocked on the door, someone opened, saying, “Who are you?”
A girl with short hair, who looked like a middle school girl, came out.
With a smile, Suhyuk said, “I’m here at the request of the director to check your health condition.”
Then the girl’s eyes became wider.
“Uh? Are you the doctor who appeared on TV?”
Suhyuk nodded his head.
“Is this a kind of volunteer activity?”
At her question, he nodded.
The room was not that different from other rooms, but as it was for girls only, there was a smell of shampoo and cosmetics in the air.
There were five in total in the room, two girls who seemed to be elementary school students, two who were middle school students, and one high-school girl wearing earphones.
She was the girl he saw at the dining room.
Then, they all turned their eyes to Suhyuk.
“Uh? Dr. Lee Suhyuk?”
All, except for one girl, recognized his face.
At their shy reply, Suhyuk waved his hands. Then a girl lying on top of the double-bed opened her eyes. After looking down at him, she closed her eyes again, as if she was not interested.
“The reason I am here is to check your health conditions.”
Suhyuk gave them an easy explanation, and the children nodded their heads.
Everyone was all healthy, and their expression was bright, and they were very positive, too.
“Okay. if you don’t eat for reasons of dieting, it might do damage to your health in the long run. It could lead to voracity. And as I told you, you have to do exercises regularly. Got it?”
Then, Suhyuk cast his eyes at the girl on the double-bed, who seemed not to move as if she were sleeping. No, she was stroking her stomach.
“What’s her name over there?”
“Oh, sister Heyjin. Lee Heyjin.”
Suhyuk turned around and came to her.
She was wearing a long sleeves top and long pants.
“Your name is pretty.”
No response from her. Suhyuk looked at her stomach.
When he saw her at the dining room, she was holding her stomach with her hand, making a frown. And even now…
She knitted her brows, and opened her eyes.
“You seem to have pain in your stomach. Are you okay?”
“None of your business!”
She then put her earphones back into ear and closed her eyes.
“What a scary sister!”
The other girls were shaking their heads.
“She is a very good-hearted sister. She washes clothes for us sometimes, and buys delicious food with her own pocket money…”
Suhyuk looked at her again. She now turned her back, lying on the bed.
“I’m fine, so would you just go away?”
Suhyuk made a bitter smile.
Then a girl said something from behind,
“She looks upset like this because she was scolded by the director.”
When he made a puzzling expression, the girl whispered to him,
“She’s getting scolded by the director every day these days.”
Nodding his head, he turned her head a bit to his side.
“Heyjin, just a moment…”
“Oh my god…”
Lifting her upper body, she let out a long sigh. She then came down the bed and went out.
He shrugged his shoulder, and followed her.
He grabbed her hand, “Wait a moment, Heyjin!”
“Why are you doing this?”
She raised her hand to shake off his hand.
Then her long sleeves were rolled up to show some bruises.
Besides, there was a clear mark of a bruise on her neck.
Knitting his brows, he opened his mouth,
“What is all this?”
“Please let go of me! It’s none of your business.”
“Yes, it is. I’m a doctor.”
“I have these bruises because I fell over, so never mind!”
Shaking off his hand, she went to the restroom in the hallway.
Then, it came to his mind what the girl before had told him.
“She is getting scolded by the director everyday these days”
When he was leaning against the wall, he heard her suppressed sobbing inside the restroom.
His face was hardening gradually.
Suhyuk headed directly to the director’s office.
The director rose from her seat and grabbed his two hands.
“Thanks so much. Are our children all healthy?”
Looking at the director, he opened his mouth,
“There is one patient student, who’s thoroughly hurt in body and soul.”
Aside from her body, Heyjin’s heart was wrecked deeply.
Her quiet sobbing from the restroom was telling him so.
With her eyes open wider, she asked, “What are you talking about?”
“Well, I see marks of violence all over her body.”
The director showed an embarrassed look, either that or she was astonished.
“Yes, she needs to be taken to a hospital right now for examination and necessary treatment. Do you agree?”
Suhyuk looked into her eyes squarely.
“I don’t get it… Is she in the classroom now?”
The director moved quickly, but Suhyuk grabbed her hand.
“I asked you whether you agreed?”
Suhyuk moved by taxi, and Heyjin was sitting next to him.
Though she did not listen to him, shutting her ears with earphones, she agreed to go to the hospital at the director’s simple direction.
They arrived at Daehan Hospital.
Suhyuk talked to her while they were entering the hospital,
“We’re going to do some simple tests, including blood collection and X-rays. So, don’t be scared.”
She nodded her head without saying anything.
Then, intern Park bowed his waist as he was passing by.
“Did you have a good break, sir?”
Suhyuk passed him by with no words of response, just waving at him.
Suhyuk was looking through the whole window of the X-ray room.
On the spot Suhyuk fixed his eyes on, was a student lying there who was undergoing a bone scan. It was none other than Heyjin. Something glittering on her eyelids were running down.
That night was far from short.
Keeping silent until then, she broke down and let loose, telling her story with tears in streaming down her face.
Her story was a very long one.
The morning was breaking gradually, and Suhyuk was looking at the main gate of a school.
Heyjin and the director were seen beside him.
Suhyuk opened his mouth, “Let’s go.”