Drop #13: Kill, a Very Nice Man

‘We have fol season in Kolea: Spling, Summ, Winta, in Kolea.’ He held out four fingers as he drove, turning modestly towards the back, while keeping his eyes on the road. ‘Fol season.’

He had said the exact same thing last time. He was so proud of every word.

‘Yes, and it’s cold in winter,’ I said, encouraging him. I hadn’t realized when he’d driven us from the airport five days earlier, but he obviously saw us as an opportunity to practice his English. When he’d picked us up at 7 a.m. he’d had an English language CD going: The girl plays volleyball on Sundays. She enjoys outdoor activities. Sure, he got a fee out of it, but I think he was even more into that aspect of the arrangement, so I did my best to forward conversation, which wasn’t easy, but pleasant enough. He was one of the nicest people I had ever met, smiling and bowing, running to put the bags in the trunk, asking if the temperature in the car was fine – the type of guy I’d love to have as a personal driver, just so I could feel great about treating someone great. We’d liked him so much we’d arranged for him to take us back to the airport when we left. But really, everyone in Korea had been super nice. Big surprise, that country. Funky and interesting, and the best food I might have ever eaten. I mean it. Puts Italian, French, and Thai food to shame.

He’d introduced himself again before we took off for the airport, just like last time. ‘My business cal,’ he’d said, offering it to me with a wonderful and inspiring brand of humility. ‘My name, Kill.’

But of course, I noted again, looking the card over, his name wasn’t Kill, but Gil. Gil Sub Yoo, in fact.

 

Despite my best efforts there was a lull in our challenged conversation, and Caitlyn took over from the driver as if she hadn’t noticed we were talking: ‘You know: I miss our crazy times, Harry.  I really do.’

‘Yeah?’ She did this once a month, at least.

‘Remember when we used to fight and shout at each other?’ she asked.

‘Of course I do.’

‘Those were fun times, weren’t they?’

‘In a way. Are you bored with me then, or what?’

‘A little,’ she said, and it started to sound like a perfect reproduction of last month’s conversation. ‘I miss the insecurity. The sex was better when I was angry at you for chasing other girls, and when you hated that I still spoke to my ex.’ She gave that practiced bored look. ‘When we doubted each other. I just miss that sometimes.’

‘Yeah. You’ve mentioned it before.’

‘Have I?’

‘What is it? Didn’t you have a good time here.’

‘Of course I did. I fucking love Korea. It was brilliant.’

‘Then why can’t you just be happy and peaceful for a change instead of always bringing up this shit?’

‘Because it’s important, Harry!’ She was pleased to go on the attack. ‘Why do you have to always avoid everything? Hey? Why can’t you just admit that our sex life has gone down the shitter?’

‘I have no problem admitting anything, Caitlyn; I just don’t specialize in drama like you do. I know how to pick my moments.’

‘You worried about him?’ she asked dismissively, waving a chin at our driver. ‘Typical.’

‘Let’s talk about this later, okay?’

‘He doesn’t understand us, Harry. He won’t be offended by the fact that it has become such a drag to fuck even once a week, and when we do, it’s just no good. Like fucking boiled rice, is what it’s like.’

‘So fuck someone else!’ I said.

‘Maybe I will.’

‘Just do it then instead of talking about it all the damn time.’

‘Just watch me.’

‘Jesus, Caitlyn. This is so fucking stupid.’

 

At the airport, Gil ran again to get the luggage and bowed several times when saying goodbye. I couldn’t tell how much he had understood of our ridiculous discussion. His face revealed no change. I gave him a good tip even if tipping is not required or customary in Korea. He really was one of the nicest people I had ever met.

By E.M. Vireo

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About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

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