Despite Yoo-hwa calling her, there was no response from the old woman, who was lying on the bed, staring at the ceiling.
Her dazed gaze was directed towards the dried, yellow rain traces, but it didn’t seem like she was looking at them either.
It is said that some elders with dementia move actively or bully the person next to them, but Granny Cho wasn’t like that.
On the contrary, she did not even move enough to worry that her body would become ulcerated.
She heard that she couldn’t move much even when she regained consciousness because her leg hurts, but she didn’t know that she wouldn’t move like this.
Yoo-hwa had been taking care of Granny Cho for a little over three months, but she didn’t know much about her.
She only knew that the people around her called her Granny Cho before she moved in, that she was living with her only daughter, and she had to stay at home most of the time because her daughter worked regardless of weekdays or weekends.
The grandma, who rarely regained consciousness, was occasionally supported and sat in the yard to smoke a cigarette.
There were times when she lost her mind while smoking, but most of the time she was fine until she finished.
Once, Yoo-hwa asked the grandma for her name.
The grandma replied bluntly, ‘It’s no use knowing that.
It’s like a name that no one calls.’, and quickly looked away.
After that, Yoo-hwa didn’t ask about the grandma’s name, and she didn’t reveal it either.
As Granny Cho said, her name isn’t important.
What meaning does it have, a name that no one will call It’s as useless as the age she’s reaching.
Yoo-hwa wiped the grandma’s body, which was lying down, with a warm towel.
After that, she massaged her stiff body and sat her straight.
She brought over the table with food that the old lady had prepared before going to work.
The corners of the square table, which was stained everywhere due to being old, were so worn out that they had become round.
When she pulled out the newspaper that was roughly covering the table, she saw dried kimchi, seaweed, a cup of water to wash the kimchi, and half a bowl of yellow rice.
Only the rice was changed from yesterday’s table.
And even that had turned yellow after being left inside the rice cooker for a few days, giving off an old smell.
The cup was already covered in red pepper powder.
It looked like she also fed her this for dinner last night.
And she didn’t clean it up and served it again.
Yoo-hwa looked at the old woman, who was leaning against her.
The grandma’s wrinkled eyes stared blankly into the distance.
Yoo-hwa took out the bowl of rice and seaweed soup she had brought from her house just in case.
“The seaweed soup and rice got a little cold.
But it will be fine to eat.”
Yoo-hwa said as she put the rice in the lukewarm seaweed soup.
After waiting for a while to check that the rice had a texture that was easy to eat, she carefully poured it into the grandma’s mouth.
Fortunately, the grandma chewed rice.
The mouth, which had lost all the teeth and only had gums left, moved mumblingly.
After seeing the grandma’s throat move a couple of times, Yoo-hwa gave her another spoonful.
“Auntie cooked the seaweed soup deliciously.
The rice is also moist.”
Yoo-hwa told a white lie in a soft voice.
Because one day, the grandma, whose memories have returned, may suddenly remember her words.
It was not long after she moved to this place three months ago that Yoo-hwa started taking care of Granny Cho as she is now.
The drunken old lady made a riot once.
She yelled in anger while throwing all kinds of objects at the motionless grandma.
“Just die! Please, just die! Stop tormenting me! Why are you tormenting me even now, when you didn’t do anything for me in your life! You even gave that much money to my brother! What’s the point of being nice to your son! He cut off contact and disappeared! After being so harsh to your only daughter, why are you sticking to me Go to that great brother! Or die!”
Since the houses had the walls attached, even the smallest sound was transmitted through the wall, so she listened to everything the old lady had to say.
She heard the household items being broken.
At that sound, Yoo-hwa’s whole body shook.
Memories of the spiteful curses and violence inflicted by one person on one person filled her mind like bubbles.
Soon after, the sound of the old lady swearing and kicking and getting out of the house was heard.
Yoo-hwa staggered towards the door and saw the woman’s back, as she carried a large luggage bag and left.
No one else had come out of the other houses since this kind of thing wasn’t uncommon.
Yoo-hwa, who stood frozen, returned to her house.
It was someone else’s business anyway.
She had decided not to interfere with other people’s affairs anymore.
She will only get scolded if she meddles needlessly.
She sat in a corner with her knees curled and waited for the night to pass.
The screeching of the door was heard in the late autumn wind.
Yoo-hwa went to sleep and woke up repeatedly at the creaking sound.