I love this chapter, I just do. I hope the ones reading also enjoy it.

Marathon Orange Marmalade now:

Previously on Orange Marmalade: Look At Me

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19

Orange Marmalade: Look At Me
Chapter 20: Realisations

I feel like I were made of lead, even blinking is hard. I feel uncomfortable in my own body and it's stuffy in here. Furthermore, the fact that my parents and Ma Ri are all over me doesn't help. I can't even see the ceiling because their faces are hovering above me. Omma is crying, Appa is doing his best not to break down while Ma Ri is just smiling brightly.

"Omo, you're finally awake," omma breathes out, wiping tears off her face. "Do you have an idea of how worried I was?"

"Mianhaeyo?" I ask, my voice hoarse as if I hadn't said a word in a lifetime.

"It's okay. You're finally awake now. It'll be fine. Shi Hoo's appa, go get the doctors, will you? Tell them our son is awake."

"I'm glad you're awake, son. We were worried but it'll be fine now," appa says with a fond smile before leaving my space and going for the doctors.

"What happened?" I ask. "I'm assuming it worked out."

"You scared us so much!" Omma says, her tear welling up again. "We lost you for a moment and I have never been so scared in my life!"

Ma Ri seems to take pity on my mother and goes to offer her a hug, looking at me over her shoulder. I'm just confused, not sure if omma is exaggerating or I really died for a moment. I plead to her to explain things to me.

"Why don't you sit down and rest? I'll explain everything to him," Ma Ri tells omma and I'm actually impressed my mother listens and agrees with her, nodding her head and giving me one last look before going to the bathroom. Then it's Ma Ri looks at me, coming a bit closer and taking my hand.

"What happened?" I ask, but instead of immediately answer, she gives me some blood, which really helps with the dry throat. "So?"

"I don't know the details, I just know that at some point the doctors panicked and you were dead for like two minutes that felt like two years," she explains, her voice strangled and raspy when she says that, her eyes teary with unleashed tears. "But they brought you back and it was chaos. You've been unconscious for a week and received some more transfusions since then. We've been here with you the whole time," she says, squeezing my hand. "We thought… we thought you might not wake up. At some point you started to reject our blood and we… I was so scared." Her voice breaks and for a second she has to look away.

I just stare in bewilderment, trying to process this information and the meaning of it. I really died, even if it was for less than two minutes, I was dead. There was nothingness at some point in my dreams, until her music started bringing me back. Or maybe that was during that week I was out.

A week. I've been unconscious for seven days, having my family and Ma Ri worried for all those days.

"I'm sorry for worrying you," I say, trying a smile but my body doesn't exactly react how I want it; I can't even squeeze back her hand.

"It's okay, it's over now. You're awake and—"

That's exactly when the doctors walk in with my father, and without a question they start checking my vitals, all the machines I’m connected to and even taking samples. They work without saying a word and we just have to wait. I would protest, but I'm not in any condition to do so.

"Everything seems to be in order and he's out of risk," Doctor 1 says, not even looking at me but taking notes. "The tests so far have shown positive but we need to run some more to make sure the procedure was successful."

"Do you think it was?" Omma asks frantically, and although the doctor looks up to meet her eyes, there's only ice in his.

"Most likely. We will confirm this in a few days. He needs to stay at least two more weeks to make sure," the doctor answers. "He also needs time to adjust and recover. He needs to exercise moderately, and according to that we'll determine if he needs therapy."

"Thank you," Omma says with a deep bow that my father follows, and even Ma Ri does that. "For saving my child."

"We don't know if it was successful yet. Keep your gratitude until then. We were just doing damage control.” Doctor 2 butts in before turning around and leaving the room first, the other doctor follows him and only a nurse is left with us, making sure that I'm comfortable and explains my family how they can help me.

After that and for the following days, it is just recovery, and even if I convince my parents to go home to get proper rest once it's clear I'm doing better, I can't do the same with Ma Ri. I'm told she's never left the centre, not even for school, staying by my side the whole time. I'm both surprised and confused with her actions and I make sure to bring the topic up when we are out, having a night walk to exercise my muscles three days after I woke up.

"Aren't your parents angry that you are here all the time, even missing school?" I ask as offhandedly as I can, as if I didn't care about her answer and I were just bringing this up because I'm bored.

"They agree being with you here now is more important." Although her answer is casual and soft, my heart races. I remember that now my heart is pumping her blood, that a part of her is with me and will always be.

"What about Jung Jae Min?" I ask next, feeling a bit more nervous when it comes to her boyfriend.

She hesitates a bit this time, briefly stopping in her spot before resuming, her arm wrapping tighter around mine.

"He's not talking to me," she answers, her eyes in the ground as we slowly take one step after the other. "He called me saying I was going too far. I wasn't your girlfriend or family, I didn't need to act like this. I got angry," she summarises for me, although I can feel her pain and disappointment. "He hasn't called again since then and doesn't even reply my texts. I haven't tried to call him that much either, I've been more worried about you."

"He's jealous," I mutter.

"Oh," she affirms absentmindedly. "He did mention how when he was in the hospital I left him. I told him that's because I am a vampire. He said something that I still think about." The smile on her face is sad. "No matter what we do, that will always be the case. He'll be a human and I'll be a vampire. I'll live twice longer and we'll never be able to be normal, even if vampires are openly accepted one day. We will always belong to different worlds."

There's sadness in her voice, she also sounds hopeless but not as broken as I imagined I would. It's almost as if she's accepted that even if it pained her.

"I'm sorry," I weakly offer because I don't know what else to say.

"It's not your fault," she smiles at me, although her eyes are still sad. "I was crazy for trying so hard to have something that is against the natural course. Lions don't end up with tigers, right? Let alone with gazelles."

"Why do you make it sound as if it's over between you two? Haven't you fought everyone to be with him? Are you giving up now?" I try to sound nonchalant, almost as if I were teasing her. "I'm sure once everything is fixed you two will be as close as ever."

"I doubt it," she refutes. "I've realised many things over the past few weeks. Since all this started," she continues. "I've had a lot of time to think as I wait. I've discovered things about myself that I didn't know."

"L-like what?" I stutter, my heart beating hopefully in my throat. I try to calm down, to tell myself not to overreact or get my hopes up.

She stops to turn to look at me, her eyes telling me things I'm afraid to hear. I hold my breath, just watching her in front of me, staring at me like that.

"I've realised you're more important to me than I ever imagined. I realised that if I lose you, if you're not around anymore, I don't even know what I'd do. I've realised I took your for granted all this time."

"Aren't you being too sappy?" I mutter, not sounding as confidently as I should. I don't want her to see how much her words are affecting me.

"Perhaps," she smiles, her cheeks blushing a bit. "But it's the truth. I'm sorry for not appreciating you like you deserved before, Shi Hoo-ah."

My heart skips a beat, I can only stare at her, blinking rapidly. I even want to punch myself to make sure I'm awake and this isn't a dream, but at the same time I’m scared that this might be a dream because if it is, then I don't want to wake up.

"I'll make it up to you, okay?" She says, smiling brightly. "Then make sure to recover fully so we can leave this place once and for all."

"O-okay," I mutter, my voice still a bit trembling due to the surprise.

"Promise?" She chirps, holding up her pinkie for me.

"Promise," I affirm, hooking mine with hers and pressing our thumbs together. She just smiles brightly, happily, hopefully and I try to stop myself but I can't, I start to dream, to look forward the days out of this place. I start to pray the results of the tests will be positive and I'll be out of this place.

Maybe I was reborn. Maybe after dying I'm getting a new chance with her. Can I expect that much?