Looking around at all the smiling, happy drunk people, I suddenly hate all of them. The fire is hot with a large crowd gathering around it. People roast hot dogs and pass out beer. I’ve been up since 5am and I’ve had enough, so I get up and leave.
Away from the warm fire, stumbling across the sand in flip-flops, I barely look at the stars that can’t be seen from my apartment in the city. Shaking sand off my feet as gnarling, twisting pine branches loom overhead, small groups of foreigners walk by with open beer cans. They smile and greet me. I nod and keep walking. The pension is at the end of the street.
The light in our pension room is on. The couple, Sarah and Ben, are there. Stopping to glare at the lit window, I hope they have their clothes on because I have to use the bathroom and I’m not going back to the beach.
Walking to the back of the pension, I climb the outdoor staircase to our fourth floor room. It smells like goat. The goat is invisible in the darkness, but its smell lingers as strongly as the smell of pine needles all over Deok-Jeok-Do. Waves of nausea fight with the urge to pee.
On the last flight of stairs a flip-flop slips out from under my foot and my body pitches forward, my left kneecap catching the metal corner.
“Fuck! Oh, god! Oh my fucking god!”
My beach bag falls, and my towel and sunscreen spill out. Cradling my knee on the landing, no one comes to check on me. Gathering up my bag after almost pissing myself in the fall, I need to walk up the rest of the stairs. I don’t know if I’m going to make it to the toilet.
Slowly, carefully, I limp up the steps to my room. If anyone gets in my way, I plan to throw them down the stairs and leave them to die.
I slam the door open, throw the bag down and stomp into the bathroom. Giving them time to put clothes on, I wash dirt and tears off my face. Bright red blood trickles down from my knee to my shin.
“Hello?” Ben says.
Sarah and Ben stare at me as I step out with blood still dripping and smelling of the beer I’ve been drinking since seven o’clock this morning. Fully clothed, they look at each other.
“Do you have a bandage?”
They glance at each other again and Sarah digs one out of her bag.
Tell me about your traveling injuries!
Read another story: Happy Children’s Day! Part 2
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