Chapter 1: Angels of Innocence
Rin made her usual daily rounds in the hospital, looking in all the patients. She deliberately arranged it in a way that the children's wing was the last of her rounds. After all, Sha Linden was her favourite patient. He was an eight-year-old boy who was half American and half Korean. Unfortunately, he was stricken with CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia) when she first met him, a year ago. Despite that fact, he always greeted the medicine student with a smile and a hug. That was one reason why she loved him so much. Rin made sure that she spent most of her time with him. The other patients had come to know Rin because of her tender touch. Even the staff there was fond of her.
Rin glanced at her wristwatch. It was three in the afternoon.
" Should be about time, " the nineteen-year-old murmured.
She quickened her pace, her heels clicking on the linoleum, heading for the children's playroom.
" Why hello Rin! On your way to visit Linden, huh? " Hyun spoke up, smiling.
Rin grinned widely, " Good afternoon, Hyun! Yeah, the piano should have arrived by now. "
The doctor chuckled and nodded.
" The delivery crew just left a few minutes ago, " he remarked. " You should have seen those kids. Boy, were they just ecstatic. "
The girl laughed and bid her farewell as she continued towards the playroom, specially made for the children patients there.
Innocent laughter and yells could be heard even a distance away as Rin neared the room. A rubber ball bounced out of the room and landed at her feet. As she stooped to pick up the soft red rubber orb, she was suddenly enveloped by a pair of small arms around her body. Rin nearly lost her footing as she laughed and picked Linden up into her arms, holding him up high.
" Hello Linden! " Rin exclaimed, kissing his forehead.
" Rinnie! I missed you! " the boy replied in his childish voice. " You didn't show up since Friday. "
Linden's pale blue eyes that were long since framed by black circles, fixed her with an accusatory look.
Rin planted another kiss on his smooth forehead.
" I'm so sorry Linden… Rinnie had a major exam so I couldn't make it, " she told him with a rueful smile. " But I bought the piano as promised. "
At this, Linden's eyes lit up.
" Yeah and you promised to teach me, right? "
Rin nodded, cheerfully.
" Course' I will! A promise is a promise! "
They went into the playroom together. The children instantly went up to her, reaching for a hug too.
The girl laughed and hugged them, one by one.
" Rinnie! Can you play for us? " one of the girl, Yoona asked.
" Sure! " Rin answered. " I'll play Yoona's favourite. "
The child gave a shriek of joy and climbed onto the bench beside her. Linden, not wanting to be left out stood beside his best sister in the whole world. The other children gathered around them.
Rin took a deep breath to settle herself as she positioned her slender fingers over the suitable keys and began to play the sweet melody of 'Over the Rainbow'.
Before they knew it, Rin had to tuck the young patients into bed. As she tucked Linden into bed that night, the boy tugged on her arm.
" Hmm? "
" Rinnie, I can't sleep. Can you tell me a story? " he asked innocently.
Rin smiled at him and leaned down.
" About Momo and his adventures? "
Linden grinned, his famous lopsided grin and nodded enthusiastically. He loved Momo but not as much as his Rinnie though. No one could love Rinnie as much as he did. The eight-year-old moved over to the side of the bed to give Rin more room so she could sit beside him in the hospital bed. Rin climbed in and began her storytelling.
" Well…where did I stop? " Rin started, tapping one finger on her cheek as she stared at Linden thoughtfully.
Linden stared right back at her, smiling.
It always started like this. She will ask him and soon they will stare at each other until Rin remembers. Linden thought that it was pretty comical. The 'Staring Game' was what he called it. Of course, he always won in the end.
" Ah! I remember now! " Rin snapped her fingers, laughing. " Momo fell terribly sick and landed himself in the hospital. "
Rin cleared her throat and continued, " While little Momo was there, he witnessed many things there. The happiness of meeting new friends, his age. Playing together in the hospital garden with the fountain. He enjoyed making new memories for himself. And…he especially loved it when his sister was with him. The two of them loved to play in the fountain… "
At this, Linden raised his hand, his brow furrowed cutely. He always does that when he was deep in thought.
" Yes Linden? "
" In the fountain? You mean they play inside? " he asked naively.
" Uh huh. Both of them loved to splash water and wash their feet inside. However…there was just one thing that Momo hated… " Rin trailed off, glancing sideways at the child.
" What is it? Momo hates what? "
" Well…Momo didn't like it when it was visiting hours. "
At this, Linden lost his smile and he glanced down at his stubby fingers.
" Momo hated it when his friends' parents all came to visit. He would always watch them, wondering when his own parents would come to visit him so he could show his sister off to them as well as his drawings and favourite crayon box. "
Linden looked up at her, questioningly.
" Momo loved his sister like I do, Rinnie? "
Rin pulled him close to her and placed her cheek on his soft head.
" Uh huh, Momo loved her like you do. "
Linden shook his head stubbornly, " Nope. I love Rinnie more than Momo does for his own sister. "
The girl laughed and hugged him.
" You are so adorable. Rinnie love you so much but it's time for bed now. "
The eight-year-old pouted, " But its so soon. "
The girl kissed his cheek and patted his nose.
" Rinnie promise to come back tomorrow, okay? "
" Promise? "
Rin nodded firmly, " Promise. "
" I love you, Rinnie. "
" I love you, my sweet Linden. Good night. "
The girl gave him one last kiss and switched off the bedside lamp.