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"Where Would You Like to Go" by Kim Ae-ran

#Books on Demand l 2019-04-16

Books on Demand

Myeong-ji started talking to Siri after she came to Scotland. One time when she accidentally pressed down on a button to which Siri responded, Myeong-ji started a conversation with the AI voice just out of curiosity.



“How can I help you?” 

I had to think for a moment before saying anything. Then I posed a surprise question.

“What happens to us when we die?”

A short silence followed. Siri finally answered me with a couple of questions of her own.

“Which route ar you talking about?”

...

“Where would you like to go?”


-”무엇을 도와드릴까요?” 

잠시 무슨 말을 해야 하나 고민하다, 뜬금없는 질문을 던졌다.

“사람이 죽으면 어떻게 되나요?” 

짧은 침묵이 흘렀다.

이윽고 시리가 되물었다.

-“어디로 가는 경로 말씀이세요?”

....

-“어디로 가고 싶으신가요?”



Interview by Author Kim Ae-ran

That was the question I actually had asked Siri. When I asked the question, Siri answered the same way, “Where would you like to go?” I thought the question may sound like it is asking about death, but it could be interpreted as a question about life. I wanted the title of this story to ask the characters or readers about their directions in life.



I saw the eyes of a boy who, incapable of yelling for help, would have gulped down the river water and grasped for the world. 

I was still angry at you for throwing away your life in an attempt to save the life of another. Why didn’t you think of me? I dissected and weighed the dead person’s intention. 

But, as I read the words before me, I could imagine how you must have reacted when you first discovered your student there that day. I could see your stunned eyes looking at another life in peril. 

That was when I missed you unbearably. 


살려주세요, 소리도 못 지르고

연신 계곡물을 들이키며

세상을 향해 길게 손 내밀었을 그 아이의 눈이 아른댔다.


나는 당신이 누군가의 삶을 구하려

자기 삶을 버린데 아직 화가 나 있었다.

내 생각은 안 했을까.

떠난 사람의 마음을 자르고 저울질 했다.

그런데 거기 내 앞에 놓인 말들과 마주하자니

그 날 그곳에서 처음 제자를 발견했을 

당신의 모습이 그려졌다.

놀란 눈으로 하나의 삶이 다른 삶을 바라보는 얼굴이 떠올랐다.

그러자 당신이 못 견디게 그리워졌다




Kim Ae-ran (Born in Incheon in 1980)

: Debuted with “No Knocking in This House” in 2002

Won the Hankook Ilbo Literary Award in 2003, etc.

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