Chapter OneGot an Oscar!

“Congratulations, Younghee. Now you can suck my dick.”

It was my boyfriend Jose’s first response, right after I announced that I had finished the first English-
language screenplay of my life.

It was my 26th summer, and my 4th summer in America.

After I typed The End on my computer, I got excited but promptly caught myself. I shouted in my
mind, I did it! At last I did it!

As soon as I typed Ctrl + S to save the file, Jose came back home from his job: cleaning office
buildings in downtown Los Angeles.

I couldn’t believe it was after 11 P.M. already. I looked at the clock…it was midnight! Jose was an
hour late. Without asking why he was late, or how tired he was from work, I cheerfully exclaimed:

“Isn’t it great? I’ve written an English-language screenplay only three and a half years after I first
started learning English. I’m going to be the first Korean Oscar-winner.” I visualized myself walking
the red carpet, after winning a statuette for Best Screenplay.

Wearing a dead-tired smile, Jose said that now I could suck his manhood. Placing his backpack on
the floor, he started taking off his clothes. He wanted to take a shower first, before having his
manhood sucked.

If he wanted his manhood sucked, he could walk toward my desk in the corner of the living room,
letting me open the fly of his trousers.

Jose loved being sucked. Yet I wasn’t even interested in sex by that time.

Whenever Jose brought his manhood to my desk, I promised to give him a huge blow job after I
finished my screenplay. Now I was overwhelmed by my own excitement. I was willing not to stop at
his manhood; I was willing to do his asshole, or whatever he brought on. In fact, my entire body was
already wet with my screenplay.

Nevertheless, Jose seemed dead tired that night. He had worked an extra hour; it was obvious that
one or two of his co-workers had been absent.

No matter how hard he got his twenty-four-year-old manhood, he had to be at work the following
day by 5 A.M., as the cook at the café. That was his day-to-day routine.

Regardless of my answer, a naked Jose walked into the bathroom. I looked around at sweaty t-
shirts and dirty, worn-out jeans tossed all around the living room floor. It made me feel somewhat

Jose was an illegal resident and a workaholic; the sight of his discarded clothes made me rather
sad. As a matter of fact, Jose once studied for a year at the University of California at San Diego

He was one of the smartest men I’d ever met. He had one dream: to someday return to UCSD,
finish his studies and graduate. Toward that end, he cleaned office buildings and cooked at
another office building café in downtown Los Angeles.

Maybe from Jose’s point-of view, mine was a bourgeoisie lifestyle. While he was working eighteen
hours a day as a regular beast-of-burden, I stayed at home playing with the computer…in the
name of writing an innovative screenplay.

In reality, I had quite a hard time myself. In addition to writing, I attended language school to learn
English. From time to time, I worked as a freelance graphic designer for a Koreatown (K-town, for
short) advertising agency…and sometimes as a waitress at my best friend Nara’s mother-in-law’s
twenty-four-hour restaurant in K-town. The latter was where I had met Jose, the cook.

Several minutes later, I stripped naked and walked into the bathroom. Jose seemed surprised.
Whenever he asked me to take a shower with him, I declined…saying the stall wasn’t big enough.

A smiling Jose made room for me, pressing his back to the corner of the shower. I stood in front of
the naked Jose; the stall wasn’t as cramped as I expected it would be. He gave me a strong hug.

The shower-stream hit my back and I felt a slight chill. I kissed his lips and neck and nipples. He
caressed my nipples with his finger. Along with the stream, my lips arrived down at Jose’s pubic
hair…and penis.

As I was kneeling, I started licking and sucking his manhood. While I put all my efforts into trying to
give him spectacular pleasure, he put this hand on the back of my head…guiding my mouth onto
his manhood. He thrust his manhood back and forth into my water-filled mouth, groaning every
time. Little by little he sped up, telling me he was close to coming.

I nevertheless wanted to go to bed and make mad, passionate love. My boobs whispered for it; my
vagina required it; my entire libido shouted out for it.

I rose to my feet and stood there, biting his earlobe and whispering that we should go to bed.

All of a sudden, his embrace became wild; he started rubbing his steel manhood on my pubic hair.
Within a minute, he emitted a loud moan and shot a huge sticky load onto me. The ceremony for
my first English screenplay was done, within five minutes, without even one drop of my libido.

“Congratulations and thank you.” With a big wide smile, he kissed my lips. Jose’s face had a
strange character. Although he wore a big smile, his eyes always resembled my uncle’s uncertain
eyes…especially the black pupils, which complemented his wet dark hair.

After finishing our shower, Jose went to bed and dozed right off. Me? I went out onto the balcony to
smoke; there I called my mom and younger brother in South Korea.

Mom congratulated me and told me to take some time off now, to relax. She added that she knew—
even from there!—that I was smoking. She told me that I should kick the habit; it was as though she
were watching me.

I promised her that I would come back to Korea the following year. I missed her hugs a lot. My
brother told me that he was busy and would call me back later.

I took a long drag on my cigarette and blew smoke into the air. Along with cigarette smoke,
memories about my past three-and-a-half years of American life came out.

As soon as I graduated from the Kyoungpook National University, I came over to America at my
uncle’s wish and in pursuit of my own dream…being a Hollywood screenwriter.

After finishing my first quarter at the language school, I was most surprised that my English was
worse than I had thought. During my first year here in America, while living at the California State
University, Los Angles (CSULA) dorm, I met my best friends: Caucasian Hilary, my first roommate
and three years my senior; Korean American Nara, who shared my age and was Hilary’s classmate
in almost every subject; and Korean student Sunmi, who came from my hometown of Daegu and
was a year my junior.

I also lost my virginity at age twenty-three in the dorm. And I was rejected from University of
California, Los Angeles (UCLA)’s graduate screenplay program, which forced me to continue at
language school.

My life in America, by then, seemed as boring as heck, almost as boring as the Los Angeles winter’
s Rainy Season itself. My day-to-day life was sluggish, suggesting a wet sponge in the rain.

I didn’t know how much longer I would have to study English. Nevertheless, knowing that I’d finished
one screenplay negated my three-and-a-half years of fatigue.

The following morning, I called Sunmi (who lived in San Jose) and Nara and Hilary, to tell them I had
finished my screenplay. Everybody congratulated me and seemed ecstatic, in their own way. Nara
and Hilary suggested celebrating by having lunch together with me.

As always, we met in K-town’s Chapman Plaza for lunch…and for an afternoon chat. After eating at
the Toebang Restaurant, we sat in the Gaam Coffee Shop…chatting, laughing and applauding
ourselves as if I’d won an Oscar only minutes before.

I felt like going right out and buying a Mercedes Benz, since this was the first time in my life I could
afford it. The summer of 2001 was really dazzling.

* * *

That night in my dream, waving my straight blond hair, I was driving a red Mercedes convertible
along the Pacific Coast Highway. Sunmi was riding shotgun; in the back seat were Hilary and Nara.

We were singing hard and laughing, waving our hands and shaking our bodies, touching the
passing wind and California sunshine.

…Like a virgin…Touched for the very first time…OH YeaH…!

I saw a white crane flying in the distant blue sky, following us.

…Like a virgin…When your heart beats…Next to mine…Gonna give you all my love, boy…My fear
is fading fast…  

Chapter TwoSeptember 11th, 2001

Late in the morning, as always, I turned on the TV to wake myself up. At the same time…

What is that?

“Oh…My…God!” I sat on my bed, a reflex action; my eyes were wide open.

On TV, people screamed and ran and cried. It was all chaos.


“Oh My God!”


“Let’s go…COME ON!”


I didn’t know whether the words came from my mouth or from the TV.


TV showed the airplane hitting the building over and over. My room was filled with screaming, which
seemed to shake the whole world. My emotion lost all direction in my room.

It was hell.

It was horror.

It was the devil’s festival. The scene didn’t look real. I turned off the TV. The world was too quiet;
said quiet was even more surreal than the previous scene. I turned the TV back on.

All of a sudden, on TV, I saw my grandmother screaming; this overlapped another old lady
screaming on the street.

I got thirsty. I ran toward the refrigerator and drank water, as if I had found an oasis after ten days
of roaming the Sahara. After that, I lit a cigarette…but my heart was still pounding hard.

I called Sunmi, Nara and Hilary. I couldn’t reach my Mom in Korea; the international phone system
was too busy for that, because of the terrorists’ attack.

In the afternoon, I was watching the same TV news report over and over, even skipping lunch for it.
While in bed watching TV, I dozed off. In my dream, my uncle’s dead body rose to the surface of a
pond; my grandmother screamed at me about my having killed my uncle.

I woke up from the nightmare, screaming.

That left me feeling anxious for the rest of the afternoon. I hadn’t seen my uncle’s corpse. My family
had learned about his suicide over dinner, via a phone call from the police. I wondered why I’d had
that dream. My grandmother had never mentioned my uncle’s suicide to me.

I missed Uncle…his eyes, which were anxious and uneasy; his voice, which always sounded like he’
d just woken up in the morning; his fingers, which were always touching his chin when he was in a
serious mood; the way he smoked, shaking his legs; the way he flashed a broad smile while
shaking his head.

I brought soju (Korean vodka) and started drinking it straight. When I opened a second bottle of
soju, Jose came back home…telling me the building where he worked—in downtown Los Angeles—
was closed. He asked if someone whom I knew was dead or not.

“Now you can fuck me,” I said when he put his backpack down on the floor. Jose merely smiled.

I took off my t-shirt and black bra to flash my dazzling boobs. He walked toward me, and I collapsed
backward onto the sofa.

Several minutes later, he gave me a slow poking with his manhood. I wrapped my legs around Jose’
s waist. While pumping, Jose tried to make it more romantic…by caressing my boobs with his cheek.

Nevertheless, my uncle’s corpse—rising from the pond—showed up on the ceiling. I closed my
eyes, but my grandmother screamed that I killed my uncle. I shook my head harder and harder, to
exorcise the scene. It was tattooed in my memory.

“Do it harder! Go faster!” I shouted out.

Surprised, Jose began humping me. My pussy was in pain. I wondered why people have sex.

I felt that life is all one big lie…

Those planes hitting the World Trade Center seemed like a lie.

My uncle’s suicide by drowning seemed like a lie.

My grandmother’s death because of my uncle’s suicide seemed like a lie.

My entire memory seemed like a lie.

Jose’s pumping made the pain continuous. I shouted out in Korean, shaking my head, “Ghu-Zit-Mal-
Yhee-Yha (That’s a lie)!”

Jose tried pumping harder, for all he was worth, but is wasn’t enough.

“Fuck me harder! Fuck me, goddamn you! Please!”

Jose’s breathing got harder, which suggested a great groaning beast of some sort.

Chapter Three…The Anti-American’s Suicide

South Korea, 1988…That year in March, I entered middle school at the age of thirteen.

Unlike America’s, the South Korean school year begins in March; also, elementary and middle
school in Korea are distinctly separated. That means to become a middle school-student is to get
that closer to adulthood. I started to wildly suck the big world of adulthood.

At that time, my uncle was recuperating at home…after experiencing back pain from being tortured
by the police. He was involved with an anti-government/anti-American movement, after having
entered the university.

One day, his body was found in Illchungdam Pond, at Kyoungpook National University where he
studied. He was twenty-three years old.

On the day my late uncle was cremated, my grandmother fainted three times. She had lost her first
son (my dad) five years earlier. My dad, a taxi driver, was killed in a car crash during a Bosung Taxi
Union-strike. Now her sole surviving son was dead.

My grandmother let out a piercing scream and fell. My mother dropped to her knee, holding
grandmother while they sobbed together. My ten-year-old brother Youngsoo and I stood side-by-
side in front of them; we sobbed out in tears, “Uncle, uncle!” Eventually, I covered my face and
dropped to my knees, screaming, “…Uncle, uncle…!”

My best friend Dokdo’s grandmother, father and mother—who lived right next to my house—
participated in my uncle’s funeral. Dokdo wasn’t there because he had school that day. I wished
Dokdo was there for me.

While my uncle’s ashes were thrown into the Geumho River—which flowed in front of our village—
my grandmother blamed the Roman Catholic Church for the loss of both her sons. She also
blamed herself, because she’d converted her entire family to Roman Catholicism.

In the 1970s, South Korea was ruled by a dictator. In response, Roman Catholics created the
Nationwide Catholic Priests’ Association for Justice to fight said dictator. Therefore, they influenced
their people…including my father and my uncle.

The irony was that my uncle’s funeral proceeded based on—relatively speaking—the Korean
tradition of totemism. This was the belief that, until the relics of the deceased were burned, his soul
would be trapped in the terrestrial plane. This would be all the more true if the deceased in
question had drowned.

When my family burned his relics, I stole my uncle’s diary…and the cassette tape, which I figured
he had listened to before he died.

I planned to ultimately bury the relics at Harvard University, for my uncle, who had aspired to attend
classes there since his childhood.

My Uncle’s Diary: 3/3/1985

Today, I attended an entrance ceremony for my University. My mother, my big brother’s wife, my
niece Younghee, my nephew Youngsoo…my entire family showed up to congratulate me.

I made a resolution to pursue my dream of going to America, after I finish school here, and of being
the world’s leading authority on cytology.

Wait for me, America. Wait for me, world. Here I come, a twenty-year-young man from Korea!

Next Chapters

© 2006 Younghee Cha

Thank you for reading this fiction, published January 2006. If you want to know more about this
novel, please visit
After 9/11: A Korean Girl’s Sexual Journey by Younghee Cha
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