“We almost made it. Another few hours and we would have been out of this fucking place.” 

The banging was insistent at the door. They’d finally been found. 

Jooyoung rolled over and looked at Sanghoon, “it’s ok,” she said. I kinda guessed this would happen. Sanghoon looked at the door, the ring of light around it illuminating the dark apartment. Outside the neons of the bars still glowed. It was 3:45. They had planned to make a run for Incheon Airport in the morning. Seems their pursuers knew how to dangle hope in front of them- then rip it away.

The banging at the door was now followed by shouts but the man outside. They doubted it was one man, but one would probably be enough anyway. He was threatening to knock down the door, though they’d picked this place because the door looked extra sturdy. It was a bluff, but they were cornered either way. 

Jooyoung put her hand on Sanghoon’s chest. “It will be ok. We knew this might happen, I’m not sure what we will do, but I think we can find a solution.” 

“The window?”

There was the fire escape equipment, but it would be a risk. Someone would see them, even at this hour. They’d joked about it, but repelling down the side of the building was supposed to be for emergencies only. They’d seen the equipment in the apartments they’d stayed in over the years but never learned how to actually use it. 

The banging was a steady tattoo on the door. The threats were unambiguous. It was a surprise the neighbors hadn’t called the cops, surprising the guy hadn’t hurt his hand by now either. 

“Hey,” Jooyoung said with a smile. “Let me give you a haircut. I was meaning to do it before we go to the airport. I thought if we looked nice it might help us get through customs easier.” 

With that racket outside. Sanghoon motioned towards the door with his head. 

“I have steady hands no matter what.” Jooyoung laughed.

They got up and went to the bathroom. Jooyoung switched on the old yellow bulb, while Sanghoon got a chair from their small table. He placed it down in front of the mirror and sink and sat down. Jooyoung rummaged around in her toiletries bag and grabbed a pair of scissors. 

They both laughed as she set to work. Snipping in time with the ever more insistent banging on the door. Their eyes met in the mirror as she moved around his head. The scissors were deftly maneuvered in her right hand, while her left stayed in gentle, loving contact with his head, moving it around as necessary. 

A second person was knocking on the door by the time she finished. They both smiled at her handiwork. Sanghoon turned on the shower and they both hopped in to wash off the hair. They made love, moans drowned out by the row outside. 

They dressed and opened the window. They looked outside, the coast looked clear, this was their only chance. They both looked back at the door, which seemed to vibrate with the banging. They looked into each other eyes, clipped in the harness, and jumped out to repel. The banging faded as they dropped, the ropes held, and they were down quick enough to prevent too big of a crowd from forming. They jumped in the first taxi, and no one seemed to chase them. 

They laughed all the way to the airport, holding each other, and admiring the haircut in the rearview mirror. 

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