“Fated to Love You” Drama Withdrawal Syndrome

Lee Geon & Kim Mi Young

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The sound of silence is heavy and thick in the morning air, its burden a weight on your shoulders, daunting, cold, and lifeless, as you timidly walk into the room. You immediately notice the stark interior and the oddly placed “Fated to Love You” promotional poster on the wall. Panic settles in. You want nothing more than to simply turn and run away.

As if sensing your trepidation, your best friend puts a reassuring hand on your shoulder, giving you a nod of encouragement. You grimace in fear, but still manage to flash her a meek, wavering smile. With a sharp exhale of breath, you take a seat on the leather couch. Your best friend, your pillar of support, follows suit.

In that same intimidating silence, the two of you wait. Finally, he arrives.

His footsteps echo in the stillness as he, too, takes a seat. He clears his throat and places his clipboard on his lap as he leans forward, hands clasped together. “So, what can I do for you today?”

“I have a problem!” you blurt out, unable to hold back any longer. “Something is wrong with me!”

Your best friend bites her trembling bottom lip with tear-filled eyes, her hand reaches for your arm in a physical display of her constant support. “It’s okay,” she whispers. “It’ll be okay.”

“I see. Well, you have certainly come to the right place.” The man nods and gestures with his hand for you to continue.

“I… I’ve become a different person,” you explain. “For the past month, I haven’t been myself. It’s like I’ve been possessed.”

“Possessed?” He asks. “Tell me what you mean.”

You wring your hands together nervously. “The first thing I noticed was my laugh. It’s different.” You try to describe it, but words fail you.

“It’s deep and loud,” your best friend chimes in. “Like a laugh that emerges straight from the belly. She throws her head back wildly with her mouth wide open, and her whole body shakes with the intensity. It’s really manic.”

Lee Geon Laugh

The man frowns thoughtfully, but asks you and your best friend to continue.

“And then… I suddenly developed this intense love for snails. I am not exaggerating when I say that I see them everywhere. I used to be terrified of those things with their sticky trails, strange tentacle eyes, and big round shells, but now I find them so cute and loveable. Doctor, something is wrong with me, isn’t there?” You ask, so eager to unleash your fears that your words come out fast and jumbled.

“I mean, the other day, when I had my picture taken, I even made a snail sign with my fingers.” You hold up your hand to demonstrate. “And when I go out into my garden, I even crouch down and look for them. ‘Uri dalpaengie eodiya?’ I’ll say in a singsong voice. Where is our snail?” You toss your head back and laugh that belly-aching laugh. “Isn’t that weird?”

Fated to Love You Snail

The doctor makes a sound in the back of his throat thoughtfully. “Interesting,” he murmurs as he jots down some notes on his clipboard. “Are there any other symptoms?”

“Yes!” You exclaim. “I am suddenly addicted to rice cakes. I want to eat them all the time and learn how to make them. When I see one, I just giggle uncontrollably.”

Geon & Mi Young Make Rice Cakes

“Do you have any other cravings?” He asks, still writing in his clipboard.

You think for a moment, tapping a finger against your chin. “Ah, barley! And rice! I crave those too!”

Geon & Mi Young Barley Rice Game

“Very interesting,” he says again. “Anything else?”

At this, you turn to look at your best friend with uncertainty. She gives you a mild nod and pats your arm. “Go ahead,” she suggests, trying to reassure you of this decision. With a firm nod of your own, you turn back to face the doctor.

“I mindlessly walk around in a daze sometimes. Like I’m just a shell of a person. I’ve been told that there is a phrase I say every time it happens.”

He looks up at you in response. “What phrase?”

You grimace. “Gae…”

“Gae…?” The doctor repeats questioningly. He is patient as he waits for you to finish your sentence.

“It’s ‘Gae Ddong.'” You finally mutter.

“Gae Ddong?!” He states with mild surprise. “As in… dog… dung?”

You nod. “Gae Ddong-ah. Gae Ddong-ie. I just say it like that in a very nostalgic and whimsical tone. I don’t even have a dog.”

Geon & Mi Young's Gae Ddong

“Doctor, be honest with me.” You lean forward in your seat almost desperately. “Tell me what’s wrong with me. I’ve never experienced these symptoms before but, suddenly, they all appeared at the same time. Is this serious?”

He exhales sharply and sets his clipboard face down on the table. He rubs his forehead with the pads of his fingers as he gathers his thoughts. With a sigh, he finally nods and looks at you grimly. “I believe I know what is wrong.” He takes a deep breath. “You have a disease.”

You gasp and fall back into your chair. Your best friend clings to your arm, the tears in her eyes finally making its way down her cheeks. Your heart stops and you hold your breath.

“It’s called Drama Withdrawal Syndrome. It’s a common disease for those who have experienced the drama, “Fated to Love You.” Since it ended a month ago, you are suffering from the repercussions.”

You release a startled cry of shock. “Is… is there a cure?”

He shakes his head. “At the moment, there is no known cure for DWS. The severity of this disease vary from person to person. Some experience mild symptoms while others experience particularly intense ones.”

Slowly, you put your hand up to your heart, still in disbelief. “What about me? Am I considered mild or severe?”

The doctor pursed his lips thoughtfully. “I would say that you are at an advanced stage of DWS. Your five symptoms: the Lee Gun laugh, the snails, the rice cakes, barley, and rice, and Gae Ddong, these are obvious symptoms of “Fated to Love You” Drama Withdrawal Syndrome.”

“This is unbelievable,” you stutter. “Unbelievable.” You shake your head. “Then… what can I do?”

He leans back in his seat and crosses his legs. “Well, it’s actually quite an enjoyable disease. Everyone so far diagnosed with this disease has loved it. I would suggest re-watching “Fated to Love You” to your heart’s content. We even have it right here in the office.

The doctor turns to your best friend. “Have you seen it?”

She shakes her head. “No, I haven’t.”

He smiles. “Then I recommend you watch it as well and join your friend in experiencing DSW. After all, I’ve been told it’s one of the best drama diseases out there.”

You breathe a sigh of relief, glad to hear that your happy suffering really wasn’t so bad after all. Irony aside, you’re glad to know you’re not alone in this situation. Smiling brightly, you stand and bow.

“I feel calm and relieved now and will continue to enjoy my “Fated to Love You” Drama Withdrawal Syndrome without worries. Thank you so much… Doctor Octopus.”

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