Category: Chapter, Angst, NC-21
Main Cast: Kang Seulri & Cho Kyuhyun
Supporting Cast: Ok Taecyeon
The continuous puncture on her skin manages to bring her back into her half-awake state one more time. With her eyelids that gets heavier, Kang Seulri tries to open her eyes to keep herself awake. She doesn’t want to do that, sleeping is a much better option for her at the moment yet the man beside her keep on telling her to stay awake and she realizes now that the punctures she’s been feeling on the right arm is actually Kyuhyun, he’s stimulating her sense of touch as his effort to hurt her to keeps Seulri conscious.
Even though she can’t move that much, her brain still works perfectly and she can study his expression very well from this distance. She slowly tries to turn her head slightly towards him, feeling glad somehow for the worry he has in his eyes, if he worries about her that means he still cares—and that’s enough for her.
“I’m sorry I’m puncturing your skin to keep you awake and I’ll continue to do this.” He explains in apologetic tone.
She smiles—well at least that’s what she thinks what she’s doing—to him and blinks trying to tell him that it’s okay. She wants to tell him that she’s going to try her best to stay conscious and to get over the emergency state she’s in. She knows why he’s trying so hard to keep her alive, not because he needs her, not because his life will be ruined if she’s gone, but because he’d forever live in the guilt he created himself—and Seulri loves him too much to let him led that miserable kind of life.
“Look at the ultrasound! She’s bleeding into her belly, we don’t have time for a CT scan, let’s take her straight to the O.R, we’re gonna open her up.” She hears the sound from the old doctor.
Kyuhyun takes his eyes away from Seulri to look into the old doctor, “But doctor, she’s bleeding from her head, don’t you think a CT is more important?”
“The impact on her head can wait, I’m more worried about the bleeding in her tummy, the French tube we inserted still spilling much blood, if she continuous to be in this state, she’ll need more blood transfusion and I’m not sure we have enough stock of the A+ in this hospital.” He explains.
Kyuhyun takes a look to Seulri, noticing her pupils gets rounder as her lips begins to trembles. Everything she hears today in this E.R is probably something very alien for her and it’s only normal for her to be scared. He knows what kind of procedure she’d have to take immediately and he doesn’t want her to be scared.
“It’s okay, Seulri-ya. They will take care of you, I’ll be there with you the whole time.” He leans in closer to caress her hair. “Are you scared?”
She tries to nods and failed to do so, yet the fear in her eyes is crystal clear. The doctors around her begins to take several charts and busy preparing to move her into operation room, Kyuhyun takes this time to talk intimately to the helpless girl that’s lying on the gurney.
“Hey, look at me.” He cups his hands on her face. “You’ll be okay and if you’re scared of dying, you need to know that you’re not dead, okay? I’m a doctor too Seulri-ya so I know, but if you need reassurance I’ll tell you that the machine that connected to your heart is still beeping and I can feel your pulse.” He touches her wrist to convinces her even more. “So eyes on me the whole time, and we’ll get through this together. Once it’s over, we’ll get out of here and I’ll get any kind of plushy you want from the arcade, okay?”
A tear falls from her eyes. He thinks she’s afraid of dying while that’s not really her concern at the moment, she died a long time ago in the inside and it doesn’t really matter how much pain she feels on her body—it’s the pain in her heart that she can’t really handle.
“I promise, I’ll try to be a better friend for you, Seulri-ya. Please give me a chance.” In his desperate measure he pleads her.
“Time to move her to the O.R.” The nurse unlocks the brake in the wheels of her gurney and signal Kyuhyun to begin pushing towards the E.R.
Seulri feels another growling sensation in her tummy when they roll her gurney towards the O.R and not long after, she begins throwing up bloods again from her mouth. She shuts her eyes close to hide her embarrassment to Kyuhyun. If this really is the end of the road for her, she doesn’t want to be remembered as a girl that’s covered in her own blood, looking ugly and helpless as hell. She wants him to remember her as his beautiful first love, she wants him to remember her in her best moments when life was still kind for her, she just wants him to always remember her as the innocent Kang Seulri that he fell in love with ten years ago.
“Seulri-ya! Stay awake! I’m telling you to keep opening those beautiful eyes of yours, remember? Eyes on me!” He shouts again from her right.
She spills more blood from her mouth and as much as she tries to flick open her eyelids, she can only see flashes of bright lights with certain memories that follows from her past.
Having a relationship with a medical freshman was never easy for Seulri. She had to adjust her constant desire to see her boyfriend and she had to be the more understanding one, because she realized how hard it was to be a doctor. The first two months Kyuhyun still able to come home once a week the way he promised her and they still have their awaited date every weekends. But the longer he stayed in the medical department, the less time he had to spare to come home to see his girlfriend.
Not that he didn’t want to see her, but freshmen were required to come to morning classes and also to be active in the university student board to be initiated as a part of the campus’s family. At first Kyuhyun still could juggle his studies, his organizational purpose and Seulri, but by the fourth month his body began to get weak from the lack of sleep he got and he had to made a decision on what come to the top priorities and what can wait—apparently Seulri fell into the latter category.
To her, it’s not really a big deal if she saw him once a week or once a month, as long as she still could call him and talk, so she could conquer her loneliness of his absence. But there were times when she just really needed to run into him when matters at home gotten out of hand, there were times when she felt like she needed his advice or tutor with some of her lessons in schools and there were times when she just really miss his presence around her.
Whenever she felt that way, she would call him and negotiate if she could visit him in his dorm and mostly he’d say ‘no’. However, in one autumn night, her voice sounded so desperate and he didn’t have the heart to tell her that he must study for his exams. Seulri took a metro towards his campus station and Kyuhyun already stood by the entrance where he promised her he’d be. She didn’t know what she was thinking at the time but she just ran into him and hugged him tight as she threw him her troubled heart.
“You’re not crying are you?” He patted her shoulder then gave a quick kiss on her head.
“I miss you.” She mumbled from his shoulder. “I haven’t seen you for a couple of months.”
“I know.” He took his distance from her to take her hand and led her to walk out of the metro station. “I’m sorry, I thought I could spare my time, but I really need more than 24 hours a day if I want to do everything I want.” He pursed his lips with an apologetic look.
Kyuhyun quickly noticed her swollen face, he lifted his hand to touch her cheek but Seulri warded off his hands and forced a smile imediately.
“It’s okay, I understand, oppa. One day when I become a freshman in a university, I’d be busy too and you’re the one that has to come towards me the way I do now.” She tried to grin but the emotion didn’t reach her eyes. “I’m trying to be understanding, oppa. But tonight I just really miss you, I’m sorry If I interrupted anything.”
Kyuhyun smiled and pulled her closer to his body to wrapped his arm on her shoulder. “So while you’re here, tell me what can I do for you?”
Seulri pouted her mouth and looked at him in disbelieve, “I just miss you, you don’t have to do anything other than being beside me.”
“Let me buy you dinner then, what do you want?” He tried to fix her mood.
“Whatever you want, I’m not hungry.” She looked down to the sidewalk they walked on and he stopped her steps in instant.
“Is everything okay?” He lowered his face to level hers and studies her eyes, “What’s happening, Seulri-ya?”
She lifted both of her shoulders then avoid his gaze.
Kyuhyun knew what this means, Seulri always got uncomfortable whenever they begin talking about her home and family but he couldn’t just ignore the abuse she received at home. “Did you fight again?”
She took a deep breath and nodded slightly, “Usual stuff.”
“Hey, nothing usual when it comes to abusive behavior.” He touched her cheek and this time Seulri just stood still in her place. “Come on, let me take care of that swollen bruises.” He took her hand and led her into the alley that led to his dorm.
Seulri walked in silent beside him, feeling embarrassed yet at the same time needed the comfort he could offer her. She took a peek into the man beside her, noticed that he changed a little bit in term of appearance. He’s gotten even thinner than she remembered and looked like Kyuhyun no longer cared on how his hair looked like these days. His coat covered the shabby shirt he wore underneath and Seulri sure that he was in his pajama pants minutes before he picked her up.
“What are you staring at, chagi?” He looked at her from the corner of his eyes.
“Were you about to sleep when I called?” She giggled while pointing his outfit.
“You should be pleased that I changed my pants.” He scoffed and smiled, “Sorry, I thought you’d come within an hour I didn’t get a chance to take a shower or dressed nicely for you.”
“Did you also skip many lunches and diner?” She rolled her eyes, “Just because you’re busy, doesn’t mean you should go on a hunger strike, oppa. Please eat properly, or do you want me to come every night just to cook your dinner?”
“That’d be nice.” He chuckled, “But I don’t want to contribute more into your problems at home by being outside all the time.” He took a turn in the corner and led her inside his dorm. “You go ahead and wait inside, ne? I’ll take some stuff from the common kitchen.”
Seulri nodded and let herself into his dorm, entered the password she knew so well and got herself comfortable inside. It’s not the first time she visited him here, but this might be the first time she asked this kind of favor from him.
She walked around his little room and noticed that his comic books were now tucked so far away in the corner while many thick English medical books took over his study desk. A smile drew on her face when she saw her framed picture next to his bed, it’s the picture he took of her when they went on a school outing a week before his graduation party.
Seulri took the frame and studied her own expression in the picture while at the same time comparing to her expression from the mirror available in his room. She looked so happy and cheerful in the picture he took and she knew for sure why, they were having the moment of their youth, being in love, having their first holiday together—although still under the school authorities, and it was summer holiday back then. He still had all the time in the world for her and all of her problems at home could wait.
Her daydream interrupted with the sound he made from entering his own room, Kyuhyun already took a simple first aid kit and a bag of frozen vegetable he got from the kitchen.
“Looking at your own picture?” He teased her with his eyes, “I finally printed it out and placed it next to the bed, that way, I can always look at you whenever I wake up.”
Seulri laughed and put her picture back, “Four months in university and you already learned how to woo your girlfriend. I thought you’re learning medical stuff, not how-to-create-a-pick-up-line.”
“There’s a lesson about that in the student organization.” He shrugged his shoulders and laughed with her. “Now, take a seat and let me take care of you. Use the veggies and press it on your swollen face.” He gave her the vegetable bag.
She obeyed him and took a seat on the edge of his bed while she let him kneeled in front of her as he rolled up the sleeve of her cardigan. Of course his main concern was not only the swollen bruises on her face, he knew that her mother would attack her on her arms and usually those were the parts where she’s bleed worse.
The sight of the fresh bruises on her skin scratched a pain in his heart again, he didn’t have to take a lesson in medical 101 to know that some bruises were already five days old while the others were the fresher ones. His heart sank when he sees the fresh bleeding wound that laid vertically along both of her arms.
“What she hit you with?” He run his finger on her scar and she grimaced in pain.
“Belt.” She answered shortly.
“What is it this time?”
“I asked for her signature for the school’s early report card, she saw two Bs in it and she just lost it.”
Kyuhyun took some cotton from the first-aid box and dipped it in alcohol, “This will sting a bit.” He reminded her before her dabbed the cotton on her carefully.
She knew what kind of pain to expect from that yet she still whimpered in pain whenever it happened. Seulri took a good look into her boyfriend that currently paid all of his attention to her scars and out of nowhere, tears escaped her eyes. Once she began she didn’t know how to stop it.
He quickly lifted his face to see hers and immediately put down the cotton in his hand and placed himself to sit beside her to embrace her closer. “Did it hurt? I’m sorry. It’s the fastest way to make it stop bleeding.” He explained.
Seulri shook her head on his shoulder while still tried to manage her breathing. “Not that.. I’m ashamed..”
“Ya, we talked about this, you can talk to me about anything and I’ll be here for you, if your house is no longer a home for you then let me be your home. I know that I’m lacking in time these days but you must believe me, Seulri-ya. Just less than two more years and you’ll be able to get out of that house, go to university, get a job, and get married to me. You have nothing to be ashamed to.” He rubbed her back and a bit taken aback when she jolted out of the sudden.
Seulri sank her face deeper in his shoulder while ignoring the pain on her back, but he already noticed it.
“Seulri-ya, did she hit you on your back too?” He pushed her slightly for her confirmation.
She didn’t answer but her silent was louder than words.
“Shall I check it, too? How painful is it?” He ran his palm on her back one more time and she automatically jolted again from the sudden pain.
“Please don’t.” She whispered. “I already feel so worthless at the moment and I can’t imagine how bad it looks in the back. I don’t want you to be disgusted at me.”
Kyuhyun hugged her closer to calm her crying for some more. “That will never happen, please allow me to treat your wound, ne?”
She took her time to consider her option and to be honest, she didn’t care anymore. Seulri lowered her cardigan while carefully minimize the contact of her skin and the fabric and slowly took off her cardigan to show him her back that’s exposed from her low-cut tanks underneath.
He immediately felt like his tummy was stirred in a very bad way once he saw the scar she had, turned out her mother didn’t just use the belt to hit her but used the buckle also, the blueish bruises and some vertical scars on her smooth white skin clearly showed it. The moment he saw what really haunt her, was the moment he swore to himself that he’d protect her forever. Within that moment he swore to study harder so he could be successful, then he’d able to take her out of her house, he’d marry her and give her a beautiful life he knew she deserved.
“It’s ugly isn’t it?” She turned her head slightly to see him from her shoulder.
Kyuhyun leaned in closer and planted a kiss on her back while his hand caresses her bare shoulder. “You’re beautiful, Seulri-ya. You’re beautiful in my eyes no matter what.”
She closed her eyes a begun to cry in silent one more time, if heaven cursed her with the worst family she could get, at least now she found a rescue from the life she’s been hating all these time. To her, blood isn’t always thicker than water and the way Kyuhyun put her on the pedestal had made her believed that something beautiful in her life was about to come.
“I’ll treat your wound the same way the way I treated your arms, just hug the pillow in front of you if it’s too painful, ne? It’ll be over before you know it.” He took another cotton and dipped it in alcohol then he begun dabbing in on the upper part of her back that’s shown from her lower-back black tank top. “Is this the first time she hit you here?” He studied her wound longer to realized it’s only one fresh wound in there—unlike her arms.
She nodded while still sinking her face in his pillow.
“She’s really mad with your report card?”
She nodded again.
“I’m done, it’s okay the stingy pain should wear off within minutes.” He took her cardigan and wrapped it around her shoulder to cover her body.
Seulri turned her seat to face her boyfriend and she frowned once she noticed the expression he had, he tangled his eyebrow as if he’s thinking hard about something.
“Oppa, what bothers you?” She lifted her hand to caressed his face. “Please don’t be sad because of what you saw.”
“I’ll do better.”
“I’ll be a better boyfriend for you.” He got off his bed to take the first aid kit away to put it on his desk, “It must be really hard for you these past few months with me being busy with school. Those scars, some of it are older than three days yet you always told me that you’re okay. Why did you lie to me? I must have been less reliable to you so you chose to keep silent about it, so that only meant I’m a bad boyfriend to you, arent’ I?” he put his head down looking into his messy desk.
Seulri followed him to his spot and quickly wrapped her arms around his waist then hugged him from the back, “It’s not because of that oppa. I could handle the last one, but tonight was hard for me because I also felt disappointed at myself for that kind of result, oemma made it worse by the beating and I just missed you so much, that’s why I was really persistent to see you tonight.”
He turned to her direction to caress her hair, “You know I miss you too, right?”
Seulri smiled and nodded while her right arm pointed the picture beside his bed, “That proved something.”
Kyuhyun smiled and pulled her closer into his embrace. “I don’t want to ruin the moment, but I think I should take you home now. It’s late, I don’t want you to get in more trouble.” He kissed the top of her head.
“Can I stay here instead?” Her voice was weak but he could hear every word clearly. “Tomorrow is Saturday and I sneaked out from home tonight, I don’t care what kind of beating I’d get tomorrow when she figured out I’m not there but please don’t tell me to go back there.” She tightened her arms around him.
“I’m not allowed to have guess over, chagi-ya.” He was tempted with the idea but the goody-two-shoes in him got scared a little.
“Please oppa.” She plead and begun to show him her aegyo face, “Don’t send me home, I can sleep on the floor and I’ll be quiet, ne?”
“Are you trying to be cute in front of me?” He lifted his eyebrow and smirked playfully.
“Is it working?” She grinned.
He took a deep breath and think for some more, but he nodded in the end. “Fine, but you sleep on the bed, I’ll sleep on the floor.”
She tiptoed to give a peck on his cheek before she hugged him one more time, “Thank you oppa, I love you.”
Kyuhyun hugged her tighter before he whispered the equally beautiful words into her ears, “I love you too. You have no idea how much I love you, Seulri-ya.”