Category: Chapter, Angst, NC-21
Main Cast: Kang Seulri & Cho Kyuhyun
Supporting Cast: Ok Taecyeon
Cho Kyuhyun is still crying, mostly from his regrets and some from his helplessness to turn things around for Seulri. They said the moment the end is near, you begin to see important fragments in your life flashes in front of you. Kyuhyun aware that he’s not the one that’s dying, but he can’t help from having some scenes of their life from showing in his mind.
Seulri still mumbling her apologies, she still holding onto his hand and still squeezing repeatedly. She’s clearly trying her best effort to keep Kyuhyun mind at ease while his sunbae opens up her skull.
“Please stop..” She begs him, “I hate.. seeing you cry.”
Kyuhyun nods along and wipes his tears away from his face, but no matter how many times he tried his tears keep on flowing. “I don’t know why I can’t stop, Seul.”
“Why.. don’t you talk.. to me..” She stutters, “Maybe you’ll.. feel.. better..”
Kyuhyun brings his face down to his folded arm on her gurney, hide his face for a moment from her as he gathers himself to look stronger in front of her.
“Oppa..” She calls out for him, “Kyu.. hyun oppa.. talk to me.. distract me.. please..”
He lifts his head up, suddenly reminded of his function in that O.R. Seulri was right, he has to keep her talking and he has to help her ease her mind from the scary procedure that’s being done in her head.
“I don’t know where to start talking to you Seul.” He admitted, “I feel like any sentence I’d say tonight will just sound like a lousy excuses and stupid apology towards you.”
“Try.. me..” She encourages him.
“I’m scared Seulri-ya.” He finally tells her the truth, “I scared that I’ve let you down to the point it’s beyond forgivable, I’m scared that I’ve torn your heart to the point it can’t be mended anymore, I’m scared that you’re so angry at me that you punish me this way, I’m angry to myself that has been so selfish towards you.”
“I’m not.. mad.. at you..” She caressed his hand that’s holding hers, “And I’m not.. punishing.. you.. it was.. an accident..”
“I know.” He sniffs his nose, “I know Seulri-ya, but still.”
“I’m okay.. oppa..” She lies again to him.
“I should’ve let you explain, I shouldn’t just take my own conclusion and punished you like that.” He bit his lips to channel his pain, “I’m such a jerk Seul, I’m so sorry.”
She wants to replies to his words but the familiar piercing pain in her head returns. She’s certain it’s not because the neurosurgeon poking into her brain at the moment for she knows she’s sedated, it’s the pain caused from the inside of her brain and it had make her harder to speak again.
“O—oppa.” She tries to speak still, “Remember my last.. birthday gift for.. you?”
Kyuhyun nods and cursed himself because he hadn’t got a chance to read a single page from the books she gave him.
“Read them..” She cringes to counter the pain, “Then you’ll.. understand.. my heart..”
Kyuhyun shakes his head, he fears of what’s coming. She’s showing great development but this could be the candle-light-stage, the moment when a dying person is at the best condition before everything fails.
“I’ll read that. I’ll read that with you.” He tries to convince her, “It might take some time until you get really well, so I will read those book with you while you’re recovering, do we have a deal?”
Seulri smiles, that sounds like a good plan for her recovering time.
“Promise?” She lifted her pinky finger.
“I promise.” He links his pinky finger into hers and stamp their thumbs together.
“Oppa.. my head.. hurts..” The pain strike back into her head and she feels like she has to at least inform the doctor about what she experienced.
“Doctor, the patient complaining about the pain in her head.” Kyuhyun gets up from his seat to look into his sunbae.
The neurosurgeon curls his eyebrow, “That doesn’t make any sense, I sedated her.”
“Seulri-ya, is it the pain like a headache or like somebody poking your skin?” Kyuhyun tries to dig more information.
“Headache.” She answers shortly and she grimaces in pain from another pain that attacks her head.
“Doctor, I think it’s still correlated to her blot clot.” Kyuhyun suggested the idea.
“That’s possible but I already bypass the major clot.” He looks back into her brain, “Could it be she’s bleeding elsewhere?”
Kyuhyun doesn’t have a chance to answer. Kang seulri is squeezing his hand really hard, sinking her nails into his skin to take his attention back to her.
“O—oppa.. mian..” She stuttered in weaker whispers than before, “Mianhae..”
She squeezes his hand three time as she slowly closes her eyes.
“Seul, what are you doing? Open your eyes!” He wiggles her hand.
She responded to his request and opens her eyes back, she’s tired and she’s very sleepy. All she wants to do is just to close her eyes and wake up later when everything has return to normal.
“Don’t scare me like that.” His voice trembles, “Don’t you dare to scare me like that!”
“I know. but you have to fight it, arraseo? Please Seulri-ya.”
She tries to widen her eyes to fight back from the urges but the harder she fights, the heavier her eyelid gets.
“Mianhae..” She whispered one more time.
“DAMN IT! SUCTION!” the neurosurgeon shouts to the whole room. “She burst another blood vessel.”
Kyuhyun felt like all the remaining power he has left in him is taken away along with those words, he feels the three soft squeezes in his hands while Seulri is now fighting the headache she told him earlier.
“Cho Kyuhyun, leave your place now and get yourself over here. She’s having a stroke and I need more hands while she still has a chance.” The neurosurgeon gives out a new order for him. “NOW!”
She couldn’t remember the last time somebody made her feel so special and honorable the way Kyuhyun did. It has been a long time ago when she last put on a decent dress to go on a real date. Those make up she put on usually meant to attract men’s lust, the dresses she wore obviously far from the term of being proper and she never looked forward to any of those meetings back then.
That day, it was different. To pay back what she did for him during his birthday, Cho Kyuhyun also sneaked his way around her to give a little surprise when her birthday came. He got up really early in the morning to put some pranks in front of her door, in the hope that Seulri would be covered in the mixture of eggs and flour after she stepped out of her door—and he succeeded this childish trick somehow.
She should be annoyed with it, especially when Kyuhyun succeeded to covered her entire head and face with the bad smelling mixture very early in the morning. But Seulri just laughed until her stomach hurt, a little voice in her head reminded her that this might be the only birthday surprise she’d ever get from him, so she embraced every little thing he planned for her. After he helped her to clean up, Kyuhyun gave her four boxes that he carefully prepared for her. The first box contained her birthday cake that he bought the night before, the second box contained a white dress, the third box contained a pair of heels and planned to keep the last one as his main gift that he’ll give later on at night.
“Oppa, are you trying to make me look like a glamorous girl with these?” She took out the dress he picked out for her.
Seulri eyes glistened happily, her new dress was a white lacy dress with the length up to her thigh. It’s a perfect dress to encounter the end of spring season when the day got hotter and slowly turned colder as the sun vanished underneath the horizon. To complete the look of her dress, Kyuhyun bought her a pair of dark blue high heels that made her long legs looked even longer and sexier in his eyes.
“Do you like it?” He held his breath waiting for her answer.
She nodded and hugged him, “I love it, thank you.”
“It’s not your present.” He patted her back while she still hugged him, “I’ll give your present later on tonight during our date.”
Her mind clicked at once. “Ahh, so this is the dress you want me to wear to our date tonight?”
Kyuhyun kissed her forehead, “You’re smart. Go clean yourself, get ready and I’ll pick you up at five.”
“Isn’t that’s too early for a date?”
“No, I have a lot in my to-do-list.”
She giggled. “Okay, I’ll get ready. Thank you for these.” She lifted her presents.
Kyuhyun lowers his head as he lifted her chin, then softly landed a kiss on her lips. “Happy twenty-fourth birthday Seulri-ya. Wish you a happy year ahead.”
“I know I will, I have you here for starter.” She winked and replied his kiss, made a little demand when she gently sucked in his bottom lip, “Can I also ask for another gift?”
“Aish, I know what kind of give you want. Since when my girl became so perverted like this?” He laughed while he shuffled her hair, “Wait until the end of the night, arraseo?”
She bit her lips, her cheek blushed as she tried to bottle up her excitement for her other birthday present.
She understood why Kyuhyun had to pick her up at five, their date schedule started from their building towards the park where they used to spend their time after school, he used the place as a way to reminisce their stories as his way to make his plan work for the main gift he planned to give her tonight. After they strolled around the park, Kyuhyun drove her into the arcade where he usually got her stuffed animal—he let her pick three new plushies to add into her collections before he continued their date.
By the seven o’clock, Kyuhyun drove her into a fancy restaurant in Cheongdamdong. He made his reservation a month ago to get the table overlooking Seoul city lights by the window.
“Oppa, you really prepared everything for today.” She concluded his effort once she took a seat. “I’m blown away right now.”
“I didn’t know you like this kind of date.” He grinned proudly.
“A little change wouldn’t hurt sometimes.” She smiled.
The waitress approached their table with menus in her hands and Kyuhyun immediately asked to begin their dinner with his favorite wine. The waitress nodded to his order and left the couple while they both busy themselves reading the menus in their hands.
“Pick whatever you want to eat, okay?” He noticed how her face turned into a frown just by looking into the price of their food. “And I will be very angry if you order a salad.”
Seulri chuckled, “So I can just pick anything?”
“I want the wellington, is that okay?” She pointed to the menu that suited her taste.
Kyuhyun then raised his hand to called the waitress, gave their orders and soon after, got the wine he ordered earlier. He raised the glass into the middle of the table and Seulri mirrored his move.
“Happy birthday to the most precious woman in my life.” Kyuhyun said his toast.
“It’s a cheesy line but I’ll forgive you since I’m very happy now, thank you.” She bumped her glass into his then they both sipped their wine carefully.
“What do you think of this place?” Kyuhyun put his glass down and leaned closer to the table, to get closer to Seulri.
She smiled and lifted her shoulder, “Honestly?”
“It’s fancy, too fancy for someone like me to be honest.” She grinned, “But maybe for the first time I feel like I could belong in a place like this.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, I never see myself hanging out in a place as grand as this one.” She chuckled as she picked the right words, “I’m more like a food-stall kind of girl instead of a fancy restaurant lady, don’t you think? But I’m here with you, you definitely look like you belong here and I’m glad that I have the chance to share this experience with you.”
Kyuhyun understood what she meant, Seulri was uncomfortable because it’s not the usual place where she hangs out to have dinner and she just subtly hinted out their social status differences—something he always ignore when it came to her.
“It’s a special day for you, Seul. I haven’t been able to do anything for your birthday since I got into the army, I want you to feel special—not just today, but from tonight onward.” He suddenly felt nervous. Their foods weren’t arrived yet and Kyuhyun’s talk already going into the direction he planned.
Seulri reached out her hand to the middle of the table, asked Kyuhyun to hold her hands.
“Oppa, I always feel special in your eyes.” She smiled her biggest and most sincere smile, “Whenever I feel bad, I just need to take a look into your eyes and I’ll feel less crappy afterwards.”
She nodded, “I love that look, you look at me as if I’m the most precious thing for you and you look at me like I’m worth more than a bucket of diamond.”
He scoffed, “Well, you are.” He agreed. “You are my biggest treasure. I mean how many people are lucky enough like me?”
“Ne, I fell in love with you when we were in high school. I got this smart, kind, and beautiful girl as my girlfriend and the best news was she loves me back! We got our ups and downs but when fate met us one more time, our feeling for each other remained the same. If that doesn’t count as luck, I don’t know what is.”
She grinned, “Ng, I agree with you. We’re lucky. We’re so blessed with this sincere kind of love.”
He finally decided to let their conversation flow as he reached into his suit pocket to give her the final gift on her birthday. “And if you don’t mind—“
Their food arrived on the table and it clearly ruined the flow of their conversation. Seulri looked very excited with the beef wellington on her plate and her figured he should just forget about her last gift for a little while and continued with his original plan instead.
His next plan after dinner involved a stroll along the Han River, he knew Seulri was a girl that enjoyed any kind of relax surrounding, he could tell how uncomfortable she was in that fancy restaurant earlier and he planned to make that up for her.
Her birthday this year probably the best one she had for the rest of her life, she had the man that she loved beside her, she got Ahra that had become her friend as Kyuhyun accomplice to surprise her in the morning, she got the whole night with him and she unexpectedly received a message from Park Sora that said her father remembered that today was her birthday.
Earlier this morning when she had to make a wish before she blew her candles, Seulri whispered her wish to herself, she wished this happiness could last forever or if that’s too greedy for her to ask, she wished to enjoy it a little longer. But she knew, summer is just a month away and that’d be the time when she’d had to vanish quietly from his life. She had promised herself that by the time Jinae returned, she’d tell Kyuhyun everything and leave the decision in his hand. If he can take her past and only see her for the person he always saw her, then maybe there’s a slight chance they could be with each other forever. But if he picks the worst case scenario, then Seulri has to start preparing herself for a real goodbye.
“Seul, do you hear me?” Kyuhyun rounded his arm across her shoulder.
“Sorry, what? I spaced out.” She admitted.
“Do you want me to grab you something as we stroll along this lane?” He repeated himself.
Seulri looked around her surrounding, they’re in the last part of their date—according to Kyuhyun—and his best idea to end a romantic dinner was to walk along the Han River, not a bad idea for Seulri.
She shook her head and placed her arm around his waist, “I just need you around.” She giggled, I’m still full from the food we had earlier anyway.
“Hey I have a lousy idea.” He suggested as he took out his phone. “Let’s have a dance.”
Seulri laughed, “HERE?” She spread her arms to show Kyuhyun that they were in the public place with several other people.
He nodded confidently, “Wae? Shiroe?” He ignored her and picked a song from his phone and put it in loud speaker.
The moment the intro was played, Seulri heart just melted at once. It’s their song.
“Ignore those people, they envy us for being a cheesy romantic couple.” Kyuhyun handed out his hand to her and Seulri couldn’t refuse his request.
“You still remember this song?” Seulri placed her left hand on his right shoulder and she let him hold her right hand gently to begin following his steps.
“The Second Star From the Right, I played this song a lot whenever I missed you during your absence.” He erased the distance between them as he whispered softly near her ear.
She smiled weakly, if only he knew what kind of pain she had to encountered whenever she reminded of him. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to—“
“Ey, what’s done is done. I just want to embrace our future together.” He cut her words, “Your apology won’t change a thing anyway.”
Seulri took her hand away from his, brought both of her hands down and round it on his waist to hugged him, “Thank you for being so understanding.”
Kyuhyun lowered his face then gently pressed his lips onto hers, “While we’re in that topic, I have another present for you.” He whispered on her lips.
“Another?” She grinned and pucker her lips to kissed him for some more.
Kyuhyun parted their bodies away, ready to grab the last box he prepared for her.
“Venus?” A man stood only couple of feet away from them as he called out her stage name out loud.
None of them responded to the call because they’re too busy paying attention to each other.
“Venus? It’s you!” The man took his steps to approached her with his finger pointed at her face.
Kyuhyun glared into the man, annoyed because his well-thought proposal was interrupted while Seulri slowly came to an awareness of her situation. She looked up into the source of the voice and her heart sank at once, she recognized the man as one of her frequent client back in the Gentlemen’s Club.
“Oh my goodness! I’ve been looking for you.” The man continued talking, “I kept on asking your pimp on your whereabouts but he said you quit. Are you opening a practice on your own now? Can I have your personal number?”
Kyuhyun took a step away from Seulri to get closer to the man that looked like about to harass her and tried to talk politely to the man.
“Sir, I think you see a wrong person—“
“So how much did you pay for this kind of date with her?” The man looked into Kyuhyun with excitement in his eyes, the alcohol smell from his mouth became so vivid to Kyuhyun, “Come on, it’s been a dream of mine to have a one-on-one date like this with her. She’s always been so ‘exclusive’ if you know what I mean.” He smirked cunningly.
Seulri took a step backward from the man, she didn’t know what to do in this situation but she wanted the man to vanish from their sight. No, in fact she wanted the ground to just open up and swallow her inside so she shouldn’t face this situation.
“Wow, that drees looks stunning on you, your legs always a turn-on for me.” The man stepped closer, lifted his hand and caressed her arm in instant.
Seulri was startled and froze in her place.
“Get your hand off her.” Kyuhyun grabbed the man’s wrist and snapped it away from Seulri’s arm.
The man began to get annoyed with the way he’s being treated, “What’s your problem?” He glared at Kyuhyun, “I was just trying to catch up with my favorite stripper here. Just because you got a personal date-card with her, doesn’t mean you own her!”
Kyuhyun blinked several times to his statement, his what? Favorite what? Stripper? This man must be out of his mind.
“Ajjushi!” He began to raise his voice, “Ibayo! You’ve mistaken her with someone else. Now why don’t you just leave us alone and we can forget this matter without a fuss.”
Instead of making some peace with him, the man now approached Seulri to grabbed her hand roughly. “Ya! How can you let your client treat me this way? Just because you covered up in more clothes and look a bit more elegant, doesn’t mean you can treat me like that!”
“AJJUSHI!” Kyuhyun placed his hand on the man’s hand that’s grabbing Seulri and parted them. “Go away while I’m still being nice.”
Seulri was too bewildered with what happened in front of her, while Kyuhyun was arguing with the man all she could do was staring blankly ahead with thousands of thoughts flying across her mind. This was it, this was how it revealed for her, she thought.
The man approached her again, by the look on his face he was so determined to give Seulri a lesson not to mess with him but Kyuhyun finally lost his patience. He pulled the man away from Seulri by grabbing his jacket’s sleeve and in one fluid motion he landed his punch on the man’s face.
The man wasn’t happy about it.
He got up and ready to jumped into a fight with Kyuhyun, but he was a little bit drunk and it cost him his balance. Kyuhyun quickly hold him by his collar, hissed some word to the man and told him to vanish from his sight.
The man knew he was in disadvantage so he just lifted his hands as a sign of peace. Kyuhyun released his grab on the collar and just when he was ready to check on Seulri, the man kicked him on his thigh, caused Kyuhyun to fall helplessly onto the ground.
Seulri finally gained her awareness back and she approached Kyuhyun to help him to get up but the man reached there first, with something in his hand to show to Kyuhyun.
“I know I’m not mistaken.” He pressed something on the screen of his phone and play a video to Kyuhyun.
Seulri squatted to help him up but Kyuhyun froze in his place as he watched the video displayed in front of him. It’s somebody that looked a lot like his girl, same facial feature, same body line, same figure and he noticed they both have same spot on the left side of her face. But it couldn’t be his Seulri, no, his Seulri wouldn’t do a dirty dance being half-naked in front of dozens of men like that, his Seulri was someone innocent, someone with a pure heart and dignified. There’s no way it’s his Seulri.
“See?” The man chuckled, “By the look on your face, seems like you didn’t know. Could it be you’re her real boyfriend? Huh! Too bad, your girl is just a dirty stripper.” He stood up and tucked back his phone.
Seulri squatted still in her place, the color on her face has vanished and her whole body began to tremble.
“You’re awesome, Venus. You fooled this man.” He smirked to her and slowly stepped back from them. He threw a little rectangular paper that landed a foot away from her. “Call me when you’re free.” Then he took his wobbly steps away from the startled couple.
Both Kyuhyun and Seulri stayed frozen in their place, Kyuhyun needed more time to process what he just saw and Seulri’s mind went blank.
“Please tell me it’s not you.” He finally whispered after they stayed in silent that felt like forever.
Kyuhyun used his hand to help him get up, he turned his head to look into Seulri that already kneeled in front of him.
She lowered her head deeply, her hands formed a fist and her body was shaking vigorously.
Kyuhyun didn’t need a confirmation from her, his heart sank already when he watched that video and the way Seulri didn’t even try to defend herself now has shattered his heart.
“It’s not you right?” He asked again, with sharper tone than before. “My Seulri, she wouldn’t go that low. I know her.”
She tried to speak out but her tongue locked.
“TELL ME IT’S NOT YOU!” He finally lost it.
“I—I have a reason..” She stuttered in fear.
Kyuhyun felt like somebody just punched him really hard on his gut. He lifted his hand to pulled his own hair in frustration. He wanted to pinched himself to wake up from this nightmare, no this couldn’t be true, his sweet girl wouldn’t be able to that to herself.
“Oppa, it was the darkest tim—“
“You needed money?” He cut her sentence. “YOU NEEDED MONEY THAT BAD YOU SOLD YOU INTEGRITY AS A WOMAN?” He grabbed her by her shoulders and only with minimum power he managed to lift her up and forced her to stood on her feet.
Seulri didn’t dare to look into his eyes, she knew this day would come yet she never thought it’d be revealed this way.
“LOOK AT ME KANG SEULRI!” He shook her already trembling shoulders, “THAT’S WHAT YOU LEFT ME FOR? TO SELL YOUR BODY THAT WAY? TO FEED THE LUST OF THOSE DIRTY MEN?”
She bit her lips, took a deep breath then braced herself to look into his eyes.
The moment their eyes met was the moment Seulri knew it ended for her. Kyuhyun’s eyes packed with many emotions, he clearly caught off-guard, he was shocked, he had questions in his eyes, but what she recognized the most was his contempt.
“M—mi.. mianhae.” She stuttered.
With that word, Kyuhyun took his hand away from her. He covered his face with his hands to suppressed the mix of emotion he felt inside him. A little part of him wished Seulri would deny it, why stopped lying to him now? She managed to fool him this far, why can’t Seulri just lied again for him?
Seulri didn’t do anything, at this point anything she did wouldn’t bring any good into their situation. She just stood there and prepared herself for any kind of rage he’d throw at her.
But Kyuhyun never threw his rage. Once he calmed himself a little bit, he put his hand back into his pants pocket and he took his steps away from her quietly.
“Oppa, please let me explain.” Seulri approached him then grabbed him by the arm.
“Take. Your. Hands. Off. Me.” He delivered his words sharply.
She felt the familiar pain of rejection and loneliness in her heart has returned now as she lifted her shaky hand away from him.
“You didn’t just leave me, you lied to me and you fooled me.” He gritted his teeth as he spoke.
“I didn’t mean to..”
“Didn’t matter.” He smirked cynically, “I could forgive you for leaving me, but once you lied to me to the extent that you took me for a fool,” He took his time to look sharply into her eyes, “you’re dead to me.”
Kang Seulri stoned in her place. With those words, Kyuhyun successfully left her breathless.
He continued to walk away from her, left Seulri behind him. He couldn’t think, he’s trembling inside and he needed time to calm down. Tears fell down his face as he gradually took more steps away from her, his heart never ached that bad before, he wasn’t just being lied to, he was betrayed, he was fooled but most of all Kang Seulri just broke his heart.
Kyuhyun took out the box he prepared for her and tossed it to the trash can near him. For the first time he finally understood why Seulri always said that he should consider his relationship with Jinae—because Kang Seulri would never fit in his family picture forever.