Category: Chapter, Angst, NC-21
Main Cast: Kang Seulri & Cho Kyuhyun
Supporting Cast: Ok Taecyeon
Another week passed and Kang Seulri hasn’t shown any improvement. Kyuhyun and Taecyeon had discussed this matter and none of them reached a solid agreement. If he had to follow his heart, Kyuhyun would love to give Seulri all the time she needed being attach to a machine that breathes for her and pumps her heart for her. He wanted to believe in the magic a miracle could bring into her, he wanted to believe the mighty power from above would show her mercy—if only they wait long enough. However, if he looks at her condition from a doctor’s perspective, he knows they’re just wasting their time. The miracle happened to one in a billion people and the chance Seulri to be counted as one is slim. Another thing he takes into consideration is how painful it is for Seulri, she couldn’t feel anything obviously but Kyuhyun knows she’s not the kind of person that likes to depends her life to a machine.
Taecyeon still insist to keep the bill continues and keep the machines support her. He is aware of his selfishness but Kyuhyun didn’t try to stop him also. Seemed like they both just really want her to suddenly wake up and start over.
Whenever Taecyeon visits, Kyuhyun would wait outside or take his time to go home to rest. He still has no idea who Taecyeon is to Seulri. They both looked close and he seemed to know more about Seulri than Kyuhyun—especially about her during the six years of their separation.
In the other hand, Taecyeon never stayed too long in the room with her. he loves her and he’s willing to take a long leave from his business just to watch her cleeping peacefully. But he knows deep inside that it’s not what she wants. He imagines if Seulri is awake and he’s the first person she sees, then Seulri will be very disappointed. Taecyeon knows her more that anyone thinks he does, and he’s certain that Seulri only wishes for Kyuhyun to stay beside her.
Cho Kyuhyun did a lot of things to fill his time while he’s watching for her—a lot of things he wished he’d done sooner for her. He’d always offer to take over the nurse’s job to give her a sponge bath, he would sometimes bring her some new stuffed animals that he got for her on his way to the hospital, he bought some study books for her just in case she still planned to pursue her study for real this time, and he spend his nights to be beside her, reading to her every single poems that she marked for him.
“Seul, I’ll continue reading the last book now.” He sits on her bed as usual, leaning close into her and opens the book in front of them, as if he’s reading a bed-time story for a kid. “You know our deal was to read this together, not me doing a monolog while you’re closing your eyes like that.”
He looks at her, lifts his hand to caress her hair and kisses her forehead softly.
“But I’ll give you a pass, since you’re sick and I’m curious to dig into your heart deeper.” He said and opens the book in his hand, “Lang Live, Love and Misadventure. This is the last part from all three, so you’d better open your eyes when I’m done.” Kyuhyun clears his throat, to begin reading the page she marked with number 1.
When two souls fall in love, there is nothing else but the yearning to be close to the other.
The presence that is felt through a hand held, a voice heard, or a smile seen.
Souls do not have calendars or clocks, nor do they understand the notion of time or distance.
They only know it feels right to be with one another.
This is the reason why you miss someone so much when they are not there—even if they are only in the very next room. Your soul only feels their absence—it doesn’t realize the separation is temporary.
Kyuhyun nods along to this one, he agrees with the writer. For now Seulri is lying right beside him, but he misses her like he never did before. The absence of her soul cannot be replaced by her presence alone. He no longer can hear her voice, see her smile or look deeply into her eyes. These days Kyuhyun feels like he could jump in excitement even if she just wiggles her finger a little—yet it hasn’t happened.
He takes a deep breath to get rid of the stuffiness in his chest, “Seul, do you know how much I miss you right now? Seeing you here but knowing you’re not really here. If you look at me now, I’m sure you wouldn’t be too happy. I haven’t shaved in three days, I haven’t taken any shower in the same amount of time, there’s no mirror in this room but I’m sure you’ll be surprise to see me once you open your eyes.”
Kyuhyun bit his lips, ready to continue his book reading for her.
As a kid, I would count backwards from ten and imagine at one, there would be an explosion—perhaps caused by a rogue planet crashing into Earth or some other major catastrophe. When nothing happened, I’d feel relieve and at the same time, a little disappointed.
I think of you at ten; the first time I saw you. Your smile at nine and how it lit up something inside me I had thought long dead. Your lips at eight pressed against mine and at seven, your warm breath in my ear and your hands everywhere. You tell me you love me at six and at five we have our first real fight. At four we have our second and three, our third. At two you tell me you can’t go on any longer and then at one, you ask me to stay.
And I am relieved, so relieved—and a little disappointed.
Tears begins to cloud up his eyes, he doesn’t need help from Seulri to decode the meaning of the poem she marked. That’s how life has been for them. They fell in love, they enjoyed their youth exploring each other, they acted like two idiots whenever they’re together—two extremely happy idiots that can’t stop laughing to little silly things, they loved, they fight and fight again, and finally they break. He didn’t need to read the book to know she wished him to stay and stick around her, she still plead him that very thing up to the last time he saw her.
Kyuhyun remembers what Taecyeon always says to him whenever Kyuhyun began to have a doubt about Seulri’s condition, that Seulri is now fighting her best because she wants to have that future he promised them to have—because she only sees him and no one else matter.
He wipes his tears and pats his own chest to try to breathe easier, then he continues to the next page.
If you love me for what you see,
only your eyes would be in love with me.
If you love me for what you’ve heard,
then you would love me for my words
If you love my heart and mind,
then you would love me for all that I am.
But if you don’t love my every flaw,
then you mustn’t love me—not at all.
He puts the book down as he cries harder. If Seulri wants to punch him so hard then it’s her way to do that. He cries not because he’s sad, nor because his heartache that hasn’t left his heart. He cried in shame. Shame of himself for repeatedly telling her how much he loved her, how much she meant for him and how much she matters.
Seulri knew all along that Kyuhyun loved her for the idea of her that he keeps in his head. He loved her as his cute and innocent girl, he loved her as his high school girlfriend, he loved her for having a sincere heart, and that he loved her for every single thing he thought he knew about her.
Kyuhyun escaped from her as soon as he could once all his perfect concepts of her vanished, he left her without allowing her to explain herself, and he cold-bloodedly punished her for a choice she couldn’t avoid herself from.
He hated her for her biggest flaw—and in her eyes it only means he hadn’t loved her at all.
Kang Seulri was sitting helplessly while she waited for her father remains to be put in an urn. Everything that happened to her in the last 24 hours exhausted her, physically and mentally. She couldn’t think, she just followed whenever Kyuhyun or Ahra led her into since she had to take care of her father’s paper works.
She was blanked out when she seen his emergency bill, Seulri came to the cashier and asked the bill to be split in several payments so she could use several cards to deal with it, but Kyuhyun quickly shoved her cards away and put his into the machine to pay for all expense.
She didn’t want to bother him and she already felt indebted to him without him adding more pressure into her guilt, yet at the same time Seulri wanted her father to be taken care of immediately, she could only bring him to the cremation chamber if all his bills are paid of—the last thing she wanted is for her father to be frozen in the morgue until she’s able to take him out.
Kyuhyun took his seat next to her while they’re waiting for her father’s cremation to be done, he’s not sure if she’d feel better if he’s around her, but at least he knew she won’t be alone.
He gave the cold juice in his hand to her, pulled open the tab and handed it to her. “You’ll need some sugar in your system Seul, if you don’t want to eat at least drink this.” He suggested.
She took the can from his hand but put it on the empty chair next to her, “I can’t swallow anything, but thank you.”
He inhaled deeply, “Seul, I should ap—“
“Oppa, will I be okay?” She whispered. “Please tell me that I’ll be okay. I really have no idea what to do right now, I’m scared.”
“What are you scared about?”
“Everything.” Her tears fall, “I feel like I’m walking on a very dark road right now, I don’t know what’s ahead of me, I don’t know where I’m heading to and I don’t know if I should take some rest or keep on walking.”
Kyuhyun lifted his hand to pull her closer into him, but he stopped and hesitated. He wasn’t sure if that’s the correct way to delivered his apology to her.
“Seul, take your time.” He finally took her hand and held it on his lap, “This must be very overwhelming for anyone, I know you’re mourning and I understand the kind of emptiness you feel in your heart now. But remember what Ahra said earlier? We’re here. We’re still your family and we’ll walk that dark path with you.”
Seulri tears gets harder and she whimpered for some more, “But you’re leaving. You’ll move out soon and you hate me, how can you say that we’re family if you keep on trying to punish me like that.”
His heart was clenching to her honest words. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to go that far.”
She sobbed and tried to lower her squeaky voice, “It happened and I haven’t say congratulations to you.”
“Seul, let’s not continue with this talk for now.”
“So what should we talk about while I’m waiting for his remain?” She replied sharply.
He bit his lips, not knowing what kind of decent conversation that could take away their heartache.
“I’ll bring him to where my mom is.” Seulri came up with another topic, “And after that I’ll go far away from you.”
“You don’t have to move out oppa, you stay and I’ll go.” She sniffed her runny nose and wiped the remaining tears with the sleeve of her shirt.
“I don’t like what you’re saying. Please tell me you’re not planning anything stupid.” He came into alert.
She scoffed while her eyes still spilling more tears, “If you think I’ll kill myself because of this, then you’re totally wrong.” She swallowed down her saliva and continued, “I worked hard for him, everything I did—even that dirty life I was in—I did it all to support him. We had to stay in the city because it has the best health facility, tonight was a proof that the ambulance worked very quickly, that won’t happen in a small town.”
He tilted his head while listening to her explanation.
“But you know I always hated this city, this place turned my life upside down and I’m getting really sick of it. Besides, I couldn’t stand the possibility of bumping into you and her every now and then—it’ll break me again.” She forced a weak smile.
“Seul, I told you I’m sorry.” He spoke up, knowing his apology meant nothing to her that day.
“I want to start over oppa.” She wiped her tears again with her shirt, “I will go to our happy place and I will start over. Let me be the one that leave, because I don’t think I can stand the fact that you’re leaving me.”
“I—.” He stuttered, his tear fell down for the hundredth times to the sight of her desperation.
“So I will ask you for the last time, can you forgive me?” He raised her eyebrow. “Can you forgive me? Oppa, I just need you to forgive me. I know you won’t take me back, I know I worth nothing in your eyes and I don’t dare to ask that favor. But can’t you at least forgive me, for going far astray from the dream we used to have for each other?”
He wanted to, he wanted to forgive her. He wanted to tell her that he’ll forget about it and that he wanted to start over with her. Because to him, the idea of staring over somewhere wasn’t bad at all.
Kyuhyun took a while before he replied and Seulri softly took her hand away from him.
“Your hesitation is enough answer for me.”
He was ready to argue but they’re interrupted by the worker in the crematorium. Seulri got up and stepped quickly towards the person that hold her father’s urn in his hand. He gave Seulri some papers to sign and finally handed her the remains of her father.
She bowed to the man and then she looked at Kyuhyun that stood not too far from her.
“Oppa, will you go with me?” She asked with such fear in her eyes—the fear of rejection that always haunted her days. “I’ll ask you this for the last time, because I don’t think I have any pride left in your eyes to continue nagging you for something you don’t want.”
He curls his eyebrows in confusion.
“Will you go with me? Not just to put my dad to rest but also far away from this place? If you really wanted to say goodbye to me, can’t I at least get a proper closure to us? Can’t I be selfish one more time?”
“Seul, I can’t. Today I have—“
“Okay.” She cut his sentence, “I heard enough.”
She took her steps away from him, with every step gotten heavier and heavier in her heart. He gave her his final answer, he hesitated to all of her requests and she knew her place—she knew her place well enough.
“Seul where are you going? Ya! If you want to go to put your father to rest, I can go with you tomorrow. You’re exhausted, come on you have to take some rest.” He caught her steps quickly.
Seulri stopped and dared herself to look into him in the eyes. “What about my other request?”
“Can you? Can you forgive me oppa? Or if you can’t, will you at least take back your words?” She bit her lips to hide her pain. “That I already dead to you, can you take that back?”
He felt like he’s struck by lightning. He tried to speak up but he’s too dumfounded with her sudden statement.
“Another silent answer from you.” She put her head down and continued walking. “One day you’ll understand that a silent hesitation hurts you more than a loud rejection.” She added and walked away from him.
She wanted him to catch her hand, tell her that he was only startled and that he forgave her. She wanted Kyuhyun’s heart to soften up, especially after he knew that she lost everything that mattered to her. But Kyuhyun stood still in his place, his mouth looked like he mumbled something, his eyes somehow screamed out for her, but he never moved. He just stood silently as he watched Seulri got into a cab that’d take her to the place where she’d lay her father to rest.
She cried for some more in the cab, ignored the look she got from the driver. She was flustered, she was confused and all she wanted to do just to get away from the place that continuously hurt her. Seulri calmed herself and controlled her breathing before she pressed a saved number in her phone, looked out for the last option to soothe her raging emotions.
“Hey, how are you? I’ve been trying to reach you for days but your phone is off.” The man answered immediately.
“Taec,” She replied with a hoarse voice, “can I ask you a favor?”
“Are you okay? You sound like you’re crying.” He sounded worry, “Hey, my flight from Osaka will depart in the afternoon, let’s have dinner later, I’ll be at Seoul in time for dinner.”
“Can I take a rain check? I have another thing to do in my mind.” She sniffed her nose.
“Seulri-ya, is everything okay?”
“Everything is fine.” She lied.
“So what kind of favor I can do for you?”
She hesitated, thinking that it might be a bad idea. But she wanted to escape and she wanted to do it alone, without having anyone around her or a cab driver that continuously checked for her from his rear-view mirror.
“Taec, may I borrow your car?” She stuttered, “I—I want to go to my happy place, I promise you’ll get it back within three days maximum. Maybe we can have dinner after I return?”
“Do you want me to go with you? I can drive you tonight if you want.” He offered.
“I kinda need to be alone, sorry. If it’s impossible then I’ll just get another..”
“Sure, you can take the Mini.” He agreed, “Come to my penthouse, the code is 654321 I put the key next to the side table.” He explained.
“Are you sure?” She raised her voice a little bit from the sudden relive.
“Not quite, but you sounded so sad and desperate and I can’t be beside you right now, so this is probably the only help I can give you.” He reasoned with her. “But if you change your mind, I can drive you tonight. I will shut my mouth so you feel like you’re alone, I’ll just be the chauffeur.” He bargained with her.
“I appreciate that, but I think I’ll stick to my plan.”
“Well, then please drive carefully, Seul.” He gave in, “I know you’re hiding something from me right now, but I’ll let it slide. You have to tell me everything once we meet again, okay?”
She nodded, “I will.” Seulri sniffed her runny nose, “Thank you so much. I’ll hang up now.”
Taecyeon put his phone away from his ear, ignored the restless feeling he had in his heart. If he only knew what would happen to Seulri in that car, he would forbid her to use it from the start. He would insist her to wait for him to return and he would find a sooner flight so Seulri didn’t have to wait too long.