Category: Chapter, Angst, NC-21
Main Cast: Kang Seulri & Cho Kyuhyun
Supporting Cast: Ok Taecyeon
Kyuhyun, Ahra and Taecyeon are gathering around her bed. The hospital offered them to bring a lawyer before they’re taking the decision they’re about to make, they’ve also been trying to find Seulri’s relatives to help her case, but they couldn’t find anyone. The three of them are the only people that stand close to the title of family she has remains and it makes the three of them entitled to have the final call about her; should they prolong her life line or should they pull the plug.
A month has passed since she was in the coma and no slightest progress shown from her. This day is the day they all agree to stop living in the land of denial.
The financial adviser of the hospital already given Kyuhyun the form he must fill regarding turning off her life support, the three of them have to sign it and only Kyuhyun that hasn’t contributed anything to the paper. His hand keeps on trembling whenever he tried to sign it.
Taecyeon signed the paper after he spent a month of his life trying to find any doctor that could make a difference regarding her health, he brought her medical chart everywhere to find as many opinions he could find—and all led to one unanimous voice, that Kang Seulri is beyond help.
Ahra refused to sign the paper at first, not because she doesn’t want Seulri to be freed from her struggle, but because she’s afraid that her contribution in that paper would bring deeper regret to her brother one day. But she finally gave her signature because Kyuhyun convinced her that she should do what she knows is right.
As for Kyuhyun, he knew from the beginning that this day will come eventually.
“Oppa, I know it’s really hard, but you said so yourself that this is probably the best for her.” Ahra sobs beside him, “Look at her, she’s not happy. She’s restrained here while she deserves to be in heaven right now.”
Kyuhyun shoulders trembles as he starts to cry again. He agrees with Ahra but the task he’s about to do is easier said than done. Ahra wraps her arms around her brother’s shoulders, giving him the courage he needs to sign the paper that will take Seulri away forever from his life.
“She’ll be happier right?” He sobs in between. “Heaven must be a better place for her than the cruel world she lived in, right? This is what she wants, right?”
“Kyuhyun-ssi, do you need some time alone with her?” Taecyeon offers. Even though he tried to look strong today, he’s secretly dying inside. To Taecyeon, Seulri is a person that opened his eyes for the thing such as affection, love and heartache—and Seulri managed to make her way into his heart by being a girl with such innocent view on life no matter how life never been so kind to her. He knew Seulri despised him at first for taking what she sacredly kept for Kyuhyun, but they made their friendship along the way and he would never have thought a simple one-night-stand could have led up to this massive heartache.
Kyuhyun lifts his hands to cover his face but nods. “I think I need more time.”
Taecyeon looks at Ahra and they both quietly heads out from the room, to give both Seulri and Kyuhyun more privacy.
“Wait,” Kyuhyun says, he quickly takes the pen from his pocket and sign the form he’s been postponing to sign. “If I don’t do it now, I don’t think I’d ever be able to do it.” He hands the form to Taeyeon.
Taecyeon takes the paper from his hand, “This is it, isn’t it?” He starts to sob again. He was able to keep his cool earlier, but holding the paper that the three of them signed in his hand only tells him that losing her would become really real in just a moment.
Kyuhyun nods. “Give that to the nurse out front, she’ll know what to do. I’ll be here with her.”
Taecyeon heads out from the room but Kyuhyun holds the door before he really closed it, “Taecyeon-ssi, don’t you want to say anything to her?”
Taecyeon shakes his head, “I’m not good with goodbyes. I’m afraid I’ll tear this paper into pieces if I stay here longer.”
Kyuhyun looks at Ahra and she only shakes her head, “Oppa, take your time, ne? If you need me, I’ll be right outside.”
He nods and closes the door before him. He takes his wobbly steps towards Seulri that’s still sleeping peacefully and as usual he takes his place next to her only this time he’s sitting across her, making it easier for him to look into her serene face.
“Seul, I don’t know if this is what you want.” He starts to sob again, “But I can’t see you suffering like this longer.”
He sniffs his nose and wipes his tears roughly with his hand, he takes the book on the table next to him to read something that has been bothering him for a while now.
Kyuhyun clears his throat and reads the last poem that she marked for him in the last book she gave him, the short message that almost seems like her will,
“Do you know what it is like, to lie in bed awake; with the thoughts to haunt you every night, of all your past mistakes?
Knowing sleep will set it right—if you were not to wake.
-Lang Leav, Love & Misadventure.”
Kyuhyun has stopped bargaining with himself, although Seulri is a strong woman, he knew that the impact she experienced from the accident were too hard. Maybe if she waited for another night for him to drive her, maybe if she wasn’t being so stubborn, maybe if he surrenders his conscience and just do what she plead, maybe if she’s taken care of immediately after the impact, maybe.
He had enough of what ifs, he would forever remember this day as the day where a person thought him a very important lesson of regret.
“Seul, I have read all the poems here and it seems that I should give one for you.” He choked in his words, “At least you should also know my heart and I want to believe that you can hear me, I want to believe that I still have that luxury to be heard by you—and I hope it this may set it right for us.”
He takes the first book out of the three titled ‘Lullabies’, flips the pages from the book and opens the page he marked himself and begins to read it for her.
“I want you to be happy. I want someone else to know the warmth of your smile, to feel the way I did when I was in your presence.
I want you to know how happy you once made me and though you really did hurt me, in the end, I was better for it. I don’t know if what we had was love, but if it wasn’t, I hope to never fall in love. Because of you, I know I am too fragile to bear it.
I want you to remember my lips beneath your fingers and how you told me things you never told another soul. I want you to know that I have kept sacred, everything you had entrusted in me and I always will.
Finally, I want you to know how sorry I am for pushing you away when I had only meant to bring you closer. And if I ever felt like home to you, it was because you were safe with me—I want you to know that most of all.
-Lang Leav, Lullabies.”
Kyuhyun cries his heart out, he never thought he’d bid his goodbye to her this way. All the time he knew her, he’d never thought that he’d be the person that pull the plug on her, but he always knew—he knew that losing her always mean that he’s losing his other half and that he’ll never be the same person after this.
He swifts closer to Seulri, lifts his right hand to carefully caress her every feature that he’ll soon have to say goodbye to.
“Seul, I’m sorry.”’ He caresses the little hair near her forehead, “you know what? I want to count from ten to one; you’d hear my voice when I start from ten, then at nine you start to get senses of your surroundings, at eight you brain monitor shows some spike, at seven you wiggle you fingers, while at six I will massage those fingers a little to loosen its muscle, by five I wish your eyes will start blinking and by four you finally open them to look at me, by three I will ask you to stay by two you’ll say yes and we’ll kiss and live happily ever after, once I count to one.”
He sobs harder and closes his eyes—desperately counts from ten to one in his head even though he knows nothing would happen.
Kyuhyun opens his eyes, he runs his fingers from her forehead towards her eyebrow, follow every curve in her feature as he traces her nose and down to her lips. His left hand caresses her cheek that aren’t showing any color anymore, the part of her face that always blushes whenever he does this simple thing doesn’t react to his touch anymore.
“You’re still here and I still can touch you and embrace you like this, but why this longing of seeing you is so excruciating Seul? I miss you, I really miss you. I want to hear your voice again, I want to see you smile, I want you to hold my hand and squeeze it three times as usual.” He whimpers and he brings his head closer to her chest to lays on top of her heart, “I want this precious thing to keep beating, I know I’ve shattered it into pieces and for that, I would never forgive myself for the rest my remaining life.” He wraps his arms around her body and embrace her the way he always did for the last time.
The doctor enters her ward with Taecyeon and Ahra follows behind her. He nods to Kyuhyun, a simple nod that translate as a death sentence in his eyes. Kyuhyun looks at Taecyeon and Ahra, all three of them got the same weepy face and bloodshot eyes, nobody in this room is ever ready for this but the time has finally come.
“I will begin the procedure now.” The doctor announces.
Kyuhyun nods helplessly.
The doctor begins to turn off the machine that monitors her brain, then he pulls off the wires that placed on her temple. Next he turns off the other machine that helps distribute her blood and also took out the IV in her hand. He gets closer to Seulri to pull out her respirator but Kyuhyun stops his hand before he could touch the tube.
“Wait, give me just a little more time.” He begs.
The doctor exhale and takes his steps away from her bed, waiting for Kyuhyun to say his last goodbye.
Kyuhyun leans his head really close to her and with his trembling hands he caresses her face one more time. He brings himself closer to give a soft kiss on her forehead, he moves slowly to kisses both of her eyes then the tip of her nose and finally he presses his lips against her, giving her a last kiss before he really ends it all.
“It’s okay Seulri-ya,” He whispered with uncontrollable breathing, “I promise I’ll be okay.” He takes his time to control his breathing before he continues, “but if I can have one wish, I wish I’ll see you again in our next life. And if we’re given that luxury, I promise to never take you for granted.”
He kisses her lips one more time and finally pulls himself away from her, his hand search for hers, to hold it tightly as he walks her to her last moment.
“It’s okay Seul, I’ll stay with you until the end.” He holds both of her hands, squeezes them three times and he gives a simple nods to the doctor to continue what he’s doing.
The doctor steps closer to her bed, slowly lifting up the tube attached to her nose. The room that once filled with the sound of a respirator and her constant breathing suddenly went silent and moment after, the flat sound from her heart device rings loudly. The doctor turns off the monitor and finally picks up his watch to declare her time of death.
He stares blankly into the vast ocean in front of him, with his best suit and his best look, Cho Kyuhyun managed to get himself here—their happy place.
He holds the urn containing her remains closely into his heart, somehow deep inside he knew that this is what she wants. This is the place she was heading the night she got into the accident, their happy place where all their problems can wait back at the city.
“Seul, I hope you’re happy with our decision.” He whispers.
He takes out his glove from the suit pocket and put it on his right hand, steps closer to the place where the water meets the sand then open up her urn. He digs into the ashes to begin scattering it all over the water, going for another one as he makes his way all along the shore.
“One day, I’ll meet you here again.” He convinces himself, “When my time comes, I’ll put it in my will to be scattered here with you.” He scoffs, feeling ridiculous to himself that he’s talking alone.
Because to Kyuhyun, Seulri never left. He’d like to think that she’s going to another place and one day he’ll come to pick her up. She’ll forever live in his heart and as pathetic as it sounds, it’s the only way Kyuhyun feels he could continue on with his life. Not with a denial but with a false hope that sounds a bit more realistic.
Once he’s done spreading all of her remains, Kyuhyun takes a seat on the sand, taking out a paper he tears off from the book she gave him.
“Seul, I didn’t bring you any fruit or decent meal to honor this day. But I will present you with this. I can’t believe you never marked it before.” He mumbles, “Because reading this, I feel like I get the strength I needed and I get the consolation that I think I should hear one of these days. Here, I’ll share it with you,”
“I know you’ve lost someone and it hurts. You may have lost them suddenly, unexpectedly. Or perhaps you began losing pieces of them until one day, there was nothing left. You may have known them all your life or you may have barely known them at all. Either way, it is irrelevant—you cannot control the depth of a wound another inflicts upon you.
Which is why I am not here to tell you tomorrow will be a new day. That the sun will go on shining. Or there are plenty of fish in the sea. What I will tell you is this; it’s okay to be hurting as much as you are. What you are feeling is not only completely valid but necessary—because it makes you so much more human. And though I can’t promise it will get better any time soon, I can tell you that it will—eventually. For now, all you can do is take your time. Take all the time you need.
He then folds the page in his hand into a boat shaped origami; he gets up to step closer to the ocean and place the paper boat in the water. “It will just drag ashore and won’t show dramatic effect like floating to the other part of the world,“ he mumbles to himself and giggles, imagining Seulri would mock him for his stupid deed if she’s still here. “It’s symbolic Seul, I want you to know that I’ll continue to live my life as it should, and I will take my time, not to forget you—because we both know it’s impossible to forget an amazing person such as yourself—but to learn to live with this regret I’ll always have in my heart. I’ll take this lesson to be a better person Seul, that’s the only thing that I can promise you for now.”
He watches the paper boat being drag along with the rolling wave and he smiles to the thought of what Seulri would say, “I told you it’s stupid to launch a paper boat on the shore.”
Kyuhyun looks up to the sky to hold his tears that seems to keep on flowing, “I’ll take my leave now Seul, I’ll come around every now and then for you,” he pauses, “We’ll talk more later and I’ll bring ice cream the next time.”
He kneels on the sand, takes a handful in his palm and squeezes the sand in his hand three times before he spread it back to the ocean.