Junho was shaking, covered in blood with a fainted Yujin in his arms.
Everything had happened so fast.
So fast that he still struggled to breathe.
He could still hear the screams coming from the main hall, screams that were slowly dying just like their owners.
They have been hanging out as always, spending some time in a PC cafe when hell broke loose.
Three monsters fell down the stairs where the cafe was and proceeded to eating the first persons that fell under their grip.
Most of the people had tried to climb up the stairs only to be pinned down by other in coming monsters.
Junho screamed to Yujin to follow him to the storage room at the back of the store but found her knocked out on the ground because of a fleeing group of older men that had pushed her so hard that her head had hit a corner of a nearby desk.
Junho saw a monster, or whatever it was come closer to her,grabbing her legs, ready to bite them.
The young boy, mostly out of reflex but also fear of losing her, grabbed the nearest keyboard and used it to bash the creature's head in.
Everything in his head had been white, he didn't even remember how he had dragged her to the storage room but he had, and now he didn't know what to do.
Junho closed his eyes in the dimly lit room and prayed that she would be ok, that she would wake up without any problem.
Junho stared at the blood covering him and remembered the news, a disease.
A new disease that made patients violent,but to which extent?
What if he was contaminated? What if he turned into a monster too? What if he hurted her?
The young boy laid her on a pile of rice bags, the most comfortable spot there was in the small room and proceeded to looking for some way of tying himself up.
"Shit…" growled Junho,digging into the boxes.
At least there was a lot of food, Yujin would not starve even if he died.
He heard her moan, she was waking up.
"Junho…?" said a small voice. "What happened…? Where are we?" asked Yujin, standing up and walking up to him.
"Stop! Stay where you are!" shouted Junho.
The young girl froze.
"Do you remember the monsters?" reminded the boy to his confused friend.
Yujin thought for a bit before nodding.
"Yes.They were biting people and I...Uh...I got knocked out I think..."
"I have their blood on me, I'm not safe to be around."
"What are you saying? Don't be ridiculous, they are obviously zombies! In the movies you have to-"
"This is not a movie Yujin!" shouted the worried boy
"But you weren't bitten right?"
"...Do you remember our science classes on diseases and their transmissions?"
Yujin froze again, of course she didn't.
She never listened in class.
"By the air, through mucuses, orally, sexually and through bites or cuts." sighed Junho " Except for the two last options, I am possibly contaminated. I have been exposed."
Junho saw her face tense up.
That was maybe the most worried about him he had ever seen her.
"...I have to tie myself up just in case I turn. I have to in order not to harm you." started the boy."We...We also have to find a weapon a weapon for you if I-"
Junho tried his best not to think of the worst, of the pain that would probably come if he transformed into one of them.
He tried to forget their empty and glassy eyes, their ripped flesh and all the blood.
He had to stay calm for her.
Yujin stepped closer to him and he stepped back until his back hit the wall.
Yujin touched the blood on his shirt and spread it onto her cheek.
What had she done?
"There. If you die, I die."
"...IDIOT" shouted Junho,pushing her away and looking for some alcohol in the boxes.
He could feel his heart racing.
His hands were shaking more and more as he realized that there was no alcohol or emergency kit to be found.
"Fuck!" shouted Junho before leaning his head against the shelves' cold metal.
Junho felt her arms wrap around his waist and her head against his back.
She was shaking.
"...Why?" asked Junho with a weak voice, he wanted to cry. "Why would you do that idiot?"
Junho felt her grip him tighter.
"...Because you are my best friend and I can't imagine a world without you Junho. If you jump, I jump. We promised each other remember? That nothing would drive us apart." whispered Yujin, trying her best not to listen to all the screams surrounding them. "We'll survive this or end with this together."
He could feel her tears drench his shirt.
Junho slowly caressed her fingers.
"...So don't ever say something about leaving me first ok? I hate it...I hate it so much." sobbed Yujin.
"Alright...Don't cry…" pleaded Junho, turning back and rubbing the possibly deadly blood off of her skin.
Yujin buried her face in his neck.
"....What do we do now…?"
That was a good question.
In movies the heroes would arm themselves and leave with an epic music in the background.
But they weren't heroes and their life wasn't a movie.
Yujin was fast but not fast enough to get out safely out of that place and he wasn't that good at sports.
They would be more than three out there now.
How he regretted not having trained more with Yohan.
"We have to wait."
Speaking of Yohan...
What about their friends and family?
Did they take cover? Were they safe?
A ball of anxiety formed in his stomach.
Would he ever see everyone alive again?
What about school? He hadn't even gone to high school...
"Wait until the screams die down at least."
"Then we'll call for help."
Seongwu couldn't let go of Minhyun, mainly because he loved him but also because he looked like he was about to crumble down.
Minhyun had been a ghost of himself,trying his best to get used to his new life without a mask.
He did not cry, he did not complain, he would just do everything slightly out of the ordinary.
The boy who was always perfectionist to an almost OCD level would now forget to wash a glass or two, would leave a wet towel on a chair and would sometimes wake up even late in the mornings.
Seongwu did not mind these small changes, it reassured him. It proved to him that he was giving up his perfect image, that he was getting better.
"Do you want to go out?" asked Seongwu, kissing the naked skin of his lover's back.
"I don't know..The government said that we should stay inside for a while…"
"They always say that and nothing ever happens.."
"Where do you want to go?" asked Seongwu, massaging his tensed neck.
"I'm not sure...Everywhere is fine with you." lightly smiled Minhyun.
Seongwu could not help but feel bad towards Minhyun sometimes.
What would have happened to him if they had never met?
Minhyun had told him that he had never doubted his sexuality before meeting him, would he have led a happier life with Mina if he had stayed out of his sight?
Minhyun eyed his lover and stole his lips.
"..Stop thinking that it's your fault that I am the way I am right now. I feel bad because of me not because of you or us."
"I said nothing."
"Yes that's why. You are silent only when you feel guilty for something."
"...True. Do you know that I hate the way you are able to read my mind?"
"I do." smiled Minhyun, poking the constellations on his cheek.
"So...Where are we going?"
"The nearest park. I want to walk and breathe some fresh air with you."
"Alright let's go then."
The both of them quickly put some clothes on and headed out of Seongwu's apartment.
The sun was high and the cherry blossom had finally bloomed.
Minhyun breathed in the sweet floral scent that was in the air and exhaled.
Seongwu took his hand in his, this moment felt so unreal, he had hoped to be with him like this for the longest time and was scared that it would end too soon.
That their joy would last for as long as the pink flowers floated around them.
That life would be cruel and force them apart.
That it was just one of his many dreams about them being together.
"Beautiful." smiled his boyfriend.
"What?" asked Seongwu with the biggest smile on his lips.
"You. You are beautiful Seongwu." lovingly smiled Minhyun before kissing his fingers."More than all the cherry blossoms this earth has ever seen."
"I may not be a perfect lover for now but...I'll get better, I promise."
Minhyun hugged him and buried his face in his neck.
"...I love you Seongwu. I am sorry that I dragged you into all the mess at school."
"I don't care about what others say. We are who we are and the fact that we love each other changes nothing." sincerely said Seongwu. " We are still ourselves and I'm happy."
"Because I can call you my Minhyun from now on." eyesmiled Seongwu. "It's the best thing that ever happened to me."
"Me too….My Seongwu…" smiled Minhyun.
Minhyun took his face into his hands and kissed him. Seongwu closed his eyes and brought him closer to him, ignoring the venomous whispers of the people walking by them.
The whole world could go to hell, he would be fine as long as he was in his arms.
The whole universe could curse them he wouldn't care.
"You know….I like to compare my life to a song, I may write the lyrics and rhymes but you are the melody. My song can't go on without you." smiled Seongwu as tears started filling Minhyun's eyes. " My song began with you and will end with you."
"...It's not fair...You always say such pretty words…"lightly laughed the boy, wiping his tears away.
"I can say these because it is you that is there to listen to them... You are my muse Hwang Minhyun."
"There will be hardships coming for us, we'll also probably hurt one another at some point but...There are high and lows in a song too right?" started Seongwu. "Let's just hang on to this, let's get over every issues together ok?"
"Ok…"smiled Minhyun as his lover wiped away the last diamonds falling from his eyes.
"Believe in us, believe in me."
" I do."
"Good." eyesmiled Seongwu before resuming their walk.
The roads were getting busier, louder as they walked farther away from Seongwu's flat.
A group of people was ahead of them, phone in hands, recording something too far away for the young man to see.
Their voices were muffled by the sound of racing cars and ambulances passing by.
Everything was too loud.
"Look! This one is way redder!" said Minhyun, pointing a tree near them.
Seongwu eyed the petals,watched the color drip from them and stared at the scarlet red floor and prints going away from it.
"...I don't think it's just flowers Minhyun." admitted Seongwu.
"...Wait is that blood?" finally noticed his lover.
"...Stay here ok?"
Seongwu felt that something really bad was going on as he stepped closer to the group and finally heard their words.
"Oh god the car really did not miss him…"
"..Shouldn't we help the man?"
"Have you seen his eyes? What if he has the new disease they were talking?"
Seongwu heard crackling sounds and a visceral noise soon covered by the people's screams.
"What the fuck?! That's so gross!!"
"Did someone call an ambulance?"
"Wait wait wait he is moving again!!"
Seongwu threw a glance at a worried Minhyun behind him, signaling him not to come closer.
"No!!" screamed a woman
"Oh my god!! Someone help her!!!" cried another voice.
A few people stepped back and that's when Seongwu saw the most horrible scene of his life just after one of the most beautiful.
A man whose rib cage had been partially pulverized was on top of a screaming woman who struggled to push him away.
Seongwu froze as the man, or what was left of him, bit into the woman's carotid.
Blood was now drowning the sideways.
Everything felt weirdly slow to Seongwu, almost as if he was floating in a dream that had turned sour way too quickly.
How could their romantic walk possibly end this way if this was real?
This had to be an illusion.
"Seongwu!" called a scared Minhyun.
He had to keep him safe even if this was not real.
Seongwu snapped out of his trance and dashed to his lover just as the unidentified creature started standing up again.
"Run!" screamed Seongwu as he grabbed Minhyun's hand and ran.
Seongwu looked back and saw other things like the man come out of the park's high grasses.
"What was that?!" asked a confused Minhyun
"I..I don't know."
"Where should we go?! The road to your home is blocked!!" shouted Minhyun after seeing the police trucks aligned so that no one would pass by them.
"Fuck I...Isn't Mina's house nearby?"
"It is but-"
Minhyun nodded as they slipped between stuck cars.
The screams kept on growing louder, the klaxons almost breaking their ears.
Minhyun led Seongwu to Mina's apartment who was slightly off the main roads.
The two of them climbed the stairs and knocked on her door.
Seongwu pressed the doorbell once more.
"It's us! Open please-"
"Who are y-" started a masculine voice.
Minhyun froze as his eyes met the one of Myungsoo, obviously awaken from a nap.
"..What the hell are you doing here Minhyun?" asked a grumpy Myungsoo.
"Don't you know what's going on outside..?" asked a worried Seongwu, constantly looking over his shoulder.
"Let us in! We'll explain later!" said Seongwu barging in.
"Wait-" called out Myungsoo, falling back against the nearest wall.
Seongwu closed the door after Minhyun,locked it and finally exhaled.
They were safe.
"...Where's Mina?" asked Minhyun.
"She went to the convenience store I think..Why..?" sighed Myungsoo.
Seongwu and his lover exchanged a look, this was bad.
This was really bad.
"When did she leave?"
"I don't know...She woke me up fifteen minutes ago I think- Wait you still haven't told me what's going on!"
Minhyun walked over to the curtains and opened them for Myungsoo to see the people running in the streets, followed by the same things from the park.
Seongwu could first read confusion in his eyes, then panic, then fear.
The boy had never seen him so scared, he who always was so calm.
"...Mina." gasped the school president.
"Call her phone, we have to find her." said Seongwu. "Not just her, everyone."
Woohyun woke up in a foreign place, feeling a weight on his chest.
A weight that happened to be a sleeping Kami.
Woohyun sighed and let his head fall back on the cushion.
A beautiful mistake.
Woohyun didn't regret their night, he had loved every second of it.
Her voice screaming his name, her moans, her fingers on his body, the way she would bite his lips...He had liked all of it but couldn't help but think about what was to come next.
Awkwardness, lack of comfort and silence.
Woohyun liked flings of a single night, he liked the fact that he could enjoy himself without ever tying himself with someone else ,but hated the discussions that came after them.
Woohyun ran his fingers on her naked skin, starting from her cheek,down her white neck to her breasts.
A scar, a small one.
Woohyun continued his way down her body, reaching her waist where another small circular and similar scar awaited him.
Woohyun's fingers reached her thighs, covered in multiple scars, this time a mix of circles and lines.
Woohyun immediately knew what these were, awful traces left by cigarettes and shaving blades.
The boy wondered what had led her to cut herself, was it the person who had burnt her skin?Or was it because of something else?
"Hmm…" moaned Kami as she slowly woke up.
Woohyun eyed her half-opened blue eyes, oceans where he had drowned himself the night before.
"...Good morning." said Woohyun, gripping her waist and bringing her closer to him.
"Hi….What time is it…?" asked the young woman, burying her face against his chest.
"Hmm...I'm not sure...But we don't have class today."
A little smile appeared on his lips.
"You're comfortable. I like your chest."
"Thanks…?" laughed the young man, fingers tracing her scars.
"...So you saw them." said Kami after freezing for a few seconds.
Woohyun lost his smile.
"...Are you going to ask me why I have them?"
"No. Not unless you want to talk about it."
A smile finally graced her face.
A beautiful, relieved smile.
"I like this about you." stated Kami
"The fact that even if you are curious, you don't bother others."
"How do you know that I am curious?"
"It's written all over your face~" laughed Kami, sitting up and stretching.
"You're leaving?" asked Woohyun, slightly disappointed.
"...Leaving?" started Kami,amused. "...This is my apartment."
"..Oh?....oh." said Woohyun before laughing."Sorry."
"If you are sorry…"
Kami straddled him and kissed him.
"Cook for me."
"It's your fee for staying here last night."
Woohyun grabbed her waist and slowly massaged it. He liked this.
No adult to worry about, no school,just a peaceful and sunny morning with a beautiful girl.
It was just as if it had never rained.
Life was great again.
"I didn't know that I had to pay… I thought that you were satisfied enough with last night's….events." smirked the young man
"Hmmm maybe I was? Or maybe I wasn't."
"Liar." replied Woohyun,kissing her nose and lips."What do you want to eat?"
"Anything. I'm starving~"
Woohyun stood up and started looking for his clothes, feeling the piercing gaze of the young woman on his back (and bottom).
"What~?" asked Woohyun looking back at the girl who was staring at him while resting her head on her hands.
"We should have left the lights on, I like what I am seeing." said Kami, eyeing his body.
Woohyun blushed and covered himself with his pants.
There was something about her azur eyes that made him feel naked (well, even more naked than he already was).
"I didn't know that you were a pervert miss…"
"And I didn't know that you were so shy mister Nam."
"Let's do this again another time."
There it was, the moment he hated.
What if she asked him to date her like the other girls had?
"A mistake. Let's make another one later." smiled Kami.
"...I don't date."
The young woman arched an eyebrow.
" Me too. But we can enjoy each other's company sometimes right?"
A weight came off his chest.
She was indeed different.
"Perfect." stated Kami before wrapping herself in her white sheets. " Now go cook~"
"Yes~" laughed a now half-clothed Woohyun. "Can you turn the TV on? I missed a soccer match yesterday because of you and I want to see the results~"
"Gnagnagna because of me gnagnagna you didn't stop either." said Kami, standing up and walking to her couch like a penguin before turning the TV on.
Woohyun almost laughed, she was just too cute with her messy hair and pouting face.
"Uh? What's that?" said Kami, frowning.
"Come and look."
Woohyun sat next to her and raised the TV's volume.
<<New disease spreading in the south, citizens are advised to stay at home until further notice.>>
"Again? I just feel like they announce new diseases every weeks at this point?" sighed Woohyun, resting his head on her lap.
<<Contaminated people are described as violent and drooling, please call 119 if you ever come across a possible patient and don't engage with them.>>
"Violent…? Well, should we call the police on all the school bullies then?" laughed Kami.
"And on you- My body is still hurting-" whined Woohyun before she pinched him.
<<The new disease is said to have probably mutated from the unidentified disease that spread in China a few months ago.>>
"Do you think they'll cancel school?" asked Kami
"I hope they do, that would be great." replied Woohyun,playing with her hair.
"We could hang out together, have fun." smiled Woohyun "More than we already are."
"Have fun in the bed you mean."
"Yes." smirked Woohyun
Kami kissed him.
"Who's the pervert now uh?"
"Both of us." eyesmiled the boy.
Woohyun stood up and stretched once again.
Mina was sitting by her window, eyeing the heavy night rain. She had been sitting there in the dark for a long time,lost in her thoughts in her empty apartment.
Junho wasn't there playing his games, Minhyun was not there to be with her(probably forever) and Minju's laugh did not fill her place anymore.
They were all gone and it would probably be this way from then on.
Mina didn't mind spending time alone but this was different, it was a turning point in their lives, the moment when promises tended to break.
A moment when "always" crumbled down to pieces. A moment when interests shifted.
A moment when bonds weakened.
A light music escaped her pocket.
Mina took her phone out of it and unlocked it, blinded by the screen's light.
Her mother at that time of the night?
"...Hello mom." said Mina as she received the call.
"How are you?" asked the woman,more out of habit than worry.
She felt awful and was at an ultimate low.
She wanted to speak to her and tell her that she felt worthless and just wanted to disappear.
She wanted her to know that she was sick of living, that waking up every day was just too hard.
She was broken and unsure that she would ever be fine again one day.
Her mother didn't reply for an instant, maybe she had noticed that she was lying.
Maybe Mina wanted her to notice since she never was able to tell her how she felt.
Maybe she was wondering why she was up that late and would ask her what's wrong.
"I see. How's Junho?"
"He's fine too."
"Good. How are his grades? Does he have a lot of friends?"
"Everything is alright."
"Is he happy these days?"
"He is I think."
Mina was used to this.
Mina was used to listening to her mother going on and on about her little brother.
She knew what she meant to her mother, she was a constant reminder of a failed marriage and bitter love while Junho had been a new beginning to her.
Her mother wasn't mean to her or never blamed her but she was always detached emotionally and would always try to compensate with it materially.
Mina did not hate her but couldn't help but be hurt even after all these years.
"Do you need anything?"
The same old question used instead of others.
A question about her health, her friends, her life or even her dating life for example.
It was always the same.
"....When will you be back mom?"
"...I'm not sure. Why?"
How could she ask her that? Wasn't it obvious?
"Because we haven't seen your face in almost three months?" replied a now slightly annoyed Mina.
"Sorry, I can't come for now, I have a lot of meetings planned ahead-"
"...Are you even really sorry?" asked Mina with her eyes now tearing up.
She was tired of always running after others, she was tired of caring too much when others didn't.
It had almost been a decade since she had begun living like this.
It all started with short days without her at the age of ten, short days that turned into weeks over the years and months as soon as she turned fifteen.
She had to learn everything by herself, she had to reach every life's milestones on her own.
"...You know, it was my birthday not so long ago." whispered Mina into her phone. " My eighteenth birthday."
Mina wondered what kind of face she was making, was she sad? Angry at herself for forgetting? Was she bothered?
Did she care at all?
"Sorry..I….I was too busy."
"I know. You always are." almost laughed Mina, bitter "..But is it really that hard to get a call?"
"Mina…It won't happen again sorry."
"You also forgot last year and the year before that."
Her silence was painful, maybe more than excuses that would show that she at least cared about hurting her or not.
There was nothing.
"You are all grown-up now...I didn't think it mattered as much as before."
"...Or maybe you just regret having me so much that you just prefer forgetting about me." sobbed the young and lonely girl. "Maybe I should just not exist, maybe that would be better for everyone and especially you."
"..Don't say that."
"...Do you even care? Do you even love me mom..?" asked a crying Mina.
There was always a "but".
It never was a clear answer.
"...But you can't expect me to be like other mothers, you know what I went through-"
She knew it too well, she had seen it all unfold.
She had witnessed her mother's change of attitude towards her, she had seen her focus totally on baby Junho, often leaving her crying alone.
She remembered all those times she was scared at night, she remembered knocking on her door and remembered it never opening.
She had buried her dark feelings deep inside of her so that her mother would smile again, she had fed her selfishness for years.
"And me? Does it not matter to you that I have to bear everything on my own because of you? That I am the one paying for your mistakes?!"
"I'm not!!! Do you know...Do you know what it feels like to grow up alone? On your own? Do you know how many times I wanted you to be here to help me?"
"I started leaving you because you were old enough and able to take care of yourself."
"...Was I old enough at fourteen? thirteen? twelve? Even ten years old? Was I old enough to raise Junho and partially Minju on my own??"
"You could already cook and-"
"And emotionally? Have you ever thought about how this affected me?" said a shaking Mina. " I had no childhood, no one to lean on."
Silence once again.
An horrible one at that too.
"Darling it's late...Let's talk again later alright?"
She was avoiding the topic once more.
She always did.
"...You shouldn't have given birth to me if it was to abandon me. Maybe I am better of dead."
Mina hung up the phone and sighed, wiping her tears away before receiving a message.
<<....I'm sorry. I will come by as soon as I can but not before the end of April.
Late Happy birthday.>>
Mina did not reply and started scrolling through her quite empty contact folder.
She needed someone,anyone.
Junho was out, Minju on a date and she didn't know Yunseong,Wooseok, Woohyun and Yujin enough to call them.
Minhyun….Minhyun was probably with Seongwu and Kami hadn't been responding to her messages for the past few hours.
Mina eyed Myungsoo's contact info for an instant before dialing his phone number.
A ring, two rings…
She wanted him to pick up more than ever.
"Hi?" answered the drowsy voice of her old best friend.
Things had become awkward between them after learning that he loved her.
She did not hate the idea but just couldn't understand why it was her out of all the other girls that he had chosen.
She was a mess, a broken thing that kept on slipping deeper and deeper into her abyss-like depression.Her world was colorless, an ocean of gray devoid of light. There was no sun and stars in her universe, only chaos.
She was sinking into dark waters, unable to breathe or scream, she was slowly dying.
"...Did I woke you up? S..Sorry I'll hang up." replied Mina.
"Wait! What's wrong?" asked Myungsoo worried.
He had heard her.
What if he was annoyed? What if he in fact hated hearing her voice?
"....I needed to talk to someone. I….Everybody's busy and I had only you left. I'm sorry for bothering you."
"You aren't bothering me, I'm fine. You can always call me."
"..You aren't annoyed…?"
"Hmmm…..I'm not, just disappointed maybe?"
"You called me because the others weren't available, I wasn't your first choice." explained Myungsoo.
"It's fine, I would just like to be someone you can rely on when in need."
Mina liked hearing him, his voice soothed her.
"I want to rely on you but...I don't want to hurt you in the process."
"How could you hurt me?"
"...I'm not sure, but I end up bringing misery around me it seems and I don't want you to be sad…."
"No you don't…And you bring me so much joy."
Mina nervously started picking at her clear nail polish.
This was a good question.
Was it her mother? Her past relationship? Her lack of love or her hate for herself?
Everything was wrong.
"...I guess that living is especially hard today."
"My mother called me and we argued."
Myungsoo knew her relation with her and how lonely Mina had been because of that woman growing up.
"I just….I just feel like a mistake." admitted Mina.
"You aren't one...You...You are so precious and it hurts me to even think that you hate yourself…"
"Then why…? Why am I always the one left behind Myungsoo? Am I doing something wrong..?"
"No you are not…"
"...Wait an instant ok?"
Mina heard some noises at the other end of the line.
"What are you doing…?" asked Mina
"Do you remember when we were kids how I would sing for you every time you were sad?" sweetly asked Myungsoo
"Of course…" smiled Mina, leaning her head back against the wall. " I loved listening to you sing."
Those were better times.
She heard him accord a guitar.
"Then lay down comfortably and listen ok?"
Mina laid down on the floor, eyeing the rain drops racing each others on her large living room's windows.
The young girl brought her phone closer to her ears as he played a few light notes.
Notes that turned into chords and a beautiful dreamy melody.
"The shadows grazing the walls without knowing that the sun was up.
The dreaming child thought stars never shined when the moon is gone and cried.
Someone told me, "Those little sorrows are precious."
That's you.." slowly started Myungsoo as Mina started relaxing, she had always loved his voice.
"I know once you told me
"The you that is still trapped at a young age is more beautiful."
I know what you told me,
"Just the way I am now,
I am a piece of this world"."
Were these words true? Was she a part of this world? Did she deserve to breathe too?
"The dream keeps going on...
I dream." almost whispered Myungsoo.
Mina clutched the phone against her chest, as if to carve the lyrics into her heart.
"Even though the moon is gone now, my song won't stop,
it fills a white night.
There is a song that I have to sing,
To sing it out."
The pace was slowly getting faster and she could feel his heart pour out through his voice.
"Someone told me, "Those small reasons are what made you"
I know once you told me
"The you that is still trapped at a young age is more beautiful."
I know what you told me
Just the way I am now
I am me and, oh
I am beautiful.
I know what you told me
Just the way I am now
In this world..I…"
She heard him slow down.
"...I am already someone's star" confessed Myungsoo.
The last chords lingered on her mind for the next few seconds as she remained speechless.
It had been so beautiful that it felt almost unreal.
"..You are worth all the love that you want Mina. Never blame yourself for wanting to be cherished by someone." whispered Myungsoo.
"...Myungsoo." finally said Mina, silently crying.
How was he able to tell her all the right words when others couldn't ?
"...I want to see you. I want to be with you..." admitted Mina, hugging her phone, swallowing her tears.
"...me too." simply said Myungsoo before hanging up.
Mina stared at the screen for a long time, wondering if he would call her back, if he would send her a message or something…
Did she cross a line she shouldn't have with her last words? Was it cruel of her to say this to him when she was still unsure about her feelings?
Saying that she did not have any feelings for him was a lie.
She had always had feelings for him even if she had buried them deep inside of her.
Minhyun may have been her official first love, her first boyfriend, but Myungsoo had been the first boy she had ever loved.
The boy that had first made her think about love,the boy that had first wandered her dreams.
The boy that had been the first to broke her heart when he left.
No one ever forgets their first love, it was also the case for her.
Mina traced his name on the glass covered with condensation.
The time he came to her house and stayed by her until morning, the time he came to her help at school,the time when he confessed, this phone call and the song….
Four times, four times her heart skipped a beat for him, four times when she almost fell for him again.
And finally the doorbell.
Mina stood up, wiping her tears.
It had to be Minju coming back to give her the dress.
Mina deeply breathed in and opened the door.
A coatless, dripping wet Myungsoo from head to toes stood tall before her.
"H..Hey…Sorry...I am a mess." said the unexpected guest, out of breath and running a hand into his wet hair.
"You shouldn't open your door so easily at night young lady…" laughed Myungsoo. "What if I was a scary man?"
Mina rushed to him and hugged him.
Myungsoo hugged her back,burying his face into her neck.
"...What are you doing here?" asked a sobbing Mina.
"You said that you wanted to see me…"whispered Myungsoo in her ear." I couldn't let you cry alone.."
"I'm fine." replied Myungsoo before rubbing her tears off of her cheek with his hand.
She loved his touch, there was something so natural about it, something that relieved her of all of her stress.
Something that she had missed.
"You said that you could not come like this anymore…"
"Hmmmmm..." smiled Myungsoo
Mina wondered what was hiding behind this smile of his.
"Why? Why did you change your mind?"
"Because I love you." declared Myungsoo with all the honesty existing in their small and young world.
"Because every second is precious, because I don't want to leave you alone just because of my unrequited feelings. Because stars can be loved without ever being reached." smiled Myungsoo, referring to the lyrics before taking her hand in his. "Because no matter the pain, I am always happy to be with you."
Mina brought his fingers to her lips and kissed them under his sparkling eyes.
"....Can I believe in you?" asked Mina
She wanted him to say yes. She wanted him to promise that he would not abandon her.
"You can." replied Myungsoo, still smiling. " You can with all of your soul, I promise."
"...Will you hurt me Kim Myungsoo? Will you break my heart?" asked the girl with a sad smile on her lips.
"You know what I think about always and never…"
"I'll prove you wrong then. I'll prove you that both never and always exist in this world." whispered Myungsoo, pulling her closer to him. " I will always love you and never hurt you."
"This sounds like a fairytale to me…"
"You always were one to me from the very beginning, always so ethereal in everything you did." declared Myungsoo. "You always were my dream."
Mina felt tears appear once more in her eyes.
"...Who taught you to say such pretty words?" asked the girl
"You did." smiled Myungsoo. "You inspire me to be so much better. You really do."
Myungsoo blushed and bit down on his lip before hiding his face with his hand.
Why was he so lovely?
"Gosh...I really really do love you." confessed the boys with tears of joy in his eyes."So much that I sometimes feel like my heart is about to burst…"
Ten times were enough.
Her world was less gray.
Red from his cheeks, Yellow from the corridor's light, Blue from his blue-black hair…
He was like ink dropped into water, he was spreading warmth into her heart and colors into her universe.
"...Myungsoo...I am selfish, maybe I am like my mother in this way." started Mina. " I can't tell you that I love you back right now…"
Mina caressed his cheek.
She did not want to ever see him sad.
She wanted him to always stay blinding.
She kissed him.
A shy kiss that was soon embraced by Myungsoo who pulled her against himself even more.
This was different.
This was different from the kisses she had known before.
This felt right.
He felt right.
"...But I can do this." said Mina stepping back " I can promise you that I will one day."
"How can you be so sure…?"
"Because you moved my heart. Because I am beginning to fall for you Kim Myungsoo."
Kami was walking the dark streets for no particular reason, ignoring her mother's words, that had warned her over the phone that it was dangerous for a young girl to be alone outside at that time of night.
It was raining and she had forgotten her umbrella, a simple mistake that didn't bother her like many things in life.
Kami liked taking risks, she liked the rush of adrenaline that came with it.
And what if she got attacked? Well she did not really care and she knew how to protect herself anyway.
She didn't expect a lot out of life and only sought a straight and regular path.
She did not expect fortune, fame or even a burning love story.
To be truthful, she almost did not believe in love at all.
"Kami?" called a familiar voice behind her.
Kami slowed down,looked back and caught sight of Woohyun, their school's vice president leaning against a wall, cigarette in mouth.
His overall look was quite different from what she had imagined he would wear outside of school.
The black leather jacket slightly too big for his frame suited him.
"Woohyun." replied Kami.
Kami hadn't thought a lot about the boy, they both were on the student council and saw each other at least every thursday and friday afternoons for school related work, never exchanging more than a few words.
Woohyun was handsome, not the same kind of handsome as Myungsoo, Minhyun or Seongwu.
He was the kind of handsome that wasn't a burden, the kind of handsome she could appreciate as the normal person she wanted to be.
"It's late, what are you doing here?" asked Woohyun.
"Taking a stroll."
"Under the rain?"
Woohyun eyed her and let a big smoke cloud out of his parted lips.
"Do you want one?" asked Woohyun, handing her a cigarette.
A reminder of her old life abroad, a wild and awful life she wanted to forget.
Decadence, alcohol and smoking.
Violence, regrets and bullying.
Love, broken hearts and ruined dreams.
She still liked the risk though and that was partially why she chose to live normally, to appreciate these small sins that reminded her of the other person she had once been.
"...Why not." replied the girl, taking it between her lips. "Do you have a lighter?"
"Nop, borrowed it from a guy."
Kami came closer and tip toed until the tip of his cigarette touched hers, staying like this until the fire caught on.
It was her first time seeing him up this close.
"Not your first one I guess." said Woohyun, running a hand through his dripping wet hair.
"Bingo." simply replied Kami, leaning against the wall by his side.
Kami coughed a bit, she was not used to the bitter and terrible taste anymore.
"I didn't think you were the smoking type, you were more of a goody two-shoes in my eyes."
"I am. Or at least I try to be." said Kami. " And I can say the same of you, that's not very vice-president like of you to be smoking."
Woohyun raised his shoulders, he didn't care.
" So...You like being a good girl at school?"
"...I like the idea of being normal. It's quite refreshing."
"Because everyone wants to be different or special and it is too tiring in my opinion." explained Kami, slowly getting used to the smoke again. " And being normal is not bad either."
"...But you like the rush sometimes right?"
Kami eyed Woohyun.
"The adrenaline every time you break laws."
Maybe he was more interesting than what she had originally thought.
There was a wildness in his eyes behind the gentle smiles and soothing voice.
It was something she could not share with Mina even if she liked her a lot.
"How do you know that?"
Woohyun smiled and showed her the cigarette.
"I'm doing the same."
"....Because only living normally brings value to these small illegal actions." finished Kami.
Woohyun eyed the dark and pouring sky.
"Mistakes exist to be made and you learn from them. I'm just creating mistakes on purpose." explained the boy.
"So are you."
Kami stared at her school mate, chaos suited him.
He looked better wet and with messy hair than with his usual appearance.
She found almost hypnotizing the way rain droplets rolled down his sharp nose before falling almost too dramatically to the ground.
Kami saw his eyes stare at her now transparent t-shirt that unshamely shaped out her bra and its color. Traveling from her neck to her collarbones to her breast.
She was not shy or self-conscious, she was who she was and didn't care about others' opinion apart from her close friends'.
Woohyun wasn't a friend or a stranger.
He was a passerby in a much too long life.
His gaze was not important.
"You'll catch a cold." said Woohyun, taking his leather jacket off of him and laying it on her shoulders.
"If you say so."
The jacket smelled of cologne, not the one for teenagers, the one for men.
She liked how it blended with the smoke.
Kami liked a lot of things about him that night.
From his looks ,to his voice and even to his smell.
She liked him maybe enough to act carelessly.
"Give it back to me later." said the man.
A strange mood.
Maybe because she had been good for too long, maybe because her friends were too innocent as they enjoyed life, maybe because they all sought love in a loveless world.
Or maybe because of the depressing weather.
She wanted to step off the right path.
"Are you free tonight?"
Woohyun looked back as he was about to leave.
The silence was heavy, only interrupted by the sound of the rain.
Kami crushed her cigarette on the ground.
"...I live alone nearby." stated almost robotically Kami ,not really thinking.
The boy eyed her with those gorgeous eyes of his.
"And we are both soaking wet."
Kami stared at him, he was beautiful.
"...Do you want to make another mistake?"
This was a mistake, a full-blown one.
She barely knew him and he barely knew her.
There was no feelings involved.
It was a decision made on the spot.
Woohyun walked over to her as she laid back against the wall.
This was not how things should be.
This was probably madness in others' eyes, this was immoral.
This was wrong but she was thrilled.
Drunk on the vice of it,drunk on the adrenaline.
A rush, a pure and physical rush with an empty beating heart.
Two lonely teenagers under the rain without nothing else to do or say.
A common thought and similar mind.
A kiss initiated by him and wandering hands on her waist and chest.
It was a mistake that she could not take back, a mistake that tasted like ash and smoke, a bitter tasting mistake that would not leave her mind for a while.
A mistake that she knew she would not regret.
A mistake that brought her euphoria.