• Family


    "Junho…." called out Yujin to a still annoyed Junho 

     

    Nothing but the growlings and distant screams.

    Her friend stayed quiet.

     

    "We are in a freaking apocalypse...Are you really going to be mad at me?"asked the girl, crossing her arms across her chest."What if I die? You'll regret it."

    "Yes. And I thought that you were ready to die?"

     

    Junho was stubborn, he always was.

    Yujin pouted.

     

    "Why are you angry?"

    "Because you are so dumb that my brain is hurting."

    "Oh? You have one?-" started Yujin before seeing that he wasn't in a mood to joke.

     

    Junho sighed again, running a hand in his hair.

    Yujin was feeling especially strange and uncomfortable in a way in that moment.

    Junho looked cool and she wasn't used to it.

    Junho was supposed to be the one relying on her and not the contrary.

    Junho was supposed to be shy with others and playful with her but he wasn't.

    He was serious and this new look looked good on him.

     

    "I do but not you. Have you even thought about what your parents would feel if you died?" 

    "...No."

    "Well...Who's the one without a brain then?"

     

    Her parents...She liked them, they had always been good to her,had always cared for her and she was thankful for everything they had ever provided for her.

    But she was alone apart from them, she had no siblings or cousins, no uncles or aunts and grandparents left alive. She was the sole recipient of her parent's overbearing and suffocating love.

    Yujin thought of herself as a low-maintenance  daughter, she liked simple things, she liked to be free.

    Her parents struggled to get her and her way of life, always seeking to change her into the ideal daughter they had hoped to have, a girl just like Minju.

    A rose without a thorn, a perfect doll they could leave in their "perfect" home.

    But Yujin wasn't like that at all, and only Junho understood her.

    Maybe it was why she had fallen for Minju ,because she was a perfect girl that finally illustrated the dream that her parents had always imposed onto her.

    She was the long-sought  image that had previously been a simple shadow in her mind.

    Maybe it had been the Yujin, always respectful and filial to her parents that had loved the pink-haired high schooler. 

    Not the real her.

    It made sense, she knew nothing about her after all and her heart didn't hurt her anymore.

    She was alright.

     

    "Are you ok?" asked Junho who had gotten closer without her even noticing.

     

    Yujin shook her head.

    Junho had been right, it had been nothing but a unrequited fling, a crush that had lasted less than a cherry blossom's petal's life.

    She had been a kid in love for a short time.

    Could she even call it love?

     

    "...You are right Junho, maybe I am an idiot indeed." admitted Yujin, wiping away a tear from her cheek.

    "Uh…? S..Sorry I was just joking…You aren't an idiot.." panicked Junho

     

    She had nothing, no one  to hang on, her parents were probably dead and Minju was away with someone that she loved.

    It was funny to think that for all this time she had gotten mad at Junho for not making new friends when he was surrounded by more people than her.

    She was lost and full of regrets.

    She should have told her parents that she loved them, she should have confessed to Minju, she should have opened herself to more people.

     

    "...I'm scared Junho."confessed Yujin, lightly tugging at his shirt. "I don't want to die…" cried the girl in a broken voice.

    "...I won't let you die." swore the once so little Junho, taking her hand in his.

    "Aren't you scared?"

    "I am. I am scared to death." confessed Junho " But it's normal.We need to be scared to survive."

    "I want to be stronger." whispered Yujin

     

    Junho lightly laughed and wiped her tears away.

     

    "You already are, do you remember all the bruises you gave me?"

    "I was not speaking of that kind of strength…"

     

    Junho intertwined their fingers.

     

    "...You don't have to."

    "Why?"

     

    Junho smiled, rubbing the back of her hand with his thumb.

     

    "Because no matter how tall we get and how we act…." started the boy "...We still are kids."

     

    Kids.

    They were two kids locked in a storage room waiting to be saved, hand in hand, shivering.

    Yujin finally noticed how much Junho's fingers were shaking.

    He was trying his best not to scare her.

     

    "But-"

     

    A roar, a visceral scream.

     

    "Hush…" smiled Junho slightly tensing up as someone, something started banging against the locked door. "Look at me and don't listen to them." asked Junho before covering her ears with his hands.

     

    The room was dark, only lighted by the rare moonlight rays coming from the small window at the top of the wall behind them.

    Junho gently leaned towards her, resting her forehead against hers.

    His hands were warm and so were his eyes filled with fear and worries.

    Yujin noticed how he was now towering over her with his height and large shoulders, how he was slowly losing his baby-like features.

    She wondered if he appeared different to her that night because they were maybe contaminated and slowly turning into one of them, because they were maybe going to die in there without ever being found, because it felt like there was only the two of them left alone in the world.

    Yujin slowly caressed the hands covering her ears and felt Junho shiver at the cold touch of her skin.

    Everything was silent and calm, she could have almost fallen asleep if not for the climbing and visible tension in his neck.

    She could tell from his reaction, even though not able to hear it, that the banging was growing louder with each hit.

    She could feel the powerful hits through the wall she was resting against.

     

    "Junho…"called out Yujin, as her friend nervously looked over his shoulder at the shaking door that would soon break open.

     

    If they were going to die, she wanted it to be while looking at his eyes.

     

    <<Yes..?>> managed to read the girl on his lips

     

    This was a sad end, not the one she had expected for the both of them.

    But she wasn't mad or annoyed by it.

    Because thanks to it she had realized that she hadn't been alone for a long time, that her friend had always been by her side when she had needed a shoulder to cry on, from the beginning until the end.

    He was her one and only  friend, he was her family.

    Yujin's eyes got teary once again, she was happy even though the fear was slowly eating at her stomach.

     

    "Thank you for being my friend." thanked Yujin.

     

    <<Can you hear me…?>> read the girl on his lips.

     

    Yujin didn't reply.

    Junho deeply breathed in.

     

    <<I love you.>>

     

    The door broke open.


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  •  

    Disappointment


    Minju had thought that it would be pleasant, that it would go smoothly and that she would love it.

    But she hadn't had fun and hadn't been able to go all the way either.

    They had stopped after a few kisses and foreplay.

    It was already too painful.

    She had been crying and didn't know what was wrong with her. She had cried even when Yohan had embraced her, even when he had whispered in her ear that they didn't need to continue if she wasn't at ease.

    He had been perfect and even then, she had pushed him away.

     

    "I'm sorry…" whispered Minju again, eyeing Yohan who was standing by the window, staring at the monsters.

     

    They had received the messages from Mina and Myungsoo, they had heard the awful cries outside of their room and had seen the news.

    Things had now died down and so had her tears.

    She was just hurting now, and so was he.

     

    "You don't have to apologize ok?" smiled Yohan, turning around before walking to her and kneeling before her.

     

    Minju couldn't meet his eyes and jumped back when their fingers touched.

    She was scared.

     

    "...Minju..?" asked a worried Yohan, biting down on his lip.

     

    She was scared of her body and the way it had reacted, she was scared that Yohan was and would be disappointed.

    What if it always was like this? What if she always ended up crying when he touched her?

    Was if it always this way? 

    She was scared.

    She was scared that she wouldn't be able to enjoy his caresses that she loved so much but that her body refused.

     

    "...I'm sorry." repeated once more Minju, in a quieter voice.

    "Don't-" started Yohan, reaching out to her but stopping before his hand cupped her cheek. "..Don't be."

     

    She hated herself, she hated seeing the guilt and sorrow in his eyes when he had done nothing wrong.

     

    "I'm sorry. We should have waited." sadly stated Yohan before standing again and leaving her side.

     

    She wanted him to stay and wanted to hug him but the words couldn't come out of her mouth.

    She was frozen.

     

    "Yohan…"

    "..It's ok...We have more important things to think about." sighed the boy she loved so much, rubbing his temples.

     

    Minju wrapped the sheets around her naked shoulders and wiped away a tear.

     

    "....Are you disappointed?" asked Minju

     

    She saw his face tense up.

    He was.

    She knew he was.

     

    "...I...I am."

     

    She didn't know what to say, her head was hurting.

     

    "I am disappointed by myself." admitted her boyfriend.

    "What? Why..?" 

    "...Nothing." 

     

    She hated this.

    She hated herself for being like this, hated him being sad and hated that already they weren't able to be open to one another.

     

    "Yohan…"

    "...You need to rest alright?" said Yohan before walking to the bathroom just as he had done a few hours ago. "We'll need to be strong for what is coming."

     

    She had seen him go in there when she had pushed him away and had seen how red his eyes had been when he had finally left it.

     

    "I don't! Please...Don't go, don't leave me." pleaded Minju,clenching the bed sheets.

     

    Yohan sat against the wall, far away from her.

    Too far for her liking.

     

    "Please...Please tell me?" begged the pink haired girl.

     

    She saw him hesitate, she saw him cover his face with his hands, she saw a tear roll down his cheek.

    He looked so vulnerable, just like when they were  just kids.

     

    "....I am disappointed by myself because I wanted to make you happy, I wanted your first time to be the best one possible...And I couldn't even do that."

    "It wasn't your fault…" silently cried Minju.

    "But it was. I was the one who brought you here."

    "And I agreed! I wanted to do it!" 

     

    A sad smile appeared on his lips.

     

    "...Even so...I am just worthless. I swore to you that I would make you happy forever and already...Already I am ruining things." 

    "Yohan…"

    "You don't know how much you mean to me...I've...I have always seen you and only you. I have always wanted nothing but for you to always be happy." confessed Yohan bringing his legs to his chest. " Even when we were younger and you would be interested in other boys. Even when I was angry that you didn't see me even though I always was by your side, even then." 

    "But I am happy enough already…" sighed Minju

    "You don't get it.." 

     

    Minju didn't know this side of him.

    The Yohan that lacked self-confidence.

     

    "If I can't make you happy...Why would you ever stay with me?" asked Yohan with a shaking voice. " I know that I am not good enough for you,that I don't deserve you... I have always known it but...But you love me and god...I am blessed." 

     

    The Yohan that didn't love himself.

    She had never seen that part of him before.

     

    "So….I have you now, I have you and this is a miracle to be loved back by you so...How? How could I ever dare offer you something that is not equal or greater than perfection?" asked a teary eyed Yohan with a sad smile on his lovely face.

    "Why would you think that I don't deserve you…?" asked a confused Minju

    "Because...Because you are the closest thing to an angel there is. You are so kind and generous, humble and caring for the others even when you are struggling yourself...So talented and so...so...Beautiful. You make this world stunning and bearable." said Yohan. " Even this...Even this Hell is a true paradise because you are with me."

     

    His breath was weak.

    She could tell that he hadn't lied, that every word had come from the deepest part of his heart.

    Minju didn't care if her body would shake or if she would cry again.

    The young woman ran to him and hugged him against her chest.

     

    "I love you." whispered Minju in his ear.

    "I'm sorry love….So sorry…"apologised Yohan before pulling her closer to him. " I'm a mess."

    "You are...But so am I." 

     

    Minju felt him bury his head in her neck.

     

    "Yohan…"

    "Yes?"

    "I don't need perfection and I don't want it." whispered Minju " I want it all, the good, the bad...I want to experience everything with you."

     

    Yohan slowly pulled away and looked at her.

     

    "Because we need to struggle through life to grow even closer to one another...And I know that we'll be alright at the end of it all." smiled the young girl

    "How?Why?"

    "Because we have always been together. Do you remember a time when we weren't?"

    "I don't…"

    "We are more used to being together than alone…I don't think we'll ever grow apart."

     

    Yohan finally smiled and caressed her cheek, she was not startled anymore.

     

    "See? You truly are my angel, you take all of my fears away." confessed Yohan before leaning in and kissing her.

     

    Minju held him tight against herself, scared that he would leave her again.

     

    "Then...I'm not leaving you….Ever. Even if you are tired of me." laughed Yohan

    "I'll never grow tired of you." promised Minju

    "I hope so."

     

    Yohan kissed her forehead 

     

    "Do you feel better?"

    "Yes…"

    "...We rushed things as always right?"

    "We did…" laughed Minju.

     

    Yohan pulled her closer to him.

     

    "Myungsoo told me that we should slow down because we still are kids...He was right again."

    "...Are you frustrated?"asked an embarrassed Minju

     

    Yohan coughed to clear his throat.

     

    "Yes but it doesn't matter, I'll wait for you to be ready." stated the young man, blushing

     

    He was lovely and she would never get over him.

     

    "Ah~My Yohan is red~" 

    "No I am not!" replied Yohan before hiding his face

     

    Minju smiled.

     

    "Look at me…"

    "Hmm?" asked the young man

    " You are more than good enough for me, I adore you." 


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  • Butterfly

    "Are you not afraid?" asked Wooseok to Yunseong who was staring at the monsters from the roof they had climbed up to.

    "I am. I am terrified." simply replied his friend eyeing the moving bodies.

     

    Wooseok crossed his arms, the night wind was colder than what he had expected. His fingertips were going numb and he was beginning to feel hungry.

     

    "Hmm..So...Where are Yohan and Minju..?"

    "There." said Yunseong pointing at a hotel in the horizon.

    "...An hotel?"

    "Yes."

    "Why?"

     

    Yunseong froze, looking at him before staring away.

     

    "...Oh." answered a now blushing Wooseok

    "Yeah."

    "..W...Well at least they are safe there…"

     

    Yunseong nodded, scratching his head.

     

    "Do you see these buildings?" asked Yunseong

    "Which ones…?

    "These."repeated the boy, vaguely pointing in a direction as he looked for weapons on the roof

    "Uh?"

     

    A small, barely noticeable smile appeared on his lips as he walked over to him.

    Almost back-hugging him as he took his hand in his to show him the buildings he had mentioned.

     

    "There." almost whispered Yunseong in his ear.

     

    There he was, troubling him with his voice and touch again.His heart was beating fast as he felt him rest his chin on his head.

     

    "Hmm?" asked the taller boy, confused, feeling his friend tense up.

     

    Wooseok eyed the towers and felt more than ridicule to be enjoying the moment in the middle of an apocalypse.

    An apocalypse they probably weren't going to survive.

     

    "I..I see…"

     

    Yunseong let go of him and stepped back, leaving Wooseok who was suddenly disappointed.

     

    "We'll jump to the next roof, the building should be connected to each one after that either by hallways or an underground."explained Yunseong.

     

    Wooseok froze again.

     

    "...We'll what?"

    "Jump."

    "Do you want us to die???"

     

    Yunseong climbed above the security bars and eyed the distance between them and the next building's roof.

     

    "It's alright, we'll make the jump." 

    "No we won't-"

    "We don't have any other choice.We can't just walk to go there,there are too many monsters. This is the only solution."

    'We could wait for the army to come." stated Wooseok, scared once again.

     

    Yunseong's grip on the railing grew tighter.

     

    "...I don't think they will anymore."

    "Why not?"

    "...Look down."

     

    Wooseok walked up to him and stared at the moving shapes. At first that's all they were shapes, moving and growling shadows at best.

    Then he saw their torned faces, their empty eyes and their outfits.

    Uniforms, quite a lot of them.

    Army uniforms.

     

    "...Fuck." whispered Wooseok, sick to his stomach.

     

    What were they to do if even the army had been so easily beaten?

     

    " You'll have to trust me for this one Wooseok." 

     

    The small man sighed and nodded.

    He could only rely on him after all.

     

    "I do."

    "I won't let you fall." said Yunseong before smoothly jumping over to the facing roof. "...No matter what."

    "..O...Ok…" replied a scared Wooseok, climbing above the security bars.

     

    Wooseok stared at the void (well not really a void but rather a long back alley filled with hungry cannibals) and felt dizzy.

    He would absolutely fall to his death, his legs were not as long as Yunseong's.

    This was a terrible idea.

     

    "Come on,I'll catch you." said Yunseong, opening his arms.

     

    Wooseok felt relieved.

    Especially because Yunseong was the kind of person who never let down people dear to him.

    But was he? Was he someone he valued?

    He hoped he was. 

     

    "A..Alright." replied Wooseok, deeply breathing in the cold air before finally jumping.

     

    The jump had been brief and his eyes had been closed when he felt warm protective arms around himself before the brutal landing on some concrete that was suspiciously softer than what he remembered.

     

    "Urg…" heard Wooseok who didn't dare open his eyes. 

     

    The floor was breathing.

    The floor was moving and moaning in pain.

     

    "...Am I dead?"

    "You are alive and heavy." laughed the familiar voice of Yunseong, who hugged him closer to him.

     

    Wooseok opened his eyes and fell face to face with Yunseong who was laying on the ground beneath him.

    Face close to his.

     

    "You did it Wooseok. I'm proud of you." 

    "...I did it."

    "Yes...And you didn't need to worry at all." 

    "Why?" asked a confused  Wooseok at the sight of Yunseong, slowly caressing his cheek.

     

    Yunseong blushed and covered his face with his other free hand before sweetly smiling.

    Wooseok liked seeing his shy side, it was so lovely.

     

    "Because you were flying, just like a butterfly." commented Yunseong, in a whisper.

    "A butterfly…?" 

    "The most beautiful one." confessed Yunseong.


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  • Weapons

    "Where are you going?" asked Minhyun to a Myungsoo that was looking through his now ex-girlfriend's cupboard.

    "I'm bringing back Junho, Minju and Yohan." answered the third year.

    "And Mina..?"

     

    Minhyun saw the school president stop for a moment. Face darkening, clenching his fists.

     

    "...She made me promise to bring them back first."

    "Are you stupid? What if something happened to her-"

    "...I respect her and her choice." replied Myungsoo with a bitter tinge in his voice. "...Unlike others." 

     

    Their eyes met and Minhyun could see how full of rage his were.

     

    "...What?"

    "You know what I mean."

     

    Here it was, the judgement, the disgust and aversion. Here it was again.

     

    "..I may have hurt her but..I tried my best." only managed to say the teenager.

    "And you still did the worst thing possible to her."

    "That was not my intention…!"

    "Don't fight! It doesn't matter now does it? We have to go save them." interfered Seongwu. "That's what's important right now."

     

    Minhyun sighed.

     

    "Yes...Yes, you are right." 

    "Don't come you'll just slow me down." spat Myungsoo.

    "We won't, and you need someone to watch your back."

    "I can manage on my own." 

    "No you can't." coldly replied Minhyun, taking a metal bar out of the closet.

    "What?"

    "Take this." said Minhyun, handing him the bar before walking over to a drawer.

     

    Minhyun opened it and stared at the knives.

     

    "We can make a spear with that." stated Seongwu, looking over his shoulder. "If we put it at the end of the bar."

    "We'll need some thick tape…" mumbled Myungsoo.

    "I know where we can find some."

    "Ah?"

     

    Minhyun headed to a cupboard and opened it. 

     

    "Here. There are other tools and helpful things in there too."

    "How did you know where to find it…?"

    "I used to come here until not long ago." stated Minhyun, thinking about how Mina would bring him over to have late afternoon snacks with her. 

    "Hmm…" 

     

    Minhyun noticed the jealousy and regret in his eyes. He could see how much she meant to him and felt relieved that she had him to rely on.

    He knew that he wouldn't hurt her, unlike him.

     

    "There must be a dull bladed kendo sword in Junho's room." said Myungsoo as he taped a knife to the bar.

    "Why would he have that?" asked a confused Seongwu.

    "Because he used to learn kendo with Yohan before he stopped and started learning taekwondo."

    "I'll go get it then!" said Seongwu before running to Little Junho's room.

     

    Myungsoo looked up and eyed him as soon as he left.

     

    "So we are clear...I don't like you."

    "Yeah...I kind of knew that." replied Minhyun as he scratched his head. "It would be weird if you did like me."

    "… I'll have your back outside."

    "Uh?"

    "I will save you if you ever are in danger."

     

    Minhyun opened a drawer, taking pieces of clothes out of it.

     

    "I thought that you would simply throw me to the monsters as soon as you could." joked the fox-like boy, now looking for empty bottles and some alcohol. "Is there any alcohol here?"

    "Yes, on your right."

     

    Minhyun grabbed the bottle and eyed it.

    Mina's mother didn't really drink and neither did Mina. 

     

    "Wait...Why is there alcohol…?"

     

    Myungsoo slightly coughed to clear his throat.

     

    "...It's a long story." 

    "A party?"

    "....Yeah." 

     

    Minhyun smirked, so even the school president had flaws. Who would have thought that Kim Myungsoo, the always so serious student would illegally drink outside of school hours?

     

    "Ah and...I'm not a psychopath, I don't dislike you so much that I would kill you…" said the president. "Moreover, Mina would probably annihilate me if I ever did that." 

    "I doubt it. She must hate me." replied Minhyun, pouring a few ounces of alcohol in each bottle.

     

    Myungsoo finished taping the knife and raised an eyebrow.

     

    "She doesn't. Not even a little bit." 

    "Liar."

    "I am not lying. I even told her that she could be mad at you but refused to do so."

    "...I see." replied Minhyun, biting down on his lip.

     

    He really was the worst, he had never deserved her.

     

    "What are you doing?" asked Myungsoo

    "Ah..Hm...Molotov cocktails?" said Minhyun, eyeing the bottles. "It might be useful."

    "Oh. Nice idea." 

    "Found it!" shouted a running Seongwu. "But it really is dull, we won't be able to use it."

    "You can use it to push them away." said Myungsoo

    "Or I could use a knife!"

     

    Myungsoo and Minhyun both looked at one another. Seongwu was famous for his lack of balance and poor physical abilities.

    Minhyun knew that he would probably fall and stab himself if left with one.

     

    "...No." said Minhyun,shaking his head. "You'll take the explosives."

    "Why??"

    "Because you are a disaster." answered Myungsoo.

    "...You are mean. Both of you."

     

    Seongwu pouted and left for the living room where he started packing backpacks found in Junho's room.

     

    "When will we leave?"

    "At nightfall, when things calm down a little." 

    "Won't it be too late by then?"

    "No...The kids are safe for now."

    "Alright then…"

    "I'll go first and the two of you will be behind me. Don't walk in line but in pair ok?"

     

    Minhyun nodded and finished making his explosives.

     

    "Take some food and water too." said Myungsoo to Seongwu. "We never know what will happen."

    "How much?"

    "Not too much, we don't want to be weighed down by the bags if we have to run."

     

    Seongwu nodded.

    After packing, Minhyun sat next to his boyfriend on the sofa,cuddling him, enjoying the last peaceful moments they would maybe have together as Myungsoo eyed the monsters outside.

    The three of them listened to the screams that slowly died down over the next few hours.

    Hours that both felt like an eternity and a simple second.

     

    <<I just saw your message, we are safe. We are hiding in an empty building until nightfall.>> sent Wooseok to his cousin.

     

    <<Stay safe too hyung, stick with Seongwu.>>

    <<Don't worry about us, we are with Myungsoo. We are going to look for Junho and his friend.>> replied Minhyun

    <<Ok...Then we'll go to where Minju and Yohan are and you can join us there.>>

    <<Alright.>>

     

    "The sun is setting down." stated Seongwu, hanging on Minhyun's arm for dear life.

    "...I'll take the spear, Minhyun you take a knife and you will throw the cocktails Seongwu and push them away with Junho's sword." instructed Myungsoo , standing up and walking over to the main entrance with a backpack on his back. "We stick together not matter what ok?"

    "Alright." replied Seongwu,inhaling to calm himself down.

    "Try not to engage with them ok? If possible we avoid fighting." finally said the president, hand on the doorknob 

     

    Minhyun nodded and took his boyfriend's hand in his.

     

    "Ready?"

    "Ready." replied the couple.

    "Then let's go."

     


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  •  

     

    Glass


    Mina was locked inside the convenience store with its manager, a young girl and the two 3rd years that had harassed Minhyun a few days ago.

     

    "What do we do? What do we do??" screamed the boys, panicking as the old manager shook in fear.

     

    The small girl was by Mina's side who had grabbed the passing elementary school student by the hand and dragged her inside as the creatures had arrived and hadn't left her since then. She would have been dead without her.

     

    "Fuck! Why is this all happening?" shouted one of them, kicking a trash can that spilt all over the floor

    "Calm down-" said the manager.

    "Shut up old hag-"

    "You shut up dumbasses. It isn't the time to fight among yourselves." answered Mina. "And respect your elders."

     

    Mina's eyes had been fixated on the shop's double layered windows for a while.The only thing that separated them from the creatures.

    Among the disfigured faces, she recognized an old shop owner that had known her since she had been as little as the girl hanging on her arm.

    She also recognized a student from her school and others.

    Their eyes were glassy and cloudy.

    There was nothing in them.

    They were dead.

    Mina caught a reflect of herself in the window.

    Her eyes were empty too, tired.

     

    "...Are you ok Mina?" asked a boy, walking over to her as she ignored him.

     

    This situation was almost too funny.

    Funny because once again everything had gone south and in the worst way possible.

    She had been too happy in Myungsoo's arms, she had felt safe once again.

    She had been so glad that he existed in her world and that he loved her.

    She had been so full of joy waking up next to him…

    But karma couldn't let her breathe, it couldn't let her be happy.

     

    "Mina?"

     

    She didn't know if she had to cry, laugh or get angry. She wanted to feel everything but just felt empty in the end. 

    This was just something she had to get over with.

    Something she had to deal with on her own once again, there was no one to help her.

     

    <<We are safe, we are in a locked down hotel.>>  texted her cousin.

     

    Minju was safe and a sigh of relief escaped her lips.

     

    <<Is Junho with you?>>

    <<No…Are you alright?>>

    <<I am, take care of yourselves.>>

     

    Mina went through her contact folder and found her little brother's phone number.

     

    <<Junho…? Where are you?>>

     

    The girl waited for a long time, sick, nauseated.

    Minju was safe and so was Myungsoo who was still sleeping in her bed...But what about her brother or even Minhyun?

    What about them?

    Mina tried imagining a world without them and it hit her that this was the worst thing that could ever happen to her.

    She didn't care about herself, she never had and only was on this earth because she still had people to look after.

     

    <<Trapped in a PC cafe's storage room with Yujin...We need help.>>

    <<Are you fine? Are you hurt? I can't come at the moment...Do you have food and water nearby? Can you last for a while?>>

    <<I'm fine and yes, we have enough to last for a long time...Don't worry.>>

    <<Stay safe, don't rush outside.>>

    <<You too.>>

     

    Mina felt the little girl's hand grip hers.

     

    "Are we going to die too?" asked the barely 6 years old child.

     

    She reminded her of how small Junho had once been and how he would never let go of her hand too.Mina knelt before her so that their eyes would meet.

     

    "I won't let you die." smiled Mina "Where is your house? Where are your parents?"

    "I live in the next street…"

    "Hmm.." 

    "...Aren't you scared?"asked the little girl.

     

    Mina froze a little, was she scared?

    She was anxious and worried,but scared?

    She had been killing her emotions for the longest time and didn't know which one was which anymore.

    Maybe she was but if so, didn't feel it at all.

     

    "...I don't know." sourly replied the girl.

     

    Mina's phone rang.

     

    "Myungsoo..?"

    "Mina!! Thanks god-" said the young man over the phone." Where are you? Are you safe?" 

     

    Mina smiled, it was nice to hear his voice.

    His voice that was only associated with good things.

     

    "Yes..Yes I am..I am in a convenience store." 

    "The one around the corner? I'm coming-"

    "Don't." 

     

    She knew that he froze in that instant. She could almost see him frown.

     

    "..What?"

    "I want you to stay safe."

    "And I want you to be too! Just wait-"

    "If you really want to help me, go look for Junho, Yujin, Yohan and Minju."

    "I'll go look for them later!"

    "Myungsoo." seriously called out Mina.

    "...Yes?"

    "You know….I've always survived on my own, I've spent more time alone than what you can imagine..." started confessing Mina. "...But not them. They always followed us and depended on us." smiled the girl. "They are all kids."

     

    She heard Myungsoo sigh and felt sorry for making him worry.

    She wasn't worth it.

     

    "...Can you defend yourself?"

    "I can."

    "...Alright. I'll look for them."

    "Thank you…"

    "...Are you alone..?" 

    "No, there are other people here."

    "Good...I'm with Minhyun and Seongwu."

    "..But...How?"

    "They were chased and came over to your house, seeking refuge."

    "Oh...Be safe, all of you."

     

    She heard him sigh again, she wanted to embrace him. She wanted to feel his warmth, she wanted to feel his heartbeat against her ear and wanted to kiss his cheek so that he would regain his smile.

     

    "Mina..?" called Myungsoo with a small voice

    "Yes…?"

    "...I love you." sincerely said the young man.

     

    She loved these three words, she loved them especially on his lips.

    She loved hearing them spoken with his voice but hated how these could not leave hers, not yet.

     

    "...This sounds like a goodbye." lightly laughed a suddenly teary eyed Mina.

     

    She was the worst.

    She was only going to make him worry even more.

     

    "It isn't and never will be one. I'll find you and the kids and all will be alright."

     

    She liked Myungsoo's promises, he always kept them. There was something about the way he spoke that made everything almost feel already fulfilled. 

    He gave her hope in her hopeless world.

     

    "Myungsoo…?"

    "Hmm?"

     

    She had to tell him.

    She had to tell him that she loved him too in her own way.

     

    ".....Thank you…"

    "For what?"

    "...A lot of things."

    "Like what?" 

     

    Tears fell from her eyes.

    She always went back to being a child because of him. She was so vulnerable.

     

    "For yesterday, and the day before and the day before that…" smiled Mina "And all the times you were there for me, for all the letters that I never received...For truly everything."

    "...This truly  sounds like a goodbye."

    "...We never know what is awaiting us...And I don't want to lose you without thanking you."

    "Then I won't receive your thanks now. Only when we meet again."

     

    Mina smiled, he really was stubborn.

     

    "Ok…" sighed Mina "..I'll text you Junho's location."

    "Alright...Keep your phone charged, I'll call again."

    "Myungsoo...Be safe ok?"

    "I will." replied Myungsoo before hanging up.

     

    Mina felt a foreign touch on her shoulder, the one of one of the boys.

     

    "Who was that?"

    "None of your business." replied Mina who hadn't forgotten how they had spoken to Minhyun.

    "Come on, don't be like that...We have to survive together.. We'll be stuck with one another for a long time."

    "No we won't. I'm bringing the little girl to her parents as soon as possible and then I'm off." 

    "To where?"

    "Once again, none of your business." replied Mina once more,pushing his hand away.

     

    The student smirked and placed his hand once again.

     

    "Eh...You don't have to act so strong, I know that you are scared."

    "Am I? Isn't it the contrary? You were screaming like a mad person just a while ago."

    "That..Hmm..That was just adrenaline." tried to justify the boy, pulling his hand off her shoulder.

     

    Mina cursed destiny.

    Out of all the people in this world she had to be stuck with it had to be the two of them.

     

    "Whatever. Let's barricade the windows with the shelves." calmly said Mina, who had carried and sat the shaking little girl on a chair. "Stay here and calmly breathe ok?" smiled the brunette.

    "Ok.."

     

    Mina walked to the nearest shelf and pushed it against the entrance.

    "What?" loudly asked the two boys."We are fine like this…"

    "It is fine for now but if others come the glass will break."

    "But-"

    " Do you want to take the risk? Do you have the confidence or means to defend yourselves if they ever break in?" 

     

    Silence.

    The two boys moved and helped her.

     

    "We'll have to cover the windows with something and turn the light off too."

    "Why?"

    "To test if they can see us or are just here because of the noise."

     

    Mina walked over to the manager.

     

    "Do you have any wide sheets of fabric?"

    "I have some in the back."

    "Can I borrow them?"

    "Of course dear."

     

    Mina opened the storage room,closed the door behind her and started looking for the fabrics but found a long crowbar instead. 

     

    "Did you find them?" asked the old lady, popping her head through the door.

    "Ah..hmm...No…" replied Mina, eyeing her new-found weapon.

    "You can keep it." smiled the manager

    "But...You need it more than I do." 

    "...Thank you."

    "Don't give it to the boys. They don't deserve it." said the elder. "Now should I show you where the sheets are?" 

     

    Mina stared at the metal bar in her hand, a bar that would untimely end up covered in others, someone's blood.

    It was heavy, maybe too heavy.

    She could put it down and wait to be saved by someone,it would be easier.

    But she was sick of waiting, sick of emotionally waiting for someone to save her.

    She may have been on her own for a while but had always relied on someone's presence to feel hope, to be happy.

    First her mother's , then Myungsoo's, Minhyun's and now Myungsoo's again.

    A smile appeared on her lips.

    Myungsoo...She wanted to do things right.

    She first wanted to be free and independant to love him to her heart's desire.

    She wanted to be his equal and not a weight dragging him down.

    The young woman clenched the weapon before looking at the old one who had seen the light in her eyes.

     

    "Yes, please do so." asked Mina.

     


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