The man crinkles the paper with the death grip he had on the note. The roughness he feels was so surreal as he stares out to the Han River. The boy abruptly stands up as he hears the note crinkle even further. “Fuck you!” he screams out, disturbing the peace and quietness. “Fuck you!”
He collapses to the ground on his knees as a fresh batch of tears appear. Bringing up the note to the middle of his chest, he curls slightly as tears fell down his face. Gasps and more obscenities slipped past his mouth and it was soon reduced to a mere whimper. “How dare you fucking leave,” he whispers as he falls to the ground, sobbing even harder now with a support. “How dare you fucking leave us!”
His snot was slowly mixing with his tears. He had shed so many tears that he couldn’t even make out what was directly in front of him. He felt his facial muscles cramping up. His clothes were exactly a day old but it was as if he wore them for a week straight. “How dare you leave us…” he whispers. “This is all bullshit. How could you believe this?”
“Hyung, check this out!”
“You actually believe that? It’s not true, you know that right.”
“It is true, hyung! If someone died, everything continues as normal!”
“Whatever you say then.”
The stars still appeared.
Trudging towards hell’s room, the boy’s soles were dragged against the too squeaky floor. The teachers were ushering them out of the hallways so they could take a break in their air-conditioned room, filled with massage chairs and games while the students had to suffer in the open-concept cafeteria because the school thought it will a great idea to let the student expose themselves to the temperate conditions.
He sat down at his usual table with nothing. It was becoming the norm to sit there and stare into space for the whole of break. Staring straight ahead, his gaze fixed on the empty chair. His face void of any emotion as he wonders why during these three days, the weather couldn’t feel his damn mood and just fill the sky with grey clouds, letting water fall to the Earth. So he could stay away from hell’s place and the burning desire for having someone above mourning for him will be fulfilled.
He ran his fingers over the note and wished he were still around. Usually his best friend was talking his ear off about how ridiculous his History teacher was for hearing a mere whisper while he was teaching or about that kid sitting behind him and his rebellious antics or about his upcoming date with his boyfriend that he couldn’t wait. He wished in hell now this emptiness he felt around and within him would be filled with the high-pitched laughter and giggles next to planning their Friday nights.
“What if I died?”
“Don’t be ridiculous! We’re still too young!”
“Don’t be so depressing! Let’s go buy lunch, my treat this time!”
The sun still came out.
The young boy taps on his pen in boredom while his teacher and his classmates talked about their favourites. He couldn’t wait for his test results to come back. If high results happened, he will be immediately admitted into high school. Daydreaming of the outcomes, his teacher calls out everyone’s attention.
“What is your favourite subject?” the teacher asks.
Everyone chatted animatedly while he just twirled his pen, putting his head on the table. He was happy that he sat at the back of the class by himself so he didn’t need to participate in any partner work. Soon the teacher asked for answers.
“Science because butterflies are so interesting!”
“Drawing because we can draw and colour!”
“Dance is the best!”
He chokes at the word ‘dance’ and his pen drops. As someone agrees, tears threaten to leave their ducts. Closing his eyes tightly, hoping to block everything around him but it didn’t work like it usually would. ‘Dance’ echoes in his head and memories of his brother dancing in concentration hits him hard. More students around him start to agree that dance was their favourite subject even having a heated debate why dance was the best.
A soft sob leaves his mouth as the person in front of him snaps their head around. Seeing his head down, the student turns back to listen to the debate. He bits onto his enclosed fist before another sob left his mouth. Tears trickled down his face onto the table top. His breathing soon became heavy, attracting once again of the person’s attention. Turning around, the student immediately shoots his hand out to alert the teacher.
He was having a break down. In the middle of class. Just because they mentioned dance. The teacher immediately rushes to his side trying to calm him down as he was starting to develop a panic attack. He thought a month was enough but it wasn’t. He stared at the corner of the note peeking out from his notebook as the teacher continued to comfort him. But he didn’t want the teacher’s comfort. He wantedhiscomfort.
“Promise me you will chase after your dreams.”
“Just do it.”
“For what? You’re going to be there for me every step of the way.”
“You will never know the future.”
The Earth still rotated.
“I am so sorry for your loss. Tell me if you need anything. Just say the word and I will be there to help with whatever I can,” his friend said, smiling warmly and the feminine guy just nodded. “I have to go now. Take care of yourself okay?”
He simply nods again as his friends quickly leaves into the brown outside of the house without sparing a second glance. He got up slowly before moving to sit in front of the vanity. He didn’t dare to look at himself in the mirror as he tidied up the vanity before moving on to the rest of the room. Once that was done, he picked up the clothes lying on the ground and dumps them into the laundry bag. He grabs a fluffy towel and a fresh set of clothes before heading to the bathroom.
He comes out half an hour later, feeling refreshed and pretty good about himself. Humming a familiar song, he seated in front of the vanity and for the first time in three months, he looked at himself in the mirror. His eye bags were heavy and his cheeks were sunken in. His eyes were terribly red and his skin was dry. His lips trembled as he saw the smiling face behind him but when he turns, there was nothing. He turns back to stare at the note placed in the middle of the vanity table.
He remembers that fateful day. He wished so hard that he could bring his son back home from the hospital rather than escorting him away in a casket to the nearest graveyard. But when the doctors came out from the room with those words, his hopes were dashed. To see his precious son being covered by a white sheet, he cried his heart out while being in the embrace of his husband.
He covers his face with his palms as he cried out in pain of losing a child.
“What is afterlife like?”
“Why do you ask?”
“Nothing. Just curious.”
The tall man wraps the scarf around him even tighter as he dreads the walk home from where his car is parked. Some idiot had parked in front of their house and he knew it wasn’t his husband. While cursing at the idiot, he arrives in front of his house. He fishes for his keys before opening the door. His mouth formed the start of ‘go’ but he stops immediately. He saw the note next to his cold dinner.
There wasn’t a single sound anywhere. No soft giggles. No whispers about how his day has been. No crunching of an apple. No hushed ‘I love you’ over the phone. He didn’t to yell at his son to go to sleep because it was a school night. He didn’t need to threaten to cut his phone line if he went over his texting and calling limit again. He didn’t need to cut his pocket money to pay for the electricity he wastes every night in the kitchen. He didn’t need to ground him when he promised not to stay up but still do every single night.
His son wasn’t there anymore. He felt his world crashing on him. The walls he spent building up in months just crumbled in a second. The late nightshifts that distracted him were gone. He has done enough overtime and his boss told him that he didn’t need to stay anymore since he finished all his work and another new worker was coming by to take over the night shift. He had nothing to stop him from missing and thinking about his child.
“Dad, could you be home more?”
“Dad is busy working. You know that.”
“I know. But I just want to spend more time with you.”
“Why is that so?”
“Well I don’t want us to regret later in life that we didn’t spend enough time with each other and we didn’t have any memories.”
The short boy turns up the driveway before softly knocking on the door. The parent open up the door, eyes softening as he saw who it was. “Come in,” he said softly and the younger boy did. “Sorry it’s a bit messy. We’re going through renovations.”
“It’s okay. I’m just here to pick up something from his room,” the boy mentions.
“You know where it is,” the other replies before busying himself, pushing back the memories.
The boy walks up the familiar stairs and stops in front of a door. He grits his teeth before turning the doorknob. Everything was untouched. There wasn’t a single speck of dust.Must have been his mother.His hands trail the table top before smiling fondly. He digs around a bit before finding his snapback that he had left here. Shoving it onto his head, he turns to leave but something caught his eye.
He knelt down and picked it up. It was his favourite ring. He clenches his fist around the metal accessory and then slowly slides it onto his ring finger, leaving it on top of a silver band. He kisses both of them lightly before deciding to ditch his so-called friends and stay in here.
As he went through the room, he found trinkets of his items and he pockets them. He stops in front of a six-drawer. His fingers trailed the wood fibre as he remembers slamming his boyfriend into this while they were preoccupied. But then tears soon pricked his eyes as he remembered that he was gone. He then remembers the last hoodie he was wearing. It had ‘Run DMC’ in front of it. He searched around the room and found it in a corner.
He shuffled across the room and picked it up before burying his nose into the clothing. An earthly smell mixed with vanilla hits him and he cries. He misses him so much. He misses his scents. His misses eye smiles. His misses giggles. His misses his singing. He misses his ‘I love you-s’.
He slowly wears the hoodie even though its summer outside. It’s been a year and it was real surprising that the scent wasn’t gone yet. He hugs himself tightly, hoping for the smell to somehow imprint on his skin but he knows its futile. It will never work. One day he will forget about him. One day he will no longer be important. One day he will just be a lover.
He cries out in fear and bitterness. “I miss you baby boy,” he whispers in between tears, holding on the hoodie like it was his life. “I miss you so fucking much baby boy. Please come back. Please.”
“Hyung, will you miss me if I was gone?”
“Because you’re my boyfriend, lover and future husband. You’re the reason why I live baby boy. I love you so much.”
“I love you too hyung.”
The seasons still changed.
I’ve tried finding a reason to continue life but I couldn’t. I found this quote online and I couldn’t agree with it more. I’m sorry that I left. I really am. But I couldn’t take it anymore. My monsters won me and I lost my will to fight back. Goodbye. I love you. Don’t miss me too much c: I’ll see you guys on the other side.
「If I killed myself tonight, the stars would still appear,
the sun would still come out, the Earth would still rotate,
the seasons would still change… so why not?」