|You're viewing kaisooficrec's journal|
Create a Dreamwidth Account Learn More
Title: Bridges Fall Too
Genre: Angst, Romance
Warnings: mentions of suicide, and slight bullying, slight mentions of infidelity, character death
Length: ~6,000 words
Summary: When Kyungsoo goes back home to take a break from writing, he didn't expect meeting his ex-boyfriend who used to cheat on him.
It's him, Kyungsoo thought as he neared the bridge. His clacking shoes were a loud disruption against the whistle of water hitting rocks. He's dreamt this scene a lot, but it's actually in front of him now. The male by the railing turned, and Kyungsoo gaped.
Black tee, tucked into jeans. Brown hair fluttering, and untamed. Crescent eyes when smiling. Blue nose ring curved around the soft skin.
Kyungsoo tried to calm his heart. It wasn't right. Jongin did him dirty before he left the town. He's not supposed to feel like this for a person who cheated on him.
“Kyungsoo,” the other softly said, “you're back.”
A wall already crumbled, just at those words. “I am.”
They first met at the bridge in their hometown, Bongha Village. A smaller Kyungsoo offering Jongin his candy in exchange of letting him read some of the quote-unquote pretty words you write.
Kim Jongin was a prodigy at their hometown. After all, he was a colourblind person who was able to describe colours like he's seen them all his life, when he hasn’t.
They used to write by the bridge all the time. Words painted on their personal leather notebooks. A painter would be colouring the river blue, and green. Jongin would paint his words, and then the river with feelings
They learnt from each other- comparing works and reading each other’s words. Kyungsoo gobbled Jongin’s words like it was his favourite candy- and perhaps, it is.
Jongin was an artist, a historian, a perfect man.
Kyungsoo was his disciple, although Jongin disagreed. It was the truth though. He follows in the footsteps of Jongin, each imprint of size 7 followed like a little puppy, every detail noted.
Jongin called him a lover. Kyungsoo called him a cheater.
He didn't speak to Jongin at all in the next few days. He was a professional at ignoring confrontations- he's been doing it all his life. It wasn't hard at all, especially when his father didn't want him to help out at the shop, and he could just stay home all day.
The wind blew intricate pattern in his hair, and he closed his eyes, sitting down at a patch of grass with the sea right in front of him.
A thud and a few steps later, someone was by his side, beaming as he looked at Kyungsoo. "Mind if I join you?"
"Yes,." Kyungsoo gritted out, standing up and leaving, but Jongin only followed him on his bicycle.
"Come on, what's wrong, Soo?"
Kyungsoo turned, eyes flashing. "Are you seriously asking me that Jongin? You're worse than I thought."
"But I really don't know what I did," Jongin protested. Kyungsoo felt like snapping a stick, or maybe Jongin's neck. His heart burnt with that familiar fire. His eyebrows dipped.
"You asshole." He hissed. A finger jabbed on Jongin's chest, he peered upwards, making sure to glare at that stupid face. "You're a fucking asshole."
He turned away as soon as he said that, trekking his way home angrier than ever. Jongin stopped his bicycle, watching the distance get farther.
The called halted, rolling his eyes. A red bicycle appeared then, and Jongin cycled right by him, eyeing the amount of groceries he had in hand. "Need help with that?"
Kyungsoo snorted. "No thanks."
The other became quiet, and Kyungsoo thought he was finally going to leave him alone, but then, "Can you please tell me what I did wrong?"
Kyungsoo would snap at him, ranting about how incompetent he is, and how ignorant to Kyungsoo's feelings he is- except, the other really did look confused. He was frowning deeply, lips pressed as his eyes shone with the slightest hope, but mainly, he was puzzled.
"You really don't know?" Kyungsoo asked, and the other shook his head.
Kyungsoo sighed. He really can't do angry for long. Didn't he come here to settle things anyway? Settle his mind, his relationship with his father- maybe he should settle his heart too. "I'll tell you when you show me around tomorrow."
Jongin didn't move until Kyungsoo had begun to walk away. He grabbed the other's arm. "You mean it?"
Puppy. That was Jongin with his wide eyes filled with want, his gaping lips slightly upturned, and his eyebrows raised.
Kyungsoo nodded, smiling when all the facial features fall into one big grin.
“The dock upgraded in the time that you were gone.” Jongin said, taking Kyungsoo’s hand in his. The other had picked Kyungsoo up at three p.m, cycling around the town's park before deciding to grab popsicles.
Now it's eight p.m, and Jongin insisted on going to the docks, regardless of the time.
The dock really had changed. What used to be rickety floorboards were now even more solid and a lighter sand colour. A rowboat was tied to one of the posts, white in colour. Kyungsoo tilted his head at it, sensing a déjà vu but not being able to place a finger on it. Jongin dragged him to the boat, stepping into it and urging Kyungsoo to do the same.
“It's nighttime Jongin, don't be stupid.”
“It's okay, Soo,” Jongin tugged once more, “I'm a professional now.”
Kyungsoo rolled his eyes but went on in the end. He never had the ability to reject Jongin anyway.
Jongin took a leather book out, and Kyungsoo stared at it. It was the same one from years ago, with the same ‘K&J’ scratched on the front.
Kyungsoo blinked, watching Jongin write on, as if darkness didn't even matter.
“Can you even see?” Kyungsoo asked. Jongin looked up, only smiling in answer. It was aggravating, but Jongin had always been like this. Secretive till the last moment.
Just like years ago.
Kyungsoo sighed, looking away wistfully.
“Look at the moon, Soo,” Jongin whispered, and Kyungsoo does, staring at it till Jongin whispered again. “It's pretty, isn't it?”
Kyungsoo hummed. The moon was gorgeous, of course, but Kyungsoo would rather look at something else. Someone else.
He felt like smacking himself. His infatuation with Jongin should be over by now. Why was his heart still in an irregular tempo around the other? Shouldn't he be over the guy now? For fuck's sake Kyungsoo, get a grip of yourself.
A chin tucked itself on Kyungsoo's shoulder. Jongin’s arms snake around Kyungsoo’s waist, closing his eyes and sighing. “Not as pretty as you,”
Kyungsoo stiffened, looking down. “You can't say that.”
“We didn't exactly separate on good terms.”
Jongin leaned away, and when Kyungsoo turned to look at him, he was frowning. “Wait, Kyungsoo.”
Jongin blinked a few times, looking at Kyungsoo strangely. Kyungsoo frowned. "I thought I told you this. I don't exactly want to talk about it. It's fine if you forgot."
Except it's not. Except Kyungsoo's lying. Can't Jongin see his heart screaming?
“Okay," Jongin shook his head, “In any case, I'm sorry..for what I did.”
Kyungsoo stared at the other. When he saw the straight line Jongin's lips were forming, he quickly smiled. He hates himself for even caring for the younger when he's been hurt like this. "Don't worry too much about it,"
"Shush," Kyungsoo pressed a finger on Jongin's lips and the other's eyes widened, cross-eyed as he tried to look at Kyungsoo's finger.
"Just tell me I'm pretty again,"
Jongin laughed, earlier strangeness forgotten as he placed his chin on Kyungsoo’s shoulder again. “I missed you,”
Kyungsoo took a moment, but at the thought of not wanting Jongin to frown again, he quietly replied, "I missed you too Jongin, almost too much.”
This is unhealthy, spending time with Jongin is unhealthy.
“What are you doing back here anyway?” Jongin asked one day, stretching his legs up as he stared at the ceiling. The wooden floor was cool against their bare legs, and they definitely need that in such a hot day.
Kyungsoo shrugged, cross-legged beside Jongin. “Baek told me to take a break. Writing was taking a horrible toll on me.”
Jongin looked back worriedly. “Are you okay now?”
Kyungsoo nodded, sighing as he laid down as well. “I have my series becoming a movie soon..”
“That's great!” Jongin exclaimed, sitting up with his mouth forming an ‘o’. Kyungsoo laughed, shaking his head. “It's great, but my writing recently has been utter shit.”
Jongin’s shoulders slumped, and he laid back down. “We'll fix that while you're here.”
Kyungsoo glanced at the younger. “Yeah?”
“Of course! I'll make sure your next book becomes a bestseller as well.” Jongin promised, and Kyungsoo can't help believing him.
They went to the bridge again, just sitting and staring into the falling water. It was beautiful, a sheen of silver seen only because the sun was shining indirectly on it. It was here that wide eyes stared at, finding solace in the complicated curtains.
Kyungsoo drew his legs closer to his torso, biting his lower lip before saying. "His name is Bogum,"
"My character." Kyungsoo replied, before continuing. "He met a man at the bridge of his hometown. The guy's name is Sungjae."
The water sprayed a little on Kyungsoo's face. "Sungjae taught Bogum a lot, from the smallest things to be enjoyed, to the bigger stuff- like love, and passion."
"Yeah?" Jongin voiced, words weak in it's tone.
"Sungjae also broke Bogum's heart." His voice was a little shaky now, and he almost couldn't see the waterfall anymore. Not with tears blurring it. "But Bogum can recover from it."
Kyungsoo's eyes darted to the other's, gazing. They both know who each character represents. They both know how meaningful any quirks Bogum and Sungjae has. Kyungsoo's throat ran dry. "It's only a matter of time for Bogum."
"What does Sungjae do about that?" Jongin whispered, his voice like a caress on Kyungsoo's cheek. It calmed him, but annoyed him at the same time.
"Sungjae supports him," Kyungsoo answered. "In Bogum's fictional world, Sungjae is still in love with him, so even if he moves on from Sungjae, if he's happy then Sungjae is too."
Jongin shut his eyes, exhaling. They were quiet, and Kyungsoo took the opportunity to wipe away his tears. The waterfall became clearer to him again, water surface shining.
Jongin opened his eyes. "I think, in Bogum's real world, Sungjae would support him too."
Kyungsoo visited the bridge again the next day, laptop in hand. Just as he predicted, Jongin was there, sitting on the stone floor, writing into his leather notebook. Kyungsoo crouched, trying to peek into his notebook, but Jongin quickly hid it away. When Kyungsoo pouted, Jongin pecked his lips.
Both paused, startled. Kyungsoo felt warm all over, and suddenly he wanted more. More than he should easily let Jongin, but does it even matter anymore?
Isn't three years of being separated enough punishment for Jongin lying to him?
It is, so Kyungsoo leaned closer, closing his eyes and letting their lips meet. He was almost afraid that Jongin would be put off, and reject him, but the other responded.
Lips meeting, his thighs on each side of Jongin’s legs- it was a dream he never imagined he would relive again. They part, only to look into each other’s eyes.
Jongin swallowed, brushing some stray hairs away from Kyungsoo’s forehead. “God, I love you.”
Everything was too fast, Kyungsoo thought. Was it even possible to be this easy?
He leaned on Jongin’s forehead, catching sight of the blue nose ring. He picked it for Jongin a long time ago. He could even remember the sunny weather, and walking to the shops in the wee hours of the morning, just because none of them could wait any longer. He chose blue, because that was Jongin’s colour. A son of the river, friends to the froth.
“I love you too,” He touched the nose ring, trying to clear some specks of dirt away, but it won't budge.
“You need to change your nose ring.”
Jongin smiled, “Yeah, yeah. It's not hygienic- I get it.”
In that moment, Kyungsoo realised he would never really get over Jongin. Just one kiss has him melting and accommodating to his inner wants. He sighed, taking his laptop and opening a folder. Jongin groaned.
“We're actually going to write and not make out all day?” Jongin whined, and Kyungsoo laughed despite himself. Rolling his eyes, he grabbed onto the notebook and placed it firmly on Jongin’s thigh.
“I have a career in writing, I can't slack just because of a boy.”
“I'm not just a boy, and you know it Soo.” Jongin was nearing his lips again, and Kyungsoo sighed.
“You said you were going to make my next book a bestseller.”
Jongin grinned, pecking Kyungsoo’s lips once more. "I will."
Kyungsoo closed his eyes. Fuck writing.
Baekhyun was grainy in the screen, but Kyungsoo could recognise that shit-eating grin anywhere. The other waved at him, seaweed strip in his mouth. “How's the town?”
“Great,” Kyungsoo grinned, proceeding to tell the other about the upgrades the town had made. It had been too long since he chatted with the other, and he missed his friend. After all, Baekhyun was the one who comforted him; coming all the way to the city looking for him. He paused his chattering, fidgeting his fingers before looking up. He vaguely remembered an angry Baekhyun when Jongin did that to Kyungsoo. “By the way..”
Baekhyun raised a brow, “What?”
“I met Jongin,” Kyungsoo mumbled.
“What,” Baekhyun repeated, this time a tone of disbelief taking charge.
“I said, I met -”
“No, I know what you said.” Baekhyun interrupted. He was frowning, and his eyes looked almost glassy. Kyungsoo didn't know why. He knew Baekhyun wasn't the biggest fan of Jongin, but he wouldn't cry just because of that, would he?
“I know you don't like him anymore, but he said sorry, I swear!”
“Kyungsoo..” Baekhyun breathed, blinking his eyes as if stopping tears. “I- I need to go. We'll talk next time,”
“And,” Baekhyun pressed, holding Kyungsoo’s eye. “Don't talk to Jongin anymore.”
The screen went black, and Kyungsoo slumped. Well, that didn't go as well as he planned.
Other than the bridge, there was one other place Jongin liked to go to; the cafe. Specifically, Sehun’s. He remembered going there almost every weekend with the younger. There was even a small scratch of both their names on the table at the far back, just by the window.
With remnants of coffee lingering on his tongue, Jongin would lean back on the couch there, staring out the window and watched the people.
They weren't kidding when they say Jongin is a prodigy- he could write a whole story just from a person falling.
To Kyungsoo’s surprise, Jongin doesn't people-watch today. He is, instead, staring at Kyungsoo. His palms turn clammy. It felt weird to be stared at this long, and even though he knew it was just Jongin, it still made him feel self conscious.
“Stop looking at me,” Kyungsoo murmured, not even glancing at Jongin as he said so.
Jongin grinned, hand under his chin as he replied, “Why? You're the only person I want to look at, forever.”
“Even till you die?” Kyungsoo played along, sniggering at the cheesiness.
Jongin’s eyes flickered. “Even afterwards.”
Moments of reunion have brought forth a stronger feeling. Kyungsoo stumbled into the fact that he has, indeed, fallen in love with Jongin all over again.
It’s in his whispers, telling Kyungsoo that be was as beautiful as a deep emerald, as exquisite as gold, as fine as silver- and Kyungsoo tells Jongin that he's as unique as turquoise, as gorgeous as purple, more royal than blue; they fall for words as they do actions.
Especially when Jongin hugs him from the back, watching Kyungsoo type into his laptop, whispering alternative words when Kyungsoo got repetitive. It's there when Jongin hums low, the river hitting the rocks below his background music, a song to accompany Kyungsoo's writing.
It's there when Jongin sinks his teeth into his shirt, as Kyungsoo went down carefully on him, his eyes never more sinfully innocent.
It's there in the little things, and the bigger things. Kyungsoo hugs them all close, keeping them in his memory.
“I love you,” he would whisper, and Jongin would respond, voice husky.
“I love you more,”
They row again, deeper into the sea this time- and this time the sun was still up. It was almost six though, and Jongin looked at the sky, murmuring. “Anytime now.”
Sunset had a more beautiful array of colours than the bridge does. Every stripe of orange accompanied with pinks and purples stretching across the sky. The sun's colours reflect on the ocean as well, as if they were taking a dip.
“You see how gorgeous the sea looks?”
“Yeah,” Kyungsoo nodded, adding cheekily (but still truthfully), “It's just like you.”
Jongin smiled, turning to gaze at Kyungsoo adoringly. “And you're the sun, because anytime I'm beautiful, it's only because you make me so damn happy,”
It's awfully cheesy, but it makes Kyungsoo breath deeper, harder.
It's pretty obvious that their lips meet then. They're like all those painfully cliche romance novels, but Kyungsoo decides he doesn't mind that much.
Cliché is amazing when in real life after all.
In the cafe, Jongin handed Kyungsoo his order, crossing his legs as he looked on curiously at the elder.
While highly distracting, Kyungsoo tries his best not to give the other any mind. Sipping into his coffee, he realised it's milk tea, instead of the Americano he wanted.
“I asked for Americano.” Kyungsoo said, without meaning to actually be petty. Jongin gasped, apologising and getting up to order the correct one for Kyungsoo.
The elder shook his head, waving it away. He can't seem to shake off an odd feeling though, and while he does think it silly that he's thinking too much into this- there's just something about Jongin’s dazed gaze that's just off.
Kyungsoo waved that away as well.
Kyungsoo called Baekhyun again, but never mentioned Jongin this time around.
“The festival date is nearing,” Jongin said one day, while both of them were at the bridge, lying on a picnic mat.
Kyungsoo made a sound. The last time the festival happened, it brought Jongin and Kyungsoo away the next day.
He sat up, looking down at Jongin. “I don't want to go.”
“What? But why?” Jongin sat up too, brows furrowed and lips bit.
“The last time..it brought us away,”
Jongin’s expression hardened, and he inhaled deeply. “We need to go okay? Overwrite what wrong we did, don't you agree?”
Kyungsoo didn't. He liked to avoid, rather than confront. Jongin really looked like he wanted to go though, so Kyungsoo swallowed it away, nodding his head. “Fine, but after that, will you follow me into the city?”
Time stilled. Even leaves rustling could be heard more distinctly. It was too quiet, and Kyungsoo swallowed. Was it a mistake to ask? Was it too much?
“Kyungsoo,” the crack in Jongin’s voice had Kyungsoo’s eyes darting up quickly. He's alarmed to find Jongin with tears in his eyes, smile barely wide. “It will all make sense later, but I can't.”
Kyungsoo blinked. “Why not?”
“If this is about Baekhyun, I can tell him to slack off the hate,” Kyungsoo simpered, almost begging the other. “Please Jongin,”
The younger only shook his head, playing with his fingers. “I'm sorry.”
Kyungsoo knew he should calm down, he should be rational. He almost laughed. His rationality was nonexistent ever since he met Jongin again. It pained him, how much he loves Jongin.
“You're being selfish.” Kyungsoo spat out. He stood, much to Jongin’s alarm, before leaving quickly, running even when he heard the younger calling out for him.
The day seemed slower without Jongin. Kyungsoo felt like he was rotting, decaying on his bed. His feet were dipped in molten trash and he's stuck in his gloom.
That is, until the door was knocked and Kyungsoo had to get up to open it. Jongin was standing outside, predictably so. The other was all fidgety, fear edged in his eyes as he murmured an apology.
“I'll think about it Soo,”
Kyungsoo let his head fall into Jongin’s shoulder, mumbling. “Take your time Jongin.”
His arms snaked around Jongin’s waist, and it may be his imagination, but it sure felt like the other had slimmed down a lot. He glanced up, and Jongin was staring at him, eyes tinged with a wistfulness Kyungsoo can't ignore.
“If only I have that luxury, Soo.”
Lingering coffee and the scent of salt become their always. They barely spend a day without each other, sometimes just writing next to each other, and other times, doing much more.
Kyungsoo is reminded of the artistry of words, and how to enjoy writing even. He's forgotten so much through his three-book series, but Jongin reminded him even just by looking at the sun and saying, "The best thing about being able to write is getting to tell someone about the beauty of the world,"
The younger had always been about that. Writing was more than a passion for him. "Especially if they themselves can't see it, you know."
Kyungsoo smiled. There are a few things he remembered being able to tell Jongin only through words on paper. Like how beautiful Jongin is, and how compassionate the younger is, or how much he loves him. That was all in paper slipped into a locker.
They laid next to each other in the afternoons- sometimes at the bridge, staring at the waterfall, other times at the boat, the sky their eye pleaser.
And sometimes in Kyungsoo’s room, on the bed, each other’s faces like a portrait in a museum that they just can't peel their eyes away from.
Jongin, the sky, and the river- his eyes have never been as pampered as this.
Jongin brought him to his white rowboat again, and they sat on each end, grinning at one another as they played some hand game from their childhood.
“Remember our promise?” Jongin asked, and Kyungsoo shook his head. Jongin pouted, but continued anyways. “We said we would get married on this boat. We even painted it white and everything.”
Jongin laughed, and Kyungsoo jokingly (or not) said. “I wouldn't mind going with plan.”
Jongin stopped laughing, gaze heavy on the elder. He breathed, hard. “I wouldn't mind it either.”
Kyungsoo blinked. Suddenly the day of the festival is here, and Jongin slid into Kyungsoo’s red plaid shirt.
When he turned around to grin, Kyungsoo’s heart stuttered. There was something familiar about the scene, like it had happened before, but Kyungsoo can't remember when.
He pushed it away, deeming it as something he had dreamt before.
Jongin’s leather notebook fell, and he picked it up quickly, looking back at Kyungsoo once more warily.
Kyungsoo would have ignored it, except the floor was suddenly speckled with dirt, and a leaf too. Kyungsoo frowned. Didn't he clean the room just yesterday? Where the hell did this even come from?
“Soo?” Jongin’s head peeked through the door and Kyungsoo smiled, flustered as Jongin pulled him out.
“There was dirt-”
“Just clean it later,” Jongin replied, squeezing Kyungsoo’s hand again. “For now, let's just have fun okay?”
Kyungsoo nodded, taking a seat at the back of Jongin’s bicycle. He rested his head on the other’s back, smiling at the sight of blurry houses and waving trees.
Everything will be clear again soon, Soo.
They catch fishes, and eat ricecakes, and some hotcakes as well while walking around the festival. There were too many things to take in at once, so Kyungsoo and Jongin took their own sweet little time.
They have some weird slushies, and gimmicky food like rainbow bagels. It wasn't anything special, but at the same time it was.
The festival was filled with people from all over the town, and Kyungsoo caught sight familiar and unfamiliar faces. Every time he wanted to greet someone, Jongin would pull him away. He wondered if it was coincidental or intentional.
Jongin tightened his hold around Kyungsoo’s wrist, and Kyungsoo thought he didn't mind if Jongin wanted tonight to be all about them. At least he wasn't with a girl.
Not like years ago.
“Who was that girl anyway?” Kyungsoo thought aloud, and Jongin turned, eyebrow quirked.
Jongin wetted his lips, whispering, “You're delusional,”
And Kyungsoo should be angry, but he wasn't, somehow. He ignored the important issue they need to speak of- like always- and let himself be dragged around.
Jongin stopped in front of a stall, and when Kyungsoo glanced at what is being sold, he sees leather notebooks- loads of them.
Jongin grinned, looking at Kyungsoo, and grabbing a teal coloured one. “Here, pay for it.”
Kyungsoo made a face, but bought it anyways. He passed it to Jongin, and the younger kept it in his pocket, smirking secretively. Kyungsoo wondered what exactly he had in mind.
Before he knew it, he was on the bike again, and Jongin brought them to the dock. They got on the rowboat, floating in the middle again.
Jongin looked at the moon, and Kyungsoo looked at Jongin.
It's simple, really- how beautiful Jongin is, but it sends the most complicated flurry through Kyungsoo, and he tried to grasp onto a lifeline, to save him from always falling for the other.
Jongin turned away from the moon, eyes closed. “I wish I could see you,”
“Hm?” Kyungsoo hummed in question and Jongin opened his eyes again, gazing at Kyungsoo.
“I've never seen you in colours- I want to.”
“I'm a pretty basic black and white, though,” Kyungsoo replied, and Jongin shook his head, corner of his mouth twitched.
“You can romanticize the beauty of so many people, but what about yourself?”
Kyungsoo blinked as Jongin’s hand cupped his chin. His eyelashes flutter, and his nose ring glinted. Kyungsoo murmured “That's because I see the beauty in you, and others."
“What about yourself Soo?”
“Isn't that your job?” Kyungsoo teased, and Jongin smiled.
Fireworks pop up in the sky, and Kyungsoo almost forgot that the festival usually does have fireworks at the end of the day. He would have stared longer, if not for Jongin leaning in, meeting their lips.
It's not a flash of gold, nor a red or blue. It's just a soft mauve, wrapping around them and curling them further into each other.
Kyungsoo wouldn't have it any other way.
Jongin was breathy in his moans, gripping tightly onto Kyungsoo’s shoulders as he let himself down, letting out a long breath at finally reaching the base. Kyungsoo left bites on Jongin’s neck, purpling and blueing them, painting imperfections on a masterpiece.
When it was clear Jongin could barely bring himself up, Kyungsoo switches positions, laying the younger down carefully and moving himself.
They climax in a flurry of white, lust and love blending better than Kyungsoo ever expected it would.
Later they lay down, and Jongin slipped ‘I love you’s out, to which Kyungsoo responds with the synonym. Fingers curl around his, tips touching his knuckles as Jongin leaned closer, inhaling deeply.
“I'll miss you, Soo.”
Kyungsoo refused to understand the meaning beneath that.
Empty mornings- Kyungsoo never really understood the meaning till now. When he woke up, the bed was empty at Jongin’s side, and Kyungsoo could only whimper helplessly.
There was a whisper of not enough echoing in his head, and he blinked. What wasn't enough?
He stalked back to the living room, only to find it empty as well. Keeping a positive mind, he bathed, and ate, before walking to the bridge. The place was empty. He crumbled a little, but still held his stead.
Jongin should be here, somewhere, Kyungsoo thought, but the docks were empty too, even the white rowboat gone.
Remembering faint whispers of Jongin’s address, he jogged there.
Only to slump, then fall. The house was in ruins, the window panes windowless, the garden in front untended to. Kyungsoo walked further, pushing the creaky gate in and taking note of spray paints of ugly words Kyungsoo can't remember ever existing.
The backyard was worse than the front, a laundry line completely fallen laid abandones in the middle of the yard. The grasses were long, and some wilted flowers peeked through broken pots. Kyungsoo stopped in front of metal. He quivered.
There, laid in front of him was the bicycle Jongin used to pick him up on,bitten completely by rust. The red was almost unnoticeable, and the handle bars had lost it's rubber covers. He shook his head, leaving the house with tears in his eyes. It's impossible. He just saw Jongin yesterday. Why are all his things barely usable anymore?
He went home again, wrapping himself up in blankets. This was all just a wild dream. He’ll wake up, and Jongin will be right there, running his slender fingers through Kyungsoo’s hair and telling him everything was alright.
Jongin wasn't there. Even after days. Kyungsoo’s father has had enough of his son’s moping state and forced the other to help him out at the shop.
Kyungsoo agreed, if not for distraction, then simply because it's been too long since he last talked to his father. He helped carry out small errands, and count money, and replenish stocks. It was boring, but it really was a good distraction.
His father brought lunch out, and told Kyungsoo to grab something from the backroom. Kyungsoo grunted, walking to the back to get the pile of old papers. A certain paper was at the top, and Kyungsoo halted his movements, blood turning cold when he read the headlines.
“Kyungsoo? Did you find it?” His father called, startling Kyungsoo out of his reverie. He tore the paper, shoving it into his pocket before going out of the backroom.
The grainy silhouette of Baekhyun smiled, and nodded his head. “Yeah?”
“I-” Kyungsoo cleared his throat, hands shaking as he took the paper out. “I found this, and I'm a little confused.”
Baekhyun looked at the paper, nonchalance quickly changing into alarm. He stuttered a few times before sighing. "It's true.”
“But then, what I wrote for Bridges.” Kyungsoo said, trying to grab at sanity, but it wasn't there. “They're false?”
“Kyungsoo, I don't think talking about this through the laptop is right,”
“Then just tell me this,” Kyungsoo persuaded, gulping as he voiced the next few words. “Is Jongin really dead?"
Baekhyun's silence suffocated him. His mouse was already hovering over the 'End Call' button even before Baekhyun's reply.
Fingers uncurl, and his eyes were sad even through the low quality of the video call. "Yeah."
Kyungsoo was the one who hung up this time.
He packed his bag that night, shoving clothes in quickly. His whole body was trembling, but he barely cared. When he opened the bedside drawer, he's shocked to find two notebooks there.
Leather. Teal. Kyungsoo gulped, taking them out, before shoving those in as well. He hugged his father, leaving some money, before setting off.
He went to the bridge first, just to confirm. Going underneath it was a bigger challenge than he thought, and when he finally did reach the riverbank, he had to search among the trees. In the dark.
Light shone from his phone, and after snooping around for at least half an hour, he found it. It was hidden amongst the other plants there, and the smell of dampness was strong.
In the suicide note, Kim Jongin requested to be buried near the river..
Kyungsoo licked his lips, crouching as tears welled in his eyes. The tombstone was right there. He can't deny it, even if he wanted to.
He cried for a long time, not even remembering how long he actually did. The tombstone had vines growing around it, and wilted flowers. Kyungsoo wiped away his tears, staring at the carved name on the stone. Kim Jongin.
He caught sight of a small scratch by the side. He almost laughed, but instead more tears fell.
By the side of the stone, was his own name, and he could recognise that handwriting anywhere.
“Kyungsoo,” Baekhyun’s eyes widened, his voice thickly laced with sleep as he opened the door. “What are you doing here?”
“Tell me what happened with Jongin, please." Kyungsoo said, not minding the ungodly hour or whose house it was. He barged in. "Why can't I remember anything?”
Baekhyun lowered his head. He's afraid, Kyungsoo could clearly see that, from the shifting eyes to his shaking shoulders.
“Or at least,” Kyungsoo tried, not wanting to see his friend in such state. “Tell me why I can't remember?”
Baekhyun sighed, leading Kyungsoo to the couches in the living room, before beginning. “You were depressed after he died, you know. Worse than I've ever seen you. Your psychologist asked you to put it all in words since you can't say anything-”
Bogum saw Sungjae right there, but someone else was holding his hand. Someone else was eating hotcakes with him. Someone else was buying useless trinkets with him. Someone that is not Bogum.
“And I guess you started believing it yourself.” Baekhyun whispered, “You started believing Bridges was actually a retelling of your love story with Jongin, when it's not.”
“And the psychologist didn't try to snap me out of it?”
“I told him not to,” Baekhyun said, and Kyungsoo stiffened. “You have to understand Kyungsoo, you were in pain. I can't see you like that, not again. You were diagnosed with selective amnesia. I'm sorry I kept it from you."
The words melded slowly into Kyungsoo’s mind, and what used to be blank, slowly filled up.
“I have to go,”
“Thanks Baek, I'll see you around.” Kyungsoo bowed before running out, hailing a taxi to quickly reach home.
Bogum ran away that night, into a train and leaving his town, the sight of two swans ingrained in his mind forever.
When he finally stumbled back into his apartment, Kyungsoo made himself a cup of coffee, then took the leather notebooks out. He opened the older one first, specks of dirt falling a little. His mouth twitched.
Words were written carefully in it, and the first one was obviously one from when they were at the cafe. It was painful to even be reminded of Jongin but Kyungsoo needed to know.
28th August 2008
They tell me I couldn't see colours, but why can I see the purple of a couple fighting nearby? The female wrapped in fire red, angry in her movements, and probably whatever she's saying to the male beside her. I can see the yellow warmth around the family buying ice cream, and the green of the old uncle as he gave his granddaughter some money to buy a cup of coffee. I can smell the comfort in the coffee, feel the terracotta blowing wind on my skin. When I turn to the front, I can see the pink in my eyes as I look at Soo. And when he glances at me, eyebrow raised in question, I can taste the white oblivion dripping out of that very eyebrows. So, technically, can't I see colours, then?
Kyungsoo flipped through, finding more, one at the rivers, at the docks, in his own house-
Kyungsoo laughed a lot today. Maybe it's the docks, the smell of salt waking up those tickles. He looked serene. The sunset may be beautiful, but Kyungsoo- he was something else. Nothing can compete with him, nothing at all…
The river sprayed on Kyungsoo, and he complained. Maybe it's jealous that I'm always writing about him instead of the turquoise and blue hues that the river glints..
Kyungsoo’s pale skin looked divine against the blue sheets of my bed, his black hair splayed sinfully on the white pillows..
Kyungsoo skipped them for now, before finally finding what he had been searching for.
He's here, again. I'm here again. It's God’s gift, somewhat.
Sehun's coffee had improved over time.
I want to propose on the boat, but what can I do in this state?
Except they're all short, leaving Kyungsoo confused. He wanted to know more. Was Jongin not just a hallucination then?
What was Jongin then? A ghost?
He took the teal leather notebook out, and only the first page was written on. Jongin had written a long, long love letter, but hardly any explanation.
Kyungsoo slumped against the bed frame.
As an afterthought, he flipped to the last few pages of the teal notebook, and his heart froze. He slipped the folds of paper. This was from another notebook, that Jongin tore it's pages from and slipped it into this notebook.
His heart beat quicker as he straightened the creases. His throat scratched.
"Many nights I think I should just end this. No one was by my side anymore. Mom left, Dad barely looks at me, and they continue to taunt me. But every time I wanted to end it, I don't think there had been enough time with you, Kyungsoo.
There are so many things I want to tell you, but first and foremost, thank you. Without you, my life would have been completely dunked in black. You were that dip of white, of gold, of shimmers.
I merely existed on your laugh, on your smile- but these days the thought have become too much.
I don't know when I'm doing it Soo, but I know it's coming soon. I can feel my fingers losing it's feeling, my heart getting heavier at the prospect of even waking up.
I guess all I wanted to say is that if this letter never reaches you, it would mean I'm still by your side, hugging you to sleep. If you're reading this letter though.... then I'm probably asleep amongst cooling water and dew drops.
I love you Soo. I'll never get tired of saying it. Even now, I'm scared of how much I'll hurt you if I go ahead and took that dip. It's a far way down, but every relief comes at overcoming your fear, right?
Thank you for being the only colour I needed in my life. You were always enough Soo. I love you, more than you would ever think possible.
Kyungsoo slept with the book by him, fingers curled on it tightly. He had no intentions of letting go.
The Bridges series’ last movie was a success, and Kyungsoo thanked the staffs, moving past Baekhyun to get his duffel bag.
Baekhyun patted his back. “Have fun, you delusional old fart.”
“Who the hell says ‘fart’ any more,” Kyungsoo scoffed, and Baekhyun elbowed him playfully. After rechecking that the notebook is indeed in his bag, he got into the taxi waiting for him, ready for home.
A white rowboat was ready by the docks, and Kyungsoo stepped on it, a little wistful. He set the notebook on the rowboat, trying to imagine a Jongin there, reading it and laughing at how cheesy Kyungsoo can be.
Kyungsoo flipped the pages open, tucking his head on his hand as he stared at the sun.
After drawing a ring, fireworks, hotcakes, and Jongin’s bicycle, he went back to Jongin’s grave. He tried his best to smile, but it's really not as easy as he thought.
“I miss you,” he breathed, patting the tombstone, trying not to stare at the name carved there for too long. He tucked the book in the grave, laughing slightly as he said, “Read this when you're bored, okay?”
Shaking his head at how fucking delusional he is, he started back home, passing by the bridge slower than usual. One last time. He stared at the water falling and hitting the rocks below.
A few drops splattered on Kyungsoo, but he barely minded. He sighed, walking away.
When he turned back, he wished he could see Jongin’s back again. Clad in a black tee that's tucked into his jeans, familiar broad shoulders and thick thighs, and then he'd turn.
And Kyungsoo would be able to see the wind sweeping his messy bed hair, his eyes crinkling, but still bagged with sleep, his mouth curved easily, just with one look at Kyungsoo. He would notice the blue nose ring glinting, and be reminded of how beautiful Jongin looked against the river, where he truly belonged. His sanctuary among the transparent blue.
He blinked. The image was gone. The railing held no one, the stone steps were void of red sneakers.
Reality wasn't a cliché, Kyungsoo thought bitterly, steps marked with finality as he spun around again, going home.
Everything had lost it's colour, except for the man in the middle. The audience were looking through Bogum's eyes, and they could clearly see that everything else was in black and white. Sungjae was the only one coloured with his black T-Shirt, his light washed jeans, striking red sneakers, and even a hint of his white socks. Even Sungjae's skin looked warmer than it was throughout the movie, and his blue nose ring seemed more distinct like this. Sungjae grinned, and Bogum took a deep breath.
"Welcome home Bogum," Sungjae said, hands intertwined on his heart. Bogum took a step forward, and the screen blacked out.
Then, the credits rolled.