Whirlwind by: indiiea

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Chapter 1

There came a moment which changed life forever.

Besides regret and thoughts of how it could’ve gone differently, it was unpredictable. For that reason, it might be described as an unexpected storm crashing into your life, turning it upside down and leaving ruin and chaos in its wake. Simply said, there was the before and the after with no return.

In other words, it was a moment like this.

It all begun a morning when Jiwon had awoken to the insistent buzz of his phone. A sound he hadn’t heard since before moving to his new apartment, when he still lived with his parents and fans would call him non-stop.

It was easier now when he mainly used a mobile phone since he usually turned it off, but last night he’d fallen asleep talking to Sunghoon. Now the continuous calling was confusing, since it was both a rare schedule-free morning and he’d only recently changed number. Normally fans didn’t get their hands on it this quickly. Few people knew this one.

In the end, he’d answered and was met with an unknown voice shouting at him. At first he was sleepy and confused, until he’d heard the voice tell him insults that until now had never been directed at him, making his blood run cold. Hastily ending the call, he then jumped out of bed to find out what the hell was going on. Jiwon threw one last look at his phone and felt his heart jump at the sight – 33 missed calls and something was seriously wrong.

And now he knew what it was.

Jiwon stared blankly at the computer screen, feeling numb. Even though it all felt like a bad dream, the words and pictures in front of him were real.

2000-01-05 6:08 Idol stars in gay dating scandal

2000-01-05 6:31 Jekki’s Eun Jiwon and Kang Sunghoon reportedly dating EACH OTHER

2000-01-05 6:52 Celebrates the new millennium with a scandal seen once in a thousand years

Accompanying the articles were so many pictures, both old and new. There were even some from Hawaii.

Pictures of him and Sunghoon from everywhere: music shows, recordings and backstage events. Seeing it all together like this, it hit him how telling their body language was. A few pictures from their daily life of them going in and out apartments and cars close together in non-descriptive clothes.

Most damning of all: them standing close, face to face in a pose that couldn’t be mistaken for a whisper. More pictures, where it was clear as day their lips were touching.

Where did the pictures even come from?

Nausea overcame Jiwon. No one had known… they hadn’t told anyone. Neither their members nor their label knew. Especially not their family or friends… Jiwon swore out loud.

What would they say? His hands were shaking, so he gripped the armrests on his chair hard until it hurt. Jiwon tried to fight the incoming panic that made his heart beat loudly in his ears.

It felt hard to breathe, almost like something was blocking his airways. Glancing one last time at the screen, he then closed the browser. Jiwon leaned forward and put his head in his hands. Chaos swirled inside him as he tried to control his breathing to calm down. He pictured Sunghoon in his mind to help him focus.

What was Sunghoon doing right now? He must have heard about this by now?

Worry washed over Jiwon. Because of that he grabbed his phone and was about to call, when he was interrupted by the doorbell ringing. A hopeful part of him thought: Sunghoon! Another fearfully: Reporters, managers, fans, his family? Jiwon wasn’t ready to face them.

Carefully walking over to the door, he made sure to look through the peephole in the door to see who his guest was. He was surprised to see a woman standing there.

Yoonji!

If it was her it was safe to open. Yet, he couldn’t help but wonder how she felt about it all now when she knew. Was she mad at him? And why her and not Sunghoon? The thoughts nagged at Jiwon.

He opened the door to let her in. As soon as it was open he was enveloped in a tight hug and he stood shocked there for a moment until she pulled away. Her hair was hastily pulled into a ponytail and she was makeup free, her cheeks wet from tears.

She looked around. “He’s not here?”

“Sunghoon?”

“Who else?” she said, her voice unusually loud.

Jiwon knew Sunghoon had stayed at his mother’s place last night and that was something Yoonji would know since she still lived at home. If she didn’t…. he didn’t like where this was going. “Why should he be here?”

She looked up at him, tears like beads in her eyelashes. “Jiwon, I’m sorry I never said anything. I knew already,” she confessed.

Sunghoon wouldn’t have told anybody without Jiwon knowing, not even his sister. “Since when?”

“I know my brother, it was obvious to me.”

Were they that obvious even when they tried to hide it? But what was the point even, thought Jiwon with a heavy heart. Everyone knows now.

“Mother didn’t. She’s still a bit shocked.”

Usually she treated him like a second son, always greeting him with a smile when he was over for dinner. Echoing in Jiwon’s head was what she used to tell him: Anyone would be happy to have you as a son-in-law. Then Sunghoon would smile at him from the other side of the table when she said that. The nausea from earlier was returning. Sunghoon had especially worried about what his mother would say about them, since he was so close to her.

Jiwon stood without saying a word as Yoonji continued to speak, all while the dread built up inside him.

“Mother heard first and was very upset. She woke him up and confronted him. Then he just walked out before I could stop him.”

He couldn’t help swearing under his breath.

“Jiwon, I don’t know where he went if he didn’t go here. I can’t reach him through his phone.”

It was like ice had pierced Jiwon’s heart and he struggled to say something. “… He’s gone?”

She looked up at him, desperation written all over her face and holding on to Jiwon’s upper arms. “I really don’t know where he is! I don’t know what he’ll do. I’m so worried for him I barely know what to do with myself!”

 

 

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