Annyeong by: keopeul

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Have you ever experienced the feeling of hurting someone so badly, so badly you don’t think you’ll ever deserve that forgiveness from these person — but it had been done so long ago that it became just a memory lingering at the back of your mind. But one day, after so many years, you see that someone you had hurt right in front of you. You haven’t seen this person in so many years, yet he was so easily recognisable. Like he never changed. You couldn’t blink, and neither could this person.

Then suddenly, your mind took over and memories started to flash one after another. You feel nauseated as the memories of the last night you spent with him years ago played out so clearly in your mind, when you committed that horrible mistake, and that pain and a desperate look on his face. He didn’t cry, he didn’t yell. He only asked a simple question, “…why, hyung?” You didn’t answer.

Kang Sunghoon was just as you remembered him years ago. It was as if he did not age at all after the last time you saw him. But you notice that he was skinnier. Too skinny for his height, actually. He still had that youthful face he had a decade ago, but it crumpled into a heartbreaking look upon seeing you. You decide that the look doesn’t look good on him. He slightly opens his pink lips, as if to say something, but closes it again. Kang Sunghoon, at this moment with his blonde hair and pink lips, seems so frail that you, Eun Jiwon, almost forgot who you were and was about to plant a kiss on those lips.

But you held back. How could you do it? You were the one who abandoned him all those years ago, after all. So, you and him continued to stand still outside the restaurant, where there is no cameras on both of you, as though waiting for either one to start a conversation.

You wait for Sunghoon to collect himself, smoothing his expression into his fake celebrity smile.

“Hey,” he said. The smile of his was ever so blinding, but you could tell it was not real. After all, you’ve been with him for so long. “It’s been really a long time, Jiwon-sshi.”

Jiwon-sshi. You couldn’t help but feel so distant, as though a bond had surely shattered. After so many years of abandoning the younger, cutting off all means of contact… Of course

Sunghoon referred to you as Jiwon-sshi. Hell, it was probably even an honour to even call you by your name. It was him telling you that there is no more hyung, Jjion, or Wonnie anymore.

Not even a Jiwon-hyung. It dawned on you that this pain you’re feeling right now in your heart, he felt it a thousand times more those years ago.

And suddenly, you just wished that you could go back time, where you never said those words to him, never left him alone at his lowest point, where you could just have more courage and stayed with him. Like he did with you.

You cursed at your old self. You couldn’t deny it, you were always a coward. A selfish one at that. “Yeah,” you chuckled awkwardly, despite feeling a burning shame to hide your face from this angel standing right in front of you. “How are you, Sunghoon-ah?”

You couldn’t even say “I’m sorry” even after all these years.

You heard familiar laughters emitting from inside the restaurant, and a “Hyung, its been so long!” and “Sunghoon, how have you been?”.

Your members, ex-members, had all arrived at the restaurant before you.

“Let’s go, Jiwon-sshi. We’re late,” he smiled. You smiled back, but you don’t feel happy at all.

Maybe he wasn’t too. Deep down you know, nothing could be the same again after what you did. He is not the same Kang Sunghoon anymore, and you are not the same Eun Jiwon anymore.

As you and him sat down at the table, with familiar faces you spent the best time of your life with, you proceed to film for your reunion of the group that was once the best of Korea. A feeling of déjà vu hits you, as though time had transported you back to 20 years ago.

You wished that time could allow you to have the relationship with him you had 20 years ago again. The one you took for granted. But you know that it’s not possible. You were friends, you were brothers, you were lovers, yet now, you are no more than just strangers again.

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