- a JyonJin (Jiwon x Jaejin) short story
I stared unblinkingly at the TV. Beside me on the couch, the sound of Sunghoon’s deep breathing indicated that he had fallen asleep. Couldn’t blame him though…it was a really boring movie. On the screen were a man and a woman, standing amidst falling snow as music of string orchestra played in the background.
“I love you. Please don’t leave me.”
“Sorry… I don’t love you.”
The C-titled movie with its third rate dialogue rolled on as I remembered the very same word spoken in another time…in what seemed like another world.
His silky black hair came almost to his chin, contrasting with his pale face.
Cold….that was the impression I always had when I saw Jaejin…but even more so that day. The white snowflakes on his hair had looked warm compared to his pale translucent skin and expressionless midnight eyes.
“I love you,” I confessed. Rather last minute, I knew…but I couldn’t let him go like this.
Jaejin had merely raised his eyebrows as he waited for the train that would take him out of my life forever.
“Please…please don’t leave me.” I hated the desperate tone that entered my voice.
“Sorry. Don’t love you. Have a nice life, Jiwon.”
It had not taken much for Jaejin to leave me. A new job offer in another city…
Nothing complicated like another love in his life. And I knew that if I followed him, he would not have done more than raise his eyebrows. He was…like that… But what good would have come of it?
I woke up to bright sunlight and even brighter smile from Sunghoon.
“Jiwon hyung~!!! I made breakfast~!!! Your favorite omlette~!!! Wash up, k?”
I half grinned and half grimaced as I pushed myself off the bed. Delicious aromas wafted from the kitchen as I quickly washed my face and got dressed. Sunghoon was waiting for me with a steaming cup of coffee and a large platter of food.
I took a sip of the coffee… Like a child, I had always hated bitter tasting things and drank coffee with two spoons of sugar and cream. The coffee that Sunghoon had presented me was brewed and mixed to perfection.
Sunghoon smiled with sparkling eyes as I sipped the coffee.. and I had no choice but to smile back at him. Sunghoon blushed and lowered his eyes to his own cup of coffee… mixing in a spoonful of sugar and a bit of cream.
I guess I’d never really thought of how Sunghoon likes his coffee. One teaspoonful of sugar..and just a little cream..enough to give the coffee its typical opaque brown color.
But Jaejin’s coffee had never been opaque..
He never ate the breakfast that I made. The first thing Jaejin had done when he got up was make a cup of weak black coffee…so weak that it looked more like tea than coffee. He would mix a bit of cold water to cool it and drink it in a glass cup instead of a mug.
He never made enough coffee for both of us.. He never boiled enough water for two people. Just one cup…and he would drink it while I tried to coax him to eat breakfast.
“Jaejin…. You’re getting thin. Why don’t you eat something?”
“Don’t feel like it..”
And he would leave for work as soon as he finished the coffee…leaving me while I was still eating… Still, I tried to get him to eat breakfast with me every day for the two years that we lived together…but no luck.
I wondered if he even knew how I liked my coffee..
It was raining really hard. Sunghoon snuggled closer to me as we sat on the couch, watching another boring late night movie.
Suddenly, the lights and the TV went out.. A blackout?
“Hyung~” Sunghoon’s trembling voice called out to me.
I smiled in the dark. “Don’t tell me you’re afraid of the dark.”
“Of course I am~~ .”
Holding him by my side, I walked to the cabinet where we kept our candles.
Getting a few out, we lighted them and put them on the kitchen table.
“This is kinda romantic.” Sunghoon said, smiling at me.
His eyes shone warmly in the candle light. I walked to his side of the table and place a chaste kiss on his cheek. Blushing prettily, he buried his head on my chest as my arms went around him.
We stood there…holding each other. I thought that perhaps…just perhaps, it was time for me start forgetting about Jaejin. I wasn’t sure how long that would take… But…
Maybe…it was enough to have Sunghoon in my arms…and my life could be complete.
We hadn’t been surprised when the black out had come. The crusty apartment we lived in had been shaking from the thunderstorm all day.
“Jaejin,” I called in the dark.
As another lightening hit, I could see his silhouette as he sat on the floor, looking out the window.
“Do you know where the candles are?” I asked him.
“Don’t bother. It’s late anyway…” he said.
It was…like that… He was so comfortable in the dark that he never sought me out.
We sat in the dark.. It wasn’t really that late. Only 8:30.. Time passed slowly…but I remember being happy to just watch him as he sat there…even thought it was only for the few seconds that I could see him whenever the lightening struck.
Sunghoon snuggled to me trustingly on the bed. His soft hair tickled my cheek as I hugged him close. I could tell from his breathing that he wasn’t sleeping…and was expecting me to do something.
We had never had sex. I knew that if I wanted to, he would be more than willing. Perhaps it was that willingness that stopped me. I didn’t want to have sex with him just because I could – I wanted to make sure that I really wanted him.
Like the time I had with Jaejin…
Jaejin came home and promptly fel l on his bed. I glanced at the clock. 2:30am….
“I thought your shift finished at midnight?”
He didn’t answer…and that wasn’t unusual. But for some reason, it had really gotten me that day. Maybe being ignored for a whole two years of loving him had finally gotten to me. I grabbed his hair and pulled his head off the bed.
“Jaejin, you bastard. You think I’m not even worth answering?”
“Let me sleep. I’m tired.”
His head felt heavy as I lifted it up. He wasn’t resisting at all even though I knew it must hurt to have his hair pulled like this.
I pushed my hands underneath his stomach and started to unbuckle his belt.
He didn’t move an inch. I pulled his pants off.
It was when I started to pull at his boxers that he spoke, his voice muff led by the bed.
“What are you doing?”
His voice sounded so calm…as if he was asking about the weather or some such nonsense.
“I’m trying to debauch you.”
I pulled harder on his boxers and stared at his white butt cheeks… Just looking at them was making me hard. I ran my index finger down his right cheek, feeling its softness. And warmth. It struck me strange that he would actually feel warm to touch.
I spread his legs wide and ran my finger down between his buttocks. Finding his small opening, I pushed myself into it. He grunted a bit as I impaled myself..but that was all the reaction I got from him.
When I finished, he was still lying immobile on his stomach. I put my hand under him to see if he had come. His penis was flaccid and dry.
I hadn’t known whether to laugh or cry. The bastard had dared to fall asleep in the middle of his own debauchery.
Sunghoon looked so pretty in his white hip-hopish clothing, licking on his cherry ice cream.
We had decided to spend the day shopping…for our wedding. In two weeks, we were to have a little ceremony in front of just few close friends…pledging ourselves to each other.
It was going to be pretty permanent this time…and I guessed that I was happy enough.
I had almost let go of Jaejin in the last six months that I’ve lived with Sunghoon. It was difficult to forget him…but his thoughts didn’t cause overwhelming pain and feeling of dejection as they used to. It was better this way…being with someone who loved me enough to spend the rest of his life with me.
Sunghoon was chatting brightly about something or another…and stopped.
“Jiwon hyung~~!! Isn’t that Jaejin hyung?”
I whirled around to see where Sunghoon was pointing.
It was Jaejin. Wearing a black shi rt and black jeans…
My heart started to beat harder than it had in the last six months.
“Let’s go say hello to him~!” Sunghoon said, smiling.
Sunghoon didn’t know that I had loved Jaejin. No one did…since we had never spoken one affectionate word to each other.
Jaejin was waiting for the lights to change at the street lights and Sunghoon ran to him, dragging me by the wrist.
“Jaejin hyung~!!!” Sunghoon yelled out.
Jaejin turned around slowly.
“Hey Jaejin hyung~! It’s been so long since I’ve seen you~!!” Sunghoon claimed enthusiastically as Jaejin watched us without any expression.
“Did Jiwon hyung tell you? We’re getting married in a couple of weeks. Could you please come?”
Jaejin lifted an eyebrow at me. I couldn’t face his steady gaze so I stared at the tip of my shoes.
“I’ll come,” he said, “if Jiwon wants me to.”
Startled, I glanced up to see him walking across the street. He had never cared what I wanted before..
It was then that I saw the truck headed towards him. I ran to him…I ran harder than I had ever done..and as I reached him, he turned. For a split second, we stared at each others’ eyes…and his eyes seemed to say something….
I locked the door, took a shower and lied on Jiwon hyung’s bed. I could never share this bed with him again…and tears fell from my eyes.
I sobbed quietly…having lost my voice from the last four hours screaming Jiwon hyung’s name.
From the corner of my eyes, I saw a notebook on the table by the bed. His diary… He had never allowed me near it..and I always had to reassure myself that he wasn’t hiding anything from me. Everyone was entitled to a little privacy…
Now… I was invading his privacy…the privacy of the dead.
There was a little lock on the diary and I wrenched it open, breaking a little of the cover.
January 25, 19** Jaejin came back from visiting his family. He’s gained a little weight and it relieves me. If only he would eat my cooking a little more... I always thought I had been a good cook until we started living together. February 3, 19** He got yet another job. I think Jaejin really wants to work his way to his grave... I can’t stop worrying about him. February 7, 19** I found a little gray hair on Jaejinie. I asked him if I can pluck it out...but he didn’t answer as usual...
There was a little white hair stuck between the pages and I wondered if it was Jaejin hyung’s. It was strange… Almost every entry was about Jaejin hyung.
I flipped a through the pages when I came to something that made my heart stop.
October 8, 19** I think I love him. October 9, 19** I can’t stop thinking about him. I see Jaejin everywhere.... October 20, 19** To him, it’s like I don’t exist...
After that…there was nothing about Jaejin hyung in the diary. Just mundane stuff about work and people he’s met. My name appeared once in a while… just once in a while…
I closed my eyes as I laid back on the bed, putting the diary back on the table.
Was that why? Was that why he had to leave me? To save Jaejin hyung?
What did he think? That he could provide protection against a Mack truck?
And now that they were both dead…what was I supposed to do? Wish for them to get together in after life?
He had probably known that I was just nice enough to wish them together. I hugged his pillow as uncontrollable sobs escaped me.
Hyung… I wish you’re happy. With Jaejin hyung…..
If someone asked me what my life was like… I would probably say that I was tired. That I had been tired all my life…
I ignored everything that made my life more complicated… but Jiwon was difficult to ignore, no matter how I tried.
I guess it would have been hard for him to understand what it’s like to have a mother and sister to feed…without even a proper highschool education. He lived in my run-down apartment by choice, even thought he could afford a mansion. I did not.
Still, pride is one of the last things to go in a poor…and I refused when he asked me if he could get us a better place to live.
I really didn’t know he would stay in that hole with me for two years… Rich kids like him usually find better things to entertain themselves.
He cooked me breakfast every morning…and although I was hungry, I never ate it. It was just too nice to hear him whine and coax me into eating something…and I was afraid that once he achieved his goal, it wouldn’t interest him any more…
And he drank his coffee with two spoons of sugar and cream.. Watching him mix his coffee was something I did every morning…it gave me a sense of mundane stability…something I wanted more than anything. Stability….
He always watched me. Sometimes in little shy glances…and sometimes in angry glares. Other times… well… if someone asked me to define the word ‘lust’, Jiwon’s gaze would have been the first thing to come to my mind.
The day he took my virginity…I was very tired. The usual four hour s of sleep a day…plus my sixteen hour work day..plus over time because my co –worker was sick.
He wasn’t very gentle about it. I had always thought that my first time with him would be something magical… something that would make me forget about the harsh realities.
Perhaps I still believed in fairy tales…but it didn’t happen that way. It hurt very badly…and I fainted.
Strangely enough, Jiwon seemed disgusted by the fact that I had ‘fallen asleep’ on him.
When I got a job offer from Pusan city, I decided to take it. It was closer to where my mother lived..and she was not in the greatest health. Not that I’ve told Jiwon.
Jiwon told me he loved me…on the day I was leaving. I tasted bitterness in my mouth as I thought… ‘it’s rather late…isn’t it?’
I don’t remember what I said to him. Something emotionless, I’m sure. I never learn….
Still, I almost expected him to follow me. He didn’t.
I guess I found out why six months later. Ha… Love me, my ass.
He was marrying a beautiful white creature… He never offered marriage to me… Would I have agreed? I guess I would never know.
I just felt the overwhelming urge to disappear…and not see all the happiness that I could have had… His love that I had almost thought to be rightfully mine. How wrong I was….
I walked away… and then… I heard him shouting my name. I turned around to see his face inches from mine as he tried to push me away.. and I resisted.
Jiwon… If things had been different… I could have loved you…