‘Kevin, where are you? I went to the hospital but you weren’t there,’ Eli said immediately after Kevin answered his phone. He turned to Kiseop and looked for an answer. Kiseop just shrugged but asked for the phone to be handed to him. ‘Kevin?’ Eli asked.
What do I say to him? I can’t tell him that I’m with Kiseop! Eli would probably kill him if I said that!
‘I-I’m at a park near the hospital. The doctor said I was allowed to get out for a bit so I did and happened to come across a park,’ Kevin lied.
‘And happened to find Kiseop there too?’
‘What?’ Kevin turned to look behind him and saw Eli standing about 40 metres away from him. He hung up and started to wheel towards Eli when Kiseop stopped him.
‘No, I’ll go.’ Kevin was about to argue but was hushed. Kiseop smiled but tears were starting to drip from his face. He knew what was going to happen next. So did Kevin. There was a kiss on the cheek for Kevin and Kiseop was gone. Kevin closed his eyes and let the stream of tears flow slowly down his cheeks. He could hear everything; everything including the things he didn’t want to. Every time he thought it finally ended, the screams of agony continued.
I can’t take it anymore. I have to leave.
Kevin took a deep breath and started to push his wheelchair in the direction of where he thought the hospital, catching a short glimpse at Kiseop before leaving. Kiseop was on his knees, slouching. Blood filled his mouth and bruises appeared all over his body. Kevin looked away, horrified at such a scene and left the park crying.
Kevin suddenly awoke, finding himself lying in his hospital bed. He looked around and sat up. Dongho was sitting at the end of the bed.
‘Hyung, are you okay? You came back to the hospital crying,’ Dongho asked worriedly. Kevin just nodded, remembering what happened at the park. ‘Something happened between Eli and Kiseop, right?’
How did Dongho get it so easily?!
‘N-no, it’s just that…’
‘Then why aren’t either of them with you?’ Dongho interrupted. Kevin sighed and sneezed quite loudly. ‘Bless you.’
‘Look, don’t tell them I told you this. Don’t even mention this to anyone. This stays between us. Eli got angry that Kiseop kissed…me and started hurting him,’ Kevin explained. He started to cry. Dongho just shook his head in disbelief.
‘I told that guy to keep his cool but I guess he didn’t listen.’ He turned to look at Kevin with a serious face. These were one of the very few times Dongho looked serious. All the other times he was either acting cute or acting stupid. ‘Answer this for me. You have to be honest or else it won’t help you and I won’t be able to help you either.’ Kevin hesitated but agreed slightly unwillingly. ‘Who do you love more; Eli or Kiseop?’
‘I-I don’t know, it’s…’
‘Let’s make it simpler. If both of them were in a fatal situation and you could only save one of them, who would you save?’ Dongho asked with a fake smile. ‘If you want to get through this love story, you have to answer that. I’ll give you time to think about it but I’ll ask again soon.’ Dongho stood up with a groan and waved Kevin goodbye before walking out of his room.
Not long after Dongho left the room, Kevin got a phone call. His heart skipped a beat. It was Eli. He took a deep breath but decided to just go back to sleep after putting his phone on silent.
I think I shouldn’t talk to either of them for now. I’ll just let the matter settle down but for now I shouldn’t say anything.
Kevin hid under the blanket when he heard someone attempting to open the door to his room. He immediately froze and pretended to sleep, hoping it would fool whoever was walking closer to him.
‘Goodbye Kevin,’ the person muttered and kissed Kevin’s forehead. The man gently placed a card on the bedside table before leaving.
Who was that? It wasn’t Eli or Kiseop, was it? And why did he say goodbye?
He lowered the blanket so it sat right under his eyes. When he saw no one in the room he came out of hiding. Kevin picked up the card and started to read it.
I’m sorry I made you worry about me. I shouldn’t have been so selfish so I’m going overseas for a bit so I won’t be an obstacle for you but also to get away from this mess. I’m following AJ to America tonight but like I said, don’t worry about me. You just stay in Korea with the others. I’ll see you in around five months, okay?
From Lee Kiseop”
Kevin was devastated. He picked up his phone and called Soohyun, who he thought was at the dorm.
‘Hyung, is Kiseop there?’ Kevin asked him worriedly.
Soohyun stuttered a bit then said, ‘He’s on the way to the dorm but he’s going out in half an hour and…’
‘How long does it take to get from the hospital to the airport?’ There was a muttering sound at the other end of the phone, probably Soohyun trying to figure it out.
‘One and a half hours, I think,’ Soohyun finally came to a conclusion. Kevin hung up and quickly got on his wheelchair. He wheeled himself into the elevator but when he got to the lobby, he stopped.
‘How the hell do I get there when I can’t drive and I’m handicapped?’ he yelled in frustration.
‘Where do you want to go?’ a female voice asked. Kevin looked up and saw an almost-too-familiar face. It was Jihye, U-KISS’ stylist. She towered over Kevin even if she wasn’t the tallest lady around.
‘Can you take me to the airport, noona? It’s really important.’ Kevin begged. Jihye stroked her chin as if stroking a long beard.
‘Am I allowed to take you out?’ she asked rhetorically and started to push Kevin’s wheelchair towards her car.
‘So, tell me why you’re going to the airport. Is it something to do with those two?’ Kevin turned to Jihye who was paying more attention to the road. He was nearly as shocked as when he found out Dongho knew as well. ‘What, you think I’m some idiot? Ya, your noona knows more than you think.’ Kevin stayed silent. As the car approached the traffic light that glowed red, Kevin rested his head on the window.
‘Noona, why were you at the hospital?’ he asked, his breath fogging up the window.
‘My husband has a very rare disease that doctors haven’t found a cure for.’ The lights turned green and the car continued driving again. ‘It’s sad, you know? Why my husband, of all people? He never did anything bad, so why did he have to suffer? I’m sure you would’ve thought the same after getting hit. “Why me?”’ Kevin shook his head a smiled half-heartedly.
‘I never thought of it as a bad thing. I thought of it as a test. Something to test me whether I would “make it” or “break it” when I was at my worst.’ Jihye chuckled to herself. She let out a deep sigh and glanced at Kevin.
‘I suppose you’re one of those people who see a glass half full. I wish I were one of those people.’ Kevin looked at Jihye and to his surprise, found her shedding a tear.
Is this the noona’s real side?
The car came to a stop, this time in front of the airport’s main entrance. Kevin unbuckled his seatbelt and was about to jump out of the car when Jihye stopped him.
‘Does this mean you’re going for this one instead of the other?’ she asked softly.
‘You’re going to have to pick one of them sooner or later. That’s all I’m going to tell you. Now go before it’s too late.’ Kevin bowed his head and got out of the car. He got onto his wheelchair and quickly wheeled himself in to the airport and looked around.
How the hell am I going to find Kiseop?
The airport was filled with people. Foreigners, locals, it was like the whole world had come to visit the airport. Kevin took a long look at the schedules that were shown on a message board.
“New York; Flight A1436, departure at 16:45 at Gate 5”
Kevin checked the time on his phone and realised it was half-past 4. He had fifteen minutes to find Kiseop in a big and crowded airport. He pushed his wheelchair in the direction of all the food stores, even without knowing whether Kiseop was there or not. He stopped to a group of high school girls who were looking through photos on a camera.
‘I’m probably going to regret this,’ Kevin mumbled to himself and approached them. ‘Excuse me have you seen a tall…’
‘Kevin-oppa!!!!’ The girls’ screams deafened him.
‘H-hello. Have you seen Kiseop around here?’ The girls nodded their heads but still stared at Kevin as if it were a dream. One of the girls finally snapped out of it and pointed to the direction of the departure gates.
‘We saw him not too long ago,’ she muttered. Kevin was about to cry with happiness. He bowed and thanked them then started wheeling himself towards gates.
When he finally made it to there, Gate 5 was closed. He was too late. Through the aching in his arms, he felt his heart break. It shattered like glass, into many little pieces and disintegrated into dust. Kevin collapsed to the floor and stared at the high ceiling. He could feel tears beginning to roll down his face with the little beads of sweat.
‘Why, why, why, why?!’ he screamed, hitting his fist against the floor continuously. Kevin felt like he was going to die from sadness. He sat up and buried his face in his hands.
So this is how it feels to be alone? I’d never thought it be so…painful.
‘Sir, are you alright? Is there anything I can do to help?’ a member of the airport’s staff asked politely. Kevin sighed.
‘If you could turn back the clock I’d be so glad for you to do that,’ Kevin muttered.
‘Turn back the clock for what?’ a familiar voice questioned. Kevin looked up and found Kiseop towering above him. He stood up, shocked, and hit Kiseop on the head. ‘What’d you do that for?’
‘You idiot!’ Kevin yelled and wrapped his arms tightly around Kiseop. ‘Don’t scare me like that again.’ Kiseop gently placed his arms around Kevin and pulled him in closer.
‘It’s alright Kevin, I’m here,’ Kiseop whispered in his ear.
Kevin sighed and muttered, ‘Can I tell you something?’
‘What is it?’
‘I…I love you, Kiseop.’