‘W-what…?’ Kevin muttered. Eli sighed and let go of Kevin.
‘Forget it. Kiseop and the others are probably on the way to the hospital now so I’ll take you home.’ As Eli stood up and began helping Kevin on the wheelchair, people started to crowd around the mouth of the alley. Eli removed his jacket and wrapped it around Kevin’s torso. ‘Hold it tightly so no one can see the blood spatters.’ Kevin grasped onto the jacket as Eli pushed the wheelchair.
Whispers and mutters followed Kevin and Eli as the walked on the streets. People stared at them as if they weren’t human but Kevin didn’t understand why. Eli just kept pushing the wheelchair like no one was looking.
‘Why are they…?’
‘Just ignore them. It’s probably because they’ve never seen someone in a wheelchair before.’ Kevin nodded but didn’t think that was the reason for all the scary stares. When Eli stopped at the traffic lights and waited to cross, Kevin turned around and looked up to him. Then he realized why people were looking so strangely when they passed them. Eli had a scar that ran along the outside of his right bicep. Half the scar was hidden underneath the right sleeve of his T-shirt but you could tell it went quite far up his arm.
‘What happened?’ Kevin managed to say, completely shocked. It looked as if his jaw was literally about to drop. He reached for the jacket that wrapped him but Eli stopped him.
Eli looked at Kevin and muttered, ‘it’s better them seeing this than that.’ Kevin immediately knew by ‘that’, Eli meant the bloodstain. The murmurs were getting louder, as if everyone were beginning to not care whether both of them heard or not. ‘Let’s just run home. Hold on tight!’ Eli said and sprinted down the road with Kevin laughing happily. This was the first time in a while that Kevin had felt so happy.
They both waited anxiously for Soohyun to pick up the phone. The dial tone taunted them as they sat impatiently, tapping their fingers on the kitchen bench top.
‘When is that guy going to pick up the phone?’ Eli groaned.
I really hope Kiseop is alright…maybe while we try connecting to Soohyun I should ask Eli something.
‘Maybe we should call later or wait for them to return. It doesn't seem like Soohyun or any of the other members are answering their phones,’ Eli sighed.
Kevin took a gulp and said with a soft, almost timid, voice, ‘Can I ask you something Eli?’ He nodded. ‘Where’d you get that, that scar?’ The room grew extremely tense. Neither of them said anything. Kevin was still waiting for an answer but regret asking Eli. After moments of silence Eli let out a deep breath.
‘Promise me you won’t get angry.’
It seemed like this happened before.
Looks like it’s time for me to put up a show again, Kevin thought, but this time I’ll try to seduce the right person.
‘Are you okay? You don’t seem to look that great at the moment,’ Eli asked worriedly and put his hand on Kevin’s shoulder. ‘If there’s anything wrong just tell me. I’m here for you.’ Kevin just sat there quietly, thinking of what to say.
‘Thing is, I don’t know whether you’re going to get angry at me if I tell you.’
‘No, I won’t. I never get angry at what you say.’
[End of flashback]
Déjà vu…hate that feeling.
Kevin nodded and pinky swore not to get angry with Eli. ‘While you were still in hospital Kiseop and I had a fight.’
‘Over what?’ Kevin could see where this is conversation was going but he still wanted to hear the words from Eli himself.
‘We just got into a fight. It got pretty serious. If you look at Kiseop’s back there’s a faint scar too. He didn’t take as big a hit as I did so it’s not as obvious as mine.’
‘You didn’t answer my question.’ There was a big pause before Eli spoke again.
‘We threw glass bottles at each other. I guess we weren’t completely sober but still…’ his voice faltered.
‘Why won’t you answer my question?’
‘ISN’T IT OBVIOUS?! If you know the answer why do you want me to say it? Is it because you like the fact that Kiseop and I are fighting over you? Why can’t you just pick one and leave the other one. If you like Kiseop, stop making my life so damn miserable!’ Eli had hit it right on the target. Kevin was trying extremely hard to hold his tears back. He tried choking back his sadness but the more he did it, the worse the feeling became.
‘I didn’t mean to…’
‘Yes, you did. You knew something like this was about to happen didn’t you?’ Then it all came out. All Kevin’s emotions just came flowing out. The tears kept flowing like a waterfall. He wasn’t sure why, but his heart hurt even more. Was it the fact that Eli had blamed him for making his life miserable or was it the fact that they fought over him? Kevin didn’t know anything. It was the first time in a long time that he felt so ignorant, stupid and useless. He thought his life was becoming better, that all of this was becoming better but he obviously thought wrong.
‘If I’m making your life so miserable maybe I should just leave,’ Kevin cried.
‘Yeah, maybe you shou-wait what?’ Eli looked more shocked than angry now.
‘I’m obviously a thorn in your side so I should just leave U-KISS. I won’t be a bother to you and Kiseop anymore, right?’ Kevin said with tears still running down his face and a forced smile.
‘K-Kevin I didn’t mean that. I was just angry. You know I say mean things when I’m angry.’ Kevin nodded but he still thought Eli would be a lot more happier if he disappeared.
Maybe I should go back to San Francisco. I’m sure everyone back there would be really happy to see me.
Feeling slightly better Kevin muttered, ‘I’m going to my room so please don’t talk to me if you don’t want to feel miserable.’ Without letting Eli speak his opinion, he left and locked himself in his room.
From his room, Kevin could hear Eli swearing and cursing. Although he felt bad, he didn’t want to be a bother to anyone. Even Dongho was annoyed with him.
Why is life so…terrible? Why is God torturing me, giving me difficult obstacles to get pass in life?
Kevin felt like kicking the wall but it’ll probably make his injury even worse. He looked in the mirror and realised he was still wearing the shirt that was covered in Kiseop’s blood. He moaned, still feeling the horror when Kiseop’s blood was shed. With pure instinct he stood up to unbutton his shirt but crumpled to the floor, nearly tripping on his wheelchair.
Well that was stupid.
It’s been too long for Kevin to remember when the last time Eli, Kiseop and him had a good friendship where no one was fighting for no one. He felt like their friendship began to crumble when Eli hugged him in front of Kiseop deliberately. Kevin didn’t want to say it, but maybe it’s Eli’s fault this happened. Everything was fine before he hugged Kevin…wasn’t it?
‘Don’t you just love the smell of rain at night?’ Eli asked. It sounded like he was on the balcony of the room next to Kevin’s. Eli didn’t wait for a reply. ‘It’s been a while since it rained. Maybe it’s a sign that something bad is going to happen. It’s always like this in the dramas, isn’t it?’
Is he talking to himself or me?
‘Do you think he hates me?’
‘We’ve been together for so long I didn’t want to let him go. I didn’t want to lose him.’ Eli started sniffling. Kevin wasn’t quite sure whether he was starting to get a cold or was crying. ‘Maybe I should let go now. It looks like he isn’t going to come back to me anyway. I should just forget, forget this whole thing ever happened.’
‘What is he on about?’ Kevin muttered to himself.
His leg started to throb.
All of a sudden Eli seemed to be talking to himself. Kevin wondered whether he was drunk but decided not to call out and ask.
Throbbing even more, the pain in his leg was almost unbearable. Kevin started to panic. The feeling was nearly as frightening as the feeling you get when you think you’re about to drown. He knew it was stupid to call Eli after saying terrible things to him but he did so anyway because Eli was the only one in the dorm apart from himself. There was no reply. Kevin’s leg started to hurt. He could hear his heartbeat thudding even louder than before.
‘Eli, my leg!’ Kevin screamed in pain. Eli burst into the room within seconds. He looked shocked but picked him up immediately and carried him downstairs and waited for a taxi.
‘What happened? To your leg, I mean,’ Eli asked seriously.
‘It…it just started hurting.’ Neither of them said anything more.
The last time Eli piggybacked me was when I was too tired to walk back to the dorm after practice. How long ago was that…?
After entering the taxi, Kevin was on the verge of screaming because of the pain. He decided trying not to think about it too much but it was hard because of the strong throbbing in his leg.
‘Are you okay, Kevin?’ was the last thing he heard from Eli before everything went black.