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Sicheng's breathing was even. Everything seemed to burst around him, people running around, phone ringing, doors opening and closing. Sicheng was sitting and perfectly calm. He did not know where he was or what he was doing there, but it almost seemed fine. Nothing had happened today. What had happened today ? Honestly, the thought almost made him frown. But he couldn't frown. It made him want to frown even more. It's as if the skin above his eyebrows had shrank and couldn't be moved anymore.
Mark was nowhere in sight, but Sicheng couldn't remember why he was not looking for him. He wasn't looking for him. Nothing had happened today.
He scratched his forehead, blinked a few times as dirt fell upon his eyes and exhaled silently. The ruckus around slowly made it to his ears, he blinked again and his attention fell on the clock hung on the wall in front of him. He couldn't hear the tick tocking of the device, yet he couldn't stop looking at it.
He knew somewhere what he was doing. That looking at a clock was easier than actually considering what is around. There are clocks everywhere, it doesn't mean anything. As long as there's just a clock he can be wherever he wants.
Sicheng breathed through his nose. Someone tapped on his shoulder. A man probably, from whom he could only see the big black shoes dirtied by time, long blue pants, too large, splattered with droplets of rain and mud. Black stains also, and tiny shiny red spots. Sicheng looks up at the clock.
The underwater-like sensation Sicheng was feeling so far is violently broken, like two hands pulling up out of the claustrophobic darkness as screams erupts from somewhere. He tears his eyes from the clock as the waling keep going. He searches haphazardly for the origin of the voice that he can't recognize. Yet the boy that is being thrown in the office is well known. Sicheng follows Jisung writhing, throwing and trashing all around, mouth wide open and eyes shut hard as he tries to escape from the six hands that almost carry him to a different place. Sicheng gets up, wobbling on his weakened legs, still following the screams, eyes fixated on the corner where Jisung disappeared, his voice the last remnant that everything was not but a dream. Sicheng can't fathom what is going on. Never had he ever heard Jisung's voice like this. The far cry that emanated from the boys juvenile mouth was foreign. It was not his tone, it was not his words.
He doesn't bother to protest when he's being manhandled from the bench he was standing next to to a smaller room. Probably that they don't want the rage withing Jisung's body to spread to the whole office.
Sicheng sits on the wooden chair, almost obediently if it wasn't for his total lack of attention. He doesn't even put his ends on the table, he just keeps on picking at the skin around his nails. That's because the skins are tearing that he's bleeding. He couldn't explain the blood around any other way. He sneezes on his hand, cleans up the blood that clogged his nostrils without thinking about it.
Sicheng looks up for the first time, studies the man that sat in front of him, then lowers his eyes again.
“Name” the man repeats higher.
Sicheng doesn't shy away. He doesn't look up.
“Winwin” he answers with no heat, like an evidence.
Then he frowns. The action make the medium that dried on his forehead to creak and hurt. He put absent-mindedly his finger on it then inspects as his finger returns a dusty brown. Red.
“Gotta be shitting me kid. Name and ID number.”
Sicheng's eyes drift to the left, he looks at the computer the man is typing on with frustration. He looks at the desk lamp whose light casts aggressive shadows on the corners of the room. He looks at the files, half filled, some more than others, sometimes with pictures. Ten, Mark, Taeil, Yuta...
“You're legal kid. And with what we have on you and your friends, you could have it for years.”
Sicheng looks up at the man and just sees a warred middle aged cop who's tired of his job but also must love his job and that's probably the conflict that marks his skin with deep wrinkles.
“I feel as old as you” he says simply, not really conscious, not really there in the room.
The cop frowns, rubs his forehead, probably used to snotty brats like him. Sicheng is not a snotty brat. He's just a kid, sad like the stones, smeared in blood and with a hollow look in his eyes that he will never
“Sicheng. My name is Sicheng” he says to the man's surprise, his mouth already open and ready to retaliate. But Sicheng's voice is suddenly very soft, softer than before. Like in a dream.
My name was Sicheng.