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Fly away with me

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«September 1, 1997

 

The world that surrounds him is a picture of absolute darkness. A faint glow sits on the horizon but nothing more can be seen. Voices flutter around him, hushed words that are carefully spoken.

“Jeongguk.”

It’s a sound he wants to remember forever. The voice silky smooth, rolling of the person’s tongue softly.

“I agree. I like that name.”

This sound is rougher around the edges than the first voice, although it resonates warmth in his chest. He decides to remember this sound forever too.

Something warm shifts beside his body, naturally he snuggles deeper into the warmth. The warm object tightens around his frame, yet he feels safe. The light glow intensifies only slightly, and he finds himself curious about the strange light as if it was pulling him towards it. Deeming it safe enough he opens his eyes, instantly greeted by two faces that ooze familiarity, though he has never laid eyes on either of them.

A sudden sound of distant bells startles him, just before a feeling of warmth spreads throughout his small frame. The sound tickles his ear and a soft giggle falls from his mouth. The two people glance down at him and smile gently, fondness swirling in their deep-coloured irises.

 

«September 1, 1998

 

Jeongguk’s eyes open wide in awe as his birthday cake engulfs his entire view of the table. Being only one year of age, his eye level only meets half the height of the table, even if he’s accompanied by a high chair. He turns his head to watch as his mother walks over to stand next to his seated position. Jeongguk turns his attention back to the dessert. Reaching forward he pushes a small pointer finger into the red icing – deciding right now that this weird colour will be his favourite.

The boy returns his gaze back to his mum and being only able to murmur a few words, he stammers, “M-Mama… cake.”

His mother glances down, the corner of her eyes creasing as she fondly smiles at her son. She reaches down to cup Jeongguk’s face with both hands, slowly stroking his cheeks with her thumbs. Whispering in a hushed tone, next to his ear, “Yes, baby, that’s your cake. Happy birthday, darling.”

A smile paints itself onto Jeongguk’s petite features, front teeth slightly protruding from the action.

He focuses his attention back onto the two-tiered cake in front of him. Eyes trailing over the numerous decorations that catch the glint of light from the afternoon sun. His mother and aunt had made it. “Homemade” is what they had said to Jeongguk as he sat on the tiled floor, distracted by the grooves that kept all the hidden dust in the house. Jeongguk startles when a loud but soft noise abrupts through the room, looking around his eyes meet those of his father’s.

“Make a wish, Jeongguk,” his father urges, eyes lighting up in happiness, memories replaying in his head as he remembers how fast this year went. He brushes Jeongguk’s hair back before gently ruffling it.

 

And so, he does, he makes his first wish.

Although the young boy can’t fathom what a wish brings, he wishes he can meet his fairy soon.

 

 

«September 1, 1999

 

Shadows dance across the frosted dessert that sits before Jeongguk, the candles flicker softly from his mother’s breath as she lights each candle with an orange lighter. A bubble of happiness erupts in his chest as his eyes glance over the cake, admiring each little decoration his mother had placed on the gooey surface.

“Let’s sing happy birthday before you blow out the candles. Is that okay Ggukkie?” his mother asks quietly, patiently waiting for his response.

He nods his head so eagerly that he’s almost afraid it would drop off.

Once again, they sing the same song. “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you.”

 

And once again, he wishes for the same thing.

He wishes he can meet his fairy soon.

 

 

«September 1, 2000

 

“Jeonggukkie… let’s go!” Taehyung whines, pulling the boy’s arms in an attempt to get him out of his bed.

Jeongguk burrows his face further into his pillow, pulling his arms from Taehyung and stuffing them under the covers. Goosebumps have already started to form on his skin and he decides then and there that he never plans to get out of his warm cave of blankets. That was until the layer of sheets was cruelly ripped from his grasp, cold air instantly surrounding Jeongguk’s frame. He reflexively shivers, a small groan escaping his lips, despair written all over his petite face.

“I said ‘let’s go’, Jeonggukkie,’’ Taehyung pesters further, “It’s your birthday, you have to get up!”

Jeongguk rolls his eyes – a new action he has just discovered, much to his parents’ distaste – and groans to set his stance.

“Fine. I will eat allllll the cake,” the other boy teases, a smirk forming on his smug face. Taehyung has known Jeongguk long enough to know that cake means the world to him.

“You wouldn’t, right?”

“Try me. I’ll get there first though!” Taehyung blurted before rushing out the door, tripping over a toy train in the process.

A feeling of panic shoots through Jeongguk’s body, no way would Taehyung ever dare to do that. There’s no time for debate as he hears an ‘Oh Gguk, this cake is delicious’ from the kitchen. Jeongguk’s eyes widen in fear before he’s scrambling to get out of his bed and running as quick as he can to the kitchen. He’s met with an impatient Seokjin, who – quite rudely according to Jeongguk – pushes him into his assigned seat.

A chorus of voices instantly start singing with as much enthusiasm as they can muster, “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…” “Okay Gguk, time for your wish,” his dad insists, coaxing him by pointing at the candles that now wavered from a sudden flicker of wind.

 

So, he does, he makes a wish that he can meet his fairy as soon as he can.

 

 

«September 1, 2001

 

“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you...”

Jeongguk casts a quick glance over to his friends, catching the glow on their shoulders – a fairy for each of them. A hint of mild jealously edges its way through his body, but it turns to joy when he faces back to the cake in front of him.

“Make a wish, sweetheart,” Jeongguk’s mother whispers quietly.

 

So, he does, he makes a wish that he can meet his fairy as soon as he can.

 

 

 

«September 1, 2002

 

Today’s the day. He finally gets to meet his fairy.