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Take Two: Let Me Love You Still

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Everything is heightened; everything is close to rapturing. It has been so for the few hours they have been together—sweet, sweet, torturing hours. Not even the frigid air of this November night can rob it of its beauty, of its remarkability. It is not that he felt cold, not with his shooting star beside him to keep him warm—now and forever. Park Jimin is sure this night is to leave a permanent mark on his heart.

What kind of dorky boy-stuck-in-an-adult-body takes their date to a theme park?

The dork in love kind.

It is stuff like that that leaves his heart fluttering restlessly, aching to run wild. Jimin wonders if his heartbeat is louder than the fireworks exploding in blinding flashes against the sky, rimming the moon with colourful halos. The line to the Ferris wheel was advancing; the sweet voice was carrying on; the silly joke coaxing his body-fling laugh. For the umpteenth time that night—that night alone—Jimin was torn between silent aching and full-blown admiration—admiration loudly professed by mouths, longingly channeled by eyes, minutely conveyed by hands.

Explosions—on the outside—Con brio, con fuoco, con amore—on the inside, likewise. Marveling at the crimson sparks, Jimin wonders if his heart would meet the same fate, if it would use its blood to write the perfect poetry against an expanse just as beautiful, just as dark. When it’s all said and done, would it leave the moon bleeding itself dry because another star has left the sky's vast expanse?

Jimin is making a silly face—earning his heart another wholesome laugh—when he almost stumbles, what little left of his composure betraying him for the second time this night. Almost easily, a warm hand slips into his, steadying him.

“You're so clumsy,” He laughs.

Jimin shoulders past him, grateful for the darkness covering for his blossoming blush. “Shut up.”

Are they talking, are they levitating? Perhaps it is Jimin who is losing gravity. They keep getting higher and higher, leaving their concerns behind—leaving the world behind. Just two people sitting across from one another in a closed space, soon to be thousands feet off the ground, hoping they could never be apart.

“How did you even manage to get us a passenger car all for ourselves?”

“I have connections,”

“Another romantic interlude of yours?”

He chuckles. Teasing gone awry. Jimin's heart almost stops; it has been doing a lot of that in the past few hours. It's just that he loves his voice, he loves his voice so much. Jimin pretty damn much loves everything about him.

“Not anymore.” He tilts his head and flashes a lopsided smile. Jimin wills his heart to calm down: after all, he is the same person flustering his shooting star not fifteen-minutes ago, but surely, the latter had a way of turning the tables around. “I have none of those now except the ones I share with you.”

His heart trembles against the words unsaid, awaiting being endowed with wings so it could break free from the cage it has been imprisoned in for twenty-four years. How willing has Jimin been to give one captor for another—the most beautiful of all.

They were getting higher and higher, the fireworks louder and louder, and the air was getting thinner. And it was getting harder to breathe, not because of the air, but because Jimin's heart was too occupied trying not to implode that it doesn’t have the time to properly pump out blood. He was fidgeting with something in his pocket: a gesture Jimin was mirroring, absentmindedly feeling the texture of what his fingers were touching.

Jimin leans close, pitch dropping seductively.

“Make a wish.”

He doesn’t have to pull back to learn about the reaction; he has lived a similar moment so many times before.

“What if I already got my wish?”

Because Jimin's heart no longer has the capacity, he goes for a kiss, hating that it has to be broken at some point.

“Maybe you get to have another one.”

A wishbone, a confused head-tilt and a lopsided smile, a smirk and a tease. Fingers brushing against knuckles before enclosing the wishbone. Snap. Jimin ends up with bigger piece.

“I win.” Jimin declares and quickly steals a kiss.

That boyish chuckle ensues, followed by a No, I did. Fingers prying the unequal wishbone-pieces away, breaths tickling skin—Tell me what you wished for then—playful hands shoving bodies away, fingertips dancing over hearts—I’ll show you someday—mingled laughter soothing souls, lips murmuring all kinds of heartbeat-skittering words, an end to the playful push-and-pull. Another kiss, a deeper one.

Explosions—more explosions—rocking their worlds, rocking their hearts. Jimin isn’t sure: is it his heart shaking, or the passenger car?

They were at the top of the world—the peak of the rotation—and Jimin is sure time stills: At least that is how he experiences the moment. He is smiling, how could he not smile when he has every reason to be the happiest person in the world?

Squillo. Finger guiding attention to the outside world, We should go to Disneyland before we leave.

It’s a promise then.

Lips meeting lips, hands splayed against chests, fingers making knots in hair, bodies clashing, cameras cluttering against the floor. Shallow breaths and small sighs, open eyes and drawing back. It is indeed one fine line separating anticipation from anxiety. With a tapering-out smile and a skyrocketing heart, Jimin looks at the person to whom he is willing to give the world, inquiring—hopeful.

“I have something to tell you,”

Jimin marks the minutes with heartbeats, with words.

And in a bright burst of colour—too much blue and too little yellow against the expanding infinity—they were going down.

Explosions. Falsetto. The full moon seems to be bleeding.