[Taehyung is art worth marvelling over, but it’s rarely done right pt.1]
Yoongi and Hoseok once had a conversation late at night in the dorms right before they moved dorms. It had been an exceptionally hot day and night for that time, so naturally the two brothers were sitting on the veranda attached to the kitchen on chairs meant for inside. If it had been a painting, Taehyung could have imagined the painter emphasising the colour blue and making a swirl of white smoke contrasting the dark silhouettes of his brothers. But none of the members were currently smoking, nor were any of them painters.
Taehyung hadn’t been able to sleep because of the warmth, so he had decided to come downstairs to cool down and get something to drink. He had no intention to make himself known to his brothers as he didn’t want to linger downstairs for too long. But that lack of intention manifested into intending to keep quiet as Taehyung caught on what they were talking about.
Yoongi had said something along the lines of “Different from Seokjin, I don’t get him, you know?” Hoseok had hummed in agreement. He knew something Taehyung didn’t. “From Seokjin I know for sure that he wants to stay with us despite his intentions, but with Taehyung... I sometimes get uncertain.”
Hoseok had tried to appease Yoongi by saying. “Don’t worry. He got his friends. He got Jimin.”
Yoongi’s uncertainty had seeped through with his response to that. “But what are we?”
Of course it had not been right of Taehyung to listen in, but that was already done and dwelling on that matter hadn’t become his biggest concern regarding that conversation. What Taehyung wondered was whether this was the right conversation for him to have heard. Sometimes hearing people talk without them knowing that you’re listening, offers some insight that can strengthen relationships and enforce understanding. To Taehyung it felt like that snippet from Yoongi and Hoseok’s conversation should have maybe make him feel smug. They were worrying about him, right? The universe had wanted him out of all the sleeping members to hear this conversation, so it was only just for him to feel reassured, thought of and cared for.
He didn’t feel like that.
The more Taehyung got to think about that conversation and its implications – the more he had to have others, mainly Jimin, step in whenever he would feel like he’d get upset – made him realise that there was a chasm between him and his brothers. They weren’t on the same wavelength as him, even though he knew that all of them were trying to get on the same level; to help each other out in order to reach a sense of something mutual when talking or wanting something – when envisioning a dream for the future. But there was a disconnect. No intersect when something mattered to Taehyung. That uncertainty in Yoongi’s voice.
Taehyung felt misunderstood.
As Taehyung was spending his time in the park waiting on a friend around four ‘o clock in the morning, he looked at the dark sky being illuminated blue by the city skyscrapers. Like this, he was reminded of that conversation once again.
[“You’re like the dumb blond of the group” – American Hustle Life]
Bangtan was preparing a new series of albums with a theme that strayed away from their harsh hip hop concept, and Taehyung was ecstatic. During the concept meetings he had been surprised to hear what twist his fictional character would endure, but also exited. The entire outlook of their work made him more inclined and less uncertain to participate in composing songs for their albums.
But he had a hard time convincing people to take him seriously.
“I’m not stupid.”
The producer had laid the USB with Taehyung’s tracks on their desk as if it were ready to be listened to, but this scenario was all too familiar to Taehyung. It always went like this. The producer would say ‘thank you for your contribution’, Taehyung would kindly ask them to take care of his work, and in the end his tracks would be returned with no feedback.
No feedback was feedback too.
Not this time.
“I said: I’m not stupid,” Taehyung repeated. It was this truth that he said quietly as if he didn’t want more people to know – as if it was truly a secret to everyone aside from himself. But he couldn’t live like that. It shouldn’t be like this. So he took a sharp breath and raised his voice. “I’m not stupid!”
“Okay,” the producer said a little repelled, “ I get it.”
“No you don’t,” Taehyung countered and stepped forward. “You and everyone else don’t understand or want to believe me when I say or try something. I worked my ass off on these tracks and you were not even planning on listening to them. Surely, you must think I’m stupid.”
The producer raised an eyebrow, but remained quiet.
Before Taehyung could say anything more – another jab, or maybe an apology for his rude behaviour – he felt something warm rest on his shoulder. He craned his neck and saw Jimin urging him with a hand on his shoulder to back off.
“Don’t do this,” Jimin said quietly. “You’re right. But not like this.”
Having someone else step in and help him clean up his mess was also a familiar part of this scenario.
Jimin ushered Taehyung out of the studio, went back in himself to probably apologise for Taehyung, but couldn’t return and find Taehyung where he’d left him. Taehyung had gone and left the building.
His phone had been buzzing almost continuously – probably mostly Jimin – and his stomach was aching to be filled after a long day of vocal and dance practice.
Taehyung got his phone out ready to dial Jimin’s number, only to find that his mother had called him several times. A strange sensation came over him, and it made him know what the message form his mother was before even accepting her call or reading any of the texts.
He was crying before he heard her voice cracking through the other end of the phone line.
“Grandmother… she’s gone. She was sleeping, but she’s gone now.”
[Museums' biggest competitor is the internet]
They had twenty minutes left before recording would start again and Taehyung was looking at a painting on his phone. Up until now, this was as close as he’d get.
“Why is your phone screen always cracked?” Seokjin wondered as he plopped himself beside Taehyung and joined him at admiring the painting – at least Taehyung was.
“This is Jean-Michel Basquiat,” Taehyung explained.
“Are you sure you said their name right?”
“Do you care?”
“You’re right. I don’t.”
“Then leave me alone,” Taehyung cut short.
“Why so hostile?” Seokjin asked a little surprised, but not angrily, “I want to hear about him. Why does he draw like this?”
Taehyung sighted. “Are you going to actually listen if I tell you?”
Seokjin nodded, and Taehyung pursed his lips. He wanted to talk about this with someone, but he didn’t want to bore anyone. “I promise I’ll keep paying attention.”
Taehyung chuckled lowly. “It’s not a punishment.”
Seokjin shrugged and sat more comfortably next to Taehyung – practically leaning on Taehyung’s shoulder. “If it’s boring it is.”
Taehyung hesitated. He tried to come up with something to say wondering whether he should say anything at all. He didn’t want Seokjin to take this as a joke.
Seokjin placed a hand on his arm. “Hey, relax,” he said in a hushing tone noticing Taehyung’s pondering, “Why are you so tense?”
Taehyung was completely thrown off by that question.
They were in the middle of recordings that had been going on for almost three days on a commercial set, which meant that they had to watch how they behaved more cautiously as their personal staff and commercial staff were mixed up. Everyone was running on coffee, and Taehyung who didn’t like the bitter taste was stuck with the protein shakes. Of course he was tense. He hadn’t slept in two days.
“I’m only asking you about this,” Seokjin continued gesturing to Taehyung’s phone.
Taehyung bit on his lips. Why couldn’t he understand context as quickly like most people?
“You like this, right? It relaxes you. Tell me about this drawing,” Seokjin pressed.
“Okay,” Taehyung responded slowly, “Just know that I really like this, so don’t make fun of it.”
Seokjin nodded. “Yeah, okay.”
Taehyung eyed his brother one more time with simmering suspicion, before giving in. “So, right. Like I said this is Jean-Michel Basquiat and it’s not just a drawing – it’s a composition…”
[Taehyung is art worth marvelling over, but it’s rarely done right pt.2]
“…and who do we got here?”
“This is number six on the list of the most beautiful idol stars. Isn’t he cute?”
“He sure got some eye-catching features. What group is he from?”
“Bangtan. He is from the Bangtan boys.”
“Ah, Bangtan. We keep hearing that name everywhere, aren’t we? That must mean something good, right?”
“Something good for director Bang, yes.”
“And what is this one’s name? What is he in charge of in the group?”
“So, his name is V.”
“Yes, just V. Strange right? And he is in charge of being the visual, I suppose. He does not have many talents besides looking good and being cute.”
“Oh, but that’s alright. The beautiful ones are also needed.”
“Exactly! And apparently he can make an elephant with his body.”
“Yes, look at the projector. And to the viewers at home, feel free to share your thoughts on our Facebook page…”
[One of the reasons why Taehyung doesn’t like to drink]
Taehyung got an acting gig. The cast had decided that in order to get to know each other they should all go out – to the club scene of Seoul. Taehyung had gone out a couple of times, but back then he hadn’t had serious money, nor had he been part of such a big entourage. He was exited and curious.
They started off in a pub, and as Korean culture has it, the youngest could not refuse a refill when offered one from someone older. To say that Taehyung got drunk was an understatement. Up until that night Taehyung had only experienced a happy drunk version of himself. He wouldn’t mind the way things would sway and how his sentences would turn into giggle fits. Being drunk or becoming drunk had never scared him.
Then this night happened.
He had felt some pressure in regards to the seniors he was hanging out with. Taehyung had something to prove, if not at least some friends to make if he were to do good during set recordings. So when they hit their first club, he let himself be convinced to be part of all the activities that came with wasting your money away (Though, since he was the youngest he needn’t to pay that much and got many drinks and other things offered to him by the older cast).
If there was one thing bound to happen with a large group, it was it splitting up into smaller groups. Some wanted to head home early. At the beginning of the night Taehyung had pictured himself among them, but he had been too drunk – too happy – dancing to a beat of a song he believed he knew. So he continued hopping from club to club, getting a breather every time he was met with the night air in between clubs.
Then things started to take a turn.
As the night proceeded and Taehyung’s entourage changed into people he’d never met before – people who didn’t know who he was and were too drunk to see him as part of the famous boy group as he was alone – the scene changed to different clubs, different neighbourhoods, and a different vibe. There were brighter colours everywhere. There was more dancing – more intimate dancing.
Taehyung wasn’t sure what he was drinking at this point, and suddenly he found himself kissing another man.
That was when he snapped out of it. Not completely, but it sobered him good enough to take a few steps backwards and find his way out the club. Looking around outside the bright colours of neon lights advertising different clubs and pubs made Taehyung realise he had found himself in the gay area.
He had lost his coat somewhere along the way. Luckily, upon searching through his pockets he found that he still got his phone and wallet.
The night air made him shiver and the sound of muffled music accompanied his throbbing head.
Alone like this, Taehyung felt like crying. He was confused about what had just happened and wondered whether he was too drunk to remember this in the future. It took him great effort to shuffle out of the gay area towards a more traditional club scene, all the while worrying over how many people had seen him – what the response would be when pictures would get leaked, what PR would say, how disappointed his members would be, what his family would think-
So when he called a cab and got on his way home he felt silent tears trickling down his face.
Upon arriving at home whilst looking for keys (that he had lost) he gave a frustrated grunt and started cursing everything and everyone out. The thing he loathed the most in that moment was himself. He felt out of touch with who he tried to be and who he actually was. For a moment nothing seemed to truly matter. So what if he had just ruined his career? He was still alive and could return back to his family home and work on the farm. This Seoul life would be nothing but a strange chapter in his life, and Yoongi’s implications would have been right when he had doubted their worth for Taehyung.
Thinking like that was no reassurance. Thinking like that made him pause, touch his lips, and think back to the stranger he had kissed. Was now the moment to question his sexuality?
Surely at some point someone heard him, because the lights went on and he could hear the door open. But Taehyung was already too busy puking his guts out in the bushes.
“Shit,” someone said and Taehyung was suddenly staring at the night sky. His body felt very cold laying on the ground and his muscles started to ache because of his continuous shivering. His head throbbed more intensely and he belatedly realised that he had somehow slipped, tripped and fallen down. He started crying again. “Shit,” said someone again, though it was someone else.
Like this – like a puddle of emotions, puke, and the experience of a stolen kiss – ended his memory of that night.
Despite there being no leaked images or new rumours, Taehyung was denied any activities as a member of Bangtan for the following week without the public knowing.
[Something that his brothers tell him]
“We cannot fix this for you, but we are here to give you support.”
[The star from an art exhibition pt.1]
Taehyung found himself in front of a painting with heavy strokes filling the canvas in black. There was a white dot in the top middle. It was as big as a fist, but seemed small on the canvas. Looking at the painting Taehyung realised that this was what he and his brothers were like: elevated and shining through the darkness. Their success has become as unmistakable as the existence of a white dot in the dark.
Yet here Taehyung was, with the corners of his lips turned downwards and a frown on his forehead.
Like that dot, they were alone; truly in the darkness as no one else had made it this far – there was no one else they could turn to when things didn’t work out. No one knew how to handle any of this, and neither did they. And so they found themselves unaccompanied, yet together – but even that sense of togetherness didn’t feel as prominent to Taehyung as it was presented on the painting. That dot could be Taehyung alone. However, in that case Taehyung would have placed it on the far bottom, in a corner and made it a bit smaller. He couldn’t stand as tall and proud as that white spot right there, like his brothers. He could only feel its isolation and the desperation that came with it.
Was this what growing up was all about?
His life has been so avidly documented that everyone could clearly see how as time progressed he became more withdrawn, less noisy, more stressed out, and now a lot sadder.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” an unknown voice gave their opinion from beside him.
“It’s sad,” Taehyung responded.
The other person sighted. “It’s all about perspective… and where you stand in life.”
Taehyung decided to buy the painting, but to not take it home. He rented the spot on the wall in the exhibition, and had it that when a new exhibition would take place that the hall manager would store the painting accordingly. Taehyung didn’t want to bring the painting home, just yet.
[A new addition to the group]
“What’s his name again?”
“Inspired by Bangtan?”
“His eyebrows… he is very cute,” Yoongi was petting the small puppy with the utmost care. Taehyung couldn’t hide the grin forming on his face.
“So you admit that? Can I hear you repeat that?”
Yoongi caught on and rolled his eyes, but didn’t let his attention towards the puppy stray away. “Shut up,” he muttered.
“You should be glad Holy is not hearing you right now.”
“I am glad,” Yoongi said and looked at Taehyung. “That you got yourself a dog. Now I know for sure you will take care of yourself. You got this little one here,” Yeontan was as hyper as puppies get, “he depends on you.”
Taehyung felt his cheeks heat up. “Only the little one depends on me? Not all of Bangtan?”
Yoongi let out a surprised laugh. “Don’t overdo it.”
“Like me being featured on cypher?”
Yeontan jumped out of Yoongi’s hands and rushed over to Taehyung.
“It’s a funny idea, isn’t?” Yoongi teased.
Taehyung cradled Yeontan close to his face and made noises. “Don’t worry, I’ll fix you guys a sick beat and will come up with a chorus.”
“Will you also do my rap?”
“Only because you ask so nicely.”
Out of all the members to send Taehyung an emotional text message out of nowhere Yoongi took the spot, and Taehyung was not that surprised to see that it had been him. Jimin and Jungkook sent Taehyung messages all the time. That was nothing new, nor were Hoseok’s links to video’s or news articles – or Seokjin’s drunken messages, responded by Namjoon’s overload of the vomit emojis. Whenever Yoongi texted it was never superfluous, always straight to the point.
I love you
Like that did the message end. There had been no real provocation for Yoongi to have send him something like that, but Taehyung had needed something real like that. He wondered whether Yoongi knew this or had merely guessed. It didn’t take away that his intentions and words hit Taehyung right where it mattered.
[A message sent in the Bangtan chat written in Taetae-language]
Speaking together is what I need to do right now. Tell me when all of you have the time.
[Bangtan hears Taehyung out]
Korean barbeque this time. They were running out of meat for the third time, but seemed to be full and satisfied as it was.
Taehyung had not shied away from the fact that he wanted to make something clear – his mind mainly. But he didn’t know where to start, so the after dinner discussion was mostly him spewing words and his members trying to understand what he was aiming at. It was starting to get frustrating, because no one seemed to get anywhere.
“I feel like you’re not being completely honest with us,” Jimin said quietly when another silence had dropped.
Taehyung frowned. “Excuse-me?”
“I mean. Of course you’re being honest, but I think you overthink what we will think of what you got to say,” Jimin spoke softly, “You’re withholding something and that’s making it hard for you to speak your mind.”
Soulmates indeed. Taehyung let out nervous laugh. “I just really don’t know how to phrase what I got to say. I’m sure all of you just want to go home by now.”
Hoseok shook his head. “No, come on, Taehyung. Don’t think like that. You’re clearly struggling right now, and we want to help.”
“I actually talked with director Bang about this briefly,” Taehyung tried a different approach. Starting like this made their private booth somewhat more quiet than before. Taehyung didn’t look at his brothers, but knew he had their attention. “He said that he had noticed that I seemed… distracted was the word he used. He asked me whether I was still enjoying being part of the group, you see.”
Taehyung took a sip of his soda, and looked at the table. They were looking expectantly back at him, but he had finished talking about that matter.
“And?” Namjoon urged.
“What and?” Taehyung replied, “We talked and that was that. He suggested that I could pursue more acting jobs and maybe take a break from Bangtan to do so.”
“But what do you think? Do you want to stay? Are you enjoying yourself? Is this something that has been bothering you?” Jimin was firing his question rapidly, laughing nervously, and then quickly finding his glass of liquor to appease himself.
“Well,” Taehyung thought for a second. “I’ve been thinking about something like that… But then again, I’ve been thinking about a lot of things. The lives that we’re living… It’s crazy, right? How can any of you be okay with this? I get jealous sometimes.”
“Jealous of ordinary people?” Jungkook mumbled.
Taehyung nodded. “Yeah, yeah. Exactly. I mean; it’s not like we can do what everyone else is doing. Say, I meet someone – kiss someone – It can’t be casual like that”
“Have you met someone? Kissed someone?” Yoongi asked calmly.
Taehyung opened his mouth to say no, but the shape of his mouth got stuck as he was reminded of what Jimin had just said. He wasn’t being honest. “Yeah,” Taehyung ended up with. Embarrassment washed over him as he eyed his empty plate. “This was a long time ago. I kissed someone in the dark.”
Namjoon shrugged. “We all do, from time to time.”
Taehyung nodded, “Yeah but…”
“Was this that time you went out with the drama cast?” Hoseok asked.
Taehyung nodded again.
“Did you make out with someone from the cast?” Seokjin asked frowning.
Taehyung shook his head, and dared to meet their eyes. “No, no one from the cast. I… I don’t remember who it was, but it was not a girl. ”
The first thing that Taehyung noticed after saying this, was how Yoongi adverted his eyes. Seokjin exchanged a look with Namjoon, whilst Hoseok, Jimin and Jungkook seemed genuinely surprised.
“Are you... gay?” That was Jimin asking very kindly.
Taehyung showed him a small smile. “That’s really not what this is about.”
“It’s totally fine if you’re gay… right?” Jungkook looked around at the guys and saw them agreeing and nodding along. He looked back at Taehyung and shrugged like this conversation was totally normal and that they should all pretend to be normal. But Jungkook was obviously not comfortable with everything that was being discussed, he just wanted to show and say what he meant regardless of that. “I mean we don’t really talk about this, but we’re all cool, right?” Jungkook said.
“Of course,” Namjoon said. “That’s not even a question,” Yoongi responded.
“But we have to be quiet about it,” Taehyung said in his low voice. “You may be cool about stuff like this, but the people, our fans, our country-”
“-They’re not ready,” Seokjin said instead of Taehyung.
Taehyung sighted. “They’re not ready for a lot of things. Even the smallest things- say.. a moustache for example.”
“But” Hoseok gingerly countered Taehyung, “what are you trying to say here, Taehyung?”
Taehyung was making shapes with his mouth again searching for the right words. “You got me there,” he replied after a moment. “I don’t even know at this point. I want a moustache and really long hair, I guess.”
“May I backtrack then?” Namjoon leaned forward and squinted his eyes like he was carefully picking out the right words. “You said that you thought about leaving.”
Taehyung shook his head. “That’s not what I mean. The director gave me that idea.”
“But it didn’t seem too strange for you to consider?” Namjoon continued.
“Considering acting is just something I would like to do no matter what.”
“Then what about leaving the group?”
“No,” Taehyung said slowly, “I would never want to leave. It’s just…” Taehyung shrugged. “I’m having trouble with finding my place in the group. I know I am a singer. I know that I am also a visual, but sometimes when we talk…” as he spoke his hands moved at the same pace as the words tumbling out of his mouth. As his hand movements slowed down, did his voice quiet down until he found himself once again at a loss. It started to become a little embarrassing. Taehyung sighed. “I’m sorry… I’m just- I don’t know how much I contribute to our conversation? I mean I know that we love each other and support each other, but I feel… I feel like the odd one out. And of course this has to do with my own incompetence in handling my own problems and what not. It just sometimes feels like I’m talking to a wall.”
“Taehyung,” Jimin sounded surprised and said Taehyung’s name as if he demanded a more elaborate explanation. Taehyung merely lifted an eyebrow and sipped his drink.
“Fuck,” Jungkook drawled out quietly. “I would have never thought. You’re always so confident.”
“So are you,” Taehyung responded easily. There was a funny feeling inside of him. It made him feel light and elated from the gravitas of all the emotions shown on his members’ faces. It would almost seem like he was watching himself from above in the corner in the room, not having to fear of face any consequences of what he had just said.
This feeling was not unknown. He knew that it was temporary, and that at some point he would come down – pulled by the gravity of reality. Like falling, it hurts when you hit solidity.
“This has nothing to do with your supposedly incompetence, Taehyung,” Yoongi said. “Your feelings are valid. There are no excuses, only maybe explanations.”
Taehyung felt his cheeks burn. He struggled to keep his voice steady as he followed with a question. “Then how would you elucidate my feelings?”
There was this guilt that came every time Taehyung dared to voice how he felt. As if having feelings that conflicted with everything happening around him – mainly their success in the industry – would make him seem ungrateful; the mindless idol with a boxy smile that had somehow found a way to complain about his members.
“I think,” Hoseok started carefully, “we’ve all somehow felt like that at some point in our time as a member. It’s only natural to look around you and realise what bond we have with each other and what we mean to each other. To feel strange about it and unsure… I’ve had it too, but that was mainly because I didn’t have myself figured out yet. I still don’t, I’m still growing. But I believe not completely knowing yourself plays a huge part in this- your feelings.”
Taehyung had to look away from his brother as his eyes started to sting. “I know who I am,” he said, almost defensively.
“Are you comfortable to live as who you are?” Namjoon posed that question. He surpassed several conversation points in which he would have first concluded that despite Taehyung’s claim stating that he knew who he was, Taehyung wasn’t living accordingly.
Taehyung could utter something indignant about how Namjoon was completely off, but going down that route would only foster Jimin’s statement; Taehyung wasn’t really being honest that way.
“I want to be,” Taehyung whispered. Before it reaching his cheeks, Taehyung wiped a rolling tear away. “I apologise,” Taehyung followed. Like this did he make contact with solidity. It was jarring, and confusing. He didn’t know how he ended up sharing some of his deepest feelings like that. “I must be confused, that’s all. It will pass.”
“You have nothing to apologise for,” Jimin said.
“I don’t know what else to say.”
“You don’t have to say anything,” Jimin continued, “I understand you. I’m glad you shared this with us. It takes a lot of courage.”
“But now what, Jimin?” The exasperation in his voice was almost completely overshadowed by the despair, as Taehyung hinged on Jimin’s words, hoping to hear what he needed; something that would reassure his unhappy heart. “We just continue to live like this?” he asked sounding rhetorical, but not being it, “I continue to talk to walls whilst more and more people start to notice that I’m seriously stupid for not coming up with the right words to fucking speak?”
“Taehyung,” Jimin seemed a little freaked out. He reached out as if that would help.
“I can’t do that,” Taehyung said, “I don’t want to leave, but I can’t live like this anymore. We need- I need a break. We need vacation. Why don’t we have vacations? There are always camera’s.”
A pause. Taehyung almost bit his tongue trying to shut himself up.
“Shit,” that was Seokjin. Taehyung looked up and saw him rubbing in his eyes. His ears were red and Taehyung recognised that he must be crying. “He’s right,” he said, “You’re right, Taehyung. I just don’t know how to help. Things are so fast lately. I wanted to suggest going on a vacation but then the next big thing happens and we find ourselves on a plane. I get with it, though. But I completely understand you too. This life… is it strange if I said I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else if it weren’t for you guys?”
“It’s not,” Yoongi said nodding. “I try not to dwell on it.”
“Thinking like that,” Namjoon had a wavering smile on his face whilst having a bitter tone, “it would almost seem like being ungrateful.”
Yoongi hummed. “I know,” he said and then looked at Taehyung, “But it’s not. Our feelings are valid.”
Taehyung felt how the corners of his lips involuntarily turned upwards. “No excuses, only explanations,” he reiterated Yoongi’s phrase.
“We can talk about this with director Bang, with all of us together,” Jungkook said, aiming for a concrete solution. Maybe even a conclusion. “We can demand free time.”
“Yeah, Jungkook,” Jimin said softly, slowly and unenergetically, “We can do that.” He too was lowly smiling.
They all must be mad.
This was the perfect example of laughing through one's pain. Really, the boys tried coming up with a solution to Taehyung’s troubles, and went with what Jungkook suggested, but their conversation didn’t stir or have the theatrical hyperbool demanded in any good scene. They left how they came – only a little bit wiser about eachother, a little more grounded, and for Taehyung a sense of unity. On the surface, it would not suffice. The camera directors would have demanded for some of the members to apologise, or for one of them to state something wise and for Taehyung to say something along the lines of ‘Ah, I feel way better now. Thanks guys, Bangtan forever, and leaving is never an option.’ But that didn’t go down any of the members’ throat. Not when they were alone. Not when they had just seen Taehyung baring his soul. They listened, they understood. They left the restaurant.
Strange wasn’t it, how there could be a supposedly solution without a conclusion?
Everyone felt like shit because of their busy schedule. Let’s have a vacation. Then what?
Was that really what all of this boiled down to? The smiles that hinged on each and every one of their faces would be pathetic in the eyes of anyone living a ‘normal’ life.
To that, Taehyung would smile the tipsy smile he shared with his members – player, hater, you should love yourself.
[The star from an art exhibition pt.2]
The painting hung in their entrance hall and would immediately catch the attention of anyone entering or leaving. In the dark it was illuminated by dimmed show lights, and would create a ominous air. Taehyung didn’t mind. He liked it the most that way. To anyone who didn’t view the painting as he did, it wouldn’t be as welcoming. What Taehyung saw when looking at that white dot now was a challenge, a journey. It was the life he lived and got to share with those closest to him. You wouldn’t understand unless you were him. You wouldn’t understand unless you took your time to stop, think, and ask Taehyung gently with an open mind:
“Explain to me what I’m looking at.”
[Stating that Naver is not obsessed with Bangtan’s activities has become something close to a false statement]
“Oh, so the boys went on a trip together? How cute!! I can’t wait to see all the clips from this.” ++245/--67
“I. need. Clips. Photo’s. audio. Behind the scenes. I need it now!!” ++234/--12
“I’m too broke for new Bangtan content, but I can’t wait.” ++108/--27
“I don’t believe that BigHit will release clips. This was not part of their official schedule.” ++50/--20
“So apparently they all got sick by eating raw meat! Hahaha! These boys are unsafe without their managers” ++103/--32
“I’m kinda sad we don’t get any clips. Like they’ve been off the map for so long. BigHit shows nothing on their official calendar, how am I supposed to know what they’re up to? And look now they’ve gotten sick because there was nobody to cook for them.” ++47/--98
“I heard that this trip was organised by Taehyung. He cares so much about his members.” ++112/--50
[Paris at night]
Taehyung decided, that there was magic when it came down to this city. Everywhere he looked he felt like he was visualising a dream. To think that a farmer’s son from a small town in South-Korea could make it to stroll the streets of Paris… surely this could only happen in dreams.
The sights of the tower sprinkled in glittering colours, the sound of street musicians asking pedestrians to join in a spontaneous dance, to see all of it happening and to actually be part of it – Taehyung could no longer stop smiling.
“You want to take a picture here?”
Taehyung turned around and smiled even broader. “Yes, please. Let’s take a picture!”