Waking up to the sounds of nothing was starting to grow on your skin. You enjoyed the moments of the morning, without the sounds of yelling or things crashing to the floor. It was peace to your ears, obviously. Adding to the peace, was how the warmth of the sun would shine onto your skin from the window. You savored these moments as much as you could, because these moments never lasted long.
A small groan escapes my lips as the sound of my alarm starts bouncing off the walls. I fight the urge to stay in my bed longer, and press the snooze button on my screen. The sudden white brightness was stinging my eyes, but this was nothing new. My eyes travel to the screen, adjusting to the light, and I see one text message from two hours ago.
Jessie pooh: Wake up reminder for sleeping beauty. Don’t forget, our shift is at 9 am SHARP today!
She was the only thing keeping me on my feet these days. No matter how annoying she was, I always craved her sunny personality whenever she wasn’t near. She's the one keeping me sane from all my problems.
My feet touch the cold wood floor, sending a shiver up my spine as I fumble around my room to find an all black outfit for work. Black was always my color, but during times of hot weather like this, it felt as if I would melt from the heat soon. I took no time to freshen up and slip a long sleeved shirt over myself, a black skirt, and black leggings underneath. My phone dinged right when I finished.
Jessie pooh: You better be done, waiting at your door!
Not even a second later, did I hear her fists pounding on my door. I giggle and roll my eyes at the usual routine, though it never got old for some reason. I burst out of my room, pulling my hair up as I run to the door before Jess breaks it down with her small body.
“Yah! Took you long enough!” she tried to act annoyed, but it can never look scary from a small person like her. Jess used to be way taller than me when we were younger, but then she stopped growing so I now hover over her like a monster.
“Did you sleep well?” she asks, concern overwhelming her once again. I wasn’t oblivious to the fact that there were dark circles under my eyes, and I was sure I would faint soon by how light my body feels on my feet. But Jess knew that there was no point anymore to help me, seeing you like this was never new.
“Yes, for once.” I lie, which was the easiest thing now. Lies would always spill out of my mouth, and I didn’t even have to think twice about it. It was like a reflex now.
“Whatever you say.” she snakes her arm around my waist and starts leading me out of my apartment, wincing at how she could feel my bones through my shirt.
Truth be told, I did not sleep well. I haven’t for the pass months. I find myself wandering around the busy city during the night, never wanting to return back to the warmth of my bed. I liked the cold feeling on my skin, it was like a wake up call saying “Hey, you’re still alive. Why is that anyway?” And sometimes I ask myself that too. What was the point of living, if I’m not even enjoying it. To truly smile, was not familiar to me. It felt as if I’m faking everything in my life. That I’ve always been faking everything. Faking the feeling of being happy, enjoying to breathe, enjoying to be able to walk, enjoying to be able to have a roof over my head. But I’d rather not have that. I’d rather be on the edge of a cliff, ready to accept the fact that I wasn’t accepted here anymore. That I was no longer loved. But I could never help but smile at Jess, even if I’m in a horrible mood constantly. I always wondered what I would give to her or what my last words to her would be.
Work was nothing new, a busy place in the mornings. For when customers of every age come in to grab a coffee or a donut. The busy noise killed me everyday, but I always have to force myself through it. I was never bothered by loud noises, until I slowly knew what the loud noises coming from outside my childhood bedroom was when growing up.
“(Y/n), take over the front for me? David spilt cream all over the floor again!” Jess tried to keep it at a minimum, but raised her voice for everyone to hear about David’s clumsy self.
“I DIDN’T MEAN TOO!” his voice rang through the whole entire cafe, leaving some of the customers to laugh.
I find myself in front of a tablet that takes everyone’s orders, and also gives me the money to pay for my bills. My ponytail was slowly going loose by the heat from the back but it was nice having the cold breeze hit my skin every time the front door would open and close.
“Ahem.” a small grunt makes me look up from the marbled countertops, and I was met with a tall figure with broad shoulders, and a very good looking face if I have to say so.
“Sorry, what would you like today?” I put on a small smile, showing the top of my teeth.
I clicked on all the buttons of drinks he was asking for, until I stopped when I hear him ask, “D-do you guys have banana milk?”
“Banana milk?” was he, a full grown man, asking for banana milk. I certainly didn’t see any children in here right now. His face was turning into a shade of pink and I couldn’t help but laugh from the sudden awkwardness in the air. It was a small hearty laugh, something I haven’t felt in ages, “Yes, we do have banana milk.” I click the option on the tablet and send him a small smile as he grabbed money out from his wallet.
“Hyung, did you ask for my banana milk?” I turn to look over his shoulder, to see a man with a pout on his face. I was ready to burst out laughing again, but I held it in so I wouldn’t get yelled at. I’ve had my fair share of angry customers already.
Yes, Kook, now go back and sit with everyone else.” Kook nods his head and skips to the table in the corner, seated with five other men.
“Sorry about that.” He scratches the back of his neck and gives me a small, embarrassed smile. I nod my head as he walks off to wait for his drinks.
“He’s real handsome, isn’t he?” I yelp and take a step back from the counter to take in how close Jess is.
“Yah! Tell me when you’re going to scare me like that!” I playfully smack her on the arm, making her whine in protest. Her small body comes with sensitive feelings.
“You have to agree. I would have had him in bed by now.” she turns her attention to the table of men and gapes at him.
“Close your mouth, you’re drooling.” I roll my eyes at her normal personality and she sends a wink at me.
“Their drinks should be ready, I can take over.” she didn’t even wait for me to say anything back, till she hip bumps me to the side. I was on the verge to slap her again but held it in as I saw all seven drinks, waiting to be given away. I professionally balance all of them on a plain, ugly, brown tray and make my way to the round booth in the corner of the cafe. They seem to be screaming at each other, maybe arguing, but their tones dialed down once I appeared in their sight. I place all their drinks down, leaving the banana milk last before handing it to Kook, “And a banana milk for the kid with the bunny smile.”
“I am not a kid!” he protests but his facial expressions said otherwise.
“Don’t yell at her!” a brown haired says, and swipes the banana milk away from Kook, leaving him to slowly burst into whines. Man, was he a handful.
I politely bow and stalk back to the counter, earning stares from Jess, who was still drooling over Mr. Broad Shoulders. I didn’t have time to even take another breath before my tray was pulled out of my hands and was being hit by it.
“That. Guy. Was. Checking. You. Out!” she repeatedly says, still not stopping with her tray hits.
I yank the tray out of her hands, not ready for her nonsense again, “No one was checking me out. Now get back to work.” I walk past her to head to the front for my day to be over, but never missed her saying, “Dude with the silver hair.”
I let my long hair, blow all over the place. The weather was starting to get colder, leaving the hot morning air to dial down. Every time a shiver went through my spine, I felt the sting on my arms from the sudden movement. I start to rub endlessly at the bruised skin on my arm, leaving me a painful mess on the sidewalk, in front of the cafe I work at. People tell you that the reason someone self harms is because they like the feeling of the physical pain washing over the mental pain. And I was here to tell them wrong, because the physical pain never washed away my mental pain. Never washed it away like the ocean on a beach, reaching their destination but then being pulled away, a continuous process.
I would have to walk myself home today, like every afternoon. Jess always wants to take afternoon shifts, giving her extra money to pay for not only herself but her little brother’s health. He isn’t in pain, no, but he also needs food and a roof over his head everyday. Earbuds were in my ears and I blasted my music so I wouldn’t be able to hear anything around me. Not the sounds of cars, horns, birds chirping, or the rustle of leaves as they blow through the air.
A way of dying is letting music control you as you walk across the roads of Seoul. Not looking at the directions of cars, nor looking left or right for your safety. I like it that way. I was giving myself up to the world, and accepting my death. But for some reason, this tactic never leaded me to where I wanted to go, but left me with car horns and angry drivers. Being yelled at was nothing I am unfamiliar with. That’s how I grew up, coming home everyday with my mother screaming her head off at me. Everything I did always upset her, I wasn’t sure what I could do anymore. She was always in a bad mood, and soon my father would join too.
“Mom.” I wait for her reply, but she is still typing away on her computer, work corrupting her.
“Mom.” I repeat. This time I get a reply, but something I wasn’t hoping for.
“You know how hard my job is right now, (Y/n)! Why can’t you leave me alone for one second! Me working is letting me feed you everyday, even if I hate it so much! This is important right now! Wait till after dinner, please.”
After dinner was never a break from her computer either way. So I gave up, and didn’t even want to talk to my own father. I didn’t even have a sibling to run off to, to cry to and tell them that it feels as if darkness is choking me and won’t let me escape. Even as much as I try too.
Tears sting my wrists as I stare at myself in the mirror. No one noticed how pale I was getting these days, or how I am getting skinnier than the day before, or the week before, or the two weeks before. No one noticed how I was slowly on the verge of wanting to end my life. I turn my face away from the mirror and pay attention the blood dripping on the tile floor. One by one, my sanity was going away. But I like it this way. I keep telling myself that I like it this way. And would love it once everything ended.
“CAREFUL!” I was jolted away from my thoughts as I felt a pair of arms wrap around my body and pull me away from the middle of the cars driving by. Once again, the tactic failed. I was in no mood to say ‘thank you,’ because I didn’t want to end up here again. I rip myself away from his grasp and walk away from him, feeling his stares pierce the back of my head. My earbuds were out of my ears, hanging from my hands as I carried them, so I could faintly hear his feet running against the sidewalk, running to me.
His hand grabs my wrist, forcefully, causing me to wince from the pain. He took that a hint to let go of me and he quickly apologizes for doing that. Please do. Please let this pain corrupt me. He kept talking, mumbling his sorries. I stare up at his brown eyes to see that he was from the group of boys from earlier. The one who took the banana milk away from Kook.
“I-it’s fine. Stop apologizing.” I was used to people saying sorry. My parents. Liars. They just needed me to feel sane again.
He nods his head, “You should really watch where you’re going. Imagine what could’ve happened if I wasn’t there.” he points to all the busy cars driving pass during this busy hour. I would’ve easily died like that. That’s what would’ve happened. I nod my head, letting his words run over me, joining with the cold breeze of the air.
“Do you need a ride home?” he asks.
“I-I’m good.” As much as I would love a ride home, there is no way that I am letting a stranger let me into their car.
That is not a way I want to die.
“Hoseok! We’re going to be l- What are you doing?” a tall figure strides up to us and grabs Hoseok’s wrist and starts dragging him away. “If we don’t go back and get dressed for dinner soon, Jackson will behead me!”
Hoseok was ready to shrug him off and run back to me, but I was already way ahead of him. I turn on my heels and sprint off, letting his shouts echo through Seoul. Not a trace of myself even near him anymore.
“Worthless. Think of how easy it would be if you disappeared from here.” his breath was close, way too close. His hands were traveling up my small skirt, with no shorts underneath. He enjoyed the small whimpers coming out of my mouth. His lips were trailing from my neck, to my collarbone, and then up to my ear, “Such a pretty thing going to waste. Don’t you think?” I feel a tear slide down my cheek as I feel his fingers slide my garment to the side, as if it was nothing. “I bet you’re tight. Virgin. I want to hear you cry for help,” I yelp when I feel a piece of him inside me, “I want you to beg for me to let you go.” A second. I was sobbing at this point, letting my helpless screams escape my mouth.
“God, you’re tight.” I wanted to kick him, punch him, anything. But I was left there, under his arms, as he pinned my wrist above my head and trapped both my legs. I was, once again, alone.
“Ready for some fun?” I shake my head no, countless times, but no matter what I did, he wouldn’t listen, he just kept stripping me down until I was a crying mess.
I stare down at the water below me. My hands and head were resting against the black railing, cars and trucks driving pass me, ignoring me. I can’t even take a walk without that memory coming back into mind. His lips and hands on me. It’s like I’m repeating the same damn moment over and over again. I want it to stop, but no matter how hard I try, it won’t leave my mind.
Think of how easy it would be. Standing on top of this old, rusty thing that’s keeping me away from jumping into my death. It wouldn’t be a quick death, but I’d let myself stay down there and breathe in the water, rather than holding my breath. I would think of Jess when I let my feet off the ground, wishing her the best while I take my last breath, my last look at all the scenery around me, my last look at the cars, and all the people around me who couldn’t help nor did they want to.
I take a last look at all the cars behind me.
It wouldn’t be doing anyone any harm.
I pull myself up with both of my hands.
You only know one person.
My feet dangle off the ground.
She probably doesn’t even care about you.
They are now on the railing.
Your mother would be happy that you made this choice.
I felt like a ballerina. Balancing herself.
Your dad would be happy too.
Being free with the world, at last.
I didn’t trip, I didn’t do anything on accident. I was prepared. I knew what was coming. I let myself into the air, and took a last breath. Balance was no longer a key at this point.
Until he had to interrupt.