December 29th, 2038
The snow is the thickest it has been in years. It's only his luck that he's out cold and alone on a day like this. The wind rustles his clothes and he has to tug on his jacket to keep in snug on his body. No one was out on the street, only the occasional car zooming through the snow.
Jungkook doesn't know where he is going. He never did know. He only follows the stone paths through the city. He's not lost, just wandering with no destination.
He stands on a dead street in Daegu, dark and lonely. No street lamps guide him and no house shines its lights for him. Jungkook lost his phone weeks ago and his flashlight is dead in one of his bags many pockets.
He knows this street. Its Spring Day Street, a completely misleading name on a day like this. When the sun shines and the grass is green, it lives up to the name. There are always flowers blooming and birds singing to the melody of the flowing winds and children's laughter. Jungkook remembers coming here in his younger days with that little blonde boy and his shy younger brother and exploring the playgrounds structures and pushing each other on the swings as fast and hard as they could. He always had… fun.
Fun. It feels like such a foreign thought. When is the last time he had fun? He doesn't know. It can't be recent. Maybe it was the last time he saw that little blonde boy ten years ago. Sometimes, he still misses him and the happiness he would radiate wherever he went. And, he’ll always remember his younger brother that would watch, face hidden behind a pair of sweater paws and his hair long enough to shade his eyes. He used to feel free.
Now, that once new playground is falling apart from misuse and the grass is no longer green with bright flowers littered about. The snow covers it in thick layers, soft on his feet. The wind is too strong for those calm spring breezes he longs for.
Jungkook decides it’s time to stop for the night and ignore the overwhelming nostalgia this area brings him. He walks to the nearest bench and settles down. He hasn't gotten much sleep, he gets too nervous that someone may attack him or take the useless shit he kept in his bag. He doesn't know why anyone would do that, but better safe than sorry.
It gets colder and the snow gets harder. The temperature could not have dropped any lower. It’s cold enough and he even heard that it’s supposed to be heating up soon. Well, maybe not heating up, but it won't be absolutely freezing to the point where Jungkook feels that he’ll freeze to death.
He digs out his thin blanket and covers himself from the shoulders down. His pants are getting wet from the snow and he's now sure that it wasn't a good idea to rest. He should keep going, maybe find someone willing to hire a waste of space like him. No one wants someone completely incapable of basic human functions. Damn, he's so weak.
He sits until the snow becomes unbearable so his vision is blurry and he has lost track of time. He feels his body shift and his eyes hut. He feels like he's going to fall so he rests his head on his bag for support. He can deal with the wet contents of his bag tomorrow.
He's tired, knows he can feel sleep creeping up on him, but the cold continues to catch up to him. He can't even open his eyes because he hasn't slept in days. He internally cries, knowing he isn't worth the real, physical tears.
Hours must have passed. The snow has died down and there was a huge spike in the temperature during the last hour. Jungkook was able to sleep for a bit and feels better than he has in days. It must be the next day, just before the sunrise since it's still dark, but he can see the hints of light peeking up.
Jungkook’s body is still frozen and he's barely able to move to grab the thicker coat hiding in his bag. He manages though, arms shaking as he forces them to move and wrap himself in the large winter jacket. It’s damp from the snow seeping inside through his sleep. He doesn't even want to think about any of the other contents in there.
He decides to wait for the sun to fully rise up so he’s able to walk through the streets with some sort of guide. He hopes he can find a place with cheap breakfast options. He hasn't eaten in days, well, only two days, and he knows he can go more, but he feels an overwhelming urge to gorge on sweets like he used to do after long fights with his parents or stressful days at school. He knows he has a couple of dollars in his wallet, enough to enjoy a nice meal to last him for the next couple days. Then, he can stop by the grocery store and pick up some cheap foods with his leftover money to last him a month. After that, he’ll have to find some side jobs out on the street to salvage a couple of bucks. Sometimes he wishes he wasn't so stubborn when he turned down the money his dad would offer him.
He goes to stand when he sees the sun completely peek out in the distance, but he wobbles. He hadn't noticed the stinging numbness torturing his legs. It’s a mixture from the limited movement during sleep and the snow and freezing wind that hugged him throughout the night. His thighs ache when he begins walking once again. He moves forward, can feel the strike of pain in each step he takes down the fluff covered pavement.
There's a coffee shop he used to visit down the street when he was younger. He saw it last night on his way to the bench and he misses that hot chocolate he used to get every day after school in the winter and the chocolate chip cookie shakes he could down in the summer. His mouth waters at the sugary treat so close, yet so far from his lips. He can't help himself when his numb legs move on their own to the coffee shop.
He's surprised to find the shop almost dead. There's only an old couple enjoying tea and pastries huddled up at a corner table and a college student typing away on his laptop with a coffee off to his left. Before he goes up to the counter, he checks out his wallet, drenched in melted snow. He has enough, hopefully. Twenty seven dollars should be enough to grab a short stack of pancakes and a sugary hot chocolate. He steals the ones and hopes he can save the twenty dollar bill for a trip to the grocery store before he has to go out and find another way to get some money.
He looks up to the employee after he knows his order. “Could I get a medium hot chocolate with extra chocolate, extra whip cream, and chocolate drizzle on top and a short stack-”
“Of chocolate chip pancakes with butter, maple syrup, extra whip cream with chocolate drizzle, powdered sugar and a cup of chocolate chips on the side. Anything else I can get for you?” Jungkook freezes. No way someone can just guess that.
“Yes, thank you… How did you know?” Jungkook asks. The boy behind the counter shrugs.
“You said it out loud.” Understandable. But know he’s just embarrassed. Jungkook can feel his taste buds spike and he hasn't even paid for the meal. He hasn't had this much sugar in ten years. He's been living off dirt cheap packaged food for months that tastes like shit. He feels like a little kid who has just convinced his parents to take him to McDonald's.
“Okay, that’ll be seven dollars and fifty cents,” he says, his hand extending for Jungkook to put his money on his palm. Jungkook stiffens up to dig through his bag and his wallet for any loose change. When he realizes he's out of luck, he sighs and pulls out the twenty. It doesn't make much of a difference, but he still would’ve felt better to have a twenty on him.
“It’s not a problem, I’ll cover the rest for you.” Jungkook feels incredibly rude. He can't just go into a store without enough money and have an employee pay his bill. He's fucking useless.
“You don't have to!” Jungkook exclaims. The boy smiles at him, a customer service smile, probably, but it's hard for Jungkook to tell.
“It’s only fifty cents,” the boy says, accepting the crumpled, damp ones from his shaking hands. “Go take a seat and I'll bring that right out for you.”
Jungkook isn't going to fight it. He knows he doesn't deserve it, but he wants it and he's too weak to fight it. He can let himself relish in the kindness of this employee for once.
“Okay, thank you.” Jungkook steps away from the counter and scans for a table. He chooses one by the large glass windows that gives him a view of the passing cars and the rain that's starting to fall. He lightly curses to himself when the rain becomes a small downpour. It will pass in only a few hours, but it will still give him trouble once he heads out,
Moments pass and a different boy comes out with a tray with his sugary pancakes in the center and his hot chocolate in the right corner. He licks his lips and thanks the black haired boy, who gives him a bright smile.
He ends up staring at a tray for a whole minute before digging in. He never remembered it being this good. He moans at the taste. His tongue tingles once the scorching chocolate reaches his lips and flows down his throat. The whipped cream coats his lips and leaves some on his upper chin.
He laughs. When is the last time he's laughed? Has to be months ago. He feels good.
Once he finishes the meal, he picks up the tray and brings it back up to the counter. The blonde boy thanks him and bids him a good day. Jungkook nods and manages a “you too” as he heads to the door. Once the wind hits him, he's reminded of his reality. He was able to live a bit, but after living for even just a second, he can't go back. He's going to cry. No, he can't. He promised himself in the beginning that he won't. “He's not going to. Jungkook goes back inside.
The blonde boy looks back up and seems surprised to see him again. Jungkook runs over to him, practically falling over the counter, making the employee back up. “C-can I help you?”
“Are you hiring?” he asks, almost out of breath. His heart rate increases. Why is he so nervous? He shouldn't be. He's had jobs before.
“Let me go check with my manager…” and the boy walks away. Jungkook waits patiently until a woman walks out of the backroom. She's young but older than him. Maybe a little older than the blonde employee who fetched her from the back room. Her hair is long and brown and the uniform gives her a professional aura. She meets Jungkook on the other side of the counter and they move to the side to discuss.
“I'm Kim Eunseo. Park Jimin said you’re interested in the job?” her voice is deep and smooth. It makes Jungkook shiver. He’s never heard a female voice that deep.
“Yes, I'm Jeon Jungkook. I was hoping there was an opening?” he says, more of a question than anything. He manages to keep his voice steady and he feels proud. He’s making a decent first impression. If he's to deal with customers on a daily basis, he needs to have a steady voice and make her believe that he doesn't have trouble talking to people.
Eunseo nods to herself, leaning over to the blonde, Park Jimin, he assumes. Jimin walks to the back room and comes back out with a stack of paperwork. He sets them down in Eunseo’s hands and leaves for his spot back at the counter.
“Usually, we would be a lot more professional with interviews, but I'll keep this short. Do you have experience in this field?” she asks, tapping the table with her pencil. Jungkook gulps.
“I-I’ve worked in customer service before, but never in a coffee shop setting,” Jungkook says. Eunseo hums and pushes the papers towards him.
“Alright, sign this and I'll look it over in the office out back. Ask Jimin to bring you back when you’re done and we’ll discuss pay and schedule.” Then she walks off, leaving Jungkook with her pencil.
Jungkook is still frozen. How did he land a job so easily? It doesn't make any sense. He shakes as he reaches over for the pencil she left for him and begins to write. He forgets everything when he looks down at the questions. What is his name again?
He’s able to calm himself down again, and forgets the struggles he’s experiencing. He manages fine. The questions aren't too bad. He puts his parent's house as his address and his mother’s phone number when it asks for his number. He’ll explain he doesn't have a phone later.
It doesn't take long until he's done, and goes to ask Jimin to bring him to Eunseo. He's led out back to a cramped office space with Eunseo spinning in her chair, seemingly bored out of her mind. Once she sees Jungkook, she smiles with a groan.
“Thanks, I'll read over the papers right now. I can pay you eight dollars and fifty cents an hour and you filled out your free hours, right?” Jungkook nods. He really just put he was free every day, which he is, but he won't say it. Well, it’s eight dollars and fifty cents more an hour than he’s been getting.
“We can start your training tomorrow at ten if you’re free, and we’ll give you a uniform tomorrow! Thank you, Jungkook! I hope you enjoy your time here at Magic Shop!”
Jungkook nods, and thanks her. He starts to leave when Eunseo calls out for him again. Her hand is outstretched toward him with an expecting smile. He stares for a minute, eyes catching the black ink smeared across her wrist. He sees the cuts surrounding the ink, but never able to scratch it. The ink is smooth and vibrant against her honey-like skin. Jungkook feels entranced as he sets his palm in hers. 1.9.2088 18:20.
Jungkook feels the hairs on his skin spike up at the thoughts, the feeling. He almost backs away once their hands touch. Eunseo senses his tensing, and makes the shake quick, letting Jungkook escape as fast as he can. He walks out of the shop, Jimin and black haired boy wishing him a good day, and he gives them his best soft smile as he leaves back into the cold.
The rain has finally begun, and he lets the droplets grace his skin as he walks the block in circles. He's not sure where he's going to stay tonight, so once he has walked the block twice, he sits on a bench facing Magic Shop. He realizes that people are making their way in and out, meaning that they’ve gotten quite busy. He can feel the rush from there, but can still feel how calm and soft Magic Shop really is. The little blonde boy from ten years ago pops into his mind again.
He watches Eunseo leave a while later, Jimin and black haired boy behind her. They don't see him, thankfully. He watches on in awe as a man gets out of the shiny, new car that had pulled up in front of the cafe. His black hair falls over his forehead, shading his eyes. His black hoodie pulled up over his head, hands stuffed into his pocket. Jungkook squints, despite being able to see him bright and clear.
It’s still raining as he watches them converse. He's not creepy, he swears. They happen to be in his line of sight. He shrugs it off and turns away, setting his bag on the other side of the bench. He hears the car roar before it passes before his eyes.
The rain isn't going to stop, he realizes, as his eyes shut.