IT STARTED with a toothbrush and a banana.
Looking back, I guess I shouldn't have scowled at you. I should've been a bit kinder, gentler, but now that I'm remembering again, I can't say I regret anything.
You were so wasted that night. You were there, on the toilet seat, pants pooled at your feet, barely upright. You were so lucky I'd been the one to enter that god-forsaken bathroom.
But I think I was luckier.
"Hi," you drawled, laughing quietly. Even then I found you pretty. Pretty in a tired kind of way.
I didn't respond. Instead I closed the door behind me, this time locking it unlike you, because I didn't want people to see you like this. You were one of the loudest people in class, in case you didn't know. You were the loudest happy, and the most silent sad.
Don't think I didn't see you crying all by yourself at that abandoned classroom one time.
You squinted at me and only then I realized you were holding an item in each hand. "Yoongi?"
"What the fuck are you doing with a toothbrush and a banana, Jimin?"
You giggled, and for a moment I wanted to smile. Waving the items, you asked me, "Do . . . do you think I-I'd get a b-boner if," you hiccuped, "if I use this?"
I must've stared at you for a very long time.
You know, you're probably the smartest person I've ever known---well, if you take Namjoon out of the picture---but you're certainly the stupidest drunk in the entire universe.
That made you more perfect though.
"I'll take you home," I gritted out. Don't get me wrong: I'm not considerate or whatever. I'm certainly not the type to bring random strangers home out of kindness.
But you weren't a stranger. Not really.
I wanted to leave you there. Really, I did. But then you looked up at me with those vulnerable eyes and fuck, I had to make you safe. I wanted to make you safe.
I was peeling the toothbrush and banana from your chubby little fingers when you let out a whine, hitting my stomach with your head. "Yooooongiiii . . ."
I stood very very still. "You s-smell so goood." Your hands drop the things you were holding and instead came to fucking feel up my ass. Of course, you're completely out of it, yet I couldn't seem to stop myself from swallowing. "Yoongi," you moaned.
(I wasn't affected. Oh, God, no.)
"Jimin." I took your face in my hands and ignored your puppy eyes. "Let's get you home."
Tired, you nodded, slumping against me. I helped you put your pants on and drove you all the way to your place, where I found out for the first time that you didn't have anyone but this guy named Taehyung.
It was the first time I interacted with you.
Selfishly, I'd hoped it wouldn't be the last.
It turned out the second time became the last. At least, for a while.
You approached me at lunch, probably sporting a terrible headache from the way you squinted and winced.
Namjoon kicked me under the table. Back then it was only me and Namjoon, with the occasional presence of Jungkook. And you---you've always been with your loud friends. Popular friends. I didn't mind though, you have always belonged to another world.
"Hi," you mumbled, bending your back in a perfect ninety-degree bow. "I'm so sorry, Yoongi-ssi."
I almost wanted to laugh. See, you were perfect. You had perfect grades, good looks, an absolutely adorable personality, popularity, talent, and amazing friends. In the eyes of many, you were the fucking golden boy.
You were so different that night. And maybe, I thought, just maybe, that was the real you.
I watched as you continued rambling. "I know I could've just faked not remembering anything from last night, but I didn't want to be a jerk because you were so nice and now I feel like crying because I embarrassed myself and disrespected you and thank you so much for---"
"---because if it weren't for you, I'd probably be---"
You cut yourself off, finally meeting my eyes. "Y-yes?"
"It's okay." I tried to smile, but I doubted you noticed.
"B-but how can I pay you back?"
You were such an idiot, did you know that? "Don't ever drink alone again, hm?"
I swore you blushed. "R-right. I'm sorry again. And thank you." With a last bow, you scurried back to your friends.
Namjoon shot me a curious look but didn't say anything. He was the one who invited me at that party, since he's the top student and therefore has more chance at getting party invitations.
And that reminded me---I never asked why you, the golden boy, were alone that night.
At some point we had to meet again.
I actually didn't think about you for years. I graduated that same year, remember? I didn't really expect anything to change, definitely not between us.
Just when your name's about to completely slip from my memory, you appeared again.
You were so broken, baby.
It was a few hours after midnight and the city was asleep. As a university student, I had mastered the art of getting close to no sleep and functioning at full capacity. I chose music production, as expected. I was having a hard time coming up with inspiration, and you were there, at this random bridge, looking so damn small.
I did a double take. I had to. I wouldn't have recognized you hadn't your hoodie slipped from your head as you wiped your tears.
My mouth moved before my brain did. "Jimin?"
Turning your head in my direction, you stared at me. For about half a minute, I think. You were staring and I knew you probably forgot about me. After all, who was I to be remembered by someone who shined like you?
Still, I approached you. Still, I took my chances, not really knowing where I'd end up after this. "What's the matter?" My eyes roamed your face, your neck. You were more beautiful than the last time I saw you. More beautiful and more tired. Your eyes were bright with vulnerability, your cheeks hollow and skin pale. Lethargic was a more fitting word, really, but I was a bit biased.
Finally, you spoke. "Y-yoongi?"
You had blond hair that time, which made you more of the golden boy I used to know (I mean, I didn't really know you in the ways that count, but still). You had wounds, too, I think, but I didn't know that. I didn't notice the more important things that time. I always seemed to notice the ones that matter a little too late. "Hey," I said, offering you a smile.
You were so sad.
We ended up at my place that day, tangled in each other's legs as we drank cups after cups of coffee. No, we didn't have sex. You didn't need that. No, what you needed was someone to hold you while you told your story. I gave you what you needed.
I always did.
I found out you left Taehyung. He was your best friend, but you couldn't love him the way he loved you. You've been living together for as long as you could remember, but you couldn't handle being friends with someone you hurt. You were a coward, you said. You were weak, you said.
You're the strongest person I know.
I offered you my place. Of course I did. I couldn't have let you go even if I wanted to. You told me you failed college, that the bills kept piling up so you had to choose working full-time instead. I didn't know my heart could break for someone like that. I didn't know what's it about you that made me feel so much.
"Thank you." For the first time, I saw your lips curl up in a soft smile, your eyes turning into two crescents. "We never really knew each other, but still, you're always there when I don't have anyone."
That's one of the things you said that I would never forget.
We never really knew each other.
Until now, as heartbreaking as it sounds, it's true. Maybe you knew me enough. Maybe you had memorized the shape of my lips, the things I like, the perfume I wear. I don't know. You never told me more than what you wanted me to know. You let me in, but you never pulled me closer.
And it was okay. I was blind---oh God, how blind I'd been---and I still accepted what little you had to offer. I consider myself as a fairly generous guy, you know, but you made (make) my heart warm---always so goddamn warm---and I became selfish. I got drunk on your smiles and giggles and voice and fucking hell I wanted to bathe in them, bathe in you, and I took it all. I breathed you in, a whole glowing Park Jimin, and swallowed everything.
I should've realized I left you with none.
I don't know you, Jimin. Not really. Not before, and certainly not now.
You stayed with me from that day on. I was happy. Of course I was.
Again, I never asked if you were.
So maybe I fell for you.
It was inevitable. Only a fool would not love you. You and your pout. Your airy laughs and sweater paws. I may not know everything about you, but God, I love you so fucking much.
What was it about you, Jimin? Was it the way your face lights up every time you talked about the things you love? Was it your lovely voice? Was it your intellect? I don't know, baby. With you I'm always lost, yet I never desire to be found.
Just as I was convinced I couldn't possibly love you more than I already did, you kissed me. I think we've been living together for two years when it happened. As always, I woke up next to you. See, I've always slept late and woke up even later, but since you came, I forced myself to open my eyes a little earlier just so I can watch you sleeping with sunlight bouncing off your soft features.
Damn, that was cheesy. (You liked that, didn't you? Making me soft and shit?)
That particular day, I was watching you with your face so relaxed. You were so beautiful, Jimin. You gained weight and learned how to laugh again and you were glowing. I had to believe it had something to do with me. I wanted to believe.
You spoke, eyes closed, and my heart almost jumped from my ribcage. "Enjoying the view?"
We were friends. For years, we lived together like a couple, but I was convinced you didn't see me as anything more than a friend. Because when you thought about it, a Park Jimin couldn't possibly love a Min Yoongi.
"Good morning," I managed to whisper.
We locked eyes then, your brown eyes swirling with emotions I couldn't decipher. And then you smiled, and it was a different smile, and I felt like flying. "You," you mumbled, poking my nose.
I couldn't take my eyes off you.
You kissed me, right there, as if we've always done it. You kissed me, your fingers weaving through my hair. I didn't even notice that your breath smelled like mint (later I found out you often wake up way before me and then you'd brush your teeth and return back into my arms). No, what mattered was that you, Park Jimin, the boy who fucking shined, was kissing me.
I love you.
You were dancing.
I remember that night all too well. You invited me to this music festival, introduced me to your friends Hoseok and Seokjin. By default I had Namjoon and Jungkook with me.
I had no idea you danced. And that night, I realized more than ever that I didn't really know you. It was fine, though. We had all time in the world for that. You kissed me softly before walking up to the stage and performing.
You shone so brightly.
Watching, I was mesmerized. You were so full of life, so unlike the boy I found by the bridge. I saw your strength, your fears, your weaknesses. I saw it all, and it was because you showed me.
You came down from the stage, jumping straight into my arms, giggling. "Did you like it?" you whispered in my ears.
I tightened my hold on you. "I love it."
You hummed, pulling away so slightly. Our noses were touching. "Yoongi?"
I was in a trance. You were looking at me like that, like I was the only one who mattered. "Hmm?"
You leaned in so our lips brushed. "I love you."
It took me a while. Oh my God, was I dreaming? "I love you, too."
That smile. It was the first time I saw you smile like that. That smile that said, Yoongi, I love you. I want to stay with you forever.
I kissed you, because I couldn't put into words that yes, Jimin, stay as long as you fucking can.
Please don't ever leave.
I should've read the signs.
After all, you weren't known to be someone who gets happy for a long period of time.
I was there all along, and I failed to see them. Or maybe, I decided not to see.
Why did you do that?
Slowly, I noticed the changes. You smiled a little less, laughed more quietly. I didn't know exactly when it started. I didn't know what I did, if I could've prevented it.
Knowing you though, you would've done it with or without me.
I expected it. Deep inside, I did. After all, it has always been like this with you. You appear one day, then disappear the next. You're unpredictable. Maybe that's why everyone loved you, because you gave them the thrill of expecting the unexpected.
It was never about me. I did all I could, I gave you all the love inside me. It wasn't enough. I was, yes, more than enough. But you weren't.
You weren't enough for yourself.
You said you liked handholding as much as I do, and I tightened my hold more because of that. I held you for so long, so tightly, that it became a part of me. You became a part of me. I got so used to it that I didn't even notice you already let go.
You were there until you weren't. You never told me why. You never told me anything really.
Why did you die, Jimin?
You just said you were sorry, that you love me, but you can't do it anymore. I understood, baby, I did, but I woke up and I saw you lying in the bathroom, pale and lifeless, and I lost it.
I lost everything.
It started with a bathroom. Everything started and ended there, with you more broken that the first time I found you.
Even in death, you were so beautiful. Maybe that's why you chose pills, because you didn't want me to bear the pain of seeing you bloody or anything resembling a corpse.
It hurt though. It still fucking hurts.
So many people loved you, did you know that? It didn't matter though. You didn't even love yourself, so what's the use of telling you how much you matter? What's the point when you left anyway?
A large part of me wanted to hate you. God, I really did. But I see your smile every time I close my eyes, taste the sweetness of your lips, feel the curves of your body. I close my eyes and think you're still here, still breathing and giggling and loving me.
You were broken. You were so broken and I didn't see and I'm so fucking sorry.
We never really knew each other.
We didn't, yes. I never knew the things that matter about you. I didn't ask why you cry in your sleep sometimes. I didn't ask why you had scars on your wrists. I didn't ask why you can't sleep without being wrapped in my arms.
I didn't ask anything and I'm so fucking sorry.
I miss you. I miss you so much.
The dark-haired man closes the notebook, placing it on the ground beside him. His long fingers caress the tombstone.
"I hope you're not tired of hearing this same shit," he says, voice low and gentle. "Not that you can complain." A strained chuckle escapes him as he fiddles with the flowers he brought.
"I mean, this is only the second time." He sighs. "You can look forward to many years to come, but I doubt you'd notice." He swallows the lump in his throat. "Fuck, two years? Time flies by, but damn, Chim, it's so hard." He wipes the moisture in his eyes before they can turn into tears. "It's so difficult without you."
The wind picks up, nothing too ominous. Yoongi has been in the cemetery for hours, yet it seems like only minutes has passed.
"I'm lost," he whispers, more to himself. "I'm lost and . . ." Trailing off, he shakes his head. No, enough. "Namjoon got married yesterday," he says instead. "That git's probably way over the moon now."
His eyes trace the outline of the tomb, the name carved on the stone. Park Jimin, he thinks. My sunshine.
Without him, Yoongi is cold, lonely. He shouldn't have depended on Jimin. He was fine before him. He was content.
How could I go on, Jimin? How?
He places the notebook on his lap. For two years, he tried to cope by writing his thoughts. For two years, he soaked the pages with his tears. "You're so unfair, Jimin." He clenches his fists, hugging the notebook to his chest. "But you know I wouldn't hate you. Not ever."
It's the first time Yoongi directly spoke aloud after visiting Jimin countless of times. Yes, he would read from the notebook every year, but he never had a one-sided conversation with him before.
It feels good to say his feelings out loud, but it's just a painful reminder that Jimin will never respond to him again.
He's gone, Yoongi. Let him go. It was Taehyung who told him that. In the funeral, he came and hugged Yoongi. Two men who loved the same shining boy.
He's drunk, just like Jimin was when they first met. Drunk with pain and the never-ending regret that he should've seen it and I'm sorry. More drunk today, specially, when it marks the seven hundred and twentieth day of Jimin gone, Jimin cold, Jimin lifeless.
Maybe it gets better. Maybe someday the numbing ache will go away, but right now Yoongi is incomplete, as if Jimin took a part of him when he took those pills.
"Sunshine," the term is bittersweet on his tongue. "I'm done living in the past, but it doesn't mean I'll stop loving you in the present, okay?"
I survived the past with you, with your sweet voice and even sweeter kisses.
Yoongi doesn't know if he'll ever move on. After all, loving Jimin is a one-way trip. You either fall or you don't fall at all.
And he fell. Hard. So fucking hard.
But Jimin's gone. He's gone and he's never coming back.
It's time to go on without you.