The cold breeze swept up his hair. Closing his eyes, he felt the wind pass and carry his strands while calming his mind. A solemn melody suddenly brought back memories. He started humming but wasn't sure where it was coming from.
Days of when he had the strength to stand and walk... to run and dance. The days when he was complete. Memories started flooding his mind as he hummed into the melody that he heard. But as soon as he opened his eyes, he returned to the harsh reality. A reality he despises.
A hint of frustration passed his face when his gaze fell on his legs. He wondered if they'll ever support him again. Numb to the feel and unable to move them, his mind was unsure how things would unravel.
He held onto his supporters, hoping they'd be able to help him stand at the very least. But just as he pushed himself up, his legs were still numb to the feel. It was still deprived of sensation and control.
"Jinhwan-hyung! What are you doing? Are you alright?" Donghyuk asked, his voice filled with worry for the older.
The moment Donghyuk held onto Jinhwan, the latter pushed him away. There was anger evident in the Jinhwan's eyes. And glaring into Donghyuk, he saw a glint of sadness pass by the younger's eyes. Donghyuk felt weak when the older gave him a cold glare as if he was a stranger and not his friend.
"Don't touch me! You're destroying it!" Jinhwan screamed in obvious anger. Flinching away, Donghyuk couldn't help but feel shaken when he heard Jinhwan's voice.
It had been weeks since Donghyuk last heard Jinhwan's voice. He couldn't believe that the only time he'd ever hear Jinhwan speak again is when he's filled with anger. Donghyuk felt the disappointment fill him, he never really thought these would be the words coming out from his hyung's lips.
"Jinhwan-hyung..." Donghyuk called out, shock and worry mixed in his tone and his emotion of sadness evident in his eyes. He missed Jinhwan dearly but how could he help when the latter keeps pushing everyone away?
Jinhwan didn't dare look at Donghyuk. He didn't want anyone touching him; not the nurses, not the doctors and especially not the ones who he treasures. He glared at the ground as he pulled himself back up on his wheelchair. He moved away from the younger and hoped that he'll be left alone.
"Jinhwan-hyung..." Donghyuk called out again. His voice was pleading Jinhwan to look at him... to notice him. But the latter disregarded him. He continued moving away as if interaction with the others cause him extreme discomfort.
Just when he moved to follow, he felt a hand pull his shoulder. He stopped to look at the person who pulled him.
"Leave him... he'll just get more irritated if you push him." Yunhyeong advised, his hand sliding down to rub Donghyuk's arm.
Donghyuk could only look down in guilt. He knew. Yunhyeong sighed while looking at the defeated face in front of him. He knows how much the younger looked forward to talking to Jinhwan today. Not that they haven't tried, but the older was always so unresponsive to them that it was like talking to a brick wall. They had hoped that Jinhwan would be in a far better mood today since he finally decided to explore the gardens of the institute but it looks like he was still avoiding them.
Donghyuk started walking away, each step becoming heavier than the last. He took one final glance at Jinhwan before looking away and finally letting the tears fall from his eyes. Feelings within him continuously flowing like a bubble waiting to burst.
Yunhyeong looked at the younger's back as he trudged away. All he could do was look. Though he wanted to comfort the younger one, he wasn't sure how. It was normally the oldest one who took care of everyone but now that he was placed as the oldest... he wasn't sure what to do. He had to take care of the younger ones along with the others who weren't lucky enough.
Yunhyeong sighed, his gaze landing on Jinhwan's direction. The other had stopped moving and he was staring at something in the sky. He had been talking to himself again. He seems to be doing it quite often now. More than he did before.
Yunhyeong took a step closer to his hyung, wanting to give him what they bought. But just a few more steps away, he stopped.
With the mention of his other friends, Yunhyeong flinched. He felt this big lump form in his throat when a cold breeze passed by. What he wanted to do wasn't something the other would appreciate so he tightened his grasp on the plastic bag he held. Pulling all of his strength, he called out the older's name, hoping that he'd at least look.
But the other didn't bother to look at him. He was so engrossed in what he was doing that he didn't even hear that Yunhyeong called him. The absence of emotion apparent on the older's face when he started moving again, this time towards the flowerbed in the garden. He plucked one off of the ground and reached out, offering it to the sky while chanting a prayer that Yunhyeong could barely understand.
Yunhyeong wrinkled his forehead as he watched. He looked at the direction where Jinhwan was reaching out and it seemed like Jinhwan wanted to offer the flower to the sun. He could only sigh and grit his teeth, losing more hope for the older.
He couldn't help it anymore, he turned his back and followed Donghyuk with his head hung low. He felt a heaviness in his chest as if his heart couldn't take it anymore.
"He's never gonna be okay..." Yunhyeong heard a husky voice speak just when he was about to meet the others waiting for him. Raising his head, Yunhyeong questioningly looked at the source of the voice and thought if he'd given up on Jinhwan.
"Should we give up now?" Chanwoo asked, his voice riddled his worry and challenge which made everyone look at him. A heavy tension surrounded the area that the others felt sick to their stomachs, they knew that no matter what they shouldn't give up. But Junhoe struggled to answer. For the first time his tongue was tied, his throat dried up and his heart and mind refused to process the question. Chanwoo bit his lower lip, hoping that Junhoe realizes how much this was hurting everyone as well.
"If we give up... What happens to him?" Donghyuk's gaze was on the ground. He couldn't bear to show them the pain in his eyes. His encounter earlier made him feel even weaker as if he's done nothing to help the older when, in fact, he's done everything he could to help Jinhwan.
Junhoe's silence was broken.
"I don't know! Damn it! I don't know!" Junhoe blasted, tears had already formed in his eyes. Yunhyeong looked at him, sadness evident in his face. The tears in Junhoe's eyes fell but Junhoe wiped them almost immediately.
"We're trying our best... aren't we? So why... why are you doubting yourself?" Donghyuk asked. Though he was trying, his voice trembled with sadness that everyone else couldn't respond. They knew that Donghyuk was right, yet they hated the truth.
"Can't this all be just a dream? Or a nightmare? An illusion...? Anything... I just don't want this to be reality!" Donghyuk's voice cracked when he couldn't help but reveal his thoughts. Tears finally falling on the floor and his sobs were heard. Chanwoo stretched his arms towards Donghyuk, capturing his lover in his arms. Donghyuk's shoulders trembled as tears fell from his eyes. Finally, he couldn't bear it inside any longer.
"Jinhwan-hyung's gonna be okay... right? He'll... he'll be okay..." Junhoe said, trying to convince himself. Yunhyeong now pulled his lover into a tight hug.
"I wish so..." Yunhyeong and Chanwoo whispered, their hope starting to falter.
Jinhwan looked at the flower in his hand, whispering to it. Maybe it was his delusional mind playing tricks on him but he felt like the flower symbolized something important in his life. He wondered why he was offering it to the sky when it was the source of his pain.
He scoffed at it. Biting his lips, he threw it somewhere. He hated it. He hated it so much that he wanted his vision to be gone. He hated everything so much that he wished he could go back and change everything.
He turned away from the flowerbeds and rage started bubbling within him. Screams of anger filled the garden which took the nurse's attention as well as everyone else's.
Everyone rushed to his aid, afraid of what had happened to cause such hysterics.
Jinhwan screamed at the top of his lungs. Raged out of fear. He pushed himself away from his wheelchair and he fell on the ground again. He held onto his legs and clawed them. He kept clawing despite the nurses trying to stop him but he kept repeating it that it started to bleed. He wanted to remove them, he wanted them gone.
The nurses tried to stop him but to no avail. His legs were already bleeding but he still continued to hurt himself. At this point, the others immediately ran towards him to help the nurses.
"Jinhwan-hyung! Stop it! Please! Jinhwan-hyung!" His friends pleaded. But it had fallen on deaf ears. He was still at it, clawing at his own flesh and piercing through the skin revealing the crimson red that lies beneath it.
In desperation, a nurse injected him to paralyze him and stop him from making even more damage to himself. But Jinhwan fought back, his strength did not fail him and he still managed to push people away. His friends the nurses by holding on to his arms. They all held him tightly. Arms taken away from his legs, restraints followed to immobilize him, and people pinning him down. With his weak body, there's really not much he can do.
A carousel of thoughts played in his mind as the oblivion welcomed him back into its arms.
“Welcome back Jinhwan.”
Greeted a demon.
The demon’s sharp brown eyes studied him. There was boredom evident in his red skinned face. He didn’t look amused to see Jinhwan yet he welcomed him nonetheless. His pointy ear twitched just as he flipped the paperwork on his desk that he occupied. Jinhwan still feels rage boiling inside him whenever he looks at the demon.
The primary reason: The demon looked exactly like him.
The demon, concentrated on his desk, scratched the horn that stuck out just below his ear. Jinhwan still couldn’t believe that such a being existed and he still wanted to believe that he was just being delusional.
“So… I’m back again, huh?” Jinhwan scoffed, gritting his teeth he looked away from the demon.
But this was also a part of his harsh reality. A walled room without any windows nor doors. Just a desk and the demon, sitting behind it amidst the paperwork he handled.
“It’s not too long until you actually stay here now.” The demon suddenly answered, now scratching the horn that stuck out just behind his ear.
It irks Jinhwan to see his face on a demon. A demon that had taken lives. Lives of people he loved, of people important to him and people he thought would be there for him... forever.
“Why don’t you just get me…? Damn it…” Jinhwan cussed. The demon yawned before both of his pointed ears twitched in annoyance.
“Well… it was your own choice for getting into this contract.” The demon said, standing up and putting his hands in his pockets. His slick black suit looked like a void that barely had any reflection. It was pure darkness.
“What more do you want?! I’m already giving myself to you!” Jinhwan blasted, slamming his hands on the desk. The demon glanced at him and he sighed while scratching his neck.
“Restrain your impatience, mortal. Remember that this realm exists for me to devour your soul. Releasing your negativity here only allows me to access my vessel. And without a single doubt I will take over if you’re willing to give up.” The demon threatened, glaring at Jinhwan. “That is… are you willing to?”
Jinhwan clenched his fist, gritted his teeth he knew the demon was right. Oh how he loathed it. Hearing truth from that demon’s lips infuriated him.
“Damn it!” Jinhwan cussed again. He turned his back away from the demon who only shook his head as he scratched his horn yet again.
“Emotions make you do foolish things. They would have lived if they had known better. Sacrificing your life for the life of another… such a shame and utterly foolish.” The demon mocked, his eyes darkened as he glared at Jinhwan. The human’s knees buckled down to the ground. Though he hated what he heard, he knew how true it was.
“Your kind made a fool out of us! That’s why I’m in this kind of situation!” Jinhwan shouted, barely giving time for his legs to pull himself up from his slumped position.
The demon’s ear suddenly twitched with what he heard. Clicking his tongue, he put his hands on his desk as he looked directly at Jinhwan.
“Choices were offered. You chose without thinking of other possibilities so don’t blame others for your shortcoming. The only reason you’re here, and alive, is because of me. Don’t forget that.” The demon said between gritted teeth. However calm he may be, there was a limit to how much Jinhwan could freely mock him.
Jinhwan could only grit his teeth in anger. The demon was right, yet again he couldn’t help but feel the boiling anger rage inside of him. He did make a choice, but look at where that choice led him.
It was a place where attempts of escaping was futile and impossible. A place that he had no chance of escaping unless he cooperated with the demon who stood there and mocked him.
“If none of you appeared that time… Then none of this would’ve happened.” Jinhwan mumbled but the demon heard it clearly. He was, yet alarmingly, connected to Jinhwan. There was a loud scoff that echoed in that place. A playful grin escaped the demon’s lips as he looked at Jinhwan’s pitiful state.
“You would’ve been dead had I not appeared before you.” The demon’s yellow eyes darkened into deep black orbs that taunted Jinhwan. The latter could barely look at him, afraid of seeing his ridiculous reflection in those dark eyes. “You soul should’ve fed another demon. But your choice saved you.”
Walking away from the desk, he circled around Jinhwan and stood just behind the man. Jinhwan felt his insides shake with fear but he held on his rage to show no weakness to the being who taunted him.
“I’ll save them.” Jinhwan’s words were sincere, carrying such a heavy burden behind it. Taking in a deep breath, he couldn’t help but feel tears well up in his eyes when he felt the demon’s hand fall on his shoulders.
“Jinani-hyung~!” he heard a familiar voice call out.
“Jinan-hyung…” and another voice.
Light started taking over Jinhwan’s sight. A warm light that pulled him.
In a moment’s time, he felt his lids close and his body lighter. Jinhwan fell on the ground, his mind drifting off to dreamland.
“Finally… some peace and quiet.”
I apologize that I haven't posted anything nor done more but I hope some of you still know me and read my work. haha. although I doubt that.
But here's another fantasy genre iKON fanfic. And I hope that anyone reads it would like it.
Thank you for looking at this work. I'll be forever grateful...