Which dreamed it?
This story begins where it ends, on the swing of that park.
"Don't look." Taehyung whispered sweetly, wiping the blood that came out of my nose with his bloody knuckles. "It hurts?"
I shook my head, although it hurt. My head was blank. The blows still hurt, my clothes were dirty and torn apart, and my hair was a mess, more disheveled than usual. It was about midnight and there was no one in the park, except Taehyung and me. The other person could no longer be considered ‘someone’.
He hugged me as hard as he could, so strong that he was starting to hurt me, but I left him. His face, splattered with blood, gave a tender smile to calm me down. My tears rolled silently, the pain became more and more intense.
"Jiminie, do you want to escape with me?" Taehyung asked me suddenly, preventing me from seeing the red-hot meat mass that lay a few meters away. I was shaking, and like me, I was also crying. “Let's elope to a place far away, where nobody knows us, far from everything we know. I have some money saved, and I have my father's motorcycle key.”
"Tae, but where are we going to go?" I asked quietly. There was no one who could listen to us, but I must still be careful. "We just kill a person."
"In self-defense." He interrupted me. There was a pocket knife next to the unrecognizable corpse, there was a lot of blood mixed with mud and a strong smell of rust. Taehyung smiled. "I will never leave you."
"Do you promise me?" I asked, holding on to him as if my life depended on it. Then, without erasing his smile, he stroked my cheek and gave me a fleeting kiss on the lips.
"Fuck it, I love you so much."
The Queen's Croquet Ground
My name is Jimin.
Trying not to stand out was something I was very good at. I was doing it so well that nobody noticed I was there, despite my skin tone. I had a disease that made me paler than an ordinary person.
In the classes there was an unheard-of rule assigned by destiny: there was always an imperative person, a lust person, an intelligent person, a shy person, an incredibly beautiful person, an outstanding person, and a 'zero' person who is like a minor character. That was me. There I was, in the last row seat, on the left, next to the window.
I had that strange peculiarity of existing only at times. I was terrified to stand out. I was terrified to give my opinion on any subject, I was horrified to say something stupid. My worst nightmare was to say something wrong and be observed by everyone at same time, becoming an object of mockery.
In class, even if I knew the answer, I would never raise my hand. Sometimes, I would say the answer to my classmate, so that he answers it for me, and I would smile with satisfaction knowing it was correct, despite not having been the one who obtained the credit.
"The only one who passed the exam was X."
"X? Who the hell is that person?”
"Park X, something like that is his name..."
"Ah? Is there someone named like that in our classroom?”
"Yes, the one with inflated cheeks, that his hair is always messy and is pale as a ghost."
“Ah… Is that messy-hair one called X? Pff didn’t know. Well, I don't care either, his skin makes me a little disgusted, hahaha.”
My classmates spoke loudly so their words reached me. Although his words were cruel, I never worried about doing something to defend myself. Not because ‘it’s not worth insulting a couple of brainless guys’, but because I was sincerely troubled. If there was anything worse than make a fool, it was fighting with a person, both verbally or physically. It was ironic. I had that strange peculiarity of being the best student in the class, but when they insulted me, my mind turned white and I didn't know what to answer. That's why I always escaped from fights.
"Hey, weirdo, look where you walk."
I also used to apologize very often. It was my favorite phrase. By the way, I said it about fifteen times in a day. I wasn’t a boy of many words, and the few who knew my existence knew that I’m had always been that way. But unlike the Jimin people saw, I had a very open mind. I was an agnostic, devouring books and gamer at heart. Almost no one knew, however.
"Jiminie." The boy with dark eyes and disheveled hair was my only childhood friend. The only one who dared to speak to me, the only one with whom I communicated fluently. We were not attached, our relationship was something that didn’t go beyond a greeting, a routine talk and a farewell. "Do you have plans today in the afternoon?"
"I'm sorry, Tae. I have to attend the club." I lied. Not quite, but I'm not in any club. I preferred to play online games than go out with Taehyung and his friends. I had done it before and had always ended up regretting it.
“Ahh, what a shame. Well, I'll be at the karaoke with some friends, it’d be great if you come. ” He told me. We said goodbye and I got my way home.
I walked long down the lonely hall of the institute.
The only thing I could think of when it was Friday and the classes ended was that my PlayStation is waiting for me at home. My mind was too busy thinking about the new video game I had bought days before. However, a sound coming from a room distracted me. The classrooms were supposed to be empty by now, so I was surprised and decided to take a look. My silent feet approached the door where the noise came from, and I leaned in to see what was going on inside.
Some students were bothering Jabberwock.
Jabberwock was the shyest person in our classroom. She was ashamed of everything and always lowered her head when they were talking to her. But of course, even so, Jabberwock was more striking than me. She had well-groomed hair, beautiful eyes and soft skin like velvet.
I could see from the door that those students were bothering her verbally, nothing physical. But if the situation continued like this, they would surely do something else to her. There was a difficult decision for me. ‘Do I pretend I haven't seen anything and just keep on going? Or do I try to help her?’ I thought.
It was too late to choose.
The door opened as if by fucking magic, revealing my position. My heart was beating fast, my pupils dilated and a cold sweat furrowed my forehead. I was petrified. Luckily, on that occasion the students who was bullying Jabberwock decided to leave the room without saying a word. I didn't say a word either.
I took a step inside the room. Jabberwock was on the ground, trembling with tears about to emerge from her big eyes. She was very vulnerable, as if at any moment she would break. I thought, naively, that Jabberwock should be the kind of fragile-minded person, of those who could be manipulated psychologically and could be made to cry easily. As I watched her, I felt an unconscious urge to stroke her head and tell her everything was fine. I didn't have enough confidence to do it, so I just walked over and smiled.
"Jabberwock, don't pay attention what those idiots tell you," I said softly. “They bother you because they are jealous of you, you are better than them.”
The atmosphere calmed down when Jabberwock stopped quivering.
"Thank you for saving me." She whispered shyly. "I really was very afraid." She wiped away her tears.
"You're welcome." I smiled.
"Other guys saw me from the door, but none stopped to help me," whispered downhearted. "except you, Park Jimin."
What a surprise, he knew my name. He knew it completely. It was something unimportant, but it gave me a very good impression of her. I thought again about how cruel students can be by attacking a person as kind and good as her. Unfortunately, the strongest always attacked the weakest.
"I'm leaving." I said. Jabberwock looked up and tilted his head. “If you want, we can go together.” I proposed.
"First... will you let me show you something?"
Her proposal raised my curiosity. What would be that thing she wanted to show me? I wanted to know, so I decided to stay. She closed the classroom door and then took an object out of her backpack; it was something wrapped with a handkerchief.
She remained motionless, as if her mind had flown to another planet, a distant and unknown one. There she was, looking at the object in her hands. It seemed eternal, but I dared not interrupt the brittle ritual, more out of respect than out of consideration.
At one point, Jabberwock let out a delicate and almost inaudible laugh. A laugh that gradually deformed into an unhinged.
Something wasn’t right. The bizarre scene paralyzed me, just like the roar of a tiger behind the prey. A laugh full of evil intentions, of malice and madness. I consciously took a few steps back.
What Jabberwock had in his hand wrapped in a handkerchief was a pocketknife. A very long and sharp.
It was not funny. If that was a joke, it wasn't funny at all.
It wasn't a joke, of course. Jabberwock held the knife in his hand and began to approach me.
My mind went blank from that moment.
“What's up, Jimin-ah? Don't you like my toy?” Jabberwock showed her pocketknife. Her twisted face suddenly got a gesture of innocence.
I shook my head.
At that distance I didn’t have the courage to pronounce any word. The rampant sound of my heartbeat must have been funny, because Jabberwock began to laugh, in an even more disturbed way than at first, to suddenly return to the gesture of innocence while playing with the pocketknife in her hands.
"I'm going to tell you a secret, but don't tell anyone, can you?" She said, stinging an eye at me mischievously. I nodded quickly, completely scared, terrified, blank. "Well... I like Kim Taehyung, but he likes someone else, why don't you guess who is the person he likes?"
I couldn't think of anything, my mind was blank. I even had a hard time breathing.
"I'm going to give you some clues: He is pale, fucking ugly, causes pity and has greasy hair... ahm, and it's as if he didn't exist." Jabberwock spoke in a soft and innocent tone of voice. “I don't know why Tae likes that person, but doesn't deserve him, and I’m able to take away the little existence that person has in order not to see Taehyung with him; Anyway, nobody would notice if he disappeared. You understand?"
My mind was still blank.
"I don’t understand..." I managed to babble, my eyes open and moistened followed the movement of the knife in her hands. "I don't know what you mean, Jabber-"
"Eh? And I thought you were the smartest guy in the class,” she said, rolling her eyes in annoyance. "Come closer, don't be afraid, come closer to tell it in your ear, so no one will listen..." Jabberwock approached me until she was very close to my ear. “IF YOU GET CLOSE TO TAEHYUNG, I WILL KILL YOU LIKE A FUCKING COCKROACH!”
She shouted in my ear with all the hatred she harbored in her.
The fright made me fall to the floor. I heard Jabberwock's mocking laugh just before I wanted to raise my head, but preferred to stay on the ground without looking at her. My mind, still blank, tried to understand something. Why was Jabberwock so angry? Why did she threaten me with a pocketknife? What had I done to her so that she hated me so much?
Then Jabberwock bent down, approached my face with a grotesque gesture, disfigured in hatred and apathy, a face that, since then, I observed in each of my nightmares.
"Do you understand, Jimin?"
No. I don't understand a single shit about all this, but it's fine.
"Yes..." I said, and only then, Jabberwock widened her smile. She then got up and took her backpack while I was still on the floor trying to understand what just happened.
"I'm so sorry for causing you trouble..." She said, bowing politically. Then she raised her head and drew a smile. "Thank you for saving me, Jimin..."