Chapter 1: Which dreamed it? / The Queen's Croquet Ground
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..."
Chapter 2: It's my own Invention
It's my own Invention
There were people who were motherfuckers. A perfect example of this was Jabberwock. We were all ignorant about her true personality. A disgusting and twisted personality who had been able to threaten another classroom to death, for love.
Since the day Jabberwock had threatened me while wielding her knife in my direction, I hadn’t been able to sleep peacefully. What caused me the most mental frustration was the reason for Jabberwock's contempt. She said that Taehyung liked me, a statement that seemed absurd and wrong to me. I didn’t know the arguments that proved such an assertion, but she seemed to be very convinced of it. Tae and I had indeed studied together since elementary school, but that doesn’t mean he was in love with me. It was illogical.
"Time is up" The professor warned. Shit I thought. I had been overthinking again. "Give me the exams."
I had no choice but to get up and hand the almost blank sheet to the teacher.
I left the room calmly, as always, this time more self-absorbed and distant from the ordinary. I looked out the window on the second floor to see the courtyard and watched some students playing baseball. Beyond, in the street, there was a red car parked. That car had been chasing me for a week and I was getting worried.
I went to my locker. Maybe it was just my imagination, but I felt a stare on my back. It was true that you could feel a kind of tingling when someone looked at your back. I had felt that feeling repeatedly that week, but I had tried not to pay attention.
Could be I’m finally going crazy
When I opened the locker door, I saw a letter inside that wasn’t there the last time. It was pink... heart-shaped. Oh, it can't be I thought as I took it in my hands. It was almost epic the moment I read inside and certified with right suspicions that it was a love letter. A damn love letter!
It was impossible not to laugh. If it was a joke, it was a simple one. I checked around me with a lot of discretion to see if there was anyone out there waiting for my reaction, but everyone kept doing their things without even noticing my existence. I sighed, relieved, and read the letter again. They were written a couple of poems that I had heard before and there were some spelling errors, but what caught my attention was: "I'll wait for you on the rooftop." The letter was anonymous.
It was a bad idea. Going to the place indicated in that letter of doubtful nature was a bad idea. It was a stupid, silly and very bad idea. However, there I was, walking towards the fucking rooftop, idiot and silly idea.
Maybe I wanted, deep down to me, to know which fool had taken the time to write such a cheesy and uncreative thing and put it into my locker. I wanted to know the reason for all that. Perhaps deep down, very very very extremely deep down, I really wanted someone to be willing to confess their love for me. It was possibly a joke. Hell, it should be. Who the hell uses methods like ‘the letter and the rooftop’ to confess in the 21st century?
It was a joke. It was a joke, but I was nervous, so much that on more than one occasion I thought about running away and leaving that person waiting. However, curiosity won the battle. I opened the door at the end of the stairs and finally reached the rooftop. The wind rocked my hair, my gaze searched for the person who had cited me, but there was no one there.
Okay, I knew, I thought highlighting a smile with some relief. It was, as I had supposed from the beginning, a joke. A very simple one, by the way. And I had just gone there even knowing it was a joke. I laughed at myself and took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.
I decided to stay there for a while, while watching the silent sunset.
Just then, out of the blue, I began to hear some steps that were heading towards the rooftop. I turned to that direction. The steps were heard closer and closer and I kept alert to the person who would come out that door. Then I saw Taehyung all sweaty and tired, it looked like he had swum three olympic pools and then had trotted four soccer stadiums before getting there.
"Sorry I'm late, Jiminie!" He excused himself by throwing himself to the floor, panting.
"But what are you talking about Tae?" I approached him. "What are you doing here?"
I crouched beside Taehyung while he sat down. He adjusted his hair and swallowed before speaking.
No. It could not be true.
It must be a joke.
"I was the one who dated you up here..." He finally said. I frowned. "I like you, Jiminie, please go out with me."
It was a damn joke, that should be.
"Well, it's good one, I admit it." I smiled a little to lessen the discomfort that I was starting to feel.
It was his turn to frown.
"It’s not a joke. I really like you. I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time, but I hadn’t had the right time. I couldn't help imagining your pretty face all day... even if you haven't noticed, I always watched you in the classroom." He confessed, stroking my face. I walked away.
It must be a joke.
I didn't know what the hell to say or what the hell to do. That was the first time someone said my face was pretty.
I had heard so many times that my cheeks were fat and ugly and my skin was repulsive and my gummy hair made me so unsightly, that at some point I had believed it. It was fine, however, it no longer affected me. I swore I was the ugliest boy, and I didn't care, anyway, I didn't exist. But there was Taehyung. I did exist for Taehyung. I knew it was a joke, but still, it made me very happy.
I felt very happy and flattered. But it must be a joke, a simple but in bad taste.
“Jimin? Are you okay?” Taehyung asked somewhat worried. "Why do you stay quiet? Say something please, I'm dying”
"It's a joke, right?" I quickly got up from the floor and turned around so he couldn’t see my face. Surely I looked like a fool. I didn't know what to do, despite being a joke!
"Jiminie, come." Taehyung ran his hands down my hips and hugged me from behind. I was petrified. My mind turned white. I felt that he attached his body to mine and brought his face to my ear. "It’s not a joke. I always wanted to do this... I'm very happy.” He whispered.
"Tae..." I separated and turned to stare him. I looked into his eyes and suddenly I realized something incredible: His eyes were beautiful! What the hell? Why hadn't I noticed that detail before?
Taehyung hugged me and buried his face in my neck. It was the first time someone hugged me that way. I felt weird, but comfortable. The discomfort of something that was experienced for the first time, slowly turning into a pleasant sensation, something I didn’t want to end soon.
“Would you go out with me?” He asked me, in such a deep voice that I could only nod. "Really?! Thanks Jiminie!” He exclaimed excitedly, making strange mimics that made me laugh. Then he hugged me again. "When you smile you look so... cute~"
“Tae, you're squeezing me. Let me off.” Everything turned from white to pink. I needed air, I needed a chocolate ice cream, and a hamburger. I needed air and space, things that Taehyung snatched from me with his hug at that moment. "I'm not a stuffed toy you can squash like this."
"Obviously you're not a stuffed toy..." Taehyung released me from his arms and got the most sincere and radiant smile I saw in my whole miserable life. “If the stuffed toy were as cute as you, the stuffed toy factories were the most millionaire in Korea, and I were the biggest buyer.”
I didn’t say anything. I just needed an ice cream, a hamburger, maybe a cigar and a beer. My mind was still blank. Not even my parents had told me something so adorable in my life. I just looked at him, and he looked at me and smiled with his gaze, and I wondered why I hadn't realized before my only friend had such beautiful eyes.
"Don't look at me that way, Jiminie ..." Whispered a Taehyung infrequently embarrassed, looking away. " I'm holding back to not kiss you."
Chapter 3: Down the Rabbit Hole
Down the Rabbit Hole
It was raining the first time I saw him in the park on my way home. He looked down and some soaked hair were glued to his round cheeks. With the natural curiosity of a nine-year-old boy who happened to pass by, I wanted to know the reason why this child was alone without his parents, sitting on the swing without swinging, while the flood fell on him. Despite my young age, I knew that that couldn’t be normal. The scene seemed bizarre, everything was black and white except him. He was pale as snow. I approached with subtlety, my umbrella in one hand and my bag with instant ramen in the other.
The boy noticed my presence and made a gesture of annoyance. Maybe he knew that I would tell him 'you're going to get sick, you can go on my umbrella if you want ’or something like that. Surely he didn't want to talk to anyone, so he got up without a word and left before I could even say hello.
Our eyes met only for a moment, an instant that the raindrops seemed to fall in slow motion. Although it had happened seven years ago, I always remembered that moment as if it had happened the day before. A wild cold tramped through my body. When I came back to reality, the mysterious child was walking away until he got lost in the horizon.
I stayed there. Petrified, with my mouth slightly open, wondering if that child I’d seen was actually real. I had to blink several times to wake up from the trance. When I looked towards the horizon, the child had already disappeared.
I was just a child, and my premature mind, not fully understanding what had happened, could only draw extreme conclusions. I ran to my apartment. On the way I was about to slip several times, but that was no reason to slow down. I wasn’t patient enough to wait for the elevator, so I ran up the stairs, leaving behind me the mud tracks all over the floor. I pulled out the keys to my apartment and jumped to the door to open it. I slammed the door behind me, took off my shoes with skill, buzzed the umbrella on the floor, left the ramen in the kitchen, went to the living room and being there I hit the cry to heaven:
I think even the neighbors listened to me.
My father, who was peacefully reading a newspaper on the couch, was completely exalted upon hearing my thunderous scream. He lowered the newspaper and looked at me with concern.
"What happened, Tae?!"
I jumped and landed on my father's lap. I was desperate. I looked at him with anguish and finally communicated my concern.
“I just saw a ghost in the park.” I revealed. I knew that my father would not believe me, but I had to say it. My father, as a first response, hit me with the newspaper in the head. “Auch! Why do you hit me?"
"For worrying me unnecessarily... and for saying nonsense." He said, reading his newspaper again.
But it was true! I was sure I saw a ghost. How other way it could be explain that a human being could possess such pale skin. First and foremost, could a person have such pale skin? No. It was obvious that what I had seen was a ghost, but it was a very cute ghost.
The second time I saw him happened several weeks later, in the most unexpected place.
I was with my idiot friend Jungkook in the school canteen and I had just devoured the lunch my dad had prepared for me. Very close to us a very attractive girl, of meek features, approached at us, silent and trying to hide her presence. I turned around to see who it was and turned my eyes in annoyance: It was Jabberwock, a student from the same section who was harassing me. She bothered me every time she was close to me, but I never told her to not being rude.
"Taehyung." She uttered in a tone that could only have heard herself. I made a little sound with disgust and tried not to seem so rude.
"Hi, Jabberwock-ah.” I greeted her. Jungkook, unlike me, ignored her as only he knew how to ignore someone.
Jabberwock blushed when I talked. Then I didn't know where to look. Her attitude had reached a point where I couldn't stand her anymore, really, I was harassed to see a person acting in that strange way. She was so nervous that all she managed to do was bowed in front of me and close her eyes tightly as she handed me what she had in her hands.
"For you!" She exclaimed, embarrassed. "Accept it, please."
"What is this?" I asked looking at the container.
"It's a meal I prepared for you." Jabberwock said, rising slightly to look at me.
"Mmm... thanks, I'll eat it."
I assured with a forced smile. Jabberwock only bowed more than she already was and then retired running away.
I felt better when she retired. I looked at the food container that had just been given to me and opened it curiously, the meal smelled very delicious. Even though I had just had lunch, I was a little hungry so I started eating it.
"You already noticed that Jabberwock have a bad crush for you, don’t you?" Jungkook commented looking at the window.
"Hey?! Did you say something?” I asked silly. I almost choked on the rice.
“How disgusting, hyung. First swallow and then talk.”
"Well, Jabberwock-ah is just a classmate, she's not in love with me, or something." I added after swallowing. "We've only talked a few times in our lives."
Of course, I had noticed, Jabberwock was the most obvious person in the whole classroom and the whole school, and across the Asian continent and the whole world and the solar system and the milky way. And the universe. I had to be a very idiot one if I didn't notice that she had a crush for me. However, Jabberwock was the kind of girl I liked the least, so I always tried to keep my distance from her. And, anyway, at that age, the last thing I thought about was having a romantic relationship with someone.
"Look, hyung... winter is coming." Jungkook said to break the silence.
That was my favorite season, winter. I quickly looked at the window, where I effectively saw the snow covering the trees in the schoolyard.
"Oh! I want to play with the snow. ” I sighed.
The beautiful white color that covered everything suddenly reminded me the skin of that child, who had seen weeks ago in the park, that intentionally was getting wet with the rain. I still had the doubt that, if it was real, or it had been my imagination... or a ghost. The last option made me shiver.
"What's going on?" Jungkook asked when he saw me.
"Well, how should I explain it. " If I told him, I was sure he’d respond in the same way my father did. “Weeks ago, while it was raining, I saw a child in the park. He was soaked, and his skin was as white as snow.”
"White as snow?" Jungkook interrupted somewhat thoughtfully. "Maybe he was sick."
"I thought the same, I mean, skin as white as that is unusual." I said getting serious. "The point is that I think it was a ghost."
"Are you a jerk or what?" Jungkook snapped neutrally.
"I knew you would tell me something like that."
I knew it, I wasn't surprised or anything. The image of that child's gaze was repeated over and over again in my head, as if it were an infinite film with that unique scene. That made me stay thoughtful for a few minutes.
“I only know a boy with skin as white as you describe it.” Jungkook added. "By the way, study at this school."
"Really ?!" I exalted myself.
“Yes, I met him the day they took me to the infirmary when I fell in the PE class. I think he studies the same grade as you.” He continued. "He's the only person I've seen so pale lately."
"Maybe it's him!" I exclaimed energetically, frightening the other students that passed by. I definitely had to make sure that the child I had seen was not a ghost or an optical illusion caused by the rain.
That way I made up my mind to look for the snow-skinned boy.
When I found him, I got devastated, overwhelmed, stunned. His name was Jimin, and I was surprised that I hadn’t noticed him before. Jimin had the strange peculiarity of only existing at times.
The next school year I did my best to have my father change my section. When I got it, I tried to be as close as possible to him, but it wasn’t an easy task since there was a kind of invisible barrier around him that prevented me from getting along with him. I always saw him drawing scribbles in his notebook while the teacher explained the class. He was always the smartest in the classroom, but even so, it was as if he didn't exist.
Many times I wondered how he could be able to live like that day after day, without friends. He was always alone, and it was always as if he were a ghost. I stood out for being very unruly and friendly, I was the type of person who couldn’t remain silent for more than three minutes and had the aptitude of forming friends faster than the time I took to learn a mathematical equation. I was terrified of loneliness. My worst nightmare was to be alone in the world. But, unlike me, he looked happy being alone and never tried to get attention, it was as if he liked not to exist and did nothing to avoid it. But for some stranger reason, was a very striking person for me.
It was no fate that Jimin and I were in the same high school as well. I never lost track of him for a moment. Maybe I could fit the definition of a ‘stalker’, with the exception that I never harassed him (as a certain girl did with me). I knew very well the irritating feeling of being harassed, so I always avoided being an annoying person for Jimin. I tried to confess my feelings more than once, but at the last moment I always regretted it. I was afraid to pissed him off. Sometimes I got really embarrassed to tell him I liked him, and in the end, I always ended up changing the conversation.
A February day I saw him sitting on a swing of the park on his way to my house, the one where I saw him for the first time, but he didn't look sad like that time. I had always wanted to ask him why he had been so sad that day, but I still didn't have enough confidence to remind him that moment. I approached him and stood behind the swing, and silently began to swing him.
"Eh?" Jimin turned in surprise and calmed his expression when he saw that it was me who swing him. "Ah, it's you, Tae."
"You seem kind of sad."
"Really?" He asked surprised. "Is it that obvious?"
“If you want you can talk with me."
"Ah~ you’re such a good boy." He smiled. "But it's not a bad thing... I'm really sad because I just reached the good ending of a game that took me a long time to complete, and I'm still assimilating it."
It was impossible for me not to burst into laughter.
"Hey, don't laugh Tae, it's serious." He said pouting. Cute I thought as I saw him inflate his cheeks that way. "Listen, after 2, The Room is the best, do you understand?"
"Then, to take away your sadness, I'm going to give you a gift." I said as I placed myself in front of him. Jimin looked at me confused.
"What thing?" He asked. I knelt in front of him to stay at his level and then I took off a necklace from my neck. He looked at me puzzled.
"The pendant is a snowflake." I indicated as I showed it. "Since I met you, I've always associated you with winter."
"Oh, it's cute!" He exclaimed in surprise, detailing the pretty necklace. I approached his neck to put it on, but he stopped me. "Hey, I can't accept it."
"Why not? I'm giving it to you.” I explained trying to put it in. "It looks better on you.”
"But you just took it off your neck, and it seems to be something important to you." He pointed out with some concern.
I blinked surprised. How did he know it was something important to me? Yes, certainly that necklace was a gift by my mother, she gave it to me six years ago, days before she died. For a long time that necklace had symbolized my mother's memory and I always took care of it as if it were a piece of her enclosed in the small snowflake pendant. But as I matured mentally, I understood that my mother would live forever in my heart and in my mind, not in a pendent. However, that necklace will always be something important to me, and that is precisely why I wanted to give it to Jimin.
Jimin interpreted my silence perfectly, and I sighed, defeated.
"Okay, so I lend it to you."
"But Tae!" He protested, but in the end, I managed to put it on his neck. It unquestionably fit him better than me. "And when am I supposed to give it back to you?"
"Give it back to me when you're happy." I said smiling.
"But," He, on the other hand, erased his smile and looked away. "It's as if you were giving it to me." He whispered.
Chapter 4: Looking-Glass House
For the first time in a long time I looked in the mirror and saw a Jimin outlining a sincere smile. It was five thirty in the afternoon and Taehyung and I had agreed to meet at the amusement park at six o'clock. Although I had started to get ready at three o'clock, I still hadn't put on my turquoise shirt. Damn, I was going to be late if I kept wasting time in my hair!
Before I left my house, I put on a pretty necklace with a snowflake pendant that two years ago I had “borrowed” Taehyung. I thought that, if he saw it, maybe he would remember, and we would have one more topic to talk about.
That was the first time I went out on a date with someone. I was super nervous. I swore to God that every person on the street stared at me as if I were some kind of alien from those who have a giant front. A pale, thin and ugly alien. At one point I wondered if my clothes were the one for the occasion. I wanted to go home and change my clothes and burn all my clothes and die, but when I met Taehyung and he said "You look good", all the bad thoughts about my appearance disappeared as quickly as my nervousness disappeared.
Taehyung's warm hand became the best consolation prize.
Everything around us had conspired in our favor with pastel pink tones. Taehyung and I ate cotton candy all the night. We rode some park attractions and even he won a stuffed panda for me. He also convinced me to enter the terror house even though I didn’t like those things. I reluctantly agreed as long as Taehyung protected me. In the end it was me who ended up protecting him.
When the end of the night approached, Taehyung and I bought ice cream and walked. The air smelled of popcorn and euphoric screams were heard from people on the roller coaster. Neither of us wanted that night to end.
"Do you like the ferris wheel?" Taehyung asked me suddenly. I looked up and looked at the great attraction in front of me. Just seeing it I felt a chill all over my body.
"It looks kind of frightening." I laughed nervously. "The heights have always intimidated me."
"Then we have to ride the ferris wheel!" He exclaimed vigorously, paying no attention to my fears and holding my hand to guide me towards the ferris wheel, which, by the way, was the biggest in the entire city.
"Tae, I'm telling you that I'm scared!" I intervened, but Taehyung turned a deaf ear to my words and continued to drag me toward the ferris wheel entrance.
"If you're afraid of it, then be by my side." He smiled, trying to encourage me to get into the ferris wheel cubicle with him. "As long as you're near me, I won't let anything happen to you."
The ferris wheel began its parsimonious movement and I closed my eyes so as not to look at the city as if it were a scale model. I felt his arm around my shoulder. When I opened my eyes, Taehyung was next to me, mocking me. Moron.
"Hey Jiminie." He called me in a soft voice, pointing curiously at my neck. "Isn't that the necklace I gave you two years ago?"
"Wow, you still have it!"
"Of course." I interrupted crossing my arms as if I was offended by his comment. "Do you think I'm a clueless?"
"I don't know, I still don't know you enough," he said with a shrug. "You know? I want to know everything about you.”
"If you're an attentive, I won't need to say a word for you to learn more about me." I was telling that to the most distracted and unruly person in the class.
“You would be surprised how attentive I am.”
"Well, tell me." I stared at him. "How much do you know about me?"
"Well, I know you're lonely, you're smart, you always get bored in the science teacher's classes and that's why you start drawing on the last pages of your notebook. You also get red ears when you laugh a lot, you try not to stand out in the places where you are, your favorite color is emerald, you prefer to walk than take the bus, you don't like social networks, you are a gamer, your hair is beautiful, your skin is beautiful, your eyes are beautiful and I like everything about you. ” He said stroking my face.
I was ashamed. I think my skin went up five degrees when it came into contact with his hand. I was so ashamed that I turned my face towards the window regardless of the distance we were from the ground.
"Tae, you're kind." I whispered, hiding in my own hair. Taehyung gave a giggle.
"The only kind person here is you." He said forcing me to look him in the face. I was even more ashamed to realize that he was also blushing. “Cuz give me the opportunity to stay by your side."
Taehyung took my cheeks with both hands and slowly brought our flushed faces.
What happened next is difficult for me to explain with simple words. The small feelings that had arisen towards Taehyung were strengthened only with the soft friction of our lips. I’d never forget the gentle touch and the soft moans from the kiss we shared. Gradually the kiss was taking more strength and before I knew it, we were already eating each other, forming around us an aura of inexperienced and incorruptible desire. We don’t use our tongues, but just the contact of his lips on mine was enough to make me experience sensations that I had never considered existed.
Moments later, we separated slowly. Taehyung was completely flushed, and I, I didn’t even want to remember it, I was red hot. What came next was a cozy silence and a delicate hug. I leaned in his neck and my head fit like a puzzle piece. So we stayed until the ride on the ferris wheel culminated.
It was a bit cold and the amusement park was about to close. Taehyung kindly lent me his coat for shelter from the cold and we walked together towards the exit talking about our lives. At that point we were the only ones there, the other people were simple shadows around us. I was too busy detailing Taehyung's bright eyes to realize her approaching.
"Hi." Jabberwock greeted suddenly in front of us.
"Jabberwock..." I stammered, a shiver of terror running down my spine. What the hell was Jabberwock doing there? A bitter sensation took me to the classroom. My mind gradually became blank, as I remembered what happened that day.
Jabberwock had threatened me because she knew Taehyung liked me, but the feeling of having someone who loved me for the person I am made me forget her warning.
"What are you guys doing here?" She asked, in his typical shy girl tone. I clenched my teeth. Liar.
"We're on a date." Taehyung snapped without any regret. She gave me a kind of look that said ‘I will kill you for sure’.
"Date?" She repeated, playing with her fingers. “But Taehyung, didn't you have an important baseball game with your team today?
Taehyung sighed in annoyance. But I was very worried. Did Taehyung lose an important baseball game? What did that mean? Yes, he played on the high school baseball team, and was one of the best players. But he didn’t attend the game because of me?
"Is that true?" I asked looking at him.
"Dating Jiminie is more important than a simple baseball game." He said looking at Jabberwock in annoyance.
"Enough Tae ..." I whispered.
"Now Jiminie and I are dating."
"Shut up, Taehyung!" I interrupted in exasperation. I was willing to deny the whole situation so Jabberwock wouldn't suspect anything, but she was already gone.
I stayed a few seconds completely still and cold. I wondered if Jabberwock was able to keep her word, and I knew from that moment I should take care of her.
"What's going on?" Taehyung asked, worried. “You look somewhat pale. In fact, you look paler than you normally are... are you not feeling well? I can call a taxi.”
"It's nothing." I interrupted, smiling forcefully. With the appearance of Jabberwock, the night had been ruined. “Now I just want to go home. Would you carry me home?"