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checkmate

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Kun opened his door, thinking Jaehyun was waiting for him, thinking that walking in he would find a smiling and loving Jaehyun, with a take-out smell in the flat. He expected to see him welcome him at the door, expected him to kiss him and hug him after this hard workday.


The man wasn’t exactly paying attention to where he was going. Kun did not believe that he did it on purpose, he surely didn’t mean to bump into Kun. He did try to steer clear of him at the last second but failed miserably and his coffee which used to be in his hand was now on the Kun’s shirt. He said sorry a billion times, bowing a few times, blaming himself for being so clumsy. Kun laid his hand on the young man’s forearm to make him stop, reassuring him that it was nothing, no problem at all, the clumsy man smiled at Kun gratefully bowing one last time to thank him.

That’s how they had met. That’s how Kun had met the man who he shared his life with. If he could thank the coffee, he would gladly do so. Jaehyun was the best thing that ever happened to him.

Kun had found him cute. Really, really cute and lovely. His clumsiness made him even more lovable. So lovable that whenever Kun walked by that street he paid extra attention to his surroundings, trying to see if the other man was there, hoping to run into him again. But these sorts of things only ever happened in books.

One day, he saw him. It was only a silhouette, but he had thought about this moment so many times that he knew his figure by heart: his curves, his smile, the shape of his eyes, the gold of his hazelnut hair. Nothing of his was a secret to Kun anymore. He recognized the silhouette immediately, helped by the beating of  his heart. It would be lying to say that he had hesitated a moment because he rushed to him like an idiot , patted his shoulder, and when Jaehyun turned around, Kun had nothing to say. Nothing at all, no excuse, no dumb pick up line and he couldn’t manage to make something up. Why? Why the hell did he come up to him without a plan? 

Jaehyun had smiled, though, because Kun came back to him. Poor thing... it was easy for Jaehyun to see that Kun seemed to be having a hard time finding something to say. Jaehyun waited a bit to give him time to find something and when he was sure he had nothing, he said hello almost like a friend would.

“Do you want to get some coffee? A real one, in a cup not on a shirt, of course.’’

When Kun nodded with a thin smile, trying to look cold and unbothered, trying to look popular, trying to be cool, Jaehyun noticed his pupils sparkled and knew Kun was fucked.

They met again a few times for coffee, each time getting a little closer. When one arrived before the other, they would order two coffees because they had learned each other’s orders. It became a habit to see each other every week, to talk about everything and nothing, to get to know the other a little bit more through the stories they told, to decipher the other with the anecdotes. To interfere in Kun’s world.

Needless to say, they ended up meeting outside of cafes, they begun to wait for each other under the rain and play in the park, run and chase each other, looking for something, anything, a pretext for some physical contact, for a breath against their skin, for a gaze longer than the one before.

Jaehyun had done everything he could to make Kun fall in love with him, to make him come to his place one evening with a bouquet in his hand (that Kun had collected from the neighbour’s garden), a drawing of chocolate on the other hand, asking Jaehyun “will you go out with me?”. It was pathetically moving, and perfectly stupid. The worst declaration ever according to either of them, but that was theirs. And their humour, their complicity in those badly snatched roots and this chocolate over expired.

Later, fingers interlaced, their looks tender, the two lovers walked hand in hand between the buildings in the infinity of the city and the night. Kun liked feeling the wind on his face, he liked feeling the soft fingers of his boyfriend on his and Jaehyun’s sweater on his shoulders because he forgot to take one, how unfortunate.

They were finally together, the two had been dreaming about this for a while.

Jaehyun wanted this since the beginning, since he had found his prey, since he grinned before starting to hunt, since he started to run towards Kun. He had been aware of his surrounding, and knew where he was headed, but he was excellent at pretending to be clumsy and a bit stupid. This was the first step. His first move in this game of chess in which checkmate was his revenge. Then he spilled his coffee on Kun. 

 

And Kun didn’t suspect a thing.

 

Jaehyun had decided to stay silent, not to say a word, not to let Kun know anything. Never. Kun would never know the truth, would never know why and that was the plan. That was his revenge because Kun would lose his mind thinking about it, neither understanding why nor what happened. That’s what would be more damaging, more painful. This was what would stick with him forever without knowing what it really is. Because Jaehyun will never tell him, because he didn’t plan to explain anything to him.

If revenge is a dish best served cold, Jaehyun wasn’t even going to give him the recipe.

His revenge was not for the Jaehyun that Kun knew, it wasn’t for the Jaehyun Kun loved having in his arms, loved whispering tender words in his ears. This Jaehyun wasn’t the real Jaehyun. The ear Kun wa whispering into wasn’t really Jaehyun’s because Jaehyun was not the man Kun thought he was. The Jaehyun that Kun was dating was a man full of revenge for a little boy who used to love to look at another little boy, years ago. That little boy loved to look at the boy who was popular in his class, he liked to look at his features, he liked to draw them, liked to get a trace of his face and his beautiful eyes. That little boy could see dreams in him, he could see kindness, everything he was seeking. The little boy knew that when a girl likes a boy, she would go to him to confess her feelings. And he thought that it was what a boy should do as well, otherwise he could never get closer to the little boy. He could never be close to Kun if he didn’t do it. 

The little boy never thought about the fact that he was not a little girl. More specifically, he did not think about the fact that in this world, when a boy likes another boy, he should not talk about it, should not let anyone know about it. On the contrary, he should hide, he should keep it to himself, become ashamed about it, try to make this embarrassing and abnormal feeling disappear. Forgetting all of this, Jaehyun found himself in a corner of the playground, right before he had to take the bus to go home, his heart full of hope.

The little Jaehyun had left with his hopes before Kun even finished his sentence, before he could finish sinking his rejection-sharpened blade in his torso. He had left without waiting not to suffer any more, he had understood at “ I like girls”, he didn’t need to hear more. Jaehyun did need to hear him say that he was tiny, not really pretty and that his clothes were ripped and he didn’t have enough personality. All of that, he already knew it. He didn’t need Kun to tell him that. No, he would never need him.

Jaehyun went to his mirror, cissors in his hand. He didn’t like what he was seeing because Kun didn’t like it. He breathed in, once, twice, then dragged his hand to his forehead to cut his bangs. One cut, straight, precise. He knew he would have to go to a hairdresser after this because it was a hundred percent sure he would do barbaric, but he wanted to do it himself. He cared about changing himself.

The next days at school he sticked to the walls, becoming a wallpaper, hoping that Kun hadn’t told anyone. Which he did not -- making the little Jaehyun suffer had never been Kun’s goal when he rejected him, all he wanted was to protect him because what good would it do to be with him if it meant the whole school would bully them ? What good would it do to be with him if it meant all his pretender decided to take on Jaehyun ? Little Kun was not interested in little jaehyun anyway, but he could have tried. Little jaehyun seemed to be nice and smart. He had potential to be really cute as well. And boys who liked boys weren’t that many. -- But how could little Jaehyun know that it wasn’t Kun who told the whole school when two watchdogs came to him at lunch ? How was the little boy supposed to know that it was not Kun who had told him ? How was he supposed to know that when hematomas took shape on his body ?

After Jaehyun confessed, Kun noticed that boys could also like him, and that boys who liked boys did exist. As if Jaehyun’s misery, as if what had assassinated him had allowed Kun to discover a whole new world, a whole new life. The misfortune of some makes the happiness of others. No way, Jaehyun didn’t see it that way. If Kun thought he could use this situation to liberate himself, to have a better, happier life, he could be barking the wrong tree. Jaehyun wasn’t going to let him. He would make this world bloom before instauring global warming. He was going to make it prettier, show him the sea and thin sand before making him discover tsunamis. He was going to break him.

Jaehyun had promised himself. The heartbroken little boy had promised the little boy in love that they would never hurt again. That he would never let anyone hurt them like Kun had done. And that he would revenge them. Jaehyun promised himself not to stop, not to change aims until Kun was six feet under. Literally or not.

Little Kun didn’t accept the little Jaehyun’s feelings. He didn’t like him back, and didn’t want him to exist. But Jaehyun had crept into Kun’s heart now, he had tamed him, he managed to do whatever he wanted with him. He had come back, more handsome, stronger, with a hunger for revenge beyond comprehension, beyond human. Because after everything Kun had made him go through, after everything Jaehyun had to endure, was he even human still? Was he really? Or had he murdered him in a way? 

Jaehyun’s corpse was buried in Kun’s heart. 

Kun will never suspect it. He would keep seeing in Jaehyun what he would let him see. The one he created to make Kun like him. The one that wasn’t him. And Kun would never doubt it. And Kun would let Jaehyun break him. Because in the end, he had let himself love everything Jaehyun was not. Because in the end, he had let himself love this papier-mâché version of Jaehyun, designed to make him fall.

Jaehyun woke up first because of the sunlight coming through the window and landing straight on his face. He sat up and stayed that way for a few minutes to get out of his morning lethargy before turning his head to see his boyfriend sleeping like a baby. He was adorable. He couldn’t refrain himself from smiling and leaning over him to kiss his forehead softly, stroking his hair.

 

After six months, Kun still didn’t suspect a thing.

 

Kun straightened his tie and finished buttoning his shirt. He checked himself once, twice, maybe more times, in the mirror to be sure he was at his full potential. He wanted to be the prettiest possible for his boyfriend, and for that special night. It was the flower and chocolate night, it was their first Valentine’s Day. He wanted to make it up to Jaehyun for the snatched roses and the paper chocolates. He wanted to give him a proper Valentine’s Day.

It would be really easy for Jaehyun to get his revenge if he didn’t still like him. If the only feelings he had for Kun was hatred, it would have been easier. He could make his life hell, could pretend to be jealous every day, fight with him for anything, but he cherished him too much for that. All he could do was to play with him a little bit longer.

Always a little bit longer.

Jaehyun sat on the sofa, wearing a suit. He even had the shoes to go with it and couldn’t stop laughing thinking they would spend their first Valentine’s Day in front of an action film eating saucisson. It was one of the rare things that made little Jaehyun keep on loving little Kun, while being inside big Jaehyun.

After a year, Kun still didn’t suspect a thing.

Slowly, bit by bit, a steady step at a time, pushing back his smile, Jaehyun got closer. He had changed, had showed him an upgraded version of his being that the demon Kun had put inside of him was wrecking. Jaehyun had to hold himself not to destroy Kun as soon as he saw him, to not brush his fist on the delicate face he loved so much.

He couldn’t remember how many lies he had to tell to make him fall in love with him. How many things he had to invent to make him fancy him. How many pieces of himself he had to let behind because Kun wouldn’t like them. Jaehyun had shaped himself into what was Kun’s ideals for a partner. 

But he didn’t lose himself. He did not forget who he truly is.

He did not forget that he hates him, and that his only goal, his only purpose in life was to annihilate him.

Jaehyun whispered I love you before making  love with Kun. 

Because deep down, he did love him.

Jaehyun loved Kun. The little boy named Jaehyun loved Kun. The real Jaehyun loves Kun, he was deeply in love with him even. But the demon living inside of him, the broken Jaehyun, the one that was now in a relationship with the little boy’s sweetheart, hated Kun. 

He tells him I love you but hate him in his thoughts, he shows demonstrations of his love but can only dream about killing him.

Jaehyun woke up first because of the sunlight coming through the window, he had some time for himself and it felt really good. But when he turned his head to stretch, he saw Kun laying on the bed, still sleeping. Defenceless .  Jaehyun nibbled his lip with a crooked grin, imagining everything he could do to him in a few seconds, thinking about the fact that Kun wouldn't have the time to defend himself, nor even to wake up that everything would already be over. Jaehyun leaned over him, it was oh so tempting, he wanted to put his slender fingers on this delicate neck so badly. He wrapped them around it with a surprising gentleness, leaning as much as he could to see every micro-expression Kun would have when he would feel his miserable life leave him. But Kun woke up at that moment and Jaehyun had to make up yet another lie, kissing his forehead in a hurry and stroke his hair.

“ Hello love “

What a joke.

 

And after five years, Kun still didn’t suspect a thing.

 

Even if Kun wanted to, even if he desired it, even if he understood or knew who Jaehyun really was, found the connection to their past, noticed what was in Jaehyun’s mind, he wouldn’t leave him. He would not want to. Even if he knew all the details, how twisted Jaehyun was, how unhealthy. Even with all this, even if Jaehyun appeared in front of him and showed him everything inside his own heart, even if he saw his flesh rotting in the back of his pupils, he would still want him.

Because he could not make him disappear, Jaehyun had gone too deep inside of Kun and dug in. Henceforth, Kun was dependent.

They had been together for many years now and Kun felt the need to talk about their future. He needed to know where Jaehyun saw himself in two years, in five, in ten. He needed to know what he wanted, what he thought about his own future in order to build a life together. Kun had always wanted a big house with a yard, a swing and a swimming-pool. And of course, a flock of kids he could hop on his knees in front of the chimney in winter, holding a hot cocoa cup, a ring on his finger.

Jaehyun was the evil that was eating up Kun, but he was also the one who was eating up himself. Nobody destroyed Jaehyun better than Jaehyun. Kun only triggered the bomb that he was, but never pressed the detonator. His mind, however, made Jaehyun believe that Kun had done it, it made him convinced that he was a ticking human bomb, that he was going to explode and Kun’d better be amongst the victims.

Kun went to sit down next to Jaehyun on the sofa after coming home from work, taking his hand lovingly in his and smiling at him tenderly. Jaehyun had smiled back to him, the best he could, wondering what Kun wanted to ask him. And when Kun did ask, Jaehyun had to repress a laughter, a loud one. Because never he would have imagined a future with him unless it was full of revenge. And never he would rise kids in a house with a yard, a swing and a swimming-pool with a monster like Kun.

“ Yes for the house and the kids. Yes for everything, my love.”

 

And after eight years, Kun still didn’t suspect a thing.

 

A little bit longer, he always thought.

A little bit longer he thought after their first dates. A little bit longer he thought after Kun had asked him to move in with him. A little bit longer he thought after he had bought a new flat with Kun. A little bit longer he thought after Kun had brought a kitten home A little bit longer after Kun had proposed to him.

But now, the little bit longer had lasted enough. It was time for the little boy to get back his wings by cutting them from Kun’s back. It was time he gets his heart back by breaking his rib cage. 

It was time to set himself free, by imprisoning Kun instead.

The lyrics of ‘the demon within’ kept resonating in his brain as he packed his things ; I tried to be the lover to your nightmare, now I'm a heavy burden that you can't bear. You'll never know I hate you.

Jaehyun packed his things to leave their flat. But he didn’t pack his things to leave Kun’s heart. He intended to live there forever, until the end, until their memories rot and decompose deep down the heart of the one he used to love, the one he loved so much he began to hate.

He closed the door.

Kun would never see him again.

 

And after ten years, Kun will finally suspect a thing

 

Kun opened his door, thinking Jaehyun was waiting for him, thinking that walking in he would find a smiling and loving Jaehyun, with a take-out smell in the flat. He expected to see him welcome him at the door, expected him to kiss him and hug him after this hard workday.

But when Kun opened the door, thinking Jaehyun was waiting for him, he didn’t smell anything And more importantly ; he didn’t see anything. Jaehyun wasn’t smiling at him. He wasn’t even at the door. Maybe he was sick ? Kun started to worry and entered the flat, let his things on the sofa and rushed to their bedroom hoping he wasn’t in a bad state.

He was not here either.

Maybe he went out ? Kun rushed to get his phone in his coat and called his boyfriend.

‘’ we’re sorry, your call cannot be completed as dialed, please check the number and dial again.”

This was impossible. He had texted him this morning.

He tried again.

“ we’re sorry, your call cannot be completed as dial, please check the number and dial again. “

One more time.

“ we’re sorry, your call cannot be completed as dial, please check the number and dial again. “

“ we’re sorry, your call cannot be completed as dial, please check the number and dial again. “

Kun didn’t understand what was happening. He changed his number without telling him ? Did he call a wrong number ? He checked, but no, it was Jaehyun’s. 

“ we’re sorry, your call cannot be completed as dial, please check the number and dial again. “

He threw his phone against the wall without even looking at it shattered in many pieces. He didn’t care about that. Instead, he noticed that Jaehyun’s CDs weren’t on the shelf above where the phone had crashed.

Kun began feeling dizzy, the robotized voice repeated in his head as he noticed every detail. As he slowly realized that Jaehyun was gone.

Jaehyun was gone. Jaehyun had left without a note.

Your call cannot be completed as dial.

Kun fell on the ground. 

Checkmate.