"Jongwoon, can we talk?" After days of no communication, no texts, no calls, no everything, the person who practically ghosted Jongwoon is now back. He swallowed the huge lump in his throat that was suddenly feeling dry.
"Of course." He answered. "How are you—" Jongwoon didn't have the chance to finish his question when the man had already hung up. He slowly set his phone down on the night stand beside their bed.
What happened? That he doesn't have the answer, or perhaps he does, but doesn't want to acknowledge it, Jongwoon doesn't want to accept it. The tears that were threatening to flow at first are now coming out like waterfalls, except for the fact that waterfalls are naturally like that, unlike Jongwoon...
Jongwoon doesn't cry. He never cries, He never did. But when it comes to him, when it comes to the person he loves, it's as if he only cries for him, his tears are only for him.
Meet me at the university field. -10:33 pm
Jongwoon clutched his phone against his chest, he tried so hard not to make any sound, careful that his roommate would hear him. He choked, the tears that are endlessly flowing out choked him, he wanted to scream.
He knew that this day would come. "Why now? Why?" He asked himself. He tried so hard to calm himself, to somehow stop the tears. He managed to but his eyes are bloodshot red. He immediately went to the bathroom to prepare and fix himself, he needs to look presentable at least.
Within 10 minutes, he arrived, there he saw the football team just finishing their training, he knew some of them like Siwon, Changmin, Yunho, Minho, even his brother, Ryeowook.
"Hyung! Why are you here?" Ryeowook went to him as soon as he saw his older brother. "What happened to you?" Ryeowook stepped closer to scan Jongwoon's face, the younger immediately noticed how his Brother's eyes were swollen, as if he'd just cried. "Did you cry?" The latter asked.
"No! I have an eye infection, sore eyes. I just need to talk to someone, is he here?" Ryeowook noticed again how his brother's voice was hoarse, He didn't want to ask further, already knowing who his brother was pertaining to.
"He's there." Ryeowook replied, he gently squeezed his brother's shoulder. Jongwoon smiled, he tried so hard to smile and not let his brother know what was happening, what was bound to happen.
"Go back to you dorm, don't go out, it's late. Good Night Wook." He held his brother's hand, Ryeowook nodded and left Jongwoon. He was scanning the football field when a figure that is too familiar emerged from behind the bleachers. He is far, but he knows, their eyes met.
He slowly walked towards the bleachers, towards him. He suddenly felt like puking, his knees are buckling,he doesn't have the strength to do this, but he needs to.
"Hi." He greeted the man before him. The man looks ethereal, the eyes, the cheeks, his pointy nose, and his pouty lips, everything about the man is perfect, in the eyes of Jongwoon.
“Hi.” Hyukjae answered. He sat on one of the bleachers, he motioned Jongwoon to do the same, so he sat beside Hyukjae, but he didn't utter a word, he’s waiting for Hyukjae to break the ice.
“Donghae’s back.” After minutes of total silence, Hyukjae finally spoke. Jongwoon expected this, he sure knows this is all because of him, because of them. He clenched his fists, trying so hard to calm himself, trying not to burst. He could feel Hyukjae’s eyes, his apologetic eyes boring on him. “For good. He’ll stay here now.” He added. Jongwoon was just staring out of nowhere. He could hear Hyukjae but suddenly he didn't understand what he’s saying, only he could hear the sound of his voice.
“It’s unfair.” Jongwoon muttered, but Hyukjae heard it. “So, so unfair…”
“Why? Why does he get you anytime that he wants? He will leave you if he wants to, and will get you if he wants you again, why? Hyukjae, why is it so unfair?” Jongwoon finally faced Hyukjae, he looked straight into his eyes but Hyukjae broke the contact, facing the ground beneath them.
“Because I belong to him.” Hyukjae answered, “I originally belong to him.”
Jongwoon could hear how his heart shattered into million when Hyukjae said those words.
“What am I to you, Hyukjae? All those months, years? Just what the fuck am I to you Hyukjae?!” Jongwoon slightly raised his voice, causing Hyukjae to flinch. “I’m sorry…” he reached out for the man beside him.
“Don’t. It’s fine.” Hyukjae held his hand. “I should be the one apologizing. I’m sorry.” Jongwoon remained silent.
“It was wrong for me to use you, to take advantage of your feelings towards me. Donghae left me because his parents didn’t support our relationship, his sexuality, you know how I love him, I wanted to fight for him, but he said that it was better for us to part.” Hyukjae explained, Jongwoon already knows this, but still the pain that the story gives him never ceases. “When he left me, I thought I’d hitted the rock bottom of my life. He’s my inspiration to move forward, to get up every morning, to stay happy. Believe me Jongwoon, I tried, I really tried. Of all people, I know you’re the only person who’s capable of loving someone like me, but I don’t know. I must be a fool, you’re the ‘here’ and ‘now’, but I was and still am stuck to the ‘then’ and ‘past’. I still love Donghae, I never stopped loving him. I don’t deserve someone like you, Jongwoon. You don’t deserve someone like me.” Hyukjae added, he held Jongwoon’s hand tightly. Jongwoon is now crying, it’s the first time he cried in front of someone, in front of Hyukjae, the cause of his happiness and smiles, ironically, also the cause of his tears and heartache.
“That doesn’t matter. You know me Hyukjae, just give us a chance, you don’t deserve that, you know.” Jongwoon pleaded, Hyukjae just shook his head, muttering ‘No’s. “You don’t understand Hyuk, I am this kind of person, I am willing to give it all.” Jongwoon held the latter’s hand, trying to intertwine their fingers but Hyukjae stopped him.
“Listen, Jongwoon.” Hyukjae breathed, placing his other hand above Jongwoon’s. “You deserve someone who will also love you, who will reciprocate all your feelings and efforts, who will give the same energy like yours, and Jongwoon, that person isn’t me, it will never be me.” He further explained. “It hurts to see you hurting, Woon. I’m sorry. I’m really, really sorry. I love you, but not the way as you see it. You’re important to me.” Hyukjae reached for his gym bag. He held Jongwoon’s tiny hands for the last time and then he got up and walked away. Jongwoon cried, cried so hard when Hyukjae let go of his hands, he turned to the direction where Hyukjae went, and as he watched the love of his life’s retreating back, slowly disappearing from his sight, he then lost it. He finally had the strength to shout, to scream all the pain away.
“You didn’t give us a chance!” He muttered, he pulled his hair as his tears were flowing non-stop. If anyone could hear and see him now, they will probably think he’s insane.
“Why didn’t you tell me earlier? Why? Why didn’t you just straight up tell me that you can’t love me? Why did you lead me into something that was never bound to happen?” He choked from his tears.
All those times when Jongwoon was there for Hyukjae, when Hyukjae needed him, Hyukjae needed him, needed someone that time, but it doesn’t mean that he loves him. Those nights when Jongwoon hugged Hyukjae, be it during their movie nights or not, Jongwoon was just there, physically but in Hyukjae’s mind it was Donghae who he was hugging, who was giving him warmth and comfort. Hyukjaeks heart was clouded with one person, his heart belonged to one person all along.
“I loved you first, I loved you since, Why did you choose him, Why is it always him? Why him, When I was the person who’s been here beside you ever since?” He whispered to the night air, hoping that it will somehow ease all the pain he was feeling that moment, that very moment.
But Jongwoon prioritizes Hyukjae’s happiness, he wants him to be happy, even if it they’re not together, He wants Hyukjae to be happy, sincerely happy, and if he’s the reason Hyukjae will happy, who is he to stop Hyukjae?
“Please don’t hurt him anymore…” Jongwoon spoke, “I’ll let him go.”