Bloodied Roses, Yellowed Daffodils
“Brazilian or florist’s gloxinia”
Symbolic meaning: love at first sight
Jungkook’s first flower came during his first month at university. He had simply been walking to his dorm one day after all his classes had finished when he noticed him.
The boy had dyed cotton candy blue hair styled in a messy, just out of bed look. His mouth was curled into a gorgeous box-like smile that caused the corners of his eyes to turn up ever-so-slightly. Leather jacket slung casually over his shoulder, he sat on one of the numerous wooden benches with pinstriped jeans, black combat boots resting on the dying grass.
Instantly mesmerized, Jungkook stopped and stared at the boy in front of him, smiling and laughing with what seem to be his friends. He immediately took out his sketchbook and quickly drew the beauty in front of him, desperate to save the moment in time. A quick outline of the skull led to the perfection of ears, a wide smile, small nose, and round, dark eyes. Looking up again, he made brief eye contact with the beautiful boy.
His throat began to contract, a painful burn surfacing in his chest. Jungkook shoved the notebook in his beige, canvas shoulder bag and ran the remaining distance to his dorm, racing up the flights of stairs while coughing continuously. Minutes later he was barging through his dorm room door, slamming it shut behind him. The burning sensation had worsened, his throat feeling stuffed with fluffy cotton balls that were slowly coming up into his mouth.
A final cough had a maroon flower tumbling out onto the floor in front of him, landing near his feet. Its red petals were frosted white at the edges, curling about the center.
“What... the fuck.” said a course, deep voice.
Jungkook looked up a little too quickly, causing his neck to crack. Wincing and cradling the back of his neck, Jungkook made eye contact with the owner of the voice. His roommate Yoongi was sitting on one of the wooden bar stools in the kitchen, halfway through a pizza slice, staring at both Jungkook and the flower.
“A fucking flower just came out of your mouth. Why?”
Opening his mouth, Jungkook tried to reply, but the fuzzy feeling in his throat came back, crawling up faster this time. Another maroon flower sprung out, effectively silencing Jungkook’s words.
“Jungkook, what the fuck is happening? Is this some kind of sick joke? ‘Cus if it is, it isn’t funny.” Yoongi said, ending the sentence with a glare.
Jungkook tried to talk once more, and was relieved to see another flower wasn’t coming up.
“No,” he croaked, “this--I don’t know what’s happening. I... just...”
With that tears started to run down his cheeks, surprising Yoongi who immediately softened at the sight, leaving his pizza to pull Jungkook into an awkward side hug.
“I saw this really cute guy and so I did a quick sketch of him but then I got this weird feeling in my chest and throat so I ran home but... and then...”
Jungkook stopped his runoff sentence to take a deep breath, waving at the two matching flowers on the ground.
“I don’t know why they’re here!”
He started to cry again, traumatized.
Later, Yoongi helped him find out the flower type, a Brazilian or florist’s gloxinia in hopes that it might explain why they were spilling out of Jungkook’s mouth. They were disappointed to find that the type didn’t explain anything about why-or how-the flowers were there. But as Jungkook moved on from day to day, he realized he wanted, needed, to see that boy again.
Symbolic meaning: happiness
Jungkook’s wish, however, wasn’t granted for two long months. He had finally settled down in college, getting into his daily routines. Classes were slowly picking up, getting harder, and more work started piling up. Yoongi had finally finished teaching him the ways of procrastination, bull-shitting through assignments, and which restaurants around campus were both cheap and relatively good eats.
It was while Yoongi was taking him to visit the music studio he worked at when they passed by a local cafe. Sitting near the window was the boy . He was giggling and smiling again, probably from a joke the boy across from him had told. Jungkook stopped and stared, jaw slightly ajar. Yoongi had stopped too, staring in the direction Jungkook was.
“So, which one is it?” Yoongi asked, hands shoved in his pockets.
“The one on the left. Blue hair.”
“Huh. He looks familiar... I know the one sitting across from him. Park Jimin, dances in one of Hobi’s dance classes at our university, so the other one must go there too.”
The both of them stared at the two boys for a little longer before moving to go when the blue-haired boy made a funny expression to his orange-haired counterpart just as the two were walking past the cafe window. Jungkook started to laugh, which caught the attention of the two. He quickly kept moving, blushing slightly after making eye contact with his crush.
The fluttery, cotton ball feeling resurfaced, and a layered, yellow dandelion came out of Jungkook’s mouth, almost getting crushed by his tan hiker’s boots. He quickly picked up the flower and ran to catch up to Yoongi, who had left him behind.
Later, after the tour of the (rather small) studio left Yoongi asleep on the couch in the booth, Jungkook pulled out the flower and his drawing supplies and thought back on the (adorable) expression his mystery boy had pulled, etching it onto the off-white paper, the flower sprawled out close by.
Symbolic meaning: diffident (shy) love
Turned out Hoseok, Yoongi’s “Hobi”, knew Jungkook’s crush pretty well. Unfortunately Jungkook wasn’t very close to his roommate’s boyfriend, so he was too shy to talk to him and ask about the blue-haired boy who had caught his interest. He did, however, convince Yoongi to ask Hoseok if he knew someone with blue hair. As it turned out, he did. Now, Jungkook had a name for the beautiful boy he’d seen only twice.
Jungkook fell in love with the name, repeating it over and over again. Eventually, with each murmur of the name came a single apricot blossom. There was no longer the burning sensation in his chest and throat, no longer coughing or pain, simply the quick fluttery feeling in his throat before the flower came out, landing softly in the palm of his hand.
Hoseok had once offered to give Jungkook Taehyung’s number, or introduce the two, but Jungkook had refused. He was too shy, too nervous to talk to the other. In some ways, he was just fine watching Taehyung from far away, the distance a way of containing the growing love in his heart.
During his free time, when he wasn’t doing studying, drawing, or playing video games, Jungkook was researching flowers and their symbolic meanings. Soon the gloxinia, dandelion, and apricot blossoms made sense. He had even bought a book, The Language of Flowers , which he poured over ceremoniously till he had memorized almost all of it by heart, including the specifics of each flower.
Yet, so far, neither Jungkook nor Yoongi had found anything about his ailment and how to reverse or get rid of it. Though he had a suspicion as to why he had this ‘sickness’, Jungkook didn’t have enough evidence to be sure.
Symbolic meaning: secret love
As Jungkook went on with his days, he started to notice Taehyung whenever the boy was around. From his observations, and with a little help from Hoseok, he learned that the blue-haired boy was two years older than he, a mathematic major, and close friends with Park Jimin, Kim Seokjin, and Kim Namjoon. He often hung out at a picnic bench on campus, almost always accompanied by his three friends—or more.
Once he knew Taehyung was there every day, Jungkook began to eat lunch at a large oak tree in the general vicinity of the picnic bench, close enough so he could see Taehyung, but far enough that no one would notice him. There, he would sketch the elder—his hair, face, the outlandish yet attractive outfits he put together, anything that had to do with Taehyung he sketched, including the flowers that spilled out onto the papers while he sketched.
It was on one of these lazy afternoons that a fourth flower type came.
Jungkook had always been weak for Taehyung’s amazing, sparkling smile. But his laugh, oh his laugh, it hit him hard each time. But this time, when it had been especially boisterous and loud, it hit Jungkook even harder.
As soon as the white, six-petal flower fell out of his mouth, Jungkook knew.
He knew he was too far gone to be safe.
Symbolic meaning: pure love
Yoongi says he’s hopeless.
Anyone would be considered hopeless when the moment they simply brush shoulders with their crush for four months, white carnations start pouring out of his mouth.
Hungry, tired, and grumpy Jungkook hadn’t been paying attention to anyone or anything around him as he made his way across the grass to his oak tree, not even looking up to try and spot Taehyung.
That was his first mistake, for the moment he looked up his shoulder slammed into someone else’s, the impact stinging just a bit. Jungkook whirled around, prepared to give a verbal beating to whoever had knocked into him, but the words died in his throat as root beer-colored eyes stared back at him, worried.
“Oh my god, I’m so sorry for bumping into you!” His voice was deep and silky, not matching his childlike persona and cute face.
Holy shit he is talking to me. Oh my god his voice I can’t do this! Abort, ABORT!
“Are you okay?”
Jungkook simply nodded, not trusting himself to speak.
A smile made its way onto Taehyung’s face, lighting up Jungkook’s world.
And he was gone, just like that, back to talking animatedly with Jimin at his picnic bench, leaving Jungkook alone vomiting pure, white carnations under his old, lonely oak tree.
Symbolic meaning: deep in love
The white carnations stop, only to be replaced by deep, purple flowers with puffy, yellow centers.
Hopelessly, deep in love.
They spill endlessly out of Jungkook whenever he thinks about Taehyung, filling up the dorm room with a sickeningly sweet smell. Yoongi wants to burn all the flowers, but Jungkook stops him and instead buys a large box with a lock, where he stuffs every single flower that falls out of his mouth. He can’t bring himself to throw them away; it’s too similar to throwing away his feelings, which are by now too deeply rooted to simply up and throw them out.
When the mallows come, Jungkook knows he is too far gone.
Symbolic meaning: unreciprocated love
When his first daffodil comes, Jungkook is looking through one of his sketchbooks.
He had bought a second one, dedicating the first one as his ‘Taehyung book’. In this one is only sketches of Tae, starting from the very first flower, gloxinia, and traveling on. With each drawing of the blue-haired male came a sketch of the flower that had fallen during that moment. The book was halfway full, and was practically attached to Jungkook at all times.
It had been a dark, stormy day, the light, crisp fall days long gone by now giving way to the cold, harsh winter. Jungkook had been sitting on a random bench, earbuds in with music blasting as he leaned his head back, catching the small raindrops falling from the sky. He saw him, walking all on his lonesome. Immediately sitting up, Jungkook followed Taehyung with his eyes as he disappeared into the university library.
Jungkook contemplated following him in, but considered this too stalker-ish. Instead, he leaned his head back once more, and wondered.
What if, maybe, just maybe, he liked him too? Maybe Taehyung had his eye on Jungkook as well, maybe he was crushing on him too.
The daffodil came, softly and quietly with no pain whatsoever. Jungkook instantly knew what it meant, and the pain in his heart that followed was the most excruciating, unbearable thing he had ever felt.
Tears blended in with the rain, but not even the rolling thunder could cover up his sobs.
Symbolic meaning: passionate love
Once the daffodil came, it all went downhill from there.
Even Yoongi noticed something was up with Jungkook.
Yoongi sat down on the bed next to Jungkook, who was crying into his pillow. He timidly put a hand on the younger’s back and started to rub it soothingly.
“Hey, come on. Tell me what’s up.”
All he got in response was a muffled sob. Unsure how to handle the situation, Yoongi thought W.W.H.D (What Would Hoseok Do), and layed down next to Jungkook, silently patting his head as the boy cried into his pillow.
Although the crying slowly went away, the despair and depression stayed. Yet still Jungkook found himself sitting underneath the old oak tree, sketching Taehyung each day. He knew it was gradually killing him, but he just couldn’t stay away. Everything about him was beautiful, even the smallest smile made Jungkook’s heart soar. But the next minute a daffodil would come plummeting out and crush every nice feeling Jungkook had.
One day, while Jungkook was doing a sketch of another funny face Taehyung had made, the painful burning feeling resurfaced, only hundreds of times worse than before. And instead of the bushy, cotton ball feeling came a scraping, sharp drag up his throat. Immediately Jungkook began coughing, causing him to bend over in pain as what felt like a hundred knives cut up the inside of his windpipe.
Blood soon began to come up with each cough, causing his hand to turn a scarlet red. Jungkook stood up, leaving all of his belongings behind as he ran to the bathrooms close by. He was soon leaning over one of the stained, ceramic toilets, the blood coming up spraying into the water, tainting it a light red. Tears ran down his cheeks as his throat was ripped apart from the inside, until a deep red flower plunked into the bloody water below. Droplets of blood stuck to the needlelike thorns on the long stem of the burgundy rose.
Jungkook flushed his first rose down into the smelling sewers, the misery that came with the flower too unbearable.
Soon the roses were a daily occurrence, but he still had not told either Yoongi or Hoseok (who now basically lived at their dorm) about the torturous blossoms. He kept them separate from the rest, in a large glass jar placed next to his bed. And at the end of each week, a single, buttery yellow daffodil is added to the jar. As a reminder that his ‘passionate love’ for Taehyung is unrequited, never to be.
Symbolic meaning: hopelessness
Roses, daffodils, and soon bellworts flooded Jungkook’s room, filling it with a sweet smell that made Jungkook want to vomit. He hated flowers now, wanted so much to light them on fire and destroy them until nothing left was ashes.
But he couldn’t.
He couldn’t stop thinking about Taehyung
Suffering alone, Jungkook was over the side of the toilet expelling thorned roses at least twice a day, sometimes more.
The thorns began to take a toll on Jungkook. His voice began coarser, gravelly and rugged, no longer smooth and gentle as it had once been. Now, Yoongi no longer asked him to sing for his songs, instead asked if he was okay, if something was wrong. But Jungkook refused to tell him, was afraid and self conscious.
He was such an idiot for falling in love, such a fucking moron , as the voices in his head repeated over and over again. Cutting himself off from the outside world, Jungkook buried himself in his school work, drawing constantly. He tried to draw different things, wanting desperately to get Taehyung off his mind, but nothing worked.
One day, it became especially bad, after Jungkook had seen Taehyung while on his way to the dorm. His once cotton candy-blue hair was now a vibrant orange, and perched on the boy’s nose were large, round glasses. Concentrating on whatever was on his calculator, Taehyung licked his lips before looking up, sensing someone staring. Seeing Jungkook, he broke into a huge, box grin and waved. But Jungkook being the shy little shit he is only ducked his head, offering a small, timid wave before running home, the familiar scratching in his throat returning.
Soon he was throwing himself over the toilet, blood gushing out into the ceramic bowl. He heard Hoseok and Yoongi return and, cupping a hand under his chin to catch the dripping blood, locked the door to the bathroom.
The pain was worse than usual, the thorns carving new caverns in his windpipe, causing a sob to come out, though muffled by the flower.
Yoongi banged on the door.
“Jungkook, open up! What’s wrong?”
He gave no reply, the rose still lodged in his throat. Just as he was pulling the thing out, no longer waiting for the flower to simply fall out, the door burst open revealing Yoongi and Hoseok, concern spread across their faces. The flower fell out with a plop, the blood coming out with it.
They were horrified.
He was screaming in agony as a second rose came up.
By the third rose, Hoseok was by his side, rubbing his back while Yoongi called the hospital.
The ambulance came at the sixth rose, but Jungkook had stopped screaming at the fifth.
“Belladonna” or “deadly nightshade”
Symbolic meaning: dark thoughts
The damage had been done.
There was nothing else that could be done, the doctors had said.
Yoongi and Hoseok had cried enough tears to compensate for Jungkook’s lack.
Somewhere deep down, he knew this would have happened.
Yet there was nothing that could have prevented it. The doctors were confused as to why, why Jungkook’s throat was mangled to the point where he couldn’t talk anymore, so torn apart there was no hope for him to say another word, sing another note.
But he knew. Hoseok knew. Yoongi knew.
The roses kept coming each day, along with the single lemon colored daffodil at the end of each week. Three glass containers have been filled, a fourth almost halfway full. But to Jungkook, everything was half empty.
He would sit in his room for hours, staring blankly at the ceiling. There was no longer the dandelions or carnations; instead, those happy blossoms were replaced by nightshade flowers, roses and daffodils.
Never had Jungkook hated flowers more in his life.
Hoseok, being the good friend he is, came to check up on Jungkook each morning and night, making sure he had eaten, done homework, and wasn’t just staring at empty space all day after classes. Yoongi signed both him and Jungkook up for sign language classes, which he had to practically drag the younger to each Wednesday night.
Jungkook’s parents had been shocked at first, but that didn’t stop his mother from sending him care packages each week, filled to the brim with homemade cooking from his father, wool beanies she had crocheted, and random drawings from his younger sister, only four, who didn’t quite understand why her brother didn’t talk to her.
Too many times had Jungkook gone to the roof of the dorm, legs dangling off the edge, wanting so badly to just simply jump, end it all there.
But the wind would pick up, almost sweeping off the painstakingly handmade hat, and Jungkook would remember there were other people out there who loved. Not in the way he needed, not in the way he wanted Taehyung to so badly.
For now, though, it was enough to keep him from jumping.
Symbolic meaning: you will be the death of me
A boy who doesn’t even know Jungkook exists, a boy who doesn’t know him, doesn’t know a single thing about him, and most certainly doesn’t share the same feelings he does.
A boy with whom Jungkook fell head over heels with, despite never holding a real conversation with him.
The same boy who was the cause for so much pain, yet so much joy, without even knowing.
Kim Taehyung would surely be the death of Jeon Jungkook.
Symbolic meaning: sad memories
January came and left, bringing way to February, the month of love.
Before, Jungkook loved February. The weather started to warm up, the sun showed it’s face more often than not, stores stocked up a shit ton of chocolate, flowers started to bloom, and Valentine's day all happened in February.
Now, with his voice gone and hopelessly in love with someone who doesn’t love him back, February was torture. Not to mention Hoseok and Yoongi, who were obviously trying to set Jungkook up on dates. This proved to be a hard task, since Jungkook couldn’t talk, much less think about anything other than Taehyung.
He had seen the elder more than usual, going back to sitting underneath the large oak tree where he loved to sketch. Only now, there were pages and pages of roses in his sketch book. Though there was no color, the roses seem to pop out of the folios in the book, reaching out in a twisted, romantic agony.
One day, while Jungkook was sketching under his tree, trying not to watch the now lilac haired boy, someone walked up to him, bending down to see what he was sketching.
“Oh wow, those are beautiful!”
Jungkook’s head snapped up to see the one and only Kim Taehyung peering down at him with his big, brown eyes.
“Oh sorry, Jimin always says I have no sense of personal space. I’m Taehyung, Kim Taehyung. You are?”
My name is Jeon Jungkook, and you have no idea how long I’ve been wanting this to happen, praying that you’ll finally notice me.
But you are so, so late.
“Not much of a talker? That’s okay, being shy is fine. I’ll get you to talk eventually.” He chirped, smile as big and bright as ever.
No, I’ll never talk. I’ll never be able to talk again.
Jungkook began to cry, silently with that single thought. Taehyung had no idea, no idea how much this was hurting him. He could only hope that he understood, that he could get what Jungkook was trying to convey.
“Oh my god, why are you crying? Are you okay?”
Jungkook simply started to cry harder.
“I... uh... I’m so sorry, I’ll just... I’ll just go okay?”
Taehyung stood up and made his way back to his picnic bench where Jimin was waiting, not noticing Jungkook’s outstretched hand and silent sobs.
A single red flower fluttered out, followed by the hateful, yellow daffodil.
Jungkook had never hated himself more in his whole life.
Symbolic meaning: deserted love
It was the end of the school year, everyone was bustling around, packing up all of their stuff to move back home, or getting ready to go on long summer trips. Some stayed in their dorms, signing up for summer classes to pass time by.
Yoongi was helping Jungkook pack up all of his things.
Are you sure you want to transfer universities? Yoongi signed, setting down the boxes he was holding to do so.
Jungkook sighed silently.
Yes. It is the only way to get over him.
Taking this as a sufficient answer, Yoongi simply nodded and picked back up the boxes.
The rest of their time together was filled with comfortable silence.
Until Hoseok came, that is.
“Jungkookie!! Why do you have to leave?! I will miss you so much!”
He embraced Jungkook into a bone-crushing hug, not showing any signs of letting go until Yoongi had tapped him on the shoulder, gesturing to the many boxes behind him.
Hoseok let the younger go and went to pick up a couple boxes, chatting cheerily as he brought them down the dorm stairs to the awaiting car. He had (somehow) convinced Jin, whom he met through Namjoon through Jimin, to let them borrow his truck for the day. Once all of Jungkook’s boxes were loaded up, Hoseok gave him one last hug, trying to hold in his tears.
“Visit us lots, okay Jungkookie? Or better yet, we’ll visit you. Don’t you dare forget us!” He sniffled.
“Don’t worry Hobi, I won’t let him forget us. Now stop your crying, we’ll see him soon, right Jungkook?”
Not knowing what else to say, Jungkook simply nodded. Never before had Jungkook felt so, so loved by anyone other than his parents and sister.
It felt nice.
Maybe life wasn’t so horrible, after all.
Wait, Yoongi. He signed. I have something to do really quick. I’ll be right back.
He ran off with his canvas bag before Yoongi or Hoseok could protest, heading straight for the dance studios.
There, he found Park Jimin, just coming out of one of his classes. Jungkook grabbed the shorter’s sleeve harshly, demanding his attention.
“What the-oh, hi. You’re a freshie, right? I think I’ve seen you around...”
Jungkook simply nodded before reaching into his bag to pull out-
He handed the book to Jimin, gesturing to the yellow sticky note pasted on top of the faux leather cover.
For Kim Taehyung.
“You want me to give this to Taehyungie?”
“Okay. I don’t get why you can’t do it yourself, but whatever man.”
Jungkook smiled sadly before opening the book, pointing at the letter placed amongst the first pages.
Don’t lose it. He mouthed.
Understanding flashed in Jimin’s eyes before he smiled apologetically.
With that, Jungkook waved slightly before running back to the awaiting truck, ignoring Yoongi and Hoseok’s questioning gazes.
He was getting a new start, a new life, and, hopefully, a new love.
Someone, somewhere, would reciprocate his love.
A single, red columbine fell out of his mouth and onto the car floor.
Where it stayed.
Symbolic meaning: declaration of love
Taehyung wasn’t sure what to think when a bound, black book was plopped onto his lap, the yellow sticky note bearing his name almost coming off.
Then again, it was Jimin...
He looked up, confusion etched on his face.
“What’s this, Jimmine?”
Jimin shrugged. “That one kid who used to sit underneath the oak tree alone told me to give it to you.”
Taehyung looked up in shock.
“Well, he didn’t really say anything. I think he’s mute or something...”
Realization dawned on Taehyung’s face.
“Oh, so that’s why he didn’t say anything when I tried to talk to him,” he mumbled, “I thought he was mad at me or something.”
Jimin just shrugged. “Make sure you read the letter.”
“What letter?” Taehyung asked, looking up to get an answer.
But Jimin had scampered off once again, probably to flirt with some random freshmen. He carefully opened up the book, and almost missed the small envelope in the front few pages. Taking the envelope out, Taehyung set it on the bench next to him and started to flip through. The book was filled with sketches of him, and each one made Taehyung look more beautiful than he really was.
And then there were the flowers, one on almost every page. They had a sort of melancholic allure to them that left Taehyung lost for words. On one page there were small droplets of a red liquid next to a torn apart rose. He put the book down and reached for the letter, opening it carefully as to not rip the contents inside. A single piece of paper was folded snugly into the pouch, the words a little smudged.
Dear Kim Taehyung,
You probably have no idea who I am, or why there are so many drawings of yourself in a stranger’s sketchbook.
The thing is, you don’t need to know who I am, because you’ll probably never meet me. I’ll be long gone by the time you read this, making a new life for myself.
Getting over you.
See, the first day I saw you I fell instantly in love.
And at first it was a simple crush, nothing much about it. But it grew into something much, much bigger.
I fell deeper and deeper in love with you, someone who I’d never properly met. I guess the universe must like fucking with me because the one chance I had to get to know you better and possibly make you fall in love with me, I fucked up. You just had to come up to me after I became mute. Had you only, or had I only, let us meet sooner, maybe we could have been more.
I’ll never know.
None of this is your fault, though. I don’t blame you for anything at all.
I just needed to get this out in order to move on.
This is the last flower.
I love you, Kim Taehyung.
He folded the letter back up, placing it back in the envelope.
Not even noticing the tears welling up in his eyes.