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Till the next life

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Finally, it’s his wedding day. Yugyeom was standing in front of the mirror, the stylist made sure his suits was neat and crisp for the last time before she left. He’s wearing a pair of black suits, a velvety black shirt underneath with a white bow tie to complete the look. Bambam picked it up for him months ago when they were choosing for their wedding suits, insisting it’s the best suit for him and how well it looks on him. Yugyeom always trust Bambam’s sense of fashion and he can’t deny that it indeed looks good on him.

He smiled to the mirror. It’s a happy day and he had promised not to cry. So, when a tear fell of his eyes, he hurriedly wiped it off. He had promised himself and Bambam.

  

 

 

 

  

***

 

Yugyeom, come here. Look, you will have a new friends!” His mother squealed excitedly as she held a little boy, a head shorter than him, he supposed, and urged him to come closer. Yugyeom, feeling anything but excited, greeted the little boy politely. He was cute, must be on third or four grade he guess. The thing was, he would enter middle high school soon and he didn’t want to babysit anyone. 

A woman stood behind the boy, so Yugyeom also greeted her politely, as he always been thought by his mother. He never saw her before but he assumed she was the boy’s mother and also their new neighbor who came from other country, their skin color were different from him and his mother.

 

“Aw, he is so polite. Come on Bambam, say hi to Yugyeom!” The woman told the little boy with his heavy accented Korean.

 

 “Hi!” Bambam said cheerfully, his chubby cheeks rised , he looks so adorable. Okay, maybe if he had to babysit him once in a while he wouldn’t mind.

 

Later did he know they were the same age when he found out they were attending  the same school and even being on the same class.

 

***

 

"Why am I so short!!"  Bambam complained as he stared at his bestfriend who had grown into long limb through out the summer while he still barely reached 5 feet. Life is unfair.

 

"Dont worry, you will grow up, we still have several years to grow, anyway," Yugyeom consoles him

 

"Yeah, but what if no girl wants me if I am short, they like tall and handsome boy."

 

"But you're cute!" pressed Yugyeom, "girl will still like you, don't worry."

 

"No, they won't."  Bambam started to sulk. "Besides, I want to be handsome, not cute!"

 

Yugyeom couldn"t hold his laughter as he saw his bestfriend cheek puffed, made him even cuter.

 

" Nah, then it's their lost, you know. Who wouldn't want a cute boy like you?"  Yugyeom finally managed to say the words after calming down from his laughter. Bambam look at him, expression serious. it made Yugyeom fidgeting in his seat because he could feel Bambam will ask something unpredictable. Or stupid. He just knew it.

 

"Do you want me?" Bambam said seriously.

 

Well, isn't is obvious, Yugyeom thought. If he didn't want Bambam they wouldn't be friends this long.

 

" Of course!"

 

Something soften in Bambam's expression and his lips pulled up into a small grin.  "Then, if no girl eventually like me, you have to marry me!”

 

Yugyeom just rolled his eyes. If there's someone between them who will end up single, it would be Yugyeom.

 

***

 

Yugyeom met Jaebum when they entered high school. He was hanging out with Bambam when he passed a group of boys b-boy-ing on the street, showing off their skill. Yugyeom was mesmerized. Jaebum, who saw a boy couldn’t close his mouth as he watched him and his friends dancing, approached the boy and ask him if he was interested in dancing. And that’s how Yugyeom and Bambam joined his dance crew (Bambam, of course, would tag along with his bestfriend) and became friend with jaebum who was three years older than them.

Sometimes, Jaebum bought them coffee in the coffee shop near their dance studio. Soon, they found out that their hyung had a crush on the cute guy behind the counter, named Jinyoung. They teased him a lot about it but they were also the one who managed to ask him to join their table one day, and Jabeum finally found out that jinyoung was actually on the same university with him.

It was no surprise that one year later they became a couple.

 

“You have to thank us, hyung. If not because of us, you wouldn’t date Jinyoung hyung now,"  Bambam said with smugness in his face. Yugyeom noded furiously beside him.

 

***

 

On their high school, Yugyeom and Bambam were quite famous, thanks to the title of dancing machine that Yugyeom had after he won a prestigious dance competition and thanks to Bambam sprut of growth and his newfound interest on fashion that he became one of the hottest guy in school. The kids were hesitant to approach them because not only they were kind of the cool kids in the school but also it felt like being a third wheel whenever they were with Yugyeom and Bambam. They were like two peas in a pod and no one could fit between.

But not for Youngjae. He was one year above them and accidentally became their mentor for one of school project. (The teacher was trying, trying being the key word here, to separate them in to different group but it was just impossible). From then on, they hang out once in a while but then Yugyeom and Bambam also entered the same college as him so they were depend on him and asked him to guide them through the wild life of university student.

Actually, it was accidental for Youngjae to become close with both of them. If he could rewind, maybe he wished he didn’t become their mentor. No w that he lived together in the dorm with them , he had to bear their antics, like that one time they pulled a prank on him pretending to be ghost, which left youngjae traumatized, or when they added cucumber on his lunch when Bambam suspiciously being nice to him that day, or when Yugyeom purposedly put his things in the highest shelf so he can’t reached it, or the worst, when they decided to dancing around naked inside their dorm. Not only their werid antics, sometimes Youngjae had to face them being gross around each other.

The worst thing was they didn’t realize it, how they finished each other sentences, how they unconsciously intertwined their hand whenever they were in each other space, how Yugyeom idly rubbed the back of Bambam’s neck, or how Bambam always ended up on Yugyeom’s lap despite all the available surface for him to sit.

At the beginning, he questioned their relationship, but as time goes on, he just accepted it for what it was.

 

***

 

Being a foreign kid, Bambam was interested to join international program. There he met Mark and Jackson, two opposite character that strangely match. Mark was quiet and thoughtful while Jackson was noisy and said whatever on hiss mind. It’s not new that Bambam’s friends were automatically became Yugyeom’s friend.

With his limited English, Yugyeom introduced himself to both of them but a week after he found out that Mark and Jackson was actually quite fluent in Korean and had been living for 2 year in Korea, Yugyeom was mad with Bambam.

However, as ususal, he couldn’t stay mad for long when Bambam cooked him his favorite omurice and bought him chocoshake when they met up with Jinyoung and Jaebum.

 

Jinyoung’s coffee shop became their favourite place to hang out. Now, not only Jinyoung, Jaebum, Yugyeom and Bambam, there were Youngjae, Mark, and Jackson too.  

 

***

 

On Yugyeom and Bambam's second year, Jackson questioned their relationship.

 

“When do you guys start dating?”

 

“Um, three years ago, ” said Jinyoung. All of them were hanging out together.

 

“No, I mean Bambam and Yugyeom,” corrrected Jackson as he pointed at the said person. Bambam was feeding Yugyeom a fruit and Yugyeom almost choked hearing the question. Unexpectedly, no one ever ask them that question before.

 

 

Later, after the conversation, Yugyeom and Bambam found out that they actually liked each other more than friends.

 

 

“Ck, both of you are so dense. You’ve been acting like boyfriends since we first met and now you announced that you two are boyfriends? Now? ” mused youngjae when Yugyeom and Bambam came out to them as the group having their weekend meet up. “Just please don’t start making out in the dorm when I can see you both!” Youngjae warned them with his hands up in exaparated sigh.

 

***

 

When Youngjae graduate and left the dorm, Yugyeom and Bambam decided to rent an apartment together. They had enough money from their side jobs to rent a small apartment for both of them. Their friend teased them about that but fortunately they still help them moving in their new apartment.

 

It’s thrilling, the fact that now Yugyeom and Bambam had finally lived together, on their own, and the fact that they had what they would call their home .

 

“Bambam, I can’t live without you,” Yugyeom said one day when they were rolling around in their small living room.

 

Bambam smirked playfully, walking from the kitchen with snacks before he sit down beside his boyfriend.  “Don’t worry, you stucked with me forever. I will never leave you.”

 

“Promise?” Yugyeom held out his pinky finger.

 

Bambam laugh at that but the look in Yugyeom’s eyes made him held out his finger too and made a pinky promise to him. He rolled his eyes and whined, “Why I love you so much?”

 

***

 

Yugyeom and Bambam finished their study at the same year. Yugyeom joined Jaebum to become a dance teacher in his studio. He already had quite a reputation there and sometimes he was asked to do big project for idol group or big event in the city. Meanwhile, Bambam successfully opened his first restaurant, and his brand of clothes, which he marketed through social media, also well received by the youngsters.

 

In the ir 25 yo, everything seemed perfect. It couldn't be more perfect when Bambam finally proposed Yugyeom. He tried to do it romantically with the help of their hyungs. Bambam asked Yugyeom on a date at the seoul tower. The beginning of their dinner was perfect, with candle light, great food and wine, amazing view of the city, and  great music. However, It was unavoidable what could be a romatic proposal turned into hilarious when Bambam said his proposal.

 

“Would you dab with me every morning we wake up?”  He held out a ring in front of Yugyeom.

 

“But I dab with you every morning we wake up?” Yugyeom raised his eyebrow. What was that ring for? It couldn't be-

 

Bambam cleared his throat, “I mean, officialy. As husbands.” His face turned red now and probably it’s one of the rare moment he saw Bambam blushed in embarrassment. Although his own face felt hot, Yugyeom giggled and breath out, “Yes, of course, silly.”

 

***

 

With their growing career, they couldn’t held their marriage as soon as they wanted.  It’s two years later that they finally ready to actualize their plan to get married. They’ve decided to married in spring the next year. They got busy with the preparations, fitting suits, choosing the catering, decoration, place, invitation, etc. It’s exhausting, but they’re happy.

 

 

 

That happiness didn’t last long, though.

Six monts before the day, the plane that Bambam boarded in was crashed above the South China Sea.There were no passenger's body found. And that’s how Yugyeom’s world end.

 

 

 

Yugyeom found it hard for him to live the day without Bambam, his sun. Just like human needs the sun, Yugyeom needed his Bambam to live, and now without Bambam, opening his eyes each morning was a hard task.

He always woke up to Bambam next to him, but now it’s empty.

He could remember his laughter perfectly, his voice, the way he fits into his arm. He wanted to live forever in his memory, didn’t want to face the reality.

 

But of course his friend wouldn’t let him. H e could see they worried about him, but there was nothing they could do to ease his broken heart. Nothing.

Until one day, when he watched the news about the plane crash, how the rescue team still trying to find the body, Yugyeom realized something.

Bambam hadn’t dead. His body had not been found. He probably saved himself and were in some abandoned island waiting to be rescued.

Yugyeom found the reason to live again, to find him.

 

 

 

 

 

***

 

A knock was heard and when he turned around, there were Jaebum and Jinyoung, with their little daughter sleeping in Jaebum’s arm.

Yugyeom felt his heart sweeled at the sight. They tied their knot last year and adopted a little baby girl that looks like an angel. He remember how Bambam told him he wanted a daughter too for their first kid.

They approached him and Jinyoung was the first to hug him. “Congratulations Yugyeom, finally my baby will get married,” Jinyoung said with a strain in his voice.

Jinyoung let go off him but his hands stayed on his shoulder. Yugyeom saw him steeled his face before looked at him with a concern in his eyes, “Please, be happy.”

 

Behind Jinyoung, Jaebum smiled at him reassuringly with a grim look in his eyes.   

 

“I will,” Yugyeom whispered, couldn’t let out a louder voice as he was afraid it would break in to a sob.

 

When he looked up, he could see mark entered with a sad smile on his face.

Mark was his groomsman, with his black tuxedo, he looked as handsome as always.

 

Now, facing his friend, Yugyeom found it harder to hold his tears. When it spilled, Mark immediately reached out to wipe it gently,

 

“Don’t cry. He wouldn’t be happy to see you ruin your make up.”

 

Yugyeom wished Bambam could see him ruined his make up so he would sulk about it and they could tease each other about that.

But he couldn’t.

Not long after, Youngjae came in, announcing that the ceremony was ready to start and they were waiting for Yugyeom.

When Youngjae saw Yugyeom’s face full of tears, he walked up to him and hugged him tightly.

Youngjae then pulled a tissue from the table, carefully dabbed it on Yugyeom’s face so it wouldn’t ruin his make up.

Behind his blury eyes, Yugyeom could see Youngjae was also crying, but his face was stubborn with his sunshine smile.

 

“This is a happy day! Don’t cry too much, okay!” he said cheerfully, fixing Yugyeom’s make up and putting some powder on his face. “Now you’re ready. He’s waiting for you.”

 

Youngjae tapped his butt and guided him to the door. But then Yugyeom felt Jinyoung’s hands on his. 

 

“Are you sure?” Jinyoung asked him. 

 

The room was quiet. Everyone was waitng for Yugyeom's answer.

 Yugyeom found himself thought about it deeply. Was he sure about the wedding?

He thought about his smile, his carefree and bright personality, his touch, all he had done to him, how he wouldn’t make it till today if it was not for him, and how he was very thankfull.

More importantly, how he was in love with him. For who he was.

So, after a while, he nodded and let out a firm yes.

 

Jinyoung looked at him thoughtfully. He searched something in Yugyeom’s face and he seemed to find it as he smiled at him, “He will make you happy.”

 

Jaebum squeezed his shoulder as he walked out together with Jinyoung to the hall first.

 

Yugyeom turned to Youngjae, and give him a look, ready to meet his soon-to-be-husband on the altar and finally make them one and only for each other.

Youngjae nodded and he smiled at him for the last time before he followed the couple.

 

Mark reached out for his hands and held it as they walked to the hall. He let it go when he opened the door.

The wedding song was playing as Yugyeom walked into the hall.

 

Not far in front of him, there was his future husband, smiling so brightly at him. Yugyeom felt his eyes filled with tears already, but he smiled back at him.

Carefully, He walked to the altar because he can’t see clearly as tears streamed down his face. But he was not worried about tgat, he always could count on Mark, who followed closely behind, if he ever fall or tripped.

 

As he came closer, he could see how stunning his future husband. The white suit complement his tanned skin, and his dark hair made him looked more handsome.

The most handsome.

He was not skinny like Bambam, but his bulky body fit perfectly to his outfit, he looked exactly like a prince.

 

Bambam, I found another prince. My prince.

 

He felt Bambam was walking beside him. His hand squeezed his. Yes, Yugyeom-ah. Be happy with him. I’m watching you. Till we meet in another life.

 

When Yugyeom reached the altar,  Bambam had vanished.

 

 In front of him, Jackson held his hand out for him with the biggest smile on his face.  Yugyeom took it without hesitation.  They were standing face to face then Jackson wiped his tears away, mouthed you’re so beautiful, before they turned to face the priest.

Yugyeom take a look once again at the man beside him.

He was not Bambam, but that’s okay, because he loved him. Although not as much as he loved Bambam, but they still have time. He still have time to love him more. And when the priest asked his vow, to be there with his husband through good and bad and to always love him, he said, “I do.”  

 

 

 

 

 

***

 

Two weeks after the news of  the plane crash, the rescue team found Bambam’s dead body. The moment Yugyeom heard about that, it felt like he was dead for the second time. His body felt numb.

Everything that happened after that was blurry. If it was not because of his friends and his family, he probably would be dead starving because he forgot to take care of himself.

The first week after Bambam’s funeral was spent inside their room. He lived in his own world, in their room, where Bambam had not dead. People would call him crazy but Yugyeom didn’t care, as long as he was with Bambam.

When Yugyeom still didn’t come out from his shared bedroom with Bambam on the second week, Jackson couldn’t take it anymore. He had lose one friend, he didn’t want to lose another. And it hurts him so much to see Yugyeom  lose himself. Because he loved him. He loved him so much. Even when he knew he wouldn’t have a chance with him because he and Bambam technically had became one soul, he still loved him. And now, that Bambam gone, he couldn’t just let Yugyeom gone too. He need Yugyeom to know that he still had people who love him the same as Bambam loved him. And he wanted to made him happy again.

“Please Yugyeom, don’t leave us. You know Bambam wouldn’t want this.” Jackson pleaded as he found Yugyeom laid on his bed, his face hollow, the trace of dried tears visible on his cheeks. It’s hard to get Yugyeom hear them, most of the time he would shut them out and living in his own mind.

It’s been two weeks, and Jackson was the only one who constantly take care of him. It’s night when Yugyeom finally talked to him. His voice hoarse and dry, too long hadn’t been used.

“Will I ever be okay, hyung?” the vulnerability in his voice broke Jackson’s heart. But he needed to be strong. He came closer and hugged him gently.

“Of course. You will.” It’s the first time Yugyeom seemed to come out from his own mind so Jackson tried his best to keep him there. “We don’t have Bambam and I missed him too. But we need to live for ourselves and for him. I promise I’ll be here whenever you need me.”  Jackson will do anything to have Yugyeom back to his self, to see his smile, and he couldn’t contain his feelings anymore. “I love you, Yugyeom . I-”

“Shh.. I know.”

 

Jackson cried, hearing the answer. He could feel his neck wet from Yugyeom tears and he held him tighter.

“Will you give me a chance?” Jackson asked.