On the shore by the sea, nestled between two sand dunes is a house. In the house lives a boy and every day the boy waits.
On the shore by the sea, nestled between two sand dunes is a house and in this house lives a boy with a laugh made of sunshine and eyes made of stardust. In this house lives a boy and the boy waits.
On the shore by the sea, is a house and in this house lives a boy and this boy grows as the years pass and with it so does his loneliness. He is made of sunshine and the remains of a fallen star and he waits.
Hoseok doesn’t remember falling. He remembers plenty of things, his birth in a cloud of dust and gas, the before where he burned hot and bright, danced in the night sky and called out hellos and goodbyes to comets as they zipped past. He remembers the after as well where all that was left were specks of stardust in his eyes and a thousand lives in front of him to live for the rest of eternity, but he doesn’t remember the actual act of falling. He knows why he did, he knows that it was his choice in the end but there are still things missing that he knows he’ll never be able to piece together.
Hoseok is twenty-two in this life and lives in a house made of weather beaten wood and paintwork long faded from its original pale blue. The waves kissing the shore offer a soundtrack to his days spent wandering the sand dunes looking for treasures, smooth stones and seashells he can turn into trinkets to sell at the markets in the nearby towns. Chimes made of recycled piping and conch shells hang from the eaves of his house, swaying gently in the breeze. The soft tinkling blending with the roar of the waves are the soundtrack to Hoseok’s life.
Hoseok visits the local town every Sunday. He sells his creations to Seokjin who runs the small gift stand in the town centre and uses the money to purchase supplies from Yoongi who works in the small grocery store. Both always welcome him and ask how he has been and the Hoseok of ten lives ago might have sat down and told them every thought in his head but the Hoseok in this life is quieter, smaller, a combination of heaviness in his heart and loneliness keeping him from getting too close.
Taehyung in the library always calls a hello and recommends another book for him to read, no science fiction as requested and Jungkook and Jimin who work in the small bakery always keep a fresh box of muffins aside for him when he’s running behind schedule.
Hoseok remembers them all, of course he does, he doesn’t just forget the people who pop up in every lifetime he lives, and some days the deja vu is so overwhelming he finds himself having to pull back and hurry away from the heart of the town before he lets too much slip.
When Hoseok was a star he fell in love. It was forbidden, against every rule set out for a child of the universe to follow but love is love, it can’t be controlled no matter how hard they tried and so they were given a choice. Forget and stay, or fall to earth where they would have to live their lives over and over finding and losing each other for the rest of eternity. They weighed their options together and separately but at the end of the day, they knew what they were going to do. So Hoseok said goodbye to those he loved and he fell to Earth. He was alone for a long time at first and he should have realised that this was never going to be made easy for them. So he fell and he waited until they found each other again.
Hoseok is sitting on his front porch reading one of the books Taehyung had recommended when a wind arrives from the east. The old wooden shutters on Hoseok’s windows bang against their frames, sand is scattered from pillar to post, and Hoseok lets the soft caress of the wind soothe the loneliness in his heart. Thunder rolls in the distance as the sky darkens; the scent of impending rain is heavy in the air. Hoseok closes his book, goes inside and waits for the downpour.
Lightning flashes not long after and the booming thunder shakes the entire house. Hoseok watches the wave crash against the shore, angry and destructive, and Hoseok can’t look away. He stays in the same spot for hours and watches (and waits) while mother nature vents her fury. The storm rages and then eventually dissipates as day turns to night and Hoseok finds himself back out on his front porch looking up at the night sky.
The thing is, no one ever told him they could skip lifetimes. No one said that they wouldn’t find each other every new life and now it’s been three life times and Hoseok’s heart aches, his bones feel heavy. Loneliness is a constant companion, sadness his only ally, and now he looks to the heavens and prays on the little bit of his being that still belongs to the universe that this lifetime will be different. The night sky might be clear now that the thunderstorm is over but the storm in Hoseok’s heart rages on.
Time passes with the rise and fall of the sun. Summer becomes Autumn becomes Winter becomes Spring. Wash, rinse, repeat. The ocean still meets the shore, the house is still nestled between two sand dunes and Hoseok spends his twenty fourth birthday waiting.
Winter had only given way to Spring a few weeks ago when a wind arrives from the west. Hoseok has left his bedroom window open and the wind pours into his bedroom, sends the pages of the book on Hoseok’s bedside table fluttering, and has Hoseok out of bed and pushing his feet into shoes and headed for the door without a second thought. Hoseok’s feet carry him towards the town centre. It’s a Saturday so Hoseok’s presence is met with a look of surprise from Seokjin when he sees him. Hoseok offers him a smile, it’s been a long time since Hoseok’s smiled at someone and he doesn’t miss the way Seokjin takes an involuntary step back. Hoseok is about to ask Seokjin about his day when he sees Yoongi outside of his store talking to someone and he freezes. It might have been three lifetimes and he might have bright purple hair now but Hoseok would know him anywhere. He knows the slope of his back, has kissed the line of his jaw but most importantly Hoseok can see the way his skin shines with the remainder of stardust that neither of them will ever shake. Hoseok stands, unmoving, unblinking as Yoongi points and the man turns. Hoseok’s heart pounds in his ears and he watches the smile, Namjoon’s smile break across his face, cheeks dimpling. Namjoon raises a hand in a wave and Hoseok shakes himself out of it, waves back and returns his smile and just like that Namjoon has closed the space between them and pulled Hoseok into his arms.
“There you are.” Namjoon says soft and low, his hand fitted on Hoseok’s waist like they never left and Hoseok has to blink away the overwhelming sense of deja vu so he can respond.
“Here I am.” Hoseok whispers and when Namjoon leans down to kiss him Hoseok meets him halfway. After hundreds of years together, spanning all of their lifetimes, kissing Namjoon is still like coming home. Hoseok has waited three lifetimes for this moment, three lifetimes of sadness and loneliness, three lifetimes of waiting and it’s so, so worth it.
On the shore by the sea, where the sand rises into dunes is a house. The house is weatherbeaten and faded, with handmade windchimes hanging from the eaves. In this house live two people made of stardust, who chose to fall from the sky to live for an eternity, finding each other in as many lifetimes as they can. In this house, lives two boys who were born in a cloud of dust and gas, who carry a piece of the universe inside themselves, but that’s not the important part. The important part is this: in this house live two boys who have loved each other across a thousand lifetimes and will continue to love each other for a thousand more.
On the shore by the sea is a house and in this house lives Hoseok and Namjoon. This house is no longer just a house but is now a home to two fallen stars who have finally waited long enough.