Viettrans: Mèo (updating…)

SEOKJIN

2​ ​March​ ​YEAR​ ​19

There was a damp smell in the principal’s office where dad led me into. Ten days after returning
from the US, I was told yesterday that due to difference in school system, I would be held back a
year. “Please look after him.” Dad put his hands onto my shoulder and I unknowingly flinched.
“School is a dangerous place. There have to be regulations”. The principal looked straight at me.
The wrinkled skin around his cheeks and mouth quivered whenever he talked and inside his
tanned lips was a whole dark red. “Doesn’t Seokjin here think so?” I hesitated at the sudden
question and dad immediately squeezed my shoulder harder. His grip was so strong that it made
my neck muscles throbbed. “I believe he will do well.” The principal continued to look me into the
eye and dad’s grip slowly getting stronger and stronger. I clenched my fists at the bone-breaking
pain. My body was shaking and breaking out in a cold sweat. “You have to tell me. Seokjin needs
to become a good student.” The principal looked at me with a smileless face. “I understood.” I
narrowly squeezed out an answer and for one moment the pain was gone. There was the sound
of dad and the principal laughing. I couldn’t lift my head up. I looked down the dad’s brown shoes
and the principal’s black ones. I didn’t know where the light was coming from, but they were
glinting. I was scared of that glint.

Có mùi ẩm mốc xộc vào mũi khi Bố dẫn tôi vào văn phòng Hiệu Trưởng. 10 ngày sau khi trở về từ Mỹ, tôi được thông báo sẽ phải học lùi lại 1 năm do hệ thống giáo dục ở 2 nơi khác nhau. “Nhờ thầy để mắt đến con trai tôi”, Bố nói với Hiệu Trưởng và đặt 1 tay lên vai tôi, tôi bắt đầu cảm thấy nhộn nhạo trong lòng. Hiệu Trưởng nhìn thẳng vào tôi và nói “trường học là 1 nơi nguy hiểm, bởi vậy cần có kỷ luật”. Làn da nhăn nheo quanh mắt và miệng của ông rung lên mỗi khi nói chuyện, và bên trong đôi môi thâm xì kia là một màu đỏ sậm đen tối. “Seokjin có nghĩ như vậy không?”. Tôi ngập ngừng trước câu hỏi bất chợt của ông, và Bố siết vai tôi mạnh hơn, lực đạo mạnh đến nỗi tôi cảm thấy cơ cổ mình co thắt. “Tôi tin nó sẽ làm tốt thôi”. Hiệu Trưởng tiếp tục nhìn tôi, còn cái siết vai của Bố thì từ từ chặt hơn. Tôi nắm chặt nắm đấm của mình chịu đựng cơn đau trên vai như xương sắp gãy đến nơi. Người tôi run lên, toát mồ hôi lạnh. “Em phải trả lời tôi Seokjin à, vì e là học sinh ngoan mà, phải không?”, Hiệu Trưởng nhìn tôi bằng gương mặt vô hồn. “Vâng”, cuối cùng tôi cũng nặn ra được câu trả lời, và cơn đau trên vai lập tức biến mất. Rồi Bố và Hiệu Trưởng cùng cười. Tôi không dám ngẩn lên, chỉ dám nhìn chằm chằm vào đôi giày da nâu của Bố và đôi giày đen của Hiệu Trưởng. Tôi không biết ánh sáng này đến từ đâu, chúng lóe lên… và làm dâng lên trong lòng tôi một cỗ sợ hãi.

11​ ​April​ ​YEAR​ ​22​ 

I came to the sea alone. Inside the viewfinder, the sea was wide open and blue as ever. Even the
sunlight dispersing on the water, the wind blowing through the pine forest, they were still the
same. The only thing changed was that I was alone. One press of the shutter button and the
scenery in front of my eyes flashed, for a moment, that day 2 years and 10 months ago appeared
and quickly vanished again. That day we were sitting together in front of this day. Tired,
empty-handed, hopeless, but we were together.
I turned my car around and stepped on the accelerator. I drove through the tunnel, passing the
rest stop. Somewhere near the school where we used to go to, I opened the car window. It was a
night in spring. The air was warm and cherry blossoms were fluttering about on the trees ranging
along the school walls. I left the school, crossed through the crossroad and made a few turns. Not
far away, I could see the lights from the gas station where Namjoon works at.

Tôi đã đến biển, một mình. Trong ống ngắm máy chụp hình, đại dương vẫn rộng mở và xanh ngắt như xưa. Thậm chí, ánh nắng chiếu rọi trên mặt nước, cơn gió thổi qua rừng thông… vẫn như cũ. Thứ duy nhất thay đổi, là tôi, chỉ có một mình.
Tôi bấm nút chụp, khung cảnh trước mắt tôi lóe lên. Trong một khoảnh khắc, ký ức của 2 năm 10 tháng trước lướt qua và biến mất, một lần nữa. Vào ngày hôm đó, chúng tôi đã cùng ngồi với nhau, nơi này. Mệt mỏi, trắng tay, vô vọng… nhưng… chúng tôi có nhau.

Tôi quay xe và nhấn ga. Lái qua đường hầm, đi qua trạm dừng chân. Tại một nơi nào đó gần trường học mà chúng tôi vẫn thường lui tới, tôi mở cửa kính xe…. Đó là một đêm mùa xuân, không khí ấm áp, những khóm hoa đào nở rộ đong đưa trên những tàn cây dọc theo các bức tường của trường… Tôi rời đi, băng qua ngã tư, và rẽ vài lần. Cách đó không xa, tôi có thể nhìn thấy ánh đèn từ trạm xăng mà Namjoon làm việc…

13 June 2022

Sau khi trở về từ bờ biển đó, chúng tôi đều trở nên lẻ loi.
Chúng tôi không giữ liên lạc với nhau nữa như đã thõa thuận. Chỉ có thể cảm nhận sự tồn tại của nhau qua những bức vẽ graffiti trên tường, ánh sáng le lói của trạm xăng, và tiếng dương cầm từ tòa nhà cũ kỹ. Ký ức đêm đó sống lại một cách chân thật. Ánh mắt Taehyung rực lửa, ánh mắt họ nhìn tôi như thể họ không thể tin được, tay Namjoon cố gắng cản Taehyung lại, còn tôi thì không thể ngăn mình tung 1 đấm vào Taehyung.
Vô vọng tìm kiếm Taehyung sau khi em ấy bỏ đi, tôi trở về ký túc xá gần biển. Không có ai ở đó. Chỉ có mảnh ly vỡ, vết máu sắp khô, và vụ bánh quy kéo tôi trở về lúc sự việc xảy ra cách đây vài giờ. Trong đống lộn xộn trên nền nhà, có một bức hình nằm bơ vơ. Trong hình, chúng tôi đang cùng tạo sáng và cười với nhau với đại dương mênh mông sau lưng.
Thậm chí, hôm nay tôi đã quay lại trạm xăng đó. Ngày chúng tôi gặp lại nhau nhất định sẽ đến. Một ngày nào đó chúng tôi sẽ lại cười nói với nhau như trong bức hình. Ngày tôi có đủ dũng khí để hoàn toàn đối mặt với bản thân sẽ đến thôi. Nhưng bây giờ chưa phải lúc.
Ngày hôm nay, gió vẫn thổi như cách hôm đó nó đã thổi. 1 giây sau chuông điện thoại vang lên như 1 lời cảnh báo. Bức tranh tôi treo trên tường bắt đầu rung lắc. Tên của Hoseok hiện trên màn hình điện thoại.

“Hyung, đêm đó Jungkook đã gặp tai nạn xe”.

15​ ​August​ ​YEAR​ ​22

It was after getting out of a jammed crossing and starting to speed up when I came to a sudden
stop, unknowingly. The car behind beeped their horn and passed by, someone was hurling
curses, but amid the noise of the city, I didn’t hear anything. There was a small flower shop at the
corner of the alley on the left. I didn’t stop abruptly because I saw the shop. It was more like I
discovered the shop after stopping my car.
When the owner – who was organizing papers at the side of the shop currently under interior
construction – approached me, I had no expectation. I had already gone around several places
but even the florists had no idea about the existence of the flower. They only showed me flowers
with a similar color. But I wasn’t looking for something with a similar color. The flower had to be
real. After I told the owner the flower’s name, he looked at me for a while. Then he said even
though the shop hadn’t been officially opened yet, he could deliver the flower to me, and asked
me. “Why does it have to be that flower?”
As I turned the handle and got back to the road, I started to think. The reason why it had to be
that flower. There was only one reason. Because I want to make that person happy. Because I
want to make that person laugh. Because I want to show them the me that they like. Because I
want to become a good person.

Sau khi băng qua ngã tư đông đúc, tôi bắt đầu tăng tốc nhưng rồi vô thức nhấn phanh. Một chiếc xe băng qua, bóp còi và chửi rủa gì đó. Nhưng giữa ồn ào của thành phố này, tôi không nghe thấy gì cả. Có một cửa hàng hoa nhỏ trong góc hẻm bên trái. Không phải tôi dừng xe đột ngột vì trông thấy cửa hàng, mà dường như sau khi dừng xe tôi mới phát hiện ra nó.
Ông chủ đang sắp xếp giấy tờ ở một bên, lên tiếng chào tôi. Tôi không có một hi vọng nào khi vào đây. Tôi đã thử tìm kiếm ở một số nơi rồi, và ngay cả người trồng hoa cũng không biết đến sự tồn tại của loài hoa đó nữa. Họ chỉ toàn đề nghị cho tôi một vài loại có màu tương tự. Nhưng thứ tôi tìm kiếm không phải thứ gì tương tự. Nhất định phải là loài hoa đó. Sau khi nói tên hoa cho người chủ tiệm, ông ấy đã nhìn tôi 1 hồi lâu. Rồi ông nói mặc dù vẫn chưa đến giờ cửa hàng mở cửa, nhưng ông có thể giao hoa cho tôi, và ông hỏi :

“Tại sao phải là loài hoa đó?”
…Tôi quay xe đi, và bắt đầu suy nghĩ về việc tại sao tôi lại cần loài hoa đó. Vì tôi muốn họ vui. Tôi muốn làm họ cười. Tôi muốn cho họ thấy con người mà họ muốn nhìn thấy. Tôi muốn trở thành một người tốt.

Yoongi

8​ ​June​ ​YEAR​ ​22
I took off my T-shirt. The me inside the mirror was nothing like me at all. The T-shirt with ‘DREAM’
written on it wasn’t my type in any way. I hated the color red, the word “dream”, and even the way
it clung tightly onto my body. Annoyed, I took out the cigarette and looked for my lighter. There
was nothing in my jeans pocket, so I looked through the bag and realized. It was taken away. It
was taken from my hands just like that. I was left with the lollipop and this T-shirt.
I ruffled my hair and stood up, but then heard a sound signaling a message came. The moment I
saw the name with three words on the phone screen, everything around me suddenly lit up and
my heart dropped with a thud. I read the message and snapped my cigarette into two. The next
moment, I was smiling in the mirror. Wearing a tight red shirt with ‘DREAM’ on it, I was smiling like
an idiot.

25​ ​June​ ​YEAR​ ​20
All of a sudden, I opened the door, went to the desk and took out a bag from the bottom drawer. I
flipped the bag and shaked it, and a piano key fell out with a thud. I threw the half-burned key
into the trash can and lied down on bed. My seething heart did not cool down, breathing a mess
and fingers stained with soot.
There was one time I came back to the house, now a ruin because of the fire, after the funeral
ended. I entered my mother’s room and saw the piano burned to the point of unrecognizable. I
sank down next to it. As the afternoon light pierced through the window and died down, I just sat
there. A few keys were rolling around amid the last rays of light. I wondered what sound they
would make when I pressed down. I wondered how much mother’s fingers had touched them. I
took one of them, put into my pocket and left the room.
4 years has passed since then. Our house was quiet. So quiet that I was going crazy. After 10
o’clock, my father would go to bed and everything must be done with bated breath afterwards.
That was the rule of this house. It was hard for me to endure that silence. It was not easy to match
the time and follow the rule, the formality either. But what I couldn’t endure even more was that,
despite of it, I still continue to live in this house. Taking the pocket money my father gives, eating
with my father, listening to his scoldings. Even though I talked back to him, went astray and
caused trouble, I didn’t have to courage to leave him, leave this house and be alone, to really put
that freedom into action and not just pure words.
All of a sudden, I sat up from the bed. I took out the key from the trash can under the desk. I
opened the window, letting the air of the night harshly rush in. Everything happened today
flooded in as it they were carried by the wind, slapping at my face. I threw the key into the air as
hard as I could. It had been ten days since I last went to school. I heard they expelled me. Who
knows, maybe now I would be kicked out of this house even if I don’t want to. I listened carefully
but still couldn’t make out the sound of the key falling to the ground. No matter how much I
wondered about, I will never be able to know what sound that key made. No matter how much
time passes, that key will never be able to make any sound again. I will never play the piano
again.

7​ ​April​ ​YEAR​ ​22​ ​(O)
I stopped walking at the clumsy piano sound. At the empty construction site in the middle of the
night, there was only the crackling sound from a fire someone had lit in the drum can. I could tell
it was the song I used to play, but I didn’t really have any thought. My drunken footsteps
wobbled. I closed my eyes and walked even more mindlessly. Heat from the fire became
stronger and the piano sound, the air of the night, even my intoxication fade away.
At the sudden horn, I opened my eyes, narrowly escaping a passing car. Amid the glare of the
headlight, the wind from cars passing by and the chaos of my intoxication, I staggered helplessly.
A driver was spitting out curses. I stopped, about to curse back when I realized, I could no longer
hear the piano sound. Amid the sound of the blazing fire, the sound of the wind, the noise left
behind by cars, there was no way the piano sound could be heard. Seems like it stopped. Why
did it stop? Was someone playing the piano?
With a snap, sparks of the fire in the drum can surged towards the darkness. I stared vacantly at it
for a while. My face flushed from the heat. That was when I heard the sound of someone
slamming down the piano keys with fist. Instinctively, I turned around. In a second, my blood was
running wild, breath growing ragged. My childhood nightmare. It was like the sound I heard at
that place.
The next moment, I was running. My body turned around on itself not on my own will, running
towards the music shop. Somehow it felt like this had repeatedly happened countless of times.
Like I was forgetting something really urgent.
The music shop with broken windows. Someone was sitting in front of the piano. It had been
years but I still could recognize him at once. He was crying. I clenched my fists. I didn’t want to
get involved with someone else’s life. Didn’t want to comfort someone else’s loneliness. Didn’t
want to become a meaningful person to someone else. I didn’t have the confidence that I would
be able to protect that person. Didn’t have the confidence to be with them till the end. I didn’t
want to hurt them. I didn’t want to get hurt.
I slowly moved my steps. I was about to turn around and leave, but unknowingly, I came closer.
And pointed out to him the wrong note. Jungkook lifted his head and looked up at me. “Hyung.”
It was the first time we met after I dropped out of school.

Namjoon

30​ ​June​ ​YEAR​ ​22
With somewhat a weird feeling, I looked at my hands pressing the open button as if it had a will of
its own. There were moments like this. Moments that even though it was clearly the first time, I
feel like it had repeatedly happened countless of times. Right before the elevator door closed, it
opened again and people crowded in. I spotted someone with hair tied up by a yellow rubber
band. It wasn’t because I know that person would be here that I pressed the open button, but I
felt like that person would definitely be here. I slowly stepped further to the back. I lifted my head
up as my back pressing against the cold elevator wall, the yellow rubber band coming into my
view.
A person’s back speaks up many thing. Among them, I can only understand a few. Some I can
vaguely guess and some are ultimately left ungrasped. I was suddenly struck with the thought
that you can only say you know a person when you are able to read everything from their back. If
so, maybe there would also be someone who can read me from my back. As I looked up, our
eyes met in the mirror. For a second, I avoided the gaze. When I looked up, there was only my
face in the mirror. My back was no longer seen.

15​ ​May​ ​YEAR​ ​20
I walked across the storage classroom, which had become a hideout for us who had nowhere to
go, and set upright a few chairs. I picked up the desk that had fallen down and wiped the dust
with my palm. The fact that it’s the last time always make people sentimental. This will be the last
day I come to school. We have decided to move two weeks ago. Who knows, maybe I would
never be able to return here. Maybe I would never be able to meet the hyungs and dongsaengs
again.
I folded the paper in half, put it down on the desk and picked up the pencil, but I didn’t know
what to say, only time passing by. As I was scribbling down some useless words, the pencil lead
broke with a snap. “You must live on.” The lead broke and before I knew it, I was scribbling down
on the paper, smudged with what looked like fragments. In between the black lead power and
the scribble scattered messy stories, stories of poverty, parents, dongsaeng, my move.
I crumpled the piece of paper, put it in my pocket and stood up. A cloud of dust rose as I pushed
the desk. I was about to turn around and leave, but went to breathe onto the window and left
three words. No farewell would be enough, no words needed to be said to convey all and
everything. See you again. Rather than a promise, it was a wish.

11​ ​April​ ​YEAR​ ​22​ ​(V)

I was groping around some T-shirts when Taehyung reached out from behind and grabbed one.
It was a T-shirt with the same printed quote as the one I was wearing. Taehyung laughed
sheepishly, taking off his torn shirt. Under the dim light hanging on the trailer box, for a second, I
saw his bruised back. Hoseok looked at me in shock. Taehyung looked at himself in the mirror
wearing my T-shirt. And he laughed.
“Dude’s doing some graffiti or something, got caught by the cops while running around. Had to
get him out so I was late.” I pretended to smack Taehyung and Taehyung in turn made an
exaggerated expression of fake apology. Yoongi-hyung, who was sitting at the corner of the
trailer, slowly approached and tapped Taehyung’s shoulder.

Hoseok

31​ ​May​ ​YEAR​ ​22
Breath suddenly stifled, I avoided the gazes as an instinct. My breath was shaking after dancing
for a while, but it wasn’t the cause. I was struck with a thought of how they looked like my mother.
No, it wasn’t a thought, wasn’t a recognition, nor was it something I could explain or describe. I
couldn’t look straight at the face of the friend whom I had known for more than ten years. We
learned dancing together, failed together, fell into despair and cheered up together. We lied
down on the floor covered in sweat, throwing towels and joking around. As if touched by a
sensation I had never felt before, I scrambled to my feet. As soon as I turned around the corner, I
leaned against the wall and stood there. I tried to calm down my unsettled breathe, but there
came a sound saying “Where are you going, Hoseok-ah.” A voice, maybe it was a voice. A voice
calling “Hoseok-ah.” A voice that I can’t even recall well now, that goes back to when I was seven
years old.

15​ ​September​ ​YEAR​ ​20
Jimin’s mother walked across the emergency room. She checked the name on the headboard
and the IV bottle, then took out the grass leaf on Jimin’s shoulder. I felt like I should tell her why
Jimin was rushed to the emergency room, how he had a seizure at the bus stop, so I hesitantly
approached her. Only then did Jimin’s mother spot me, she looked at me for a while as if to figure
something out. I didn’t know what to do, so I hung back. Jimin’s mother only said thank you and
turned away.
The next time Jimin’s mother turned to me again was when the doctor and the nurses started to
move the bed and I followed them. Jimin’s mother said thank you again and pushed my shoulder.
More correctly, she slightly put her hand on my shoulder and took it off. But suddenly, an invisible
line was drawn between me and Jimin’s mother. It was a clear and solid line. Cold and firm. It was
a line that I eventually couldn’t cross through. I had lived at the orphanage for more than 10 years.
I could tell it through with my body, my eyes, with the air. In an unguarded moment, I stepped
back and fell to the floor. Jimin’s mother stared down at me with a blank look. She was a petite
and beautiful woman, but her shadow was big and chilly. That shadow casted on me falling down
to the floor of the emergency room. When I looked up, Jimin’s bed had already gone out of the
emergency room, no longer seen. Since that day, Jimin didn’t go to school anymore.

25​ ​February​ ​YEAR​ ​21​ ​(L)
I danced without taking my eyes off my reflection in the mirror. The me in there soared up without
touching the ground, free from all the gazes and standards of the world. Nothing mattered to me
but moving my body to the music, putting my whole heart into my body.
I first danced when I was about twelve. Maybe it was around the time of the talent show in a field
trip. I followed my friends and stood on the stage. Among what happened that day, I could still
remember the applause and the cheer. And the feeling of being myself for the first time. At that
time, I was only thinking of moving my body to the music and having fun. It was ecstasy, and it
was not until much later did I learn that that ecstasy didn’t come from the applause, it came from
somewhere inside me.
The me outside the mirror is hung up by many things. I can’t lift my feet off the ground for more
than a few seconds, I smile even when I hate it and smile when I’m sad too.. I take medicines I
don’t need yet still collapse anywhere. So I try not to take my eyes off myself in the mirror when I
dance. The moment I can truly become myself. The moment I can throw away all the weight and
fly. The moment that makes me believe I can become happy. I keep my eyes on that moment.

Jimin

3​ ​July​ ​YEAR​ ​22
I eventually lied down on the floor. After turning off the music, everything around me became
quiet, nothing heard save for the sound of my breathing and the thundering of my heart. I pulled
out my phone and played the choreography video I learned by day. Hyung’s movements in the
videos were smooth and accurate. I knew it was the result of countless hours, sweat and practice,
and it was greed to someone who didn’t have much like me. But understanding and desiring
were different, so I often sighed. I stood up all of a sudden again. I could mimic his turns but my
steps were still messed up. I kept making mistakes at the part where we changed position and
match the formation. We decided to match it tomorrow, but until then, I wanted to do it properly,
one way or another. Rather than a joking “Pretty good” compliment, I wanted to be
acknowledged as a real and equal partner like when I danced with hyung.

30​ ​August​ ​YEAR​ ​19
While Hoseokie-hyung was on the phone, I played around, kicking the ground coated with
hyung’s shadow. He chuckled and made a face that said “Park Jimin has grown so much.” It took
two hours to walk from school to home. Less than 30 minutes by bus and can even be shortened
to 20 if I take the main road. But hyung always insisted on taking the path that has us go through
a winding alley, passing a low hill and crossing the footbridge. After getting discharged from the
hospital, I transferred to another school last year. The school was far from my house and there
was no one I knew. I thought it was okay. I thought it wasn’t any big deal, after all, I had already
changed school several times and who knows when I would be hospitalized again.
But then I got to know hyung. It was not long after the new semester started. He casually
approached me and walked with me for two hours. Not until much later did I find out our houses
weren’t in the same direction. I couldn’t ask him why. I hoped for the shadow that walks by my
side, the two hours walking together under the sun, to last longer even just a day.
Hyung was still on the phone, I kicked his shadow again and ran away. He ended the call and
started chasing me. The ice cream melt under the sun and the sound of cicadas tingled in my
ears. Suddenly, I was scared. How many of these days are left?

28​ ​September​ ​YEAR​ ​20​ ​(L)
I stopped counting how many days I had been in the hospital. It’s something people do when
they want to leave or when they have the hope of leaving. Looking at the trees and the grass
outside the windows, people’s outfits, seems like it hadn’t been that much time. One month at
most. Sometimes I saw school uniforms as well, but now even that didn’t really stir up any special
feeling. Everything only felt so dull and hazy, maybe because of the medicine. But today was a
special day. A day that must be written down on the diary if I had one. But I didn’t keep any diary
and I didn’t want to cause trouble while writing such thing. Today I lied for the first time. I looked
into the doctor’s eyes and pretended I was depressed. I said, “I don’t remember anything.”

Taehyung

25​ ​June​ ​YEAR​ ​22
I slowed down on purpose and listened carefully to the small sound of someone running behind
me. Today was the third time we ran into each other at the convenience store. If there was any
difference, it’s that they ran away as soon as they saw me. They strolled around the empty lot
behind the convenience store and hid away right after I showed up. They thought they were
hiding well, but their shadow was stretching out to the front of the empty lot. I giggled. I walked
away pretending I didn’t see anything, and they began to follow me.
I entered a narrow alley. This was the only place in this neighborhood where the street lamps
weren’t broken. The alley ran long with the street lamp standing somewhere halfway. When the
source of the light is ahead, the shadow stretches behind. So right now my shadow would cast
behind me. Maybe it would even reach the feet of the person who had been following me with
bated breath. I soon reached the street lamp and my shadow immediately hid under my feet. I
began to speed up my pace. Leaving the lamp behind, now my shadow started to cast in front of
me. Soon enough, another shadow that wasn’t mine appeared on the dusty cement road. As I
stopped, the person stopped and stood there as well. Two shadows of different heights standing
still side by side.
I spoke. “I’m gonna wait until you come here.” The shadow jumped as if surprised, and held its
breath like it wasn’t there. “I can see you.” I pointed at the shadow. Soon. the sound of footsteps
began to approach me, stamping on purpose. I laughed.

29​ ​December​ ​YEAR​ ​10
I took off my shoes, tossed my bad and entered the room. Dad was really in there. I didn’t think
about how long it had been, or where he just came back from. I simply just ran into his embrace. I
have no memory of what happened next. Was it the alcohol smell that came first, was it the
curses, or was it the slap. I had no idea what was happening. There was the alcohol smell and
there was the ragged, foul breath. His eyes were bloodshot, beard grown coarsely. He slapped
me in the cheek with his big hand. He slapped me in the cheek and asked what I was looking at.
And then he lifted me into the air. His eyes were terrifying, but I was too scared to cry. It wasn’t
dad. No, it was him. But it wasn’t. My feet were trembling in the air. The next moment, my head
crashed against the wall, body slumping down to the floor. It felt like my head was bursting. My
vision went in and out and soon darkened. The only thing left in my head was the sound of dad
panting.

22​ ​May​ ​YEAR​ ​22​ ​(V)
I was walking through the pine forest when I saw hyung taking the call, lagging behind. It
happened a lot lately. He would make the call somewhere far away so others wouldn’t be able to
listen. I purposely slowed down my pace and hid myself towards the sea. Hyung didn’t see my
and walked straight past. “He’s only a year younger than me.. I don’t care. It’s not something I can
take responsibility for anyway. Please take care of it yourself.”
Something cold ran down my spine. Like the whole world had just collapsed, like I was floating in
the middle of the deep sea alone. I was scared, terrified. I was miserable and pathetic. I was
angry. Angry and couldn’t stand it. I wanted to do something bad, anything. I was always scared.
Dad’s blood was flowing inside me. Who knows, maybe I inherited his violence gene. It felt like
from inside the shield I had wrapped up so tightly, something was piercing through to come out.

16​ ​July​ ​YEAR​ ​22
I stood by the window, plugged in my earphones and slowly sang along to the song. It has
already been a week. Now I could sing along without looking at the lyrics. I took out one
earphone and practiced with my voice. They said they liked it because the lyrics were beautiful,
but the lyrics were embarrassing, so I just scratched my head. The sunlight of July was streaming
through the big window frame. The green leaves were fluttering and shining, probably because
of the wind, and the touch that the sunlight left on my face felt different each time. I closed my
eyes. I looked at the yellow, red and blue tingeing behind my closed eyes. I don’t know if it was
because of the lyrics or because of the sun, but something was rising from inside my heart,
tingling and burning.

Jungkook

11​ ​April​ ​YEAR​ ​22
At last, my wish was granted. I purposely bumped into the thugs on the street and was beaten as
much as I wanted to be. I kept smiling as I was beaten, and so they beat me up more, calling me
crazy. I leaned against the shutter door and looked up at the sky. It was already night. There was
nothing in the pitch black sky. A single clump of grass stood not far away. It was lying flat from the
wind. It was just like me. I forced myself to laugh to stop the tears from falling.
Under my closed eyes, I saw my stepfather clearing his throat. My half-brother was chuckling. My
stepfather’s relatives were either looking somewhere else or talking about useless stuff. They
acted like I wasn’t there, like my existence was nothing. In front of them, my mother was
flustered. She pushed herself from the floor, making a cloud of dust rise in the process and
coughed. It hurt, like someone was cutting into the pit of my stomach with a knife. I climbed up to
the rooftop of the construction site. The city at night was stretching with frightful colors. I climbed
on top of the banister, spreading my arms out and walked. For a moment, my legs wobbled and I
almost lost balance. Just one more step and I would die, I thought. But if I die, everything would
be over. No one would be sad if I disappear.

25​ ​June​ ​YEAR​ ​20​ ​(O)
I stroked the piano keys, smearing my hands with dust. I put some force into the tips of my fingers
and the sound that came out was nothing like what hyung had played before. It’s been 10 days
since he last went to school. I heard he was expelled today. Neither Namjoonie-hyung nor
Hoseokie-hyung told me anything, and I couldn’t ask them, as if I was scared of something. That
day two weeks ago when the teacher opened the door and entered our hideout place, there
were only hyung and me here. It was parents visiting day. I didn’t want to be in the classroom so I
blindly headed to the hideout. Hyung didn’t even look back, he just kept playing the piano and I
moved two desks together, lying on top and closed my eyes pretending to sleep. Hyung and the
piano seemed different but at the same time they were also one, so much that I couldn’t even
think of separating them. Somehow listening to him playing the piano made me want to cry.
Feeling my tears about to fall, I rolled over, but then the door was slammed open and the piano
sound cut off. I was slapped in the cheek, staggering backwards and ended up falling down. I
curled up to endure the abuse, but then the voice suddenly stopped. Looking up, hyung was
pushing the teacher’s shoulder and standing in front of me. Over his shoulder was the teacher’s
stunned face.
I pressed the piano keys. I tried to mimic the song hyung used to play. Did he really quit school?
Will he never come back? Hyung said a few hits, a few kicks was just common to him. If I hadn’t
been there, would he not stand up to the teacher? If I hadn’t been there, would hyung still be
playing the piano here?

Engtrans: ktaebwi | Viettrans: Meo@nunabts.com

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