Monsters

Friday May 8 2015

Hey, journal :D! OMG thank God you’re still there with me! ><

So many things happened today I can barely remember my name right now @[email protected] Everyone is asleep so I’m enjoying the first moment of quietness and solitude in hours. Who knows how long it will last? Especially with these two staring at me. Yeah, I know you’re watching me! But just because I’m behind my computer doesn’t mean I’m not watching you too, guys! There’s no need to speak any language to know what my stare means, right?

So, once again, reading my previous entry helps me a lot putting the pieces together.

I remember I was still very groggy when I arrived at work this Friday morning. Even the weather was pretty cloudy. That was not a good sign. Joseph and I had barely exchanged a word in the car. Not that we had anything to say to each other. Some people hadn’t showed up, knowing they were out of job from now on so half of the rooms were empty when we arrived. Others were waiting to be officially fired in the afternoon. When I went to the surveillance room, the guard was gone as well. I didn’t want to be near Joseph so I hung my coat on the guard’s chair and sat there. I let myself zone out, gazing at the metallic curtain which was closed for good between me and the broken window. I stayed there for a solid minute doing nothing, like a lifeless doll. When Joseph came in to ask me to come pick up my stuff and then kissed me on the top of my head before he closed the door, my eyes welled up, feeling like I was sitting on a bomb and couldn’t get up. Just then, as I raised my eyes, I glanced at the monitors. The boys hadn’t moved from their cells in three days. T.O.P was sitting still as usual. His look was sterner than ever. Judging by the tension of his jaws, I assumed he was also clenching his teeth. G-Dragon had torn down his rubber ball. Seungri was not looking at the camera anymore. Taeyang couldn’t care less about his training. They were all either standing or sitting on the ground with their back against the wall and a lost expression on their faces, so quiet and still one might as well have hanged pictures of them in front of the cameras in their place without seeing a difference. When I saw even Daesung bow his head, pull his mattress as far away from the door as possible and lie down with his back at the camera, I put my elbows on the control table, put my head in my hands and cried.

There I thought I heard talking. Thinking I had been heard, I got up and quickly wiped my tears before I went to the door. However, nobody was there. When I went back to the monitors and sat down again, I saw T.O.P looking straight at me. I immediately covered my eyes in reflex and held still, anticipating the effects of the hypnosis. When nothing happened, I slowly spread my fingers and looked between them. He was still looking at the camera, as immobile as a statue. I relaxed a little and crossed my arms on my chest with a sigh.

“What are you looking at?” I said out loud at the monitor. “So you found your camera. Big deal. What are you gonna do now?”

“Joan.”

When I heard him say my name, I stayed transfixed on my chair. That was the same sound I had heard a few moments ago. I looked at the button of the microphone and noticed it was way closer to me than I thought. I realized I had probably pressed it by accident when I started crying. That’s how he knew that I was there! I regained my composure and pressed the button again, looking at the monitor.

“What do you want from me, T.O.P?” I asked in English.

He then pointed at the door without breaking eye contact with me.

“Open, please.” he asked in a neutral tone.

To my surprise, I didn’t obey him. It seemed he could instill any emotion he wanted to people but couldn’t manipulate them enough to make them do what he want. But I can neither tell if he knew that already nor if the way he had asked me was just a request or a command.

“I can’t do that.” I answered. “You know, we both know I can’t do that.”

“Joan, open, please. Please.” he repeated more softly.

“I can’t. I can’t!” I repeated like a broken record.

Suddenly, all the others raised their heads and looked directly at their cameras before they came closer as if they were seeing it for the first time.

‘What the hell?!’ I thought. ‘Did they hear us?! How??!’

“Preeeeze!” Seungri said to the camera, now so close his face filled the whole frame, smiling childishly, as he had climbed on the wall and was now hanging from the little machine like a monkey (however I could hear it was about to break under his weight :x).

“Preeze!”

“Preeze!”

“Preeze!” The others went on.

Their five faces were looking up at me, their eyes now filled with hope. What was wrong with them all of a sudden? Did they know what was going on? Did they hear other staff members talk about their termination? I looked at them in disbelief when I suddenly noticed the big red button next to the microphone as if he had appeared out of nowhere and only now started to exist. I knew that if I pressed it, both their doors and the iron curtain would open for a certain time. And then, what would be their shortest way to the exit?

‘What am I thinking?’ I realized. ‘Of course they wouldn’t get out of here alive! Neither would you! If you even think about it, you’re dead! Both literally and figuratively!’

As my eyes were now on that button and my fingers were so close to it, I clenched my hand into a fist and looked away. The boys were still waiting for my answer, hanging on to my words. I bit my lips.

“I’m sorry. No. I can’t do that, guys. I’m sorry.” I repeated a little lower.

When they heard the syllable “No.”, all of them bowed their head in disappointment, turned their back and went back to their spot except T.O.P who kept glaring at me.

“There’s nothing I can do. I’m powerless.” I insisted, although I wasn’t sure he knew that word.

I suddenly heard a hiss coming from the monitors. The five of them must have heard it too as it made them jump and turn their heads to see where it was coming from. The hissing sound became louder and louder as the corners of their ceilings slowly opened and began to fill their cells with colored gas. I watched them cough and lean closer to the ground, panicked. Had I activated a button? I hadn’t touched anything though! I was sure of that! Or was it already time for their termination and released automatically?!!

Most of them were now gasping for air as Taeyang staggered towards his door and punched it fiercely with both of his fists yet his punches slowly became weaker and weaker by the second. They all started to stumble and fall to the ground as G-Dragon, now on his hands and knees, cried the four others’ names at the top of his lungs along with something in Korean which I did not understand but was probably nothing else but a cry for help.

A cold sweat dribbled down my temples when I saw him finally collapse and the four others were now lying on the ground, unconscious but still breathing very weakly as the gas kept filling their cells.

They were all dying in front of me. I couldn’t stand it any longer.

Without thinking, I pounded the red button and rushed out of the room and into the lab, hoping I would not be caught by Joseph or anybody before I came back. As the iron curtain was still opening very slowly, I bent over, went to the other side then started to run again with gas masks in hands.

I couldn’t believe I was now running across the arena, sprinting in heels with a huge gas mask on my face and five others in my arms, listening to the echo of my clicking footsteps along the empty, large combat zones. The machines were turned off and half of the walls were in ruins so I could see the hall that led to the boys’ cells easily.

Just as I was about to reach the door that separated both areas, I suddenly felt as if my ankle had been stabbed and practically fell on the door when I pushed it open. As I leaned on the wall trying to catch my breath and took a quick glance at my ankle, which was sprained, I saw the five of them out of their cells, standing on their feet and perfectly fine, looking at me. Their cells were clean from any gas and, as I rotated the knob of my breather, the air I sniffed was definitely breathable. I let the five other masks fall at my feet and grimaced when one of them brushed my ankle. Had this happened to somebody else and had I been witnessing it, I guess I would have just laughed out loud at the scene.

“What the hell is going on?” I screamed in my mask in a muffled voice.

The others kept staring at me in surprise and confusion as if I came from another planet. I sighed and lifted my mask, looking probably very upset.

When they recognized my face, they smiled, relieved. I then turned towards T.O.P who was now looking at me with an arrogant smirk on his face. That was enough to make me realize that all I had seen on the monitors had been nothing but one of his tricks. I swear I had seen them die though! I had heard them scream! It had all felt so real!

Taeyang, who still hesitated to go out of his cell, forced the door which was now closing in on him. At the same time as I suddenly realized the situation I found myself in, an ear-piercing alarm went off, which made me jump and made my mask fall back on my face. The boys instinctively ran towards the exit and, as I tried to run after them, I fell all sprawled out and hissed in pain at my swollen ankle. I then heard one of the boys stop and walk back before I felt arms lift me by the shoulders then carry me. When I raised my head to see who my savior was, I saw it was Taeyang. When our eyes met, he looked away and slightly blushed. Even at this moment, he was more intimidated by me than anything else >< However, he let me no time to react as he quickly joined the others who were ahead of us. The five of them were running so fast and their pace was so hectic I was feeling dizzy. And it certainly didn’t help when security arrived and tried to block their way as they deployed around them in the arena, all armored and wearing big black glasses.

“Who are you?” the one I recognized as the guard from the surveillance room shouted at me.

I realized I still had my mask on and didn’t have my badge on me. When I tried to answer, Taeyang and the boys lunged at them so abruptly it knocked the wind out of me. Then everything went too fast and too loud for my memories to take it with bright flashes in our faces from all sides, people trying to grab us and hit us, someone screaming “Let her go!” and the four others lifted the curtain in front of us to force it open.

When we exited the surveillance room, I couldn’t believe it. There we were, me and the five boys, running through the hallway of labs and offices with my colleagues at their doors, looking at us come through, wide-eyed and speechless. This was surely not how I imagined my leaving party o_O

When the boys found themselves at an intersection since they had been running blindly so far, in a flash of lucidity, I signaled them to turn right and guided them first towards my office to take my laptop then Joseph’s. Thank god he wasn’t there (I assumed he was now in the surveillance room freaking out, yelling at everybody and throwing stuff at them!). I then made Taeyang come closer to Jo’s laptop as I hacked it and searched through all his files as fast as I could. I also made the four others look in his stuff to find his car keys, which Seungri found in his coat-pocket and handed to me with a smile of victory which, I assume, he thought was as manly as Jo’s. Oh how I wanted to wipe that smirk off his face since now was definitely not the moment to show off ><

After what seemed like an eternity, I finally found the boys’ dossiers and quickly transferred them to my computer. The last file was done uploading, and the originals deleted just in time as Joseph entered his office with his jaw hanging open at the sight of the six of us.

To my surprise, when they saw him, the boys stood there in silence as well, as flabbergasted as him, and even lightly stepped back in awe. As he blocked the door with his body and I heard the guards coming closer and closer, I felt my heart race faster and faster. I needed to wake them up! So I instinctively took out my last shoe (the other one was gone -.-‘) and threw it at Jo’s face. Suddenly, as if he had broken out of a spell, T.O.P, who the closest to him, punched him and pushed him out of the way before he ran and the others followed him. As Taeyang and I went past him, our eyes met and the look Jo gave me when he recognized me sent shivers down my spine. We then finally found the elevator and I mashed the button with the number zero as the doors closed on us and everything went silent again.

My heart was pounding like crazy in my chest as everyone was busy catching their breaths and I finally took off my mask. God, it was hot in it D: ! G-Dragon was the first to raise his head and smile at us as the boys started chuckling at first, then laughing louder and louder. However, I wasn’t laughing at all and ordered them to stop. I also told Taeyang to put me down as I wriggled in his arms. But just as he did so, the pain came back at full force in my ankle and I fell down on my butt once again, yelping and whining as I tried to stand up. The fact that I wore a short skirt that day definitely didn’t help as I tried to support myself with a hand on the wall and pulled on the cloth to cover my legs with the other at the same time. This was the most miserable day of my life D:>

“You guys better laugh while you still can,” I said sarcastically out loud even though they weren’t laughing at all anymore. “just wait until we get outside and take a deep breath. That’s the last the six of us will enjoy of it. Will you stop staring and give me a hand already?” I barked at them even though I knew they couldn’t understand what I was saying.

Just then, I felt a pair of warm hands on my ankle as I looked down in surprise and saw Daesung massaging it gently. Little by little, the swelling reduced and I felt the pain less and less until it was finally gone. When he was done, I looked at my ankle: it was good as new! Our eyes met and he gave me the most stupid, nerve-racking, adorable eye-smile he could and, as hard as I tried not to, I eventually smiled back and all my wrath was gone off my system.

“I hate you.” I managed to say though, to which he and the others grinned.

But the peace I felt didn’t last long as, as soon as the doors opened again, other guards were lunging at us again as I was carried once more and the boys dashed through another maze of walls and doors and panicked Korean scientists they kept bumping into (I did try to say “sorry!’ once or twice but then left it alone :-/) .

When we finally reached the outside doors, militaries were waiting for us and aimed their guns at us!

“Wait!” I heard as I covered my eyes. “They got a hostage!”

I heard another yelled sentence, which was probably the Korean translation but it came too late as they opened fire. I hurriedly guided them in the parking lot through the ruckus of the bullets towards Joseph’s car as they managed to all get in somehow and I jumped behind the wheel and made the engine roar. I was in such a state of shock and frenzy I didn’t slow down when some of the soldiers tried to stop me and jumped on the side when I almost hit them.

My palms were sweaty and my mouth dry as sand. When we reached the desert road, I saw a couple cars starting to chase us and shooters with masks aiming at the tires. We all jumped when we heard a loud “bang!” at the back and I started to drift on the side of the road. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw them coming closer and closer until the front of the first car was touching the back of ours. It lightly hit us and I started sobbing.

“No, no, no. Please, no. Please…!” I whimpered and mentally called for my mummy.

The boys around me were silent and looking at me with serious expressions on their faces as tears were running freely on my face. Suddenly, I heard a door open.

“What are you doing?” I yelled and my eyes widened when I saw G-Dragon’s red head on the other side of the rear window, clinging onto the trunk as the others were obviously encouraging him, facing our chasers. He then sprung on the other car and at the face of the shooter who screamed and tried to get him off. However, he managed to pull off his and the driver’s masks. T.O.P then turned at them and stared at them right in the eyes. The vehicle soon lost control and crashed on the second one as it swerved off the road.

I hardly kept my eyes on the road as I watched the two cars become smaller and smaller in the mirror and tried to not lose G-Dragon’s silhouette in my field of view, lost in the landscape of the long grey road under the grey sky.

“Where is he? Where is he?” I asked out loud in a weak voice.

The four others kept looking at the rear window, blocking my view. Suddenly, I noticed a black and red spot coming closer and closer in my exterior mirror and saw it was G-Dragon, running next to our car with a big grin. When he opened the door again and went back inside, the others cheered him, all talking at the same time and I snapped.

“Shut up! Everyone shut up! Are you crazy?” I said and looked at G-Dragon through the mirror. “You could have been killed! You could have gotten us killed! You could have…” I said and nearly missed the exit that led to the city centre as I managed to turn at the last minute in spite of the flat tire that was now making me slightly drift on the left. Then I started crying again.

“What am I gonna do? What am I gonna do?” I asked myself through my tears.

The first thing that came to my mind was to go to Joseph’s place, which I did.

By the time we arrived to his house, the tires were unusable and the engine had given up and refused to run any longer. After I went out of the car, I walked to the door and invited them in as I entered and started picking my stuff in the living-room. But as I noticed that they hadn’t followed me, I went back outside and called their names. They ignored me and just stood there. I walked towards them, upset. There I saw they had been looking all around, attentive and in awe.

I leaned against the door, surprised, and observed them.

Their eyes were wide open and moving slowly like cameras photographing every little detail that came in their field of vision. When clouds moved in the sky, the sun appeared and shined on Joseph’s small garden. Seungri, surprised by the sudden warmth, raised his head and looked straight at it, shut his eyelids then opened them again, trying to hold his stare as long as he could until he bowed his head and covered his eyes, growling, as they were now hurting. He then tried to stare at it again like an angry stubborn child. G-Dragon sat on the ground and, as he was surrounded by grass, he took one of his black gloves and brushed it with his bare white hand. He then plucked a blade of grass, kept it between his fingers with a very serious look as if studying it, then brought it to his face, sniffed it and put it in his mouth before he spat it out almost immediately, which made me chuckle.

T.O.P stood up in the wind as it started blowing. He closed his eyes, slightly opened his arms and let it brush his shoulders, his face and lift his hair gently. Although he was not smiling, I heard him let out a sigh of contentment. I think it was the first time I saw him so serene.

Taeyang was crouching next to a bush full of flowers, watching them swing in the wind. At some point, he extended a hand towards one of them and, as he held it between his thumb and his forefinger, he leaned forwards shyly and smelled it. Its scent must have been intoxicating to him as he leaned on it again, closed his eyes and smelled it more intensely, almost hiding his nose in its petals.

Daesung was walking around a tree that was strangely noisy, his eyes on the branches, as if looking for something. He turned his head on the side from time to time and, as his stare became vague, approached his ear to the trunk. He then abruptly extended his arm and stuck his hand on the tree before he extracted something from it and the buzzing sound stopped. He then sat down and opened his palm as the others approached to take a closer look (thank god the buzzing had stopped, it was loud enough ><). There, they looked at the little cicada he had caught. When his little friend started buzzing again, his eyes shined and his smile grew even wider.

I couldn’t help but feel a little moved at their sight. Even when I called them again, my voice was softer than before. Yet, this time, they came in.

I repacked everything I had brought in my suitcase when I arrived a month ago. Oh God, I realize I’ve only been here for a month! When I caught sight of pictures of Joseph and me on the walls, I felt a pain in my chest and bit my lips as I took them off one by one and tore them determinedly like the drama queen I am. I thought this was the last time I would ever see that monster again.

Since we would probably need it as a disguise, I also made the boys put on a shirt and a pair of pants on top of their uniforms. Needless to say, the result was disastrous. Most of them were either two small or too large, half-unbuttoned with no matching colors. They looked like hobos. Yet it was better than nothing.

Then I did the unthinkable. Something I hadn’t done in years. The one thing I could only do in an emergency case. Looking at the car that was not an option anymore, I took my phone and… called my mother. The one person I swore to never call for help ever again.

She took her long @$$ time before she picked it up (well, to me, it felt like it ><) and when I heard her voice, I felt my heart stop.

“Hello?”

She knew it was me. How could she not? Yet, she did not even sound surprised or mad to receive one of my calls after all this time.

“Joan? Is that you?”

“Yes, it’s me, mum. How’ve you been?” I said hesitantly, trying to sound as natural as possible, yet I knew it sounded forced.

“I’m good. Just so you know, I shouldn’t be taking this call so consider yourself lucky. I’m in Seoul on a health cure. You know, for my rheumatisms? But what am I saying? You would know it if you called me more often!”

“I’m sorry, mum. Wait, wait, wait, did you say you were in Seoul?”

“Yes, for my rheumatisms. Are you deaf?” she repeated then added a smile in her voice. “We are in Q-Spa! It’s a lovely place and the staff is so…”

“Does that mean that nobody’s home? Not even your boyfriend?”

“No, Kwan is with me. Why? What’s going on, baby?” she said with concern in her voice.

“Er… Mum,” I said and mine suddenly stuck in my throat as tears welled up again. “I… I hate to say that but… I need your help. I have nowhere else to go and I have no friends in Korea so…”

“Hold on. You’re in Korea, right now? So you finally joined Joseph? And you didn’t call me? Since when? Where are you?”

“We’re in Pyongtaek. It’s been a month. But Joseph and I’ve broken up. I can’t tell you everything, mum, but I swear, I wish I could,” I said and burst out crying. “I’m with these guys now and they have nowhere to go either and I can’t let him find me or them, I’m scared, I’m scared to death! Everything went so fast and I know you’ll probably say no because I’m calling out of nowhere and I’m so sorry and I know I sound crazy but oh my god, mummy, I, I need…”

“Baby, baby, calm down.” mum said authoritatively. “Don’t talk so fast. If you can’t find the words right now, it’s alright. We’ll talk when I’m back on Thursday. If Joseph mistreated you and you need protection from him, you can go to our apartment with your friends. Then, you can try to find a place to stay. We’ll figure something out.”

“Thank you. Thank you so much, mum.” I whispered gladly.

“You remember the address? You still have the keys, right? How long do you guys need to stay?”

“I don’t know. I really, really don’t know…” I said and suddenly realized how exhausted I was from the emotional rollercoaster I had been on today, which she probably noticed.

“Ok, we’ll discuss this later. I cannot believe it’s only now that you’re talking to me about all this. I knew he would end up harming you! That guy is no good. I knew it from the beginning! But you never listen to me! Should I also call the police?”

“No!” I exclaimed. “I mean, not yet. I-I’ll do it myself, don’t bother.”

“Okay. I must hang up now or they’ll confiscate my phone. Call me when you arrive! That’s an order!”

“I will, mum.”

I finally hung up and sighed, relieved, then turned at the boys with a beaming face (at least I assumed it was in spite of my runny nose, swollen eyes and red cheeks -.-‘).

“Guys, I’ve found us a shelter.” I said and gestured them to pick up our bags so we could leave the house. The boys followed me talking to each other, laughing from time to time, which I ignored since I was starting to feel more and more tired.

Since we couldn’t take the car anymore, we went to the next bus stop by foot and got in the first that arrived. While I was looking at the map, I tried to ignore all the stares, especially since the bus was so full on a Friday afternoon. I must say, in spite of my efforts (and the boys’ since they stayed together and wouldn’t say a word even though they kept being bumped into and were shining with sweat under all their multiple layers of clothes), we looked particularly “special” that day to say the least: a black girl with a ton of bags, droopy red eyes, messy hair and no shoes, and five young men dressed like crazy hobos with multicolor hair and
tight black leather showing here and there. The six of us looked like monsters, either ready to improvise a commercial spot for the next horror video game or back from the rave party of the year. Actually, thank god the bus was so crowded that day because I think that was our only credible disguise :S

When we finally arrived at my mother and her boyfriend’s apartment after hours and hours of bus travel (only then did I remember how my mother’s district was spelled out in Korean on the map T_T), the sun was setting outside. As I expected, after we climbed all six floors, as soon as we entered the living-room, the six of us got rid of the bags and crashed all over the place. G-Dragon and Seungri settled on each side of the couch, resting their heads on each armrest, so exhausted they closed their eyes almost immediately and Seungri’s arm was soon dangling freely, completely numb. Daesung took off his boots before he sat in one of the armchairs and curled up against the cushions. Taeyang was so worn out he just laid on the fluffy carpet, set an elbow under his head and fell sound asleep. Top sat between G-Dragon and Seungri, rested his head and closed his eyes. As for me, I took the second armchair and started drowsing off when I realized I didn’t have any alarm clock. My phone had no battery left and I was too tired to go get one in my mum’s bedroom in the dark. However, I knew that if I fell asleep now and the guys woke up first the next morning, they would probably mess up the place or worse, escape! Who knows what they will do now that they are free? As such, in order to stay awake, I occupied myself the best I could: I walked to the calendar on the wall and marked a big cross on May 14th with the attached pen, then left a message to my mum with the fixed telephone before I went back to my armchair, feeling even more tired than before. At this point, small insignificant actions were enough to suck me dry.

The room was plunged in darkness when I opened my eyes again. Yet I felt as if I were being watched. When I turned my head, as I let my eyes adjust to the obscurity, I saw T.O.P and G-Dragon’s eyes were open as well. They were (and are still) watching me, probably waiting for me to fall asleep, just as I expected. So the three of us started a staring contest in the dark. There is no way I can let them win, especially not these two. Even if G-Dragon saved us, he is still their leader. If he told the others to set fire to the place, they probably would! And T.O.P… there is just no way I can trust him after he tricked me. Actually, I wonder if he did it again throughout this whole day. Did he make me do something I didn’t want? Just as I asked myself that question, I felt my head bow and my eyelids become heavier and heavier until I snapped them open again.

‘No sleep! The boys are still awake!’ I thought. ‘It’s probably another one of T.O.P’s tricks! Don’t give in!’

So, in order to stay awake, I turned on my laptop and started typing. Thank God, it’s very efficient so far. Remembering the emotions of the day helps a lot. I don’t know how long I can still hold on though. Unfortunately, I’m coming at the end of my report and I don’t know what to sey anymore. I wonder what we’ll do tomorroow. I wonder if Jaseph arrived a

t is house yet. I wonder if hell contact police. What am I saying? I now he can’t. If he does, he’ll have totolk bout the boys. If he talk about the boys, heal have to prisent documents, pctures… he’ll have to talk about th laab. And long as I’ve got his files n my camputer, I should be fine too! The bys must wonder what I doing, making these wierd faces at my screen every tme I write bout posetive and negative ^^ I’m typing ore and more slowlyy to. My hed is feeling heavy. The esys, the eyes. But I can’t can’t sleep. I must keep typping, keep typing, keep typing, kep typin, keep typing, keeptyp ing, keep typinndlv, hdb, dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd


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