Monsters

Saturday May 9 2015 (night)

The boys were very quiet during dinner. Good. I don’t want to hear any of them until tomorrow. In fact, I don’t want to hear anything. I just want to be alone and think –think about what to do next, especially after what happened. If you want to know, yes I’m still mad at you boys. Definitely, definitely mad at you and at myself.

When I announced the boys that we were going out (pointing at them and me and the door since I didn’t want to count on that stupid Top to be the translator), they seemed to immediately forget their sickness and they then grinned ecstatically, suddenly talking joyfully and very fast to each other.

“But,” I emphasized. “there will be some rules.”

The first rule, I explained, was that they were not allowed to use their powers outside of the apartment, to which they strongly opposed but I was intransigent. The second rule was that we needed to stay gathered all the time. Finally, the third rule would be that the six of us would avoid drawing attention on us and keep our identity secret, so we needed a disguise that couldn’t let people see our faces, especially me since I was officially a missing person (although I knew I was not the only girl with foreign “exotic” features in town so I still had a chance to be confused with someone else!).

When I saw their multicolor hair, I thought my love for animal hats had been either a premonition or a blessing. I also searched through closets and took my mother and her boyfriend’s sunglasses, as well as five pairs of mine (yeah, that’s a lot, maybe I’m a little spoiled sometimes :3).

They all put their girlish glasses and kiddy hats on one by one (even though they hated it because it was way too hot for the season!). Daesung had the brown bear hat, Taeyang the white one, Seungri had the panda (for some reason, that suited him especially well but of course, there was no way I would tell him ><), G-Dragon had the lion and Top had the wolf. Needless to say, they didn’t look like the coolest kids in town, pretty ridiculous even, but their looks were all still credible. When Top translated Daesung’s whining, that he wanted his uniform back (which was still wet and drying in the bathroom), I knew that this afternoon wouldn’t be a walk in the park. This was even more flagrant when Taeyang kept throwing his hat and glasses (now I know it was because it reminded him of being locked up in the dark of his cell) and when I tried to force him to keep them on, he pounced on me and almost punched me. Yes! Adorable, shy Taeyang almost PUNCHED me!! Thank God the boys grabbed him and stopped him in time. Who knows how much one of his punches must do to a human body with him being a head taller than me and his arms at least twice as thick as mine? D: That moment, I remembered the mannequins and felt the same fear as when the boys tried to rebel against the militaries. I especially didn’t like the face he had for a second. Such rage… It’s like I was just another one of the scientists from the lab again. So I decided that Taeyang would be the only one going bareheaded, which, of course, made the others pull faces and whine again (somebody give me a f¤*%!g break T_T).

They behaved well in the bus on our way to the mall. Yet, when we arrived there, as soon as we went inside and they saw how high the building was with wide, surprised eyes, they began dispersing and I was running after each of them, trying not to lose sight of them and smiling awkwardly at observers who grinned when some of them ran past them. They did look cute with their animal hats and their big, innocent smile as we went from store to store to pick some nice outfits. However, these poor ladies and gentlemen were obviously not the ones trying to catch up with these fast, mentally challenged idiots ><

G-Dragon was running between the stores (just fast enough to be out of my reach but still be considered a normal speed. Thank God at least he understood THAT part of my speech -_-), scaring people on his way when he almost bumped into them, along with Seungri who was looking at everything, touching everything, questioning everyone about anything and with whom, of course, he had way less difficulties to chat than with me.

How unfair! I’m the one in charge of them, not these strangers ><

Taeyang was not as reckless as his comrades and he stayed next to Daesung, not daring to walk too far from him, especially when they would run into people who stared curiously at him. As for Daesung, he walked at a slow pace, looking around quietly and smiling brightly at all passers-by who responded to him with the same grin, spellbound.

In the end – I have no shame to admit that now – I was so tired of trying to keep an eye on all of them at the same time I screamed at them in English in order to get them all back together in front of me, to which they immediately responded as the rest of the crowd stood away from us. The boys themselves didn’t look so proud to be screamed at like this in front of other people, especially people they felt closer to than me. Thank god we were done with shopping so I only had to gather them to go home now.

“I don’t get it! You guys can be so good when you want. You used to be so disciplined at the lab! Can’t you be like that without being forced to?”

They all looked at me and gave me a sorry look even though I could see in their eyes that they did not understand me at all. I sighed and suddenly noticed something, something very alarming: among the big, colored hats that faced me, I could see the brown bear, my white bareheaded one, the panda, the lion… but there was no wolf.

“Where’s Top?” I asked. “Top!”

When they heard his name, the four others all looked at each other then looked in all directions before we all turned around at the alley we were facing. A few stores further, Top was standing, looking at us from afar. When I called him and gestured him to come at us, he slowly took off his animal hat and glasses then turned and ran in the other direction further and further away from us. I watched him go, panicked.

“Get him!” I ordered the other boys.

Yet they had all started chasing him even before I had told them to. I myself took off my heels and ran after him with all our bags of clothes (I’m starting to get tired of always carrying tons of bags around when I’m outside ><).

Top was running faster and faster, pushing people out of the way, looking at something I couldn’t see yet because I was too far from him. Ahead of me, Daesung and Seungri ran on each side of him, trying to get him stuck between them as they went closer and closer, yet when Daesung tried to force him to face him, Top suddenly slowed down and turned, as both of his opponents were abruptly stopped when they hit a bench and a couple of garbage cans. Taeyang was luckier as he had been waiting for Top when he turned and caught him, holding him tight and making him struggle in his arms. Yet when Top turned his head and made him look in his eyes, Taeyang suddenly shouted and let him go to cover his eyes with his hands, frightened by something we of course couldn’t see. When I eventually reached him, panting, he was curled on the floor, shaking, before he came back to his senses and started running again.

GD was the only one left to be close enough to Top. As the latter kept looking back and forth to catch his friend in his field of vision, G-Dragon kept zigzagging left and right as well, managing to dodge his stare, just like during trainings.

We then arrived at a big open space at a crossroads of multiple alleys. At the center, a big stage was set with a presenter demonstrating something about a product which, in any case, involved a tiny camera filming the said product and multiple large screens. When Top arrived at that stage, he pushed the presenter out of the way and grabbed his camera. There he looked straight at it and his stare was caught on the dozens of screens that faced the audience who, I think, still believed that it was part of the show. Suddenly, when everyone stared at the multiple screens, they all stepped back and yelled, bending forward and holding their head, in pain.

Short of breath from the side stitch I got, I stood in the alley and paled, avoiding the sight of the screens. There were children in the crowd! Old people! Babies! Surely he would notice them and stop whatever he was doing, I thought. However, he did not. Standing on stage, focused, all he was looking at was the lens of the camera, staring at it intensely while holding it with iron fists. Some people outside of the crowd also took out their phones and started filming it all. I met the eyes of some of the boys from afar as they gave me the same worried look I was giving them. I knew that GD was lost somewhere in the crowd, trying to reach Top but people kept standing on his way. Suddenly, some men and women in the crowd roared madly and pounced on each other, throwing kicks and punches around, blind with rage. Even with a glimpse at some of the screens, I felt a sudden rush of adrenaline and covered my eyes instantly. Now was the second phase of the hypnosis.

“Stop it! Stop it, please!” I screamed at Top through the tumult. But at this point, he either didn’t hear me or didn’t care.

The whole place was in uproar, which didn’t get better when security tried to intervene and soon ended up in the same state of pain and confusion. When I finally found him, GD’s eyes were locked on mine as he kept pointing at the screens on stage. Unfortunately, I did not understand what he expected of me. Before I could ask him what he meant, he picked up stuff on the floor from torn bags and started throwing them at Top to distract him but Top simply dodged without moving an inch from his spot. What did he want from me?! Look at the screens? That was exactly what I was trying to avoid! The crowd moved in our direction and Taeyang and Daesung tried to contain them, pushing them away from Seungri and me. However, some stronger men punched them in the face and stomach as others grabbed them from behind to prevent them from getting away. As they kept running towards us, Seungri took my hand and made me run towards the elevator as he then stayed behind and defended it, preventing other people from taking it. However, since he was neither as strong as Taeyang nor as quick as GD, he soon took heavy blows to the face and chest in the process. From a distance, as I kept going higher above it all, I saw Taeyang and Daesung had given up on the pacific strategy and were now punching back their assaulters who were soon knocked out and lying on the ground. I couldn’t believe I had lost total control of the situation so quickly. A few feet away from them, G-Dragon was still fighting on his own, trying to throw stuff at Top while moving towards him. When a couple kids pulled a screen off its display and threw it towards Daesung and Taeyang, as they were both hit by the heavy device from the side and fell down under its weight, they looked up and suddenly shut their eyes tight, screaming in unison with the curled up people on the floor, crawling and begging in agony like bomb victims on a battlefield.

Suddenly, when I saw the screen on the ground turn black and get shattered as it was repeatedly stepped on, I realized what GD was trying to tell me earlier.

I pushed the button to block the escalator and walked down towards Seungri, called him and pointed at the broken screen. After a while, he still did not understand what I expected from him so I just made him help me move through the hysteric crowd, trying to reach Daesung, Taeyang and GD. However, they were too far away from us and our voices couldn’t even reach them above the racket. So it was all on me and Seungri. As we managed to reach the sides of the stage, we managed to grab the screens together one by one with our eyes closed and made them fall to the ground, kicking them until we heard the reassuring “crack” of the plasma panel.

Little by little, we heard the noise of the crowd calm down and, and before we knew it, all the screens were on the floor, in pieces. However, I suddenly heard the sound of a device fall to the ground as Seungri was suddenly punched in the face and pushed out of the way and I faced Top, looking angrier than ever. He grabbed me by the shoulders and forced me to look in his deep black eyes before I suddenly stepped back, unable to look away even though I felt like blades were jabbed in my eyeballs and deep into my brain! I was blind and it hurt! IT HURT SO MUCH!! I never felt such pain in my entire life!! I was ready to do anything, even rip my own head off to MAKE IT STOP!!!

As I felt like I was about to become mad with pain, the boys suddenly came to my rescue as Daesung and Taeyang blocked my view and I heard G-Dragon punch Top hard in the face as he then screamed and tried to fight back, only to be punched again. When the pain stopped and I calmed down, sweating, I then looked around and saw Daesung walk away and go from people to people as he placed his hands on their faces or their bodies, healing their wounds and then making them fall asleep. Taeyang dropped something at my feet, which I recognized as broken phones. He then helped GD seize Top and they forced him to join us. Now the oldest had a black, swollen eye and, as he glared at GD, trying to hypnotize him again, nothing happened except that GD glared back at him, barely intimidated. Seungri had also collected our purchases, now stained and crumpled as he handed them to me with an apologetic smile. In my head, I was too busy thinking about the police who would be there soon. He waited for Daesung to be done and come back to us, then helped me stand up and whispered in my ear:

“Lessgo.”

Everything was awfully quiet when we left the mall. So were we. I called a cab and we drove back home without looking at each other at any moment.

Still without a word, I closed the door of the apartment behind us when they all came in. We then gathered in the living-room. It took me a while to start, just standing there with my back against the wall, my arms crossed and my eyes on the floor before I finally croaked my first words:

“Today was a disaster, boys. I don’t know how else you can call it. It was a disaster. Jaeang.” I said in Korean as I had checked the word on my phone in the cab.

The boys had their heads bowed, quiet.

“Even if you tried as hard as you could to take care not to any trace of our passage, and I give you an A for effort there,” I admitted, “it may still not be enough to prevent the press to cover the event. The cameras still recorded it all. The police will look at the tapes. They will call us, ask questions. They will ask who you are, guys. What will we do then? They are looking for me too, you know! That means, if everything I said happens, there’s nothing I will be able to do to protect you. I am not Super-girl. I’ve never been one.”

I guess I was -and am still- not even mad at this point. I just felt very weary and I wanted to go to sleep as soon as I could.

At this point, my eyes met Top’s. What should have I done, there? Slap him across the face? Yell at him? Break stuff? I did none of that. Instead, I just looked in his valid eye as the other one was now totally closed.

“How about you, huh?” I asked softly. “You’re the one who ruined our day. You’re the one who screwed it all up. Don’t you have anything to say to me?”

I don’t know what I was expecting. Maybe just for him to say “sorry”, or at least look sorry. However, he just stared at me with a blank expression, his arms crossed on his chest just like me. Then he started talking in Korean for a long, long time with almost no break or change of tone as if he had prepared it all and was now taking the opportunity to say everything that was on his mind. His tone was neutral and his voice calm, loud and clear. Yet I could see from the intense fire in his unique piercing eye that his intention towards me was anything but friendly. There was then a short silence during which the four others stared at the ground and avoided each other’s gaze, speechless and looking ill-at-ease. However, I just stared back at Top and sighed.

“You realize I have absolutely no idea of what you just said, right?”

I still have no idea now. Since I had nothing else to say to them and I felt very tired, I went to my mother’s bedroom and locked myself there to comfort myself with my only friend: my laptop, as always.

It’s not even their fault. It’s mine. I don’t know how I could be stupid enough to think this was all a good idea, how I could convince myself to destroy my whole career, my whole life in the click of a finger and believe I could handle all this crap by myself even though I can’t even ask for directions after living for a month in a foreign country. I remember Joseph’s words: “Actions have consequences. And not all of them lead to a happy ending.” He was right. I need him. I miss his wisdom; I miss the warmth of his arms. I miss our sweet home. Damn it. There I am, crying again like a big baby. When the police will find me, I know Joseph and the others will make the public believe I’m crazy. After all, although he was about to shut it all down, I’m the one who stole Jo’s work and ran away. I did not even touch the fridge where he kept his black bottle, even I should have! Had I stolen it, I could have brought it to the police. I could have prepared an antidote. Instead, I only thought about the boys. I guess that just makes me a terrible rescuer and a terrible scientist. In any case, all we have to do for now is try to sleep. Or rather wait in the dark.

I know the guys are still up. I hear them whispering in the hallway. They must think I’m asleep. I guess they are preparing their next plan to escape if the police comes here or how to make Top pay for what he did. Or maybe they are just praying. Well, I will pray for them too, just in case.

God have mercy on these poor souls. God have mercy on me. Don’t let us die as monsters. Let the world know we are only humans.

Joan <3


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