Monsters

Tuesday May 12 2015

I love these guys. They are the best thing that ever happened to me. If they ever come across this journal, I just want them to know that I mean every single word. I am proud of you, boys. Never change.

As we had to go buy some new furniture to replace the broken ones, we looked for shops in town. Of course, since I am broke now and everything was so expensive, we soon went back home empty handed T_T. Yet I was pleased to have the boys stay close to me and to one another all the time, neither running nor touching anything without asking for permission. They particularly kept a close eye on Top who himself did not attempt anything suspicious and followed the group docilely. Of course, his eyes were cold and kept avoiding mine.

Shopping, or rather quasi-shopping, kept us busy all morning. As the sky became overcast with heavy dark grey clouds, I brought the boys back to our district to check the situation from afar: from the corner of the street, I recognized one of the vans from the lab parked on the sidewalk. As she was leaving our building, my neighbor recognized me and greeted me with a smile. She said a man in a suit with an American accent had been waiting for me at my doorstep. When I asked her if she had talked to him, she said he had told her he worked for a local lab and had asked her questions. She had politely informed him that my mother was in Seoul and would be back in a couple days and that however, he could still talk to her daughter and her five friends who were on vacation here. At these words, I tensed. So did the boys. She added that, for a foreigner, he spoke Korean very well and was well-mannered as he then politely bowed to her with a warm smile, saying he didn’t want to bother her any longer and that he would be patiently waiting for us to come back.

We said goodbye and she walked away, leaving the six of us standing in circle on the sidewalk, staring at each other. Then the five boys all looked in my direction. I bit my lip as I started thinking. There was no way we could go back to the apartment at all now. Had he called for backups yet? Was he armed? Would he try to force the door and search the apartment? Thank God I had thought about taking my computer with me before we left!

I led our group towards the closest bus stop and looked at the map. Where could we go now? “Everywhere is an open area.” I pointed out, thinking out loud. “If he sends people to look for us, we will not be able to hide in the crowd, this time. We need to go someplace far from the city.”

However, if we took the bus, we wouldn’t go far and there was a small chance we would encounter familiar faces. I was becoming more and more paranoid with every second D: !

Suddenly, my heart raced when G-Dragon started running away, followed by the others.

“Wait! Where are you going?” I exclaimed and ran fast enough to grab one of them, Daesung, by the shoulder before they accelerated. However, he smiled and took me by the hand before he started running after the others again, giving me no choice but to run along further and further away from our place. Thank god I was wearing pants and sneakers today. It seems like I’m becoming smarter every day with these guys around -_-‘

When they finally stopped, they were barely sweating and I was exhausted with my hands on my knees, my hair falling all over my face, hanging from the bun I had pulled them into this morning, gasping for air like an old accordion. When I raised my head, I was surprised to see that they had brought us at the taxi station we saw this morning at some street during our shopping session. What a memory! I thought. I’ve been living here for more than a month and even with a map, I get lost all the time T_T.

The boys pulled me towards one of the free cabs, opened its front door and gently pushed me inside. The driver watched us get in, a little surprised as the boys stuffed themselves in the back and told him something so fast I couldn’t understand it. The car started instantly, taking us to more unknown streets.

“Where are we going?” I asked and turned my head at the boys who just smiled at me.

After a long drive which led us to the outskirts of the city, I paid the driver and went out of the car. We were at the beach. “MALLIPO BEACH” I read on a sign.

The six of us were now facing the sea, listening to its muffled roar, like the loud murmurs of a sleeping giant, watching the waves come and go on a regular pace. Thanks to the heavy cloudy weather, the beach was empty. It looked like a rather peaceful place. When I walked towards the beach, took my shoes off and put my bare feet in the warm sand, GD, Taeyang and Seungri immediately dashed towards the sea, already barefoot, whooping as they dived in the water fully clothed. However, Seungri soon came back with chattering teeth, shivering.

“M-maybe later.” he said, slowly turning blue and shaking since he was soaked from hair to toe.

I gave him a wry smile as I took off my coat and put it on his shoulders. He immediately put his hands in the sleeves and closed the zipper to warm himself before he turned his head at me and smiled gratefully. However, I stepped back when he wrapped his arms around me and tried to kiss me on the cheek.

“Don’t even try, maknae-yah!” I warned him and pushed him away, laughing. “As the only one with no power, I thought you wouldn’t be so cocky!”

“I don’t care.” he said and shrugged before adding with an evil smirk. “One day you’ll discover that my power is to make you mine.”

In response, GD and Taeyang came back and took an arm on each side as they pulled him towards the sea and sunk him with my coat on in the salty water. Needless to say, he soon turned blue again -_-

Daesung was sitting next to me, so close we were almost touching, his elbows on his knees, just smiling at his hyungs and dongsaeng, definitely glad to stay on dry land while the others played and tortured each other with the cold water. At some point, he put his head on my shoulder and smiled at me, so close I could feel his fluffy white hair tickle my ear.

“And you,” I said. “Don’t think I don’t know you’re not as cute as you look. You showed me what a horrible manipulator you can be. Don’t think this’ll work again from now on.”

Ignoring what I had just said, Daesung’s smile widened to a grin, up to the point even his eyelids closed so it looked like his eyes were smiling. I tried to resist but when he chuckled and wrinkled his nose like a baby, I couldn’t help but grin as widely as him and giggle.

“God damn it!” I exclaimed and stood up as Daesung exulted and laughed with the boys. Joseph was right, he WOULD get the world to his feet. Now I know why we can’t let him have his way ><

I ignored the boys and approached the sea with my shoes in hand and plunged my feet and the transparent water. It felt good and refreshing. I closed my eyes and sighed before I glanced at the beach behind me. Away from the boys, quiet, Top was sitting alone on the sand, staring at the horizon. I went back to the beach, ignoring the grains of sand getting stuck in my toes (seriously, that sensation is unbearable, especially between the fourth and the fifth one for some reason ><) and walked towards him.

“So?” I asked as I sat beside him. “What’s on the horizon?”

He looked at me, confused, and blinked.

“Nothing. Why?” he asked.

I smiled.

“It’s an expression. I mean, what’s on your mind lately?”

He bowed his head and his expression became dark again. “Nothing.” he said in a low voice.

I should have expected that kind of answer. However, I turned at him and smiled.

“I wanted to tell you… I appreciated the hug last night. I guess I needed it. It was nice of you.”

“I know.”

He sounded detached, like he didn’t care, even though it was the first time I expressed gratefulness to him. It upset me a little.

“Then why do you still pull a face like that?”

“Because that’s not the point.” he said in an annoyed tone.

There was a small silence between us.

“What point?” I asked.

He didn’t answer.

“What is the point?” I repeated more slowly.

He stayed silent again and kept his head bowed. I sighed.

“Another thing you won’t tell me about. Whatever.” I said and stood up to go join the others.

I bought us Odengs (some kind of fried fish cakes with soy sauce. Yummy :3) from a local vendor and we ate on the wet sand. That is, until rain suddenly started falling and we all hurriedly ate everything on our sticks before we tried to find shelter under the palm trees, which was an unsuccessful attempt. Soon the boys started walking back under the rain, opened their arms and raised their heads to the sky, enjoying the sensation of the dirty water on their faces. How could they do that D: ? Of course, soon enough, I was the only one still reluctant to move from our shelter, since even Daesung and Top had gone out. Suddenly, I was pulled out by force and lifted by six pairs of strong arms as I floated above the ground for a few seconds, rain falling directly on my face and in my nostrils (stingy !!) before I saw what they were about to do to me: they were heading towards the sea again. No. Freaking. Way. I squirmed and squealed, begging them not to do what they were about to do but, as they reached the first waves, it was too late and I managed to get rid of my purse before I was thrown head first in the water. When I came back to the surface, I screamed. It was dead cold D: !! Those idiots were going to pay! And so we went on with our stupid afternoon, fighting like kids in the rain, soaked with seawater and rainwater all the same, covered in sand with no towels to dry ourselves. When the rain stopped, we all lied down on the ground, exhausted, as the others formed the shape of a six-pointed star with me. I took out my phone of my half wet purse and took a picture of us as I stuck out my tongue at the camera and the others made funny faces (at least half of them, half of five… you get my point ><), followed by another one on which we just smiled, and finally another one on which we all imitated Top’s grumpy face :3

On part of the horizon, the sky suddenly cleared and the sun appeared, shining and spreading its warm bright rays on us as I recognized the shape it created on the surface of the sea:

“A rainbow!” I said.

“Layne-bo?” Taeyang repeated, hesitant.

I pointed at the sky and they all looked at it in awe, sitting up a little to take a better look.

“You see? It has six colors.”

“Just like us!” Daesung said in Korean.

“Or us five and Beast.”

That was Top’s voice. He was still lying on the ground, not looking at the pretty colors. We all stood silent for a while until GD raised his can of coke.

“To Beast! To the seven of us!” he said as we all did the same with our drinks and took a sip.

Then we laid down and remained silent again, just enjoying the warm sun on our faces.

“There’s something I wanted to tell you, guys.” I heard and realized it was my own voice, almost talking on its own. “Something I wanted to tell you for a long time but now I realize that maybe it’s a bit late. But late is better than never, I guess. I realized that, so far, I haven’t said “Thank you” yet. To any of you. So… I just wanted to tell you that. 감사합니다. For everything. Thank you, Taeyang, for carrying me when we escaped. Thank you GD, for taking care of that car. And you, Daesung, for healing me, multiple times. Thanks Seungri for protecting me at the mall. And for making me laugh so much. You’re silly but it’s a cute kind of silly! Don’t let that go to his head, guys.” I told the others and they chuckled as Seungri pouted.

I thought I was not so good at mushy speeches, especially when they were personal. However, I was glad I could find my words so easily that day. Finally, I sighed.

“And yes, you, even you Top, thank you for the hug. I know it annoys you but I mean it anyway. You’re as important to me as the rest of the group. Deal with it, cranky pants.”

The others laughed as I closed my eyes and stretched my arms, delighted.

“I love this place. It reminds me of the time my mother would take me to the beach. There I could stay in the water for three hours before she called me to do my homework. After this, I could barely stand 15 minutes straight on that stupid piece of paper! What about you, guys?”I asked hesitantly. “Any remembrances yet?”

I saw the others next to me shake their heads.

“Nope.” said G-Dragon.

“Nothing.” Taeyang replied.

“Same here.” Daesung added.

“무” Top grumbled. (I guess there’s no need to translate here -_-)

“Well…” We all turned to Seungri who suddenly became silent, probably afraid he was about to say something stupid.

“Well?” we asked.

“Well, I remembered something a short time ago. My name is not Seungri. It’s Seunghyun. Lee Seunghyun. But I prefer Seungri actually.” he added cheekily (turns out it means “Victory” in Korean!).

I took out the dossiers I had printed out. Unlike what I thought, they were not that helpful: they were coded in a series of incomprehensible numbers and Korean signs, sometimes one over the other, with nothing readable except the name of the lab and their native cities. I checked on the paper. Of course, there was no way I could verify if he was right or not. However he pointed at the line on the page with his face on it.

“I recognized the signs under the numbers.” he said.

The others went to look at it and I handed them their papers as well. Fortunately, they all managed to read their signs as well.

“My name is Dong Youngbae.” Taeyang read and frowned. “I think I heard one of the scientists call me that once! The others were mad at him afterwards.”

“Kwon Ji-Yong.” GD articulated. “Yah, I was born on the 18th of August! Awesome!”

From what I understood, the number 8 is considered a lucky charm in Korea, plus it means his sign is the dragon, the coolest sign ever. Good for him ^^ (mine is the goat, no comment ><).

“I’m also Seunghyun. Choi Seughyun.” Top said out loud.

“You are? Yah, hyung, that’s so cool!” Seungri and tried to hug Top.

“Don’t you dare.” The latter said and glared at him.

Poor maknae got officially bullied by all the team members in front of me :P

“Kang Dae Sung.” Daesung read out loud and smirked. “Close enough.”

“Well,” I said. “if you guys can remember your names and your age, that’s great. It means we can now go to the orphanages around the city and ask about you. Maybe we’ll find people in your native cities who remember you!”

“It also means we’ll have to say goodbye.” Taeyang Youngbae added and everybody went silent.

His words put a chill between us as we all looked at the ground, speechless.

“Yes, we will. You’re right.” I eventually declared. “But that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. We’ve got things to do. You got to go back to school and try to make new friends so maybe you’ll find a job, be married, have kids… while I got to find a job myself as well as a home, something to start my new life, now that I’ll have no more reason to stay when I’m done with you.”

“Will you go back to America?” Dae Sung asked sadly.

I looked at him as the others followed his gaze, staring at me, waiting.

“I don’t know. Maybe. I guess I miss it a little. But let’s not focus on that yet.” I said and ruffled his hair. “We’re still together, right? And for now, we’ve got to find a way to find out who you guys really are!”

They all raised their heads and looked at me with a forced smile plastered on their face. Suddenly, my phone rang and I felt my heart in my throat. It was Jo-Jo. I picked it up and slowly brought the phone to my ear.

“Hello?”

“Hi, honey. Where are you? Are you not coming home?” I heard him ask innocently.

“Quit the act, Joseph.” I said and realized my voice was feverish. “We know who you really are, now.”

“We? Oh, I see, you’re talking about the boys!” he went on. “It didn’t take long for you to become close, congratulations. So tell me, have you been cheating on me with one of them yet? You know what, don’t tell me. It feels weird to imagine you sleeping with one of my experiences. It feels… wrong somehow. And a little incestuous too. I mean, you’re my girl and they’re my boys! You’re like family to me!”

I looked at them and saw they were all listening to our conversation and encouraging me silently to talk back.

“They are not your boys.” I replied between. “And I’m not your girl. No matter what you do, I’ll never come back. Leave us alone.”

“Baby, listen,” he said in his deep, warmest voice. “I hate what I’m doing to you too. I never wanted to come to this point. I’m worried about you. I can imagine how exhausting these last days must have been to you. You’ve always been more of daddy’s cute little girl than a super mum, especially now that you’re in charge of five grown men like them. They brought you so much trouble already. That’s right, I read the news too, and not just their headlines… Nice try for covering it up. “A for effort.”, like you’d say! Baby, I don’t want to fight. I still love you, you know? I want to help you. I mean it. Listen. We can find an arrangement. How about you and I take them back to the lab and, together, we work on a special antidote just for them? Right? If you want to set them free, which I assume is your intention, they don’t need their powers anymore then, do they? Plus without their powers, they wouldn’t be trouble to us anymore. Wouldn’t it be great if they were relieved of that burden? Just like you and I of them? What do you think?”

I turned at the boys once more. Obviously, they did not catch every word and were still struggling with the meaning of some of them. However, when I translated it vaguely to them, they all shook their heads frantically.

I felt my heart flutter in my chest. What if he was right? What if it was the best solution for the six of us? What if he meant it all? What would be the point of lying to us? It would be a win-win deal, right? Most of all, what would he do if I said no?

“Take your time, honey. This is a hard decision, I understand.” he said on the other end of the line, covering the impatience in his tone pretty badly.

I hated myself for being so weak. I saw the boys clench their fists and they all gave me a determined look, dancing from one foot to the other like boxers before the first round. I got the message. I nervously put on the speakerphone, swallowed my saliva and took a deep breath.

“No, Joseph.” I declared in a clear voice. “I’m afraid you’ll have to… consider yourself a single dad from now on… because this is officially a divorce. I’m sorry.”

“F*ck you Joseph-Nim!” G-Dragon Jiyong shouted in English at the phone, followed by Youngbae, Dae Sung and Seunhyung-maknae who repeated it and whooped at the top of their lungs; I myself was pretty shocked at how their dirty mouths until I remembered I was the one who taught them 8D

“F*ck you Joseph-Nim!”

“F*ck you Joseph-Nim!”

“F*ck you Joseph-Nim!!!”

“You’ll regret it. This is not the end.” I heard Joseph’s tone turn ice cold. “By the way, before I forget, thank you for conversing with me for so long. Now that we’ve localized you, we’ll be there soon to pick you up. See you in a few minutes!”

“It’s fine.” I said automatically. “We’ll be waiting for you, all six of us.”

I finally hung off. When the phone fell on the sand, my knees were weak and my hands were shaky. The boys cheered on me as loud as they could, taking me by the shoulders and jumping up and down, chanting my name, “Joan-noona”. However, I failed to share their joy as I was now moaning and crying like a fountain.

“What are we gonna do?” I exclaimed. “They’ve localized us! They’ll be there in a minute and I said we were gonna kick their asses! How could I say something so stupid? We need to get out of here and fast!” I said and picked up my phone full of sand, which was useless since I didn’t know the number of the taxi station. Plus the road behind us was completely desert, no car, no bike, not even a tricyle coming through, which made me weep even louder.

However, as the boys suddenly glanced at each other, GD suddenly walked towards me and raised my chin with his index. Then he brought his other hand to my brown as if he were about to bless me… and flicked his fingers right between my eyes.

“Ow! What was that for?” I exclaimed and brought a hand to my brow as the tears stopped instantly.

This was soon followed by Daesung’s flick on the other side of my forehead as he stood right behind GD.

“Ow! Stop it!”

Then it was Taeyang, coming from the right. Then Seungri, from the left.

“Yah, stop! It hurts!”

And finally Top who even did his part of the job three times more as he hit me four times from the front again and I covered my brow with both of my hands, keeping my head low for cover.

“Ok, ok, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m an idiot. Please, no more!” I muttered weakly as I rubbed the spots where their knuckles had hit me. “But still, what are we gonna do? We got to escape. Again!”

Without saying another word, just like they did the first time we met, the boys headed towards the road and Taeyang took me in his arms, making sure I was secure against his chest. Then G-Dragon dashed towards the highway and the others followed. I could see from afar some trucks I recognized as the military trucks from the lab (except they had been painted like commercial trucks) coming from the other side of the road. When they stopped, we were already out of sight.

On the desert grey line with palm trees on the side, leading to the wide horizon of a far away unknown city, the five boys and I ran in line, G-Dragon at the head on full speed, spreading their arms wide like wings of birds flying towards hotter lands. I felt wild by their side. Completely free. As I glanced at the five of them, watching the determination in their eyes as they kept breathing out in steady short breaths with their nostrils wide open and their mouth tight shut, I felt so happy I felt almost like crying and buried my face in Taeyang’s shirt (which I noticed made him blush like a tomato XD).

Thank you for the trip, guys. Thank you. Thank you so much. 감사합니다… 감사합니다… 감사합니다... 감사합니다… 감사합니다… 감사합니다… 감사합니다… 감사합니다… 감사합니다… 감사합니다… 감사합니다… 감사합니다 !!!

조안 – 누나 <3

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