Monsters

Sunday June 21 2015

Dear journal,

Feeling in good shape now, enough to continue this horrible journey into- Nah just kidding !!! Everyone is there safe and sound :D Well, even though I’m joking now, I must admit it really took me a while to realize how lucky we were to still be alive after all that sh*t. Besides, what kind of noona would I be to my dongsaengs if they knew I ended up the retell of that day with a gloomy face and hidden behind a mountain of tissues?

I’m currently back into my favorite hiding place, one of the bedrooms in Seung Hyeon’s house, away from our new army of friends. I guess I just can’t stand to type alone anymore ;P

So, where was I? Oh yeah, back when I thought white light and black rain were going to be the end of us. Actually, I was surprised to see that I was the first to open my eyes among them. A little further away from us, I saw the soldier resting on his stomach, unconscious as well. His muscle mass had melted like ice under the sun. The blonde military looked as pale and skinny as a plucked canary now. As he was waking up from the fight, he wormed his way on the ground then opened his eyes, looked around him, looked at us, looked at himself, then gasped and looked at us again. He froze in place when the boys woke up as well. As soon as he regained consciousness, Seunghyun clung on to me and I sighed in delight as I felt his soothing warmth overwhelm me. Seung Hyeon yawned, Dae Sung shook his head and brushed the concrete dust of his beautiful hair and Jiyong and Yong Bae noticed the wide-eyed soldier sitting tensely on his butt a few feet away from them. As Young Bae stood up and roared at him, the rookie immediately stood up on his feet and ran away as fast as he could with a shriek, tripping on his own suit in the process as it was now ten sizes too big for him, which made the boys laugh as I giggled with them. He dashed towards the broken window and made his way through the empty surveillance room. I then turned my head at the concrete block under which Joseph’s body was lying. Half of his face was still visible though. As I moved my neck to take a better look, I noticed his skin was now covered in shiny black lines like strips drawn with oil all over his body and face. His visible eye was white and his wide open mouth dripping with dark saliva, the empty bottle lying by his side. Everything was dead silent around us now. However, as we tried to stand up, I was surprised to be surrounded by more pairs of arms and stumbled again, laughing even louder than before. We all hugged, crying, laughing, crying, laughing, whooping… We were alive! ALIVE!!!

We were also wounded and exhausted. When Dae Sung applied his palms on Jiyong’s bleeding knee, when he took them off, we were all surprised to see the wound was still open. He tried again but it was useless as he then stared at the blood on his hands in shock then gave Jiyong a sorry look. However, ignoring his stare, his leader’s eyes suddenly widened and he muttered:

“It doesn’t hurt.”

“Yah, it does! It obviously does, Jiyong-ih!” Dae Sung replied in a disappointed tone, pointing at the droplets of blood still pouring from the scratch. “Can’t you feel it?”

“No… I mean,” Jiyong replied and his smile grew wide as he put his hands on his legs, then his stomach “it doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t hurt anymore. Nothing hurts!”

“Really? Is that true?” I asked and turned at Seunghyun.

At these words, he looked me straight in the eyes and gave me the most loving stare he ever gave me. His eyes welled up and I watched tears them stream down his face silently.

“It doesn’t hurt at all.” he said softly, which I could see was his own way of telling me “Thank you.”

“What about you, hyung?” Seung Hyeon asked and lightly punched Young Bae on the shoulder. “Does that mean I can fight you now? Come on, big boy! Show me what you-”

He was suddenly cut off by a huge punch in the shoulder by Young Bae who then looked at him, amazed, as he fell down, holding his arm in the dust, whining loudly as usual. He then stared at his fist, along with the three of us.

“Before that, that would have been enough to break his arms. And his ribs. Now this is the hardest I could punch.” he said quietly, amazed. “I guess I am back to normal!”

“Yeah, you can say that again!” Seung Hyeon grumbled, upset, as he sat on his butt, rubbing his arm. “Yah! Is this how you repay me? I saved you! I used my only power to save you all! But of course, you guys weren’t even there to see it!”

“I thought you were glad to get rid of it.” I commented.

“I do.” he replied as he stood up and brushed himself off. “It hurt as hell! But it doesn’t matter: everyone knows my real power is my charisma alone.”

To his own surprise, as I could tell, instead of being bullied more, his elders all surrounded him and bear hugged, not even trying to mess up his hair this time. I could tell it was disturbing him deeply.

“Wow,” he said to nobody in particular. “I guess I am that charismatic. Actually, this is even rather awkward-”

“Would you like to be hit on the head instead?” Jiyong asked. “No, I-I’m good.” his dongsaeng quickly added, trying to sound nonchalant. “Keep hugging, keep hugging...”

As I checked on myself, I saw I still had a scar on my chest from Jo’s attack with the cutter. I guess this was the small price to pay for deciding of my fate.

We walked/ crawled/ limped /hopped on one foot towards the surveillance room. Unlike what I expected, I was not that scared of Joseph’s dead figure. Some part of me was relieved I wouldn’t have to deal with that bastard ever again. Some part of me was also sad. I remembered his last words. I still don’t know if he meant them. If I had loved him more, could I have changed him?

We took a peek in the hallways: nobody was there. The whole level was empty. Everyone had run away at the sound of the fight. I took my bag and we went to Joseph’s office. There I downloaded every single file of every child he hurt on my USB key. I knew if I published everyone’s dossier and the camp’s secret activities, the Pentagon would deny it all and it would create tensions, maybe even conflicts between Korea and the US. I would have to testify. The Korean government would denounce the USA’s abuse of power. The population would question its government’s negligence. Politicians would reply by questioning their own responsibility in the matter. As to inflame the debate, the press would try to know more about the living victims and ask more and more questions, take more and more pictures, follow them everywhere… The boys would lose all anonymity. They would never live normal lives. No matter what the situation or whom they would talk to, they would always be “the five monsters from Pyeongtaek”.

Thus I decided to send it all along with my journal to local and international authorities and newspapers anonymously and changed the boys’ names. At last, I looked at their files on the screen. When I asked them if they were ready, they all nodded and I felt a hand rest on my shoulder protectively as I moved the cursor to select all five of them and moved it all on to the little recycling bin logo. Then, in a sole click on the same logo on “Empty”, it was all gone. Too bad I didn’t keep the paper files. I guess burning them would have been ten times more dramatic :P

“Now this is official. Welcome to your new lives, guys!” I said and turned at them with a smile.

To my surprise, they all kept their heads down, hiding their eyes behind their bangs. When they raised their faces at me, they had fake, sympathetic smiles plastered on their faces.

“You know what this means, right?” Jiyong declared in a sad low voice. “You just erased our only connection to you. Now there’s no trace of it left.”

“Is that why you guys pull a face?” I said and grinned, but none of their faces lit up. “Come on! Since when do we need a written trace of our link?”

“Yeah, but what will remain of it?” Youngbae replied gloomily. “We’ll be far away from each other. We have new lives, we met new people. We have new responsibilities too. We’ll definitely think less often of you and each other in the future.”

“Even with you and Seunghyun.” Seung Hyeon said. “After all, aside from the lab, you share nothing in common. And you made him independent from you. So that means, when you’re away, even if you taught him to control his temper, maybe that won’t be enough. Maybe he’ll get tired of waiting for you to come back. Maybe he will try to forget about you with a Korean girl, someone with whom he will have more in common and will be there for him.”

I felt shivers down my spine. Why was he saying that? What was wrong with them all? I turned at Seunghyun who remained silent and was avoiding my gaze.

“You wouldn’t do that, would you?” I asked in a very weak voice.

My heart sunk when he raised his head and slowly shrugged without a word. I then looked at the four of them, took a deep breath and I tried my best to keep my composure.

“Let’s get out of here.” I muttered under my breath as I turned my back at them, hurriedly turned off the computer and withdrew the USB key. “I don’t care what you guys do with your lives. Of course you will forget about me! I’m okay with that!” I lied. “The most important is that you guys are happy. It’s all that matters.”

However, as I took my purse and was about to get out of the room, I suddenly felt a light tap on my shoulder and stopped. What? I thought. Did they want to put more salt in the wound? If they did, I thought I would not hesitate to slap the one I had in front of me. But when I turned around, I was surprised to see Dae Sung smile at me with squinted eyes. None of us said a word as he just stood there with his shiny, innocent, happy face on. I stared at him, speechless. I was so taken aback and I missed this smile so much I instantly wept and grinned through my tears. Suddenly, I heard applause and Dae Sung chuckled. I looked at the other boys who all looked at me, grinning as well.

“What the hell is going on?” I exclaimed, confused.

“Actually,” Jiyong explained, “Dae Sung had doubts all his gifts disappeared. We told him he didn’t lose them all but he wouldn’t believe us. So I worked out a plan to prove him wrong and we all bet he could still make you smile when you felt down!”

“We’re sorry we said all these mean things! We didn’t mean any of that. We swear!” Taeyang said with a guilty face as he carefully held me in his arms, even though he didn’t need to hold back his strength anymore. “Of course we could not forget about our noona! And we’ll keep contact! We wanted to scare you, that’s all!”

“Actually,” Seung Hyeon added sheepishly, “I’m the one who bet we could make you cry and smile at the same time. I just wanted to bring things to the next level!” he said with a wink.

As I wiped my tears, more puzzled than ever, trying to wrap my head around how stupid they were, I turned at Seunghyun who, as soon as our eyes met, uncrossed his arms and raised them, as if to show me he was unarmed.

“Don’t look at me!” he said. “I told them I wouldn’t say a single lie to you!”

“Yeah, but you still played along, hyung!”

“Not helping, maknae!” he barked, staring at me in fear.

But of course, none of them escaped their little session of flickering across their foreheads (and this time, Dae Sung could not escape >:) ) since a single glare from me was enough to make Seunghyun obey me and catch them all as he kept them in place while repeating out loud “I’m sorry! Mianhe! I’m sorry! Mianhe! I’m sorry!…” When I was finally satisfied, they all obediently followed me towards the exit. However, I understand now this was their special way to release the pressure. Now it was time to show them how I coped with it: since they were all in rags again, I brought them all to a little shopping session, just like any normal day :D . Needless to say, they were then all overhyped as hell, starting with Jiyong!

We then all decided to head home to the boys’ new HQ, Seung Hyeon’s house. This time, he is the one who organized the party and invited everyone’s new entourage. I feel like the house is full of half the globe right now O_O And what a crowd! I’ve seen Miss Sung screaming at Seung Hyeon after he hit his head with a bottle (you go girl :3), Seunghyun’s big brother getting hit on by one of Taeyang’s childhood female friends, which made him blush a little (seriously, are all Korean men shy?), as well as Daesung’s friends and Jiyong’s mentor Mr. Yang having a nice (drunken) philosophical debate about God knows what.

The boys are all having fun too, enjoying themselves like anyone their age. I can’t believe that about a month ago, they could barely say three words and get out without breaking stuff.

YEAH? A MONTH AGO, YOU THOUGHT “NOONA” WAS A FIRST NAME AND YOU WERE AFRAID OF KOREANS.

I’m currently sitting between Seunghyun’s legs. Although this is the most comfortable place in the world right now, I don’t think I should stay and let him steal the keyboard from me!

O_O ^^ :D :P ;) X) :3 :3 :3 :3 :3 :3 YOU’VE BEEN YAWNING TWICE, 자기야, I THINK YOU SHOULD GET SOME REST. TODAY WAS EXHAUSTING FOR ALL OF US.

I guess I will. Just a few minutes and then I’ll go join the rest of the crowd! I still haven’t had a single sip of soju yet T_T I guess I’ve grown addicted to that stuff. Anyway, see you in 20 minutes guys! You too Seunghyun, I won’t be long <3 If I am, don’t hesitate to conclude for me. I forgot to talk about you guys’ wish for the future ;)

I WILL, DON’T WORRY. SLEEP WELL, BABY. THE FIVE OF US ARE REALLY DIFFERENT. TO NO SURPRISE, SO ARE OUR PATHS. I KNOW SEUNG HYON DOESN’T MIND WORKING A LOT IN THE FUTURE AS LONG AS HE GETS TO PARTY AS MUCH. THANK GOD MISS SUNG WILL BE THERE TO PREVENT HIM FROM HAVING TOO MUCH FUN.

SAME FOR DAE SUNG. I KNOW THAT KID’S ONLY FEAR IN LIFE IS TO BE ALONE FOR TOO LONG. HE SHOULD KNOW BY NOW THAT HE NEVER WILL.

I HEARD YOUNG BAE CONFESS TO JIYONG THAT HE WANTS TO FIND THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE NOW. I GUESS THAT GROUP OF GIRLS HE USED TO HANG OUT WITH OPENED UP SOME DOORS IN HIS MIND, WHICH IS SURELY A GOOD THING.

JIYONG TOLD ME HE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT HE WANTED TO DO YET. BUT WHATEVER IT WAS, HE SAID, IT WOULD BE AT THE SAME LEVEL OF A SUPER-HERO. IT WOULD BE SOMETHING BIG. SOMETHING PEOPLE WOULD REMEMBER AND LOVE FOREVER. GOOD LUCK, BUDDY, WE’RE ALL WAITING NOW. MAKE SURE TO COUNT US ALL IN! ESPECIALLY ME!

AS FOR ME, I WANT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS WORLD. AND I WANT TO DO IT WITH YOU, JOAN. I KNOW THAT, WHATEVER WE DO, WE WILL ALWAYS HAVE A HOME WAITING FOR US, HERE IN KOREA. THANK YOU FOR DECIDING TO STAY.

YOU LOOK SO CUTE WHEN YOU’RE ASLEEP AND YOU LET ME WATCH YOU. IT’S AN HONOR TO ME THAT YOU LET ME SEE YOU SO VULNERABLE EVERY NIGHT. IT MAKES ME WANT TO PROTECT YOU MORE, KEEP YOU BY MY SIDE AND MAKE STUPID FACES MORE OFTEN SO I CAN HEAR YOUR INCREDIBLE LAUGH AGAIN AND AGAIN.

I WANT US TO KEEP GUIDING EACH OTHER WHILE WE DISCOVER THIS WORLD TOGETHER. YOU TOLD ME SO MANY BEAUTIFUL THINGS ABOUT YOUR COUNTRY. I CAN’T WAIT TO VISIT IT SOMEDAY AND KNOW MORE ABOUT YOU. I JUST REALIZED I’M BAD AT CONCLUDING. I GUESS I’LL JUST FINISH WITH WHAT YOU SAID TO ME ONE NIGHT, WHICH I DEFINITELY AGREED WITH: IT’S A GOOD THING WE ARE THAT SMALL ON EARTH BECAUSE THEN, IT ONLY MAKES THE WORD EVEN BIGGER TO EXPLORE.

E> E>조안-누나AND 최승현 <3 <3

THE END :3
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