“Lily, are you sure you want to go? It’s pretty far and I don’t want you to get tired-”
“Yes, I’m sure! We haven’t gone in years, I wanted to invite my brother and Jin to come as well. But I think that we would all draw too much attention if we all went as a group, so I hope you don’t mind it being just the two of us. And don’t worry so much about me, I’ll be fine...”
Lily explained with a smile as we were heading towards a festival a few hours away from us.
“Of course I don’t mind, but I don’t think it’s really just the two of us since...”
I awkwardly voiced out as I looked at the two individuals who were sitting in front of the passenger and driver seat.
“I’m sorry Mr. Joong, but I can’t let my lady leave untended, I was given strict rules by her family to accompany her. But don’t worry, I’ll make sure I’m a distance away from the two of you-”
“Mr. Hyun, there is nothing for you to apologize for. We’re doing our duties in protecting theses two, so we must keep our heads up and be prepared for today-”
“Jung, just because you’re my bodyguard. That doesn’t mean you should exaggerate in your work. Look, I understand why you both needed to come, but it kinda ruins the whole trip for Lily-”
“It’s not a trip, it’s a date! How many times do I have to tell you?” She voiced out at me as playfully laid a punch on my arm.
“Okay okay, it’s a date! Just stop this abusive behavior.” I jokingly laughed as we both enjoyed the car ride.
I was honestly surprised that Lily wanted to go out today. But she made a fair point, she and I haven’t really spent much time together. Though it’s mainly my fault why that is, I’ve been avoiding her for so long. But I can’t bring up the reason why? Lily would only get angry with me. I know she doesn’t want me to feel guilty anymore, and for me to stop apologizing to her. But it’s not that simple, I will always feel at fault until the day I die. And because of that, I have to be honest with her today...
“Mr. Jung, thank you for keeping it a secret from manager Sang. I know that he wouldn’t have let Kai tag along with me, but don’t worry. I’ll make sure Kai and I won’t do anything to draw attention to us.” Lily explained with a bright smile.
“Oh, it’s no problem at all. There’s no need to thank me. Besides, I think what Mr. Joong needs is some time away from the studio. He’s always working, so-”
Letting out an abrupt cough, I wanted Jung to stop speaking about my work schedule. He seemed to have noticed my gesture as he suddenly kept silent and continued to drive. It’s true that I’ve been overworking myself more than usual. But it’s because I feel like that’s all I can do...to keep myself sane. To not let my mind wander in darkness, but I’ve come to realize that writing my music has become more difficult for me. I think it’s because I’m starting to change... and I blame her for it.
“Rose...” I muttered out her name so quietly to myself as I looked out the window.
“Kai, let’s enjoy today. I want to make you smile, so no looking depressed when I’m here!” Lily said to me as I felt her hands wrapping around my arm.
“Okay...what do you wanna do at the festival first? I’ll let you decide...” I responded with a light-hearted smile as I turned to look at her.
“Such a gentleman you are, okay...let me see. I wanna drop by the lake first and then...”
As I heard Lily’s words, her face was glowing with excitement. She must have really been looking forward to today, even as she snuggles herself close to me. I would think that my heart would flutter in happiness, but why is it beating so coldly instead? The old me would’ve been in love with her even more, but that’s just isn’t the case. So what the hell am I doing? I feel like I’m just wasting her time coming here, I’m trying my best to be happy and smile as she asked of me. But...
“You know...Zack told me what happened at your guy’s meet and greet last week. And before you get upset at my brother for telling me! Just know that I’m the one that asked how everything went...Kai, why didn’t you tell me something happened. And don’t you dare bring up that you didn’t want me to worry, I’m always gonna worry about you, my brother, and Jin. We’ve all been close before you three even deputed, so answer honestly...are you doing okay?”
She looked so concerned and her voice sounded anxious. I knew that I couldn’t tell her how I felt, so I’ll keep everything hidden. Not just for my sake, but for her's. So I casually placed my hand on top of her head and leaned my head back against the chair.
“Stop stressing yourself out so much, it wasn’t a big deal. This isn’t the first time we’ve had fans go overboard with their affection-”
“Affection? Don’t you think more like over-obsessed?! Honestly, you have to start taking this more seriously. I’m afraid that someone will hurt you one day-”
“Can we stop talking about this, the last thing I wanna do is bring up upsetting memories. Anyway, we’re almost at the park. So put your face mask on, security Hyun, you did bring Lily’s wheelchair, right?” I strictly asked as I avoided talking about the subject any further.
“Yes, of course. It’s in the back of the trunk.”
He explained as I looked over at Lily who was now looking a little upset. I’m sorry Lily, I know that you wanted me to rely on you. But I can’t do that anymore, I’ve tried once before. And it almost killed you...
Pulling up a far distance from the park, I ready myself in putting on my hat and facemask. Helping Lily get out of the car, I could tell she grew annoyed at me. With our bodyguards keeping a few feet away from us, I began to push her along in the wheelchair. But her stubbornness of putting her breaks on forbid me from pushing her!
“Lily, if your gonna act this way then we should just leave-”
She said, at first, I thought my mind was playing tricks on me, but as I went around to crouch myself to her eye level. She looked so tensed in her eyes, even the way she was gripping her skirt so tightly showed how upset and nervous she was. Lily, why are you going this far. Why can’t you let things be as they are between us? I don’t wanna hurt you...
“You know that we can’t take our masks off-”
“That’s okay, we could leave them on...”
She quickly said to me, her eyes were beginning to water but she hurried in closing them as she waited for me to kiss her. Just when did Lily become so forward? With people walking past us, I hurried and placing my sealed kiss on her forehead. Though I’m sure with how her head was tilted, I guess she was expecting me to place a kiss on her lips. Even the moment when I pulled away from her, her eyes peered opened in shock almost. But her expression immediately changed as she looked at me with a smile, but she can’t fool me. I know her all too well, and I know that what I did... truly made her heartache in pain.
“Let’s go to the lake now...”
She said while reaching out for my hand. Feeling her small slender fingers squeeze mine, I firmly held it before nodding my head. So as I went back into pushing her wheelchair, it didn’t take long before reaching the clear waters. Seeing many people playing in it, brought me a sense of calmness. It’s been a while since I’ve gone out like this to the public, the weather felt nice and it was still the middle of the day. It’s a good thing we left extra early this morning-
“Lily! What are you doing?!”
Being lost in my thoughts, I noticed that Lily had stood up and began to take her skirt down! But as I was about ready to stop her, I realized that she wearing a bikini underneath! My panic faded away as I saw Lily laugh at me as she stuck her tongue out while quickly placing her face mask back on.
“Aww are you blushing, did you really think I was gonna strip down or something?” She continued to tease me as she threw her skirt in my direction, hitting my face!
“Shut up! You could have told me ahead of time that you wanted to enter the lake instead of suddenly taking-”
I was instantly silenced the moment I pulled her skirt off of my face. Because the scars on Lily’s legs were so noticeable that even the people around us were staring at her. But I think that’s what I admire about her so much, that she doesn’t care what others think of her. She’s not afraid of showing who she is to the world, and I will always admire her for that. Because that is something, that I can’t even do for myself...
“Kai! The sun feels so good today! Come on, let’s go into the lake together-”
“I’m gonna have to pass on that, I didn’t bring an extra pair of jeans with me. And besides, I would much rather just sit here and watch you have fun.”I explained to her as she gave me a pout of annoyance. Though she eventually entered the shallowed lake and enjoyed herself. Staring at her, my eyes couldn’t leave her legs where the stitching scars were visible for me to see. It’s all because of me that her legs are like this, it’s no wonder when she’s in TV shows or movies she always wearing pants or long skirts...
At first, I was worried about her walking on something so uneven. Her legs are so weak and I get nervous just seeing her struggling to stand on something so unbalanced. Even now, I can’t shake the anxiety of seeing her walk, so much so that I eventually gave in to my fears and took off my shoes. Entering the lake, I saw that she didn’t notice me enter as she looked at the water in front of her. It was only when she took a step forward and almost slipped that I rushed towards her side and caught her from falling!
“Huh? Kai, I thought you weren’t-”
“Did you really think I was gonna let you enter the lake by yourself, you should already know how slippery the rocks could be? So, of course, I’m gonna come insides so you won’t fall and hurt yourself.”
I said to her as I ruffled the top of her head in a playful motion. Though she didn’t respond to how she usually would by lightly punching me back or something...
“So you only came in...so you could take care of me...”
She said while looking down, her words were quiet and it was impossible to hear her with so many people splashing water and laughing around us.
“What did you say?”
“Nothing, come on... let’s go grab something to eat.”
She voiced out cheerfully as she grabbed my hand, pulling us away from the lake she sat back down and pulled her skirt back up before placing her shoes on.
“Alright, what did you have in mind?” I asked of her while putting my shoes back on as well.
“I’m not sure, let’s just go through the stalls and see what looks good.” She said as we both headed towards the main walkway of the festival.
Looking behind us, I saw that our bodyguards were still keeping their distance from us and were giving us our privacy. I appreciate that, so as I kept my hat down to wear it was practically covering my eyes almost, the last thing I want is to draw any attention to myself. I don’t wanna ruin today, I want it to be special for her...
Within the hours that passed, I tried my best to enjoy myself. Trying different food stalls and even playing different types of games, fortunately enough no one was able to make out who Lily and I were the whole day. And before I knew it, the sun that shined so brightly in the sky was slowly beginning to go down. I’m not sure if Lily would want to stay and see the fireworks since she’s not really a big fan of anything loud. I mean, she hates thunder and loud crowds. But I’ll ask later if she wants to stay-
“Oh! Kai look at that plush bunny! It’s so cute!” Lily suddenly squeals enthusiastically as she points at a particular stuffed animal.
So without even asking her, I tried to win the plush figure by throwing darts at a certain target. People around me gathered as they watched me play, and with simple ease, I was able to win her the bunny. However, my eyes caught the eye of another plushie that was hidden behind the bunny. It was a puppy that had a heart collar on, it kinda reminded me of the necklace I was wearing...
“Kai? What are you-”
“Hey, I would like to play again. But this time...I want that puppy.”
Cutting Lily off, I asked the person who worked in the stall that I would play once more as I paid him. Handing the bunny over to Lily, I became more focused on the game this time. Because for some reason it was a lot more difficult to hit the target since I had to throw darts a lot farther, I was growing a bit agitated. But I kept playing until I finally scored enough points to win the puppy figure I wanted! It’s strange, but I was so invested in winning that I didn’t even notice the huge crowd that was cheering at me when I received my prize!
Bowing in shyness, I hurried in getting Lily and me away from everyone. I didn’t think I would pull in such a heavy amount of people. So I wanted to get out of the crowd as quickly as possible, I soon caught notice of a huge ferris wheel across from us. I think that would be a good place to drive off any attention for a while. So as I began to push Lily towards the ride, I made sure I held on to the plush I had. I don’t know why I tried so hard to win it...I wonder if she will like it if I give it to her?
Bringing myself back to my senses, I gestured over security Hyun to come over towards us. Handing him Lily’s wheelchair, I helped Lily stand as we both entered the ride. My height made it almost impossible for me to sit down across from her, but I watched as she snuggled herself and the bunny I won for her. However, her eyes were glued to the puppy plush I was carrying...
“It’s funny...” She voiced out softly as she looked over at me.
“What’s funny? The stuffed animal-”
“Seeing you try so hard to win it, though I don’t take you for someone who likes that sort of thing. So I’m curious...who’s the lucky person you’re giving that to?”
She asked while leaning herself against the window. Her eyes looked sad and her words were weak as she stared at me. I think even my heart felt a tug of pain when I saw her expression, so I tried my best in making her smile once I removed my mask the moment I felt the ride take off...
“What are you talking about? I got this for myself. Is it so wrong for a grown man to have a stuffed animal?”
I jokingly said as I pulled my hat off. Yet all Lily did was give off a bitter smile as she looked out the window.
“Kai...I really had fun today. Spending time with you, really made me happy. But I can’t help but think...that you only came for my sake-”
“Lily, why would say something like that-”
“Because you only smile, to put me at ease. I’ve been trying so hard to get the old Kai back in my life...tell me. Is it impossible to go back to how we used to be? Secretly meeting each other, talking on the phone... holding hands. Why does everything we used to do...feels nothing but a memory now? Why does it feel...like we’re almost strangers?”
She suddenly spoke out in tears as she kept looking out the window with empty eyes of painful sorrow. But as I tried to get up to hug her, she was quick in avoiding me as she shifted her body away...
“Please, don’t hug me...if you don’t love me-”
“Lily...of course, I love you-”
“In what way!? The way you look at me now...is so different from how you used to see me back then. It’s like, I’m the only one...that still loves you like before. It’s like...you’re with me out of sympathy now, is that what I am? Did you come with me...just out of guilt-”
I didn’t want Lily to cry anymore in front of me, it didn’t matter if she didn’t want me to hold her or not. But I can’t stand seeing her break down like this, even as she trembles, I held on to her as tightly as I could. However, she refused to wrap her arms around mine. Though I felt a strange tug on the chain I was wearing, pulling myself back, I saw that Lily was gripping onto the heart locket I wore!
“You know...I thought that I would be the only special person in your heart. But I’ve come to realize that is no longer true...I envy her. Because I know that she is the one who you truly care for now-”
“Lily, stop talking-”
“You never wear the same kind of jewelry no more than a few days, even the earrings I got for you. You don’t wear them every day, yet you’re able to wear this locket for months...you go out of your way to win this stuffed animal. And not only that...but whenever I see you look off to the distance. Your mind always seems to be thinking of something or...of someone. I’m not stupid, at first...I thought that maybe, I was overreacting. That there’s no way that you would get close to anyone, but I’m come to realize that I shouldn’t be selfish. No matter how much it hurts, I want you to be happy...but, I was really hoping that I would be your happiness. Because I’ve loved you for so long... and even now... I’m still so deeply in love with you. And it hurts...”
She sobbed out in pain as she tugged the chain I wore as if she was ready to rip it off of me. I was then completely caught off guard by the sudden kiss she had planted on my lips!
She then buried herself deep within my chest as I found it difficult to breathe with how broken she became. For so long, I waited to hear these words from her, to feel her lips touch mine...and it breaks my soul knowing that I feel nothing from it now. I can’t hide what I hold dear to me, the person who is special to me was no longer Lily. And it’s so painful because I didn’t think I had the right to love anyone else. Lily was the only person I needed, that she would be the one to handle the agony I was in. But I never knew how wrong I would be, I love Lily, more than anything...but it was no longer a love that filled my heart with passion. It was a love that I only wish to care for and nothing more...
That was all I could say as I felt the guilt in my heart burry me into despair. Though Lily didn’t seem to care as she pushed me away in a wave of sudden anger! She then threw her face mask at me as she began to hit me continuously with her stuffed bunny!
“Lily! What the hell are you-”
“You idiot! You fucking moron! Don’t you dare feel sorry for me!”
She voiced out in high defense. Once she withdrawal her violence, she leaned herself back on the chair while wiping her tears away.
“I wish I could hate you right now...but I can’t bring myself to do it. Today, I wanted things to end differently... forgive me, Kai. But let me enjoy this ride for a little while longer, you don’t have to worry about taking me back home. I’ll have Hyun drive me back-”
“What are talking about? This is ridiculous, I’m not just gonna let you go back home alone. I don’t care if you have your bodyguard with you, I should be the one-”
“No. I... just wanna be alone after this. At first, I was planning on telling you how I felt after the fireworks...but I guess things never go as they plan. I think it’s best if I leave first... Kai, thank you...for spending time with me.” She said quietly enough for me to hear.
Picking her face mask off the floor, I watched as she buried half of her face onto the stuffed bunny as she waited for the ride to end. Sitting on the chair, I sent a text to my bodyguard Jung to walk Lily and her security out of the festival. I felt horrible within myself, why do I always hurt the people I care for the most. Handing her face mask, I watched as she placed it back on as she walked out of the ride. I waited until the ferris wheel took off once again before slamming my fist on the metal door frame. Anger and frustration were swelling up inside me as I felt stupid by my choice of words! Why did I apologize to her...after I told myself that I would stop doing that. I went ahead and ruined it!
As I leaned myself back against the wall, I ran my hands through my hair as I let out a heavy sigh. Looking forward, I saw a couple on the other ride next to mine, it only made me feel more like a loser. I’m certain that Lily wanted to leave here today as a couple but in the end...I fucked everything up-
“No fucking way...” I suddenly said to myself in disbelief at what I was seeing right before my eyes!
Quickly standing up, I walked towards the other side of the windows and placed both hands against the glass frame. On closer inspection, I thought that maybe I lost my mind. However, I was proven wrong once I paid attention to the ‘couple’ I saw in front of me! Because the moment they took off their masks, all I wanted to do was punch Jin in the face when I saw him leaning closer to MelRose!
“Why are they here together!?”