“Alright boys, you all did an amazing job! The next lineup tour won’t be for another year so make sure to finish this new upcoming album you’re all about to start. Your music director will explain more about it when we’re all finally settled back in Korea. So in the meantime take this chance to rest, will be boarding the plane soon. Remember to keep your masks on, don’t talk to any reporters, and stay in a group as we enter the airport...”
Not caring what our manager had to say, I kept staring at my phone and waited for Rose to respond. These last days on tour she’s been ignoring my texts, at first I thought that maybe she’s been just busy? But now that we’re heading back to Korea, I would think she would have the time to respond to me now. I wonder if she’s okay? In fact...I should ask Zack and Jin if they are doing okay as well. They both have been quieter than usual...
“Alright boys, are you ready? Face masks on and stay in a group. I’ve hired more security this time, so let’s get going.”
Sang voiced out at us as he got out of the car...
The roaring sounds of our fans could be heard once the doors were opened for us to step out. Following Jin and Zack, I looked around and saw a massive wave of people yelling out my name. The multiple flashes of cameras shooting towards us made me place my shades on as I tried avoiding making eye contact with anyone. Though in the midst of all this chaos, I did try to keep an eye out for the staff that followed behind us. But it would be impossible to spot Rose in this heavy crowd of people...
“KAI! I LOVE YOU!”
“ZACK! PLEASE SMILE! LOOK OVER HERE!”
“JIN! WHY DO YOU LOOK SO SAD! I LOVE YOU! PLEASE BE HAPPY! I’LL MARRY YOU!”
“KAI! KAI, PLEASE LOOK AT ME!”
Ignoring our fan’s words, I hurried in catching up with the guys. But as I approached Zack, I saw that his expression was numb by how cold he was acting towards everyone. Strange, it’s not like him to be this serious. He always waving and smiling towards his fans no matter what, even as I looked over at Jin. He stayed silent as usual but the only difference is that he seems more serious than normal by how strict he was acting. I’m not sure why, but lately after we finished our meet in greet a few days ago. It’s like both of their personas changed drastically...
“Finally were heading home, I was starting to get tired of these different sleeping schedules. The time zones really messed up my sleep...”
Trying to make conversation with Jin once we all safely boarded the flight, Zack closed his eyes and placed his earphones on. That’s when I knew that he wanted to be left alone, he tends to do this whenever we’re about to take flight. Though I was able to piece together that this was Zack’s way of dealing with his phobia...
Jin responded shortly as he stared out the window.
“Jin, is everything okay? You and Zack have been acting really strange these past couple of days... did something happened- don’t tell me something happened to your mother!?”
I asked sounding concerned all of a sudden! I feel so stupid for not putting two and two together, it would explain why he’s been acting so distant!
“No, it’s not that...I’m just tired and relieved that we’re finally leaving. I just wish...life wasn’t so complicated for us.”
He explained with a saddened tone once he looked down at his phone.
I’m not sure what is making Jin suddenly say something like that, but all of our lives have been complicated from the very beginning. But seeing him stare at his phone made me remember to ask Jin if Rose is doing well. But come to think about it, I didn’t see Rose at our last performance...
“I think that... we’re dealing the best that we can with our lives. We’ve been trending non-stop this past month and we’ve gained a lot more fans because of it. It’s only going to become more difficult from here on out, but I know will be fine. Though I have something I want to ask you...is Rose okay? She hasn’t been responding to my calls-”
“Did you ever think that maybe she just wants to be left alone?”
I suddenly heard Zack say in an intimidating response, surprised by his words. I looked over at him and saw that he had opened his eyes. However, Jin refused to say anything as he turned off his phone. Taking off my seat belt, I approached where Zack was sitting at. With us having first class, I only had to take a few steps to reach where he was sitting.
“What did you just say? Why would you say something like that? Rose-”
“Maybe Melrose is just tired and stress about doing this kind of job. Do you think it’s easy working for this stupid company? It’s not surprising why female staff quit working here. Constantly being harassed by our fans and the strict rules they need to follow. Have you ever even asked MelRose if she was happy working here? And now that you two are dating I’m sure it became more difficult for her so it’s not surprising that she’s ignoring you. Maybe she finally got sick and tired of being with someone who’s always busy and has such a heavy burden to carry-”
Grabbing Zack from his collar, I pulled him up to his feet and yanked him harshly towards me. Jin refused to say anything, he didn’t even try to step between Zack and me. Is there something that they know that I don’t? No...there’s no way, Rose would never think that way. She wouldn’t...
“If you don’t stop talking right now...I’ll make you regret saying those words,” I said to him in a heat of anger before pushing him back on his chair.
Though Zack never once looked at me when he spoke. Just what the hell is his problem? Did he already forget how happy Rose was when we were all together by the beach? Or was all of that just my imagination? Turning my gaze, I saw that Jin continued to stay mute. It was only when I heard the flight attendant telling me to take my seat that I tried to calm the shakiness of my inner body.
“Do you guys really believe that Rose isn’t happy being here? If so...then tell me why she keeps smiling whenever she is with us?”
I asked both of them as I held on to the necklace I wore...
“Just let it go, Kai, don’t take everything Zack said to heart. You already know how he gets when he’s uncomfortable...flights still aren’t easy for Zack. So just leave it...I’m sure MelRose...just wants to rest when she gets back. So give her time... until she talks to you. It’s been a stressful month not just for us but for everyone as well...”
Jin finally spoke, though his words were hesitant...
Taking what he said to heart, we all prepared ourselves once we felt the turbulence of the plane taking off. Though it only made my heart escalate more as I thought back to that night when I proposed to Rose. Did I not considered her feelings a bit more when I asked her. Was I asking too much of her? Am I only adding more to her stress? I...need to talk to her, but...what Jin said was true. Maybe she needs her space to rest, I just hope...she doesn’t keep me waiting too long...
The following days to come, I tried my best to give Rose the time she needed. But it was difficult to keep me under control of not contacting her. I don’t even know how many times I almost called her when I landed back in Korea. Here I was hoping to spend time with her since we hardly get any alone time together. But with ExEx Idol finally making front news in other foreign countries these past few days. It seems that the fandom of our group increased tremendously! I feel like it’s only going to become more difficult to have any freedom at this point. Even manager Sang had to double the security recently.
Staring off into space, I decided it was time to get out of the bed. Sitting forward, I ran my hand through my thick black hair and released an anxious sigh. It took me a minute to ease my heartbeat, this body of mine has been finally catching up to me. I’ve been keeping myself so busy and distracted that I never took the time to pay attention to my vitals. Ever since I stopped taking my medication, I’m starting to feel the effect. Though I need to keep strong and fight back against this body wanting the drugs...I really wish...she could hold me right now...and tell me that everything will be okay...Once I felt a bit more relaxed, I began to place my shirt on. Though I didn’t care to button it up once I heard the ringing of my phone going off! Sprinting towards the living room, I ended up slipping which caused me to fall to the floor! Aching in pain, I still rushed myself to grab the phone that rested on the table! If Rose is calling me then I to make sure I answer! I feel like it’s been forever since I last heard her voice. So without looking at the caller I.D. I immediately answer out of desperation!
“Hello?! Rose is that you-”
“It’s Zack...umm, do you think you can come up to Jin’s room right now. I texted you earlier but you weren’t responding...” He said sounding a bit awkward over the phone.
“Oh...yeah, sure...I’ll be over in a bit,” I responded before hanging up.
Ever since Zack expressed how he felt about Rose’s well-being on the flight a few days ago. We haven’t really spoken much, though we both kept our promise when it came to meeting Jin’s mother. I just grew worried when Jin told me that Rose wouldn’t be able to come for a while. It made me think that maybe she really isn’t comfortable being in Korea. But what’s more heartbreaking was seeing the condition of Jin’s mother. It was only fair that manager Sang gave Jin these last few days off to spend time with her...
As I prepared to finish changing, I ready myself out the door and pressed the button of the elevator that would take me to Jin’s floor. I’m not sure why Zack is asking me to come over, hopefully, everything is okay? I don’t know why, but after we came back from touring...it’s like we all became more overwhelmed. Once I saw the doors finally slid open, I entered the room and saw Zack sitting in the living room in a daze. However, Jin was nowhere to be found...
I called out to him in confusion once I approached where he was. Watching him stand up in a hurry, he looked at me with a worried look.
“What’s going on? Where’s Jin?” I asked while looking around the room.
“He just texted me out of nowhere to have me come here. He told me to contact you also and have you come here as well.”
Zack began to explain as he looked out the window, staring at the clock I saw that it was a little past noon. Todays our day off, so what could Jin possibly want from us-
I suddenly heard Zack apologize as I watch him make his way towards the window.
“What? Why are you apologizing?”
I asked once I took a seat...
“I said some terrible things to you about MelRose... and I shouldn’t have. I guess...I’m just tired of seeing the people I care about getting hurt...”
He explained with sorrow in his voice, although he was very vague with his explanation. I sorta understood what he meant, because I feel the same way...my mother, Lily, and now Jin’s Mom. All I want...is to find peace and happiness. For every one that I care for, to be happy...that’s all I want...that’s the only thing I need to keep going forward. As long Rose keeps being by my side...I know that I won’t break like before.
Though I wasn’t sure what to say to Zack, to break this serious tension I decided to grab the pillow that was next to me and tossed it at him. He quickly caught it as we both came to a playful chuckle. It’s out of character for Zack and me to be serious with each other. But I need to know why he would say something like that, why would he ever think Rose is overwhelmed?
“Be honest with me...do you think...I’ll only be a burden if I’m with Rose?”
But as soon as I asked him that, Zack’s once calm expression quickly changed as he hanged his head low.
“I...don’t think I could answer that...I’m sorry, Kai. I’m sorry...”
His words seemed to echo through my heart the more he apologized. It’s like he’s trying to beg for forgiveness for something he’s done almost. And that’s when I knew... somthing really isn’t right. Zack is always outspoken with his words...but right now. He’s not acting like himself...
“Zack...just what the hell is going on? Did...you say something to Rose? Is that why she’s avoiding me?”
My words were cut short once we both heard the ringing of the elevator doors going off! Standing up, I turned my head around and saw that it was Jin who had entered the dorm. Though he didn’t seem to care that we’re here as he kept his head down. His eyes just kept looking at the bouquet of roses he held in his hands...
“Jin...where have you been? I called our manager earlier and he said that he was with you all day today. Where did you get those Rose’s?”
Zack went on by asking Jin question after question but what brought us to silence was when we looked at the tragic look in his eyes...“The hospital...gave them to me.”
He simply answered with no emotion in his voice...
That expression that he has, the look of despair, shock... emptiness. I knew what it was... because I experienced it before. A feeling that I never wish to go through again, it feels like the whole world is just crumbling around you. Suffocating the life out of you...Jin, I’m so sorry...
“No...it’s not true...how...when did this happen!? Why didn’t you fucking tell us sooner!?”
Zack shouted in a heat of anger as he rushed towards him, I then watched as he grabbed onto his shirt and began to tighten his grip more!
“Zack...get off of him-”
“Shut up, Kai! You may not care what is going on, but I do! Jin! What the fuck?! Were suppose to be brothers...I could’ve been there with you...Kai and I...we both could have been there. She may be your mother...but she was my family also! So why...why aren’t you crying...why do you look so calm!?”
With Zack still shouting, I used all the strength I had to pull him off! Though I immediately clenched my jaw in utter shock once I heard what Zack had to say next!
“What the hell is wrong with you!? Do you not have any fucking emotions?! Even when Rose had to leave! All you did was just stand there and do nothing!”
He yelled out one last time before I let him go. Staring at Jin, I watched as he dropped himself to the floor while gripping the roses more tightly.
“What the hell are you talking about? What do you mean...Rose, left?” I asked while clutching my hands into a fist.
My mind was running a thousand miles per minute. It was only then that Zack stayed quiet, though I watched as he suddenly grabbed a vase from a nearby table and threw it harshly across the room! The sound of shattered glass could then be heard along with his anger!
“Why are you all fucking selfish! Jin, Lily, Rose, and even you...Kai! You never care what you do! Nor how badly it could affect the people around you! I hate it! What the hell was I suppose to fucking do!? This is bullshit!”
Zack continued to shout in rage as he cried, punching the wall next to him I saw how badly he busted his knuckles by the amount of blood staining his fist. But as I tried to calm him down, he only shoved me away before leaving me and Jin alone in the room.
I feel like time is just stopping for me right now...Jin. Losing a mother...will forever leave a scar on your heart. And I’m sorry...I never wish for you to ever go through something like this. But...I need to know...what happened to Rose? What did Zack mean...by her leaving. Slowly approaching where Jin was, I looked down at him as he refused to make any eye contact with me.
“Jin...I’m sorry....but... please, tell me. Rose...she’s...she’s still here, right? She’s okay...you...you’ve seen her...right?”
Sounding desperate with my words, Jin only answered with silence before I decide to crouch myself down to his eye level. Grabbing his collar, I pulled him close to me and only grew more impatient!
“Tell me! What happened to Rose?! Why hasn’t she been answering my calls-”
“You really are selfish. Rose...just leave her alone. Let her go...she doesn’t deserve...the burden of being with someone like you. She...was never meant to even be in Korea...I...I DON’T WANT HER TO BE PART OF OUR LIVES! TO SEE A BASTARD OF A SON LIKE ME, BE ALONE...I DON’T WANT IT! I DON’T WANT HER SYMPATHY! I don’t want her to be pulled into this life! You of all people should know! Rose isn’t stupid... she’s already seen enough of who we really are. And that is enough! A person could only handle so much...she’s gone...she back in America...where she belongs, with her family-”
Roughly letting go of Jin’s shirt! I refuse to hear anything else he had to say as I left him alone in the room! Sprinting towards the elevator, I anxiously began to call Rose’s phone number! With the doors opening for me to enter, I felt the anxiety running through my veins with every second that passed! I didn’t even care to let security know where I was going once I left the dorms as I ran like my life depended on it!
“Rose! Answer the fucking phone!?”
I shouted with frustration as I made my way towards the parking lot!
Entering my car, I kept hearing her phone go to voicemail. But that immediately stopped once my call just wasn’t going through at all! Did she just block my call?! No... there’s no way she would ever do that! What Jin said isn’t true...she wouldn’t leave just like that! She wouldn’t leave without talking to me first! It’s not true...right, Rose?!
Driving recklessly through the streets, I pushed on the gas until I reached the companies apartments! I could care less to put a face mask on as I hurried in getting out of my car! Running towards the main building, I ran up the stairs to avoid staff. My recklessness caused me to slip and scrape my knee against the payment! But I quickly got back up and sprinted up the stairs again! The cold sweat that ran down my spine made me want to vomit as I tried to ignore the words that Jin told me earlier! Grabbing my necklace, I only kept repeating the words that Rose would always tell me...
‘Everything is gonna be okay, I’ll always be by your side...’
“I could never be a burden. The love that I have for you... you’ll still cherish it...right?! You won’t leave me this way...you won’t abandon us...you won’t abandon Zack and Jin either...right?!”
I said to myself as I finally reached Rose’s floor! Coming towards her door, I began to bang on it uncontrollably while trying to open it!
“Rose! Open the door right now! Rose! This isn’t funny! Open the fucking door!”
I yelled out in rage once I wasn’t getting a response. Shouting out of fear and desperation, I started to kick the door more aggressively!
This is all just some sick nightmare!? Rose didn’t leave, Jin’s mom is still alive...none of this is real. I’ve given Rose enough time to have her space! There shouldn’t be a reason for her leaving! Nothing at all! I refuse to believe it, I refuse to believe that the love she gave me was all a lie. It wasn’t fake! Our time with each other was precious right, Rose? You would never abandon my heart this way! So please! Tell me that you’ll always love me! And that you’ll never break my heart!
That one final kick that I gave to the door, made it instantly break open as I pushed myself through. But what I saw made my knees give out as I fell to the floor in disbelief. The darkness and emptiness in this room matched the deep cracks that began to carve inside me. Gripping the floor, I began to hyperventilate as I grew light-headed from what I was seeing. Everything...is gone...it’s as if...Rose never existed.
“Was...my love too much...for you to handle...was I really...a burden. Rose...is this really...how your ending things?”
I choked out my words as I felt my fragile tears running down my face. With my body refusing to stop shaking, I laid myself on the floor. As I brought my hands to cover both my ears, I tried to ignore everything around me as I felt my heart wanting to stop beating. It hurts...Rose... please make it stop...it’s hard to breathe without you...this feeling of drowning into a dark abyss...is killing me...