*2 weeks later*
“Okay, I think that’s all we need for today.” My mother said as she went over her grocery list.
As we began to check out, I started to help her load the shopping cart. It’s been a few days since I came back to America, it’s strange...but it feels like everything I went through in Korea was nothing more but a dream. I’ve been doing my best in trying to move forward, but I still go to bed crying every night. But regardless, I need to keep strong if not for myself...then for my family at least.
“Melissa, let’s get going. I don’t think I’ll have enough time to cook dinner. So let’s just order take out, how does that sound? Sweetie?”
With my mom shaking my shoulder, I was brought back to my senses as she began to push the cart full of groceries towards our car.
“Huh? Oh, yeah that sounds good. Uhh...what did you have in mind?”
I asked her, once we finished loading the vehicle I gave out a depressing sigh.
“Melissa, are you sure you’re okay? Ever since you came back from Korea you’ve been awfully distant and... different. You know, your father and I were very happy that you decided to come back. But I can’t help but feel like there’s somthing you’re not telling me. You said that you quit your job because you were starting to feel homesick and that it was becoming too stressful for you. But the times we had spoken over the phone when you were over there, you sounded completely fine. So I can’t help but feel that maybe there’s something you’re not telling me?”
My mother’s words really caught me by surprise, there’s no point in hiding anything from her since she’s always been so observant with Sam and me. Though I’m not sure if I can tell her the full truth of what had happened. Even when we entered the car, I stayed silent even when she began to drive. Though my throat was held in a knot the moment I heard a song beginning to play on the radio! Instantly turning it off, I felt my hand wanting to shake when I heard his voice for just that one second!
Why... don’t I want to hear his voice? Listening to anything related to ExEx Idol just makes my stomach turn. I’m still not even comfortable sleeping in my sister’s room, with the number of posters and pillows that she has of the boys... especially Kai. I can’t bring myself to face him...how can I...when I hurt him so badly.
“I didn’t know you hated them that much...”
My mother said by how quickly I reacted to their music playing.
“What? Hate? Why would I-”
“Well, your sister told me that you hated that group for some reason, which I’m surprised that you do since their around your age and they’re actually very popular in Korea-”
“It’s not that I hate them...I...just don’t want to have anything to do with them...umm, can we please change the subject. How’s Sam’s counseling going? I haven’t been able to ask her since she’s still not talking to me that much...the last thing I wanna do is push a conversation on her.” I asked my mother once we finally pulled up to a burger place.
“Your sister just needs to stop with her stubbornness already, as for her sessions that she’s been having. I think she’s okay, though I’m afraid we won’t be able to pay for it for much longer with how expensive it is. I really don’t know what to do...I talked to her principal already and they’ve suspended the group of girls that were bullying her. I’m just grateful that you’re back to help me...” She said in a tired expression before stepping out of the car.
Leaving the vehicle as well, we both entered the restaurant and ordered our food to go. So while we waited, we both decided to take a seat outside. The weather was very nice, I’ve wanted to stay out of the house as much as possible. Since staying inside only seems to add to my anxiety, pulling out my phone. I figured that maybe I should buy a new one already. With my screen still being cracked, it’s about time I changed it...
“Oh! When did your phone get damaged like that-”
Before my mother could even finish her sentence, we were both caught off guard by the sudden music beginning to play outside the burger joint! I forgot that this place was known for playing songs, but I wasn’t expecting them to play Kai’s solo! Hearing his voice, I instantly gripped my phone tightly as I felt my breathing starting to get heavy.
“Sweetie? Hey, are you okay? Your starting to look pale- Melissa! Wait! Where are you going!?”
With my mom noticing how panic I was becoming, it only made my anxiety worse! The agony that my heart has been enduring is completely broken and I can’t hold it in anymore! So I quickly got up and rushed towards a trashcan and instantly vomit! Hearing my mother’s concerned voice, she patted my back gently until my breathing calmed down a bit.
“Melissa, what’s wrong? Are you getting sick? Please, talk to me...I’ve never seen you this way before. Did something... happen when you were in Korea? And don’t you dare lie to me...after all these years...I’ve come to know when you’re telling the truth or not. Just what has you feeling this sick? I’m not a fool, I know my daughter’s...and you haven’t been sleeping well nor have you been eating as much and you hardly wanna stay home now. You know what, let’s go to the park before heading back home.”
My mother was so serious with how she spoke, but she did her best in wanting to be there for me. And as much as I appreciate it, I still couldn’t stop shaking. Deciding to wait in the car, I hunched myself over and tried my best in keeping myself composed. I don’t wanna hear it...I don’t wanna hear him. I don’t wanna see him...I can’t, I don’t have the right to. Because I know for a fact...that he probably hates me more than anyone. And I deserve it...
It didn’t take long to get our food and arriving at the park shortly after. I was honestly relieved when I saw that nobody was at the park, leaning my head against the window. I waited for my mother to say something to me as she took off her seat belt. But my body immediately jolted in shock when I felt her grabbing my hand suddenly!
“When you arrived on our doorstep that night. After your long flight, do you remember what you did first when I opened that door? When you saw me, you immediately hugged me and sobbed uncontrollably. And all you kept saying, is that you were sorry. Over and over again, you kept apologizing. I didn’t know why you were, at first, I thought you were apologizing for quitting your job. But I know that’s not what it is... sweetie, what happened that day...did someone hurt you?”
My tears couldn’t be detained any longer as they began to escape my eyes. I wish things didn’t have to be this way, I wish that I never fell in love! Because living with a broken heart hurts so much! And it’s all my fault! I don’t even have the courage to call Jin even when he left me his number! I miss him...I miss them all so much that it’s feels like I’m suffocating!
“No...mom...I’m the one who hurt him...I’m the reason why he’s hurting right now. It’s because of me...Jin...Zack...Kai...it’s all my fault.”
I cried out as I buried myself into her arms in heartache!
All this time, I’ve been holding in all this pain without telling anyone. And because of that, the result has been making me sick. It’s destroying me and I can’t bear it any longer, I need to tell someone...and the only other person I could trust with all my heart is my mother. She eased my pain away with the amount of understanding and patience she had for me. Not once did she speak after telling her my experience in Korea. But she never stopped hugging me as if I was some broken child...
“My poor baby girl...I had no idea you were going through so much. But I really don’t know what to say...after everything you’ve gone through with those boys. It’s no wonder you’re like this...honey, it will never be your fault of what happened-”
“But it is! I...I can’t talk to him...but I want to... I’m sorry...mom...I’m sorry that I lied to you and dad. I just really wanted to help you guys...but I had no idea how much would change after meeting those three. I...don’t know what to do...and it’s scaring me.”
I cried out to her as she continued to comfort me...
“I know...it’s okay. Everything will be okay...from what you’ve told me. If this boy truly does love you...then I know in every fiber in my being. That he would never hate you-”
“How can you be so sure, after everything he’s gone through. I promised him that I would always be by his side...but instead, I left him-”
“You left so you could protect him and the other boys. Melissa, love isn’t something that could be easily forgotten. Love isn’t hating, it’s not greed nor is it unforgiving. Love is kind, it’s warmth and strong...and the love that you and Kai have for each other is real. It hurts seeing you girls like this, I wish that I could take all the pain away from you and your sister. Sometimes I wish you both could go back into being little girls...but you’ve grown so much... Melissa. Can I ask you something?”
My mother asked as I finally felt a bit calmer, I didn’t even realize how dark it had gotten outside!
“I wish I could say I was a little surprised by what you told me. But, whenever I would clean your sister’s room when you were living in Korea. I would see the many posters that Samantha would hang up on her wall and the one person that stood out to me out of the group, was Kai. And the reason why he did, was because I noticed a certain familiar necklace around his neck that looks awfully similar to the one your father and I gave you...”
I didn’t even need to hear her speak any further once she brought up the locket. Though I was able to smile a bit at how clever my mother could be, so I ended up telling her the truth of how Kai ended up with my necklace. Though my mother couldn’t help but laugh at the outcome of how Kai and I first met. Hell, even I giggled a little... though I instantly thought of Sam. It was because of her that I met Kai...which reminds me!
“Mom! You can’t tell Sam! Please, she’ll-”
“I know, I’m assuming you don’t want me to tell your father also. Well don’t worry, I won’t. But you will have to tell him eventually...as for your sister. I’m hoping that things will change for the better for her...” She said in a stressful tone.
“I’ll tell him one of these days...I just wish he could be more understanding like you. And I’m sure Sam will get better soon...she just needs time.”
As I said that, mother and I agreed to head back home. Unloading the groceries and reheating the food we got, I felt a little bit better. Though it wasn’t until I finished eating with my family that I felt nauseous! After I excused myself from the table, I ran to the bathroom! Expecting to throw up the food I had eaten, nothing came out other than discomfort burps. Closing the lid of the toilet, I sat down and covered my face with both of my hands. I don’t get it...why am I- wait! What day is it!? Pulling out my phone in a panic, I looked at my calendar and saw when was my last period...
“Oh my god...” I said to myself in disbelief as I quickly stood up!
Sprinting into my sister’s room, I looked beanthe her bed and pulled out her shoebox where she kept her alcohol and other things that Mom and Dad would most definitely kill her for. I’m just praying and hoping that she has a pregnancy test in here somewhere! I don’t even remember how many times Sam had taken these after sleeping with her boyfriend’s? But I’m just relieved that I was able to find one in her hidden stash. She really needs to find a better place to hide her stuff...
Wasting no time, I headed back to the bathroom and immediately took the test! The beating of my heart felt like it was about to fall out of my chest once I began to wait for the results. How can I be so reckless to forget about something this important!? I’m late...and I never thought of the possibility of what it could be. I’m such an idiot for not using protection! But... at the moment...that wasn’t something Kai and me thought of at the time. The only thing we wanted...was love. Nothing more...but I can’t do it...I don’t want this. I don’t want to bring a child into this world when I’m feeling this broken from the inside...
“Please...I don’t wanna have his baby...not like this...”
I whispered to myself once I decided to approach the test I had set on the counter.
The overwhelming fear that I had inside me, quickly went away once I saw the results! It was negative, though I brought myself to the floor as I clutched the test in my hand. Covering my mouth, I did my best to keep my cries silent as I wish I never had to say something like that. I would love to be a mom...but what good can come from it when I’m not in the right state of mind.
“Kai...I wish...you were here.”
I sobbed in sorrow as I waited until my tears were all dried up...
I guess I must’ve been so stressed that it wasn’t only affecting my mental health, but my body as well. As I brought myself to stand back up, I finally took this moment to look at myself in the mirror. It was only then that I got a clear picture of what I looked like. The dark circles around my eyes from the lack of sleep, my sunken cheekbones, and pale skin showed the lack of how much I haven’t been eating lately. But most of all, this image of what I see now...shows just how fragile a person can become. Taking in a breather, I splashed my face with water before heading back out.
Heading towards the living room, I saw that it was only Sam sitting on the couch. I guess Mom and Dad are already in bed, they both have work tomorrow so it’s understandable why they’re sleeping in early. Though now that I’m back in America, I should probably start looking for work as well. Since I now I have experience in working, maybe I’ll be able to get hired more easily?
With it being the weekend, I’m sure Sam plans on staying up late again. So as I sat on the other side of the couch. We both just stared at the news, the silence between us was a little awkward. I still remember the first thing Sam said to me when I came back home. Her expression stayed the same as all she did was just say hi to me. Other than that, we hardly exchanged words to one another...
“Why does he look...so dead from the inside?” Sam said in a saddened voice.
“What are you talking about?” I asked in confusion.
It was only when I followed her gaze towards the screen that I simultaneously clenched my jaw when I saw the boys being escorted out of a building! The images that I was seeing shattered me deeper once I saw the conditions of how they all looked! Zack, who is always smiling at the camera was ignoring everyone on sight. Jin, who always held a steady bow and never looked disheveled to the public eye... looks completely different now. He’s lost too much weight...I hope he’s taking care of himself. And I pray with all my heart...that his mother is okay. That she’s still alive to see you follow your dreams-
I didn’t even realize that I said his name, though I don’t think Sam heard me with how worried she looked watching Kai’s every movement. Though I was no better since that’s what I was doing as well. The last time I saw Kai...we were both smiling at one another. Feeling our warm embrace, being happy...I really...wanted to be your wife, more than anything. Believe me...I did, but...I can’t. And it’s ruining me... seeing how broken you’ve become.Kai... please... don’t look like that. Don’t look so shattered...it’s not worth it. I’m...not worth it. I want you to smile...if not for your fans that love you, then at least...smile for your happiness. That’s all I want...is for you to be happy. But I think I’m being selfish in asking that of you...when I’m the reasoning for your pain. I’m sorry...I’m so sorry...Kai...I love you...I love you so much that it’s hurting me.
“Something happened...the news is saying that the members are still resting from the long tour they did in Europe. But that’s isn’t true...I’ve known ExEx Idol forever. And they never looked this exhausted or worn down before, there’s no way this has anything to do with their tour being over. Mel...did, anything happen when you were over there? Why is it...that when you came back home, they now look so sad? Did you do something? Did you say anything to them-”
“Don’t start saying ridiculous things, I’m not in the mood to deal with your crazy assumptions. It’s like the phone call we had weeks ago didn’t matter, did you not listen to a single word I said. I told you...I don’t associate myself with them...I...don’t care about them. I never have...I don’t...”
I tried my best to sound convincing but looking back at the boys, made me finally cry! I really can’t lie to save my life...just when did I become this weak?
“Really? Then why are you crying?” Sam asked sounding more strict than before.
“Maybe it’s because I’m getting tired of the way you’re acting and the way you speak to me. One minute you’re calm, and then the next minute you’re acting insane. You...need to stop being a bitch to me...and stop worrying Mom and Dad. This whole depression thing that you’re going through...it’s absolutely nothing, compared to what others are really going through. So grow up and stop being this way... I’ve tried talking to you, but you don’t care to hear whatever I have to say. Even now... you haven’t once asked me...if I’m doing okay. You don’t care about anyone but yourself-”
“You’re wrong...you have no idea what I’m going through. You, Mom, and Dad will never understand...and I don’t think you ever will. You think I don’t care for anyone? Then explain why I’m asking you so many questions about the members. Kai looked so sad...and it breaks my heart seeing him that way. And it sucks that I can’t do anything about it-”
“Oh my god... listen to yourself. You care so much about this man that you’ve never met before. He doesn’t even know that you exist...Sam, do you really not care for your family?” I asked while trying to wipe my tears away.
“Of course I do...I just...have different priorities of who I love more. If you don’t have anything to tell me about Kai or the other members, just leave me alone...”
She responded, giving me the cold shoulder I watched her turn off the TV as she headed back to her room.
Leaving me in the dark, I sat back down on the couch and buried myself between my knees that I had placed close to my chest. Everything is so fucked with her...I really just want to slap her. But that would only make things worse between us. With the minutes turning into hours, I pulled out my phone and saw how late it had gotten. Deciding to do something foolish, I opened up the internet and looked up what was going on with ExEx Idol...
From what Sam said earlier, somthing did happen. But...I get the feeling I’m not entirely the main reason why the boys looked so terrible. Though as I scrolled through the media, I wasn’t getting any type of information other than the members just being overworked. My mind then went back to Jin’s mother! Did something possibly happen!?
“No...it’s not true. I shouldn’t think like that...there’s no way-”
I then instantly thought of what I was told back then. That Jin’s mother wouldn’t have much time left after the boys came back from tour.
With my nerves making me feel ill, I shakingly began to dial Jin’s number that he had given me. I shouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t answer, I’ve refused to contact him since I’ve been here. The one thing I don’t want to do is mess up everything he’s worked so hard for. But... if he’s hurting from a loss...how can I ignore it. I gave my word to his mother. That I would be by his side if he needed me...
Pressing the call button, I held it close to my ear. Every ring that went off, made my body grow heavy as I tightened the grip of my phone. It was only when I heard the ringing stop, that I felt too nervous to even speak. What’s wrong with me! Say something... anything!
“Jin...I’m sorry...that I took so long to call you. Please forgive me...Jin...are...you okay?”
Choking out my words, I fought back my dark emotions that were wanting to take over again. I’ve done enough crying today...I don’t want to breakdown anymore. But hearing Jin speak, was my worst nightmare coming true...
“No...I’m not okay...I’m not okay with being alone...Rose...I feel so empty...and it hurts...”