uh, sorry it took so long? XD I have summer review classes for the many upcoming college entrance exams...so, yeah, less time to write.
But anyway, kinda sad chapter right here XD
I still don't know anything about paralysis XD and not to mention hospitals XD So I suggest you just go with the flow hahaha trololol
I...don't know anymore XDDDDD Oh yeah, If you're the kind of person who's interested in stalking people's everyday lives through their personal blogs (lol kidd) feel free to follow mine : escapeholes.tumblr.com
I don't know why I'm promoting that right now. HAHAH That blog was actually meant to be some sort of secret for my own personal rants and life shit, but yeah. XD I'm a filipino so some posts there are written in tagalog (our language) XD yeeaaah. Idek.
Yoochun was out of breath by the time he reached the hospital. Although he was in a rush, he didn’t want to cause any unnecessary disturbance for his driver or his parents, troubling them this late at night. He had opted to take public transportation, cursing to himself whenever they got caught in traffic or whenever the vehicle would run too slow. As soon as he stepped into the automatic sliding doors, his heart quickened its pace. Suddenly a flood of images invaded his mind, one was of a bus trampling across the road, another of Jaejoong being tossed in all directions, and the last of Changmin, unable to scream or move, helplessly praying for someone to come to his rescue. He willed himself not to break down then and there, whispering words like a mantra. They’re alright. They’re alright. They’re alright.
It was hard to tell whether the woman behind the reception desk was being sarcastic, beaming at him with her pearly white teeth, despite seeing his current state of desperation.
“...Are there registered patients under the name of Kim Jaejoong and Shim Changmin?”
The woman flipped through a couple of documents, never loosing the sticky grin she had on her face.
“Kim Jaejoong and Shim Changmin...Kim jaejoong...shim changmin...Ah! Here they are. Room 905. It’s on the sixth floor, to the left of the hallway across the elevator.”
Wasting not a second longer, Yoochun found himself running. The images kept coming, and he was slowly loosing the battle against worry and anxiety. It was eating him up from the inside, after all, what were the odds that the bus that got into an accident just had to be the one his best friend and his beloved dongsaeng had taken? If the two had never came back in the first place, could this ill fate have been avoided? For a few minutes he wished it were so, he wished that Jae and min never took this trip back to Seoul. Maybe then they wouldn’t have fought, maybe then they’d still be in Busan, living their ordinary lives. True enough he would have still been miserable if they had not returned, but right now it seemed like a good price to pay for as long as they were happy and safe.
His thoughts went blank as soon as he stopped in front of a room. The numbers in front of him read 905. Inhaling deeply he slid the door open, bracing himself for whatever scenario awaited him.
The first thing his eyes fell on were the twin beds that lay parallel to each other. The lights were turned off, except for the yellow lamp shade that illuminated the room. The next thing his senses picked up were the slow beeping sounds of the hospital equipment, both a good and bad sign. He scanned the room for any sign of a woman, sobbing or sleeping, but to his surprise there was no one. And that’s when his eyes finally fell on the two figures lying on the bed. The 1st bed was empty, only a tangle of white sheets left as evidence that someone had been sleeping there. But just as empty as the 1st one had been, the 2nd looked a little too cramped with two bodies lying there, though it was only meant for one. Squinting he could clearly make out that the figure of the one lying straight on his back, with an oxygen mask to his face and a dextrose attached to the back of his hand , was Jaejoong. That meant that the one cramped beside him on the bed, the one hugging his arm and pressing his face closer, must have been Changmin.
Yoochun stared for a moment. They both looked awful. Changmin had a multitude of bandages and stitches scattered around his ankles, neck, forehead, cheeks, arms and hands, Jaejoong on the other hand, other than also having several bandages, still had that oxygen mask and dextrose on, as said earlier. His heart ached for the two, But despite that he let out a sigh of relief, at least they were breathing. At least they were safe. Battered yet alive was much better than instant death.
Moving closer to the bed, careful not to wake the two sleeping figures, Yoochun peeked at each of their expressions. Changmin had been crying, he could tell by the tear stained cheeks and red rimmed eyes, though he didn’t blame the boy. It must have been a very traumatic experience especially for someone like him, who would have had little to do to save himself, considering his current condition. Turning his attention to Jaejoong, he had expected an expression of fatigue, tiredness, or maybe even a few tears here and there. But instead he saw nothing. The boy lay there with an expression of utter blankness, skin pale and bruised against the dim glow of the lamp. He could have been mistaken for a corpse if it weren’t for his steady breathing.
“So he’s fallen asleep.”
Startled, Yoochun whipped his head around to face the door only to find Boa leaning against it. Three bottled drinks in hand.
“Sorry for bothering you this late at night...I really just didn’t know what to do. I’m Boa.”
Yoochun bowed. “Annyeonhaseyo...”
She handed one of the bottles to him, moving closer to the bed. Her eyes hovering over the two boys sleeping on it.
“Poor thing.” She said, brushing her fingers over Changmin’s hair. “The accident was terrible. While rushing my way here I passed by the site. I couldn’t even imagine what must have happened... The bus was a wreck, tipped over on its side. They said the driver and a few of the passengers seated in front didn’t make it because of the strong impact. Changmin had been found crying helplessly at the back, his feet jammed between two seats. Jaejoong...he was found bloody and unconscious.”
Her gaze moved to the floor.
“When I arrived here, min was still crying non stop, calling out for Jae and refusing to leave the older boy who had been rushed to the emergency room. They’ve both received treatment already, But as you can see, Jae still hasn’t regained consciousness...”
“...It’s hard to imagine that..just earlier...we watched them leave. Smiling...happy.”
Silence. Neither of them said anything for a few seconds, the soft hum of the air-condition being the only sound in the room.
“I could have stopped them.”
“Nonsense. No one knew what was coming.”
“I felt it.”
“I...I knew something was going to happen....”
“The rain, I knew it was getting stronger. I knew that...that..”
He began to tremble. The world seemed to spin faster than usual, making him take a step backwards for balance. Looking at his palms, it wasn’t until a tear had fallen onto it that he realized he was crying. He felt the world judge him, accusing fingers point at him. You knew.
“...Y-you’ll visit often...won’t you.”
Jaejoong’s voice echoed at the back of his head.
“It was an accident. You wouldn’t have known any more than we all did.”
“No Yoochun.” Boa’s voice had an edge, despite being highly comforting. “Don’t blame yourself. I know Jae wouldn’t.”
By now they were both seated on the other bed. Yoochun continued to sob quietly as Boa tried her best to keep the tears in herself. Again, the room fell into complete silence. The rain outside had finally tilled down into a mere drizzle, and sure enough it would come to a complete stop within an hour or two. A tired sigh escaped the older woman’s lips.
“I’ll probably have to stay in the hospital till Jae regains consciousness... have to talk with my boss about that.
Yoochun-ah, do you mind if I ask you to stay here the night? Will your parents worry? I’ll have to get back to Busan to pick up a few change of clothes and things like that. Changmin will need some too. I might not be able to return tonight. Could you manage?”
“..De..of course. I could just send a text to my parents. I’m sure it’s alright with them, since this is kind of an emergency.”
“Alright. Gomawo. I’ll contact Yunho in the morning to come and keep you company till I get back.”
“I’ll be on my way now.”
Grabbing her bag, she motioned towards the door, stopping mid track.
“One more thing...” Turning to face Yoochun, an expression of complete sadness could be read straight from her face, but it only showed for but a split second.
“...There’s bad news. For Changmin. I’m going to tell this to you because I’m grateful that you’ve come all the way here and I feel like you’re someone who needs to know. But I want you to keep this a secret from min. I’m sure it would sound so depressing to him, especially after years of progress...”
Yoochun listened. Wasn’t the bus crash bad news enough? Now there’s more?
“The doctor said that the injury on Changmin’s leg was too severe. He may have felt nothing, but that’s only because it’s gone completely numb...meaning it’s gone back to it’s paralyzed state. But...according to him, Changmin may have 0 chances of walking again...”
Yoochun cringed. Such an unfortunate soul. For a second he wished that it was him who rode the bus with Jaejoong, he wished that it was him who got a severe leg injury.
“...He thinks he can still walk. He thinks the numbness is just a body shock of some sort. Please just don’t tell him yet. Can you promise me that?”
The boy nodded.
“Thank you. Well, goodbye then.”
The door slid open as Boa exited the room. Then Yoochun was alone again.
Exhaustion had finally gotten the better of Yoochun that night. He fell dead asleep the moment he lay down on the bed across from Changmin and Jaejoong’s. Surprisingly his sleep was long yet dreamless, no images of crashing buses or mismatched eyes, instead there was just black. It was strange, but it was enough to help his mind relax a little.
By 10 in the morning his eyes fluttered open to the sight of Changmin sitting up on the bed, brushing his fingers through Jaejoong’s hair. Contrary to his peaceful rest, Changmin looked as though he hadn’t gotten a single hour of sleep. Eyes dreary and half-lidded, dark circles forming below. Yoochun took a few seconds to stare, wondering if this was the same boy who had come to visit Yunho’s house just yesterday, the same boy who smiled at almost everything.
“Changmin-ah?” He called. As if to confirm whether the boy sitting in front of him right now was a mere hallucination.
A pair of tired eyes turned to face him. Despite how awful he looked at the moment, the younger boy managed a small, weary smile. That was Changmin alright. The boy who had a ready smile no matter what the situation was.
“...How are you?”
Min nodded, his smile never disappearing. Though it wasn’t enough to convince Yoochun.
Changmin’s smile grew wider, as he nodded again.
why are you crying?”
It was true. The boy had been crying without even noticing it himself. His hands came up to dab his cheek, and when he felt that they were indeed wet with tears, his eyes began to water even more, blurring his vision and sending a wet streak of tears down his face. Hugging his knees to his chest, he let them flow. A few minutes later the boy felt a pair of thin arms encircle him and pull him into a hug. Yoochun had done it exactly how Jae would have, and it only made Changmin cry harder.
The older boy tried his best to sound comforting, even though he worried about Jaejoong just as much as Changmin did. He felt the younger boy shake his head and pull away, wishing to say something through his ever reliable sign language.
It’s my fault.
His words were the same things Yoochun’s been repeating to himself over and over the night before.
When the bus crashed, Hyung tried to protect me. But then...
With how much he was crying, Changmin couldn’t continue even if he forced himself. But the few words Yoochun caught were enough to let him know that the boy was blaming himself for Jaejoong’s state. Just like how he had also been blaming himself the previous night. He thought of what Boa had said to him at that time ““It was an accident. You wouldn’t have known any more than we all did.”
He tried to get the words out of his own lips, hoping that they would work the same magic over Changmin as it they had with him. But he couldn’t. Because deep down, there was still one accusing finger pointed at him. Deep down, he knew he was still blaming himself. The only thing he could think of doing right now, was to envelop the younger one in an embrace, without a single word of comfort.
A couple of hours pass, and the two boys were now wandering into their own worlds. Changmin had returned to his former position lying beside his hyung, hugging Jae’s arm and propping his chin on the older boy’s shoulder, watching and waiting for any sort of sign that he’d wake up. Yoochun on the other hand, opted to lean by the window and gaze outside, letting his mind wander off. The silence was both eerie and comforting at the same time. Neither of them had said a word to each other since earlier, but that’s only because neither of them felt like talking right now.
Things stayed like this for a while longer, before Yunho came barging inside.
“Yeah, she said she would.”
Closing the door behind him, Yunho looked from Yoochun to Changmin, and finally to Jaejoong.
“...Thank God you guys are alright.” He moved across the room closer to Jae’s bed. Changmin, who was now sitting up, shot Yunho a warm smile. But this time there were no more tears. Yunho smiled back.
“Changmin-ah~” He ruffled the younger boy’s hair, something that’s become sort of a habit to him when it came to Changmin. “You alright?”
The boy nodded.
“How’s your hyung? Still sleeping?” Yunho looked over Changmin’s shoulder to the body that lay still in it’s position, despite all the movement and noise that was happening around him. It was Yoochun who answered though.
“He’s still unconscious.”
“Yeah. Since the accident...”
“...You mean like a coma?” Changmin’s gaze dropped to the floor, Yoochun gave Yunho a look as if to say You idiot, not the right words to say right now.
“...j-just...you know...” Yunho tried to think of the right words, but when he had nothing, he decided to just change the subject all together.
“...It’s a little stuffy in here don’t you think? Wanna go outside? There’s a park across the street. They’ve got a hell lot of flowers there and I know how much you’d like that min.” He said, a nervous smile creeping up his lips.
Yoochun looked at the younger boy for a go signal. Changmin looked up with a smile on his face and nodded. Maybe a little fresh air was all they needed.
“Okay then! Here,” Yunho took the wheelchair that had been parked at the foot of the bed. Holding his arms out, he offered to carry the younger boy onto it. But then Changmin stared for a moment, before scanning the room as if to look for something. “Min?”
I want to use clutches... Changmin actioned out. Did they leave any?
Yunho looked around the room too, both of them now searching for a pair of clutches lying around somewhere. But then before either of them could even ask, Yoochun butted in. “T-the nurses, said that it wouldn’t be good for you to walk just yet...that’s why they left a wheelchair. ...” his answer came out a little too shaky and nervous.
...oh. Changmin’s expression read.
“Oh...That’s too bad then. Changmin-ah! Looks like we’ll have to do with this for now.” And then Yunho carried Changmin off the bed and onto the wheelchair. With a quick push they were out the door. Yoochun took one last look at his best friend, hoping that in those few seconds that he’d stare Jaejoong would just spring up all of a sudden and say Hey guys, where do you think you’re taking Changmin without me?
But that was just wishful thinking of course. He left the room after the stillness of everything became too painful to watch.
Yunho was right, there was this section in the park where a whole garden of flowers grew in all kinds and colours. And it was nice to see Changmin smile, and I mean really smile, this time. They spent the afternoon taking turns watching over the younger boy and taking walks from time to time while Jae was under the nurse’s care. They had only allowed min outside for about an hour or three, so the two older boys tried to make the most of it, lightening the mood and cheering him up. And true enough Changmin did feel a little lighter once they stepped back into the hospital’s sliding doors. He was grateful that his hyung had such warm hearted friends.
“See~ Fresh air was all you needed” Yunho cheered.
Changmin just smiled, because deep down he knew that Yunho and Yoochun were just what he needed, and not some silly excuse of fresh air.
Arriving in front of their hospital room, strange mumbling noises could be heard coming from the inside. It took them a while to notice that it was actually the nurse, conversing with someone else. The three of them listened for while, exchanging confused glances at each other as to who else might be standing inside there other than the nurse and Jaejoong’s sleeping body. Yunho mouthed out Boa’s name questioningly to Yoochun, but then the later just shrugged in response. Just when they were about to go in, a second voice suddenly joined in the conversation. It belonged to a male. As they all exchanged glances of shock and relief, they rushed to open the door expecting to find the owner of the voice that they’d recognize from a mile away, sitting straight up on his bed, awake, alive and healthy.
Like they all had predicted, there was Jaejoong, sitting up on his bed, his back to the wall and his legs stretched out in front of him tucked under the white sheets of blanket. An mixture of confusion, fear, and wonder plastered on his face.
It was Changmin who first reacted. His eyes turning severely mismatched as he smiled from ear to ear.
He croaked out, wheeling his chair away from Yunho’s grip and closer to the bed.
Yoochun followed behind. “Jaejoong-ah! What the hell, you scared us!”
Yunho would have done the same, rush to the bed and tell Jaejoong how worried or happy they were, if it weren’t for how the nurse reacted when they first entered. She looked as though she wanted to say something, to break some sad and depressing news, but couldn’t because none of them would even turn her way. She just opened and closed her mouth repetitively, indecisive on what to do with the situation.
While all of this was happening, Jaejoong just continued to stare at the faces in front of him. Scrunching his forehead and squinting his eyes as if trying to recall what had happened the night before. Or even before the night before.
Hyung?Does your head hurt?
The younger boy held out his hand and softly laid it on Jae’s forehead. His touch seemed to startle the older boy, who had a million questions written all over his face.
“...Do I know you?”
Changmin could almost hear his world crumble down into ashes. Strange how a single question could make the afternoon they had spent trying to get him into a lighter mood go into waste. But then again, nothing ever turned out right in his life.