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Bolero - DBSK
A sudden enlightenment filled Naeun’s eyelids as she struggled to open her eyes.
“Naeun, your life is more important than mine.”
Naeun’s eyebrows furrowed in desperation. *That sounds like Baekhyun oppa’s voice…* An urge to run into his arms filled her chest. She wanted to see him. To be near him. To inhale his intoxicating scent.
“Naeun-ah… Don’t forget! Although we’re in two different worlds, we’ll always be underneath the same sky.”
Naeun felt her heart start to sink as the taste of copper filled . *No… no… Why does his voice sound like he’s saying goodbye?* A wince escaped her lips. *I have to open my eyes! I have to find him! I have to—*
“BAEKHYUN!” Naeun’s eyes finally opened. It felt like she had clawed them apart. Her lip quivered, her hands shook, and her vision was dark and blurry.
Instinctively, she wiped a hand over her eyes, and wasn’t surprised when she felt droplets of tears on it.
Naeun stared at the ceiling in her bed, stunned and unable to comprehend what was going on. *It was a dream. It was all just one big—* Naeun immediately sat up and let her gaze take in everything in the room.
Furniture lined the walls perfectly, not one place out of space. Drawers, shelving, picture frames… They were all carefully set down in the room. It was too neat. Too tidy. Too… uniform.
…It didn’t feel like a home at all.
*I’m not… dead? Or… is this Heaven? Because actually, it looks an awful lot like my hou—* A gasp escaped .
Naeun’s heart was thumping in her chest in realization. *No. It can’t be.* She pulled the blankets off of her and accidentally rammed her thigh into the corner of her bedside table, “Ow!”
But her gaze didn’t go to her leg. It landed on the pure white feather that gently rested on top of the table. Naeun’s hands fell limply by her sides as she stood there, staring at it.
She didn’t need to run and check anywhere for Baekhyun, or the other EXO members. She already knew the cruel answer.
Naeun was already cured from her leukemia, and she was back on Earth, back in her empty, cold house, again.
It was as if she had never travelled to EXO Planet in the first place.
Naeun had never thought she would miss the loudness of her home back on EXO.
The realization hit hard.
Naeun turned around, tears slowly making their way down her face. was a little agape, for she was in awe.
Without knowing, her feet automatically took her to the bathroom. Naeun stared at her reflection in the mirror. Cheeks flushed with colour, cherry pink lips, and thick, straight dark hair. She was the epitome of health.
Dreadfully, she slowly turned around to face the calendar hanging limply on her wall.
It was the second last week of summer vacation.
Naeun’s eyes widened. *I really stayed there for that long…?*
Right then and there, her lip startled to tremble. *I was in EXO Planet for so long… Yet no one missed me here on Earth. No one cared.*
Her tears hit the floor in barely audible plops. The small frame of Naeun’s body trembled frantically as she sank to the ground on her knees. She cried loudly, letting all of her frustrations out in agonizing screams.
For some reason, she already knew what had happened. The ominous feeling in her gut told her that this wasn’t just a miracle that one person helped make.
*The only people I love and care for are in a different planet, far away from mine. No… I don’t even know what happened to them. They might as well be back in Heaven, or getting punished for their crimes. They could be getting tortured, and it’s all because of me. Because they gave their lives for my sake. All I have is nothing. I don’t have anything or anyone that cared for me like they did…* Naeun hugged her knees and sobbed.
*Baekhyunnie… Baekhyun oppa…* Naeun longed to see his face just once last time. It wasn’t fair.
“Naeun… Don’t think like that.” A voice that strangely matched Baekhyun’s resonated in her head. Frankly, Naeun knew that it was all an illusion, but she still listened to his words.
“Please live on. You have so much you can do for this world...”
*But how can I live on without you? I can’t focus on anything right now if you and EXO aren’t in my life anymore…* Naeun’s voice rang.
“Naeun… I want you to live. Even if I may not be there with you to hold you, kiss you, and hug you, it’s sufficient for me to know that you are at least alive. It’s enough for me to know that somewhere in the universe, a beautiful girl named Song Naeun still exists. Do this for me, Naeun, and for EXO.”
Naeun slowly opened her eyes as she saw a blurry figure in front of her. He was familiar. He was glowing. He was a figment of her imagination, but even so, Naeun’s tears instantly stopped when she saw him. Her sight soon became clear.
“B-Baek…” Her voice cracked as she flung her arms around the imaginary figure’s neck.
“Shh…” Baekhyun’s voice soothed her as he rubbed her back in small circles. “I know you’ll be alright without me.”
Truthfully, Naeun wanted to protest. She wanted to shout out that she didn’t want to be apart from Baekhyun, or the others. No—even if she only lived with Baekhyun and nothing else, she’d be happy, but she knew she couldn’t do that. She couldn’t take advantage of the precious life Baekhyun and the others had risked their lives for.
She wasn’t selfish to that extent.
“Promise me, okay? Don’t skip out on meals, always attend school, and live every day to the fullest.” His voice sounded muffled and fuzzy. “And then… you can only cry before you sleep at night. No more than that, araso?”
Naeun bit her lip to stop it from shaking and found herself agreeing to his bargain.
“…Can…C-Can you tuck me into bed?” Naeun’s voice was unstable and wary, but even though this Baekhyun was just a delusion of her mind, she wanted this one last request to be fulfilled.
There was an eerie silence until his warm voice filled it again. “Of course.”
Moments later, Naeun found herself half-lidded from exhaustion, with the figure of imaginary Baekhyun patting her stomach slowly, silently urging her to get some sleep.
A soft smile spread across her lips as her fingers grasped onto her white EXO necklace tightly.
*I will live on, for you.* She thought peacefully, as she was lulled into a deep, comforting slumber.
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