A sense of shame, self-hate, and depression overcame Taemin as the boy entered Paran High in his most haggard shape in the history of flowerboy Lee Taemin’s life. Taemin couldn’t bring himself to sleep the previous night, and he arrived earlier than he usually did. Wandering through the quiet hallway, Taemin headed straight for the gymnasium.
The gymnasium's platform was the first thing that came into view as Taemin opened the door, and the memories of yesterday came pouring in. The picture of the heavy pole crashing down on Jongin replayed in his mind over and over, and Taemin shut his eyes. His heart raced just thinking about it, and Taemin was worried. Desperately.
He lingered by the doors and soon Coach Kang, the school’s P.E teacher came out from the changeroom with Jongin right behind him. By the look of his crisp uniform shirt, Jongin didn’t seem to have participated in the morning practice. The two continued conversing with a serious expression over their faces, not noticing Taemin a feet away. Taemin hid himself as they came out the doors, and tailed them amidst the crowd of surging students. Coach Kang and Jongin continued their discussion until they reached the staff rest room, and Jongin bowed curtly before walking down the hall.
It wasn’t obvious, but Jongin was having a hard time walking. He limped from time to time, and stopped to lean against the wall as if his backpack was over-pressuring his injured ankle.
Unable to stand it anymore, Taemin slowly approached Jongin. And he did exactly what Jongin did for him for the past five years.
He snatched Jongin’s backpack from him. Surprised, Jongin whipped his head around.
“Let’s go.” Taemin said.
“…Give it back.” Jongin said flatly.
“I’ll carry it until we reach your classroom.” Taemin replied, and Jongin sighed.
“You don’t have to like me.” Taemin cut him off. “It doesn’t matter anymore.”
Taemin then moved on with the two backpacks on his shoulders. Jongin hurried after him, flailing his arms to grab his own bag back.
“Give it back!” Jongin tugged the strings of his bag. Taemin hastily hugged Jongin’s backpack into his chest.
“You do this all the time, why cant I?!” Taemin demanded as he resisted.
“Stop being stubborn and let go.” Jongin frowned. “You’re already driving me crazy these days.”
“I’m just carrying a freaking backpack, what’s wrong with that…Ow!!”
Jongin hit Taemin in the back, and Taemin scowled.
“I have my soccer cleats and a soccer ball in there, it’s heavy.” Jongin said as he tugged his bag from Taemin’s arms. “You’re already staggering from low blood pressure so don’t even try…”
“And you’re not?!” Taemin shot back. “At least I’m not limping around like a cripple…”
“W, what did you just say?! A cripple?!!" Jongin cried indignantly. "Give it back, you idiot!!” Jongin pulled harder and Taemin strengthened his grip.
“You’re so weird, all I’m doing is exactly what you did…”
Taemin was unable to finish as his body swayed back at that moment. Having overstrained his hurt leg during the bickering, Jongin lost balance on his feet and fell forwards. Jongin fell right on top of Taemin, and the next thing Taemin registered was that both of them were toppled on the hallway floor. Taemin coughed as Jongin’s weight squeezed his stomach. It only ceased when Taemin realized that Jongin’s face was right on top of his, and both of their eyes met.
Jongin’s eyes widened. He tried to get up, unsuccessfully to his own dismay, his ankle stil throbbing from the sudden pressure.
“It’s only morning, bastards!” Their classmates walking past guffawed, whooping at Jongin and Taemin engtangled intensely on the floor.
“The music room is empty if you two are up for a morning ride! Whoo!” They whistled and continued down the hall, leaving Taemin’s face to color deep red and Jongin to bolt upright. Jongin snatched his backpack on the floor, and Taemin idiotically rubbed his bruised elbow.
“Get up! You’re such a pain in the …” Jongin grumbled down at Taemin, as he wore Taemin’s bag on his shoulder.
Watching Jongin limp away, Taemin got up to his feet. There were two backpacks dangling from Jongin’s shoulders.
Taemin sighed and followed after Jongin.
It doesn’t matter, I don’t care…
The amount of time and memories Taemin had with Jongin were too infinite for these words to end anything. If Taemin actually had the time and plopped down to trace his life back, Jongin had always been there in one way or another, as far as his memory could take him.
Taemin smiled. Looking at Jongin ahead of him, Taemin laughed lightly.
Jongin was right, he was selfish. Taemin loved Jongin as a friend,…and also in a different sense. And he wasn’t going to lose him.
“Give me my bag.” Taemin said as he scurried next to to Jongin. “I’ll hold mine then.”
“Shut up and go get a band-aid.” Jongin said, taking a short glimpse at Taemin. “Getting hurt every five seconds…”
Then he walked fast ahead, leaving Taemin to stand confused. A sudden prick of pain woke Taemin up, and he looked down at his hand to find dews of blood forming on a light scratch. He must've gotten it during the fall, but...
“…When did he see this?” Taemin mumbled and shook his head.
He wasn’t going to lose Jongin. Nope.
Taemin sat mindlessly, staring into space. He was finally beginning to show symptoms of losing his mind, and the only muscle he was moving were his eyelids for blinking and staring outside the cafeteria windows.
I’m going to make you like me back!
Taemin had no idea what went through his head when he blurted that out.
How the hell am I going to back that up? Make Jongin like me back? How?!
Taemin shut his eyes and disheveled his hair in exasperation. He opened his eyes, his pupils naturally gaining focus. Taemin sighed. He understood the meaning of hallucination, he was definitely hallucinating as his state of mind dangerously swayed over an edge of an imaginary cliff.
Or he at least hoped he was hallucinating.
Taemin stared at the three heads in front of him. Chanyeol had his head down while devouring his entire tray of food, Soojung was glaring at Sulli sitting beside her, and the last girl was unwrapping a gigantic lollipop with a spoon in . Honestly, Taemin could only tell that the girl was Sulli when she lowered the candy and revealed her face, because the lollipop was actually so large that it covered her entire head.
“Here.” She said, handing the candy over to Taemin.
Taemin accepted it mindlessly, and the edge of the gigantic swirl. It looked like he was going to need an entire week to finish it.
“Why are you so out of it?” Soojung gave Taemin a suspicious glance. “I heard you performed live with Jongin this morning.”
“Shut up.” Taemin deadpanned.
“Rude.” She glared, only to flash a bright smile in less than a second. “Taemin-ah, let’s go on a date tonight.”
Stunned by her blinding-but-somehow-really-scary-smile, Taemin only answered with a blank stare when Chanyeol suddenly raised his head (finally) from the tray.
“Why would he go on a date with you!!?” He yelled incredulously.
“!” Soojung jumped in her seat and feriouciously barked back at Chanyeol. “, are you trying to make me deaf!?”
“? ?” Chanyeol gaped. “Just listen to this girl talk.”
“Is there a law stating that girls can’t say ?” Soojung flipped her hair. “Is there? .Tard.?”
“……Ha, ...Wow, scary world. Scary world.”
Taemin blandly stared at the two bickering with each other. Sulli waved her hand in front of Taemin’s eyes.
“Are you okay?” She asked.
“……No.” Taemin replied.
“Aren’t you gonna eat anything?”
“……No.” Taemin replied again.
“The lollipop is sweet though, right?” Sulli inquired, her eyes sparkling in hope.
Taemin let his eyes fall to the gigantic candy and nodded. Smiling in satisfaction, Sulli took a spoonful of her lunch. Watching all this in disapproval, Soojung crossed her arms.
“What the heck is going on in this freak’s head?” She spat. “Hello! Down to earth! Always in a daze this girl, don’t you know that people call you crazypop?!”
“Why am I crazypop?” Sulli asked, her eyesbrows frowning in genuine curiousity.
“……Forget it.” Soojung sighed, wavering her hand dramatically. “Just… go back to eating.”
“Okay.” Sulli nodded.
Taemin stared out into space again.
…Please, somebody… somebody! Anybody! Just please get rid of these freaks from my life!!!!
Taemin almost screamed, his mental strength running out of its limits.
Fortunately for Taemin, he didn’t have to say anything when Sulli suddenly made an announcement that she would be following Taemin to his home that afternoon. Soojung and Chanyeol settled it before Taemin could, as Soojung started screaming and freaking out while Chanyeol gave a lecture on how Sulli should actually use her brain to filter her thoughts before blurting them out. Leaving the three behind, Taemin left the cafeteria.
Still having some time remaining on his hands, Taemin collapsed into his seat. But before he could rest his head, a classmate called Taemin and notified that their homeroom teacher was waiting to see him. Puzzled by the unexpected summoning, Taemin reluctantly got up again.
When Taemin slid the door of the teachers’ office, his homeroom teacher, Shin ssaem, was chatting with another teacher. Taemin bowed awkwardly, realizing then that he was still holding on to the enormous lollipop in his hand. He hastily threw it in the garbage bin, and the fairly young teacher directed Taemin to a chair.
“Something wrong, Taemin?” Shin ssaem studied Taemin’s face. “You don’t look so well.”
“…Just lack of sleep.” Taemin mumbled.
“Oh, why?” She asked, and Taemin blinked.
…Why? The question was so simple yet Taemin was lost on how to answer. He would probably need a day and a half to explain “why” and he decided not to ponder.
“…I’ve been getting nightmares.” Taemin managed to find a suitable excuse, and Shin ssaem carelessly nodded. Flipping through Taemin’s records, her masacaraed eyelashes fluttered as she scanned the papers from top to bottom.
“How are piano practices going these days?” She asked. “I see that you’ve played since five.”
“I actually recommended you for playing at the end-of-the-year festival.” Shin ssaem continued before Taemin had a chance to answer.
“Pardon?” Taemin squeaked involuntarily, and Shin ssaem ignored the youth.
“Just one piece is fine. I’m going to pick several students.”
“Uh, …Sorry ssaem, I’m not really not prepared for…”
“You are free to pick your own song but just let me know before-.”
Taemin hastily cut his teacher off. The teacher stared at Taemin in surprise, and Taemin started stammering.
“Uh, so… I haven’t played for awhile… and I’m sure I won’t be ready by…”
“Lee Taemin, you can’t convince me with that.” Shin ssaem chuckled. “Everyone knows you are naturally gifted and look at the records of you winning in these concours! Are you going to major in piano?”
Startled at the sudden turn of the meeting to carreer counseling, Taemin fumbled with his fingers without an answer.
“Perhaps you just don’t want to...?”
Shin ssaem’s words pricked at Taemin’s guilt.
Quite honestly, Taemin didn’t.
It had been a long time since Taemin actually felt the need to play piano, nor the adrenaline rush of yearning something, wanting something, ...dreaming something.
Taemin squirmed, unable to reply, and Shin ssam tapped her polished fingers impatiently.
“So, right now I’m requesting you to perform…” She cocked her head. “And you’re rejecting me?”
“Huh? …No, that’s not it…” Taemin started, but Shin ssaem didn’t let him finish.
“What if I flunk you?”
“What if I flunk you for not performing?”
“…Teach, is that even fair…?”
“Who cares?” She shrugged, “I’m your teacher.”
Staring at her nonchalant gesture, Taemin wondered for a moment if Shin ssaem could be Sulli’s older sister or something. Before Taemin could come up with a relevant response, Shin ssaem grabbed a few pages of scrap paper and handed it to her student.
“Construct a paper on why you can’t... or rather why you don’t want to perform in a well-structered and logically argumented essay.” Shin ssaem ordered as she plucked a pen in Taemin’s fingers. “In ten minutes… and start!”
Without giving Taemin a chance to speak, Shin ssaem pointed her chin at the clock before leaving the offce. Dumfounded by his teacher's order, Taemin stared down at the blank paper before throwing it in irritation. The papers fluttered in the air, scattering unorderly across the table. Taemin buried his face in his hands. His life was complicated and tiring enough, he didn’t need a stupid unwanted piano performance to make it even worse.
Groaning and hating life, Taemin slowly raised his head to reach for the closest paper. The pen in his hand hovered over the paper, but Taemin couldn’t start. He didn’t know what to write, there was no valid reason. He just didn’t want to.
By the time Taemin realized that his pen was moving furiously, the paper was filled black with what looked like a relation web with the names Me, Jongin, Soojung, Chanyeol, and Sulli warping into a huge mess. His mom and dad were involved in the web as well, and Taemin didn't forget to include Park Jiyeon in the corner labeled [stalker-and-'s-cousin].
As Taemin scribbled away at the complicated web, the door slid open and Chanyeol stepped in with a basketball in his hand. Looking startled to see Taemin in the office, Chanyeol hesitated for a second before addressing him.
“…Where’s Kim ssaem?” Chanyeol asked, looking for his homeroom teacher. Taemin shrugged and Chanyeol came over, peering down at Taemin’s web of his crazy life. Chanyeol snickered as Taemin hastily flipped the paper over. He plopped down onto the teacher’s rollchair, resting his leg on the teacher's table. Taemin frowned at Chanyeol’s such thick-brazened nerve, and Chanyeol opened his mouth as he spun the basketball in his hand.
“Sulli says she’s going to stalk you today.”
“What?!!” Taemin scrunched his eyebrows. “Why?!! How come?!”
“Who knows?” Chanyeol laughed. “Don’t worry, you know that poisonous Medusa is going to take care of that.”
Taemin thought of Soojung, and the thought oddly comforted him. If it was Jung Soojung, Taemin had no worries about Sulli following him. Slumping back in relief, Taemin looked at Chanyeol.
“Why are you here?” He asked.
“…I dunno.” Chanyeol replied. “Probably called me up to nag about joining the basketball team.”
“Why don’t you?”
“ it, as if I could get along with those bastards.” Chanyeol stopped spinning the ball and frowned.
“It’s to get you into college, .” Taemin clicked his tongue. “You like basketball, just bend low for once and join.”
“Who says I like basketball?” Chanyeol responded.
“You… don’t?” Taemin’s eyebrows soared. “Then why did you make such a fuss about it?”
“You wanna know?” Chanyeol smirked and the side of his face flinched mischieviously.
Looking back into Chanyeol’s eyes, Taemin was suddenly caught off guard at Chanyeol’s shapely chiseled face. Taemin couldn’t deny it. Chanyeol was really good-looking. And now that he thought about it, pretty Jiyeon resembled Chanyeol quite a lot. Starting from the big eyes to the richness of facial expressions. Taemin looked away from Chanyeol and Chanyeol shifted forward.
“Are you blushing?” He mused.
“Are you crazy?!” Taemin shrieked, trying to ignore the heat on his face. “Ugh, why aren’t the teachers coming? I should be going back to class…”
“Why change the subject?” Chanyeol interrogated further and Taemin bolted up.
“…Because, why would I care if you like basketball or not it's none of my-”
Bringing his legs down from the table, Chanyeol's rollchair glided forward as the taller snatched Taemin’s wrist back. Taemin's eyes widened, and Chanyeol gazed intently back into Taemin's eyes. Taemin looked away.
Strangely, Chanyeol always flustered Taemin by saying the most compelling things at the most unexpected times.
[I do feel that I’m lonely sometimes.]
Chanyeol probably didn’t intend much when he told Taemin that. Chanyeol nonchalantly said such things in which the other person had a hard time replying to, and Taemin felt dumb getting swept in such subtle but honest words.
“I’m your first kiss, aren’t I?” Chanyeol finally opened his mouth.
“…First ki-, what?!!” Taemin gawked, pulling at his own hand. “Let go of me, I have to-”
“Your face is on fire.” Chanyeol informed aloofly.
“…I have a slight fever today.” Taemin stammered and Chanyeol continued without letting him finish.
“Those rumors, that Lee Taemin dated sixty women… to even a forty year old heiress… and that you visit the love hotel like it’s your house… it’s all a lie, isn’t it?” Chanyeol laughed, and Taemin struggled to keep a straight face as even he, heard those ludicrous rumors for the first time.
“What the hell? Where did you even hear those crap…”
“The entire school says so.” Chanyeol replied. “Even I know and I’m new.”
His eyebrows scrunching up into a scowl, Taemin lashed Chanyeol’s grip away and Chanyeol stumbled back in his chair. He smirked as he bounced the ball up and down.
“Did you always like men?”
Taemin bit his lip and glared at Chanyeol. Chanyeol was poking at his nerves again, and Taemin knew that he was doing it on purpose.
…And he also knew that he himself was stupid enough to be triggered by it.
But sadly, Taemin wasn’t in the situation to say no.
“Be honest. You liked it, right?” Chanyeol’s eyes twinkled.
“When I kissed you in the washroom stall.”
“My hands wrapped around your neck and your pulse was beating like crazy.”
Chanyeol laughed. Seeing Taemin’s pale face turn aghast, Chanyeol didn’t stop.
“I never understood how guys could be by guys, but I guess it has its hidden charm.”
“I’ll admit it, my approach on you wasn’t in the best of means… But it felt weird after that day… Geez, should I be thankful that you don’t have a knife in your hand right now?”
Chanyeol snickered as Taemin viciously glared at him, his eyes wavering in uncertainty as he had no idea where Chanyeol was going with this.
“I’m warning you… Shut up before I-”
“You came out in my dream.”
Chanyeol said again as he cut Taemin off. Outside the office the bell rang, notifying the students the end of their lunch period. The hallway buzzed with students filing back into their classrooms, and silence was soon back inside the office.
Taemin stood facing Chanyeol, and Chanyeol was looking up at Taemin as he stayed sitting on the chair.
Chanyeol opened his mouth again.
“Funny, isn’t it? I was pretty perplexed myself…” He paused, then tilted his head.
“They say a dream is a reflection of your unconscience, what do you think about that?”
Taemin glared at Chanyeol without a word. Chanyeol raised his brows and Taemin knew. Chanyeol was provoking him. Taemin was aware that Chanyeol fully knew what struck a nerve in him, and that Chanyeol was using it to see how he was going to react.
“Don’t you want to know what the dream was about?” Chanyeol asked.
“…No.” Taemin replied, determined to leave the office without hearing any further.
“Had I known it was a dream, I probably wouldn't have tried to restrain myself and would've taken it to the very end.”
But Chanyeol was too quick for him and Taemin froze, his feet glued to the floor.
“The dream felt so ing realistic, and I can’t tell what’s real and what’s not anymore." Chanyeol continued, unshaken by the obvious rise of Taemin's anger. "I manage to get a grip when I’m awake, but then the dream feels so goddamn realistic. ‘Cause in my dream we were…”
Taemin was not going to hear the end of that sentence. Chanyeol was ing harrasing him, and Taemin was determined to punch him in the face before he could blabber the rest of his . But when Taemin took a step forward, Chanyeol outstretched his long legs. Taemin tripped over it, and his already hazy state wasn’t generous on his reflexes. Taemin helplessly fell forwards, and to his horrer, he found himself on the floor in the worst position possible.
With a loud thud, Taemin fell forward on his knees. His hands involuntarily slapped against Chanyeol's thighs for instictive support, and Taemin's body swayed forward as the rollchair shifted back a little from the rebound.
In short, Taemin was kneeled in between Chanyeol’s open legs, his face pushed inwards between Chanyeol's thighs. And when Taemin whipped up his head, the first thing that came into his view was Chanyeol’s crotch.
Truthfully, Taemin was oblivious to their position and had intended to glare at Chanyeol’s face when he raised his head. It was only a second later when he realized that their position looked open for any kind of horrifying misunderstanding.
Before Taemin could get up to his feet, Chanyeol looked down and smirked.
“You gotta be ing kidding me.” He amused. “This was exactly how it was in the dream.”
Gritting his teeth, Taemin swore to destroy the guy’s face when the office door suddenly opened.
And Taemin saw an illusion of his entire hope shatter to a thousand pieces. The broken pieces came rumbling down soundlessly, and Taemin could see Jongin standing at the door.
Chanyeol turned his head, giving a friendly wave as he discovered Jongin too. Unmoving from that oh-so-ing-wrong position, Taemin and the other two were still for a few seconds.
Jongin opened his mouth after a while, but it took a long time before an actual sound came out of it.
“Sh..Shin ssaem told me to tell you that …she’ll talk to you again tomorrow… and…” Jongin stuttered, blinking his eyes too frequently. “…Oh, and uh.. oh yeah… um Coach Kang wants to see you.”
Jongin finished with some difficulty, referring to Chanyeol the second time. Chanyeol shot Jongin a thumbs up.
Jongin hesitated, as if he wanted to say something more, but left the office after shutting the door a little harder than necessary.
Fruitless seconds ticked by before Taemin bolted up to his feet. And Taemin screamed, shaking Chanyeol vigorously by the collar.
“…AHHHHHH!!!! !!!!! PARK ING CHANYEOL I’M GOING TO ING KILL YOU!!!!”
Thank you for reading!!!
Please subscribe and comment☆★
...ok i lied. there is no delay (yet, at least...)
the chapters r getting longer n longer tho ⊙_⊙
i hope im not the only ed one who knows what chantae's position means*-_-*
Pequinessa ♡ i love how ur torn between chantae and taekai ;~; cuz THAT IS MY PLAN >:D lol jks. thanx for commenting!
ShiJae ♡ sobs thank u so much for ur lovely comment. i hope you enjoyed this chapter as well :)
ZeeUnicorn ♡ feelings... happened. lol thank you for reading and commenting!!
N_Precious ♡ sobs i know right they are just so confused, those poor souls.
shawolfeelings ♡ aww i love you too tee hee, THANK YOU >///<
Rawr27 ♡ i dont watch wgm either but however, it's TAEMIN AND NAEUN HOW DO U NOT FALL FOR EACH OTHER ITS JUST IMPOSSIBLE
stern270 ♡ yeah T^T the situation is hard on both taemin and jongin... though we all know that- *zips own mouth at spoiler alert*
maxjibong ♡ lol i rly cant stay serious or angsty, i at it. i hope you enjoyed the turnout of events! lol thank u for commenting♥
Icy_Heart ♡ i think everyone here secretly enjoys chantae a lot ;-) haha im glad i made you like them *runs away*
itstia ♡ how to comment on ur comment. first of all, many thanks for ur amazing feedback♥ i don't want to /correct/ u on ur interperetation of the story, but lemme just say that jongin is a straight dude who loves his best friend far too much to love him any more. (what do you think that means? *wiggles eyebrows*) taemin did say that he would "clear his feelings up" but obv cuz he doesn't want jongin to leave him. u can't always keep true to ur words, especially if ur heart demands no, right? :)
yuraxchan ♡ yura, u may think ur lost but ur exactly on the right track. LOL im pretty sure jongin can't wrap his head around his own feelings and what his words actually mean because really, HES JUST SO CONFUSED AND IM SORRY KAI FOR MAKING U SO CONFUSED SIGH
klzteam ♡ tee hee thank you for commenting and i hope you creyed this chapter as well :DD
imsocuriousyeah ♡ first of all, crying cuz u said i'm ur favorite author and i can't. and omg ur in china? that's awesome, i wish i could leave my house T_T hehe im glad u liked that girl chapter, i didnt intend to make it a 'girl chapter' but i only realized after that it actually was. and again omg at ur pretty compliments bcuz srsly, i ing love you back♥
taenicole930 ♡ u dont have to be sorry :) ur right, their emotions are so in tune, they just can't /hear/ that ing harmonious tune. taekai is just right around the corner, i hope you anticipate for the next chapter! thank you :)
WickedThunder02 ♡ lol i appreciate that you still commented tho u were left speechles ; x ; thank u :D
AhjummaNR1 ♡ haha ur right, u cant see taemin's face there and the style is kinda eunhyuk-ish XD
GalaRxn ♡ awww thank you, i feel like this story is just too long to make sense but ur comment :') i hope you enjoyed this chapter!
nicorobin ♡ ur heart and soul safely received ☞♥☜. lol as an author, im grateful that you got emotional while reading ctiyc. thank you for reading and commenting!
krispy-baozi ♡ its ok i kno how u feel *pat pat*
☆★I'd really appreciate it if you guys check Chunsang High out!!☆★