After thirty minutes of walking, Sehun's phone rang, interrupting his thoughts. He picked up the phone call, his expression immediately changing. His father wanted him to come to a meeting. Running a hand through his hair annoyed, he walked back to the school where his car was still parked. The drive was quick, and within twenty minutes, he found himself in front of the room the meeting was going to take place today.
The topics discussed in this meeting were a bit more interesting than the ones from the other meetings, and he had to admit that this time he was even fully paying attention – something Mr. Oh was happy to see. The meeting was longer than the usual ones, but Sehun didn’t notice the time that had passed, as he'd been honestly interested. By the time it was reaching its end, the sun was soon going to set.
Just as Mr. Oh stood up to end the meeting for today, Sehun's phone rang, surprising the elders in the room. The boy, as well, frowned upon seeing an unknown number being displayed. He actually wanted to decline it, but oddly his thumb brushed over the display and before he knew it, he'd already picked up. “Hello?” He asked confused, but his confusion disappeared the second he heard the voice on the other side.
“Sehun Oppa! Do you know where unnie is?” He could hear Hyejin ask, voice filled with panic. Before he even had the chance to say something, the younger girl continued, “She should've come home two hours ago already! And I’ve called her boss, but he told me she left long ago. What to do …?” Hyejin's voice was shivering from panic and worry.
Sehun froze for a moment before an awful feeling spread inside him – the kind of worry when your mind creates terrible scenarios before you can even grasp a proper thought. Within a second, the meeting was forgotten and all he could think about was Ara, and he rushed out of the room, leaving his father and the other men back with wondering faces. Two hours, he thought as he ran through the corridor. That's a damn long time span. “Hello?” Hyejin asked over the phone, snapping the male back to reality. “No, she's not with me,” he replied absent-mindedly. When he reached the elevator, he pressed and looked up, only to assess that the lift was more than ten levels from the one he was in. A silent curse slipped from his lips before he tried to focus on the call again. “When exactly did she leave her workplace?” He asked through heavy breaths as he ran to the stairs.
“Her boss said it was more than two and a half hours ago,” Hyejin panicky replied, sounding like she was close to crying. “M-Mom's not home from work yet, and I-I called unnie at least five times.” The awful feeling increased and the scenarios in his head worsened, making him almost lose his balance as he rushed down the stairs. “I'll go look for her. Continue to call her.” When he hung up, he took a deep breath to calm himself down and pushed all those scenarios to the back of his mind.
Once he was outside the building, panic overtook him again. How was he supposed to start looking for her? The city was huge and if she should have been home two hours ago already, then … Argh! He shook his head. Focus! He ran to his car and drove to Ara's workplace. It was so damn hard not to jump the lights when his whole body was dying to get there as soon as possible, but he forced himself to drive normally; at least he tried to.
Sehun slammed the door shut as he got out of the car and immediately ran to her workplace. Getting out his phone, he quickly opened the contacts (he saved Ara as his first contact, but no one besides him knew that) and pressed her name. No one picked up, and he put his phone back into his pocket, proceeding to enter the workplace. Without further ado, he approached the boss. “Did Ara say something about where she wanted to go?” The man in front of him shook his head. “She said nothing and just left.” That made Sehun even more suspicious and worried. All the times he accompanied her to work, she had never once left without bidding goodbye to her boss.
“She got a phone call, but that's all I know.” Sehun turned around as he heard a female voice say. It was her co-worker, Seoji. “The call was extremely short and Ara immediately grabbed all things and left.” Sehun quickly thanked her before he left the restaurant.
Just what happened?
He ran around the whole area near Ara's workplace, and after twenty minutes, he surrendered and sat on a bench. By now, the sun had completely set, and the sky was of a greyish blue, leaving a dull feeling when looking at it. Just as the male grabbed his phone again to call the police, it rang. It was the same number as before, and he already wanted to tell Hyejin he hadn't found her, when the heavy sobs on the other side made him halt. “Sehun Oppa … I-I don’t know where unnie is, b-but I just received a call. They told me mom-” her shaky voice broke off. “c-collapsed and – and die-” The sobs were getting stronger and stronger, and there was no need to say it anymore, as Sehun understood already. She died. “T-They said that they contacted unnie first … and she'd told them not to tell me first, but they still did… Go – go look for her,” the girl shakily said. “I'm sure she's somewhere out there and … crying for herself, so go … and find her!” Hyejin said between her uncontrollable sobs.
“I'm so sorry …” Sehun whispered, not knowing what to say. The news shocked him, but he had only seen their mother once in his life. Still, she'd seem very kind that time, and the thought of her being dead was … he found it hard to realize. “I will find your sister, don’t worry. Just worry about yourself right now … and …” he trailed off, listening to the sobs on the other side was terrible. “Stay strong,” he whispered at last and hung up. He felt so bad for the younger girl, but at the same time his whole being was yearning to find Ara. That girl received the news and probably wanted to save her little sister from those terrible news as long as possible … wanted to burden only herself with it. His heart ached at the thought of her sitting somewhere and cry by herself. He knew that girl. Rather than going home and cry there, thus telling her little sister, she'd keep it all to herself and would cry at some abandoned place. Idiot, he thought with a sad but loving smile.
While his mind was wildly throwing assumptions of her current whereabouts at him, he got out his phone and pressed Kai on his cellphone. Go to Hyejin. Now. It's urgent, believe me. He quickly typed in and sent it off. When he suddenly saw a drop splash on his display, he looked up and was met with several other rain drops. It was beginning to rain. What a fitting weather, he thought, his thoughts drifting to Mrs. Park again, and closed his eyes. May she rest in peace.
His phone still in his hand, he clenched his hand around it, ignoring the rain. The worry was eating him up, especially as one thing went through his mind again and again. The memory of the one thing Hyejin told him about Ara. I think the only person she trusts with all her heart is our mother. That's what the younger girl had told him, that's what was burning inside his chest. With every second passing, his heart ached more thinking of Ara. If her mother, who had been the only person she'd truly trusted, died … he didn’t even want to think about how Ara had to feel. He had to find her. Right now.
Then when he put his cellphone away again, it struck him. He knew where she was, and he wanted to hit himself for not thinking of it earlier. Immediately, his feet took over and led him to that place. It wasn’t long until he reached that playground she once brought him to. The rain had become stronger and by the time he arrived, he was very wet already, but he could care less.
Looking around the playground, he spotted a figure at the swing.
All of a sudden, the pressure of worry disappeared, and he took a deep breath, feeling like he hadn't breathed the past hour of looking for her. She was fine … at least physically. He immediately rushed to her and as he got closer, he could see her posture more precisely. Her head was lowly hanging and her back looked lifeless, while she didn’t swing an inch, only sat there as the rain poured down on her.
Sehun just wanted to pull her up and wrap his arms around her; wanted to tell her she was an idiot, but as soon as he was standing in front of her, his lips were unable to open. As he reluctantly touched her shoulder, the girl flinched and backed away a bit. He pulled his hand back and stared at the girl. He put out his hand once again, wanting to grasp her arm, but again she backed away. “Ara, it's me,” he whispered, reaching out again, but the girl didn’t react to him. Pulling back his hand again, he just stood there for a while, not knowing what to do.
The rain became even stronger, but neither Ara nor Sehun bothered about that.
Only when the male realized that her hair was completely wet, he began to care. He forcefully pulled her up by her wrist and had to catch her as the girl was weak on her legs. Only now, he could finally see her face, and his eyes widened. Her eyes looked so … dull and lifeless, as if she was a walking corpse, and she felt like that as well. There was no strength in her body, he could feel it as his arm wrapped around her waist to support her. His heart ached so much seeing the girl like this.
For a moment he lost it, and that one second was enough for his body to take over and wrap his strong arms around her. Her body felt cold in his embrace, or maybe it was just his perception, and he tightly hugged her. The girl, though, was just standing there, arms hanging, face leaning against his shoulder, no sound leaving her. After a few seconds, he could feel something hit his chest weakly. Ara had raised her arms to push him away. It was then when Sehun realized that she wasn’t sobbing; earlier when he saw her face, it didn’t look like she'd been crying either. The drops on her face had been clearly from the rain.
Why wasn’t she breaking down and sobbing uncontrollably? Why wasn’t she yelling or screaming? Ara was way too calm, which worried Sehun even more. He'd rather see her cry than behaving like this.
Spotting the little house under the climbing contraption, he gently pulled the girl with him. She followed him slowly, her steps weak. Sehun softly pushed the girl to make her bend down, as the house was made for children they could only crouch inside it. He did likewise, and sat down next to Ara.
At least they were now sheltered from the rain, that was still mercilessly drenching everything out there.
Sehun looked at the girl. She seemed like a lifeless doll the way she was staring at … nothing. Her gaze was completely empty. The boy reached out once again to touch her, but the girl flinched at his touch again, and he backed away immediately when she looked up. Her eyes were now filled with tears. It was the first time he'd seen tears in her eyes. The girl whose eyes always showed so much determination, the girl who was stronger than anyone he knew … that girl was crying right now. And he? He could only stare … because deep inside he was a coward, afraid to hurt her if he came too close.
Her brown orbs looked at him with so much desperation that he hated himself for being unable to make her pain go away. Whenever he raised his hand, she backed away more and more until she was pressed against the wooden wall of the little house, her knees pulled up and her arms wrapped around it.
Only now did he realize it; it was as Hyejin had told him.
Ara didn’t trust people easily. It was as if her core was inside a house with no door, leaving no access to those who were trying to get in. There were windows though, so looking inside was possible, but entering, touching, embracing the broken soul inside the little house was impossible. Any time you'd try to get inside by force, the house would quiver, hurting the core inside it. Almost as if it feared any contact … any touch.
Every touch made the core shiver, made it suffer, made it fear.
Sehun's heart painfully clenched at the realization, and he couldn’t even bring himself to force her to go home. He loved her too much to hurt her by pushing her too much. So all he could do was helplessly watch as the girl he loved cried so desperately.
Every single tear that escaped her eyes felt like a stab through his heart.
Finally, we've reached this scene. Woah, this was one of the first scenes I had in mind, and it took me quite a while to get here. I'm sure some (or maybe most) of you already guessed that her mother was going to die, huh? It's a sad chapter, I know. ;___; but it's necessary in my opinion, besides, the title finally made it in! (Well, indirectly) Yay! Wow, like wtf I racked my brain so much to give the title a good scene in the fic. And I hope it kinda worked?
I hope you guys liked it, and can I count on your comments? :')
It took quite a while to write this chapter and I didn't do my homework nor did I study. OTL. Gotta do that now. XD
Welcome, my new readers! And guys, two more upvotes and Touch of Fear will be on the first page of the Sehun tag as for upvotes. Isn't that awesome? Thank you! >w<