I wanted to say that I’m sorry. I wanted to say that I can’t believe it.
But I can believe it. People are poisonous. And venomous. I’m sorry that their toxicity sunk into your everything— heart, soul, mind, and spirit— and never got drawn out.
I’m sorry that you fell apart to the point that you felt you couldn’t be put back together.
...You know, I’ve been really into online puzzles lately. I’ve gotten good at them, can see color and shape subtleties like no other. The site I use even lets people choose their own images to make into puzzles.
I chose one of you.
I couldn’t put you together. Not for a long time.
I looked at the pieces, looked and looked, and couldn’t see how anything could match up.
It took me such a long time.
And even after I was able to put you back together, something felt off. Something was missing.
I’m sorry you felt the same way.
I hope that feeling has ended.
I hope you have returned to something like the state I knew you best in, from f(x) Koala.
Playing and laughing with Krystal in the Vietnamese market, running around an ice skating rink to your Vic-umma, staring at a food box and then hitting your head on the stove while Luna cooked in France. Being a silly pea with Krystal and Luna while you waited for Victoria. Always laughing.
I saw other memories in that puzzle too. You calling Amber “hyung” in New Zealand and teasing her. Krystal collapsing during Mr. Boogie, and you just scooping her up and standing with her in a dead lift.
I remembered your incredible strength.
And your bravery. Even in the little things. The first time I ever saw you was the comedy video with Anna Kendrick. You were the one to run forward and say hi to her, of everyone. With that sweet smile and wave of yours. And the adorably accented way you said her name. Compared to the momentary silence from the two other native English speakers in the group. Contrasted with your male seniors like Super Junior and Big Bang, who can be tough guys any other time, but wither in nervous silence when faced with native English speakers.
Oh, you were so brave, sweetheart. That is something I will always remember. I’m sorry I didn’t know the depth and width of your great courage until too late. I didn’t keep up with you.
I did know of your terrible fear. Of heights. Of birds. Of sheep. Of scuba diving...
I’m so sorry that your fears and hurts won.
I want to remember your smile. The brightest, sweetest one I’ve ever seen. The purest too. Your gaping mouth when you unabashedly dropped your jaw and just laughed loudly and freely.
I’m sorry that was taken from you.
I hate that your freedom got replaced by shame. That anyone ever thought that the shame was yours to bear.
But I will not focus on hate. I know you didn’t.
Well, you did. In the end.
But it was never yours. It was theirs.
Let’s let that go now, Ddulli-neun.
Be free now.
I love you.