Sunset

Dawn Is Coming (but I want you to stay)

    It was the sound of glass shattering - the feel of them spraying across his face. He couldn’t register the blood trickling down his cheeks, intertwined with tears - salt and copper filling his mouth as blow after blow hit him again, and again, and again.

    He stopped asking for it to end. He simply learned to take the pain and wait it out.

    “Useless, stupid, leech,” the words slur in the effects of alcohol, the dregs of his father’s last drink splattering on his uniform.

    “You don’t deserve to see your mother after she left me,” the last two words were bellowed, a final hurl of the glass bottle leaving him with black spots dancing in his vision. He barely feels the floor rise to meet him, barely feels the defeat and submissiveness. All he can do was breathe - inhale, exhale, inhale-

    “Go back to her again, son, and let’s see what she thinks about you now.”

    No - anything but that. His breaths became jagged, his knuckles becoming white where he clenched his hands into fists.

    “Maybe I should invite her over here… or maybe send a picture, hm?” No, no, no, no, Jisung chants in his mind - please... please…

    He watches as his father yanks out the cracked device, imbedded in the wall from his father’s start of rage.

    He watches, still, as his father sneers at him as he presses the call button.

    “No-”

    Everything goes black.

---

    In the small light cast by a cheap candle, the sound of a pencil scratching filled the heavy air.

    Day one hundred thirty-five, Jisung labeled in the margins of the paper. The rest was a broken bottle, shards of it lying on a blood-speckled floor. His pencil traced a nameless circle within the center of the glass container, though what it was, Jisung had yet to discover.

    He sighed and closed his sketchbook with a muted thump.

    Heavy feet barely registered on the cheap carpet, just like how the blank eyes of the ravenette didn’t care to see beyond the darkness writhing in the corners of his room.

    Shaking hands wrapped around a plastic container and with a strong twist the lid was set on the edge of the sink. A single pill rested on the palm of his hand, sitting there in his dulled gaze before he took it. As he swallowed the tablet with a mouthful of water, his eyes found the rusted mirror.

    Blood tracing the outskirts of his eyes, a shadowy figure raising the bottle one last time-

    He looked away.

    One hundred thirty-five days after he left that prison he once called his home. One hundred two days after he found this cheap room to live in.

    Zero days before the deadline for his rent was due.

    Withdrawing from the molding basin, he set his mind on other things besides the latest product of his panic attacks and the sinking feeling of his gut. Right as he was about to hide his sketchbook, the door rattled from violent pounding of who Jisung was now afraid to face.

    “Han Jisung,” his landlord shouted, “pay up or you’re gonna be evicted. I’m sorry buddy, that’s just the way it is.”

    Jisung could tell by the tone of the second sentence that the owner wasn’t regretting kicking out the near broke teenager who couldn’t pay his bills on time. Nevertheless, he forced himself to take a deep breath, before unlocking his door and falling to his knees in desperation.

    “Please, Mr.Jung, I know I don’t deserve this, but please let me pay double rent next month. I’m still trying to find a job!”

    He was met with thick silence from the man, and when he looked up, the man was boring holes into his.

    “Listen, kid, I don’t know if you can even survive a month to even give me double rent.”

    “Mr. Jung, I’ll prove you wrong,” Jisung stated as firmly as he could, despite his mind disagreeing with the prospect of paying two months worth of bills.

    The man said nothing, but just as Jisung looks down in rejection, the landlord gives in.

    “Double rent - and if you don’t pay before next month’s deadline no amount of puppy eyes and begging will be able to save you.”

    With that, the man left the ravenette still kneeling, the latter contemplating how the hell he wasn’t evicted.

    As soon as the man’s back rounded the corner, a strangled kind of laugh tore from his throat - though where it came from Jisung had no idea. All he knew, was that one - he wasn’t homeless, and two - he was very much ed.

    He closed the door with a click, and sank down the rotting door, resting his head between his knees to try and ease the roiling of his stomach.

    I can do this, Jisung told himself, I don’t need anybody but myself. That was the way it was after Mom left us. I’m going to find a job and do whatever needs to be done in order to get the money.

    And with that, he left from his spot by the door, and grabbed his phone. Its screen was cracked from its days with his father, but it was all Jisung had. He unlocked it, and clicked on his emails.

    Over the months after he ran away, he relied on his phone to grant him access to song requests from rising artists. Alongside the device and his sketchbook, his notebook was another thing that kept him sane these days.

    He scanned the long list of unreads, the names blurring as he went on. Eventually he reached the end of his inbox, and threw his phone across the room with a short, irritated yell.

    Goddamnit.

    He couldn’t afford to be picky now - the roof on his head was staked on these countless offers that Jisung had already reached the bottom of.

    .

    Drawing his hood up in frustration he leaned his head on the wall and let out a long breath. I can do this. Just... not today.

    He surrendered himself to the quiet of his room, the silence wrapping around him like an invisible blanket. As his eyes started to droop, a ding startled him out of his stupor. An eye opened - what the hell? He crawled over to his phone, on the other side of the room, and read the notification.

 

(Blocked) Heonwoo

this guy is asking 4 songwriters

do you want me to say something to him

 

    Heonwoo? What the does he think he’s doing? His fingers tapped furiously, brows furrowed as he pressed send, send, send.

 

Me

I don’t give a

If that’s what you want to do now with my trust and name then do it and go to hell

You do you

Good ing day to you

 

    He turned his phone off and stared at the screen with blank fury. Had Heonwoo already forgotten Jisung’s last words? Don’t ever talk to me again, don’t ever text me again, and don’t expect me to say anything to you besides ‘you son of a ’ word for word. The soft flickering of the candlelight nearly drove Jisung to sleep again, except, of course, a ding broke the blissful silence once more.

 

(Blocked) Heonwoo

ji u know im sorry

i had no choice

if u could believe it

 

    Jisung laughed at that.

 

Me

Oh off Heonwoo

 

(Blocked) Heonwoo

back to 1st name basis huh

i deserve it

i admit

but im trying to help you

please

 

Me

When hell freezes over

 

(Blocked) Heonwoo

great

all we have to do is wait for it to snow in the u live in

its fun being broke

isnt it

 

Me

er I wouldn't be broke now if it wasn't for you

 

(Blocked) Heonwoo

well thats why im talking to you now

so we can get this grudge over with okay

im trying to be better

 

Me

Are you drunk?

You expect me to just  t r u s t  you after you did all those things?

And I would forget how you lied and stole what I made from my own ing self?

no

 

(Blocked) Heonwoo

please believe me

i found a good guy

he’s not like me

please take a chance on him

if not me

ik your in a bad place now

just

heres his contact

[email protected]

 

Me

Give me one reason to even consider you’re not lying
 

(Blocked) Heonwoo

he’s with me rn

he asks if meeting tmr @ Gong-cha Seoul is okay with you

 

Me

That's not a reason Heonwoo

 

(Blocked) Heonwoo

9:30 AM

 

Me

Where's the ing reason

 

(Blocked) Heonwoo

the guy’s alias is Lee Know

find the channel skz-alliance

i’m not lying

Read 10:32

 

    He ran his fingers through his hair, muttering obscenities under his breath and rereading the conversation over and over again. He checked the phone’s battery, and yelped in indignation. Seven percent. He swore at the phone then slid it into his pocket.

    Well, me.

    It didn’t take him long afterwards to find himself moving in quick strides to the nearest internet café.

    The internet café provided the essentials his cheap, rundown place didn’t have. No electricity, no lights (besides the candles he sometimes is able to afford), and no place within a comfortable distance to charge his phone (which means when the battery icon turns red he’s screwed).

    Once he arrived at the café, he monitored his surroundings. He sighed inwardly.

    And did his move.

    In front of one of the computers, a girl’s eyes were trained solely on the screen, her drink sitting next to the computer. As soon as he saw her shift for a more comfortable position, he swept near her and tipped over the beverage. When her fingers found the keys once more, her features rippled into a look of horror, and her head whipped behind her - searching for a person to blame. Yet everybody seemed unaware of her plight, no one out of place or likely of spilling her drink. She muttered a curse under her breath, before inspecting the keyboard.

    Meanwhile, an innocent boy with raven hair and stone-blue eyes, was sprawled over a bean bag, charging cord swaying a bit as his eyes roamed all over his screen. Unlike his appearance, he was observing the scene in his peripheral vision, and the second the manager came over at the girl’s call, he started his research.

    He looked up ‘skz-alliance,’ and the search led him to a small biography. Apparently the name was for a group of freelance artists who banded together under the alliance. A list was shown for all the known artists that made up the group. As his eyes wandered down the alphabetical list, he stumbled across the hyperlink ‘Lee Know.’ He quickly checked the name against the alias given to him then clicked on it.

Lee Know, main dancer of the SKZ-Alliance. In charge of the SKZ-Players, including Felix and Hyunjin.

No pictures available.”    

    Jisung clicked his tongue, Heonwoo is really serious about this, huh?

He closed off his phone, and, glancing upwards to see if the manager was still occupied, he casted his jacket over the outlet and device and headed off.

    Raised voices arose from the café that Jisung narrowly escaped from.

    “It wasn’t me!” her voice was a controlled shout, the girl staring down the man.

    He crossed his arms, “Just pay for the goddamn computer.”

    “It wasn’t me,” she insisted, stepping closer as if to intimidate the other to agree.

    The male wasn’t impressed, and once he had enough of the female’s persistence, he raised his hand to slap her.

    “Excuse me?” somebody appeared next to the young female. The person glared at the manager.

    “Hitting my sister is a bad way to run business,” the newcomer stated coldly, but it didn’t provoke a reaction other than growing irritation.

    “Should I care?” the manager raised an eyebrow.

    The new man laughed.

    “Have fun being homeless,” he said, and with that, he slung an arm over the girl’s shoulders. With a mocking salute, both exited from the place.

    The manager felt a bit uneasy, but conveyed his anger through a scowl sent towards their turned backs.

    Once they were a few steps away from the building, the girl drawled, “I can take care of myself, Minho.”

    The young man rolled his eyes, stepping away from her, “Well Mother would’ve been pissed if I didn’t do anything.” He dusted invisible specks of lint off his jacket sleeve. “And you were there because of me. Did you find him?”

    The girl examined her nails.

    “This boy,” she faltered, then recovered, “just… don’t make Father more angry than he already is with… you know…”

    “I’ll keep it professional,” was all he said. She gave him a look, but they rounded the corner - gone from view.

    Deep in the folds of wherever Time lays, it sees the iridescent shimmering of something like red strings - looped loosely around a dancer’s ankle and twined around the pale fingers of another man.

    Time is cruel to many - yet those red strings turn gold in the corner of universe’s waiting eyes.

 

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