[CONTENTID1] 004 [/CONTENTID1]
[CONTENTID2] The Start [/CONTENTID2]
Baekhyun rubs his runny nose with the back of his hand. A dull ache pounds in his head. "She's no more." He repeats, his mouth dries uttering those words. His stomach twists as if someone is pulling his muscles apart. “She died.” His hand misses his nose and pokes his eye. Tears flowing down his cheeks like a river flowing towards the ocean.
The dream he had a few nights back haunts him. Was it really his grandma or his figment of imagination? How her bright wrinkled eyes turn into anger and then into someone scary. Someone else. Is she upset with him? Is she disappointed in him?
Baekhyun feels incessant tapping on his shoulder. “Baekhyun are you alright?”
Jongin looks at him in fright. He gives a green cloth to Baekhyun, “please,” he signals towards the nose and tears. “Do you want me to get you something to drink?”
Baekhyun accepts the cloth, “whiskey.” He presses on the cloth feeling it’s softness against his rough fingertips. There’s a m knitted on the edge of the cloth. He rubs his thumb on the letter fondly.
“There’s no whiskey here.” Jongin crosses his arms, frowning. The boy sitting beside him, Sehun, lips part staring at Baekhyun with wide eyes. Noticing Baekhyun’s attention on him, he shuts his mouth and turns to the entrance of the restaurant with a frown.
“Beer? Soju?” Baekhyun asks. Jongin shakes his head. “Not even a bottle? A cup?”
“No.” Jongin denies. “Even if we have, I’m not going to give you.”
Baekhyun’s anger flares up, “who are you to decide? I’m not asking for free. Go and bring one.” Baekhyun pats his pants pockets and takes out his black wallet. “Go and buy me one.” He hands him money more than what costs a single whisky bottle, “keep the change.”
Sehun lunges forward in the chair swatting Baekhyun’s hand. The bills fly from Baekhyun’s fingers. Sehun snarls, “what do you think of yourself? Asking him to buy you a drink? You ing addict.”
Baekhyun pulls Sehun by his collar. Gritting his teeth he growls, “how dare you.”
Sehun digs his nails into Baekhyun's hand around his collar. His eyes glaze in anger, "is this why your grandma died? Because of you? Did you manhandle her with all your addiction to the alcohol?"
Baekhyun punches Sehun in the face. Sehun's skin cuts across his cheek from the rings on Baekhyun's fingers.
Jongin drags Sehun away, the chairs hit Sehun's legs amidst the scramble. Loud bangs resonate in the restaurant from the falling of chairs on the ground.
"Shut the up." Baekhyun pushes the wooden table out of his way. It collides with the next wooden table, the steel glasses rattles and few falls down. Baekhyun walks straight towards Sehun. "I," his feeble voice cracks, did she really die because of him? "I," he shakes his head. Falling on his knees, "I didn't do anything." Resting his palms on the floor, he dips his head shaking. "It's not me." He looks up, his teary eyes focused on the trembling Sehun.
His lower lip quivers, "I didn't do anything. She died in her sleep." He rubs his forehead, eyes and mouth. Silence blankets the restaurant.
Everyone is staring at the crestfallen man, sitting on his knees and visibly trembling. Kai and Sehun exchange concerned looks, wondering whether to approach him or not.
"Don't judge me," Baekhyun's words fill the silence, "don't judge me when you don't know me."
Baekhyun stands up holding the fallen chair beside him. Kicking the chair out of his way, he leaves the restaurant.
He reappears, taking out his wallet and plucks out a few bills. "Enjoyed the food." Placing the money on the nearby table, he leaves.
Baekhyun struggles twisting the door open, his hand slips trying to hold the handle. Resting on the wall beside the door he stares at the night sky. No hints of the moon, or stars. Just a plain dark sky.
Moving his foot, he hears a crumpling sound coming under his shoes. Stepping away he squats down, searching for the source. A paper, he traces the edges of the paper there's an opening at one end, an envelope, he concludes.
Standing up he gives a final try opening the door to his place. With a squeak the wooden door opens plunging Baekhyun into the darkness.
Shutting the door with his foot, Baekhyun softly traces the envelope in his hands. He turns on the light covering his eyes at the sudden brightness. Adjusting to the light he plops down on the piano chair, tearing the envelope open.
You are an insect to society. Honestly, your songs sound horrible like someone is tearing apart my eardrum. Don't get me started on your guitar skills. Do you even tune your guitar? Your voice is like a rat's squeaks. ANNOYING. I don't get why people are crazy for you. They are crazy. I just hope you will disappear or better if you die.
Baekhyun laughs while rereading the last line. He flips the envelope to find the sender's address. "ing scaredy cat." He growls, seeing no name on the envelope.
Tossing the letter, Baekhyun turns to the piano. It is covered in dust, cobwebs hanging around the edges. He presses on one key, and then the other. His fingers find their home, naturally playing a tune.
Tears fall on the piano keys, his tear droplets cleaning a small dusted part of the keys. The piano keys are back to it's original white color with tiny traces of dust and wetness. Baekhyun's fingers fly across the piano as the tune escalates to a faster rhythm.
That night Baekhyun made up his mind.
"Fan meeting is scheduled at ten," his manager, new manager, informs Baekhyun.
Baekhyun looks over the wall clock, it's eleven. Buttoning the sleeves, he rolls them to his elbow. Leaving the top two buttons of his shirt open, he pulls his white cotton shirt by the shoulders.
"People are waiting downstairs," his manager tries again, "Shall I inform them to start?"
"Fans?" Baekhyun quirk his eyebrow, "are you sure they are my fans?" Sitting on his chair behind the desk he orders, "cancel the fan meeting. Instead call those two boys," he rubs his forehead, "Kai and Sehun. Call them to the office."
"But the fans have been waiting for you since morning," the manager cries in frustration, "what should I tell them?"
Baekhyun rests his legs on the table, holding his hands together on top of his chest. His chains press sharply onto his skin. "I don't care." He mutters, closing his eyes.
"Canceling means we have to pay the money back and the fine too," his manager presses on, "that's a lot of money."
"Pay them." Baekhyun nonchalantly says.
"We aren't earning much since the split with the company." He leans in, resting his palms on the wooden table, "we may go bankrupt if you continue doing this."
Baekhyun's nerve on his forehead ticks, his lips forming a thin line. "I don't like the way you speak," he says, reclining in his seat. Closing his eyes he hums a tune, his lips forming a small smile, "don't worry. You won't be resolving my issues for a long time."
Baekhyun rolls his head to the side, baring the fearless tattoo on his neck. The cursive letters follow one after another in a line. "Fans," he taps on his eyebrow smiling to himself, "regarding them, I got a sweet sweet letter. I'm flattered from the love." He snaps his eyes open, black eyes flaming, "reschedule today's fan meeting to tomorrow."
Manager grips the stranded paper on the table crumpling it, "it doesn't take much time. An hour. Ten people, that's it. Just sign and nod once. It'll be over."
Baekhyun pulls out the drawer, taking out a steel 250 ml whisky bottle. Uncapping it he sips on the drink. "They are fans. They love me. Can't they wait for another day?"
Before the manager can rebut, Baekhyun raises his hand up. "End of