Shinwoo narrowed his eyes as he pushed his glasses back up on his nose. “Let’s take a vote. All in favor of getting back together, raise your hand.”
Shinwoo’s hand raised high up in the air along with Gongchan. Baro raised his hand after thinking about it for a moment, but Sandeul just cocked his head to the side in confusion.
“Sandeullie,” Gongchan whispered encouragingly, “put your arm up like this.”
Sandeul mimicked his friend, raising his floppy arm. “Biiii… Po…”
“Looks like you’re outvoted, Jinyoung,” Shinwoo said with confidence, then raised an eyebrow as everyone put down their arms. “Are you okay?”
Jinyoung sniffed and dried his damp eyes with his sleeve. “Y-Yeah… I’m fine.” He found the strength to smile, looking up at the four. “Let’s get to practicing.”
For the next week, Jinyoung, Baro, Gongchan, and Sandeul stayed at Shinwoo’s apartment, writing songs, singing and playing instruments together, choreographing dances, and babysitting Sandeul.
“He’s out again?” Shinwoo shouted, waking Gongchan and Baro who were sleeping on the floor one morning. Sandeul was nowhere in sight, and the front door was open. “And Jinyoung left too?” he noted once he saw the couch was empty.
“I’m just glad Jinyoung knows to leave when he’s hungry,” Baro rubbed his neck nervously as he sat up from the blankets spread out on the floor. “I’d rather not be a source of food.”
“I’m not worried about him,” Gongchan said as he rubbed the grogginess out of his eyes. He was finally feeling normal again after the accident, and his bruises along with his soreness were gone. “Sandeul’s the one we need to watch out for. Yesterday I caught him trying to break into the neighbor’s apartment.”
Shinwoo sighed. “Time to go on another rescue mission. Who knew I would ever need to zombie-proof my apartment?”
“And who knew you would be trying to keep a zombie inside instead of keeping them out?” Baro added as he and Gongchan followed Shinwoo outside, into the hallway.
“Sandeul, where are you?” Gongchan whispered.
The three crept through the whole building until they realized that Sandeul was nowhere in sight.
“Looking for him?” Jinyoung said suddenly, making them jump. Jinyoung held the zombie’s arm firmly as he tried to pull away to leave the lobby. “He was down the street, heading for that Japanese restaurant.”
Everyone sighed in relief before cracking up in laughter. “Typical Sandeul,” Baro said as they headed back to the apartment.
After everyone ate breakfast and readied themselves for the day, they met up in the living room and made themselves comfortable on the couch and floor. Jinyoung pulled out his guitar and began tuning it. “You guys remember the words to Only One?”
“Of course,” Shinwoo said, smiling as Jinyoung strummed the tune. He began effortlessly singing the first lines, “Ulgo shipeun ddae uleoyo~”
After, it was Jinyoung’s turn, and he sang each note gently as he played his guitar. As soon as his turn was over, all eyes were on Sandeul who would have normally sung the chorus years ago, but this time he couldn’t remember the words. He didn’t even know why everyone was staring at him.
“Don’t you remember the lyrics?” Baro asked as Jinyoung’s strumming paused. “It’s ‘I pray no tears in your dreams.’”
“Ah… eee… prrr…” Sandeul grunted, trying to say the lyrics Baro said.
“Guys…” Jinyoung spoke up, “We’ve been at this all week. Sandeul can’t sing anymore. He can’t dance either.”
“What are you trying to say?” Shinwoo asked with his arms crossed. “You’re not going to suggest we kick him out of the band, are you?”
“He’s not going anywhere,” Gongchan demanded, putting his arm around Sandeul’s shoulders.
Jinyoung let out a long sigh. “I’m not going to let him leave us. It’s just… I think we should give him a break. He can watch and listen from the side while we practice for now. We’ll think of something he can do in the future. But in the meantime, let’s not overwhelm him with a bunch of lyrics. I’ll sing his parts for now.”
As Jinyoung continued the song, singing the chorus, the other members noticed how sad Sandeul looked.
“Maybe we could get some takeout from the restaurant Sandeul was headed to this morning,” Baro suggested when their practice session was over. “Would that make you happy, Sandeul?”
Sandeul only gave him a fierce glance, “Ah… ni…”