Jinyoung didn’t waver even for a second as he slowly raised one of his feet from the firm surface underneath into the air, his phone clutched to his ear with his left hand. He had made up his mind. He had had enough. He was tired. He didn’t want to try anymore. He looked at the dark night in front of him and the deep ocean beneath. The currant was high tonight. It was going to take him miles away within seconds. They weren’t going to even find his body. And that’s what he wanted. He didn’t want to be found even after dying. He closed his eyes.
“I love you, Mark! I only love you!” He whispered, before letting the phone slip from his hands. It hit the parapet once before toppling over to fall on the bridge.
He took one last breath before letting himself fall. From high above in the skies. To the absolute depths of water!
Mark woke up with a start. He was breathing heavily. His shirt was drenched in sweat and as he rubbed his hands on his face he realized that he was crying. “Jinyoung,” He called and looked to his side. Jinyoung wasn’t there. He panicked.
“JINYOUNG,” He called out loud, before jumping off the bed and running downstairs. “JINYOUNG? WHERE ARE YOU? WHY AREN’T YOU ANSWERING ME?” He shouted as he ran down the stairs, two steps at a time. His heart was bleeding. Jinyoung was gone and….
“Mark? What’s wrong?” A confused-looking Jinyoung emerged at the kitchen door.
Mark ran the last two steps and cradled Jinyoung’s face in his hands. “Are you okay? You are not hurt anywhere?” He asked with his tear stained face.
“Mark?” Jinyoung’s confusion was replaced with worry at seeing Mark in this state. “Markie, baby what’s wrong?” He tried to calm him with a soothing voice, brushing his damp hair from the forehead.
Mark just shook his head before throwing his arms around his husband tightly, burying his face in Jinyoung’s shoulder. “I’m sorry…” He hiccupped. “I saw a bad dream. A very, very bad dream. And then I woke up and you weren’t there and…I panicked.” He sniffed and tightened his hold even more.
Jinyoung hugged him back, patting his back comfortingly. “It’s okay. I’m here. Don’t worry.” A few seconds passed like that…
“Hey, let me see your face,” Jinyoung tried to loosen Mark’s hold but the older just tightened it even more.
“5 more minutes like this please,” He had visibly calmed down now.
Jinyoung chuckled, ruffling the back of Mark’s hair. “Your wish is my command, sir.” He said lovingly. He placed a soft peck on top of Mark’s head and started shifting from one foot to the other slowly, rocking together in a comfortable rhythm.
“I know what worries plague you mind, hyung,” Jinyoung placed his cheek on top of Mark’s head and whispered. “But trust me, when I say that I’m okay I mean it. Both physically and mentally. And I’m happy. Every new day becomes the happiest day of my life, and then the next day comes and beats the previous one in an instant. So please stop worrying about me. Okay?” He moved back a little to look at the older. Mark smiled at him.
“Okay,” He leaned in to kiss Jinyoung, to which he responded immediately. Early morning kisses were really their energy boosters for the whole long, tiring day.
“Can I please drop you at the office today? Please?” Mark asked him.
“Sure,” Jinyoung knew, Mark was scared under the effect of his nightmare. “In fact, it’s a great idea. I want to visit somewhere with you. Let’s leave a little earlier.”
“Okay,” Mark smiled, and stole another kiss before heading upstairs to get ready.
“You remember this place?” Jinyoung asked him excitedly, as he opened his arms like a kid and took a deep breath to let the fresh sea air in him.
“Of course, I do. Why wouldn’t I? This was the bridge where you asked me to marry you, and made me the luckiest man on earth.” Mark hugged him from the back, trapping him between himself and the boundary of the bridge.
“Wrong answer!” Jinyoung declared, and turn around a little to snap his finger at Mark’s forehead.
“Owwwww!” Mark exaggerated. “Why?” He whined.
“Because it’s the place where you agreed to marry me, and made me the luckiest man on earth.”
Mark sighed. “Really Jin? Are we really going to do this argument this early in the morning?”
“Then don’t argue and agree to everything I say like a good boy.”
“Arghhhh babe, you know it’s a bad idea to call me a ‘good boy’ when we are all ready for the office and in a public place. Oh , I can already feel something twitch down there.” Mark said animatedly.
Jinyoung laughed and hit him lightly on the stomach. “Stop being a drama queen and get your brain out of the gutter.”
“Too much work this early in the morning. Sorry, can’t comply.”
Jinyoung laughed and leaned his head back, so that it came to rest on Mark’s shoulder. “You have gotten funny.”
“Someone has rubbed well on me,” Mark said rubbing their heads together. Both of them burst into laughter. “Remember, you used to do this all the time?”
“Yeah,” Jinyoung smiled at the nostalgic feeling. “By the way, do you know why I brought you here today?”
“Because it’s been two years since our engagement!” Mark stated.
“Woah, someone has become good with remembering dates!”
“Someone is too scared of their husband!”
Jinyoung laughed. “Only because today is a happy day, I forgive you for calling me scary.”
“We both know that I called myself a scared-y cat, but thanks. Where would I go without your mercy, your Highness?” He nuzzled into Jinyoung’s head.
“Ahhhh,” Jinyoung leaned into his touch. “I wish we could spend the rest of the day here like this, but we are responsible adults. Let’s go to the office!”
“Let’s go, babe,” Mark gave him a quick kiss and started walking towards their car. Just a few steps later, something clicked in Mark’s mind and he turned around so fast that he was sure Jinyoung must have heard the snap of his neck.
But he didn’t care. His eyes fixed on the spot where they had been standing just seconds ago. The concrete bridge, white-brown parapet, and the deep ocean. It was the same place. It was the same place he saw in that nightmare couple of hours ago.
He turned to look at Jinyoung, his face drained of all color. “Jinyoung, can you promise me something?”
“Mark what happened?”
“Promise me, you will never come here alone.”
“Please… It’s just that it’s a special place, and…. I want us to come here together….always.” Mark came up with a lie. He couldn’t tell about his irrational fear to Jinyoung.
Jinyoung gauged his expression but then relented. “I won’t come here alone. Promise.”
Just a fateful night, 5 weeks later, Jinyoung was going to break a lot of his promises to Mark, this being one of them!
Jinyoung had left early for the office next day as per routine. Mark was about to leave himself when it arrived again. The brown envelope with Jinyoung’s name on it.
It had come down to where it all started at the first place. Picking the envelope and tearing it open carelessly he remembered that he had put the older gifts in the cupboard after Yugyeom had brought them back and Jinyoung might see them anytime. So it was better to show it to him himself. He thought as he looked at the CD inside with mild interest and unfolded the letter. These parcels had stopped bothering him now.
My Jinyoung! (Mark scoffed. ‘Keep dreaming, bastard.’)
Remember once you said that I was so good in bed that you would forgive every mistake of mine just for that. I asked you if I could record us doing it, just once so I could use it in my defence in case you forgot your promise. You never agreed. You weren’t comfortable about it. But on the night of our engagement you were just too happy to say no. Watch it yourself, Jinyoung. Watch it just how perfect we are together. We deserve another chance Jinyoung. I’m so sorry, if it seems too forceful but…. I’m just so desperate for you, you have no idea. I’m sorry. And if you will ask, I’ll keep apologizing every day for the rest of our lives. Please accept me again. I feel like I’m gonna die without you.
PS: By the time this letter reaches you, I’ll be in LA already. Let’s meet soon!
The carelessness with which Mark had opened the letter had gone out of the window. He just stood frozen beside the table. So this is how things were going to be now? This was the level Jaebeom was going to stoop to? His eyes fell on the cd. It felt like a snake ready to bite him. Mark felt like he was going to throw up.
He should have taken that disc and broken into hundreds of pieces, thrown it out of his window. But why the hell was he opening his laptop with trembling hands and inserting the disc inside it? Why was he sitting on the floor in front of the table and pressing the ‘play’ button? The screen opening up to a stark and lights out drunk Jinyoung confirmed his every suspicion that what this was about. But why the hell did he watch the 40 minutes long -tape of his husband with his ex with stoned eyes? What did he want? Mark did not know… He closed the lid of the laptop with a thud and sat motionless on the floor….
Several hours passed…His phone ringed unlimited times, which he ignored…. The daylight started fading outside but he did not move from his place.
It was the noise of footsteps outside the door of the apartment that shook him out of the trance. He looked around in panic; the letter, the envelope… everything was scattered around and Jinyoung was back!
Mark got up hastily, picked up his laptop and the rest of the things and shoved them behind old books and newspapers in the last drawer of the closet with the other gifts. And just as Jinyoung opened the front door, Mark had already shut himself inside the bathroom.
As the ice-cold shower water hit him, Mark realized just what he had done. What will Jinyoung say if he finds out that his husband watched something so private about him, which Jinyoung himself might not want to see? He had done such injustice to Jinyoung in the heat of his jealousy and insecurity, how was he ever going to look him in the eyes again? Hot tears started flowing down his cheeks. His friends were wrong. Jaebeom coming back in their lives wasn’t going to be any trivial matter. It was going to shake Mark’s paradise for which he had spent countless tears and hardships. He could feel that already.
He came out of the shower to find Jinyoung cooking something. Mark headed towards the fridge and took out a water bottle.
“It was my turn to cook today, Jin.” Mark poured water for himself, persistently avoiding eye-contact.
“Maybe, I wanted to spoil my baby and decided to do his chores for him.” Jinyoung sing-songed, while adjusting the flame and then came up to Mark, hugging him from behind. “I missed you.” He nuzzled his nose in Mark’s back.
And for a moment, Mark started to forget the turmoil he was in.
“I missed you too. How was your day?” Mark was looking at the counter-top.
“I’m sending Yugyeom to the Vegas branch for a couple months. Just till the time everything establishes there. It’s a new gallery as of now, and I can’t trust it with anyone else other than him. So he was being over-dramatic about it as if Vegas isn’t only an hour flight away. So I had to treat him to lunch to get him off my back.”
“Hmmmm…” Mark said absent-mindely.
Jinyoung came in front of him. He looked at Mark sweetly, brushing his wet hair from his forehead. “Had a bad day?”
Mark did not look at Jinyoung and just nodded silently.
“Let me make it better for you.” Jinyoung said before diving in for a sweet kiss.
“Better?” Jinyoung asked him with shining eyes.
And here Mark made the grave mistake of looking into Jinyoung’s eyes. All the day’s events came crashing back into his mind. The regret, the embarrassment and above all the anger. Not on Jinyoung, of course. But on Jaebeom. His sentence ‘I’m so good in bed you’d forgive my every mistake just for that’ hitting his brain constantly like a hammer. And he wanted to prove him wrong. He wanted to prove Jaebeom wrong so badly.
“Come.” He held Jinyoung’s wrist and headed towards their bedroom.
“Ah but our dinner…”
“I’m not hungry for that right now, Jin.”
Jinyoung giggled. “Stop giving me butterflies, idiot.”
Mark dragged him playfully into the room. “I’m going to give you lot more than butterflies, baby.”
And the door closed behind them.
“Was I good?” Mark looked down at Jinyoung, who was looking ethereal even with matted hair and sweaty body.
“You are always good, hyung.” Jinyoung leaned up to peck his lips, still in his post- high.
“Was I better than him?”
“Huhhh???” Jinyoung looked at him in confusion but as he understood the question, confusion was replaced with sheer disbelief. As if he couldn’t believe that Mark could ask him this question. That Mark could ask him this question.
He pushed Mark off himself and ran out of the room angrily closing the door with a loud thud.
Mark felt like that bang woke him up from some sort of stupor. The events of past half an hour ran through his mind and Mark felt so disgusted with himself that he wanted to throw up. For the first time, Mark had touched Jinyoung not because of love but because he wanted to prove his ex wrong!!!
The realization came with an over-powering wave of disgust and self-hatred.
That night he spent in his room crying. He knew Jinyoung was also crying. He knew that Jinyoung must be waiting for him to come and apologize. He also knew that if we went now, Jinyoung would forgive him.
But his inner self loathed him so much right now that it kept telling him to keep away from Jinyoung. He was so embarrassed, so ashamed of himself that he couldn’t bring in himself to face the younger right now.
This was the first out of the hundreds of sleepless nights to come for both of them.
Mark’s question broke Jinyoung badly. He knew how everything ended with Jaebeom. He knew how it had affected Jinyoung. Yet, he brought him up in such a context. How could he?
But that wasn’t the biggest shock of the night for him. It was Mark not coming to make up with him. This had never happened before. No matter how hard they fought, or how petty Jinyoung would get some times, Mark would always try to talk to him.
This crack in his heart was certainly bigger than any other.
And this did not stop at just that day. They did not talk for the next many days to come. Mark would purposefully wake up late in the morning when Jinyoung already had to leave for the office. And would already be in bed when Jinyoung would come back.
Every night Jinyoung would cry himself to sleep, not knowing what had gone wrong so suddenly in their perfect lives.
Too tired of the depression surrounding their lives, Jinyoung decided to visit the Tuan house after work one evening. Mark’s oldest sister Tammy had come for a couple of weeks on vacation and Jinyoung knew that her adorable little kids were exactly the distraction he needed right now.
And he was right. The kids were already attached to him a lot even before he and Mark got together. Jinyoung laughed so much after days. Care-free and light as feather.
He was sitting with Mrs. Tuan for the evening tea. The children were playing themselves now.
And as soon as that distraction had ended his reality came crashing back to him. He and Mark were not talking to each other for 5 days now and his breath felt so suffocated that it could stop any moment.
“Jinyoungie?” Mrs Tuan called him gently. “Everything is okay, right?” She looked at him with concerned eyes.
“Y..yes of course. Everything is right, mummy.” He used to call her mummy like Mark.
Mrs Tuan kept looking at him with imploring eyes then she comfortingly held his hand. “I love you just as much as I love Mark and Joey. You know that right?”
Jinyoung started tearing up and nodded.
“You can tell me anything, honey.”
Jinyoung had really lucked out with her. She hadn’t just called her, her son. She had proved every bit of it. And how she could perceive his moods like a mother was just one of those proofs.
“It’s nothing much. Every…every marriage goes through rough patches here and there… it’s just that it was so sudden that I panicked…..but I’ll work it out. I just want you to pray for me, please.” He said with welled up eyes.
Mrs. Tuan engulfed him in a bear hug. “Of course, honey.” She patted his back comfortingly. A few moments passed. “What has that idiot done, by the way? Tell me, I’ll spank him for you.” She said to lighten the mood.
Jinyoung chuckled, breaking the hug and sniffled, looking at her warmly. “We fought and…I was expecting him to apologize. But….it’s okay, I’ll do it if he can’t. I’ll make the first move.”
Mrs. Tuan ruffled his hair. “That idiot doesn’t deserve such an angel.”
Jinyoung laughed. Feeling truly light-hearted now. Maybe he should have talked to someone right from the start. “So today is September 1st. It’s his birthday in three days. I was thinking that….”
Jinyoung excitedly started telling him the birthday plans he was making.
I’ll come see you at your office tomorrow.
When Jinyoung was at Mark’s family house, Mark himself was going through unspeakable amount of anger and rage at the text message he had just received.
This man had played with his mind so badly, that Mark had destroyed his perfect world for no reason at all. And he wasn’t going to let that happen again.
He picked up his phone and called Yugyeom.
“Hey Mark. How you doing bro?”
“Jaebeom texted me.”
“What? Jaebeom texted YOU??!!”
“I mean he must have intended it for Jinyoung but he doesn’t know that I have been using that number for three years now.”
“Oh, what did he…”
“He is here, Yugyeom. He is back in LA, already. And he is going to Jinyoung’s office tomorrow.”
“Oh . And don’t tell me you haven’t told Jinyoung about his parcels yet!” Yugyeom shrieked.
“Ah….” Mark swallowed. Painful memories coming back to him in a rush. “I… I couldn’t.”
“God, Mark, now what are we….”
“You were able to trace those parcels. Do you think it’s possible to get his address through his phone number?”
“Yeah, those things are easy these days if you know the right people but….what are you planning on Mark?”
“Don’t worry. As much as I want to, I won’t kill him. I would just tell him to stay the hell away from my Jinyoung. Or I will really kill him.”
“Okay. I’ll let you know as soon as possible. But…”
“You have to do something for me in return.”
“And that is?”
“Tell those two bastards to themselves.” Yugyeom said in a serious tone and cut the call.
Even in all the tension, a smile was able to make its place on Mark’s lips after days.
Youngjae was making himself a quick lunch. It had been less than a week since they had landed back in LA. And he was dying to meet his family and friends. But he couldn’t spoil everything in haste. He had to plan everything carefully if he wanted to have everyone back. And there was only one person who could help him with that. Jinyoung!
They had to earn Jinyoung’s forgiveness and the rest of them would follow the lead.
He took a bite of the sandwich and came back in front of the computer screen. He had sent fake e-mails to both Jinyoung and Mark and now he was waiting for them to click on the links in the emails. That will hack their devices and mirror them on Youngjae’s system. They needed every bit of information they could get to make their mission a success.
A notification beep caught his attention and he shrieked in excitement to see that Mark had actually clicked on the bait link. A few clicks and now Mark’s cell phone was being mirrored on Youngjae’s desktop screen.
Naturally the first thing he went on to see was the message app and the message on the very top of the list made Youngjae’s breath stop.
“IM JAEBEOM!” Youngjae shouted. “WHAT THE IS WRONG WITH YOU?”
“Jae, what happened?” Jaebeom came to the room in panic. Panic was his default state these past few weeks. Youngjae has raised his expectations of getting Jinyoung back so high, that deep down he had starting dreading if that did not happen.
“WHO THE HELL DID YOU SEND THE TEXT TO? MARK?”
“Mark? Why would I send the text to Mark? I made sure that Jinyoung was still using his old number and texted on that. Why?” He came over to look at the screen.
“Looks like…. Mark uses that number or something because….his email was opened on this phone so….” A new message arrived on Mark’s phone. It was Yugyeom’s.
Here you go.
But don’t do anything irrational Mark. And for the love of God, tell Jinyoung about those parcels before something bad happens.
Both of them looked at each other with wide eyes.
“It was Mark getting all those parcels.” Youngjae mumbled.
“Jinyoung doesn’t even know about their existence. And I was hoping that he might be considering forgiving me.”
“He is coming here. Jaebeom, he is coming here. What do we do now?” Youngjae asked in alarm.
“I…I don’t know.” Jaebeom looked so lost that Youngjae got up to hug him.
“Don’t worry Jaebeom. You still have me. I promised that I’ll return everything back to normal. And I’ll be keeping that promise. I am more prepared than you think. Just calm down and listen to me carefully.”
Jaebeom hid his face in Youngjae’s shoulder. This shoulder was an endless source of comfort for him, no matter what.
It was Jaebeom who had opened the door for Mark. The two indulged in the staring battle without blinking an eye and Youngjae had to intervene, so the two would not kill each other at the doorstep.
“Come in, Mark. It’s nice to see you after so long. C’mon Jaebeom, make way for him,” He said in a formal tone like it was a business meeting that had to be done.
“I wish I could say the same. But I’m sorry, I don’t lie.”
Jaebeom scoffed. “Your whole relationship with Jinyoung in the 4 years of college was a lie and you got the guts to say that.”
“Nothing more I was expecting from someone as narrow-minded as you, Jaebeom. Always judgemental.”
“Why are you even here, Tuan?” Jaebeom said with gritted teeth.
“Just to tell you to keep your filthy self away from my husband or I promise I will kill you.”
“That’s between me and Jinyoung. Why are you getting involved?”
“First of all, You and Jinyoung does NOT exist anymore. It’s only Mark and Jinyoung now. And secondly, I’m his guardian angel. I keep getting unwanted hurdles off his way without bothering him.”
Jaebeom laughed bitterly. “I bet you must have been the happiest person on the planet when we left, no? Finally got your crush to notice you even if it was just a rebound.” Both of them were throwing arrows of words at each other without break, not giving Youngjae even a chance to speak.
Mark clenched his jaw. “I used to think I could never hate anyone more than you two, ever. Thank you for proving me right just now, Im Jaebeom. I have cried with him every night when he was hurting with a broken heart. I have skipped meals with him when his self-confidence was at its lowest. I have endured his anger bursts and I have endured his depressive days. I was the one who found him drowned in his own blood because you made him hate life so much. You think I was happy seeing that? We, Jaebeom…. Me and Jinyoung…. we have built this little paradise of ours on tears and blood. You are very wrong if you think I’m going to let you even look in that direction. So, I’m warning you. Just get lost to where ever you came from or I’ll kill you.” He shoved Jaebeom’s shoulder roughly and headed towards the door.
His hand was on the handle when Jaebeom spoke again: “Does Jinyoung know that you had been taking psychiatric sessions because you had this irrational fear of him abandoning you someday?”
Jaebeom’s words hit him like cold water and numbed every inch of his body. Nobody knew that. Nobody in this world apart from Mark and that psychiatrist knew that. Then how???
“You know why did you have that fear, Mark? And maybe still have it.” Jaebeom wasn’t growling anymore. He was calm as if stating facts he was absolutely sure of. “Because deep down you know you will never be me, Mark. You will always be number 2. You will always be my replacement. This paradise that you built on tears and what not…. You don’t seem to have much faith in it.”
“It’s not… like that.” Mark hated himself for stuttering at that moment. “Don’t talk about things you don’t know. It was never about trusting Jinyoung. I trust him more than myself. I have been born like this. With insecurities over literally everything. So what’s wrong if I got help to get over them?”
Jaebeom came up to him, looking directly into his eyes. “Stop lying to yourself. He loved me to the extent that he was ready to not live anymore if it was without me. Do you think that much love would ever go away? No, it won’t. You will never be at my level, Mark. Never!”
“You did well, Jaebeom. You did so great.” Youngjae patted his head lovingly, who had put on a brave face in front of Mark, but now felt like all the energy had seeped out of him.
“It was necessary to hit Mark’s weakness like that. He still hasn’t changed much. He still is full of doubts about himself. That is our only chance of getting him out of Jinyoung’s life.” Youngjae kept going.
“What are we going to do now? Are we still meeting Jinyoung tomorrow?”
“I think it will be better to wait a little. We shall first give him time to vent out his anger so when we meet him he is more open to forgive us. So we will have to start from zero. Let’s send gifts to his office this time.”
Youngjae’s manipulative mind was coming up with a new plan. Just to get himself free from the guilt of dividing two people who loved each other, he was once again doing exactly the same crime!
The insistent ringing of the door-bell woke him up from his slumber. He tried to get up but groaned at the sharp pain that shoot through his brain. He lay on the bed for a few minutes till he started remembering the events of last day. Jaebeom’s last words. How they had sliced through his heart. But wasn’t Jaebeom telling the truth. He wasn’t that good that Jinyoung would prioritise him over his first love, right?
He came home and locked himself in his room. Jinyoung wasn’t back yet. He had cried the whole night and was only able to sleep late after the sun had risen. The clock on the wall showed that it was 1 in the afternoon already. , he had missed office without any notice. He was going to be in trouble.
But for now, he had to get up and open the door because whoever was outside was not ready to give up anytime soon.
It was BamBam. “Oh, wow, you look like .”
“Thanks.” Mark mumbled, pouring himself some water.
“Mark is everything okay? Something happened?”
“I haven’t talked to Jinyoung in 6 days. It feels like the world is falling apart.”
“Nice joke. As if you two can live without talking to each other for even 6 hours let alone 6 DAYS.” BamBam laughed, as he sneaked some orange juice from Mark’s fridge.
Mark eyes teared up. “Looks like we can.” He whispered.
“Are you serious?” Bam looked at him in concern. “Oh my god, what happened?”
“I ed up. Badly. And was too embarrassed to go to him.”
“And he didn’t try either?”
“I did something very inappropriate, Bam. I wasn’t expecting him to come up to me. And, oh shoot…..” Mark looked at the clock. “Jaebeom said that he was going to his office today….. Damn…. I need to go….”
“Mark….wait…. listen to me….” BamBam held his wrist firmly. “I haven’t understood anything but you need to change first. Then I drive you to Jinyoung’s office and you tell me everything.”
“Don’t argue. You yourself said that we don’t have much time.”
“Hey, Mark.” Alicia, Jinyoung’s receptionist, greeted him cheekily. Jinyoung’s office had a very friendly atmosphere and everyone here knew him too.
“Hi, Alicia,” Mark tried but he couldn’t smile. He was very nervous.
“You just missed, Jinyoung. He left like 20 minutes ago.”
“Where did he go? Some business stuff?” Mark prayed with all his heart that she would say yes.
“Ah, I’m not sure… hey Max, where did Jinyoung go?” Alicia called an employee who was passing behind them.
“Somewhere with Jaebum. Not exactly sure where….” The guy had said something else too, but Mark was too stunned to hear anything else.
Everything buzzed in his ears. BamBam had to hold his shoulders to make sure he didn’t fall on the way to the car. But how could he not fall? Jinyoung was with Jaebeom. His Jinyoung was with Jaebeom. The thought was squeezing life out of him.
They did not speak at all in the car. Not even in the house. But BamBam stayed with him, giving him worried glances every now and then.
It was three hours later than Jinyoung’s usual off-time and the younger still had not returned. Mark exhaled sharply and hid his face in his knees, absorbing his tear in the fabric of his jeans.
“Mark, why are we making such a big deal out of it? Jinyoung is a very mature person. I’m sure he calmly took that jerk to politely tell him to off. Don’t worry. I’ll ask him when he comes back.”
“No. We are going to not going to ask him anything. We are never going to talk about it.”
“He can’t lie to me, Bam. He will tell the truth and spoken from his mouth….it will become real. ‘Jinyoung and Jaebeom’ will become real I can’t handle that. I’ll just pretend that it never happened and….”
The sound of footsteps and the beep of someone putting in the password stopped him. Jinyoung was back.
“Oh hey, Bammie. It’s been so long.” Jinyoung looked in a good mood, as he came forward and practically threw himself at the younger.
“Yeah…. We had been waiting for you for hours. You are late.”
“We?” Jinyoung asked BamBam and then his eyes met Mark’s. Mark held his breath. He was looking in those deep black oceans after 6 days.
“Yeah, Mark and me.”
Jinyoung kept looking at him… “Yeah,” he finally snapped. “I went to see mom, after work.” He said, eyes still fixed on Mark.
Mark closed his eyes sharply to bear the sudden wave of pain that passed through his body.
Jinyoung lied to him. Jinyoung lied to him, looking in his eyes.
There was silence in the living room which broke at Mark’s broken voice. “I had this last hope for myself, Jinyoung. That you can never lie to me. And you took that away from me too.”
He stood up and locked himself in his room.
“Huhh?” Jinyoung said dumbly. “What is that supposed to mean?” He looked towards BamBam, who was already looking at him with solemn eyes.
“I don’t know, Jinyoung. But I only know one thing. I can’t see you like four years ago again. Neither can I see Mark in that position. So please, for the love of god, do what you guys do the best. Talk! Talk and sort things out.” He gave him a quick hug and left.
Jinyoung couldn’t understand what was happening, still he went towards his bedroom and knocked. “Mark? Mark hyung? Are you okay?”
When Mark didn’t respond so he drummed at the door again. “Mark come out, we need to talk.” He kept banging at the door for 15 minutes before giving up.
“Mark hung,” He slid down the door on to the floor, resting his back against the door. “It has never happened before that I called you and you did not respond. Never. Not even once. So I really don’t need what to do now. I feel so lost. But I just want you to remember your promise. Even if…even if you are tired of me as husband,” Jinyoung’s voice shook terribly. “I cannot lose you as family and best friend. Okay?”
No response came. Not that he was expecting one anyway.
Mark was surprised to see Jinyoung’s car already parked at its usual place when he came back from work. That didn’t happen often. Now Mark started dreading the confrontation. What if Jinyoung was going to tell him he had gotten the love of his life back and now he wanted Mark to get out of his life. What was Mark going to do then?
Last night after coming back to his room he had inserted his earphones and turned the volume to the highest. He was even scared of hearing the conversation between BamBam and Jinyoung. He did not realize that closing his eyes in the face of danger won’t avert it.
In this internal chaos he reached on the seventh floor and in front of his apartment. The scene that greeted him in the lounge snatched the ground away from under his feet.
Jinyoung was sitting on the couch with all of Jaebeom’s letters and gifts scattered around him and the opened laptop in front of him meant just one thing. He had looked at the cd too.
“Jin,” Mark called him unsurely. He had stopped in the middle of the hallway.
“Is that why you asked me that insulting question, Mark?” He showed the cd to Mark.
“Jin, I… I was…”
“You watched it instead of breaking it away when you got to know from the letter what was inside it. Why?” Jinyoung looked at him. Mark shuddered at the look in his eyes. There was pain. So much pain. Pain of broken trust and disappointment. “So you could compare my performance in bed, huh?”
“Looks like I failed, if your coldness of the last week is anything to go by.” Jinyoung got up from the couch and walked slowly to stand in front of him. “Or have I started disgusting you now?”
“What are you saying, Jinyoung? You know it’s not like not that…”
“I don’t think I know anything anymore, Mark. I’m just….you have hurt me, Mark. You have hurt me so much.” Jinyoung roughly rubbed his eyes to wipe his tears and walked past him to leave the apartment, leaving Mark alone in the deadly silence.
Why did life hate him so much? Why was every day worse than the previous one?