Time Machine

Jaebeom groaned in pain as soon as he opened the door. The throbbing sensation in his jaw was the evidence that someone had punched him hard.


He turned around angrily but then froze at his place. Jinyoung!


Jinyoung pushed his shoulder and he stumbled backwards. The younger came inside, closing the door behind him with his foot.


“This was for being an to me 5 years ago.” He stepped forward with seething eyes and punched Jaebeom on the other side.


“This is for not getting rid of that video when I had very clearly told you so.”


Then came a third punch.


“This is for the anxiety that you have caused my husband for the past few weeks.”


He held the elder from the collar and shook him violently. “I had forgotten everything about you long ago. Everything. Good and bad both. I did not want to have even a memory of you when I was with someone as amazing as Mark.”




“DON’T YOU ING DARE TO SAY MY NAME WITH YOUR MOUTH.” Jinyoung growled. “You, Im Jaebeom, you and Youngjae both are nothing to me. You are strangers. Complete strangers. I don’t even hate you because even that is an association. I would never have seen your face again but you guys have involved my husband into this. He spent so many days in anxiety and fear because of you….. And that I will never forgive.”


“Jinyoung, please listen to me once. Youngjae said that if…”


“Ah, Youngjae….” Jinyoung scoffed, leaving Jaebeom’s collar roughly. “Of course it’s Youngjae. CHOI YOUNGJAE, COME OUT RIGHT NOW!” He shouted facing towards the rooms.


A few seconds passed when one of the doors opened to reveal a teary-eyed Youngjae. “Jji… nyoung…” He mumbled.


Jinyoung came up to him. Youngjae closed his eyes as if expecting a punch too. But none came.


He opened his eyes slowly. Jinyoung was looking at him with sad eyes.


“I don’t remember doing anything to hurt you ever, Youngjae. But why do you hate me so much?”


“Hate? Jinyoung, no…. I don’t… I can never…. I know you won’t believe me but the person who I missed the most was you. The person for whom I cried the most….The person for whom I felt guilt the most…. Everything was you. That’s why, I’m trying this…. Trying to give you back the thing I snatched away from you selfishly….. The person you love the most….”


“The person I love the most is my husband. You know what, Youngjae….. let me just thank you…. Thank you for taking Jaebeom away from me….. it was the biggest blessing in disguise for me. I can never tell you how much thankful I am to have Mark…. If someone gives me a Time Machine to go back to the past, I swear I won’t change a thing of it. I would gladly pass through all that pain again if it means I can have Mark by the end of it.”


Youngjae was crying in front of him. “But Jinyoung he doesn’t deserve you when he can’t even trust you. Do you know he has been taking….”


“I know him better than all of you. Whatever he has done, with me knowing it or not, I’m sure he must have his reasons. I don’t doubt him even a bit. You guys have caused enough trouble already but I’ll sort everything out. I won’t let the two of you destroy my life again. I expect to never see you two around me or my husband again. Because I know Mark won’t like it. You are free to meet whoever else you want. Just keep away from both of us or I swear you don’t want to know the revengeful Jinyoung.”


He spat angrily and left without sparing them a glance.


“Jinyoung-ah….Jinyoung-ah….” Jaebeom was sobbing, calling after the younger who hadn’t even spared a glance at him just like how Jaebeom had done all those years ago. “Youngjae please stop him.”


Youngjae hugged him tightly, both of them crying together. Maybe there was no end to this crying anymore. “Jaebeom please calm down. We can still…”


“Just off Youngjae…” He pushed away the younger harshly. “It’s because of you. It’s all because of you. You did it on purpose. You brought me here to see this. To see how the Jinyoung who wouldn’t look at anyone at me, has replaced me so easily. Are you happy now?”


“Jaebeom…” Youngjae looked at him in shock. Jaebeom had never talked to him like that before.


“Just leave me alone. I don’t ing want to see your face.” He broke down on the floor. Both of them were left with regrets only.


But these regrets were not even half of what they were going to have in the very near future.




“I’m going to be very calm. I’m going to let him speak his fears and insecurities. We are going to solve everything.” Jinyoung kept mumbling to himself, giving himself a pep talk as the lift was taking him to his floor. “You cannot lose him, Jinyoung. He has done so much for you, you won’t die if you let things go this time. But you will definitely die if you two are not together.”


The lift stopped at the seventh floor and he headed toward his home, shifting the dinner bags from one hand to the other. “Stop thinking that you disgust him because of that video. Stop thinking that. Mark isn’t someone like that. He knows you love him. He will understand. Everything will be alright. And I still have that surprise for tonight. He will forget everything after that.” He had reached the door now.


He could hear Jackson’s loud voice even in the kitchen. Seemed like he was in a heated argument with, most probably, Mark.


He was on the way to his room to see what was happening when those words… those damned cursed words… fell in his ears.


“What do you mean you are going to leave Jinyoung?” Jackson said exasperatedly. Jinyoung felt like he would never be able to breathe again.




“My god, I’m going crazy with you, Mark. What have you turned such a simple situation into? The first day that bastard sent the parcel, you should have talked to Jinyoung right then. None of this mess would have happened at the first place. Everyone envied how you two had the healthiest of relationships, always talking things out…..but your insecurities have selected a very wrong situation to act again and forcing you to bottle everything in!” Yugyeom, who seldom lost his cool was beyond exasperated right now. He had come back LA in a haste because he was too worried for his friends. “The things aren’t as complicated as you think.”


“You guys don’t understand. None of you understand,” Mark shouted back. “None of you have been in love the way I have been so you won’t ever understand….love doesn’t work like that, you guys have no idea how forgiving love is…. You guys have no idea how love just….it just never goes away….no matter how much it hurts but it just never goes away…. So how can you tell me that Jinyoung doesn’t love Jaebeom anymore now?” Mark slumped on the floor, setting his head tiredly against the couch. “Whatever his meetings with Jaebeom and him lying to me meant, Jinyoung will never cheat on me, I know that. He will never leave me, I know. He loves me a lot, I know. But I also know the fact that his love for me will never top his love for Jaebeom. These things aren’t just in our control. The reason he would have to choose me will not be because he loves me more than him, but it will be his sense of commitment to me. So, won’t it be better if I leave him for Jaebeom, myself. At least he can be fully happy like that.”


“Have you lost your mind?” BamBam interrupted him. “Oh my god,” He raised his hands in the direction of the sky in disbelief. “Is this some melodrama, I have suddenly become a part of?”


“And how the hell are you so sure that he doesn’t love you more than anyone else in the world? Have you ever asked him that? You are not a psychic neither a love guru, Mark. Stop assuming Jinyoung’s emotions, will you?” Jackson barked.


Mark didn’t say anything for a few seconds. Eyes closed, tears falling down. “I met him the other day. I met Jaebeom.”


BamBam gasped. Jackson came to sit beside him quickly. “What happened? Did he say something?”


“I was so full of myself before going there. I had this long list of arguments with which I was going to shatter every hope of his of ever getting Jinyoung back and forcing him to just get the hell lost to, where ever he came from.” He sniffled. “But….he said… he just said one sentence and all my arguments went out of the window.


I told him to leave my Jinyoung alone. And he laughed. He laughed in my face, Jackson. And with his held head high, looking me right in the eyes he said:


‘Yours? When did he ever become yours? He wanted to not live a life that did not have me. You, Mark, will never get to my level.’


And I couldn’t say anything to him. I could not punch his face because he….Jackson….he was telling the truth. Jinyoung will never love me the way he loved Jaebeom. For whom he tried to take his life…” He was crying hysterically now. “That kind of love happens only once and that didn’t happen to me. He is not mine, Jackson. Jin, will never be mine.” Jackson wrapped his arms around Mark, patting his back consolingly. The other two also gathered around them.


“Mark. Please don’t be like this. Calm down. You are over-thinking. Let Jinyoung come back and we will talk calml….” Yugyeom’s sentence was cut short by a person none of the four expected.


“I’ll never understand what made you think it was Jaebeom I tried to kill myself for….” The four of them snapped around to find Jinyoung standing near the door, arms folded in front of his chest, looking only at Mark. “But even then…. Five years….” He said, as he crossed the short distance and knelt down in front of Mark. His eyes were shining with unshed tears. “Five years together, Mark….I couldn’t give you even ONE moment that would have given you enough strength to look right back into his eyes and tell him that yes, bastard, he might have tried to die because of you, but it is me he lived for???” He looked so…. shattered. More than when his family died… more than when his wedding was called off just three days prior to the event…. More than when Mark had asked him to compare him with Jaebeom…. More than when he had found out about Mark having watched his -tape…. And it scared Mark. This broken-ness, this vulnerability shook Mark….




“Why is dying that big of a deal anyway? Isn’t living much more difficult? I was lying on the hospital bed and thinking that I wanted to get better faster so that I could get to be with you. I wanted to take all the psychiatric sessions real quick, so I could be healthy enough for you. You told me that you needed me to breathe and I thought I have to live for many, many years so you could breathe. Did I fail to make you realize in five long years that your confession that day in the hospital, is actually the only reason I am alive today? Looks like I did… I did fail!” A tear fell down on his cheek. He let his forehead drop on top of Mark’s knee. Several minutes of complete silence passed. None of them spoke or moved.


“In the evening before you came back and I had found those letters, I was so angry at you for hiding them from me. I decided I wasn’t going to live with you and went to pack my bag…” Jinyoung chuckled. His voice calm now. The type of calm that unnerved Mark. “I could not decide what clothes to put in. The ones that I bought but never wore because you liked them better or the ones that you bought but I kept for myself? Which of them were mine? For me it has always been like that. I have forgotten where I end and you start. Once you came in the picture, Mark. He was never there. Not for even a fleeting second. Even his thought never crossed my mind…” He raised his head to look at Mark. “You must be bored with all this bull you don’t believe a word of, right?”


“Jin…Jin I’m sorry…I just can’t control myself when it comes to you. You know how insecure I can get. You know me the best….” But Jinyoung wasn’t listening to him, his eyes trained at some faraway point.


“I always wondered why you never said something like ‘I know’ whenever I told you that I loved you. Now, I understand. You never believed me, Mark.” Jinyoung smiled at him with teary eyes.


“Of course, I believed you Jin. What are you saying, hey… look at me, huh???” Mark cupped his face with trembling hands and tried to make Jinyoung face him. “Jin, baby… I’m sorry.”


Jinyoung sniffled, shaking Mark’s hands off him. “No, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not doing enough. I am never enough. For him. For you. I’ll never be enough…” He stood up and with staggering steps headed towards the door. “I know you don’t trust me but I don’t know which meetings with Jaebeom you were talking about. I never met him before tonight.”


Mark followed him at once. “Jin, where are….”


“Leave him alone for some time, Mark.” Jackson said shakily as they heard the sound of the door opening and closing. “You might not have realized but those were some big words you were saying, that he must have heard. Give him a little time. And ponder on your actions too. Trust is the basis of love, Mark. If you have loved him this much, then learn to trust him too. No XYZ should be able to shake up your world just like that.”




The tik-tok of the clock was resounding even more in the empty, dark apartment. It was almost 11 at the night. His head felt like it was going to split open with the pain and too much crying.


His friends had left hours earlier, a little after Jinyoung left. Mark knew they were trying their best not to lash out on him when in fact they were actually a little pissed at him. For Jinyoung, the four of them always used to turn instantly into protective, caring mothers.


He picked up his phone and called Jackson.


“Markie? Is everything okay?” Jackson picked up at once though his voice was laced with sleep.


“He isn’t picking up my call.” Mark’s voice was hoarse but he wasn’t crying anymore. “Please ask him to come back home. Come back to me. I promise I will listen to only him and trust only what he says. I… I never realized this before, Jacks, but without him this place….” He looked around. “It feels like it’s a grave that will suffocate me alive. Please tell him that I’m sorry.” His voice shook at the end, like he was a kid afraid of not being forgiven.


“Don’t worry. I’ll talk to him. He can’t stay mad at you for too long.”


One Hour passed.


Two passed.


Three passed.


It was already three in the morning, and Jinyoung was nowhere to be found. He wasn’t picking up anyone’s call. The three of his friends were back at his place, busy on phone with different people, already having contacted everyone they thought might know a trace of the younger.


“I’m going to his office.” Mark said suddenly, voice determined as he picked up his keys and jacket.




“Sometimes he used to go there after we fought. I’ll go and get him. He can fight all he wants here. I need to see him now.” He was keeping pretense of being calm but Yugyeom could identify the shades of anxiousness in his tone. The tone he had felt 5 years ago in the car when Mark had somehow felt that Jinyoung was not okay.


“I’ll drive. C’mon. You guys wait here and keep updating us if you find anything.” Yugyeom told Jackson and BamBam before holding Mark’s elbow, guiding him towards the door.




“The lights are on. IN HIS ROOM.” Mark exclaimed in relief and ran towards the office. He had been here so many times before, he could navigate with eyes closed.


He opened the door with a bang. Someone was sitting on the chair, his head on the table and eyes closed. But it wasn’t Jinyoung!


Before Mark could look at him more closely, he gasped at the scene in front of him. The big office room was filled with hundreds of pink and blue balloons, that were scattered mostly near the roof. There were also humungous golden balloons in the shape of alphabet that read HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARK on the floor together with large garlands and congratulatory trees.


What the hell was happening???!!!


“Excuse me? Who are you?” The man on the chair was probably startled awake when Mark opened the door so loudly. He asked him in confusion. But then as his eyes lingered on Mark, his pupils widened and he turned around quickly, his eyes trained on Mark and Jinyoung’s huge photo on the wall behind Jinyoung’s chair. Since Jinyoung was his own boss, he could afford such luxuries.


“Oh My God, Mr Tuan! Nice to meet you sir!” The man came forward to shake his hand enthusiastically. “I’m Jaebum Lee. I was appointed here recently to replace Mr Yugyeom Kim.”


Mark felt like he was hit by a bullet train! This was him. The Jaebum, Jinyoung had been with, was actually him and he…. ! Jinyoung couldn’t lie to him and he hadn’t done that this time either. Mark suddenly couldn’t breathe.


“Jinyoung….Jinyoung….where is he?” He asked the employee in broken words.


“I don’t know sir. I have been waiting for his instructions since the evening but he isn’t responding. Actually, I had been helping him prepare this surprise for you and in the morning he told me to stay after work and once the coast was clear I was supposed to deliver this stuff to your house so that you won’t know and he would get to surprise you at exactly 12am.” Lee Jaebum explained.


Mark unconsciously took two steps back. Yugyeom had caught him or he would have tripped.




Mark looked at the younger with teary eyes. “Look what I have done, Gyeom.”


“Mark, you can’t be like that right now. Let’s find Jinyoung first, okay?” Yugyeom rubbed his back and wrapped his arm around his friend to help him walk to the car.




He had been standing at the same spot without even a twitch of movement of any limb for hours and now everything felt numb. Or maybe it was numb since the moment he got to know that he had failed so badly in making Mark feel loved the way he had vowed to do right at this spot, when he had proposed the older.


His phone had vibrated in his pocket for the nth time that night. By the time he took it out, the call had already dropped. His eyes fell on the time and date on his screen.


September 4th,2021







It was September 4th already and he didn’t even wish Mark for his birthday. Dumb Jinyoung. Good-for-nothing, absolute failure Jinyoung. Tears fell down his eyes. He held the parapet of the bridge in his hands so tightly that his knuckles turned pale.


A memory from the past suddenly came into his mind.





It was about three months ago. He was at a hotel to meet some people for business who were late for the meeting. So instead of just sitting there, waiting for them, Jinyoung decided to visit the cultural festival going on in the hotel. He remembered Yugyeom telling him that a very famous Palmist was also a part of the event. So Jinyoung decided to pay her a visit just for the fun of it, when in reality he didn’t believe in such things at all.


As the day had just started, her cabin wasn’t that crowded and Jinyoung was able to get in about 15 minutes later without much trouble.


“Hello.” Jinyoung sat in front of her.


“Hey there, young man. What’s with that surprise on your face?” She asked good-naturedly.


Jinyoung smiled a bit unsurely. “I haven’t been to a palmist before and I have watched Harry Potter a little too much. So…well, I was expecting Professor Trelawney 2.0, honestly.”


The middle-aged lady, in a neat bun, spectacles and a formal suit chuckled. “You are a funny guy and I’m happy to beat those Trelawney allegations. So…” She asked for Jinyoung’s palm which he placed in her palm confidently.


“Let’s see what you got there.”


After about 5-7 minutes of deliberation she let his palm go and looked at him solemnly. “You are going to be killed by the person you love the most in the world.”


Jinyoung broke in laughter. She did not look like Trelawney but she had business tricks just like hers. The doom of every person that enters her cabin. After all humans are only afraid of death.


“Why would you laugh?” She asked crossly.


“That’s not possible, ma’am.” Jinyoung was smiling.




“Because the person I love the most in the world is Mark. My husband.”




Jinyoung clicked his tongue but then took a deep breath and started explaining to the palmist as if she was a pre-schooler who could not grasp how 1 + 1 became 2.


“Do you see this little cut here?” He put the palm of his other hand in front of her. There was a very minor scratch on the side of his palm.


“Yeah, it’s very minor.”


“A glass slipped from my hand and while collecting the pieces, one of it grazed my hand. It wasn’t a big deal at all. Not even two drops of blood came out. And he went absolutely feral. Would you believe me he created this huge drama taking me to the emergency and insisting on bandaging this with antiseptic gauze and what not? He even asked them if I need a tetanus shot.” He was laughing openly telling her the story. But she could feel the fondness in his voice. “And you are telling me that person is going to kill me?”


He rose from his seat and straightened his suit. “It was nice meeting you madam. I had fun.”







And now Jinyoung thought that maybe that palmist wasn’t lying. He had actually died when he heard Mark saying that he did not believe that Jinyoung loved him more than Jaebeom.


He looked towards the sky in helplessness.


“Mom, what do I do now? I’m stuck. And I miss you.” He sobbed bitterly. “I want to be with you.” He kept crying for minutes before his phone vibrated again.


It was Mark. His Mark. His husband. Whom Jinyoung had loved more than he had ever loved anyone. For whom Jinyoung could go to the extents Mark had no idea of. Who did not trust Jinyoung’s love for him. But Jinyoung was going to make sure that at least that part changed tonight.


He jumped up to sit on the only 20 cm wide parapet, his legs hanging towards the side of the bridge. And he picked up the call.


“Jinyoung…Jin…oh my god…ing finally…. I was so scared…Jin you….where are you? You


are at the bridge, aren’t you? I can hear the sound of the waves. Yugyeom, turn left from here. RIGHT NOW. Park Jinyoung, I told you not to go there alone. Why are you there? Jin….baby…


you are listening to me, right? I’m sorry. Everything is my fault and I’ll pay for it till I take my last breath. But please….please don’t think about doing anything stupid. Why aren’t you answering, Jin? Talk to me please.” Mark was crying helplessly.


“Happy Birthday to you…Happy Birthday to you… Happy Birthday dear Mark hyung…. Happy Birthday to you….” Jinyoung sang quietly in his soft, gentle voice. There was no one around at this hour. He was completely alone at that not very commercial bridge.


“Jinyoung, please snap out of it. Huhhhh? Jin you aren’t listening to me. YUGYEOM CAN YOU PLEASE MOVE A LITTLE QUICKER FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE!” He heard Mark shouting and he detachedly moved the phone away from his ear. With a deep exhale he moved and stood up on the narrow space of the parapet.


“The air is nice today,” He put the phone back to his ear and told Mark. “Just the way you like it.”




“Shall I give you a gift hyung?” He turned around shakily so now he was standing tall on the bridge, facing away from the city and looking at the endless dark sky in front of him. This is the only way you are going to believe me, Mark. Dying is the only way that will make you believe that no one even comes near to what you are for me.


“Jin, I’m just there. Please wait for me, huh?” Mark was pleading.


But Jinyoung wasn’t listening. “I’ll make sure that you’ll never have to lose to Jaebeom again.” He was saying in a trance. His eyes fixed on a bright star in the sky. Will I be able to shine as brightly as this? “The next time he tells you that it was for him I tried to die, look him straight in the eyes and tell him that who cares if Jinyoung tried to die for Jaebeom, it was for Mark that he actually died.”


“JINYOUNG NO PLEASE I BEG YOU…. WHAT ARE YOU SAYING… Yugyeom, why the hell are we not reaching?”


“You will believe me then, right Mark hyung?”


“Jin, I do believe you. It was a stupid mistake… my mistake….so punish me, huh??? Punish me however you want. You can cut my throat with a knife and I won’t say a word. I should be the one who is punished, why are you doing this to yourself?” Mark was hiccupping violently. He felt like life was seeping out of his body dragging-ly slow with every second and it was painful. It was far more painful than dying at once.


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?” BamBam wiped his tears and sat beside Mark, who was sitting on his feet, one arm wound around his legs, the other’s hand immersed in the water of the lake, his head resting sideways on his knees. He had been acting so strange since last night. Like he wasn’t in his senses. He himself hadn’t cried a single tear but his condition was making everyone else cry around him. All the rescue forces and volunteers that had been trying to find Jinyoung’s body since last night had strictly forbidden everyone from being near the bank but they couldn’t stop Mark. And thus, Mark had been sitting in this position for hours now.


“Why are you sitting like this?” BamBam gently tried to remove his hand from the water but Mark shook him away.


“This is so cold. Jinyoung hates cold water. It must have hurt him a lot when he fell down.” He said robotically.


BamBam broke down into tears once again. What had happened to them? Just a few hours ago, everything was right. What evil eyes had seen the perfect lives of his friends?


“Bam?” Mark called him.


“Yeah?” He sniffed.


“Can you please ask them to get Jinyoung out quickly. He must be cold. I brought his favorite blanket to wrap him up. Look.” He showed the grey blanket that was clutched against his chest.


BamBam didn’t know how to tell him that his Jinyoung wasn’t coming back alive. Not when he hadn’t been recovered for more than 14 hours now.


“Do you also think that he is dead?” Mark looked at him. BamBam averted his gaze.


“He is not dead, Bam. If I’m still alive, that means he is alive too. I cannot breathe without him, you know. So… so he IS alive.”




“Mark? Can you stop being stubborn for once and get the up?” Jackson said frustratingly looking at the older, who did not even flinch and kept lying passively on the bed, his face turned towards the wall.


“MARK?” Jackson yelled. He had been like that since Jinyoung’s death. Always on edge. Always blaming Mark. Always in a bad mood.


Mark didn’t complain though. Everyone was right in hating him. He was the reason Jinyoung was dead. He was the reason that he was living like a zombie for past three months. He had brought it upon himself. How ironic was it that he used to think that Jaebeom didn’t deserve Jinyoung when he didn’t do it either.


The stupor he was in during the first two days of the accident wore off when hours turned into days and days turned into weeks yet they could not find Jinyoung’s body. And how Mark wished he had stayed in that state of denial forever cause after that there was pain beyond description he had been living in since three months now. Every breath hurt. Every heartbeat killed.


“Mark, are you not going to be in the wake of your own husband?”


Mark closed his eyes tightly. He did not want to hear such terms in association with his Jinyoung. He did not want to keep remembering how because of him Jinyoung had to die a death where even his body couldn’t be discovered.


The rescue operations had been called off after 10 weeks of failure and they were left with not even a tombstone to mourn over. Mark’s family and friends had arranged the wake, never the less, so people could gather to pay their respects and pray for Jinyoung.


“You know what, just stay here. Jinyoung was a fool for ever falling in love with you and fools like him deserve this. They deserve to die a nameless death and no wakes. He deserves this.” Jackson shouted and left the room closing the door behind him with a bang.


Mark burst into tears. Nobody understood him. Going to the wake meant saying good-bye to his Jinyoung and Mark wasn’t ready. If he said good-bye to Jinyoung he would die and he couldn’t die. He had to live a long, long life experiencing pain every second of it to make up for the hurt he had caused Jinyoung.




“Jackson, I have told you so many times not to be so harsh on Mark. Why don’t you listen to me?” Yugyeom reprimanded him sternly as soon as he came out of the room. He was so loud that Yugyeom had heard everything outside. “What happened was nobody’s fault. Nobody wanted that. It was just written to happen like that. Three months have passed, why have you not accepted that fact? Do you think you are hurting more than Mark? Jackson, he has lost his husband. Mark has lost his Jinyoung. Do you not understand how big of a trauma this is? He needs us right now. We have lost one friend. If we don’t want to lose the other, we need to wake up.”


“I’m sorry. I just…” Jackson broke into tears. “I don’t know what is happening to me. I ing miss Jinyoung so much. And I’m so scared for Mark. He hasn’t spoken a word in three months. Not a single word. I try to rile him up so at least he would let his emotions out but…. He just keeps lying on the bed all day and…. I’m scared. I’m so scared…”


Yugyeom hugged him. “Don’t worry. We need to be strong so we can get him out of this trauma. We cannot lose hope. Okay?”


Jackson nodded. “Now, go look for Bam. He isn’t doing much better either. I’ll try to get Mark to the wake. Otherwise let’s do it without him.”




[Three Years Later]


Mark scrunched his nose in sleep when he felt fingers grazing his jaw. Soft fingers… Jinyoung’s fingers… Mark opened his eyes at once. There he was. His Jinyoung. Lying on the pillow next to him, smiling at him sweetly.


“Jinyoungie,” Mark called him.


Jinyoung smiled.


They kept looking at each other for minutes.


“You are so pretty.” Mark said and Jinyoung’s smile widened.


Several more minutes passed until Mark’s eyes started welling up. “But you aren’t real. I touch you and you disappear.”


Jinyoung’s smile disappeared.


Mark braved himself up and tried to touch Jinyoung’s temple with his index finger. All his fears came true as his finger passed through the thin air and touched the pillow. Jinyoung’s image had gone and the empty pillow greeted him.


Mark starting sobbing. He had started seeing these hallucinations two years ago. Yugyeom had even forcibly taken him to the psychiatrist but still they weren’t going away.


Mark got up and headed towards the bathroom. He had another long, painful day to get through.


On the way his mother had called and insisted on the same thing she had been doing for months.


To not live alone and move to his family home.


Why did she not understand that Mark could not do that? Everything at his home still smelled like Jinyoung. And Mark needed that. He needed that scent if he did not want to go insane.


After her, it was Jackson reminding him of his appointment with the doctor.


Inside his office room, Youngjae was waiting for him already. The younger used to come to see him no matter how much Mark ignored him. He wanted Mark to forgive him. And Mark laughed. Could he really forgive anyone when he couldn’t forgive himself?


He ignored him as usual and opened up his laptop.


“Jaebeom had a nervous breakdown last week. He has been in coma since then.” Youngjae said.


Mark didn’t even flinch and kept typing with a straight face. His Jinyoung was dead and he didn’t care if the rest of the world died too.


“Sometimes breathing becomes so difficult that I want to go and jump off that bridge myself.”


“You guys are lucky you at least have the luxury to die. I can’t even do that.” Mark said drily.


Silence ensued.


“I came today to give you something. I have been keeping it for so long because I know this is only going to hurt you more, but… I think you should at least know the truth.” Youngjae said.


Mark showed no interest.


Youngjae took out an envelope and placed it on the table.


“This is a recording of Jinyoung’s very first session with the psychiatrist after his first attempt.”


Mark’s hands shook terribly as he looked at brown envelope.


“I hacked a lot of stuff back then when I was planning to come back here from Seoul. It was one of them. He told everything clearly to the psychiatrist. That what was going through his mind when he planned everything.”


Mark held his knees tightly under the table. His heart trembling like a dry leaf.


“The day before the attempt, when he came back to the house, no one was there except Jackson. Just like the day Jaebeom broke up with him. Coincidentally, a lot of things that Jackson said were also similar. The ordering pizza and stuff… It threw him off the hook. He went back to that evening again, scared that the way Jaebeom left that night, you were going to leave him this time.”


Mark felt like someone punched his guts. Him?


“He got scared of being left alone again and decided that ending his life was better than having to see you leave him too.”


Mark used to think that he had seen such height of pain that he had become numb to it now. The pain he felt… the way his heart wrenched when he had reached the bridge that night only to find Jinyoung’s phone lying on the bridge and no sign of him…. He thought nothing could be worse than that. Then what was this? What was this feeling slicing at his heart?


“It was never about Jaebeom, Mark. It was always about you. Before and after. It was only you.”




Mark stood on top of the parapet eyes fixed on the dark sky. There were so many stars there.


Which one of them was Jinyoung? Must be the brightest one of them all.


“Is it enough now, Jinyoungie?” He looked at the calmly flowing sea below him. “Are three years enough? I cannot take it anymore. Can I please come to you now? Please let me come to you.”


He raised one of his feet in the air but before he could do the same with the other and let himself fall from high above in the sky to the very bottoms of the sea, his wrist was gripped in an iron grip. He was yanked down the bridge, strong arms engulfing him like warm blanket from behind.


The paradise he was going to find at the depth of water… he got it back on the solid bridge!!!





Please try not to kill me. Lol

Oh my god, I at writing open-endings so much, jeez. But please don't tell me I failed to give the hint that I was actually trying to give at the end.

You guys won't believe it I had literally ended the story at the scene Jinyoung jumped. This fic was always supposed to have a tragic ending. I had planned it from the start. But guess I'm too soft hearted and decided to lessen the pain a little with this open-ending.

Now keep wondering who saved Mark at the end and please hate me a little less. Lol.

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