A/N: Part III/???
Short, but I won't apologize.
Things are getting dodgy.
Kim Sunggyu can’t remember when he became a Cupid; an Angel of Love whose sole purpose was to unite those with yearning hearts. In the beginning, he scoffed at the idea of playing matchmaker for a bunch of faulty human beings. He and the other Cupids watched for centuries as the relationships they yoked together eventually crumbled underneath the petty weights of human selfishness. Sunggyu’s fellow Cupids took a lackadaisical stance on the matter of broken relationships; they figured that since humans were ultimately ignorant to the mechanisms, depths, and complexities of the heart, break-ups would occur with startling frequency. For the longest time, Sunggyu witnessed most of his yoked relationships shatter faster than he could yoke a new pair of star crossed lovers together. To him, it was like putting the pieces of a broken vase back together while someone continuously threw rocks at it. Over time, Sunggyu stopped being amused. He just became plain angry at the way humans operated. He became angry whenever people used the word or notion of “love” under false pretenses. He started to resent human beings and their faulty views of love. No human being would ever be able to truly love another one selflessly.
Twenty-two years ago, Sunggyu received his case booklet for a girl named Lee Aerin. It outlined her general information; Sunggyu had to write his observations and approximate her personality so that he could be an effective guide for her. He watched her grow into quite a distasteful personality; when she was younger, he blamed her bratty behavior on the complexities of getting older and learning about the world. However, her mentality and personality never changed. With every passing birthday, she just seemed to get more ruthless and cold. Sunggyu chalked that up to her intellect and maturity, though. Aerin always seemed to be a step ahead of other children her age. Sunggyu attributed that to Aerin’s strict and enterprising mother who always taught her to hold her head up and establish a name for herself on her own. Aerin was also smart. Very smart. By her last year of primary school, she knew all of her multiplication tables and could write immaculately. Sunggyu would sometimes descend from the heavens to read over Aerin’s shoulder or stop her from walking into a busy intersection because of her being engrossed in her studies or her music. He cared about her so much that he thought he had fallen in love with her. He wanted to be her everything; her shield, her sword, and her refuge. However, the doctrines of heaven forbade him from becoming too emotionally involved. Therefore, Sunggyu attempted to watch Aerin impartially from above (without much success).
She entered elementary school and meet Lee Donghae at age six. He watched Aerin push the friendly brunette down into the mud when he annoyed her. He watched Donghae get right back up and shove her down in turn. The two fought in the mud. They were inseparable ever since.
Sunggyu liked watching their love blossom. It warmed his heart in a way that felt foreign to him. He had forgotten how fulfilling love could feel to a Cupid. Donghae started to share his ice cream sandwiches with Aerin. He took her to his mother’s café and always bought Aerin whatever she wanted with his tiny allowance. As they grew older, Aerin tutored Donghae and began to make him tiny trinkets: a shell bracelet and a shark tooth necklace were just two of her numerous and heartfelt gifts. Their romance fully bloomed at the onset of their high school year. They were truly in love; Sunggyu grinned so much during that time that the other Cupids grew envious of his good fortune. Sunggyu legitimately thought that the two of them would surpass any obstacles in their path. The Cupid knew that Donghae would treat Aerin immaculately even though she was the epitome of the antithesis of the loving, cuddly type. He knew that Aerin would help to bring a facet of realism into Donghae’s overly optimistic mindset. The two fit together like long-lost puzzle pieces; they completed each other. Sunggyu was crushed when Donghae began to falter.
Jessica Jung had a certain aura about her that would attract anyone. She was a lot like Aerin when it came to outward appearances; she didn’t seem to like talking to many people. She had a close circle of girlfriends which included Aerin herself. Even though she seemed guarded on the outside, inside she was kind and always had a smile or a helping hand to offer to her friends. She cooked lunches, hosted dinner parties, and had sleepovers. She was a writer as well; she loved writing short fiction and poems. To Sunggyu’s displeasure, she also harbored very strong feelings for Donghae. They started in her first year of high school at the exact time when Donghae and Aerin began to explicitly date.
Sunggyu had seen the consequences of human selfishness time and time again. Suicide, violence, jealousy, rage; those were only a few of the many repercussions. That’s why he could barely stand to be around Aerin and her new artsy beau Yongguk. Two weeks after meeting and the two were the subject of the latest relationship buzz on Seoul National Heart’s small campus. Sunggyu knew that Yongguk couldn’t help his feelings; even though they were written in a notebook, they were still genuine. He felt bad for the blonde, honestly. As soon as Donghae displayed the smallest inkling of interest in Aerin again, she would leap upon the chance and leave Yongguk heartbroken. Sunggyu had seen too much heartbreak in his life.
“Don’t you think you’re going a bit too far,” the Cupid asked when Yongguk left Aerin at the baseball diamonds in order to get to class. To Sunggyu’s annoyance, Aerin shrugged and lay down across the bleacher she had been sitting on.
“No. Girls and boys do this all the time; dating someone just to make the last lover jealous. Haven’t you seen this situation a lot during your lifetime, Sunggyu?”
Sunggyu slammed his fist against the wood and hissed, “Just because I’ve seen it doesn’t mean I like it.” A sudden wave of nausea came over Sunggyu and made him lay down. Aerin sat up and placed her hand on the angel’s back.
“Are you alright, Sunggyu?”
“Get off of me, Aerin,” the male acerbically demanded. He stood up, beginning to explain, “I’m getting sick. Cupids can’t handle emotional stress well.”
“I…I-I’m sorry,” the female apologized, “but I can’t help my feelings. I feel like this is the correct path. I really want your blessing on this.”
Sunggyu grabbed Aerin’s messenger bag and began to dig around in its contents. He found his notebook snuggled in between two spiral notebooks like always. Upon opening the cover, he found a multitude of names written inside. Yongguk’s small crew on campus suddenly became her close friends. Aerin had also written down the names of some others in the notebook, designating them as friends. These were the popular people, the eccentric people, and the people who shouldn’t be involved. Even Jessica’s small circle of friends had been designated to become Aerin’s friend and turn on Jessica. Sunggyu dropped the notebook into the dirt when a particularly powerful headache plagued him. Aerin’s indignant protest sounded so far away that he couldn’t hear it. He planted himself back down onto the bleachers and rocked back and forth. He hadn’t known that Aerin was doing something like this. It disgusted him; he thought she would be different, but he was wrong.
“Y-you can’t have it, Aerin…I don’t condone this at all.”
“I thought you were going to be on my side,” Aerin raved from her spot on the ground. She was dusting off the notebook, her teeth at Sunggyu’s behavior.
“I…I am on your side. But I don’t agree with your methods, Aerin. I’m disappointed in you.”
“Take your goddamn notebook, Sunggyu,” Aerin snarled before shoving the notebook into an unsuspecting Sunggyu’s chest, “And leave me alone if you disagree with my methods so much.”
A tense silence passed between the human female and the Cupid before Sunggyu stood up and spread his wings with the notebook in hand. “I’ll go on ahead to your next class; I’ll wait for you.”
Sunggyu took to the air, the wind caressing his exposed skin and weaving pleasantly through his wings. Nobody but Aerin could see him, so he took his time circling over the baseball diamonds before flying towards the science building where Aerin’s next class was held. The mandates of heaven forbade him from getting so emotionally involved. However, he couldn’t stop the acrid taste of dissatisfaction from flooding his mouth. Aerin had grown up and in many ways exceeded his expectations of her. He wished that she hadn’t turned into such a cruel young woman, though. Having been watching her since her birth, however, Sunggyu should have seen it coming. She was cold and ruthless; had been since she was a little girl. He scolded himself for putting so much faith in her. It was a bad move on his part.
The Cupid tucked his wings in towards his spine as he entered the science building through an open window on the third floor. He knew Aerin’s schedule down to the second; he would often scare her by sitting in her seat as she came into the classroom. Sunggyu wondered if he would return to those days with her; those days before she started to use the notebook irresponsibly. Aerin was working to destroy Jessica and rip Donghae from the girl’s grasp. Sunggyu sighed; Jessica was probably sitting alone, heartbroken, and confused, not knowing of the tragedy to befall her. It made Sunggyu anxious, but he couldn’t do anything about it. Heaven set that provision in place when he began his duties as a Cupid. The angel opened the notebook and stared at the names written within in Aerin’s flowing script. Choi Junhong, Kim Himchan, Jun Daehyun, Yoo Youngjae, and Moon Jongup were all designated as her ‘close friends.’ Jessica’s eight companions were all ‘good friends’: people she shopped, ate, and talked with but didn’t consider close friends who she could invite home and spend time with. There were a few other assorted names but Sunggyu didn’t find any real purpose for their names being in the book other than to fill it up. The worst thing was that Aerin probably didn’t see any repercussions to her actions.
Sunggyu lowered the notebook from his face only to be eye to eye with Jessica. The Cupid almost stumbled backwards but remembered that Jessica couldn’t see him. Her eyes were focused on intently on him, though, that it seemed like she could just reach out and…snatch the notebook from his hands.
“H-hey, wait a second! Jessica, you can see me?”
The female rolled her eyes as if Sunggyu was an ignorant child and replied, “Yes, I can. So this is what Aerin’s been using; clever witch. I had a feeling…”
“Do you know about the notebook, Jessica,” Sunggyu inquired while taking a precautious step towards the brunette.
“I used to have one. You probably don’t remember my sweet Sungyeol, but I do. I remember him as if he had just come down yesterday. I loved him so much; it’s a shame that he passed on.”
Sunggyu knew well enough that there was only one way for a Cupid to perish, and that was… “You wrote his name in the notebook, Jessica?”
“No, he wrote his name in the notebook himself. He said something about not being able to contend with his feelings. Ah, my sweet Sunggyu…” Jessica closed her eyes and a wistful smile graced her lips. When he opened her eyes again, a malicious gleam lit them from within. “Well, then. Let’s see what Aerin has been up to,” Jessica purred as she opened the notebook.
“What are you going to do to Aerin, Jessica?”
The brunette shook her head in what seemed like disappointment before turning her back on the Cupid and walking towards the classroom where she shared a chemistry lecture course with Aerin. Upon entering the vacant room, the female plucked a red pen from the lecturer’s podium and began to cross out names. Sunggyu could only watch in horror; he couldn’t intervene. He had to uphold the mandates of heaven.
“I’m going to do to Aerin what she’s been doing to me. So she wants Donghae; she can have him. In return, I want her to endure the loneliness I’ve endured while she’s been having her little field day.” Jessica completed her ministrations and capped the red pen before turning to an apprehensive Sunggyu, her gaze sympathetic as she cooed, “How badly did she mistreat you, Cupid?”
“Aerin didn’t mistreat me. She would never mistreat me!”
“Because she “loves” you, right?” Sunggyu paled and Jessica stood up to embrace him. The feeling of genuine warmth that radiated from the female’s body felt completely different from Aerin’s constant cool atmosphere. Jessica pulled Sunggyu flush against her and whispered, “Aerin doesn’t love anyone but herself. I’ll let her have Donghae, but in return she’ll feel nothing but misery.”
Sunggyu hesitantly wrapped his arms around Jessica but couldn’t deny the wave of relief that washed over him once he returned her embrace. He knew that he should have been trying to find solace in Aerin’s arms, but he found that harder and harder to do. So he held Jessica and even sat with her during the chemistry lecture. Of course Sunggyu had to deal with Aerin’s glare from across the room, but when Jessica’s hand brushed against his whenever she went to grab a colored pen for underlining, he felt safe…safe and loved.