A/N: Part V./V.
The epilogue comes next.
I usually don't suggest theme music, but you'll need this. Trust me.
I really don't even...how did it turn out...I don't...know...
(Oh yeah and sorry for the blurry text in the poster Pixlr really screwed me on that one why)
December 5, 20XX; Two month anniversary
That wasn’t supposed to happen. That wasn’t supposed to happen, that wasn’t supposed to happen, that—[Illegible].
I’m not at home. I’m at Donghae’s house; I sat in the back seat with him as Mrs. Lee drove the Lexus back from the precinct. I suppose I should start from the beginning.
The fight started in the movie theater. Donghae was very brave. He stood up to Yongguk and didn’t even flinch. I’ve never seen him like that. He looked so determined. I’m still shaking because everything was so jarring, so excuse any spelling mistakes.
When Yongguk swung, I didn’t know what to do. Donghae just fell against the wall…but when he got up, I felt a wave of relief wash over me. The authorities had to get involved. I called Donghae’s mother first and told them about the incident. Then I followed the authorities back to the precinct fifteen minutes away from the theater in Donghae’s Lexus. It was strange for me to drive the car since it handled so smoothly; I almost drove onto the other side of the street more than a few times. I worried about Donghae so much that my hands shook around the steering wheel. I was worried about him getting charged with public misconduct. I was also worried about him sustaining lasting damage from his injuries. I wouldn’t forgive myself if he were compromised because of me.
When I arrived at the precinct, Donghae and Yongguk were already handcuffed in a holding cell. I took a wrong turn and lost the police cars along the way, so I had to rely on my own navigational skills to make it to the station without turning off into another district. I made it before Donghae’s mother did, though, which relieved me a bit. I would have a chance to explain the events to her without having Donghae put the blame solely on himself.
I entered the precinct building—an old, dingy, gray building that looked like a shoebox with some lion statues in front of it—and calmly asked an individual investigator about Donghae’s whereabouts. I was told that Donghae had already gone through central booking and that his parents had been contacted about his bail amount. Fortunately, a bit more saccharine goading allowed me the chance to see Donghae in his cell. The authorities separated the cell Donghae and Yongguk were placed in with a divider since the latter was still flailing and raving all the way to the precinct, promising that he was going to murder Donghae. I would never let Yongguk hurt Donghae to that extent; not in a million years.
Donghae’s handcuffs had been undone and he was even placed in a cell where he could watch a small television on an agent’s desk. When he saw me, he reached out to me beyond the bars and my cheek with the back of his fingers. I knew that Yongguk was watching the exchange through the holes in the steel divider because I could hear his incensed growls. It didn’t matter to me. I was just happy that Donghae was alright. Someone had patched up his wounds; probably a nurse on call for the precinct. A white bandage was plastered over the bridge of his nose and a compress was bound to his left cheek.
“Are you alright?”
“I’m fine,” Donghae replied without skipping a beat, “I just want to know if you’re alright.”
“I am. You didn’t need to do something like that, Donghae.”
“I won’t let anybody manhandle you no matter their relationship to you. But between you and I,” Donghae glanced at the divider and whispered, “Why are you with a man like that?”
“I don’t think he quite got the hint.”
“You’re telling me.”
I waited with Donghae until his mother arrived at the precinct at a quarter to ten. She had apparently taken a taxi all the way to the station since her second car was out of gas. She paid Donghae’s bail and asked me if I was okay. She wanted an explanation out of Donghae and me, though. Mrs. Lee was a good mother; she just didn’t want her son to be familiar with the law. I promised to give her the full story if they would let me stay the night with Donghae. I wasn’t sure how hard he had been hit and so I wanted to stay with him. Mrs. Lee obliged but told me she would be contacting my parents. A small price to pay for the wellbeing of my second half.
As we all prepared to leave, Yongguk called out to me. I could hear the tears in his voice; he sounded so desperate. He wanted me to show something to him; even the tiniest bit of affection would have pacified him. I rejected him though; I hissed, “I hope someone posts your bail” and hurried to get to the Lexus before the Lees left me behind. Perhaps that was callous of me; no, not perhaps—it was callous of me. It was heartless and a disgusting disregard for someone who had treated me decently. Well, until he choked me. Until he tried to control me. Isn’t my treatment of him justified with all things considered?
I made the mistake of looking back at Yongguk before I left the precinct. He stared back at me with such a dark vehemence in his eyes that I broke out into a cold sweat. It was the same reaction I had in the movie theater…Donghae grabbed my wrist and dragged me back out to the Lexus.
I don’t know what’s going to happen now. Donghae is sleeping with his head on my lap as I sit here and type this. That wasn’t supposed to happen…I’ll do everything in my power to protect Donghae from now on. I love him so much…I won’t let anyone or anything harm him. I won’t let anybody harm my Donghae…
• • • • •
January 5, 20XX; Three month anniversary
I’ve decided to record what’s going on in my life lately. For some reason, it brings me a lot of comfort. Doing it on paper is useless; everything is digital now these days. I might as well have my own virtual diary. I’ll be writing in this frequently…or until I forget my password. Haha, forgive me if I don’t write for weeks!
Donghae and I have started to go out every weekend now. The job he got at the grocery store over winter recess keeps him busy, but I don’t mind. I work as well, so our schedules tend to mesh at the end of the day. We find plenty of time to talk on the phone or meet up at his mother’s café. Sometimes we leave Seoul all-together and go on a road trip to Busan or Incheon. It feels so good; it feels like I’m a kid again. My relationship with my mother and father has improved a tiny bit. They’re still the typical annoying filial figures, but I find it easier to deal with their protectiveness and their criticisms. When I was younger, I never thought that a man would be the one to make me feel complete, but Lee Donghae is the key to my lock.
Speaking of lock, my mother petitioned to have it changed. Although Yongguk doesn’t have a key, my mother is still worried that he will find a way to pick the locks. After the incident at the movie theater a few weeks ago, I’m sure that Yongguk can and will do anything in his power to get either me or Donghae. I got a new phone and changed my phone number. It wasn’t as much of a hassle as I originally anticipated since I didn’t have a ton of numbers to transfer in the first place. Doesn’t matter; all the numbers I need are Donghae’s and my parents, right?
Sunggyu still hasn’t returned. Is he that disgusted with me? I know that he wants me to be this perfect angel that follows the rules of the heart, but that won’t happen. I’ll do anything to be with Donghae; I’ll even fight God if I have to. Sunggyu should be able to understand my dilemma; as much as I want to walk the straight and narrow, basic human nature and the desire to be around my other half compels me to break away from that path. I do miss him, though. My days aren’t nearly as exciting without him around. Donghae is the love of my life, but I’ll be the first to admit that he can be a bit dense. A need…a like-minded soul. An intellectual companion. I need Sunggyu. Should I be more ashamed to admit that? That I need two men instead of just one? One completes me on a physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional level. The other completes me in a way that totally transcends this world.
What is a girl to do? Can you tell me? You’re just a cell phone app; of course you can’t.
• • • • •
February 17, 20XX; Translucent Brown Leggings
Today, I met Jessica for coffee. She wanted to catch up and apologize; mend the bridge, so to speak. The result: I ing despise her and I always will. If you may allow, let me offer a bit of background history between Jessica and I. Of course, this background history includes Donghae. Donghae is a recurring theme in almost every facet of my life.
I’ve been a loner for as long as I can remember. I don’t like people and in turn I make it so that people cannot like me. “The Silent Icicle”: I earned that title in my last year of elementary school. Nobody played with me. Nobody talked to me. I liked that. I liked being alone. When I met Donghae, I pushed him into the mud. Now, I had pushed many bubbly, annoying kids like him into the mud before. But he was the only one that grabbed a tuft of my hair and dragged me down in after him. We fought hard that day; we called each other names and I used words that only my father used when he got extremely upset. Two teachers pulled two muddy and aggravated six year olds apart. We both sat in the nurse’s office and got bandages placed on our cuts and scrapes. Then we both got suspended by the principal for disruptive violent conduct. We fought so fiercely we even scared some of the older kids. We found out we were neighbors and that we both liked Doraemon. He and I quickly became friends. He didn’t mind that he was hanging out with “The Silent Icicle” and that he was guilty by association. He called himself “The Ice Chipper” since only he could make my lips turn up into a smile. He defended me from the scurrilous words of others (although I often told him I didn’t need his help) and always invited me over to his house to watch television and play with his dogs. Soon, he became my world.
Jessica came into the picture later. Around high school, maybe. Maybe earlier, but I never paid much attention to her until the first year of high school. She and I became really close; we always went to Donghae’s soccer practices and supported him when he joined our high school’s dancing troupe. We eventually started hanging out together a lot. Our common denominator was Donghae. Jessica had eight other friends before me, but soon we became each other’s best, best friends. And I really liked her.
I learned she loved Donghae, though, on the day when Donghae broke up with me (a day that I never want to remember again). She stood by and let him humiliate me…and then she walked away with him. I supported him, too. I loved him first. Jessica ing spit in my face and took my world. And then she took my Cupid. She ing took my Sunggyu!
I saw Sunggyu for the first time in months when I met Jessica at a café in downtown Cheongdam. It was a real hole-in-the-wall type of café with the best blonde roast I had ever tasted. It didn’t even have an inside dining area; you had to order at a small counter inside and then get directed to a table out on the shop’s back patio. Jessica was sitting at a table right near the thin black railing that separated the back patio from the back road the shop was built on. She was sharing a whipped cream topped latte with Sunggyu, lifting the edge of the white porcelain cup to his lips once the server turned his back on the table. Upon seeing me, Sunggyu smiled and nodded at me. His wings were still a splendid white; I would have thought my actions would have turned them black as ash. Did the actions of a Cupid’s Human affect the Cupid in any way other than making the angel sick? I didn’t know. Sunggyu did look tired, though. He didn’t have dark circles, but his glow was gone. His eyes had no life to them.
“Aerin, you look great!”
“I wish I could say the same for you; you look like you’ve gotten run over with a truck! Are you molting or something?”
When Sunggyu laughed, I heard the dryness in his voice. The wind chime like quality to his chortle was gone. I…I literally took Sunggyu’s joy away. I must have looked so dismayed since Jessica reached over the table and shook my shoulder. Knocked out of my stupor, I took my seat and received my coffee. The waiter ducked into the coffee shop and left Jessica, Sunggyu, and I sitting in a stiff, uncomfortable silence.
“I’m happy to see you, Aerin. We haven’t talked in a while.”
“Why is Sunggyu with you,” I inquired while disregarding her greeting.
“Well, I just happened to find this notebook on a windowsill in our chemistry lecture room a few months ago. Nobody ever reclaimed the notebook, so Sunggyu’s been with me ever since.” Jessica and Sunggyu smiled at each other, the latter’s cheeks tinted with a slight touch of pink. I gripped the handle of my coffee cup so hard that I heard it crack. “He wanted to see you, Aerin. He told me you were having a bad time.”
“How would you know, Sunggyu? You haven’t been with me!”
“Even though Jessica has ownership of the notebook, you’re still the person I have an initial connection to. I know when you’re hurting and when you’re in need of a friend.”
“Then why didn’t you come for me?!” I slammed my palm down on the table and glared intensely at Sunggyu. “I prayed for you! I wanted you to come and help me! I needed you! Leave Jessica; she took my world away from me! You’re my Cupid, Sunggyu! Come home!”
“Only if Jessica relinquishes the log…”
“Which I refuse to do,” Jessica interjected. She stood up, held the Cupid’s Log in her hand, and stated, “I loved Donghae; I love him still. I gave him up to you because I knew you needed him more. Sunggyu is my happiness now.”
“Cupids can’t fall in love with their humans,” I snarled. Jessica was always a bit thick in the head; did she not read the rules? Did she not understand them?!
“I read the rules, Aerin. There’s nothing saying that it can’t be the other way around, though.” Jessica placed her palm on the table for support as she leaned towards my face and snarled with uncharacteristic iciness, “Sunggyu is mine. You got what you wanted; you got what you manipulated and destroyed for. Enjoy it.”
I was so blinded by rage that I swept my hand across the surface of the table and knocked the cups filled with warm coffee down onto the ground. I watched the amber liquid stain the stone tiles. I just stared at my reflection for a moment before storming away from Jessica and Sunggyu. If they wanted each other, they could have each other. I despise Jessica…but I can’t bring myself to hate Sunggyu. It’s…not his fault. He has no choice; he’s bound by that log of his to whoever picks it up and decides to keep it. He…was stuck with me. For months, he was stuck with me; a brat; a privileged brat who wanted love the easy way.
Even as I sit in bed now and type this, I wonder what Sunggyu really thinks of me. He hates me…can an Angel of Love really hate, though? Maybe he just loves me less. Ha…that’s a laugh.
I find something troubling about what happened at the café today, though. When I stared at my reflection in the spilled coffee, I saw dark eyes…deep, dark eyes only lit by the light of anger and hatred.
I’m still trying to find out where I’ve seen those eyes before.
• • • • •
February 24, 20XX; Lee Donghae’s Residence
Nothing of any real consequence happened today. My sinuses are acting up and I have a headache. Spring is coming. Classes haven’t started up again yet. They start on March 10. The vacation is so long.
When I went to see Donghae today, he gave me so many hugs and kisses that I thought he was going to smother me with them. We sat and watched Finding Nemo…for the fifty-fifth time since its release. Donghae really likes that movie. I only like it for Marlin and Nemo’s relationship. It’s really cute. It’s one of the only movies I like. While I was at his house, though, I couldn’t keep myself from feeling like there was a draft in the house. I made Donghae check all the windows and lock all the doors really tight…but I still felt that draft.
Donghae’s house has two stories like mine. The living room has two main windows; one at the front close to the television and one at the rear near the door that leads out into the foyer. Donghae checked both windows and locked them just to make me feel secure. He even checked the windows in the kitchen and in the small lobby near the front. Donghae went upstairs to close all of the doors up there too in case the draft was coming from any of the rooms. But it wasn’t.
I glanced at my reflection in one of the windows when Donghae fell fast asleep during the end credits of Finding Nemo. My reflection was off…I still had animosity towards Jessica, but not so much that my reflection would still have those cold, unfeeling eyes…They’re so frightening…
• • • • •
March 1, 20XX; New Mirror
Daehyun called me today. Who would’ve thought he would have my new phone number? He and I chit-chatted for a while about nothing. We both don’t want to go back to school. He asked me how Donghae and I are doing. I replied as usual, “splendid!” He laughed and told me to have a good day. I told him I would and that he should get more rest; he sounded tired. We hung up after talking to each other for fifteen minutes.
My mother and father purchased a new full sized mirror that I tacked onto my closet door. The frame is pink and very clean-looking. The glass, however…I could say a few things about the glass. I asked my parents to bring some window cleaner and an old rag upstairs so that I could try and polish it to a reflective gleam. They did as I requested and then left me to myself.
I polished the mirror for fifteen minutes. It was still dirty and showed a murky, distorted reflection when I stared into it. I eventually gave up on trying to make it look good. I haven’t heard from Donghae in a while. I hope he’s alright. Perhaps his job is getting a bit too demanding. I should tell him to get some rest.
I think I’ll go over now.
…[Edited @ 21:17 pm]
Donghae…he’s missing. His parents haven’t seen him in days. He said he’s staying at Hyukjae’s house. Hyukjae hasn’t seen him in weeks.
Where is he?
• • • • •
March 10, 20XX; Class Schedule
Why is Yongguk in all of my classes? He’s shooting for an occupation in the engineering field…but yet we’re in the same classes. I’ve seen him in every. Single. Class. He tried to eat lunch with me, but I rejected him. I’m still so worried about Donghae. He hasn’t contacted anyone about his location. I hope he’s okay. Maybe the stress of coming back to school got to him. Maybe he’s just in Busan…or maybe he even went across seas to America! He always wanted to go to Disney World…
I’m sure he’ll come up. My fish is strong.
• • • • •
March 20, 20XX; News Flash
He’s dead. I know it.
• • • • •
April 1, 20XX; Prank Call
No. No. He can’t have it…how did he get this number; tell me!
Sunggyu…can’t you feel how scared I am? Please come save me…please…
• • • • •
April 2, 20XX; One, Two
I know he did it. He had to have.
That ing blonde bastard. I’ll kill him…I’ll ing murder him!
• • • • •
April 3, 20XX; Three, Four
I saw him. He was right outside my window!
Okay, so there’s a tree. There’s a tree right outside my window and one of the branches oh god
He slammed on the window. He beat on the window. He…he screamed my name. He wants me to come back to him.
The hypotenuse is gone, he said. Let’s run away together, he said.
• • • • •
April 4, 20XX [Voice Memo]; Five, Six
“Oh god he’s coming I don’t want to die please Sunggyu somebody please just help me. I’m hiding underneath my bed; I heard him come in and—
That was the front door. Please don’t go for my mom and dad; don’t go for them, you son of a —
My door. He kicked in my door…I’m trembling…just…listen.”
The sound of glass shards raining against the wood paneling fills the room. Aerin’s screams break the grotesque silence. The sound of a window being cracked open marks the end of the voice memo.
• • • • •
April 5, 20XX; Five Month Anniversary
My name is Bang Yongguk. Consider this a full confession to my crimes although I am guilty of no crime but love.
I’ve been looking through her entries. My little baby; she’s so punctual about everything. Every entry at the exact same time…until she and I started hanging out again. Then she got sloppy. She loved spending time with me. Who’s the Sunggyu person, though? I regret not killing him, too.
I took Aerin to the Yangjaecheon Camping Site where a lot of families go to hike and enjoy nature. There’s a clearing right at the mouth of the Yangjaecheon stream where families set up tents and stare at the stars while surrounding a bonfire. Aerin didn’t want to go at first, but I put mittens on her hands and slid boots onto her feet and gave her some hot chocolate. She was fine after that. Who wouldn’t be after such good pampering? I drove the Impala up the forest path and pulled it into the clearing. Aerin got sleepy during our lengthy drive, so I pulled her out and splashed come cool water on her to wake her up. She started to curse at me; she called me an idiot and a murderer. I figured that Donghae was in our way; I did us both a favor.
I gave Aerin multiple chances to calm down, but she kept demeaning me and making me feel like the bad guy. I just love her! With a bit of persuasion and heavy petting, I eventually calmed her down enough to make love to her underneath the stars. She cried throughout the whole thing even though I made sure I was extra gentle. It was probably too cold; I should have brought a blanket. I’m a fool.
Aerin called me even worse names after we finished making love. , ert, stalker, murderer…I only wanted my baby to love me. She cried for Donghae and Sunggyu when I was right in front of her. I carried her into the stream and…made her take a dip to refresh her mind. She fell asleep, officers. I stashed her in the shadows of the branches of some low-hanging weeping willow trees. She looked so comfortable and content. I was glad.
It’s time for me to go to sleep now, too. Make sure that justice is served. The heart is a treacherous thing. My love was stronger than my will…and I regret that.
• • • • •
“That was all we could glean from the cellular data. We called you all here today to tell you that we found the bodies. Bang Yongguk took a heavy amount of sedatives and died in the driver’s seat of his Impala. Lee Aerin was indeed and drowned, her body found underneath a cluster of weeping willow trees. Lee Donghae’s body was found not too far away. I…am sorry.”
Donghae’s mother slid slowly off of the chair as she stared blankly at the detective sitting behind his polished oak wood desk. Aerin’s father made a motion to catch her before she fell to her knees, but his hands were trembling. Aerin’s mother stared forward with a gaping maw until tears pooled in her eyes and ran down her cheeks. Her raspy, lamenting cry could be heard even beyond the doors of the investigator’s office.
Sunggyu sat outside of the doors with his wings unfurled and eyes downcast. He pulled his little black book out of the pocket of his jacket and leafed through the pages.
They were…all blank.