A Date with Kim Ryeowook
Kyuhyun remembers the second time he throws all rationality in the air. Face to face with Ryeowook’s killer, the man had only smiled and shrugged his shoulders indifferently, “How am I supposed to remember them all?”
He says it so casually, Kyuhyun snaps, and he remembers screaming and thrashing, shouting insults at a man who only stared coldly at him. For the first time in Kyuhyun’s life, he wanted to kill someone. He wanted to kill this person who couldn’t even remember Ryeowook, Ryeowook who had cared more than he should and got killed for it.
When Zhoumi leaves, Kyuhyun takes out his phone and nervously stares at Ryeowook’s number for a while. Beating himself up for his nervousness and trying to will himself to relax because it’s just Ryeowook, his Ryeowook, which may or may not be his anymore because he was stupid last night. When he finally decides to call, Ryeowook beats him to it.
“Hello, Kyu? Are you okay? Have you talked to Zhoumi?” Ryeowook’s familiar voice rings out the phone and Kyuhyun’s nervousness dissipates entirely.
“Come back home.”
“Huh? Are you still drunk? I’m not going home to someone who’s going to have sex with the first person he sees, okay. Didn’t Zhoumi come?” Ryeowook asks, trepidation clear in his voice, Kyuhyun could already imagine Ryeowook’s brown eyes wide with concern.
“Yes he did.”
“Oh…” there was a pause, “So… did you two make up?”
“No. I chased him out.”
“Stupid!” Ryeowook yells and Kyuhyun thought his eardrums would explode, “Do you know what I had to go through to convince him to go to you and you… you repay my kindness by chasing him out?”
“Stupid. Do you even know why we broke up?” Kyuhyun yells back in the phone just because he can’t help it.
“You’re not drunk anymore, aren’t you?” Ryeowook inquires suspiciously, “Do I have to know?”
“I don’t know, do you want to know that I really don’t like Zhoumi’s long legs?” Kyuhyun starts.
“What?” Kyuhyun could see Ryeowook’s face now, frowning and totally clueless.
“I just realized that I like your nose better….”
No answer from Ryeowook.
“I like your Korean better… and your cooking is the best.” Kyuhyun finishes.
They must have stayed for a full minute that way, but it felt like an eternity for Kyuhyun, as he listens to Ryeowook’s steady breathing and waiting for him to answer.
“Come back home, okay?” Kyuhyun adds when it looks like Ryeowook won’t be answering him anytime soon.
Kyuhyun hears Ryeowook draw in a sharp breath after that, “Well you should hear yourself now. I leave you without food for a day and you immediately come begging me back, I should have done these years ago.” Ryeowook’s clucks from over the phone.
Kyuhyun chuckles a bit, wondering if Ryeowook understood, “Hurry up and come back then.” Kyuhyun says, a little embarrassed.
“I can’t. Yesung-sshi needs help with this thing you see—“
“Don’t come near that freak!” Kyuhyun says hastily.
“Freak? What? Why?”
“I heard from Zhoumi that he has STD’s and do you know it can be transmitted just by touching? Come back now okay? I’m going to throw you out if you get an STD.”
“Really?” Ryeowook gasps, and Kyuhyun knows he’s in a state of panic now, “I thought you’re supposed to get STD’s when you have sex with the person. Are you playing a prank on me?” He says swiftly and then suddenly shifts gears.”Oh no! Should I bring Sungmin along when I get home?”
“Sungmin can go die with Yesung, I don’t care. He may have it already, don’t go near Sungmin too. Come back now.” Kyuhyun is practically grinning from ear to ear now, already excited to meet Ryeowook.
“No!” Ryeowook wails, “How can I leave them behind like this? Kyuhyun we must do something!”
As it turns out, Kyuhyun monopolizes Ryeowook’s attention for the rest of the night until Kyuhyun had to admit to his prank so Ryeowook would calm down. Ryeowook was pissed at first but his apparent relief that his friends are not dying won out in the end and promises to Kyuhyun that he’d go back home as soon as he can.
Kyuhyun complains but Ryeowook had already hung up on him.
Ryeowook never makes it back.
On the day of Ryeowook’s funeral, Kyuhyun sits quietly far away from the throngs of people gathering to express their condolences on Ryeowook’s family. Pale face and eyes glazed, he wonders what could have happened if he didn’t ask for Ryeowook to come back home as quickly as possible. There were many ifs, mostly he asked, what if he didn’t fall in love with Ryeowook? What if Ryeowook didn’t love him in the first place?
Would he still be here? Would Kyuhyun still come home to home cooked meals, and to a slightly stalkerish boy with an innocent face and a devious personality? Or would he die just the same? Destined to be doomed because he was too kind for his own good, and he couldn’t protect himself. Couldn’t…. Kyuhyun couldn’t protect him. Kyuhyun should have been there to protect him.
Late in realizing his feelings. Late to hold Ryeowook’s hand. Late. Too late. Why is he always too late?
“Kyu?... Kyuhyun?” a hand stirs him out of his reverie, the hand belongs to Sungmin who is peering at him with worry. Sungmin’s eyes are red, like he’s been crying all night.
“Are you okay?”
Kyuhyun doesn’t answer, sorrow rising out of his chest in waves, will he ever be okay?
“I’m sorry. That’s a stupid question.” Sungmin says sheepishly and settles beside him, joining him in watching the crowd.
“He was so happy…” Sungmin says softly, when Kyuhyun looks at the man beside him, he sees fondness in Sungmin’s eyes.
“Before he left, he told me he’s so happy he could die right then.”
It was Kyuhyun’s mother who had forced him to meet them. Ryeowook’s family were already there, crowding over an infant. Kyuhyun ignores the baby for most of the visit. There are two other strangers present, a man and a woman almost Kyuhyun’s age.
“I’m sorry for only coming out now.” The woman starts, “I had to be taken to the hospital immediately and we were afraid the criminal would come back to us…”
No, the criminal is already behind bars. The criminal wouldn’t be able to hurt anyone anymore, his last victim would be Ryeowook, Kyuhyun is going to make sure of that.
Ryeowook was on his way home when he sees a man pulling a pregnant woman into an alley. And Ryeowook, ignoring the fact that the man was armed, impulsively rushed in to help, the pregnant woman was saved, Ryeowook hadn’t.
“I was screaming for help but he was the only one who tried to do something.” The woman had relayed, “He told me to run and not worry about him. I was so scared… I only realized he had been killed was when I saw the obituary.” The woman had cried, apologizing over and over for the life that was taken.
“I wish they were more people like him.” The woman says sincerely when she calms down.
Kyuhyun, who was quiet all throughout the exchange, finally speaks, “There is nobody like Ryeowook.” he says softly. There will be nobody like Ryeowook, at least in Kyuhyun’s heart.
Sometime before Kyuhyun excuses himself to go home, Mrs. Cho approaches him, carrying the couple’s baby and holding it out to him.
He reluctantly takes the baby from his mother’s arms, carrying him awkwardly, not sure what to do with a baby, the moment he held the baby though, it opens its big brown eyes to stare curiously at Kyuhyun. Tears form in Kyuhyun’s eyes as he recognizes that look.
“Hi,” he greets, voice shaky, “Don’t grow up to be stupid like him okay?”
The baby merely starts to gurgle at him.
“But do him a favor and live your life to the fullest.”
In Kyuhyun’s dreams, he goes home to the smell of home cooked meals, and Ryeowook toiling away in the kitchen.
In his dreams, Ryeowook would greet him with a kiss, he would be inexperienced but Kyuhyun knows that Ryeowook would make up to it purely with his earnestness, like the way he had loved Kyuhyun in his lifetime. When they come up for air Ryeowook would cup his chin, smiles at him with his big brown eyes dancing with mischief, “Why so sad? We’re not dating remember?”
Kyuhyun would smile, almost sadly and answer, “Touché.”
Kyuhyun would then wake up slowly, notices that details of Ryeowook’s face are slowly fading in his memories as the days pass by. But Kyuhyun’s heart is at peace, because yes, Ryeowook is sorry for leaving him behind and no… Kyuhyun shouldn’t regret the time that they could have together because Kyuhyun had already loved Ryeowook from the moment they met 10 years ago.
Sunlight is softly filtering through the windows as dawn slowly breaks, Kyuhyun watches the sunrise in silence, and remembers almost fondly that Ryeowook, in his dreams, had whacked him in the head and told Kyuhyun to live his life to the fullest too.
Also, I’ve been listening to Alex’s Daisy while I was writing this. /poor attempt at promotion