...I like JaeJoong crazy...
Title: What You Should Have Done
Words: 4 879
Author: Desultory Speech/Cillisian Thatcher
Genre: Angst, horror
Warning: Gore, blood, death.
Synopsis: And suddenly there was a crowd of people, all laughing along with you and your friends, staring at me like I was some psycho stalker, bent on ruining your eighteenth birthday party. I heard whispers of ‘crazy’ and ‘freak’ in the crowd, people picking apart my appearance and attire simply because I wanted to go to my friends birthday party.
Comments: I am in no way affiliated with DBSK, Super Junior or SM Entertainment, nor do I know or associate with any of the people in question. I'm not even Korean. This is a work of pure fiction; any similarities drawn between people, places and events are purely by coincidence. This is not meant to offend. The views and opinions in this story are not necessarily the views and opinions of the author. Directed at a mature youth audience. I apologize for grammar errors and spelling mistakes.
Story © Cillisian Thatcher/Diese Stifte/DesultorySpeech, May 20th, 2008
You should have just let me come to your party, Yunho.
You should have just accepted that you could have more friends than that close-knit circle.
You should have told them, ‘No, this is JaeJoong; we’ve been friends since grade school,’ and everything would have been fine.
They say high school changes everything; I suppose that’s truer than I thought it was. Because we were the best of friends – did everything together, even though people told you I was a little weird, and that you better not hang around with me. You didn’t let that get in the way, because we’re friends, you and I.
I thought we were friends.
But when I asked if I could come to your party, they laughed. I saw the uncomfortable look on your face when they asked if you knew me, but we were friends; I expected you to nod and say that yes, you knew me, and yes, I could come.
But you didn’t.
You smiled and laughed as well, shaking your head along with them.
‘Do you know this freak, Yunho?’
‘No, I don’t.’ And then you turned to me, your eyes still smiling, and told me, ‘Get lost.’
‘But your birthday party…’ I tried, looking hopefully up at you. You had to let me come, you just had to. We hadn’t missed one of each others birthday parties since we were five; thirteen years, Yunho. Thirteen years of tradition.
‘You can’t come; I don’t even know you.’
You might as well have impaled me with the pen you were fiddling with.
‘Yah you do; it’s me, it’s JaeJoong! We’ve been friends for years!’ I thought that perhaps you hadn’t recognized me with my new haircut, or that maybe you were suffering from short-term amnesia, or that perhaps this was just a cruel joke you had prearranged with your friends.
Thirteen years, Jung Yunho, down the drain.
‘It doesn’t matter what your name is, JaeGoon, I don’t know who you are.’
Thirteen years of friendship and loyalty, pushed aside so that you could be part of the ‘in crowd’.
And suddenly there was a crowd of people, all laughing along with you and your friends, staring at me like I was some psycho stalker, bent on ruining your eighteenth birthday party. I heard whispers of ‘crazy’ and ‘freak’ in the crowd, people picking apart my appearance and attire simply because I wanted to go to my friends birthday party.
We had hung out just the day before, Yunho. Don’t you remember that? Just the day before, we had been talking to each other, joking around and playing games like we were still twelve. Just the day before, Yunho.
Just the day before.
You told me, ‘You know what, Jae? You’re probably the best friend I’ve ever had.’
I had responded with, ‘You’re my only friend.’
It was true.
I only have one friend, Yunho, and that’s you. It’s not like people weren’t nice to me; they would talk to me and joke around like we were friends, but at the end of the day, they all said the same thing to themselves.
‘He’s a little odd, that Kim JaeJoong.’
‘There’s something a little off about him.’
‘He’s nice and all, but a little too weird for my tastes.’
I never found myself having a conversation with the same person twice, and that was always a little upsetting.
But that was always just the way it was. People always found the things I did a little off, but I couldn’t see my errors, and no one took the time to point them out.
How was I to be ‘normal’ if no one told me where I was erring?
Jung Yunho didn’t care, though, and you would always sit with me at lunch and talk to me. Someone told me once that the only reason you bothered was because when I snapped and shot up the school, I’d stop before you and thank you for befriending me, before turning around and shooting the face off of your girlfriend.
I don’t like guns, and I never understood why people anticipated some sort of psychotic nature from me. I’ve never wanted to hurt anyone… so why did they think it would happen?
I asked you once, but you dismissed it as nothing, telling me not to worry about the way other people acted. They’re the weird ones, you said, ignore them.
That was thirteen years of me trusting you, Yunho. Thirteen years of me thinking you’d always be around, and that we’d be friends forever. Thirteen years of ‘thank you’s and ‘I’m sorry’s. Thirteen years of you telling me you’d never abandon our friendship, and that we’d always be the best of friend.
Thirteen years, and we had planned to go to the same college, and live together, just like all good friends do.
You should have just told them that we’re friends, but you didn’t.
There were two weeks from the time you uninvited me from your birthday to the day it was held, and I spent those two weeks alone. Well, not completely; occasionally your friends would come and talk to me, but usually that ended with me on the floor, coughing up blood and struggling to get up.
Did you know that they did that?
Would you have allowed it if you did?
I didn’t think so.
Three days until the weekend – four away from your birthday – I got my answer.
You jogged up to me, apologizing for being so rude and asking if I’d like to go to the park with you after school. I immediately forgave you and accepted the invitation, thrilled that you hadn’t forgotten about me.
That we were still the friends I thought we were.
You slung your arm around my shoulder as we walked to the park, the both of us chatting away like nothing had happened. I was exuberant for those few moments, so happy that it was hard to think past the moment. I suppose that’s why I didn’t notice as you took me by the merry-go-round, didn’t notice as you glanced around nervously, and didn’t notice your friends slowly immerged behind me.
‘So does this mean I’m invited to your birthday now?’
I had asked it expecting you to nod and agree, but your face fell hard then, and you vocalized another clear, sharp ‘no’.
Something cut me off then, hitting the back of my head and causing me to fall forward. The ground beneath me was soft and broke my fall, but I hit it face first. The sand blinded me as I tried to get up and look around for you, my effort futile. I had grabbed onto the railing of the merry-go-round, only for it to be spun and me to fall again.
‘Yunho?’ I had called, trying to get up again. I was stopped again, this time by something heavy on my back, pushing me back down.
And then I heard it; the laughing and teasing, the chorus of ‘Good job, Ho,’ and ‘how’d you manage to get him here?’
‘Crazy people do as they’re told,’ it was your voice, but I couldn’t believe that those were your words.
No, Yunho, that’s not something you would say. You’re a nice guy, who accepts everybody, no matter how different they are.
You’re my friend.
I was about to call for you again when something hit the back of my head. I whimpered, moving my hand back to touch it, but only to have that arm grabbed. I was lifted, tossed, and hit a far less malleable ground. My attempts to get up had all be foiled by blows to my back and legs, and no sooner than I had realized what was happening, I was crying.
You couldn’t have set me up, Yunho.
You couldn’t have.
I don’t know when I blacked out, but when I awoke, it was raining. I was on the ground, now lying on my back atop the merry-go-round. Every inch of me ached, but I couldn’t move. It was difficult to breath, to think, and the only thing I could formulate in my mind was the sentence, ‘So does this mean I’m invited to your birthday now?’
‘Does this mean I’m invited to your birthday now?’
‘We’re friends, right?’ I asked you as we walked, to which you had smiled and ruffled my hair.
‘Of course; you remember what I said, right? You’re the best friend I’ve ever had.’
I had somehow managed to crawl my way back home, my legs burning beyond belief as I moved, and I was sure something in my chest was broken. Bones or my heart, I couldn’t tell, but it stung just the same.
My mother had been waiting for me at home – usually this was the job of my father, but he had left us when I reached the age of fifteen. She was originally angry, I’m sure, but at seeing me, she had cried out my name and began to sob.
She told me the next morning I didn’t have to go to school, but I did anyways.
I shouldn’t have.
Posters and pictures of me lined the walls, all the words harsh and demeaning.
I was the laughing stock of the school, but I had hoped I wasn’t to you as well. Because we’re friends, and friends don’t laugh at each other over such things. Friends see past the trivial things like title and social stature.
I was approached randomly through the next two days, each person seeming to believe that bullying me had become acceptable. I was rejected sitting at tables at lunch, my tray tipped over and food thrown at me when I tried to pick it up. I was pushed down the stairs as I walked by or down them, tripped in the halls, the back of my seat kicked and wads of paper, wet and dry, thrown at me wherever I was.
But none of that mattered to me; what mattered was that you didn’t do any of that. That you didn’t bug or tease me, hurt or torment me. I heard nothing of you for those two days, until I approached you at lunch on Friday. I had originally come to give you my present, since I wasn’t going to your birthday, but I had overheard you and your friend. I stopped, leaning against the school wall to wait until they left. I didn’t want to be hit again, didn’t want to be beaten, so I waited. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, I swear, but I couldn’t help but to overhear.
‘What a freak,’ it was your voice, again, but it couldn’t have been your words, because Yunho doesn’t talk like that.
Yunho doesn’t talk like that.
‘You should have seen his face when I pushed him down the stairs! Priceless.’
‘Yah, the entire school hates him now’
‘And to think he actually thinks you’re friends’
You laughed at all of these, and I heard your words clearly, no mistaking that they were yours. ‘I hope he doesn’t anymore; that psycho was getting hard to handle.’
“‘Don’t you think those kids are getting a little hard to handle?’ You had asked me once, looking at the children as they were rushing around me, addressing me as ‘Mr. JaeJoong’ and asking for me to go play childish games with them.
‘It’s a day care,’ I reasoned ‘of course they’re going to be hard to handle.’
‘Why do you come here, anyways?’
I had shrugged, patting one of the kids on the top of the head as he ran by me. ‘They’re orphans – I volunteer to keep them company, I suppose.’”
Mumbling and apology to a girl as I bumped into her, I quickly left that spot, not wanting to hear anymore of that person. That person who could mimic your voice so perfectly, speaking and looking just like you.
It wasn’t Jung Yunho; wasn’t my friend. It was someone else, someone I didn’t know. Someone who broke all our promises and didn’t seem to care.
It wasn’t Jung Yunho; it wasn’t you.
When I got home that afternoon, I had sat on my bed for hours, staring at the present on my bed. I wondered if perhaps you had a split personality, and that was why you were being so cruel to me suddenly. That seemed feasible…
Sighing, I had stood up, grabbed the present, and left my home abruptly. I crossed the street, walking straight to your house, and knocked on your door.
Your mother had greeted me, asking why I hadn’t been over the past few weeks. I mumbled an apology, saying I had been busy, and she patted my cheek lightly, saying that it as all right.
‘Oh my, sweetheart, where’d you get that bruise?’ she had asked, noticing the dark patch on my wrist that I had attempted to cover with a largish shirt. I had smiled, permitting myself a chuckle.
‘I was walking somewhat carelessly and fell down the stairs’ I lied, to which she had frowned. She looked as if she noticed then the similar sized bruise on my neck, and the cut that decorated my forehead.
‘You look tired, honey,’ she murmured, concern written on her face, ‘You think you’ll be able to make it to Yunho’s birthday tomorrow?’
You didn’t tell her, did you? Didn’t tell her I wasn’t going to come, because you hadn’t allowed me to.
‘No, actually… that’s why I’m bringing this,’ I had said, holding up the neatly wrapped gift in front of her. ‘Is Yunho home?’
She nodded, pointing up the stairs. ‘Yes, actually, he’s just in his room with some friends. You go right on up.’
With some friends.
With some friends.
Suddenly, I didn’t want to give you my present anymore.
Suddenly, I wish I hadn’t come.
‘Are you sure it’s alright… I mean… if he’s with his friends…’
‘Oh no, you go right ahead. Yunho never minds your company.’
You did mind my company.
When I knocked lightly on the door, you had answered and instantly frowned.
‘What do you want?’
Your tone scared me, even more so than your friends that I could hear behind you, asking who was at the door.
I held the present up for you, wincing as I did. I didn’t know what you were going to do, what you’d say, but I hoped for the best.
To my surprise, you smiled, and took it carefully from my hands.
You maintained that smile as you held it for a moment.
Lifted your foot.
And stepped on it.
I felt my shoulders shake as I heard the substance inside break; heard my submersed fears that you were in fact no longer my friend, my Jung Yunho, come to a full throttled scream of reality. It rang in my ear, burning in my chest and stinging the rims of my eyes.
‘We,’ you had clarified, gesturing between the two of us, ‘are not friends anymore, JaeJoong. I’ve tried to tell you, to show you, to guide you to this realization for a while now, but it’s apparently not getting anywhere.’
No, I whimpered mentally, no, we’re still friends.
We’re still friends.
‘So listen to me now, will you? We are not friends; we are not even acquaintances. I do not want to see you near me again, alright? Don’t come over to my house, don’t talk to me, don’t,’ you stopped for a moment to laughed, kicking my broken gift forward, ‘bring me these things, okay? I don’t want it.’
I stared at the gift on the floor for a long time; the hand made candies that I had accidentally created years ago, the ones you had loved and asked me to make every day, inside most likely smashed beyond repair.
‘Are we clear?’ you asked, your voice sarcastically drenched to the point that it hurt.
Who are you?
I wanted to ask, but my lips couldn’t form the words.
Who are you, and where did Yunho go?
‘Yes,’ I murmured, my head hanging. I didn’t want to look into your eyes; didn’t want to see the distain in them.
What happened to you?
With that I had left, my feet heavy, my vision blurring. My mind racing with thoughts that echoed, causing my head to throb. The air was getting thick, impossible to breath; I had to get out of there. Had to get outside, had to get home, had to…
‘JaeJoong, honey?’ You mother had called at seeing me, confusion lacing her tone. I didn’t want to talk to your mom, didn’t want to explain to her anything. I turned sharply to leave, forgetting about the stand and the vase you had in your entranceway. I walked straight into it, causing it to topple over, the vase breaking instantly.
Your mother gasped, and I felt even more horrible than before. Your grandmother had made that vase before she died; one of a kind, impossible to replace, and I had gone and broken it.
‘I’m sorry Mrs. Jung,’ I bowed deeply and apologized instantly, my voice quivering as I spoke. ‘I-I… I’ll… I’ll…’ I tried to think of something to say, something I could do to make up for the loss of such a priceless antique, but nothing came to mind. In the end, all I could say as ‘I’m sorry.’
‘No, JaeJoong, honey, no…’ she had assured me, approaching me slowly. ‘What’s wrong, sweetheart?’
I couldn’t help but cry at the question.
Everything was wrong; absolutely everything was so wrong and I didn’t understand why.
What did I do?
‘I’m sorry Mrs. Jung,’ I mumbled, taking a step back as she attempted to hold me. ‘I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I’ll go now.’
I fumbled home, stumbling into my room and instantly falling to the floor. My legs were too weak to support me, and my mind was too tormented to direct them to do anything but fall.
What happened? Everything was fine a few weeks ago; why, so suddenly, had everything changed?
I heard my mother and yours on the phone, my mother denying any need for apology. I gathered from what she said that your mother had approached you about it; I could tell she was upset about it, felt bad that you had said such a thing to me. My mother was right to deny the apology; it wasn’t her place to feel bad. It didn’t matter what she said or how she said it; it didn’t matter, so long as you didn’t care.
And you didn’t.
The next morning, I didn’t want to leave my bed, so I didn’t. My mother had cooed and stroked my hair, telling me that it’d be okay, but I knew she was only trying to make me feel better.
I thought seriously about our situation, and all I could think was that I was alone now. No friends, no one to confide in….
You should have phoned yourself to apologize; you should have said that you were sorry and that you didn’t mean it, that you’d like to still be friends if that were possible.
You should have felt a twinge of regret, should have felt that your long time friend was a little more important than your popularity.
My ears had continued to ring since the night prior, and had yet to stop. It was starting to aggravate me, but I didn’t mention it to my mother that evening. She had sat pensively on the couch, looking far beyond stressed.
‘Mama…’ I murmured, sitting next to her on the couch, cuddling up to her. She smiled, wrapping her arms around me. ‘Mama… it’ll be okay; I’ll be okay.’ I assured her, nuzzling her shoulder. ‘I’m a big boy; I can take care of myself. I promise.’
‘I’m just worried, JaeJoong.’ She admitted, looking down at me. ‘You worry me.’
‘Why’s that?’ I asked quietly, unsure of what she was getting at.
She sighed, running her fingers once more through my hair. ‘How do the kids at school treat you?’ she asked suddenly, looking at me once more.
I smiled falsely, ‘They’re nice,’ I lied. I didn’t want her to worry about me, she already looked stressed enough.
‘So you have more friends than just Yunho?’ she asked again, to which I nodded.
No, I don’t.
She sighed tiredly, looking at the ceiling. ‘Me and Mrs. Jung planned to go out tonight while you were at the party, but I don’t think that’s an option anymore…’
I frowned, sitting up. ‘Go, mama, I’ll be fine.’
She looked at me, unsurely, but I only nodded once more for emphasis. ‘Go on, mama, go have fun. I’ll just go back to sleep.’ I told her. ‘I’m tired, anyways.’
‘Are you sure?’ she had asked me, looking me over carefully. ‘I can stay if you want me to.’
‘No,’ I had waved my hand, shaking my head slowly. ‘Go, you look stressed.’
She smiled and thanked me, planting a kiss on my forehead and telling me to take it easy. I smiled and lay down on the couch, cuddling into the decorative pillows as I listened to her talk to your mom. Within minutes, she was back in the room, stroking my hair as I pretended to be asleep. She kissed my forehead once more, and, moments later; I heard the front door slam. I heard her car start, and paid careful attention as I heard it put down the street, the engine slowly fading away.
I immediately sat up, throwing my legs off the couch and sprinting to the kitchen.
You should have invited me, should have accepted my gift and apologized for being so distant.
You should have let me know if you felt I was being too clingy.
You should have let me down gently.
You should have cared enough to.
I fished around in the drawer, finding what I wanted and instantly rushing out the door. I had to remind myself to walk slowly, to be calm. The ringing continued on, louder, chiming in my head in its high-pitched tone. I ignored it, walking around your house to the back door, where I quietly let myself in.
You weren’t one for big gatherings; I knew you would have only invited a few of your closest friends. I was right; your house was almost barren, the only signs of life being the sounds of laughter coming from your room. I sat down on the kitchen counter, waiting patiently for your more inclined-to-eat friends to emerge.
I only had to wait a few moments until one did. I heard him yell a ‘be right back’ to you, trotting down the stairs quickly. I heard him walk across the living room, approaching the kitchen, open the door-
“What the heck are you doing here?” He asked, narrowing his eyes at me.
I smiled and tilted my head to the side. “I’m here to see you.” I told him, hopping down off the counter. “Happy to see me?”
He stared for a moment, before snorting. “Yunho was right; you’re a freakin’ psycho.”
I only smiled, gesturing to the layout of food your mother left of the counter. “Hungry?” I asked, to which he nodded.
“Yes,” he spoke tersely, before turning around. “But I think I should tell Yunho you’re here first.”
I caught his wrist, pulling him back before he could even open the door. He turned to send me an annoyed look, attempting to pull his wrist from mine. He must have been shocked when he couldn’t. “Let go of me.” He demanded, giving his wrist another pull.
I smiled kindly at him, pulling him a little closer to me. He couldn’t even hold himself back, and I could see the shock in his eyes when I told him, voice soft; “You aren’t going anywhere.”
One by one, your friends came downstairs. The second, like the first, was only hungry. He was more difficult to persuade than the first, and I had to cover his mouth with my hand several times to prevent him from screaming. Eventually, I settled on gagging him, and he didn’t complain after that.
The third was wondering what was taking the others so long, and was unable to move as soon as he entered the kitchen.
“Hello,” I greeted, smiling brightly at him. “Come to join us, I see?”
He stared at his friends, who were sitting beside me at the kitchen table. The first was laying down on the table, the second teetering dangerously to the left, both bleeding profusely.
The third, unable to move, gaped at the others, his mouth opening and closing, but never emitting any words. Slowly, his eyes traveled from his two friends to me, just as the second fell sideways, landing on the floor.
“Oh, come now,” I murmured, hopping out of my spot and lifting the second up, placing him comfortably back in his spot, “Not so bad, is it?”
The third continued to stare as I readjusted the second, and then, almost inaudibly, I heard him mumble his name.
“J-Junsu,” he stuttered, eyes fixed intently on the teetering boy.
“Is that his name?” I inquired, patting his head carefully. “He didn’t say…”
“Ch-Changmin…” stuttered he again, pointing, this time, at the boy that was sprawled out over the table. “Chang…”
“Changmin?” I finished, turning to look at the first. “He didn’t say so, either.”
The boy remained firmly planted in spot, his lips quivering as he stared at Junsu and Changmin.
“And what’s your name?” I asked, stepping around the table to venture over to him. I grasped onto his hand carefully, smiling up at him. “Hm? What is it?”
He blinked, looking down at me in terror – terror, though I can’t imagine why. “Y-Yoo…Y-YooC-Chun..”
I smiled, leading him over to the table to sit him next to his friends. “YooChun,” I spoke, sitting down promptly beside him. “Nice to meet you, YooChun.”
He didn’t greet me back, and I noticed then that he was shaking. I frowned, rubbing his back slowly. “Are you cold, YooChun?” He jumped as I touched his back, shaking his head quickly.
“What? N-no… no, I-I’m fine… I”-
Smiling, I cut him off. “That’s good. Would you like some tea?”
Seeming to notice the cups of tea on the table, all half full, he shook his head slowly. “No… no, that’s alright.”
I grinned, “Awe, don’t be a spoil sport; I worked awfully hard on it.”
Taking note of my words, he nodded, thanking me politely as I went to retrieve him a cut, pouring it for him.
“So YooChun,” I began, sliding my hand along the counter until I felt the cool metal. I smiled politely at him, wrapping my hand around the handle and sitting, once more, beside him, armed hand behind my back. “Tell me about yourself.”
You should have let me come, should have introduced me to your friends, so I wouldn’t have to approach them myself. You should have told them that we were close, so it didn’t matter if I was, perhaps, a little weird, or something about me was a little off.
You should have taken the time, Yunho, to introduce me to them.
You should have, but did you?
No, and that was your mistake.
“Hey guys?” I heard you call, walking down the stairs carefully. “Guys?” You called again, this time your voice coming from the living room. I quickly went to the wall beside the kitchen, pressing my back against the wall as I heard him approach. YooChun’s eyes watched me, his left hand grasping onto his chest as it bled, the other holding onto his throat as it seeped red.
I smiled, lifting my finger to my lips, signaling for him to be quiet.
“Guys?” The door opened, concealing me from him, and you suddenly rushed to the table, grasping onto YooChun’s shoulders, as he was the only one who was still moving, still alive.
“YooChun! YooChun! What happened?!” You fire off. I watch you from behind, fondly, recalling when I had been bullied in grade six, and you had asked me something similar to that.
‘Oh my god, JaeJoong! What happened? JaeJoong!’
YooChun tried to open his mouth and speak, but he couldn’t speak, his voice lost in the blood that flowed out of his mouth.
“YooChun! YooChun! Oh my god…” You fish into your pocket, pulling out your phone. You start dialing, but YooChun shakes his head at you, his eyes frantic.
I’m right behind you now, and I can see your back grow rigid as you finally read YooChun’s lips. You let go of your friend as his head lolls to the side, eyes glazed over with death, and I take the opportunity to embrace you. I wrap my arms around you, hugging you tightly from behind, nuzzling into your back.
“Jae…” you start, and I can hear your voice quiver. I frown at this, not wanting to have made you cry. Carefully, I remove myself from you, turning you around and hugging you from the front.
“Happy birthday, Yunho.”
Story © Cillisian Thatcher/Diese Stifte/DesultorySpeech, May 20th, 2008