Title: Back To What I Was
Author: Desultory Speech
Genre: Horror, thriller, psychological, angst
Rating: Teen - 14A. Some parts (later chapters) may be rated for swearing, violence, gore, general uncomfortable subjects.
Synopsis: Recovering from a traumatic event, JaeJoong is forced to struggle to maintain who he is and used to be, all the while being re-instituted into public school. The struggles of adolescence, the woes of being socially awkward; JaeJoong fights them all whilst rediscovering his passion for art and expression.
Perhaps in the wrong ways.
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.
Poster credits go to bucket_of_tsuki, for being such a dear and putting up with me. ^^' Thank you, Jake-chan~
“Mama…” JaeJoong started, looking up at her through bleary eyes. The woman before him was a different one that the day before, and he had no idea what had prompted that change. Just yesterday, she had been all smiles and rainbows, telling him that life was a slow process that took getting useful. Just yesterday, she had reminded him that it was okay to hurt sometimes, that she’d be there if he needed her. He felt so betrayed. What was worse was that he couldn’t do anything about it.
HeeGo was fed up with watching her son mope around. If there was one thing she couldn’t stand, it was giving up, and that was exactly what her son had done. He had given up on the life she and her late husband had worked so hard to create for him, and she would have none of it. She would not accept it; she would not allow him to let her husband die in vain. She understood his grief, she did, but nothing worked. The pills, the therapy, the sessions of exposure that caused him to become a fumlbing, sobbing wreck; nothing had assisted him out of his pain, because he had secluded himself from the assistance of others. He had accepted a life that left him forever unhappy, and she was tired of it. Like hell she was going to sit around and watch as he built himself up to be broken down again; like hell was she going to surrender to his faux sharades of contention. He was miserable, he was her son, and if a good shot of reality was the only possible way left to get him out of this terrible slope, she was going to use it.
Taking in a long breath, HeeGo kneeled before her son, placing her hand on the side of her face. She hadn’t left him; she didn’t want him to feel abandoned, but she needed to get him better. She was willing to do anything to see her son smile again. He was a handsome boy with a beautiful smile, but each day his face sunk deeper and deeper into a uniformed expression fit for the dead.
Each time she saw that lovely face, she imagined it thrice as pale, done up prettily with lids closed, his body clad in a charcoal suit, hands clasped at his waist, framed with a lovely honey-mahogany wood. She imagined herself looking down at him, all boxed in and looking comfortable.
She couldn’t take it.
The only emotions she saw from him was melancholy and misery; he was blankly sad most of the time, seldom serene. The last time she had seen his eyes tear up the way they were now was when he was in therapy, with the dog of a woman hounding on him, barking for a detailed description of the crash.
They had obtained several; all exactly the same; all bloodied and teared.
That was two years ago.
“Mama…” he cried, pleading, looking into her eyes with hope. Hope that she was kidding; hope that she’d change her mind. But HeeGo was a woman of her word, and she had spoken the words already. She would follow through, and she would make him apply, whether he went along willingly or was dragged by her hand, kicking and screaming.
She was only trying to help him.
“Jae…” her voice rumbled softly, her fingers moving to brush the downpour of tears off of his pale cheeks. Her voice quivered as she spoke, something that caused her to clear her throat and attempt to regain what little composure she had. She had never been one to deny her son anything, but this was something she had to do. She had thought that she was protecting him by keeping him at home, but it had only allowed him to burrow deeper into his depression. Each day she witnessed him as he sunk, completely helpless, further into the grasp of a sorrow he couldn’t begin to understand.
She gathered her words carefully in her mind, speaking them as slowly and coherently as she could under the thickening atmosphere. “I need you to understand, okay?” She spoke in a soft tone reminiscent of her own mother, her maternal side acheing at sight of his tears. “You’re scaring me, Jae, and I want you to get better.”
“I will,” he assured, brokenly, drops of sorrow skidding down his pinkening cheeks. “I’ll get better, Mama… just don’t make me go…”
She couldn’t promise him that.
He couldn’t understand what was prompting her sudden change of heart. She had withdrawn him from school for him; to help him because of the savage treatment he endured from his peers. He didn’t understand what putting him back into that environment would help. He didn’t get it; he didn’t grasp it. Whatever reason she had fleeted him as he tried to see from her point of view. He was her son; she was supposed to protect him. And yet here she was, pushing him out into a bloody society, pushing him out to the world. She was his mother; she was all he had left, and yet she was sacrificing him off to a world that never loved him.
To be point blank and honest, JaeJoong was terrified. Terrified of the world beyond his homey walls; terrified of the society he heard horrible things about each day. The people, the scenarios, the heartbreak… He was petrified beyond belief. To leave his home was an absurd thought to him; he would never walk willingly into the world, where lions of people would seek to devour him.
And all his efforts to understand her logic behind the change were in vain; he was flailing his arms to grasp onto it, but it slipped passed his fingers each time, like the winds outside that rattled his windowframe in the night.
“Mama, don’t make me go,” he pleaded, grasping tightly onto her hands. He didn’t have to force the emotion to come; the terror that recked havoc on his mind was able to push it out in form of tears. “Please, mama… I want to stay here with you.”
HeeGo embraced her son tightly; thin, withered fingers maneuvering through the tangled mane of his hair. JaeJoong sobbed into her shoulder, his arms moving automatively around her, and HeeGo bit back the heartbreak and weakness and held him tight. He didn’t cry long, but she didn’t let him go when he stopped. Closing her eyes, HeeGo found herself praying that he’d take the change well; that she wouldn’t have many nights like this. If JaeJoong took to public school like she hoped, he would like it – or, at least, not hate it – and make friends and have a prupose again, finally.
Shaking the thoughts from her head, HeeGo corrected her thoughts.
He would do it. If he was her fathers son at all, he would do it, and he’d adapt.
At least, she hoped he would.
The floor was cold against his thighs, the air burning in his lungs. He swore that if the world were anymore cynical, he would have died at birth. Heart aching, mind throbbing; it was as if his limbs had been tied to the saddles of a thousand horses, all galloping off in a different direction. Torn; he was torn and bleeding and oozing out of every part of himself, and he couldn’t for the life of him locate the gauze.
It was times like these that he wished he had died in the crash. Times like these, he wished he hadn’t been so unlucky as to have lived.
Escape, release, freedom, nirvana – death went by so many names. He had hated it years ago; funny that now, so bitter, he was praying for it. Now, in his room, his lamp flickering and his body seizing whenever it had the chance, he wanted to call it reality, but he couldn’t. Not by his own hands, at least.
JaeJoong’s mother used to believe in God and love, used to believe in heaven and an afterlife where her husband was in a better place. Now, he wasn’t sure what his mother believed, but he was sure it wasn’t God, wasn’t love. At least, he didn’t. Some people, he knew, believed that you’d go to a better place when you died. That happiness was all that lingered beyond the walls of the world.
He didn’t fathom that. He wouldn’t waste his time believing such nonsense; you die and your dead and you’ll never live again. In JaeJoong’s eyes, humans were just like a flame; a burning candle, flickering, flickering…
Once it’s gone, it’s not coming back.
He had one life to live and after it was gone, there was nothing else to greet him. He was confident in that – he’d never know anything to make more sense. And his existance was a burdened one, unlikely and unfair. The blood in his veins was cold, and he sometimes wondered how it still pumped. He didn’t have a heart, he was sure; he was a pathetic excuse for a human being. Breathless, lifeless, heartless…
And he had no problems with experiementing with that.
Sparkling in his hand, greeting him as if long lost friends, JaeJoong held the blade between his index and middle finger, watching it contently as the orange lamplight luminated it. It was a movement he’d yet to take, but something in the back of his mind was begging him to slide it across his skin. It pleaded with him each day, and the times he’d tried to communicate, tried to figure out what it was – his concience? – but his attempts were all met with silence.
He was fed up with silence.
Fed up and used to it. When his father died, that was all he had received from his family, his friends. Silence, sympathetic looks, sorry glances. The faces of a hundred or so people, all pitying, lips down turned and eyes solemn. They shook they’re head, they said nothing.
They were lying.
They didn’t care.
They didn’t give a shit what happened to him and his family; that much had been clear by the looks they’d given him.
Mythomaniacs, all of them, and he’d be damned if he were to believe them. Even if they had been true, he didn’t want their sympathy, and he sure as hell didn’t want their pity.
And his mother, she was just as bad. She preached to him of her acceptance, only to push him out into a world that never loved him.
And he hated it.
Tossing the blade across the room, JaeJoong shifted onto his side and lay down on the hard floor. It skidded until it drew a slow, pained stop, facing him in desire. Dancing, playing with him – the metal beckoned to him, illumiated dangerously by the weak lighting. The air was thick, the distance between him and the object long and short at the same time. JaeJoong stared long and hard, before tightening his eyes, closing them to the walls for his room and the world beyond it.
Sickening; he wanted to slap those looks off of their untruthful faces.