The Game- Bad Boy Taehyung (Part 7)
“How?” You asked Jimin, your eyes opening widely, and your mouth falling open. A tear emerged from the corner of your eye, and slowly slid down your face, leaving a trace from where it carried the make-up away with it.
Jimin looked at you with a tinge of sadness in his gorgeous, brown, puffy-lidded eyes. He smiled bitterly, like he knew something you didn’t know.
“I recognize that look in your eyes, better than anyone else. I can see you are broken, and all this is just a wall you put up to keep others out.” He told you, pointing to your entire being with a quick hand gesture. You looked down, and chuckled slightly, although the tears began dripping down your cheek faster than you expected.
“You can see right through me, can’t you?” You asked him, lifting your head so your eyes could meet his. He had broken through the first barrier, he saw your true self now, the broken girl that hid behind that wall of self-confidence. He saw the way your eyes glimmered when you cried, the way your lips quivered slightly as you tried to prevent yourself from crying. You looked so pure, so fragile, so weak, he wished he could help you somehow.
“Unfortunately, I know very well how you feel. I won’t… I won’t tell anyone, if you don’t want me to. But you need to talk. You need to open up at some point, or it will consume you. You will burn out like a candle. Trust me.” He told you, as he grabbed your hand, and held it tightly in his own, squeezing it ever so slightly.
“Who did you talk to? Who helped you?” You asked him, as you began walking in the direction your house was in. He laughed.
“Suga hyung. He’s the one who saved me, sort of. He picked me up from the streets. He has always looked after me, and for that I admire him. I’ll tell you my story some other day if you want. It’s quite action-y. There’s even a girl involved.” He tried to lighten up the mood a little by telling you his own pain, offering to tell you his life story if you told him yours.
If someone had been out there in the streets that night, they probably would have assumed you and Jimin were a loving couple, holding hands, and laughing at each other’s comments and jokes. But it couldn’t be further from the truth. He had given up on trying to woo you, he knew it would never work, he also knew your heart was a fortified structure, that only one special person would be able to own. But he wanted to help you, he wanted to protect you. He felt like he could relate to you, like he could be your friend, your confidant.
You laughed and smiled, you admired Jimin’s honest laugh, his beautiful, throaty laugh, and the way his eyes went all small when he smiled, until they almost disappeared behind his eyelids.
But when you reached your front door, your facial expression became sombre. You fumbled with your keys, playing with them, a clear giveaway to your reluctance to go in. Jimin noticed, and took them from you.
“You can come back home with us, if you don’t want to go in.” He replied, his heart beating harshly with the fear of what could happen if you went in alone. Horrible images playing in his head. You noticed his furrowed brows, and sighed deeply, taking the keys back.
“There is no one home.” You replied simply, opening the door quickly, and taking a step inside. Jimin stood there, a little confused. You looked at him a little impatiently, and cocked your head towards the inside of the house.
“Are you coming in or what?” you snapped, the cold current passing through your house giving you goose-bumps. Jimin snapped back to reality, and quickly shuffled his feet to get inside. You closed the door and locked it, turning on the lights to the corridor and the kitchen.
Jimin followed you inside like a lost puppy, unsure of what to do. He had never quite imagined this scenario when he offered to take you home.
“Do you like green tea?” you asked him, as you took out a small bag and placed it in one cup, and held another in your other hand. He nodded, so you took out another mug and placed the bag in it. You poured the boiling water on it, the steam rising from the mug formed beautiful spiralling shapes that hypnotized you.
You handed him the tea, and he smiled slightly, thanking you. He wondered what you could possibly find so interesting in the steam, but he did not question it. You signalled towards the living room, and began walking. He followed wordlessly.
You carefully sat on the sofa, leaving your mug on a small table next to it, and Jimin imitated you, on the opposite end of the sofa. You turned on the television to the cooking channel, and lowered the volume.
The swirls forming above the steaming mug seemed to give you the comfort you needed to begin to speak. Ordering the words in your head was a lot tougher than you thought it would be. Your mind was made up, but the words got stuck in your throat, and refused to come out. You cleared your throat.
“There is no one home.” You started hesitatingly. The words slipping out of your mouth with difficulty.
“You said that…” Jimin replied, a little confused. He noticed the way your hands shook as you grabbed the mug to take a sip out of it, and his heart softened. He put his hand on your leg softly, encouragingly, as he looked into your eyes.
“What I mean is that there never is anyone home. I live alone.” You concluded, setting your mug aside once more. Jimin’s lips formed into a perfect ‘o’ shape. But before he could utter a word, you raised your hand to stop him.
“My… My biological father… hah, father isn’t really a word that applies to that man, well he was abusive. He drank, he smoked, he took narcotics, he was everything a father shouldn’t be. He beat my mom, he yelled at her, he said mean things, he hurt her when she was pregnant with me… He hurt her after… And as soon as I could stand on my own two feet, he hurt me.” Your voice cracked, and your lips quivered. Jimin took your hands in his, trying to restrain his own tears. He wanted nothing more than to hold you, but if he stopped you now, he might never hear the end of your story.
“My mom was unhappy, but she stayed, because she loved him, or because he had shattered her self-esteem so far, that she believed she was nothing without him. But one night, we aren’t sure what happened, he disappeared. Perhaps he overdosed, and no one cared to inform us, or maybe he got involved with the wrong people. But days went by, and he never returned. My mom was devastated at first, her heart broke, but once her eyes had run dry of tears, we started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was only 5 or 6 at the time, but I had seen more than most other kids had.” You continued, your tragic story tearing Jimin’s heart into shreds, and bringing back awful memories he didn’t want to recall.
“We started over, in another town. Mom got a job, I changed schools. We found a place to stay on the top floor of an old lady’s house. She let me call her grandma. She really was lovely. We didn’t have much, but we were happy. We were a family. And then my mom met my stepdad.” You sighed sadly, a tear rolling down your cheek as you smiled, shutting your eyes tightly.
“You have a stepdad?” He asked, looking at you unsure of the meaning behind your words.
“Had. He was a great man, you know? He loved my mom, made her feel special. He made her laugh. I had never heard her laugh before. It is a beautiful sound. I wish you could hear it. He looked after me, he loved me like I was his own. I loved him truly. He is what you would call a real dad. Was. About a year ago, we were in a car crash. Mom and I survived, but he did not. It was a drunk driver you see? He never saw us on the road, he didn’t even know we were there. A drunk man killed the only person that lent me a hand when I was so low that I was eating the ground. Do you know what I mean?” You asked him, squinting your eyes to try to see if whatever you said made sense outside your head. He nodded slowly, tears now welling up in his eyes. He bit his lip in order to hold back the sob that wanted to escape his mouth.
How could you still stand strong after all those things? He felt your pain. He understood it perfectly. He wanted to help you somehow. His memory flashed back to the look on your face when you refused Jin’s offer to drive you back home, and it all began making sense in his head.
“But your mom?” He asked. You smiled sarcastically.
“She fell into deep depression after Dad’s death. She lost a good man, the love of her life. He left us everything, of course, but he also left a big deep hole in our lives that just can’t be filled. Her condition worsened, the pills weren’t working anymore, and she slowly began losing her mind. She wouldn’t eat, or sleep, or move. She stayed there every day, looking out the window, waiting for him to return. Sometimes she comes back for a bit, but then she’s gone again. I couldn’t take care of her by myself, so I had to put her in a hospital… In one of those places. So we moved. We came here. I bought this house, and I put her in the home… Whatever you want to call that place. I am left alone, every day, when I get back from school, or from visiting her. I am always alone.” You finished, your voice and self-control shattering as strong sobs shook your body. You hunched over and covered your face with your hands.
Jimin’s arms found their way around your body, and he held you tightly. He stroked your back soothingly, but he knew there was nothing he could do to take away the pain.
So he stayed with you, on that sofa, telling you his story, his tragedy, his pain. But also making you laugh, telling you stories, and talking to you about everything, from his theories about the creation of the universe, to the meaning of life, and why strawberry ice cream is better than chocolate. He made you laugh, he made you feel safe for the first time. Perhaps he was becoming your first friend.
You talked until the rays of the sun began seeping through the curtains, until you were curled up in his body, with a blanket thrown lazily over the two of you, until your breathing and his matched a perfect rhythm. Perhaps now you wouldn’t have to feel so alone all the time, although your heart still ached with the heart piercing words Taehyung had spat at you. You didn’t want to admit it to yourself, but he had torn you to shreds. Why did he hate you?