silent interlude

“In August, 1968, the country was still reeling from the assassination of Martin Luther King four months earlier, and the race riots that followed on its heels. Nightly news showed burning cities, white flight, radicals and reactionaries snarling at each other across the cultural divide.

“A brand new children’s show out of Pittsburgh, which had gone national the previous year, took a different approach. Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood introduced Officer Clemmons, a black police officer who was a kindly, responsible authority figure, kept his neighborhood safe, and was Mr. Roger’s equal, colleague and neighbor.

“Around the first anniversary of Martin Luther King’s death, Mr. Rogers invited Officer Clemmons to join him in soaking their tired feet in a plastic wading pool. And there they were, brown feet and pasty white feet, side by side in the water. Silently, contemplatively, without comment.

“25 years later, when the actor playing Officer Clemmons retired, his last scene on the show revisited that same wading pool, this time reminiscing. Officer Clemmons asked Mr. Rogers what he’d been thinking during their silent interlude a quarter century before. Fred Rogers’ answer was that he’d been thinking of the many ways people say “I love you.”

- Carl Aveni

Suit and Tie

Genre: Angst

Word Count: 2,311

Note: As promised, here is probably the last scenario that I will ever be posting on this blog. This scenario was actually finished and has been sitting in my drafts folder since January 2016, and I wrote it because of unfortunate events that unraveled in my life. I thought it was too personal and too sad to post, so I didn’t know what to do with it, until now. Here is my last scenario, and I apologize for the angst.

~~

The first time you met Jongin, he had been wearing a suit.

A rather gorgeous and well-fitting one, if you might add.

You had been to few weddings in your life, and if you had known Jongin was going to be at your cousin’s wedding, you would have worn a dress less tacky and practiced your strutting in the heels your mother had gifted you.

It had been during the reception, dimmed lights and the soft gleams of colored glows in the hall with music ringing in your ears in a constant echo, that you had been sitting at one of the tables. The shuffling of feet across the floor and the pungent taste of alcohol made your head dizzy, until a pair of polished shoes came into a view, a low voice asking, “Would you like to dance?”

Your eyes flickered up to trace warm brown eyes and disheveled hair once styled neatly, a handsome male wearing an equally attractive gray suit. You recognized him immediately as the groom’s best man.

“I don’t dance,” you slurred.

“But that doesn’t mean you can’t,” he smiled, his coarse hand taking yours and leading you to the dance floor.

It was with graceful swoops that he twirled you, his legs almost floating as he led you into a waltz. Perhaps he had a shot or two or perhaps he was just a natural flirt, for you felt your cheeks burning when he said, “You’re a very bad person, you know.”

“How is that?” you asked, slightly befuddled.

“Don’t you know it’s a crime to look more beautiful than the bride on her wedding day?” he smiled.

You turned away, cheeks flushed and hair hiding the affectionate glow in your eyes. You weren’t normally bold, but you knew it was the alcohol when you blurted, “You know it’s a crime for a man to look as good in a suit as you do.”

The male had chuckled, and you could never forget the first time you heard the soft ring in his beautiful laughter, the creases around his eyes as they melted into a smile.

“Do you think anyone will notice if we leave?” he whispered.

“They’re too drunk,” you laughed.

It was from that moment that you and Jongin were utterly in love.

The first time you and Jongin fought, he had been wearing a thin wifebeater and a pair of worn jeans.

Sweat glistened from his forehead, loud pants left from between his plush lips, his angry gaze avoided you, slowly travelling to the teetering boxes stacked around the dusty apartment. He had proposed moving in together, a year later, to which you gladly agreed.

But frustration had slowly begun to diffuse after spending hours heaving boxes up two flights of stairs, which flared, lighting up the fuse and causing an explosion of anger to ring through the apartment. It was at that point that you couldn’t even remember why you had begun to fight- it was something stupid, probably disagreement over the placement of furniture or your anger towards Jongin for not hiring a mover to carry all your stuff.

The atmosphere was tense, you had small disagreements once or twice, but Jongin had never shouted at you or kicked anything out of anger in your presence before.

“I’m going to step outside for a bit,” you sighed, your hand running through the tangled mess of your hair before dropping to your side.

It was before you could reach the door that Jongin’s arms were around you, lips pressed against your ear whispering, “I’m sorry.”

You turned around in his arms, meeting his apologetic eyes.

“You were right, and I was stupid,” he murmured, pressing a kiss to the top of your head. “I’m sorry.”

It was from that moment that you knew Jongin was the one you would spend your future with.

The first time Jongin had openly expressed his love for you in front of others, he had been wearing a blazer and some nicely fitted pants.

Which was coincidentally the day he proposed to you.

He wanted to wear a suit, but the one worn to the wedding nearly four years ago had begun to lose its glamorous luster and was slightly wearing at the sleeves. Only chuckles are incited as you remember how he would complain nearly every day for about a month how he didn’t propose to you wearing something nicer than an old blazer and a pair of dark pants feigning to be dress slacks.

He had taken you out for dinner that day to a rather expensive restaurant nearly twenty stories above the streets, your eyes constantly travelling between Jongin’s handsome features and the view of the city skyline outside the broad windows of the restaurant. The evening was the literal epitome of romance, every fantasy that you had was played out by Jongin, from the expensive wine in your glass to the sunset splaying out like a vibrant painting outside.

It was after perhaps an hour that your head was lightly buzzing from being drunk on fine wine and Jongin’s intoxicating laughter.

You were still laughing about something Jongin had said, while the male remained silent, hands nervously fumbling with the pockets of his blazer as his eyes gazed with admiration at your smile. With your hand self-consciously running through your hair under Jongin’s intent gaze, you told him, “You’re awfully quiet.”

His lips cracked into a smile and the slightest hint of coral dusted his cheeks, as his hand reached for yours and tugged gently on it. When you simply raised an eyebrow in confusion, he had laughed, “I need you to stand up.”

Other than the kisses stolen between conversations in public and his hand holding tightly to yours, Jongin had never expressed to others his love for you in words. His arms steadied you as you anxiously stood up from your seat. You weren’t sure whether it was hard to balance on your heels because of Jongin’s sudden request or because of the alcohol.

“I know I’m not the best with words,” Jongin smiled bashfully, “but I just have to tell you tonight that you are the most beautiful person I have ever seen, and I feel like the luckiest man alive to be in your presence.”

Though a bashful red began to dance along your cheeks, you were still wondering why Jongin was standing in an expensive restaurant and declaring his love for you.

“What I’m trying to say is, I am utterly in love with you,” he said, perhaps a bit too loudly. Your hand clamped over your gaping mouth when he pulled out a ring from his pocket, his eyes looking up to yours with so much love as he asked, “Will you marry me?”

“Yes,” you had cried in a flurry of gratitude, surprise, and excitement. You threw your arms around his neck, as Jongin embraced you, lifting your feet off the ground and twirling you around.

Not even the applause and whistles of the others in the restaurant could whip you back into reality, especially when his lips against yours brought you to a paradise of pure ecstasy.

You knew euphoria was an elapsing occurrence that was bound to pass by, but you were still convinced that Jongin would bring eternal happiness once he had proposed to you. Your friends who once thought that you and Jongin were absolutely inseparable were mortified that you had somehow become even closer after the proposal.

The flames of bliss in the form of fingers intertwined and soft kisses pressed to flushed cheeks had died out as quickly as the match was struck.

It had been not even six months since the proposal and you feel as if the word is crumbling at your fingertips, waves of horror and despair swallowing you whole because Jongin is no longer there to save you.

The last time you see Jongin, he would be wearing a suit.

~~

Your fingers tremble as you hold up a dark suit jacket to the light, palms running over the smooth material and admiring every curve and crease. You hold it against Jongin’s old suit jacket, ensuring that it’s the proper size. A heavy sigh slips quietly from between your lips, but it’s not as quiet as you hoped for it to be, for you feel a hand on your shoulder.

“Jongin would like it,” his mother smiles. “He likes everything you choose for him.”

It’s amazing how immense love can turn to utter hatred within a blink of the eye. You hate Jongin so much right now, so so much. If he was going to propose to you, he should have at least planned on staying with you. Instead, he’s decided to leave you and his family behind and go off to who knows where.

That jerk.

His mother takes the suit jacket from your hands, rummaging through her purse to find her wallet.

“This is the last gift we can give to him,” his mother sighs. “You know how much he’s been complaining about that old suit of his.”

You manage a bitter chuckle as Jongin mother whispers, “I’ll pay for this. Go pick out the tie before any of his sisters can.”

Even as your fingers run over the satin and the silk and the intricate patterns, you can’t help but yearn for Jongin’s skin and his warmth to be under your fingertips instead.

~~

Your head reels as tremulous fingers press a damp handkerchief to your burning eyes.

You can’t keep your tears from falling as you stand up from your seat, wrapping your black coat around your body as slightly familiar faces part for you to walk ahead. You feel a large hand rest on your shoulder, and you tilt your head up and blink through the tears to make out Sehun’s face.

“I’ll go with you,” he whispers consolingly.

Sehun is Jongin’s best friend, and they’ve known each other even before the awkward voice cracks of puberty. Besides yourself, Sehun is the only other person who has probably witnessed Jongin’s interludes of silent anger on bad days, the only other person who Jongin has trusted with the delicate fragments of his feelings.

Sehun reassuringly rests a hand against your shoulder as you walk up to the thick wood holding Jongin’s limp body. A torrent of tears come over you quickly as sadness wrenches your already feeble heart when your eyes rest upon the love of your life.

Fragments of the day you had heard of his death piece together in your shaken mind, your face contorting into a countenance of pain as you remember trying to comprehend how a collision with a truck near the exit of the freeway had led to a lethal stroke. There had been no tears then, in fact you nearly scoffed at how ridiculous the situation was. You were beyond foolish to think that your fiance would remain by your side, simply by a binding pact of love.

But your resolve had faltered and the tears had spilled once you laid your eyes upon the male at the hospital.

And now you see him once again.

His skin looks almost plastic, and his rigid lips once graced with a smile now unfamiliarly dressed in a frown. His hands seem stiff and lifeless, and you find yourself missing the warmth his coarse fingers brought when they lovingly caressed your cheek or playfully ran through your messy hair.

The man lying lifelessly before you is not Jongin.

Jongin never frowns, he never stays still, and he always reaches out to hold you whenever you’re around.

Your knees nearly give out when you see Jongin, or a body that seems to be Jongin’s, but luckily, Sehun has both his arms around you. The look of surprise on his face is written over by worry and concern as he asks, “Hey, you okay?”

All you can manage is a trembling nod as tears streak over your cheeks and your fingers rest against the coffin.

“Let’s get you out of here,” Sehun mumbles, before leading you away from Jongin and the hard wood carrying his cold body.

Sehun takes you to the bathroom and waits patiently at the door, until you finally emerge after splashing some cool water on your face and resting against the cold counter to recollect your thoughts.

“Thanks,” you mumble, your cheeks red from the tears and embarrassment.

Sehun tries to force a smile of gratitude, but the death of his best friend wrenches his lips into a rigid pout.

“No problem,” he sighs. “They’re going to close the coffin and prepare for the burial soon. We can wait out here if you feel uncomfortable with all the people inside.”

“No,” you rasp while shaking your head. “I want to see him one last time.”

Sehun pushes open the door to the stuffy room, the swarm of people wearing dark surrounding you in a sea of black as they hold their heads down. You stay along the back well, your eyes timidly searching through the sea of bodies until they find Jongin’s body once more.

His closed eyes remind you how you’re never going to wake up each morning to his swollen cheeks and long lashes looking at you with love, his rigid lips telling you how you’re never going to hear the words “I love you” once more.

Confidence falls from your limbs as your feet rest idly against the ground and your arms fall weakly to your sides.

You just don’t have the courage to touch his lifeless body once more.

As your eyes scan over the stiff hair, the almost plastic skin, and the immaculate dark suit wrapped around his body, you can’t help the tears of irony that spill once more.

The last time you meet Jongin, he is wearing a suit.

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Kaytranada - Whatever

Tracklist:
0:00 Jill Scott - It’s Love (Kaytranada Edition)
2:13 Kaytranada - Wanna Go Up
5:41 Robert Nelson & Kaytradamus - Charlotte (Instrumental)
8:03 Jay Dee - Come And Get It (Kaytranada Interlude)
10:00  Roots - Silent Treatment (Kaytranada Interlude)
11:07  Show Out - Kaytranada
15:21  Maybe Watson - PS Remix (Instrumental)
16:44 Goldlink - Sober Thoughts (Prod. Kaytranada)
20:29 Missy - I’m Really Really Really Hot (Prod. Kaytranada)
24:49  TaDaTa - Kaytranada
28:29  Not To Play With - Kaytranada
30:42  Ciara - Body Party (Kaytranada Remix)
35:49  All We Do - Kaytranada Remix (w/ JSMN)
39:46  Regrets - Kaytranada
42:27  Forever Lasting Night - Kaytranada
43:06  Unreleased Kaytranada
45:42  ATM Jam (Alternate Mix)
49:34  246 - Kaytranada