Happy Birthday!



Going to a new school, trying to make friends, and working to keep your grades up was consuming all your time. Every moment you had free, you were always focused on some aspect of school. If it wasn’t for your childhood best friend Jeon Jungkook, you’d probably spend your life buried in some book. Today of all days, was no exception.

Having your midterm exam coming up right around the corner, you’ve been hitting the books harder than usual, pulling countless all-nighters to make sure you had the information fully memorized. Today was your third day in a row with no sleep and you couldn’t even keep your days apart anymore. Everything around you was a blur. It wasn’t until you accidentally bumped into your next door neighbor, Jeon Jungkook, in the hallway that you realized you were heading in the wrong direction.

“Well I didn’t know you were that excited to see me, you could have simply said hello instead of falling over me,” he chuckled.

“Oh sorry, I uh didn’t see you there,” you mumbled.

Jungkook grabbed you by the arm and dragged you down the hallway. Finally when he found an empty hallway he stopped.

“What’s going on with you, I’ve never seen you so spaced out in my life. You’re always so focused, but for the past couple days you don’t even seem like yourself.”

“It’s nothing..I’m fine Kookie, can I go now, I need to head to class” you said while turning around.

Jungkook grabbed your wrist and turned you around pushing you up against the nearby locker.

“Look me in the eyes and tell me you’re fine. Don’t treat me like some fool, I’ve known you for as long as I can remember. Do you really think I can’t tell when something’s wrong with you by now? I’ve held back thinking that maybe you were just having a bad day, hell maybe even a bad week but this has gone on way too long! Tell me what’s wrong, you know I’m always going to be here for you.”

You sighed and looked away. How come he could always see through your masks? It wasn’t anything that he needed to worry about, he shouldn’t have even noticed. Before you could turn back and answer him you felt a hand slip under your chin and your head being tilted up. Your eyes met Jungkook’s and you could see how much he was worried about you. Tears started flowing from your eyes and you couldn’t hold it back anymore.

“I’m not good with changes, I don’t like not knowing people, having new teachers, not knowing this building, and having to worry about my grades. I hate making new friends, why couldn’t I have gotten into the school I wanted to, why did I get stuck her! I just want things to go back to how they were, I don’t want to be here! Why kookie, why?" 

Jungkook simply ran his hand down your hair and pulled you close to him. He stood there hugging you, just being there for you until you were done crying. Before you could even apologize for crying in front of him, he leaned down and kissed your cheek.

"Right after school come over to my house, I have something for you but you need to come straight over, no exceptions.”

With that Jungkook walked away, not even giving you the option to retaliate.  You stood there holding your cheek. What was that even about, he’s never done something like that before. Was it some kind of joke? Kookie has always just been the boy next door, the guy who has seen you for your better and your worst. Why was some stupid kiss on the cheek making your heart race so much? Not to mention, what could he possibly have to give you, and why did it have to be right after school? You spent the rest of the day pondering just that until the final bell broke you from your trance. You did what you were commanded and went straight to jungkook’s house.

You knocked on the door and almost instantly Jungkook answered it. You walked inside and it was pitch black. It wasn’t until he flipped on the lights that you saw balloons filling the room and streamers everywhere. You had been so stressed out that you had completely forgot your own birthday. You couldn’t believe that he’d gone through all this just to celebrate your birthday. 

“I know you don’t normally like doing much for your birthday, but I thought since you wouldn’t be able to be with your friends this year, I’d do at least this for you and from the looks of today I could tell that you didn’t even remember yourself. I know it’s not much, but I want you to know in always going to be here for you, that you’ll always have me. We’ve grown up with each other and my love for you has grown right with it. I don’t care if you always just see me as the boy next door, but I wanted you to know that you’re always going to be special to me. I love you and happy birthday.”

Before you even had a chance to process what was going on, Jungkook pulled you against him and he kissed you. Not what you’d picture a first kiss to be like, but rather a kiss full of years of love behind it. With each second that passed, the kiss grew deeper and deeper. Before long your head was spinning from lack of oxygen. You couldn’t tell if it was the lack of oxygen or your actual feelings for kookie to cause you to do what you did.

The next thing you remembered was you were pushing Jungkook down on the nearby couch and that’s all it took. Jeon Jungkook read your message loud and clear and he leaned up and slowly started to untie your school uniform’s tie from your neck. Once off, he let it fall to the floor and pulled you close to him by the collar of your shirt. He softly bit your bottom lip before passionately kissing you. You two kept this up for a good hour before you both were completely out of breath. 

Leaning against Jungkook with his arms wrapped around you, you realized that it wasn’t the lack of oxygen talking, it was truly how you felt. Being this close to Jeon Jungkook felt like second nature to you, like it was where you were meant to be. You had never felt more peaceful and at home than you did at this very moment. Jungkook must have been feeling the same way as you because the next thing you new he was kissing your temple and whispered in your ear.

“This is where you belong, I love you.”



“When we started Buried Life we all got inspired by different things that made us believe we could do anything. We gave ourself permission to go after our biggest dreams. We want this book to give that feeling to anyone who reads it,” says coauthor Nemtin, who has been collecting materials for the book over the last five years.

The group tells Us they were especially inspired by stories like Jonnie Penn’s interaction with a woman whose life goal was to travel across the Atlantic Ocean in a rowboat, or that of Jamie Tworkowski, who founded the charity To Write Love on Her Arms.

“The weird thing about the question ‘What do you want to do before you die?’ is you get answers you honestly can’t believe because they’re heartbreaking, offensive, funny or so ambitious,” Jonnie Penn tells Us. “Each dream [included] is a glimpse into some extraordinary person’s life.”


“Uh! What was that? Are you guys okay? My book… Now I have to read Hunger Games!”