The Waiting Dog (Part Two)
Years ago there’s nothing Choi Siwon could do. Day by day… the sound of his Father banging one of his hookers next door, or his laughing Mother who holds whisky while welcoming nasty women from her charity community slash cougar clubs. They all rumbled up, making buzzing noises in both of his ears. Everybody seemed to like Siwon, but the truth was…nobody cared. Not even God. God didn’t exist, and even if He was, He never slightly cared.
What he really wanted was to smash everyone’s head to a wall, smash them so hard the brain and blood just burst out everywhere.
The boys in his basketball team, the cheerleaders who went in line for him, the teachers who gave him crappy advices. The way they smiled, the way they laughed, the way they talked… Siwon really wanted to stab them one by one. Stab stab stab! Stab stab stab until their intestines dropping out.
This side of him, nobody knew. People only figured him as a Mama’s boy. Rich, popular, with an undeniable bright future. But that one person, a boy… Cho Kyuhyun, his name. He didn’t laugh, didn’t smile, didn’t even talk. He just stood there in silent, in front of his locker. He looked at Siwon with his round eyes and read all of the depression Siwon sacredly kept away. It was as if he knew, he understood.
Does anyone know the childish theory about when a kid likes someone, then he would annoy that person the most? He would pull the hair, pinch the cheek, hide the lunch box, anything to get the person’s attention. Apparently the theory occurred to Choi Siwon’s situation. Each day, was spent by tormenting Kyuhyun. He wouldn’t want to hurt anybody else anymore, because he got a fix target already. Only Kyuhyun. He only wanted to beat the boy harder and harder till he break down.
Inside his chaotic life, he found peace. He knew that even though he punched and kicked Kyuhyun until the point of dying, the boy would still be in love with him.
But what nobody knew, that Siwon always managed to silently watch whatever Kyuhyun was doing inside the class. How the boy liked to bite the pencil edge or how he licked pages to open his book. Nobody knew that when the school board decided to stop the scholarship program, Siwon came up to pay all of Kyuhyun’s school fee just to keep the boy stayed inside the school. Or how… he was in total shock to learn that Kyuhyun and his family moved town exactly after summer holiday, without telling anyone.
Nobody knew… nobody…
“Siwon-Ah, are you okay? Siwon-Ah!” Called the teacher, whom just delivered the news about Kyuhyun’s transferal. He was worried to see how Siwon walked out of the school administration office, staggering. The boy stared around, not knowing what he should do. Drip of blood came out of his nose unpredictably, covering his mouth and then fell onto his uniform. He felt so alone, so lost.
Siwon’s body suddenly collapsed to the ground. He could hear some teachers ran and shouted, but he was too weak to do anything. As the blood went out more and more, Siwon slowly closed his eyes and disappeared into a world of white faint.
Someone knocks the door, distracts Choi Siwon attention for a while. He looks back and sees two persons hesitantly walk into the room. They wear old ugly clothes and dirty shoes; it’s obvious that both are low income labors. Siwon tightens Kyuhyun’s blanket for a second, before he stands up from his seat. The man hasn’t slept in days, so his eyes are a bit blurry.
One of the men walks forward, politely smiles. “We’re Kyuhyun’s clients. I’m Seung and this is Joo Im. After Nurse Yuri informed us, we came here in a rush. To see you personally.”
"Ah yes, she has that CNN mouth." Siwon yawns. “If you’re here to convince me to take off his life support, then you better crawl yourself out of here because that won’t do.”
“Oh no, Sir. On the opposite, we’re on your side.” Says the man behind the other, now joining the conversation. “We’re sorry that we stopped paying the bills, it’s just that we don’t have much money and we have kids to be fed.”
Siwon grins. “You know what? I’m busy now, so can I ignore you some other time?”
“Siwon-ssi, we might be poor, but we want to help you still.”
“Whatever.” Siwon stands up impatiently. “Get out.”
Without hesitation, Siwon grabs those two men’s shoulders with his both hands and force them walk to the exit. Just giving his last insincere smile, he then push them out together and shut the door tight.
He turns around and sighs, walks back to the bed where Cho Kyuhyun rests. Checking the heater, Siwon mumbles. “Your friends are so noisy.” He is back on his seat. “Do you… wanna do something in particular? I’m not good with games, but how about Monopoly? I mean, we can still compete and be rich at the same time.”
Choi Siwon presses the button to call the nearest nurse.
And of course it would be her, coming with her unpleasant face. Yuri, opens the door and leans there. It's amazing how Siwon's perfect face is so contrary to his attitude. “What do you want?”
Siwon fake his smile. “Buy me a Monopoly.”
“Excuse me, what?”
“The board game, published by Parker Brothers.”
“Yes I know what it is. What I meant, you can’t just ask me around to do things. I am Kyuhyun’s nurse, not your maid. And you are not allowed to press the emergency button unless there is an urgent situation.” Yuri seems very upset that she keeps pointing at Siwon’s face with her finger while complaining.
Siwon grins. “This is very urgent. Because if you refuse to buy me the Monopoly, then I will call the hospital board to fire you immediately.”
Yuri is silent for a while, before smiling. “The country Monopoly or the village Monopoly?”
“Be right back.”
Siwon can now focus again at the comatose Kyuhyun. “I don’t understand why people around you are mostly stupid. Lucky, I came right on time. At least now you have someone in your life that is blessed with high and decent quality.” He sighs. “That’s why… hurry open your eyes. Open your eyes and look at me.”
By the end of the month, everything is settled. At least for a while, the ventilator will still be on and Cho Kyuhyun will still be alive. That’s all that matter.
Eun Hyuk, after giving a full report about Choi Siwon properties sales, accompanies the man to pay the hospital administration. Walking with the rich man, he cannot avoid listening to all of the rant. “Didn’t I tell you to bring my Marc Jacobs? Why did you bring my Polo instead? The color is not a match with Kyuhyun’s bed sheet!” Siwon is checking everything inside the blue bag Eun Hyuk was carrying earlier.
“Just wear whatever I bring for you, oh?” Eun Hyuk grins bitterly. “So… did the doctor say anything? About the possibility of Kyuhyun, waking up?”
“No.” Siwon shrugs. “No guarantee.”
“So this could go on forever? And you will still be paying the bills?”
At first, it was really hard to understand what is Siwon trying to do. But as soon as the door is opened, Eun Hyuk finally gets to see the other side of Siwon. And it is somehow... surprising and sad at the same time.
“Kyuhyun-Ah, did you wait for too long?” Siwon sits next to the patient bed, while glancing at the room heater. “Here’s a good news. I’ve arranged a new room for you. They still have to follow the list, but it will be soon. It will be more comfortable, with a not-broken heater and no risk for another person to move here with you.”
Siwon checks things in the bag again, while talking. “The price is of course… crazy expensive. I’m not giving it away for free you know? You must pay me back as soon as you wake up.”
Eun Hyuk startles as he stands near the door, still. Choi Siwon is talking to the comatose Kyuhyun, he talks regularly as if Kyuhyun was there listening every words he said. What is their relationship exactly? Nobody had ever witnessed Siwon treat Kyuhyun nicely during their high school time, so why does Siwon care so much for the boy now? And it’s not just a normal care. It’s more like…
“Eun Hyuk-Ah, I need your help tomorrow.” Siwon suddenly turns around and asks ignorantly. “You’re gonnabe sitting here and watching Kyuhyun, while I go grab some of Kyuhyun’s stuff at his old apartment.”
Eun Hyuk frowns. “Why can’t I be the one grabbing his stuff?”
“Because you always forget something.”
“And since when do you make decision for me?”
“You’re such a smart ass, Siwon-Ah, you know that?”
“Of course I’m a smart-ass. The purpose is, so dumb-ass like you has someone to look up to.” Answers the man. “Tomorrow, 9 AM. Sharp.”
And just like what has been requested even without agreement, the next day Eun Hyuk comes to the Hospital to guard Kyuhyun while Siwon goes out. It has to be done like that since Siwon doesn’t really trust nurses, plus he wants someone to call him directly whenever Kyuhyun makes an improvement. Even if it’s slightly impossible.
Kyuhyun’s apartment by the way, is not any near to the luxury of Siwon’s place. The building is simple, old and small. However since the landlord respect Kyuhyun very much, he decides not to put the place on sale and just let it like that. Untouched for two years.
Opening the door with a spare key given earlier, Choi Siwon finally able to see where Kyuhyun was living.
The handsome man walks in, holding his cough because of the obvious dust. The room is exactly square, consists of one bigger area for living room and other small rooms blocked with thin walls. The light switch is behind door, the couch is single and brownly unattractive, there’s no rug- hence the floor feels a bit chilly. One computer at the corner of the room, one book shelf filled with law subjects, one table with one house phone. What a boring limited compartment. Siwon knows that even if he just bulldozes the place, nobody would ever mind…
But as he enters deeper, he can feel every step Kyuhyun had made before. He can also feel the young man previous presence by touching almost every inch of every corner of the room. Kyuhyun was here... Kyuhyun was there...
Siwon open his bag and start hunting for items Kyuhyun would need later. He is busy for couple of minutes, before his eyes are focusing on the closed door at the middle room. Is it the bed room? He curiously walks there, slowly open the door knob which is unlocked. The moment he step in, he is surprised by the emptiness inside. What is this? Why are there only a bed, a table lamp and a dark closet? Why isn’t there anything else other than that?
Cho Kyuhyun… did you even live before you got your coma?
Siwon decides to sit on the dusty yet tidy bed. He touches the antique golden colored lamp next to the bed and the dirty surface of the table. Three drawers, he lazily opens them one by one, unsurprised by the lack of interesting stuff inside. Batteries, expired menthol candies, pencils that had been chewed at the edge part…
Wait… what is this in the third and lowest drawer? Seems to be a journal, a big one, it has leather cover and clipped with a small chain. He takes it out in curiosity, decides to open the pages. Each page is glued with pieces of article that was being cut of a newspaper from different titles and dates. And every article contains his picture, his information, and his updates. What the hell are these?
Choi Siwon, is taking over the giant multi companies owned by his own family for generations. He is known as the youngest billionaire of the year, as soon as the candidate…
House-Deck, a new company that is being established under the wing of Choi Enterprise has gained much attention nowadays. Especially with Choi Siwon as the President Director whom originally offered the idea of…
Attending gala premiere of Enlighten Blue, a historical drama based on Goryeo war, was the last year hugest break-through in business world of Korea; Choi Siwon. The young businessman was seen alone during the red carpet…
Kyuhyun was taking articles-clipping about him! Unbelievable. The boy never forgot about him, not even a slightly single second! He kept on following whatever updates Siwon was making, continuing his hidden feeling without having the intention to disturb Siwon’s perfect world.
Siwon doesn’t really know how to react; his heart is happy and sad at the same time. His hand slowly opens the last page of the journal, when he soon discovers another kept well secret. A bundle of letters, clipped, with no envelope to be seen. So it means that Kyuhyun must have written the letters without the intention of sending.
The paper seems old but kept carefully from dust and dirt. The sentences, they are Kyuhyun’s handwriting, a bit messy but Siwon can recognize the C turn and the thick dot for I. The recipient name above the words… is Choi Si Won, his name. And as Siwon reads all of the letters’ headers, it becomes clearer that those letters were indeed meant for him.
There, in time, as I left you in grief… the world drops dead.
Here, far away, with an old smile… loneliness untold.
The monster in you, I want to see
The desperation in me, suffers
Crossing the evening shore, crossing the row of forgotten tombs
Beneath silent laughter, beneath a bleeding heart
I’m calling, I’m missing, I’m wanting, I’m loving.
Cho Kyuhyun… Siwon is sitting there, motionless, staring at the air. He has no energy left now that he already knew the fact about Kyuhyun’s feeling. That the young man was still yearning for him, that he also desperately wanted to meet him. Cho Kyuhyun…
Siwon quickly walks out of the bed room, grabs the bag on the couch and reaches the door. He has to go back to the hospital as fast as he could. Because along with his anxious feet, his mind and heart call continuously within the count of seconds. Cho Kyuhyun… Cho Kyuhyun…
11 PM, Ban Gil Hospital…
White building, white rooms, white uniform… and although white is usually the good-side color, but there’s nothing good about it nowadays for Choi Siwon. White can only bring him sadness and despair. Sitting beside the comatose Cho Kyuhyun, Siwon wishes to change away the white aura he sees on the boy’s face. He wishes him colorful. Red, blue, green, yellow, anything but white.
It’s late and the man is still patiently cutting Kyuhyun’s finger nails, one by one. The tip grows longer each week; one of the small proves that Kyuhyun is still very much alive. “Your letters… I found them all.” Siwon smiles. “Just like your first love letter to me, I took them home and kept them safely in my closet box.”
Finish with his work, Siwon puts the nail-clipper away and massages Kyuhyun’s fingers tenderly. He blows each tip, carefully cleans the surface of the nails. “One day… I will write a letter to you too, replying all of those creepy melancholic words of yours. One day. I want you to wake up, so you can read it…”
Impatiently watching the silent eyes, Siwon decides to climb the bed and lie right next to Kyuhyun. This is the first time ever, being so close to the pale young man. His heart feels so heavy that he starts to lift his hand and caress Kyuhyun’s soft cheek. “Wake up…” He whispers. “I have so many things I want to tell you. So please…”
The handsome man sighs as he holds Kyuhyun’s hand so tight. He then closes his own eyes, feels so sleepy and tired all of a sudden. It is as if being next to Kyuhyun, is the only way for him to feel peaceful. “Wake up…”
Faggot…!! Where are you, you scary shitty faggot?! Come out come out where ever you are…! Oh there he is. Go get him, boys! Run for your life, fuck head! Bwahaha… run run!!
“Stop it!!” Choi Siwon wakes up in a sudden panic. His sweat drops and his breath pants, it is as if he was being hunted by the ghost of his own past. He turns around and makes sure everything is in the right place. “Kyuhyun?” He realizes he is lying on the couch. “Kyuhyun!!”
Eun Hyuk, who is sitting next to Kyuhyun’s patient bed, throws a peanut on Siwon’s face. “Why are you yelling? Are you blind? Kyuhyun is still in a coma, he’s here, he can’t go anywhere.”
Siwon rubs his tired face. “How long have I been sleeping?”
“That long? Normal people sleep eight hours, Superman.”
“Move away, don’t get too close to Kyuhyun.”
“Well not that I wanted to, thank you. But the sitting option was to be on this chair or on your sleeping ass sofa.” Grumpy Eun Hyuk directly stand, moves away and gives the empty seat. He doesn’t even know why he keeps coming to the hospital and checks on Siwon’s condition, it scares him a bit, the fact that he might actually care for the man. That he finally gives up on the term, ‘friend.’
Someone knocks at the door just as Siwon sits next to Kyuhyun, touching the young man’s forehead just to measure his temperature. Eun Hyuk welcomes their evening guests. “Seung-ssi, Joo Im-ssi… so happy to have you here!” He greets those poor men who seem to bring their family along this time around. “Oh and who are these little angels?”
Joo Im smiles. “These two are Seung’s kids and the smallest is my kid.”
“You brought flowers too, how thoughtful.”
“It thought it might change mood a little.”
While Eun Hyuk is busy welcoming the guests, the smallest kid in the group decides to walk toward Siwon. A little girl in the age of 6 years old, approaches Siwon and smiles sweetly to the man.
Siwon forces his stiff face to smile. “He… hello, tiny form of female.”
“I’m Joo Chae Ri.”
“You look tired, Uncle Siwon. Your eyes look like Panda and your clothes are wrinkly.” Little Chae Ri with cute pink ribbon on her hair, analyzes. “When my Mom gets sick, my Dad also holds her hand like that. Is Uncle Kyuhyun, your wife?”
A bit surprised with the assumption, Siwon tries to find the best way to a little innocent kid version. “He’s the Robin to my Batman, the Sam to my Frodo, the Patrick to my Sponge Bob, and the stupid Emoish coconut haircut to the early Justin Bieber. So no, he is not my wife. But, he is, indeed important.”
Chae Ri giggles. “You love him!”
“Nn… n… how can small kid like you even know that word? Shut up.”
“You will marry him.”
“In a beautiful beach, surrounded by pigeons and caterpillars.” Chae Ri starts to imagine all things out. “And then you two will kiss. Mmmooooch!”
Nervous, Siwon directly waves to Joo Im. “Yah! Joo Im-ssi, this girly-version-of-Chucky over here is making Kyuhyun uncomfortable. Could you just throw her away?” He push the little girl with his right foot, before he turn around and concentrate to Kyuhyun again.
Joo Im apologizes for several times before taking his little girl back to her Mother. The skinny man then prefers to approach Eun Hyuk, whom just finished talking with someone on the phone. “It’s been four months, Eun Hyuk-ssi. Is it really alright with Siwon-ssi?”
Eun Hyuk, fixing the curtain, shrugs. “To be honest, I don’t know.” He looks at Siwon thoroughly. “He won’t leave Kyuhyun even for a second. He does his office work here, he eats here, he even sleeps here. He pays attention to the smallest details of Kyuhyun’s needs, something that even Kyuhyun’s family couldn’t and wouldn’t do.”
“But he is changing.”
“Siwon? Yes, he is.”
“Long time ago, he wouldn’t even let us be in this room more than a minute.”
Eun Hyuk nods, slightly smiles. “Long time ago, he wouldn’t have us all be in the same room as him like this. Accompanying and helping him like this. He wouldn’t have friends at all, people that actually care of what he’s doing and support him for it. Being near to Kyuhyun, really changes him a lot.”
The smile however, slowly disappears from face. Although for a while Eun Hyuk is being entertained by the change of Siwon’s behavior, he cannot stop worrying about the future. What if Kyuhyun never wakes up? How would Siwon possibly react if that ever happen?
***to be continued***