The Waiting Dog (Part One)
Everyday stayed the same. As Cho Kyuhyun opened his eyes, he saw nothing but misery. In his small and dirty house, he was forced to do everything alone without his parents. He had both of them, but none of them cares. His father was an alcoholic bastard and his mother stripped twice a week, they barely at home to feed their children or to give simple affection as two humans who created them biologically.
When he’s not busy taking care of his house and sisters, he would spend his day at school. School was his second home, as well as second hell. The reason why he was still permitted to study there, even though the place was quite prestigious was because he had a brilliant brain. His IQ was almost 150 and his academic ability developed each week.
He was not an anti-social person, but the environment made him so. Teenagers at his age didn’t really appreciate him much. It got worse once one of them accidentally found Kyuhyun’s love letter towards the most popular boy in school. Choi Siwon, the only person he found worth to be the reason why he should breathe every day. Why he should live, why he should survive, why… he should love.
The letter was passed from one hand to another, until it reached the hand of the handsome boy itself. It was such a nightmare when Siwon read it out loud, laughed along with the other kids in class. Felt embarrassed, Kyuhyun ran out of the class and locked himself in the bathroom.
But the nightmare didn’t stop there. It continued horribly.
Children started throwing stinky eggs at him after school, hiding his pants during PE, sprayed DIE FAG! on his locker, torn his book pages apart, spit on his lunch, and hundreds of others bullying.
He received those treatments every day, yet he found himself never stop loving the same person. He always stood in front of his locker door, waiting for Choi Siwon to pass him by.
Wearing his dark uniform, holding a leather bag, with hair as soft as the April breeze and face as perfect as an angel… Choi Siwon was an unthinkable bless of Cho Kyuhyun’s pathetic life. Kyuhyun was his. Thus no matter how much Siwon hurt him, he would pay it back with kindness. Like a loyal dog, just like a dog…he would wait forever.
12 years later…
More than two hundred people are gathering in the very luxurious building. They were from the same high school, who are being invited all at once. Some of them now have turned to be influential people in the business industry. However, there is always someone who shines brighter than the other. Someone, whom people love and hate at the same time. In this case, it would be Choi Siwon.
Disappoints, Eun Hyuk cannot help but whines. “You invited the… Choi Siwon? Ugh this is just great, might as well as putting a bomb in the building.”
Shin Dong keeps eating at his delicious Escargot. “I don’t see why we shouldn’t, he is the main attraction of the reunion.”
“Exactly.” Cuts Hyuk. “Lemme tell you why. He is stealing the spotlight! He looks better than everyone in this place, including the host, which is me by the way. Girls will soon be fighting for him, boys will be fighting for him as well and the reunion will turn up into a chaotic sexual wrestling match!”
Shin laughs, patting Hyuk’s shoulder as he passes the man. “I know he pissed you a lot when you guys were younger, but he is an adult now. He changes. I’m sure nothing worse can happen, right?”
“Excuse me, but could you tell the chef that the lasagna tasted like detergent? And what are these green things in my main-dish plate? I didn’t climb on the top of the food chain just to be a vegetarian.” Choi Siwon complains sharply yet with a polite seat manner. “Now go, don’t just stare at me. There’s a fine line between listening and just standing there like an idiot.”
Somebody just shoot me… whispers Eun Hyuk to himself as he walks toward Siwon’s direction to give a proper greet. Ever since the reunion started, Siwon has done nothing but criticizing practically… everything. Nevertheless, Eun Hyuk is standing at his table and giving a friendly smile. “Hi. I see that you’re enjoying the night.”
Siwon glances. “If by enjoying you mean watching boring people, listening to boring music and eating garbage dish… then yes, I am.”
“They are healthy food, Siwon-ssi. Organic.”
“Organic is for sheep.”
Desperate, Eun Hyuk decides to sit in front of Siwon and grabs himself a glass of wine. “Who am I kidding? You never change. People like you…”
Siwon chuckles. “People like me?”
“A complete jerk. Wild, mean, arrogant, manipulative, selfish, not to mention playboy. You attract everyone, everywhere. Back in the day, even female teachers and school nurse.” Eun Hyuk sighs. “The only change I see in you, is that you’ve grown more muscles as well as money.”
Again, Siwon chuckles. He is about to reply the previous comment, but his mind suddenly remembers something.
Kick him! Kick him harder! Give the queer a lesson!
Siwon’s facial expression changes as the old memory appears. He slowly looks around, as if looking for something… or someone. The arrogance on his well charming face, turns into a plain sight. Eun Hyuk turns around, glances at some people and frowns back to Choi Siwon. “Are you looking for someone?”
Siwon wipes his mouth with napkin nervously. “Uh… no.”
“Old time cheerleaders?”
“I said, no.”
“It’s okay, I can hook them up again with you if you want. I mean, nobody could ever reject you. You are Choi Siwon, the one who breaks people’s heart. Though I must say that the worst case would be that poor boy, Cho Kyuhyun.”
Look, he’s running! Run! Run fast, you dirty little faggot!!
As the memory tortures him, the man mumbles. “I… I haven’t seen him all night. Did you… by any chance, invite him too?”
“Before answering that, let’s rewind for a while…” Eun Hyuk calmly claps his hands to ask for another bottle. “He was so miserable. Being a gay guy who was in love with the coolest guy in school, was a disaster. I remember how you and your basketball team liked to bully him after class, taking his money, tossing his books on the street, even burning his clothes and telling him to run home naked. Yet… he still patiently waited for you at the lockers hall. He stood there, waiting for you to pass him by. He had such puppy eyes, so cute and sad. Just like an obedient dog.”
Siwon remembers. Nobody knows and he doesn’t tell, but he remembers everything. In fact, that’s all he remembers for the past 11 years since they graduated. The silky black hair, the smooth pale skin, the innocent face, the way the boy looked at him in some way like saying… ‘I’m here.’
“Have you…heard anything about him?” Asks Siwon, all of a sudden.
“Where is he? Can I have his number?”
“You can, but I don’t think he can answer you.” Eun Hyuk then puts a slight and annoying smile. “For the past two years, he’s been in the same place. Ban Gil International Hospital. He had a terrible car accident and he never wakes up from his coma.”
Siwon feels his heart drops down, it’s reaching his knees. “Coma?? But… but how the hell did that happen?”
Eun Hyuk shrugs. “I’m not sure, I just heard that he used to work in a social department before it all happened. He became a lawyer for poor people, helping others for charity and low income. He’s only alive because his clients are trying hard to pay for his medical bills.
Why am I telling you this? It’s not like you’re interested anyway, right?”
Choi Siwon looks away. It’s impossible… fate should be brighter and friendlier, at least for someone as kind as Cho Kyuhyun. So… why?
Suddenly the menu, the party, the people, all of those are not a matter to him anymore. For years he’s been tormented by an unexplainable insomnia and the person inside his mind has always been Kyuhyun. For being the meanest person in the boy’s life, for not being able to speak up the truth…
The next day, Ban Gil Hospital…
Finally. Choi Siwon finally has the gut to visit the place where Cho Kyuhyun is. The man leaves after work and directly heads to the big building filled with white dressed people and mysterious scent of medicines.
“As far as I know, Kyuhyun-ssi doesn’t have any family left but his sisters whom have moved to the country side and left his medication to us.” Says the pretty nurse at the reception table. “So it’s impossible if you are his brother, because honestly… you both don’t even look alike.”
Siwon smirks. “In what way? That I have two eyes and he has six?”
“Sir, it’s the hospital’s policy. You cannot visit outside the hour.”
“What visiting hour? He’s in a fucking coma!”
The nurse, Yuri, quickly grabs the phone on her desk. This formal suited man apparently is not as polite as the way he dressed up. Armani and Rolex can’t guarantee that a man can behave well. “I’m gonna call the security.”
“Great, you do that.” Siwon takes out his cell phone at the same time. “And I shall call the owner of this damn hospital. I’m a lawyer, you know that?”
It takes only couple of minutes after Siwon finished making the call, that the phone on the receptionist table rings. Yuri picks up the phone and listens obediently as the voice across, tells her to do this and that. “Yes… yes, Sir. Yes, I will personally escort him to the room and call Doctor Kang.”
It works! Being a rich guy is always giving benefit in every situation. The nurse gives up, she finally walks out of her desk and leads her stubborn guest to one of the hospital rooms.
“You know… an escort in my business world; can be translated as a prostitute.” Siwon mumbles as they walk along the corridor.
Yuri grunts, they’re getting near so she has to be patient. One more stairs, one more and three long corridors and they will soon arrive at the room. The nurse opens the door for Choi Siwon. “Here we are, Sir. The room of your… uhm… brother.”
Siwon is silent. The world is closing in and he can only focus at the young man who looks like only asleep on the white bed. There are machines, rubber tubes and strong scent of drugs. Cho Kyuhyun… is lying unconscious, eyes closed and body paralyzed. He is not dead, but not alive. He is dying in his coma.
“He was a kind man.” Yuri sighs, while cleaning some dried flowers on the small table in the corner. “It doesn’t seem fair for someone like him to have such a tragedy. He helped a lot of people; he was struggling to keep a nursery building for poor elders from an eviction before the accident happened.”
Still stunned, Siwon is listening to whatever told.
“He was about to save a wounded dog on the street. He drove in a rush and got hit by another car on his way to the vet.” The beautiful nurse continues the sad story. “The dog survived, but Kyuhyun-ssi… immediately suffered a coma.”
Explaining for the medical equipments there, she decides to give full information. “People he helped, routinely collect money to keep the ventilator. Yet again, they are only people with limited financial ability. If I’m not mistaken, exactly by the end of this month… it will be removed. They have decided that it’s time to let him go.”
The last sentence, successfully has Siwon’s attention. The man quickly turns around in shock. “Let him go? You mean killing him?”
“Not killing, saving.”
“That is the most idiotic bullshit I’ve ever heard. You guys are supposed to keep him alive, not taking his live away!”
The nurse feels nervous, she knows that someone like Siwon can easily lose temper sometimes. “It’s not my call. You should ask Doctor Kang personally, although I’m afraid he won’t be here until tomorrow.”
“Fine.” Siwon is being stubborn again. “Arrange our meeting, I’ll be waiting.”
Choi Siwon ignorantly let the nurse leaves the room, he is now concentrating on what is in front of him. So this is how Cho Kyuhyun looks like now, after all of these years…
He doesn’t change much, only a slight sign of maturity. The skin is still as pale and smooth as porcelain, the hair is a bit brighter and the face is still beautifully made even though almost lifeless. Looks like a sleeping Prince, waiting for someone to wake him up from a spell. Unbelievable how Siwon is finally able to meet the boy.
Kick him! Kick him hard, kick the faggot harder so that he wet his pants!
Siwon feels his throat choke all of a sudden without particular reason. The man pulls a chair next to him and decides to take a seat, his knees are collapsing. His eyes are staring weakly at Kyuhyun. All of those horrible things he did to the boy, he hasn’t able to repay…
People said that you can still talk to a comatose person. That even though they seem unconscious, they still able to hear or feel. So…
“Hi…” Siwon inhales a deep and heavy breath. “Cho Kyuhyun, hi…”
The next day…
Doctor Kang walks in a hurry. “Yuri-ssi, where is this Choi Siwon-ssi guy?”
The nurse quickly answers. “He’s been here since last night, Doctor. He’s now waiting in your office. My shift is supposed to end two hours ago, but the director asked me to personally wait for your arrival.”
Doctor Kang stops for a while. “Is he a family?”
“I doubt that.”
“Then what’s the rush? Involving the hospital’s director…”
“Well… looking at the way he sat with patient a whole night long, I’m sure he has some sort of personal attachment.”
The Doctor massages his own confused head, before continuing his steps and heading directly to his private office. As soon as he opens the door, he sees that a fine young man is already waiting inside. He spontaneously stands up and shows a concern face. “Doctor.”
“Siwon-ssi.” Doctor Kang offers a hand shake. Judging from the expensive suit and all his branded accessories, the young man is clearly not an ordinary person. “Please, have a seat. I’m going to give direct details.”
Without further delay, the man shows the x-ray result of Kyuhyun’s brain. “This is the result from MRI and CT scans. As the impact of the accident, he suffers head trauma and brain injuries. The brain moved back and forth inside of the skull, it eventually tore blood vessels and nerve fibers which caused swelling.”
Siwon seems confused. “The coma happens because the brain swells? I’m sure there’s a treatment for that, right?”
“I’m afraid treatments can only prevent further physical and neurological damage. So far, we have done many things including hyperventilation, which is relieving the brain pressure by surgically placing a tube inside of the skull and draining the fluid.” Doctor Kang explains everything thoroughly. “After that… for almost two years of critical condition and sometimes unpredictable seizures, we can only depend on ventilator.”
What does that mean? Does that mean without the breathing machine, Kyuhyun will be dead?
Doctor Kang sighs. “By the end of the month, as his clients requested… we will remove all of the aids and let Cho Kyuhyun rest in peace. Euthanasia.”
Siwon quickly reacts. “You can’t be serious, it’s a murder!”
“We have no choice.”
“There’s always a choice! It’s his life, for fuck sake!”
“It’s been two long years, Siwon-ssi.” The Doctor desperately convinces. “Even the family gave full permission. This is a rare case because comatose doesn’t usually last a week. Kyuhyun has been suffering this whole time with all of those tools attached to his body. Please understand.”
“No! You’re the one who should understand! I will fucking sue you if anything happen to him!” Siwon walks to the door. “I’m gonna get the money, okay? I will be the one paying for it all, just stick those damn tools on him! The time is by the end of this month, right? Fine...”
Not a day wasted when only 18 days- is the only time he has to save someone’s life. Choi Siwon does take a moment to reassure his action, but then he straightly makes up his mind and goes with it.
That afternoon, exactly three days after…
Eun Hyuk is standing at the center of the room, ready to give final presentation about the future restaurant branch in Paris. “We will serve traditional yet best quality menu there. Other addition such as Duck Confit, French Dragées, Foie Gras, Nutella, will also available as ordinary dine-in as well as take away. We…”
Not yet finishing his line, someone suddenly barges into the meeting room and interrupts everything. Ignoring the security and other important people inside, the intruder just calmly waves to Eun Hyuk.
Jesus Christ, Eun Hyuk grumbles alone. It’s Choi Siwon!
The man impatiently grabs Eun Hyuk’s arm and drags him out of the room. He doesn’t even care about those confused businessmen on the chairs, whom glance at each other for not having any clue of what has happened. He takes Eun Hyuk to the private office so they can easily talk.
“You are a selfish prick! I was at a meeting!” Shouts Hyuk. “It was an important business presentation that responsible for the lives of hundreds employees.”
Siwon mumbles while sitting on Eun Hyuk’s desk. “I have two questions in my mind right now. First, is why do I have to give a fuck about the lives of hundreds of people? And second... why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard?”
Eun Hyuk startles. “Wow… you are… unbelievable.”
“I know sarcasm. I invented it.”
Taking a deep breath, Siwon starts to talk. “The reason why I came. People said that not only you have weird ape face, ugly taste of humor, bad luck and not to mention has never been involved in any sexual experience with anybody because you probably… don’t grow dick,
that you my friend… also have the ability to sell properties with good price.”
“Thank you. You’re the only person who can make me feel useless and useful at the same time…” Getting dizzy with all of the insult, Eun Hyuk cuts to the point. “So? What do you want from me?”
“I want you to sell my Condo in Prague and my house in Bangkok.”
“Huh? What for? You’re planning to broke yourself and become a monk?”
“No… I.” Siwon looks away. “I will use it to pay for Kyuhyun’s medical bills.”
“As I thought, someone as cruel as you would never be ab…” Eun Hyuk suddenly turns around with eyes open wide. “You what?!”
Tries to analyze everything, still Eun Hyuk doesn’t understand a thing. He stares carefully at Siwon’s facial expression and he realizes he is watching at a different person. “Are you serious? Bb… but why? Did you see him at the hospital? Because if you’re doing this as a redemption, you should just kneel at the church, not selling your houses and becoming a homeless King. I know everyone thinks you’re an asshole, but at least… at least Jesus loves you.” Hyuk tries to convince. “I think…?”
Even he doesn’t really believe in what he was saying.
What is this? A love letter? For me? Ahahaaha! Let’s see… dear Choi Siwon, becoming a shadow behind a tree… I’ve been… What is this, Shakespeare? Did you write all of these? Hahaha… disgusting…
Again, Choi Siwon shuts his eyes and tries to erase the sound of his own past memory. It’s hard, it’s killing him to know that he can’t turn back time and fix everything up. “I can’t lose him…” He whispers, so slow that it makes Eun Hyuk has to walk closer to hear him. “He has to live. He has to.”
Hyuk is speechless. “Siwon-ssi…”
“You know, you’re just postponing his death.”
“I don’t care.” Siwon withers down. “Even if I have to drag him out of heaven, I don’t really care anymore.”
For the first time ever, Eun Hyuk is witnessing the side of Siwon he has never seen before. He is hiding something about Kyuhyun, a secret he’s been keeping for years without telling anyone. Whatever it is, Eun Hyuk feels that Choi Siwon maybe is finally changing.
***to be continued***