Summary: You cursed yourself for being so forgetful.
Prompt: April Fools and Flowers
A/N: Completely unbeta’ed. My first SuJu fic.
The Missing Piece
It is early spring.
April the first.
The awakening sun is slowly emerging from the tendrils of the night, swathing the cerulean heavens in light shades of red and orange. Yet the stillness of the night was seemingly omnipresent, stretching from one end to the other.
Under the cool shade of the dark green leathery foliage of the yew tree, you let loose a soft sigh, as you leaned against the sturdy tall tree for support, shutting your eyes for a moment. For once you could grasp the concept of tranquility and serenity.
It was hard to do so: you couldn’t imagine a long period of utter silence in the small cramped apartment you shared with the rest.
You take in a deep breath, your eyes shut to the world, just inhaling the heady natural concoction of spring. When you open them, you felt cheated by the books you have read, those which mentioned the indescribable surge of energy bursting through their bodies, healing their spirits and what nots as the protagonist inhaled the fresh spring air. Was there any basis from which such descriptions arrived from? Or was it summer that you had confused for with spring? You weren’t sure but you knew you didn’t feel any different from before.
So you let your eyes wander across the environment: meeting dull green landscape, littered with stone statues, worn out from constant wear and tear as a result of being exposed to the elements. Some of them are new but you know it won’t take long before they start to blend into the background, like the ones before them; the delicate intricate designs were always the first to go.
Yet watching never tires you out. Observing the landscape change before your very eyes with each passing day – there is something oddly comforting to note that the place stayed the same despite the daily additions: there is nothing quite like it.
You hear a shrill scream in the distance followed by raucous laughter. Ah…another successful prank had been pulled off. You chuckle. Oh, you definitely knew what today’s main event was. Every year, the whole group (you hated the label boy band) would play a prank on each other but somehow the tradition had gradually evolved to nailing that one prank that would be on perpetual water cooler talk.
Last year was supposed to be your year – you hadn’t expected for him to come up with a far more elaborate joke than yours. But you had to agree it was a better prank than yours. You had to admit, lacing food with extra salt wasn’t a particularly noticeable prank; it was foolish to think that a pack of ravenous boys would bother about their food being a tad saltier than usual.
Throughout lunch, you scrutinized each and every boy closely, wanting to catch a reaction, a grimace at the very least. You had imagined their faces contorted like the scrunched up rags hanging in the kitchen but the boys…mechanical was the best word to describe the lunch you decided.
But you had to respect that boy. It was ingenious of him to come up with the idea of hiding poison ivy amidst the flowers the fans gave. You forgot how long it took for the rashes to go away but you were certain that none of other boys were too happy with him.
This year, you had a gut feeling that yours would be the joke everyone would remember; the one which will stay with each and every boy forever; sealing your status amongst the group. After all, everyone loves a funny man.
This year, this year will finally be it. They would finally recognize you as a prankster and a top-notch one at that. You remembered the countless nights of tossing and turning; too excited to fall asleep as the day drew nearer and the plan getting closer to fruition.
You had it all scripted out so perfectly in your head. You’d wake up. And then you’ll avoid all the touching and glances; make it seem as though you were tired of it all. It would certainly make him upset and things would certainly be awkward amongst the group. You’d pretend to show an interest in some of the other boys; you weren’t sure how many you’ll flirt with, let alone which boy to target but it would be effective nevertheless. Why not flirt with every single one of them?
You smirk gleefully, just thinking about how jealous and possessive some of the boys could be with their other halves. You could just see the furious scowls that would be permanently etched on their faces. But they’ll calm down soon enough once they’d realize it was all a joke.
You knew him as well as you knew the back of your hand. You knew he’d try harder to get you to notice him; you knew that he’ll diffuse the situation amongst the other boys and even rope them in to get you back. You’d walk in on the group conference and played your part. Then you’ll start to accuse him of cheating on you…oh you couldn’t wait to see the faces of the other boys. It’d be a circus to see the group unravel!
It didn’t matter if it was a mean joke but if things worked out the way they did, then perhaps…it might even help bring the couples and the entire group closer together. After all, they’d appreciate such a heart-stopping joke.
Why then are you here you wondered. Shouldn’t you be at the apartment with the other boys now, directing your own mini banjun drama? Your head’s spinning. Maybe, maybe you had been sleepwalking.
It was a rather preposterous theory but plausible. You shrug off the peculiar feeling within, as though you had forgotten something important. You sat down, using one of the slabs as a back rest as you pondered long and hard, willing yourself to remember.
Nothing. For the love of all things good on Earth, you really couldn’t remember what it was that you had forgotten. But it was definitely earth-shattering important.
You cursed yourself for being so forgetful.
You see a group of people making their way towards you. They are a bunch of forlorn youths, all dragging their feet along, their faces black. You knew somehow without counting that there would be twelve of them. But it didn’t feel right. In your heart, you knew that thirteen was the correct number. You wonder why your mind could conjure up such a preposterous theory but it didn’t matter.
You just continue watching the group, trudging up the little slopes, dirtying their shiny black shoes. Some of their hairstyles certainly needed help but you couldn’t help but admire their fashion sense, all dressed sharply in their expensive threads; certainly they had enjoyed success to be able to afford them. Yet you wonder if perhaps, they had sold off something precious for it – you couldn’t figure out why they exuded such an aura of melancholy that you had to repress the urge to hug them all tight.
Youth was seemingly seeping from their grasp – they were worn out and exhaustion was clearly seen on their faces. But it was those eyes that disturbed you the most. Gone was that lively spark in their warm eyes, replaced by a pallid dullness that made you ache. They weren’t supposed to be in such a weary state; they were supposed to be vibrant, lively boys. As they got closer, you strained your eyes, trying to figure out their faces; hopefully you could place them amidst your disjointed memories.
One word continuously popped out in your head as you delved deeper in your search for answer.
Perhaps…they were the ones you had grown to cherish and love for the past five years. It felt like you knew you belonged by their sides, sharing in the laughter and the pain. However, something was amiss with this picture before you; something was definitely wrong. You felt a tinge of an unfamiliar feeling, tugging at your heart as you watched them gather around a particularly stone slab, their heads bowed low.
Their shoulders were hunched and you saw several of them biting back their lips, trying to prevent the Niagara from spilling downwards to the ground, like the rest of them were.
You wanted to cry with them but somehow you felt detached from the scene, a mere observer from the outside, looking inwards.
Soon, you hear sniffling and quiet sobs. But it was the unnatural wail of pain that he emitted that made you mad. You couldn’t hear the words he spoke but you knew he was saying sorry, groveling on his feet as the others tried to force him up, no longer holding back the tears.
You never knew anyone could even make that sound – it was ghastly as though a part of his soul had been ripped from him. You wanted to go over to him, to lend him your shoulder to cry on, to give him some support and whisper words of encouragement into those ears but your legs are refusing to comply; as though the earth had grabbed a hold of your legs and had them in a vice-like grip.
As you witness the scene before you, you notice the amount of space between each person, much too far in your opinion. It was like…like they didn’t dare face each other, as though standing too close to one of their own would do something unmentionable to them. None of them held the other’s hands.
They were slowly drifting apart, it was clear. It seemed so wrong in your eyes; you felt the glaring need to correct this error. And then you notice that they were slowly coming in closer together, finally waking up from their own despondency and gradually to the realization that there were others. Soon hugs and words of support were exchanged as they pressed themselves close to one another; so close you couldn’t see where one boy started and where he ended. It was like one large blob of black, like coagulated ink. Wait…does ink coagulate?
They gradually fell apart, though it was obvious which boy was with whom. You smile at their adorable and tender gestures that warmed your heart. You weren’t sure if society could accept them but as long as they were happy you were fine. And then you notice one of them all alone making his way to the front. When he bent down to his knees and kissed that marbled stone with such tenderness, you weren’t sure why it hurt so badly, why you wanted him to stand up and not act like some lovesick Romeo. You weren’t sure why people liked Romeo & Juliet; it was a stupid story in your opinion. Was true love that powerful to steal away your desire to continue on living alone without partner?
The throbbing ache in your head was getting harder and harder to ignore. Perhaps you needed to think less. Yes, yes…perhaps you should. But you didn’t know how to remedy the pain that had settled in your heart. It was vexing to not know why.
One of them spoke, his voice ringing loud and clear in your ears, even as he spoke in a whisper. He called out your name affectionately and rambled about how 13-1=0. This didn’t make sense in your head. Wasn’t 13-1=3? Or was it 12? Or was it 11?
You shake your head. It didn’t matter now. You know you have to listen to what he said. Everything else, you could do later. It was important, that much you could guess. Perhaps…perhaps he held the missing bit of information that has fled from your grasp.
Why were you here?
It feels so wrong without you…we’ve decided to tell you first, before we announce to the rest of the world.
We’re…we’re going to break up. It’s just not the same without you…can’t be the same without you. We can’t continue any longer. We hope you’ll give us your blessings.
Your heart sank when those words left his lips. You swore some of the boys cried even harder as they leaned into each other’s arms for support.
Suddenly everything clicked into place, like pieces of a puzzle falling into position.
That explains everything.
You heeded his call just as a gentle breeze floated by and brushed their cheeks. You smile when you see them trying their best to hold things up. And when they left, thirteen purple hyacinths laid on the ground for you.