-an eunhae (love) story-
you kiss him in the springtime, down on the banks of the river with your bare feet dangling, sunning yourself between intermittent clouds and pretending not to feel the chill of the water lapping around your ankles. you are nobody, and he is innocence and happiness and freedom. his hair is long and wavy, soft in a way you can't resist touching sometimes, and his smile stretches on forever, laughter bubbling against your lips. it's not that you like him in that way, exactly, but you suspect he wouldn't mind if you did.
what was that for, he says, deep brown eyes alight with golden flecks where the sun catches them just right, and shoves you playfully in the shoulder.
nothing, you lie with a grin, feeling a flush steal over your cheekbones, but you're cute.
you hold his hand as you walk home together, and you have all the time in the world.
you catch him in a tent backstage in the heat of summer, an outdoor performance that has been threatening to rain out, but doesn't. there is a lone firefly weaving aimlessly from one wall to the other, glow-dim, glow-dim, and he stalks after it singlemindedly until he can bring his hands together, cupped in a clap, and turn it out into the night. you are somebody (one of many, now), and he is energy and power and the burning drive to succeed. his hair is short, spiked with sweat and sticky gel when you pull him close; a hot, open-mouthed kiss is a good-luck wish, and a slow rub of your hand against the ridge at the front of his tight jeans (adrenaline is a powerful aphrodisiac) is both mischief and a promise. it's not that you prefer him, exactly, but he's here and he's ready and he's yours.
what was that for, he says, teeth white in the dusk, stretching his arms above his head and exposing a gap of pale skin above his hips.
nothing, you lie with a wink, and glance over your shoulder on your way out the door, but let's go out, tonight.
you sneak glances at him as he dances until the stage trembles beneath your feet, and you have what moments you can steal together.
he corners you in the restroom at the bar, the brisk autumn night of your last performance as a group, while you're still trying to blot a nose that's been running since you looked out at a sea of pearl blue and said your goodbyes. you don't know who you will be, and he is lust and grief and fierce desperation. his hair is wet with rain, slick under your palms as he drops to his knees in front of you, unzips your slacks without a word, and strokes your cock to life with his tongue and the burning heat of his mouth. it's not that you need him, exactly, but you're not sure what you'll do now that you're apart.
what was that for, you say, white-hot chills of pleasure still leaking down your spine, and brush your thumb across his damp cheek.
nothing, he tells you, resting his forehead against your belly where you can't see his face, but remember that I love you.
you watch him mingling with the well-wishers at the after-party until he slips away to be alone, and you have no idea what the gaping void ahead of you holds.
you watch your son leaving angels in the snow, as you sit on a park bench and sip a cup of coffee long since gone lukewarm. your car is parked a short walk away, but you promised him five more minutes, ten minutes ago, and don't have the heart to call a stop just yet. you were once somebody, and he... he is only a memory. your wife is nice, soft-spoken, a good mother; her hair is silky-smooth, her face is small and heart-shaped, her mouth is a dainty bow, and she doesn't remind you of him at all, ever. it's not that you're capable of forgetting him, exactly, but sometimes you wish you could.
donghae, it's time to go home, you say, standing from the bench and dusting a few icy flakes from where they've collected on your sleeves, dinner will be waiting.
but appa, he protests, pushing his lip out in a pout and aiming his best, most mournful puppy-eyes at you as you shake your head.
you hold his small hand as you walk to the car together, and you have everything you could have wished for, and you have nothing at all.