theme: o64. Balance.
The door opened with a slow yet loud creak. Light streamed into the dim, completely white room. There was a single window in the room which was barred. Some of that day’s sunlight came through the window, but it was diffused by the curtains that were pulled tightly shut before them. A single, metal-frame bed was in the room, pushed up against a corner with a human-sized lump formed atop the mattress, covered by the blanket.
“Kyuhyun-sshi? It’s time to wake up,” the nurse stated, dressed in black scrubs.
The lump moved until finally a person unfurled from the blankets clad in blue hospital robes and slacks. He swung his legs over the edge, slipped on the provided slippers and walked towards the door.
“How are you feeling today?” the nurse asked brightly,
“Empty,” Kyuhyun muttered as he followed the nurse to the dining hall. He took his usual seat at a table in the corner. The slump in his posture, his quiet attitude and glare in his eyes warranted no company during meals, or anything for that matter.
A dietary aid rolled his cart beside the table and stopped, placing a tray of breakfast food before Kyuhyun before moving to the other tables. He glanced down at the food before him: soggy scrambled eggs, charred toast, and sausages that were hard as rocks. Same old, same old. He pushed the tray away from him and turned his gaze out the nearby window.
“Kyuhyun-sshi, is something wrong with the food? Did you want something else?” One of the other aids came by and asked politely,
“There’s only one thing I want,” Kyuhyun glanced sharply at the aid at his words before looking back outside,
“Now Kyuhyun-sshi, you’re in here because of that,” the aid said tentatively, “Why do you always ask as if you’ll receive it?”
“Why do you always ask as if my answer will change?” Kyuhyun countered. Before the aid could reply, he stood from his chair and left the dining hall, returning to his room. He never completely understood why he went to the hall for meals, seeing as he never eats.
Later that day, the door opened and one of the psychologists answered, pulling up a chair to the bed where Kyuhyun sat pressed up against the corner, legs crossed and his hands in his lap.
“How are you today Kyuhyun-sshi?” the doctor asked jovially as he opened up his notebook and folder as always,
“Same as the other day I suppose,” Kyuhyun answered civilly as his eyes focused on his left hand where a rubber band was wrapped around his wrist loose enough so it didn’t stop blood flow.
“You’re still not eating,” The doctor said in a slightly scolding tone,
“I’m not hungry,” he replied simply as his right hand moved over and, with thumb and forefinger, began to pull at the rubber band, snapping it lightly against his wrist in a slow, steady rhythm.
“Does the rubber band do anything?” The doctor inquired, glancing from his notes to Kyuhyun,
“Elaborate please,” Kyuhyun asked, even though he knew full well what the doctor was referring to,
“Does the rubber band help with the cravings? Make you want it less?” The doctor explained,
“Oh,” Kyuhyun said, “No. It just gives me something to do.”
The doctor gave him a slanted look, “So you snap the rubber band, over and over again - not because of powerful craving, but because you’re bored and have nothing else to do with your time?”
Kyuhyun looked up at the doctor, still snapping away. He gave him a bright smile, “Exactly.”
“Kyuhyun-sshi, you’re a good kid - you really are, I can tell just by our daily conversations, but you’re really not trying to get better,” The doctor stated, an edge of frustration laced in his words, “If you don’t try, how do you expect to get over your addiction? Once you’re released, you’ll go back to your old ways and if that happens, you’ll find yourself in a very dark place with no one around because they’ve all lost hope.”
“My room is very dark at home,” Kyuhyun noted, “but there’s definitely people around. I share the room with four other people.”
“You know what I mean,” The doctor said in flat tones,
“But you see, Doc, there’s nothing for me to get better from. I’m not sick in body or mind. It’s not like my addiction is hurting anyone,”
“Isn’t it Kyuhyun-sshi? Your friends - the other members - they say you’ve changed since you started. They say you’ve become more rude, sometimes lashing out on the others - even your hyungs. You’re more introverted now, passing up going out with the others or doing activities. And your managers have even commented that your performance has been affected. Your dancing is loose, your voice is weaker,” The doctor glanced from his notes before looking up again, “Now tell me that it’s not hurting anyone.”
Kyuhyun looked back down at his wrist as he continued to snap, “I don’t understand why everyone can’t let me be.”
“Because it’s harming you Kyuhyun-sshi! Your parents, who even handle your accounts have mentioned here that a majority of your money goes towards your problem,” the doctor read,
“Some of the other hyungs smoke cigarettes, or use to. They wasted small fortunes on those - so why haven’t they been institutionalized while I have?” Kyuhyun asked in solid tones as he looked up, raising an eyebrow,
“Their addiction to nicotine is different from yours-”
“HOW?” Kyuhyun shot back,
“Because yours worried them enough to admit you to this hospital,” the doctor countered, “You’re here because your friends and family care, Kyuhyun-sshi. You’re here because they want you to get better.”
“I don’t understand how this hospital could help me get better,” Kyuhyun stated dully as his eyes went back to his wrist, now reddened from the repeated abuse,
“If you just follow the plan made for you, you’ll get better in no time, Kyuhyun-sshi,” The doctor insisted, “It was created so that it’s a gradual process, using baby steps to help you adjust through your withdrawal period that’s bound to happen. It helps create a natural progression for you body, finding the perfect balance between your addiction and your health until you’re deemed okay to leave.”
A knock on the door interrupted them. A nurse popped her head in, “Ah, Kyuhyun-sshi, some of your members are here to visit you.”
“Go see them, maybe it’ll help convince you to accept the plan,” The doctor prompted.
Kyuhyun scrambled off the bed quietly and followed the nurse to the visitation rooms. She lead him to one and he entered, relieved to find three of his hyungs there. Eeteuk sat at the table in the centre of the small room, effectively chewing on the tip of his thumb as Kangin sat beside him, an arm about him while whispering comforting words to him. Sungmin stood off to the side, leaning against the wall with his hands stuffed in his pockets and eyes glued to the floor. Upon hearing the door open, they all looked up as Kyuhyun entered, the door closing securely behind him.
Silently, Kyuhyun sat down in the chair opposite Eeteuk and Kangin, “Hyung… hyung…” he nodded at them, turned to look at Sungmin and nodded at him also, “Hyung.”
“How… how are you feeling, Kyu-sshi?” Eeteuk asked hesitantly extending his hands to him.
Kyuhyun ignored the generous gesture and merely crossed his arms loosely, “At the moment? Slightly betrayed, which is a step better than yesterday since the other day I felt thoroughly betrayed, which - I might add - is loads better than when you first abandoned me here last week when I felt completely and totally past betrayal.”
“We brought you here for a reason,” Kangin stated gruffly, clenching his fists in an attempt to calm his temper.
“I know.” Kyuhyun said simply with a slight shrug of his slender shoulders, “And I suppose you’d want to hear some sort of appreciative words from me, but at the moment I can’t think of any.”
“Damn it, you have a problem and you know it!” Kangin exclaimed, slamming a fist down on the table, jumping from his seat, “If we didn’t give a damn about you - we would’ve let it go on further until you completely were lost; from us and even from yourself!”
“Oh… so you were trying to help?” Kyuhyun inquired irritatingly innocently,
Kangin glared, “You KNOW that!”
Kyuhyun raised an eyebrow, staring at his hyung unflinchingly as he countered casually, “Then why did you lie and said we were going out for ice cream?”
Eeteuk pulled Kangin back down into his seat, “Calm down,” Eeteuk hissed before looking at Kyuhyun, “You’re right - on our part, that was wrong and we’ll never lie to you like that again.”
Kyuhyun looked away, a slight pout forming on his lips, “I still never got my ice cream.”
“If you start trying to get better, we’ll bring you some next visit, right Kangin?” Eeteuk suggested lightly,
Kangin who had taking steady breaths to relax merely nodded. He stood from his seat, “We better be going, we have a show to do today.” He made for the door, stopping when he was directly beside Kyuhyun. Keeping his eyes to the door, Kangin asked, “So you’ll try- right?”
Kangin clapped a hand to his shoulder, “Good. See you later.”
Eeteuk came around the table and hugged him tightly, “We all miss you back home. Get better soon, okay?”
“I’ll try my best hyung.”
Kangin had to practically pry Eeteuk away from Kyuhyun, they looked over at Sungmin to wait for him, but he waved them away. Once the door closed after the pair, Sungmin took Eeteuk’s empty seat.
“You were silent,” Kyuhyun stated, his hurt evident in his tone and face.
“I wanted to talk alone,” Sungmin replied simply, “it’s my fault and I apologise. I got you into it and when I finally got myself out I didn’t even try to stop you.”
“Min-sshi, I let myself get addicted. I didn’t even try to stop,” Kyuhyun defended,
Sungmin shook his head, “No, it was my fault and I take full responsibility.” Kyuhyun made to speak again, but Sungmin held up a hand to silence him, “Let me finish. Getting you help was the best solution, however, just throwing you in this rehab centre to cure you of your addiction could’ve been done better. The doctor told us of the plan they set up and I think something’s wrong with it.”
Kyuhyun gave him a quizzical look,
“They help you adjust to your withdrawal by distracting you ,” Sungmin continued his explanation, “But I don’t think that’ll work too well. Because what happens when you’re released and you can no longer be distracted by other things? I bet even that rubber band no longer distracts you,”
“It doesn’t,” Kyuhyun nodded in agreement,
“That’s why I’ve thought of a better solution that I’ll… implement which will complement the doctor’s plan but… more discreetly,” Sungmin said quietly, eyeing the small square of a window in the door every so often,
“Why discreetly? Just tell the doctor, I’m sure he’ll change the plan accordingly,” Kyuhyun stated,
Sungmin shook his head, gesturing for Kyuhyun to lower his voice, “Because my method won’t be to the doctor’s liking. Not everyone will agree with me, but considering I once too was an addict, I know better than anyone how to break it. You don’t make a person quit by completely taking it out of their environment - that’s too harsh, too much of a shock to the system. You have to take it away from them - yes - but take it away differently until they no longer crave it.”
“How?” Kyuhyun asked, leaning forward, suddenly curious,
Sungmin took out a Game Boy from his pocket and handed it over to Kyuhyun who handled it as if it were a precious artefact. A fox-like smile on his lips, he answered: “Very gradually.”
Edit: There was something I had to edit, which dealt with deleting the original post. And when I tried fixing some of the comments so that they were still there, some information was deleted.
So, to just a plug for one of my readers: angkoru .
Thanks for the comment & for reading.