theme: love confession
The evening the plane touched down on Korean soil, Kyuhyun could barely contain his excitement. His heart was pounding as he and the other Super Junior - M members gathered their things, and he couldn’t stop smiling as they left the plane. Super Junior - M was going to continue working on their second album in Korea so that those who were part of Super Junior could also finish work on the third album.
“You haven’t stopped smiling since you heard we were coming back to Korea,” Hankyung noted as they headed towards customs with their manager hyungs and bodyguards,
“I can’t help it,” Kyuhyun replied with a slight shrug of his shoulders, “It’s just exciting to be home again.”
“Are you excited just because of that, or something else?” Shiwon asked with a slight smirk as he slung an arm around Donghae’s shoulders, “Or someone?”
Kyuhyun blushed at his hyungs’ teasing but said nothing and kept smiling, nothing could bring him down today…
“Hello?” One of the manager hyungs picked up their cell phone, “Eh!? Yes… yes… we’re at customs… Yes… I understand. We’ll be over immediately.” As he hung up, he noted the other managers, Super Junior - M and even the bodyguards were watching him curiously, “There’s been an accident… We’re heading over to the hospital immediately.”
Slowly, the smile that was gracing Kyuhyun slowly dissipated and he couldn’t ignore a feeling of dread that was falling upon him.
Two words couldn’t have pierced the hearts of Super Junior any more than those. They sat in the waiting room as a doctor talked to them all. Sungmin had been driving when he was hit by another car while going through an intersection. According to the police reports, the other driver had been under the influence of alcohol.
“The impact on his skull and the area where his head was hit during the crash affected where his memories are stored,” The doctor explained as he went over his charts, “The interesting part is that while Lee Sungmin-sshi has forgotten his memories, only a part of his old memories are gone. You see, your long-term memories are divided into semantic memory and episodic memory. Semantic memory are skills and such while episodic memory are events in one’s life, face, peoples, telephone numbers. Only Lee-sshi’s episodic memory has been affected. His semantic memory remains completely intact.”
Eeteuk steeled himself as he saw the weakness in his members. He swallowed hard and forced a strength into his words, “How… how long?”
The doctor closed his charts and tucked it under his arm as he sighed heavily, “That’s the thing with retrograde amnesia - or amnesia in general. It’s always hard to tell when these memories will come back, if they come back. It could take weeks, months, years or forever.”
“Can we see him?” Eeteuk asked hesitantly,
The doctor paused a moment, “I would wait until his parents and brother are done, this is a hard time for them. Then after I would condone you visiting Lee-sshi. My only advice is when visiting him you do it in small numbers so as not to overwhelm him. This is hard for all of you to deal, but it’s Lee-sshi who has to deal with not knowing anything.”
An hour and half later, Sungmin’s dad escorted his wife and son out of Sungmin’s hospital room. As they walked through the waiting room, he paused when Eeteuk stood up and faced him.
“Eeteuk, we appreciate you and the others coming here and it shows us the concern you have for our son,” he said. He wasn’t an old man, but the stress and the turmoil that Sungmin’s dad was obviously facing was having a toll on him. “If you or anyone goes to see Sungmin, I only suggest that you prepare yourselves.”
“Sir?” Eeteuk asked, confused,
“You know he doesn’t remember anyone or anything and you come to terms with it, but when you’re faced with it, it’s a completely different feeling,” he explained, his voice haunting and laced with pain, “I’m driving my wife and Sungjin home then I’ll return… I don’t… I don’t want to leave Sungmin.”
“I understand, we’ll stay until you return,” Eeteuk promised,
Sungmin’s dad looked at him gratefully before walking away. As Eeteuk turned back to the members, he sighed heavily, steadying himself. He relayed what Sungmin’s dad had told him. Slowly, the members went into Sungmin’s room in pairs.
After half an hour, Eeteuk sat down beside Kyuhyun in the waiting room. They were the last two to go see Sungmin.
“Are you going to see him?” Eeteuk asked hesitantly,
“I have to, don’t I?” Kyuhyun asked,
“You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to,” Eeteuk replied, “It’s understandable if you don’t-”
“No… I have to,” Kyuhyun interjected, his hands that lay on his knees were gripping them until his knuckles whitened.
Eeteuk stood up and placed a hand on his shoulder, “Alright, then I’ll come with you.”
“Hi Sungmin-sshi, I’m Eeteuk,” Eeteuk said as he and Kyuhyun entered the room, closing the door firmly behind him.
“And I’m Kyuhyun,” Kyuhyun added as they sat in the chairs by his bedside.
Sungmin tilted his head slightly as he regarded them curiously, “Are you part of… Super Junior too?”
“Yes, I’m actually the leader,” Eeteuk replied,
Sungmin gave him a slanted look, “But… that… the one guy said HE was leader… He… Heechul?”
Eeteuk’s face darkened slightly, “He would say that… but no, I’m the leader.”
Sungmin sighed heavily, “There’s so many of you to remember,” he ran a hand through his hair, “I don’t know how anyone who’s a fan of us can keep up with all thirteen members.” Sungmin shook his head slightly as he turned his gaze to Kyuhyun, “And what do you do in Super Junior?”
“I’m… I’m one of the power vocals,” Kyuhyun replied, his voice waveringly slightly.
Sungmin’s gaze was blank as it fell upon him and as their eyes locked, Kyuhyun felt coldness clench around his heart. Never before had Sungmin ever looked at him in such a way - with no feelings, no thoughts, no warmth… no love. Kyuhyun felt his whole being be consumed with that blank look and felt everything shake painful from the apathy.
“That’s nice,” Sungmin said as if he were brushing it off. Slowly, his gaze wandered off as if his thoughts were leading him away from the hospital room and the two people who sat with him,
“Kyuhyun is actually your roommate,” Eeteuk spoke up, trying to draw back his attention,
“Oh,” was all Sungmin said as his eyes found fascination in the night sky outside his hospital room’s window.
Kyuhyun clenched his fists, digging his nails painfully into the palms of his hands. He pushed back the bile he felt rise within him and ignored the ice slashing through his heart accompanied by the burning pain in his chest. He stood from his chair and swiftly left the room.
“Get better soon, Sungmin-sshi,” Eeteuk said, almost pleadingly as he stood up,
Sungmin absent-mindedly nodded to him as Eeteuk followed his dongsaeng immediately.
Out in the hallway, Eeteuk found Kyuhyun as he smashed his fist into the wall.
“How can he forget, Eeteuk? How can he forget EVERYTHING!?” Kyuhyun demanded as his fist shook against the wall. He leaned his forehead against the wall, shutting his eyes tightly against his hot tears,
“It happens, Kyu-sshi, it’s the amnesia-”
“But he forgot EVERYTHING,” Kyuhyun stated roughly, “Everything and everyone… I was… I was going to tell him today…”
Eeteuk tentatively placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, only to have Kyuhyun suddenly turn towards him and hug him tightly,
“I was going to tell him that I love him too… but … but how can I?” Kyuhyun choked as he shook violently with his tears, “How can I when he doesn’t even remember telling me that he loves me!?”
Eeteuk said nothing - could say nothing - as he held his dongsaeng. Instead, he held him tighter and prayed that things would get better.
After a few days, Sungmin left the hospital and was moved back into his dorm. Usually the patients would return home, however as the doctor prescribed, Sungmin was to slowly be reintroduced to his daily life and that included living at one of the Super Junior dorms.
“Home sweet home!” Yesung said with a flourish as he burst into the room Sungmin shared with Kyuhyun,
Kyuhyun, who had been sitting on his bed playing a video game, suddenly sat up straighter as he looked expectantly at the door. Sungmin walked in, his eyes looking all around at his surroundings as he tentatively walked further into the room and even going as far as sitting on his own bed.
“Oh, hi again,” Sungmin said easily as Yesung left the room. “I’m sorry, what was your name again?”
Kyuhyun felt his heart twist unbearably at the question and all warmth left him as he was looked at with that blank stare once more, “Kyuhyun…” he managed although his mouth had gone dry and all the words he couldn’t say were choking him. “My name is-”
“Yesung-sshi, wait up!” Sungmin interjected, jumping from his bed and sprinting out the door after the other member.
Kyuhyun suddenly felt it hard to breath. Throwing his hand-held game console onto the bed, he got up from his bed and walked over to one of the desks in the room. Against the wall several frames were leaning on the desk and he picked up one of him and Sungmin. It had been taken before Kyuhyun had left to join Super Junior-M in China. The smiling faces mocked him and when he heard Sungmin call after Yesung once more, he dropped the frame to the desk and gripped the edge of the table to keep himself from collapsing.
He felt his legs give way and fell to his knees. His body quivered with the cries he fought against, allowing the pain to silently suffocate him as once more he heard the love of his life call out for another man.
“I can cook!?” Sungmin gasped one evening.
Yesung, who was putting rice in the rice cooker, nodded, “You probably still can, according to what the doctors said.”
It had already been weeks since Sungmin’s accident and yet he showed no signs of getting any better or even retrieving any of his old memories. Kyuhyun walked into the kitchen to grab a glass of water, overhearing the startled exclamation from his hyung,
“Yeah, you’re a good cook,” Kyuhyun added as he closed the fridge and leaned his shoulder against it, slowly sipping his water,
Sungmin turned to face him, “I am?”
Kyuhyun nodded solemnly. A peculiar light entered his eyes as he gazed at Sungmin, “You would cook often for us - for me when I was too tired to make something on my own. You loved cooking,” Kyuhyun replied, his tone longing and a haunted look crossing the maknae’s face, “You loved food and making food, especially if it was to make someone smile.”
“Did I make a lot of people smile with my cooking?” Sungmin asked curiously, innocently as he stared at Kyuhyun with a lost wonder,
Kyuhyun gazed at him silently a moment before saying simply, “You didn’t have to cook to achieve that.” Kyuhyun glanced at Yesung behind Sungmin who nodded at him expectantly. Hesitantly, Kyuhyun closed the distance between him and Sungmin, “Min… Sungmin-sshi… this past February… you… you cooked me dinner for my birthday… And we had dinner - just the two of us.”
Sungmin stared at Kyuhyun, seriously contemplating his words. Kyuhyun felt his breath catch in his throat, his heart practically breaking his ribs. His fingers tightened around his glass of water as he silently willed Sungmin to remember, begged him to remember.
Suddenly, Sungmin spun around to face Yesung, “Did I cook dinner for all the members?” He asked.
Kyuhyun wanted to release his breath, but it was lodged in his throat. He tried to move, tried to walk - no, run away, but his legs wouldn’t move. He felt the hot tears stinging his eyes and he begged whatever higher power ruled the world would let him escape. Finally, his muscles began to stiffly move and he forced himself into a run, locking the bathroom door behind him. He moved to put his glass on the shelf above the sink, but the glass suddenly shattered in his hand.
As he let the glass shards spill to the sink, he turned towards the bathtub, turning on the water to give himself a front. He held his hand beneath the running water as he slouched against the rim of the tub, letting his cries suffocate him. When the blood began to run clear, he pulled his hand from the water and leaned back against the bathroom wall. He cradled his injured hand to his chest, bringing it closer to his injured heart.
Every morning, Kyuhyun found himself waking up with the sun. Ever since his accident, Sungmin had been waking up close to noon. For those five hour in which he was awake by himself, Kyuhyun sat in bed just watching Sungmin sleep.
He remembered the times when he would crawl into Sungmin’s bed and sleep beside his hyung, he could no longer do that. He remembered when they would stay up all night just talking, he could no longer do that. He remembered when he would wake up to see Sungmin’s smile, he could no longer do that either.
“Hurry back to Korea.”
“Because I want to tell you face-to-face that I love you.”
Kyuhyun had carried that phone conversation everywhere with him for the rest of his stay in China with Super Junior-M. It had given him an unknown strength and a constant happiness. Even now he still carried the memory with him, but all it left was pain.
Gingerly, Kyuhyun got up and slowly crossed the room to Sungmin’s bed and stood there, towering over his sleeping form. It was barely eight in the morning, Sungmin would not awaken for hours yet. He fell to his knees, sitting back on the heels of his feet as he watched Sungmin
“Do you even remember?” Kyuhyun asked quietly, “Do you remember that phone conversation? You told me three words then hung up before I could say anything back… and afterwards you never mentioned it again. Do you remember?”
Kyuhyun felt his heart stirring painfully, the ice that had frozen around it was cracking, but those shards were jagged and pierced him with a cold fierceness.
“Your words made me so happy, so light… I never thought I’d feel pain again,” Kyuhyun, who’s hands were on his knees, gripped them painfully, “I never thought after that moment that you could hurt me - would ever hurt me…”
He felt the tears sting his eyes, but he fought against them, trudging on, “And you have no idea what you’re doing to me. No idea how much it hurts to see you but you don’t see me. No idea how much it hurts to love you but you don’t love me. No idea how much it hurts to remember you because you don’t remember me.”
He felt his body rebel and swiped away angrily at his tears that trickled down his cheeks, “Why didn’t you take me with you? Why couldn’t I go with you when you forgot everything? Why am I the only one who’s left with the memories? Left with the pain? Why did you leave me to suffer alone!?” Kyuhyun demanded crouching over, his fists clenched against the floor, his tears wetting the wood beneath him.
“Kyuhyun-sshi? What are you doing on the floor?” Sungmin’s sleepy voice asked quietly,
Immediately, Kyuhyun dashed away his tears and stood up abruptly, turning away, “I dropped my phone and it slid under your bed, so I knelt down to get it. I have it now… I’m going to get breakfast,” he said in flat tones, letting all the words he wanted to scream at Sungmin, suffocate him. “Just… go back to sleep…” Kyuhyun forced out before stiffly exiting the room.
Sungmin watched him leave, confused. Something about his roommate seemed off but he couldn’t place it. He couldn’t place anything since that accident wiped his mind of everything. He sighed heavily as he prepared to go back to sleep when something caught his eye. He glanced towards the bedside table between their beds. There atop the small table was Kyuhyun’s phone.
Kyuhyun sat at the dining table, a bowl of cereal before him. One arm wrapped around his torso, his other hand idly stirred the spoon in the now mushy cereal. He had been sitting there for some time, his roommates barely making appearances that Sunday morning. Eunhyuk was in his room working on some lyrics for a new song for their upcoming album while Yesung went to the grocery store and Ryeowook was still fast asleep.
Suddenly, Sungmin padded out of the room and made a beeline for the couch. He sat there but did nothing, said nothing except for periodically glance towards Kyuhyun.
Finally, irritated enough already, Kyuhyun dropped his spoon and turned his stare towards the other member, “What, hyung?”
“Did… did I do something to you, Kyuhyun-sshi?” Sungmin asked hesitantly, that innocent and tentative curiosity he had adopted since the accident, ever-present in his voice.
“Why do you ask?” Kyuhyun questioned, startled at the dark tone in his words,
“I don’t know exactly… whenever we’re together I feel as if you’re wary of something… as if you’re expecting something,” Sungmin crossed his legs, tucking his feet beneath the opposite knee. He stared at his hands in his lap as if they were fascinating. He opened his mouth to say more, but then closed his mouth and remained silent.
“Maybe because I am wary… because I am expecting something,” Kyuhyun grounded out, “waiting for something…”
“What… what is it?” Sungmin asked, almost pleadingly as he looked up at Kyuhyun.
“What is it?” Kyuhyun got and walked over to Sungmin, towering over him, “What is it!? Damn it Sungmin - you cannot even comprehend how much I hurt right now! You should be able to - but you can’t!”
“You can’t blame me for my amnesia!” Sungmin defended, standing up suddenly, “I can’t help it!”
“I know that!” Kyuhyun ran his hands through his own hair out of frustration as he began to pace, “I know you can’t help it and yet… and yet I can’t help but STILL blame you because it isn’t something you should be able to forget.”
“What is it?” Sungmin asked, almost scared to know and clenching his fists at his sides,
“I love you, Sungmin,” Kyuhyun confessed, the strength and solidarity of his words belying his pounding heart and trembling body.
Sungmin felt the world fall away from him and allowed his body to fall back down onto the couch, his eyes glued to the floor.
“I have been in love with you for over a year and it was only a month before your accident that you confessed your love for me,” Kyuhyun managed, his mouth suddenly dry but his eyes suddenly very wet. “I used to see you… speak to you and I would feel the love, hear it…” He wrapped his arms around his torso in attempt to stop his body from shaking, “When I see you now and I feel nothing from you… my heart breaks every time and… and I honestly don’t know how much longer I can go on.”
‘I… I had no idea,” Sungmin said finally as a silence fell upon the pair. However, he couldn’t find any strength within him to look Kyuhyun in the eye.
“No… you wouldn’t, would you?” Kyuhyun countered, his cynical words laced with a pain that even shook Sungmin’s soul. Kyuhyun turned to leave when he paused, his eyes veiled with tears but still on his hyung, “Just answer me this…” Kyuhyun took a deep, steadying breath in an attempt to still his voice, “Do you… do you remember a semblance of ever telling me that you love me?”
Sungmin closed his eyes, trying to search every corner within his mind, but like always, all he found was darkness.
“Look. At. Me,” Kyuhyun commanded, his voice wavering and cracking in all the wrong places.
Sungmin forced himself to look up at his dongsaeng and was met with an endless stream of tears. He found it hard to breath and hard to speak, but he knew he had to say something and he knew it had to be the truth; this person before him - before all others - would know if he was lying,
“DO YOU REMEMBER!?” Kyuhyun demanded suddenly, his voice loud yet soft and strong yet weak.
Immediately after the words left his mouth, his hands clamped down over his lips. For weeks he found it harder and harder to get up in the morning, to smile, to laugh - when was the last time he had laughed? Truly laughed? Happiness seemed a foreign concept to Kyuhyun and yet whenever he was with Sungmin - despite the deep ache in his heart and the coldness coursing through his veins - he saw a glimmer of hope that happiness was just within his reach. For weeks the pain ate away at him, consumed him but he had fought against it - until now.
“No,” Sungmin said quietly, hesitantly.
Kyuhyun suddenly felt his body lurch towards the dorm door. He slipped on his shoes and grabbed his jacket, noticing that Eunhyuk and Ryeowook were now standing outside their respective rooms, worried. The door opened and Yesung came in, hands full of grocery bags. Immediately he had a question on his lips as he glanced between Sungmin and Kyuhyun. However, Kyuhyun pushed past him and ran from their home.
He ran into the stairwell and collapsed back against the heavy door, hugging his arms against himself as his body was overcome with a bitter cold pain. The pain started in his chest as if ice slashed through his heart. It grew spindles that made their way throughout his body, encasing everything, imprisoning everything. He felt his chest tighten, his lungs unable to take in air. He felt the door at his back nudge him.
Suddenly, he had a pair of arms wrap around him and heard Eunhyuk’s voice in his ear, trying to soothe the pain that rocked him. He fought against his hyung’s hold, trying to run away, but Eunhyuk held him fast. Finally, Kyuhyun stopped fighting, not having any more strength within him. All he knew was cold hollowness.
It was closing in on evening when Kyuhyun returned to the dorm alone, Eunhyuk having to meet Donghae at the dance studio. He prayed that he would be alone, but of course, fate was oft more cruel than kind. He came home to a dorm empty except for Yesung and Sungmin who sat opposite one another at the dining table.
As he hung his jacket back in the closet adjacent to the front door and slipped off his shoes, Yesung came and approached him.
“Talk to him,” Yesung said simply before continuing on down the hall and disappearing into his bedroom.
Kyuhyun turned to retreat to his own bedroom when Sungmin called after him. He sighed heavily and turned back. Sungmin closed the distance between them and then suddenly fell to his knees, his entire body bowed so low his forehead practically kissed the floorboards.
“Kyuhyun, I’m sorry… I really am,” Sungmin blurted out, “I felt I did something to you but I never imagined in my life it was even a fraction of the pain you must have felt - be feeling…”
As Kyuhyun stared at Sungmin’s arched back he felt some triumph over the one who abandoned him but it was short lived. Almost immediately, it was replaced with that familiar hollowness and the tears he could no longer cry now cradled the shattered remnants of his heart.
“Get… up…” Kyuhyun breathed, his voice shaking, “Get off your knees, Sungmin…”
Hesitantly, Sungmin uncurled his body, straightening to his full height. “I wish I could say something, anything that could help you,” he reached for Kyuhyun’s hand but the moment their hands touched, Kyuhyun retracted his hand as if burnt. Sungmin turned away, walking towards the living room, “I wish I could do anything but I honestly can’t remember anything. I look and look and all I ever find are holes in my mind.”
Sungmin ran his hands through his hair as he approached the balcony doors, “Places… dates… events… people - I can’t remember any of it. I try and I try and I… I just can’t.” He took a steadying breath as he closed his eyes, leaning his forehead against the cool glass of the balcony doors.
“I want you to remember, Sungmin; possibly more than you want to remember,” Kyuhyun admitted quietly as he slowly padded across the living room, “but every time I feel my love not being reciprocated, I feel myself break a little more each time.”
“I can’t remember my parents or even my brother… and yet I want to remember you above all others,” Sungmin insisted, his voice quiet and sincere, “I cannot remember you and yet… yet I feel like I have to. Before earlier, before any conversation we’ve had since my accident… since the moment I first heard your name, I felt this… this yearning to know more.” Sungmin breathed steadily, the glass fogging from his warm breath, “That first night when you introduced yourself to me, I was curious with this sudden feeling that overcame me. It was peculiar and strange and… and consumed my attention to the point of distraction. I didn’t understand it and didn’t pay attention to others that evening as much as I should have…”
Sungmin slowly turned around to face Kyuhyun, startled to find him just a few inches away from himself.
“But the more I was around you, the more frequent that feeling came to me. I didn’t understand it and it scared me,” Sungmin confessed, “I sought out Yesung’s company - anyone’s company - in attempt to see if the feeling transferred itself to when I was with others and yet… it didn’t. It never did.” With a courage he barely held onto, Sungmin locked eyes with Kyuhyun’s, “After what you told me earlier, it suddenly makes sense… Kyuhyun, I mind may not remember, but my body does… and from the pain I always feel here whenever I’m with you,” he gingerly raised his own hand to lay over his own chest, “My heart remembers you.”
Slowly, his hand fell to his side, “But… but I don’t want you to have to wait for my mind to remember.”
“I said before I didn’t know how much longer I could go on,” Kyuhyun reminded softly as his hand went to Sungmin’s face, cradling the side gently, “But it doesn’t mean I’m going to quit, Min… I’m going to wait until there’s nothing left of me.”
“And when that happens?” Sungmin asked, hesitantly, his heart doing its familiar speedy dance,
“Then I’ll continue to wait for you to build me back up again,” Kyuhyun replied simply as his other hand came and held the other side of his hyung’s face.
“Kyuhyun…” Sungmin barely managed, his strength and last wisp of courage leaving him beneath the hard stare of his dongsaeng,
“I can’t not love you,” Kyuhyun stated simply, softly and sternly, “It’s impossible.”
“I’m trying,” Sungmin said, almost pleadingly as an indescribable ache spread throughout his body, “I’m trying so hard to remember… to come back to you!”
His voice above a whisper, Kyuhyun promised before touching his lips to Sungmin’s, “I’ll be waiting.”