A Guardian Angel
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23 / F / South Korea
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Posted 6/11/08
Kyuhyun has been around for as long as Sungmin can remember, following him everywhere that he goes; from his birth home with his mother, the drug addict, to the childrens home that was like a prison, with metal fences surrounding the estate and straight laced women who looked down their noses at him and said what are we going to do with you, face like that, you'll never be good for anything, and tut at him.

He realised very early on that no one else can see Kyuhyun - his mother never noticed him anyway from her permanent spot on the sofa, but the other kids at the home looked at him strangely whenever he brought up the teenage boy that looked after him, and those who looked after him gave him a clip around the ear or worse, trying to rid him of his imaginary friend that a child of six should have but that they didn't want.

"You're dead, aren't you?" Sungmin asked Kyuhyun, when the girls at the park refused to play with him when he brought up Kyuhyun, because they're frightened of what they can't see, and they called Sungmin crazy. Kyuhyun nods and says I am your protecter, and for a long time, Sungmin believes him with the naivety of a child.

But Sungmin has to grow up quickly, the world that he lives in doesn't allow for innocence, not when the women are saying adoption and fussing over him and bringing out old clothes that have been hidden in the wardrobe for years, and dress him up as if to say haven't we taken such good care of him? and push him in front of a woman with lines surrounding her eyes and a man sharply pressed in a suit.

Sungmin can be cute and sweet when he wants to be, and for the first few days he laughs with Kyuhyun, and believes that he's been saved. Kyuhyun is his protecter, his guardian angel, or so he thinks, and Kyuhyun has saved him from the past and given him a future. And he wants to believe in that future, a child of ten with nothing else to live on but empty promises and hope that he's finally been rescued.

It's dark in the cellar, but by the time he turns eleven he's learnt not to cry. Boy shouldn't cry, says his father, and the crack of leather on skin becomes the only noise as Sungmin stifles his screams and Kyuhyun turns his face away. And afterwards, Kyuhyun's arms manage to wrap around him but he can't feel it, and before long he can't feel anything, and becomes numb.

Sungmin grows older, but doesn't grow up - remains a slight boy with a girly face and hollow eyes, that never angers or shows anything, and who still holds onto a ghostly hand when he crosses the road, a remnant of his childhood idea of protection. He ages on the inside, spends his nights in the arms of someone who will never age. He's already older than Kyuhyun. He becomes a man who still believes in the ghost that he wants to be his knight in shining armor; a boy who understands the meaning of the swish of bamboo; a boy who comes to know the meaning of no one will believe you and a hand running up his thigh; a boy who learns the true horror he can feel at the hands of the one he is forced to call his father.

A boy who realises that a guardian angel, or a ghost who calls himself one, cannot protect you when your father reaches through him and his hands find their way to your neck.
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