Hankyung was pacing outside Kyuhyun’s room, wanting to be let in. Ryeowook joined him in his pacing as well. The rest just sat on the chairs lined up by the corridor, waiting. Their eyes kept twitching to the door, as if staring at it with all their might could get the door to open. It was a long wait.
After about 15 minutes, the door creaked open. Finally. Everyone crowded round the doctor, anxious for anything that he might say.
“How is he, Doctor?”
“Can we see him now?”
“Will he be fine?”
The doctor was bombarded by questions from all those waiting. He held up his hands to surrender, before the members quietened down to give the doctor a chance to answer. “Kyuhyun-shi is recovering fine. But he is still weak from his injuries, especially his lung injury. It caused his immune system to be weakened, making him extremely vulnerable to any diseases. With his injury, it would not be good for him to contract any illness, even a common flu or cough. So I implore you all to refrain from visiting him if you feel the slightest bit unwell. We will continue to monitor his progress. For now, you have 30 minutes to visit him. He is still recovering, so he needs his rest. I’ll send a nurse up later.” The doctor bowed slightly before taking his leave.
Ryeowook didn’t know if he should feel relieved that Kyuhyun was doing fine, or worried that he was still very weak. That was what the rest felt as well. Hankyung and Kibum took the doctor’s words very seriously. They just got their youngest back. They did not want anything to happen to him again. Before they could all rush in, Kibum stopped them. “Hyung, are any of you unwell?” Donghae and Eunhyuk looked at each other, then shook their heads as an answer to Kibum’s question. Ryeowook and Yesung quietly said no. Kangin and Siwon smiled at the concern Kibum was showing. “Kibum, I’m sure we are all fine, considering the energy we had preparing for the party. Let’s just go in to see Kyuhyun. I’m sure we all want to see him.” Hankyung gently reasoned, turning Kibum towards the door.
“Hyahh, stop being so slow! I wanna see Kyuhyun!” Heechul exclaimed, breaking the somewhat subdued atmosphere. Everyone laughed at that as Kibum reached out to open the door.
“Kyuhyun!” A chorus of voices came through the door as Kibum opened it, causing Eeteuk and Kyuhyun to look up at the door.
Kyuhyun was sitting up on the bed, leaning on a pillow. Eeteuk had moved from his position on the chair to sitting on the bed. His hand was still holding on to Kyuhyun’s hand and the other playing with Kyuhyun’s hair.
Heechul caught a slight depressed look in Kyuhyun’s eyes as he looked up before it disappeared – Or masked? – when Kyuhyun saw his hyungs. Happiness appeared in Kyuhyun’s eyes upon seeing them. Heechul saw that no one else seemed to have noticed it, besides himself and Eeteuk. He looked around as the rest crowded round Kyuhyun. He noticed that Kibum was frowning as if he made out the sadness in Kyuhyun as well.
Kibum felt someone’s stare on him and turned towards it. Heechul-hyung? Heechul glanced at Kyuhyun and Eeteuk. Oh. He saw it too. Kibum nodded, acknowledging that he noticed the slight depressed look before it vanished. “Kibum! What are you doing standing there?” Kangin’s voice broke Kibum’s communication with Heechul. He looked one last time at Heechul before walking towards Kyuhyun, promising himself that he would find out why.
Ryeowook was the first to reach Kyuhyun, drawing him into a tight hug. “I’ve missed you.” Ryeowook whispered, those few words speaking for all the sleepless nights. He did not forget what Hankyung-hyung had told him and Yesung, but he was willing to forget that now in his joy of seeing Kyuhyun awake. “I missed you too.” Kyuhyun said, his voice coming out soft, as if speaking louder required a lot of effort. Ryeowook frowned, not liking the implication of that. Yes, Kyuhyun did not speak loudly usually, but it was different. It was a matter of preference. Now it was as if he couldn’t speak louder. He let go of Kyuhyun to stare at him. Kyuhyun gave Ryeowook a slight smile, as if to reassure him that he was fine. Ryeowook nodded, buying that for the time being.
Shindong took Ryeowook place. He too pulled Kyuhyun into a hug, burying his head into Kyuhyun’s shoulder. “I’m glad you’re fine.” Shindong mumbled, willing all his guilt and apologies into those words. Kyuhyun understood. “I’m glad you’re fine too.” Shindong felt a huge rock removed from his heart. He could feel the forgiveness and the genuine joy from Kyuhyun. I’m so lucky to have him as my dongsaeng.
Yesung settled for a kiss on Kyuhyun’s forehead. Seeing how happy Kyuhyun was to have all the love showered on him, Yesung grew upset. He remembered what Hankyung-hyung had told him about Kyuhyun’s parents. He still couldn’t understand how they could treat Kyuhyun like that. Thinking about it made him clench his fist. He wanted so much to hit something. “Hyung?” Kyuhyun asked, curious as to why Yesung suddenly frowned. Yesung snapped back, giving Kyuhyun a quick smile saying, “Get well soon k? We missed your singing.” With that, Yesung stepped away quickly, not wanting Kyuhyun to catch sight of his anger. In his urgency to get away, he did not notice the flash of sadness that went through Kyuhyun’s eyes before being masked by happiness.
Siwon went up next, also kissing Kyuhyun gently on the forehead. “Welcome back.” A bright smile blossomed on Kyuhyun’s face. No one had said that to him ever before. Siwon was glad that he made Kyuhyun smile, although he did not quite understand why two words made Kyuhyun so pleased.
Kangin drew Kyuhyun into a one arm hug. After letting go, Kangin messed up Kyuhyun’s hair, drawing a “Hyung!” from Kyuhyun, protesting. “You’ve made us worried, kiddo. Don’t do that again. But we’re really glad you’re back.”
Sungmin bounced up to Kyuhyun, hugging him enthusiastically. Sungmin did not let go until Eeteuk panicked and said, “Sungminnie, release Kyuhyun. You’re suffocating him.” Eeteuk tried to push Sungmin away from Kyuhyun. “Ah, sorry. I’m too excited about seeing Kyuhyun.” Sungmin let go, smiling sheepishly. “I’ll bring my present next time. It’s almost done!” Kyuhyun shuddered, remembering the monologue Sungmin held. “Kyuhyun ah, are you cold? Do you need a blanket? A jacket? Kibum ah, can I borrow your jacket? Kyuhyun’s shivering.” Eeteuk questioned without taking a breath. “Hyung. Hyung. I’m okay. I’m fine.”
“Really?” Eeteuk asked, disbelievingly. “Never mind. Just put on Kibum’s jacket.” Kibum brought the jacket to Kyuhyun, helping him put it on. Kibum was not about to disobey Eeteuk when he was in Umma-mode. And he did notice Kyuhyun shiver. Kibum smiled at Kyuhyun, telling Kyuhyun with his eyes. I’m glad you’re back.
“Kyu! Now I can beat Hae! He bullies me all the time without you there. You must help me!” Eunhyuk exclaimed as he came up to give Kyuhyun a hug. Kangin hit him on his head. “Kyuhyun, don’t listen to him.” Eunhyuk rubbed his head, mumbling about nasty Appas when Kangin glared at him. “Yikes.” Eunhyuk hurriedly ran for cover behind Kibum.
Kyuhyun giggled, missing all the weird antics his hyungs had. Hankyung smiled. They don’t know what they’ve given up. Hankyung walked towards Kyuhyun, giving him a kiss on the forehead, and a pat on the head. “I’ll make your favourite food for you when you get home k? Anything you want.” Kyuhyun nodded vigorously. He missed Hankyung’s cooking. And he missed home.
Donghae came up next, hugging Kyuhyun. “You didn’t break your promise.” Donghae whispered. “No hyung. I never break my promise. And we still have a game to play.” Kyuhyun whispered back into Donghae’s ear, surprising Donghae that he actually heard and remembered what he said. Donghae responded by hugging Kyuhyun tighter, but still loose enough such that he did not cause Kyuhyun pain.
“Hey! How come Kyuhyun gets special privileges, Kyungie? You’ve never offered it to me before!” Heechul complained, seemingly upset at the unfair treatment. Before Hankyung could come up with a reply, Kyuhyun beat him to it. “Heechul-hyung, come here.” Heechul fake-pouted as he walked to Kyuhyun. Kyuhyun motioned for Heechul to bend down. “Hyung, just tell me what you want to eat and I’ll tell Hankyung-hyung to make it.” Kyuhyun whispered into Heechul’s ears. Heechul looked into Kyuhyun’s eyes. “Really? Ohh, I knew you loved me! But who couldn’t?” Heechul exclaimed, putting on a show for all. “I can’t.” Kangin inserted. “Hmph, I don’t need your love. Kyuhyun’s enough for me.” Heechul turned to hug Kyuhyun, whispering into Kyuhyun’s ear. “Glad you’re back.” Heechul let go, giving Kyuhyun a look that said “If you ever tell anyone what I said, I’ll deny it with all my life.” Before walking away.
Eeteuk giggled when he heard what Kyuhyun told Heechul. He was touched by the care and love that Kyuhyun and Heechul had for each other. He was really glad to be part of Super Junior. Eeteuk came out of his thoughts when he felt Kyuhyun leaned heavier onto him. Although Kyuhyun was enjoyed his hyungs presence, his body still did not have a lot of energy. Hankyung silently lifted Kyuhyun from Eeteuk, relieving Eeteuk of Kyuhyun’s weight. Eeteuk had also just recovered and would not be able to support Kyuhyun’s weight completely. Eeteuk knew that as well and he gratefully thanked Hankyung for his perceptiveness. He did not want to cause pain to Kyuhyun. Kyuhyun leaned onto Hankyung’s arms as Kibum re-arranged his pillows on the bed. Kyuhyun was slowly lowered onto the bed, as he couldn’t stop the yawn from escaping.
A nurse walked in and said softly, “The 30 minutes is up.” Ryeowook who was near the door thanked her and promised that they would be leaving soon. They were all reluctant to leave, afraid that it would just be a dream if they left.
Kyuhyun remembered vaguely that Siwon said they were planning a surprise party for Eeteuk. “It’s okay. Didn’t you all plan something tonight? I’m going to sleep in a few moments. Please go ahead with the plan. I just want some photos of it.” Kyuhyun said, smiling warmly at his hyungs. He didn’t want their efforts to go down the drain. The rest were shocked that Kyuhyun knew that they were planning something for Eeteuk. Eeteuk was confused though. “Go on. Don’t worry about me. I’ll still be here.” Kyuhyun gently pushed Hankyung’s hands towards the door.
Hankyung smiled. He always places others in front of him. “You rest well k? We’ll be back.” Kyuhyun nodded, happy that they were carrying on with the surprise party. Kibum pulled the blanket up, tucking Kyuhyun in. Kyuhyun snuggled into the blanket, almost burying himself under it. Kibum kissed Kyuhyun gently on the forehead, “Sleep well.” Kyuhyun’s eyes slid closed as he drifted off to sleep.
The rest smiled at that sight. Kyuhyun looked so contented. They turned to leave the room. After all they still had a surprise party to hold. Donghae promised himself to take many photos so that he could show it to Kyuhyun afterwards. As Heechul closed the door, he whispered, “Sweet dreams, Kyu.”
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.
Super Junior left the hospital contented, though some were still a little reluctant. They were happy that Kyuhyun was awake and that they got to see him, but were sad that they weren’t able to stay there with him. Twelve people walked through the corridor of the hospital drew a lot of attention from the people around, especially since they were twelve handsome and adorable guys.
Ryeowook suddenly remembered that they did not actually finish clearing up the room before dashing off to see Kyuhyun. They would need to get back before Eeteuk-hyung to clean up if they want the surprise to work. He whispered to Donghae, who whispered to Eunhyuk. The message was passed round the rest of them. Hankyung spoke up. “Eeteuk-hyung, we’ll head back first in the other car. The rest will go back with you.” Eeteuk nodded not noticing anything weird as his thoughts were still with Kyuhyun. Hankyung left with Donghae, Eunhyuk, Ryeowook, Yesung, Shindong and Sungmin. Yesung would be driving them back.
Eeteuk and the rest took their time to walk to the other Super Junior van. Siwon was the driver again. They weren’t willing to let Heechul drive. Kangin and Kibum climbed into the van before Eeteuk. Eeteuk paused as he reached the van, seemingly unwilling to enter the van. Come on Eeteuk. You can do this. Eeteuk pushed the thoughts about the accident far behind his head and took a deep breath. He began to climb in the van, limbs trembling a little. The residue fear from the accident remained. It was expected since it was the first time he was on a van since the accident. Heechul waited quietly behind. He knew to a certain extent how it felt like as he had been in a similar accident before. Heechul sat down beside Eeteuk, with the rest watching with worried eyes. No one said anything, as they did not know how to comfort Eeteuk.
“Teukie, we’ll be going now.” Heechul said gently to Eeteuk, indicating to Siwon to start the vehicle. Eeteuk did not respond. He was concentrating on making his limbs to stay still and to ward away any memories he had of the accident. Kangin and Heechul moved towards Eeteuk, sandwiching him between the two of them, anchoring Eeteuk.
Siwon drove steadily, not wanting any sudden movement to scare Eeteuk. Eeteuk had now buried his face into Heechul’s shoulder with one hand holding Kangin’s hand. He couldn’t stop Shindong’s scream from echoing in his head. “Kyuhyun!” Kangin was upset. He didn’t know what to do. Heechul simply held onto Eeteuk, using his presence to allow Eeteuk to have some hold on reality and not get lost in his memories. Kibum looked on, trying to think what he could do. Then Heechul began to sing softly.
Heechul’s voice brought Eeteuk out of his memories, muting the scream slightly. Kibum caught on and started singing together with Heechul. Soon all four were singing, which managed to drown the scream in Eeteuk’s head. He began to relax and slowly, he pushed himself off Heechul’s chest. He continued to hold onto Kangin and Heechul’s hand. But their combined voices managed to drive away the fear that had clutched his heart. Eeteuk smiled at each of them, showing his gratitude. They were just glad that they could do something, that they were not helpless.
Hankyung opened the door to their dorm, allowing the rest to enter quickly. Straight away, they started to clean up all the rubbish on the floor as Hankyung headed to the kitchen to finish his cooking. He had left it hanging when he heard Heechul scream. Luckily, Hankyung was sensible enough to have switched off the stove and the oven before leaving. If not, the dorm wouldn’t be there for them to return to. Donghae ran off into his room to look for his camera. He happened to have just charged it a few nights ago. I will take many photos for you Kyuhyun.
Everyone was running around the house trying frantically trying to remove all traces of preparation before Eeteuk came back. “The van is coming in!” Donghae shouted as the van came into sight below his window. They all ran to their places, waiting.
“Hyung. We’re here.”
In the middle of the ride Eeteuk had let himself be immersed into his dongsaengs’ singing, tuning out the fact that he was in a moving vehicle. “Huh? Oh.” Eeteuk didn’t realise that they had reached. Slowly they all got out of the van. Kibum picked up Eeteuk’s bag before Eeteuk could say anything. “Let’s go home.” Siwon said as he locked the van.
Eeteuk smiled and nodded. He had missed the dorm. The hospital had been too foreign and quiet despite the endless stream of people – mainly Super Junior – coming to visit him. He had gotten used to the dorm and its noisiness. After all, it couldn’t be quiet staying with so many people. Thinking about the hospital had made Eeteuk think about Kyuhyun. He really didn’t want to leave Kyuhyun alone even though he was probably sleeping. Besides the fact that Kyuhyun had just woken up from a one-week coma, Eeteuk didn’t want Kyuhyun to spend the night alone after the news the doctor told them. Knowing Kyuhyun, he would most likely spend the whole night fretting about it. Eeteuk frowned. Maybe I should go back.
Eeteuk remembered how Kyuhyun asked them to leave, saying something about wanting photos of what they had prepared. Kyuhyun managed to fool most of them that it was really fine that they all left. Eeteuk was almost fooled as well, but he caught a glimpse of longing in Kyuhyun’s eyes before it disappeared. Eeteuk wanted to stay but he decided to give in to Kyuhyun’s request. Although Eeteuk didn’t doubt that Kyuhyun really wanted them to enjoy what they had planned, he believed that a part of Kyuhyun actually didn’t want to show the rest his emotions. He’s too introverted.
Eeteuk was so engrossed in his thoughts that he did not notice that Kangin had been directing him from the car park to their dorm. “Hyung, close your eyes.” Eeteuk turned to Siwon, questions in his eyes. “Just do it.” Siwon requested. Eeteuk closed his eyes though he was wondering why they were being so mysterious. Siwon opened the door and gently pushed Eeteuk in.
“Welcome back, Eeteuk-Umma!”
Eeteuk opened his eyes in shock to see the rest of them holding party poppers and wearing party hats. “What…?”
“Welcome back Hyung!” Sungmin and Eunhyuk repeated themselves.
Hankyung led Eeteuk into the living room. “Come. Don’t just stand there. You’re the guest of honour. Come in and sit.”
Eeteuk’s head turned in amazement. They really did an extravagant job on the decorations. Even the green aliens and pink bunnies seemed to fit in brilliantly with the rest of the designs. Eeteuk was really surprised and touched by the efforts of his dongsaengs. How did Kyuhyun know? Eeteuk wondered briefly. But he was really happy.
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.
Early next morning at about 7 am, Heechul stumbled into the kitchen. He couldn’t sleep properly the whole night. His mind kept wondering back to Kyuhyun, especially the almost perfectly disguised sadness that appeared in his eyes. Why did he hide it once we came in? Heechul wanted to speak to Kibum. He knew Kibum saw the sadness as well. He was pulling out a chair when he noticed that someone was there before him. No, make that someones.
Kibum and Hankyung were already sitting at the table, each nursing a cup of coffee. They too looked like they didn’t get enough sleep.
“Hyung? You’re up early too.” Kibum asked, surprised. Heechul wasn’t one to wake up early unless he had something to attend. “I’ll get you a glass as well.” Hankyung stood up to make another cup of coffee.
Heechul nodded, turning his attention to Kibum. “Couldn’t sleep. You?” “Same here like Hankyung-hyung.” Heechul wanted to ask Kibum about Kyuhyun. He wanted to know what Kibum thought about what he saw.
Hankyung’s thoughts remained with Kyuhyun despite being happy during the celebration. He couldn’t help but remember how happy Kyuhyun was when Siwon told him, “Welcome back.” It was such simple words that most of them had heard so many times that it hurt Hankyung to know that Kyuhyun most likely had never heard it said to him before. Thoughts about Kyuhyun and his parents kept Hankyung tossing and turning all night until he gave up any hope of sleeping. He was so deep in his thoughts that he did not notice what he was doing. Hankyung was washing a glass to make coffee but being distracted by his thoughts, he forgot about his wounds on his hand. The soap seeped through the bandages that Yesung had wrapped around his hand two nights ago which he should had change last night.
Kibum and Heechul snapped up at the sound of glass breaking. They were about to start their conversation. They looked up to see Hankyung holding his right hand to his chest.
Kibum and Heechul immediately rushed to Hankyung’s side. Footsteps were heard running towards the kitchen. “What happened?” Donghae appeared at the doorway.
Donghae sat in his room; going through the photos he had taken. He wanted to sort through them so that he could get them developed soon to show Kyuhyun. So as the moonlight shone in through his window, Donghae was looking through all the photos taken. Most of the photos were filled with people smiling, all glad that Eeteuk-hyung was back. But there were a few that stood out.
Donghae had noticed that although they were all happy, there was some who emitted sadness and worry when they thought no one was looking. Heechul-hyung kept having a frown on his face, which by itself was unusual. He was usually acting like a princess and disturbing Kangin, which he did not do. Instead Heechul kept staring at Kibum. Kibum on the other hand looked blank out most of the time, as if he was thinking hard about something. Which he probably was. Donghae wasn’t sure if Kibum noticed the stares that Heechul-hyung kept giving him. Kibum is usually slightly more attentive. Eeteuk-hyung also seemed a little out of character. Donghae was not sure if it was because Eeteuk was just released from the hospital or that Eeteuk was worried about Kyuhyun. Donghae too was worried about Kyuhyun, but his instincts told him that Eeteuk-hyung knew something that they didn’t about Kyuhyun. The last odd behaviour Donghae noticed came from Hankyung. It was not odd behaviour per say, but Donghae noticed in one of his photos that Hankyung’s right hand was bandaged. He stared at it curiously. How come I didn’t notice it before? Donghae realised that none of them had noticed, or else someone would have commented. Donghae was still pondering when he heard a crash.
Donghae was startled. He nearly dropped his camera. He quickly placed his camera on his desk and rushed out of the room. It seems to have come from the kitchen. Donghae headed to the kitchen, which he noticed that the light was switched on.
Kibum turned to Donghae’s voice. “Hankyung-hyung hurt his hand.” Heechul started to guide Hankyung to the chair. “Hae, go get the first aid box.” Heechul said without looking up at Donghae. Donghae nodded, though none of them saw, and turned.
“Hyung, I’m fine. I just got a shock. There’s no need to get the first aid box.”
“Shush. You’re bleeding. And if it didn’t hurt, you wouldn’t be hugging it to your chest.” Heechul said sternly, gently pulling Hankyung’s hand towards him to inspect the injury. It was then that he noticed the bandages.
“Hankyung, did you hurt yourself previously?” Heechul stared, worry shining through his eyes.
Kibum stilled in the midst of clearing the glass pieces in the basin. He, too, didn’t notice that Hankyung had injured his hand. Donghae came back into the kitchen with the first aid kid. He set it on the table. He looked at Hankyung’s hand and noticed the blood dripping from the bandage. Donghae quickly took a pair of scissors to cut the bandages.
Hankyung hissed as Heechul peeled off the bandages. The bandages were a little stuck on his open wounds and it hurt when pulled off. Heechul glanced worriedly at Hankyung, stopping when Hankyung hissed in pain. “It’s okay hyung. Just pull it out.” Hankyung looked away, not wanting to see his hand. At his words, Heechul continued. By the time Heechul removed the bandage completely, Kibum had already thrown all the broken glass away and sat down across Hankyung.
All, except Hankyung, stared at Hankyung’s hand. Hankyung’s knuckles were split open. The wounds looked a few days old. There were bruises around the knuckles as well. Donghae thought that the wounds looked slightly infected. There was a fresh cut, which came from the glass. That had just stopped bleeding. Kibum took out the antiseptic from the box, handing it to Donghae. Donghae worked in silence. Heechul held on to Hankyung’s hand, preventing him from jerking his hand as Donghae applied the antiseptic and re-bandaged Hankyung’s hand. No one spoke until Donghae was done.
“Kyungie, how did you hurt your hand?”
Hankyung looked down at his freshly bandaged hand, debating whether to tell them the truth.
“Hyung?” Kibum questioned from across him.
“I hit the wall.” Hankyung mumbled.
“What?” Donghae was not sure if he heard it.
“I hit the wall.” This time Hankyung spoke slightly louder.
“You hit the what?” Donghae and Heechul exclaimed, only to be shushed by Kibum. “The rest are still sleeping.”
“You hit the wall?” Heechul asked incredulously. “Why would you do something so stupid?”
“I was angry.”
“About what?” Donghae wondered what made Hankyung so angry that he split his knuckles.
“Huh?” Kibum didn’t get it.
Hankyung looked up, staring into the eyes of all three. He was trying to decide whether to tell them or not. He didn’t think Kyuhyun would appreciate if he told everyone about his parents. But what he saw in their eyes were genuine concern and love for him and Kyuhyun.
“What I’m going to say now may shock you. But it is true. Yesung and Ryeowook know about it.”
Donghae and Kibum were shocked by the serious look in Hankyung’s eyes. They didn’t know what to expect. Heechul on the other hand just nodded, understanding the gravity of the situation.
Hankyung narrated the story without any disruption. He could feel the anger rising as he told them about Kyuhyun’s mother. She really doesn’t deserve him. Donghae was shocked. He had heard of such parents before, but had never suspected that someone he knew would have such parents. Kibum had suspected that Kyuhyun’s relationship was not that great with his parents, seeing how tight-lipped Kyuhyun was about them. But hearing how Kyuhyun’s parents reacted made him see red. Kibum was protective of Kyuhyun, everyone was in Super Junior. But for Kibum, Kyuhyun was the only one younger than him. With Kyuhyun, it was the first time that Kibum felt like an older brother. Heechul clenched and unclenched his fist. He understood how Hankyung felt. He too felt like punching something.
“Damn! What’s wrong with them?” Heechul cursed, collapsing on to the chair’s back. Heechul-hyung must be really mad. He seldom curses. Donghae thought.
“What’s wrong with who? And why is the first aid box here?”
They turned to the door, slowly, hoping that he was not who they thought he was.
“Oh no.” Kibum whispered.
It was Eeteuk-hyung.
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.
Eeteuk woke up, staring at his ceiling. It’s light blue. That was the first thought that came into his head. He groaned, getting up slowly. He noticed that he was sleeping on his own bed. Eeteuk briefly wondered how he got there as the last thing he remembered was laughing at the impromptu play Sungmin and Eunhyuk had put up. He turned to get off the bed and saw Kangin sleeping on the other bed. It must be him who brought me here. Even Siwon is here. Eeteuk walked over to pull the blanket up for both Kangin and Siwon. It was such a familiar action that Eeteuk smiled. I’m really home.
Eeteuk glanced at the clock by Kangin’s bedside.
“Seven fifteen? Why am I up so early?” Eeteuk mumbled to himself, unsure why he was awake at such an ungodly time especially since he was so sleepy the night before. Eeteuk walked quietly out of the room, not wanting to wake any of the sleeping boys. He headed for the kitchen, wanting to make coffee to be more awake. Maybe I can get someone to drive me to see Kyuhyun. Eeteuk was still worried about their youngest.
He heard some noise coming from the kitchen. Who’s awake this early? The voices got louder as he got nearer.
“…What’s wrong with them?” Heechul’s angry voice floated through, loud and clear. Eeteuk was puzzled. Heechul was seldom angry. By then he was already at the door of the kitchen.
“What’s wrong with who? And why is the first aid box here?”
Eeteuk could feel the four in the kitchen tense.
“Oh no.” Kibum whispered out. It was then that Eeteuk realised something huge was going on in the kitchen.
We’re screwed. Hankyung thought, wanting to bury his head into his hands. He didn’t expect to tell anyone about Kyuhyun’s parents and he definitely didn’t anticipate that Eeteuk-hyung – Of all people, why Eeteuk-hyung? – To stumble onto their conversation. He really didn’t feel like repeating himself. Twice was enough.
Donghae wanted badly to escape. He didn’t want to be there when Eeteuk-hyung went into full Umma-mode. Though Eeteuk was usually mild-tempered, he was a totally different person when it came down to the other members of Super Junior. Eeteuk had been upset when he heard that Sungmin had been bullied in school and he had stormed to the school, with Kangin as intimidation, to confront the bullies. It is going to be much much worse.
Kibum almost feared for Kyuhyun’s parent’s lives, almost. But he thought better. There was no point fearing for them. I would like to see them cower when faced with Eeteuk-Umma. Then they will know how a parent should be.
Heechul was almost glad that Eeteuk stumbled in. He would definitely have a partner in revenge. Heechul wanted to find Eeteuk in the first place to question him. He smirked. He came to offer himself. Heechul spoke up.
“Hankyung accidentally hurt himself with broken glass. Donghae was just dressing his wounds.”
Eeteuk’s eyes went wide and zoomed in on Hankyung. He marched up to Hankyung, holding his palm out. Hankyung gulped and timidly raised his hand for Eeteuk to inspect. He braced himself for the impact.
“Does it hurt?” A shake. “Do you need to go to the hospital to get it checked?” Another shake. “Maybe we should. It looks painful. How did you get hurt in the first place? What were you doing? Especially when it’s still so early. We should go to the hospital. Not that I don’t trust you, Donghae. But it’s better safe than sorry. It’ll be better to do so. It might get infected. Anyway, we could also visit Kyuhyun at the same time. He must be lonely by himself. I shouldn’t have left him alone after what the doctor said. I wondered it he slept well last night. He must be scared. The hospital bed is too hard to sleep comfortably. Yes. We should go to the hospital. Let’s go now…” Eeteuk rambled on, his thoughts going from concern for Hankyung and his injury to worries about Kyuhyun and back. He could have gone off endlessly if not for Hankyung.
“Hyung? Hyung!” Eeteuk stopped abruptly, turning to look at Hankyung.
“Hyung, I’m fine. There’s no need to go to the hospital.”
Donghae and Kibum were prepared to tune out Eeteuk as he began to fuss over Hankyung. They all knew that Eeteuk had a tendency to let his thoughts run wild when he was upset. They had all experienced that one time or another. But their attention turned back to Eeteuk when they heard Kyuhyun’s name. After what the doctor said? Both were curious, turning to each other to make sure that they heard the same thing.
Eeteuk didn’t realise but that one sentence about not leaving Kyuhyun alone after what the doctor said caught the attention of all four sitting around the table.
Hankyung’s head snapped upright when he heard it. What didn’t the doctor tell us?
Heechul was waiting for Eeteuk to let slip something. He knew that Eeteuk-hyung was good at keeping secrets – that was why all of them at one point or another confided in Eeteuk. The only way to get Eeteuk to speak was to make him slip up some information by himself. That was why Heechul decided to tell Eeteuk that Hankyung was injured. He pounced at the opportunity.
“What do you mean you shouldn’t have left Kyuhyun alone? What did the doctor say in the room to both of you?” Heechul fired immediately after Hankyung managed to stop Eeteuk’s rumbling.
Eeteuk looked at Heechul in shock. Shit, I didn’t mean to let it slip.
Eeteuk wanted some time to ponder over what the doctor had said before telling anyone. If I was going to tell anyone. Eeteuk wanted to think clearly about Kyuhyun’s reaction to the news. Last night due to the celebration, Eeteuk didn’t have time to think about it. That was why he wanted to go to the hospital to see Kyuhyun. He wanted, no needed, to know how Kyuhyun was feeling.
“Hyung?” Eeteuk realised that he did not answer Heechul’s questions. He had let his thoughts distract him again. Should I tell them? Unknowingly imitating Hankyung, Eeteuk stared into their eyes, trying to discern whether he should tell them. Eeteuk nodded to himself, coming to a decision. Super Junior is a family and we will stand by each other. I alone will not be able to support Kyuhyun. He will need everyone by his side. Another reason why Eeteuk decided to tell these four was that they each had went through their own battles: Hankyung and his language barrier and visa, Heechul and his recovery from the car accident, Kibum and his acting career, and Donghae with the recent tragic in his family. Eeteuk believed that they would be able to support Kyuhyun.
Eeteuk took a deep breath. Anticipation was in the air, but so was fear. They weren’t so sure if they wanted to hear it anymore.
“As you know the doctor came in to do a check-up on Kyuhyun, like they always do to patients. He did the usual things like listening to his heartbeat, taking his temperature, asking if he hurt anywhere. Then he asked Kyu to raise his feet slightly. The side with the fractured rib. Kyu was able to raise it a little, before it hurt too much. The doctor just went ‘Hmmm.’ and then went on with his check-up.”
At that point, Eeteuk began pacing around the room.
“Then the doctor asked Kyu to say ‘Ahh’ as long as he can. Kyu could only manage about 5 seconds before breaking off. It was as if it hurt to stretch it any longer.” The rest were shocked. Kyuhyun should be able to do better than that. Even they could do better. And they were not brilliant at singing.
“After a few moments of more ‘hmmm’s and nods from the doctor, he finally decided to tell us his prognosis. ‘You’re recovering fine. But we have to keep monitoring your progress. I understand that you’re a singer and dancer. I would like to pre-empt you first. Although the wounds are healing rather well, due to the seriousness of your injuries, there is always the possibility that they will not heal completely. The fractured hip is still very tender and I cannot say that it will recover 100%. Even if it does, you may not be able to do certain moves like before and you will be prone to pain from the hip if you dance too much. As for your lungs, one side had collapsed due to the puncture from the broken ribs. We know from our daily check-up that the hole is healing fine. But at the moment, you will keep experiencing shortness of breath and some chest pain. They would most likely subside after a while. You are expected to recover fully from the lung injury, but we cannot confirm that you will be able to sing as well as before. We will continue to monitor your progress. Don’t be too upset. And don’t force yourself to sing or walk. It will only make them worse.’ With that the doctor left the room.”
Eeteuk trailed off, returning himself to the moment he heard the news.
What? Eeteuk couldn’t believe his ears. Did he just say what I heard? Eeteuk stared at the doctor’s serious expression. He doesn’t look like he’s kidding. Eeteuk turned to Kyuhyun. He had only felt a tightening of the grip Kyuhyun had on his hand. Kyuhyun had closed his eyes tight, as if blocking out what the doctor had said would make it all a dream. None noticed that the doctor had left the room.
“Kyuhyun…” Eeteuk spoke softly; unsure of what he should say as his brain was still trying to process the information.
Kyuhyun shook his head. “Yes Hyung?” He managed to crack a small forced smile at Eeteuk.
“Kyuhyun, are you okay?” The smile hurt Eeteuk even more.
“I’m fine Hyung.” Kyuhyun glanced a little at Eeteuk, before looking back down to his lap.
“Hyung. I’m fine. Really.” Kyuhyun cut in, a little harsh. Kyuhyun had looked up at Eeteuk then, and Eeteuk could see faint signs of sadness in his eyes that Kyuhyun didn’t manage to hide. Eeteuk was sure that it was mirrored in his eyes. As Eeteuk opened his mouth to speak, the door opened.
What? The four around the table were shocked. They had not expected that. It was shock after shock this morning. They knew that there was a long way to recovery but to know that even if you fully recover you may not be able to gain back what you originally had was something that none of them had considered.
Silence reigned, as none knew how to react. If they were this shocked and upset, how would Kyuhyun feel?
Eeteuk slowly brought himself out of his memories. That was the reason why he wanted to go back to the hospital. Kyuhyun didn’t have much reaction then, but he knew Kyuhyun’s character. Kyuhyun seldom let others know exactly what he was feeling, as if doing so would let others have a chance of hurting him. But this one time, Eeteuk was not going to just let it go. As Eeteuk thought, he suddenly remembered that his questions were still unanswered. He had trepidation that the four were discussing Kyuhyun before he interrupted.
“You all have not answered my questions.” Eeteuk asked, catching the four unaware. Eeteuk wore a serious expression, coupled with worry. It was then that the rest saw the reason why Eeteuk was their leader. It made them to tell Eeteuk about their own discovery. Hankyung looked away, not wanting to hear the story again. He had enough of it. Heechul took it upon himself to repeat it to Eeteuk.
Eeteuk was floored. That was something totally unexpected. Kyuhyun was such a gentle and considerate boy that none would expect such parents. How could there be such parents? Contradictory to what the rest might have thought, Eeteuk did not demand to see Kyuhyun straight away. Eeteuk wanted so much to just get Heechul or Donghae to send him to the hospital straight away and pull Kyuhyun into a hug, never to let him out of his sight. Eeteuk knew that if he went to see Kyuhyun right now with all his emotions swirling around his head, he would only scare and cause more worry to Kyuhyun instead.
Eeteuk was silent for so long that it was beginning to scare the rest. Kibum spoke up. “Eeteuk-hyung?”
Eeteuk shook himself out of his thoughts and was about to speak when they heard the rest slowly waking up.
“Let’s keep this within ourselves first. I don’t want any of them finding out and overwhelm Kyuhyun.” Eeteuk said, staring at each of them, conveying his message. The rest nodded. As soon as they did, Shindong came in together with Sungmin.
“Hankyung-hyung, is there breakfast to eat?”
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.
Kyuhyun pretended to be asleep as his hyungs left. He was really glad that his hyungs had all come to visit him. He had missed them a lot as well. They were the first people who made him feel that he belonged, that he was wanted. Kyuhyun knew that he seldom demonstrated it, but he really cared for his hyungs.
When Kibum tucked him in, Kyuhyun was so happy. No one had tucked him in before until he met Super Junior. He didn’t want to be left alone in the hospital, like he was in his dreams or when he was young. But Kyuhyun wanted his hyungs to enjoy the party they had planned, though he would not be there. And he also wanted to run through by himself what the doctor had told him. As Heechul left, Kyuhyun thought he heard a whisper. “Sweet dreams, Kyu.” Kyuhyun certainly hoped so, provided that he was going to get any sleep tonight.
As the door closed, Kyuhyun opened his eyes, staring at the white ceiling above him. The doctor’s words swirled in his mind, repeating them over and over again. I may not be able to sing or dance anymore. I may not be able to sing or dance anymore. These words kept repeating in his head. He didn’t want to believe it. All he had was singing and dancing. Kyuhyun knew that he was not the best singer – Ryeowook-hyung and Youngwoon-hyung were better – and that he was not the best dancer as he only started learning how to dance a few months before joining Super Junior. But those were all he had.
What can I do if I can’t do any of those? Will I still be in Super Junior? Will they still want me? What if they leave me? Kyuhyun’s thoughts ran through his head at a hundred miles per hour. With nothing to distract him, Kyuhyun fell deep into his thoughts. His mother’s words came to his mind when he told her he was going to be a singer.
“What? I spent so much money getting you into the schools and you’re telling me you want to be a singer? Are you idiotic? Do you even have the talent?”
“But mother, I really want to be a singer!”
“You must have gotten those ridiculous ideas from that man. No son of mine would have such stupid ideas! Go ahead and be one! You’ll come running back to me in no time! At that time, don’t come and ask me for money!”
Kyuhyun flinched, remembering that day. His mother had thrown him out of the house the very next day, claiming that she had no such son. It seems like she’s right again.
Thinking about his mother lit another basket of questions in Kyuhyun’s mind. Does she know that I’m injured? Is she worried? Did she visit me? Will he visit me? Kyuhyun still yearned for his mother’s and his father’s care. He always wanted to prove to them that he was somebody, to earn their praise for once. But so far, no matter what he did, all he got were scolding and criticism. Am I that useless?
Kyuhyun tried to sing despite what the doctor had said. He wanted to test it out for himself. He took a deep breath and sang softly.
“We had joy we had fun
We had seasons in the sun…”
Kyuhyun managed two lines before giving in to the pain in his chest. He couldn’t get enough air to sing the song properly.
Tears came to his eyes. Kyuhyun seldom cried. It was something taught to him when he was young. Everytime he felt like crying, he would blank out, holding the tears in until the feeling passed. Even when he did cry, it was always silent. The only indication that he was crying would be the tears rolling down his face.
Kyuhyun took off the jacket he was wearing. This night, Kyuhyun cried himself to sleep, hugging the jacket close to him, gathering as much comfort he could from it.
Kyuhyun flinched at the sound. His mother had just thrown a vase at the wall.
“Why are you like that? Why do you keep irritating people? Didn’t I tell you to make friends with those classmates? They are the children of my clients! Argh! It’s no wonder no one wants to be your friend Even the only one is gone!” With that, his mother left him alone in the room.
Kyuhyun shrunk on the floor, trying to get a hold on his fear. He was never able to make friends well. All his life he had only one friend. And that friend had just disappeared forever from Kyuhyun’s life. He died in a car crash a few weeks ago. Kyuhyun’s life went from bad to worse.
Kyuhyun could feel himself being flung through the air. But curiously, he couldn’t feel anything. It was as if he was a spectator watching on the side line. He saw Eeteuk-hyung lying still inside the van. It was just like that time.
He could only stare and do nothing. He stared at the blood flowing out. There was so much blood. Kyuhyun couldn’t stop the flow of the blood. No, you’re not going to die. You’re not going to leave me. Kyuhyun placed both his hands on the wound applying pressure on it. But the blood just kept flowing. Kyuhyun’s tears mixed together with the blood. “Don’t die, Hyung. You promised.” “Kyuhyun-ah… sorry I can’t protect you… anymore… Take care… of yourself… You’re a good... boy… Don’t let her… convince you… otherwise…”
“Hyung. You’re not going to leave me. No, you promised.” Kyuhyun sobbed, his hands still on the wound.
Kyuhyun felt his hyung take one last breath. “Hyung!” Kyuhyun looked up, seeing the painful expression that was forever etched on his friend’s face. Suddenly, the face became someone else’s. Eeteuk-hyung?
Kyuhyun jumped back. No. It can’t be. It can’t be. Kyuhyun reached out a hand to touch the face. It’s real.
“Hyung!” Kyuhyun’s scream brought the nurses on duty to his room. Kyuhyun snapped open his eyes. “Hyung!” The nurses held down his arms, preventing him from moving. “Eeteuk-hyung!”
The doctor rushed in. “What happened?” “He just started screaming. And we can’t get him to stop.”
“Please let me up. I just want to see him!” Kyuhyun pleaded, his voice hoarse and his chest hurting.
After breakfast, Kangin went to the radio station for his radio show, with Sungmin and Ryeowook as guest. Super Junior was to officially start work today. However not everyone had things on. Kibum and Heechul were still on break, Eeteuk was on leave for another week, and Donghae and Hankyung had nothing on schedule. Siwon was going to film another show while Yesung decided to sleep in until his singing lesson in the afternoon. Eunhyuk and Shindong had some dance lessons to attend.
The five of them decided to head down to the hospital. Eeteuk wanted Hankyung to get his hand checked and also wanted to visit Kyuhyun. He didn’t want Kyuhyun to spend the day alone. None of them wanted. The ride to the hospital was silent, each of them absorbed in their own thoughts. As they reached the hospital, Hankyung got his hand checked first. The doctor said that nothing serious was hurt and just to be careful for the next few days. They thanked the doctor and headed down to Kyuhyun’s room.
As they approached Kyuhyun’s room, they noticed a commotion inside. Donghae grabbed hold of a nurse by the door. “What happened?” “The patient started screaming suddenly and we are unable to calm him down. We can’t inject any sedatives as it would interfere with the other drugs he has in him.”
Just as the nurse finished, Kyuhyun shouted. “Jungsu-hyung!” They all rushed towards Kyuhyun. The doctor recognised them and stepped away, hoping that they could calm him down. All the screaming and shouting were bound to aggravate his injuries.
Eeteuk immediately grabbed hold of Kyuhyun’s left hand when the nurse released them.
“Kyuhyun! I’m here!”
“Hyung! Please just let me see him!”
Kibum reached over to shake Kyuhyun. “Kyuhyun! Eeteuk-hyung is here!”
Kyuhyun immediately stopped struggling. “Hyung?”
“I’m here.” Kyuhyun turned to face Eeteuk.
“Hyung!” Kyuhyun stretched his arms out to Eeteuk. Kibum helped Kyuhyun get up. Kyuhyun immediately hugged Eeteuk by the torso. “Hyung! You’re here! You’re really here!” Kyuhyun said with his face buried in Eeteuk’s stomach.
Eeteuk was confused. They all were. Seeing that Kyuhyun was no longer screaming, the doctor and nurses left the room, saying that they would come back later.
Eeteuk sat down by the bed with Kyuhyun still holding on tight to him. Kibum settled down on the other side with Hankyung, Heechul and Donghae by Kyuhyun’s legs.
“Hyung. Promise you won’t leave me. Promise.” Kyuhyun pleaded, staring at Eeteuk with tears flowing down his face.
“I won’t leave you. I’m not leaving you. I’m right here.” Donghae and Heechul were shocked. They had never witness Kyuhyun cry before. No matter how bad it got for him with the fans, Kyuhyun never cried. Kibum and Hankyung had seen Kyuhyun cry once, and that was because they stumbled onto him.
“Really? You promise? You’re not going to break it right? You’re not going to leave me alone?”
“I promise I won’t leave you ever.” Eeteuk said as he continued to pat Kyuhyun on the back. “Kyu, what’s wrong? We are not going to leave you.”
Kyuhyun shook his head, refusing to say anymore. He just held onto Eeteuk, crying silently. Eeteuk couldn’t do anything but hugged on to Kyuhyun.
Slowly Kyuhyun’s cries slowed down. Kibum continued to pat Kyuhyun on the back. Kyuhyun slowly drifted to sleep, loosening his grip on Eeteuk.
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.