The mask (The other side of you)
Au: Kizu aka Kisonpizu
Gene: Let consider it is pink, happy ending for sure
Rate: PG 13
Disclaim: Only the story line belongs to me, unfortunately, not the actors.
The other side of you
Stepping out of the studio, I silently curse under my breath at the sight of all water droplets called rain falling from the sky. There was all sunny an hour ago, I had planned for a little walk after work …although it seems to be impossible for me to show my face in public without drawing attention, or in other words, trouble. Celebrities have the good and the bad like that. You will never have a second of peace and privacy. But at least getting out there is still better than staying in closed spaces all day, either four walls of the studio or inside of the car, or being suffocated by the surrounding crowd of fan.
However, I, Shim Changmin, still love this career so much that only if no one is interested in buying my new album anymore, then I will retire. And that day seems to be far far far away. ^^
The stupid rain becomes heavily. The roads are all empty, everything is blurring white in the rain. Occasionally few cars pass by sending the water splashing. Standing under the porch waiting for the manager to bring the car over, a somewhat crazy idea comes cross my mind… But if you’re my fan then you’ll know it better, no matter how crazy it is, I’ll do it, once interested.
– Minnie? Where are you going? The manager will be here in a minute.
– I’ll come back soon.
With an umbrella just borrowed from a staff, I laugh softly at the sight of Yunho’s worried face. It looks like in his mind, I am still a 17 years old boy. Hm… hard to blame him. I always act as his CUTE, GENTLE and WELL BEHAVED little brother.
This is not a bad idea; I should do it more frequently. The feeling of relaxing when walking around without fear of being chased by fans, plus raped by starring eyes or gossiped behind my back (while I can still hear it), is amazing.
Summer rain is heavy and persistent.
Rain is God’s tears for man.
I hate rain. Extremely and absolutely hate it. For God’s sake, of all time, why does it have to pour down in such a rare holiday for us? Thank for that, instead of going somewhere to play for relief, I stick to die at home as an 60 years old man.
Wake up. Eat. Watch TV. Sleep. Wake up again.
Play games. Eat more. Sleep more. Wake up again.
Still pouring nonstop.
Looking at Chun hyung who is sleeping like a dead log in the other bed, a little jealousy crawls in my mind.
Plus the clock was ticking on and on and on as if it is trying to torture my already bad mood.
Stretching my arms like a lazy cat, I decide to go to the kitchen to find food before losing my control and generously giving Yoochun hyung some kicks out of jealousy. I’m also not too dump to do that, and absolutely still love life very much. Because once I touch him, SuSu will make me regret it forever.
Passing by the living room, I catch a glimpse of Jaejoong hyung. I opened my mouth with an intention to call but no words come out when I have a better sight of him.
He is sitting on the sofa with knees close to his chest, looking out of the window in daze. From the corner of his eye, a glistening tear finds its way down a smooth and flawless white cheek, slightly touches a pair of tightly closed pink lips then disappears.
Everyone says he is pretty, I don’t know what they will say if they can catch this sight of him.
For me, he is nothing different from an angel.
Even though he has a habit to act all crazy and silly in public.
Being caught peeking at the other man, I put on an act of carelessly looking around, pretend not to see him quickly wiping away the tears in the conner of his eyes.
– Don’t tell you are looking for food again? Breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, hey, leave some food for our dinner!
– If you could make it stops raining then I would do as you say!
– Oh then hyung will pray for it to rain forever so that you can eat to your heart content, until you are too big to get through the front door!
Putting back a mask you wear every day, you try to talk back. I don’t know why but I feel a little angry knowing that he is trying to conceal his feelings from me like that.
– So do you like rain that much?
– No …
– Because rain is the tears of God …
I know Jae hyung became an orphan at a very young age, but that was the first time I knew that on the day his parents died, it also poured down heavily like this. Maybe the rain was the reason of the accident when their car crashed into the cliff. Maybe what he said was true, as rain was the tears of heaven for them. I did not argue with him on this matter. Jaejoong’s beliefs have nothing to do with the world’s peace.
– Pretending all the time, do you not feel tired? You can be yourselves with me.
Maybe in this life, I will never be able to forget the stunned face of Jaejoong at that time. He did not expect to get that line from a boy like me or because I exposed the fact that he was always acting, or both, I do not know. However I will never tell him the reason why I know his act. Because between us, somehow, we are not much different.
We are all idiots.
Just to protect ourselves from being hurt.
UYNH!!! (Sound of thunder drum)
The extremely loud thunder drum makes me jump out of my skin in surprise. The whole apartment shakes slightly in protest. The ceiling light blinks on and off then turns off, leaving the two of us in the pale light of the raining afternoon reflecting through the window glass.
I’m not sure if it is just my imagination, but it seems that Jaejoong tightens his hands around his legs, hugging them closer to his chest and then rolls into the corner of the sofa. From this angle, his half light half dark face turns into a white shade of pale, his upper lip is gently trembling and blood almost bursts out of the teeth mark on his lower lip.
Jaejoong slightly startles at the moment my hand touches his shoulders. I like to hear my name called out by his sweet voice even though no word can convey my hatred for this nickname because it makes me feel like in the eyes of others, I will never be able to grow up. Unlike my tenor voice, his voice is all soft and warm, sometimes a little gentle, but when he is shaking like this, it is completely weak and fatigue.
I want to hear he calls out my name more, with that sweet sound of his.
– What… what are you doing?
– Sh … it is okay. I told you, you can be yourselves with me.
It was the first time I held Jaejoong. He was confused and tried to pull away at first, but the second thunder immediately turned him into an obedient little kitty in my arms.
I was surprised that my arms were so loose around him…
I was stunned when my shirt was tightly clutched in his trembling long thin fingers…
I was happy at the feel of his warmth; his steady breathing and heartbeats against mine…
I do not know what was wrong with me at that time to initiate such a crazy act. I love my family, Yunho hyung, Chun hyung, SuSu and Jaejoong, as my dear siblings.
Maybe because what he wants the world to see is completely different from mine. They said opposite poles of a magnet are attracted to each other. At first that is simply nothing more than curiosity.
But since I’ve known that we are exactly the same, only our masks are different, gradually something starts to grow deep down in my heart.
– Why did you do that?
– I’m so sorry … you will understand …
For a long time, I do not understand, and stubbornly do not want to understand. I was angry, very angry, to the point of putting all the blame on him, for causing such a hideous scar in our hearts.
But when time passes by, I cannot stop myself thinking about Jaejoong, cannot bring myself to forget his pure tears that day nor the warmth when he nestled close to my chest, where my heart strangely jumped up and down with joy.
I thought I was smart … but am I just a childish jerk who only believes in the cover of everything? We had been together for many years … but in the moment of anger, I automatically threw away whatever we had. Who cared for us from such a little thing as a meal or daily needs? Who always encouraged us when we were so tired and depressed? Who was always willing to give us his shoulders to lean on whenever we needed? The one who needs a family the most… can be anyone but him?
I have never realized such things before.
Only accidentally capturing his moments of weakness, I stupidly think I understand everything about him.
Now seeing him being increasingly emaciated show after show; his bright but tired eyes covered with dark shade; and some nonchalant statements in his personal website, I really want to rush to his side… to strip down all of the fake masks he carefully put on.
All of them.
UYNH!!! (Sound of thunder drum again)
Groaning thunder sounds, lightning slits the dark dull sky above my head. Looking at the water bubbles on the road, I know that the rain is far from over. My head suddenly fills with countless questions, all focusing on a single object.
What is he doing at this moment? Will he hide himself in the conner and cry?
Besides me, does anyone know the “little” secret he tries to hide?
Is there anyone to comfort… and protect him… until he is calm enough to put on his daily cheerful mask?
– Minnie ah … please don’t tell anyone…
– Okay … only if you agree to increase the daily meal for me!
– You devil!
His falling tears …
Not the first time nor the last.
Not the only one.
Honestly … maybe I’m too stupid beyond words, or I was pushed by a devil, that here I am, standing like a stone in front of this apartment for three residents.
Without a mirror, I can guess how bad I am right now with wet hair and soaking clothes covered in mud, not mention my state of being breathless.
But I don’t even mind to care about my own image anymore. Calming down a bit I am immediately attacked by a giant question: Why am I here?
After that incidence, we haven’t been in touch, nor met each other.
It is not because Jaejoong tried to have a clear cut. It’s because of my stubbornness to cut all ties with them. You know, when you are angry, you will have such decisions that make you regret for the rest of your life. So do I. After two or three failed attempts, he no longer tries to contact me.
At the beginning, I myself desired a good reason, but the time passes, it is meaningless to dig up the grave of the past.
Therefore standing here, I really do not know what to do, what to say if I meet Jaejoong.
I do not know… what I will do if I meet the three of them.
I do not want to rub more salt into the bleeding wound of our hearts with my own hands … It is too painful already.
I … should not come here.
My whole body petrified at the familiar voice calling my name from behind. Maybe the time has stopped, pulling everything into a frozen state of fear, including my heart.
Am I dreaming? How can …
– Minnie … please don’t go.
Hearing Jaejoong’s sobbing voice, I suddenly find the answer that I have been searching for so long.
To my surprise, it is extremely simple and short, actually.
– How do you know that I was standing at the door?
The question bursts out of curiosity when I’m comfortably sitting in his living room, putting on his dry clothes, a little short but hell that I care. My brain is normally not too dull but actually at the moment it is really too stupid to come up with any interesting subject to chat.
What should I say since I know everything happens around him?
Jaejoong also has not said a word since the moment he pulled me into the house, threw me some dry clothes and gave me the cup of tea which was too salty to drink and hot enough to burn my tongue off, then he has been sitting silently in the conner like a naughty boy in punishment.
That makes me cannot help myself wondering whether he actually wants me to be here or not.
Well, I admit that my last question is somewhat bored and silly, but at least he should answer rather than provides the silent treatment and quietly hands me the phone.
“Minnie comes, hyung. Chunnie and I will go to Yunho hyung’s place first okay!”- From Susu.
Why … Why … Why …
What is this?
I am not sure whether I screamed out loud that question but all I hear is Jaejong’s chuckle.
– You guys … still in touch? How can I not have a clue about this?
– Yunho told us that you were still angry, so we’ll wait until you feel better … Susu and Chunnie came home to pick me up but seeing you so they left before us.
Truly I have lost both my voice and mind. Now if I think about it… It seems that Yunho hyung did talk about the three before. He also knows all of JYJ’s songs… sometimes he sneaked out alone at night …
I thought he had a girlfriend.
Honestly I’d love to run to Yunho and scream out loud, for leaving me out of the game like this. Then the familiar ringtone rang.
Okay Yunho hyung, I also have some business to “deal” with you now!
“Minnie ah, so you find out after all? I’m sorry. We are in the usual hot pot restaurant now. Remember to bring Jaejoong then”.
– Yah! Yunho hyung!
He hung up, before I have a chance to utter a word.
– I’m glad you came, Minnie.
In the noisy background sound of the rain, I can clearly hear Jaejoong’s voice. Looking at his face, I just want to pull him into my embrace and hug him tightly.
My angel is back.
– I’m so sorry, Jaejoong …
– Why sorry? Minnie is not at fault… I have to thank you for coming instead.
– I’m sorry … I should come much sooner …
– It’s only because Minnie does not want to remove your mask.
– When you are with me … You can be yourselves… wearing mask all the time, it’s too tired, right? You were the one who told me that, remember?
– Jaejoong …
Looking into his sparkling eyes, I see my own image. Is this me without a mask? So I also can make such a happy and sincere expression like that.
– I love you, Jaejoong.
Whispering in utter infatuation, I am drowning into the sweetness of his constantly trembling soft lips against mine. Looking at his beautiful face filled with emotions, the corners of my mouth unconsciously pull up in a gentle smile.
You are the one who gave me the right to be “free” around you, aren’t you?
You should be prepared yourselves before giving such an offer, Jaejoong.
Each of us has our own masks, one, two, three of them … I am not sure how many. They are similar or different… I do not care.
All I want to know is that I am the one who remove your masks.
And you are the one who remove mine.
That is enough.