Jaejoong kicked at the curb, paused, inhaled deeply from his cigarette, and kicked at the curb again. The smoke of his cigarette swirled around him, rendering him misshapen for a second until the smoke cleared and so did Jaejoong. The thoughts in Jaejoong’s mind were just as foggy as the cigarette smoke drifting around him, drifting, drifting, far away from him.
Jaejoong paused abruptly. He whipped his head around. Just then, a car came screeching down the road, missing Jaejoong by inches. Jaejoong felt his heart rate increase, and glared at the driver who was still seated in the car.
Seconds passed yet it seemed like time had stopped. Jaejoong felt like he should do something, but just then the driver shoved the door open and rushed to Jaejoong.
“You tell me you sent me messages??” Yunho shouted, striding up to Jaejoong. “Here! Take my phone and show me these “messages” that you’ve allegedly sent.” Shoving the phone in Jaejoong’s face. Before Yunho could react Jaejoong grabbed the phone, smashed it on the ground, grabbed Yunho by the shirt and slammed him against the car.
“I don’t care about the fucking messages,” Jaejoong hissed in a low voice. He shoved Yunho against the car again for good measure, then whipped back around cursing under his breath. Yunho blinked in daze, still trying to comprehend how he and his precious phone had both become victims to Jaejoong’s infamous wrath in a matter of seconds.
Jaejoong stopped pacing and turned around to face Yunho. He had been waiting for this. For this moment. No reporters, no managers, no interviews. He would not allow himself to back down.
“How you been?” For some reason this question seemed the most appropriate to Jaejoong. Yunho scoffed.
“How have I been? I’ve been fucking terrible Jaejoong, since the three of you up and left-” Strike one, Yunho had crossed the line. Anger licked at Jaejoong’s insides. Yunho chanced a glimpse of Jaejoong’s face but regretted it immediately after. The same expression Jaejoong had had the night he had been caught drinking and driving was reflected on his face right now. That expression of anger, guilt, pain. This would now haunt Yunho for countless of nights.
Yunho sighed and stuffed his hands in his pockets.
“So you guys are the victims, huh?” Jaejoong asked. Won’t back down. “We’re the bastards that abandoned you and betrayed you. We are the traitors. While you guys have been struggling with all this we’ve been partying it up right?? You know, reveling in all the wonder of being rejected from our own country, being portrayed as the “bad guys”, the money hungry ones. Yea Yunho, it’s been a fucking merry go round for us.” Jaejoong ranted, shakily lighting another cigarette. Was this how Jaejoong wanted this conversation to go? Overwhelmed, Jaejoong stared at the ground. Over a year had passed since Jaejoong had last stood next to Yunho. Now here he was finally and Jaejoong was just going to use it as just another opportunity to lose his temper? Jaejoong’s heart was a cushion of thorns, he just couldn’t decipher if they were piercing into his heart or if they were born from within.
“I’ve missed you…,” Yunho knew it was a low blow. But one thing Yunho had learnt over the past year was to not let a single moment pass. So many regrets, so many things left unsaid; his mind had cleared to all of it only after the three had left his side.
Jaejoong’s blood froze. But no. He won’t back down. He met Yunho’s eyes and let out a low laugh. “It’s always been that way with you, hasn’t it? You lay all your emotions on me, expect me to let my guard down, and we all live happily ever after. But this time it’s different. Because we don’t live the same lives anymore. After this, we’re going to be leaving separately, to separate destinations. Our lives run parallel to each other now Yunho, they no longer intersect” Jaejoong sighed, collapsing onto the curb. Jaejoong took a long drag out of his cigarette. The smoke he exhaled twirled around him and Yunho.
“Why couldn’t you just have left with us?” Jaejoong’s raw wishful voice made Yunho wince. “We all complained together, talked about how we deserved more than this together, we all said that it was unfair…What happened?” Jaejoong questioned, looking up at Yunho. There it was. The question that had burned inside Jaejoong for so long, the answer to which Yunho couldn’t articulate in words.
The air was still, not a single sound. The sun was setting, casting long shadows. Yunho abruptly grabbed Jaejoong by his shoulders and lifted him up so they were eye to eye again.
“It doesn’t matter. We all have our reasons for what we did. It’s not like we can change the past anymore,” Yunho replied flatly, his eyes boring into Jaejoong’s. “I’ll always be cheering for you, and the other two as well. It takes more than something like this to break these bonds. Take care of yourself okay? Don’t burden yourself with everything like you tend to do. Junsu and Yoochun are there by your side; don’t be afraid to lean on them. I’ll give Changmin a hug for you.” Yunho enveloped Jaejoong in his arms, hugging Jaejoong as tight as he could. Without turning back Yunho then got in his car and drove off.
Jaejoong watched as the car got farther and farther away. He took another drag out of his cigarette letting the fume swirl, swirl, swirl.