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It's Alright

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It’s Alright

 

Tales are written with words unimaginable and phrases laced with sentiments, eternally engraved for you and I to either find solace in or bring out the waterworks. These stories are told, whether they’re mere rumors, made-up fantasies or half-truths, and they either die in the fire or live on in the walls of our minds.

 You and I have stories of our own and none of these stories are better than the other. Life is full of hues, sometimes they may be lighter, sometimes they may be darker, and sometimes they may sit in between. But nothing is a shade uglier or a tint more beautiful. It’s simply a story with its own color, with its own words to say, with its own laughter to share, with its own tears to shed, with its own message to convey.

And Kim Seokjin also had his own story to tell, with its own colors, with words to say, laughter to share, tears to shed and most importantly, a message to convey.

Valentine’s Day was the bane of Kim Seokjin’s existence. To him, it was a cursed date when nothing good ever happened and he was always showered by a series of bad luck. This was unusual because Seokjin always had luck on his side. He was born in a well-off family with a strict but generous father, a kind and jovial mother and an older brother who was both annoying and endearing. He was born lucky but that luck always ran out whenever it was Valentine’s. Seokjin once wondered if he had done something bad against the spirit of Valentine in his past life or something.

It started when he was at the young and tender age of eight. He and his family planned on having a picnic for that day—a family bonding they always had whenever it was Valentine’s. Seokjin used to love that very special day for this reason.

At that time, young eight-year-old Seokjin was bouncing all over the house in excitement, urging his mother to hurry up with packing food in the basket while his father was loading their other stuff in the trunk. His older brother’s arms were crossed, a deep scowl on his face as he asked for the umpteenth time, “Do I have to go?”

Mrs. Kim frowned at her eldest son and was about to reprimand him before young Seokjin intervened by clutching onto his brother’s rigid form like an adorable koala. The family’s maknae pouted and whined, “But I want to spend Valentine’s with you, hyung!”

And just like that, his older brother conceded with a defeated sigh.  He ruffled Seokjin’s fluffy dark hair and pulled away to fish his phone out of his back pocket, “Fine,” he said, eliciting a delighted squeal from his little brother “I’ll text Minho and the others that I’m not going.”

His mother smiled at the two of them, finding her eldest son’s affection for his brother to be endearing and also adorable with how Seokjin was celebrating just by the thought of their complete family. However, the twelve-year-old had been too excited as he ran towards his father to report that he had succeeded in making his brother come, he hadn’t been careful and slipped.

Seokjin ended up with a bleeding knee that day but he had been adamant for that picnic only to be ruined by the sudden rain that came. His brother decided to go to his friends since their plans were canceled anyway and young Seokjin ended up sulking for the rest of the day.

For the next few Valentine’s, Seokjin had remained hopeful only to be disappointed several times.

When he was nine, his dog Jjangu ruined the red costume he was going to bring at his class recital and he ended up wearing one of his brother’s red button up shirt that was too big for little Seokjin. It had turned him into the joke of the day with his brother’s big clothes looking more like a dress and less than a shirt. When he was ten, he confessed to his first crush named Hyeri who was the prettiest girl in class only to find out that she was not as kind as he thought she was. She rejected him and his flowers in front of the class, and all of her friends laughed at him. At age ten, Seokjin got his innocent heartbroken for the first time.

At age eleven, Seokjin’s Valentine’s was spent in the hospital when he got his flu and none of his friends visited as they were too busy with their own celebration. His Valentine’s Day that followed the next year was spent on his parents scolding him for deliberately breaking their rules under his new friends’ influence. After that, he was never allowed to talk to Hyosang ever again. The consecutive years that followed that were series of different misfortunes and Seokjin’s love for Valentine’s day gradually diminished each passing year.

However, Seokjin at age sixteen found himself dating his first boyfriend, Kim Taehyung, behind his father’s back. His mother and brother knew and they swore to keep it a secret from their conservative father for his sake. It was his first official relationship and with a guy, no less! Taehyung was younger than him by a few years but Seokjin was completely enamored by his dazzling, unique smile and bright eyes that shone like the stars. Their relationship was slow and steady, and Seokjin wouldn’t want it any other way. Although there were times that Taehyung tried to push the boundaries but Seokjin was good at keeping them at bay.

When Valentine’s Day came around the corner, sixteen-year-old Seokjin was excited about it for the first time in many, many years. He went all-out in his gifts and self-made chocolates, making sure that everything was flawless. He wore his best clothes and made certain that he looked nothing less than perfect.

His Valentine’s Day at age sixteen started out to be the most dream-like and unforgettable memory. He and Taehyung spent the day together with their hands laced, eyes gazed at each other and lips held captive in a sweet kiss. Little did Seokjin know that it had been their last for his most dream-like and unforgettable memory quickly turned into a nightmare as Taehyung broke up with him at the end of it.

“Why?” Seokjin had asked, voice broken and hurt yet not as broken and hurt as his crying heart. He had been so happy in the day and the sudden declaration was a huge shock to him. His mind tried to process the younger’s words and he wondered if this was some kind of sick joke towards him.

But Taehyung’s guilt-laced words solidified the truth before his eyes. “I’m sorry,” he said, voice low and head bowed, “But I don’t think I can be with you anymore, hyung.” With a little hesitation, the other added, “It’s just that—“ Taehyung sighed, finding the words difficult to say, “I don’t think I love you the way I used to. What I felt for you—it’s gone.”

“Gone?” Seokjin repeated, eyes glistening as tears threatened to spill, “What do you mean by that? Today—“the first tear fell and he didn’t even bother to wipe them. He made them fall down just like how his hopes fell to their demise, “Today was very special. We were so happy. Weren’t you happy?”

“Hyung,” Taehyung started, his voice cracking a bit as guilt painted across his features. It was clear to both of them that Taehyung didn’t want to hurt the elder. But Seokjin wouldn’t have any of it. He was already hurt.

“You kissed me, Tae.” Seokjin brokenly said, a look of desperation in his eyes. “Please tell me.” He pleaded, “Please tell me that you felt something. You kissed me! Surely, you still have some love left for me. We can bring that back! Just don’t—“ he sobbed, “Don’t leave me like this.”

“Hyung,” Taehyung said, his own tears falling as he held both of Seokjin’s hands in his, leaning down to press a kiss on his fingers—an act that Taehyung knew would comfort the older, but instead only made him seem cruel. “I’m sorry. I didn’t want to break your heart but I can’t continue being with you if I don’t love you anymore. That would be unfair to you.”

“Then why?” Seokjin asked, “Why are you breaking up with me when we were so happy a few moments ago? Why did you kiss me today when you planned to leave me?”

“I wanted to say goodbye.” The other said, voice hushed as if he was afraid of his own answer. He looked down at the ground, guilty eyes refusing to stare at the older’s tearful ones.

“That’s even more unfair, Tae.” Seokjin said, voice hollow and broken as tears cascaded down his cheeks without a stop, “You had to do it today. Of all days, Tae, you broke up with me on Valentine’s.” He backed away, wiping his own tears away, “That’s so cruel of you.”

At age sixteen, Seokjin got his heart ruined on the day of hearts. And maybe his heart got ruined so bad he failed to realize that Taehyung, like him, was a young boy—even younger—who was still as inexperienced in love as he was. But in his broken state, not a thought occurred into Seokjin as he got himself drunk with his father’s hidden stack of soju for the first time in his life.

His mother would have scolded him because he was a minor and he was drinking irresponsibly. But one look at his red, puffy eyes and tear-stained cheeks, his mother decided not to say a word as she took care of him in his weak state. He made him soup and aided him for the day. Whether she was aiding him for his hangover or comforting him through his heartbreak, he didn’t know.

Since then, Seokjin had become a little more scared of Valentine’s Day and the notion of relationships. On his seventeenth and eighteenth Valentine’s, he locked himself up in his room and refused to leave until the day ended.

But fate had plans—it always had cruel and mischievous plans for scarred souls such as Seokjin. When he went to college, Seokjin decided to enroll at a university in Japan to pursue his dreams of becoming a well-known chef. It was there that he met his roommate who eventually became his forever best friend Min Yoongi—a grumpy man with a heart of gold majoring in music.

He also met a lot of Koreans there who quickly became his new group of friends in this foreign country. Among his new group of friends, one young man, in particular, stood out. The man was younger than him—younger than all of them— by a few years, his age close to Taehyung but he had skipped grades for being a genius.

That young man’s name was Jeon Jungkook and he had the most captivating eyes Seokjin had ever gazed upon, even more, captivating than Taehyung’s that shone like stars—a memory that has dulled over the years of pain. Jungkook’s eyes were piercing and dark like a knife that can cut through the heart—his heart, yet as mysterious as the dark side of the moon.  When he smiled, the lines of his mouth curved upward that made Seokjin want to trace his glossy lips and it was adorable how when he grinned, his perfectly aligned teeth would show and Seokjin wanted to pinch him for looking like a bunny.

Kim Seokjin fell for the man completely. But Valentine’s Day—his nemesis that never failed to fail him every year—made him puke all over his younger crush when he couldn’t handle a particular drink offered to him on a college party.

Seokjin couldn’t face him for a week but Jungkook was a calm and good-natured man. He may have teased Seokjin once, twice or thrice but he never told anyone about it, and never held a grudge against him. Thus, the older fell for him even more.

He pinned after him for eight straight months, from February to September, until Jeon Jungkook finally became legal. To his utmost surprise, the now legal, more mature, muscled and extremely more attractive Jeon Jungkook confessed to him. It appears that their feelings had always been mutual since the day they’ve met, and yes, even since the day Seokjin vomited on his younger crush.  

But there was fear and hesitation that came with accepting Jungkook. The younger medical student was endearing and extremely attractive but not even his captivating smile can ease his anxiety towards relationships. He’s been scarred forever after his very first heartbreak. But he was afraid to tell that to Jungkook—he was afraid that the other might find him petty for not getting over a breakup from several years ago. He was scared so he simply told the other that he wasn’t willing to enter a relationship with him. The dejection that shone in the younger’s eyes broke Seokjin and he almost faltered in his decision.

“But we can be more than friends,” Seokjin said in haste, unconsciously and without a thought. He was surprised with his words and so were Jungkook whose eyes widened at the implication of those words, an enkindled flame of hope dancing in those dark eyes. “More than friends,” Seokjin repeated after he put a thought into it, “But less than lovers.”

There was a minute hesitation on Jungkook’s part—to be involved in something without commitment was a scary zone to enter. But the love in Jungkook’s eyes kept shining as Seokjin’s decision started to wane. However, he remained firm until the younger nodded, “More than friends.” He said in a soft voice, “But less than lovers.” There was a short pause between them, unsure what they wanted to do after.

Eventually, Jungkook brushed his hand against Seokjin’s, his eyes darting from the side to the elder’s face before looking down on the ground. His voice was small, unlike the usual confidence he always had, as he hesitantly asked, “Would it be fine if I, uh—“He bit his bottom lip, sinking into a moment of doubt before swallowing his qualms and finally asked, “Would it be fine if I hold your hand?”

Seokjin smiled at him delicately before sliding his hand against Jungkook’s and lacing their fingers together, looking amused how the younger’s eyes widened and glistened with something akin to joy and fondness. Feeling joyful and fond himself, Seokjin told him, “Holding hands is something that we can do.”

It had been the happiest day of his life.

However, months passed by and the culinary student found himself dreading the coming 14th day of February once again.  His younger friend-not-boyfriend-but-seems-like-boyfriend friend dropped several hints and ideas about his plans for Valentine’s but Seokjin evaded all of them by changing topics. Eventually, Jungkook noticed his discomfort and confronted him about it.

“Did I do something wrong?” the younger had asked, his tone wary as nervousness flickered in his eyes that he tried to mask with his calm expression. “Hyung,” he called, biting his bottom lip as he unconsciously fiddled with the keys in his pocket. “Are you upset with me?”

Seokjin had been quite surprised when he heard his younger friend-not-lover’s anxious voice and he felt guilty for making him feel that way. With a sigh, he faced the other, “Jungkook,” he started but paused as soon as he called. He was unsure of what to say, afraid that Jungkook might find his explanation petty even when he knew that the younger was understanding. Still, Seokjin never got over his insecurities and fear, especially towards Valentine’s Day. So he decided to settle with, “I’m sorry. It’s just that I’m not quite fond of Valentine’s.”

He watched as realization dawned flashed in Jungkook’s eyes. There was a hint of disappointment that passed for a millisecond before a faint smile graced the younger’s features. “Ah, I’m sorry.” He scratched the back of his head, looking flustered, “Why didn’t you say so, hyung? It must’ve been really annoying to hear me bothering you about it, huh.”

“Not really,” Seokjin smiled, pinching the other’s cheeks earning him a not-so-scary scowl from the other. “It was quite cute.” He added before his smile mellowed down into a guilty one. He said, “I’m sorry I can’t indulge your Valentine fantasies.”

“Ah, no, hyung. It’s quite alright.” Jungkook said, shaking his head as he laced his fingers with Seokjin’s. A soft, gentle smile settled on Jungkook’s lips, despite the dejection in his eyes, “It’s not like I’m officially your boyfriend anyway. We can just spend the day with the other guys.”

The elder smiled, albeit with a little trace of guilt, and pressed a gentle kiss to the younger’s lips, a silent thank you delivered in the soft moment shared between them. He was grateful that he had such an understanding friend like Jungkook. He wondered why he had been so lucky to have him. To have someone willing to stay with him even if he had left him hanging. Seokjin would be lying if he said that he hadn’t thought about finally confessing to Jungkook and putting a label into their vague relationship other than the “more than friends but less than lovers” tag he placed on them. But he was still scared, although that fear was slowly waning through each precious moment he shared with the younger. He could only hope that Valentine’s Day doesn’t ruin anything that year.

But it did ruin a little something.

He and Jungkook may have agreed not to do anything grand on the 14th but they agreed to spend the day bonding with their group of friends that consisted of music major Min Yoongi, Law student Park Jimin, another culinary student named Jung Hoseok and Jungkook’s roommate Kim Namjoon whom he shared the same medical course. Seokjin promised to be with them and he was a person who always fulfilled his words. He doesn’t agree with the quote; ‘Promises are meant to be broken.’ but at that exact cursed date, he did just that.

His father decided to surprise him with a call, saying that he’s waiting for Seokjin at the airport, leaving the culinary student dumbfounded. He ended up departing from the group to meet his unexpected visitor which earned him his friends’ dejected looks and made him feel immensely guilty. He had been looking forward to it too. But family always came first so they understood and let him go, albeit hesitantly. Jungkook looked like he wanted to go with him but the elder explained that he should enjoy the day for both of them and besides, it’d be too early for the younger to meet his father. Seokjin decided to leave out the fact that his father was extremely conservative and adamantly against same-sex relationships. Although he paused for a moment in thought, reminding himself that he and Jungkook weren’t exactly in a relationship in the first place. But he decided to indulge himself with the thought of a possibility that they might date.

To say the least, it was another ruined Valentine’s Day but it didn’t faze Seokjin as much as it did a few years ago. He had come to terms that he can’t get anything good on the day of hearts and he's doomed to misery on the time that others were happy. However, one good thing that came with the day was the news that his family would be moving to Japan because of his father’s work. The culinary student had been ecstatic at the notion of living close to his family once more. The only downside to this was the fact that it was going to be harder to date with Jungkook now that his father was in the same city as they were.  

Still, their love for each other persevered and continued to bloom that Seokjin was quite sure his resolve was going to break anytime soon.

However, as their pure and honest feelings flourished and grew stronger as time passed, other feelings started to introduce themselves in their ongoing vague relationship. One of which was the growing passion and desire for each other. Their times alone hiding in corners and locked inside rooms with their tongues dancing together and hands all over each other increased, each session a minute longer than the last. Many times, they found themselves wanting more, holding on as if they were each other’s lifeline and pressing closer that their hearts beat as one. Suddenly, the sensations weren’t enough as there were too many obstacles and they eliminated it one by one—shirts unbuttoned and pants unzipped.

It took one party for them to finally lose themselves in their inebriated states. Without any restraint, without an ounce of control, they held each other in a night of passion. Jungkook’s hands gripped his hips tight, marking them with dark bruises as he pounded into him with rigor. Seokjin moaned wantonly as he clutched onto Jungkook, wrapping his arms and legs around him as he was driven to the pinnacle of lust.

“More,” Seokjin begged, eyes glistened with tears as his vision blurred and his mind blanked in the addicting mix of pain and pleasure spreading across his body like wildfire. He looked beautiful in his wrecked state, pleas dripping out of his sweet lips in a honey-like voice. Jungkook was addicted to his taste, his body, his feeling, his everything. He was addicted to Seokjin. The moment he saw Seojkjin, he knew from the very core of his soul that his heart, mind, and body were no longer his. His entire being was Seokjin’s and Seokjin’s alone. And as another plea erupted from the man in his hold, Jungkook was certain that he’d do anything, he’d give everything Seokjin ever asked from him. And so, he gave in to his angel’s desires, giving himself wholly only to him as they became one.

When they woke up the morning after that, both of them had been flustered when they recalled the events of the previous night. However, there was a satisfied feeling settled in their hearts and they couldn’t get enough of each other after finally having a taste of adulterated passion. Their friends have noticed how Seokjin limped when he walked and how Jungkook was always beside to help him if he needed anything. Not only their friends but Seokjin’s family has noticed his strange way of walking. However, the elder simply brushed it off that he tripped and hurt his foot.

Things were fine—still more than friends yet leaning further away from being less than lovers and into a zone that both were anxious to enter—between them until a few weeks later when Seokjin started feeling light-headed most of the times and vomited whenever he woke up to the smell of his mother’s cooking—which was quite strange cause Seokjin’s most favorite chef in the world was none other than his beloved mom. Still, on the third morning that he puked his guts out, his mother demanded that he should see the doctor albeit his refusal. It also didn’t help that Jungkook was pushing the same idea.

“I’m fine.” Seokjin had muttered adamantly, his words contradicting the paleness of his face and the dark shadows beneath his eyes. The medical student was clearly unconvinced as he frowned deeply, staring at the elder’s clearly sick profile. They were sitting on a bench already late in their first periods because Seokjin suddenly felt tired and lost his balance. He would’ve fallen on the ground if it hadn’t been for Jungkook steadying him. “You’re studying to be a doctor, aren’t you?” The elder said, “You can just check me yourself.”

“I’m still studying. I’m not yet eligible enough to diagnose you with anything or assume a sickness for you and what medicine you should take. What if you actually had something dangerous and there’s a need to run some tests or something?” The younger explained, exasperated, “It’d be much safer if you’d meet an actual doctor with more knowledge and experience. I’m still in my third year, hyung.”

“It’s just a passing feeling.” Seokjin pursed his lips, “Stress, perhaps. Exams are right around the corner and I have a project I’ve yet to complete.” He leaned his head against the younger’s shoulder when he felt another wave of nausea coming. With a sigh, he closed his eyes, “I’m just feeling tired. So let’s stay like this for a while, yeah?”

Jungkook furrowed his eyebrows, deep in thought. He didn’t mind staying for a while, they’re late for their respective first classes anyway so might as well ditch. However, he couldn’t brush the gnawing feeling of worry and suspicion growing within him. A part of him felt like Seokjin wasn’t feeling sick because of stress but he was actually coming down with something. And a part of him was worried about a tiny possibility—a certain condition he has read about in one of his many medical books. He could only hope that he was wrong.

A few more days passed, Seokjin found himself wearing a hoodie and sneaking into the nearest pharmacy to purchase one thing he never once thought he’d buy—a pregnancy test. He had succumbed to his mother’s (and Jungkook’s) incessant claims for him to see a doctor and he did just that but on the condition that he went alone. He didn’t want his mother babying him and probably embarrassing himself because he’s a college student and his mother still treated him like a child. He also didn’t want to bring Jungkook who’d go protective and whatnot over him as if he’s some fragile glass.

Generally, the younger man wasn’t one to treat Seokjin like a damsel and actually treated him like a capable man. However, one week of this sudden sickness and Jungkook was always on guard, afraid that he might lose his strength like he did once. At first, Seokjin appreciated the gesture but it became extremely annoying eventually. Thus, he found himself alone when he faced the doctor who told him that he was showing signs of pregnancy.

How it was possible, Seokjin didn’t know. He could vaguely hear the doctor tell him that what he had was a very rare condition that only a small 3.1% of the nation possessed. The doctor had mentioned something about genetic mutations and chromosomes but it was all lost on Seokjin who had the word pregnant on repeat within his muddled mind.

Still, he found it hard to believe thus he bought two each of five brands of pregnancy tests in the pharmacy, uncaring of the price. He just wanted to make sure and hoped that he could prove the doctor that he was wrong. However, all five brands were mirroring the harsh truth.

Positive. All of them were positive.

Kim Seokjin was definitely, positively pregnant. And he didn’t know what to do.

The thought of abortion had crossed his mind at first. But as soon as it passed, he was horrified at the notion. Murder was one thing he never wished to do—even more so, murdering his own child. Taking an innocent life away, without even giving the angel a chance to live life, would be such a huge sin that would hunt Seokjin down to the grave. Never. He would never do such a thing. Never in a million years.

But telling his parents was not an option. His father would definitely kill him and he was quite sure that his mother couldn’t do anything to save him and his baby by then. His father may love him and he loved his father dearly as well. But the man was homophobic to an extent. If his father could cut off all contacts with his own brother for being gay, why would Seokjin be an exception? Telling his parents was no option.

Telling Jungkook? No. Seokjin cannot allow that. Jungkook was still young—three years younger than him and just barely turned eighteen. He was a straight-A student majoring in the medical field and he had such a bright future ahead of him. There’s no absolute way that Seokjin could tell him the truth and ruin his life. Jeon Jungkook deserved so much more. And it would tear Seokjin apart if he was the one to covet his dreams and future away from him.

So he buried his problem deep in his heart. He lied towards his mother and to Jungkook saying that his sickness was just due to stress as he had assumed. They very skeptic about it but Seokjin was an extremely good liar when he needs to be—a talent he had developed under Hyosang’s influence in the past—they ended up believing it. Thought the medical student remained to have an ounce of doubt.

But Seokjin was good at keeping secrets.

Until a few weeks later, Valentine’s Day came with another huge slap on his face. He invited Jungkook to his home for the first time. After his parents have moved to Japan, he left the dorm and moved in with them. It was only a 15 minutes’ walk towards the university and two streets away from the apartment complex Jungkook stayed in.

He had invited Jungkook for Valentine’s Dinner with his family and the younger had been anxious about it. The culinary student’s father had assumed that they were close friends and was the one to extend an invitation. It had left Jungkook anxious to be meeting his friend-slash-crush’s family for the first time and Seokjin was equally nervous as he prayed for the cursed day to not curse him this time around.

And as if answering his prayers, the dinner went smoothly. Jungkook was an absolute charmer and his family was completely enamored. His father liked how intelligent and responsible Jungkook was while his mother appreciated his knowledge and interest in arts. Seokjin’s elder brother also happened to share common interests in music and games with him and Seokjin couldn’t even comprehend how proud and relieved he was that they liked Jungkook.

Even if there was nothing between them—no label, no commitments—he was at least glad that the father of his unborn child was well-accepted. Valentine’s had been kind that day.

But he had thought too early.

Jungkook had excused himself to the comfort room and Seokjin immediately volunteered to lead the way. There was a playful smile shared between them as mischievousness glistened in their eyes, coming to a mutual understanding of what they planned to do.

Seokjin ended up bring him into his room and inside his own personal bathroom.

As soon as they both entered and locked the door, Jungkook pinned Seokjin against the white walls and held him captive in his kiss. Their hands started roaming all over each other, touching fervently and desperately trying to close the space between them.

Seokjin couldn’t remember what had transpired in detail but he could recall how they both pulled away to catch their breaths and he pushed Jungkook’s firm chest with a playful smile, telling him to do his business or else his parents might wonder what’s taking them so long. With a chuckle, Jungkook told him to turn around as he’ll take a piss and Seokjin retorted by telling him that he’s seen Jungkook’s dick several times that it didn’t matter.

It had all been light-hearted as they left Seokjin’s bathroom, small playful banters thrown between them. They shared a laugh for a while about a topic he had forgotten about, Jungkook’s eyes scanning his room, gaze traveling from the white sheets of his clean bed, organized books arranged on his shelves to the Mario collection at the corner. The younger’s attention then turned to his study table, eyeing the papers and their contents. “Business Ethics?” Jungkook raised his eyebrow, reading at Seokjin’s notes. “You had business ethics?”

“Ah,” Seokjin exclaimed, scratching his blushing cheeks, “Forgot to tell you that I enrolled a minor business course. Jimin was taking it too and he convinced me to join.” He laughed slightly, “I didn’t expect to enjoy it though. I might have grown an interest towards entrepreneurship.”

“Hmm,” Jungkook hummed, nodding his head. A smile settled on his face as he observed Seokjin’s neatly written notes. The elder was so neat and organized with his note taking that he found it quite adorable. However, as he stared through the stacks of notes, a certain paper with a very familiar logo caught his attention. Medical reports. Jungkook would recognize it anywhere, especially the logo of the hospital his father worked in.

He vaguely remembered Seokjin’s sickness and how the elder claimed that it was simply due to stress. He had been skeptic of him but the culinary student had insisted that he was fine, thus Jungkook begrudgingly left it at that. However, with the medical report in front of him, he could know the true results and despite knowing that he had no right to snoop around, curiosity got the best of him.

But the contents of the medical report was something he wasn’t prepared for yet at the same time, something he had expected at the back of his mind.

Jungkook was studying to be a doctor and he already had his doubts. But he hadn’t thought much about it, especially with the smaller percentage of male pregnancy. Yet here it was in front of him—positive. Seokjin was pregnant.

Things were a blur after that. Valentine’s Night was ruined with Seokjin’s eyes shining with tears and walking out of the room, ignoring Jungkook’s call. He left the house without explaining anything to his parents and ditching Jungkook. He left too fast, both ashamed of being found out and afraid of what the younger might do. Seokjin was extremely afraid. So afraid that he hadn’t heard Jungkook’s words.

“Hyung,” the medical student had said, eyes wide in shock before the information fully processed in his muddled brain, “It’s alright.” He said to himself before repeating once again, “It’s alright, hyung.”

But Seokjin wasn’t there to hear it.

A whole week has passed and Jungkook hasn’t talked to Seokjin. The elder was good at evading the younger. His phone was shut off, he skipped classes and refused to meet anyone. His mother had been extremely worried but Seokjin brushed it off by saying that he was just tired and in need of rest. Thankfully, his older brother had to return to Korea for a few months and while Seokjin would miss him, he was grateful that the attention was focused on his brother as they momentarily forgot about his problem.

That didn’t last long however because the next person to discover his secret was his mother and then, most frighteningly, his father.

What had transpired then was the scariest thing that ever happened in Seokjin’s life. His father had always been strict but Seokjin understood that he only meant well and that he did it all for him. This time, however, he witnessed a side of the man he had never seen before.

His father had gathered all his stuff and forced him out of the house. The man was yelling at him, telling him how he was an abomination and shame to the family, his mother was pleading his father to stop and Seokjin was crying. He was crying as he gathered his stuff where his father had thrown them. Seokjin was trembling. He had never been this afraid before. His father had never been this frightening.

“I do not have a son who loves another man.” His father said in an acid tone, making Seokjin hold his breath at the implication of his words. “Not only did you love another man, you got yourself pregnant as well. You’re an abomination—a shame to this family.” The man’s words were venomous as he cast him with a fiery glare, “Unless you get rid of that sinful being inside you, you cannot come back here. From now on, until you learn your lesson, you are not my son.”

Seokjin was lost. For the first time in his life, he lost the only home he’d ever known. And now, he didn’t know where he belonged. Still, despite his already miserable life, Heaven continued to spite him as rain poured down him in his homelessness. He needed to find a place to stay or else he’d get sick and the baby—Seokjin thought in horror. He cannot lose the baby. No matter what his father’s words were, this baby was his. Nothing was ever going to take it away from him. No, not even the man who raised him.

Min Yoongi, his best friend, and former roommate was no option. Their old place was quite far and besides, Park Jimin whom he’s dating had moved in after Seokjin left and he didn’t want to bother him. He didn’t know where Jung Hoseok lived and he had no means of communication with his phone left at home—or rather, at the place he used to call home.

And thus, he ended up swallowing his fears and hesitations for the sake of his child and brought him to the apartment two streets away, knocking the door of his baby’s father’s apartment room. Jungkook’s eyes had been wide with surprise seeing him looking pitifully drenched in both the rain and his tears at his doorstep, and the younger had immediately brought him in.

Once inside, he changed his wet clothes into Jungkook’s, getting himself warmed as the younger prepared a warm milk for him. Things were awkwardly silent between them as Seokjin tried to organize his thoughts and Jungkook agonizingly waited for him to start the conversation.

By the time Seokjin had started talking, he came with a nervous, “I know you’re aware of this by now but I’m pregnant.” He said hesitantly, however, the younger remained silent, giving him all of his attention. “And I had sex with no one else but you so that makes you the father.” He refused to look up to meet Jungkook’s gaze and he wondered how the younger looked right now. Was he disgusted? Confused? Did he refuse to believe him? Seokjin started panicking then.

“I know that it sounds impossible but you saw the results.” He stated nervously, “I don’t know how all of his happened but the doctor said I got pregnant. He said I’m a part of a small percent of a rare condition—due to genetic mutation and something about my chromosomes, I don’t know,” By now, tears were slowly forming at the corner of his eyes, “But I’m so lost right now, I don’t know what to do.”

“I didn’t tell you about it because I’m afraid of what you might think and please, please don’t be mad at me. I don’t want to ruin your future and I—oh god, Jungkook I’m so sorry.” He sniffled, harshly rubbing the tears that were rapidly falling down his cheeks away, “It’s just that I’m so scared. I don’t know what to do and I’m pregnant and I lost my home. My father doesn’t want me anymore and I’ve got nowhere else to go but here.” He started trembling, tears refusing to stop falling, “Please help me, even if just for today. I’d understand if you don’t want anything to do with the baby and I promise to stop bothering you but just for now—“

“Hyung,” Jungkook interrupted him in the middle of his rant, finally deciding that he’s heard enough. He encased the trembling man into an embrace, feeling the other’s tremors and each shake breaking his heart. He was breathing heavily and Jungkook wanted to ease him, “It’s alright, hyung. It’s alright.” He said and Seokjin broke down again.

But Jungkook held him. He held him tightly, as if afraid to lose him.

When Seokjin’s tears had mellowed down, Jungkook told him, “I’m not going to let you deal with this alone, hyung.” He said. “It’s my child too. I’m not going to let you do everything on your own.” He pulled away from their warm embrace to stare straight at Seokjin’s tearful eyes, a determined look on his face, “We’ll deal with this together because I’m not running away from you. I’ll take responsibility as the father.”

Those words warmed Seokjin’s heart and he felt like crying again. And crying was what he did as he was enveloped in Jungkook’s warmth.

It had taken a while for Namjoon—Jungkook’s roommate—to finally internalize the fact that Seokjin was pregnant with Jungkook’s baby and they weren’t dating at all. He had claimed that he had always been curious about the rare case of male pregnancy but never expected to actually witness one in person. Both Seokjin and Jungkook had been thankful for him nevertheless.

He had been understanding and even expressed interest in becoming the child’s godfather in the future. Although his curious stares had Seokjin feel uncomfortable at first, he had gotten used to it and eventually learned to like how not only Jungkook but also Namjoon took extra care of him.

A few days with his stay with them, he scheduled an appointment with his doctor and Jungkook volunteered to go with him, despite his declination. The younger had classes at that time and Seokjin didn’t want him to miss anything but Jungkook had been stubborn. “It’s our child.” The younger insisted, “We should both go.” He brushed the bangs that covered part of his eyes and gazed at him as if he was his sun, moon, and stars, “Besides, I don’t want anything happening to you and the baby.”

Those words had warmed Seokjin’s heart and it made him feel giddy despite not wanting to. However, all those giddiness and warmth dispersed when they arrived at the hospital only to learn that the doctor he went to was Jungkook’s uncle and apparently the guy he had been close to dating and was the dear father of his child was actually the prodigy son of the CEO of this hospital.

“You didn’t tell me you were so—“The elder had been furious, hitting Jungkook’s chest as he pushed him away, feeling betrayed that all this time he thought he knew Jungkook but in fact, he knew nothing about him after all. “You were the fucking son of a CEO. You’re rich as fuck and you—“ Seokjin’s tears welled in his eyes, feeling shame creep up to him as he recalled the times he had given tiny gifts to Jungkook that were nowhere cheap but probably just a fickle thing compared to the younger’s branded clothes. Now that he thought about it, Jungkook’s gifts were often expensive and so were his clothes and stuff.

The younger looked surprised at his sudden outburst before he calmed, reminding himself that Seokjin’s pregnancy was probably affecting his emotions. “Hyung,” He called with the patience of a saint, “I know you’re upset about me keeping this a secret and I’m sorry.” He held the sobbing man’s broad shoulder, trying to steady him to no avail, “It’s just that I didn’t exactly want you to know about it and act differently.”

“No,” Seokjin cried, fat tears cascading down his cheeks. “You just wanted to embarrass me. You were probably laughing on the inside when you received my mediocre gifts, weren’t you?”

“What?” Jungkook’s eyes widened at the accusation, “No, hyung! Definitely not.”  He shook his head, ignoring the small retort coming from Seokjin, “I loved all of your gifts.”

“Liar.” Seokjin said with a pout, “I’ve never seen you wear or use them. You’re probably ashamed of them or just didn’t fancy them as much as you loved your branded stuff.” Tears started falling again as he cried, “It’s okay. I understand.” He sniffled, looking extremely pitiful yet adorable at the same time, “My gifts are worthless to you but it’s okay. It’s not like anything I give can compare to what your money can buy.”

A look of exasperation crossed Jungkook’s feature before he schooled a calm expression, side glancing their surroundings as people were gazing strangely at them. Thank goodness that they were speaking in Korean and none of these people could understand their language. He gently grabbed the crying elder’s hand and pulled him to a secluded corner.

“And now you’re so ashamed to be with me that you’re bringing us to a secluded place, huh?” Seokjin continued to depreciate himself, “Am I really that embarrassing to be with? Do I look like a—“

Jungkook pressed him against the white walls and silenced him with a kiss. The elder’s tearful eyes were wide in shock before he gave in to the other’s lips and kissed back, eyes closed as he savored the alluring taste of his tongue against him. When Jungkook finally pulled away to break the kiss, Seokjin’s face was red as he panted. The younger stared at him in the eye, his piercing gaze sending pleasurable shivers down Seokjin’s spine as his knees went weak at the intensity of his stare.

“I love you. I love everything about you—even the things that you gave me.” Jungkook stated, voice low and eyes ever attractive as his fingers traveled from caressing his tear-stained cheeks to touching his plump, red lips. “I’ve kept all your gifts and if it makes you happy, I can use them every day.” He was so close that he could feel his breath against his skin through his every word, “If it makes you happy, I’d do anything.”

Seokjin felt stupid. Stupid because his heart was filling in with so much love for the man in front of him. Stupid because there was nothing supposed to be going on between them. Stupid because he’s not supposed to fall when he had been the one to propose this vague relationship between them. The line between friends and lovers were starting to blur and Seokjin found himself lost in between.

He shouldn’t have been angry at Jungkook for not telling him. They weren’t dating and the younger had no obligation. Jungkook also shouldn’t feel obligated to make him happy. He brought this upon himself. More than friends but less than lovers. That’s what they should be. Regardless if they had a child or not, Seokjin was going to make sure that they stay that way.

Yet why does his heart hurt so much?

A few months later, his stomach started to show and both he and Jungkook agreed that he could finish this semester before taking a break from school. He started wearing oversized sweaters and baggy clothes and if his peers had noticed the change in him, they didn’t say anything. Seokjin wasn’t willing to let everybody know about his condition and the ones who only knew were he, Jungkook and Namjoon. He felt guilty for leaving the others out of the secret but he only hoped that they would understand.

“Jungkook,” Seokjin once said as Jungkook came back from where he had bought his salty cravings, grocery bags carried by his strong hands as he laid the popcorn, pretzels and ice cream that he had asked for in front of him. “I know that this had been difficult for you,” He stated hesitantly, eyes down on the ground before he braved himself to look at him straight in the eye, “But I’m very grateful that you’re doing all of this with me. The truth was that I was truly afraid that you would not want this child and I’d have to raise it alone. But I’m glad I have you here with me.”

The younger was silent for a while as he settled the bags down on the table and turned to look at him. He walked the short distance between them and sat on the couch adjacent to where he was. “Hyung,” Jungkook started, “You don’t have to feel grateful. I would have done it anyway whether or not the child was mine,” He stared straight at Seokjin’s eyes and said, “I told you already, hyung. I love you. Even more so now that you’re pregnant with my baby.” He reached his hand out and laced their fingers together, “We’ll get through this together.”

Together, Seokjin thought painfully. He was breaking. The lines between friendship and love were blurring and Seokjin can’t see where he and Jungkook stood. Together was something he wanted for both of them. But being together was also something he feared. Taehyung’s face was a blur in his heart, but the pain he left was a scar that could never erase.

Seokjin wanted to them to be together—to cross the line and put a label on them. But the fear crept up his heart and hindered everything between them. Sometimes, Seokjin wondered, if he hadn’t been so scared, would he have been in a better position by now?

Months passed and he held the baby in his arms, tears running down his face. He was beautiful. The bundle was so small, Seokjin was afraid that he would hurt the baby in his arms. Beside him, Jungkook was smiling fondly. He was a father. Both of them were already parents and in his arms was the most precious thing in the world.

Jungseok was his name. And they were going to protect him and give him all the best.

Valentine’s Day came in a few months. The relationship between Seokjin and Jungkook remained to be vague. They were still definitely more than friends but the love between them was growing stronger and stronger that Jungkook had never hesitated nor ceased to remind him every day that he loved him and Jungseok. Often times, Seokjin caught himself almost telling him back that he loved him too.

But Valentine’s Day came, dread filling him up as he held Jungseok in a protective hug, praying that nothing bad would happen to him again. But bad came in a form of a dinner invitation from Jungkook’s family. Seokjin had been nervous as heck then and he tried to get himself out of it but stopped when he remembered how much of help the latter’s family had been. They shouldered all of the expenses during his pregnancy and even their other necessities now that they moved out of the apartment Jungkook shared with Namjoon and into a place of their own.

Seokjin was nervous and it showed when he was frozen in his seat as he faced Jungkook’s parents. Their house—no, the mansion was grand and while Seokjin’s family may have been well-off, they weren’t this rich. It didn’t really help calm his nerves despite Jungkook massaging his hand where they held each other underneath the table and Jungseok was nowhere in sight. The baby was left in the nursery room somewhere upstairs with a hired nanny just so they could have this dinner together. Seokjin really wanted to see his baby because he truly can’t calm down and he needed his little ball of fluff to comfort him.

 “Seokjin, right?” Jungkook’s mother suddenly spoke to break the silence between them, her voice velvety and beautiful. She was extremely attractive with her black hair that was tied into a bun, her lips red and her eyes were bright and shone like stars. She spoke in Japanese and it took a moment for Seokjin to realize that she was not Korean and for a moment, a thought passed him that Jungkook was possibly half-Japanese but he couldn’t help the observation that the younger looked nothing like his mother.

In fact, Jungkook looked more like his father who schooled a calm expression, jet black hair and the same mysterious eyes that had first drawn the elder to him. “Yes,” Seokjin nodded, voice nervous as he spoke in Japanese, “Nice to meet you, Mrs. Jeon.”

The woman smiled before she said, “No need to be formal.” There was a glint of excitement in her eyes, as if her words delighted her, “Instead, you can call me mother.”

The elder’s eyes widened, not expecting her words as he turned to Jungkook in surprise who shrugged him with a good-natured smile. This was not what he had expected especially after watching all those dramas where the mother-in-law was always the evil woman trying to find all the mistakes in the relationship—not that he and Jungkook had anything but he expected some negative reaction especially that he basically got pregnant with Jungkook’s child.

But Mrs. Jeon’s reaction was anything but negative. In fact, she lathered her with affection, ensuring that he felt welcome and was treated well. She kept asking if he liked the food and tried to get to know him well but asking for his likes, hobbies and the course he was taking.

“I hope Jungkook is treating you well because you’re an absolute sweetheart. And if he’s not,” She cast a glare towards Jungkook who flinched, “You can always tell me and I’ll deal with him.”

“Ah, there’s no need for that,” Seokjin said, feeling the need to save the father of his child, “Jungkook treats me very well. He’s a very good help in raising Jungseok.”

“Of course he should be.” Mrs. Jeon nodded, “Both of you are dating after all.” She added and silence settled between them as both young men stared at each other awkwardly. Mr. Jeon seemed to have noticed the change in mood so he decided to cut in by calling for the dessert.

A while after that, dinner had progressed better than Seokjin had expected. He had a surprising discovery that Mrs. Jeon was infertile due to a medical condition and couldn’t bear a child. Jungkook wasn’t hers that was why he bore no resemblance to her. But even with that, the two were extremely close to each other as if they were truly a mother and a son.

As soon as they finished the food, Mrs. Jeon was excited to go to the nursery to play with her grandson and Jungkook accompanied her. Seokjin and Mr. Jeon stayed when the latter had asked to speak privately with the culinary student, making him extremely anxious.

This is it, Seokjin thought with dread, He’s going to kill me for making Jungkook a father at a very young age and interfering with his studies. I’m going to die.

“Seokjin,” Mr. Jeon started and the younger man flinched, “regarding your studies, when do you plan to resume your college?” There was a short pause between them as Seokjin was surprised with the topic he brought up, “Since you stopped due to the pregnancy, I assume you’d have to continue after Jungseok.”

Seokjin hadn’t expected that. He had thought about it several times and he truly missed college, especially that he absolutely loved his course. But things were difficult for him financially now that his family had disowned him, he can’t find a part-time job when he had to take care of Jungseok and Jungkook was still a student himself. All of their necessities and means of living were provided by the Jeon family and Seokjin couldn’t find it in himself to ask for help. He had come to terms that he’d have to wait for a while before he could probably resume his course.

As if he could read his mind, Mr. Jeon said, “You don’t have to worry about the money, we’ll be willing to pay for your tuition and everything else that you’ll need.” He added, “We only want to know when you want to enroll and if you’re willing.” At Seokjin’s wide eyes and silence, Mr. Jeon smiled, “You’re now a young parent and if you’re going to raise my grandson, you’ll need to be able to support yourself financially.”

“I—“ Seokjin stuttered, “I’m not sure if I can accept that Mr. Jeon. I mean, you’ve done so much for us and it would be extremely shameless for me to have you pay for my tuition. All the food I’ve been eating, the clothes I’m wearing and the shelter I have are from you. I can’t ask for more when you’ve given me so much.”

“All I have given cannot even suffice the half of what you’ve done.” Mr. Jeon said, placing a hand on Seokjin’s shoulders, “You’re raising a child, Seokjin. You’re raising my grandchild and I’m happy for that.” He said voice soft as he stared at Seokjin with kind eyes that resembled Jungkook’s, “All I have given and will give cannot even cover half of how grateful I am for you. For how grateful I am that you did not give up on Jungseok and how you decided to raise him.”

“I know many others who would’ve opted for abortion when it’s the easier way out. I’m not blaming any of them because it’s difficult but I’m especially proud of you for not giving up. For choosing to let my grandson have a chance to live.” Mr. Jeon said a strange expression that Seokjin couldn’t translate crossed his features, “Although I had been initially disappointed to hear that my son had impregnated someone, I’m proud of both of you. You may have done wrong but you didn’t run away. You faced the consequences bravely and I’m proud of that.”

“Mr. Jeon.” Seokjin trailed as he watched the man. Soon enough, Jungkook’s father enveloped him in an embrace.

“Thank you,” he whispered, “I know it was difficult but thank you.” Tears started welling in Seokjin’s eyes as he heard those words. Appreciation. That was something he hasn’t heard in a long while, aside from Jungkook, and hearing it made him feel so—made him feel so unexplainable. He broke down in that embrace as Mr. Jeon patted his back.

It is then that Mr. Jeon confessed to him. “You know, Jungkook may not be my wife’s child but she loved him very dearly. It had been difficult for me because Jungkook was not accepted by his father. Every day, it hurt me trying to explain to him that it was only him and I. He always got so lonely looking at other children and their complete family and I always wished I could give him more.” Seokjin listened intently to his words, trying to imagine little Jungkook sad and lonely and it pained him just to think about it.

Wait, a thought crossed Seokjin’s mind, Jungkook’s father?

“I am like you, Seokjin. I committed the same mistake and suffered from it.” Mr. Jeon said as Seokjin pulled away to stare at him with shock, “Jungkook’s father was my best friend and boyfriend and we did the deed. What I didn’t expect was to suffer from a rare case of male pregnancy and everything went downhill from then on.” He recalled into the past, remembering the difficult times, “My family disowned me and he refused to take responsibility. I was on my own and it was extremely difficult. Several times, I considered abortion and I almost did it. I went to the doctor for the procedure but when I lay down, thinking about the life inside me and suddenly, I couldn’t find it in myself to take away a part of me.”

“It had been very difficult and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else.” He said, “I understand what you went through, Seokjin, and I’m very proud of you for making hard decisions. And I’m also glad that Jungkook took responsibility for you.” Mr. Jeon smiled at him, “I’m proud of both of you.”

After their conversation ended, Seokjin found himself looking at Jungkook who had a joyful look on his face as he played with little Jungseok. When the younger noticed him and saw his tear-stained cheeks, the joy in his face mellowed down as he settled Jungseok in his mother’s arms and excused himself. He approached Seokjin to ask him what’s wrong but what he didn’t expect was for the elder to pull him into an embrace.

Jungkook was surprised by the sudden act, but he was even more surprised when he felt the elder’s shoulders shaking as he heard a sob. “Hyung?” he asked worriedly, “What’s wrong? Did dad say something to you?” Seokjin was quiet as he continued sobbing. Jungkook rubbed circles on his back, extremely worried about him. He felt guilt creep up inside him, blaming himself for forcing Seokjin to come to Valentine’s dinner with him when the elder clearly didn’t want to. He was about to apologize when Seokjin pulled away to face him.

“Jungkook,” he said, eyes glistened with tears as a smile graced his fingers, “I just want you to know,” he paused leaning closer to him as he let their foreheads touched, “I love you.”

The younger’s breath hitched at those words, eyes widening as his heart fluttered. He had been saying those three words to the other without any response. It’s not that he had expected anything. He had come to accept that fact that Seokjin may not feel the same way but his feelings never deterred. But now, he’s hearing those exact words from the man he had loved.

Jungkook broke down in tears. Seokjin was taken aback by his reaction, this was the very first time he was seeing the younger cry and the sight hurt him. “I love you too.” The younger choked in his tears, “I love you so, so much, hyung. Thank you.” He pulled him into an embrace, “Thank you. Thank you so much, hyung. I love you too.”

Seokjin snaked his arms around Jungkook as well and he smiled in their tearful embrace. He thought, for once, maybe this Valentine’s hadn’t been so bad after all.

“It’s alright,” he patted Jungkook’s back, trying to ease the tears of joy, “It’s alright, Jungkook. I’m very happy to love you.”

Valentine’s Day was the bane of Kim Seokjin’s existence. To him, it was a cursed date when nothing good ever happened and he was always showered by a series of bad luck. But maybe, he thought, all these things happen for a reason.

Tales are written with words unimaginable and phrases laced with sentiments, eternally engraved for you and I to either find solace in or bring out the waterworks. These stories are told, whether they’re mere rumors, made-up fantasies or half-truths, and they either die in the fire or live on in the walls of our minds.

People have stories of our own and none of these stories are better than the other. Life is full of hues, sometimes they may be lighter, sometimes they may be darker, and sometimes they may sit in between. But nothing is a shade uglier or a tint more beautiful. It’s simply a story with its own color, with its own words to say, with its own laughter to share, with its own tears to shed, with its own message to convey.

In Seokjin’s story, he had his own smiles to share, he had his own tears to shed, he had his regrets to ponder to, he had mistakes to fix, memories to go with and burdens to carry on. He also had experiences that taught him the way of things, cut him until I bled but patched him up to help him become stronger.

He had his own share of happiness, he had his own share of sorrow. He had his glorious moments and his downfalls. He also had challenges that pushed him to the edge, but in the end, brought him to the light and made him stronger. Life is full of challenges. Things come by, circumstances happen and they may make you or break you. But in the end, it is up to you whether you let the torn seams stay tattered or you pick them up and weave a better one.

And Seokjin chose to weave a better life.

Years later, he’s contented with a family of his own as he stared at the ring on his finger.

Valentine’s Day was the bane of his existence. But one day cannot ruin the rest of his beautiful year. Jeon Seokjn can live with it. As long as he had Jungkook beside him and his beloved son together in his life, he couldn’t ask for more.