one, two, three, jump.
take a breath. jump.
or take a step back.
you can do this. it’s just one step.
back or forth…
funny how one step can change a life!
that was the target’s name. the boy looked pretty even in his passport photo. such a pity. another victim, another innocent who had to go down because of their parent’s mistakes.
“ good luck.” a strong pat on the back. the air was so thin.
“ how’s it gonna be boss? will you do it personally or do you need men?” one last puff of the smoke before throwing it somewhere on the ground.
“ i’ll go alone.”
blood. the flowing red. who was he again?
aaaah he had forgotten his lighter.
the small apartment was drawn in complete darkness. just his taste. taking light steps not to make any sound, he reached the bedroom. unlike the rest of the place, there was a little moonlight coming through the open window. this boy is really reckless.
“ chae hyungwon.”
he opened his eyes slowly, looking at his direction. moving his limbs in a slow-motion, he sat up and crossed his legs.
“ could you make it quick?”
the target’s name. another victim because of his parent’s mistakes.
“ make sure to bring him alive.” a nod showing he was discharged.
the big mansion was hard to get through with all the security cameras, but there’s always a weak spot to everything. walking up the stairs, he found the boy sleeping with the lights on.
“ lee wonho.”
he panicked upon seeing a stranger by his bed.
“ how much do you want?”
Chapter 2: Two
everyone he ever loved dearly was gone. they had all left him, one way or another. he had no-one left. he was completely and utterly alone.
he still remembered him. wonho. they used to be inseparable. they had grown up side by side. either he was at their house or the other way around. and then one day, he had just disappeared. and that was 8 years ago.
“ oi wonho! give me my snack back you peasant.” wonho stuck his tongue out at the younger.
“ i’m older than you. you should kindly present me your snacks you brat.”
“ shut up. you’re older by one year. that doesn’t count at all!” he reached for the snack but the latter was quick to move his hand away.
“ even if i was older by one day, it would still count. you would always be my little bro and i would always take care of you.” he smiled brightly and ruffled hyungwon’s hair before giving the snack back to him. he hadn’t taken any from it during their bickering.
“ ugh, i hate math!” wonho groaned and let himself fall backwards on the king-sized bed.
“ yeah well, who doesn’t.” hyungwon laid down beside him.
“ i wanna run away. i’m tired. let’s just run away.” wonho intertwined his fingers with the younger and raised them in the air, looking at the linked hands.
“ and where would we go?”
“ anywhere. anywhere is better than here.”
“ chae hyungwon?” the police officer called.
“ yes.” he snapped out of his thoughts.
“ i’m sorry son. there’s still nothing on the guy you’re searching for.” hyungwon sighed. both out of relief and disappointment.
“ thank you sir.”
“ i feel like dying. i’m sick of their bullshit. why can’t our parents be normal like everybody else’s?” wonho touched his bruised lip. hyungwon wanted to kiss it better but he held back.
“ we’ll turn 18 in a couple of years wonho, then we’ll move out and we’ll leave it all behind us. starting anew.”
wonho had never looked at him with that look before. something between passion, hesitation and sadness. and maybe a spark of hope.
“ i hope it won’t be too late by then.”
‘ the son of the Lee family ( CEO of the Lee and Chae company ) had disappeared after killing his parents.’
Chapter 3: Three
he still remembered. all the blood. everywhere. on the walls, on the ground. it was all covered in a disgusting shade of red. they said wonho had killed them. that he had escaped after doing so. hyungwon had never believed that. he had never doubted him, not even for one second.
“ STOP! don’t kill it.” wonho came running in his room.
“ i HATE butterflies.” he screamed.
“ i’ll take it out. do you know what a painful process it went through just to be able to fly for a few days before dying? why would you kill it after going through so much just to have a little bit of fun?” the older grabbed the creepy creature gently between his hands and walked out of the room to the yard. hyungwon was watching him through the window.
“ i’m scared hyungwon. let’s just leave.”
“ what are you so scared of?” hyungwon chuckled as he could never understand what was so horrible about being here.
“ you don’t understand. i always knew. but last night i-…. i don’t want anything bad to happen to you. let’s just leave.” there was tears in his eyes threatening to fall.
“ it’s okay wonho. we’re gonna be just fine. the school year is almost over and then we’ll be going on a trip for the whole summer together. just the both of us.”
“ what do you think? delicious, isn’t it?” hyungwon swallowed.
“ i can’t taste food.” even he himself could barely hear his voice.
“ what do you mean?!” the girl’s high pitched voice rang in his ears.
“ it means i don’t have a tasting sense.” he took another bite.
“ how can that be? were you always like this? since birth?”
“ no, since i saw so much blood. over and over again.” the girl looked at him suspiciously.
“ i’m… i’m sorry. i think i’ll leave now.” he didn’t say anything.
Chapter 4: Four
“ i’m sorry son. your parents couldn’t make it.” the doctor left him with his tears there after that. three months. he had lost everyone he knew in only three months. three months since he had last seen wonho.
“ the company is yours by law. and wonho’s. but let’s not bring that murderer into this right now.” one of them said.
“ since you have no idea how to manage a company and you’re underage, we’re offering you a good amount of money. just sell it all to us.” another one of them talked.
now he knew. it was too late. he had gone through his parents’ workroom and read every file. now he knew why wonho was so scared and constantly asked him to leave. their parents were evil. these vultures in front of him weren’t any better. he sold the company.
“ do you think someone will love me in the future?” hyungwon turned his head to the side, looking at his best friend. moonlight had made his facial features even more beautiful than they already were.
“ i love you.” he heard the older chuckle and shift on the grass they were lying on.
“ you know what i mean. like a lover.” hyungwon didn’t reply although he wanted to repeat what he had just said.
“ chae hyungwon.”
he opened his eyes.
Chapter 5: Wonho
wonho was 12 the first time he ‘accidentally’ heard his parents’ conversation one night. it was way past midnight and he had just woken up from a nightmare. he had always been scared of the ghosts and the monsters that were there in the darkness. each night the housekeeper decided it was a good idea to turn off the light of the little boy’s room after he had fallen asleep, he would end up having a nightmare. in one word, he could not stand the darkness.
everything changed from that night though. he knew there was something way scarier than the monsters in his imagination. he knew that the ones he should really be scared of were his parents. he didn’t tell anyone though. he didn’t tell hyungwon either although the two of them shared every detail. he decided he had to protect the little boy from the truth. at least the latter’s parents were good people, just like he had thought of his own parents before figuring out the ugly truth.
that didn’t last long. things only got worse when he found out that hyungwon’s parents were indeed in this with his own. that the company they shared was nothing but a cover for all the dirt that was going on inside. he was 14 at that time.
“ hyungwon, do you ever think about going somewhere far away from here? somewhere no-one can find us?”
hyungwon looked at him confused and laughed shortly.
“ are you nuts? why would we leave our parents alone? both of us are the only heirs to the shared company.”
starting from 14, he had always tried his best to keep everything from hyungwon. the boy was too innocent for this. he would break if he knew what their parents really were. it didn’t stop him from asking him to leave repeatedly though. every time he saw what he wasn’t supposed to see or heard something that was supposed to be a whisper behind closed doors, he would ask hyungwon to run away with him.
“ why do you always say that? what do you hate so much about being here? it’s a nice city.” the wind blew in his hair and the sand he had carefully shaped like a little heart with the stick in his hand. inside the heart, he had written ‘ HWH ‘
wonho sighed. he had at least convinced him to go to the beach with him while their parents were doing some nasty shit back at their hometown. he didn’t want them to be there in case anything happened. he didn’t want hyungwon to b in any kind of danger.
“ what’s HWH?” hyungwon only smiled and started running away, asking wonho to come catch him. he was 16 at that time.
his parents had finally decided to abandon the facade. they had caught him going through the files. he had done it cuz he needed to know when and where their ‘operation’ was going down so that he could keep them both away from harm.
“ you should stop being a pussy. this is what you’ll be doing in a few years. you will follow our steps.” his father said in a tone, unlike his usual friendly masked one.
“ i will never become someone like you.” he couldn’t help the tears that were falling down on his cheeks.
“ it’s not like you have a choice. soon, we’ll bring you to one of the gatherings. you should start now that you know.”
“ i’ll rather die. i will never do stuff like that. NEVER.” BAM. the first time his father had ever slapped him. the corner of his lip started bleeding and he ran out of the house.
“ what happened to your lip? did you fight?!” hyungwon was so worried. the poor boy didn’t even consider his father in one of the options that could have done this.
“ yeah. some bully was trying to rob this small kid.” the younger smiled at him before reaching out and touching the reddened skin gently with his fingertips.
“ always a hero, aren’t you? you always take care of me as well.”
“ you’re my little brother, of course, i’ll always take care of you. no-one can touch you while i’m alive.” hyungwon’s eyes went sad for some reason and he retreated his hand and sat back quietly.
he was 17 and the beatings had gotten worse. if hyungwon knew what was really going on, he had never mentioned it.
“ i really wanna leave. but i can’t cuz you won’t agree to come with me.”
“ i will. let’s just finish high school first.” wonho had never sat up faster in his entire life. he looked down at hyungwon who was still lying on the grass.
“ you will?! but you’ve always said we should stay cuz we are the only heirs and the only childs.”
“ that was before you started getting all purple and green all the time. now i hate this place too. i hate seeing you hurt like this.” the younger reached his hand out to touch a fresh bruise on his neck but held back before touching the skin and stood up. “ i’m sleepy. i’ll go back home now.” and then he left. of course wonho didn’t let him leave alone. it was rather late at night and he knew what was going on in the darkness so he followed him, only kept a few steps between them cuz for some reason it seemed like hyungwon needed space.
a big messed up ‘operation’ was about to go down in a week. he had planned everything and had bought tickets to another country to ‘ have fun in the weekend ‘ with hyungwon. his father had told him he would not let him leave and escape like a ‘pussy’ this time again and that he had to go with them just to see how things are done. he had planned it all. he had saved a lot of money for this. he would leave the country with hyungwon and then he would tell him everything once they were out and they would never come back. they would disappear to some far away land. only if the tickets were a day earlier…
“ Lee Wonho.”
he shivered in his sleep hearing a cold voice calling his name. when he opened his eyes, he saw a tall, broad man looking down at him. with a gun at hand.
he managed to sit up despite all the trembling of his body.
“ how much do you want?” he couldn’t die there. he had to protect hyungwon. he had to get him out before he would get into this mess as well.
“ i’m not going to kill you.” and that’s when he heard it. the two gunshots. he froze on the spot, unable to move even one muscle. he knew his parents had been killed.
“ this’ll sting.” and that’s when he was hot with something that made his whole world go black.
Chapter 6: Hyungwon
hyungwon had loved wonho for as long as he could remember. he was the most soft-hearted person he had ever known. their parents were really hard on them not to become friends with others so they only ever had each other. not that he was complaining. wonho was all he ever needed in a friend and more.
he was 11 when wonho first said he wanted to leave. he was 11 when wonho started becoming quiet. the older had always been a cheerful ball of sunshine and then from one day his aura had become dark. he couldn’t understand why. he’d ask and the other wouldn’t answer and soon the question would be forgotten in their playfulness. he didn’t think much of it though. he thought it should be one of those puberty phases their home-school teacher had told them about.
one day wonho had run to his room. all in tears and shaking crazy. he had just hugged him so tightly hyungwon had trouble breathing.
“ what’s wrong?” he asked once the embrace had gotten a bit loose. wonho shook his head repeatedly.
“ nothing. i just had a very bad dream.” he then looked straight into his eyes.
“ please hyungwon. i’m scared. let’s leave this place.”
hyungwon hugged him tightly again and caressed his hair.
“ it’s ok wonho. it was just a dream. everything’s okay now. do you wanna watch a movie?” wonho didn’t let go of him that whole night. he was 13 at that time.
he was 15 when he realized that he was indeed in love with his only friend. his best friend. and it was since then that his heart started aching. at first he had thought maybe, just maybe wonho felt something for him back. because he was always so overprotective of him. especially since a year ago. the older would accompany him everywhere. he would arrange holidays out of the city or would just sign the both of them for camps that would last for days. he would never let him out of his sight. that’s why he thought wonho loved him back. but then he saw him eating one of the hot girl’s face at one of those camps. it wasn’t the only time he had to witness something like that. months passed by and the older’s make out partners would become more. he refused to think of them doing anything more than making out. he shook his head every time the thought of wonho doing it with some random girl crossed his mind. he was in love with his straight friend who only made his heart warmer each day by his constant caring and worry.
he didn’t know something could break his heart more than seeing wonho lips on others. when he first saw the beautiful pale skin of his secret love in bruises, his heart had broken into a million pieces. he still remembered the very first time he had seen him with a bloody lip. it wasn’t something important. he had shrugged it off but as time passed by, the bruises only became worse. he started to think maybe wonho’s parents aren’t as lovely as he thinks they are. maybe behind all the cookies and smiles and well-wishes, there is more. wonho couldn’t be this beaten by the bullies he always told him about. but he didn’t ask. he didn’t wanna make wonho uncomfortable. he should have asked.
he had decided. he would leave with wonho once they had both graduated high school. he even studied twice to be able to finish with wonho since he was a year older. his parents were hurting him, he was sure of it and maybe that was the reason why wonho had always wanted to leave so bad. all these years he had kept it to himself and hyungwon had ignored him, thinking he was being silly. he wanted to punch himself for being ignorant and a hypocrite so bad. he said he loved him to himself and yet he hadn’t noticed that his love was being abused.
wonho had shown him two tickets. to another country. they had traveled a lot but it was the first time they were going abroad. but he had told him to keep it a secret, not even telling their parents about it. maybe he didn’t want his own parents to find out through hyungwon’s parents if he told them? so he didn’t say anything. he would explain it later. his parents were nice. they would understand. maybe they would even help wonho if he told them about his situation. they were going to leave in two days. even thinking about being in another place, all alone with wonho made his cheeks blush. he was super excited about it.
only that day never came. the day before they were supposed to fly, wonho disappeared. the police said he had killed his parents. where the hell did they think a 17-year-old boy could find a gun? a sound-proof gun.
hyungwon didn’t stay. he had found the tickets wonho had bought them in his room when he went to look at the house the morning of the murder. he had secretly taken the tickets, both of them and had left. without telling anyone. he’d explain it later to his parents. they’d understand. he didn’t come back. he couldn’t come back. so he stayed at that foreign country, alone, and spent every night looking at the ticket that was supposed to bring wonho there with him. he lost count of how many tears he shed. deep down, he had hoped wonho would come there. that’s why he came in the first place. three months later, he got a phone call informing him that his parents had been attacked.
they didn’t make it. day one and he was already missing them. he went to his parents’ workroom, wishing to find the photo albums. and that’s when the whole world came crashing down on him. all he knew, all he believed his entire life was ruined in a mere couple of hours. folder after folder, he became more disgusted by his family. he didn’t know how to feel. hatred? guilt? shame? wonho had been protecting him from all this for years while he blindly thought his parents were the best in the world. they were the best, just at being the worst. he sold it all and gave all the money to charity. but he kept the files, he kept them all in a garage outside of the city. he had to wait for the right time to expose them.
8 years later, he decided it was time to send the documents to a police station he had found most trusted. little did he know the head of that station was working for the rivals of his parents’ company. rivals or not, no-one in their line of work could have some boy exposing the whole society to the world. hyungwon had to die. he knew too much.
Chapter 7: HWH
this chapter is a bit violent! so DO NOT READ if you are sensitive to such context.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
8 years. it took him 8 years to decide it was finally time. he knew they would come for him as soon as he had sent the info to the police. so he spent 8 years traveling and doing things that were on his to-do list. they all included wonho as well but… you don’t always get what you want in life.
he kept searching for him. every two months he would visit the same station he had once reported the missing of the latter. every month he came back with no news whatsoever.
he had developed good hacking skills during the years. that’s how he knew most about the officers in the stations he had chosen. but he knew, he knew what he was about to do was a suicide attempt nevertheless. there was always that one unfaithful employee everywhere.
he chose two stations in every city in the country and sent the documents to all of the member’s emails. in addition to that, he had chosen a few higher ranks that had done some pretty good stuff against the illegal underground activities. he hoped that even if he was to get killed for this, at least one person would do something and get the case going. he was only the first step.when he pressed on the ‘enter’ button and sent them all, he took a deep breath, sat back on his chair and decided he had to wait for his assassin from that night on.
“ could you make it quick?”
he didn’t want to look at the killer. he was one of them. one of the guys who had killed their parents. what was there to look at anyway. so he lowered his head and closed his eyes, waiting for the end shot.
“ you knew we were coming.”
it wasn’t a question. more of a statement with a very low and soul-less voice. the voice rang in his ears but he kept his eyes close.
“ sadly i can’t make it quick. my boss wants you in pieces. told me to make sure you’ll die in pain.” he heard steps, walking around the room. and then he heard shuffling, the killer had closed the window and the curtains.
“ tell me, why did you do it when you knew you’d get killed?” the sound of a chair getting dragged by the bed and the killer sat down.
“ someone had to.” a chuckle.
“ and that someone had to be you? do your parents know about this?!”
hyungwon opened his eyes in disgust when he heard the mention of his parents.
“ my parents were nothing but evil and you killed them.”
“ huh. well… you reap what you sow.” a pause
“ and you? what will you reap after killing innocent people?” he looked up until he could see the man’s thighs and the hands on his lap that held a sound-proof gun.
the killer didn’t talk for about a minute.
“ you’ll die soon so there’s no point in keeping secrets, is it?” he shifted in the chair, putting the gun on the table nearby.
“ killing is all i’ve ever known. i don’t remember anything other than this. torturing, the blood, everything just comes as normal as breathing to me.”
“ now, be a good boy and tell me where you keep the copies and then maybe i’ll end you quickly.” the voice kept ringing in his ears.
“ you can break me piece by piece and i’ll never tell you anything.” there was a moment of silence like everything was still. and then in a blink of an eye he was forced on the bed with hands around his neck. he looked at the killer due to the shock and grabbed the wrists that were chocking him on instinct. a car passed by the street and the light from it made the room bright for a moment. and then he saw his face.
“ you’re a pretty one. it’s true what they say. the pretty ones are always the dumbest.” his face had no emotion in it. voice low and soul-less.
“ you know nothing about pain kid. but don’t worry. i’ll show you what real pain is.” the fingers around his neck tightened as he kept staring at the killer with widened eyes and the tears started falling down from on his temples, disappearing in his hair. he was about to pass out, he knew it was the end when the man let go of him all of a sudden and he found himself bending in half, trying to breathe as hard as he could, coughing nonstop.
“ why…” he couldn’t find his voice to talk.
“ hm? why? why what?” the eyes of the killer had a satisfaction in them, although it looked like he was a dead man moving his limbs on auto-pilate.
“ why are you doing this?” the killer chuckled as he took a pocket knife out of his jacket.
“ i told you. i’m gonna show you pain.” he opened the knife. “ unless you tell me where the copies are and i’ll cut you some slack cuz you’re pretty.”
hyungwon couldn’t help the tears.
“ aw, breaking so soon little kid? i’m disappointed. i thought you were a brave one.” the man closed the gap between them as slapped him as hard as he could. hyungwon felt like the whole world was spinning and he knew his eardrum was ruptured. he lied there, on his stomach and his head buried in the mattress, didn’t even have the strength to move an inch. soon a hand ran through his hair and tightened around it so hard, he felt how a few of his hair were ripped. the man was very strong. he made him look up as he crawled on his back.
“ you see this?” he whispered in his ear that kept buzzing as he waved the knife in front of his eyes.
“ it has a poison on it’s blade. one little cut can make you go insane by the pain you’ll feel. make it easy on yourself. tell me where the copies are. i don’t like torturing the pretty ones.”
“ then don’t.” he cried with the little voice he had. “ stop this. it’s not who you are.”
the latter laughed and tightened his grip in his hair.
“ and how would you know that?” he whispered extremely close to him, he could feel the hot breath against his skin. and then he let go of his hair and crawled out of the bed, leaving him there. hyungwon watched him as he looked around the room and turned the laptop on.
“ your birthday.” he said while trying to sit up. the man raised an eyebrow at him.
“ very funny.” and then his expression became something scary.” i’ve been going very easy till now you little brat. don’t test me. password.”
“ i told you. it’s your birthday.” he paused “ the password’s your birthday, wonho.”
the man sat back in the chair.
“ wonho? so i look like someone you know? explains a lot. ok then, tell me his birthday. this wonho guy.”
hyungwon swallowed between the endless tears.
“ March 1st 1993 “
the man pressed the keys and then silence. hyungwon watched him as he went through all the files.
“ there’s nothing here.” he frowned his eyebrows.
“ i might be pretty like you’ve always told me but i’m not dumb.” hyungwon smiled a bit remembering all those times wonho had called him the prettiest boy he’d ever seen.
the killer’s eyes narrowed as he bit on the inside of his cheek. he stood up and walked towards the bed in slow steps and stopped right in front of him. he exhaled roughly as he ran his fingers through hyungwon’s hair several times, looking at his facial features. hyungwon couldn’t help but stare at him. at his wonho. it was wonho. it had to be. no-one could look so much like someone, could they?
“ you really have a pretty face, you know? you’re lucky they sent me here instead of harry. he would ruin you in every possible way. to your luck, i don’t like boys.” he licked his lips. “ what i like, is leaving some artistic marks on pretty faces. your eyes would look good with some cuts around them, don’t you think?”
hyungwon inhaled a shaky breath as he grabbed the latter’s wrist.
“ what did they do to you?” wonho, or the killer, looked at him in confusion and took his hand away, taking a step back. a couple of minutes passed as he spent them staring at hyungwon’s eyes with pure confusion and something else, something like recalling as his skin grew paler. “ that’s none of your business.” he spat and ran his fingers through his own hair. the action made his shirt lift up a bit and hyungwon could see the mole by his belly button. that was him. that was his wonho. he smiled as his tears doubled.
“ you’re walking on my nerves here boy. i’ll count to ten. either you tell me where you hid the copies or i’m gonna make you regret even being born.”
“ you always protected me.”
“ you loved butterflies.”
“ you hated math.”
“ you had a pet turtle.”
“ you were scared.”
a little pause.
“ you always wanted to leave.”
wonho flinched. he kept staring at him with a deep frown as his lips parted slowly. his gaze moving from hyungwon’s right eye to the left one. it looked like he was searching for something.
and then it happened. a sudden cry in pain as he took his head in his hands and bent down. his whole body started shaking badly as he landed on his knees, he was screaming in pain. was he remembering things?
hyungwon was quick to run to him. he held him in his arms as he drew soothing patterns on his back. after a long while, wonho calmed down a bit, panting really hard.
he lowered his hands from his head as he kept staring at the ground.
“ it’s okay wonho. you’re okay now. we’re gonna run away. together. no-one can find us.” wonho didn’t say anything at first but then when the words registered in his head, he pushed hyungwon away from him harshly. he stood up and stumbled towards the table and took the gun in his hand, aiming in at hyungwon who sat there on the ground.
“ who are you? what did i just remember? what… what the fuck did you do to me?” there were tears in his eyes, threatening to fall down.
hyungwon sat straight and smiled at him.
“ what did you remember?” he tried to keep his voice calm.
“ i… the house… you!” his body was visibly shaking as he pressed his free palm to his temple again.
“ of course you remember me. we were best friends. we grew up together. until i assume, they took you with them.”
“ they?” wonho shut his eyes in pain.
“ on the day your parents were killed, you disappeared as well wonho. you don’t remember any of it?” he crawled a little bit closer carefully. wonho kept shaking his head and wincing in pain and the hand he was holding the gun with lowered a bit.
“ i don’t remember anything from my past. my boss said i had an accident during one of the missions.” then he caught hyungwon getting closer by the corner of his eyes.
“ stop.” he aimed the gun directly at him again. “ don’t fucking move.” he stared at him.
“ what did you do to me? this can’t be real. this has to be some sort of a hallucination.”
“ it’s real wonho. they have manipulated your memories. you’re not this person.”
“ my name is not wonho. it’s hoseok and now shut up.”
“ you have a tattoo on your foot. another on your thigh and well,,, one on your butt.”
“ how-…” another wave of pain and wonho came down on his knees again. whatever they had done to him, it must have been hella powerful and effective. wonho was fighting against it so hard as it seemed. hyungwon crawled closer and slowly, he closed his fingers around wonho’s and took the gun out of his hand. he threw it on the bed as he closed the gap and hugged wonho as tight as he could. the skin of his skin was burning so bad and his ear was killing him but he ignored it all. he had found wonho, that was all that mattered.
he didn’t know how much time had passed. hours? minutes? but wonho had calmed down as he sat there, back against the wall, looking at the ceiling without a word. he had moved away from hyungwon who was leaning on the bed next to him. the sound of buzzing filled the room and wonho took his phone out of his jacket.
“ yes sir.” he looked at hyungwon with an empty expression.
“ it’s done sir. i’ll be back shortly.” he ended the call and stood up. gathering the gun and the knife and putting them back in his jacket he looked at hyungwon hesitantly.
“ pack what you need fast and leave. go somewhere far away and live a quiet life. don’t ever interfere in such things again.” and then he turned around and started walking to the door. hyungwon ran after him and grabbed his arm with both hands.
“ what about you?” he was scared. scared that wonho would leave him again. scared that despite remembering the past, he was still gonna remain the killer cuz that’s who he was now.
“ what about me?” he asked back looking dead serious in hyungwon’s eyes.
“ come with me. please. i know places we can hide for the rest of our lives and just… live peacefully.”
“ good. go there and live peacefully.” he pushed hyungwon’s hands away and started walking again. but the younger didn’t give up. he couldn’t give up. he hugged him from the back tightly, with all the strength he had and more.
“ please wonho, please. don’t leave me. not again. they manipulated you. i don’t know what they did but they… whatever they had made you do, it’s not who you really are. please.” wonho stood there silently until he was done talking and then slowly he turned around to face hyungwon. he smiled for the first time that night and caressed hyungwon’s cheek gently before he ran his fingertips on the marks his hands had left on the younger’s neck.
“ they didn’t make me do anything. they gave me a gun, they told me to kill and i did. and i enjoyed it.” he kept tracing the marks with his index finger.
“ i enjoyed every little whimper and cut and drop of blood that came out of their skin hyungwon. i remember who i used to be now but that’s not me anymore. i was wonho, the person you knew, but now i’m just hoseok. all i know is how to kill, how to torture and how to get rid of bodies. right now, although i know you, although i know how much i cared for you, i’m having a real hard time to not just wrap my hands around your tiny neck and break it.” he looked up at hyungwon’s eyes with a look that made a shiver run down the younger’s spine. it wasn’t his wonho looking at him.
“ pack. and leave.” he took his hand away from hyungwon’s neck and took a step back.
“ if i were to come with you, they’d know something was off and they’d come for me. for us. i assume the boss knows who you are. and he knows who i am. it must’ve been one of his dirty little tests sending me here. so leave fast before he sends someone to check if i have really killed you. you have an hour. hurry.” and then he left. for several minutes hyugwon was left there standing in shock. was the wonho he knew really gone? he couldn’t believe it. he didn’t want to believe it. how could someone as soft-hearted as wonho turn into a murderer who enjoyed every little damage he’d cause to the victim?
he packed his passport, the fake one, his wallet, his laptop and phone and ran out. he would need his phone. for tracing wonho. for finding their base. after all, he had predicted this. he had put a tracker in wonho’s jacket while hugging him. he just hoped he wouldn’t find it.
it took wonho two weeks to get out of the place he had been at. hyungwon didn’t leave the city that night. instead, he followed wonho to their base and stayed at a close-by bed and breakfast. it was a huge risk but what did he have left to lose anyway?
it was 2AM when the older guy came out of the front door and hyungwon’s phone started beeping. he quickly woke up and started changing his clothes. wonho was finally out of that hell-house again.
it took him a little while to get a taxi cuz he had to walk to another street first ignorer not to be seen by any of the members of the base accidentally so it took him a little longer than he thought to arrive at the place his phone was showing him. the highest building in the city. it was showing him that wonho was on the roof. was he torturing someone there? would he kill him if he saw him again? it didn’t matter. he had to see him again, whatever the consequences.
wonho remembered. after so many years of wondering what the lost memories must’ve been, he could finally remember. he had come to kill the person he had cared the most in the world once. hyungwon. his best friend hyungwon.
he couldn’t tell him the truth. that they always need footage, proving that one had indeed killed the person they had been sent to kill. instead, he had lied. he had said he enjoyed every little bit of it although he hated it all to his very core.
now he remembered, all the stuff they did to him after kidnapping him. the things they did to break him more and more until they had made him into a puppet that would do anything they asked without remembering a single thing from his life before them.
that night, when he had gone back to the base, he took a good amount of beating. he kept on saying he killed the boy and got rid of the body but had an accident and lost his phone so he couldn’t show them the image. he had actually made himself have an accident so that he would have injuries to prove his statement. they have believed him after not finding any trace of the younger after a week of searching and after another week he was allowed to leave the base again. so he did. he wanted to stand on the roof he used occasionally to calm down through these years. he had always come here, standing on the edge of this very roof, after killing each innocent soul. he would always go as far as taking that one step and jumping, ending it all until a voice in his head had stopped him. now he knew, that voice belonged to hyungwon. all these years, he had been with him in the deepest part of his heart. but he couldn’t have left with him. not after everything he had done. tonight he would finally take that step. forward, not backwards like he had always done in the past.
he took one last deep breath before jumping when the door opened and he heard the voice, shouting, telling him to stop.
“ you’re just like before. you never listen, do you?” he looked ahead of his feet, at the ground that was so far from up here.
“ shut up. step away from there, wonho. for fuck’s sake, come down from there.” his voice was desperate.
“ there’s no point anymore. you know…” he took a deep breath and took his phone out, glanced at him for a second before stretching his hand and letting go of the device, watching how it went down until he couldn’t even see it anymore. it must’ve torn into pieces after the crash. “ you were never a smart one. always dealing with things emotionally. now you’ll die because of your own stupidity.” he looked at the younger from over his shoulder.
“ will you kill me?” he asked while walking closer to him. wonho didn’t flinch.
“ me?” he laughed “ no. the only person i’ll be killing is myself for all the horrible things i’ve done.”
“ it’s not your fault. if it’s anyone’s fault, it’s mine.” his voice was weak and shaky. wonho looked at him. he was there a few steps away to his right.
“ why would anything be your fault?!” it didn’t make any sense.
“ it’s just like you said. i was always emotional, thinking my parents were saints. i never saw them for what they were. if… if i knew, if i had agreed with leaving the many times he asked me to, then none of this would’ve happened.” wonho chuckled and looked up at the sky.
“ nothing would have been different hyungwon. we were kids. we knew shit about hiding. wherever we would have run to, they would find us in a blink. just like that.” he snapped his fingers together. “ we would always end up screwed up because of our fucked-up parents.” he shrugged like it was nothing.
“ so what? you’re gonna kill yourself now? leave me with them knowing they could find and do god knows what with me?” wonho looked at him again and tilted his head.
“ feel free to join me then. there’s enough space for two bodies down there.” he giggled. hyungwon frowned his eyebrows deeply. “ you’ve gone mad.”
“ you would too if you had done the things i did as well. isn’t it funny? just one bullet, one cut, or one step, like this, could change a life? if i take it forward, everything will end, and if backwards, i have to breath this shitty air again, but this time it’ll be with you until they find and kill us both.” he paused and let the wind run through his hair. “ i don’t wanna be killed by them hyungwon.”
“ i know this place.” hyungwon took his hand in his. “ in Ireland. it’s.. it’s really far far away wonho.” his voice was shaking. “ let’s go there. we’ll…we’ll stay there for the rest of our lives. they are really nice people. iv’e been there.” he held onto wonho’s hand tighter, his hand starting to get wet with all the stress. “ they’re mostly old people wanting to live peacefully until they die. no-one will know us. we can find you a wife.” a few tears rolled down his cheeks as wonho watched him in silence. “ we could go fishing. we could just… we could just be. please. at least let’s try it out. if they find us, then it’ll be better to die in a beautiful place than this shitty city. hm? what do you say?”
“ hyungwon…. you don’t understand. i’ve killed innocent people. i don’t deserve to live.”
“ i know. maybe you’ll pay for your sins in the afterlife but give yourself a second chance while you’re alive. it’s not like you chose this.” hyungwon’s thumb kept rubbing on wonho’s hand as his desperate eyes kept begging him. maybe he could give himself another chance but would it mean anything? he would probably never be set free from his nightmares. maybe he should just try it out as hyungwon said. he could always kill himself if things didn’t work out…
thank you for reading this story till the end. i hope you liked it. comments are appreciated and please check out my other stories if you felt like it :)
i wanted to finish this another way but then figured so many people will be thirsty for my blood so i decided on a smoother end.
so you could also imagine wonho remembering all of his memories after killing hyungwon and then committing suicide... or not...