"I can't believe we just signed up for Selection day."
"I know! It's exciting right?" Donghyuk yelled in pure enthusiasm even if he was faced with his friend's rather drab expression.
"You couldn't detect my de-testment to this idea?" Junhoe, who was 17, asked softly and his best friend, who was the same age, looked at him happily. His friend's stomach grumbled loudly causing Junhoe to look down at the food he had taken for his family and then at his friend. Gently, he handed over his apple, the only food he'd have in some time.
"Thank you," Donghyuk whispered taking it from him. Taking a bite, he hummed softly, "I want to be selected by a nice family."
"Why?" Junhoe looked at his friend crazily.
"Because I would never go hungry again. They would clean me, bathe me. All I would do is just be their baby and they'd love me. I don't have that... my family never loved me and never will." Donghyuk whispered now.
"But to want to be a baby? It's basically kidnapping!" Junhoe yelled.
"You signed up with me, didn't you?" Donghyuk looked at his friend seriously now. The two looked at the box that withheld their sign-up sheets and Junhoe's stomach turned ever so slightly.
"I'm just going because last time I found 100 dollars. No one would ever choose me." Junhoe muttered. "I have a family here."
"A family that hates you... that despises you." Donghyuk rebuttled and Junhoe's heart shook a little at the facts his friend was stating. "Being a baby, you'd get to start over and be happy."
"I'll see you around," Junhoe whispered.
"I'm going to prepare for the selection. Please, prepare for the selection, friend." Donghyuk called to him and Junhoe turned back to look his friend in the face.
"Will, I ever see you again?" Junhoe now thought about how he might never see his best friend again, but the boy was gone now. Out of earshot.
So, Junhoe turned to go back to the home where he was unloved, but he needed to care for.
Selection Day also called Deciding Day was brought to Korea from China because they had similar issues within their nation. They had implemented it due to the fact their nation had truly grown an overpopulation issue because everyone was having so many babies. So, it was made illegal to have children anymore. A lot of people were forced to become sterile by raids that happened in the beginning. Some were overlooked because their partner was dead.
Junhoe looked at his youngest baby brother who was only months old. This baby was illegal. His eyes looked to his 2-year-old sister, Jiae, and then his 4-year-old sister, Nuri, both were blamed for the overpopulation and the depletion of their homes. The reason why people were so poor.
His mother has many children because she always wanted many. Junhoe thought it would have ended at their 12-year-old little brother, Seunghyun, but no. It was 7 of them not including his mother. That was a difficult amount of people to look after and to hide.
His eldest sister Yejin cared from them now. Having found herself a partner who always would help with everything. Though through it all Junhoe got forgotten. Somewhere in their timeline, Junhoe was just seen as a source to get food, not as a son or brother.
"Shouldn't your ass be preparing for Selection Day?" His mother harshly asked and Junhoe's eyes softened as he could feel himself sadden ever so slightly.
"I don't want to be picked. I just did it, so I could find us some money." Junhoe whispered. "For us, for our family."
"If I were you, I'd want to be picked." His 14-year-old brother, Bohyuk, sighed. "Anything is better than here."
The Selection Day was brought over by the family of Kim Jinhwan. Selection Day was the day rich families, couples, and people located in Seoul, Incheon, and Yongin would find their babies. They would come and look over the teenagers, then decided who they wanted as their child because they couldn't have any since as said it is illegal and many rich families are sterile.
And Junhoe had just signed up to be one of those participants. He actually couldn't believe himself. Though as he stared at his family and watched them move as a unit while he stood off to the side and felt like he was an outsider
Maybe being chosen would be so bad.
No one told Junhoe goodbye when he left. Though, he made sure to leave all of his good things out and waiting just in case— no, he's coming back here. He'll come back home to Daegu. To his family even if they liked it or not.
Junhoe tried to see if he could catch Donghyuk on their way into the area where the selection was taking place. He gave up and decided to get it over with. He was tired, hungry and wanted to get this over with so he could go home.
First was the medical exam, where a doctor poked and prodded Junhoe around. Checking him for diseases and more. They marked he was severely underweight and very violent because he had kicked a doctor who came near with a needle. He was then strapped down for the rest of the exam.
Next, they took him to clean him up after finding out he was in a great deal of health besides his weight and possibly mental illness that resides as depression. And marked every bruise and scar he had. They trimmed his long and unruly hair, then decided to put a hairband around it. Junhoe happily took it— or rather begrudgingly did. They changed him out of his clothes and put him into one of the viewing gowns deciding he looked pretty in pink, that was what he was in after he put a rather big fight telling them he wasn't some little girl.
After it all, he was dropped into his line— number 143 out of 200 other boys; they split the genders. Junhoe sighed as he sat in the dirt and looked around. It was 10 rows of boys, 20 in each and Junhoe couldn't spot Donghyuk. They were all so far apart from one another.
"Do you know when this thing starts?" Junhoe asked softly to the boy next to him. He just shrugged
"Whenever they decide to come." The boy sighed and poured deeply. "Why did I ever sign up for this?"
Junhoe turned awkwardly away as the boy sobbed to himself. Having a literal breakdown of being chosen— if he was chosen. Junhoe wasn't a crier, but he wasn't about to stress about this. There was no way he could be picked with so many other boys waiting and ready.
Junhoe pulled the hairband off and let his hair fall into his eyes. He twirled the strand around his finger letting himself fall into a sense of security.
As he finally got the strand to curl, pretty white cars pulled up and many people came out. Junhoe's eyes widen seeing them, they all looked so important and so filthy, stinkin' rich. Some were so picky, poking and touching on the boys to see how they felt and how they'd act. Some were rather quick and took one right away.
Junhoe didn't care though, he just started to twist his hair now. A look of determination painting onto Junhoe's face as he tried to make the hair stay. Sighing, he rubbed his socked feet in the dirt drawing out mindless things, like a heart.
"Oh... Well, aren't you precious?" Junhoe froze hearing a soothing voice. It was a female, but she was in some uniform, looking the boy over. Junhoe took no care in her strange outfit, but stayed disgruntled.
"Go away." Junhoe huffed and went back to drawing his heart. He didn't really care to see if she left, but he knew she was watching him intently as he kept his determination to draw a tree-heart. The motion from the woman brought Junhoe back as he kept his head tucked down, trying to ignore her, but she just didn't get it.
"I think he'll love you." She whispered, now squatting down looking at Junhoe. "Look up for me, darling."
"Can't you go away?" Junhoe whined, looking up with a pout. Suddenly, he heard a camera shutter and the lady happily looked at him.
"Did you twist that yourself?" She asked again in that stupid tone. Junhoe decided to ignore her now and went back to his hair. Maybe she'd get the hint and beat it. The boys around him watched with wide eyes at the woman and then at him. They were waiting for her to move on, obviously, this wasn't a good fit and she'd give up, but no.
All Junhoe knew was she finally stood up and walked away. He was so happy, but then she came back again with a worker.
"Kim Jiwon wants this one." The woman pointed to Junhoe who gasped at him.
"What?" Junhoe asked softly.
"As he wishes." The worker then talked into a walkie talkie, "Boy #143 has been chosen by Kim Jiwon, please come retrieve him for departure."
"NO! WAIT!" Junhoe screamed and only thought to do one thing and that was to run. He stood quickly, but the room spun. He saw the guards everywhere, but he could outrun them, he was sure of it. Though, the pain in his stomach rendered him useless and he just passed out.
"They all do that. Don't worry Jiwon-ssi will love his new little boy."
Junhoe's eyes felt heavy when he woke up. Looking up, he saw a man peering down at him causing Junhoe to jump up quickly, only for him to feel a spike of pain.
"Oh~What am I doing here?" Junhoe looked around the room and his eyes widen seeing the childish wallpaper. Little devices for distracting babies were present, along with coloring books and crayons.
Junhoe hasn't been to many doctors in his life, but he could recognize one when he saw it and he was in a doctor's office.
"Hello sweetheart, I'm Dr. Lee and you're at the doctor's office. It's even more special because you were chosen to be someone's bouncing baby boy!" Dr. Lee chirped and Junhoe's eyes widen remember passing out, his bottom lip stuck out now as he thought over it.
"You have to let me go," Junhoe whispered the doctor's once happy facade had slowly dropped to an unhappy one. "Tell them I died. I have a family to return to!"
"Now, now is that any way to act? You should be thrilled! You'll be fed, clothed, and protected. Someone will love you and do your every whim. You'll live like a little prince!" Dr. Lee remarked and Junhoe shook his head even more to the dismay of Dr. Lee.
"This is wrong. I don't want to be here, I don't want to be someone's baby. I'm a fucking teenager, let me fucking go!" Junhoe's voice spiked as he now kicked at Dr. Lee sending him into the chairs behind him.
Junhoe was rather weak, but he had enough strength to try and run. Though, he didn't get far after punching a few doctors in the face and kicking them in some not so nice places. Soon enough, he got too tired and couldn't fight anymore. One of the guards pushed him down as a doctor come over with a rather big syringe filled with a liquid.
"Don't touch me! Don't put your fucking hands on me!" Junhoe screamed out and then groaned in pain as the needle went in, injecting all the liquid within.
"This'll help you calm down." The doctor withholding the syringe whispered as he pulled it out of Junhoe who suddenly couldn't feel his limbs.
"What—What did you do?" Junhoe looked at him with big, scared eyes.
"Babies can't walk nor can they properly use their arms. And you're a baby, aren't you?" The doctor leaned down looking at him. "Now, let's go take you to finish your checkup, so the nice woman can take you home!"
"Y-You drugged me!" Junhoe shouted as the guard picked him up. He tried to throw his arms around to fight, but he couldn't feel them, let alone move them. They just twitched a little and made nonsensical movements only a harmless baby could make.
The horror then dawns on Junhoe as he finally realized what was happening, as his ears registered the other screams in the hospital.
They were all trapped. They'd be sent off.
He cried on the checkup table suddenly, he wouldn't see Yejin again. He would never hear Bohyuk say some smart ass comment once more. Seunghyun would never again be able to tell Junhoe about a crazy invention he had come up with. He wouldn't be able to giggle over absolutely anything with Nuri or see the bright gummy smile that came from Jiae.
Junhoe would never see his best friend again, Donghyuk. The one person who's ever loved him and cared for him like a hyung, even if they were the same age. He and Donghyuk have done so much together. Junhoe was Donghyuk's only family and now, he would never return. He'd be sent off to some cozy family as their baby against his will.
The doctors would wipe Junhoe's tears of sadness with eyes filled with some sort of pity, but they would coo to him and say the new life he would soon have is better. Calling him pet names and telling him how healthy he was, but he didn't care. It didn't matter if he would just be some slave baby.
After some time, Junhoe grew very tired. The check-ups, the crying, and all the new information was making him delirious. His emotions were on high and he has no control of his body and obviously no control of his fate either.
His eyes glazed over as he saw Doctor Lee from earlier, who was rather unharmed from being kicked into a bunch of chairs. Slowly, he recognized the woman in the uniform from earlier, the one who chose him. Junhoe's chest heaved up and down in anger.
"The commute will be rather quick because we'll be taking the speed train— first class, ordered by Jiwon-ssi himself." The woman was explaining Dr. Lee nodded in agreement.
"I wish for a safe commute. I would recommend a strap-pacifier because this is a very mouthy, resisting baby." Dr. Lee whispered and Junhoe looked at the woman now with even angrier eyes.
"I was hoping he'd just sleep. I'm just here to deliver him, this is only an order." She whispered.
"He'll be happy, won't he, Chaerin-shi?" Dr. Lee asked now and the woman, now known as Chaerin sighed as she began to open her mouth, Junhoe let out a scream.
"YOU EVIL WOMAN! HOW DARE—" Junhoe's screaming was cut short as a gas mask was placed over his nose and mouth. The boy tried to turn his head, but someone had grabbed it, now holding it in place.
Junhoe's delirious nature and tired aura maximized now. Only feeling his body get heavy with sleep and a need to just close his eyes. All worries left him because all he could think about was resting his tired little head.
Chaerin was glad to a smooth ride back to Seoul with no hiccups. Junhoe never woke during the whole ride, which if he did she would administer more sleeping gas because as said she's only here to pick up what she was told and that was all. She was not here to be a mother, nor did she ever want to be.
Junhoe did look like a complete angel when he was asleep, his pretty, plump lips parting as he let out even breaths. His lashes fluttering with each thought that ran through his mind during his slumber. Chaerin wouldn't have guessed this was the same person who laid waste to doctors and could scream to the top of his lungs until his own face was red. He was perfect.
Junhoe slept as he was unknowingly in Seoul. The train had stopped quite some time, but Chaerin had to ready his wagon. It was pretty in pink and yellows, Junhoe laid curled in it and then a blanket over him to shield him from the media and paparazzi waiting to get a glimpse at the lucky little one who was chosen by the Kim Jiwon.
"Lee Chaerin-shi, is it true that Kim Jiwon-ssi has chosen his first child—"
"Might we have a peek at the little princess! Or prince!"
"Where is Kim Jiwon-ssi on such an important day?"
Junhoe was oblivious in his own world as he slept his little days away. Unbeknownst of who actually chose him and that he was not there. That such an important day and someone else did it and she didn't want anything to do with Junhoe. Though, he didn't know that. He wouldn't know any of that.
All he did was sleep as the paparazzi drew near hoping they'd slip up putting him within the limousine, but to no avail the guards were professionals. They had done this for many littles before. There was no room for a mistake, especially with a child as important as this.
Finally, buckled up and safe, Junhoe was taken to his new home. It was rather far from the train tracks, he noticed this because he was jolted awake, but his brain was too tired. Chaerin looked him over warily, waiting with the gas mask once more, but the boy fell back asleep to her wish.
She became even more happy that this new child of the family was asleep because Jiwon was nowhere to be found. The banner saying, 'Welcome Home' hung with such mockery that Chaerin rubbed the top of Junhoe's head in affection. Balloons sat around sad, streamers looking like they were hanging themselves rather than hanging around, and sad bits of confetti laying in misery.
Checking her phone, she finally saw that he had messaged her he had an important obligation. Sighing, once again that was Kim Jiwon putting something else over a rather bigger priority. Looking at the sleeping boy that lay in her arms; this was a big responsibility and a very momentous priority. Even though Jiwon was filthy-stinkin' rich, she felt like at least be there for when the little comes home, but Chaerin was only in this for her loyalty to the Kim families and her paycheck. That was it, not babysitting.
So, she just found the nursery that was bright in yellow and white. Gently, she laid the baby into the crib and looked at him.
"You'll be good for him." Was all she whispered and left; she abandoned a helpless person who couldn't move his arms or legs without knowing when anyone would be around to see to him.
Though, Junhoe wasn't her problem, at least not anymore. So, now Junhoe was all alone.
The boy woke up in the darkroom now, he was terrified as his hand gently touched the cold, wooden bars. The first thought was a prison, but as he saw the cotton candy clouds on the ceiling just barely, he knew this wasn't that. Struggling to turn his head, he could make out a huge room, with many things that resembled things that would be in a nursery.
His eyes slowly widen as he put it together. Letting out a cry, he stopped halfway— someone might come, but then again, didn't he want someone to come? Though, the screams, calls, and cries won the battle within himself because the more he sat in that room alone and heard nothing, the more terrified he was.
"Someone, please! Help!" The helpless boy yelled, but no one was coming. And it all hit like wildfire being kidnapped, never seeing his family, being drugged, being helpless, and now being trapped— it all made his already hyperemotional state worse. Especially when he felt even more angry about the fact that the person who chose him wasn't even here. And the woman had ditched him altogether.
Junhoe was once again alone. At least in his home, he'd be alone around people.