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paper airplanes. that's how kim jongdae kept track. everyday he felt down, he wrote a note on a piece of paper before folding it into a paper airplane and launching it off the balcony of his apartment. someone might eventually read one or two, but it would be of little interest to them and jongdae. every depressing day without fail, jongdae would send a paper airplane. 

what was written on them varied from time to time. mostly jongdae was scared of being judged and hated. other notes revealed how much he wished he could tell if his friends cared, he knew they had jobs and their own lives but really, so many of them saw him everyday, why couldn't they see? maybe jongdae had reached the point of being so invisible even his friends couldn't see, not that it matters really. the paper airplanes contained everything. 

#1 

what do i write? dear diary sounds stupid, this isn't to anyone so whatever nobody cares. sometimes it would just be nice to leave, to disappear, to just not exist. what's the point of living? all i see are judgmental faces. everybody cares too much about the things that don't matter. my family cares about what i eat, if im thin enough, if i look good, how i present myself, if i make the family look good, i don't really matter here, the image i present does. and friends care about the same thing, who really cares about my wellbeing all i get is people judging my looks. and then there's overwhelming anxiety because what if i don't live up to what they want? what if i can't do it? what if im just not good enough? all that matters is them and how they look, right? if i make them look good then they're happy with me. 

he folded it up into a paper airplane and launched it, who cares who saw they'd never know it was him. he didn't ruin his family's image. the tears streaking parts of the paper went ignored. it flew into the hands of a man with chubby cheeks and cat like eyes. 

#2 

i hate her. who is she to always hurry me?? 'were gonna be late' 'hurry up jongdae we need to leave soon' 'come on out jongdae you need to be with us, your family' she didn't care. it never mattered to her. it was always about grades and looking good and the smart son. the anxiety from every time she hurried him was ignored. of course i was the one who had breakdowns, crying, and anxiety and panic attacks it never mattered. not to her or to the rest of the family. it didn't matter, who cares if you stop breathing? just look good. always look good, even if your heartrate is speeding up and it's so loud and can others hear? and shit, what's going on, why can't i breathe who cares look good look good lookgoodlookgoodlookgoodlookgoodlookgood that was all that matters. no tears, no anxiety, no depression, no unhappiness should get in the way of looking good. 

once again the tear streaks were prominent on the piece of paper. it didn't matter, jongdae just folded it up and launched it. this time it landed in the hands of a tanned, fairly tall man with full lips. 

#3 

sometimes it feels like what i write here is selfish and disgusting. i know maybe im not great and that a lot of people did a lot for me. but what they did for me was really for them. it feels like i was used and used a lot. then thrown away once people realized how worthless i am. honestly im not sure if i can truly feel much. and yes, there are other ways to help other than cutting but cutting is different, it's a different feeling and the blood and pain just reminds me of how..normal i am and it's just better than holding ice or snapping a rubber band. i just want to feel pain and see the results. not that my family would this would destroy the picture perfect family image. i wish i was good enough, i really really really really wish that. 

there were a few splotches of blood this time. a third time a paper airplane flew off the balcony. and it finally fell onto the really tall man with big ears and a large smile. 

#4 

i wonder what it would've been like if my parents..just hadn't had me. would've been so much easier on them. my friends wouldn't have had to deal with my stupidly dumb self. like they're always having to help with math and stuff. literally all i can do is take pictures. wow jongdae real fucking nice, not a good job though. 'when are you going to get a real job, jongdae? look at jongdeok! he's got an amazing job as a doctor and where are you? stuck pretending a hobby is a job. you're a man now, you should have a proper job.' i just should've not be born. 

jongdae launched the smaller paper airplane, right into the grasp of a shorter man with pretty eyes and rosy apple-like cheeks. 

#5

i don't want to live i want to die. it would be so much easier than this sort of life, where im just a good image who really is a failure at everything important. i don't know why i did this these paper airplanes are dumb and was i really this arrogant to believe someone would care enough to pick up a paper airplane and read it? ah well it doesn't really matter does it? ill be gone soon. 

for the last time, jongdae launched a paper airplane off his balcony, and right to the four people waiting patiently to see the paper airplane. the man with chubby cheeks and cat like eyes, the tanned, fairly tall man with full lips, the really tall man with big ears and a large smile, and the shorter man with pretty eyes and rosy apple-like cheeks. they read it and rushed towards jongdae's apartment. 

+#1 

thank you minseok, jongin, chanyeol, and junmyeon. i know i never made it easy, self-doubt, depression, anxiety, stress, hatred, and all that stuff but you stuck with me. you gave me the courage i needed to get diagnosed with depression and anxiety, you gave me the strength i needed to go to my parents and tell them the truth and you stuck by me even though they disowned me and insulted you and me. it's been a long road, and there are definitely more bumps and holes but i think ive felt happiness again. thank you 

and finally the last paper airplane was launched. jongdae smiled. he has good friends.