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right where you left me

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Jake sat silently in the sanctuary seats at the very rear of the church, where everyone, including himself, was attired in white and baby pink. A wedding ceremony, he believes, is the most boring event. Jake despises what he can't have, and one of them is this tedious occasion where he would sit for hours listening to couples exchange vows.

His ears pulsed as they absorbed the most embarrassing things a couple could say to one other; it's cute, but he's a hater.

The crowd applauded as the priest announced Heeseung and Sunoo as a married couple. Jake just followed what everyone else was doing as his mind wandered to other places. He's livid, and he's well aware of it. As the newlywed couple stepped out of the chapel, guests showered them with petals and greeted them with loud shouts.

Sunoo cast a peek in Jake's way and flashed a bright smile, which was met with a scathing retort from Jake. Jake reclined back in his chair, fiddling with his fingers while he awaited the chapel to be fully empty.

Jake had just attended the wedding of another of his closest friends, yet he was still stuck.

Days would pass, people would come and go, and the world would spin about, but Jake remained the same. He's still in the same place.

He was exactly where Sunghoon had left him.

Not quite at the church, but he remained the same heartbroken man. Weddings are supposed to be fun when the person who vowed to dedicate his love to you truly does so. It was meant to be exciting when your engagement ring was swapped for a wedding ring.

Jake took the ring from his coat pocket and marveled at it. He even had their initials inscribed on it. He might have thrown it away since it was only a piece of metal. He could have given it away or sold it, but he chose to keep it. It was his sole remembrance of him. It was both valuable and painful to him.

"Are you still begging him for another chance?" Jungwon sat down next to him.

"I assume not that much? But sometimes, I still do."

"We met last week; he's fine.”

"Good for him. Tell him I'm still miserable." Jake couldn't stop himself from crying. It still aches, and despite the passing of time, it seemed like yesterday.

Jungwon placed his arms around Jake and rubbed his back as he wept, helping him to relieve the sadness he'd been holding for so long. He hadn't broken down in tears in months, and it all came flooding back to him just now.

Jake would usually go out and read a book at different coffee shops or find a peaceful place. The idea of going to church to relieve his sorrow is the farthest thing from his thoughts. He had the option of moving on, but he chose not to, not now, and not ever. He'd do the things they used to do together, but now he'd do them by himself. He enjoys nostalgia since it brings back a lot of memories for him.

He is aware that Sunghoon is now content, but he is unable to intervene. He pleaded with him to return, and God alone knows how many nights and days he prayed Sunghoon would return to him in his arms, where they had last seen each other.

"He'd be happy to know that you're allowing others into your heart to love you." Jungwon attempted to console him.

"I don't want to. Won, I only want him. I would beg in another lifetime or more if I had to. I'd go to any length for him. He's my lone rock, the only person who actually understands me. He promised me that we would be together forever, that we would live happily ever after." Jake could create a list of everything he'd do simply to see Sunghoon again.

"He's watching over you from above, Jake. I'm sure he is."

Jake's tears flowed even more. His chest is burning from too much agony, and it's becoming heavier by the day. It would be much more heartbreaking if he chose to move on and close their eight years of perfect relationship. It would be far more difficult for him to fall in love with someone other than Sunghoon.

He remembered how he remained all night at his wake, when people would relive his memories and praise him for being such a lovely guy. Even the ones he despises offered speeches full of fabrications. People would tell him all's well and that he'll get over it, but he'll never let himself get over it, and it'll never be alright. Sunghoon is the one person who makes him feel safe and secure. It will never be okay.

He remembered how he had spent Sunghoon's night in the hospital bed, struggling for his life while being kept alive by machines. He recalled how he had been talking to him about how much he loved him and that he must stay with Sunghoon. He can tell how badly Sunghoon wanted to remain by the way he never let go of Jake's hand on their final night together. He recalled how the line had flattened and how he had grabbed Sunghoon's cold hands and kissed them repeatedly as his tears brushed across his skin.

He recalled all the times Sunghoon was irritated or confused by almost anything. He recalls seeing Sunghoon gradually deteriorate to the point that they had to get a wheelchair for him so he could take him out in the sun every morning. He recalls how they used to spend their anniversaries at home since Sunghoon wouldn't allow them to go on road trips anymore. Sunghoon would always drive for Jake, regardless of the distance traveled; he would never let Jake take the wheel.

Jake recalls how they both wept when they discovered Sunghoon had a growing brain tumor. It was the day when he promised to look after Sunghoon every day and Sunghoon promised to keep fighting. It was the day when they came together to plan everything of their dreams, including the building of their home with dogs and cats.

He clearly remembers the first time Sunghoon had a sudden headache that he mistook for a migraine. He recalls how he looked after him every time Sunghoon suffered from a headache. He'd cradle him to sleep and cook for him, even helping him in the shower because he couldn't leave Sunghoon alone. Even if it was only a simple allergy, a small cold, or even a mosquito bite, Jake would always look after him.

He recalls the moment Sunghoon proposed to him. He recalls how excited his family and friends were when Sunghoon slid the ring on his finger and how he cried. Sunghoon and Jake were supposed to be the first couple to marry within their group of friends. They were the happiest. It was unforgettable.

Jake recalls how they celebrate their anniversary by going on dates in other countries. He recalls Sunghoon surprising him with unexpected gifts. Sunghoon was constantly patiently waiting for Jake to finish his work. Jake would find him sleeping in the car and take him to beautiful places for dinner before returning home to snuggle until the sun rose and they had to be away for work.

He recalls how Sunghoon's eyes crinkle when he smiles, and how he blushes when others compliment him on his beauty and intellect. He recalls how he initially fell in love with Sunghoon and how Sunghoon approached him and asked if they could be friends. He recalls how long Sunghoon courted him before asking if they could be boyfriends.

Jake's only way of remembering and feeling Sunghoon's love was to browse through their photos and keep his engagement ring. Jake never made a visit to his grave because he couldn't bear seeing his lover in that state. Maybe in the future, but not any time soon. He'd always admire him, no matter where he was. His heart will always belong to Sunghoon, and it will always beat for him. For their story to continue, he could only dream for another universe, another lifetime, and another world.