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nice job faking it, hero

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Siyoung talks a big game, but never really does anything. I’ll stop being so jealous. Sure. One day, I’m going to take this whole fucking bottle of painkillers. Okay, right. I’m gonna stop fucking everything up. Sure, he is.

He spends a lot of time making plans for the future, what he’s going to do after he graduates, what college he’s going to go to, what career he’s going to pursue. It’s a shame that, at the same time, he’s planning on not surviving past eighteen (seventeen if all goes well, but he’s only got a few months to pull that off). So, really, most things he says can be answered with sure, you are. Sure.

 

People only talk to Siyoung to placate him. People in his contacts are nowhere to be seen when he’s fine, no “hey Siyoung wanna hang out?” or “sup, just wanted to see how you’re doing!” to be had. But, when he’s having an episode, they crawl out of the woodwork with words of encouragement and meaningless bullshit. If they fucking cared, they would speak to him when he was feeling okay.

Despite it, he still says thank you and their bullshit still keeps him alive another day. Whatever.

 

The only person who does not spew bullshit twenty-four-seven in response to all of Siyoung’s personal bullshit is Hunchul.

“How are you today?” Hunchul asks, seated in Siyoung’s room, long legs hanging off the side of Siyoung’s bed.

“I kinda wanna die,” Siyoung responds nonchalantly, accentuated with a smile. “Like every day.”

It’s always clear that it makes it awkward, even though it should be normal by now. Hunchul’s smile falls just that little bit and he stutters over his words when he speaks, like he’s afraid of upsetting Siyoung. (Granted, that’s not a difficult thing to achieve.) Still, Hunchul never tries to give Siyoung advice that he didn’t ask for, and he never berates him or shouts at him like Siyoung’s parents do. He also doesn’t make it like it’s his fault, because it’s nobody’s damn fault but Siyoung’s. Siyoung would be fine if he didn’t have a brain, and working thought processes.

In addition, Hunchul also is not disappointed when Siyoung relapses- a more frequent occurrence in the past few months, manic episodes blowing through in a matter of days but leaving Siyoung with bruises and cuts that don’t heal quite as fast. Hunchul is just there, there to talk and distract. Siyoung appreciates it.

 

Siyoung does a lot of thinking.

“What are you thinking about?” Hunchul asks, pushing lightly at Siyoung’s knee to get his attention. Siyoung responds by stretching out, laying his legs over Hunchul’s lap.

“I’m thinking about everything I’ve ever fucked up,” Siyoung says, and it’s true. “Like, how I can’t keep my fucking mouth shut and make everyone hate me, all the time. Like how I’ve driven everyone away that ever gave half a shit about me. Like…” Siyoung makes a vague gesture with his hands, sighing. “Like how I’m not enough to make anyone stick around for very long.”

Hunchul lays one of his hands on Siyoung’s shin, drumming his fingers lightly. “Well, I think you’re pretty great. You stink a little bit and you’re shit at remembering to eat but you’re pretty damn great.”

Siyoung wiggles his feet, thinking more, thinking about how he wishes Hunchul loved him. Thinking about how he wishes he kept the people who actually did love him close, instead of ruining everything. Thinking about how he wishes he could stop thinking.

“I feel so hollow,” Siyoung says in place of any actual reply to what Hunchul said. “I feel like someone scooped out my insides and replaced it with garbage.”

“I’m sorry.” Hunchul whispers, reaching for one of Siyoung’s hands. Siyoung complies, laying his hand in Hunchul’s. Hunchul squeezes tight. “I… just wish I could do more to help.”

“There’s not much anyone can do.” Siyoung pushes his glasses up and throws his arm across his face. “Being here is enough.”

It’s a half-lie. Siyoung wishes he could have a lot more from Hunchul, but he’s scared of what might happen if he pushes, if he asks, if he seeks. But, in the end, Hunchul pays attention to him and that’s all he needs.

 

“Things would be a lot easier if you just killed me.” Siyoung tells Hunchul, honestly.

Hunchul runs his finger over the rim of his soda can, chews at the inside of his mouth while he thinks. Eventually, he asks, “And why is that?”

“Because, if I kill myself then it’s pitiable. Poor Siyoung, fucked up in the head. We always knew he would do it. Thank god he finally did. But, like… if someone else killed me, then there would at least be a news story or something about it.” Siyoung shrugs, leaning back so his head hits the wall. “I wonder if my mom would even cry at my funeral. Would you cry?”

“I think I would cry, yeah.” Hunchul says, nodding. “I think I would cry because you hadn’t made a living will and I want to inherit your hat collection.”

Siyoung snorts. “Do you want me to make a living will, like, right now?”

“Yes.”

Siyoung slides off his bed and walks across the bedroom, rifling through his desk drawers and producing a piece of paper and a pen. He lays the paper on the desk and leans over it. “Okay, okay. This is the living will of Hong Siyoung. If you have found this, I am probably dead, or permanently incapacitated.” Siyoung writes as he speaks, glancing at Hunchul with a sly smile. “I entrust my wardrobe with Jung Hunchul, who deserves it, as all of his clothing is knockoff shit from the thrift store. I entrust my phone with absolutely fucking nobody, burn it. Same for my laptop. I entrust my vast collection of glasses that serve no real purpose to the next sad, depressed, suicidal kid with eye problems that needs them. My parents don’t get shit. Bye.”

“Sounds great to me.” Hunchul says once Siyoung tosses the pen down. “Now we just need to get it notarized and then they can actually obey that if you die.”

“When I die,” Siyoung corrects. Hunchul sighs imperceptibly.

“Yeah, when you die.”

Siyoung puts the paper back in his desk drawer, where it will probably lay for some years. Maybe, when he does bite the dust, his parents will find it, and out of some small mercy will honor it unnotarized as it is.

“You know,” Hunchul says, pulling Siyoung out of his thoughts, “I don’t mean this in a bad way, but I don’t think I’ve ever met someone as enthusiastic about their own death as you are.”

Siyoung laughs, short and harsh. “I’ve never received a better compliment, Hunchul.”

“I’m serious. I just… walk me through your thought process, help me understand. What is so fantastic about impending doom?”

Siyoung sits back on the bed, taking Hunchul’s soda from him and taking a long drink of it before handing it back. “Well,” Siyoung begins, staring down at his lap, “it’s more like… I don’t want to exist. I want to take like, a few months of real time, and just send my soul into limbo so I can feel some kind of relief from all the shit heaped up on me. And death is the only way you can stop existing, so it’s the next best thing. I’m settling.”

“What started it?” Hunchul asks quietly. It’s a change, because Hunchul never pries. He never pushes for answers about Siyoung’s state of mind because he knows Siyoung doesn’t like it.

So, Siyoung humors him. “I dunno. One day I felt okay, and the next I felt like I wanted to die. I’m not good at anything, my parents aren’t proud of me, I don’t have any friends who like me and I ruin every-fucking-thing. So… that one day, I guess I didn’t feel like the world needed me anymore.” He drags a hand over his face, chuckling. “Sounds fucking ridiculous, right?”

“I don’t think it sounds ridiculous, I think it’s just sad.” Hunchul is silent for a moment, rubbing his thumbs across the metal of the soda can in his hands. “I really do wish I could help you feel more okay.”

“I wish you could too,” Siyoung says, and he really means it. But, wishes don’t mean shit to depression. If only they did.