En gammal berättelse som jag hittade på min förra – nu raderade – blogg. Hope you enjoy.
Maya Selwania. Isjungfrun. Ioa.
Flickan hade många namn. Själv kallade hon sig ingenting. Hon hade inget namn, sa hon. Hon sa att hon var bortglömd. Men han visste bättre. Han visste att hon var något. Hon var Maya Selwania, hon var Isjungfrun, hon var Ioa. Hon var allt. Men ändå inget.
Hon var tidlös. Mellan liv och död. Och ändå så verklig.
Maya Selwania skrubbade envist det vita trägolvet i salongen. Borsten skrapade mjukt och fick henne att känna sig rofyllt. Den bruna, egentligen svarta, flätan föll ner över högra axeln och gungade fram och tillbaka efter armens rytmiska rörelser. De trötta grå ögonen blinkade och tårades av det starka rengöringsmedlet och händerna var flammigt röda. Som vanligt hade hon stängt öronen för samtalet som fru Triann, kvinnan hon arbetade för och även hennes styvmor, och herr Cifré förde angående Mayas lathet och oduglighet, skatterna och den nya osten från Honneya’s. Men ändå trängde en del in, särskilt fru Triann’s höga och skärande röst.
“… ja, och hon är långsam som en ko, särskilt när hon ska tvätta fönstren, då tar hon en evigheeet på sig, ja ja, jag säger bara det, och jag vill inte ens tänka på mattpiskningen! Då latade hon sig minsann, sanna mina ord.”
Herr Cifrié nickade och hummade till svar och lät fru Triann sköta samtalet. Frun väntade sig inte heller några svar.
“En dag kommer den flickan att få ett ordentligt kok stryk, ja, så fort Alder kommer tillbaka, jo jo, då kommer det gå undan ja säger då det!”
Maya blinkade två gånger i snabb följd och koncentrerade sig på den skarpa doften från medlet hon använde för att stänga ute pladdret. Håret rasslade när pärlorna gneds mot varandra, vilket också hjälpte. Så kom plötsligt fru Triann fram till henne och drog henne i håret.
“Hördu du du, tror du att du bara kan ligga där hela dan heller? Raska på!”
Maya nickade, sänkte huvudet och fortsatte skrubba fläcken efter det röda vinet fru Triann hade spillt ut föregående kväll. Hon försökte ignorera lusten att gråta. Och inte bara över smärtan i hårbottnen.
Fundersamt drog Maya loss en härslinga ur flätan och rullade den mellan pekfingret och tummen. Slingan var beträdd med pärlor, som seden var i Zérien, staden där hon bodde. Alla kvinnor under tjugo år skulle sno ihop håret till smala slingor och trä på pärlor på dem. Färgen och kvaliteten på pärlorna spelade också roll: brunt var den lägst stående färgen eftersom de var lätta att framställa, billiga och just för att de var bruna. Bunt ansågs fult: det var samma färg som smuts och, tja, annat som ej passade de högre graderna. Den näst finaste färgen var guld, och efter den, lysande smaragdgrönt. Inte jadegrönt, det kom på femte plats i rangordningen, utan verkligen den klara lysande nyansen av grönt. Den nyansen var svår att få tag på, just därför var den eftertraktad av de högre skikten.
Maya hade under de fyra första åren av sin barndom fått bära rubinrött i håret (nummer tre i rangordningen) och efter att hennes far gift om dig jadegrönt (som sagt nummer fem). Men efter att hennes far dött hade fru Triann, eller Gesinna som hon
egentligen hette, bytt ut de gröna pärlorna mot bruna. Gesinna hade sett till så att hennes dotter Nanna fick guldpärlor och hon själv smaragdgröna.
Personligen tyckte Maya att den bruna färgen var vacker, eftersom den såg mer naturlig ut än alla de andra färgerna. Näst efter den, ansåg hon, kom den rubinröda färgen.
Slingan mellan Mayas fingrar föll ner då hon släppte den. Istället stirrade hon ut igenom det immiga vindsfönstret i hennes rum. Utanför vräkte oktoberregnet ner, smattrade emot taket på herrgården och smög sig in genom fönsterkarmen.
Maya reste sig upp, hämtade en tygtrasa ifrån den rangliga byrån i rummet och torkade upp vattnet innan det hann rinna ner på golvet. Sedan hämtade hon fler tygtrasor och stoppade fönstret med. Tyget dämpade även ljudet lite, vilket gladde henne. Uppe på vinden var det aldrig riktigt tyst som man skulle ha kunnat tro, utan dör hörde man allt. Maya log trött och satte sig sedan på den gamla knarrande sängen. Hon drog av sig strumporna, tog av sig förklädet och knäppte upp knapparna i ryggen på den gråa klänningen hon bar. Sedan drog hon av hättan, även den grå, som hon bar på huvudet, slängde allting över stolsryggen och tog på sig hennes slitna, för korta nattlinne i vitt och kröp ner under den tunna filten. Nästa dag skulle det återigen bli fest, och då behövde hon vara utvilad. Maya slöt ögonen och gled in i sömnen.
Den enkla svarta klänningen smekte Mayas hud då den gled över hennes huvud och nerför hennes smala kropp. Hon kunde inte låta bli att le. Fru Triann hade tillåtit henne att ha på sig den svarta klänningen, enkel men fin, ett vitt förkläde och en vit hätta på huvudet, eftersom det var fest. Borgmästaren, herr Cifré, chefen för banken och många andra viktiga personer i staden skulle komma. Det var en viktig bal eftersom den skulle visa fru Trianns status och rikedom. Maya skulle springa omkring och passa upp gästerna, se till så att det var prydligt och snyggt överallt, duka av och på bord, bära ut maten, ja allt! Bara musiken skulle hon inte stå för: Nanna skulle spela piano. Man kunde inte förneka att Nanna var duktig men hon var inte lika duktig som Maya, även fast ingen uppmärksammade det. I smyg brukade hon öva då hon dammade och fejade i herrgården om dagarna, då frun och Nanna inte var hemma. Dessutom hade hon ju, innan hennes föräldrar dog, fått lära sig spela piano, harpa och lyra.
Maya satte försiktigt fast hättan med små, tunna silverne nålar i sitt bruna hår. Nålarna sattes fast på insidan av hättans vita tyg så de inte syntes. Hättan hade två lager med ett litet luftrum emellan, där nålhuvudena stack upp, och var mycket väl sydda så de satt fast men ändå såg eleganta ut. Förklädet hade ett smalt svart band i midjan som knöts där bak i en liten rosett och nederst på den svarta klänningen löpte en smal spets. Maya log igen. Så fin hade hon inte varit på länge! Hon hade alltid fått bära den slitna, gråa klänningen som bara räckte till knäna och på vintern endast en tunn, tunn svart kappa utanpå klänningen. Och ovanpå det hade hon ha fått ha träskor som skavde något förskräckligt. Pärlor fanns i en ask på vinden när hon behövde dem. Så nu var hon närmast euforiskt över denna dag av prydlighet och elegans. Festen skulle vara ända till klockan tre på natten, så hon fick bära kläderna länge. Äntligen kände hon sig som om hon var i närheten av den adelsdotter hon faktiskt var!
Kvällen nalkades. Inne i käket stod Maya och rörde stressat om i en stor gryta med köttsoppa. Det var det finaste köttet i hela Zérien, från det finaste slakteriet, och soppan luktade ljuvligt. Trots att det vattnade sig i munnen på Maya fick hon inte smaka. Då och då kom fru Triann in och provsmakade för att se om soppan höll högsta kvalitet. Maya var strängt förbjuden att smaka, men fru Triann smakade mer än nödvändigt. Hon smakade även på potatismoset med ost och sesamfrön i, på den stekta kalkonen fylld med läckerheter, på gelén som stod ute i kylrummet [se nere] för att få den perfekta konsistensen… På grodlåren, på de grillade sparvarna, på grönsakssoppan, på fläskfilén, på den hemgjorda hallonglassen, på chokladsåsen, på de nybakta bröden med återigen sesamfrön och nötkross, på den knapriga ankan med honung, på jordgubbarna… Ja, på allt som Maya hade slitit så med. Dessutom smackade hon alltid med läpparna och log retsamt då hon såg Mayas lystna blick.
Maya svalde och svalde och fick verkligen anstränga sig för att inte greppa en sked och smaka på köttgrytan. Svetten rann nerför hennes ansikte. Den svarta klänningen, förklädet och hättan hade hon tagit av så de inte skulle bli förstörda av matos och svett, även om hon visste att det tog tid för henne att ordna hennes hår i en anständig frisyr (just då hängde det stripigt runt hennes magra ansikte) och sätta i nålarna som höll hättan på plats. Men ändå ville hon inte förstöra det enda finplagg hon hade.
Plötsligt skyndade Nanna in i köket. Hon hade en underbart vacker guldfärgad klänning som gick perfekt ihop med hennes guldfärgade hår. Överallt på klänningen satt det silverrosetter och band med silver- och guldpärlor och runt om hennes hals låg ett halsband med en stor diamant infattad i ett nät av guld i en tjock kedja av guld. Maya kände hur hennes hjärta sjönk. Nanna kom säkert bara in för att göra Maya avundsjuk på hennes vackra kläder och hon hade lyckats.
Men Nanna kom med helt andra bud. Hon var tvingad av sin mor att behandla Maya som slav, och visserligen ansåg hon att det var rätt, men hon tyckte ändå synd om Maya som hade behövt slitna från klockan sex tills då utan vila. Nanna gick sakta fram till en stekt kyckling, slet loss ett lår och gav det till Maya, under tystnad. Förvånad tog Maya emot det, men tvekade inte utan högg in på maten. Nanna log snabbt emot henne och gick sedan ut, och lämnade en ytterst förbryllad Maya efter sig.
Kvällen blev som väntat. Alldeles för mycket vin och starka likörer, mycket bullrande skratt och höga samtal och en mycket lång kväll för Maya. Ända tills klockan 5.30 på morgonen fick hon jobba med att tvätta, städa undan och plocka upp krossat glas. Sedan, då hon äntligen fick vila, så fick hon bara det tills klockan var 8.05. Inte mycket sömn, men fru Triann var hänsynslös. Maya skulle jobba, annars fick hon ingen mat.
Maya suckade där hon låg på knä och kände i den tjocka mattan efter glasbitar, med bara händerna. Ändå skar hon sig inte, hon var van vid att göra sådant. Men nu var hon så fruktansvärt trött. Så trött så det kändes som om hon skulle svimma.
Vid lunchen den dagen (Maya fick äta kalla rester av kyckling, bröd och tunn sås) bestämde hon sig. Hon skulle lämna huset och fru Triann. Hon skulle rymma. Och hon skulle göra det snart.
Den natten tassade Maya upp i bara det slitna nattlinnet, fram till byrån. Tyst tände hon ett stearinljus och drog ut lådan där hennes svarta klänning, vita förkläde och hätta låg. Tyst som en mus klädde hon på sig kläderna, huttrandes av kylan på vindsvåningen, och drog sedan den gamla bruna mansrocken över sina axlar. Sedan smög hon nerför de många trapporna, stack fötterna i sina träskor som hon hade stoppat med lite undanstoppad ull och försvann ut i natten.
“Taemin? Taemin-ah, can you hear me?”
The familiar voice reached me in my floating darkness. I groaned. The pain was everywhere, but my back seemed to be worst. I didn’t want to answer – I was too afraid that it would hurt to open my mouth.
“Taemin, please answer me!”
Oh screw that. When he was pleading like this, I couldn’t resist.
I tried to open my eyes, but the simple action shot a lightning of fire though my head. I groaned in pain. Smooth fingers touched my face, stroking my chin to calm me down. I didn’t realize I was crying until Minho wiped away my tears.
“Hush, Minnie, it’s okay now… You’re safe” He mumbled, and I felt his breath on my skin. I tried to relax, but it was hard. My back hurt like hell, and my ankle seemed to be twisted. It felt like that, anyway.
“M-Minho-hyung…” I finally managed to say, but it came out as a gasp. I coughed, my lungs hurt for some weird reason.
“Oh god Taemin! I was so worried over you! Here, take this and don’t talk too much, okay?”
I felt how something warm was laid over me, and I sighed in relief. Was I freezing? I hadn’t noticed that.
“O-okay…” I whispered, and again I felt how something stroked my cheek.
“How to get you home now…?” I heard Minho mumble. Then suddenly, I felt his strong, warm arms underneath me. I almost opened my eyes in shock.
“M-Minho-ah… What are you…?”
“I’m carrying you home, it’s not that far”
I was pressed against his scarred chest, and I slowly started to relax a bit in his arms.
And then realized he didn’t have a shirt on.
My face was pressed against his bare skin, and I felt how it heated up at this. Oh god… I realized too, that it was his shirt that he had laid over me before and it was that piece of cloth that I now clutched in my arms. I was even more embarrassed at this. First, he was carrying me. Then, he was carrying me SHIRTLESS. But, I guess that it was only me being a perv after all. We were both boys, right? So it shouldn’t be such a big deal… But it was, for me atleast. Why was I thinking these strange thoughts anyway? Well… He was hot indeed… But I shouldn’t b-
“How are you feeling, Taemin?”
When Minho suddenly spoke, I was woken up from my dirty thoughts. I tried to open my eyes again, this time it went a bit better. I looked at him with half-closed eyes.
“A bit… Better” I croaked out, my voice sounding terribly. I pouted at this – usually my voice was smooth, and now… Sigh.
Minho chuckled at this it seemed, and I guess I must’ve looked kind of hilarious.
“Good… You’re really cute when you do that” he replied. I could hear the smile in his voice.
“You think so?” Another croak, another chuckle.
After that, he walked in silence, and I guessed he became a bit tired after all. Was I really that heavy? Sigh again.
“Well, we’re at your place now” Minho said a short while after that. I opened my eyes again – now I realized I had got a hit in my head, and that was why it hurt, but I was also very tired. I could see my door, and I reached out for the key I had in my pocket. I gave it to Minho, who unlocked the door with one hand – I was amazed at this – and we went in. Minho gently put me down in the sofa, and I thankfully leaned back against the pillows. I peeked at him through my eyelashes. He was on his way to the kitchen, and I got to lock at his back. I could only describe it with one word – sexy. Muscular, well-build, the perfect proportions… I caught myself thinking these thoughts, and closed my eyes again before I could continue watching his movements.
I heard steps as he came out from the kitchen again.
“Here, Minnie, I made some tea for you…” he said, his voice gentle and caring. I smiled at him, looking at him again with half closed eyes, taking the cup from him.
“This… it’s almost like… two days ago” I croaked out, taking a sip from the tea. Minho nodded, smiling.
“Yeah… But now I’m the one taking care of you”
“That is… nice” I sighed happily. The hot tea felt good for my throat, and I took another sip. I started to warm up too.
“Taemin… What happened? I found you lying on the ground, with that man going to hit you… Who was he?” Minho asked suddenly, in a very serious tone. I sighed – now I could, I already felt better except for my back and my ankle.
“He followed me on my way home from school and tried to rob me” I answered, looking at the hot tea cup in my hands. I hadn’t noticed they were trembling. I felt Minhos eyes on me, and I looked back on him, trying to smile.
“Thank you for saving me, Minho-ah”
He seemed to blush a bit. Then, he carefully hugged me, wrapping his arms around my think frame, holding me closely but was careful not to hurt me.
“No problem… I owed you one”
Monday came, and suddenly it was time for school again.
As I got up in the morning, I smiled at the thought of Minho still asleep in the house. I once again walked out to the kitchen to make breakfast – for today, it’d be sandwiches. I didn’t have time to do something more complicated. I stood there, making my sandwich, as I thought of Minho once again. First, I had thought I would wake him up before breakfast, but then decided to let him sleep until the breakfast was ready and on the table. But… I did trust him enough to let him “borrow” the house during the day, didn’t I? So maybe I should just let him sleep an-
“Good morning, Taemin”
I turned around, smiling at my new friend. He stood in the doorway, rubbing the sleep out from his eyes, with only training trousers on. He didn’t have a shirt on, and I quickly looked at his scarred chest before turning away again. His thin body was sure nice build, and his chest was actually really hot, not to speak of his ar- Oh god, what was I thinking?
“Good morning, Minho. Slept well?”
“Not really” He yawned. “I woke up around three o’ clock, being really thirsty. After that, I didn’t really sleep well – I had the most confusing dreams including noodles, PlayStation and rain” We both smiled at this – his dreams was the scenarios from the past days. I made a gesture toward the sandwiches.
“Sorry, there’s no cool food today, but take how many sandwiches you want… or no, not as many as you want” I corrected myself, “I still don’t have a lot of money” Minho just smiled.
“This will be fine” he answered simply, making his way to the sliced bread and started to make his own. I sat down at the table with some tea and a sandwich, eating quickly because I didn’t want to get late. Minho sat down beside me, also eating. We didn’t talk much, as we both were busy with our meal, but when I was almost done Minho opened his mouth again.
“Where’s your school?”
I chewed quickly.
“It’s, uhm, near the basketball court” I remembered that he used to sleep there, so I used it for the description. Minho smiled – now he knew.
“Can I follow you there? I kind of want to see my friends”
I froze a bit. Had he just given me a nickname?
“Uhm, Minho-ah, what did you just call me?”
“Minnie… Don’t you like nicknames? I could stop calling you that if you want to” Minho said, nervous look on his face. I smiled reassuring.
“No, it’s okay, just… Don’t call me that in public? Minnie sounds so… Non-manly”
“Well, maybe, but it’s cute. So I can call you that when we’re hom- here?”
I smiled, knowing that he had almost said “home” instead of “here”. It felt good to know that he liked this place, and felt like home here.
“Sure, why not?”
Finishing the last bites of our breakfast, we got up, washed the dishes and then parted ways into our rooms. I changed into my school uniform, checked my hair and brushed my teeth white. Then, I was ready to go.
“Are you done, Minho-ah?” I shouted from the hall, where he just two days ago had stood dripping wet. At that time, I had just thought he was a usual guy who happened to stay for too long in the rain, now I knew he was so much more. I wanted to show him my appreciation for his company somehow, though I didn’t quite know how to do that.
“Yep! I’ll be there in a minute!” he shouted back from the bathroom. As he came out form there, he had put on his baseball-cap and messed up his hair, so he looked more like the homeless boy again. I thought I understood why – he didn’t want to stand out among his friends, coming back after a few days like a snob. Well, that made sense.
“Only forty-five second to be exact” I smiled at him and he rolled his eyes.
“Oh, shut up”
We went outside, and enjoyed the relaxing sunshine. It seemed to melt into our bodies like the warmth from the fire had done at that rainy day. It was perfect, and for the first time I felt like it was going to be a good day in school.
We walked together toward the basketball court, but as we got closer, Minho suddenly stopped.
“Taemin, don’t be mad now okay? But I’ll go the rest of the way to them by myself” he said, looking at me with the “please-don’t-kill-me-for-leaving-you”-expression. I laughed a bit, though I’d wanted to walk with him. It was nice.
“Of course I won’t be mad, just go! I’ll be fine” I smiled reassuring. He seemed thankful, and went over in the direction to the court. I pouted at his back; actually I didn’t want to be alone. But I had been speaking the truth too, though – I understood his feelings. I continued my walk toward the school.
The day went, and then school ended. I almost ran out from the school – I was so excited about coming home again, relax, maybe have some tea, and hopefully – chat with Minho. I had missed him during the day, didn’t have a clue why, but I guessed that it was because he was one of my only good friends. Sure, Kibum and Jinki were nice and so, but I couldn’t quite talk to them like I could talk to Minho. Strange, I had only known him for like, three days? Whatever… I had missed him, and that was the point. Oh god, I’m rambling so much.
I continued thinking about these strange things, wondered how you could become so good friends in such a short time, when I suddenly had a creepy feeling that someone was watching me. I turned around, looking. No one was to be seen, except for me. I just shrugged it off as and illusion, caused by the long school day. Then, I started to walk again.
But as I felt it again, I started to get nervous. This time, I was positive I had heard steps behind me too. I turned around once more, started to walk faster, hurry, hurry, hurry!
And then I stopped. A dead end. Fuck.
Suddenly, I felt someone press something cold against my neck. I started to shake, trembling as an animal close to dying. The person behind me breathed in my ear, and the touch made me shiver even more. I felt like I was close to tearing up, and I started to breathe in hiccups. The cold steel against the back of my neck made me see stars already – I was so damn afraid. I felt that I should’ve done something to escape, as I’m eighteen and a man after all, but I was paralyzed. I just stood there, breathing shakily and trembling.
“Got cash?” I heard the person mumble behind me. I nodded – anything to please him – but the truth was that I didn’t have any money. I had bought lunch for my last won. Now, what?
He smirked against my skin; I could feel his teeth against it.
I started to furiously look in my pockets, checking two times, three times, if I by any chance had any extra money on me, but no. Negative result. I swallowed deeply. The robber smiled once more.
“Seems like you’re lying, kiddo… You’ll regret that” he said, and started to laugh evilly. Before I could react, I felt something hard hit my back and I fell to the ground. As soon as I made contact with the cold ground, I felt like something snapped in my foot. It hurt, but not as much as if I had broken it. I gasped for air – the hit hade made me lose my breath.
Then the robber pressed the knife against my neck again, this time harder, and scratched my skin the slightest bit.
“Regret lying yet, huh, kid?”
I was sure I was going to die now. This man would kill me. No one would ever know what had happened to the eighteen year old boy Lee Taemin. My parents would have to live in sorrow for the rest of their lives when they came back from the stated and got the message that their son had disappeared. And when my grandma visited, she would find an empty house. Finally, the tears started to run down my cheeks.
While thinking this, I didn’t notice that the man suddenly was jerked away from my body. I didn’t even hear the loud thump when something fell to the ground, or the smash that’s heard when a person hits another. Then suddenly, I felt a hand on my shoulder again, but this time gentler, more caring and friendly.
“Taemin-ah! Are you okay?” I heard this person say with a low voice, before removing the hand again.
“Oh god… Are you bleeding? Taemin? Taemin!”
And I passed out.
I’ve decided to turn this compleatly into a fan-fiction blog! I hope you don’t mind!
From now, I’ll only publish
Fan-fictions [Both Swedish and English ones]
Maybe some poems or other short works of text
Updates like this
Important! Almost all of these updates will be on ENGLISH from now on! Again, hope you don’t mind this change!
For the comfort of my swedish readers (if I now have any) I’ll make this one in Swedish too!
Jag har beslutat att göra den här bloggen helt till en fan-fiction blogg! Hoppas att det går bra!
Från och med nu kommer jag bara lägga upp
Fan-fictions [Både svenska och engelska]
Möjligtvis några dikter eller andra korta historier
Viktiga uppdateringar som den här
Viktigt! Nästan alla av de här uppdateringarna kommer att vara på ENGELSKA från och med nu! Igen, hoppas det går bra!
”Will you be alright now, sweetie?”
I turned around, facing my mother, who sat in the front seat of the car with the window down. She wore that typical “mother-like” expression, with both hands on the steering-wheel, looking at me with soft, brown eyes. I smiled reassuring, although I didn’t feel calm at all.
I would start in a whole new school today. First day in a new class, a new city… Who didn’t feel a bit nervous to that kind of situation? Well, maybe not my best friend – Km Kibum, as the self-confident person he was. But he had gotten into his class in a very good way; he hadn’t been bullied or so. But what if I got bullied? Or left alone? Or- No! Shut up, Taemin!
”I’m sure it will be just fine, mom, don’t worry” I answered her question, before I turned around again and started to go toward the school building.
“Have a good time!” I heard her call after me, and I let out a sigh. Why did she have to shout? It was a bit embarrassing…
I was on my way to the entrance when I saw a group of girls which were staring at me, but then started to giggle and hair-flip. Because I didn’t have any experience with girls, I didn’t quite know how to relax, so I just continued to walk. When I got into the school I nervously looked around, searching for a sign showing me the way to the information. I sighed with relief as I noticed one.
Hidden behind my long hair I made my way to the door, knocked and then went in. The woman behind the desk smiled at me politely, greeted me, and I did the same. I got a schedule for my year and some instructions about my locker and stuff, and a wish for good luck. I said thank you and went out from the office, just to crash into a muscular chest.
I almost fell backwards from the crash, but the person before me didn’t seem to take any effect at all. Then, I felt something hitting me hard in the chest. Because of my long hair, I didn’t see anything – it had gotten into my eyes – but the hit made me lose my breath.
“Yah, girl! Look where you’re going! Geez!” said a dark, definitely manly voice.
As soon as I felt alright again, I looked up. The boy before me was tall, very tall. He was kind of muscular, and had short dark hair and dark eyes. If he hadn’t had that look of disgust in his face, I guess he’d be called handsome. But… What had he just called me?
I straightened my back and looked him in the face. He was just so tall! Whoa! I felt very short, compared to him, but I guess it was just because his aura was plain dominance. He had a lot of charisma, I could tell. He seemed to study my face for a second, before he broke out in a wide grin.
”But what’s this? Seems like it wasn’t a girl after all” he said, an evil expression on his face. A shorter guy with sharper lines in his face – but also with dark hair – stepped out from behind the leader. He also smiled evilly.
”Are you sure about that, Minho-ah?” he said. The other two in the gang of four started to laugh, and it wasn’t a nice laugh. I felt how my heart sank in my chest. What had I done wrong now?
They continued to laugh that evil laugh while they walked past me, on their way to the exit. The first guy, Minho, pushed me out of the way as he passed by.
For a few seconds, I just stood still staring after them, sad, embarrassed, angry and… Well, upset. What was those guys problem? They seemed to be in one or two years over me.
I turned around and saw a familiar figure with many accessories run toward me. I waved to my best friend – Key, one year older than me – and he waved back eagerly before he almost run into me and hugged me. I coughed a bit, and Key let me go, but he was still holding my arms. He smiled widely at me, fully ignoring the looks he got from the other students.
”Umma has missed his little Taeminnie!” he continued and looked like he was about to start jump up and down on the spot. I smiled back. I was glad to have at least one friend at this school.
“I missed you too, Key” I answered, “but must you that, in front of the whole school?” He just laughed. His laughter is beautiful, I’ve always thought that. I liked my umma very much; he took care of me so well. I saw him both as an extra mother and like a brother, but a lot as a very good friend too.
”What’s wrong with that, Minnie?”
“Don’t care about it” he smiled and let go of my arms, patting my shoulder instead. Then he got a little bit more serious.
I checked my schedule, and saw that it was history class. Kind of boring.
“Uhm, history class” I answered. Key’s smiled widened again.
”I’ll follow you there!” he just replied, took my hand in a fast grip and started to drag me toward a staircase in the end of the large room.
I translated it into english! yay!
Ett par dagar gick och jag upptäckte lättat att både F4 och Last Sunset-gängen skolkade mest hela tiden. Under hela den kvarvarande veckan såg jag inte till en enda av medlemmarna i F4, fast jag skymtade både Taeyang, Daesung och Seungri några gånger. För det mesta, såg jag, hängde de i korridorerna eller i allrummet, eller på baksidan av skolan. Om man var inom en tiometers-radie runt dem så hörde man tydligt den dunkande basgången i låtarna de lyssnade på.
Jag blev mer och mer avslappnad under de dagarna.
Ändå tills måndagen andra veckan.
Jag gick in i skolan som vanligt, gick fram till mitt skåp, öppnade det och lade in mina saker, medan jag hummade en påhittad melodi. Key sågs inte till, inte heller Onew, men om jag kände dem rätt skulle de strax rusa in – Kibum med graciösa steg, medan Onew skulle snubbla på sina egna fötter. Jag log lite åt detta. Sedan insåg jag att jag faktiskt inte såg några andra elever alls i skåprummet. Jag började känna mig lite nervös av någon anledning som jag inte förstod. Hade det hänt något?
Och så såg jag dem. Shit.
F4 satt vid ett av de runda borden mitt i allrummet, med benen utsträckta åt alla håll (i G-Dragons och Minhos fall) eller lutade mot varandra över bordet (i TOPs och Jonghyuns fall). Jag svalde ner klumpen i halsen. Idag hade jag håret uppsatt i en lös hästsvans och hade dessutom på mig en extra lös, stor, grön jacka över skoluniformen, och hoppades att de inte skulle märka mig.
Som sagt, hoppades.
Eftersom jag var ensam med dem i hela kapprummet – de andra eleverna hade nog flytt fältet, antog jag – la de genast märke till mig. Det var Seunghyun som först såg mig, och hans blick verkade borra sig in i mig innan han log på ett underligt kusligt vis. Inte kort efter det märkte de andra också vem det var som stod ensam vid skåpen. Jag tittade snabbt bort, fumlade med låset. Men innan jag hann fly, kände jag en hand på min axel.
”Nej men titta… Är det inte lilltjejen?”
Ljudet av Minho-sunbaenims röst fick det att krypa kalla kårar uppför min ryggrad. Jag kämpade emot lusten att springa, jag ville stå kvar, visa mig stark. Men efter att ha hört om vad F4 gjorde med… Feminina personer, så var det inte lätt att vara stark.
Minho greppade min axel hårdare, och jag kände hur en annan hand tog tag i min hästsvans och ryckte i den. Det gjorde ont som satan, och mitt huvud drogs bakåt så att det knäppte i nacken och hårfästet drogs ut till max. Jag försökte hålla ihop tänderna, inte stöna eller kvida, kom igen Taemin, du kan klara det här!
”Fint hår du har, sonyeo… Fast det kanske behöver friseras lite” Ett elakt skratt. Jag trodde att det var G-Dragon som pratade, för rösten var inte lika mörk som någon av de andras. Jag svalde igen.
”Vad sägs om en liten dusch?” fortsatte Jiyong-sunbaenim. Jag kunde riktigt höra det elaka leendet i hans röst. Dusch? Hur menade de?
”Nej, inte dusch… Det bjuder vi inte på. Men hårtvätt kan vi nog ordna” Minho’s röst igen. ”Sedan kan vi fortsätta till klippning och färgning”
Alla fyra skrattade samtidigt, och kunde höra hur nöjda de var med att de hade fått fast mig. Jag kände hur något stack i ögonen på mig, men hindrade tårarna som ville falla både från smärta och från förtvivlan. Klippning, färgning, tvätt? Vad planerade de?
Helt plötsligt drog de iväg mig igen, och jag kraschade rakt in i ett skåp då jag snubblade bakåt. Det smällde rejält, och mina skulderblad kändes som om de skulle spricka. De fyra skrattade igen, och jag kunde inte hindra det, jag kved till – jag var för rädd och det gjorde så ont.
”Oj då, lillan har ont” sa någon med retsam röst – jag kände vagt igen det som Jonghyun. Jag orkade inte titta där jag satt där på golvet vid skåpet.
”Ja men, då får vi kyla ner henne lite så att det lägger sig. Kom med nu!”
Någon drog upp mig, och de började släpa mig i korridorerna. Någonstans på vägen hörde jag ett nytt skratt, men annars var det helt tyst. Jag såg upp på personen om släpade mig. Vitt hår, mörka ögon, markerade kindben och heltäckande kläder – TOP. På min andra sida gick G-Dragon med ett grin på läpparna. Bakom mig, antog jag, gick Jonghyun, för jag såg Minho’s ryggtavla mitt framför mina ögon. Jag slöt ögonen igen, i skräck inför den kommande ”friseringen”.
En dörr öppnades precis intill mig, eller rättare sagt slets upp så det smällde i väggarna då den slog i dem. I närheten av mig hördes stegen tydligare nu, som mot kakel eller något. Och det slog mig var vi var.
Toaletten. Självklart. Vad annars?
Jag kände en stark hand på min rygg, som tvingade ner mig på knä, och sedan ytterligare en på min nacke som tryckte ner mitt huvud. Och sedan möttes jag av vatten, vatten och åter vatten. Isande kallt mot min hud, och jag gurglade förtvivlat.
Jag hade ingen luft. De höll på att dränka mig.
Hela mitt huvud befann sig i toalett-stolen hur nu det fick plats. Jag började se svarta prickar, och det skrämde mig. Jag slöt ögonen, försökte hålla munnen stängd, men mina skrikande lungor började protestera. Jag ville instinktivt öppna munnen igen för att andas, men jag tvingade mig själv att inte göra det. För då skulle jag svimma, eller ännu värre, dö.
Plötsligt slet de upp mig från toan igen. Jag flämtade efter luft, spottade ut allt vatten i munnen, men det var så svårt att andas, så svårt, för mycket vatten i lungorna. Någon dunkade mig hårt i ryggen, antagligen TOP igen. Det var nog han som hade hållit fast mig.
”Svimma inte ny, nu ska vi ha frisering!” G-Dragon igen, med samma retsamma röst som förut.
Den där rösten gav mig helt plötsligt nya krafter. En ilska började strömma i min kropp, ut från mitt hjärta och bröst till alla delar av kroppen. Adrenalinet pumpade genom mina ådror, och helt plötsligt slet jag mig fri från den chockade Seunghyun, hann upp på fötter och sprang för mitt liv ut från toaletten.
The sound of exploding bombs and gunfire filled the whole house. Smattering, shooting, crashes and screeches – all of it boomed into every dark corner of every room, even the bathroom. We didn’t care if we had the volume on max; after all we were just two teenage boys playing PlayStation, while drinking cola and eating chips. At the moment, we didn’t have a thought about the neighbors or passerby’s, all we wanted was to have fun.
I won the first battle, but when Minho had gotten used to the big screen and the console, he started to beat me up. It was fun getting a real challenge for once – all of my friends sucked at PlayStation. I had to give the game my all to beat Minho, but in the end he won three matches out of five.
“Okay, I admit it. You won” I mumbled. I’m a terrible loser, and a terrible winner too – I’m fully aware of that. But luckily, it doesn’t last long. Minho smiles widely in triumph.
“I knew it! I’m the best! Wo-hoo!” He got up and started to dance and rap something improvised. I followed his movements with now great excitement. My bad mood was long gone already.
Minho was actually a really good rapper. His voice fitted perfectly with the fast rap, and as he danced a bit too, it made the whole thing complete. It was wonderful to watch his transformation from the shy, homeless boy to the excited, loud teenager, completely carefree and jolly. I couldn’t help but smile at him, and got up too. He smiled back and stopped dancing and rapping.
“Taemin, why don’t you dance too?”
I felt my cheeks heat up a bit. How did he know that I loved dancing? Oh, maybe he didn’t but…
“D-dance? Do you usually dance like this, without warning?”
“Yeah, it’s a good way to keep the mood up when the weather is bad, you’re freezing and you’re hungry…“ he answered, with his smile still on, “I actually don’t dance that often though, I make the beat and the music for the others to dance to” I felt impressed. So, even in darkest misery, they dance to cheer up and keep themselves up? What strength those guys must have.
“Well… I guess I could dance a bit… Could you, you know, as you expressed it, make the beat?” I said, a bit shyly. I’d never shown my dance moves to anybody before, not even my parents had seen me dance. I just danced when I was alone at home, and thus I had planned to practice a lot these weeks. So why not practice a bit now? I straightened my back and got ready, then glanced at Minho.
He smiled and started to beatbox. He was good at that too, I thought briefly, before I started to dance.
I moved across the floor, wanting to make an impression. First, I did some simple moves. Like sliding across the whole room, before dancing back to the beat, moving together with it. Then I did some harder steps, and finished off with a swirl and a twist of my feet. I stopped, panting the slightest bit – dancing can be tiring – and noticed Minho’s impressed look on me.
“Wow, Taemin… You’re really good at dancing” he said, the impression hearing in his voice. I smiled.
“Thank you… You’re really good at rapping and beatboxing” I replied, and noticed the small embarrassed blush on his cheeks. I noticed I was sweating. Oh god, how many times did I need to wash today? I don’t like to feel unclean in any way, and thus I wash for even the smallest things. But now, with Minho here, who maybe didn’t wash for weeks and was grateful when he got to, it didn’t seem right. So I just glanced at him with a questioning look in my eyes.
“Uhm, Minho-ah? Is it okay that I, uhm, switch to something less warm? This shirt is kind of sweaty” I laughed nervously. He nodded.
“Of course, why should it not be? It’s your house and your rules, after all”
I hurried into my room – which was now temporary his room – and took out a clean, white t-shirt. I switched to that one, reviled at getting rid of the thick, dark blue and green shirt. I went outside the living room again, and was met by the sight of Minho curling up in the sofa with a magazine in his hands. This one was also in English. I peeked over his shoulder just like before.
“Some interesting gossip?”
“No, not really”
“How boring. Why read magazines when you don’t get gossip about famous people?”
“It might be fun for us to read about famous people, but for those famous people it’s not quite that nice. They’re only human just like us, remember?” Minho looked up at my startled face. I hadn’t thought of that.
“I didn’t think of that…” I smiled, feeling guilty.
“No, it’s okay, I just said what I thought” He smiled a reassuring smile, telling me I hadn’t offended him. I was relived once more. I checked the clock – it was about 12 o’ clock, time to eat lunch.
“Hey, I’ll go make us some lunch, okay?” I smiled back at him, and then I went out to the kitchen. I found some noodles and fried chicken, and I guess that had to do it. Mental note – go out for grocery shopping.
When the noodle water was boiling and the chicken legs were heated up in the oven for a short while, I heard Minho enter the kitchen.
“What’s for lunch?”
I turned around to look at him, with my pink apron with bunnies still on – I’d gotten it many years ago, and I didn’t want to let it go.
“Noodles and chicken – which means I’ll have to go grocery shopping after lunch” I smiled at him, while putting the noodles in the water. Minho looked at me and seemed to inhale the scent of food as deep as he could. I guessed he was still not used to have food being served.
“Okay, sound great. Can I join you?”
“Sure, why not. I haven’t got anything to do anyway so…”
The oven signaled that the chicken was ready, and a minute or so after that the noodles were done to. We served ourselves and sat down at the table, talking about random things that popped up in our minds. I told him a little about my friends, family and grandma, and Minho told me stories of the life on the street together with the other boys around his age. It was just like the day before – when we didn’t have anything to say, we stayed quiet – and we both enjoyed the stillness. Some might say I’m a kind of hyper guy, but I can enjoy silence too.
After the lunch, we washed the dishes – I washed, Minho dried – and then got ready for the shopping. That was one more thing I wasn’t used to – it was usually my parents who were doing all the shopping, but now I needed to get used to fixing food and keeping my small budget. Before leaving, Minho put on one of my father’s coats which actually looked quite good on him, I put on my own, and then I turned off all the lights in the house. And then, we left for the store.
After getting what we needed – mostly ramen, chicken, eggs and milk – we went home again. I had bought a big chocolate bar too – something I almost never ate because my parents didn’t want me to eat unhealthy things. Minho and I shared it on our way to my house.
I unlocked the door and turned on the lights again. We unpacked the food inside the kitchen, putting almost everything in the refrigerator before making two cups of tea to ourselves.
We sat together in the same comfortable silence for a while, sipping our tea and just listening to the birds chirping outside the window. It was completely different from yesterday, when the rain had practically washed over the ground. I glanced at the boy before me. He was nice, funny, polite and, yeah, kind. I felt the sudden urge to say something about it, but the words that came out from my mouth were some completely different ones.
“Yah, Minho-ah, are we friends?”
He looked at me, surprised, for a moment. Then he smiled widely.
“I guess we are”
The morning light which struck my face woke me up from my peaceful sleep. I groaned and turned over hiding my face in my pillow – as my morning mood is terrible – only to be surprised at the wall that met me. It wasn’t supposed to be there. I opened my eyes an inch, trying to focus my mind. It was hard though, I was still stuck in my dream. It’d been strange but… Suddenly, I couldn’t remember it anymore. Or, I remembered one thing… Minho had been in it. That was strange too.
At the thought of Minho, the strange boy who’d dropped in yesterday, I was wide awake. What if he had left? Maybe he had left with money? But he hadn’t seemed like the thief type.
I rose from my bed, nudging my eyes to get more awake and yawned. I stretched my back while walking out from the guest room, moving my steps to my own room where Minho hopefully still was. I carefully opened the door, trying to be as quiet as possible. If he were still asleep I didn’t want to wake him up.
The room was shaded in grey, because the light from the sun didn’t quite reach every corner in the room. And because it was still so early – according to the clock it was 6.oo pm in the morning – the sun didn’t stood so high yet and didn’t lend much light anyway. Although the dust which whirled in the air was fully visible, and so was the tall dark haired boy lying on the bed, still fast asleep. I went closer to him, studying his face just as I’d done yesterday. He looked… Peaceful. And now, with the dark circles and pale cheeks gone, I really got to see his looks. He was handsome, indeed. His skin was perfect, no acne or anything, his eyebrows where thick and symmetrical, and he had high cheekbones and a beautiful facial form. His hair cowered his eyes a bit, and with each breathe he took the hair shuddered a bit. I smiled at his face. He looked so innocent. But I still didn’t know who he was.
I went outside again, and just as before I was as quiet as possible so I didn’t disturb his rest. I thought of making breakfast for both of us, and luckily the power was back. I started on making omelets, which was easy and fast but still good food. When the scent of the omelets reached my nostrils I realized how hungry I was, and my stomach started to rumble a bit. I felt my mouth watering – I could hardly wait until they were done.
Finally, they were. I put them on two plates and placed them one the table, then I got some sandwiches and milk out and put it on the table too. I added some glasses and it was done. Then, I walked out to wake Minho up.
I entered the room again. Now, almost half an hour later, he was still asleep in the same position though the light now was right in his face. I gently shake his body to wake him up, and just earned a groan in return. I shake him again.
“Minho, time to wake up” I whispered in his ear, and he slowly opened his eyes a bit.
“Mhm… Just… Five more minutes, please” he answered with a sleepy, muffled voice, which I smiled at. He sounded cute somehow, but I’d never tell him that. I repeated the action over and over again, until he finally rolled out of the bed with a big yawn.
“Okay, okay, I’ll get up” I smiled again.
“Good. Oh, and there’s breakfast in the kitchen if you want to have some. Its omelets, do you like that?” He seemed surprised.
“Uhm, yeah… But that really wasn’t necessary”
“Stop it – you’re my guest, of course you should have breakfast!”
“Oh, okay then” He still seemed surprised and also a bit nervous, but he smiled back at me. And when I left the room, he followed me.
As we sat down on the table, I saw him inhale the scent of food deeply before actually starting to eat it, and he seemed to appreciate the taste a lot. It made me happy to see that – I’m not a good cook and people doesn’t always like the food I make. That was also one of the reasons my grandma was making me dinner when she visited, because she thought I needed some real, healthy food sometimes. I also started to eat the omelets before they got cold, and I thought they tasted good too. I looked at Minho again. He still wore the big shirt which was my father’s, still unbuttoned. Now, I saw that he wasn’t actually that muscular, it was more the fact that he didn’t have any fat at all to cover his muscles that they showed – he was very thin. In contrast to his face, his chest had small scars and markings all over it, the most visible one across his stomach. It was white, around five inches long and maybe half an inch wide. Minho noticed my look, and I saw him smile a bit. I quickly looked away from his scarred body.
“I-I’m sorry for staring, Minho-ah” I excused myself in a haste. He just continued smiling that small smile of his.
“It’s okay, I guess it’s kind of eye-catching” he replied, and I breathed out. Then I shyly looked at him again.
“If I may ask… How did you get those scars? They’re all over your chest and your stomach” I hoped he wouldn’t get mad at me for asking.
Minho just sighed.
“Well, that’s a… Long story” he answered, “and I don’t feel like telling you right now, sorry. It’s not your fault”
I felt confused – suddenly Minho’s expression was very sad, almost alike with his face when he first stood outside my door yesterday. I felt a sudden urge to touch him, to comfort him from whatever it was bothering him. But I resisted – it still didn’t feel right to touch him. I met him just yesterday, so I didn’t know him that well yet. And I didn’t know how he would react if I suddenly took his hand. Maybe he pushed me away? I didn’t want to risk that, because he seemed like such a good, nice person, and I really wanted him as my friend.
“Oh, that’s okay… Don’t worry about it” I smiled instead, trying to put in my comfort in my smile and words instead of touch. Maybe it worked, maybe not, but his expression became softer and his eyes seemed to lose some of their sadness. I was pleased with the change.
After the breakfast was over, both Minho and I put our plates, cutlery and glasses in the sink and then went to our rooms without another word to each other. It was a comfortable silence though, and it didn’t feel awkward at all. We just didn’t have anything to talk about, so why waste time with words?
I undressed, took a quick cold shower to wake me up a bit more, then got my clothes on and dried my hair. After that, I checked my phone for messages. One from my mom – even though it cost a lot to send messages from the states, she still did it to ask if I was alright, if I was lonely and so on. That was exactly what this new message was about. She also said that everything was good with her and dad. I smiles and wrote a long message back, so that she didn’t waste more money on mailing me – I wouldn’t reply anyway. I answered that everything was fine with me too, that grandma had visited two days ago, and that I wasn’t lonely. Not at all, actually. I hesitated, and then wrote that a friend slept over and I didn’t know how long he would stay. I hoped she didn’t find that detail to interesting to reply to my message. I then went out from my room to look how Minho was doing.
I carefully knocked on his – or mine – door, and when I heard a faint “Come in” I opened the door just as carefully.
Minho sat on my – or his – bed, flipping through a paper, looking relaxed. He had found some other clothes then my father’s old ones; now he was dressed in a white t-shirt and a pair of moss-green jeans. I recognized them as mine, and was surprised that he could wear them. But they were actually a little bit too big for me, so maybe they could fit somewhat well. He looked up as I entered the room, his gaze soft and welcoming. He made a gesture to his outfit.
“I found these… Is it okay if I borrow them for a while?” he asked with a small smile curving his lips. I guess he liked them more than the shirt and the jogging trousers. I nodded and sat down beside him, looking at what he was reading. It was an English paper, one of my parents I guessed, and he seemed to understand everything perfectly.
“Why are you reading the English papers? I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that, but… I find it confusing” I laughed a bit at the end of the sentence. Minho just smiled again.
“I think it’s interesting to read papers and books on other languages – you understand the culture a lot better afterwards” I felt my eyes widen. His words… They were simple, but they seemed so deep somehow. This was the longest sentence I had heard him say, and just as they day before, I suddenly thought I liked his voice.
“Oh… Well, I guess that makes sense” I answered, feeling a bit shy. Minho smiled again, and flipped a page. His eyes read so quickly, I could never have followed in his tempo.
Suddenly, I thought of something.
“Oh! Minho, I know almost nothing about you, you know nothing about me… How about we tell each other something about ourselves?” I asked excitedly. I really wanted to know more about him, and as it was a free day I had hours and hours to spend as I wanted to. Maybe Minho too, but maybe he had something planned this weekend?
I saw that he was going to answer my question, but just as he opened his mouth I cut him off.
“But, maybe you have planned something today?”
Minho smiled at me, I guessed because of my impatience.
“The second question – no, I haven’t got anything planned for today, and the first question – sure, why not?”
He seemed to speak more freely to me now, and I was glad for that. I was afraid I’d been to free in my talking, but apparently he hadn’t minded that.
“Awesome! So, should we like… Do “Truth or Dare” or just ask questions?”
“Okay” I took a deep breathe, before asking, “What’s your full name?”
“Choi Minho. Okay, what’s yours?”
“Lee Taemin. Have you got a girlfriend?”
“No. What about you?”
“Me neither… Oh, what to ask? … Oh! Where do you live?”
I saw Minho shudder a bit at the question, and he seemed to hesitate before answering.
“Well I… have no home really” He laughed nervously and I looked at him, surprised. Had I heard right? Was this boy homeless? Well, that explained some things. Like his skinniness, his hunger, his lack of good clothes and shoes, his dirty appearance and his need of somewhere to sleep in the rain. And the sadness in his eyes…
“Really? You have no home? Where… Where do you sleep then?” I asked nervously. Maybe it was a touchy subject, I didn’t know. Minho bit his lip.
“I often sleep at the basketball court, together with some other homeless boys in my age… Or just on the street” he answered with a strangely nervous voice too. I got shocked. At the streets? In the basketball court?!
“But… How did you get homeless?”
“My parents died in a car accident when I was nine – so ten years ago – and I got to live with my uncle, who wasn’t very nice. When I was fourteen he kicked me out from his house, and since then I’ve been homeless” he answered simply. I was still a bit shocked, so I didn’t came up with anything to say, before Minho sighed heavily.
“Maybe… that’s enough questions for today”
“Yeah… Now, let’s do something fun! What do you want to do?”
It poured down outside my window. Big, heavy drops of water soaking the entire city. Depressing. I never liked rain, it’s so wet and everything gets muddy – unless it’s cold and it freezes. The only time I can like rain, is when it’s soft summer rain, and you sit with a cup of tea inside your house with your family and friends. Right now, it really wasn’t that kind of rain. It was autumn rain, rain that hurt when it hit your bare arms, and to make the whole thing worse the power had gone.
So I sat there by myself, no light, no electricity and no tea. And with the sound of rain smattering outside.
It was starting to get cold. When evening came and the power wasn’t back, I felt I had to do something. The time I’d been sitting by the kitchen window just looking out had felt like years, with nothing to do and no company. I rose from my chair and went out to the living room to light a fire. It would be both warm and spread light, though I lighted some candles in some places in the house.
As soon as the fire was up, I went out to the kitchen again, looking for something to eat in front of it. I found some chips, and I got them into a bowl and took them out to the living room. It was still cold tough, so I decided to go get something warmer to wear.
And so, I sat there, in a warm hoodie, wrapped into a blanket, in front of an open fire eating chips, with no electricity and nothing.
After a while, I started to feel my feet get warmer and warmer. Surprisingly, I hadn’t noticed that I my toes were freezing so much. I moved closer to the fire, sticking out my feet and let the warmth of the flames pour into my body. I started to relax. Of course, I’d been alone at home many times – but the power had never gone. And now, my parents should be away for three weeks. They’d got my grandma to visit me two or three times a week, to check if I was okay and have dinner with me. It was kind of cozy to have my grandma there at those times, but as I imagined her sitting next to me at the fire made me want her there more than ever. I felt lonely.
Suddenly, I heard a knock on the door. I looked up, realizing I didn’t see anything in the dark because my eyes had been used to the light of the fire by now. For a second, I thought it was my grandma visiting, or my parents coming home early. Then, I realized, my grandma would have never went out in this weather, and my parents we’re probably asleep in New York by this time. Then who could it be? I didn’t know anyone else who would visit me, as I haven’t got so many friends. And, the friends I have would just like my grandma never visit me in this rain.
My thoughts were interrupted by another knock, this time a bit harder and more desperate-sounding. I went up from my place by the fire – my legs a bit stiff – and went over to open the door, still covered in my blanket. Full of curiosity, I opened.
There, in the rain that was literally splashing down, stood a young man. He seemed to be around three years older than me, so I guessed I could call him that. But I didn’t really know how old he was. He was completely soaked and dripping wet, although he stood under the little roof that covered our door. But as he’d been walking in this weather, what did I expect? He had messy, half-short hair in a dark brown tone and big brown eyes. He seemed tall, but as he stood with his arms wrapped around himself because of the cold and with his back arched, it didn’t seem that way. His lips were blue from cold, and he just wore a white t-shirt and a pair of too big, dark jeans. Through the t-shirt, you could see his muscular chest and arms. He didn’t seem to have any shoes.
The young man looked at me with tired and pleading eyes, and opened his mouth to say something.
“Please, can I come in for just a moment?”
His voice was surprisingly deep, but I liked it. It sounded warm, although he seemed to be everything else then warm at the moment. I nodded and stepped aside to show him in. He bowed and thanked me the slightest bit, but was apparently far too tired to speak more. Not that I cared. I felt bad for him. What did he do, outside in the rain?
I quickly gave him the blanket to wrap around himself, and then I hurried over to the bathroom to find a towel to put on the floor – my parents would kill me if I ruined the floor or the carpets. I laid it in the hall, and he carefully stepped up on it. I didn’t know what else to do.
I looked at him. He seemed lost and sad, and those dark eyes looking around so slowly, inspecting my house. Maybe he needed a wash, or to go to the restroom?
I tried to talk.
“Uhm, the toilet is over there… if you need it… And you’re welcome to take a shower if you want to” I didn’t exactly trust my voice or my words, but he seemed thankful. He bowed again. I saw that his lips started to turn into the slightest shade of pink by now, and I smiled at him. Just a small smile, but anyway. It felt right. And now, it wasn’t so alone anymore. Even in the company of a complete stranger, it felt better than being all alone in the darkness with only the fire to speak to.
The strange boy “slid” across the floor with the towel underneath his feet, toward the bathroom. It looked funny, but the poor light made it hard to see. I realized I didn’t have any candlelight’s in the bathroom, and went to get some. I hurried over to the bathroom, and lightened the candles. I was thankful the young man hadn’t undressed yet – he was just a stranger, and he’d only said a few words to me.
As soon as I heard the water from the shower – over the smattering or rain – I went into my room again, looking for some clothes to let him borrow. He was much bigger than me, so I had to go into my dad’s room and take out some of his clothes. I hoped the boy wouldn’t mind wearing them. Then I went out into the living room, placed the clothes over a chair which a put in front of the fire to warm them up a bit. Then, I went out in the kitchen to look for food – I was sure he was hungry.
When I came out from the kitchen with some sandwiches and milk, he was sitting in front of the fire, already dressed in my dad’s training trousers and shirt. It was odd seeing someone else in those familiar clothes. He had placed the now wet blanket – which he had wrapped around himself while he was still in his soaked clothes – over the chair where the clothes had been. He sat totally quiet in front of the fire, holding out his hands to warm them up. I saw he’d washed his hair too – now it looked a lot lighter and less messy. He had the towel wrapped around his long neck, hanging down over his shoulders. The shirt was unbuttoned, and the water drops on his chest gleamed in the light from the fire and the candles.
I walked up to him, carefully sitting down on my knees beside him. He didn’t seem to notice. I inspected his face once more – now it looked perfectly healthy, no blue lips or pale cheeks, but there were dark circles under his eyes. He seemed very tired.
“Hey, do you want to eat something?” I asked him nervously. He turned to look at me, the smallest of smiles curving his lips.
“Yes… Thank you” he answered with his deep, warm voice. I handed him a glass of milk, and told him to serve himself with the sandwiches. He almost ate it all up – and apologized, but I didn’t care about that. He needed it more than I did. After that, we just sat in silence for a while. Then, he suddenly spoke up.
“Thank you for… letting me in from the rain earlier” He bowed ever so slightly at my direction. I smiled at him.
“No need to say thanks, I mean, should I’ve left you there outside?”
He seemed to think.
“And thank you for… giving me food and clean clothes. I dearly appreciate it” he continued after a while. I enjoyed listening to his voice somehow – it seemed to fit in this situation, with the fire and the raw warmth from the flames.
“Again, no thank you needed. I just did what had to be done. It feels nice to be able to help” I smiled again. It felt right smiling. He smiled back, a bit bigger and less nervously this time. I suddenly remembered I didn’t know what his name was.
“Hey, what’s your name?” I asked, looking at him with my head a bit tilted over. The boy looked back with a hint of surprise in his eyes, before answering.
“Minho… My name is Minho…” he said slowly. I smiled – I liked that name.
“Alright Minho, my name is Taemin” I answered. He smiled back at this; I guess he liked my name just as I liked his. “Oh, and how old are you, Minho?” I continued. He seemed to think again.
“I’m… Nineteen” I felt my eyes widen in surprise. Nineteen? Only one year older than me.
“I’m eighteen, if you want to know!”
It was a moment of stillness before I started the conversation again.
“Now, would you like to borrow a room here over the night? I don’t think you would want to go out there again” I pointed out at the rain, “and your clothes aren’t dry yet. What do you say?”
He seemed to consider it for a while. Then, he nodded. I rose, and so did he and we walked over to my room. I showed the bed to him.
“Here, you can sleep here”
He looked around for a moment, and then looked at me.
“I can’t… This is your room…”
I just smiled.
“I’ll sleep in the guest room. Now, go to sleep”
“No buts!” I laughed, and I saw him smile too.
“Good night” I called when I got out from the room, and just before I closed the door I heard his voice again.
“Good night… Taemin”
Still Taemin’s POV
Onew nickade lite sorgset åt mig, och Key bet sig i läppen.
”Jag… är rädd för det, Minne… Men vi kommer hjälpa dig, okej?” Kibum såg på mig med bevekande ögon – det verkade som om han klandrade sig själv av någon skruvad anledning. Jag hatade att se min umma med de där ögonen, så jag sträckte ut handen efter honom. Och hur skrämd jag än var lyckades jag ändå le mot honom.
”Det kommer gå bra, umma, oroa dig inte” sa jag och försökte låta lugn. Key såg på mig som om världen höll på att gå under, innan han rätade på sig igen och blev divan Key igen – men mer som en blek kopia av sig själv.
”Men… Om du nu måste vara, eh, utsatt, så kan vi ju lika gärna berätta om den här gruppen, eller hur?” Onew såg på både mig och Kibum med nervös blick, innan han slickade sig om läpparna och började prata vid Key’s lilla nickning.
”Det finns två så kallade gangstergäng här på Go Sen High – F4 eller De Fyra och Last Sunset kallas de. I F4 ingår – det var det gänget du mötte – Choi Minho, Choi Seunghyun, Kwon Jiyong och Kim Jonghyun. Fast Seunghyun-sunbaenim och Jiyong-sunbaenim kallas-”
Här avbröt jag honom. Kim Jonghyun? Hade jag hört rätt?
”Menar du den Kim Jonghyun?” frågade jag tveksamt, och såg hur Key fick en ännu ledsnare min i ansiktet. Det som gott bekräftade det. Jonghyun hade varit en av hans närmaste vänner, och nu var han med i gänget som hade trakasserat min umma. Han hade också känt Onew på ett hörn, men de hade inte varit så nära kompisar. Det hade nog varit lättare för Jinki att acceptera att Jjong blev en del av F4 än det hade varit för Key-umma.
Onew suckade och nickade också. Sedan fortsatte han.
”Som jag sa, Seunghyun-sunbaenim och Jiyong-sunbaenim kallas för TOP och G-Dragon av alla. De som råkar kalla dem för något annat – och inte är antingen någon av deras gäng eller Last Sunset-gänget – trakasserar de extra mycket. Du känner igen TOP-sunbaenim på hans silvervita hår och G-Dragon-sunbaenim på sina tatueringar och på att han skiftar hårfärg hela tiden. Ledaren i F4 är Choi Minho, han den långa, du vet?” Onew såg på mig. Jag nickade och han fortsatte. ”Han är den som liksom väljer bland eleverna vilka som ska mobbas eller inte mobbas – extra mycket alltså. Och sist är… Kim Jonghyun. Han är den kortaste av dem, och den tystaste vanligtvis. Oftast är det G-Dragon-sunbaenim som snackar, Minho-ah som slår, TOP-sunbaenim som håller fast och Jonghyun-ah som håller utkik. Fattar du?” Jag nickade igen. Onew öppnade munnen igen, efter en blick på Key som om han förväntade sig att Kibum skulle säga stopp.
”Last Sunset är det andra gänget, beståande av Dong Youngbae, Lee Seunghyun och Kang Daesung. Youngbae-sunbaenim kallas för Taeyang, Seunghyun-ah för Seungri och Daesung-ah för, tja, Daesung. Ingen vågar anmärka på Taeyang’s namn! Om man gör det så råkar man illa ut. Taeyang-sunbaenim är också ledaren i Last Sunset, men de är mer jämnlika än de är i F4, och generellt sett mer förlåtande. Dom dödar en inte för att man råkade krocka i dem någon gång. Taeyang-sunbaenim bryr sig inte så mycket om tjejer alls förresten, men Seungri-ah är en riktig player. Han dumpar dock nästan alla sina flickvänner efter en väldigt kort tid. Daesung… Tja, Daesung är det ingen som vet så mycket om. Förut hade Last Sunset en till medlem, och det är genom honom som man har fått den mesta informationen. Han var ledaren innan Taeyang-sunbaenim och hette Siwon. Men efter att han slutade ryktas det om att han har blivit skötsam och så” Onew pausade för att hämta andan och jag kollade på klockan. En halvtimme kvar. Gott om tid.
”Lite annat du borde veta… Jo, F4’s senaste ”offer” var en kille som hette Choi Minki, men som kallades Ren. Ren var väldigt utsatt från början, med sitt intresse för sång och med sitt flickaktiga utseende. Det slutade med att Minki-ah – han gick här förra året – försökte ta självmord genom att hänga sig i expeditionen. Men någon hittade honom och de flyttade honom till en annan skola” Jag svalde hårt. Skulle de gå så hårt åt mig med? Så att jag blev självmordsbenägen? Vad var det för en skola jag hade börjat på?