I gently ruffled Taemin’s soft, brown hair. He breathed softly and relaxed, and seemed to be far away in his dream land. I figured he dreamt something nice and happy, because he smiled in his sleep. It was soothing to see, calming me down as well. But not so much that I could sleep, no, not that much by far. I was still shaken up.
“Hey, Minho-ah! You’re back!”
I waved to the rest of the guys of the gang as I came closer. They waved back, big smiles on their faces. They seemed a bit tired, all of them, and actually a bit more dirty than usual. Strange, but I decided not to worry about it. They were always dirty after all – always tired – maybe it was just because I was so unusually clean myself that I thought they looked more unclean than I was used to… Well, never mind that.
“Hi guys! Missed me that much, eh?”
Jonghyun walked up to me, brohugging me before letting go and looking into my eyes with a smile.
“Sure we did, hell, why did you just disappear like that, bro?” I laughed.
“Well, you know the storm? I was like caught in it, and I had to find a shelter. I actually got to have a roof over my head that night – a nice kiddo took me into his house”
The gang whistles and I smirked. Jonghyun smiled widely.
“Great! Got any money from him?”
“Yeah, but I didn’t took it – he gave it to me” Another whistle, this time from Jiyong.
“Awesome!” Jonghyun said, patting my shoulder. “How much?”
I silently took up the won Taemin hade gave me, and noticed the others hungry glares at them. I wasn’t really in need for them, so I gave it to them – everyone got alike of course. Their smiles widened.
“No problem, guys, damn… It’s nothing” I laughed at their eager. “Now, let’s go and buy something good, eh?”
A while after that – around lunchtime, I figured, because I didn’t have a clock – we all sat down near the basketball court, stuffed with all kinds of food. Or, rather, the food we had the money enough to buy. Because when we had money, we didn’t steal. But when we didn’t we stole what we needed to have for surviving. I always felt guilty afterwards, but that feeling became more dulled over the years. It was the same for the other guys – Jonghyun, Jiyong and Seunghyun – they were always a bit quieter than usual after stealing. We would just sit there, eating stolen food, not talking at all. Then, someone – often Jiyong – came up with something to brighten up the mood in our small group. Sometimes, we played basketball. We had found an old ball at the court, and hidden it fell. It was our treasure. When people passed by while we were playing, they often started for a while – the old people smiling at our laughs and eagerness – before they started to walk again. When we played, we didn’t show anything of our misery.
Or, we danced and singed, as I’d told Taemin. And that was what we did now.
“Hey, can’t we do anything? I’m dying from boredom over here” Jiyong groaned. I turned toward him.
“I dunno… Sing? Dance?”
“Come on, we always dance without music, pabo!”
I laughed at the silly boy.
“Sure, Jiyong-ah… Seunghyun-ah, can you do the beat?” The eldest one of our group – though he didn’t always act like that – smirked at me.
And then, like at a commando, we all stood up. Seunghyun moved to the leftmost side, I stood at the back, Jiyong at the rightmost side and Jonghyun in the front. Some other kids playing at the court stopped their game and looked at us with curious faces. I smiled at them, and they got a little closer. Jiyong took off his hat and placed it on the ground – just in case someone wanted to give.
Seunghyun started his beatbox, and Jonghyun took the first steps. We decided to do a dance battle, so Jiyong was next, then me, and then Jonghyun again. Seunghyun – not so confident about his dancing moves, and making the beat – didn’t participate in the competition.
Jonghyun made a quick turnaround, slamming his hands against his thighs, danced backwards and hen smirked at Jiyong to tell him it was his turn. Jiyong smirked back and made a breakdance move. When it was my turn, I did the same thing as I had showed Taemin.
More and more people came to watch us, some giving us money. We continued until we felt how we started to get tired, and then Jiyong won the competition with his breakdance. The people gathering around us clapped and we smiled at them, bowing and thanked them for their attention. The kids we had seen earlier watched us with admiring eyes. We waved to them before they left. They were probably heading home, to a caring family who loved them… Oh stop it, no such thoughts Minho!
We sat down to rest a while after the dancing. We had all enjoyed it, and felt refreshed and happy afterwards – we usually did. For a while we just sat there, kind of exhausted, and ate the rest of the snack. We agreed about saving the money for later, and we put it on another safe place.
After about half an hour, three quarters, I looked at the sun checking the time. Because of many years going after the sun, I knew that the time was about four, and I figured that Taemin had quitted school by that time. I rose from the ground, and the three others looked at me. I smiled at them.
“I’m just going to take a walk! I’ll be back in a minute!”
They smiled back, waved and then continued to talk. I turned away from them and started walking in the direction of Taemin’s school. I took a shortcut through one of the many small alleys that lead from the court. I knew the way very well – we had used it as a runaway from cops many times when we had stolen food or other stuff, mostly clothes. I was about to turn right – I knew the left path went to a dead end – when I heard a slight yelp. It seemed to come from the left path, and I turned my head towards there. For some reason, I felt uneasy… And worried. I thought about shaking it off, but then I heard a loud thud and couldn’t ignore the feeling longer. To my very own surprise, I found myself dashing toward the sound. And then, I stopped dead in my tracks.
What I saw totally terrified me.
Taemin was lying on the ground, whimpering and gasping for air, while a huge man stood leaned over him, ready to hit Taemin’s pretty face with a heavy punch. The man had a really scary – almost perverted – grin on his face, and seemed to enjoy the sound of Taemin’s pain.
Without further thinking, I rushed forward again, and dragged the man away from my friend. I took a grip of his shoulders and practically threw him on the ground. His eyes widened in surprise, but I couldn’t even see which color they were – I only saw red. I bent over him, hitting first his stomach with my knee and then punched his face as hard as I could. And that was pretty hard. Years of surviving at the street, playing basketball and dancing, had made me strong. The man just blacked out, bleeding from his mouth. I didn’t pay more attention to him after that. I hurried over to Taemin again, placing my hand gently on his shoulder. He was shaking.
“Taemin-ah! Are you okay?” I asked him, the worry I felt heard in my voice. Then, I noticed now my hand was getting red.
“Oh god… Are you bleeding?” I said shakily. Then, he realized he seemed to relax in some weird way – he fell. “Taemin? Taemin!”
He had passed out. And I stood there, with his body in my arms, scared to death.
I breathed in deeply to calm myself. I looked at the boy sleeping in my lap. Oh Taemin. If you knew how much I care about you.
“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.
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 Minho’s POV
Väl framme vid skolan parkerade jag motorcykeln, drog av mig hjälmen och började självsäkert gå mot ingången. Först kollade jag klockan på mobilen. Bra, det var några minuter kvar. Då hann jag träffa mitt gäng bakom skolan först, snacka lite, och komma lagom mycket för sent. Jag hade ett meddelande från Jonghyun såg jag också. Jag öppnade det och läste snabbt innan jag textade tillbaka.
Jjong: Kommer du till skolan idag elr?
Jag: Ja, jag är här utanför nu LIKE A BOSS!”
Han svarade efter ungefär tio sekunder.
Jjong: Okej, ses på baksidan då typ? Ska jag messa TOP och G-Dragon oxå?
Jag: Sure, do that bro. I’ll be there in a minute.
Jag stoppade undan mobilen och såg mig omkring. Jag möttes av de vanliga blickarna från tidigare eller nuvarande mobboffer – sårade, arga, rädda – och de beundrande blickarna från alla tjejer som älskade mig. Jag hindrade ett leende – att hålla ett neutralt ansikte var gangster-regeln nummer ett. Jag gick in i skolan, och ut på andra sidan. Där stod redan mitt gäng och skrattade, lutade mot några trälårar och ett stängsel. Jag vinkade förstrött åt dem. Jonghyun bara höjde handen mot mig, G-Dragon vinkade lite mer entusiastiskt och TOP höjde ett ögonbryn och hade ett leende i mungipan. Som tur var hade inte GD tänt en cigg än – jag tyckte det luktade förskräckligt.
”Yah! Där är du ju, Minho-ah!” ropade Jjong och gick fram till mig. Jag höjde handen till en high five, och fick en också. Jag log mot dem, med en min som sa ”I’m back, bitches”. TOP log fortfarande på sitt speciella vis, drog ena handen genom sitt silvervita hår, medan G-Dragon satte på någon musik i sina hörlurar.
”Så vad gör vi nu?” frågade Jonghyun. Jag ryckte på axlarna.
”Vi väntar tills det har gått ett tag, sedan går vi in till lektionen antar jag” svarade jag lite nonchalant. TOP såg upp på mig.
”Men borde vi inte visa oss för nördarna? Skrämma dem? Det vore kul att göra det” sa han. Hans djupa röst fick det att låta som han småskrattade. Jag log lite.
Vi gick in igen, och reaktionen var omedelbar och tillfredsställande. De flesta av nördarna tystnade, förutom de tre andra bråkstakarna – D-Lite, SOL, och Victory – från vår årskurs, som höjde händerna åt oss och flinade elakt. Vi flinade tillbaka. Egentligen hette de ju inte så – deras riktiga namn var Daesung, Taeyang och Seungri – men de kallades för D-Lite, SOL, och Victory av de flesta. Vi passerade dem och gick i riktning mot utgången.
Precis utanför expeditionen krockade jag med någon. Inte för att något kunde rubba mig, men att någon ens hade vidrört mig som inte var någon av de gangsters vi hade i skolan retade mig. Ville den här personen dö eller?
Jag kollade på den lilla personen framför mig. Det såg ut att vara en tjej – håret var långt, ansiktet var litet och feminint med stora ögon och kroppen var smal och slankt byggd.
”Yah! Se dig för vart du går, lilltjejen!” sa jag. Fast inte så hotfullt som jag brukar – jag trakasserar vanligtvis inte tjejer. Sedan rätade personen på sig och jag fick se ansikte ordentligt. Efter en närmare titt på det insåg jag att det var en kille, och ett grin spred sig över mina läppar. Han såg ut att bli lite rädd, men där fanns också en skymt av ilska i hans stora ögon. Det här skulle bli roligt.
”Men ser man på… Det var visst inte en tjej i alla fall” fortsatte jag.
”Är du säker på det, Minho-ah?” hörde jag Jonghyun’s röst bakom mig, och sedan ljudet av både Jjong’s, TOP’s och GD’s skratt. Killen framför mig verkade nervös, mycket nervös. Han var väl ny. Jag såg på honom igen. Kanske hade jag hittat årets nya mobboffer?
Jag gjorde ett tecken bak mot de andra, visade att vi skulle gå. På vägen förbi killen knuffade jag till honom. Han hade ju trots allt också slagit min bröstkorg, jag fick väl ge igen? Inte för att hans hade känts men…
Jag gick mot utgången. Det fick bli en skolkdag i alla fall.
Still Taemin’s POV
I ett par sekunder stod jag bara och stirrade efter dem, både ledsen, generad, arg och… Tja, upprörd helt enkelt. Vad hade de där killarna för problem? De såg ut att gå i en eller två årskurser högre än jag.
Jag vände mig om och såg hur en välbekant figur med färgglada attiraljer förutom skoluniformen kom springande mot mig. Jag vinkade mot min bästa vän – Key, ett år äldre än jag – och han vinkade ivrigt tillbaka innan han nästan sprang på mig och kramade om mig. Jag hostade till och Key släppte mig, men höll fast mina armar. Han log brett mot mig och ignorerade fullständigt blickarna han fick av andra elever.
”Umma har saknat sin lilla Taeminnie!” fortsatte han och såg nästan ut som om han tänkte börja hoppa upp och ner på stället. Jag log tillbaka. Jag var glad att i alla fall ha någon vän i den här skolan.
”Jag saknade dig med, Key” svarade jag, ”men måste du göra sådär inför hela skolan?” Han bara skrattade. Hans skratt var vackert, det hade jag alltid tyckt. Jag tyckte mycket om min umma, han tog hand om mig så bra. Jag såg honom både som en extra-mamma och som en bror, men mycket som en vän också.
”Vad är det för fel med det, Minnie?”
”Det är pinsamt…”
”Bry dig inte om det” Han log och släppte mina armar, och klappade mig på axeln i stället. Sedan blev han lite seriösare. ”Vad är din första lektion?”
Jag kollade snabbt på schemat jag hade fått, och såg att det var historia. Ganska tråkigt.
”Eh, historia” svarade jag lite osäkert. Key log stort igen.
”Jag följer dig dit!” svarade han och tog min ena hand i fast grepp, och började dra iväg mig mot en trappa längst bort i rummet.
Det ilska ljudet av min väckarklocka väckte mig ur min djupa, drömlösa och fullständigt underbara sömn. Jag morrade, med huvudet nere i kudden, och slog häftigt efter väckarklockan. Vem tusan hade kommit på idén att ställa den? Jag brukade ju ändå aldrig gå till skolan. Sedan kom jag på att det var jag som hade ställt den, eftersom jag brukade ha för vana att gå till skolan första dagen, och sedan skolka i stort sett hela terminen. Om jag inte hittade någon intressant person att trakassera förstås – då kunde det ibland bli upp till tre-fyra dagar i veckan som jag var i skolan.
Jag reste mig från sängen, sträckte på mig och gäspade ljudligt för att mamma skulle höra att jag hade gått upp. Jag famlade mig fram till fönstret, öppnade det lite för att släppa in lite frisk luft och gick sedan ut för att äta något – jag var så sjukt hungrig. Ute i köket stod min mamma och lagade omeletter till frukost. Hon vände sig om och log mot mig då jag kom ut till köket.
”God morgon, älskling. Sovit gott?” frågade hon mjukt.
”Mamma, kalla mig inte det där… och ja, jag antar det” svarade jag med ännu en gäspning. Hon kände genast igen mitt dåliga morgonhumör, och ägnade sig efter det åt att göra klart omeletterna.
Så fort jag hade ätit upp ställde jag tallriken på diskbänken, tackade mamma kort för att hon hade gjort frukost och gick sedan in till mig eget rum igen. Jag grävde efter min nya skoluniform som mamma hade beställt, under alla andra kläder jag aldrig planerade eller hade använt. Sedan upptäckte jag att den låg struken på sängen. Onödigt mamma. Men snällt ändå.
Jag gick ut genom dörren med ett ”Ses senare!” och låste upp min motorcykel. Hjälmen satte jag på huvudet, och ovanpå skjortan drog jag en läderjacka som skyddade fast den var cool. Sedan åkte jag iväg, fast det kändes mer som att flyga. Jag gasade.
Han föredrar att kallas Key, trots att han riktiga namn är Kibum. Key kommer från en ganska rik familj, och bor en bit utanför Seoul i en lyxig villa. Han är oftast väldigt vänlig, men kan vara en diva ibland. Han närmaste vänner är Taemin och Onew (Jinki), men förut var han också god vän med Jonghyun. De två har dock slutat att umgås efter att Jonghyun gick med i Minho’s gäng. Key har också blivit retad av ”De fyra”, på grund av att han beter sig och ser ut lite som en tjej, men han har aldrig riktigt tagit till sig. Han är rädd för höjder, älskar att baka och laga mat, och kallas ”umma” (umma = mamma på koreanska) av Taemin.
Lee Jinki (Onew)
Jinki kallas för Onew av nästan alla, men när han hälsar på främlingar presenterar han sig som “Jinki, Lee Jinki”. Han är ganska klumpig, men mycket rolig och glad. Han skämtar om allt och alla, och ser alltid framåt. Men han vet då han ska vara seriös. Han är god vän med både Kim Kibum och Lee Taemin, och känner också Kim Jonghyun på ett hörn. Fast nu umgås han inte med Jonghyun längre eftersom han är med i Choi Minho’s gäng. Onew älskar kyckling, och kallas därför iband för Chicken-Onew av sina vänner.
Jonghyun går i samma årskurs som Choi Minho, och är en del av hans gäng. Han har bott i Seoul hela sitt liv, och eftersom han har ganska mycket pengar tänkte först hans föräldrar få in honom på en privatskola. Jonghyun protesterade då starkt mot detta beslut. Han är barndomsvän med Key men de umgås inte längre, förutom när deras föräldrar bjuder in varandra på middagar. Jonghyun är en ganska seriös person, men han gillar att skämta med sina kompisar. Dessutom har han talang för att sjunga.
Här kommer en liten typ ”biografi” över de personer som kommer vara med i ”New Kid” – min SHINee-fanfiction 8D
Den nya killen i skolan. Han flyttat till Seoul från en annan stad där han har bott i ett år. Dessförinnan bodde han också i Seoul, vilket är därför han känner Kim Kibum och Lee Jinki. Han har ett väldigt feminint utseende, med långt hår, och har därför mer än en gång misstagits för en tjej – vilket han finner generande och besvärande. Taemin är en väldigt omtänksam och snäll person, som alltid försöker göra sitt bästa. Han älskar att dansa på fritiden.
Minho är skolans populäraste kille. Han vet om det, och har därför ett väldigt uppblåst ego. Han trycker ner folk som är yngre än han, och som han inte tycker om. Då han för ovanlighetens skull var i skolan en gång stötte han på Taemin – som han genast började mobba för sitt tjejiga utseende. Bakom sig har han alltid sitt trogna “hov” beståande av tre andra killar i hans årskurs – Kim Jonghyun, Choi Seunghyun och Kwon Jiyong. Han har också ofta en massa tjejer efter sig, men har aldrig haft en flickvän i längre än två veckor.
Min SHINee ff äntligen uppe! Yay! 8D Tack Annassa för idéerna! ^^
Story: Lee Taemin och hans familj flyttar äntligen tillbaka till Seoul, eter att ha bott någon annan stans i ungefär ett år. Taemin måste nu börja i en helt ny skola, där han inte känner någon förutom sin bästa vän, Kim Kibum – eller ”Key-umma” som Taemin ofta kallar honom, och Lee Jinki – en annan kompis till honom. Första dagen i skolan råkar dock Taemin direkt träffa på skolans boss – Choid Minho, tillsammans med sitt gäng (Jonghyun, Seunghyun och Jiyong). På grund av sitt feminina utseende blir Taemin direkt utsedd till årets mobboffer…
”Klarar du dig själv nu då, gubben?”
Jag vände mig om mot min mamma, som satt i framsätet i bilen med rutan nervevad. Hon hade en sådan där typisk ”mammig” min i ansiktet, båda händerna på ratten och såg på mig med mjuka, bruna ögon. Jag log lugnande åt henne, trots att jag inte kände mig det minsta lugn alls.
Jag skulle börja i en helt ny skola idag. Första dagen i en helt ny klass, en ny stad… Vem kände sig inte lite nervös inför en sådan situation? Nåja, kanske inte min bästa kompis – Kim Kibum, som den självsäkra person han var. Men han hade ju kommit in i klassen på ett väldigt bra sätt, och det visste jag inte om jag skulle göra. Tänk om jag skulle bli mobbad? Eller utfryst? Elle- Nej! Tyst Taemin!
”Det kommer säkert gå jättebra mamma, oroa dig inte” svarade jag på hennes fråga, innan jag vände mig om och gick till skolan.
”Ha det så bra!” hörde jag henne ropa bakom mig, och jag suckade. Varför behövde hon ropa så högt? Det var lite pinsamt…
Jag var på väg mot ingången då jag såg en grupp med tjejer som först stirrade på mig, och sedan började fnittra och slänga med håret. Eftersom jag inte hade någon erfarenhet av tjejer visste jag inte hur jag skulle reagera, utan jag bara fortsatte gå. Då jag kom in innanför skolans väggar såg jag mig nervöst omkring efter en skylt som hänvisade till expeditionen, och suckade lättat då jag såg en. Skymd under min långa lugg gick jag fram till dörren, knackade och gick in. Kvinnan bakom disken log artigt mot mig, hälsade, och jag hälsade tillbaka. Jag fick ett schema och anvisningar om vart saker låg, och en önskan om lycka till. Jag tackade och gick ut, för att krascha rakt in i en muskulös bröstkorg.
Jag föll nästan baklänges av krocken, men personen framför mig verkade inte ta någon effekt alls. Så kände jag hur något träffade mig hårt i bröstet. På grund av mitt hår såg jag ingeting – det hade hamnat i ögonen – men smällen tog andan ur mig. Så fort jag hämtat mig såg jag upp.
”Yah! Se dig för vart du går, lilltjejen!” hördes en ganska mörk, definitivt manlig röst.
Killen framför mig var lång, väldigt lång. Han var rätt så muskulös – vilket jag redan upplevt – och han hade mörk kortklippt hår och mörka ögon. Om han inte i det ögonblicket hade haft en min av avsmak i sitt ansikte, skulle han nog antagligen klassas som snygg. Men vad hade han just kallat mig?
Jag rätade på ryggen och såg upp på honom. Han var så lång! Jag kände mig väldigt kort jämfört med honom, men jag antog att det var för att hans utstrålning kort och gott var dominans. Han granskade mitt ansikte för en sekund, och sedan började ett elakt leende sprida sig över hans ansikte.
”Men ser man på… Det var visst inte en tjej i alla fall” sa han med ett elakt uttryck i ögonen. En kortare kille med skarpare drag i ansiktet – men också han med mörkt hår – steg fram en bit. Han log också lite elakt.
”Är du säker på det, Minho-ah?” sa han, och de två andra i gänget om fyra började skratta elakt. Jag kände hur hjärtat sjönk i bröstet på mig. Vad hade jag gjort för fel nu?
De skrattade fortfarande elakt när de gick förbi mig, ut mot utgången. Den första killen, Minho, knuffade till mig då han passerade.