Someone was crouching outside the supermarket. It was the first time I'd seen that hyung. He was playing with Dongyi. He pet him and fed him something like bread. We met eyes for a second. Then I looked ahead in surprise and kept walking. I hid myself inside an alley and peeked out. Crap. Who is that? I put my hand in my pocket and touched the plastic bag that held my ham and toast. Crap I tried so hard to hide it...

    "Oh. Taehyung is here. What are you doing? Didn't you come to play with Dongyi?"

    I jumped in surprise. It was the owner of the supermarket. The hyung from earlier lifted his head and looked at me. Crap. All because of this guy. Since I'd already been caught. I went out in front of the hyung.

    "Who are you” I asked.

    "Me?" He looked at me like he didn't know what he was supposed to say.

    "Why are you playing with Dongyi?"

    "What?" Again, he said nothing.

    That was how I started talking with him. "My dad says when he earns a lot of money and we move into a big house, I can raise a dog. So I'm going to take Dongyi and raise him. Don't even think about being greedy, hyung”

    Hyung nodded "that sounds nice.”

    "Hyung, are you poor? So you can't raise a dog?"

    "Money?”, Hyung said. Looking at me then he shook his head, “I can't raise a dog."

    "Ask your dad! My mom says dads are weak against nagging."

    Hyung just nodded and kept petting Dongyi. Then he muttered, "that sounds nice.”

    I asked again “so, who are you? What's your name, hyung?”

    Hyung answered without looking up, "me? Kim Seokjin.”


    As we entered the alley, I saw furniture and household goods piled up on the street. "Namjoon-ah, what's going on” my father asked. Breathing with some difficulty we were on the way back from the hospital. It was only a hundred-odd meters from the bus stop to our house. But my father struggled even with that. I ran toward our house. My mother was crouched against the wall behind the piles of household goods. And when she saw me she straightened up "Namjoon-ah, what should we do," she said that she had fought with the landlord's son, who had come to collect the rent that my younger brother hadn't paid.

    I brought my father to the storeroom behind the neighborhood supermarket. As I moved the furniture. My mother cleared up the dishes and food items. Soon, the storeroom was full of all the things from our two-room apartment. There were things I wanted to throw away, but to do that we needed money. When it was all done, it was nighttime. My back ached and I was sweating. My mother gave me chopsticks, telling me to eat at least a little, but I couldn't force anything down.

    It was stuffy in the storeroom. So I went out to sit on the wooden benches by the supermarket my mother asked. "Namjoon-ah, where did Namhyun go?" I shouted back “how am I supposed to know?” Namjoon-ah. Namjoon-ah. Namjoon-ah I was tired of it. I regretted telling him to live without being discouraged. Even if we could withstand a few days in the storeroom, what were we supposed to do after that" I couldn't think of anything. The supermarket ahjusshi set down a can of beer and went back inside.


    The Notes 1: 花樣年華 [The Most Beautiful Moment in Life]

    • JIMIN YEAR 22 MAY 16:

      Jimin describes Hoseok’s house- it is situated at a hillside - the topmost room of a multi family building. Hoseok boasted to Jimin that he had the topmost view of the city and Jimin agrees. From the house, Jimin looks below at the rail tracks, containers along the rail tracks, Namjoon’s container, the school. His gaze goes a little farther and sees his house perched at the bottom of the mountain, beyond the river. Jimin worries about facing his parents and thinks it is better to stay with Hoseok for now. However he realizes he has to meet his parents someday and tell them that he is not going back to the hospital.