• Convenience Store can be seen in the You Never Walk Alone graphic lyrics book!

    • I killed time wandering around the convenience store. I used to sometimes skip school by jumping over the back wall of Songju Jeil Middle School, and I would sometimes wait for the hyungs in the small park across from the convenience store. I looked around me. It had been a while since I'd visited this neighborhood, but nothing much had changed. I remembered that Yoongi hyung and Jungkook's houses were in this area. As I looked around, I saw something that looked like graffiti inside one of the alleyways to my right. It looked like Taehyung's work. I walked over that way.

      Unconsciously, I stopped in front of the drawing. It was someone's face, scribbled in rough black lines without any sort of warmth. I say 'someone's,’ but I knew whose face it was. It was Seokjin hyung. As soon as I thought of hyung, someone else's face was superimposed on top of it. It was an entirely different face, but both of those faces looked identical. They had the same eyes. Soulless eyes. Only then did I realize who I had to find.


      I purposely slowed my footsteps and perked my ears up at the small sense that someone was walking behind me. Today was the third time that we had met at the convenience store. If there was something that was different, it was that today [they] had run away as soon as [they] saw me. Then they had hung around in a small vacant lot at the back of the store, but as soon as I appeared they hid again. They had hidden themselves well but their shadow was reaching far towards the front of the abandoned lot. I giggled. I passed by, pretending not to see, but then they started to follow me.

      I entered a narrow alley. This was the only place in our neighborhood where the streetlamps weren't broken. The alley was long and the streetlamp was located somewhere in the middle. When the source of light is ahead, the shadow stretches behind. So now my shadow was stretching out behind me. It could have been stretching all the way to the feet of the person who was following me with bated breath. As I passed beneath the streetlamp, my shadow disappeared beneath my feet. I started walking a little faster. Not long after, a shadow that wasn't mine appeared on the cement road. I stopped my steps, and the presence behind me stopped too. The two shadows of different heights stopped side-by-side.

      I spoke. "I'm going to wait until you come here." The shadow jumped. Then it held still as if to say it wasn't there. "I can see everything." I pointed out the shadow. Then the sound of footsteps started to grow nearer, purposefully noisy. I laughed.


      My side hurt so badly it seemed to be tearing. Sweat fell in drops. In the nooks and crannies of the railroad, in the vacant lot behind the convenience store, under the overpass--the girl was nowhere to be found. I had even run to the bus stop, but as expected I didn't see her. The people waiting for their buses looked at me strangely. What had happened? We hadn't promised to meet, but it was still strange. That girl always appeared from somewhere and followed me around. Even if I told her it was annoying, it was no use. But now she was nowhere to be found, even in the places we used to go together.

      I came to a familiar wall and slowed my steps. There was graffiti there we had drawn together. It was the first thing she had ever drawn. On top of it there was a large "X" drawn. It was her. I hadn't seen her do it, but I knew. Why? There was no response. Instead, several after-images overlapped on the wall.

      Her laughing at me after I had laid down on the railroad tracks and hit my head. Her helping me up after I'd fallen trying to help her run away, her angry face after I'd stolen and eaten her bread. Her cloudy expression when we passed in front of a photo studio with a family photo in the window. Her gaze following the students we passed by, unbeknownst even to her. As we had sprayed this wall together I had said, "if you have a problem, tell me about it, don't just grumble to yourself." The X was drawn over all those memories. It seemed like it was saying all of it was fake. It seemed like it was saying they were all lies. Without realizing, I had made my hands into fists. Why? Of course there was no response. I kept walking. We were alone again. Me, and her.


      I stood in the hallway the whole time she was receiving first aid. Even though it was night, the hospital hallway was bustling with people. Moisture dripped from my hair, wet with sweat and rain. I dropped the bag I had taken off of her. A variety of things tumbled out of it. A few coins rolled away, and a ball pen and a towel. In the middle of it all was an airplane e-ticket. I picked it up and scanned it.

      At that moment, the doctor called me. He said it was a mild concussion and nothing to worry about, and after a moment, she came out as well. "Are you okay?" She said that her head just hurt a little, and she took her bag back from me. Then she spotted the e-ticket peeking out, and looked up at my face. I shifted my bag to my other shoulder and said that we should go, pretending that it was nothing. As we left the hospital, it was raining as hard as ever. We stood side by side outside the door.

      "Hoseok-ah," she said. It looked like she had something to say. "Wait a second. I'll get an umbrella." I ran off thoughtlessly into the rain. There was a convenience store in the distance. I knew that she had auditioned for an overseas dance team some time ago. The plane ticket meant that she had made it. I didn't want to hear her say it. I didn't have the confidence to congratulate her.


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

      • SEOKJIN YEAR 22 JULY 14:

        Seokjin meets up with Namjoon at a tent bar. He had received the call in the afternoon after Namjoon had finished his shift at the gas station. Namjoon downs one glass after another, and confides to Namjoon that he feels extremely exhausted, he had no emotional energy left to help Jungkook and Taehyung, and only felt like he was pretending to be friends. He feels guilty of making up excuses even now. Jin remembers how Jin had defended him that day when he caught up snitching to the Principal.

        He asks why he did that then, in turn Namjoon asks why he had snitched instead. Jin shares everything with Namjoon, telling him about his family problems and his cold relationship with his father. Namjoon encourages him to tell his truth to others as well.

        Jin wonders if anyone would believe him. He recalls seeing Taehyung working and being jovial at the convenience store. He wonders how to reconcile with Taehyung.

      • TAEHYUNG YEAR 22 JULY 10:

        Taehyung is on the run from the police. He had lived in this neighbourhood for 20 years so he knew every nook and cranny, but each corner instead threw him into the memories of the past. The police were after him for the graffiti at the bus stop. He had done graffiti there after a long time, in company of the girl he had caught thieving at his convenience store. Taehyung felt like he could understand her sense of loneliness, and they hung out together often, eventually doing graffiti together. The bus stop had been one where Namjoon got off, and where the police were also likely to catch him.

        The last time he had seen Namjoon was at the hospital, and he came close to seeing him one day while seeking shelter from his Dad’s violence , but sat outside the lit container instead.

        In the present moment, Taehyung hides in an alley but knows it is of no use. He comes out and surrenders with his hands raised.

      • TAEHYUNG YEAR 22 JUNE 13:

        Taehyung asks Hoseok about Jungkook’s health. He has just finished his shift at the convenience store, and his face is full of tears. Jungkook assures him on the phone that he is okay, and Taehyung tells him that he is coming to meet him. However, as soon as he reaches Jungkook’s room, he hears the voices of Namjoon and Seokjin. Namjoon seems to be telling Jungkook that he had been living as usual. Taehyung thinks to himself that he had been living as usual too, except now the nightmares of Yoongi dying, Hoseok falling etc have stopped. Ever since that fight on the beach, his nightmares were replaced by a new nightmare- that of Jin crying, blue flower petals lying on the asphalt road tinted with someone’s blood. Taehyung ends up not meeting Jungkook because he was not ready to face Namjoon and Seokjin yet.