• Yoongi’s Childhood House can be seen in the House of Cards graphic lyrics book!

    • "Yoongi-yah."

      As soon as I entered the living room, I sat in front of the piano. There was no time to even wipe my sweat. I wiped my sticky palms on my t-shirt. My mother opened the sheet music. I couldn't quite make it out. I blinked. I had spent the last hour running around under the blazing sunshine. My heart was pounding so hard I couldn't hear the sound of my own breathing. Sweat ran down my spine and soaked the small of my back. My fingers trembled.

      “Min Yoongi. You can't even play Chopin yet. Is this the time for you to start composing?” My mother tapped the sheet music. What had I played before? I couldn't recall. "Again, from the beginning,” my mother said in a low voice. Again. Again. Again. I played the same page over and over. My body was still warm and I was still sweating. My mind was blank and I felt like throwing up. Maybe that was why, I ignored the sheet music and ignored my mother and played with the emotions that seemed to explode from inside me. My mother grabbed my hands and pulled them away from the keyboard. “This isn't the right emotion" she said.

      "Please stop," I shouted as I shot up from my seat. My mother stared at me, frozen. "Stop it. Please stop it,” I spit out whatever words I could find. I jumped in place and tore at my hair. Then, finally, I grabbed my mother's trophy and threw it at the piano. One of the keys broke and flew forward. Brushing my cheek.


      The fire burned crimson red. The house I had lived in until this morning was engulfed in the flames. People who recognized me ran up, shouting something. The neighborhood people walked with quick steps. They said the entrance wasn't safe, so the fire truck couldn't come in. It stopped where it was.

      The very end of summer. It was the beginning of autumn. The sky was blue and the air was dry. I didn't know what I should think, what I should feel, what I should do. Then the thought 'oh, mom,' came to me. In the next moment, the house collapsed with a loud sound. The house engulfed in flames--no, the house that had become flames itself, the roof, the pillars, even my room crumbled like it was a house of sand. I stood dazedly and watched it.

      Someone pushed past me. They were saying the fire truck had entered. Another person grabbed me and pressed me for an answer. That person looked into my eyes and shouted a question, but I didn't hear anything.

      "Is anyone inside?" I stared dumbly at that person. "Is your mom inside?" The person grabbed my shoulders and shook me. Unwittingly, I replied. "No. There's no one." "What are you talking about?" A neighborhood woman said. "What about your mom? Did she go somewhere?" "There's no one.'' I didn't know what I was saying. Someone pushed by me again.


      Lunch was especially good that day. It was weird, because it was just an ordinary school lunch. I didn't show it. That kind of thing didn't suit me. As usual, I sat carelessly in my chair and held my utensils between my fingers like I couldn't be bothered to lift it but today's lunch was definitely good. Taehyung and Jungkook were raising a fuss about getting some sunlight, hitting the curtains and changing their seats, and there was dust in the air. Namjoon shouted at them to at least be quiet while we were eating. I held my spoon as I thought. How long had it been since I'd eaten this comfortably?

      For as long as I remembered, there hadn't been conversation at our family's table. No one said the food was good, or asked for more, or said they'd eaten well. To our family, meals were no more or less than something we had to do as part of our daily routine “Min Yoongi. No talking at the table.” I didn't remember exactly when my father had said that to me. All that remained was the huge sound of his utensils as he set them down. He hadn't raised his voice or gotten angry. No. He hadn't even been looking at me. Even so. I shut my mouth. I cut off my own words and instead stuffed a huge bite into my mouth. Then I bit the inside of my cheek. I tasted coppery blood, it hurt, and tears came to my eyes. But I didn't say that it hurt. I couldn't speak at the table. I forced myself to chew the blood rice and swallowed.

      Someone stole a side dish from my lunch tray. I scowled in spite of myself, but I wasn't unhappy or annoyed. That was just my normal reaction to everything. Hoseok called out, "Yoongi hyung is mad Taehyung. What are you gonna do? And Taehyung made a show of being overly sorry. It was a very Hoseok-and-Taehyung-like thing, not a bit out of place. Despite myself, I bit out. "It's fine. You eat it.” But another noisy round of talk and laughter burst out. Nobody realized that I had spoken during a meal.


      I was unaware of anything other than the sound of music playing in my head. Not how much I had drunk, nor where I was, nor what I had been doing. I didn't know, and it wasn't important. When I went outside, stumbling, it was already night. I swayed as I walked. I bumped into pedestrians, news kiosks, walls. I didn't care. I just wanted to forget everything.

      Jimin's voice was still ringing in my ears. "Hyung, Jungkook..." My next memory was of running like crazy up the hospital steps. The hospital hall had been strangely long and dark. I passed people wearing hospital gowns. My heart pounded. Everyone's faces were too pale. They had no expressions. They all seemed like dead people. The sound of my breathing was harsh inside my own head.

      Inside the slightly-opened hospital room door, Jungkook was lying there. I turned my head without realizing it. I couldn't look at him. At that moment I suddenly heard the sound of a piano, of flames, of a building crumbling down. I clutched my head and sank down. “This is your fault. If it wasn't for you...”' It was my mother's voice--no, my voice--no, someone's voice. At those words, I was tormented by countless moments. I wanted to believe it wasn't so. But Jungkook was lying there. Jungkook was lying in the hall full of corpse-like patients passing by. I was utterly unable to go inside. I couldn't check for myself. When I stood, my legs threatened to give out. I left with tears flowing. It was funny. I couldn't even remember the last time I had cried.

      I went to cross the street, but someone grabbed my arm and I came to a halt. Who was it? No, I didn't care. No matter who it was, it was all the same. Don't come near me. Go away. Just leave me be. I don't want to hurt you either. I don't want to be hurt. So please, don't come any closer.


      I swung the door open and came in, then pulled a bag out from the very bottom drawer of the desk. When I turned it inside out, a single piano key fell out with a clack. I threw the half-burned piano key into the trash and laid down on my bed. The fire in my heart wouldn't cool down, my breathing was a mess, and at some point soot had smudged all over my fingers.

      I had gone alone to the house that the fire had destroyed, once the funeral was over. I had gone into my mother's room, and had seen that the piano had been burned so badly you could barely recognize its shape. I sunk down at its side. I sat there as the afternoon light came in through the window and then began to fade. The last of the light rolled over a few of the piano keys. What sort of sound would come out if I played them? I had thought about how many times my mother's fingers had touched them. Then I had put one of them in my pocket and left the room.

      Almost 4 years had passed since then. The house was quiet. It was insanely quiet. It was past 10, so my father would be asleep, and everything afterwards held its breath. Those were the rules of this house. It was hard to endure this stillness. It wasn't easy, either, to keep to prescribed times and regulations and forms. But nevertheless what I could endure even less than that was the fact of living in this house. I received allowance from my father and ate dinner with my father and was scolded by my father. Rather than opposing him and going astray and causing trouble, I lacked the courage to abandon him and leave the house to live on my own, to make that freedom into action and not just words. I suddenly rose up from the bed and dug the piano key from the trash can under the desk. I opened the window and the night air rushed in. That air slapped me in the face with the strength of everything that had happened that day. I threw the piano key out into that air with all my strength. I listened hard, but I couldn't hear the sound of the key hitting the ground. No matter how hard I thought, I couldn't imagine the sound that piano key would have made. No matter how much time passed, that piano key would never make a sound again. And I would never play the piano again.