I thought of Jungkook's words.

    "It's because I like your music, hyung. It's because listening to your piano makes me cry. Me, I wanted to die several times a day. But when I hear hyung's piano I want to live. That's why. I'm telling you, that's why. What I mean is, hyung's music is like my heart."

    Drunk and sprawled out on the floor, I thought of Jungkook's expression as he repeated himself.


    I sent the music file to Seokjin hyung and then laid down in place. I had found something written in the margins of the sheet music I'd brought from the storage classroom. “If we're together we can laugh” it wasn't my handwriting. I remembered something from a while ago. It was on a foggy day. Somehow, Seokjin hyung and I ended up crossing the athletic field. We were awkward with each other. I shoved my hands in my pockets and walked slowly on purpose. I hoped he would leave me behind, but hyung wasn't like that. Instead, he made fumbling attempts at conversation, and each time he did, it got a little more awkward. I asked despite myself, "when was the last time you laughed for real, hyung?” Hyung didn't answer. I didn't ask again.

    If we're together, we can laugh. Somehow, this sentence seemed like the answer to my question. I wasn't sure that hyung had written it. I didn't need to be sure the melody on the sheet music was childish. It had only been two years ago, but my music from back then was underdone and aggressive. It didn't connect smoothly and it wasn't beautiful. When I thought of high school, I thought only of getting drunk and staggering around, but it wasn't like every day had been like that. I stayed up all night polishing my song from back then, and I gave it the name, “if we're together, we can laugh.”


    When I saw that there were notifications in our chatroom, I opened my phone. At some point it had gotten dark outside. It wasn't easy to put together all the music I had scribbled out until now. I sorted through the ones that had survived the fire and the melodies still in my memory. Surprisingly, among those, most of them were ones I had made in the storage classroom in high school. Even looking back, it didn't seem like I'd worked on that much music during that time. Back then--no, at any given time, I was always running away from music.

    I opened the chatroom and saw that there were already quite a lot of messages. The one who had made the chatroom was Jimin, surprisingly, and it seemed like they had already been talking before I was invited, because the conversation started in the middle. Taehyung asked everyone. "Do you know what the map of the soul is?"

    It took a long time for Hoseok to answer "what's that?”

    "Hyung. If I knew, would I be asking?” Taehyung said.

    "Good point. Then why are you asking?"

    They went back and forth like that for a while before Jimin explained the whole story that he had gone to the hospital, and on the way back run into Seokjin hyung, who said he was looking for the map of the soul.

    A long while later. Namjoon appeared. He said, "Seokjin hyung asked me that too, a while back. If I knew what the map of the soul is. He said that the map of the soul was the way to end all of this."

    After that, the conversation didn't continue. Maybe we were all lost in thought. What was the thing that Seokjin hyung needed to end? We had all guessed that Seokjin hyung had become a little strange. So if he found the map of the soul. Would he be okay again, what on earth was it, and where could it be found,

    The conversation that picked up later went like this.

    "Nobody invited Jungkook to this chat room?"

    Jimin replied. “I thought about it, but Jungkook is still hurt." His answer was murky and unconfident. Suddenly I wondered why Jimin had gone to the hospital. What was he feeling, having visited the hospital he was locked up in for so long?

    I had closed the chat, but I opened it up again and wrote, "okay you did well. Let's let Jungkook rest a little more."


    After we came back from the ocean, we were all alone.

    As if we had decided not to, none of us contacted each other. We guessed at each other's existence only by the graffiti we left on the street, the gas station with its light brightly shining, the sound of a piano coming from a decrepit building. Each time, the afterimage of that night came back to me like a ghost. The way that flames seemed to drip from Taehyung's pupils, the gazes that looked at me as if they'd heard a story they couldn't believe, Namjoon's hand outstretched to stop Taehyung, how I threw a punch at taehyung when I couldn't hold it back any longer.

    I couldn't find Taehyung after he stormed out, and there was no one left at our lodgings at the beach when I returned. A broken glass cup, bloodstains that had started to coagulate, and some snack crumbs were all that hinted at what had gone on only hours before. In the time between, a picture had fallen. In the picture we'd taken with the ocean as the background, we were all together and laughing.

    Today I passed by in front of the gas station. Eventually, the day we'll meet again will come. The day will come that we'll laugh again like we did in that picture. The day will come that I'll have the courage to face myself. But now, still, that isn't today. Today, just like that day, a cold wind blew. And in the next moment, my phone rang like a warning. The picture I'd hung on my room's mirror fluttered. Hoseok's name appeared on the screen.

    "Hyung, they said that Jungkook was in a car accident that night."


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

    • HOSEOK YEAR 22 JULY 25:

      Hoseok is on his way to the practice room.. His ankle had been put in a plaster cut so for the first time he had skipped dance training and instead headed home earlier than usual. While walking on crutches, he sees a drunken Yoongi staggering on the road.

      Two days after he heard of the accident, Hoseok had gone to meet Yoongi in his workroom after Yoongi had not picked up any calls. He banged but only heard the sound of music coming from inside. He leaves after giving up.

      Hoseok has known Yoongi since middle school. He knew about the impact of his mother’s death on him, and tried to be a reliable friend. He knew even then the others did not mean that much to Yoongi, but he thought Yoongi would have at least cared for Jungkook and visited him in the hospital. Even Yoongi’s partner had come searching for Hoseok saying she was unable to contact him.

      Hoseok tries to walk ahead but cannot help but look back at Yoongi, who had collapsed in front of a vendor.

      Annoyed, Hoseok scolds him harshly. He asks if he ever thought of others who were suffering just as much as him, if he ever thought of composing again because he couldn't live without music, and about why he did not see Jungkook when he knew what he meant to him. Hoseok feels as if he is perhaps pouring the frustration of his own injury on Yoongi. He thinks of how detrimental a hurt ankle is for a dancer, and how a hurt ankle would always make him conscious in dance, even then he could not think of giving up dancing. Before leaving he tells Yoongi to stop running away and that if he still wants to run away, he should run and never come back.

    • YOONGI YEAR 22 JUNE 15:

      Yoongi wakes up from a dream. He had been working on a piano piece for several nights, the result of which was that the melody haunted him in his dream. In his dream he was near his apartment, covered in dense fog, and picked up a piano key.As soon as he did that the scenery changed to a workroom- memories come to him of playing piano with Jungkook, followed by memories of the beach-visit.

      When he wakes up there is a banging on his door. A girl who has become his music partner frequents his workroom often. She evaluated his work harshly and nagged him to finish it. She even makes him give up smoking. This provoked him, and he began working harder on his music, ignoring calls and messages and staying up all night to compose. When he is done, the girl compliments him but this complement reminds him of Jungkook. The woman reminds him to meet her at the hospital tomorrow for her guitar performance.

      He gets a call from Jimin. The call reminds him of his dream in which his house caught fire, and a scene from his mother’s unlit room in which she is blaming him. Yoongi rushes to the hospital to see Jungkook , remembering Jimin’s words that Jungkook had almost died.

      All of this reminds him of his dream, the fire and his mother’s words. He is not sure if his mother said it or someone else did, but the words haunted him to this day, and he begins to wonder if he was to blame for Jungkook’s accident. He wonders if he had ignored him at the music shop that day, would the accident have still happened. As he leaves, he hears the melody of a guitar. The sound of guitar overlaps with sounds of fire, piano and other sounds in Yoongi’s head. He runs away from the hospital to get away from the overwhelming sound.

    • SEOKJIN YEAR 22 MAY 2:

      Jin is waiting outside Yoongi’s workroom. He tenses up and tries to take courage from the fact he has seen this many times before. Jin reveals how Yoongi has been the most difficult for him to save. He had too many variables- the time and place of his suicide kept changing and his conflict seemed to be internal as well-as compared to Namjoon’s . In one of the loops he had followed him for days and saw him hesitating to take his life when he had to take care of an injured bird- the bird with wings.

      In this anecdote, the bird with wings becomes a symbol for Jungkook who, like the bird is broken . Jin recalls how he had seen Jungkook and Yoongi bond at the beach visit , and comes to a realization that he had to depend on Jungkook to help Yoongi. Jin deliberately makes Hoseok leave early from his shift, and locked Namjoon’s container so that Jungkook had no other option but to go to Yoongi’s workroom. Jin waits outside, but all he hears is a shattering and Yoongi storming outside, making his way to the motel. Worried, Jin leaves a bloodied tissue near the motel’s entrance as a clue for Jungkook. Earlier in the day he had also left a photo of the beach visit on Yoongi’s mirror. Seokjin thinks that perhaps , because of the photo, Jungkook got motivated to save Yoongi. Jungkook reaches the motel as Jin hopes desperately that they are saved.