The Third and Final Strike
Chanyeol entered his room expecting to be barked at by Baekhyun for following after him so late. Instead, he found Baekhyun at his desk, lazily sitting in his swivel chair, moving a pencil in a fatigued motion in his hand. Chanyeol didn’t know how to verbally get his vixen’s dissipated attention so he knocked on the door frame.
The knock reverberated in the room and snapped Baekhyun out of his thoughts. He immediately straightened up and rotated the chair to face the door. Baekhyun opened his mouth, but he felt his throat dry so he ended up closing it. Wordlessly, he got up and knelt down, taking books out of his bag. “Let’s start with English,” he said plainly.
Chanyeol moved from the doorway and stalked over to the desk. “Let’s move over to the bed.”
Baekhyun looked up him questioningly. “The bed? Chanyeol, I’m here to help you pass the tests and college entrance exams. Not do other things.”
“Like pass your entrance?” Chanyeol replied, smirking. When he saw the look on Baekhyun’s face, he laughed and put a hand on Baekhyun’s back, trying to get him off the chair. “I’d love to, Baek, but I’m serious about this studying thing. I don’t have any spare chairs. Let’s just sit on the bed.”
Though erratic thoughts were against Chanyeol’s suggestion, Baekhyun knew that the giant had a point. Sitting on the floor would’ve hurt after a while. “Fine. Get the books.”
After having Chanyeol move their books over to the bed, Baekhyun climbed on. In the back of his mind, past memories of things that happened in the bed were resuscitated as he settled down, but Baekhyun forced those memories down when Chanyeol joined him.
Initially, they sat facing each other, but after an hour, Baekhyun finally realized that Chanyeol’s face was right next to his. Chanyeol didn’t seem to notice their close proximity, fully focused on the given sentences in the practice book, but Baekhyun was more than aware.
Chanyeol didn’t notice until his ears heard Baekhyun’s voice waver as he tried to explain sentence structures under certain circumstances. It was when he turned his head that he caught an up close look of his boyfriend’s face.
He figured that he was staring too much for too long because Baekhyun turned his head to look at him. “What?”
Baekhyun looked into Chanyeol’s eyes and saw the stupid orbs that he grew to love. His eyes made him happy, but at the same time, a little sad. It was a shame that eyes like those couldn’t be passed on to a newer generation…
The thought triggered the entire incident with Yoona—the same one that Baekhyun had been slowly forgetting as the time went by. But, there was nothing he could do about it. Yoona’s words were in his mind again.
When Chanyeol’s eyes moved to Baekhyun’s lips and he began to lean forward to catch them, Baekhyun—still caught up in the words said in the hallway—moved his head back, off to the side, avoiding Chanyeol. Then he glanced away, drawing his eyes from his boyfriend.
Baekhyun evading him had caught Chanyeol off his guard, but it was the way Baekhyun glanced away that bothered Chanyeol the most. All he wanted was a kiss. They had kissed a billion times before. Why the fuck did Baekhyun turn his head and look away?
There was a stupid little word caught in Chanyeol’s net of thoughts. Guilt. Baekhyun was feeling guilt.
Chanyeol frowned. If Baekhyun was feeling guilt, then it triggered in Chanyeol’s mind that the only thing Baekhyun could’ve felt any sense of guilt about was Lay. Chanyeol stopped for a moment. If Baekhyun had done what he had done based on guilt that was probably broiling inside of him since Sunday, then that would’ve indicated that he had done something with that bastard Lay.
Suddenly irked, Chanyeol put a hand on Baekhyun’s chest and pushed him down on his back. Then, Chanyeol kicked aside the books and the papers, throwing a leg on the other side of Baekhyun, hovering over him.
Baekhyun’s eyes were wide, but then his face turned into a scowl. “What’re you doing, Chanyeol?”
“You evaded me.”
“Of course I did,” Baekhyun muttered, glancing off to his right. “I didn’t want to kiss you…”
—Didn’t want… They hadn’t kissed since last week and Baekhyun didn’t want to kiss him? Chanyeol’s irrational mind raised a red flag. A hand went to Baekhyun’s chin, forcing him return his gaze to Chanyeol. “Why not?”
“Not in the mood…”
Chanyeol stared at Baekhyun for a moment before letting him go and getting off of him. He sat back on the bed, looking away from Baekhyun. “Fine.”
A painful silence passed with Baekhyun lying on the bed and Chanyeol staring off as he sat with his knees up. Another second went by before Baekhyun pushed himself up by his elbows. Once he was up, he moved the books and papers back closer to them, ignoring Chanyeol’s silent stance. “Anyways, like I was saying before, the sentences—”
“—I don’t want to do this anymore.”
Baekhyun paused. “What?”
“This.” Chanyeol moved his fingers to everything in front of them. “I’m done studying for today.”
“I’m not in the mood anymore,” Chanyeol continued.
Baekhyun tightened his jaw at Chanyeol’s response, which was basically a throw back of his own words. Not bothering to deal with it, Baekhyun scooted over and hopped off the bed, gathering the books and papers. “Fine.”
Chanyeol watched as Baekhyun took everything off the bed and began to feel drenched in stupid regret. “Baek…”
Baekhyun stopped and looked back at him. For a moment, Baekhyun just stood there, but then he shook his head before moving back to his bag.
Chanyeol gulped. “Baek, I’m sorry—”
The apology was cut short, though. A ring resounded in the room and both Chanyeol and Baekhyun had their ears perked. “That’s my cellphone,” Baekhyun informed. He knelt down to his bag and shuffled things around trying to get out his device.
While he was doing so, another ring rang out. This time, it was Chanyeol’s. Reaching into his pockets, Chanyeol took out his phone. Both Baekhyun and Chanyeol opened their phones at around the same time, but it was Baekhyun who dropped the device on the floor with a sharp intake of breath.
Chanyeol gripped his phone before closing the photo that was received. It was obvious to him that they received the same picture message. He got off the bed and quickly walked over to Baekhyun, attempting to pull him in. Baekhyun wouldn’t have it, though. He snatched his bag, brashly closed it, and headed right for the door.
Everything happened too fast for Chanyeol. Before he knew it, Baekhyun was gone. Following after him was nothing new to Chanyeol so within a few seconds, Chanyeol was out of his own room also.
When Chanyeol reached the top of the staircase, Baekhyun was already putting his shoes on. “Baek!” he yelled. “Where are you going to go!? Don’t do anything stupid!” Baekhyun didn’t respond, which resorted in Chanyeol cursing and moving down the stairs.
The moment Chanyeol stepped foot on the first floor was the moment that Baekhyun was out of that house. The commotion had led Yoona to come out from the kitchen, craning her neck. “What’s going on? Did your boyfriend leave?”
Chanyeol brashly decided that he wasn’t going to respond to her questions. He also decided not to go after Baekhyun. The guy had his own car and with the angry mood looming over him, Chanyeol sure as hell wasn’t going to try and follow him.
Instead, he opened up his phone and texted the person who Chanyeol was sure that the incident was connected to: Kris.
For the rest of the evening, Baekhyun held Tao, who couldn’t control himself or the sobs coming out of him. He didn’t try to calm Tao down. He knew he couldn’t. Baekhyun let him scream and cry out profanities in between his tears whenever his voice allowed him to.
Tao kept repeating the same angry and betrayed words over and over again. “He told me he fucking deleted it! He told me it was gone!” Tao cried as he buried his face against Baekhyun’s shoulder.
Baekhyun just sat there, holding Tao tightly, letting him cry everything out. It hurt him to see his friend in heartbreaking pain. He hated it. But at the moment, Baekhyun was furiously angry with Kris. Kris, the guy who had helped him out on many occasions, was responsible for everything. It would be that asshole's fault if Tao couldn’t show his face around school anymore.
The next day at school, Baekhyun was furiously mad. He had called Tao to check up on his friend, but all he got was a bunch of sniffles and continuous crying over the line. Stalking up to school grounds, Baekhyun looked murderous.
In that moment, Baekhyun didn’t think like a honors student. He didn’t carry himself out to be like one. Everything about manners and civil code went right out the window the moment he woke up. In his state, he was everything a good student should never be. Careless and impulsive.
He found Kris at Chanyeol’s locker. To Baekhyun advantage, Kris’ back was turned towards him. Slipping his bag off his shoulders, Baekhyun gripped onto the straps, and then—with everything he had—violently swung it at Kris’ head.
The impact was big. A loud “thud” was heard and the sound of Kris’ body making contact with the lockers rattled everyone near. That wasn’t enough though. Baekhyun gritted his teeth and curled his hands into fists. He blindly threw a punch, aiming for Kris’ head again.
Kris moved and all Baekhyun was able to catch was a brisk touch of his jaw. Again, Baekhyun threw a jab. He knew he couldn’t aim at Kris’ face again so he aimed at his torso, hitting him square on the chest. Another blow hit Kris at his gut.
Though the blows hurt, Kris continued to take them until he had enough. When Baekhyun went at him again, he kicked his best friend’s boyfriend in the stomach, sending him back, groveling for a moment on the ground.
Baekhyun felt the instant pain, but he just bit it down, pushing himself back up. He was inexperienced in fighting, but hell, it didn’t have to take experience to get back up and attack someone.
Before Baekhyun could launch himself off his feet and dart back at Kris to claw his entire guts out, Chanyeol gripped the back of his shirt, pulled him back, and threw him back on the ground. Being on the ground again was a bitter feeling, especially since it was his own boyfriend that put him there.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing!?” Chanyeol yelled.
Baekhyun’s entire body tensed and his fingers clawed at the floor as they balled right back into fists. Baekhyun rose to his knees before slowly getting back up, ignoring Chanyeol. “You bastard! You fucking bitch!” Baekhyun yelled at Kris. “You fucking told him you deleted it, you disgusting, worthless shit!”
Kris’ jaw locked and tensed when he heard the words. When Baekhyun staggered on offense mode again, Chanyeol pushed him back away from Kris even more. “He didn’t do anything wrong, Baek!” Chanyeol loudly growled.
“Right,” Baekhyun snapped sarcastically. “Mass sending a fucking nude photo of someone isn’t wrong, Chanyeol. That’s not wrong at all.”
Chanyeol scowled and walked up to Baekhyun, taking his wrist and gripping him. “That’s not what I fucking meant,” he growled lowly. “It wasn’t Kris’ fault.”
Baekhyun ripped himself from Chanyeol’s hold. “You’re on that bastard’s side?”
Chanyeol gave him a sharp, threatening look. “Yeah, because Kris didn’t fucking mass send that photo of Tao.”
“Then you’re a fucking idiot. Stupid, even!”
Chanyeol blinked. “Excuse me?”
“You’re an idiot if you think that he didn’t do it,” Baekhyun harshly growled.
“Baek—” Chanyeol tried to reach out again, but Baekhyun smacked his hand away, dissipating Chanyeol’s mood further down to Hell. “Fine.” Chanyeol turned back to Kris, who was busy recovering from Baekhyun’s sudden morning attack. “Get back to me when you’ve calmed the fuck down,” he said before leaving a fuming Baekhyun in the hallway.
For the next three days, Baekhyun didn’t utter a single word to Chanyeol. He walked past him in the halls. He knew that the giant was watching him, but Baekhyun chose to ignore the guy.
Every day, Baekhyun went to Tao, who went to school once in those three days that Baekhyun isolated himself from Chanyeol. That one time he tried to keep a head up during school was a fail as Tao went home early, not taking well to the slut shaming and the bullying egged on by the majority.
On the third day of Baekhyun’s stance against Kris and his own boyfriend, Tao broke. He told Baekhyun how he had begged his parents to let him move to China to live with some relatives for the rest of the year and how they eventually relented to his request when he wouldn’t stop crying. Baekhyun felt his chest tighten when he heard of Tao’s decision, but he understood.
Tao appreciated Baekhyun’s support. Kyungsoo and Suho had been at his side, too, but Baekhyun was the one who was there for most of the part. Tao wasn’t stupid, though. He knew that Baekhyun had isolated Chanyeol for being on Kris’ side of the event, but Tao didn’t want his issue with the bastard to be a wedge.
“Tell him you’re sorry,” Tao told him when they were sitting on his porch. Looking over at Baekhyun, Tao saw his friend begin to rub his knuckles. “You called him stupid and an idiot.”
“I always call him that…” Baekhyun muttered, keeping his eyes down. Inside, though, he knew what Tao really meant.
Tao shook his head at Baekhyun’s answer. “From the way you told me what happened—and from what I heard around school that day—you called him those words really harshly, Baek.”
Baekhyun shrugged. “I don’t care…”
Tao creased his brows, hitting Baekhyun on the shoulders with his own. “The way you carry yourself around him doesn’t tell me that you don’t care, Baek. Kyungsoo’s been telling me how you’ve been around him these past few days and it fucking hurts knowing that your relationship is on the rocks because of me.”
“It’s not because of you, Tao!”
“Yes it is!” Tao reputed. “You need to fix everything with Chanyeol, Baekhyun! I hate seeing you like this! I already feel like shit. I don’t want to feel even worse knowing that I’m leaving you behind like this.”
Baekhyun kept silent, thinking about Tao’s words. He did miss Chanyeol ,and he did feel bad for harshly calling him those things…They were simple words, but he had said them so seriously that it even hurt him to think about it.
Tao put an arm around him and rested his head on Baekhyun’s shoulders. “Please make up…”
Baekhyun’s lips quivered slightly before nodding to Tao’s request. “Okay…”
Chanyeol laid on his side, staring at the designs of his new bed sheets. He didn’t want to move. All he had been doing for the past few days was lie on his bed, thinking about things that would eventually turn into thoughts about Baekhyun.
Chanyeol hadn’t tried to text Baekhyun. He knew that the likelihood of Baekhyun actually responding was down to squat so Chanyeol didn’t even bother. Still, Chanyeol missed him. It was noticeable, too. His eyes would track Baekhyun wherever he was to the point where Chanyeol couldn’t see him anymore.
Everything felt awful since they’d been fighting lately. As much as Chanyeol loved Baekhyun, he was growing tired of fighting. His weariness to fighting often led him to be irritated and angry, which ironically, lead to more arguments. Chanyeol didn’t want that…
Intruding in on his thoughts was Yoona, especially when she came around and knocked on his bedroom door, letting herself in as the door swung open.
Baekhyun stood outside of Chanyeol’s house, staring at his own feet for a few minutes, rehearsing how he was going to apologize, before he knocked on the door. It took a couple moments before a help, who recognized him, let him in immediately.
“He’s up in his room,” the help told him.
Baekhyun smiled and said, “Thank you.”
Nervously—but quickly—Baekhyun climbed up the stairs. The words were at the tip of his tongue. I’m sorry. I was being insensitive. I shouldn’t have let your choice in sides get to me that much. Lastly, there was something else Baekhyun was ready to say despite all his insecurities. I love you.
While taking the final walk down the hall to Chanyeol’s bedroom, Baekhyun kept repeating everything over and over again.
I’m sorry. I was being insensitive. I shouldn’t have let your choice in sides get to me that much. I’m sorry for calling you “stupid” harshly. You’re not. I didn’t mean that. I was too angry to filter what came out of my mouth. I’m sorry, Chanyeol—again. If anything, I was the stupid one. I didn’t mean any of it. I’m sorry for ignoring you. I missed you a lot because I love y—
Baekhyun stopped in his tracks when he got to the entrance of Chanyeol’s room where he saw Yoona on top of Chanyeol with her hands on his chest. Chanyeol’s hands were grabbing onto hers. The two of them were both smiling at each other until they noticed Baekhyun standing by the doorway.
“Ah—Sorry. I’ll come back,” Baekhyun muttered before pivoting on his foot and going back hastily down the hall.
Chanyeol looked at his position with Yoona, then cursed. Yoona seemed to have understood and got off of him. Chanyeol cut through the room and ran his way to the staircase. Like always, Baekhyun was a stairs-length ahead of him, already slamming the front door shut.
It wasn’t until Baekhyun was halfway across Chanyeol’s large lawn that the giant managed to catch up. Unlike all the other times, Chanyeol didn’t need to use physical force to stop him.
“Baek!” Chanyeol cried from behind. “Baekhyun!” he said more adamantly. ‘
With his entire being burning inside of him from the image of what he just saw, Baekhyun whipped around and stiffly, yet dangerously, walked back towards Chanyeol, meeting him in the middle.
Chanyeol was surprised by the act, but that didn’t throw him off his task. “What’re you doing here?”
Baekhyun’s chest heaved up and down. He needed to calm himself. He was angry again… “I came here to apologize, but that’s not important anymore. Why don’t you just go back inside and finish your fucking foreplay with her?” he spat.
Chanyeol looked at Baekhyun, creasing his brows to the middle. “We weren’t doing foreplay!” he retorted. “We weren’t doing anything, Baek! What? You think I’d cheat on you?”
“Why wouldn’t you?”
The answer sparked Chanyeol. “Why wouldn’t I? The question should be why would I!”
“I don’t know, Yeol,” Baekhyun spat. His insecurities, the ones he had buried for so damn long, began to seep out. “She’s fucking pretty. She seems so god damn perfect. Your mom likes her. Everyone likes her.” He paused. “I mean, compared to her, I’m probably nothing. Why keep me when something like that comes along—”
“Shut the hell up, Baekhyun!” Chanyeol yelled out angrily. Then, his own buried thoughts came out from their darkest corners. “You’re honestly accusing me of cheating on you!?”
“Has the idiot finally caught on?” Baekhyun snapped. “Yeah. I am, actually. But you know? I’m starting to not give a shit anymore because, hell, she is better than me. She can do things that I can’t—” Like give you kids…“—and has a fucking life that I can’t even begin to dream of having—” Like being an entrepreneur “—and finally, she has everything you could ever want, I bet.”
Chanyeol clenched his fists and jaw. “Fuck you, Baekhyun,” he sneered. Baekhyun’s eyes widened. “Fuck you,” Chanyeol repeated. Then, it came out. “Since we’re talking about cheating, let’s put the spotlight on you, the biggest cheater of them all!”
“When the hell have I cheated on you?”
Chanyeol laughed spitefully. “When? When!?” Chanyeol switched to the offensive. “Sunday night with Lay. Ring a fucking bell?”
As Chanyeol switched gears, Baekhyun changed to defend himself. “I didn’t cheat on you with Lay, you crazy fuck!”
Angrily, Chanyeol grabbed Baekhyun’s shoulders shaking him before pushing him backwards. “It doesn’t really matter what you say, Baek, because I don’t trust you! I can’t! You’re just like—like a compulsive-as-fuck liar!”
“I didn’t cheat on you with Lay!” Baekhyun yelled loudly.
“Liar!” Chanyeol’s voice boomed. “You tell me this and that, but I’m sick of it! I doubted you. I gave you the benefit of doubt, but everything you did from then on just kept telling me and telling me that you did something behind my back.”
“I never cheated on you,” Baekhyun repeated, stancing his ground with a shaking voice. “Not on Sunday. Not on any day before Sunday. Not on any say since Sunday.”
Baekhyun didn’t like the way things had gone. He was suddenly on the defensive end, trying to fend himself against an accusation he knew wasn’t right. Sure, he had accused Chanyeol of cheating, but his arguments, his reasons, and his own words pitied himself more than they jabbed the giant. Chanyeol’s arguments didn’t pity, they attacked.
“Well, like I said,” Chanyeol said in a hard-set tone. “I don’t trust you. I don’t even think I trust you anymore.”
“Cause I’m a liar, right?” Baekhyun spat. “I’m a liar when I say I didn’t do anything behind your back? I’m a liar because I keep things from you?”
“Has the idiot caught on?” Chanyeol mockingly asked.
Baekhyun wanted to punch the man so badly. He wanted to punch the guy who was making his chest ache. “Like I’m the only fucking liar in this relationship, Park!”
Chanyeol narrowed his eyes. “What? I’m a liar, too? Just like how a fucker like you is a liar?”
Baekhyun bit his lips tightly. “Yoona,” he began unsteadily. “You never told me who Yoona was to you. That’s considered secrecy, Park. Tell me, who the hell is Yoona? Who is she to you!?” Anger built up again. “Tell me who she is to you and don’t give me the ‘she’s the girl from Friday’ bullshit! I want you to fucking tell me—”
“—She’s my ex-girlfriend!” Chanyeol screamed.
Baekhyun shut his mouth. Then he tried to recollect himself, trying not to be wavered by the harsh reality now that Chanyeol had finally said it himself. “See…Now why would you want to be with me when you’re got your ex-girlfriend—the one that I know you loved, Chanyeol—right in front of you again…”
Chanyeol was too deafened by the beat of his own angry heart to hear Baekhyun’s voice wavering unsteadily. “Fuck, Baek, I don’t know,” he growled. “I don’t know. For fuck’s sake, I don’t know why I haven’t set you aside when I do have her right in front of me.”
Then, there was the first crack in Baekhyun’s world where the earth below his feet began to crumble. This was it. This was the tipping point of everything. This was what Baekhyun had pushed Chanyeol to realize and this was what Baekhyun was afraid of at the same time. It was his fault, but at the same time, with Yoona there—with Yoona being able to provide things that he couldn't—it was all so inevitable that there was probably nothing he could’ve done to stop it.
“And?” Baekhyun gritted out, keeping his eyes low in fear of tears.
“And what?” Chanyeol asked, annoyed with the fact that Baekhyun was being cowardly and refused to make eye contact with him.
“Anything else you wanna fucking say to me!?”
Chanyeol felt his breathing roughen as his heart rate picked up in anger. “You know what? Yeah. I’ve got a shit load of fucking things to say to you.”
It was then that Baekhyun began to brace himself. He put up a wall. Then a second wall. A third wall to be safe. Anything. Everything. He put everything up to lessen the blows of Chanyeol’s upcoming words.
“You’re frustrating as hell. I can’t fucking figure you out sometimes,” Chanyeol began, continuing on to become more and more aggressive. “I don’t fucking know where your head is at sometimes. You keep things from me, which piss me off so fucking much! You lie, you cheat, and you do things behind my back! You make things so freaking perplexed! More than they ought to be!”
Chanyeol began to use his fingers to count off. “You don’t contribute anything to this relationship! You invited me on a date, sure, but you weren’t even fucking ready when I called to cancel. Do you realize how sad that is? You weren’t ready for something you invited me to! Everything you do wrong you end up blaming it on me! Like your birthday shit!? Yeah, alright. I didn’t know it was your birthday, but you still could have fucking told me sometime between Monday and Sunday!”
Chanyeol continued. “Being with you is like being on on-going rollercoaster! Except now, at this fucking point in the ride, I wish I was on the rollercoaster on Final Destination where it fucking broke and crashed because I’m sick and tired of it so much, I just want it to stop so I can get the fuck off!” Unconsciously, Chanyeol was letting out all the frustration he holstered up.
“Are you done?” Baekhyun growled with his head hung. Those walls that he built were holding up, but essentially, they were failing him.
“No…” Chanyeol’s voice reverberated in the air. “Being in a relationship with Yoona was easier than being in this one.”
Cracks...There were gaping cracks in Baekhyun’s world.
“Sometimes I think about everything she’s said,” Chanyeol muttered. “Sometimes I think that if I really was given a time machine to go back in time that I would go back and try harder to save our relationship. Because if I went back and succeeded in keeping Yoona and I together, then I wouldn’t have to be here dealing with you.”
Dealing…Baekhyun would’ve scoffed if his throat didn’t feel so dry then. So you’re just “dealing” with me...
“With her, everything seemed so fucking clear to me. I knew what I wanted. I could picture our fucking future together, for fuck’s sake!” Chanyeol cried. “I was going to be a dad. She was going to be the mother of my kids. We were both going be that perfect family that you’d see in magazines and shit.”
The mentioning of kids pounded on those walls that Baekhyun had put up, resulting in a few stones crumbling to his feet.
Then Chanyeol took a pause. “But with you, it’s different. I can’t see us clearly in the future because I don’t know whether or not you’ll stick around. I don’t know whether or not you’ll cheat and leave me. I don’t know whether or not you’ll leave me because you’re bored. All of these scenerios make it so hard for me to picture a future together because there’s just so many outcomes…”
Chanyeol then sighed. “Our relationship is so fucked up and one-sided, where I question your love for me every once in a while when I shouldn’t even have to. You don’t put any effort in us and that’s enough for me to—yes—get back together with Yoona and go back to a time when everything was good and steady.”
Finally, there was a shared silence. Chanyeol was no longer staring—or even looking—at Baekhyun’s eyes. He was staring at his head as Baekhyun kept it down.
The fists at Baekhyun’s side had relented and had gone weak. His fingers had uncurled and were lying lifelessly on his side. “Now are you done?” he asked, almost in a whisper.
Chanyeol didn’t respond immediately. He took a while. “Yeah.”
Nodding slightly, Baekhyun took a step back before pivoting. “Bye, Chanyeol…”
They said that it was a hazard to drive with blind vision. Even in his state, Baekhyun remembered this hazard. When his eyes got too blurry, he forced himself to pull over and cry on the side of the road, putting his arms around himself because his chest hurt too much.
After fixing himself in his own driveway, Baekhyun walked in his house. He went to a mirror to check his appearance again, checking his eyes to see if they had calmed down. Then he headed on over to his dad’s office, knocking on the door before entering in.
His father was working on a building design when he turned around and saw his son sticking his head inside. “Oh. Hello.”
“Do you need something?”
“Um…A-about that expat family package…”
It didn’t go past Chanyeol’s notice when Baekhyun stopped going to school. He felt a bit bad knowing that he was the reason for it, but at the same time, he still had some left over anger and frustration that he didn’t seem to be affected by Baekhyun’s absence much.
It was about five days after their fight that Chanyeol caught a glimpse of Baekhyun. In the morning, he saw the guy enter into the office. Chanyeol watched the office door for about two minutes before leaving. During a short break in the afternoon, he passed the office again and witnessed Baekhyun leaving with his parents beside him.
It should’ve raised a red flag in Chanyeol’s head, but oddly enough, it didn’t. He just saw it as Baekhyun going to the office for some unimportant reason. It didn’t register in his mind that Baekhyun might’ve been doing something drastic.
The strain in his relationship with Baekhyun put a strain in Kai and Kyungsoo’s relationship as Kai began to complain about Kyungsoo becoming more and more down in the dumps.
Kris still hadn’t recovered from the photo incident with Tao. Even more so, he still wasn’t over the fact that Tao had left the country in such a short amount of time. It killed him to know that the reason for Tao drastically leaving was because of him.
Everyone in Chanyeol’s social circle seemed to be depressed except for Sehun and him. Sehun seemed elated enough and as for Chanyeol, he was more annoyed and still suffering from anger-hangover to really feel depressed by everything.
A week and a half passed and Baekhyun still made no appearance. Still suffering from a little bit of anger left, Chanyeol dismissed it as Baekhyun being Baekhyun—being the diva that he was—or at least, the diva that Chanyeol thought he was.
One lunch period, Kai had joined them with dark circles under his eyes. When asked why he looked the way he did, all he did was shake his head and say, “Kyungsoo… He’s been crying.” Then he later explained how he had been staying up trying to comfort his boyfriend.
Kai was about to go deeper in details as to what was upsetting his boyfriend, but Chanyeol cut him off with the topic of music and what was on the top of the charts that week. Chanyeol really had no intention of letting the group mope around. He wanted to shut his ears out to anything that was semi-attached to Byun Baekhyun because he didn’t care…he didn’t. That’s what he told himself.
After all the facade and that fake pretense he had at school, Chanyeol, in the deep, missed Baekhyun to a passion. There was a part of him that regretted saying the things that he said two weeks ago, and there was a part of him that hurt every time he saw that Baekhyun wasn’t at school. But then there was the dark side of him that kept trying to pull him in this mindset of “Byun Baekhyun deserved it. Why should you care?”.
Then, one night, as he tried his best to sway his thoughts from Baekhyun and focus in on homework that would’ve been easier if Baekhyun had helped him out on it, Chanyeol’s phone began to buzz. Putting his pencil down, he reached over and looked at the caller I.D, almost dropping the phone when he saw who was calling.
It was Baekhyun and Chanyeol didn’t know what to do. He wanted to answer, but he decided to continue on with his attitude of “I don’t care” and ultimately ignored the calls. Baekhyun ended up calling three times before giving up, leaving Chanyeol’s room silent again.
Baekhyun slowly took the phone off his ear, looking at the screen as he ended the call from going onto voice mail.
It hadn’t work. He was leaving the next day and he hadn’t heard Chanyeol’s voice since their fight. He didn’t know where they stood anymore, but there was still a part in Baekhyun that wanted to stay. He thought that if he just heard Chanyeol’s voice for a second then that would be enough to go try again with him.
Baekhyun made a promise with himself right before he called Chanyeol that if Chanyeol answered, then he’d back out and stay. He’d go on over, cry to Chanyeol, tell him upfront how he loved him, tell him that he was sorry for everything and that he’d try harder…
But that fantasy died when the third call was sent to voice mail like the other two.
It was around nine in the morning when Baekhyun’s dad parked the family car in front of Chanyeol’s mansion. Then he turned around to his son in the backseat. “Is this the house, Baekhyun?”
Baekhyun nodded. “Yeah. I’ll be right back. I just have to drop something off.”
Kyungsoo, who had decided to see Baekhyun and his father off, was sitting right beside him in the back. He gave him a pat on the shoulder. “Good luck...”
Baekhyun took his time walking at a moderate speed up to Chanyeol’s front door. Then he took a small envelope out of his hoodie’s pocket before knocking on the door. Baekhyun was expecting a maid or some sort of worker to open the door as usual, but not Yoona.
When Yoona saw him, she blinked a few times before putting on a smile. “Hello, Baekhyun.”
Baekhyun had a funny—hurting—feeling in his chest, but put that aside as he smiled back at her. “Hi. Um, Chanyeol’s not here right now, I know, but I wanted to drop this off.” Baekhyun held the small envelope out to her. “Can you give this to him?”
Yoona slowly took the envelope from him. “Sure thing, Baekhyun. Is this all? Do you wanna come in?”
Baekhyun shook his head. “No. It’s alright. I have to go anyways.” Baekhyun paused for a moment to give Yoona a genuine smile. “Bye, Yoona. Be happy, okay?”
Yoona was caught off guard, unsure of what Baekhyun was going on about. Nonetheless, she nodded. “Thank you. Bye.”
With that, Baekhyun left Chanyeol’s house and got back in the car. Then, their next destination was the airport.
Kai was upset that morning and Chanyeol was irked, not needing anything else to bring his mood down. At lunch, Chanyeol unconsciously looked over to Baekhyun’s usual table and it struck him. The table was fucking empty.
The only people sitting there was Suho and Lay and they didn’t look like they had any life in them. Tao was gone. Baekhyun was gone. Kyungsoo was even gone. Chanyeol frowned at the revelation. What the hell was going on? Everyone kept either disappearing or coming to school looking like they hadn’t gotten a wink of sleep in days. The primary examples of that were Kai and Kris. Chanyeol would’ve included himself in the latter, but he wasn’t going to admit anything…
Kyungsoo’s disappearance was the newest one so it was the one that triggered Chanyeol’s interest the most. Baekhyun had been gone for a long time, though. Of course, Chanyeol wondered where he was and what he was up to, but if the guy was calling him three times the night before, then that meant that he was doing just fine, right?
Kai answered Chanyeol’s silent questions about Kyungsoo when he sat down, loudly sighing and ruffling his hair. “Kyungsoo’s not here today…”
Chanyeol raised an unimpressed brow. “I know. I noticed.”
“He went off to the airport…”
Chanyeol scoffed. “What? Did he finally realize that there were better things out there than just yourself?”
Kai looked annoyed and just shook his head. “Never mind, Yeol.” After a while, he said, “I was going to fucking tell you since you’re the only one who’s been fucking left out.”
Chanyeol creased his brow at Kai’s tone. “What? Tell me what exactly?”
Sehun, who had been receding from conversations lately because of the depressing sense of everything, finally spoke up. “Kyungsoo’s going to the airport, Yeol. He’s not there to fucking travel. He’s there to see a friend off.”
“What friend?” Chanyeol asked, half interested.
Sehun kept quiet for a moment, sneaking a glance over to Kai. “Baekhyun.”
Chanyeol stopped fiddling with his food the moment he heard Baekhyun’s name. “What?” His attention was fully caught.
“Baekhyun,” Sehun repeated. “Kyungsoo’s seeing Baekhyun off. He’s going to come back with Baekhyun’s mom, who’ll leave next week after dealing with a few things with their house and belongings and everything—”
“Baekhyun’s at the airport,” Chanyeol said, asking for a clarification, which he got when Sehun nodded. Chanyeol gritted his teeth. “Why?”
Kai gave a sarcastic hum. “If you had just let me explain why Kyungsoo was crying days ago, you would’ve known then.”
“Well I’m listening now, so one of you better tell me what the fuck’s happening,” Chanyeol demanded.
Sehun pursed his lips, looking displeased at Chanyeol. “Baekhyun’s leaving, you shit,” Sehun said harshly. “His dad got a fucking job over at the States. He’s not graduating with us. He was here last week to deal with his transfer files and school credits so that he could graduate over there and still go to college.” Sehun paused for a bit. “Why the hell do you think he’s been gone all this time? He and his family were trying to sort everything out in a time crunch because he suddenly changed his mind about going with his dad. Suddenly, Yeol. As in, he came home one fucking day and told his dad he wanted to get the fuck out of Korea.”
It was then that Chanyeol act was dropped. His stupid “I don’t care” attitude was destroyed and replaced with something less artificial and truer. He left the table in a hurry and moved to a secluded area, whipping out his cellphone. He went to his call log and saw the three calls from Baekhyun that he ignored. The missed call icons were mocking him. Laughing at him. You’re an idiot, Chanyeol.
He swiped Baekhyun’s info up and called his number. The first try rang in full before sending him to voice mail. The second one was the same. The third one fell in with the latter. The fourth call—the most desperate call—reached the other side, though.
“Hello?” Baekhyun answered, sounding tired—or depressed. Chanyeol couldn’t determine.
“Baek…”Chanyeol almost sounded like he was breathless.
There was a shuffling on the other line, as if Baekhyun was checking to see who he just answered the phone to. “Chanyeol…Hi.”
Chanyeol skipped the greeting. “You’re leaving.” His voice sounded like it was going to crack.
“Don’t,” Chanyeol cried. “Please.”
“Ah…” Chanyeol heard Baekhyun sigh. “They’re about to board.”
“Don’t!” Chanyeol said, louder. “You can’t go, damn it!” Chanyeol caught his breath. “You never told me you were leaving!”
“I was going to, but you never answered the phone.”
That hit Chanyeol. Hard. “You were going to tell me? The night before?”
There was a small pause. “I’m sorry.”
Chanyeol’s voice broke and it cracked when it spoke. “Quit apologizing, Baek—” Chanyeol was cut off by a loud sound in the background on the other line.
“They’re boarding now. I have to go.”
Chanyeol gripped the phone. “Baek. No—”
“I love you, Chanyeol…I’m sorry I never told you in person,” Baekhyun said softly.
“Then don’t get on that plane. Come back here and tell me that to my face!” Chanyeol said loudly into the microphone.
“I can’t…” Baekhyun whispered. “You should be with Yoona, not me. I know that you said those things to me when you were angry, but sometimes the truth comes best when you don’t filter anything.”
“Don’t listen to what I said back then, Baek!” Chanyeol cried. “Those were—”
“Chanyeol, I have to go now. Really.”
“I love you.”
“Byun Baekhyun!” Chanyeol yelled. He listened to the other side. “Yah! Baekhyun! Baek!” Chanyeol looked at his phone and saw that the call had ended. He cursed and fumbled with his fingers, trying to redial Baekhyun’s number, but it was all in vain. The phone didn’t ring anymore. It just sent him straight to voice mail.
Hi! I’m Baekhyun! I’m not here right now so leave a message!
Hi! I’m Baekhyun! I’m not here right now so leave—
Hi! I’m Baekhyun! I’m not here—
Hi! I’m Baekhyun—
If Chanyeol didn’t think that he could feel anymore dead and lifeless by the time he got home, he was wrong. When all he wanted to do was crash down to the floor, Yoona walked in and handed him a small envelope, telling him that it was from Baekhyun before leaving the room.
Chanyeol carefully took the envelope and opened it. There was only one thing inside the enclosed paper. Chanyeol opened his palm and let the object fall out. His fears were confirmed when he saw what it was that Baekhyun had put in there. Chanyeol could feel his entire soul being ripped apart and was helpless to the flow of tears, hopelessly coming out of him
Byun Baekhyun had given him back his ring.