02 ;; a broken family

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The day Taehyung turned 18, he drank alcohol for the first time

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The day Taehyung turned 18, he drank alcohol for the first time. He always used to say he would never do it, even promised his mother the moment his father had to go to jail, after he drove his car while being under the influence. But he was young. And young people often make promises they can't hold.

And he liked it.

It helped him forget.

It all started not long after the young couple's death, when his mother found out his father had an affair with the girl for around two years already. She was heartbroken, but mostly enraged and disgusted of the man she had always called the love of her life.

Taehyung had come back from school, happy smile on his face and excitement inside him, because he wanted to tell his parents about the A he got in his science exam. That plan didn't quite work out like he hoped.

The second he walked inside their house, his mother's livid screams filled his ears. Then a sob and the slight echo of a slap. He slowly slung off his bag and slipped off his shoes to walk further into the house, eyes widening at the sight of his mother crying and accusingly pointing her manicured finger at his father.

Her usually perfect mascara was smeared and she lifted her hand to comb her brown hair back in frustration. His father was silent and only had his head turned to the side, the redness on his left cheek showing where his wife had slapped him.

"What's...What's going on?" Taehyung then asked in a quiet tone and his mother sobbed again at the sight of her son, holding her shaking hand in front of her mouth and turning around as if she was about to throw up from the disturbing thunder of her husband's revelation to be a cheater and the knowledge of having to tell her precious son about it.

He had to swallow, worried gaze flickering back to his father, who still hadn't moved at all. Taehyung was silent then, walking up to his mother to wrap his arms around her.

Because all he could figure out by their current situation was that his father was the cause of it. His mother's slightly shorter figure pressed Taehyung against her, sobbing into his neck as the latter moved his hand up and down on her back, "Sh, it's okay, mom, calm down," He mumbled and didn't even notice the slight tremble in his own voice.

His mother shook her hand, pulling away and turning to glare at her husband, "Nothing is okay," She then said, face growing more furious at the sight of the man, "Nothing will ever be okay. And it's just your father's fault for sleeping around with a woman half his age!"

Taehyung froze the moment those words left her mouth. It couldn't be true. It had to be a joke. His father would never cheat, he loved his wife to death.

He almost expected his father to tell him it's a lie or maybe apologize, crying, if it should be true. But seeing him snap his head towards his mother with such anger in his usually warm brown eyes made the poor boy almost flinch as he cowered in himself at the sight of his parents arguing. "She's dead anyway! Just forget about it, Evelee!"

It became silent in the room.

His mother stared at the man across with such disgust, it didn't seem like she ever loved him. It didn't seem like she even recognised the person in front of her. "Get out," was all that left her.

"You can't throw me out of the house."

"I said, get out of my house, Daesung!"

Taehyung could only watch. He could only watch how his father stormed past him, not even sparing him a glance, before the door slammed shut behind him with the intoxicating silence taking over once more.

His mother broke down the same second Taehyung did, falling into each other's arms. The boy had quiet tears rolling down his cheeks, tears, that he didn't even realize were there while his mother sobbed into his hair and continued to kiss his head as a sign of comfort and apology.

Later that night, when Taehyung and his mother sat on the couch with take out, talking about what had happened more calmly but still with the drowning sadness inside them, they got the call. The call, where they were told his father was going to trial for driving his car under the influence of alcohol, which later turned out to be a four years sentence in jail.

"Never drink till you're not aware of your surroundings and actions anymore," His mother had told him since then. "I promise," Taehyung replied. It was a lie. But he didn't know that when he said it, even believing his own words.

So there he was then. Sitting in the skatepark with a bottle of vodka in his hand that his group of friends was sharing with each other, all a bit tipsy already as the cold wind brushed past their figures. "Ay, birthday boy," Levin grinned and Taehyung turned to his best friend with the others wriggling their brows at them, "The love birds are going at it again!"

Taehyung grinned with a roll of his eyes, slightly kicking the one who said it, before he averted his attention back to the one beside him, while lifting the bottle of vodka back to his mouth. The burning liquid ran down his throat like a hot fire, feeling like it was making his insides bleed.

Levin pulled out a pack of a cigarettes from the pocket of his jacket, proudly showing it around and earning himself a few wide eyes. "Ohhh," one of them chuckled, "Where'd you get them? Stole them from your dad?"

"The fuck, no," The other scoffed, "I met this girl and she's already 19. She bought them for me." Taehyung silently stared at the now opened pack of cigarettes his friend handed to him.

He never intended to smoke. But what kind of teenager would he be, if he wouldn't at least try it? So, when he pulled one out without hesitation and placed it between his lips, he heard a few excited cheers, "Birthday boy is wild today!"

Taehyung shook his head with a grin, expecting glint in his brown eyes as he looked at Levin, who seemed to question his caused actions now. "You sure, dude?" He asked quietly and Taehyung nodded.

One time wouldn't hurt him.

When he took his first drag and everyone stared at him, Taehyung felt like he was in court and just killed someone with the hints of disbelief in some of his friends faces. The 18 year old felt the nicotine crawl down to his lungs, and then, he coughed.

"Pussy," Jaden, another one of his friends, snorted and took the stick from him to inhale the toxic smoke just like Taehyung did— only to also start coughing heavily. There were a few loud laughs in the group as Jaden gave it back to Taehyung with a grimace on his face.

Feeling Levin place his head onto his lap with hooded eyes, Taehyung chuckled and inhaled more and more of the cigarette with a few more coughs leaving him, till the nicotine just went down his lungs like he's never been doing anything else other than smoking.

His 18th birthday was the cause of many things.

It was the beginning of him drinking every weekend, smoking every day and getting addicted to the rush of adrenaline flowing through him, whenever he did something bad. Something, that was against the law.

It made him forget.

Forget about his father, forget about the deaths occurring in the Hanbury Street over and over again and forget about how miserable his life actually was, without knowing, that his mother was at home with tears streaming down her face, as she finally wrote the last word of her letter, before she let go and felt the rope press against her throat with her feet desperately trashing around in the air.

so what are we thinking

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