january 24th.

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6:44 a.m.

His glasses. Jimin couldn't find his glasses.

Bad eyesight was the Park family curse, and the family curse spared no one. Well, except his little cousin Nara. She must have gotten hers from her mother. But aside from her, Jimin's mother wore glasses, her mother wore glasses, and so did her husband. Their children, each and every one of five aunts and uncles, wore frames fit to their face as one wears skin.

Jimin thought he was exempt for his first few years until he got his first pair fresh out of middle school. Dad always blamed it on the way he read in the dark, an accusation always accompanied by the ruffle of his son's hair and the turning on of the nearest lamp. Ten years later, Jimin's life has known nothing but late mornings since.

Under the throw blanket? On the nightstand-- in the nightstand? Nope, just dead pens and ink pens. Groaning, Jimin darted back and forth in his frenzy, checking the same hiding places as if magic is real and time is not, turning his studio apartment upside down. A fresh copy of Invisible Man sat there on the table, as if a reminder to regret all those nights reading in the dark, waiting for consumption. If only he could find those glasses. Those new fucking glasses-- shit, and where are my AirPods?

No music, no words. The universe must have made this morning out of his nightmares. His commute couldn't possibly get anymore peace-less and quiet-less.

Tough fucking luck, he guessed, because it was a fifteen minute walk to the train station and ten until the 6:54 monorail would pull off. At this rate, it seemed, without him.

Good job letting your contacts dry out, genius.

Aside from this, Jimin was completely ready for the day. Monochrome in his button down, belted slacks, and loafers, he resigned to the door and grabbed his keys out of his pocket. The tea he had made for himself had cooled in the stiff, wintry air, a forgotten relic for retrospect that would inspire the facepalm upon his return from work. That is, if he still had a job after Bourgeouis was done with him. If he was on time today.

A dropping of the keys and one bitter string of curse words later, Jimin left and locked the door of apartment 72 behind him.

Well, at least he's got his almonds.

6:56 a.m.

Jimin ran up the stairs, hearing the automated voice announce the train's departure. Fatigued and breathless after running the two blocks that stood between his apartment and Trescott Avenue station, his back was damp with sweat. Flurries of commuters got in his way-- not that they acted like they had somewhere to be how slow they climbed these stairs. He managed to wiggle around them and get up to the platform to pay his way on. Huh. This day might actually take a turn for the better.

And then his CityCard declined at the turnstyle. The doors of the train car began to shut. He swiped again.

Too fast. Swipe again.

Too slow. Swipe again.

Too fast. Swipe again.

He drew out a groan.

"Hold the doors, hold the doors!" Jimin helplessly watched the monorail speed off, "Wait!"

So now he threw himself over the turnstyle for nothing, a criminal offense committed while, if he might add, two police officers stood nearby. After so many ill turns of fate today already, the universe figured it might show some mercy. The taller of the uniformed women gestures with one hand to turn around and pay, eating a bagel. When Jimin does just this, sighing and shaking his head, he looks at her again to meet a smile and thumbs up.

But he doesn't feel very smiley or thumbs uppy. Especially not when he habitually reached for AirPods which, you fucking guessed it! Are at the same tea party his glasses go to when he can't find them, likely discussing best practices to get him fired.

"Fuck... "

His conscience has just said the same but this voice is neither his nor his psyche's. Deep and raspy with tiredness, the voice came instead from a blue-haired man who schlepped past Jimin in one final, half-assed effort to bang on the tail of the metal monster. It sped away.

The blue-haired man put his hands on his hips and turned to Jimin, a dad-like grin on his face. "Looks like we're both going to be late to work today."

"Yeah," Jimin huffed with a roll of the eyes. No shit, Sherlock.

So Jimin crossed his arms and waited.

The next available monorail wouldn't arrive at Trescott Avenue until 7:05, at which point it would be packed and the ride uncomfortable. Jimin would be late, no doubt about it. The blue-haired man was right about that much. No book to pass the time for a fifty minute commute. No music either.


"No book today?"

Jimin looked up at the boy again, incredulously this time, holding his gaze. He recognized him sort of; he was a regular face in the 6:54 crowd. Or a regular hairdo.... highlighter head.

"Excuse me?"

"I noticed you always bring one. A book."

Jimin didn't know whether he should be flattered or creeped out to have an admirer of sorts, but sarcasm was like second nature to him and his brow raised in mock interest as he started to fish in his bag for those almonds and-- hey, there are my AirPods!-- put them in each ear, "Really?"

"Yup. Never seen you without one." The boy added, "Or the glasses."

"Oh, yeah?" Jimin replied, bored already.

"So, what's your name?"

Jimin's headphones weren't playing any music yet. But he thought that maybe, just maybe, if he pretended his music was playing that this idiot would leave him alone.

And it worked

for two seconds.

The boy tapped his shoulder several times, and he knew he could no longer ignore him. So when the boy said, "Excuse me, I asked for your name."

Jimin took out a headphone and smiled, "I know. I heard you."

And Jimin put his headphones back in.

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