Too late

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Mrs.Jung silently turned off the lights and quietly closed the door to Daehyun's room. She just finished tucking the little child to bed who slept half way through his favorite bed time story. After his daily goodnight kiss, she'd leave Daehyun to his own dreams so he could wake up active as he always was for the next day to come.
It wasn't easy taking care of a super hyperactive eight year old boy, especially since her husband was currently working abroad to support the family...but she would rather have her child hyperactive but happy than anything otherwise. He was just too precious.

Shutting down all the appliances in the house, she got ready to go to her own slumber as well, that is until her steps were interrupted by loud knocks from the door.

Now who in the right mind would come banging down someone's door at such an ungodly hour?! There was a kid sleeping in the house for goodness' sake!

Nevertheless, she dragged her toes to the door and unlocked all three locks before opening it.

Confusion was written all over her face when she saw her best friend and her husband looking like they've lost their minds.

"Sunhwa please tell me Youngjae's sleeping with Daehyun right now!" Her best friend, Hyusong, obviously Youngjae's mother yelled in a very desperate voice.

Sunhwa furrowed her brows together. She could already sense the trouble radiating.

"Youngjae?... he went home about two to three hours ago... Daehyun's sleeping by himself..."
The look of horror on Hyusong's face was enough to tell her... This was bad... very bad...

"Two to three hours?!?" Hyusong looked like she was going to faint.

"Why? What happened?!" This question was proven stupid seeming as everything was pretty much obvious.

"Can't you tell?! Youngjae didn't get home!! Look at what time it is!!"
Sunhwa bit her lip back... it was probably around ten in the evening now... and it's surely no time for a seven year old to be out wandering all by himself.

"We need to call the poli-"

"Mommy... what's going on? Is there something wrong?"
A sleepy Daehyun groggily asked from the staircase as he rubbed his eye and yawned.

"N-No, no, no sweety, nothing's wrong, go back to bed... everything's fine..." she stuttered a response in panic. Heaven knows how Daehyun'll react if he knew the situation...
Everyone knew he loved Youngjae so much. Too much. Even as much as Youngjae's parents loved their own child.

"Hmmmnn? Why are Mr. And Mrs. Yoo here? Oh- Is Youngjae here too?!" And in an instant, the bubbly little boy came running down the stairs, not an ounce of sleepiness left.

"Jaejae!" He ran past Youngjae's parents outside the house and searched for any signs of his best friend. He adjusted his eyes to the surroundings and felt heavily disappointed upon spotting no Youngjae in the premises.

Hyusong neared Daehyun and bent down to his level, eyes pleading with unshed tears.
Daehyun did not know nor like where this was going one bit.
"Daehyunnie... did Youngjae tell you he was going anywhere before he left?"

Daehyun knitted his brows in confusion. What was with that question? "N-No he didn't... I even scolded him about how he should go home immediately before it got too dark out.. why do you ask?"

Hyusong felt all hope lost now..

"Youngjae didn't come home..." she let the tears slide down her cheeks silently, holding back a sob letting Daehyun gulp in disbelief.

"A-Are you saying...that.. Youngjjae- Youngjjjae- that Youngjae's g-gone?" He asked quietly, feeling a horrible pang in his chest.

The nod from Mrs. Yoo was enough to break Daehyun's world completely. Tearing his mind- and heart appart, piece by piece with every second that ticked by.

A high pitched cry broke out the entire neighborhood followed by a series of even louder wails. Mrs.Jung was quick to scoop up her child in comfort and started rubbing his back, lulling him to quiet down.

"Shhhhhh.. Daehyunnie stop crying, we'll get Youngjae back, we'll get Youngjae back..."

The child cried even more. And Sunhwa could only grimace tiredly at Hyusong.

"You just had to tell him.."

Mr. Yoo took a step forward to the crying boy.
"Daehyun-ah... please stop crying... we'll find Youngjae, okay? He's not g-gone... we just have to- have to..." Mr. Yoo held back a tear. "We will find my son..." Seeing the man's semi-confident face lifted a bit of weight. But it still didn't stop the crying completely. Daehyun buried his face on the crook of his mother's neck, sobs muffled now.

"Daehyun, Youngjae wouldn't like it if you cry... You know him... he'll scold you or tell you to man up!" Sunhwa shook him in her arms.

"And besides... Youngjae is a brave lit- big boy... he wont go down easy-ehhif he got into trouble which is very unlikely to happen, okay?" Sunhwa struggled to find the right comforting words to ease her son's pain... sure enough.. it worked a little bit..

After Daehyun had calm down the slightest, the grown ups all agreed to go to the police station down town to request a search party for the missing child. Mrs. Jung brought Daehyun back to his room. She was mentally preparing herself for the outcome of her actions.

"What are you doing, mom! We have to go look for Youngjae!" He struggled against his mother's hold.

"Yes, we, as in me, Mr and Mrs. Yoo and the police have to look for Youngjae. You're staying here... I can't risk losing you..." She tucked him forcefully in bed, not letting his little hands and pleads stop her from doing what's good for him.

"Noooo!!! Youngjae needs me! I need Youngjae!! Let me go!!"

He ran off the bed but Sunhwa was quicker and had caught him before he could bypass the door, plastering him back under the blanket,more securely this time.

"Go to sleep, Daehyun." She fought his little fists and shifts and kissed his forehead, not too gently

"How can you possibly expect me to go to sleep!" He yelled back and kicked her right in the face repeatedly.

" I said, go to sleep, Daehyun." She slapped his right cheek hard and Daehyun stared at her in absolute shock and disbelief. Never did his mother hurt him like that in his entire life before.

"You're being a bad boy! So stubborn! I'm going to help find Youngjae but when I say you can't come, then you can't come! I'm doing this for your own good! I don't want you to end up just like him!" His mother snapped but immediately regret what she'd done upon seeing how hurt Daehyun looked before he bursted into tears again. Heaven knows how it was even possible for him to cry even louder this time.

She let out a exasperated sigh before she hugged Daehyun tightly, forcing her arms around the misbehaving little boy.. but of course, she never expected a hug back. The eight year old pushed her away with all the strength he could manage. The push was so strong it had Sunhwa wobbling back and struggling to keep her balance.
Now it was her time to cry this time.

"I'm sorry, alright! But you can't change my mind. It's for your own good! You are staying here."

She said strictly before she ran off to the door and locked it in a hurry. Daehyun wasn't fast enough to catch up and fell on his back on the cold hard floor before he released his frustration by jumping up and down and rolling all over the room, crying out all the horrible things he felt as of the very moment.

Things just kept getting worse and worse.


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