04. good2me

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[ KIM TAEHYUNG ]

I shot up from my sleeping bag, clenching my chest as my breathing became more tense and heavy. I turn towards Jungkook who was heavily sleeping, snoring, actually. I purse my lips into a line as I slowly turn to the other side. Soojung was asleep as well, all cuddled up in her own sleeping bag. 

Reaching for my duffle bag, I pull out a bottle of water. Slowly, I get out of the tent and run for the nearest secluded area. I cough, heave, and stumble, not being able to keep myself on my two feet. It was happening again.

I reach a bit farther from the rest of the tents, hiding behind a few trees as I fell to my knees. I gasp for air as my lungs began to clench again, tugging and tugging for all the air I could possibly get. It was almost as if I was drowning, I couldn't breathe, it was almost like my lungs needed more than just air.

And then the petals came out. I bent over, throwing up all the petals that were contained in my lungs since the night has started. Memories and flashbacks of her began to flood my mind, and all I could think of was her. I groan in pain, holding my chest as I began to cough. 

"T-Taehyung?"

I jump, my eyes slightly widening before I quickly gather all the petals I had thrown up and trying to hide them behind the tree. But her footsteps got closer and closer.

"Taehyung, y-you don't need to hide them."

I stop, turning around to see Soojung standing right behind me with her arms folded. She takes a few footsteps ahead of me, bending down and picking up a petunia petal, staring at it with awe. She lets out a bitter laugh.

"They're beautiful.. but it'll never replace the pain behind it."

I furrow my eyebrows in confusion, and she pulls out a thermos and hands it to me. I hesitantly grab it from her before opening the cap, chugging down. I wince at the bitterness of the green tea.

"It helps the burns that you feel in your chest."

"Why are you doing this?"

She shrugs her shoulders, placing the thermos back into her bag. I watch her as she turns her back towards me.

"The disease that you have.. I have it too."

"You.. what?"

"The petals, the unrequited love, the soulmate.. I have it all, well, except the soulmate."

She laughs, turning back towards me as she holds out her hand. I frown, how can she be so calm about her own unrequited love?

"So you're a glitch? Just like me?"

She nods her head, and I grab her hand to get back up on my feet. I dust off the leaves and dirt off of my shorts before looking back at her.

"Do you perhaps, know who's the one doing this to you?"

"Nope. Do you?"

"You don't know?"

"Nope, not a single clue. I'm actually on a mission of finding out who my soulmate is, maybe beat the shit out of him, and then move on. Do you know who your special girl is?"

I fall silent, I could only feel bad for her. While she had no idea who her soulmate was, here I was, having my own sob story over how I know who mine is.

"Seolhyun."

"Seolhyun as in.."

"Yeah, it's her."

She laughs, shaking her head as she lets out a sigh. The two of us started to head back to the campground in silence. It was almost like that understanding silence where both could reach each other's minds without saying a single word about it. We stop in our tracks at the sight of one of our teachers waving a flashlight through the forest.

"I didn't know they had people keeping an eye on us."

That was all she could mutter before I grabbed her hand, pulling both of us behind one of the trees. She had her back against the tree, while I was hovering her, making sure we were completely hidden.

"I know I look really handsome that it's hard to resist staring at me."

"Shut up."

"We might have to stay here for a while, they're still focused on checking up on the forest."

"Well great, for being so overly concerned about your disappearance in the tent and finding you, I get punished by having to stay here with you without getting caught."

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[ PARK SOOJUNG ]

"So.. Seolhyun, huh?"

He eyes me suspiciously as I wiggle my eyebrows teasingly. He rolls his eyes. We were both sitting behind the tree, it was almost safe enough since we were sitting here for almost an hour and a half. 

"Doesn't matter. So, what do your lungs contain?"

"Rose petals."

"Shit. That must be pleasing to look at."

I giggle, and he only smiles at me. I place the back of my head against the tree as he fiddles with the leaves in front of him.

"I have to find out who he is, and then I'll be able to go under surgery."

"So you're going to permanently get rid of the petals?"

"Well, it's not like I want to live like this forever, don't you think? I don't want to spend my whole entire life getting all emo over the fact that my soulmate has a soulmate that's not me when I can just.. permanently stop loving someone I was supposed to be with."

"True."

"Have you thought about doing it?"

He shrugs his shoulders. 

"Maybe someday I will. But I just.. love her so much that I can't bring myself to imagine the day where I can finally stop loving her."

"Well, it's really your decision. But for the meantime, if I find out who that dickhead is who's been the reason for my rose petals, then I'll let you know so we can beat him up together."

"Even if you don't know who he is.. do you love him?"

"You see that's the whole fucked up situation we have here. We're all destined to have a soulmate, a partner, or whatever the fuck you wanna call it. But what's even more fucked up is that we're glitches, we're mistakes in this fixed world. So obviously, we already have this sense of belonging and attachment to our own soulmate, whether we know them or not."

"You're not answering my question, though."

"I do love him. It's just.. sometimes I hate him for doing this to me, but it's not entirely his fault. He already has his own soulmate that probably will be with him forever because they're matched for each other. It's just.. it's hard to accept that it'll never be me, you know?"

"So you hate that you love him?"

"Exactly."

"Well shit, I feel the same exact way for Seolhyun."

"Well then, the only wish I have for the both of us is to be able to feel, to love whoever we want without any rules.. without any conditions."

The atmosphere felt silent, and he let out a soft sigh. I bit my lip, looking up at the dark skies. It was nice knowing that someone had the same exact condition as me. But I never thought that it would be someone who was used to one night stands, someone who was a huge player. But I guess Taehyung has been like that because he knows that he doesn't belong to anyone.. just like me.

"Promise me one thing."

I raise an eyebrow questioningly as he avoids eye contact.

"Can you be there for me when I finally decide to get permanent surgery?"

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