CHAPTER 17

223 16 17

Sohyun
We'd been sitting in uneasy silence for a while, avoiding looking at each other. It was night but it was clear none of us could sleep. No one spoke, no one wanted to. Whilst Jiwon had stopped crying and just sat there with bleary eyes and a blotchy face, Raeji was quietly sobbing. So it wasn't really silence.

I kept telling myself everything was fine, and had managed to achieve a state of numbness. I was tired, hungry, and my foot still hurt, so I focused on that instead of emotions. I couldn't think about recent events, I didn't even know where to start. I knew I'd only break down completely.

My eyes drifted through the trees and shadows, straining to see in the darkness. A few pinpricks of light caught my eye, and it took me a while to register them. Torches. They were pointed in our direction.

"Guys, we need to go." I said quietly, pointing at the distant lights. They all seemed as out of it as I was, and Changbin was the first to realise.

"Shit." He cursed, standing up and gently lifting Jeongin onto his shoulder.

"Be careful..." Seungmin mumbled, only to get a look from Changbin as if to say 'Do I look like I'm stupid?'.

We all began running, and I struggled immensely, sucking in deep breaths as I endured the pain in my foot. I knew that I wouldn't be able to keep up, I was already far behind them. Tears began spilling out of my eyes, and my pace kept slowing. I watched in despair as they all got further away in front of me.

What I didn't expect was for Seungmin to run back for me. I looked at him incredulously, and he just looked irritated.

"For god's sake, get on my back!" He snapped. There wasn't really time to argue, so I did as he said, gripping tightly onto him. He caught up to the others in a short amount of time, and every now and then I glanced behind, only to see the lights still following us.

We'd been running for several minutes, and ahead of us I spotted a clearing. I pointed it out to Seungmin, and all I got was inaudible dialogue in between rasping breaths. He didn't seem to agree with me judging by his tone of voice, but we were going in that direction anyway, so didn't really have a choice.

As we drew nearer I saw figures in the clearing, and the others did as well, as they all faltered a little. I felt worry rising up inside me; if they were from the government, we were screwed. But we had no choice, we were being pursued from behind by lights that seemed to get closer and closer by the second.

We were approaching the clearing, and something stirred inside of me when the features of the figures started to be clearer. They were familiar, surely it couldn't be... But there was no denying it as we got closer; it was our comrades.

"Run!" I yelled at them, but my voice came out a lot quieter than I'd intended, so they didn't hear me.

Eventually they spotted us, and seemed to catch on, setting off just as we reached them. They were faster and already far ahead of us, and I could feel Seungmin's energy dwindling as his hands that held me were looser and close to letting go.

Up ahead, there was a cave, and they sprinted in. Minho waited behind, making sure that we all got in. We did, and Seungmin immediately set me down on the floor, collapsing breathlessly next to me.

There was no joy in this reunion, only a sense of relief that filled the air as we sat there, taking in who was there and who wasn't. The only people missing were Chan, Heiryung, Jinhee, and Hyunjin.

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