labing tatlo

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wonwoo continuously followed mingyu's motorcycle, wondering where mingyu was driving to. he looked back to see that they were gradually getting further and further away from the city. he had never ventured this far out of the city, mostly because his parents restricted him on where he could go when they were still alive. unfamiliar with the surroundings, he hoped mingyu wasn't going to the run-down parts of the city where all the gangs typically hung about. wonwoo also noticed that they were slowly driving high and higher up the hills that circled the outskirts. now he was really curious as to where mingyu was going.

after a last left turn, mingyu stopped in a small parking near a tall view tower, a metal railing barricading anyone from falling down the dizzying height. there was even a navy blue telescope for citizens to magnify their view of the bustling city, whether it was day or night. wonwoo got out from the car, ready to scold mingyu for ditching school and venturing so far out of the town, but instead he admired the stunning view of the city below and beyond them. "woah"

"it's beautiful, isn't it?" mingyu said, standing beside a gawking wonwoo.

"i've never... seen a view like this." mingyu smiled at wonwoo's gestures as the elder took out his phone to take photos of the scenery. mingyu on the other hand, went back to his motorcycle to wake out a canvas board and his paints, sitting by a rock near the edge. lowering his phone, wonwoo watched as mingyu started to paint the scenery, capturing the bustling yet solemn essence of the city. "do you usually skip school just to paint sceneries like this?"

mingyu nodded, "most of the time. when i find a good place to paint, i spend most days painting that place until i find another scene i'm interested in. either that, or i go around the city vandalising walls." mingyu chuckled, looking at wonwoo before going back to painting.

wonwoo sighed at the last sentence, typical behaviour that suited mingyu. but he didn't expect that mingyu was this invested in his art. even during their tutor lessons yesterday, on the maths worksheet mingyu completed, he found small doodles on the blank spaces. i guess i judged him too soon.

he walked over to the rock mingyu was sitting on, perching himself on a small rock neck to mingyu's, admiring the view and watching mingyu paint. and somehow, mingyu was different. usually, mingyu would be making sly remarks or doing anything that would annoy wonwoo just for his own pleasure and entertainment. but somehow, once mingyu picks up the paintbrush, he's like a whole different person. he became so focused on creating the perfect replica of the scenery, the noises of the outside world are drowned out and his surroundings disappear except for the view in his artistic eye. and wonwoo liked it for a change.

after ten minutes, mingyu finished his painting. and let me say, it looked amazing. his painting looked like he had taken a picture of it, something that wonwoo wouldn't be able to even recreate. maybe mingyu really does have potential. "that looks... amazing."

not used to the compliments he mumbled, "thanks," before setting the canvas aside to dry and stretch his legs, admiring the view once again. after looking at mingyu's painting, wonwoo joined the younger by the edge of the cliff, staring out to the city and the clouds beyond and above them.

"i know i already said this but, seriously, this view is beautiful. how have i never seen something like this before?" wonwoo said, expecting mingyu to listen to his mumbling but surprisingly, mingyu replied, "it's more beautiful at night."

there was silence between them, only the occasional gust of wind filling the void and blowing their hair. "you sound like you've never seen anything like this before, almost like you were never allowed outside your house." mingyu commented.

"i mean, you're kinda right." mingyu turned to wonwoo with a surprised look on his face. "what do you mean?"

"my parents were a little strict over me and my younger sister. always restricting who i was friends with, where i could go, what things i was allowed to do." wonwoo listed, about to say more but didn't want to tell mingyu everything, still not fully trusting him.

"i know i can't say anything as i didn't know them but, why didn't you rebel against them?" mingyu asked, staring into the pools of chocolate brown in wonwoo's eyes.

"i-i couldn't," wonwoo struggled to say. "they did so much for me and the least i could've done was listen to them. even if they were really strict on me, they loved me and just wanted the best for me, i didn't want to disappoint them. at times where i was tired of them being so controlling over me, i did rebel. but after they died... i guess i told myself to live up to their expectations, i told myself i would be the perfect son they wanted me to be." wowoo trailed off, a little teary eyed at the sad memory of his parents again.

"i'm... so sorry." mingyu said with sincerity, not knowing wonwoo's past affected him this much today.

but now, mingyu fully understood what wonwoo had said yesterday in the library. mingyu thought wonwoo was this perfect student that wonwoo himself wanted to be like. he thought that wonwoo was this role model that everyone could look up to. he thought wonwoo was this self-centred student that wanted all the positive attention. but he was so wrong.

wonwoo wasn't the perfect student because he chose to be. he was the perfect student because he wanted to live up to his parents' expectations, because of the grief he felt after his parents had died.

and in a way, mingyu could empathise with wonwoo.

but instead of wanting to live up to everyone's expectations, mingyu was tired of trying to be the perfect student, he was tired of trying to prove to everyone that he wasn't a nobody and someone people could easily pick on to do their dirty work.

he was tired of being the victim. he was tired of crying for the help of others who weren't even there in the first place.

he thought that a fearsome reputation would keep his enemies away. and that's exactly what happened, but at a cost. the rest of the students at school started to fear him and avoid him. and perhaps this what he wanted. perhaps he'd prefer to be feared and hated than bullied and victimized.

that's why mingyu was the way he was.

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