It was a crisp autumn morning that Monday, a fresh frost lay on the ground twinkling in the sunlight. The air was clean and fresh in the brunettes lungs as he trudged to school through the glittering streets. Soft bird song filled the air and serenaded Jeongin on his way to school, but for all, he cared it could have nails on a chalkboard.
His mother had made him go to school that morning, saying that she needed to get back to work and he had already spent four days mopping around the house, although Jeongin was looking to make it an even week. So after an evening of whining, Jeongin found himself dragging his feet along the pavement that lead to his school.
As he passed, the odd person turned their head to look at whispering to their friend or looking at him in confusion. But Jeongin didn't care. He had given up caring. He wasn't in the mood to be offended by strangers gossip so he kept walking.
Too soon he saw the gates of his school appear from around the corner welcoming in their prisoners for the day. What he didn't notice was the small crowd of people slowing gathering on the inside of the gate. He didn't notice the series of news vans parked outside the school gates. He didn't notice any of this until the reporter's shouts and cries filled the signalling to the gaggle at there target was close approaching.
By the time Jeongin even realised the danger, it was too late. The reporters were on him like a pack of loins, teeth bared, hackles raised ready to take down the poor unexpecting fox. Jeongin was bombarded by a stampede of people all shout, waving their hands in the air trying to attract his attention. There were angry fans with black facemasks are, raising their fists at Jeongin, there were reporters shoving cameras and microphones into his face, there were the poor teachers at the back trying their best, but failing, at controlling the sound.
Jeongin froze. He was petrified to the spot. His brain screamed at him to move, to run, to hide, but he couldn't. Every muscle in his body had seized up and refused to move. He was nailed to the spot. He could feel the reporters circling him, slowly closing in preparing to pounce. Jeongin could do nothing. His legs began to shake beneath him, struggling to hold his body weight. but he stood there.
Then the questions started.
"JEONGIN! The company has denied that you are dating is that true!?"
"JEONGIN! Is it true that you were Hyunjin's first kiss!?"
"HOW DARE YOU TRY AND STEAL OUT OPPA AWAY FROM US!"
"IS IT TRUE THAT HYUNJIN IS GAY?"
"IS THIS ALL A COVER-UP FOR THE FACT THAT YOU ARE DATING?!"
"JEONGIN! WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE NEWS"
"WAS THAT YOU IN THE PHOTOGRAPH?!"
The words of the reporters bounced around his brain making his ears ring. The chorus of screeches and cries were deafening. Tears began to prick painfully at the edge of Jeongin's eyes. He stumbled, shaking his head.
"I'm sorry, please let me out" It was barely above a whisper and drowned out by the roar of the crowd closing in on him.
Suddenly his breath became very shallow in his chest. He took a deep breath but no air seemed to be going in. He panicked. His heart racing in his chest, he spun dangerously on his heels, desperately searching for an escape. A wall of reporters surrounded him, towering over him ready for the kill.
The world around him began to spin. Blurred by tears Jeongin twisted this way and that looking for a way out, a pocket of air, anything!
He took a step back and his legs buckled beneath him and he went plummeting to the ground.
For a moment, the world was still. The reporter's shocked looks, teachers finally breaking their way through the crowd, a figure dressed all in black stepping forward to save him, the clear blue sky of the bright Monday morning.
Then the world went black.
It was warm. and comfortable. As though he had been wrapped in a cloud and set adrift in the sky. He liked it here. He had no worries or cares.
But his body hurt. It ached. Every muscle was stiff, rigged. He felt like he had been dropped onto a cold hard floor. Maybe it wasn't so nice here.
Distance voice began to pick at the edge of his brain, slowly trickling in mind and filling it with words. It took him a few moments to work out what the words were saying, his mind was all groggy.
Slowly but steadily he began to feel more of his body. His fingertips, his toes, his arms, his legs slowly came into life, as though someone was flicking a switch, turning him back on again.
"Are you sure doctor!?"
"How long have we worked together Bethany? And how many times have I been wrong?"
"I know but this is my son we are talking about!"
"And he is completely fine! He just had a bad panic attack. Look, we can ask Chan to look at him and make sure he's ok? Will that settle your nerves?"
"Thank you, Chris"
The words tumbled around his mind, waking up, bringing it back to life. He was in the hospital. His mother was here, and so was another doctor. With what seemed like a huge amount of effort. Jeongin opened his eyes.
The lights were bright in the room and it smelled of bleach. Jeongin's eyes flicked to the side to see his mother standing next to his bed, worry etched into her features.
"Jeongin! Are you ok?" She cried, diving down to clutch her son's hand. Jeongin nodded and smiled weakly. He couldn't yet his voice hadn't woken up. Mrs Yang let out a sigh of relief and slumped where she sat.
"I was worried sick when they brought you in, I was scared something worse had happened." Jeongin felt a pang of guilt erupt in his chest. "But you're alright" Jeongin nodded, squeezing his mother's hand tightly.
"I'm sorry" Jeongin crocked. Mrs Yang stood up shaking her head.
"No it was my fault, I should have walked you to school to make sure you were alright" Tears began to brim in both the Yang's eyes.
"I love you Mum" Jeongin crocked, tears now fully following down his face.
"I love you too Son" Mrs Yang sobbed, quickly embracing her son in a tight hug.
The doctor, who had been standing awkwardly there the whole time, smiled at the somewhat happy scene. Decided that they needed a moment, he slid the door open as stepped out into the corridor.
Outside the door stood a figure dressed all in black, watching the mother and son with tears in his eyes and a sense of longing in his heart.