“Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on, our troubles will be out of sight...”
Yoochun quickly stopped and stared blankly at the TV screen.
“Why are they playing English Christmas songs all of a sudden,” Changmin complained as he immediately stood up and turned off the TV. Worriedly, he looked at his friend and then sighed.
Jaejoong just sadly turned to look at Yoochun, who was already at the door. “I suddenly remembered I need something from the grocery. I’m going out for a while,” Yoochun uttered.
“Be sure to come back before 12. Remember it’s Christmas Eve,” Yunho reminded his friend.
As soon as Yoochun left, Changmin quickly faced the other DBSK members with a worried look on his face.
“He’s at it again,” he commented with a deep sigh.
“Haven’t you gotten used to it? He’s like that every year ever since we met him. It’s like his Christmas ritual or something,” Junsu replied with a light laugh. He was trying to make the atmosphere a little less gloomy.
“Christmas time is really hard for him…” Jaejoong said with a low voice.
Yunho nodded his head. “We just have to let him be,” he said with sympathy.
“Sometimes I wish Christmas wouldn’t come at all. But I know it’s impossible. I pity hyung so much,” Changmin said with pain in his voice.
The other DBSK boys sighed. It was hopeless to even try to cheer up their friend at this time of the year. Every year, during Christmas… he had his own special world that they can’t seem to enter.
Yoochun walked without an exact destination. He lied when he said that he needed to buy something. He just needed to get some fresh air to clear his head. He passed by a store and paused. The store had some Santa Claus figurines displayed on a glass rack. Instantly something flashed in his mind… a very familiar memory.
“Oh, those figurines are quite nice. You should buy one,” a female voice suddenly said out of the blue.
Startled, Micky quickly looked at the young woman standing in front of him. She was a very attractive girl about 15 years old, with long and straight black hair.
The girl smiled and slowly the deep dimples on both sides of her face appeared. “The figurines are nice. You should buy one,” she repeated.
As if in a trance, Yoochun nodded his head and quickly went inside the store. Only minutes passed, and he slowly stepped out of the store holding a plastic large bag.
The girl squealed with delight. “You bought all of it?” she asked as if making sure.
Again Yoochun nodded.
“Those figurines would look great under a Christmas tree,” the girl said innocently. “Christmas is a very special time that only happens once in a year, just think of it as your birthday. So you should be happy.”
“But it isn’t my birthday? So why should I be happy… when…” he suddenly stopped talking. He couldn’t continue what he was wanted to say. It was as if something was stuck in his throat and his mouth couldn’t form the words playing in his mind.
The girl took a long look at him before putting on a smile again. “Cheer up. It’s not the end of the world. Everything will be all right.”
Yoochun stared at the young girl, quite amazed. “How can you say that?”
The girl smiled. “Simple. I just accept things as they come. You should too. It will certainly lighten the burden you’re carrying,” she replied.
Yoochun turned to look at something else. He didn’t want the girl to see the tears that were trying to escape from his eyes.
“I am going to the park. Would you like to come with me?” the girl asked sweetly.
“Park? I guess… I can come with you. I don’t have anything to do today,” he replied.
Silently they walked to the park. And every now and then, Yoochun would glance at the young girl walking beside him.
As soon as they reached the entrance of the park, the girl stopped and faced him. “We’re here. What do you want to do now?” she asked with a bright smile.
“Why are you asking me? You’re the one who wanted to come here,” he replied as if annoyed.
The girl pouted her lips in a cute manner. It quickly made Yoochun stare at her with something visible in his eyes….
“We only have a few hours before it’s finally Christmas. Have you made your Christmas wish yet?” she asked as she again looked at him.
Yoochun shook his head. “Christmas wishes are for children. I am not a kid anymore,” he simply replied.
“You have certainly become so bitter. You’re not like that,” she uttered with sadness.
“Many things change as time passes by,” he replied with a hidden meaning.
She looked straight into his eyes. “Yes, time changes everything,” she repeated.
A young couple suddenly passed by Yoochun…. They both looked at him with a strange expression on their faces, but he didn’t care. He just pretended that he didn’t see them.
“Come on, let’s go stroll the whole park. I have decided that is what I want to do today,” she said happily. The smile on the girl’s lips made Yoochun’s heart melt. “Would you like to accompany me…. Or maybe you have other things to do?” the girl asked with hesitation.
Yoochun tried to put on a smile. “I told you I don’t have anything to do today. So if you want to go strolling, then I will gladly accompany you.”
“Thank you,” she uttered sweetly.
Time quickly passed…. It was already an hour before midnight.
Yoochun and the young girl were already sitting on a park bench. They were sitting on both ends of the long bench. It was as if they were afraid of being close to each other.
“Thank you,” the girl unexpectedly uttered.
“Thank you for what?” Yoochun asked while keeping his eyes straight in front of him.
“Thank you for spending some time with me. Thank you for…. remembering me,” she slowly uttered.
Yoochun felt a sharp pain in his heart after hearing what the girl said.
“Do you remember the last time we were together?” she asked.
“No,” Yoochun answered with coldness. He didn’t have the heart to remember.
The girl sadly looked at him. “You have to remember. You must remember. For your sake… I want you to remember. It’s time for you to accept everything,” she said with a serious tone in her voice.
“No. I am happy with the way things are right now. I don’t want to accept any changes,” he uttered with bitterness in his voice.
“You’re happy? Are you sure you’re happy? What about me? Have you asked me… if I am happy?” she asked.
Yoochun stared at the girl. “What do you want from me?” he quickly shouted. “Okay, I will ask you…. Are you happy? Are you satisfied?” he asked with a raised voice.
“The answer is… no. How can I be happy when I see you’re suffering? How can I rest when you keep calling out to me? How can I leave when you keep on holding on to me?” she replied.
“Then… don’t leave. You don’t have to leave. We can be like this… forever,” he said as if he was going mad.
The girl looked at Yoochun, quite horrified with what she heard. “Are you really going insane Yoochun? We can’t be like this forever… You have to move on…. And I… I need to go… somewhere,” she said as she tried to control herself from crying.
“Then take me with you,” he quickly uttered without any hesitation. “Take me with you… please,” he said with so much agony in his voice.
The girl stared blankly in front of her. “Remember the night we were together and I was asking you to come with me to the park?” she started to reminisce.
“Stop! I don’t want to hear it,” Yoochun shouted. He immediately covered his ears. He was too afraid to remember the things that happened in the past.
In just a wink of an eye, the young girl was already sitting beside him.
“Remember…. it was also Christmas Eve…. seven years ago… “ the girl’s voice somehow started to echo.
It was like Yoochun was drawn into a dream… He was drawn into a memory he had tried so hard to forget.
“Yoochun, please come with me. I want to go to the park. I have something special to give you… and … I also want to tell you something,” a young girl said. She was about 15 years old with a long, straight and black hair.
They were standing outside of a convenience store that was near their homes.
“Sorry, Min Rin. I have other plans. I am going out with some of friends from school. Maybe we can just go to the park some other time,” he replied.
“But… I have been planning this for so long. How about just an hour? We can take a stroll… then maybe play in the swing, ” she said with sadness and desperation.
Yoochun shook his head. “Sorry, I don’t want to play in the park. Honestly… I would rather hang out with the friends I have now. They are more fun to be with, and they don’t go around acting like kids anymore,” he said heartlessly.
“Kids? But I thought you loved hanging out with me? I thought you loved going to the park with me?” she asked continuously.
Yoochun laughed. “That was before. I am older now. I don’t want to play silly games anymore. I want some changes in my life.”
Sad and hurt, she quickly took out the gift she had in her bag. “If you really don’t want to go to the park, then I might as well give this to you now. Merry Christmas Yoochun!” she said as she still tried to act like she was happy.
“A gift for me? I’m sorry… I didn’t even remember to buy you a gift,” he said softly.
“It’s okay. You can always give me a gift later,” she replied sweetly. “Go on and open it. I know you will love it.”
He excitedly opened his gift. He was somehow expecting something special. But…
“What’s this? A figurine?” he asked, unable to believe what he was holding. Annoyed and disappointed, he quickly placed the figurine inside the box. “What a silly gift. I think you should just give it to someone else.”
Min Rin felt like she wanted to cry instantly. But she still tried to act like she was okay. “Give it to someone else? But it is for you…. I bought it with the money I saved.”
Yoochun laughed as if teasing. “Then you just wasted your money. I don’t want it.”
With trembling hands, Min Rin carefully took back the box containing the figurine she bought. “Are you sure… you don’t want it?” she asked again as if still hoping that he would change his mind.
He quickly shook his head. “Sorry, but thanks anyway. Maybe you can give it to someone else. So at least, your money won’t go to waste.”
“I’m sorry,” she said with a low voice. “But I will buy another… Maybe I can give it to you before New year,” she quickly added.
He laughed. “Don’t even bother.”
Min Rin felt so useless and degraded. The only person that meant so much to her was now someone she hardly knew. “How come you’ve changed so much? It’s only been a year since you met your new friends. While I have been with you ever since we were just small children. How come you’re…” she suddenly stopped talking and looked at him. “If I really don’t mean anything to you, then just go. I will just go to the park alone.”
Yoochun felt guilty after seeing the tears in her eyes. She meant so much to her. But she was starting to get on his nerves. There were times she was being too close to him that he was beginning to be afraid. He was beginning to feel something more than friendship, but he was afraid to even let it out. He was scared to be rejected and hurt. So he just tried to hide everything, wishing that all his feelings would just fade away as time passed by.
“Hey, don’t cry,” he said with a sweet voice and carefully wiped away a tear that had found its way down her cheek. “Promise, I will go with you to the park some other time… but not now, okay?”
A smile immediately appeared on her lips, then she nodded like an obedient girl. “Yes, I understand. Promise, you will go with me next time I ask you … okay?” she asked back.
Yoochun lightly laughed. “Yes, I promise. You’re being so childish again. Stop crying and just go home. It’s late. You might suddenly catch a cold or something,” he said with concern.
Min Rin nodded her head. “I’m going now,” she said cheerfully as she quickly turned around.
“Hey, be careful on your way home,” Yoochun shouted as he also turned around to go to another direction.
It only took a few minutes … a few steps… when he heard a loud screeching sound. He quickly turned around just to be horrified with the scene not far from him.
“There’s an accident… Call an ambulance,” he heard someone shout out.
He hurriedly rushed to her side. She was lying on the ground with blood profusely flowing from a wound on her head.
“Min Rin…” was all he could utter.
She was still conscious but she was already moaning in pain. She slowly focused her eyes on him, after hearing him call her name. “Yoochun…”
He dropped down on his knees as he quickly lost his strength. “How? Why?” he suddenly voiced out.
“I… I… just picked up my gift for you. I accidentally dropped it when someone bumped unto me. I wasn’t looking… I didn’t see the car,” she tried to explain as blood slowly rushed out of her mouth.
Yoochun cried. He didn’t know what to do or how to help her. So he just took out his handkerchief and carefully wiped away the blood that was coming out of her mouth. “Ssshhhh… Don’t talk. Just save your strength. Help is coming. You will be in a hospital in just a little while. So just try to hold on, okay?”
Tears filled her eyes. “I’m sorry. My gift is broken now,” she said as she tried to hold out the broken piece of figurine she was holding.
With trembling hands, he took the figurine. The arms were already missing.
“I’m sorry, Yoochun. I don’t think I will be able to give you another gift,” she uttered with a weakening voice.
He tried to smile. “No, it’s okay. This one is fine,” he said with a quivering voice as tears continuously flowed from his eyes.
More blood rushed out of her mouth as she lightly coughed. She was already finding it hard to talk. It was like her air was beginning to be sucked out of her body… slowly and agonizingly. Again she moaned because of the intense pain she was feeling.
Yoochun cried harder as he witnessed her suffering. “Hold on,” he kept on repeating as he tightly held on to her hand.
“It’s painful…” she was able to utter.
Yoochun felt his heart was being crushed and torn into a million pieces. How he wished he was the one in her situation. How he wished… he wished that everything was just a dream.
As fast as the pain came, the relief also quickly followed. Min Rin was feeling a bit better all of a sudden. Her whole body was slowly starting to feel a soothing coldness. The pain was disappearing bit by bit and was being replaced by an unexplainable cold feeling.
“Yoochun, it’s cold,” she uttered again. “I think… I will just close my eyes for a while…” she said with a very low voice.
“No, don’t close your eyes. Hold on… Help is coming… Just look at me….” He shouted with panic. He then looked around at the faces of the people surrounding them. “Help me… Someone…. Help us… Please call an ambulance,” he begged.
Some of the women who were watching Yoochun and Min Rin were already crying. Somehow they couldn’t stop but feel pity for both of them.
“We already called for help,” a man suddenly said.
“Did you hear that? I told you everything will be all right. Help is on the way. All you’ve got to do… “ he suddenly stopped talking as soon as his eyes focused on her again.
Her eyes were already closed and a serene and calm look was already on her face.
“Min Rin?...” he uttered as he squeezed her hand. But it was only then he realized the frightening coldness of her hand. “Min Rin? Come on. Open your eyes. Don’t scare me like this. We still need to go to the park… remember? You said you’re going to tell me something… You… You….” He uttered as he finally lost his voice and just found himself weeping uncontrollably.
A strong light flashed… and Yoochun instantly found himself looking straight into Min Rin’s eyes.
“I’m sorry,” he uttered as tears trailed down his face.
She gave him a sad look before finally speaking again. “Do you remember now? I am dead Yoochun. I have been dead for the last seven years.”
“No! You’re not dead. You’re here with me,” he shouted angrily.
She shook her head as she disapproved of what he was doing. “You have to let me go, Yoochun. You have to free yourself from all the memories… You have to forgive yourself…”
“If you’re dead…. Then why are you here… with me?” he said as if he was going mad.
“I am here… because of you. You keep holding on to me… so I can’t move on… I can’t rest. For the passed seven years, I have constantly appeared to you just to ease the pain you’re feeling. Sometimes I also get confused of what I am… a ghost?... a creation of your imagination?... a wandering soul? Honestly I don’t know. But the main point is I am tired already,” she said with a weak voice.
“What are you saying? You want to leave me? Is that what you want? You’re tired of me?” he asked continuously as if trying to start a fight.
“You know I don’t want to leave you. But I think it’s time for you to move on with your life… a life without me. I no longer belong in this world. And yet you keep making me come back. You’re holding me so tight… I can’t find the light. I want to rest already,” she replied.
“But I can’t live without you. If you go… I don’t know what I would do. So please don’t leave me,” he begged.
“Yoochun, we can’t be like this forever,” she uttered.
“Yes, we can. I can just go on pretending… and…” he tried to reason with her.
“This will be our last Christmas together… After this I won’t be appearing to you anymore,” she said with a low voice.
Surprised, he stared at her. He was trying to make sure if what she said was true. Grief, quickly entered his heart after seeing the answer in her eyes.
“So… this is goodbye?” he asked back with pain in his voice.
She nodded. “Let’s make this time very memorable. I want to leave you with happy memories,” she uttered.
Right at that moment, somehow he wanted to scream out loud. He felt so miserable and lost. He then glanced at her again. A feeling of remorse crept into his heart. How he wished if he could only turn back time. He then started to weep pitifully.
Min Rin sadly stared at him. How she wished she could hold him…. “I said I wanted to leave you with happy memories… and now you’re crying? How can I leave when you’re acting like this? You know I won’t be able to rest if you keep on punishing yourself. You have to stop blaming yourself. What happened was just an accident. No one… especially not you could have known that it was going to happen. So please stop blaming yourself for my death.”
He looked at her as tears continuously flowed from his eyes. “For the last seven years… I have continuously asked myself … what if… what if I had gone to the park with you that night… maybe you would still be alive today. Sometimes I kept on thinking I should have just gone out with you instead… I should have accepted your gift… I should have stayed with you… I should have gone home with you… There were so many possibilities that night… It all depended on me and my decisions. I was stupid… I was so... so stupid. I was selfish and the result is… I lost you.”
Tears were already flowing from her eyes, by the time he finished saying those words. She loved him… more than a friend. But she never got the chance to tell him. And now… it was already too late. She felt it was already useless to tell him. It would only cause him more pain, if she told him the truth.
“I know it’s painful. But you have to let me go, Yoochun…. for both our sakes,” she said as she tried to control herself. How she wanted to cry uncontrollably… one last time.
“You know the only reason why I stayed sane these passed few years is because you still appeared to me. What if… if I don’t learn how to accept the fact that you’re really gone and I suddenly lose myself? What then? I am afraid…. I don’t want you to go… I can’t let you go. Even if you say a million times that I have to forget you… I won’t be able to do it,” he uttered with so much anguish in his voice.
“You’re already ruining your life because of me, Yoochun. People are starting to think you’re crazy, because you talk to yourself when there is no one around. They can’t see me… So they think you’re losing it. You have to stop now… I don’t want you to be like this forever… It makes me sad seeing you in that kind of situation,” she tried to explain.
“I don’t care about what other people think! What I care about is that I am happy. I am happy with you,” he voiced out.
She shook her head in disapproval. “No matter what you say, I have decided to leave you. It is for your own good. This will be the last time that we will see each other. So please just accept it,” she begged.
Yoochun wept. “No. I… I…” he uttered as he covered his face with his hands. He was completely lost and angry at everything around him, especially with himself. But he knew she was right. He really had to let her go. He knew she was tired and she needed to rest.
“Yoochun, it’s almost time for me to leave…” she uttered sadly.
He quickly looked at her with panic and fear in his eyes. “No! Don’t go…” he said as he unconsciously tried to hold her. But his hands just passed through thin air. And then his tears flowed out again as reality struck him hard. She was really gone and there was nothing else he could do to change it.
“I’m sorry, Yoochun…” she uttered with complete sadness in her eyes. “But it’s time…”
“No… please stay a little while longer…” he begged. He wanted more time to be with her…. even if it was for the last time.
“I can’t. I have to go…” she said as she slowly stood up. She faced him and smiled sweetly. “Before I go, can you do a small favor for me?”
She smiled again. “Can you stop crying first?” she lovingly teased him like the way she used to do.
Yoochun lightly laughed. How he missed her playful ways. He quickly wiped away his tears. He needed to be strong. He needed to let her have her peace.
“So what is this favor? You can ask for anything… even money… I have lots of money already saved up,” he said as he tried to joke around.
Min Rin lightly laughed, while Yoochun’s heart skipped a beat after hearing her. How she missed her laugh. And he knew it would be the last time that he would be hearing it.
“What I am going to ask is quite simple… I hope you can do it,” she uttered seriously.
“Anything for you,” he replied without hesitation.
She looked at him seriously before finally speaking. “Please try to live a happy and full life. When I am finally up in heaven, I want to see you happy… with your career, your family, your friends …. and with someone special who will take care of you,” she somehow found it very hard to say the last words.
Yoochun sighed heavily. He was crying and dying inside. But he still found the strength to smile and nod his head.
After seeing his answer, she smiled back. She was at peace now.
Unexpectedly a bright light suddenly appeared behind her. She turned around to look at it. “I guess it is time for me to leave,” she uttered with sadness in her voice.
“Before you go… can I ask you something?” he quickly uttered.
Min Rin turned to face Yoochun, and nodded. “Yes, what is it?”
“What did you want to tell me… on that night … you… died?” he was finally able to ask.
Min Rin’s heart started to beat wildly. She didn’t know if she still needed to tell him about her true feelings for him. She knew if she told him that she loved him… there is a chance that he would just hold on to her again. She gave him one last look before finally deciding that he still deserved the right to know… She stared seriously at him. “Do you know the one thing I regret most after I died?” she asked sadly.
“No, what is it?” he asked curiously.
She was about to answer when the light started to grow brighter… and then she started to slowly fade away.
“Min Rin…” Yoochun cried out.
Tears flowed out of Min Rin’s eyes… “The one thing I regret the most is that I never got the chance to hear what your answer was to my question…”
“What? What question are you talking about?” he asked, quite confused.
“Goodbye, Yoochun… Take care…” she uttered as she finally disappeared into a thin mist.
“Min Rin… wait… Min Rin…” he called out as he tried to reach out for her. But she was already gone.
“Rise and shine, sleepy head! Wake up… it’s Christmas for god’s sake. Our families are already outside and celebrating,” Jaejoong said. “What time did you arrive? Sorry we didn’t wait for you. But we were already too sleepy,” he apologized.
“It’s okay… I’m sorry too… for being late. I had something important to take care of,” Yoochun replied.
“Oh, while you were out yesterday… I suddenly had the urge to clean your room,” Jaejoong said.
“Thanks,” Yoochun replied as he yawned.
Jaejoong was already at the door when he suddenly turned around. “Oh by the way, I found a weird looking Santa Claus figurine in your stuff I placed it in the box over there beside the table.”
Yoochun’s eyes became round with shock. Min Rin’s figurine… he totally forgot about it. He still had it.
Only a minute passed, and he was already looking at the gift that Min Rin gave him.
“What question are you talking about?” he asked as if talking to the figurine. He carefully turned and checked every detail of the figurine. He smiled. Min Rin was right. It was a nice figurine. The details were perfect. Too bad, it was broken now. He was about to place the figurine back into his drawer when he noticed something. There was a small button hidden in the figurine’s chest area.
Curiously, he pushed it. And something familiar started to play… Min Rin’s voice started to echo in the room.
“Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on, our troubles will be out of sight...”
“Did you like my song Yoochun? Surprised? (she laughed). I just fell in love with this figurine the moment I saw it and I loved it even more after I learned that I could record my voice using it. (she laughed again). I guess after you received this gift. I have already done what I was supposed to do… I had been planning to tell you about my true feelings for you for quite sometime now. But I never really gathered enough courage to do so. But after some serious thinking, I decided to do it on Christmas Eve. I sort of think, it’s perfect and romantic. I hope I did okay… (she laughed lightly). Did I shock you? Hope not. I really do love you Yoochun… and I do hope you can answer my question now… Do you love me too?”
It was then the recording stopped.
Yoochun felt his whole body was trembling. He finally knew… “Min Rin…” he uttered with a cry. “Wherever you are, I hope you can hear me… I want you to know my answer… I love you too, Min Rin. I love you too…”