Genre: fluff, romance, angst
Summary: Changmin was a loner as he has no friend when he moved to his new place but a creature from the jungle was willing to be his friend.
It was almost 4 summers since the last time I met him. I never met that angelic face again after I moved California to continue my study as being told by my parents. I hope he still remember who I am when he see me. I already promised him that I will come today, as we promised 4 years ago. And I’m sure I’m growing up enough to let him know my feeling toward him.
I was sitting near to the big tree alone, crying after I found out that my friends already leave me alone. I was new there at that time, following my mother who moved to that town after she divorced with my father. I did not have any friend even it was already a week I moved there. So, I was so excited following my neighbors playing near to the forest when they asked me to.
I never knew that I will lose alone in that scary jungle. In addition the story I heard about that jungle from my new friends on our way to that jungle was enough to scare me.
-I heard anyone who lost in this jungle will never find his way out.
-I heard there were a lot of ghosts live here.
-I heard the ghosts here were very scary.
-I heard the ghosts here love to eat children’s heart.
Only heard to their story was enough to make me shivering. And I never expected they really leaved me alone. They were still there when I told them that I wanted to pee. They said they will wait but then when I came back, all of them already gone.
I tried to look after them but unfortunately, my foot brought me further to the jungle. Finally I gave up, stopped at the one big tree behind me and sitting there crying when my thought said nobody will found me.
Suddenly, my body started to shiver again as I heard a footsteps not far from me. a sweat was flowing across my sideburn as I perspired too much because of scared. It almost made me jumped happily at first when I thought it may be some villager who was passing by but then I realized, nobody would enter this jungle especially when the day was already getting darker.
I started to freeze when somebody suddenly stood in front of me. He was wearing a green shirt with little scratch and a short pant, maybe around 20 years old. He stood in front of me silently while his hand holding a long stick, stabbing the dry leaves near to his foot. I knew he was staring at me even he covered his face with a scary beastly mask.
“What a 14 years old boys like you doing here?” the masked guy asked me, tingled my shivering feet with his long stick. His voice was so calm and expelled my fear away.
“A boy like you should not play here alone. Don’t you know there were a lot of ghost here?” he said.
I did not know why but hearing to his voice made me wanted to smile. So, I just smiled looking at him innocently.
“Stop smiling kid or I let the foxy ghost there eat you.”
-yeah, just give him to me.hihihi.
I stopped smiling as my ears caught a scary voice not far from the place we stood. I looked around me but then focusing on that guy again.
“But you can send me home right?” I asked him; tried to convincing him to help me.
He was silent for a moment but then asked me to hold his end of long stick and followed him. My mom always said never believed to person we did not know but at that time I only thought about he was my savior.
I followed him silently from the back. He was so tall; I was about on his waist. But I was too curious about him so I could not stop my mouth from asking so many thing to him.
-are you leave here?
-is there really a ghost in this jungle?
-what are you doing here alone in the dark?
-are you alone?
-do you want to befriend with me?
But unfortunately he answered none of my question.
“What is your name?” he asked me suddenly. At that time we already arrived at the end of the jungle. From there I could see the lights from my village. There were only a bridge dividing my place to this jungle.
“Changmin. My name is shim Changmin. I live there.” I said, pointing to my house even it was too far for us to see it from there but it was really somewhere in that village.
I pulled out my hand to shake his hand. I knew I supposed to bow him but the culture that I learned from American teach me to shake hand when we meet people or when we introduce ourselves.
He moved two steps away from me and looked shocked.
“Don’t come here again or I let the creature here to eat you.”
Slowly, the taller guy walked away from me. And I only stood there, noticing his every footstep from behind. He was so awesome, I thought.
“Hey, I’ll come again tomorrow. Wait for me okay,” I shouted, waving my hand. He did not turn his face back but I knew he heard it.
At that time I really felt I already met a friend that I was looking for before this.
As I promised I went to that jungle again. I never expected him to wait for me as it was only me who was saying that.
Surprisingly, he waited for me, exactly at the place where he leaves me the other night. A smiled arose from my face as my face caught his image sitting near to the river bank, splashing a water with his leg.
I planned to shock him but he was very fast than me when he suddenly poked my head with his long stick before I could touch his head. I whined in pain, yeah, it was really hurt.
“I already told you not to come here. Why are you still here?” he asked.
But I knew, there was a happy tone in that talk. I smiled to him before I took my seat not far from the place he sat.
“I already promised to come back. Wow, hyung, the place is very beautiful.” I said, dipping my ankle into the cold water. I tried to move closer to him but again he stopped me by pointing his 1 and half meter stick on me.
“Stay away from about this far. Don’t try to get closer. Or I’ll let the creature here eat you,”
He said the same sentences again. But this time it sound funny to me so I laugh.
“hyung, stop treating me with that or I’ll not scare with that anymore.” I chuckled.
I saw him scratching his back head, looked very clueless.
I was being there everyday, spending my time with him. my mother never asked me where I was going as long as I came home at a right time. As far as I with him, I knew his name was Jaejoong and he never let me saw his real face. he said I might be afraid if I saw his real face.
“hold this, I’ll bring you to somewhere.” He said, giving me the end of his stick when I was doing my homework at our usual place.
I looked at his eyes thought his mask. It was the other scary beastly mask but this time there were a pair of horn on the head. I went closer to him and tried to reach his hand but then again he poked my head with his long hard stick.
“yah, stop playing little kid. I told you to hold this, not me. Now close your eyes and followed me silently.” he said.
I chuckled when he nagged me like a mother. I just followed him from behind. I did not know where I am now as I put all of my trust into him. I knew he will never let the ghost eating me.
My body started to shiver as I heard a weird and scary voice around me. it was the second time I entered this jungle after the last time I lost in it,
-he looks delicious. Can you give him to me.
-Jaejoong ah, are you bring us something to eat?
-I want to taste his sweet blood, can you share him with me.
-Jaejoong-ah, give him to me.
Those sounds made me afraid as it sound so creepy and I did not know it was belong to whom. I tighten my grip and imagined that it was Jaejoong’s hand.
“hyung…” I almost cried. But then his word really made me safe. Yeah, I was safe as long as I stayed with him.
“He was with me. Don’t you dare disturb him,” yeah, I knew this voice. At least I knew he still with me.
-Jaejoong ah, you know that you will disappear if human touch you, isn’t?
-Jaejoong, better you stay away from him before he touch you.
-Human is the worse creature, Jaejoong-ah.
“Changmin-ah, just pretend like you did not heard anything okay. We almost arrived.” He tried to comfort me.
At that time, my tears already fell across my cheeks. It was not because I was scared with those scary creatures but I cried because of my stupidity. I almost made him disappeared by my strong will to touch him.
“Okay, open your eyes now,” he said.
I wiped my wet eyes and I was startled as I opened my eyes slowly, I saw him with the background like a heaven. At first I really thought I was at the heaven. There was a waterfall there with colorful birds and butterflies flew feely. I walked further to see clearly what I saw that time.
“Beautiful, isn’t it? This is my secret place. You can come here anytime you want. and if you did not found me near the river bank you can find me here,”
It was really beautiful. I looked around to find him. He already laid his body on the ground, closing his eyes.
“erm? For what?” he asked me back, still closing his eyes.
“I should not try to touch you before. I’m sorry.” I muttered. I knew he could hear it.
“Oh, about that. It is okay, but don’t you dare to touch me next time.” He giggled.
“How old are you?”
“Me? Erm… I’m not sure. My age supposedly is 20 years old but I think my real age was about 150 to 200 years old. I’m not really remembered because I never getting older”
“150 years old?” I counted with my little fingers.
“wow, you are older than me about 115 years? Should I called you grand father?” I teased him.
“you want to die?it was nothing with age.” He said, giggling before continue “I’m not a human. So, you are free to leave me now if you want to leave.” He said, moving his body to the other side.
“You’re not a human? But you look like a human. I’ll stay. I believe you will not eat me, right?” I chuckled. At the same time, I was eager to know him better.
“I was a human before. Just like you, I lost here when I went to camping with my friends. But I was not as lucky as you. I almost die when the jungle’s spirit save me. He turned me into this state. I also did not sure he turn me into what but what I’m sure, I will disappear if human touch me in order to he want keep me away from human. He likes me to much like his son.” He giggled again.
“So, are you a ghost?” I asked him, still anticipating with his story.
“erm..Maybe my status is lower than ghost. At least ghost can touch the person he likes.” He sound upset.
I stood suddenly.
“I promised not to touch you anymore.” I said in a louder voice lifting my right hand like I was swearing to him. And I heard his beautiful voice chuckled again.
He sent me back but still did not allow me to open my eyes in our way back. When I asked him why, he said he afraid I would scared if I saw those scary creatures in that jungle. He said I was able to see those creatures because he let me to see him.
From that evening, I will find him at his secret place when I did not found him at our usual place. He was surprise seeing me there, wondering why the creatures there did not eat me. well I was a genius, I only mentioned his name and those ghost let me go.
It was already 2 years and I was 16 years old that time; so love and friendship in teenage age was a part of my life. He just listened to me when I storied him about my school life, about my lovers and about my friendship.
He was also the one who comforted me when I broke up with my boyfriend. He said I will find my true love but just needed a little more patient. Yeah, but I already found my love that time. It was him. I still fell in love to him even we never had a skin ship. I never felt his skin or seeing his face. He will move his face away when I tried to touch his mask.
One evening, I saw him sleeping under the tree. Slowly, I moved closer to him and took the mask away from his face with little stick.
Oh, god. My heart almost stopped beating as it thumping to faster. It was the first time in my life seeing his real face. I felt I started to blush. He was so beautiful. His skin was pale. Looking at his eyes, I knew his eyes were big and very shiny. A few hairs covered his forehead and made him look like an angel descent from the sky. He looked perfect with his plump lips. I almost touched that lips but then I stopped myself as I realized the effect of my action.
Suddenly a smile arose from those plump lips. I was startled.
“Are done looking at my face?” he asked with his eyes still closed. He looked really cool with that image.
I moved a little from him as I saw him woke up from the place he laid. I did not dare to look at him. He will catch me blushing if he saw my face.
“Why are you wearing a mask?”
“Just to prevent a boy like you fall in love with me.”
I looked at him. I really hope he did not mean it as I already felt in love with him a long time ago. His smiling face already glued in my heart at that time when he took his mask and wore it back.
“You’re beautiful.” I said slowly.
“What? Beautiful? I prefer people call me handsome instead of beautiful,” he chuckled again, loudly while his hand covering mouth, made him looking so perfect.
I never tell him that I love him because I did not know how he felt about me. He treated me nicely but I was not sure he did it because he loved or he just thought me as his dongsaeng.
Two years in relation with him really made me felt that I do not need anybody in my life anymore. But everything was not always with happily ever after forever’s ending when my father wanted me to study abroad, near to him.
That meant I need to follow his order and I have to leave Jaejoong or he will sue my mother for not giving me a good education. I still remembered his expression that time as he was not wearing a mask.
“so, you are leaving tomorrow.”
“Yeah, I’m sorry. I don’t know how to tell you.” I said.
I could see a tears flowing across his cheeks. I really wanted to wipe those tears away. He just nodded. Before I leave, gave him my promised that I will come back after I finished my study which is another 4 years, that I will meet him here again.
And I really kept that promised until now.
I still have another 15 minutes before I arrived to my station. I throw my sight outside the window. The train from Seoul to Bussan really made me tired especially when I directly took a train to Bussan after 15 hours flight. I did not felt sleepy at all. Maybe it is because a jet lags or maybe because I am so excited to meet him after 4 years.
The jungle in front of my eyes reminds me to Jaejoong. I wonder how he is now. A feeling of missing someone is suddenly overflowing in my heart. At that time I just want to reach him.
The same jungle, the same river bank and the same bridge, nothing has change except the area around with a lot of new houses and few small building. My eyes are rolling around, trying hard to find the one that I love so much.
Jaejoong is not here. Maybe he is at the usual place. I step into the jungle slowly. So silent, like everything in there were looking at me that time. My heart flutters a little with little scary feeling inside, maybe it is because I left this place for a long time. But I do not care about that thing now, what is important now is Jaejoong.
But Jaejoong is not there also. So, I just sit near the waterfall enjoying the beautiful scenery there. I think only this place that did not change anything. The fresh air is still the same. I close my eyes, listening to the humming melody created by the birds and crickets around me.
I open my eyes again when a fragrance of my beloved one enter my nostrils. When I face behind, my eyes meet the person that I want to meet too much. I stand and run toward him. I almost hug him when I see his dazzling smiles to me. Thanks god he able to stop me using his long stick before my arm could reach him or I will lose him forever.
“Yah, do you really want me to disappear?” he almost yells.
I only smiles. Yeah, smiles. I know only that thing can make him calm down.
“You’re here. I miss you.”
He smiles. Jaejoong walks forward until he was about half meter from me. From what I remember, he never let me be beside him unless I was at least about one and half meter away from him.
“You’re taller than me now. And… and more handsome.” He smiles. Now he need to lift his face when talk to me because he is about at the level of my nose.
“I miss you too. I thought you would never come back to me.” he says after silence a few moment.
I see tears in his eyes. I wish I could wipe it away, but I cannot. I want to touch those cheeks with my hand, I want to feel his lips and I want to keep him in my embrace. Yes, I was his dongsaeng but it was 7 years ago. Now I cannot let him treat me like his dongsaeng anymore. I want more than that.
“Hyung, I love you. I love you more anything I have in this world. Can you let me stay by your side?” I whispers but it is enough for him to hear me.
He looks surprise and move a few step backward. But I cannot lose to him so I step forward, closer to him.
“No, stop. You cannot love me. It is wrong. I’m not human. You can’t, Changmin.” he says and starts to walk away leaving me alone there.
“You’ll never see me again if you leave me now,” I shout after gathering all of the strength I have. I also do not sure what I say. How I suppose to live if I cannot see him anymore. These 4 years is already like a hell for me.
I guess I win when he stop his foot from making another step. He moves his face toward me and I see clearly a pearly water fall across his pale cheeks. I feel guilty when I realize I am the one who make him cry.
So, I move closer to him, as close as I can but at the same time make sure that I did not touch any on his body part.
“Is that wrong for me to love you? Who cares if I’m a human and you’re not? I just want to be by your side.”
“Hyung, I only love you, and if you want me to be a creature like you, I’m willing to do that as long as you love me.”
“No, I’ll never let you be a creature like me. I-I love you too. I also want you to be by side as much as you want me by your side.” he says looking deeply into my eyes.
“But promise me that you will live happily even I disappear by sudden.”
“I promise.” I say but I just say it as I also do not know how I will hold that promise if that time come.
“I’ll take you to ghost festival tonight near the river bank.”
“Oh, can I go there?”
I’m so excited. Jaejoong never let me meet his jungle’s friend. He told me before that they love to eat person but tonight is the special night where the ghost will lost his sense toward human because of their special festival. He also says if sometimes human also secretly join this festival because it is really like human festival.
“Walk closer to me.” Jaejoong whispers.
He did not wear any mask tonight. He looks very handsome among those creatures that night. It is like a normal human festival as the ghosts there already change their face like a normal human.
It is so amazing and colorful. A children run around and the elders walk with a lantern in their hand.
"I’m happy because you’re with me now even I cannot touch you,” I say.
Jaejoong looks at me, smiling. He wants to say something but then a running child hit him from behind causing him to hold that child from fall into the ground.
“Hey, be careful.” He says still smiling.
“I’m sorry. Thank you,” the child apologizes before running again with his friend.
A smile is still on his lips. But then something weird happens. His hand suddenly shatter into pieces slowly.
“Jae hyung… your hand..” I almost cry, I do not know why but I can feel something worse in my life will happen.
“h-he is a human.” Jaejoong says.
Without wasting any moment, Jaejoong grabs my neck with his other hand and kiss me deeply. I could feel his tears on my cheeks. He breaks the kiss and whispers something to my ear.
“I always want to kiss you like this. I love you, please live happily even I am not by your side. Promise me Changmin.”
I nod before he continues kissing me again. I am startling with what is happening now so I just close my eyes and let him lead the kiss until I feel no more Jaejoong on me. As I open my eyes, everything is gone. There is no more Jaejoong except his necklace with ring as it pendant on the ground, the only things Jaejoong have.
The festival is also gone suddenly. Now only me stand there. Tears are still running down to my cheeks, crying for what was happen. I take the necklace and bring it to my chest.
“Jaejoong… please come back to me…” I cry out calling his name even I know he will never come back to me anymore. If I now this would happen I will never follow him to this festival. Then, I feel everything around me is spinning before it become blank suddenly.
I love you, please live happily even I am not by your side. Promise me Changmin.”
p/s sorry for horrible writing and enjoy reading.