THE THIN LINE BETWEEN LOVE & LOVE
“Daddy,” Ayden was lying on top of Yoochun’s broad chest. His head was moving upside down ever so slightly whenever his dad breathes. Yoochun hummed a little, giving the silent permission to Ayden to continue his query. His eyes were fixed outside the room, through the widely open sliding door- staring at the sky as the strong wind blowing the white light curtain off the large door, leading his vision outside to the balcony.
“What song is Eddy playing?” Ayden murmured his question while looking up at his daddy’s face. Yoochun smiled back at Ayden. He heard it too. Eddy apparently was practicing his guitar. The sound was calming.
“I don’t know, Ayden. Why don’t you ask him later?” Yoochun place his left hand on Ayden’s small head, making Ayden chuckles gleefully. The small boy hugs Yoochun even tighter. “Do you love music, Ayden?” Yoochun asked.
“Yes, daddy. I wanna be like you!” Yoochun smiled. He saw the proud feeling Ayden shown on his expression as Ayden look up at him, gazing at his daddy with such pride. “You are the best musician I ever knew, daddy!” Ayden laughs at his own remarks. Yoochun cracks a fit of laugh too, joining the laughing Ayden. His eyes got teary; obviously he’s touched by Ayden’s innocent words.
“What do you think of Jaejoong? He’s a great musician too.” Yoochun cuddles Ayden even more. He kisses that boy’s hair a couple of times. “He made great songs.”
“Yeah, I think he’s great too. But I still think you are the best-est!” Ayden grins widely- showing his white small pearls to his pale looking daddy. Yoochun chuckles happily- glowing with pride. He coughs a bit after that. Ayden’s face expression changed all of sudden. He looks as if he was struck with a sudden realization.
“Daddy,” Ayden’s tone had changed. Yoochun seems to notice it as he moved Ayden’s small body from his chest, placing him next to him as he sat himself at the edge of the bed. Now both of them are sitting on the bed, facing the large open window, looking outside to the balcony. Their backs were facing the room’s door. Yoochun place Ayden’s right small hands inside his left larger one- grasping it weakly.
“What is it, Ayden?”
“Are you going somewhere?” Ayden sounds like he’s about to burst in tears. Yoochun’s back stiffening. He doesn’t say anything back. “Are you leaving me, daddy?” Ayden turn his hazy gaze up, to his dad’s blank features. Yoochun stays in silent. “Are you leaving me too?” Ayden put his free hand on Yoochun’s left arm. His eyes were pleading for an answer.
“No I’m not, Ayden.” Yoochun give his boy a smile. His eyes were smiling too. “I’m going to look after you forever.” Yoochun is still smiling brightly. Ayden’s frown turns brighter too. Yoochun gasps for air. His eyes seem glossy. “You hate seeing me sick, right?” Yoochun asked. Ayden nods his head vigorously. “Then you have to thank god everyday from now on, Ayden.” Yoochun pulls Ayden into his embrace- hugging his son with such love. A drop of clear liquid falls from his left eyes, barely hitting Ayden’s head.
“Why is that, daddy?” Ayden’s voice murmured, barely audible since he’s slumped into Yoochun’s left side.
“Because god is about to end all of it soon, Ayden.” There’s a deep bitterness as Yoochun utters those words. “Cool, right?” Yoochun chuckles funnily, making Ayden giggles too. “Yea, god is so thoughtful. He gave me little Ayden,” Yoochun flicks Ayden’s button nose, making the little boy smiles happily. “He gave me your Grandma and Yoohwan,” Yoochun paused. “He gave me Jaejoongie and Junsu,” Pause again. “Yunho-hyung and Changminnie...”
“God gave you Miss Elle too, daddy!” Ayden cut him off, grinning sweetly at his smiling daddy. Yoochun nods his head.
“Yes, he gave me the chance to meet Miss Elle... Hehe—“He ruffles Ayden’s unruly hair. “And he’s going to stop the pain I’m having soon.” Yoochun smiled sadly. He turns his heavy gaze towards the balcony- pondering in the sudden silence.
Ayden climbs the bed, standing behind Yoochun on the bed and snake his small arms around Yoochun’s neck, hugging him from behind lovingly. He placed his small head next to Yoochun’s bigger one. He kissed his dad’s right cheek sloppily. “Daddy, don’t be scare. I’m here. I’ll always be here.” He tighten his embrace as Yoochun shook, silently crying his heart out. “You don’t have to be scare daddy. You’re a good people.” Ayden’s voice shook. He’s on the verge of crying. “Grandma said good things happen to good people.”
“Even if it meant for me to leave this world first, Ayden?” Yoochun’s voice sound so fragile. He looks broken. Ayden’s body shook. He is trying so hard to hold his tears back.
“I’d rather... have you... happy in heaven... than living here... suffering the pain, daddy.” Ayden is crying. His words stuck in his throat.
“Heaven?” Yoochun’s voice sounds confused.
“Grandma said a good person goes to heaven.”
“Is that so?”
“I don’t know daddy...” Ayden was sobbing silently at Yoochun’s neck. Yoochun laughs at the silly situation. He pulls the crying Ayden into his lap and hugs him nonetheless.
“Hey, Elle. Do you believe it?” Yoochun asked me all of sudden.
So he did notice my presence. I’m speechless. I tried to hide my teary face with my hands. My lower lips felt sore as I bit it to hold the choking sound threatening to come out as I cried painfully. I was listening and watching those two since the time when Ayden asked Yoochun about Eddy’s music. “Believe what?” I asked, pretending to not hearing any of their conversation. I sat next to Yoochun on my bed.
“Do you believe that when good people died, they went to heaven?” Yoochun didn’t even look at me when he voiced out that question.
“Yes, I believe that.” I held the threatening tears from coming. I held my breath- trying to calm myself down a bit.
“Do you think I’m a good person, Elle?” Yoochun turn his gaze to me.
“No. You’re a bad person.” Yoochun looks taken aback by my opinion. His mouth gaped at my retort. He’s about to reply me back when little Ayden cut him off with a loud gasp.
“Miss Elle! How could you say that?” Ayden looked so mad. I smiled.
“He’s a bad person, so god wouldn’t want to take him at the moment. He needs to repent all of his sin first. In order to do that, he needs to have faith that he can get better and free from his sickness. He needs to raise you until you grow up into a fine man. He needs to take care of his mum and his friends as penalties.” I said those silly reasons seriously. Ayden gaped in awe.
“Really, Miss Elle? So he doesn’t have to be scare having to leave us, right?”
I turn my gaze to Yoochun’s sadden face. “Yes, Ayden. God hates people who ran away from their responsibilities unless it is really his time to go.” I saw how Yoochun’s eyes glistening with clear liquid all over again. “Yoochun-sshi, you can’t just give up on everything. You’re a hypocrite, you know that, don’t you?!” I felt a sudden anger. I hit his left arm. But he didn’t budge at all.
“And why is that?” His voice was earnestly asking for answer.
“You tattooed yourself with it, but you yourself can’t always keep your faith!” I roughly pushed my hand over Yoochun’s left chest where his ‘Always Keep the Faith’ tattoo located. I’ve seen it last night while I helped him change his shirt. Yoochun grabs my hand and clasp it there. I could clearly felt his heart beats. His body was radiating extreme warmth, signs that he is still not recovering from his fever. Yoochun was looking intently at me.
“Ayden, can you leave us for a moment?” Hesitantly I saw Ayden left us.
“I was told by my doctor that I got another six months to live though a week before that, she said I was getting better,” Yoochun’s eyes were filled with resentment that I never had seen before. He adds, “I was told that I was going to live for another four months when a day before that I was told that I got a son,” His grasp over my hand tighten. I stop myself from grimacing at the pain. “I only got another two months to live when I get to know that someone had planning on killing both Sara and Ayden!”
My heart skips a beat. Someone’s planning to kill Ayden? “Wh-what? So Sara didn’t die because of accident? Ayden was meant to die in that accident too?!” I stuttered. The new information is overwhelming. I felt dizzy all of sudden. Yoochun only got two months to live? God...
“Yes! I would like to always keep my faith, Elle. But I can’t as my time is running out here. I only got another month left to save my only child from my chaotic life.”
Another month? One month? Is it? I blink and blink my eyes. Everything was blurry. The only thing that I saw was Ayden’s smiling face. Then Yoochun’s amused one. “Isn’t there any other thing can be done to cure you?” I asked.
“I am scheduled to have a surgery next week. There’s no guarantee for me to wake after that at all. The doctor said that herself. She said they could try, but she can’t promise me anything.” Yoochun take a deep breath. “I can’t sacrifice the only times I got for uncertain thing like that before I could find somewhere, someone to keep Ayden safe, Elle.” My stomach twisted annoyingly. I felt bile’s rising up my throat at Yoochun’s pathetic fate. God, I wanna save him! Please let me do that!
“Give Ayden to me.” I don’t know where that words coming from. I’m surprised to realize that I’m the one who utter them out. Yoochun look at me as if I’ve gone mental. His mouth gaped. He seems speechless. I inhale the cold air. Yes, I actually meant what I had said. “Let me be his mother, legally. I’ll protect him from whatever you are concern about. I want you to get your treatment without any concern.” I am dead serious when I said that. I thought I’m going crazy too for having that idea.
There’s a sudden silence enveloping us. I really wish Yoochun wouldn’t let me down. I’d do anything for Ayden. I’d do anything as long as it’ll end up with Yoochun going back to Seoul for treatment. I love that little darling so much and I think I had a tiny mini part of me that love Yoochun too, more than just being a fan.
“Only if you had my name,” Yoochun said that after a few moments of being in silence, thinking the matter over real hard. Huh? What? How’s that going to happen?
“Your what?” I think I must’ve heard it wrong. “Are you kidding me?! I’ve told you this morning I don’—“
Yoochun cut me off.
“I don’t have the time to kid you around! Have my name. Marry me. Be his step mum and have all the liberty to protect him. Can you do that?” Yoochun seems dead serious. Gulp. What am I going to do? I didn’t mean it that way. There’s a thin line between love and another love. It was called confusion.
to be continued...