CHAPTER 26: WANTED-THE MAGNIFICENT AYDEN
*A/N: Finally! I always wanted to write something from Ayden’s point of view. So here we go... It’s Ayden’s POV! Enjoy~*
A few days back...
Grandma has been crying this morning. Grandpa seems to be mad too. What had Miss Elle and my dad done? Despite my dad’s weak state, I saw they’re all talking in loud voice. They are fighting over something involving marriage, child adopting and me. Ayden, that’s me, right?
“You are asking for our daughter to marry you when you know you are about to die?! That’s cruel, you know that?!” Grandpa looks so mad. There’re green veins popping his forehead. I’m worried for Grandpa’s health. I hope he didn’t have hypertension.
“Dad! He’s asking me to take care of Ayden. Understand him! I’m willing to do this. I’m not asking your permission. I’m asking for your support.” Miss Elle seems to be crying too. My dad’s asking Miss Elle to take care of me? Why is that? He thought he’s going to die soon, right? So he plans to make Miss Elle take care over me, is it?
“You can just adopt him. You don’t have to marry his dad to take care of Ayden.” Okay, Grandpa is no longer screaming. He looks sad and miserable. Why is everybody looking sad and miserable? Did I did something wrong? They were all talking about taking care of me. I don’t need to be taken care of. I can take care of myself!
“Dad—“ Miss Elle were trying to coax Grandpa I guess. But Grandpa cut her off. I’m scare that Grandpa is being mad like that. He looks like bad people in movies.
“No, Elle! I’m not going to let you destroy your future! This is a serious matter!”
“I’m asking your permission to marry your daughter because I need someone, a mother figure, a new family for Ayden- far away from my old life. He’s in great danger if I let him stay with me in Seoul. I can’t let him stay with my mum in the US too.” My dad paused. His face is as pale as ever. I know he’s still not well. Then why didn’t they let him rest?
“Someone had tried to kill him once. They had his mother killed too. I’m not going to give them another chance. I think he’ll be safe here with Elle. I’m asking for your understanding, Joe. If I left Ayden here under Elle’s adoption, my mum would do anything to get him back. I don’t want that to happen. Having Ayden with her meant they’re all in danger.” I don’t quite understand what my dad means when he said about someone’s trying to kill me. I don’t have a clue that my mum was killed too. He told me she died in an accident. Was he lying to me?
“But what about Elle? She’ll be in danger too if Ayden stays with her!” Grandpa’s voice is loud. It makes my heart thumping like it’ll burst any second.
“No, right now, there are only a few people who know about Ayden’s relationship with me. As soon as the Korean press reveals Ayden true identity, that’ll be the end of him. Every single person in South Korea would know who he is and it’ll make him an easy target. His mother was killed in Virginia; I don’t want her killer to hunt him down in Korea. I’ve got some people investigating this matter. It’s harder for that whacko to find Ayden here.”
“People saw you left Korea with Ayden. When they saw you’re back to Korea without him, that killer would’ve known that you left Ayden here!” Grandpa is still protesting.
“I already had a plan to cover that up. I’ll tell my publicist that my adopted son was dead while we’re on vacation.” Then I saw my dad’s gaze fall on me. He seems surprised that I’m here. Everybody was looking at me now. It felt awkward to be stared like that. So I walk away. They must’ve not wanting me to listen to their conversation.
So, my dad lied to me? Was he? I’m his adopted son? He’s not my real daddy? I don’t want to hear any lies anymore. So I silently walk away from the living room. I climb up the stairs, heading to Eddy’s room. I heard him playing the guitar again. I guess it’ll be better if I stay with Eddy. He reminds me of Junsu- warm and pure. He loves to play online games too. Just like Junsu. I took a peek at his half open door. I saw Eddy sat on his bed with his guitar on his lap. My heart hurt so much. I felt my cheeks being wet with my tears. I am not my dad’s son. Then who am I?
“Ayden? Come in!” Oh, he noticed me. I stay static at the door- choking over my tears. I held myself from making any tears. It’ll be a shame if Eddy saw me crying. I heard him talking to his friends the other day that he hates weak boys.
“Hey, why are you crying?” Eddy picked me up and wipes away my wet cheeks with his hand. I shook my head. “Ayden, tell me.” Eddy put me on his bed. He sat in front of me, waiting for my answer. I think real hard over the thing that makes me this sad.
“Can I stay here? I think daddy doesn’t want me anymore.” I sniffed. Eddy gaped at me. He looked at me as if I’m some kind of alien. “Eddy, can I stay here? I don’t have anyone else.” I felt so lonely.
“Ayden...” Eddy hugs me. I cried while he hugs me. Thank god there’s Eddy. I really missed Junsu right now. I wish I could talk to him but I know I can’t... I always wonder why daddy treats me kindly lately. Daddy’s going to leave me here. He hates me. I’m not his son. T__T
Today’s the day. Daddy’s going back to Seoul. Without me. I still don’t have the courage to ask him. I never heard him saying about me being his adopted son anymore. He held me close to him while he’s asleep. I can’t close my eyes at all last night. I just can’t sleep. I’m afraid that I’ll forget how he looks like. I spent the night memorizing everything about him. His skin colour, his face, his lips, his nose, his hair, his smell. I can’t see his smile last night. Then Jaejoong sat next to me, handing me Miss Elle’s phone that he had filled with daddy’s photos. Jaejoong always knew what I was thinking about. I think I’m going to missed Jaejoong too. I fall asleep while looking at daddy’s photos. I think I’ll remember the way he smiled.
A few days ago when the lawyer uncle came, I don’t know what lawyers do, but he told me that Miss Elle is my step mother. He said she’s practically my mum now. How can that be? Not that I’m complaining; I’m quite happy with that news, but still, daddy’s going to leave me. I’m so sad that daddy kept so many secrets from me. I wanna know if I’m really just some random kid he adopted.
We’re at the airport right now. There’re so many people out here. I felt like crying when I thought about daddy’s leaving. He’s going to die, right? So why didn’t he take me with him? I wanna be there until the end. I wanna be there for him. I love him no matter who he is to me.
“Daddy,” I called him as I saw Grandma hugs him with tears streaming her face. But daddy didn’t hear me. The airport is too noisy. I saw Jaejoong came near me. He stands on his knees, placing his heavy hands on my small shoulders. He kissed me twice on my forehead. His eyes were wet. I can’t bear seeing him like that, so I hugged his neck tightly.
“Be good, okay Ayden?” I heard Jaejoong said that to me. “Don’t make Miss Elle mad. She’s a monster when she’s mad!” Jaejoong laughed at his own words. I can’t help but to laugh too. Miss Elle really is scary when she’s mad. I’ve saw her kicking Jaejoong and daddy’s ass yesterday.
“Jaejoong, is my daddy not my daddy?” I timidly asked Jaejoong. His eyes widen, his small mouth gaped at me. “I heard him saying that I’m his adopted son.” I know I’m on my verge to tears. There’s something felt really painful in my chest. Then I heard Jaejoong chuckles. I looked up at his amused face.
“No, of course not!” I see... So I really am daddy’s adopted son. Adopted means he took me from my real daddy, right? Then where’s my real daddy?
“Who’s my daddy, then?” I held back my tears. I have to be strong. Then I heard Jaejoong burst into another laughing fit.
“Ayden, I mean Yoochun is your father. He’s your real daddy. Understand?” Jaejoong smiled. I can’t believe my ears. Is Jaejoong trying to lie to me too? I heard daddy said that I’m his adopted son. He said it right in front of me. “Ayden, believe me, you are his son. Don’t ever forget that. Okay?” Jaejoong pulled me into his bone crushing hug. I can’t breathe, but I love it when Jaejoong hugs me.
“But I heard him said—“ Jaejoong cut me off.
“I think you should ask Miss Elle later about that. She knew why your daddy said that. But for now, I want you to believe me. He is your daddy.” Jaejoong placed his large hands at the both side of my face. Then he took out a small mirror from his backpack. He placed the mirror in front of my eyes, forcing me to look at my complexion. “Look at you, adorable thing.” Jaejoong said.
I chuckled at his remarks. He always called me ‘an adorable thing’. “See... You got his looks, even his dimples!” I let out a giggle when I felt Jaejoong pinching my left cheek. I looked up at daddy. He is smiling to Miss Elle. Once again, I took a glimpse at my own smiling reflexion. Are we the same? I can’t really see it. “You got his wits and heart too.” Jaejoong kissed the side of my head. I felt so lonely right now. Jaejoong is about to leave me too.
“Can I call you, later?” Timidly I ask. I felt so nervous. I saw Jaejoong’s blank expression as he heard my question. Then he took out something from his left pocket. A paper, folded into small fold. He put it inside my palm.
“Keep this carefully. Miss Elle already got my number, but in case you wanna talk to me or anything, just text me at this number, okay? I’ve put Minnie’s and Yunho’s too. Just text me, I’ll call you back as soon as possible, okay?” I nodded at Jaejoong. I am really going to missed Jaejoong. I hope Miss Elle will let me meet them once in a while. How far is it Seoul and this place? We had to use aeroplane, so it is far, right?
“Miss Elle, can we go to Seoul now?” I asked Miss Elle. She’s typing something on her laptop. I heard her sighing heavily. It had been 40 hours since daddy left. He didn’t even call once. I asked Miss Elle if daddy called, but Miss Elle just shook her head. She told me Jaejoong did call her telling about their arrival.
“Miss Elle,” I heard my voice shook.
“Ayden, I’ve promised your dad, we’ll go to Seoul as soon as his operation ends. Will that be okay?” I think Miss Elle look sad tonight. She seems to be stressed over something.
“I really missed daddy. I wanna see him right now!” I’m frustrated. I know I’m wrong for screaming at Miss Elle. But I really need to see daddy. Why can’t she let me see daddy?! I think I’ve started to hate Miss Elle a little bit. “Please, Miss Elle? I really miss daddy! Let me see him!” I can’t stop myself from throwing my anger at Miss Elle.
“Ayden, I want you to go upstairs and sleep. You are not in your best mood right now. Get some rest, honey.” Miss Elle’s voice is soft, trying to coax me.
“No! I wanna see daddy!” I stomped my feet. I heard her gasping at my rudeness. Her eyes narrowed with unbelievable expression. I’ve never meant to be rude to Miss Elle, but she’s acting like evil woman. I hate Miss Elle tonight!
“Ayden! Stop this nonsense! I’ll take you to your daddy soon!” Miss Elle raised her voice. She’s mad I guess. Her face is flushed red. “Be patient okay?” Her voice softens a bit. She tried to touch me, but I distance myself from her. I am so angry at Miss Elle right now. I heard her sighing again. I bit my lips. I can’t let my sobbing sound came out.
“I wanna talk to him.” I connect my hazy gaze to Miss Elle’s wet eyes. She’s about to cry to I guess. “Miss Elle! I wanna talk to him!” I know I’m a complete jerk. I had screamed at Miss Elle again. She seems sadden. Miss Elle shook her head again. I let out a loud sobbing sound. My heart aches so much. Why can’t she understand that I missed my daddy?
“Ayden, listen to me. It’s already late at night. I promise you I’ll take you to your daddy as soon as the operation ended. Right now, we can’t disturb him. He needs to rest. Okay?” Miss Elle is crying. Looking at her, my heart aches even more. “I’m worried about your dad too. We’ll try to call him later in the morning, alright?”
“Can I text Jaejoong? I need to talk to him.” I choked my sob. Miss Elle nods her head. She hands me her phone. I know how to use it. She had thought me to. I look at Miss Elle. She’s still having the depressed expression. I felt sorry for being rude to her.
“Yes, Ayden?” She wipes her wet eyes.
“I’m sor—“Before I even got the chance to apologise, she pulls me into a tight hug. She cried harder. I think Miss Elle missed daddy too.
I’m so happy! Today’s the day I’ve been waiting for. Grandma and Eddy tease me a lot this morning- maybe because I can’t stop myself from grinning happily this morning. I am going to see daddy soon. Grandpa said it’ll just be a few hours. I can’t wait to meet everybody.
Yoohwan called me last night. I got the chance to talk to Grandma too. She keeps on crying. She said she will take me back from Miss Elle. I don’t know if I wanna leave Miss Elle right now. I love Grandma, but Daddy told me he wants me to stay with Miss Elle. He said Miss Elle is my mum. Miss Elle is kind. I love her. I love her family too. But I love Grandma and Yoohwan too. I’m confused. I wish I could just stay with daddy. That way nobody has to fight over me. That way nobody can be sad because of me anymore.
Dear God, can you save daddy? Can you let him stay here a little bit longer? Can you take his pain away? Please??? People are being so sad without him. Take me instead. I am nobody to most of them. They wouldn’t cry for me. It is not right for you to take daddy. Everybody needs him. I need him. Can you help me out God? I prayed that every night since I realize daddy’s sick. But it seems to me God didn’t hear me at all. Not yet. There’s still time. I hope God listen to me before it’s too late.
“Let’s go Ayden!” I heard Miss Elle calling me. She’s smiling radiantly at the front door. “Let’s meet your daddy!” She beams. Though she seems to be happy today, I know she’s dying inside too. Just like me. I heard her crying again last night. She’s talking to someone over the phone. And I don’t think its Miss Ryn. Was it daddy? I don’t have the courage to ask her.
“Your dad called last night.” Miss Elle told me as I sat next to her at the back of the car. Oh, so it was really daddy calling her last night. Then why did she cry? “He can’t wait to see you!” She informed. He can’t wait to see me? Really? And why Miss Elle seems to be stressed out over something? She had been having that expression since daddy left. Did she lie to me over something too? I’ve noticed people had that kind of expression when they had something to hide. I sigh. Why is everybody hiding things from me?
We arrive at the airport again. I lost count on how long did we fly on the airplane. But it’s long. I’ve fell asleep several times and still, we have not reach our destination yet. I can’t wait to see daddy. I jumpily walk along side with Miss Elle. She’s holding my left hand possessively. I saw how her eyes wander around suspiciously all over the crowd- as if she’s looking for someone.
The airport is crowded. Just like the KLIA. The difference is there are lots of people looking like daddy. I mean, Korean. Unlike Malaysian airport, it was filled with those who look like the Chinese and even Indian. There’re some of them that doesn’t look either way. Miss Elle told me they are the Malays. She told me Malaysia is different from South Korea. They have so many races with different looks and belief living together under one country from long time ago. Well, I saw so many Caucasians and Black foreigners too.
“Miss, can you follow me for a moment. We have to check on something before...—“A very pretty Korean woman approaching Miss Elle as we starts to leave the arrival area. Her English is kind of slurred. But I still can understand her. I let her voice trailed off as I heard something even more interesting than the pretty woman’s voice. I felt Miss Elle drags me away to a counter nearby. As she spoke to that pretty woman in uniform, I slowly move to the thing that had caught my ears. A cute older girl is reading a newspaper while her other friends leaning towards her to listen to her reading them out. If I’m not mistaken, she said something about the Dong Bang Shin Ki’s Park Yoochun. It’s my dad, right?
I stand a little bit closer. I heard she moaned desperately, sadly, as her friends coax her. “No... It can’t be... My Yoochun is very sick... No...!” That girl is practically sobbing now. She doesn’t look like local at all. I can’t determine her nationality at all. Same goes with her friends. I bet they are some foreign tourists. The question is, why did she cry over my dad being sick? She knows my dad is she? “Did they say what’s he suffering?” The other girl with red blouse asked. The crying girl just shook her head. I turn around to look over Miss Elle; I saw her looking back at me with a relief look. I bet she’s searching for me.
“Ayden! Come here, quick!” She asked me to come back to her side. I nod my head. Then I saw her turning her gaze back at the pretty woman in uniform. I was about to get back to her when someone hold my shoulder. I looked up at the hand owner. A man. He’s very tall. I think I’ve seen him somewhere before, but I can’t remember.
“Do you remember me?” He smiled, showing off his yellow teeth. There’s something malicious about this man. I swear I’ve seen him somewhere. But I can’t remember him at all. There’s something eerily familiar about him. I shook my head. I move my body to free my shoulder from his grip, but failed. Immediately I panicked. When I was about to scream Miss Elle’s name, I felt a rough hand clasped over my mouth- muffling my scream. Then I felt his other arm lifting me up from the floor, cradling me hard, closely to his body. I saw the horror look the girls giving us as they saw me being violated like that.
“He’s my son.” I heard the man said that to the girls. They still wear the same horror look on their faces. “He ran here and there; love to make scenes anywhere he goes.”The man evilly laughs. He carried me away from Miss Elle. I saw Miss Elle panic face as she turns around and didn’t saw me anywhere near her. I tried to scream, but the man’s rough hand is still covering my mouth. I lost the sight of her as the man move among the crowded place.
I am not going to admit in defeat. I trashed around even more. Then I heard the man cursing over something. There’s another two men approaching. Both are wearing black suits, just like the secret agents in James Bond movies Jaejoong made me watch. I felt the man’s hand loosen a bit; I took the opportunity to free myself. I did the only thing I’ve learn from Changmin-hyung on how to save myself if someone violated me. I bite his hand as hard as I can. I thought my jaw would break any moment. I did bit him hard as I taste something like iron inside my mouth. Ugh! I bit him till he bleed. The man gasped loudly and accidentally freed me.
As I feel my feet touched the ground, I ran as fast as I can. My chest felt like it was about to explode. I never had run this fast before. It made my heart thumping like crazy. I know the other two men in suits are chasing for me too. I heard them. The man with bleeding hand was running too. Thank god the place is crowded, they hardly can see the short me. Thanks to god too that I’m short and small, I easily ran in between people towards the airport door.
I gasped for air. My small chest hurt of the lack of air. There’re lots of taxies outside the airport. But most of them had their doors closed and the drivers are nowhere to be seen. Desperately I glance around, trying to find someone, anyone to help me escape. I can’t go back in there, to Miss Elle. It’s too dangerous. I saw the two men with suits approaching the airport exit.
I heard someone approach me from behind. He’s speaking in Korean. I can’t really understand Korean. Not just yet. So I replied him “What?” in English. I never turn around to look at the owner of that voice. I’m too afraid to turn around. “Where’s your mum?” I heard him said that after a while. “Are you lost?” The scruffy voice sounds old, yet comforting. I saw a sudden light shined on me. I saw hope as I turn around and saw the ahjushi who wore a fishing hat with a cigarette in between his lips smiling genuinely at my panic sweaty face. He’s a taxi driver, I guess, because he leans over an old taxi that had its back door opened so welcoming.
I practically ran into the taxi and closed the door. I lean myself lower, trying to hide from the three men chasing for me. Then I heard someone get in the front- driver seat and close the door. It’s the ahjushi. I saw he put away a newspaper, just like the foreign girl had, next to me at the back seat. He set his gaze over me. “Are you okay?” He asked. There’s a concern look portrayed in his old wrinkly eyes. I silently pray to god, hoping that he’s a good guy. I nod my head, timidly, still lowering my head over the seat. I’m too afraid to look over the window. I don’t want those men to found me.
“Are you sure? You’re shaking.” The ahjushi asked again. I didn’t notice that I’m shaking until I heard his concern question. I fist my shaking hands and nod my head a couple of time. “Where are you going? I can send you there.” The ahjushi smiled. I try to swallow the panic lump in my throat, but failed as I felt my throat being dry. I don’t know where I should go. I can’t remember any address. Not that I have known one actually. I don’t even know where daddy or grandma’s house for god sake is! I tried to force my brain to work.
“Here, drink this.” The uncle hands me a bottle of drink. I shook my head, reluctantly rejecting the drink. I can’t trust anyone right now. I need to go somewhere, out of this place, any place where it’ll be safe for Miss Elle to see me again. Then I saw the newspaper, there’s my dad’s photo printed on the front page.
“I wanna see him,” I shove the paper desperately at the ahjushi. I point out daddy’s face. He’s standing in between Jaejoong and Junsu in the photo. The ahjushi look at me as if I’ve gone mental. I bet he thinks I’m fooling around as he rolled his eyes and chuckles funnily. This is so frustrating.
“Yeah, I wanna see him too. My daughters are crazy over him!” The ahjushi laughs. “Might wanna ask him autographs some of their CDs before he died.” I felt like smacking the ahjushi right now. But I can’t. Not just yet because he’s my only hope.
“Ahjushi, I mean, I wanna go to the hospital he’s in. My dad’s there. He told me last night he’s admitted in the same hospital as Park Yoochun. I can’t remember the name of that hospital.”I lied. I have to. This ahjushi will be the reason for the successful kidnapping plan of Ayden Sanders Park if he keeps on rambling about his daughters’ obsession over my sick daddy. The ahjushi seems to think over something, his wrinkled forehead wrinkled even more.
“Do you know where Park Yoochun is hospitalised?” I asked. I need to get out of here. “I need to see my daddy. He’s dying and my mum wouldn’t let me see him.” I plead as I partially lied. My mum is dead and my present mum is dying to see my daddy too. I gave the ahjushi my best pleading look. I heard him sigh heavily as he starts the engine.
“It’s kinda far from here. So drink this, relax a bit, okay? I’ll send you there.” The ahjushi shove the bottle to me, which I hesitantly accept. I lean back my back on the soft leather seat as I saw we had left the airport little by little.
The taxi stopped right in front of the hospital’s entrance. The ahjushi waited for me to pay the fair expectantly. Damn, I don’t have any Korean money. Make it double damn; I don’t know how on earth I’m going to pay this ahjushi at all. “Urm... I don’t have any money.”Timidly, I confessed. I heard the ahjushi let out another heavy sigh. He shook his head.
“Can’t you call anyone to come down to pay for you?” He asked. I think it over real hard. I had left Jaejoong’s phone number inside my backpack. And that backpack was left with Miss Elle at the airport. I shook my head. I felt like crying right now. What if the ahjushi hit me or kidnap me because I couldn’t pay his fair? I panicked- my hands can’t stop fidgeting. The ahjushi sigh again for the umpteenth time today. Then unexpectedly, he placed his large hand on top of my head and ruffles my already messy hair. I looked up at him. He is smiling. “Just pay me another time, if we meet again.” He said. I felt like hugging him.
“Thank you! Kamsahamnida, Ahjushi!” I smiled brightly. “I’ll make sure I’ll pay you back!” I bowed my head several times just to show him that I’m thankful.
“Hehe... Okay kid... Go on... You wanna see your dad, right?” The ahjushi open the door for me. I jumped out of the taxi with a grateful smile. I nod my head and gave him another respectful bow. I was about to run towards the entrance when I heard him call for me. “Hey, kid!” I turn around to face him. “What’s your name?” He asked. I felt myself smiling.
“It’s Ayden, Ahjushi.” I said it out loud, making some visitors to look over me.
“Ayden? Ayden what?” The ahjushi asked.
“It’s Ayden Park.” I notice there’re more people stopping nearby, watching, no, staring at the both of us without shame.
“Park? As if in Park Yoochun?” The ahjushi seems wouldn’t want to drop the matters just yet. I just nod at him and wave him goodbye before sprinting into the entranceway. I saw the ahjushi green taxi left as soon as I was inside the building. I smiled. I’m about to see daddy any moment.
“Ayden, what are you doing here?” I roll my eyes. Why everybody can’t leave me alone?! Ugh! I need to see daddy ASAP! Wait, did she just call my name? I turn around, just to meet Dr. Laila Lee. She’s not wearing her usual doctor attire. I’ve met her twice, when daddy was hospitalized before.
“I wanna see daddy.” I smiled. She’s a very kind woman. She’ll help me meet daddy. I’m so relieved.
“No! You can’t see him!” Dr. Lee, she has a strange glint in her eyes, it creeps me out. She’s not smiling like usual. She’s totally a different person than before. Why did she change so much? She lifts me up, hugging me closely to her body. I don’t know why I can’t move my body right now. I’m terrified. She’s not the Dr. Laila Lee I’ve known.
“You can’t see him,” Her voice changed. She smiled softly. I can feel the hair on my back standing nervously. “You are not supposed to…” She kissed my left cheek, then walking towards the outside corridor. I’m too afraid to move.
My body gave out involuntary shivers as she whispers her words to me. “You are supposed to be dead by now,” I saw it. I saw the evil glint in her eyes again. “Just like your mother.” My thumping heart froze. Just like who?
Dear god…Miss Elle… Jaejoongie… Daddy… Help me….!
to be continued...