n/leo; drawback prologue
Taekwoon remembers wishing to be free, to be released. His bloodied fingers slide over the concrete and realizes this will never be his reality. He was born behind locked doors-- no, behind bars. Hidden away and locked up. Although he doesn't blame anyone, he had for the longest time.
Remembering the breaking of ties, he can almost feel them snap like how the bone in his arm did when he was six. It shattered and it shot through his skin, and that was the exact moment he felt free for the first time. Looking through tears and screaming, you could find a smile.
He’d been happy then.
His hands blindly reach for his pockets and he pulls out the fresh pack of cigarettes. The plastic tearing open sounds an octave louder than normal, and he’s not sure if that’s just his perception of things or not. He pulls out a cigarette and brings it to his mouth.
Before he can light it, he hears footsteps behind him and he knows he’s running out of freedom. Of time. He’d never realized before that freedom was something one could run out of once obtained. He can practically feel it blowing through his fingers like wind, but it leaves cuts and bruises and the wounds are too deep to stitch back up.
“Light it,” someone says, sitting down next to him. “It’s okay.” He speaks in a soft tone, lovingly, as always. It reminds him of love, but he knows it’s all but that.
He lights it, smoke curling up around his face and finding a way into the night sky. It gets into his eyes a little, and his eyes burn and tear up. He feels alive.
“You hate me,” Taekwoon speaks, exhaling the smoke. It’s hard keeping a straight face when your lungs are on fire.
“Hakyeon,” he whispers, “Not you.”
Taekwoon turns his head and lowers his arm, staring the man in the face. He’s never been as confused as he is right now and he refuses to blink as he’s looking him in the eye.
“Kiss him goodbye,” the man with the face of the person he loves demands.
The word goodbye is as a knife slowly being inserted into his already dying body. He knows he’s going to die, but that doesn't mean speeding up the process is okay. He hesitates for a second and wonders if he can let himself reach out and touch the one thing he feels sorry for leaving behind. Then he remembers it’s not real, and he’s too afraid to get hurt. Perhaps even more afraid of hurting the one person he can’t afford to hurt. Not anymore.
“I can’t. I want to, but I can’t.”
“This is the only chance you’re going to get. Take it.”
Taekwoon can feel his heart pounding and realizes he’s never going to feel more alive than he is right now. He knows he’s running out of time. He knows he’s going to be eaten alive if he goes through with it but he’s starting to care less and less now. He needs more time to think, but there isn't any.