Wednesday, March 21, 2012; 2:08am; from telephone recordings
You’ve got the wrong number so do—
Grunt. This better be important.
—Shim-shii, this is the hospital—
Oh shit, is there something wrong?!
—No actually this is good news. Jung-shii just woke up, you asked us the call you if he—
Thank so much! I’ll be right over to see him! Goodbye and thank you again!
Beep beep beep
Wednesday, March 21, 2012; 2:15am; from the eyes of Shim Changmin
You run into the hospital still in the ratty old shirt and sweat pants you use to sleep in and ignore the security personnel that attempts to stop you. You make a dash for the steps and climb them three at a time. After 5 flights you push the door open and sprint down the hall just barely paying attention to the numbers beside the doors you pass. Finally 5023.
You push the door open and are greeted by the doctor’s glare. You don’t give the man a second glance as you push past him to see the man on the bed. The leader’s head turns and a smile pulls at the corners of his mouth. You give him a watery, trembling smile and join the circle or three that’s gathered around the man. The others are much in the same state as you, tears of happiness flowing out of the four of you as the fight makes his way back to you.
It feels like a part of the weight on your shoulders just melted away in warmth of his eyes. You link hands with them and feel complete in a way you haven’t for an impossibly long time.
The doctor sighs at your teary, unmanly faces and continues to read some medical form that none of you care for at the moment. All you care is that you’re all alive, that’s good enough for now. You can breathe now, small shallow breaths but their there and the pain your heart eases just a bit more.
Friday, April 13, 2012; 9:02am; from the eyes of Kim Jaejoong
He walks into the room at the same time every day, and every day you see him smile at you and your heart skips a beat as his eyes miss-match themselves gently. He sits on the chair between Yoochun’s bed and yours, – actually, correction, more like Yoochun and Junsu’s since they don’t spend more than ten minutes apart these days. You understand too, they fill in each other’s empty spaces. Yoochun is Junsu’s legs and Junsu is Yoochun’s arms as hopelessly romantic and cheesy as that sounds (then again, you muse, it’s cheesy because it works).
Just then Ryuri, your nurse, ambles in with breakfast and joins in the conversation that was started earlier. She jokes about random stuff, you rarely understand the jokes but the girl’s laughter is sort of contagious so you laugh along anyway.
She’s been a constant in tough times over the past month for all of you. Sometimes you joke that the hospital’s real rehab center isn’t on the second floor, it’s this girl. She doesn’t care that Junsu can barely stand; she still makes him play soccer with her every sunny day available. She doesn’t care that Yoochun can barely move his hands, never mind his fingers; she still brings in that keyboard and asks him to teacher how to play this song and that song. Coming from someone else you might have thought she was pushy and annoying but seeing the improvement in the two and how gently she treats them and how much she makes you all smile and laugh makes up for it.
You’ve also learned that Ryuri isn’t only half Korean, she’s also part Japanese and was born in America. She moved here a couple years ago before the war started and graduated from a medical collage wanting to save lives. You wonder if she’s some sort of angel or something.
Half an hour passes by in idle rambling and you note that Changmin has dosed off, head on your lap and hands curled into the fabric of the bed sheets. You notice the bags under his eyes for the first time and frown as you smooth down the silky dark brown hair. You find yourself running your hands through the strands when a burly man in an army uniform passes through your door. The mood automatically drops as you all look up the stare at him.
“Changmin, time to go, get up already,” he says in a slightly pissed off tone that makes you automatically want to punch him. You ignore the head in your hands stir and glare daggers at the army man.
“What do you want with Changmin?”
“He’s got a mission today, no time dilly dally.”
“What do you mean mission, I—“
“It’s alright hyung, I gotta go now, see you tonight.”
“Don’t you dare lift your head young man, you are staying right where you are. And you sir, I’m sorry but I cannot allow Changmin-shii to leave with you. I don’t care how important a mission you have for him it is going to have to wait until tomorrow.”
“Little girl, I suggest you shut your trap right now, you have no idea what we men do for you to be able to chit chat here safely—“
“Oh trust me sir, I know exactly what you do, I treat the worst of it here; which is exactly why I cannot allow him to leave. He is exhausted. He has bags under his eyes like I’ve never seen before and just feel asleep in a room with four laughing people at nine in the morning, a time when a human’s natural metabolism would be telling him to wake up. He will be of no use to you on any battle field today, more likely he will get you and your men injured or potentially killed due to a low attention span and slow reflexes caused by sleep deprivation. Now if you would kindly leave before I call security that would be great.”
The army man stared at the too-sweet-for-comfort smile look as if he was contemplating to just run her petite frame over with one of his tanks.
“Do I need to repeat myself sir. Leave. Now.”
After another couple moments of silence you watch her stand and make her way to the telecom built into the wall. She reached out to press the call button when the man finally spoke.
“I hope you have god on your side bitch because, if you ever need help you won’t find any army behind you.” And with that the man walks out, slamming the door closed.
You heard Ryuri say something in English but is unable to catch the barely audible phrase in the foreign language. She then turns to face the rest of you and said in Korean with a bitter sweet expression painted over her face, “Sorry about that, Changmin-shii, you can just stay here for the rest of the day and if someone bothers you again just give a shout and I’ll chase them out. Now, I have some other patients to attend to, see you guys later.” A polite half bow and she slipped out of the room.
“Chun, did you catch what she said?” you ask in curiosity.
“Ya, she said something along the lines of ‘As if I’d want any help from an army.’”
Thursday, May 17, 2012; 9:02am; from the eyes of Shim Changmin
“So Changmin-shii, how are your friends recovering?”
“Uhh, their doing well.”
“I heard that they were released from hospital last week.”
“Yes, though Junsu and Yoochun still go back for rehabilitation.”
“Yes I heard that too. Now, I need to ask you something, you may not like it but it’s necessary.”
“What is it sir?”
“Well, you’ve been really overwork these past two months so I was thinking since Jaejoong-shii and Yunho-shii have been released that they should come back to service as to relieve you from all the missions. We won’t push them too far to start with, but it must be really bothersome for you to hop the border ever couple days just to complete a mission, I’m sure this will give you well deserve break. I was wondering if you could inform the other two that their services are needed again?”
“What’s that boy?”
“Sir, please reconsider. I can take care of all the jobs, the others, they’re not completely recovered yet. Please don’t make them kill, I’ll do the work myself, just don’t make them do this again. Please…”
“Are you sure boy? This will mean a lot more work for you.”
“Yes, I’m aware sir. I will complete it all I promise.”
“Alright, if you’re that stubborn about it.”
“Thank you so much sir. Thank you so much.”
Friday, June 8, 2012; 5:14am; from the eyes of Shim Changmin
You stumble into your apartment and thank the air conditioner for being as wonderful as it is. Toeing your shoes off, you don’t even bother to say hi to the rest of the apartment, instead you head straight for the shower to wash the disgusting, sticky feeling of sweat off your skin.
After twenty minutes of soaking in wonderfully warm water you walk back out, having changed out of your street clothes and gear, trading them for a baggy shirt and a pair of loose shorts. You pad out and find Junsu and Yoochun sitting in your living room composing. Their voices meld together and you can’t help but sing along as you plop yourself down on the edge of the piano bench and not so gently shove them over to give you some room.
They laugh and shove back but go back to composing, now with you adding stuff in, trying this chord and that pattern. You don’t know how much time passes; you’re too lost in the music and memories to care about time and its implications. You remember some lyrics you started a couple months ago and ask them if they’d look at them. Of course they agreed and you wonder why you even asked. You run back to your room and grab the note book you scribbled them. Just as you pass through the hall the front door opens and in come two faces that were too familiar clad in black gear that they should not have been in. You freeze and feel the air around you drop a couple degrees.
Jaejoong spots you first and his face twists in confusion. “Hey there Minnie, something wrong?”
“Minnie, what are you talking about?”
“Where are you coming from, where have you been all this time?”
“We went on a quick mission nothing big, we’re fine.”
“That’s not the point!” you shout at them and watch as they both take a quite step back. A string of curses passes your lips as you push past them and out the door just barely managing to get your shoes on.
Same day; 7:21am; from the eyes of Shim Changmin
“Why the hell are they on a mission?!”
“Boy watch your tongue.”
“Why the freaking hell were they on a freaking mission, I thought we had a deal here?!”
A laugh. “You actually expected me to keep your stupid little promise? This is war boy, your little friendship crap means nothing. I need as many men as I can get and I’m not leaving two perfectly healthy ones to sleep just because some momma’s boy still picking up his drool asked me not to!”
“Fine then, if you refuse to keep your promise I refuse to fight.”
“Boy, you know what happens to soldiers who refuse to go over the top.”
“Yes, I know perfectly well, I’ve seen plenty of men die of friendly fire.”
“I’m giving you this last chance, take back what you said and go home, or you’ll see what happens.”
“No. I refuse to fight.”
“Guards, take him away, down to the cells.”
“What I thought you were going to shoot me?!”
“Oh I will boy, but you’re a star right, you should die like one don’t you think?”
Saturday, June 9, 2012; 8:32am; from the eyes of Park Yoochun
You watch Jaejoong pace up and down the living room wringing his hands in frustration. He’s been like this for hours and you wish you had the heart to tie him down to a chair just so he would stop moving, it’s starting to make you really fidgety. Instead you place a hand on his shoulder and say, “Jaejoong, relax he’ll be back.”
“But Chun, what if he gets caught up in some sort of fight, or bombing or something?”
“Jae there’s nothing we can do, we’ve called everyone we know, just trust him alright? He’ll come back.”
“No, we haven’t.”
“What?! Who have we missed, what are talking about Yunho?”
“HQ, we haven’t called HQ.”
Your stomach drops.
Jaejoong visibly swallows and picks up the phone left abandoned on the coffee table. He dials and you all wait holding your breath.
“Hello, this is Kim Jaejoong, from the TONE team, I’m calling to ask about Shim Changmin, he’s been gone since about six yesterday and I was getting a bit worried. Would you by any chance know his location?”
There’s a pause then his eyes widen.
“What?! He’s been locked up?! Why?”
The air drains out of the room.
“I see, could we visit him?”
Another pause, your heart is stuck somewhere in your throat.
“Yes, we’ll be right there, thank you.”
Same day; 9:18am; from the eyes of Kim Jaejoong
He’s sitting on the bed hanging from the cell wall staring into space and you let out the breath you’ve been holding. He’s there, he’s whole and at least seemingly unharmed. You approach the cell in a trance. His name passes your lips and you watch his head snap towards you.
“What are you guys doing here?” he asks in a worn voice and you wonder how you missed this. How you missed him growing up and growing tired of the world.
“I think we should be the ones asking that Changmin,” says Yunho gently.
“Said something I wasn’t supposed to, they lined me up for execution.”
It feels like someone’s punched you in the gut.
“What? Changmin, don’t kid with us, this is serious, we were worried.”
“I’m not kidding. I’m set for execution.”
“Why? What could you possibly have said?” The words are so soft you wonder if he’ll even hear you.
“I told them I wouldn’t fight anymore, you know what happens if you don’t go over the top Jae. You get shot from behind.”
“Because they promised you wouldn’t have to fight anymore.”
The words don’t sink in so you ask again, “Why?”
“Because he freaking promised me that you and Yunho wouldn’t have to kill anyone anymore! I can’t do this Jae, I’m a coward I can’t live like this.”
“And you think I can watch you just die?!”
“No, but I’m not strong enough, I can’t keep you safe, whether I die or not…”
You turn and stride down the hall. You note that you may just have lived with the three men behind you for too long because they seem to be able to read your next move and follow. What surprises you the most though is that none of them disagree.
Same day; 9:39am; from the eyes of Jung Yunho
“I said we quit. We won’t fight anymore.”
“Are you all crazy? Did your friend not tell you he’s up for execution? Or are you just plain stupid maybe?”
“Yes, we are stupid, we are crazy. We quit.”
“Oh fine whatever! Guards go lock them up, stuff them in the same cell as that idiot before them.”
Tuesday, June 12, 2012; 6:56pm; from the eyes of Na Ryuri
You look at them from the other side of the bars. They’ve huddled together and a small part of you feels just a bit colder than before. They remind you of what you never had and never will. You take a deep breath compose yourself and a small, rather sad smile plays at your lips. You make your request. It’s the last thing you’ll ask of them, the last thing you’ll ask of anybody.
“Sing for me.”
Their heads turn and they notice you for the first time. There’s confusion painted over their features, you stand and wait.
“Ryuri-ah, what are you doing here?” asks Junsu ever the innocent one.
“Sing for me. Please,” you add this time.
“Just sing, don’t ask me why, I can’t nor will try to explain.”
They look at each other, you see something pass through Changmin’s eyes, something along the lines of understanding. He’s probably seen half of it, because he speaks.
“Alright, what do you want us to sing?”
“The revised version of Pierrot you were working on at the hospital, the one meant for you all.”
“But, it’s not finished,” mumbles Jaejoong.
“I guess we can just improvise or something,” supplies Changmin and you thank him with your eyes.
The others nod reluctantly, still not fully understanding the situation. They harmonize and then sing. Their voices fill up the cold cement halls of the prison, ring against the metal of the iron bars trapping them inside. You close your eyes and listen. You fall into the ocean of the music and fly through the sky the song paints, wings spread wide, uncaring of the world. The melody rises and falls like updrafts and the wind. The music pulls you this way and that and you follow, let it do as it pleases behind privacy of your eye lids.
They don’t even stumble over the lyrics, you honor their talent and hard work. Pierrot was never a favorite, never could have been, you always did think they had sounded best as five. However the irony of it, the pure, glorious irony this world is built on pulled you to it like a bear to honey. It stings too, the heavy feeling in your chest, and then it went away for some reason.
The song ends, you smile, bow and leave. Not once do you look back. Your choice is made.
Friday, June 15, 2012; 9:00pm; from the eyes of Kim Jaejoong
The music pounds through your ears. Your old songs, everything from Hug, to Mirotic, to B.U.T to In Heaven. The intro is over and the lights switch on. For a moment they blind you and then you adjust, the familiar heat already starting to burn your skin. The difference is the iron bands around your hands and feet; you’ve never performed with shackles on. You look to your left and see Yunho and Changmin, then you turn your head and look to your right, Yoochun and Junsu. You look back out at the audience which is now in a hush.
You resist the urge to scream.
The general walks up the middle aisle of the stage, stands in the center and starts to give some speech on patriotism, and treachery. He then points behind and tells the audience what the five of you have done, the undercover missions, the killing, everything but the truth you think. You had no choice. You stand head bent down as just as the others.
The speech is over and on queue the platform in the middle of the stage rises carrying a masked army man with a gun. Five bullets are loaded in said weapon, no more are needed. You raise your heads also on queue and look out at the audience. There are no tears in your eyes; none of you have the ability to cry anymore.
The gun is raised and you wait for the first shot. Then just as you count down to the pull of the trigger you spot a face in the audience. It smiles at you with knowing eyes and puts a finger to its lips. Then she pushes past the security and jumps on the stage.
The stadium roars. The general almost runs and strangles her, then realizes this is being broadcast nationwide and refrains.
“Miss what are you doing?”
She grabs a microphone from a rebellious stage hand and whispers a thank you. “I’m keeping the faith.” Again the girls bellow go wild and you wonder if she planned all this out. Then you remember that one request and realize she probably did.
“I don’t know what you mean, however I ask that you get out of the way it’s not safe for you up here.”
Yes, you think. Leave while you can, he’ll kill you, won’t blink an eye over it.
“No.” She doesn’t listen of course she doesn’t.
“Miss, please, you don’t understand –“
“Oh I understand perfectly well general. Maybe better then you. Let me ask you a question, what have these boys not done by your order?”
You watch him freeze and you find yourself smiling. Smart.
“Nothing,” she continues after a moment. “Everything they’ve done, all the crimes they’ve committed, the killing, the destruction, it was all under your order was it not?”
“You ordered them to destroy those buildings, told them to kill those people, trained them for it even, I bet. How, tell me, does this make you any better than Hitler who killed millions of Jews on the basis that they took German’s jobs? How does it make you any better than Stalin who locked up and killed anyone that spoke against him?
“You tainted their voices, everything they’ve worked for the past 10 years and more of their lives. You’ve order millions of men, women and children killed over the past seven months and what for? A war you can’t even justify. You say it’s because they killed President Lee, but tell me, is one man’s life worth those of millions of others?
“You might say it’s to protect the people from the Socialist North Korea, but is it really? Is it really to unify the country and its people or to earn yourself some fame and prestige, to earn your army some medals and show that you can make things go boom?
“I work in a hospital, I know what happens to the men you send out to fight, I know what happens to the women and children they leave behind. A normal nurse deals with five to maybe ten patients a day I deal with fifty to seventy and do you know what’s the worst of it? It’s the children. The little kids who got caught playing outside during an the air raids. The ones with missing arms and legs, and the ones that don’t make it through at all. Don’t tell me it doesn’t matter because the ones that you kill are all over the border. People on the other side are people too, just as much as every person is this stadium is a person. They live, laugh and love just the same as we do.
“So explain to me General. Explain why you must taint then kill these five young men who have followed your every whim until they could take no more? Why all those young men on the front must die every day? Why the women are left widows? Why the little children need to die? Explain why my parents had to die when your soldiers left them behind on command from their higher ups! Explain yourself to me!”
You stare at her in disbelief, you wonder how long she’s kept all that inside. You watch her back shake and wish you could give her a hug. The chains won’t let you though. Then you see the general, red, sweating and you don’t think it’s the lights this time.
“Shoot her!” he commands and you lung forward yelling no. It’s too late though. She drops, a bloody red rose spilling from her chest. You find tears spilling down your cheeks now.
You turn and see a familiar man walking forward.
“Get her an ambulance now! General, what in sanity are you doing? Since when were you given my permission to do this?”
“But sir, they refused to fight, you know what happens when people don’t go over the top.”
“Man they are idols, you don’t go around shooting famous people without thinking it through. Release them now, we will talk more later.”
It clicks then, he’s the new president. A stage hand comes and unlocks the shackles and all five of you run forward. A swarm of fans follow you. You circle around the dying body that is now in Yunho’s arms. Hushed whispers go through the crowd as you try to keep her alive talk to her tell her it’s going to be fine. She smiles and whispers a breathy ‘Goodbye’ in the foreign language of her childhood. You watch her eyes close and hold her hand crying. The others do much the same, even Changmin, the least emotional of you is bawling his eyes out on your shoulder. You whisper some prayers to whatever god is listening and hope that if there’s something after this life she gets the best of it. She deserved it.
Sunday, June 17, 2011; 10:32am; An article in www.allkpop.com
TVXQ! attends funeral of the fan that saved their lives
Sunday, June 24, 2012; 8:01pm; from CNN new report
The Video that Took the World by Storm
Reporter: Over the past week the internet has gone viral with a video of a young lady, who saved the lives of five Korean pop stars. The young woman, by the name of Ryuri Na, was a nurse at Seoul Hospital and was the nurse in charge of the five K-pop idols that go by the band name Dong Bang Shin Ki. It was evident that while taking care of them at the hospital she became quick friends with the five.
The five young men were set for execution on the grounds of defiance of orders and mass murder. The young girl jump up on the stage of the five idols’ execution and questioned the general of the army not only on the accusations against the five men but also on the validity of this war. Here is a part of what she said.
Play video: “So explain to me General. Explain why you must taint then kill these five young men who have followed your every whim until they could take no more? Why all those young men on the front must die every day? Why the women are left widows? Why the little children need to die? Explain why my parents had to die when your soldiers left them behind on command from their higher ups! Explain yourself to me!”
After this the young woman was shot in the heart on order of the General. At this point the new President of South Korea intervened and an ambulance was called for the young woman. She died just a few moments later however. The five young idols have been spared and the General in question has been fired and is being trialed as a criminal of war.
The South Korean government has apologized to both the idols, the dead girl’s relatives and North Korea for the atrocities committed on the General’s orders.
The reach of the young girl’s speech has gone much farther than that however. Many world leaders are at the moment considering the questions this young woman asked, there has been a huge amount of unrest, protest and many questions previously ignored are coming into the light. We are not sure where this situation will go, all that is sure is that the world will not be the same.
Friday, August 10, 2012; 10:01am; from the Globe and Mail
World Leaders Call Meeting in Bora Bora to Discuss War
Friday, September 21, 2012; 10:32am; An article in www.allkpop.com
Yunho’s kidney transplant is successful, rumors run that it was because he was given Ryuri’s kidney
Sunday, October 14, 2012; 10:32am; An article in www.allkpop.com
Yoochun and Junsu’s official recovery is announced
Sunday, November 24, 2012; 10:01am; from the Globe and Mail
Peace treaty has been drafted to return the world to normal
Wednesday, December 12, 2012; 10:01am; from the Globe and Mail
The Treaty of Na has now been completed and signed; WWIII is over
Wednesday, July 15, 2013; 9:00pm; from the eyes of Ryuri
You sit yourself on the metal beams meant to support the lighting and watch. They jump out of the trap doors in the stage and fireworks go off. Singing and dancing they smile and laugh on the stage that almost cost them their lives and you wonder if they’ve forgotten already. Song after song you admire their light that emanates from their skin and you wonder if they really are angels in disguise. Changmin’s eyes shoot up to the beams above and pass you by and you push that thought aside.
Their voices blend and balance, they rise and fall like the wind, like the ocean and like everything else in their world. They follow the melody and lead the harmony, synchronizing like the professionals they are. You still wish you could sing with them one day. Maybe in the next life, you think bashfully. Maybe next time you’ll sing.
The stage is almost done. It’s the last song. A red light shines down on that spot. They cleaned the blood and body away but you can see them remember it like it was yesterday. Their eyes water and their shoulders shake. Yoochun’s on the verge of a break down you’ve not seen since the time they told him he’s be able to play piano again. Junsu’s hand reaches for Yoochun as he shifts his weight from one foot to the next. Changmin is plainly staring at the spot as if waiting for a ghost. Jaejoong is smiling, bitter sweet yet you can tell he’s accepted it by now. Yunho is saying something, you hear it in your head, a prayer of thanks, you smile.
You jump down from your perch and float down to the empty red spot light. You sit yourself in the middle then turn and watch them sing.
no. just do not touch me
I’m not a pierrot
더 넓은 하늘을 등지고 살고 싶어
자류를 알고 싶어 더 높이 fly fly
나만의 새각이 있어
나만의 새각이 있어
감옥 같은 그 때 추억하기 싫어
영원히 Bye bye bye