Chapter 14

Chi yawned and let his head fall back against the headrest. "Then where are we going?"

"My apartment," Jin answered.

"You have an apartment?"

"I do now."

Chi didn't push the matter further. "Is there food there?" he asked instead. He barely heard the answer before he passed out.


Jin carried his little brother up the three flights of stairs to the apartment building he had just rented. He shifted Chi's weight to one arm so he could shove the house key in the door and push it open. The room was almost bare. A stripped kitchen was set up along one wall, the hum of an old refrigerator the only noise in the small space. Jin flipped on a light and laid Chi down on a small futon in the bedroom – a space no bigger than a walk in closet. It was separated by a sliding door. He pulled a blanket out of the cabinet and covered up his baby brother.

Locating a small kettle, he filled it with water and set it to boil on the stove. Jin then set to work creating a decent meal. He steamed rice and vegetables, cooked meat and even sliced a watermelon he had splurged on. A sigh passed his lips as he set the small table with paper plates and plastic silverware. His little brothers were making his life extremely difficult. Jin nearly dropped the pot of rice as he lifted it bare handed. "Ow, fuck!"

"That's hot, you know?"

Jin turned around to find Chi standing against the kitchen wall, covering a yawn with his hand. "Hungry?"

Chi nodded, looking around the small home. "Do you need help?

"Almost finished. You can just sit down."

Chi did so, painstakingly making his way to the folding table and pulling out a chair. "Looks good," he commented as Jin set down his homemade meal.

Jin smiled and sat across from his sibling, serving Chi first. "So…"

"So?" Chi repeated.

"You wanna talk about it?"

Chi shrugged, taking small bites of his food. He fidgeted in the oversized clothes he was wearing. "What about my stuff?"

Jin nodded to the back of the apartment where there were two filled garbage bags.

"And mom and dad?"

"Chihoon, why did you do it?"

"What?" Chi shrunk back at the look he received from his brother. "Accident," he muttered.

Jin pushed his plate away. "I can't help you if you're not honest with me."

Chi muttered something inaudible under his breath and picked at his food.


"It just seems like what's best for everybody. I can't have Hyun, so I'm not happy. I just bring shame to our family and stress to you. I can't provide anything to society. I'm useless."

"Hey, hey, hold on. Hyun still wanted to be with you. You made him leave."

"No!" Chi countered aggressively, slamming his hands down on the table. This seemed to extract the last of his strength. "No," he repeated in a whisper. "If Hyun wanted to stay, he would have stayed. He wouldn't have left because I told him to. And besides, he did the best thing for himself. It's not like we can have some healthy, normal relationship! We're goddamn twins!"

Jin didn't know how to respond. Not that he had the chance to form words.

"At least now he can try to find some other guy and be happy. He can start over. But I don't know how to live without him. That's why I did it."

"That's idiotic. I know he's your twin and you have the whole twin telepathy thing going on but how the fuck would he know that you wanted him to stay if you told him to leave? And even if he could read your mind, you've been ignoring him since he's gotten home. Who would want to stick around with that? You drove him away – he didn't just leave."

"Shut up," Chi whispered.

"Hyun wanted to help you. It's not his fault he had to leave. He was bound under the law. And now you're going to lose him for good because you're being a fucking idiot. If you want him, you need to show him that."

Chi shook his head, "No. Shut up!"

"And as for our family, they don't matter. I don't matter either. Don't worry about that. Your happiness is what matters and if you don't take control of that…" Jin paused as he thought, "…then I guess that's why you tried to kill yourself. Do you not want to be happy?"

"I don't know."

"Do you want Hyun to be happy?"

"Of course I want him to be happy! I love him. But how can he be happy with me? This just doesn't work." Chi sniffed as he held back threatening tears.

"I don't think either of you know how to live without the other. I'm sure Hyun needs you as much as you need him."

"No…he doesn't. He's perfectly fine. Two years without me and he's exactly the same. But look at me." Despite his instructions, Chi hid his face from view in the oversized jacket. "I'm a mess."

"Yeah, you are."

"Thanks," Chi mumbled into his sleeve.

"He is too. Hyun just knows how to hide it better."

Chi groaned, wishing he was at least capable of ending Jin's rant if not his own life. "Yeah, sure."

"You are so blind!"

"Shut up, shut up, shut up!"

"Why don't you just listen?" Jin answered, significantly wanting to slam his head against the table but not wanting to risk it breaking. "You know I make sense."

Chi put his hands over his ears and shut his eyes. "No, thanks."

"Chi, come on. Chihoon. Chi!" Jin threw a piece of beef at his brother and it smacked him in the forehead with a thud. "Chi!"

"What!?" Chi tried to stand up but his legs refused to support his weight. "I don't want to talk about this anymore. I want to go home."

"And where would that be exactly?"

"Home! You know, where my parents are and my family."

"They don't want you."

Chi pushed away his chair, not listening to what his brother had to say anymore. "Take me home."

"This is the closest you've got."

"I want to go home!"

"You don't have one!" Jin began to lose his cool, voice rising.

"I'll walk then." Chi used the table to steady himself as he attempted to move towards the doorway. Very, very slowly.

"Walk? It's fifteen kilometers. And it's raining. And you can't even walk to the door."

"I can do anything I want." Chi tripped over his own feet, landing on his knees with his hands stretched out to support him.

"Except be rational, apparently." Jin walked to his brother's side and helped him up. "You need to rest. We'll figure out what to do tomorrow, alright? Just sleep on it."

Chi tried to twist out from his brother's grip but felt too unsteady. "Fine," he admitted defeat.