D Minus Chapter 13

Author: nicotine

Hajin might die suddenly while lying down like that. He might be out of breath from all those groans. He could just leave like that. Death was not something he could meet peacefully and quietly at any time or place he wanted. Hajin was arrogant.

He didn’t have the strength to wipe his tears so he just shed tears endlessly. Jonghwa who went out two days ago still hasn’t come home. Since when did he become so special to him, it was pathetic that he had his ears perked up at even the slightest sound. Even though Hajin came to the countryside to die alone, Hajin waited for him every second of the day without Jonghwa.

“The doctor also said. Even if it doesn’t go in, eat.”

“I am going to vomit it again so what’s the use of eating?”

“We eat even if we poop, don’t we? Whether it’s vomit or poop, what’s the difference?”

“Ah…why are you being nasty in front of food?”

“Fuck, you are whining for nothing. Do you have anything left to say?”

Still, ever so rude, Jonghwa fed a spoonful to Hajin, who completely stopped eating and drinking for a while. He threw up everything as soon as he ate it, but he was alive anyway.

“Why are you sleeping here?”

“If you are sick at dawn, I should take you to the hospital.”

“Why are you going to such an extent? If you are sick, I’m going to call you.”

“How can a sick person call me? Stop nagging. I’m going to sleep.”

Jonghwa slept on the floor next to Hajin’s bed with a thin blanket and a pillow. Hajin felt very awkward sleeping with someone and stared at the ceiling with wide eyes and asked frankly.

“Why are you so nice to me?”

“I was just about to sleep, fuck…”

“Sleep, then.”

“You made me food and taught me how to write.”

“Is it really because of that?”

“Well…should there be a different reason?”

“It’s not that…”

“Then, sleep. You’re noisy.”

Hajin asked because he was curious but Jonghwa replied sourly as if he felt tired and wanted to sleep. He pouted his lips, closed his eyes and tried to sleep while listening to Jonghwa’s breathing. A belated answer came from him.

“Since I learned Hangul, I discovered so many fun things about the world.”

“…”

“I also learned how to use a spoon so I can now eat a lot of beans as well. Before, when I used to live with my brother and used a spoon to eat, I was beaten up…”

Hajin didn’t answer immediately. It was because he was sad as if Jonghwa was telling him the reason why Hajin must live.

 

“Why aren’t you coming…”

Hajin stood up as soon as he heard a sign of movement outside the front door and tapped his chest because he felt nauseous. Perhaps, it was one of his auditory hallucinations but the tightly closed door did not open. Hajin didn’t feel good, as if he felt like he was a child waiting at home. It was because there was no fixed time for Jonghwa to return. He hesitated to get into the least painful position and eventually buried his face into his propped knees.

Maybe he would come in stabbed like last time or he died before he could come in. When Hajin thought that he might not come again, his heart sank for no reason. Even in that short period, they spent together, he was depending on Jonghwa. Funny.

Hajin got goosebumps on his back. It was a symptom that occurred when chills took hold of his body. Hajin chewed on his lips as he felt the unpleasant sensation of shivering. It didn’t hurt that much before he got chemotherapy but now he thought he might have made the wrong choice. Hajin regretted not receiving therapy early now but his thoughts were inconsistent after he fell ill.

“Hey. Are you inside?”

Hajin couldn’t sleep properly for more than three hours for the last two days so he felt dizzy. Less than 10 minutes after he closed his eyes, the front door burst open. Hajin opened his eyes as if he had fully woken up.

“What’s wrong with your face? Does it hurt?”

It was Jonghwa whom he saw after two and a quarter days. With a black plastic bag hanging on his wrist, he approached Hajin with wide eyes. His round lips trembled because he was biting on them so hard.

“Let’s go to the hospital.”

How strange, tears burst out as soon as Hajin saw his face. He opened to say something but the disgusting smell that emitted from the inside made him cry even more. Jonghwa was restless when he saw Hajin crying out loud. The thin coat he wore was completely stained with the outside air.

“Does it hurt a lot? Get on my back, quick.”

Jonghwa knelt on one knee on the floor and gave Hajin his back. In rural areas, there were only a few sparse hospitals so it was much faster to call 119 than run directly. Hajin hugged his knees and cried without even noticing Jonghwa. Strangely the nausea and abdominal pain disappeared after all the nerves were focused on how much he was crying.

“…Why are you coming now…”

“What?”

“You, ugnh…You told me to get treatment…”

Hajin knew it better than anyone else that he should resent anyone but he wanted to blame someone now. He wanted to point out the cause of his flowing tears. He shamelessly made an excuse thinking that he would otherwise collapse.

Jonghwa keenly on the floor rose slowly. Soon the bed sank. Hajin bowed his head to avoid Jonghwa’s gaze in front of him.

“You…you wanted me to get treatment…”

“But, why treatment?”

Jonghwa wetted his lips as if he was burning. Hajin curled his hands into a fist and wiped his tears. Strangely, even if he cried in front of Jonghwa or talked about his feelings, his pride was not hurt.

“It hurts even more after treatment. I told you I don’t want to get it…”

The truth was a lie. Hajin felt much lighter yesterday so he thought maybe he could live. Hajin regretted that if he started treatment a little earlier, he would have lived much longer. But he left it out, of course. He just wanted to blame Jonghwa.

“Did it hurt?”

“I vomited all day. I couldn’t sleep or eat.”

Hajin said it in a hurry enough to make a fuss but it sounded like whining. Jonghwa’s worried brown eyes stared at Hajin.

“But you still need to get treatment, what else can you do?”

“…”

“Shall we go to the hospital?”

Jonghwa was rude, shameless and on the other hand a scary thug yet he never got annoyed with Hajin, no matter how he poured out ridiculous resentment towards him. He always spoke with a soothing and calm voice like he was doing then. Hajin knew the truth. He was comforted by his appearance. He just wanted to be comforted.

“Let’s go to the hospital.”

“…Why didn’t you come for the last two days?”

“I had something to do.”

“You should have told me in advance.”

“….”

It was ridiculous even when Hajin thought about himself. Since when he started to rely on Jonghwa…Since when did he start complaining…Since when…

Hajin was so exhausted, he couldn’t even open his eyes. The weak body fell towards Jonghwa. Jonghwa grabbed Hajin in reflex and Hajin buried his cheek on his shoulder. The stiff cloth scratched his cheek but he rubbed himself against him like a puppy. Jonghwa didn’t budge as if he had stiffened in his place.

“…Shin Jonghwa.”

“What?”

“Can I ask you for a favour?”

“What is it?”

“Will you listen to me?”

“If I can do that.”

A light smile hung around Hajin’s lips. He decided to admit that his first impression was wrong. Jonghwa was so nice and gentle.

“Stay with me until I die.”

“…”

“Initially I wanted to die quietly and alone but I’m a little scared because I’m closer to death.”

“…”

“You can listen to me, right?”

It was easy now but he didn’t know how hard his requests would be later.

***

“It’s raining.”

Hajin was lying helplessly on the hospital bed and was not fully used to it and he turned to the sound of tapping on the window. Jonghwa who was dozing off in the chair beside him also opened his eyes. The cold raindrops of late autumn on the windows.

“I like it when it rains.”

Hajin groaned and struggled to get up. Hajin really liked how the raindrops clung sideways onto the window. Jonghwa looked at Hajin without saying a word. Loose hospital clothes revealed his pale forearms.

“I want to get drenched in the rain.”

“It’s cold today.”

“I like getting rained on.”

It had been like that since he was young. When it rained hard, Hajin ran around the neighbourhood all by himself, excitedly. When he was a high school student, he was hit by heavy rain that poured on the playground. Whenever the news talked about the rainy season, it was his happiest time. Surprisingly he never caught a cold.

“I want to go out.”

“You will be in trouble if you catch a cold.’

“Still, I want to go out.”

There was no strength in the voice that squeezed out from his dry lips. Hajin looked down blankly at the needle inserted in the back of his hand and pulled it out with strength. Surprised, Jonghwa belatedly sprung from his chair.

“Are you crazy? Why are you taking it out?”

“I want to go out.”

“Where are you going when you’re sick?”

“I want to go out in the rain.”

“I’ll open the window so stick your hand out. Why do you want to get rained on? What are you going to do if you catch a cold?”

Unfortunately, the hospital window didn’t open. Jonghwa was struggling to open the window without a handle and then propped his arms and sighed.

“Let’s go to the rooftop.”

“I want to go outside.”

“You…are really stubborn.”

“I want to get out.”

“No, you’ll die if you catch a cold.”

“I’m going to die anyway.”

The flowy conversation was cut off. Like a lie, there was only a creepy silence lingering in the hospital room and the sound of the rain tapping on the window intervened like an uninvited guest. Hajin took out the remaining needles and stretched his legs out on the bed. Jonghwa put his hands on his waist and burst into laughter.

“I just thought I would never get another day to get rained on.”

“…”

“I just feel like it. Like, as if today is my last day. I want to get wet in the rain.”

The monotone voice didn’t come with tears. Hajin was unable to stand on his own to his whole body feeling lethargic so he grabbed the head of the bed and walked step by step. He took out the thick cardigan he kept in the closet and draped it over his hospital uniform and also wore a hat to cover his shaved head. Jonghwa, who was looking at Hajin with fierce eyes, sighed.

“You can’t get drenched in the rain.”

“I’m going to go out even if by myself.”

“Let’s go out together then. We are going to get out, but we can’t get wet, okay? Wait here.”

“…Where are you going?”

“I’m going to come back in a sec so don’t go anywhere and wait here.”

Jonghwa repeated the same words as if warning him and hurried out of the hospital room. Hain was planning to go out alone and sat down on the bed after staring at the raindrops. Hajin’s fate was a mess already however Jonghwa who was taking care of him without getting anything in return, was unlucky as well.

“…What?”

“You wanted to get out? Get on my back.”

Table of Contents
Reader Settings
Font Size
Line Height
Font
Donation
Amount
nicotine

Please DM me on Discord if you have any concern. The comments are not automatically pinged to me so I miss them. Please not share the novels on SNS, you will risk them being taken down. For alternative payment issues, please contact me on Discord!

Comments (0)