Kindergarten - sanriio_ventz - 징크스 - 밍과 | Jinx (2024)

Do you remember that one friend you had in kindergarten?

Chances are that you don’t. You sometimes see them in your dreams, their faces never visible.

Joo Jaekyung wishes he could forget, but it seems the harder he tries the more he sees him.

Back then when his life wasn’t led by classism, he and Kim Dan were best friends. You could hardly ever see them apart, it was a disaster when they were.

There had always been a sort of tension when they were around each other.

It wasn’t a violent one, of course. It was like a force was pushing them together when life was pulling them away from each other.

Life succeeded. When they were just 12, Jaekyungs parents decided to move. They were beginning to get irritated because of how close the two boys were.

“My son will never be a fa*g.” His dad would yell, slapping Jaekyung across the face for simply smiling at Kim Dan. Jaekyungs mom would always see the abuse, but she’d close her eyes and light a cigarette.

They never got to say goodbye to each other. The first night of being miles away from Dan, Jaekyung whispered four special words to the moon, hoping they’d get to Kim Dan.

After losing his only comfort, Jaekyung turned to boxing. If he couldn’t talk about his feelings with someone, he’d use them against someone. He began to forget Kim Dan.

***********************************************

Kim Dan could never seem to let stuff go easily. He could lose a toy and, 10 years later, still think about how he could’ve prevented the loss. Jaekyung was no exception.

He thought he had gotten over Jaekyung until he saw a wolf plushie at the store. He remembered how Jaekyung had a plushie like that in 1st grade.

Since that day, he devoted his free time to searching for Jaekyung. He got many clues to where Joo was now, though none of them gave a clear answer. He thought they’d never find each other again.

That was until he came across his Instagram. He wasn’t completely sure it was him, but the facial features were alike. He learned Jaekyung came back to South Korea when he was 24.

Taking a deep breath, he decided to text.

“Hi! I came across your Instagram and you look a lot like an old friend of mine. Is your name Joo Jaekyung by any chance?”

It didn’t take long for Jaekyung to answer.

“Yes. Who is this?”

“My name is Kim Dan. We were best friends until the 6th grade! Do you maybe wanna meet up this weekend? There’s an awesome cafe nearby.”

Jaekyung didn’t answer for two days, but he’d seen the text. Kim Dan was about to unsend the message when he finally got a text.

“Sure.”

That Saturday, they met up at café TK. Kim Dan had dressed up in his cleanest clothes.

For the first few minutes, it was quiet. Kim Dan stole glances at Jaekyung, admiring him. He finally decided to speak.

“Do you remember the stuffier animal you used to have? I bought one just like it so I could give you it if we ever reunited-“

“Stuffed animals are stupid and childish. I didn’t ask you to get me one.”

It went on like that for three hours. Kim Dan started conversations and Jaekyung ended them. The times Joo would speak, he’d belittle Dan for being poor.

It hurt him deeply to meet a stranger instead of his friend. All he had longed for was being able to see him again, though it seemed Jaekyung was doing fine without him.

After the meet up, they had to part ways. Kim Dan wanted to at least hug him, but he knew that wouldn’t work. He waved goodbye and stood there awkwardly when he realized Joo had already walked away.

He saw a woman with lucious brown hair and bright blue eyes. The woman hugged Jaekyung and kissed his cheek. Jaekyung almost hesitantly hugged her back and groped her, but the woman didn’t notice the disgust on his face.

They walked toward Jaekyungs’ car, and in the passenger seat was a child no older than 6. Kim Dan's heart dropped. She had the same eyes as Jaekyung and the same hair as the woman.

All he could do was force a smile and walk away, the ache in his chest not getting smaller.

“I expected to find a friend but I ended up finding a stranger.”

That night, while Joo Jaekyungs’ family slept, he sat on the couch, looking out the window. He smiled at the moon, tears streaking his face.

Just like he did 14 years ago, he repeated those four special words.

“I still love you.”

Kindergarten - sanriio_ventz - 징크스 - 밍과 | Jinx (2024)

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